Of course, since the speech is directed at Christians rather than Muslims, Obama does not give a rip that those believers are offended and their beliefs are insulted.
Among the many advertisements lining I-495 in New Jersey en route to the Lincoln Tunnel is a new one promoting atheism for the holidays rather than another gift.
The billboard shows three crowned men riding camels toward a humble manger in which a man and woman kneel beside a straw-filled bassinet, all silhouetted beneath a prominent six-pointed star. The message ó ďYou know itís a myth. This season, celebrate reason!Ē ó is emblazoned in large white letters above the nativity scene.
Iím not disputing the right of the atheist group to put up the billboard. Nor am I suggesting that it ordinarily ought to be the business of this nationís leader to speak out when some group or other offends the religious sensibilities of a group of Americans. Unfortunately, Barack Obama did precisely that earlier this year when there were threats to burn a Quran Ė which is every bit as protected by the First Amendment as burning a flag or putting up a billboard Ė in order to condemn the offense against Muslim sensibilities. Why wonít he do the same when one of the two most important celebrations in the Christian world Ė and with it the central Christian belief in the Incarnation of the Word Made Flesh Ė is mocked and insulted?
Oh, thatís right Ė Christians are not going to engage in terrorism like the Muslims do.
Which is why this yearís holiday offering from the Smithsonian involves an exhibit of gay-themed and homoerotic art that includes a picture of Jesus on the cross covered in ants Ė Muhammad covered in bacon would result in more Muslim murder and mayhem.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will join former President Bill Clinton and Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman on Wednesday at the final presentation to FIFAís executive committee of the U.S. bid to host the 2022 World Cup.
Holder also will meet with executive committee members, who will vote the following day.
Aren't you glad to know that the Obimbo Regime has its priorities in order?
After all, it seems that the Romo-less Cowboys are doing better than the team did when the most over-rated quarterback in the league was playing.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo reached another milestone in his recovery from a broken collarbone when he threw at the beginning of Monday's practice.
Romo did not dress out, but he participated in the pat-and-go portion of passing drills during warm-ups.
Sporting a 3-8 record after last week's 30-27 loss to New Orleans, Dallas has been all but mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. But that hasn't stopped the Cowboys from considering playing Romo again this season should the collarbone heal 100 percent.
I guess I don't get this one. Tony Romo wasn't playing well before the injury, and Kitna has played since then. There's no reason to rush Romo along -- other than an ill-advised,high dollar contract with Romo and an owner who probably wants to feel he is getting something for that cash. But all Jerry Jones will get with Romo at the helm is a bad football team -- and a bunch of headlines.
We often see NFL players drop to their knees and offer up a prayer of thanks after a particularly great play. However, I've never seen anyone Tweet God complaining about Him causing a mental error on the part of the player -- until now.
Here's the play -- and an important observation by the announcers.
Oh, yeah -- there were the other four dropped passes earlier in the game that should have led Johnson to be paying attention to the fundamentals of the game during what should have been the game-winning play. I therefore don't put this one down to a case of divine intervention -- it is all on Steve Johnson.
None other than Glover Quin, who was the goat in two of those last second losses not long ago.
Finally, Glover Quin got to hold his head high and crack a disarming smile in a post-game locker room. Finally, the Texans' shell-shocked cornerback would be the mighty Quin, a Texans titan in a 20-0 bludgeoning of Tennessee's Titans.
* * *
Quin's ice-breaker on the first play of the second quarter set up the touchdown that gave the Texans' a lead they never lost. The next two, in the fourth quarter, both came with the Titans' inside the Houston 10 and twice preserved the Texans' second shutout in franchise history.
Three interceptions -- the first time any Texan has personally grabbed three turnovers in franchise history. And sadly, it got overlooked by too many folks due to what I labeled "the play of the game".
But Texans fans didn't overlook it at Reliant Stadium. When, during the fourth quarter, we were offered the choice of Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, and Brian Cushing as the fans' choice as MVP, everyone around me wanted to know why Glover Quin wasn't up on the Jumbotrons as one of our choices. After all, we knew who had put in an absolutely stellar performance after a couple of games which could have demoralized a lesser man for the season. So while Andre Johnson may have been responsible for "the play of the game", we all know who deserved to be considered the Player of the Game -- and let me say Well Done to a young man who we know always plays his heart out.
Frankly, I find this to be highly suspicious, and suspect the perpetrators will never be found -- because the mosque won't want whatever leader set the office afire (probably to destroy evidence or records) arrested and prosecuted, and would instead prefer to be painted as victims after sheltering this sick America-hating jihadi pig in their midst.
A fire reported early this morning at the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center in Corvallis where Portland bomb plot suspect Mohamed Osman Mohamud sometimes attended is being called arson.
The fire was reported at about 2:15 a.m. today. Corvallis Fire Department spokeswoman Carla Pusateri said the fire was intentionally set, but would not say what led investigators to the conclusion.
Pusateri said a police sergeant on duty spotted the fire at 2:15 a.m. and called for help.
"It was discovered much sooner than it could have been," she said.
Besides, the incident all-too-conveniently allows the Islamo-Terrorist community to paint themselves as the victims rather than the perpetrators.
After daybreak, members gathered at the center, where a broken window had been boarded up.
"I've prayed for my family and friends, because obviously if someone was deliberate enough to do this, what's to stop them from coming to our homes and our schools?" said Mohamed Alyagouri, a 31-year-old father of two who worships at the center. "I'm afraid for my children getting harassed from their teachers, maybe from their friends."
Wanly said he was thinking about temporarily relocating his family because of the possibility of hate crimes.
Please do relocate -- preferably back to the backwards Islamic mudhole that spawned you. And make it permanent -- we wouldn't want you to feel threatened by all the native-born non-Muslim terrorist Americans who just don't understand how peaceful a religion that produces a publicized terrorist plot a week really is.
Am I encouraging terrorism against Muslims? No, I'm not. Do I have any interest in engaging in terrorism against Muslims? Absolutely not. But have I reached the point where I find the constant exposure and/or perpetration of terrorist plots by Muslims to have crossed the line from "isolated incidents" to become "a pattern of behavior encouraged and approved of by Islam". As such, if this is an act of retaliation against the spiritual home of the most recent America-hating jihadi to attempt murder and mayhem against the American people, the song below sums up my level feelings about such a response.
Andre Johnson gives it to Courtland Finnegan, one of the NFL's biggest no-class acts.
Johnson left the field immediately. Finnegan stayed on the field, defended by Coach Jeff Fisher, and taunted the Texans fans while leaving. When fines and suspensions get handed out, Finnegan's ongoing dirty paly and flagrant disregard of having been ejected should be taken into account by the commissioner -- and Fisher should face a fine as well for not making Finnegan leave the field for several minutes.
Exit polls reported by CNN and updated this week reveal that a historically robust 38 percent of Hispanic voters cast ballots for House Republican candidates in 2010 Ė more than in 2006 (30 percent) and 2008 (29 percent). In fact, since 1984, Republican House candidates have only won a higher percentage of the Hispanic vote in one election: 2004. This level of Hispanic support for Republican candidates came despite widespread pre-election claims by advocates for illegal immigration that the Arizona law and a pro-rule-of-law stand would undercut Hispanic support for Republicans.
Now I keep hearing the local Hispanic Democrat race-baiters going on about how Republicans hate Hispanics and how no self-respecting Hispanic with any intelligence would vote GOP. Well, it appears that either the race-baiters don't know their own people or they hold them in contempt for not staying on the Democrat hacienda.
What's the secret behind this improvement by the GOP? Well, a couple of things. First, the GOP continues to put forward good conservative candidates of Hispanic background who hold to values that are important to family-oriented, upwardly mobile Americans of Latin American descent. The GOP elected Hispanic governors, congressman, and even a Senator -- and these were individuals who had support from the grassroots of the conservative movement. What's more, despite the claims that GOP opposition to illegal immigration would kill the party's chance among Hispanics, that did not prove to be the case given the opposition to illegal immigration among many naturalized citizens from Latin America and among many second and third generation US-born Hispanic citizens. These folks recognize that uncontrolled illegal immigration is harmful to Americans of every ethnic group.
Here are the results of this week's exercise in blogging excellence!
Lots of good stuff thee, my friends -- take the time to read it all and find yourself enlightened by some of the most important posts in the blogosphere.
Well, I assume he's a member of that religion, given his name, his expressed desire to engage in jihad, and his having shouted "Allahu Akbar!" as he was arrested -- but then again, he could have just been a really confused Mennonite or Quaker.
A 19-year-old has been arrested in connection with a plot to detonate a vehicle bomb at an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, on Friday evening, the Justice Department announced.
Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia, was arrested on suspicion of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. He is a resident of Corvallis, Oregon, and is a student at Oregon State University, according to the FBI.
Mohamud was arrested by the FBI and Portland Police Bureau after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be an explosives-laden van that was parked near the tree-lighting ceremony in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Justice
Department said in a written statement, but the device was actually inert.
"The threat was very real. Our investigation shows that Mohamud was absolutely committed to carrying out an attack on a very grand scale," said Arthur Balizan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. "At the same time, I want to reassure the people of this community that, at every turn, we denied him the ability to actually carry out the attack."
This isn't some guy who decided he wanted to make a little joke by setting off fireworks -- he wanted to kill people in a public place, in particular those who celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. And he plotted and planned for over a year about carrying out this mission of murder and mayhem, so we know it was a serious plan, not just some kid shooting off his mouth. Indeed, reports indicate that he has claimed to have wanted to engage in jihad since he was 15.
But nobody in the media or law enforcement dares to suggest that, once again, there might be a connection between a terrorist effort and the religion of the terrorist -- even though the terrorist is named Mohamed Mohamud and he shouted out the same traditional Muslim battle cry that has been used repeatedly by terrorists over the last decade as they targeted their victims in the name of their false god and false prophet. I somehow doubt we would have seen such restraint if someone named Jesus Santamaria had shouted "Hail Mary, full of grace" when arrested after a failed attack on an abortion clinic.
Of course, I'm sure we are going to hear that this attempted terrorist attack is just one more isolated incident engaged in by those who misunderstand Islam and are hijacking a great and peaceful religion. But after so many attacks by so many individuals who have the same misunderstanding of the same religion, isn't it time for us to recognize the obvious truth and expect our government officials to acknowledge it -- namely that there is something malignant at the core of Islam that leads its followers time and again to seek to engage in murder and mayhem in its name? You know, and begin making anti-terrorism and immigration policy accordingly.
Something is seriously wrong with our nation when the working poor have more disposable income than the middle class.
Tonightís stunning financial piece de resistance comes from Wyatt Emerich of The Cleveland Current. In what is sure to inspire some serious ire among all those who once believed Ronald Reagan that it was the USSR that was the ďEvil EmpireĒ, Emmerich analyzes disposable income and economic benefits among several key income classes and comes to the stunning (and verifiable) conclusion that ďa one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimum wage) has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year.Ē And that excludes benefits from Supplemental Security Income disability checks. America is now a country which punishes those middle-class people who not only try to work hard, but avoid scamming the system. Not surprisingly, it is not only the richest and most audacious thieves that prosper Ė it is also the penny scammers at the very bottom of the economic ladder that rip off the middle class each and every day, courtesy of the worldís most generous entitlement system. Perhaps if Reagan were alive today, he would wish to modify the object of his once legendary remark.
Any wonder that I hear students tell me that working a real job is for suckers not smart enough to get a government check and then hustle off the books?
And as a working American, I'd like to suggest that the new Congress start its budget cutting with some of these programs that make such a travesty possible. Indeed, it might not be a bad idea to let the Bush tax cuts expire and start over with a system that does not cut put so many people in the 0% tax bracket. After all, if they start having to pay taxes instead of being net consumers of tax dollars, such folks might think twice about how much is spent keeping society's parasites on the government gravy train.
Because we are all supposed to fall down and worship at the altar of the Obamessiah -- at least according to terrorism and national security expert Whoopi Goldberg.
