April 30, 2012

Well, I Guess Im Not Alone In My Contempt For Carter

It is shared by his fellow former presidents.

Former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush have united in their hatred of Jimmy Carter.

The former commanders-in-chief share a disdain for their fellow ex-president because he conducted foreign policy after leaving office without any authority from the White House, according to a new book.

In The Presidents Club: Inside the Worlds Most Exclusive Fraternity, former staffers even use the word treason to describe Carters actions.

Carter gives the club a great gift, something for all the others to complain about, the book by Time magazines Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy says.

Now I might stop short of describing Carters activities as treasonous (Im a big fan of Article III, Section 3), I cant help but note that he was such a failure at foreign policy during his years in office that the American people repudiated him soundly. Why he then believes that he has some sort of mandate to continue his work in that arena is beyond me.

|| Greg, 06:00 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Bankrupt Obama Give-Away Firm Leaves Behind


Three months ago, CBS 5 caught Solyndra tossing millions of dollars worth of brand new glass tubes used to make solar panels. Now the bankrupt solar firm, once touted as a symbol of green technology, may be trying to abandon toxic waste. Its a tedious process. Slowly but surely, the shattered remains of brand new solar panel tubes head to a recycling plant in Hayward. Meanwhile the next phase of the companys liquidation is under way. It involves getting rid of all the heavy metals left inside the building that were used to make the panels.

One of Solyndras facilities is being cleaned up but the company refuses to pay to clean up the other.

Swardenski told CBS 5 the disposal process is going smoothly in Fremont, but what about nearby Milpitas? Solyndra leased a building on California Circle for the final assembly of its solar panels. But the cleanup at the leased building in Milpitas is in limbo, because Solyndra doesnt want to pay. CBS 5 found the building locked up, with no one around. At the back, a hazardous storage area was found. There were discarded buckets half filled with liquids and barrels labeled hazardous waste.

And this is what we get for all our pilfered tax dollars supposedly devoted to green energy? A toxic waste site. Thanks, Obama!

|| Greg, 05:59 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Your Health Care Future Under ObamaCare

Government will decide who gets what sort of care and if your lifestyle is one that allows you the privilege of receiving the care your tax dollars are paying for.

More than half of doctors across the UK have backed controversial measures to withhold treatment to smokers and the obese.

According to a new survey around 54 per cent of those who took part said the NHS should have the right to deny non-emergency treatments to those who fail to lose weight or kick their smoking habits.

Members of the networking website were asked 'Should the NHS be allowed to refuse non-emergency treatments to patients unless they lose weight or stop smoking?'

And although the poll was optional 593 of the 1,096 doctors who participated answered yes.

It is believed that some procedures are less likely to work on those with unhealthier lifestyles and medics say they should not use their already limited resources for such work.

Those who seek to impose government health care on Americans implicitly seek to impose government control of so many areas of our lives.

Too fat? No health care for you!

Smoke? No health care for you!

Drink? No health care for you!

But if you are a part of a politically-approved group with a lifestyle that has negative health implications such as sexually active gay men (Im talking health statistics, not moral judgment) then you will get full coverage of all medical conditions that result from your unhealthy activities.

|| Greg, 05:59 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Somebody In The Voting Rights Section Of DOJ Needs To Be Fired

I know that sounds harsh, but when you have the person whose job it is to pass judgment on the voting laws of a state expressing these views about the people of that state in a public (or even private) forum, that person needs to lose their job.

PJ Media has obtained Facebook postings from Department of Justice Voting Section employees demonstrating contempt for the states for which they have oversight authority under the Voting Rights Act, including for voter ID approval. One such posting demonstrates open contempt for Mississippi, a state which recently passed a photo voter identification law. The same Voting Section employees have the power to approve the law.

On her Facebook page, Voting Section supervisory civil rights analyst Stephanie Celandine Gyamfi says about the people of Mississippi:

Disgusting and shameful. Hey, that should replace the state motto: Mississippi: Disgusting and Shameful. . . forget the Magnolia State motto.

Can Stephanie Celandine Gyamfi possibly give objective and fair-minded consideration to the laws passed by the Mississippi legislature? That is highly doubtful. Moreover, can she or the Voting Section of the DOJ where she works possibly be PERCEIVED by outside observers as giving objective and fair-minded consideration to the laws that have been passed by the Mississippi legislature? Certainly not., anymore than a member of the KKK could be viewed by outsiders as giving fair consideration to complaints of racial discrimination by African-Americans. Gyamfis stated views on those she is in charge of regulating have rendered her unqualified for her job, every bit as much as Al Armendarizs comments about randomly crucifying energy companies rendered him unfit to continue at the EPA.

Sadly, Gyamfi is likely to keep her job. She is not a political appointee, so firing her is a more difficult process. Besides this is the same part of the DOJ that has a stated policy of only protecting the voting rights of non-whites, so why would unequal enforcement of the law get cause a problem with her career as long as Eric Holder is Attorney General and Barack Obama is President?

|| Greg, 03:44 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Supreme Court The Best Reason To Vote Against Obama

Consider the difference between the potential appointees to fill these vacancies on our nations highest court.

President Obama rallied supporters last night by noting that he would likely get to appoint more Supreme Court justices in his second-term, which could have very long-term significance.

"There are going to be some Supreme Court appointments probably if you look actuarially for the next president," Obama said at a fundraiser with former President Clinton. "There's so much at stake here."

He used the court appointments as a way to drive home the historic significance of the 2012 presidential election: "this one matters," he repeated.

Three current justices -- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (79 years old), Justice Steven Breyer (73 years old), and Justice Anthony Kennedy (75 years old) -- are regarded as potentially near retirement.

And dont forget Justice Scalia is 76 years old as well.

If he got to replace three of these four justices, that would mean that Obama had appointed a majority of justices ensuring that for the next generation we would have a court marked by a lack of fidelity to the text of the Constitution. Just imagine the warping of our nations founding principles that this would bring about including the limiting of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and the right to keep and bear arms. On the other hand, the election of a new president in 2012 and that individuals reelection in 2016 would likely result in that president nominating three, four, or maybe even five justices and probably in that president selecting the replacement for the single most conservative member of the Supreme Court AND the individual generally regarded as the swing vote on SCOTUS.

To my fellow conservatives of all varieties the core values and principles of the American Republic are at stake. In November, you have a choice. If you vote for Mitt Romney, a candidate who we must all concede has not been a lifelong conservative, you are very likely to get justices appointed who will follow generally conservative principles when interpreting the Constitution. If you vote for Obama, you will get justices who will not follow such principles. And if you either vote for a third party candidate or stay home, you effectively concede the election to the candidate who will appoint justices whose jurisprudence will be contrary to what you believe in. Which choice does love of country require of you? The answer is obvious to those on the Left, and they make no bones about it it is imperative that you act accordingly.

|| Greg, 03:34 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Why Are We Dealing With This Again?

The law on such matters is settled and has been for seventy years.

A Brownsville Area Middle School student who was disciplined repeatedly for refusing to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance sued that school district today, demanding changes in policy and monetary damages.

According to the complaint by the American Civil Liberties Union, the 13-year-old eighth grader -- identified in the complaint by her initials N.B. -- has been given lunch detention and multiple in-school suspensions in recent weeks for refusing to stand during the Pledge.

The ACLU said in its complaint that forcing a student to stand during the Pledge violates free speech rights.

"Due to personal beliefs regarding the state of the country, N.B. does not wish to stand" during the Pledge, the complaint said. A homeroom teacher told her that reflected "disrespect for all the soldiers dying for her overseas," and continued refusals brought discipline.

The student's mother, Carolyn Raja, complained to school officials, but they backed the discipline.

Dumb move by the school. It is really quite simple. Students do not have to say the Pledge of Allegiance. They do not have to adopt a particular posture to show respect for the flag. The Supreme Court ruled as such in 1943, in the midst of WWII, in West Virginia Sate Board of Education v. Barnette, which held that compulsory participation in a flag salute ritual violates the First Amendment rights of those whose participation is compelled by government officials (including school employees). That the students classroom teacher was unaware of this decision is disturbing that the school and district administrators did not know of it is beyond the realm of belief, for it is taught in every preparation program for school administrators that I am aware of. As such, it is my hope that those involved are deemed to have personal liability for their violation of the civil liberties of this student whose decision not to stand for the pledge I view to be every bit as wrong as it is constitutionally protected.

And I'll reiterate what I said when I wrote on a similar controversy about a year ago.

If anything, this incident confirms in my mind the belief that we need to eliminate the Pledge of Allegiance from our schools and public ceremonies. Instead, folks should be pledging themselves instead to the US Constitution, and the principles it guarantees. The only problem with that, however, is that many of the putative patriots professing outrage over someone failing to stand for the Pledge would be unable to take that pledge, due to their having a greater devotion to a mass-produce piece of cloth than they do to the principles upon which this nation stands.

Here's hoping that I never have to deal with such unpatriotic unprofessionalism by my fellow educators again.

|| Greg, 03:10 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Sebelius Admits She Is Unqualified For Her Job

No other way to interpret this testimony in response to a question by Congressman Trey Gowdy regarding the rights of religious believers.

