On April 16, 2011 as Texas dealt with wildfires during a major drought, Texas Governor Rick Perry asked the President of the United States for a federal disaster declaration. To date two weeks later, as the fires continue, there has been no federal response.
On the other hand, in less than 36 hours Barack Obama was not only able to issue a disaster declaration for the state of Alabama and its deadly tornadoes, but also visit the afflicted state.
As President Obama meets with Alabama families affected by deadly tornadoes that swept through the South earlier this week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is asking: What about us?
The Republican, long a critic of the president, once again ripped the Obama administration Thursday. This time, he bashed Obama for not responding to an April 16 request for a declaration of emergency in the Lone Star State, where wildfires have destroyed nearly 2 million acres.
Now I could personally not care less about a presidential visit to the state by the Kenyan's son. We don't need him to come photo-opping into our state. What we need is assistance in dealing with a natural disaster. That Obama is ignoring the request appears to be one more act of partisan politics against a state where he has no chance of winning in 2012 and where the political leadership is generally is strongly opposed to his policies is one more indication of his pettiness and partisanship -- and his unfitness for the office which he holds. Where are Texas Democrats speaking out in opposition to a president playing politics with disaster declarations?
Mind you, I'm not faulting Obama for the disaster declaration in Alabama. it is appropriate and necessary. I'm faulting him for having apparently made a policy decision to punish one state for its daring to oppose him politically. Coupled with the decision to not send a space shuttle to Houston's Johnson Space Center despite its intimate connection to the shuttle program, it becomes increasingly clear that Barack Obama does not consider himself to be president of all the United States.
This one, which no doubt summed up the feelings of all those involved in the beautiful events of the royal wedding.
Scripture tells us to make a joyful noise to the Lord -- I suspect he looked with favor on this acrobatic offering, too.
And yet, a great many of us do.
One can, of course, reasonably seek to explain this anomaly -- and as I've thought abut it, I've come up with several reasons.
1) Everybody loves a party. And this is quite a party. The British royals are not merely a part of the government of the UK, but of the entire commonwealth, so a lot of the world was celebrating. Indeed, one of my colleagues reported to me that his lovely wife -- and they grow them pretty, charming, and smart up in Canada -- was up and dressed hours early because she wanted to see her future king and queen. How many times was that scene repeated around the world. We Americans wanted to join in the fun.
2) Everybody loves romance. Here's an unlikely pair of college sweethearts getting married despite the odds. How can you not love it? Imagine my surprise at hearing a 17-year-old Hispanic girl here in my classroom today complaining that she had to miss the first kiss because it was set to coincide with the bell for first period. She'll likely never meet the newlyweds, but she knows a good story when she sees it.
3) Everyone loves a fairy tale. This one had it all -- knights on horses, open carriages, and a common girl marrying a handsome prince. All that was missing was William slaying a dragon to get the fair Kate. We were raised on these stories -- Cinderella, anyone? -- and so were attracted to the real thing.
4) This is a once-in-a-generation event. I watched the groom's parents wed three decades ago. I was a recent high school graduate, preparing for my first semester of college. This morning I joined my wife to witness this little bit of history, now a middle aged teacher. Should I be blessed to live so long as to see the heir to William marry, I fully expect to be at least a septuagenarian. How can the spectacle not draw the eye?
5) We instinctively are drawn to pomp and ceremony, even when it isn't ours. Growing up Catholic, I came to understand and appreciate the role of the pope and the ceremony that surrounds him. Yet many born and bred Protestants look upon the pope and the great ceremonies of Catholicism with a sort of awe and longing for that they do not have, even if they are staunch heirs of the Reformation. We Americans don't have royalty or the great ceremonies of the monarchy and so in our hearts we long for the externals of that grand institution even while we hold to the republican principles of the Founders.
6) Who doesn't love a happily-ever-after? Consider the narrative of William's life. He was born to a mother fooled into marriage based on something other than love. At an early age he was exposed to the scandals that ultimately led to his parents' divorce. He suffered through the agony that followed his mother's tragic death in a senseless accident. And yet somehow, despite an upbringing that might well have left him inclined to avoid marrying at all, he found love in an unlikely place -- and he and his beloved endured and strengthened their bond over the years until they have at last married. Hollywood could not have made this movie.
So in the end, I cannot understand how man or woman could resist this show -- a celebration of country, of tradition, and of love.
Tanya McDowell thought by enrolling her son at a Norwalk elementary school, he would have a better life than she did. "The school was better than the one in Bridgeport," says McDowell. "I want the best for my child. There's nothing I wouldn't do for him. I think a lot of parents in my situation would have done the same."
McDowell, 33, is charged with first-degree larceny for allegedly stealing more than $15,000 the average amount it takes to educate a child per year in Norwalk. McDowell allegedly used her babysitter's address at Roodner Court, a Norwalk Housing Authority complex, to enroll her son at Brookside Elementary School. McDowell, who is originally from Bridgeport but has no fixed residence, is an unemployed single mother. She currently stays with a friend in Bridgeport but has also stayed at the Open Door Shelter in South Norwalk.
When the Norwalk police arrested McDowell last Thursday, she had no idea why. "I kept asking, 'What did I do?' " she says in an interview outside the offices of Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, or NEON, overlooking the big chessboard in Ryan Park. It wasn't until she arrived at the police station that she learned of the charges. McDowell posted $25,000 bond with the help of her godfather and has her next court date April 27.
A couple of observations here on why this prosecution is wrong.
1) The family lives, at least part of the time, in Norwalk, and it would therefore not be unreasonable for her to have enrolled her son there while living in the district.
2) Federal law makes it clear that homeless students cannot be forced to leave a school because of residency issues.
3) It appears that this district does not prosecute residency cases. Why this one, when the parent in question appears to have acted in good faith and even enrolled the student in another district when requested to do so?
Now I've been very clear on this matter since I first wrote on it back in 2008 -- Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961, and is therefore a natural born citizen under terms of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. I've said all along I believed that earlier document released by Obama accurately reflected the contents of the original Certificate of Live Birth -- though I was wrong in thinking that there might be salacious details about his parents' marital status reflected in the document filed in 1961.
A couple of quick points.
2) So do those who try to argue that Obama is not a natural born citizen despite having been born in Hawaii.
4) None of this lessens the importance of so-called "birther bills" that require the filing of proof of eligibility of presidential candidates
As a part of his ongoing effort to make America more energy-dependent on foreign oil -- and bring us down to the standard of living in the rest of the world.
"We're talking to oil producers around the world and letting them know it's in their interest to make sure that high oil prices don't end up hurting the world economy," Obama said in an interview with the CBS affiliate WTKR in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
"So they need to increase supplies. And obviously there's been some disruptions because of Libya but we think that they can make it up and we're pushing them to do so," the president said.
In the mean time, the Obama Regime is shutting down oil exploration and production in various parts of the USA based upon concerns about villages over 70 miles away, slowing down drilling permits in the Gulf despite a court order to the contrary, considering shutting down production over lizard habitats and otherwise monkeying around with out domestic oil supply.
Three years ago, someone suggested a radically different policy that might already be helping to deal with the problems we face today. For that matter, another visionary leader had a policy that would have resulted in plenty of oil flowing today -- but Dems blocked it.
So the Kenyan's son is continuing to push the same no new oil policy of the past that has brought us to this crisis -- and Barry Hussein really doesn't seem interested in solving it by action here at home.
I think that this answers the question quite clearly.
The brutal crackdown by Syrian President Bashar Assad may finally be getting the attention of world leaders -- but apparently not enough to stop Syria from becoming the newest member of the U.N. Human Rights Council.
And despite calling for an independent investigation into the crackdown, which has left hundreds dead, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apparently wont do much about blocking Syrias path to the human rights group.
Let's see -- Syria just ended a half-century of "emergency rule" that limited virtually all human rights. And even having put an end to that law on paper, there has been no real change in practice. Not only that, but Syria is killing its citizens in the streets for exercising a basic human right -- the right to gather together and call for fundamental change in their nation;s government.
But somehow this rogue state will be making determinations about human rights for the UN? That's all we need to know -- there is nothing to be gained by this nation by continuing our membership, and financial support, of this morally bankrupt organization. I agree that we at least need to resign our seat on the Human Rights Council if Syria is elected -- but I really think we should implement a "US out of UN/UN out of US" policy if that happens.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R) will announce he is forming a presidential exploratory committee on Tuesday in Iowa, the congressman said Monday.
The two-time presidential candidate is scheduled to make his announcement during a press conference in the state capital of Des Moines at 4:45 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. During the press conference, Paul will also name members of his campaign's Iowa leadership team, according to a source close to the congressman.
Well, now we know that all the nuts, bigots, and loons with no social skills living in their mama's basement will have a candidate addressing their interests.
Words of wisdom from Rachel Maddow.
Maddow is an anchor who is, she says later, spitting out the newly learned word, "definitely not an 'autocutie'".
I hate to break it to you, Rachel, but you are not ANY sort of cutie. You also are not very good at presenting the news -- as your ratings show. Good thing for you that GE willing to let MSNBC be their network's loss leader in their quest to prop up the Kenyan's son, so you get to continue being one of Barack obama's useful idiots.
Over at Commentary, Alana Goodman suggested that had Terry Jones just been allowed to protest in front of the mosque in Dearborn, the entire event would be over but instead, the authorities have made this unsavory character into a free speech martyr. But the concluding paragraph concerns me.
But there may still be a positive outcome from this episode, if it ends up prompting a serious national conversation about free speech and Islam. Canada and European countries have been struggling with this for years, and its probably about time for us to confront the issue as well.
And make no mistake about what was going on here.
Terry Jones wanted to peacefully protest on a public sidewalk in front of a house of worship. One may argue about whether one thinks that doing so is a good idea or whether one agrees with the message, but such protests are something generally permitted in this country. Weve seen gay rights groups do so in front of Mormon churches in response to anti-gay marriage initiatives. Weve seen groups of sexual abuse survivors do so in front of Catholic churches. Jewish congregations have been the target of demonstrations about Israel.
Yet somehow, a protest in front of a mosque is treated as different. Why? Because Muslims have shown themselves unwilling to be treated like any other group of believers, both here in the United States and in other parts of the world. Time and again they have threatened to respond with violence to even the most peaceful demonstrations. In short, the Islamic propensity for violence threatens is now being used to create special protections for Muslims that are not available to followers of any other faith a limitation on the liberty of every other American that grants a single faith a superior status above all others.
Then again, maybe this is exactly what needs to be confronted is Islam compatible with the values at the heart America? Is one religion to be immune from criticism, critique, or insult because its adherents will not tolerate them? Can we tolerate a faith that is not merely vocally intolerantly, but is instead violently intolerant? And moving beyond the abstract, we as a people need to decide whether we place a greater value on the general liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment -- freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition -- or on the tender religious sentiments of Muhammads followers.
Students in one local school district do not have to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance if they dont want to. Its a policy change that even the superintendent doesnt agree with, so why did the district do it?
In this town of 3,600 people, theres an American flag around just about every street corner and for school kids, the daily routine of standing up and saying the Pledge has never been questioned until now.
They refused to say the Pledge and everyones talking about it, said student Cherissh Garrett.
She is a classmate of the two students that have become the talk of Sweeny. The high school seniors did not want to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance, something that the school district required.
Folks, this matter was decided by the Supreme Court, at the height of WWII the government may not require any American to profess by word or action that which they do not believe.
Whether the First Amendment to the Constitution will permit officials to order observance of ritual of this nature does not depend upon whether as a voluntary exercise we would think it to be good, bad or merely innocuous. . . . Hence validity of the asserted power to force an American citizen publicly to profess any statement of belief or to engage in any ceremony of assent to one presents questions of power that must be considered independently of any idea we may have as to the utility of the ceremony in question.
* * *
To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and spontaneous instead of a compulsory routine is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free minds. We can have intellectual individualism and the rich cultural diversities that we owe to exceptional minds only at the price of occasional eccentricity and abnormal attitudes. When they are so harmless to others or to the State as those we deal with here, the price is not too great. But freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order.
If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.
We think the action of the local authorities in compelling the flag salute and pledge transcends constitutional limitations on their power and invades the sphere of intellect and spirit which it is the purpose of the First Amendment to our Constitution to reserve from all official control.
Those are the words of Justice Robert Jackson, in West Virginia v. Barnette, the 1943 ruling which held that students (or any other America) may not be compelled to pledge to or salute the flag and that would certainly include a requirement to stand. And lest you call Jackson a liberal, please remember that he was the mentor to the undeniably conservative Chief Justice William Rehnquist who in turn was the mentor to our current Chief Justice, John Roberts.
What disturbs me in this case is not that students will be permitted to sit during the pledge (provided they do not create an active disruption, which means they must be silent), but that there was still a school district attempting to impose this requirement some seven decades after it became a matter of settled law that such a policy violates the First Amendment to the Constitution.
If anything, this incident confirms in my mind the belief that we need to eliminate the Pledge of Allegiance from our schools and public ceremonies. Instead, folks should be pledging themselves instead to the US Constitution, and the principles it guarantees. The only problem with that, however, is that many of the putative patriots professing outrage over someone failing to stand for the Pledge would be unable to take that pledge, due to their having a greater devotion to a mass-produce piece of cloth than they do to the principles upon which this nation stands.
Two words Obama Regime.
Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPAs Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.
Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days. Hes especially frustrated over the appeal boards suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. We think the issues were really not major, Slaiby said, and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.
The closest village to where Shell proposed to drill is Kaktovik, Alaska. It is one of the most remote places in the United States. According to the latest census, the population is 245 and nearly all of the residents are Alaska natives. The village, which is 1 square mile, sits right along the shores of the Beaufort Sea, 70 miles away from the proposed off-shore drill site.
My local blogging nemesis posted the following on his website this morning, claiming that our congressman had somehow abandoned NASA because he didnt co-author a recent column in the local paper about Johnson Space Centers failure to get a space shuttle.
Then there is the op-ed in the Houston Chronicle about Houston not getting a shuttle. It was written by Congressman Gene Green and John Culberson, again outside of the district. (Culberson was the only Republican to speak out against Bush's trip to Mars because of the lack of funding, but that was another story.)
I guess the NASA community can't depend upon Olson anymore. Maybe that is a good thing.
As promised in a recent op-ed, Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., has introduced H.R. 1641, the "Reasserting American Leadership in Space Act" or the "REAL Space Act". In the vernacular it is being called the "Back to the Moon Bill."
Thus far the bill had four cosponsors, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, and Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., Wolf's cosponsorship is significant as he is the chairman of the on the Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee on Appropriations
Yeah, how disappointing. Our Congressman is actually working on legislation to get the manned space program working again, rather than signing on to an op-ed written by some low level staffer. Frankly, Ill take Pete Olsons choice to actually involve himself in the legislative process to make Johnson Space Center relevant over self-serving columns in the dead tree media.
