Last week, my fellow members of the Watcher's Council and I put forth our predictions for Tuesday's election. Today, the Watcher posted the collected wisdom of the group on the Watcher's Of Weasels website. Here's what I had to say.
And for those of you who find an element of that last observation to be confusing, consider this -- now that Obama and the Dems are clearly vulnerable in 2010, it is likely that we see outsider candidates who are clearly solid conservatives but not of the Rand Paul/Joe Miller/Sharron Angle/Christine O'Donnell variety in terms of their conservatism. Thus they will be more moderate than the 2010 crop of candidates -- and therefore likely to be more electable in a year when thee are lots of first term incumbents ready to be knocked off.Obama may find himself winning due to the advantages of incumbency -- but might just find himself with a veto-proof majority in both houses of Congress after the 2012 election.
From the incredibly ignorant Ed Schultz, we get this little bit of hysteria.
As Election Day nears, the innumerable accusations of voter intimidation only seem to multiply, and while many dismiss accusations of aggression at the polls as right-wing propaganda, many liberals seem equally fearful of threats of violence. Take MSNBCís Ed Schultz, for example, who is accusing a Texas Tea Party group of ďsending out their goons to stand directly behind voters,Ē among other violations.
ďTea Party groups,Ē he told his audience on The Ed Show this Friday, ď[are] sending out their goons to stand directly behind votersÖ trying to scare Democrats from going to the polls.Ē
I wonder if Ed has bothered to read this document. In it is an explanation of what may be going on in some of those instances he is discussing -- and if so, then the poll watchers are acting in accord with their legally defined role under the laws of the state of Texas, as explained by the Texas Secretary of State's office.
The problem in some early voting locations (and in some regular polling places) is that they are located in pretty tight quarters, which may result in the poll watchers being directly behind another voter -- or even watching to see that a vote is being cast as the voter directs.
Now other than voting on the first day of early voting, I've had nothing to do with early voting. But I will be running my local polling place on election day, so I've been keeping up with what poll watchers may or may not do. I just thought it might be worthwhile to share a little bit of knowledge with the rest of you. -- after all, sometimes there is less than meets the eye to liberal scare stories.
Here are the full results of this week's exercise in blogging excellence:
Yeah, she's a LaRouchie -- and she beat the combined vote total of the other two Democrats in the primary. And let's be honest -- wouldn't the campaign have been much less interesting without a ditty like this? It is even performed by candidate Kesha Rogers herself!
Stunning -- absolutely stunning.
It isn't just the score -- it is the TWELVE OVERTIMES!
Jacksonville 84, Nacogdoches 81 (12 OT)
Thatís not a typo. The District 14-4A foes set a national record for most overtimes in a single game by going to 12 extra periods. According to the National Federation of High Schools record book, the most overtimes in a single game is nine, which has happened twice, most recently in 2006.
The game, which started at 7:30, lasted nearly 5 1/2 hours. Jacksonvilleís game winning field goal came shortly after 12:50 a.m. According to Q 107.7 FM, which conducted the radio broadcast, and some local news reports, the teams ended regulation tied at 28. Nacogdoches had opportunities to win on point after touchdown attempts but purposely failed because due to the districtís tiebreaker rules, they had to beat Jacksonville by eight or more points to keep their playoff hopes alive. So by doing so, they were able to extend the game longer on multiple occasions in an attempt to win by 8 or more. The loss now eliminates Nacogdoches from postseason contention.
A pretty historic night in East Texas.
That is certainly one to tell the grandkids about -- but I want to know how those boys were able to walk to be bus after the whole thing was over.
I regularly participate in the Project VALOUR-IT fundraiser for Soldiers' Angel, dedicating my participation to my father, a retired officer in the US Navy. It is that time of year, and I'd like to encourage you to help our wounded warriors get assistance they need from the group. For details on the project, click the button below.
And, of course, to donate you can always click this even bigger button!
Needless to say, I'd really like you to click the bigger button, to help these American heroes receive voice-controlled/adaptive laptop computers and other technology while recovering from hand wounds and other severe injuries.
Rochester, NY Ė Wednesday evening, Jill Rowland, the 28th congressional district candidate, was attending a question and answer round table discussion at the Radisson hotel in downtown Rochester. Dr. Rowland was an invited guest of the Turkish American Business and Development Council. At around 10 PM, a man clad in sunglasses and of questionable attire entered the hotel lobby and headed directly toward the sizeable group. A campaign staff volunteer approached the man and asked him if he needed any help. The man did not respond and appeared to retreat momentarily. He then darted to the opposite side of the group where he promptly positioned himself in a threatening pose directly across from Dr. Rowland and the representative from the Turkish consulate. The Rowland Campaign volunteer, alarmed by the irregular behavior, immediately approached the man once again. The man did not respond or move initially, but upon further prompting by the campaign staffer, the man walked away visibly agitated. The man then raised his hands in a threatening manner toward Dr. Rowland and the businessmen and assumed confrontational stances, so the campaign staffer summoned the hotel security immediately.. The man seemed to be familiar with the hotel and was able to expeditiously exit by way of an unconventional path and was now holding what appeared to be a weapon in his hand.
911 was called and the man was followed up East Main Street to the Hyatt parking lot and was subsequently arrested on South Avenue. After a thorough search of the man,an open utility knife was found hidden on his person.
I somehow suspect that there will be no media coverage of this incident -- no sexy video, and besides, Rowland is a Republican and so violence against her is understandable (even acceptable) in the eyes of the Left-Wing Talking Points Media. After all -- the bullets that hit John McCain's campaign bus in 2008 were pretty well ignored by the media, while unconfirmed comments by mystery attendees at a Palin rally were highlighted.
Now one can -- and I do -- take issue with the exact methodology used in the Kentucky incident, but given that liberals are every bit as likely to engage in acts of political violence (if not more so) than conservatives, I understand the imperative to restrain someone taking an aggressive stance towards a candidate.
After all, do we really want a contemporary version of this photo?
Remember this photo, taken the same night?
Would to God that these RFK supporters had gotten to that little bastard before he could pull the trigger. And wouldn't you really rather that these men had faced some criticism over a foot on Sirhan's neck or stomping on the little son-of-a-bitch's head if that meant that Bobby Kennedy's assassination would never have taken place?
And that is a big part of the reason I will never join a union as a condition of employment as a teacher.
My blogging buddy Darren provides the best example I can point to from his school in the overtaxed yet fiscally bankrupt state of California.
We have a librarian at my school only 2-1/2 days a week, as she must split her time between 2 high schools. When she's not there, parent volunteers staff the library so that it's available to students.
A union grievance was filed, and today we were told that the library cannot be open anymore when she's not there. Teachers can take their classes in there, but books cannot be checked out. The library will no longer be available for students to do make-up tests in on the days when our official librarian isn't on site.
When teacher's unions tell you that their proposals are "for the children -- they are lying. Their proposals are for the members, and the children are merely pawns.
And when they tell you they want parental involvement, they lie -- for fear that the parents might volunteer to do something for which the union believes it has a right to force the hiring of another employee from whom union dues will be forcibly extracted as a condition of employment.
Every blogger gets some unusual visits. Imagine my surprise when I found this one in yesterday's log:
Lyndon Larouche Political Action Committee (184.108.40.206) [Label IP Address]
Rhymes With Right - They Will Come For Your Cheeseburger Next
What were they looking for?
Would you believe it was THIS?
No, kitty -- no cheeseburgers for you. And none for Kesha Rogers, the LaRouchie who the Democrats have here on the ballot in CD22 due to Democrat negligence and incompetence.
Yeah, Gmail is my default email program. But I find this notion to be really troubling.
That big old hard drive in your computer? Google says you donít need it anymore. The company is also betting you won't need that Windows, Macintosh or Linux stuff either. No, Google wants you to access, operate, and edit all your files on the Internet.
To help with that, the company has developed a lightweight operating system of its own, the first new competition for Windows and Macs in years. It's called Chrome OS. And it could have a profound effect on the way we work with computers.
You won't be able to put it on your current PC. But Google wants it to power your NEXT computer.
And because it's based almost entirely on the Internet, Chrome is smart and superfast. No more ďWhere did I save that file?Ē No more computer slowdowns. No more crashes?
ďTodayís operating systems were designed in an era where there was no web,Ē Google spokesman Eitan Bencuya told FoxNews.com. ďGoogle Chrome OS is designed for people who spend most of their time on the web. Itís our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be."
The idea that all my files and documents will be on somebody elseís server troubles me. What happens when my internet connection goes down, or Iím between ISPs (say, for example, during a move). If something I write in one of those documents violates the terms of service Ė perhaps by being a bit too critical of a certain religious faith that bills itself as peaceful and will cut your head off if you donít agree Ė and Google decides to cancel my account and delete the files? Or even something so simple as keeping backup copies of things like my teaching materials, a doctoral dissertation, or a novel in progress? And that does not even get into something like the security needs of a business.
You know, it all sounds neat Ė especially for someone on the go with a laptop or such Ė but color me uncomfortable. And therefore unconvinced.
One of the hallmarks of the American political system is that our military is subordinate to our civilian leaders. But when we say that, we are talking about our elected leaders, not the unelected, unaccountable judiciary. As a result, this controversy strikes at the very heart of who we are as a nation.
Pro-military advocates are warning against the dangers of letting federal district court judges start making significant Pentagon policy, saying it would essentially turn the military over to a network of political appointees who could be swayed by various pressure groups.
If a district court judge in one unilateral order can strike down a legal ban on open gays in the military, as did federal Judge Virginia A. Phillips, then such judges also could strike down the prohibition on women in land combat, or rules on wearing a uniform, or requirements for grooming, or even the war against al Qaeda.
Judge Phillips went beyond ruling the gay ban unconstitutional and letting appeals courts weigh in: She ordered the Pentagon to stop enforcing it ó worldwide.
The military has always been recognized as an institution in which the full rights of Americans do not apply. Indeed, it is so much so that there are special laws and courts that apply to the military in way that would be unacceptable in civilian society but which are essential for the good order and discipline of the services. These decisions related to these must therefore remain in the hands of the branches delegated authority of the military by the Constitution Ė and the jurisdiction of the courts over the military must necessarily be limited to that which those two branches explicitly grant to the judiciary.
The father of a 4-year-old boy who accidentally shot his mom on Monday "is kicking himself" for giving the boy live ammunition, police said Tuesday.
Mom, fortunately, was not seriously injured and went home that evening.
I agree with many things that Sarah Palin has to say on issues. I reject many of the negative things that have been said about her by the Left and by Establishment GOP types. But I have to be honest here -- Karl Rove gets this one exactly right.
ďWith all due candour, appearing on your own reality show on the Discovery Channel, I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of Ďthat helps me see you in the Oval Officeí,Ē Mr Rove told The Daily Telegraph in an interview.
He added that the promotional clip for Sarah Palinís Alaska could be especially detrimental to any political campaign. It features the mother of five in the great outdoors saying: ďI would rather be doing this than in some stuffy old political office.Ē
I'm sorry, but "reality television star" is not anywhere on my list of qualifications for the White House. And having left office after less than one term, and a bucket full of candid quotes that are subject to mocking, I don't know that Sarah Palin is presidential timber in 2012. The resume is not there, and the easy breezy style that I love in her as a motivational speaker at a campaign rally doesn't translate well into a presidential run. And then there are the high negatives among the population as a whole -- we can't just nominate a candidate the the GOP loves, but must instead find one that the American people will vote for. And let's be honest -- Sarah Palin is not that candidate, no matter how much many in the Tea Party and among the rest of the base might want her to be.
Remember -- Job #1 in 2012 is beating Barack Obama, who will have all the benefits of the incumbency behind him. In your heart of hearts, do you really believe Sarah Palin is the candidate who can get that job done? As of today, I don't.
A Virginia man has been arrested for allegedly trying to help Al Qaeda plan multiple bombings around the nation's capital, according to U.S. officials.
Farooque Ahmed, 34, of Ashburn, Va., was arrested today by the FBI and charged with providing material support to terrorists and collecting information for a terrorist attack.
Just another Muslim who wishes to kill Americans in the name of Islam Ė but donít you dare feel like you need to have special worries about Muslims. That would make you hateful, un-American, and Islamophobic, don you know.
Frankly, I never thought much of Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. While I like the bandís early stuff, I pretty much lost interest in the group by the time I graduated from high school. And Keith Richards personally? I always figured him to be a drugged-out zombie who was sort of worthless as a person. Yeah, Iíve laughed at him in his new incarnation as a pirate in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise Ė but more out of amazement that his brain was not so fried as to make acting impossible. Iíve just been unable to take him seriously.
But todayís Maureen Dowd column about him intrigued me, and gave me a different perspective on the man Ė but not enough of one to comment upon here. Until I reached the last paragraph.
ďIíve never been able to go to bed with a woman just for sex,Ē writes the author, happily married for decades to the former model Patti Hansen, whom he is supporting through bladder cancer. ďIíve no interest in that. I want to hug you and kiss you and make you feel good and protect you. And get a nice note the next day, stay in touch.Ē
Iíll be damned Ė who knew? And as one who has spent a lot of time these last few years caring for a wife who has battled several serious illnesses and who knows how hard it is, I have to admit that I was touched about the information about Richards and his wife, Patti Hansen. Keith Richards in a successful, long-term marriage? And being a loving supporter of her through a battle with cancer? Not what I would have expected Ė and worthy of a great deal of respect. My hat is off to you, sir Ė and my prayers are with you and your wife in this great battle.
You know, to cover vice-presidential disabilities. After all, Joe Biden clearly is not in his right mind.
[Vice President Biden] predicted Democrats would ďkeep the Senate and win the House.Ē
We always knew he had a screw or two loose Ė now we have definitive proof that he is no longer in contact with reality.
Answer: The Democrats!
Do the math -- the big outside spenders are not business or conservative groups, but labor unions with the ability to use the law to extract money from unwilling workers under threat of losing their jobs rather than being required to raise cash through voluntary contributions like the conservative groups. And don't overlook the fact that two of the five biggest spenders are public employee unions -- 'nuff said.