An account of the hearing was issued by the Catholic News Agency. Its almost painful to read. The secretary admits she was unaware of legal precedents confirming religious freedom, even as she sought a balance between believers rights and the contraception mandate. Im not a lawyer, and I dont pretend to understand the nuances of the constitutional balancing tests, Mrs. Sebelius told Mr. Gowdy. She also admits she is unaware of Supreme Court cases stretching back decades in which, as the Catholic News Agency put it, religious believers rights against government intrusion were upheld by the court.

In other words, she really didnt bother to find out what the law and the Constitution actually happen to say. That our con-law prof president would appoint such a buffoon to head a cabinet agency is one more reason to get this gang out of Washington before they warp the Constitution beyond recognition.

|| Greg, 03:04 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

SHOCKER! Business Decisions Made To Avoid Tax Liability

In the early twentieth century, a Supreme Court justice (I don't remember which one) stated in an opinion that there is no obligation on the part of Americans to make decisions that maximize the amount of taxes they pay. So why are we surprised by this move by Apple?

Apples headquarters are in Cupertino, Calif. By putting an office in Reno, just 200 miles away, to collect and invest the companys profits, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains.

Californias corporate tax rate is 8.84 percent. Nevadas? Zero.

Setting up an office in Reno is just one of many legal methods Apple uses to reduce its worldwide tax bill by billions of dollars each year.

Now some may argue that Apple's move isn't fair. But is their move any different from a consumer's decision to make purchases from online retailers that offer free shipping and collect no sales tax? I'd argue it isn't -- and that both moves are wise economic decisions designed to maximize one's dollars. And since the purpose of a business is to MAKE MONEY FOR ITS OWNERS, don't those who make the business decisions for Apple (and other corporations) have an obligation to maximize that profit by whatever legal means are available? The answer is obviously "Yes".

And before you start ranting about "greedy rich one-percenters", I urge you to check your retirement fund's stock portfolio to find out just how much Apple stock is there -- and then realize that YOU are one of the beneficiaries of that decision to open the office in Reno.

H/T Right On The Left Coast

|| Greg, 04:51 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Barack Obama -- Fundraiser-In-Chief

We were recently told that Barack Obama will soon begin campaigning for reelection. I'm afraid to see what that will look like given these statistics.

Barack Obama has already held more re-election fundraising events than all five Presidents since Richard Nixon combined, according to figures to be published in a new book.

Obama is also the only president in the past 35 years to visit every electoral battleground state in his first year of office.

The figures, contained a in a new book called The Rise of the Presidents Permanent Campaign by Brendan J. Doherty, due to be published by University Press of Kansas in July, give statistical backing to the notion that Obama is more preoccupied with being re-elected than any other commander-in-chief of modern times.

Doherty, who has compiled statistics about presidential travel and fundraising going back to President Jimmy Carter in 1977, found that Obama had held 104 fundraisers by March 6th this year, compared to 94 held by Presidents Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Snr, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush combined.

Just imagine what Barack Obama could have done for the country if he had put this sort of effort into governing.

Or maybe we should be thankful, considering what Barack Obama could have done to the country if he had put this sort of effort into governing.

|| Greg, 04:22 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Here's Why We Have A Cheating Problem In Schools

Parents don't back the school when students are punished for cheating -- they sue the school instead.

Caught copying another students homework, a California sophomore was kicked out of honors English. His parents admit he cheated, violating the Academic Honesty Pledge hed signed at the start of the year. But the cheaters parents are suing, claiming the teens due process rights were violated, reports the San Jose Mercury News. The boys father, Jack Berghouse, said the punishment is too severe and could make it harder for his son to get into a top college.

The school offered to let the boy enter the International Baccalaureate program in 11th and 12th grade with others in the honors track and to keep the cheating incident off his transcript. But that wasnt enough for the parents.

I wish I could say I am surprised by this story -- but I'm not. My second year of teaching (at a Catholic school in Illinois, not in my current school or district), I caught a freshman boy copying off of another classmate. As a result, the two boys received a zero on the assignment, were suspended for three days and -- in the case of the copier -- forced to sit out one freshman soccer game that was scheduled during the suspension. That night I received a phone call at home from the cheater's father, demanding that I quit persecuting his son and request that the suspension be dropped so that he would not miss the game. Why? Out of concern that the punishment would harm his chances at a college soccer scholarship. What really burned my butt was that I had an unlisted phone number and that it was given to the parent by the athletic director -- who was also the assistant principal who imposed the suspension in the first place! Needless to say, I didn't go along -- and the incident was was one of the reasons I didn't return the following year.

But now parents are going to court to overturn punishments for cheating? Incredible!

My fellow Watcher's Council member Hube offers his take on the same subject.

|| Greg, 04:16 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

1 World Trade Center To Again Become New York's Tallest Building

At last.

If the winds are forgiving enough over Lower Manhattan up where workers can see the whole outline of the islands tip a steel column will be hoisted into place Monday afternoon atop the exoskeleton of 1 World Trade Center and New York will have a new tallest building.

More important, downtown will have reclaimed its pole star.

Poking into the sky, the first column of the 100th floor of 1 World Trade Center will bring the tower to a height of 1,271 feet, making it 21 feet higher than the Empire State Building.

After several notorious false starts, a skyscraper has finally taken form at ground zero. At first, its twin cranes could be detected creeping over the jumbled tops of nearby towers. Then, at the rate of a new floor every week, it began reshaping the Manhattan skyline as seen from New Jersey. By late last fall, it could be spotted from the control tower at La Guardia Airport, eight and a half miles away.

This has been too long in coming -- but it appears in the not-too-distant future there will bean occupied building at Ground Zero. Will it ever have the place in our hearts that its predecessor earned on that September morning nearly eleven years ago?

|| Greg, 04:00 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Here are this weeks full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

|| Greg, 03:51 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 28, 2012

NYC City Council Member Hires Anti-Military Terrorist As Spokesman

I'm shocked that anyone would do such a thing -- but am not so surprised by the party affiliation. After all, the act of terrorism occurred back when dissent was still considered to be the highest form of patriotism by the Left.

Theres a terrorist in City Hall.

The mouthpiece for Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan) is a cop-hating con who served federal prison time for torching an Army recruitment center in The Bronx, The Post has learned.

David Segal, 26, who grew up in leafy Litchfield, Conn., landed the spokesman job last March even after disclosing the arrest to Council Speaker Christine Quinns office, which conducts the background checks, sources said.

In January 2005, Segal threw a burning rag into the Parkchester facility and was carrying a note that described a wave of violence targeting military complexes in the Northeast.

The terrorist in question remains unrepentant.

I'm shocked by the lack of reaction -- and wonder if there would be such silence if the councilmember were a Republican and the arson had occurred against an abortion clinic rather than a US military facility.

|| Greg, 08:55 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Doctors Are In

All of them.

While trying to find out when BBC America will start broadcasting the next season of Doctor Who (it will be months from now, with no dates set yet), I found a link to this on YouTube.

Cool stuff.

|| Greg, 08:47 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Name That Party - Texas Edition, Part II

Another article about a corrupt officeholder here in the Houston area.

Under fire for spending $100,000 of your money on a dogfighting movie, the county attorney may be making a bad situation even worse.

Politicians love to brag about what they've done for us, and Vince Ryan promised you a crackdown on dogfighting. But is he now claiming credit for something he has not done?

What is he claiming credit for in that movie that sounds like a campaign commercial? Cracking down on dogfighting. The last big ring was busted before he took office, and there have been only 12 prosecutions for dogfighting in this county in the last two years -- and none of those cases began with the Harris County Attorney's office (which handles civil, not criminal matters).

But Ryan is apparently very good at politicizing the Harris County Attorneys office.

Animal abuse is one of the reasons Ryan likes to boast about his special prosecutions unit.

"Is the SPU (special prosecutions unit) meant to gain votes?" we asked Ryan.

"No, it's meant to enforce the law and make sure that the property owners are complying with the law," he said.

Maybe Ryan should tell his office. In this 2011 memo, the lawyer in charge talks about more than helping neighborhoods: "Without a dedicate SP Unit, there will be loss of name recognition for Vince. It could cost votes."

So got that -- one part of the office is set up not to obtain justice for the people of Harris County, but rather to garner votes for Vince Ryan.

Oddly enough, one thing is absent from this article -- Vince Ryan's party affiliation.

Care to guess what it is?


Interestingly enough, this is the second time this week that Channel 13 here in Houston has reported on a corrupt public official yet failed to mention party affiliation. And you know what? Both of the perps were Democrats. I wonder why that is happening?

|| Greg, 08:40 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 27, 2012

Texans Make Mercilus Pick

Sounds like a good player with good character to me.

Rick Smith and Gary Kubiak told me they loved Illinois outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus, but there was no way hed be available when they made the 26th pick.

Well, guess what?

Mercilus was available, and they jumped on him even though they really liked Stanford OT Jonathan Martin and George G/T Cordy Glenn as well as Wisconsin offensive linemen Kevin Zeitler and Peter Konz.

Mercilus is 6-3, 1/2, 261. He ran a 4.68 40-yard dash at the combine. In his one season as a starter for Illinois, he had 16 sacks, nine forced fumbles and 22 1/2 tackles for loss. Those are incredible statistics.

Mercilus left school as a junior to take care of his parents, who emigrated from Haiti.

We lost a couple of top notch linebackers to free agency this year. Adding Whitney Mercilus to Buddy Ryan's defense seems like a good first step to addressing the need this created.