By the way, John why havent your heroes, green and Culberson, signed on to this bill as co-sponsors and actually supported the manned space program? After all, if Queen Shelia can do it, so can they!
Here are the full results of this week's exercise in blogging excellence:
Congratulations to the winners, and to all the participants. Well done!
There can be no other interpretation here -- on Good Friday, when Christians mark the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the US Constitution was crucified in Michigan.
A judge late today sent two Florida pastors to jail for refusing to post a $1 bond.
The stunning development came after a Dearborn jury sided with prosecutors, ruling that Terry Jones and Wayne Sapp would breach the peace if they rallied at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.
Prosecutors asked Judge Mark Somers for $45,000 bond. Somers then set
bond at $1 each for the two pastors.
According to the Wayne County prosecutor's office, both Jones and Sapp are prohibited by the court from going to the mosque or adjacent property for three years.
They refused to pay. And Somers ordered them remanded to jail.
The crime? Asserting the right to picket or demonstrate on a public sidewalk -- because the authorities fear that the targets of the protest might become violent. In other words, the fear of Islamic terrorism has led an American court to jail American Christians for daring to assert their rights under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
Eugene Volokh has an excellent piece at his website that explains why the entire notion that Terry Jones and Wayne Sapp can be required to post this bond is, in and of itself, offensive to the First Amendment and a violation of relevant Supreme Court precedents. He also offers this analysis of what may happen next.
Roughly 1,000 Latinos and immigrants packed into a church near uptown on Wednesday to hear from the Illinois congressman one supporter calls "Moses of the Latinos."
People clapped and cheered as U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez entered the church.
What would Moses say?
Here are a couple of common sense tips on how to show your sensitivity and tolerance in the face of murderous rampages.
With just a little bit of intellectual dishonesty and some unprincipled sniveling, we can put an end to Islamic slaughters peacefully, by eliminating their cause -- our freedom.
And that process is well underway, what with this Muslim professor demanding that Congress undercut the First Amendment because Muslims are unable to control themselves like civilized people in the face of disrespect for their religion, prosecutors seeking to make protests at a local mosque financially prohibitive, Stockholm Syndrome suffering dhimmis insisting that Americans exercising their freedoms make Americans less safe and other such disgraceful efforts to undercut American freedoms in an effort not to offend America's enemies.
Police in Rosenberg have released surveillance images of a man who robbed a rosary and fragrance store Wednesday morning.
The man walked into Botanica San Miguel at 207 Lane Drive at 10:40 a.m., pulled out a handgun and demanded money from the cash register, police said.
The man took money from the register as well as cash and other items from an employee's purse before fleeing.
Robbing a store selling rosaries? During Holy Week? Isnt that sort of asking to go to Hell?
An anthropology and gender studies professor at the University of Iowa responded with an expletive to a mass email from a college Republican group promoting "Conservative Coming Out Week," prompting a campus controversy.
As the Press-Citizen and Des Moines Register report, professor Ellen Lewin responded to the email by writing "F*** YOU, REPUBLICANS" from her university email account.
Now emails like the one Lewin received are sent out all the time at the school, after the sponsoring group gets approval from the right office to advertise their events. The proper response to an email from a group you dont support involves the use of the delete key.
When all is said and done, no action has been taken against the professor, and a non-apology apology later that does not seem likely to change.
But let me ask if this email had been from the Muslim Student Association, would a professor who sent a reply reading "F*** YOU, MUSLIMS" have gotten off so lightly? What about one who was offended by an email from the campus gay rights group and replied "F*** YOU, QUEERS"? Or if "F*** YOU, LATINOS" had been the response to an email from LULAC announcing a week of open borders activism? You know there would have been sensitivity classes, a suspension or termination, and a campus-wide initiative to battle the intolerance and climate of hate of which the uncivil response would be deemed indicative. So why not a similar response to this womans multiple hateful rants? Oh, silly me because everyone knows that Republicans deserve what they get.
By the way heres the original email that provoked the outpouring of vitriol.
From: UI College Republicans
Subject: [NonAcadStudorg] Conservative Coming Out Week
Conservatives in Iowa City it is now time to come out of the closet!
I know at times it feels like you are the only person that disagrees with this liberal town, but you are not alone! We are asking all Republicans, Independents leaning right, or just anyone slightly frustrated with the current one party controlling every level of Johnson County, and some levels of Iowa and U.S. government to STAND UP!
Conservative Coming Out Week will be April 18th - April 22nd. Here is the schedule of events that will be going on throughout the week:
Monday: Whose Conservative Anyway? Guess which athletes, movie stars, and performing artists are Republican. 11-1 on Kautz Plaza off of the T. Anne Cleary Walkway.
Tuesday: Red vs. Blue Blood Drive from 2 to 6pm at the Carnival Room in Burge. Competition between the Republicans and Democrats for a good cause!
-College Republican meeting that night at 8pm in 71 Schaeffer Hall with showing of Journeys with George in honor of President George W. Bush.
Wednesday: Come pick up your Doctors Notice to miss class for sick of being stress, just like the Wisconsin public employees during the union protests from 11 to 1 on the Pentacrest.
Thursday: Red vs Blue games! Beat the UDems in kickball and flag football from 4-6 in Hubbard Park. Wear your respective political parties color!
Stick around for a Animal Rights BBQ at 6 p.m.
Friday: Wear RED Day! Come out of the closet and show your true colors!
Should be a great week! Lets come out!
Yeah thats the offensive email that prompted not just a profane email in response, but at least two more denouncing the Republicans for believing what they believe and demanding that the Republicans not exercise their rights as a student organization to announce their events to the community. Theres clearly something psychologically wrong with this woman.
But in her honor, Id like to dedicate a song to Professor Ellen Lewin. Heres hoping she wont be offended and also not caring if she is.Continue to be enlightened while reading "Profs Profane Response To Benign Student Groups Benign Email" Â»
I dont agree with all of the conclusions or commentary in this piece, but I think the author does have a valid point about what constitutes a natural born citizen.
Unfortunately, the text of the Constitution does not define natural born citizenship, and neither the Supreme Court nor Congress has weighed in on the question. This much is clear. The term "natural born citizen" was borrowed from the English concept of "natural born subject," which came from Calvin's Case, a 1608 decision.
Natural born subjects were those who owed allegiance to the king at birth under the "law of nature." The court concluded that under natural law, certain people owed duties to the king, and were entitled to his protection, even in the absence of a law passed by Parliament.
Natural born subjects included people born in the sovereign's territory with two exceptions. First, children born to foreign diplomats were not subjects at birth; because they were protected by diplomatic immunity; they were legally outside the sovereign's control. In addition, children of foreign soldiers were not subjects; they were practically outside of the control of the king. All others born in the kingdom were natural born subjects.
Now he does get into the question of children born to non-citizens, and of the children of citizens born abroad. It really does present some interesting issues. But by the common law standard pointed to (Calvins Case), Barack Obama would clearly be a natural born citizen, having been born in Hawaii to a US citizen and an alien who was neither a foreign diplomat nor a foreign soldier during time of war. And since the Framers would have been operating in the common law milieu, we have to infer that their standard would have something akin to the standard set in that case.
In what may be the strongest signal yet of the new pro-labor orientation of the National Labor Relations Board under President Obama, the agency filed a complaint Wednesday seeking to force Boeing to bring an airplane production line back to its unionized facilities in Washington State instead of moving the work to a nonunion plant in South Carolina. In its complaint, the labor board said that Boeings decision to transfer a second production line for its new 787 Dreamliner passenger plane to South Carolina was motivated by an unlawful desire to retaliate against union workers for their past strikes in Washington and to discourage future strikes. The agencys acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, said it was illegal for companies to take actions in retaliation against workers for exercising the right to strike. Although manufacturers have long moved plants to nonunion states, the board noted that Boeing officials had, in internal documents and news interviews, specifically cited the strikes and potential future strikes as a reason for their 2009 decision to expand in South Carolina.
If a desire to avoid future strikes by a strike-prone workforce constitutes unlawful anti-union bias and retaliation, then it is clearly time to change the law to make it clear that no business is required to contract with a union and no worker is required to join one.
But consider what this action by the NLRB means. It effectively tells businesses that are cursed with a union contract that they cannot expand, move facilities, or otherwise make rational business decisions if it means leaving a forced-unionization state for a right-to-work state.
Is one by Weird Al Yankovic.
Now I was ready to write a really evil post about the controversy, which was based upon the denial of permission to satirize Lady Gaga's latest. But it turns out that it's a management thing, not a performer thing. She's given the green light to put the song on his album, and it will be released as a single.
Would that every other conflict in the world could be settled so easily.
Im not a big Ayn Rand fan, though I know plenty who are. But I fail to see what the controversy is over Paul Ryans alleged fascination with the author/political philosopher or why this would be a problem.
As Paul Ryans star has risen, a meme has developed around him based on his approval of the works and ideas of Ayn Rand: that Ryan requires his staffers to read her work.
It has its origin, as far as I can tell, in an offhand sentence in this New York Magazine piece by Christopher Beam. Its been repeated on multiple occasions by Paul Krugman, Jonathan Chait, and a host of leftists on blogs and Twitter (just search for paul ryan requires and youll find scores of examples). In Beams telling, Ryans forcing staffers to read Atlas Shrugged in the telling of David Cay Johnston, The Fountainhead, which he believes is an endorsement of terrorism.
I have, over the years, been subjected to any number of books by my employer told to read the writings of this or that faddish educational guru for an in-service or as part of a mandatory book study. One year I actually got in trouble when members of my department were required to do presentations at department meetings on chapters of the latest thing in teaching our subject because my presentation was half reporting what the author wrote and half a scathing critique of how the authors entire philosophical construct was built of Jello on a foundation of manure. So if and I do say IF Paul Ryan were to require Atlas Shrugged or some other work of Randian Objectivism , that would not bother me. Indeed, I can see where it might be helpful for the staffers to understand the philosophical underpinnings of their boss legislative efforts.
Dude I love Star Trek Dude that doesnt mean Im captain of the Starship Enterprise.
But then again, the entire premise fails on the basis of the fact that Paul Ryan does not require all his employees to read anything by Ayn Rand. But if these folks really want to consider reading a book to be akin to supporting terrorism, so be it what do they have to say about those who read the Quran and hold its teachings sacred?
Heres how the UKs Muslim community plans to celebrate the royal wedding.
Muslim fanatics plan to hijack the Royal Wedding by burning effigies of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Extremists belonging to the group Muslims Against Crusades were behind the poppy-burning outrage on November 11 last year.
According to police, they have now vowed to turn the wedding celebrations into a 'nightmare'. They plan a 'forceful demonstration' with thousands of protesters set to burn the Union Flag, images of the Crown, and effigies of the bridal couple.
Seems to me that there is an obvious method available to Loyal Brits to show their disapproval of the tactics of the Islamists.
And hey why limit it to the Quran? Seems to me that this might be a great opportunity to burn some effigies of Muhammad, too. After all, what's wrong with reciprocity?
After all, we know what problems come from our failed border and immigration policies therefore he has no interest in hearing from us. Instead he has chosen to listen only to the advocates of amnesty and open borders.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was there. So was Al Sharpton and AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka. Not on the invitation list? Any active governor from any border state. Which is odd since the meeting held yesterday at the White House was titled: Presidents Meeting with Stakeholders on Fixing the Broken Immigration System.
Speaking as a Texan, Id like to offer my input to the Kenyans son -- just below the fold.Continue to be enlightened while reading "Obama To Border States I Cant Hear You!" Â»
Normally, this would excite me.
Instead, I wonder if it really matters. Will any of these games be played? Will the game I most look forward to -- the Houston Texans' home game against Peyton Manning and the Colts -- even be played?
Here's hoping the contractual issues can be settled without losing a game.
I saw this headline, and just shook my head.
Poll: Best way to fight deficits: Raise taxes on the rich
My response to the headline? "Who cares what the poll results say?"
Now I think poll s are a valuable thing -- indeed, one of my earliest forays into political science was a course on political statistics, and one of my favorite grad school courses dealt with the intricacies of public opinion polling. But it depends, of course on what you asking.
Now consider this -- respondents were asked what they believe is the best way to reduce the deficit. But does that mean that their preferred policy (stoked by recent class warfare rhetoric from the Left and the press) will, in fact, have the desired outcome. And we know from past experience that raising tax rates generally lowers tax revenue while lowering tax rates tends to raise revenue. We saw that under Kennedy and we saw that under Reagan. Heck -- we saw that with the Bush tax cuts, too. Our problem is not on the revenue side -- it is on the spending side of the ledger.
In other words, while it is fair to say that a majority wants to soak the rich to solve the deficit, their preference is not well-founded. As such, I consider this the equivalent of a poll that indicates that a majority believe that that Obama was not born in America -- it measures ignorance, not fact.
Controversy has followed the work ever since, but reached an unprecedented peak on Palm Sunday when it was attacked with hammers and destroyed after an "anti-blasphemy" campaign by French Catholic fundamentalists in the southern city of Avignon.
The violent slashing of the picture, and another Serrano photograph of a meditating nun, has plunged secular France into soul-searching about Christian fundamentalism and Nicolas Sarkozy's use of religious populism in his bid for re-election next year.
It also marks a return to an old standoff between Serrano and the religious right that dates back more than 20 years, to Reagan-era Republicanism in the US.
Those who destroyed the work of art had no right to do so. It was wrong, and brings discredit upon the One who they sought to honor.
But lets compare this stupid incident to what happens when Islamic sensitivities are offended. It isnt just the artwork that is destroyed. Creators are killed like Theo Van Gogh. Publishers are killed like one of those who published Salman Rushdies Satanic Verses. Riots break out worldwide and innocents are killed as has happened more often than can possibly be chronicled here.
No, the deed was wrong but the magnitude of the wrong done doesnt rise to the level of the wrongs done in the name of Muslim religious sensitivity.
Oh, and interestingly enough, it seems to me that the work of art itself was not really destroyed. After all, the negative still exists, and a short period of time in a darkroom would make its preservation a simple task.
Because, you know, that might stop abortions.
Civil liberties and abortion rights advocates are criticizing a bill introduced by State Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga) that increases rules for abortion clinics. They argue that the measure is a thinly veiled attempt at restricting abortions, saying a similar bill in Texas forced 18 of 20 clinics to close.
Proponents of the legislation and pro-life activists argue that HB 574 is necessary to close gaps in abortion regulation, brought to light in the now infamous case of abortion provider Dr. Kermit Gosnell. Bakers would require freestanding abortion clinics to follow the same standards as ambulatory surgical facilities, including increasing the size of procedure rooms and mandating the presence a full time RN during procedures.
And if that statement seems hyperbolic, it is all the more alarming because it is true.
Concerned about a potential outbreak of violence, Wayne County prosecutors have filed a complaint in court that seeks to compel Florida pastor Terry Jones -- who oversaw the burning of a Quran last month -- not to rally outside an Islamic center in Dearborn this week.
