Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Obama Keeps White House Visitors a Secret

President Obama, continuting to break his promise to usher in a new "transparency" in Washington has shuttered the White House windows, in a manner of speaking.

Requests for White House Visitors lists from MSNBC and the nonpartisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, have been denied by the Secret Service.

CREW will file a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security which oversees the Secret Service.

Here is a copy of the complaint, provided by MSNBC.

As long as it is not a matter of national security, the citizens of the United States have a right to know who is visiting their house. That's right, it's our house. We let the current president stay there while he's in office, but when his term is over, we send him home. The White House is not the private property of any administration.

The particular visitors that interested CREW were executives of coal companies. The lawsuit is filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Look at The Voluntaryist

I know many people who are worried about the encroachment of "big government" and the nanny state. You can count me as someone who believes that the federal government has grown far past the role set out for it by the Constitution. Government bailouts of the auto companies, TARP monies, and a general sense that government is reaching its hand into many areas where it simply doesn't belong is starting to cause unease amongst Americans.

If you want a completely opposite perspective on the role of government, you should have a read over at The Voluntaryist Website. They advocate an extraordinarily limited role for the government, which they say will result in an increased level of freedom for the individual.

Whether you agree with their perspective or not, it's a thought-provoking website that will challenge you to think about the role of government and just who has the control in your life choices.

Blogger Admits to Baby Blog Fraud

Beccah Beushausen, a 26-year-old social worker from the Chicago suburb of Mokenka wrote a blog about a subject so intense and emotional that she was reached a million hits on the night she wrote her most heartwrenching post.

The story behind the blog? Beccah wrote under the name "April's Mom" about her decision to carry her terminally ill unborn child to term. People got so involved they wrote to say they were praying for her. Moved by her emotional story, they sent cards, flowers, gifts. The only problem? It was all a lie.

Beccah wasn't even pregnant and there was no April. But Beccah reported to readers of the blog that little April was born at home and died a few hours later. She even posted a picture.

It was the picture that did it. The photo she used was of a doll, and many readers weren't fooled.

Beccah says she's sorry, she didn't mean for it to get so out of control, but once she had so many readers she didn't know how to stop the charade.

Well, it's really easy, Beccah. Take down the site. Stop writing lies. Continuing was never necessary. It's a childish prank.

The most disturbing fact is that Beccah is a social worker. One can only wonder what type of position she holds, and whose lives she has influence over. So far, it is said she hasn't profited financially from her fraud. But hasn't she at least in one way?

Beccah wants to be a writer. She wrote a fiction that had readers in tears and hanging on her every blog post. She used to be a wannabe writer no one had ever heard of, now she's a writer who's talent for drawing the reader is well-established.

In the end, it's really the responsbility of the reader to determine whether or not what they read on the internet is real, genuine or true. It's time to acknowledge the overwhelming amount of dishonesty people display when they are hiding behind screen names and take a little care in what we choose to take as read.

Friday, June 12, 2009

FDA to Ban Regulate Cigarettes

While the FDA is not allowing imports of e-cigs, the smokeless nicotine delivery system that mimics the experience of smoking without the harmful toxins of the actual smoke, it is now in charge of regulating tobacco cigarettes, a product already deemed harmful and one known to cause cancer.

This strange situation has been brought about by the new law allowing the FDA to take over regulatory duties of cigarettes. In putting the FDA in charge of regulating tobacco products, such as cigarettes, Congress has essentially made the FDA - an agency whose job it is to ensure the safety of food and drugs sold to consumers - responsible for an unsafe product.

A baffling and disturbing part of this move is blocking tobacco companies from developing new products that would be less harmful to smokers. Why wouldn't the government want the companies to make less harmful products if they could? Why can't they make cigarettes with fewer of the toxins that are present in smoke? Nicotine, which is the addicting substance in cigarettes, is not what gives you cancer. Nicotine can be a helpful drug. It treats ulcerative colitis and blocks pain receptors in the brain, perhaps one reason why smoking rates are so high amongst the disabled population.

The e-cig is an example of a way to deliver nicotine to smokers trying to quit, that produces only a harmless water vapor rather than smoke from burning tobacco. The FDA already allows the patch and nicotine gum, both of which deliver nicotine directly. But, they say, they aren't convinced that the e-cig is safe.

The most logical reason for handing over cigarettes to the FDA to regulate is to eventually declare them unsafe and to make them illegal. Supposedly, the new legislation ensures that this will not happen, but there really doesn't seem to be any way for a cancer-causing product to continue with legal status once the FDA is responsible for it. It would be contrary to their entire reason for being.

This move that may eventually put an entire industry out of business looks unwise when the economy is tanking and the unemployment rate is already at record levels.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Obama is God Says Newsweek Editor

Here's another reason that the mainstream news media is becoming less trustworthy all the time. The free press has forgotten the reason they exist - to be a balancing voice and to question. Instead we get this Newsweek editor Evan Thomas in full-blown Obama-infatuation declaring:

"I mean in a way Obama's standing above the country, above above the world, he's sort of god."

Above the country? What happened to government of the people, for the people and by the people? He is not above us, he works for us. We, the people.

Above the world? Well, he has spent more time abroad than any president in his first few months, he courts enemy governments by sacrificing our friends, perhaps he feels above it all.

He's sort of god? This may be the job he was aiming for all along.

With the free press incapable of any objectivity, doesn't this leave Obama pretty much free to do anything without possibility of censure or criticism? Is this good for our country?