The first time I heard the claim that man was causing global warming, I thought it was a joke. When I realized that not only weren’t they joking, they were deadly serious, I had to know why. They claimed CO2 was responsible for all kinds of evils, but I knew that CO2 was a nutrient necessary for life on our planet. I also knew that CO2 is emitted by every living creature in nearly everything we do. Reducing CO2 would require de-industralizing our country, destroying our economy, and reducing crop output. It would lead to deaths of living creatures. I determined to learn as much as I could about “global warming”, and find out what was behind it. For the last ten years or so, I have been reading, researching, and listening to actual scientists who study these disciplines.

This July I spent three days with hundreds of scientists at the 9th International Conference on Climate Change. These are experts in their fields, and they showed us a myriad reasons why Anthropogenic Global Warming is the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on man. You can watch videos of the Conference here: I recommend it highly.

One of the first things I discovered when I started researching global warming was a petition signed by more than 31,000 scientists in response to the Kyoto Accord. This petition said that warming and cooling cycles were normal for the planet, and that man’s activities have very little, if any, effect on climate. This demonstrated to me that there is no “consensus” of scientists on the matter. The petition was circulated only in the United States, so I would imagine the number of signatories would be even greater in the worldwide science community. You can see the petition for yourself:

I printed out the 31 pages of California scientists who signed the petition. I like to show it to people who try to tell me that “97% of scientists agree man is causing global warming”. They never fail to be shocked.

I was excited to meet the scientists who created and circulated the petition when they received awards at the conference. One of them, Dr. Willie Soon, has PhD’s in astrophysics and geoscience. He sat at my table at the conference. The group explained that when they circulated the petition, many leftist forces tried to sabotage it by sending in petitions signed by bogus people. That way, they could point out these fake signatures, and cast doubt on the petition’s validity. Too bad for the spoilers – the authors of the petition are no dummies! They caught every fraud, and vetted every signer!

Shortly before the conference the news broke that NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) had been manipulating temperature data. Here is one of the articles that I read about it: skeptic-says-government-manipulated-temperature-data/.

We tend to trust information from agencies such as these, but, remember, they are hired and funded by our government. If our government has an agenda, they would certainly not allow NOAA to deviate from it. NOAA seems to forget that other scientists across the country have been keeping data logs of their own. Several of the speakers showed us the data released by NOAA before and after 2000. It shows NOAA lowered the temperatures from the 1930s (the hottest period in US history) and raised the temperatures from the 1990s, just so they could claim 1998 as the peak hottest year. 1998 was not at all the hottest year, but since there weren’t any SUV’s to blame in the 1930s, that decade’s true data didn’t fit their narrative.

The Conference started with a reception where we met and mingled with the speakers. Lord Christopher Monckton is the rock star of climate change “skeptics”, and he was surrounded by admirers and reporters at every turn. The reception was followed by dinner with speakers such as Patrick Moore, PhD, founder and ex-member of Greenpeace, and John Coleman, former weatherman for “Good Morning, America” and former CEO of the Weather Channel.

Patrick Moore spoke about founding Greenpeace and protesting against nuclear power, whaling, and the killing of baby seals. He is still an environmentalist, as are all of us who want clean air and water (which we currently have). Dr. Moore now agrees that nuclear power is the cleanest, safest form of energy. He pointed out the tactic of scaring the public to serve a political agenda. The movie “Clear and Present Danger” scared America away from nuclear power. Dr. Moore showed us pictures of his early years in the movement. He resigned from Greenpeace when they started pushing the Global Warming meme, which he knew wasn’t true.

John Coleman spoke about starting the Weather Channel, and then resigning from it when the rest of the board voted to change data to support the Global Warming agenda. This was a theme that ran all through the Conference, and was emphasized over and over. The data we are being given has been manipulated to fit a political agenda. For us to make intelligent decisions, we have to have factual information.

Another scientist at my table was William M. Gray, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science, and expert in tropical meteorology. His specialty is hurricanes. In his talk on “Climate Change and the Hydrosphere”, he showed us evidence that there are actually fewer hurricanes now than in the last 30 years. Here is a great video on the topic:

The claims Al Gore made in his “Inconvenient Truth” film about there being more hurricanes were never true. In fact, an English court ruled that the “factual inaccuracies” (aka: blatant lies!) in the Al Gore documentary must be pointed out to the audience whenever the film is shown.
Many of the speakers brought up the fact that CO2 is only a little over 3% of the “greenhouse gases”, and that man contributes about 2% of that 3%. It is beyond statistically insignificant. No one is saying man isn’t contributing any CO2, but his contribution isn’t significant enough to change either temperature or climate.

