He ought to Ė the racist organization is engaged in constant hate speech directed at principled men and women like Congressman West.
After watching several video clips on Wednesday of fellow black lawmakers attack the tea party, Rep. Allen West, Florida Republican, told Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy, ďI think Iím re-considering my membership in the Congressional Black Caucus.Ē
This remark came from Rep. West, a popular lawmaker among tea party activists, happened after a clip was played of Rep. Andre. Carson, Indiana Democrat, told an audience in Miami that tea-party supporting members of Congress look at African Americans as ďsecond-class citizensĒ and would like to see them ďhanging on a tree.Ē
Congressman West immediately defended the tea party and called Rep. Carsonís statements ďreprehensible.Ē Rep. West is the only Republican who is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Iíll say it flat out Ė for the CBC, a racially exclusive organization, to identify any other group as racist is offensive. And given the gang of corrupt, dishonest, and incompetent figures who are members of the CBC, why would West want to sully his name by association?
After all, the CEO probably adds value, while the federal government is often a net drain on profits Ė especially under this administration.
At least 25 top United States companies paid more to their chief executives in 2010 than they did to the federal government in taxes, according to a study released on Wednesday.
The companies ó which include household names like eBay, Boeing, General Electric and Verizon ó averaged $1.9 billion each in profits, according to the study by the Institute for Policy Studies, a liberal-leaning research group. But a variety of shelters, loopholes and tax reduction strategies allowed the companies to average more than $400 million each in tax benefits ó which can be taken as a refund or used as write-off against earnings in future years.
In other words, these companies followed the law as written by Congress. And these ďshelters, loopholes and tax reduction strategiesĒ include little things like tax credits for creating new jobs, write-offs for equipment depreciation, deductions for research and development, and a host of other standard business deductions that the article here conveniently fails to detail. But in the end, Iím not bothered if these companies do pay their executives more than they pay in taxes Ė because the government does not have first claim on a companyís profits, nor does government have any place setting a maximum pay scale for the private sector. At most, this simply shows how screwed up our tax code really is.
I chose my words carefully -- and I think you'll understand why.
Francesca Rice no longer serves in her countryís armed forces, but she brought a piece of the action back home with her.
It seems the Lakewood vet had stockpiled her Edgewater Towers condo with a home arsenal including handguns, shotguns, a sniper rifle ó plus a Thompson sub-machine gun, just in case the pizza guy got fresh.
Her cache somehow caught the attention of Lakewood Police, who paid a visit last September. When they found Rice wasnít home, they asked an obliging employee of the complex to open up the apartment without her consent. Once inside, they raided the gun rack, making off with 13 firearms worth around $15,000. The only problem: They had no apparent reason to.
When Rice kindly asked to have her toys returned, the cops acknowledged that the weapons were legally owned. But they refused to return them without a court order. And so Rice has filed suit in Lakewood Municipal Court.
Let's look at this.
Under color of law, the local cops coerced apartment employees to let them into an apartment to which they had no legal right to enter. They lacked a warrant, any indication that a crime was in progress, or exigent circumstances that would allow for entry. Indeed, if they had any of the above they would have entered the apartment by busting the door down. They then seized items without a warrant, and refused to return them.
What you have there is theft -- and a violation of a little statute passed about 140 years ago that is still known as the Ku Klux Klan Act. If the Obama Regime still had a Justice Department that cared about the Constitution and the laws of the United States being faithfully enforced, we would have already seen indictments handed down and cops perp-walked out of the police headquarters.
You know -- "guidelines" about what to say and how to view the evil terrorist assault on America ten years ago.
The guidelines list what themes to underscore ó and, just as important, what tone to set. Officials are instructed to memorialize those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and thank those in the military, law enforcement, intelligence or homeland security for their contributions since.
ďA chief goal of our communications is to present a positive, forward-looking narrative,Ē the foreign guidelines state.
Oh, yes -- Americans are also supposed to be reminded that 9/11 isn't just about us.
With all due respect, Barack Hussein Obama can blow it out of his Muslim-descended ass.
The events of 9/11 were very much about us -- and the only "forward-looking" agenda that is needed is one which is focused upon wiping out each and every Islamist who believes in the attack upon the freedoms embodied in Western Culture. What we don't need is any more of Obama's "hug-a-Muslim" Kumbayah-ism that is designed to obscure the reality that there exists in Islam a malignancy that will attack and kill liberty -- for non-Muslims and the vast majority of decent, peaceful Muslims -- wherever it is found.
Shots fired at the office of Rep. Gene Green in north Houston today likely came from a pellet or BB gun, police said.
The shots hit the windows of Green's office at 256 North Sam Houston Parkway East, Suite 29, as well as other nearby properties, according to the congressman's staff.
The damage occurred between 8 and 10:45 a.m., after which it was reported to authorities, Houston Police Department spokesman John Cannon said. No one in the office heard the shots, he said.
"It's not gunshots fired from a semiautomatic," Cannon said. "It's a BB gun or a pellet gun most likely."
Let's note some things.
1) This does not appear to be targeted at Green, making it appear that someone with a pellet gun was shooting at windows randomly.
2) This is a pellet gun, which makes it look more like simple vandalism rather than an assault.
3) This location isn't far from some of the Houston areas "less exclusive" neighborhoods.
In other words, there just isn't much meat to this story to make it into anything really serious. I'll be glad to correct that assessment when and if the evidence contradicts that initial judgment, but not until then.
And let me add, parenthetically, that I'm glad that the facts as they are now reported make that the most obvious conclusion to draw and that there are no actual injuries that would warrant giving more weight to the story. I wouldn't wish anything serious on any of our local pols, and certainly not on Gene Green.
Would you believe hot enough to buckle an off-ramp on a major highway?
Intense heat caused pavement on a 610 West Loop off-ramp to buckle on Sunday, a Texas Department of Transportation official said.
TxDOT crews closed the northbound off-ramp at Bellaire Boulevard and hoped to repair the damage by 5 a.m. today.
Temperatures on Sunday reached 106 degrees at Bush Intercontinental Airport, according to the National
We've had only one day this month when the mercury didn't hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only did it reach 106 degrees on Sunday, but on Saturday we were treated to 109 degrees. Pray for rain -- pray for cooling.
ďI donít see Islam as our enemy,Ē Paul said. ďI see that motivation is occupation and those who hate us and would like to kill us, they are motivated by our invasion of their land, the support of their dictators that they hate.Ē
Regarding 9/11, Paul said that attacks against the U.S. from Middle Eastern groups at home and abroad can be traced to the foreign presence of U.S. troops, as well as Americaís relationships with dictator regimes.
Paul referred to a military base in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, as a key motivator in the Sept. 11th attacks. Osama bin Laden viewed it as an American desecration of holy land.
ďAfter 9/11, (people said) ĎOh yeah, itís those very bad people who hate us,í but 15 of (the hijackers) came from Saudi Arabia,Ē said Paul. ďOne of the reasons they attacked us, is we propped up this Sharia government and the fundamentalists hated us for it.Ē
May I just say that Ron Paul needs to pull his head out of his ass there? What he overlooks is that those 9/11 hijackers weren't out to get rid of sharia law in Saudi Arabia. They objected to the Saudi regime because it wasn't Islamist enough -- and argued that the House of Saud had allowed a society to flourish that was too Westernized and too corrupt.
Of course, Ron paul has long surrounded himself with anti-Semites, apologiest for terrorism, and 9/11 truthers, so I guess we shoudl not be surprised that he yet again belches forth this sort of inanity.
But do we in the GOP have to keep him? Can't the House GOP Caucus expel him and strip him of his committee assignments? And while I'm certain that there is generally no way to keep him off of primary ballots, can't the RNC and various state party heads unite to declare that Ron Paul is not a Republican, and urging that primary voters reject him and his foul, anti-American, pro-terrorist message?
NOTE TO PAULBOTS -- Bite me.
Unfortunately, state law in New Jersey makes this illegal.
Attorney General Paula T. Dow and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs today warned gasoline retailers, grocers, and other merchants that price gouging is prohibited during the State of Emergency declared in advance of Hurricane Irene.
* * *
The law makes it illegal to sell merchandise at excessive price increases during a State of Emergency or within 30 days of the termination of the State of Emergency.
* * *
The law deems price increases excessive if they are more than 10 percent higher than the price at which a good or service was sold in the usual course of business prior to the State of Emergency; or, if additional costs are imposed by suppliers or certain logistical concerns during the State of Emergency, the increase is more than 10 percent of the amount of markup from cost, compared with the markup ordinarily applied.
Violations are punishable by civil penalties of up to $10,000 for the first offense and $20,000 for the second and subsequent offenses. Each individual sale of merchandise is considered a separate and distinct event.
I hope anyone who got taken by the folks at Best Buy will report the violation.
H/T Doug Ross
Three legislatures in New England are considering legislation to require micro-stamping on gun firing pins to help trace the guns used in crimes. There are some good arguments for the idea -- but, as the Boston Globe points out, some pretty good arguments against the requirement, too. In an editorial on the matter, the paper piously intones that "this is a balancing decision that should be left to the legislatures, not gunmakers."
