Richard M. Stana, director of homeland security and justice issues at the Government Accountability Office (which is responsible for auditing agency operations to determine whether federal funds are being spent efficiently and effectively), told the Senate Homeland Security Committee yesterday that the federal government can actually prevent or stop illegal entries into the United States along only 129 miles of the 1,954-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border.
That leaves 1,825 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border where the Border Patrol cannot prevent or stop an illegal entry.
No wonder we have become an illegal immigration nation.
A 12-year-old has been charged with a hate crime for pulling the scarf off a Muslim classmate. That the charge seems like an overreaction and if the claims of the boys father are right, they may need to be dropped. You see, it turns out that the perp is a Muslim, too.
The Staten Island terror charged with viciously bashing a young female middle-school classmate while demanding to know "Are you a Muslim?" is himself the son of a Muslim woman, his dad revealed today.
"How could a Muslim have another hate crime against a Muslim?" asked Frank Davis, 32, about his son Osman Daramay.
Davis added that while the family does not regularly attend a mosque, they pray at home, and that Osman joins in those Islamic prayers with his Muslim mom, Agnes Daramay.
A woman who identified herself to The Post as Osman's mother last night said, "I know my son is a good boy. He's a kid, he made a mistake.
Now heres where it gets interesting. Is a member of a particular group able to commit a hate crime against a member of the same group. Does the law allow for such a prosecution, given that an individual may reasonably be presumed not to hate their own group. And if that is the case, can hate crime laws stand up to constitutional scrutiny. After all, it would seem to be a violation of equal protection of the law to apply different standards to the same act based upon the race, religion, gender or sexual orientation of the perpetrator.
Members of Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24, have begun circulating letters to businesses in southeast Wisconsin, asking them to support workers rights by putting up a sign in their windows.
If businesses fail to comply, the letter says, Failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business. And sorry, neutral means no to those who work for the largest employer in the area and are union members.
* * *
In the letter from Parrett to some businesses, he says that, It is unfortunate that you have chosen not to support public workers rights in Wisconsin. In recent past weeks you have been offered a sign by a public employee who works in one of the state facilities in the Union Grove area. These signs simply said, This Business Supports Workers Rights, a simple, subtle and we feel non-controversial statement gives the facts at this time.
Heres the problem. Unlike normal situations, wherein you can boycott the business or organization that has called for the boycott, you cannot do so in this case. The targeted business owners cannot refuse to pay taxes to defund the public employees in the same way that they could refuse to do business with another company with employees who were seeking to undermine their businesses. The playing field is therefore inherently unequal. That makes this extortion, not a boycott.
In addition, the entire argument that support for the union position is support [for] workers rights is debatable. I support workers rights including the right of workers to refuse to join pay a private organization for the privilege of working for the government. I do not support the public employees unions and I say that as a public employee. Indeed, FDR had the matter exactly right in the 1930s:
I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees.
That the public employee unions of Wisconsin have chosen to engage in militant tactics to blackmail private individuals and businesses in the state is intolerable. Said unions must be broken, and those responsible for bringing about those tactics discharged as unfit for public service.
UPDATE: Some Stand Up To Union Thuggery!
Since he has decided to engage in this little military adventure without consultation with or consent from Congress, it is time to require that he come up with non-defense cuts to cover the cost of this engagement.
A pair of House Republicans on Wednesday moved to force the Obama administration to use funds from other federal accounts to pay for the Libyan military campaign.
Maryland GOP Reps. Roscoe Bartlett and Andy Harris introduced a bill that would require President Obama to give Congress a list of "rescissions of non-security discretionary appropriations for fiscal year 2011," according to a summary of the measure provided late Wednesday by Bartlett's office.
If approved, the bill would move the freed-up monies to the Defense Department "to replace the amounts spent in Libya in fiscal year 2011," according to the summary.
Well done, gentlemen. I heartily approve. I wont even insist upon getting credit for the idea. Now its time for the rest of the GOP to get on board with this measure.
I learned to type on a gimongous black typewriter that my mother had used for years. It was a magical device and something I miss in the computer age. And while I would never give up my word processor, I have to admit that there is something sad about the demise of the old beasts.
Fortunately, they may be making a comeback.
Manual typewriters arent going gently into the good night of the digital era. The machines have been attracting fresh converts, many too young to be nostalgic for spooled ribbons, ink-smudged fingers and corrective fluid. And unlike the typists of yore, these folks arent clacking away in solitude.
Interestingly enough, one of the young devotees makes a point that I find so true.
You type so much quicker than you can think on a computer, Ms. Kowalski said. On a typewriter, you have to think.
Having grown up on the old beasts, I know thats true. Indeed, since my writing process began on typewriters, I function that way. The same is true of many of my age-peers. The younger generation? Not so much and it certainly shows in the writing I get from many of my high school students. It isnt a question of intelligence they just havent thought things through and it shows in their fluency and the disjointness of thought when they write. The thoughts end up on the page only partially formed, and things like vocabulary and grammar suffer. We of the older generation think before we type the younger generation types before they think.. After all, spelling and grammar checks were internal controls not external guides to we who learned our keyboard skills on the old Underwoods and Remingtons, the Smith-Coronas and Royals of yesteryear.
Sorry the question just had to be asked.
An inquiry has been launched after a couple were caught apparently having sex on the rooftop of a USC building - allegedly in front of hundreds of people.
Officials at the university were outraged as photographs of the couple - many of which were too graphic to be shown here - quickly went viral.
The images apparently show the man, who is a student at the university, and a woman cavorting in a variety of sexual positions on top of the school's 12-storey Waite Phillips Hall in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Gotta love how the UKs Daily mail dealt with the pictures. Ive got one below the fold for your amusement.Continue to be enlightened while reading "Brought To You By Trojan?" Ā»
Im not sure but I could certainly see the potential for there being one.
Fort Worth-area police are investigating whether two prep baseball players sacrificed chickens in a bid to improve their games.
Western Hills High School baseball coach Bobby McIntire says he has not had a chance to talk to the students about why they did it. McIntire on Wednesday told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that "baseball is very superstitious" and the idea possibly came from movies.
School officials say the boys have been kicked off the team.
Fort Worth Independent School District spokesman Clint Bond says an incident happened during spring break. Bond did not know how many chickens allegedly were killed. He declined to say how the two students were punished.
Now heres where I see the potential problem the decision of the US Supreme Court in Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah. That case held that government cannot restrict the religiously-motivated ritual slaughter of animals. It might be argued that what district officials describe as superstition constitutes a religious exercise on the part of the students in question. As such, does the district have a compelling interest in punishing the boys for engaging in what is also described as a sacrifice, which is by definition a religious ritual?
I remember it like it was yesterday.
As my last period class Senior Religion with our principal, Fr. Greg began, his secretary bustled to the door and whispered a message to him. He looked at her and asked Hes been shot? Do they know anything more? A few minutes later she was back, and we boys were dismissed so that Fr. Greg could go monitor the situation and decide what to tell the rest of the school. Our small bunch retreated to our cars, there to listen to news reports on the radio as we found that our new president, Ronald Reagan, had been the victim of an assassins bullet. For us this was of particular interest some of us had volunteered to work on the campaign, an we had been babies most under a year old when President Kennedy had been assassinated and we were just old enough to remember the traumas of 1968 when Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy had been murdered. Now, on the cusp of manhood, we were seeing our nation facing the real possibility of being turned upside down by a madman with a gun.
It was not long before we were home, seeing the video and the pictures for ourselves.
In the hours that followed, we learned that our nations leader had survived. We learned of his heroism and his humor and he faced death. And we realized that something had changed in America. Ive felt that feeling only once since the afternoon of March 30, 1981 on a clear September morning two decades later, as I saw the pictures of planes and fire and smoke and two towers collapsing into heaps of rubble. It is my prayer that I and my fellow Americans never need to feel such things again.
Weve been in Obamas Great Dem-pression for a some time now due to his failed economic policies. That makes this headline rather amusing.
That you and your merry band of Obama shills dont realize the dire straights we are in economically tells us all we need to know about your competence.
President Barack Obama will set an ambitious goal on Wednesday to cut U.S. oil imports by a third over 10 years, focusing on energy security amid high gasoline prices that could stall the country's economic recovery. Obama will outline his strategy in a speech after spending days explaining U.S.-led military action in Libya, where fighting, accompanied by popular unrest elsewhere in the Arab world, has helped push gasoline prices toward $4 a gallon.
But how, exactly, does that square with what he said during his Brazilian vacation?
US President Barack Obama said Saturday the United States wants to help Brazil develop its offshore oil reserves and become "one of your best customers."
Obama, who made Brazil the first stop of a tour of Latin America, said oil recently discovered off Brazil's coast could amount twice the US reserves.
So lets get this straight he wants to cut our foreign oil imports while increasing our oil purchases from Brazil AND following a policy that has cut the exploitation of our domestic oil supply. Am I alone in thinking that this man has absolutely no freakin clue what he is doing?
ED SCHULTZ: Republicans are attacking the Commander-in-Chief during a time of war! . . . There should be no debate: we should be kicking [Gaddafi's] ass . . . Whose side are you on, Sarah: are you with the terrorists, Sarah, or are you with the President of the United States? . . . And I have to ask the question tonight: where is the patriotism from all of these war-hawks? Where's the patriotism of the Republican party? . . . What about being a patriot? . . . So the question now for the doubters who are out and about: why don't you support the president? . . . We've been talking about the lack of patriotism from prominent Republicans . . . Laura [Flanders] what about the patriotism?
Got that dissent is unpatriotic, failure to support the presidents unilateral war for oil is un-American. Raising questions about the policy (and Obamas failure to follow the Constitution) is support for the terrorists.
Really, Ed? Seems to me that you may want to rethink which side is supporting terrorists.
Admiral James Stavridis, Nato's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, said that American intelligence had picked up "flickers" of terrorist activity among the rebel groups. Senior British government figures described the comment as "very alarming".
It also appears that freelance jihadists have entered the fray on behalf of the rebels.
Now Barack Obama and his coalition are providing military support to the rebels, and may begin supplying weapons to them despite the presence of terrorist jihhadist elements. And dont forget these rebels are the same folks supported by Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born terrorist leader who encouraged the murder of American servicemen by Major Nidal Malik Hasan an attack that the Obama Regime still cannot bring itself to label as terrorism.
It therefore appears that Barry Husseins war of choice for oil puts America and NATO on the same side as terrorists. I wonder if Ed Schultz, in a moment of intellectual honesty and mental lucidity, might want to reconsider his words above.
UPDATE: Secret orders to secretly expand the "kinetic military action" on the ground and actually arm the terrorists!
I think Marc Thiessen shows us the most mendacious part of the presidents pre-Dancing With The Stars speech yesterday evening just before prime time.
Another moment of dishonesty came when Obama described the transfer of the mission to NATO:
Our most effective alliance, NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and the no-fly zone. Last night, NATO decided to take on the additional responsibility of protecting Libyan civilians. This transfer from the United States to NATO will take place on Wednesday. Going forward, the lead in enforcing the no-fly zone and protecting civilians on the ground will transition to our allies and partners, and I am fully confident that our coalition will keep the pressure on Qaddafis remaining forces.
The president failed to mention what this means in practice: Come Wednesday we will transfer responsibility for the mission in Libya from an American general (Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command) to an American admiral (James Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander-Europe). He might also have mentioned the other mission that we have handed over to NATO the mission in Afghanistan. Feel like responsibility for the war in Afghanistan has been handed over to our European allies? If so, youll love the transfer of responsibility for the war in Libya.
So who is in charge in Libya? The US, of course just with a different flag officer wearing a different hat while warming a different chair. This remains a US operation. It would be nice if Obama were man enough to admit that much to the American people.
Joe Scarborough has been the GOP equivalent of an Uncle Tom for the Democrats for some time now. Thats how this former Republican congressman has a place over at MSNBC, where Republicans are otherwise damned as evilevilevil as a matter of faith. He just tells them what they want to hear.
However, even someone who serves such a despicable role for the enemy has his limits and Scarborough has enough intellectual honesty left to make this observation.
How can the left call for the ouster of Muammar Qadhafi for the sin of killing hundreds of Libyans when it opposed the war waged against Saddam Hussein? During Saddams two decades in Iraq, he killed more Muslims than anyone in history and used chemical weapons against his own people and neighboring states.
With the help of his equally despicable sons, Uday and Qusay, Saddam devastated Iraq, terrorized his people and destroyed that countrys environment. By the time American troops deposed him in 2003, Saddam had killed at least 300,000 of his own people and human rights groups say that tally does not even include the million-plus casualties his invasion of Iran caused.
If Obama and his liberal supporters believed Qadhafis actions morally justified the Libyan invasion, why did they sit silently by for 20 years while Saddam killed hundreds of thousands?
Indeed, I might be open to the argument for Obamas Libyan War if he were to have followed the Constitution by involving Congress in the decision to use force. I might be less critical of him if he had made a case that this was a war in our national interest. But that Obama claims this war is to protect the Libyan people a claim that was made by Bush and is often overlooked by the Left in their haste to delegitimize the Iraq War while rejecting the same premise in other areas of the globe makes this new Obama Doctrine laughable.
So in LA, the laws of the state of California will only be enforced against US citizens and legal resident aliens, due to the hardship that enforcing generally applicable laws against them would impose on illegal aliens.
Los Angeles Police Department officers manning sobriety checkpoints will no longer, as a matter of department policy, impound cars driven by unlicensed drivers. That is unless the unlicensed driver is a United States citizen or lawful resident, in which case he can say adios to his car for 30 days, as authorized by California law
The change in policy was announced last week by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who called it a question of fairness
The new rules, Beck said, were an attempt to mitigate somewhat the current reality, which is that for a vast number of people, who are a valuable asset to our community and who have very limited resources, their ability to live and work in L.A. is severely limited by their immigration status.
No wonder so many folks call the place "Mexifornia". Seems to me that those Americans and law-abiding non-citizens who are being "Mexifornicated" up the backside by this order from Chief Beck may just have a doozy of an equal protection claim under the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution and Article I, Section 3 of the California Constitution.
This chart should make it quite obvious.
This data from OpenSecrets.org tells the tale in a way that mere words cannot. Not one of the ten largest contributors of campaign funds leans to the GOP. Only two of the top twenty do so -- and even then, not to the degree that the thirteen of the top twenty lean towards the Democrats. So if you want to see the face of the "Bought And Paid For" Party, here it is.
This is Obama's "coalition" in Libya.