Why doesn't this cupid stunt just run the Bill of Rights through a paper shredder right there The View, accompanied by the cheers of her imbecilic co-hosts and the morons in the audience?
Just remember -- dissent quit being patriotic when the affirmative action president was inaugurated.
Once again proving that the policies introduced by Barry Hussein and his minions are objectively anti-Semitic.
Apparently it is now grounds for denial of (or loss of) tax-exempt status for an organization to support the existence of Israel as a free and independent nation where Jews are safe from Muslim terrorism.
A Pennsylvania Jewish group that has claimed the Internal Revenue Service is targeting pro-Israel groups introduced in federal court today a letter from an IRS agent to another, unnamed organization that tax experts said was likely outside the usual or appropriate scope of an IRS inquiry.
"Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?" IRS agent Tracy Dornette wrote the organization, according to this week's court filing, as part of its consideration of the organizations application for tax exempt status. "Describe your organization's religious belief sytsem toward the land of Israel."
* * *
The agent's question was contained in correspondence with "a Jewish religious organization" with no stated position on Israel, Z Street says in its court filing.
Frightening. Really frightening. Especially since terrorist fronts and co-conspirators like CAIR are tax exempt and not subject to such harassment.
And once again we hear it from on high -- or from left-wingers who are high: Dissent is not patriotic now that God has given us the Obamessiah and the Virgin Michelle to lead us into the glorious future!
Today's blithering leftist idiot is commentator Roland Martin, a regular part of King Barry's lap-dog media Moron Tabernacle Choir, doing a solo about how Sarah Palin's objections to Queen Michelle Antoinette's latest effort to intervene in our diet and exercise programs make the conservative darling dangerous.
In a radio interview on Wednesday with conservative talker Laura Ingraham, Palin took dead aim at the first lady's "Let's Move" initiative, which is all about getting children active and involved in exercise and healthy eating.
In the wacky world of Wasilla's finest, Palin tries to cast the effort to fight obesity as part of Michelle Obama's "different worldview."
Here is a portion of the transcript from HuffingtonPost.com: "Take her anti-obesity thing that she is on. She is on this kick, right. What she is telling us is she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat.
"And I know I'm going to be again criticized for bringing this up, but instead of a government thinking that they need to take over and make decisions for us according to some politician or politician's wife priorities, just leave us alone, get off our back and allow us as individuals to exercise our own God-given rights to make our own decisions and then our country gets back on the right track."
Hmmm. "Let's Move" is Obama's "kick?" Maybe someone should kick Sarah Palin so she can understand how devastating obesity is to the future of the United States.
Let's set aside the fact that this"song of Roland" includes a call for physical violence against a fellow American for the offense of holding a different political opinion than the current political regime -- remember back during the Bush years when we were assured that "dissent is the highest form of patriotism" -- and consider what Martin is objecting to. Sarah Palin is advocating FREEDOM -- the freedom of Americans to decide what they will eat, how much of it they will eat, and how much exercise they will engage in. She is literally advocating that the government stay out of our cupboards and off of our plates so that we can live our own lives. And to Roland Martin, freedom is unacceptable if it allows for people to make the wrong choices (at least if those wrong choices are ones that liberals object to).
Now to his credit, Martin at least tries to justify his opposition to freedom and its advocate by citing statistical evidence that obesity is harmful. But then he goes to far by arguing that opposition to the program is opposition to America's national security. Excuse me -- didn't folks like Martin object to that rationale for criticizing folks who objectively sided with the enemy during the Bush years? Isn't this nothing less than questioning Sarah Palin's patriotism, something which was defined by the Left as unAmerican when such questions were raised about opposition to Bush policies designed to stop the terrorist jihadis rather than terrorist Twinkies? Not only that, he questions the right of cPalin, a civilian, to question the wisdom of military leaders regarding childhood obesity -- seems to me that this is an endorsement of military control of the civilian populace rather than civilian control of the military.
But the ultimate obscenity in Martin's column is here.
Any Republican with common sense should see that Sarah Palin poses an immediate threat to the future of this country. She proves that every time she opens her mouth.
Seems to me that Roland Martin has adopted an objectively fascist stance on freedom of American. And yet somehow he wants us to believe that it is Sarah Palin who is a threat to America.
UPDATE: Commentary on what the future holds at Right Wing News
Today we Americans mark Thanksgiving Day -- a celebration steeped in historical and religious tradition. Rather than post historical documents or myth-shrouded accounts of the origin of the day, I'd prefer to note somethings I am thankful for this day.
I certainly thank God for my darling wife, and the 15 years we have been married. I am especially thankful that this Thanksgiving with her is nothing like one in the not terribly distant past. And yes, I thank God for our canine companions -- one who has been with us most of our married life and one who joined us this fall -- and for the many blessings and joys they bring.
I thank God for my extended family around the country -- one which has seen additions and losses since a year ago -- and the many blessings they have been for me over the years.
I thank God for my church family -- folks with whom I would not have made it through so many tough times and without whom the good times would have been missing much joy.
I thank God for my school, and the gifts brought into my life by students and colleagues.
I thank God for dear friends -- those I see in person and those on the internet -- who enrich my life in so many ways.
And this year I offer a special thanks for a miracle that came on the eve of the holiday. My wife and I will spend this Thanksgiving with a couple who have become dear friends and their two daughters. His sister was seriously injured this week in a horseback riding accident while visiting family out of state, and the prognosis two days ago was bleak. After much prayer and much medical work, it appears that there will be no serious long-term consequences despite two broken vertebrae and a nasty blow to the head. And in a sign of God working in mysterious ways, one online friend I asked to pray for this situation turns out to be a neighbor to the injured sister and friends with her parents through their church, and so after his intervention there are already church members waiting to provide aid and support when she returns home to recuperate. Indeed, there is so much to be thankful for in this situation that I am overwhelmed by what I have seen.
So on this day, may you be richly blessed and offer thanks for those many good things and wonderful people that enrich your life in ways you may not even recognize.
Let's remember the treatment my wife and I received two-and-a-half years ago while traveling in Pittsburgh -- before the search methods became even more invasive than today. Here's the report I filed in March, 2008, regarding physical abuse at the hands of TSA agents.
On Monday, February 25, 2008, my wife and I were returning to Houston after visiting my wifeís hometown, where we were seeing to her mother, who is seriously ill and expected to pass away soon. It was a difficult time.
Because my wife, Paula, uses a wheelchair, we needed to access the private screening lane at approximately 10:00 a.m. As instructed by the TSA staff member at the podium at the head of the line, we placed our personal property on the lower shelf of the metal table so that I could push Paula down to the private screening room and then return to place these items on the x-ray belt. It was important to stay with these items because they included a wallet with approximately $100 in it, a personal laptop computer, a cellular phone, my wifeís purse and a carry-on bag containing a number of collector coins and some jewelry that Paulaís mother wished her to have, as well as both of our medications. We were carrying these latter items in the carry-on bag out of concern that they would disappear from checked baggage.
We first encountered the screener named Monique at this time. She was carrying a number of gray plastic crates to place in position for travelers to use. I told Monique that I did not want these items going through screening without me because of the valuables inside the bag, and that the previous TSA employee had told us that we could place the items there. Monique told us that we could not do so. When I reiterated my first statement, Monique said, "You're going to do it my way" and began to move the items to the x-ray conveyor and push the items through the x-ray without my permission. I was upset because this meant these items would have to sit at the end of the x-ray unattended until I could get my wife to the private screening room and then pass through the line myself.
During this time, Monique passed by Paulaís wheelchair several times, striking her in the back with the gray bins each time she passed. We at first assumed this was an accident but came to believe that this was intentional because of the repeated act of striking her in the back as she passed.
At this point Monique insisted Paula move her wheelchair. It is a motorized wheelchair, but no battery was connected because we considered the difficulty of traveling with them to outweigh the benefits. Paula could not move her wheelchair by herself because of her disability, so I needed to move the wheelchair for her to the screening room. Monique was angered by this, and was upset that my wife could not get out of her way fast enough to suit her or reach the screening room unattended. We were disturbed when we reached the private screening room and discovered it would be Monique who was to conduct Paulaís screening. According to Paula, Monique repeatedly kicked and hit her chair when she asked her to stop because the jarring of the chair caused her great pain due to chronic pain associated with her disability. Paula further states that another female screener was in the room when Monique conducted her screening and became so visibly upset by Monique actions and verbal abuse that the female screener left the room.
After screening was completed, Monique informed Paula that she needed to conduct a bag search on the bag containing the coins, jewelry, and medication. Monique was angry that Paula did not have the key to the small padlock on the bag and continued to be very rude and abrupt. During the search, Moniqueís rudeness continued in my presence, and inquired why we were carrying certain of the items. I stated, "Lady I don't know what your problem is," to which Monique responded, "I'm no lady." In reply, I said, "No you're not, but I'm not going to say what I think you are". At that point, Monique aggressively responded "You want to start calling names? You want to start calling names?" Her manner was unprofessional and of such an aggressive, confrontational nature, that I believed Monique was trying to provoke a fight in order to have me arrested. I would also like to state that I do not believe it was her business to ask why we had medication, coins and jewelry in our carry-on luggage.
Monique summoned a man named Ron, and Paula and I indicated that we wanted to file a complaint. Ron started to hand us two sheets of paper, but then gave us only one. The form Paula was given by Ron did not have a place to include our names and contact information, which left us concerned about follow through. Paula completed the form we were given in detail, and I then turned the information in at the podium, though I do not remember the name of the woman to whom it was given. We then headed to the gate for our flight.
After arriving at the gate, I went to one of the magazine stands to get a soda for Paula so that she could take her medication due to the pain caused by Moniqueís jarring of the wheelchair and her back. A female TSA employee, who turned out to be the same woman who left the private screening room, approached me. She expressed her concern over the way Paula was treated and was aware that we were not provided with the Customer Service Representative's name and telephone number. She provided us with the Customer Service number and contact information. She stated that she had taken her break and followed us because the treatment we had received was not right, and that Monique constantly treats passengers this way but is never disciplined because someone seems to be either covering for her or afraid to take action, despite the fact that Monique is often rude and or brutal with passengers. She related that there have been past incidents that involved physical altercations with passengers, and no action taken, and she asked us to please follow up on our complaint, which was already our intent. She was quite concerned with having her anonymity concerned, however, because of the lack of action against Monique and fear that she would face retaliation (including possible termination) for assisting us in this way. I view her actions as being in the highest spirit of professionalism and to be commended rather than punished.
I have since been in contact with the Pittsburgh Customer Service Representative, and have initiated a complaint process through her, as well as with my elected representatives in Washington, DC.
We were fortunate. We eventually did get some redress from the TSA -- though I cannot help but think that their being contacted by the office of my Congressman and both of my US Senators may have made me the squeaky wheel that got me some grease. I can only imagine the sort of treatment that we would receive today, and the attempts by the Obama TSA to justify the physical abuse my wife received as a part of keeping America safe. The Obama Regime and its functionaries running the TSA have demonstrated of late that they are less concerned about counter-terrorism measures and more concerned about flexing their authoritarian muscles, so I doubt that we would have seen any discipline taken against the screener and supervisor who repeatedly violated TSA regulations, federal law, and our rights. The rot in this agency begins at the top -- Pistole, Napolitano, and Obama are directly responsible for the contempt shown for Americans in airports today.
In the annals of American politics, few politicians have grabbed power in such a shady manner and abused it so profoundly and so quickly as is the case with Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus. The time has come for Straus to be removed from the leadership of the Texas House and replaced with an individual who represents the views of the majority in that body and the majority of Texas voters.
Remember -- Joe Straus came to power in a coup engineered by the minority party which gave him unanimous backing when Straus and a handful of GOP cronies bucked the GOP caucus. Straus rewarded the Democrats by giving them nearly half of the committee chairmanships despite the fact that they were the minority party. As such, the rejection of the Democrats by the voters of Texas is a sufficient reason for removing the Democrat-selected Speaker.
But there is more.
