Venture capitalist Scott Murphy (D) holds a 65-vote lead over state Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R) in a special election in Upstate New York, a race cast as an early referendum on President Obama's economic stimulus package.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Murphy had 77,344 votes to Tedisco's 77,279. Somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 military and absentee ballots remain uncounted, according to the Associated Press, and overseas absentee ballots will continue be accepted until April 13. In short, no winner will be declared any time soon.
Let's think about this one. This district leans Republican, though a Democrat has won in recent elections. The current margin with today's votes counted is only about 4/100ths of a percentage point. And there are literally thousands of ballots yet to be counted from men and women in uniform -- votes that historically tend to break for the Republican candidate. What this means is that we are likely to see Jim Tedisco take this seat back for the GOP -- dealing Barack Obama and the Democrats a setback. After all, this is the first special election in a district that is actually competitive, and it appears that Obama and the Democrats may lose it in the end.
When I am there working I pay whatever, you know, my rate is based on income for that day in New York. And I try to go as little as possible. If it weren't for hurricanes down here, I would never go up there. New York is the escape valve in case hurricanes are showing up in our area, because of the loss of electricity. So I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to look for an alternative studio somewhere outside New York, perhaps Texas -- another no-income-tax state -- and I'm going to get the hell over there, when a hurricane starts coming our way, 'cause I told Mayor Bloomberg: I'll be the first to lead the way. You know, this is just... I'll sell my apartment. I'll sell my condominium. I'm going to get out of there totally, 'cause this is just absurd, and it's ridiculous -- and it isn't going to work. It's punishing the achievers for the mistakes and the lack of discipline on the part of a bunch of corrupt politicians that have run that city and state into the ground for I don't know how many years -- and I, for one, am not going to take the blame for it.
One of the things that too many of the political class forget is that We, the People are not serfs. We are not bound to the land, and the law does not compel us to live and work in any particular place. In the case of Rush Limbaugh, he can do his job from just about anywhere. That is the beauty of technology today. So if taxes increase in New York to the point that they are prohibitive (especially when there are seemingly politically-based audits conducted yearly), then there is no need for him to stay in New York. And since Texas has a very attractive business and personal tax system, why should Rush not relocate to a place where it is possible to keep more of what he earns AND where the views and values of the populace are more like his own?
It can happen. You get accepted to the college of your choice, fill out all the financial aid forms, ad discover that you are still short on what you need, even after you take into account the federal aid programs that you qualify for and whatever scholarship money the school of your choice might offer. There is still a way to pay for college -- using private student loans.
iStudentLoan is a site that can guide you in finding a private student loan over the Internet. IStudent Loan is not some fly-by-night company -- they have been in the business of providing students with help in locating such resources for a decade, since 1999. In addition to information on private student loans, they can also help provide information on private student loan consolidation.
Of course, this is not free money for college. Private Student Loans are what they call alternative college financing, and they will have to be paid back with interest at some point after graduation. It is important, therefore, to take into consideration the amount of student debt that you will be leaving college with at the end of your career -- especially today, in a period of economic difficulty. However, it is something that can be beneficial for you, both in terms of paying tuition and meeting other college needs like books, computers, and living expenses.
The First Amendment is applicable against the government. It does not apply to private citizens, organizations, or institutions. Thus, the current brouhaha over the decision of Boston College to cancel a speech by terrorist Bill Ayers raises precisely ZERO free speech issues.
Friday morning I found out that Bill Ayers was scheduled to appear at Boston College the following Monday - yesterday. When a listener to my talk show tipped me off, I didnít believe it. And because BC was being so careful not to promote it, it took me several Google searches to confirm the details.
Yes, the unrepentant founder of the Weather Underground terrorist organization that bombed a dozen American targets, advocated murder and whose members killed at least two police officers, among others, was invited to speak on the campus of a Catholic university.
* * *
In other words, I just shared the facts. Friday evening, after a day of getting pounded by angry BC alums and horrified citizens, the college did the right thing and barred this repugnant cretin from its campus.
And thatís when the Angry Left turned their sights on me.
I attacked ďfree speech.Ē I was a talk radio hypocrite, only supporting controversial opinions from the right. My favorite is the blogger bemoaning ďa verbal terrorist assault by right-wing yakker Michael Graham.Ē
Letís look at this. Boston College is a Catholic institution. It has no obligation to host an unrepentant terrorist like Ayers on its campus. This should not even be controversial. Indeed, were we talking about arch-racist David Duke, there would be no controversy at all. The school would have cancelled the speech without so much as a second thought, and the Left would have told anyone who would listen that the decision was a proper one. Ditto an admitted abortion clinic bomber.
So why the difference here?
Because Ayers is a man of the Left Ė and a close associate of Barack Obama. The Left also embraces the terrorism that Ayers and his associates engaged in four decades ago because they view the cause for which he allegedly acted as a noble one.
Now if BC were a public college or university, I might be troubled by the actions of the administration. But they arenít, so Iím not. This Catholic institution has decided that to bring among them a man who was prepared to kill hundreds in an effort to give victory to a totalitarian enemy of the United States was simply scandalous. They did not silence Ayers Ė they simply decided that their campus should not be the venue for his talk. Doesnít BC have the right to determine that it does not want its name and reputation associated with the actions of one who was involved in the murder of policemen and plotted the deaths of military officers and their dates at a dance? What of the schoolís right to speak and associate Ė or not associate Ė freely? What of the right of Boston College to refuse to facilitate a speech by an unrepentant killer?
And as for Michael Graham, what he did hardly constitutes any form of terrorism. He expressed a righteous moral outrage at something that was, when looked at objectively, outrageous. He urged folks to act peacefully to bring about change. Interestingly enough, those who argue that there was something wrong with his actions actually make Grahamís point Ė they want to silence speech they oppose.
Needless to say, the past year has been a rough one. Since last spring, we've lost a loved one, faced a major health crisis, and gone through major natural disaster and the resulting dislocation. And since i had to cancel a trip to a conference because of the hurricane, I've got a credit on a major airline to use before I go back to school in the fall. Any suggestions on a quiet getaway? Should we head for a mountain retreat or a major tourist attraction? Should we head north to Canada for the Calgary Stampede or use a CheapCaribbean Coupon and take a cruise?
In the past, Iíve questioned the policy of keeping the names of alleged sex offense victims out of the newspaper. But in the end, that should be the decision of the news organization doing the reporting Ė not the judge in a particular case. And it is precisely such a case that I find disturbing here.
The Daily Press in Victorville reported yesterday that a judge ordered a reporter not to print the last name of a witness who testified in open court ó a mandate the newspaper claimed was illegal.
The Daily Press said Judge Bridgid McCann gave the order to one of its reporters when an alleged victim in a sexual-abuse case testified in San Bernardino County Superior Court.
The alleged victim, a 24-year-old U.S. Army soldier, wore a name badge but his name was not on the court record when he testified at a preliminary hearing against his father, Richard Swank.
Daily Press Editor Don Holland said the judge called the reporter and attorneys to the bench and ordered that the last name of Swank's son not be printed.
And therein lies the problem. This manís name was on display for anyone in the courtroom to see. Any person who saw it could legally speak it or otherwise communicate it. The judge, however, singled out a particular media outlet and imposed a gag. That is something our First Amendment cannot and should not permit.
Of particular interest is the position taken by the paperís editor.
He said all the judge had to do was "rescind your order, ask nicely and we won't run the name.
Especially since they had never intended to publish the name in the first place.
But at this point, Iíd argue that there is almost an obligation to publish the name Ė because to fail to report it now that it is a matter of public interest in a case where a judge issued an unconstitutional order is irresponsible.
I've heard from some folks recently asking how much longer we will be away from the house. The end is in sight! All that is left are the final few touches inside, and some outside work like vinyl shutters. The builder assures me we are days away from completion, and the delivery date for the furniture we have bought so far has been scheduled. So if you notice a blogging hiatus of a couple of coming up in the near future, that is your sign that the move back home is underway!
Please enjoy all of this weekís winners (and share, share, share!!!!!)
There is some great stuff among this week's winners, so be sure to take the time to read them all!
As I've mentioned, I've done a lot of furniture shopping in the last few months, ever since we lost most of the contents of our home in Hurricane Ike. One of the places that we visited was Ashley Furniture, which has recently merged with one of Houston's local furniture stores and developed quite a presence in the local market. Frankly, I've been impressed with what we have seen there, especially some of the bedroom furniture. Not only is it attractive and well-made, but it is also quite reasonably priced. We still have one more room to furnish, so I expect to be back in their showroom before too long, looking for furniture for the guest room/office.
We who disagree with Obama, even speak against him harshly, are not racists for doing so.
"Here's my problem with this, I'm just going to come out and say it. If I have anything to say against Obama it's not because I'm a racist, it's because I don't like what he's doing as President and anybody should be able to feel that way, but what I find now is that if you say anything against him you're called a racist," Harmon told Tarts at Thursdayís Los Angeles launch of the new eyelash-growing formula, Latisse. "But it has nothing to do with it, I donít care what color he is. Iím just not crazy about what he's doing and I heard all about this, and heís gonna do that and change and change, so okay Ö I'm still dressing for a recession over here buddy and we've got unemployment at an all-time high and that was his number one thing and that's the thing I really don't appreciate. If I'm going to disagree with my President, that doesn't make me a racist. If I was to disagree with W, that doesn't make me racist. It has nothing to do with it, it is ridiculous."
I've said it before -- Barack Obama is, for better or worse, the President of the United States. When one sits in that chair and receives all those perks, one also has to deal with the reality that there are those of one's fellow citizens who will be critical. Some of that criticism may be wrong, and some of it based upon being ill-informed. Some of it might even be because there are folks who just do not like the incumbent. Regardless, it comes with the job -- and for any president or his supporters to seek to cut off that criticism, debate, and dissent with a scurrilous, unfounded accusation undermines the man and the office.
The advent of the camera phone has made it easier than ever for folks to pass around pictures. I've done it during the rebuilding of my house, sending photos of cabinets, a shower, and other design features to my contractor. Unfortunately, though, some folks have taken to sending nude or otherwise erotic photos of themselves over a cell phone -- and once that is done, they can be passed just about anywhere.
One summer night in 2007, a pair of 13-year-old northeastern Pennsylvania girls decided to strip down to their skivvies to beat the heat. As Marissa Miller talked on the phone and Grace Kelly flashed a peace sign, a third girl took a candid shot of the teens in their white bras.
It was harmless, innocent fun, the teens say.
But the picture somehow wound up on classmates' cell phones, and a prosecutor has threatened to charge Miller and Kelly with child pornography or open lewdness unless they participate in a five-week after-school program followed by probation.
On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal judge to block Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick Jr. from filing charges, saying that the teens didn't consent to having the picture distributed, and that in any event the image is not pornography.
Now this case, and others like it, raises all sorts of perplexing questions that go beyond whether or not a particular photo in a particular case constitutes child pornography. In an attempt to protect kids, even photos with no nudity can be defined as kiddie porn if they are too revealing and sexual in nature -- and if I understand the law correctly, even pictures that are computer generated and do not involve actual children being exploited can qualify.
Here are a couple of the issues I see.
1) Should sexting by minors be illegal? Should the production of these photos be treated as producing and distributing child pornography? Should there be a penalty for receiving such photos and keeping them? How about redistributing them? Should minors involved in any of these aspects of sexting be treated as sex offenders and subject to temporary or permanent registration as such?
2) Let us assume that we are not going to treat these situations as sex offenses. Is the taking of such pictures of oneself a victimless crime that should be ignored by the law? Do we treat the receipt of such images the same way? How about the redistribution of the photos? How ought issues of age of consent (and the legal inability to consent) enter into this?
3) Assuming that the taking of such pictures of oneself is not going to be treated as a crime because of the lack of a victim, what is the status of such pictures under the law? Are they legally contraband if in the hands of another person? Would it be legally acceptable for the person who took such pictures of herself/himself to later distribute them once she/he has reached adulthood -- again basing this on the view that an one cannot sexually exploit oneself? What does this do to the entire argument for criminalizing kiddie porn?
I'm going to be honest -- I don't have the answers to these questions. It seems a bit much to treat a stupid action by teens as a sexual offense, but we already do that when we classify teens engaged in consensual sexual activity with another teen as sex offenders. It also strikes me as unwise to allow any sort of "acceptable distribution" of such self-produced images of kids -- after all, how does one distinguish such photos from illegal child pornography? And as for my last scenario, that constitutes a real nightmare for me.
Unfortunately, these issues are not entirely hypothetical in my mind. Some studies have shown that one out of every four teens have engaged in sexting. That means I have 25-30 kids in my classes each day who have such pictures of themselves potentially being distributed among a tight circle of trusted friends -- or perhaps even more widely if their trust was misplaced. I won't even begin to speculate how many of my students have received such pictures of friends or acquaintances. I want to see society discourage such activities -- even ban them under the law -- but I don't think that putting these kids in the same category as rapists and child molesters is the right answer. I also know that I don't have all -- or even most -- of the right answers. But it seems to me that we need to start talking now.
A couple of years back, our nation's Leftists tried to gin up a controversy regarding Rush Limbaugh when he used the phrase "phony soldiers" to describe individuals who claimed to be veterans but never served a day in uniform. These same folks have tried to turn Rush Limbaugh's policy disagreements with Barack Obama into treason against the United States. How about if these same liberals stand up and condemn one of their own icons for a direct attack against members of our military in the field?
If you think you misunderstood the words of this so-called humorist, here they are in black and white for you.
Forget about bringing the troops home from Iraq. We need to get the troops home from World War II. Can anybody tell me why, in 2009, we still have more than 50,000 troops in Germany and 30,000 in Japan? At some point, these people are going to have to learn to rape themselves.
Got that, American patriots? Bill Maher, on national television, has called our American troop rapists. Are you prepared to speak out against him? Are you prepared to turn off his show and contact his advertisers?
But then again, maybe our "support the troops" liberals will show the same level of outrage they have in the past when folks like John Kerry, Dick Durbin, and John Murtha have called the troops stupid, Nazis, and murderers -- they then defended those attackers of our servicemen and women, calling them patriots and rewarding them with their votes. Yep, that is sure some way to show support for those who defend our way of life!
I've spent a lot of time furniture shopping over the last several months, in anticipation of our eventual return to our hurricane ravaged home. The day is quick approaching when our new furniture will be delivered and we will be able to begin anew our life in our house. But one of the things I discovered during all of this shopping is the wide variety of furniture that is available in terms of style and fabric.
Now we ultimately went a different direction because of certain special needs, but one of the pieces I saw that I found really interesting was this Stellar Round Lounge Sofa . If you think about it, in the proper setting you could be really happy with it -- whether you purchased it for your office or your home. It is large and comfortable, almost reaching out to embrace you in luxury. It is even available in a variety of colors and custom order fabrics to suit your taste and style.
Frankly, the folks at Stylehive have got just what you need in the way of designer furniture. Their many designs and fabrics will help you make your residence or place of business as distinctive as you are. So if you are in the market for new furniture, check out Stylehive.
Bravo to this store owner who dared to exercise his Second Amendment rights in defense of himself and his property against one of our nation's domestic enemies.
A man allegedly attempting to rob a northwest Harris County cell phone store died after he was shot by the business owner and then hit by a car as he attempted to flee, authorities said.
Deputies answered a call around 6:15 p.m. Saturday at a cell phone store in the 5200 block of Barker Cypress, where they learned that two armed men dressed in black allegedly attempted to rob it, said Sheriffís Office spokesman Lt. John Legg.
The store owner produced his own handgun and the alleged robbers fled the business, Legg said.
As the men ran into the parking lot, the store owner chased them. One of the men fled the scene in a 90s model red Ford Taurus, while the other man stopped and turned toward the store owner, Legg said. ďAt that time, the owner of the store fired several shots towards the suspect, hitting him once,Ē Legg said.
Sounds like this guy performed a public service with his actions. Let me be among those who adds a hearty "Well done!" to the accolades he is receiving from the local citizenry.
About a year ago, I had to admit it -- I needed new glasses. Indeed, I knew that I probably needed bifocals. I don't know if the reason was aging, my time on the computer, or my habit of reading late into the night. What was clear was that somethingneeded to be done to improve my eyesight -- and so I went to visit my neighborhood eye doctor. Sure enough, my fears were confirmed -- bifocals. I was officially old.
Frankly, I wish I had known how readily available eyeglasses are on the internet. I bought locally, only to discover that I had many online options, such as GlassesShop.com. They make a lot of great looking glasses available to you at incredibly reasonable prices, including both High-indexted Prescription Eyeglasses and Discounted Reading Eyeglasses. What's more, some glasses are available to you for as little as $8.00. Wow!
While the price is low at GlassesShop.com, the quality is not. I've seen a number of testimonials around the web about thir products, and they talk about the stylish frames and the quality lenses. You woul dpay much more for what you get at your local retail optical shop. So if you are in the market for new glasses, drop by and give them a look. What have you got to lose?
Observations and models demonstrate that northern tropical Atlantic surface temperatures are sensitive to regional changes in stratospheric volcanic and tropospheric mineral aerosols. However, it is unknown if the temporal variability of these aerosols is a key factor in the evolution of ocean temperature anomalies.
Here, we elucidate this question by using 26 years of satellite data to drive a simple physical model for estimating the temperature response of the ocean mixed layer to changes in aerosol loadings. Our results suggest that 69% of the recent upward trend, and 67% of the detrended and 5-year low pass filtered variance, in northern tropical Atlantic Ocean temperatures is the mixed layer's response to regional variability in aerosols.
Translation -- it is the amount of dust in the atmosphere from the Sahara and volcanoes that has impacted the temperature of the oceans and therefore the number/intensity of storms, not anything that we humans are doing.
Now, will scienctific research actually silence the members of the Global Warmist cult?
After all, she is on tape snorting cocaine.
Now, will the media give her the "Bush Twins" treatment? Or the "Gore Kid" treatment?
A "friend" of Vice President Joseph Biden's daughter, Ashley, is attempting to hawk a videotape that he claims shows her snorting cocaine at a house party this month in Delaware.
The anonymous male acquaintance of Ashley took the video, said Thomas Dunlap, a lawyer representing the seller.
Dunlap and a man claiming to be a lawyer showed The Post about 90 seconds of 43-minute tape, saying it was legally obtained and that Ashley was aware she was being filmed. The Post refused to pay for the video.
The video, which the shooter initially hoped to sell for $2 million before scaling back his price to $400,000, shows a 20-something woman with light skin and long brown hair taking a red straw from her mouth, bending over a desk, inserting the straw into her nostril and snorting lines of white powder.
So, will this be splashed all over the national media like the silly college drinking escapades of the Bush daughters? Or will the media instead treat Ashley Biden like they did Al Gore III, who has an extensive history of drug and alcohol abuse that generally has stayed out of the papers, even when he was expelled from school , ticketed, or arrested?
This question is particularly relevant given Joe Biden's long history as an advocate of stricter drug laws.
According to this report, Barack Hussein Obama!
President Obama continued collecting money for his 2010 Senate re-election campaign even after he resigned his seat from Illinois, including a maximum $2,300 donation the day after Christmas from a top executive of a Wall Street firm that had received a government bailout.
Four contributions - $4,800 in all - were donated to the Obama 2010 fund on Dec. 26, according to Federal Election Commission reports.
The money came from some of Mr. Obama's top presidential fundraisers: Bruce A. Heyman, managing director at Goldman Sachs, which received a $10 billion bailout last year; Steven Koch, vice chairman at Credit Suisse First Boston; and John Levi, a lawyer at the law and lobbying firm of Sidley Austin LLP.
Now I realize that he is allowed to keep his Senate campaign kitty and use it for various political purposes -- but to take this money afetr he had been elected president and resigned from the Senate seems mighty shady to me. And to be taking the cash from execs of bailed out companies seems particularly wrong, given that he was in the process of moving from the legislative to executive branch. It may be legal, but it certainly has the appearance of impropriety.
I frequently mention Hurricane Ike in my posts due to the fact that the biggest event in my life over the last year has been that storm, which put me out of my home for the last seven months. I learned a lot of things about a lot of things in the days and weeks following the storm, and have re-shuffled a lot of priorities as far as things I feel it is important for me to have. One thing that I definitely need is a Power Generator, because you really never know when you are going to find yourself without electricity for an extended period of time -- something that can be a really serious issue if you have a family member whose medical condition requires that they have a controlled climate and medication kept at a specific temperature.
We were lucky -- when we first came back to town, the church put us up in the church hall and had a Cummins Generator on standby in case we lost power at any time. I g0ot a quick education in just how critical generators really are. I've since learned that there are some really great Natural Gas Generators on the market that will kick in when the electricity goes out -- and given that we've had a couple of power outages during the past few years during the height of summer, I think that I may need to get one for the house after we move back in in a few weeks.
