May 31, 2010

Fred Thompson In Dallas On Thursday

I received this email earlier today. Given that I'll be giving finals that day, and Friday is a work day for us teachers, I won't be able to make it north to Dallas -- but if you are in Dallas or able to make the trip, please consider this to be useful information.

Hey Greg, I know you're down south a ways from Dallas, but just in case you have a bunch of readers or a blogger friend up in the DFW area who might be interested in hearing about it, Fred Thompson is going to be in Dallas on Thursday.

He's doing a book signing for his newly released memoirs, Teaching the Pig to Dance. I don't know if by chance you'll be in the area that day (stranger things have happened), but if you know anyone who'd be interested in going, I'm inviting bloggers to talk to Fred, and anyone else to show up and just enjoy the event.

So the details are:
Thursday, June 3rd @ 7pm
Borders bookstore at 10720 Preston Rd., #1018 (in Dallas)

Think you know anyone who would like to go? Perhaps some of your readers would be interested to know it's happening?

Somebodt let me know how the event goes, and I'll post any details you might be able to supply.

|| Greg, 04:09 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (277) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Memorial Day 2010

There is a special place in Heaven -- and in our hearts -- for those who have fallen.

|| Greg, 07:52 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 30, 2010

The Next Time You Hear About Immigration Discrimination Against Mexico

Make sure you tell the speaker that they are either ignorant or lying.

Take this data from 2006

Country Legal Immigrants Population Legal Immigrants per 100,000
Mexico 173,753 112,000,000 155.13
China 87,345 1,330,000,000 6.56
Philippines 74,607 100,000,000 74.60
India 61,369 1,173,000,000 5.23
Cuba 45,614 11,000,000 414.67
Colombia 43,151 44,000,000 98.07
Dominican Republic 38,069 10,000,000 380.69
El Salvador 31,783 6,000,000 529.72
Vietnam 30,695 90,000,000 34.11
Jamaica 24,976 3,000,000 832.53
South Korea 24,386 49,000,000 49.77
Guatemala 24,146 14,000,000 172.47
Other 606,370 3,889,000,000 15.59
Total 1,266,264 6,831,000,000 18.54

Now there are certainly some disparities in the number of "green cards" issued each year based upon the population of the immigrant's country of origin -- but it seems pretty clear that Mexican immigrants do get a high number of those documents. After all, compare the number issued to Mexicans with those issued to people from China -- Mexico gets twice as many as China does, and the disparity is even greater relative to India! Latin America and the Caribbean get many times their fair share of green cards relative to Asia, despite the relatively high educational levels found among populations of China, India, and the Philippines relative to the areas closer to our country. Seems to me that Asians should be in the streets protesting our nation's immigration laws, not Hispanics

|| Greg, 07:51 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Well, we had another week of fantastic submissions over at the Watcher of Weasels, and some interesting results after we on the Watcher's Council submitted our votes. I'd like to encourage you all to take a look at these fine recipients of votes this week.

Council Submissions

Non Council Submissions

|| Greg, 06:09 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 29, 2010

Obama Proposed Cutting Oil Spill Resources

SHHHHHH!!!!!!!! Incompetent President at work.

Three months before the massive BP oil spill erupted in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration proposed downsizing the Coast Guard national coordination center for oil spill responses, prompting its senior officers to warn that the agency's readiness for catastrophic events would be weakened.

So the next time Barack Obama has something to say about the need to "plug that hole", somebody needs to remind him of this and suggest that he plug his own

|| Greg, 06:36 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Bill Maher Claims Obama Not "Real Black President"

Come on, liberals -- would you people let this stand if this were to come out of the mouth of Rush Limbaugh or another conservative satirist?

"I thought when we elected a black president, we were going to get a black president. You know, this [BP oil spill] is where I want a real black president. I want him in a meeting with the BP CEOs, you know, where he lifts up his shirt where you can see the gun in his pants. That's (in black man voice) we've got a 'motherfu**ing problem here?' Shoot somebody in the foot."

So let's see -- is it acceptable to put out there that "real" black men are foul-mouthed, violent thugs? You complained about Rush Limbaugh using "Barack the Magic Negro" -- a satirical take on Al Sharpton and a column by a black LA Times writer -- so how can you let this significantly more offensive stuff by Bill Maher go? Is it hypocrisy, or racism -- or both?

|| Greg, 05:40 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 28, 2010

Michael Berry Speaks Stupidly

One reason I'm glad I just blog rather than doing talk radio is that I have the ability to self-censor before saying anything that i might regret later. That hasn't stopped me in every case. But at least I would never be goaded into saying something like this in a fit of pique.

A Houston talk show host this week called for the bombing of a mosque if it's built near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City.

In comments Wednesday on KPRC-950 AM, Michael Berry said, I'll tell you this if you do build a mosque, I hope somebody blows it up. Berry added: I hope the mosque isn't built, and if it is, I hope it's blown up, and I mean that.

The remarks came in an angry exchange with a caller who insulted Berry and said Muslims should be able to build mosques wherever they want. They were discussing a pending proposal to build an Islamic Center just a few blocks from the attack site in Manhattan.

I don't care how much some idiot ticks you off on the air -- saying something like that is wrong, and plays into the hands of liberals.

On the other hand, if AirAmerica's "assassination chic" commentary regarding George W. Bush during his presidency resulted in no firings and no loss of broadcast licenses, then this comment should be given a pass as well.

But let me say the following about the mosque in question.

1) I do not believe it should be built so close to the site of an Islam-inspired terrorist attack, and believe that any group that attempts to build a mosque so close to that site is being intentionally offensive. Those who would attempt to build a mosque just a stone's throw from Ground Zero are pigs

2) If this group of Muslim pigs decides to move ahead with the project, I believe that no government entity should act to prevent the completion of the project. No special legislation should be passed to block the project, no special application of zoning laws should be applied to stall it. No American patriot should engage in any act of violence to stop the building of the mosque -- though voicing one's outrage is appropriate.

3) If the mosque is built, its presences is an insult to America and the victims of Islam. However, it will also be a sign of the greatness of America and our nation's Constitution. After all, we allow dissent -- even evil and hateful dissent -- near those places that are most sacred in our eyes. Contrast that with the stifling of freedom in Muslim nations worldwide.

4) Ground Zero will always be a site that is revered by American patriots. Pilgrimages to the site will no doubt continue for as long as America endures. It is my belief that the mosque should be incorporated into such visits -- and that upon departure from the site of Islam's attack upon America, it is appropriate for visitors to pass by the mosque and expectorate reverently on the sidewalk in front of it.

You Muslims build at Ground Zero because you can.
I mock your false prophet because I can.

Robbie at Urban Grounds disagrees with me on the mosque and Berry's comments.
John at Bay Area Houston condemns Berry as a chickenhawk and praises terrorists for their bravery.

UPDATE: A related observation on a local liberal blogger's outrage.

|| Greg, 05:12 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (105) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

CNN Calls 103-Year-Old Woman "Nigga"

The network will, of course, get a pass on this one -- after all, they are reliably liberal. It would only have been a big deal if it had been done by Fox.

H/T RightWingNews

|| Greg, 04:34 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 27, 2010

Echoes Of I Am Not A Crook

Maybe it is just that Im old enough to remember that line when it was uttered nearly four decades ago.

"I can assure the public that nothing improper took place," the President just said of an alleged quid pro quo with Rep. Joe Sestak (D., Penn.). Obama said that an official administration response to the allegations of the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nominee is coming "shortly."

It seems to me that if there was nothing improper, there would not have been this ongoing effort to avoid disclosing what went on.

|| Greg, 06:25 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Yep Obamas Muslim Charm Offensive Sure Has Worked

It clearly has been seen as a sign of weakness by the jihadis.

Just weeks after the failed car bombing of New York's Times Square, the Department of Homeland Security says "the number and pace of attempted attacks against the United States over the past nine months have surpassed the number of attempts during any other previous one-year period." That grim assessment is contained in an unclassified DHS intelligence memo prepared for various law enforcement groups, which says terror groups are expected to try attacks inside the United States with "increased frequency." CNN obtained a copy of the document, dated May 21, which goes on to warn, "we have to operate under the premise that other operatives are in the country and could advance plotting with little or no warning."

Indeed, there has been an attack or an attempt every month since Obama took office and he is quickly approaching 50% of the number of attempts between 9/11 and the end of the Bush Administration. Could it be that the Islamists recognize him as an empty suit especially when his national security staff make comments like this one legitimating the deeds of the jihadis.

|| Greg, 06:24 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Arrest The Recipients

Thats my reaction to the announcement of this scholarship program at Santa Ana College in California. After all, accepting the scholarship is an admission of guilt.

Santa Ana College will dedicate a scholarship for illegal immigrant students in memory of 27-year-old immigration activist Tam Ngoc Tran of Garden Grove, who was killed in a crash involving a suspected drunken driver in Maine on May 15.

Particularly outrageous is this bit of information.

The scholarship would lack meaning if the student selected for the award were not taking the same path to citizenship as Tran, said Sara Lundquist, vice president of Student Affairs at Santa Ana. So, for example, an international student with a student visa will not qualify for this scholarship, she said.

In other words, those who follow the law and come to this country in a legal manner to further their educations are excluded eligibility. OUTRAGEOUS!

Im particularly outraged that this is a PUBLIC COMMUNITY COLLEGE awarding scholarship money (presumably from government funds) to someone on the basis of their lawbreaking. No word yet if the school will be establishing an OJ Simpson Scholarship for domestic batterers with strong academic potential, a Richard Ramirez Scholarship for serial killers with high GPAs or an Osama bin Laden Scholarship for aspiring terrorists who have demonstrated strong leadership skills.

|| Greg, 06:23 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Broder Libels GOP

By repeating the canard that the GOP opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In Kentucky, there's a parallel lesson about the folly of debating settled issues. Before passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the nation conducted a full-scale debate on the subject of private-sector discrimination. Lyndon Johnson and the Democrats won, and Barry Goldwater, the 1964 nominee who voted against the bill on constitutional grounds, and the Republicans lost.

Lets go back and look at the numbers again. In the House of Representatives, Republicans favored the bill 136 to 35, while 91 Democrats opposed the legislation. In the Senate, Republicans supported the bill 27 to 6, while there were 21 Democrats who voted to oppose the legislation. Among the Democrats voting against the legislation were Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia (who still serves in the US Senate and was chosen as president pro tempore of the Senate by the bodys Democrats), Sen. Al Gore Sr. of Tennessee (father of former Vice President Al Gore Jr.), and Senator William Fulbright (political mentor and patron of President Bill Clinton). In light of the numbers, and in light of the fact that the opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was overwhelmingly Democrat, how can Broder call the passage of the bill a loss for the GOP unless he is either an ignorant buffoon or a shameless, lying partisan hack?

|| Greg, 06:21 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Does This Qualify As Aid And Comfort To The Enemy?

Thanks, WaPo!

Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born imam linked to the Fort Hood shooting spree in Texas in November, the botched Christmas Day airliner bombing, and the failed Times Square bombing early this month, credited the Washington Post with tipping him off and allowing him to elude a U.S. airstrike in Yemen in December.

I realize that freedom of the press is accorded an incredibly high degree of respect in our system of government. That said, please realize that there comes a point when the irresponsible exercise of that right so assists Americas enemies and so falls outside of the protections found in the First Amendment and instead becomes subject to the provisions of Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution

|| Greg, 04:40 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

How Far Has Obama Reduced US In The Sight Of The World

Far enough that there are those who think that this demand from Swedish Leftists might be acceded to by the president.

Sweden will 'demand' that the United States closes all foreign military bases if the red-green opposition wins power.

The policy is contained is a joint document from the alliance of the Social Democratic, Green and Left parties. It states:

A red-green government will demand that the USA decommissions its nuclear weapons and military bases outside the countrys borders.

The policy document only mentions US bases, and does not call for Russia or EU allies France and Britain close bases outside their territory.

Given Obamas propensity to appease opponents of America in his effort to be loved, Im sure he will get right on that, US national security be damned. Oh, yeah -- and I bet he bows, too.

|| Greg, 04:33 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 26, 2010

Some Headlines Bring An Image To Mind

And this headline

Labrador wins Idaho primary upset

immediately cause me to imagine this.


For the record, this is State Rep. Raul Labrador and the rest of the Labrador family.


Check out his website and offer him your support.

|| Greg, 04:55 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 25, 2010

Good Assignment, Bad Timing Results In Teacher Suspension

As a teacher, I constantly hear about the need to be creative, to do more hands-on work and to make use of the various forms of media at our disposal to facilitate student learning. So when I see a teacher at the center of controversy over an attempt to do that, I get really concerned.

A Lumpkin County High School history teacher was placed on administrative leave after she allowed a group of students to don homemade Ku Klux Klan costumes during an assignment on the history of racism in the United States.

The actions of Catherine Ariemma were met with stern disapproval by superintendent Dewey Moye Monday afternoon.

"We cannot allow that type of judgement and will not sanction it even though they were studying a part of history," he said.

Ariemma, herself, said she made a mistake.

"Unfortunately, I made a bad call," she said. "It would have saved some hurt and some students would not have felt threatened if I had made a different call. I'm very sorry. It was never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable."

Why the robes? Because they were making a film about the history of racism, and they were including the KKK. Frankly, that seems like a reasonable assignment and an appropriate item to include in the film.

