Odds and ends number 66

As we approach the Christmas/New Year’s holiday week when news is slow, it may not be the best time to clean out my e-mail box of those items I could potentially stretch into short posts. But I tend to defy convention, so here goes.

Up in Cecil County the politics aren’t taking a holiday break. Two conservative groups are at odds over the Tier Map which was administratively approved by County Executive Tari Moore – the Cecil Campaign for Liberty considers any tier map as part of  “the most expansive taking of private property rights in Maryland state history.” But the Cecil County Patriots are on record as supporting the least restrictive map possible, warning further that not submitting a map would place the county under the most broad restrictions. (This is one early rendition of their map – note that over half the county is in Tier IV, the most restrictive tier.)

Unfortunately, the opposition we have isn’t dumb and they write laws in such a manner that localities in Maryland are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. But I’m curious how the state would react in this instance, quoting from SB236:

IF A LOCAL JURISDICTION DOES NOT ADOPT ALL OF THE  TIERS AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS SECTION, THE LOCAL JURISDICTION SHALL DOCUMENT THE REASONS THE JURISDICTION IS NOT ADOPTING A PARTICULAR TIER.

Answer: We will NOT adopt Tiers III and IV. Reason: see Amendment V, United States Constitution. The law does not provide “just compensation.”

Someone really should remind Governor O’Malley and Senators Pinsky, Frosh, Madaleno, Montgomery, and Raskin (who have a COMBINED lifetime score of 32 – total, between all five of them, so an average score of 6.4 out of 100 on the monoblogue Accountability Project and who all hail from the I-95 corridor) that their home county is free to be as restrictive as it likes but counties are not just lines on a map. We may look like hicks, but we do tend to know what we’re talking about out here.

If they have to have Tier IV, the extent of it should be that of any undeveloped property owned by any Delegate, Senator, or local representative who supported this piece of garbage. Let them live with the consequences and spare us the misery.

Otherwise, you may have this sort of result (h/t Institute for Justice): an Orlando homeowner is facing fines of up to $500 per day because he chooses to have a garden in his front yard and an absentee neighbor (who rents out his house and lives in Puerto Rico) complained. But as writer Ari Bargil notes:

You know government has grown too big when it bans growing a garden in your own yard.

Interestingly enough, the Orlando homeowner has a chicken coop in his backyard but that apparently doesn’t run afoul (or is that afowl?) of city regulations.

On the Maryland economic front, my friends at Change Maryland have had quite a bit to say of late. First, Change Maryland’s Larry Hogan panned Governor O’Malley for not appointing a new Secretary of Transportation and continuing to push for a gas tax, with Hogan remarking:

Here we go again. We were successful in stopping the gas tax increase, and the sales tax on gasoline last session, but they are still trying to ram it through. And now O’Malley expects struggling Maryland families and small businesses to pay for his mistakes. They want us to forget about the hundreds of millions of dollars he robbed from transportation funds.

After raising taxes and fees 24 times and taking an additional $2.4 billion a year out of the pockets of taxpayers, we know O’Malley prefers raising taxes over leading, O’Malley must show leadership and take some responsibility on funding transportation, or he’s going to achieve the same dismal results as before with the failed gas tax schemes.

Over the last decade, both Bob Ehrlich and Martin O’Malley have collectively seized $1.1 billion from transportation to use in balancing the books. O’Malley isn’t planning on using a gas tax increase to pay back his $700 million share, though – he wants to expand the Red Line and Purple Line in suburban Washington, D.C.

Hogan was also critical of someone O’Malley did appoint, new economic development head Dominick Murray:

I am concerned that Mr. Murray’s marketing background in the media industry signals an intent to continue to focus more on press releases, slide shows and videos that only promote the governor’s national political aspirations.

Murray has a lot of work to do, as Maryland lost an additional 9,300 jobs in October, per numbers revised by the federal BLS. Non-adjusted statistics for November also suggest another 3,100 nonfarm jobs fell by the wayside, although government jobs rebounded by 900 to come off their lowest point since 2010 in October. Since O’Malley took office, though, total government employment in Maryland is up over 28,000. It continues a long-term upward trend which began in 2005. On the other hand, the only other industry with a similar upward profile is education and health services.

On a national level, unemployment among those with a high school education or less is “dismal,” according to a new study by the Center for Immigration Studies. They contend it won’t be helped with a policy of amnesty toward illegal aliens, which make up nearly half of a 27.7-million strong group of Americans who have but a high school education or less yet want to work. The high school graduate U-6 rate (which properly counts discouraged workers who have stopped looking) is over 18 percent; meanwhile just over 3 in 10 who have failed to complete high school are jobless by that standard.

