July 26, 2009

Race Attack On Sleeping White Kid Not A Hate Crime In Liberal Austin

If this had happened at the home of a black family living in a white neighborhood, the the Obama Regime would have taken action to make sure that the FBI would already be investigating and Barry Hussein would have already spoken out on the situation. At a minimum, the cops in Texas' most liberal city would have classified the incident as a hate crime and devoted extra manpower to it.

But hey, since the little boy whose window was broken by a brick with a racial message scrawled on it is white, it is a low-priority misdemeanor incident.

Police are investigating a brick with an offensive message thrown into the window of an East Austin home.

The brick, thrown through a 4-year-old boy’s bedroom window, read “Keep Eastside Black. Keep Eastside Strong.”

* * *

Police have not classified this incident as a hate crime, said Austin Police Sgt. Richard Stresing, because hate crimes target an individual specifically because of an identifying characteristic, like race.

So when a white family living in a predominantly black neighborhood has a brick thrown through their window with a message about keeping the neighborhood black, that doesn't qualify as being targeted specifically because race? Would the same judgment be made if the it were a black family living in a white neighborhood getting a brick through the window with a message to keep the neighborhood white? The question answers itself.

|| Greg, 12:11 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Regime Admits Health Care Scheme NBot About Saving Money, Controlling Costs

But oddly, those are the reasons so often given for implementing such a plan -- Barry Hussein has even said so.

But now we get to the truth, after the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has shown how costly and inefficient the current proposals really are.

But now Peter Orszag, Obama's director of the Office of Management and Budget has admitted the truth -- any savings are a long way off.

The point of the proposal, however, was never to generate savings over the next decade.

In other words, for a decade we will piss away even more money than would have otherwise been spent. And in return for spending more money, here's what we lose.

  1. Freedom to choose what's in your plan
  2. Freedom to be rewarded for healthy living, or pay your real costs
  3. Freedom to choose high-deductible coverage
  4. Freedom to keep your existing plan
  5. Freedom to choose your doctors

So got that -- higher cost, less freedom. Are Americans really so stupid as to think that is a better deal? Because that is what Obama and his cronies are counting on to get this plan adopted.

|| Greg, 11:27 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 23, 2009

Time To Fix The Texas Social Studies Curriculum

I've sounded off on this point a couple of times before, but today's Houston Chronicle editorial on some proposals for revising the state's social studies curriculum leads me to bring it up again.

But first, the Chroncle's silly, error-ridden editorial.

Last week, Stephen Colbert tipped his ironic hat to the Texas State Board of Education. The board had already allowed creationism to be considered in Texas biology classes, the comedian said approvingly, and now it was pushing for more Christianity to be taught in U.S. history. But why stop there? Colbert asked. What about math? Five plus two doesn't have to equal seven — not if you're Jesus. And for that matter, what about penmanship? Why not teach students to really CROSS their T's?

There's truthiness in those jokes. Of the six people who the board appointed as “experts” to review the current curriculum, three are on record as Christian soldiers, battling to bring back a golden age of God in American government.

Evangelist David Barton founded WallBuilders, which aims to rebuild America's Christian ramparts in the way Old Testament Jews rebuilt Jerusalem's walls. Daniel Dreisbach, a professor at American University, takes a similar (if anti-wall) position: He's known for arguing that the Supreme Court misunderstood Thomas Jefferson's ideas about a “high wall” separating church and state. And then there's Peter Marshall, the head of Peter Marshall Ministries, who preaches that Watergate, the Vietnam War and Hurricane Katrina were God's wrath, ignited by the nation's sexual immorality.

Those three reviewers, in their recommendations to revamp K-12 social studies, aim to emphasize the early years of American history — the era in which the U.S. was almost entirely a Christian nation. Barton, for instance, advocates teaching kids not just about the major founding fathers, but some 250 others, such as Richard Henry Lee, Benjamin Rush, John Witherspoon, and Gouverneur Morris. All three of the conservative reviewers urge intensive study of original documents such as the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, the Pennsylvania Charter of Liberties and Frame of Government, and the Virginia Declaration of Rights.

But the problem is, teachers don't have enough time to teach everything intensively. And if they spend a large part of the school year parsing the fine points of the Pilgrim and Revolutionary eras, they'll have to skim lightly over the rest of American history — as in, those years when slaves were freed, when women won the right to vote, and when minorities fought for their civil rights. Those parts of American history are important, too.

Christianity undeniably influenced the European settlement of North America and the founding of the United States. That said, some of the founding fathers would have described themselves as deists rather than Christians, and thanks to the separation of church and state we've never been an officially Christian country. Though about half of our citizens are Christian, we are no longer only a Christian nation — just as we're no longer a nation run solely by white male property owners.

It would be wrong not to teach our kids about America's Christian roots. But it would be just as wrong to pretend that the rest of our history matters less. In Texas schools, five plus two should always equal seven — whether or not that answer matches the curriculum reviewers' goals.

When the Houston Chronicle cannot even get correct the percentage of Americans self-identifying as Christian (it is over 2/3 of Americans, not half), it is probably best to dismiss the piece. And the belittling comments about the three "Christian soldiers" (one a respected historian, another the former vice chairman of the Republican Party of Texas) shows a significant bias against the beliefs of a majority of Texans (I'm curious -- does the editorial board "look like Texas" in terms of the religious affiliations and beliefs of its members, or is it shockingly lacking in both the diversity of the state and its reflection of the public it serves?).

But the reports attacked by the paper are not the end of the process, and there is a long way to go in re-writing the standards, including much more input from the public and educators in the field like myself.

But where I am disturbed is that the editorial -- and the state of Texas --might once again miss the chance to deal with what I and a number of other social studies teachers see as a serious flaw with our state's sequence of courses in the field.

What, you may ask?

How about the scandalously absurd sequencing of courses from grade 6 through grade 12?

Currently, the sequence of courses from middle school to graduation looks like this:

What's the problem? The sixth grade course is a rather amorphous amorphous blend of geography, history, and current events. It is then followed by the parochial Texas history course. The founding of America and the Civil War are taught in eighth grade, but then the rest of the American experience doesn't follow for another three years!

We would do better to re-sequence the entire thing, perhaps as follows:

The benefit? More time to pursue the richness of world history, continuity in American history, and a more logical flow of content from the beginning of middle school through graduation.

Texas -- we have a chance to fix our social studies curriculum so that it makes more sens in terms of scope and sequence. Let's not continue with the current sequence because "we've always done it that way". Let's instead have our classes build upon what came before, with courses that logically follow one another grouped together to increase both retention of material and the development of related concepts.

|| Greg, 07:10 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Tolerance -- Liberal-Style

Diversity is fine, according to the originator of a petition to keep a Christian with traditional views on homosexual issues off a Canadian library board -- just as long as those with the wrong diverse views don't actually speak out about them. If they do, they apparently have no place in any position of public authority.

The woman who started the petition, who wishes to remain anonymous, commented to LSN, saying that O'Day's potential admittance to the board caused her to let the township know that "there is gay and lesbian community that would be very concerned."

"The reason they would be concerned is not only because of Mr. O'Day's fundamentalist Christian attitudes but that he has also made it very clear that he condemns the gay and lesbian lifestyle and he is quite aggressive about that viewpoint," she said.

"The board should represent a diversity of philosophies and attitudes," she commented, while admitting that the board generally consists of those who adhere to "inclusive liberal philosophies."

Furthermore, she said that she does not have a problem with expressing one's beliefs on the board as long one doesn't attempt to push an "aggressive agenda."

"It's more his strident aggressive tone than what he believes in," she said.

Because, of course, we know that gay activists are never strident or aggressive in their tone when expressing their beliefs and opposing the views of others.

What it really comes down to is that the library board in question is much more liberal than the local community, to the point that it has even added at least one film described as pornographic in the article. Mr. O'Day took the lead in opposing that and other decisions by the previous librarian, and now wants to have a more formal role in setting library policy. Seems to me that advocates of diversity would support rather than oppose his inclusion -- unless the "diversity" they desire is everyone believing the exact same thing.

|| Greg, 06:16 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 22, 2009

Fighting Political Censorship At The Mall

And to think they told me that there would be political censorship if I voted for John McCain -- and they were absolutely right.

"Impeach Obama."

"Al Qaeda's favorite days: 9/11/01 and 11/04/08."

"Work Harder. Obama needs the money."

The bumper stickers and posters sold at "Free Market Warrior" at Concord Mills are meant to be "biting," the kiosk's owner Loren Spivack said.

At least one passerby found them racist and bigoted, and took time to tell the mall in a letter and a letter to the editor of the Charlotte Observer.

Whatever your opinion, the fact is this: At the end of July, Free Market Warrior will not be allowed at Concord Mills Mall. The kiosk chain's owner shared e-mail correspondence with NewsChannel 36 that explains that the mall management has decided that the items sold are not "neutral" enough. The lease will be allowed to expire July 31, 2009 without an option to renew.

But while the fine folks at Simon Group have a problem with such politicl sentiments being publicly expressed at their mall, they don't have any problem with the following being sold at stores in their mall.

  • "I eat P***y like a fat kid eats cake"
  • "I love my Daddy even thou he's an A**hole"
  • "Please don't just use me for my big D***"
  • There are also materials advocating illegal drugs etc. 
  • We are displaying these images at

[In all cases the obscene words are spelled out in full on the actual shirts.]

Of course, Simon Group and Concord Mills mall are within their rights to engage in an egregious act of political censorship. That is one of the bits of beauty that comes with living in a free country and having the right to control one's own property -- a right that liberals generally don't like to permit others to exercise.

But I still have the freedom to speak out against such censorship, and to choose not to spend my dollars with a company that disrespects me and my fellow conservatives. I've therefore contacted the company to let them know of my displeasure and my decision to direct my dollars elsewhere.

I regret to inform you that I will no longer be shopping at Katy Mills mall or any other Simon Group mall due to the egregious act of political censorship which has taken place at Concord Mills mall in North Carolina.