When some members of the Republican Caucus began to question the propriety of keeping the Democrat's Speaker in power, a Straus crony began threatening to redraw district lines to remove those legislators from their districts -- a threat which is explicitly illegal under Texas law. When caught, Straus referred the case to the Ethics Committee on which the crony sat -- and the committee promptly said there was not sufficient evidence of the criminal activity to take action despite the fact that the accuser testified under oath and the accused refused to take an oath not to lie. Straus refused to turn the matter over to law enforcement for a full investigation, instead choosing to keep it an internal matter where he and his cronies could cover it up and guarantee that no action would be taken against Straus' proxy.
Straus and his cronies have also attempted to intimidate his opponents outside the legislature into silence with threats of investigation and prosecution for daring to express their opposition to Straus and their support of other candidates. This comes despite the fact that a federal court in 2008 explicitly affirmed the First Amendment right of non-legislators to publicly express such opinions and even to lobby their legislators regarding the choice of the Speaker of the House.
What's more, Speaker Straus has made muzzling his critics a legislative priority for the upcoming session, charging the General Invsstigating and Ethics Committee (the same one that he used to cover up his crony's illegal activity) to craft legislation to let the state of Texas regulate the content of blogs like mine.
Review the definition of ďpolitical advertisingĒ and determine whether the definition should be expanded to include content contained in blogs and other types of Internet communications.
Joe Straus has made it quite clear that, despite the increase in Republicans in the Texas house, he is going to continue to operate in the same Democrat appeasing manner he used in the last legislative session. This is unacceptable, especially in a session in which the Texas House will be redistricting. Republicans own this state politically, and it is unacceptable for a man committed to giving a way the store to Democrats to put them in the driver's seat when it comes to drawing the lines for legislative districts -- after all, the last time that Democrats had the chance to draw those lines, they created districts that gave Republicans slightly more than 40% of the seats in Congress in years when the GOP won nearly 60% of the vote. We need a map for Texans that represents the political beliefs and attitudes of Texans. And accomplishing that means Joe Straus must have no influence over the process.
What I am saying very explicitly is that Joe Straus is an unethical politician who needs to have his wings clipped. At a bare minimum, he needs to be kicked out of the Speaker's office. If possible, Straus and his cronies need to be expelled from the Texas House. Furthermore, he and his crew should be investigated and, where appropriate, indicted, prosecuted, and convicted for their corruption.
So, my fellow Texans, call your state representative. Urge them to vote against corrupt Speaker Straus and instead back Rep. Paxton as Speaker instead. Previous promises and commitments to Straus are irrelevant -- We the People are demanding this change, and those Republicans who do not support it must be primaried and defeated in 2012.
H/T Daily Cranky
You see, there is a better type of security that could be used at airports, one that would be less invasive and less intrusive than the new Grope & Feel searches at airports -- but we won't use it here.
JOHN PISTOLE, TSA ADMINISTRATOR: Yes. It's clearly -- it's invasive; it's not comfortable. It really comes down to what is that balance between privacy and security, and without profiling -- people talk about, well, why don't we profile? Of course we don't do that here in the U.S., but we use all the latest intelligence. We have watch lists. We know about people who pose a threat to aviation security. It's those we won't know. And so it's that balance between privacy and security.
Pistole's answer makes it pretty clear that there isn't any intelligence being used by TSA. After all, El Al uses a form of profiling and has had fewer incidents in the last four decades than the US has had in the last four years. So there won't be any significant changes in security policies and procedures -- even when the current policies result in absurdity like we have seen in recent days without any significant increase in security. President Obimbo won't use his authority to protect American people from this crap -- seems to me that we are approaching the point where usurpations and violations of our liberties are such that we may need to act to alter or abolish our present form of government, or at least the individuals currently holding positions of authority in it.
I think the American people are worried when they see an administration worried about reading Miranda rights to the underwear bomber. Theyíre so worried about rights of the terrorists, what about the rights of innocent American travelers.
Billionaire Warren Buffett said that rich people should pay more in taxes and that Bush-era tax cuts for top earners should be allowed to expire at the end of December.
ďIf anything, taxes for the lower and middle class and maybe even the upper middle class should even probably be cut further,Ē Buffett said in an interview with ABCís ďThis Week With Christiane AmanpourĒ that is scheduled to air on Nov. 28. ďBut I think that people at the high end -- people like myself -- should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than weíve ever had it.Ē
Here's my response.
CUT THE CHECK, WARREN.
Seriously -- cut the check. Decide how much more you ought to be paying to the federal government each year and write them a check for the full amount. Nothing is stopping you from doing so. Indeed, it would be admirable for you to lead by example.
And having cut the check, put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and mail it to the following address.
Quite frankly, until you cut that check for several years running (or, in the alternative, cut one check for what you think you underpaid for the last decade, plus interest), you really lack the moral authority to claim that anyone is undertaxed.
UPDATE: Hey, Warren -- Michelle Malkin even has an online link to make the sort of donation I mentioned above, so you can use your credit card to pay all those taxes you believe you are being under-charged.
then the United States must immediately withdraw all troops from Afghanistan and cut off all aid.
Not if there is a conviction -- if there is even a trial.
An Afghan Christian, detained for months for allegedly converting to Christianity from Islam, could face trial as early as next week - and could face a potential death penalty, officials said Sunday.
Said Musa was arrested by Afghan Interior Ministry intelligence authorities near the German Embassy in Kabul because of the allegations, said Qamaruddin Shenwari, director of the Kabul courts' north zone. The exact date of his arrest is not known.
The case against Musa has not yet been finalized, said Mohammad Najim Hamidi, director of public security at Zone 3 of the Kabul courts. He could face trial next week if the case is prepared by then, Hamidi said. It was earlier thought Musa's trial would begin on Sunday.
The Afghan Constitution does not mention converting from one religion to another, so the judge will take Islamic law into account, officials said.
"According to Afghanistan's constitution, if there is no clear verdict as to whether an act is criminal or not in the penal code of the Afghan Constitution, then it would be referred to sharia law where the judge has an open hand in reaching a verdict," Shenwari said.
Under sharia law, converting from Islam to Christianity is punishable by death.
We have clearly pissed away too many American lives in Afghanistan if fundamental human rights norms like religious freedom are to be ignored by the Afghan government. And for the US government to aid and abet those violations of human rights by a sharia-law government seems to me to be a violation of the principles underlying (though not the actual language of) the First Amendment's recognition of religious freedom.
That said, I stand by what I said about a similar case several years ago -- if the outcome here is anything short of an acknowledgment that the sharia penalty of death for apostasy from Islam is a violation of fundamental human rights and an outrage against the fundamental standards of the civilized world, then what we will have is no more than a strategic retreat and not a victory for human rights. And it is fundamentally wrong for American troops -- overwhelmingly of the Christian faith -- to be expected to fight and die for sharia.
Living here in the Houston area, it has been my privilege to attend a fair number of events where former President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush have been present. What has always struck me about this couple is their grace, their dignity, and their kindness. I say this as someone who was never a big fan of Bush 41 -- I was inconsolable at 17 when Ronald Reagan picked him as his running mate in 1980, I campaigned actively against him in 1988 when he sought (and won) the GOP presidential nomination, and was only lukewarm in my support for him in 1992. You see, I don't always share the same point of view on issues as the former First Couple -- but have, over the years, developed a deep affection for them based upon my experience of them as members of my community.
That's why I'm disturbed by the tack taken by some on the right -- folks who I generally consider to be allies -- in the wake of Barbara Bush's comments on a potential Sarah Palin presidential candidacy.
"I sat next to her once. Thought she was beautiful," Barbara Bush said. "And she's very happy in Alaska, and I hope she'll stay there."
The response from the Palin-lovers? Well, let's just say it is worthy of posters at Daily Kos or Democratic Underground in its derangement.
The best thing that Mrs Bush could do is to heed Dan Riehlís advice.
Oh, yeah -- they are also not happy that the former president indicates he isn't sure of where the Tea Party is ultimately going to fit in the political landscape. Personally, I find that an astute position to take -- as I recall, in 1992 we were told that Ross Perot was going to change America's political landscape forever. He didn't, and it is just too soon to tell what the long-term impact of the Tea party will be.
Got that? Dissent is not allowed. Especially not if you are the wife of a decorated WWII hero and former president, and the mother of another former president. If you cannot embrace Sarah Palin as the greatest thing since sliced bread and do not view her as the second coming of the Messiah, you are an elitist insider who must be purged and marginalized.
Sorry, folks -- this is still America. And like it or not, Sarah Palin's resume is not significantly stronger than Barack Obama's was in 2008 -- and her decisions to quit as governor and to not challenge Lisa Murkowski for Alaska's Senate seat this year only serve to raise questions in this life-long Republican's mind as to her viability as a presidential candidate. Indeed, recent polling data makes it clear that she is among the worst candidates the party can nominate if we are to successfully challenge Barack Obama in 2012.
Now the Palinistas have, with imperious arrogance, commanded from on high that Barbara Bush shut up. In response, I'm going to suggest that they. . . keep right on writing and talking in her support. Because after all, as an American who believes in the values found in the First Amendment, I believe that even the arrogant and ill-informed have the right to express themselves on political matters. What's more, I believe that the antics of those who are seeking to limit the political debate are more likely to undermine Sarah Palin's candidacy than to aid it. And most importantly, I'm going to encourage George and Barbara Bush to continue to speak out on matters of importance for both the nation and the GOP -- I think the wisdom of these members of the Greatest Generation are more valuable the mewling words of those members of the Latest Generation who would silence them.
Am I looking to start a blog war with anyone? No, I'm not -- I'm just standing up for an elderly couple who deserve to be treated with more respect than they are being shown by individuals who ought to know better. And may I conclude by noting that it is a metaphysical certainty their mothers are incredibly proud of them for ordering a woman in her 80s to shut because she dares to disagree with them.
Here are this week's full results:
Congratulations to all nominees, and especially to the winners. Now everybody get reading -- there's some good stuff here.
Iíve made this point around here once or twice Ė if we really believe that we are at war with the jihadi swine, then the proper solution is neither a civilian trial or some military commission during the conflict. What we need to do is treat the jihadis as we have treated captured combatants in every conflict during our nationís history. Here's a piece from the Washington Post that agrees with that viewpoint.
While the Ghailani verdict does not argue for military commissions over civilian trials, it does highlight the attraction of military detention without trial at all. This is the traditional ground on which enemy soldiers have been held in wartime. The government has a lesser burden in justifying military detention before a habeas corpus court than it has in convicting a terrorist of a crime at trial. The courts broadly accept that Congress has authorized military detention and that it is a perfectly legitimate form of terrorist incapacitation. Yet the Obama administration, while embracing the legality and necessity of military detention, has expressed a strong preference for trials instead. The Post reported last weekend that the administration is rethinking that stance with respect to the Sept. 11 conspirators, and Ghailani's verdict should spur that reconsideration.
Traditionally, such combatants are held until the end of the war. When we cease to be at war with the forces of Islamo-fascism and have crushed the jihadis into impotence, these folks can be released or tried as deemed appropriate. But the Ghaliani trial highlights a possible Ė indeed, a probable Ė dilemma that this or another administration will face if the current policy is pursued. What do we do when the technicalities and vagaries of a civilian trial results in an acquittal on criminal charges? Do we release an unquestionably dangerous enemy to fight again, putting our national security at risk? Do we continue to detain someone acquitted by a court, rendering every future trial a face in the eyes of the world? No, the preferred option must be to protect national security by detaining the enemy until the conflict ends.
Gov. Rick Perry says he's open to the idea of sending U.S. troops into Mexico to fight the drug war. The Texas governor told MSNBC this morning that border violence has escalated dramatically since George W. Bush was governor a decade ago. He said more aggressive federal tactics are needed. "You have a situation on the border where American citizens are being killed, and you didn't see that back when George Bush was the governor," he said.
Host Chuck Todd asked whether Perry would advocate military involvement on the Mexican side of the border. Perry responded: "I think we have to have any aspect of law enforfement that we have including the military. I think we have the same situation we had in Columbia. Obviously, Mexico has to approve any type of assistance that we can give them. But the fact of the matter is these are people who are highly motivated for money, they are vicious, they are armed to the teeth. And I want to see them defeated. And any means we can to run these people off our border and to save Americans' lives we have to be engaged in."