Anthony Watts, a meteorologist, is the founder of the most-viewed climate website, “Watts Up With That” ( He is also a three-time winner of the Best Science Blog award. I found his website years ago. When he founded it, he posted a list of all the temperature stations across the country, and asked people living near them to go photograph them, and see if they comply with the regulations for their locations and upkeep. What he learned is that a majority of the stations are located in areas that affect the readings. They are in the middle of parking lots, near air- conditioning or heating units, over waste treatment plants, etc. Mr. Watts even tested the type of paint used on the stations, and found that it affected the temperature readings. His point is that if we can’t trust the temperature readings to be accurate, why would we destroy our economy, and completely reorder our lives?

This graph was shown by several speakers. It shows all the climate change projections. None of them take into consideration the effects of sun or cloud cover. They all predict warming, but the actual data (in blue and green at the bottom of the graph), shows just how far off they are. They don’t even match the actual data from previous years!

There were so many interesting speakers! Astronaut Walt Cunningham and Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov, expert in solar physics and solar terrestrial physics and head of space research at the Pulkovo Observatory in Russia, as well as head of the Selenometria Project on the International Space Station, spoke about how solar activity has the greatest influence of all on temperature and climate. Oddly enough, it isn’t included in any of the climate models.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor at the University of Houston, where he directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture. He has written nearly 300 articles for Forbes magazine, and the book “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power behind the Global Warming Hoax”.

There were dozens of experts in the fields of atmosphere, climate, and related sciences. The entire list of speakers is on the Heartland website, for those who want to learn more.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California gave a very entertaining talk on all the scary government claims of the last 30-some years, which have all been wrong. Yes, every last one. The government loves to scare us and spend billions of our tax dollars
to combat some phantom threat. However, when said threat is inevitably proven false, we never get an apology or an explanation. So many people are left thinking the government actually solved something. I’ll bet some of you once believed hair spray caused holes in the ozone layer, didn’t you?

One of the highlights of the Conference was Lord Monckton, Lady Margaret Thatcher’s science advisor. He is always entertaining. He goes to all the UN Earth Summit conferences, where he is one of the few voices of reason. The press never tells the public the contents of the agreements the UN always wants all the countries to sign. Lord Monckton does his best to inform us. He travels the world, trying to educate people about the consequences of these agreements. Several videos of his speeches have gone viral, and were in great measure responsible for our Congress not signing
UN agreements that would compromise our sovereignty. He showed us a recent video that had almost three million hits in two days, but the views mysteriously dropped off the day after that. He learned that someone paid over $250,000 to have searches for his name redirected to fake websites! The global warming alarmists can’t prove him wrong, so they keep trying to silence him.

Lord Monckton was kicked out of the Durban Summit, but he is not one to be deterred – he and Craig Rucker ( parachuted in! Last year’s climate summit proposed reducing CO2 by 100%. Yes, 100%! This would require all living things to stop exhaling. What a perfect example of how insane the alarmists are! It’s worth noting that most regulations and penalties are levied against America, and not any other country. One of the agreements strove to invalidate all American patents. These things would be laughable, if they weren’t so deadly serious, and if our own representatives didn’t keep trying to sign these moronic agreements. Like Agenda 21, which Congress signed with nary a peep.

This is what Lord Monckton had to say about the conference:

Many of the scientists and experts explained that temperatures haven’t risen in 17 years and 10 months. Even the IPCC, Phil Jones, and other climate alarmists have had to concede that fact. CO2 has been rising, but that is a good thing – it has made the earth more lush and green and created greater crop yields. One of the panels showed greenhouse plants injected with CO2 as compared to plants that didn’t receive injections. The CO2 plants were about five times bigger, with bigger root systems and more leaves. CO2 is the life’s blood of plants, just as oxygen is for man. CO2 is not, and never has been, a pollutant. It is a nutrient necessary for life. Reducing CO2 will lead to lower crop yields, and, eventually, widespread famine. The Jurassic period had 17 times more CO2 than we do now, and there was abundant plant life. More CO2 is better!

Not one prediction the climate alarmists have made has come true. Al Gore said we’d be flooded by the year 2000. That didn’t happen. He said polar bears were dying. There are more polar bears now than 30 years ago. They can swim for 60 miles, and live half their lives in the water. They are in no danger whatsoever. He said there would be more hurricanes and tornadoes, but there are fewer. He said the glaciers were melting, but they aren’t. He said CO2 increases cause temperature increases. Current data proves that false beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Temperature and climate are affected by solar activity, ocean currents, cloud cover, and several other factors (some of which I wasn’t previously aware of). Climate has been changing since the beginning of time, and will continue changing. Man may contribute CO2 to the atmosphere – all living things do – but that’s a good and healthy thing!