Given the decision of this mall to engage in political censorship against Free Market Warrior, I regret to inform you that I can no longer support your company with my dollars. I hope that the decision to cave in to a couple of whining liberal college students proves profitable to your parent company, given that the decision to do so has indicated your contempt for the political views of much of the country and the concept of free speech. I don't support those who spit on my views and my Constitution.

I encourage others to do the same -- let's harness the power of free Americans to encourage Simon Group to respect our values, using the power of our dollars to make them listen. And while you are at it, look up the local Simon Group mall and let the manager know why you won't be shopping with them, either.

|| Greg, 04:39 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama, The Palestinians, And The Holocaust

I think this one from Dry Bones says it all.


After all, Obama's analogy only works if the following things were true in 1933.

Of course, none of those conditions applied in Germany in 1933 -- but every single one of them has been the status quo for decades in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. So either Barack Obama is woefully ignorant of history, perniciously hateful of Jews, or simply finds it convenient to belittle the Holocaust by drawing an inapt moral equivalence between the innocent victims of the Holocaust and murderous aggressors in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Or perhaps all three.

|| Greg, 06:02 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 21, 2009

This Weeks's Watchers's Council Results

Winning Council Submissions

Winning Non-Council Submissions

|| Greg, 05:28 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 20, 2009

This Day In History -- July 20, 1969


I remember being six years old and watching the moon landing, and the subsequent moon walks. I was fascinated then. I am still fascinated today.

May I be blessed to live long enough to witness man's return to the moon -- and the eventual manned exploration of Mars.

|| Greg, 09:54 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

REPOST -- Challenger+20

I originally posted this piece back in 2006, to commemorate the Challenger explosion. As we mark the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo XI mission, it seems only appropriate to remember those who have given their lives in the cause of space exploration.

I remember that day all too well. I had spent the morning at Illinois State University' Bone Student Center, in a giant room filled with teacher recruiters as I desperately sought employment.

I wanted to get rid of my resumes and other stuff before heading to the cafeteria, so my girlfriend and I went up to my dorm room in Watterson Towers to drop stuff off. She turned the television on to catch the news. After all, this was the "Teacher In Space" flight, and there had been much buzz about the impending launch at the teacher job fair.

That's when we saw the coverage.

They were looking for the shuttle.

And then they showed the replay as we watched -- horrified.


I remember shouting at the screen. I was later told that my words were "Where's the f#^%ing shuttle?" I was literally knocked to my knees by the force of what I was seeing as the tears began to roll down my face, brought on by a visceral understanding of images that my brain could not comprehend.

I knelt there and watched. And wept. We never did make it down to lunch, nor did I return to the job fair.

It must have been an hour or two later that the phone rang. It was Tony Zagotta, president of the ISU College Republicans (later the National Chairman) and one of my closest friends on campus. Could I meet him, Eric Nicoll, and the rest of the CR inner circle at the office to help organize a candlelight vigil in the quad.

Before I went to that meeting, I watched what is my favorite Reagan speech.


"Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss.

"Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But, we've never lost an astronaut in flight; we've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle; but they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together.

"For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, 'Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy.' They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us.

"We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for twenty-five years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.

"And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.

"I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program, and what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA or who worked on this mission and tell them: 'Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it.'

"There's a coincidence today. On this day 390 years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, 'He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it.' Well, today we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete.

"The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honoured us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.'

"Thank you."

Appropriately enough, it was those closing words that floatd into my mind nearly two decades later when Ronald Reagan died.

Today I can drive to Johnson Space Center in 10 minutes, including the time it takes to back out of the garage. A local school and the town youth center are named for astronaut Ed White, killed on the launchpad with Grissom and Chaffee in that flash of fire in the first Apollo capsule. I shared a zip code with one of the Columbia astronauts, and remember seeing the others in local stores. All of those who have lost their lives in the pursuit of space exploration have a special place in the heart of this community.

I claim a number of honest-to-God rocket scientists among my friends and acquaintances. Several of them were intimately involved with Challenger, and more were a part of the Columbia team. A few, the old-timers, knew and worked with the Apollo 1 crew. Each of them tells me that they are dedicated to the continuation of manned spaceflight. Why? Because those who have given their lives to push back that frontier would want it to continue.

And so, today, we honor and remember those who died in spaceflight.


X-15 Flight 191

Michael J. Adams


Apollo 1

Gus Grissom

Ed White

Roget Chaffee


Challenger -- 51-L

Dick Scobee

Michael Smith

Judith Resnik

Ellison Onizuka

Ronald McNair

Greg Jarvis

Christa McAuliffe


Columbia -- STS-107

Rick Husband

William McCool

Michael Anderson

David Brown

Kalpana Chawla

Laurel Clark

Ilan Ramon


Soyuz 1


Soyuz 11

Georgi Dobrovolski

Viktor Patsayev

Vladislav Volkov

|| Greg, 09:08 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Not Unbeatable In 2012

Granted, we are a long way from the next presidential election, but at least one candidate is out there who already has the ability to beat Barack Obama -- Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

And at least one more candidate is within striking distance of the president.

If the 2012 presidential election were held today, President Obama and possible Republican nominee Mitt Romney would be all tied up at 45% each, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

The president, seeking a second four-year term, beats another potential GOP rival, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, by six points – 48% to 42%.

In both match-ups, seven percent (7%) like some other candidate, with three percent (3%) undecided.

It does make you wonder about all those out there who claim that Obama is incredibly popular and that opposing his policies is nothing less than opposing the American people.

Personally, I thought Romney was our best choice in 2008 -- and I certainly lean that direction now. Of course, a lot could happen between today and the beginning of the 2012 primary season -- and that yea's general election. Not the least of which being the 2010 congressional elections, which ought to see significant GOP gains.

|| Greg, 12:20 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

What The Dems Won't Put In ObamaCare -- And What They Will

I find the amendments to the health care bill that were voted down to be really revealing.

Democrats also voted down an amendment from Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nv.) that would require all Members of Congress to get insurance through the government-run plan. Apparently Democrat members of Congress do not like the government plan they’re trying to inflict on the rest of us. In a straight party line vote, Democrats voted against exempting themselves from the government-run plan by a vote of 21-18.

“We also had an amendment to require that members of Congress must participate in the government-run plan,” Camp said. “If it’s such a great idea, it should be a great idea for members of Congress. The majority voted to prevent that from happening. They voted to exempt members of Congress from the government-run plan.”

Also voted down were amendments that would require proof of citizenship or legal status to sign up for the government plan, that would bar government funding abortion as a plan “benefit,” and an amendment that would bar rationing of health care based on comparative effectiveness data.

Got that, folks.

The insurance your congresscritters say is good enough for you is not good enough for them -- after all, if they were creating a plan that was so great, they would want to guarantee their inclusion. Just one more example of Congress exempting itself from the laws they pass for you.

They also want you to pay for insurance for every single illegal alien.

And they refused to ban rationing of treatment.

But don't worry -- they did vote to make sure that abortion will be covered by ObamaCare, even though the long-standing policy of this nation has been to exclude abortion from government medical programs out of respect for the beliefs of a majority of Americans. The Obama Regime even admits it.

Just another reason to stand firmly against Obama's medical boondoggle.

|| Greg, 10:01 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 16, 2009

My Final Reason For Opposing Sonia Sotomayor

Many of you know that I grew up in a military family.

What most of you don't know is that I came closer than comfortable to becoming the victim of a terrorist attack on a military base here in the United States 30 years ago.

What, you may be asking? A terrorist attack in the US -- on a military base, no less -- that long ago? Tell us more.

In 1979, I was a sixteen-year-old living at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. I was a pretty average kid. My best friend, Mike, and I used to go to the Reserve Center building when his father had the evening duty, so we could shoot pool on the reservist's pool table. We'd then catch a ride home with his father when he was relieved.

I remember one October night really clearly. Mike and I stopped to admire the car that belonged to his dad's relief. I don't remember any more whether it was a 'Vette or a Camaro -- but I do remember this guy basking in the admiration of a couple of teens as he showed off his vehicle before he went inside and the Chief took us home.

A couple hours later, the phone rang at home. He was one of the senior officers on base, so this happened any time there was a significant event on base. Over breakfast the next morning I found out why -- the FALN, a Puerto Rican terrorist group, had set off a bomb outside the Reserve Center. I'll never forget my reaction when he told me that the only significant damage was that car my buddy and I had been admiring not-so-many hours earlier. It had been totaled by a bomb that had been placed under the concrete parking block I had been resting my foot on while lusting after that automotive work of art.

I've thought about this event more than once over the years. Once was when Clinton pardoned a group of FALN terrorists back in 1999. Another was on 9/11, when I reflected on how terrorism had already touched my life.

But it all came back to me in a big way when I saw this ad -- mocked by a local liberal Democrat who is apparently both ignorant of the history of terrorism in this country and unconcerned about terrorist sympathizers in high places in our government.

I had mellowed on Sonia Sotomayor's nomination before I saw this. I could ignore the bad decison in Ricci, in which she seemed to imply that white men have no Fourteenth Amendment rights that a judge need respect. I could accept her explanation of her "wise Latina" comments as inartfully made, despite their clearly racist subtext. And I had already dismissed her "making policy" comment as correct in its full context. Only her free speech douchebaggery in still troubled me.

But no more. Her history of active participation in an organization that supported terrorists tears it. This is not just abstract for me. I was ever so close to being a victim of one of the bombs planted by those terrorists, had it only detonated a couple of hours earlier.

Sonia Sotomayor wearing the black robes of a Justice of the United States Supreme Court? Utterly unacceptable in my eyes.

Indeed, I now believe that Sonia Sotomayor belongs in the orange jumpsuit of an inmate in a federal prison, serving time as an accessory after the fact in the many terrorist activities of the FALN.

