THIS IS A GUEST POST BY LAWRENCE LAFERLA, BROTHER OF 1st CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, DR. JOHN LAFERLA, REPONDING TO CONSERVATIVE EASTERN SHORE BLOGGER, MIKE SWARTZ, WRITING ON “MONOBLOGUE.”
Right-wing blog supports so-called “patriot” groups
Blogger Michael Swartz appears to deny that Andy Harris has in fact endorsed gun extremists who advocate the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. But the second-term, “tea” congressman actually has endorsed gun extremists who do advocate the violent overthrow of our freely elected government. In an open society such as ours, that’s close to treason. It’s simply a fact that Andy Harris supports gun extremists who can be fairly characterized as part of the “Timothy McVeigh wing of the Republican party.” It’s a fact that Andy addressed their right-wing gun rally. They talked of praying with guns in their hands and described our twice-elected president as a “dictator.” Andy gave them his blessing. It’s not unfair to point out that Andy Harris pals around with anti-government extremists.
It’s funny how right-wingers project. Who’s more “despotic,” the president or Congressman Harris? Evidence points toward the latter. Here you see Andy Harris preventing cameras from recording his fracking hearing (as if Andy’s big energy owners actually owned not just the congressman but our entire House of Representatives). Talk about despotism!
Okay, back to the topic of sensible gun policy. I can’t claim to know exactly (as of this writing) what my brother John LaFerla’s position is on gun ownership. (It’s too late in the evening to phone him, and it isn’t stated anywhere on the campaign site.) But we can safely presume that it’s in line with the mainstream. Protect property? Yes. Hunting? Yes. Fight despotic Royal Army? Sure. Overthrow our freely-elected U.S. government? Hell no — are you insane?
That was not in any way part of the intent of the drafters of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights that were adopted in 1789, nor is any right of domestic insurrection to be found in the literal wording of the Amendment. Furthermore, the “militia” that were referred to in the Amendment were supposed to be like juries, with participation from all citizens, not just gun enthusiasts. How do we know? If you have any doubts about this, read the entirety of this excellent exposition on the Second Amendment. And the “well regulated” part means public oversight. You don’t get to proclaim yourself a militia any more than you can proclaim yourself a general or a judge. True citizens militia would have rolling public conscription, like with juries, and would follow state and federal regulations enacted by duly elected public servants. You don’t just form your own little army and make your own rules. When our big army crushes your little army you’re going to cry about “tyranny.” But most Americans won’t call that tyranny. We’ll call it justice.
If you form a right-wing militia, who are you protecting? All of us? Akhil Reed Amar gets it right. Your militia doesn’t necessarily represent my interests as a citizen. You’re just a gun club. Nothing intrinsically patriotic about your gun collection. Nothing at all. And having a gun doesn’t put you in charge of the populace. It doesn’t make you more of an authority than any unarmed citizen. Might doesn’t make right. We have democratic processes in our government of, for and by the people.
Our current President, that thoughtful, decent, moderate, public servant, whom we elected twice with strong national majorities, speaks the truth when he notes that “the government’s us!”
Archive for the ‘President Obama’ Category
I have confidence that intelligent, compassionate people and yes, even entrepreneurs such as myself, across the country, will choose the only real choice there is in this election…another term for the President! The only alternative is to go back to the same failed policies of the Bush/Cheney administration, which led our country into its current dilemma. As President Clinton said the other night…no one, not him or any predecessor, could have done any better than President Obama has done…we were on the brink of destruction and the President saved us from going over the edge, which would have made the Great Recession, the Great Depression, Part Deux!
A report yesterday, from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), puts the blame for the Federal deficit squarely on the shoulders of George Bush. Why do you think the GOTP didn’t mention his name once during their Convention? The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus the Bush tax cuts, combined to form the basis for the deficit, through 2019. Common sense will tell you that you don’t cut revenues (Bush tax cuts) while fighting wars on 2 fronts! Who thinks that made sense?
People like Andy Harris need to be sent a message…stop the obstruction…sit down and do the job you signed up for…negotiate, compromise and GET THE WORK DONE! Being an ideologue will not create jobs…being reasonable will!
This is an article posted to the Easton StarDem last week, by Dan Bongino, Republican candidate for US Senator from Maryland.
