God willing, and he doesn't die or become incapacitated, Maine will have a Secession candidate in the 2018 race for the Governor's office.|
Can Maine secede? According to the Constitution it can.
CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF MAINE
(Arranged by the Chief Justice of
the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and approved by
the Maine State Legislature,
Resolve 2003, chapter 98,
pursuant to the Constitution of Maine,
Article X, Section 6)
Objects of government. We the people of Maine, in order to establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for our mutual defense, promote our common welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty, acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity, so favorable to the design; and, imploring God's aid and direction in its accomplishment, do agree to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the style and title of the State of Maine and do ordain and establish the following Constitution for the government of the same.
Declaration of Rights.
Section 1. Natural rights. All people are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.
Section 2. Power inherent in people. All power is inherent in the people; all free governments are founded in their authority and instituted for their benefit; they have therefore an unalienable and indefeasible right to institute government, and to alter, reform, or totally change the same, when their safety and happiness require it.
Gun Accessories Firm Magpul Leaves Colorado After New Anti-Gun Laws, rejects Maine, and goes to Oklahoma and Texas
Just when some of its customers were beginning to question gun accessories company Magpul Industries' sincerity about moving out of Colorado in response to anti-gun legislation passed last summer, the organization announced that it has finalized its moves to Wyoming and Texas. The company gained national attention last spring when state representative Lori Saine read a message from the firm's CEO that he would move Magpul if the legislature passed a bill banning the sale of magazines containing more than 15 rounds of ammunition.
The legislation passed in March, and in April Magpul started investigating various options for its operations and its 250 workers. By October some of the company’s customers were getting antsy, wondering if it was all show and no go. On its Facebook page, Michael Franklin of Arizona, commented:
Hmmm. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m starting to feel dumb for buying a bunch of your stuff to support your company….
What happened to the principles you were passionate about?
Steve Allen, from North Carolina, was slightly more sympathetic:
Still waiting for [your] move. I’m a business owner — I know how difficult a move is.
You drew a line and the Colorado legislature crossed it. I sure hope your line means more than Obama’s line in Syria!
The company, which began operations in 1969, makes a wide range of products supporting the shooting sports and self-defense industries, including magazines (many of which hold more than 15 rounds), rifle sights and grips, buttstocks, hand guards, rails, and other accessories.
In its press release, COO Doug Smith said: “Magpul made the decision to relocate in March 2013 and has proceeded on an aggressive but deliberate path. These dual moves will be carried out in a manner that ensures our operations and supply chain won’t be interrupted.”
Richard Fitzpatrick, Magpul’s CEO, explained why the move to Wyoming and Texas was necessary:
Moving operations to states that support our culture of individual liberties and personal responsibility is important.
This relocation will also improve [our] business operations and logistics.
Included in the press release were copies of letters from the governors of both Wyoming and Texas welcoming the move. Wyoming Governor Matt Mead wrote:
Wyoming and Magpul are a great match. The state is looking to expand and diversify its economy. Bringing an innovative and growing manufacturing operation to Wyoming is a significant step for the state.
We offer Magpul an attractive tax environment, stable and reasonable regulations, not to mention a firm commitment to uphold the Second Amendment.
Texas Governor Rick Perry stated:
In Texas, we understand that freedom breeds prosperity, which is why we’ve built our economy around principles that allow employers to innovate, keep more of what they earn, and create jobs. I’m proud that Magpul is the latest employer to join the ranks of companies that call Texas home.
Magpul’s decision to move its manufacturing operations to Cheyenne was made a little easier with Wyoming's financial package of some $13 million in loans and grants. The gun accessories firm initially will lease a 58,000-square-foot facility temporarily while a permanent 100,000-square-foot building is being constructed. Negotiations continue with Perry and other Texas officials, and Magpul has narrowed its options for its corporate management offices down to three different locations in the north-central region of the state.