Jones told the Free Press he intends to come to Dearborn this Friday with others to protest against sharia and jihad, Islamic ideas that he said threaten the U.S.
But Dearborn police and Wayne County prosecutors are trying to convince him that showing up at the Islamic Center of America would endanger his life and public peace. In the court filing, prosecutors and Dearborn police note that Jones has received numerous death threats and a $1.2 million bounty on his head by leaders of Jamaat-ud Dawa, a cover organization for the Pakistan-based terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Tayyiba.
Filed Friday in 19th district court in Dearborn, prosecutors say that if Jones shows up outside the center, "the greatest danger is the likelihood of a riot ensuing complete with the discharge of firearms."
Gay rights activists can lay siege to churches without police intervention. Neo-Nazis can picket a synagogue. Atheists can say all sorts of vile things about believers anywhere in America. But if you've got negative words about Islam, you will be shut down -- because the Muslims will engage in criminal activity if you dare criticize their faith.
I hope the court refuses to shut down this demonstration -- even though I consider Jones to be a loon and his tactics less than savory. If this action succeeds, the precedent will be set for giving special protection to one -- and only one -- religion in America, the non-establishment clause of the First Amendment be damned. And in doing so, sharia will become the de facto legal code of the state of Michigan. That government officials have already acted to dissuade another group from protesting at the mosque tells us how severe the danger really is -- because you know they won't try to stop such demonstrations against any other faith.
All because the violent followers of a particular religion want to shut down the peaceful speech of those who follow a different faith. Makes one wonder if America is still America -- and how much longer it will remain America if we allow such PC actions to stand unchallenged.
I've met a lot of politicians over the years. Some of those I've met have been real weasels, while others have been outstanding individuals. But few of them have made the impression on me that was made by former Houston City councilman Joe Roach.
Joe Roach, a former prosecutor, three-term city councilman and fervid advocate for people with disabilities, died Monday of an undisclosed illness. He was 49.
A Clear Lake-area Republican, Roach a one-time chief prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney's Office leaped onto the local political scene by defeating 30-year-incumbent City Councilman Frank Mancuso.
Roach served on the council from 1994-2000, flirting with a possible mayoral bid before returning to private life and a career as a defense lawyer.
Born Jones W. Roach Jr., a name he eschewed for the more familiar "Joe," Roach, a dwarf, was a champion for people with disabilities.
"I think his City Council legacy and his national legacy was that he was the most powerful little person ever to serve in public office in the U.S.," said council colleague and friend Rob Todd. "He showed that typical Houston spirit that it's not what you're born with, but what you do with yourself and how hard you fight that counts."
Joe Roach overcame one of those disabilities that often leads to marginalization. He excelled at most everything he did. Indeed, If he had made the mayoral run he considered, I believe he might well have won that election. For various reasons -- personal and political -- he stayed out of the race, a decision which many of us lamented at the time. He would have been a formidable force if he had won.
May he rest in peace, and may his family be comforted in this time of loss.
I think this assessment of the current world oil market tells us everything.
(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's oil minister said on Sunday the kingdom had slashed output by 800,000 barrels per day in March due to oversupply, sending the strongest signal yet that OPEC will not act to quell soaring prices.
Consumers have urged the exporters' group to pump more crude to put a cap on oil, which surged to more than $127 a barrel this month, its highest level in 2 1/2 years amid unrest in North Africa and the Middle East.
President Bush proposed drilling in ANWR during the first months of his first term. Democrats rejected that proposal back in 2001, on the theory that it would take a decade to get the oil to market, and it might not be needed in ten years. And besides, they argued, oil prices cant stay at $30 a barrel forever
If necessary, we will use the valuable public service jobs that we perform as a weapon and shut this state down.
Now if they are going to use their jobs as weapons, at whom will those weapons be pointed? At the taxpayers -- because in their world, these jobs dont exist to serve the public the public exists to serve those fortunate enough to have them.
H/T Big Government
Well, if you are a liberal union thug and the kid is a conservative, you call her a f*cking brat.
Just remember these are the same folks who have engaged in violence against Tea Party Activists over the last two years. They tried to hijack a state in Wisconsin. It is only a matter of time until one of them actually kills someone at a Tea Party event. After all, when they even find God bless America to be a statement worthy of boos, you know that the day when they begin to behave like rabid dogs is not far away.
After all, we have two competing narratives.
Theres this alarmist one.
Theres still oil out there.
The 86-day Deepwater Horizon gusher sent nearly 200 million gallons of oil, tens of millions of gallons of natural gas and 1.8 million gallons of poorly studied chemical dispersants into the northern Gulf of Mexico.
And the fate of much of it remains murky.
* * *
. . . [A] handful of independent scientists report that many things arent quite right in the gulf. More than 100 square miles of delicate marshland looks sick, they say. The immune systems of certain fishes appear compromised, seaweed and algae production has slowed in places, and a new layer of muck coats the sea bottom near the wellhead. At least a few formerly vibrant deep-sea communities of corals, sea stars and worms now lie dead. Also dead: untold numbers of fish and crustaceans, thousands of birds, and hundreds of sea turtles and dolphins.
Yep -- a handful of scientists are telling us just how bad it really is down in the Gulf.
On the other hand, what do other experts say?
Scientists judge the overall health of the Gulf of Mexico as nearly back to normal one year after the BP oil spill, but with glaring blemishes that restrain their optimism about nature's resiliency, an Associated Press survey of researchers shows.
More than three dozen scientists grade the Gulf's big picture health a 68 on average, using a 1-to-100 scale. What's remarkable is that that's just a few points below the 71 the same researchers gave last summer when asked what grade they would give the ecosystem before the spill. And it's an improvement from the 65 given back in October.
Now Ill grant you that the Gulf has not been pristine in a very long time, and there are some real problems there. Indeed, the nations third coast has long been neglected and overlooked. But what is interesting is that, as alarming as the rhetoric was a year ago about environmental damage, the Gulf is nearly back where it was a year ago. It is interesting how there isnt much attention given to that angle of the story.
No, of course not it is only Jesus being disrespected by a non-believer.
ONE of Scotland's most celebrated artists has unveiled plans to set faces of Jesus Christ and the Devil ablaze during this year's Edinburgh Festival.
David Mach has been spending months making two busts out of matchsticks which will be set alight on the street outside the City Art Centre, Edinburgh, which is hosting his religious-themed exhibition.
Lets say it the entire exhibit sounds pretty offensive. But unlike followers of a certain other religion, we Christians do not go into homicidal rages when someone disrespects that which we hold sacred. We leave it to God to punish such blasphemies instead. . .
Just remember, folks -- if you Democrats hate you if you dare to disagree, and want the full force of government used to crush dissent.
Yeah, that's right -- massive wildfires have created a natural disaster in parts of Texas, and our Republican governor has had the audacity to ask for a disaster declaration so that the victims of this disaster are eligible for disaster assistance. But since our Republican governor (and a majority of Texans) doesn't believe that the federal government ought to be permitted to do anything it wants and should instead be limited in size and scope, we instead hear that Texans should be punished by the Kenyan's son by having federal disaster aid withheld.
In other words, dissent is not patriotic when the dissenters are not liberals, and conservative dissenters must be punished for daring to dissent. Understand now what the liberal version of "freedom" looks like?
By the way -- anybody notice that John cannot differentiate between a paycheck received for work performed (his fellow NASA employees), emergency assistance in the face of a natural disaster, and generational dependence upon government welfare benefits? I bet he figured that this was simply a form of matching funds for a political candidate. But then again, what do you expect from a guy who objects to poor kids getting bikes and poor families getting free turkeys?
Here are the results of this weeks excursion into blogging excellence:
Lot's of good stuff for you to read here -- make sure you take a look. And, of course, congratulations to the winners and to all the participants.
In a statement issued Friday night, President Obama took issue with some provisions in the budget bill and in one case simply says he will not abide by it.
Last week the White House and congressional Democrats and Republicans were involved in intense negotiations over not only the size of the budget for the remainder of the FY2011 budget, and spending cuts within that budget, but also several GOP riders, or policy provisions attached to the bill.
One rider Section 2262 -- de-funds certain White House adviser positions or czars. The president in his signing statement declares that he will not abide by it.
The President has well-established authority to supervise and oversee the executive branch, and to obtain advice in furtherance of this supervisory authority, he wrote. The President also has the prerogative to obtain advice that will assist him in carrying out his constitutional responsibilities, and do so not only from executive branch officials and employees outside the White House, but also from advisers within it. Legislative efforts that significantly impede the President's ability to exercise his supervisory and coordinating authorities or to obtain the views of the appropriate senior advisers violate the separation of powers by undermining the President's ability to exercise his constitutional responsibilities and take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
Therefore, the president wrote, the executive branch will construe section 2262 not to abrogate these Presidential prerogatives.
Barry Hussein has now announced that, despite a prohibition on spending funds on certain policy advisers, it is his intent to continue to spend appropriated dollars on their salary, staff, offices, etc, and to continue to have them exercise authority denied them by the bill he just signed.
And it isn't like there is ambiguous wording for Obama to make arguments about regarding interpretation. Here is the exact language of the new law.
None of the funds made available by this division may be used to pay the salaries and expenses for the following positions:
(1) Director, White House Office of Health Reform.
(2) Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.
(3) Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury assigned to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry and Senior Counselor for Manufacturing Policy.
(4) White House Director of Urban Affairs.
You don't get any more explicit than that, my friends -- it is illegal to spend any federal money on these positions. What Obama has announced is his specific intent to violate federal law.
I'm surprised that our "constitutional law professor" president (he wasn't, really -- Obama held the lowest possible academic rank, "lecturer") isn't familiar with this.
Now let's put these two together for a moment.
Congress has made a specific provision in the current appropriations legislation denying funding to these positions. The President has signed that legislation -- but has announced his intention to disregard that provision of the new law and ill spend money on these positions as he sees fit -- Congress and the new law be damned. That means that his effort to spend money on these positions despite the explicit denial of those funds by Congress violates not just statutory law, but the US Constitution as well.
It is therefore clear that if Barack Hussein Obama directs the expenditure of so much as one penny for any of these positions -- which he has announced his intent to do -- he is subject to impeachment and removal under Article II, Section 4 of the US Constitution, which reads as follows.
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High crimes and Misdemeanors.
What's more, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner will also be subject to impeachment and removal as well if he allows so much as one penny to leave the United States treasury for expenditures prohibited under Section 2262.
It is therefore incumbent upon Speaker John Boehner to direct the relevant House committees to begin an investigation into whether or not President Barack Obama has directed the illegal expenditure of funds in direct and knowing violation of the appropriation legislation he has signed, and whether or not such expenditures have been permitted by Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner. Upon determining that such incidents have occurred, it shall be necessary for the Speaker to direct the House Judiciary Committee to convene for the purpose of adopting articles of impeachment for those two individuals. Trials of impeachment before the US Senate shall then necessarily follow at the earliest possible date. If the Constitution of the United States continues to have any force in the United States, conviction and removal -- presumably with a lifetime ban on holding any future government office or position of trust -- must follow.
My only question is this -- are there additional statutes that Obama and Geithner will be violating if they proceed down this path, and can they also be prosecuted and imprisoned for their offenses against the Constitution.
This is rather pathetic on the part of the Loser-crat.
In a bizarre set of events, Oscar Boleman, former president of the Baylor Democrats, provides a few minutes of youtube weirdness on behalf of his group when he decided it'd be a good idea to pick on some conservatives. Needless to say, this wasn't going to be his day.
Hundreds of students in the Katy school district walked out of class Thursday to protest teacher layoffs caused by a feared $50 million budget shortfall.
The two largest gatherings were outside Morton Ranch and Cinco Ranch high schools, but students from other campuses also rallied around the roughly 350 Katy Independent School District employees notified this week that their positions were being eliminated.
* * *
Katy Superintendent Alton Frailey met Thursday morning with a small group of students at Morton Ranch High School to address their concerns, Stanford said.
[District spokesman Steve] Stanford said none of the students will face discipline.
Morton Ranch High School in Katy, one of several schools where students walked out of class Thursday to protest teacher layoffs, was put on lockdown this morning when more students left class, a school district spokesman said.
School officials told students to return to class or leave the campus. Katy Independent School District communications officer Steve Stanford said the lockdown was intended to prevent further class disruption.
"Basically the situation got out of hand," Stanford said. "In order to keep order, the kids were kept inside."
Well, when the district administration declared yesterday's activities to be a punishment-free learning activity, what other conclusion were the students to draw other than that their actions were condoned, encouraged, and continued misconduct was acceptable? Why wouldn't they continue the misconduct? And for the record, a walkout during instructional time is misconduct not protected by the First Amendment under any precedent regarding the rights of students, since walkouts are a material disruption of the academic mission of the school. And I say that as a teacher who is usually a big advocate of student free speech rights.
I understand the frustration some of the Tea Party folks feel with elements of the GOP. Hey, Ive been active in the GOP to one extent or another for most of my adult life, and I still find myself frustrated with some of the crap that certain elected officials do. However, I continue to stick with the party for a simple reason that C. Edmund Wright sums up beautifully.
We don't need a third party. We need perfect humans who are in agreement. Since we can't find those, I'm afraid our only hope is to try and perfect one of the two parties we have. And really, there are only two ways to approach any problem. There is the way with "more government" and there is the way with "more liberty."
Everything can be boiled down to that. One current party is awful, but the other one is evil. I say do what Ronald Reagan did: improve on the one that is merely awful. This option is nauseating perhaps, but it's our only choice. And besides, we got off to a pretty good start in 2010.
Wright is right on target. And as he implicitly notes in this piece, every party is made up of various factions that have varying goals and objectives. All splintering that party in the name of ideological purity (ideological conformity, actually) is guarantee that the folks who are closest to the splinter faction will lose the next election to those most at odds with them. In our system, parties have to coalesce around a compromise platform in order to get elected and accomplish anything and if they dont, they lose elections, become irrelevant, or both. Want an example? Look at the Libertarians.
Thats why, when I hear folks in the Tea Party rant on about primarying someone who in good faith varied with them on this or that piece of legislation (or offered honest criticism of a favored political player), I find myself unable to take them seriously. Thats why, when I encounter such political newbies proclaiming I am the grassroots or insulting long-time activists as irrelevant members of the Establishment, I consider them to be nuisances (at best) or toxins (at worst). Their strategy is ultimate a formula for electoral defeat and policy irrelevance.
That doesnt mean I dont think the Tea Party is a force for good it is, and I am in general agreement with much of what the Tea Party stands for (to the degree that the Tea party is even sure what the Tea Party stands for social conservatism, economic conservatism, or both?). Put what many of these newcomers to political activism have to realize is that the political realities of twenty-first century America dictate that conservatism is housed in the GOP, and that change can only happen incrementally. After all, the task of changing the nature of American government is akin to steering a supertanker and those babies dont turn on a dime. So that means taking the awful party and working within it to bring about change over the course of years, not months because the other alternative is turning the power over to the evil party, with all the negative consequences that implies.