Dan McLaughlin at RedState puts it well.
The Democrats arenít against big outside spending in elections. They just donít like it when the other side gets to fight back.
UPDATE -- 10/27/2010, 19:15: Here are some figures that serve to confirm what I've written.
And yet I somehow doubt that the latest confirmed case of Democrat shenanigans here in Harris County will get the same sort of national coverage as the vague, unconfirmed claims about poll watchers.
An election judge summoned constables Monday morning after state representative candidate Borris Miles allegedly refused to stop electioneering at the polls in Sunnyside, according to an assistant county attorney.
"We did receive a complaint this morning (Monday) that Mr. Miles was present at the polls and had no official business there at the time," such as voting or other normal functions at the center, said Rock Owens, an assistant county attorney. "Apparently Miles refused to leave when poll workers asked him to."
Given the boorish Miles has an intriguing record and colorful history of questionable activity, I'm not surprised that he would violate state law on polling place activities and make a bunch of trumped up claims to justify his actions. But the fact remains -- cops had to be called to remove him from the polling place, while none of his claims have been substantiated by any reputable source.
But it isnít like you have a right to know the truth about the A.I.G. bailout Ė after all, it isnít like Democrats believe that the tax dollars used in the bailouts was ever really legitimately your money in the first place.
The United States Treasury concealed $40 billion in likely taxpayer losses on the bailout of the American International Group earlier this month, when it abandoned its usual method for valuing investments, according to a report by the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
ďIn our view, this is a significant failure in their transparency,Ē said Neil M. Barofsky, the inspector general, in an interview on Monday.
In early October, the Treasury issued a report predicting that the taxpayers would ultimately lose just $5 billion on their investment in A.I.G., a remarkable outcome, since the insurance company was extended $182 billion in taxpayer money in the early months of its rescue. The prediction of a modest loss, widely reported as A.I.G., the Federal Reserve and the Treasury rushed to complete an exit plan, contrasted with an earlier prediction by the Treasury that the taxpayers would lose $45 billion.
ďThe American people have a right for full and complete disclosure about their investment in A.I.G.,Ē Mr. Barofsky said, ďand the U.S. government has an obligation, when theyíre describing potential losses, to give complete information.Ē
Just remember Ė Barry Hussein promised us that this would be the most transparent and ethical administration in history.
And you are racist if you say it isnít.
Iím not going to get into the question of whether or not the MoveOn activist deserved to be manhandled or whether stepping on her head was acceptable. Absent any new evidence, Iíll stipulate that those who did those things acted wrongly Ė as did Rand Paulís campaign.
No, Iíll just comment on this astounding bit of hypocrisy.
Outside the Conway-Paul debate, a Rand Paul supporter pulled the woman's blonde wig off and stomped on her head. She was representing the liberal organization MoveOn.org and claimed to be presenting Paul with an award from RepubliCorp. That's a group created by MoveOn.org that focuses on what it calls the merger between corporate America and the Republican Party.
Excuse me? MoveOn.org? You mean the group that has been sucking at the financial teat of international businessman and HolocaustĖcollaborator George Soros? On what basis can that organization and its brain-damaged drones possibly claim to have the moral authority to question the connection between big business and politics? None that I can see Ė but then again, since when is moral consistency any sort of hallmark of liberalism?
In a breaking development that may affect the close California Senate race, Pajamas Media has learned The Foundation for Ethics in Public Service sent a letter to Eric Holder last Thursday requesting the attorney general ďbegin an investigation to determine whether United States Senator Barbara Boxer violated any criminal laws or should be liable for any civil penalty for failure to disclose real property on her Personal Financial Disclosure Reports between 2002 and 2010.Ē The Foundation for Ethics in Public Service is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization ďthat seeks to bring a new level of transparency, accountability and integrity to all levels of government in the United States.Ē Boxer is the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics.
The specific property FEPS is referring to is an Oakland, California, home valued at over a million dollars and co-owned by Boxer, her husband Stewart, their son Douglas, and his wife Amy.
Not good, with just a week before a tight general election, to be exposed as so blatantly corrupt and unethical.
And in what could be even more fun for everyone Ė Boxer has paid her son over $500K in campaign funds for work by his PR firm. Could this simply be a way to launder campaign cash for personal use?
Heís a local Dem activist/blogger who proved his commitment to racial equality by declaring that we donít need any more white people on the State Board of Education. He has made the race of a majority of Tea Party activists a factor for criticizing the movement (despite the fact that the movement demographically looks more like America than the Democrat Party). And now he has ended not just one, but two, posts over at BayAreaHatemonger with the line ďThe gop is a party that tolerates racism for their own political gain. And it has to stop.Ē
And the next post down from this racistís posts accusing his political opponents of racism? A picture of a professional fighter with the words Brown Pride tattooed across his chest.
Personally, I donít care about UFC. It isnít a sport that particularly interests me. But could you imagine the outrage from this same blogger is they dared allow a fighter with ďWhite PrideĒ tattooed across his chest to even participate in a sanctioned bout? Or if a conservative blogger like me posted a gushy man-crush post about a guy with such a tattoo? But I guess thatís the great thing about being a left-winger Ė it means you can falsely and hypocritically accuse anyone who disagrees with you of racism while reveling in your own.
Does he need the Lindsay Lohan treatment, or is the Robert Downey treatment a better option to save the life (and perhaps career) of this out-of-control celebrity.
Charlie Sheen was found drunk and naked in a New York hotel early Tuesday morning.
"Police responded to a call for an intoxicated male," a source confirms to PEOPLE. Sheen, 45, was taken to the hospital "in the company of a female, unharmed." He was removed from the scene for "for alcohol abuse and psychological evaluation" and considered an "aided case," meaning no arrest was made.
"I believe he was irrational and intoxicated," a police source tells PEOPLE, adding he was taken voluntarily to New York Columbia Presbyterian Hospital by ambulance.
No jokes here Ė this is serious, especially given the domestic violence issue in the not distant past and his problem with hookers. My guess is that the unnamed female is an ďindependent small businesswoman in a personal service industryĒ.
What could possibly go wrong with this?
If you're flying from Los Angeles to New Zealand, you could soon be traveling much more comfortably.
Air New Zealand will offer customers the chance to purchase seats that can turn into couches or beds.
According to Air New Zealand's website, these new seats, called "Skycouches," will be perfect for couples who want some extra room, or families with small children.
The Skycouch is a trio of three economy seats that together create a flexible space for whatever you want it to be -- an area to relax and stretch out in, or for the kids to use as a play area. It's like having your very own couch on the plane.
Iím expecting to see a marked increase in extra-curricular activity on the Aucklan/Los Angeles run.
There are still four more days of early voting -- but we've exceeded the early voting totals for any previous gubernatorial election. The numbers here don't include Monday's vote totals -- just the first week of early voting.
Harris County has already recorded a record number of early votes for a gubernatorial election, and there are still five days of pre-election-day voting left.
As of Sunday night, 181,084 voters had cast ballots at the 37 early voting locations throughout the county. The previous high had been 171,389 in-person early votes in the 2006 gubernatorial elections. So far this year, the county has also received 40,553 mail-in ballots, compared to 23,391 in 2006.
I'm not sure how this compares to the 2008 presidential election, but it looks to me like we could see the total equal that if the turnout continues to be heavy. I hope it does, especially with the voting machine fire in August. Indeed, I'd be happy to see so many folks turn out before election day that we have a very quiet day on November 2, when the polling place where I'm election judge will be short an eSlate machine or two.
Remember folks -- early voting continues 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM today, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week at 37 different locations around Harris County. Get out and vote early!
GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - Canadian captive Omar Khadr pleaded guilty on Monday to all five terrorism charges against him in the U.S. war crimes tribunal at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in a deal that could send him home to serve the rest of his sentence in a year.
Khadr, who was captured in Afghanistan at age 15 and is now 24, admitted he conspired with al Qaeda and killed a U.S. soldier with a grenade in Afghanistan.
Terms of the Toronto native's plea deal were not immediately disclosed, but lawyers had reportedly discussed an eight-year cap on his total sentence.
Frankly, he deserved death Ė but barring that, life in prison should have been the only possible sentence. Instead, expect him back on the terrorism frontlines in a few years Ė which is precisely what the Khadr family is devoted to.
UPDATE -- 18:21, 10/25/2010: Looks like the easy deal given this terrorist punk, with the "go to Canada" provision, means that he actually has an easier shot at parole than he would in the US -- and sooner, too! All courtesy of the administration of our glorious leader, Barry Hussein. I know that makes me feel much safer.
Well, maybe that was only if your political opponent was a liberal mouthing liberal platitudes during the Bush Administration. If your opponent expresses a conservative point of view -- say remembering who attacked whom on 9/11 and having any sort of negative feeling towards the attackers and their ilk -- then it is perfectly acceptable for a liberal -- especially one who is a member of the attacker's religion -- to label you as un-American. Which is precisely what Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Radical Islam) did.
I think itís un-American what Juan Williams said.
Sorry, Keith -- one can argue that Juan Williams was wrong, that he was intemperate, and that he was impolitic -- but to argue that he is un-American? Really? I thought that dissent was highly patriotic. Or is it only dissent from conservatism, and not dissent from liberalism or Islam, that is the highest form of patriotism? Maybe that is why Keith Ellison compares 9/11 to the Reichstag fire, implying that it was the US government and not a group of Muslims who did the attacks on 9/11, considers himself a patriot and Juan Williams un-American.
Seems to me that this article shows that it is time to clean house in the Department of Justice -- and start by replacing much of the "Civil Rights Division" with people who believe that white people have civil rights, too.
Three Justice Department lawyers, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation from their supervisors, described the same tensions, among career lawyers as well as political appointees. Employees who worked on the [Ike] Brown case were harassed by colleagues, they said, and some department lawyers anonymously went on legal blogs ďabsolutely tearing apart anybody who was involved in that case,Ē said one lawyer.
ďThere are career people who feel strongly that it is not the voting sectionís job to protect white voters,Ē the lawyer said. ďThe environment is that you better toe the line of traditional civil rights ideas or you better keep quiet about it, because you will not advance, you will not receive awards and you will be ostracized.Ē
Either we have equal justice under law in this country or we don't. It is apparently the position of the Obama Regime that we don't. Call that one more reason to vote Republican in this year's election -- put the investigatory power int he hands of the GOP so as to make sure that the racists and their discriminatory agenda of protecting the rights of only members of some groups is brought to an end.
Well, teh results for the week are in -- and some fine writing received the endorsement of we bloggers of the Watcher's Council.
Now it is time for you to do your part -- get reading so you will be better informed.
While Democrats are trying to gin up reports of voting law violations here in Harris County, poll watchers have documented a number -- some involving Rep. Sheila JacksonLee (Disgrace -- Houston).
Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Houston) violated election laws when, on Tuesday, October 19 [corrected: date was wrongly noted as the 18th], she entered into Acres Home Multiservice Community Center, walked to where the voting booths were looking for the poll watchers, greeted voters there, and then found and confronted the poll watchers before being directed to, and then asked by, the presiding judge Bernard Gurski to leave the area.
A source speaking on the condition of anonymity said that she heard people say that Sheila Jackson Lee was in the voting area. The lobby of the building was chaotic because some people were in line to vote and some people were in line for the food bank.
So the source, a poll watcher, went into the room housing the voting booths and there stood Congresswoman Lee shaking hands with voters and greeting othersĖclearly electioneering. The poll watcher then went to one of the clerks and asked the presiding judge to take care of it.
While this occurred, the poll watcher heard Lee loudly say to the crowd in the voting area,ĒIíve heard a lot of complaints about voter intimidation by poll watchers. I am not going to allow voter intimidation.Ē
The poll watcher started writing the incident down.
Lee then went to the poll watcher and asked,ĒWhatís your name? Who do you represent?Ē
A poll watcher is not allowed to speak in the polling area, so directed Congresswoman Lee to the presiding judge. The poll watcher said that Congresswoman Lee indicated that she wanted names to report to the Department of Justice for voter intimidation.
The presiding judge asked Congresswoman Lee to leave.
Apparently this joke of a congresswoman doesn't respect the law enough to realize that the mere fact that one is a legally appointed poll watcher does not constitute a violation of state or federal election law -- but her electioneering and attempts to intimidate the poll watchers does constitute such intimidation.
Frankly, this sort of conduct concerns me, especially in light of accusations of voter fraud and intimidation that have swirled around this election since before the fire that destroyed the county's voting machines. When I read reports like the one above, I find myself thinking that if anyone shows up at my polling place and conducts themselves in the manner reported, I might find myself compelled by law to exercise my authority under Texas Code ß 32.075 (c) -- "a presiding judge has the power of a district judge to enforce order and preserve the peace, including the power to issue an arrest warrant" -- an exercise of authority that I've never done more than joke about in the past while setting up the polling place with my Democrat alternate judge. Indeed, when I helped conduct training seminars for my fellow precinct chairs a few years back, I explicitly told them that if they ever found themselves in a situation where they were considering the use of this authority, they should as themselves "do I really think this is a good idea? -- and ask the question every time they answered "yes" until they concluded the answer was "no".
For that matter, my general reaction to the accusations of voter intimidation that have been leveled in this election have been colored by my knowledge of the authority of the election judge under state law. If the sorts of egregious activities that some have claimed are going on outside the polling place are so readily observed, the presiding judge should be directing the arrest of those committing the violations. If poll watchers are acting beyond their permitted role and exceeding the legal limits of their appointment, the presiding judges ought to be ejecting them from the polling place under this same authority. They should not be turning over the names, addresses and phone numbers of those poll watchers to partisan elected officials who appear making demands for that information -- they should be using the phone numbers supplied to them in their election material and making the reports themselves. After all, we have all been trained (or will be trained) regarding these legal issues. There is a limit to who is allowed in the polling place -- and "Congresswoman strutting around electioneering, threatening credentialed poll watchers and demanding information from the election judge that is confidential by law" is not on the list.
