Odds and ends number 41

Not that I necessarily keep track of these things, but this is my first look in 2012 at those items which are worth a paragraph or three, but not a full post. It helps me clean out my e-mail inbox.

I couldn’t figure out how to embed this “Made in America” video, but I found it interesting when I watched it. I’m generally in favor of free trade and against strict protectionism, but if the difference is as small as they claim then buying American is worth it. Perhaps the claim of using 5% more American products would create 220,000 jobs is a bit dubious, but I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt.

Our nation needs to take steps in regaining its onetime prominence as a leading manufacturer. But it’s interesting to note several of the companies prominently mentioned have at least one plant in a right-to-work state. I can’t ascertain whether these are all non-union shops, but chances are fairly good – given that only about 1/10 of the private-sector workforce is unionized – that these good, honest American jobs don’t come with the union label.

Not that Maryland is making any quick moves to join the ranks of Virginia and other right-to-work states – this year, HB91 hasn’t progressed beyond first reading. But the group New Day Maryland pointed out to me a couple other bills of interest in the General Assembly this term to keep an eye on, and I thought I’d pass along the word.

House Bill 23, the Dedicated State Funds Protection Act, would prohibit the fund-raiding Governor O’Malley is almost as well known for as his constant zeal to raise taxes. And House Bill 43 would allow appropriations bills to be subjected to the same referendum process as those bills not dealing with appropriations. (The last remaining legal straw opponents of the in-state tuition for illegal aliens referendum are grasping for is that the bill is an appropriations bill, although it’s not.)

Both these bills have a hearing scheduled for 2 p.m. on January 31. I presume written testimony is acceptable, too.

Of course, if you would like to provide more than testimony in writing and want to be a bulldog for individual rights and liberty in a state which isn’t as free as its moniker might claim it is, you may be interested in an upcoming event.

A “Citizen Watchdog Training Seminar” is being held on Saturday, February 4 at The Gathering Place in Clarksville, MD. For only $35 per person ($25 for students) to cover the cost of lunch and materials, participants will receive training in several areas:

  • How to be an information activist
  • How to use investigative reporting tools and skills
  • How to impact the state and local government budgetary process
  • How to hold elected officials accountable using social media

Sponsored by Maryland CAN and the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, this seminar should be an interesting look at how to become a better citizen activist.

Citizen activists of another type are what Obama For Against America looks for. This is an excerpt from a recent e-mail I received from them:

Supporters of the President are organizing house parties in thousands of neighborhoods across America to watch the State of the Union on January 24th.

But I checked a little while ago and there wasn’t one planned yet in your neighborhood.

The State of the Union is one of the best chances we’ll have this spring to bring new folks into this campaign and our organizing work. We’ve got to make the most of it. (Emphasis in original.)

I have news for Jeremy Bird, who sent me the e-mail: you likely won’t have one in Salisbury and if you did it would be hosted by the same insufferable twerps who regularly tell us they know what’s best for us. If I were to throw a party for the State of the Union show, it would be for the response:

Tea Party Express, the nation’s largest tea party political action committee, is announcing that Herman Cain will be delivering the Tea Party State of the Union response at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on the evening of January 24, 2012.


Sal Russo, Chief Strategist of the TEA Party Express, added:

“We are enthusiastic that a successful conservative governor like Mitch Daniels of Indiana will be giving the Republican response. I know that both Governor Daniels and Mr. Cain will contribute important ideas for the future of our country.”

I guess the only way to otherwise make the SOTU interesting would be to make a drinking game out of every time President Obama blames Republicans or a do-nothing Congress – unless you were taking shots of diet Pepsi, I wouldn’t advise driving afterward. Normally I just read it afterward because I have better things to do with my hour, but I would be interested in hearing what Herman Cain has to say.

Returning to items of state interest, the Eighth District Congressional race got a little more star power:

Nationally recognized investigative reporter and international religious-freedom advocate Ken Timmerman announced he will challenge incumbent Rep. Chris Van Hollen in the 8th District of Maryland, vowing to rein in out-of-control federal spending, promote jobs through growth, and maintain a strong national defense adapted to the challenges of tomorrow.

“In just three years, the Obama administration, eagerly assisted by Chris Van Hollen as Chairman and Ranking Member of the Budget Committee in Congress, has racked up a breath-taking $5 trillion in new debt, and now they are asking for $1.2 trillion more,” the Montgomery County conservative said.

“The scandalous enactment of Obamacare, with its special interest waivers and the potential bankrupcy of our health care system, is a poster child for everything that is wrong with Congress. Chris Van Hollen had a chance to work toward getting our fiscal house in order. He failed. Now he needs to go,” said Timmerman. (Again, emphasis in original.)

Obviously the best-selling author will have an edge in name recognition, but he also has some political history – Ken ran before and lost, finishing fifth out of eight in the Republican U.S. Senate primary 12 years ago. Granted, this was before he wrote his most successful books.

(And, as an aside to prove the fact some people just can’t get enough of seeing themselves on a ballot, two other contenders from that particular 2000 race are running again – George English is also in the Eighth District race as a Democrat and Robin Ficker is running for the Sixth District Congressional seat as a Republican.)

Speaking of national politics, you may have noticed that from time to time I point out items from or link to the Maryland Juice website. Something I just found out is that David Moon, who writes that website, is also the press contact for the Demand Progress group. While I normally don’t agree with their aims, Demand Progress was front and center on the SOPA/PIPA protest, and for that they deserve a pat on the back. As I said the other day, I don’t mind having people on the other side with me when they’re in the right.

Lastly, I want to debut a new feature that is probably appropriate for this irregularly-scheduled segment.

From time to time, I find new websites to link to but they may not necessarily be apparent to the average reader who sees my site daily because I just place them on my existing link lists.

But over the last month or so I found a couple good sites and I thought this was as good a venue as any to showcase them, so here goes. On a local level the Easton Savvy website looks promising, while Jen Kuznicki is an up-and-coming conservative writer and Mark Levin follower from Michigan.

Something I’m going to try and do more often is quality control on my links, pruning ones which don’t update all that much (thus, losing my interest) and finding new venues which look promising. So read and enjoy them after you go through what I have to say.

Update: Since I pruned a few links this evening, I also added a few and changed some around:

  • The former Confederate Yankee site is no more, but CY co-writer Bob Owens has his own site now.
  • She doesn’t post every day, but Zilla of the Resistance looks like a worthwhile read.
  • It used to be Crisfield News, but now Patty Hancock has her own name on the site.
  • I also moved the Maryland Society of Patriots site off the Free State bloglist and into the Political Links section.

I’ll probably add more in the coming days, but the Zilla blog gave me something to think about. I’ll post my thoughts on it tomorrow so stay tuned.

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