Florida

Is PETA's Opinion for Sale?

PETA, you know the name. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, with its estimated 2 million members and supporters, is the largest animal rights organization in the world.

These are the do-gooders who purport to work for low non-profit wages. Here you’ll find volunteers and staffers who sacrifice their time with no other motivation than to protect animals from abuse - or so they want you to believe.

These are the folks who followed Beyonce Knowles into a restaurant in NYC to complain about the fur coat she was wearing - demanding that she trade it in for a fake fur.

These are people who erected billboard signs in Wichita, after the shooting death of abortion doctor George Tiller, urging people on both sides of the abortion debate to go vegetarian.

One sign says, "Pro-Life? Go Vegetarian." The other says, "Pro-Choice? Choose Vegetarian." After all, a human's life is worth no more than an animal's, according to PETA.

In fact, the organizations record of actually fulfilling its mission of protecting animals is negligible to say the least. According to the website www.PETAkillsanimals.com, an analysis of public records shows that PETA found adoptive homes for less than 1 out of every 300 animals in 2008, and the organization killed 95 percent of the dogs and cats in its care last year.

But raising fundraising to support the protection of animals isn’t PETA’s main revenue stream. PETA’s $34 million in revenue collected in 2008 came mainly from the groups corporate “friends” and from sales of PETA’s seal of approval.

PETA uses a tiered 3-level system. “Platinum Level” membership buys companies a “customized program to meet your goals.” The more you pay in, the greater of a friend you become and PETA wants its friends to be successful, very successful. Especially when PETA is taking their cut of the profits right off the top.

Examine PETA’s case against MasterCard. According to PETA, the Ringling Brother’s circus, has mistreated its animals. So, PETA being the good samaritan, launched the “NastyCard” campaign against MasterCard for sponsoring the event. As part of the “NastyCard” campaign, PETA encouraged MasterCard customers to cut up their cards and mail them to the company.

PETA then entered into an exclusive deal with Visa to offer a PETA Platinum Credit Card, which PETA received royalties of 1% of the purchases made with their exclusively branded Visa card. “Platinum Level” friendship with PETA - priceless.

PETA also receives kickbacks from items the group promotes as “recommended products” that are direct competitors to companies on the receiving end of a PETA attack campaign.

It seems, if you are a large corporation, or a special interest with financial clout, friendship with PETA definitely has its perks. If you want to play dirty with your competition, ruin their brand identify, or just scandalize their name - I know a marketing firm that can help you. They’re called the “Product Execution Task Agency”, also known as PETA.

Don't Bet on Crist Over Rubio

At about this time every three months, we have to endure the typical quarterly fundraising roundups. This one from The Hill shows the problem with the genre, headlined "FEC reports show Crist the man to beat in Florida." This in response to Crist raising an eye-popping $4.3 million in the 2nd quarter, against Marco Rubio's $340,000.

Crist may be a slight favorite in the Republican primary, but money will have nothing to do with why.

I bang this drum pretty often, but ask presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney how far early, high dollar bundler support got them. Or Virginia Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe on how much a 10-to-1 cash advantage is worth.

Underfunded candidates like Rubio don't need more money now. The need an argument. A bulletproof argument from a plausible candidate is worth tens of millions of dollars in any primary, overwhelming a financial advantage of any magnitude. While frontrunners confuse high-dollar fundraising for actual grassroots support, a conclusion that headlines like The Hill's do nothing to discourage, smart underdogs would do right to focus on building an impregnable message advantage. Because that's the part that counts for 90% in any electoral victory.

John McCain's campaign was defunct and broke at this point in the race, without money to pay a pollster. Mike Huckabee had no money. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani spent $60 million plus to win a single delegate, attending fundraisers when he should have been in New Hampshire. A leading Republican strategist recently told me that he wonders whether money doesn't wind up making our campaigns worse while the lack of money makes them better and more focused. Look at McCain with no money, vs. McCain with money (pre-implosion and general election).

