You can get some of the funniest situations.
Take today. I was using a personal anecdote to illustrate a point, and was about to say something about my education that no ninth grader could have possibly known about me. Suddenly, one of the boys chimed in with exactly the bit of information I was about to mention Ė and I responded with surprise.
From there, it got really funny, with the following exchange:
Girl: How did you know that?
Boy: Easy Ė Iím psychotic!
Girl: I think you mean psychic.
Boy: Yeah Ė that, too.
Psychotic and psychic. Could be a long school year.
When it is clear that a legal product is being legitimately purchased for its intended purpose, a prosecutor ought to make a common sense decision to drop charges against someone who committed a technical violation of the law.
But for some reason, prosecutors in Indiana simply refuse to do so.
When Sally Harpold bought cold medicine for her family back in March, she never dreamed that four months later she would end up in handcuffs.
Now, Harpold is trying to clear her name of criminal charges, and she is speaking out in hopes that a law will change so others wonít endure the same embarrassment she still is facing.
ďThis is a very traumatic experience,Ē Harpold said.
Harpold is a grandmother of triplets who bought one box of Zyrtec-D cold medicine for her husband at a Rockville pharmacy. Less than seven days later, she bought a box of Mucinex-D cold medicine for her adult daughter at a Clinton pharmacy, thereby purchasing 3.6 grams total of pseudoephedrine in a weekís time.
Those two purchases put her in violation of Indiana law 35-48-4-14.7, which restricts the sale of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, or PSE, products to no more than 3.0 grams within any seven-day period.
That the purchase of two boxes of over-the-counter cold medicine is a crime is ludicrous. Moreover, that law enforcement and prosecutors still insist upon prosecuting this woman despite freely admitting that these over-the-counter purchases were not for illicit drug production and were, in fact, intended for legitimate use by sick family members is a serious abuse of the judicial process and waste of taxpayer money.
Dan Fuchs said business was just starting to pick up at his kiosk in the Mall at Johnson City.
Fuchsí business, the Graphic Edge, printed slogans and pictures on items such as coffee cups, bumper stickers and T-shirts. He said more than half of his business came from the sale of anti-Obama merchandise. Bumper stickers with slogans such as ďSOS: Stop Obamaís Socialism,Ē ďNobama,Ē and ďChicago got the party, but the country got the hangoverĒ were displayed around the small stand.
Now it appears Fuchs is out of business at the mall, but mall officials say this decision was not based upon political views.
Friday afternoon, Fuchs was handed a lease termination notice by mall officials and signed by Mall General Manager Tembra Aldridge. The letter states that the option to terminate the lease agreement is effective 11:59 p.m. today and that he must vacate the mall premises and remove his property before then.
Fuchs said he was given no reason for this termination and was shocked and upset. Thursday evening, Fuchs said mall officials met with him and told him to take down the anti-Obama items on display by closing time or face immediate eviction.
Iím curious Ė how much anti-Bush merchandise was banned during the previous eight years? How many retailers have been ordered out of malls for being too pro-Obama? And will we Americans continue to spend our money in malls that show such contempt for the views of so many Americans?
And remember -- this isn't the first time this has happened.
How dare the justice system pursue a cretin who drugged and then used force to vaginally and anally rape a child, admitted his guilt, and then fled to avoid justice!
Let there be no doubt about what he did to this girl. And that he voluntarily entered a plea of guilty to over three decades ago.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski has been arrested in Switzerland on a decades-old arrest warrant stemming from a sex charge in California, Swiss police said Sunday.
* * *
The director pleaded guilty in 1977 to a single count of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, acknowledging he had sex with a 13-year-old girl. But he fled the United States before he could be sentenced, and U.S. authorities have had a warrant for his arrest since 1978.
Out of fear that a judge might actually make him go to prison for this deviant sexual assault on a minor, Polanski fled the country to France, a land that would not extradite him despite his having committed crimes that would have drawn a jail sentence there.
There are those in the press, Europeans, and the ďcelebrities can do no wrongĒ community who think that this is a miscarriage of justice, that we should allow Polanski to walk away a free man. I say no Ė and if Polanski wants to try to prove that there was some sort of prosecutorial misconduct in his case that merits a different disposition than the time to which he was sentenced over three decades ago, then he can come to this country and make his case Ė just like any other child molester.
Where are Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell to cause a stir when we need one?
Fearful that they're losing ground on immigration and health care, a group of House Democrats is pushing back and arguing that any health care bill should extend to all legal immigrants and allow illegal immigrants some access, The Washington Times reported on Monday.
The Democrats, trying to stiffen their party's spines on the contentious issue, say it's unfair to bar illegal immigrants from paying their own way in a government-sponsored exchange. Legal immigrants, they say, regardless of how long they've been in the United States, should be able to get government-subsidized health care if they meet the other eligibility requirements.
Of course, the next argument is that illegals too poor to afford the insurance should get it for free Ė expect it. And there will certainly be a bar to using data from ObamaCare for purposes of locating illegals and deporting them. In other words, this will just be welfare for lawbreakers.
Not only is Elizabeth Edwards making blog comments using the persona of a black woman, but there are some other fun details as well.
Along with claiming that Edwards and Hunter made a sex tape, the proposal alleges:
* Edwards had had affairs with other women on the campaign trail.
* When Edwards was forced to call off a birthday date with Hunter because he found out that Elizabeth's cancer had returned, an unsympathetic Hunter screamed at him.
* After learning of the affair, Elizabeth made John sleep in their barn though she would wake him up with accusatory rants.
* Hunter relied on a California psychic named Bob to tell her where to live and what to do.
* Edwards had little affection for John Kerry - once comparing him to Richie Rich - but changed his tune when the Democratic presidential nominee tapped him as his running mate.
* Ted Kennedy once told Young about a would-be assassin who managed to get into his Senate office because one of his bodyguards was having a gay liaison with one of his top aides.
Interesting, isnít it, that the media isnít giving this situation the same sort of coverage as Mark Sanford, Larry Craig, or other Republicans with fidelity problems. I guess that the D after Edwardsí name is sufficient to keep the press from being too interested.
I don't know how many folks caught the fact that one of the targets of home-grown jihadi Talib Islam/Michael Finton was a federal office building named for one of America's leading apologists for Palestinian and jihadi terrorism.
Michael C. Finton, known as Talib Islam, was arrested Wednesday after trying to detonate a van he believed was stuffed with explosives near the Paul Findley Federal Building in Springfield.
Finton must not know that he was going to blow up a building named for a guy who blamed the Jews for 9/11. Finton must not know that he was going to blow up a building named for the best friend of terrorist fronts like CAIR. Finton must not have known that he was going to blow up a building named for a man who has long argued that the US should force Israel to cease all self-defense in the face of Muslim terrorism and actively cooperate in creating a terrorist state that will have as its stated goal the pushing of the Jews into the sea.
Given his track record, my guess is that Findley would probably support Finton's plot, and blame Israel and the Jewish Lobby for being the true responsible party in this attempt at terrorism on US soil. What's more, in doing so he would likely be joined by his fervent admirers like David Duke and the assorted freaks at StormFront.
On the other hand, my guess is that most decent Americans don't know that our nation's government has honored such a despicable individual by naming a federal office building for him -- and would be properly shocked if they actually discovered who Findley is.
The US should not allow leaders like Mahmoud the Mad to come to the US.
The US should not allow the UN on American soil.
The US should quit the UN and allow it to whither and die of its own bloated inefficiency.
Any successor organization should exclude those nations that stuck around to hear the Iranian dictator's speech.
But that certainly isn't likely to happen under the Obama Regime -- especially after a speech by Obama in which he was so accommodating to the Arab nations and their terrorist proxy groups that he couldn't even bring himself to insist that Israel's enemies accept Israel's right to exist as a starting point for any negotiations -- while laying down the law as to what he expected Israel to do in response to American demands.
I donít care that he is militantly atheist and has a history of making comments that Christians find blasphemous. That doesnít disqualify him for a position in government.
I donít care that he is militantly pro-gay. And I donít care if he has a history of drug addiction. Those are not problems for me with regard to his position with the Department of Education Ė and given that his post deals with issues of safety for gay students and ensuring drug-free schools, it may be that his experience in those regards are helpful.
Another controversy from Jennings' past concerns an account in his 1994 book, "One Teacher In 10," about how, as a teacher, he knew a high school sophomore named Brewster who was "involved" with an "older man":
"Out spilled a story about his involvement with an older man he had met in Boston. I listened, sympathized, and offered advice. He left my office with a smile on his face that I would see every time I saw him on the campus for the next two years, until he graduated."
The account led Diane Lenning, head of the National Education Association's Republican Educators Caucus, to criticize Jennings in 2004 for not alerting school and state authorities about the boy's situation, calling Jennings' failure to do so an "unethical practice."
Jennings threatened to sue Lenning for libel, saying she had no evidence that he knew the student in question was sexually active, or that he failed to report the situation.
But a professor at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, Warren Throckmorton, has produced an audio recording of a speech Jennings gave in 2000 at a GLSEN rally in Iowa, in which Jennings made it clear that he believed the student was sexually active:
I said, 'What were you doing in Boston on a school night, Brewster?' He got very quiet, and he finally looked at me and said, 'Well I met someone in the bus station bathroom and I went home with him.' High school sophomore, 15 years old' I looked at Brewster and said, 'You know, I hope you knew to use a condom.'" [Audio is available on the professor's Web site.]
The Washington Times reported in 2004 that "state authorities said Mr. Jennings filed no report in 1988."A spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Department for Children and Families, the department to which Jennings -- as a Massachusetts teacher -- would have been legally obliged to report the situation, did not return calls from FOXNews.com.
Legally, Jennings was obligated to report such a situation to the authorities, given that it involves the sexual exploitation of a minor by an adult. And then there is the MORAL obligation to take action to protect the kid beyond advising that he use a condom. Those are preeminent SAFETY issues, whether the kid is gay or straight. That he failed so severely in his obligation to protect this young man from sexual exploitation Ė and that he has in the past threatened to sue those who criticized him for it Ė makes it clear that he is unfit for his job dealing with school safety or any other position related to education.
But given the history of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in tolerating the abuse of children in Chicago Public Schools, I doubt that Jennings will be let go in a manner befitting his offense Ė because it would also highlight the inappropriateness of Duncan for his job.
I've had season tickets for the Houston Texans since the beginning of the franchise.
It hasn't always been pretty.
Sometimes it has been downright awful.
But there has always been one constant during the regular season -- one thing we could count on.
Chester Pitts would be starting for the team.
And so this news is sort of devastating.
Texans left guard Chester Pitts, who has started every game in franchise history, will be placed on injured reserve after undergoing major knee surgery Wednesday and will miss the remainder of the season.
Pitts, who started 114 consecutive games, had two procedures performed on his right knee by Dr. Walter Lowe.
Pitts underwent surgery to repair the meniscus cartilage and also had microfracture surgery to repair the articular cartilage. The damage to his medial collateral ligament will heal on its own.
Pitts was injured in the Texans' 34-31 victory at Tennessee on Sunday.
Kasey Studdard, a three-year veteran from the University of Texas, will replace Pitts in the starting lineup.
Pitts' season-ending surgery means kicker Kris Brown is the last of the original Texans on the 53-man roster.
Pitts, a second-round pick from San Diego State in 2002, is in the last year of his contract and turns 31 next season, which means he might not play again for the Texans.
Chester Pitts NOT starting for the Texans? Maybe not EVER suiting up for the team again?
It really does feel like the end of the world as we know it.
Here's hoping that he'll be fine -- and back with the team next season.
UPDATE: For all the folks who are not fans of the Houston texans, here's how you may better know Chester Pitts. Just one more reason we all love him down here in Houston, too.
Here's my one fear as a teacher -- the kid who is so out of control that he (or she) is perfectly prepared to take a life.
And in this case, it was the life of a teacher, for no apparent reason.
A special-education teacher who had a passion for music was fatally stabbed Wednesday morning in a Texas high school classroom, and police took a 16-year-old student into custody.
Todd R. Henry, 50, worked with students at John Tyler High School who were either emotionally or behaviorally challenged, according to his older brother, Jody Henry.
ďHe loved it,Ē the elder Henry said. ďHe told me it was his calling. He had never been happier than when working with these kids.Ē
District Superintendent Randy Reid said the male suspect approached his teacher about 8:50 a.m. and stabbed him in the neck with a sharp object. A teacherís aide and two other students were in the classroom, and the aide subdued the suspect before calling district police, Reid said.
Reid said the student had been in and out of the district ďa couple of times,Ē but declined to provide further details, citing privacy laws.
ďIt is our understanding at this time that there was nothing in the classroom that incited this situation,Ē Reid said. ďIt was a random act.Ē
I know stuff like this happens. A friend of mine was taken out of school on a stretcher several years ago with a stab wound he received breaking up a fight between a couple of girls. I know others who have been injured, though not necessarily with weapons, by kids who targeted them.
And let me say that in this instance the "privacy laws" argument is absolute bullshit. This isn't a school disciplinary matter -- it is a criminal act about which the public has the right to full details before they allow their children back into that building.
Want to know the real irony of this situation? Mr. Henry had previously worked as a prison guard. It just boggles the mind.
My heart goes out to the family of Todd Henry -- especially to his new wife, who is also an educator. May God console them -- and Mr. Henry's students and colleagues -- at a time that is surely one of unspeakable horror.
The first three words of the US Constitution are "We the People". That is important, because it is indicative of the basic truth that all government power in the United States derives from We the People -- that We the People are sovereigns, not subjects.
And so the arrogance of the Democrats on this point is particularly galling.
Senate Finance Committee Democrats have rejected a GOP amendment that would have required a health overhaul bill to be available online for 72 hours before the committee votes.
Republicans argued that transparency is an Obama administration goal. They also noted that their constituents are demanding that they read bills before voting.
Democrats said it was a delay tactic that could have postponed a vote for weeks.
In other words, We the People don't have a right to know what those who are supposed to serve us, who derive their authority from our sovereignty, are trying to do with the limited power that we deign to grant them. Seems to me that they are under the mistaken notion that they, not We, are sovereign.
Seems to me that it is time for We the People to take action against those who would ignore the source of their authority.
You have to love the incompetence of Prtesident Obama and those around him. Just look at the many gaffes involving foreign relations.
