Story Summary

Ringside Politics

ringsideRingside Politics is an award-winning weekly half hour television program and daily two-hour radio show featuring current topics with a mix of CNN’s Crossfire and Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor spiced with a local flavor. Each program, Jeff Crouere invites guests to discuss a variety of important issues from every point of view. The studio set is styled like a boxing ring with ropes, gloves and stools as part of the intriguing atmosphere. The program is shown throughout the WLAE-TV broadcast range covering the New Orleans metropolitan area and the Northshore, Gulfport to Houma and west up to Baton Rouge. The radio program can be heard across most of south Louisiana on WGSO 990am.  You can listen to the program on the web at WGSO.com.

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News with a View
06/22/13

Senate in rush to pass immigration bill and ignore America

CaptureIt happens all the time in Congress. Politicians push through legislation that is not supported by the American people. The members of Congress listen to the lobbyists, special interest groups and powerful political forces, but rarely listen to average voters.

It happened with the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and it is on the verge of happening once again as Congress is in an artificial rush to “do something” about illegal immigration. Most Americans are concerned about the economy, but the politicians want to pass “comprehensive immigration reform.” A 1,000+ page bill is being rammed through the Senate. It will create a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million illegal immigrants who are in this country.

Democrats want the legislation to pass for they know that the newly legalized immigrants will most likely vote for their party. In the last election, 77% of Hispanic voters cast their ballots for President Obama.

Republicans are under the illusion that Hispanic voters will reward them if they acquiesce in passing this bill. Such beliefs are truly ridiculous and are not supported by electoral history. In 1986, Republican President Ronald Reagan and a bi-partisan coalition in Congress passed an immigration reform bill that granted amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants. Yet, the Republican share of the Hispanic vote dropped from 37% in 1984 to 30% in 1988. There was no reward for supporting the bill, just the opposite. It could be argued that a large contingent of Hispanic voters, native born or legal immigrants, was upset at the GOP for supporting the amnesty bill and withdrew their support for the party.

A key part of the 1986 legislation included guarantees for additional border security. However, 27 years later, Americans are still waiting for border security. It is clear Congress does not ever intend to secure the border. Today, only 36 miles of the 1,951 mile border with Mexico is secured with double fencing. There are 656 miles of single fencing, a paltry one third of the total area that needs to be secured.

Bills have been passed to extend the border fence, such as the Secure Fence Act of 2006, but they have been subsequently ignored by Congress and the White House. In fact, in March of 2010, President Obama eliminated funding for the expansion of a “virtual fence.” Since that time, the number of illegal immigrants has increased, but there has been no progress on the border fence, either actual or virtual.

In reality, America needs a physical double fence that secures a very dangerous southern border with Mexico. Regularly, there is human and drug trafficking across the border. Ominously, there is a real national security threat as our open border could be exploited by a terrorist intent on attacking this country.

The current immigration bill offers legal status to the illegal aliens before securing the border. This emphasis is in direct opposition to the wishes of the American people, who, according to a recent Rasmussen poll, by a 4-1 margin are demanding that the border be secured first before any amnesty is granted to illegal aliens.

The result is a phony rush to pass legislation that thwarts the will of the American people. Immigration reform will not solve any problem. It will just lead to more illegal immigration without dealing with the lack of security at the border.

It is time for a total revamping of our political system. It is not working; the voice of average Americans is not being heard.

Until we can implement effective political change, such as term limits or other reforms, look for Americans to get angrier and angrier. This could spell trouble in the days ahead.

News with a View
06/15/13

The ruination of Rubio

CaptureAfter his rousing keynote address at the Republican National Convention last August, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) was the darling of the GOP. As a young, articulate, intelligent, Cuban-American, Rubio was seen as a leading 2016 presidential candidate. Some commentators even predicted that Rubio was so outstanding that he would scare away many of his would be opponents.