I urge -- no, I demand -- that every Senator cast a resounding NO vote against her confirmation. Terrorist sympathizers have no place on the highest court in the land.

|| Greg, 07:38 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Regime: Differnt Standard For Government Than For Private Sector

That's the only way to look at this one.

When companies accepted government bailouts, they were forbidden to send executives on junkets to resorts for conferences. There was talk about responsible use of taxpayer money

Government agencies, even ones that are insolvent in an age when we are running the largest deficits in US history, can still spend loads of taxpayer cash for such trips, though.

A Social Security Administration motivational management conference held at a high-end Valley resort last week cost $700,000, the SSA told the ABC15 Investigators.

Costs for the conference at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa included airfare, hotel entertainment, dancers, motivational speakers, and food, an administration official said.

A spokesperson from the SSA's regional office said the conference was essential, that teleconferencing was not an option, and that all 675 managers needed to meet in person.

The SSA provided ABC15 with a list of courses provided at the conference, which included "Techniques to Empower You," "Mentoring the Generations," and "Emotional Intelligence."

But the information provided by the SSA did not mention an after-hours casino trip, family members staying at the hotel, or the 20-minute dance party ABC15 observed.

Just one more example of the Obama regime wanting to control you life while exempting government.

|| Greg, 10:13 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

NY Times Comes Out For Making Public Housing "Bill Of Rights"-Free Zone

After all, if the federal government can restrict the free exercise of one right guaranteed under the Bill of Rights to residents of public housing, then all of those rights are in danger.

Congress continues to do the gun lobby’s lethal bidding, delivering a bipartisan boost in a House committee to a reckless proposal that would allow residents of public housing projects to keep guns in their homes. The measure would endanger projects in major cities that have adopted the common sense precaution of declaring public housing to be no-gun zones.

What next? Should public housing ban Muslims due to Islam's propensity to violence? How about forbidding residents of public housing from invoking their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination as a condition of living there? No one with an ounce of decency would accept such restrictions on the fundamental rights guaranteed since the earliest days of our Republic. And no one should accept the restriction of the rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment, adopted at the same time to restrict that same federal government, for precisely the same reason.

|| Greg, 10:06 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Apollo XI Heads To Moon -- 40 Years Ago Today


Let us pause and remember that phenomenal accomplishment.

It had all come down to three men sitting atop a 363-foot Saturn V rocket.

In the eight years since President John F. Kennedy stunned the spaceflight community and issued his challenge to put a man on the moon, NASA had spent $25 billion — akin to $140 billion-plus, today — and employed more than 300,000 technicians in its race against the Russians.

The result of these labors sat on a pad at Launch Complex 39A.

At 8:32 a.m. Houston time July 16, 1969, the rocket's engines fired, and the Apollo 11 crew — Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins — shook, rattled and reached orbit 12 minutes later.

I remember watching the launch four decades ago, a six-year-old sitting in the living room of our house in San Diego.

I was fascinated then.

I remain fascinated with the space program today.

And today i live just a few miles from Houston's Johnson Space Center.

I'm friends with a few of the "old timers" who were here at the time.

One of the ladies from church once told me about how the neighborhood ladies taking meals around the corner to the Armstrong house during the flight, to make sure that such mundane concerns as cooking didn't intrude wouldn't be a concern during the mission.


Armstrong Home, El Lago, TX
Photo taken while Apollo XI was on the moon, July 1969.

One of the men who worked on the mission once told over dinner just how concerned they were about the possibility that the first men to land and walk on the moon might not be the first men to Earth from the moon.

Today, I have friends at Johnson Space Center, manning the consoles for another mission. And at least one of these is helping to design the next generation spacecraft -- the one that will, after half a century of absence, return man to the moon.

If, of course, we as a nation have the will to strive for such great deeds again.

And if one of the space programs that have begun in Asia don't beat us back. Will the next men (or the first woman) on the moon be an American? Or will that honor go to a new generation of hero with a name like Chang or Patel?

|| Greg, 09:02 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 14, 2009

Dems Outraged Over Secret Bush-Era Program -- To Kill Or Capture Al-Qaeda Leaders

After all, it isn't like we were attacked by al-Qaeda on September 11.

Oh, wait -- we were attacked by al-Qaeda on September 11.

But to actually try to decapitate the organization by eliminating its leadership?

Utterly unacceptable!

Which is why this current controversy would be amusing -- if it did not indicate the fundamental lack of seriousness of the ruling party when it comes to national security and the defense of the United States.

Since 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency has developed plans to dispatch small teams overseas to kill senior Qaeda terrorists, according to current and former government officials.

The plans remained vague and were never carried out, the officials said, and Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director, canceled the program last month.

Officials at the spy agency over the years ran into myriad logistical, legal and diplomatic obstacles. How could the role of the United States be masked? Should allies be informed and might they block the access of the C.I.A. teams to their targets? What if American officers or their foreign surrogates were caught in the midst of an operation? Would such activities violate international law or American restrictions on assassinations overseas?

Git that -- the official policy of the Obama regime is that we no longer kill or capture the leaders of the Islamists wherever we can find them. Call it a "safe haven for terrorists policy.

Of course, the Dems are outraged -- that they weren't kept abreast of the program, which was never fully implemented.

Mark Thiessen makes this observation over at National Review's Corner.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the program which Democrats were so angry about turns out to be an effort “to carry out a 2001 presidential authorization to capture or kill al Qaeda operatives.” Excuse me, but this is the Democrats’ idea of a scandal? Most Americans would not only expect, but demand, that the CIA do everything in its power to kill al-Qaeda operatives before they strike our country. Indeed, the Obama administration itself has reportedly escalated targeted killings of al-Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan using Predator and Reaper drones. These targeted killings are not assassinations — they are legitimate strikes against an enemy that has declared war on us and attacked us where we live.

That Congressional Democrats are outraged by this program speaks volumes about the state of their party on national security. The fact that the CIA was trying to kill al-Qaeda operatives should not be a point of outrage — it should be a point of pride.

Indeed, weren't the Democrats constantly arguing that we should be worrying about al-Qaeda and not Saddam? Now that it appears that the Bush Administration was actually trying to do something about al-Qaeda at the same time, Democrats are outraged.

And immediately leaked the details of the program to the press, proving that the decision to keep the details of the program under wraps was not merely prudent, but absolutely correct.

Oh, and by the way -- the plan was authorized and Congress was briefed in the early stages.

I'm particularly struck by this bit of silliness.

Kenneth Anderson, a law professor at American University who has studied targeted killings, said the United States first made the argument in 1989 that killing terrorists would not violate the assassination ban and would be a legal act of self-defense under international law.

Such killings would be premised on the condition that the authorities in the country where the terrorist was located were unable or unwilling to stop the terrorist, Mr. Anderson said.

In legal terms, he said, there is no real difference between killing a terrorist with a missile or with a handgun. “In political terms,” he continued, “there’s a real difference. The missile feels more like regular warfare, even if it’s carried out by the C.I.A.”

But any targeted killings make many specialists in international law uneasy. Hina Shamsi, an adviser to the Project on Extrajudicial Executions at New York University, said that any calculation about inserting an assassination team would have to consider the following: the violation of the sovereignty of the country where the killing occurred; the different legal status of the C.I.A. compared with the uniformed military; and whether the killing would be covered by the law of war.

I suppose targeting Hitler, or Goering, or Rommel would have been somehow unacceptable to these "specialists" in international law. Such things also indicate just how absurd much of the discussion of international law really is.

Jules Crittenden envisions these funny bits of testimony involving the questioning of Dick Cheney and Leon Panetta regarding the program.

Govt: So, Mr. Cheney. Why did you want to kill top al-Qaeda leaders, and why did you feel this was not something you could safely report to Congress?

XVP: Well, let’s see, where to start …


Govt: So, Mr. Panetta. Why did you decide to stop killing al-Qaeda leaders, and why did you feel it was important for the world to know that you would not be doing this?

CIA Chief: Well, let’s see, where to start …

But the key issue is this -- Democrats want to investigate and prosecute members of the previous administration for looking at means to attack our enemies during time of war. Shout it from the rooftops -- DEMOCRATS CARE MORE ABOUT OUR ENEMIES THAN OUR NATIONAL SECURITY!

|| Greg, 12:22 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Let's Stop Him At The Dinner Roll

H/T to Bookworm Room for this little parable.

Once upon a time, I was invited to the White House for a private dinner with the President. I am a respected businessman, with a factory that produces memory chips for computers and portable electronics. There was some talk that my industry was being scrutinized by the administration, but I paid it no mind. I live in a free country. There’s nothing that the government can do to me if I’ve broken no laws. My wealth was earned honestly, and an invitation to dinner with an American President is an honor.

I checked my coat, was greeted by the Chief of Staff, and joined the President in a yellow dining room. We sat across from each other at a table draped in white linen. The Great Seal was embossed on the china. Uniformed staff served our dinner.

The meal was served, and I was startled when my waiter suddenly reached out, plucked a dinner roll off my plate, and began nibbling it as he walked back to the kitchen.

“Sorry about that,” said the President. “Andrew is very hungry.”

“I don’t appreciate…” I began, but as I looked into the calm brown eyes across from me, I felt immediately guilty and petty. It was just a dinner roll. “Of course,” I concluded, and reached for my glass. Before I could, however, another waiter reached forward, took the glass away and swallowed the wine in a single gulp.

“And his brother Eric is very thirsty.” said the President.

I didn’t say anything. The President is testing my compassion, I thought. I will play along. I don’t want to seem unkind.

My plate was whisked away before I had tasted a bite.

“Eric’s children are also quite hungry.”

With a lurch, I crashed to the floor. My chair had been pulled out from under me. I stood, brushing myself off angrily, and watched as it was carried from the room.

“And their grandmother can’t stand for long.”

I excused myself, smiling outwardly, but inside feeling like a fool. Obviously I had been invited to the White House to be sport for some game.. I reached for my coat, to find that it had been taken. I turned back to the President.

“Their grandfather doesn’t like the cold.”