The following is a list of the ONLY people allowed inside the polling place (early voting/election day):
a. Persons admitted to provide assistance to or to interpret for a voter who is entitled to assistance or to an interpreter.
b. Election judges and clerks
c. Poll watchers
e. Peace officers appointed by the presiding judge to preserve order
f. Those people admitted to vote
g. Children under 18 years old who are accompanying a parent who is admitted to vote
h. Officially credentialed inspectors from the Texas Secretary of State or US Department of Justice
I'm hoping that Queen Shelia's activities have been fully documented and submitted for prosecution -- as well as any other alleged excesses. At this point I'm quite concerned about what appears to be a concerted effort by the Democrats to intimidate poll watchers through illegal threats, violate of the confidentiality of their certificates of appointment, and to electioneer in polling places than by anything else I have heard about -- after all, the claims of voter suppression and intimidation made by the Democrats have been investigated and found to be without substance.
I guess you have to have been a community organizer to claim that you served.
Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, D-8th, doesnít think serving in the military is public service. At the October 6th meeting of the Arlington County Democratic Committee, Moran was videotaped telling fellow party members:
ďWhat [Republicans] do is find candidates, usually stealth candidates, that havenít been in office, havenít served or performed in any kind of public service. My opponent is typical, frankly.Ē
However, Moranís opponent happens to be Col. Patrick Murray (US Army-Ret.), who served 24 years in uniform, was deployed to four different combat zones, including Baghdad, as part of the 2007 troop surge under Gen. David Petraeus, and was even shot at by foreign combatants. If that isnít public service, I donít know what is.
Interestingly enough, Congressman Moron represents Arlington, Virginia. You know, where you would find this:
It may just be me, but it certainly seems that this is a district that needs to be represented by a congressman who respects the service and sacrifices of the United States military. So if you have a couple of dollars to spare, why not send them Patrick Murray's way?
After four days of early voting, numbers are up sharply in Harris County and across the state, prompting analysts to suggest that Texans are getting used to the convenience, are enthusiastic about their candidates or both.
"We're experiencing tremendously high turnout, both in-person and mail ballots," said Kevin Mauzy, deputy Harris County clerk. "The numbers rival what we did two years ago in a presidential election."
In Harris County, the 2010 numbers are running three times higher than in 2006 and are approaching figures for 2008. Analysts suggested local voters may be getting a head-start because of publicity about the long ballot and about the August fire that destroyed all of the county's voting machines.
Through the first four days, 138,349 local voters cast ballots: 104,420 in person and 33,929 more via mail. According to the Texas secretary of state's office, through the first three days, 316,000 people voted early across Texas, compared with 157,000 at the same point in 2006. In Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar and Travis counties, the numbers are up significantly, although they are not as high as the 2008 presidential election.
For a non-presidential year, these numbers are spectacular -- and that they are approaching 2008 levels tells me that people are highly motivated to get out and vote. To what degree the Harris County numbers are fueled by the "vote early" effort being made by the county, the media and the parties in the wake of the voting machine fire is difficult to gauge -- but even if it is, it still also shows the degree to which voters are motivated this year.
And for the record -- I voted Monday.
Like it or not, terrorism has become a fact of life for Americans since 9/11. And like it or not, the overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks, attempted attacks, and plots have involved members of a particular religious faith. Whatís more, polling data has shown that a significant percentage of members of that religious faith (though not a majority) are supportive of such acts of terrorism. Reasonable people, therefore, can and should have some concern about members of that religious faith in situations akin to those in which terrorist attacks have been carried out or attempted. Such a ďgut reactionĒ is hardly out of line.
NPR fired political analyst Juan Williams Wednesday night over his statement on Fox News that he gets "nervous" whenever he sees people in ďMuslim garbĒ boarding a plane.
ďI mean, look, Bill, Iím not a bigot,Ē Williams said on the "The O'Reilly Factor" Monday. ďBut when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.Ē
Now notice what Williams said here. He indicated that he was nervous, worried, and uncomfortable. He did not say that he believed that Muslims should be denied the right to fly, that they should be rounded up and put in camps, or that they should be exterminated. He simply noted that, based upon the undeniable fact of Islamic terrorism, that he has an emotional reaction of discomfort based upon his knowledge of those facts. That is hardly a basis for criticism, much less for firing.
In the not terribly distant past, a scandal rocked the Catholic Church. It involved a small percentage of Catholic priests engaging in sexual misconduct and the failure of the hierarchy to effectively deal with that misconduct. Based upon that misconduct, would it not be understandable that a person might have a similar reaction to proposed unsupervised sleepover for middle school boys at the parish rectory? Iíd say that would be a reasonable response, even though it is undeniable that the vast majority of priests are decent men who would not engage in the sort of behavior that was at the core of the scandal And no commentator would ever lose his or her job for admitting to having a negative gut reaction to hearing about such a sleepover if one took place.
Or to consider another such ďgut reactionĒ that was based upon a knowledge of a statistically higher rate of criminal activity among a particular group Ė and one that came from the mouth of a noted civil rights leader:
ďThere is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see someone white and feel relieved.Ē
Sadly, there is a statistically higher crime rate among young African-American men. Jesse Jackson, who is not an unintelligent man, knows it and has a reaction to it that is not unreasonable? I wonít call him hateful of bigoted for having a reaction based upon his knowledge of the grim realities of urban crime Ė I call him a realist.
Will Juan Williams land on his feet after NPRís fuzzy-minded liberalism resulted in his firing? Sure he will. There is a full-time gig as a columnist and commentator out there for him. Iíd actually love to have Juan Williams on the radio as a talk show host, providing that more moderate/liberal voice that has failed so many times as more doctrinaire and less personable figures have tried to fill that role.
The following bit of info appeared in print here a couple of days ago.
The state senator in Arizona who wrote the nation's toughest law against illegal immigrants said Tuesday he's collecting support across the country from legislators to challenge automatic U.S. citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.
Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce's target is the 14th Amendment, but it is unclear how the state lawmaker can or will influence a federal statue.
We can debate whether or not ending birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens is good policy Ė I think it is because it would eliminate one incentive for illegal immigration, but Iím open to being convinced otherwise Ė but there is a really simple way for state lawmakers to influence this aspect of the Fourteenth Amendment. Just pass resolutions calling for an Article V Convention to amend the Constitution to eliminate birthright citizenship for any child who is not the offspring of at least one US citizen or legal resident alien. Congress would either be forced to call such a convention if the necessary number of states acted, or it would put forward such an amendment to forestall the calling of such a convention.
Iím not shy in my support of Israel Ė but there are some things I donít countenance. One of those is Israeli espionage against the US, and the effort to free one of the most damaging spies in US history, Jonathan Pollard, who spied for Israel.
As convicted spy Jonathan Pollard approaches 25 years behind bars, Israelis and others are renewing efforts to secure freedom for the former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, who is serving a life sentence for relaying military documents to Israel.
Pollard's case has been a source of constant friction between Israel and the United States, its staunchest ally. Israeli leaders have failed to persuade Washington to release the 56-year-old American Jew, whom Israelis and some U.S. officials say was given an unduly long sentence for spying for a friendly government.
The way I see it, Pollard was given a life sentence for his treasonous activity against the US for a reason. If he wants out quickly, Iíd suggest that he drop dead. Otherwise, he did the crime so he can do the time Ė and let that be the end of the discussion.
The gubernatorial campaign of former Houston mayor Elmer Fudd gave Texans another example of its desperation and incompetence with its latest attack on Governor Rick Perry -- a claim that the Governor and his appointees raided the state's Teacher Retirement System. The evidence produced was as weak as the charges were spectacular -- and lead to one Democrat lapdog at the local Bill White campaign propaganda rag (the Houston Chronicle) to call for an impartial investigation because of the seriousness of the charges.
A top Travis County prosecutor said Wednesday his agency already has investigated Democrat Bill White's allegations of wrongdoing at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and closed the case because no criminal violations were discovered.
White accused Gov. Rick Perry of "raiding" the teacher pension fund for the benefit of some of his campaign donors because investments were made with the donors' companies. White produced a memo from last August that he claimed was the "smoking gun."
The Aug. 9 memo by investment director Michael Green accused TRS Chief Investment Officer Britt Harris of making investments over the objections of staff to satisfy TRS board members appointed by Perry. White called for an independent investigation into the matter.
First Assistant District Attorney John Neal said Green faxed prosecutors his memo in August of last year and met with attorneys and investigators on Sept. 3. Neal said investigators looked into the allegations and closed the case on June 22.
"We weren't able to identify any criminal violations," Neal said. "We wouldn't reopen this case unless new facts come to life."
Now please realize something about the Travis County DAs office -- it is not Republican-friendly. indeed, it is the office run for a couple decades by Democrat hack Ronnie Earle, who most famously engaged in grand jury shopping to get an indictment of Tom DeLay after five previous grand juries found his evidence to be lacking. The current DA, Rosemary Lehmberg, is Earle's hand-picked successor, and would most certainly have taken even the slightest hint of impropriety as an opportunity to weaken Perry and hand the office of governor to a liberal Democrat like Bill White.
In other words, this is yet another epic fail for Bill White and the Democrats.
I commented on the notion that schools ought to be the primary agent for making sure that students eat a couple of years ago. Criticizing the notion that schools should be responsible for feeding students year round, I mockingly wrote the following:
But then again, maybe I am too hard-hearted. Maybe the editorial is right. Children need to be fed year-round, and parents are clearly not up to the task.
But what about other school breaks and holidays? These children should not be left to fend for themselves for a week or two at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Spring Break! Clearly, the cafeterias must remain open during those times off as well.
And what about the irresponsible practice of sending children home on Friday afternoon and closing the cafeterias over the weekend? It seems absurd that we would expect children to survive through a Saturday and a Sunday without a hot breakfast and lunch. School districts need to keep the cafeterias open on the weekend as well, to avoid subjecting our nation's children to two whole days without nutrition.
I've also got a solution to what I see as the "dinner problem". By extending the school day by two or three hours, we can make sure that each student gets a hot dinner, ensuring three square meals a day. The interim time could be devoted to additional instructional time, though I certainly see the objections of those who see the extra classroom time as educators over-emphasizing academics.
But what I've not managed to solve is how to guarantee that every child gets a bowl of ice cream and a kiss on the forehead before bed. What do you think -- are parents up to such a task?
Well, it appears that our nationís schools are heading further and further down the path to being the primary agent of overseeing student nutrition, with schools now actually serving dinner to students in addition to breakfast and lunch!
Getting kids to eat three healthy meals a day can be a challenge, especially if money is tight. But D.C. Public Schools have found a way to take some of that burden off parents. They are now serving dinner at school.
On the menu are things like salmon salad, a whole grain roll, orange juice, one percent milk and a corn and pepper relish.
"With positive feedback, the kids will enjoy the food," Chef Edward Kwitowski said.
He is in charge of whipping up healthy dinners for D.C. school kids as part of this new program to provide three healthy meals a day at school.
"Our program is from scratch cooking with local produce," said Kwitowski. "And definitely low fat cooking."
And it isnít just an isolated program in one school in the District of Columbia Ė students are getting three meals a day in no less than thirteen states!
All of which leads me to address the key social and policy questions that are raised by this program Ė what are the respective role of the family and the schools in the raising of children? Is it our intent to replace the family with government programs when it comes to ensuring that students are properly fed? Is it now the expectation that schools cease being about education and instead become the agency responsible for the total raising of children? Is the next step the creation of public boarding schools where public employees become responsible for raising children from the time they begin kindergarten through the completion of the twelfth grade? And what will it take to instigate a frank public policy discussion among the public as a whole about these issues of parental responsibility vs. school responsibility?
While a local Democrat Party office is urging violence against poll watchers from a local Tea Party group, a local Democrat public official with a history of thuggish behavior is engaged in more direct intimidation.
[T]hree poll watchers were yelled at by a Democrat Harris County Commissioner El Franco Lee who said,ĒWhy are you here? We have never had poll watchers here. Yaíll need to get on out of here.Ē
Lee then demanded that the polling place judge give him information about the three poll watchers and the presiding judge compliedĖgiving him their private information. The three poll watchers now fear for their safety and wonder what will be done with their personal information which included their phone numbers and home addresses.
I'm putting El Franco Lee and Harris County Democrats on notice right now -- any harassment or violence against any of these poll watchers (or any others) will clearly be the responsibility of local Democrats who are making false charges of voter intimidation against them and gathering dossiers on poll watcher who are engaged in LEGAL activity under state law. You will be held accountable for the results of your actions by the people of Harris County.
And the irony, of course, is that it happened at a school called called "Liberty High School".
Administrators at a Bedford County school say they were forced to intervene in a student protest Tuesday morning.
20 students showed up at Liberty High School with tape over their mouths. The group was demonstrating against abortion.
When the principal learned what was happening, the protesters were asked to remove their tape.
The students were allowed to continue a silent protest for the rest of the day, once they removed the tape.
School spokesman Ryan Edwards says administrators got involved because the visible protest was viewed as a distraction in the classroom.
Now here's where the problem comes in -- the argument that the visible protest aspect (the tape) constituted a "distraction" is utter nonsense, especially in light that the silent protest was permitted to continue unimpeded. After all, let's consider the relevant Supreme Court precedent -- Tinker v. Des Moines. The following is the summary of the decision that was prepared by the Supreme Court when the decision was handed down.
Petitioners, three public school pupils in Des Moines, Iowa, were suspended from school for wearing black armbands to protest the Government's policy in Vietnam. They sought nominal damages and an injunction against a regulation that the respondents had promulgated banning the wearing of armbands. The District Court dismissed the complaint on the ground that the regulation was within the Board's power, despite the absence of any finding of substantial interference with the conduct of school activities. The Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, affirmed by an equally divided court. Held:
1. In wearing armbands, the petitioners were quiet and passive. They were not disruptive and did not impinge upon the rights of others. In these circumstances, their conduct was within the protection of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth. Pp. 505-506.
