Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Michelle Obama's staff cost taxpayers $1.75 million

The White House is open for business and as such the first lady, Michelle, has hired roughly 25 staff members that report directly to her. This is a break from the previous two first ladies’; Hillary Clinton managed three employees, while Laura Bush had just one employee.

The magnitude of the first lady’s staff comes at a staggering taxpayer cost of $1.75 million per year. This number doesn’t include federal benefits, this cost is undisclosed.

The salaries rage from $172,200 at the high end to $36,000 on the low end. While most Americans suffer from the global-sized recession, the White House doesn’t seem to be too frugal with its spending practices.

For the link to the White House employee list;

The following are the names and salaries of Michele Obama’s staff
1. $172,200 - Sher, Susan (Chief Of Staff)
2. $140,000 - Frye, Jocelyn C. (Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Policy and Projects for the First Lady)
3. $113,000 - Rogers, Desiree G. (Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary)
4. $102,000 - Johnston, Camille Y. (Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the First Lady)
5. $102,000 Winter, Melissa E. (Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
6. $90,000 - Medina, David S. (Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
7. $84,000 - Lelyveld, Catherine M. (Director and Press Secretary to the First Lady)
8. $75,000 - Starkey, Frances M. (Director of Scheduling and Advance for the First Lady)
9. $70,000 - Sanders, Trooper (Deputy Director of Policy and Projects for the First Lady)
10. $65,000 - Burnough, Erinn J. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)
11. $65,000 - Reinstein, Joseph B. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)
12. $62,000 - Goodman, Jennifer R. (Deputy Director of Scheduling and Events Coordinator for the First Lady)
13. $60,000 - Fitts, Alan O. (Deputy Director of Advance and Trip Director for the First Lady)
14. $60,000 - Lewis, Dana M. (Special Assistant and Personal Aide to the First Lady)
15. $52,500 - Mustaphi, Semonti M. (Associate Director and Deputy Press Secretary to the First Lady)
16. $50,000 - Jarvis, Kristen E. (Special Assistant for Scheduling and Traveling Aide to the First Lady)
17. $45,000 - Lechtenberg, Tyler A. (Associate Director of Correspondence for the First Lady)
18. $45,000 - Tubman, Samantha (Deputy Associate Director, Social Office)
19. $40,000 - Boswell, Joseph J. (Executive Assistant to the Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
20. $36,000 - Armbruster, Sally M. (Staff Assistant to the Social Secretary)
21. $36,000 - Bookey, Natalie (Staff Assistant)
22. $36,000 - Jackson, Deilia A. (Deputy Associate Director of Correspondence for the First Lady)
24. Ingrid Grimes-Miles (Makeup artist)

25. Johnny Wright (First Hairstylist)

For the official White House list;

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

American taxpayer won on health care - No public option

Score one for the good guys. Not only did the public option in the health care bill fail in the Senate Finance Committee, but it failed twice. It finally appears the lawmakers are listening to what Americans have been saying loud and clear- no government-run option.

Looking to give President Obama a bill to sign by the end of the year, Chairman Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, will have to include a few less pages.

The victory is not the Republicans, but the American people. The August town halls and relentless emailing has finally paid off.

The hope now is Washington takes a deep breath, and begins to put together some real reform efforts in small doses. Now is the time to build upon consensus and listen to what the collective voters are saying- not the far right or the far left.

Once Washington counted the votes in the Finance Committee and the public-option failed for a second time, Baucus announced it was his job to garner 60 votes in the Senate to present the White House with health care legislation worthy of a signature.

“No one shows me how to get 60 votes with a public option,” says Baucus. With a couple of Democrats voting against the public option in committee it became a reality that the 100-member Senate cannot withstand a filibuster by the Republicans.

In the end, the Republican argument regarding a Trojan horse leading to a single-payer system prevailed as three Democrats abandoned their public option amendments.

Leading Democratic, centrist, Kent Conrad-ND, criticized the public option and said, “The devil is in the details.” He also pointed out that a government run plan would cause every major hospital to go bankrupt.

“I can’t possibly support any amendment that does that,” Conrad explained.

It remains to be seen if any meaningful health care reform will pass anytime soon. However, Americans can expect much more dissent in both houses in the coming weeks because the trouble-making tea party movement and they show no signs of letting up.

For more stories;

California lawmakers want to suspend ALL immigration laws

California State Senator Gilbert Cedillo-D put forth a resolution that passed in the California Senate condemning specified policies and practices of federal agencies regarding the enforcement of immigration laws. Furthermore Cedillo’s resolution urges Congress and President Obama to declare an immediate moratorium on immigration policies and practices until a comprehensive reform of immigration is enacted.

Although a Joint Senate Resolution does not have the force of law, it is voted on in both California Houses. This resolution has passed in a partisan Democrat vote. The resolution is not typically sent to the Governors desk. Most would consider the document more of a hopeful resolution.

The first paragraph of the resolution reads, “The State of California values all of its residents, whether they be citizens, legal residents, or undocumented immigrants, and strives to enable all residents to work and live free from discrimination, exploitation, and repressive federal immigration enforcement.”

However Congressman Brian Bilbray-R Calif. reminds Sen. Cedillo that this resolution breaks the laws of the Constitution. “He should look up the separation of powers section and this resolution is nothing more than political posturing.”

According to Sen. Cedillo’s Press Secretary Xochitl Arellano, Senator Cedillo who campaigned with President Obama has now officially put the President on notice. “The electronic raids have to stop.”

There are hundreds of undocumented workers losing their jobs on a moments notice, Arellano points out. “The Obama Administration must stop E-Verify, period.”

When asked about the California’s double-digit unemployment rate and the difficulty U.S. citizens’ face Arellano says, “We are not responding to that and it doesn’t matter.”

This resolution will surely create a firestorm of backlash from those who demand enforcement of state and federal immigration laws.

One such opponent is State Assemblyman Martin Garrick-R Carlsbad.

“ It’s ridiculous and Assemblyman Garrick has tried numerous times to strengthen immigration laws and how to better identify the ones who reside in the jail system,” says Mike Zimmerman, press secretary for Garrick. “However, the make up of the state legislation makes it difficult to get any meaningful reform through.”

Zimmerman continues to say a moratorium on immigration enforcement would be a public safety threat and should be very concerning for all citizens in the country.

Tactics like these doesn’t come as a surprise from anti-amnesty and secure border groups like the Minutemen.

"Gil Cedillo has long been a strong advocate for Mexican illegal aliens, but this crosses the line and is a direct attack on American citizens and taxpayers. Cedillo does not speak for most Californians with his seditious words and radical propaganda," says Jeff Schwilk, Founder of the San Diego Minutemen.

On a national level, immigration organizations that study the issues and their affect on the U.S. population like Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) view Cedillo’s action as unacceptable.

“In the wake of busts across the country of 'separate, unrelated' terrorism busts of individuals who are mostly foreign born, California wants to replace some semblance of order provided by solid programs like E-Verify and 287(g) that better help us find out who is authorized to be here and who has and has not broken the law, with blinders. What are California lawmakers thinking? Would it matter if the Dallas bomber was the LA bomber instead?” Janice Kephart, Director of National Security Policy for CIS said.

To read Senate Joint Resolution 19;

For more stories;

Monday, September 28, 2009

Amnesty legislation pushed back to 2010

Immigration legislation in the form of amnesty is setting up to be a battle the White House will tackle in 2010.

The Obama Administration was hoping to reward the Latino voters with amnesty for getting him into the White House; however, the raging battles over health care have pushed that issue into Obama’s second year.

News of the short respite was welcome to those who are gearing up for a prime-time showdown.

Groups like Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) will most likely spend their time educating all Americans of the social and economic consequences for a blanket amnesty.

They will not be alone in the fight against amnesty. Numbers USA has also ramped up their rhetoric and plans to “fight every little legislative favor or loophole for illegal aliens.”

Earlier this summer President Obama committed to giving amnesty to those in the U.S. illegally. He said, “Am I going to be able to snap my fingers and get this done? No. This is going to be difficult.”

That is where anti-amnesty groups and President agree.

The difficult economy and high unemployment figures won’t make it any easier to convince Americans of the necessity to add more bodies to the melting pot.

In the meantime, the White House continues to lay the ground work for amnesty by pulling back on workplace enforcement, taming the 287g rule and making it harder for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to arrest those in the country illegally.

Since the President took office, his administration has hamstrung many enforcement rules, slowed E-Verify and indicated to those in the country illegally amnesty is on they way with Obama in charge.

When the President spoke to Univision, a Spanish network channel last week, he reiterated his commitment to doling out amnesty, but suggested it might be a tougher fight than expected.

