Be it writers block or good old fashioned lack of inspiration, times like the last few days make it very hard to sit down and write anything of substance. I often tire of simply "discussing" the news, especially when the news is more of Obama pushing some socialized agenda of one sort or another. I have shared my views on life, liberty, and the pursuit so many times that I wonder if I am beginning to talk in circles around the same topics. I have addressed everything from state's rights to religious existentialism, from space exploration to the Pope. What else is out there waiting to be discussed, I wonder... what of substance... what new idea or thought is so grand that it must be shared with the world? Or perhaps I have, over the past three years, sufficiently made my case for liberty and small government that now the act of applying them to the news events of the day in current event commentary is so obvious that it isn't fun anymore...
Has Obama and the Democratic extremism made liberty SO obvious that it has become 'duh'?
To me, perhaps.
But, and again I repeat myself, let the masses not be fooled by simply putting an 'R' where a 'D' once sat.
So, perhaps some advice... how do we keep the obvious entertaining and inspiring? How do we explain a breath of air, or tell a heart to beat? How do we make the obvious any more obvious without talking circles around it?
Washington state democrats, who currently hold a majority in the state, have overturned the peoples initiative I-960, which required a super majority to implement new taxes. The Democratic Gov, Gregiore, will sign the nullification bill tomorrow opening the flood gates for new taxes. In fact, Democrats are already proposing a billion dollar tax increase ranging from cigarettes and bottled water to a sales tax across the board (with the obvious proposed rebate for 'working class' families).
In fact, tax increases of this nature are nothing more than the Democratic leadership passing the buck. Instead of refusing pressures from union bosses, cutting state employees, and otherwise curbing spending, they are passing off the cost of their unproductive government programs to the taxpayers. When they should be fixing the problem, they are reinforcing their habits by spending OUR money.
The democratic style of governing is bankrupting cities, states, and the union itself. It doesn't work, it won't work, and it is going to back fire come election day. If only 2010 were also a gubernatorial year in WA...
On the verge of financial ruin, the United States federal government seems determined to continue spending, printing, taxing, and deflating monies representative of the nation. With each billion spent, each trillion debt increased, and each bond sold to foreign investors, the strength of the United States is reduced, if ever so slightly, until the entire foundation is found to be eliminated. Like a risky game of Jenga, the central government must be concerned about state insurrection against their diminishing powers.
I bring this topic to the forefront as a headline flashed upon my screen over the weekend that got very little play: Governors want in on Health Care Summit.
That is right. The governors of the 50 states are directly challenging the powers of the federal Representatives, Senators, and the President himself, asserting their powers over the teetering central government - namely because the states and the people are going to be asked to foot this bill.
In short, the states, in coming to the table, are stating that they have the right to elect NOT to participate if the proposal is deemed bad for the states, by the STATE government and the PEOPLE.
The power of this nation does now, and always will rest in the hands of the people of the states. Obama, the congress, and the federal government in general is about to bear witness to wide scale nullification, general insurrection, and the complete loss of their authoritarian control over the peoples of this land.
Rebellion is the beating heart on which this country was founded. It should be no shock that nullification is the natural progression in such over reaching proposals.
The year is 2010. We are well into the second year of arguably the most liberal president in the history of the United States, backed by a near supermajority of liberal leaning congressmen and senators in the federal capitol. The left is pushing for a radical Eurofication of the United States, the right is determined to stall on the basis of American Exceptionalism when it comes to our form of government. The state governments are ripe with the same partisan conflicts, the same partisan rhetoric, the same core fundamental disparities. The people of the states, too, are mobilizing for one side or the other. On every level there is such a divide present that the very fabric of our society is beginning to tear at the seams.
This is a struggle that must be resolved, and it must be that absolute liberty is the victor, lest the great experiment will cease to exist.
That is why, in 2010, it is more important to defend liberty, defend streamlined government initiatives, support true liberty minded citizens who are interested in restoring balance in the government and not merely looking for a switch in partisan power.
As I have eluded to in a number of articles, my biggest fear is that the power swing in 2010 will do little to address core concerns with the direction of this country, and do more to merely swing power to a different set of criminal politicians.
Liberty means more than low taxes and republican victories. It means more than a Gadsden flag, or a tea party convention. Liberty is only possible when you live without fear of reproach from your government AND without fear of retaliation from your neighbor. We must be careful not to cry liberty while in the minority, merely to rule with an iron fist once in the majority.