What a difference a year makes! Rubio is no longer the shining star of the Republican Party. In fact, the mere mention of his name causes some Republicans to mutter expletives. The reason for the dramatic change is Rubio’s strong support for the immigration reform bill.

His high approval ratings have decreased among self described conservatives. According to a recent Public Policy Poll, in the last 90 days, Rubio’s approval rating among “very conservative” respondents has declined nine points, among “somewhat conservative” respondents it is down four points and among Hispanics, it has dropped five points. This is quite ironic for many Republican Party leaders believe that support of the immigration reform bill is essential to build support in the Hispanic community. Well, it is not working for Senator Rubio, the poster child for the “Gang of Eight,” the bi-partisan group of Senators who are sponsoring the immigration reform bill.

This motley Senate gang includes liberal champion New York Senator Chuck Schumer. Most Republicans are appalled that Rubio is pushing a plan supported by not only Schumer, but also President Obama.

It is clear why Democrats like Obama support the bill. They know that once 11-20 million illegal immigrants are given the right to vote, the vast majority will support the Democratic Party. Yet, why are Rubio and other Republican moderates supporting this bill? The negative ramifications for the GOP could be quite severe. In the last election, 77 percent of Hispanic voters cast their ballot for Barack Obama. If this bill is passed, red states like Texas will become blue and then the GOP can forget about winning another presidential election. It seems like Rubio has a death wish for the Republican Party. It is why columnist Ann Coulter calls him the GOP’s “Jack Kevorkian.”

Besides the obvious political ramifications, there are many reasons for conservatives to oppose this bill. It will legalize the millions of undocumented aliens first before any consideration of border security. In an interview last Sunday on Univision, the Spanish language TV network, Rubio said “First comes the legalization, then come the measures to secure the border, and then comes the process of permanent residence.”

This shocking statement contradicts what Rubio said in other interviews when he claimed that border security would be improved before amnesty. It also is not want the American people want, which by a 4-1 margin demand that border security needs to be the focus before any amnesty is granted.

Our current border security is a joke. Along the 2,000 mile border with Mexico, only 656 miles of fencing is completed. The U.S. government has the technology to build a fence; it just lacks the political willpower. We are too concerned with political correctness and how a border fence will be interpreted by our Mexican neighbors and the millions of Hispanic voters in this nation. Thus, we are ignoring our national security and the wishes of a vast majority of Americans.

In his support of immigration reform, Rubio is pandering to the mainstream media, the GOP establishment and Hispanic voters, but he is becoming more unpopular with the key demographic that controls the nomination process, grassroots conservatives.  While he might succeed in passing the immigration reform bill in the Senate, he will never succeed in his real goal, winning the Republican nomination and becoming President of the United States.

News with a View
06/08/13

GOP secret weapon: Karen Carter Peterson

peterson, sen. karen carterIn the final few days of the legislative session, State Senator Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans) hurled a verbal stink bomb at her Senate colleagues. On the State Senate floor, she made the reckless claim that several of her Senate colleagues were voting against the expansion of Medicaid in Louisiana because of “the race of this African American president.”

Carter Peterson offered no evidence for implying her colleagues were racists. She refused to name which Senators had linked President Barack Obama’s race to the healthcare debate. As noted by Louisiana Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere, there are plenty of reasons other than race to oppose Obamacare, which is similar to the type of program that conservatives opposed in the early 90’s. At that time, it was being pushed by Hillary Clinton among others as the answer to our healthcare problems. Fortunately, “HillaryCare” was defeated because Republicans were able to convince Americans of the dangers of nationalized healthcare. Race had nothing to do with the debate then and it is irrelevant to the discussion today.

Carter Peterson should be ashamed of herself for such a blatant and inappropriate use of the race card. Every time a politician like Carter Peterson carelessly plays the race card, it diminishes the response to cases of legitimate racial discrimination that still exist in our country.