Now this statement is arguably true -- certainly the legislature, rather than an industry to be regulated, should be making decisions on regulations. But that isn't what the editorial board of the Boston Globe really means, as we see in the paragraph that comes next.
While firearms manufacturers have a right to lobby against this legislation and explain their objections to it, it is inappropriate to wield the jobs of hundreds of workers as a weapon. Micro-stamping does not place any significant burden on the sale or manufacture of guns. It is not a ban or an arduous tax. It merely requires the engraving of a serial number in one more place on the weapon. If a state legislature decides micro-stamping is appropriate, it should not be forced to choose between citizensí lives and citizensí livelihood.
Excuse me? Is the Boston Globe taking upon itself the right to define what lobbying methods are legitimate? Are the members of the editorial board really claiming the right to determine what business decisions may be made by business owners in response to legislative proposals and enactments that they find find burdensome, even if the legislature and the local media do not? What's more, isn't this effectively a claim that business owners should not be free to relocate to places they believe have a better regulatory and business climate? Sounds to me like the Boston Globe is using its freedom of the press to advocate against the freedom of every other business in the state.
Set aside that the micro-stamping technology in question has been determined to be flawed, that it is encumbered by a patent that would constitute a licensing fee windfall for one company (in effect creating a tax paid to a private entity rather than the government), and it will likely increase the price of the average gun significantly (I've seen the figure $200, but won't stand by it because I don't know how it was determined). Set aside the fact that the technology can be thwarted and the actual value as a law enforcement tool is questionable. It is an undeniably American principle that those unhappy with the laws of one state or one region are free to pick up and move to another where they find the laws more to their liking, free from government interference with that right.
So in the end, the assertion of the Boston Globe that a state legislature "should not be forced to choose between citizensí lives and citizensí livelihood" is a false proposition. Every proposed law considered by a legislative body must ultimately face a cost/benefit test. In this case, one of the questions to be considered is whether or not the law provides enough protection to citizens to justify the loss of jobs and tax revenues of the states (Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts) where such legislation is under consideration. Not only should that choice be made, but it must be made. And while I will not take a position in this post regarding which side the legislature should come down on, let me just say that there is no way that government in a free society can operate without making such choices.
And let me add -- we down here in Texas would love to see Colt relocate to our state. We are business-friendly, gun-friendly, and freedom-friendly. Why wouldn't you want your base of operations here?
What the heck is it with these guys? Who takes naked pictures of themselves in the mirror? And more to the point, why on earth would anyone in public life (not in public life, for that matter) put such a picture out there into the internet?
Senator Roberto Arango of Puerto Rico has been accused of posting naked pictures of himself on mobile gay hookup site Grindr.
The Puerto Rican TV show Dando Candela presented the conservative lawmaker with a photograph of a man, naked except for a pendant necklace, whose face was obscured by an iPhone as he snapped a photo of his reflection in a mirror.
Arango didn't exactly deny he was the subject in the photograph: ďYou know I've been losing weight. As I shed that weight, I've been taking pictures. I don't remember taking this particular picture but I'm not gonna say I didn't take it. I'd tell you if I remembered taking the picture but I don't.Ē
ďIt would be my pleasure to tell you I'm the person in this photograph, but honestly I don't remember,Ē he said with a big smile.
Haven't seen an uncensored version of the photo in question, but let's just say that it doesn't appear that the pic is from an angle that you can see that smile -- or the rest of the face.
I'm sorry -- that Senator Roberto Arango takes enough pictures of himself naked that he cannot remember if he took this particular one is indicative of a problem in my book. And that he obviously will not say that he didn't post the picture online (never mind that it is at a gay dating site -- that really doesn't matter in this equation) says everything about his judgment. He needs to resign -- even though, unlike Anthony Weiner's notorious self-portraits, this particular snapshot was only shared with consenting adults.
Right next to that sign that is being mandated by Barack Obamaís union cheerleaders at the NLRB, I encourage all S.C. employers to put up another sign: in our state, every worker has the freedom to reject the efforts to form unions and keep their paychecks for themselves and their families instead of paying dues to union bosses in Washington.
That's right in line with what I observed the other day, regarding the sort of additional notice that ought to be required in the workplace to provide balance and neutrality to the newly prescribed signage.
Business groups claim that the requirement has the effect of government taking the side of the unions. I agree -- especially since there is not a requirement that employees be told that they have a right to refuse to join a union, a right to request a refund of political assessments, and the right to seek decertification of a union free from reprisal by organized labor thugs. Government neutrality would seem to require that both sides be presented -- but since the Obama Regime is a wholly owned subsidiary of the labor unions, I guess neutrality is too much to expect.
But somehow, I expect that the national media will try to present Gov. Nikki Haley as an extremist for suggesting that employees be told of all their rights regarding unions -- assuming that her on-point suggestion gets covered at all.
Here's their headline.
Honesty really ought to require it be changed to the following.
Sha' Vonne Ironche's husband called her Tuesday afternoon from inside the Houston immigration detention center, saying an officer told him to have a bag packed and ready by 5 p.m. for his deportation flight back to Spain.
She blacked out. The other teachers at her Houston-area school had to call her mother to come and pick her up.
Just days earlier, she and her husband, Esterny Ironche, a 55-year-old Spanish teacher, had high hopes he would be spared from deportation. Obama administration officials last week announced a case-by-case review of pending immigration cases, saying they planned to dismiss "low-priority" cases involving non-criminals to better target dangerous criminals.
Esterny Ironche had no criminal history, and he was married to a U.S. citizen. He had overstayed a visa 15 years ago, but had paid his taxes and had legal work authorization from the government. He had a case pending before the Board of Immigration Appeals. And he was in remission for prostate cancer and participating in a clinical trial in Houston.
All of those factors, the lives that had carefully constructed together here, would surely count in his favor, they figured.
But the government did not spare Ironche, who was loaded onto a flight from Houston to Dallas with the suitcase his wife had packed for him. He arrived in Madrid early Thursday.
Fifteen years of lawbreaking -- and on the government payroll at that, doing a job that an American citizen would have been glad to do.
Now is would I have objected to a waiver for this guy? Probably not -- but that is a grant of mercy, not a right. And given that there were thousands of teachers laid off here in Texas in the last few months, it isn't like there aren't Americans available today to fill Ironche's teaching job.
In most school districts, convocation is a pep talk for teachers and a waste of several hours that could be better spent preparing for the first day of school. My district did away with it a few years ago, after our former superintendent engaged in such stunts as riding in to a school gym on a Harley and skydiving onto the district football field. That said, convocation is generally a pretty harmless event Ė but hereís an exception.
They've tried letters, emails, and lobbyists. But this month, a local school superintendent and his administrators found another way of expressing their feelings on funding cuts and standardized testing.
They dressed up like actors from the classic comedy show "Hee Haw," and performed a sharp-witted satirical song aimed straight at Gov. Rick Perry.
It was Sanger ISD's convocation - a kind of comedy skit/pep-rally for staffers. No students are included. The past year had been a beating for educators, according to assistant superintendent Jackie McBroom.
ďTeachers are tired, principals are tired,Ē McBroom said.
United Educators Association executive director Larry Shaw agreed.
ďOur schools just got cut by $4 billion, and the governor just left town,Ē Shaw said.
With that in mind, McBroom along with superintendent Kent Crutsinger, IT director Chris Miller and deputy superintendent Eric Beam took to the stage to perform a song McBroom wrote.
ďI did not intend for it to be a political statement,Ē said McBroom.
This was the chorus of the song:
"Where, Rick Perry, are you tonight? Why did you leave us here all alone? You promised us funding for all Texas children; but then you heard 'White House' and -- pfft -- you were gone."
Now mind you, this was a mandatory event for school employees. Non-attendance was not an option, nor was walking out before it is complete. That leads me to make the following observations.
When the top officials of a school district corral all the employees into a room and require them to view what is nothing less than a political commercial against a statewide elected official and presidential candidate, something is wrong.
When these same top administrators then coerce the employees to engage in political speech against that statewide elected official and presidential candidate, there is something even more rotten.
When they are unrepentant and seek to justify their actions, they are clearly unprofessional and need to be given their walking papers by the school board Ė or else the school board needs to be voted out at the next election.
Now please understand Ė Iím taking this position not because I am a Republican or a Perry supporter. Iíve made it clear around here that Iíve got problems with the governor and his candidacy for president Ė and Iíve also made clear that I didnít agree with every education related proposal that made it through the legislature. Whatís more, I would not object to a frank and fact-based presentation of those changes to teachers and a clear projection of what they will mean for them and the district Ė that is professional conduct. Unfortunately, professional conduct is apparently far beyond these four district supervisors.
The state of Arizona filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the federal governmentís authority to enforce part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, becoming the first state to challenge the constitutionality of sections of the federal law that bars states from denying or limiting a personís right to vote based on their race or color.
A provision in the law that requires several states including Arizona to get approval from the Justice Department for changes in voting procedures is unconstitutional, state Attorney General Tom Horne argues in the suit, which was filed in District of Columbia District Court.