Inasmuch, we must draw a clear line in the sand - what is the absolute extent of government power... and stick to it.
Unless we can resolve this fundamental question, all other disputes are unwinable.
Democratic governor of the state of Washington is looking to raise taxes by $605 Million as a way to bridge the $2.8 Billion deficit. The tax is mainly aimed at oil products (gas), pollution, cigarettes, and 'junk food'.
The portion of the taxes aimed at oil products and pollution are being openly embraced by radical environmentalists, while businesses and job creating industry, such as refineries) are opposed to a tax that would drive up costs to operate and drive down the ability to employ workers.
The tax increases are a proposed offset to cutting social welfare programs from the state's budget - programs that are over budget and under-performing, yet hold a special place in the hearts of liberal special interests.
Gov. Gregoire and the democrats in the state legislature first must repeal the people's initiative, I-960, passed in 2007 stating that a 2/3 majority is required to raise taxes in the legislature. Luckily Republicans are successfully stalling the bill to undermine the people's will in the state house (it passed easily in the state senate).
Democrats seem to misunderstand the role of government, the dangers of state sponsored welfare, and the impact that taxation has on the economy. Gregoire and the team of WA Democrats have spent the last two decades driving up regulation and taxes to the point where businesses are leaving the region, taking essential tech and higher education jobs, and thus driving up unemployment and negatively impacting any hope of a rebound in the regional housing market. Their recipe is one of disaster.
Reduce the size and complexity of the state government to the bare essentials - education, defense, infrastructure. Everything else is negotiable, and will be allowed only if it is a proven and cost effective program with positive societal results. We cannot simply employ the standard practice of 'budgetary increase' on an annual basis and without review. This leads to an extraordinary amount of waste! We must operate smarter!
Just like any business that is in financially hard times, it is sometimes necessary to lay off workers. Unless you are the Washington state government - in which case your idea of 'economic growth' is creating government jobs - and thus increasing government spending and state deficit! The government should evaluate the committees, the regulatory boards, and every individual on the state payroll - an audit that will examine just what and who needs to be cut. By cutting overhead costs, the leaner governmental body can operate smarter and faster.
During the downsizing of the regulatory boards it is necessary to ensure that one agency, a NECESSARY agency, is the surviving keeper of the remaining regulatory items. There is no viable reason for many boards to hold jurisdiction over the same issue or concern. Simplify the government, streamline the regulation, and create a more business friendly environment in the meantime.
Washington state is, much like many other states of the union, in a very bad place... mainly because the state governments have followed the examples of the 'other' Washington and grown/spent beyond their useful means. These trends must not simply be stopped, but reversed... returning this state to one of productivity, ingenuity, and innovative solutions for our unique habitat.
Proctor and Gamble are continuously running a commercial during the Olympics with a clear message, "Proctor & Gamble - Proud Sponsor of Moms"
In the wake of the Pro-Life Superbowl ad and the unnecessary outcry from the pro-abortion groups, the Proctor & Gamble commercial goes one step further and endorses life, and mothers who choose life.
Life, as I have stated in many previous arguments on the issue, is the foremost and most supreme natural right, without which no other right exists. It is not an issue of "punishment", as Obama believes - rather a blessing on humanity that another soul is gracing this universe to live, laugh, and love - to experience all that life has to offer.
I read a great book over the weekend called Food Rules, by Michael Pollan. It was less of a book, and more of a series of rules outlining the CORE PROBLEM behind our health problems in the west, and how we can enact the change without a trillion dollar tax!
The problem, as the book states, is that we no longer eat food in this country - rather we eat "edible foodlike substances"... The food science industry has focused on shelf life, "lite" foods, "fat-free" foods, etc... but what has happened is that the nutrients have been removed, corn sugars (and other sugars) have been added, and the result is a food like substance, but NOT actual food.
As such we find ourselves eating larger portions in search for the same nutrients... we eat an additional 500 calories (on average) a day of sugars unnecessarily added to our food - sugar being a carbohydrate, and carbohydrates turning to fat in the body. This 500 calorie increase has caused an increase of 17 pounds in men and 19 pounds in women since the beginning of the "obesity crisis" in America.