Is Perry correct about the possible need to use the military to deal with issues in the border region? Yes, he is.
Is fighting the drug war, per se, the issue that needs to be dealt with? No, it isn't.
Frankly, what needs to be done with US troops along the Mexican border is to secure it. Maybe not seal it completely, but take control of it to a degree that we do not have a mass of humanity streaming across the frontier more or less at will. End cross-border smuggling -- whether of drugs or humans (and our first concern should be stopping human smuggling). Keep the criminals out -- and that includes corrupt Mexican military and law enforcement personnel who treat our border like it is not there and who assist the law breakers (whether drug gangs, human smugglers, or illegals) who seek to cross that border in contravention of American law. Make it clear to the ineffective and corrupt government officials in Mexico that America's official policy is that we will no longer be a safety valve to bleed off their nation's criminal element -- and that as far as we are concerned, Mexico can engage in national suicide and self-genocide so long as its orgy of violence stays on the south side of the border with the United States.
How will we pay for the cost of this new policy? By redirecting all foreign and military aid currently sent to the Mexican government to cover the costs of this new operation.
Oh, and as far as the newly secured border crossings go, I have a great idea for how to redeploy the serial gropers from the TSA. . .
While we OUGHT to be able to recall US Senators, the Constitution does not allow for it.
A recall committee cannot proceed with its effort to unseat U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, the state Supreme Court ruled today in a decision that strikes down part of the state constitution.
Voting 4-2, the justices said parts of the state law and constitution that allow such recalls are unconstitutional. The decision reverses an appellate court, which had said the recall could proceed but stayed its decision to allow Menendez to appeal.
"The text and history of the Federal Constitution, as well as the principles of the democratic system it created, do not allow the states the power to recall U.S. Senators," Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote for the majority.
Of course, this might be the sort of thing that we as Americans might want to consider fixing Ė assuming we donít just repeal the 17th Amendment completely.
"This year alone, the use of advanced imaging technology has led to the detection of over 130 prohibited, illegal or dangerous items," TSA spokesman Greg Soule told FoxNews.com. The TSA would not disclose exactly what those items were, but it said they included weapons like ceramic knives and various drugs -- including a syringe filled with heroine hidden in a passengerís underwear.
What it means, of course, is that not a single bombing has been stopped, but instead they have found various and sundry incidents of drug crime and Americans carrying items that would be legal anywhere else in the country Ė many of which do not constitute a significant danger to others on an airplane.
Now hold still while some anonymous government employee jiggles your genitals.
In letters to four companies, the Food and Drug Administration said it had concluded that adding caffeine to alcohol created ďadulteratedĒ products that were unsafe and illegal. If the companies do not take action within 15 days, the FDA could begin seizing the products or seek a court order barring companies from continuing to sell the products.
Simultaneously, Treasury Department officials announced that, based on the FDAís conclusion, the companies would be told that the products had been mislabeled and were, therefore, illegal to be shipped. And the Federal Trade Commission informed the same four firms that marketing their seven products risked violating federal law.
Two problems with this argumentĒ
1) Adding caffeine to alcohol creates adulterated products? Really? Does this mean that an Irish Coffee or a Captain & Coke is now illegal under federal regulations because the drinks in question have been ďadulteratedĒ with caffeine? Will the federal government now be ordering bars to cease selling those ďadulteratedĒ mixed drinks?
2) How were the products mislabeled if they included both the presence of the alcohol and the caffeine in the ingredients list?
Seems to me that this is a case of government over-reach, and ought to be challenged in order to slap down Uncle Barryís nanny regime.
I made it really clear yesterday that there is good reason to oppose Joe Straus' continuing as Speaker of the House here in Texas, and that the attempt to defend his position by playing the anti-Semitism card against his opponents is absurd and offensive. This situation has now taken a turn that is frightening and oppressive -- not to mention unconstitutional -- regarding the writings of political activist Peter Morrison.
The House General Investigating and Ethics Committee is planning to look into Morrison's writings.
"We're fairly sure that he's violated some codes with his intimidation of elected officials," said Rep. Chuck Hopson, R-Jackson, chairman of the committee.
I'm sorry, but the First Amendment of the US Constitution and Article I, Section 8 of the Texas Constitution would make any "code" violated by his statement invalid on its face if applied to Morrison's call for citizens to lobby their elected representatives in the Speaker's race. His position is arguably wrong, but that cannot legally constitute a criminal offense in the United States of America or the state of Texas. Calling for Texans to call their legislators and urge the selection of a Speaker who is a conservative and a Christian does not constitute intimidation of elected officials -- and a witch hunt of an investigation to punish Morrison is significantly more offensive to American values than any putatively offensive statement by Morrison.
It is all about priorities.
Muslims sentence gays to death as part of Sharia law and Americaís Gay progressives & media are silent.
Willow Palin rants on Facebook ó OUTRAGE!
If one's priority is the vindication of the rights of homosexual individuals, then the focus should be on those places where such individuals are routinely murdered by the state or at its active instigation. If your goal is to cause cheap sensation and destroy a disfavored politician, then focus on the words of an angry 16-year-old whose biggest crime is being the daughter of a prominent political figure who is unpopular with the left.
Oh, wait -- we had better get back to in-depth coverage of how the survival of this kid's older sister on a television dance competition is indicative of political rot in America while ignoring the the plans of the discredited Democrats to ignore the will of the American people during the lame duck session of Congress. After all, robo-dialing by viewers who like Bristol's mom is a major national scandal!
I have my dream scenario in mind.
Fred Phelps and the WBC will picket the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, MI, the largest mosque in North America, to remind the idolatrous, doomed Muslims that Mohammed was a pedophile and a false prophet. Like most other false religious systems of modern doomed america, Islam teaches rebellion against the Lord Jesus Christ. Muslims claim Christ was merely a prophet and that He did not die and live again. They claim His blood is not sufficient or even necessary for salvation. They shall learn the truth when Christ himself returns!
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins.
If you die in your sins, you go to Hell, for all eternity! There is no salvation or light in Islam or any other such false religion.
The best possible outcome?
Muslims from the mosque come out, swords drawn, and behead the Phelps Phamily Phreaks right there on the street as a warning to the rest of us infidels that they simply will not tolerate the exercise of freedom of speech that goes against the dictates of their faith.
Why is this the best outcome?
1) It gets rid of the noxious Westboro crew.
2) It makes it abundantly clear what is wrong with Islam.
Of all the disingenuous use of identity politics Iíve seen of late, the most disturbing is the attempt by some to keep Joe Straus as Speaker of the House here in the Texas Legislature. Today some argue (including the anti-white, anti-Christian, anti-American blogger at BayAreaHatemonger) that the effort to oust Straus from that office is an exercise in anti-Semitism.
The speaker of the stateís House of Representatives is under attack for not being conservative enough and for being Jewish.
A partisan conservative group wants to see Texas Rep. Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, replaced by a ďtrue conservativeĒ and a ďChristianĒ for the top legislative job in the Lone Star State.
A recent newsletter by the Lumberton, Texas-based Peter Morrison Report is circulating in Texas Republican circles, following the Nov 2 mid-term elections, in which the GOP captured 99 of the 150 state House seats in an historic win for conservatives.
The report condemns Rep. Strausí bipartisan record and attacks the Republican leader as ďthe liberal, pro-abortion Speaker of the House.Ē
Well, letís examine this. Yeah, the piece in question does contain some oblique references to religion Ė in one case, for example, it is noted that the Speaker (whose NARAL rating is 100%) is a member of a congregation where the rabbi sits on the board of Planned Parenthood. In another, it is noted that his two main challengers are pro-life conservative Christians. But the issue there is not religious so much as it is his commitment to a fundamentally pro-abortion stance.
But even bigger is the issue of how the moderate Straus assumed the Speakerís chair in the first place. After the 2008 election, the Democrat minority co-opted a dozen or so moderate Republicans and elected the moderate Strauss over his conservative opponents. With the Republicans now holding a 98-seat majority in the chamber, and a more conservative majority at that, it is the belief of many of us here in Texas that we need a conservative speaker to represent the views of the majority, not a weak-kneed middle-of-the-roader like Straus. Thatís why I signed on to calls oust Straus very early Ė I desire the majority to prevail over the minority this time around. As for Straus being a Jew Ė until this morning, I had been unaware of what the manís religious affiliation, and it remains irrelevant to me, as it is for every conservative Iíve had any dealing with here in Texas. And for the record, Iím on the subscription list of Peter Morrison Ė and long ago set my spam filter to send his emails to the trash, because I do not take him seriously.
Why dump Straus? I think the reasons are manifestly clear, and that this post at RedState does a great job of summing them up.
Anyone who says Joe Straus is a conservative is either a fool or a liar.
I hate to be that blunt, but the truth sometimes must be.
Joe Straus has a 100% rating from NARAL, but the same people saying Straus is conservative also say he is pro-life. Iím sorry, but pro-lifers do not get 100% ratings from NARAL nor do their spouses sit on the boards of abortion organizations.
Pro-lifers are not honored by Planned Parenthood, but Joe Straus was.
Conservatives do not block laws to provide business tax exemptions to small businesses. But Joe Straus did.
Conservatives do not support McCain-Feingold style election laws. Joe Straus did.
Conservatives do not kill voter integrity laws requiring photo identification for voting. Joe Straus did.
Conservatives do not campaign for left-wing propagandists. Joe Straus did.
Joe Straus is not a conservative. He became Speaker of the Texas House by getting Democrats to support him. He has rewarded them thoroughly. It is now time Republicans punish Joe Straus and remove him from the Speakerís position in Texas.
As folks who hang out at this site know, being Jewish will get you an extra ration of courtesy and good-will from me, not opposition and scorn. But Iím still backing calls for Straus to be defeated, and Iím hoping to see Ken Paxton be the next Speaker of the House here in Texas.
This is the experience of one American traveler right here in the US of A, an encounter with a female screener in Ohio as she traveled with her baby.
She instructed me, ďSpread your feet apart and hold your arms out to the side.Ē I obliged.
She patted my left arm, my right arm, my upper back and my lower back. She then said, ďI need to reach in and feel along the inside of your waistband.Ē
She felt along my waistline, moved behind me, then proceeded to feel both of my buttocks. She reached from behind in the middle of my buttocks towards my vagina area.
She did not tell me that she was going to touch my buttocks, or reach forward to my vagina area.
She then moved in front of my and touched the top and underneath portions of both of my breasts.
She did not tell me that she was going to touch my breasts.
She then felt around my waist. She then moved to the bottoms of my legs.
She then felt my inner thighs and my vagina area, touching both of my labia.
She did not tell me that she was going to touch my vagina area or my labia.
Excuse me, but anywhere else in America this would be classified as sexual assault, and the perpetrator would be hauled off to jail. Instead, Americans are being told to surrender our liberties and our human dignity for procedures that do not one thing to improve our security other than make a few government officials (officials who do not go through such invasive searches because they fly on official planes, not commercial flights) feel like they have "done something" about the jihadi threat. Unfortunately, the effective techniques have been ruled out by our government for fear that some ethnic or religious minority might feel uncomfortable or singled out for heightened scrutiny because they actually match the profile of a would-be shaheed -- so using procedures that actually perform heightened screening of those who have a higher likelihood of being terrorists is a non-starter.
So hey, babe -- get ready to have some uniformed Amazon in sensible shoes bobble your breasts and rub your labia! Gents, get used to government employee fondle your balls and stroke your penis! And best of all, a new class of highly trained pedophiles will be deployed at airports around the country to give extra-special screenings to your children, making the pre-flight portion that trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth the most stimulating part of the trip.
What next? TSA employees exercising droit de seigneur?
We can, of course, get out from under this out-of-control screening system here in the Lone Star State.