2. First Amendment rights are available to teachers and students, subject to application in light of the special characteristics of the school environment. Pp. 506-507.
3. A prohibition against expression of opinion, without any evidence that the rule is necessary to avoid substantial interference with school discipline or the rights of others, is not permissible under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Pp. 507-514.
DISPOSITION: 383 F.2d 988, reversed and remanded. 
Now tell me, how does tape over the mouth in any way rise to the standard set in this case -- "substantial interference with school discipline or the rights of others" -- in light of the fact that the tape would be in no way more disruptive than the black armbands in Tinker? It appears quite obvious to me, a legal layman who is also a professional educator, that the tape would not do so. It is therefore my considered opinion that the principal fundamentally erred in the decision to require that the tape be removed while permitting the silent protest to continue.
Indeed, I'd go a step further and argue that if the school administration were to argue that the tape did, in fact, rise to the level of a "substantial interference with school discipline", it's argument is completely undermined by the fact the silent protest itself would be even more of a disruption due to the need for students to fully engage in the pedagogical process in a high school classroom. To argue that the silence did not materially disrupt the classroom but the tape did strikes me as fatuous.
Last weekís forum in Waldorf became tense at the end, demonstrating the ďheatĒ of the campaign. After a question from the moderator concerning controlling the budget and expenditures, Lollar challenged Hoyerís answer, noting that congress recently adjourned without passing the FY-2011 (which began on October 1) budget.
ďCongress holds the purse string, theyíre responsible for appropriations. In fact, my Congressman Mr. Hoyer refused to even pass a budget for this year for the first time in several years, which is completely irresponsible,Ē said Lollar according to a transcript released by the Lollar campaign this morning.
Immediately after the exchange, Hoyer turned to Lollar and said, ďIím coming after you,Ē according to a press release issued by the Lollar campaign this morning. ďWhen Lollar brushed aside the challenge with a smile, Hoyer then repeated it.Ē Lollar spokesperson Patt Parker told somd.com that Hoyer made this comment after the microphones had been turned off.
Of course, if a Republican congressman, especially a member of the party leadership, made such a threat against a black opponent for daring to question the priorities of the politician and the party, there would be howls of press outrage and outright assertions about GOP racism. But when the parties are reverse, there really is no notice taken of it. Personally, Iíd like to see Hoyer take his best shot Ė after all, Lollar is a major in the Marine Reserves, and Iím sure he would be quite capable of dealing with any effort at physical intimidation that Klan-o-Crat Stenny Hoyer and his supporters would like to try to dish out. But one does have to wonder why it is always the candidates of the Party of Slavery and Segregation that attack black opponents so viciously Ė and for that matter, why Democrats have been involved in a significant number of physical assaults upon those who dare question their policies and records this election year.
When our own government concedes the degree to which our nationís southern border is uncontrolled, it should come as little surprise that we have had such an influx of illegal aliens Ė as well as other cross-border illegalities Ė in recent years.
The U.S. government does not have ďeffective controlĒ of 1,081 miles of the 1,954-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) responsible for securing the border.
ďBorder miles under effective controlĒ is a metric DHS uses in its annual performance reports to measure the performance of the Border Patrol.
As defined by DHS, a mile of the border is under the ďeffective controlĒ of the U.S. government ďwhen the appropriate mix of personnel, equipment, technology and tactical infrastructure has been deployed to reasonably ensure that when an attempted illegal entry is detected, the Border Patrol has the ability to identify, classify and respond to bring the attempted illegal entry to a satisfactory law enforcement resolution.Ē
Simply put, a border mile under ďeffective controlĒ is a place on the border where the U.S. government can be reasonably expected to intercept an illegal crosser.
Of course, the Canadian border is even worse Ė apparently only 69 miles of the over 4000 miles of that border have the appropriate balance of personnel, technology, and infrastructure necessary to intercept illegal crossers. However, that is not (as best anyone can tell) the source of the bulk of our illegal aliens and assorted contraband entering the US.
Surely Barack Obama and his lackeys will be jumping right on this one after their false attacks on the US Chamber of Commerce over the baseless accusations of foreign money being used to fund political ads.
The U.S. Chamber says it receives about $100,000 from its affiliates abroad (out of an operating budget of about $200 million), none of it used for political campaigns. Compare that to one of the largest labor unions in America, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is spending lavishly to elect Democrats. The SEIU claims 100,000 members in Canada. According to SEIU's 2008 constitution, dues include $7.65 per month per member that must be sent to the SEIU International in the United States. This means that the SEIU takes in nearly $9.2 million per year from foreign nationals -- almost 10 times the amount the Chamber receives from its affiliates abroad.
Is any foreign money being used to fund the SEIU's anti-Republican campaign efforts? According to the Wall Street Journal, "The Service Employees International Union, one of the nation's fastest-growing labor unions, acknowledges that it can't be certain that foreign nationals haven't contributed to its $44 million political budget to support pro-labor Democrats."
In other words, while the USCoC can document where the foreign drop-in-the-bucket goes, the SEIU cannot do the same Ė and by the way, let me correct the math by noting that the SEIU receives nearly 100 times what the Chamber receives, not a mere ten times like the article suggests. And then there are other international unions that may be playing the same game Ė Canadian workers by the hundreds of thousands are members of other international unions putting out ads for Democrats, with a portion of their dues presumably going for political activities here in the USA.
Of course, there are also other illegal contributions to union ads for Democrats Ė money taken from the paychecks of illegal aliens who are members of unions! I guess they are just making the illegal campaign donations that Americans wonít make.
Of course, these mandatory extractions of political donations from union members are a clear reason why unions should not be permitted to make political expenditures Ė as long as workers are required to join a union (or even pay an agency fee) as a condition of employment, these cannot in any way be described as voluntary political contributions by those workers. As such, the law is mandating involuntary political speech and association on the part of workers in violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. This makes unions different from trade associations, issue advocacy groups, and corporations Ė after all, no one is forced to join such groups or invest in them, which is a singular difference from union membership. Therefore, it is easy to distinguish a law banning such expenditures from the sort of law overturned in Citizens United.
Iíd ignore this crazy post from one of the KOSsacks if it were not so typical of what I have been hearing from the political Left over the last several election cycles. Apparently they believe that conservatives are ready to go on a murderous rampage against political dissenters after the election!
If you recall, Timothy McVeigh only had the encouragement of his own bitter little militia subculture when he decided that blowing up a federal building would launch a "revolution." So how emboldened will people like that become when the leadership of an elected government body, the media, and one of the two major political parties in this country all seem to be telling them in unison that (a)America is on their side, and (b)the nation is being invaded or oppressed by (insert demonic fantasy) with the aid of liberals and the Democratic Party?
Tell me that any of this is not a realistic scenario under such conditions: Democratic leaders physically afraid to associate with values that have prevailed in this country since its foundation; right-wing talk radio hosts cracking jokes about political murders and terrorist attacks, making excuses for their perpetrators, and ultimately all but volunteering their airtime for the groups responsible; attempted or successful assassinations of Republicans who speak against their party's radicalization; coordinated, staged riots in major American cities using bused-in wingnut thugs in response to prosecutions of Republicans; and so on.
And in the relatively benign case that the GOP loses this election or is disappointed, the rage of their base will be brought to a boil with the usual production of bigoted conspiracy theories kicked into overdrive: Their media (which is to say, THE media), having told them repeatedly that they were on the verge of crushing Democrats and "restoring" the WASP fantasy land of their imaginations, would naturally be shocked and aghast at being contradicted by the voters. It would be left to the fevered, schizophrenic speculations of the wingnut viewer - at least in "mainstream" media coverage - what exact combination of ACORN, the ACLU, the Muslim religion, and San Francisco homosexuals was involved in the "rigging" of the election, but every single one of the possible permutations would be brought up and believed 100%.
In this case, the violence would likely occur in spasms rather than spiraling upward to crescendo, but the poison would be almost as deep institutionally: The Republican minority, emboldened with greater numbers despite not having won control, would find the threats of their base against Democrats immensely useful and gratifying. Even without the majority, the media will still pretend they've won a crushing defeat against Democrats, and will still treat Republicans retaking R+15 districts after spending 20 times their opponents as some kind of political earthquake. In other words, the same things would probably happen, only front-loaded due to spasmodic anger, and less dramatic over time due to lack of official power on an ongoing basis.
Oh yes Ė pogroms and death camps. This clown actually seems to believe this sort of crap Ė and it is the sort of stuff spewed by local bloggers as well, not just those operating in the national forum that is the KOS fever swamp and the asylum that is Democratic Underground.
I have a response to such claims when I hear them spouted, one that I will now post here for the benefit of anyone who believes such nonsense if they happen by my site. So here it is -- if you really and truly believe what you are saying, then you have only two legitimate options, from which you must choose one::
At 7:00 AM, polls open for early voting in the state of Texas. Here in Harris County, it is crucial that as many voters as possible turn out during the early voting period.
This year's appeals to coax voters to the polls in October carry an unusual urgency after a fire destroyed nearly all the county's election machines seven weeks ago. The first public statement County Clerk Beverly Kaufman made in response to the fire ó even before it was put out - was a plea to vote early.
No one knew at the time of the Aug. 27 blaze how many replacement machines the county would be able to rustle up on such short notice. As it turns out, the county will deploy nearly as many eSlates as it had planned before the fire. Kaufman, nevertheless, continues to urge the county's 1,934,895 registered voters not to wait until Nov. 2 this year.
With machines borrowed from 16 counties supplementing newly purchased eSlates that have never been used, "There just might be something unforeseen that we don't expect," Kaufman said. "You never know."
The long ballot also could cause Election Day delays if too many people procrastinate. There are 175 races and propositions on ballots across the county. How many of them appear on your ballot depends on where you live.
An increase in requests for mail-in ballots suggests that voters are heeding Kaufman's call. As of Friday morning, 62,000 voters had submitted applications to vote by mail, which exceeds the number requested for the 2008 presidential election at the same point in the election cycle.
Both Kaufman and party leaders are forecasting a turnout of about 750,000 voters this year.
Harris County is expected to have a high turnout this year due to the presence of Houston's former mayor, Bill White, on the ballot as the Democrat candidate for governor. The voting machine issue, while probably not nearly the crisis that was originally predicted by many of us, is still serious -- I've been told, for example, that my precinct will not have as many voting machines as we would have had if the fire had not occurred, and even the option of paper ballots for voters is no guarantee of a speedier election day experience. I'm therefore asking all those who are planing to vote here in Harris County to get out during the early voting period.
For your convenience, here is a link to a PDF file noting the locations and hours of all early voting locations in Harris County. You can vote at any of these locations, regardless of where you live in the county, so there is no excuse for not voting early!
The media is ignoring this one.
The black man is the candidate of the racist Republican Party, while the incumbent in question is a Democrat. Could you imagine the response if the parties had been reversed, and a white Republican had slapped away the hand of a black Democrat? It would have been the racial cause cťlŤbre of the campaign season. But given that Ryan Frazier is one of the many well-qualified minority congressional candidates nominated by GOP voters for seats around the country, any scrutiny of Democrat Rep. Ed Perlmutter's actions would bring unhealthy scrutiny to the inclusive nature of GOP politics.
I've not written much of anything about the increasing number of signs and billboards attacking Barack Obama and the Democrats. After all, I've made it quite clear that I'm an opponent of the man and his policies, and so am generally in support of the message in question -- and even if I were not, I am a supporter of the First Amendment and believe that political speech in opposition to the regime in Washington is fully protected under the US Constitution.
I was, however, planning to write about this sign that appeared recently, which I did find offensive for reasons which should be obvious.
However, I'm not going to write that condemnatory post now -- and am instead wondering why Barack Obama has not come out in defense of the billboard, which has been removed in the wake of death threats.
Well that didn't take long.
The controversial Colorado billboard depicting President Obama as a suicide bomber, gangster, Mexican bandit and a gay man has been taken down -- just days after the sign was erected and slammed nation-wide for being racist.
A local Tea Party group had planned to rally around the sign in Grand Junction on Friday, but when they arrived, it had been taken down.
Those who know the owner of the billboard told a local NBC News affiliate that he and his wife were receiving death threats. The person who commissioned the piece is not yet known.
Friends of the owner said he decided to take down the billboard because he was receiving harassing calls.
"He got a lot of calls out of his place of business that he said he was fine with. When things got out of hand and people started calling his wife, that's when he decided to go ahead and take it down," said Blake Brueggeman, owner of Integrity Auto. Brueggeman leases property from sign's owner.
Now I want to know Barack Obama's position on this sign and its public display.
After all, he was quite willing to insert himself in the middle of the Ground Zero Mosque dispute with a ringing defense of the First Amendment right of those who plan on building the offensive structure and a denunciation of those who reject its location.
Why won't he speak out noting the First Amendment rights of those who own, designed, and paid for the sign and the unAmerican nature of the opposition who engaged in harassment and threats against those who were engaged in speech they found offensive?
Could it be that the only time Barack Obama believes the First Amendment is operative is when he is in support of the message it is being used to communicate, while he is more than willing to see the suppression of expression he dislikes -- or even actively participate in its suppression, as he did in the case of the proposed Quran burning? And if that is the case, isn't he in violation of his oath of office?
I'm not a fan of identity politics. Arguing that an individual must base their political stances on the basis of their ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation has always struck me as absurd, and based upon the false notion that group solidarity trumps all. Indeed, imagine the outrage if I suggested that whites who voted for Barack Obama were traitors to their race -- I'd be rightly labeled a racist.
So where is the media in expressing outrage over this attempt to undermine Marco Rubio's campaign for Senate with a blatantly racist appeal?
Gov. Charlie Crist (I) hit Republican Marco Rubio's stance on immigration during a contentious debate exchange Friday in the state's three-way race for Senate.
Crist referenced an article in the Hispanic newspaper La Gaceta, which criticized Rubio for not backing immigration reform.