The book concludes that it is the foodlike substances which we are eating that is the root cause of our health crises here in the US, our modification of nutrients responsible for the 2 trillion dollar a year "supplement" industry, and our own bad habits that are leading our culture into an early grave.
I highly recommend this very easy read - and I also recommend that you, like myself, take the challenge to change the way you eat, change what you eat, and change why you eat - you may find yourself living a healthier longer life!
Evan Bayh, Senate Democrat from Indiana announced today that he would not seek re-election, adding him to the growing list of establishment politicians who are unwilling to participate in the election this year for fear of what the political climate has become - that is right... they are being called to task, and one after another of the career politicians are jumping ship. With a congressional approval rating of about 20%, it is a wonder that it has taken so long for them to recognize that THEY have been the problem with the country - not the people, not the businesses... but the corrupt career politicians.
Meanwhile, longtime Republican Senator from Arizona, John McCain, has vowed to fight on against the increasingly popular republican primary opponent, JD Hayworth. Though McCain is a full 20 points ahead of Hayworth in polling, the primary is not being held until August, giving McCain enough time to realize that it just may be time to step down.
McCain is no maverick. He does not represent conservative ideals or the Republican party. He should take the example led by Bayh and the slew of establishment politicians who are returning to private life in 2010. McCain and other corrupt politicians have been eroding our liberties and stealing our money for decades - it is time to let the people take over and fix the mistakes you have made.
When was the last time that you truly believed the words spoken by a politician? How soon after the promise did you find yourself broken hearted, and chalk it up to 'merely politics', only to promise yourself that in the future you would demand more out of your elected or campaigning leaders? There is one common theme in government, being that the truth is often hard to come by, and honesty is not priority...
Voting on a bill without knowing which bill is on the floor - sounds like a derelict of duty to me... I wonder if the voters of Washington get a 'do-over' with a chance to recall each and every one of the 26 democrats who voted without having a clue as to what was on the floor...
Washington State Constutution Article 1 Section 33:
SECTION 33 RECALL OF ELECTIVE OFFICERS. Every elective public officer of the state of Washington expect [except] judges of courts of record is subject to recall and discharge by the legal voters of the state, or of the political subdivision of the state, from which he was elected whenever a petition demanding his recall, reciting that such officer has committed some act or acts of malfeasance or misfeasance while in office, or who has violated his oath of office.
Sounds like we could have a do-over if we wanted! Thank God the session ends in a few short weeks!
Lt. Col. Alan West in Florida - a candidate for US Congress in Florida's 22nd Congressional District - better known as West Palm Beach.
Though I cannot endorse this candidate fully at this time, mainly due to my not knowing enough about his 10th Amendment stance nor his 'world police' stance, I do applaud his libertarian conservative rhetoric... Let's hope, of course, that it is more than rhetoric, and that THIS is a rising star in the Core Value Republican farm team...
He sure gives one hell of a speech! And fancy that - No teleprompter!
Four term State Senator Don Benton (R) from Vancouver, WA threw his hat into the ring over the weekend, joining the crowded group of Republican challengers to 3 term Sen. Patty Murray (D). His headline making entry into the race was not in an attack on Murray, rather an attack on the Republicans currently in the race, claiming that they are little more than "six guys who have never been elected to anything".
Benton has a history of disdain for common folk, lesser 'politicians', and anything less than the standard to which he has become accustomed.. and unfortunately represents the element of disconnect within the party which current grassroots efforts seek to expunge. The Seattle Weekly reports:
In 2002, in the middle of a dire budget crunch, the Vancouver state senator threw a much-lampooned temper tantrum over capitol renovations that temporarily cost him and his colleagues their exclusive dining room, with its French-trained chefs. Instead, the state senators would have to share facilities with lowly House members and eat food from a kitchen that also served--imagine the horror--the general public.
"THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE," Benton wrote in a letter also signed by 36 other state senators. "We as members of the Senate have come to look forward to the quality of food prepared by [Senate chefs] Jean-Pierre and Kerri [Simon], as well as the quiet camaraderie of our fellow Senators in a private setting."
Without intent on becoming an attack article against Benton, the OBVIOUS must be addressed.
First and foremost, the Democrats are going to light up Sen. Benton for his 'Typical Elitist Republicanism'. In a year when grassroots efforts are striving to find candidates that appeal to the Independent voter, an entrenched Republican with a history of campaign contribution penalties and 'elitesque' outbursts is going to pull the credibility rug out from underneath his feet, and that of the Party.