The life’s blood of our economy is energy. Cheap, abundant energy is what made this country the richest, most successful country in the world, one with the highest standard of living, and the cleanest environment. Rich countries are always the cleanest. Shipping our industries to places with fewer environmental regulations doesn’t affect the environment one iota, but it does destroy our economy by redistributing our jobs and wealth to other countries. Why are so many countries so poor? Because they don’t have access to cheap, abundant energy. This isn’t because they lack resources, it’s because they signed Earth Summit agreements that don’t allow them to use fossil fuels, and they can’t afford wind or solar power, which is ten times more expensive. The agreements force Western countries to pay for poor countries’ outrageously expensive wind and solar energy.

The good news is that we are winning the debate. Five years ago, Global Warming was one of the top concerns of American citizens. Today, it isn’t even in the top 15! As the years pass, and all the dire predictions fall flat, people stop believing the lies. When the alarmists keep claiming if it’s hot, it’s global warming, If it’s snowing, it’s global warming, rain?, global warming, drought?, global warming, impotence, car accidents, post-nasal drip, and a thousand other things, it’s laughable. It’s Chicken Little on steroids.

Do you wonder, if the actual data shows no significant warming, and human activity has little to no effect, and more CO2 is a good thing, why, then, do our president and the progressives keep pushing laws that restrict our consumption of energy? Why are they trying to force us our of our cars, and into smaller homes? If they got their way, what would our country be like? Would we still be free?

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Karen Bass just loves us. She is always so-o-o-o happy to see us show up. She makes sure to point us out to the rest of her constituents. There is a group of us that tries to go to all her townhalls. Yes, we are aware that she doesn’t give a rat’s ass what we think. While we do get perverse pleasure out of being a thorn in her side, we aren’t there for her, we are there for her constituents. If we can influence even one person ~ which we have done ~ it’s worth the effort.

Before the Karen Bass townhall, the LA-Santa Monica Tea Party had Trevor Loudon, author of “The Enemies Within”, speak at their meeting. He is from New Zealand, and has previously written a book on Obama’s radical associations. His new book names many of the radicals in our government. He said we may wonder why a New Zealander would care so much about the fate of America, but if America falls, so will the rest of the Western countries. America has been the peacekeeper of the world. Who better? What other country has been as generous as America?

Mr. Loudon pointed out all the ways progressives are undermining America, but, just as we were all ready to slit our wrists, he rallied us with a call that we, the Tea Party, didn’t know our own power. We are so much more powerful than we believe. The leftists are scared to death of us. The fact that they spend so much time demonizing us indicates how frightened they are. In 2010, we gave the Republican party record numbers of Congressmen; we got them the House. Plus, we gave America more Republican governors and state legislatures. And, just weeks ago, we did something that had never been done before ~ we voted a majority leader out of office. Mr. Loudon said we have to work very hard to take back the Senate this year, and the White House in 2016. And we can’t allow the GOP to force Jeb Bush on us, or we’ll certainly lose.

Trevor went with us to Karen Bass’ townhall. I don’t remember much of what she said, since it was all propaganda, but she did say she sponsored a bill that would forgive college loans if the student spends ten years working in “public service”. Oh, great, who is going to leave “public service” after ten years to try and establish themselves in an actual career? What a soul-sucking proposition that is!

The Congresswoman changed her Q&A routine. She now has four people ask questions before she answers them. This way, she really doesn’t have to answer direct questions. I reminded her that I had previously asked her whose jobs the illegal aliens would be taking, and that she had replied that they were already working (which I believe is against the law). I told her she had been correct, since a recent Labor Board report said all the job gains since 2000 had gone to legal and illegal immigrants. Then I asked her to explain to her constituents how illegal immigration helped them, and why she refused to protect the sovereignty of this country and the Rule of Law, something she had sworn on the Bible to do. Keith followed me, and asked her about the 14th Amendment. He was followed by Trevor Loudon, who asked her about her numerous trips to Cuba (which is not legally allowed). Her answers to all of us were evasive, yet telling. She said everyone knew her position on illegal immigration, that she is completely for it (yes, she fully admitted she was for illegal immigration!) She said she did follow the Constitution (in complete contradiction to her previous answer!) and that she thought there were plenty of jobs to go around (which begs the question, why are almost a hundred million Americans out of work?) She said we have infrastructure that is crumbling (weren’t “shovel-ready jobs” funded by one of the Stimulus Bills?) She then addressed Trevor’s question about Cuba, by saying she had traveled there several times, both before and since being in Congress, and was for “normalizing relations with Cuba”.

