Imagine, for a moment, that a group of investors was looking to open a theme park based upon the works of JRR Tolkein or the history of the Civil War. The project would employ roughly 900 people in an economically distressed area during the current economic crisis Ė and so based upon neutral criteria the state decided to offer tax credits for the project on the same basis as it offers them to new or expanding businesses. Would the New York Times object? Somehow I doubt it.
The American landscape is dotted with tourist attractions created with the help of government subsidies bestowed in the name of economic development. Think of the cheese museum in Rome, N.Y. A project just approved in Kentucky pushes the constitutional envelope.
The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority granted more than $40 million in tax incentives for a planned $172 million Bible-based theme park, featuring a full-size replica of Noahís ark, complete with live animals.
Conceived by the Christian ministry that built the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., the Ark Encounter park aims to promote a literal interpretation of the Bible by ďprovingĒ that Noah had room on his vessel to fit two of every kind of animal. Ark Encounter is owned by a profit-making company, of which the ministry is a part owner.
Yeah, you see the problem here. These economic development credits are going to people who believe something other than that which is believed by the members of the editorial board of the New York Times. And that makes the subsidy intolerable in their eyes.
But granting tax incentives to the explicitly Christian enterprise clearly clashes with the First Amendmentís prohibition on government establishment of religion. Public money is not supposed to pay to advance religion. Kentuckyís citizens should certainly ask themselves if this is really the best use of taxpayer dollars.
The only problem with this analysis is that it does not Ė as the editorial rightly acknowledges. Neutral criteria neutrally applied makes the project acceptable from a constitutional standpoint. Indeed, the position taken by the New York Times Ė that neutrality towards the point of view promoted by the developers violates the First Amendment Ė turns the First Amendment on its head by requiring the government to penalize those who express a certain point of view in their business operations. An entertainment attraction devoted to the Bible may constitutionally be treated no different than the two proposals I suggested in the opening paragraph. Similarly, if a state program allows for special tax treatment for printing plant, the state cannot deny such a subsidy to one that prints Bibles rather than science textbooks if it otherwise qualifies. After all, non-establishment requires that the government not only refrain from privileging religion in most instances, it also prohibits penalizing religion as well Ė a principle that the editors of the New York would do well to remember the next time it considers claiming that discrimination against religion is a fundamental American value.
Well, the guy whose major experience with private sector economics consists of scooping up ice cream at Baskin-Robbins as a kid must have learned something Ė his policies are giving America a second-dip of economic trouble.
U.S. single-family home prices dropped in March, dipping below their 2009 low, as the housing market remained bogged down by inventory and weak demand, a closely watched survey said Tuesday.
The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas declined 0.2 percent in March from February on a seasonally adjusted basis, in line with economists' expectations.
The price index was below the low seen in April 2009 during the financial crisis. The glut of houses for sale, foreclosures, tight credit and weak demand have kept the housing market on the ropes even as other areas of the economy start to recover.
Iíd love to know what other areas of the economy they think is recovering? Gas prices are up. Other consumer prices are up. Employment is essentially stagnant. Recovery? Who are they kidding?
The folks at Salon want to make it into a ďObama picking up where Bush dropped the ballĒ story Ė but it is interesting to note that the cities in question are all controlled by liberal Democrats.
In just the past few months, the Civil Rights Division has announced "pattern and practice" investigations in Newark, New Jersey and Seattle. It's also conducting a preliminary investigation of the Denver Police Department, and all this is on top of a high-profile push to reform the notorious New Orleans Police Department -- as well as criminal prosecutions of several New Orleans officers.
What is the problem with these liberal Democrat cities that their political leaders tolerate such things?
And to think that Houston remains a sanctuary city. Too bad Texas Democrats blocked the law that would have ended that status before this border-jumper killed Officer Kevin Will.
A motorist accused of killing a Houston police officer while driving drunk is in the country illegally, MyFoxHouston.com reports.
Police say Johoan Rodriguez was drunk when he drove his car into a road block Sunday morning, striking and killing Officer Kevin Will with the Houston Police Department.
Rodriguez has since been charged with intoxication manslaughter of a peace officer, felony evading, and possession of a controlled substance. Police say he had .3 grams of cocaine in his pocket along with an alcohol level of .238, according to the station.
I'm sure that we will hear all the right words out of the local Democrat politicians about how terrible this incident is -- but not one word will be uttered about the need to get rid of a class of people who commit a disproportionate share of crimes in our community (and that is setting aside the fact that 100% of them break our nation's laws just by being here). And when those of us on the right dare to point to the problem created by our out-of-control southern border, the usual race card will be played by the usual suspects.
But let's be honest about it -- if we did more to stop border-jumping and to remove the immigration criminals, we would not be preparing for the funeral of another a good cop who died doing his job. The same was said five years ago when the dead officer was named Rodney Johnson. Maybe next time, if the law enforcement officer killed by an illegal immigrant is named Hernandez, Salazar or Sandoval, those who style themselves as spokespeople for the Hispanic community will finally start giving a damn about the toll that illegal immigration takes in terms of the victimization of American citizens and legal immigrants at the hands of those whose right to break the law they defend.
There may be something to this proposal -- though I see some potential pitfalls here as well.
DOCTORS are among the most richly rewarded professionals in the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that of the 15 highest-paid professions in the United States, all but two are in medicine or dentistry.
Why, then, are we proposing to make medical school free?
Huge medical school debts ó doctors now graduate owing more than $155,000 on average, and 86 percent have some debt ó are why so many doctors shun primary care in favor of highly paid specialties, where there are incentives to give expensive treatments and order expensive tests, an important driver of rising health care costs.
Fixing our health care system will be impossible without a larger pool of competent primary care doctors who can make sure specialists work together in the treatment of their patients ó not in isolation, as they often do today ó and keep track of patients as they move among settings like private residences, hospitals and nursing homes. Moreover, our population is growing and aging; the American Academy of Family Physicians has estimated a shortfall of 40,000 primary care doctors by 2020. Given the years it takes to train a doctor, we need to start now.
Presuming, as this op/ed piece suggests, that this sort of program can be made virtually self-financing, there may be something to it. My concern is that this ultimately becomes a feeder program for an ObamaCare-style national health care regime with massive government intervention in choices and options for medical students, doctors, and patients. Am I reading more into this than there is -- or is my concern well-founded here?
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (STD Ė FL), Barack Hussein Obama's hand-picked choice to run the Democrat Party, is just the gift that keeps on giving -- to Republicans.
Here she is indicating that there is something that is somehow unreasonable about the belief that breaking American's laws should be illegal.
The horror of treating lawbreakers as criminals!
But I do find a bright side to the recent comments she has made on a variety of issues in which she looks like a fool -- another few weeks in the DNC post and Debbie Wasserman Schultz will displace Shelia Jackson Lee as the dumbest sounding member of Congress.
Here are this weekís full results:
Congratulations to the winners and all participants -- and to my readers I offer a hearty recommendation of all the above posts. be sure to read them all.
In the district where I live (indeed, the attendance zone i used to live in), fortunately not the school or district where I teach.
The Clear Creek Independent School District is promising more security at Clear Book high school today. The increased patrol at the Friendswood campus is a reaction to a fight Thursday that ended with three teachers and a campus officer being sent to a hospital.
* * *
Cell phone video shows the chaos in the hallways during the fight. It was just after lunch. Sophomore Jacob Pederson took out his phone and recorded.
"It was madness, kids everywhere," he said.
Officials with Clear Creek ISD say a morning of water balloon incidents turned into an afternoon interrupted by what one student described as a mini-riot. They say it started as just two students arguing over a cell phone. It quickly escalated.
"It was insane," Sophomore Holly Chuvala said.
Then it got bigger and more violent.
"There were teachers being hit a lot and there were cops being hit. There was a cop down on the ground bleeding," sophomore Aaron Watson said.
Three teachers and one Galveston County sheriff's deputy went to the hospital. Several students were also hurt. Dismissals were staggered to prevent more violence.
Now maybe you understand why I took the position I did on teacher intervention in school fights in this post a couple of weeks back. Here's hoping that the district is covering the medical bills of these teachers (and the constable) injured in the line of duty.
The cops in Philadelphia know that it is legal for citizens to openly carry a handgun. But their boss has declared it policy to harass citizens who exercise that legal right.
With a shocking altercation between Philadelphia police and a 25-year-old IT worker putting the spotlight back on open-carry gun laws, local authorities are warning gun owners that they will be "inconvenienced" if they carry unconcealed handguns in the city.
Lt. Raymond Evers, a spokesman for the city police, told FoxNews.com that gun owners who open carry, which is legal in the city, may be asked to lay on the ground until officers feel safe while they check permits.
The question, of course, is what happens when a citizen, knowing their legal rights, refuses an unlawful directive to lay down on the ground and submit to a search merely because Officer Neville Numbnutz is nervous. What happens when said citizen refuses to submit to illegal arrest Ė because that is what this detention is, an arrest Ė and insists upon his or her right to continue to go about his or her legal business? Will such a citizen, for asserting rights guaranteed by both statute and the US Constitution, be put in peril of life or limb at the hands of Nervous Neville because he doesnít like citizens who are aware and assertive of their rights? Iíll agree that Officer Numbnutz may legitimately ask to see a citizenís license Ė but not hold a citizen at gunpoint in a prone position because he is nervous.
Seems to me that it is time for the state and federal Attorneys General to intervene in this matter, because the police in Philly have announced their intention to systematically violate the civil rights of citizens under color of law Ė especially since the prosecutor in Philadelphia is prosecuting a citizen for daring to assert his rights when stopped by an ill-informed and abusive cop. After all, it would appear that what is going on in Philadelphia is noting short of a violation of the Ku Klux Klan Act, which prohibits state and local officials from violating the Constitutional and statutory rights of any citizen under color of law.
Iím not a part of the Tea Party movement Ė especially not the official groups Ė even though I am sympathetic to much of what the groups seek. But is boneheaded things like this that lead me to stay away from those organizations.
A top goal of the nationís most influential national Tea Party group is to stop Mitt Romney from winning the Republican nomination for president.
Interviews with top officials at FreedomWorks, a Washington-based organizing hub for Tea Party activists around the country, revealed that much of their thinking about the 2012 election revolves around derailing the former Massachusetts governor.
ďRomney has a record and we donít really like it that much,Ē said Adam Brandon, the groupís communications director.
Great Ė make getting the candidate of your choice a goal. But do not set out to destroy the candidate you dislike. All that does is create internecine bitterness that may harm your preferred candidate and high negatives for the candidate you oppose in the event that he is nominated. In the end, the strategy you adopt Ė trashing your opponent rather than selling your candidate Ė serves only the purpose of aiding Barack Obamaís candidacy for a second term.
Remember Reagan's 11th Comandment -- not to mention this bit of received wisdom from the Gipper.
Now here's a headline you don't see every day.
Dinosaur Catches Fire at Ohio Amusement Park
Barack Obama has done us all proud in the UK.
First, as he signs the guest book at Westminster Abbey, he dated the entry: 24 May 2008.
And then, at a state dinner with the Queen, he completely violated protocol by offering a toast as God Save The Queen was playing, thereby insulting his hosts by talking during their national anthem rather than waiting to make the toast after the music was done.