Now was there bad judgment? Yeah, there was the teacher walked the students, in costume, down a hallway past a cafeteria with a group of students in it. Someone should have been notified in advance, and a different route should have been considered. At most, a bit of counseling should have ensued. But instead, there has been a huge controversy.

Why? Because of what was clearly the overreaction of the hyper-sensitive and perpetually offended. One young hot-head tried to assault the robed students, and then apparently collapsed into a fit of hysterical weeping. His mama showed up at school, outraged and apparently unwilling to settle for a reasonable explanation and an apology for any offense caused, and instead had to involve the media and the local racial grievance-mongers. The lesson taught by the incident? Cry RAAAAACISM! and you can get whatever you want, even if there is no racial animus involved in the original incident. One would have hoped that responsible community leaders would have behaved responsibly in the face of this relatively insignificant non-incident.

|| Greg, 09:42 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

So Much For No Tax Increases For Those Below $250K

Not only are we going to get one, but it will be regressive in nature.

Responding to the massive BP oil spill, Congress is getting ready to quadruple -- to 32 cents a barrel -- a tax on oil used to help finance cleanups. The increase would raise nearly $11 billion over the next decade. The tax is levied on oil produced in the U.S. or imported from foreign countries. The revenue goes to a fund managed by the Coast Guard to help pay to clean up spills in waterways, such as the Gulf of Mexico.

Now you will not pay that tax directly but it will factor into every single gallon of gas you pump into your vehicle, and into the cost of heating and air conditioning your home. Thank you, Barry!

|| Greg, 09:28 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Axelrod Denies White House Wrongdoing Regarding Sestak Job Offer And Proves Need For Special Prosecutor

The arrogance of the Obamunists knows no bounds.

When the allegations were made, they were looked into. And there was no evidence of such a thing, Axelrod said on CNNs John King USA.

Axelrod acknowledged that if White House officials dangled a job in front of Rep. Joe Sestaks face to keep him away from challenging incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter, that would constitute a serious breach of the law.

Axelrod also acknowledged that there were conversations involving White House officials and Sestak, but said that those had been looked at by White House lawyers and their conclusion was that it was perfect the conversations were perfectly appropriate.

So the lawyer for those accused of wrong-doing has determined that the actions were legal, so there is no need for closer investigation by the authorities? Is that how it works under the Obama Regime? What a corrupt little process we have here, with no transparency.

Well, if we cannot get a special counsel, then the Ethics Committee will have to do.

After all, either Rep. Sestak is covering up a felony or he is lying about that felony. Either way, the public needs to know

|| Greg, 09:27 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

If You Need This Warning, You Are Frighteningly Stupid


Drug prevention advocates are warning Maryland police and schools to caution students against pouring vodka in their eyes as graduation and Beach Week approach.

"Younger teens who are the high school drinkers are the ones who are going to end up trying to do this," said Mike Gimbel, Baltimore County's drug "czar" for 30 years and now president of a substance abuse consulting firm in Maryland. "They are going to go to Ocean City, and some of these idiots are going to do it and make themselves blind."

"Vodka eyeballing" is a fairly new method of alcohol intake thrust into the national spotlight by a London tabloid. Hundreds of YouTube videos document the practice -- and every time, the "eyeballer" screams in pain when alcohol meets the eye, whether by way of a shot glass or straight from the bottle. Doctors warn that the practice can lead to blinding.

The stupid things someone will do to get a buzz.

|| Greg, 06:52 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Hopefully Cops Quit En Masse

After all, this new law could best be entitled The Police Officer Endangerment Act of 2010.

City cops are livid over a legislative proposal that could handcuff the brave officers involved in life-and-death confrontations every day -- requiring them to shoot gun-wielding suspects in the arm or leg rather than shoot to kill, The Post has learned.

The "minimum force" bill, which surfaced in the Assembly last week, seeks to amend the state penal codes' "justification" clause that allows an officer the right to kill a thug if he feels his life or someone else's is in imminent danger.

The bill -- drafted in the wake of Sean Bell's controversial police shooting death -- would force officers to use their weapons "with the intent to stop, rather than kill" a suspect. They would be mandated to "shoot a suspect in the arm or the leg."

Now lets look at this bill objectively. There is a reason that cops target the center mass. Not only is it the area that is most likely to stop an offender from further action, it is also the biggest target area. The legislature may as well require that cops try to shoot the gun out of the offenders hand rather than try to wound them at all.

So what will happen when that guy with a gun gets hit in the leg? Most likely, hell hold on to his weapon and continue firing at the officers! The result will be more dead and wounded cops oh, yeah, and bystanders, too, since a bullet aimed at an extremity is more likely to miss and therefore go astray, hitting an innocent target. But hey at least the ACLU, NAACP, LULAC, and the rest of the alphabet soup of organizations more concerned about the rights of public enemies than they are about the safety of public servants and the citizenry at large will have been appeased.

|| Greg, 06:51 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Religion Of Peace? Really?


Every year in New York, there is a "Salute to Israel" Parade marking the independence of America's closest ally in the Middle East. Some members of the Muslim community turned out to add their sentiments. I wish I was surprised by the contribution they made.

Support for the completion of the "Final Solution". Explicit declarations that every Israeli is a legitimate target for jihadi murder. What a pity that our nation's media has been too busy highlighting answers to hypothetical questions about 46-year-old legislation instead of displays like this one not far from Ground Zero, otherwise we folks might become confused and think that Muslims, not the Tea Party and other conservatives who love America, are the real enemies of peace and stability in the world.

|| Greg, 04:20 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 24, 2010

Whats An Obama Ally To Do When Muslim Illegal Aliens Are Arrested On Terrorism Charges In His State?

Have the cops start turning in illegal aliens? Order surveillance of mosques and other Islamic institutions to prevent terrorism?


In his largest meeting with Boston-area Muslims, Gov. Deval Patrick agreed yesterday to take aim at ensuring their rights and addressing racial profiling.

The session came little more than a week after two Bay State Muslims were arrested in a raid following an attempted car bombing in Times Square in New York.

More than 1,100 Muslims attended the forum at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center and Mosque in Roxbury, where Patrick was given one minute to answer yes or no to seven questions, including whether he would:

Have law enforcement agency heads and others meet with Muslims to discuss the need for cultural awareness training.

Designate a liaison to the Muslim community.

Urge the public and private sectors to accommodate Muslims religious obligation to attend Friday afternoon prayers.

Its good to know that Deval Patrick and the rest of the Obamunists know who our real enemy is the Republicans, Tea Partiers, and other Obama opponents, not those poor put-upon Muslims whose faith is looked down upon by many Americans merely because it keeps producing more and more terrorists who attack the United States and its people.

|| Greg, 03:59 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Jeremy Irons Too Many People On Earth

So says the actor.

One always returns to the fact that there are just too many of us, the population continues to rise and its unsustainable, he said in an interview with The Sunday Times.

So, Jeremy you think that there are too many people on the planet? Then dont you have an obligation to act to help solve the problem? Take personal responsibility, and at the next family dinner spike the entire meal with poison so that you, your spouse, your kids, and the rest of the clan are eliminated from among the surplus population in order to make life on the planet more sustainable.

|| Greg, 03:55 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

WaPo Hack Denies Bush Election

Some folks just cant get over losing an election according to the terms of the US Constitution. Washington Post media critic Tom Shales is one of those, as witnessed by this line.

The change in attitude must have something to do with the fact that at various points -- from the ridiculousness of the "dangling chads" and the alleged election of George W. Bush, to the unspeakable nightmarishness of Sept. 11, 2001 -- truth did, indeed, turn stranger than fiction.

Excuse me, Tom, but George W. Bush was legitimately elected President of the United States, securing his victory by winning the electoral votes of the state of Florida something confirmed by every subsequent study of the ballots. Indeed, the alleged election of George W. Bush has more publicly available evidence to support it that than does the alleged birth of Barack Hussein Obama in the state of Hawaii. If you accept the latter (and I do), then you certainly must accept the former.

|| Greg, 03:54 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 23, 2010

Doesn't This REEK Of Corruption?

High-ranking Obama Regime official travels abroad on a family trip, gets his bills paid by the government of the country where he is traveling!

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and his family dined on seafood at an Eilat restaurant and left the bill for the Israeli Tourism Ministry, according to reports in Israeli media. The report was met with consternation by MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari of the National Union, who wants the bill sent back to Emanuel.

Emanuel is in Israel on a private visit with his parents, his wife, his children and other family members, to make preparations for his sons upcoming Bar Mitzvah. Upon arrival in Israel Friday, the Emanuels headed for Eilat, where they dined on seafood at a restaurant. After the (unkosher) meal, which included cheviche (citrus marinaded seafood), calamari (fried squid), various fish, salads and hamburgers, the bill was handed over to a Ministry of Tourism representative who accompanied the Emanuels.

I don't begrudge the family their trip abroad for an important religious celebration in their son's life. Indeed, i honor them for it. However, Rahm Emanuel ought to pay his own damn bills like every other American, not use his official position to get special personal favors from the Israeli government that would not be available to average Americans who are not White House Chief of Staff.

Anybody aware of relevant federal law and/or ethics regulations that would apply in this situation? This certainly cannot be legal.

H/T Gateway Pundit

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

Kick-Ass Political Ad Of The Week

Wow! You have got to see this one.

R.S. McCain quotes a friend from Twitter -- I dont know whats in the Alabama water but they need to bottle it and pass it to the rest of the us.

|| Greg, 09:00 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Well, it was an incredible week on the Council. Rob over at JoshuaPundit submitted his post on the genocidal student at UCSD, as did I. The result? We took the first and second place, with me receiving enough votes -- virtually any other week. Rob received what I believe is the highest vote total of any winning post I can remember during my extended time on the Council for an extraordinary piece that I knew would win the first time I read it. Be sure to read it -- and the rest of the posts as well. There are some great bits of writing and insight for you to consider among the vote-getters this week.

Council Submissions

Non-Council Submissions

|| Greg, 07:56 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 22, 2010

Republican Charles Djou Wins Hawaii Special Election!

The results are in -- another Republican pickup, this one in the state where Barack Obama was born.

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) Republican Charles Djou won the special election for Hawaii's First Congressional District. The Honolulu City Councilmember grabbed 39% of the vote. State Senate president Colleen Hanabusa came in second with 30% of the vote. Former US Representative Ed Case came in third, gathering 27% the vote.

With 00% of the ballots counted, the results were as follows.

Charles Djou 39.0%

Colleen Hanabusa 30.8%

Ed Case 27.6%

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

A Note To Those Objecting To The New Texas Social Studies Standards

Now I will be among the first to say there are some elements of the new standards adopted by the SBOE down here in Texas, but those objecting to the phrase "Atlantic Trangular Trade instead of "slave trade" are ignoring the totality of the evil business of enslaving human beings from Africa.

And lest they claim that the term "Triangular Trade" or "Triangle Trade" is somehow an effort to disguise the evil , consider that the term more accurately describes the entire economic cycle and has been in use for a very long time -- indeed that is the very terminology I learned in both high school and college.

Want another example of its use? Try this theatrical use that goes back about four decades.


Note the concluding verse of this number from the musical 1776:

Molasses to rum to slaves Who sail the ships back to Boston Ladened with gold, see it gleam Whose fortunes are made in the triangle trade Hail slavery, the New England dream! Mr. Adams, I give you a toast: Hail Boston! Hail Charleston! Who stinketh the most?

By the way -- the curriculum finally adopted uses the term "trans-Atlantic slave trade." You might want to quit using the press releases from liberal groups that failed to note that change. Better yet, quit using the press releases from liberal groups at all, and actually do a little investigation on your own.

I'll write more on the topic of the new standards soon -- but in the interim, I have more important matters to concern myself with, due to family medical concerns.

|| Greg, 04:50 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 21, 2010

Have You Read It?

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

Dont Rats Abandon A Sinking Ship?


Then again, I like Don Surber's take on this picture, too -- SPOT THE RODENT

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

Delay The Kagan Hearings!

After all, the materials necessary for full vetting and consideration of the nominee will not be available in time for the confirmation hearings hastily scheduled for June.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday set June 28 as the start date for hearings on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, and asked the Clinton presidential library to turn over voluminous documents related to Kagan's time as a top presidential assistant in the 1990s.

But Terri Garner, director of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, said in an interview Wednesday that it would be "very difficult" for her facility to meet the deadline. She said the records request is overly broad and "too general in scope" and that, under the Presidential Records Act, attorneys for both Clinton and President Obama have the right to read and review each document before it is released to the committee.

"There are just too many things here," she said. "These are legal documents and they are presidential records, and they have to be read by an archivist and vetted for any legal restrictions. And they have to be read line by line."

Frankly, the confirmation hearings can wait for all the material to be supplied by the Clinton Library. This is, after all, a lifetime appointment to our nations top court. If evidence of unfitness comes to light after a confirmation vote is taken, it cannot be undone. So in the interest of full disclosure and proper deliberation as a part of the confirmation process, the hearings and any confirmation vote must wait upon the release of all documents.

|| Greg, 04:28 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Mexican Drug Pirates In Texas

This is utterly unbelievable or would be if we had an American president who was more concerned with protecting Americans than he is with limiting their liberty and protecting border-jumpers.