After the townhalls, we like to stay around and talk to people. I did a short interview for a Breitbart reporter, and overheard a woman asking Keith why he would join a racist group like the Tea Party (Keith always wears his Tea Party T-shirts to these events). I joined the conversation, and the woman glared at me, and called me a racist. I asked her why she thought that, and she said it was because I had used the term “illegal alien”. I told her that was the legal term. Keith continued to try to engage her in a calm, respectful way, but she just got more and more angry. You win some, you lose some.
Several people came up to us, and thanked us for saying the things we had said. And several asked where they could find some of the information we mentioned. I consider that a victory!

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My friend Clarence asked whether I had seen “America” and if I had, did I like it? This is what I told him.
I cried through most of it. Listening to people who are supposed to be Americans trash their own country is hard to take. I’m overwhelmed by the knowledge that we are being brought down from within. I think back to Khrushchev saying that’s what would happen. He said they (progressives, a.k.a. communists) would feed us socialism one little bite at a time.
One of the criticisms of the movie was that it trivializes slavery. I didn’t see anything that trivialized slavery, but what I assume they are talking about is that the movie put slavery in perspective. The left hates that. Slavery, especially, must never be put in perspective. All must universally acknowledge that slavery was the most evil act since the beginning of time, and all white men are to blame for it. Where would the race-baiters be if white men stopped accepting the blame for slavery? Unfortunately for them, the reality is that America didn’t invent slavery, and neither did white men. Slavery has existed since the beginning of time, and in every culture. The movie pointed out that there where more indentured servants than slaves, and those indentured servants were white. They may have eventually been freed, but they were slaves just the same during their indenture. Why don’t we hear from the decedents of indentured servants? The movie also pointed out that, before the Civil War, there were more black slave owners than white ones. I had not known that, & found it interesting.
The leftist talk of America being imperialistic is simply not supported by fact. What countries are colonies of ours? Which are governed by us? Yes, we have troops in various countries, but they are there to keep peace, not to govern… And look what happened when we didn’t leave any troops behind in Iraq! As Colin Powell said, the only land America has ever asked other countries for is to bury our dead (who fought to protect them!) Americans are the kindest, least racist, most generous people on earth. Please tell me, lefties, who is more generous than America? Who is first on the scene of any disaster? What other countries leave war-torn countries in better shape than they found them? What country is less racist? I keep waiting for these people to tell me what country is better… And why it is they aren’t living there.
Every country in the world has been conquered by another at some point. We fought a war with Mexico, and won. We
could have kept ALL of Mexico after that war, but we gave half of it back. We signed a treaty, and paid for the land we kept. That is more than other countries have done with conquered lands. The America haters never talk about what other countries do when they conquer lands.
This week, on Megyn Kelly’s show, Dinesh D’Souza debated Bill Ayers. Dinesh pointed out that most of the Indians weren’t killed by settlers, but died of diseases they had no immunity to. Just the same as thousands of Europeans, when Asians brought diseases into their lands. Dinesh said genocide is the intent to kill a people, and that most Indians died of disease, which is not genocide. Ayers countered that Americans did want to kill them, and steal their land. Dinesh’s movie points out that, just as countries have been conquered by other counties around the world, Indian lands were taken over when stronger tribes conquered weaker ones. Apparently, man’s desire for conquest has existed since time immemorial. As far as I can see, it isn’t going to stop anytime soon.
Dinesh clearly loves this country, as do I. We aren’t perfect, but who is? We’ve made mistakes, but who hasn’t? I may have issues with what our government has been doing, but the people of this country are the kindest, most generous, least racist people on earth.
Yes, Clarence, I loved America… as I wiped away tears.

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I knew our universities had become laboratories of leftist thought, but, as it turns out, things are much, much worse than that.

I still believed the students were getting an education… Even while they were being indoctrinated. But, apparently, except, perhaps, for hard sciences, that isn’t the case anymore. Did you know that most universities are mandating professors to give all their students no less than a B- grade?

The American Freedom Alliance held their June conference last Sunday and Monday. The conference was entitled “Failing Grades: The Crisis In Teaching On Our University Campuses”. University professors from around the world were invited to discuss what has happened to our universities.

The conference started with John Ellis speaking about a study he did on the University of California system, and the corrosive effects of political activism on the campuses. Professor Ellis is President of the California Association of Scholars. He is a German Literature professor at UC Santa Cruz and Dean of UCSC’s Graduate Division. His study found a 40-to-one, or higher, ratio of leftist professors to conservative professors. Required programs, core courses, and general reading lists were all primarily left-leaning. Dr. Ellis explained that, although the public is alarmed by the politicization of our universities, there is little or no examination of how such professors got there. When the public hears some of the leftist anti-conservative and anti-American rants from professors, they want those professors removed, but the root of the problem is never addressed. What is more important than the absence of conservative professors on university campuses is the presence of so many radical leftist professors.