Interestingly enough, Obama didn't bow to the Queen. He saves that for non-white despots (Saudi Arabia), dictators (China), and figureheads (Japan).
Well, other than NOT OBAMA.
- Sarah Palin 12%
- Newt Gingrich 11%
- Ron Paul 10%
- Mike Huckabee 10%
- Mitt Romney 7%
- Michele Bachmann 7%
- Donald Trump 6%
- Tim Pawlenty 4%
- Rick Perry 4%
- Rick Santorum 3%
- Jon Huntsman 1%
- Mitch Daniels 1%
- Someone else 10%
- Donít know 14%
Survey of 388 registered Republicans was conducted May 11-18, 2011. The margin of error is +/- 4.98 percentage points.
What needs to be noted here is that this poll was taken before some of those listed took themselves out of the race, and that Rick Perry has been pretty definitive in saying he wonít be running. And above all, ďDonít KnowĒ is leading the pack Ė telling us that there are many of my fellow Republicans who are waiting to make a decision at all.
After all, Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz (STD Ė FL) wants Israelís leader to silence Americans who dare take issue with the Middle East policy put forth by the Kenyanís son.
The top official at a Republican Jewish group blasted Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for an ďunprecedented and inappropriateĒ effort to quell partisan debate over Israel in a private meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday at which both were present.
Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks clashed with Wasserman Schultz, as I reported yesterday, after Wasserman Schultz called for partisan unity on matters of Israel policy and Brooks Ė whose group had criticized her for speaking before the liberal group J Street Ė responded that he reserved the right to attack Democrats who stray from a hawkish pro-Israel line.
ďItís unprecedented and inappropriate that the chairwoman of the DNC would take advantage of a meeting with a visiting head of state and ask him to put a gag order on Republicans,Ē Brooks told POLITICO today.
Sorry, Debbie, but for you to seek to use a foreign leader to trample the First Amendment rights of opponents of your partyís president is downright un-American Ė and is, as Matt Brooks points out, both unprecedented and inappropriate. Your partyís president, who has repeatedly shown a bias in favor of the Palestinians, has now put forth an ill-conceived policy that is dangerous to both Israel and the United States Ė and our silence would equal consent to a policy of dismembering and destroying Americaís closest ally in the region. Whatís more, goes beyond trampling on the free speech and press rights of Americans, for many of us hold our position in part based upon our belief that Israel has a divine right to every square inch of land within the so-called "occupied territories" Ė so you are seeking to have a foreign leader squelch our religious rights as well.
I dissent from the policies of Barack Obama on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since you didnít try to silence the treasonous supporters of terrorism who sought to undermine American efforts to suppress terrorism following 9/11, donít you dare seek to silence me and my fellow Americans who stand by a long-time American ally. After all Ė our dissent actually is patriotic.
Good grief Ė Peter Fonda makes his treasonous sister look positively sane and mainstream.
Peter Fonda, the star of Easy Rider, suggested to Mandrake that he was encouraging his grandchildren to shoot President Barack Obama.
ďIím training my grandchildren to use long-range rifles,Ē said the actor, 71. ďFor what purpose? Well, Iím not going to say the words 'Barack Obamaí, but ÖĒ
Now tell me Ė does this dissent qualify as patriotic? You know, especially since ďkill the presidentĒ rhetoric was deemed to be so during the Bush years. Personally, I'm hoping that the Secret Service detains and questions Fonda, just to be sure.
Harold Camping, the radio evangelist who predicted the apocalypse would begin Saturday, May 21, 2011, said today his understanding of God's plan was just a little off.
Speaking outside the headquarters of his media empire near the Oakland, Calif., airport, Camping said his prediction that the Rapture would occur Saturday might have been wrong, but he stands by his prophecy that the world will come to an end as forecast on Oct. 21.
In a rambling discourse to reporters outside his Family Radio International office, Camping, an 89-year-old retired civil engineer, indicated he had misread the signs in predicting that the faithful would be lifted up to Heaven Saturday, leaving sinners to suffer through five months of disasters until the Earth was consumed in a fireball on the End of Days.
Camping, however, runs into the problem of the Biblical standard for prophets. Since he has spoken in Godís name that which has not come to pass, we are to ignore him as a false prophet. Indeed, there are those who would argue that the ere is Biblical mandate to stone him to death -- though my reading of Scripture would not require such an extreme approach since he did not call for the worship of other than God Almighty.
Of course, we know that Camping doesnít believe his predictions, either. If he did, he would have liquidated his ministryís assets and distributed them to the poor as an act of Christian charity before the date he declared would be the Rapture, in the hopes of converting them. After all, Jesus wasnít going to have any need for them after May 21 if he was coming back as Camping preached.
Now Iíll be honest Ė I pronounced Mitch Danielís presidential candidacy dead time back. And while Iíve been hoping I was wrong Ė after all, we have more pressing matters to deal with at this time than the social issues, given the state of the economy Ė Iíve never really expected him to become a candidate (even though I would have liked to see him do so).
But it is the reason for Danielís decision that leaves me disheartened Ė the fact that his marriage broke up for a time in the 1990s, before he and his then ex-wife reconciled and remarried, and the potential for that aspect of their marriage to become fodder for political exploitation. This points to a real problem with our political system Ė the fact that non-relevant matters have become fodder for political attacks.
Letís be clear Ė there is nothing in this matter that reflects on the ability of Mitch Daniels to do the job of president or his fitness for that office. Indeed, Iíd argue that what we know reflects well on him as a human being Ė despite the sense of betrayal he undoubtedly had, Daniels put it aside in order to salvage an important relationship. That is, for me, the height of family values and tells me a great deal about him as a man.
Unfortunately, as Iíve seen on a number of websites and in comments on articles about his decision, that isnít enough. Having distorted what conservatives believe about marriage and family, liberals declare that he is a ďhypocriteĒ Ė despite the fact that his wife dumped him and the courts awarded him custody of their children and the couple later reconciled. This makes no more sense than the argument that Sarah Palin is a hypocrite on family values because she didnít kick Bristol to the curb after the teenager failed to abstain from premarital sex and instead showed her daughter love, compassion, and acceptance when she became pregnant. Oh, the horror of it all! What gets ignored is that the ďfamily valuesĒ conservatives generally support are aspirational and rarely lived out perfectly by those who profess them even as they aim for them as goals to be attained.
Let me offer this perspective as a supporter of these family values Ė when it first came out that Bill Clinton had an affair with Gennifer Flowers, it did not bother me that much. The problem I had was that he had been willing to lie about it until the tapes came out Ė followed by evidence that she was not the only case of infidelity. This indicated something much more flawed in his character Ė but much like any number of men who have occupied the Oval Office, I didnít find the dalliances themselves to be disqualifying. And in the end, what troubled most of us and led us to support his impeachment was the discovery that he was willing to prey on government employees over whom he exercised authority, make use of law enforcement to procure women or obscure the affairs, and (most importantly) the perjury he was willing to engage in to cover up the other misdeeds. At least one of these constituted a crime, and the rest was unarguably misconduct of the sort that qualified as abuse of his position that made him unfit for the office he occupied.
But Bill Clinton is too easy to point to Ė after all, I did not support the man or his policies. So to move across the aisle into my own party, let me say that these are the same sort of character flaws that lead me and so many others to reject Newt Gingrich as a fit candidate for office. This stands in contrast to Ronald Reagan, whose first wife, Jane Wyman, divorced him and who later fell in love with and married his beloved Nancy. The latter did his best to live out those values through the trials and tribulations of life, while the former shows a pattern of conduct that calls into question his general trustworthiness. And on the Democrat side, I never cared about John Kerryís divorce and remarriage Ė but find in John Edwardsí conduct enough to argue that he was manifestly unfit as a human being to trust with the presidency.
But back to Mitch Daniels and his decision. Based upon what we know about the Daniels family today, does the marital breakdown of the 1990s have any bearing upon his fitness for office? Iíd argue very little Ė except to the degree that it tells us something about his capacity to love and to forgive. Why are we not looking instead at his policy proposals and his record of accomplishment? If marital fidelity is the standard, then those who want to make having a great marriage the litmus test would be trumpeting Ron Paul, who has been married to his wife for 54 years. I think we all see how absurd that criteria is Ė after all, much of Paulís platform is out on the fringe and it is unlikely he would be an effective president if he were to win. Daniels, on the other hand, would likely be a superb president able to craft policies that would help pull this country out of the economic mess we are in.
Am I saying that marriage and family questions are inappropriate things for us to consider when vetting candidates? No, Iím not. What Iím saying is that we need to keep such matters in perspective, and consider them only in their proper degree. Trouble in the Daniels marriage fifteen years ago, a Palin daughter knocked-up (or caught speeding), or the Bush twins engaging un under-age drinking Ė those should not merit much more than a passing note in the paper or a biographical sketch. Such things should only become matters for deeper scrutiny and perhaps disqualify a candidate when there is a pattern of conduct so outrageous and/or so out of keeping with the candidateís platform and professed values as to undermine that candidateís ability to do the job effectively. That is true of Republicans and Democrats Ė regardless of the position of that candidate on ďfamily valuesĒ. Every candidate is going to be an imperfect human being with imperfect family members. So let's focus on qualifications and ideas instead of the "gotcha" scandals related to those imperfections.
The question, of course, is how we get past what a goof friend calls "tabloidization of American politics and culture". After all, we've long seen that sleaze sells, and not just in the modern era. Such scandals are, in their own way, entertaining -- in the same sense as replays of high-speed crashes at the Indy 500 are entertaining, and for the same reason. Are We the People prepared to forgo the titillation of scandals (especially sex scandals) when they are no more than tangentially relevant to a candidate's qualifications for office AND they are prepared to deal with the issue forthrightly? Are we prepared to penalize media outlets and candidates by withholding our patronage and votes in order to keep well-qualified Americans willing to participate in the political process? Will we make this "politics of personal destruction" a strategy that costs those who engage in it more than it costs the victims? We must -- or else we find ourselves stuck with the bland, the blank, and the bald-faced liars as our choices for leadership.
The Israelis do not feel they have the Americans at their back for the first time since the founding of the state of Israel.
The thing is, he misses a major point. The American PRESIDENT may not have the best interests of Israel at heart, but the American PEOPLE manifestly do. We see that in the wave of criticism that has washed over Barack Obama as a result of his recent speech on Middle East policy, in which he sold out Israel. Ordinary Americans have criticized him. Leading Republicans have criticized him. And so have leading members of his own party.
What does this mean?
Once again, we find ourselves in a situation where the American government under Barack Obama is adopting policies that are at odds with the views of the American people.
We've seen it with ObamaCare.
We've seen it with domestic oil production.
We've seen it with the release of the Osama photos.
And I could go on and on.
We the People simply need to rid ourselves of Barack Obama -- so that we get a government that represents what we believe.
For all that Herman Cain tries to make a virtue out of his having never held public office, it is also clear that there are a myriad of issues with which he is not familiar or doesn't have clear positions.
Not long ago it was on how he would handle Afghanistan. Now it is the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that has tripped him up -- and in a significantly more serious way than the earlier gaffe.
In an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Mr. Cain Ėwidely considered to be a long-shot contender for the Republican Presidential nomination Ė appeared to be somewhat confused by the idea of the Palestinian ďright of returnĒ to Israeli territory.
* * *
When asked about his stance on the matter, Cain appeared confused.