Look for the Texans to draft a wide receiver today.

|| Greg, 04:51 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 26, 2012

Obama Appearance On Fallon Show Broke Law

Of course, we already know that the entire NBC/MSNBC conglomeration is a adjunct of the Obama political machine but this one seems to have crossed some legal lines.

The equal time rule states that if a licensee permits a person who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office to use a broadcasting station, he shall afford equal opportunities to all other such candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station.

There are exceptions to the rule: appearances on (1) a bona fide newscast, (2) a bona fide news interview, (3) a bona fide news documentary, or (4) on-the-spot coverage of bona fide news events.

Only the second provision could be construed as saving NBC from giving Mitt Romney equal time. But this was not a bona fide news interview. In fact, it wasnt an interview at all no questions were asked, no answers were given. It was literally Obama reading a campaign speech over a guitar, a horn, a keyboard, and some drums.

Not only was this appearance in violation of equal time law, it was clearly an in-kind contribution by NBC to the Obama campaign. As the Federal Elections Commission states, A donation of services is considered an in-kind contribution. Under applicable law, contribution of broadcast time is considered such a service. This was a campaign commercial for Obama, and the Obama campaign was not charged for it. A minute of network time can cost up to a couple million dollars; this segment ran a full five minutes. There is no doubt that Obama was given millions of dollars of free advertising time, and the Romney campaign should invoke all available law to make that clear.

Of course, the Obama Campaign claims that Obnama hs yet to start campaigning for reelection. The only problem is that we all know that isnt true.

|| Greg, 02:42 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Not A Big Deal In MY Book

The man is an adviser on foreign policy, not domestic policy.

Last week, Mitt Romney hired Richard Grenell as his new foreign policy spokesman. Grenell was President Bushs communications director at the United Nations for eight years, and has been a spokesman for a handful of prominent Republicans such as George Pataki and Dave Camp. Along with his qualifications, Grenell is also gay.

He isnt just gay hes a rather outspoken supporter of gay rights and gay marriage. Which would put him in the same category with some folks I consider to be good human beings. some I consider to be great patriots, and others who I consider to be close internet friends.

Yes, a few (and I do mean a few) have tried to make Grenells sexual orientation an issue. But for most of conservatives, including myself, it is irrelevant. Im not concerned that he is gay, has a partner, and has different views on some gay issues than I do. What matters to the vast majority of conservatives and Republicans is that he is very good at what he has been hired to do deal with foreign policy issues.

|| Greg, 02:41 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

As Obama Tries To Bury Secret Service Scandal, It Grows

Its always the cover-up that gets you.

The Obama administration looked Wednesday to minimize the Colombia prostitution scandal engulfing the Secret Service and the Defense Department as a few bad apples even as some lawmakers expressed new frustrations with the level of information they are getting.

Ninety-nine percent of the men and women who work in the Secret Service are absolute professionals who do an extraordinary job protecting the president, protecting his family, protecting others, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.

Obama himself told late-night TV show host Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday that a couple of knuckleheads shouldnt detract from what they do. What they were thinking, I dont know. Thats why theyre not there anymore.

Unfortunately for Barry, that appears not to be the case.

The Secret Service is investigating reports that agents were involved in a second prostitution scandal this time in El Salvador a day after Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told lawmakers her department believed the brewing scandal in Colombia to be an isolated incident.

Seattle television station KIRO-TV interviewed a government contractor in El Salvador who said that he worked with the Secret Service in advance of President Obama's trip there in March of last year.

The contractor said he, about a dozen agents and a handful of military residents went to a San Salvador strip club where they drank heavily. According to the contractor, some in the party paid for extra access to a "VIP section" where they received sexual favors.

The clubs owner confirms the story.

From a personal standpoint, I dont care if these guys unwind with a bit of hearty partying during their off-duty hours. And while Ive got more than a few moral qualms about prostitution, Ive got a hard time making a legal case out of it if the transactions were legal where they occurred. But the problem here is the cover-up, with firings and discipline apparently happening because the story made the press, not because the events happened. Either that, or the supervision of the Secret Service is so lax that rampant misconduct is not even detected or is even condoned by supervisors. And that is a problem and since it all broke on Barack Obamas watch, hes the one who automatically gets the blame since the buck stops at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.

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

I Guess This Makes Him A White Afro-Hispanic

The liberal medias narrative again ">fails in the Zimmerman/Martin case.

The 28-year-old insurance-fraud investigator comes from a deeply Catholic background and was taught in his early years to do right by those less fortunate. He was raised in a racially integrated household and himself has black roots through an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather the father of the maternal grandmother who helped raise him.

Now given this bit of information, will the Justice Department now charge the New Black Panther party with civil rights violations for seeking the lynching of Zimmerman since he has black blood, too? Will race-baiters Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton go silent now that they know that Zimmerman is a brotha?

Of course, there is always the point of view Ive had on such issues for a very long time lets just look at George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, and everybody else as members of the human race and forget the balkanized tribalism that seeks to divide us based upon trivialities like skin color and ethnic heritage. I wonder what Dr. King would say about that?

|| Greg, 02:36 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Coupon Codes

Everybody is looking to save a buck these days. After all, we are living in times of economic uncertainty, when times are tight and we need to pinch pennies so that we can stretch our dollars as far as they can go. Man, could I have used more clichs in a single short paragraph?

Continue to be enlightened while reading "Coupon Codes" »

|| Greg, 12:34 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 25, 2012

First Hispanic Justice Likely To Uphold At Least Part Of SB 1070

So silly is the argument of the Solicitor General that Justice Sandra Sotomayor telegraphed that she would uphold the verification of immigration status.

Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. said the federal government has limited resources and should have the right to determine the extent of calls it gets about possible illegal immigrants.

These decisions have to be made at the national level, he said.

But even Democratic-appointed justices were uncertain of that.

Im terribly confused by your answer, said Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who went on to say that the federal government can always decline to pick up illegal immigrants when Arizona officials call.

She is, of course, exactly right. If this (or any other) administration wants to decline to enforce the law of the land, it can do so. What it cannot do is stop the detection or reporting of such violations.

By the way, there was another important concession on the part of the Obama Administration that the law does not authorize racial profiling.

[T]he moment that Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., took his place at the lectern to make the U.S. challenge, Chief Justice Roberts sought to make sure that he did not talk about racial profiling.

Roberts said: Before you get into what the case is about, Id like to clear up at the outset what its not about. No part of your argument has to do with racial or ethnic profiling, does it? I saw none of that in your brief. Verrilli said that was correct. But the Chief Justice wanted to be sure: Okay. So this is not a case about ethnic profiling. The Solicitor General answered: Were not making any allegation about racial or ethnic profiling in this case.

The main reason the federal government had to concede this right off the bat is that the law itself explicitly rejects racial and ethnic profiling and does not authorize stops because someone looks foreign. Police may only check immigration status pursuant to enforcement of some other law, not as a stand alone offense.

My guess, based upon preliminary reports, is that at least a portion of the Arizona law will be upheld.

|| Greg, 03:01 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Harry Reid Comes Out Against Energy Security

Because it might make Republicans look good.

Senate Democrats will hold firm and reject House Republican demands to include approval of the Keystone oil pipeline in transportation funding legislation, their leader said Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he would not in any way help Republicans move Keystone approval across the finish line.

Personally, Im not Im not one of the conferees but personally I think Keystone is a program that were not going, that I am not going to help in any way I can, Reid told reporters. The president feels that way. I do, too.

The only reason I wont call Harry Reid a treasonous bastard is because Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution strictly defines treason. On the other hand, seditious scumbag strikes me as appropriate.

|| Greg, 02:58 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Rubio Threatened

But its OK after all, hes a white Hispanic, and it is open season on them in Florida (and elsewhere).

A threat against Sen. Marco Rubio is being investigated by Capitol Police and the West Miami Police Department, The Miami Herald reported Wednesday morning.

Although the Florida Republican a potential vice presidential candidate is in Washington this week, a police cruiser was deployed to stake out Rubios home in West Miami on Tuesday night.

Heres hoping that this matter is fully investigated and the culprit is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

|| Greg, 02:57 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Name That Party -- Texas Edition

You will know because of what is missing in this story.

A state representative from Fort Bend County spent some time in jail overnight. Ron Reynolds is accused of illegally soliciting legal cases.

State representative Reynolds bonded out at 12:30am. His bond was set at $5,000. The representative was arrested and charged with barratry, which is basically ambulance chasing or case running. It's when attorneys approach people, asking to represent them, possibly paying or harassing them.

Representative Reynolds is a managing partner at Brown, Brown, and Reynolds, which is based in Bellaire. He specializes in several types of law, including personal injury, Social Security disability and family law. The representative is also a former municipal judge.

He is the past president of the Houston Lawyers Association and he's even an adjunct professor at Texas Southern University.

If he is found guilty, the representative could be forced to pay up to $10,000 in fines. He can also lose his license to practice law.

Just last year, the Texas Legislature passed a statute making barratry a civil infraction, too. So you could see civil suits filed.

What? No party affiliation for an elected representative? Well, we know what that means.


|| Greg, 05:24 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Well, This Should Keep Rick Perry Off The GOP Ticket

Picking the Texas governor as Mitt Romney's running mate reduces Romney's lead against Obama in Texas.