I wanted to shout “that was my coat!” But again, I looked at the placid smiling face of my host and decided I was being a poor sport. I spread my hands helplessly and chuckled. Then I felt my hip pocket and realized my wallet was gone. I excused myself and walked to a phone on an elegant side table. I learned shortly that my credit cards had been maxed out, my bank accounts emptied, my retirement and equity portfolios had vanished, and my wife had been thrown out of our home. Apparently, the waiters and their families were moving in. The President hadn’t moved or spoken as I learned all this, but finally I lowered the phone into its cradle and turned to face him.

“Andrew’s whole family has made bad financial decisions. They haven’t planned for retirement, and they need a house. They recently defaulted on a subprime mortgage. I told them they could have your home. They need it more than you do.”

My hands were shaking. I felt faint. I stumbled back to the table and knelt on the floor. The President cheerfully cut his meat, ate his steak and drank his wine. I lowered my eyes and stared at the small gray circles on the tablecloth that were water drops.

“By the way,” He added, “I have just signed an Executive Order nationalizing your factories. I’m firing you as head of your business. I’ll be operating the firm now for the benefit of all mankind. There’s a whole bunch of Erics and Andrews out there and they can’t come to you for jobs groveling like beggars.”

I looked up. The President dropped his spoon into the empty ramekin which had been his creme brulee. He drained the last drops of his wine. As the table was cleared, he lit a cigarette and leaned back in his chair. He stared at me. I clung to the edge of the table as if were a ledge and I were a man hanging over an abyss. I thought of the years behind me, of the life I had lived. The life I had earned with a lifetime of work, risk and struggle. Why was I punished? How had I allowed it to be taken? What game had I played and lost? I looked across the table and noticed with some surprise that there was no game board between us.

What had I done wrong?

As if answering the unspoken thought, the President suddenly cocked his head, locked his empty eyes to mine, and bared a million teeth, chuckling wryly as he folded his hands.

“You should have stopped me at the dinner roll,” he said.

Of course, it may be that we have gone far past the dinner roll, given the deficit numbers racked up by the Obama Regime and its profligate ways.



|| Greg, 10:46 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Hutchison Rakes In Bucks For Governor's Race

Kay Bailey Hutchison is going all-out to make the 2010 gubernatorial primary a race. And her fundraising numbers certainly bear that out.


U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison had publicly vanished from the governor's race during the past several months, but burst back on the scene Monday with an announcement that she has $12.5 million for a campaign to knock Gov. Rick Perry out of office.

Hutchison said she will formally announce as a candidate next month. She described the $6.7 million she raised during the first half of this year as a record for a Texas politician.

“This is a huge victory,” Hutchison said.

Perry has announced that he raised $4.2 million in the final nine days of June and had $9.3 million in the bank.

Given the Texas Democrats' notoriously shallow bench, it is unlikely that any Democrat could even come close to either of these two Republicans. That means the GOP primary will be the election. Her's hoping that Texas Republicans make the correct choice by sending Rick Perry packing and nominating Kay to be our next governor.


Which, of course, will sets the stage for the election of Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams as our United States Senator.

|| Greg, 10:11 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

WaPo: Do As We Say, Not As Obama Did

Vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor -- even though she falls short of the standard set by Barack Obama for confirming justices to the Supreme Court. Indeed, after recounting how Barack Obama refused to support highly qualified judges based upon partisan and ideological reasons, the Post argues that there is an obligation not to apply such standards to his first nominee.

Senators don't owe presidents favorable votes on their nominees. But they do owe the president, the nominee and the American people a vote based on an honest assessment of the nominee's qualities and qualifications.

Let me address the editorial board of the Washington Post for a moment.

You make the argument that senators "owe the president, the nominee and the American people a vote based on an honest assessment of the nominee's qualities and qualifications." And yet despite this, you still endorsed Barack Obama for president, despite his clear failure to uphold this obligation. You gave your support to a man who you knew to be dishonest and duplicitous in fulfilling his constitutional obligation. Why should the judgments of the editorial board of the Washington Post be trusted, given your clear failure to weigh the qualities and qualifications of Barack Obama to be president.

Indeed, you make a compelling case for the rejection of ALL Obama judicial nominees, because it cannot be presumed that he has honestly assessed the qualities and qualifications of his nominees in making these nominations in the first place.

After all, elections have consequences -- and one consequence of this election is the ratification of the Obama standard for judging judicial nominees, at least for the duration of Obama's presidency.

Of course, the current configuration of the Senate is such that the GOP is unlikely to be able to stop the Sotomayor nomination. As such, I encourage the GOP Senators to fight like hell against Sonia Sotomayor -- and then follow simply vote Present when the nomination comes to the floor, just as Obama did so many times throughout his legislative career.

|| Greg, 09:14 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Chavez Announces Next Obama Administration Foreign Policy Initiative

Given that ol' Barry Hussein has been following the lead of Hugo Chavez in attempting to overthrow the legitimate Honduran government and reinstall the legally-removed former president of that nation, we can only presume that this is the next step for the Obama Regime.

MOSCOW, July 13 (RIA Novosti) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has called on the United States to withdraw its "gringo" troops from its airbase in Honduras to protest the recent coup in the Central American state.

* * *

"If the U.S. really was against the coup it would have already withdrawn its troops from the Palmerola military base," Chavez said in his Sunday TV program, Hello President.

The U.S., which has repeatedly condemned the coup, has some 350 soldiers deployed at an airbase in Honduras.

"Obama, pull your gringo soldiers out of Honduras, deprive the rebels of aid, freeze their accounts, stop giving them visas, and you will see how their rule ends," Chavez went on.

The dictator of Venezuela has spoken. Obama should be falling in line shortly -- especially if Fidel Castro makes a similar call. Supporters of freedom and constitutional government should tremble.

|| Greg, 08:47 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 11, 2009

Liberal Activists Attack Winner Of Two Civil Rights Lawsuits As Having "Troubled And Litigious Work History"

What next -- are Frank Ricci going to call those who supported him "outside agitators"?

On the eve of Sotomayor's Senate confirmation hearing, her advocates have been urging journalists to scrutinize what one called the "troubled and litigious work history" of firefighter Frank Ricci.

* * *

On Friday, citing in an e-mail "Frank Ricci's troubled and litigious work history," the liberal advocacy group People for the American Way drew reporters' attention to Ricci's past. Other advocates for Sotomayor have discreetly urged journalists to pursue similar story lines.

Specifically, the advocates have zeroed in on an earlier 1995 lawsuit Ricci filed claiming the city of New Haven discriminated against him because he's dyslexic. The advocates cite other Hartford Courant stories from the same era recounting how Ricci was fired by a fire department in Middletown, Conn., allegedly, Ricci said at the time, because of safety concerns he raised.

The Middletown-area fire department was subsequently fined for safety violations, but the Connecticut Department of Labor dismissed Ricci's retaliation complaint.

Now let's look at this, here is a man who has apparently filed three employment-related suits. In one, he won at the Supreme Court level. In a second, he received a settlement when it became apparent he was going to win due to violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. And in the third, the whistleblower case, he chose not to pursue the matter in court because he had gotten a new, better job after winning the ADA case.

Is there something wrong with Frank Ricci for having filed these suits, two of which were civil rights lawsuits that came out in his favor?

Let's flip this matter around -- would we be having this discussion at all if Frank Ricci were Frank Richards, a black firefighter who was denied a job due to dyslexia and then denied a promotion because not enough whites passed the promotion test?

For that matter, would Sonia Sotomayor have ruled against Frank Richards in the same perfunctory manner she did against Frank Ricci?

Would liberal groups be attacking him if she had -- or would they be attacking Sotomayor as insensitive on civil rights?

Of course, anyone with an ounce of sense knows the answers to these questions -- which shows how blatant the hypocrisy and racism of the liberals really is.

H/T Gateway Pundit, Don Surber

|| Greg, 08:09 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

NY Times Columnist States A Half-Truth

If you hadn't been following the John Ensign story, this bit in Gail Collins' NY Times column would no doubt conjure up images of GOP senators and congressmen -- and a couple of pastors -- holding a massive Roman orgy.

But lately, the Ensign saga has become more and more fascinating. Every social conservative in Washington seems to have been involved.

Yeah, but HOW they were involved is the real key here.

They weren't sleeping with Ensign or his mistress.

They were urging their friend and colleague to break off the affair. They were encouraging him to reconcile with his wife. They were suggesting ways for him to mitigate the harm done to the family of his mistress and his own family. Indeed, it appears that they were trying to get him right with God.

In other words, they were acting like CHRISTIANS.

Remember -- one part of Christian teaching is that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Another is that we are all called to repent of our sins and strive to live a better life. And as I've read the revelations of the last couple of days, that's what I see members and spiritual advisers of a Christian group in Washington pushing Ensign towards -- repentance and reformation.

As more details come out about John Ensign, I am beginning to move towards a belief that he may need to resign. But that said, I'm rather proud of the decisions and actions of those who tried to get Ensign back on the straight and narrow path. After all, it is what they ought to have done consistent with their faith.

On the other hand, I'm rather ashamed of Gail Collins and her tawdry innuendo that appears designed to deceive rather than inform her readers.

|| Greg, 06:20 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 10, 2009

Arlen Specter Defines Arrogance

Let's see -- Arlen Specter is a Democrat who ran jumped ship to the GOP early in his career because it was the only way for him to get elected to public office. He recently jumped ship back to the Democrats (after decades as a Republican) when it became apparent that he was going to lose the GOP primary to someone who more closely represented the GOP platform. In other words, opportunistic party-switching is one of the defining characteristics of Specter's career.

So of course, having just switched to the Democrat Party this year so he can run for office as a Democrat, he is now accusing his opponent of having become a Democrat in 2006 just so he could run for office as a Democrat!

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter called his fellow Democrat, Rep. Joe Sestak, a "flagrant hypocrite" and accused his rival of registering as a Democrat "just in time to run for Congress."