CAIN: Right of return? Right of return?
WALLACE: The Palestinian right of return.
CAIN: That's something that should be negotiated.
When asked again about whether he believes in the Palestinian right of return, Cain seemed unclear about the Israeli position on the matter, as well as his own.
CAIN: Yes, but under - but not under - Palestinian conditions. Yes. They should have a right to come back if that is a decision that Israel wants to makeÖ. I don't think they have a big problem with people returning.
I'm sorry, but it isn't just that Cain's position is wrong -- I could live with that, given that I'm not ever going to find a candidate who I agree with on everything. No, it is that he is utterly clueless on the issue even as he prepares to address the foremost Zionist group in the country -- so much so that he has to have the issue explained to him by reporters.
I personally think there will be a position for Herman Cain in the new administration should the GOP candidate win in 2012. He would be a great secretary of commerce, or even secretary of the Treasury. He might even be a great White House Chief of Staff. But President? No way -- he just isn't ready for prime-time.
At least as a starting point for negotiation.
Well, that sounds reasonable -- as long as we start with THESE pre-1967 Borders.
Or at a minimum, there is always this possibility.
You know, if we really want to talk about "ancestral homelands", "right of return" and such things, it seems to me that we ought to consider the historical extent of Israel as a starting point -- and perhaps look at the possibility of telling the descendants of the bands of conquering Mohammedans with tenure in the region only since the seventh century that they need to make room for the area's rightful owners.
From Andrew McCarthy
Would that the president of the United States were as worried about Arizonaís border as he is about ďPalestineís.Ē
Or those of California, New Mexico, and Texas, too.
But that isn't the main focus of the commentary, which shows how treacherous the Obama proposal is and how harmful it will be to the security of Israel (and, may I add, the United States) if he manages to impose it.
Here are this weekís full results:
See you next week!
A new Palestinian Authority law grants a monthly salary to all Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs imprisoned in Israel for terrorism, a media watchdog says in a report being released on Friday.
While Palestinian car thieves in Israeli prisons will not receive a salary, Hamas and Fatah terrorist killers will, the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) report says.
Those serving sentences of more than 20 years will receive higher salaries, according to the new PA law. Salaries are to be paid from the day of arrest until release.
That means some 6000 terrorists will be drawing paychecks from the so-called Palestinian Authority Ė which gets its money from tax remittances from Israel and aid from the US government. So guess what, folks Ė you and I are paying to support terrorists who have attacked an American ally, including those who have knowingly and intentionally killed innocent men, women, and children. And best of all, these are the folks that Barack Hussein Obama wants to give their own country despite the negative security impact on the Israelis they have been attacking for more than six decades.
It isnít just new houses that Americans canít buy Ė it is old houses, too.
Sales of existing U.S. homes unexpectedly declined in April, indicating the industry is struggling to gain traction as the economy expands.
Purchases of existing homes dropped 0.8 percent to a 5.05 million annual pace last month, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday in Washington. A 5.2 million rate was the median projection in a Bloomberg News survey, and the April figure was less than the most pessimistic forecast. The median sales price declined from a year earlier and 37 percent of transactions were of distressed dwellings.
And for those of you who HOPE for CHANGE, the article offers this projection Ė any sustained recovery in the housing sector may take years to arrive. That means that you can expect the value of your home to remain stagnant Ė or even decrease. Thanks, Barry!
Israel should annex all areas of the West Bank settled by Jews, and all unoccupied areas as well. So says Danny Danon, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset.
OVER the past few months, analysts in Israel and abroad have warned that Israel will face what Defense Minister Ehud Barak has termed a ďdiplomatic tsunami.Ē In September, the Palestinian Authority plans to bring the recognition of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 boundary to the United Nations General Assembly for a vote. The Palestiniansí request will almost certainly be approved.
While most voices in the Israeli and international news media are calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to grant major concessions to the Palestinians to forestall such a move, he should in fact do the opposite: he should annex the Jewish communities of the West Bank, or as Israelis prefer to refer to our historic heartland, Judea and Samaria.
In 1995, as part of the Oslo accords, Israel and the Palestinians agreed that ďneither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.Ē If the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and prime minister, Salam Fayyad, decide to disregard this section of the accords by seeking United Nations recognition of statehood, it would mean that Israel, too, is no longer bound by its contents and is freed to take unilateral action.
Iíd argue that Danon does not go far enough here. Given that the putative ďState of PalestineĒ will be in an immediate state of hostility with Israel (based upon the breaking of the Oslo Accords and repeated statements by Palestinian leaders calling for Israelís destruction), it is the obligation of Israel to occupy and annex all of the West Bank and Gaza. Having done so, it will be incumbent upon the Israelis to hold war crimes trials of all members of the Palestinian leadership and terrorist groups, with executions presumably to follow for many of them, based upon the model set at Nuremburg following World War II. In addition, a through process of denazification needs to be implemented, to root out the entire malign philosophy with which the Palestinians have been indoctrinated for decades. To the degree that this means state assumption of control of the Waqf and Muslim religious and educational institutions, that will be a sad necessity. Furthermore, Israel must repudiate any notion of an Arab ďright of returnĒ to anywhere within the properly constituted State of Israel.
And in this country, the American people must repudiate any policy or politician that fails to recognize such actions by Israel as legitimate. We need to start by rejecting Barack Obamaís new Middle East ďpeaceĒ initiative Ė which will do nothing less than set the stage for further aggression against Israel and demands for further ďconcessionsĒ by those set on Israelís destruction. Which is, of course, precisely what Barack Hussein Obama has had as a policy goal for his entire political career, based upon his friendships and associations with known Jew-haters and supporters of the destruction of Americaís closest ally in the Middle East. If we donít, the post-Holocaust pledge of ďNever AgainĒ will be replaced with a full-throated cry from Israelís blood-thirsty neighbors to ďFinish The JobĒ.
Authorities want to take DNA samples from "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski in connection with their investigation into the 1982 incident in which seven people died after taking Tylenol capsules laced with potassium cyanide, according to the FBI office in Chicago.
"As part of the re-examination of the 1982 Tylenol poisonings, the FBI attempted to secure DNA from numerous individuals, including Ted Kaczynski," said Cynthia Yates, FBI spokeswoman. "To date, Kaczynski has declined to voluntarily provide samples."
It is a rather interesting hypothesis Ė but begs the question of why the Feds donít already have a DNA sample of this prisoner for comparison.
Howie Car of the Boston Herald, on the White House blackballing of the Herald from covering a presidential visit to the city.
In case you missed it, the White House yesterday banned the Herald from the ďpoolĒ reporting list to cover the Messiahís latest trip to Boston. Obamaís press office had to protect the Boston Globe, which once prided itself on being at odds with the Powers That Be. If the Globeís current reporters were dogs, they would be described with one of two words.
ďSpayedĒ or ďneutered.Ē And I just thought of a third word ó ďlapdogs.Ē
Read the rest Ė it is priceless.
And remember Ė in the Age of Obama, dissent is no longer patriotic.
I despise Nazism Ė but someone explain how this differs from the sort of blacklisting that ďfilmmakersĒ so often condemn when applied to communists.
The Cannes Film Festival has kicked Lars von Trier out of the festival, banning him from all events and declaring him a "persona non grata" in the wake of the Danish director calling himself a Nazi and expressing sympathy for Hitler.
A spokesman for the festival told Variety that von Trier won't be allowed to attend any events during the remainder of this year's festival, which concludes Sunday. His Palme d'Or contender "Melancholia" is still eligible for the prize -- but von Trier won't be allowed to attend the award ceremonies.
The festival board of directors made the announcement Thursday, a day after Von Trier's "Melancholia" morning press conference.
"The Festival de Cannes provides artists from around the world with an exceptional forum to present their works and defend freedom of expression and creation," the Festival said in a statement. "The board of directors profoundly regrets that this forum has been used by Lars von Trier to express comments that are unacceptable, intolerable, and contrary to the ideals of humanity and generosity that preside over the very existence of the festival. The Board of Directors firmly condemns these comments and declares Lars von Trier a persona non grata at the Festival de Cannes, with effect immediately."
But you can still show up wearing a Che t-shirt and be admitted Ė or otherwise openly embrace Communism, despite it being responsible for more deaths than followers of Hitlerís malign ideology could ever dream of killing.
When he was tapped as Bushís running mate in 2000, I was not happy. Over the course of the next eight years, I came to recognize that my initial reaction was wrong. In time I became an admirer. Now Dick Cheneyís book will be hitting the shelves just in time for Labor Day Ė and I canít wait to read it.
Dick Cheney has finished his memoir, according to his daughter, and the book is scheduled to come out on Aug. 30.
Liz Cheney said that the former vice presidentís manuscript was turned in at the beginning of the month. She said the book, currently being edited, will be ďvery straightforward,Ē with ďa lot of in-depth analysis of really critically important issues.Ē Cheneyís memoir, ďIn My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir,Ē is being published by Threshold Editions, a conservative imprint of Simon & Schuster run by Republican strategist and former Cheney aide Mary Matalin.
I love that quote from Liz Cheney Ė ďvery straightforwardĒ. That sounds like the man that every American came to love or hate during the last administration. Iím hoping that someone at Threshold will contact me about a possible review so I get a chance to be among the first to read it.
The nearly three years since Hurricane Ike tore through our town and the surrounding area have been a time of readjustment and rebuilding for all of us here in Seabrook, TX. Among the harder things has been the loss of friends, neighbors, and institutions -- all the changes, really -- that come with such a disaster. But the day is coming, not far off, when we will be getting two long-lost elements of our community back, and with it a sense that things may finally be as close to the way they were before as they are ever going to get.
Little by little, Seabrook is bringing back its favorite assets.
After the old building was severely damaged by Hurricane Ike in September 2008, the new Evelyn Meador Branch Library will finally open on June 28.
There will be a short opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman and Seabrook Mayor Gary Renola will give speeches thanking everyone who supported the library during the last three years.
The new building is three times bigger than the old library and features a conference room, a teen room, a quiet room, an activity room for children and a computer lab. There will be 80 Internet-connected computers for the public to use.
I haven't checked yet to find out if there is a spot for my Democrat colleague and I to run the most harmonious polling place in Harris County as we did in the old building. I sure hope there is
But if the library has been the heart of our community, Tookie's was certain the stomach -- and it will be coming back this summer, too!
The recipe for Tookie's Squealer and those massive onion rings are safely locked away in Barry Terrell's safe.
Terrell, the owner of the famously popular T-Bone Tom's Steakhouse Steakhouse in Kemah, is reopening the Seabrook burger joint in mid July. And a whole lot of people couldn't be more happy.
* * *
When Terrell purchased the restaurant from longtime owner Jim Spears, the sale included all the "recipes and trade secrets."
Fans of Tookie's, which opened in 1975, will recall that it closed following Hurricane Ike in September 2008. The restaurant -- like many Seabrook businesses -- was deluged with more than five feet of water.
In other words, our home town is going to be a little bit more like home before too long. And all I can say is that it won't be a minute too soon.
Remember -- criticism of Barack Obama, especially when accompanied with extreme rhetoric regarding his being unAmerican or treasonous -- is always based upon race, not legitimate policy disagreements. Isn't that what we've been told for the last couple years?