Recent polls suggest the overwhelming majority of Americans do not want amnesty. Rasmussen Reports say 83 percent of Americans do not want illegals to gain free health care. They go on to report the mood regarding amnesty is just as uncertain with only 26 percent of the country in favor of illegal aliens getting amnesty.

For more stories;

Saturday, September 26, 2009

$400,000 taxpayer money set to line Libyan leader Qaddafi pockets

It’s just been a few weeks since the unjust release of the only terrorist convicted of the Pan Am Lockerbie bombing and a few hours after Muammar el-Qaddafi scathing 90-minute speech to the United Nations calling the U.N. Security Council a ‘terror council’ and now taxpayers are supposed to fork over $400,000.

The payment comes as another insult to American taxpayer when they are losing their homes and jobs.

However, there is a bi-partisan effort to stop payment of the funds in Congress. Rep. Mark Kirk-R, ILL and John Adler-D NJ are among the two dozen lawmakers looking to President Obama’s Administration to do the right thing.

The bi-partisan group believes the State Department will be sending the wrong message to the families of the Lockerbie bombing victims if they send the substantial chuck of money to Qaddafi’s children so-called ‘charity’ organizations.

“Just weeks after the Qaddafi family celebrated the return of a terrorist responsible for the murders of 189 Americans, the U.S. taxpayer should not be asked to reward them with $400,000,” says Kirk in a statement to the press.

However, the Qaddafi’s see things a little differently and claim this money will help the West’s standing inside Libya.

“When I arrived at the airport with Mr. Megrahi (convicted terrorist), there was not a single government official present,” says Qaddafi’s son Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi. “Contrary to reports in the Western press, there was no ‘hero’s welcome’ for Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi when he returned to Libya.”

Apparently his father, Muammar the Libyan dictator, is not part of the government, as he was among the thousands that greeted the convicted terrorist at the Libyan airport.

According to the State Department, they also plan to give Libya $2.5 million to support U.S. government agencies inside Libya.

In a letter, 18 Republicans and 8 Democrats asked President Obama to consider withdrawing the Administration request to give Qaddafi’s children $400,000 for their foundations.

For more stories;

San Diego ACORN office is on the receiving end of a protest

A group of 30 protesters stood outside a San Diego ACORN office, alerting passerby’s to their discontent with the community organization groups venture into criminal activity.

Since the tapes were released a week ago, San Diego Association of Community Organization Reform Now (ACORN) office has been targeted by the County Board of Supervisors, Governor Schwarzenegger and now county taxpayers.

“We have to continue to keep the pressure on this government and stop the corruption before it’s too late,” said protest organizer Lindy Reedy.

The peaceful protest was not welcome by all. Employees of ACORN called the police. “Yeah, four cop cars showed up, asked us if we were going to stay on the sidewalk and not cause any trouble and we said, yes,” Reedy said. “I think they were on our side. They were super nice and let us carry on with our protest.”

The group of concerned taxpayers also decided to make up their own chant about ACORN, playing off the Obama sing along the school children in New Jersey sang.

“Mmm-mmm-mmm, ACORN really sucks, mmm-mmm-mmm they’re stealing all our bucks, mmm-mmm-mmm, Acorn’s committing crime, mmm-mmm-mmm not on our dime,” is how the little ditty played.

The group declared the afternoon protest a success as 60 percent of the cars honked and they only got the finger once. “A good day indeed,” Reedy smiled.

For more stories;

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Freedom of Information Act gleans erroneous data regarding Military LRADs at town hall

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department was rocked with controversy for placing military Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs) at August town halls discussing health care. The device targeted Congresswoman Susan Davis-D and Congressman Darrell Issa-R, neither had any comment regarding the deadly LRAD misuse.

Now we know why Issa was silent – he has endorsed Sheriff Bill Gore who is in a dog fight with three other candidates to keep his job.

At a recent debate, all three candidates called Sheriff Gore on the carpet for placing military equipment used to repel terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan in the parking lot where U.S. citizens were invited by their elected representatives to engage in a discussion about health care.

That being said, Sheriff Candidate Jim Duffy explained he was present at the sales pitch for the LRAD and could not believe this military sonic weapon was on site. “I question why the LRAD would be at the event at all.”

After learning the LRAD military device required a fair amount of training and according to the manufacturer shouldn’t be operated within 75 meters of people because the weapon could cause permanent hearing loss or death, a Freedom of Information Act was filed with the Sheriff Department.

Once the training manuals and logs were requested, this reporter received some interesting documents via email from Sheriff Gore’s office. First, a four-page purchase order from a local San Diego company that sold the LRAD device for American Technologies seemed normal.

Second was a PDF copy of how the LRADs operate. This document appeared to be photocopied and came from the website Anyone can find this on a LRAD Google search. This was far from impressive and completely unexpected when it came to what was expected from the Sheriff Department request.

The third and final document the Sheriff’s Department produced was a 55-page LRADx training manual from the manufacture. This manual discussed the usage of LRADs; crowd control was not mention within this manual.

In fact, the document was more of an overview of the LRAD device. More importantly the first page explains the LRAD weapon was developed specifically in response to the USS Cole terrorist attack in October 2000.

“The LRAD fulfills the capability to hail, warn and notify approaching vessels with prerecorded messages,” the manual reads. Photographs within the LRAD manual show an easy to operate on/off switch and a simple round knob used to adjust the decibel-sound levels.

The LRAD uses a sonic sound wave to deter or flush out the enemy. As the acoustic decibel-level intensifies, operational personnel must wear protective ear gear. LRAD sound decibels range from 20, noticeable, to 160+ which results in permanent hearing loss and/or loss of life.

Research gleaned from the Sheriff’s documents indicated the LRAD device had complaints from human rights groups and hearing specialists. They concluded the LRADs “are still weapons and have caused deaths in some circumstances.”

An email from Sheriff Gore read, “Attached are records in the possession of the Sheriff’s Department that concern the LRAD device. The Sheriff’s Department does not maintain any ‘logs.’”

However, Jay LaSuer, who is a former Sheriff Deputy and is running against Sheriff Gore, couldn’t disagree more with the Sheriff when it comes to training manuals or logs. “When I worked at the Sheriff Department Academy we keep very detail training logs for each deputy. These meticulous logs were kept just in case anything transpired with any deputy on the force.”

The company that sold Sheriff Gore the American Technologies LRAD revealed they no longer sell the device because there is better equipment on the market. The company spokesperson admitted that 95 percent of the devices sold were to military outlets.

Another interesting detail is American Technologies doesn't require a license to purchase the military LRAD device. It was up to the good standing of a company to ‘check out’ potential customers.

“We definitely used good judgment when it came to selling the LRAD; it’s our fiduciary responsibility to do so. Plus, the company was founded by retired military veterans,” a company spokesman said. “Training is essential with this type of equipment.”

This detail leaves one wondering with Sheriff Gore’s background of missteps, can San Diego expect another Ruby Ridge-type accident to happen under Sheriff Gore’s less-than-stellar record. It also questions the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, who appointed Gore to the Sheriff post when Kolender retired, whether they did any homework during the hiring process.

For more stories;

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A lesson in gay tolerance coming to an elementary school near you

California lawmaker Mark Leno-D of San Francisco authored SB 572 honoring California’s first openly gay politician, Harvey Milk. The bill has passed both the House and Senate in the state and will now head to Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk.

“I’m pleased my colleagues in the Assembly recognize and honor Harvey Milk’s contribution to our state,” said Leno.

The fact this bill has reached the Governor’s desk doesn’t guarantee a signature from California's moderate Governor.

“Although he vetoed a similar bill last year with the message that Harvey Milk should be recognized only at the local level, I am confident Governor Schwarzenegger now understands the historic and international nature of Harvey’s legacy,” Leno claims.

The legislation would proclaim May 22 of each year as Harvey Milk day. SB 572 would allow public schools and other educational institutions to conduct suitable commemorative exercises at schools on May 22 focusing on gay activist Harvey Milk.

For more information on SB 572;

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San Diego ratchets up the heat on ACORN

Not waiting for President Obama’s signature on any legislation, the San Diego Board of Supervisors announced a joint investigation into Association of Community Organization of Reform Now (ACORN).

This investigation will center on voter registration fraud and why the state of California has failed to acknowledge San Diego’s Voter registrar request to look into 76 allegedly fraudulent voter cards.

Nearly a year ago, Deborah Seiler, San Diego’s Voter Registrar sent the California’s Secretary of State a request regarding possible voter fraud. That request has gone un-noticed by Secretary of State, Debra Bowen in Sacramento.