"These are their words, not mine speaker, that you have turned your back on your Hispanic family, and they think that is inexcusable," said Crist.
Rubio hit back quickly, calling Crist's remarks "offensive" and recalling his own Cuban heritage.
"We're all used to hard-knock politics, but that's quite frankly, governor, offensive and outrageous, for you to talk about me to turn my back on my Hispanic family," Rubio said.
Frankly, Crist's effort was nothing short of a racist attack on Rubio. What's more, so was the original editorial from the newspaper in question. I'd argue that La Gaceta has shown itself to be every bit as racist as the house organ of the KKK, and Crist the moral equivalent of David Duke for daring to quote it. Real Americans reject such racist appeals -- and those who do not are traitors to America's values.
Quite incompetent, if this is what he truly believes.
At a Wilmington rally for Democratic Delaware Senate candidate Chris Coons today, President Obama laid to rest any remaining speculation that Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden might switch jobs in 2012, telling a packed crowd in Biden's home state that his choice of vice president was "the single best decision I have made."
Really? Putting Joe Biden one heartbeat away from the presidency is the single best decision he's made? The man is a profane, racial slur spouting gaffe machine with a history of plagiarism who is such a boob that no sane American wants to contemplate the notion of his becoming President of the United States.
But then again, maybe he's right. How could Congress ever consider impeaching Barack Obama if his removal from office meant that Joe Biden would become the next occupant of the Oval Office? And any would-be assassin deranged enough to think that "President Biden" would be a good idea would also be too far around the bend to plan and carry out his or her scheme. So maybe the selection of Joe Biden as VP was brilliant -- if only to ensure that Barack Obama completes his term in office.
As is the custom here at Rhymes With Right, here are the full results of this week's exercise in recognizing blogging excellence, courtesy of the Watcher's Council:
A friend's niece has been entered in a contest for babies sponsored by Gerber -- could you spare a moment to cast a vote for Ella?
So peaceful, in fact, that its followers target for death anyone who dares to speak against it.
Bill Keller, leader of the worldís largest interactive Christian website for 11 years, Liveprayer.com, has received numerous death threats from Muslims over the years for his stand that Islam is ďa false religion, with a false book, and a false prophet.Ē
Keller, who has been in the national and international press recently for opening his ď9-11 Christian Center at Ground ZeroĒ as a response to the proposed mosque by the site of the attacks of 9/11, received a detailed call from a person stating they represent the Islamic Center of Southwest Florida in Ft. Myers. The call explicitly stated that Keller would be killed for his disrespect of ďAllahĒ and the ďIslamic religion.Ē
Iíll say it flat out Ė I do not recognize in Allah the God of Judaism and Christianity. The Quran is a book of lies and blasphemy written by a delusional criminal who spread his false religion via the sword. All too many of his followers continue to follow his malign example to this day in their abuse of women, oppression of non-Muslims, and acts of violence against dissenters. While many Ė if not most Ė Muslims are good and decent people, the core teachings of their faith too often have had a negative impact upon the world as a whole. As such, I reject Islam even as I maintain my respect for individual Muslims as fellow citizens and human beings. And if my position is unacceptable to anyone, may I politely point out that it is my right to believe these things and to speak them freely, just as it is their right to believe the teachings of Islam and practice it freely.
Place Bacon Upon Him
Over at BayAreaHatemonger, the siteowner likes to post about how Texas sucks and what bad shape the state is in. Too bad the numbers show something quite different. After all, of 214,000 jobs created in the US in the last year, 119,000 of them were created in Texas. But there is more.
Itís not as though Texas has been exempt from the Great Recession. Its unemployment rate is 8.3 percent ó high, though beneath the national rate of 9.6 percent. It faces a recession-driven shortfall of roughly $15 billion for its next two-year budget, a significant challenge to its low-tax ways. But it has weathered the storm better than the nation, and better than its mammoth competitor on the West Coast.
A new Texas Public Policy Foundation report notes that Texas experienced a decline of 2.3 percent from its peak employment, while the nation declined 5.7 percent and California 8.7 percent. During the past 12 months, California nearly canceled out Texasís job creation all by itself, losing 112,000 net jobs. Its unemployment rate is above 12 percent.
Texas is a model of governmental restraint. In 2008, state and local expenditures were 25.5 percent of GDP in California, 22.8 in the U.S., and 17.3 in Texas. Back in 1987, levels of spending were roughly similar in these places. The recessions of 1991 and 2001 spiked spending everywhere, but each time Texas fought to bring it down to pre-recession levels. ďBecause of this policy decision,Ē the Texas Public Policy Foundation report notes, ďTexasí 2008 spending burden remained slightly below its 1987 levels ó a major accomplishment.Ē
Less spending means lower taxes. Texas doesnít have an income tax ó in contrast to Californiaís highly progressive income tax ó and it is among the 10 lowest-tax states in the country. Its regulatory burden is low across the board, and itís a right-to-work state that enacted significant tort reform in the middle of the last decade.
Now Texas Democrats will tell you that the fact that unemployment is up is the fault of Texas Republicans, and wants to blame a whole host of economic and social ills attributable to illegal immigration are a result of Republican policies. The problem is that they tell you that the solution is to follow the lead of Barack Obama and the national Democrats Ė and since they have led the rest of the nation into more dire straights than are faced by Texas, do you really want them to do for Texas what they have done for America?
First lady Michelle Obama appears to have violated Illinois law ó when she engaged in political discussion at a polling place!
The drama began after Mrs. Obama stopped off at the Martin Luther King Center on the south side of Chicago to cast an early vote.
After finishing at the machine, Obama went back to the desk and handed in her voting key.
She let voters including electrician Dennis Campbell, 56, take some photos.
ďShe was telling me how important it was to vote to keep her husbandís agenda going,Ē Campbell said.
According to a pool reporter from the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES at the scene, the conversation took place IN the voting center not far from the booths.
Illinois state law ó Sec. 17-29 (a) ó states: ďNo judge of election, pollwatcher, or other person shall, at any primary or election, do any electioneering or soliciting of votes or engage in any political discussion within any polling place, within 100 feet of any polling place.Ē
Down here in texas, taking photos inside a polling place is illegal, as well as the sort of electioneering engaged in by Mrs. Obama. The election judge up there in Illinois should have been taking action to preserve the decorum and order of the polling place -- as well as its status as an electioneering-free zone -- even when the First Lady was present.
And this quote from a state elections official shows how corrupt the Democrats who run the state of Illinois and city of Chicago truly are:
ďYou kind of have to drop the standard for the first lady, right?Ē
No, you don't -- you don't get a pass because you are one of the powerful. Indeed, Mrs. Obama ought to know the rules better than most given her involvement with electoral politics.
And since this news story has hit the internet, it is no longer in bad taste to post a link to it.
One of the 33 men trapped in a Chilean mine for 69 days has told how they joked about cannibalism ó but only after they started to get supplies of food.
* * *
Richard Villaroel told the paper that there was an agreement that they would share what food they had after the mine collapsed.
He said their daily ration during the 17 days before a probe reached them from the surface was half a spoonful of tuna or salmon.
"We were getting eaten up, as we were working," Villaroel told the newspaper. "We were moving, but not eating well. We started to eat ourselves up and get skinnier and skinnier. That is called cannibalism, a sailor down there said. My body was eating itself up."
Asked if the men had been worried they would have to start eating each other, Villaroel said: "At that moment no one talked about it. But once [help came] it became a topic of joking, but only once it was over, once they found us. But at the time there was no talk of cannibalism."
Fortunately, all 33 miners came through this ordeal in excellent shape and will soon be out of the hospital following their rescue.
But I'm sure a lot of us folks "of a certain age" thought of the song "Timothy" by the Buoys.
Do you really want to know? It wasn't in my room, but I am in the building in question.
Obama certainly seems to think that he is, given the philosophy he expressed in a magazine interview.
President Obama reveals in a magazine article that he is weighing what to do if Republicans win the House majority next month, and has come up with a novel approach: Make the GOP work with him.
In a seeming twist on the post-1994 midterm calculation made by President Bill Clinton -- when Republicans pummeled Democrats in the congressional election -- Obama said he thinks Republicans will have to move in his direction no matter the outcome of the Nov. 2 vote.
You, Barry, the GOP is about to give the Democrats a thrashing that exceeds what happened in 1994. Much of that is due to a repudiation of you and your policies by the American people. You had better prepare to move towards the Republicans and learn how to work with them, given the mood of the American people, rather than expecting them to sign on to assist an unpopular president enact rejected policies.
I was flipping channels on my XM radio on the way home and came across this on as it came on. Haven't thought about it in years, but haven't been able to get it out of my head since. Maybe I can pass it on to you.
That is an issue raised by the results of this poll.
The percentage of Americans who think the federal government poses ďan immediate threatĒ to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens has increased significantly over the last seven years, rising from 30 percent to 46 percent, according to a Gallup poll conducted Sept. 13-16 and released today.
Only 51 percent of Americans now say they do not think the federal government poses ďan immediate threatĒ to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.
Now remember Ė Jefferson wrote the following in the Declaration of Independence.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ó That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, ó That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Jefferson then goes on, of course, to discuss the reality that most folks are willing to put up with governments destructive of liberty rather than make a change Ė but ought we do so? And if government has become such a grave threat to our liberties, has not the time already come to act against it by curtailing its powers in order to prevent the impending evil? I think there is a clear argument to be made that such actions should, when possible, be taken by those who love liberty. And that is why the elections only 2 Ĺ weeks from now are vitally important to us as Americans Ė they are our chance to check the power of government before government uses its power to check the liberties of Americans.
A group of 11 prominent charities is preparing a letter calling on the US to remove logos on American-funded assistance in Pakistan.
The letter, signed by charities including Save the Children, Oxfam, and World Vision says that such "branding" of aid jeopardises their neutrality.
They say that this is especially dangerous in a country with numerous anti-American militants.
The letter will be delivered later this week in Washington, officials say.
It says that there are "strong indicators" that branding will attract violent attacks for both economic and ideologically-motivated reasons".
The letter will be sent to the US government aid agency, USAID, by the InterAction group, a coalition of more than 160 humanitarian organisations working around the world.
International charities have for several years refrained from using their own logos in Pakistan because of the security risk.
However the US government, through USAID, requires non-governmental organisations that receive funding to "brand" aid with the agency's handshake logo and the words "from the American people" in local languages.
Seriously, if it is unsafe for there to be an American flag on food aid supplied through the use of American dollars extracted from American taxpayers, then the time has come for us to recognize that Pakistan is so irredeemably compromised by the Islamists that it is inappropriate to devote our resources to aiding its people. Let the Saudis send some of the excess from the abundant crops produced in their agricultural heartland, and let the rest of the Muslim world contribute the fruits of their world-class economies to their Pakistani brethren. Oh, thatís right Ė most of the Islamic world is composed of backwards Third World hell-holes trapped somewhere in the twelfth century (but for what technological advancement they receive courtesy of the West), and the Saudis import most of their food using petrodollars from American consumers. And it is we Americans Ė the infidels Ė who time and again ride to the rescue when disaster strikes.
This American has had it. If they hate us so much that they cannot abide by the sight of our flag, then let them eat Qurans, Kalishnikovs, and suicide vests.
H/T Jawa Report
Living Medal of Honor recipients are a treasure. Here in the Houston area, we lost one of these jewels over the weekend.
David H. McNerney, a Medal of Honor recipient whose Vietnam War heroics later became the subject of a documentary, died Sunday after a battle with lung cancer. The Crosby man was 79.
His act of heroism above and beyond the call of duty is as follows.
In March 1967, the company of fewer than 100 soldiers was attacked by a much larger force near the Central Highlands village of Polei Doc.
McNerney dashed through a hail of gunfire and took charge after learning that the company's commander and artillery forward observer had been killed. Although wounded by a North Vietnamese grenade, McNerney wiped out a machine gun position and called artillery fire to within 20 meters of his own position to repulse the waves of enemy soldiers threatening to overrun the U.S. lines.
All the while, McNerney continued moving throughout the company's battlefield area ó adjusting the position, checking on his soldiers and pulling the wounded to safety.
"If he was there, we just didn't have any worries," Ponsoll said. "We knew he was going to take care of us."
McNerney also crawled outside the relative safety of the perimeter to grab enough explosives from abandoned rucksacks to clear away a landing zone for the medical evacuation helicopters.
McNerney remained with his troops until the next day when the new company commander arrived.
This was McNerney's third tour in Vietnam -- one which he had to wrangle in order to stay with a unit of troops he had trained. He later returned for a fourth tour of duty there before retiring.
Rest in peace, with the thanks of a grateful nation.
I cannot believe that anyone -- much less a cop -- would be put through this sort of Hell without investigators getting all their ducks in a row first.
Charges against a police officer jailed in a two-state shooting rampage will be formally dropped Wednesday, a prosecutor said.
Brian E. Dorian, 37, was to be released on his own recognizance Tuesday night, Will County State's Attorney James W. Glasgow announced.
"I feel horrible that Brian Dorian went through this," said Glasgow, adding that evidence at the time and identification in lineups merited the charges. "At no time did we stop looking for exculpatory evidence."
A forensic analysis of Dorian's home computer and its activity put Dorian at home at the time of the shootings and verified his alibi, authorities said. The officer also told them he was watching sports programs and using e-mail.
I smell a lawsuit here -- and Brian Dorian, who has been on medical leave recovering from a shoulder injury, will likely not ever have to work again when it is through.
When I commented on the murder spree against American citizens in Mexico recently, I got the following silly comment from a commenter.
How many Americans were murdered in the tiny little area known as Washington DC in 2009? 143!
Focus on your own country, idiot.
I have in the past, of course, but I cannot help but note that here in the US we do not get incidents like this one.
The severed head of a Mexican police commander investigating the fatal shooting of U.S. citizen David Michael Hartley on Falcon Lake was delivered Tuesday to Mexican military in a suitcase, authorities said.