Coalition - Libya - 2011
United Arab Emirates
This is a breakdown of who gets their oil from Libya, which has the largest oil reserves in Africa.
Let's see -- the major purchasers of Libyan oil are Italy, France, China, Germany, and Spain. Of those five, only China is not involved in this action. The next three biggest buyers of Libyan oil are Greece, the UK, and the United States -- all of which are involved in this WAR.
Doesn't this make it really clear why Obama entered into this unconstitutional war in the first place? It isn't about preventing a humanitarian crisis -- it is about providing US military support to ensure continued access to Libya's oil for our our "partners". In other words, Obama is pimping out our troops to protect the interest of the nations of old Europe and, only incidentally, our own.
So, when will we see these signs in the streets of America?
H/T Flopping Aces
States that Michelle Obama "should leave the n***er tonight. She should walk out, and his beautiful daughters should walk out on this bamboozling, buck-dancing Tom."
Notice -- this isn't the Tea Party. This is the Left engaged in more of the same racist clap-trap that has become their stock in trade. If anyone (no matter how obscure) from the Tea Party used that slur to denigrate Barack Obama, that would be a big deal, even if it were denounced by everyone else associated with the movement. This use or racial slurs, coupled with the anti-Semitic utterances of Louis Farrakhan regarding Obama, seem to have provoked little outrage. Is it a double standard on racism from the mouths of prominent black leaders, or is it just moral cowardice?
The results of this week's votes are in!
Come on, folks! Barack Hussein Obama presides over a federal system that has always given its workforce fewer rights than Wisconsin public employees retain under the new law in Wisconsin. Now his administration has ruled that flight attendants (private employees, not public) cannot strike.
The U.S. isnt allowing flight attendants at financially strapped American Airlines to walk the picket lines any time soon, and that could change the tone of labor negotiations across the industry, some experts said Friday.
The National Mediation Board, the U.S. agency that referees labor-management relations for airlines, has ignored a request made a year ago by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, asking the federal government to release it from negotiations for whats called a 30-day cooling-off period, which then allows for a strike.
Where are the harsh editorials and commentaries? Where are the protests? And what about death threats like your goons poured out upon Wisconsin's Scott Walker and the Republicans in that state's legislature? At least show up outside the White House with signs comparing Obama to Hitler -- you know, just like you did with Walker. Either that or admit that the leaders of the union movement have become nothing but shills for the Democrat Party and that union membership and agency fees -- already a bad deal for workers for the past few decades -- have become nothing but a way of extracting money from working people and using it to make union officials rich and funnel campaign donations to candidates the members would never support.
I voted against Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 when she ran for VP. That said, I believe hr role as the first major party candidate for Vice President makes her a key figure in American history. She has passed away today, at the age of 75.
Geraldine Ferraro, a former congresswoman and vice presidential candidate, has died, according to family statement. She was 75.
In 1984, Ferraro was the first female vice presidential candidate from a major U.S. political party when she ran with Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale.
A resident of New York City, Ferraro died in Massachusetts General Hospital, surrounded by loved ones, and the cause of death was complications from multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that she had battled for 12 years, according to a statement released by her family from Boston, Massachusetts.
It is lines like this one that deftly skewering the Left, that make him an international treasure.
. . . as much as I like the idea of Canadian military commanders randomly invading Muslim nations, I feel the gig should have gone to a Mexican general. After all, the Administration pretty much insisted this is a job Americans wont do.
America's failed immigration policy and the unconstitutional Libyan kinetic military action for oil, all neatly attacked in one neat little package. Well done, sir!
H/T The Other McCain
And "stupid" is how I'd describe this column from a minor player on the religious right.
The First Amendment was written by the Founders to protect the free exercise of Christianity. They were making no effort to give special protections to Islam. Quite the contrary. We actually at the time were dealing with our first encounters with jihad in the form of the Barbary Pirates, which is why Jefferson bought a copy of the Koran. He was told by the Bey of Tripoli that Islam requires Muslims to rob, kill and pillage infidel Christians wherever they find them. Jefferson naturally found that hard to believe, so he bought a copy of the Koran to read it for himself. Sure enough, it's right in there, in the 109 verses of the Koran that call for violence against the infidels.
Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam. Islam is entitled only to the religious liberty we extend to it out of courtesy. While there certainly ought to be a presumption of religious liberty for non-Christian religious traditions in America, the Founders were not writing a suicide pact when they wrote the First Amendment.
I'd do a full take-down of this idiocy, but it has already been done over at the Volokh Conspiracy by Eugene Volokh himself. Given that Professor Volokh has forgotten more about the First Amendment than I have ever known (and I've spent years studying it on my own as an avocation), I'll leave it to him to apply the coup de grāce.
[B]oth the First Amendment and the No Religious Test Clause of the original Constitution were quite deliberately written to cover all religions. Many state constitutions of the era did limit their protection to Protestants (New Jersey, North Carolina, and Vermont) or Christians (Delaware, Maryland, and Massachusetts). Some others (New Hampshire and South Carolina) provided for funding of Protestant or Christian teaching, or more broadly established Protestantism, but did not limit religious freedom protections or office-holding.
But the U.S. Constitution did not have any such limitation. James Iredell, later one of the first Justices of the Supreme Court, specifically defended the No Religious Test Clause on precisely these grounds. . .
Volokh goes on to provide a number of quotes and examples from the period of the founding of the American Republic that show how absurd the claims of Bryan Fischer really are. And while I certainly disagree with huge elements of the theological claims made by Islam, and am a fierce opponent of the Islamist hordes who currently seek to undermine the civilized world, I gladly reaffirm that those Muslims who seek to live among us in peace, embracing the values of freedom that are make America "America", will always be welcome among us and entitled to every scintilla of freedom granted to the rest of us.
The chairman and CEO of Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. is raising the specter of moving the heavy equipment maker out of Illinois.
In a letter sent March 21 to Gov. Pat Quinn, Caterpillar chief executive officer Doug Oberhelman said officials in at least four other states have approached the company about relocating since Illinois raised its income tax in January.
I want to stay here. But as the leader of this business, I have to do whats right for Caterpillar when making decisions about where to invest, Oberhelman wrote in the letter obtained Friday by the Lee Enterprises Springfield bureau. The direction that this state is headed in is not favorable to business and Id like to work with you to change that.
Oberhelman said hes being actively courted to move.
I have been called, cornered in meetings and wined and dined the heat is on, Oberhelman wrote. Before, I never really considered living anywhere else and certainly never considered the possibility of Caterpillar relocating. But I have to admit, the policymakers in Springfield seem to make it harder by the day.
Cat spokesman Jim Dugan said the letter was designed to show Quinn that Oberhelman wants to be involved in finding solutions that benefit the company, which employs 23,000 people in Illinois.
I know how Oberhelman feels. I lived a good chunk of my life in Illinois -- and in all regions of the state. But as was noted recently by another refugee from the political and economic catastrophe that is Illinois:
Illinois is ranked 50th for fiscal policy; 47th in job creation; first in unfunded pension liabilities; second largest budget deficit; first in failing schools; first in bonded indebtedness; highest sales tax in the nation; most judges indicted; and five of our last nine elected governors have been indicted. That is more than the other 49 states added together!...
We are moving to Texas where there is no income tax while Illinois just went up 67%. Texas sales tax is half of ours, which is the highest in the nation. Southern states are supportive of job producers, taxpayers and folks who offer opportunities to their residents. Illinois shakes them down for every penny that can be extorted from them.
That from Roger Keats, a former state senator and former president of the Cook County Board -- who was also instrumental in the effort to clean up the courts in Illinois. Why would a company like Caterpillar want to stay in such an environment when things are so much better down here in Texas? I sure hope that our governor is among those actively courting Oberhelman to relocate.
Hey, if he is going to start wars of choice because dictators are brutalizing their people, Syria is a good candidate for War #4.
Violence erupted around Syria on Friday as troops opened fire on protesters in several cities and pro- and anti-government crowds clashed on the tense streets of the capital in the most widespread unrest in years, witnesses said.
Soldiers shot at demonstrators in the restive southern city of Daraa after crowds set fire to a bronze statue of the country's late president, Hafez Assad, a resident told The Associated Press. Heavy gunfire could be heard in the city center and witnesses reported several casualties, the resident said on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
An activist told the AP that witnesses had reported one demonstrator shot dead by security forces in the coastal city of Latakia, and another slain in the central city of Homs. He said several people had been hospitalized in Latakia.
The difference between Libya and Syria? Other than two consonants, there is the minor detail that one has been a much more aggressive threat to stability in the Middle East than the other which is why Obama probably wont confront the Assad regime. After all, the Syrians actually have the capacity to fight back, given their close relationship with the various terrorist factions in the region. I mean, destabilizing the destablizer might destabilize things.
It aint just anchor babies from illegals slipping across our border it is also maternity tourism.
A suburban townhouse where a dozen Chinese 'maternity tourists' paid $35,000 to stay and have their babies born in America, has been shut down.
When authorities in Los Angeles raided the home in St Gabriel, they found 10 newborn children and 17 converted bedrooms, including one in the garage.
U.S. law automatically entitles children born on American soil to citizenship and it is not illegal for pregnant women to visit to give birth.
Frankly, this is even more objectionable to me than Juan and Maria coming to the US to work and then having kids here. That happens naturally when you have folks who come here and become a part of the community. This, on the other hand, is truly an attempt by folks to drop anchor by gaming the system. Lets amend the Constitution to guarantee that only the children of US citizens and foreigners with some residency status not tourists can get US citizenship by birth. After all, that is how virtually every other nation on the planet does it and while I generally object to doing something just because it is done in foreign nations, I think doing so in this case is a good idea as a result of the ease withwhich people cross international borders today.
On his MSNBC show this evening, Cenk Uygur suggested that opposition to President Obamas Libya policy is unpatriotic. For good measure, Dem congressman Gary Ackerman stated that opposing the president is cheering for the wrong team.
Gee I guess that my calls for impeaching the Kenyans son must therefore constitute treason in their eyes. Oddly enough, though, Im echoing precisely the sort of calls made by them and the rest of the get Bush crew for the last seven years of the presidency of George W. Bush. and with significantly better factual and philosophical bases than they ever had. After all, Bush in Iraq had 17 UN resolutions, approval of Congress, the support of the American people and an international coalition twice the size of what Obama has in Libya.
And the damnedest thing is that Id likely be supporting the policy if Barry Hussein had done two simple things before beginning his Libyan Adventure sought Congressional approval and developed a coherent mission and strategy for victory.
But the instance above is not the only suggestion that the rights of those who dissent from the tenets of the liberal Democrats are but a step from losing their rights. Consider the words of Senator Frank Lautenberg, who states that such dissenters do not deserve the rights guaranteed under the rights guaranteed under the Constitution and will be allowed to exercise them only at the sufferance of the Left.
These people dont deserve the freedoms in the Constitution. . . but we'll give them it to them anyway.
Remember, my friends, that the greatest threat to your liberties in America is contemporary liberalism, whose "Progressive" followers believe that eliminating your rights is precisely the sort of "progress" that will turn this nation into a worker's paradise like North Korea.
Soccer Dad (on hiatus at http://soccerdad.baltiblogs.com/) and I have had a little debate on the impeachment of Barack Obama over at Watcher of Weasels that you might want to check out. It is an interesting exchange of ideas -- and the first of what we of the Watcher's Council hope to see become a regular feature of the Council site. Please drop by to check it out and offer your views on the matter. I'll include a portion below the fold.Continue to be enlightened while reading "Head-To-Head Debate on Impeahcment" Ā»
The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation. — Barack Obama, December 20, 2007
GREG: The exercise of the impeachment power by the House of Representatives is not something to be undertaken lightly. And yet, the words of “constitutional scholar”, “statesman”, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Hussein Obama carry special weight as we consider the decision to commit US forces to military action in Libya over the past weekend. They speak to a situation in which a president might exceed the authority delegated to him under the US Constitution in such a manner as to constitute a violation of his oath of office and, in the words of the constitution, “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” which amount to a n impeachable offense.
Let’s examine the reality of the current Libyan engagement. The United States has not been attacked by Libya, nor is there any discernible threat of attack against the United States during the four weeks since Obama made a nebulous “declaration of emergency” over the Libyan situation made via an executive order. Indeed, the grounds for the attack is to protect Libyan civilians from their own government, which while laudable does not constitute any sort of defense of American security. There has been no authorization of this use of force by either house of Congress, and Speaker John Boehner has made it clear that there has been no meaningful consultation of Congressional leadership or communication as to the intended level of commitment or its goals. Indeed, Obama has declared his authority for the use of force to be not the US Constitution, not a Congressional authorization to use the war-making power of the US military, but a United Nations resolution.
Frankly, this situation is virtually without precedent in American history in its disregard of the constitutional limits on the war-making power. In taking this course of action, Barack Obama is guilty of the very offenses of which he and his fellow Democrats accused George W. Bush since the early days of US involvement in Iraq. Some adversarial proceeding is needed to determine if the authority of the president is as small and circumscribed as laid out by Barack Obama in 2007, or whether the new Obama Doctrine (the UN, not Congress, authorizes US military action) is within the bounds of presidential war-making authority.
And herein lies the rub — the third branch of government is uniquely incompetent to judge this matter. When Bill Clinton committed US troops in Kosovo, the DC Circuit Court (Campbell v. Clinton)noted the incompetence of the judiciary to adjudicate such matters. Indeed, it is questionable whether any plaintiff would have standing to make such a challenge. This puts the matter straight into the realm of nonjusticiable political questions. How then can such questions be resolved in an adversarial setting? Only through the process of impeachment by the House of Representatives with a trial by the Senate. The decision to remove Barack Hussein Obama — or to not remove him — for violating his presidential oath by exceeding the constitutional limits of the war-making power will serve to delineate the extent of that power. The use of this process is therefore in order — and I believe that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) has a ready-made template for the articles of impeachment for exceeding those limits (see Articles VII and VIII) on file in his office on Capitol Hill. For the good of the nation and protection of the Constitution, let the process begin.
SOCCER DAD: “When you strike at a King, you must kill him.” saying sometimes attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson
Among the checks and balances provided for our government in the constitution is the removal from office of the President by means of impeachment. Impeachment – a process by which charges are drawn up by Congress and, if approved, submitted to the Senate for trial – is a powerful political tool. But because its nature is not strictly criminal, but political too. Thus conviction requires a two thirds majority of the Senate to remove a President from office. Clearly the founders felt that impeachment was necessary, but with a necessary constraint. A Congress choosing to impeach a President needed to convince a supermajority of the Senate of his guilt. Without this constraint, impeachment could become a political weapon.