Peter Fonda launched a four-letter attack on US President Barack Obama at the Cannes film festival on Wednesday, calling him a traitor over the handling of the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill.
* * *
"I sent an email to President Obama saying, 'You are a f(expletive) traitor,' using those words... 'You're a traitor, you allowed foreign boots on our soil telling our military -- in this case the coastguard -- what they can and could not do, and telling us, the citizens of the United States, what we could or could not do'."
Don't you just hate it when bitter old white men attack our nation's black president? Surely the Left will begin the denunciations any time now.
Newt Gingrich, a fiscal conservative? Not when it comes to Tiffanyís.
In 2005 and 2006, the former House speaker turned presidential candidate carried as much as $500,000 in debt to the premier jewelry company, according to financial disclosures filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
Gingrich, who represented Georgia in Congress for two decades, retired in 1999. But his wife, Callista Gingrich, was employed by the House Agriculture Committee until 2007, according to public records. She listed a ďrevolving charge accountĒ at Tiffany and Company in the liability section of her personal financial disclosure form for two consecutive years and indicated that it was her spouseís debt. The liability was reported in the range of $250,001 to $500,000.
When asked by POLITICO whether Gingrich has settled this debt, and why he owed between a quarter-million and a half-million dollars to a jeweler, Rick Tyler, Gingrichís spokesman, declined to comment.
Letís see Ė heís an author with multiple books in print, as well as a popular speaker. His wife is gainfully employed as well. Does it really matter where they choose to spend their disposable income? And isnít this just some sort of class envy game being paid by a hostile press? Not that I support Gingrichís candidacy for President (I donít, and know no one who does) Ė but this story seems to me to be nothing more than a steaming pile of bovine fecal matter passing itself off as news.
How should the Gingrich campaign have responded to these reports? Thatís easy Ė have the spokesperson give the inquiring reporters a disdainful glare and a chilly comment to the effect of ďYou must be f***in kidding.Ē
Well, not a faux hate crime Ė a hate crime directed against non-blacks by a black student trying to make it appear that he is a victim of racism.
A suspended Birmingham Seaholm High senior was formally charged today with one count of ethnic intimidation in connection with threatening messages he allegedly wrote on a bathroom wall last month.
Courtney Isaiah Thomas, who turns 19 in a couple weeks, told 48th District Judge Diane D'Agostini he understood the charge against him. A not-guilty plea was entered on the charge, a felony which can carry up to two years in prison.
Thomas was released on $20,000 personal bond pending a May 24 preliminary exam. He left the courthouse with his mother and did not talk to reporters.
"He's a good kid who has never been in trouble," his attorney, Wendy Barnwell, said outside the courtroom. "He has been bullied in the past, and he is in a very fragile state right now."
Barnwell did not elaborate, but said Thomas is a special education student and is undergoing counseling.
Police said Thomas, after questioning by school officials, admitted he wrote a racially threatening message on a bathroom wall directed at five African-American students -- including himself -- on April 20.
Special ed student? My guess is that the disability is related to his behavior, and that heís about to find out some painful facts of life that Iíve often tried to communicate to students over the years.
But most importantly in this case, young Mr. Thomas has managed to set back race relations in his school and community by making everyone suspect fraud the next time there is a real incident fueled by race.
After all, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
The next big question on the federal debt limit could be whether to start selling the governmentís holdings of gold at Fort Knox ó and at least one presidential contender, Ron Paul, has told The New York Sun he thinks it would be a good move.
The question has been ricocheting around the policy circles today. An analyst at the Heritage Foundation, Ron Utt, told the Washington Post that the gold holdings of the government are ďjust sort of sitting there.Ē He added: ďGiven the high price it is now, and the tremendous debt problem we now have, by all means, sell at the peak.Ē
Think about it Ė the federal government has huge gold reserves which could be tapped to come up with cash if needed. Ditto real estate and other property which could be liquidated to forestall a default pending action to reduce spending and get the deficit under control. It is a radical idea Ė but might just have some value. And I donít say that about Ron Paulís notions all that often.
Not because he is Hispanic, but because it really does not fit with the ethos he embodied.
The Navy's decision to consider naming a cargo ship now under construction after labor activist Cesar Chavez has drawn sharp criticism from one veteran lawmaker who says that a military war hero should receive the honor instead.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he understands the Navy's desire to honor Hispanic leaders, but the Navy may want to skip the politically divisive names and opt for an outstanding service member.
"If this decision were about recognizing the Hispanic community's contribution to our nation, many other names come to mind, including Marine Corps Sergeant Rafael Peralta, who was nominated for the Medal of Honor for action in Iraq. Peralta is one of many Hispanic war heroes -- some of whom are worthy of the same recognition," said Hunter, a Reserve lieutenant in the Marines.
Letís face it Ė Chavez, though a Navy veteran, came to be a pacifist over the course of his later career. Even though this is a cargo vessel, there is therefore something incongruous about naming it for him. I might feel a little bit different if the ship were a hospital vessel, but it isnít. Frankly his name belongs on it no more than those of Martin Luther King, Jr. or Dorothy Day belong on naval vessels (again, with the possible exception of hospital ships). Honor a hero instead Ė and save the name of pacifists for other, more appropriate honors that respect their beliefs.
A Texas pol who is close to Perry has been telling a few key strategists that the nationís longest-serving governor sees a vacuum and is waiting to be summoned into the race. This source believes that could happen by late summer. Without fellow Southerners Haley Barbour or Mike Huckabee in the race ó and with Newt Gingrichís early troubles raising further doubts about the current lineup ó there could be a glaring niche for Perry to fill.
According to another well-connected Republican, at least one Perry confidant has been very quietly making inquiries about the political terrain in the nationís first voting state of Iowa. A third Perry associate, RCP has learned, has been heralding a small contingent of Iowans with the time-tested line that is often used by would-be candidates who are leaving their options open: ďKeep your powder dry.Ē
I've long made it clear that I'm not a big fan of Rick Perry. My support for him has been tepid ever since the Gardasil episode, in which he claimed the powers of a dictator in order to play doctor with the schoolgirls of Texas for the financial benefit of his campaign donors. That was a big part of why I opposed his renomination during the 2010 GOP primary -- and why I will oppose him as a presidential candidate. We just can't trust him to remain within the bounds of the powers granted for any office he holds, or to avoid the appearance of corruption. I only regret that he was the best available option for Texas last November, necessitating a vote for him in the general election. The thought of Rick Perry on the national ticket does not thrill me, even though I have often found other matters on which to praise Perry.
Besides -- is America really ready to elect another Texas governor as president so soon after George W. Bush. I don't think so. But if the electorate's distaste for Bush has faded enough for it to consider doing so, I think we would be better served to skip doing so and instead nominate another Bush instead -- former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
I agree with the holding of the appeals court here -- but not the reason reported.
A federal appeals court ruled it was illegal for a judge to lock the public and the press out of a Houston courtroom while a man who was once one of the most wanted, feared and violent drug traffickers in the world was sentenced, without giving the Houston Chronicle a chance to challenge the secrecy.
Armed deputy marshals guarded the doors of a federal courtroom in downtown Houston in February 2010 as U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle sentenced Osiel Cardenas Guillen, ex head of Mexico's Gulf Cartel, to 25 years in prison and ordered he forfeit $50 million.
"We conclude the press and the public have a First Amendment right of access to sentencing hearings," states an opinion from a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Having an open sentencing allows the public to observe whether the defendant is being justly sentenced, especially where the court, rather than a jury, is determining the sentence, notes the court ruling, which came Tuesday.
In other words, the judge should have ensured the court schedule listed the hearing in advance and that anyone opposed to the closure had a chance to argue against it.
It would appear to me that the Sixth Amendment is more in question here than the First Amendment.
SIXTH AMENDMENT -- In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
The Sixth Amendment has been interpreted for decades as requiring that virtually all court proceedings be open to the public. When the courts are closed to the public, there has to be a substantial burden met and there must be an opportunity on the part of the press and public to challenge the decision. None of that happened here.
Which would in part be explained by this.
Builders are remaining idle due to weak demand from buyers, some of whom have become nervous as U.S. home prices have turned downward once again. Many buyers are choosing foreclosures and other previously owned homes rather than new ones, which tend to be more expensive. Reflecting weak demand, the number of homes under construction in April was at the lowest level on records dating back to 1970.Records were not kept on housing starts prior to 1970, so we donít know if this is the worst period for housing starts in US history Ė just that this is the worst period for housing starts since weíve been keeping track of them. It is likely the worst month for new construction since the Great Depression. Good going, Barry!
And one which we as Americans, devoted to the notion of equal opportunity and equal dignity for all, ought to embrace as official government policy,
Race is such bullshit.
As evil as I believe many of those who support a Terrorstinian state to be, and as open to the completion of Hitlerís work as they often reveal themselves to be, this constitutes a new low.
This past Sunday, Pastor John Hagee of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, TX devoted an entire service to honoring Israel. When some pro-Palestinian protesters got a hold of that news, they decided to show up at the service, plant themselves in the audience, and then randomly stand up shouting anti-Israel messages.
Can Kristalnacht in America be far behind?
After January, youíll have two choices if you want a 100 watt bulb to light your home, since the traditional incandescent bulbs of our youth (costing a dollar or two each) will become illegal
One is a $6.00 CFL bulb that can turn your house into a toxic waste site if broken.
Two leading makers of lighting products are showcasing LED bulbs that are bright enough to replace energy-guzzling 100-watt light bulbs set to disappear from stores in January.
Their demonstrations at the LightFair trade show in Philadelphia this week mean that brighter LED bulbs will likely go on sale next year, but after a government ban takes effect.
The new bulbs will also be expensive ó about $50 each ó so the development may not prevent consumers from hoarding traditional bulbs.
Isnít it good to know that Congress expects you to have so much disposable income that you can afford the extra cost? And if you donít, expect to develop a caveman-like squint as you wander the darkened-by-government-mandate cave you call home.
One has to wonder why the repeal of this asinine mandate has not become a legislative priority.
After all, the polls have been pretty consistent over the last year on this matter Ė the American people do not want ObamaCare.
The latest Rasmussen poll of likely voters shows that, by a margin of 17 percentage points (55 to 38 percent), Americans support the repeal of Obamacare. Repeal is supported by men and women; by those in their 30s, 40s, 50s to mid-60s, and mid-60s on up; and by all income groups (ranging from under-$20,000 to over-$100,000 a year). In all, 43 percent of likely voters (71 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents, and 13 percent of Democrats) ďstrongly favorĒ repeal, while only 26 percent of likely voters (49 percent of Democrats, 24 percent of independents, and 5 percent of Republicans) ďstrongly opposeĒ it.
In fact, the Osama Bounce in Obamaís poll ratings was dead in under two weeks.
The bump President Obama received after the killing of Osama bin Laden more than two weeks ago in Pakistan has vanished completely, according to the latest Gallup Tracking poll released Monday.
Obamaís approval rating is now at 46 percent, equal to his approval rating in the last tracking poll conducted before Obama addressed Americans late on May 1 and informed them of bin Ladenís death. Forty-four percent of Americans now disapprove of the job Obama is doing as president.
According to the Gallup poll, Obamaís approval rating crested at 52 percent after the bin Laden killing. His disapproval rating never fell lower than 40 percent.
