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June 29, 2011

Great Tweet!

From the immortal Jim Treacher.

Maybe Tom Petty will let Obama use a song to celebrate his polls: "Free Fallin'."

Short, sweet, and spot-on.

Now Michelle Bachmann just needs to start using the Sugarland or Taylor Swift versions of American Girl -- each of which has the voice of a strong woman rather than a had-been liberal.

H/T Hube





|| Greg, 08:37 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 28, 2011

Bachmann Flubs On John Quincy Adams

But not by much, and not in a totally unforgivable way.

Stephanopoulos: But that’s not what you said. You said that the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery.


Bachmann: Well if you look at one of our Founding Fathers, John Quincy Adams, that’s absolutely true. He was a very young boy when he was with his father serving essentially as his father’s secretary. He tirelessly worked throughout his life to make sure that we did in fact one day eradicate slavery….


Stephanopoulos: He wasn’t one of the Founding Fathers – he was a president, he was a Secretary of State, he was a member of Congress, you’re right he did work to end slavery decades later. But so you are standing by this comment that the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery?

Bachmann: Well, John Quincy Adams most certainly was a part of the Revolutionary War era. He was a young boy but he was actively involved.

Now I'd like to point out that every word she said about John Quincy Adams was correct. He served as his father's secretary/aide during diplomatic assignments abroad during the American Revolution. By 1794, still in his mid-20s, George Washington appointed him as an ambassador -- and he continued in various ambassadorial posts under subsequent presidents (except for Thomas Jefferson) until James Monroe picked him to serve as Secretary of State. It was John Quincy Adams himself who was responsible for the creation of the Monroe Doctrine. So while it is a stretch to put him in the same category as those who were responsible for conducting the American Revolution, declaring independence and crafting the Constitution, it is not much of one. I wouldn't count John Quincy Adams among the Founding Fathers, but I have a hard time condemning anyone who wants to make him the last and the youngest of the bunch.

By the way, Bachmann is correct about the Founders and slavery. Ben Frankiln was active in anti-slavery circles. Some who owned slaves freed them when they died to provide an example to others. And last but not least, there were those in northern states (where slavery was, in fact, legal -- though less common) who saw to it that the institution was extinguished there. Did they do enough? No. Was it all of them? No. Is it one of the blots on their collective reputation? Yes. But she remains essentially correct on this point.





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Bigger And Better Than Ever: Evelyn Meador Library Is Open For Business In Seabrook

I've mentioned it more than once in posts on this blog -- the one thing I have most missed since we've returned home after Hurricane Ike ripped through our community in 2008 has been our library. As a reader, our town's library was the source of so much joy to me. As the election judge for my precinct, I ran elections in the meeting room there for seven years before the storm. And as a general member of the community, I recognized that the Evelyn Meador Library was really the heart of Seabrook. And for nearly three years, that heart has been missing.

Until today.

Today our community got its heart back as the brand new Evelyn Meador Branch Library opened for business just a few yards from where the old building stood -- roughly triple the size of the old library, and filled with new technology and books.

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I wandered through the library, absolutely stunned by our town's new crown jewel.

One of the many features is the self-service check out options -- which I found myself using very quickly once the library opened.

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And, of course, the library has a lot of computers for public use -- in the main body of the library, in the computer lab, and in the teen room -- making this branch the most technologically up-to-date library in Harris County.

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And, of course, there are the books.

We've got new books -- I think I may grab that new biography of Cleopatra soon.

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There are young adult books -- I'll confess to enjoying Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan when one of my students suggested it.

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There's lots of good adult fiction as well -- I turned around and found Naomi Novik's Temeraire books right in front of me (I just love them -- can't wait for the next one in about a year) right above Flannery O'Connor

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And it didn't take me long to find the science fiction books that I love so well -- favorite authors like John Scalzi, S.M. Stirling, and Charles Stross were all in place, along with books I've come to love since the storm came, like Michael Stackpole's At the Queen's Command (I've already suggested that they buy the sequel when it comes out this fall).

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And I certainly wasn't alone in finding books to bring home with me -- my Darling Democrat found herself quite a few as well, as did so many other library patrons.

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Sadly, most of our library staff will be new -- and not just because of the increase in personnel for our significantly larger library. Several of the staff members before the storm have taken permanent spots at other branches -- but we still have our Head Librarian, Greg Burns, and Shelly Lynn Pearson continues our Children's Librarian. They have done a fantastic job of getting the new library together.

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By the way -- they will be with this library FOREVER, since they both appear in the mural back in the children's area of the library, a whimsical work that looks at our town's past, present and future!

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And speaking of murals, there is also a mural of Seabrook history near the front door.

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And one part of our town's history that is gone but not forgotten is located to the extreme right.

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Yes, the old building, home to the library for two decades until population growth and a giant hurricane put an end to it, is fittingly remembered.

Oh, and by the way, the grand opening was properly launched with speeches by Pct. Commissioner Jack Morman, Seabrook Mayor Glenn Royal, Friends of the Evelyn Meador Library President Marianne Kolar and Harris County Public Library director Rhoda Goldberg.

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Thank you to all of them for their great work in getting the new library built and opened for our community -- and to the many former public officials (former Pct.2 Commissioner Sylvia Garcia, former Seabrook mayors Riley and Renola, and many former members of our city council) who were also instrumental in seeing this project through to fruition.

So yes, Seabrook, Evelyn Meador Library is back -- and it is a day for celebration.





|| Greg, 02:38 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

State Department Has Nothing Better To Do Than Book Concerts For Rock Stars

Hey, I like Lady Gaga as much as the next guy (provided the next guy is another heavy-set middle-aged country music fan), but I still find this disturbing.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday that the State Department played an instrumental role in “sealing the deal” for pop-rock star Lady Gaga to perform at a gay pride rally in Rome, Italy.

Clinton specifically pointed to a letter that David Thorne, the U.S. ambassador to Italy, sent to Lady Gaga urging her to participate in the event.

“And then there is the work that our embassy team in Rome has been doing,” Clinton said. “Two weeks ago they played an instrumental role in bringing Lady Gaga to Italy for a Euro Pride concert.

“Now as many of you know Lady Gaga is Italian American and a strong supporter of LGBT rights,” said Clinton. “And the organizers of the Euro Pride event desperately wanted her to perform and a letter to her from Ambassador Thorne was instrumental in sealing the deal.”

Let's see, what other things might have taken priority.

Well, amybe booking rock stars around the world is all that our State Department has to do these days. That will change in 2013, when a pro-American president takes office and replaces Hillary Clinton, the Princess of Pantsuits, as Secretary of State.





|| Greg, 07:19 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Terror Supporter Retiring From Congress

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Lynn Woolsey will not seek reelection to Congress.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey, one of the most liberal members of Congress, is retiring next year.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) confirmed Monday evening that she's retiring next year.

Speaking to reporters at her California home, Woolsey, 73, cited her age as one of the reasons.

Sadly, the district she represents is so heavily Democrat that her successor is likely to be another Democrat. But maybe, just maybe, that successor won't be a terrorist supporter.





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Obama Campaign Crimninality Begins?

Could be, if Barry Hussein is using the White House as the set for campaign fundraising commercials.

NRO's Jim Geraghty raises the question of whether Barack Obama filmed a video for his reelection campaign in the White House, which may possibly be a violation of federal election laws.

In the video, President Obama promotes a "Dinner With Barack" raffle. To participate in the contest you need to donate at least $5 to the president's re-election campaign and your name will be raffled off to enjoy a dinner with the President, airfare and accommodations included. In a new web video, Obama announced Vice President Joe Biden will also be attending the dinner.

There is one problem, however. This campaign ad was most likely recorded in the White House, which may have violated FEC campaign finance laws.

Here's a picture of Obama giving a weekly address back in February of this year.

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And the "Win Dinner With Barry & Slow Joe" raffle ad.

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Look at the lamp on the table. Look at the chair he is sitting in, as well as the chair/couch/love seat to the president's left. They look to be the same. Now this leads to only two conclusions -- either that ad was shot in the White House just like the speech, or the Democrats went to extraordinary lengths (and presumably expense) to create an exact replica of a specific location in the White House when it was completely unnecessary. In other words, either they broke the law or demonstrated a remarkable profligacy with their donors' money. And if it is the most obvious explanation -- illegal use of the White House for fundraising purposes -- then it is (in the words of VP "Slow Joe" Biden) a "big f*cking deal".





|| Greg, 06:17 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 26, 2011

Looking Ahead To CD 36

There are positives and negatives about the new congressional map here in Texas, but my biggest gripe is the way our local community has been split among multiple districts, with my portion added to the new Congressional District 36 that is geographically focused on East Texas rather than the Houston metropolitan area. It is a less than optimal placement for us, but is 65% Republican, with the largest population center being our East Harris County portion of the district. That means we will almost certainly be represented by a Republican, and we will also have a major voice in selecting him or her.

Ed Hubbard offers his views over at Big Jolly Politics regarding what sort of candidates should enter this race. I don't know that I agree with him on every point, but I think he provides a good starting point for discussion. We WILL have a new Congressman 18 months from now, so we had better get things together so as to get ourselves the best available representative.





|| Greg, 09:09 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Even Liberals Admit That, Anti-GOP Talking Points Aside, Obama And The Democrats Have Failed On Jobs And The Economy

One of our local liberals does a round-up of liberal editorial cartoons every week (I guess it's easier than coming up with his own ideas for a blog post), and included this one in the mix. The thing is, it doesn't show what he thinks it does.

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Remember -- Barack Obama promised us that he would have a "laser focus on jobs" and that his stimulus would keep unemployment below 8% and then drop it fast. Neither has been the case -- ad Congressional Democrats have done nothing on jobs, either. Heck, they can't even produce a budget proposal! Liberals may not like the GOP program for creating jobs and economic growth -- but at least the GOP has one.

PS -- He also includes this cartoon that indicates a lack of understanding of the Supreme Court decision this week regarding a class-action suit against Wal-Mart. But discerning readers already knew he didn't understand the case -- based upon the "remarkable similarity" between this earlier post on the case and this piece from one of the DUmmies.





|| Greg, 07:52 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Why The Gaza Flotilla Must Be Stopped

The IDF offers a five-point explanation of the blockade.

Of course, this does not matter to the six congressional Jew-haters who have painted Israel as the aggressor and demanded that the US government protect Americans from Israeli attempts to force the pirate vessels that comprise the Gaza flotilla to submit to inspections that participants CLAIM they are willing to submit to -- just not on Israel's terms. Of course, we remember just how "peaceful" these "peace activists" were last year when they attempted to run the blockade and then tried to murder Israeli military personnel.

Frankly, Israel needs to give these pirates one warning to stop their ships and submit to inspection. Failure to comply should be handled something like this.

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Combined with this.

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And for those who argue that this runs the risks of killing "innocents", let's be perfectly clear on one point -- anyone who boards these ships knows that they are going to engage in an effort to run a blockade, and are therefore definitely NOT innocents under international law.

SECTION V : NEUTRAL MERCHANT VESSELS AND CIVIL AIRCRAFT


Neutral merchant vessels


67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:


(a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture;

So as far as any reasonable person is concerned, these ships can either stop and submit to boarding and inspection, or they suffer the consequences of their failure to abide by international law.



|| Greg, 07:36 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 25, 2011

"Show Us You Papers" In Pasadena For Soccer Match?