In late 1998 an independent counsel found that President Clinton had perjured himself and referred his investigation to the House of Representatives. In December the House voted to refer the matter to the Senate for impeachment. Instead of being appalled at the President’s misbehavior, Democrats rallied around him, with Vice President Gore declaring that impeachment was “… a great disservice to a man I believe will be regarded in the history books as one of our greatest Presidents.” And though it was self serving for Dick Gephardt to claim, “Chairman Henry Hyde once called impeachment, the ultimate weapon, and said that, for it to succeed, ultimately it has to be bipartisan,” he was correct. Republicans needed to have a bipartisan agreement on the seriousness of President Clinton’s behavior and they didn’t.
The issue now is the same. If the Democrats rallied behind an obvious lawbreaker like Clinton are they likely to abandon President Obama? And no, Democrats won’t concede the obvious – that President Obama abused his authority in a way that President Bush didn’t. Democrats (and their media allies) have accepted the “Bush lied” doctrine. So yes some Democrats supported the war against Iraq, but it was because these poor souls were willfully misled.
In short, the Republicans have no chance of removing President Obama from office. To impeach him will serve to strengthen him and the Democrats at a time when they are reeling, just like the unsuccessful attempt to remove Clinton derailed the Republican revolution twelve years ago.
Ā« All done with "Head-To-Head Debate on Impeahcment"?
Not that I am going to support her candidacy in the primaries. But I think that anyone who is interested in the job of President of the United States ought to get in and let the people evaluate them accordingly.
Just over ten months before next February's Iowa caucuses Sarah Palin is returning from a recent trip to Israel. But Tea Party darling Rep. Michele Bachmann is already hitting the Hawkeye state capital.
* * *
"I'm in for 2012 in that I want to be a part of the conversation in making sure that President Obama only serves one term, not two, because I want to make sure that we get someone who's going to be making the country work again. That's what I'm in for," Bachmann said.
"But I haven't made a decision yet to announce, obviously, if I'm a candidate or not, but I'm in for the conversation."
Looks like the @$$wipe mayor of Omaha, Nebraska wants to tax you when you wipe your @$$.
Mayor Jim Suttle went to Washington Tuesday flush with ideas for how federal officials could help cities like Omaha pay for multibillion-dollar sewer projects.
Among the items on his brainstorming list: a proposal for a 10-cent federal tax on every roll of toilet paper you buy.
Sure sounds like it from this statement by Barry's Deputy National Security Adviser.
"We're not talking about an exist strategy."
It isn't clear why we went in to Libya.
They can't tell us what the objective is in Libya -- it seems to change hourly.
And now we find out they don't know what conditions will allow us to withdraw.
But then again, I guess we shouldn't be surprised. If you don't know why you invaded or what your goals are, how can you know when you've met them so you can leave? That means its a war without end.
Hope! Change! Incompetence!
What weasels the cretins in the Obama regime are. They can't call Barry's War of Choice in Libya a "war" -- they've come up with an entirely new phrase to obfuscate about what the Nobel Peace Prize winner has committed America to.
In the last few days, Obama administration officials have frequently faced the question: Is the fighting in Libya a war? From military officers to White House spokesmen up to the president himself, the answer is no. But that leaves the question: What is it?
In a briefing on board Air Force One Wednesday, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes took a crack at an answer. "I think what we are doing is enforcing a resolution that has a very clear set of goals, which is protecting the Libyan people, averting a humanitarian crisis, and setting up a no-fly zone," Rhodes said. "Obviously that involves kinetic military action, particularly on the front end."
Oh, puh-leeeeeze! Have the decency to call this sustained military campaign a war -- especially when we are leading it and footing the bill. After all, the American people deserve better than semantic gamesmanship like "kinetic military action. . . on the front end" while Barack Hussein Obama is giving it to them in the back end.
That sure sounds like it based upon one of the new details emerging about the Christmas Day "Underwear Bomber".
When an admitted al-Qaida operative planned his itinerary for a Christmas 2009 airline bombing, he considered launching the strike in the skies above Houston or Chicago, The Associated Press has learned. But tickets were too expensive, so he refocused the mission on a cheaper destination: Detroit.
That makes you wonder about what is going on with al-Qaeda. They are trying to make a splash, but they are concerned about a few hundred bucks on an airline ticket? It sounds like a bad joke. But then again, I guess the Obama economy is tough on everyone.
After all, they are only Jews going about their daily lives. It isn't like they are Muslim terrorists who have rights that need protecting.
A woman was killed and more than 50 people were wounded by an explosion near Jerusalem's central bus station as the evening rush hour began Wednesday, authorities said.
Mayor Nir Barkat condemned the "cowardly terrorist attack" in which "innocent people were hurt."
The explosion took place in a crowded area with "a lot of civilians and two buses," said Yonatan Yagadovsky, a spokesman for Israel's emergency services.
"Three to four are in critical condition. The rest of the casualties are moderately to lightly injured," he said before the woman's death was announced. The injuries came from both the force of the blast and from flying shrapnel, he said.
Wednesday's explosion was caused by a medium-sized device in a bag left close to the central bus station, Israeli police and medical officials said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the terror attack.
The feckless and effed-up occupant of the Oval Office has had a statement issued that draws moral equivalence between the a terrorist attack that targeted civilians and the accidental killing of civilians in a military response to terrorism by cowards who use civilians as human shields in an attempt to to stave off retaliation. Even the UN did better on this one. Barack Obama's pathological abuse of Israel and undeniable embrace of Israel's enemies is almost enough to make me ashamed to be an American.
There are no words to adequately eulogize Elizabeth Taylor, so I won't try.
Elizabeth Taylor, the glamorous queen of American movie stardom, whose achievements as an actress were often overshadowed by her rapturous looks and real-life dramas, has died. She was 79.
Taylor died early Wednesday of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said publicist Sally Morrison. She had been hospitalized six weeks ago.
"My mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor and love," her son Michael Wilding said in a statement. "Though her loss is devastating to those of us who held her so close and so dear, we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world. Her remarkable body of work in film, her ongoing success as a businesswoman, and her brave and relentless advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS, all make us all incredibly proud of what she accomplished. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts."
May she find eternal rest in the presence of God.
Im a believer in unfettered gun rights under the Second Amendment. Just as convicted felons regain their full First Amendment rights after the completion of their sentences, I believe they should get back their Second Amendment rights as well. But then again, I believe that rights are rights, and that rights are not to be infringed
Well, it appears that some in Congress not only disagree with me on that radical proposition, but they also want to strip away the gun rights of those wrongly arrested on drug charges even if they are adjudicated as not guilty by a jury of their peers.
Get collared years ago on a bogus drug charge because the oregano in your back pocket looked like was a bag of weed? Or maybe a judge back in 2006 dropped those charges because you were able to provide proof for that Adderall prescription? Under proposed legislation, it will not matter if you were innocent all along or even proven innocent by a court of law.
Either way, you can forget about buying a gun.
The Fix Gun Checks Act of 2011 would greatly expand the definition of those legally prohibited from owning firearms to include anyone whos ever been arrested even if never convicted or found guilty for drug possession within a five-year period. The legislation is certainly troubling for those who want a common sense debate about drug decriminalization. And it would seem fears that any new national gun-control legislation would be used to limit the gun-rights of law-abiding citizens is at least partially justified.
The sponsor? Senator Charles Chuckles Schumer (D-emagogue). I wonder which other of our liberties he wants to infringe, even if we have never been found guilty of a crime? Not that it matters to me. I hereby declare that, by sponsoring this legislation, Shumer has pinned on a target, and that all lovers of liberty should be gunning for him electorally, of course.
In the words of Richard Henry Lee, To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught. . . how to use them.
Schumer, therefore, is not merely an enemy of guns, he is an enemy of liberty and the Constitution. After all, his proposal not only attacks the Second Amendment rights of Americans, but also the Fifth and Sixth Amendments as well.
This deed in Florida is in full compliance with our nations laws AND with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights something that cannot be said of Pakistan and its blasphemy laws.
Pakistan has taken up the "despicable act" of desecration of the Holy Quran in Florida with the United Nations, and urged it to take urgent steps to promote inter-faith harmony in the wake of increasing acts of Islamophobia. In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Pakistan's Permanent Representative Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon voiced his country's strong condemnation of the burning of the Islamic holy book, and expressed "profound regret and deep concern" at the growing trend of Islamophobia, intolerance and hatred towards Muslims as well as insults to their religious symbols and personalities.
When Pakistan (and the rest of the Muslim world) begins to safeguard the human rights and human lives of its Christian minority, I might consider looking at whether or not there is anything wrong with burning a Quran. Perhaps they can do something about the persecutions and fatwas by their Islamist organizations. Until then, I have only three words to say about doing so:
Hope! Change! Incompetence!
Deep divisions between allied forces currently bombing Libya worsened today as the German military announced it was pulling forces out of NATO over continued disagreement on who will lead the campaign.
Wouldnt it be nice to have a president who worked these details out before committing troops to a military campaign? You know, sort of like Bush did before Iraq.
But then again, why should we be surprised at Obamas failure his repeated flip-flopping and self-contradictions have shown that he cannot be trusted from moment to moment, much less over a sustained period of time.
After all, the Dems called their Kluxer the Conscience of the Senate.
Lake Wales, Florida - A mayoral candidate in Lakes Wales is speaking out about his involvement with the Klan.
70-year-old John Paul Rogers wants to become the next mayor of Lake Wales, but critics say he could have a tough time bringing the town together because he's a former member of Ku Klux Klan.
Rogers claims to have quit the KKK 30 years ago. That was certainly longer in the past than Senator Robert Byrds KKK membership was for much of his time in the Senate. Not that I would vote for Rogers I reject racists as political candidates on principle. Democrats, though, cant make that claim.
I have to admit -- i would not have considered putting up posters like that when I ran a pro-life group during my college days. But I think this sort of response is a bit much.
It has become the talk among African American students at the prestigious Princeton Theological Seminary -- racially charged fliers and postings. All of it is apparently anti-abortion literature.
Among the fliers was one that displayed a noose and another with the words "in the new klan lynching is for amateurs."
"I was shocked and appalled that someone would place something like that up at this particular institution," seminary student Maurice Stinnett told CBS 2's Derricke Dennis.
"There was a lot of devastation for me, psychological damage, injury, because I saw this as social bullying," student Shirley Thomas said.
* * *
The fliers originate from various sources, pointing out the number of African American deaths by abortion.
Student Katherine Timpte called the fliers "appalling and tragic and upsetting at all levels."
I find it interesting that words and pictures are so upsetting -- but the slaughter of the innocents that characterizes abortion is not. Clearly the development of a well-formed Christian conscience is not a high priority PTS -- but development of a liberal hyper-sensitivity is.
A major group that claims to support the rights and dignity of women has indicated it does not communicate with the highest-rated cable news channel.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) refused to comment on Mahers use of the derogatory term [regarding Sarah Palin]. A rep told FOXNews.com it is a known fact that NOW does not correspond with FOX News.
UPDATE: Looks like the NOTty girls from NOW have made a tardy non-condemnation "condemnation" of left-wing sexism -- and declared themselves to be the victims of an unscrupulous and vicious right-wing plot to hold them to their own principles. My net take on the matter -- slap-on-the-wrist for liberals, condemnation for conservatives who insisted that the National Organization for Liberal Women Who Support Abortion actually behave like an organization dedicated to the equality and dignity of all women.
Since he has decided to engage in this little military adventure without consultation with or consent from Congress, it is time to require that he come up with non-defense cuts to cover the cost of this engagement. How much would that be?
But defense analysts say the Pentagon could be burning through more than $100 million per day in Libya, putting those budget savings at risk.
In separate briefings on Monday, the Defense Department and the White House said they do not yet have a projected price tag for the military action that began on Saturday. Defense officials said they are still collecting and analyzing early costs.
You know, now that his wife is working for the Daily Caller?
Tea party activist Virginia Ginni Thomas is joining the media, just not the mainstream media shes described as dedicated to gotcha journalism and lapdogs for the other side.
The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will work as a special correspondent for The Daily Caller, the conservative news website announced Tuesday. It is a privilege to join such a fast-growing platform with a capable, fun-loving team who are filling a niche that the dinosaur media has underserved, Thomas said in a statement.
It came as a shock to everyone when Precinct 8 Constable Bill Bailey made this announcement at the Harris County Commissioners Court meeting this morning, as a part of his explanation of how he was going to cut the offices staffing to meet the recently adopted budget.
He explained the painful process of laying off 10 employees, then 11, then being told even those cuts didn't reach his required budget number. So, he said, he had decided to cut a 12th worker.
"I've reached the difficult decision that that employee's going to be me," Bailey said, his voice faltering at times. "I will cut my position... I will retire from a job that I dearly loved, for 28 and a half years."
UPDATE: The Chronicle notes that one part of Bailey's move is his desire to see Chief Deputy Phil Sandlin move into his spot as Precinct 8 Constable.
George Bush and Barack Obama have both claimed the backing of international coalitions as they have entered into armed conflict in the Middle East. Let us consider who has truly received the endorsement and support of the international community.
Coalition Countries - Iraq - 2003
[Source: US State Department]
Coalition - Libya - 2011
United Arab Emirates
Clearly, Bush had greater support than Obama. Is Obama's support by "old Europe" (H/T Donald Rumsfeld) make up for the significantly smaller -- and, in the case of the Arab nations, weaker -- level of support he has received from the international community?
The truth will set you free and put an end to Jew-hatred in the Middle East. Therefore the truth must be excised from textbooks in order to obscure the reason for Israels existence.
The UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] director of operations in Jordan on Thursday said the agency will commit to teaching the curricula of host countries, shelving plans to include the Holocaust in school textbooks On Wednesday, UNRWA teachers in the country threatened to escalate measures by staging work stoppages and strikes if the relief agency continues with a plan to include the Holocaust in school textbooks.
For generations here in the deepest South, there had been a great taboo: publicly crossing the color line for love. Less than 45 years ago, marriage between blacks and whites was illegal, and it has been frowned upon for much of the time since.
* * *
Racial attitudes are changing, said Marvin King, a professor of political science at the University of Mississippi who is black, married to a white woman, and the father of a 2-year-old biracial daughter. Day in, day out, there is certainly not the hostility there was years ago, and I think you see that in that there are more interracial relationships, and people dont fear those relationships. They dont have to hide those relationships anymore.