One thing that would make Obama more competitive in Texas is the- very, very off chance- that Rick Perry was on the ticket. In that case Romney's advantage over Obama would be reduced from 50-43 to 50-45. Perry's Presidential bid clearly did a lot of damage to his reputation. His approval rating has sunk into the 30s at 39%, with 53% of voters disapproving of him. With independents he's even worse off at 30/62.

Rick Perry lost me in 2007, when he decided to play doctor with the little girls of Texas. I'd hold my nose and vote for a ticket with Perry on it -- but then again, I am a committed Republican. The swing voters in Texas -- and the rest of the country -- will not be so inclined. So anyone who had the Texas governor on their short list for veep needs to scratch is name off -- he won't be Romney's pick.

|| Greg, 03:16 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Water Tanks

Water tanks? Did someone say water tanks? Well, they are certainly something that are needed in a variety of settings for a variety of purposes. Some are mobile, some are set in place -- some even are underground! And yet most of us don't think much about water tanks at all.

Continue to be enlightened while reading "Water Tanks" »

|| Greg, 03:00 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Stay Away From The Haters?

Isn't this the woman who got married by Jeremiah Wright and had her children baptized by that preacher of racial hatred?

First lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday urged a group of young girls to stay away from the haters.

Theres always going to be haters out there. Dont focus on that, she said. Put the negative things aside, because thats always going to be there.

I'm sure that's what she and Barack had to say as they listened to the vile racism spewed by her pastor for a couple of decades -- "that's always going to be there." Of course, they believed the racism was a feature, not a bug, of Trinity United Church of Christ and its pastor.

|| Greg, 02:59 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Meet Someone

When I was in high school, one of the hit songs was "Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places. ell, the sad thing is that for many people, that isn't a song -- it is the story of their lives. They just can't find that perfect person to complete their life.

Continue to be enlightened while reading "Meet Someone" »

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

April 24, 2012

Democrat Senator Illegally Solicits Campaign Funds

Claire McCaskell may have made a serious mistake when she attacked the super PACs getting involved in the Missouri Senatorial contest.

A Democratic lawmaker may have violated prohibitions against soliciting campaign contributions on government property while appearing on MSNBC on Monday night.

Im asking regular folks to be my super PAC, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill said on MSNBCs Hardball with Chris Matthews from inside the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building while discussing how super PACs are targeting her.

But what could be problematic for the senator is that she also reminded MSNBCs viewers that on, people can give 25 bucks and, if we get a lot of those, we will have our own super PAC, and thats the kind of PAC that should be super, made up of regular people giving small amounts.

Fundraising on federal property is illegal. Oops!

|| Greg, 02:54 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Im Not Necessarily Happy About This News

Now I have blogged at length about the problem of illegal immigration. I believe it is a problem, and needs to be stopped. That said, Im not sure that this is good news.

More Mexicans are now leaving the United States than entering, in a reversal of a four-decade trend that had brought a wave of some 12 million Mexicans into America, according to a new Pew Hispanic Center study.

Pews analysis of government data from both countries reveals that the sharp downward trend in net migration from Mexico could be the result of many factors, including weak U.S. job and housing construction markets as well as heightened border enforcement and increased deportations.

There are two things that this story leaves unanswered for me. First, are those returning to Mexico here legally, or are they illegals? Second, are those staying productive and law-abiding, or are they gang members and drug dealers? After all, fixing our immigration problem involves making sure that those who come here come legally and are of benefit to our country. If we are losing those folks and keeping the undesirables, then this is not good news at all. Indeed, our fixing our immigration will require allowing an increased number of desirable Mexican immigrants into this country.

|| Greg, 02:49 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Yep Sounds Like Queen Sheila

If a white author invented Sheila Jackson Lee as a character in a work of fiction, thee would be rabid cries of racism. Instead, the African-American community here in Houston continues to reelect her every two years.

BOOK: JACKSON LEE IS A WOMAN OF A CERTAIN RAGE -- Robert Drapers new book, Do Not Ask What Good We Do, contains a rather unflattering portrait of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. The chapter on the Texas Democrat, titled Woman of a Certain Rage, focuses on how she annoys her House colleagues, noting her unlimited supply of proposed amendments, poor treatment of staff and membership in fifty-two different caucuses. Her demands extended well beyond the objective of getting rights, instead suggesting a desire for ominpresence, Draper writes.

--Draper gives Jackson Lee credit for getting results in some situations, like convincing two oil firms in her district to pay to keep Houstons public pools open in the summer, but notes shes often counterproductive: In early May 2011, the congresswomen offered up an amendment to a Republican bill that repealed the school-based health care clinics provided under the Obama health care law. Jackson Lees amendment would require that the unobligated funds accrued from the repeal be posted on the Department of Health and Human Services website so that the public could see how much money had been saved A voice vote was called for it. The ayes had it. Then, as if seized by a Demon spirit, Sheila Jackson Lee said, Mr. Chair, I demand a recorded vote. It was defeated, 207-218, with nine apparently annoyed Blue Dog Democrats casting the decisive votes against her.

Remember, this is the woman who, while watching a broadcast from the Mars Rover, wanted to see the flag left by the Apollo XI astronauts left behind despite the fact Apollo XI landed on the Moon.

|| Greg, 02:47 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Time For The NFL To Seize The Saints

Clearly the ownership is not in control of the rogue franchise. First the cash for crippling bonus program and now illegal eavesdropping to enable cheating.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Louisiana was told Friday that New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis had an electronic device in his Superdome suite that had been secretly re-wired to enable him to eavesdrop on visiting coaching staffs for nearly three NFL seasons, "Outside the Lines" has learned.

Sources familiar with Saints game-day operations told "Outside the Lines" that Loomis, who faces an eight-game suspension from the NFL for his role in the recent bounty scandal, had the ability to secretly listen for most of the 2002 season, his first as general manager of the Saints, and all of the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The sources spoke with "Outside the Lines" under the condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals from members of the Saints organization.

The Saints are now the center of the two biggest cheating scandals of the twenty-first century in the NFL. In both cases, the activities were not just violations of the rules, but also arguably in violation of criminal law. The NFL cannot allow this to continue. The league needs to seize the team, ban certain coaches and front office personnel, and then sell the team to new ownership after the franchise has been cleansed. To do otherwise is to undermine the credibility of the NFL.

|| Greg, 02:42 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

About Romney's Vacations

Apparently there are those who want to make an issue of this answer to a foreign reporter's question about the GOP candidate's memories of his time living in France.

"I have a lot of memories of France," Romney said. "The best memories were with my wife on vacations from time to time in France. The last vacation we had there, walking around the city of Paris, and walking not just the Champs-lyses, but also over to the Jardin of Luxembourg and around the city, one of the most magnificent cities in the world ... I look forward to occasional vacations again in such a beautiful place."

Apparently some want to use this to make an issue of Romney's wealth.

Personally, my reaction is "who cares?"

After all, Romney was spending his own money.

Unlike the 16 vacations taken by Barack Obama and his family since he took office on January 20, 2009 -- all of which were taxpayer funded during the worst economy since the Great Depression while Obama was running up the national debt and the budget deficit to record levels.

|| Greg, 04:26 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 23, 2012

The Greatest Vice President Of My Lifetime Offers Advice On Selecting A Vice Presidential Candidate

I can't argue with the points Dick Cheney makes.

"I've been involved in a couple of vice presidential searches, some more successful than others," Cheney said at an event for students at the Washington Center. His remarks were carried by C-SPAN.

In 2000, Cheney led the vice presidential search for then-candidate George W. Bush that culminated in his own selection as running mate.

He continued, "The thing that I think is important to remember is the decision you make as a presidential candidate on who your running mate's going to be is the first presidential level decision the public's going to see you make. It's the first time you're making a decision you're going to have to live with. It gives the public a chance to see you operate and see what you think is important, what kind of individual you choose to serve as your running mate, what are the criteria."

Cheney said making a vice presidential decision in order to leverage key voting blocs was a mistake, saying it ignored the position's most vital duty.

"I think the single most important criteria has to be the capacity to be president," Cheney said. "That's why you pick them. I think lots of times in the past that has not been the foremost criteria."

Romney would be smart to ignore pundits handicapping the decision, Cheney said.

"As you watch the talking heads out there now, they're saying you've got to pick a woman, a Hispanic, someone from a big state. They're all interesting things to speculate about but it's pretty rare that the election ever turns on those kinds of issues."

Consider this, my friends -- what Republicans are most ready to be President of the United States? What conservative-leaning independents?

As I look at my recent post on possible candidates, I find three who are excellent candidates because of executive experience as governors -- Bobby Jindal, Mitch Daniels, and Brian Sandoval. One is a technocrat, one has a good mix of business and public sector experience, and the third is a former federal judge. Paul Ryan or Jim DeMint have excellent legislative backgrounds that cannot be discounted. I'd be inclined to add General Petraeus to my list on this basis, and eliminate first-term legislators like Rubio, Paul, and West.

Of course, we don't know what qualities Mitt Romney will be looking for or who he thinks is qualified. Jeb Bush? Tim Pawlenty? Mike Huckabee? Rick Santorum? We'll know in the next couple months.

|| Greg, 05:35 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Regime Flack Doesnt Know Meaning Of Sovereignty

Heres the dumb statement regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline bill pending before Congress.