Since the release of video tapes by of ACORN employees in San Diego being complicit with illegal activity including smuggling 13-year-old girls into California to set up a brothel, County Supervisor Bill Horn demanded some answers. “We need to make sure they (ACORN) aren’t trying to skirt the law,” he said.

In a unanimous vote by the supervisors, the county has effectively set up an investigation of ACORN with the District Attorney’s and Attorney General’s offices. Horn expects full prosecution of anyone found guilty of breaking the law.

The dog-and-pony media show that ensued after the meeting was touching, as county elected officials wanted to be the first to let voters know they were looking into ACORN. What remains to be seen is if anything will be done a month from now.

California State Assemblyman, Martin Garrick-R 74th district said he intends to get to the bottom of this criminal organization. “I’m on the phone today to get a response from the Secretary of State. I want to know why it’s been about a year and nothing has been done about this fraud?”

In addition Garrick said his office would be “following the money to find out what, if any, money has been given to ACORN and how it was spent.”

However, Horn contends he “will turn up the heat on the investigation to get more done.”

Again, elected officials used this as an opportunity to underscore the need for California to have a voter identification card. “You need identification to cash a check or rent a video,” Horn said.

During the 2008 election cycle the San Diego Voter Registrars office had disposed of more than 4,000 fraudulent registration cards from ACORN leaving 76 to question.

During the weekly meeting there was some discrepancy as to whether ACORN was still operating in the county. It was stated that they have been cut from the voter registration process, but they still have an office open in National City.

For more stories;

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Symptoms of illegal border crossings include a Rape Tree

For those seeking to reach the promise land, the trek is rife with many perils, including a Rape Tree on the U.S.-side of the border near Campo, California. In the dead of summer, the throngs of illegal border crossers face heat exhaustion, long distances without hydration and a Rape Tree.

The U.S./Mexico border fence is only a 15-minutes away. It is here where females face the wrath of their coyote (smuggling) guides. The trail that leads to the Rape Tree is littered with plastic water bottles and female undergarments.

This is just another symptom of illegal immigration. Many think the majority of the illegals coming across the Southern border are simply here to seek a better life. Some are, but as the Rape Tree demonstrates, many are also in the U.S. committing crimes.

There are a number of illegals picked up by Border Patrol who have prior criminal records ranging from spousal abuse to murder. According to many Border Patrol agents, criminal aliens have no respect for the rule of law in this country, the Rape Tree provides evidence.

The winding trail that leads to the Rape Tree is riddled with large rock-and-crevice hiding places that make it extremely difficult for Border Patrol agents to track and find those crossing into this desolate region of California.

The border fence near the Rape Tree is virtually nonexistent (see slide show). The old fence is made up of sheets of metal making it easy to climb, but there isn’t a need to climb when illegal border crossers may duck under the flimsy barb-wire portion of the border fence near the Rape Tree.

Once inside America, illegals have already broken their first law, for many it will not be their last. As the remnants of the Rape Tree point out, the illegal aliens are likely to either be the victim or perpetrator of future crime.

For more stories;

Monday, September 21, 2009

San Diego Sheriff's Department in need of change

With the 2010 elections looming, informed voters are looking at candidates in their own backyard much more closely. Recently the San Diego Sheriff’s office caught a lot of flak regarding its decision to place military LRAD crowd control devices at town halls directly endangering American citizens.

Jim Duffy, who is running against current Sheriff Bill Gore, says this is another misuse of taxpayer money. “The Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) was purchased to be used as a public address system.”

However, Duffy contends the Sheriff’s Department purchased the wrong equipment. “The LRAD was not intended for this type of use, it’s a very high-tech piece of equipment the military uses.”

There are much better ways to use money within the Sheriff’s Department. “It’s a chilling effect for town hall attendees to see a use of force. The Sheriff’s Department could have placed a number of cars a safe distance away rather than be so intimidating.”

Duffy also explains that spending $40,000 on a military device is not being a good steward with taxpayer money. “It is for these reasons the Department needs to implement a zero-based budget. This will allow for more accountably with the Sheriff’s office, something the resident’s want.”

Another glaring fact facing the Sheriff’s office is the fact they do not implement the immigration 287g law set up by the federal government to assist with immigration issues.

“This is a no brainer. We are the only major border county that doesn’t use that law enforcement tool,” Duffy said.

The fact illegal immigrants cross our borders and commit numerous crimes and continue to slip through the system should be a red flag to all in law enforcement, Duffy says.

Looking to the federal government, Duffy, who is a 27-year veteran in law enforcement, believes San Diego stands to benefit from a federal task force. “The recent murder of Border Patrol agent Robert Rosas, should be reason enough to look for more ways to curb border violence.”

Illegal immigration issues should be a common thread law enforcement agencies work towards. “This issue affects all agencies at some level and it is our job to enforce all the laws, not pick and choose,” Duffy explains.

Programs like teen explorers and neighborhood watch are very successful when it comes to bringing all communities together. “We need to get back to these types of programs to bring everyone together,” Duffy says.

“By actively including everyone in a community the Sheriff Department can foster good will and solve tough issues people in San Diego face on a daily basis,” he finished.

For more stories;

Border Patrol remembers fallen hero, Robert Rosas

With the U.S./Mexico border mere feet away, a memorial cross draped in Old Glory lies as a reminder protecting America’s borders is a deadly job.

Though the raw edge may have worn off since Agent Robert Rosas’s execution, Border Patrol agents clearly remain on high alert. Before the murder, agents traveled in their vehicles alone, now they travel in pairs.

With the memorial standing as a back drop, Agents don’t want American’s to forget Rosas.

The permanent memorial went up weeks after the murder of Agent Rosas. The large white cross serves as a reminder Border Patrol must always remain on alert.

The large American flag flutters in the afternoon wind, inscribed on Old Glory is ‘Rest in peace Rob’ and ‘God bless your family.’ Surrounding the memorial are mementos from Rosas’ children, a toy car, flowers and I love dad stickers.

The peacefulness of the moment gives one the feeling that even though Rosas is gone, he is still watching over this border.

There have been no arrests in the case and many believe the assailants simply scampered back across the fence into Mexico. “After talking with many Border Patrol agents as well as law enforcement officers, this dirt bag is in Mexico and he will never surface as he is probably already dead,” said Mike Schmid of Border Patrol Auxiliary.

Throughout the day agents stopped to check on this reporter to make sure everything was on the up and up, they drove up very cautiously and all were sad when thinking of their fallen colleague .

One agent wanted to make sure a picture was taken with the U.S./Mexico border fence in the background, “I want everyone to see how close the fence is and know this was an assassination.”

This agent explained that he knew the minute he drove to the scene what had transpired. This thought process would echo throughout the afternoon.

Working in the often harsh desert environment is another call of duty, one these agents will never take lightly.

For more on Agent Rosas’s death;


Saturday, September 19, 2009

ACORN has it all sleaze, sex and is not done

The tip of the iceberg reared its ugly head this week and a couple of 20 something’s took down an entire ACORN organization something Fox News Channel was unable to do.

Legislation sponsored by House Republican Darrell Issa-Calif, found strong bi-partisan support 345-75. All the decent came from Democrats who remain slow to see the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now’s vapid corruption.

One of those voting to keep funding the corrupt 501c ACORN outfit was Rep Bob Filner-D who resides in the district of the latest video tape-San Diego.

The bill that passed will simply de-fund ACORN and stop anymore money headed to the organization to be withheld- like the $8.5 billion in the stimulus funds.

Not waiting for the federal government some state governors have already taken action to start individual investigations. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger-R in one of those taking action.

Governor Bobby Jindal-R LA has issued an executive order halting all state funds to any ACORN organizations. The agreement also precludes any state agency from entering into any contracts with ACORN.

“ACORN’s resume reads more like a rap sheet,” says Rep Trent Franks-R AZ. “Big government equals big corruption.”

The past week has seen plenty of ACORN employees being fired, erroneous behavior exposed and silence from the White House.

Local California Congressional candidate, Mason Weaver says, “You can’t trust ACORN and they are unworthy of federal funds.”

He continues to say ACORN violated the law and has a history of deceit embedded in a culture of corruption.

The corrupt behavior on the tapes included tax evasion, prostitution, pimping, defrauding the government to receive federal money to set up brothels and the worst bringing in under-age illegal girls to perform sex acts.

Looming in Washington is the fact that both the House and the Senate have voted to stop ACORN from receiving funds, but the legislation has to be reconciled in conference before it can head to the Oval Office for a signature from Obama.

There has been no indication from the White House whether the President who has close ties to ACORN, would pen his signature.