Every now and then it is a good thing to take a day or three away from the blog, especially when there are other things of greater importance to do. Thatís been the story of the last few days, and so thatís what Iíve been doing.
Here are this weekís full results:
See you next week!
Only once in my career have I had a fight in my classroom. I broke it up, of course Ė and Iíve intervened more than once to break up fights elsewhere in schools. It doesnít happen often Ė I havenít had to do it in a few years Ė but it does happen. And as Iíve aged, Iíve had an attitude change which will likely make me less gung-ho about wading into a melee in the future. But if I don't, I will be calling or sending for backup immediately and trying to keep order in the area, not just watching events unfold.
I cannot justify standing by as a student is offering no resistance in the face of an assault. I cannot imagine letting the situation get so far out of control that students are squaring off in a boxing match. Clearly there is something wrong in this classroom Ė and a big part of it is the teacher. After all, this isnít supposed to be fight club.
But consider this question Ė how far should a teacher be expected to go in order to deal with a fight? Iíve taught two guys currently playing in the NFL Ė both defensive linemen Ė and there are several on my current campus who are Division I football prospects. I donít know that Iím ready to step into the middle of a fight involving such students. Iíll put my body on the line for students Ė but I will draw the line at my physical safety when I know that I can't do any good. And fights involving girls? I am really concerned about liability issues if I do start trying to grab or separate young women Ė there is room for any number of false accusations in such a situation.
And then there is the issue of injury. Some years back, a colleague stepped into a fight between two girls, only to have a sharpened screwdriver thrust between his ribs. Last year, a female administrator was out for several weeks after she took a fist to the face Ė she was restraining one participant in a fight when the other broke free from another colleague and threw a punch that went wide Ė because the punch shattered her cheekbone and the lower part of the eye socket. Iím fortunate to work for a district that takes care of teachers in such instances Ė both received paid leave and the district covered the medical bills Ė but not every district is as generous. And while the state of Texas requires that teachers receive up to two years of paid assault leave if we are assaulted by a student, my reading of state law on the matter leaves me concerned that a district could refuse to grant it if an injury was sustained breaking up a fight rather than as a result of an attack intentionally directed at the teacher.
And consider how many parents back their children no matter what. Several years ago, I was in a position to prevent a punch from being thrown at a colleague by a student. The boyís mother was at school within 90 minutes Ė to protest that I had dared to touch her son! I was, it seems, supposed to allow the boy to assault a female assistant principal rather than act to protect her and spare the boy a felony conviction. The threatened lawsuit never materialized Ė but if it had, I might well have found myself facing bankruptcy for doing the right thing, even if I were ultimately found to have acted properly.
What Iím trying to say to those whose immediate response is that teachers should automatically step into a fight to stop it is that the calculus is not nearly so simple as you would like to make it. And quite frankly, Iíd rather see some of my colleagues step back and wait for a principal or a constable to show up and deal with the situation Ė Iím thinking pregnant women, senior citizens, etc. Ė than have one of them try to mess with a situation that could have serious consequences for them. Every situation really is different, due to the kids and teachers involved, and there is no one-size-fits-all policy that can be applied in every situation. We are even told that by school administrators that we are not required to physically break up fights and that we should use our best judgment. So while I find it easy to condemn a teacher who seems to be acting as a spectator, Iím not so quick to pile on the union rep who takes note of the realities that teachers may face in terms of policy, liability, and personal risk. He does have some good points.
Irish police have arrested a man on suspicion of making threats to kill U.S. President Barack Obama when he visits Ireland later this month, a police spokesman said Friday.
Khalid Kelly, a converted Muslim who subscribes to the al Qaeda ideology, is being held at Dublin's Store Street Garda (police) station under the Offenses Against the State Act, police said.
But don't you dare suggest it has anything to do with Islam -- that would be hateful. And certainly don't suggest that profiling might be in order.
Ron Paul says he would not have authorized the mission that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, and that President Barack Obama should have worked with the Pakistani government instead of authorizing a raid.
That tells us every thing we need to know Ė and sets the stage for this campaign poster.
The kids are coming home to roost.
Surprise, surprise: Thanks to a high unemployment rate for new grads, many of those with diplomas fresh off the press are making a return to Mom and Dadís place. In fact, according to a poll conducted by consulting firm Twentysomething Inc., some 85% of graduates will soon remember what Momís cooking tastes like.
Times are undeniably tough. Reports have placed the unemployment rate for the under-25 group as high as 54%. Many of these unemployed graduates are choosing to go into higher education in an attempt to wait out the job market, while others are going anywhere ó and doing anything ó for work. Meanwhile, moving back home helps with expenses and paying off student loans.
I donít often cut-and-paste a whole piece, but this one from The Telegraph deserves to be reprinted in its entirety.
Queen Elizabeth II: Long may she reign
Today, Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest-reigning monarch, save for Queen Victoria, that these islands have ever known. It is a monumental achievement Ė but not because of the duration. After all, the King she has overtaken, George III, might have been on the throne during the struggle against Napoleon, but he is more famous for losing first the American colonies, and then his mind.
Our present Queen, however, inspires our awe, and our devotion, for the quality as well as the quantity of her service. She has borne, with quiet, uncomplaining grace, the duties of state. She has offered her counsel, and her wisdom, to every prime minister since Churchill. In a hurly-burly world, she has been a model of both dignity and decorum. We devoutly hope that, in four years' time, we are able to salute her surpassing of Victoria, too.
If he did, he would not make a stupid statement like this one.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday defended the National Labor Relations Board, which has come under heavy criticism from Republicans.
Reid said the NLRB ďacts as a check on employers and employees alikeĒ and is consistent with the ďspirit of checks and balancesĒ established by the Founding Fathers.
* * *
ďThe Founders created a system of checks and balances ó three branches of government, for example, and two chambers of the Congress ó precisely because they anticipated these passions,Ē Reid said on the Senate floor.
ďLong after that system was created, a new independent federal agency was created in the same spirit of checks and balances,Ē said Reid. ďThat agency is the National Labor Relations Board, and it acts as a check on employers and employees alike.Ē
The problem, of course, is that government has all sorts of coercive power that an employer does not. And in setting up the NLRB, government limited the ability of business owners to freely contract with willing workers Ė and even if one concedes the legitimacy of the creation of the NLRB (which I do not), it has historically never operated as a check on union thuggery. Time to shut it down Ė and make America a right-to-work nation by guaranteeing that no American will ever be forced to pay a third-party organization in order to be allowed to hold a job.
It didnít even take two hours from the time I posted on LSU flag-burner Benjamin Haas for this visit to come in.
I guess Big Brother really is watching you.
A student at Louisiana State University reportedly is planning to burn an American flag on campus Wednesday as part of a peaceful protest, the student newspaper reports.
The flag-burning comes nearly a week after police charged another student, Isaac Eslava, with taking the American flag at the campus' historic War Memorial and burning it hours after news of Usama bin Ladenís killing by U.S. Navy SEALs.
* * *
Benjamin Hass, a communication studies graduate student, has reportedly followed university procedure in seeking clearance to host the flag-burning protest at noon on the Baton Rouge campus.
No public official -- and certainly not President Obama -- has contacted Haas to beg him to reconsider. No prosecutor has acted to require a "peace bond" or sought to judicially restrict the Haas' rights under the First Amendment. There have been no significant threats to commit violence and mayhem by those who hold the American flag in high esteem. And so this event will continue on unimpeded.
Because, of course, he has merely decided to burn an American flag, not a Quran. The former is universally understood to be protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution -- the latter is declared an outrage that offends American values (but putting a Bible in urine doesn't -- and will get you a government grant).
Sometimes a post is timely time and time again -- and I believe that is the case with this one. I therefore feel like I should bring this piece back for consideration in light of the objections of left-wingers, internationalists, Islamists and members of the bin Laden family to the recent killing of Osama bin Laden.
Hereís a neat idea for dealing with Osama and every other terrorist on the planet. They are hostis humani generis -- the enemies of all mankind.
TO UNDERSTAND THE POTENTIAL OF DEFINING TERRORISM as a species of piracy, consider the words of the 16th-century jurist Alberico Gentili's De jure belli: "Pirates are common enemies, and they are attacked with impunity by all, because they are without the pale of the law. They are scorners of the law of nations; hence they find no protection in that law." Gentili, and many people who came after him, recognized piracy as a threat, not merely to the state but to the idea of statehood itself. All states were equally obligated to stamp out this menace, whether or not they had been a victim of piracy. This was codified explicitly in the 1856 Declaration of Paris, and it has been reiterated as a guiding principle of piracy law ever since. Ironically, it is the very effectiveness of this criminalization that has marginalized piracy and made it seem an arcane and almost romantic offense. Pirates no longer terrorize the seas because a concerted effort among the European states in the 19th century almost eradicated them. It is just such a concerted effort that all states must now undertake against terrorists, until the crime of terrorism becomes as remote and obsolete as piracy.
What would be the impact of classifying terrorism along with piracy?
If the war on terror becomes akin to war against the pirates, however, the situation would change. First, the crime of terrorism would be defined and proscribed internationally, and terrorists would be properly understood as enemies of all states. This legal status carries significant advantages, chief among them the possibility of universal jurisdiction. Terrorists, as hostis humani generis, could be captured wherever they were found, by anyone who found them. Pirates are currently the only form of criminals subject to this special jurisdiction.
Second, this definition would deter states from harboring terrorists on the grounds that they are "freedom fighters" by providing an objective distinction in law between legitimate insurgency and outright terrorism. This same objective definition could, conversely, also deter states from cracking down on political dissidents as "terrorists," as both Russia and China have done against their dissidents.
Recall the U.N. definition of piracy as acts of "depredation [committed] for private ends." Just as international piracy is viewed as transcending domestic criminal law, so too must the crime of international terrorism be defined as distinct from domestic homicide or, alternately, revolutionary activities. If a group directs its attacks on military or civilian targets within its own state, it may still fall within domestic criminal law. Yet once it directs those attacks on property or civilians belonging to another state, it exceeds both domestic law and the traditional right of self-determination, and becomes akin to a pirate band.
Third, and perhaps most important, nations that now balk at assisting the United States in the war on terror might have fewer reservations if terrorism were defined as an international crime that could be prosecuted before the International Criminal Court.
I encourage you to read the article by Douglas R. Burgess Jr., ďThe Dread Pirate Bin LadenĒ. It may come out of the Legal Affairs, but it is incredibly approachable.
I donít want to hear from Barry Ė and no law should force me to receive an unwanted text message from him.
A new national alert system is set to begin in New York City that will alert the public to emergencies via cell phones.
Presidential and local emergency messages as well as Amber Alerts would appear on cell phones equipped with special chips and software.
The Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the system would also warn about terrorist attacks and natural disasters.
Verizon and AT&T, the nationís largest cell phone carriers, are already on board. Consumers would be able to opt out of all but those presidential messages.
Seems to me that Obama is suffering from Dear Leader Syndrome Ė believing that the American public should be required to stop and listen to him. Big Brother Is Texting You!
My position on same-sex marriage has not changed Ė it is just that the legal basis for banning the ceremonial marking of them on military bases is pretty weak in light of the changing policies of the military.
Anticipating the elimination of the military ban on homosexuality, the Office of the Chief of Navy Chaplains has decided that same-sex couples in the Navy will be able to get married in Navy chapels, and that Navy chaplains will be allowed to perform the ceremonies -- if homosexual marriage is legal in the state where the unions are to be performed.