Or will "undocumented spectators" be allowed in the stadium without tickets, thereby depriving the paying customers of their rightful place?

90,000 fans expected at Rose Bowl
for USA-Mexico soccer game on Saturday

After all, every major sporting event I've ever attended has included a requirement that I "show my papers" -- present a ticket -- to get through the gate.





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Russian Experts On Iranian Reactor Die In Pane Crash

As a rule, I don't blog about plane crashes.

They are sad.

They are tragic.

But they generally don't fit my focus, unless they involve terrorism, important personages, or something unusual.

I therefore ignored the plane crash n Russia the other day.

But this article changes that.

Five Russian scientists who assisted in the design of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant were among the 44 fatalities of Monday's Russian plain crash, Moscow's International News Agency RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

The Tupolev-134 plane broke up and caught fire upon making an emergency landing outside the northern city of Petrozavodsk. A preliminary investigation ruled out the possibility of a technical failure.

Three of the experts – Sergei Rizhov, Gennadi Benyok, and Nicolai Tronov – were among the atom facility's designers. Andrei Trokinov, a top Russian nuclear technological expert, was also killed, as was Valery Lalyn, another nuclear expert.

The five worked at Bushehr and were to ensure the facility would withstand natural disasters.

Hmmm. . . they've ruled out a "technical failure" AND "foul play"? What's left? Pilot error? It does make one wonder. . . .

Just wondering -- and quite pleased that the Iranian nuclear weapons program has suffered another setback.

Let's see what develops here.





|| Greg, 01:27 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Here are the results of the most recent exercise in blogging excellence!


Council Winners



Non-Council Winners



Congratulations to the winners, and to all the nominees. Now get reading, folks, because there is some great stuff there.





|| Greg, 05:36 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

And We Couldn't Have That Happen

TurboTax Timmy Geithner really sums up liberalism in a nutshell with this quote.

ADMINISTRATION PRIORITIES EXPLAINED: Geithner: Taxes on ‘Small Business’ Must Rise So Government Doesn’t ‘Shrink.’ “When Ellmers finally told Geithner that ‘the point is we need jobs,’ he responded that the administration felt it had ‘no alternative’ but to raise taxes on small businesses because otherwise ‘you have to shrink the overall size of government programs’—including federal education spending.”

After all, given the choice between shrinking government and shrinking the business sector, these kleptocrats prefer the socialist default position of more government and less private business. Remember this in 2012.





|| Greg, 05:25 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Gay Marriage Legalized In New York

I would not have voted for the legislation, but will wholeheartedly echo Instapundit on this one.

CHANGE: Gay marriage legal in New York State after Senate passes historic bill 33-29. I think it’s good that it was passed by the legislature rather than imposed by a court.

H/T GayPatriot -- with respect and congratulations.
This is, after all, how it is supposed to work.





|| Greg, 05:14 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 24, 2011

Tookie's Will Return To Seabrook

It has been nearly three years, but two of the most important institutions here in Seabrook, Texas will be returning following the devastation of Hurricane Ike.

Our library is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday. And within the next couple of weeks we will see the return of everyone's favorite restaurant -- Tookie's, home of some of the best burgers you will ever sink your teeth into.

Tonight there is a little shindig in the parking lot, along with a bit of music and some prizes. I dropped in for a couple of moments, took some pictures, and came home to share with my readers a bit of what I saw.

Of course, the building is right there on 146, just a stone's throw from NASA Road 1. And yes, the beloved green and yellow color scheme will remain in place.

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Those who came this evening even got a tour of the building, home of Seabrook's best burgers since 1975.

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Some things won't have changed.

Like the woodwork.

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And the great stuff off the walls that gave the place it's atmosphere.

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It will be back -- they promise.

But some things have changed -- like the owner. Barry Terrell (who own's T-Bone Tom's in Kemah, another local institution) has bought out original owner Jim Spears.

Still, what matters most is the food; and the menu will be the same as it was on September 13, 2008, the day the building was flooded by the storm surge that inundated our community and seemed to have put an end to our local tradition.

The target date for the re-opening? July 4, 2011 -- the 36th anniversary of Tookie's original debut in 1975. So when the doors open, be sure to drop on by for a Squealer, a T-Bird, or a Double Dog. And don't forget the onion rings.





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From The "It's Different Now That Obama Is President" File

Thanks to David Harsanyi for supplying the evidence:

Hillary Clinton in 2003.

I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you’re not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration.

Hillary Clinton in 2011.

But the bottom line is, whose side are you on? Are you on Qadhafi’s side or are you on the side of the aspirations of the Libyan people and the international coalition that has been created to support them? For the Obama Administration, the answer to that question is very easy.

Got that -- debating and disagreeing with Bush over a war authorized by Congress is patriotic, but debating and disagreeing with Obama over a unilateral war conducted in defiance of Congress is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. That's what happens when you elect a president based upon his cult of personality rather than his qualifications for the job.





|| Greg, 02:10 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

On The Pulitzer Prize Winning Illegal Alien

It's hard not to sympathize with Jose Vargas. After all, he was brought here via an illegal scheme cooked up by his mother and grandparents, who told him he was here legally and provided him with fake documents. But as a teen, Vargas found out about his real status and decided that he just didn't give a damn about America's laws -- that he was entitled to stay here in flagrant violation of those laws. So he lied to everyone, worked illegally, became a reliably liberal journalist and won himself a prestigious award at a young age -- and then decided to out himself for political purposes.

Michelle Malkin summarizes it all for us.

With great fanfare and elite media sympathy, Jose Antonio Vargas publicly declared himself an “undocumented immigrant” this week. “Undocumented” my you-know-what. In the felony-friendly pages of The New York Crimes — er, Times — the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist turned illegal-alien activist spilled the beans on all the illegal IDs he amassed over the years. He had documents coming out of his ears.

The Times featured full-color photos of Vargas’ fake document trove — including a a fake passport with a fake name, a fake green card and a Social Security card his grandfather doctored for him at a Kinko’s. He committed perjury repeatedly on federal I-9 employment eligibility forms. In 2002, while pursuing his journalism career goals, an immigration lawyer told him he needed to accept the consequences of his law-breaking and return to his native Philippines.

Following the rules would have meant a 10-year bar to reentry into America. Making false claims of citizenship is a felony offense. Document fraud is a felony offense.

Vargas, who frames himself as a helpless victim, freely chose instead to secure yet more dummy documents. He used a friend’s address to obtain an Oregon driver’s license under false pretenses. It gave him an eight-year golden ticket to travel by car, board trains and airplanes, work at prestigious newspapers, and even gain access to the White House — where crack Secret Service agents allowed him to attend a state dinner using his bogus Social Security number. (Reminder: Illegal aliens were able to get through White House security under the Bush administration, too.)

Now the American people are dead set against the sort of mass amnesty for illegals that the Democrats want. I know I am, even though that means folks like Vargas (who, if one regards his multiple felonies, has turned himself into a productive member of our society) would be summarily deported if we ever elected a President and Congress who are serious about enforcing our nation's laws and borders. But I'm not sure that this will happen any time soon, so there really ought to be some provision made for Jose Vargas , and for folks like him. But for the moment, let's just start with making sure that Jose Vargas can stay in this country, reaping the benefits of his life of crime.

Here’s the plan.

President Barack Obama issues an executive order declaring that Jose Vargas can stay, with his own green card, despite his long history of breaking American law.

To avoid tipping the balance of immigration, Barack Obama would then personally visit some Filipino in Manila, someone who has followed the rules and not broken American law, meet with him in front of the assembled media. In that meeting, Obama would explain to that law-abiding individual that Vargas got the green card instead of him as a reward for breaking the rules and becoming a successful member of the liberal media that unquestioningly support Democrats.

After all, it only seems fair that if Vargas is going to be the face of the "deserving" illegal immigrant, that there should be someone who is the face of the would-be legal immigrant who gets shafted when the illegals get rewarded. It would also be great to find out who the people were who applied for all the jobs Vargas illegally worked in the media, the folks who came in second in the hiring process, so that we can identify the legal immigrants and US citizens who were harmed by this foreigner illegally working here in America, doing a job that many well-qualified Americans would love to do if only they weren't aced out by this lawbreaker.

Then we can have a truly honest dialogue about illegal immigration and the fact that it is not a victimless crime. American citizens, legal aliens, and would-be legal immigrants are all harmed when we let folks like Jose Vargas live and work unmolested in this country.





|| Greg, 02:06 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Mexicans Invade America Yet Again

This is not the first time -- or even the first time this year -- that something like this has happened. Isn't it time that we recognize there is a de facto state of war on our southern border, and implement policies accordingly?

A convoy of three military trucks loaded with Mexican soldiers crosses the border at Bridge Number Two clearly violating international law.

It happens as Customs and Border Protection inspectors try to figure out what to do.

A CBP spokesperson says they got on the phone with Mexican authorities after being alerted that the military trucks were heading their direction loaded down with soldiers and weapons.

Mexican leaders say the soldiers, who had just been deployed to Nuevo Laredo, didn't know the area, got lost and then made their way through Bridge Two.

So that's their excuse? Los cabrones corruptos en el ejército mexicano no saben leer mapas -- the corrupt SOBs in the Mexican Army don't know how to read maps. No wonder the narco-terrorists and human traffickers are taking over their country.

Maybe next time it will be a truck loaded with drugs and some of those same narco-terrorists, and we'll have dead Customs and Border Patrol personnel on the ground and a couple more tons of drugs in our streets. Perhaps then our government will take such things seriously.





|| Greg, 01:57 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 23, 2011

A Double Endorsement I'm Pleased To Make

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Three summers ago, at the GOP state convention here in Houston, I had a conversation with one of the finest men in Texas politics today, Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams. During our conversation, I made a commitment to this bona fide conservative -- that he had my endorsement whenever it came time for him to seek the Senate seat occupied by Kay Bailey Hutchison, who was ramping up to challenge Ric Perry for governor in 2010. I have stood by that commitment ever since, even as I have been approached by representatives of other candidates for that office in search of an endorsement for their candidate. My words to them have always been the same -- "I stand with Michael Williams until and unless he decides not to run for the US Senate."

Well, I'd like to officially drop my endorsement of Michael Williams for US Senate -- and officially offer my endorsement of Michael Williams for Congressman of the newly created 33rd Congressional District here in Texas.

I would have loved to have had him as my Senator -- and I envy those in the soon-to-be TX-33 for having this man as their future Congressman.

Now ordinarily, this would leave me in something of a quandary. After all, when your candidate withdraws from the race, who do you turn to? For me, there is no question -- it is the man who I've repeatedly said would be my choice if Michael Williams were not running for US Senate, former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz. Cruz is a brilliant courtroom advocate, and a principled conservative of the sort I always look for when making my endorsements.

Let me make something clear here -- my endorsement of Ted Cruz is not a case of settling for second-best. We conservatives were blessed with an abundance of riches with Cruz and Williams in the primary for Senate. That we now do not have to battle over which one to choose is a blessing, for we can focus on beating Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the main RINO in the race, rather than struggling over who the best conservative choice is. I'm therefore grateful to Michael Williams for making a switch that is in the best interests of Texans who believe in government limited by the Constitution -- and to Ted Cruz for being the sort of candidate I can support without reservation or misgiving.





|| Greg, 06:15 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

More Muslim Terrorist Right Here In The Good Old USA

But just to be clear -- I'm the bad guy for pointing out that they are Muslims, much more than they are bad guys for their terrorist activities.