With machine-guns in hand, Mexico's deadliest cartel is patrolling the waters of a Texas border lake. These pirates have already ambushed three, possibly four boats, operating with virtual impunity as they make off with cash and electronics. It's happening on Falcon Lake in Zapata, 200 yards from the Mexican border

Too bad that Obama is so unconcerned with our safety that he cant be bothered to insist that Mexicos President Cabrn keep his narco-terrorists on his side of the border or face the full force of the American military. Instead, hell surely insist that those thugs not face racial profiling or demands that they prove their citizenship after they are apprehended and likely object to Texas doing anything to stop their rampage.

|| Greg, 04:10 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Why Rand Paul Is, In A Sense, Both Right And More Principled Than Those Disagreeing With Him

I didnt support Rand Pauls candidacy for Senate. And folks know I was not a supporter of his father, Ron Paul Ive opposed both his presidential and congressional candidacies. So when I say a few words in Rand Pauls defense on this issue, please realize that I am not a part of his Amen Corner. So when I say that there is something admirable about this statement and that I am more or less in agreement with it regarding the proper scope of government power, rest assured that it isn't coming from one of the PaulBots or Ronulans from daddy's 2008 campaign.

Interviewer: But under your philosophy, it would be OK for Dr. King not to be served at the counter at Woolworths?

Paul: I would not go to that Woolworths, and I would stand up in my community and say that it is abhorrent, um, but, the hard part--and this is the hard part about believing in freedom--is, if you believe in the First Amendment, for example--you have too, for example, most good defenders of the First Amendment will believe in abhorrent groups standing up and saying awful things. . . . It's the same way with other behaviors. In a free society, we will tolerate boorish people, who have abhorrent behavior.

Now lets break this down, because I think what he is saying and/or implying is important.

  1. Racism and discrimination are repellant, abhorrent, and immoral.
  2. Freedom, properly understood, includes the freedom to do the repellant, abhorrent, and immoral, not to mention the unpopular.
  3. Absent a compelling need to limit freedom, government ought not do so.
  4. While the repellant, abhorrent, and immoral should be tolerated by government, private action may serve to punish such behavior through the combined action of individuals.

Frankly, I agree with these propositions on a philosophical level. In an ideal world, I think that there should be no laws or regulations banning discrimination in private sector business transactions or employment. The market place will deal with it harshly if it is economically or socially unacceptable and if society as a whole does not reject such discrimination, it is not the place of government to impose the value of non-discrimination upon an unwilling society.

That said, let me make three caveats.

First, discrimination by government is ALWAYS inappropriate, and must ALWAYS be banned.

Second, were discrimination would cause a serious and irremediable charm, it must be banned. An obvious example of this would be the providing of medical care, especially in emergency situations.

Third, there are situations where the government must intervene and I believe the 1964 Civil Rights Act is a perfect example. Given that so much of the racial discrimination that existed at that time was the direct result of government action in particular of laws that had imposed separate-but-equal as the law of the land government action to undo the results of those laws was a moral necessity. That said, it is to be hoped that at some point such laws will be unnecessary

Now before someone accuses me of supporting segregation let me be clear I do not. On the other hand, I am not always opposed to discrimination, and think that there are times when it might be affirmed as acceptable if voluntarily practiced in the private sector. For example, why should the law prohibit a newspaper of magazine that caters to the gay community from hiring only gay employees? Why should the government tell an African-American businessman that he cannot give preference to other members of his race? And, to use an example that we have seen again and again, what government interest is served by telling a business owner that she cannot accept or reject jobs for her photography, printing, or catering business based upon her religious principles? Businesses which do such things will prosper or suffer based upon the reaction of the public to their choices either there is a niche for them or there is not. Shouldnt believers in freedom be willing to allow for their existence in the name of providing greater liberty to every individual in society?

And that latter issue is where I find Rand Paul to be more principled than many of his critics. They often wrap themselves in the mantle of defenders of liberty, but then demand that actions and choices they disagree with be banned. Rand Paul offers a vision of a society in which people are more free and government is less intrusive. If he is extreme in that vision, is that truly a bad thing?

UPDATE -- A couple of posts on the Volokh Conspiracy make my points in much more academic language than I do, with more reference to the law and founding principles. So does this article.

|| Greg, 04:06 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

ICE Head -- We Don't Enforce Law When Violators Handed To Us On A Silver Platter

No wonder we have so many illegals in this country -- ICE is not interested in taking action on ones they have dead to rights.

The mother of a Maryland second-grader who questioned First Lady Michelle Obama about the Obama administration's immigration policy will not be deported, federal officials said Thursday.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement will not take action against the mother, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

ICE is a federal law enforcement agency that focuses on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes criminal aliens who pose a threat to our communities," spokesman Matthew Chandler said in an e-mail. "Our investigations are based on solid law enforcement work and not classroom Q and As.

However, when you have CONCRETE INFORMATION on someone who is in violating the law, a LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY ought to take action on that information.

But why should we surprised. This same agency has already announced its refusal to take other illegal aliens identified as being in the country illegally by other law enforcement agencies.

Just a little more proof that we are being governed by a truly lawless regime which needs to be rooted out by the American people. And when we are done, we need public trials for the President, Vice President, and every Obama appointee, followed by long jail terms for their manifest corruption.

|| Greg, 04:33 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 20, 2010

We Will Draw Muhammad!


Because we can.

Indeed, because we must.

Freedom of speech, press, and religion demand we do so.

And so I make my personal contribution to the cause of freedom.


No, we will not submit to those who demand we conform our lives to the dictates of Islam or face death for daring to resist such conformity.
We will be free men and women, not dhimmis.

This post will remain at the top of the blog all day on May 20, 2010. Scroll down for newer posts.

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

Shameful! Congress Allows Attack On An American State In Address By A Foreign Leader

From time to time, our Congress honors a worthy foreign leader by allowing him or her to address both houses of the legislative Branch in a joint session. Unfortunately, an unworthy leader from a third-rate narco-terrorist dominated contry which constantly violates American sovereignty was permitted to do so today and in doing so he launched an attack upon one of the 50 sovereign states that makes up our federal union.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Thursday strongly denounced Arizona's new law clamping down on illegal immigrants and urged members of Congress to pass "comprehensive immigration reform."

In the first address to Congress by a foreign national leader this year, Calderon delivered a message that the two countries must cooperate to improve security along the often-violent border and control the flow of immigrants into the United States.

* * *

In his remarks Thursday, Calderon said he is "convinced comprehensive immigration reform is crucial to securing our border."

"But I strongly disagree with the recently adopted law in Arizona," he said. "It's a law that not only ignores reality, but also introduces racial profiling as a basis for law enforcement."

El Pendejo Grande has used his visit to insult the American people and the laws supported by the overwhelming majority of them. Now he has done so again, in the very halls of our nations government. An appropriate response would have been for the Congressional leadership to cut his microphone and direct him to depart from our country immediately. Barring that, pro-American legislators ought to have walked out of the speech en masse, leaving only the quislings and appeasers behind. Having done neither, the appropriate response now needs to be a significant reduction in foreign aid to the bad neighbor on our southern border.

Here's the video of the Democrats giving aid and comfort to Calderon when he launched an attack upon Arizona and the democratic process as it played out there.

|| Greg, 08:23 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Testing Outrage

One of the gripes that many of us involved in public education have is the over-emphasis of standardized testing. For too many principals, superintendents, and school boards, the test has become the only thing that matters. So why should we be surprised by this?

The mother scheduled a Wednesday morning doctor's appointment for her daughter.

Come Wednesday morning, the fourth-grader was taking a Standards of Learning exam.

The mother came to pick up her daughter.

The principal said no.

* * *

When she arrived at Truitt Intermediate School to collect her, she said, she was told Alexis was in testing.

When she asked school officials to let Alexis make up the test, Martin said Principal Diane Watkins told her she could not. She said Watkins told her that her policy was that the classroom could not be disrupted during testing.
Martin insisted.

Watkins stood her ground - even when Martin called police.
Martin said she felt hysterical.

"She's not even mine right now, I have no control, no say," she remembered thinking. "I had absolutely no rights to her at that moment."

After being held hostage by Principal Watkins for 90 minutes, Alexis Martin was finally released.

The school district admits that Watkins violated district policy but indicates that there will be no disciplinary taken against her for the unlawfully interfering with a parent exercising her rights to withdraw a child from school in order to seek medical care.

My question is this why wasnt there an arrest, and why have there been no criminal charges brought? Absent a court order to deprive a parent of custody, the school has NO LEGAL AUTHORITY to interfere with a parent retrieving his/her child from the school.

|| Greg, 07:35 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 19, 2010

Harris County GOP East Side Office Announced

Even as the Harris County Democrats' most violence-prone, hate-mongering, law-breaking blogger posted an unsourced hit piece attacking Harris County Republicans as haters of Hispanics (based upon one equally unsourced quote from one candidate)who view them as freeloaders, this announcement that really reflects the Harris County GOP's commitment to reach out to the Hispanic population of Harris County.

Dear Republican friends,

I am pleased to announce the Grand Opening of our East Side office. The office is located at 619 Broadway St (map). This office will serve as a hub for outreach activities, including ESL classes, small business seminars, citizenship classes, campaign coordination activities and other Party events focused on sharing our message of Conservative values with the East side of Harris County. The Grand Opening celebration will take place on Monday, May 24 at 2:45 pm. Food, drinks, and music will be provided. Numerous elected officials and candidates will be in attendance. I look forward to seeing you on May 24th.

Jared Woodfill
Chairman, Harris County Republican Party

I'd simply like to offer my support to this effort, which has been some time in preparation and planning. And to all residents of the East Side, including the many Hispanic members of the community, I extend my personal welcome to the event.

|| Greg, 06:31 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Ill Gladly Condemn This

And Ill gladly call it terrorism.

FBI officials in Jacksonville, Fla., say they have found the remnants of a pipe bomb used in a possible hate crime at a mosque during evening prayers.

Along with local police, the FBI launched an investigation after an explosion shook the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida at 9:35 p.m. Monday, when approximately 60 people were inside praying. No one was injured.

Two thoughts.

1) Where was the MSM in reporting this story? Why have we not heard about it until now?

2) Whoever did this is no different than Major Hassan, Faisal Shahzad, and the 9/11 attackers. The individual or individuals involved attacked America and its freedoms every bit as surely as those despicable individuals did, and deserve equal opprobrium.

Ive got serious issues with Islam Ive never made any secret of that, and will continue to criticize that faith here and in other spaces in the future. But American values require that we tolerate the right of Muslims to worship freely and to live securely, so long as they follow our nations laws. That isnt merely an aspiration that is a requirement of the United States Constitution.

Now you will notice that I have not tried to place blame on any particular group with out evidence. I don't know who committed this act of terrorism, or why. Was it the sort by someone who hates Islam? Was it a fake attack designed to garner sympathy, as we have seen elsewhere? If the authorities know the answer, they are not saying.

But there is one other issue that crosses my mind. Already, there have been plenty of attempts by those on the left and Muslim groups to place the blame on "anti-Muslim" "right-wingers. Am I correct in presuming that they will continue to cite this as "right-wing terrorism" despite any evidence of who was guilty (as they did when Shahzad committed his act of terrorism in New York). Will they make the similar claim that a similar attack on Sara Palin's home church in Alaska was "left-wing terrorism", or will they apply a different standard there -- remaining silent as they have since the event happened? Since they are already tossing out charges of hypocrisy against the press and most Americans, I'm just pointing out their own hypocritical stance.

|| Greg, 05:30 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

About PA-12

Unfortunately, Tim Burns lost to Mark Critz in the special election to fill Jack Murhtas congressional seat. Many folks are taking that to be a sign that maybe 2010 is not going to be as good a year as conservatives and Republicans expect. I think they are wrong for a number of reasons.

Why? Because there are signs that the results of the special election might not be indicative of what will happen in the district in the fall.

First, look at the numbers. There were 77,410 votes cast in the Democratic primary, but only 43,614 in the Republican primary. Right there you have a statistical advantage for the Democrats. Why the difference? Seriously contested senatorial and gubernatorial contests on the Democrat ballot, but essentially uncontested races on the Republican side. The result was a bias towards Democrat voters in a district where registration runs 2-to-1 in favor of the Democrats.

Second, look at the GOP primary race for the same seat on the fall ballot. That was contested, and it strikes me that there may have been supporters of Burns opponent who chose to not cast a ballot for Burns in the special. The number of undervotes therefore needs to be considered.

Third, Critz ran right, essentially telling his voters that he was going to vote against the Democrat majority in Congress. When and if he begins voting like Murtha, Critz is likely to loose the popular support he had in the primary.

Frankly, Ive never believed in the 100 seat GOP pickup suggested by some. But I do believe this seat is winnable by the Republicans in November, and that the GOP is likely to gain a majority in the House.

|| Greg, 04:55 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Another Obama Regime Demand For Papers -- And Proof Of Citizenship!

The Obama Regime is checking papers if you want to attend your own high school graduation in Kalamazoo, where Barack Obama is giving the graduation address!

The White House appears to be laying the groundwork for President Barack Obama to shake the hand of each senior at Kalamazoo Central High Schools commencement ceremony next month.