Sestak has said that he will challenge Specter, who has the backing of President Obama and party leaders, for the Democratic Senate nomination next year. Specter, a longtime Republican, switched his party registration to Democrat this year.

On Thursday, Specter's campaign sought to bring into question Sestak's roots to the Democratic Party. Specter's campaign sent out a list of Sestak's voting history in Delaware County, which the senator's campaign said showed that Sestak registered as an Independent in 1971, didn't vote in any primary elections from 1971-2005 and that he officially registered as a Democrat in February of 2006. Sestak was elected as a Democrat to the House in 2006.

Sestak's response? That as a military officer he remained a registered independent because he believes that military officers should not be a member of any political party. Having grown up on military bases as the son of a military officer, I've a number of officers who took precisely that position and acted upon it. It is a position I find principled and admirable, even if I would argue that voting in a primary does not undermine the non-artisan nature of the military. I'm therefore not offended at all by Sestak's voter registration history.

I am, on the other hand, quite offended by Specter's hypocrisy in accusing ANYONE of manipulating party registration just to find a convenient banner under which to seek office.

|| Greg, 10:13 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 09, 2009

While You Were Otherwise Distracted

You know, by stories about Sanford and Ensign and their affairs, speculation about Sarah Palin's resignation, and the Michael Jackson saga -- here's what the news media HASN'T been telling you about the conduct of the Democrat majority in Washington.

** Rep. John Conyers' (D-MI) wife Monica was convicted on bribery charges. An associate also implicated Rep. Conyers and Senator Stabenow (D-MI) in the crimes. The state-run media hasn't touched this.

** The jury in Rep. Jefferson's (D-LA)criminal case saw tape this week of him accepting bribes and were handed photos of his frozen cold cash this week.

** Mr. John Harris pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud this week. He pledged to cooporate with prosecutors in the investigation of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) in exchange for the lenient sentence.

** Criminal accusations against Senator Dodd (D-Conn.)continue. Dodd has not been straightforward about the value of his 10-acre waterfront home in Ireland. Since 2002 he listed the value of the home at $250,000. In February his office changed that to $127,000. In March, Dodd told The Hartford Current he paid $177,000 for the home. In May he told Newsweek he paid $207,000. Acording to the senator's most recent financial disclosure form, the cottage is actually worth $658,000.

** Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) has come under scrutiny as more defense contractors associated with him are being investigated. This time the names include Mountaintop Technologies which received $10 million in earmarks and Kuchera Industries which got $9 million in earmarks in 2008. The Pennsylvania representative allegedly used his seniority and position on the U.S. House Appropriations committee to secure the earmarks that he passed on to companies with whom he had relationships. Donations from executives of Mountaintop to Murtha's campaigns amounted to $40,200 while employees of Kuchera kicked in $89,000.

** Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus (Dems) are under investigation for taking an illegal trip to Cuba where these members sucked up to Fidel Castro.

** The House ethics committee opened an inquiry into whether Caribbean trips taken by Representative Charles Rangel violated House gift rules.

** Sen. Inouye (D-Hawaii) acts on behalf of a constituent, who turns out to be in large part himself (a troubled bank in which his ownership share makes up ‘the bulk of his personal wealth’), via Instapundit. The media is silent.

** The House so far has ignored Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. of Illinois over his reported effort to persuade ousted Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich to appoint him to fill President Obama's former Senate seat.

** And, there's also Speaker Pelosi who lied about her knowlege of waterboarding and then charged the CIA with lying.

Of course, why would you want to know about those things -- after all, Democrats brought Hope'N'Change to America, and anything that interferes with implementing the agenda of Barack Obama is unpatriotic, so we just have to let Democrat corruption slide.

|| Greg, 09:29 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

New Haven Firemen To Testafy Against Sotomayor!

This will be great -- two bona fide heroes posing the question that Sotomayor needs to answer on live television.

You know -- "Why don't you think we are entitled to equal protection of the law under the Fourteenth Amendment?"

Republicans will call two New Haven firefighters to testify in the confirmation hearings of Sonia Sotomayor next week, making clear the GOP's intent to place affirmative action at the center of Senate battle over Sotomayor's nomination.

A Judiciary Committee press release lists Frank Ricci and Ben Vargas as expected Republican witnesses. Ricci was the lead plaintiff in Ricci v. New Haven, the controversial case in which Sotomayor ruled the New Haven fire department acted constitutionally when it promoted black firefighters who scored lower than their white counterparts on a qualifying test. Vargas was the only non-white co-plaintiff in that case.

Demsare bringin in a bunch of political and social elites to support Sotomayor, but these Average Americans are going to have their say, too. How refreshing!

Maybe someone on the committee will press the Wise Latina to explain why she dismissed the rights of these firefighters with no substantive analysis of their case in an opinion of less than a single page.

|| Greg, 12:28 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Corruption In The Disbursement Of Stimulus Funds?

Perhaps -- or at least blatant political favoritism.

Counties that supported Obama last year have reaped twice as much money per person from the administration's $787 billion economic stimulus package as those that voted for his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, a USA TODAY analysis of government disclosure and accounting records shows. That money includes aid to repair military bases, improve public housing and help students pay for college.

The reports show the 872 counties that supported Obama received about $69 per person, on average. The 2,234 that supported McCain received about $34.

Gee, even the funding of military bases appears tied to whether or not a county voted for Obama. So much for little things like national security and military necessity -- they appear to be using your tax dollars to fund their 2012 election campaign.

It's not just that there is a disparity that raises the concern -- that could be explained by a number of factors. But 2-to-1? That boggles the mind.

H/T Gateway Pundit

|| Greg, 10:22 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Indeicates Support For Hitlerian Eugenics

Could you imagine the uproar if a Republican justice had made a comment like this?

Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn't really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.

So, Madam Justice, would you care to explain which groups of people you don't want reproducing? Who don't you want having to many of? Certainly reminds me of the goals of Hitler's Nuremberg Laws, which were praised by Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger.

Seems to me that we need another vacancy on the Supreme Court immediately -- whether by resignation or impeachment doesn't particularly matter to me.

H/T Hot Air

|| Greg, 10:09 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

NY Times Supports Coup In New York

They won't support following the constitutional removal of the president of Honduras, but they will support the appointment of a lieutenant governor in New York despite the decided lack of authority of David Paterson to do so.

We don’t know yet whether it was legal, but Gov. David Paterson of New York was right to take the plunge and name a lieutenant governor in an effort to break the increasingly damaging stalemate in Albany.

Got that? Limited government under the rule of law and constitutions be damned -- we like his style! Of course, the NY Times would never take this position were it not for the simple fact that David Paterson is a liberal's liberal. Had this been a Republican acting to guarantee Republican ascendancy in state government, there would be howls of outrage and demands for action by the courts and the legislature -- perhaps even a demand that President Obama act to guarantee New York a (small "r") "republican form of government" by sending in troops to remove the overreaching official and his supporters from office.

Of course, what we have here is an attempt by an unelected officeholder to appoint another unappointed official without constitutional authority in order gain control of the state Senate. I guess that all of a sudden democracy doesn't matter to the New York Times after all -- just a victory by the left-most forces in sight.

|| Greg, 08:25 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 08, 2009

Once Again, Dems Label Dissent Unpatriotic

Funny, isn't it, what a difference an election makes to them.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who has had an eventful couple of weeks to say the least, believes House Republican opposition to climate change legislation and the stimulus indicates they’re cheering against the good ol’ US of A.

“It appears that the Republican Party leadership in the Congress has made a decision that they want to deny President Obama success, which means, in my mind, they are rooting against the country, as well,” the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman told WAMU radio host Diane Rehm on Tuesday morning, promoting his new book, “The Waxman Report.”

Got that -- opposition to Obama's policies means you hate America. I seem to recall that liberals decreed dissent, opposition to presidential policy initiatives, and plain old obstructionism to be the highest form of patriotism during the Bush years. No, though, opposing the president when you think he's wrong means you are "rooting against the country."

Have you no sense of decency, Congressman Waxman, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

H/T Sister Toldjah

|| Greg, 11:33 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

More On Honduras

Just a quick addendum to yesterday's words on Honduras.

It appears that the Honduran constitution contains a provision that indicates that Zelaya's actions in attempting to change the term limit provision of the nation's constitution was a basis for automatic removal from office.

Obama is quite wrong to claim that the removal of Zelaya was "illegal." The Honduran president forfeited his right to rule under Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution, which bans presidents from holding office if they even propose to alter the constitutional term limits for presidents. And the Honduran military, which acted on orders of the Honduran supreme court, expressly had the right to remove the president for seeking to alter the constitutional term limit, under Article 272 of the Honduran Constitution, as even left-leaning commentators have now admitted. The Honduran military's role in enforcing the court order does not make it a "coup" anymore than federal troops' role in enforcing the court-ordered integration of the Little Rock public schools in 1957 constituted a military occupation or takeover.

And for those who question that assertion, here is Article 239.

"No citizen who has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President. Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform, as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years."

Immediate ineligibility for office for ten years. That is the penalty for violating this provision of the Constitution. Zelaya, by the terms of the Honduran constitution, is no longer president of that nation and cannot hold ANY office in Honduras for a decade (and may never again serve as president). End of discussion.

Obama and the rest of those who are pushing for Zelaya's return are intent upon setting aside the Honduran constitution so that an ineligible former president may illegitimately occupy that post in violation of the fundamental law of that country.

And if Obama is so prepared to set aside the clear language of the Honduran constitution to carry out his will, why should we Americans believe that he will uphold his obligation to follow the United States Constitution?

|| Greg, 08:13 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 07, 2009

Why Obama Is Wrong On Honduras

I'd ordinarily oppose the military removing an elected president in any country. After all, coups are antithetical to democratic norms. But I'd argue the facts in Honduras are such that the recent events there constitute a defense of democratic constitutionalism in that nation.