The advisory came in the form of an April 13 memo issued to all chaplains, in which the Chief of Navy Chaplains, Admiral Michael Tidd, said the Chaplain Corps was revising its Tier I training manuals, which had previously indicated that same-sex marriages are not authorized on federal property.
Instead, Tidd called for chaplains to comply with service-wide efforts underway to be more accepting of homosexuality and same-sex marriage as the end of the military policy on homosexuality nears.
Citing "additional legal review" by Navy attorneys, the admiral said the Navy "has concluded that, generally speaking, base facility use is sexual orientation neutral.Ē
If we are going to allow homosexuals to openly serve in the military Ė and we are Ė and if some states are going to permit same-sex marriage Ė and they are Ė and if some religious groups are going to permit/recognize such marriages Ė and they are Ė then it is nonsensical to forbid such marriages taking place in military chapels in those states where such marriages are legal, conducted by military chaplains whose faiths allow for officiating such unions.
And if you think Iím wrong, ask yourself this question Ė could the military legitimately ban interracial ceremonies on base?
UPDATE: And no sooner is the policy disclosed than it is "suspended".
The Navy did an abrupt about-face late Tuesday, suspending earlier guidance that could have allowed same-sex marriages on military bases once the Pentagon scraps its present Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.
A memorandum from the Chief of Chaplains, Rear Admiral M.L. Tidd, suspended one he issued about a month ago.
"My memorandum of 13 April 2011 is hereby suspended until further notice pending additional legal and policy review and inter-Departmental coordination," Tidd wrote on Tuesday to all Navy chaplains and "religious program specialists."
I'd argue that this policy is one that is likely to hasten the end of DOMA -- after all, there will now be a serious equal protection argument that will easily overcome any "military necessity" argument. After all, being gay is not going to be an offense that gets one discharged from the military, so there is no longer that basis for prohibiting military chaplains from performing same-sex marriages consistent with the dictates of their sponsoring religious organization in jurisdictions where such marriages are legally permitted. And since the states (rather than the federal government) license marriages in this country, it is will be difficult to justify not allowing some legally valid marriage to be performed on base. All of which goes back to the failure of those who support traditional marriage to make a full-court press in favor of a Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 or 2005, rather than blissfully assuming that the Defense of Marriage Amendment would remain in place in the face of a hostile judiciary.
Here are this weekís full results:
Iím not a supporter of Jon Huntsman for President. Indeed, he ranks pretty low on my list Ė not as low as Ron Paul, but hovering in that vicinity. I just do not see him as a candidate with the name recognition and national prominence to win in 2012. But I have to disagree with Erick Erickson on this point.
The reason I will never, ever support Jon Huntman is simple: While serving as the United States Ambassador to China, our greatest strategic adversary, Jon Huntsman began plotting to run against the President of the United States. This calls into question his loyalty not just to the President of the United States, but also his loyalty to his country over his own naked ambition.
Yeah Ė the bold type and yellow highlighting are in the original, trying to make the point seem more serious because of the special prominence he gives it. But that does not make it logical or sensible.
Jon Huntsman, approached by the newly elected president, agreed to serve as our nationís ambassador to China. That is the act of a patriot, not of a traitor Ė even if that president is of the other major party. By all accounts, Huntsman has been an able representative of our nationís interests Ė as defined by the Obama Administration Ė and served with distinction.
So why the objection? It is because, from a very early stage in the job, Huntsman began to do something that he had apparently been preparing to do prior to his appointment Ė exploring a possible candidacy the 2012 GOP nomination so as to oppose Barack Obama. Huntsman was a potential candidate before the appointment, and saw that appointment to be no obstacle to continuing to pursue the nomination after assuming the Beijing post. That ambition has been an open secret for much of the past two years.
Erickson questions whether Huntsmanís presidential ambitions caused him to act in something other than Americaís best interests while serving in the diplomatic post. He also speculates that perhaps the incumbent could not repose full trust in Huntsman because of those ambitions, therefore harming us relations with China. The problem, of course, is that he offers no proof of either.
Face it Ė Barack Obama knew who he was appointing to the post. He knew the political moves that were being made Ė many were quite public, and those that were not were hardly covert Ė and yet chose not to fire Huntsman. That tells me that Obama had confidence in Hutsmanís professionalism, as I do not believe that even as feckless a president as the current incumbent would intentionally undermine his own policies by placing an enemy of his policies in so sensitive a position. I therefore find Ericksonís speculation to be specious, and do not take it seriously.
Of course, that does raise a different question. Why would Republicans be willing to support a man who is obviously so simpatico with the current administration? Is there sufficient daylight between the foreign policy of Barack Obama and Jon Huntsman (not to mention domestic policy) to make a compelling case for changing our nationís top leadership? That is why I am suspicious of a Huntsman candidacy Ė I simply cannot see a narrative that would lead Americans to reject the incumbent in favor of one of his own appointees.
Linking two of the politically volatile issues of the moment, Senate Democrats say they will move forward this week with a plan that would eliminate tax breaks for big oil companies and divert the savings to offset the deficit.
So the plan is to repeal some of the favorable tax treatment that oil companies get. The problem with that is that when Congress does this, the result will not be a decrease in profits for the oil companies. Instead, the oil companies will raise their prices to cover the new gouging by the Feds Ė after all, they will seek to continue their roughly 10% profit margin, and the only way to do that is to charge consumers more.
Unfortunately, the Democrats do not understand that businesses donít pay taxes Ė consumers do via increased product prices. But rather than do the honest thing and increase the income tax, they will turn business into the bad guy Ė unless the economically literate make clear the inevitable results of this ill-conceived policy.
Home values posted the largest decline in the first quarter since late 2008, prompting many economists to push back their estimates of when the housing market will hit a bottom.
This is after two full years of the Kenyanís son as President, so no one can say that the numbers are Bushís fault. No, the unicorn-riding demigod has failed to create well-paying new jobs and to turn the economy around, Indeed, it would appear that we are headed for a double-dip recession. The only good news about that would be that it will prolong the suffering into the 2012 election cycle, and probably cost Dems the Senate and Barry Hussein the White House.
ďWe canít just drill our way out of the problem,Ē Obama said during an energy policy speech in Indiana Friday. ďIf weíre serious about addressing our energy problems, weíre going to have to do more than drill.Ē
Judicial Watch, which has sued the government multiple times for documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), has already filed requests under that law to obtain photos of the al Qaeda leaderís dead body.
Tom Fitton, the groupís president, said he doesnít believe President Obamaís objections to releasing the photos outweigh the publicís right to know.
ďWe are prepared to sue if they donít respond as they are supposed to under the law,Ē Fitton told The Hill. ďI have not heard anything from the president that would provide a lawful basis for not providing the photos. Not wanting to be seen as Ďspiking the footballí is not a lawful reason to withhold documents under FOIA.Ē
The only applicable basis for withholding the pictures would be giving them a classification of Secret of higher Ė but that would have to be defended in court. It is hard to argue that such a classification would survive the laugh test. After all, having released so much information about the raid on bin Ladenís compound and what happened to him, it is hard to argue that an image proving what has been disclosed would meet the standards set forth by law and court precedent to justify non-disclosure.
Since you have blamed all our stateís current economic woes on the GOP, you will of course have to give all the credit for this as well.
Standard & Poor's gave Texas government bonds an AA+ rating on Thursday and said the state's economy will likely recover quicker than most other states.
So it would appear, if this bunch is right.
The unexpected and potentially rotten news that the world will end on May 21 rolled into the District on Thursday morning, plastered on a caravan of five recreational vehicles that parked near the Washington Monument.
ďHave you heard the awesome news?Ē the side of the RVs asked, in big bold letters. ďThe End of the World is Almost Here!Ē
The former White House speech writer turned columnist and commentator puts the reason why the bin Laden death pictures need to be released in sports vernacular that even Barack Obama ought to be able to understand.
Americans donít want to spike the ball. They just want to show they crossed the goal line.
That is obvious by this statement here.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) confirmed Thursday that he is considering leaving Ohio in order to to keep a seat in Congress.
"If I don't have anywhere I can run in Ohio, I have to start thinking about what my options are," Kucinich in an interview with a television station in Lakewood, Ohio. "I prefer to continue serving the district I've served for as long as I have. But that's not my choice to make in terms of the map."
Iíve said it before Ė bombing a house of worship (that isnít being used by combatants as an operational base) is not acceptable. Iím therefore not particularly troubled that this was the outcome.
A man wanted for the bombing of a Florida mosque was shot dead after a tense standoff after he drew a gun on and FBI SWAT team trying to arrest him, officials said.
During a dramatic standoff in a dust-swept Oklahoma campsite, Sandlin Matthews Smith, 46, pulled out a firearm as federal and state law enforcement officers approached him and demanded his surrender.
Smith, of St. Johns County, Florida, was accused of detonating a pipe bomb at the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville in May last year.
Stupid move on his part. But you know what? I'm no more upset by the death of this terrorist than I am by the death of Osama bin Laden. Sic Semper Terrorists.
As some of you may know, Darren from over at Right on the Left Coast suffered a serious skiing injury and is out of the classroom for the remainder of the year. He posted the following today on his site, provoking quite a grin from me.
I was just checking email and one of my students had sent me a nice message. It's rewarding to hear from them.
Then I looked at the date/time stamp. It was sent during class--my class!
I told her I should rat her out to the substitute! But she probably knows I won't.
Yeah, we love the little scamps when they do stuff like this, and turn a blind eye to the rule violation. Sort of like the time, about ten years back, when one of my students went behind my desk and accessed my email when I stepped out in the hallway to speak with an administrator. How did I find out? Easy Ė that night my wife (who was just released from the hospital after a stay in ICU) got an email from Sarah, sending get well wishes and saying that she had been praying for her while she was in the hospital. How on earth do you write a kid up for that? Kindness trumps the rules.
Oh, an as an aside to Darren if he is reading Ė get well, my friend, and know that you are in my prayers.
"Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice." - John Adams
Think about it. The Terry Jones free speech saga comes to mind. So does the release/donít release debate on the Osama death photos. The entire issue of every criticism of Obama being deemed race-based.
And interestingly enough, including the part removed by the ellipsis makes it even more pointed.
"Be not intimidated, therefore, by any terrors, from publishing with the utmost freedom, whatever can be warranted by the laws of your country; nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretenses of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery, and cowardice."
And before anyone askes, the source is A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, written by Adams in 1765.
And I love this quote from it as well.
"Let us tenderly and kindly cherish therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write."
I really think I need to read me some more John Adams. What a brilliant voice for liberty!
After all, President Obama is refusing to release pictures of Osama the Dead Terrorist for fear of angering extremists who already want to kill us, thereby making us unsafe. Holderís words to Congress on the mission therefore raise a serious issue about whether it was advisable to take out the jihadi trash in the first place.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. expressed serious concern Wednesday about Americansí safety from possible revenge attacks for Osama bin Ladenís death and expects the terrorist watch list to be expanded, based on evidence collected in the al Qaeda leaderís compound.
Now remember, this is what Holderís boss has told 60 Minutes about his decision not to release the pictures of Osama bin Ladenís dead body.
It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence. . . . And I think that given the graphic nature of these photos, it would create some national security risk.