The commander, identified as Rolando Flores Villegas, was one of the investigators that family members met during a meeting last week at an international bridge near Roma, said Cynthia Young, the mother of Hartley's widow, Tiffany.
Officials said the head was delivered in the vicinity of Miguel AlemŠn, Mexico, across the border from Roma, Texas.
The area is known to be under control of the Zeta drug cartel, which fiercely protects the sparsely populated ranchland lining the border, as well as the Mexican side of the vast Falcon Lake reservoir.
Young said the family felt the cartels were trying to scare search teams away.
While we may have a crime problem in many of our cities, we don't have anything like that going on -- and certainly not with the regularity of such atrocities in Mexico.
So I'll repeat what I said the other day in my reply -- the criminal enterprises that seem to have taken control in the failed narco-terrorist state to our south have become a national security issue for the United States. When will the US take action to deal with that security threat?
The terror group tied to the Ft. Hood killings and the Christmas Day undies airbomber urge wannabe American jihadis to open fire on crowded restaurants in the nation's capital to massacre U.S. government workers.
The advice appears in "Inspire," the latest issue of a slick propaganda publication by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Osama Bin Laden's franchise in Yemen.
"A random hit at a crowded restaurant in Washington, D.C., at lunch hour might end up knocking out a few government employees," Yahya Ibrahim writes in the 74-page jihadi how-to magazine.
"Targeting such employees is paramount and the location would also give the operation additional media attention," Ibrahim added.
You don't have to have done anything -- just having the wrong job is sufficient to have targeted you for death.
Sort of reminds me of this post from a while back in which a local blogger advocated opening fire on those whose jobs he dislikes in a government building.
Not hardly -- just anti-illegal immigrant, as this statistical detail shows.
Here in Arizona, illegal immigrants get the boot. But refugees get the welcome mat.
Even as officials rage at what they have called the "invasion" of illegal immigrants, mostly Mexicans, Arizona has welcomed thousands of legal immigrants from such grief-torn lands as Somalia, Myanmar and Iraq, and is known for treating them unusually well.
Indeed, the scorched expanse of the Phoenix valley can seem like a giant resettlement lab. Bosnians trim the watered lawns of the Arizona Biltmore, and Karenni speakers have their own prenatal class at St. Joseph's hospital. A Sudanese goat farmer is thriving in a desert slaughterhouse built with a micro-enterprise loan. (He is glad to demonstrate his skill in turning goats to goat meat.)
The upshot is that only three states take more refugees per capita than Arizona does -- and it has a thriving population of other legal immigrants. That is as it should be -- and precisely what most of us who raise concerns about America's porous border and failure to aggressively enforce our nation's immigration laws want to see around the country.
I'll say it flat out -- I welcome legal immigrants who wish to embrace America, American values, and the American way of life, no matter where they are from. Indeed, I agree with those who support immigration "reform" when they talk about increasing the number of legal immigrants and fixing an immigration and naturalization system that is clearly not working efficiently.
The human members of the household been fighting nasty sinus infections for several days, and I've had a pretty booked personal and work schedule. Something finally had to give, so I decided to lay off blogging over the weekend (and did except for the brief time I was awake and clear-headed Saturday evening). The lethargy seems to be lifting, so I should be back up to speed here today or tomorrow.
Here are the full results of this week's exercise in blogging excellence from the Watcher's Council!
It seems Rich Iott, candidate for Ohioís 9th Congressional District, may face a tougher race than he expected.
The Republican candidate for Congress seems to have a history of dressing as a Nazi. Mr. Iott, who is strongly backed by the Tea Party, is part of a group that dresses in German Waffen SS uniforms and participates in Nazi re-enactments. That, according to the Atlanticís Josh Green. Mr. Green, who has been working on the story for awhile, broke the news on Bill Maher.
Sounds really bad -- until you recognize that Iott is a participant in a group of WWII reenactors, whose activities are not dissimilar to the activities of Civil War reenactors and other period historical enthusiasts. It is about the history, not the underlying philosophy of one side or the other particular conflict. Indeed, Iott has also been involved in other groups in which he has taken on the role of Civil War Union infantryman, World War I dough boy and World War II American infantryman and paratrooper.
So there exists out there a picture of me dressed in medieval drag drinking a flagon of ale that apparently now disqualifies me as a candidate for office in the eyes of Bill Maher, the Atlantic's Josh Green, and a number of other conservative-hating Lefties who have no arguments based upon policy or principle to support their favored ideology so instead find it necessary to make one's interest in a period of history the basis for slander.
Here are some numbers that should give one pause.
Forty-eight Americans were killed in Mexico during the first six months of 2010 ó a deadly pace that appears likely to exceed any previous year of homicides on record, according to the Houston Chronicle's analysis of the U.S. State Department's death registry.
The tally doesn't include two Texans reported killed Sept. 30 in separate incidents in isolated areas of Tamaulipas, where the terrorist group known as the Zetas has been warring with their Gulf Cartel rivals in communities all along the Southeast Texas border.
Heck, not only does that not include the two killed at the end of September, but the number fails to include dead Americans killed in all of July, August, and September. And it does not even include all Americans murdered in Mexico -- take, for example, this case.
Three U.S. citizens ó a bridegroom, his brother and his uncle, all from New Mexico ó were reported by Mexican authorities to have been abducted during a May wedding at the El SeŮor de la Misericordia Catholic Church in Juarez. Their bodies were later found dumped in a pickup truck, but those three homicides do not appear to be included in the registry.
In short, it appears that our own government is not being honest with us about how many Americans are being murdered south of the border.
And, of course, this fails to take into account the number of Americans killed in this country by Mexican nationals illegally in this country. If we add those numbers into the total, I've no doubt that we would see an exponential increase in American deaths due to the craziness in Mexico.
What needs to happen at this point? Closed borders? US intervention in the situation in our southern neighbor? I'm not sure -- but one thing that does need to happen is that the State Department needs to start leveling with the American people regarding this problem -- and then DHS needs to keep track of those deaths caused by illegal aliens so that we know the full extent of the problem.
The sheer number of subpoenas is a telling clue. According to former Edwards staffers who wish to remain anonymous, there were far fewer than 20 people in the loop about how Edwards funded his ďHide HunterĒ scheme. Furthermore, those in the inner circle of confidantsóincluding Chief of Staff Miles Lackey; Jonathan Price who, according the sources, ďhandled all things Rielle;Ē and Nick Baldick and Alexis Barr, who possessed the check-writing ability connected to Edwardsí nonprofit groupsóare believed to have already testified before the grand jury. So these subpoenas seem to indicate that the feds are looking beyond questions surrounding how Hunter got money.
The next clue comes via a source who is familiar with the inner workings of the case and who has been close to Edwards for years. This person tells me that these newly subpoenaed witnesses are primarily Washington, D.C.-based. That hints at the possibility that prosecutors might be looking past the presidential campaign itself and toward how Edwardsí operated his former Senate officeóand perhaps even to the actions of Edwardsí estranged and cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth.
Two people who used to be amid the senatorís inner circle say that such a theory is floating around the network of former Edwards aides. Other former staffers have told me how Elizabeth used them like ďvirtual house servantsĒ to perform personal tasks they never should have been asked to undertake, from picking up dry cleaning, to chauffeuring Elizabeth to and from the Edwardsí D.C. home. ďIt was just not right,Ē says one staffer.
Imagine if Elizabeth gets caught in this mess, or if John Edwards, worth tens of millions of dollars, goes to trial not because he lied about a mistress, a love child, and how he paid to hide his second family from the mediaóbut rather the arrogance of thinking there was no need to hire domestic help for his wife. This case may only get more interesting.
Could John Edwards be going away for a long time? Could Elizabeth Edwards, stricken with cancer, be facing charges as well? Maybe the National Enquirer will look into these matters, because you can be sure the liberal media will not be doing so UNLESS forced to do so.
Knowledge which, I might add, makes the events that day more understandable and the actions of the ďbad guysĒ appear much less sinister than the traditional interpretation would have us believe.
A noisy, violent altercation and four pistol shots took place about 70 seconds before Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on antiwar protesters at Kent State University, according to a new analysis of a 40-year-old audiotape of the event.
The discovery adds new perspective to -- and raises new questions about -- one of the signature events of the 20th century, after four decades of spirited discussion and research.
"They got somebody," an observer says. "Kill him!" at least two male voices repeatedly shout, followed by sounds of a struggle and a female voice yelling, "Whack that [expletive]!" or "Hit that [expletive]!" Four distinct shots matching the acoustic signature of a .38-caliber revolver then ring out, according to a review by New Jersey forensic audio expert Stuart Allen.
Earlier this year, Allen and colleague Tom Owen examined the recording at The Plain Dealer's request and determined that Guardsmen were given an order to prepare to fire moments before they unleashed a 13-second fusillade of rifle shots at a May 4, 1970 demonstration that killed four students and wounded nine others. What compelled the Guard to shoot is the central mystery of the iconic event, which galvanized sentiment against the Vietnam War.
After uncovering the apparent command, Allen has continued to study and enhance the old recording, and determined this week that it also contains the clash and the pistol fire that precede the Guard volley.
Though the tussle and pistol shots, if authenticated, match some key details of a confrontation several witnesses reported seeing or hearing involving a pistol-waving Kent State student named Terry Norman, they raise many new questions.
Most folks have dismissed the reports about Terry Norman as a fabrication by a police informant. Now it appears that not only was he there waving a gun, but that he (or someone) was also firing. That certainly puts a different light on accounts that would have the Ohio Guard firing for no good reason at innocent, unarmed protesters. Iím not saying that decision was right or wrong, but it is certainly ought to raise the question.
After all, I was under the impression that Muslims thought that would be a bad thing and would turn against those who desecrated one?
An anti-insurgent provincial governor who had survived Taliban assassination attempts was among 20 people who died on Friday in an explosion at a northern Afghan mosque during prayers, a government official said.
The blast in Afghanistan's Takhar province killed Kunduz provincial governor Mohammad Omar, who recently sounded an alarm about the threat of insurgents during an interview with CNN.
The bombing also wounded 35 others, with most of those killed and injured engaged in prayer, said Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Zamarai Bashari.
"It is a terrible incident," said Bashari, who said police were trying to find out more details about the strike and who is responsible.
Apparently the restriction on Quran desecration is waived if it happens as a consequence of ďgood MuslimsĒ killing other Muslims while the latter are praying in a mosque.
I canít help but be amused by this stunt in response to a fan letter.
Yesterday, ďPirates of the CaribbeanĒ star Johnny Depp made a nine-year-old schoolgirlís dream come true when he showed up at her primary school in character as Jack Sparrow. Depp ó who is currently filming ďOn Stranger Tides,Ē the fourth installment of the ďPiratesĒ franchise in London ó said he decided to stop by Meridian Primary School because student Beatrice Delap had written him a letter asking him to help her and her friends mutiny against the teachers. After he arrived unannounced at the school, a special assembly was set up and Depp performed for the students for about 15 minutes. Delap later said that Depp told her she shouldnít mutiny that day because the police were outside monitoring the 47-year-old actor.
Too many of todayís stars are self-centered jerks who donít care about the people who pay for their performances. For all I know, Depp may be the same way. But the important thing to me is that in this one instance he did something kind for one little girl and her classmates Ė and this teacher can respect that.
While plaintiffs describe the Commerce Clause power as reaching economic activity, the governmentís characterization of the Commerce Clause reaching economic decisions is more accurate.
What that means is this:
ďIf itís an economic decision, the federal government can make it for you. Thatís the takeaway from a ruling this afternoon by a federal judge in Michigan.Ē
Or put differently -- It isn't really your money, and whatever discretion you have been permitted in spending has been entirely at the sufferance of the federal government. So while the Thirteenth Amendment may have done away with chattel slavery when practiced by by private parties, the Commerce Clause as now interpreted makes each and every one of us economic slaves to the Federal Government, which under this ruling has virtually unchecked power to regulate our economic lives.
According to Democrats here in Texas, Bill White is the greatest mayor the city of Houston has ever had -- indeed, he is probably the greatest public servant the state has ever produced if one listens to their rhetoric.
Those who have worked for him do not seem to agree. Houston cops and firefighters have endorsed his opponent, Rick Perry. I'll leave it to my buddy Robbie over at Urban Grounds to state the obvious on this matter.
The two non-military professions I respect and admire the most are police/law enforcement officer and firefighter.
Men who put their lives on the line on a daily basis to protect other people. Very little is more honorable or braver than the jobs that these men and women do for us.
Which is why I think that it is especially telling that the Houston Police Officers Union have joined the Harris County(Houston) Deputies Organization and the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 341 in endorsing Gov. Rick Perry for re-election this year instead of their former boss, Bill White.
Frankly, I think that the fact the city employees who we trust to protect our lives, safety, and property find their former boss lacking as a potential governor should tell us everything we need to know.
Could you imagine the outrage if a Republican were caught planning to target his female opponent as a "whore"? Where is the press and where are the feminists on this case of a Democrat planning precisely the same attack?
In a private conversation that was inadvertently taped by a voicemail machine, an associate of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown can be heard referring to his Republican opponent Meg Whitman as a ďwhoreĒ for cutting a deal protecting law enforcement pensions as the two candidates competed for police endorsements.
The comment came after Brown called the Los Angeles Police Protective League in early September to ask for its endorsement. He left a voicemail message for Scott Rate, a union official. Brown apparently believed he had hung up the phone, but the connection remained intact and the voice mail machine captured an ensuing conversation between Brown and his aides.
With evident frustration, Brown discussed the pressure he was under to refuse to reduce public safety pensions or lose law enforcement endorsements to Whitman. Months earlier, Whitman had agreed to exempt public safety officials from key parts of her pension reform plan.
ďDo we want to put an ad out? Ö That I have been warned if I crack down on pensions, I will be Ė that theyíll go to Whitman, and thatís where theyíll go because they know Whitman will give Ďem, will cut them a deal, but I wonít,Ē Brown said.