To view the tapes;

For more stories;

Friday, September 18, 2009

Carmel Valley Skate Park has a frequent visitor, Andy MacDonald

If you are looking to skate with X-Game veteran Andy MacDonald, you might try the Carmel Valley Skate Park. MacDonald, who lives in San Diego, got his professional start in the many skate parks in San Diego County.

When he first thought about a career in skating he began earning his keep by working at Sea World. Yes, MacDonald donned character costumes for the sea-life theme park.

MacDonald is a skating pioneer and he was the first one to pull off a back flip on a skate board-at the time it was eye popping. Since then he has progressed by ollieing and kick flipping the big-air ramp at the X-Games.

He is a true skater and hasn’t missed an X-Games competition in the entire 15-year history. He is one of only a handful of competitors to have that honor.

This old-school skater attributes his longevity to a healthy lifestyle and constant time on a skateboard. Sometimes MacDonald skates 6-8 hours per day. He trains in every skate discipline, Vert, pool, big-air and the traditional street.

MacDonald also admits he is not a big party animal and he represents a true laid-back Southern California lifestyle, one that he dreamed about while growing up in Boston.

Want to see MacDonald?

The Carmel Valley Skate Park is open 7-days-a-week and does have lights making skating under the lights great for those who can’t make the day sessions.

The park opened in November of 2008. It is comprised of 13,500 square-foot facility with a challenging concrete pool. Included in this park are urban elements like stairs, rails, banks, stairs, quarter pipe, hips and angles.

For those who need to use the facilities there is plenty of shade and sitting areas to take a break.

Also for those skater dudes on a budget, Carmel Valley is perfect because it’s gratis or free for the non-gringos. For kids under the age of 14, a responsible adult must supervise the little groms.

Also, the park requires all skate dudes to where a helmet and pads. There are no scooters or bicycles allowed inside the park.

For those thinking they can sneak into the park without being caught, will be happy to know that the 5 0s make frequent stops at the Carmel Valley location.

For more park information;

Another attempt at back-door amnesty by the Obama Administration

In a speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Wednesday, the President said, “This (health care) debate underscores the necessity of passing comprehensive immigration reform and resolving the issue of 12 million undocumented people living and working in the country once and for all.”

That sounds a lot like amnesty, something the majority of the country does not want. In an effort to skirt the health care reform issue of allowing illegals to sign-up for free care, the Obama administration sees another way to guarantee health care – simply make them legal.

“It’s ironic that the President told the American people that illegal immigrants should not be covered by the health care bill, but now just days later he’s talking about letting them in the back door,” says Congressman Lamar Smith-R TX.

“If the American people do not want to provide government health care for illegal immigrants, why would they support giving them citizenship, the highest honor America can bestow?,” Smith said.

Recent polling from Rasmussen showed 83 percent of Americans didn’t want illegal immigrants receiving free health care benefits.

In another report, Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) stated if the government were to cover 6.6 million illegal immigrants the cost would be an astounding $31 billion. If President Obama is talking about granting amnesty to 12 million illegal immigrants, could the American taxpayer cover the $60 billion plus health care tab in the middle of a recession?

Something tells me American citizens may have something to say about this issue.

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DeVore has his eye on Ma’am Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat

Looking ahead to the 2010 election, Chuck DeVore hopes a Reagan-style landslide is in his future. This five-year veteran in the California State Assembly sees this upcoming election as a way to change the future.

Speaking before a tea party crowd in El Cajon, seasoned-politician DeVore took a few jabs at the sitting Senator, Boxer, as well as the ACORN scandal.

“There are two reasons why I am running against Ma’am Boxer; because we so badly need to beat her,” the crowd erupts with applause.” And number two, I know we can do it in 2010,” DeVore enthusiastically said.

Talking about the deficit and out-of-control spending in Washington D.C., DeVore says you and the person to your right and left are paying taxes, “this isn’t an ACORN rally.”

Since he began his quest to replace Boxer a few months back, this Conservative Republican has made more than 130 public appearances garnering support from San Francisco to San Diego.

After an El Cajon tea party event, DeVore took some time to answer questions about what he will do if elected Senator.

Q. Recently two San Diego town hall meetings were the center of controversy when Sheriff Gore placed military Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD) at events discussing health care. What’s your reaction?

A. I don’t feel comfortable with that at all. It’s a right to meet with elected officials and you don’t want a free people who want to assemble to feel intimidated. If I was California’s Senator, I’d immediately ask the Sheriff why they (LRAD) were placed at the event and why I wasn’t informed before my town hall if there was a credible threat. I’m not afraid of my constituents.

Q. If you were elected to the Senate, what would you do with the health care issue?

A. I won’t vote for anything that expands government and takes away freedom, period. There are many things you can do to improve the delivery of health care without fundamentally altering 1/7th of the U.S. economy.

Q. What if health care passes, what would you do?

A. It will sink the country. I would move immediately to repeal legislation because this bill will result in long lines, rationing and a shortage of doctors and nurses. It (health care) will be a mitigated disaster. My advice to those in Washington; don’t do it, it will ruin American lives as well as yours.

Q. What are the top three issues facing California/America?

A. The massive increase in government starting with the first bailout under President Bush. We need to stop the massive spending spree taking place in Washington D.C. We need to reduce taxes for the people as well as businesses and we need to stop the Sacramento politicians from being a model for the country. We have the highest unemployment, most regulations and AB32 is California’s cap and trade. The Waxman/Markley bill will guide the country towards California’s already downward spiral.

Q. Do you think the tea party movement could shift the country’s voting patterns?

A. You are seeing the American people waking up, now that Obama’s hope and change has become a reality – they realized they are getting something they did not vote for. What the other side misses about the tea parties is the fact that there are Democrats, Independents as well as Republicans looking for something different. Obama has been successful at one thing – reawakening the American spirit.

Q. How can you stop the President from hiring all these Czars?

A. The reason Obama appointed so many Czars is they don’t need to be approved and he is setting up a shadow cabinet that’s extra Constitutional. If we get the majority in 2010, the first thing I will do is draw up legislation to de-fund the Czars. Unless they want to work for free, they will lose their jobs.

Q. What are the stark differences between you and Senator Barbara Boxer?

A. A nation has a right to secure its borders. It’s not enough to authorize funds to build a fence; you have to allocate the money, something Boxer has failed to do. We have a right to know if drugs, money, guns and suitcases full of bombs are making their way into our sovereign nation. I don’t believe in Amnesty.

Here’s how you talk about immigration. Is it fair to people who applied legally and let people who broke into the country cut in line? If we do that we send a message to the world that we don’t respect our own laws. This leads them to believe that we are like the very countries they (illegal immigrants) are fleeing in the first place.

Domestic energy production is another area I want to move forward with. Currently the mood has shifted in California and most want to develop the oil and nuclear technologies. We need to be less dependent on countries that don’t like us very much. Plus these industries would create jobs and a local tax base, something California really needs. It’s good to remember there isn’t anyone in the world that would produce safer more environmentally-friendly technology.

Recently the residents in Santa Barbara voted to get the oil rigs operational again. There are environmental impact reports that prove if the oil was extracted the natural seeping that takes place would ease and there would be less oil in the ocean than there is right now. Bottom line open oil rigs would be better for the environment.

Also, the most efficient and clean energy is nuclear power; we need to move forward with building these energy saving power plants. The legislation sitting in Washington D.C. will only shift jobs to China and increase greenhouse gases around the world. The end result is a certain large tax increase for all American citizens.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Its official, Mason Weaver will run for Congress with grass roots support

After a whirlwind tour that started in Sacramento and ended in Washington D.C., Mason Weaver, a self -professed conservative, will launch a grassroots campaign against Susan Davis-D Calif. The journey to decision making took Weaver to eight tea party rallies across the country.

“Americans are screaming that they want representation. I’ve decided to give it to them,” Weaver says.

Weaver who is known for saying “I’m black, no hyphen required,” says all the paper work will be filed next week.

“I’ve been encouraged from a broad spectrum of leaders, spiritual, economical, grass roots and most importantly my family and friends to represent the people in California in 2010,” he says.

This normally shy guy says God took a shy person who stuttered and made him into a public speaker and now a possible Congressman.

After meeting with former Majority Leader for the Republicans, Dick Armey, who leads Freedom Works, Weaver decided he was tired of “seeing the hollow look in voters eyes who reside in his 53rd district .”

Looking to what locked his decision to run in the often seedy-world of politics Weaver says this; “On 9/12 I spoke in Washington D.C. at the very location where Martin Luther King gave his famous speech. I was honored to speak to four times as many Americans as MLK. These people really care about their country- I was truly humbled.”