Secondly, Sen. Benton's first move was low mudslinging politics. Instead of kicking off his campaign by drawing a contrast between himself and the extremely liberal incumbent Patty Murray, he takes a shot directly at the back of his conservative colleagues. This style of dirty politicking is unacceptable in the 2010 race, and should not be condoned or ignored. Qualifications for legitimate candidacy for US Senate is going to take more than "time served"... it is going to take something more, something uplifting and rooted in deep core conservatism. Sen. Benton's remarks are simply a low blow to those brave citizens willing to stand up when no one else would, work the campaign trail as private working citizens, an take a stand against entrenched corruption. Those comments should be an insult to every private citizen, and serve no purpose other than to intimidate private citizens from entering public service. Rooted elitism, which will be a theme of the Democratic counter-campaign, is clear.
In closing, the entrance of Benton into the race adds a layer of expierenced political campaigning needed against an entrenched liberal in an arguably blue-ish state. Unfortunately for the GOP field, Senator Benton's presence in the race seems to have dirtied the water considerably from the start. I can't imagine that Benton plans to adjust his aim at Murray until after he has dutifully attacked the brave private citizens already building their case at the grassroots level against the soon to be former US Senator!
Space Shuttle Endeavor left the Earth this morning under cover of darkness, as the 5th to last NASA Human Space Mission aboard the Shuttles lifted seamlessly toward the International Space Station. Just one week after Obama announced the cancellation of the Constellation program, the veteran shuttle took one of its last journeys into orbit. Endeavor will fly one last mission in July.
Of the three shuttles still in service, the Atlantis will fly one more mission and Discovery will fly two, ending the Space Transportation System in September 2010.
The last time that Americans were left grounded was a 6 year gap from 1975 to 1981 when Apollo/Saturn was fazed out in favor of the Space Shuttle.
The United States does not have a replacement human transportation system. However, by the end of 2010 we may see private industry hiring their own astronaut force in support of private space exploration.
The concept of "Don't ask, don't tell", established during the Clinton years, was not only a viable option for gays and lesbians to use in serving in the US Military, rather, it was a opportunity for heterosexuals to bypass the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
When in the military you are governed by a different set of rules than the average citizen, called the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or UCMJ for short. The section of the UCMJ specifically regarding the code of conduct of a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine with regards to "homosexuality" is UCMJ Article 125 - Sodomy. The UCMJ, as taught during basic training, is a higher standard to which enlisted men and officers must hold themselves as representatives of the United States Military. It is a series of strict guidelines, restricting how you talk (no swearing), how you dress, how you organize your closet, etc. It is difficult for non-military individuals to understand the pride and honor that is supposed to go into being in the military - the honor of serving in the defense of the states. Orders like "Don't ask, don't tell" encourage deceit in the face of the UCMJ, and should absolutely be stricken down.
However, this does not come without a cost - which brings me back to the Article 125 issue. The wording of 125 is as follows:
“TEXT: (a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.
(b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall by punished as a court-martial may direct.”
(1) That the accused engaged in unnatural carnal copulation with a certain other person or with an animal. (Note: Add either or both of the following elements, if applicable)
(2) That the act was done with a child under the age of 16.
(3) That the act was done by force and without the consent of the other person.
It is unnatural carnal copulation for a person to take into that person’s mouth or anus the sexual organ of another person or of an animal; or to place that person’s sexual organ in the mouth or anus of another person or of an animal; or to have carnal copulation in any opening of the body, except the sexual parts, with another person; or to have carnal copulation with an animal.
Lesser included offenses.
(1) With a child under the age of 16.
(a) Article 125—forcible sodomy (and offenses included therein; see subparagraph (2) below)
(b) Article 134—indecent acts with a child under 16
(c) Article 80—attempts
(2) Forcible sodomy.
(a) Article 125—sodomy (and offenses included therein; see subparagraph (3) below)
(b) Article 134—assault with intent to commit sodomy
(c) Article 134—indecent assault
(d) Article 80—attempts.
(a) Article 134—indecent acts with another: Explanation."Indecent" signifies that form of immorality relating to sexual impurity which is not only grossly vulgar, obscene, and repugnant to common propriety, but tends to excite lust and deprave the morals with respect to sexual relations.