Seniors are being asked to provide their birthdates, Social Security numbers and citizen status to the Secret Service so background checks could be performed. Such a check is required for anyone who gets within an arms length of the president, students were told at their senior breakfast Friday.

When will the affront of paper-checking by the Obama regime come to an end? After all, if checking suspected criminals with cause is a civil rights violation, the surely doing so just because Barry Hussein is one's graduation speaker is even more so. Especially since we still cannot get Barack Obama to definitively resolve the questions some folks have about his citizenship because of his refusal to authorize the release of the original "vault version" of his birth certificate rather than a computer generated copy.

And this does raise a question -- what will happen to any senior at Kalamazoo Central High School whose background check determines that he or she is illegally in the United States? To the parents of one of the graduates whose illegal status is discovered? Will they be detained and deported? Or is it the intent of the Obama Regime to refuse to enforce federal law in such a case?

And will Mexican Predidente Felipe Calderon raise this human rights abuse at Wednesday's state dinner in his honor, where the White House will also be unconsionably "checking papers" of attendees?

|| Greg, 04:36 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 18, 2010

Of All The Stupid Examples!


Why on earth would any individual even consider using this example in a math class?

A Jefferson County teacher picked the wrong example when he used assassinating President Barack Obama as a way to teach angles to his geometry students.

Someone alerted authorities and the Corner High School math teacher was questioned by the Secret Service, but was not taken into custody or charged with any crime.

* * *

The teacher was apparently teaching his geometry students about parallel lines and angles, officials said. He used the example of where to stand and aim if shooting Obama.

"He was talking about angles and said, 'If you're in this building, you would need to take this angle to shoot the president,' " said Joseph Brown, a senior in the geometry class.

Im just stunned beyond belief. While I get where the teacher was headed, using the president as the target was beyond the pale. I could see taking out a terrorist or a hostage taker in an example, but to make the sitting president the target indicates seriously bad judgment. Utterly shameful and unacceptable.

|| Greg, 04:35 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Media Finally Notices GOPs Minority Renaissance

Next January could see the most diverse incoming class of congresspeople in history due to GOP victories.

The liberal news service Alternet recently reported there are 32 black Republicans running for Congress (the current Congress has zero black Republicans). Add in other minority candidates, and the party could be on the cusp of electing the most ethnically diverse freshman class in history.

"There is nothing more imperative than for our party to accelerate our efforts to cast a wider net and attract minority candidates to the GOP," said GOPAC Chairman Frank Donatelli, who previously served as deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee. "In an increasingly diverse country, Republicans need to seek out the best and brightest whatever their background. The long-term Republican future depends on this effort."

* * *

While there are dozens of African-American GOP congressional candidates this year, The Huffington Post recently cited the viability of six in particular: David Castillo (Wash.-3), Bill Hardiman (Mich.-3), Lou Huddleston (N.C.-8), Les Phillip (Ala.-5), Allen West (Fla.-22), and Angela McGlowan (Miss.-1). Ryan Frazier (Colo.-7) is viewed by the NRCC as another strong candidate.

* * *

Aside from African-American candidates, Republicans also have top Asian-American recruits such as Charles Djou (Hawaii-1), who is ethnically Chinese, and California Assemblyman Van Tran (Calif.-47).

And the GOP also boasts some top-tier Hispanic candidates running for the House, including David Rivera (Fla.-25), Jon Barela (N.M.-1), Francisco Canseco (Texas-23), and Jaime Herrera (who is running against Castillo in Washington state). This phenomenon even transcends federal races. In New Mexico, for example, Republican voters could well nominate gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez.

Some of this development is based upon intentional grooming of minority candidates, but much of it is organic, with individuals stepping forward to run without the encouragement of the party hierarchy. Some, particularly Allen West, are individuals who have become conservative icons prior to seeking office. But regardless of the pedigree of the candidates, there should be much more of a rainbow look to the Congressional GOP next January.

|| Greg, 04:29 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Voices Not Often Heard In The Media

Because, after all, letting them be heard makes it necessary to rethink the debate on Arizonas SB 1070.

Glenda Urmacher read Saturday's column while her husband was off at the synagogue. She's a daughter of immigrants. Her mother's family arrived here speaking Spanish, worked in garment factories during the Depression and went to school nights and weekends to learn English.

She has no patience with newcomers whose allegiance is to the nations they left. "We need orderly borders," she said. "Citizens that want to immigrate here to build an American life, based on American values."

Nor does Bernadette Marie Sneed, whose grandparents came to East Los Angeles from the Mexican states of Zacatecas and Chihuahua.

"Not once did they ever, ever raise the Mexican flag over the flag of the United States," she wrote. "Not once did they complain when faced with racism or discrimination, but went on solidly, working, making friends & by example, destroying prejudice."

The Latinos I heard from, in fact, were largely supportive of the intent, if not the tactics, of the Arizona measure.

"I'm not conflicted. I support Arizona," wrote Chris, a "dark-skinned Mexican" who speaks Spanish and lives in South Los Angeles. "Why is it that if you're successful in crossing the border illegally then that means that we have the obligation to grant you amnesty?

"This is about law breakers not civil rights or discrimination," he wrote."Practically the whole world wants a better life. Should we let them all in?"

Ive supported 1070 in my writings here but that does not mean I like it. Ive advocated its adoption by Texas, but that does not mean that I consider it to be anything better than a bunt instrument being used to deal with a problem created by the not-so-benign neglect of our borders by the federal government. The law does little more than codify on a state level that which already exists on the national level.

The solution isnt and cannot be amnesty of any sort. Or if it is, that must come later, after the borders are secured and the flow of illegals is stopped. Oddly enough, that puts me in the same place as many legal Hispanics on the issue. After all, this is ultimately not about hate of immigrants. It is instead about love of country and a desire to make sure that those who come to this country are known and wanted, and that they will conform with our nations laws.

|| Greg, 04:21 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 17, 2010

State Dinner Outrage!

Wednesday night, there will be a state dinner at the White House, honoring Mexican President Felipe Calderon. Will no one voice outrage at the evil actions being taken by the Obama Administration that night?

One goal of President Barack Obama's state dinner Wednesday will be to make Mexican President Felipe Calderon feel like the man of the hour. Another will be to keep uninvited guests from crashing the party.

How can the White House even think about engaging in such un-American, Nazi-like tactics? They are going to be stopping attendees at the banquet in order to check that their papers (invitations, identification) are in order. Undocumented dinner guests will not only not be fed the extravagant taxpayer-funded feast in this time of economic distress, but they are also subject to being arrested by the authorities and will certainly be deported from the White House grounds.

Will President Calderon rebuke Obama for permitting this unconscionable activity? After all, if the laws of Arizona are so unacceptable to the Mexican leader, surely such mistreatment of the undocumented at a dinner in Calderons honor is even more offensive.

|| Greg, 03:21 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Decision Without A Clear Constitutional Basis

A couple of years back, the justices of the Supreme Court crafted out of whole cloth a ruling that said that the death penalty could not be applied to those who committed their crimes as juveniles. Now they have taken the next logical step and banned life without parole sentences for juveniles.

The Supreme Court for the first time put a broad constitutional limit on prison terms Monday, ruling it is cruel and unusual punishment to give a young criminal a life term in prison with no chance for parole for a crime that does not involve murder.

In a 6-3 decision, the court struck down the laws in Florida and 36 other states which permit life prison terms for criminals who were under age 18 at the time of their crimes. Currently, 129 prisoners are serving such terms nationwide, and 77 of them are in Florida.

In the past, the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment has been used mostly to limit use of the death penalty. The justices have been wary of limiting prison terms.

But Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, speaking for the court, said a life prison term with no chance for parole is too extreme for a juvenile criminal whose offenses involve robbery or assault. He also noted that prior to today, "The United States is the only nation that imposes life without parole sentences on juvenile non-homicide offenders."

One can question the propriety of such sentences. But what is the standard for declaring such sentences to be a violation of the Eight Amendment? The practices of foreign countries. So once again, the Supreme Court is acting to limit the ability of Americans to make their laws based upon what is done in foreign nations based upon their legal traditions.

Seems to me that we need to prepare articles of impeachment for a number of justices after this ruling.

|| Greg, 03:19 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

SBOE Member Seeks To Make Proposed Standards Worse

I've taken a relatively friendly stance on the proposed Social Studies standards now before the SBOE. Unfortunately, SBOE Don McLeroy has proposed changes that actually make the standards worse. Read these and speak out!

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Continue to be enlightened while reading "SBOE Member Seeks To Make Proposed Standards Worse" »

|| Greg, 04:58 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 16, 2010

A Tale Of Two Controversies -- UPDATED & BUMPED

Consider the situations.

In one of these instances, the university and its officials immediately sprang into action, hurling condemnations. In the other, there was silence.

Sadly, they managed to get both responses wrong.

Heres what happened in the case of the so-called Compton Cookout.

UC San Diego leaders and civil rights activists have condemned a student party that mocked Black History Month with a ghetto-themed "Compton Cookout."

Campus administrators said Wednesday that they were investigating whether the off-campus party, held Monday, and its Facebook invitation violated the university's code of conduct and whether its sponsors should be disciplined. Members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity were identified as among the organizers, but the fraternity president has criticized the event and said his club did not sponsor it.

In an e-mail to students and staff, UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox said the party showed "blatant disregard of our campus values." She said the university would hold a teach-in next Wednesday "to discuss the importance of mutual respect and civility."

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Penny Rue said the probe would examine whether the fraternity was involved and whether it should face sanctions. She said it was premature to discuss discipline for individual students but said she wanted partygoers to understand how much pain they had caused, especially to African American students.

Now lets say it the idea behind the party was certainly juvenile and unarguably offensive to some. Ultimately, though, it is rather absurd that an off-campus event would provoke this sort of response. After all, the entire event ultimately comes down to an exercise of free speech, despite the distasteful nature of the speech and expression in question.

But the second event? So far there appears to be nothing but silence from the University of California San Diego administration.

Activist David Horowitz spoke at an on-campus event at UCSD. There was this interesting exchange between him and one of the students in attendance.

Heres the transcript and the video.

MSA member: Good evening, I just wanted to say thank you for coming to campus tonight and presenting your point of view, its always important to have to sets of, ah, views going on at the same time. Um, very useful. My name is Jumanah Imad Albahri and Im a student here at UCSD. Ah I was reading your literature, I found that much more interesting than your talk, and I found some interesting things about the MSA, which is an organization that is very active on campus and is hosting our annual Hitler Youth week, you should come out to those events. Um, if you could clarify the connection between the MSA and Jihad terrorist networks, because last time I checked, we had to do our own fundraising, and we never get help from anyone. So if you could clarify the connection between UCSDs MSA or if you dont have such information, if you could connect other MSAs on UCs, because the connection wasnt to clear in the pamphlet, just if you could clarify.

Horowitz: Okay. Will you condemn Hamas, here and now?

MSA member: Im sorry, what?

Horowitz: Will you condemn Hamas?

MSA member: Would I condemn Hamas?

Horowitz: As a terrorist organization. Genocidal organization.

MSA member: Are you asking me to put myself on a cross?

Horowitz: So you wont. I have actually had this experience many times. You didnt actually read the pamphlet, because the pamphlet is chapter and verse. The main connection is that the MSA is part of the Muslim Brotherhood Network as revealed

MSA member: I dont think you understood what I meant by that. I meant if I say something, I am sure that I will be arrested, for reasons of homeland security. So if you could please just answer my question.

Horowitz: If you condemn Hamas, Homeland Security will arrest you?

MSA member: If I support Hamas, because your question forces me to condemn Hamas. If I support Hamas, I look really bad.

Horowitz: If you dont condemn Hamas, obviously you support it. Case closed. I have had this experience at UC Santa Barbara, where there were 50 members of the Muslim Students Association sitting right in the rows there. And throughout my hour talk I kept asking them, will you condemn Hizbollah and Hamas. And none of them would. And then when the question period came, the president of the Muslim Students Association was the first person to ask a question. And I said, Before you start, will you condemn Hizbollah? And he said, Well, that question is too complicated for a yes or no answer. So I said, Okay, Ill put it to you this way. I am a Jew. The head of Hizbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesnt have to hunt us down globally. For or Against it?

MSA member: For it.

Horowitz: Thank you for coming and showing everybody whats here.

Got that? When asked if she supports genocide against the Jews, she indicates she is For it. A mere 65 years after the liberation of the Nazi death camps where 6 million Jews and so many other victims of Hitlers barbaric Final Solution were slaughtered, we have gone from Never Again to For It on the college campuses of America.

Now this exchange took place on May 10, 2010. It is now May 13, 2010. The video and the transcript have been circulating on the internet, together with much discussion. It has also been featured on a number of radio broadcasts, and, I suspect, television broadcasts as well. And yet, I can find nothing about the Universitys response on the schools website, on the website of the campus paper, or in the San Diego media. This leads me to one conclusion nobody in a position of power at UCSD gives a damn. Far from being a blatant disregard of our campus values, it appears that such genocidal anti-Semitism is respected by the administration as one of the campus values to be upheld. It appears that there is to be no teach-in about the Holocaust or anti-Semitism to promote mutual respect and civility, no attempt to bring about a realization of how much pain was caused among Jews (and other decent human beings) by Jumanah Imad Albahris words and the ongoing anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic activities of the Muslim Student Association with which she is associated much less any sort of investigation or effort to impose discipline for what she said (nor should there be the First Amendment trumps the authority of the Universitys regulations in this regard).