The military removal of Zelaya as president – and the appointment of Roberto Micheletti as interim President by the Honduran legislature – came after Zelaya attempted to rewrite his nation’s constitution to end term limits to continue his rule, despite the fact that term limits in the constitution is one of eight “firm articles” that cannot be changed.

After the Honduran Legislature refused to call a constitutional convention to rewrite the constitution, Zelaya called for a referendum to do so, which the Honduran Supreme Court and Attorney General declared unconstitutional. Zelaya, allied with leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez , fired top military commander Romeo Vásquez Velásquez for refusing to carry out the referendum. Every branch of government sided against Zelaya and Congress began discussing impeachment proceedings. Acting on orders from the Honduran Supreme Court, soldiers arrested Zelaya on June 28 and sent him into exile in Costa Rica.

A coup? I don't think so. Rather, it would appear that the Honduran military acted to defend the Honduran constitutional system from a domestic enemy.

Consider this -- if George W. Bush had attempted to repeal the 22nd Amendment through a national referendum in 2005, he would have done so in defiance of the Constitution. Imagine if he attempted this after Congress refused to pass an amendment doing this for consideration by the states, as is the ordinary process prescribed by the Constitution. Imagine that, after his own Attorney General had publicly stated that this process would be unconstitutional and the Supreme Court ordered him not to proceed, Bush had ordered the military to hold the referendum that the rest of the civilian government had rejected. At that point, in defense of the Constitution, it would have been the obligation of the military to defend the Constitution from the out of control chief executive.

Speaking for myself, I would have regretfully supported the military in that situation -- provided that the Vice President (as the constitutionally designated successor) were put in his place. I think it is fair to say that most folks on the left of the political spectrum would have as well (or maybe not -- let's not discount Cheney-phobia). After all, the Constitution is bigger than any one man or his personal political ambitions.

And so it is in Honduras.

And the inability of the Obama Regime to support that principle is shocking -- and frightening.

|| Greg, 02:47 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Best Observation On Sarah Palin's Resignation

For those who argue there was no implicit sexism in the coverage of Sarah Palin's resignation, consider this observation.

Here is CNN’s Rick Sanchez on Palin’s announcement that she was leaving office prematurely. “Is there anything going on with her that perhaps may lead her to want to make this decision, and the one thing that’s still left out there is, hey, could she be pregnant again?” Sanchez asked.

Could be, Rick. Or maybe it was just her time of month, because, hey, that’s why woman politicians make the decisions they do, right?

But you can see why some in the media were shocked and dismayed. Imagine abandoning your office! Imagine quitting and deserting the voters who elected you!

Though this is what Bob Dole did in 1996, didn’t he? Dole resigned his Senate seat to run for president. I remember it. I was standing right there when he did it. And I don’t recall anybody accusing him of being a quitter. Or of being pregnant.

And I don't know why anyone would assume that pregnancy would be the basis for a resignation anyway. Most women keep working through their pregnancies. More than one governor has done so. And one of those, little more than a year ago, was Sarah Palin herself.

But who knows -- maybe Sanchez had been nipping at the bottle before he got behind the anchor desk, just like he sometimes does before getting behind the wheel of a car. Fortunately, no pedestrians were killed by this act of irresponsibility on the part of the CNN anchor.

|| Greg, 01:16 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

I'm With Rep. Peter King

His position is really pretty hard to argue with.

Pervert? Pedophile? it is hard to argue with those labels when you consider that the guy admitted to sleeping with little boys and settled at least one molestation suit that we know of for tens of millions of dollars. And while he was found not guilty of criminal charges related to one accusation, that does not set aside the evidence that was introduced that certainly makes it appear that as a matter of fact, if not as a matter of law, that Jackson did engage in inappropriate sexual relationships with minor boys.

Now some might argue that it is disrespectful of the man and his family to make such a judgment -- or to speak it -- so close to the death of Michael Jackson. Indeed, there are those who argue that we have no right to substitute the verdict of our own minds for the verdict of the jury.

I disagree, and ask this question -- when OJ Simpson passes on, are we to ignore the evidence that he murdered two people because a jury reached a verdict that absolutely flew in the face of the evidence? Shall we suppress the statements of members of the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman because bringing up their murders would be disrespectful of the man and his family? I don't think so.

However, after nearly two weeks of nonstop coverage of Michael Jackson's death, he will presumably be buried today. In honor of that, I'd like to end with an appropriate Michael Jackson song and video.

Your 15 minutes are up, Michael Jackson and assorted hangers on. Beat it. Just beat it.


|| Greg, 10:34 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Question For Palin Detractors Who Voted For Obama

Would she really have been any worse than the choice made by YOUR guy?

The Obama administration poured cold water Monday on any notion it is giving Israel the green light to attack Iran or that it is reconsidering plans to engage diplomatically with the Islamic republic.

Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview broadcast Sunday that the United States would not stand in the way of Israel in its dealings with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

But State Department spokesman Ian Kelly rebuffed suggestions from reporters that Biden could be seen as giving the Jewish state a green light to attack Iran, which it views as an existential threat.

Excuse me, but there is simply no other way to take Biden's words other than as giving Israel the green light to attack Iran at will -- which is why everyone took his words as doing so. And last week he gave al-Qaida and other Islamist groups the green light to destabilize Iraq -- a position not renounced by the Obama State Department, much to my dismay.

At Hot Air, they note the following other gaffes.

This last weekend’s admission that the Obama administration botched its economic analysis might have been the nadir, or perhaps Biden reached that during the swine-flu outbreak, when he called public transportation a danger to people’s health.  It could also have been when Biden told reporters that he couldn’t answer economic questions about Porkulus despite having been appointed to lead the program by Obama.

So tell me folks -- if Sarah Palin reflects poorly on John McCain's judgment, what does the choice of Biden say about Obama's judgment?

|| Greg, 09:47 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

More Sotomayor Stonewalling

At best she is being less than forthcoming. At worst, she is covering up unethical activity. Want to bet that no one looks at the activities of "Sotomayor & Associates"?

Yet as she moves through the confirmation process, Judge Sotomayor has explained very little about one facet of her legal life: Sotomayor & Associates, the solo law practice she ran out of her Brooklyn apartment for several years in the 1980s.

In her questionnaire, Judge Sotomayor says she was the “owner” of Sotomayor & Associates, which she described as a consulting business she operated on the side from 1983 to 1986. During this period, she also worked, first for the Manhattan district attorney’s office and then as a member of Pavia & Harcourt, a large firm in Manhattan.

As a single practitioner, she told the Senate, she had helped “family and friends in their real estate, business and estate planning decisions.” The only other thing she has said about the practice is that if her clients “required more substantial legal representation, I referred the matter to my firm, Pavia & Harcourt, or to others with appropriate expertise.”

It is generally seen as bordering on unethical to represent a solo practitioner under a name including "& Associates". In addition, her work during the time she was an ADA appears to fly in the face of stated prohibitions on outside work by attorneys for the DAs office. What's more, she can recall almost nothing about that period of her career, and cannot supply any documentation as to her clients and earnings during that period.

This from the nominee of the most transparent administration in US history. Seems to me that there needs to be close scrutiny of this period of the judge's professional career -- and that the lack of openness is legitimate grounds for rejecting her nomination.

|| Greg, 06:47 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Current Watcher's Council Results

From July 3:

Winning Council Submissions

Winning Non-Council Submissions

|| Greg, 05:08 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

More Belated Watcher's Council Results

From June 26:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

|| Greg, 03:05 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Belated Watcher's Council Results

From June 19:

Winning Council Submissions

Winning Non-Council Submissions

|| Greg, 01:03 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 06, 2009

Who Elected Michelle Obama Squat?

And why are we paying this much money for her staff?

The salaries for staffers in the Office of First Lady are also on the newest list. The highest paid is Chief of Staff Susan Sher, who gets the top $172,200. Here are the rest:















Bookey, Natalie (STAFF ASSISTANT)

Now I realize that the total expenditure of $1.6 million is a drop in the bucket as far as Barack Obama's trillion dollar deficits are concerned, but for an unelected spouse of an elected official to have such a taxpayer-supported staff reeks of royalty. And yes, I know that Mrs. Obama is not the first to have such a staff, but that makes it no more acceptable.

Of course, the Obama Regime refuses to tell us how much we taxpayers are spending to take Michelle and the kids on vacation trips and date nights (heck, even on ice cream runs -- personal rather than official travel) despite promises of openness and transparency, so I suppose we should be thankful for even being permitted this much insight into the excess expenditures of government.

|| Greg, 03:53 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Another Left-Wing Shot At "Gun Culture"

Let's recount the facts.

Married NFL quarterback carries on an affair with a honey nearly half his age.

Honey shoots and kills married NFL quarterback.

The obvious cause that needs to be addressed by government? GUNS, not infidelity!

He came from the Friday night lights of John Brewer Field to being the kind of football star and sports celebrity he became in Nashville. Now he dies in a Nashville condominium with a 20-year-old woman not his wife, multiple gunshot wounds, one to the head, the young woman dead there next to him.

The gun was found next to the woman, Sahel Kazemi. Where did the gun come from? Where it always comes from: Somewhere.

* * *

Even after he stopped playing he was a big guy in Nashville. This weekend he was famous again, this time as a crime statistic, homicide victim, dead by gun.

* * *

According to the The Tennessean newspaper, McNair had a permit to carry a handgun. The weapon found next to the bodies was a semiautomatic.

There were so many wonderful statistics attached to McNair's career, the most important being the one Super Bowl, the four Pro Bowls to which he was selected, all the games he won. But the last was the only one that mattered. He is the 36th homicide victim in Nashville this year. That is down from 41 at the same time last year.

Only in a country of gun lovers is that considered progress.

Sportswriter Mike Lupica ignores the infidelity and leaps to guns as the problem. If reports are accurate, McNair was two weeks from a divorce and his killer expected to marry him shortly thereafter. My guess is that he kicked her to the curb or told her the terms of a pre-nup and she went off. Lesson? Don't screw around on your wife and string on your mistress with hints of marriage.