This old favorite of mine strikes me as the perfect theme song for the Obama Regime.
by The Thompson Twins
You told me you loved me
so i don't understand
why promises are snapped in two
and words are made to bend
(the bigger, the better)
some stolen from japan
collected from around the world,
they'll catch you if they can
lies lies lies yeah
lies lies lies yeah
lies lies lies yeah
do i have to catch you out
to know what's on your mind
well, cleopatra died for egypt,
what a waste of time
white ones and red ones
and some you can't disguise
twisted truth and half the news
can't hide it in your eyes
you say you'll try harder
but i think it's just too late
well, the car is revving in the drive,
and i'm not the sort to wait
the bigger, the better
some nicked from old saigon
collected from around the world
love lies on and an and on and on and on and
lies lies lies yeah (they're gonna get you)
lies lies lies yeah (they won't forget you)
lies lies lies yeah (they're gonna get you)
lies lies lies yeah
oh you know i know
oh you know i know
¬ę All done with "A Little Night Music"?
The U.N.ís top human-rights body approved a proposal by Muslims nations Thursday urging passage of laws around the world to protect religion from criticism.
The proposal put forward by Pakistan on behalf of Islamic countries ó with the backing of Belarus and Venezuela ó had drawn strong criticism from free-speech campaigners and liberal democracies.
A simple majority of 23 members of the 47-nation Human Rights Council voted in favor of the resolution. Eleven nations, mostly Western, opposed the resolution, and 13 countries abstained.
And remember Ė Muslims have repeatedly told us that any criticism of Islam, the Quran, and Muhammad constitutes defamation of their religion. This effectively means that this measure will ban any negative comments about the religion of jihad and decapitation or its false prophet. The time has come for the civilized peoples of the world to stand up and oppose such efforts to silence those who speak the truth about Islam, the greatest threat to human rights in the world today Ė because it is only a small step from imprisoning critics to beheading them.
But as for me, I'm proud to be an international criminal for speaking the truth.
You know, just last year, when Democrats complained about high energy prices and their harmful effect on the American people. Well now that they are in power, weíve got some who are out to make sure that we pay more for the energy we use Ė for our own good, of course.
Government policy should be crafted to raise the price of carbon-emitting energy sources so consumers are compelled to choose alternative energy, House Democratic Conference Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) told CNSNews.com on Thursday. Larson agreed that such a policy would likely result in higher electricity prices for consumers but said this is needed to protect the environment from the possible ďcatastrophic resultsĒ of not implementing a pro-green energy policy.
This would no doubt happen through increased taxes (more money for the government Ė an essential good for the Democrats) in order to make sure we use green technologies that are too expensive to compete (competition bad, comrades) to combat man-made global warming (which the science now shows isnít happening). But remember Ė we can afford these higher energy prices in the midst of a recession. After all, the Democrats say so.
[T]he "Voice of Jihad" websites are the Taliban's OFFICIAL websites and are OFFICIAL propaganda outlets for the Taliban's OFFICIAL spokesmen, Qari Youssef Muhammad and Zabihullah Mujahid. The IEAP website is another OFFICIAL website which is under the direction of Abdul Wasay, (aka, Mullah Agha Jan Mu'Tasim) the former finance minister for the Taliban and current head of the "political commission". Wasay/Mutasim is currently on the UN Security Council's sanction list.
One outlet for this official website of jihadi swine fighting against the United States military is hosted right here in Houston.
So, my fellow Houstonians, how do you feel about having a company that gives aid and comfort to the enemy operating in our midst? Feel free to let them know.
"Theoretically," he wrote, "there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed."
There are a lot of places I'd love to visit on a vacation. Who knows, I may even get to some of them one day. But one that I'm particularly interested in visiting is Costa Rica, because one of my friends speaks highly of it. There are a lot of Costa Rican resorts, and one of them that I've heard is wonderful is Florblanca. It is a place that makes a great getaway for a newlywed couples seeking a romantic honeymoon. So if you are interested in a vacation at a Costa Rica resort, then this is the right place and now may be the right time.
Call this a case of premature detonation Ė with particularly lethal consequences for the guyís colleagues.
A would-be suicide bomber accidentally blew himself up on Thursday, killing six other militants as he was bidding them farewell to leave for his intended target, the Interior Ministry said.
"The terrorist was on his way to his destination and saying good-bye to his associates and then his suicide vest exploded," a statement from the ministry said.
Seven more terrorists in Hell Ė may they sizzle like bacon along with their fellow jihadi swine.
As we creep ever closer to a return home following the devastation of Hurricane Ike, Monday will mark a landmark for us. Our HVAC guy will be coming to install our new AC unit, since our old one sat under 3 feet of salt water for quite a while back in September. I'm fortunate that our contractor is associated with a good company for HVAC work, so I know I will be happy. Of course, if you are seeking a Phoenix air conditioning contractor, then you might consider checking out the site at chasroberts.com for information about one reputable source for HVAC work in your area.
During his news conference, [National Intelligence Director Dennis] Blair also said the Obama administration is still wrestling with what to do with the remaining 240 detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, which the president has ordered closed.
Some of the detainees, deemed non-threatening, may be released into the United States as free men, Blair confirmed.
That would happen when they can't be returned to their home countries, because the governments either won't take them or the U.S. fears they will be abused or tortured. That is the case with 17 Uighers (WEE'-gurz), Chinese Muslim separatists who were cleared for release from the jail long ago. The U.S. can't find a country willing to take them, and it will not turn them over to China.
Blair said the former prisoners would have get some sort of assistance to start their new lives in the United States.
"We can't put them out on the street," he said.
I feel confident that I speak for the vast majority of Americans when I say ďHELL NOĒ to this proposal. Shutting Gitmo is wrong. Settling these enemies of America in our midst is even worse. And supporting them with the hard-earned money of American citizens is intolerable. This is clearly not the sort of hope or change that any lover of America can believe in.
Looks like it Ė this time in the appointment of a US Attorney.
A former corporate lobbyist has emerged as a top candidate for U.S. attorney in Alexandria, raising questions about how his appointment would square with the Obama administration's efforts to change the culture of Washington, according to legal and political sources.
Neil MacBride, 43, lobbied federal officials as recently as mid-2007 on behalf of the Business Software Alliance, which represents Microsoft, IBM and a host of other leading computer companies, U.S. Senate records show. MacBride, a former chief counsel to Vice President Biden, was appointed in January as an associate deputy attorney general.
Now I personally have no problem with appointing former lobbyists to government posts. After all, lobbying is an activity perfectly consistent with the law, and enables businesses and organizations to engage in the legitimate First Amendment activity of petitioning the government for a redress of grievances. That said, Obama said that such folks would not be allowed in his administration Ė therefore, any further exceptions to the rule (and there have been many) would be unacceptable.
Because on your own, you might pick one that is less energy efficient.
The California legislature is considering regulating the color of cars and reflectivity of paint to reduce the energy requirements to cool them. A presentation on the proposed legislation by the California Air Resources Board is below.
The problem isn't the color per se, but the reflectivity of the paint overall. And dark colors just don't reflect well, so they are likely out. "Jet black remains an issue," says the report.
No word yet on what will be done about energy hogs like this one Ė which is not only jet black, but also gets a under 10 MPG.
I wonder what sort of energy hog rides around in something like that?
Talk to me about this crazy law when Barack obama is riding around in a white Prius.
One of Europe's great festivals each year is the one held at Leeds in the UK. It is a great time, I've heard, but tickets do sell out, especially ones that have camping opportunities with them. So how do you get Leeds Festival Tickets? Check out www.getmein.com, powered by GET ME IN! It is a Ticketmaster affiliated site, so you know that it is reliable. What's more, it is a site that was fan created and offers guarantees that you will actually get your tickets. So drop by the site and check out what is there at the single largest site for exchanging Leeds Festival Tickets from other fans.
It seems that the Port Authority has forgotten 9/11 -- the powers that be have declared that the replacement building will not bear the name "Freedom Tower" as promised for so long. Instead, it will be called simply One World Trade Center".
Freedom is so passe at Ground Zero.
Once hailed as a beacon of rebirth in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Freedom Tower's patriotic name has been swapped out for the more marketable One World Trade Center, officials at the Port Authority conceded today.
You don't suppose that the new Chinese tenant could have anything to do with the decision, do you? After all, freedom is antithetical to the powers-that-be in Red China. Just ask the people of Tiber.
If there is nothing more pressing to be taken up by the US Senate, it is time for them to get out of Washington until we have a financial crisis or a war to deal with.
Everyone from President Barack Obama on down to fans has criticized how college football determines its top team. Now senators are getting off the sidelines to examine antitrust issues involving the Bowl Champion Series.
The current system "leaves nearly half of all the teams in college football at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to qualifying for the millions of dollars paid out every year," the Senate Judiciary's subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights said in a statement Wednesday announcing the hearings.
Under the BCS, some conferences get automatic bids to participate in series, while others do not.
Let me say it -- I'd like to see a playoff for college football, too. But in the end, this matter is not something that is the business of the federal government -- at least not according to my copy of the US Constituion.
In the New York Times and Washington Post!
I'll concede that not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism, and even that one can be anti-Zionist without hating Jews (though the latter is harder than the former) -- but doesn't this sort of imagery look like something straight out of the Third Reich?
UPDATE: JoshuaPundit explains why he thinks this editorial decision is a good thing -- because it exposes the NY Times for the hateful rag it is.
Let me say this flat out -- the decision of Chance Nalley to invite his seventh grade students to his commitment ceremony with his same-sex partner was wrong. What's more, I'll go so far as to call it unprofessional.
A self-proclaimed bisexual male teacher in New York has invited his seventh-grade students and their parents to witness his commitment ceremony to another man.
The New York Times reports 32-year-old Chance Nalley gave slips of paper to his entire seventh-grade class at Columbia Secondary School, inviting them to the upcoming ceremony to be held at St. Paul's Chapel on the campus of Columbia University on April 4. Nalley teaches math, science, and engineering at the school -- "whose mission statement includes a commitment to diversity," notes the Times. Nalley reportedly obtained his principal's support before coming out to his students in the fall of 2007, when the school opened.
It isn't the sexuality issue that I object to -- it is the question of the appropriate degree of separation that should exist between teacher and student. I've taught with any number of gay teachers over the year -- indeed, my best friend is one of them -- and I've been supportive of every one of them in their decision to be public or private about their sexuality. One of them was intensely private about his personal life, to the point that students knew nothing of his life outside of school. Another kept a framed photo of herself and her partner on her desk, and was honest about her orientation when asked by students. Others have fallen somewhere in the middle, depending with their own comfort level.
No, my concern is with issuing the invitation of the students to attend such an intimate event. Such an entanglement of the personal and professional strikes me as the blurring of the separation that needs to be maintained between teacher and student. I realize, of course, that there are times when such boundaries can and should be crossed -- after all, if a student is a neighbor or a friend of one's own child, this is unavoidable. But that isn't the case here.
I'm going to presume that Nalley was not seeking to make a political statement with the invitation, which is something I'd consider much worse. But even assuming the best of intentions, I still feel that the decision was the wrong one. On the other hand, showing pictures or even inviting his partner to meet the class would be just fine in my book -- just as it would with any straight couple.
Well, youíve doubled down on the accusation that Justice Antonin Scalia is a homophobe. By implication, you are accusing him of failing to render his decisions based upon the facts and the law before him, and of acting on prejudice against certain parties before the Supreme Court.
Congressman Barney Frank defended his use of the term "homophobe" to describe Antonin Scalia, the conservative Supreme Court justice who has ruled in favor of limiting legal protections for gays.
"What a 'homophobe' means is someone who has prejudice about gay people," Frank told WBZ radio, arguing that Scalia's judicial writing "makes it very clear that he's angry, frankly, about the existence of gay people."
In particular, Frank cited Scalia's opinion in the 2003 case Lawrence v. Texas, in which the Supreme Court struck down state laws barring consensual acts of sodomy. In his dissent, Scalia wrote that the 6-3 vote served to ratify an "agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct."
"If you read his opinion, he thinks it's a good idea for two consenting adults who happen to be gay to be locked up because he is so disapproving of gay people," Frank said yesterday.
Congressman Franks, what you have just done is accuse Justice Scalia of an impeachable offense. If you truly believe this to be the case Ė that he is deciding cases based upon his personal animus rather than the facts and the law Ė then you have an obligation to act pursuant to the US Constitution and introduce a resolution seeking his impeachment. Anything less is a dereliction of your duty and a violation of your oath to uphold the Constitution. If you do not believe this to be the case, then you have a moral obligation to offer Justice Scalia a public apology for this scurrilous charge you have made against him. The choice is yours, sir.
Now I'm not one for name brands or fashionable consumer goods. I like what I like, and it does not really matter to me what the name brand is. So while I do have a couple of "prestige name" items in my wqrdrobe or around the house, the reason is because they came as gifts or because i needed the name brand. A good example would be my shoes, which are from a well-known footwear maker because of my wide feet and issues related to my diabetes. The reason for buying them isn't the name -- it is functionality.
On the othe rhand, some folks want that name brand. But can they afford it? What are their options if they can't? Well, when it comes to timepieces, there is always the possibility of considering the purchase of replica watches. They look like the big names, but they cost only a fraction of the amount you will spend on the, So if you want a Tag Heuer or Rolex watch but aren't in the position to drop the cash, it is possible to find something that looks the part. Of course, you might not always get the quality or durability, but you will get the look.
This strikes me as a very bad idea Ė especially from a First Amendment standpoint, because it will allow the government to get insert itself into the editorial decisions of those newspapers who accept non-profit status.
Struggling newspapers should be allowed to operate as nonprofits similar to public broadcasting stations, Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., proposed Tuesday.
Cardin introduced a bill that would allow newspapers to choose tax-exempt status. They would no longer be able to make political endorsements, but could report on all issues including political campaigns.
Advertising and subscription revenue would be tax-exempt, and contributions to support coverage could be tax deductible.
Got that Ė no more political endorsements. But it would no doubt go further than that, as there would no doubt follow requirements that the opinions page reflect a diversity of ideas rather. That would mean, as an example, that a newspaper like the libertarian-leaning Las Vegas Review Journal would need to balance the ideas of a Vin Suprynowicz and his colleagues with some more statist writer Ė maybe Bill Ayers. Or, from the other side of things, the New York Times might find itself required by the government to provide more conservative columnists to balance its overwhelmingly liberal stable. That is something that government should not be involved in.
You've got to have shoes. They protect your feet from dangers, keep them warm in the cold, and keep them dry when you are in wet conditions. These are all important functions, especially in a work shoe or boot. If you are in law enforcement, Cop Land is a great place to buy shoes and boots that meet your needs. Their selection of boots and shoes is huge, and their costs are low. What's more, they now carry a great selection of Timberland Boots, including Timberland force multiplier boots. These Timberland Boots come in a variety of styles and colors, include desert force boots and urban force boots.
Iíve not commented on whether or not those bonuses to AIG executives should have been paid or not. Iíve heard lots of discussion both ways on the issue. But todayís New York Times carries the resignation letter of one of those executives Ė and offers one particularly compelling reason why those bonuses were appropriate.
I take this action after 11 years of dedicated, honorable service to A.I.G. I can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am I being paid to do so. Like you, I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. Having now been let down by both, I can no longer justify spending 10, 12, 14 hours a day away from my family for the benefit of those who have let me down.
Got that? These bonuses went, by and large, to folks who were taking nominal compensation as salary, with their overwhelming majority of their compensation deferred into one lump-sum payment. They were contractually owed that money as salary, they were repeatedly assured that it would be paid, and they were never asked to renegotiate or forego any portion of the money they were guaranteed. I donít know about you, but for me that places this entire matter in a different light than how it has been presented by some demagogues.
Computers have produced a revolution in my field of work, education. We've reached the point where we can presume that most of our students have access to technology that I could barely imagine when I was still in school. Indeed, this has made possible all manner of alternative delivery methods. As computers and and the internet have developed, students are not bound by such mundane things as time and space in seeking education. They can learn from home, at their own pace, on their own schedule. Learning is no longer confined to classrooms and auditoriums.
Consider the options available from the K Alliance. Their field is online computer training, something that seems to be quite logical in the Internet Age. Their e-learning solutions include the use of CDs, intranets, and online training video course-ware. It is all a matter of student preference and learning style, as well as the technology they wish to work with. These online course help students reach their educational goals. Their self-placed computer training videos include a variety of topics such as IT Training, Certification Training, Desktop Office and Soft Skills.
Check out the K Alliance and see what they have to offer you -- you will likely be quite pleased.
If this isnít evidence that McCain-Feingold is unconstitutional, nothing is. The following is part of the oral argument of the
But if the federal government can treat a movie like a political advertisement, then why not books, the justices asked.
It can, answered [Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm] Stewart, "if the book contained the functional equivalent of express advocacy," the test used in regulating broadcast, cable or satellite communication released 60 days before a general election or 30 days before a presidential primary or convention.
That answer seemed to concern the justices. What about electronic books, like those used on Amazon's Kindle reader, justices asked. Yes, Stewart said.
Got that, folks. The Obama Regime is now claiming the power under McCain-Feingold to ban political speech and writing of all types Ė even speech and writing of the very sort that the Founders sought to protect. That, my friends, is evidence that there is no possible way to reconcile the law with the Constitution.
I took a hardline stand against mandatory vaccination for young girls when Texas Gov. Rick Perry decided he wanted to play doctor with every sixth grade girl in the state of Texas, because I did not and do not see a sufficient nexus between school and an STD to justify the requirement. At the same time, I indicated that I would probably have my own daughter vaccinated if I had one. Others, though, raised issues of long-term (or even short-term) health consequences. It now appears there may be a rare one.
Phil Tetlock and Barbara Mellers were in a race against time to save their 15-year-old daughter, Jenny. As I reported last summer, Jenny developed a degenerative muscle disease nearly two years ago, soon after being vaccinated against the cervical-cancer-causing HPV. She became nearly completely paralyzed, though her mind was perfectly intact and she could still enjoy her pet parakeet, Hannah Montana, and Twilight.
I've been E-mailing Phil regularly over the past year, and up until our last E-mail, one week ago, he had been holding out hope that they would be able to find a cure for his daughteróor to at least determine if the human papillomavirus vaccine called Gardasil had caused his daughter's illness, most likely a juvenile form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (aka Lou Gehrig's disease). Sadly, the clock ran out last Sunday, and Jenny passed away.
Through their efforts to publicize Jenny's case on their blog, Jenny's parents have connected with two other sets of parents whose daughters developed what appears to be ALS after being injected with Gardasil. One was 22-year-old Whitney Baird, who died last August, just 13 months after receiving Gardasil. Another is Alicia Olund, a 12-year-old who began having trouble walking after getting her third shot last September. She now uses leg braces and a walker at home as her muscles continue to deteriorate. After ruling out other conditions, her specialists at the University of California-San Francisco Medical Centerówho also treated Jennyósuspect that Alicia may have the same condition. "They don't know what she has," her mother, Barbara, tells me through tears, "but it's destroying her nerves and muscles, and none of the treatments they've given her are working. Before the vaccine, she was a perfectly healthy child, going for her brown belt in karate." (They're awaiting the results of the ALS test.)
Juvenile ALS is rare, with there being about 1 case for every 2 million teens. Whatís more, there is no definitive link between the disease and Gardasil Ė but it appears suspicious that these three girls (among others) had the disease develop so soon after taking the HPV vaccine. The CDC is investigating to see if there is a link Ė and I now wonder if the risk of ALS outweighs the risk of cervical cancer. Frankly, I donít know Ė but I do know the cancer can be treated and cured while the degenerative disease canít be. What I do know is that Iím glad the Texas Legislature stepped in and ended Rick Perryís foray into the unlicensed practice of medicine before even one girl could be endangered.
H/T Debbie Schlussel
I hadnít heard the rumor before now, but must say Iím sorry it isnít true.
Michelle Obama is putting supposed baby rumors to rest: She's not pregnant.
The First Lady told that in a interview this month with Oprah Winfrey in "O: The Oprah Magazine."
Michelle Obama apparently has been the speculation of baby rumors ever since Barack Obama got elected.
Not happening, she says.
Too bad, from my point of view. While I donít particularly like Michelle Obama and donít support her husband, Iíll freely acknowledge that they appear to be a loving couple who have done their best to provide a stable home to their two beautiful daughters. It would be nice to have such a couple Ė especially an African-American couple, given the high rate of illegitimacy in the black community Ė providing an example of the right way to go about having a family for our nationís young people. Call it a healthy dose of family values in the face of what is often provided as an example by pop culture.
Take, for example, the liberal concern over Rep. Michelle Bachmannís call for her constituents to be ďarmed and dangerousĒ in fighting a ďrevolutionĒ against cap and trade.