First, there is this from just outside our nation's capital.

A Marine reservist arrested after a bomb scare near the Pentagon last week has been linked to a series of 2010 shootings at the Pentagon and military facilities in northern Virginia, a law enforcement official said Wednesday.

No one was injured in the shootings, and the official -- who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity -- didn't know the nature of the evidence or how many of the shootings might be connected to the man, Yonathan Melaku.

The shootings last year targeted the Pentagon, the National Museum of the Marine Corps and some military recruiting stations. No injuries were reported in those cases, which occurred in autumn 2010 and which the FBI said were connected by ballistics tests.

Melaku was picked up Friday, after the FBI said he was found trespassing in Arlington National Cemetery before dawn. He then pointed police toward a car parked in bushes on the side of a road near the Pentagon, setting off a security scare that closed commuter routes and snarled morning rush-hour traffic around the U.S. military headquarters.

Let out is the fact that Melaku is an Ethiopian-born Muslim -- who had al Qaeda related writings in his possession at the time of his arrests.

And then there is this, from Washington state.

The Justice Department says two men have been arrested in a plot to attack a military recruiting station in Seattle with machine guns and grenades.

Seattle resident Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, also known as Joseph Anthony Davis, of Seattle, and Walli Mujahidh, also known as Frederick Domingue Jr. of Los Angeles were arrested Wednesday night.

They were scheduled to make initial court appearances Thursday on terrorism and firearms charges.

Investigators say the two men planned to attack a station in Seattle where military enlistees are processed. The building, on East Marginal Way, also houses a daycare.

Left out, of course, is that these two are converts to Islam (as if the names didn't give it away) -- a change of faith that came during their time in prison. Their conversion allows them to put their anti-social tendencies to more "noble" religious purposes in pursuit of the great jihad against those of us who refuse to submit to the phony faith of the false prophet Muhammad.

But don't you dare draw a connection between terrorism and Islam -- CAIR might brand you an Islamophobe.





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Subdivision Refuses To Permit Home For Wounded Warrior

I love those who devote themselves to ensuring that there will be suitable homes for our men and women in uniform left disabled by their service to our nation. After all, similar efforts have helped my wife's cousin and one of my former students receive suitable homes after being seriously injured in recent years while serving our country.

My buddy Robbie from Urban Grounds writes a fine piece on the lowlifes who live the high life in one Georgia neighborhood -- the sort of folks who will change the rules and ignore their own property association guidelines to keep out a disabled veteran. I can't say it any better than he does.





|| Greg, 04:25 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Freedom Wins One In The Netherlands

Geert Wilders acquitted of charges that sought to criminalize criticism of Islam!

Dutch Freedom Party Leader Geert Wilders was acquitted by a court of charges that he made remarks defaming Muslims, ending a three-year prosecution that he described as a bid to restrict his freedom of speech.

Wilders, 47, was charged with inciting hatred and discrimination and insulting Muslims for calling the Koran “fascist” and comparing it to Adolf Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf” in a 2007 Dutch newspaper editorial. A year later, he released his movie “Fitna,” in which he urged Muslims to rip out “hate-preaching” verses from the book.

“You have spoken in a hurtful and also shocking way,” Presiding Judge Marcel van Oosten said in the Amsterdam district court today. Even so, “the court finds, in the broadest context, that you have to be able to propagate the message of such a film.”

It really is quite simple -- if you believe in freedom, you had to support Geert Wilders in this case. Even if you find Wilders and his ideas repugnant, you STILL had to support him in this case. And I'll take this a step further -- any Muslim who is interested in Muslims being guaranteed equal rights with members of every other group in the West had to support Wilders in this case. Why? Because if the precedent were set that the offensive political, religious or ethnic commentary could be banned on the basis of its offensiveness, then no individual or group could ever be certain that it would retain the freedom to express views that are controversial or ideas that offend the majority (or even a vocal minority with political influence).

And coming from the perspective of an American Christian, I cannot help but note that the sort of speech for which Wilders faced criminal charges is not terribly different from what members of the political Left in this country engage in when they demonize "the Christian Taliban" as "religious fascists". Am I offended by such speech? Yes I am -- but I celebrate the fact that they have the freedom to say such hateful things. After all, their freedom serves as the guarantee that I cannot be silenced for expressing the "wrong" point of view, and that I will never find myself in a criminal court over the political, religious, and philosophical views I express on my blog.

Eugene Volokh posts the court's decision.





|| Greg, 02:15 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Dem Congresswoman Shows Her True Colors

That would be Democrat Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey.

Chanting slogans that support genocidal anti-Semites? Praising those who try to silence the voice of Israel in an effort to aid those who intentionally target innocent Jewish men, women, and children?

That should make it obvious that Lynn Woolsey's true colors are not all-American red, white, and blue.

WoolseyHamas.jpg





|| Greg, 08:52 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Dem Congressman's Tax-Cheat Spouse Listed As Campaign Fundraiser Host

But hey, he's a Democrat, so little things like having a spouse who is a convicted felon taking an active role in the campaign while still serving her sentence really isn't that big a deal.

With his wife still under house arrest until August, U.S. Rep. John F. Tierney will be going stag to Friday night’s major Women Taking the Lead for Tierney fund-raiser, spokesmen for the couple confirmed yesterday.

Patrice Tierney is listed on the host committee of the annual $100-a-plate cocktail party to take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Danvers. But Jennifer Flagg, spokesman for the Salem Democrat’s convict wife, told the Herald, “Mrs. Tierney is definitely not attending the event.

Just.

Imagine.

If.

This.

Were.

A.

Republican.





|| Greg, 08:03 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 22, 2011

Dem Congressman Under Investigation

Yeah, i know -- that isn't really news, it is the norm since Nancy Pelosi never did get around to draining her party's swamp and ridding it of the alligators. And we really shouldn't be surprised about unethical behavior from this particular swamp-dweller.

WASHINGTON—A congressional ethics panel is investigating allegations that Florida Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings sexually harassed a member of his staff, according to people familiar with the matter.

The investigation of Mr. Hastings is being conducted by the Office of Congressional Ethics, the House's independent ethics investigative arm, and it is at a preliminary stage.

It began at least a month ago after Judicial Watch, a conservative group, filed a lawsuit as the legal counsel for Winsome Packer, a staffer on a commission Mr. Hastings headed. She alleged that she had been sexually harassed by the congressman and that he retaliated when she tried to report it.

Rep. Hastings is already a member of one very exclusive club -- impeached federal judges. Maybe he can become the first individual in history to be tossed out of two branches of the federal government for misconduct.





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June 21, 2011

An Unsurprising Retirement, All Things Considered

Let's be honest -- the retirement of Capt. Mark Kelly from the US Navy and the astronaut corps should not come as a surprise to anyone. After all, he's put in a pretty standard time for a naval aviator of his rank, and he has no real prospect of ever going into space again due to the destruction of America's manned space program that is currently underway. Besides, as a man of honor with a keen sense of duty, it should come as no surprise that he recognizes that the best place for him at this time is at the side of his wife, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, as she continues the long path to recovery from the wounds she received when she was shot in January.

Let me express my profound thanks to Capt. Kelly for his service to our country and to humanity -- and my continued best wishes for a long, happy, and healthy future for the couple.





|| Greg, 04:11 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Common Sense Observation From An Arizona Sheriff

Barack Hussein Obama isn't doing nearly enough for border security, even as he extends the deployment of National Guard troops on the border.

Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu said the Obama administration’s decision to extend the deployment of 1,200 U.S. National Guard troops along the U.S. border with Mexico until Sept. 30 is “pandering” and that those numbers “fall far short” of what military power is needed to keep the country safe.

Babeu noted, for comparison, the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea to help defend it against North Korean aggression; U.S. troops have been stationed in South Korea for 58 years.

Babeu is the sheriff of Pinal County in southern Arizona and is on the frontlines against illegal immigration, human traffickers, drug smugglers, and potential terrorists.

Babbeau argues for an additional 6000 troops along the border, half of those in Arizona. I'd argue he has a point there, though I would suggest we make it 9000 and put 2000 each in Texas, New Mexico, and California. Surely we can increase the troops on our own border to 1/3 the number we have guarding the border between the Koreas -- especially if we are going to start redeploying troops back from Afghanistan.





|| Greg, 11:00 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Union Mouthpiece Trashes Non-Union Workers In Boeing Dispute

Workers in right-to-work states -- especially in the South -- are stupid and unskilled, he claims.

We should be aghast that Boeing is sending a big fat market signal that it wants a less-skilled, lower-quality work force. This country is in a debt crisis because we buy abroad much more than we sell. Alas, because of this trade deficit, foreign creditors have the country in their clutches. That's not because of our labor costs—in that respect, we can undersell most of our high-wage, unionized rivals like Germany. It's because we have too many poorly educated and low-skilled workers that are simply unable to compete.

Got that, folks? Those non-union workers in South Carolina (and, by implication, the rest of the right to work states in the South) are just too stupid and unskilled to be permitted to work in the aerospace industry (forgetting, of course, that the bulk of the nation's space program is headquartered in some of those same states -- Florida, Texas, and Alabama).

Unfortunately, Geoghegan ignores the actual history of Boeing in South Carolina, and why its workforce in that state is nonunion. It isn't because of anything that Boeing did; rather, it is because in the fall of 2009 the Boeing's South Carolina workers voted to decertify the very union that filed the complaint against Boeing because of the union's failure to place the interests of the workers ahead of the interests of the union itself.

In 2007, after having been narrowly voted in to represent the employees of Vought Aircraft in North Charleston, SC, the Machinists’ union (IAM) was still in the midst of negotiating its first contract when the union struck Boeing for two months in Puget Sound in 2008. Since Vought was one of Boeing’s suppliers, the union’s Washington strike forced Vought to temporarily close the South Carolina plant and lay off the employees.

After nearly a year of negotiations, as the one year anniversary approached, there were reportedly rumors that there was a decertification effort under way. However, either sensing that it may be decertified or realizing its potential membership base was going to be significantly cut back, the union engineered a contract to lock employees in even before the company had presented its final offer:

Some employees have expressed concern that they didn’t know a vote was being taken and that only a small fraction of those in the collective bargaining unit might have participated. Those concerns came up at a meeting last night at the union hall, according to a worker who was there.

Dallas-based Vought was also taken by surprise that its workers voted to ratify an agreement with the Machinists union, the company said in a statement released Thursday.

Vought spokeswoman Lynne Warne said Vought was not privy to information about the number of workers who participated in the vote.

Despite the fact that additional bargaining sessions were scheduled and final proposals had not been exchanged, Vought officials were advised by the IAM (Machinists union) that union members had ratified Vought’s proposals at an emergency meeting called by the union on Nov. 7,” the company said.

Touting that an “overwhelming” 92% of the members voted to accept the contract, it soon became apparent that the 92% the union claimed was really12 out of 13 people who actually showed up at the union’s meeting and voted (out of nearly 200 affected). What was worse than the back-door deal the Machinists rammed through was the fact that it was also a bad deal, according to employees:

We got screwed,” said newly laid-off assembly mechanic Jay Fleckenstein on Thursday night as he worked his second job delivering pizza.

[snip]

And mechanic Pam DeGarmo said the 1.5 percent annual wage hike won’t even cover the union dues and inflation.

It’s a horrible contract,” said DeGarmo. “I didn’t gain anything. It’s going to cost me money.

