Liberty News

Please Update your Links.

On February 10, 2013, in Uncategorized, by Paul Swansen

We’ve moved to a new spot on the Web. You can now find us here at,

http://www.libertynews.com/section/swansen-report/

Thanks for your readership, and we look forward to seeing you at the new site.

 

Why Isn’t DOJ Enforcing Existing Gun Laws? Why indeed and no this isn’t a rhetorical question.

Gun laws on the federal level are enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Most if not all current gun laws can find their history in the following.

Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (1993)

Federal Assault Weapons Ban (1994–2004)

Firearm Owners Protection Act (1986)

Gun Control Act of 1968 (1968)

Gun-Free School Zones Act (1990)

National Firearms Act (1934)

Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (1968)

During the senate hearing, Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, stated:

 

“Out of more than 76,000 firearms purchases denied by the federal instant check system, only 62 were referred for prosecution, and only 44 were actually prosecuted,”

 

LaPierre cited a 2012 Department of Justice report that in part says:

 

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Act) requires criminal history
background checks by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and state agencies on
persons who attempt to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer. In 2010, the FBI
and state agencies denied a firearm to nearly 153,000 persons due to National Instant
Criminal Background Check System (NICS) records of felonies, domestic violence
offenses, and other prohibiting factors. Enforcement of the Brady Act, 2010 reports on
investigations and prosecutions of persons who were denied a firearm in 2010. The
report describes how the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
screens denied-person cases and retrieves firearms that were obtained illegally.
Statistics presented include charges most often filed against denied persons by United
States Attorneys and results of prosecutions. Investigation statistics from two states
are also presented. Key statistics are compared for the five-year period from 2006 to
2010. Statistical highlights are presented in the body of the report and complete details
are included in an Appendix.

The question from the Senator remains unanswered.

Sen Sessions: Why Isn’t DOJ Enforcing Existing Gun Laws?: ”

(Via Breitbart Feed.)

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Colorado and the Second Amendment.

On January 29, 2013, in Second Amendment, by Paul Swansen

Throughout Colorado there is beginning to be a backlash against the Obama Administration and their attack on our Second Amendment rights. Well done to one and all for

Lawful Concealed Weapons Permitted Sign

Lawful Concealed Weapons Permitted Sign (Photo credits: www.mysecuritysign.com)

keeping up the good fight.

County Sheriffs of Colorado release memo in opposition of new gun laws

County Sheriffs of Colorado release memo in opposition of new gun laws: “The County Sheriffs of Colorado has released a memo that outlines tough stances against many of the gun legislation efforts slated to be proposed by state Democrats in coming weeks.”

(Via Denver Post: News Headlines.)

 

300 Colorado Teachers Take Firearms Class

Weekly Standard Blog 1/29/13 11:04 AM Daniel Halper Daniel Halper Politics & Government Colorado gun control guns Teachers

A press release from gun-rights group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners announces that last night it gave a firearms class to 300 teachers in Colorado. There was no cost for admission.

“Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, Colorado’s largest grassroots gun rights organization, provided a free firearms training course for 300 Colorado teachers,” the group says.

“The 300 men and women braved snow and inclement weather to attend the four hour course focusing on firearms safety and handling, and Colorado gun laws.”

In a statement, the executive director of the group, Dudley Brown, says, “Colorado teachers have been beating down our doors to receive firearms training. … They don’t want their students to be a victim of the next Adam Lanza. They came here for training tonight because they want the next Adam Lanza to face the barrel of a .45.”

According to the group, the “class coincided with the introduction of Colorado Senate Bill 9, the Colorado Teacher Carry Bill, which would give school boards the ability to allow teachers to carry a firearm as long as they have a Concealed Weapons Permit.”

El Paso County passes measure defying Obama’s gun control orders.

El Paso County’s commissioners won’t enforce laws — federal or state — that infringe on the Second Amendment right to bear arms and are prepared to face any financial consequences of not following federal law.

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Big Brother Is Watching.

On January 27, 2013, in Security, U.S. News, by Paul Swansen

Big Brother Is Watching, via CCTV, RFID and a host of other alphabet soup acronyms. Personal space and security if not completely gone is certainly at an all time low.

A mobile closed-circuit TV van monitoring a st...

A mobile closed-circuit TV van monitoring a street market (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As far back as 2008 Bruce Schneier, chief security technology officer at BT Group, said that CCTV doesn’t keep us safe, yet the cameras are everywhere. If you’re the least bit aware, you’ll know that there has been a growth in CCTV cameras here in the U.S.. Just a short trip to the local supermarket has you showing up on traffic cameras, Bank ATM camera and of course the store security cameras.