While some of those who didn’t complete high school have extenuating circumstances, the far larger number have chosen their lot in life by not getting their diploma. Unfortunately, their bad choice is exacerbated by the illegal aliens here who are willing to work for less and/or under the table.

Bad choices have also been made by Republicans in Congress, argue two deficit hawks who contend economist Milton Friedman was right:

…the true burden of taxation is whatever government spends…Friedman would frequently remind Reagan and others during the early 1980s that reductions in marginal tax rates – which Friedman supported – were not real tax cuts if spending was not reduced.

Jonathan Bydlak and Corie Whalen, the two board members of the Coalition to Reduce Spending who wrote the piece, contend that Republicans who have not raised taxes but simultaneously failed to address overspending are violating the Taxpayer Protection Pledge made famous by Grover Norquist. And since the amount of revenue taken in by the government since the adoption of the Bush tax rates a decade ago has remained relatively constant when compared to spending, it seems the problem is on the spending side of the equation. Just restoring governmental spending to the level of the FY2008 budget would address most of the deficit.

Finally, it appears spending is on the minds of the Maryland Liberty PAC as they recently put out a call for candidates who would be compatible with their views on key areas of local, state, and national government – examples include not voting for tax increases or new fees, opposition to intrusive measures like red light cameras, abuse of eminent domain, and internet freedom, and economic issues such as right-to-work and nullification of Obamacare. Out of eight questions, I’d be willing to bet I’d honestly and truthfully answer all eight the correct way. But I think I’ll pass on the PAC money, since I run a very low-budget campaign consisting of the filing fee.

But if they don’t mind sharing the information, we could always use good Republican (and liberty-minded Democratic) candidates in these parts. I didn’t mind spreading their word, after all, even reminding Patrick McGrady that Central Committee members are elected in the June 24, 2014 primary and not on November 4 as their original note suggests.

Believe it or not, then, if memory from 2010 serves me correctly the first people to file for 2014 can do so on or about April 16, 2013. The day after tax day and less than a week after sine die ends the 90 Days of Terror known as the General Assembly session: how appropriate in Maryland.

Odds and ends number 60

More dollops of blogworthy goodness, neatly bundled up in short, paragraph-or-three packages. I put them together and you raptly absorb them. It seems to be a good formula.

If you believe it’s time to ditch Dutch, you may want to know your contributions are paying for this. Here’s 30 seconds from State Senator and GOP hopeful Nancy Jacobs:

Now this is a good message, but oh! the cheesy video effects. It sort of reminds me of the Eric Wargotz “Political Insidersaurus” commercial, which had a message muddled by production. Sometimes people try too hard to be funny, but that shot of Dutch peeking around the Capitol dome might have the same effect clowns do on certain people who find them creepy.

A longer form of communication comes from a filmmaker who somehow got in touch with me to promote his upcoming documentary. It may not be “2016: Obama’s America” but Agustin Blazquez is an expert on communism, having left Castro’s Cuba as a young man nearly 50 years ago.

This movie came out October 4.

Perhaps it’s hard to read, but the gist of the film is that it exposes “Obama and his supporting network of organizations that helped him win the Presidency…and the connections with George Soros and the Communist Party U.S.A.”

I’m not going to speak to the merits of the film because I haven’t seen it. But this is a good opportunity to relate something I’ve encountered in my personal experience – the ones who seem to be most concerned about America’s slide leftward are those who have experienced Communist oppression firsthand, risking life and limb in many cases to escape to America. And they have no desire to go back.

One more video in that vein is the most recent web ad from First District Libertarian candidate Muir Boda.

One may debate whether we have a purpose for being in Afghanistan and Iraq, although in both cases we are in the slow process of withdrawing. But Boda goes farther and talks about rescinding foreign aid entirely, and that changes the terms of the debate dramatically. We can also include the idea of withdrawing from the United Nations in there.

It’s unfortunate that Andy Harris has chosen to skip the debates this time around because, in the wake of the Chris Stevens murder in Benghazi (“Obama lied, Chris Stevens died”: new foreign policy slogan) the time has come for a robust debate about how we treat both foreign relations and our dealings with Islamic extremists such as the ones who attacked our compound there.