Unlike Hillary Clinton, President Obama was successful in his quest to socialize medicine, but it was passed over the objections of a majority of Americans, including the vast majority of the people of Louisiana. In fact, pollster Bernie Pinsonat estimates that close to 70% of Louisiana voters are opposed to the President’s healthcare plan.

There many legitimate reasons to oppose Obamacare. We can already see how this bill is damaging the healthcare industry. Health insurance premiums are increasing and will increase more. A doctor shortage that is harming effective healthcare treatment today will only get worse. U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) warned that the bill is a “huge train wreck coming down.” It would be ludicrous for Carter Peterson or any supporter of President Obama to accuse Senator Baucus, a fellow Democrat, of criticizing the plan because of race. Similarly, it is irresponsible for any Louisiana politician to accuse state legislators of racism for opposing a very flawed plan.

After Peterson’s incendiary remarks, prominent Louisiana State Senator Elbert Guillory switched his party affiliation to the GOP. Guillory becomes the first African American Republican State Senator in Louisiana since Reconstruction. He stands alone today as the only Republican State Senator in the South.

At the time of his switch, Guillory called Louisiana Democrats the “party of disappointment.” According to Guillory, Carter Peterson’s comments “certainly helped push me over the edge….it just showed me just how far out of tune I was, I am, with the Democrat Party.”

Republicans now possess a solid majority in the State Senate with 25 of the 39 seats. Just a few years ago, the Democratic Party enjoyed a majority of the seats in both houses of the Louisiana Legislature. Today, the “party of disappointment” is losing legislators like Guillory on a regular basis.

Karen Carter Peterson’s playing of the race card is not going to help the party return to the majority in the state anytime soon. In fact, her comments have generated nothing but negative national publicity for Louisiana. Obviously, she has become a liability for the Louisiana Democratic Party.

If Democrats want to seriously challenge Republicans again in Louisiana, it would be wise for the party to install new leadership. In contrast, Republicans should wish Carter Peterson a long tenure as Democratic Party Chairman. She is the best thing to happen to the GOP in quite a while.

News with a View
06/01/13

Holy Moses! Michael Eric Dyson is an idiot

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Michael Eric Dyson (screen capture from YouTube via MSNBC)

It is no wonder that MSNBC is tanking in the ratings. It is so bad for the far left network that they are being surpassed in total viewers by not only CNN, but also Headline News, which only covers the Jodi Arias trial.

One reason for the problems is that the network relies on laughable anchors and “experts” who are racists and far left apologists for President Obama. When they interact on air it leads to ridiculous opinions being expressed, but nothing of real substance. For example, let’s examine yesterday’s exchange when liberal host Martin Bashir asked his fellow liberal wacko Michael Eric Dyson about the plight of Attorney General Eric Holder. Bashir noted that some Republicans like Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) have called for Holder’s resignation as they did during the Fast and Furious investigation last year.

Dyson said that Holder should not step down from office but step “off of the plateau where he represents on high principle and whip some heads. But he shouldn’t give up his office. What he should understand is that he is the chief law giver of the United States so to speak. He’s the Moses of our time and at least for this administration.”

(Fast forward to the 3:45 mark to hear Dr. Dyson’s remarks.)

Yes, Michael Eric Dyson compared Eric Holder to one of the most consequential figures in the history of the world. Moses gave the world the Ten Commandments; Holder has given us lies, excuses and incompetence. Not exactly an apt comparison Michael Eric Dyson.

This hopelessly misguided commentator is typical of the type of “expert” given air time on MSNBC. Dyson called for Holder to “hold fast” because he was the favorite “whipping boy” of a frustrated “right wing.”

Holder is not being attacked because of unfair partisanship; he is being criticized for once again thwarting the pursuit of true justice.  Our country has never been saddled with an Attorney General like Holder. He is a partisan, biased tool of President Obama. In 2012, he prevented a real investigation into his department’s outrageous Fast and Furious operation and was held in contempt of Congress.