Crist's fundraising aside, he's still a relatively popular governor with 100% name ID, and so still the "man to beat." But fundraising trophies don't make it so. Complacency is his biggest enemy.

Crist's campaign is the antithesis of Rebuildness. Of Crist's $4.3 million how much was online? How much came from donations of $100 or less? How many people have signed up on his e-mail list since he announced? How many of his supporters would crawl on glass to see him win?

In running a campaign, that latter kind of support is the kind I want, and I think Rubio has it.

And not only that, but he's a particularly strong and plausible kind of grassroots candidate. He's no Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul. Had Crist not stepped in, he'd be considered a top recruit and a rising star. Rubio would easily beat Kendrick Meek in a general election.

We have two uniquely talented people running for Senate in a seat we will probably hold in Florida. Instead of elbowing one aside, we should be grabbing the popcorn and watching this one go the distance.

The primary will be close. Among voters who know both, Crist and Rubio are tied. Crist's money will not buy him more name ID or goodwill; only his bully pulpit as Governor can do that, and he's surrendering it. Meanwhile, Rubio's talents as a candidate, his crossover potential, and his appeal to grassroots conservatives mean he has nowhere to go but up. I still think Crist narrowly wins absent a massive screwup, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it. Recent elections have not been kind to moneyed "frontrunners."

How #capandtr8tors have (unwittingly) made the case for Marco Rubio.

Wasting no moment after seeing the list of those eight wretched souls who betrayed us Friday on what could be the most important vote of their careers, I immediately started my search for primary challengers.  Like many Republicans, I watched the vote with bated breath, wondering if Eric Cantor's whip team could deliver the final blow after John Boehner's triumphant parliamentary smackdown earlier in the day.  Thus, when the final result came in, there was only one thing on my mind: vengeance.

I searched the internet until I found my prize: a self proclaimed political consultant and budding perrenial candidate in Delaware by the name of Christine O'Donnell.  The uncontested Republican nominee was destroyed by Joe Biden in the 2008 race for Senate, even as Biden ran for Vice-President.  However, I thought: Mike Castle, one of those wretched souls, is considering running  in the upcoming special election to replace Ted Kaufman.  Maybe we could support her... Maybe O'Donnell was underfunded...  Maybe, with the right campaign, with the right support, she could be our weapon to give Mike Castle the electoral punishment he deserved--and show him that we hold people accountable...

The desire to find someone to run against Castle was immense.  But then, reality set in: O'Donnell could never win, the GOP bench in the NE is virtually nonexistent, Beau Biden will soon return to attempt to claim his father's seat, and Mike Castle could be our only chance to stop him.  This sniveling, traitorous bastard who just voted for, among other things, the largest tax in history, could be our only chance.

And, it was at that moment that my thought was completed: our only chance to defeat Cap and Trade will come in the early fall at the hands of the U.S. Senate.  Post 2010, as we prepare to deal with the second half consequences of the President's term, can we afford to count on people like Mike Castle and Charlie Crist in the Senate to deliver for our principles when it really counts?

John Cornyn says that his justification for supporting Governor Crist was purely political: a crunch of name ID and popularity.  Concurrently, with the notable and honorable exception of Senator Jim DeMint, the party establishment has rejected Marco Rubio as a hopeless candidate and a political liability.   Through it all, our party leadership has clearly revealed itself as obsessed with the concept of electoral success and increasingly unconcerned with what this win-at-all-costs mentality means to not only our principles, but our chances of actually ever becoming a majority again.

It is clear that, should Charlie Crist be elected to the U.S. Senate, he will immediately cast himself in the mold of Mike Castle, and the Democrats will have one more ally on the other side of the aisle to betray his party's principles when they need him most.  And, unless we can change, we will continue to support and (sometimes) elect candidates that will leave us at the altar.  Instead of adhering to the true "big tent" values of the Republican party, we're whoring out the label of (R) to anyone who wants it, and paying big for the consequences.  We've backed ourselves into a corner, and we have to find a way to get out.