Instead of merely opposing the legislation, however, Bachmann compared Washington, D.C. to ďenemy linesĒ and urged her supporters to become ďarmed and dangerousĒ and fight a ďrevolutionĒ against cap and trade legislationÖ
Bachmann also spoke out against the cap-and-trade proposals currently making their way through Washington, and how she'll be distributing information against it at an upcoming event in the district. "I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax, because we need to fight back," said Bachmann. "Thomas Jefferson told us, having a revolution every now and then is a good thing. And the people - we the people - are going to have to fight back hard if we're not going to lose our country."
Asked about the White House-backed cap-and-trade proposal to reduce carbon emissions, Bachmann told WWTC 1280 AM, "I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us 'having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,' and the people -- we the people -- are going to have to fight back hard if we're not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States."
All of the above sources then go on to complain about the tenor of the comments, even as at least one of them notes that the statement is clearly figurative and not literal.
As well they should. The showís host, Power Lineís John Hinderacker, notes that Bachmannís comment was said in a light-hearted manner in the context of announcing her efforts to educate the public about the dangers of the Obama proposal, and that it was clearly not a call for armed revolution by physical force, but instead an expression of hope for citizen activism. In that sense, she was less radical than Thomas Jefferson, who argued that the tree of liberty survives only when the blood of patriots and tyrants is spilled to give it new life. And given the chronic liberal inability to condemn calls for actual armed revolution and political violence from the Left, isnít this reaction to the figurative language of a conservative congresswoman a bit over the top?
It is hard to decide which is the case with Japanís Tsutomu Yamaguchi. After all, there canít be many folks who can claim to have survived not just one of the worldís two uses of an atomic bomb on a populated area, but both of them.
A 93-year-old Japanese man has become the first person certified as a survivor of both U.S. atomic bombings at the end of World War II, officials said Tuesday.
Tsutomu Yamaguchi had already been a certified "hibakusha," or radiation survivor, of the Aug. 9, 1945, atomic bombing in Nagasaki, but has now been confirmed as surviving the attack on Hiroshima three days earlier as well, city officials said.
Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip on Aug. 6, 1945, when a U.S. B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the city. He suffered serious burns to his upper body and spent the night in the city. He then returned to his hometown of Nagasaki just in time for the second attack, city officials said.
Like I ask above, is Yamaguchi a guy who can claim to have been doubly lucky in having survived both bombs? Or is he doubly unlucky for having been at the site of both? It is one of those questions to ponder. Wouldnít it be fascinating, though, to be able to meet him and talk to him about those experiences?
One can argue the exact contours of the rights of students at school, but this case before the Supreme Court really shouldnít take much time to decide.
Savana Redding still remembers the clothes she had on ó black stretch pants with butterfly patches and a pink T-shirt ó the day school officials here forced her to strip six years ago. She was 13 and in eighth grade.
An assistant principal, enforcing the schoolís antidrug policies, suspected her of having brought prescription-strength ibuprofen pills to school. One of the pills is as strong as two Advils.
The search by two female school employees was methodical and humiliating, Ms. Redding said. After she had stripped to her underwear, ďthey asked me to pull out my bra and move it from side to side,Ē she said. ďThey made me open my legs and pull out my underwear.Ē
Ms. Redding, an honors student, had no pills. But she had a furious mother and a lawyer, and now her case has reached the Supreme Court, which will hear arguments on April 21.
The case will require the justices to consider the thorny question of just how much leeway school officials should have in policing zero-tolerance policies for drugs and violence, and the court is likely to provide important guidance to schools around the nation.
No person with even a lick of common sense, much less an understanding of the Constitutional prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures by government officials, can believe that such conduct is permissible. There was no basis for believing that there were drugs hidden in her underwear, nor was the medication she was suspected of having anything that could be seen as posing a serious threat to the health or safety of any student. In short, there was no pressing emergency that required this extreme measure Ė and any properly trained administrator ought to have known that.
Now I realize that courts have ruled that the parameters of student rights at school are different than those available to adults Ė and I think that sometimes the courts have erred in where they have drawn the boundaries. Indeed, the very concept of in loco parentis gives schools some pretty expansive leeway in dealing with students. But this isnít a search of a school-owned locker or a car with a parking permit Ė or even of a purse or backpack. This is a particularly invasive search that shocks the conscience. For the Supreme Court to rule in any other manner than that this search violated the Constitution Ė and that the school personnel involved should be personally liable for their actions Ė would be a grave miscarriage of justice.
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And whatís more, makes it clear that he and his Weather Underground colleagues (including Obama patrons Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn) were intent upon killing as many people as they could with their traitorous acts of terrorism.
Unlike his comrade Bill Ayers, who is both unrepentant and who distorts and lies about the Weathermen's goals and activities, Rudd is reflective and truthful. He does not depict himself, as does Ayers, as someone who was part of the broad peace movement.
Back then, Rudd, Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn favored "the necessity for violence in order to end the war and also to make revolution." They were fighting "a revolutionary war from within the United States," Rudd explains. When successful, the Weathermen would then build a new revolutionary army staffed by young defectors from the US armed forces.
* * *
Their goal was to build "the American arm of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam."
* * *
Their attempts at guerrilla warfare ended with the 1970 New York City town house bombing, which Rudd and Ayers and Dohrn all approved. Rudd is honest about its intent, emphasizing how the bomb they built was meant to kill hundreds of GIs and their dates at a Fort Dix dance.
Lest you forget, the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam was better known to Americans as the Viet Cong Ė one of the foes our armed forces were fighting on the battlefield. Whatís more, their goal was not to fight on the battlefield, but to wreak havoc within the United States by engaging in a campaign of murder designed to kill innocents in order to advance their political and military goals.
I think this book is quite important. How? Because it not only documents from the inside the efforts of this gang of traitors to side with our nationís enemies, but it also provides us with the sort of evidence necessary to bring charges of treason against those involved in those activities. Will the Obama Justice Department investigate and bring charges, or will it provide protection to the political patrons of President Barack Obama?
Well, the Obama Regime and its lackeys in Congress have passed legislation increasing ďopportunities for national serviceĒ for young and not-so-young Americans. However, Iím left concerned about two things about this bill.
The nation is close to a major civic breakthrough. By a 321-to-105 vote last week, the House approved an ambitious bipartisan measure to enlarge the opportunities for Americans of all ages and income levels to participate in productive national and community service.
A similar plan is now before the Senate. A favorable vote this week would help speed a worthy initiative to President Obamaís desk.
Essentially, the measure is an expansion of AmeriCorps, the existing domestic service program. It would increase the number of full-time and part-time service volunteers to 250,000 from 75,000 and create new programs focused on special areas like strengthening schools, improving health care for low-income communities, boosting energy efficiency and cleaning up parks.
Volunteers receive minimal living expenses and a modest educational stipend after their year of service. The bill raises the stipend to $5,350, the same as a Pell Grant. Special fellowships would be available for people 55 and older, as well as summer positions for middle- and high-school students.
Now please understand Ė I think service to the community and/or the nation is a great thing. Iím the son of a career military officer. My brother is a cop. Iím a teacher in a public school with a high percentage of minority and socio-economically disadvantaged students. My family is all about giving back to our community and our country. I donít object to any of that.
But letís get down to brass tacks here. I see two problems in this Ė one related to the potential for job destruction, and the other related to the evisceration of individual liberty.
First, letís consider that increase in volunteer positions with a small stipend attached. That seems to me to be a potential destroyer of good jobs for unemployed Americans. After all, Iíd have to presume that these jobs are already being done by people. Are we going to fire these workers? Or are we creating entirely new jobs Ė work that is needed and could be done by full-time employees who would then not be payments from unemployment or other entitlement programs.
Second, there is this aspect of the plan.
Under section 6104 of the bill, entitled ďDuties,Ē in subsection B6, the legislation states that a commission will be set up to investigate, ďWhether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.Ē
Section 120 of the bill also discusses the ďYouth Engagement Zone ProgramĒ and states that ďservice learningĒ will be ďa mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency.Ē
ďThe legislation, slated to cost $6 billion over five years, would create 175,000 ďnew service opportunitiesĒ under AmeriCorps, bringing the number of participants in the national volunteer program to 250,000. It would also create additional ďcorpsĒ to expand the reach of volunteerism into new sectors, including a Clean Energy Corps, Education Corps, Healthy Futures Corps and Veterans Service Corps, and it expands the National Civilian Community Corps to focus on additional areas like disaster relief and energy conservation,Ē reports Fox News.
This isnít volunteerism. And it is far outside the mainstream of American tradition, and Iíd argue it runs afoul of the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution. After all, it would be imposing involuntary servitude upon every young person as a condition of their being enrolled in school Ė something that is mandatory under the laws of every state. This is not military conscription in time of war Ė it is social experimentation and indoctrination mandated at the national level. Indeed, it is reminiscent of the use of students as unpaid farm labor in Castroís Cuba, or of the Hitler Youth. And I say that as the former coordinator of the mandatory senior service project at the Catholic school where I taught early in my teaching career (a program which I find unobjectionable because student was obliged to attend our school under penalty of law).
Iíd make a comment about the Obama Regimeís continued efforts to turn the US into a banana republic, but some on the Left might accuse me of calling Barry Hussein a chimp.
However, I suppose I am still on safe ground if I note that this is strikingly similar to the sort of legislation that Venezuelan thug-ocrat Hugo Chavez has gotten through his rubber-stamp legislature.
The Obama administration is considering asking Congress to give the Treasury secretary unprecedented powers to initiate the seizure of non-bank financial companies, such as large insurers, investment firms and hedge funds, whose collapse would damage the broader economy, according to an administration document.
* * *
The administration plans to send legislation to Capitol Hill this week.
For crying out loud Ė is this still America? Where are the patriots ready to rise up and put a stop to government acting well outside its proper role as established by the Constitution? Have we as a people slipped so far from the principles that once made America the greatest, freest, most prosperous nation on earth that we are now willing to accept even this sort of insanity without a comment or word of protest?
Congratulations to all vote-getters in this week's rigorous competition!
There are few things that can beat a hot looking swimsuit on an attractive woman. I learned that at a young age, as a kid living on Guam, where it is always swimsuit weather. So let's just say that I have an appreciation of the art and science of designing an swimwear, and of what it means to see it worn correctly by the right woman.
That is why I have a real appreciation of the Sauvage Serpent Bikini and so much of the other swimwear sold at Molly Brown Swimwear. She has some really hot stuff, like this one blue bikini with a glittering serpent making its way from the neck on down the top of the suit. Absolutely stunning!
Now what sort of swimwear should a woman choose? Well, that is really a matter of personal choice in my book. Some women find a one piece to be more practical and flattering, while others are able to flaunt their charms in a two piece suit. And ther eis also the question of whether the swimwear is really intended for swimming, or merely to be seen. So make your decision what you want and drop by Molly Brown's site to check out what they have in stock for you.
I pay taxes.
I have a chronically ill spouse.
It might be nice to have the government pay for my wife's health care, but it does not. I pay for insurance through my employer, and I pay the expenses not covered by that insurance. So it really angers me to read stories like this one.
Jose Cedillo, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, says he has nowhere to turn.
A day laborer since 1986, Mr. Cedillo has received notice from a Los Angeles County hospital that he must start paying out of pocket for the treatment he will need. "I have no choice because I have no insurance and can't work while I'm taking these treatments," he says, sitting in the tiny apartment he shares with his wife, a janitor.
The recession Ė and a big state deficit ≠Ė is leading some California counties to cut back on nonemergency health services to illegal immigrants. In others, cutbacks in services for the uninsured are hitting illegal immigrants especially hard.
I'm offended. No, not that Jose is being cut off by LA County. No, I'm offended that he was receiving government-paid medical care at all, especially the non-emergency care. He is here illegally, taking a job that could be held by an American, and yet he and millions like him feel they are entitled to a free ride at the expense of the American taxpayer.
When times were good, some might have been able to craft a cogent argument for providing taxpayer-subsidized medical care to immigration criminals. But with the economy as it is, there can be no justification for such generosity. Now if private individuals or groups wish to engage in a charitable activity by picking up the tab, I think that is great. Personally, all I'm willing to do is pay for Jose's bus ride back south of the border.
One thing struck me reading the NYT story you linkedÖ."One executive involved in the negotiations said, ďWhether he took a slight cut or got a slight raise, itís nobodyís business.Ē
Actually it is my business. NBC is owned by GE and GE took bailout money. Ergo, I'm paying Chris Matthews. And I deserve to know that he's not being paid more than the Democrat-approved $250k a year. Otherwise, it's an outrageous abuse of taxpayer money and should be taxed at 90%.
I'm waiting for all the Congressional outrage at NBC salaries.
If it is good enough for AIG, it is good enough form NBC. Now how much of my tax money are both Christ Matthews and Keith Olbermann unjustly enriching themselves with Ė and what is Congress doing to get that cash back?
Also, Iíd love to know how that anonymous quote in the article is in compliance with the standards set by the New York Times for the use of anonymous sources, given the flouting of the policy noted by the paperís own public editor.
Well, not exactly -- but still rather funny.
NASAís online contest to name a new room at the international space station went awry. Comedian Stephen Colbert won.
The name ďColbertĒ beat out NASAís four suggested options in the space agencyís effort to have the public help name the addition. The new room will be launched later this year.
NASAís mistake was allowing write-ins. Colbert urged viewers of his Comedy Central show, ďThe Colbert ReportĒ to write in his name. And they complied, with 230,539 votes. That clobbered Serenity, one of the NASA choices, by more than 40,000 votes. Nearly 1.2 million votes were cast by the time the contest ended Friday.
I'll have to talk to my friends with the ISS program to find out what they think about this rather strange development. I suspect the conversations will be rather amusing.
Nicholas Hughes, the son of Sylvia Plath and the British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, killed himself at his home in Alaska, nearly a half-century after his mother and stepmother took their own lives, according to a statement from his sister.
Mr. Hughes, 47, was an evolutionary biologist who studied stream fish and spent much of his time trekking across Alaska on field studies. Shielded from stories about his motherís suicide until he was a teenager, Mr. Hughes had lived an academic life largely outside the public eye. But friends and family said he had long struggled with depression.
Last Monday, he hanged himself at his home in Alaska, his sister, Frieda Hughes, said over the weekend.
ďIt is with profound sorrow that I must announce the death of my brother, Nicholas Hughes, who died by his own hand on Monday 16th March 2009 at his home in Alaska,Ē she said in a statement to the Times of London. ďHe had been battling depression for some time.Ē
Depression is a serious illness. If you or someone you know is battling depression or thoughts of suicide, please seek help.
Iíve long watched bi-racial/multi-racial kids struggle over how to define themselves when they have been asked to pick one box to check on the annual student survey. How, for example, should my former student whose mother is black and father is Mexican classify herself? What about the son of a Japanese mother and a white father? It is quite a conundrum for some of them, especially since they may not identify with one more than the other.
Iím therefore heartened by this move.
For many families in the District, Montgomery and other local counties that have felt forced to deny a part of their children's heritage, the new way of counting, mandated by the federal government, represents a long-awaited acknowledgment of their identity: Enrollment forms will allow students to identify as both white and American Indian, for example, or black and Asian. But changing labels will make it harder to monitor progress of groups that have trailed in school, including black and Hispanic students.
* * *
Starting in 2010, under Education Department rules approved two years ago to comply with a government-wide policy shift, parents will be able to check all boxes that apply in a two-step questionnaire with reshaped categories. First, they will indicate whether a student is of Hispanic or Latino origin, or not. (The two terms will encompass one group.) Then they will identify a student as one or more of the following: American Indian or Alaska native; Asian; black or African American; native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; or white.
Believe it or not, this is an improvement for my students. I worked in one school, for example, in which the policy was to count the students on the basis of their fatherís race or ethnicity. So to take the first example I gave above, the girl would be Hispanic Ė but if her father was black and her mother Hispanic, she would be black. Iím familiar of at least one school district, though, that required that any child of a white and a non-white parent be classified as the race of the non-white parent in order to get additional state and federal funding Ė sort of the ďone-dropĒ rule risen from the dead.
Personally, I favor dropping the entire system of counting students by race. The examples above show the arbitrary nature of such classifications. It would be better to classify by socio-economic status instead, and instead list the race of every student as ďhumanĒ.
I'll admit it -- I'm nearsighted. Not just a little near-sighted. Really near-sighted. I've often joked with students that if I ever lost my glasses I'd not only be unable to tell one from the other, but probably be unable to differentiate girls from boys at a distance of more than ten feet. Increase the distance and it would probably be unable to distinguish so much as the ethnicity of the person in question. Yeah, that near-sighted.
And now I have bifocals, because my eyes need different strength lenses for different tasks. And since I choose eyeglasses over contact lenses (and have since my brief flirtation with them during high school and college), I need a pretty thick lens unless I seek out something special like a polycarbonate or high-index lens. But such things cost more down at your local optical shop or mass-market eyeglass retailer, so it is important to look for bargains. That includes shopping online, because it is now possible to find High-indexed Prescription Eyeglasses On Sale. That can mean spectacular savings on that new pair of glasses. And since there are a great many stylish frames available online, it is possible to be in the latest eyewear fashions at a reasonable price.
How else do you explain this decision to buy cheap Chinese and Korean condoms instead of continuing to purchase those made right here in the USA?
At a time when the federal government is spending billions of stimulus dollars to stem the tide of U.S. layoffs, should that same government put even more Americans out of work by buying cheaper foreign products? In this case, Chinese condoms.
That's the dilemma for the folks at the U.S. Agency for International Development, which has distributed an estimated 10 billion U.S.-made AIDS-preventing condoms in poor countries around the world.
But not anymore.
In a move expected to cost 300 American jobs, the government is switching to cheaper off-shore condoms, including some made in China.
This does, of course, beg the question of whether the US government ought to be in the condom business at all. But if we are, doesnít it seem reasonable for us to ďbuy AmericanĒ?
I teach part time in a program that awards degrees in a technical field. One of the neat developments over the last couple of years has been the move to a mixed-delivery program, where much of the work is completed online rather than in a classroom setting. And it won't be long before we offer a degree option that is totally completed online. Over at DegreeSearch.org, you can find online accredited degree programs. That means your degree will really mean something, as it will be recognized as coming from an educational program that has demonstrated that it measures up to the standards set by the accrediting body. DegreeSearch.org bring prospective students together with colleges available and universities that offer online degrees. The site also provides information about the colleges offering such programs. These colleges offer you a quality education that will provide you with a valuable online education. All you have to do is decide what you want to study and the sort of program you would like and you can be matched with one of the many programs that are affiliated with DegreeSearch.com. Are such programs for everyone? No -- but if you are a self-motivated, disciplined individual then you can be successful in such a program.
Iím no friend of child abusers, including those in the clergy. Indeed, I had pretty harsh words about the lenient treatment of one of the guys I went to seminary with after he entered a plea of guilty. But I have a real problem with the notion of lifting statutes of limitations on old cases, whether for civil or criminal actions. I therefore have to disagree with the New York Times on this one.
For decades, priests who preyed sexually on children did so with shocking ease and impunity. Their superiors acted as functional accomplices, shuttling abusive priests among parishes and buying or bullying victims into silence. Shame and guilt did the rest, burying abuses under a shroud of secrecy that often far outlasted the statute of limitations for prosecutions or lawsuits. Those victims deserve a day in court. The New York Legislature should grant it to them, by passing a bill that would temporarily lift the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits involving the sexual abuse of children.
The bill would open a one-year window during which accusers would be allowed to sue in civil court, no matter how old the case. After a year, the statute of limitations would be restored, but an accuser would have up to 10 years after turning 18 to make a claim, instead of five. The statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions would not be changed.
Now I have two problems with this legislation. One deals with the issue of practicality. The other deals with the issue of equal protection of the law.
Letís look at the first one. Many of the cases that might be brought deal with situations that happened decades ago, and will make it quite difficult for an accuse individual to defend himself. Iím thinking of a case that Iím familiar with from the diocese with which I was affiliated before I left the seminary. One older priest was accused of an incident a quarter-century before by a woman who had been permitted to live in the rectory after being thrown out of the house by her parents. The story was one of sexual abuse by both the priest and a deceased nun Ė and involved some really warped stuff. The evidence? A report from a psychologist engaged by an advocacy group and an affidavit by the alleged victim. Unfortunately for Father X, both the accused nun and the rectory housekeeper were dead, and all he could do was offer denials of the accusations and a psychological report that indicated it was not in his psychological make-up to do such things. He was pulled from parish ministry, and denied the right to publicly act as a priest thereafter. With the lifting of the statute of limitations, that decision by an overly-cautious church hierarchy would be taken as evidence that they viewed Father X as guilty, and probably result in a jury verdict against him. More importantly, the passage of time would make effective defense in such a case impossible.
