07.01.2008 0

U.S. Promotes Freedom Abroad while it Neglects it Here at Home

  • On: 07/17/2008 10:53:13
  • In: First Amendment
  • While the U.S. is busy promoting freedom overseas, perhaps it ought to look to its own shores from time to time?

    The U.S. and Western nations opposed a measure at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva which authorized its “expert” to report on instances of freedom of expression which result in “religious or racial discrimination”.

    The resolution, backed by Arab nations, passed 32-0 despite objections raised on the grounds that the measure seeks to limit free speech:

    “’The resolution adopted attempts to legitimize the criminalization of expression,’ said Warren W. Tichenor, U.S. ambassador to the UN in Geneva…The document seeks to impose ‘restrictions on individuals rather than to emphasize the duty and responsibility of governments to guarantee, uphold, promote and protect human rights,’ he told the council.

    “The United States is not a member of the council but has rights to speak as an observer.”

    Perhaps the U.S. Ambassador should spend some time Stateside and “observe” very similar measures which are enforced here in the Land of the “Free”, such as Philadelphia’s Human Relations Commission, or New Mexico’s Human Rights Commission, or the Federal Communications Commission’s handing out of fines like candy?

    This is a clear example of the pot calling the kettle black.

    ALG Perspective: Governments are instituted amongst the People to protect our rights, but history shows quite that they do quite the opposite. While the U.S. and European nations deserve some credit for challenging to the UN-sanctioned political correctness watchdog, similar political correctness laws exist here in America which rightly deserve condemnation from the government. The U.S. cannot be a credible sponsor for freedom abroad when it allows speech restrictions to occur here at home.


    South Carolina Legislators: Reporting Agency Spending Costs too Much

  • On: 07/17/2008 10:52:29
  • In: Government Transparency
  • There can be no price too high for a clean and open government which is accountable to the People.

    However, legislation which would require South Carolina agencies and local governments to report their finances on the Internet could be torpedoed by claims that such a “system” would cost too much.

    Fortunately, South Carolina’s Comptroller General, Richard Eckstrom, a Republican, is calling out the Legislature for its preposterous $5 million price tag:

    “Taxpayers deserve to know where that money is going… [T]his could expose wasteful spending and remind state agencies and employees that they ultimately answer to the people they serve. This is exactly the kind of common-sense, good government proposal that no one should oppose.

    “Many may not realize that the comptroller general’s office has already implemented a similar system — at no cost to state agencies — that makes expenditure information for most state agencies available via an easily accessible Web site.

    “Agency compliance with any additional online data posting required by the proposed legislation could be implemented in most cases without costing the taxpayers a dime. Yet a recently released ‘fiscal impact statement’ obtained by the General Assembly dramatically overstates the cost of implementing this proposal. Misinformed or biased ‘number crunching’ only confuses lawmakers and gives governments an excuse not to make their spending available to the public.”

    The only purpose behind this “fiscal impact statement” is to artificially inflate the “cost” of transparent government. Even if the statement’s absurd $5 million price tag was close to accurate, is that to say that South Carolina does not waste more than $5 million annually?

    Even $5 million would be a small price to pay for open and honest government.

    ALG Perspective: A very good way to limit wasteful government spending is to call attention to it. Voters, armed with accurate information of how their tax dollars are being spent, can in turn demand State and local appropriators to cut out that waste. The State and local governments already have websites! It shouldn’t cost an extra dime to scan the documents which are already in their possession and to post them on the Internet. Comptroller General Eckstrom deserves strong credit for his straight talk.


    Election Fraud in Missouri Exposed

  • On: 07/17/2008 10:51:25
  • In: Stop ACORN!
  • A left-wing organization is attempting to cover up a ballot-stuffing scheme by saying its workers were only trying to boost their wages.

    The Associated Press is reporting that eight former workers of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) have plead guilty to Federal election fraud:

    “U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway says Wednesday that eight former temporary workers for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now admitted submitting cards with false addresses and names, as well as forged signatures.”

    Of course, ACORN was prepared with an excuse for the fraud:

    “ACORN has said the workers likely turned in the false applications to try to increase their wages.”

    Even when there is a clear scam to stuff the ballot, a left-wing organization tries to conflate the issues involved by highlighting the “plight” of the “poor” workers. Cry me a river!

    ALG Perspective:
    We should all be concerned when our democracy is undermined by fraud, as it puts our free system of government in great jeopardy. The Left has continually abused our electoral process for decades, and when they are caught, ALG News will highlight it for the integrity of our system of popular government, lest we adopt the rigged electoral standards of the Third World.


     

    New Jersey Union Officials Take Bribes

  • On: 07/17/2008 10:49:19
  • In: Big Labor
  • ALG News was shocked… shocked to learn of a New Jersey union scandal to take more than $150,000 in bribes in return for assurances of labor peace and for allowing companies to circumvent collective bargaining requirements:

    “Guilty pleas were entered in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey by Craig Wask, former business agent for International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825; and Frank Impeciati, president of Blue Ridge Erectors, Inc.…

    “Local 825, which is based in Springfield, N.J., represents about 7,000 construction equipment operators, mechanics and surveyors.

    “Wask allegedly conspired to demand and accept cash bribes from a number of contractors involved in the construction of a high-rise commercial building in Jersey City, N.J., including firms involved in window installation, plumbing, steel erection, and snow removal.”