Another Colorado gun accessories manufacturer, HiViz Shooting Systems, based in Fort Collins, announced earlier that it is moving its operations to Laramie, Wyoming. And two other Colorado manufacturers that support Magpul — Denver-based Lawrence Tool & Molding, and Wheat Ridge-based Carbon Arms — are considering similar moves.
What’s particularly noteworthy about Magpul’s move isn't just its likely improved operations, or the ripple effect of its suppliers following it to its new destination, but the willingness of company officials to take a stand based on principle, and mean it. Concerns voiced by Magpul’s customers that this might just be a publicity stunt have been successfully quelled.
A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at email@example.com
N.Y. Times’ Benghazi Whitewash Backfires, Spotlights Obama/Clinton Coverup
by William F. Jasper, The New American
In its clumsy attempt to absolve President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from responsibility for the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, the New York Times has reignited intense scrutiny and debate over the fiasco and the administration’s lies and cover-ups in its aftermath.
On December 28, the Times opened a new chapter in the ongoing furor over “Benghazigate” with an extensive, 7,000-word article by David D. Kirkpatrick entitled, “A Deadly Mix in Benghazi.” According to Kirkpatrick, his article is the result of “months of investigation by The New York Times,” which “turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault.” Moreover, he says, the September 11, 2012 attack, which resulted in the murder of four Americans — Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods — “was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”
It is not surprising that the Times, which has staunchly supported both President Obama and Hillary Clinton, would come to their aid once more, producing a piece that echoes and affirms the administration’s Benghazi talking points, even though the facts have discredited those talking points.
More Hidden Costs of ObamaCare Coming to Light by Bob Adelmann, The New American
The latest tally shows that ObamaCare enrollments are just over two million, falling far short of the estimated 3.3 million expected to sign up by January 1, and putting into serious doubt the goal of seven million by the end of March.
At first blush, the reason for the lackluster enrollment is the premium cost. Many people are learning to their dismay that they will be facing premium increases of 30 to 70 percent, or more. In some cases, much more. For instance, a 27-year-old man in Memphis will see his premiums jump from $41 a month last year to $119 a month this year, a 190-percent increase. A 27-year-old woman in Nashville will be hit with a 97-percent increase.
In California, some 600,000 of those whose coverages have been cancelled will learn quickly that they don’t qualify for subsidies, resulting in much higher premiums when they do find coverage.
In Alabama, premiums have doubled for some middle-class families, while in Washington State, premiums have increased between 34 percent and 80 percent.
According to the New York Times, some people will simply find the premiums unaffordable, in some cases requiring more than 20 percent of their incomes. A 50-year-old man making $50,000 a year looking for the cheapest plan, for example, would find premiums exceeding $10,000 a year in more than 170 counties around the country.
And then there are the deductibles. As people shopping for coverage on the exchanges are finding out, in order to keep their premiums affordable, they are having to accept much higher deductibles — which is fine as long as they don’t get sick.
In addition, there’s the hidden surprise waiting for those who are enjoying subsidies to help them pay for the insurance. If they have a “major life event” like getting married, or getting a raise or a promotion with a higher salary, not only could the subsidy disappear but any subsidy they enjoyed prior will have to be paid back.
As individuals are counting the costs, so are employers. Much has been said about smaller companies with more than 50 employees cutting hours, or offering part-time work, to avoid the ObamaCare mandates. But when the bean counters at larger companies start counting those same costs, comparing penalties versus increased premiums, many will likely terminate their group plans altogether and let their employees shop the exchanges for themselves.
There’s the matter of “proportion.” If not enough young people sign up to balance the costs of insuring oldsters, the premium calculations performed by health insurance company actuaries will soon prove to be wrong; in some cases, seriously wrong. Although premiums for 2014 are set in stone, those for 2015 will be based on those proportions after the dust settles in 2014. One assumption is that 40 percent of those signing up will be in the crucial 18-34 age group, but preliminary estimates show that only 25 percent of those signing up are in that group.
There’s “deferred maintenance” as well — those signing up having an immediate need for medical attention that they've been putting off. That could throw off insurance companies’ assumptions as well.