Did you know that the nation's airports are not required to have Transportation Security Administration screeners checking passengers at security checkpoints? The 2001 law creating the TSA gave airports the right to opt out of the TSA program in favor of private screeners after a two-year period. Now, with the TSA engulfed in controversy and hated by millions of weary and sometimes humiliated travelers, Rep. John Mica, the Republican who will soon be chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is reminding airports that they have a choice.
Send those x-ray scanners packing, along with the gonad-grabbing TSA employees. Instead implement reasonable policies under control of state and local authorities who are more likely to answer to the people instead of the unresponsive bureaucrats in Washington who would rather investigate the complainers than respond to the complaints.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal sought to put an end to speculation that he is interested in running for president in 2012, telling the Associated Press that he has no plans to do so.
"I'm not being coy at all. I'm not running for president in 2012. Period. No ifs, ands or buts, no caveats," Jindal told the AP's Melinda DeSlatte in an interview. "We have made great progress in Louisiana, but we've got a lot more work to do."
Iíve been a fan of Gov. Jindal for some time, making no secret of the fact that Iíd like him to be on the 2012 ticket. It looks as if that isnít going to happen Ė at least not with him in the top spot.
But thatís OK Ė heís still quite young, and potentially will be a viable candidate for the next two decades.
A Japanese space probe that ended a seven-year voyage earlier this year brought back dust from the surface of an asteroid for the first time, Japan's space agency said on Tuesday.
Scientists hope the particles will help unlock secrets of the solar system's formation.
The unmanned craft Hayabusa, meaning "falcon" in Japanese, was destroyed on re-entry in June, but managed to drop a container bearing the sample after landing on the near-Earth asteroid Itokawa in 2005.
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) says the particles may offer clues about how the solar system was formed 4.6 billion years ago.
It will be interesting to learn what knowledge of the development of asteroids Ė and of the solar system Ė we acquire from research on this asteroid dust, which will be in the hands of scientists sometime in 2011.
A conservative Maryland physician elected to Congress on an anti-Obamacare platform surprised fellow freshmen at a Monday orientation session by demanding to know why his government-subsidized health care plan from the government takes a month to kick in. Politico.com reports that Republican Andy Harris, an anesthesiologist who defeated freshman Democrat Frank Kratovil on Marylandís Eastern Shore, reacted incredulously when informed that federal law mandated that his government-subsidized health care policy would take effect on Feb. 1 Ė 28 days after his Jan. 3rd swearing-in. ďHe stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care,Ē said a congressional staffer who saw the exchange.
Of course, they want to argue that he is hypocritically demanding insurance that the rest of America does not get from the government and that his question indicates a hypocritical belief that he Ė and not the rest of America Ė is entitled to constant insurance by the government.
That isnít, however, the case.
What the man is asking, quite reasonably in my opinion, is why it takes nearly a month for he as an employee to be covered by the employerís health plan. There really isnít any good reason for such a delay Ė indeed, I consider it to be a question no more unreasonable than asking why one would receive no paycheck for a month when the pay cycle is every two weeks. After all, federal employees get paid twice a month Ė why shouldnít the insurance go into effect at the end of the first pay period, especially since it is a violation of ethics laws for Harris (and other new members of Congress) to continue to be covered by their former employers after they take office on January 3. And it isnít like nobody knows who the new members of Congress will be on January 3 Ė there will have been two full months to enroll them in the system prior to their swearing in, so that the coverage could begin effective with their date of taking office.
And those who canít tell the difference between Harrisí position that government employees should have benefits begin immediately upon the commencement of employment and the notion that the government should cover all Americans (most of whom are not government employees receiving benefits as part of their compensation package) are either willfully ignorant or intellectually deficient.
I'm left nearly speechless by this explanation of Barack Obama by one of his inner circle.
In his biography of Obama, "The Bridge," David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, quotes White House senior adviser and longtime Obama friend Valerie Jarrett: "I think Barack knew that he had God-given talents that were extraordinary. He knows exactly how smart he is. ... He knows how perceptive he is. He knows what a good reader of people he is. And he knows that he has the ability -- the extraordinary, uncanny ability -- to take a thousand different perspectives, digest them and make sense out of them, and I think that he has never really been challenged intellectually. ... So what I sensed in him was not just a restless spirit but somebody with such extraordinary talents that had to be really taxed in order for him to be happy. ... He's been bored to death his whole life. He's just too talented to do what ordinary people do."
You know, there may be some truth to this assessment -- after all no mere mortal could come anywhere close to screwing up at a job and screwing up the nation as Barack Obama has managed to do in the last two years. A mere mortal would require a full eight years to accomplish the sort of destruction that the unicorn-riding demigod has managed in just under two.
I understand the need for airport security, and to try to stop various and sundry jihadis as they attempt to kill the rest of us for daring to live contrary to the pernicious doctrines of Muhammad's Big Book of Blasphemy. But I get really disturbed when I see "logic" like this from allegedly intelligent commentators.
Groin checks or not, tight security is what we need now, unless you want another angry Al Qaeda kid with plastic explosives in his tighty whities sitting next to you on the way to Miami.
Hey, you don't want to get checked, don't fly.
I can't imagine most TSA agents enjoy zapping you or feeling around your privates. They don't want to touch your junk. They just want it to arrive safely at its destination.
Of course, this ignores the minor questions of propriety, human dignity, and the Bill of Rights, which includes this:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
I still have a right to be secure in my person, and there has been no warrant issued based upon probable cause to search me, so explain to me what authority the government has to make me submit to naked pictures and having my penis and testicles felt up by some government employee. Where is the reasonableness in such a search? Where is the reasonableness in this?
Excuse me, but why is Sister Mary Agnes (not her real name, but the name of my favorite nun) getting felt up? Does anyone really believe that she's got a bomb in her panties under her habit?
Given what we know about the terrorists who are trying to destroy planes and murder innocents in favor of the Islamo-fascist death cult, may I offer a different procedure that is much more likely to screen out the terrorists while leaving the rest of us unmolested?
Require all fliers to eat a slice of bacon as they pass into the secure zone.
Don't want to eat a slice of bacon, because of religious, objections, a rejection of meat, or food allergies? Fine, just read from the handy-dandy little script that TSA agents will have on hand for your sort -- "The Quran is a book of lies and Muhammad is a false prophet."
Don't want to do that? In the words of Joanna Molloy in the excerpt above, "don't fly."
After all, this is much less intrusive on the right and dignity of many fewer people than the current screening regime -- and no would-be shaheed is going to sully his/her martyrdom with an act that will send him/her straight to hell. You provide everyone with safety and security without the sort of outrages that the government is imposing upon us today.
And to those who raise a First Amendment objection to my proposal while supporting the current naked picture/feel-up system currently in place, why is that amendment is more sacred to you than the Fourth?
They tried to keep them going in spite of the fact that the people of Houston made them illegal, but Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the City Council surrendered and turned them off this morning.
The city turned off its red light cameras this morning, bringing an end to a program that since 2006 had collected more than $44 million in fines from red-light runners across Houston.
A wave of legal wrangling over the matter has just begun, however, as the city also filed a lawsuit seeking the opinion of a federal judge about how it should terminate its contract with Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions, which was not to end until 2014.
At one point there was an attempt to argue that the voters had no right to have their will implemented before the termination of the contract Ė but that was clearly a non-starter, and outraged Houstonians forced the city to back down. Looks like the people won Ė as they should under our system of government.
If the NFL is going to make a big deal about Breast Cancer Month each season during October (and it should), why not spend some time on a form of cancer that is likely to have a direct impact on the lives of its players, coaches and the majority of its fans?
Dear Commissioner Goodell,
In October the National Football League ensured that its many millions of fans saw pink -- the symbolic color for breast cancer awareness. With almost 39,840 women expected to die this year from breast cancer, says the National Cancer Institute, the NFL's "Crucial Catch" campaign played a huge part in making many Americans aware of this disease, so that support can follow for new treatments and an ultimate cure.
But did you know that almost as many American men die each year from prostate cancer? The NCI estimates that more than 32,000 American fathers, husbands, brothers, sons and friends will die this year from that disease. Yet the NFL has yet to provide similar support for prostate cancer.
Indeed, there's very little emphasis on men's health issues in today's society. Men are less prone to visit a doctor or to speak of health issues. Yet men are just as likely to die from various ailments, including prostate cancer.
The NFL's enormous reach did enormous good for breast cancer awareness, and we should all thank you. When players, coaches and even officials wore pink apparel during games, it spiked awareness, and surely spurred action by many more women to get screened for breast cancer. That being the case, the inevitable result will be that the NFL's $10 million Crucial Catch campaign will have the greatest and grandest effect possible: It will save lives.
Yet more lives need saving, too. And that's why I'm asking you to throw the league's full support behind next year's Prostate Cancer Awareness month, September 2011.
Millions of boys grow up watching NFL games, and the rarely discussed disease of prostate cancer will wind up killing them at an alarming rate. In fact, prostate cancer is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men. The NCI estimates that 217,230 cases will be diagnosed this year, more than the 207,090 cases of breast cancer that it expects will be diagnosed.
As with breast cancer, the NFL could use its massive resources and drawing power to shed light on a topic that needs far great examination. Clearly, the NFL can make a difference -- and so it should. Besides, it's never too early to start educating young men and raising their awareness of men's health issues.
Prostate cancer often is considered an "old man's disease," but it's anything but. In fact, I was diagnosed this year at age 35. Up until then, like most Americans, I knew nothing about it. Now I do -- and I want to share that knowledge with the NFL's help.
Numbers don't lie: One in six of your players, referees and men in your front office - not to mention the male true believers in the stands and watching on TV - are at risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer. On top of that, this cancer has a higher rate among African-American men, who dominate your players' ranks.
I wasn't aware of what the NFL does to encourage prostate cancer screening, so I sought information. Scrolling down to the bottom of the NFL.com homepage, I clicked on "In the Community." This took me to "Join the Team." There, I clicked on "Health." There I found a link to learn more under "Know Your Stats About Prostate Cancer." I then found a hyperlink to a separate site, KnowYourStats.org, which stated the following:
The National Football League joins forces with the American Urological Association (AUA) Foundation to encourage men over 40 to talk with their doctors about prostate cancer, their PSA (prostate-specific antigen) score and getting regular physicals.
But so far, from the world's most powerful sports league, that seems to be it.
Now that can change. If the NFL can launch an effort for prostate cancer as it did with breast cancer in Crucial Catch, then local and national support next September will:
ē Raise Awareness: A sea of blue will put a spotlight on prostate cancer.
ē Prompt Action: More men will get cancer screenings, with early detection vitally important.
ē Raise Money: Fund-raising efforts will ensure better treatments and help find a cure.
ē Save Lives: With the NFL's action comes support. With support comes a greater chance of survival for all men.
September 2011 is just 10 months away, but I know developing campaigns takes time, so it's not too early. My hope is that the NFL, the American Cancer Society and the Prostate Cancer Foundation soon will join forces and announce a campaign for September 2011 -- a campaign that will make a difference by raising awareness and, most importantly, by saving lives.
And the fact that the administration has not tried to do that has created a situation where not only have we never actually put many of these folks on trial, but we have destroyed our credibility when it comes to rule of law all around the world, and given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment in countries that say, "Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims."
So, with the newly announced decision not to try Khalid Sheik Muhammad in New York, but to instead indefinitely detain him, Barack Hussein Obama has destroyed American credibility with regard to rule of law and boosted international terrorism, right? After all, his policy is now identical to the Bush policy he criticized as doing exactly that. Unless, of course, Obama is willing to come out and admit he was full of shit in 2008, offering a full apology and a public acknowledgment that George W. Bush was and is an American patriot who made the correct call on how to deal with the jihadi terrorists of the Islamofascist movement,.
A San Francisco man is trying to get an initiative on an upcoming city ballot that would ban male circumcision, officials said.
The proposed measure for the November 2011 ballot would amend the city's police code "to make it a misdemeanor to circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the foreskin, testicle or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18," The (San Francisco) Examiner reported.