What Marco Rubio represents is not just a return to conservativism, nor is it just a younger generation picking up the torch-- it's a collective realization that recruiting folks that are unwaveringly committed to a core set of values is the only way that we can both elect new Republicans and count on them once they're on the floor.  If we can rebuild our backbench, nationwide, with people like him (they exist everywhere, we just have to find them), we can start the process of healing. 

Ronald Reagan's famous 80/20 quip is a great justification for the big tent philosophy we should have as a party.  Sure, many of us disagree on social issues, even a little on fiscal policy.  But, as Republicans, we need to know where to draw the line, and we need to see the consequences that are playing out in front of us for failing to see where it is. 

And, thus, the Republicans who voted for Friday's bill, including Rep. Castle, have shown us these consequences-- that, when you support lame candidates, you pay dearly.  Who knows how Governor Crist will betray us if he's elected to the Senate-- the more important question: is there anyone who thinks he won't?

To me, one of the  most depressing things about Friday's vote is that we're already locked into the consequences of this failure in Delaware in having to support Mike Castle.  In 2010, I'm not stepping a foot inside the state of Delaware for any candidate.  In public, I'll support Mike Castle.  But, if Beau Biden wins, at least we're not fooling ourselves.

- The author, James Barnes, is the Chairman of the College Republicans of the District of Columbia and can be reached at barnes.james@gmail.com

 

Change?? We need only ONE kind of change.. This is it!

Mealer Companies LLC also known as Mealer American Motors Corporation will succeed by manufacturing a variety of top-quality, extremely rugged products with a significant number of money-saving features and options to fulfill the needs of current and future clients. Whether it's the MEALER Automobile or the MEALER USA made laptop, Mealer Companies means more than just great products.

MealerAMC is the up and coming solution for theeconomic change the world needs.

By allowing the MEALER Bridge Vehicle to enter the market first, these automobiles will not only make a reputation of quality automobiles that are versatile, useful, performance oriented and innovative, but also economical and environmentally friendly. In addition to America's demand for a superior MPG internal combustion engine powered auto and the ability to begin building the “BV” immediately, they also appeal to a global market from the start.

Anticipation for our Flagship or Future Vehicle (FV) which provides the ecological solution decried by National governments, California (many times over) as well as the United Nations, will be immense. The solution for what many call disastrous, man-made-Global-Warming hasn't come about just yet, but the greenhouse emissions from fossil fueled cars, trucks and power plants will be resolved. What automaker can make that claim and prove it, besides MealerAMC?

The MEALER FV is designed to provide 3-phase power to a home or office or tent city for that matter when it is parked.

We are talking a fully programmable automobile with all the bells and whistles and safety requirements to race around a NASCAR track.

JL Mealer believes in the safety factor of his products to such an extent that he will demonstrate the safety features of the MEALER Automobile as a televised and living crash test dummy... He expects to play the dummy, so you don't have to.

The MEALER will fully demonstrate quality, reliability and retail potential of what American Ingenuity can produce and manufacture without the UAW, UAC and AFL-CIO restraints.

“Big deal!” Many readers say... “A new US automaker, it was bound to happen... I'm not excited in the least”.

Here's a big difference with Mealer Companies LLC. Employees with MealerAMC and any affiliate with Mealer Companies will be trained not only to build our great automobiles and power sources, but to eventually begin their own USA Manufacturing business where we will not let them fail.

They will become the new backbone for the US economy and will create countless jobs and opportunities for other Americans. Mealer Companies will have the connections for private funding to make these new businesses succeed with the proper training as upper management and CEO positions for their own LLC and Corporations.

Okay, MealerAMC will give us the beautiful and wide variety of MEALER automobiles we need and to top it off, we get a dependable power source for our homes. No Carbon Taxes! No Carbon Cap and trade! We are now free. If you happen to be lucky enough to work for Mealer Companies you will be trained in the clean Green manufacturing industry as well as the dirty much needed manufacturing industry, so that you can leave Mealer Companies and go out on your own with support and the backing of a wide variety of funding sources and experts in the field of making a fortune while re-building this great nation of ours.