Several months later, in July 2009, Boeing announced it was buying the South Carolina facility from Vought. By the end of July, with the facility purchased, the employees in South Carolina filed to decertify the union.


So the South Carolina Boeing workers are not some uneducated rubes who were brought in to do a job for which they were not qualified. They are highly-skilled, well-qualified workers who had worked for years for a Boeing supplier before Boeing bought that supplier in 2009. Not only that, they had been unionized -- and learned first-hand about the "benefits" of membership in the Machinists union when the union engineered a sweetheart deal with their employer that economically harmed the employees while appearing to secure the position of the union. Much to the dismay of the bosses, that strategy failed when the workers rebelled and decertified it as their representative.

And this is where the arguments of the union thugs and their hired mouthpieces like Mr. Geoghegan become dishonest to the point of being Machiavellian. Boeing did not MOVE a single job to South Carolina. Indeed, every worker in Washington state that had a job building Dreamliners prior to the decision to open the South Carolina plant still has a job at the Seattle assembly facility. What happened is that Boeing made a decision not to EXPAND in Seattle, instead choosing the EXPAND in Charleston, where it already had facilities and employees, and where some of the parts for the Dreamliner were already being made. And to be honest, that description is not really accurate, either -- after all, Boeing did expand its workforce in Seattle by 2000 workers at the same time it opened the Charleston plant. So how, exactly, have union workers in Seattle been punished for exercising their right to strike?

On the other hand, it seems pretty clear that the goal of the Machinists union is to use the NLRB to punish the Charleston workers for exercising their rights under the National Labor Relations Act to decertify the union in 2009, as the union's campaign to bring back the union in Charleston apparently includes a promise to withdraw the complaint against Boeing if the workers again submit to the yoke of union tyranny by undoing their decertification vote. All they have to do is again accept as a bargaining agent a union which has shown itself to put the best interests of the workers second to the best interests of the union leadership.

Which means, of course, that these workers who Thomas Geoghagen describes as low-skilled, low-qualified and poorly-educated will suddenly be the very sort of high-quality, highly-skilled, well-educated workers that he argues that unions guarantee. Perhaps he can offer an explanation of how it is that a union card -- or the lack of one -- can transform one sort of worker into another in the blink of an eye. Or perhaps he will, in a moment of uncharacteristic honesty and candor, admit that union membership doesn't make a bit of difference other than to the employment security of union bosses and hired guns like Geoghagen himself.





|| Greg, 08:20 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Here are the latest results:


Council Winners



Non-Council Winners



Congratulations to the winners an all participants.





|| Greg, 05:01 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Eeeeeevil Oil Comanies Pay For Pools For Poor Minority Kids in Houston

Just remember -- Big Oil is all about profits and doesn't give a damn about people. That's what the liberals tell us.

Right up until they try to take credit for the good deeds done by Big Oil.

On Monday afternoon, [Congresswoman Sheila] Jackson Lee announced that Marathon Oil and Conoco-Phillips have agreed to step up and put $350,000 to reopen pools and community centers shuttered by budget cuts.

"This is living our values. This is neighbors needing help. This is an emergency. Our kids don't need be without a pool or elders without a community center in the hot summer," Marathon Oil Vice President Eileen Campbell said.

The funds mean eight city pools closed this summer will reopen July 1. The seven community centers closed will reopen a few days later.

Mayor Annise Parker says she's committed to keeping the centers open permanently.

So the next time your friendly neighborhood liberal talks about the evils of big Oil and the need to nationalize the oil industry, just point out that our city's liberal mayor closed the pools and community centers (the ones she says she is committed to keeping open permanently) -- and Big Oil paid to reopen them.





|| Greg, 01:21 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Weird Al Parodies Lady GaGa

A couple of months back i posted about what was then "the most controversial song in America" -- Weird Al' Yankovic's parody of Lady GaGa's "I Was Born This Way". Well, the song -- "I Perform This Way" -- and the video are finally out. Enjoy!

H/T Patterico's Pontifications, Althouse, Gawker





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June 20, 2011

Just Another Misunderstander Of Islam

Which begs the question of why there are so damn many folks like this guy.

An Austrian national was arrested in Vienna and charged with terrorism. Detectives believe he was planning to crash a plane into the Bundestag, German parliament headquarters in Berlin. The suspect, 25-year-old Thomas al-J., is a young man who has converted to Islam. He was arrested Wednesday in his apartment in the Austrian capital and has also been accused of recruiting terrorists in order to send them to jihad training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and of funding terrorist organizations.

Oddly enough, we don't really see similar behavior from converts to any other religious group on anything approaching the scale that we do with Islam. If we weren't constantly assured that Islam is THE Religion of Peace, we might have to believe that there is some connection between the religion and such murderous conduct.

H/T PoliPundit





|| Greg, 06:39 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Terrorists Not Indicted As Terrorists In NYC

Outrageous. Absolutely outrageous.

Two men who were accused of plotting to blow up the largest synagogue in Manhattan, and kill as many Jews as possible in the process, were formally indicted on Wednesday, but not on the most serious criminal charges sought by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh, who were accused of plotting to blow up the largest synagogue in Manhattan, at their arraignment in State Supreme Court on Wednesday. They were not indicted on the most serious criminal charges sought by the Manhattan district attorney.

The state grand jury that heard evidence against the men declined to indict them on the charges of second-degree conspiracy as a crime of terrorism and as a hate crime, rejecting the prosecution’s assertion that they had plotted to blow up synagogues while there were worshippers inside. Instead, the panel favored lesser charges that suggested that the defendants, at best, had wanted to destroy a synagogue when it was empty.

Excuse me? It isn't terrorism or a hate crime to blow up a house of worship when it is empty? Are you kidding me? These folks rank up there with the jury in the Robert Durst murder case in Galveston, who found him not guilty because the victim's head was missing.

By the way, this does raise an interesting question of whether or not this will be taken as precedent in the future. You know -- will the same standard apply if some group of Americans offended by the placement of the Osama bin Laden Memorial Ground Zero Victory Mosque decide to take that sucker to the ground?





|| Greg, 06:09 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 16, 2011

Weiner Interruptus

New York Congressman Anthony Weiner is preparing to resign from Congress in the wake of the disclosure of his sexually charged online behavior.

Representative Anthony D. Weiner has told friends that he plans to resign his seat after coming under growing pressure from his Democratic colleagues to leave the House, said a person told of Mr. Weiner’s plans.

My wife put it well this morning as the news broke -- it is sad that someone with such a bright future before him (Weiner was likely the next mayor of New York City) would do something so stupid. And I'll stand by my earlier statement -- my hope is that the resignation will enable him to save his marriage and provide a stable home for the child he and his wife are expecting., as that should be his real priority now.





|| Greg, 10:02 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Will Somebody Tell The Mexicans This Is Our Effing Country?

And more to the point, will somebody tell them that if they can't keep their citizens from leaving their corrupt narco-terrorist paradise and crossing into the US illegally (indeed, if they are going to encourage and assist in that practice), they really have no business trying to tell Americans how to deal with border-jumping immigration criminals once they get here.

The Anti-Defamation League, Mexico and the governments of several Central and South American countries filed court papers Wednesday in support of efforts to halt Georgia’s tough new immigration enforcement law

* * *

“HB 87 substantially and inappropriately burdens the consistent country to country relations between Mexico and the United States of America,” Mexico says in its brief in support of halting the law, “interfering with the strategic diplomatic interests of the two countries and encouraging an imminent threat of state-sanctioned bias or discrimination.”

The problem, of course, is that the US government has essentially abandoned border enforcement and is more interested in appeasing the corrupt government officials of Mexico who operate as pawns of the drug gangs and human smugglers. And more to the point, Mexico's "strategic diplomatic interest" is continuing to flood its people into the US for the purposes of sending illegally earned money back to Mexico to support its economy -- and the quislings in the Obama Regime sees American citizens, not the Mexican invaders, as the enemy to be defeated.

THISISTHE UNITEDSTATES.jpg





|| Greg, 09:01 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 14, 2011

Note To The Press – We The People Elect The President, Not You Guys

Politio’s Jim Vandehei spoke as follows last night:

JIM VANDEHEI: Palin wasn’t on the stage [at last night's Republican debate] but people continue to be obsessed with her. Joe has a good column on our site today where he talks about this: this bizarre media obsession with Sarah Palin. He talks specifically about those emails. I guess I’ll be curious to hear a little more from Joe, because you guys talk about her a lot, we write about her a lot, yet if you talk to any single reporter at any media organization that we’re aware of, I don’t think that anyone thinks she can be president or should be president,” yet she gets a ton of coverage and I think that the emails really capture that moment.

Now that is interesting – you and your crowd don’t see Sarah Palin as a credible candidate or President. I even agree with you, sort of, in that I believe that there exists a subset of the American people opposed to her would manage to block her election or frustrate her efforts to implement the policies she was elected to implement. But the thing is, the press is A PART OF that subset, but does not represent the views of the American people as a whole. That has been confirmed by time and again in studies comparing the attitudes of the press and the people.

But in the end, whether you and your media cronies think she can or should be president is irrelevant – YOU DON’T GET TO CHOOSE THE PRESIDENT. The American people get to make that determination, so what you folks think is really not relevant.

Unless, of course, you are telling us that you believe it is your place to tell the American people who can and can’t be president, and slanting your coverage accordingly.

All of which leads me to ask – why didn’t you folks vet Barack Obama nearly as thoroughly as you are intent on vetting Sarah Palin? And why is it that you folks still haven’t done the sort of vetting on Obama that you continue to do with Palin, who holds no office and is not a candidate for office – you know, since he is the President and is seeking reelection?





|| Greg, 12:43 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Neither Are We, Barry

In fact, anyone with a lick of common sense is invested in you NOT being President after January 20, 2013.

President Barack Obama says his wife and daughters aren’t “invested” in him being president and would have been fine had he decided against running for re-election. But he says they believe in what he’s doing for the country.

Asked about his family’s reaction to his wanting another term, Obama said: “Michelle and the kids are wonderful in that if I said, `You know, guys, I want to do something different,’ They’d be fine. They’re not invested in daddy being president or my husband being president.”

Why are we invested in your NOT having a second term? Because of what you are doing TO the country.





|| Greg, 12:42 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Question For Mr. Obama

Hey, Barry – you are quoted as having made the following assertion.

President Obama explained to NBC News that the reason companies aren’t hiring are not because of his policies, it’s because the economy is so automated. … “There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.”

Now Mr. president, we’ve had ATMs since the mid 1970s. For most of that 35 or so years, there has not been the sort of mammoth unemployment created and sustained by your economic policies. And similarly, we were in the midst of a pretty good economy when those electronic check-in kiosks started operating, and continued to be in one for some time. What changed? The President of the United States, that’s what.

So I see three options here.

  1. Business voluntarily changes its technological practices begins hiring people, until inefficiency drives them to bankruptcy.
  2. You issue an executive requiring businesses to change, despite the cost in time and productivity that will further harm the economy.
  3. The American people change the occupant of the Oval Office for someone who is actually competent to be there.

As for me, I’ll take the last option.

H/T Weasel Zippers





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One More Reason For Newt To Be Out

Just what we need – a media generated scandal surrounding the least viable candidate in the race, just in time to distract everyone from the real issues and viable candidates for the GOP nomination.