"It would be preemptively sacrificing American sovereignty" to approve the pipeline, White Hosue [sic] Press Secretary Jay Carney said, because a route for the northern portion of the pipeline has not been established.

"The United States Congress -- a very important body, takes American security and sovereignty very seriously, or should -- is saying that we will, in advance -- blind -- approve a proposal for a pipeline, a proposal for which does not exist," he also said.

Excuse me? The Congress of the United States passing a law directing an executive agency to issue a permit is a surrender of American sovereignty? Really? Seems to me that it is the ultimate act of the sovereignty of the American people, when the representatives of the American people direct a recalcitrant administration to give long-delayed permits to a project that is overwhelmingly supported by Americans and which will increase Americas energy security.

|| Greg, 03:28 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Ron Paul Running For The Money

Looks like the vanity campaign of the squeaky-voiced troll will continue he needs the money.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul said on Monday that even if Mitt Romney got the delegates to clinch the nomination, hed still hold on to his own delegates and continue to campaign to the convention in a modified way.

* * *

He also suggested that part of the reason he was continuing was financial, noting that dropping out doesn't pay. You dont get any money, you wind up with debt, and you dont get these crowds coming out, he said.

What a sad, pathetic joke of a man

|| Greg, 03:27 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Who Is Losing The War On Women?

Barack Obama, thats who.

More voters think Mitt Romney and the Republican Party respect women who work outside the home than think President Obama and the Democrats respect women who stay at home, according to the latest The Hill Poll.

Forty-nine percent of likely voters said the presumptive GOP presidential nominee respects women who have independent careers, while 27 percent said he doesnt and 24 percent werent sure.

When asked if President Obama respects women who stay at home rather than pursue a career, 37 percent of likely voters said he doesnt and 35 percent said he does. Twenty-nine percent were unsure.

Epic narrative fail!

|| Greg, 03:27 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Dissent Is No Longer Patriotic, Part XXXLVII

All those folks who decried the treatment of the Dixie Chicks by private companies and private individuals are remarkably silent in the face of censorship of Ted Nugent by the US Government.

It's lights out on Ted Nugent's scheduled performance at an Army base in Kentucky.

Commanders at Fort Knox have decided against allowing the "Motor City Madman" to take the stage at the base in June, the latest fallout over Nugent's comments that he would be "dead or in jail" if President Barack Obama were re-elected.

"After learning of opening act Ted Nugent's recent public comments about the president of the United States, Fort Knox leadership decided to cancel his performance on the installation," according to an announcement posted Saturday on the base's Facebook page.

In other words, Ted Nugents politics have led to him being declared persona non grata on a military base, despite those comments having been determined to be non-threatening and protected by the First Amendment. So far, the ACLU has remained silent.

And then there is this from Maine.

In related news, a Nugent concert in Bangor, Maine, will go on as scheduled this summer despite objections by two city councilors. The Associated Press reported they had expressed concern about the musicians comments.

Councilor Charlie Longo said anyone who would make such threatening comments didnt belong in Bangor. Councilor Joseph Baldacci said Nugents threatening verbal conduct was not constitutionally protected.

Well, lets set aside that there was nothing in the comments that was threatening according to the Secret Service. The notion that those who hold certain political beliefs are not welcome in a community is, dare I say it, un-American. That government officials would try to stop an event from going on because of the political commentary of the performer is contrary to the values of the First Amendment which does, believe it or not, still apply in the liberal community of Bangor, Maine.

Remember during the Bush years it was always claimed that dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Why is it that dissent is no longer patriotic in the Age of Obama? I know even asking the question is racist and unpatriotic. I guess that means we need to beat Obama this fall in order to regain our First Amendment rights and to hear the Left insist that critical comments about the President and his policies are patriotic protected speech.

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

Ill Answer The Question

One of my personal must read sites is the First Amendment Center. This morning I saw the following headline on an article.

Should teachers and students be Facebook friends?
Ill answer the question in a short, succinct manner,


And having said that, let me go into a more extensive response.

HELL NO! The risk is just too great. Even if one assumes that a teacher is not going to be posting sexually inappropriate content on Facebook or Twitter, does a teacher really want to be in the position of having their content shared by a student with other students or with parents? Does a teacher want to be in any way responsible for comments made by students? Does a teacher want to have their social media content become fodder for classroom discussion perhaps because a student took offense at some comment made about a religious or political topic? A teacher who reaches out and includes students as friends must either steer clear of those areas or face potential repercussions if they do.

Now I take a different position on former students. I do have a few as friends. A couple of these former students are now colleagues. A couple are kids I was particularly close to when I taught them but rarely will I friend a former student who is less than two years out of high school. I can think of one who will be an exception to the rule but then again, Ive known her since she was in diapers and her father (one of my colleagues) is one of my colleagues who is also an online friend.

Do I have colleagues with different opinions on this matter? Yes, I do. Do I respect their opinions? Yes, I do. I just dont think the danger is worth the benefits they claim.

|| Greg, 03:06 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Honey I Fired The Entire Staff!


As HR mistakes go this is a doozy. On Friday, Aviva's asset management arm, Aviva Investors, dismissed the entire global workforce, more than 1,300 strong, by mass email.

Within minutes, the HR department sent another mass mail retracting the notice and apologising for their mistake. Clerical error was blamed for exit mail, which had been intended for one person.

I wonder if the person who sent that email by mistake will be getting the same one intentionally.

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

Remember We Subsidize The Palestinians With Our Tax Dollars

And this is the sort of civilized behavior we get from them.

Former Palestinian intelligence official Muhammad Abu Shahala has reportedly been sentenced to death by the Palestinian Authority for selling a Hebron home to Jews. In response, Jewish officials from the community in Hebron are calling for international officials now to get involvedin order to save Abu Shahalas life.

According to various news agencies, Mr. Muhammad Abu Shahala, a former intelligence agent for the Palestinian Authority, has been sentenced to death, following a hurried trial. His crime: selling property to Jews in Hebron, David Wilder and Noam Arnon, of the Jewish community in Hebron, write in a letter addressed to Ban Ki-moon, Hillary Clinton, Benjamin Netanyahu, and other high ranking officials.

Mr. Abu Shahala reportedly confessed following torture sessions at the hands of his captors. The death sentence can be executed only following concurrence by Mahmoud Abbas, aka Abu Mazen, president of the PA. After he signs the death warrant, Abu Shahala may be killed.

It is appalling to think that property sales should be defined as a capital crime punishable by death. The very fact that such a law exists within the framework of the PA legal system points to a barbaric and perverse type of justice, reminiscent of practices implemented during the dark ages.

It is incumbent upon the entire international community, which views Abu Mazen and the Palestinian Authority as a viable Middle East peace partner, to publicly reject such acts of legal murder, when the crime is nothing more than property sales. What would be the reaction to a law in the United States, England, France, or Switzerland, forbidding property sales to Jews?

Indeed, we know that any attempt to forbid the sale of property to someone based upon religion or ethnicity would be illegal in this country. Why do we therefore send the tax dollars of Americans including Jews to a terrorist entity which declares such a sale to be grounds for death?

|| Greg, 02:57 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 22, 2012

Utah GOP Nominates Mia Love For Congress

The Tea Party won two major victories in Utah this weekend at the GOP state convention.

The more noted victory was, of course, managing to force Orrin Hatch into a primary by keeping him from getting the 60% of the delegate votes needed to win the nomination outright. The other, and less noted, was the nomination of Mia Love for Congress from the 4th District by 70% of the delegates.

Mia Love is the daughter of legal Hatian immigrants. She is the first in her family to earn a college degree. She is a successful mayor. And she will be the first member of Congress from Utah's brand new 4th Congressional District. In other words, Mia Love is a Republican to watch -- and will hopefully become a significant figure in the Republican Party for years to come.

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

On News That Brought Me Sadness And Joy -- RIP Chuck Colson (1931-2012)

I was saddened to learn of the death of a man who over the years has become a hero of mine, Chuck Colson, founder of the Prison Fellowship Ministry.

Of course, that isn't the aspect of Colson's life that the media wants to focus on. Take this from the Washington Post.

Charles W. Colson, the Republican political operative who boasted that he would walk over my own grandmother to ensure the reelection of President Richard M. Nixon and went on to found a worldwide prison fellowship ministry after his conversion to evangelical Christianity, died April 21 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He was 80.

The death, after a brain hemorrhage this month, was confirmed by a family spokeswoman, Michelle Farmer. Mr. Colson was a resident of Naples, Fla., but he maintained an apartment in the Leesburg area.

The article that follows devotes most of its space to his years in the Nixon Administration, and relatively little to that which is his great legacy -- his work as an evangelist during the latter half of his adult life, which made him one of the more respected figures in American religious life.

It is, of course, impossible to ignore the Nixon years. They are, of course, quite significant to American history. They were, however, the linchpin upon which Colson's life turned, as the Watergate scandal led directly to Colson's spiritual conversion and the beginning of the work that is his legacy as a religious leader.

And therein lies the basis for my somewhat unusual headline above. As sad as I am to hear that Chuck Colson's earthly life is over, I am also filled with joy. There is no doubt in my mind that Colson's death has been followed with all the joys that the Gospel promises to followers of Christ, and that he was greeted with the words "Well done, good and faithful servant." And so while he is gone from among us, I am certain that he is this day in paradise with his Lord and Savior -- and how can I not rejoice at that?