We wonít release the photos because of the possibility of revenge attacks Ė but the very fact we took him out may result in such attacks. If fear of reprisals is the standard for determining whether a decision is the responsible one from the perspective of American security, it sure seems like we shouldnít have sent those Navy SEALs into that compound in Pakistan in the first place.
Frankly, the feckless fop in the Oval Office is guilty of craven cowardice and capitulation in deciding not to let the whole world see the photos of the fiend before he became food for fishes.
SLAMABAD Ė Pakistan warned America Thursday of "disastrous consequences" if it carries out any more raids against terrorists like the one that killed Osama bin Laden, and hit back at international allegations it may have been harboring the al-Qaida chief.
* * *
"The Pakistan security forces are neither incompetent nor negligent about their sacred duty to protect Pakistan," he told reporters. "There shall not be any doubt that any repetition of such an act will have disastrous consequences," [Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir] said.
Excuse me, but the most wanted man in the world was found living just blocks from your military academy, where he had hidden out for years. Incompetence and negligence are the least of the accusations that some of us are making Ė we see probable complicity in keeping Osama safe and sound. You need to address that matter, lest we Americans need to carry out further operations inside Pakistan.
Calvin and Kenneth Bayne stood silently among Army officers, watching their brother's remains transferred from a plane to a waiting hearse. Kenneth kept his hand on his heart. Calvin saluted and then walked directly to the flag-draped casket and kissed it.
The somber ceremony on a tarmac at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport offered the two men the first tangible contact with their older brother in more than 66 years. Pfc. Robert B. Bayne went missing in action in 1945 as he fought along the Rhine River near Mannheim, Germany. The Army officially identified his body in March of this year, largely spurred by the constant urging of the 83-year-old fraternal twins who were teens when the man they called "Buddy" enlisted.
Robert Bayne died fighting the enemy on the field of battle. His brothers fought the US government for decades to ensure that his remains were properly identified, rather than remaining anonymous in a cemetery in France. Soon he will be laid to rest in his home town. May he rest in peace, with the thanks of a grateful nation.
It isn't just that We the People paid for them.
It isn't just that we want to "spike the football".
It isn't just that we are sick and tired of appeasing the extremists who hate us and want to kill us regardless.
It is just that we need to see the pictures -- and a lot of other evidence on this raid -- just to clarify what actually happened this weekend in Pakistan in light of the constantly changing story coming out of the Obama Regime itself.
Over at Bookworm Room, there is a great summary of the Regime's nconsistencies and changing stories that originated in a comment on the site.
Okay, what do we have here:
1) There was a firefight.
2) There was no firefight.
3) Bin Laden was ďresisting.Ē
4) Bin Laden wasnít armed. (Makes the concept of ďresistingĒ interesting.)
[4.a) And the newest one: the SEALS thought bin Laden was reaching for a weapon.]
5) He used his wife as a shield.
6) His wife was killed too.
7) He didnít use his wife as a shield. She ran at a SEAL who shot her in the leg, but sheís fine.
8 ) Some other woman ó the maid? ó was used as a shield. By somebody. Downstairs.
9) That other woman ó downstairs ó was killed.
10) Maybe not. She was killed unless she wasnít ó and who was she, anyway?
11) Bin Ladenís son was killed.
12) Unless it was some other guy.
13) Bin Ladenís daughter saw him get killed. Sheís undoubtedly traumatized, poor dear.
14) They were going to capture Bin Laden until the problem with the helicopter, which was:
A) It had mechanical trouble
B) It did a hard landing
C) It crashed
D) It clipped a wall with a tail rotor, effectively a crash
15.) They were never going to try to capture him; it was always a kill mission.
16.) No, it wasnít.
17) The chopper blew up.
18) The SEALs blew it up.
19.) Panetta said yesterday the world needed proof and the photo would be released.
20.) Obama said today in an interview he taped with Steve Kroft for ď60 MinutesĒ to be broadcast Sunday that it wonít be released. Itís too gruesome, would offend Muslim sensibilities (something he worries about a lot ó I personally do not give a warm fart on a wet Wednesday about Muslim sensibilities), and how would Americans feel if Muslims released pictures of dead Americans?
21.) Kroft ó whoís not a total idiot ó pointed out that ever since ďBlack Hawk DownĒ days, Muslims have been doing precisely that, filming American bodies being dragged through the streets, filming Daniel Pearlís head being cut off, filming any and everything.
22) Obama gets pissed at CBS, the tape gets cleaned up, that question disappears. (Inside info.)
23.) We got a ďtreasure troveĒ of stuff from hard drives, etc.
24.) There were no phone lines, and no internet access at the ďmansion,Ē they didnít even have TV ó what ďtreasure trove?Ē
25.) There is obviously in the pictures of the place a large satellite dish. I guess they used it for making salads.
26.) And now, just today: apparently the idea was to capture him, but only if he was naked. There was a suspicion he might be wearing a suicide bomber type explosive vest, or belt. So if heís not naked and you canít see if he has a vest on or not Ė shoot him.
Either the Obama White House is staffed with so many liars that they can't keep their stories straight, or it is staffed with such incompetents that no one knows what is going on. Either way, We the People are entitled to more information -- including as much available imagery and video as can be released without compromising sources and technology -- as is available. We just can't take the word of the Kenyan's son and his minions any longer -- we've seen that truth is negotiable for them.
And screw the sensitivities of those who might be radicalized by the pictures -- if they hate us enough to be radicalized by seeing the Osama's bloody corpse, then they were probably already radicalized by our killing the jihadi leader in the first place.
Apparently Obama got the message from "Peaceful Muslims" everywhere -- "Silence! I kill you!"
No telling how long this video will stay on YouTube before the Kenyan's son orders it shut down lest it be seen as spiking the football or serve to otherwise inflame the Religion of Peace and endanger our national security.
Cheering the murder of innocents in an unprovoked attack and taking out a terrorist chief are somehow morally indistinguishable? I wish I believed that those making the argument encapsulated below are being facetious, but we all know they are not.
The logic there is incredibly flawed. It is like arguing that the two scenes here are also morally equivalent:
Gov. Rick Perry says the White House has rejected his request for a federal major disaster declaration for areas of Texas affected by recent wildfires.
In a statement released Tuesday night, Perry said he was "dismayed" by the rejection earlier in the day, that "it is not only the obligation of the federal government, but its responsibility under law to help its citizens in times of emergency."
I guess that since it is only 2 million burned acres around the state, it is no big deal. After all, that isnít quite triple the size of Rhode Island, so how can it be deemed a major disaster?
Just one more ďeff youĒ from Obama to Texas.
So when does Seal Unit 6, or whatever it's called, drop in on George Bush? Bush was responsible for a lot more death, innocent death, than bin Laden.
Donít believe it? Listen to the audio here. Then call the Secret service and ask when they are going to be dropping in on Mr. Malloy about his call to murder the former President of the United States.
The sad thing is that this sort of attitude is not uncommon. It assumes that while it is possible for white people to hold a diversity of views and believe a diversity of things, non-whites are somehow required to be a part of the lowing herd or connected into some hive-mind in which individuality is not valued Ė or possible. Such folks apparently believe that only white folks have brains capable of independent thought -- the rest are hard-wired to think like everyone else who looks like them, unless they are somehow diseased or damaged.
There's a word for that attitude -- racism, whether it is espoused by whites or minorities. And it seems to me that Harry Reid is showing once again which party espouses such beliefs.
I just laughed when I saw this from the Queen of the Edu-Sphere.
ďWhy do I have an F?Ē ask community college students who arenít coming to class and doing the assigned work. ďThey want extra credit, chances to make up tests, magic points that appear out of nowhere just because they asked,Ē writes a remedial English instructor.
Heck, I get those same things on the high school level. Students donít do assignments Ė even major projects Ė and then want what I call ďthe magic crossword puzzleĒ that will take them from an F to a B just by turning it in on the last day of the grading period. It is all a part of the entitlement mindset that is ingrained in our students Ė they deserve a good grade because it is their right to get one.
The original article cited can be found here.
As a teacher, I've always held that the role of my fellow educators and I is to teach our students how to think, not what to think. Unfortunately, that appears to not always be the case with some other members of the profession, resulting in horrible stuff like this.
Following a school wide PA announcement of a "special visitor," the boy's teacher sat the children down in a circle, and explained to them that "the war people are trying to take money from the school".
I can't think of any situation in which propagandizing students -- especially ones this young -- would be appropriate. There need to be investigations, and probably firings.
Weíve heard repeated assurances that Osama bin Laden did not represent Islam. Weíve heard any number of Islamic groups and Muslim leaders tell us just how glad they are that the terrorist leader is dead. Why then would there be any hesitation to release these photos on their account?
The White House is still deciding whether or not to release a photograph of Usama bin Laden's body, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday.
"I don't have any updates on that," Carney said when asked whether the White House would release a photo of the dead terrorist leader. "We will continue to review that and make decisions about the appropriateness of releasing that information."
"There are sensitivities here concerning the appropriateness of releasing photos of Osama bin Laden in the aftermath of this fight," Carney went on.
He added, "It's fair to say that it's a gruesome photograph."
Bin Laden was killed by a shot above his left eye. The shot blew away part of his skull. Bin Laden was also shot in the chest.
Officials don't want to inflame the Islamic community by showing graphic images but want to disprove claims that the terror leader is actually still alive.
If by ďdon't want to inflame the Islamic communityĒ these officials are trying to avoid upsetting those who claim that they are glad Osama is dead, then it would appear that they are admitting they believe CAIR and the rest of these groups to be terrorist front groups that have spoken falsely when theyíve condemned bin laden, al Qaeda, and terrorism generally.
If ďdon't want to inflame the Islamic communityĒ means that they are trying to avoid upsetting the followers and supporters of Osama bin Laden, then it means that those making the decision are weak-kneed cowards behaving cravenly because they are afraid of upsetting the enemy rather than acting boldly against them.
And regardless, ďdon't want to inflame the Islamic communityĒ must be interpreted as meaning ďwe donít give a damn what the American people want -- it is someone elseís sentiments that matterĒ.
ďWe the PeopleĒ have made our sentiments clear Ė it is time for our public servants to abide by them Ė regardless of what ďthe Islamic communityĒ feels, thinks, or plans to do about it.
UPDATE: Oh, and let me be perfectly clear -- we shouldn't have buried Osama at sea immediately. We should have put on a display like this at Ground Zero, so America could pay its "respects" to the jihadi king.
A small weekly paper in California claims that a White House official asked it to remove a sentence from a ďbenignĒ feature about Marine One because it reflected poorly on first lady Michelle Obama.
In an email to The Daily Caller, Gina Channell-Allen, president of the Pleasanton Weekly in Pleasanton, California, said that her paper ďreceived a call from the White House asking us to take out part of the story because it reflected poorly on the First Lady.Ē
The story in question was a soft feature about Marine One titled, ďInside Marine One, President Obamaís helicopter,Ē that ran in the paper on April 20. Pleasanton staffer Amory Gutierrez ďdidnít get to ride in ĎMarine One,íĒ she wrote in her story, ďbut I did get the VIP tour and took photographs of the otherwise unseen aircraft.Ē
She also wrote a sentence that the White House thought made FLOTUS look snooty.