At that point, what appears to be a second voice interjects: ďWhat about saying sheís a whore?Ē
ďWell, Iím going to use that,Ē Brown responds. ďIt proves youíve cut a secret deal to protect the pensions.Ē
I can see the tag line for the anti-Brown ad now:
Someone in editorial has a really naughty sense of humor.
Thatís how I read this Ė heís not going to look to compromise with the elected representatives of the American people if they repudiate his agenda in November.
A Republican majority in Congress would mean "hand-to-hand combat" on Capitol Hill for the next two years, threatening policies Democrats have enacted to stabilize the economy, President Obama warned Thursday.
Speaking on Michael Baisden's syndicated radio show, Obama also made a direct appeal to African Americans about the importance of the November vote, even though he's not on the ballot himself.
In other words, heís going to combat the Republicans at every turn. There will be no compromise, no ďbi-partisanshipĒ, if the Republicans are in ascendancy.
Which only goes to show the truth of what so many of us have always said Ė bi-partisanship is liberal-speak for Republicans abandoning their principles and their constituents in order to help the Democrats enact policies acceptable to liberals but not to mainstream Americans.
AS AN ASIDE: If Barack Obama has time to ďreach outĒ to voters by calling in to a radio show syndicated on a whole 71 stations around the country, why doesnít he call Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Bennett, Hewitt, or one of the other leading talkers on the radio in order to try to appeal to their audiences? That would certainly be a show of good faith and indicate a willingness to dialogue with his political opponents.
I wrote briefly about Jason Dunhamís parents yesterday. Today I note the naming of a ship in honor of this Medal of Honor recipient.
It was a year into the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and a young Marine manning a checkpoint threw his body on a hand grenade.
Cpl. Jason Dunham saved the lives of two buddies but would die of his wounds days later.
Now, the 22-year-old Marine's sacrifice is being immortalized.
A warship bearing his name sailed from the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine on Wednesday morning, the start of a nearly monthlong training cruise down the East Coast ahead of a 10-day visit to South Florida.
It's expected to arrive on Nov. 5. And eight days later, the U.S. Navy will commission its newest $1.1 billion destroyer, DDG 109, at Port Everglades. Name: the USS Jason Dunham.
In addition to Duhhamís parents, the two men saved by his sacrifice will also be in attendance at the commissioning ceremony. That is particularly fitting.
May God bless all those who serve aboard USS Jason Dunham, and may this vessel shield both crew and nation from harm every bit as surely as Cpl. Dunham gave the last great measure of devotion to shield his fellow Marines.
I donít have a lot of use for the manís airy-fairy pop spirituality, but he does raise an important issue that every free man and woman ought to ask as he discusses his new book about Muhammad.
"Why should we walk on eggshells when it comes to Islam or the Prophet?" he asks. "That's an issue for me. I actually am telling my Muslim friends now, and publicly, 'Hey guys, you've got to come out and speak out. Why are you not speaking up? What are you afraid of?' We should not have this attitude. And I think it's time to bring that discussion into the open."
Iíve made it quite clear that I am no fan of Islam. I donít believe the Quran to be inspired, though I do have respect for some of the beautiful poetry found in it. And as a historical figure, I see Muhammad as a false prophet but a great leader who molded his disorganized people into a fighting force that created a major civilization Ė and one whose legacy is at best mixed in terms of good and evil. Moreover, as a non-Muslim I reject the argument that I must respect Muslim sensitivities and religious taboos about Muhammad (unless, of course, I am a guest at a mosque or at the home/office a Muslim).
But I like this response to it even less.
A Montana woman accused of taking a crowbar to an art museum display that has spurred protests and been denounced as obscene was arrested Wednesday on a charge of criminal mischief.
Kathleen Folden, 56, of Kalispell, Mont., was accused of damaging a print that critics say protrays Jesus Christ engaged in a sex act.
Witnesses said the woman entered the Loveland Museum Gallery, used a crowbar to break glass over the art and ripped the print, according to the Loveland Reporter-Herald.
It is really simple -- Enrique Chagoya had a right to create and display this blasphemous "codex", and the woman who destroyed it desecrated the First Amendment in the process. But I would like to point out that the response of Christians to this insult is far different that what could have been expected of Muslims had the focus been on another part of the "codex".
She may have damaged (or perhaps even destroyed) the artwork -- the above image carries a death sentence under Islamic law. Most Christians would condemn the actions of the woman who attacked the artwork, but most Muslims would acknowledge that an attack on the artist himself would be within the bounds of acceptable behavior for a Muslim. I think the difference is still important to note.
Iíd rather have my money go to candidates I support rather than taken from me by corrupt union bosses who will decide for me who better represents my interests.
The National Education Association said Wednesday it will spend $15 million on independent television and radio ads to help re-elect a handful of public-education-minded Democrats facing tough races.
* * *
The NEAís $15 million program is only the latest big 2010 campaign spending development driven by the Supreme Courtís Citizens United ruling earlier this year, which tossed aside restrictions on how corporations and other groups could spend money to influence elections.
Labor unions said they will begin airing campaign ads themselves rather than channeling funds through independent Democratic-leaning groups.
All of which leads me back to this post from yesterday regarding a Democrat proposal to mandate unionism for all workers. I guess that Congressman Brad Sherman is simply looking for a way to force more Americans to donate to Democrats in this period of opposition to Obamunism.
Unfortunately, idealism is the enemy of realism in this case.
Kuwait has urged the international community to avoid linking terrorism with any religion in particular and to step up efforts to promote tolerance.
"Kuwait calls for concerted efforts to create a united front to fight terrorism and to boost the value of tolerance and peaceful coexistence between various civilizations," Mohammad Al Taqi, a member of Kuwait's permanent delegation at the UN, said. "We also call for setting out strict rules to punish anyone who disparages heavenly religions or denigrates religious leaders and sanctities," he said in his speech at a United Nations General Assembly legal committee on international efforts against terrorism.
Al Taqi ruled out a link between terrorism and religion and cautioned against the use of double standards in the fight against terrorism.
I wish we could stop linking terrorism and religion, like the Kuwaitis urge. Unfortunately, the terrorists provide that linkage, so it is just common sense and fundamental honesty to note that connection. And with so much terrorism coming out of a single religious tradition and justified by appeal to that religionís holy book and authoritative teachings, the linkage must be recognized and understood in order to combat what is either a perversion of that faith or a violent interpretation of that faithís legitimate tenets.
Gunner was a bomb-detecting dog so traumatized by his experiences in a war zone that the Marines retired him as unfit for service.
Deb and Dan Dunham lost their son, when he threw himself on a grenade to save fellow Marine, for which he posthumously received the Medal of Honor.
Could there be a more appropriate match?
If you love dogs, love soldiers, or love America, you will find yourself with tears in your eyes.
They are up in arms that GOP legislators wonít meet with them on the same basis as their male counterparts.
[F]emale lobbyists are raising new concerns that access to male Republican lawmakers has been further hampered by a warning made earlier this year by House Minority Leader John Boehner.
The Ohio Republican privately told a handful of male Republicans to avoid getting drunk and partying with female lobbyists at after-hour parties on Capitol Hill, according to a July report in the New York Post.
Some women on K Street, who say they are already at a disadvantage to their male counterparts, are upset about the reports of Boehnerís edict and say it represents yet another obstacle. There are just 17 Republican women in the House compared to 56 Democrats, while the Senate has just four Republican women compared to 13 Democrats.
ďWhat year are we in again? Is this 1960?Ē asked one female Republican lobbyist. ďThereís no problem with congressmen drinking at the Capital Grille [Restaurant] with their male lobbyist-friends, which happens every night of the week. But somehow if they do it with a woman, it doesnít look good. Thatís just an outdated attitude and one reason we donít have more women in top Republican leadership jobs.Ē
No, dear, it isnít 1960 again. It is more a concern on the part of scrupulous conservatives that it not become 2008 again.
You may ask what I mean by that comment, so let me provide a little flashback:
Early in Senator John McCainís first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers. A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a clientís corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself ó instructing staff members to block the womanís access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.
The New York Times eventually was forced to admit that this was a smear piece and that there was no evidence of an improper personal (or professional) relationship with the female lobbyist in question Ė but the hint of scandal caused McCain some difficulty on the campaign trail and the lobbyist professional difficulties. As long as the liberal press is willing to attack Republican officeholders with stories implying sexual improprieties with female lobbyists, those officeholders must protect themselves. Blame the perpetrators of the smears, not the potential victims.
The question that was posed, and that GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller did not answer, is whether or not Sarah Palin is qualified to be president. Maybe he wonít answer it Ė but I will.
My answer to the question is a straightforward ďYES, SARAH PALIN IS QUALIFIED TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.Ē
Now some may ask upon what basis I make that assessment. Here are my criteria:
No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.
Sarah Palin was born on February 11, 1964 in Sandpoint, Idaho. As such, she is a natural born citizen over the age of 35. She has resided in the United States her entire life, which surpasses the 14 year residency requirement.
Now as to whether or not Sarah Palin is the best possible candidate for the presidency, Iíll leave that question unanswered until the field of candidates becomes more clear. My expectation, though, is that I will be supporting and endorsing some other individual during the primaries, with my current Dream Ticket being some pairing of Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal, and John Bolton as President and Vice President, with the odd man out taking a senior cabinet position.
As i said to my college class last night as we discussed civil liberties, it has historically been the repugnant speech of disgusting individuals or unpopular speech of minority religious groups which has led to court decisions that offer us expansive freedom of speech under the First Amendment. I expect this case today to have a similar result.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday in a legal battle that pits the privacy rights of grieving families and the free speech rights of demonstrators.
In 2006, members of the Westboro Baptist Church protested 300 feet from a funeral for Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder in Westminster, Maryland, carrying signs reading "God hates you" and "Thank God for dead soldiers."
Among the teachings of the Topeka, Kansas-based fundamentalist church founded by pastor Fred Phelps is the belief that the deaths of U.S. soldiers is God's punishment for "the sin of homosexuality."
Albert Snyder, Matthew's father, said his son was not gay and the protesters should not have been at the funeral.
Snyder sued the Phelps Phamily Phreaks and got a crushing judgment against their little cult. That was overturned on appeal, and Snyder himself was ordered to pay the legal fees of the Westboro crew -- an outcome that he is appealing in this case.
Frankly, Snyder should lose.
This group of pseudo-Christians followed all relevant laws, confining themselves to a protest zone some distance from the church and cemetery. The funeral procession did not pass their demonstration, and could not be seen or heard by those at the funeral. Mr. Snyder only saw and heard the protest by seeking out information about it on the internet and watching it on television -- both voluntary actions on his part, so any notion of being an unwilling recipient of the message or part of a captive audience is not applicable here. That their speech is offensive to every individual of good will who loves this country is irrelevant -- the First Amendment protects that speech we despise, not just that which we approve.
My question is how long it will take the Supreme Court to decide the case, and how expansive the ultimate decision will be -- not what position the justices will take. Indeed, I would not be surprised to see the case decided by a majority of 7-2 -- or even unanimously -- in favor of this pathetic little inbred cult and against Mr. Snyder. But we shall see.
Damn, those inspectors general are getting a workout under the Obama Regime.
A federal inspector general is looking into whether the Obama administration used confidential taxpayer information in an effort to attack a political opponent, Koch Industries.
The review was revealed Tuesday by Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, two weeks after he and a handful of other top Senate Republicans called for the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax issues to look into the matter, saying either administration officials had illegal access to taxpayer information or were inappropriately speculating in public about the company's tax status.
Charles and David Koch, brothers who control the Kansas-based company, are libertarians who have used some of their wealth to fund conservative groups and causes that oppose much of President Obama's agenda. Mr. Obama has singled out the company for criticism in speeches.
In an Aug. 27 briefing with some reporters on calls to restructure the corporate tax code, an unidentified administration official cited Koch Industries, a major privately held energy company, by name, and then seemed to indicate that the company didn't pay any corporate income tax, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"In this country, we have partnerships, we have [S corporations], we have [limited-liability companies], we have a series of entities that do not pay corporate income tax," said the senior administration official, according to press reports. "Some of which are really giant firms - you know, Koch Industries is a multibillion-dollar business."
This is a big one, folks. If the Regime is accessing tax records to get dirt on Obama's opponents, we have reached the sort of dirty dealing that characterized the worst excesses of that happened during the Watergate years. If Barry Hussein and his minions are conducting fishing expeditions in the IRS file room in order to silence critics, then the confidence that our tax returns are confidential will evaporate -- which is precisely why your tax return information cannot be used for any other purpose by the government.
And you know what it means if such things are going on with the President's consent (or even with his knowledge).
Illinois capital-markets director John Sinsheimer and Citigroup Inc. bankers took a globe-girdling trip from the U.K. to China in June to persuade investors that the stateís $900 million of Build America Bonds were a bargain.
The seven-country visit worked. The state sold one-fifth of the federally subsidized securities abroad the next month, tapping investors who are the fastest-growing source of borrowed cash for U.S. municipalities. Illinois, with the lowest credit rating of any state from Moodyís Investors Service, dangled yields higher than Mexico, which defaulted on debt in 1982, and Portugal, which costs more to insure against missed payments.
In other words, the Democrats have run Obama's state straight into the ground financially, and even countries that are bad credit risks are seen as better bets for investors. Will Illinois become the first state to default? And how will the feds deal with it when the time comes?
It only took six years, but I've finally been noticed by the Professor himself for noting that the artist in the Loveland, Colorado "BJ Jesus" flap also included a shot at Muhammad in his artwork.
Called it a night last night with about 800 hits for the day - and got thousands in the intervening seven hours (not bad for the period between 2130 and 0430)! I think it will be a banner day for traffic. Thanks you for noticing my post on that artistic detail that nobody caught! And welcome to all those who happen by and browse as a result -- be sure to come back.
I am not a member of a labor union.
I don't want to be a member of a labor union.
When i joined a teacher organization, I chose one that is not a union.