UPDATE: Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, there is an interesting analysis of the charge to which Colson entered a guilty plea.

|| Greg, 05:19 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Here are this weeks full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

|| Greg, 04:49 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 20, 2012

Wow Zimmerman Prosecutors Have Been Inept

Looks like they didnt conduct much of an investigation, and that they just issued an indictment to quiet public opinion. How else can you explain these omissions admitted in court today?

It's hard to pick the lowest of the low, but the darker moments for the prosecution included:
- The admission by co-lead investigator that he had not personally interviewed George Zimmerman;
- the admission that he had not requested Zimmerman's medical records from the hospital;
- the admission that the state has no evidence to contradict Zimmerman's claim that, following the advice of the police dispatcher, he headed back to his car;
- the admission that the state has no evidence to contradict Zimmerman's claim that Martin assaulted first.
- the admission that the investigators have not been "given any insight" by the voice experts at the Orlando Sentinel and the FBI who attempted to identify the screams on the 911 tape (My 'told you so' moment).

In other words, the reason that they were able to indict Zimmerman was because they didnt bother looking at the evidence that might have actually made it appear that Zimmerman was not guilty. Werent they concerned about charging an innocent man? Id have to argue that they werent. I have to wonder if the prosecution team was wearing greasepaint and over-sized shoes because they certainly appear to be a bunch of clowns.

|| Greg, 03:13 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Dem Double Standards On Family, Religion

Shame on Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer for making a thinly veiled attack on Mitt Romneys religion and family.

The Daily Beast contacted the office of Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer today to talk about whether his state would be in play in the 2012 presidential election. About a half hour later, the governor called back, and he had a lot to say. He didnt think that Montana would be a swing state, but the Democrat did say that Mitt Romney could have issues nationally because his father was born on a polygamy commune in Mexico.

This is just the latest attempt by Obama surrogates to demonize Mormons. After all, the LDS Church banned polygamy back in 1890 but some, including some of Romneys ancestors, continued the practice. The last of them was Romneys great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, who died in 1904. Mitt Romneys grandfather, Gaskell Romney, had only one wife. The same is true of George Romney, Mitts father. Mitt Romney himself has been married exactly once.

But the strikingly bigoted attack by the Montana Democrat does raise another issue why was the polygamous ancestry of Barack Obama not an issue, and why doesnt Schweitzer hold Obama to the same standard? After all, Barack Obamas father was a polygamist, and his marriage to the presidents mother was nullified in part upon the basis that Barack Hussein Obama, Senior was still married to a Kenyan wife at the time of his marriage to Ann Dunham and the birth of their son, Barack Hussein Obama, Junior, now the 44th President of the United States.

And don't dare bring up his familial connections to Islam and his history of sitting in a pew while Rev. Wright preached.

|| Greg, 03:10 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Chris Matthews Asks If Voters Are Racist Enough

That may not have been his intent, but it was, in fact, what he asked -- are the American people racist enough to reelect Barack Obama despite his performance in office?

On Thursday's broadcast of "Hardball," host Chris Matthews discussed a path to victory for a second Obama term: being afraid to kick out the black guy.

Matthews wondered if there would be "a reluctance on the part of the voters and the political community" about "dumping the first African-American president."

"Is there going to be something that just wretches people? 'Wait a minute here, this guy is going to knock out the first guy who got aboard?" Matthews fretted.

By any objective standard, Barack Obama has been a failure as president. Anyone who is judging him objectively ought to have no problem casting a ballot for someone else. What Matthews is therefore asking is if voters will engage in an act of racism and keep Obama in the White House when a similarly situated white president would be driven from office in disgrace.

|| Greg, 03:07 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Another Observation On Democrat Attack On The Bill Of Rights

After getting a look at the proposed amendment supported by the Democrats (H/T Warner Todd Houston), it is really much worse than I originally thought it would be.

Section 1. We the people who ordain and establish this Constitution intend the rights protected by this Constitution to be the rights of natural persons.

Section 2. People, person, or persons as used in this Constitution does not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected state and federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.

Section 3. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the peoples rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, and such other rights of the people, which rights are inalienable.

All right no corporations, limited liability companies, or other corporate entities have rights under the Constitution if this amendment is adopted. That goes well beyond stopping political speech by corporations.

  1. So long, free press! After all, every significant media outlet in the country is organized as a corporation, a limited liability company or other corporate form. Censorship of the press would be fully legal as a result.
  2. Farewell, freedom of religion! Sure, you personally would be permitted to believe what you want and pray as you would, but since most churches and religious denominations are organized via one of these structures, it would be perfectly legal for the government to control church structures, denominational polity, and even select congregational leadership.
  3. Hasta la vista, political organizations! They are all corporate in structure, soothe government would control them.
  4. Quartering of troops could be mandated. Since leasing companies generally fall under these structures, Congress could mandate that they set aside a certain percentage of their units for free housing for the military. Ditto hotel chains.
  5. No more warrants for the government to investigate corporations the stormtroopers can kick in the door and haul away all the corporate records with no judicial oversight at all. And one could certainly argue that there would be no need for a warrant to arrest corporate officers or employees on matters related to corporate operations.
  6. Trials? We dont need no stinking trials for corporations! A legislative body could simply pass a bill of attainder and declare the company guilty of a crime. And certainly little things like the right to an attorney and attorney-client privilege would not apply. After all, it isnt like they are persons!
  7. Corporate property could be seized without any compensation whatsoever.

Of course, this would mean the end of the corporation in America and with it the end of most large-scale economic activity and American prosperity. We would quickly sink to the level of a Third World country like Kenya which may be the hope and change they are looking for.

The Volokh Conspiracy offers a great analysis of how deeply endangered our rights will be if the Democrats get their way on this one.

|| Greg, 03:05 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Nancy Pelosi Declares Democrats Are Enemies of First Amendment

Remember -- America has never amended the Constitution to strip away core elements of the Bill of Rights. But now House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, formerly right after the Vice President in the line of succession back during her days as Speaker of the House, has come out in favor of amending the Constitution to make Americans less free.

Pelosi said the Democrats' effort to amend the Constitution is part of a three-pronged strategy that also includes promoting the DISCLOSE Act, which would increase disclosure requirements for organizations running political ads, and reducing the role of money in campaigns (which some Democrats have said can be done through taxpayer funding of campaigns).

The constitutional amendment the Democrats seek would reverse the Supreme Courts 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In that decision the court said that the First Amendment protects a right of free speech for corporations as well as for individuals, and that corporations (including those that produce newspapers, films and books) have a right to speak about politicians and their records just as individuals do.

We have a clear agenda in this regard: Disclose, reform the system reducing the role of money in campaigns, and amend the Constitution to rid it of this ability for special interests to use secret, unlimited, huge amounts of money flowing to campaigns, Pelosi said at her Thursday press briefing.

In other words, Pelosi has declared that Democrats not only want to take away a right enshrined in the US Constitution since 1791, it wants to prevent anonymous speech of the sort that was engaged in by the Framers when they wrote the Federalist Papers and other seminal documents of early American history. I do not hesitate to label such efforts to be unAmerican -- as is anyone who supports such efforts.

Particularly shocking is Pelosi's claim that the Supreme Court "unleashed a predator that was oozing slime into the political system" by upholding freedom of speech speech in the Citizens United case. Didn't the Democrats do something similar by refusing to impeach this guy?


|| Greg, 04:44 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 19, 2012

This Texas Republican Votes No

I did not endorse Rick Perry for president this year. I did not endorse him for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2010. I cannot imagine endorsing him in either of these two situations.

Gov. Rick Perry tells KTRVT CBS 11 in Dallas-Fort Worth that he would give a good examination to running for president again in 2016.

The comments came during an interview with the CBS affiliate after a speech at a Plano Chamber of Commerce lunch.

2016 is way down the road, but Ill assure you one thing, if I decide to run for the presidency in 2016, Ill be way in before the summer of 2016; 2015, even, Perry tells the station.

And he also didnt rule out seeking another term as governor in 2014:

Im certainly going to give that the appropriate consideration. My instincts are very positive towards it right now, but well wait until after the legislative session to make that announcement.

We dont elect a Governor for Life here in Texas. Even Sam Houston was booted out of office. In 2014, the GOP needs to give Rick Perry the boot and give someone else a chance to run the state.

|| Greg, 03:01 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Why Are We Wasting This Money?

I understand that we provide Secret Service protection for serious presidential candidates. But why are we providing protection for this individual?

Even though by his own estimation he has very little prospect of winning the Republican nomination, Newt Gingrich is still likely costing the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars a day with his Secret Service detail on the campaign trail.

Gingrich reportedly requested Secret Service protection in February and was granted a detail in early March. In April 2008, Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan told the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee that it was then costing the agency roughly $38,000 a day to service each candidate receiving protection, which was then just Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

A source with knowledge of the inner workings of the Gingrich campaign told The Daily Caller that Gingrich recently had three people on his personal security detail, though sometimes there are many more.

Others on the campaign told me that some of the Secret Service members were even saying it was a waste of time and that he shouldnt have it, the source told TheDC. Staff members thought it was ridiculous too, and just another example of Newts arrogance and self-importance.