But beyond that, there is the equity/equal protection question. In New York State, where this suspension of the statute would be implemented, there is a 90-day window to file claims and suits when the alleged molester is a public school teacher or other public employee. The bill does not lift the statute of limitations there, despite the fact that the rate of sexual offenses among teachers is, lamentably, as high as or higher than among clergy. The disparate treatment here Ė which allows long-delayed suits against pastors and churches but not against teachers, principals, and school districts Ė is shocking to the conscience. The reason for that difference is the unwillingness of the New York legislature to expose state and local governments to the sort of liability they are imposing upon the private sector.
In other words, I object because of the injustice that is done to the accused by this change Ė and because of the favoritism shown to public institutions and employees in the bill. It should either be amended to end the disparity or, as much as I hate to deny an alleged victim the right to file suit, vote down this legislation as well-intentioned but ill-advised.
My little brother is a cop, and participates in many of the SWAT activities that his department is involved in. When I've been out West for visits, I've been fascinated by the tactical gear that he has as a part of his job. The reality is that civilians can purchase much of that sort of gear, like tactical pants, tactical polo, 5 in 1 field jackets and many other sorts of tactical gear. Where, you might ask? Well, through outlets like LA Police gear, found at lapolicegear.com. You'll be amazed at what is available, everything from clothing to Malice Clips for heavy duty work, You'll also find they have some great deals at close-out prices.
You know, the program of domestic spying on peaceful political activists implemented under the Clinton Justice Department Ė which the FBI was forced to continue even after it was found that groups like Concerned Women for America (CWA), the Christian Coalition and the National Right to Life Committee were not domestic terrorists.
Given the appointment of a prominent abortion advocate from the Clinton Justice Department to a high position in the Obama Justice Department, I think that it is important that Congress ask the above question.
What is VAAPCOM, you ask? Well, it was the ďViolence Against Abortion Providers ConspiracyĒ investigation that was discovered by Judicial Watch, a watchdog organization, after a Freedom of Information Act request. The documents revealed that the Justice Department under Janet Reno started an investigation in 1994 ó while Johnsen was a deputy assistant attorney general ó where they pressured the FBI to investigate pro-life organizations and its supporters.
Apparently they sought to prove there was a national conspiracy of pro-life ďextremistsĒ who were attacking abortion clinics. After months of monitoring several organizations, including Concerned Women for America (CWA), the Christian Coalition and the National Right to Life Committee, among others, the FBI failed to come up with anything. And though the FBI wanted to end the investigation, the DOJ pressured them to continue.
Given that Obama-appointee Dawn Johnson has worked closely with the ACLU and Planned Parenthood to protect the so-called right to an abortion and limit the rights of pro-life protesters and speakers to communicate their message peacefully in public places historically considered to be public forums for the exercise of First Amendment rights, do pro-lifers have legitimate cause for concern? Will Congress confront her during her confirmation hearings, and seek assurances from her that there will be no repeat of this massive violation of the rights of pro-life citizens during her time at Justice?
Shopping online has become an absolutely magnificent way of finding the products that you want. And especially today, with the economy slowing down, there are lots of companies out there with excess inventory, whether due to the end of a lease, overstock and the discontinuation of a product. These companies need to liquidate their inventory quickly. That's where Geeks.com enters the picture. They offer you these excess products at an affordable price. Geeks.com deals with technology items such as computer hardware, peripherals and electronics, offering them for sale to businesses, resellers and consumers. If you are looking to stretch your shopping dollar to the limit, Geeks.com offers you a great opportunity to do so. This is true even, perhaps even especially, if you are in the market for specialized electronic equipment that is often sought by the tech-savvy. Geeks.com has a top-notch customer support center to ensure that you are happy with your purchases. They have developed a reputation as a quality Internet discount retailerwith an extensive inventory in stock and, ready to ship -- most of it under warranty. If you are looking to buy excess inventory, end-of-lease, overstock, or manufacture close-out products, then Geeks.com is the best place to check out.
After all, failure to go along with obsequiously sycophantic language in a resolution honoring Barack Obama can only be based upon race, not mere disagreement with the sentiments expressed.
Frustrated black lawmakers staged a walkout Friday after the Georgia House decided to delay another vote on a resolution that would have honored Obama as a politician with an "uimpeachable reputation for integrity, vision and passion" and made him an honorary member of the black caucus.
* * *
State Rep. Austin Scott, a Republican who led the charge, said he took exception to language that read "no one could be more worthy of a special honor and recognition by the members of this body and the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus than this extraordinary leader."
Now look at the language of the resolution:
House Resolution 673
By: Representatives Heard of the 114th, Murphy of the 120th, Smyre of the 132nd, Heckstall of the 62nd, Randall of the 138th, and others
Honoring President Barack Obama on becoming the 44th President of the United States and recognizing President Barack Obama as an honorary lifetime member of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus; and for other purposes.
WHEREAS, on January 20, 2009, Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States and the first African American to hold this most important and powerful of world positions; and
WHEREAS, prior to becoming president, Barack Obama faithfully and diligently served as a member of the Illinois State Senate from 1997-2004 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, serving from January 3, 2005, until November 16, 2008; and
WHEREAS, President Barack Obama was a highly distinguished member of both the Illinois and United States Senates and has a long and distinguished career as a public servant and representative of the people; and
WHEREAS, the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus is a nonprofit charitable and educational organization established in 1973 with a vision to set the standards for black legislators and other political leaders in the years to come and to boldly assert the power of the black vote and the power of the black voice: and
WHEREAS, the primary purposes of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus are to promote the general welfare of minorities and other citizens of Georgia in matters of health, welfare, education, criminal justice, employment, and economic development; to stimulate professional and intellectual growth; and to advance the study and implementation of solutions to the problems of all citizens of the great State of Georgia; and
WHEREAS, throughout his political career, President Barack Obama has enjoyed an unimpeachable reputation for integrity, vision, and passion for public service, and no one could be more worthy of special honor and recognition by the members of this body and the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus than this extraordinary leader.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES that the members of this body recognize President Barack Obama as an honorary lifetime member of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus; join in commending him for his exceptional service to his community, this state, and our nation; and congratulate him on becoming the 44th President of the United States.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the members of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and other state black legislative caucuses are urged to adopt similar measures recognizing the extraordinary achievements of President Barack Obama.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk of the House of Representatives is authorized and directed to transmit an appropriate copy of this resolution to the chairman of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, Senator Emanuel D. Jones; the president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, Representative Calvin Smyre; and to the President of the United States, Barack Obama.
Here are a couple of things I'd object to.
"Barack Obama faithfully and diligently served as a member of the Illinois State Senate from 1997-2004"? What about those 130 votes of present so as to avoid taking a stand on controversial issues. Hardly faithful and diligent in my book.
"President Barack Obama was a highly distinguished member of both the Illinois and United States Senates and has a long and distinguished career as a public servant and representative of the people". Distinguished? How? He had no significant accomplishments in the US Senate other than running for president, and was really pretty insignificant as a member of the Illinois legislature. What did the man do, other than promote himself effectively and get himself elected president?
"President Barack Obama has enjoyed an unimpeachable reputation for integrity, vision, and passion for public service..." Really? I'm personally ready to impeach him right now. Besides, given his backtracking on commitments he made to the American people during the campaign, I'd argue he has pretty well impeached his own reputation for integrity.
[N]o one could be more worthy of special honor and recognition by the members of this body... No one? Really? The Dalai Lama? The United States Armed Forces? The teachers who day-in and day-out toil in the classrooms of the state of Georgia with little or no recognition?
And moreover, why does the legislature as a whole need to adopt a resolution giving Obama honorary membership in a segregationist caucus from which many members of that legislature are excluded because of the color of their skin rather than the content of their character? Wouldn't it be more honest for the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus to pass a resolution of their own giving him that membership, rather than insisting that individuals who are denied membership in that segregationist caucus due to their skin color concur in an unprecedented honor that would not be conferred upon a white president?
Do I think it would be appropriate to honor Barack Obama with some sort of resolution marking his election? Perhaps -- but this is one that I would never vote for were I a member of that legislative body because of its laughable rhetoric and racially exclusive nature. Besides, I thought that Barack Obama was all about ending racial divisions in this country -- so how does granting him honorary membership in this segregationist organization really honor what he claims to be all about, especially given that the group is one that would exclude his own mother solely because of the color of her skin?
Forget the faux outrage of the Democrats over bonuses they knew about in advance and even wrote into the bailout legislation. I want to know about AIG making political donations to Democrats at the same time they were about to get bailout money.
New York's Republican Party says the Democrat-controlled state government is ignoring calls for an investigation into a $100,000 donation to the state Democratic Party from American International Group days before officials initiated the bailout of the insurance giant.
State Republican Chairman Joseph Mondello accuses Democrats of a duck-and-cover response to disclosure of the donation, first reported Thursday by the Associated Press.
This wasn't a run-of-the-mill donation. It was the largest AIG donation to the Democrats in a decade. I don't know about you, but I'd sure like to know what other state Democrat parties received such unusual donations from a company in such terrible financial shape that they needed a massive infusion of cash at the same time. Did any AIG funds go to the national Democrat apparatus?
And let's be clear what the problem is here -- New York state gave AIG a huge infusion of taxpayer cash right after the donation was made. Both the executive and legislative branches of that state are in the hands of the Democrats. It sure looks like a quid pro quo -- and now the Democrats in that state are unwilling to examine the circumstances of the donation and its propriety.
The Obama administration will call for increased oversight of executive pay at all banks, Wall Street firms and possibly other companies as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul financial regulation, government officials said.
And friends, that doesn't just include the firms receiving bailout funds -- the proposal is to control the pay of the executives of ALL firms, whether or not they receive those funds.
And forget that whole legislative process, where his opponents might be able to block this unprecedented grab for power over the private sector -- he'll just have his appointees and their subordinates make rules that don't require the vote of the people's elected representatives.
The administration has been considering increased oversight of executive pay for some time, but the issue was heightened in recent days as public fury over bonuses spilled into the regulatory effort.
The officials said that the administration was still debating the details of its plan, including how broadly it should be applied and how far it could go beyond simple reporting requirements. Depending on the outcome of the discussions, the administration could seek to put the changes into effect through regulations rather than through legislation.
After all, the legislative process is so cumbersome and awkward, and might not necessarily produce the Hope'n'Change that he wants -- so he'll do it himself, without legislative branch input. After all, is Article I of the Constitution really all that important? I mean, Barry Hussein's authority comes from Article II, and II is higher than I and so the powers there must be much more substantive -- and he was a constitutional law professor (well, an instructor without tenure, anyway) for a little while. Besides, isn't it time for the "living constitution" to evolve in such a way as to give him unprecedented power?
Be afraid -- be very afraid.
After all, if Obama can regulate how much these folks are allowed to make, he can also impose a maximum wage upon the rest of us if he decides it is in the national interest.
Prior to the Hurricane, I lived not far from the water -- and hopefully will again quite soon. Even now, in my temporary location, I can still be to a body of water used for recreational boating within 5 minutes -- even if I miss a couple of lights. Unfortunately, this makes me aware of a certain type of inconciderate, unsafe boating "enthusiast" -- the drunk/drugged boater.
Now if you are considering going out on some body of water over your next vacation, are you prepared to deal with this dangerous creature? More importantly, are you prepared to make sure that you are not that dangerous creature? Fankly, you need to spend some time learning about boating safety if you plan on being out on the water. And one of the important aspects of boater safety is that you don't operate your boat while under the influence. Boating OUI is a big deal -- and is treated every bit as seriously as operating a car while intoxicated. Also, be sure you have enough life vests for everyone on the boat, and be sure they are used by everybody on your boat as a means of guaranteeing the safety of everybody. Check out this video as well.
Iranís supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rebuffed President Obamaís latest outreach, saying Tehran was still waiting to see concrete changes in American foreign policy.
Ayatollah Khamenei, who holds the ultimate responsibility for Iranian policy decisions, was responding Saturday to a video message Mr. Obama released Friday in which he reached out to Iran on Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and expressed hopes for an improvement in nearly 30 years of strained relations.
In his most direct public assessment of Mr. Obama and prospects for better ties, Ayatollah Khamenei said there could be no change between the countries unless the Obama administration put an end to hostility toward Iran and brings ďreal changesĒ in foreign policy.
ďThey chant the slogan of change but no change is seen in practice,Ē Ayatollah Khamenei said in a speech before a crowd of tens of thousands in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad.
No good was ever likely to come from this effort -- yet the Obamateur decided to engage in YouTube diplomacy. What he forgets is that the Iranian regime hates America (something not true of the Iranian people as a whole), and nothing is going to change that. What he has done here is made himself look silly, and the United States look impotent. Good going, Barry!
Well, the rodeo is done today here in Houston. My wife and I have been a lot this year, and I have been struck by the number of pregnant young women (and not-so-young women) we've seen this year. Maybe it has something to do with being around six months past the up-to-two-week power outage that followed Hurricane Ike. Folks had to entertain themselves somehow. :)
That brings us to the question of maternity clothes. It is amazing how these clothes mimic the latest styles and fashions.
Kikisfashions.com, is a online retailer of fashionable maternity clothing. The site is now offering a 20% discount to to those who use the coupon code ďbloggerfriendsĒ. So if you or someone you love is ina afamily way, check them out.
When he determines the existence of a cyber threat justifies cutting the people off from electronic access to their government.
CNET News has obtained a summary of a proposal from Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) that would create an Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor, part of the Executive Office of the President. That office would receive the power to disconnect, if it believes they're at risk of a cyberattack, "critical" computer networks from the Internet.
Obama's popularity is plummeting, and he and his minions are seeking to aggregate more and more power into the hands of the government. He even wants to bypass the legislative process to implement further government control of the economy through executive orders and bureaucratic regulations. What better way to stifle dissent than to prevent convenient access to government records and limit the ability of citizens to quickly and conveniently communicate with government officials?
Anyone thinking "Reichstag fire"?
H/T Pink Flamingo
Got a car? Well, then, you also need to get insurance. it isn't just a matter of law -- it is a matter of common sense.The right insurance is necessary for any vehicle, whether it is a car, a truck, a van, or a motorcycle. Why? Because it can provide you with protection in the event of an accident, whether in terms of paying for damages, libility, or medical expenses. And that doesn't even get into the question of the penalties imposed by the government on those who fail to insure their vehicles. So you need insurance, and it is important to get it from the best available source -- one where you can easily and reliably insure your vehicle, whether personal or commercial Where should you get your insurance? Well, in the UK you might consider autonetinsurance.co.uk for your insurance needs. They have a great deal of experience that enables them to help you get the right insurance. They can, for example, help you get a good Van Insurance Quote so that you know you are getting the best deal available to you. Make sure that you visit them today to make sure that you are not paying too much for that all-imporatant insurance on your vehicle
Bill Maher made the following comment recently regarding Glenn Beck (and, by implication, other conservative talkers, writer, and bloggers).
You know, remember when Obama said that the people out there who are bitter and cling to their guns? Yeah, he was way off about that. I mean, it's those people who I worry about. I do think that this increases the chance for people, you know, to take horrible action. I mean, you know, already Obama has more threats than any president ever.
We'll leave aside the fact that Maher expressed regret that Dick Cheney was not murdered in a terrorist attack while abroad. We'll ignore the fact that his companion on the broadcast, Keith Olbermann, made comments regarding George W. Bush that were much more outrageous than anything said by Beck on his show. Let's get down to brass tacks on this one.
Let's assume that Maher is correct -- the dissenting words of certain conservatives increase the chance of some unspecified "horrible action" against Barack Obama.
After all, the alternative is government speech regulation, and the evisceration of the First Amendment.
Barack Obama took an oath to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. He is the commander in chief of our armed forces. As much as any of the soldiers at his command, he should be prepared to lay down his life to defend our nation's charter of liberty. If he isn't, he needs to admit as much and resign.
Now please understand, I want nothing to happen to Barack Obama. I hope to see him live to a ripe old age -- long enough for history to have rendered a definitive verdict that his performance during his single term in the White House constituted one of the worst failures of a President in American history (ranking with Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan). But if the choice is between his life and our liberties, there is no contest.
Now I have condemned outright threats against a sitting president in the past. I do so again here and now -- just as I do threats of death or violence against any other human being. But that isn't what is being talked about here -- instead we are once again hearing Leftists put forth an implicit justification of speech suppression on the basis that someone who is unstable might act in a manner never intended by the speaker.
The groom was driving drunk. The bride was blitzed and screaming at the cops. So the happy couple got arrested -- and are now angry that they didn't get the county jail's honeymoon suite -- and that someone took a picture of her in her wedding dress in the courtroom where she entered a guilty plea to Public Intoxication.
New bride Jade Puckett is so upset about a photograph of her in her wedding dress that sheís filed a complaint with the Harris County Precinct 8 Constableís office.
The picture was taken as she waited to go before a justice of the peace on a public intoxication charge. Itís not the kind of photograph most brides put at the front of their wedding albums.
That it was posted on several news Internet sites ó complete with sometimes cutting remarks from viewers ó didnít make her feel any better about the ordeal.
ďIt had turned the best day of my life into my greatest nightmare,Ē she said in her complaint, filed Wednesday.
Seems that she is angry that people laughed at her -- and that someone took a picture of her waiting to go before the Justice of the Peace on her charges.
She said as she sat in a justice of the peace courtroom in Clear Lake, a man came into the room and took pictures of her in her wedding dress. She doesnít know who the man was.
ďThe picture he took of me has been plastered across the media,Ē she said. ďThey have used my face and picture for the poster child of this sting operation.Ē She said viewer comments on Internet Web sites called her degrading and racial names.
Sorry, lady, but you are no different from any other criminal waiting for a hearing -- nobody needs your permission to photograph you in that situation.
And while I don't countenance anyone using racial slurs in your direction, I do think you are a pampered, over-privileged drunk who needs to get herself into rehab with the souse you married before we see yet another picture of you folks -- in a puddle of blood next to the car you just killed yourselves or an innocent victim with.
If anyone can get me a link to the offending picture of this pathetic wench, I'll post it here. She deserves the humiliation.
At White House ceremony in which a press association will be giving Barry Hussein an award as the top newsmaker of 2008!
Barack Obama was elected commander in chief promising to run the most transparent presidential administration in American history.
This achievement and the overall promise of his historic administration caused the National Newspaper Publishers Assn. to name him "Newsmaker of the Year."
The president is to receive the award from the federation of black community newspapers in a White House ceremony this afternoon.
The Obama White House has closed the press award ceremony to the press.
I'm curious -- what is The One trying to hide here? the fact that he is newsworthy? The fact that he got an award? The fact that it is from a black organization? I just don't get it -- this is the sort of non-controversial photo-op type of thing that the White House Press Office ought to be opening up for the media. It would be a feel-good story.
I wonder -- could Obama's teleprompter have a prior engagement?
Yep -- they are now "man-caused disasters".
SPIEGEL: Madame Secretary, in your first testimony to the US Congress as Homeland Security Secretary you never mentioned the word ďterrorism.Ē Does Islamist terrorism suddenly no longer pose a threat to your country?
NAPOLITANO: Of course it does. I presume there is always a threat from terrorism. In my speech, although I did not use the word ďterrorism,Ē I referred to ďman-causedĒ disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.
Another incompetent in the administration of the Obamateur. What this fool does not realize is that by refusing to call terrorism by its proper name, she makes it implicitly less serious. By refusing to call it an attempt to use terror to achieve the political and religious ends of the Islamist horde, she minimizes its importance and significance.
But then again, this ranks right up there with the dropping of the term "enemy combatant" -- presumably to be replaced by some more neutral term like "undocumented adversary" or "future Democrat voter".
Is your web hosting contract is up in a couple of months? Are you thinking about adding additional domains, and not sure about the impact on pricing? Maybe you are seeing increased bandwidth and traffic on you site or sites. If so, you need to make sure that your web hosting service is actually the best one for you. You need to make sure the company you work with really is the best webhosting company for you. Iím therefore suggesting to you that you need to start checking out reviews of hosting companies to find out about different webhosting companies. It is called comparison shopping, folks Ė and it is what any good consumer should do.
Would this be a national scandal if the perps were Republicans? And wouldn't the party labels appear sooner than the SIXTH paragraph?
According to the indictment, Democratic election commissioner Charles Wayne Jones and election officer William E. Stivers helped extort money from candidates. In some cases, candidates were apparently asked to pool money so votes could be bought.
Thompson, the county clerk, allegedly provided money for election officers to buy votes. Thompson also told election officers how to change votes at the machines, according to the indictment.
Some voters were bribed at the voting booths. Some officials told voters to use booths incorrectly, so that they could go back and change the tallies, the indictment says.
William and Debra Morris are also charged as associates who helped dish out money to buy votes.