ďThe portions of the Voting Rights Act requiring preclearance of all voting changes are either archaic, not based in fact, or subject to completely subjective enforcement based on the whim of federal authorities,Ē Horne said in a statement as the suit was filed.
You really do need to read Horneís statement Ė it rather masterfully explains the absurdity of the provisions for determining coverage under the preclearance provisions for language minorities.
Of course, I dealt with the silliness of this extension of the entire preclearance scheme back in 2006, when I pointed out that the statute continues to use minority voting totals from the 1964 presidential election as the baseline for determining if preclearance is required. Such a standard is arbitrary, capricious, and illogical in the extreme. It is my profound hope that Arizona wins this suit, and that such a result leads to the imposition of preclearance in all 50 states or, alternatively, the use of the statistical data on more recent elections to move states on and off the list of states required to receive federal approval if there is to be preclearance at all. After all, why must we solve the problems of the 1964 election until 2032.
Personally, I have no problem with churches speaking on political and governmental matters Ė I believe that to be a gospel requirement. However, the federal government does, given the gag rule imposed by the IRS. Which leads me to ask how this situation can continue without one or both of the churches involved having their tax exemptions lifted.
Harlemites have had enough of a local pastor posting signs at his prominently located church spewing hateful messages about President Obama.
Pastor James David Manning has put up ďObama Is EvilĒ and ďHe Used Black Vote to Uncle Tom For Wall St.Ē on the towering sign outside the ATLAH World Missionary Church on the bustling corner of Lenox Ave. and W. 123rd St.
A church next to Manningís was so put off by the signs, officials posted their own ó to make sure nobody thought their church had anything to do with ATLAH.
ďThis church is not affiliated with the church on the corner. We Support President Barack Obama,Ē reads a sign above the front door of Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church.
If a white church put up obviously political signs for or against a president, it would be deemed a violation of tax exempt status.
However, black churches have long been given significantly more leeway on political involvement than white churches are.
Is this just another case of protected group being protected from the tax code?
It isn't that I object to a requirement that employees be informed of that they can form a union and participate in union activities free from interference by the employer. I think it is a great thing. I'm just troubled by the lack of equal time.
The National Labor Relations Board has approved a new rule that requires private employers to display posters that tell workers about their right to form a union.
The rule requires businesses to prominently display the new posters that explain the right to bargain collectively, distribute union literature and engage in other union activities without reprisal.
Business groups claim that the requirement has the effect of government taking the side of the unions. I agree -- especially since there is not a requirement that employees be told that they have a right to refuse to join a union, a right to request a refund of political assessments, and the right to seek decertification of a union free from reprisal by organized labor thugs. Government neutrality would seem to require that both sides be presented -- but since the Obama Regime is a wholly owned subsidiary of the labor unions, I guess neutrality is too much to expect.
Agree or disagree with what Jerry Buell wrote on Facebook regarding the legalization of gay marriage in New York (my position here), the specter of schools policing and punishing outside-of-school teacher speech on issues of public importance and debate is both offensive and frightening to this teacher. I made my position on the matter crystal clear in my post on his suspension last week.
Well, it looks like Mr. Buell has prevailed, with the school district acknowledging that there is no legitimate basis for taking action against him for the expression of his opinion online on his own time (and in this case, during the summer when school was not even in session).
The Lake County School Board has completed their investigation of Jerry Buell, last year's "Teacher of the Year" at Mount Dora High School, who was recently suspended from the classroom for a comment he made on his personal Facebook page expressing his disapproval of legalized same-sex marriage in New York.
Buell is now back in the classroom. "I'm not going on Facebook again," Buell told FOX 35 on Wedneday.
Buell has been reinstated by the school district after he posted statements on Facebook. He wrote, "I was watching the news, eating dinner when the story about New York okaying same-sex unions came on and I almost threw up."
He continued, "If they want to call it a union, go ahead. But don't insult a man and woman's marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool of whatever."
Like I said -- I certainly wouldn't have said things the way he did, but I certainly respect his right to say them free of government retaliation. Unfortunately, it looks like the would-be censors have won a victory of sorts, given Mr. Buell's announced intention to cease exercising his Constitutional rights on Facebook (and, I would guess, other online media).
Furthermore, the more I read about the case the more offended I am that the district even felt that an investigation was in order, much less a suspension and the resulting publicity. Why? Because of the source of the complaint.
A 2002 Mount Dora High School graduate who never had Buell as a teacher, complained to the Board about Buellís Facebook comments.
Someone who had never set foot in Mr. Buell's classroom and whose connection to the school itself was attenuated by the passage of time was permitted to threaten Buell's career and destroy his reputation based upon nothing more than being offended by what a teacher at his alma mater had said outside of school. That is shocking, and raises questions about the professionalism and ethics of those school officials who chose to handle the case in this manner.
Why am I so outraged? Easy -- this case is not merely an attack upon Mr. Buell. It is also an attack upon me. It is an attack upon gay teachers who choose to speak out upon gay issues in their private time. It is an attack upon my fellow teachers who write letters to the editor of local newspapers around the country. If Jerry Buell's teaching career had been ended, we all would have found our First Amendment rights sharply curtailed.
This crap wasn't legitimate when directed against Barack Obama, and it certainly isn't legitimate when directed against Marco Rubio.
[T]here is already a movement afoot (led by some on the fringe) to disqualify him from serving as president (which would presumably disqualify him from serving as vice president). Thatís right ó some are arguing that Rubio is not eligible because he is not a ďnatural born citizen.Ē
Hereís how the logic works (according to World Net Dailyís Joe Kovacs): ďWhile the Constitution does not define Ďnatural-born citizen,í there is strong evidence that the Founding Fathers understood it to mean someone born of two American citizens.Ē
Kovacs (and he is not alone) goes on to reason that Rubioís ďeligibility is in doubtĒ because ó though his parents were legal U.S. residents when he was born ó they were not yet naturalized citizens.
Our courts, our laws, and our Constitution recognize no definition of "natural born citizen" beyond one who was a citizen from birth. Rubio qualifies. End of argument.
[I]f your definition of Ďnatural-born citizení means that you have to question the eligibility of this guy then let me be the first to inform you: YOU ARE CURRENTLY FROLICKING IN THE ENDLESS, SUN-LIT PLAINS OF STUPIDITY.
CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism fundraisng case, has demanded an investigation of NYC Police efforts to proactively investigate terrorist plots in the city where more Americans have been murdered by Islamic terrorists than anywhere else in America.
Following a months-long investigation, The Associated Press (AP) revealed that the NYPD is using covert surveillance techniques "that would run afoul of civil liberties rules if practiced by the federal government" and "does so with unprecedented help from the CIA in a partnership that has blurred the bright line between foreign and domestic spying."
According to the AP investigative report:
"The [NYPD] has dispatched teams of undercover officers, known as 'rakers,' into minority neighborhoods as part of a human mapping program, according to officials directly involved in the program. They've monitored daily life in bookstores, bars, cafes and nightclubs. Police have also used informants, known as 'mosque crawlers,' to monitor sermons, even when there's no evidence of wrongdoing. NYPD officials have scrutinized imams and gathered intelligence on cab drivers and food cart vendors, jobs often done by Muslims. Many of these operations were built with help from the CIA, which is prohibited from spying on Americans but was instrumental in transforming the NYPD's intelligence unit."
"These revelations send the message to American Muslims that they are being viewed as a suspect community and that their constitutional rights may be violated with impunity," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "The Justice Department must initiate an immediate investigation of the civil rights implications of this spy program and the legality of its links to the CIA."
On the other hand, there have been no investigations as to why this terrorist front group is allowed to operate freely despite its terrorist ties -- and why our media treats it as a credible source and ignores that history.
And as for CAIR's complaints -- while not every is a terrorist (indeed, the overwhelming majority are not), it is sadly indisputable that the Muslim community and its organizations (including mosques) have produced more terrorists on a per capita basis than any other segment of our population. Why wouldn't law enforcement concentrate its resources there?
ďThe problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion dollars for the first 42 presidents ó number 43 added $4 trillion dollars by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back ó $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic.Ē
Senator Barack Obama, July 3, 2008
Campaign Speech, Fargo, ND
And in the first 2 1/2 years of his presidency, President Barack Obama has driven our national debt from that point to over $14 trillion. So surely the candidate of Hope & Change would agree that there is a patriotism deficit in the Oval Office.
This bit of news from Chicago -- noted by the Łber-liberal Matthew Yglesias over at Think Progress -- shows just how far that city has gone down the road of government oversight of everything, with the resulting elimination of human freedom.
An interesting story about municipal regulations piled upon municipal regulations in Chicago comes to me from IB. In Chicago, as in other large American cities, recent immigrants are disproportionately involved in entrepreneurial small businesses. And in order to conduct business in Chicago, you need various kinds of permits. To get the permits, you need to fill out forms. The forms, meanwhile, are in English and Spanish. The Office of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection also has one Cantonese-speaking, one Mandarin-speaking, one French-speaking, and one-Polish speaking employee who can help you translate.