Mealer Companies expects other institutions to do the same plan as and rally this nation back into the global leadership role the USA was meant to serve.

We as Americans are the builders and fabricators of the world.

As America, we lead the way when we fail and whenever we win.

So, stop crying and blaming Barney Frank, (even if it his fault)...

Let's grow a pair and fix this problem from the private sector because the spending and taxing gluttons in the US government are simply incapable of doing it.

Rule 11: Why Steele has no say on Crist

There were a series of questions about whether the RNC would endorse Arlen Specter. Michael Steele has been asked about endorsing Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. And now people are getting their underwear in a knot about Charlie Crist.

I hate to be super pedantic, but the RNC does not make the endorsement decision. A state's delegation to the Republican National Committee control that process. And Sharon Day, RNC Secretary and Florida Republican National Committeewoman, has refused to support an RNC endorsement:

Sharon Day, of Fort Lauderdale, who holds the post of national Republican committeewoman from Florida, refused Greer's request to sign a letter authorizing the national Republican Party to help Crist in the primary.

Party rules say the party must stay neutral in primaries unless all three members of the national committee from a state sign a letter authorizing the party to take sides. Greer, also a national committee member, and Paul Senft of Bartow, Florida's national committeeman, have both signed the letter.

This is the so-called "Rule 11". 

Can we not play gotcha politics with Michael Steele and his endorsement of various candidates? The guy's hands are tied.

 

The Unhelpfulness of Charlie Crist

Unless you've been living in a cave or something, you've heard that Charlie Crist is running for the U.S. Senate from Florida.

This is supposed to be great news. No credible Democrat will now run. And this will save the national party from investing lots of money in holding a seat in a swing state. The logic is impeccable. 

Except for the fact that with Crist out of state politics, it's open season on the Florida Governor's mansion. And holding on there is far from a sure thing, with old warhorse Bill McCullom the likely GOP nominee going up against much buzzed about Dem CFO Alex Sink. 

We might say that the Governorship of Florida is not Washington's problem -- except this is the same sort of short-term DC-centered thinking that gives us establishment favorites inimical to the grassroots. The GOP's revival will not come from Washington or from the Senate. It will come from the states. From an overarching party balance sheet perspective, we need to evaluate the potential loss of the Florida statehouse before stating whether Crist's move is a good thing. 

Florida is one of the few places left with a thriving Republican state party and multiple plausible statewide officeholders waiting in the wings. I would not have minded a competitive Republican primary between Connie Mack and Marco Rubio -- because either could win the seat -- combined with a safe Crist re-elect. The conservative legislature in Tallahassee has largely restrained Crist from enacting Obamaism in Florida. 

On the one hand, I'm glad that candidate recruitment seems to be going pretty darn well in the Senate. However, my antennae stand on end when these recruits are plucked from useful and key positions in the states, because those officeholders are strategically more important to party revival. The class of 1994 was packed with Newt Gingrich/GOPAC recruits from the late '80s for mayors, county commissioners, and state legislatures. Ultimately, we'll be able to tell more stories about successful Republican governance if we can point to a few jurisdictions we actually control, rather than being a slightly more effective opposition on Capitol Hill. 

Windows 7 download is now avilible for the public to download for free.