* * *
"Tattooing a child is banned as a felony and circumcision is more harmful than a tattoo," said Schofield, who believes religious traditions should change.
"People can practice whatever religion they want, but your religious practice ends with someone else's body," Schofield told CBS news. "It's a man's body and Ö his body doesn't belong to his culture, his government, his religion or even his parents. It's his decision."
Seems to me that ever-so-liberal San Fran is all about getting the government involved in peopleís lives Ė except, of course, when it comes to homosexual activity and abortion, which are secular sacraments in Babylon-by-the-Bay. But medical privacy or religious freedom as a basis for allowing parents to decide on whether or not the procedure is appropriate for their child? Not in San Francisco.
Maybe I'll respect this @$$-clown more when he begins circulating a petition to ban burqas in public places. Nah -- that won't happen. Unlike Jews, Muslims will try to kill him.
Not only did Rick Perry crush former Houston mayor Bill White in the 2010 gubernatorial race, it appears that he may have ensured that the 2012 US Senate race will go Republican as well. Why do I make this assertion? Because Bill White has decided he will not be running for that Senate seat.
A jeans-wearing Bill White happily took 21-year-old daughter Elena to lunch at a gourmet hamburger joint in the Heights on Saturday. The former Houston mayor has had precious few such father-daughter moments during 22 months of almost constant campaigning, first for the U.S. Senate and then for the Governor's Office.
Now he has time.
In the nearly two weeks since his decisive loss to Gov. Rick Perry, he's had time to begin planning a family Christmas trip to a yet-to-be-decided Spanish-speaking country, to indulge his penchant for exploring new and interesting businesses and to begin thinking about what he wants to do next. He also has time to think about what might have been.
For now, he said, about the only thing he knows about his future is what he doesn't plan to do. He is not running for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Kay Bailey Hutchison.
"I'm not running in 2012," he said, relaxing on the couch in a sunlit den in the White home overlooking woods bordering Buffalo Bayou. He also said he has no plans to try again for the Governor's Office or for a Senate seat in 2014, when Republican Sen. John Cornyn faces re-election. He looks forward to getting back into business, he said.
Bill White had been the Democrat Party's big hope for winning statewide office here in Texas. He was drubbed so thoroughly that he won't make another such run in the foreseeable future. There is no Democrat in this state with sufficient name recognition, popularity, and fundraising ability to take on any of the likely GOP candidates and win, given that all of the likely candidates are either current or former statewide elected officials with a history of trampling their Democrat opponents -- so even if Kay Bailey Hutchison does not seek reelection in 2012 (and the smart money says she won't after the debacle in her 2010 primary challenge of Gov. Perry), the GOP starts out with a major advantage. The only question is who the GOP will run -- and how big and/or bloody the GOP primary will be.
Once again we find ourselves with fantastic posts by fantastic bloggers. here are the results of this week's competition.
* First place with 3 2/3 votes! Ė Joshuapundit Ė Jews, Democrats And ĎProgressivesí
* Second place with 2 2/3 votes Ė VA Right - The Bush Administration Never Fondled Our Genetalia
* Third place with 1 1/3 votes - GrEaT sAtAnĒS gIrLfRiEnD - Asking For It
* Fourth place *t* with 1 vote Ė Simply Jews Ė Mutual backscratching society
* Fourth place *t* wiht 1 vote Ė Bookworm Room Ė Why I am a fascist (according to my liberal friend)
* Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote Ė Mere Rhetoric Ė J Street Candidates Wiped Out In Senate, Lose More Than Half Of Competitive House Races
* Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote -Right Truth Ė Obama Forces Jihad Down Indiaís Throat, and Americaís
* Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote -The Colossus of Rhodey Ė Election Post-Mortem
* Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote -The Razor Ė California: SNAFU
* First place with 3 votes! Ė Sultan Knish - A Smiling Obama Returns to Bloody Jakarta submitted by The Watcher
* Second place with 2 votes Ė Harryís Place Ė East London Mosque: When in Trouble, Throw Chaff submitted by Simply Jews
* Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes - Republican Riot -Israeli Professor Nails It: Obama was Right when he said America is not a Christian Country submitted by Right Truth
* Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes - Arm Chair Generalist Ė Progressive National Security Policies submitted by GrEaT sAtAnĒS gIrLfRiEnD
* Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes - American Thinker Ė De Facto Shariah Law in America submitted by VA Right
* Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote - LATMA Ė Tribal Update/Victims Of Peace submitted by Joshuapundit
* Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote Ė johnny dollarís place Ė The Phony ĎJournalismí of Rachel Maddow submitted by The Glittering Eye
* Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote Ė Discriminations Ė The Quest For ďDiversityĒ At The Most Selective Public High School In America submitted by Rhymes With Right
* Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote - Gizmodo Ė The Quadrotor Drone Learns Several Terrifying New Tricks submitted by Mere Rhetoric
Congratulations to one and all -- and to the rest of you, get reading, because there is a lot of fine stuff for you to learn from.
Quite bluntly, when Tea party tries to impose this sort of crap, it begins to look like the discredited Maoists, Trotskyites, and Stalinists of the past.
But here is another case in point for bypassing a lot of the national tea party groups. The Claremont Institute, a well respected organization that has one heck of a constitutional history course, is hosting an event for new members of Congress.
The organization is being attacked by a tea party group as being filled with and held by ďWashington Insiders.Ē
For the record, the Claremont Institute is on the opposite coast of the United States from Washington and composed of some of the wingiest wingers in the entire wing-o-sphere.
This handwringing about ďWashington InsidersĒ is verging on paranoid.
One tea party group is giving out the private cell phone numbers of freshmen congressmen to pressure them to avoid competing orientation programs, etc.
Certainly there are legitimate concerns and there must be caution, but Good Lord people, by the time all the cards are on the table weíre going to have all the tea party groups labeling their competitors as Washington Insiders.
This is nuts.
Folks, it is quite simple.
There is a range of opinion on the right. We have social conservatives, economic conservatives, libertarian conservatives, paleo-conservatives, and neo-conservatives. Each has a place in the conservative movement, and it is important that we communicate with each other and listen to each other and work with each other. We cannot spend our time hurling excommunications and anathemas at our fellow conservatives because some dare to hold certain things to be more important than others or because there is a legitimate difference of opinion on the proper course to take. If that is how the Tea party insists it must be, they are proposing nothing less than a program of circular firing squads.
Indeed, the tendency to demand that everyone stop debating, stop thinking, and unquestioningly fall in line is where I part company with the Tea party -- and why I have steadfastly refused to affiliate with any Tea Party group, despite my general agreement with its principles. I refuse to surrender my right to think for myself and to disagree when I believe it to be appropriate.
Personally, I'll stand with Ronald Reagan on the issue of ideological purity.
"The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally - not a 20 percent traitor."
Unless the tea party wishes to reduce itself to a fringe minority, its followers would do well to remember those words of wisdom.
It is unknown if the vehicle in question is registered to Jonathon Swift.
A Gurnee woman who allegedly attacked a police officer with a sex toy has been charged with aggravated assault.
Carolee Bildsten, 56, of the 5300 block of David Court, allegedly assaulted the officer on Tuesday evening with what Gurnee Police Cmdr. Jay Patrick called ďa rigid feminine pleasure device.Ē
I donít think any further commentary is necessary.
Or, in the interest of being more culturally sensitive, perhaps it should be ďAdios, cabrůnes!Ē
A newly released Gallup study of U.S. Hispanics reveals that more than one in seven -- or an estimated 4 million adults -- would leave the U.S. permanently if they had the opportunity. A slim majority (52%) say they would like to move to a Latin American country, including nearly a third (32%) who would like to relocate to Mexico. A sizable minority -- or nearly 2 million adults -- would like to move to places such as Canada (8%), Spain (8%), the United Kingdom (5%), and other non-Latin American countries.
May I simply note that there is nothing that forces you to stay here. While many of us want a wall or a fence to keep out those who would come here in violation of our nationís laws, there is absolutely nothing about such a proposal that would keep anyone who wanted to depart our shores to do so. No dejes que la puerta le golpeů en el culo cuando salga.
Not, mind you, that they have not been doing so for the last couple of years in a whole host of ways, but enacting legislation that Americans oppose within days of being trounced at the polls in one final spasm of policy-making arrogance is simply too outrageous to let pass without comment.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to push for a vote during the lame-duck session on a bill that would legalize young, undocumented immigrants if they attend college or serve in the military, according to Democratic sources familiar with a leadership conference call Wednesday.
A vote on the bill, known as the DREAM Act, could come as early as next week, the sources said. Pelosi asked Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) to assess the mood of the caucus, according to one source.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had previously announced that he plans to bring up the DREAM Act during the lame duck session. His spokesman said Wednesday that Reid still hopes to call a vote.
The move by Democratic leaders to put immigration back on the legislative calendar will win support from Latinos, whose strong turnout numbers in the West last week were credited with helping the party hold on to control of the Senate. Immigration advocates have pressed Democrats to move on the DREAM Act as a ďdown-paymentĒ on their promise to push for a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the future.
But Democrats also risk appearing out of sync with voters, who sent a message during the midterm election that they want lawmakers to focus on job creation.
What's more, We The People have been rejecting amnesty schemes for the last several years as we decisively tell our government that we want border-jumping immigration criminals rounded up and deported rather than legalized and given full access to government benefits. But Nancy, Harry, and Barry don't care what we want -- they would rather try to buy a new bloc of voters whose defining characteristic is a propensity for violating America's laws.
Let's flip the script for a moment. Let's imagine that in the United States our Christian population was producing thousands of suicide bombers, recruiting tens of thousands of Jihadists, financing hundreds of millions of dollars of arms and ammunition, and distributing literature proclaiming Jews and others as worthy of death. Would Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walk of the set at criticism of Christians? Would Time magazine decry "Christophobia"? Of course not. They would argue that Christianity was in crisis, and they would be right.
The reality is that Islam, as it exists today, is riddled with the rot of jihadism and bigotry. Its more extreme practitioners are committing murder in the name of the name of the faith and too many of its adherents accept the hatred of those who hold to different beliefs as a fundamental tenet of that faith. Those of us who oppose Islam theologically, and who dare to point out the murderous nature of contemporary Islam are labeled as haters and fear-mongers.
And Iíll take Frenchís example one step beyond the point where he ended it Ė if American Christians were being caught in a terrorist dragnet at the same rate as American Muslims, our court system would become paralyzed and these same liberals would be demanding some form of detention without trial for the suspected Christian terrorists, akin to that these same liberals reject with regard for Muslim terrorists caught in the field by the American military. It must therefore be the case that these individuals either have an inordinate hatred for Christians and Christianity, or that they are supportive of the decidedly non-liberal goals of Islamic terrorists.
Gotta love this from the beginning of yet another "Oh, the plight of the poor illegal alien" story.
Fear is spreading among foreign day laborers in South Florida after Republicans won control of the House of Representatives, a move immigration activists say will make it more difficult -- if not impossible -- to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants.
``We are frightened that authorities will harden their attitude toward workers like us who need work permits,'' said Guatemalan Ramůn SuŠrez, 33, as he waited for work in a cluster of foreign day laborers at a shopping mall on Bird Road near Florida's Turnpike.
Letís translate that quote to make it more honest (something that illegals and their supporters are patently unable to be when they talk about immigration issues).
``We are frightened that authorities will begin to enforce the laws that make it illegal to work in this country that we sneaked into in violation of those laws,'' said Guatemalan Ramůn SuŠrez, 33, as he waited among a group of his fellow criminals preparing to engage in their daily illegal activity at a shopping mall on Bird Road near Florida's Turnpike.
Now some folks will argue that Iím being harsh and not showing compassion. But my response is simple Ė if we decide to ignore these laws, why not have equal sympathy for the hard-working drug dealers who are just trying to make a buck to support their families, or the streetwalkers out in the night trying to keep a roof over their heads? I stand with the majority of Americans who believe that treating law-breakers as victims of a heartless society is the wrong approach.