So what if youíre from Vietnam? Well, there used to be an answer. Guys like Tam Van Nguyen would get paid money by Vietnamese entrepreneurs to go down to the BACP office and do the forms, ďbut in 2008 things got complicated. The city started requiring people like Nguyen to have a something called an expediters license.Ē
Yeah, that's right -- if you don't speak the language, having someone who does speak the language do them for requires finding someone who has official city permission. What utter absurdity.
Of course, this is equally absurd:
Meanwhile, Rahm Emanuel wants to make it easier for immigrant entrepreneurs to help launch new businesses in part by launching an ďOffice of New AmericansĒ to identify and clear barriers to immigrant entrepreneurs.
Better plan -- establish a government office that helps all Americans who want to open a business, not just the newcomers. Or even better, forget establishing a new office and instead start eliminating some of the offices and employees and forms that by their very existence get in the way of those seeking to business. Now that would be a revolutionary, pro-business, pro-freedom move.
Congressman McCaul has a relatively safe Congressional seat, and the field is crowded with candidates for the GOP Senatorial nomination. I donít get why he is considering this.
U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, is quietly exploring a run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican sources told The Texas Tribune on Tuesday. McCaul is telling potential supporters that he's prepared to spend $4 million to $6 million of his own money.
In a statement emailed to the Tribune, McCaul didnít say he was getting in the race but also didnít deny that he was. "My goal remains to ensure that the most qualified person represents Texas in the United States Senate," the statement said.
He'd be entering a crowded Republican primary field that already includes Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones, former Solicitor General Ted Cruz and undertaker Glenn Addison. Retired Lt. Gen. Ric Sanchez is the only Democrat in the race so far.
Weíve already seen two highly qualified candidates get out of the race to seek the new 33rd Congressional District seat. We already have one rich guy preparing to self-finance his campaign in the form of David Dewhurst. And we already have at least one grassroots favorite in Ted Cruz, though rumor has it we might see state Senator Dan Patrick jump in as well. Where is the room for McCaul in all this? As a Republican activist, I just canít see a place for him.
Most Americans donít know who Fred Karger is. Iíve been involved in GOP politics for three decades and had never heard of him before he declared his candidacy for president, and I donít know much about him beyond that. But the San Francisco Chronicle has decided to cast a false light on his exclusion from the list of speakers at the California GOP convention.
Fred Karger, the only Californian - and the only gay candidate - in the 2012 Republican presidential field, says he knows plenty about closed doors. But shut out by his own party - and in his own state?
Even as Republican leaders say they're eagerly wooing all candidates to the state GOP convention Sept. 16-18 in Los Angeles, Karger says his request to attend and address the party activists has apparently been refused.
"I have been waiting for my invitation, and it never came," Karger, 61, a 38-year resident of Laguna Beach (Orange County), told The Chronicle last week. "And I called up a couple of weeks ago and explained my position."
That's when a party official, Karger said, left a "terse" message: "The schedule is completely filled."
In other words, nobody has told Karger he canít speak because he is gay. And as he well knows from his years in politics, ďthe schedule is filledĒ is a polite way of telling a candidate or officeholder that you arenít interested in him as a speaker. And why should they be Ė this unknown draws perhaps two percent in the polls. While there are candidates who perform equally abysmally, they at least have the virtue of being established political figures. Newt Gingrich, for example, will draw listeners for reasons other than his doomed candidacy Ė Fred Karger will draw virtually none. That has nothing to do with his sexuality Ė and everything to do with the fact that he is ďFred who?Ē So shame on the San Francisco Chronicle for trying to make it appear otherwise.
About 500 spectators were packed around the Kingsessing Recreation Center's outdoor basketball court Monday night, cheering on an adult league playoff game.
Then, at halftime, a thug in a red and black baseball hat loped across the court and fired a .40-caliber handgun 11 times into the bleachers, wounding six people.
As of Tuesday afternoon, none of those 500 witnesses were saying much to police.
Bu then again, what do you expect when a culture sends the message that it is better to protect the thugs than it is to aid in their apprehension?
When the Washington Post start's highlighting Obama's shortcomings as President, you know he's in trouble.
ďUnless the economy turns around in the next 18 months, Obama is on track to have the worst jobs record of any president in the modern era. That would be an accurate statement.Ē
This judgment comes not from Sarah Palin but from Glenn Kessler, fact checker for the Washington Post. Which makes the judgment triply damaging to the president, since the Post is not known as an anti-Obama newspaper.
As if to prove the point, Kessler adds a caveat to his statement: ďBut [Obama] also became president in the midst of the worst recession of our lifetimesĖand it seems a real stretch to make him personally responsible for every one of those lost jobs, without bothering to offer a shred of evidence for the claim.Ē
As is noted at Commentary's Contentions blog, no president is ever 100% responsible for every negative thing that happens during his presidency, and so Kessler is battling against a strawman argument. But the reality is that Obama's policies have not significantly ameliorated the impact of that "worst recession of our lifetimes", and have in fact seems to deepen it. And whether Glenn Kessler and the Washington post like to admit it, Barack Obama is personally responsible for that reality.
Read these words and tell me that you couldn't imagine them coming from the Gipper's mouth.
ďAmericans here in the 20th century built the richest, most prosperous nation in the history of the world,Ē Rubio told an enthusiastic crowd of 1,000. ďAnd yet today we have built for ourselves a government that not even the richest and most prosperous nation in the face of the earth can fund or afford to pay for ó an extraordinarily tragic accomplishment.Ē
There are those, both on the Right and the Left, who argue that the GOP has lost the spirit of Ronald Reagan. I don't know that I agree with that assessment, but i do know that we have had a dearth of leaders who combined his vision, his eloquence, and his commitment to getting government out of the way of ordinary Americans. Watch this video -- you will see someone who has all three of those things, and who is young enough to be a leader of conservatism in America for the next generation.
I remember a couple decades back when Michael and Lowell Milken went down for their crimes on Wall Street. But a funny thing happened after that experience Ė the Milken brothers became great philanthropists and have become pillars of the community. As a teacher, Iím particularly impressed with their work related to education. But there are those who question whether this educational gift by Lowell should be accepted for this purpose with his name attached.
When the U.C.L.A. School of Law announced a $10 million gift from Lowell Milken to establish a business law institute in his name earlier this month, the university described him as a ďpioneer in education reformĒ and a ďleading philanthropist.Ē
Behind the scenes, Mr. Milkenís big donation has set off an internal debate at the school. While many faculty members welcomed the money, one of the University of California, Los Angelesís top business law professors has said the gift poses deep ethical problems and reputational risks, given Mr. Milkenís run-in with securities regulators two decades ago.
One current and one retired professor have strongly objected to the establishment of the program with Milkenís cash, especially since the new program will be named for him. But letís flip this around Ė at what point does someone show rehabilitation and (to use a term loaded with religious significance) redemption? Both of the brothers have served their time, shown remorse and repentance, and worked to improve their society? Is it enough? And if it is, is it enough to justify accepting a gift from one of them for this particular purpose, given that their offenses involved violating the nations laws that regulate business and the economy?
5. If you spend any time on our highways, you will see a vehicle with a bumper sticker that says ďSecede.Ē Shocking, I know. But some Texans think of secession the way you think of a three-way: Interesting idea, but it probably wonít happen in this lifetime.
And Iíll take the matter a step further Ė most of those with the ďSecedeĒ bumper stickers would argue against the proposition if there were any chance of it happening. However, they put them on the car for two reasons:
Letís consider how they begin this article on Perryís record for number of executions presided over by a governor.
Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry brings to the presidential race a law-and-order credential that none of his competitors can match ó even if they wanted to.
In his nearly 11 years as chief executive, Perry, now running for the GOP presidential nomination, has overseen more executions than any governor in modern history: 234 and counting. Thatís more than the combined total in next two states ó Oklahoma and Virginia ó since the death penalty was restored 35 years ago.
But even then, they are forced to concede that the reason is ďpartly explainedĒ by the fact that Perry has been governor for 11 years Ė nearly 1/3 of the period since the Supreme Court again allowed executions to proceed in this country.But then again, they go for the bloodthirsty thing again.
He vetoed a bill that would have spared the mentally retarded and sharply criticized a Supreme Court ruling that juveniles were not eligible for death. He has found during his tenure only one inmate on Texasís crowded death row he thought should receive the lesser sentence of life in prison.
And Perryís role in the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham ó who supporters said should have been at least temporarily spared when experts warned that faulty forensic science led to his conviction ó is still the subject of investigation in Texas.
The bill Perry vetoed, though, was flawed Ė not really clear on how the determination of retardation would be made and how it could be rebutted, nor did it place any time limit on when it could be raised by a convict. Furthermore, there was good reason to object to the Supreme Court decision that set an arbitrary standard without constitutional or historical foundation to prevent the execution of a juvenile, no matter how heinous the offense.
And here in Texas, the governor lacks the independent power to pardon a convict and must first get approval from the Board of Pardons and Paroles. The Willingham case, therefore, was beyond Perryís control Ė except insofar as he could have given him a one-time 30 day reprieve that would have delayed but not stopped the execution. Indeed, the same article even points this out.