    Also implicated in this scandal were the lead engineer on the project, Kenneth P. Campbell, and Peter O. Strannemar, the former president of Local 825. And in a similar scheme with the same local, Michale O. Glandrande, a lead engineer on another project, pled guilty to accepting a $750 bribe from a masonry contractor, Manuel Pinto.

    ALG Perspective: With union corruption this widespread, clearly the U.S. Department of Labor is on the right track with its pro-active initiative to prosecute Big Labor corruption. Americans for Limited Government applauds the efforts of U.S. prosecutors in these cases, and ALG News will continue to monitor further developments on the union corruption front.


    Unto the Least of These

  • On: 07/17/2008 10:48:32
  • In: School Choice
  • The burden placed upon special needs children in New York State just got heavier – and they can thank the politicians and educrats for kicking them under the yellow school bus.

    It’s an ugly story. A story made all the more sinister by Big Government’s attack dogs ravishing those least able to defend themselves. The education establishment’s real target is the right of parents to homeschool. And if the struggling children get caught in the crossfire – well, that’s obviously of no concern to the haughty Pecksniffs of the education establishment.

    Here’s the story – and, frankly, you’d better get ready to wretch …

    New York State, deep in the pockets of the NEA union, is already home to some of the most onerous home school regulations in the country. It’s part of an all-out assault by the union bosses and their political cronies to force every student in the state to enter the abyss of government schools.

    But, this time, they’ve gone too far. This time they have skewered the law to deny parents of special needs children – that’s right: the lame, the halt, and the blind – equal access to school services their own tax dollars are funding.

    In short, the children who need it most, the state now wants to help least.

    Earlier this year, the NY State Education Department, thoroughly torturing federal law, declared that school districts are no longer allowed to provide special needs services to disabled children who are tutored at home. They used a loophole in the law that says the state is only required to provide resources to parents whose children are enrolled in private school.

    Now, understand: that’s required – not allowed. But, since home schoolers are not technically in private schools, the educrats decided to interchange the two words.

    The New York State Loving Education at Home (LEAH) association, however – the largest homeschool organization in the state – set the record straight:

    “This policy change has its roots in a recent lawsuit in which some legal technicalities in Federal law on this subject, previously unknown to NYSED, were revealed. Stated briefly, Federal law only requires the State to provide services to non-public school students if they are classified as private school students. New York law does not classify home schools students as private schools; homeschooled students are allowed under State law which describes them as attending elsewhere.

    “NYSED seized upon the outcome of this lawsuit and now mistakenly understands Federal law as meaning that New York is not authorized to provide services to homeschoolers. (Not authorized would be another way of saying that New York is prohibited by Federal law from providing such services.)

    “However, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which has been aware of this specific legal issue for a number of years, believes that the correct interpretation is that Federal law simply does not require the State to provide these services. States can still provide them if they so choose. (It may well be that the State is not authorized to spend federal funds on providing these services to homeschoolers, but federal funds make up well less than 10% of the money that the State spends on special services.)”

    Under intense pressure from concerned citizens, the New York State Education Department has agreed to stop playing word games and give the children back their desperately needed assistance. But, the parents of the children – rightly concerned that those who so cruelly misinterpreted the law cannot be fully trusted to right their wrong – are submitting two bills to the State legislature this week to end the horrifying discrimination.

    In the meantime, the 450 special needs homeschooled children in New York State will have to continue not only struggling under their handicaps – but also bear the burden of a heartless political system that has deemed them too heavy a burden for the educrats to bear.

    ALG CTA: Aside from its clear impact to homeschoolers, this situation clearly demonstrates a fatal flaw of centralized government control – in this case, of education. The NYSED was attempting to bar taxpayers from using public school services funded by their tax dollars. To take their money and then turn around and deny them the services their money provides runs directly counter to the principles upon which this nation was founded.

    Journalists nationwide are implored to urge their audiences to contact key members of the NYS Legislature, encouraging them to pass either of the task force’s proposed bills to rectify this heartrending discrimination against those the most in need:

    Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
    (518) 455-3791

    Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno
    (518) 455-3191

    Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan
    (518) 455-4851

    Senator Steve Saland
    (518) 455-2411


    The Unraveling Continues

  • On: 07/17/2008 10:47:57
  • In: New York News
  • Just as ALG News reported yesterday, the tangled web of New York State corruption continues to unravel.

    New York Albany County DA David Soares, after whitewashing former-Governor Eliot Spitzer’s corrupt role in utilizing State Police powers to forward his political agenda, and then highlighting it only after Spitzer was out of office, now may be in trouble himself.

    According to the New York Post, the embattled DA, who has been criticized for delivering two contradictory reports, is being investigated by the State Investigations Commission. In addition, the Commission will also be looking at the State’s Public Integrity Commission and the Inspector General Kristine Hamann for allegedly protecting Spitzer’s clear role in the State Police scandal.

    This comes on the heels of Governor Paterson ordering the ever-reluctant Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to investigate the State Police for their role in the scandal on a criminal basis. The readers will recall is something he had declined to do the previous summer, when his office issued a report merely positing that Spitzer’s office may have acted “improperly.” Which, of course, was another whitewash.

    ALG News will continue to monitor breaking news on this important – and expanding –case of public corruption and prosecutorial negligence, proving once again the verity of the formula: Big Government = Big Problems.

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