Anyone who knows Weaver also knows he is great at giving the press a five-second sound bite, today was no different.

“The 9-12 rally was attended by close to two million people. It was a Conservative Woodstock, no drugs, just love.”

When it comes to the good fight in Washington D.C. Weaver admits he knows how to play the liberal game. “You have to keep them on topic no matter how they try to change it.”

Looking forward to the grueling campaign schedule, Weaver expects to speak the truth without being forced to think in five-second sound bites.

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Add human trafficking to the job description of ACORN employees

Earth to ACORN, your criminal ways are about to come to an end. Even liberal California is looking into your illegal activity and the Terminator-Governor Schwarzenegger – is looking for answers.

In a letter to State Attorney General, Edmond Brown Jr. the Governor points out the allegedly illegal activity taking place at California Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) offices is cause for concern.

“Given this (recent news reports) I believe it is appropriate that your office launch a full investigation into ACORN’s activities in California,” Schwarzenegger's letter read. “My administration stands ready to assist in any way necessary.”

While lawmakers at the state and national level consider what action to take against ACORN who currently receives federal tax dollars, ACORN officials say they will probe their own organization.

The question is, will this be a thorough house cleaning or will it simply be something ACORN board members say they are doing to get the media off their backs?

Bertha Lewis of ACORN says ardent Obama supporters like John Podesta, president of Centers for American Progress and Andrew Stern of the Service Employees International Union will work with ACORN. These aren’t the best choices to head an investigation as both endorse and assist with funding for ACORN.

White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs said at the daily press briefing; “I think everyone would agree that the administration takes accountability extremely seriously.”

The mindset of ACORN higher-ups is still looking to deflect attention from the serious allegations and sue the 25-year-old filmmaker James O’Keefe and 20-year-old Hannah Giles, who is just a journalism student.

The latest video in the series shows an ACORN employee offering to help the undercover pimp and prostitute smuggle in 12-13-year-old under-age girls from Mexico. The employee even takes it a step further and tells the couple he has contacts that can get them through the Tijuana/San Diego border without incident.

As far as the tapes go, states this will be the last tape released for the time being, but they clearly allude to the fact they have more ACORN tapes in the hopper.

According to the website, the couple did not get kicked out of any ACORN offices as some in the left-learning media floated. In fact, the two undercover journalists were surprised they did not get arrested by police.

As a result of the news coverage the Federal Census Bureau has pulled back from ACORN and claims they will not let the community organizing outfit conduct U.S. Census population counting.

“I think the Census Bureau evaluated and determined that this group could not meet the bureau’s goal of achieving a fair and accurate count in 2010,” Gibbs said.

The federal government has also cut funds to ACORN pending an investigation. Some still remain skeptical. Michelle Malkin reports, “It’s a systematic problem, ACORN just throws its employees under the bus.”

She encourages reporters to continue their investigations into the left-wing mortgage and counseling scam organization.

This is a point that San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter-R Calif. agrees with. “It is outrageous that ACORN still receives taxpayer funding following repeated revelations of unethical behavior.”

“ACORN should not only be investigated for what is apparently a consistent pattern of misconduct, but it should also not receive another penny of taxpayer support,” he said.

Congressman Hunter is a cosponsor of H.R. 3571, legislation that would deny federal funding for ACORN.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

ACORNs keep falling, community organizing under the microscope, kind of

Count them- four tapes, four different cities and four different employees have been fired. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has lost all credibility and excuses are quickly running out.

To be fair, the undercover reporters did try this at other ACORN offices and were turned away, but to date four ACORN outfits didn’t turn these potential clients out on their butts or call the police.

The time has come for the President to cut his ties to yet another organization/close associate. It’s taken four tapes to prove that ACORN has a trouble record when it comes to hiring community organizers. The group has already received $53 million of taxpayer money.

ACORN is being investigated for voter registration fraud in 14 states and is seen on tape endorsing brothels, tax evasion and under-age sex slaves. Yet the response from the left and ACORN themselves is ‘Fox news made this up, the tapes were doctored, racist and this is nothing more than a smear campaign against the poor. Really? That’s the best you’ve got?

Allegations leveled against ACORN run the gamut; tax evasion, prostitution, pimping, brothels, illegal human trafficking and the worst – under-age sex slaves.

How can employees not bat an eyelash at the possibility of bringing in 12-14-year-old girls from El Salvador to be used as sex slaves? Has the morality of this country sunk so low that we care so little of young girls?

At least the U.S. Senate has weighed in and with a vote of 83-7 to block future funds set aside for ACORN in the amount of $1.6 million. The money was earmarked for the Federal Housing Department that assists low-income people obtain loan and tax advice.

Employees of the organization are on tape telling undercover reporters how to skirt tax law and claim under-age sex slaves as dependents on their tax returns. Where are the women advocacy groups? Where’s the tax man?

Congress is currently drawing up papers to sanction Congressman Joe Wilson-R N.C. for a ‘you lie’ comment blurted out at the President’s joint session of Congress speech. A speech some question was warranted in the first place, unless the President is calling for war on the health care issue.

Who exactly is standing up for women and under-age girls? Although this was the work of undercover journalists, this really happens. Human trafficking is taking place at our southern borders all the time.

It’s time for American to stand up to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and say enough! It’s time to get a spine and stand up for the little person. It’s time to say we are not going to take this anymore. It’s time to vote the enablers out of office.

It’s time for a contract with the American people and this time we mean it.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Military LRAD devices placed at town halls come under fire

As town halls unfolded across the country without incident, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore took it upon himself to place military equipment used in Iraq to repel terrorists, at two San Diego events. The device is also used by the U.S. Navy to repel terrorists from ships.

Gore, who is now under fire for his decision to place the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) at town hall events, went on record to explain his decision making.

At a Sheriff’s debate Gore was asked directly (by this writer) why he felt the need to place such heavy-handed piece of military equipment at two area town halls.

“The LRAD was purchased as a crowd dispersal unit,” Sheriff Gore explained. “It was held in reserve in both Susan Davis-D CA. and Darrell Issa-R CA/Duncan Hunter-R CA. events should there be any problems. We could use the LRAD in place of pepper spray.”

Although Gore said the LRAD was held in reserve, a photo taken at the town hall proves otherwise, said a Department of Defense Security Contractor source close to the story.

Gore continued to add that the devise is a non-lethal piece of equipment.

However that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sheriff candidate Jay LaSuer said, “I dispute this answer. It’s a very, very lethal weapon and they (LRAD) have no place in law enforcement.”

“Why would you use a LRAD when members of Congress invited people to talk about health care? The majority of the attendees are probably on Medicare. Are we going after terrorists on walkers now?” LaSuer said.

Spokesperson, Joe Kasper from Congressman Hunter’s office had this to say.

“We were not aware of any type of technology being used to monitor the event at which the Congressman appeared. Law enforcement always stands to benefit from more advanced equipment but, regardless of the system, these tools should be utilized in a manner that is both safe and responsible. More importantly, there are certain systems that should only be used when absolutely necessary, so I think it’s reasonable to question the practicality of this particular technology in this situation.”

Numerous calls made to Congresswoman Davis’s office went unreturned.

Further disputing the call to place military weaponry at town hall events came from a military insider who has been to Iraq and was a part of the testing of the LRAD in San Diego.

“Let me be real clear, this weapon can cause serious injury to the inner ear or result in death if utilized improperly within 30-feet. Furthermore, the LRAD requires explicit training so not to accidentally deploy the weapon which causes hearing loss as well as death,” the DOD source said.

“Also, a Sheriff deputy picture taken at one event showed the deputy who was operating the equipment wearing a uniform shirt of the Search and Rescue unit, indicating he may have been a non-paid volunteer, not a trained deputy,” according to a source.

To make matters worse, this source confirms Sheriff Gore was given a demonstration of the LRAD by the manufacturer, American Technology Corporation at an Emerging Technology conference and “Gore knew this device could be deadly.”

This directly disputes the point that Sheriff Gore made when he said, “This is a non-lethal type of device.”

Gore goes on to say that “it (LRAD) was the best choice of options for preventative measures.”

Another 27-year veteran of law enforcement disagrees and question’s Gore’s decision to buy the LRAD device.

“Somehow this device made its way into law enforcement. I was there when the $40,000 sale took place. It’s not an effective tool because it uses a very pointed-piercing noise that you could hear, but the guy next to you would not,” retired Sheriff Deputy Jim Duffy said. “I question why it (LRAD) would be at that event at all.”

The LRAD uses a concentrated sound wave or beam that causes a lot of ear pain, bleeding or death when pointed at a direct source. According to the manufacturer’s website “the directionality of the LRAD device reduces the risk of exposing nearby personnel or peripheral bystanders to harmful audio levels.” So why use this equipment for crowd control?