DOWNLOAD HERE windows_7_graphic

The wait is over folks, Microsoft has published the download page for the Windows 7 RC. As we noted earlier, the download was scheduled to launch tomorrow and was to be available worldwide. Coming straight from the download page, here are Microsoft’s notes for the release candidate:

  • You don’t need to rush to get the RC. The RC will be available at least through July 2009 and we’re not limiting the number of product keys, so you have plenty of time.
  • Watch the calendar. The RC will expire on June 1, 2010. Starting on March 1, 2010, your PC will begin shutting down every two hours. Windows will notify you two weeks before the bi-hourly shutdowns start. To avoid interruption, you’ll need to install a non-expired version of Windows before March 1, 2010. You’ll also need to install the programs and data that you want to use. (Learn more about installing Windows.)
  • Protect your PC and data. Be sure to back up your data and please don’t test the RC on your primary home or business PC.
  • Tech details/updates: Before installing the RC, please read the Release Notes and Things to Know for important information about the release.
  • Keep up with the news. You can keep up with general technical information and news by following the team blog. And, you can get non-technical news, tips, and offers by subscribing to the monthly Exploring Windows newsletter.
  • Keep your PC updated: Be sure to turn on automatic updates in Windows Update in case we publish updates for the RC.
  • Installation: You can install the Windows 7 RC on a PC running Windows Vista without backing up the PC—but we encourage you to make a backup for safe keeping. If you’re running Windows XP or the Windows 7 Beta, you’ll need to backup your data, then do a clean installation of the RC, then reinstall your applications and restore your data. If you need to do a backup, please see How to back up your PC for more details and a suggestion for how to backup a PC running Windows 7 Beta or Windows Vista.

So without further a-do folks, click here to go to Microsoft’s download center and download the Windows 7 RC. Microsoft has also launched the Technet download which you can find here. On a side note, it appears as if you will be issued a new product key for the RC. It is most likely going to give you the extended time for using the RC if you have downloaded from another source. Installation instructions can be found here.

If you’re wondering what has changed from the beta release to the RC, click here to read our guide. Is your system up-to-par for Windows 7? Microsoft has confirmed new system requirements for Windows 7.

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Florida Gov't Cancels Tea Party Fearing 'Too Many Attendees'

in

Remember this report from our nation's history?

CNN (Continental News Network) Boston, 1773: The city of Boston canceled a proposed protest over tea taxes today, citing the fear that too many people dressed as Indians would be gathered near the wharves. Organizers expressed sadness over the cancellation, but meekly returned to their homes fearful of upsetting the officers of the Crown. Taxmen breathed a sigh of relief as the tar and feathers were put away not to be used this day.

You don't remember that pre-revolutionary history? I should say you shouldn't, because it didn't happen. But flash forward a few hundred years and you'll find it is happening today in Cape Coral, Florida where city officials canceled a tax day tea party gathering because they "feel too many people could show-up."

That's right, folks, the God-given, long-held American right to assemble and protest the actions of our government has been canceled due to too much popularity of the protest.

And what does it come down to? Money. You see, the city officials want an insurance policy taken out so that organizers can cover any loss that might occur as a result of the rally. And those insurance policies cost hundreds of dollars.

The tea party organizers of Cape Coral, though, aren't the only ones to find this restriction of their free speech and rights to assemble. Tea party organizers all across the country have begun to find out just how difficult, if not impossible, it is to be "allowed" to exercise their God-given right to speak their minds against government excess and criminality. City governments all across the country are charging fees for "permits," forcing organizers to pay out huge sums for "insurance policies," and binding tea party organizers in all sorts of government red tape.

In many instances, organizers are being told that they aren't "allowed" to hold rallies on government property. Imagine that? We, the taxpayers of the city/state/federal government aren't "allowed" to gather on property that our own taxes paid for.

And then there are the "permits" required to reserve the day, arrange the police protection, and clean up afterward. Often those "permits" can only be applied for at certain times a year, precluding any spontaneous assembly. Also, these "permits" can be denied with no reason stated quashing at birth any plan to exercise the right of assembly.

Here one might wonder how it is that we so often see those lefties appearing on our TV sets engaging in their many organized protests? Don't the flotsam and jetsam of the far left seem to have large protests all the time? One might be drawn to imagine that the government is involved in some sort of grand conspiracy to allow those with anti-American sentiment, the moonbats of the left, to march with impunity. But, hold the tinfoil hats, won't you? Because the wackjobs of anti-war ilk and the shrill, circus acts of the Code Pinkos are expected to cut through the same red tape the tea party organizers have been confronted with. The lefties are just better at it.