Dr. Ellis pointed out that everything changes when universities have political goals. Ideas protected from examination are likely to be ones that can’t hold up under examination. “Social justice” is a vague, but somehow appealing term. Who doesn’t want justice? Universities are deceiving students. The last person you should look to for “social justice” is the man foolish enough to think he knows what that is.

Dr. Ellis told us the best place to shed light on how radical our campuses have become is to look through their catalogues of classes. “Queer Gardening”, “Fantasy and Desire in the EU”, etc., etc., ad infinitum. History departments have no courses on America’s founding, but many on feminism, race, and environmentalism.

In his research, Dr. Ellis discovered things even more alarming than the above. Through politicized curricular choices and omissions, the students are receiving an impoverished education. We are graduating students who write poorly, cannot read any reasonably-complex material, have alarming gaps in knowledge of history, and are generally poorly-equipped to join the workforce. Students are graduating with debts upwards of $100,000, but no skills critical to earning a living.

The next speaker, Professor Roberta Seid, who specializes in European Social History and teaches Gender Studies at USC, said the university told her that her purpose was to recruit students to “feminism”. She told us of a student who came to her and said, “I can’t read, what can you do for me?” Professor Seid told her “nothing”. She explained to this student that she wasn’t a remedial reading teacher. The student then asked if she could turn in an art project instead of the required paper. Dr. Seid told her the class required reading, and she would have to learn to read and return then. How was such a young woman accepted as a student?

We learned that the Board of Regents has become virtually impotent in most respects. They have ceded authority to the chancellors. However, the two things they are still adamant about are affirmative action and quotas (both of which have recently been ruled illegal). Sherry Lansing is one of the regents, and she dismissed the entire Ellis study with hostility. Even though his study was based on the university’s own statistics, Miss Lansing said it was anecdotal. Minority and foreign students who don’t qualify for admission are admitted in droves, while qualified American students are rejected. I have to say that my observation of the students on the USC campus where the conference was held bears this out.

There were panels of speakers throughout the day, covering such subjects as “Who is Teaching Our Students?”, “Politicization of the Classroom & Psychological Barriers to Inclusion”, “Where Are the Trustees?”, and “Alternatives to Our Current Models”.

Brian Kennedy, President of the Claremont Institute, explained that universities no longer focus on the search for truth. It is hard to find any university that still believes in the founding principles of this country. There has been a hundred-year war on human understanding, and the enemy is winning. Everything is defined by race, religion, and “class”. The good news is that people seeking the truth can still find it… If they look for it outside the higher education system.

Guy Milliere, Professor at the University of Paris VIII, former President of the Turgot Institute in Paris, and an economist at the Bank of France has authored forty published books on France, Europe, the United States, Israel, and the Middle East. He explained that there are no private universities in France. All universities are owned by the government, and all the professors are nothing more than civil servants waiting to retire. They care little about educating students. He said if a professor gave a bad grade to a student who earned it, he would get a call from the university president telling him he better change it, because it was harming their reputation. He explained that society is being shaped by “intellectuals”, not scholars. Intellectuals want absolute power, and are willing to destroy society and people’s lives in order to achieve it. They cannot allow the public to be truly educated.

Several professors explained that they are now mandated to give no less than a B- grade to all students. Some were told they must have an A- average. One told of a student who turned in a paper that was unreadable. When the student asked what the professor thought of her paper, he told her to write it in English. She brought it back the next day, clearly having paid someone to edit and correct it. This is happening on a regular basis. The speakers said there is a sizable cottage industry of paper-writing services around every campus. The student in the above instance didn’t learn from her mistake, she simply paid someone to correct it.

Victor Davis Hanson was the keynote speaker of the conference. He is a Senior Fellow in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007. He spoke about universities’ general purpose, which, until the 1960s, was to educate, not to “mold” minds. The 60s, 70s, and 80s were affluent decades, but Baby Boomers thought that since America wasn’t perfect, she can’t have been good. It was from that time that things like “Women’s Studies”, “Black Studies”, “Latino Studies”, and so forth all sprouted. For every questionable subject added, another subject was dropped, and those casualties inevitably included American History, the Civil War, American Literature, and so on. I keep asking what, exactly, does a degree in “Women’s Studies” qualify a student for? What job calls for that?

Dr. Davis Hanson went on to describe the leftist technocrats who reduce history to cardboard characters, with no discussion of the human condition during historic periods. They decide what is good and bad. Professors live in comfort, vacation at lavish resorts, and drive SUV’s, all the while damning the very things that provided them with those luxuries. They support any changes that will deny comfort to the rest of us, and strive to render themselves immune from those changes.