[T]here is the catalogue of Mr. Obama's embarrassing moments on the world stage, a list which includes: giving England's Queen Elizabeth II an iPod with his speeches on it; giving British Prime Minister Gordon Brown a collection of DVDs that were not formatted to the European standard (by contrast, Mr. Brown gave Mr. Obama an ornamental desk-pen holder made from the oak timbers of Victorian anti-slaver HMS Gannet, among other historically significant gifts); calling "Austrian" a language; bowing to the Saudi king; releasing a photo of a conference call with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which the president was showing the soles of his shoes to the camera (an Arab insult); saying "let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel's"; saying the United States was "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world"; suggesting Arabic translators be shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan where Arabic is not a native language; sending a letter to French President Jacques Chirac when Nicolas Sarkozy was the president of France; holding a town-hall meeting in France and not calling on a single French citizen; and referring to "Cinco de Cuatro" in front of the Mexican ambassador when he meant Cinco de Mayo. Also of note was Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton giving Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a "reset" button with the Russian word for "overcharge."
Remember Ė for the last eight years we were told that George W. Bush was a bumbling idiot, and Democrats assured us that they were the party of competence. But when you look at the inability of these folks to get even the little things right, along with the major policy flaws exhibited on Israel, Iran, Honduras, and missile defense, it seems clear that these four years are best described as a foreign policy Obamateur show.
I figure someone is going to absolutely clean up when two kids involved in the same incident get wildly different disciplinary consequences because of this Jim Crow discipline policy.
The [Tucson Unified School District] board is calling for a two-tiered form of student discipline. One for Black and Hispanic students; one for everyone else.
With the goal of creating a "restorative school culture and climate" that conveys a "sense of belonging to all students," the board is insisting that its schools reduce its suspensions and/or expulsions of minority students to the point that the data reflect "no ethnic/racial disparities."
From the section of the 52-page plan titled "Restorative School Culture and Climate," subhead, "Discipline":
"School data that show disparities in suspension/expulsion rates will be examined in detail for root causes. Special attention will be dedicated to data regarding African-American and Hispanic students."
The board approved creating an "Equity Team" that will oversee the plan to ensure "a commitment to social justice for all students."
The happy-face edu-speak notwithstanding, what the Tucson Unified School District board of governors has approved this summer is a race-based system of discipline.
Offenses by students will be judged, and penalties meted out, depending on the student's hue.
I can see it now Ė when there is a fight on the bus involving Juan, John, Quan, and LeBron, only two of the boys will be facing suspension. The other two will get off with a detention or three because of the need for a ďrestorative school culture and climateĒ designed to ensure a ďsense of belongingĒ that is indicated by a lack of ďethnic/racial disparitiesĒ. Except, of course, the disparity of treatment that will be meted out under against the students who are members of disfavored ethnic/racial groups which adhere to conduct expectations at a significantly higher rate than the members of the favored ethnic/racial groups.
My guess, based upon a decade and a half in the classroom? Increased misconduct by the groups with the less sever disciplinary consequences, because they will know that nothing much is going to be done to them anyway.
As matters stand now, the candidate I am most likely to support to replace Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison after she resigns to pursue the gubernatorial race here in Texas is Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams. Here is a sample of why.
What grieves me most, however, is not that false cries of racism shortcircuit our debate, but that it makes legitimate concern about pockets of racism impossible to hear among the majority of Americans where it truly exists. Racism does still exist in America today Ė on both sides of the political spectrum. Now it will be that much harder to expose because the real cry will be impossible to distinguish from the false one, much like the boy who cried, ďwolf.Ē Racism exists, but so does opportunity, and I can personally attest to the fact that there is far more opportunity than racism. We have rid our institutions of government of the practice of discrimination; if only we could rid our political discourse of the ugliness that ensues when we ascribe discriminatory motive to statements with no obvious discriminatory aspect. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd couldnít help hearing a missing word in Congressman Joe Wilsonís outburst during President Obamaís speech to Congress. The Congressman yelled, ďYou lie.Ē Ms. Dowd couldnít help hearing, ďyou lie, boy.Ē While Congressman Wilson started a fire, Ms. Dowd poured fuel on it. The greater ugliness is not the inappropriate outburst, but Ms. Dowd intentionally injecting a word loaded with a history of racial condescension to label a whole movement of opposition.
Clear thinking from a clear-headed man Ė and one who has the support (and, in past elections, the votes) of the very same conservative Texans who are labeled as racists for opposing the policies of President Obama. And if you ever want proof that Republicans will embrace an African-American as one of their own, just look at the film of any GOP event where Williams is a featured speaker.
Madoff-like scandal soils Hezbollah's clean image
Uhhhhh Ė hello????
Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. What are you talking about ďclean imageĒ? You may as well talk about the Bill Clinton as a paragon of marital fidelity or Keith Olbermann as a model of journalistic ethics.
Radley Balko writes an interesting piece on the left-wing attack on those who invoke the Tenth Amendment.
The American Prospect, The New Republic, and other left-of-center outlets are pushing the "Tenther" smear, aimed at lumping those who, horrors!, still take seriously the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in with the Obama birth certificate deniers and 9/11 truthers.
It's such a transparent attempt at marginalizing the other side (mostly with respect to the health care issue) it seems almost a waste of time addressing. But one might start by pointing out that unlike any convincing evidence that Obama isn't a U.S. citizen, or proof that the Bush administration orchestrated the September 11 attacks, the Tenth Amendment actually exists. You can actually go to the National Archives and read it. There's also a historical record of its drafting and ratification. Really.
Of course, there is also another argument that gets trotted out against those of us who believe that the tenth Amendment actually means something Ė that it really has no meaning and that any limits in it are overridden by the text of the Constitution itself. Take this example from a local lefty loon.
The US Constitution, contrary to the opinions of the ďTenthersĒ out there who cite the 10th Amendment as evidence that Congress has no right to act on healthcare legislation, includes healthcare reform in Article I Section 8, an enumeration of the powers and responsibilities of Congress. To wit:
ďThe Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.Ē
Click on ďWefareĒ for a definition. Yes, ďhealthĒ is there.
Of course, this ignores two minor details. First, that the Tenth Amendment would be seen as overriding any contrary provisions of the Constitution given that it amended what previously existed. But beyond that, using a contemporary definition of the word ďwelfareĒ ignores the fact that such a definition is anachronistic when applied to the text of an eighteenth century document, where the word would have had a meaning much closer to the definition found in the original 1828 dictionary compiled by Noah Webster:
WELFARE, n. [well and fare, a good faring; G.]
1. Exemption from misfortune, sickness, calamity or evil; the enjoyment of health and the common blessings of life; prosperity; happiness; applied to persons.
2. Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government; applied to states.
When viewed from that perspective, it is clear that the sort of risky healthcare scheme proposed by Obama and his minions is not within the scope of Article I, Section 8 and is therefore something that is not within the purview of the federal government under the Tenth Amendment, which clarifies and codifies the limits of federal power.
Which explains, of course, why it is so important to folks on the Left to minimize the importance of that part of the Bill of Rights and to marginalize those who believe it has meaning. After all Ė if the Constitution in its amended form really does limit federal power, then criticism of such a vast expansion of federal power might just have a point.
Just a quick FYI on who supports the Democrats Ė including Obama.
Hassan Nemazee, a fund-raiser for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, has been indicted for defrauding Bank of America, HSBC and Citigroup Inc out of more than $290 million in loan proceeds, U.S. prosecutors said on Monday.
The announcement follows last month's indictment of Nemazee, head of a private equity firm and an Iranian American Political Action Committee board member, on one count of defrauding Citigroup's Citibank.
The new indictment adds allegations that he defrauded two other banks, Bank of America and HSBC Bank USA, in a similar fashion by falsifying documents and signatures to purportedly show he had hundreds of millions worth of collateral.
The office of the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan and the FBI said he used the proceeds of his scheme to make donations to election campaigns of federal, state and local candidates, donations to political action committees and charities.
And interestingly enough, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have taken a significantly softer line on Iran than has been customary in American diplomacy. You donít suppose there could be a connection between the receipt of money connected to this corrupt donor and their policy towards that corrupt regime?
Given that that the implementation of any eventual healthcare scheme proposed by the Democrats is years away, Rep. Eric Cantor did the responsible thing when confronted with a question of how a woman who has cancer RIGHT NOW can get help for her condition.
CHURCHILL: I have a very close relative, a woman in her early forties, who did have a wonderful, high-paying job, owns her own home and is a real contributing member of society. She lost her job. Just a couple of weeks ago, she found out that she has tumors in her belly and that she needs an operation. Her doctors told her that they are growing and that she needs to get this operation quickly. She has no insurance. [...]
CANTOR: First of all I guess I would ask what the situation is in terms of income eligibility and the existing programs that are out there. Because if we look at the uninsured that are out there right now, there is probably 23, 24% of the uninsured that is already eligible for an existing government program [...] Beyond that, I know that there are programs, there are charitable organizations, there are hospitals here who do provide charity care if thereís an instance of indigency and the individual is not eligible for existing programs that there can be some cooperative effort. No one in this country, given who we are, should be sitting without an option to be addressed.
Not good enough for the libs over at Think Progress, who ignore the fact that he is trying to direct this dying woman to help RIGHT NOW, not at some hypothetical future date when legislation might go into effect four or five years ago. But I guess they would have preferred a promise to vote for single payer health insurance, even if the woman in question were to die in the interim Ė because, in the words of every Trekkieís favorite Vulcan, ďThe needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.Ē
I was never a huge fan, and sharply criticized him for his betrayal of his party and his district in 2006.
But Tom DeLay was my congressman, after all -- and I always found him to be a pretty cordial fellow.
Here's wishing you all the best, Tom. Please at least knock out that damned Dallas Cowboy.
And that he clearly doesn't know what he is talking about when he tries to con us into his risky healthcare scheme.
In the most contentious exchange of President Barack Obamaís marathon of five Sunday shows, he said it is ďnot trueĒ that a requirement for individuals to get health insurance under a key reform plan now being debated amounts to a tax increase.
But he could look it up ó in the bill.
Page 29, sentence one of the bill introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont) says: ďThe consequence for not maintaining insurance would be an excise tax.Ē
And the rest of the bill is clear that the Finance Committee does, in fact, consider it a tax: ďThe excise tax would be assessed through the tax code and applied as an additional amount of Federal tax owed.Ē
The bill requires every American, with few exceptions, to carry health insurance. To enforce this individual mandate, the Senate Finance Committee created the excise tax as a penalty for people who donít have insurance Ė and it can run as much as $3,800 a year per family.
The House bill also refers to the penalties for not carrying insurance as a tax. It calls for a ďtax on individuals without acceptable health care coverageĒ and amends the tax code to implement it.
Seems pretty clear to me that hte Obamateur doesn't know what he is talking about -- or doesn't have any regard for the truth when he speaks.
So what do you think?
Is the president a liar, or just in way over his head -- or both?
The Obama administration warned insurance companies Monday they face possible legal action for allegedly trying to scare seniors with misleading information about the potential for lost benefits under health care legislation in Congress.
"As we continue our research into this issue, we are instructing you to immediately discontinue all such mailings to beneficiaries and to remove any related materials directed to Medicare enrollees from your Web sites," said a notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
Teresa DeCaro, an agency official, sent the notice to all companies that sell private Medicare coverage and stand-alone drug plans to seniors. The warning came as President Barack Obama's health care legislation is moving toward key tests in a Senate committee over the next several days, and with public polls showing widespread skepticism among seniors.
The problem is that there is serious dispute over what various forms of this legislation will do. There have been various proposals put forth that would do everything that opponents have claimed. But now the government is issuing orders to cease engaging in speech that contradicts the official line of the Obama Regime and their minions in the House and Senate.
Haven't they heard of the First Amendment?
And don't they know that failure to respect it is a clear justification for Americans exercising their rights under the Second Amendment?
I guess you have to be a dead abortionist to get the President to condemn acts of violence committed against you.
Flagstaff, AZ (LifeNews.com) -- Pro-life advocates are upset by an attack on a pro-life man in Arizona who was holding a pro-life sign that apparently upset two pro-abortion women. The attack came eight days after pro-life advocate James Pouillon was shot repeatedly and killed in Michigan by a man who didn't like him protesting abortion at a high school.
In the new case, 69-year-old Johnny Wallace was attacked by two women as he held two pro-life signs condemning the racist undertones of abortion and Planned Parenthood.
Wallace was alone in front of City Hall on the busiest street in town at the time of the attack. He was known to take up position at the spot most every day to make sure members of the community were reminded of the problems associated with abortion.
His two signs read "Abortion kills more black Americans in four days than the Klan killed in 150 years," and "Life begins at conception and ends at Planned Parenthood."
Wallace was approached from behind by two women, both 48, who began by yelling profanities at him. One then attempted to take way and destroy his sign. After Wallace was wrestled to the ground, the other woman joined the attack.
Paramedics were called and Wallace was treated for minor injuries. He suffered an elbow injury that has required additional treatment, according to officials with the pro-life group Operation Rescue.
Both women were cited and released on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and criminal damage.
This is the second major politically motivated attack against pro-life Americans for exercising their civil rights regarding this issue. As yet there has been no condemnation from teh White House as there was over the murder of abortionist George Tiller, despite the toll of one dead and one injured for doing nothing more than engaging in freedom of speech in a public place. When ill Barack Obama -- allegedly the president of ALL Americans -- speak out against these acts of political terrorism against pro-life Americans? When will the Justice Department open civil rihts investigations regarding these two events? Or do the lives and safety of Americans involved with this divisive issue only matter when they support the slaughter of the unborn?
Not only can we not hold them indefinitely, try them before military commissions, or exert any pressure on them to make them betray their jihadi cohorts, but now the Obama Regime is making it clear that won't even put terrorists under restriction in federal prisons after they have been convicted in a federal court of trying to kill hundreds.
Airplane shoe bomber Richard C. Reid no longer faces severe limits on his prison activities or communications after the Obama administration quietly ended years of hard-nosed curbs against the British-born al-Qaeda terrorist.
This summer the Justice Department halted six years of measures that kept Reid from associating or praying with fellow jailed Muslim terrorists, and limited his access to the news media and pen pals.
That move has outraged victims of al-Qaeda and security experts.
You know -- security experts who argue that such terrorists should be kept on a very short leash because of their propensity for engaging in suicidal terrorist acts.
The best observation is this one.
ďItís my hope that they have made this decision based solely on intelligence and risk,Ē said Anthony M. Amore, who was a Federal Aviation Administration special agent on duty at Logan International Airport in 2001 when the flight was diverted to Boston.