What is it that has happened in the time since law and custom forbade the mixing of races? What change occurred in the South that might account for the difference in attitude?
Might I suggest that it is the rise of a philosophical and political point of view that embraces racial equality and civil rights for all? You know the once solidly Democrat South became the bastion of REPUBLICANISM.
After all, it was the GOP that freed the slaves. It was the GOP that pushed for anti-lynching and civil rights laws. It was the GOP that supported inclusion of racial minorities as equals, not as wards of the state. Is it any wonder that as the GOP became the party of the South, that attitude and heritage of tolerance came with it?
You know because an old woman praying is so provocative.
A homemade incendiary device was thrown at one of the participants of the 40 Days for Life pro-life prayer vigil at an abortion business in Kalispell, Montana on Thursday night.
The woman walked on the public sidewalk near the abortion business when an unidentified person threw the device akin to a Molotov cocktail in her direction. The woman did not see either the firebomb nor the assailant it exploded on the sidewalk behind her, making a loud popping noise like a big firecracker as it burst into flame. Fortunately, the woman was not hurt in the incident.
Sadly, I believe that the answer is yes.
The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation. Barack Obama, December 20, 2007
That statement, from a man of such accomplishment and credentials, must carry great weight. And when he himself violates the standard he set for his predecessors -- and, one presumes, the successors to those predecessors -- it is important that he be held to that standard by the people of the United States speaking through their elected representatives in the people's House.
This should be easy. No doubt Dennis Kucinich has his articles of impeachment regarding George W. Bush saved on a computer somewhere in his House office. Pull them up, revise them appropriately, and submit them. Should be doable by lunch. And as a privileged motion, they should be easy to take up in short order for consideration by the full House, without any need for formalities like committee hearings.
Who should support these articles of impeachment? Every member of the House of Representatives -- both the anti-war leftists who have spent the last decade giving aid and comfort to the jihadis against whom we battle and those who have supported the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Because this is Obama's standard, set for Obama by Obama. And unlike George W. Bush, Obama has not received authorization from Congress for his commitment of troops and has failed to form a true international consensus in favor of this military action -- the very things that the Left has repeatedly claimed (falsely) that Bush failed to do with regard to Iraq.
This would, of course, lead to a trial in the US Senate. Do I advocate the conviction and removal of Barack Hussein Obama from office? I am unsure on this point. Let's lay out the case for the Obama Doctrine cited above as a part of the trial in the Senate. Then let's have that vote by the full Senate. If, as the Left has claimed for the last several years, this sort of military action is a violation of the US Constitution and merits impeachment and removal of a president, then let that happen right now, with a president who explicitly acknowledged that standard even before his election. If Obama and his liberal fellow-travelers were wrong during the Bush years, then allow Obama to remain as president -- with his judgment (and that of the liberal anti-war crew who have served as al-Qaeda's fifth column) repudiated by the US Senate. In either case, this will serve to set the standard for future military actions around the globe that are undertaken without a declaration of war.
And in doing so, it will establish which was right on the military powers of the president -- Bush or Obama. And in doing so, it will apply the more stringent standard to one who was a champion and advocate for it, and require that a Senate majority of his party either embrace or repudiate the standard they exploited for political purposes during the first decade of the twenty-first century.
Here are this weeks full results:
Dear news media:
Remember back in '50s and early '60s, when we set off something like 900 atomic bombs in Nevada? And how we just let the fallout blow wherever and it landed all over the eastern US? And how it wiped out life as we know it and all that was left from Colorado to the Atlantic were six-legged rats battling two-headed cockroaches in the glowing ruins?
Yeah. Exactly. So shut up with the panic already.
Not to make light of the current situation in Japan, nor to minimize its significance -- but this does serve as a needed voice of sanity in the midst of all the hand-wringing and dire predictions we have been getting in the last week.
But then again, "All is well" doesn't sell nearly as well as "It's the end of the world as we know it."
Showing that there is something truly different about the Japanese.
In many cultures, in many places, there is a belief that times of crisis reveal the true value of a person.
In Japan, applying that axiom proves difficult, especially in light of a recent Daily Beast report that Japan's infamous mafia, the Yakuza, are providing tons of vital goods to the earthquake and tsunami relief effort.
The three largest Yakuza groups (kind of like the crime families of the American Italian mafia), have sent dozens of trucks with a few hundred tons of goods to the devastated regions thus far, reports Japan crime expert Jake Adelstein. They've sent everything from diapers to batteries to instant ramen.
While this support may seem antithetical to a criminal ethos, one member said, "There are no yakuza or katagi (ordinary citizens) or gaijin (foreigners) in Japan right now. We are all Japanese. We all need to help each other."
Yeah, they are criminals. But what can I say -- we did not see the Gambino family rushing supplies to New Orleans after Katrina. And MS-13 did nothing to help out around here following Hurricane Ike. But the Japanese, when it comes right down to it, have a different ethos as a part of their culture. It is why man and women have already subjected themselves to deadly levels of radiation to stop those nuclear reactors from melting down -- a remnant of the bushido code of the samurai. While the samurai may have been suppressed, their virtues apparently still live on in the Japanese people -- and find themselves expressed in this time of crisis.
No doubt the ACLU will be filing suit soon over this one -- after all, we can't make prison time seem like punishment.
Ohio inmates paying their debt to society also will have to pay $1 per month for electricity and deal with less variety at meal time, including fewer beverage choices, under prisons department spending cuts intended to help the state close an expected $8 billion budget hole.
Beverage choices? You must be freaking kidding. They can drink water and like it -- and as far as I'm concerned, no need for it to have ice in it, either.
Just imagine Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck using this term to describe Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, or Michelle Obama.
Time for Maher to be fired -- again.
Cue the chanting: "Obama lied, people died!"
The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation. Barack Obama, December 20, 2007
Now I don't see where anything going on in Libya constitutes an actual or imminent threat to the United States. How, then, do you justify committing acts of war without Congressional authorization? Or are you ready to come out and admit that, once again, you have discovered that you were wrong earlier in your career and George W. Bush was correct?
Or perhaps you can just concede that you are the single most incompetent individual ever to hold the office of President of the United States. Such an acknowledgment would best be a part of a speech in which you announce your resignation -- or at least your intent to not run for reelection in 2012.
When you are talking about diversity. Being 78% one race is a bad thing -- unless you are 78% minority, in which case you are highly diverse!
In the National Jurist, Rebecca Larsen has an article ranking law schools on the basis of diversity. At Balkinization, lawprof Jason Mazzone makes some cogent criticisms of her approach.
Larsen ranks schools on the basis of the percentage of students and faculty who are African-American, Hispanic, or Asian, with a bonus if that percentage is significantly higher than the percentage of these groups in the state population. Under this system, most of the schools that get the highest possible rating (A+) turn out to be historically black schools where the student body is overwhelmingly black. Ironically, many of these schools are actually not especially diverse if that concept is understood as having a wide range of different groups represented by a critical mass in the student body, the theory adopted by the Supreme court in Grutter v. Bollinger as a justification for affirmative action. For example, one of the schools with an A+ rating is Howard University, where the student body is 78% African-American. Why should Howard be considered any more diverse than a school that is 78% white?
If, as Larsen says, the purpose of pursuing diversity is to ensure that a broad range of viewpoints is represented in the classroom, thereby giving students a better education and classes more reflective of the world, her ranking system makes no sense. From that standpoint, a school that is 78% black or 78% Hispanic is no better than one that is 78% white.
Using the criteria described above, the best way for an educational institution to achieve diversity is to refuse to admit any white people at all! No wordas to whether or not Thurgood Marshall and Heman Marion Sweatt are whirling dervishly in their graves over this rejection of the holding in Sweatt v. Painter and the adoption of the position advocated by segregationist Democrats in that case. (For a great book on that case, written for scholar and layman alike, may I suggest Before Brown by Gary M. Lavergne).
Nobody has been hurt in the second suspicious fire in as many days at a mosque in suburban Houston.
Arson investigators on Thursday night were called to the Clear Lake Education Center when some worshippers saw flames and smoke in the rear of the building.
Member Syed Mohiuddin told KTRK-TV that the structure serves as a prayer hall and mosque. Much of the damage was to the back of the complex.
Nobody was injured.
Another fire was reported at the mosque on Wednesday. Mohiuddin says its not an accident because somebody is doing it.
Investigators declined to say whether they believe the mosque has been targeted.
It is hard to know what to write about this story. Details are sparse. Heck, the place is so obscure that I had no idea it existed, despite living in the area for some 15 years. There is little in the way of web presence for the mosque -- which apparently goes by the name of "Clear Lake Jama Masjid" rather than Clear Lake Education Center like in the article.
Is there something suspicious here? Seems so, with two fires in two days. If this is an attack on a house of worship, I condemn it as unAmerican -- and without reservation. But I'm not going to go further than saying that until and unless we have something more definitive in the way of information about the fires and/or motive for the fires if they were set. I wish that a certain extremist group named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism trial would show similar restraint.
Mosque recruiting American kids to become martyrs in Lebanon or Miami? I do hope the FBI has been notified by the author.
If it isn't an emergency and you live outside Harris County, the taxpayers of the county will not be paying for your medical care.
On its face, it seems like a terrible thing to refuse to treat an individual who shows up at a hospital emergency room. But that's exactly what the Harris County Hospital District has decided to do in certain cases: In the future, out-of-county people who don't have insurance and who are not in urgent need of care will be turned away unless they can pay up-front for their treatment, reported the Chronicle's Mike Morris last weekend.
Who says it sounds like a terrible thing? Sounds pretty responsible to me.
Now if we could take care of this problem -- the funding of free medical care for those whose presence in the country is a violation of our nation's laws -- the taxpayers of Harris County would be even better served.
The state fiscal monitor who oversees financial operations in the school district Thursday morning ordered the closing of the Barack H. Obama Elementary School as of July 1.
Students next year will go to the districts two other more modern elementary schools Thurgood Marshall on the east side and Bradley on the west side.
Seems to me like we are closing in on the point where the Barack H. Obama Administration will be shut down by the American people for the same reason.
I don't agree it is primarily a tax increase -- it is a good-faith effort to make sure that no American is forced to pay for abortions -- but if the Democrats see it as one, you have to wonder why they wouldn't jump on board in the interest of increasing the revenue stream. After all, they are the party of more and higher taxes.
Let's take a look at the rhetoric surrounding the No Taxpayer Funding Of Abortion Act, which would eliminate the deductability of abortion as a medical expense on one's taxes, as well as the deductability of that portion of insurance premiums that cover abortion. The leading Dem screecher is Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-STD Test).
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: This is nothing short of a tax increase, I mean we have to call it exactly what it is. The Republicans are proposing a tax increase on all women because in their anti-women legislation H.R.3, they would take away the tax benefit from all small businesses if their health insurance offers abortion coverage which 87 percent of them do. So essentially they are saying if you are a small business owner and you offer your employees insurance and that policy covers abortion, then you will not be able to benefit from the tax credits that the Affordable Care Act allows you and also that you can already take by offering insurance to your employees.
Its outrageous. The Republicans are maintaining and proponents of this legislation are maintaining that all they are doing is codifying the status quo and prohibiting federal funding of abortions. This legislation goes much further. It reaches deep into the personal lives of all American women, of all small business owners and twists the Republican nose into the business of people who need insurance and also small business owners who want to provide coverage for their employees.
Odd -- the entire "Affordable Care Act" (AKA ObamaCare) reaches deep into the personal lives of every American, and will have the government making all manner of decisions about the medical care of all Americans. Not only that, it is already resulting in higher taxes for all, and will continue to do so in perpetuity. Why the complaint about a little more intrusion into the private realm of medical care and a little more taxation?
Oh, that's right -- this bill would impact the liberal Sacrament of Abortion.
So they will tax your house, your job, your car, your gas, your food, and damn near everything else they can think of. But a miniscule change in the tax code that might add a few dollars to the cost of sacrificing your child on the altar of the modern-day Moloch, and the Dems go wild.
Somebody ought to tell these proto-totalitarians that schools only have authority over their students from bell to bell. After all, why on earth should school principals have any legal liability for what kids do after they leave school, in particular what they do online? But that is the latest effort at overreach by the Department of Education, put forth in a "Dear Colleague" letter.
The letter says federal officials have reinterpreted the civil-rights laws that require school principals to curb physical bullying, as well as racist and sexist speech, that take place within school boundaries. Under the new interpretation, principals and their schools are legally liable if they fail to curb harassment of students, even if it takes place outside the school, on Facebook or in private conversation among a few youths.
Harassing conduct may take many forms, including verbal acts and name-calling; graphic and written statements, which may include use of cell phones or the Internet it does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents [but] creates a hostile environment [which can] limit a students ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school, according to the far-reaching letter, which was completed Oct. 26 by Russlynn Ali, who heads the agencys civil rights office.
School officials will face lawsuits even when they are ignorant about students statements, if a court later decides they reasonably should have known about their students conduct, said the statement.
I love that part about curbing speech -- haven't these goons heard about the First Amendment. As much as folks may not like it, even racist and sexist speech is protected under relevant Supreme Court precedents. And as far as being liable for what is said in private conversations between a few students away from school -- are you out of your mind.
Mind you, I'm not taking the side of the bullies on this one. As always, I'm taking the side of the Constitution and the training of kids to live in a free society in which government does not monitor their every word and action, seeking to criminalize that which some bureaucrat -- or even a majority of society -- considers to be out of bounds or inappropriate. If we continue down this path, we train subjects, not citizens -- and fall victim to the reality noted by Ronald Reagan, who wisely noted that freedom is only one generation away from extinction. If we teach our children that Big Brother is always watching and always listening, then we teach them that they are not free. I consider that to be a greater threat to their well-being than any bullying or ugly speech that might go on off-campus after school.
According to Don Surber, there haven't been enough Republicans in the West Virginia Legislature to have a significant impact on legislation since the days of FDR. Therefore this one is all on the Democrats.
The Legislatures chief accomplishments were financial.
The Legislature handed out $67 million in pay raises for state employees.
Yes, we had to give $15,000-a-year raises to state Supreme Court justices because neighboring states pay more.
Good gosh, we would not want any of our justices running off to join the Maryland Supreme Court.
The rest of the state got a $27 million cut in the food tax.
Drivers also received a $43 million increase in license fees. That money will go to pay for highway construction.
Of course, the $67 million for pay raises could have done the same thing.