Texans and their representatives give governors little room to slow down the process.
Decisions to seek the death penalty are made by local prosecutors. Unlike in some states, the governor does not sign death warrants or set execution dates. The state constitution forbids the governor from calling a moratorium on executions and allows clemency only when the Board of Pardons and Paroles recommends it. Which is rarely.
So once again we see that the thing objected to is not within the power of Rick Perry to grant. And yet, they still include the following quote in the article.
Despite the limits on power, law professor Steiker said that ďit is fair to say a Texas governor is responsible for every execution.Ē
Gee, how do you figure that? He canít stop the executions, but he is responsible for them all.
Oh, and one last thing Ė the article gives a one-sided presentation on the Willingham case. What it does not point out is that there was plenty of evidence besides the forensic evidence that has been called into question. Indeed, the Willingham team turned to Perry only after the courts rejected their claims, and to this day Willinghamís defenders have not made a plausible case that there was insufficient evidence to convict Willingham in the absence of the disputed forensic evidence. That being the case, Willingham would have almost certainly gotten he death penalty, because we here in Texas donít like parents who murder their children
But who cares about facts Ė the WaPo has a conservative pol to smear!
President Obama is at the moment in a rough parity position when registered voters are asked whether they would vote for him in election matchups against four potential Republican candidates. Romney fares slightly better than the other GOP candidates, and Bachmann slightly worse, but these are not large differences. Gallup research shows that these types of election measures at this stage in the campaign are not highly stable, and one can expect changes in the relative positioning of Obama and various GOP candidates in the months ahead.
The thing is, this is a point where most Americans aren't really paying attention to the race yet -- so this signifies the President's profound unpopularity. Imagine how much worse his prospects will be once Americans begin comparing his record and rhetoric to his opponents.
This also shows that there is room for additional GOP candidates in the race as we search for the best candidate for America, not just "Anybody But Barack".
I'm struck by this piece from the Washington Post.
With the regime of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi seemingly toppled by the rebels, the Obama administration is feeling vindicated in its decision to intervene. But the right canít decide whether to be happy Gaddafi is gone or miserable that Obama had something to do with it.
I'm pleased that the Libyan dictator is out of power -- I have hated him passionately for a quarter century or more. At the same time, success (if Obama legitimately deserves credit for the removal -- a debatable proposition) does not miraculously convert a war that clearly violates both the Constitution and the statutory laws of this nation into a legal and constitutional one. As such, I'd argue that Obama still merits impeachment and removal for his unilateral involvement of American forces in his Libyan adventure -- not that it is likely to happen.
By the way, let's see how the rest of this unfolds. The rebels were no better vetted by this administration than Obama was by the press in 2008. We may yet see this to have been a Pyrrhic victory which empowers the very sort of Islamists against whom we battle around the world, thereby making the region even less stable than it was with Gaddafi in control of Libya. Time will tell -- and surely the left will admit Obama's responsibility, come what may.
I wrote yesterday about California Democrat Maxine Waters telling the Tea party to go to hell for daring to dissent from the policies favored by Obamunists and those further to the Left like her. Unfortunately, the media didn't do its job of informing the American people by providing the whole story -- it was up to Andrew Breitbart to do it for them
While the media plays up the Los Angeles congresswomanís ďthe Tea Party can go straight to hellí comments from this weekend, they are ignoring what she said right after that. When the wild cheers of the audience calmed down, Rep. Waters then said: ďAnd I intend to help them get there.Ē
Excuse me? You intend to send them there? Really? What a "progressive" sentiment -- the murder of political opponents. I guess that puts you right up there with other left-wing heroes like Comrade Che, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, and Stalin.
The Breitbart piece also makes the following observation.
Is there any doubt that if a Tea Party representative had said that ďthe Congressional Black Caucus can go straight to hell and we intend to help them get thereĒ, we would be hearing loud condemnations about the hateful rhetoric from the extremists in the Republican Party?
But instead we have the coverup of a terroristic threat against peaceful participants in the political process. Given this threat was made on the eve of the dedication of the new memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr., one has to wonder what that apostle of non-violence and peaceful participation of all Americans in the political process (irregardless of race or ethnicity) would have to say on her words if he were alive today.
And if you question the source, here is the video. It is clearly unedited.
NOTE: Paul Krugman was unavailable for comment.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd notices stuff that we Republicans have been saying for some time about the callow fool in the White House.
Cruising white Midwestern hamlets in his black bus, Obama tried to justify not calling lawmakers back to D.C. by saying theyíd just continue to bicker. But what does he think theyíll do in September? The truth is, he doesnít want them back in the capital any more than they want to be back. It would have screwed up his vacation and upset Michelle, who already feels trapped in the Washington bubble.
Remember, this is the girl with the Presidential knee pads left over from the Clinton years. Why not the same attraction for Barry Hussein? Could it be racism?
But I've got to love seeing the following words in print regarding my Houston Texans.
The Texans are 2-0, and their offense is in the NFLís Top 10 in scoring, total yards and rushing yards. Meanwhile, the defense is tied for the NFL lead in sacks.
And remember -- those two wins have been over the New York Jets and the New Orleans Saints, teams that have shown their quality over the last couple of seasons.
The current company, called "New GM," said it did not assume responsibility under the reorganization to fix the Impala problem, but only to make repairs "subject to conditions and limitations" in express written warranties. In essence, the automaker said, Trusky sued the wrong entity.
"New GM's warranty obligations for vehicles sold by Old GM are limited to the express terms and conditions in the Old GM written warranties on a going-forward basis," wrote Benjamin Jeffers, a lawyer for GM. "New GM did not assume responsibility for Old GM's design choices, conduct, or alleged breaches of liability under the warranty."
Just one more reason to oppose ObamaCare -- will you have any rights when our "free" government healthcare system does you harm?
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) came out swinging against Republicans in Congress on Saturday as she addressed the unemployed during a forum in Inglewood.
The event occurred a day after new statistics were released showing that California's jobless rate last month went up to 12%, from 11.8%. California now has the second-highest rate of unemployment in the nation, trailing only Nevada at 12.9%, and its jobless rate is well above the U.S. average of 9.1%.
Waters vowed to push Congress to focus on creating more jobs. "I'm not afraid of anybody," said Waters. "This is a tough game. You can't be intimidated. You can't be frightened. And as far as I'm concerned, the 'tea party' can go straight to hell."
The problem in California isn't anything the federal government is doing, and the Tea party doesn't control any of the levers of government in California. Democrats have controlled the state legislature for years, and the state couldn't pass a budget because Dems were interested in living beyond the means of the taxpayers. That's why taxes keep going up, spending keeps going up, and therefore the business and employment picture keeps deteriorating in the California. But I'm really not surprised by Waters' comments, as she is noted for being among the most ignorant -- and most corrupt -- members of Congress. Maybe instead of trashing one small portion of the GOP caucus in Washington, she should take a good hard look at the failed leadership of her own party in Sacramento -- and tell them to go to Hell instead.
Here are the full results of our excursion into blogging exellence:
Bunches of good stuff there for you to catch up on, so get reading!!
I wasn't sure if I wanted to laugh mockingly or scream in outrage when I saw the Obama Regime's Commisar for Education had made these comments.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan appears to be the first member of President Obama's cabinet to take a swipe at Rick Perry, the Texas governor and newly announced Republican presidential candidate. Duncan told Bloomberg Television that Texas schools have struggled under Perry, saying he feels "very badly" for children who attend them.
"Far too few of their high school graduates are actually prepared to go on to college," Duncan said. "I feel very, very badly for the children there."
Remember -- Arne Duncan was the superintendent of a school district that would love to see its students as college ready as the average Texas high school graduate. Indeed, under Duncan's "leadership" (if you can call it that), Chicago Public Schools failed by every imaginable measure!
And besides not feeling badly for the way that Chicago Public Schools failed its students academically, Duncan apparently did not feel badly for these children during his days as Superintendent of Schools in Chicago -- you know, since only 24 of the 568 teachers verified to have illegally used corporal punishment on students were terminated during his tenure. One teacher who battered a student repeatedly over several years received only a warning.
Yeah, that's your compassionate Obamunist Secretary of Education -- he has great compassion for students in the state of his bosses leading GOP opponent who outperform the students he was responsible for educating in Chicago, but not for the students in the district he ran who were "beaten with broomsticks, whipped with belts, yard sticks, struck with staplers, choked, stomped on and pushed down stairs" by the teacher who worked for him
As far as this Texas teacher is concerned, Mr. Duncan may therefore take his politically-motivated bad feelings for my students and shove them up his administratively incompetent, academically-unacceptable, child abuse enabling Obamunist ass.
The Vacationer-in-Chief made sure that one of his last official acts before taking a taxpayer-funded jet from Washington DC to Martha's Vineyard four hours after his wife and kids flew the same route on a different taxpayer-funded jet was to sign an executive order to get the federal civilian workforce even more diversified than it currently is.