ďOther than presidential administrations, what really has changed?Ē asked Amore, who was heavily involved in the Reid case as it unfolded at Logan. ďWe are still removing our shoes at airports, and still fighting in Afghanistan to eradicate terrorist cells.Ē
Amore noted that just last week, an Afghan-born resident of Denver, Najibullah Zazi, 24, was accused of having ties to al-Qaeda, according to U.S. officials probing a homegrown terror plot against the New York subway system.
Amore said he is concerned that the Reid decision is a sign the Justice Department and FBI might be losing sight of the real target in counterterrorism - terrorist cells.
Of course, the "most transparent administration in American history" won't share with the American people the reasons for the change in approach -- which leads this American to conclude that the only thing that has changed is the direction of the political winds.
Remember when the Democrats and media assured us that the Tea Party protesters and folks turning out at town hall meetings were nothing but organized astroturf rather than genuine grassroots activism? Well, what should we call this?
The plan for a series of grass-roots demonstrations Tuesday to promote President Obama's health care agenda calls for tightly scripted events and an "escalation" of efforts against "enemies" of reform.
Organizers insist there is no comparison to rowdy summer town hall meetings and recent "tea party" protests that have challenged White House policies.
But Health Care for America Now (HCAN), which is backed by a coalition of labor unions and liberal groups including ACORN and MoveOn.org, organized the protests to target insurance companies and drafted the plan, which describes the demonstrations as part of its "insurance enemies project."
The document, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, details specific talking points, tactics, props and strategies to stage the protests. It lists goals that include action that "mobilizes our base by animating existing anger about private insurers."
The HCAN field plan dictates that each protest will include a minimum of 30 participants, target only health care insurers CIGNA, WellPoint and United Health Care and showcase what it calls "victims," or people who have either lost insurance, can't afford it or were denied coverage because of pre-existing medical conditions.
Got that -- they've scripted out the talking points, are providing props and signs, and even determined the minimum number of participants who will be brought in to these staged events. But then they deny that their activities are anything other than a reflection of the feelings of the American people.
Sounds like astroturf to me -- much more so than any of the events of the summer by opponents of ObamaCare.
In a little noticed interview with the Daily Beast (presumably little noticed because serious people don't read the Daily Beast), Zbigniew Brzezinski suggests that Barack Obama do more than just refuse to support an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear sites -- the American president must give the order to shoot down Israeli aircraft as they cross Iraqi airspace:
DB: How aggressive can Obama be in insisting to the Israelis that a military strike might be in Americaís worst interest?
Brzezinski: We are not exactly impotent little babies. They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?
DB: What if they fly over anyway?
Brzezinski: Well, we have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you arenít just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a Liberty in reverse.
Yeah, that's right -- according to Carter's national security adviser not only does Israel NOT have a right to act in its own defense, but the US has an obligation to deny them that right. Even at the cost of committing an act of war against a friendly nation that has been our most reliable ally in the Middle East for decades in order to defend an outlaw regime.
And yet, there is nothing but silence from the Left.
And silence from the Obama Regime as well, which has not acted to distance itself from Zbiggy's call for war against an ally.
I wonder what Mika will have to say about Daddy on Monday?
What does the Obama Regime have to hide?
That is my question when I found this little tidbit in the midst of a profile of Obama's campaign lawyer, Robert Bauer.
Mr. Bauer would not consent to an interview for this article. Mr. Obama recently issued an informal edict advising his staff not to assist with profiles.
So much for the new era of openness in Washington, and the desire to let Americans see inside the workings of our system of government and politics. In light of the dishonesty uncovered by the press among Obama's cronies and appointees -- along with the extremist views of those like Van Jones -- the new policy is to be the least transparent administration in American history, with the Regime adopting a Nixonian tactic of stonewalling the press.
How on earth did a guy with this history ever get to be President of the United States? How is it that the media did not trot this out and make it a major part of his biography during the 1976 campaign? How is it that his fellow candidates for the nomination -- including Teddy Kennedy in 1980 -- failed to bring this matter up? And how on earth does one of the most disgusting pieces of excrement who defiled the Oval Office dare to lecture America on racism after his own history of perpetuating racism and segregation?
When Carter returned to Plains, Georgia, to become a peanut farmer after serving in the Navy, he became a member of the Sumter County School Board, which did not implement the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision handed down by the Supreme Court. Instead, the board continued to segregate school children on the streets of Carterís hometown.
As Laughlin McDonald, director of the ACLUís Voting Project, relates in his book A Voting Rights Odyssey: Black Enfranchisement in Georgia, Carterís board tried to stop the construction of a new ďElementary Negro SchoolĒ in 1956. Local white citizens had complained that the school would be ďtoo closeĒ to a white school. As a result, ďthe children, both colored and white, would have to travel the same streets and roads in order to reach their respective schools.Ē The prospect of black and white children commingling on the streets on their way to school was apparently so horrible to Carter that he requested that the state school board stop construction of the black school until a new site could be found. The state board turned down Carterís request because of ďthe staggering cost.Ē Carter and the rest of the Sumter County School Board then reassured parents at a meeting on October 5, 1956, that the board ďwould do everything in its power to minimize simultaneous traffic between white and colored students in route to and from school.Ē
I've long noted that it was the Democrats who kept African-Americans subjected to various forms of oppression for decades after the Civil War. I've noted that the worst racist to ever occupy the White House was Democrat icon Woodrow Wilson. I've even noted that a pathetic old Kluxer named Robert Byrd still defiles the Senate with his presence, proclaimed a statesman by the Democrats. But now we find that there has been a systematic cover up of the fact that Jimmy Carter was not only not a force for ending Jim Crow in Georgia, but was in fact one of those committed to massive resistance of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education.
Racist? Look in the mirror, Jimmy!
Now from the guy who originally claimed to be the daddy. And John Edwards himself is said to be ready to speak out -- if he can only get his dying wife to go along with his making such a public admission.
Mr. Edwards, the one-term senator who came close to being elected vice president in 2004 and ran a credible campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, remains largely secluded at his 100-acre estate here.
But a federal grand jury in nearby Raleigh is investigating whether any crimes were committed in connection with campaign laws in an effort to conceal his extramarital affair with a woman named Rielle Hunter. At the same time, Mr. Edwards is moving toward an abrupt reversal in his public posture; associates said in interviews that he is considering declaring that he is the father of Ms. Hunterís 19-month-old daughter, something that he once flatly asserted in a television interview was not possible.
I guess i don't get the reluctance -- he didn't seem to care about Elizabeth Edwards when he carried on an extended affair with the baby-mama, spend campaign cash to cover it up, visited the hussy and the baby in secret, lied beside her on national television, or any other time during this sordid episode. Oh, yeah -- and let's not forget about your promises to marry the bimbo once Elizabeth got around to kicking the bucket -- what class! Why the concern now about her feelings now? After all, the loving husband routine is clearly out.
Reminding us once more that dissent quit being patriotic once Obama became president.
Right-wing disdain for the first African-American president is primordially violent and expressed in dishonest, uninformed, racist and unpatriotic rhetoric and demonstration.
I am not concerned with right-wing dishonesty, ignorance, racism or hate marching; these are not new phenomena in American culture and politics. However, what concerns me is the combustible combination of these perspectives when combined with a lethal dose of violent and unpatriotic actions targeting the U.S. president.
Later on he goes so far as to argue that a true patriot "loves. . . the U.S. president." Amazing just how silent Professor Jeremy Levitt was about this for the last eight years when his fellow leftists argued that they loved the country but hated the president.
But better late than never. Now shut up and kneel before your betters, conservatives.
Especially since Barack Obama is in office not because it is the will of the American people, but because it is the will of God!
I would remind the far right what the Apostle Paul wrote, " ... there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God." Hence, Obama is the U.S. president and leader of the Free World because he was appointed by God.
Need I say more?
Yeah, Professor -- probably to the ACLU and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State over your efforts to impose a theocratic government on the United States. You know -- in violation of that little First Amendment thing.
And let's not forget that your argument leads to the inevitable conclusion that Adolf Hitler was appointed by God and that those Germans who resisted him were not only wrong to do so, but disobedient of God.
But if you want to sling around biblical texts, I suppose I could offer this one instead, Psalm 109:8 -- which will be my prayer every day until the 2012 election.
May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership.
So Professor Levitt, go crawl back into your hole at your sorry excuse of a law school and take your accusations of racism, unAmericanism, and ungodliness with you.
I love football.
And for a time, earlier in my life, I worked with developmentally disabled adults, including many with Down Syndrome.
And so my emotions overwhelmed me when I read about this.
Matt Ziesel doesnít stray far from coach Dan McCamy on the sidelines during St. Joseph Benton High Schoolís freshman football games. He likes to stay within earshot.
ďIím ready, Coach. Ö Coach, Iím ready,Ē Ziesel says.McCamy says he hears it about 10 times a game, and also at practices, from Ziesel, his 5-foot-3, 110-pound running back.
So in the final stages of Bentonís third game of the season on Monday at Maryville, McCamy decided it was time for Ziesel ó a 15-year-old freshman with Down syndrome ó to make his season debut.
With about 10 seconds left in the game, and Benton trailing 46-0, McCamy called his final timeout, told an assistant coach to organize the team for the ďMatt playĒ and ran across the field to the Maryville defensive huddle ó and to some puzzled looks from the opposing players.
And the result?
You know -- some things matter more than the final score. This is one of them.
Here are the current results from the Council. There's some really good stuff in here, and I encourage you to read it.
By the way -- I'd like to note that my darling wife's post ended up tied for second this week. On here behalf, I'd like to extend thanks to those who voted for her work -- as well as her request for a recount!
I missed these results last week, and so am giving them to you now with sincere apologies and a fervent hope that you will check out these excellent posts.
DNC Promises 'Rain Of Hellfire'
No doubt to be followed by the "reign of hellfire" when Obama is exposed as the antiChrist or Satan replaces Biden as veep in 2012.
Or something like that.
Not the people of Massachusetts, who will have no voice in picking that senator.
No, it is Barack Obama who needs that vote and voice.
Gov. Deval Patrick said Friday that President Barack Obama had personally talked to him about changing the Senate succession law in Massachusetts, and White House aides were pushing for him to gain the power to temporarily replace the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy amid the administration's health care push.
A month after a White House spokesman labeled the issue a state matter, Patrick said he and Obama spoke about changing the law as they both attended Kennedy's funeral in Boston last month. He also said White House aides have been in contact frequently ever since and pushing for the change so they can regain their filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate.
"He and his whole team have been very clear about that," Patrick told reporters after holding a Cabinet meeting near his Berkshire Mountains vacation home
So when the corrupt Democrats of the Massachusetts legislature change the law to allow for an appointment and the corrupt Democrat governor of Massachusetts makes that appointment and the corrupt Democrat leadership of the Senate allows that appointee to be seated, let's call it like it really is. This appointee won't be the Senator from Massachusetts. He (or she) will be the Senator from Obama.
And look who is emerging as the leading contender to be the Senator from Obama. Massachusetts -- and America -- deserve better.
As my Jewish friends begin to mark Rosh Hashanah, I'd like to offer up this bit of Jewish history in their honor.
The story is amplified today in the New York Times, as the paper highlights the man who was the cantor at that historic service -- a quiet, unassuming man who is still alive in new York.
Like many veterans, Max Fuchs did not talk much about what he did in the war. His children knew he landed at Omaha Beach. Sometimes, they were allowed to feel the shrapnel still lodged in his chest.
And once, he had told them, he sang as the cantor in a Jewish prayer service on the battlefield.
On Oct. 29, 1944, at the edge of a fierce fight for control of the city of Aachen, Germany, a correspondent for NBC radio introduced the modest Sabbath service like this:
ďWe bring you now a special broadcast of historic significance: The first Jewish religious service broadcast from Germany since the advent of Hitler.Ē
Mr. Fuchs, now 87 and living on the Upper West Side, was 22 that day at Aachen.
ďI was just as much scared as anyone else,Ē he said in an interview in his Manhattan apartment. ďBut since I was the only one who could do it, I tried my best.Ē
May Gid continue to bless you, Mr. Fuchs.
And may God bless all the Jewish people during these important days for members of your faith.
Looks like the GOP has put up a leader of a neo-pagan religious group for a position on the New York City Council.
Dan Halloran, the Republican candidate for City Council facing primary winner Kevin Kim in the 19th District, already has a leadership role in a vast community that very few people know about - or understand.
Halloran is the "First Atheling," or King, of Normandy, a branch of the Theod faith of pre-Christian Heathen religions assembled in the Greater New York area. A group of dedicated fellow pagans swear their allegiance to him through oaths of fidelity, allowing luck from a series of ancient gods - specifically the "Norse" or "Germanic" gods Odin, Tyr and Freyr - to pass through the King to his kinsmen.
"It is our hope to reconstruct the pre-Christian religion of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European peoples, within a cultural framework and community environment," Halloran - who in many circumstances surrounding his religion goes by his ancestral name O'Halloran - wrote on his tribe's Web site.
"We believe in and honor the Gods and Goddesses of the North, spirits of the land, and the memories of our ancestors," he wrote.
Now I think the guy's religion is a bit flaky -- but don't really care about it. I've voter for Republicans of many different religious stripes over the years -- Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist, not to mention atheist -- and fully expect to do so again in the future if those candidates best reflect my beliefs and principles in their run for office. I'd presumably have no problem voting for Halloran.
And interestingly enough, this is precisely the view of the GOP leadership in new York.
State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), who said he has known Halloran since the candidate made Eagle Scout, said he was not aware of Halloran's faith, but did not consider it an issue if the practitioners are "an honorable group."
"We have every religion under the sun in this district," Padavan said. "It's all here; so what? As long as everybody is properly motivated, so be it."
Halloran explained that Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa and the GOP executive committee were aware of his faith.
Ragusa said Wednesday that Halloran's religion is not an issue.
"If a person performs and does what he has to do for his district, then he will be a welcome breath of fresh air," Ragusa said.
He described Halloran as "a traditional person."
"He seems like a regular guy," Ragusa said.
Halloran maintained that his faith is not an issue when it comes to serving either the people or his party.
"As long as we proceed in our civic lives with dignity and honor, that's what matters," Halloran said.
Sounds to me like this will not be a terribly controversial candidacy -- nor should it be. While many of my fellow conservatives are deeply religious, my experience is that most of them care more about the positions and principles of the candidate selected than they do about their theology.
I wish there was some way to find out what they scrubbed from that school speech.
When critics lashed out at President Obama for scheduling a speech to public school students this month, accusing him of wanting to indoctrinate children to his politics, his advisers quickly scrubbed his planned comments for potentially problematic wording.