The Kenyans son was upset that he didnt have all sorts of real cool toys in the Oval Office when he became president.
"The Oval Office, I always thought I was going to have really cool phones and stuff," he said during a small fundraising event at a Chicago restaurant. "I'm like, c'mon guys, I'm the president of the United States. Where's the fancy buttons and stuff and the big screen comes up? It doesn't happen."
Just remember Obama is so self-centered that when he dies his tombstone will read Its All About ME!
Just remember it is all about shared suffering.
Real earnings fell for a fifth straight month as wages fail to keep up with soaring gasoline prices and other costs. Inflation-adjusted earnings for all private workers dropped 0.5% in March, the worst monthly drop since July 2008, according to Labor Department data. Nominal wages were flat while consumer prices climbed more than 0.5% for a second straight month.
Year over year, inflation-adjusted weekly pay sank 0.4%. Thats the first drop in a year and down from a 2.2% gain in October.
Since October, real weekly wages have dropped at a 3.8% annual rate matching the decline set in July 2008, when oil prices peaked above $147 a barrel.
You need to make-do with less and remember that government needs you to pay more taxes to support the non-working class.
A 20-year-old Oklahoma woman was receiving treatment in a hospital Thursday after being charged with animal cruelty for allegedly killing the family cat and using the blood for an outfit she planned to wear to a Lady Gaga concert.
Frankly, Im shocked. After all, the carcass would have made a great hat, too and an homage to Gagas meat dress.
Commentator S.E. Cupp stated on Joy Behars show that she opposes funding Planned parenthood a perfectly legitimate policy position, and one that is not terribly controversial among Americans as a whole (though it is anathema among liberal politicians and opinion leaders). In response to this, the ever-so-superior
Keith Olbermann tweeted as follows:
Olbermann later tried to walk it back, suggesting that he meant that Cupps parents should have used birth control to prevent her conception, rather than simply abort her all because she dares to dissent from his position on a policy issue.
Gee, Keith, on so many levels youre a perfect demonstration of the necessity for the NRAs work defending the right to keep, bear, and use firearms. Youve made it quite clear that you want to exterminate or at least sterilize -- those who disagree with you. Which explains why you support Planned Parenthood, an organization founded upon the same platform of racial superiority that undergirded Hitlers Nuremburg laws.
Where are the protests? Where are the calls for impeachment? Come on, anti-war liberals -- this is a war of choice for oil, conducted under false pretenses. Show your outrage!
EVIDENCE IS now in that President Barack Obama grossly exaggerated the humanitarian threat to justify military action in Libya. The president claimed that intervention was necessary to prevent a bloodbath in Benghazi, Libyas second-largest city and last rebel stronghold.
But Human Rights Watch has released data on Misurata, the next-biggest city in Libya and scene of protracted fighting, revealing that Moammar Khadafy is not deliberately massacring civilians but rather narrowly targeting the armed rebels who fight against his government.
Misuratas population is roughly 400,000. In nearly two months of war, only 257 people including combatants have died there. Of the 949 wounded, only 22 less than 3 percent are women. If Khadafy were indiscriminately targeting civilians, women would comprise about half the casualties.
Remember -- Obama's coalition of the bribed coalition is made up almost exclusively of Libya's biggest oil customers.
That makes this a war for oil -- you know, like you falsely claimed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to be (ad by the way -- why are you not out protesting the fact we are still in Iraq and ramping up in Afghanistan?).
So come on, folks -- here's your sign -- get out and protest this fascist warmonger in the White House.
I supported the recent budget deal, but I respect those who took the other side. Unfortunately, one aide to a member of the GOP leadership was not so charitable -- and he needs to be fired for how he expressed that difference of opinion.
A top aide to House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy on Thursday suggested Republicans who have problems with the continuing resolution hitting the floor Thursday are committing a sin akin to Jane Fonda heading to Vietnam.
In an email to chiefs of staff sent Thursday morning, Pete Meachum, McCarthy's director of member services, forwarded a link to a Weekly Standard post praising the continuing resolution. Those who are using opposition to the resolution to better position themselves are hurting the fight, he implied.
"For the handwringers out there, buck up," Meachum wrote. "For those seeking other office please campaign at home, not on the backs of your colleagues."
Meachum linked the last four words to this website featuring photos of "Jane Fonda A.K.A. Hanoi Jane."
In a follow-up email sent an hour later, Meachum acknowledged he had crossed the line. "Upon rereading the email I sent this morning. I realize I stepped over the line. I sincerely apologize, my email was not approved by anyone in our office or Mr. McCarthy. Please speak to me personally if you'd like to discuss further," he wrote.
Apology not accepted, Mr. Meachum. You crossed a big line, accusing fellow Republicans of TREASON - making war on the United States and giving our nation's enemies aid and comfort during time of war --for daring to take a position contrary to the party leadership on a budget bill. That just is not acceptable. Either you need to go, or your boss needs to go from his leadership position (and next fall, from his House seat). End of discussion.
The Senate has rejected an effort to cut off funds for President Barack Obama's health care law.
The vote Thursday was 53-47, strictly along party lines. Republicans had pressed for a vote on the resolution as part of the negotiated deal to cut spending struck by Obama and congressional leaders last week.
Never mind that we are now in the 56th straight week of the American public rejecting ObamaCare. It's not like the US Senate is supposed to reflect the opinion of the American people -- they know better than we do and have clearly told us that they don't give a damn what we think.
After all -- even after two years of failed leadership, the Senate Majority Leader thinks that Barack Obama IS up to being President of the United States.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump isn't "presidential caliber, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says.
In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer set to air Thursday night, Reid said he likes Trump but that the billionaire is not cut out to be commander in chief.
"Oh, do I wish he would get the nomination," Reid said. "Donald Trump running for president of the United States? I mean, I like the man just fine. But he's not presidential caliber."
Mind you, I'm not a Trump backer. Still, I consider Reid's rejection to be a ringing endorsement of The Donald's readiness for the job.
Over at Townhall.com, Brad OLeary notes the following development.
The Obama administration is working with Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) to pass S. 679, the Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act, which would sharply curtail the number of presidential appointees that must be confirmed by the Senate.
Of course, Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution provides for the advice and consent of the Senate with respect to presidential appointments. This new bill would sharply curtail that provision, allowing the President to make high-level appointments to federal agencies without the consent of the governed.
Obama and Schumer claim that the bill is designed to end the backlog of unconfirmed appointees and that it would eliminate the need for the Senate to vote on roughly 200 executive nominations. You see, the confirmation process, let alone enacting annual budgets, is too arduous a task for the Senate, so in the name of efficiency, Obama and Schumer want to do away powers enumerated in the Constitution.
Proving once again that Donald Trump knows a bit about publicity, the business man and real estate mogul will make an announcement on the season finale of "Celebrity Apprentice" about his intentions on running for the White House.
On the final episode of the popular TV reality show, Trump "plans to give an announcement date" for his decision on whether he'll make a formal bid for the Republican presidential nomination, senior Trump adviser Michael Cohen confirms to CNN.
The season finale of "Celebrity Apprentice" airs May 15. In numerous interviews with CNN and other organizations, Trump has said he'll make a decision on a White House bid by June.
For Obama, it is really all about who controls the money.
The central trust issue is taxes. The Ryan budget proposes a maximum tax rate of 25% for individuals and corporations. The president dragged the "millionaires and billionaires" onto the stage yesterday for another round of pistol-whipping (three mentions of the shameless duo).
It may be that Mr. Obama is obsessed by this subject, but that misses what he really wants. Since FDR, the Democrats (and Washington) have depended on maintaining a tax system with no identifiable ceiling. Taxes can always "rise." Simpson-Bowles or anything likely to emerge from Rep. Dave Camp's Ways and Means Committee would formalize a rate ceiling. Reviling "the wealthiest" is most of all a tactic to prevent what would be a Democratic catastrophe. Simpson-Bowles would reorder economic and political power away from Washington and out toward the states and their millions of non-millionaire citizens.
Simpson-Bowles was clear about that. Paul Ryan was explicit. So yesterday was Barack Obama. "We," Washington, gotta have that money.
It was a useful speech. A defining moment.
I'm on the record as despising the Westboro Baptist Cult folks but defending their right to hold and express their repulsive beliefs. I therefore have to take the same position with regard to this family with similar beliefs, no matter how sickening I find those beliefs.
A family with an extensive history of legal action against a number of school districts and municipalities has filed a $1 million civil lawsuit against Middletown City Schools.
Orlando Bethel who refers to himself as a fire and brimstone preacher in court documents, and his wife, Glynis filed the action Friday in Cincinnati federal court after one of their three children, Zoe, wore a T-shirt at the high school proclaiming god hates (expletive) and repent or burn in hell.
Apparently the daughter was told she could not wear the
God Hates Whores" shirt because it was disruptive. I'm willing to back the school on that part of their action. I'm a little less willing to agree with the school about a shirt that says "Repent of Burn in Hell". But that isn't even the issue that I want to examine -- after all, such school speech are regularly litigated in light of the failure of the Supreme Court to adequately support its precedent in Tinker v. Des Moines, which was the high water mark for protection of student speech,
No, my issue comes a bit later in the story, with something that I find to be much more troubling in how the authorities handled this case.
On Friday, Orlando Bethel was arrested by Middletown police at the high school and charged with obstructing official business when officers attempted to talk with Zoe Bethel, according to a police report. According to a police report from School Resource Officer Phil Salm, officers were investigating to determine if the student was being forced by her parents to wear the T-shirt in question.
We even witnessed an incident on the 7th (of April) where Glynis Bethel, being the mother, had forced Zoe to put on her shirt and walk around at the end of the school as mom gave a sermon to some of the kids out underneath the awning and also made Zoe walk around as she filmed her coming back and forth from the car, Salm wrote. Zoe looked highly upset about this. She looked embarrassed as if she didnt want to do it and it almost appeared to us that she was being forced against her will.
When the girl refused answer any questions, Butler County Children Services was contacted to assist with the investigation, according to police.
Hold on. Parents are allowed to have children wear clothing they don't like and which they find embarrassing. That includes religiously themed clothing. That does not rise to the level of a criminal case or a case of child abuse or neglect which would justify involving child protective services. And I cannot help but believe that this was targeted at the particular religious message being expressed. After all, in exactly how many cases have families named Muhammad been investigated for making their daughters wear Islamic head scarves, even if the daughters have explicitly expressed a dislike for the garments to school authorities? I suspect that the answer would be somewhere between 1 and -1 -- such an investigation would be immediately recognized as treading far beyond the authority of the school, the police, and the child welfare agency, since Muslim parents have an unambiguous right to require their daughters to dress in such a manner. I'm therefore concerned about the lesser degree of deference being shown these parents and their beliefs.
So, what do you think?
They confessed to being illegal aliens. They were arrested for illegal conduct. Why are they being permitted to stay?
Federal immigration authorities have decided not to take action against seven demonstrators who disclosed they were in the country illegally before they were arrested on charges of blocking downtown Atlanta traffic during a protest last week.
Asked whether her agency planned to deport the protesters, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a statement saying ICE was not taking any enforcement actions against the student demonstrators.
Fine, I understand that they are not going out looking for folks like this. While I think that is wrong policy, it isnt unreasonable. But when they are in custody and acknowledge their illegal status, then it ought to be obligatory to remove them to their countries of origin immediately no muss, no fuss, no hearing.
The United Arab Emirates military officer accused of forcing his Filipino servant to work unpaid caring for his five children and cleaning his house in East Greenwich while he studied at the Naval War College was arrested late Monday at Kennedy Airport in New York aboard a direct flight back to his country.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Arif Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Al-Ali around 11 p.m. Monday after authorities flagged his information when he checked in with his family to catch a flight to the United Arab Emirates, in violation of the terms of his release, according to Jim Martin, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronhas office.
A federal judge in New York released Al-Ali in the custody of three United Arab Emirates officials, including a military colonel and an attaché. The judge released him on $100,000 unsecured bond and ordered him to wear a GPS bracelet. He is due to appear in U.S District Court in Rhode Island at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
* * *
Al-Ali had a passport when he was arrested Monday, though Almond had ordered his lawyer to provide proof that it was in the custody of the court or the United Arab Emirates consulate, Martin said. Martin would not comment on how Al-Ali had retained possession of his passport. He is being held in New York and was due to appear in federal court there Tuesday.
Seems to me that we need to have this guy held pending trial and that certain UAE diplomatic personnel need to be declared personal non grata and expelled from the country for their complicity in the escape. Perhaps we even need to give closer scrutiny to UAE participation in training programs in this country, too, given the lack of decency and honor demonstrated in this case.
This article appeared the other day in the local newspaper. I didnt comment on it, because as a general rule I do not write about the school or district I work for. It is a way of avoiding conflicts of interest on my part. Im not even going to comment on the article now but rather upon the comments at the end, many of which argue that schools dont need police on campus, that they should just call 911 and wait for the cops to come, and other similar comments.
Im sure those commenters, for the most part, meant well, and even sincerely believed what they wrote. But this article from another state helps to show why we need that presence on campus for security purposes.
Whitley County High School teacher and state Rep. Dewayne Bunch was critically injured Tuesday when he was knocked unconscious after trying to break up a fight between two students in the school cafeteria, authorities said.
Bunch was knocked down by a punch that appeared to be aimed at another student, Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell said. Bunch, 49, hit his head on a tile floor, the sheriff said.
"He ran over there very quickly and ran right into the punch," Harrell said. "When his head hit the floor, he sustained more injury."
Bunch was in "extremely critical" condition at Baptist Regional Medical Center in Corbin before being taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center in Lexington. A UK spokeswoman said Bunch's family had asked that no information be released about his condition.
Im not sure what security this school has on campus, nor do I know whether that was a factor in why this teacher was injured. We had a female administrator seriously injured 18 months ago in a similar sort of incident, despite the presence of constables on our campus. But the reality is that the presence of law enforcement helps keep many such incidents from happening, and limits the severity of other incidents that do occur. Their presence also helps keep some of the more combative parents at schools from going over the line as well and you know youve seen those stories about parents becoming violent with school personnel.
In an ideal world, we wouldnt need cops in schools. But that ideal world hasnt existed in a couple of decades, and it is just not safe for anyone to pretend it does.
After all, Barack Hussein Obama must not be shown as a failure that would be racist. Especially since he is a failure.
At a time when the economy should be rebounding the latest GDP number for the first quarter of 2010 shows that the Obama economic policies have failed.
When 2011 began, Macroeconomic Advisers, a forecasting company, expected that Americas economic output would shape up to rise at a 4.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter, the highest pace in over a year.
But economic reports coming in over the last few months have been increasingly disappointing.
And the year started out so very hopeful.
When 2011 began, Macroeconomic Advisers, a forecasting company, expected that Americas economic output would shape up to rise at a 4.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter, the highest pace in over a year.