President Barack Obama signed an executive order Thursday directing federal officials to design a government-wide strategy for making the federal workforce more diverse.
The three-page order directs the head of the Office of Personnel Management, a deputy director at the Office of Management and Budget, the Presidentís Management Council and the chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to develop the strategy within 90 days. Agencies then have 120 days to work the plan into their hiring and recruiting.
Now I've got no problem with recruiting underrepresented groups to find highly qualified individuals to fill jobs -- but I do think that the job should go to the best qualified applicant, with no diversity criteria considered in making the employment decision. You know, the whole notion advanced by Dr. King about judging people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.
But wait just a moment -- these statistics also appear in the article, and they ought to give one pause.
An Office of Personnel Management report says that in fiscal year 2010, the federal workforce was 66.2 percent white, 17.7 percent black, 8 percent Hispanic, 5.6 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 1.8 percent Native American. It was 56.1 percent male.
Now when one looks at those numbers, something should jump out at you (other than the high number of men -- after all, that can be explained by the disparity caused by women opting out of the work force to raise families). Those employment numbers already seem mighty diverse. Indeed, the percentage of whites in the population is within about a percentage point of their representation in the federal workforce. That statement can also be made regarding the relative representation of Asian/Pacific Islanders in the federal workforce and the population as a whole, although the discrepancy constitutes roughly a 25% over-representation in the federal workforce relative to their percentage in the population as a whole. Similarly, there is only about a percentage point difference between the number of Native Americans/Alaska Natives in the federal workforce -- but that disparity constitutes an over-representation of some 125%, I suspect largely accounted for by the number of such individuals working with federal programs designed to serve those particular populations exclusively.
You'll notice that I haven's commented on the two largest minority racial/ethnic groups in America. That is because this is where it gets really ugly. You see, Hispanics account for roughly 13% of America's population, but only 8% of the federal workforce. African-Americans. on the other hand, constitute around 12.5% of the population of the United States, but hold 17.7% of the federal jobs. In other words, the 5% under-representation of Hispanics can be accounted for by a nearly identical percentage over-representation of African-Americans. Apparently our federal affirmative action programs have put the thumb on the scale on behalf of blacks to the disadvantage of Latinos.
What this means, of course, is that any program adopted under this executive order issued by the nation's first black president must focus on job opportunities for the vastly under-represented Hispanics, and do so by withholding preferences from the vastly over-represented African-American population. At least it does if the federal government is going to hold itself to the same standards it holds the private sector.
Can you smell the irony?
Personally, I believe that this is a proposal that we Republicans can fully embrace -- by getting rid of the over-represented minority in the Oval Office. Can i get anyone to second me in supporting ticket featuring Marco Rubio and Susana Martinez in 2012?
Some things just don't go as planned.
And the sad thing is that the joke just isn't that funny.
But I have to understand, I've gone off on a laughing jag when students do or say something that strikes me as particularly funny in class.
Suspected terrorists are complaining about a fence around the exercise yard in their high-security prison which restricts their view of the horizon.
The alleged extremists are locked up while the Government tries to remove them from the country.
But the inmates have complained the limited view is damaging their eyesight, a prison inspection report revealed.
* * *
ĎThe fence surrounding the exercise yard was clad, therefore preventing detainees from seeing into the distance. All detainee unit cells overlooked the inner courtyard and detainees therefore had no opportunities to see into the distance, and some complained of deteriorating eyesight.í
No doubt they are particularly worried that the deterioration will impact their ability to accurately aim a weapon at anti-jihadi troops or assemble the many small parts that make up a bomb. I guess they want a suite at the Ritz and full access to the spa facilities. Personally, I think that housing them in the dungeon of one of the old castles might serve the interests of the world at large much better
The folks at Weasel Zippers put this picture up for a little captioning fun, and I couldn't resist this one.
A Mount Dora High School Teacher of the Year has been suspended from the classroom for questionable comments he made about same-sex unions on Facebook, a social networking website.
Jerry Buell allegedly stated during a July 25 Facebook exchange that he "almost threw up" in response to a news story about legalized same-sex marriage in New York.
In a posting, he identified same-sex marriages as being part of a "cesspool."
Buell, who also uses the Facebook site to promote an upcoming event of Mount Dora High's first Fellowship of Christian Athletes Huddle, went on to call same-sex unions a sin.
Christopher Patton, a Lake County schools spokesman, said Wednesday that the comments were published on Buell's personal Facebook page, which are only visible to people and friends in which the teacher has given access.
But Patton added printouts of the comments were forwarded to the school system.
So, having posted something on his personal Facebook page regarding a topic of contemporary political, social, and religious importance, the district has decided to investigate a teacher for ethics violations? I guess I donít see it.
Perhaps somebody needs to remind the district of the holding of the Supreme Court in Tinker v. Des Moines back in 1969.
First Amendment rights, applied in light of the special characteristics of the school environment, are available to teachers and students. It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. This has been the unmistakable holding of this Court for almost 50 years. [EMPHASIS ADDED]
And if they do not lose their First Amendment rights at school, it can hardly be argued that a teacherís right to speak on matters such as this off school grounds (indeed, during summer break) may be curtailed by school authorities based upon speech that is undeniably protected for all Americans . That is a position that the liberal ACLU, the conservative Rutherford Institute, and the American Bar Association can all agree upon.
That question is purely rhetorical Ė real Republicans canít get Ron Paul to denounce the Kluxers and neo-Nazis who support his candidacy or do the decent thing by divesting himself of campaign contributions made by known leaders of those foul movements, so surely he wonít make any effort to distance himself from this clown in Austin.
An Austin Ron Paul supporter has taken out a full-page ad in the local alt weekly newspaper seeking any "stripper ... escort ... or 'young hottie'" who has slept with Rick Perry, part of his single-minded jihad against the presidential candidate.
Robert Morrow describes himself as a "self-employed investor and political activist" as well as a three-time delegate to the Texas state GOP convention.
"Have you ever had sex with Rick Perry?" blares the ad, placed by Morrow in this week's Austin Chronicle. "Are you a stripper, an escort, or just a 'young hottie' impressed by an arrogant, entitled governor of Texas? Contact CASH, and we will help you publicize your direct dealings with a Christian-buzzwords-spouting, 'family values' hypocrite and fraud."
* * *
To be clear, there is absolutely no evidence that Perry has had extramarital affairs. But Morrow has written a screed, currently circulating online, that denounces Perry both for his policies (it labels him a "crony capitalist" and a "Neocon") as well as his alleged dalliances.
Morrow claims that he knows strippers in Austin who have stories about Perry, but none of them are willing to come forward to the press; hence, the need for an ad in the Chronicle. "I think it's only a matter of time until somebody credible comes forward," he told me.
At the bottom of the ad is a nod to the longtime (and equally unsubstantiated) rumors that Perry, who has pursued sundry anti-gay policies, is himself gay. "Note to gay people: If you know the truth about Rick, please QUIT covering for him," it reads.
I guess this is what passes for ďprincipled libertarianismĒ among Ron Paul supporters Ė latch on to vague and unsubstantiated rumors circulated by liberal Democrats and make the accusation the story, rather than supplying any proof of the allegations. Whatís more, isnít the notion of sexual activity being a private matter at the very heart of modern-day libertarianism? If so, what legitimacy is there in even raising the issue of what Morrow would concede, if he had so much as an ounce of real principle, is essentially a private matter?
But hereís the main thing here Ė if there were any actual evidence to support these rumors, it would have surfaced long before now. You know, back in 2002, when Perryís Democrat opponent was a self-financed multi-millionaire who was more than willing to spend any amount of money to dig dirt on Perry. Or in 2006, when Perry was in a 4-way death match while seeking reelection. Not to mention in 2010, as Perry faced opposition from both the establishment and Tea Paulist opponents in the primary. And in the run-up to Perryís announcement, nobody has presented any credible evidence of these charges.
So hereís the deal Ė if Robert Morrow has evidence to back either of these accusations, he has an obligation to lay it out on the table. Having said that he has been told by these unidentified strippers, as well as an unidentified reporter who admits that he couldnít verify the charge, Robert Morrow has an obligation to identify them by name so that their (and his) charges can be verified. To say it plainly, Robert Morrow needs to put up or shut up. Not that heís likely to do so, given his history of unsubstantiated accusations against candidates he dislikes, as witnessed by these anti-Hillary Clinton robocalls during the 2008 South Carolina Democrat primary. He offered no credible proof then, and Iím willing to bet that he wonít be doing so now.
Following his three-day bus tour to promote his economic agenda -- and not to mention the debt limit rancor in Washington before that -- President Obama is finally getting some rest and relaxation.
On Thursday, he and his family are heading off to Martha's Vineyard, the island off of Massachusetts. They'll be staying at a 28-acre retreat called Blue Heron Farm for about 10 days.
Raw Video: Obama's Martha's Vinyard retreat
There has been criticism of the president's vacation at this time. But how does the number of vacation days the president has spent compare to his predecessors? CBS Radio's Mark Knoller has kept track of presidential vacations for years and supplied the data.