Meanwhile, we also have to worry about our own border security in the wake of the killing of Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie last week. The Center for Immigration Studies rushed out their assessment of the situation, which bolsters an argument that we need to mind our own borders. They add:

Nicholas Ivie’s name is now added to the large and growing list of individuals killed on both sides of the border as a result of failed and corrupt policies.

We need border security, but perhaps it’s time to be more libertarian and consider the impact of our War on Drugs. I can’t promise it would eliminate the Mexican cartels, and honestly their battles with a corrupt Mexican government may end up as a civil war on our doorstep. But one also has to consider what the crackdown does to American youth as well.

You’ll note I panned Andy Harris for his apparent refusal to debate a couple paragraphs ago. That works for both sides, and especially so in the wake of Barack Obama’s recent debacle.

Fifth District Congressman Steny Hoyer claims people know where he stands, but he’s obviously afraid to defend his views onstage and challenger Tony O’Donnell takes exception to that:

Regardless of where we stand on the issues, this election is not about where we both have been, it is about where we are going.  The citizens of our district reserve the right to witness the passion I encompass when I know our rights are in jeopardy.  Representative Steny Hoyer has lost this spark and is merely a smoldering ember underneath the smokescreen of his 45 years as an elected official in Maryland.  It’s time to blow the smoke away and ignite a new fire.

My campaign has invited Representative Hoyer to debate in front of the citizens in each county and once on television.  In addition, The Chris Plante Show attempted to arrange an on-air debate.  Also, citizens throughout the District have called for a debate.  Yet Representative Hoyer rebuffed all requests.

That’s because Hoyer knows he has some built-in advantages: the power of incumbency along with the franking privilege, a willing and compliant press, and lots of money in the bank to create 30 second commercials. In a debate he can’t control the narrative, and that’s a position of a politician who knows he’s not as popular as he may let on.

I would expect that attitude of arrogance mixed with fear from Steny Hoyer, who’s long past his sell-by date, but I hoped Andy Harris would be better than that.

In Hoyer’s case, this ad from Americans from Prosperity should be beamed into his office. It’s simple but powerful in its message.

Time to try something different indeed. I received a number of reactions to the latest unemployment report, including ones from the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Lt. Col. (and Congressman) Allen West which flat-out accused the Obama administration of making it up. That’s okay, the Democrats lie on Medicare too.

Even Andy Harris responded, noting that:

I agree with what Vice President Joe Biden recently said when he stated that the middle class was “buried” over the past four years.

That is why the House voted to stop President Obama’s tax hike proposal on small business owners and the middle class, which would destroy over 700,000 jobs. We need the President and the Senate to work with House Republicans instead of continuing to promote job-destroying policies that the American people can no longer afford.

Even before the unemployment figures came out, though, the Republican Study Committee hammered President Obama and the Democrats for incomes which had fallen faster during this so-called recovery than during the preceding recession, particularly at a time where gasoline prices are skyrocketing.

The jobless recovery even extends to Wicomico County. As local researcher Johnnie Miller writes in an e-mail I obtained:

Wicomico has 132 fewer workers this year as compared to the same period last year – (08/12 vs. 08/11).  Even though the unemployment rate has declined in Wicomico from 8.8% to 8.2% – the real indicator points to the fact that those receiving unemployment checks have now exhausted their benefits and still not found jobs.

More alarmingly, somehow the county lost 1,613 workers from their labor force between July and August. 190 of them simply disappeared off the unemployment rolls as well, allowing the county’s unemployment rate to drop to 8.2%.

If this is recovery, I’d hate to see a depression. I could only imagine what the county’s U-6 unemployment rate would be.

I suppose there’s the possibility that these employment rolls may have been kept up like voter rolls are – perhaps they forgot to remove a few deceased workers. After all, the deceased really can vote in Maryland, according to the watchdog group Election Integrity Maryland:

While just scratching the surface of voter roll research, having looked at 35,000 voter registration records so far in Maryland, EIM has discovered 1,566 names of deceased still on the voter rolls.  Of these names, apparently two voted and three registered to vote after their deaths.

Talk about a serious case of rigor mortis.  But there are about 3.5 million registered voters in Maryland so if you extrapolate the numbers in a statewide race that’s 200 voters who would have been discovered, not the mention the potential for 156,600 zombie voters. It’s long past time to cull the voter rolls AND enact photo voter ID.

But let’s go back to the economy for a little bit, since those dead voters seem to be among those supporting a Governor who seems to be killing Maryland’s prospects for economic recovery in the next decade.