But economic reports coming in over the last few months have been increasingly disappointing.
Remember this is a blog, not a straight news piece. It is therefore perfectly acceptable for there to be the candid assessment regarding the (lack of) success of Obamas policies. To make that change, without any explanation for making such a drastic change, is fundamentally dishonest and indicative of a desire to either fool the reader, curry favor with the powerful, or both.
Having made great steps towards destroying America's economy, his "solution" is -- raise taxes and wreak more havoc upon the American economy!
President Obama will meet with congressional leaders Wednesday morning in a preview of his much-anticipated speech aimed at taking the reins of the fierce debate on the nations debt.
The presidents plan, which will be delivered in a speech from Washington in the afternoon, will call to reduce Medicare and Medicaid spending, lower defense costs and raise taxes on the wealthy.
Somebody need's to tell the Kenyan's son that he cannot tax America into prosperity, and that he cannot bring about solvency by spending ever more money. Taking money out of the economy during Mr. Obama's Great Dem-pression will only serve to slow down the every so slight move towards economic recovery and bring about a second round of economic catastrophe.
Interestingly enough, this president who does not think that he pays enough taxes has apparently failed to follow the solution I put forward yesterday. Since I know I get read by the White House a couple of times a week, let me repeat the address where Barry Hussein can send the money he believes he should have paid the government if not for the Bush Tax Cuts For the Wealthy.
Note to President Obama -- I'm sure that the money will get the right place if you just give the check to Turbo-Tim Geithner, your Treasury Secretary.
If you are old enough to vote, old enough to marry, and old enough to be drafted into the military (should we ever need a draft again), you certainly ought to be able to buy a beer.
If you get shot at, you can have a shot. Thats the rationale behind Alaska State Representativeand Vietnam veteranBob Lynns effort to establish a drinking age of 18 for active-duty service members.
Its an idea that has gotten consideration in other states, and it makes sense. Unfortunately, Mr. Lynns proposal would violate the 1984 Federal Uniform Drinking Age Act, costing Alaska federal highway money. This is a battle that Republicansand fair-minded Democratsin Congress should join
Glenn Harlan Reynolds offers a number of other good, principled reasons to support the repeal of this bad law -- reasons that ought to make everyone, regardless of political ideology, sign on to the project.
Frankly, there is absolutely no legitimate reason to deny adults the right to engage in adult behavior.
And for what it is worth, I hold the same view on Second Amendment rights, too.
The space shuttle was conceived here in Houston. It was designed here. Every shuttle mission has been controlled out of Johnson Space Center. The astronauts have trained here, and many of them have had their homes here. But when all is said and done, Johnson Space Center will not get a space shuttle to join its Saturn V.
NASA administrator Charles Bolden announced today the four museums -- the Smithsonian Institution (Discovery), the California Science Center (Endeavour), Kennedy Space Center (Atlantis) and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (Enterprise) -- that will receive space shuttles for public display after the fleet retires this summer.
As expected Houston, the home of human spaceflight, was snubbed.
Why no shuttle for Houston? Easy look at where they went. Places where the Kenyans son believes he can scrape together the votes to get himself reelected in 2012. And there is no way that he could ever win Texas. So forget about what is logical. Forget about what is historically proper. Put the remaining shuttles where they will do Barry Hussein the most political good.
Dueling banjos, that is.
Twin brothers have been charged with allowing their elderly mother to die on the floor of the home where she had fallen, then leaving the body lying unattended for three months.
Edward Larry Berndt and Edwin Christian Berndt, both 48, are charged with murder in the death of Sybil Berndt, 89, whose body was discovered inside the family home at 8402 Glenscot about 4:30 p.m. Monday, according to the Houston Police Department.
Police said Sybil Berndt had been dead since Jan. 13. Her sons said she had fallen three days earlier.
Seems to me that these guys come from the shallow end of the gene pool.
Here's hoping the Texas Criminal Justice System will take dish out all the law has to offer in this case.
Just remember the economic well-being of Mexico is infinitely more important than the economic well-being of the United States.
In the latest effort to accommodate its cherished trade partner in the south, the U.S. government is paying to upgrade outdated Mexican trucks that hemorrhage illegal amounts of exhaust on their trips north to deliver merchandise.
The Mexican trucks enter the U.S. under a 17-year-old international trade pact known as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and theyve created an air pollution crisis. The air quality in border towns has been especially impacted by the exorbitant levels of exhaust released by the Mexican trucks, which also fail to meet American safety standards.
Since the Mexican truckers have no intention of fixing the problem, Uncle Sam has stepped in to save the environment. U.S. taxpayers have picked up the cost to replace old mufflers on dozens of trucks and many more are scheduled to be upgraded by the middle of this year. The unbelievable story was reported this week by an Arizona newspaper that says replacing the old mufflers with new catalytic converters will reduce harmful diesel emissions by up to 30%.
I wish I was surprised, but Im not. Thats how the Obama Regime works. The proper response to the situation would have been to ban any non-complying vehicle from crossing the border, and handing the driver a Dear Pendejo letter explaining what they needed to do to be allowed to cross the border again.
H/T Gateway Pundit
After all, they really dont need the government to do a thing if they dont believe they are paying enough of their income to the government. All they have to do is CUT THE CHECKS. If they think the extra money they have been keeping these last few years because of the "Bush tax cuts for the wealthy" is ill-gotten gain that has been bad for the country, they can divest themselves of the dirty money -- JUST CUT THE CHECKS!
Patriotic Millionaires earned headlines last winter when it ran ads calling on the President to let the Bush tax cuts expire on the wealthy. The ads read in part:
"We have done very well over last several years. Now, during our nation's moment of need, we are eager to do our fair share. We don't need more tax cuts, and we understand that cutting our taxes will increase the deficit and the debt burden carried by other taxpayers. Letting tax cuts for incomes over $1 million expire is an important step in that direction."
The statement was signed by 45 persons "who now or in the past earned an income of $1 million per year or more." They included Jerry Cohen of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, Grammy Award-nominated DJ, MOBY, Princeton Review founder John Katzman, and star attorney Guy Saperstein.
The United States government will gladly take any and all donations of money from individuals who dont think they have been taxed enough. Heres where the checks go.
Cut the checks, Patriotic Millionaires you can do it. And then post copies of the checks around the internet to show that you have actually put your money where your mouths are. Otherwise, you are nothing but another gang of liberals who wont follow your own stated principles unless the government forces you to and makes everybody else abide by them, too. Lead by example -- be the "Patriotic Millionaires" you claim to be.
I guess that being a willing partner in the fight against jihadi Islam is more than we can expect of the Pakistanis.
Pakistan has demanded that the United States steeply reduce the number of Central Intelligence Agency operatives and Special Operations forces working in Pakistan, and that it put on hold C.I.A. drone strikes aimed at militants in northwest Pakistan, a sign of the near collapse of cooperation between the two testy allies.
The demand that the United States scale back its presence is the immediate fallout of the arrest in Pakistan of Raymond A. Davis, a C.I.A. security officer who killed two men in broad daylight during a mugging in January, Pakistani and American officials said in interviews.
In all, about 335 American personnel C.I.A. officers and contractors and Special Operations forces were being asked to leave the country, said a Pakistani official closely involved in the decision.
Fine. Don't just withdraw those 355 individuals. Withdraw them all. Along with any military and diplomatic personnel. That includes those involved with distributing foreign aid.
And one hour after their departure, lob a couple dozen nukes into those areas that have been the hotbed of terrorist activity. And the locations of all know Pakistani nuclear weapons facilities. And let's be clear -- there should be no latter-day Marshall Plan, either.
George W. Bush said, at the beginning of this war against the jihadis, that other nations are either with us or against us. Let's use Pakistan as the example of what "against us" looks like. Provided that Barack Hussein Obama has the cojones to live up to stated US policy.
At [At] Little Village Academy on Chicago's West Side, students are not allowed to pack lunches from home. Unless they have a medical excuse, they must eat the food served in the cafeteria.
* * *
Principal Elsa Carmona said her intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.
"Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school," Carmona said. "It's about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It's milk versus a Coke. But with allergies and any medical issue, of course, we would make an exception."
Excuse me, Ms. Carmona, but it is not your job to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices or more to the point, from the food choices made by their parents. If you believe that the choices made by the students parents constitutes abuse or neglect, then it is of course your obligation to contact child protective services. It is not, on the other hand, your place to demand that students purchase food from your school cafeteria rather than permit their parents to make non-abusive, non-neglectful choices that you disagree with.
Unless, of course, you are training future serfs rather than free citizens. And if that is your goal, then you need to be terminated immediately she is acting contrary to the stated goals of education in America.
One more point. Chicago Public Schools contracts out with a private company for lunches. Every kid who eats a school lunch is more money in the private companys pockets. I cant help but wonder if an audit of Little Village Academys books and/ or Ms. Carmonas personal finance might not show some sort of gratuity for the high rate of student participation in the meal program. After all, this is Chicago, where corruption is king.
But since it involves a Christian symbol, the authorities probably wont investigate too hard.
Tuan Pham says he was just looking for a peaceful place to put his catholic-based prayer garden. He had a 7 foot Jesus statue custom made in his native Vietnam. He put it in his backyard, overlooking the Mississippi River and the St. Paul skyline.
Pham says he woke up Sunday morning to a wall of flames around his statue. "Right now I'm thinking and praying very hard," he said a few hours later. Family members say someone took wood from Pham's pile and placed it at the base of the statue before lighting it on fire. "You can see evidence on the ground, there's an aerosol can," Pham's son-in-law Dao Phan said.
It may have burned for awhile; Pham's daughter took pictures of her father trying to knock down the flames. Fire investigators were going over the garden a few hours later. If they find evidence of arson, they are expected pass the case on to police.
What do they mean if they find evidence of arson? Do they think Jesus immolated himself, having first piled up the wood and used an aerosol can to get it started? And why has the FBI not been called in you know, like they would be if there were a hate crime against non-Christian religious believers.
By the way, how do I separate this from the Quran burning incident a few weeks back? Why do I not defend this like I do the burning of that book? Easy in the case of the Quran burning, the owner of the Quran set fire to it on property he controlled. In this case, someone came on to another persons property and vandalized a statue that belonged to the owner of the land where they trespassed. The first is political/religious speech akin to garrisons torching of a copy of the Constitution to protest slavery. The second is more like burning a cross in a black familys yard.
I cant help but laugh at this opening paragraph.
What have they done with President Obama? What happened to the inspirational figure his supporters thought they elected? Who is this bland, timid guy who doesnt seem to stand for anything in particular?
Gee, Paul, for a guy who is supposedly bright enough to get a Nobel Prize (just like Obama), you are mighty dense. You still havent figured out that you bought into a load of malarkey when you backed the Kenyans son. Barry Hussein was a blank screen upon whom you projected your hopes and dreams, not an actual candidate with a record and a resume you could rely on, We tried warning you in 2008, but you wouldnt listen and now, 2 ½ years later, it appears that you still think there must be a pony (or a flying unicorn) underneath the massive pile of manure sitting in the Oval Office.
The question is, will Obama stand up and ensure that the UN does not adopt this evil policy.
THE Arab League has decided to seek a no-fly zone over the Gaza Strip, setting the scene for a confrontation with the US, which would be certain to oppose it.
As hostilities have escalated between Israel and Hamas, the elected government of Gaza, the Arab League move was designed to prevent Israeli airstrikes on the area.
Nineteen Palestinians, including Hamas militants and civilians, have been killed in Israeli air raids on Gaza in recent days.
This came after scores of rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza, with both sides claiming the attacks were in response to attacks by the other side.
Arab League spokesman Amr Moussa said yesterday: "The Arab bloc in the United Nations has been directed to ask for the convention of the Security Council to stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza, and impose a no-fly zone."
Lets see Arabs are targeting Jewish civilians. They are hiding themselves amongst civilians when they launch their attacks. Then, when Israel responds, Israel is painted as the aggressor for responding to the initial attack on their own civilians.
Ill say it clearly if Barack Hussein Obama does not side with Israel on this one, he will confirm for me that he is siding with Americas enemies against Americas friends in every case that matters. At that point, I will consider him as having no legitimacy as president.
What it comes down to, is that there is one religion in the world that kills you when you disagree with them. And they say, Look, we are a religion of peace, and if you disagree, well cut your fucking head off.
And yes, i realize that this does not apply to all Muslims. it does, however, apply often enough and in enough places that the statement is humorous not because it is fales, but because it acknowledges an uncomfortable truth.
Here are the full results of this wee's exercise in blogging excellence:
As you can see, there's a lot of great stuff here for you to read. Be sure to get caught up. And, as always, we look forward to seeing you next week with more of the blogosphere's best!
Several weeks ago, an unexpected package appeared on my doorstep. Much to my surprise, it contained a copy of the newly published memoir by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. I've been reading it since that time, and must confess to having found myself a major fan of the book, which renewed my admiration of the author.
Let me be frank -- I've not always been an admirer. While in graduate school, I attended a Chicago-area forum for presidential candidates during the run-up to the 1988 GOP primaries. The only one whose presence confused was Donald Rumsfeld. I remember mocking his participation, calling him the darkest of horses and someone who ought to fade into well-deserved obscurity. I was wrong, as I learned during his tenure as Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush.
And ironically, it was Rumsfeld's career before the Bush Administration that I found most interesting. I lived the six years that constituted his second stint at the Pentagon, and followed his activities closely. But the earlier period in government, which I recall at best vaguely, may be seriously underestimated by those who examine the first decade of the twenty-first century. During that time, not only were Rumsfeld's skills as an administrator honed by his experiences in the Nixon and Ford Administrations, but Rumsfeld discovered and groomed a protégé who would in time eclipse his mentor -- a young man named Dick Cheney. If there is one thing I would say is made clear by the author's account of that first career in government service, it is the dearth of good historical work on the presidency of Gerald Ford -- a key period in American political history in which Rumsfeld was a key player.
Others can and have noted that Rumsfeld's account of his years in the Pentagon during the Bush administration at times challenges the conventional wisdom of the day. Turf wars between the State Department, National Security Council, and The DoD were clearly a problem. And yet the policy that was implemented was, overall, quite effective -- except for the unexpected development of the second war in Iraq against a terrorist insurgency in the wake of the defeat of Saddam Hussein.
What I find of value instead is an effort by Rumsfeld to present the policy issues that dogged the Bush Administration and which continue to plague his successor, Barack Obama. Chief among these would be the short chapter entitled "Law in a Time of War". The Bush Administration tried to establish a method for handling those captured in our War on Terrorism that treated them as what they were -- enemies captured in time of war -- rather than common criminals subject to the legal process. In doing so, there was an effort to rely on the precedents that had guided our country for the first two centuries of its existence. Instead, the courts have placed our legal system in the hands of our enemies -- what Rumsfeld describes as "the litigation weapon" -- as but one more tool in their asymmetrical arsenal. Moreover, the increased internationalization of law has, in Rumsfeld's eyes, become a threat to America's sovereignty and, implicitly, our national security.