In the current situation, Holder is in hot water for apparently lying about the administration’s actions involving Fox News reporter James Rosen. It seems that Holder approved the unprecedented effort to access the reporter’s personal communications, phone records and interactions with colleagues and family members. However, in congressional testimony, Holder denied being involved in such an attack on the First Amendment.  So, Holder is either lying or extremely incompetent with a very limited memory.  He should be fired or have the decency to resign. Of course, in this administration, the honorable course of action is very rarely taken.

Holder is not in trouble because of his race or his liberal ideology; it is because he failed to provide truthful testimony to Congress. Of course, it is essential for congressional witnesses to tell the truth. Holder’s inaccurate testimony is leading some to rightfully question when he committed perjury. At the very least, Holder should be called before Congress again and asked to clarify his comments. Even some congressional Democrats are joining their Republican colleagues in demanding that Holder shed light on this clear contradiction.

Too bad such honesty does not exist on MSNBC. It is no surprise that a MSNBC commentator like Dyson would express support for the Attorney General. What is surprising is that there are no limits to the extent of the support. It seems that to people like Dyson, the Attorney General can do no wrong, in fact he is like Moses.

How absurd, but in an age of Obama, the entire country has become a theater of the absurd.

News with a View
05/25/13

5,000 criminals getting away with murder in New Orleans

murder-400×225This past week has been a particularly violent one in New Orleans. A criminal court judge was carjacked; a couple was brutally assaulted in the heart of the Central Business District. Of course, there was another shootout on the Interstate. It marks the third time in the last few weeks there has been a gun battle on the congested roadway.  If a commuter can make it to his car unharmed, then drive safely to the parking garage and finally be able to walk to work unmolested, it is a major accomplishment in the city of New Orleans.

The city is still recovering from the brutal Mother’s Day second line parade shooting, in which 20 innocent people were shot. It was just another vicious assault in a city that specializes in horrific crime news.

The beat goes on in the Murder Capital as the natives are too accustomed to such carnage to become continually outraged; however, negative national publicity will eventually start to interrupt the city’s brisk tourism business.

There are multi-faceted reasons for the crime epidemic. Long term answers involve restoring the family unit, breaking the cycle of poverty and fixing a broken public school system. In the short term, citizens need to take action to fix a dysfunctional criminal justice system which features dangerously liberal judges, overworked prosecutors and understaffed police.

A police department that recently boasted 1,700 officers now includes only 1,200 officers. As approximately 120 officers leave each year, the number of new recruits is slim to none.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu says that it will cost $65 million to recruit and train another 300 officers. It would be wise to cut other areas of government and find these funds for it is money well spent. There is nothing more important to focus on than public safety; the most critical duty for any city leader.

While the department hemorrhages, murders continue to accumulate in New Orleans. According to Irv Magri, President of the victim assistance organization, Crime Fighters of Louisiana, there have been approximately 5,000 murders in New Orleans in the last 20 years. Of those 5,000 murders, there has not been one case of true justice, for none of the killers have been executed.

Capital punishment is legal in Louisiana, but practically non-existent in New Orleans. The last person sentenced to death in New Orleans was Michael Anderson, convicted of killing five people in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. However, it was eventually overturned and Anderson was sentenced to life in prison.  Thus, there has not been a successful death penalty conviction in New Orleans since 1997.

For the most part, juries refuse to render the verdict and for those rare few who have been sentenced to death, there are endless appeals on death row. For example, vicious cop killers Antoinette Frank and Len Davis have spent almost two decades on death row.

Capital punishment is just punishment for those who are convicted of first degree murder. If implemented, it would serve as a deterrent to potential murderers. Criminals would know there are consequences for their crimes. In addition, executions would save taxpayers millions of dollars as room, board, clothing and other amenities would not have to be paid for murderers to sit on death row for year after year.