Recently the use of Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags at local high schools have been in the news. How does RFID work?

RFID is the use of a wireless non-contact system that uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data from a tag attached to an object, for the purposes of automatic identification and tracking. Some tags require no battery and are powered and read at short ranges via magnetic fields (electromagnetic induction). Others use a local power source and emit radio waves (electromagnetic radiation at radio frequencies). The tag contains electronically stored information which may be read from up to several meters away. Unlike a bar code, the tag does not need to be within line of sight of the reader and may be embedded in the tracked object.

At the start of the 2012 school year, Northside Independent School District (NISD) began using student ID cards with RFID chips. The use of these types of school ID’s resulted in, Sophomore Andrea Hernandez, being suspended for refusing to wear her school student ID card which is implanted with the RFID chip. The student ID badge has a bar code associated with a student’s Social Security number, and the RFID chip monitors pupils’ movements on campus, from when they arrive until when they leave.

As a result of the news of NISD using RFID student ID cards, Texas state Representative Lois Kolkhorst, and Representative Cindy Burkett have filed bills that would ban the use of RFID chips in schools. Texas State Senator Craig Estes has filed a state senate bill that would do the same.

Our schools are not the only places for the RFID technology. If you’ve recently applied for and received a new passport, it may contain an RFID chip. The Magic Kingdom of Disney has become even more magical with the introduction of MyMagic+. MyMagic+ is an RFID-enabled system that lets visitors interact with, and pay for nearly anything in the Disney village. Park visitors are now filled with a sense of cautious excitement. They’re thrilled by all the possibilities this offers and yet, wary of the privacy concerns that come with it.

Welcome to 2013 where Big Brother is watching us even more.

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Obama’s All Of The Above Energy Policy.

On January 27, 2013, in Energy, U.S. News, by Paul Swansen

Obama’s All Of The Above Energy Policy, is fine on paper and for the evening news soundbite. However that’s as far as the platitude ever goes.

English: Castle Gate Power Plant near Helper b...

English: Castle Gate Power Plant near Helper by David Jolley 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’ve been paying attention during the past four years of the Obama Admininstration, you might remember now, Vice President Joe Biden’s statement during the 2008 campaign saying, “no coal plants here in America,” was to be the Obama Administration policy. Also during the 2008 campaign, then candidate Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle that he would ensure that building a coal plant would “bankrupt” the operator, due of the cost of complying with new Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) carbon-dioxide regulations. It now appears that this is one campaign promise that the Obama Administration has kept.

However, this might not be the best campaign promise to have kept. Nearly all of U.S. coal production goes to generate electricity that we use each and every day. The current reduction and eliminating coal fired power facilities requires costly new facilities and expensive grid modifications. On the more personal scale, what are all of those newly purchased Chevy Volt owners going to do to keep their new vehicles running?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates annual regulatory compliance costs for existing coal fired power plants to be approximately $10 billion per year. The EPA goes on to state that the benefits from regulating mercury and other toxic emissions at $6 million per year. The National Economic Research Associates found regulatory costs of $21 billion per year, with the loss of 183,000 jobs per year. The supposed health benefits touted by the EPA regulations have not been substantiated.

As Promised, Obama Energy Policy Bankrupts New Coal Plant: “From Vic in the morning thread comes this piece: “Chase Power
has opted to suspend efforts to further permit the facility and is seeking alternative investors as part of a plan of dissolution for the parent company,” Chase CEO…”

(Via Ace of Spades HQ.)

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Digital Eavesdropping.

On January 26, 2013, in Journalism, Media, by Paul Swansen

Digital Eavesdropping, is becoming more prevalent as we move from paper and pencil into the digital age. Now reports are surfacing out of Los Angeles of the Los Angeles Police Department using

English: A cell phone tower in Palatine, Illin...

English: A cell phone tower in Palatine, Illinois, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

cellphone spy device known as StingRay.

Stingray is sold by the Harris Corporation. This type of device is also known as an, “IMSI catcher,” in reference to the unique identifier, or International Mobile Subscriber Identity, of wireless devices. These devices appear as cell towers to ping all the mobile devices on a given network within their range of the device. As long as the mobile devices are turned on, their locations will be revealed.