Looking to Gore’s past history with the FBI Ruby Ridge incident and 9/11 Commission report, LaSuer questions the current Sheriff’s decision making. “Gore deployed a weapon that we use against terrorists on American citizens- shame on him.”

When pressed about the need to use such a lethal device at public town halls Gore states, “It was placed there for reserve and that’s all I can say.”

Another lifetime law enforcement deputy, Bruce Ruff says, “The potential use of lethality is pure incompetence by Sheriff Gore.”

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Not exactly a shoot out at the okay coral, but close

On Saturday Rick Amato’s talk show sponsored and moderated the San Diego’s Sheriff Debate – issues were vetted, passions flared and in the end the four candidates were heard. Those running for San Diego’s top lawman spot included, Jim Duffy, incumbent Bill Gore, Jay LaSuer and Bruce Ruff.

The back drop consisted of American flags, anti-health care signs and 300 patriotic citizens clamoring to find out what each candidate had to say regarding law enforcement.

“That was the best debate I’ve seen in 20 years,” said John Minto of Santee. “It got real lively.”

With a goal of making San Diego the safest county in the U.S., incumbent Gore had applause and skeptics because he is the sitting Sheriff, while LaSuer told the audience they were interviewing four people for the most important job in San Diego.

Right off the bat, a question was posed regarding each man’s background and whether they had been reprimanded or the center of controversy. All replied no, however Gore has been at the center attention on two national issues – Ruby Ridge, Idaho and the 9/11 Commission report. Both these events resulted in loss of civilian life.

California is set to either release or pay other states to house criminals in jail. Overcrowding is a problem and taxpayers are concerned about a glut of inmates that will be released in the next few months.

LaSuer suggested operating a tent city similar to what Sheriff Joe Arpaio has done in Arizona, who coincidently has endorsed LaSuer’s candidacy. Ruff had a different approach. “The elected officials have decided to let the people we worked to put away and then let the out early, that’s wrong.”

Eventually the talk steered to illegal immigration and if San Diego would be a sanctuary city. “I took an oath to uphold the law of the Constitution- we need to enforce all the laws,” Duffy said. He looked to the federal government’s 287g rule and insisted San Diego needed to take advantage of that tool in order to close the illegal immigration problem the county faces.

Ruff disagreed a bit and said this was a federal government issue and they needed to get it right. Gore agreed and stated his administration has been relying on the federal government to do their job.

“We are not a sanctuary city, we’ve used $23 million in federal tax dollars to address these crimes in the past two years,” Gore said. However Ruff shot back. “Who the hell do you think pays the taxes? It’s your money whether you get it from the state or the federal government it’s your tax money.”

Not one to stay on the sidelines for long LaSuer implied that the panelist had way too much caffeine. “Look, when you pick and choose which laws you are going to enforce, you’ve lost your moral compass,” he calmly said. “We are a sanctuary city, period.”

The debate steered to the 9/11 terrorist attack, again the candidates were very passionate.

Gore starting things off by explaining San Diego employs a Liaison Officer to work on both a local and national level. “I’m very proud of what we do in San Diego County on all levels.”

Ruff saw things differently. “I’ll tell you straight up…We missed the 9/11 terrorists that flew into the Pentagon, we had an informant in the house and we missed them,” he said. “We are in trouble and someone at this table is responsible for that.”

Responding to the accusation, Gore explained his FBI department was only notified one month in advance and points to the report stating that this was a missed opportunity.

Using the 9/11 Commission report as a guide LaSuer said, “We failed. We could fill this place up with excuses. When the Exxon Valdez ran a ground the captian said he fell asleep. I’m sorry captain you’re in charge.”

“Gore it happened on your watch. It may have been a mistake I don’t know. It could have been arrogance. But it occurred and thousands of people died who were Americans, it may have been a mistake,” LaSuer explains.

“But there was a LRAD (military arsenal used to target terrorists) out at the town halls, that was a mistake and those were American people. You had a weapon pointed at those people and they didn’t even know it and that was another poor choice.”

As the sun drew nearer to the Pacific Ocean, the temperatures began to drop in El Cajon. The last shootout would take the candidate’s to the concealed weapons law in California.

“Do you support a concealed weapon permit or not?”

Ruff, yes. Duffy, yes. Gore explained it wasn’t that easy. “California has laws the Sheriff must comply with and this is a shall not issue state.” The crowd booed. “It’s a shall not state unless there is cause.”

A debate ensued.

LaSuer claimed it’s up to the Sheriff to determine what is good cause and ‘yes’ self protection is a good cause,” the crowd erupted with applause.

Duffy, who was grinning, took it one step further. “Gore you got it wrong, penal code 12025 states a Sheriff MAY issue a permit.”

The entire debate can be heard on via pod cast on

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

YMCA Skate Park in Encinitas is home to the top professionals

If it is your dream to skate with the best skateboarders in the world, head to North County San Diego, where on any given day you’ll be airing, grinding and skating right next to the X-Game pros.

The Encinitas Ecke YMCA is home to many skate pros and boasts of great weather year round. So if you’re into name dropping to your buddies the best place to start is here.

The 37,000 square-foot skate park is home to the Vert ramp designed by Tony Hawk. Hawk has been a figure head in the industry for years and was the first skater to land a 900 in competition, at the X-Games.

These days you can find him watching his kids practicing their skating skills.

Along with the super-sized Vert ramp and mini-ramps, Encinitas YMCA offers plenty of quarter pipes, slider boxes, bank ramps, hips, handrails, stairs, euro-gaps, two cement pools as well as a beginner street area.

This skate park really does have something for everyone, including the name dropping ability. The banner that greets skaters as they walk in is congratulating Shawn White on his Olympic gold.

He has been known to show up to hang with his bros often pulling up in his Ferrari.

Perhaps, you want to see Pierre-Luc Gagnon, check. How about Danny Way, check. Or maybe Bucky Lasek, check. Or even, Big Air-famers, Adam Taylor and Rob Lorifice, check, check. If you are real lucky you may even run into Blink 182’s front man Tom DeLonge. His new skate company Macbeth often sponsors contests held at this YMCA Park.

The park is open seven-days-a week. It’s best to call for skate sessions. Members skate for $5 bucks and nonmembers pay double. Be sure to bring all your protective gear.

If you want to skate make sure you bring your knee and elbow pads as the YMCA requires all to be fully protected with pads and a helmet. No exceptions.

The YMCA is fully supervised and staff members are on the alert. They do not tolerate foul language, obscene graphics or abusive behavior. This makes it perfect for parents to drop off their skater dudes and not worry about what is going on at the skate park.

For more information the Ecke YMCA skate park visit their website; or call them at 760-942-9622.

To get there exit Highway 5 at Encinitas Blvd., head East make a left on Saxony Road and it’s on your left.
You can see the park from the freeway and boasts a gnarly ocean view.

Rodriguez regains his footing at X-Games, takes gold

At X-Games 15 familiar names dropped to the bottom, one broke his ankle and Paul Rodriguez snagged the top spot in the street course competition.

With the temperatures soaring in the nineties, the stadium packed like sardines and virtually so shade, X-Game attendees were treated to grinding, flipping and perfect landings which ended with Rodriguez claiming all the marbles.

He never skated from behind and as each round ended, Rodriguez’s scores kept climbing further from the other five competitors.

With Gold never really in question it was up to the rest of the field to fight for the silver and bonze podium spots.

Eventually it was the 14-year-old youngster, Nyjah Huston, who came away with the silver medal. Huston, who is known for his long, long dreadlocks, wowed the crowd through the X-Games contest with his youthful lines and laid back attitude.

Finally third was taken by Adam Dyet.

Crowd favorite, Ryan Sheckler, was never really in the mix. His first run was well off the pace and as a result placed last in the pack, by the third round he went down hard off a rail.

Sheckler was taken away in the third round by the paramedics and ultimately suffered a broken ankle and would not finish the skate street competition and took last place.

The fourth and fifth place slots went to Rodolfo Ramos and Nick Dompierre respectively.

Accepting the gold medal with his typical boyish grin, Rodriguez reclaimed his place at the top of the podium assuring his return to X-Games 16.

The scoreboard and points are below;

1. Paul Rodriguez 390 points

2. Nyjah Huston 364 points

3. Adam Dyet 349 points

4. Rodolfo Ramos 348 points

5. Nick Dompierre 310 points

6. Ryan Sheckler 221 points

Surprise, main stream media dropped the ball on tea parties again

Yesterday more than a million Democrat, Republican and Independent American citizens gathered in Washington D.C. The protesters were standing up for the country’s drastic change to big government in a time of deep recession.