A non-profit charity founded by Newt Gingrich to promote freedom, faith and free enterprise also served as another avenue to promote Gingrich's political views, and came dangerously close, some experts say, to crossing a bright line that is supposed to separate tax-exempt charitable work from both the political process and such profit-making enterprises as books and DVDs.

The charity, Renewing American Leadership, not only featured Gingrich on its website and in fundraising letters, it also paid $220,000 over two years to one of Gingrich's for-profit companies, Gingrich Communications. It purchased cases of Gingrich's books and bought up copies of DVDs produced by another of the former House speaker's entities, Gingrich Productions.

Let’s say it.

This certainly isn’t illegal.

It really isn’t unethical.

But you know, it just plain looks bad.

And on top of all the other stuff he has done over the years that looks bad, it simply adds to the perception of Newt Gingrich as a slick, sleazy guy.

And since he isn’t a serious candidate anyway, we Republicans do not need the distraction as we work to get rid of Obama.





|| Greg, 12:38 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results -- Late Edition

I'm a bit behind in posting these results for the latest competition of blogging prowess. So without further ado, here are this week’s full results:


Council Winners



Non-Council Winners



See you next week!





|| Greg, 08:06 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 13, 2011

Say What?

Generally speaking, I blog about politics and current events, with a sprinkling of posts on education, history, religion, and culture. What I rarely write about is day to day experiences and encounters with others. Part of this is a privacy thing, and part of it is a desire not to be the sort of grouch who spends his time blogging about how his life sucks or gossiping about others.

But this post is going to be different. I'm going to post about some recent experiences and my reaction to them. Not because I want to complain about others, but more because I believe these experiences highlight a broader phenomenon in our society -- the loss of manners and respect for others.

What is it that has led me to pick up on this topic? A little incident this past weekend while grabbing a quick breakfast . My wife and I had made an emergency run to Walmart before church, and found ourselves with extra time enough to stop in the McDonalds in the lobby. It being breakfast time, we each had a sausage biscuit and hash browns. In other words, we ate what most folks in the restaurant were eating.

An older man on an electric scooter had been ahead of us in line, and had ordered a couple of apple pies. He ate a couple of tables behind us, and was done before us. As he went past us, he muttered something I did not understand -- but which my wife later told me was "You are what you eat." Frankly, he was just the sort of background noise that you tune out in a place like that, so we didn't respond. A few moments later, having refilled his drink, he rolled past us again, passing behind my wife -- but rather than going back to his table (he had finished his apple pies) he circled back around our table, stopped right next to me, pointed at our food and said much more loudly "You are what you eat -- and that makes you two PIGS!" Stunned, I said nothing -- and as he began to roll off, he loudly commented again that my wife and I were "a couple of FAT pigs." Rolling on towards the exit, he passed two more couples eating (one couple black, one Hispanic -- both couples of similar size to us) without saying a word -- whether because of their race or the fact that neither of the other couples included a person in a wheelchair was impossible to determine.

Now I could have cussed the guy out. I could have demanded the old coot go back to my wife and apologize to her. Or I suppose I could have even upended the store-supplied scooter on him and laughed as he struggled to drag himself out from under it. Instead, because I was trying to repair my eyeglasses (the emergency in question) and my wife asked me to let it go, I remained in my seat and said nothing. But it sparked me to reflect on several other incidents that have happened recently.

We've attended several performances in recent weeks at Miller outdoor Theater here in Houston. We've always obtained tickets that allow my wife to sit in her wheelchair, using one of the designated wheelchair slots. Those in the row behind have manhandled her -- grabbing her by the neck and shoulders as they have passed, something they would never have done to an able-bodied person sitting in a regular seat. They have requested that she move her chair so that they can place coolers and picnic totes in her designated wheelchair slot. They've sat kicking the wheels of the wheelchair. They've used the handles on the chair as a place to lean while engaging in conversation with friends. They've made insulting comments of a sort that would never be made about someone in a regular seat, as if her impaired mobility also brought with it impaired hearing or mental infirmity. One particularly arrogant SOB went to an usher demanding that we be relocated because he needed the wheelchair slot in front of him (one of only about two dozen in the entire facility) to be vacant "because I've got long legs" -- and spent the rest of the evening complaining to his companions about "the white bitch in the wheelchair" making him uncomfortable after the usher refused to move us. Apparently being in a wheelchair makes one fair game for abuse.

Of course, this isn't the first time we've dealt with such things. A couple of years back at a professional sporting event, in the days before she needed a wheelchair, one man even suggested to his young son that he kick my wife's cane out from under her so she would fall and the line for the escalator would move faster! While shopping recently, a teenager darted in front of my wife to get into the handicapped stall (the only open one in the bathroom), where she proceeded to engage in a vapid cell phone call with a friend. Nasty comments about my weight or my wife's wheelchair -- "people like that shouldn't be allowed in public" -- are the sort of things we've hear regularly. Such occurrences are frequent enough -- almost -- for us to ignore or tune them out. But not quite.

And they have lead me to wonder -- where are the manners? Where is the respect? Heck, forget social graces-- where is the basic human decency? Why do people think that they can abuse or mistreat people based upon their weight or their disabilities? And why are such things apparently still socially acceptable in a way that such abuse towards minority groups are not?





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DNC's Debbie Is A Dummy

From the appearance of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Meet The Press with David Gregory.

GREGORY:Why should Americans trust Democratic governance right now on the economy, and particularly the president’s?

WASSERMAN. SCHULTZ: Because we were able to, under President Obama’s leadership, turn this economy around. When President Obama took office…

GREGORY: Whoa, whoa, let me just stop you there. Clearly, the economy has not been turned around. I mean, you just saw those numbers.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: It, it certainly–it has…

Cue the numbers.

Obamaeconomy.jpg

Not it seems pretty clear to me that Re. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has to be really dumb if she believes her own rhetoric in the face of the numbers above. Either that, or she believes we are absolutely stupid. Either way, Obama's hand-picked DNC chair makes the best case for "Anybody But Barack" in 2012.





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June 11, 2011

Why Weinergate Matters

As it becomes clear that Congressman Anthony Weiner was sexting underage girls, we must note the hypocrisy he has demonstrated in additional to his moral perversion and criminality.

The following is from his own website.

Protecting Children On the Internet

In early 2007 my office did a study that found that over 85% of registered sex offenders in New York City live less than five blocks from schools, and 670 sex offenders live within just two blocks. Some offenders are even closer, permanently residing less than 500 feet away from unwitting parents, educators and children.

Along with several colleagues in Congress, we introduced & passed the KIDS (Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators) Act of 2007, a bill to require sex offenders to register their e-mail and instant message addresses with the National Sex Offender Registry. The “Kids Act’ implemented one of my six recommendations to keep a closer eye on sex offenders both near school grounds and online. I also proposed stricter GPS tracking of sex offenders, tougher enforcement of registration laws and more public disclosure of sex offender data.

Sadly, the Internet is the predator's venue of choice today. We need to update our strategies and our laws to stop these offenders who are a mere click away from our children.

To read the text of the KIDS (Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators) Act of 2007 click here

You can read the press release from my press conference releasing the report here

So let's apply the standard used by liberals here -- namely that it isn't the behavior that is a problem, it is the hypocrisy.

We now know that Anthony Weiner was sexting minors (or at least grooming them for online sexual activity). He is the sponsor of federal legislation to protect children from such conduct, yet he engages in it himself. And so, under the Democrat standard, his conduct constitutes rank HYPOCRISY -- a capital offense to liberals.

Therefore, if Weiner does not resign on his own, he should be expelled from Congress -- and every Democrat should support the expulsion of the offending "member". After all, its would be hypocritical to do otherwise.





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June 10, 2011

Vacant Cruise Terminal Only Cost Taxpayers $108.4 Million

Those of us who leave near the Pot of Houston's Bayport facility argued it was a bad idea to build the giant port facility at that location. That matter, is, of course, debatable -- after all, there were good arguments for and against the site. But how anyone could have thought that placing a cruise terminal there in addition to the container ship facility is beyond me. Today, two years after its completion, the cruise terminal has yet to have a single cruise ship dock there -- and seemingly has no hope of attracting any cruise ships in the foreseeable future.

And guess what-- now we taxpayers find out that this expensive amenity cost us $108.4 million to build, some $37 million more than we were told.

Port officials already navigating rocky political waters are facing a new storm after recalculating a higher price tag for a cruise terminal that has no cruises.

The 2-year-old Bayport Cruise Terminal in Pasadena, which has yet to attract a regular cruise ship caller, cost $108.4 million, according to a document provided Thursday at the request of a constituent of Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack.

Port of Houston Authority officials had previously said the project cost $71 million, about $10 million less than it had estimated before construction.

They said the port's controller recalculated the total price after receiving an inquiry from Radack and discovered the earlier estimate failed to include debt the port took on to finance the terminal.

While the higher figure has been mentioned previously, the report to Radack marked an official acknowledgement by the port of the higher cost.

And it could further raise the political heat that already has led the county to investigate the port's administration.

The new calculation shows the port has used $36.3 million in bonds and $72.1 million in general funds to pay for the 96,000-square-foot Bayport Cruise Terminal, which includes a terminal building and wharf, among other items.

Once again we see why such projects should be financed by private money rather than public funds. After all, no sensible businessman would have considered this location, what with the successful cruise facility at Galveston only a $30 minute drive down the road that is closer to the open sea. After all, sailing from the Bayport location would add nothing to the trip except a couple of hours travel time to the Gulf -- unless you count time spent viewing chemical plants and refineries as a selling point. What a boondoggle!





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June 09, 2011

Gingrich Campaign Disintigerate; Does It Signal Perry Presidential Run?

This morning I implored Rick Perry to get in or get get out. If I had to guess now, I'd say he is getting in. Why? Suddenly his top political strategists are available as we see the mass resignation of the Gingrich campaign leadership team.

Newt Gingrich’s top staff quit en masse Thursday, throwing into question whether his already troubled presidential campaign can continue.

Two sources close to the situation confirmed that campaign manager Rob Johnson, strategists Sam Dawson and Dave Carney, spokesman Rick Tyler, and consultants Katon Dawson in South Carolina and Craig Schoenfeld in Iowa have all quit to protest what one called a “different vision” for the campaign.

My take? Newt's campaign is over -- I just wonder if the former speaker is the only person in America who doesn't recognize that fact yet.

And since the conventional wisdom on Rick Perry's campaign has been that he wouldn't run without his top political aides, that negative argument is now officially deceased. After all, Rob Johnson and David Carney are suddenly available as the latest round of speculation kicks off -- so I'm putting my money on Rick Perry jumping in once the special session of the legislature comes to an end.

Which leaves some questions for Texas Republicans:

  1. Will they support a Perry bid for the White House?
  2. How will a Perry presidential candidacy impact the ongoing race to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison?

I'll be keeping my ear to the ground at next Monday's Harris County Republican Executive Committee meeting. After all, we are the largest county in the state.





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Is E. Coli Outbreak Terrorism?

That was what popped into my mind as I read this from The Atlantic.

The E. Coli outbreak that has sickened 1,000 and killed 16 so far in northern Germany involves one of the rarest strains of the disease known to science. Originally reported to be from Spanish cucumbers, German authorities have now admitted their suspicions were wrong and they don't know where the latest outbreak originated. But what they do know is that the strain of the disease that threatens northern Germany and greater Europe is a particularly rare and nasty one known as E. Coli O104:H21.