(b) Article 80—attempts
(1) By force and without consent. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for life without eligibility for parole.
(2) With a child who, at the time of the offense, has attained the age of 12 but is under the age of 16 years. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 20 years.
(3) With a child under the age of 12 years at the time of the offense. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for life without eligibility for parole.
(4) Other cases. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 5 years"
In general, the "offense" of the homosexual soldier is Sodomy - an act that is defined as openly and morally depraved - including oral and anal sex of all manners. Such conduct, in regards to the UCMJ, is less than honorable, and worthy of punishment.
My question is this: to what standards do we hold our men and women who serve? Should they encourage depraved acts of purely carnal pleasure, or should the military uphold sodomy laws during terms of service - demanding a higher standard of self control in what is right or not?
Of course, our society now openly embraces oral sex, anal sex, freaky this, and sexy that... commercials are Cialis followed by Victoria Secret followed by Viagra... there are low rise jeans, low V shirts, wonder bras, and "Go Daddy" ads... We are a sexually charged, uncontrolled, and sexually addicted society. Don't believe me? Where Playboy and Hustler were the "Taboo" of my youth, children today are barraged with free online hardcore sexual images and videos - one being so bold at one point to obtain the domain name "whitehouse.com" (as opposed to whitehouse.gov) which lead you to explicit images (this site has since been removed - I ran across this one at age 17). Every aspect of marketing and entertainment drive toward the carnal sexual desire.
Do we lower our expectations of our military men and women? Do we encourage acts of sodomy? Do we care? Do we hold ourselves to any standard, or does it not matter? Does carnal pleasure lead to evils of one sort or another? Does current conduct of military personnel indicate an adherence to sodomy laws? Are those military laws simply outdated?
There are a few points that need to be addressed for the sake of this argument - so please let me round this up:
1. You cannot simply repeal DADT without addressing the UCMJ guidelines on Sodomy. What is the military law is the military law - DADT was a 'verbal' order to ignore certain parts of the written military law. Should the UCMJ be changed?
2. There is a double standard - that which the "market" expects of us (sexual desire) and that which the UCMJ expects of the soldiers. Should we hold our service personnel to a higher moral standard than that of the sexually charged civilian populace?
3. Our enlisted men now perform acts of sodomy, and more. There are soldiers who target married women, and those who have the pictures to prove it (both in violation of UCMJ). There are those in civilian life who do the same. Does living a "carnal" lifestyle in private adversely affect one's ability to perform job functions?
4. There is no doubt that our society has changed over the last 234 years with regards, specifically, to sexual promiscuity - from both sexes. Do we hinder ourselves by adhering to "arcane" laws such as those pertaining to Sodomy, or is this the last shred of sexual moral fiber to which we should hold ever more tightly?
The problem with repealing DADT is not so much the act of allowing gays in the military as it is asking the military to lower the standard code of conduct to allow that which was once regarded as 'moral depravity'. Should the military be expected to control the sexual desires and conduct of those in service to this degree?
In this great experiment in liberty, at what point do we define (and subsequently redefine) morality?
Repealing DADT is easy to say, and easy to do - the simple stroke of a pen. But rewriting the UCMJ's Sodomy laws... what does that say about how far we've come...
As I was reading through the online version of the local Kitsap Sun, I ran across an interesting article comment from an obvious lefty, which read "Smaller Government just means Bigger Greedy Corporations"...
After cleaning up the milk that was sprayed from my nose (interestingly enough I was not drinking milk), I began thinking about the fear tactics and lies used by the left to encourage mindless nuts to actually endorse this kind of thinking. How insane does an individual have to be to NOT recognize the difference in taking on a corporation for intrusion on liberty versus taking on the government for intrusion on liberty? Not to mention the old "if we don't do it first, they will" defense is nothing more than juvenile!
Is this what the leftist recruiting tool has been reduced to? Fear of corporation is worse than fear of government intrusion?
I can see it clearly now... 'the warm embrace of government protections will keep you safe from the evil and greedy corporate monsters'...
When the government assumes total authoritarian control over you and your family, there is but one outcome... read your history books - not the Liberal PC crap they have in schools - but actual accounts released into print by those who were there - like "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" or "Ruby Ridge - The Truth and Tragedy of the Randy Weaver Family"... Let's take a look at historical accounts of the government keeping you safe and warm...