Iím always fascinated by conversion stories Ė the lost soul finding his or her way to God. Indeed, in the Christian tradition the parable of the Prodigal Son is the archetype for such tales. But one of a black rapper from New York finding his way from a prison cell to the path of Orthodox Judaism? Now that is fascinating! I wonít excerpt the story because the New York Times(!) does to wonderful a job of recounting the tale for me to slice-and-dice it in a way that does it justice. But this quote tells of a heart moved to repentance:
ďWhat are the laws?Ē he said, explaining his decision to adhere to the Orthodox level of observance. ďI want to know the laws. I donít want to know the leniencies. I never look for the leniencies because of all of the terrible things Iíve done in my life, all of the mistakes Iíve made.Ē
Moses Levi, born Jamal Barrow and known to fans of rap as Shyne, certainly has an inspirational life story. Iíd like to encourage you to read it.
Do I know that certain foods are high in sodium? You bet. Do I need government to spend my tax dollars to nag me about it? Hell no! After all, Iíve got one wife and one mother and between them they do a fine job of nagging me about my diet, thank-you-very-much.
Mayor Bloomberg's latest health campaign -- cutting salt intake -- has targeted soup as one of the big sodium offenders to be taken down with new city ads.
The ads, which will be plastered on subways for the next two months, feature a half-opened can of soup with a geyser of salt spewing from the top and forming a heap around the can.
Trying to put fear into the hearts of salt-aholics, the ads will warn that excessive sodium "can lead to heart attack and stroke" and list average amounts of salt in various foods, such as salad dressing and frozen pizza.
Geyser of salt? Heaping drifts of the white stuff? Sign me up Ė sounds yummy! Or maybe I'll just have a nice big bowl of this instead.
A Christian woman named Asia Bibi was sentenced to death by District and Session Courts after year long trial on accusation of blasphemy filed by Muslim villagers of Ittanwali, where she was residing from generations.
While working in farms with other Muslim women, Asia Bibi was dragged in religious dialogues on June 19, 2009, when Muslim women termed her an ďInfidelĒ and Christianity a ďReligion of infidelsĒ and pressed her to embrace Islam. Asia Bibi who is married and have two children, defended Christianity with her little knowledge and told Muslim women that Christianity is only True religion on which Muslim women made a roar and accused her defiling Prophet Mohammad.
The Muslim men working in nearby fields also gathered and attacked Asia Bibi on which she fled to village in her home. The angry Muslims followed her and took her out of home and started beating her. They tortured her children also but meanwhile some one informed police.
The police took Asia Bibi to police Station and filed FIR against her under section 295-B and C of Pakistan Penal Code but showed it a protective custody to other Christians of Ittanwali village. Section 295 B and C PPC are subject to life in prison or death sentence but it is first judgment in history of Pakistan when a woman is sentenced to death.
In other words, refusing to embrace Islam because you believe it to be false is a crime worthy of death. Daring to say that you believe Muhammad to be a false prophet because he rejected essential tenets of your faith is a crime worthy of death.
And as for defiling Muhammad -- is it really possible to defame a murderous robber-chieftain who copulated with a girl who had not even reached her tenth birthday? I don't think so.
To keep his body odor in check, (Todd Felix) takes a daily shower with an unscented Dove body wash, usually after the gym. But Mr. Felix, who is in his early 30s and doesnít want to be taken for a hippie, is cautious about disclosing that he doesnít wear underarm protection to people he dates. ďWhen you tell a person you donít wear deodorant, you come across as, ĎOh, how European, how natural, how funky,í Ē he said.
The few times Mr. Felix has mentioned on a date that he goes without deodorant, he said, things have quickly turned, well, sour. ďItís weird, but I donít smell,Ē Mr. Felix will announce. Then, he said, ďthe comment is always, ĎYou think you donít smell.í Ē (Mr. Felix admitted that he lives in horror of having the rare fetid day.)
But Matt Merkel, an engineer from Birdsboro, Pa., is sure he smells just fine. How? Recently, Mr. Merkel, 29, told his mother and sister that he gave up the old Speed Stick as a teenager, and they were shocked. ďI was like, ĎSmell me, I donít care!í Ē he told them, adding, ďThey probably just thought I was still 13 or 14, and doing that because somebody told me to.Ē
...Recently, the Investment Banking Club board, whose membership is made up of 20 percent of the students at Columbia Universityís business school, sent a ďfriendly reminderĒ of some ďpersonal hygiene basicsĒ to members seeking jobs. One commandment: ďCarry anti-perspirant with you if you are worried about sweating.Ē
...John Wesley Wilder Jr., 30, a salesman at an eyeglass store in Philadelphia, is not only a convert to unwashed hair ó he shampoos only once a month with Head & Shoulders to reduce frizz, he said ó but also to what one might call his personal perfume.
ďI was getting used to not smelling like Old Spice, and smelling like myself,Ē said Mr. Wilder, who forwent underarm protection for three years. However, this past summerís heat wave forced him to reconsider. ďThe moment I didnít shower, it was terrible,Ē he said. Now he occasionally uses a natural deodorant.
Yeah, buddy, your personal perfume smells like hot @$$ and feet -- and perhaps some of thee people would do well to figure out that their lack of personal and professional success has something to do with that. And for those who are doing it as a way of saving the polar bear, let me just point out what the rest of us know -- the result of your failure to perform basic personal hygiene tasks is that you end up smelling like a polar bear.
Because, of course, calling for a socialist revolution that will result in the scrapping of America's constitutional and economic foundations is so much more patriotic than quoting the Declaration of Independence and calling for the government to protect the rights seen as essential by the Founders. Wanna bet that none of the liberal bedwetters who were sounding the alarm over the Tea party are going to say a word of criticism about Ted Rall's call for an UnAmerican Revolution?
In the hours and days before the deadly blowout of BP's Macondo well, workers made decision after decision that increased risks ó but there is no evidence anyone deliberately cut corners to save money, investigators said Monday.
In the first session of a two-day hearing, a presidential investigating commission highlighted a series of possible errors in the hours before the well blew out on April 20, destroying the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, killing 11 workers and triggering a 5 million barrel Gulf oil spill.
Problems included misinterpreted pressure tests, possibly unstable cement used to seal the well and missed warning signs that gas had breached the well.
Panel investigators said they found no evidence of any conscious decisions by BP officials to trade safety for dollars on the Macondo project.
Now what does this mean?
For one, it means that the entire narrative put forward by President Obama, his subordinates in the Obama Regime and its anti-oil allies was wrong. I'd love to know if they were intentionally wrong, seeking political gain, or if they made statements about the reason for the incident in willful disregard of the truth for purposes of political gain.
Secondly, it means that the moratorium on oil drilling was probably not necessary -- the standards in place should have been sufficient to prevent future incidents provided there was a will to give more oversight to ensure they were followed.
Seems to me that once this report is out, there will need to be an investigation by Congress into how everyone from Obama on down handled this crisis -- after all, it seems that there were failures and miscalculations every step of the way. And after all, doesn't the buck stop with Barry?
Here are the results from the Watcher's Council's latest exercise in blogging excellnce!
Let me say that I enjoy the music of Jim Morrison and the Doors. Indeed, I even have a connection to the deceased singer Ė his father was my dadís commanding officer when he was stationed on Guam, and I had the pleasure of meeting both his parents. But when you consider that it has been some four decades since he overdosed in a Paris bathtub, is there really any point to doing this?
In his last two months in office, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is considering a December surprise: A posthumous pardon for Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, for indecent exposure charges after an infamous 1969 Miami concert.
In a phone interview with The Hill, Crist said ďstay tunedĒ regarding the idea of a posthumous pardon for the singer who died in Paris in 1971. Crist lost his independent bid for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday and will leave office in January, to be replaced by Republican Rick Scott.
Iím generally not a fan of pardons, but do believe they are appropriate when they overturn a grave miscarriage of justice or show mercy to someone who has clearly been rehabilitated and shown themselves worthy of a clean slate. Neither of these applies in the case of Jim Morrison, and Iím therefore opposed to going through all this wasted motion in order to accomplish absolutely nothing of value for a dead man.
AS a schoolboy in Jakarta, Barack Obama attended Muslim prayer sessions with his classmates against the wishes of his mother.
The US President's former grade three teacher said that Mr Obama - who was known as "Barry" when he attended the Menteng One school in Jakarta - studied the Koran and went to classes on Islam, despite the objections of Ann Dunham, a Catholic.
* * *
Mr Obama attended classes on Islam while the Christians attended classes on Christianity, said Effendi. Barry, he said, was alone among the pupils in that he insisted on attending both.
"His mother did not like him learning Islam, although his father was a Muslim. Sometimes she came to the school; she was angry with the religious teacher and said 'Why did you teach him the Koran?'" said Effendi.
"But he kept going to the classes because he was interested in Islam. He would also join the other pupils for Muslim prayers."
Questions over Mr Obama's religion were fuelled, in part, by comments about his Muslim roots made by Hillary Clinton during the Democratic party leadership campaign.
Iíve said many times that I accept Barack Obamaís claim to be a Christian today at face value. But once again we see that Obama tries to skew the narrative by obscuring the truth about his upbringing and education. I donít give a damn if he was Muslim as a child (or even into adulthood), nor do I believe that most Americans would hold that against him. But the fundamental dishonesty about the issue fuels alls orts of conspiratorial speculations about what this hidden background might mean Ė and does absolutely nothing to help his credibility. Indeed, it renders his failure to acknowledge some of the problems with Islam that contribute to todayís terrorist problem even more maddening.
After all, we cannot have Jews performing humanitarian missions in Arab neighborhoods!
Jerusalem area Arabs once again have stoned two Israeli Magen David ambulances trying to help neighbors. This time, the medical rescue vehicles were trying to save an Arab boy who fell five floors from his home in El Azaria, a village between the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of French Hill and nearby Maaleh Adumim.
Magen David medics were resuscitating the youth when attackers began to pummel them with rocks from all directions, breaking the windshield.
Why is it that I find myself thinking of Golda Meir when I read such stories?
ďPeace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.Ē
She spoke those words in 1957 Ė and apparently the Arabs have yet to decide they love their children more than they hate the Jews. Or the rest of us, for that matter.
One has to laugh at this, given that Joe McGinniss is clearly a public figure, especially in relationship to his having rented the house next door to Sarah Palin in order to better observe the family.
The premiere episode of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" began with the former governor's piqued version of a minor scandal of the summer -- author Joe McGinniss renting the house next to hers as he researched his biography of Palin. Today, McGinniss's attorney Dennis Holahan has requested that McGinniss's image be removed from the show as "he was not aware that any camera crew was in fact videotaping him," and the description of him in the show was "defamatory." (McGinniss has repeatedly objected to Palin's assertion that he could, or even wanted to, spy on her kids from the house -- an assertion she made again in the show.)
Sorry, Joe, given that the entire issue was one that has been repeatedly in the news for months, it is hard for you to claim privacy in that regard. As I recall, you even gave interviews about the matter. It seems to me that you would have a very hard time prevailing in court regarding this matter Ė and would have to have rather deep pockets to do so.
Because after all, freedom of religion in the Muslim world means the freedom to be a Muslim or to submit to second-class status with no religious rights.
Kuwait City (AsiaNews/Agencies) Ė A group of Christians has complained that Kuwait Cityís Municipal Council is preventing them from getting land to build a church. "The Municipal Council is the big problem preventing us from getting land; not all of the members, just the Islamic fundamentalists," said Archimandrite Boutros Gharib, head of the local Greek Catholic Church.
Recently the municipal council blocked an attempt by the Greek Catholic Church to acquire land in Mahboula, an area in the Ahmadi governorate south of Kuwait City. The request has been pending for several years.
A new church would reduce over-crowdedness in a villa currently used for worshiping, Fr Gharib said.
In all of Kuwait, there are a grand total of four Christian churches for some 460,000 Christians. There is never a problem getting permits to build a new mosque Ė but permits for churches are blocked time and again even when their issuance is seemingly green-lighted at the highest levels of government.
Maybe Obama can see his way clear to speak out on this issue -- if he isn't to busy appeasing Muslim fundamentalists, of course.