Now Sister Toldjah wants to question whether some of those involved might be Republicans -- but given the lask of any other party ID, it seems pretty clear that only one party was involved.
Are you looking to pimp your ride? You know, really make that vehicle of yours into something special? Well, then you might consider looking under the hood, too, not just concerning yourself with appearances. After all, what is the big deal about a car tha tlooks good but doesn't have enough horses to really move? What I'm trying to tell you is that you might want to turbocharge your ride as a way of making it into something special. Just get yourself a good turbo attached to your engine and you have a vehicle that is something special -- street legal but ready for the track.
President Barack Obama says his embattled treasury chief, Timothy Geithner, is doing an ďoutstanding job.Ē
In a taped appearance on ďThe Tonight ShowĒ, he told host Jay Leno that Geithner is a smart guy whoís been handed an incredibly full plate. But heís handling it all with grace and good humor. Listing the recession, the banking crisis and the need to coordinate with other countries, Obama acknowledged Geithnerís ďon the hot seatĒ. But he says too many in Washington are trying to figure out who to blame for things ó when they should be focused on fixing them.
I guess Barry Hussein doesn't read the papers -- little Timmy and his subordinates approved the AIG bonuses, even got them written into the legislation by a friendly Dem senator. And Timmy has failed to exercise appropriate oversight over TARP funds.
Wanna bet that the media gives the Obamateur a pass on this one, too?
Blue tarps are still a common sight here in Houston, over six months after Hurricane Ike. After all, there were a lot of damaged roofs in this area as we faced a hurricane that did major destruction to so many parts of southeastern Texas. The amount of damage done has led to a backlog at most roofing companies -- and so many folks might end up going for a year with that stylish fashion statement on their home. What has amazed me is how durable those blue tarps really are. Six months in the elements and they still appear to be in great shape. I understand from friends who have them at their home that they still have no leakage, despite the passage of time.
What else can you use these tarps for? How about a shelter from the elements during a party or on a camping trip? Maybe protection for your boat or that old car that you are working on. Heck, I hear that if you wet them down they can even make a good surface for sliping and sliding on a hot day! But regardless of your need, for tarps, I'd encourage you to make sure you get yourself some -- because you never know when you might need them.
No, not his mother -- I can take or leave her.
No, I mean the newest Biden, Champ.
Better looking than the Vice president, and probably smarter, too. Also less likely to say something stupid to embarrass the Obama Regime.
But I am disturbed by this detail in the story.
The veep's wife told People magazine she intends to tear up the off-white carpet installed by the Cheneys in favor of kid-and-pet-friendly hardwood floors.
In these hard economic times, with the Obama Regime spending more on bailout programs than George W. Bush spent on the entire Iraq war, is it really appropriate for the government to spend a bundle to redecorate the Vice Presidential residence when the current decor is perfectly serviceable?
If I ever leave the Houston area for another part of Texas, I think that San Antonio might be at the top of my list. It is a great city with a wonderful history and fantastic cultural diversity. it also has a strong economy, with jobs available in a number of fields. It has a fantastic medical center for those interested in that field, and has a number of Fortune 1000 companies hiring in town. The economy of San Antonio has stayed strong over the years, and has bounced back quickly from difficult times in the past. So if you are looking for work, check out these available San Antonio Jobs.
How can you be a congresscritter from California while claiming Maryland as your primary residence?
A senior member of the U.S. Houseís tax-writing Ways and Means Committee from California has been taking advantage of a tax break for a home in Maryland that he claims as his principal residence.
Representative Pete Stark, the second-ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means panel, in 2007 and 2008 saved a total of $3,853 in state and Anne Arundel County taxes on a Maryland waterfront home that he claims as his primary residence, according to Maryland tax disclosures.
Maryland officials, contacted by a Bloomberg reporter about the tax break Stark received, said they plan to look into his eligibility for it.
Homeowners in Maryland qualify for the tax credit for residences they use ďfor the legal purposes of voting, obtaining a driverís license, and filing income tax returns,Ē according to the Maryland Assessment Procedures Manual.
Stark, 77, confirmed in a telephone interview last week that he and his wife, Deborah, are registered to vote in Californiaís 13th congressional district using the address of her parents in San Lorenzo, about 25 miles southeast of San Francisco. Stark also said both he and his wife have California driverís licenses.
Let's see -- he doesn't vote there, he does not have a license from there, and he presumably files taxes from California. So, where is his residence? Ought the House consider expelling him as ineligible for the office he holds? Or, like every thievin', tax-cheatin' Democrat public official, does his sorry ass get a pass?
Well, it is rodeo time here in Houston, which means that there are a lot of horse lovers and riders gathered together in one place. Those folks share a common bond of love for those magnificent animals. And then there are folks like my niece, who is into the more traditional horse show style of riding . There are also folks out there who use horses for sporting events like polo. And last but not least, there are those who still use horses as working animals, whether around a farm or pulling a carriage or wagon. But the bond all of these folks share is love for the horse.
Now since all of these equestrian activities can be a life-long passion, those involved in such activities often look for mates who share that common interest and love. That is where the Equestrian Cupid singles site comes in. It is designed so that you can meet other horseback riders for romance and life-long partnerships. It allows you to meet-up on a ride and discover new territory trails to ride. it also helps horse lovers to meet that special someone who shares the same life passion for horses. Equestrian Cupid has FREE sign-up, so you can meet another horse lover at no cost.
Remember when all hell broke loose because Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich signed a book deal. As I recall, it was a major scandal with alleged ethics implications even though the book met the requirements of House rules on book contracts, and Gingrich forced to give up his advance money. Where are the attacks on the Obamateur and his unsavory book deal?
As he empathized with recession-weary Americans, President Obama arranged in the days just before he took office to secure a $500,000 advance for a children's book project, a disclosure report shows.
The terms of the book deal were disclosed in a Senate financial disclosure report filed Tuesday.
* * *
Mr. Obama approved the $500,000 advance on Jan. 15. The advance is against royalties under a deal with Crown Publishing, a division of Random House. The project calls for an abridged version of his book "Dreams From My Father" for middle-school-aged children, according to the disclosure.
A White House aide said that the deal had been in the works for weeks and that the publisher will abridge the book. The aide, speaking on a condition of anonymity, said the publisher will get half of the money while Mr. Obama will sign off on the final version.
In addition, the financial disclosure showed Mr. Obama brokered an amendment to an existing book deal with Crown Publishing to put off writing a nonfiction book until after he leaves office.
So, how on earth can Barry Hussein make this sort of deal when he is supposed to be so busy with the business of the American people? And who is buying influence with him, and what special favors will he show in return for that nice wad of cash in his pocket?
And will the Random House be cutting these little tidbits out of the book intended for younger audiences?
Sorta makes you proud to be an American, doesn't it.
like big trucks and I cannot lie
Those other brothers can deny...
OK, I know -- I'm not a rap idol or any such things -- too old, too square, and too white (I'm more Vanilla Ice than Eminem). But while rap isn't my thing, I've always been fascinated by big trucks. Maybe it has something to do with having had an uncle who drove a big rig for most of his adult life. I've also been fascinated by specialty trucks and the equipment that goes with them to do highly specialized jobs.
Now if you are in construction work of any kind, you know that you can make your job so much easier if you have the right equipment. And it isn't a matter of having the right equipment -- it is also important to have quality equipment that you can rely on day in and day out. And when you do specialty work like laying fiber optic cable or rooing out sewer and water systems, finding that equipment at the right price can be difficult. So if you need special equipment, be it a truck or cable dolly, it would be to your advantage for you check out www.alasher.com. They know what they are doing, and they have a fantastic inventory of heavy equipment and trailers. Al Asher & Sons has a large sales and rental inventory of the specialized equipment you need to do your job and do it right. You can find trucks, cranes, and a host of other specialized trucks and related equipment. And you know that this company is reliable --they have been around for over 95 years, and are a family owned and operated business. That is certainly indicative of reliability, honesty, and staying power. They will be there fore you in the future when you need them.
Why can't the Service Employees International Union live by the same rules that it wants imposed upon other employers?
As it helps push for legislation that would make it easier for workers to organize, the country's fastest-growing union is engaged in its own labor dispute with employees it is seeking to lay off.
The Service Employees International Union, considered the most influential union in the nation, has notified the union that represents about 220 of its national field staff and organizers that 75 of them are being laid off. In return, the workers' union, which goes by the somewhat postmodern name of the Union of Union Representatives, has filed unfair labor practices charges against SEIU with the National Labor Relations Board. The staff union's leaders say that SEIU is engaging in the same kind of practices that some businesses use -- laying off workers without proper notice, contracting out work to temp firms, banning union activities and reclassifying workers to reduce union numbers.
I'm curious -- what would the SEIU do in the event that one of the companies where it represents workers engaged in these activities? There would be a great hue and cry over the outrageous behavior of management. There would be the calling in of chits from the Obama Regime and Congressional Democrats in an effort to get investigations and legislation that would appropriately punish and restrict what the union considers to be bad practices. But now the chief thug of the SEIU defends these practices when he presides over them. The hypocrisy is enough to make you laugh, isn't it?
Why hasn't the Justice Department -- and Attorney General Eric Holder in particular -- made much of a decision by the Fifth Circuit upholding the conviction of politician who engaged in an egregious campaign of racial discrimination to disenfranchise voters based upon their race?
Is it because of incompetence?
Is it because the perpetrator is a Democrat?
Attorney General Eric Holder calls the U.S. ďa nation of cowardsĒ because we ďdo not talk enough about race.Ē I find this ironic, since the Justice Department seems embarrassed about a recent judgment in its favor by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. U.S. v. Ike Brown is a major Voting Rights Act case involving intentional race-based discrimination by local officials in Noxubee County, Miss.
When the Fifth Circuit issued its decision on February 27, there was complete silence from Justice. The department typically issues a press release after any significant litigation victory, and the Civil Rights Division trumpets every success. But not here. The silence from the nationís leading news outlets was also deafening: Not a word was published about the case by the New York Times, the Washington Post, or any other major publication. Why? Because the offensive conduct at issue did not conveniently track with the Leftís view of race discrimination.
* * *
If the races had been reversed, does anyone doubt this would have been front-page news? Or that Eric Holder would have been prominently quoted in a Justice Department press release calling attention to this outrageous discrimination? The Department of Justice should be proud of this victory. If Attorney General Holder is serious about talking about race, perhaps he could start with this case.
So, let's have that dialogue about race. Is racial discrimination at the voting booth an evil for the federal government to eradicate only when the victims are non-whites -- or is each and every American worthy of having his or her right to vote protected without regard to race or ethnicity? Why were careerists in the Civil Rights Division so opposed to taking and prosecuting this case? And why the failure to talk about race -- and racism -- when the opportunity exists to demonstrate that our nation's government is prepared to act in defense of the liberties of every American when they are the victims of pervasive acts of racism under color of law (as Attorney General Holder claimed was a department goal in a recent speech in Selma, Alabama)?
I tried to make this point back at the time of the chimp cartoon.
Many Conservatives think that the way to handle these attacks is to tread lightly and be hyper-sensitive to the issues. I say we need to be as unabashedly politically incorrect as possible. The only way weíll end the ďrace warĒ is to discard it as an issue altogether. Whoís with me? Who else out there is willing to start speaking freely without fear of race, ethnicity or the liberal nutjobs who deem themselves offended?
For too long, conservatives have lived in fear of being branded racist. I'd argue that the overwhelming majority of white Americans of all political stripes have been frightened of being accused of racism if we make place a foot wrong regarding issues of race. But in a day and age when our nation has elected a black man to the presidency with a large percentage of the white vote, we have to shift the paradigm.
Criticism of, and even outright opposition to, Barack Obama is not about race for most Americans -- it is about policy. No American, of any race, can let fear of the race card silence him or her. Absent explicit and unambiguous appeals to racism, any criticism of Barack Obama is fair game. We have not seen that yet from any significant conservative politician or media figure -- no matter how many times voices on the Left attempt to manufacture a controversy over race when Obama is opposed by the Right. Barack Obama is President of the United States, and criticism and opposition go with the job. It is those who would silence that criticism and opposition with the race card who are the real racists, for their implicit message is that Obama is too weak as a man and a leader to take what has been dished out to presidents who have preceded him.
In today's society, many folks are concerned about enhancing their appearance through cosmetic surgery as a means of improving their personal sense of self-worth. I've known others who have needed such surgery for medical reasons. Among these procedures are both breast enhancement and reduction, as well as other procedures to enhance and improve one's appeaance. Each can benefit the person having the surgery both psychologically and socially, as well as medically. That's why it is important to get these procedures done right by skilled professionals. For more details about the benefits of such procedures, check out the site located at at Mya.co.uk for additional information.
Obama and his Democrat lackeys are up in arms over the AIG bonuses. But it turns out that the Obama Regime -- and Obama himself -- knew in advance that these bonuses were to be paid despite the massive bailout package given to AIG.
President Obama was informed about the $165 million in bonuses due to employees of the American Insurance Group the day before they were paid out last week, the White House disclosed late Tuesday.
Obama has expressed outrage that the company, which has received about $170 billion in government bailout money, proceeded to pay out the bonuses. He said the idea of a company rescued with taxpayer money awarding bonuses runs counter to "our values."
So Barack was shocked and outraged? Doesn't seem like it to me -- otherwise he might have spoken out BEFORE the bonuses were paid. Not, of course, that there was anything wrong from a legal standpoint with the bonuses -- the legislation authorizing the bailout and so many others left in place all bonuses awarded pursuant to contracts signed before February 11, 2009.
I remember being a kid and watching reruns of the old television show Flipper. It was a great show, all about a boy and his dolphin and their adventures together. I'll have to admit -- the little child that I was really wished that I could slip in the water with one of these sleek aquatic mammals for a swim. it just seemed like it would be a neat thing to be able o glide along with one of these fascinating beasts. Indeed, I don't think that I was alone in that desire, and have heard from my peers about havng the same reaction to the show.
Well, maybe gliding through the open sea with a dolphin isn't an option for most of us, but having a chance to swim with the dolphins certainly is within the realm of possibility. If you trave to Cancun, you can actually avail yourself of the opportunity to frolic in the water with live dolphins. For information on how you and your travelling companions can have this special experience, as well as other Cancun tours and activities, visit DolphinDiscovery.com for additional information. But especially take the time to take to the water and spend some quality time with our fellow mammals who diverged down a different evolutionary path to live in the sea instead of on land.
With it being rodeo time here in Houston, I've been so busy that I've neglected to post lat Friday's results from the Watcher's Council vote. Well, here they are. There's some good stuff here, so you definitely want to take a look at the winners and the other nominees.
Spring is here -- well, sort of anyway -- down here in Texas. That means that it is time to start thinking about gardens. And for me, with the house nearly ready following Hurricane Ike, it means making some decisions about how to use those patches of soil that were devoted to gardening. I'm thinking that we might just consider a vegetable garden in the back, because we really need to start eating healthier foods.
But if I'm going to take the time and make the effor to grow some food in my yard for health reasons, do I really want to put a bunch of chemicals on it? What makes it from soil to root to food? I'm really not sure -- and that worries me. It isn't just the pesticides and weed killers that are a concern, it is even those fertilizers that leave me asking questions about what I end up putting into my system when I eat. So I'm thinking that maybe I'll go in the direction of organic gardening.
That means finding myself some good organic gardening products to make my garden grow greener in both senses of the word. I know that there are plenty of organic gardening products out there that will help me deal with pests, weeds, and disease, as well as organic fertilizers to make my vegetable grow into food that I'll look forward to eating. So this year those tomatoes in the garden will be organic ones.
To pay new taxes, of about $335 a month if you get health insurance from your employer.
The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system.
The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as ďthe largest middle-class tax increase in history.Ē Most Americans with insurance get it from their employers, and taxing workers for the benefit is opposed by union leaders and some businesses.
Remember folks -- this is the Change you've been Hoping for!
Just a couple of quick notes about the sorts of things going on in the name of "The Religion of I'm Gonna Cut Your Head Off, Infidel Dog".
We are all too familiar with the persecution of Christians in countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Yet sitting in front of me is a British woman whose life has been threatened in this country solely because she is a Christian. Indeed, so real is the threat that the book she has written about her experiences has had to appear under an assumed name.
The book is called The Imamís Daughter because ďHannah ShahĒ is just that: the daughter of an imam in one of the tight-knit Deobandi Muslim Pakistani communities in the north of England. Her father emigrated to this country from rural Pakistan some time in the 1960s and is, apparently, a highly respected local figure.
He is also an incestuous child abuser, repeatedly raping his daughter from the age of five until she was 15, ostensibly as part of her punishment for being ďdisobedientĒ. At the age of 16 she fled her family to avoid the forced marriage they had planned for her in Pakistan. A much, much greater affront to ďhonourĒ in her familyís eyes, however, was the fact that she then became a Christian Ė an apostate. The Koran is explicit that apostasy is punishable by death; thus it was that her father the imam led a 40-strong gang Ė in the middle of a British city Ė to find and kill her.
Yep -- the incestuous rapist religious leader was at the head of a mob that planned on beheading this young woman for the "crime" of exercising her fundamental human right to determine her own religion and practice it freely. This is but one more example that flies in the face of the oft-repeated claim that Islam teaches that there shall be no compulsion in religion. If such is the case, then someone ought to tell the paragon of Islamic manhood of Islam who led that murderous mob, a religious leader in the Islamic community, about that particular tenet of the Muslim faith.
Still, Hannah Shah does seem to have come out of her experience of Islam much better than Aasiya Z. Hassan -- whose 'moderate Muslim" husband entered a plea of Not Guilty in a Buffalo courtroom to charges of murder after he beheaded her.
Of course, it isn't just those who have had the misfortune to be born and raised Muslim who are subjected to violence for daring to act in a manner contrary with the barbaric tenets of that faith and the sharia law it inspires.
A Christian minister in London who has clashed with Muslims on his television show says he was brutally attacked by three men who warned him, "if you go back to the studio, weíll break your legs," the Daily Mail reported on Sunday.
The newspaper said Reverend Noble Samuel was driving to his studio when a car pulled over in front of him. A man got out and came over to ask him directions.
"He put his hand into my window, which was half open, and grabbed my hair and opened the door," Samuel said. "He grabbed my cross and pulled it off and it fell on the floor. He was swearing. The other two men came from the car and took my laptop and Bible."
While the article goes on to describe the perpetrators as "three Asian men", please be aware that this is British PC-speak from southern Asia -- and in this case undoubtedly Muslims. After all, you can be reasonably certain that the perps were not Buddhists or Shintoists, because they would have no reason to attempt to intimidate a Christian opponent of Islam into silence.
But of course, such acts of violence against those of us who oppose the teachings of Islam and the atrocities committed in its name may soon face a different sort of retribution for the exercise of our civil liberties and human rights -- criminal charges mandated by the UN.
Egypt sought to outmanoeuvre Canada at the United Nations Human Rights Council Friday as it began pushing for a "free-speech" resolution the West says deviates from traditional norms.
Egyptian diplomats effectively hijacked the recurring measure Canada has traditionally sponsored by acting three months before their Canadian counterparts were preparing to move.
* * *
The Egyptian draft expresses "concern" at what it calls a "rise of instances of abuse [of the right of freedom of speech]," and highlights a need for "limitations [on that right]." It also calls on countries to co-operate with the Special Rapporteur by handing over "all (requested) necessary information."
"The text of the (Egyptian) resolution is pretty much what one would expect from a country that throws its bloggers in jail for no reason at all," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch.
At its heart, the proposal calls for laws restricting speech which insults and denigrates a religious faith -- and singles out Islam as the specific faith that needs this protection. Interestingly enough, it is written in such a way that the post you are reading would be illegal as a matter of international law -- but Muslim religious texts that refer to Christians and Jews as pigs and monkeys would be exempt, as would the repetition of the blasphemous (from a Christian perspective) claims that Jesus was a mere man, did not die on the cross, did not rise from the dead, and will return in the future to destroy Christianity and condemn Christians to Hell. On the other hand, blasphemy as defined by Islam would be illegal. So if such a measure is ever accepted as a part of international law, expect freedom of speech and religion to become meaningless concepts -- and for Americans to become subject to Islamic law and not the laws and Constitution of the United States.
Only 56% of Americans approve of the job being done by the Obamateur, while 43% disapprove. And the gap between those who strongly approve and those who strongly disapprove is even narrower.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 37% of the nationís voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-two percent (32%) now Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of +5 (see trends).
The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve.
What's more, less than half of all Americans approve of the Obama economic package. Strikes me that we are seeing an epic failure -- and that the nation's predicted buyer's remorse has set in even sooner than I expected.
Well, here's the big story at today's Houston Chronicle.