Stingray was developed to be used in the fight against terrorism. According to news reports Stingray was used in far more routine LAPD criminal investigations. Stingray was used 21 times in a four-month period during 2012. The use of the Stingray was without the courts’ knowledge in these investigations. The technology eavesdrops on anyone in the same neighborhood, suspected terrorists or law abiding citizen.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has chimed in on the use of Stingray as well. The EFF warns that anyone can become a subject of official law enforcement scrutiny. The occasions where everyone in an area is monitored, are likely to become more common as these Evesdropping tools are put to greater use.

According to recently released records under the California Public Records Act, StingRay, was used for more than 13 percent of the 155 “cellular phone investigation cases” that LAPD conducted between June and September 2012. Additional released records now show that the LAPD is using Stingray in burglary, drug and murder investigations.

There are ongoing legal questions and the LAPD is not being forthcoming on the legal analysis, as to the where the LAPD has the authority to use these devices. According to released LAPD documents they acknowledge “that they do have this technology, and that they’re using it. … And the documents are ambiguous about whether or not the procedure requires a warrant or other judicial permission … ”

Just as the beginning of 2013 the Obama Administration has begun an attack on the Second Amendment, Stingray and this technology, is an affront to the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment states that the government is not allowed to disguise and or hide these type of new digital eavesdropping technologies from the court. Judges who have attorney’s in their courts who are unable to explain the technology to the judge’s satisfaction, are being denied their legal requests.

In taking the long view we need to address if we want to embrace this new technology for it’s good? Or do we remain true to our heritage of the protection of individual civil liberties.

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Collective Bargaining by Firefighters.

On January 25, 2013, in U.S. News, Unions, by Paul Swansen
Denver Fire Engine 6

Denver Fire Engine 6 (Photo credit: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious)

Collective Bargaining by Firefighters, has come to the 2013 Colorado State legislative session in the form of SENATE BILL 13-025.

The proposed legislation is sponsored by Sen. Lois Tochtrop. (D-Thornton) The content and context of the bill is something that Colorado labor unions have long pushed for. The bill would allow collective bargaining for firefighters without a local government approving it.

According to Mike Rogers, President of the Colorado chapter of the International Association of Fire Fighters, “Senate Bill 25 is important in allowing Colorado Firefighters to obtain vital resources for protecting their communities and ensuring they are fairly compensated.”

Interesting to note that the bill is all about the firefighters and not about protecting the public. Currently there are 44 unions active in the State of Colorado. Looking at the unions represented, the one that appears to be closely related is, SPFPA – International Union, Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America. Also on the Colorado Union list is the, BCTGMI – The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. We all know how well that worked out for the 18,500 union members who lost their jobs.

According to the Senate Bill 13-025 summary -

The bill grants firefighters the right to:

Organize, form, join, or assist an employee organization or
refrain from doing so;

Negotiate collectively or express a grievance through
representatives of their choice;

Engage in other lawful concerted activity for the purpose
of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection;

Be represented by their exclusive representative without
discrimination.

 

Senate Bill 13-025 has been moving right along in the current legislative session.

01/09/2013 Introduced In Senate – Assigned to Business, Labor, & Technology

01/23/2013 Senate Committee on Business, Labor, & Technology Refer Amended to Senate Committee of the Whole

The bill has been Pre-Amended.

Committee Reports for Senate Bill 13-025.

Votes for – SB13-025.

Colorado Senate Bill 13-025 is strongly opposed by local governments that don’t want the state overstepping local ordinances and potentially affecting their budgetary decisions.

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Hillary Clinton’s Fiery Moment at Benghazi Hearing, is an amazing piece of video. Here is the Secretary of State doing her best impression of the artful dodger. Here is the Secretary of State parsing her words. Here is the Secretary of State, taking zero responsibility for any of the actions surrounding the attack on our Benghazi Counslate.

Let’s review for a moment. The Obama administration was notified by email of the attack on the Benghazi Consulate, within minutes of when it began. Shortly thereafter U.S. Ambassador Stevens was murdered along with State Department official Sean Smith. Then President Obama jetted off to a Vegas fundraiser as two former Navy SEAL’s, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were about to get killed by mortar fire. Their deaths happened a little over seven hours after the raid began, according to the released CIA timeline.

The main stream partisan press completely and willfully ignored how the Obama Administration initially attributed Benghazi to some YouTube video nobody watched. That was their story and they were sticking to it until two weeks later when the Obama Administration acknowledged that it was a well orchestrated terrorist attack.