So far, President Obama has taken 61 vacation days after 31 months in office. At this point in their presidencies, George W. Bush had spent 180 days at his ranch where his staff often joined him for meetings. And Ronald Reagan had taken 112 vacation days at his ranch.
I'll criticize Obama for many things, but I refuse to join in the criticism of his trip to Martha's Vineyard. Why not? The briefings continue. Bills get signed and decisions get made even while the President is outside of Washington DC. Indeed, given the communications technology available to the President, one could almost ask if there is any need for him to be present at the White House as much as he is there?
And let's look at those "vacations" by Bush 43 and Reagan. When Dubya went to the ranch, he not only had the meetings and briefings, he actually hosted foreign dignitaries on official business. Reagan did similar things -- as I recall one of those "vacations" included a couple of days meeting with British PM Margaret Thatcher. As far as I'm concerned, Obama would be welcome to stay a month in Massachusetts -- or Hawaii or Chicago -- if he did the same.
Indeed, the only criticism I have of Obama on this one is based upon this story.
As he wraps up that trip, The Associated Press reports that following his upcoming vacation on Martha's Vineyard, the president "will give a major speech in early September to unveil new ideas for speeding up job growth and helping the struggling poor and middle class."
According to the AP, it's been told by a "senior administration official" that:
"The president's plan is likely to contain tax cuts, jobs-boosting infrastructure ideas and steps that would specifically help the long-term unemployed. The official emphasized that all of Obama's proposals would be fresh ones, not a rehash of plans he has pitched for many weeks and still supports, including his 'infrastructure bank" idea to finance construction jobs."
Face it, we are in an economic crisis now -- We should not need to wait three weeks for the unveiling of the President's plan to get Americans working again. That we are is a sign of irresponsibility -- but that isn't based upon his being in Martha's Vineyard. And that he is deferring action until after his return to Washington is every bit as irresponsible as if his predecessor had delayed responding to 9/11 until after taking a couple of weeks off to relax in the midst of that crisis.
Surely there is a home for this disabled military vet -- and surely our nation's military can do better by their working dogs when they are no longer fit for active duty.
Indeed, I'd call the position taken by Joaquin Castro's supporters here to be un-American -- a phrase I don't take lightly.
A newly drawn Central Texas congressional district is creating tensions about who best can serve its mostly Hispanic residentsóone of their own, or a long-time congressman who happens to be white.
As a result of redistricting led by the state's Republican-dominated legislature, the boundaries of the district currently represented by Democratic U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett have been reshaped to connect a portion of his Austin electorate with Democratic state Rep. Joaquin Castro's native San Antonio to create a new district.
The notion that you can't be properly represented by someone of a different race or ethnicity is offensive in the extreme. And that Democrats would take that position with Barack Obama in the White House is particularly obscene, given that Obama is clearly a racial minority at the head of an overwhelmingly white nation -- what would the response be if people began arguing that he shouldn't be President because he can't represent the majority or understand their experience or aspirations? The answer to the question is obvious -- and I'd be among the most vociferous in making it, my contempt for Obama based upon his lack of competence not withstanding.
But this controversy does point to the manner in which the Voting Rights Act has been subverted from its original intent to ensure equal access to the ballot box and converted into a mechanism for creating ethnic bantustans that perpetuate racism. Why, oh why, don't We the People demand compact districts based upon natural and political geography, drawn without regards to the race and ethnicity of the residents. Let the political battles be about the ideas and the principles of their candidates, not their ancestry or the color of their skin.
But will those who use it allow facts to get in the way of their attempt to undermine Perry's candidacy? Here's the president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank on the jobs created here in Texas -- and how most of them are not "low-paying minimum-wage jobs" as the latest talking point goes.
Fisher meanwhile devoted roughly half his speech to the employment record of Texas, which is of national interest now that Gov. Rick Perry has entered the race to be the Republican nominee for president. The Dallas Fed will now provide monthly updates on the Texas jobs picture.
ďWe hope it will be a useful tool for everyone ranging from columnists who write for the New York Times to the pundits who provide commentary for Fox News, as well as serious economists,Ē said Fisher in a nod to the political implications of the data.
While not analyzing Perryís policies or even mentioning the Republican by name, Fisher made the case against the notion that all of the rapid jobs growth in Texas (itís responsible for either a half of a third of all new jobs creation since the recession ended, depending on the metric) are in low-paying fields.
Texas does have an above-average percentage of workers that earn at or below the federal minimum wage, at 9.5% vs. 6% nationally and 2% in California in 2010, Fisher said, citing Labor Department data.
But two-thirds of the new jobs in Texas have been created in the educational and health services sector, followed by professional and business services and then the mining sector (which includes oil and gas), Fisher said, citing Labor Department data.
None of those are below the national average for weekly wages and the mining sector sees remuneration nearly triple the national average, according to Labor Department data.
So the next time you encounter someone claiming that only low-paying jobs were created in Texas while US employment has been contracting, cite the facts and ask the speaker if they are ignorant, lying, or both.
I suppose it is only fair to give this devil her due when I think she gets it right.
Meghan McCain, daughter of former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), wants her fatherís former running mate, Sarah Palin, to ďstop flirtingĒ with possible presidential candidacy.
ďFish or cut bait, Sarah,Ē McCain wrote in a column posted by the Daily Beast on Tuesday night. ďEither put your hat in the ring and show America what you want to do with our country, or step back and let other politicians whose time has come have their moment.Ē
I've got to agree.
Face it -- if Sarah Palin had indicated that she was, in fact, a presidential candidate any time in the last six months, a number of candidates in the race would have never gotten in. Indeed, we would most likely have only three candidates of any significance in the race today -- Palin, Romney, and Paul. Had she taken herself out of the race six months ago, I suspect we would be looking at a field in which there were a few more significant candidates declared because they would be sure that the 800-pound elephant was not in the race. As it is, we have one serious candidate (Rick Perry) who has held off to a relatively late date to declare his candidacy, and others (Paul Ryan comes to mind) who are still waiting to see what she does.
And personally, I hope she decides to get out. I have a history of expressing positive sentiments about the former Alaska Governor governor going back to at least early 2008, but I also believe that a number of things (her resignation, her failure to seek the Alaska Senate seat in 2010, her reality show) have harmed her viability as a candidate who can defeat Barack Obama. I don;t take pleasure in saying that, but it is my gut feeling on the matter and has been for some time.
We in the GOP need our field of potential presidential candidates set -- and I believe that it needs to be set sooner than later. But that can't happen until we know what Sarah Palin is going to do, so she needs to do it ASAP.
I've got a quibble over one word he chose -- but his point was spot on.
Perry was responding to a question about ďquantitative easing,Ē a monetary policy by which the government purchases Treasury bonds to inject more money into the economy, which he said would amount to a political attempt to help President Obama win reelection in 2012.
ďIf this guy prints more money between now and the election, I donít know what you all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas,Ē Perry said of the possibility of another round of so-called quantitative easing in the money supply.
* * *
ďPrinting more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treasonous in my opinion,Ē he added. ďWe already tried this. All itís going to be doing is devaluing the dollar in your pocket, and we cannot afford that. We have to learn the lessons of the past three years. Theyíve been devastating.Ē
Let's break this down. Perry rightly notes that resorting to a third round of quantitative easing (often called QE3) would have negative ramifications for the economy. After all, when the printing presses go into high gear to print more money backed by nothing, that simply debases the currency and makes it worth less, harming our purchasing power. I don't know about you, but I would be quite ugly towards someone responsible for such a policy -- and that doesn't imply violence against anyone, as some Perry critics have argued.
But that isn't the part of Perry's comments that raised the ire of many. It was the latter part of the statement, I want to break down into its constituent components for analysis. So let the parsing begin.
So let's be clear -- he's talking about how having a problem with the Federal Reserve once again engaging in the failed quantitative easing policy by initiating QE3.
In other words, under the current conditions, to wit:
As you can see, Perry very precisely limited the situation in which he would find the use of more quantitative easing to be problematic.
Here's where most everyone has put their focus -- on the word "treasonous", without taking the note that the use of the word "almost" clearly stops short of accusing anyone of treason.
But unfortunately, Perry made a poor word choice there. In the situation as delineated above, there is no possibility that the actions of Bernanke and the Fed could do anything treasonous under the definition established by the Constitution.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
Abusing the pubic trust by using (or attempting to use) the power of one's office to influence the outcome of a presidential election does not constitute making war on the United States or giving any form of material support to the nation's enemies. It doesn't come close, and Perry blew it with that word choice.
But it would, arguably, be criminal, or at least skirt the boundaries of criminality.
And I wish that Rick Perry had thought through the wording of his off-the-cuff answer to a question from the audience at this event.
So I'll ding him on the word he chose -- but agree with the sentiment he expressed and support his refusal to back away from his criticism of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve generally, and the failed policy of quantitative easing.
The second community institution closed by Hurricane Ike in 2008 has returned.
As of 5:00 pm local time on Tuesday, August 16, Tookie's is open for business!
For those of you who don't know about Tookie's, here is their website -- and here is my post on the impending reopening from a few weeks back.