After Governor O’Malley appeared on CNBC yesterday, his nemesis Change Maryland immediately found significant fault with his remarks. Larry Hogan, Chairman of the group, delivered the real story:

We are very familiar with Martin O’Malley putting out falsehoods about his own record when it comes to Maryland’s economic performance. Maryland is a laggard in economic performance in our region, so he compares us to states like Michigan and Nevada.  The difference in those hard-hit states is that there top elected officials are dealing with structural problems in their economies while our Governor enjoys seeing himself on TV and making partisan attacks.

Martin O’Malley does seem to suck up a lot of airtime these days. I’ll bet a debate with him and Larry Hogan would be fun to watch in much the same manner some watch NASCAR rooting for the 14-car pileups. We all know the engineer of that train wreck would be Martin O’Malley, so the trick would be seeing if Larry Hogan could keep a straight face during all that. I’m sure I couldn’t.

What I can do, though, is leave you on that note as my e-mailbox is in much better shape. I do have some Question 7 and SB236/PlanMaryland/Agenda 21 items to discuss, but those merit their own posts. Three score odds and ends are in the books.

Odds and ends number 53

One could almost call this a feature I used to do once upon a time that I allocated from an old Eastern Shore blog called Duvafiles. The late Bill Duvall used to do “Sunday Evening Reading,” and for the most part this post will have quite a bit of that element in it. But my e-mail box is brimming full of interesting items that I think at least deserve a mention, if not a couple paragraphs.

Saying it’s costing these funds $1.5 billion a year, the folks at the Center for Immigration Studies decry the shortfall they claim is being created in entitlement trust funds by foreign workers exempt from certain taxes. Obviously the Ocean City tourist economy is one fueled by those who take advantage of student visas to come to the United States and work for the summer. But employers also save by not having to pay the 8.45% payroll tax on these workers, pocketing the difference.

Next is a Friday the 13th horror story from the Heritage Foundation, which revealed that “welfare as we know it” isn’t going to be dead after all. While the actual language of the directive itself doesn’t seem so bad, there is one sentence which should give us pause:

As described below, however, HHS will only consider approving waivers relating to the work participation requirements that make changes intended to lead to more effective means of meeting the work goals of TANF.

And, while the states can posit any approach they wish, authority on implementation is left up to the HHS Secretary, not Congress:

The Secretary will not approve a waiver for an initiative that appears substantially likely to reduce access to assistance or employment for needy families.

In other words, let’s place more people on the dole!

You might also notice that this is an internal HHS directive because, unlike the 1996 law President Clinton reluctantly signed in the heat of a re-election campaign, Congress didn’t approve these new regulations. Perhaps because Friday afternoon document dumps of politically unpopular news and directives have become de rigueur these days, maybe Thursday is the new Friday around the Obama administration.

Executive abuse of regulatory authority isn’t just for the federal government, though. Senate Minority Leader E.J. Pipkin called out Governor O’Malley for making his own changes, stating, “The Governor, using the MDE regulatory authority as a front, has decided to circumvent legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by his own hand.”

The changes have to do with legislation passed in 2009 to regulate septic systems, which was originally intended only for certain areas lying in the Coastal Bay and critical areas around waterways. But recent Maryland Department of the Environment regulatory changes expand the regulations statewide, according to Pipkin.

“Once again the Governor displays a breathtaking arrogance to change the law.  He has an environmental agenda.  And he is not about to let a mere 188 elected lawmakers get in his way,” Pipkin said.

It’s interesting to see as well that Pipkin has revamped his website. Perhaps it’s being primed for a statewide run?

In the national run, while Barack Obama has been whining about being outraised and outspent by Mitt Romney, the Republican is running a contest to meet him and his vice-presidential candidate (for a $3 donation, of course.)

But while Obama’s whining about a lack of funding, as blogger Bob McCarty notes the president’s seen over 400 banks fail under his watch, including the recent closure of the Bank of the Eastern Shore in Cambridge. Obviously most of these weren’t too big to fail, although most of the failed thrifts were acquired by other institutions.

And of course, there’s the people who claim they saw all this coming. Sometime this fall a documentary film will come out detailing the transgressions performed by the federal government in creating our hard economic times. The film will be called “The Bubble” and this is the trailer.

Now I don’t go in for grand conspiracy theories, but as long as the players stick to the basic issues and – more importantly – explain a little bit about the ideas they think can reverse the trend, they may have a winner on their hands just in time for the election. Not saying it will be a help to Mitt Romney or necessarily hurt Barack Obama, but it could make people think.