A Houston couple accused of running one of the cityís largest prostitution rings conducted background checks on prospective customers ó perusing their employment records and income levels ó before allowing them to join the operationís long list of clients, a police investigator says.
ďIf you didnít have at least $300 a session, you couldnít get in the door,Ē said Houston police Sgt. Mark Kilty.
According to court documents, some of the women met their clients at upscale hotels in the Galleria area and charged about $350 an hour.
While police are still trying to determine how large the operation was, Kilty said the client list totals more than 1,500 people.
Deborah L. Turbiville, 33, and her husband, Charles Fletcher Turbiville, 31, are charged with aggravated promotion of prostitution. They were arrested on March 10 and released after each posted $5,000 bail.
According to court records, the couple did ďunlawfully and knowingly own, invest in, finance, control, supervise and manage a prostitution enterprise using more than one prostitute.Ē
Sounds like some of our leading citizens are going to be very uncomfortable if the information gets out about the patrons of this business. I'm sure it will be interesting to cross-reference them with political donations.
By the way -- this little tidbit makes me wonder if there may not also be a civil rights aspect to this case that needs to be prosecuted.
Police also are trying to find all of the women who are believed to have worked in the brothel.
ďThese are college girls, single moms and girls who were out of work,Ē Kilty said. ďIt was mostly a 50/50 mix of white and Hispanic women.Ē
White and Hispanic only? Doesn't this sound like a case of employment discrimination? And will some of our leading race hos be out in the streets protesting that these high paying jobs in the personal service industry were conspicuously denied to members of one major ethnic group here in Houston? Calling Quannell X!
I've long had a problem with those who disclose confidential -- even classified -- executive branch information to the press. That said, I've never objected to executive branch officials and employees taking such information to either agencies set up for internal review or to members of the appropriate congressional oversight committees. Such actions are well-within the provisions of both federal law and the US Constitution.
Apparently Barack Obama thinks differently, and so he wants to strip much of the protection of federal law from whistleblowers who go to Congress.
A leading Republican senator maintains that President Obama is violating a campaign promise with his claim that he can bypass whistle-blower protections for executive branch officials who give certain information to Congress.
The lawmaker, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, sent a letter to Mr. Obama on Friday that condemned a signing statement the president attached to the $410 billion catchall spending bill he signed into law last week.
A signing statement, occasionally issued by presidents upon their signing a bill, is a document that instructs executive branch officials on how to carry out the new law. In this statement, Mr. Obama flagged a provision that protects officials who give information to Congress about their jobs or agencies. He said the statute could not limit his power to control the flow of certain information to lawmakers.
The disclosures that Barack Obama seeks to punish are those that disclose illegal or unethical actions, or activities that are arguably not in the best interest of the American people. What nefarious activities does the new president have planned that he needs the power to intimidate those who are aware of it into silence?
And, of course, Obama has engaged in this course of action using one of those eeeevvvviiiillll signing statements that he condemned back during the campaign. Smells like hypocrisy to me.
Ron Silver was one of those Hollywood faces i always enjoyed seeing in films and television shows. He was guaranteed to give a competent performance that audiences would enjoy. And even though he was a liberal, his political activity was in the best tradition of America in that he respected his opponents, unlike so many of his fellow performers who view their fame as a sign of their moral superiority over the rest of America.
After September 11, Ron Silver understood the nature of the jihadi threat against America and spoke out about it. In 2004, he spoke before the GOP convention and offered his full support to president George W. Bush and his reelection campaign. In his speech he offered an assessment of what happened on 9/11 that still defines what I consider to be the only patriotic view of the jihadis and their supporters.
Just over 1,000 days ago, 2,605 of my neighbors were murdered at the World Trade Center ó men, women and children ó as they began their day on a brilliantly clear New York autumn morning, less than four miles from where I am now standing. We will never forgive. Never forget. Never excuse!
Ron Silver has died after a courageous two year battle with cancer. May he rest in peace, and may his loved ones be comforted in their time of loss. He will be missed by his fans, and by those who love this country.
She obviously is getting what she has coming to her under Islamic law -- after all, she did accept an unaccompanied ride from a man who was not her relative.
Saudi judge has ordered a woman should be jailed for a year and receive 100 lashes after she was gang-raped, it was claimed last night.
The 23-year-old woman, who became pregnant after her ordeal, was reportedly assaulted after accepting a lift from a man.
He took her to a house to the east of the city of Jeddah where she was attacked by him and four of his friends throughout the night.
She later discovered she was pregnant and made a desperate attempt to get an abortion at the King Fahd Hospital for Armed Forces.
According to the Saudi Gazette, she eventually 'confessed' to having 'forced intercourse' with her attackers and was brought before a judge at the District Court in Jeddah.
He ruled she had committed adultery - despite not even being married - and handed down a year's prison sentence, which she will serve in a prison just outside the city.
She is still pregnant and will be flogged once she has had the child.
But let me remind you that we here in the West should not make any negative judgment about nations or religions that countenance such barbaric practices -- that would be hateful, ethnocentric, and imperialistic. After all, Islam had something worthwhile to offer the world a millennium ago, so who are we to judge it simply because it remains mired in that time period? WRONG! Civilized people must speak out as one against such things.
I'm curious -- where are the cries of outrage from the feminists of the world? What does Barack Obama think about this disgusting action, and will he have Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton voice our nation's revulsion at treating the victims of crime as criminals.
H/T Gateway Pundit
Seen somewhere in North Carolina.
Countdown to some Leftard calling this guy a raaaaacist!!!!111!!!! in 5Ö4Ö3Ö2Ö
Countdown to some Leftard pointing out that he is driving a WHITE pickup truck so he must be a ďredneck racist moronĒ in 5Ö4Ö3Ö2Ö
The scary thing is that the master-race-baiters would likely make the argument.
The worst part is that I know this guy, and helped campaign for him. Now he wants to treat me as a suspected drug user as a condition of my continued employment.
Pasadena state representative Ken Legler filed a bill on Feb. 2 that would require all current teachers, principals, counselors, school nurses and teacher's aids to submit to random, unannounced drug tests.
Additionally, any Texas public school teacher applicant would also be required to take a drug test during the hiring process.
Legler was inspired to file the bill, HB 975, after learning that drug testing was not required by state law.
Legler said feedback on the proposed bill has been largely positive from parents and former teachers -- though some teachers union officials are against the bill.
I can guess where Ken has come up with this idea. He has no doubt taken the much ballyhooed suspension of a number of HISD teachers after drug dogs hit on their cars and decided to call for drug testing. But they were a mere handful of the thousands of teachers and other district employees Ė under two dozen. A number of them were exonerated when they were able to prove that the drugs were prescribed to them or another user of the vehicle. It has all been a tempest in a teapot. I therefore donít view this as a cost effective measure Ė just as I donít view my districtís decision to test huge numbers of students in extracurricular activities for drug use to be worth the cost Ė especially since this legislation, like my districtís policy, doesnít really spell out the consequences of failure in such a clear manner to facilitate consistent enforcement.
UPDATE: A quick note to folks from John's blog -- please note that nowhere do I mention any violation of constitutional rights. I've tried to comment to that effect at his blog, but he won't approve my comments. Is that a sign of cowardice or dishonesty? You decide.
After all, using the Department of Housing and Urban Development definition of homelessness would have produced a very low number. Thatís why the authors grabbed a different definition, one from the Department of Education, that was sure to increase the numbers to create a crisis.
A well publicized report this week that an estimated 1.5 million American children experienced homelessness in 2005-06 did not use the federal definition of homelessness. Instead, it used a different definition that grossly inflated the actual number.
The report ó released Tuesday by the National Center on Family Homelessness and reported by numerous news organizations, including FOXNews.com ó estimated that one out of every 50 children in America experienced "homelessness" during that two-year span.
But rather than using the definition of homelessness established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Massachusetts-based organization used a standard adopted by the Department of Education that includes children who are "doubled up," or children who share housing with other persons due to economic hardship or similar reason.
The difference? About 1,170,000 children.
An estimated 330,000 sheltered and unsheltered homeless children were identified in HUD's July 2007 report to Congress as those who are "literally homeless," or those living in homeless facilities or in places not meant for human habitation, according to the report.
The remaining 1.17 million ó those who are precariously housed or who may be doubled up with friends and relatives or paying extremely high proportions of their resources for rent ó are not included in HUD's report.
Letís consider what this really meant.
Did Mom take the kids to grandmaís house when she left their dad? Then the kids are homeless under the definition. Ditto if their folks are paying high rent. For that matter, every kid who evacuated from New Orleans and the surrounding area qualified as homeless Ė even if their home was undamaged and they were out of their place for as little as a week.
Now please understand, Iím not unsympathetic to folks in such situations, especially the latter one. My wife and I have been out of our home for six months following Hurricane Ike, and are still a couple of weeks from getting back in. But were we really ďhomelessĒ in 2005 when we were out of our home for four days when we evacuated for Hurricane Rita?
But what I find really interesting is that the folks responsible for the story admit that they chose the definition in order to inflate the number. Requiring that someone actually be homeless if one is to count them as homeless is just too strict a requirement. Want to bet it is all about squeezing some more taxpayer cash out of the government?
I realize that all lawyers represent some clients that the public might view as unsavory. Indeed, most lawyers will at some point represent clients who they KNOW are guilty. So maybe Iím overreacting to the appointment of C. Anthony West to an Assistant Attorney General post in the Obama Justice Department,
This appointment of a terrorist's defense lawyer to the Department of Justice announces that Barack Obama is in favor of a more lenient stance on terrorists. As Lileks says, it is evidence of a going back to 9/10 thinking. Also, since the Old Media have not made a single peep about this, it announces to the world that neither the crimes of 9/11 nor terrorism are any longer of interest to those that make the news. Says Lileks, "It just seems like one of those things that might have stuck out, once upon a time."
So, in a era when most of us still acutely feel that Islamic terrorism is an important worry that should still feature prominently in our planning, Barack Obama is appointing a terrorist's lawyer to one of the very agencies that is supposed to protect us all.
And interestingly enough, the MSM is not looking into this issue at all. Where have the stories been exposing this link Ė and the fact that West still defends his little terrorist puke of a client as being innocent? They have been nonexistent.
Now maybe West has a good explanation for his position. Maybe he took the Lindh case out of the belief that ďsomeone has to do itĒ. But to still be defending him now, after the verdict has been rendered and appeals exhausted strikes me as a negative in regard to that nomination Ė and one that the Senate should examine closely during the confirmation process.
Canít we just get a team of special prosecutors appointed to deal just with the president and his appointees?
An aide to President Barack Obama is on leave from his White House job after the FBI raided his old District of Columbia government office Thursday, arresting a city employee and a technology consultant on corruption charges, a White House official said.
The charges were lodged against the two men at a federal court hearing as the FBI finished searching the city's technology office, which was led until recently by Obama's new computer chief, Vivek Kundra.
Kundra is on leave from his White House job until further details of the case become known, according to a White House official speaking on condition of anonymity because the official did not want to publicly discuss personnel matters.
Now am I saying that Kundra is guilty of anything? No.
Am I saying that Obama is guilty of anything? If by that you mean criminal wrong doing, then no. However, if one means that I view him as guilty of incompetence in office and failure to fully vet his staff, then I do see him as again being guilty of incompetence.
Iím impressed Ė I figured he would back down to piracy by the Red Chinese Navy.
A potential conflict was brewing last night in the South China Sea after President Obama dispatched heavily armed American destroyers to the scene of a naval standoff between the US and China at the weekend.
Mr Obamaís decision to send an armed escort for US surveillance ships in the area follows the aggressive and co-ordinated manoeuvres of five Chinese boats on Sunday. They harassed and nearly collided with an unarmed American vessel.
Washington accused the Chinese ships of moving directly in front of the US Navy surveillance ship Impeccable, forcing its crew to take emergency action, and to deploy a high-pressure water hose to deter the Chinese ships. Formal protests were lodged with Beijing after the incident.
Oddly enough, I find myself approving of Obamaís first clash with the Chinese more than I did that of George W. Bush, whose weak response to a Chinese attempt to down and seize an American spy plane was shockingly weak. Now if Obama will only stand up to terrorists so effectively.
Rep. Pete Olson underwent emergency surgery today to have a cardiac pacemaker installed.
Olson, 46, R-Sugar Land, underwent the procedure after a slow heart rate caused him to faint while lifting weights in the House gym.
"It happened so fast that when it's over you're kind of going, 'Wow!''' Olson said in a telephone interview from George Washington University Hospital.
* * *
"I went to the gym, started working out and was feeling pretty great," Olson said. "Then my head started to buzz, and I thought, 'My God what's this,' and the next thing I knew I was kind of picking myself up and wondering what happened."
Olson said his colleagues summoned an ambulance and he was transported to the hospital within minutes.
Allen Solomon, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at George Washington University Hospital, said that he installed a dual chamber pacemaker in Olson that "will continue to regulate his heartbeat."
Solomon added, in a statement released by Olson's office, that the procedure "went smoothly with no complications."
Get well quick, Pete -- we need you in the House to keep them honest.
And as a side not, I'd like to express my appreciation for Rahm Emanuel, who was apparently first to Pete Olson's side when the cardiac incident occurred. Well done, sir -- thank you for proving that some things are more important than politics.
When news broke last summer about the pregnancy of GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin's unmarried teenage daughter, I wished her, her unborn child, and the child's father all the best of luck. I pointed out my attitude towards the young couple was that of most conservatives I knew towards most out-of-wedlock pregnancies -- and that it was not condemnation
I work with teenagers every day. Every year I have a bunch of pregnant girls in my classes, and also fathers-to-be. I donít condone the actions that got them there, but I do my best to give them all the love and support I can. Iíve done the same with students who have aborted Ė some of whom think they were correct, and some of whom come to realize they were tragically wrong. . . . It is called compassion. It is called love.
Good people, including those raised with conservative moral values, make bad choices and find themselves living with unintended consequences of those choices (not ďpunishmentĒ, Barack). It is the obligation of the rest of the good people in the world to lend them our support when that happens. And the first line of support has to be the family Ė even when those teens went against the values which their parents tried to teach them and which they failed to live up to.
When it was said that the young couple planned to marry, I had my doubts, but I kept my silence on that point -- after all, working with teenagers I've learned that many of those planned marriages don't happen, even though the young couples may sincerely mean it when they make the initial plan in the face of an unplanned pregnancy. Still, I've seen some happen, and I've seen some of those be successful marriages.
Well, as folks now know, the wedding is off. As I indicated above, I'm not surprised. What I hope for is that these two young people manage to figure out how to conduct themselves so that their son has two involved parents. While the ideal home is for a married mother and father, then they need to act in such a manner as to ensure that their string of bad decisions has as little negative impact on their child as possible.
Hypocritical? Hardly. Call it practical -- and identical to the advice I have given to students and former students who have been in exactly the same situation.
Now there are those on the Right and the Left who want to throw stones and make cheap points based upon whatever agenda they may have.
One local Lefty blogger wants to brand the GOP as hypocritical while throwing around ethnic slurs and hateful rhetoric. If he really feels as he claims he does, I'm sure that John will soon be arrested in front of the local high school for shouting "whore" and "slut" at pregnant girls on their way to class. It's just more of the same low-class ugliness we've come to expect from he and his ilk.
And on the Right, we've got Debbie Schlussel taking what I consider to be an utterly wrong-headed position on the matter, attacking working moms and immature teens who fail to control their hormones and have babies. Frankly, I don't consider her rhetoric any more elevated or helpful than that of the liberal cited above. Indeed, I could almost see her cuffed to that liberal after an arrest in the same incident.
Let's be honest here. Nobody, Right or Left, approved of Bristol Palin getting pregnant. Nobody celebrated it on the Right (though some on the Left did, since they didn't mind attacking a young girl in order to tear down her mother). And while many of us hoped that there might be an eventual wedding, what we on the Right generally said was that we were hopeful that the couple would draw on the resources of their families (sorely lacking in the case of Levi Johnston, we later found out) in order to successfully parent their child. And while we praised her decision to have and keep her child, rather than aborting, that didn't constitute approval of unwed teenage pregnancy -- but rather an affirmation of the miracle of every new life. This is not, and should not, be about politics at all -- and I would say the same thing about the daughter of a prominent Democrat, though some might argue differently.
So my advice to folks on all sides is simple -- shut up. This is not a political happening to use to score points one way or another. It is a human tragedy for two young people, their child, and their extended families. At most, it is one more lesson on why sex outside of marriage is not a wise choice, especially for teens -- and that even those who were raised with and who profess certain beliefs about the morality of sex outside of marriage do fall short of the proper standard.
And so I go back to what I said at the very beginning of this saga and again at the birth of young Tripp -- I offer my prayers and best wishes to them all in the hopes that the child becomes a happy, healthy, well-adjusted and loving adult.
It was the day after Columbine, and a student asked what I would do if a gunman entered our school. My answer was that I would try to get my students out safely Ė even at the cost of taking a bullet myself.
Needless to say, I hoped (and still hope) I never face such a choice.
But one teacher did face it yesterday in Germany Ė and I honor her choice and her sacrifice.
"Suddenly there were police standing in front of me and told us to run outside quickly," Luisa Santonastaso, 16, said. "At first we didn't know what to do. So first we went to the class and picked up some of our classmates and ran out.
"Then we heard that someone was inside shooting. Then we also saw a teacher who had blood on his hands because he wanted to help a female teacher who sacrificed herself for a student -- she stood in front of a student to protect her," the girl told CNN by phone from Germany.
I hope we learn more about this unnamed teacher in the days to come Ė and that she is given the sort of honor and respect she deserves for placing her student first.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.
Iím left nearly speechless by this news. Not even Bill Clinton, who loathed the military, would have ever dreamed of making vets pay for treatment of service-connected injuries and disabilities. Even if one were to suggest that veterans generally are owed nothing by the nation after their term of service is over, no individual with even a shred of human decency could argue that those vets with injuries, illnesses and disabilities attributable to their military service are not entitled to the care of a grateful nation.
James Carville has been one of the Democrat point-men questioning the patriotism of Rush Limbaugh (and, by extension, all conservatives and Republicans) for his statement that he hopes Barack Obama fails.
Consider his comment here, from February 25, 2009:
As I point out the most influential Republican in the United States today Mr. Rush Limbaugh said he did not want President Obama to succeed. So at the very top of the Republican Party, heís not being wished well here.
In other words, there is something wrong with not wanting Obama to succeed Ė and indeed, the Demo-meme has been that it is unpatriotic, if not downright treasonous, to hold such an opinion.
How, then, does Carville justify his words. And those of Democrat pollster Stanley Greenberg, from September 11, 2001?
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, just minutes before learning of the terrorist attacks on America, Democratic strategist James Carville was hoping for President Bush to fail, telling a group of Washington reporters: "I certainly hope he doesnít succeed."
Carville was joined by Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, who seemed encouraged by a survey he had just completed that revealed public misgivings about the newly minted president.
"We rush into these focus groups with these doubts that people have about him, and Iím wanting them to turn against him," Greenberg admitted.
The pollster added with a chuckle of disbelief: "They donít want him to fail. I mean, they think it matters if the president of the United States fails."
They wanted President Bush to fail Ė and their goal was to make the American people want him to fail.
Of course, minutes later they received word of the attack on the World Trade Center. And Carville demanded that the assembled reporters not report their words Ė and they obliged him. But while he said that the 9/11 attacks changed everything, Iíd argue that Carvilleís words and deeds over the following seven years indicated that he still wanted Bush to fail Ė and that he acted to bring about that failure for partisan advantage.
So tell me, how are the words and actions of James Carville materially different than those of Rush Limbaugh? Are Democrats prepared to denounce and repudiate Carville? Or are they willing to concede, by their silence, their own hypocrisy?
What is the legitimate basis for funding a memorial to a drunken philanderer who couldnít even get the presidential nomination of his own party when he challenged the worst president of the last half-century?
More than one out of every five dollars of the $126 million Massachusetts is receiving in earmarks from a $410 billion federal spending package is going to help preserve the legacy of the Kennedys.
The bill includes $5.8 million for the planning and design of a building to house a new Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate. The funding may also help support an endowment for the institute.
Let Teddy raise money for his own memorial project Ė or better yet, let him leave some of his daddyís bootlegging money to finance the project. Or even assign the rights to his soon-to-be-released memoir to a foundation creating the program.
And that $5.8 million? Spend it on establishing the Mary Jo Kopechne Institute for the Study and Elimination of Drunk Driving.
President Barack Obama signed a $410 billion spending bill Wednesday that includes thousands of pet projects inserted by lawmakers, even as he unveiled new rules to restrict such so-called earmarks.
At the same time, after Democrats criticized former President George W. Bush's signing statements, Mr. Obama issued one of his own, declaring five provisions in the spending bill to be unconstitutional and nonbinding, including one aimed at preventing punishment of whistleblowers.