ďBasically the reporter said that the First Lady didnít speak to the pilots but acknowledged them by making eye contact,Ē Allen wrote in her email.
Allen says she ďcompliedĒ with the White Houseís request ďbecause it was not worth making a fuss over.Ē
ďNot worth making a fuss overĒ? You must be joking! If the First Amendment means anything, it means that the White House doesnít get to act as the copy editor for our nationís media.
Now a friend of mine pointed out that this was a White House ďrequestĒ and that there was no compulsion involved. But consider the situation with the San Francisco Chronicle, where posting a cell phone video of a protest against Barack Obama, bona fide news by any standard, has resulted in retaliation by the White House. Or the recent dust-up over a local news reporter who failed to be properly deferential to the Kenyanís son by straying beyond softball questions. It seems that this administration wants the press under its thumb or in its pocket. And woe to those like Fox News who stray beyond the official narrative Ė they might need to have their broadcast licenses pulled or face other regulation to make sure they pay for their sins.
Frankly, I consider the newly-naturalized Mona Eltahawy to fall into a category that I call ďbad AmericansĒ (along with a number of other members of the left-wing press). Sheís one of those folks who is embarrassed by Americaís successes, and horrified that Americans would celebrate them. Iím sure that on VE and VJ days, she would have looked down her nose at scenes like these, every bit as much as she did the celebrations of Americans this weekend over the death of Osama bin Laden.
I guess we cretinous kaffirs failed to act sufficiently dhimmified for her refined Muslim palate. Iím sure that there were fifth-columnists in America who had similar reactions to the scenes above.
But setting aside my questions about her actual (as opposed to professed) loyalties, I think she has a point here Ė only not the one she means to make.
The scene at Ground Zero was like a parody of Team America, the film created by the South Park team to parody Bush's America gone wild on nationalism. Now that we've parodied the parody, can the frat boys go home and can we return to the revolutions of the Middle East and north Africa that symbolically killed Bin Laden months ago?
I'm not hearing sympathy for Bin Laden from Muslims and Arabs I know. They're relieved he's finally gone. But they're understandably concerned that media obsession will let him hijack these noble revolutions. One man has been killed; dozens courageously staring down despots are slaughtered every day.
The problem, of course, is that Mona Eltahawy gets it all absolutely wrong here. Look at Egypt. Who is taking the lead? The Muslim Brotherhood, every bit as Islamist, and likely to create a new regime significantly more oppressive than those that have ruled Egypt since the rise of Sadat and the succession of Mubarak following the latterís assassination at their hands. In Baharain, the Shiía crowds seem remarkably sympathetic to the Iranian regime Ė which oppresses its own people and suppressed their effort to institute some genuinely non-Islamic reforms in the name of a free, democratic, and open society. The Libyan rebels backed by Barack Obama are riddled with al-Qaeda ďfightersĒ who fought against American troops in other places and will certainly not become friends of the USA once the gain power. Syria seems more likely to fall under the sway of Hezbollah forces if Assad goes than it does to be a beacon of freedom. And letís not forget the Palestinian leaders who continue to eschew peace and who praised bin Laden in death. As much as I want to believe that the Arab/Muslim world is turning a corner, I just donít see it. Why does Mona Eltahawy? Or is it simply the case that her view of events in the Middle East is every bit as skewed as her view of American patriots celebrating the liquidation of Americaís greatest enemy.
You know, if Osama had surrendered. Jeffrey Toobin notes several issues, including these two.
1. Trial: Civilian vs. military?
Given the outcry that greeted U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's plan to try suspected 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court -- which led Congress to abort that plan -- it seems clear that bin Laden wouldn't have received a civilian trial either.
Just for starters, there would have been a huge outcry if bin Laden had been allowed to set foot on American soil. So it seems clear that bin Laden would have been tried by military tribunal.
The outcome of that trial would never have been in doubt, but there are many questions that would need to be answered about it.
Frankly, I donít know that I agree with this. Given the lawfare suits that have been decided by SCOTUS in recent years, I could see a decision that bin Ladenís apprehension somehow violated a substantive right or that some portion or other of the evidence against him was inadmissible due to how it was obtained. Whatís more, would it even be held to be permissible to try Osama in a military court? Iím sure there would be tons of litigation on that matter alone.
2. Where would he have been tried?
It appears that Mohammed will be tried by tribunal in the American detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. That place has a poisonous public reputation, not least because of attacks on its legitimacy by candidate Barack Obama throughout 2008.
Obama and others said that the Bush administration's decision to establish Guantanamo as a place beyond the reach of the legal system -- and one where allegations of torture persisted -- made the facility in effect a recruiting tool for terrorists.
Obama's vow to close it has become, perhaps, his best-known unfulfilled campaign promise.
Bin Laden-in-Gitmo is a public symbol the United States would have wanted to avoid. It might have looked like the U.S. was stretching its own rules, and damaging its own reputation, to nail a hated enemy.
Any trial held would likely be both military and outside the US Ė most likely at Gitmo. But having delegitimized such trials Ė most recently through Eric Holderís statements Ė it would cause international outrage. In the end, the questions of what evidence would be admitted, what evidence Osama would get access to, and the nature of the defense he would be permitted, would raise even more questions regarding a fair trial Ė even if American rules were scrupulously followed.
All of which shows how treating this sort of national security threat as an ordinary crime subject to civilian laws is fundamentally flawed. And for the time being, it is better off if we simply execute folks like Osama wherever they are found, without the niceties of a trial.
After all, Osama is not a pickpocket or a rapist. He is not merely a murderer. He is the leader of a group out to make war upon the United States of America. We need to act like it.
I am sorry, but if you believe the newest death of OBL, you're stupid. Just think to yourself--they paraded Saddam's dead sons around to prove they were dead--why do you suppose they hastily buried this version of OBL at sea? This lying, murderous Empire can only exist with your brainwashed consent--just put your flags away and THINK!
What the quote above does is highlight a couple of things.
Where is the MSM coverage of the voice of absolute moral authority? Or did that moral authority disappear when she began challenging darlings of the Left? Just a couple of questions that needed to be asked.
Been busy over the last few days, and have not been keeping up with my posting duties for the Watcher's Council results for the week. At long last, here are the weekís full results:
Great stuff here == be sure to read it all. And, as always, congratulations to all the winners and participants.
They are among several raised by Jules Crittenden, formerly one of my favorite bloggers and now a columnist
ē Who in Pakistanís government and ISI intelligence agency ó long suspected of maintaining ties to Islamic extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan ó knew of Osamaís whereabouts, if anyone, and were any Pakistani agents actively involved in harboring him?
ē What impact will the killing of bin Laden have on U.S. relations with Pakistan? If news emerges that elements of the Pakistani government or intelligence knew of bin Ladenís whereabouts, will there be U.S. political pressure for action against those individuals and agencies or against the government of Pakistan?
Letís face it Ė the man was hiding in plain site near a major Pakistani military installation, in a major Pakistani city under control of the Pakistani government. It is beyond credibility that the powers that be in Pakistan Ė whether government officials, military leaders, or the intelligence services Ė knew absolutely nothing about his presence. Indeed, the fact that the operation was carried out without Pakistani involvement tells me that there is reason to believe that senior people were believed to be somehow involved in aiding and protecting the terrorist leader.
We need to answer those questions, deal justice accordingly. If that cannot be done, we need to withdraw our aid and withdraw our personnel Ė and then nuke the place even further back into the stone age than it currently is. After all, if these ďnice peopleĒ are indicative of the attitude of the average Pakistani, Iím content to send them all to the same infernal spot where Osama now resides with Allah.
What? They want to create a new conspiracy theory?
The Obama administration has photographs of Osama bin Ladenís dead body and officials are debating what to do with them and whether they should be released to the public, officials tell ABC News.
ďThereís no doubt itís him,Ē says a US official who has seen the pictures and also reminds us that OBL was 6í4Ē.
The argument for releasing them: to ensure that the public knows and can appreciate that heís dead. There is of course skepticism throughout the world that the US government claim that it killed bin Laden is true.
The argument against releasing the pictures: theyíre gruesome. He has a massive head wound above his left eye where he took bullet, with brains and blood visible.
Speaking as an American taxpayer, Iíd like to weigh in on the matter.
I paid for the soldiers dispatched to get Osama. I paid for the equipment used Ė including the bullet. I paid for the camera used to take the pictures. It is therefore only appropriate that I be permitted to see the photos of this dead terrorist Ė especially since the body was conveniently dumped at sea within hours of his death (rather than being displayed at Ground Zero in a large jar of formaldehyde along with a couple of fetal pigs).
Whatís more, failure to release the pictures will undermine the claim that Osama is dead Ė something already being questioned around the world by some.
Besides, releasing the photo will serve to reinforce a message that should re-echo around the globe.
Just last week, this bit of information from Wikileaks was commented on in the UK.
The mastermind of the 9/11 attacks warned that al-Qaeda has hidden a nuclear bomb in Europe which will unleash a "nuclear hellstorm" if Osama bin Laden is captured, leaked files revealed.
The terror group also planned to make a 9/11 style attack on London's Heathrow airport by crashing a hijacked airliner into one of the terminals, the files showed.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told Guantanamo Bay interrogators the terror group would detonate the nuclear device if the al-Qaeda chief was captured or killed, according to the classified files released by the WikiLeaks website.
Donít know if that is good intel or bad intel Ė but regardless, I think we ought to be expecting some sort of Islamist response to Osamaís Hell-going.
We've been waiting nearly a decade.
WASHINGTON ó Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the most devastating attack on American soil in modern times and the most hunted man in the world, was killed in a firefight with United States forces in Pakistan on Sunday, President Obama announced.
In a dramatic late-night appearance in the East Room of the White House, Mr. Obama declared that ďjustice has been doneĒ as he disclosed that American military and C.I.A. operatives had finally cornered Bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader who had eluded them for nearly a decade. American officials said Bin Laden resisted and was shot in the head. He was later buried at sea.
* * *
ďFor over two decades, Bin Laden has been Al Qaedaís leader and symbol,Ē the president said in a statement televised around the world. ďThe death of Bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nationís effort to defeat Al Qaeda. But his death does not mark the end of our effort. Thereís no doubt that Al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad.Ē
I'd like to make a couple of observations on this news.
To the troops who took out this enemy, I offer a hearty "Well Done!" To the president who ordered the strike, I offer my thanks that he did not forget the commitment made by his predecessor to pursue this enemy to the end. And most of all, may GOD bless America.
I wrote yesterday about Barack Obama playing politics with disaster declarations based upon where such a declaration will do him the most good. Well, I forgot to include this two week old post from my left-wing blogging nemesis, in which he presciently calls Barack Obama the things that I won't.
If Obama was as mean spirited as Rick Perry is,
he would wait for a few weeks before responding
and let Perry grovel a bit.
Lucky for Rick, Obama's not a dick.
Well, the request is two weeks old, and yet there is still no disaster declaration. By the logic of this Obama supporter, Barack Obama has shown himself to be "mean spirited" and "a dick". I just love it when Democrats supply this sort of ammunition against Obama when they are trying to take pot-shots against Republicans.
UPDATE: Here's what happened next -- proving that the words John wanted to apply to Rick Perry are more applicable to Barack Obama. I guess the Kenyan's son doesn't consider fires larger than some US states to be a major disaster.