Now I suppose that whatever was removed was pretty innocuous. But I remember hearing early on that the speech was to be 30 minutes long, while it ended up being under 20 minutes. Now we hear that the White House removed portions of the speech in the face of criticism, before it was ever released to the public.
Were the critics right?
Did the lesson plan from the DoE telegraph a political component -- a call for school kids to sign up for the Obama Agenda? And if so, did the White House efforts to get members of the liberal side of the blogospher to defend the president and attack those who raised concerns amount to a concerted attempt to mislead Americans after Obama and his minions had been caught red-handed?
Enquiring minds want to know!
Come on -- tell me that this story doesn't at least make you thing a little bit about the classic movies and television series.
Hours earlier, someone had broken into John Pontolillo's house and taken two laptops and a video-game console. Now it was past midnight, and he heard noises coming from the garage out back.
The Johns Hopkins University undergraduate didn't run. He didn't call the police. He grabbed his samurai sword.
With the 3- to 5-foot-long, razor-sharp weapon in hand, police say, Pontolillo crept toward the noise. He noticed a side door in the garage had been pried open. When a man inside lunged at him, police say, the confrontation was fatal.
What Pontolillo did was cleanse the gene pool of one very stupid criminal -- who, shall we say, lost his head.
No charges are pending -- yet. Let's hope that the Baltimore DA treats this kid as he deserves and pins a medal on him rather than taking him to trial.
Out in California, we are seeing a couple of women battling for major political offices on the basis of their experience heading up large multi-national corporations. On its face, such private sector executive experience is a good thing Ė and the coming of moderately conservative female candidates to the GOP is a positive development.
But now Connecticut has its own female corporate CEO seeking the Senate nomination to challenge Senator Chris Dodd, whose own corruption is weighing him down like an anchor dropped into the Marianas Trench. But is this candidate one that we conservatives can embrace?
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Chief Executive Linda McMahon stepped down from her post, one day after joining the increasingly crowded Republican field looking to run against Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd.
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon will assume the additional duties of CEO, supported by "the seasoned executive management team already in place," the wresting entertainment and media company said.
The announcement came as WWE grapples with the weak economy and competition from sports such as kickboxing. Still, WWE's profit nearly tripled in the latest quarter amid cost cuts as revenue rose 7%.
Ms. McMahon, 60 years old, is the fourth Republican to declare her candidacy, following former Rep. Rob Simmons, state Sen. Sam Caligiuri and former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley. Mr. Dodd will be seeking a sixth term in next year's election.
Letís be honest Ė Linda McMahon has great name and face identification from her involvement in the WWE (formerly the WWF). But that is as much a problem as it is a benefit. Look at where her image has come from Ė a violent pseudo-sport that is rife with illegal drug use (both steroids and narcotics). McMahon herself has joined the parade of characters over the years in some less than tasteful storylines. Add this to her history of donating to Democrats (including Rahm Emanuel), her pro-choice position on abortion, and her generally moderate politics and I wonder if the base can accept her. Indeed, all I can think of is that she is a female Arnold Schwarzenegger.
H/T Doug Powers
It looks to me like the folks who supported Obama are most likely to end up paying the most for Obamaís health care scheme.
In a campaign-style rally Thursday at the University of Maryland at College Park, Obama will aim to tap his richest vein of support -- voters younger than 30 -- to help sell his reform plan to a more skeptical general public. "We're at an important turning point in our push for real reform," read the e-mailed invitation, "and it's critical that we seize this moment." A 2008 study by the Urban Institute found that more than 10 million young adults ages 19 to 26 lack health insurance coverage. For many of those people, health-care reform would offer the promise of relatively inexpensive individual policies, which do not exist in many states today.
The trade-off is that young people would no longer be permitted to bet on their good health: All the reform legislation before Congress would require individuals to buy at least minimal coverage.
Another bill will be introduced Wednesday by the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) will offer in it a proposal to keep premiums manageable: a bare-bones catastrophic policy that would protect young people from financial calamity while providing basic preventive care.
Hey, kids, you chose him. Now get out your wallets and prepare to pay for the change you believe in.
There has been lots of controversy on the Left (and some on the right) over the decision of some conservatives to exercise their Second Amendment rights at town hall meetings and political protests around the country. While I understand the safety concerns (which I find overblown), Iíve been generally supportive of these peaceful forms of symbolic speech. But after seeing this quote from Ben Franklin, I have an additional reaction.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
The first half was one I had seen before Ė but the latter half of Franklinís analogy is new to me. It is a pointed reminder that in any democracy, the majority has the ability to engage in coercive acts Ė even outright force Ė to enforce its will against the will of the minority. An armed populace Ė even one that is essentially peaceful Ė will be able to maintain its rights against a majority ONLY if it has the ability to forcefully protect those rights from illegitimate usurpation by the majority. That is the subtle message of those who come armed to public events Ė and they should be honored, not condemned, for their message.
One of the highlights of American education is state and local control of our schools and curriculum. In recent years, there has been an increase in federal intrusion into education matters as the national government has increased the number of dollars passed on for special programs. But this new development seems to go beyond that Ė and raises a new issue that troubles me.
Millions of Americans are marching, blogging, calling Congress, E-mailing friends, and writing to newspapers to say that President Obama and Congress are expanding government too far, too fast. We need to do more, because itís clear that theyíre not getting the message. The latest example: the House of Representatives is preparing to put the Department of Education into the business of creating educational curriculum for American students.
This week the House is scheduled to approve H.R. 3221, an education lending bill that CBO reports will increase the deficit by $50 billion. The bill includes a little-known provision to give the Secretary of Education $500 million - to be provided to any entity he deems ďappropriateĒ - to develop and disseminate free and ďfreely availableĒ online courses.
Now these courses will be online, and will presumably be national in their availability. And therein lies the problem. What standards will be used in designing these courses? Who will make this determination? Will states (and their local school districts) be required to accept these courses for credit, even if the content does not match up with their state standards in the subject area? What will this do for graduation requirements in states like Texas, which is preparing to begin a new testing regime that involves ďend of courseĒ exams for core courses and mandates that students accrue a certain number of points in each core area in order to graduate? Will passing one or more of these courses enable a student to avoid meeting that requirement for graduation? Are these courses to be designed to create a de facto NATIONAL set of standards to which states will be pressured to adhere? I think these are questions that must be answered before we proceed any further down this road, so that we can have a true debate on the matter both within the education community and in the public at large.
It isn't always easy to find the right web Hhsting service for your personal or business needs. Indeed, it sometimes can be quite a challenge. What hosting features you require? What is your budget? How much access to customer support will you need? And what country do you want to register your site in? Well, if you are looking for web hosting in services, it is probably to your advantage to consider a service like that offered by http://www.findmyhosting.com
Why FindMyHosting.com? Well, they offer you great comparisons of web hosting services from a number of companies so that you can find just what you need. They are will help you find reliable and cheap web hosting, helping you find hosts that will provide you with free or low cost domain registration, according to your needs. What's more, they offer one of the most extensive comparison services that I've ever seen when it comes to finding yourself a web host -- they actually compare competing hosts on nearly 40 different criteria, including a rating for reliability. And it is particularly easy to access their top ten list of top web hosting companies, so you don't have to fool around. So if you are read to switch hosts, now is your time and they are your place to shop.
Former president Jimmy Carter said Tuesday that he believes race is at the core of much of the opposition to President Obama.
"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African American," Carter told NBC in an interview.
Well, let's consider the matter. Jimmy Carter has in recent years demonstrated animosity towards Israel. Time and again he has sided with terrorists and their allies against Israel, which is America's ally. He even came close to Holocaust denial by leaving the Holocaust out of his book on the conflict between Arabs and Israel, despite the fact that the existence of Israel is intimately bound up with that seminal event of the twentieth century AND many Arab leaders in the 1930s and 1940s were actively in favor of Hitler and his persecution of the Jews. He holds the Jewish state to a standard that he is unwilling to impose upon the Palestinians. If that does not constitute an intensely demonstrated animosity towards Jews, I don't know what is -- and it is certainly better supported by the evidence than is his claim about Obama opponents.
Are you looking for a good blogging platform? Well, there are a lot out there, including many of them that have the advantage of being free, and therefore not costing you a penny as a blogger. One of the more interesting ones is to be found at http://www.thoughts.com/.
Thoughts.com offers you the opportunity to establish free blogs with some top-notch features, including participation in a free blog community. And there is much more. For example, Because they know that many bloggers have a lot of graphics and photos on their websites, they provide you with high-speed uploading of your photos and other graphics files as a part of their free service. Even better, you can upload your videos and host the, right from your own site Ė no more relying on other sites to host the video and praying that the code is compatible and the video remains on the site. You even have podcasting capabilities available through Thoughts.com, too. Whatís more, there is even the option to set up your own social networking lists like on those other sites. And don't forget that Thoughts.com offers you a daily news page as well. What more could you ask for as a blogger or social networker?
I've linked to Charles Johnson over at Little Green Footballs since the first day I had a blogroll. Let's be honest -- he was, at the time, one of the giants of conservative blogging, and an important voice on the conservative side of the spectrum.
Unfortunately, I cannot say that any longer.
Over the last several months (or longer), Charles has set out to somehow purge the conservative movement, the GOP, and the blogosphere of those voices with which he disagrees. In the beginning, it was a bit odd -- a couple positions I saw as counterproductive and overly curmudgeonly. But one could take his position on Intelligent Design to be reasonable even while disagreeing with him -- though anyone who disagreed with Charles on the issue was immediately labeled a "stealth creationist" -- even me, despite the fact that I explicitly have for many years taught evolution as the best available explanation of the development of life, just because I expressed the belief that the best way to deal with the issue of Intelligent Design is to talk about it as being a philosophical/theological adjunct to science's evolutionary theory.
And then there was the issue of opposition to Islamism. Though once a strong opponent of terrorism, Charles apparently became disenchanted with many of those who agreed with them. He began throwing around charges of racist and fascist when discussing not only actual racists and fascists, but also when discussing anyone who might cross over an ill-defined line or those who might continue to associate with/link to them.
Then came the abortion issue. Charles, it appears to me, may be pro-choice, but i'm really not sure. But in the wake of the murder ofGgeorge Tiller he began issuing edicts about what language was acceptable for opponents of abortion to use. Disagree with him, and you were little less than an accessory to Tiller's killing.
And now Charles has decided that support for the Tea party movement is somehow suspect, and has launched into a jihad against a great many bloggers who dare to disagree with him -- echoing the media line that opposition to Obama is racism.
Along the way, he has done his best to make LGF an echo chamber, banning folks who dare to dissent from his orthodoxy for perceived violations of rules, even while allowing his supporters to violate those same rules. Personally, I got banned because, in response to his diktat on pro-life rhetoric, I gave a one sentence, non-profane response that indicated i would not change my rhetoric just because he said to do so.
In tone, Charles Johnson has come to sound like one of the loony local liberals blogging here in Houston. Frankly, the purges he keeps advocating at LGF sound Stalinist. The creeping nature of those purges remind me of the gradualism of the Nazis described by Martin NiemŲller. I won't call him a liberal, a Stalinist, or a Nazi -- I think that may be a bit over the top -- but I will call him both wrong and out of control as he crosses over the line into angry personal attacks on those on the right with whom he disagrees. So I'm joining with some of his targets and a great many other bloggers in cutting my links to LGF in the hopes that concerted action will cause Charles to come to his senses and reconsider the direction his once-great blog has taken -- or that he gets that daily show on AirAmerica for which his recent antics appear to be an audition.
Patrick Swayze, whose good looks and sympathetic performances in films such as "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost" made him a romantic idol to millions, died Monday. He was 57.
Swayze died of pancreatic cancer, his publicist, Annett Wolf, told CNN.
Swayze's doctor, Dr. George Fisher, revealed in early March 2008 that Swayze was suffering from the disease.
"Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months," Wolf said in a statement Monday.
Patrick Swayze was certainly not one of the best actors of his generation, but he was among the most popular during the 1980s and early 1990s. That, in my book, is more important -- he was an entertainer who never forgot that his first goal was to entertain his fans rather than make high art or political statements. And I'll say it flat out -- the result is a body of work that will stand the test of time for its entertainment value.
Sadly, Patrick Swayze did not survive to see the remake of his classic film, Red Dawn, hit the screen.. I would have loved to see his reaction to the new version.
Kanye West, a man whose antics regularly redefine the phrase "no class", plumbed the depths of classlessness tonight on the MTV Video Music Awards tonight by jumping up on stage and snatching the microphone from the hands of Taylor Swift as she gave her acceptance speech in order voice his opinion that Beyoncť should have won the award for best female video instead. In the end, Swift was left standing stunned on the stage, utterly at a loss for words in the wake of West's outrageous actions.
In true VMA form, the MTV awards show did not stick to the script.
The first winner of the night, Taylor Swift for best female video, was victim to this when she was rudely and quickly interrupted by Kanye West, who cut off her acceptance speech. He stole the microphone to announce that fellow nominee Beyoncť had "one of the greatest videos of all time," in "Single Ladies."
For her part, Beyoncť appeared shocked by the outburst and the crowd booed the rapper. Off-camera, when West returned to his seat, audience members gave a still-stunned Swift (who was ushered off the stage before finishing her speech) a standing ovation.
After the incident, West, who was photographed drinking what looked like liquor on the red carpet, was not in his seat at Radio City Music Hall. A security guard tells PEOPLE the rapper left the venue and would not be allowed to come back inside.
Many of the stars tonight criticized West's actions, including a number of them in real time on Twitter, but I'm unaware of anyone calling West's actions what they truly were -- an act of racism, pure and simple. Kanye West knew that there would be no serious consequences or long-term ramifications to a black thug yanking the microphone from a little white girl in order to insult her and give props to a fellow African-American. Indeed, Kanye West knew that it would give him additional street cred in the 'hood as he stuck it to whitey -- even though in this case whitey was a teenage girl. Just wait and see -- his air time will go up on radio, as will the sales of his music. Just like happened when he engaged in a race-baiting tirade against George W. Bush following Hurricane Katrina
On the other hand, if any white performer ever stooped to such disrespectful behavior towards a black female performer in any venue, it would be the end of his career -- assuming he was not beaten to a pulp and/or shot before he was dragged from the venue. And we know that the usual suspects would be out in force, demanding that such the cancellation of recording contracts, the removal of CDs from store shelves, and a radio boycott -- sanctions that I would be inclined to support in such a situation and which ought to be imposed against Kanye West.