The film is based on the book Meltdown by Dr. Tom Woods, who contends that:

Americans have been fed a cartoon version of what has happened to the economy over the past several years. They believe the government was merely an innocent bystander, while the real culprits, egged on by so-called deregulation, are to be found in the private sector.

Guess what? He’s right. And his film will argue we may be blowing up yet another one, which will likely implode in 2013 or 2014.

The bubble on this edition of odds and ends bursts now, though. Yes, my e-mail inbox is nice and cleaned out once again.

Odds and ends number 44

Now this is starting to get confusing, since two of my long-running post series are up to the same number. But the way my inbox is presently filling up, I suspect “Odds and ends” will be well ahead of “Weekend of local rock” before too long.

As is always the case, this is the potpourri of items I find interesting, but not worthy enough of a full-blown post. Today I may even simply link to the items without much further comment because I have quite a bit to get to.

For example, Baltimore County Republican Examiner Ann Miller recently penned a post with timeless advice on how conservatives should treat media encounters. While it’s sad that media sometimes seems more interested in presenting a politically correct agenda than getting the truth, these are the rules we’re saddled with for now. It’s worth reading.

Another item worth reading that’s too long for me to excerpt is “A Day in the Life of O’Malley’s Maryland,” written by Senator J.B. Jennings. We can always talk about what tax and fee (but I repeat myself, for “a fee is a tax” according to MOM) increases do in the abstract, but the Jennings piece looks at how all these add up over the course of an average day.

Continue reading “Odds and ends number 44”

Friday night videos – episode 61

I have a bunch of political stuff this week, so I’m right back at it.

We’ve been saddled with a moratorium on Gulf drilling ever since the Deepwater Horizon accident almost a year ago. Now other real people are being hurt – those who depend on black gold for their livelihood. Frank McCaffrey of Americans for Limited Government investigates.

On the other hand, government has to provide incentives for “green” projects to commence. But what if the money runs out? Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute explains.

I can’t stay off the music the whole time. It was the late, great Ronnie James Dio who sang, “if you listen to fools, the mob rules!” Here’s a real-life example.

You may have heard about this video, which rocked National Public Radio and forced a corporate shakeup. Speaking of government-subsidized projects, why do we keep paying for this?

The next two videos depict a day in the life of an Arizona rancher on the Mexican border. I got these from the Center for Immigration Studies.

Imagine living life like that. This poor guy needs help, and securing the borders better would be his best source of assistance.

And yes, I have tunes. This was taped last week on Kim’s iPod as Semiblind rocked the Lagoon here in Salisbury. This is an original called “Take Control.”

So there you have it, done on the fly. By the way, I think I can do Semiblind videos from now until Christmas thanks to Kim!

Friday night videos episode 46

I wasn’t done yet, it was simply a dearth of decent video and some other plans taking up my Friday nights. Here you have the return of FNV after a two-week hiatus.

How about we start with this one? This could be a great movie, although it tells us what we already know.

Another thing we already know is that Sarah Palin remains popular, despite all the naysayers. That and she has her own political action committee.

And we also know that the stimulus is a boondoggle. It’s a little tougher to steal these political roadside signs than to take the neighbor’s O’Malley one – not that I condone the activity.

I may reuse this one in a few weeks.

I will be at the polling place on November 2nd with bells on. There could be a hurricane blowing and I’d be there.

Shifting gears, there’s a little surprise at the end of the Freedom Minute. But I’m curious why they used that particular hospital as a backdrop.

I came across this a couple weeks back, and you know, it fits in with the mindset of many perfectly. Besides, the series of commercials from Progressive Insurance (which is owned by uberlefty Peter Lewis) really desperately needed to be made fun of.

It’s not quite Halloween, but here is some more scary stuff in a serious vein to close this edition. Whether you come down in favor of amnesty for illegals or not, this is a good case for closing the borders.

Since I crammed this one sort of full, I’ll skip the music this time. Maybe I’ll do a double dose on the next one.

Friday night videos – episode 42

We’ll see how this week’s episode of FNV flies as I patch together goodies I’ve become aware of.

With tongue strictly in cheek, Andrew Klavan looks at Obama’s “Recovery Summer.”

President Obama can’t catch a break. Even Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has to point out another flaw.

“This is an outrage!” You got that right, Governor. Here’s a look at our porous border through the eyes of hidden cameras.