Now three points here that are quite important:
1) This is a spending bill, and spending is a power granted explicitly to Congress, not the Executive. On what basis, therefore, can Obama claim the right to ignore the clearly expressed budgeting directives of Congress, as his new policies claim to do.
2) Is it fair to say now that Barack Obama has come out in favor of punishing whistleblowers, given his rejection of the provision to prohibit just that?
3) Why are signing statements right when done by Bush, but not when done by Obama?
And remember these quotes from the past.
In a 2007 letter to a constituent, Senator Obama said, "The President can veto a bill or sign it into law, but the Constitution does not grant him authority to determine when he can ignore those he signs."
In a 2007 interview, Senator Obama said, "it is a clear abuse of power to use such statements as a license to evade laws that the president does not like", and "I will not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law.
In a 2008 campaign event, when asked, "Do you promise not to use Presidential signage to get your way?", candidate Obama said "Yeah" and added that "We're not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end-run around Congress."
I guess that just makes this "Change We Can Believe In".
How bad are Chicago Public Schools? Pretty bad, my friends. My buddy Hube linked to a piece showing that 4 of the 25 worst public schools in the nation are found in Chicago. And what's more, 14 of the worst 100 schools are part of the Chicago Public School system.
Who has been running these schools? Obama buddy Arne Duncan, who everyone describes as a great reformer. I think results show that isn't the case. But he's been brought in to do for the students of the entire nation what he did for kids in Chicago.
Call it one more example of Obama-class incompetence.
If black churches were entered by white supremacists shouting racial threats, it would be national news.
If mosques were entered by militant Jews shouting threats, the MSM would be all over it.
Why, then, do assaults on synagogues and Jewish institutions in our nation's largest city get no national coverage? Indeed, why is it that the only information I can find on the attacks come from a source in Israel?
For the second time in less than a week, a packed Brooklyn, New York, synagogue has been the target of threats of violence by intruders.
On Monday, according to Yeshiva World News, an Arab man in his mid-30s entered Boro Park's 'Sephardish Shul' and began making proclamations of jihad. Members of a Jewish volunteer security organization, the Shomrim, apprehended the threatening individual. They held him until police officers arrived at the scene, arresting the suspect. Detectives spoke with the "Middle Eastern man" at a station house near the synagogue.
* * *
Just two days earlier, a man wielding a butcher's knife burst into a Kerestir Chassidic synagogue in Williamsburg. He initially turned up unarmed and began throwing soda cans at the gathered worshipers, which hit one of them, and returned shortly thereafter with the bladed weapon.
Is it going to take an American Kristalnacht for the media to finally report on such events? Do w have to have dead Jews in the streets of America before the media takes notice and our nation's leaders speak out in condemnation? Or, even then, will there be silence -- or perhaps words of moral equivalence that implicitly blame the victims?
Now that the Obamabots are in charge at the Justice Department, law enforcement agencies that actually seek to enforce the law against criminals deemed "PC-protected classes" will be subject to witch-hunt investigations.
Federal authorities have told a high-profile Arizona sheriff that they will investigate his department over allegations of discriminatory practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures.
The U.S. Justice Department said in a letter delivered Tuesday to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio that the investigation will focus on alleged patterns of discrimination based on a person's national origin.
Arpaio told The Associated Press that he will cooperate with the Justice Department.
Got that -- going after illegal aliens will get you investigated for discrimination based upon national origin now that the Obama Regime is in power. After all, the overwhelming majority of illegals in Maricopa County are from a single country, and so any attempt to see to it that our nation's immigration laws are enforced will automatically produce enough of a statistical disparity to get you investigated. Watch for other law enforcement agencies to quit making such arrests because of this move.
Gotta love Charlie Rangel when he gets asked about his illicit financial activities.
And to think that there was once a day when it was generally acknowledged that good government was the business of every citizen Ė and that elected officials were servants of the people, not peons to be brushed aside by an arrogant aristocracy.
And then there is another corrupt Democrat Ė this one in Chicago. Alderman Ricardo Munoz doesnít think much of the rights of citizens to petition their government seeking a redress of grievances.
Your office, pendejo? I do believe that is the peopleís office, paid for with taxpayer money. Seems to me that youíve forgotten that all power in this nation comes from the people, and that you are their trustee, not their master.
Is it any wonder I call it the Jackass Party?
And this is the observation of an author who is friendly to gay marriage, based upon the statement of one of the lawyers arguing that Californiaís Prop 8 should be struck down.
Justice Ming Chin, who had voted with [Chief Justice Ron}George in May [to declare gay marriage a right under the California Constituion], asked anti-8 attorney Michael Maroko if the answer was to get rid of marriage altogether. Get it: Have the states license civil unions for all, and then leave it to churches to bestow the title of marriage. Chin was not the only justice to suggest this split- the-baby compromise.
To which, Maroko responded, "If gay couples don't have the right to marry, then straight couples shouldn't either."
I believe the argument that gay marriage doesn't destroy straight marriage. Now I learn that if there is no same-sex marriage, activists want to destroy heterosexual marriage.
Got that Ė not only does the radical homosexual lobby wish to take from you the right to self-government, they wish to destroy the institution of marriage if they fail to do so. And when they take from you the right to pass laws and amend constitutions in a manner supported by the majority, they will next come for other freedoms as well Ė the right to speak freely (by declaring it ďhate speechĒ) and the right of churches to refuse to perform or acknowledge homosexual marriages (using the Bob Jones decision to declare churches that do so to be ineligible for tax exemptions). Theyíve already gutted the right of individuals to operate their businesses in accord with their moral beliefs through the application of anti-discrimination laws in such a way as to force Christians to participate in gay weddings. What we are seeing, in effect, is little short of a campaign of legal terrorism to expand the rights of homosexuals at the expense of the rights of everyone else.
And now they are seeking to remove the word marriage from California law.
The five detainees at GuantŠnamo Bay charged with planning the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks have filed a document with the military commission at the United States naval base there expressing pride at their accomplishment and accepting full responsibility for the killing of nearly 3,000 people.
The document, which may be released publicly on Tuesday, uses the Arabic term for a consultative assembly in describing the five men as the "9/11 Shura Council," and it says their actions were an offering to God, according to excerpts of the document that were read to a reporter by a government official who was not authorized to discuss it publicly.
These scum-sucking Islamo-Nazis have acknowledged what we have long known Ė they planned the attack based upon their malignant religious ideology, murdering innocents in the name of Islam. If they want to be martyrs, letís oblige them by sending them to the infernal regions where their false god and false prophet dwell. Time to quit treating these barbarians like victims, and instead dispense with them with as little guilt as we feel when we wipe out bacteria with hand cleanser.
Academic excellence correlating with physical fitness? Really? Thatís what this study says about performance on the annual Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills tests given each year.
ē Higher levels of fitness are associated with better academic performance (about 80 percent of students have healthy levels of cardiovascular fitness at schools rated "exemplary" by the state; by comparison, just over 40 percent of students at schools rated "academically unacceptable" achieved cardiovascular fitness).
ē Counties with high levels of cardiovascular fitness tended to have passing rates on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.
ē Higher levels of fitness were associated with better school attendance.
ē Higher levels of fitness were also associated with fewer disciplinary incidents involving drugs, alcohol, violence and truancy.
Where do I see a potential problem with this information? I wonder how it correlates with socio-economic status for one. It could well be that what we see is the relationship between better diet and access to health clubs due to higher wealth and test performance. I think there is a lot more to be looked at here before reaching a conclusion.
Leading libbies have all agreed Ė dissent is not patriotic in the Age of Obama. Indeed, the PuffHo ant HuffPo has even published a column by a neutered, housebroken evangelical decreeing that dissent against the policies of Barack Obama is treasonous. So I have to ask if these dissenting members of the Donkey Party are also traitors.
Democratic leaders in Congress did not expect much Republican support as they pressed President Obama's ambitious legislative agenda. But the pushback they are receiving from some of their own has come as an unwelcome surprise.
As the Senate inches closer to approving a $410 billion spending bill, the internal revolt has served as a warning to party leaders pursuing Obama's far-reaching plans for health-care, energy and education reform.
Those goals, spelled out in Obama's 2010 budget blueprint, continue to enjoy broad Democratic support. But as the ideas develop into detailed legislation, they will transform from abstract objectives into a tangle of difficult trade-offs.
Crop subsidies, the student loan program and Medicare radiology rules are all currently niche concerns, but any one could become the next crisis for party leaders, with the potential to derail a major agenda item. One major proposal, to limit itemized deductions for wealthy taxpayers, has already raised doubts among prominent Democrats in both chambers.
So, are these dissidents from Obamism treasonous louts like we Republicans? Or is it only those of us who failed to fall down and worship at the feet of the false god Barack who are guilty of treason, as redefined by the Left?
Iím not one for re-writing history. There is, however, a question of how to appropriately present history in the context of a display about an event or time period. Decisions must be made about what to include. Sometimes, that means excluding things that may offend unless they can be further explained or contextualized. Such is the case here.
A VA hospital director who upset veterans by removing a framed newspaper with the headline "Japs Surrender" said last week that he had permanently replaced it with the next dayís edition bearing the headline "Peace!"
The The Indianapolis Timesí Aug. 14, 1945, front page has been replaced with the next day's edition featuring the "Peace!" headline because it better reflects what soldiers who served in World War II were fighting for, said Tom Mattice, director of Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
He said the new display was also not offensive to any particular group of veterans.
"What we really want to do is honor all of the veterans who come through our medical center to make sure that they feel respected and to make sure that their service is just as honored as everybody else who has served this country," Mattice said.
He said he consulted the VA's National Center for Ethics for advice and he said they supported his decision to permanently remove the initial newspaper display.
Mattice removed the "Japs Surrender" headline earlier this year after receiving a complaint from an employee offended by the term "Japs," a common slur during World War II.
If this were a larger display on WWII, Iíd disagree with the decision to remove the newspaper. After all, terms like ďJapĒ and ďKrautĒ were a part of the ethos that pervaded the US as we fought in that war. The demonization of our enemies should and ought to be dealt with in such a display. But here it appears to be a display of newspapers, plucked free of that greater context. As such, the choice of the ďPeace!Ē headline over the one with an ethnic slur is preferable.
At the same time, I donít condemn the vets who wanted the other headline to remain. They want to make sure that our nationís history is not whitewashed. That isnít an evil motive Ė it is an expression of a legitimate desire to remember that earlier era and the sacrifices that began at Pearl Harbor and continued throughout the War in the Pacific. But in this situation, they are fighting a battle that they ought to lose, because a newspaper hung in a hallway does not a museum exhibit make. And ultimately, the peace that comes with victory was exactly what the heroes who fought in that war Ė and in every war Ė sought with every ounce of their strength.
Not, of course, that we should be surprised by such things Ė but it is impossible to reconcile the ďunshackling of scienceĒ by funding fetal stem cell research with this position, which could be seen as equally ďanti-scienceĒ.
President Barack Obama says human cloning is "dangerous, profoundly wrong" and has no place in society.
Obama made the comments as he was signing an executive order that will allow federal spending on embryonic stem cell research.
Some critics say the research can lead to human cloning. Obama said the government will develop strict guidelines for the research because misuse or abuse is unacceptable.
He said he would ensure that the government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction.
Why shouldnít we clone? Moreover, why should government restrict cloning? After all, isnít that a question better left to science and not politics, just like experimentation on fetal stem cells? And if not, why not Ė and how do you differentiate between the two sorts of scientific experimentation?
So [Barack Obama has] moved on to health care. This is highly visible, it's news leading, gets a great focus, plus it has the great liberal lion Teddy Kennedy pushing it. Before it's all over it will be called the Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care Bill.
Democrats and other liberals are outraged.
Let's examine this statement really quickly.
First, Senator Kennedy has been an advocate of socialized/nationalized medicine for a couple of decades now. He remains so in what are undoubtedly his last days, as he battles a very serious form of cancer that is likely to take his life sooner rather than later. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging those facts, is there?
Secondly, it has long been a strategy employed ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE to name a piece of legislation in such a way as to make a vote against it seem wrong rather than principled. For example, the renewal of the Voting Rights Act had the names of several prominent civil rights leader attached to it, including that of Rosa Parks. It doesn't matter that the reauthorization was seriously flawed because it used 1964 election data rather than 2004 election data to determine the existence of racial discrimination today -- how do you justify a vote against legislation honoring Rosa Parks? Similarly, names like the Freedom of Choice Act, Employee Free Choice Act, and USA PATRIOT Act are intentionally designed to make a vote against a piece of legislation difficult. Why wouldn't supporters of whatever legislation ultimately emerges on healthcare name it after Ted Kennedy? They would be utterly foolish if they didn't -- especially if Kennedy has taken a turn for the worse or passed on when the legislation reaches the floor.
What you really had then was a fair comment on the strategy likely to be used to get this legislation through Congress when the time comes for it to be voted upon.
So where is the problem in what Limbaugh said? I don't see one -- well, except for one. That is that the comment can be twisted into making fun of Kennedy's medical issue and impending death. Limbaugh does neither -- but that doesn't stop folks from claiming that he has done so. Indeed, one liberal I know was absolutely outraged by the Limbaugh comment, as presented by liberal commentators/"journalists", until hearing the actual comment -- which is why the media is not placing the phrase "Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care Bill" in context. After all, the media still remains in the tank for Obama.
I'm curious, though -- would it be possible to pass the Mary Jo Kopechne Anti-Drunk Driving and Bridge Safety Act at the same time as the health care bill?
Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been "overwhelmed" by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.
British officials, meanwhile, admit that the White House and US State Department staff were utterly bemused by complaints that the Prime Minister should have been granted full-blown press conference and a formal dinner, as has been customary. They concede that Obama aides seemed unfamiliar with the expectations that surround a major visit by a British prime minister.
But Washington figures with access to Mr Obama's inner circle explained the slight by saying that those high up in the administration have had little time to deal with international matters, let alone the diplomatic niceties of the special relationship.
Allies of Mr Obama say his weary appearance in the Oval Office with Mr Brown illustrates the strain he is now under, and the president's surprise at the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk.
A well-connected Washington figure, who is close to members of Mr Obama's inner circle, expressed concern that Mr Obama had failed so far to "even fake an interest in foreign policy".
Yeah, you read that right -- the Obamateur is surprised that he actually has work to do as president, and he is therefore overwhelmed and exhausted by it less than two months into his presidency. What's more, his aides don't know what to do and apparently don't care -- therefore insulting a major world leader.
As I asked earlier in a different post -- will there be a United States worthy of the name in 46 1/2 months when the next president is scheduled to be sworn in?
Maria Conchita Alonso about her former co-star, Sean Penn:
"He's an amazing actor. I can't take that away from him," she said of Penn, who worked with her on the 1988 cop film Colors. "It's just that he has no clue at all what's going on in Venezuela. He's been praising Hugo Chavez, who is a dictator and a killer. He should shut up about what he doesn't know."
Will Sean Penn listen to an actual Venezuelan about the nature of the Venezuelan dictator? Or will he and the rest of the Hollywood Left continue to figuratively fellate the man who has made Venezuela less free?
President Obama declared in an interview that the United States was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the door to a reconciliation process in which the American military would reach out to moderate elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq.
While Barry Hussein may think that this is just like what was done in Iraq (by the way -- didn't he argue that we lost in Iraq?), thee is a big difference. In Iraq, the Sunni militias were not the major enemy we faced -- our nation's major concern by that time was with the al-Qaeda forces there -- and our president declared that we were in it to win it.
But in this case, the commander-in-chief has come out and said that the US is losing the war and wants to reach some sort of agreement with the very group we are fighting -- the very group that harbored Osama bin Laden and appointed them the head of their military at the same time he was preparing to attack the US on 9/11. In other words, this IS negotiating with the major enemy to end a war that he has publicly stated we are losing. That, my friends, indicates that Barack Hussein Obama is preparing to negotiate from a position of weakness with those who side with al-Qaeda -- and presumably end our involvement in Afghanistan on their terms. That constitutes surrender.
So, my friends, I must ask -- will there be a United States worthy of the name in 46 1/2 months when the next president is scheduled to be sworn in?
I came across this video the other day, and just feel like I ought to share it with the rest of you.
Yeah, a bit weird -- and truncated from the original -- but sort of cute.
This time it is Rachel MadCow.
RACHEL MADDOW: "It is one thing to say, ĎI hope that this guy's proposed policies don't pass. I hope those don't become the policies of our country.í But once they become the policies of the country, and they are designed to save us from this economic collapse, you ought to hope they succeed, unless you are hoping for your country to suffer worse in an economic collapse. I mean, actually rooting for the failure of your own federal government is pretty creepy."
Oddly enough, this was not her view when the president was George W. Bush. She actively rooted for him to fail Ė especially in Iraq. Now she wants to deny others the very right she claimed for herself not too long ago Ė the right to be viewed as more patriotic because of oneís opposition to the policies and personnel of the president.
Oh, and on a related note, God bless Ari Fleischer for this zinger.
Are you going after Democrat members of Congress for why they aren't distancing themselves from Keith Olbermann?
That would never happen Ė such a denunciation would kill any Democratís chances among the crucial ďtin-foil hatĒ constituency of the Democrat Party.
But weíve seen that before Ė one local Democrat Party official and liberal blogger publicly wished for the execution of our nationís elected leaders, urged the lynching of Ari Fleischer AND received a long suspension from his NASA job over his violations of the Hatch Act, but is still embraced by his fellow Democrat leaders and local elected officials. I guess the standard is different when you are a liberal Ė after all, you are presumptively such a good person that illegal activity and calling for the murder of your political opponents is simply seen as exuberance rather than anything to be condemned.
Once Obamaís inflationary policies kick in, your wages may increase dramatically. Unfortunately, your purchasing power may not Ė and may drop. But youíll still be rich according to Dear Leader Obama. Hereís why.
With a guarantee that only those making more than $250,000 a year will see a tax increase it is probably a good time to talk about something that has not been a problem for decades: Bracket Creep.
Bracket creep is the result of a progressive tax system in an inflationary environment. In a progressive tax system the rate at which income (or whatever the basis for taxation is, but for this discussion it is income) is taxed at a greater rate as income goes up. The increases are incremental in a discreet number of brackets, of which there are currently six. The net effect is that the last dollar earned is taxed at a greater rate than the first dollar earned as long as enough is earned to advance out of the lowest bracket.
So donít worry Ė your rising salary will make you rich. And your government will therefore be able to take a large bite of your paycheck.
If bishops carry through on this, will it lead to the repeal of a law designed to force participation in abortion by religious groups and medical professionals morally opposed to the taking of innocent human life?
A proposed bill promising major changes in the U.S. abortion landscape has Roman Catholic bishops threatening to close Catholic hospitals if the Democratic Congress and White House make it law.
The Freedom of Choice Act failed to get out of subcommittee in 2004, but its sponsor is poised to refile it now that former Senate co-sponsor Barack Obama occupies the Oval Office.
A spokesman for Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the legislation "is among the congressman's priorities. We expect to reintroduce it sooner rather than later."
FOCA, as the bill is known, would make federal law out of the abortion protections established in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade ruling.
The legislation has some Roman Catholic bishops threatening to shutter the country's 624 Catholic hospitals ó including 11 in the Archdiocese of St. Louis ó rather than comply.
Speaking in Baltimore in November at the bishops' fall meeting, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, a Chicago auxiliary bishop, took up the issue of what to do with Catholic hospitals if FOCA became law. "It would not be sufficient to withdraw our sponsorship or to sell them to someone who would perform abortions," he said. "That would be a morally unacceptable cooperation in evil."
Bishop Paprocki is a top-notch canonist with a firm grasp of the nuances of moral theology. He is exactly correct on this point.
But if 13% of all hospitals in the country close down, meaning that the 1/6 of Americans who use them are forced to fall back upon pubic or other private hospitals, that might just force the repeal of a law that is, in part, designed to force hospitals that donít provide baby-slaying services to do so.
Iíve long urged that Catholic bishops and religious orders (as well as non-Catholic Christian schools) do something similar to move the country forward on the issue of school choice. Simply announce failure to provide students with their fair share of the tax funds designated for their education will result in the closure of their schools Ė and the resultant flood of these students into the public schools. The shortage of space and increased costs associated with accommodating these students would quickly lead to the public demanding voucher programs for all students as the cheapest and easiest way to deal with the issue. Likewise, the closure of all these hospitals will make the policy choice crystal clear Ė allow religious groups to operate hospitals in accordance with their religious principles or accept the financial burden that goes along with driving them from the field.
Yep, itís Wexler, taking illegal donations from non-citizens to finance his campaign.
After he proposed to expand the visas available to foreign models so they can work in New York, Rep. Anthony Weiner's mayoral campaign took contributions from some cat walkers from abroad.