The editors at the Washington Post admitted, “It’s still unclear how well the Affordable Care Act will function,” but then asked their readers to stay calm and not jump to conclusions. After all, it’s still early in the game.
On the other hand, Dan Holler, a healthcare analyst for the Heritage Foundation, noted that if ObamaCare succeeds in navigating all of these obstacles, “it’ll be pure, irrational dumb luck. The program they designed, and the incentives they put in place, look destined to fail.”
The clock is ticking as the November elections draw ever closer. Senate Democrats up for reelection who voted for the ACA are finding themselves facing unhappy constituents and newly energized challengers along with critical TV ads from conservative groups such as Americans for Prosperity.
A lot of pieces will have to come together over the next few months in order for ObamaCare to become functional, financially viable, and less politically toxic. At present, the smart money is betting on the skeptics.
A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at
Bill de Blasio: New York City's "Progressive" New Mayor |
by Bob Adelmann, The New American
When Bill de Blasio was celebrating his mayoral victory last November, he made clear exactly what his agenda is for New York City:
My fellow New Yorkers: Today you spoke out loudly and clearly for a new direction for our city.
Make no mistake: the people of this city have chosen a progressive path, and tonight we set forth on it, together.
This was predicted by another progressive, President Obama, when he endorsed de Blasio back in September, saying:
Progressive change is the centerpiece of Bill de Blasio’s vision for New York City, and it’s why he will be a great mayor of America’s largest city.
Bill’s agenda for New York is marked by bold, courageous ideas that address the great challenges of our time.
Media mouthpieces from the Associated Press to the New York Times have signaled their thrall with the new direction. On January 1, 2014, the day de Blasio was sworn in as New York City's new mayor by former President Bill Clinton, the AP hailed de Blasio “as the face of a progressive movement that pledges a significant realignment of the nation’s largest city.” One day earlier, the Times delighted to note that “liberals across the country are looking to Bill de Blasio ... to morph New York City’s municipal machinery into a ... laboratory for populist theories of government that have never been enacted on such a large scale.”
In his inauguration speech, de Blasio took aim at the “inequality” his progressive policies would supposedly overcome: “We are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love. And so today, we commit to a new progressive direction in New York.”
He also stated:
Our city is no stranger to big struggles — and no stranger to overcoming them.
New York has faced fiscal collapse, a crime epidemic, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters. But now, in our time, we face a different crisis — an inequality crisis. It’s not often the stuff of banner headlines in our daily newspapers. It’s a quiet crisis, but one no less pernicious than those that have come before.
Working quietly for decades for leftist causes including supporting the Marxist Sandinistas in the late 1980s before moving on to head up the city’s General Welfare Committee, de Blasio has been forthright and transparent about what he hopes to accomplish from the mayor’s chair. He helped pass the Gender-Based Discrimination Protection Act and the Domestic Partnership Recognition law. He has voiced his opposition to charter schools, saying “I won’t favor charters. Our central focus is traditional public schools.”
He wants to tax the wealthy even more heavily than now in order to expand the role and influence of the “traditional public schools” even further into the lives of children. As he explained in his inauguration speech: “We will ask the very wealthy to pay a little more in taxes so that we can offer full-day universal pre-K and after-school programs for every middle school student.”
Last November, when addressing business leaders who would be taxed including the owners of Kushner Properties, SL Green Realty, the Durst Organization and RXR Realty, he was clear regarding his progressivism:
Everything you've heard about me is true.... I am not a free-marketeer.... I believe in the heavy hand of government.
This was music to the ears of progressives who swarmed over his campaign with financing and endorsements, including Hollywood lefties like Alex Baldwin, Harry Belafonte, Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon, and Kathleen Turner.
Just exactly what is de Blasio likely to accomplish, in addition to extorting the rich to fund babes barely weaned and shutting down charter schools? For one thing, the rebirth of ACORN under the name New York Communities for Change (NYCC) run by the same head of ACORN operations, Bertha Lewis. Already well-funded with $400,000 from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) to battle charter schools, Lewis can already see bigger things ahead: more city funding for “affordable housing units.”