The main stream partisan statist press, has to this day, completely and willfully ignored how the Obama Administration initially attributed Benghazi to some YouTube video nobody watched. That was their story and they were sticking to it until two weeks later when the Obama Administration acknowledged that it was a well orchestrated terrorist attack.

Even now after Hillary’s appearance at the Benghazi Hearing, there are still unanswered questions. We have yet to get any answers from President Obama as to what he knew and details of his participation and roll in the events of that evening. We are also questioning how the head of the CIA was under FBI investigation for nearly six months, and the president knew nothing about it. There are these and many more overall questions regarding this incident, and the American people deserve answers.

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Workers Hours Cut by Obamacare.

On January 22, 2013, in Economy, Health Care, by Paul Swansen

Workers Hours cut by Obamacare, is becoming more of a trend rather than simply a specific business anomaly. Fast food provider, Taco Bell was a recent participant in this move.

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection an...

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Due to the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and the way the legislation reads, it’s created a huge incentive for employers of all types to reduce current employees below the 30-hours threshold.

According to the PPACA,

Only a large employer may be subject to penalties regarding employer-sponsored health
insurance. A “large employer” is an employer with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees
during the preceding calendar year. In order to determine whether an employer is a “large employer,” both full-time and part-time employees are included in the calculation. “Full-time employees” are those working 30 or more hours per week. The number of full-time employees excludes those full-time seasonal employees who work for less than 120 days during the year. The hours worked by part-time employees (i.e., those working less than 30 hours per week) are included in the calculation of a large employer, on a monthly basis, by taking their total number of monthly hours worked divided by 120.

What is interesting to note is that even the part time employees, those working less than 30 hours a week are a part of the overall calculation.

As we’ve recently noted, college students are being hit by the massive health care cost increases as a result of the PPACA. Now it’s time for their instructors to join in the fray. Due to the ever increasing costs of health care programs, and the exponential regulatory growth of health care mandates, institutions of higher learning are now feeling the pinch as well.

Maricopa County Community College District the maximum teaching load for adjunct faculty is nine load hours per semester. Service faculty will be limited to twenty hours per week.”

Palm Beach State College of Florida has announced that it will begin limiting the hours adjunct instructors can work in order to avoid new requirements under the Affordable Care Act.

Pennsylvania Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) has already slashed the hours of 400 adjunct instructors, support staff, and part-time teachers. The changes mean an adjunct faculty member would make $14,600 — “just a tick above the poverty level.”

Youngstown State University in Ohio has already created caps on the number of hours its adjunct faculty can teach.

It’s probable that the associated teachers unions were not paying attention when these items of the PPACA were introduced. Had they been paying attention, would they ever have supported the president?

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Obamacare – The Unaffordable Care Act.

On January 21, 2013, in Economy, Health Care, by Paul Swansen
Hands Off My Health Care - Colorado Tour

Hands Off My Health Care – Colorado Tour (Photo credit: paulswansen)

Obamacare – The Unaffordable Care Act, is a much more appropriate descriptor to what was signed into law back in March of 2010. Offically known as The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the legislation hasn’t lived up to it’s name. In a perfect legislative world, PPACA was aimed primarily at decreasing the number of uninsured Americans and reducing the overall costs of health care.

You might remember the following -

A town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Aug. 11, 2009, where Obama said, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

“If you’re one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.”
Barack Obama on Thursday, June 28th, 2012 in a speech at the White House

 

 

It’s now 2013 and the president has been offically inaugurated for his second term. So just how is PPACA doing at keeping down the “overall costs of health care?” At Nicholls State University, students have seen their health care premiums rise by 1,903%. No, that no misplaced decimal point. Nicholls students who had been paying $75.05/year for their basic health insurance coverage have seen that price rise to, $1,503/year for the same basic coverage.

A quick survey of other University programs shows health care premium increases from 54% to student health care options being completely dropped due to the doubling of costs. It might be time to review the president’s own words on the issue again.

One of the president’s health care advisors stated that health care premiums in Wisconsin will increase by an average of 30%. Milliman, an actuarial consulting firm reported that in Ohio, “individual health insurance market premiums are estimated to increase by 55% to 85% above current market average rates (excluding the impact of medical inflation).”

And who can forget tax increases. From now and until 2022, Obamacare increases taxes by $1.2 trillion, which amounts to $15,796 for the average family of four. Yes indeed, welcome to The Unaffordable Care Act.

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