It amazed me that reading coverage about the thousands of events that took place across the country and the big enchilada in D.C.; no one would have learned that there was anybody other than the conservative right in attendance.

Try telling that to the lifetime Democrats, who are seniors, who say they are literally fighting for their lives. Try telling the young adults who are politically active for the first time in their life and realize the numbers don’t stack up.

It’s funny how the main stream media, and by that I include ABC, CBS, NBC and all the big city newspapers, will report on a handful of Code Pink protesters sitting at former President Bush’s house, but fail to recognize the million plus of ordinary working-class citizens spending their vacation money to donate to candidates or attend rallies.

Equally disturbing is the silence from the White House about the noticeable crowds outside their home. Former President Bush actually talked to Cindy Sheehan of Code Pink, but President Obama can’t take the time to listen and respond to the million plus concerned U.S. citizens.

In the President’s address to the joint Congress on Wednesday, I thought he said his door was open to all when it came to the health care discussion. Really? Was the White House closed yesterday? Apparently to real Americans it was indeed closed – closed minded and closed eared.

I challenge the White House and the main stream media to put the kool-aid down for 30 minutes and actually walk around a tea party event and talk to the crowd anonymously.

Ask questions and don’t be condescending. Just listen and then maybe you will understand the concerns of these hard-working Americans. Many of whom have fought for this country’s freedom, paid their fair share of taxes and don’t want a cumbersome government to solve every problem.

In the words of a tea party attendee; “We the people are capable of taking care of ourselves, thank you very much!”

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Friday, September 11, 2009

San Diego Sheriff deployed military crowd control device at Congressional town halls

The increasing frustration with politicians and overflow crowds attending August town halls led San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore to place military-type crowd control devices at two area town hall meetings.

Rep. Susan Davis-D Calif. and Rep. Darrell Issa-R Calif. held town halls that exceeded capacity (10,000+ total attendees) and prompted the Sheriff’s Department to have Long-Range Acoustic Devices(LRADs) standing ready.

Both town halls took place without incident; however the use of the military device concerned San Diegians. The LRAD crowd control is primarily used in Iraq to control insurgents and can cause serious and lasting harm to humans.

According to the manufacture, American Technology Corporation, the LRAD provides “military personnel the capability to transition through the rules of engagement to determine a target’s intent and also provides greater assurance that innocent lives on both sides of the device are not lost due to miscommunication.”

That being said why would local law enforcement feel the need to have such drastic measures on standby? Did the Sheriff Department have reason to believe a catastrophe was in the making?

In an interview with East County Magazine, Sheriff Gore answered a couple of questions. When asked about the use of sonic cannons directing a deterrent sound and the fact they are used in Iraq, Sheriff Gore replied; “That’s a precaution in case you need it.”

Gore also stipulated that his deputies had all the training required to use the LRADs.

The possible use of military arsenal against American citizens drew fire from both sides of the political fray. It was Liberty One Radio, a San Diego-based station that led to the uncovering of the LRAD use.

A spokesman from Congressman Issa’s office had no comment on the LRADs being placed at the town hall in Vista, CA. where Issa spoke.

Also, behind the scenes Americans are skeptical that Sheriff Gore should be using anything of this magnitude in light of his connection to the Ruby Ridge, Idaho incident.

Gore was part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation team and was believed to have issued the order to kill on sight – any member of the family who showed themselves, according to a source close to the case. This mishandling and loss of life resulted in Gore leaving the FBI. Two civilians were killed, an unarmed woman holding a baby as well as a minor child.

The debacle cost the American taxpayer $3.1 million dollars when a wrongful death suit was brought against the federal government. In August of 1995 the government paid the Weaver family of Ruby Ridge an out-of-court settlement.

To read the complete East County Magazine story;

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

ACORN hands out tax evasion and under-age sex business advice

As news broke today about the Association of Community Organization Reform Now (ACORN) offering tax and loan advice to an alleged self-admitted pimp and prostitute as to how to obtain a government loan for a brothel, the story fell on deaf ears with the main-stream media.

To top it off this undercover couple, a 20-year-old journalism student and filmmaker, James O’Keefe, stated they intended to bring under-age illegal El Salvadorians girls to perform sex tricks. The ACORN employees are allegedly shown on tape telling the couple to change the name of prostitution to performing arts in order to secure government funding and file tax returns.

ACORN is a federally-funded organization known to have ties with the Democrat party as well as President Obama. The dog and pony show was caught on tape at a Baltimore, Maryland ACORN office. To view the interview go to;

Just when you think it couldn’t get worse, the ACORN employees are caught on tape listening to the undercover pimp say; “These girls are like 14, how can we trust them?”

The ever so helpful ACORN representative dutifully answers, “Just be very, very careful. Whatever you do, always keep your eyes in the back of your head.”

The employees are also on tape encouraging the ‘pimp’ to be careful and train the girls to keep their mouths shut.

In a statement from ACORN, Scott Levenson said, “The portrayal is false and defamatory and an attempt at gotcha journalism. This film crew tried to pull this sham at other offices and failed. ACORN wants to see the video before commenting further.”

Also, the Baltimore ACORN office fired the two employees shown on the tape and noted these workers didn’t share the ACORN philosophy.

This would seem fair, but currently the group is embroiled is a number of fraud cases regarding voter registration cases throughout the country. This is hardly a stellar record for a government-funded organization that claims once again to be the victim.

There have been several attempts to investigate the organization - all have failed. Currently Congressman Darrell Issa-R Calif. and Ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has put forth the latest report.

The report contends and “presents evidence that ACORN has evaded taxes, obstructed justice, engaged in racketeering and created a conspiracy to defraud the United States.”

This should be of concern to the American taxpayer because ACORN is eligible to get $8 billion in federal stimulus money.

Issa points out that “This report is a comprehensive and substantive examination of an organization that has operated in secrecy and outside the law.”

“Both structurally and operationally, ACORN hides behind a paper wall of nonprofit corporate protections to conceal a criminal conspiracy on the part of its directors, to launder federal money in order to pursue a partisan political agenda and to manipulate the American electorate. Emerging accounts of widespread deceit and corruption raise the need for a criminal investigation of ACORN,” Issa says in a statement. To read the entire report; Isaa report

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California targets ammunition sales

Another attack on the Second Amendment in California could result is less ammunition for gun owners and more paperwork for gun retailers. California’s AB 962 legislation has been introduced by Democrat Assembly member Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles.

Gun owners find California’s AB 962 a serious threat to the right’s of law-abiding gun owners in the state. Assemblyman de Leon couldn’t disagree more. “These simple rules governing handgun ammunition will protect police officers, families and children from deadly gun violence,” he said.

Since March the bill has undergone some changes. One such provision within the bill that has been removed would have forced retailers to be licensed in order to sell ammunition. Although this provision was stripped, many gun owners in the state feel they must always remain alert or their guns will be taken away altogether.

California has quickly become known as a state that runs business, well, out of business. Regulations, taxes and unfriendly legislators in Sacramento have run the once Golden State into the Pacific Ocean.

That being said, AB 962 still contains rules that gun owners don’t appreciate. First, retail store owners will have to make the ammunition inaccessible from purchasers. The legislation requires individuals buying ammunition to be fingerprinted at the time of the sale.

AB 962 would also mandate that ammunition dealers keep these records and have them available for inspection by the Department of Justice. Gun owners believe this may cause some dealers to stop selling ammunition altogether.

Finally, mail order ammunition sales will be banned in California under AB 962.

Gun-rights activists encourage all responsible gun owners to contact their state representatives to voice their concern regarding this new anti-gun bill.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rasmussen poll shows 83 percent want proof of citizenship for health care

A new Rasmussen poll shows 83 percent of Americans feel people should prove they are U.S. citizens before they receive government health care subsidies.

According to Rasmussen’s latest telephone survey found that just 12 percent disagree while five percent were not sure.

The desire to limit health care benefits to U.S. citizens broke party lines. The report stated that 95 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of Democrats and 87 percent of unaffiliated voters favored the need for the government to check citizenship status.

In a recent report from Congressional Research Service (CRS) HR 3200 does not include immigration status. “Some have expressed a concern that since HR 3200 does not contain a mechanism to verify immigration status, the prohibitions on certain non-citizens (e.g., non-immigrant and unauthorized aliens) receiving the credits may not be enforced.”

It is unclear which health care reform bill will move forward through both houses and finally into the Oval office. What is clear, however, is Americans strongly do not those here illegally to get subsidies for health care.