Had 9/11 not happened, Donald Rumsfeld might well have been a footnote in history -- the youngest and the oldest man to serve as Secretary of Defense. Instead he is admired by some (including this blogger) and reviled by others for decisions he and others made during the Bush years in the wake of the most grievous attack ever made upon America. Some lionize the administration in which he served, while others demonize it. Donald Rumsfeld makes the case that those things that were done in the aftermath were, if not always correct, motivated by love of country and a desire to safeguard its people. He makes no excuses for those cases where mistakes were made -- even when those mistakes were his own. If the message from Rumsfeld ultimately appears self-serving to a reader, remember that such is the nature of every memoir as it puts forward the author's take on the events of which he was a part. As a student of history, I expect this work to be one of the more important ones to come out of the Bush Administration, and to become a definitive resource for those who want to understand those years.
Oh, and there was a question I found myself asking repeatedly as I read this book. More than once, Donald Rumsfeld was considered as a possible vice presidential candidate. That presents a tantalizing "what if" to consider. Might his presence on the ticket in 1976 have made a difference in the outcome of the race? Had Ronald Reagan selected him as his running mate in 1980, how would that have altered the political trajectory of a nation that elected two men named George Bush to the presidency in the ensuing two decades? Had the elder Bush been able to put aside the rivalry between himself and Rumsfeld, might that have strengthened the ticket in both 1988 and 1992 -- or perhaps have prevented the nomination of the lackluster Bob Dole in 1996? But such "what ifs", while fodder for science fiction writers, are unanswerable. What I can say is that, in the end, the failure of Donald Rumsfeld to ever be the GOP nominee for President or Vice President meant that, on a clear fall morning in September of 2001,Rumsfeld was one of that group of men and women in the key decision-making positions in government who crafted policies that to led our nation safely through the storm. For that I am thankful
Disclosure: Except for the unsolicited copy of the book itself, I have in no way been compensated for this review.
From The Hill
President Obama and Democratic and Republican congressional leaders reached a last-minute deal Friday to avoid a government shutdown.
The agreement, which came after days of partisan sparring and rhetorical drama, would fund the government through the end of September and cut $78.5 billion compared to Obamas proposed but never enacted fiscal 2011 budget.
No, it isn't enough. But then again, we were NEVER going to get enough. Frankly, I agree with John Hawkins on Twitter this evening.
We were not going to get $61 billion here. Heck -- I don't know how many additional cuts we'll get in a week as the final deal get's tweaked. But the reality is that we got some, and that is important. The House GOP, even if it fails to get everything it wanted, is getting the bulk of what we have been crying out for and voted for in November. And the reality is that as long as there is a Democrat-controlled Senate and a Democrat President, a GOP House is going to find itself forced to make a choice -- either take the progress that they can make on the important issues, or hold out everything and get significantly nothing. I'd rather that the GOP had a solid record of accomplishment to run on in 2012 than have to make the case that the most conservative wing of the party presented the Dems with a "take it or leave it" offer that was rejected and followed by something much worse when a few defectors from marginal districts cut a significantly weaker deal with Obama.
Consider this quote I saw attributed to Michelle Bachmann on Twitter -- "Granted that's a savings, $39b, but in context that's a little bit more than one week's worth of deficit spending." ONLY one's week worth of deficit spending? Given that there has never been such a thing in the past, I'm glad to take it and run with it, because it sets a new baseline for future negotiations AND shows that our side is serious about making serious changes.
Two other important points from where I sit are the mandatory Senate votes on defunding ObamaCare and Planned Parenthood. These were the two items that Harry Reid and the Dems refused to even consider. Now they must consider them and must vote on them. How many Dems are still willing to embrace the President's insurance scheme, knowing that a year later the American people stil hate it and still oppose it? How many Dems are willing to stand up and say that they think money needs to come out of their constituents' pockets to pay for abortions as gas prices and unemployment soar -- despite the fact that most Americans oppose such funding even if they think abortion should be legal? These votes give the GOP ammunition to use in 2012.
Growing up, one of the people I most loved was one of those aunt-but-not-an-aunt family friends. Keiko was the wife of one of my fathers close friends, a beautiful Japanese woman who showered my brother and I with love every time we saw her.
Until I was around 13, it never dawned on me that she, like my parents and her husband, would have been a child during WWII and that she, unlike my parents, would have experienced the war from the viewpoint of one of Americas enemies. The day I realized that, we were at her home when a news story about WWII Japanese prisoners of war came on. She began to cry and when I asked why, she told me that the old film they had shown in the story made her think of her brother, who had been a soldier during the war. She looked at me and said He never came home. It took me a few moments to realize that she was telling me that he had died in the war. That changed my view of that war and of all wars.
A story in the Washington Post is another one of those stories that has the same effect this time pointing out that even in the midst of the ugliness of war, there are still acts of great kindness between those who are, ostensibly, enemies. It is the story of one Americans search for the Japanese boy who gave his grandfather food so that he would not die while a prisoner of war in Japan a search based entirely upon a single photo of a Japanese boy. I cannot excerpt it or summarize it well enough to do it justice, so I hope you will consider reading all of it yourself. You will be moved.
The screw-up that took place is inexcusable, and ought to cost the responsible election administrator her job. But lets not forget that the results have been verified not just by Republicans, but also by the Democrat member of the canvassing board.
But at the news conference with [Waukesha County Clerk Kathy] Nickolaus, Ramona Kitzinger, the Democrat on the Waukesha County Board of Canvassers, said: "We went over everything and made sure all the numbers jibed up and they did. Those numbers jibed up, and we're satisfied they're correct."
As a Democrat, she said, "I'm not going to stand here and tell you something that's not true."
The vice-chair of the county Democrats says the revised totals are correct. She is someone who, if she believed it to be the case, could have cried fraud during that press conference and blown any fraudulent scheme out of the water. So while there is plenty to complain about in terms of Nickolaus procedures and while I believe she ought to be removed from office before the next election I fail to see how anyone can legitimately claim that the numbers were rigged.
Cochise County, Ariz., Sheriff Larry Dever received a letter of reprimand from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher this week for telling Fox News Channel that border agents were not making arrests but using tactics to force the illegal aliens back across the border.
Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher said in the letter to Dever that his "assertion is completely, 100 percent false."
First, Dever needs to tell Fisher and his superiors to pound sand. He doesnt answer to them.
Second, there are plenty of Border patrol agents who say that there is precisely such a policy.
Seems to me that Congress needs to investigate and give protection to the whistle-blowers. Surely no liberal could possibly object after all, they always tell us that whistle-blowers, especially those who dissent from government policy, are heroes.
Having just investigated and cleared themselves of wrongdoing over the unequal application of civil rights laws, Obama appointees in the Justice Department have now investigated and cleared Obama of acting outside the scope of his constitutional authority in taking our nation into a war of choice for oil without Congressional sanction.
President Obama had the constitutional power to lawfully launch military strikes in Libya without permission from Congress because he could reasonably determine that such use of force was in the national interest, the Justice Department concluded in an internal memorandum released on Thursday.
The 14-page document, addressed to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., was signed by Caroline D. Krass, the principal deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Departments Office of Legal Counsel, which advises the executive branch about whether proposed actions are lawful.
Noteworthy is the fact that the memo adopts a more expansive view of the presidents war-making power than has been set forth by ANY administration in US history.
And if you disagree with its conclusion, you must be a racist.
White House hopes last-minute
heroics keep government running
Because "Hope" is so much easier for the Kenyan's son than "Leadership" and "Competence". After all, the application of those two would have produced a budget back last fall when Obama, Pelosi, and Reid controlled the entire budget-making process.
You might want to think about a trade-in.
Trust me, Barry America is thinking about a trade-in. And November 2012 cannot get here soon enough. As attested by these poll results.
Forty-four percent of American voters think President Obama deserves to be re-elected, while slightly more -- 48 percent -- think the country would be better off with someone else, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday.
Israel attacks military targets; Arabs attack school buses.
An anti-tank missile shot from the Gaza Strip exploded near a school bus outside Kibbutz Sa'ad in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council on Thursday, injuring two people.
The 16-year-old was in critical condition after paramedics managed to resuscitate him. He was airlifted to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba. Magen David Adom relayed that the boy was struck in his head by shrapnel from the missile.
The attack on kids was justified based upon Israel having done this.
The missile came several hours after the IAF struck three smuggling tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip and one tunnel in the northern area of the Strip.
The IDF spokesperson said that the forces recorded direct hits in the strikes which came in response to anti-tank missiles fired into Israel.
Israel tries to protect its citizens by attacking military targets the Terrorstinians respond by trying to kill more civilians, including children.
If Mexico or Canada were to allow its territory to be used to attack American children, the American people would expect the American government to send in the troops to destroy the capacity to attack American civilians and no American leader would ever consider not doing so. When the same is done to Israel, however, the US government demands constraint and concessions by the Jews to the Arabs. That is shameful and the American people must demand that it stop.
Why am I so infuriated? Because the most seriously injured victim is the same age as my students. How can I feel any less concern for him than I would for the kids I teach? How can I accept my government demanding that his government not do for him what my government would do for any student of mine in the same situation?
I can think of few folks in American political life for whom I have greater contempt.
Disgraced politician John Edwards is said to be deeply depressed - to the point of being suicidal - over the prospect of a criminal trial that could end with him being jailed if found guilty.
The 57-year-old former Presidential candidate reportedly told a close friend: 'I won't go to jail. I'd kill myself first!'
I view this the same way Microsoft views flaws in its software Its not a glitch; its a feature!
Hes willing to send them to an unconstitutional war -- and then he cuts off pay to the troops for his own petty political purposes.
President Obama promised on Thursday to veto a House Republican bill that would keep the government open for one extra week and cut $12 billion in spending, while also funding the military through the remainder of the fiscal year.
We have men and women fighting in three different countries right now and Barry Hussein is willing to cut off paychecks to them and their families. He failed to lead on the budget last year, his fellow Democrats failed to pass a budget last year when they controlled both houses of Congress, and now he wants to blame the GOP for a budget crisis and use the US military as pawns when the GOP attempts to enact what should be a universally acclaimed position (funding the military and paying the troops through the rest of the fiscal year) accepted by patriotic Americans of all political persuasions.
Hes proposed budgets and pushed for programs that may reduce America to the financial equivalent of a banana republic this shameful move on the part of the Kenyans son may put tanks in the streets even sooner.
UPDATE: Great quesstion on Twitter from Erick Erickson:
A United Arab Emirates naval officer who attends the Newport-based Naval War College was charged Tuesday with luring a foreign servant to the United States, then failing to pay her and keeping her confined in his house.
During an arraignment in U.S. District Court in Providence, Col. Arif Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Al-Ali pleaded not guilty to visa fraud and lying to a government official. A federal magistrate judge released him on personal recognizance.
Al-Ali will continue his studies at the college, said Cmdr. Carla McCarthy, a spokeswoman for the college.
So lets see. A foreign national, being trained by our military, engages in fraud to import a servant to the United States and then keeps her as a slave in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment because it is part of his culture. Our courts release him without bail, despite the fact that it would be quite easy for him to return home and escape any punishment because what he did is accepted practice there. And then our government is going to continue to train him in at our most prestigious school for naval officers, despite his offenses. Am I the only one who is disgusted?
Just remember he still doesnt have a declaration of war or its functional equivalent (an authorization of military force) from Congress.
The United States may consider sending troops into Libya with a possible international ground force that could aid the rebels, according to the general who led the military mission until NATO took over.
Army Gen. Carter Ham also told lawmakers Thursday that added American participation would not be ideal, and ground troops could erode the international coalition and make it more difficult to get Arab support for operations in Libya.
Ham said the operation was largely stalemated now and was more likely to remain that way since America has transferred control to NATO.
In other words, the Kenyans son is actually doing in Libya all the things that the Left falsely accused George W. Bush of doing in Iraq no authority, no partners, no plan. Where are the protests?
Ill assume this means his son is not running.
Appearing on the Alex Jones Show today, Texas Rep. Ron Paul said he will make a final decision within a month on whether he will run for president in the 2012 election.
Looks to me like we can expect to spend the next 18 months battling the worst the nutter-fringe has to offer.
The statistics here certainly ought to raise the question.
In Texas, 54 percent of legal immigrants and 70 percent of illegal immigrants receive welfare assistance, with illegal immigrants generally receiving benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children, according to the study, written by a think tank that favors reducing immigration into the U.S.
Overall, Texas tied with California and New York for the second highest immigrant welfare rates behind Arizona.
We should note that the study takes an expansive view of what constitutes a government welfare program, so programs such as reduced-price school lunches for low-income students are classified as welfare, according to CIS' methodology.
Texas showed 61 percent of households headed by an immigrant utilizing at least one program compared to the 42 percent of Texas natives on welfare.
One does have to wonder what the impact would be if those families headed by illegal aliens were cut off from public benefits. How much money would Texas save? I dont know but it would be substantial.
Showing, of course, that while Muslims expect Christians in their own homelands to show sensitivity to the religious feelings and laws of Muslims, that same obligation does not apply in reverse.
An Eritrean Christian is facing the death penalty in Saudi Arabia after being arrested for sharing his faith with Muslims.
Mussie Eyob was detained by the authorities at a mosque in Saudi's second largest city, Jeddah, on 12 February. He had gone there to meet and talk with local Muslims after speaking about Christianity at the Eritrean Embassy for three days. Eyob was arrested for preaching to Muslims, an offence that carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia.
Hmmm. . . . now what would Muslims do if folks in a non-Muslim country decided that it would start executing Muslims for sharing Islam with non-Muslims?
Oh, I know! They would riot and burn and rape and pillage and kill anyone who they decided served as a good surrogate for Christianity.
I wonder -- would the Saudis show a little leniency in this matter (perhaps even stop banning Christian activity completely) if a bunch of us poured into the streets, rioted, destroyed mosques, and killed Muslims in protest of Saudi religious intolerance and insensitivity?
No, not a chance. Because, after all, the Islamic view is that only Muslims have religious rights, while non-Muslims have the privilege of practicing their faiths only if they are properly submissive to Muslim rules and regulations.
In other words, acting like Muslims would not do a thing to stop Muslim Saudi Arabia from enforcing Muslim law.
it s times like this that I sort of find myself wondering if Ann Coulter didn't get it right after 9/11 -- We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. Not as, as Coulter angrily suggested, in the name of revenge. As a means, however unpalatable, of putting an end to the human rights violation that is Islam.