Problem is, the models aren't allowed to donate because they're not US citizens or permanent resi dents.
Remember Ė compliance with the law is the responsibility of the campaign.
But what is particularly interesting is that at least one of the donors has no recollection of making a contribution at all. Didnít stuff like this happen in New York City during Hillaryís campaign?
There is no doubt that this action by a Brazilian prelate is controversial.
A Brazilian archbishop says all those who helped a child rape victim secure an abortion are to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church. The girl, aged nine, who lives in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco, became pregnant with twins.
It is alleged that she had been sexually assaulted over a number of years by her stepfather.
The excommunication applies to the child's mother and the doctors involved in the procedure.
The pregnancy was terminated on Wednesday.
It is also beyond doubt that the action was correct under the Code of Canon Law.
Can. 1398: A person who actually procures an abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.
And under Canon 1398, the archbishop arguably needs do nothing Ė the excommunication was automatic when the abortion is procured. Indeed, it would appear to apply to all of those who materially participated in the act.
Now one might argue with the position of the Catholic Church on abortion. I do not, for abortion is always the intentional taking of an innocent human life.
One may argue with the appropriateness of the sanction. I do not Ė having chosen to leave the Catholic Church some years ago, I do not have a dog in the fight over what is essentially an internal regarding the discipline of the Church.
But I remind folks of one thing Ė excommunication is intended to be a tool of rehabilitation as much as it is an instrument of punishment. In a case like this one, the rarely applied sanction is intended to acknowledge a grievous violation of the laws of God, and to call those punished back into full communion with Rome. Rather than cruel, one may therefore argue that the sanction is a merciful one.
Iím not a huge fan of Joe the Plumber, but this is certainly one lawsuit that I whole-heartedly support.
A conservative group has filed a lawsuit on behalf of "Joe the Plumber," accusing three former Ohio officials of violating his privacy and right to free expression when they gathered his personal information in a records search.
The federal lawsuit filed Thursday by Washington-based Judicial Watch says Samuel J. Wurzelbacher suffered emotional distress, harassment and embarrassment as a result of the search. It seeks unspecified punitive damages.
The lawsuit names Helen Jones-Kelley, who resigned in December as director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, and two assistants.
Given that the state investigation already found that Jones-Kelley and her minions acted inappropriately, this should be an open-and-shut case. I wonder whether or not the suit references the Ku Klux Klan Act, given that these three public officials acted ďunder color of lawĒ to violate the rights of Wurzelbacher to exercise his rights under the Constitution to speak freely and participate in the political process?
Weíve got a drug that can extend your life. You canít have it, though, because it will cost the government too much.
Thousands of patients with terminal cancer were dealt a blow last night after a decision was made to deny them life prolonging drugs.
The Government's rationing body said two drugs for advanced breast cancer and a rare form of stomach cancer were too expensive for the NHS.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is expected to confirm guidance in the next few weeks that will effectively ban their use.
The move comes despite a pledge by Nice to be more flexible in giving life-extending drugs to terminally-ill cancer patients after a public outcry last year over 'death sentence' decisions.
Remember Ė it will be your responsibility to die before you become a burden on society under Obamaís medical plan.
And donít tell me you canít see the resemblance.
Word is that he may have finally Ďfessed-up to the dying Elizabeth Edwards.
Coming soon to a radio near you in the event that the Obama Regime ever manages to bring back some form of the so-called Fairness Doctrine.
ohlmert you lie:
you say that twelve rockets were fired into israel since the end of the "war" (ethnic cleansing). Not one Israeli was hurt or killed by these rockets, and now you say you are going to go back and kill more palestinians to teach them a lesson!!!
I think rockets are being fired by your own sources, since less than ten israelis have been killed by them. You are bullshitting the world as you pocket money made from arms sales, along with bibi and your agents in Hamas. step down all men in power!
What this stupid cow doesnít recognize is that the terrorists from Ham-Ass have taken credit for the attacks themselves. So not only is she a rabid anti-Semite, but she is also frighteningly ignorant Ė which is why the Left adores her.
And then there is this Leftist, who has now decided that dissent is most definitely not Patriotic in the Age of Obama Ė and makes it clear how dissenters should be dealt with when the president has a D after his name.
STEPHANIE MILLER, LIBERAL TALK RADIO HOST: I guess that is what Nancy and her friends want. As long as you have a place to listen Rush on the radio -- if he fails we all fail.
LARRY KING: If his policies fail, he fails, right?
MILLER: Exactly. To me that seems treasonous. [...]
* * *
If I could say something tonight that gets me that kind of attention, like maybe Rush Limbaugh should be executed for treason. How about that?
Interestingly enough, Larry king had nothing to say in response to these comments Ė so it would appear that the suppression of dissent against Obama is just peachy keen in his book, too.
It actually makes liberal talk moron Ed Schultz look rather restrained by comparison.
Now if you watch Limbaugh with the sound down, the drugster, he looks like Adolf Hitler! His animation is amazing! It's, the parallel is so striking.
Thatís right Ė donít listen to the words, just watch the pictures in silence. That will let you confirm your pre-conceived notions. But as an experiment, you might try something similar with the sermons of your average black preacher Ė the animation is equally amazing. But of course, it would be completely unfair to make a comparison to Hitler on such a basis Ė just as Schultzís comparison is unfair.
The driver of a construction vehicle rammed a police car and an empty bus in Jerusalem on Thursday, injuring two police officers before he was shot dead, police said.
News reports described the assailant as a Palestinian. Police did not immediately identify him but said he was not carrying identity documents. Jerusalemís deputy police commander, Niso Shahar, told reporters: ďWe have no doubt that it is a terror attack.Ē
Hamas, of course, has offered praise for this act of terrorism.
You know, stories like this continue to reinforce my belief that what is needed in the region is a ďone stateĒ solution, not a ďtwo stateĒ solution. Let the Arab nations take their Arab brothers and sisters, and leave Godís Chosen People in the Land he gave them.
Looks like the teachers of the district may have a union representative forced upon them, even though this is a right-to-work state.
The leader of the Houston school districtís most powerful teachers union is flexing her muscle to force smaller employee groups out of the bargaining room with top-level administrators.
Gayle Fallon, the longtime president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, wants her union and an affiliated union for blue-collar workers to be the lone groups at the negotiating table with the Houston ISD administration.
Currently, several employee groups are guaranteed seats at private monthly meetings, where issues involving wages and working conditions are hashed out. Fallonís union, because it is the biggest, has three of the five seats reserved for teachers groups at those meetings.
Yeah, thatís right Ė you will still be able to join any group you want, but if this proposal passes you will have no voice unless you join HFT/ That certainly goes against the spirit, if not the letter, of the law here in Texas. It also serves as a preview of the sort of thing we can expect in the future under the so-called ďEmployee Free Choice ActĒ passes in Washington.
And before you ask, I am a member (indeed, Iím the building representative) of one of the major teacher organizations in this state. Iím not opposed to the existence of such groups, but I do object to one being able to crowd out the competing voices in this way.
It is rodeo time again here in Houston. That is a big deal in this town, and loaded with special events.
One thing that is often overlooked is the rodeo experience for special needs children. Volunteers, including a number of the cowboys and cowgirls, volunteer their time to take developmentally disabled children onto the dirt at Reliant Stadium and run them through some ďrodeo eventsĒ. At the end, every child receives a trophy.
Most years there is an elderly couple down there on the floor, helping to award the trophies, giving hugs and taking pictures with these special children. Last night I learned that they wonít be there for tonightís event, because one of them is in the hospital after some serious surgery.
Former first lady Barbara Bush is recovering at The Methodist Hospital after successful open-heart surgery Wednesday to replace her aortic valve, a family spokesman said Wednesday night.
The operation was scheduled last week, after Bush, 83, reported shortness of breath. Doctors diagnosed a hardening of the aortic valve, during which the valve narrows and obstructs blood flow.
ďThe surgery went extremely well,Ē said Dr. Gerald Lawrie, the surgeon who replaced Bushís aortic valve with a biologic valve during a 2Ĺ-hour procedure. ďI expect her to recover fully and soon resume her normal activities.Ē
The wife of former president George H.W. Bush was admitted Tuesday night and is expected to stay in the hospital for a week to 10 days.
Family spokesman Jim McGrath said Bush was awake, alert and talking in the intensive care unit Wednesday night, with her husband by her side.
Yes, that is a part of what the former president and first lady do as a part of their life in retirement here in Houston. It is one of those things that doesnít make the newspaper, and that most folks donít know about unless they actually show up 90 minutes before the rodeo starts to see this special event or special children.
I think I speak for many in this community, of al political persuasions, in saying this Ė hereís hoping that next year we get to see you with your boots on, once more showing the sort of gentle kindness and humility that we, your neighbors, have come to know and respect as you and your husband have lived among us before, during, and after the White House years.
Some folks should not work in journalism (if we can call what CNN does ďjournalismĒ).
A U.S. airline is now selling "penis" on flights, an anchorwoman has declared.
The slip-up happened on CNN when anchorwoman Zain Verjee was reporting about Northwest Airlines now selling peanuts on flights.
Verjee mentioned the word "penis" three times instead of "peanuts."
"Northwest began serving penis this month as its merger partner Atlanta-based Delta airlines has done for years," Verjee said.
"Georgia is the top penis producing state in the country."
One would think that literacy and the ability to pronounce common words would be a basic job qualification to work as an anchor.
When a law enforcement officer gives you a directive, you are supposed to follow it.
When you refuse to follow the directive, there are consequences that may include the use of force to enforce that directive or take you into custody.
And so the complaint by this Canadian is not only one that does not stir even one ounce of sympathy in my heart, but it also leads me to view him as a whiner who does not realize how lucky he had gotten that day.
A Canadian who demanded courtesy from a U.S. border security guard says he was pepper sprayed and held in custody for three hours for asking the disrespectful officer to "say please" when ordering him to turn his car off during a search.
"I refused to turn off the car until he said please. He didn't. And he has the gun, I guess, so he sprayed me," said Desiderio Fortunato, a Coquitlam, B.C., resident who frequently crosses the border to visit his second home in the state of Washington. "Is that illegal in the United States, asking an officer to be polite?"
First, it was not a request Ė it was an order.
Second, the officer followed proper procedure.
Third, the fact that this was the second such incident involving this guy makes it quite clear that he knew what the proper procedure was and that he instead chose to be obstinate. Rather than warn him to be more cooperative, it seems like it is high time to put him on the list of those forbidden admission to the United States.
Imagine this situation.
Youíve lost a family member. The deceased had little or noting in the way of assets at the time of his/her death, perhaps due to the final illness.
And then the phone calls come Ė debt collectors. Only, you didnít contract the debt; the deceased did. The begin making requests that you pay the debt. But what they donít tell you is this Ė you are not responsible for paying one penny of the debt in question.
Sound outrageous? It isnít Ė and has become a common business practice.
The banks need another bailout and countless homeowners cannot handle their mortgage payments, but one group is paying its bills: the dead.
Dozens of specially trained agents work on the third floor of DCM Services here, calling up the dear departedís next of kin and kindly asking if they want to settle the balance on a credit card or bank loan, or perhaps make that final utility bill or cellphone payment.
The people on the other end of the line often have no legal obligation to assume the debt of a spouse, sibling or parent. But they take responsibility for it anyway.
These folks know you donít owe them anything, and that the debt became legally uncollectible when the debtor took that last breath. But they are banking on the probability that you donít know that.
Scott Weltman of Weltman, Weinberg & Reis, a Cleveland law firm that performs deceased collections, says that if family members ask, ďwe definitely tell themĒ they have no legal obligation to pay. ďBut is it disclosed upfront ó ĎMr. Smith, you definitely donít owe the moneyí? Itís not that blunt.Ē
ďNot that bluntĒ? Letís try ďnot that honestĒ. What these folks are about is extracting payments from bereaved individuals who are not responsible for anotherís debts Ė even if the payment of the debt is going to create a hardship.
And what is more disgusting is that these folks claim they are offering a service because they refer folks to grief counselors and have a website that tells folks how to proceed after the death of a loved one.
Am I alone in viewing these folks as exploitive parasites?
And am I alone in believing that this might be an appropriate area for some sort of legislation, either on the state or federal level?
Or is my offense at the ghoulishness of the pseudo-sympathy used to extract money from the family of the dead simply preventing me from seeing the legitimacy of such tactics?
The people have spoken Ė and the California Legislature has now said that they donít give a ratís ass what the people have to say.
Both houses of the state Legislature passed resolutions Monday endorsing the legal effort to overturn California's same-sex marriage ban, just days before the issue goes to the state Supreme Court.
The resolutions passed along party lines, 18-14 in the Senate and 45-27 in the Assembly, with several members absent in both chambers.
The evidence that certain officeholders in the state are clearly not in sync with the voters Ė or with the basic principle of popular sovereignty that underlies the entire American system of government.
"We're talking about a radical revision to our Constitution," said Sen. Mark Leno, the San Francisco Democrat who sponsored the Senate resolution. "Do we have a constitutional democracy in California or do we have mob rule, where a majority of Californians can change the Constitution at any time?"
Excuse me, Senator Leno, but Iíd like to remind you that the at the very heart of the notion of constitutional democracy is the belief that the power of government comes from the people, and that their grant of power to the government comes in the form of a constitution. The people have a right Ė indeed, they have an obligation Ė to alter or abolish a particular constitutional framework so as to establish a government that is responsive to their will so as to secure their essential liberties. To argue that permitting Californians to change their constitution at any time is antithetical to constitutional democracy is itself antithetical to constitutional democracy, as it places that document and the government it establishes above the people Ė essentially arguing that the people are the creature of the document and the institutions it establishes rather than the other way around.
Let me say this Ė reasonable people may disagree about the relative merits of gay marriage and Proposition 8. Reasonable people may even disagree about the question of revision vs. amendment under the California Constitution. However, no person can agree with Senator Lenoís words unless they fundamentally reject the words of Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, . . . ó That. . . Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, ó That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it. . . .
Iíve excerpted this quote in this form to provide the reminder that among the truths declared to be self-evident by the founding generation of the Republic was that the people are the only valid source of government power, and that it is the height of constitutionalism for the people to change a constitution, not a rejection of that principle. To argue otherwise is anti-constitutional Ė and, dare I say it, approaches being un-American.
It may well have a black face, as in this scene from a recent Detroit City Council meeting.
A pitiful Teamster official who practically crawled to the table on his knees expressing profuse respect for this disrespectful body was battered by both the crowd and the council.
When he dared suggest that an improved Cobo Center would create more good-paying jobs for union workers, [Council President Monica] Conyers reminded him, "Those workers look like you; they don't look like me."
Desperate, he invoked President Barack Obama's message of unity and was angrily warned, "Don't you say his name here."
Got that, white boy -- Barack Obama isn't the president for white Americans, only for blacks. Invoking his call for a post-racial America is only acceptable to bludgeon whites with, not to demand that all Americans be treated with respect.
By the way, the Kluxer sound-alike be-yotch running the Detroit City Council, Monica Conyers, is the wife of US Congressman John Conyers (D-Detroit). Could you imagine the outcry if a family member of a white Republican congressman (or governor, or dog catcher) were to publicly make such statements?
Or, as the author of the commentary piece from which I quoted above, Nolan Finley of the Detroit News, notes:
Juxtapose the place and the faces and imagine a white Livonia City Council treating a black union representative with such overt racial hostility. The Justice Department would swoop down like a hawk, and the Rev. Al Sharpton would clog Five Mile Road with protesters.
But in Detroit, dealing with the council's bigotry is part of the cost of doing business.
Here's a test for Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. Let's have that courageous discussion of race and racism that Holder talked about recently. Let's have a little bit of that post-racial America. Turn the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice loose on the city of Detroit. Deal with the naked racism present in the scene above by going after the black Democrat head of the city council, the wife of a senior black Democrat congressman who was an early supporter of Barack Obama's candidacy for president.
In other words, let's get a little equal protection of the laws for all Americans.
Or admit that the rhetoric of the campaign was all a sham.
And another example of a story of unethical behavior by a politician that will lead to absolute silence from the Houston area's local self-appointed ethics watchdog because the perp, Ron Kirk, is a Democrat (and one that he supported for high office).
Ron Kirk, nominated as U.S. Trade Representative in the Obama administration, owes an estimated $10,000 in back taxes from earlier in the decade and has agreed to make his payments, the Senate Finance Committee said Monday.
The committee said the taxes arise from Kirkís handling of speaking fees that he donated to his alma mater, and for his deduction of the full cost of season tickets to the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team.
The disclosure made the former Dallas mayor the latest in a string of top-level Obama administration appointees found to have underpaid their taxes, following Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Tom Daschle, who withdrew as candidate for Health and Human Services secretary. Nancy Killefer, Obamaís pick for chief performance officer, also bowed out amid tax problems.
It might be easy to give Ron Kirk the benefit of the doubt if this was not one more example of a pattern of unpaid taxes by a prominent Democrat appointed by Barack Obama to high office. And given the high ethics standards that Obama claimed he was going to bring to the executive branch, I don't see how Kirk can be allowed to survive.
But then again, after putting a blatant tax cheat like Tim Geithner in charge at the Treasury Department, I guess anything is possible.
If you want an example of how "hate crime" laws make for unequal protection of the law, here is a perfect example.
Assemblywoman Pat Eddington (D-Medford) is introducing legislation that would require law enforcement to treat any crime committed by a man against a woman as a potential hate crime.
Backed by fellow legislators and advocates for women's groups such as the National Organization of Women, Eddington said that recent reports of especially brutal crimes against women ó including a Buffalo-area woman allegedly beheaded by her estranged husband ó call out for for more prosecutions that make use of the gender category of New York's hate crimes law.
Eddington's legislation would mandate that officials apply the hate crime standard, which comes with harsher sentencing guidelines, before lesser charges.
Got that? ANY crime committed by a man against a woman. They will start out with the assumption of a hate crime.
Notice -- crimes by women against men will not get that assumption.
What next? Any crime committed against a minority by a white will be presumed a hate crime until proven otherwise?
Such legislation creates a two-tiered justice system. Thanks to Assemblywoman Pat Eddington for making the matter crystal clear.
Here are the most recent results of the Watcher's Council vote -- with the pleasant surprise that i actually won for the first time in a while.
By the way, you'll love the winning Non-Council entry from The Nose On Your Face. If you like satire, you'll love Islamic Rage Boy's latest incisive commentary.
Hereís a case where I side against my fellow conservatives and with Obama and his supporters Ė DADT is simply a bad policy.
On Monday, buoyed by a stronger Democratic majority in Congress, Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Calif.) will introduce legislation to overturn the ban against homosexuals serving openly in the military, a Tauscher aide said.
Clintonís handling of the issue was widely condemned, and the entire fiasco became a textbook example of the sort of avoid-at-all-cost political controversy that can seriously undermine a new president. For Clinton, it knocked him off message, sapped him of auathority, damaged his popularity ratings and left him with a reputation for being wishy-washy that stuck.
And it left the military with a policy that no one really likes ó the ďdonít ask, donít tellĒ regulation that allows gays to serve in the military, as long as they donít flout their homosexuality.
Letís consider the reality at work here. The current policy is idiotic and unworkable. It requires an element of dishonesty from those in the system (both gay servicemembers and their superiors) while doing nothing to enhance our nationís security. Indeed, it at times requires that the military purge itself of skilled personnel of unquestioned competence and patriotism over an issue that need not impact military readiness or efficiency. Moreover, the general level of acceptance of homosexuals in society (not approval of homosexuality, but the acceptance of individual homosexuals) has reached a level that orientation ought not be a serious issue.
H/T Gay Patriot
British-Indian author Salman Rushdie has attacked the plot of multiple Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire" as a "patently ridiculous conceit".
Rushdie wrote in Britain's Guardian newspaper that the central feature of the film -- that a boy from the Mumbai slums manages to succeed on the Indian TV version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" -- "beggars belief."
"This is a patently ridiculous conceit, the kind of fantasy writing that gives fantasy writing a bad name," the author of "The Satanic Verses" said in the article published Saturday.
The point that Rushdie misses, of course, is that the fantasy of it all is precisely what appeals to people about the plot of both the original book (Vikas Swarupís "Q&A") and movie is that it is an outrageous fantasy. Who does not root for the underdog (or, in this case, the underSlumdog)? We want to see the little guy win against all odds. And that is why more people will love the book and film versions of ďSlumdog MillionaireĒ than will even like Rushdieís novels, including the fatwa-worthy ďSatanic VersesĒ. Reading and movies are often the way that we seek a release from our own lives and an escape from our problems, not a time of deep thought and contemplation upon the larger issues of life, the universe, and everything. That is not to say that Salman Rusdie is not an Important Author Ė merely that there is an appropriate place for both the serious works of Rusdie and the lighter fare of Swarup.