Despite thousands of murders throughout Louisiana during his term of Governor, only one person has been executed in the state during the tenure of Governor Bobby Jindal. Since being reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976, only 28 people have been executed in Louisiana, the nation’s most violent state.

It is one very obvious reason why crime continues to plague the state, especially the city of New Orleans.

News with a View
05/18/13

Mother’s Day mayhem will cost New Orleans millions of dollars

Last year, New Orleans welcomed 9 million visitors to the city, another fantastic success for the tourism industry. While this is impressive, it pales in comparison to the goal of 13 million visitors for the tri-centennial of New Orleans in 2018.

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Photo from Darian Trotter

Unfortunately, this goal will be unattainable if more incidents like the Mother’s Day shooting occur on the streets of New Orleans. In an amazingly brazen attack, police claim that Akein Scott and his brother Shawn Scott, members of a vicious 7th ward gang, shot 20 people at a second line parade.

This incident made front page news around the globe, sending a horrible message that New Orleans is a city awash in violent crime. This message is accurate for the city is nowhere close to getting a handle on the crime problem. For years, New Orleans has earned the disastrous title of Murder Capital of the nation. While the number of murders has declined in 2013, the number of people shot has not dropped.

On Sunday, no one was killed, but there could have been 20 dead in the hail of gunfire. NOPD officials are limited in their ability to provide security at such parades as there are too few police officers. There has only been one recruiting class since Mayor Landrieu took office. In that time, the attrition rate of officers has skyrocketed to approximately 100 per year. Currently, there are only 1200 members of the NOPD, while 1600 were on the force only a few years ago.

The administration is in the process of changing the detail policy, which will lead to more defections from the NOPD. In addition, the ludicrous policy of reinstating the residency requirement will drive more officers from the ranks of the NOPD.

While another new recruiting class is forthcoming, the situation will only get worse in the short term. When veteran officers leave, they take years of experience on the streets of New Orleans with them. It is a loss that cannot be replaced by a rookie just graduating from the academy.

While the NOPD is shrinking, the criminal population is robust in New Orleans. Lenient judges contribute to a revolving door criminal justice system. Akein Scott had been arrested numerous times, but his bail was set at only $15,000 after his last brush with the law. On Mother’s Day, he should have been in jail, not terrorizing a second line parade.

The answer is not providing midnight basketball in crime infested neighborhoods or giving criminals multiple chances to turn their lives around. The only answer is a return to strict law and order procedures in New Orleans. A deterrent must be established again in the Crescent City. Criminal penalties are much too lenient. For example, there have been 5,000 people murdered in New Orleans in the last two decades, but no one has been executed for those crimes. It is almost impossible to secure a death penalty conviction in a New Orleans court room. The death penalty can be a deterrent if it is used, but, in New Orleans, criminals are literally getting away with murder.

Until there is a functioning criminal justice system and an adequately staffed NOPD, there will be more incidents like the Mother’s Day shooting. This will continue to impact our tourism industry and cost the city millions of dollars as untold number of visitors will be scared to visit our city.

This issue needs the attention of city leaders because it is important to both public safety and our economy. Platitudes and soft headed approaches are not working, a hardnosed crackdown on criminals will be the only way to turnaround this situation.

News with a View
05/11/13

Stop the Louisiana election madness

110308Votingeb.jpg It seems every few weeks; there is an election in Louisiana. Whether it is a special election or a school board wants to pass a tax issue, voters are being overloaded with too many elections.

This causes voter fatigue and low turnout as citizens become tired of continually going to the polls. Ideally, Louisiana should have one or two election days per year and a combination of issues should be placed on a ballot together. Instead, we have the current situation where a school board can place a tax issue on the ballot with nothing else to attract voters to the polls.

For example, last weekend in St. Tammany Parish, the school board engineered a low turnout election. The board forced an election that featured only three public education items, including one that was a property tax increase.