And then I stop, and remember something I have written more than once over the years. Christians, like Muslims, are called to martyrdom by our God. Our martyrdom, however, is not achieved by driving a plane full of innocents into a crowded building or by detonating an explosive strapped to our bodies while standing amongst those we have decided are the enemies of God. No, for us martyrdom consists in putting ourselves at risk, to the point of submitting to bodily death at the hands of God's enemies for daring to proclaim the Gospel message that Jesus Christ our Lord is Risen from the dead and has therefore broken the chains of death for us as well. And so while I hope that Mussie Eyob is miraculously delivered from his prison cell like Paul and Silas, I cannot help but admit that I will rejoice if our God -- not the false "Allah" of Islam -- wills that Eyob drink of the same cup that Christ did in the Garden of Gethsemane. After all, it is a witness such as this that shows the ultimate strength of the Gospel message and its superiority over that of the Quran.
The Left is going to balk at one of the numbers being bandied about with regards to Paul Ryans budget proposal. It is the number he highlights time and again.
Our budget, which we call The Path to Prosperity, is very different. For starters, it cuts $6.2 trillion in spending from the president's budget over the next 10 years, reduces the debt as a percentage of the economy, and puts the nation on a path to actually pay off our national debt. Our proposal brings federal spending to below 20% of gross domestic product (GDP), consistent with the postwar average, and reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion.
Cutting $6.2 TRILLION? The number boggles the mind and will cause many Dems to stroke out. After all, they will argue, that is $6.2 taken away from the poor despite the fact that spending that $6.2 trillion will guarantee that many more Americans end up poor as the ever increasing debt and tax burden destroy our economy.
But some on the Right will be troubled as well but by a different number. I know I am. What is the number?
That is more or less what the US will still be spending over the next decade under the Ryan Plan -- $40 trillion. That number just boggles the mind. Do we really want our federal government to be that big? Is $6.2 trillion all that we could cut? Isnt there something more to be done away with perhaps dropping the number to around $35 trillion, or even less? Im not sure but Im still staggered by that spending level. Still, James Pethokoukis points out the positive aspects of the Ryan Plan as thoroughly Reaganite (and Bill Bennett and Newt also pointed out the underlying influence of Ryans mentor, and my hero, Jack Kemp on this document).
Still, with one leading Democrat already objecting to the cuts as draconian, I suppose that the bigger cuts I might like to see are unrealistic.
Though I have to ask one question:
New York Post columnist Michael Walsh mentioned this Noel Coward song today in his column. Unfortunately, it appears that too many folks in power in our country today would have us seriously adopt the sort of policies mocked by the great British satirist during WWII.
DONT LETS BE BEASTLY TO THE GERMANS
Don't let's be beastly to the Germans
When our victory is ultimately won,
It was just those nasty Nazis
Who persuaded them to fight,
And their Beethoven and Bach
Are really far worse than their bite!
Let's be meek to them
And turn the other cheek to them,
And try to bring out their latent sense of fun.
Let's give them full air parity
And treat the rats to charity
But don't let's be beastly to the Hun!
We must be kind,
And with an open mind
We must endevour to find a way
To let the German know that, when the war is over
They are not the ones who'll have to pay.
We must be sweet,
And tactful and discreet,
And when they've suffered defeat
We mustn't let them feel upset,
Or ever get the feeling
That we're cross with them or hate them,
Our future policy must be to reinstate them.
Don't let's be beastly to the Germans
When we've definitely got them on the run.
Let us treat them very kindly
As we would a valued friend;
We might send them some bishops
As a form of lease and lend.
Let's be sweet to them,
And day by day repeat to them
That sterilisation simply isn't done.
Let's help the dirty swine again
To occupy the Rhine again,
But don't let's be beastly to the Hun!
We must be just
And win their love and trust,
And in addition we must be wise,
And ask the conquered lands
To join our hands to aid them,
That would be a wonderful surprise!
For many years
They've been in floods of tears,
Because the poor little dears
Have been so wronged,
And only longed
To cheat the world,
Deplete the world,
And beat the world to blazes;
This is the moment when we ought to sing their praises!
Don't let's be beastly to the Germans,
For you can't deprive a gangster of his gun!
Though they've been a little naughty
To the Czechs and Poles and Dutch,
I don't suppose those countries
Really minded very much.
Let's be free with them
And share the BBC with them,
We mustn't prevent them basking in the sun.
Let's soften their defeat again
And build their blasted fleet again,
But don't let's be beastly to the Hun!
Don't let's be beastly to the Germans
When the age of peace and plenty has begun.
We must send them steel and oil and coal
And everything they need,
For their peaceable intentions
Can be always guaranteed!
Let's employ with them
A sort of "stength through joy" with them,
They're better than us at honest manly fun.
Let's let them feel they're swell again
And bomb us all to hell again,
But don't let's be beastly to the Hun!
Â« All done with "A Musical Blast From The Past -- Noel Coward's "DONT LETS BE BEASTLY TO THE GERMANS""?
You write the following in your imprecatory column against Quran burning, opposition to Islam, and, at best incidentally, other religious conflicts.
And how can the Islamophobes, spreading poison, justify their grotesque caricature of Islam in the thinly veiled pursuit of political gain?
Let's set aside the fact that Eric Holder believes that he, an unelected presidential appointee, should be deferred to by the People and their elected representatives in Congress. This is offensive because he clearly is unfamiliar with the US Constitution.
Congress tied the Obama administrations hands in trying the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and his accomplices, Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday, announcing that he was left without a choice and has referred the cases to the Defense Department for trial.
* * * * *
Do I know better than them? Yes. I respect their ability to disagree but they should respect that this is an executive branch function, a unique executive branch function, Holder said in a press conference.
Really, sir? A uniquely executive branch function? You might want to reconsider that view in light of the United States Constitution.
Article I Section 8 Clause 9 The Congress shall have Power. . . To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court. . . .
Article III Section 1
The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. . . .
Article III Section2 Clause 3
The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
In other words, the Federal District Courts and Circuit Courts of Appeals are all creations of the Legislative Branch, not the Executive branch. As such, it is the province of the Legislative Branch to determine what jurisdiction they shall have and determine what cases they may hear. Moreover, the crimes committed by these terrorist swine were committed OUTSIDE OF ANY STATE (given they had not entered the country to plan or implement the 9/11 attacks and subsequent criminal offenses), and so Congress has the authority to set the location of any trial -- and they exercised that authority. What's more, the Constitution also has the right to define offenses against the laws of nations (terrorism qualifies) and to establish rules for the conduct of the military during time of war, which includes dealing with the treatment of captured enemies and their trial for war crimes.
I would therefore like to suggest to Eric Holder that he shut up and defer to the branch that has primary authority for determining where and how these enemies of the United States shall be tried -- the Legislative Branch -- and recognize that the only Executive Branch role is to prosecute where Congress says to do so.
They all have expiration dates.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and four co-conspirators will be tried in a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Department of Justice officials said today.
So much for the promise of civilian trials and the closure of Gitmo.
Just one more example of how the majority of the CHANGE America has seen under the Kenyans son has been to his position on issues.
And I, for one, argue that we should give just as much consideration to his concerns as he showed to the objections of his victims.
Cleve Foster says he's not afraid to die but he doesn't want to be a guinea pig.
Foster would be the first Texas inmate executed with a new drug in the nation's busiest death penalty state if his lethal injection scheduled for Tuesday evening is carried out in Huntsville. It's the most significant change in the execution procedure in Texas since the state switched from the electric chair when it resumed carrying out capital punishment in 1982.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, like other corrections agencies around the nation, has been unable to find a supplier of sodium thiopental, one of the three drugs it has been using in a lethal chemical mixture. The department announced last month it would begin using pentobarbital as a substitute. The sedative used in surgery and to euthanize animals is already used in executions in Ohio and Oklahoma.
Now you will just love this line.
"How can Texas use something said to not be fit to kill a dog?" Foster asked, embracing criticisms of the drug that have failed to convince courts to block its use in the other states.
Given that Fosters life is not remotely close in value to that of a dog, I think this is an appropriate choice. Maybe after testing the drug on Foster and his fellow death row inmates, we might be able to approve it for canine use.
However, I'm more than willing to see this creep executed by a method that is undoubtedly effective -- the injection of lead, 9mm at a time, to the base of his skull until breathing ceases.
I offered pretty stark criticism of Lindsey Graham yesterday for his opposition to the First Amendment to the US Constitution. That said, Im adamantly opposed to the practice of using attacks upon Grahams policy positions to make attacks upon Grahams putative sexual orientation.
Americas gayest Senator Lindsey Graham loves perpetual war more than freedom of speech
Weve covered Americas gayest Senators love of war, and Afghanistan, and war in Afghanistan before.
Now Lindsey says,
I wish we could find some way to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but were in a war. During World War II, you had limits on what you could do if it inspired the enemy.
Engage him on the plane of ideas, not using irrelevant (and possibly false) personal attacks. After all, there are some very good conservatives out there who happen to be gay. And if you cannot offer criticism based upon the content of Grahams ideas, do all of us on the right a big favor and become a liberal Democrat you are engaged in the very sort of argumentation that they do.
Here in America, you can burn an American flag with the full protection of the US Constitution. You can burn a copy of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. You can legally burn a cross. You can display a crucifix in a jar of urine or a picture of the Virgin Mary covered in animal feces -- and get funding from the taxpayer to do so. But if Harry Reid and Lindsey Graham have their way, you won't be able to burn or deface one particular book -- Muhammad's Big Book of Lies, AKA the Quran.
Here's Reid's take.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told CBSs Bob Schieffer on Sunday that some members of Congress were considering some kind of action in response to the Florida Quran burning that sparked a murderous riot at a United Nations complex in Afghanistan and other mayhem.
I wish we could find a way to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but were in a war. During World War II, we had limits on what you could say if it would inspire the enemy. So, burning a Koran is a terrible thing but it doesnt justify killing someone. Burning a Bible would be a terrible thing but it doesnt justify murder.
But interestingly enough, there are no murders taking place because of blasphemy against Christian beliefs of the burning of Bibles. Heck, the US government actually burns inconvenient Bibles lest Muslims be offended. Somehow these enemies of freedom of speech didn't see a need to investigate or hold hearings on that action by the government using taxpayer dollars -- but they want to investigate a private individual who burned a single book that he purchased with private dollars? Really?
What this means, of course, is the replacement of the First Amendment with the Sharia Code -- hence my decision to put that video at the top of the page. What next? Punishment for me for daring to show these cartoons again?
After all, these cartoons were the excuse used by Muslims to riot and murder -- obviously Americans need to be prohibited from publishing or seeing these, since they offend Muslims during time of war.
Some argue that burning a Quran is "crying fire in a crowded theater". When they invoke that metaphor, they forget where it came from -- Schenck v. United States -- and the full quote.
The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.
The operative word there is FALSELY -- because after all, there are circumstances when shouting fire in a theater would be fully justified -- such as when there actually is a fire, or when doing so is a part of the performance itself. And indeed, the central holding of Schenck -- that Congress could prohibit speech that had a "clear and present danger" of causing harm -- was explicitly overturned a half-century later in Brandenburg v. Ohio. The later case held that the speech had to be intended to provoke "imminent lawless action" and be likely to do so -- which would mean that Terry Jones' Quran burning session could NEVER be prohibited under the US Constitution because he lacked the intent to provoke violence and the violence that did eventually come about happened half a world away due to the incitement of others in that country.
Others, of course, try to argue that Quran burning can be banned on the basis that they constitute "fighting words, as defined in Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, which allows for the banning of that class of speech which are of slight social value and "which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace." That argument fails, though, in a case like this one -- after all, the Quran burning took place as a part of a larger effort to refute the ideas the book contains. While one might argue that burning a Quran could be banned if it were done outside the doors of a mosque while prayers were in progress due to the likelihood of its inciting a breach of peace, the same cannot be said when (as in this case) the deed is done in a Christian church with an audience that chose to come to witness the event. What's more, in Terminiello v. City of Chicago, the Supreme Court held that it is unconstitutional to ban speech because it "invites dispute", "induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger." Moreover, the notion that a propensity for violence on the part of opponents of a message may be grounds for suppressing that message is itself antithetical to the First Amendment.
It is interesting that today, on Broadway, a play is running (to critical acclaim,, not White House condemnation) that mocks the beliefs of millions of Americans and profanes the name of their sacred text. Followers of that faith have not take to the streets in murderous rage, demanding an end to the performances and the punishment of those involved in the production. In Los Angeles, an art exhibit mocked Jesus Christ with no violence and no Congressional hearings. No, only the actions of one formerly obscure congregation have brought us to the point of making the United States follow Islamic religious teachings adopting a sharia-compliant blasphemy law -- because rather than insulting the beliefs of loyal Americans, someone trespassed against the religious code of America's enemies and those enemies killed innocents.
Because, after all, those who committed the murders bear no culpability for their actions -- after all, they are Muslims.
[Steffan] De Mistura [the top UN envoy in Afghanistan] spoke in a somber tone as he described how three U.N. staff members and four Nepalese guards were killed Friday when the protesters stormed their compound in the normally peaceful city of Mazar-i-Sharif. He placed direct blame on those who burned a copy of the Muslim holy book in Gainesville, Florida, last month, stoking anti-foreign sentiment that already was on the rise after nearly a decade of war in Afghanistan.
The demonstration was meant to protest against the insane and totally despicable gesture by one person who burned the holy Quran, he said.
So let's get this straight. One man, half a world away, is responsible for what these folks did some three weeks later? REALLY? That Terry Jones is one powerful dude! After all, he is capable of making otherwise peaceful followers of an otherwise peaceful religion commit acts of murder and mayhem just by burning PAPER!
I call BULLSHIT!
And i think I'll download and burn a copy of the UN Charter -- especially since DeMistura is already defecating on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
You'll get no argument from me about the Tyrant of Tripoli being an unsavory and evil dictator. I think we should have taken the man out years ago, suspending that unwise executive order on assassinating heads of state (admit it -- some world leaders DO deserve it). Had you asked me 20 years ago whether or not the US should make it our policy to remove him from power -- including through the use of military force -- I would have answered in the affirmative.
Unfortunately, it is not 20 years ago. Evil though he may be, the Libyan dictator has given up international terrorism and WMDs. And while I'd still like him gone, I am inclined to argue against a policy of supporting any group with leaders like these.
DARNA, Libya Two former Afghan Mujahedeen and a six-year detainee at Guantanamo Bay have stepped to the fore of this citys military campaign, training new recruits for the front and to protect the city from infiltrators loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi.
The presence of Islamists like these amid the opposition has raised concerns, among some fellow rebels as well as their Western allies, that the goal of some Libyan fighters in battling Col. Gadhafi is to propagate Islamist extremism.
Abdel Hakim al-Hasady, an influential Islamic preacher and high-school teacher who spent five years at a training camp in eastern Afghanistan, oversees the recruitment, training and deployment of about 300 rebel fighters from Darna.
Does a regime with such leaders -- terrorists who have fought against American troops -- constitute a sufficient improvement to justify backing, training, and arming them, even against a guy like Gadhafi? As we fight Islamic terrorists around the globe, ought we be arming them in Libya? Barack Obama has not answered that question at all. Congress needs to call the Kenyan's son to account on this one, before the training and weapons we pay for in Libya are used to kill American men and women in uniform.