Lets face ti Newt Gingrich is not a serious contender for the GOP nomination he has won only a single major contest and has only a small handful of delegates, with little chance of garnering many more. As such, he is a vanity candidate and nothing more. Isnt it time to recognize that he is not going to be the GOP nomination and quit wasting taxpayer money on him?

|| Greg, 03:00 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Creeping Fascism In Houston

Want to ride public transportation in Houston? If so, you will be subject to unannounced warrantless searches of your person and property under a new program here in the city.

The TSA will help undercover police perform random bag searches and other security activities in a new program on the METRO bus system, marking the maligned federal agencys latest foray out of airports and into other forms of mass transit.

Spearheaded by U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D), "Bus Safe" is a collaboration between the TSA, METRO, and Harris County Constable's Office Precinct 7, according to KPRC 2 News.

"Patrons riding METRO on Friday, April 13, or any given day, may be sitting next to an undercover MPD officer," states a press release on the METRO website.

In addition to making unwarranted searches of personal property a way of life for Houston bus travelers, this effort will introduce arbitrary sweeps by K-9 crews to the general public.

Oddly enough, this program is beginning on a transit system that claims to be one of the safest in the world. That leads to the question of why riders are expected to surrender their liberties in order to make use of taxpayer-funded buses.

Which leads to the question of what will happen to a bus passenger who refuses a warrantless search. Will the assertion of Constitutional rights be grounds for being ejected from a bus? For being refused access to a bus? For being arrested if one refuses to be searched while exiting a bus?

Personally, I think that it would be an excellent idea for would-be bus riders to print up cards with the following message on it and be prepared to hand it to any law enforcement official who seek to search bags and packages without a warrant.

Amendment IV The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

|| Greg, 02:52 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 18, 2012

RIP -- Dick Clark

I don't know that any American of my generation can help but feel a sense of loss upon hearing that Dick Clark has passed away. The word "icon" is much over-used today, but it does really fit in his case -- he was the very symbol of American popular culture for nearly half a century.

Dick Clark, the perpetually youthful-looking television host whose long-running daytime song-and-dance fest, American Bandstand, did as much as anyone or anything to advance the influence of teenagers and rock n roll on American culture, died on Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 82.

A spokesman, Paul Shefrin, said Mr. Clark had a heart attack Wednesday morning at Saint Johns Health Center, where he had gone the day before for an outpatient procedure.

American popular culture would be immeasurably different if not for Dick Clark's influence. I can't even begin to catalog all the ways he shaped our musical and television likes and habits. And it seems to me that there is only one way to pay tribute to him today -- with the song that will always be associated with him.

|| Greg, 03:37 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Stunning Complaint

Democrats act like this is a glitch I call it a feature.

A proposal from House Republicans to require people to reimburse subsidies they're not entitled to under the healthcare law would result in 350,000 fewer people gaining insurance, according to the chief of staff for the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Democrats seized on the testimony from Thomas Barthold to assail the plan, which Republicans say would cut the deficit by $43.9 billion.

Well boo-freaking-hoo! The notion that those ineligible to receive a subsidy should have to repay a subsidy that they illegally received is a no-brainer. Those that oppose the repayment provision are in effect arguing in favor of the theft of taxpayer money.

Seems pretty clear that we need to vote out every last Democrat in order to stop the bleeding.

|| Greg, 03:13 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Really Do Think Obama Is The Second Coming Of Christ

Thats the only way one could explain Michelle Obamas description of her husband.

This president has brought us out of the dark and into the light.

No wonder Obama thinks he has the right to tell religious organizations what religious teaching they may or may not follow hes Chicago Jesus!


|| Greg, 03:07 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Senate Dems Preemptively Surrender On Budget

And as a result, Barack Obama will be the only president in American history to not have had a budget passed and signed into law during an entire term in office.

Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad (D., N.D.) will not draft a Democratic budget before the 2012 election, he announced Tuesday.

Instead of going through the traditional markup process in the committee, Conrad said he would introduce the 2010 report drafted by the Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission, and then indefinitely delay a vote in order to allow time for negotiations.

In all likelihood, Conrad told reporters on Capitol Hill, lawmakers would not come to an agreement until after the November election.

The Democrats have abdicated a fundamental role by refusing to adopt a budget for nearly 1100 days and will certainly continue to do so through the rest of Obamas (hopefully) single term in office.

|| Greg, 03:01 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Hilarious Claim In Frivolous Lawsuit

Now I ordinarily wouldnt bother writing about a frivolous lawsuit by a bored prison inmate. Such jailhouse lawyers get a cheap thrill from being noticed, and far be it from me to encourage such court-clogging filings.

But this suit by South Dakota inmate Dean Cochrun against the hospital where he was circumcised as an infant is notable for this claim in the filing.

Cochrun says in a complaint filed Friday in federal court that he was recently made aware of the fact that I had been circumcised. . .

He was only recently made aware of the fact he was circumcised? One would have thought he might have noticed himself at some point during the previous twenty-eight years. I guess that one of his prison buddies must have let Cochrun know after an intimate moment.

|| Greg, 02:52 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

At Least Romney Didn't Eat Seamus

Obama, on the other hand, has a history of dining on Shar-Pei Filet.

With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chill peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy). Like many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths. He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate: One day soon, he promised, he would bring home a piece of tiger meat for us to share.

So, my fellow dog-lovers, the choice is clear -- a vote for the guy who took his dog on vacation vs. a vote for the guy who thinks dog is an entree. I know where my vote will be.


|| Greg, 04:42 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 17, 2012

Theres Only One Problem With Your Argument, Barry

And it is pretty basic.

In his final question to Obama, [Univision host Enrique] Acevedo asked, Finally, Mr. President, why is it that half a century after the civil rights movement and after the American people elected their first African-American president do I have to stand today here in front of you and ask you about racial tensions in the U.S.? And of course, Im referring to the Trayvon Martin case.

* * *

Well, I think we all understand that issues of race are deeply embedded in the history of this country, Obama said. Sometimes that history has been tragic, slavery, Jim Crow, but also more recent examples of anti-immigrant sentiment, and you know, I think what I always tell people is election alone is not going to completely transform attitudes because this has to do with hearts and not just minds. It has to do with attitudes, not just laws.
Obama then noted that things have changed profoundly since he was born, but with each successive generation there are going to be misunderstandings; there are going to be tensions; theres going to be tragedy sometimes, and whats important for us to do is to look at it honestly, look at it squarely, but then move forward.

Fine, Mr. President, lets look at this honestly and squarely and move forward.

Now maybe George Zimmerman committed a crime and maybe he didnt. maybe he needs to go to jail, or maybe not. That is ultimately for a jury to decide. But for you, the President of the United States, to try to make this story about slavery and Jim Crow, and to then tie it to what you falsely label as anti-immigrant sentiment is cynically dishonest and clearly one more attempt to politicize the death of Trayvon Martin as a part of your reelection strategy. You should be ashamed but then again, you never would have given that answer if you had it in you to be ashamed.

|| Greg, 03:32 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

You Dont See Headlines Like This Often

Forest Service considering explosives to get rid of frozen cows in Colorado mountain cabin

|| Greg, 03:25 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Remember Most Americans Are Struggling To Keep Their Homes

But if you are part of the Obama elite, you can afford to trade up.

Longtime political strategist David Axelrod, who helped advise President Obama's presidential run in 2008 and is serving as communications director for Obama's re-election campaign, has paid $1.7 million for a four-bedroom, 3,320-square-foot condo unit in a high-rise condo along Michigan Avenue.

Just remember these David Axelrod feels your pain.

After all, his boss is causing most of it.

|| Greg, 03:19 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Bishop Takes On Faux Catholic Politicians

It took the mandatory contraception regulation promulgated by the tyrant-in-chief to get the nations Catholic bishops to speak out against those who claim to be good Catholics but then participate in the attacks on the Church.

"May God have mercy on the souls of those politicians who pretend to be Catholic in church, but in their public lives, rather like Judas Iscariot, betray Jesus Christ by how they vote and how they willingly cooperate with intrinsic evil," he said.

Bishop Jenky has got some choice words for Barack Obama, too. Heres the full text of his homily.

Now if only the nations bishops will take the suggestions I laid out several weeks ago.

UPDATE: In the short time since I posted this piece, a reader has sent me a link to the following piece.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is criticizing the House-passed Republican budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan for cutting food stamps and other assistance programs for the poor.

In a letter sent to the House Agriculture Committee on Monday, the bishops say the budget fails to meet certain moral criteria by disproportionately cutting programs that serve poor and vulnerable people.

A second letter sent Tuesday to the Ways and Means Committee criticizes a provision that makes it more difficult for illegal immigrants to claim child tax credits. The bishops called the credit one of the most effective antipoverty programs in our nation.

Let me take a moment to note how this response by the USCCB (USCCB Press release with links to various letters is here) is different than what was put forth by Bishop Jenky in the homily above, and by other statements such as those of Cardinal Dolan regarding the birth control/sterilization mandate and religious freedom.

If one looks at the letters in question, they do refer to certain magisterial teachings and scriptural passages. But in the end, these are lobbying documents that ought to be viewed as such. While the Bishop's Conference expresses the view that certain proposals fall short of the ideal, that view is more a matter of opinion and politics than it is a matter of doctrine. After all, the Catholic Church has not magisterial teaching on the funding level for federal programs, and as such it is clearly possible to disagree with the analysis offered in the letters as to the sufficiency of the appropriations for those programs. Indeed, Rep. Ryan offered a pretty strong argument, backed by long-standing theological teachings of the Catholic Church, that supports a different analysis. So while these letters deserve serious respect, they are not binding in conscience in the sense that actual magisterial teachings would be.