But then again, why should I be surprised? As I noted recently, the Obama Regime isnt interested in combating anti-Semitism on campus, so why should UCSD officials take it seriously (aside from, of course, basic human decency)? But then again, what can one expect when the Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights is named Russlynn Ali? What can one expect when our nations president is more interested in supporting radical Muslims than our long-time ally, Israel? Must we start seeing physical assaults and murders of Jews by Muslims on our nations campuses before anyone wakes up? Or have we already passed the tipping point so that if such things come to pass the powers that be on our nations college campuses and the Obama Regime adopt Jumanah Imad Albahris words as their own and declare themselves to be For it

UPDATE: May 16, 2010, 18:30 -- Well, some anonymous person decided to post a link to a blog apparently created by the genocide-supporting little cretin from UCSD. My guess is that it was her, but I won't say that for sure. It just strikes me as a part of a taqiyya campaign of dissimulation to cover her tracks.

There are a number of amusing (and shocking) aspects to what she wrote. Take this:

Allow me to begin by stating that I do NOT condone murder, I do NOT condone genocide, and I do NOT condone racism under any circumstance whatsoever against Jews or anyone else. These accusations are lies that I refuse to allow David Horowitz and his allies to perpetuate in their irresponsible and hateful smear campaign against those who disagree with or differ from them.

Except, of course, that this is precisely what you did. So either you are lying or utterly inartful in communicating your thoughts -- but if that's the case, you could not have written the blog post in question.

And then there is this:

Mr. Horowitz spent an hour indiscriminately attacking liberals, students, Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinians, utilizing verbiage that completely departed from an academic tone and delved into hate speechespecially labeling groups and individuals that support Palestinian rights terrorists.

Let's see -- you say that Horowitz "completely departed from an academic tone and delved into hate speech." As does every single MSA group when they attack Israel's right to exist, comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. And those "groups and individuals" you reference have a nasty habit of "supporting Palestinian rights" with bullets, rockets and bombs intentionally directed against civilians. That sounds like terrorism to me, and so the label of "terrorist" is an accurate one.

Oh, and here is this laugher:

My opinion of Hamas is not as simple as condemn or condone, for it or against it.

And yet you were more than willing to forthrightly declare yourself "for it" -- provided that we take you at your word that you were indicating you were for Hamas rather than for the specific act of genocide advocated by Hamas leadership. Of course, we then have to ask ourselves how you can claim to be opposed genocide when you publicly declare your support for an organization that advocates genocide. The apologia that follows is the equivalent of saying in 1937 that one was opposed to Hitler's policies towards the Jews, but he was democratically elected and you are supportive of his economic policies, his efforts to overturn the unfair terms of the Versailles treaty and his plans to create Jew-free Lebensraum for the German people.

Now you have denied that this post is yours, but it strikes me as much more indicative of your beliefs as we have seen you elucidate on video above. (Click below for Pop-Up Image)


But regardless of whether or not you wrote the post above, I cannot help but return to my original point in the main body of this post -- your university and fellow students were more than willing to make a major issue over something so trivial as the theme of an off-campus party. Where is the outrage from the administration and student body of UCSD over words that any reasonable person can only view as being in support of the mass murder of the Jewish people? Why aren't Jew-hatred and support for genocidal terrorists at least as great a "blatant disregard of [UCSD] values" necessitating official actions to bring about discussions on "the importance of mutual respect and civility" in the UCSD community as the asinine theme of an off-campus party? Is it because UCSD has its moral priorities completely knocked askew by the reigning liberal ethos? Or is it that Jew-hatred is among the UCSD campus values?

UPDATE: May 18, 2010, 17:30 -- Columnist Jonah Goldberg notes the apparent inability of UCSD officials to respond to this on-campus bias incident.

I asked UCSD, via e-mail, whether the woman in question was censured in any way for endorsing bigotry and genocide, or if the video was somehow misleading. In response, I received boilerplate about how, in the tradition of Aristotle, UCSD treasures "discourse and debate" and how "the very foundations of every great university are set upon the rock-solid principles of freedom of thought and freedom of speech."

I wrote back, in part: "Thank you for your response. I must say I find it fairly non-responsive. Out of curiosity, if a UCSD student publicly called for the extermination of gays and blacks, would this be your only response as well?"

I then received an even less responsive primer on how student groups are funded on campus.

I guess that anti-Semitism is A-OK at UCSD according to the administration. Has the time come for the cash-strapped state of California to zero-out this festering nest of Jew-hatred and support for terrorism?

|| Greg, 06:30 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (6) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Frankly, I was rather overwhelmed by the results of this week's vote over at Watcher of Weasels. It seems that there was an overwhelming selection -- and it was my piece on the American Flag controversy out in California.

Council Winners

Non Council Winners

I'd like to strongly encourage folks to read these posts -- there are some great things there.

Oh, and by the way -- there is an open seat on the council, so check out the procedures for consideration if you are interested.

|| Greg, 05:06 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 14, 2010

Now If They Will Just Authorize The Use Of Hellfire Missiles

If you added that weapons package to these drones, it would likely cut down of drug smuggling, cross-border incursions by Mexican cops and military, and illegal immigration in very short order.

The Obama administration has approved flight operations by an unmanned aerial vehicle to patrol a section of the U.S.-Mexico border between the El Paso region of Texas and Arizona.

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, said the Federal Aviation Administration had approved a certification of authorization to permit the flights, beginning June 1.

Cuellar, who has been pushing for the additional operations, serves as chairman of the House subcommittee with jurisdiction over border-related issues.

"This is the first of two steps in getting unmanned aircraft vehicles approved to patrol the entire Texas-Mexico border," Cuellar said.

"This is very good news for Texas, as we seek to provide additional security measures along the Rio Grande in light of escalated border violence."

Yes, I know that sounds harsh, but I'm sure it is significantly less offensive to liberals than allowing police to check citizenship, ICE to raid workplaces, or DEA to bust in to drug houses.

|| Greg, 07:32 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Gotta Love Brett Michaels!

Not only has he survived two major medical crises in the last month, but he is now planning to be back on stage only two weeks from now!

The buzz is that Michaels -- who friends call a fighter -- is pushing himself for what would likely be a dramatic first public appearance at the May 23 finale of "The Celebrity Apprentice."

But the rock star is just as keen to get back to his "Roses & Thorns" tour, which was first interrupted by his emergency appendectomy on April 12. In fact, the source says Michaels will probably return to the stage in as little as two weeks.

"It's looking likely that his first date back will be May 28 at the Hard Rock in Mississippi," says the source, who confirms that Michaels's crew will keep bus drivers informed of all the closest hospitals on each of their routes.

I wonder are those tickets sold out yet, and how long would it take to reach the venue from Houston?

|| Greg, 05:35 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 13, 2010

What Do Chinese Astronauts Eat?

You will not believe it.

CHINA'S astronauts have revealed the special food they take into space to stay fit and healthy DOG meat.

The diet of far-east gastronauts was revealed by China's first spaceman Yang Liwei in his autobiography.

On board the Shenzhou Five rocket he commanded in 2003 the canned canines really were a man's best friend.

Yang said: "Many of my friends are curious about what we eat in space and think that the astronauts must have some expensive delicacies, like shark's fin or abalone.

"Actually we ate quite normal food, there is no need to keep it a secret."

On the menu was dog from Huajiang in Guangdong as well as less surprising dishes including steamed fish, braised chicken and tofu.

Well, I suppose we should not be too surprised by that. Chinese culture doesn't have the same stance towards "man's best friend" that ours does. And besides? Is this really any more shocking than what went on in the early days of the space program?

|| Greg, 07:54 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Fire Eric Holder

First, he cannot acknowledge the true nature of our enemies.

Second, he passes judgment on laws based upon what he reads in the newspapers, not upon a a reading of the text of the law itself.

And he can't even tell us whether or not the Obama Administration has violated federal law by trying to trade a federal job for dropping out of an election.

At a House Judiciary committee hearing, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) pushed to get Holder on record about whether such behavior would be illegal and whether an investigation has begun.

Theres an election to be held in a matter of days, greatly influenced in the entire state of Pennsylvania by these unanswered allegations of White House criminal activity, said Issa, who is also the Oversight and Government Reform Committees top Republican.

Holder demurred often during the unrelenting, six-minute line of questioning that stopped only when Issas time expired.

Any matter that comes up like that is obviously fact specific and deals a lot with what the intent of the person was, Holder said. Im not speaking specifically about the matter you have raised because I dont talk about any matter that might come into the purview of the Department of Justice.

In context, it sounds like an attempted cover-up with the full cooperation of the Attorney General.

Given this dismal performance, one has to ask why Barack Obama even keeps this semi-competent hack around.

Oh, yeah -- he has a more distinguished resume than his boss does.

UPDATE: Looks like I forgot the OTHER big reason to fire Eric Holder.

|| Greg, 07:05 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Arizona Must Turn Out The Lights On LA

Im with Jim Hoft on this one if LA wants to boycott Arizona, Arizona ought to make it clear what that really involves.

Maybe the LA council members forgot who supplies the city with electricity. 44% to 50% of the citys electricity comes from neighboring states including Arizona. The Hoover Dam in Arizona has been providing electricity for Los Angeles since 1936. Los Angeles receives about 6% of its electricity from hydropower, most coming from Hoover Dam in Arizona. Another estimate says approximately 10-12 percent of the citys electricity comes from hydroelectric power plants, with Hoover Dam, located along the Colorado River in Arizona, making up the bulk of this supply.

Los Angeles Department of Power and Water (LADWP) currently generates 50 percent of its electricity from coal power plants (another estimate says 44%) located in Nevada, Arizona and Utah making it one of the dirtiest publicly owned utilities in the country.

If the elected officials of Los Angeles really believe that a boycott of Arizona is a good thing, the city should be more than willing to do without the 15-20% (my estimate, based upon the numbers above) of its electricity that is generated in Arizona. Surely the will have the support of their citizens and businesses as the rolling blackouts hit during the sweltering summer heat.

|| Greg, 05:48 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Priorities Out Of Whack

Now it is bad enough for a school system to make a political statement at the expense of students but the message this one sends is positively offensive.

Reveling in its first conference championship in 26 years, the Highland Park High School girls varsity basketball team has been selling cookies for months to raise funds for a tournament in Arizona. But those hoop dreams were dashed when players learned they couldn't go because of that state's new crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Safety concerns partly fueled the decision, but the trip also "would not be aligned with our beliefs and values," said District 113 Assistant Superintendent Suzan Hebson. That explanation, though, smacks of political protest to parents upset by the decision.

The district, though, sponsors trips for students to Red China. That tells us all that needs to be known about the beliefs and values of the administration and school board of District 113. Seems to me like the time has come to fire those district administrators and vote out the school board so that the district can be run by folks with beliefs and values in line with those of the American people.

BONUS FEATURE: Here's what the girls say.

|| Greg, 05:24 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

From The Not What it Sounds Like File

This headline at PowerLine:

Dicks bent on appropriations gavel

Now theres an image I dont need in my mind.

|| Greg, 05:10 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Hunger Strike Ends What A Pity!

After all, the law they oppose still stands.

With the blessings of ceremonial dancers, a group of UC Berkeley students ended a 10-day hunger strike Wednesday while negotiators met with the chancellor over the status of illegal immigrants and student demonstrators.

Come on, you wusses! Make your point. Keep that hunger strike going until the Arisona law is repealed or until you die. That would be a true sign of your commitment. Instead all you got was your fellow ultra-libs to agree to continue to flaunt federal law by making it safe for illegal immigrants to work illegally on your campus and attend classes here without the legally required visas.

|| Greg, 05:09 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 12, 2010

Obama Shows His (Lack Of) Class

Even if he has no interest in a game of golf with one of his biggest critics, there had to be something better than this profane response.

When President Obama was asked if he would play a round of golf with his talk-radio nemesis Rush Limbaugh, the response, relayed by a top Democrat, was: "Limbaugh can play with himself."

This is according to Zev Chafets in his new book, "Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One," due May 25 from Sentinel.

Limbaugh had earlier indicated his willingness to play with a president of either party, out of respect for the office. Obama, on the other hand, apparently only has respect for himself.

Oh, and by the way -- Congratulations and Best Wishes to Rush and Kathryn on their impending marriage!


|| Greg, 03:39 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Pettiest Of Politics

I dont live all that far from League City, TX. Over the last couple of years, Ive watched with sad amusement at the descent of that citys politics into a personality-driven mess. So I guess Im not surprised by the events of last nights city council meeting.

Saddened, but not surprised.

Less than a year after he was pushed out of League City, former city administrator Chris Reed returned to City Hall Tuesday to receive a proclamation declaring it Chris Reed Day for chasing down a man he saw punching a woman in the city's Best Buy parking lot.

Instead, the city council voted to table the proclamation, sending Councilman Jim Nelson storming out of Tuesday night's council meeting and stunning some of those gathered to see Reed accept the honor.

Reed, who's city manager of Nassau Bay now, attended the meeting with his wife, their three children and his niece, along with city employees from Nassau Bay and League City.