H/T Don Surber
Here are the results of this week's exercise in blogging excellence!
Congratulation to the winners, and to all participants. Ne get reading, folks, there is lots of great stuff here!
They are "white lighting" -- voting "present, not voting" on budget proposals.
Symbolic protest votes by many Democrats on Friday could not derail the Republicans in the Texas House as they chugged through hundreds of amendments to the 2012-13 budget.
Outnumbered and overpowered, almost all of the Democratic House members repeatedly registered as present, not voting on the Republican amendments to House Bill 1 that sought to move money mostly from family planning to other priorities.
I will not be put in the position of pulling from one need to (give to) another, said Rep. Sylvester Turner, a Houston Democrat and the vice chairman of the budget-writing Appropriations Committee.
In other words, Sylvester Turner isn't man enough to make the tough choices -- he'd rather stick his thumb up his @$$ and let real legislators make the real choices that have to be made this biennium. That way he can come home and complain about the budget and tell his constituents that it isn't his fault. What he won't tell them is that he took away their voice in the legislature by refusing to actually cast a vote on these weighty matters.
And then there is this Demo-yahoo.
Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, said he and other Democrats were white-lighting because the House leadership had refused to consider ways to bring more money into the budget by closing certain tax loopholes, reforming the state business tax or using more money from the states multibillion-dollar rainy day fund.
Im taking a position, and my position is: This is a false choice, Villarreal said. Im not going to pick one over the other when I know there is a third option.
Yeah -- rather than introduce amendments to raise taxes and argue for such a policy, Mike Villarreal prefers to sit and pout rather than do the job his constituents sent him to do. He has chosen to emasculate himself; to be a steer, not a bull. What a contemptible weakling, choosing to cower shamelessly rather than fight for what he believes in. Well, maybe he does fight to get to the front of the line at the bank to cash the check for his legislative salary and his per diem while the legislature is in session.
This morning I took issue with Rep. Pete Gallego and his proposal to front-load the education budget and hope more money appears by 2013 to pay for the final three months of the fiscal year. But you know what -- I at least admire Rep. Gallego for trying to accomplish something rather than acting like Sylvester Turner, Mike Villarreal and abdicating his role as a legislator. It's why I'll give him the title of Representative while withholding it from the other two. I may disagree with him, but I at least give him respect for making the effort. The white-lighters? As far as I'm concerned they should just admit their failure as legislators, pack their bags and leave Austin.
But they won't do that. Instead they will stay in town, collect their pay, and follow the example of the Kenyan's son back when he was a legislator in Illinois. After all, why take a side on a hard question when it is so much easier to vote "Present"?
H/T Half Empty -- who thinks the white-lighters are doing a great job.
Just a quick reminder -- disrespect towards the enemy in time of war is pretty common. Mocking those things and people the enemy holds sacred or in high regard is pretty normal. So will the liberals who insist that the Florida Quran burners are responsible for acts of murder by Muslims offended by their First Amendment speech also condemn the producers of these offenses during the Second World War for encouraging the radical Nazis and making the SS fight harder?
So, is it shameful to mock the enemy, or patriotic? Should we re-write our history books to depict the Axis powers as innocents provoked by the outrageous speech of bad Americans? Should Americans have been punished for provoking the enemy to further outrages against innocents by showing such disrespect? If not, how can you condemn those who burned the Quran in Florida?
I posted this video -- and commentary -- the other day after Pakistan began agitating for treating the deed it depicts.
It is not the first time I've commented on the issue of torching Islam's "holy" book -- and I put that word in quotations marks because I consider neither the book nor the teachings of Islam to be holy.
The followers of Muhammad have, however, proved themselves to be precisely the sort of violent fanatics -- and the Quran to be the source of that violent fanaticism -- that Terry Jones claimed when he engaged in the Quran burning.
MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan Stirred up by three angry mullahs who urged them to avenge the burning of a Koran at a Florida church, thousands of protesters on Friday overran the compound of the United Nations in this northern Afghan city, killing at least 12 people, Afghan and United Nations officials said.
Depending upon reports, at least two of the victims were beheaded.
Apologists for Islamic barbarism call upon authorities to take action against Jones -- or at least declare him to be morally responsible for the riots and murders. They in effect endorse an expansion of the heckler's veto over anti-Muslim speech -- I call it the "terrorist's veto". James Joyce argues the same point:
If we allow the possible reaction of the most dogmatic, evil people who might hear the message to govern our expression, we dont have freedom at all. Its worse than a hecklers veto; its a murderers veto.
I stand with those who argue that Terry Jones is not responsible for these deaths, or for the violence that led to them, merely because he burned a Quran. He burned a copy of a commonly available book that he personally owned in order to make a comment on social, political, and theological issues of the day -- and by any definition, that is activity that is protected under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Those who attempt to say other wise -- or to blame him because illiterate savages (and the educated savages who spent a couple of days riling them up) engaged in acts of violence and murder -- betray every Western notion of freedom. One can argue that burning a Quran is an ugly, provocative act -- but no civilized person can argue that it is a valid excuse for murdering the perpetrator of that act, much less murdering innocents unconnected to the act.
What needs to be asked now is not "Is Terry Jones responsible? It is, once again -- as it is virtually every day -- "What is wrong with Islam that time and again its most devoted adherents engage in this sort of behavior while so many of their coreligionists give their assent and approval?" When we get an answer to that question -- and a solution to bring about change -- then we can look for consensus on Quran abuse.
I'm not fond of some of the budget cutting that is going to happen in school districts around the state of Texas because of state budget issues this year. I've got friends who have lost their jobs, and know others who are "on the bubble" in their schools and districts. I don't like some of the solutions being proposed to provide "flexibility" to school districts, because they will invariably hurt kids and teachers while not getting to the real structural problems in school districts. So for just a moment, I was intrigued by an idea put forth by a Democrat -- even though it was voted down.
Representative Gallego presented a plan that would have allowed schools to stay open, save teachers' jobs, and keep children learning. The plan doesn't strip money away from any other program, and it doesn't raise taxes or create new taxes.
Instead, it would fund schools until 2013 - when the Legislature would be back in session. As they usually do, lawmakers would pass a supplemental spending bill to close the gap. At that time, they could take a look at funding those extra few months. Our revenue picture is improving: sales tax collections are up, and we have reason to believe the economy is improving.
Schools all over the state are threatened with closure, teachers are being fired, school boards don't know how they're going to pay the bills. They could use the reassurance that this innovative plan would bring - it's a shame that Republicans in the House didn't want to give them that.
Interestingly enough, no one can provide any links to the actual proposal -- the closest I can get is this on Facebook from the Texas Democrat Party.
Democrat Pete Gallego offers amendment that would fully fund schools for 21 months and save 100,000 school employee jobs. Amendment voted down by House Republicans.
And therein lies the problem. The amendment simply created a way for THIS legislature to dodge its responsibility by not fully funding Texas schools for the full biennium. Instead, the proposal called upon the legislature to punt,leaving it to legislators two years from now to make the hard choices. The Texas Tribune offers this in its liveblog of the budget debate.
Aycock accuses Gallego's self-dubbed "Save Our Schools" amendment which would move money allotted to the second year of the biennium to the first year, with the hopes that the Lege will come up with more money in the next session of "frontloading."
And Rep. Aycock is correct. Pete Gallego wanted to adopt a HOPE & CHANGE solution -- by having legislators HOPE that the teetering Obama Economy will CHANGE over the next two years and money will magically appear in the state treasury to close the gap.
The problem,of course, is that there is no way of knowing what will actually happen in two years -- and if the money isn't there in 2013, the reality will be that instead of cutting 100K teachers (under the worst-case scenario) we will need to cut even more in order to make up the unfunded budget gap for this biennium AND the whatever shortfall exists for the following biennium. Anybody want to see 150K teachers cut? How about 200K? Unless, of course, the goal is simply to dig a hole so deep that in two years there have to be tax increases of the sort that this state has never seen.
Of course, those are the tactics of the liberal side -- but folks on the conservative side are too often engaged in some of the same tactics and other stuff that is just as bad.
For example, despite the fact that the so-called "rainy day fund" -- actually the Economic Stabilization Fund -- was created to be used in situations precisely like the one we are in, it has become an article of faith among some in the GOP that it must not be used for that purpose. Unfortunately, those taking this position include the Governor, the Speaker, and the bulk of the folks from the Tea Party. Their presumption is that ONLY cuts can be considered -- that any efforts to raise new revenues through taxes are illegitimate and merely feeding bloated government. This includes the creation of entirely new revenue streams -- in a recent exchange with one prominent Tea Party activist (a candidate for state representative in 2010), I discovered that she opposed legalizing casino gambling in Texas based upon the fact that the industry would provide more tax revenue to the state!
Unfortunately, there are some real solutions that are not being discussed. While everyone is talking about cutting teachers, eliminating the minimum salary schedule, allowing salary decreases or furloughing teachers, no one seems interested in capping the number of district administrators in school districts (one district, for example, has put forward a plan to cut 1000 positions -- only three of them administrators). No one wants to talk about combining school districts to promote efficiency -- do we really need superintendents making $200K presiding over districts with four schools and a district office staff of 30? And I don't hear anyone talking about cutting or gutting Texas' sacred cow -- high school football -- in order to bolster what goes on in the classrooms in any district. Instead I'm hearing about more kids in classrooms and fewer classroom supplies (and less copy paper) on every campus around the state.
So while I lobby state officials quietly, I also wait. I wonder which of my colleagues will not be back at my school next year. I wonder what courses I will teach next year after the cuts go into effect. I wonder how I'm supposed to prepare students for the new state End of Course tests with materials that are a decade old and written to the previous set of state standards. And as I look down the road, I wonder if there is any prospect for things to be better in two years when the next budget is adopted.
Hamas is sponsoring another terrorist flotilla to Israel and Israel is demanding that it be stopped.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Friday to stop the impending flotilla that is supposed to set sail to the Gaza Strip in May.
The Israeli prime minister told the UN Chief that the flotilla is being organized by extreme Islamists that are interested only in provocation. He added that the ship's key goal is to fuel tensions, particularly in light of the fact that the Gaza Strip is open to all types of goods brought in via land.
Israel can solve this in a much more simple, efficient way than they have the last few times. And in doing so, they can avoid subjecting IDF personnel to this sort of attack, as was engaged in by last Mays flotilla.
My suggestion involves something like this.
Combined with this.
Problem of terrorists on the high seas solved with no muss, fuss, or injured innocents.
From the same slug who is always out to prove that Islam is a religion of hate, not peace.
Firebrand cleric Anjem Choudary has warned that a terror attack is 'highly likely' at the Royal wedding.
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Choudary said: 'All Muslims should stay away from the public gatherings like the Royal wedding and the Olympics because there is a very high likelihood of an attack.
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'If my brothers decide to use the opportunity when the world is looking at the Royal Family to pass a message so that we can avoid more deaths of innocent men, women and children in Afghanistan, that should be applauded.
Isnt is just amazing how peaceful these folks are?
Im sure that somewhere in Washington, a regulation is being written to require what is already being suggested.
Of all the terrible chronic diseases, only one end-stage kidney disease gets special treatment by the federal government. A law passed by Congress 39 years ago provides nearly free care to almost all patients whose kidneys have failed, regardless of their age or ability to pay.
But the law has had unintended consequences, kidney experts say. It was meant to keep young and middle-aged people alive and productive. Instead, many of the patients who take advantage of the law are old and have other medical problems, often suffering through dialysis as a replacement for their failed kidneys but not living long because the other chronic diseases kill them.
Kidney specialists are pushing doctors to be more forthright with elderly people who have other serious medical conditions, to tell the patients that even though they are entitled to dialysis, they may want to decline such treatment and enter a hospice instead. In the end, it is always the patients choice.
And once ObamaCare puts the government in charge of everything medical, there is no place else to turn to save your life.
The Obama Regime, in the person of Secretary of State Hillary Von Ribbentrop Clinton, has claimed unlimited, unlimitable authority to conduct war without congressional authorization and in defiance of congressional limits placed upon the Executive Branch by Congress.
The White House would forge ahead with military action in Libya even if Congress passed a resolution constraining the mission, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a classified briefing to House members Wednesday afternoon.
Clinton was responding to a question from Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) about the administration's response to any effort by Congress to exercise its war powers, according to a senior Republican lawmaker who attended the briefing.
The answer surprised many in the room because Clinton plainly admitted the administration would ignore any and all attempts by Congress to shackle President Obama's power as commander in chief to make military and wartime decisions. In doing so, he would follow a long line of Presidents who have ignored the act since its passage, deeming it an unconstitutional encroachment on executive power.
This is utter lawlessness. This is a complete repudiation of the Constitution and an attempt to create an imperial presidency on a scale never seen by this country. Obama, through Clinton, has announced that he considers himself to be completely without limits in the exercise of the war-making power -- including the limits set by the Constitution.
Congress must draft and pass limits on the Libyan War. When Obama defies them, he must be impeached and removed. It isn't about politics and more -- it is about preserving the Republic.
As Congress struggles to negotiate a budget deal to keep the government running, the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) told lawmakers Wednesday that the GOP version of the budget bill would result in the deaths of at least 70,000 children who depend on American food and health assistance around the world.
"We estimate, and I believe these are very conservative estimates, that H.R. 1 would lead to 70,000 kids dying," USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah testified before the House Appropriations State and Foreign Ops subcommittee.
"Of that 70,000, 30,000 would come from malaria control programs that would have to be scaled back specifically. The other 40,000 is broken out as 24,000 would die because of a lack of support for immunizations and other investments and 16,000 would be because of a lack of skilled attendants at birth," he said.
Maybe Mr. Shah could explain when it became America's responsibility to care for these 70K non-American kids. As we are facing tough economic times at home -- and cuts in programs for our own children -- we cannot afford to continue to fund the programs, no matter how much good they do. Our domestic needs have to come first. Maybe it is time for the rest of the world to step up to the place and take over funding these programs. America just can't afford them anymore -- no matter how much we might wish we could.
Again, you probably shouldn't.
An Arizona sheriff says U.S. Border Patrol officials have repeatedly told him they have been ordered to reduce -- at times even stop -- arrests of illegal immigrants caught trying to cross the U.S. border.
Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever told FoxNews.com that a supervisor with the U.S. Border Patrol told him as recently as this month that the federal agencys office on Arizona's southern border was under orders to keep apprehension numbers down during specific reporting time periods.
The senior supervisor agent is telling me about how their mission is now to scare people back, Dever said in an interview with FoxNews.com. He said, I had to go back to my guys and tell them not to catch anybody, that their job is to chase people away. They were not to catch anyone, arrest anyone. Their job was to set up posture, to intimidate people, to get them to go back.
In other words, the Obama Regime has decided that optics are more important that public safety, national security, and American sovereignty.
Just one more reason we have become an illegal immigration nation.