You see, contrary to popular conception, the far left has some deep-pocketed backers (your George Soros types, unions and even government funds) and a raft of organizations that do "protests" as a full time job. Their protest marches and rallies are far from spontaneously organized. These groups are thoroughly knowledgeable about the red tape and governmental hoops through which they must jump to carry off a successful protest assembly. After all, the hatemongers of the left are intimately intertwined with city governments all across the country. They understand what needs to be done because, by and large, city officials used to belong to, or belong still to the sorts of groups that plan lefty protests. Your new president is one of them. Being part of government, these leftie protest marchers help write the rules, being intimately associated with government they are quite well informed about what is required and how to get around or satisfy those rules.

But the obstacles are coming as a shock to the average citizens that love this country. For their whole lives peace-loving, work-a-day Americans have taken for granted that there exists the freedom to assemble completely unaware that those rights have been eliminated by stealth regulation by governments all across the land.

And now the folks in Cape Coral, Florida have learned their lesson.

Americans do not have the rights they always thought they did. There is no right to protest government. There is no right to assemble. The people have no rights at all to voice their displeasure. Shut up people. Go home. Nothing to see here. Go quietly back to your IPods and DVDs. Big daddy government will take care of you. The Obemmessiah will decide what's best for you. Don't worry your little heads. Oh, and thank you for your payments on April 15th.

Put away the tar and feathers, won't you? There’s a nice fella.

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Conservatives for Educational Reform: Paving the Way to a Righter Day!

Are you concerned about the current state of our education system? How about the next generation of graduating seniors? Or your own children or grandchildren? Me too!

 I'm a Conservative Christian 5th grade teacher, mother of 2, doctoral student (Effects of Parental Involvement on Academic Intrinsic Motivation of Students), and author who wants to see a major reform in our education system - a return to ethics, morality, integrity, and values based on the principles on which our country was founded. Please visit my website so your voice can help ours grow stronger. No matter whether you're a teacher, a student, a parent, or a concerned citizen, your experiences, knowledge, and advice can help us all in this concerted effort. Thank you for your time.

Conservatives for Educational Reform: Paving the Way to a Righter Day!

Too Blessed to be Stressed,

Bekah

 

Bait Shop Owner Under Attack By City over Fish Painting

in

The ACLU finally gets one right by taking the side of a beleaguered bait shop owner in Clearwater, Florida that is under attack by city officials over a mural of game fish painted on the outside walls of his bait shop.

City officials are claiming that the fish painting is an "advertisement sign" that falls under a beautification ordinance prohibiting large signs for businesses. The City has fined the shop's owner Herb Quintero $700 and is warning that a further $500 a day fine can be imposed unless he paints over the fish.

But Quintero feels there is a fallacy in the City's position. The ordinance is supposed to prohibit large signs advertising for products sold within the establishment. Quintero says that the game fish painted on the side of his building are hardly "products" and that no words appear among the depictions of those fish to advertise for anything. His mural is art, not advertising, Quintero says. And in the somewhat run-down section of the city in which his bait shop is situated, that art adds to the beauty of the area.

In protest to the treatment he is receiving at the hands of the city, Quintero covered the fish with a banner displaying the First Amendment to the Constitution. But the city was no amused.

"Only in Florida could a business owner be targeted and fined for displaying artwork, and then in protest of the fine, display the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution -- and then be ticketed for that," said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida.

The ACLU is taking the city to court on behalf of owner Quintero.

This is a fight for a certain amount of free speech. All liberty minded Americans should hope for the ACLU to be victorious over this corrosive power of the city to impose itself on its citizens. Anyone interested in the rights of property owners should support Mr. Quintero in this fight. More of these thuggish city rules should be challenged throughout the country to put a check on the nanny state in which we increasingly live.

(Photo credit: DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD, Times)

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