Not surprisingly, only a few St. Tammany Parish voters went to the polls because there was nothing else on the ballot. The School Board was able to mobilize their supporters to vote and was successful in getting their tax approved as the opponents were not funded or energized. If the election would have featured more items on the ballot and more voters participated, the tax issue would have surely failed.

While St. Tammany Parish voters were once again manipulated by the influential political forces that have been dominating the parish for decades, the voters in Jefferson Parish are not as gullible. In fact, there is a voter revolt ongoing in Jefferson Parish as people are sick and tired of the “establishment “and have started to vote “no” on a regular basis. All of the tax renewals failed, as did the tolls on the Crescent City Connection.

In Jefferson Parish, the controversial toll issue and a heated judicial race helped increase turnout slightly. In contrast, St. Tammany voters only had a few school board issues on the ballot, which guaranteed a low turnout. Whenever these types of taxes are proposed, they tend to be placed on the ballot on an obscure election date solely for the purpose of passing the tax while the majority of voters are asleep.

This obscene practice must come to an end. In the past few years, we have made some progress. Secretary of State Tom Schedler was successful in passing legislation that limited the number of elections. No longer will there be Louisiana elections scheduled in the months of January or July. Much more work needs to be done as we should eventually consolidate the election calendar to just a few dates per year

The Louisiana way is not working, we cannot afford it. According to Secretary Schedler, each election costs taxpayers approximately $1,250.00 per precinct. In a state with budget woes, eliminating unnecessary elections would save taxpayers millions of dollars. Schedler found that in a recent five year period, Louisiana held 70 elections, the most in the south, and the third highest in the entire nation. The southern state with the next highest number of elections was Georgia with only 36 in that five year period, one half of our total.

Louisiana voters love politics and we have a very interested electorate, as 84% of eligible voters are registered. However, it is unfair that these voters repeatedly be asked to go to the polls.

Each election must be approved by the Governor, so he can stop the madness by refusing to allow so many special elections. In addition, the Louisiana Legislature should vote to drastically reduce the election calendar. This will provide relief to taxpayers, ensure higher turnout in the elections that are scheduled and guarantee results that truly reflect the wishes of the electorate and not just a few political insiders.

News with a View
05/04/13

A tale of two athletes: Collins praised while Tebow panned

CaptureIn the politically correct world of sports today, it is no surprise that the media went crazy in praising Jason Collins, the first gay professional athlete to go public.

Collins is a 7 foot free agent center who is a 34 year old journeyman in the NBA. After his announcement, Collins was greeted with overwhelming support. He received a phone call from both President Obama and former President Clinton. Among the thousands of supportive tweets he received were positive messages from the First Lady and his college classmate Chelsea Clinton. Collins was besieged by requests for media interviews and had to admit that he was humbled by the strong show of encouragement.

Collins does not have to worry about any type of discrimination. As an openly gay professional athlete, Collins will be given more opportunities in the NBA and will likely receive lucrative endorsement deals. His career as a personality will go into overdrive, even while his playing career winds down.

In the meantime, evangelical Christian athlete Tim Tebow was released by the New York Jets. Although he was signed with much fanfare, Tebow was never given a chance by the Jets, even though he could have contributed to a team that struggled last year. After being released by the Jets, Tebow declined an opportunity to criticize the team, instead he tweeted a quote from the Bible. This was another indication of Tebow’s character and class, qualities rarely seen in the world of professional sports.

In the aftermath of Tebow’s release, plenty of so-called sports experts were quick to criticize the quarterback. They said he had limited talent, could not throw the ball accurately and had a style that did not mesh with the NFL. Such comments are ridiculous for Tebow clearly has plenty of ability. At the Florida Gators, he won the Heisman Trophy and led the team to two national championships. He set numerous SEC records by accounting for 145 overall touchdowns, 57 rushing touchdowns, 12,232 yards of total offense and a passing efficiency of 170.8.