But let me give high praise to Beyoncť, whose music and videos I have not liked for a number of years now. When she won the award for Video of the Year, she called Taylor Swift back on to the stage to share the spotlight with her. That was a moment of class and decency that ought to be remembered by everyone. So let me offer my thanks and congratulations to Beyoncť for showing everyone what class and decency really is.
This is an experiment on my part. I've had guest bloggers before, but they have been like-minded individuals filling in for me. This time I've invited a special guest from the other side of the political aisle -- my wife, Paula AKA the Darling Democrat and the Loyal Opposition.
For those wanting to know the genesis of the post, it comes from a recent conversation we had in which she gave voice to sentiments I found particularly striking and important -- sentiments that I felt ought to be shared with more than me and a few friends. I invited her to write for the blog, and after some hesitation the invitation was accepted. This is her work, and her words, not mine.
A couple of weeks ago, I watched and listened to the coverage of the fourth anniversary of the natural disaster that was Hurricane Katrina. I've waited for our turn, for the retrospectives on the events of September 12 & 13, 2008 -- the natural disaster that we call Hurricane Ike.
I'm still waiting.
I'd like to think that maybe we, the victims of Hurricane Ike, got lost in the tributes and memorials to September 11, 2001. And lest any reader think I am an unfeeling hard-ass, please understand that I sat crying on Thursday night as the surviving family members of the passengers of Flight 93 were honored at the Steelers/Titans game. And yes, on Friday I watched the memorials on cable and cried some more, too.
And while I may be one of those "support the troops, not the wars" liberals that my husband so often complains about, I feel those things in the most sincere way possible -- I lost a loved one in Desert Shield/Storm -- and as I prepare to say good-bye as a friend I love dearly leaves for Iraq or Afghanistan with his reserve unit in January, I cry every time I speak with him, his wife and their two little girls.
So, by now I will guess that you faithful readers of this blog know that the usual blogger around here isn't writing this -- it's me, Paula, the Darling Democrat, Loyal Opposition or whatever else he calls me. I quit reading a long time ago in order to save my sanity and marriage. :)
But as I was starting to say, we victims or survivors of Ike are waiting for the time late Saturday night or early Sunday morning to mark the first anniversary of when Ike hit our homes and changed our lives forever -- those of us who sat up for long hours through the night watching the coverage from far away from home, hoping for some word about our neighborhoods and towns. I write as someone that loves/loved my stuff -- just ask any one that helped with the clean out of our home . In fact, as we watched the coverage from our evacuation hotel in Austin, I told "The Warden" (my dear pet name for Greg, AKA Rhymes With Right) as much as I love Anderson Cooper, if he had put a microphone in my face and expected me to say that "it was only stuff," he would sure have gotten a rude awakening. I lost mementos from all the periods of my life, and saved so little. We packed up our little car with the wheelchair, the Apolitical Pooch (who really is a liberal, no matter what my husband says), our wedding album, my wedding tiara (which I intend on wearing every day when I get to the nursing home - if not before), a few other precious things, his clothes (he'll have to write about that) and the three of us. As we pulled out of the driveway on the morning of September 11, 2008 after the mandatory evacuation was declared, I looked at my home and knew that it and I would never be the same again.
I'll fast forward to today, otherwise I'll be typing all night and none of us wants that to happen. :) I feel that our communities were failed by every level of government. FEMA gave help to 17% of those that asked for it -- 17% of the residents of communities that were devastated by the third most destructive hurricane in American history, people who were left living in hotels, church youth rooms, and finally (if they were lucky) other small living spaces. Those that could afford it were paying for two households for much of the last year and those who couldn't ended up bunking with friends and relatives, pitching up tents and or living in campers. We here in the Houston/Galveston area didn't get the $2000 debit cards given to survivors of Hurricane Katrina, either. State and local governments didn't do much better.
In our own neighborhood, we returned in April to a house that was repaired by a contractor that didn't seem to be interested in anything more than money, or know anything more than how to cash his checks. Problems persist in our home, and our insurance company is sending someone out to see why our tile floor is cracking. And we are one of the lucky ones that was well-cared for by our insurance company -- I haven't forgotten those who are still fighting to get their insurance companies to give them full payment for the damages they suffered. Every day I say a blessing that I am back in the space that used to be home (and hopefully will be again someday); and I pray hard for those that who are still waiting, that they get back home as well.
I look to the north and see one of our next door neighbors still living in a FEMA trailer -- one of the few in the neighborhood (it arrived in December but she wasn't given the keys until January) -- as she waits for repairs to her home to finish a year after the storm that threw our lives into turmoil. On the other side of our house the family just walked away after getting some help from FEMA (guess they comprised the 17% in our town) -- they left their home to rot and mildew and mold before it finally was sold at auction in May. That home is one of a number that still stands vacant in our town, drywall torn out and studs standing naked. Our community is still filled with too many of those in campers and in tents, having lived this way through the hot Texas summer, and into a fall where the temperatures are expected to remain in the 90s this next week and beyond.
And having seen four years of coverage about that earlier storm, I compare our situation to that of the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. I realize parts of New Orleans , the 9th ward in particular, still stand much as the day it hit. I think that is a sin and I think that they are still are entitled to getting back home to the neighborhoods and homes that they loved as well. Houston opened its arms to thousands of the victims and is still "home" to many of them. I wept as I watched the "cattle call" into the Superdome and remembered how fast we got supplies to the tsunami victims in Thailand even as we saw massive shortcomings in the response to Katrina. However, when President Obama gave them another 6 months of rental assistance and hotels rooms this summer, my head nearly began spinning around like Linda Blair's in the Exorcist.
I think that part of the problem was that our coverage focused on those beautiful beach homes on Galveston Island and the nation thought that if people can build those they can go right ahead and take care of themselves. But many of those were weekend and vacation homes --I challenge you to read the stats on the full-time residents of Galveston, many of whom are quite poor. In the end, those folks got one, yes ONE, Red Cross shelter that closed down a few weeks later with the suggestion that they look to family and friends for shelter or find some other living arrangements. But there were no other arrangements that most could make, for God sake, and large parts of Galveston are still struggling a year later.
I wondered where our Goob of a President was after our Hurricane Ike. No doubt the proud resident of Texas was consulting with his designer about the color scheme of his million dollar mansion in the toniest part of Dallas and working on his presidential library even though he doesn't read. Where were Senators Cornyn and Hutchinson? She was working on plans for seeking the seat of governor of the then blighted Texas. What he was doing, well, obviously, not much. Congressman Lampson was getting ready to leave DC because the polls showed he was about to be voted out of office. Galveston Island did get a "special visit" from Bush 41 and Clinton. Yee-Haw good buddies! But no telethons, no national fundraising campaigns, and precious little help compared to how another devastated city was treated three years before.
Let's fast forward to 2009. Our new Congressman, Pete Olsen, must be too busy meeting up with his buddies in DC, and President Obama still seems to just think that the only hurricane that devastated lives was that girl called Katrina. Hey Barack, there was a guy called Ike that still has victims and survivors that your "Yes We Can" administration ought to help, but so far we've seen little more than "No We Can't". This woman who voted for you and believed in your message is still waiting to see you recognize the Gulf Coast region in a place called Texas in a way comparable to the recognition accorded the Gulf Coast region of Louisiana.
And thus ends the first installment of spousal guest blogging. I've opened comments on this one, and hope that folks will exhibit class and tact if they choose to comment. You can email as well, and I'll pass the messages on to her. There are currently no plans for posts from the Apolitical Pooch.
My darling wife writes the following in her post about Hurricane Ike.
We packed up our little car with the wheelchair, the Apolitical Pooch (who really is a liberal, no matter what my husband says), our wedding album, my wedding tiara (which I intend on wearing every day when I get to the nursing home - if not before), a few other precious things, his clothes (he'll have to write about that) and the three of us.
I hate to say it, but she is right -- but I do have an explanation.
When I was packing the car that morning, I had two suitcases to put in with all those other possessions. As was stuffing and cramming and trying to close the trunk, I realized that I could only get one of those suitcases in if we were to take the tiara, the album, the laptop, the wheelchair some books, and a few other possessions in the trunk, so I decided to leave one behind. After all, we had evacuated in 2005 for Hurricane Rita, and came back a couple of days later to find no damage of note. Surely, I thought, this will turn out the same way. I therefore didn't do any repacking -- not realizing that while I had a bunch of my school clothes in the only suitcase going with us (I expected to work on Monday), Paula's contribution to that bag was only a pair of sweatpants, two pairs of underwear, two pairs of socks, and two nightgowns.
Needless to say, I started rebuilding her wardrobe in Austin that weekend -- and have been ever since.
Just a quick reminder about the nature of Islam.
It condones what the civilized world calls pedophilia.
After all, if sex with little girls was good enough for Muhammad, it is good enough for other Muslim men (even if it isn't good for the girls).
A 12-year-old Yemeni child bride died after struggling for three days in labor to give birth, a local human rights organization said Saturday.
Fawziya Abdullah Youssef died of severe bleeding on Friday while giving birth to a stillborn in the al-Zahra district hospital of Hodeida province, 140 miles west of the capital, San'a.
Child marriages are widespread in Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country, where tribal customs dominate society. More than a quarter of the country's females marry before age 15, according to a recent report by the Social Affairs Ministry.
Youssef was only 11 when her father married her to a 24-year-old man who works as a farmer in Saudi Arabia, said Ahmed al-Quraishi, chairman of Siyaj human rights organization, which promotes the rights of children in Yemen.
Some Yemeni legislators are trying to wipe out this disgusting practice -- but they are running into opposition from others who have declared the law to be unIslamic and therefore incompatible with the Yemeni constitution.
Remember how loony lefties complained about the "unitary executive theory" allegedly espoused by the Bush Administration? Well, ignorant LibTalker Ed Schultz thinks that such a system is just great now that Barry Hussein is in the White House.
Want proof? It's right here in his own words, where he makes it clear that he believes that the legislative branch is not co-equal to the executive branch, but is instead subordinate to it -- and that the president is the supervisor of members of the House and Senate, just like the manager is the supervisor of the pimply-faced teenager working drive-through at McDonalds.
Ask yourself this question as you try to put this in perspective. Do you think it was professional? And ask yourself, if you acted like that in the workplace, how would that be received by your supervisor and do you think you'd be able to hang onto your job?
Except, of course, for the minor detail that Congressman Joe Wilson does not work for Barry Hussein or anyone else in the Obama Regime. Congressman Joe Wilson works for the people of his congressional district -- who seem to be pretty supportive of his having spoken truth to power when Obama lied to the American people. I'll be honest -- I wish a few more had done the same.
So remember, my fellow Americans (and left-wingers pretending to be loyal Americans) -- when liberals talk about the Constitution, it doesn't mean that they are talking about what the document really says, but rather about what they want it to say (even when that contradicts what it actually says).
After all, he is decrying white people who won't get on board with the presidential agenda for the nation -- in terms that could have been used by Van Jones or your average Obama-supporting commentator or reporter.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has condemned "bloody whites" for meddling in his country's affairs and attacked the West for trying to impose its rule on the southern African nation.
International sanctions have been in place for several years due to chronic human rights violations in Zimbabwe. But hey -- it's all just RRRRAAAACCCCIIIISSSSMMMM!!!!
Just like when white folks dare to disagree with Obama.
They told me that the US would become another Third World dictatorship if I voted for Bush and McCain in the last three elections -- and they were right!
American citizens arrested on drug charges in national parks are invariably prosecuted in Massachusetts. So why was one prominent non-American given a pass on such charges?
Political commentator, author and writer for The Atlantic magazine Andrew M. Sullivan wonít have to face charges stemming from a recent pot bust at the Cape Cod National Seashore ó but a federal judge isn't happy about it.
U. S. Magistrate Judge Robert B. Collings says in his decision that the case is an example of how sometimes "small cases raise issues of fundamental importance in our system of justice."
While marijuana possession may have been decriminalized, Sullivan, who owns a home in Provincetown, made the mistake of being caught by a park ranger with a controlled substance on National Park Service lands, a federal misdemeanor.
The ranger issued Sullivan a citation, which required him either to appear in U.S. District Court or, in essence, pay a $125 fine.
But the U.S. Attorneyís Office sought to dismiss the case. Both the federal prosecutor and Sullivanís attorney said it would have resulted in an "adverse effect" on an unspecified "immigration status" that Sullivan, a British citizen, is applying for.
The US Attorney for the area is an Obama appointee. Sullivan was an outspoken Obama supporters during the campaign whose immigration status would potentially be in danger if the charges resulted in either a guilty plea or a conviction.
So why was the Obama-supporting, HIV-positive, bare-backing, drug-using, gay undesirable alien given treatment that no other defendant received in the courtroom that day -- treatment that led the judge to go so far as to raise questions of equal protection of the law?
I don't know.
Maybe Sullivan was in a position to confirm this story -- or one like it.
I don't know, but when you consider how the mainstream media protected John Edwards for so long from tabloid reports about infidelity and an illegitimate child -- reports that proved to be true -- it is a question that must be asked. And hopefully answered.
A day late and a dollar short, at least one MSM outlet is taking notice. When will the rest?
Also, Sullivan cops out on the issue. What legal issues? After all, the dismissal means you are in the clear.
To the President?
Or so says the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson.
Throughout the speech, there was grumbling, mugging and eye-rolling on the Republican side that was not only undignified but frankly un-American.
We've heard for eight years, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, that dissent is patriotic -- indeed, that it is the highest form of patriotism. That includes claims that the Us deserved to be attacked on 9/11, and that the Bush Administration was actively complicit in those attacks. However, daring to show less than servile veneration to Barack Obama is, we are now told, beyond the pale and the essence of unAmericanism.
I beg to differ. And the audacity to make such a claim on 9/11 -- after years of defense of those dissenters by Robinson and his WaPo colleagues -- is particularly galling.
So here's to you, Mr. Robinson!
By now the world knows some of the most intimate details of the existence of one Caster Semenya, an extraordinarily athlete who burst onto the scene in recent weeks with her phenomenal track performances.
Caster Semenya had heard the taunts and whispers ó that she was different from other girls. Now the most intimate details of her anatomy are headline news, and there is worry about how the 18-year-old runner from a poor South African village will handle it all.
The Sydney Daily Telegraph and the Sydney Morning Herald reported Friday that gender tests show the world champion athlete has both male and female characteristics, but no ovaries or uterus, and has internal testes that produce large amounts of testosterone.
My heart breaks for Caster -- and I really regret some of my less sensitive jokes involving the title of a popular song by Aerosmith.