Dr. Davis Hanson explained that military history is no longer being taught at all. It has been replaced by “Peace Studies”, but studying “peace” has never prevented wars. We need to know how wars are won. We have created a citizenry that is ignorant of history. There are countries dependent on us for peace. They signed treaties with us, saying they would not build up their own militaries, or produce their own nuclear weapons, because we would protect them. Reducing our nuclear arsenal makes them, and us, less safe.

Dr. Davis Hanson reminded us that we don’t have to be perfect to be good.

The Monday session of the conference consisted of a roundtable of all the speakers discussing what could be done to improve our university systems. We came up with a list of recommended changes. I don’t hold out hope that these can be implemented under the current administration, but we need to shine a light on our universities’ extreme politicization, so that a future administration might implement them.

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When I moved to the San Fernando Valley with my two daughters 35 years ago, there was hardly an empty store front the entire length of Ventura Boulevard, which extends from Woodland Hills to North Hollywood.

Within blocks of our house there were dozens of great boutiques. A shoe store called The Shoe Connection took up an entire first floor of a building. It had such an extensive inventory, you couldn’t, possibly, walk out empty-handed, as you were sure to find something you couldn’t resist.

There was a designer boutique in Encino which had such great annual sales, people would line up for hours before the doors even opened. One discreet mall had four clothing boutiques, a designer menswear store, a high-end denim shop, a very tony shoe boutique, Chico’s and M. Frederick’s, and my favorite Chinese place, Chin Chin. There was also a famous hair salon, and a few other restaurants. Not a single one of those places is still there.

Those stores were the flowers that bloomed in the rich soil of a free-market economy. I loved shopping at those boutiques. I always found something special and unique that couldn’t be found anywhere else. One boutique had hand-knit and crocheted sweaters. Even the big malls on the boulevard had unique stores and unusual boutiques like ICE. Not anymore. It’s all the same stores in every mall now, all carrying the same merchandise.

Those cute little shops of a bygone era did well from the time I moved to the area, until the early 1990s. They seemed to start disappearing when our government signed on to Agenda 21. Since that fatal time, it has become more and more difficult for small businesses to survive. After all, if your goal is to align America’s economy with that of other countries, if your aim is to “redistribute” America’s wealth and ration American energy, you can’t really allow entrepreneurs to thrive.

There are now dozens of empty store fronts along every Main Street in the country. When I drive down Ventura Boulevard, I see more empty stores every day. Last week I read that sixteen big-name retailers would be closing a third of their stores, all across the country.

Los Angeles is the second largest city in America, you would think we’d have a branch of every imaginable chain store. For example, there used to be a Nine West store in every mall, but I don’t think there is a single one still left in all of Los Angeles County.

I looked up other locations for stores that have closed in my area, and found that one opened up in a small town outside Los Angeles County. Why would a national retailer move to a small town, and out of Los Angeles, which surely has more potential customers?

Even the big department stores in the malls have changed. They carry less merchandise, and offer fewer choices. They look more like secondhand shops than upscale stores. I am always amazed that people will pay $200 for a pair of jeans that look like they were taken off a homeless person. T-shirts that look like something you’d wear to paint the house retail for $100.

I find that I have to go shopping again and again, just to find things that used to be readily available all the time. I notice that stores carry fewer and fewer items in any given line of products. And as for customer service? It’s become a laughable concept.

I feel sorry for grocery stores who are trying to cope with the plastic bag ban. They can’t provide the kind of service they used to. If you forget to bring bags, they cannot offer you one, they are obligated to charge you for it. The cashiers always seem uncomfortable when they have to ask if you’d like to buy a paper bag. The reusable cloth bags are too soft to stay open, so the baggers have to hold them open with one hand, as they fill them with the other. It’s awkward and inefficient. They can’t bag cleaning products separately from the groceries, unless you have brought an extra bag. They can’t double-bag things. They are simply not allowed to offer you the kind of service they used to.

Eighty percent of all American jobs are in small businesses. The economy is not just bad because people have less money to spend. It is bad because small businesses are being squeezed out of existence. Regulations, taxes, and obamacare are the nails in their coffins. Our choices are being limited every step of the way. The beautiful flowers that once lined our streets are dying.

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United IE Conservative Conference
Protecting the American Dream

I got up at 5:00am on Saturday morning, and drove two hours to Riverside for a conference. It was well worth the trip. I must congratulate the United Inland Empire Conservative Conference. They are a group of Tea Parties and conservative clubs that only just joined together this year. They were able to put together a program that was both informative and entertaining. The Los Angeles area Tea Parties and conservative clubs could learn from their example.