The rest of this sad story can be read at the link above. But to think that the bad feelings and petty politics that led to Reeds departure from League City and move to Nassau Bay would lead to such a public show of disrespect of his heroic actions is maddening.

|| Greg, 03:34 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Reminder On Why We Need Everybody Draw Muhammad Day!

It is about freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion -- and putting a stop to the violence that seems to happen every time someone dares to exercise those rights rather than defer to Muslim sensibilities.

Lars Vilks, the Swedish cartoonist who drew Mohammed as a dog, was recently told that a scheduled lecture on free speech, to be held at Jnkping Hgskolan, would be canceled due to "security concerns." This, of course, is a common evasion, intended to protect the brittle sensibilities of Muslim students while supposedly standing four square behind the right of free speech.

Alas, the administrators in Jnkping had a point. During a lecture in Uppsala today Vilks was attacked by a pack of feral fundamentalists, one of whom managed to headbutt the artist and break his glasses. Police intervened and waged a short battle with the religious nutters who can be heard in the video below, captured by the newspaper UNT, shouting Allahu Akbar! The AP has a quick report, explaining that "Uppsala University spokeswoman Pernilla Bjork said Vilks was showing a provocative film with sexual content to the crowd when the attacker ran up and hit him in the face with his fists."

Remember -- the day is one week from tomorrow -- so if I may paraphrase a greater writer than I, "Cry 'Freedom!', and let slip the dogs of Muhammad!"


|| Greg, 04:47 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Nancy Pelosi Seeks To Establish Religion

Funny, I thought that liberals objected to pastors preaching politics from the pulpit. I guess that is only the case if they are not taking directions from Democrat leaders.

I'm sure we will be hearing the outrage from the MSM and church/state seperationists in 5....4....3...2..NEVER.

|| Greg, 04:12 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 11, 2010

In Re. Kagan

Barack Obama, to no ones surprise, has nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be the next associate justice of the Supreme Court. Ultimately, I expect that she will be confirmed, but not without some serious scrutiny. Indeed, the editorial in todays Washington Times does an excellent job of summarizing my point of view on this latest nomination.

Thirty-one senators are on record voting against Ms. Kagan's confirmation as solicitor general. The standards for the Supreme Court obviously should be higher than for her current position. There is good reason for all 31, and more, to take at least a skeptical view of Ms. Kagan's suitability for the highest court in the land.

Thirty-one negative votes on such a nominee is almost unheard of the position of Solicitor General is one that the Senate ordinarily allows a president to appoint with little opposition. But the unusual record of this nominee a dearth of legal writings, her support for an indefensible position on military recruiting, and a shortage of courtroom experience -- makes a close examination of her qualifications for the nations highest court even more important than it was for the earlier nomination.

Now let me be clear Kagans lack of experience as a judge is not a disqualifier in my eyes. In my lifetime we have had a number of justices who never wore a black robe before ascending to the highest court. Chief Justice Rehnquist had never been a judge when he was nominated as an associate justice in 1971, and it is indisputable that his time on the Supreme Court will be remembered as a distinguished one. Justice Lewis Powell, who it was my pleasure to meet during several of his return visits to his alma mater, Washington and Lee University, during my time as a student there, was also a well-respected jurist. Earl Warren, indisputably the most influential Chief Justice of the twentieth century, was never a judge before a political bargain and a twist of fate put him in the center chair. I could cite a number of other modern examples, on the Left and the Right, in addition to these, but I think the point is made.

But in addition to the many issues raised by others, some serious and some not, Id like to deal with several others that concern me. They have less to do with what Kagan is than they do with what she is not. It is not simply that Kagan is the third Jewish member of a Court which lacks a single Protestant member (after all, I take seriously the Constitution's ban on religious tests for office) but is it truly Obamas contention that there was not one individual sharing the faith of a majority of Americans who could have filled the slot of the last remaining Protestant justice on the Supreme Court? While I think it is great that we may have another woman on the Supreme Court, is it necessary that all three be New Yorkers with an Ivy League education when the vast majority of Americans come from the central and southern parts of this nation (not to mention the West Coast) and attend the many fine educational institutions of those parts of the country? As the sole remaining military veteran departs the court on which he has served for three-and-a-half decades, is it truly necessary for Obama to select a nominee who not only has never served in the armed forces, but who actively fought to prevent recruiting by the military on the campus of the educational institution where she was dean? And what of the lack of even a single individual who has ever held (or even sought) elected office? Frankly, I think the failure of Ol HopeNChange to find a nominee who looks even remotely like the America that he claims this nominee is so in touch with and who actually detracts from the diversity of the Supreme Court is disgraceful especially since the White House has gone to great pains to cut off all discussion of the one area in which Elena Kagan might actually add to the diversity of that body (after all, Obama replaced the last justice reputed to be gay with a heterosexual last year).

In addition, there is one further reason to examine this nominee closely and possibly defer confirmation until November. The reality is that the American people have become deeply disenchanted with Barack Obama and his Congressional allies. If current polling is accurate, the American people are likely to return a mightily changed Congress to Washington after the November elections. In light of the lack of confidence that is already being shown in a government which lightly ignores the desires of the American public, might it not be better to allow a new Congress, equipped with a greater legitimacy than the one currently sitting in Washington, to pass judgment on this nominee or a subsequent one? After all, John Paul Stevens is still in good health, and so he could, like Sandra Day OConnor, remain on the bench pending the confirmation of a successor next January or February with his resignation not effective until the confirmation of a successor by the Senate.

Am I suggesting a filibuster? Yes, I guess I am based upon the apparent lack of qualifications of this nominee and the lack of public support for this President and this Senate. But if Elena Kagan is confirmed by the Senate, especially if it is done quickly as suggested by Senator Patrick Leahy, then it certainly does render moot any opposition to Miguel Estrada as the first Republican nominee to the Supreme Court.

|| Greg, 05:13 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Competence, Obama Regime Style

Gotta love this revelation regarding the Times Square Bomber.

Minutes after the alleged Times Square bomber was added to the no-fly list last week, several airlines received calls from U.S. officials telling them to check the no-fly list immediately, but the airline that sold Faisal Shahzad a one-way ticket to Pakistan did not receive such a call, an administration official said.

"They made an investigative decision and went with it, and obviously it worked," one law enforcement official said, alluding to Shahzad's arrest about 53 hours after the attemped attack in Times Square.

Shahzad was added to the no-fly list at about 12:30 p.m. on May 3, and three minutes later the Transportation Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security issued an electronic alert to all airlines notifying them that someone had been added to the no-fly list, according to the administration official.

How many airlines did they call? Only five. Fortunately, though, someone did check the list and find out that Shahzad was actually on an Emirates plane ready to leave. Otherwise he might have been in Pakistan before anyone discovered that he had bought a ticket and escaped the reach of US law enforcement and counter-terrorism officials, and he would only have been able to be brought to justice via a Predator drone armed with Hellfire missiles.

One more bit of proof that the Obama Regime has been lucky rather than smart when it comes to preventing terrorist attacks and apprehending terrorists.

|| Greg, 04:30 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Yesterdays Absence

The silence yesterday was not of my choosing. My dear wife has been ill, and yesterday was spend taking her to the doctor, getting her medications, and making sure she was comfortable at home. I wont give details of the diagnosis, but this song may offer a hint.

|| Greg, 04:19 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

UN Experts Condemn Arizona Law

And I, for one, say to hell with the United Nations and its so-called experts.

Arizona's new law on illegal immigration could violate international standards that are binding in the United States, six U.N. human rights experts said Tuesday.

The basic human rights regulations, signed by the U.S. and many other nations, regard issues such as discrimination and the terms under which a person can be detained, the experts said.

"A disturbing pattern of legislative activity hostile to ethnic minorities and immigrants has been established with the adoption of an immigration law that may allow for police action targeting individuals on the basis of their perceived ethnic origin," the experts said.

Arizona's new sweeping law targeting illegal immigration has provisions that include requiring police enforcing another law to question a person about his or her immigration status, if there is "reasonable suspicion" that the person is in the United States illegally. It also makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally.

Ive got a suggestion. President Obama can shut down the interstate highways in Arizona so that blue beret-wearing UN forces can land transport planes and evacuate all non-US citizens from Arizona and return them to their countries of origin. Call it a humanitarian mission. We will, of course, have to make sure that the UN troops brought in do not rape or sexually abuse any of the evacuees or US citizens as they have done in other countries. But at least the US will have finally gotten something positive out of that organization.

|| Greg, 04:13 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Another Teacher Goes Too Far In Suppressing Patriotism

The US military, from time to time, has a worldwide "stand-down" to educate servicemembers on important issues when a problem with regulations and conduct seems epidemic. Well, this little incident, combined with others recently, seems to point to a need for something similar in our nation's schools, because too many of my fellow educator have no knowledge of or respect for the civil liberties of their students.

Let me remind folks of a couple of seminal Supreme Court decisions on Student rights.

First, consider West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette(1943) -- its holding that students cannot be forced to pledge allegiance to the flag produced these words, quite applicable to those educators who would suppress patriotic activity by students as well.

We can have intellectual individualism and the rich cultural diversities that we owe to exceptional minds only at the price of occasional eccentricity and abnormal attitudes. When they are so harmless to others or to the State as those we deal with here, the price is not too great. But freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order. If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.

The latter point includes teachers who would attempt to impose an orthodoxy that is embarrassed by patriotic expression or which declares it offensive and therefore forbidden.

And then there is Tinker v. Des Moines:

First Amendment rights, applied in light of the special characteristics of the school environment, are available to teachers and students. It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. This has been the unmistakable holding of this Court for almost 50 years.

* * *

In our system, state-operated schools may not be enclaves of totalitarianism. School officials do not possess absolute authority over their students. Students in school as well as out of school are "persons" under our Constitution. They are possessed of fundamental rights which the State must respect, just as they themselves must respect their obligations to the State. In our system, students may not be regarded as closed-circuit recipients of only that which the State chooses to communicate. They may not be confined to the expression of those sentiments that are officially approved. In the absence of a specific showing of constitutionally valid reasons to regulate their speech, students are entitled to freedom of expression of their views. As Judge Gewin, speaking for the Fifth Circuit, said, school officials cannot suppress "expressions of feelings with which they do not wish to contend."

This drawing caused no material or substantial disruption of the school. The boys in flag t-shirts in California did not cause a substantial or material disruption of the school -- indeed, if anyone did, it would have been those students who objected to patriotic expression on a foreign holiday to the point that they were threatening violence against pro-American students exercising their constitutional rights.

No, too many members of my profession forget that one aspect of our duty as teachers is to inculcate the rights and responsibilities of good citizenship in a free society. Unfortunately, such individuals instead teach the values of totalitarianism -- suppression, submission, and scared silence -- in the place of the the essential characteristics of American freedom. That must stop.

|| Greg, 05:11 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Bulging What?

In light of Tiger Woods' fidelity issues, it was inevitable that someone make this mistake when discussing the bulging disk that forced him out of last weekend's golf tournament.

By the way -- Tiger's swing coach has quit. Am I the only one shocked by this, given that Tiger seems to have no trouble swinging without a coach to help?

|| Greg, 04:00 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 10, 2010

For Your Convenience

As promised, I posted my comments on a number of the proposed new TEKS for Social Studies. For your convenience, here are the links to each of them:

Comments On 113.18. Social Studies, Grade 6, Beginning with School Year 2011-2012.

Comments On 113.20. Social Studies, Grade 8, Beginning with School Year 2011-2012.

Comments On 113.41. United States History Studies Since 1877 (One Credit), Beginning with School Year 2011-2012.

Comments On 113.42. World History Studies (One Credit), Beginning with School Year 2011-2012.

Comments On 113.43. World Geography Studies (One Credit), Beginning with School Year 2011-2012.

Comments On 113.44. United States Government (One-Half Credit), Beginning with School Year 2011-2012.

The public comment period ends this week, and the public hearings will be next week, with adoption of the new standards scheduled for next Friday, May 21. Act now to have your say! Here's how.

|| Greg, 04:51 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 09, 2010

This Week's Watcher's Council Winners

I think we had a really strong set of entrants this week -- but I'll concede a particular admiration for the Council winner this week. It brings to mind a line from one of the songs in the musical Pippin, "War Is A Science" -- "It's smarter to be lucky than it's lucky to be smart."

Council Winners

Non-Council Submissions

|| Greg, 07:39 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 08, 2010

Comments On 113.18. Social Studies, Grade 6, Beginning with School Year 2011-2012.

Let me simply make the observation that this course is one which I believe should be abolished as a part of an overall restructuring of the Social Studies curriculum in the state of Texas. In its place should be put a second World History course, at Grade 8. After rearranging the sequence of courses beginning in Middle School, the new curriculum would be as follows:

Such a change would give a more logical sequence to the courses, with the material currently covered in the World Cultures class incorporated in the two World History classes or introduced in World Geography. Skills learned in one class would be reinforced in the successive years. I also offer this suggestion because, in my experience, the World Cultures is intended to supply basic skills needed by students in later courses, but the reality is that the students arrive in these later grades underprepared for the work expected of them.

That said, I'm not opposed to the standards proposed for this course. They appear rigorous and will, if properly implemented, lead to students being better prepared for later World Geography and World History courses in high school. It is my hope that the SBOE will monitor whether or not these new TEKS are successful in accomplishing that goal, or whether a more radical change is necessary during the next revision. But even then, I would suggest that this course be moved to immediately prior to World Geography if it is to be retained.