The net result is higher taxes for the general public and pay raises at the Statehouse.
That should remind everyone in West Virginia why one should never, ever, vote for the candidate with a D nest to their name. Even if the Republican isn't that great, the Democrat is sure to be worse.
Let this serve as a caution to the other 49 states as well.
After all, what we have here is a criminal conspiracy to violate the rights of citizens to participate in government, including their right to peaceably assemble and petition for the redress of grievances.
What you have here is a group of citizens seeking to gather signatures on petitions seeking the recall of Democrat legislators in Wisconsin. They were surrounded by representatives of local unions, who intimidated potential signers, ripped up petitions that had been signed, and defaced others -- possibly invalidating the signatures on those pages. And they did so in the name of "democracy" -- which, if you are a left-wing union thug means using force and the threat of force to suppress dissent. Let's not forget that there were actual threats of violence that forced the petition effort to be moved -- the very sort of thing that federal civil rights enforcement is supposed to prevent and/or prosecute.
And as could be predicted, the unionized cops picked union solidarity over the impartial application equal protection of the law. Which cuts right to the heart of my recent post about why public safety employees should not be permitted to unionize at all. The cops' inaction would be another violation of the federal civil rights of those circulating the petition.
But nothing will happen to vindicate the rights of these petitioners under federal law and the US Constitution. Our ever so impartial Attorney General will not turn his eyes to look upon this violation of the rights of American citizens in Wisconsin. After all, they aren't "his people" -- and besides, there is no political up-side to taking on the goons of the union movement who gave so much cash and support to his boss. So not only will the Obama Regime ignore attacks on freedom around the world, they will also continue to ignore them at home.
Just took a survey for Firefox about the beta of the next version of the browser. The questions were pretty straightforward -- but I came across one that had an answer choice I find. . . unusual.
I can't believe we have finally reached the point in society that "OTHER" has become a choice when it comes to gender. For crying out loud. . . !
Because being paid $10.72 million is just like slavery, man!
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson compared NFL owners treatment of players to modern-day slavery, according to an online interview published today by Yahoo! Sports.
Yahoos Doug Farrar, who conducted the interview Friday with Peterson, removed that comment from the story later today, explaining on Twitter that he wants to give Peterson the chance to provide context.
Well, Adrian, you've been freed. Those mean owners are not forcing you to work all day catching and running with oblong leather balls. You are now free to do whatever you want to do. Who knows, maybe you can find some other league out there to which to market your undeniable skills.
By the way, what is the going rate for a running back in the Canadian Football league? You know -- since the salary cap for an entire team in that league is nearly $6 million lower than the Vikings will be paying you alone in the event there is a full NFL season in 2011..
The tax on a 12 ounce can of beer is 1.82 cents, due to the fact that Texas imposes a tax of 19.4 cents per gallon on beer. But if Democrat Rep. Eddio Lucio gets his way, it will be soda drinkers who take it in the neck -- and wallet.
Picking up a six-pack of soft drinks could soon cost Texans more.
A penny per ounce more, to be exact.
State Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, is proposing increasing the taxes on sodas -- both regular and diet, and energy drinks too -- to raise money for the state and cut down on obesity in children and adults.
That means a typical 12-ounce Diet Dr Pepper could cost 12 cents more at a grocery or convenience store. A six-pack of Coke would cost an extra 72 cents. And a 24-count box of Big Red would cost an extra $2.88.
"There are solutions to the budget mess we find ourselves in which do not involve making drastic cuts to vital services," Lucio said. "The Texas Legislature should be exploring these solutions."
As state lawmakers face a multibillion-dollar shortfall -- and making cuts to education and social services to balance the budget -- Lucio said his proposal could raise an extra $4 billion every two years.
Now let's think about that -- an extra penny an ounce for soda. But raising taxes on alcohol? Not for Lucio -- despite the fact that the tax on beer is only .15 cents per ounce, the tax on liquor is under 2 cents per ounce, and wine comes in at about 8 cents a bottle (for a much larger bottle, I might add). And that despite the fact that the health impact of alcohol on health and safety in Texas is significantly greater than that of soda pop. Oh, and by the way -- Lucio's rationale falls flat when one considers that his tax extends to beverages sweetened with artificial sweeteners -- so when I make a healthy choice by drinking diet soda as a part of my effort to control my blood sugar, I'm still going to get hit by the tax designed to control obesity despite my soft drink having ZERO CALORIES.
No, what Eddie Lucio wants is to tax Texans more -- and do so without interfering with the business of the beer and wine distributors who keep giving him campaign cash. After all, if Lucio is sincerely making proposals to increase revenue, why doesn't he look to increase the "sin tax" on an industry that has not seen an increase in its tax rate since 1984? Do we just need to follow the money?
I'm a bit reticent in asking this question. After all, my brother is a cop, and his son is preparing for a career as a firefighter. I respect both and the risks inherent in their respective career choices. But in light of this out of Wisconsin, I'm wondering if allowing those two professions to organize and bargain collectively is really appropriate.
As Moe Lane points out, this letter does not simply contain an explicit threat of a boycott of goods and services provided by the company. It also contains an implicit threat that failure to fall in line with the union demands will result in a failure by police officers and firefighters to do their job to the best of their abilities for a company -- or individual -- who fails to fall in line with the demands of these public safety unions to take a political position in opposition to Gov. Walker and the Wisconsin Republicans. After all, can the cops whose union was defied really be trusted to fully investigate crimes committed against those who dared dissent? Will firefighters go all out for those who their union has declared to be against them? I think we know the answer to those questions.
Which leads us to the question of the propriety of allowing police and firefighters to unionize. After all, these public safety personnel fulfill a special role, in the same way that our military does, with special powers and authority that exceeds those of ordinary public employees. And we know how federal law deals with the issue of military unions, don't we? They are completely banned, with criminal penalties attached for attempting to form or join an organization purporting to be a military labor union.
Now why would this be? Frankly, it is because of the special nature of the military and the special function it has in providing for our defense. Given the public order and safety functions of police and firefighters, is it not reasonable to apply the same standard to them as well. After all, to allow these two classes of public employees to engage in union activities potentially puts the public at risk should they decide to strike or engage in some other form of work action. Indeed, we saw precisely this sort of incident in Wisconsin, when police refused to follow lawful orders to clear the capitol building and enforce order therein due to their sympathy with the protesters. Is this not akin to the danger of a military union refusing to fight unless their demands are met, or if their union leadership decides it disagrees with the civilian authority giving the orders?
All of which takes us back to FDR's observation on public unions:
Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities.
While Roosevelt spoke on the nature of Federal employment (after all, he was addressing an organization of Federal employees), the same observation can and should be made regarding the nature of public employment on the state and local level as well. As the employer in this case is the public, and they speak through the actions of various elected legislative and executive officials and the laws and policies enacted by them, the sort of work actions and retaliation that might be acceptable in the private sector are inadmissible when the employer is the people as a whole. And for these unions -- especially unions representing public safety employees -- to engage in acts designed to coerce private citizens and private businesses to engage in political speech and activity contrary to their beliefs and interests under threat of employment by government employees is intolerable. How much more is that true when those engaged in such coercion are those whose duties are to protect the safety of all citizens? As such, like military personnel, there is really no place for law enforcement officers or firefighters to form or join unions.
My Darling Democrat would never let me get away with putting it on the car. The Apolitical Pooches wouldn't care -- and might even give it a stray tail-wag.
I whole-heartedly support this legislation.
Republicans in both the House and Senate have introduced legislation that would declare English the official language of the United States and require the development of English language testing guidelines for those applying for U.S. citizenship.
The English Language Unity Act would set out a new chapter in U.S. code that imposes an obligation on U.S. officials to "preserve and enhance the role of English as the official language of the Federal Government."
Part of this chapter would include a "uniform English language rule" holding that "all citizens should be able to read and understand generally the English language text of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the laws of the United States made in pursuance of the Constitution."
To ensure this outcome, the bill would require the secretary of Homeland Security to issue a proposed rule for testing the English language ability of candidates for citizenship. The bill envisions possible exceptions to this standard but says these exceptions "should be limited to extraordinary circumstances, such as asylum."
Let's be honest about this legislation. It does no prohibit the use of languages other than English by American citizens. But it is designed to mandate that new Americans speak and understand the common language of this country. The reality is that English is the language of opportunity for every American -- and those who cannot speak, read, or understand the English language have vastly diminished opportunities in this country. It is therefore only proper that we as a nation expect those who wish to become a part of us to truly do so by embracing the common tongue of the United States rather than demanding that the United States accommodate their mother tongue.
These are the Fogels.
These are the Fogels after a visit from their "peaceful" Palestinian neighbors.
Here is the response of Israel's "partners for peace" -- the Palestinians.
Here is the funeral of the Fogels -- attended by their three surviving children, one of whom was not home and the other two of whom were, by the grace of God, kept safe from the murderous rampage that took the lives of their family and siblings. Over 30,000 attended.
The barbaric attack by a Palestinian Muslim on a Jewish family living in the West Bank settlement of Itamar on Saturday has been widely reported. Five innocent peopletwo parents and three of their childrenwere savagely stabbed to death in their sleep. On the English section of the website of the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, there was only the following short statement, denying any responsibility on the part of Hamas for the attack:
Palestinian National Movement Hamas official Ezzat Al-Rashak said thatthe movement is not responsible for the murder of the five family members from the Itamar settlement.
Al-Rashak confirmed that harming children is not part of Hamas policy, nor is it the policy of the resistance factions.
He also confirmed that the possibility that the incident was carried out by settlers for criminal motives should not be ruled out. [emphasis added]
But on the Arabic section of the website, an article was published praising the attacker as a mujahid and deriding the slain Jews as Zionist usurpers. Whats worse, at the time I checked there were 34 comments on the article posted by readers, all praising the attack and the attacker (I translated the first 17 or so). Curiously, while the Hamas statement in the English article raised the possibility of the act being carried out by settlers, in the Arabic article theres no doubt that the attacker was a Palestinian mujahid.
Keep in mind that this is the same Hamas that CAIR refuses to condemn:
Five Zionists Killed in Stabbing in the Usurper (Settlement) of Itamar
al-Qassam, 12 March 2011
Five Zionist usurpers were killed the morning of Saturday, 12 March 2011, in a knife-stabbing carried out by a Palestinian in the usurper (settlement) of Itamar east of the city of Nablus.
Our correspondent in Nablus reported that a Palestinian mujahid was able to break into the usurper (settlement) of Itamar south of Nablus in the occupied (West) Bank, and stabbed five Zionist usurpers.
Zionist media sources said that A Palestinian broke into the usurper (settlement) between the hours of 9:30 11:00 PM, and killed five usurpers from one family while they were sleeping. They confirmed that the perpetrator of the act was able to escape.
As the distinguished blogger at JoshuaPundit notes, such support for the murder of children is consistent with the policy of both the HAMAS and FATAH terrorists who lead teh so-called "Palestinian Authority".
Which is why, when Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that Israel will continue to build new homes for Jewish Israelis in Jewish towns and neighborhoods (I refuse to call them "settlements" -- a propaganda term used by supporters of Palestinian terrorism to delegitimize them and justify acts like the murder of the Fogel family), the feckless fool who currently occupies the Oval Office authorized the following response n your behalf.
Were deeply concerned by continuing Israeli actions on settlements in the West Bank, the statement from the U.S. Embassy said. As we said before, we view these settlements as illegitimate and as running counter to efforts to resume direct negotiations.
Got that -- building homes is "running counter to efforts to resume direct negotiations" with those who murder sleeping families! Interestingly enough, the statements of the White House and State Department, while making perfunctory condemnations of the murders, don't consider them to be "running counter to efforts to resume direct negotiations". In other words, houses for Jews are an obstacle to peace -- dead Jews not so much.
No doubt that policy dichotomy has caused six million to roll over in their unmarked graves around Auschwitz, Buchewald, Dauchau, and the other death camps of Europe. After all, "never again" has become passé in a world that seeks to make peace with Muslims at any cost and which views the continued existence of a Jewish state in the Holy Land to be an obstacle to peace. And lest you question how that can be, the answer is clear -- YOU AND I HAVE ALLOWED IT by not standing up and demanding that our government stop coddling the terrorists in Gaza and the West Bank while demanding ever more concessions and restraint from Israel. We must demand a policy that does not reward Muslim terror and punishes Jewish resistance to it. And to those who will not make such a demand, I say this -- grab a bag of Snickers bars and emulate your allies pictured above who distributed sweets in celebration of the murder of a Zionist usurper infant.
You just have to hear it to believe it.
"Confederate agenda"? Really? You must be kidding.
Hey, Jesse! Did you realize that there are 24 states in which public employees have less in the way of collective bargaining rights than the public employees do in Wisconsin under this new law? And that the public employees of Wisconsin have greater bargaining rights under this bill than FEDERAL EMPLOYEES have under federal law? Why don't you go chain your sorry butt to the fence around the White House and confront that well-known neo-Confederate Barack Obama, heir to the legacy of George Wallace, over his opposition to the legacy of Martin Luther King? Could it be that you are just a hyper-partisan buffoon trying to remain politically relevant?
Wow. Jesse cut his nuts off Jackson didnt just jump the shark, he dove straight into the tank and raped every single orifice on the sorry beast!
Now Jesse -- don't you have an illegitimate child to take care of? Why don't you go raise the kid instead of agitatin' and aggravatin'?
Sadly, his observation about the Quran is accurate.
The good news? Most Muslims don't follow the more extreme hateful parts as normative -- though some do, and even the ones who do hold to the hateful parts keep the hate confined to their hearts and their words. Unfortunately, those who act out the hate do so all too often -- and then their supporters object to anyone asking questions and making statements about it.
Let's be honest about it. Where would you prefer to live -- in a community of Jews who strictly followed the Torah, in a community of Christians who strictly followed the New Testament, or in a community of Muslims who strictly followed the Quran? In which would you be safer and have more rights?
Destroyed by a tsunami? This is intriguing -- but is it good science and good history?
A U.S.-led research team may have finally located the lost city of Atlantis, the legendary metropolis believed swamped by a tsunami thousands of years ago in mud flats in southern Spain.
"This is the power of tsunamis," head researcher Richard Freund told Reuters.
"It is just so hard to understand that it can wipe out 60 miles inland, and that's pretty much what we're talking about," said Freund, a University of Hartford, Connecticut, professor who lead an international team searching for the true site of Atlantis.