The more common strain identified as E. Coli O157 affects some 70,000 people in the United States each year, causing bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and sometimes death. But its treatment and tracking is more familiar to scientists than the more aggressive and rare strain currently affecting Germany. In fact, the O104:H21 strain is so rare that leading German E. coli researcher Helge Karch had in 30 years only heard of one other outbreak of the strain, according to Der Spiegel

In three decades, the leading researcher n the disease has known of only a single outbreak of this strain of E. Coli? And now it is appearing from points unknown, sickening over 100 and killing 16? Are we sure this isn't the bacteria being used as a biological weapon -- intentionally tainted foods being used to weaken our confidence in our food supply? It would be an ingenious method of attack -- after all, we all have to eat.





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Another Obama Fail

New Chet's Restaurant, cited by Barack Obama as an example of a business indirectly stimulated by his economic program, will close for good less than two weeks after being mentioned in speech touting his economic record.

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio restaurant mentioned last week by President Barack Obama as an indirect beneficiary of the government's Chrysler bailout will go out of business Sunday after a more than 70-year history.

* * *

Obama visited [Chrysler Group LLC's Jeep plant in Toledo] on Friday and told workers that without them, who would eat at Chet's or patronize other local businesses?

Cue the graphic.

obamafacepalm.jpg





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Mexico Again Attempts Interference With Sovereignty Of American States

The corrupt, narco-terrorist infiltrated government of Mexico is trying to silence Texas government officials.

Mexico says most of the country is safe, and wants Texas to stop telling tourists otherwise.

The head of Mexico's state-run tourism board met with Texas officials Wednesday to try to prevent more broad, ominous-sounding bulletins such as one released in March, when the Texas Department of Public Safety bluntly told vacationers, "Avoid traveling to Mexico during Spring Break and stay alive."

Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete, chief operating officer of the Mexico Tourism Board, concedes that there are border cities that remain dangerous and should be avoided. But he wants Texas to stop generalizing about the entire country as mired in bloodshed and fraught with danger.

"We believe that these travel alerts are too broad-based and making very blind statements about Mexico that do not reflect the reality," Lopez-Negrete said.

Sorry, Rodolfo, but we here in Texas believe that you and your fellow Mexican government leaders have allowed your country to degenerate into a morass of violence fueled by drugs and human smuggling. We believe that you are incapable of stopping the rampant criminality and violence anywhere in Mexico.

So until the safety of Americans (much less your own citizens) can be guaranteed with some reasonable certainty, the travel warnings stay. And just remember -- don't mess with Texas. After all, we kicked your country's ass once, and will be quite glad to do it again.

4084505_f260[1].jpg
Sam Houston accepts Santa Anna's surrender
after Mexico's defeat
at the Battle of San Jacinto





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My One Comment On WeinerGate

I've stayed out of the entire discussion of WeinerGate. No, it hasn't been that I've not been disgusted by Congressman Weiner's behavior, or amused by his efforts to wriggle our of this one. Rather, it has been a case of believing that this one is a case of consenting adults engaging in legal consensual conduct, and does not seem to have any sort of real nexus to his office or candidacy. This isn't Bill Clinton diddling an intern, Elliot Spitzer hiring hookers, or John Edwards using his campaign apparatus to support his mistress and illegitimate child -- it has appeared to be "just" cyber-sex, which is purely personal misconduct.

Now in recent days there have been more revelations, in terms of the number of women involved, his effort to cover up his activities (almost always worse than than the initial offense), and issues of involving government or campaign staff. Those matters need to be investigated -- and Weiner needs to be ruthlessly driven out of office if they are confirmed.

But in all this, I've actually had compassion for one individual -- Weiner's wife, long-time Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. I just didn't feel like it was right to "pile on" regarding what appeared to be more of a private, marital concern rather than a public one. And now it emerges that my sense of compassion may have been correct for a second reason -- Ms. Abedin is apparently pregnant with the couple's child.

Now some are arguing that the release of the information is just a ploy. Others say they just don't care, and won't lay off Weiner. Those are legitimate positions to take. As for me, I'm going to continue with the stance I've taken since the beginning -- I'm going to avoid commenting on this matter -- but not because of the pregnancy. I simply think the matter speaks for itself about Anthony Weiner being a real low-life, and his fitness for office. Absent some amazing new development, I don't know what more there is to say.

Well, except for this message.

Hey, Tony!
Quit sexting.
Reconcile with your wife.
For the sake of your kid.
One other thing.
Resign.
Not because you have to.
Because it is the right thing to do.
For you.
For her.
For your unborn child.
Really.





|| Greg, 06:51 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Hey Rick -- Get In Or Out

I'm not a big fan of Rick Perry, and have not been for several years. And I've made it clear that I'm not inclined to support his candidacy for the GOP nomination. But reports like this one do lead me to call for him to decide if he is a candidate or not, and to either get in the race or definitively get out of it.

For months, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has told potential donors and Republican higher-ups he has no interest in running for the White House in 2012.

But over the past two weeks, political advisers and friends say, Mr. Perry has changed his tune on a possible presidential campaign. In private conversations, they say, the three-term governor said he worries that the current GOP contenders have yet to stir real excitement within the party and may struggle when facing President Barack Obama.

"He thinks there is a void [in the current field of candidates], and that he might be uniquely positioned to fill that void," said one Perry confidant who talked to the governor last week.

It isn't that I want Rick Perry to run for President. It is just that I refuse to be strung along again by another Fred Thompson like in 2008. We Republicans -- indeed, all Americans -- need to know who is in the race and who is out of it. Potential candidates need to make a decision and announce it -- at least by forming exploratory committees if not formally declaring their candidacies -- soon, perhaps by the Fourth of July, so that the field is settled. If Rick Perry wants to show some leadership, that is the way to do so.





|| Greg, 06:10 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Prominent US Arab Group Sucks-Up To Murderous Dictator

In recent weeks, the Syrian regime has killed hundreds of its citizens for the crime of demanding an end to the Assad dictatorship and a say in their own government. So what is the response of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee? They've embraced the dictator and a supporter of the protesters.

A leading Arab American group dropped a prominent Syrian-American musician from performing at their annual convention in a dispute over a freedom-tinged song that he was set to perform.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, a longtime Washington civil rights group, repeatedly asked the German-born Syrian composer and pianist Malek Jandali to reconsider his piece choice, Jandali told POLITICO. When he refused, Jandali was told today that he couldn't perform at this weekend's event.

Jandali's "Watani Ana: I am my Homeland" doesn't specifically mention Syria or the broader Arab Spring uprisings, but is heavy on the themes of freedom and liberty. Jandali calls it a "humanitarian song." But lyrics include "oh my homeland, when will I see you free" and "When the land is watered with the blood of martyrs and the brave/ And all the people shout: Freedom to mankind."

Jandali himself declined to speculate why he wasn't allowed to perform "Watani Ana," and an official at the ADC, Nabil Mohamad, refused to explain its decision.

"Is is it the words? The scale of the music? Was the rhythm too slow? Did the melody maybe bother them?" Jandali asked POLITICO. "I really would love to hear their answer. It would have been a perfect song."

"It doesn''t mention the word 'Arab' or 'Syria' or anything," he said. "It''s a humanitarian song."

Well, maybe it has something to do with the fact that the Syrian government considers the ADC's board chairman, Dr. Safa Rifka, to be one of its three best friends in Washington. The group's leaders insist that those criticizing the dropping if Jandali "get the facts", but refuse to share those facts with the critics. Leads one to wonder what the ADC is hiding -- and if the group is being supported with Syrian government money.





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June 08, 2011

"Patriotic Millionaires" Admit They Aren't All That Patriotic

Or all that concerned about America's financial health, either. they just want to keep government big and grow it bigger.

Here's how they respond when asked about VOLUNTARILY contributing to lower the national debt (like I suggested), since they believe they are not giving enough of their wealth to the federal government.

Here's one of the self-proclaimed patriots explaining why he won't do his patriotic duty.

Dennis Mehiel, the principal shareholder and chairman of the board of U.S. Corrugated, called the notion that he and his fellow millionaires would consider donating some of their millions to the Treasury Department to help eliminate the deficit “preposterous on its face.”

“I think that’s the silliest of all things that I’ve heard in this discussion. I really do,” Mehiel told CNSNews.com. “And I’m not pointing that at the reporter. I know that there are many people in Washington on the other side of this debate that have advanced that argument and it’s just preposterous on its face."

“We have a system here," said Mehiel. "We have an Internal Revenue Service, we have a system of compulsory taxation, and everybody gets treated the same under the law. We disagree with what the law is right now, and think that its outcomes are unfair."

"But the idea that people are just going to send in $1 million or $500,000 or $5 million or something to reduce the national debt, it’s just preposterous on its face," he said. "We need a structural change in our tax system to put our fiscal house back in order. That’s what we need.”

In other words, we won't pay more unless the government forces everyone to do so. We won't voluntarily make the sacrifice that our stated principles obligate us to, because it isn't fair that we voluntarily sacrifice when the government isn't forcing everyone else to live by the values we espouse.

Ditto this other ersatz patriot.

Paul Egerman, the founder of Escription, also refused to consider making a contribution.

He said: “I agree 100 percent with what Dennis said. Basically, running a government is the shared responsibility of its citizens. It’s a simple concept of government; government is not a charity. You can’t imagine a situation where say, for example, the Department for Defense holds a bake sale in order to build an aircraft carrier. We have to raise taxes."

In other words, don't expect him to set an example for others to follow -- even though he has "more money than I could possibly imagine." Even though he thinks giving more to the government is the patriotic thing to do, he won't part with one penny more than the government forces him to in order to get Americans to rally to the cause of higher taxes.

Oh, yeah -- and higher spending, too. Both Mehiel and Egerman make it clear that they believe that cutting spending is the wrong way to go and that YOU should part with more of your income to keep on funding government bloat.

Because after all, even with increased taxes, Egerman and Mehiel will still have more money than they know what to do with. But they still want to take more from those of us who don't know where to cut our personal spending if we are left with less by the policies advocated by the not-so-patriotic millionaires.





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Why Won't Local Media Cover This in Houston

Could it be because it might undermine Houston's sanctuary city policies?

So here we have another intoxicated illegal killing another innocent American. The press could not ignore the case when the victim was a cop, but they can certainly avoid telling those of us in the area about another drunk and deadly border jumper when it involves some black kid out minding his own business. Shameful!





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June 07, 2011

So Much For A Focus On The Economy

Barry got bored with jobs, business, and other economic matters, so he's canceled his briefing.

At some point during the first two years of his administration, President Obama stopped receiving the daily economic briefing that he requested when he took office.

Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs announced at his own first daily briefing reporters that Obama asked for the daily economic briefing, described then as comparable to the daily intelligence briefing the president gets every morning.

“The president asked that this be added every day to his schedule,” Gibbs said at the time. Gibbs added that Obama believed it is “important that each day he receive the most up to date information as it relates to the economy.”

Well, what do you expect when you elect a feckless fop with no significant record of accomplishment to the highest office in the land? Let's correct the error in 2012.





|| Greg, 03:49 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Theater PSA I Love

I don't go to movies in theaters much anymore. After all, ticket prices have sky-rocketed in recent years, making the cost prohibitive. But beyond that, there are the rude people who like to talk and text during the movie, causing a series of distractions that take away from the pleasure of the experience.