Recently, I awoke at 5am to the sound of my six-month old daughter Amelia crying. When I entered her dark room to soothe her, I saw my wife, struggling to stay awake, holding Amelia in one arm as she was attempting to work on her barely lit computer screen with her other arm. My wife Paula is an entrepreneur and a small business owner. She also happens to be a first generation immigrant, who suffered through much chasing her American dream–all of her hard work culminating in her pledging allegiance to our flag as part of her citizenship ceremony. We both remember this as one of the proudest days of our lives.
I am writing of this incident because it succinctly describes a scenario repeating itself all over America today. Small business owners are making incredible sacrifices in their struggles to keep their businesses afloat. This is the reason why the President’s “you didn’t build that” comment has infuriated Americans across the political spectrum. The simple fact is that my wife did build “that.” She built her business, through countless hours of hard work and a commitment to a quality work product. I marvel daily at the countless hours she spends at her home office designing and repairing small business websites. She is the very epitome of the American dream, collectively enhanced but most importantly, self-made and personally driven.
The President’s statements are equally infuriating because he is attempting to create a fissure between Americans where there isn’t one. No Republican I am aware of is running for office on a platform of no taxes, no roads, no teachers and no military. I cite these examples because the President chose to mention the use of roads, the work of good teachers and the development of the backbone of the modern internet, through a military research initiative, as examples of how government should be the primary recipient of accolades for individual success. This is absurd and displays a backward logic which is hard to justify. It is the very success of people, such as my wife, willing to put their names behind a business endeavor, with no guarantee of success, that finance the government projects which the President speaks of. It is my wife’s, along with millions of others struggling for a better tomorrow, sweat, toil and willingness to take a risk that has made America exceptional amongst nations, not its roads.
The economy is clearly struggling. Americans are hurting and they are scared. Scared that for the first time, yesterday may have been the best it was ever going to be. This outlook has never been a component of our national psyche. The President’s statements will haunt him in this election as they echo all over our vast country. As my wife and I struggle through this historically poor economic recovery, I feel the pain of Americans hoping and praying that there is a better tomorrow and I ask the President to stop creating division by asking who built what, and to focus on getting our growing legion of unemployed Americans, just asking for a chance to build anything, back to work.
Dan Bongino, a devoted husband and father, served in the United States Secret Service for more than a decade, in which he was assigned to the elite Presidential Protective Division. He represented the U.S. as a lead government security official in over 25 countries. Holding graduate degrees in Business Administration and Psychology, Dan has gone on to start several successful businesses in Maryland. As an entrepreneur, he understands the role small businesses play in establishing a framework for continued prosperity and economic growth.
Walker is the right-wing hero-du-jour. Spinners argue the Right is emboldened because he survived. Attacks on worker rights, cuts in education, tax cuts and restricted voting, will now spread even more rapidly across the country.
I foresee more compromise. Walker barely survived the backlash caused by his lies and radical actions. He lost the Senate! He experienced a brutal recall, with a drop in popularity.
Of course, the Tea Party and Koch Brothers look-a-likes are waving a victory flag. But Walker’s, Kasich’s and Scott’s bloody noses will remain sore.
Where does that leave the President? Exit polls showed President Obama will take Wisconsin. It seems that many voters objected to the recall itself, not because they endorsed Walker’s radical policies.
Elected officials face important choices: Will the Middle Class and poor continue to pay for the catastrophe caused by 32 years of failed right-wing lies? Will America continue cutting education, health care, infrastructure, retirement security, clean water and air? Will we continue to approve CEO multimillion-dollar bonuses for jobs sent abroad, breaking unions, fudging books and lying to meet quarterly profit margins?
The alternative is to rebuild our country, with historically fairer taxes. To empower workers with fair wages, based on their productivity that creates huge profits.
Wisconsin is a warning to the President and progressives, who will need to work harder, stretch more, educate and reach out more, to counter the increased power of big money. “Big Money” out-spent their opponents 7 to 1! “Big money” demands a big reaction.
Are voters okay with “Big Money” taking over our future? It reminds me of the scene in Star Trek: First Contact, when, after going back in time, just prior to first contact between Earth and Vulcan, the Borg Queen is about to stop it from happening. Her words are startlingly appropriate: “Watch your future’s end!”