Continue to be enlightened while reading "Comments On 113.18. Social Studies, Grade 6, Beginning with School Year 2011-2012." »

|| Greg, 12:16 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The People's Cube Draws Positive Muhammads!

So let's see if these bring praise or death threats, given that Muhammad is depicted positively. Here's one example, go look at the rest.


You folks want to prove that Islam is a religion of peace? Start acting the part!

And yes, I know there are some who do.

"If the vast majority of reasonable, peace-loving and law-abiding population of Muslims living in the US do not speak out and speak out loudly this will continue and ultimately ruin the lives, economic and social, of all Muslims and the community at large.

"I am calling today on ALL MUSLIMS IN THE U.S. to join me in condemning all actions of violence and terror caused or carried out by anyone whoever he or she may be.

"I call on all of them to boldly claim and express with their tongue and action that they are loyal and law-abiding and obedient citizens of the United States of America.

* * *

"I say to those among Muslims living in the U.S. who are not loyal or who do not want to be loyal that they are benefiting and enjoying all that this open, free, country has to offer and yet they say that their loyalties are to another country or government.

"I want to say to such people that they are not only living a false and hypocritical life but that they are thus also ungrateful and my advice to them is to be bold and leave and go and live in the lands where their loyalties belong."

Sadly, the Ahmadiyya are rejected by many Muslims as heretical.

|| Greg, 08:58 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Feds Can Revoke Faisal Shahzad's Citizenship NOW!

It shouldn't be difficult, and is already something permitted under US law -- according to this article in the New York Times.

But even if he never lied in his applications, an obscure anti-Communist statute enacted half a century ago could be used to revoke his citizenship, said Donald Kerwin, a vice president at the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, a research organization in Washington.

The law states that within five years of naturalization, any affiliation that would have precluded citizenship like membership in a terrorist organization is prima facie evidence that the person was not attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States and was not well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States at the time of naturalization. In the absence of countervailing evidence, the statute says, that affiliation is eattached to the princinough to authorize revocation.

It doesnt happen very often, but youre obviously not attached to the principles of the Constitution if youre being trained in bomb-making in Waziristan when you take the oath, Mr. Kerwin said.

So let's see. Shahzad became a naturalized citizen one year ago. He began his training with America's enemies in preparation for this terrorist attack two years ago. Clearly his oath was a lie, and we are well within that five-year window. And since Shazad is clearly neither attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States nor well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States at the time of naturalization, there should be little difficulty in accomplishing the denaturalization. That small matter accomplished, it would be perfectly acceptable to ship the terrorist scumbag to Gitmo for a trial before a military tribunal for his act of war against the United States.

|| Greg, 07:11 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (7) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 07, 2010

Comments On 113.20. Social Studies, Grade 8, Beginning with School Year 2011-2012.

This is a generally acceptable set of standards for US History through Reconstruction (a course I believe should be moved to Grade 10 and replaced with World Geography). Given that this subject will remain in Grade 8, I suggest only the revision of TEKS 8(A) to delete the words and heroes from the standard so as to clarify that the Confederate leaders in this standard are not necessarily being held up as heroes, given that their actions meet the definition of treason under Article III of the US Constitution. I would also suggest the inclusion of the Texas Declaration of Causes (February 2, 1861) in TEKS 8, perhaps in TEKS 8(C), as an example of what those who made the decision to secede had to say about their reasons for that decision.

Continue to be enlightened while reading "Comments On 113.20. Social Studies, Grade 8, Beginning with School Year 2011-2012." »

|| Greg, 07:32 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Comments On 113.44. United States Government (One-Half Credit), Beginning with School Year 2011-2012.

My one major concern is the relative weakness of the coverage of religious freedom in these standards. Among my proposed changes are the inclusion of two major religious freedom cases.

TEKS 1(A) While I respect that an effort was made to tie this standard to the Declaration of Independence by including the phrase the laws of natures and natures God in it, I believe that the more commonly used natural law and "natural rights" would improve the standard via the use of the more commonly accepted modern phrasing.

TEKS 1(F) Earl Warren should be included on this list due to his significance as Chief Justice..

TEKS 13(F) Consider including West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette in this standard. It is notable for Justice Jacksons observation that "[i]f there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein."

TEKS 17(A) Consider adding Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, an important religious freedom case.

Continue to be enlightened while reading "Comments On 113.44. United States Government (One-Half Credit), Beginning with School Year 2011-2012." »

|| Greg, 05:16 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Comments On 113.43. World Geography Studies (One Credit), Beginning with School Year 2011-2012.

I find these standards to be generally acceptable to me as a teacher in this area, due to their substantial similarity to the current TEKS. However, I would suggest that a requirement that the course be taught regionally rather than thematically would be useful to help standardize the curriculum across the state by using the most obvious method of organizing the material to be taught. I would encourage a return to the use of "capitalism" rather than switching to "free enterprise" in order to use the most common academic language.

Continue to be enlightened while reading "Comments On 113.43. World Geography Studies (One Credit), Beginning with School Year 2011-2012." »

|| Greg, 05:05 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Comments On 113.42. World History Studies (One Credit), Beginning with School Year 2011-2012.

My major concern regarding these proposed TEKS is the relative dearth of named historical figures prior to the modern period. I realize that the TEKS are not the final word on which historical figures will be mentioned in the classroom, but the failure to include many earlier figures leaves me concerned that we will see a de-emphasis of World History prior to the Enlightenment.

I also note that the course begins with the Neolithic Revolution. Is it the intent of the SBOE to exclude the pre-historic period from this course, including the evolution of homo sapiens from human and proto-human ancestors? I would argue that the prehistoric development of humanity should be included.

Lastly, the standards should be revised to include teaching the BCE/CE dating system as a legitimate alternative to the BC/AD conventional dating system. The reality is that much scholarly literature in the field of history uses the alternative dating system, and students will need to be familiar with it once they reach college. This need not be an either/or situation -- the state of Kentucky adopted standards and textbooks that use both (for example, the assassination of Julius Caesar would be listed as happening in 44 BC/BCE, while the crowning of Charlemagne would be listed as happening in 800 AD/CE.

I also have these specific comments on specific TEKS.

TEKS 2(B) Specificity would be useful if we are going to test on this.

TEKS 13 (D) Add Margaret Thatcher to this list of leaders.

TEKS 20(C) Add Thomas Jefferson. While I would argue that TEKS 20(B) is adequate to cover him, There is nothing lost in putting him back on the list due to the importance of the Declaration of Independence to subsequent political development around the world.

TEKS 24(B) I would suggest the addition of Hatshepsut, Cleopatra, and Eleanor of Aquitaine to broaden this standard beyond the modern world.

Continue to be enlightened while reading "Comments On 113.42. World History Studies (One Credit), Beginning with School Year 2011-2012." »

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Some Stories Just Need To Be Posted

Like this one.

Police say a Pittsfield woman has been cited for running down a man named Lord Jesus Christ as he crossed a street in Northampton on Tuesday.

The 50-year-old man is from Belchertown. Officers checked his ID and discovered that, indeed, his legal name is Lord Jesus Christ. He was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor facial injuries and later released. . .

No elaboration is necessary.

|| Greg, 04:02 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Story I Didnt Write About

Yesterday, I wrote about a flag story from California. In doing so, I made a conscious decision to NOT write about one right here in Houston. If that seems contradictory, let me offer an explanation.

What happened in the case up at Klein Collins High School? Well, here is the original report, including the graphic that went along with it.


Local School Suspends Student for Removing MEXICAN Flag

Yesterday, a listeners son was offended that his school, Klein Collins High School, displayed the Mexican flag prominently. His mother called to complain, and the school wouldnt return her call. The student took the sign down.

The school pitched a fit, reviewed the surveillance tapes, found the student, and suspended him for 3 days. AND he has to pay for the flag. In light of the SF story of students sent home for wearing the AMERICAN flag because it offended the Hispanic students, I thought youd like to know about a story closer to home.

Right here in our community. Feel free to let the school know what you think. You pay their salaries.

* * *

You realize, I assume, that if a student removed or even burned the AMERICAN flag, they wouldnt do anything about it, Ill bet.

Frankly, I found the report to be too sketchy. Was it a flag or a poster? Where was it? How was it displayed? Why make the kid pay for the flag? And since I recognized the picture that went along with the post by radio host Michael Berry to be one from a California school during the immigration rage days of several years back, I didnt make the assumption that the kid was correcting the incorrect display of an American flag that was depicted there.

Plus, I could find NO OTHER MEDIA REPORT on the matter at the time, which made me suspicious

Well, sure enough, more information has come to light. In particular, here is what was removed.


The Houston Chronicle provides additional details about the matter in a story today.

There was no improper display of the US flag, nor was there an improper display of the Mexican flag (insofar as flag etiquette would be concerned). A school official, after a request by a student, decided to permit the hanging a Mexican flag (owned by that student) in a respectful way to mark the day. I may serious reservations about that decision, but I have none about the decision to punish a kid who made the decision to take the flag down on his own non-existent personal authority or because his mommy said he could. He was out of line, and ought to be disciplined. And if he damaged the flag (and he apparently threw it into a garbage can, making damage a distinct possibility), he has a moral and legal obligation to pay to replace the property he destroyed. That is just common sense and common decency something he and his mother clearly lack based on their whining as if the student was the victim in this instance rather than the perpetrator of an act of vandalism at school. They should count themselves lucky that there is not an appearance in court in the kids future over this and not because of anything resembling hate crime charges.

In short, we have a punk kid engaging in property damage that should have gotten him a criminal charge, a punk mama trying to stir things up while withholding important details about the incident in an effort to vindicate her punk son, and a punk radio host ginning up a controversy by engaging in what amounted to journalistic malpractice.

Should the Mexican flag have been displayed? Id argue that it should not have been but only because national holidays of other nations are not marked in the same way. I dont care how many Mexicans there are at Klein Collins High School Mexico is no more or less special than any other foreign country in regards to how it should be treated by a school. Thats why I liked the display of flags at the high school where I formerly taught a flag representing the heritage of every student and teacher has hung for years in the cafeteria area, with about 50 flags on display at all times. There is even a process for adding a flag to the display. An American flag is central to the display.

Ill close with the observation made at Hot Air:

Like it or not, students dont make the rules at school, and the student in question had no business removing a school display without permission from the administration. One can question whether a three-day suspension was warranted, but its difficult to argue with the application of disciplinary action.

And there I stand, absent the addition of more information that significantly changes the story as it now stands.

|| Greg, 03:11 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (295) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 06, 2010

Comments On 113.41. United States History Studies Since 1877 (One Credit), Beginning with School Year 2011-2012.

On balance, I find the proposed TEKS for US History since 1877 to be balanced and teachable. That said, I offer the following suggestions for changes and revisions as well as questions and concerns regarding these proposed standards. It is my hope that you will address these prior to the final adoption of the new TEKS.

TEKS 1(C) This seems to be an odd collection of Founding Fathers. I would suggest deeper study of Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Mason, Madison, Hancock, and Jay.

TEKS 2(D) -- Given that the course begins with the year 1877, I would suggest the inclusion of 1877 as the End of Reconstruction as an appropriate addition to the list.

TEKS 4(A) Add US Army Mexican Expedition of 1916. It was a tune-up for WWI and an important milestone in our nations relationship with Mexico.

TEKS 8(B) Add Hiss/Chambers Affair and the Rosenberg Trial to list of incidents increasing Cold War tensions. These major events were of such contemporary importance and long-term controversy that they need in-depth coverage.

TEKS 8(E) Add the Gulf of Tonkin Incident to enlighten the formal start of large-scale US involvement in Viet Nam

TEKS 9(C) Add Malcolm X as an important civil rights leader

TEKS 9(H) I think the addition of Smith v. Allwright (a Harris County, TX case declaring the white primary unconstitutional) would be appropriate as a major voting rights case. I am particularly pleased with the inclusion of Sweatt v. Painter on the list of important cases.

TEKS 10(C) Im concerned at how vague this particular standard is. It needs to be further developed or removed.

TEKS 10(E) I question whether the conservative resurgence during this period can be fully understood without the inclusion of Rush Limbaugh and/or talk radio in this standard.

TEKS 10(F) I came of age and was an active participant in politics during this time period, yet I wonder what I would be expected to teach my students about under this standard. I would suggest including a such as clause here to provide guidance, especially to my younger colleagues.

TEKS 11(C) Add the words including Ross Perot in 1992 and Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan in 2000. This will clarify the third party candidates of greatest significance.

TEKS 11(E) See my comment regarding TEKS 10(F). A such as clause is needed to provide guidance.

TEKS 13(B) Include as well as changes in US immigration laws and policy over time. This will further illuminate the study of immigration over time.

TEKS 20(B) Include the Bork and Thomas confirmation hearings to show the tension that has developed in SCOTUS confirmation hearings.

TEKS 21(C) Change judicial interpretation to loose construction to make the standard more balanced and provide for parallel structure.

TEKS 23(A) Add voting to the list!

TEKS 24(A) A rather vague standard in what context are we to study leadership? Doesnt the nature and quality of leadership vary depending upon circumstances?

TEKS 26(D) Add Rear Admiral Grace Hopper as an important example of military service and women in science/technology.