Interestingly enough, Lupica also recounts the death of the sister of the tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. He ignores, of course, the sister was hanging out in a crime and drug infested neighborhood know for its gang activity, with a boyfriend/fiance who had a long criminal record and was held on parole violations after the shooting. Oh, yeah -- and that the individuals who killed her were felons who already were banned from possessing the guns which they used to kill her after an argument. No change in the law related to guns would have prevented the murder.

Lupica, of course, waxes eloquent about what a great athlete McNair was and how sad his death is. I'll concede that -- but still find that to be a terrible reason to restrict the Constitutional rights of Americans. If that makes me a fanatical member of the gun culture, so be it.

H/T Hot Air

|| Greg, 10:28 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Controversy We Don't Need To Have

May I say "Who Cares?"

Though many people have suspected that Daniel Radcliffe is an atheist for some time now, he confirmed it in an interview with Esquire according to a report published on the Telegraph Web site. The Harry Potter star said:

I'm an atheist, but I'm very relaxed about it. I don't preach my atheism, but I have a huge amount of respect for people like Richard Dawkins who do. Anything he does on television, I will watch.

He went on to say, jokingly:

There we go, Dan, that's half of America that's not going to see the next Harry Potter film on the back of that comment.

I'm a Christian. I'm a deacon in my church. I even studied for the ministry, and my wife was the pastor of a church early in our marriage. And I'm going to go see the next Harry Potter movie when it comes out, Daniel Radcliffe's faith in nothing notwithstanding. I enjoy the books, enjoy the movies, and don't consider the religious beliefs of a mere actor to be a sufficient basis to boycott the film.

After all, if I boycotted every product that included a contribution by an individual of heterodox religious views I'd be sitting naked in the middle of an empty field with no possessions to my name.

|| Greg, 09:32 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Bishop Calls For Repentence -- Gays Horrified!

Because after all, fidelity to two thousand years of Christian teaching on homosexuality is EVILEVILEVIL!

A senior Church of England bishop has angered gay-rights campaigners by saying homosexuals should repent.

Archbishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper that the Bible defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. He said the church welcomed gay people, "but we want them to repent and be changed."

Nazir-Ali is a leading member of the conservative wing of the global Anglican Communion, which is riven by divisions over homosexuality and the ordination of women.

Gay groups condemned the bishop's remarks. Campaigner Peter Tatchell said Nazir-Ali's view "goes against Christ's gospel of love and compassion."

And Derek Munn of gay-rights group Stonewall accused the bishop of promoting inequality and intolerance.

Excuse me, Mr. Tatchell, a call to repentance and salvation is the VERY ESSENCE of Christ's gospel of love and compassion.

And Mr. Munn, I'd argue that your condemnation of traditional Christian teaching based upon the Bible does more to promote inequality and intolerance than anything Bishop Nazir-Ali said.

|| Greg, 09:15 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Reminder About Obama's Budget Plans

Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post points out this inconvenient truth about the need to "fatten the beast" in the Era of Hope'N'Change.

You cannot run a progressive government of the kind Obama favors by collecting only 18 percent of the gross domestic product in taxes, which has been the norm over the past 40 years. Nor can you increase the tax take to 24.5 percent of GDP -- which is what Obama proposes to be spending in 2019 -- simply by making the rich pay more.

And if you can't limit those tax increases to the super-rich making over $250,000. . . $200,000. . . $100,000 a year, then taxes are going to need to be raised somewhere. The only place left, of course, is the middle class -- you know, those of us making over $40,000 a year. The people who Obama swore would not see their taxes increased to pay for his programs.

Is this the Change you've been Hoping for?

More At Hot Air

|| Greg, 08:15 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 05, 2009

No Palin Investigation

That comes from the FBI, so those leftists claiming imminent federal indictments of the Alaska governor had better start retracting their claims -- and perhaps prepare to name their allegedly reliable sources upon which they based their posts and articles.

A day after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin resigned, a federal official in her home state dismissed one potential explanation for her sudden and unexpected resignation: a rumored FBI investigation into the former Wasilla mayor on public corruption charges.

Despite rumors of a looming controversy after the Republican governor's surprise announcement Friday that she would leave office this month, some of them published in the blogosphere, the FBI's Alaska spokesman said the bureau had no investigation into Palin for her activities as governor, as mayor or in any other capacity.

"There is absolutely no truth to those rumors that we're investigating her or getting ready to indict her," Special Agent Eric Gonzalez said in a phone interview Saturday. "It's just not true." He added that there was "no wiggle room" in his comments for any kind of inquiry.

Well, you don't get any more definitive than that. There will be no indictments, and she is not suspected of corruption. Just call it one more frivolous claim disproved against Palin.

Except there is a new wrinkle to this one. Palin's attorney is raising the possibility of legal action against those making and repeating the claim.

To the extent several websites, most notably liberal Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore, are now claiming as “fact” that Governor Palin resigned because she is “under federal investigation” for embezzlement or other criminal wrongdoing, we will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation. This is to provide notice to Ms. Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law. The Alaska Constitution protects the right of free speech, while simultaneously holding those “responsible for the abuse of that right.” Alaska Constitution Art. I, Sec. 5. These falsehoods abuse the right to free speech; continuing to publish these falsehoods of criminal activity is reckless, done without any regard for the truth, and is actionable.

Now some, such as the demented Andrew Sullivan (whose obsession with the circumstances of Trig Palin's birth borders on pathological), are claiming this is a move to intimidate the press. I'd argue to the contrary. After all, even a public official is allowed to sue for libel -- even if under a different standard than the rest of us. The seminal Supreme Court case of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964) clearly allows for a plaintiff in Palin's position to prevail in such a suit if she can prove that those making the claims acted with actual malice, meaning that they spoke/published knowing the claim to be false or with reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of the claim.

Now let's consider this situation. Shannyn Moore is a blogger who is noted for her venomous attacks on Sarah Palin and her involvement with a whole series of frivolous, non-supported ethics complaints. At least one of the early bloggers on the topic indicates that he had confirmed through reliable sources that an indictment was imminent. Now that it is established that there is no investigation, much less an indictment, those claims become transparently false and obviously defamatory -- and those involved in publishing the allegations will need to be able to demonstrate that they had good reason to believe that their words were true. The only way to accomplish that will be to begin naming their sources so as to prove that they exercised due diligence before making their claims.

Some argue this is a bad idea. Others are more supportive. I'm not sure which side I come down on in terms of the advisability of such litigation, but do I believe that Sarah Palin could prevail based upon the facts as they now stand? You betcha!

|| Greg, 12:52 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

What Constitutes Hate Speech in Canada

Republishing the Danish Muhammad cartoons constitutes hate speech -- just ask Ezra Levant. So does publishing a scholarly book about the rising threat of Islamism -- just ask Mark Steyn. So does writing letters or giving sermons critical of homosexuality -- indeed you can be gagged on the subject for life if you do.

But apparently this does not constitute hate speech under the Canadian system.

A Toronto man who had posted messages on the Internet supporting terrorist attacks in Canada and the deportation of Jews will not face criminal charges, police said on Monday.

The Ontario Provincial Police hate crimes and extremism unit had been investigating Salman Hossain - whose writings included a call to kill Western soldiers "so that they think twice before entering foreign countries on behalf of their Jew masters" - for willfully promoting hatred toward the Jewish community, but the case was recently closed.

"The OPP reviewed the case with Crown counsel. As a result of that review, it was determined that insufficient grounds existed to support willful promotion of hatred charges," said Detective-Sergeant Brent Young.

* * *

Writing in online Internet forums, Mr. Hossain frequently singled out Jews, calling them derogatory names, claiming the Holocaust was "fictional" and once asking, "When do I get to shoot a few Jews down..."

In one posting, Mr. Hossain wrote, "Here's what I suggest we do ... just throw out the Jews (by religion or blood) out of the instruments of mainstream media, finance/banking, government/politics, and the intelligence/secret services."

"That's how the Muslims have done it in the past, especially when they were in power and glorious. Leave behind the token Jew here and there just to appear non-discriminatory.

"Then send the Jews packing on a different ship to their own territory or maybe the South Pole to live with the penguins. Do this before they claim we gonna do another ‘holocaust.' There's no Jew better than an exile Jew."

Apparently such Islamic anti-Semitism is perfectly acceptable in Canada. And while I personally believe that hate speech laws are anathema to the very concept of liberty, I do believe that they should be applied evenhandedly where they do exist. I guess that Ontario police don't hold to that philosophy.

|| Greg, 10:57 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Marion Barry Arrested Again

If he were a Republican, once would be enough to see him hounded out of office. Instead, we are likely to see something like this become the springboard for a new mayoral campaign -- or for a race for House/Senate, if the Democrats ignore the Constitution and give DC representation of a type not permitted by our nation's framework of government.

D.C. Council member Marion Barry was taken into custody last night by the U.S. Park Police, a police official said.

"It's my understanding that he was taken into custody," Park Police Chief Sal Lauro said in a brief interview. Lauro said he believed that Barry (D-Ward 8) was picked up in the Anacostia Park area.

* * *

WRC (Channel 4) broadcast a report last night saying that the matter possibly involved domestic harassment or stalking. The report was based on unnamed police sources.

And interestingly enough, nowhere is the word DEMOCRAT mentioned in the article. Wanna bet that party ID would have appeared in the first sentence if it had been a member of the GOP arrested?

|| Greg, 10:11 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Former Oilers QB Dead

The Houston Oilers were gone by the time I moved to Houston, so I have no great attachment to that team or its players. however, the murder of Steve McNair is still a very sad thing, though I don't know that I would use the word tragedy to describe it (though it is certainly a tragedy for his family and other loved ones).

For those unaware of the news, McNair and a woman were found shot to death in an apartment/condo in Nashville -- the former QB with multiple gunshot wounds. He appears to have had some sort of relationship with the woman, based upon the fact that there was a vehicle registered in both of their names. I won't speculate what that relationship was without evidence, though at least one article I've read refers to the young woman as his "girlfriend".