To solve the age-old mystery, the team used a satellite photo of a suspected submerged city to find the site just north of Cadiz, Spain. There, buried in the vast marshlands of the Dona Ana Park, they believe that they pinpointed the ancient, multi-ringed dominion known as Atlantis.
I'd like to know more before I pass judgment on this one. But it is rather fascinating if true.
Well, it's that time again. Here are this weeks full results.
Make sure you read all the great stuff here -- especially the winners. See you next week!
My friend Darren over at Right on the Left Coast usually agree on things, but I take issue with him on this one about the recent labor unrest in Wisconsin and elsewhere.
As I said, it's usually the Left that plays the class envy card. Lately, though, I'm hearing from my own people on the Right. "Public workers get pensions that private citizens can only dream of." Whether that's true or not, and whether that should be changed or not, those are legitimate points of debate. When I read between the lines, though, what I hear is, "I don't have those, so you shouldn't, either, and I'm going to vilify you until you don't have them, either."
If Daren were writing about employees of private firms, I might agree with him. It is, ultimately, a private matter that we, as citizens, have no place in determining. For us to try to limit wages, benefits and pensions for such employees is clearly not our business.
But , as has been said time and again in recent weeks, the situation of public employees and their wages, pensions, and benefits is different. Those are, by any definition, our business. After all, public employees work for all of us. It is therefore perfectly proper for us to express concerns and raise questions about the wages, pensions and benefits in their case, BECAUSE THEY WORK FOR US. And I say that as someone who is a public employee.
Now to the degree that there is an element of I dont have those, so you shouldnt. . . in the recent objections, I think it can be a legitimate position that is devoid of class envy. After all, ought public employees be better compensated than is the norm the citizens who pay taxes to support their compensation packages? Ought these employees, who due to civil service and tenure regulations have greater employment security than those in the private sector, also be guaranteed raises, benefits, and pensions of a sort that are not seen by private sector workers whose taxes make up the bulk of the money that pays for those things? Are they public SERVANTS or public MASTERS? Who is the boss in this relationship the public or the employees? Is it envy, or is it a desire to reestablish the proper order of things in the relationship?
Not, mind you, that I am suggesting that most public employees are overpaid or that benefits are too high. But as a public employee, I know that the source of my pay and benefits is the taxpayer. When times were good, we were generally rewarded with improvements in pay, and efforts to improve benefits. While none of us want to see pay cuts, we have to recognize that some give on benefits is a necessity. After all, are we truly entitled to significantly better than what our employers, the taxpayers have for themselves? We who are public servants ought not consider ourselves to be a pampered privileged class, nor is it our place to claim first rights to the wages and salaries of our employers that are extracted through taxation. Such an attitude is un-American.
But I will agree with Daren on a couple of points. He is correct when he notes that the conservative philosophy is superior to that of the unionists. And beyond that he is correct when he says we must not crawl into the gutter and manufacture our own 2-Minute Hate just because of the visceral rush it provides. In that he is right. As deep a contempt as we may have for the left-wing philosophy and the words and deeds of many leaders and some followers of those malignant ideals, we must not stoop to duplicate their tactics. That is why I sometimes cringe when I see my fellow conservatives recommending that we adopt Alinskyite tactics in the name of conservatism. After all, we must let the better angels of our nature guide us as we do battle on the field of ideas. And while that means that we are engaged in the intellectual analog of our nations asymmetrical warfare against the forces of jihadi Islam, we lose both the battle and the moral high ground if we fail to uphold our own values as we do so.
It would mean that we have better, more competent government in the United States and that the Communist government in Red China would be ready to fail under the shear weight of its own incompetence.
Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintaos words in Tahrir Square.
Well, its good that we at last know which red state Obama feels a kinship with.
One of my students today described a colleague in the department also her coach as mean. Now I know the guy, and I have for years, so I understand what she was talking about. I suggested that the best way to classify him is as a curmudgeon, and immediately got a blank stare. I wrote the word down, and suggested she take a few minutes when she finished the project she was working on to look the word up online. She did and much to my surprise also found the following quote from Jon Winokur that I think sums up my colleague and many of us in the blogosphere quite well.
A curmudgeon's reputation for malevolence is undeserved. They're neither warped nor evil at heart. They don't hate mankind, just mankind's absurdities. They're just as sensitive and soft-hearted as the next guy, but they hide their vulnerability beneath a crust of misanthropy. They ease the pain by turning hurt into humor. . . . . . They attack maudlinism because it devalues genuine sentiment. . . . . . Nature, having failed to equip them with a servicable denial mechanism, has endowed them with astute perception and sly wit.
Curmudgeons are mockers and debunkers whose bitterness is a symptom rather than a disease. They can't compromise their standards and can't manage the suspension of disbelief necessary for feigned cheerfulness. Their awareness is a curse.
Perhaps curmudgeons have gotten a bad rap in the same way that the messenger is blamed for the message: They have the temerity to comment on the human condition without apology. They not only refuse to applaud mediocrity, they howl it down with morose glee. Their versions of the truth unsettle us, and we hold it against them, even though they soften it with humor.
So to Mike my colleague and my friend I offer my thanks for being you, and for giving me the opportunity to expand my students vocabulary which in turn gave her the opportunity to lead me to the insightful quote above.
The statement of Wilkes-Barre, PA School Superintendent Jeff Namey really says it all.
If we have an African American applicant, they are automatically interviewed, And if they are properly certified, and if we believe they can get the job done, its an automatic hire, Ron.
Got that? Black applicants are automatically interviewed, while others are not. If they meet the minimum standard, they are hired even if that means not hiring better qualified applicants for the job. That is the very definition of racial discrimination.
Ever wonder why Monica Lewinsky has never married? Well, me neither -- but heres the answer anyway.
The scandal almost destroyed his career and left his presidency permanently tainted.
But 15 years on, Bill Clintons former intern Monica Lewinsky has not got married or had children because she is reportedly still in love with him and 'always will be'.
Miss Lewinsky, 37, has run a successful business, hosted a reality television show and moved overseas - but has never found love, according to friends.
Monica still hasnt got over Bill and would take him back in a second, a friend said.
She told me: There will never be another man in my life that could make me as happy as he did",' the friend told the National Enquirer magazine.
The article does not disclose whether or not Lewinsky still has a passion for cigars like she did during her intern days.
Well, I guess I know what we'll start my geography classes with today.
An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan on Friday, triggering tsunamis and sending a massive wave filled with debris that included boats and houses inching toward land.
The number of fatalities was unclear, but Japan's Kyodo news reported at least 10 killed and numerous injured.
The quake prompted at least 19 countries and numerous Pacific islands to issue tsunami warnings. It was followed by powerful aftershocks that were felt in capital of Tokyo.
The quake's epicenter was 373 kilometers (231 miles) away from Tokyo, the United States Geological Survey said. But residents there continued to feel aftershocks long after the quake.
Hawaii, and even teh West Coast of the United States, are on alert for the tsunami, with experts trying to figure out how much of the transferred energy will have dissipated as the wave rolls across the Pacific Ocean.
Keep all of those impacted by this disaster in your thoughts and prayers today -- they certainly need it.
As many of you remember, I supported Michael Williams for US Senate in 2012 -- unfortunately, Kay Bailey Hutchison did not oblige Texas conservatives by resigning from office last year during her failed race for governor. Now Williams is part of a crowded field for the 212 race -- and taking on not only a couple of good conservatives, but at least one RINO and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is the 800 pound gorilla in the room due to his large war chest and huge personal fortune.
Michael Williams has a message for conservatives who would like to help him win the 2012 GOP nomination for US Senate.
To check out the website he mentioned, click here.
Democracy is clearly under attack in Wisconsin. The Democrats left the state in order to stop the deliberations of the state Senate. The Capitol Building has been illegally occupied and vandalized. Republican legislators have been on the receiving end of actual violence. And now they and their families are under threat of death because they dared to pass a law opposed by the organized criminal conspiracies known as public employee unions. Whereas the law passed here is designed to take control of the budget process and stop the looting of the public coffers, a new law needs to be passed that utterly breaks the public employee unions and guarantees that they are not permitted to operate in their customary manner in the state of Wisconsin.
And then there are these threats and death wishes against Gov. Scott Walker.
This assault on the constitutional process of government is funded by the forcible extraction of union dues and agency fees from the pockets of unwilling employees for private benefit. It must be stopped, and the best way is for the state of Wisconsin (and every other state as well) to emancipate the workers in the state from involuntary servitude to the union bosses and their bought-and-paid-for Democrat shills in public office. Nothing in a right to work law would prohibit the formation of a union or voluntary membership in one but it would put an end to the ability of unions to require membership by those who reject it.
By the way it may be time for Gov. Walker to call out the National Guard to deal with the union thugs, goons, and drones in Madison and possibly for the invocation of Article IV Section 4 of the US Constitution. After all, what we have here has long-since ceased to be legitimate protest and become insurrection. After all, We've had multiple calls for "revolt" from revolting folks like Jesse Jackson and Michael Moore. They want war -- let's bring it to them on both the legal and military fronts.
And let me say for the record that the era of civility demanded by liberals following the attempted murder of Rep. Gabby Giffords by a deranged left-winger is now officially over.
In George Orwells classic novel Animal Farm, all animals were equal but the pigs became more equal than the rest. At Hartford Seminary, the latter reality applies to the Muslims, according to recent graduate Andrew Bieszad.
Hartford Seminary prides itself on its large number of Muslim students, both domestic and foreign-exchange. Among my first experiences with the Muslim students there was in a class on interfaith dialogue. I had done interfaith dialogue before, so this was not a new experience for me. We were separated into groups for the dialogue, and when I was permitted to speak, I said, I am Catholic, and I do not believe in Islam. Following me, one of the Muslim students spoke. She said that she was Muslim, and then she addressed me directly. In a soft, Arabic accented voice, she told me, You are an infidel because you do not accept Islam and that according to Islam you do not deserve to live. A second Muslim student heartily agreed, and after repeating the first students comments, she added that in Islam, the Koran and the tradition of the prophet are very clear about this and that you deserve to die.
This was one of several publicly-made threatening statements and insults that I would receive from Muslim seminary classmates for my open disagreement with Islam. In another incident, I was in a class on modern Islamic thought and an American male convert to Islam informed me in front of my classmates and the professor, You deserve to die on account of your disagreement with Islam. Another student, an American Muslim woman of Egyptian heritage, informed me that I was dirty on account of being a Christian. When I tried to address these and other incidents with the HS administration, I was told directly that I was intolerant of Muslims and needed to show a better understanding of Islam as a solution. No action was ever taken by the seminary.
What bothered me were neither the insults nor the menacing remarks, but the pervasive notion that respect for Muslims was conditioned upon intentionally avoiding criticism of Islam. Not a single classmate, Muslim or non-Muslim, ever spoke up in support of my opinion, even on the principle that different views should be respected. In class, non-Muslim students and even professors showed a disproportionate respect for Muslim students when speaking about Islam, would not criticize certain matters, and even apologized for asking questions. Muslim students, on the other hand, were free to speak critically and even condescendingly about Christianity without any objection from my classmates and professors.
And sadly enough, that isnt even the worst of the outrages committed by the school and its faculty in order to be sensitive to the followers of Muhammad. A private email critical of a prominent Muslim faculty member and an organization she ran led to a student being banned from the schools MacDonald Center for Islamic Studies and from contacting the professor that was offended by the email when it was made public by its original recipient. One non-Muslim professor refused to give approval to a students thesis critical of Islam lest it interfere with his ability to work with Muslim students and faculty members who would not accept the conclusions made by the author.
This brings us to a rather simple reality Muslims insist upon taking advantages of all the rights and liberties afforded to religions and religious believers under the First Amendment and laws made pursuant to it. However, these same Muslims insist that non-Muslims not trespass against Islamic teachings and the sensitivities of Muslim believers when others seek to avail themselves of these same rights and privileges and our leaders and institutions are all too willing to oblige them by criticizing or suppressing that which offends the Muslims. We as Americans of all faiths must ask ourselves if such a situation is tolerable in a nation that claims to hold all religious believers to be equal and all religious beliefs to be tolerated. And if we will oblige the Muslims (a miniscule portion of our nations citizens) in the name of sensitivity, at what point have we effectively made Islam the established religion of a nation founded upon and predominantly populated by followers of the Judeo-Christian tradition?
In other words, can the First Amendment and religious liberty survive if Muslims become the pigs on the American Animal Farm?
Harry Reid wants to stop prostitution in Nevada but wants to fund cowboy poets. The GOP bill H.R. 1 eliminates arts funding. Harry's key quote; "Had that program not been around, the tens of thousands of people who come there every year would not exist. Wouldn't exist? Really? How does that work? Do they disappear in a puff of smoke or are they simply never born. Their would-be parents realize that if there is no funding for cowboy poets there is no point in reproducing.
Speaking as a fan of cowboys and rodeo, I love cowboy poetry. But I don't think our government needs to fund it -- and I do not believe failure to fund cowboy poetry will cause anyone to retroactively disappear without a trace.
This is distasteful and offensive and, dare I suggest, discriminatory on the part of the network.
An ABC pilot called Good Christian Bitches has religious and womens groups up in arms over what they describe as an extremely offensive and distasteful show title.
The dramedy, based on Kim Gatlins novel of the same name, will be brought to life by famed Sex and the City and 90210 executive producer Darren Star. The plot centers on the life of reformed mean girl Amanda, played by Talladega Nights actress Leslie Bibb, who returns to her hometown of Dallas to find herself fodder for malicious gossip from the women in the Christian community.
Now weve had shows with this less than original premise in the past think Peyton Place. Some have been successful, while others have flopped. But none has had that sort of attack against a religious group in the title.
And it is the title that is the problem. Would ABC have ever green-lighted a pilot called Good Jewish Bitches? Of course not, lest there be charges of anti-Semitism flying. And if they considered Good Muslim Bitches for the schedule, the Muslim community would explode with outrage and heads would roll literally at the network. But that title directed at Christians? Not a problem if Christians dont turn the other cheek they will be painted as hypocrites, extremists, and censors.
After all, if the union is splitting those dues 93% for the Democrats and 7% for Republicans, then it is clear that employees are being required to make political contributions to one side as a condition of employment even though union employees split their votes along markedly different lines.