I couldn't make it in tonight (had a meeting to go to), but I will be dropping by for a Squealer very soon.
The journey from prosperity to the economic margins followed by Alba and Eugenio is an increasingly common path for thousands of undocumented workers pushed out of their jobs by the federal government's audits of U.S. businesses, according to immigration experts, business owners and unions.
The audits, started by the Obama administration in 2009, put the onus on business to police workers, requiring companies to turn over employee records to federal agents. If the papers aren't in order, the workers are quietly let go without penalty while the companies are punished.
I think this is a great policy -- except for the fact that it fails to also arrest and deport the illegal aliens taking American jobs. After all, they are lawbreakers, too. And a drive down the street in any major city or medium sized town in America will tell you that self-deportation isn't happening fast enough.
Now if these good, hard-working folks want to go back home and get in line to come to America -- behind those who have already gotten in line and waited instead of breaking American law -- I'll be glad to welcome them with open arms when they get a green card.
His third question from the crowd was about an issue that his critics have touched on ó his 2007 mandate for girls to get vaccinated against the cervical cancer-causing HPV virus.
ďI signed an executive order that allowed for an opt-out, but the fact of the matter is I didnít do my research well enough to understand that we needed to have a substantial conversation with our citizenry,Ē he said. ďI hate cancer. Let me tell you, as a son who has a mother and father who are both cancer survivors.Ē
Perry said heíd invested government resources in cancer cures, adding, ďI hate cancer. And this HPV, we were seeing young ladies die at the early age. What we should have done was a program that frankly should have allowed them to opt in, or some type of program like that, but hereís what I learned ó when you get too far out in front of the parade they will let you know. And thatís exactly what our legislature did.Ē
I'm glad he's recognized he was wrong, and even admits he should have set up an opt-in program than mandating its use with parents permitted to petition -- subject to state approval -- to exempt their children from "Doctor" Rick Perry's prescription. The reality was that he backed down in 2007 rather than get his butt kicked by the GOP-controlled legislature -- but apparently time has caused his views to mature.
But let's look at the reality of that 2007 effort.
Here are the problems with Perryís actions in this situation.
1) He acted unilaterally, with no consultation with members of the legislative branch.
2) It is questionable whether or not Perry had the authority under the Texas Constitution or statutory law to impose the requirement.
3) Perry and his aides argued that not only did he have the right to issue the executive order, but that the Texas Legislature lacked the authority to overturn his actions or prohibit the use of state money to fund the vaccination program.
4) HPV is different from every other disease for which the state of Texas requires vaccination as a condition of enrollment in school. The others can be easily passed in a normal classroom setting in the course of the ordinary activity of going to school. HPV, on the other hand, is not ordinarily passed under such conditions ó therefore the nexus between school enrollment and the vaccine is lacking.
5) If Perryís reasoning is accepted as legitimate, then there is no legitimate barrier to a future governor issuing an executive order mandating that girls receive Norplant as a condition of enrolling in school beginning in sixth grade. After all, given the multitude of societal problems caused by teen pregnancy and the negative impact on the future of girls who do become pregnant, there is a compelling argument that such a mandate is beneficial to society and the girls ó religious, moral, legal, and constitutional questions notwithstanding ó and that argument is every bit as compelling as the argument for Gardasil (actually more so, given the number of teen pregnancies every year).
Besides, I think that the commercial that the manufacturer put out at the time really offers the best critique of Perryís misdeeds in this case. It said ďask your doctor if Gardasil is right for youĒ ó but nowhere suggested consultation with your governor or other elected officials. It is therefore clear that Rick Perryís decision to play doctor with the little girls of Texas was the wrong one.
And before you ask, this statement still does not convert me into a Perry supporter. I still have the same reservations about him I did when I wrote this piece during the gubernatorial primary in 2010, and it will take more effort on his part to bring me around to support him for the nomination.
ADDENDUM: Welcome Michelle Malkin readers!
Or maybe not.
Over the years, science fiction authors have proposed a space elevator to replace rockets for reaching earth orbit. One of my favorite authors, John Scalzi (who is also a fellow blogger), talks about the science and economics of such a project in his novel Old Man's War -- with one of his characters concluding that such a project is likely beyond the scientific, engineering, and economic capacity of Earth for the foreseeable future without access to the knowledge of more advanced spacefaring races.
However, that doesn't keep folks from continuing to examine the possibility for real.
Might solar energy provide the power needed to send cars up a space elevator? Could you build one fat elevator and split it into two? Can as many as six cars travel up and down a space elevator?
Those are just some of the questions that attendees at the annual Space Elevator Conference on Friday in Seattle wondered about.
"These are ideas we want to hear and we want people to follow up on," said Bryan Laubscher, one of the leading space elevator enthusiasts and principle at Odysseus Technologies, a company working on high-strength materials.
The conclusion? We still have a lot of obstacles to overcome before the project is feasible from a scientific and engineering standpoint -- and they've not even found anyone to do an economic analysis.
You know, now that the Libyan dictator is lobbing SCUD missiles.
Libyan government forces tapped into their stores of Scud missiles during the weekend, firing one for the first time in this year's conflict with rebels, but hurting no one, U.S. defense officials said Monday.
The missile launch was detected by U.S. forces shortly after midnight Sunday, and the Scud landed in the desert about 50 miles outside Brega, said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations.
How much longer are you going to pretend that this isn't a war? When will you seek congressional approval? When will you quit violating the US Constitution?
During the Battle of the Bulge, American troops at Bastogne were surrounded by German forces. The German commander sent a note to General Anthony McAulife, commander of the 101st Airborne Division, seeking the surrender of his troops. McAuliffe's one word reply has gone down in American military history as a classic example of defiance.
To the German Commander, NUTS! The American Commander
The 101st then proceeded to hold out four more days until the Fourth Armored Division arrived to reinforce them.
So when the Council on American Islamic Relations, a terrorist front organization which was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case regarding fundraising for HAMAS, demanded that the Congressman cut ties with certain opponents of Islamism and sharia law, the Congressman echoed that historic reply.
Sadly, the head of the local chapter has no more respect for American heroes than he does for American principles like freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of religion -- characterizing the reply as a "schoolboy insult". I'd be interested in how such a characterization would be received at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
H/T Atlas Shrugs
It is nice to get your posts linked by anyone -- a compliment for your hard work. It is even cooler when you get linked by the big name bloggers -- or by major media outlets.
That's why I find it great that Politico quoted my Warren Buffett piece today. They take a good chunk from the piece, noting that Buffett chooses to avail himself of the tax-lowering options in the tax code, and therefore chooses the low amount of taxes he pays.
I also got linked by CBS. Unfortunately, they weren't as kind -- not only did they not directly quote me, but they actually said that I accused Buffett of illegal behavior, which I did not do. I shouldn't be surprised, I guess -- it isn't like we can always trust CBS to represent conservative views accurately.
Still, Welcome to all readers from the two articles -- and from Memeorandum.
UPDATE: I'd like to tip my hat to Michelle Castillo of CBS. When I alerted her to the problem with her paraphrase of my argument, she quickly went back and corrected it -- and sent back a rather gracious tweet in response to mine.
In a New York Times op-ed on Monday, titled ďStop Coddling the Rich,Ē Buffett, Berkshire Hathawayís chair and CEO, said he and his ďmega-richĒ friends have been spared the ďshared sacrificeĒ the countryís leaders have asked for as the country veers toward a double-dip recession.
ďWhile the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks,Ē he wrote.
ďThese and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. Itís nice to have friends in high places.Ē
He observes that investment managers earn billions, but only pay a 15 percent tax rate.
Buffett said his 2010 tax bill, including income and payroll taxes, totaled $6,938,744 ó or 17.4 percent of his taxable income. Most people in his office pay 33 to 41 percent, he said.
Let me remind Mr. Buffett of a couple of things.
First, if he is truly paying taxes at that rate, it probably is because he is availing himself of a lot of tax breaks and shelters that are legal under the laws of the United States. He doesn't have to use them -- nor does he have to take every deduction that he is legally entitled to. That he does indicates he is paying less by choice.
But more to the point, if Warren Buffett thinks he is under-paying, he does have an option -- cut a check to the US Government and mail it to the following address.
Heck -- there is even a handy online form that will let you surrender that ill-gotten wealth to Uncle Sam without the time and expense of using a paper check.
Seriously, Warren, put your money where your mouth is. make the sacrifice voluntarily, rather than demanding that government force you to. In other words, live by your stated principles and show that you are the sort of patriot that you claim to be -- or admit that you lack the testicular fortitude to do what you believe is the right thing without the threat jackboot of government on your throat and a gun to your head to make you do it.
ADDENDUM: I can't help but note that Warren Buffett didn't have the manhood to rise to this same challenge when I put it to him last November when he whined about the same issue. But then I'm not surprised -- he didn't do it back in October of 2007 when he complained about being under-taxed and i offered the same suggestion. Nor did he do so the other two times when I posted this address for allegedly "patriotic millionaires" who believe government isn't confiscating enough of their wealth -- but aren't patriotic enough to make the payment voluntarily.