It will be up to international sports officials to figure out the answer to the question "How do you solve a problem like Caster?"
I'd like to make a proposal.
It is time to do away with separate events for men and women in competitive sports, as well as single-sex athletic teams.
We've seen this in a number of cases -- consider the girls and women who have played on traditionally boys' teams in recent years. And what's more, we live in an age when we are told that women are the equal of men, and that they can compete with men on an equal playing field. Let's prove it by making all international sporting competitions co-ed.
Let the boys and the girls compete together in the pool, on the slopes, on the court, and on the playing field. Imagine a Venus Williams-Rafael Nadal final at Wimbledon. consider the top swimmers, divers, runners, skiers, and other athletes going head to head at the Olympics, with gender not an issue in determining the winner. Suddenly, Caster Semenya' gonads become irrelevant to her athletic prowess -- she, and every other competitor, will be measured based upon performance.
Originally Posted on September 11, 2004 -- As is my custom, I repost it today.
So many died that horrible day.
One was my classmate at Washington and Lee University, Commander Robert Allan Schlegel.
I would love to tell you he and I were close. That would be a lie.
I would love to share stories of great times together. I don't have any.
What I can tell you is that I remember Rob Schlegel as a good guy, a friend of some friends. I remember him as being a bright guy, sitting a couple rows over and a couple seats back in a US History class. One of those classmates you later wish you had gotten to know when you had the chance.
Rest in Peace.
May all the victims of September 11 and the many men and women of our armed forces who have died fighting terrorism since that day rest in peace.
Every single death at the hands of terrorists on September 11, 2001 was a tragedy of unspeakable proportions. That said, I can't help but find the death of Kevin Szocik particularly moving.
Kevin was that local high school hero who had made good after graduation and college. He had made it in the financial world, having recently been promoted to vice president in the financial firm of Keefe, Bryuette & Woods.
And in May of 2001, he had gotten married.
Still a newlywed, Kevin went to work on the eighty-ninth floor of the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001. He never made it home to his wife of only four months.
Such a bright future -- snuffed out by the acts of evil men acting on behalf of a perverted ideology of Islamic world domination.
We must never forget -- and so this day we honor Kevin Szocik and the other 2995 individuals who were murdered eight years ago, on September 11, 2001.
I'm not saying that. Joe Wilson isn't saying that. The Congressional Research Service is saying that.
H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitzens participating in the Exchangeówhether the noncitizens are legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently. Nonetheless, only aliens who could be classified as resident aliens would be required under the bill to have health insurance.
So here's my only question -- did Barack Obama know he was lying last night, or is he simply so clueless about what his own plan does that he misled the American people out of his own ignorance?
Looks to me like Barack Obama and all those howling lefties owe Joe Wilson an apology.
In this case, the perfect response to the Joe Wilson kerfluffle.
And he even said it while talking to MSDNC's Rachel MadCow.
RACHEL MADDOW (03:16 of segment entitled "Dealing with the opposition on health reform"): Is this an ignore-the-tantrum moment or is that a big deal?
FRANK: Oh, I don't think it's a big deal. Look, I think free speech is (garbled), you know, heckling is a tradition, obviously, in the British Parliament. They even have mics that come down to hear the heckles.
You know, if the Mother of Parliaments can survive a little bit of partisan heckling, so can the US Congress. After all, it isn't like Joe Wilson tried to kill anyone there (that was a Democrat Congressman and Puerto Rican terrorists later pardoned by Democrat Jimmy Carter).
Could be, if this report is true.
She would try to get the unexpired gubernatorial term in New York -- perhaps to be followed by reelection to that spot.
Certainly is a better deal than she has now, with Barack Obama essentially cutting her out of foreign policy decisions and her profile lowered significantly from her time as Senator.
Who knows -- she could be 2012's Teddy Kennedy to Barack Obama's Jimmy Carter, only with a better chance of knocking off the incumbent of her own party.
You want me to support government run health care for everyone? Fine, I'll do it -- provided it is in the form of the proposal offered by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).
(Proposal is at the 4:00 mark)
Sounds rather straightforward to me -- just give every American the exact same insurance and options provided to every member of Congress. No need for a mega-bill like is currently under consideration in the House and Senate -- just a single page of legislation that says that every American gets what their elected representatives get.
And said plan is surely better than what you and your minions are currently proposing -- after all HR 3200 specifically exempts members of Congress and their staffs from having to have the same insurance as other Americans. If the plan that will come into being under HR 3200 isn't good enough for the employees of the people, it certainly is not good enough for the people themselves.
H/T Gateway Pundit
Seminars are highly beneficial to students looking to be successful in their academic career. They are also useful to people in the professional world in many different ways. Most of us have attended several seminars for professional reasons -- indeed, that is how I spent my day today.
If you are a student, professional or entrepreneur searching for a useful seminar to improve your intellect or professional life, you can easily find it online. There are many educational websites offering seminars that can be downloaded for your use at your convenience. You can also get such courses sent to you via your email as well by entering your address in order to subscribe. That's great -- professional development right in your mailbox! At 101seminartopics.com, you will find free downloadable seminars for engineering students that can be presented to groups or used individually. There are also great computer and IT related Seminar Topics available for download as well, so you can probably find one that meets your needs. And once you have gained the useful knowledge from these seminars, you can pass the learning on in presentations to your classmates or colleagues, secure in the knowledge that you are up to date on the latest information!
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Man, are the liberals upset over one sentence in a fifteen page document in the proposed 11th grade social studies curriculum in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.
Texas high school students would learn about such significant individuals and milestones of conservative politics as Newt Gingrich and the rise of the Moral Majority ó but nothing about liberals ó under the first draft of new standards for public school history textbooks.
And the side that got left out is very unhappy.
Now Iíll be honest with you Ė I donít teach that particular class, so I hadnít looked at that set of standards (in large part because of my recent vacation and my subsequent preparation for the upcoming school year). But as presented in the Houston Chronicleís article, the proposal seemed to be too partisan for me Ė and who has EVER accused me of viewing the world through nonpartisan glasses (though I do teach my classes in a nonpartisan fashion).
So I did what I teach my students to do when confronted with such disturbing information Ė I went to the primary source, the website of the Texas Education Agency where the newly proposed standards are posted so that I could see the new standards for US History since Reconstruction.
Here is the entire proposed strand in which this particular proposal fits.
(10) History. The student understands the circumstances of the U.S. as it emerges into the 21st century. The student is expected to:
(A) describe U.S. involvement in world affairs including the Persian Gulf War, Balkans Crisis, 9/11, and global war on terror; and
(B) identify significant conservative advocacy organizations and individuals, such as Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly, and the Moral Majority.
(C) discuss the rise of domestic terrorism
(D) discuss the role of third party candidates, such as Ross Perot and Ralph Nader.
Taken in that context, the focus on conservatism is mighty reasonable. Indeed, it parallels the sort of focus given to twentieth century movements such as the progressive movement and the civil rights movement. And while there are howls of outrage over the inclusion of Gingrich, Schlafly, and the Moral Majority, it is hard to argue that the three were not major figures in what has been a long-term shift of the political culture of the US to the right, one that has lasted some three decades and which may not be over. Indeed, I happen to think that there would be a place for Rush Limbaugh and the rise of conservative mass media in that particular standard.
But while there is outrage over the inclusion of two conservative individuals and one conservative group in the standards, letís look at some of the other individuals and groups who are included who are pretty clearly liberal icons Ė and some of whom could be reasonably seen as less significant than the three conservative inclusions. These include Upton Sinclair, Susan B. Anthony, Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King, Jr, Cesar Chavez, Betty Friedan, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), American Indian Movement (AIM), Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Henry B. Gonzalez, Thurgood Marshall, and Delores Huerta. Taken in that context, one might argue that conservative figures are decidedly underrepresented Ė where is Barry Goldwater, for example? And letís not forget that there have been assorted proposed changes to include a contemporary liberal strand to balance the conservative strand and include additional liberal figures like Hillary Clinton and Harvey Milk elsewhere throughout the curriculum, but no significant effort to include a more extensive or balanced look at conservative figures.
And then there are the PC changes in the curriculum. For example, the standards dump Omar Bradley and George S. Patton (and have never included Chester Nimitz) from the WWII TEK while adding Benjamin O. Davis and Oveta Culp Hobby Ė and while I would never diminish the accomplishments of either (Davis is a particular hero of mine), I question their relative significance compared to the three excluded flag officers. Similarly excluded figures (besides Barry Goldwater, who I noted earlier) include George W. Bush and Clarence Thomas Ė and native Texan Barbara Jordan. I understand the need to limit the length of the standards, but surely these individuals each belong in the document somewhere.
But that also raises an additional point Ė as we teachers are often reminded, the TEKS are the baseline of what you must teach, not the boundary line of what you are allowed to teach. We teachers are not forbidden to teach about any excluded individual or group Ė or to contrast the included figures and groups with their opponents. And as I noted earlier, the curriculum does present a fairly balanced portrait of America over the last fourteen decades. So while I would certainly make changes, I donít find what is currently written to be unreasonable.
But I am curious Ė would the Houston Chronicle have presented the story in such an alarmist manner if the standards included an explicitly liberal thread but not a conservative one? And would protesting conservatives be given the same sort of kid-glove treatment as the upset liberals?
UPDATE: There's an editorial on the standards in today's Houston Chronicle -- care to guess which side it takes?
Hey, art lovers! Parents with small kids! Teachers! Looking for a neat contest to enter? Well, I've got one for you that brings with it a whole bunch of art supplies. And let's be honest -- everyone who is interested in art knows that getting those supplies free can be a real great financial benefit
You may be wondering how and where to get these free supplies. Easy -- check out the folks at roseart.com to find their big new contest by using your artistic creativity in a positive manner. Just pay a visit to the arts and crafts feature online and you can win RoseArt school supplies. Just enter their RoseArt contest.
So, what do you need to do? Design your ideal classroom! What do you want in it? Lots of good books? Computers and video games that can aid in learning (along with all that other technology that is often cut when the budget is tight)? For me, it would include a whole bunch of arts and crafts supplies so that my world geography students could make maps and other course related projects. So even though I am what most would call "artistically challenged", I may just have to take a shot at it myself!
Iíve sat on this article for a while, debating how and if I wanted to write on it. I find the topic too serious, and the treatment of it too disrespectful, to simply toss off something about it. And yes, my seminary training gives me a bit of a different perspective on it than some others, so I feel I have to have a go at it.
Roman Catholic couples are being encouraged to pray together before they have sex.
A book published by a prominent Church group invites those setting out on married life to recite the specially-composed Prayer Before Making Love.
It is aimed at 'purifying their intentions' so that the act is not about selfishness or hedonism.
The prayer, which appears in the Prayer Book for Spouses, implores God 'to place within us love that truly gives, tenderness that truly unites, self-offering that tells the truth and does not deceive, forgiveness that truly receives, loving physical union that welcomes'.
It adds: 'Open our hearts to you, to each other and to the goodness of your will.
'Cover our poverty in the richness of your mercy and forgiveness. Clothe us in true dignity and take to yourself our shared aspirations, for your glory, for ever and ever.'
I can hear the thought process of the author of the article now -- Oh, the horror! Love, tenderness, self-offering truthfulness, dignity -- what sort of sick, sick people came up with such a notion? Donít they know that sex is supposed to be a dirty, smutty, selfish solely for oneís pleasure?
But think about it Ė if one believes that sex is a beautiful thing that enables us to express love and cooperate in Godís creative work, why shouldnít we seek to sanctify it? Whatís wrong with seeking to make the physical union something truly spiritual?
Back during my seminary days, I had a wonderful older priest teaching a moral theology course that dealt with human sexuality. Here was a man who was celibate, talking about the ideal of sexual intercourse being something more than the rutting of a couple of animals. Moreover, he argued that the sort of spiritual union that the sexual aspect of conjugal love should engender should spill over into the rest of a coupleís life, so that ironing a shirt, cooking dinner, or taking out the garbage would be but one more expression of that conjugal love. It is an insight that has returned to me frequently in recent years, as I have come to see the act of pushing my wifeís wheelchair as every bit an act of self-giving and unifying love as our activities in the bedroom have ever been. And yes, I pray for my wife at those times, too, and offer up what I am doing for her as an act of love that I hope magnifies Godís love for us in our daily lives.
So for those who mock the idea contained in that prayer Ė I urge you to rethink your notion of love and sex, and to consider that they can and should be something more.
And it is much as I expected it to be -- full of platitudes and devoid of actual academic content.
And therein lies the problem for this teacher. It adds nothing to what, for my students, is the third week of school -- and detracts from what we ought to be doing in my classes.
Last month, my district gave me a rather detailed calendar of what I am supposed to be teaching and when. It maps out day by day what should be going on in my classroom. And do you know what? Nowhere does it include spending a class period listening to a speech unrelated to my subject matter. But in an already shortened week, I'm now expected to do that with each and every one of my classes -- and yet still be on target for the district-mandated test that is based upon that original calendar, and which is used to evaluate, in part, how effectively I am teaching my students.
Now don't get me wrong -- I don't object to the president speaking to students in our nation's schools. I would just prefer that it was a speech relevant to what is supposed to be going on in my classroom. Want an example? Several years ago, Senator Robert Byrd (D-KKK) pushed through an unfunded mandate that all schools teach about the Constitution on September 17. Wouldn't it have been wonderful if, instead of the presidential pep talk that the kids will get this week, students were instead given a lesson on the Constitution by a man who has, after all, taught Constitutional law? Imagine the opportunity for discussing different views of the Constitution, the role of the presidency, or individual liberties! I'm sorry to say it, but what we are getting instead is a missed opportunity for real learning.
Of course, there are a couple of other issues that have been at work here in creating the controversy about the speech. The first has to do with lesson plans, while the second has to do with protocol.
In regard to the first, let me just say that the initial inclusion of a lesson that required students to write letters about how they could "help the president", and the follow-up activity designed to "hold students accountable" for having done so, was absolutely ripe for controversy, regardless of the president. Imagine the howls if such a plan were sent out regarding George W. Bush rather than Barack Obama. There would have been howls of outrage over it -- and I would have agreed with those complaints.
Do I believe that someone at the White House created those plans? No, I don't, nor do I believe that they were vetted at that level, either. I think someone at the Department of Education simply missed the mark with what they were trying to do, and that others were tone deaf to the problem until it became a blogospheric controversy. But the reality is that, just as you cannot unring a bell, they could not undo the damage that had already been done with the lesson plan.