I haven’t been to an event with so many of our favorite conservative speakers. Not only Ann Coulter, but also Dinesh D’Souza, and Guy Benson, Kurt Schlichter, Stephen Kruiser, Tony Katz, Evan Sayet and Brad Dacus.

I’ve lived in Los Angeles too long, and have forgotten what small town America is like. Most of the people who attended this Conference were from cities and towns in the Inland Empire. People approached me, introduced themselves, started conversations. There were over five hundred attendees, and they were active and enthusiastic. I didn’t meet anyone who was “burned out” or pessimistic. Not only weren’t they willing to give up and give in, they had just begun to fight. I came away from this event feeling more hopeful than I have in a long time.

The program started with a panel that included James Poulos (writer, lawyer, rocker), Ben Judge from the Claremont Institute, and Owen Brennan from Madison McQueen Publications. They spoke about the problems we are facing.

Brad Dacus from the Pacific Justice Institute followed. He told us some of the important legal actions they have taken against the government. One of them is the fight against the trans-gender bathrooms and dressing rooms which are being forced on our kids in public schools.

Tim Donnelly spoke next. I’ve heard him speak numerous times as he campaigns across the state. I like what he says, I think he’d be a good Governor, but I don’t think he has a hope in hell of being elected. I’m afraid no Republican can be elected, now that California is a Latino-majority state. Our state legislature just keeps finding new goodies to hand out to illegal aliens. Republicans can never win the “free goodies” war without completely giving up the Rule of Law, the Constitution, and our principles.

Guy Benson from Townhall spoke after Tim. He talked about the importance of social media and public commentary. He pointed out how Andrew Breitbart changed the way people get news.

After a mid-morning break, there was a panel consisting of Kurt Schlichter, Stephen Kruiser, and Tony Katz… and  all hell broke loose. As each panelist would pace the stage with free form commentary on the leftist agenda, the others whipped out pads of paper on which they wrote hashtags that either supported or mocked the speaker.

Pete Peterson, a Republican candidate for Secretary of State, spoke about why he specifically wanted to do that job, as opposed to using it as a stepping stone. He was followed by Woody Woodrum, who spoke about the forming of the Tea Party California Caucus, which works within the Republican party in an effort to bring it back to its original principles.

Linda Paine from Election Integrity Project spoke about the progress made by her group. Besides observing the polls and reporting irregularities, they have been verifying the voter rolls. They found more than 30,000 voters registered more than once ~ some registered as many as five times! They also found 18,000 dead people who have been voting. In the 2012 election, an extremely high number of people voted “provisionally”. Is this voter fraud? Yes, it does exist, and in numbers that can change an election.

Pastor Jack Hibbs from Calvary Chapel Chino Hills led us in prayer for our country. We can never forget the importance religious freedom has on our liberty and our founding. Pastor Hibbs said when people ask him if he’s heard of “separation of church and state” he replies, “no, I haven’t, point it out”. He said that the media can tell a million people a lie, but a million of us can each tell one person the truth. So, we all need to tell the truth, even if we think no one is listening.

Evan Sayet followed, with his always intelligent and entertaining look at leftist thinking. He said the left has turned “thinking” into a hate crime… So thinking is something they will not do. The left calls America a “colonial power”, but after WWII we had so much power, we could have taken over the world, but we didn’t even take over Canada! The left condemns us for using two-thirds of the world’s energy….Because we have plugs!  We have technology that needs to be plugged in. The left says the Sudanese don’t have cable… Maybe it’s because while they were beheading people, one of them was the cable guy.

The day’s event ended with Dinesh D’Sousa. After a standing ovation, he showed us a clip of his new movie, and spoke about the threat Obama is to this country, and how terrifying it is to have your government coming after you. He talked about how this administration encourages people to look to government to solve their problems. He said that people need to look to themselves first ~ what can they do to improve their own lives… Work harder, or go back to school? If that isn’t enough, then they can go to their family ~ how can they help? If that still isn’t enough, the communities and the churches are always ready to provide support. Government should only ever be the very last resort. Two days later, Dinesh pleaded guilty to violating the campaign contribution law. Was this, as Valerie Jarret promised, “payback” for his “2016” movie? What do you think??

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In my entire lifetime I’ve never seen our country so angry, ugly, and divided. What baffles me most is why so many people don’t see, or won’t admit, this administration’s role in the dismal mood of the country.

With 92 million Americans out of work, businesses closing, more people on food stamps than ever before, energy prices skyrocketing, and the world exploding, our president (between vacations, golfing, and fundraising) found the time, not to talk about what to do about any of these things, but to comment on the Clippers’ owner’s stupid words! He actually had the gall to tell us America is still struggling with racism! Really? While all of us readily admit there are still racists in the world, there are dramatically fewer of them now than in the past.