After all, we've seen how union bosses consistently take member dollars to use for political purposes opposed by the bulk of their members.
Which is why I am outraged by this piece of legislation introduced by Rep. Brad Sherman, Democrat from California, designed to take away my right to make the choice to tell unions and their bosses to bugger off.
Today, Congressman Brad Sherman announced the introduction of dramatic legislation that would eliminate so-called ďright-to-workĒ laws, which was applauded by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Sherman has a strong record of supporting working men and women and earned a 100% rating from the AFL-CIO.
Right-to-work laws require unions to represent non dues-paying employees, thereby undermining the basic premise and promise of union membership and creating free riders Ė people who are exempt from paying their fair share. Right-to-work laws create different standards for union membership in different states. This results not only in confusion over the regulation of union membership, but also places a higher cost on worker representation in labor rights states.
* * *
ďI do not believe that there should be a right to be treated unfairly or to endure unnecessary restrictions. Right-to-work laws strip unions of their legitimate ability to collect dues, even when the worker is covered by a union-negotiated collective bargaining agreement. This forces unions to use their time and membersí dues to provide benefits to free riders who are exempt from paying their fair share,Ē said Congressman Brad Sherman. ďThese laws are harmful to states like California, which allows labor unions to organize, because now we have to compete with the race to the bottom as our companies have to compete with those where the workers would like better wages, working conditions and benefits but are unable to organize to get them.Ē
ďWith the introduction of legislation banning so-called right-to-work, Congressman Sherman has once again demonstrated his strong commitment to working families,Ē said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO. ďRight-to-work laws undermine the economy and weaken workersí ability to bargain for better working conditions, which translates into lower pay and fewer benefits for everyone.Ē
Frankly, I'm appalled by the notion put forth by Sherman that a union has a right to a share of my paycheck if I am allowed to work. I fail to see any difference between that premise and the notion that I have to give weekly protection money to Don Vito Corleone to keep my job. In neither case do I want the "service" offered to and forced upon me. And let's be honest -- it is demonstrable historical fact that many American labor unions operated using the same principles as the Mafia (and were often arms of the mafia, for that matter). I reject the premise that government can force me to pay such protection money as a condition of earning a living.
I dropped the following note to Congressman:
Congressman, it is my FREE CHOICE to refuse to join a union and my FREE CHOICE to refuse to give one penny of my earnings to a corrupt organization that will spend MY MONEY in a manner that is contrary to my religious and political beliefs.... If you believe in freedom for workers, you will instead introduce legislation that grants workers TRUE FREEDOM by making the entire United States into a RIGHT-TO-WORK NATION where no American is forced to turn give money to an organization they do not wish to join and which they do not wish to have represent them in any fashion in return for the privilege of earning a living. Anything else is antithetical to the entire notion of LIBERTY.
Congressman Brad Sherman is a tool of the labor unions. Scratch that --
Congressman Brad Sherman is simply a tool. And now he is being used as a burglary tool to steal my money for use to aid his political party at the expense of mine.
DeMint said if someone is openly homosexual, they shouldnít be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman whoís sleeping with her boyfriend ó she shouldnít be in the classroom.
What are we going to do here? Have mandatory virginity checks on single female teachers? I'll concede I'm not happy when my single female colleagues are pregnant and wish they would make some different choices -- and I've said so more than once to those colleagues -- but it strikes me that the one-sided termination policy that DeMint proposes is anti-woman and objectively pro-abortion. And why give a pass to the male teachers who are sleeping around?
As for the issue of gay teachers, I'll simply say that some of the top teaching colleagues I've had over the years have been gay. They have tended to keep that issue out of the classroom, though, so it is not an issue. Heck, my desk area, with its pictures of me, my wife, and the pups, says more about my sexuality than doe those of my gay colleagues.
Senator, we on the right are fighting for freedom against sharia law. I certainly do hope that one day you will quit espousing it and join us on the side of liberty.
How do I know?
Because my wife received one a couple of years after we married.
Hereís the deal. When we first got married, my wife was working in a field in which she already had an established identity and reputation, so she continued to work under her maiden name. After we moved here to Texas, and after a decision not to continue in that field, my wife sought a job teaching. When she did so, she began using my last name. It wasnít long before the school district received a ďno matchĒ letter on her Ė even though she is a fifth-generation American born in one of the original thirteen states. The district personnel people called her in, gave her a copy of the letter, and told her to take care of it. She took care of it by doing a name change with Social Security so that her records included her married name. The issue never came up again.
Notice how this matches the way that Whitman and her husband handled the situation. The letter was received, they told their employee to take care of the situation, and they never heard another word on it again. The assumption was that the matter had been dealt with. They received no further mail from the Social Security Administration about their employeeís status, so they had every reason to presume that it was dealt with Ė and if future letters were sent to the employers, it would appear that they were intercepted by the employee.
What we know is that the employee in question lied to an employment agency before she was ever sent to Whitman. She lied to Whitman when she offered assurances of her legal status. We also know that she dishonestly stayed in the US and accepted employment here, even though she knew both were illegal. Why should we believe the employee over the employer in this case, when the evidence is so clear that the employee built a tower of lies to get her job in the first place?
They are calling it a ďsetbackĒ for women. Apparently what matters is the number of vaginas in the House and Senate rather than whether or not the laws passed and policies set by Congress make life better for women.
Bottom line: Independent analysts predict that the number of women in Congress ó currently 56 Democrats and 17 Republicans in the House, and 13 Democrats and four Republicans in the Senate ó will decline for the first time in three decades. The drop would come two years after a string of breakthroughs, when Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first woman to vie seriously for the Democratic presidential nod, Sarah Palin the first woman nominated for national office by the GOP and Democrat Nancy Pelosi the first woman elected speaker of the House.
So what? Does the raw number of vagina-equipped members of Congress really tell us whether or not the outcome of the elections will result in better lives for women in America? Does the presence of more penises in Congress make things worse Ė even if it is the votes of women that put them there? Or are we really looking at more of the same liberal identity politics at play, wherein the presence of women and minorities matters more than whether or not those elected are competent or likely to improve the lives and freedom of Americans regardless of race or gender?
Isnít this guy a marvelous example tolerance, attacking political opponents because of their race and making use of a crude slang term for a gay sex act to refer to them?
Teabaggers are the WARTS of America. White, Angry, Republican Teabaggers. If they want to be teabaggers, then it is disappointing the leader of our county government would associate with them and publicly state so.
Just remember, when you hunker down with teabaggers you might wake up with a bad taste in your mouth.
Of course, this is the guy who spent 180 days suspended from NASA for his repeated egregious violations of the Hatch Act Ė but somehow he is a respected member of the local Democrat establishment despite the slurs, hate speech against the disabled, promotion of terrorist attacks on the Texas Legislature and the lynching of political opponents. Indeed, John as an elected official of the Harris County Democrat party ought to be all the argument that anyone in Texas needs to vote Republican.
An abortionist at a clinic in Charleston South Carolina allegedly brandished a loaded weapon at a group of pro-life protestors early Saturday morning and was arrested shortly after.
Gary Boyle, 62, of Blountville Tennessee, drove into the driveway behind the Charleston Womenís Medical Center near where three pro-lifers stood and reportedly waved a handgun and pointed it at them.
The pro-lifers decided to call police who arrived at the scene shortly after, went into the clinic, confiscated the weapon and arrested the doctor on charges related to pointing a weapon. News reports indicate that Boyle was released on a $25,000 bail shortly after.
Nobody was making threats, nobody was trespassing -- the protesters were peacefully exercising their rights under the US and South Carolina Constitutions. Boyle decided that the proper response to free citizens actually using liberties was a threat of deadly violence against them. here's hoping that the state revokes the medical license of this man who clearly has no respect for human life, either in the womb or out of it.
Here are the full results for the Watcher's Council's latest exercise in awarding excellence in blogging:
The murder of non-Muslims in the name of Islam? Yes. But at least they weren't compelled to become Muslims.
Suspected Islamic militants shot and killed a Christian lawyer, his wife and their five children in northwestern Pakistan, just days after a pastor nearly died in a seperate attack linked to Muslim extremism, local Christians and rights activists said Friday, October 1.
Police found the bodies of attorney and evangelist Edwin Paul and his family at their home in Haripur, a small town near Abbotabad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, previously known as the North-West Frontier Province, said Haripur Station House Officer Maqbool Khan.
The victim and his wife Ruby Paul, along with their five children ages 6 to 17, had been shot to death, he said. ĒOn September 28 at around 8 a.m., we received a call from Sher Khan colony that people heard gunshots, and there was a group of people who ran from a house and drove away,Ē Khan said. ďWe went and found seven bodies in a house.Ē
Paulís Muslim neighbor, Mushtaq Khan, told reporters a group of armed men had threatened the lawyer the previous day. ďOn Monday a group of armed men stopped Paul and took him by the collar and said, ĎLeave the town in 24 hours Ė we know how to throw out Christians, we will not allow even a single Christian to live here. We will hang them all in the streets, so that no Christian would ever dare to enter the Hazara land.Ē
Isn't it wonderful that followers of this peaceful and compassionate religion are permitted full rights under the First Amendment in this country, even if they don't permit Christians such freedom in countries where Muslims are in the majority?
Democratic insiders are taking the temperature of some top party donors about the possibility of naming White House press secretary Robert Gibbs as chairman of the Democratic National Committee heading into President Barack Obamaís reelection campaign in 2012, senior officials tell POLITICO.
Under the scenario being tested, Tim Kaine, the current DNC chairman and former governor of Virginia, would be named to a top administration post, perhaps in the Cabinet, the officials said.
Donorsí response has been positive, according to people who have been consulted.
That donor response has been positive should come as no surprise. After all, these people are stupid enough to give money to promote the failed policies of Barack Obama -- what would they know about good political decision-making?
* * *
An art exhibit that critics say features Jesus receiving oral sex from a man is under fire in Loveland, CO. The artwork is part of an exhibit in the cityís public museum.
ďIt is visual profanity,Ē said art gallery owner Linda King, in an interview with the Loveland Reporter-Herald. ďIt disgraces the God of all creation.Ē
The controversial artwork is part of 10-artist exhibit called, ďThe Legend of Bud Shark and His Indelible Ink.Ē The lithograph showing the son of God engaged in a sex act is called, ďThe Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals,Ē and was created by Stanford University professor Enrique Chagoya.
His exhibit also includes Mexican pornography, Mayan symbols and ethnic stereotypes, according to the Associated Press. But itís a 12-panel lithograph that appears to depict Jesus Christ in a sex act that has locals enraged.
This exhibit is taking place in a public museum, funded by taxpayer dollars. Unlike a threatened Quran burning, this incident of religious hatred has been ignored by the mainstream media, liberal religious groups, opinion leaders, and public office holders everywhere. While threatening to destroy one's own property to express one's contempt for another faith (so long as that faith is Islam) will evoke howls of outrage from across the spectrum and denunciations of the act as "unAmerican", a taxpayer-funded insult of the beliefs of a majority of Americans regarding the Son of God is treated as business as usual and a celebration of American freedom.
Of course, there is a way to get this exhibit shut down immediately, the artwork destroyed, and the artist killed. Point out that the following is a part of the same work of art. (They seem to have scrubbed the site -- check it out here.)
Run for your life, Enrique Chagoya. The Mohammedans are going to get you. I sure hope that your employers at Stanford University have updated their anti-terrorism plans -- they are sure going to need them once word of this gets out.
Let's consider this statement very clearly.
"When it comes to voting, when we only have two choices, you got to grow up and realize there's a big difference between a disappointing friend and a deadly enemy," said the "Real Time" host during his "New Rules" segment.
Now tell me -- which side is provoking violence against political opponents? Conservatives and Republicans? Or those who define us as the "deadly enemies" of the American people?
Hispanic votersí support for Democratic candidates waned in August and September. As a result, Hispanics in September favored Democrats by a 13-point margin (51% to 38%), compared with 32-point margins in June and July. Ö
Hispanics present a different problem for the presidentís party. While they voted strongly for Obama in 2008 and were supposed to be one of the building blocks of Democratic victory in 2010, Gallupís recent polling suggests their support for Democratic congressional candidates is slipping. This is in line withHispanicsí dwindling approval of Obama as president, with the initial decline seen in May possibly linked to the Democratsí failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
That is a 19 point drop in just a couple of months Ė and should be reason for the GOP to cheer. The conservative message really does resonate with the majority of Hispanics, much more than the message of dependency offered up by the Democrats. Even on immigration, Iíve seen polls indicating Hispanic support for the GOP position.
I bet this will leave John over at BayAreaHatemonger gnashing his teeth.
We all know that Rick Sanchez is a drunk, even though he claims to be in recovery.
And we all know that he managed to skate when he killed a man while driving drunk.
But now we know he is an anti-Semite Ė and have to ask if he will survive this gaffe.
Iím telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority? Yeah.
Got that Ė the evil JOOOOOS run the media!
Time for Rick Sanchez to be fired and find himself unemployable/ Maybe he can live off his book royalties Ė oh, wait, the book isnít selling that great. Must be a plot by the JOOOOOS!
UPDATED: Damn, I'm powerful. It was a matter of minutes between my posting this story and CNN announcing the firing of their anti-Semitic newsman. I guess the Jewish puppet masters who control the nation's news media must realize that they must take decisive action when I speak out against one of their on-screen puppets -- right, Rick?
INDIANAPOLIS -- The president of the AFL-CIO is offering to mediate the NFL's labor negotiations. The league has a very basic problem with that: The head of the NFL Players Association sits on the executive council of the AFL-CIO, a labor union federation.
In a letter obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he could sit down with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith to work on the parameters for a new collective bargaining agreement.
Needless to say, the NFL is turning down that offer from the scummy socialist union thug with a history of tolerating (and advocating) violence to intimidate management and non-union employees. After all, how neutral could Trumka possibly be when one of the parties is a member of his own organization?
In related news, an offer by Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei to mediate the current dispute between Israel and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been rejected by Israel.