Also posted on www.rogerbburtphd.com.
How are we doing in our relations with minorities? I contend, not as well as we would like to think.
is back on the streets, alleys and even parlors, where we can see it. But knowing racism is alive and well is not enough.
As many of you know, I have endorsed Wendy Rosen in her race against Andy Harris (“Dr. No”) and I have committed to working on the campaign, by coordinating the campaign in Wicomico County. We have an opportunity to turn the tide on Tea Party fanatics and right-wing extremists, like Andy Harris, who want to take our country back to the 1800s.
The people are seeing what it would mean to give these right-wing radicals a majority in the Senate and the Presidency. It would be a catastrophe, reflected in the destruction of 70 years of progress, in making sure our seniors don’t have to live in abject poverty when their working years have passed. It would mean moving backwards in civil rights for minorities, the disabled, women and those who believe America is the standard for the world in civil and political freedom. It would men an end to education as we know it and the end of science in our schools; the end of protections for our environment, started by Richard Nixon in the ’70s, with the creation of the EPA! The progress, over 40 years, in cleaner water, cleaner air, cleaner land…do we really want to turn back the clock and let our children and grandchildren suffer the consequences? It would mean a government who says that individual freedoms are important, while taking away the freedoms currently enjoyed, and being fought for, by women and the LGBT community. It would mean an end to science and technology that would keep America a leader in the world, where engineers, doctors and scientists from around the world, flock to for the freedom to research and find the answers to disease, climate change, where we come from and where we’re heading, as a country and as a species.
I believe the tide is changing; that America sees the coming disasters under a Republican, fundamentalist- and Tea Party-led administration, who would be more interested in helping their friends become wealthier, instead of helping everyone to achieve the dreams we were promised as children. There can be no doubt that this is a critical election; every vote will count and it is up to us to elect a person of integrity and compassion. We know what Andy Harris is; what he believes and who pulls his strings. His vision of Maryland and the country is one where those with wealth are entitled to do whatever they want, to preserve and increase their wealth, while those without wealth, will just have to make do on their own. It is a vision fueled by religious fervor and elitist attitude; a vision that will continue to destroy the Middle Class and turn our country into two classes: the wealthy and the poor…and we know where the power and control will be concentrated, don’t we?
Please join me as I bring Wendy Rosen’s message, as well as the President’s message, to our neighbors in Wicomico County. We have a real chance of defeating Dr. No, but I certainly can’t do it alone…I need your help. There’s a lot of work to do between now and November 6th. When Wendy is declared the winner on November 7th, we will all understand that the work we performed was well worth the effort. The chant is clear: “Dr. No Needs To Go…Dr. No Needs To Go…”
The following post is written by our newest guest blogger, Roger Burt, PhD. Roger is currently the Manager for the “Wendy Rosen for Congress” campaign. He is a long-time Maryland resident, political activist and psychologist, involved in setting up & working in mental health programs in Baltimore County. He brings a different perspective to my blog and provides new insights into the 2012 election cycle.
There are lies and then there are DAMNED lies! Andy Harris knows how to speak both of them! If you have seen any of his recent Press Releases, you know that his lies and distortions are unconscionable and should be taken to task at every turn. The problem is that many of his supporters don’t care! They are what Republican strategists refer to as, “Limited Information Voters.” They typically are Fox News watchers, exclusively, and are without the desire or need for more information.
They rally around the rhetoric of right-wing, Tea-Party Republicans, who want them to believe that THEY are the only true patriots in the country. And why shouldn’t the LIVs NOT believe them? They utilize such patriotic phrases and bandy about the Constitution, like it was written by Ronald Reagan, himself!
To anyone with half a brain, and 15 minutes per day to dedicate to internet research, it soon becomes apparent that politicians like Harris have no interest, or benefit, to share the truth. And why should they? No one challenges it…at least no one that would vote for him to begin with. AND…if a lie here or a distortion there reinforces support for his “anybody-but-Obama” mentality, then, why not?
I’ll tell you why not:
Andy Harris: Have you ever come up with a lie or distortion you didn’t like…and that your supporters didn’t believe?