That’s just the beginning. Welfare reforms supported by Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg have to be rejected and replaced with more lenient requirements and more generous cash payouts to the poor. Wrote Heather MacDonald at the New York Post:
The central idea of [the original] welfare reform was that recipients should work or look for work in exchange for benefits. This principle exploded [progressive] welfare ideology, which held that it was demeaning to require work.
Under de Blasio one can expect the number on welfare in New York City, currently at 350,000, to explode once those onerous work requirements are removed.
And as reported by the Post, de Blasio has vowed to “stop efforts to divert individuals [helping them find work first before putting them on the dole] from accessing cash assistance.” And he thinks that the number of those New Yorkers already receiving SNAP assistance — more than one in five — is at least 250,000 too low. In his mayoral “blueprint” de Blasio once again was clear: “Providing basic income and food security to all New Yorkers [is] a key responsibility of government.”
Much of this won’t happen, of course, to the great disappointment of the likes of Sarandon, Baldwin, Obama and Lewis. As Howard Dean, the inevitable liberal candidate for office and former governor of Vermont, asked rhetorically:
Do I expect him to keep every one of his promises? Absolutely not.
This is the truth of mayors and governors: until you sit in the chair, you don’t really know.
He’s going to find out that he can’t keep all of his promises.
That’s not to say that the new hard-left mayor of New York won’t attempt to implement his progressive agenda. But moving the city even more sharply to the left is like turning the Allure of the Seas. There are other political agendas at play in the city and in Albany where de Blasio may just find less willingness to turn New York City into a vast social-welfare experiment to satisfy progressives’ anti-capitalist, anti-freedom agenda.
Photo of Bill de Blasio after being sworn in as mayor of New York City: AP Images
A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at
That is bad news for Turney and the 73 self-styled “scientists,” “journalists,” and crew members participating in the global-warming expedition. According to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), their ship, the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, has been trapped in 10-feet thick ice slabs since December 24. Three vessels with ice-breaking capabilities have attempted to reach the alarmists so far. All of them failed. A helicopter rescue attempt on December 30, meanwhile, was reportedly aborted due to strong winds.
In a failed effort to raise funds for the scheme from the public, the climate alarmists promised potential donors that they would investigate and share information about “environmental changes” taking place in Antarctica. “Crucially this pristine southern polar region is uniquely placed to monitor the health of our planet,” Turley and his associates said. The team also vowed to seek out information on the intersection between “global climate” and the region, claiming — somewhat ironically, in retrospect — that changes were “threatening the stability of Antarctic ice.”
“The Southern Ocean plays a crucial role in global climate and the carbon cycle,” the climate alarmists wrote, adding that “90% of the world’s excess heat trapped by the atmosphere is going into the ocean and changing circulation patterns, threatening to turn the region into a source of carbon, exaggerating future warming.” The expedition, the team leaders continued, would “make detailed measurements on the passage south (e.g. temperature, salinity, carbon) to determine just how sensitive the Southern Ocean is to change.”
As if it could not get any more embarrassing, a video about the trip featuring Turney explained that the “Australasian Antarctic Expedition” — named after another expedition a century ago by the same name led by Sir Douglas Mawson — “will re-trace the route of its namesake to discover just how much has changed over the last 100 years.” Of course, when the video was produced, the “climate scientists,” rather than being stuck in ice, almost certainly had much different “changes” in mind. A hundred years ago, even without modern technology, Mawson’s expedition did just fine.
“We're stuck in our own experiment,” the Australasian Antarctic Expedition admitted in a statement quoted in media reports, almost comically insisting that ice in the region really is melting despite all of the objective and anecdotal data literally all around them. “Sea ice is disappearing due to climate change, but here ice is building up.” In reality, sea ice in the Arctic is up 50 percent above last year, and in Antarctica, this year saw a new record — the largest sea-ice covering since records began.