For the Rasmussen poll information; Rasmussen

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Birthers get their day in court – Obama must now prove his citizenship

Americans’ who do not believe President Obama is a U.S. citizen won a huge decision in California as a judge set three court dates, one of which will require the President to prove his citizenship.

The case will be heard by U.S. District Judge David Carter in Southern California, it is the first time the merits of the President’s citizenship will be argued in open court.

The first obstacle the plaintiffs will have to overcome is an October 5 motion to dismiss as well as the arguments on the issue of discovery. From there the plaintiffs will have to navigate a pretrial hearing before Judge Carter will hear the case tentatively set for January 26, 2010.

According to Jeff Schwilk, who was in the courtroom, the judge was solid as a rock. “The audience of about 45 was nodding and giving thumbs up to each other on almost all of his decisions.”

“He (the judge) is determined to get Obama to prove he is eligible,” Schwilk explained. “Things are going to move very fast.”

However, Judge Carter hasn’t ruled on the discovery motion, which is the right to see the President’s still-concealed records. Judge Carter didn’t rule on the motion to dismiss either.

The next few weeks will tell if the California plaintiffs will actually be able to challenge President Obama in open court.

The lawsuit claims President Obama is actually a citizen of Indonesia or Kenya. This would violate the U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, it says, “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of the President.”

The records put forth by the President show that President Obama’s Certificate of Live Birth took place in Hawaii.

“It’s pretty close to check mate, but of course the Obama team will try to come up with something to get their way,” Schwilk finished.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Health care HR 3200 costs $31 billion to cover 6.6 million illegal immigrants

Over the long weekend the country was busy talking about the President’s speech to school children and the resignation of Green Jobs Czar, Van Jones, but the folks at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) were putting the finishing touches on a new report.

If the current bills floating around Washington D.C. garner a signature from President Obama, the taxpayers could see $31 billion of their money to provide health care for more than 6.6 million in this country illegally.

While HR 3200 states illegal immigrants can not receive benefits, every time amendments are put forward to ensure enforcement – they are voted out leaving many loopholes.

The following is a summary of what CIS found regarding health care bill HR 3200.

* In 2007, there were an estimated 6.6 million illegal immigrants without health insurance who had incomes below 400 percent of poverty, which is the income ceiling for the new affordability premium credits.
* If all uninsured illegal immigrants with incomes below 400 percent of poverty received the new credits, the estimated cost to the federal government would be $30.5 billion annually.
* The current cost of treating uninsured illegal immigrants at all levels of government is an estimated $4.3 billion a year, primarily at emergency rooms and free clinics.
* On July 16 an amendment by Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV) that would have required the use of the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program to prevent illegal immigrants from receiving the affordability credits was defeated by the House Ways and Means Committee.
* At present 71 other means-tested federal programs require use of the SAVE system to prevent illegal immigrants and other ineligible non-citizens from accessing them.
* Even though there is no mechanism to prevent enrollment, it is likely that many income-eligible illegal immigrants would not enroll out of fear or lack of knowledge of the new programs. Thus the actual costs would be less than the maximum estimate of $30.5 billion. However, if illegal immigrants are legalized and could receive affordability credits, a much larger percentage would be expected to enroll, with a corresponding increase in costs.
* Uninsured illegal immigrants tend to use less in health care on average than others without health insurance because they tend to be young. This fact is incorporated into the current cost estimate of $4.3 billion. However, government-provided affordability credits paid to insurance companies are the same for everyone regardless of age or preexisting conditions. Therefore, the younger age of illegals does not result in lower average costs for taxpayers for this program.
* It is also worth noting that the report estimates that 38 percent of illegal immigrants had health insurance in 2007. Additionally, the report estimates that there are at least 360,000 uninsured illegal immigrants with incomes above 400 percent of poverty who would not qualify for benefits under H.R. 3200.
* It is also possible that illegal immigrants could benefit from the expansion of Medicaid under H.R. 3200. The bill does not require identity verification for those claiming U.S. birth. Of illegal immigrants with incomes under 400 percent of poverty, about half live under 133 percent of poverty, which is the new ceiling for Medicaid eligibility.
* On July 30 an amendment by Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) that would have required identity variation for those claiming U.S. birth was defeated by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

CIS used March of 2008 Current Population Survey collected by the Census Bureau to determine the number of illegal immigrants in the United States.

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Nightingale discusses California’s future at rally in Oceanside

The latest entry into the gubernatorial race in California, Chelene Nightingale opens up after a Stop Taxing Us rally, where she and Congressman Darrell Issa-R Calif. spoke to a crowd of 3,000. If the short speech meant anything, Nightingale was warmly received.

Nightingale started the year out unsure what the future would hold, little did she know that a run for California’s highest office was in the works. Ever so candid, Nightingale has embraced her political career and looks forward to the long hours ahead of her as the race for Sacramento pushes forward.

“Overwhelmingly positive,” is how Nightingale explains her governor’s bid. “A majority of us are waking up to the fact that our two-party system is failing us and thus are seeking alternatives.”

This mother of one is running on the Constitution Party ticket, and points out that she “is not a career politician.”

Taking the helm of a top 10 economy like California lends itself to daunting decision making. For this enormous task, Nightingale will seek assistance from many in order to find solutions for what ails California. “As the campaign progresses I will reach out to experts like Gerald Celente.”

Celente is a trends researcher for the Trends Research Institute and has appeared on a number of news stations like CNN and Fox News.

Looking to the largest problem California faces, job creation, Nightingale proposes drastically reducing the tax businesses have to pay to do business in the state. “Currently California is home to the nation’s highest business taxes and the worst employment laws.”

She continues to say that the state can not continue to penalize businesses for creating job opportunities. “Unfortunately our state legislature has chased many of these industries (aerospace, aircraft, entertainment and technology) out of the state which has created major job losses and revenue.”

Tackling the state legislature issue is a point of contention for Nightingale. “If I’m elected the California State Legislature will become part-time and I will do what I can to return our state to a republic.”

In recent years the Golden State has lost its luster and forced many to flee the highest-tax rates in the country. “I love this state. We have everything – beaches, mountains, amusement parks, Hollywood and the famous Golden Gate Bridge.”

Her enthusiastic memories of California give way to the present state of California. Things like traffic, lack of infrastructure and lack of resources are directly responsible for holding California back, says Nightingale.

“Restoring our Golden State will take dedication, sacrifice, time, effort and determination. People want to enjoy a decent quality of life without stressing about high taxes,” she explains.

Taking care of California’s Central Valley is also a priority for Nightingale and she would make every effort to help the farmers severely affected by the lack of water California has let flow to the fields.

“Human beings are more important than fish,” she emphatically states. “I would contact the ‘God Squad’ and declare an emergency consideration to reverse the court’s decision in order to allow water to be pumped into the Central Valley.”

Immigration is another big issue that affects the daily livelihood of the state. Solving this tremendous issue requires determination and the ability to understand the complexity of immigration.

“I firmly oppose the Dream Act for illegal aliens. In fact, I oppose all public benefits for those here illegally. I support the California Taxpayer Protection Act of 2010,” Nightingale explains. "This ballot initiative will limit the funds children of illegal immigrants could receive and puts in place a rule for illegal parents to verify their legal status in the state."

Many in Washington D.C. believe that the U.S./Mexico borders are secure however, Nightingale couldn’t disagree more. “I would call upon the National Guard to help our courageous Border Patrol agents to secure the border.”

She goes on to explain that the murder of Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas should have been an alarming warning to the current governor. “Our state representatives need to immediately take action and secure our state’s border to protect our citizens.”

Finally she discusses the Second Amendment. “I’m the daughter of a military war veteran. My father served our country and believed in our Constitutional rights.”

As a result of her father’s belief, Nightingale thinks the assault on gun rights in California needs to be stopped. “I fully support those rights today and oppose government taking away our guns.”

By the grace of God, Nightingale expects to cope with the rigors of campaigning across the state seeking the Governorship. “My family will be by my side through this process.”

The independent streak Nightingale possesses leaves no doubt she is up for the challenge.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

President Obama's speech to school children; excerpt from White House

Tomorrow morning President Obama will address the nation’s school children. The following is an excerpt from the speech. Parents can read the following or they can follow the link directly to the White House website to catch a glimpse of what school children will hear.

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Back to School Event; Arlington, Virginia

September 8, 2009

The President: Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.
I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.
Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."
So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.
Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.
Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.
And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.
And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.
You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.
We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.
I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.
So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.
But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.
Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.
But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.
That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.
Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.
I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.
And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.
Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.
That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.
Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.
I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.
But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.
No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.
And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.
The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.
It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.
So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?
Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

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