After his stellar college career, Tebow was a 1st round draft pick by the Denver Broncos. In his second year, Tebow took over the starting job when the team was 1-4. Tebow led the team to the playoffs and engineered a victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers.When the Broncos signed future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, Tebow was traded to the New York Jets and the rest is history.

Throughout his brief NFL career, Tebow has been the subject of unfair criticism. It seems his Christian beliefs were a lightning rod for the sports media. Tebow has been maligned and ridiculed from the moment he was drafted in the NFL. He has been criticized for being a strong Christian and wearing his faith on his sleeve.

It seems Tebow is controversial for no other reason than he is a strong Christian. He does not cause problems with other teammates or get into trouble with the law. He sets a great example for youngsters and has the type of values that should be welcomed in every locker room.

Hopefully, at least one NFL team will have the courage to sign an athlete with tremendous heart, unquestionable talent and a track record of success. Hopefully, at least one NFL team will not be intimidated by the politically correct environment that discriminates against people of faith.

If Tebow is still without a team by the start of the next football season, there will be no doubt that discrimination exists today in the world of professional sports; however, it is not directed against gay athletes, instead it is directed against devout Christians like Tim Tebow.

News with a View
04/13/13

RIP: The right to privacy in America

CaptureThe United States of America has reached the nightmare levels outlined in George Orwell’s famous classic, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Orwell wrote of a “big brother” government with constant surveillance of individuals, who are persecuted for independent thinking and not allowed any sort of privacy. These draconian policies are carried out by a massive government bureaucracy all in the name of the “greater good.”

In our country today, our federal government has become Orwellian. It continues to grow with reckless abandon. Our national debt is approaching $17 trillion as more people become dependent on government services to survive. A shocking 90 million Americans are not involved in the labor force as nine million Americans are receiving disability payments and almost 50 million Americans are forced to accept food stamps.

Sadly, both the private sector and the concept of privacy are under attack. In the last labor report, a mere 88,000 jobs were created while 663,000 people exited the workforce due to frustration, retirement or disability.

In the toxic environment, our federal government is expanding and it is becoming harder to earn a living in the private sector and remain free of government control. This will only get worse in 2014. The President’s healthcare plan will extend the reach of government to over 20% of our economy. This is being done without the support of the American people and the very effort may cripple our healthcare industry.

This week, gun control legislation is moving through Congress with Republican support. It will create universal background checks and will be ineffective without a national registry of guns, which the President supports.

On Thursday, it was revealed that the IRS has the right to review email communications. This shocking disclosure was condemned by Republicans and Democrats alike. The IRS contends that it does not need a court order or any type of approval to examine the electronic correspondence, including text messages, of unsuspecting Americans.  This extensive attack on privacy is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Clearly, to review text messages or emails the government should obtain a warrant and it should be limited to terrorist suspects. The assault on privacy was accelerated by the Patriot Act, passed in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks; however, these new IRS powers are taking government surveillance to an entirely new level.

The IRS claims that Americans do not have a “reasonable expectation of privacy in such communication.” This assertion is unwelcome news to millions of Americans who do indeed expect their electronic communications to be free from government oversight.

U.S. Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) said that the revelation is “an affront not only to our system of checks and balances, but also to our fundamental right to privacy.”  Udall said that this IRS power is an “overreach.” He is imploring his colleagues to overhaul the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

Obviously, this act needs to be strengthened at a minimum to deal with new forms of Internet usage and communication. For example, IRS agents are also being accused of checking Facebook postings of Americans without permission.

In our Orwellian state today, Americans are constantly being monitored by cameras, drones and other types of security measures. While this is being done in the name of keeping us safe, it is also eroding our precious right to privacy.

It is time we turned the tables on the oppressive government and demanded an end to this obnoxious and illegal monitoring.

Americans should also be free to lawfully engage in electronic communication or, heaven forbid, buy a gun without the oppressive oversight of a federal government hell-bent on accumulating power and limiting the God given rights of its citizens.

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