While we’re at it, let’s look at another issue Obama is on the wrong side of: environmentalism. R.J. Smith and the Center for Private Conservation explains that capitalism tends to be environmentally friendly, despite what some may lead you to believe.

I don’t know if this guy will win a Senate seat, but he has funny videos. Len Britton is running for Senate in Vermont and a couple months back I featured another commercial of his.

Billy is like the rest of us who are furiously bailing. Wonder how that works for bankers and automakers?

Okay, now to the music. This one is loud, this one is hard, this one is Not My Own.

And this one is a wrap until next week.

Jobs that teens won’t do?

This item from the Center for Immigration Studies interested me. It’s a backgrounder called A Drought of Summer Jobs: Immigration and the Long-Term Decline in Employment Among U.S.-Born Teenagers.

While CIS has acquired a reputation as an immigrant-bashing organization, what I took from reading through the study wasn’t so much the immigration aspect (although it is significant) but the general decline in the number of teenagers working. Their theory is that older immigrants, who are at the requisite skill level for entry-level work but don’t have to work around schooling, extracurricular activities, and other pursuits, are taking these jobs in increasing numbers.

One conclusion of the study suggests that these teenagers are handicapped later in life by not getting work. By that they mean they don’t get the experience of being on time and adjusting to a work schedule, providing customer service, and other job-related skills they don’t teach in school. Obviously that’s true because, while schooling is good, there’s truly no substitute for the good old School of Hard Knocks. Just ask any manager or customer about the service in certain outlets and you may hear horror stories about this generation. (Then again, I’m sure if you asked my parents’ generation about their recollections of us starting out you would get many of the same complaints.)

I can’t see fault in CIS’s theories but I think there are other factors at work. One intriguing finding is that teenagers from lower-income families aren’t as likely to be working as those in the upper starta of income. Now you would think that poor teenagers would be helping out the family’s economic situation and perhaps that was so a generation or two ago, but apparently that’s not the case anymore.

Obviously I wasn’t here on the Shore a generation ago to see what the young population did during the summer; perhaps readers can help me out. As it stands now, there are a number of low- or semi-skilled positions available in the area which seem to be filled by nonnative workers – picking crabs, processing chickens, or other agriculture-related work was probably a stepping-stone job among the youths of an earlier time while my generation likely grew up with the rise of Ocean City from a sleepy seaside town to the regional resort it has become. Now those jobs in the agricultural, food service, hotel/motel, and amusement fields seemingly fall more and more to imported workers. Anymore you can’t walk in Ocean City without tripping over a worker here for the summer on a visa – even here in Salisbury a couple years back we had a charming young Slovakian lady who was the lifeguard at the apartment pool.

However, it seems from some anecdotal reports that the employment situation in Ocean City has changed a little bit –  but it’s still not to the advantage of teenagers looking for work. They’re being bumped out by displaced older workers from other fields who are desperate to keep food on their tables and a roof over their heads.

So the CIS backgrounder isn’t necessarily surprising given what we know about the local situation, but it is worrisome. These days teens seem to have a lot of idle time on their hands; time which some fill with camps, classes, sports, or sitting in their living room playing video games. But too many who would like a job can’t get one, and that’s something which may affect their financial and employment status for the rest of their life.

Friday night videos – episode 32

Another week, another edition of FNV for your enjoyment.

The first video may not be as enjoyable as it is tragic. Take a look at the devastation in the Nashville region from a simple rainstorm that wouldn’t move off the area. No hurricane, no tornado – just heavy rain wrought this damage.

On the other hand, we have people like General Motors who aren’t self-reliant and wait for government handouts. Perhaps a presidential candidate in 2012, Rep. Paul Ryan recently decried their ‘crony capitalism.’

We’re 1/3 of the way through President Obama’s term, and Renee Giachino of the Center for Individual Freedom points out 10 lessons of his era.

Best thing is that I disabled autoplay on that one – yay me! I like their videos but didn’t like their autoplay feature, so I fixed it. Self-reliant.

It’s not as confusing as HTML code, but Arizona’s new immigration law does have its share of controversy. Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies did his best to explain the ins and outs on Fox News.

Another bill explained here by Americans for Limited Government is the Dodd financial takeover bill.

Let’s take this full circle, sort of, by going from southern rain to southern rock. Recently I was at Pork in the Park and caught these guys playing some Lynard Skynard you don’t often hear.

And is Smokin’ Gunnz a politically incorrect name or what? It’s a great way to wrap up this edition of FNV.