Not "Let's meet in the middle." Not "Let's find common ground where we can all feel like we've accomplished something." No, they mean "Do it our way."
Days after Democrats received a self-described "shellacking" at the polls, President Obama called for an end to campaigning and an embrace of compromise.
But he signaled no willingness to bend on the first challenge likely to face him from a Republican House as he advocated the permanent extension of Bush-era tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 a year despite the GOP's resolve to extend the tax cuts for all income brackets.
Somebody needs to tell President irrelevant that the American people have rejected him and his schemes, and that he needs to start remembering that he works for us -- and that we sent a clear message to him on November 2 that we want the Republican ideas, not the wretched Obamunist garbage that he's been attempting to implement over the objections of Americans.
America's only avowed socialist in Congress made the following statement.
It is outrageous that General Electric/MSNBC would suspend Keith Olbermann for exercising his constitutional rights to contribute to a candidate of his choice.
And yet it is perfectly legal for employers to have precisely such restrictions on the constitutional right to engage in various forms of partisan political activity. In fact, the largest employer in the United States to have a policy limiting the political participation of its employers is THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, via the Hatch Act. Take, for example, these prohibitions of activities by run-of-the-mill federal employees -- which includes such heavy hitters as the receptionist at the Social Security office or a cashier at the PX on the local military base. They may not, for example, raise money for candidates even on their own time -- indeed, one local blogger found himself suspended from his job for six months because (in part) of blog posts urging donations to candidates for partisan office -- something that I'd argue is well-within the bounds of constitutionally protected political activity. Is Sanders going to work to put an end to these restrictions on constitutionally protected political activity imposed upon employees by an employer?
For that matter, if Sanders wants to argue that contributing to the candidate of one's choice is protected by the Constitution, then he needs to work to get rid of contribution limits for campaign donations. After all, if making those contributions is a constitutional right, the government has no business limiting how much we can give. But then again, Sanders is a big fan of limiting or banning contributions -- so maybe he only believes that donations by liberals to liberals are protected by the Constitution.
Keith Olbermann, the pre-eminent liberal voice on American television, was suspended Friday after his employer, MSNBC, discovered that he made campaign contributions to three Democrats last month.
The indefinite suspension was a stark display of the clash between objectivity and opinion in television journalism. While Mr. Olbermann is anchor of what is essentially the ďDemocratic Nightly News,Ē the decision affirmed that he was being held to the same standards as other employees of MSNBC and its parent, NBC News, both of which answer to NBC Universal. Most journalistic outfits discourage or outright prohibit campaign contributions by employees.
Many prominent liberals and conservatives immediately called on MSNBC to reinstate Mr. Olbermann, who is usually outspoken but who had no comment on his suspension Friday. His agent did not respond to a request for comment.
Now I'll be the first to concede that there is an argument for not suspending UberDouche over this -- indeed, my wife articulated one such argument when she commented that "you can't tell me that those other folks -- you know, like Glenn Beck -- aren't giving money to those Tea Party people." But in the end, I have to disagree with that argument, and not just because it does my heart good to see him unceremoniously dumped after years of crappy ratings, undisguised bias, and and the utter repudiation of his side by the American people on Tuesday.
The reason is simple -- Keith Olbermann, for all that it was obviously fraudulent, made the claim that he was a JOURNALIST. This sets him apart from the likes of Beck, O'Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh, and so many other members of the cable and broadcast commentariat -- and therefore set a higher standard for his conduct. Commentators are, by definition, opinionated polemicists who take side in the debate. Journalists are, or so we have been told for oh-so-many years, neutrals who provide us with facts, not opinion and ideology, and who therefore must hold themselves above the partisan fray -- and Olbermann himself made the argument that anyone who worked for Fox News could not be deemed a journalist because of the alleged bias of the network's news coverage. In making these contributions, Olbermann committed what can only be called journalistic malpractice, and this suspension is clearly warranted. Indeed, I question whether this offense renders him unfit (as if he ever was fit) to cover political matters as a journalist in the future.Perhaps there is a place for Keith and his overly-inflated ego doing sports reporting somewhere, but he can no longer make the claim to be a journalist with any degree of credibility when it comes to covering political, national, or international affairs.
Heck -- maybe he should try to get a Limbaugh-style radio deal, or run for public office instead.
UPDATE: Who supports my position on Keith Olbermann being compromised by these donations? None other than Olbermann himself -- he has even stated that he does not vote lest he be compromised. If stepping into the voting booth is unacceptable, then giving cash to candidates is an even worse lapse.
Summing up perfectly why I oppose her as the GOP nominee.
If Sarah Palin wanted to be president, then she needed to stick it out in Alaska and successfully complete her term as governor. It would have been better still for her to complete two full terms or to finish one term and then go to the U.S. Senate to gain exposure to a broader array of national issues.
She hasn't done that. Instead, she has chosen to become a political celebrity AND one heckuva force in Republican primaries. I think her influence is positive. She deserves a lot of credit for the current focus on our fiscal woes, which is really the issue that drove the GOP to victory overall.
What we need in 2012 is a governor who has served out a full term in office and has shown an ability to deal with the hard issues. Think Jindal, Romney, Huckabee, Daniels, Pawlenty, or Jeb Bush. Sarah Palin might make a good cabinet secretary, but her resignation from office renders her a less than credible candidate for any higher office at this time.
COLLEGE STATION Ė A vote at Texas A&M University has pitted students against each other.
Thursday night, student senators approved a bill officially opposing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.
Prior to the vote, students in opposition took to the campus with protest signs.
About 300 undocumented students currently attend the university. According to state law, students who graduate from a Texas high school and meet certain requirements can get in-state tuition at public universities.
The controversial bill packed the house at the senate meeting Wednesday night.
ďThe bill is just saying automatic in-state tuition based on residency in Texas should not be applied to people who are in the country illegally,Ē said Justin Pulliam, a Texas A&M student senator.
Opponents of the resolution objected to the resolution on the basis that it hurt the feelings of those whose very presence in the country is a violation of our nationís laws. Such folks are, by definition, two-percenters Ė not just as Aggies, but as Americans.
Muslims in Mumbai are up in arms against a United States military sniffer dog allegedly with name tag of 'Khan' that has landed in the city as part of President Barack Obama security arrangements.
On Tuesday, the German Shepherd arrived in the Mumbai airport from a Hercules C130 transport plane. The German Shepherd allegedly had a tag around its neck which read 'MWD Khan.' MWD stands for Military Working Dog. Khan is alleged to be the name of the dog.
Angry Muslims in the city and the state are threatening to protest this 'insult' to the community.
I donít doubt that the dog was named for the character from Star Trek Ė but even if it wasnít, we in the United States can name our military dogs whatever we want. Still, I think a little sensitivity is in order Ė change the dogís name to Muhammad and be done with it. Or better yet, find a bomb-sniffing sow and name it Aisha.
The doll was photographed by Chinese state media nestling behind several other standard plastic female toys.
It is unclear from the article how anatomically correct the doll is -- and whether it comes equipped with male or female genitalia.
I wonder -- has MSNBC ordered these for all of its on-air personalities?
Voters in Houston voted to ban red light cameras on Tuesday. The impact of that decision, according to the city? Nothing.
Although voters abolished Houston's red light camera system Tuesday, the 70 cameras have the green light to keep recording traffic violations for months as the city weighs a legal strategy for exiting its contract with the firm operating the cameras, city officials say.
Anti-camera activists slammed the delay Wednesday, insisting on immediately terminating the five-year contract ó whatever the cost - with ATS, the Arizona firm that manages Houston's system. The May 2009 contract has a termination clause that requires the city to provide the company with a 120-day notice of cancellation, a period when the cameras will still be in full operation and civil fines issued, according to the city attorney.
In other words, the operation of red light cameras in Houston is now ILLEGAL -- but the city is going to continue operating the cameras and issuing fines in violation of the law based upon the contract. The reality is that the city must follow the law -- and if that means paying the penalty for breaking the contract, so be it. Any attempt to use the red light cameras after the vote has been certified would be a legal violation, and any fine issued would be legally invalid. The Democrats in charge of Houston's government who are arguing that the will of the people is irrelevant may as well argue that the city can still enforce a poll tax, segregate schools or allow slavery -- all of which were policies supported by previous Democrat administrations in Houston.
About 300,000 voters are expected at the polls today amid rain, an army of poll watchers, federal and state election monitors and banks of machines borrowed from other counties.
The National Weather Service has forecast early morning rain that could continue for about two hours after the polls open at 7 a.m. before giving way to overcast skies for the afternoon and evening.
Harris County Clerk Beverly Kaufman predicts that about 300,000 people will vote at 736 polling locations today on a lengthy ballot that includes races for governor, dozens of judicial contests, local propositions and countywide offices.
Because of a fire that destroyed nearly all the county's elections equipment and an ongoing series of complaints and countercharges alleging misdeeds at early voting locations, voting may look or feel slightly different than in most recent elections.
For starters, voters can cast paper ballots for the first time in nearly a decade. Kaufman ordered them after the Aug. 27 fire ó the cause of which still has not been determined ó in case she could not find enough replacement machines.
Kaufman called it "miraculous" that through borrowing and a rush order to the eSlate vendor the county will have nearly as many election machines in use today as originally planned.
On average, each polling place should have one fewer machine than if the fire never happened.
"We just hope that most folks will opt for electronic (voting)," said Kaufman, who is retiring after 16 years in office. "The more paper ballots we have to deal with, the slower the count is going to be. I sure hope we're done before the sun comes up."
It won't be long now.
The borrowed equipment is in place, a mix-n-match set from various parts of the state after the election department warehouse fire.
My workers are trained, and set to be at the elementary school gym at 6:00 so we can be ready to go at 7:00.
I've marked the early voters and mail-in ballots in the poll books -- I won't give you the total, but suffice it to say that I've never seen the numbers this high. Even a low turnout will match the number of voters we had in 2002 and 2006. A moderate turnout will get us near presidential levels -- and if today's turnout reaches presidential levels we will have more votes cast in my little corner of southeast Harris County than we did in either of the two high-turnout presidential elections I've run as election judge.
But what will the turnout be? I don't know. It has been raining like hell since last night -- will it keep up or slack off? That may be the difference. I know what the weather reports say -- but are they right?
Pray for us all -- me, my alternate judge, my election clerks, any poll watchers that end up in this precinct, the election equipment technicians who drive from poll to poll, and the activists of every stripe who are out campaigning for their candidates until the last voter gets in line at 7:00 tonight, as well as the folks at Reliant Arena where we turn in our equipment tonight (and it will be a long night). And, most especially, for the voters -- may they be rightly guided as they cast their ballots. Amen.
Some words need to be remembered as Americans vote today. Change a few names, and add three zeroes to the end of the dollar figures used, and these words by Ronald Reagan from 1964 still ring true today.
Mr. Weber has discovered that, briefly at the turn of 1918-19, and unmentioned in ďMein Kampf,Ē Hitler wore a red brassard and supported the short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic.
In other words, Hitler had a history of not just being a socialist, but of in fact being a Communist. How then to explain the conflict between the Nazis and the Communists? Easy Ė it was simply one more internecine conflict between the followers of Marx and Engels of the sort that led the Leninists to split into the Stalinists and the Trotskyites Ė and led to the eventual assassination of Trotsky in Mexico. No wonder the Soviets went to such great lengths to ensure that at no time were the Nazis referred to as National Socialists during the Nuremberg trials.
Michael Steele to GOP Sarah Palin critics: 'Shut up'
The actual quote:
"These Republican leaders who don't put their names in print but make comments in shadows need to shut up," RNC Chairman Michael Steele said during an appearance Monday on CNNís ďAmerican Morning.Ē
There is a qualifier in there that makes all the difference. Chairman Steele is not ruling all criticism of Palin out of bounds Ė he is instead saying that those who want to make such criticisms need to be prepared to stand up and do so on the record. The writer of the headline makes it sound like an attempt to suppress dissent Ė in reality it is a call for openness and honesty from the critics.