What is my ‘issue’ this election cycle? The farther we go into the Republican Primary season, the more it seems that Gingrich, Romney, Santorum & Dr. Ron, will destroy each other, then move on to President Obama, after the carnage settles. This made me think about what might have the most impact from my efforts in 2012, as well as a direct benefit to my community. Yes, I’ll be supporting the President for re-election – there’s no sane alternative – but I feel I can do more for myself and my community by helping to achieve an important goal, locally!
Politics and ideologies aside, “What galled me the most in 2011?” The Republican-led House came to a standstill regarding the most important issue in the country: JOBS! Continuing to have millions of unemployed isn’t good for anyone; neither the unemployed, nor the country. But what did the Republicans introduce to change that? Not much! What they did introduce had strings, so heavy, attached to them that they were dead on arrival. The Republican-led Congress, with Tea Partiers pushing hard to obstruct any compromise, reached their goal…Obstruct any legislative initiative put forth by the minority Democrats or the White House. In fact, the Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), summed up his party’s position best, when he said, “There will be no cooperation with the White House until the resident there is replaced.” You can’t get much clearer than that, can you?
We constantly hear the ideologues talk about “deregulation”, “lower taxes”, “more government help”, or “less government help.” Honestly, none of this will convince corporations, sitting on TRILLIONS in cash, to expand and hire. Some say that getting rid of regulations or lowering corporate taxes would help. I say, “Baloney!” I’ve started several businesses over the years and if I could make money with an idea, I ran with it! It didn’t matter if there was paperwork to fill out or if the tax rate was 35% or 50%.
No, the real issue for job creators is that they don’t see a functional legislature in DC. Without negotiation and compromise, there can never be agreement. Ideological extremists are keeping the “middle” from ever being attained.
Our local, do-nothing, obstructionist, extremist is Andy Harris; so, I am committing to replacing him with someone who will “play nice with others.” After all, isn’t that how our Founding Fathers created a country? Over the next few months, on this blog and The Daily Times (Salisbury, MD newspaper), I will be exposing the non-record of Mr. Harris and showing my neighbors on the Eastern Shore, that this man has no clue how to work in Congress, where negotiation and compromise have become lost arts! I will also expose his positions on Social Security, Medicare, job creation, alternative energy and other issues that are critical to people. The more Harris talks, the more his vitriol and hatred of the President becomes evident…his goal is to support those who have no vision, except to remove the President from the White House. Unfortunately, his goal ignores the very people who pit him in office, and it’s time for Harris to answer for his failures.
The Republican attack on the President regarding the loss of jobs with the rejection of the KeystoneXL pipeline, was nothing short of hypocritical. Their ‘spin’ doesn’t include the fact that more jobs will probably be created if the pipeline was approved; what they don’t say is that those jobs will most likely be in the field of “oil recovery and clean up” after the pipeline has it’s first accident that destroys water supplies in the pipeline area. Are those the kind of jobs we really want to create? Is that the kind of environmental damage we want to turn a blind eye to? Apparently, the Republicans are more driven by oil company executives than they are for the safety of America, including our future generations. Wasn’t it the Republicans who wanted to protect future generations from inheriting the budget deficit? Why are they willing to sacrifice those generations for immediate profits? I think we all know the answer to that question!
President Made the Right Decision
The President made a reasoned and reasonable decision when he instructed the State Department to deny the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. This project has the high potential to endanger the environment, and the impact on the public health needed a thorough review. However, Congressional Republicans demanded a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ decision within sixty (60) days (an untenable deadline).
Time is needed to determine the consequences of the proposed 1700-mile pipeline, which would run through one of the Midwest’s major sources of drinking water. A thorough safety review is necessary before giving the go-ahead to this project.
Natural resources must be developed in a responsible fashion. To that end, the President has taken steps to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, including:
* Importing 1.1 million fewer barrels of oil daily
* Increasing wind and solar power by 70 percent
* Supporting over 200,000 clean energy jobs
In addition, fuel economy standards for automobiles and light trucks have been raised, in order to decrease our use of oil for transportation.
Decisions such as this, which have long-term consequences for the environment and for our and our children’s health, cannot be made arbitrarily and without adequate study beforehand.
Carol Ann Ellis