That's why I like this new PSA from Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

Hopefully this shows the less incorrigible of the inconsiderate their own reflection in the mirror, encouraging them to modify their behavior. And those too self-absorbed to benefit from the PSA? Well, they can't say they were not warned.

H/T Urban Grounds





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Assassination Humor Isn't Funny

I'd like to start with two disclaimers.

First, I understand having deep contempt for certain politicians -- and the willingness to express it.

Second, I'm certainly not suggesting that expressing disdain for those politicians is a bad thing.

However, that does not mean I won't express a serious concern about the tendency of some to publicly wish for or threaten the murder of political opponents -- even when they try to label it as "humor".

We saw it during the Bush years, in more ways than I'm willing to enumerate, as prominent "liberals" expressed a desire to physically harm both President Bush and Vice President Cheney. For that matter, we saw it prior to that time, for example when a prominent celebrity suggested dragging certain conservative politicians and their families from their homes and murdering them for their involvement in the Clinton impeachment. While there have been threats against Barack Obama, they certainly have not come from opinion leaders or other public figures -- indeed, such things are condemned by responsible conservative leaders.

Now we see a willingness on the part of the Left to engage in preemptive threats of assassination of one particular potential presidential candidate -- Sarah Palin.

“You know what man? I am going to literally — if she gets elected president, I am going to hang out on the grassy knoll all the time, just loaded and ready — because you know what? It’s for my country. It’s for my country. If I got to sacrifice myself, it’s for my country.”

That is "comedian" Chris Titus, talking on the Adam Carrola Show. This isn't a joke -- it is an outright threat to murder a political opponent. Yep -- it is the liberal "new tone" of the post-Tucson liberals turning out to be the same as the "old tone" of liberals prior to the Gabby Giffords shooting.

Frankly, political assassination humor isn't funny. Now I'll grant you that I found it mildly amusing when I heard someone refer to Joe Biden as Barack Obama's life insurance policy -- but even then, I was uncomfortable with it, because while the joke was at Biden's expense it came perilously close to suggesting that it might be acceptable to kill this (or any other) President if there were a better alternative waiting in the wings.

Assassinations and attempted assassinations have marked my lifetime. I was nine months old when President Kennedy was cut down in Dallas. The murders of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy are memories of my childhood, as were the shooting of George Wallace and the two attempts on Gerald Ford. I beat the crap out of a classmate one awful afternoon my senior year of high school, when he said that as a Democrat he hoped that Ronald Reagan died of the wounds he had received a couple of hours before. Indeed, 9/11 itself included a bold plan to decapitate our government through the mass assassination of our national leadership. So let me make my position clear:

The assassination of our leaders is not a joke.
Jokes about assassinating our leaders are not funny.

If there is nothing else we as Americans can agree on, let's all agree on this.





|| Greg, 12:08 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 06, 2011

D-Day --June 6, 1944

A_Day_that_Changed_America_D-Day[1].jpg

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have
striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The
hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.
In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on
other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war
machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of
Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well
equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of
1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats,
in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their
strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home
Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions
of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men.
The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to
Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in
battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great
and noble undertaking.


SIGNED: Dwight D. Eisenhower





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Santorum Enters Presidential Race

Back in high school, I had an interest in politics. There were those who thought I might have a political career in front of me -- myself among them. And much to the irritation of a number of my teachers (one of who tried to order me out of his classroom for wearing a Reagan button to class a few days before the 1980 presidential election), I was a Republican. One, in fact, made a comparison to a student who graduated five years before me -- "You're just like that damn Santorum kid!"

santorum_richard[1].jpg

Well, "that damn Santorum kid" has announced his candidacy for the GOP nomination for the presidency.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum announced Monday that he is entering the race for the Republican presidential nomination, saying he's "in it to win it."

"We're ready to announce that we're going to be in this race," Santorum said on a television news show ahead of a rally in Somerset, Pa. He will then fly to Iowa for events on June 7, and to New Hampshire on June 8-9.

I like much of what Rick Santorum has to say on the issues. I've enjoyed listening to him when he fills in for Bill Bennett on his radio show. But in the end, I simply don't see Rick Santorum having much of a chance at securing the nomination. But I still wish him well -- after all, the "old school" tie and having lived only blocks from the VA hospital his father ran gives me a connection to him that is a little bit different from any other candidate. Here's hoping that there is a place for him in the incoming GOP administration on January 20, 2013.





|| Greg, 08:49 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

So, Which Obama Appointee Is Intellectually Deficient?

After all, that is the argument made regarding Clarence Thomas, given that he often (though hardly exclusively) votes along the same lines as Justice Scalia when deciding cases before the Supreme Court. So either Justice Kagan or Justice Sotomayor must be a dullard blindly following the other, given their unanimity -- right?

They're in a New York state of mind.

The newest members of the nation's highest court -- local Obama appointees Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan -- have agreed with each other in all 23 cases they've voted on, which is a supreme rarity, observers said.

Liberal critics who deride the Supreme Court's rightward shift over the past 10 years have cited conservative alliances like "Scalito," Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito.

But Scalia and Alito have agreed with each other in only 84 percent of cases in the current term, which winds up this month.

No, liberal law professors say. it is just a sign of their sharing a philosophy.

Despite the fact that they vote IDENTICALLY 91% of the time (in only two cases was their decision based upon different ground), while the same was true of Scalia the puppetmaster and Thomas the puppet only 59% of the time. So I ask again -- which of the Obama appointees is incapable of deciding for herself and is simply phoning it in? Or do the racist left-wing hacks who have been attacking Justice Clarence Thomas for two decades want to finally concede that he is an intelligent, independent thinking jurist who honestly decides cases based upon a well-reasoned judicial philosophy?





|| Greg, 08:31 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Here are this week’s full results:


Council Winners



Non-Council Winners



Congratulations to the winners, and to all participants in this week's contest!





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An Observation on California's Anti-Circumcision Campaigns

By now, I would imagine that most folks have seen the blatant anti-Semitism of those supporting the bans on circumcision that have been placed on the ballot in San Francisco and Santa Monica. I believe the images and words of this "intactivist" literature speaks for itself, and that the many others who have commented on the matter have said more than I can possibly add to the discussion of what is morally offensive about this garbage.

monstermohelcard[1].jpg

Yeah, it certainly does seem to be Springtime for Hitler in California -- and they are clearly hoping that the Jew-hating ideological descendants of old Adolf have a victory on election day.

And that is what is worrisome. It really does not matter if the motivation of those involved in this campaign is implicitly, or even explicitly, anti-Semitic. The law can still survive constitutional muster before the courts of the United States. After all, in Employment Division v. Smith the Supreme Court set a troubling standard for determining if a law which bans certain activities or practices is constitutional as applied to those who engage in an activity or practice for religious reasons, holding that a generally applicable law applies to those whose actions are religiously based (or even religiously mandated). Over at Volokh Conspiracy, Professor Eugene Volokh makes an argument that the courts could go either way on this statute in terms of both religious rights and parental rights, with him acknowledging that there is a very real possibility that the laws will stand if adopted at the polls, and that any religious hostility on the part of some voters (and even promoters) of the laws not being dispositive for purposes of overturning the laws.

My take on the content of these proposed initiatives is to oppose them. I take that position based upon my belief in the First Amendment and the rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children with relatively few limits imposed by government. And interestingly enough, I take that position despite personally having made a preliminary decision against circumcision for any son of mine many years ago, based upon my sense that the medical benefits were not sufficient to justify the procedure and my own unease about having the medically unnecessary procedure performed after witnessing the (non-religious) circumcision of an infant. After all, I've long believed that one's devotion to the cause of freedom is tested when one must decide whether or not to advocate in favor of the freedom to do what one opposes.





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June 03, 2011

Head-To-Head Debate From The Watcher's Council

From: The Watcher’s Council

Welcome to Head to Head, a place where the issues of the day are debated by some of the best minds in the blogosphere. This week, Terresa from The Noisy Room squares off against Greg from Rhymes With Right as they take on the question:

Should the next Republican nominee reflect the Tea Party and more conservative views or be more moderate and middle of the road?

Terresa:

We stand at a political crossroads and the path we choose will surely dictate whether our country regains its conservative roots, or goes the way of a multitude of fallen governments such as those who litter the annals of history. Only decisive, moral and strong conservatism will save the America we have crafted and cherished since its inception. Only the patriotic heart of liberty that beats strongly in those such as the Tea Party movement and Constitutional conservatives will win the battle for the red, white and blue soul of the greatest nation to ever grace the Earth. America is the very definition of exceptionalism and individualism shining a brilliant light in a world filled with more and more despotic evil. We must select a candidate for president who embodies the American spirit and one who has the moral integrity and spine to bring our country back from the cliff’s edge of Marxism.

To claim moderation and middle of the road status in politics is to give ground to nihilism and surrender to the degradation of diplomatic mediocrity. Selecting the most ‘electable’ of candidates will only get us more of the same that we have now. Careful who defines ‘electable.’ Those who wish to have bigger government so they can further line their pockets and garner more power will always seek moderate candidates. They tend to be candidates who lack conviction and integrity. They tend to be those easily manipulated and controlled for agendas known and unknown. As Ronald Reagan said, “Man is not free unless government is limited…. As government expands, liberty contracts.”

We have tough choices facing our nation. Life and death choices as it were. A debt burgeoning on 14.5 trillion and a budget screaming for austerity measures that most of America will find painfully sharp. We are reeling from exceedingly high unemployment and a failing dollar. The high cost of gas and food will only go higher. We are fighting at least three military conflicts abroad and more are on the horizon. Our southern border is infected with drug cartels and violence. These are not issues for a moderate; they are issues for a conservative warrior. Someone has to clean up the mess left by the current administration and the ones before it. We have to return to our Constitutional roots and the intent of our founding fathers if we are to weather this storm which I am convinced has been engineered by numerous parties to bring America to her knees in submission. We don’t need more ‘politicians.’ We need to elect a patriot who is willing and able to make hard choices and stand by them. One who is not controlled by the hunger of greed or graft… One who does not seek dinner parties, pats on the back and atta boys, but instead, is willing to be loved and hated for doing the right thing. Someone willing to do the dirty work of politics and then go back to the farm. The Tea Party and conservatism should be the pool from which we choose our next leader. Leaders such as Sarah Palin, Allen West, and Herman Cain – these are the ones that show the way. A way that is NOT progressive, NOT conciliatory and NOT condescending. It is the way of Reagan and our founding fathers – the conservative way.


Greg:

You know, my dear friend, I tend to agree with you on the issues. At times I even reach for the strident rhetoric you use in your stem-winder of an opening argument. But there is a problem with your argument – it cannot and does not work in our political system. We cannot nominate a candidate too far to either end of the GOP political spectrum without a large chunk of the GOP base, a large chunk of the independent vote, or both.

Let’s remember – our political system is based upon the principle that the candidate with the plurality of the votes wins in a give jurisdiction. And while the electoral college skews things a little bit, the reality is that the candidate with the plurality of the popular vote wins the presidency. Asa result, our political parties are broad coalitions of interest groups, not rigid agents of ideology. We build the coalitions before we cast our votes by finding the candidate who best reflects the broad consensus of the two parties, rather than following the pattern of a parliamentary system where a governing coalition is formed after the votes have been counted. And that is why the GOP cannot – indeed must not – fall for the temptation to nominate a candidate who is identified too closely with either the Tea Party or the Establishment, but instead must find a balance between these two groups in order to present a strong, united front in the 2012 presidential election in order to accomplish the shared goal of defeating Barack Obama, undoing the damage he has done to our government during his time in office, and fixing the systemic problems we have seen growing for much of my adult life.