However, the details of the case do raise questions -- especially given this bit of information.

McNair was found shot to death in a Nashville condominium he was renting. He suffered several gunshot wounds, including one to the head. [Sahel] Kazemi was found on the floor near him with a single gunshot wound to her head. The Nashville Tennessean reports a pistol was found near her body.

Additionally, Nashville police are not actively looking for suspects. Police have not yet called the deaths the result of a murder-suicide. Autopsies are scheduled for today, after which an official cause of death is likely to be named.

It appears that McNair was the victim rather than the perpetrator in this case. Unfortunately, the end of his life may ultimately overshadow the greatness he showed on the football field.

Steve McNair leaves behind a wife and kids, making this situation all the more sad. That they will have to carry on in the wake of this ugly situation is difficult to contemplate.

|| Greg, 09:56 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 04, 2009


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

|| Greg, 11:59 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Favorite Patriotic Musical Bit

The Egg, from the musical 1776.

Enjoy this Fourth of July.

|| Greg, 01:25 PM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Dems to Dis Reagan?

Pathetic and petty, if they try this one.

At Wednesday’s Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board meeting, chairman H.R. Crawford – a former District Council member and Marion Barry confidante – told fellow Board members that he has heard talk on Capitol Hill about yanking former President Ronald Reagan’s name off the local airport and returning it to its previous generic moniker: National Airport.

“It was just a discussion. We’re not aware of anything specific,” MWAA spokeswoman Tara Hamilton later told The Examiner.

Are they really looking to send the greatest president of the second half of the 20th century down the memory hole?

Seems positively Stalinist to me.

|| Greg, 09:40 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

In Re. Palin

Like everyone else, I'm still stunned by Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's surprise resignation announcement yesterday.

Not because I'm a saddened supporter -- I'm not. I think she was a good pick for VP, and a potential star for the future, but I don't think she is what the GOP needs right now. Rather, because the entire thing is so unexpected and inexplicable.

And as I began, like others (some of which appeared to be nothing more than a liberal echo chamber-- ), musing upon the possible reasons for this resignation, I was left quite confused. Is Palin doomed, I wondered?

Until I realized a possible reason for the resignation that requires looking beyond the immediate political landscape.

Sarah Palin is NOT running for President in 2012. She is going to run for Senator in 2010 -- and bide her time in that office until 2016 or 2020.

Think about it for a minute. Alaska's current GOP senator is not terribly popular in Alaska, and Sarah Palin could easily beat her in a primary -- and is popular enough in Alaska to win the general election handily. But to run as a sitting governor would be difficult for her -- first because she would be taking on an incumbent of her own party, and second because of the string of frivolous ethics complaints filed against her by her political enemies. But out of office, she is not taking time away from her job as governor and she can't be accused of using state resources to advance her candidacy.

Now secure in the US Senate for six years, the following become possible.

  1. Palin develops a national record in Washington -- and racks up lots of political IOUs -- campaigning for the 2012 GOP ticket and assorted candidates around the country in 2012.
  2. In the event that the GOP ticket loses in 2012, she is positioned as a successful Governor and Senator in 2016, when she would be the front-runner for the GOP nomination in a year when the GOP is quite likely to win the presidency after 8 years of Obama.
  3. In the event the GOP ticket wins in 2012, Palin is a likely Cabinet pick -- perhaps Secretary of Energy, due to her experience with the field in Alaska. She then bides her time until 2020 -- when she will still be in her mid-50s and have a formidable resume among her GOP rivals.

Of course, she may just stay out of office for the time being. It's not like this is without precedent.

Remember -- it took Ronald Reagan 12 years from the time he first looked at the presidency (1968) to the time he won in 1980. Palin has a book deal, and she can fire up a crowd with her speeches -- and doesn't need a teleprompter, unlike a certain politician I could name.

My biggest hope, though, is that Mark Steyn is wrong about what Palin's move yesterday means -- namely, the definitive end of the age when an ordinary American can aspire to rise to the upper ranks of America's leadership because of the nature of contemporary politics and its impact upon the lives of those who "play the game".

National office will dwindle down to the unhealthily singleminded (Clinton, Obama), the timeserving emirs of Incumbistan (Biden, McCain) and dynastic heirs (Bush). Our loss.

This Independence Day, I hope America is better than that, and that we have not entered a day of elite government by narcissists, careerists, and dynasts -- for if we have, then yesterday's announcement signaled the death of the principles of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, which would mean that it was effectively the obituary of our nation.

I'll open the comments on this one.

|| Greg, 09:20 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Israel Prepping For Iran War?

Maybe, maybe not -- but this is an interesting development.

After a long hiatus, the Israeli Navy has returned to sailing through the Suez Canal, recently sending one of its advanced Dolphin-class submarines through the waterway to participate in naval maneuvers off the Eilat coast in the Red Sea.

IDF sources said the decision to allow navy vessels to sail through the canal was made recently and was a definite "change of policy" within the service. In 2005, then OC Navy Adm. David Ben-Bashat decided to stop sending Israeli ships through the canal due to growing threats in the area.

Why is this significant? Because the Dolphin-class subs are equipped with cruise missiles (which can be armed with nukes -- but need not be) that would need to be launched from the Gulf of Oman in order to strike Iran. Other than using the Suez Canal, the only way to reach firing range would be to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, necessitating multiple refuelings.

This is not indicative that a strike on Iran is imminent -- but does indicate that Israel is prepared to act expeditiously to deploy forces in a manner consistent with self-defense from the regime of Mahmoud the Mad and the Mullahs in Teheran.

|| Greg, 07:28 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Most Open Administration In History?

Well, only if you only want what it is willing to give you.

On the other hand, openness regarding inconvenient questions won't happen.

A top Republican pressed for more information Thursday about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's ties to a Puerto Rican civil rights group he said took extreme positions on race, as the White House argued that the material was irrelevant to the judge's nomination.

White House Counsel Greg Craig told Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., in a letter that board meeting minutes and other papers detailing the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund's activities while Sotomayor was an outside adviser shouldn't impact her nomination because she had no role in writing or approving them. But Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate committee that will consider her nomination, said the papers could shed light on Sotomayor's judicial approach, particularly her view of racial preferences in hiring.

* * *

Craig said it was his office that sent private lawyers helping with Sotomayor's nomination to pore through the documents, and they sent all "responsive" documents to the panel.

"No one working for the White House removed any documents from the archives boxes they reviewed," Craig wrote.

Got that -- "no one working for the White House" removed any documents, but people sent by the White House to review the documents did remove some. Why not send all the documents on, so that the Senate's ability to review the nominee will not be hindered by the Administration and its supporters? After all, that is how "the most open administration in history" would deal with the matter.

|| Greg, 07:21 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Houston Chronicle Gets It Right On Education

I'm a high school teacher.

And when you spend your day surrounded by high school students, something quickly becomes obvious to all but the densest of individuals.


That isn't to say that they are stupid. More often it is the case that they are not interested in pursuing a college career because their skills and interests lie elsewhere. Yet as a state we keep telling kids that college is the goal -- and we measure "success" of schools based upon the readiness of students for college, which means we shoehorn every student into a college prep curriculum.

Time and again, teachers huddle around the lunch table during the during our lunch half-hour and furtively whisper the same truth back and forth -- public schools do our students a disservice by pretending it is appropriate, or even desirable, to pretend that college is the right option for all of our kids.

The Houston Chronicle notes the same thing today.

It’s that time of year again, when graduating seniors make their first forays into Life After High School, whatever it might be — going on to a four-year university, entering a community college, immediately joining the workforce or taking time off to travel or chase a dream.

But there is growing concern that our current state educational system focuses primarily on the four-year, white-collar professional track, at the expense of those students looking for opportunities in the arts and humanities, technology and industry.

Of course, all students should be encouraged, and equipped, to fulfill their potential. But the truth is that many students will not, for a variety of reasons, head off to a four-year college right out of high school.

Nor should they. Opting to become an electrician or a dance instructor, a plumber or a tattoo artist, should carry no tinge of shame or failure.(There’s nothing like a day without home air conditioning, a stalled car on the freeway, an infestation of termites, for inspiring a deep respect for all those with technical expertise.)

About ten years ago, I taught a kid who wasn't particularly interested in school. He was, however, artistically inclined. The summer after he had my class, he took a job with a cousin's company, installing windows -- and while working there became became the informal apprentice of the older gentleman who did the cut-glass windows for the company. When I saw him that fall, he couldn't contain himself when he told me about all he had learned -- and that he was going to continue working for the company after school and on weekends. When he graduated the next spring, he had a full-time job waiting for him, paying more than the starting salary for a new teacher in the district where I teach.

I don't know about you, but I count him as a success. The state of Texas, however, counted him as a failure because he didn't go on to college.

And let's be honest -- 80% of jobs in this state do not require a bachelor's degree. Not only that, but 44% of jobs paying more than the average salary in the state do not require a bachelor's degree. That being the case, it is only common sense that we quit acting like the only way to be successful and productive is to get that four year degree -- or at least to get it straight out of high school.

|| Greg, 07:12 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

Where I've Been

You know, sometimes one just needs to take a break.

As interesting as many of the events of the last week have been, I just haven't felt motivated to blog about them.

Maybe it is boredom.

Maybe it is laziness.

Maybe it is frustration from dealing with the idiot contractor as he drags his feet on finishing the last few repairs to the house.

But I am back.

|| Greg, 06:37 AM || Permalink || TrackBacks (0) ||

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NAME: Greg
AGE: 50-ish
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OCCUPATION: Social Studies Teacher
LOCATION: Seabrook, TX
DISCLAIMER: All posts reflect my views alone, and not the view of my wife, my dogs, my employer, or anyone else. All comments reflect the view of the commenter, and permitting a comment to remain on this site in no way indicates my support for the ideas expressed in the comment.

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