As has become typical in everything “climate,” the establishment press has largely refused to tell the truth about the purpose of the expedition — either ignoring the facts altogether, or claiming it was merely a “research” trip. A few have casually mentioned the “climate” connection in passing near the bottom of articles. The avoidance of reality is especially ironic considering that there are taxpayer-funded “journalists” from the alarmist BBC and the Australian ABC, as well as from the almost comically hysterical U.K. Guardian, onboard the ship hoping to capture “evidence” of “global warming.”
“Somewhere far, far to the south where it is summer, a group of global warming scientists are trapped in the Antarctic ice,” noted Newsbusters, a project of the non-profit Media Research Project, which regularly lambastes the media for its poorly concealed biases. “If you missed the irony of that situation, it is because much of the mainstream media has glossed over that rather inconvenient bit of hilarity.” Numerous other commentators have also pointed out the irony, but the establishment press continues to parrot its agenda with little regard for facts — or even humor, apparently.
As the alternative media and independent climate analysts began exposing the truth, critics promptly ridiculed the doomed expedition. Using the Twitter hash tag #ClitanicDisaster, commentators suggested the fiasco was yet another example of attempted global-warming propaganda backfiring in spectacular fashion. “There has been a strong and statistically significant upward trend in climate-change-related public-relations disasters,” wrote University of Sussex economics Professor Richard Tol, who also serves as a professor on the economics of climate change at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.
Others ridiculing the alarmists’ PR mega-disaster Tweeted an altered picture of the ship stuck in ice with its name changed to “An Inconvenient Truth,” a mocking reference to Al Gore’s discredited documentary warning of global-warming doom. “This episode has taken on a heightened comedic fiasco-like quality,” noted meteorologist Anthony Watts, president of IntelliWeather and editor of the prominent climate site “Watts Up With That?” (WUWT). “Now, with such a fantastic failure in full world view, questions are going to start being asked.”
Ironically, essentially the same embarrassing fate awaited other global-warming faithful earlier this year in the Arctic. Basing their trips on absurd “predictions” of an ice-free Arctic summer by 2013 — made by Al Gore, pseudo-environmentalist outfits, the BBC, and assorted “climate scientists” — several ships tried to sail through the Northwest Passage. Instead, they got stuck in the ice and had to be rescued, as the market-oriented environmental organization CFACT noted in a piece headlined “Gullible Green sailors trapped in the Arctic.”
“Global warming campaigners have been stymied by the lack of any temperature increase in the major temperature data sets since the nineties,” CFACT said in another article about the more recent sea-ice embarrassment in the south. “They’ve tried to compensate by feeding the media a steady stream of ‘extreme weather’ stories and with shrill claims about polar ice. However, historical and scientific data show today’s weather to be normal.”
In the real world, despite hysterical warnings of climate doom from taxpayer- and Big Oil-funded “experts,” even premier alarmist institutions and the UN have admitted that the data show “global warming” actually stopped some 17 years ago. Alarmists, somewhat humorously, perhaps, try to explain away the inconvenient facts by citing what critics refer to as “The Theory of The Ocean Ate My Global Warming.” Few independent scientists have bought into the controversial theory, which the Obama administration pressured the UN to include in its latest “global-warming” report. The “science” behind UN global-warming theories, meanwhile, has imploded.
In fact, many experts are now even forecasting global cooling.
Photo of MV Akademik Shokalskiy: AP Images
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. He can be reached at
Al Gore Forecasted “Ice-Free” Arctic by 2013; Ice Cover Expands 50%
Top Scientists Slam and Ridicule UN IPCC Climate Report
UN Carbon Regime Would Devastate Humanity
Arctic Ice Expands, Dispelling Myths of Climate Change
Climate Theories Crumble as Data and Experts Suggest Global Cooling
“Climate Science” in Shambles: Real Scientists Battle UN Agenda
Global-warming Alarmism Dying a Slow Death
Despite Lack of Global Warming, UN Sure Humanity Is to Blame
Obama & Allies Tell UN to Cover for Lack of Global Warming
Amid UN Climate Deception, Experts Decry Corruption of Science
UN Climate Summit Reaches Deal for Radical Treaty by 2015