State Rep. Nick Milroy is the Democratic state representative from Wisconsins 73rd assembly district. He was on Americas Radio News with anchors Chris Salcedo and Lori Lundin. Salcedo pointed out that union membership was split by their votes in 2010, 49% for Democrats and 47% for Republicans, nearly an even split. But unions donated 93% of their total contributions to Democrats in 2010, and 7% to Republicans or others. The question was asked if the assemblyman could understand why Republicans were not in favor of having tax payer funded dues go to fund Democrat campaigns? The assemblyman contended that public employees can opt out of the unions. But when pressed about how even those that opt out must pay union dues, the assemblyman suggested that those people that didnt want to be part of a union could find other work.
So got that if you dont want to have a portion of your wages as a public employee forcibly extracted for political purposes that you dont approve of, you just need to reconsider whether you want to work in the public sector. That, my friends, is the classic definition of the old and illegal practice of the lug, under which public employees were
expected extorted to raise funds for the politicians who controlled their fate. Isnt it time to put an end to this practice by freeing public employees from economic enslavement by the union bosses?
Ill just let this headline stand without comment.
How the human penis lost its spines
Actually, the article is quite fascinating DNA, androgen receptors, and all that stuff. If you are feeling like a little science geekiness, this is your serving for the day.
Gotta love these Democrat family values and the desire for special privilege.
A week into office, Dallas Mayor Dwaine Caraway has filed suit against the city he represents.
Caraway sought a temporary restraining order Tuesday blocking the city from releasing records about a disturbance at his home, which Caraway at first attributed to his friends Arthur and Archie but later admitted stemmed from a marital disagreement.
Dallas County District Judge Teresa Guerra Snelson agreed that the records should be kept under wraps for 14 days, while Caraways attorney works on his legal argument that the city should withhold them permanently.
The records, which include an audio recording, document the Jan. 2 investigation by an elite Dallas police team of a disturbance between Caraway and his wife, state Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway.
Attorney General Greg Abbott, who also is named in the lawsuit against the city, said last week that the records are public and must be released. Challenging that decision, Caraway also filed suit in Travis County against the attorney general.
Frankly, there is no legitimate reason to withhold the information in question. These public records are of the sort that are routinely made available to the public especially the press. Why should it be any different when those investigated are prominent Democrat politicians one of whom is the citys mayor? Doesnt the public have a right to know?
You have to be a real failure as president to need to bridge the gap between yourself and your own appointees who serve at your pleasure.
News this week of the first departure of a Cabinet secretary from the Obama administration comes amid a wide-ranging effort under the new chief of staff, William M. Daley, to repair badly frayed relations between the White House and the Cabinet.
During the first two years of President Obama's term, the administration fully embraced just a few of his superstar picks - people such as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. But many more agency chiefs conducted their business in relative anonymity, sometimes after running afoul of White House officials.
Both sides were deeply disgruntled. Agency heads privately complained that the White House was a "fortress" that was unwilling to accept input and that micromanaged their departments. Senior administration advisers rolled their eyes in staff meetings at the mention of certain Cabinet members, participants said.
You know, this might not have been a problem if this president had even a minutes experiencing managing anything other than his own failing law practice. But when youve never run anything other than your mouth, running a government seems to be well above your pay grade. It takes big brass ones to be the Commander-in-Chief -- and Barack is apparently hung like a Shetland pony.
Big labor wanted the so-called "Employee Free Choice Act" to abolish secret ballot elections and allow for the establishment of a union in a workplace through card check. I opposed that because of my belief in the secret ballot as a method for avoiding the sort of coercive practices that labor unions have long been known for.
But to be honest, I'm not so crazy about elections that allow a majority of employees to force their unwilling coworkers into a union -- after all, that is just as much of a violation of the right o the individual worker to choose to join a union free of coercion as card check is. So that's why I'm pleased to read this little bit of news.
Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), introduced the National Right to Work Act to reduce workplace discrimination by protecting the free choice of individuals to form, join, or assist labor organizations, or to refrain from such activities. Seven Republicans joined Senator DeMint as original cosponsors to the Right to Work Act including Senators Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), James Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) and David Vitter (R-Louisiana).
I don't disagree with those who claim that the right to join a union is implicit in the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of association. But for that right to mean anything, each and every worker must also have the right to decline to join that same union -- and to decline to give financial support to it through the forced "agency fees" that those who refuse o join are required to pay in states which have abrogated their right to freely choose not to associate with a union that they do not feel represents their interests or beliefs. So let's hope that this legislation passes quickly -- because who could possibly object to freedom of choice for every individual employee?.
And on the same statement.
You cant separate social issues from domestic issues. They go hand in handNow you wont get an argument out of me on this one. I believe that social issues are important. But that does not mean that they need to be the emphasis of Republicans and other conservatives at this time. While we cannot jettison them, we may find it necessary to prioritize important issues and values in order to have success with any of them.
Today we face the economic crisis of barry Husseins Great Dem-Pression and the exploding deficits that he has created as a part of the ObamaCare scheme. Id suggest that if we do not put our energy towards dealing with those issues first, it wont matter how much success we have with the social issues.
Yeah, the folks over at ThinkProgress (a left-wing site noted for neither thinking nor advocacy of progress) believe they have a scandal here. Yeah, thats right Senator Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts) appealed to one of the Koch brothers for campaign funds when they met at the dedication of a Koch-funded cancer research center this week. The conversation here is between Brown, David Kogh, and MIT President Susan Hockfield
BROWN: Your support during the election, it meant a, it meant a ton. It made a, it made a difference and I can certainly use it again. Obviously, the uh . . .
KOCH: When are you running, uh, for the next term?
KOCH: Oh, okay.
BROWN: Im in the cycle, Im in the cycle right now. Were already banging away. But you guys should all be very proud. I mean this is amazing. Ive actually taken the tour and uh just the things you aim to attack this issue is, is huge.
Good heavens! A solicitation for a campaign donation from a rich CONSERVATIVE. How horrible! Thats dirty money, not at all like the money that Think Progress gets from George Soros, a billionaire convicted of financial misdeeds who also collaborated with the Nazis during his teenage years. No-no-no-no-no the two are totally different, and there is simply no comparison between taking money from a libertarian conservative and taking money from an ex-con who helped round up Jews for Hitler. Libertarian bad, Nazi-collaborator good. Because, of course, guy who was one of Hitlers little helpers in deporting his fellow Jews to the concentration camps supports socialist causes advancing the cause of international socialism today just like he advanced the cause of National Socialism in the 1940s. David Koch and his brother, on the other hand, just want government out of the lives and pocketbooks of Americans to the greatest degree possible apparently based upon the notion that free enterprise, private property, and personal liberty are American values.
When I saw the headline, I was shocked and outraged? Dump Shakespeare in school? You must be kidding!
But then I read the article, and I think that Dame Helen Mirren may have the right idea after all.
Honestly, I dont think kids should be made to read Shakespeare at all, she said. I think childrens first experience of Shakespeare should always be in performance, in the theatre or on film. Mostly in theatre, but it should be a performance because that makes it alive and real.
And that took me back to my days as an English teacher. I worked with a couple of Shakespeare plays with my students, and they always struggled. But it was not just Shakespeare; it was any play. And therein lies the problem these are dramatic works intended to be performed on stage, not novels designed to be read. I came upon my love of Shakespeare not from reading the plays, but from seeing them performed in my case via the old BBC performances of the Shakespeare plays shown on PBS back in the 1970s and early 1980s. I got them when I saw them performed (though I kept the text handy) in a way that I never did when I simply read them.
So it is not about letting the kids get by without reading, thereby producing a generation of illiterates it is about presenting the text as is was designed to be presented by the author. And that, my friends, is showing Shakespeares works (and those of other playwrights) the respect they truly deserve.
Remember how many times weve been told that our military is full of poor minorities who do the fighting and dying on behalf of rich white folks who set the policy?
Well, looks like that is just one more element of the fact-free mythology of liberalism.
The U.S. military is too white and too male at the top and needs to change recruiting and promotion policies and lift its ban on women in combat, an independent report for Congress said Monday.
Seems to me that there is only one solution to this problem an affirmative action draft designed to get our military up to snuff in terms of its diversity. It is time to start excluding some of those white folks from the service and instead rounding up black, Hispanic, and Asian boys and girls for immediate military service, whether they want to or not.
After all, Charlie Rangel advocated just such a thing in the name of shared sacrifice a few years back when he thought he could undermine the war effort by drafting white kids well, now that we know that the white kids have been volunteering and the minorities have been shirking their patriotic duty, Im sure that the congressman from Harlem will step right up and run with my proposal.
know I feel so much safer. Dont you?
The U.S. government formally requested the early release of a convicted terrorist from federal prison, even though the terrorist admitted that he continued to support the killing of U.S. soldiers serving in Muslim countries.
Mohammed Babar, born and raised in New York City, was arrested in 2004 and pled guilty to four counts of providing material support to al Qaeda and one count of providing funds to Al Qaeda. After Babar had served four years and eight months, he was released on bail in late 2008.
In late 2010, the government filed a sealed request for leniency for Babar because of his "extraordinary cooperation" in terror investigations, asking for an "appropriate reduction" in his sentence even though federal sentencing guidelines indicate a sentence of 30 to 70 years in prison. The letter, now unsealed, notes that he was critical in securing conviction in four cases in three countries.
After the request, a judge sentenced Babar to 10 years of supervised release and a court fee of $500.
"According to Babar," says the request for leniency, dated Nov. 23, 2010, "he still supports today the killing of American military service members on battlefields in Muslim countries. Babar has advised that he also supports the killing of Americans (both military and civilian) in Muslim countries 'occupied' by the United States."
Yes, he testified against other terrorists but how long until we find that Mohammed Babar is back in the terrorism business, actively assisting in the murder of Americans in the name of Allah?
Just remember -- civility was the buzzword when the Left thought they could pin a murderous rampage by a deranged left-winger on conservatives. Now the uncivil language is coming from a core constituency of the Democrat Party.
Funny, I haven't heard all those liberals calling for "civility" or "a new tone" in Madison, Wisconsin -- or at any of the solidarity demonstrations elsewhere.
What that shows, of course, is that "be civil" really meant "conservatives need to stop dissenting from liberal positions". Or in the words of our friends on the Left -- "Shut the f*&% up!"
I cannot help but appreciate Donald Trump's rejoinder to Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee after the latter suggest that the former was "famous for being famous" and "not going to be president".
"In all fairness, he's not someone that's exactly at the top of this list," Trump said of Alexander during an interview on Fox News. "He's done very little over the years and he does not seem to be an important player in Washington, unfortunately."
Let's be honest -- in the great scheme of things Lamar Alexander is not all that important. Who is important? The American people. If they decide that Trump is a credible candidate, that is what matters -- not what one career politician (or even a dozen) thinks on the matter. And while I don't find Trump to be a good candidate -- his personal foibles and business dealings will give his opponent plenty of dirt to use, and his positions on the issues are out of step with mine -- I welcome his involvement in the race if he decides he is interested in making a run.
While these papers pat themselves on the back for their fidelity to the First Amendment, lets keep something in mind: These same papers excoriated the Supreme Court when it held that Congress lacked the power to ban a political documentary produced with corporate money. What gives?
The answer is that the Westboro Baptist Churchs speech, while vile, is also totally inconsequential. Nobody is going to be persuaded by their inarticulate grunts of rage. And it is relatively easy to tolerate speech that you do not believe will persuade anyone. What is considerably harder is to stand up for speech that is persuasive, speech that might actually cause people to adopt beliefs or enact policies that you disagree with.
I'll even take it a step further.
Corporate political speech was, in fact, allowed before the Citizens United decision. That speech was limited, however, to corporate political speech by MEDIA corporations -- like the New York Times, Washington Post, CBS, CNN, and the like. Citizens United overturned their monopoly on corporate political speech -- and in doing so opened the marketplace of ideas to voices that loudly and vociferously disagree with the dominant political ethos of corporate media. Want proof? Consider the manner in which these same media outlets have worked to delegitimize the one major conservative player in the corporate media world -- FoxNews. What the bulk of corporate media wants is not simply to have the marketplace of idea cleansed of non-media corporate speech -- those in corporate media who decide what the "right" (or should that be "Left"?) positions on matters of import don't want to let any competing view be heard if it cannot be painted as outside the mainstream and beyond the pale of civilized discussion. Therefore the Koch brothers must be silenced -- but the Phelps Phamily Phreaks must be left free to speak words that will anyone with an ounce of decency find to be revolting.
He is right to do so, but demonstrates that every campaign promise he made has an expiration date.
President Obama announced Monday that military trials will resume for detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, saying the tribunals are an "important tool in combating international terrorists."
The president, who issued an executive order outlining the changes Monday afternoon, said Defense Secretary Robert Gates will rescind his January 2009 ban against bringing new charges against terror suspects in the military commissions.
Obama said in a statement that the decision was part of a plan to "broaden our ability to bring terrorists to justice."
"For example," McDonough said, "we know there are many different reasons why individuals -- from many different faiths -- succumb to terrorist ideologies."
Yes, we can find examples of individuals of other, non-Islamic religions engaging in acts of terrorism. But when one considers the number of such non-Muslim terrorists, one has to be struck by the fact that they are relatively few in number.
After all, how many acts of terrorism have been committed by Buddhist terrorists over the last 20 years? By Jewish terrorists? What about those by Hindu terrorists? And even if one lumps all the various forms of Christianity in together, one finds that acts of terrorism by Christians are relatively rare when compared to the number of acts of terrorism committed by Muslims. And as much as I disagree with Islam theologically, I take no pleasure in that disparity.
Which brings us back to the fundamental question at issue in the hearings about to begin in Washington, DC, under the direction of Rep. Peter King what is it that leads to Muslims being so much more susceptible to the allure of terrorism to accomplish their religious and political goals? And related to that, why is it that the Muslim community is seemingly more offended by the fact that some seek answers to that question than they are by the rise of Islamic terrorism? It strikes me that if true Islam truly rejects terrorism and that true Muslims truly seek to put an end to it, then they would be the most vociferously outspoken opponents of the false ideology of jihadi Islamism and the most interested in rooting it out.
Remember how Democrats howled about the Bush deficits? Well, in FY2007, the deficit was $162.8 billion. In FY2002, it was $158 billion. The highest it ever got was in FY 2008 at a whopping $455 billion.
Well, the deficit for the month of February, 2011 was $223 billion.
The federal government posted its largest monthly deficit in history in February at $223 billion, according to preliminary numbers the Congressional Budget Office released Monday morning.
That figure tops last Februarys record of $220.9 billion, and marks the 29th straight month the government has run in the red a modern record.
Yeah, forget those cuts that newly elected congresscritters promised last year a liberal group is now proposing that the federal government increase spending in order to decrease unemployment.