And then there is the other issue -- the move by the Department of Education to exclude school districts from the decision-making process by appealing directly to building principals to show the speech. That is simply improper, because school district officials -- whether the board or the superintendent -- are ultimately responsible for such decisions. One local school board president put it quite well in addressing Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, himself a former school superintendent, about that protocol violation.
I understand that your office sent a request to all of the school districts across the country, which was addressed to our principals that our students tune into an internet broadcast by President Obama next week. As the request was sent directly to our principals and not through the proper protocol of our administrators, you have created a state of confusion. You of all people should know you cannot allow that type of request to be distributed to our staff, without going through the proper channels.
As a former Superintendent, I am sure you realize that our curriculum is very stringent and deliberate. In addition, as a former superintendent, I am sure you realize that your request will only disrupt the lesson plans that have already been developed for that day. Finally, as a former superintendent, you must realize that your request appears to have some political ramifications.
He is, of course, exactly right in pointing out that this speech is a distraction and a disruption in every school and district in the country -- for those of us already long back in school, for those whose first day is September 8, and for those who will not have even returned to school on that date.
Will the speech be shown in my classroom? Yes, it will -- in each of my classes on Thursday. Our district won't let us all show it at the same time for fear of crashing the district servers if we all try to get it live (the speech is a webcast, not a television broadcast). I have a spot in my lesson plan where I can wedge the speech without too much disruption on Thursday, so we'll do it then. Other social studies teachers in the district will do it Wednesday or Friday, as best fits their schedules. But we all know that the bungling in Washington means we will have students whose parents opt them out of the showing of the speech -- an unfortunate yet understandable response to the mishandling of the entire matter in our nation's capital.
The above phrase has an honored place in Texas History. At Gonzales, Texas, 140 brave Texians challenged the Mexican Army when they came to take the town's cannon.
The phrase still resonates down here today -- not just in regards to our means of self-defense, but in regards to the essential liberties that belong to each and every American.
That's why I hope that someone at every congressional townhall meeting duplicates this effort -- it illustrates the point quite nicely.
Makes the point quite clearly, doesn't it? If you believe you have the right to take from some to provide for others, at least have the testicular fortitude to yank the money from the hands of those whose money you are out to grab through taxation. By that standard, Congressman Norman Dicks is no man.
This particular incident took place not far from my parents' home in Washington state, and the speaker lives in town next to where my parents live. I'm forwarding the link on to dad -- I'm sure he'll love it.
By the way, Keli Carender goes by Liberty Belle over at her blog, Redistributing Knowledge. I encourage you to check her out.
H/T Hot Air
And, sadly, of too many Republican politicians as well.
Remember -- the government can because we let it. The solution lies in OUR hands.
Saw this on a blog run by the Houston Chronicle today. I'd normally be offended, but for some reason I'm not in this case. Indeed, I find it thought provoking.
Pet-Loving Atheists will care for fido when you leave! .
I will reach your pets within 18-24 hours of the event (transportation infrastructure permitting) and bring them to live in our homes with us for the remainder of the pets' lives.
Pre-payment required, this rescue service only costs $110 per pet and expires in 10 years.
This is not a joke. If you truely believe in the Rapture don't leave you poor puppies unattended when you leave!
Contact Junior at BR549
Now here's my question -- assuming that the "Left Behind" model of the Rapture is accurate (indeed, assuming that the verses in Scripture giving rise to notions of the Rapture are intended literally and not metaphorically), should Christians plan for it? If so, how? Thoughts?
You know, one of the best things for anyone to do for a holiday is throw a party. After all, who doesn't love a party?
Really -- pick your theme and get started providing an exciting party for friends, family, and co-workers. Decide what will excite and stimulate you and your gests and then go for it. Want to celebrate the start of the football season? Go for it! Want to mark a holiday? That is great, too. And of course there are the life celebrations of birthdays, anniversaries, marriages, etc. Or maybe just have a party just because!
Now if you can find the right resources for your party, then everything about planing a party is simple. For example, you really ought to consider a call for party supplies from partysecret.com. Partysecret has all necessary party supplies for any event, and lot's of top quality inventory. Unlike other online party supplies companies, Partysecret is really good at offering party supplies which are for adults as well as those for children. Their balloons are made of quality materials and have a soft texture but hard to break. You can order in bulk and save even more from their already low prices.
Today is the day used around the civilized world to mark the greatest contribution of the pig to the world.
And in honor of this important cultural celebration, I'd like to offer up my favorite bacon related posting of all time.
Place Bacon Upon Him
Well, seems to me that now is the time to go fry up that pound of bacon in the fridge so that the wife and i can have a nice mid-morning brunch!
UPDATE: Mmmmmmmm! Good bacon.
It is called a contract. It defines the rights and obligations of parties. Unfortunately, this particular contract was not worth the paper it was written on.
The Texas Tomorrow Fund, faced with possible bankruptcy, is drastically cutting its payout on canceled contracts, angering many parents who signed up for the fund between 1996 and 2003.
The now-closed fund, later renamed the Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan, allowed parents to prepay for tuition at locked-in rates and promised that if a child died or received a full scholarship, parents could cancel the contract and receive a payout based on current tuition and fees at public universities.
Tuition is three times what it was 10 years ago, so the payout would mean a windfall for many families.
But last week, a letter went out saying that in case of canceled contracts, the state would reimburse only the amount parents paid into the fund, minus administrative fees of around $36 per year.
This isnít a little change Ė it means that those who were promised a return for their money will instead receive back less than they paid in. It means that the families of students who did well in school and qualified for scholarships get screwed. And it is totally unacceptable.
I generally donít have much use for HuffPo articles Ė other than to criticize them Ė but this one strikes just the right note on a topic near and dear to my heart.
The education sector bias (and related legal prohibitions) against investment by private companies is remarkable in contrast to other public delivery systems. Innovations in health care, energy production and transmission, and transportation are often the product of private investment in government requested, sponsored, or incentivized project. We don't mind if textbook publishers update versions, but hackles go up when private operators propose school management. Most of this is just disguised job protection; the rest is historical bias.
* * *
We send our kids to privately run hospitals, we travel over privately constructed roads, we buy power from private companies. Private sector investment and innovation should play a more important role in American education. Private companies have built-in incentives for speed, quality and scale. Visit Atlanta Prep or an NHA school if you want to see private capital providing a great service for less.
Bravo, Tom Vander Ark! Your point is spot on. And Iíll take it one step beyond Ė private sector companies as top-heavy with supervisors and executives as most school districts are with administrators would not survive a month. Private sector models and private sector operations would do more to eliminate wasteful bureaucracy than any government initiative I can imagine.
Seems that we have another case of Palin Derangement Syndrome shot down by the facts and the law.
An ethics complaint against a top aide of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has been dismissed as lacking merit.
The complaint was dismissed last week by Alaska's deputy attorney general, Craig Tillery. It alleged that former press secretary Bill McAllister worked on state time to benefit Palin's interest during and after her quest as the GOP vice presidential candidate.
A report from the state Department of Law recommending dismissal of the complaint concluded that no evidence was found that state ethics law was violated.
The grievance was among six filed against Palin or her staff by Anchorage resident Andree McLeod. Five have been dismissed, and one is pending.
Of course, the reality that the facts and the law donít support the charge donít matter to the moonbat who filed it. She calls the dismissal ďmore whitewashĒ. I call her comments another example of how the Left is best defined as the ďout-of-contact-with-reality communityĒ.
Dick Gephardt. Pat Schroeder. Martin Frost. William Ford.
Those were the Democrats quoted in the Washington Post as calling President George H. W. Bushís speech to American schoolchildren a partisan expenditure of government funds. Other Democrat lawmakers did as well. So letís look at what they objected to back in 1991.
Remarks to Students and Faculty at Alice Deal Junior High SchoolContinue to be enlightened while reading "But The Democrats Called This A Partisan Misuse of Government Funds" ¬Ľ
Thank you, Ms. Mostoller, and thanks for allowing me to visit your classroom to talk to you and all these students, and millions more in classrooms all across the country.
You know, long before I became President I was a parent. I remember the times that my kids came up with a really tough question or a difficult decision. I tried my best never to shut them down with a quick ``no.'' I would simply say those three magic words that made that problem disappear: ``Ask your Mother.'' [Laughter]
Let me tell you why I've made the trip up from the White House to Alice Deal Junior High. I'm not here to teach a lesson. You already have a very good teacher. I'm not here to tell you what to do or what to think. Maybe you're accustomed to adults talking about you and at you; well, today, I'm here to talk to you and challenge you. Education matters, and what you do today, and what you don't do can change your future.
Every day, we hear more bad news about our schools. Maybe you saw today's headline, I don't know if you had a chance to look at it, about the release of the new National Goals Report. Get the camera to come in and take a look at this for a moment. In math, for instance, this national report card shows that, nationwide, five of six eighth graders don't know the math they need to move up to the ninth grade.
In spite of troubling statistics like this one, I don't see this report, however, as just bad news, and I'll tell you why. This report tells us a lot about what you know and what you don't know. It gives us something to build on. It shows us our strengths and the weaknesses that we've go to correct. It sets forth a challenge to all of us: Work harder, learn more, revolutionize American education.
I know you've heard about stanines and percentiles, surveys and statistics, but here's what all that fancy talk really means: Education means the difference between a good future and a lousy one. Reports don't give us the right to make excuses. Our scores will tell us where we are and where we need to go.
I mentioned earlier the bad news we hear about schools today. But what we don't hear enough about are the success stories. You know, all over America, thousands of schools do succeed, even against tough odds, even against all odds. Kids from all over the District of Columbia petition to get into Alice Deal School here because parents know this school works. It works because of teachers like the one standing over here, Ms. Mostoller, who decided at the age of 25 -- maybe you all know this, but a lot of people around the country don't -- she decided at the age of 25 that she wanted to teach. She was standing in a supermarket checkout line when she saw a magazine ad about college. She went back to school, worked her way through in 7 years, waiting tables to pay tuition. She made it, and so can you.
This school here works because of students like the ones with me today, students like Rachel Rusch -- where's Rachel? Right there, okay -- a member of Alice Deal's award-winning ``Math Counts'' team. Rachel, you tell me if I'm wrong, but you and six other students in this class alone have taken part in the Johns Hopkins Talent Search. They took the college entrance exams on an experimental basis last year as seventh graders. Even in junior high, some of them scored well enough to get into college right now. So, let's just put it on the line. You've got the brains. Now, put them to work -- certainly, not for me, but for you.
Progress starts when we ask more of ourselves, our schools and, yes, you, our students. We made a start nationally now by setting six National Education Goals to meet the challenges of the 21st century. By the year 2000, at least 9 in every 10 students should graduate from high school. We should be first in the world in math and science. We need to regularly test student's abilities. Every American child should start school ready to learn; every American adult should be literate; and every American school should be safe and drug-free. Reaching those goals is the aim of a strategy that we call America 2000, a crusade for excellence in American education, school by school, community by community.
But what does all this mean, you might say, what is he doing, what does this all mean for the students right here in this room? Fast-forward -- 5 years from now. Unless things change, between now and 1996 as many as one in four of today's eighth graders will not graduate with their class. In some cities, the dropout rate is twice that high or higher. Imagine: Out of a total of nearly 3 million of your fellow classmates nationwide, an army of more than half a million dropouts.
I ask every student watching today: Look around you. Count four students. Start with yourself. No one dreams of becoming a dropout, but far too many do. Which one of you won't make it through school?
The fact is, every one of you can. Let's make a pact then right here. Let's work to see that 5 years from now, you and your friends will be more than sad statistics. Give yourself a decent shot at your dreams. Stay in school. Get that diploma.
Let's go back to the future. In the fall of 1996, 5 years from now, nearly half of today's eighth graders who get their diplomas will enter the working world. More than half the graduates will stay in school and become the college class of the year 2000.
The question each student watching today should ask is: Where will I be, where will I be 5 years from now? Will I be holding down a good job and maybe working toward a better one, or will I be out of school and out of work? Will I be on a college campus, or out running the streets?
Think about that tonight when you're at a kitchen table doing some homework; while your parents are meeting your teachers like so many millions do this year at back-to-school nights all across our great country.
I'm asking you to put two and two together: Make the connection between the homework you do tonight, the test you take tomorrow, and where you'll be 5, 15, even 50 years from now. You see, the real world doesn't begin somewhere else, some time way down there in the distant future. The real world starts right here. What you do here will have consequences for your whole lives.
Let me tell you something, many of you may find very hard to believe this. You're in control. You're thinking: How can the President say that about kids like us when we don't even have our driver's license? But think about it, and you'll see what I mean.
Think about drugs. You see films. You hear police experts and tough speakers from the outside. You get stern lectures from everyone: movie stars, athletes, teachers, parents, friends. But you know and I know that all the drug prevention programs, all the pledges, all the preaching in the world won't pull you through that critical moment when someone offers drugs. At that moment, everything comes down to you. Yes or no, you've got to choose, and the answer will change your life. Your parents won't make the decision. Your teachers won't make the decision. Your friends won't make the decision. It's up to you. It takes guts to take control.
A sound body and a sound mind, they go together, as my friend, and he is a friend, Arnold Schwarzenegger says. He's crossing the Nation talking with students about the importance of fitness. And real fitness means no drugs.
Studies show a decline in drug use, and that's good, that's encouraging, I think. And every student who draws the line against drugs really deserves credit for that. But drugs and violence continue to threaten every school, every small town and suburb in America. And as students, you have a right to be physically safe at school. You should never have to worry that a quarrel in the hallway will lead to gunfire in the playground. Fear should never follow you into the classroom.
If you have to take the long way home after school so you don't cross paths with the gang hanging on the corner, if outsiders roam the halls of your school hassling kids, hassling students, you must take control. Go to your teacher, or go to your principal, or go to your parents, as difficult as it may be, go to the school board if you have to. Demand discipline. If good people chicken out, bad people take control. Together, we can -- I really believe this -- we can drive the drugs and guns and senseless violence out of our schools.
When it comes to your own education, what I'm saying is take control. Don't say school is boring and blame it on your teachers. Make your teachers work hard. Tell them you want a first-class education. Tell them that you're here to learn.
Block out the kids who think it's not cool to be smart. I can't understand for the life of me what's so great about being stupid. If someone goofs off today, are they cool? Are they still cool years from now when they're stuck in a dead-end job? Don't let peer pressure stand between you and your dreams.