To that end, it means that the GOP cannot pick a candidate based upon the strength of their devotion to the principles of the Tea Party OR their moderation. Rather, the party must find a candidate who strikes a balance between the two and who is satisfactory to both. If we fail to do so – and I say “we” as the elected representative of my precinct on the county GOP executive committee and a three-time delegate to the GOP state convention here in Texas – then we will fail in the essential task of unseating a president who is far worse from the perspective of both the Tea Party and the Establishment than any of the currently declared candidates (even Ron Paul) could ever be.

What this means from my point of view is that those on both sides of the Tea Party/Establishment divide must accept that we need to strive to select not the strongest exponent of their preferred positions, but rather the best available candidate acceptable to both sides. Unfortunately, that means that the three candidate you proposed – who are,respectively the unpopular, the unwilling, and the unprepared – cannot be the candidate. Neither can Huntsman or Romney (and I say that as a Romney supporter in 2008). The GOP must instead choose a candidate like Pawlenty or Bolton – or somehow draft Bobby Jindal, Bob McDonnell, or Jeb Bush – who is a conservative we can all unite behind and persuade the independents voter to support. And in doing so, we must remember the words of Ronald Reagan — “That person who agrees with you 80% of the time is a friend and an ally not a 20% traitor,” — as we search for the man or woman who meets that 80% criteria for all of us.


Terresa:

“Conservatism works, every time it’s tried.” Rush Limbaugh

In the last election, trying to appeal to a ‘broad GOP political spectrum’ only resulted in the election of Barack Obama. Trying to stand for everything results in standing for nothing, or at the very least losing. Ask yourself, what is it that Independents want? Well, they want what all of us want – a true leader who will limit government, maximize personal freedom and who won’t ‘change’ a political system into a Marxist monstrosity borne of a European socialist’s wet dream.

While you are certainly correct in your supposition that we need to undo the damage Obama has maliciously foisted upon our political system and America as a whole, we can only do so through conservative principles that have been tried and tested throughout the life of our nation. Constitutional principles that built a nation of pioneers and individualists, warriors and poets. These principles were the bedrock that our founding fathers crafted the vision and future of our country on. They are what formed the Tea Party and they are the glue that will hold America together – not some progressive and collective ideal that was meant to herd and enslave the masses. That is what you get when you seek a candidate who ostensibly appeals to all, but never really answers to any. Just another elitist in Republican garb.

Consensus = group think = lowest common denominator agreement. It’s “decision by mob” when people feel driven to conform with their peers.

In the voting booth, however, we are individuals, not a group.

Groups are swayed by what they have in common as a group. Individuals, on the other hand are inspired individually, and not as a group. If the banner (or beacon) of those principles that resonate most broadly with the individual voters, is held high by a candidate that speaks the truth of belief, not the slogans of “everyone,” and if that candidate can articulate that truth with a clarity that penetrates the fog of misrepresentation and mis-characterization — the slander, if you will — that is inevitable from the collusion of a complicit media with agents of elitist thought, the truth of principle will reach the individual, and it is the individual, not the crowd, that stands in the voting booth.

As for me, I will no longer vote for the one who is most ‘electable.’ I will vote for the one who stands by his or her sense of morality and ethics – the one who follows the Constitution and the teachings of the founding fathers the closest. I choose to follow the Limbaugh Rule:

In an election year when voters are fed up with liberalism and socialism, when voters are clearly frightened of where the hell the country is headed, vote for the most conservative Republican in the primary, period. – Rush Limbaugh

Notice he says the most conservative, not the most electable. I implore my fellow conservatives, do not dance with the political devil again this time around. Straighten your spine, stand by what you know is right and America will be great once more. Settle for ‘the best you can get’ and the freedoms you have always known will be lost for a generation at best.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. – Ronald Reagan


Greg:

I think this is the crux of where we disagree.You argue that the independent voter wants a leader.To an extent I agree.But that voter also wants a leader whose vision they can buy into, and who has credibility with them.And that is why nominating the most hard-right candidate is a recipe for failure.

Let’s use a historical example – Pat Buchanan in 1996. Now there are things that this conservative liked about Pat’s platform, and as a long-time fan of the man’s writings and his CrossFire television show, I had a certain amount of sympathy for him.But let’s be honest – while Pitchfork Pat was certainly the most conservative available candidate for the GOP to nominate, he was significantly less electable than any other possible candidate that year.We went down hard in 1996 with Bob Dole as the nominee – but having Pat Buchanan as our standard-bearer would have resulted in a catastrophic loss of the sort seen by the GOP in 1964 or the Democrats in 1984 – indeed, I believe we would have seen Bill Clinton take significantly more than the 49.2% of the popular vote he received with Buchanan and Perot neck-and-neck for second place as each struggled to garner a mere 20% of the vote.

Let’s consider the candidates (and likely candidates) out there today.If we take the hardest right candidates, what would that mean? Herman Cain – a guy who talks good common sense on the radio but whose lack of experience has already led him to make serious policy flubs? Sarah Palin – a woman who much of the country does not take seriously and who would be rejected at the polls? Rick Santorum – a guy who I like (hey, we graduated from the same high school) but whose name primarily returns a scatological reference when searched on the internet? Michelle Bachmann – who has never won a statewide race? Frankly, I have a hard time seeing any of those candidates – or my preferred candidate, John Bolton – standing with the Chief Justice on January 20, 2013.

That’s not to say we can’t nominate a conservative who the Tea Party will be happy with.I think we should. I’m just arguing that the nominee needs to be acceptable to the entire GOP and to the independent voters – someone who can and will lead.I had some hopes for Mitch Daniels, and I’m still looking at Pawlenty. I’m urging my fellow conservatives to do the same in the interest of finding not the most conservative candidate, but the most conservative candidate who can win, even if he or she doesn’t perfectly check each box on some mythical Tea Party checklist. Failure to find such a candidate makes the perfect the enemy of the good, and will spell electoral doom for the conservative principles in 2012 – and untold damage to America as the nation stumbles and falls under the burdens imposed by Barack Obama’s failed policies.That, my friend, will lead to the very sort of extinction of freedom that Ronald Reagan was warning against.





|| Greg, 04:52 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Libya Resolution Fails To Account For The Law

I personally support the Kucinich Resolution on Libya, ordering Barack Obama to bring our troops home from the illegal war of choice he began without any consultation with Congress. The GOP leadership, however, wants to pass a different resolution -- something I don't mind. But the problem is that the proposed resolution does not insist that the president comply with the law NOW, but rather at a future date -- despite his obstinate failure to meet the legal deadlines for seeking approval from the legislative branch for his Libyan adventure.

In the immortal words of the vice president, this could be a big $%^ing deal: House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is throwing what one Republican calls “a legal and political hot potato at the President.”

In a resolution to be voted on in the House tomorrow, Boehner is giving the president two weeks – until the Pentagon Appropriations bill comes up – to either:

a) Ask for authorization for the military intervention in Libya, or

b) Figure out how to disengage the US from the NATO operation in Libya.

The resolution states: “The President has not sought, and Congress has not provided, authorization for the introduction or continued involvement of the United States Armed Forces in Libya. Congress has the constitutional prerogative to withhold funding for any unauthorized use of the United States Armed Forces, including for unauthorized activities regarding Libya.”

Boehner is explicitly and formally stating that the president did not check the box on the War Powers Act before sending the US military to intervene in Libya.

Unfortunately, this does not even go so far as offering disapproval of the Mr. Obama's Unilateral War as the proposed Turner Resolution does -- which would at least have had the virtue of taking a position on the issue -- and instead amounts to nothing more than schoolmarmish finger wagging. As a result, the toothless proposal may pass, but it will probably have no effect. And that is a failure of leadership on Speaker Boehner's part.





|| Greg, 04:28 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 02, 2011

Here’s Why Unemployment Drops Under Obama

Fewer participants in the labor force due. People have become so discouraged over the prospect of finding jobs they have stopped looking.

Where did all the workers go?

The labor force — those who have a job or are looking for one — is getting smaller, even though the economy is growing and steadily adding jobs. That trend defies the rules of a normal economic recovery.

Nobody is sure why it's happening. Economists think some of the missing workers have retired, have entered college or are getting by on government disability checks. Others have probably just given up looking for work.

"A small work force means millions of discouraged workers, lower output in the future and a weak recovery," says Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, the ranking Republican on the Congress' Joint Economic Committee. "Those are unhealthy signs."

By the government's definition, if you quit looking, you're no longer counted as unemployed. And you're no longer part of the labor force.

And that’s how things are going here during the Great Dem-Pression – if Obama’s policies can just get enough people to give up on getting a job, he can reduce unemployment to ZERO while putting more Americans on the government dole!





|| Greg, 08:15 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Regime Arrogance

Just remember – they hold you in contempt.

President Obama's solicitor general, defending the national health care law on Wednesday, told a federal appeals court that Americans who didn't like the individual mandate could always avoid it by choosing to earn less money.

There you have it – they want you poor, compliant, and utterly dependent on the government. So much for America as a land of free and independent people.





|| Greg, 08:14 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

An Observation On Ego And Sexism

You have to love the arrogance of this guy.

In an interview at the Royal Geographic Society on Tuesday about his career, [Nobel Laureat N.J.] Naipaul, who has been described as the “greatest living writer of English prose”, was asked if he considered any woman writer his literary match. He replied: “I don’t think so.” Of Austen he said he “couldn’t possibly share her sentimental ambitions, her sentimental sense of the world”.

He felt that women writers were “quite different”. He said: “I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not. I think [it is] unequal to me.”

The author, who was born in Trinidad, said this was because of women’s “sentimentality, the narrow view of the world”. “And inevitably for a woman, she is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing too,” he said.

He added: “My publisher, who was so good as a taster and editor, when she became a writer, lo and behold, it was all this feminine tosh. I don’t mean this in any unkind way.”

My observation is this — a century from now there will be more living people who will have read and liked Jane Austen’s works than who will have read Naipaul’s at all.

In other words, the status quo will be unchanged.





|| Greg, 08:13 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Guess It Didn’t Work

My guess is that great quantities of vodka were involved.

A Russian man has died after persuading a friend to bury him alive for a night, hoping it would bring him "good luck".

The victim dug a hole in a garden in the eastern city of Blagoveshchensk and climbed into an improvised coffin, with holes for air pipes, taking a mobile phone and a bottle of water with him.

His friend covered the coffin with earth and then left, after the buried man phoned to say he was fine.

The next morning, he returned to find his friend dead, investigators said.

The 35-year-old victim had believed that burying himself alive for a night would bring him luck the rest of his life.

Perhaps this should be chalked up to Darwin in action.





|| Greg, 06:45 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

June 01, 2011

In Honor Of Jerusalem Day

A little bit of history for you.


Psalm 122 (NKJV)
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go into the house of the LORD.”
Our feet have been standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem!
Jerusalem is built
As a city that is compact together,
Where the tribes go up,
The tribes of the LORD,
To the Testimony of Israel,
To give thanks to the name of the LORD.
For thrones are set there for judgment,
The thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
Prosperity within your palaces.”
For the sake of my brethren and companions,
I will now say, “Peace be within you.”
Because of the house of the LORD our God
I will seek your good.





|| Greg, 01:55 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||
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