As we read through our papers, write our blogs, or simply as we are living our lives - keep in mind that there are those all around us who truly embrace the idea that we would be better off submitting willfully and dutifully to the government overlords... and those people vote.
It is official. The American Space Program, a dream inspired by the likes of John F. Kennedy himself, has been killed today as a non-essential government expenditure. The Obama administration has announced that it will defund the Constellation Program, the follow-on Human Space Flight Program intended for lunar colonization. FoxNews reports:
The key elements of Constellation include the Orion crew capsule, its Ares 1 launcher, a larger rocket dubbed Ares 5 and the Altair lunar lander. Obama's top-line spending proposal for NASA is expected to increase slightly over the 2010 appropriation of $18.7 billion and would including some funding for an alternative means for transporting crews to and from the international space station
Facing a federal deficit of $1.26 trillion in 2011, Obama is proposing a three-year freeze on most non-defense discretionary spending, a move the president believes will save $250 billion over the next 10 years, Orszag said. In addition, the White House is proposing more than 120 program terminations, reductions and efficiencies that together are expected to save $20 billion in 2011, Orszag said.
While Obama is picking off major programs at $20 Billion a pop, he is still pushing an increased expenditure on the order of a trillion dollars. I digress.
As I stated in my previous post regarding the early reporting of this information, I applaud the cancelling of the NASA Human Space Flight division (though here I found it to be a bad idea). This is said as a former employee of Lockheed's Ares/Orion team. The program was a mess - extremely overbudget, attempting to make a horribly designed system work. We have Mike Griffin to thank for that - but we have NASA to thank for driving impossible requirements changes, making a state of the art system nothing more than a "larger Apollo" on an underpowered candlestick. We were heading the wrong direction... and instead of throwing money at a bad Government Problem - me, like any like minded fiscal conservative and libertarian should embrace the surrendering of a government agency to the free market.
Could Obama have simply directed the cancelling of Ares I and embrace Ares 5 as a multi-purpose Moon/Mars launch vehicle? Should he have? Or is this the motivation the private sector needs in order to begin the free market colonization of near and far space? Let's take a look at what is on the horizon:
1. Space X is within 1-3 months of the inaugural flight of the Falcon 9 - a private, green, and reusable launch vehicle built with the intention of human passengers. They are already in full scale production and have a launch manifest planned out to 2015 covering over 26 flights of varying payloads. SpaceX, owned by Google, has drastically reduced launch costs - estimated at a 90% cost savings over NASA programs, while focusing special attention on safety and reliability. This private sector innovator stands at the ready to take immediate ownership of NASA astronauts, and is slated to act as a launch platform for prefabbed/inflatable space infrastructure built by Bigelow Aerospace.
2. Virgin Galactic, though not able to attain full orbit, is nearing the end of their test flight phase for their sub-orbital commercial space vehicle. Private citizens, the first space tourists, can catch a ride on the ship for a mere $200,000. I am sure that full orbital trips will be just around the bend.
3. SpaceDev is working with Lockheed Martin and Boeing's United Launch Alliance in order to man-rate their Delta and Atlas launch vehicles. I wonder, however, if a collapse of NASA Humans Space Flight, if "man rating" will be a necessary regulation for future start-ups. This falls under the realm of "how congress reacts" - if a launch vehicle is safe, reliable, and has a great service record - what more do you need to 'over-engineer' the launch vehicle for human safety?
In short - this is the perfect opportunity for the private sector to shine. We can smack Obama around for cancelling the JFK Moon Dream, and chastise him for putting America behind the Chinese or the Russians (the only two countries in the world capable of currently launching humans to orbit - after our remaining three launches this year exhaust our Shuttle fleet). But what we are bearing witness to in our protest is the hypocrisy of our "cause" - that is, give up government bureaucracies - so long as you don't touch the things WE want you to keep. Obama should take notice of his own maneuver, and don't stop until Education, healthcare, identification and the like are off the payroll of the federal government.
We stand, dear readers, at the beginning of something grand. So long as private ventures see a profit or need in Human Exploration - it will be so. This is our opportunity to take the government to task and do it right! Instead of writing your congressmen, write the start-ups like SpaceX and ask what you can do to invest and help drive human space flight on a private level. In the mean-time, write your representatives and remind them to keep their regulatory paws out of what will be an explosion in private space exploration.