Take control -- challenge yourself. Only you know how hard you work. Maybe you can fake, maybe, just maybe you can fake your way into a job, but you won't keep it for long if you don't have the know-how to get the job done. Maybe you can cram the week before that marking period ends, and turn that C into a B. But you can't con your way past the SAT and into college. If you don't work hard, who gets hurt? If you cheat, who pays the price? If you cut corners, if you hunt for the easy A, who comes up short? Easy answer to that one: You do.
You're in control, but you are not alone. People want you to succeed. They want to help you succeed. Here at Deal, teachers like your outstanding teacher standing here with us today, Ms. Mostoller, from your principal, Mr. Moss, to your custodian, Mr. Francis. Right now in classrooms across this country, in the communities you call home, when things get tough, when answers are hard to come by, there's a teacher, a parent, a friend or family member ready to help you. They want to see you make it.
If you take school seriously, you won't have to settle for a job, just any job. You'll have a career. If you make it your business to learn, one day you'll be a better parent. You may not think about it now, but one day your children will want to look up at you and say, ``I've got the smartest Mom and Dad in the world.'' Don't disappoint them.
Let me leave you with a simple message: Every time you walk through that classroom door, make it your mission to get a good education. Don't do it just because your parents, or even the President, tells you. Do it for yourselves. Do it for your future. And while you're at it, help a little brother or sister to learn, or maybe even Mom or Dad. Let me know how you're doing. Write me a letter -- and I'm serious about this one -- write me a letter about ways you can help us achieve our goals. I think you know the address.
Now we're going to walk over to the school auditorium to say hello to the rest of the student body. To all the students across the country who watched us here in this great classroom today, may I simply say thank you and good luck to you this school year.
And now, Ms. Mostoller, if you'll kindly lead the way. Thank you all very much. Nice to be with you.
President Bush talked about staying in school, making good choices, and personal responsibility Ė and he got attacked for it. The Department of Education didnít issue teacherís guides suggesting that kids be encouraged to determine how they could ďhelp the presidentĒ or that they be later ďheld accountableĒ for carrying out their commitment. Those came from the Obama Regime in preparation for next weekís speech Ė but somehow expressions of concern about what looks like political organization and indoctrination is being declared illegitimate and unpatriotic (like all dissent in the Age of the False Messiah) Ė and maybe an attempt to encourage the assassination of the president. But then again, dissent ceased being patriotic at noon on January 20, 2009.
¬ę All done with "But The Democrats Called This A Partisan Misuse of Government Funds"?
Over at DelawareLiberal, my favorite liberal blog, there is an interesting post on folks not wanting their tax dollars to go for health care. The author, who goes by DelawareDem, somewhat correctly notes that not wanting oneís tax dollars to pay for something means you disagree with what the taxes are paying for. He then launches into a rant which I find revealing Ė and which shows his fundamental misunderstanding of what such opposition means.
Alright. Touche. Two can play this game.
I donít want my taxes paying for social security checks going to guys like him. Why should I my money support his welfare when he cares not for mine?
I donít want my taxes paying for his medicare.
I donít want my taxes paying for the upkeep and maintenance of the roads leading to his house. Fuck him. He can fix the potholes himself.
I donít want my taxes educating his children and grandchildren. If he is so smart, he can pay for private education or teach them himself.
I donít want my taxes to pay for the firetruck he may need when his house is burning down. Fuck him. Heís got a water hose, let him do it himself.
For that matter, he better never call the cops or 911. My taxes pay for that and I donít want to save his miserable ass from whatever trouble he is in. And he better never use the court system, or the Post Office. My taxes pay for those things too. And only people who I agree with can use the services provided for by my hard earned dollars.
That is what this is about.
We donít exclude political dissenters from government programs. Indeed, that would be highly inappropriate. Could you imagine the outrage if, for example, the Bush Administration had decreed that opponents of the Iraq War were ineligible for Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits? If regulations were put in place that declare that roads near their houses would be denied routine maintenance, their homes denied police and fire protection, and their children denied an education? If it had been made illegal for them to use the postal service, the internet, or the broadcast media? And moreover, that those opponents of the administration policy would be denied access to the courts to challenge these facially unconstitutional actions by the totalitarian regime that put them in place? There would have been an uprising by the Left Ė supported by the Right Ė to put an end to both the restrictions and the administration that authored it.
In the case of the various permutations of ObamaCare, there are several principled bases for opposing the proposal.
First, there is the issue of cost Ė based upon our experience with the nearly bankrupt Medicare system, can we as a nation sustain a program of universal health insurance run by the government? And if we cannot sustain such costs, isnít it implicit that cuts in funding will mean cuts in the care provided Ė which will bring with it the sort of problems we see today in Canada and the UK?
Second, there is the issue of form Ė is there a better way of ensuring better access to medical services than what has been proposed? Is more government Ė a lot more government, in fact Ė always the right answer?
Third, there is the issue of limited government Ė is it truly within the scope of a government supposedly limited by the Constitution to essentially take over one sixth of the economy? What of the issues of personal freedom and privacy that are intimately bound up with the adoption of such a system?
Fourth, there is the issue of permanence Ė once implemented, such programs become difficult to reform or repeal. In the case of Social Security, for example, it has become the third rail of American politics Ė untouchable because it would be impossible to close the program down without somehow funding it until current participants die because stripping those recipients of retirement benefits they have paid for their whole working lives would be unjust.
Fifth, there are those who simply disagree with the Obamunist premise that government funded health care is a right that the government is morally obligated to provide its people -- based upon competing philosophical notions of what constitutes a right.
And I could go on providing a host of logical, rational reasons for arguing that the sort of proposals that are being made Ė especially those with a ďpublic optionĒ that many on the Left are demanding Ė are simply wrong from a variety of perspectives. But notice that none of them are based upon the sort of selfish, ďscrew the other guyĒ mentality that DD ascribes to the bulk of opponents of ObamaCare. And indeed, most opponents of ObamaCare donít hold to such selfish motivations. He is battling a strawman of his own creation.
In short, opponents of ObamaCare are not particularly selfish Ė and certainly no more selfish than those who are demanding benefits funded by the earnings of the most wealthy and productive Americans. The opponents hold instead to a vision of America in which government is more limited in scope Ė one more in keeping with the philosophy of government that dominated this country for the first 15 decades following its independence and which was abandoned, most would argue unwisely, by those who propagated the New Deal and the Great Society welfare state schemes.
Frankly, I donít find this attitude to be particularly in keeping with Christianity.
Chris Broughton, the man who brought an assault rifle and a handgun to the Obama event in Arizona. . . , attended a fiery anti-Obama sermon the day before the event, in which Pastor Steven Anderson said he was going to "pray for Barack Obama to die and go to hell", Anderson confirmed to TPMmuckraker today.
Anderson also said Broughton had informed the pastor about his planned show of arms-bearing, but "he planned out the AR15 thing long before he heard that sermon," delivered Sunday August 16 at the fundamentalist Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, AZ.
In particular, I donít find Pastor Andersonís notion that it is proper to pray for the death of the President of the US (even one that I dislike) to be in keeping with the call to love oneís neighbor. Nor do I think that Broughtonís explication of his own position is any closer to a Christian world view.
But I am troubled by this particular bit of information.
Asked about pastor Steven Anderson and gun-toter Chris Broughton's repeated wishes for President Barack Obama to die, Special Agent Darrin Blackford of the Secret Service sends along this statement:
"We are aware of the situation and appropriate follow up will be conducted."
What, exactly, does that mean? Does that mean that Anderson be receiving visits from law enforcement Ė or be hauled in for questioning Ė over the contents of his prayers and sermons? Does that mean that we will be having law enforcement showing up at the church to monitor what is said there Ė or perhaps even undercover infiltration of the congregation?
Iím not necessarily saying that some of those are inappropriate Ė except that since 9/11 we have heard liberals and civil libertarians claim that such tactics are inappropriate for use against mosques. Yeah, thatís right -- inappropriate even though we have seen multiple terrorist cells organized out of mosques around the country since the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks in 2001.
If one pastorís prayers and sermons and one congregantís LEGAL activity can lead to such monitoring of a Christian congregation, shouldnít we be devoting significantly more resources against houses of worship of a faith that is, in part, at war with the United States? So come on, lefties -- are you prepared to stand up for the rights of those whose politics and religion you hate?
UPDATE: Since one of our local lefty bloggers/Democrat leaders has decided that he won't allow any refutation to this denial of the fact that Bush faced death threats from "patriotic dissenters" during his time in office, I'd like to link to this post to supply proof to the contrary. Not that it justifies Anderson and Broughton -- but it does point to how Democrats didn't find such "death rhetoric" to be all that big a deal during the Bush presidency.
The 47 million year old birdie, to be exact.
Birds, more than any other group of animals, are a celebration of color. They have evolved to every extreme of the spectrum, from the hot pink of flamingos to the shimmering blue of a peacockís neck. Yet, for decades, paleontologists who study extinct birds have had to use their imaginations to see the colors in the fossils. Several feather fossils have been unearthed over the years, but they have always been assumed to be colorless vestiges.
Now a team of scientists has discovered color-producing molecules that have survived for 47 million years in the fossil of a feather. By analyzing those molecules, the researchers have shown that they would have given a bird the kind of dark, iridescent sheen found on starlings and other living birds.
This new method may allow scientists not only to reconstruct ancient birds more accurately. Birds evolved from ground-running feathered dinosaurs, and now it may be possible to determine some of the colors on them as well.
I guess Iím a bit taken aback that folks seem surprised by this result. After all, such dark sheens are so common in the avian population, with the brighter varieties being less common. Why wouldnít that have been the ďbase templateĒ from which modern birds developed? But I suppose that future discoveries could show us that some early avians and proto-avians were more parrot or flamingo-like in their coloration Ė and would not be terribly shocked to find that to be the case. But at a minimum, this throws into question some of the brightly colored illustrations of early birds that were found in my books on dinosaurs back when I was a dino-crazy kid.
I grew up in a military family. Whatís more, I was blessed that my parents remained married through my childhood, and that they recently marked 48 years of marriage together (with every sign that these two healthy septuagenarians will make it to the half century mark in 2011). But I knew fellow military brats who faced divorce, and heard stories about the problems created by deployments, changes of duty stations, and other elements of military life.
Now I see a story like this one, and my heart aches.
During the 10 months she was deployed in Iraq, Leydi Mendoza, a 22-year-old specialist in the New Jersey National Guard, did everything she could think of to ease her longing for the year-old daughter she had left back home.
A picture taken on her baby Elizabethís first Christmas was tucked inside the camouflage patrol cap she wore while guarding prisoners at Camp Cropper in Baghdad. Several times a week, she would phone her former companion, Daniel Llares, who was caring for their daughter, aching as she heard her little girlís vocabulary grow from babble to phrases like ďI miss youĒ and ďI love you.Ē
And on the flight back in May, Specialist Mendoza fought back the guilt she felt about being half a world away for so many formative moments by telling herself that one day Elizabeth would be proud of her service.
But since her return, Mr. Llares has allowed Ms. Mendoza only a few brief visits with Elizabeth. Despite a written family care plan they had worked out with military officials outlining shared custody upon her return, Mr. Llares now believes it is too disruptive for the baby to spend more than a few hours at a time with ďa mother she doesnít really know or recognize that well,Ē said his lawyer, Amy Lefkowitz.
After months of arguments, an exchange of legal papers and a restraining order, Specialist Mendoza and Mr. Llares each are demanding full custody of Elizabeth, and are scheduled to appear at a court proceeding Tuesday to determine her fate.
ďMy daughter needs her mother,Ē Specialist Mendoza said in an interview last week at the National Guard Armory here in Teaneck. ďI left my daughter, and they told me that when I got back, sheíd be with me again. But now, itís like Iím on my own.Ē
We ask so much of our men and women in uniform. We ask so much of their families as well. Under no circumstance should military service or deployment be the basis for a permanent change of custody or the denial of adequate visitation by a non-custodial member of the armed forces. And given the failure of the states to adequately protect the rights of our men and women in uniform, and the reluctance of the military to assist them in fighting family court decisions that fly in the face of the family care plans developed before deployments, Congress must act. Just as federal law already protects the employment and educational rights of servicemembers and veterans, it now appears that these laws must be amended to protect something even more precious Ė their families and their relationships with their own children.
Well, here are the most recent results, containing some of the most notable pieces of commentary on the internet. Congratulations to the winners and the nominees.
Be sure to read them all!
Thatís the only conclusion that can be drawn regarding this incident that happened on Obamaís watch, now that Eric Holder is out to punish CIA employees and contractors who successfully kept America safe from terrorists.
Back in April, the U.S. government snatched Raymond Azar out of Afghanistan.
His waist, wrists and ankles were shackled, he was stripped naked and photographed, made to wear headphones, blindfolded, hooded and stuffed into an executive jet and flown to the United States. Azar says his eyeglasses were taken and he was left in an ice-cold room, denied food for 30 hours and told he might never see his wife and children again.
The FBI agent who was in charge denies that last accusation. And a representative for the Justice Department says Azar was kept in a comfortable chair in a comfortable room and offered blankets, food and water. As near as I can determine, Azar's other claims are undisputed.
So maybe you wonder what his offenses were. Did he have a hand in some horrific act of sectarian violence in Afghanistan? Was he part of a terror cell plotting to attack some American landmark?
Actually, Azar's crime was that he padded invoices and paid kickbacks.
According to published reports, Raymond Azar is a Lebanese man who worked for a Lebanese construction company with a multimillion-dollar Pentagon contract to do reconstruction work in Afghanistan. Recently, Azar pleaded guilty to paying an Army Corps of Engineers officer in exchange for the officer's approval of the inflated bills. He faces as much as five years behind bars.
In other words, a mere case of corrupt business practices is enough to permit the federal government to engage in rendition and what the Obama Administration defines as torture when applied against those who are trying to destroy America and kill Americans. Apparently financial crimes against the government are more important than national security concerns. Call it one more sign that it is amateur hour inside the Beltway.
It's another gobsmackingly stupid column from the last of the paleocons.
Heís back into his ďdonít pick on that nice Mr. HitlerĒ mode.
Hitler wanted to end the war in 1940, almost two years before the trains began to roll to the camps.
One problem with Patís analysis? He recounts the overtures for peace made by Hitler, but ignore the fact that Hitler had already broken every promise made by Germany Ė from the Treaty of Versailles to the pact with Chamberlain at Munich. And we know he later broke the Molotov-von Ribbentrop pact with Russia. One must ignore these historical facts to reach the conclusion that Hitler could have been trusted Ė and by 1939, where was the basis for trusting that Hitler would change his ways and become a force for peace?