What might this president have said if he was trying to unite us and diffuse a rancorous situation? He could have said any number of things. That America has come a long way since the days of slavery. That America is the least racist country in the world. That his own presidency is evidence of that progress. That, in a free country, people are always going to say stupid things. Or that we are all Americans, and we need to forgive when people say stupid things and move on. After all, who among us has never said something we wish we hadn’t?

We have always had national political disagreements, and some have been very contentious, but there was never anything of this magnitude. We don’t agree to disagree anymore, we have become hateful and vengeful. Those of us on social media have experienced the vicious responses to what was previously widely accepted as traditional values. We are called “haters”, cursed at, and worse. Especially conservative minorities. Read some of the tweets Stacey Dash received when she supported Romney. Before Obama was elected I never lost a friend over political differences. Since 2008, I’ve lost many. Not because of anything I said to them, but simply because I’m a Conservative.

This contentiousness is also encouraged by the media. There is no pretense of objectivity any longer. Liberal talking heads are quick to call people racist or bigoted. The left calls the right evil. Evil? We no longer have a difference of opinion on how to solve problems, we are now evil for having an opinion that differs. And, again, if our president’s goal was to lead this country, rather than “fundamentally transform” it, he could diffuse the contentiousness.

This week HGTV cancelled “Flip It Forward”, without it ever having been aired. HGTV knew of David and Jason Benham’s Christian beliefs, but when the show was placed on the channel’s fall lineup, LGBT activists demanded the show be cancelled. What is so disturbing is that no one even puts up a fight, they just cave in to the gay bullies. The Benhams have done so much good: their show was about helping people who can’t afford a home to buy one and fix it up. Even though their show is cancelled, they plan to fulfill their commitments to the people they were helping. They will do this at their own expense. And they bear HGTV no ill will. I find this position far more admirable than the gay mafia’s brutal campaign to not just silence Christians, but to actually destroy them.

Apparently, in today’s America, if you are a person of faith, you don’t deserve a job. But notice the hypocrisy in the fact that HGTV is able to choose whom they do business with, but a Christian florist or baker isn’t.

I am very troubled by the LBGT position. I was not aware that gays were being mistreated before “gay marriage” became an issue. Every corporation I know gave gay partners the same benefits as spouses. I’m not aware of gays being denied jobs due to their sexual preferences. I’ve worked with gays at every job I’ve ever had. However, their vengeful position of complete public crucifixion of people of faith, and their desire to ruin people who believe in traditional marriage hurts, more than helps them, in my opinion. I think they would attract more people to their cause if they acknowledged that Christians don’t hate them, and emphasized that people should not be punished for their beliefs. I don’t know how you can demand tolerance from others while being totally intolerant.

People shouldn’t have their livelihoods taken from them for saying something stupid. Look at all the people who have lost their jobs over some stupid remark. Nothing else they have done in their lives matters. The mob immediately yells, “Off with their heads!” There is no discussion, no reflection, no examination of whether or not their words were a reflection of their actions. Actions speak louder than words. How have these people acted?

For example, Brendan Eich of Mozilla lost his job because he donated money to support traditional marriage. A position the majority of us hold. Did he discriminate against gays? No. Did he deny them equal benefits? No. Did he deny them jobs? No. Did he treat them differently than anyone else? No one has made that claim. So, what, exactly, was his crime? Being a man of faith?

The majority in this country are still people of faith. They believe that traditional marriage of one man and one woman is what God intended. Believing that changing the definition of marriage diminishes the sanctity of the institution is not anti-gay. I don’t believe for one second that the majority of Americans all of a sudden changed their minds about traditional marriage. We know the polls say we did, but no one I personally know has changed their mind. What has happened is that we are being intimidated into reluctant acceptance. People are afraid to say they support traditional marriage. We have every reason to be afraid because people are getting fired and persecuted for taking that position. Under the relentless whip of the media, we are being bullied into silence.

The same is true of the race-baiters. No matter what good someone has done in their life, no matter how well they have treated minorities on a daily basis, if they say anything that can be perceived as negative toward a minority, even if only in a private conversation taped without their knowledge, they must be taken down. They must be humiliated, and they must be destroyed. After Brendan Eich was fired, the LBGT leadership said they wanted to go through the list of donors to Proposition 8 (illegally given to them by the IRS) and get every person on that list fired as well.

Is this the country we want to live in? Part of me wants those vindictive individuals to find themselves in the shoes of those they condemn. But, on further reflection, I don’t ever want to stoop to their level. I don’t want to silence liberals, since they are their own worst enemies. I simply ask those who have never said or done something they regret to step forward.

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