TEKS 26(F) Consider adding Congressional Medal of Honor recipients Doris "Dorie" Miller (an African-American Pearl Harbor hero who continued to serve and died later in WWII) and Desmond Doss (first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor).

Continue to be enlightened while reading "Comments On 113.41. United States History Studies Since 1877 (One Credit), Beginning with School Year 2011-2012. " »

|| Greg, 08:56 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (269) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Ready Or Not, Here They Come

I've promised comments on the proposed Texas Social Studies standards (TEKS -- Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills) that are being considered by the State Board of Education. I'm ready to start posting my comments for your consideration. Expect them to begin appearing tonight and tomorrow, with the last of them being up by the end of the weekend.

I've decided to stick with the required classes from Grades 6 through 12, but have left out Texas History (Grade 7) because I lack expertise and coursework in the subject and Economics because I really don't feel I can give them the sort of rigorous analysis they deserve.

I'll also include the proposed new standards "below the fold".

|| Greg, 08:48 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Didnt These Administrators Read Tinker v. Des Moines?

They most clearly must not have -- or they are utterly incompetent to hold their jobs -- not if they truly believed that their outrageous actions in this care were in any way permissible under the laws and Constitution of the United States.

Compare what was forbidden and what was permitted.

Five Live Oak High School students' First Amendment rights were challenged this morning when they were asked to leave school because they donned American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. Officials at the school chose not to comment on the situation, but one student said an official called the T-shirts "incendiary."

"They said we were starting a fight, we were fuel to the fire," said sophomore Matt Dariano.

* * *

The five teens were sitting at a table outside during their brunch break about 10:10 a.m. when Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez asked two boys to take off their American flag bandannas. The boys said they complied. In the same conversation, sophomore Dominic Maciel said, Rodriguez told the group to "walk with him to the office."

Dariano called his mother Diana, who spread the word to the other parents, who all arrived soon after to have a conference with Rodriguez and Principal Nick Boden. The group said they were not instigating anything and did what they always do at break - sit and talk and eat.

The boys were told they must turn their T-shirts inside-out or be sent home - and that it would not be considered a suspension - but that Rodriguez did not want any fights to break out among Mexican-American students and those wearing American flags. Dariano said other students were wearing American flags but since they were a group of five "we were the easiest target to cause trouble" according to Rodriguez, he said.

The boys told Rodriguez and Boden that turning their T-shirts inside-out was disrespectful, so their parents opted to take them home.

Now lets be clear on this one there is nothing in the school regulations that would forbid the wearing of an American flag on May 5, which is the date of a second-rate Mexican holiday, generally observed only regionally within Mexico, marking a battle of questionable long-term historical significance. Whats more, even if there were such a regulation, it would be constitutionally invalid on its face due to the viewpoint discrimination and associated discrimination based upon race, ethnicity, and national origin.

According to one comment on the article that appeared on the website of the local paper, there appears to have an ongoing problem with American patriotic expression by non-Mexicans in the school district apparently over the last couple of years campus administrators have had students punished for wearing/displaying American flags on May 5.

I don't know why so many people seem surprised that an assistant principal has so much authority. The assistant principal at Gilroy High School, Arturo Rodriguez, had the authority to suspend my son, Josh Brendle as well. My son had had 2 American Flags on his truck on cinco de mayo. For this reason he got suspended for one week. This happened 2 years ago. My son didn't attend school that day, but he went to pick up his brother after school and still got suspended. Mr. Maxwell, the principal at the time, supported Rodriguez's decision. Yet no students that had the Mexican flag on their cars were suspended.

Rodriguez even had the audacity to insinuate that my son was racist. What an insult. I was livid. Most of his son's friends are hispanic. Rodriguez tried to take my son's parking privileges away as well. I had a meeting with Maxwell, but that was a waste of time. He still defended Rodriguez. However, Maxwell didn't allow my son's parking privileges to be taken away. Rodriguez didn't stop there.

We are a very patriot family. My husband is a Gulf War vet. My son is going in the Marines. My son use to drive around often with an American Flag on his truck. So this wasn't anything out of the ordinary. Any given day he would have the American Flag on his truck, not just cinco de mayo.

I then filed a grievance with the Gilroy Unified School District. After approximately 7 months I got an apology letter from them. However, they didn't come right out and specifically say what they were apologizing for.

I contacted the NAACP and they didn't want anything to do with it. I thought they defended American people's rights. Not in this case.

I know of another student from GHS that got suspended, because he had an American Flag on his backpack. He was told to remove the American Flag from his backpack. His parents fought this issue as well and got pretty much nowhere as well. I believe they got an apology.

We do live in America. Let's take back our country. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

The difference this year is that it appears that shining some light on the situation may have forced the district to back away from the misdeeds of these misguided mal-administrators.

The Morgan Hill Unified School District issued this statement: "In an attempt to foster a spirit of cultural awareness and maintain a safe and supportive school environment, the Live Oak High School administration took certain actions earlier today. The district does not concur with the Live Oak High School administration's interpretation of either board or district policy related to these actions."

What needs to happen now is that the district needs to discipline harshly the two campus administrators involved in this clear violation of student rights, and retrain school staff so that they will respect the civil liberties of ALL students. Especially since, as Eugene Volokh points out, even if a case can be made that the speech can be banned under Tinker (and that would be a pretty weak one), California has statutory law that would protect the right of the kids to wear these shirts.

However, we as Americans need to make something really clear the display of the American flag is ALWAYS appropriate in this country, regardless of the day and regardless of the feelings of some hyphenated Americans who place ethnic and racial solidarity above love of country. Those offended by such patriotic displays can simply suck it up, as they have no right to stop the display of patriotic speech by Americans who love this country.

Unfortunately, there are anti-American commentators who want to argue that the school is right, that the wearing of an American flag is a provocation that ought to be punished.

What school principal wouldnt have done the same thing? Dont they have a responsibility to maintain order in school? And if so, isnt it blindingly obvious that they need to take action when students do things that are designed to create conflict and bad feelings?

Clearly that clown has his pony-tail pulled so tight that he has cut circulation off to his brain. Even if we presume that the speech in question was designed to be provocative, how can a school legitimately ban the expression of pride in America on a day that it encourages the expression of pride in the immigrant heritage of one particular ethnic group? And is not one purpose of the exercise of the rights under the First Amendment to provoke discussion and thought? Whats more, if the administrators of an American school cannot protect the exercise of American rights by American students as they passively display the American flag, have we not reached the point that those administrators need to be removed and replaced with a new administration capable of keeping order on the campus and protecting the civil liberties of all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, or national origin?

Now I teach in a school that is overwhelmingly Hispanic. I have periods in which I am the only white face in the room, and the most non-Hispanic students I have in any period is 3. Very few of my students marked the day yesterday -- and when I brought this story up in my pre-AP class this morning (they finished my quiz early, and this is a social studies topic), many found the school's decision absurd. A couple, though, sided with the school, and argued that May 5 was "our day, and if you wear another flag you oughta get jumped." A classmate, who is Salvadoran, looked at his buddy and inquired if that meant that he should be jumped if he showed up with the flag of El Salvador on his shirt. The response was "No -- you're Hispanic like us, so its cool." And from the back of the room came a soft, gentle comment only slightly above whisper level that cut through the conversation like a chainsaw through tissue paper -- "So you mean that since I'm black, I didn't have any rights yesterday? Sounds really racist to me." And the first boy looked at the other, the guy who lined up next to him on the football field all season, and then hung his head, saying "I didn't think of it like that."

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote some pretty intense words about the right to free speech in relationship to the religious taboos of Islam, and how there is no right to not be offended in regards to one's religious sensitivities. Let me extend that point now -- nobody, of any race, ethnicity, or national origin, has the right to not be offended by the speech of members of other groups that treads upon their sensitivities. I'll concede that May 5 may be a special day for you when you express your pride in your ancestry, but you have no right to demand that others hold their tongues on that day. They cause you no harm whatsoever by the display of their flag or symbol. They take no property that belongs to you, they inflict no physical harm upon you, they interfere with no right that you have to express your pride. They simply express pride in something else -- their ethnicity and their national pride -- and you have no right to stop or interfere with that expression on what my student described as ""our day" any more than they have the right to suppress yours on May 5 or any other day of the year.

UPDATE: Interesting details from Big Lizards via Hot Air's Greenroom.

UPDATE 2: Malkin rounds this one up in her trackbacks, while Volokh takes up the issue of discourtesy and disrespect, devastating those who find the American students to be wrong.

|| Greg, 06:14 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (330) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 05, 2010

Speaking Of Michael Williams

Look who showed up on RedState for an interview about the oil disaster out in the Gulf. Since the Texas Railroad Commission also deals with oil-related issues in the state, he is quite knowledgeable on the subject.

Behold the future face of the GOP, if we are very, very fortunate.

|| Greg, 05:25 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Everything We Were Supposed To Embrace, But Now A Bad Thing In The Eyes Of Those Who Said To Embrace Those Things

Im talking about Marco Rubio, of course, the probable next US Senator from Florida. Ive commented on this before, but Jonah Goldberg really nails it here.

For years, Beltway conventional wisdom held that Republicans need to embrace Latinos, to become more youthful and more hip. So what's the response to a 38-year-old Latino son of immigrants from Miami who quotes Snoop Dogg on his Twitter account and has successfully knocked a classically hackish older pol from his perch?

Why, that this just shows how the GOP's less inclusive than ever! It seems that no matter whom the GOP includes, it's always the wrong kind of inclusiveness.

What? Were supposed to support the boring old white guy over the charismatic young Hispanic? Especially when the white guy does not consistently support our values and the Hispanic guy does? The illogic of the analysis of the situation by the chattering class is nothing short of astounding!

By the way these same left-of-center analysts no doubt take these folks as evidence of how exclusive the GOP is. Meanwhile, I and so many other Texas Republicans wish we could cast our ballots for Michael Williams for Senate this year because he believes what we do, and we care more about his character and convictions than we do about the color of his skin. No doubt the Texas press will label him as the wrong sort of Republican, too.

|| Greg, 04:10 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Heres Hoping Aggies Do The Right Thing

By opposing in-state tuition for illegal aliens.

The Texas A&M University student senate has deferred action on a proposal to put it on record as opposing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. The panel voted 34-19 Tuesday night to send the bill back to its external affairs committee.

The Eagle of Bryan-College Station reports the action came after two hours of debate.

One of the bill's 10 co-sponsors, Justin Pulliam, said, "This isn't a financial issue. This is about what's right and what's fair. It isn't fair to out-of-state citizens who are here legally."

But according to student senator Taylor Barron, "This is an immigration issue. It does not belong in the student senate."

Illegal-immigrant residents of Texas have qualified for in-state tuition at state universities under a 2001 Texas law.

There is that last point that needs to be dealt with as well under federal law, this means that out-of-state US citizens ought to be required to pay no more than in-state illegal aliens. I hope someone puts THAT into the resolution. And then I hope some out-of-state US citizen preferably a military veteran sues Texas A&M or some other university for overcharging them by charging them a higher tuition than an in-state illegal.

|| Greg, 04:07 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (7) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Rooting Against Phoenix LosErs

Generally speaking, I just ignore the NBA, but given the decision of the Phoenix Suns to make an on-court political statement, I'll comment here.

Tuesday's denouncement of Arizona's controversial new immigration law by the Suns' managing partner swung a political spotlight onto his team as it prepared to resume its Western Conference semifinal series against the San Antonio Spurs.

Robert Sarver decided - with unanimous support from his players - that the Suns would wear their "Los Suns" jerseys for Game 2 tonight on Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday.

Well, I know which team I will be rooting against from here on out.

Liberals are, of course, quite pleased by this. I guess their feelings about the use of corporate cash for political speech aren't based in principle after all.

I'm curious -- would there have been so much support if the team had decided to stand with a majority of Arizonans (and Americans) regarding the new law and instead decided to mark today as "Cinco de Go-Home" (to borrow from a phrase from a comment on one of the news articles linked above) or make some other such ungrammatical-in-two-languages political statement in favor of American border sovereignty and the rule of law? Would the NBA have allowed the team to do so? Just asking -- not that I'm not quite sure of the answer.

|| Greg, 04:33 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 04, 2010

Hypocritical Obama Insults Fellow Americans, Demeans His Office

I apologize in advance for what follows -- but the point needs to be made about the hypocritical deeds of the disgrace-in-chief after he has soiled his office in this way.

Three days after he decried the lack of civility in American politics, President Obama is quoted in a new book about his presidency referring to the Tea Party movement using a derogatory term with sexual connotations.

In Jonathan Alters The Promise: President Obama, Year One, President Obama is quoted in an interview saying that the unanimous vote of House Republicans vote against the stimulus bills set the tenor for the whole year ... That helped to create the tea-baggers and empowered that whole wing of the Republican Party to where it now controls the agenda for the Republicans.

Three days from a call to civility to using a vile, bigoted derogatory term against his fellow Americans who dare to engage in dissent -- "the highest form of patriotism."

No doubt the Left (both MSM and amateur divisions) will allow this one to slide, just like every other disturbing action and comment Obama has made during his term in office

Would the press be so understanding if a prominent conservative referred to the President as a "c*cksucker"?

We all know the answer to that question -- indeed, I won't be surprised if the local Dems attack me for even daring to ask the question, despite the parallel nature of insult.