A liberal think tank is calling on Congress to embrace a $382 billion stimulus plan to lower unemployment.
The call from the liberal Demos group comes as the White House and congressional Democrats and Republicans argue over how much to cut this year's spending. House Republicans have proposed a total of $61 billion in cuts this year, while the White House has agreed to a total of $10.5 billion in cuts.
Officials with Demos told reporters on a conference call that their new stimulus plan would create 8.2 million government jobs over two years while lowering unemployment from 8.9 percent to 4.5 percent.
Commenting upon the latest effort by Muslims to exterminate the Christian minority among them in the Middle East, Mark Noonan cries out the following with anguish.
They are attacking my brothers and sisters and shouting Allahu Akbar while they do it. Someone tell me how many more murdered Christians and desecrated churches am I supposed to put up with? How many more months and years am I to wait patiently for an alleged Moslem majority to stamp out a tiny minority of extremists who are causing the problem? Is there any limit to the amount of brutal attacks? Or are we Christians supposed to just sit there and take it until we are totally destroyed? Please, someone, tell me what is the answer to the question?
Mark implicitly calls for a new Crusade. Indeed, he points out that the military response by Christian Europe to Muslim oppression of Christians in the Holy Land and military incursions into Christian Europe broke the back of Islamic might and may have moderated the treatment of Christians in much of the Muslim world. And yet, Im not prepared to call for Holy War against a quarter of the worlds population especially since I am no longer sure that there are enough believers left in the nominally Christian world to actually accomplish such a task.
And yet, there is a better model for us to consider and one which the secular liberals ought to embrace if they have even an ounce of moral consistency.
In 1995 and 1999, Bill Clinton acted righteously, I would argue to protect Muslims in the former Yugoslavia from genocide by their Serbian Orthodox neighbors. Applying the same principle today, ought the United States and its European allies be prepared to insert forces into the Muslim world to protect Christians from imminent genocide by Muslims? Can Muslims who praised and benefited from that earlier effort offer any objection to such an effort? Indeed, is it not the obligation of allegedly moderate and civilized Muslims to support such efforts and endorse them to put a stop to the murderous misdeeds of those they call extremists acting outside of the Islamic religious tradition?
Of course, I doubt that such an effort will ever take place. After all, the West has so embraced multiculturalism as a replacement to its Christian heritage that there may not be the will to defend Christians from Muslims when that defense might be seen as cultural imperialism rather than the enforcement of universal human rights norms. So absent a profound human rights tragedy of massive scale (rather than relatively small incidents like the recent ones in Egypt or Pakistan) or a terrorist incident that dwarfs the 9/11 attacks, I do not expect to see us have the will engage in a war against Islam in the defense of human rights any more than we will to engage in Crusade against Mohammedanism in the name of Christ.
Do you really want an answer to this question?
WHAT WOULD Jesus think of Sojourners new campaign?
Sojourners is a liberal Christian group whose mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world. It is based in Washington, D.C., and engages regularly in the capitals political battles.
Religious groups with a political agenda are as American as the First Amendment, and Sojourners has not been shy about weighing in on the current congressional fight over federal spending. On its website, in e-mails sent to members of Congress, and most recently in a full-page ad in the political newspaper Politico, Sojourners has been asking: What Would Jesus Cut?
Now I really dont have much respect for Jim Wallis and the folks at Sojourners and dont particularly care what he thinks.. But since he is asking, Ill be glad to answer with a few.
But ultimately, it doesnt matter what Jesus would cut. After all, as liberals who idolize the likes of Jim Wallis like to point out, the United States is a secular democracy, not a Christian nation. To premise our budgeting priorities on some religious notion of what Jesus would cut especially when that means accepting one particular groups definition of what is unbiblical is therefore a violation of the liberal-embraced notion of separation of church and state.
Indeed, Im shocked by the hypocrisy of liberals in failing to denounce the ads sponsored by Wallis and his group as reeking of theocratic triumphalism just like they do conservative Christian groups that seek to spin public policy in the direction of their theology.
Well, maybe not shocked. Not even surprised, actually. More like disgusted just like usual.
You know, given that this discussion.
Babies born after just 23 weeks of pregnancy or earlier should be left to die, a leading NHS official has said.
Dr Daphne Austin said that despite millions being spent on specialised treatments, very few of these children survive as their tiny bodies are too underdeveloped.
She claimed keeping them alive is only prolonging their agony, and it would be better to invest the money in care for cancer sufferers or the disabled.
Dr Austin, who advises local health trusts how to spend their budgets, said doctors were doing more harm than good by resuscitating 23-weekers and that treatments have very marginal benefit.
Here are this weeks full results:
You don't need to go more than thirty seconds into this video to understand the precise attitude of the public sector unionists who are fighting proposals to rein-in employment costs of public sector workers.
Did you hear the money line at about 27 seconds into the video?
Really -- that sums it all up very nicely. They believe they are more entitled to your earnings than you are. In other words, they don't really work for you (you know, the "public" who these alleged "public servants" are supposedly serving) -- YOU work for THEM, and you only have a right to that portion of their earnings that they leave you after they collect their pay and benefits. Absolutely stunning!
And before someone points out that I am a public school teacher and therefore one of those public sector workers I'm railing about, let me make a couple of points.
So why the difference between my view and the view of this protester and the unionists in Madison and other locations? I do not believe I am ENTITLED to an ever-increasing portion of someone else's paycheck without their consent just because I work for the government. And while I believe that we teachers in Texas are underpaid (our pay ranking in the bottom third of the nation), I do not believe that this can be changed in the middle of the worst economic crisis in my lifetime.
Jared Loughner is a piece of human debris that needs to be dispatched to his maker at the earliest opportunity. That said, I find some of these charges disturbing because of their overreaching nature.
A federal grand jury in Arizona has indicted accused Tucson gunman Jared Lee Loughner on 49 counts in the January rampage that wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others and left six dead, including a chief federal district judge.
Employing a novel legal argument, the superseding indictment adds 46 additional federal charges to the case against Loughner on the theory that the crime at the Safeway where Giffords was meeting with constituents occurred on protected federal ground, as if it happened inside Congress.
Whats the problem? Well, there is no statute that makes a Safeway parking lot federal territory. There is no pre-existing federal Freedom of Access To Supermarket Parking Lots Act that would make this a federal crime. Indeed, the only possible grounds for any federal charges would be the shootings of the congresswoman and her staff and, arguably, the murder of Judge John Roll if they can make the case that he was acting in an official capacity by stopping at the meeting to speak to Rep. Giffords. And even if there is a conviction, I wonder if it more dispassionate appellate judges (as opposed to a jury) will be willing to let such an effort stand.
And lest you forget after the Oklahoma City bombing, only the murders of FBI agents were prosecuted in federal court. The other murders were handled in state court. That precedent should be followed in this case.
From all-time Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings, regarding Democrat attempts to recruit him to run for US Senate in 2004.
Jennings continued: "I am not making this up. Win on a game show and you can apparently run for the US Senate. That was when I realized the Democratic Party was f@#$ed in '04."
Not that it is any better they chose an accomplishment-free community organizer as their presidential candidate in 2008. Look how well that has turned out for America.
Barry Hussein and his minions dont want to admit it but the auto-jihadi does.
THE airport worker who allegedly killed two US soldiers is claimed to have told police: I did it for Allah.
Kosovan Arid Uka, 21, is accused of shooting dead the airmen and wounding two others after attacking their bus outside the main airport in Frankfurt, Germany, earlier this week.
He allegedly shouted Islamic slogans and opened fire, later telling police he wanted to do my bit for Jihad. Officers said further deaths were only avoided as his pistol jammed.
Not, of course, that there is anything wrong with Islam, or anything peculiar about that faith that makes its adherents more likely to engage in murderous rampages against those who offend its tenets. After all, weve had problems for years with Amish folks blowing themselves up in Pennsylvania to protest the use of electricity and automobiles by non-Amish. And lets not forget the rise in religious war based upon the teachings found in the Book of Mormon.
Oh, yeah neither of those things has happened. I guess it really is just Islam.
After all, the failure of someone to secure and store their ammunition properly is troubling. But the mere presence of live ammunition at the area around the building is not at all troubling to me.
Police say they have found live ammunition scattered on the ground around the Wisconsin Capitol.
University of Wisconsin Police Chief Susan Riseling says 41 rounds of .22-caliber ammunition were found Thursday morning scattered at several locations outside the Capitol.
Some may freak out, upset that this could mean the presence of guns among the protesters, and that the presence of guns indicates a possibility of violence.
And more to the point, I support the right of the people to keep and bear arms, consistent with the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. If any of the union goons is packing, thats fine by me as long as they dont make threats or engage in any actual violence, and provided they take proper steps to ensure that any guns and weapons are carried and stored properly. This is the position I took during the period of massive tea party rallies when some individuals chose to exercise their Second Amendment rights to carry guns while exercising their First Amendment rights, and I will remain consistent with those principles now despite my difference in position on the issues with the Wisconsin unions.
But dont be dropping your ammo around the grounds. That indicates you are either careless or trying to make a threat. And I most definitely reject either of those.
President Obama and the U.S. news media are treating Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in a racist and hostile manner, according to a U.S. communist revolutionary party.
The Workers World Party called for U.S. progressives to intensify a class struggle in the country in solidarity with Libya.
Remember the rule if you are accused of racism because of your treatment of someone who is a minority and you are to their right politically, you are automatically guilty. So suck it up, Barry.
To the tune of $7.5 million.
State officials said Thursday that damage to the marble inside and out the State Capitol would cost an estimated $7.5 million.
Cari Anne Renlund, chief legal counsel for the state Department of Administration, said in Dane County court that estimates of damage to marble includes $6 million to repair damaged marble inside the Capitol, $1 million for damage outside and $500,000 for costs to supervise the damage.
Much of the damage apparently has come from tape used to put up signs and placards at the Capitol.
It was not immediately clear how the estimates were made, though the state is apparently relying on opinions by historical architects, one of whom works for the U.S. Park Service.
So now we have it the unions and their supporters have havent only vandalized democracy and the taxpayers wallets, but also the building they occupied as well.
I've come to the conclusion that Debbie Wasserman Schultz the stupidest member of Congress.
I was at a childcare center in my district, Monday and literally stood with moms who who when they lose their childcare, theyre going to have to stop working. Theyre not going to be able to send their kids to school and they wont get an early childhood education.
A couple of observations.
1) The last time I checked, Ohio had a system of free public education for all children from Kindergarten through Grade 12. Nothing in the legislation here changes that, so every mother -- even the unemployed, will still be able to send her children to school.
2) For most of American history, there was no "early childhood education" program outside the home. The result was not rampant lawlessness. Indeed, most of those folks grew up to be productive, non-criminal citizens who built a great nation.
3) Let's call "early childhood education" programs what they are -- government subsidized daycare. What Ditzie Debbie is complaining about is that these unmarried baby mamas can't drop their kids off at a government facility from the time that they are born and let the government raise them.
Sorry, Debbie -- as far as this American is concerned, cut away. But let's add one program -- for the sterilization of women who can't be bothered to raise their kids without government subsidies for every aspect of parenthood.
Remember when it was a bad thing to compare political opponents to Hitler or Stalin. You know, back in 2009 and 2010. Well, Senator Sherrod Brown (Demagogue -- Ohio) feels it is acceptable when the opponents are Republicans.
As a nation, I look back in history and some of the worst governments weve ever had, you know one of the the first thing they did? They went after the trade unions, he said. Hitler didnt want unions, Stalin didnt want unions. [Former Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak didnt want independent unions.
I could do something similar. After all, Hitler owned a dog. So did Stalin. And you know what? Sherrod Brown owns a dog, too. There you have it -- SHERROD BROWN IS JUST LIKE HITLER AND STALIN!
Of course, Brown is wrong on his point -- not only are those seeking to rein in public employee unions not like Hitler or Stalin, Hitler and Stalin were not like the hitler and Stalin he compares certain GOP governors to. After all, Hitler consolidated unions into a larger labor federation that was more socialist (in this case, National Socialist) than those that existed before. And Stalin likewise made unions simultaneously more powerful and an organ of the state.
Now Brown (and his apologsts) make reference to the next line in his statement (in which he said he was not "comparing what's happened to the workers in Madison or in Columbus to Hitler and Stalin."), but that does not fly. After all -- he had just made the comparison, so the denial is meaningless, and an absolute lie.
It is well known that unions give large, overflowing sacks of campaign cash to Democrats. This is especially true of public sector unions. In return, Democrat officials are expected to play dead when it comes to protecting the financial interests of taxpayers, and instead give the public sector unions ever higher salaries and benefits. Part of their ability to do this is based upon the unions ability to extract mandatory union dues/agency fees from individuals who might not otherwise choose to be a part of the union. In other words, the source of their funding is coerced paycheck deductions rather than voluntary membership and the Democrats are bound and determined to make sure that public sector unions have that coercive power at their disposal.
Now as I have mentioned, I have always struggled with the notion that public employees can be coerced into joining any organization as a condition of public employment. Moreover, this is especially true when that membership forces public employees to give their money for political spending with which they disagree. At the same time, I have a problem with government forbidding groups of Americans from voluntarily joining together to engage in political speech and activity. But I believe there may be a solution to these problems, one that fair-minded Americans of all political persuasions ought to be able to get behind and which ought to be able to pass if politicians are prepared to hold firm to American values rather than their own self-interest.
Simply put, public sector unions must be given a choice either retain the ability to coerce financial support for the union as a condition of public employment, or retain the ability to use funds raised via union dues and fees for purposes of political speech and activity. And to be fair about it, each union must be permitted to decide on its own whether it wishes to be a mandatory union or a political union. To use an example, the State Teachers Union could continue to maintain its monopolistic hold on teachers by negotiating a union shop agreement with the government but not one penny of the STUs funds could be used to fund direct or indirect spending or contributions to any candidate of any party. If, on the other hand, the STU were to choose to continue to contribute money to individual candidates or political parties, or to use funds for things such as phone banks, then no teacher would be required to join the union and therefore pay this latter day lug to a partisan organization as a condition of employment. And after all, who could possibly object to a ban of government forcing its employees to make political donations as a condition of employment?
Im curious if such legislation were enacted, which choice would the public sector unions make? Would they demand the right to negotiate wages and benefits for all employees, complete with the ability to compel the government to terminate those who refuse to pay dues or agency fees? Or would they instead opt for becoming explicitly political organizations, based upon voluntary membership?