Which takes us back to Bishop Jenky. Note that his words refer to those who are complicit in intrinsic evil -- such as the promotion of abortion. They refer to those who would destroy Catholic ministries and institutions by forcing them to go against fundamental Catholic teachings. Indeed, Bishop Jenky compares today's situation to various efforts over the last several centuries to force the Catholic Church to stop being Catholic, and explicitly compares the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to certain individuals who were noted for their efforts to suppress the Church -- Bismarck, Clemenceau, Hitler and Stalin. This is not a statement on how the bishops think Church teachings should be applied regarding a particular budget proposal at a particular time -- it is a call to action, a call to resistance, a call to be prepared for martyrdom at the hands of those who would assault Christ's church with their temporal power. As such, it is in the same vein as Cardinal Dolan's comments in recent weeks.

Look at the words and the tone of the bishops in each of these cases. Any honest assessment will tell you that the urgency and seriousness of the letters on the budget pale in comparison to the words of Bishop Jenky (and so many other bishops). The USCCB letters invite dialogue and reflection, while the others are a call to arms. It should be clear which is more binding on the conscience of the faithful.

|| Greg, 03:17 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Doesn't A Name Like This Sort Of Create A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

I don't know that I would have said everything Robbie did in this post, but I think he nails it with these questions.

But seriously, who names their kid Fellony? Does she have a little sister named Miss DeMeanor?

What was the parent (or parents, assuming both were involved in the choice) who picked this name thinking. Forget setting the child up for a lifetime of harassment -- it seems to me that the name would create all sorts of problems when one applied for a job or was first introduced to anyone in polite society.

|| Greg, 04:57 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Private Spacecraft To International Space Station

Looks like we may see SpaceX notch another accomplishment as the first private sector company to send a vehicle to the ISS.

NASA and the private company SpaceX on Monday set a tentative launch date of April 30 for the first commercial launch to the International Space Station.

The test flight, which will carry 1,000 pounds of food and scientific experiments, marks a significant step toward NASA's goal of using private companies to transport supplies to the station, NASA officials said.

"This will be one of those historical launches," said Mike Suffredini, program manager of the space station. "This is the beginning of a long-term effort to have commercial vehicles supply (the) station."

SpaceX's Falcon rocket has flown only twice, and the Dragon spacecraft has gone into orbit once.

The interesting thing is what this bodes for the future. The Dragon is an unmanned vehicle -- but if it can successfully dock with the ISS and return, the plan is to adapt it for manned use within the next few years. That will mean that manned space flight need not remain a government-only enterprise -- and that public-private partnerships will potentially change the space program in this country in some exciting directions.

|| Greg, 04:44 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||


We are in a digital age. There really is no denying it. Whereas a couple of decades ago it would have been common to distribute materials in print form, today we have come to expect that much of it will come to us in the form of digital media like CDs or DVDs.

Continue to be enlightened while reading "Digipaks" »

|| Greg, 01:14 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 16, 2012

Let The Veep-Stakes Begin!

Looks like Mitt Romney has picked a leader for his vice presidential search.

Mitt Romney today revealed for the first time that he has put longtime adviser Beth Myers in charge of his vice presidential vetting process.

I have selected someone who has been a counselor of mine for a number of years, Beth Myers. She was my chief of staff when I was governor, the former Massachusetts governor told ABC News Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.

Ive asked her to be the person who oversees the process of the vice presidential selection and vetting an analysis and so shes begun that process and is putting together the kinds of things you need to do to vet potential candidates, Romney added.

Consider this we have a bit more than four months until the Republican convention in Tampa begins. Sometime during that stretch, Mitt Romney is going to pick his running mate. Between now and then there will be much speculation on who the pick will be but it is all speculation, because just one man will be making the decision.

That said, let me offer you the individuals who I think ought to be given a serious look for the second spot on the ticket.

Notice that none of the other presidential contenders this year are on my list. They all flamed out badly with the exception of Rick Santorum and none of them (including Santorum) will do much to help Romneys chances in the fall. After all, none of them are all that popular.

Some of the choices here are obvious ones Jindal, Rubio, Daniels who have received mention before among the pundits and professionals. Two of them (Fortuno and McMorris Rodgers) I include because they are the latest names being mentioned as contenders. I include Paul, West, and DeMint as possible contenders if Romney needs strong Tea Party support. Ryan would be a great choice if Romney decides to double down on budget and taxation issues. And Sandoval? Call me crazy, but a man who has been both a governor and a federal judge would bring with him great credibility and the fact that he is a westerner, a Hispanic, and a Catholic would play well to diverse groups who will be in play this year.

Take the list as the speculation of a political blogger but remember that four years ago around this time I was suggesting that John McCain would do well to take the young, charismatic governor of Alaska as his running mate. Had the economy not tanked, it is likely that Sarah Palins selection would have been sufficient to win McCain the presidency and had she decided to run for president in 2012, that unsuccessful VP candidate would probably be the individual whose running mate selection Id be speculating about today.

|| Greg, 03:30 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Journey Of Faith

You dont have to be Catholic to appreciate this story of one college students pilgrimage.

Andrew Dominis feet were blistered and bloodied. He could barely walk by the time he finally made it to a pink marble church and crawled the last 90 feet to a quiet shrine tucked into the corner.

As he paused a couple of weeks ago in front of the wooden coffin that held the remains of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and prayed, the 19-year-old said he finally felt at peace.

Domini had walked nearly 70 miles, becoming an unlikely spiritual pilgrim. But the religious shrine wasnt in Rome, Jerusalem or some other officially holy city. It was in St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

The neat thing about this story is that this pilgrimage was not something planned or premeditated. Instead, Andrew Domini saw something on television about the shrine and felt compelled to visit it right then.

And as an aside, consider what Andrews last name means in Latin of, or belonging to, the Lord. Somehow that seems quite appropriate.

|| Greg, 03:01 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Most Bizarre Criminal Defense Ever

The individual who murdered 77 people after sneaking into a political summer camp in Norway last summer has probably adopted the single worst defense strategy ever.

The man accused of killing 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage in Norway last summer claimed self-defense on Monday.

"I acknowledge the acts but do not plead guilty, and I claim I was doing it in self-defense," Anders Behring Breivik told a court in Oslo, Norway.

All I can figure is that this is his way of proving to the court that he is crazy.

|| Greg, 04:30 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 15, 2012

I Love It When A Liberal Catches Up With Me

And it only took him seven years -- and an article about it in the New York Times -- to do it!

Most Texans will never collect a pension after working 40 years as a full time employee. Teachers working full time after 30 years receive about $25,000 for their retirement. Federal employees, on the high end of the pay scale, are about the same. Compare that to what Texas lawmakers make. From the New York Times:
Theres a formula ($125,000 times .023 times years of service), but the bottom line is that retired Texas lawmakers get an annual pension of $2,875 for every year they were in office, as long as they have met the minimum service requirements.

It adds up. That eight-year lawmaker would get $23,000 annually starting at age 60. After 12 years? $34,500, starting at the ripe old age of 50.

Of course, I wrote on this subject back in 2005, only about a year after I started blogging.

Just so you understand what the legislature gets out of this bill, let me explain the situation. The Texas legislature is a part-time job which pays an annual salary of $7200. Yes, you read that right -- seven thousand two hundred dollars. Legislators can retire at age 50 with a pension of around $35,000 with 12 years of service -- and can receive over $100,000 with sufficient years of service and senior leadership positions factored in. Now the legislators could have amended the bill to eliminate the windfall to themselves (which, by the way, is some $6400 annually -- close to the amount Texas teachers are paid below the national average), but they didn't.

Glad you've finally caught up with me, John. But let's be clear about a couple of things here. First, you weren't so concerned about this issue back in 2005 because you believed that there was still a chance for your Democrats to regain control of the Texas Legislature -- something your party held for roughly 13 continuous decades after it managed to disenfranchise blacks following Reconstruction. It was your party that passed the law setting the formula for legislative pensions during that time, so we know precisely where the blame for the formula used to calculate legislative pensions should be placed. And until Joe Driver, you never had any problem with ex-legislators who were convicted felons collecting legislative pensions -- because every last one of them was a Democrat.

|| Greg, 06:16 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Ann Romney -- Soccer Mom

That is the current term for the mothers who drive their children to all sorts of extracurricular activities, right? Granted, when I was growing up there was not a special term -- such things were just a part of being a "mom mom" -- but we go in for all sorts of special labels today.

But back to Ann Romney. As various and sundry liberals and Democrats have tried to tear down the stay-at-home mom who survived breast cancer and who is currently battling Multiple Sclerosis, they've tried to argue that Ann Romney wasn't a real mom, that she no doubt was surrounded by domestic staff who actually took on the role of caring for the Romney boys (all five of them).

Well, let's see what one of the Romney boys, Ben Romney, has to say about the matter. After all, he was there.

Growing up, we never had a nanny or a mommys helper. Never went to daycare, Ben wrote. I was just one out of five, but always felt like I was the most important thing in her life. For my Mom to raise us 5 boys, the way she did, was, in my mind, the most demanding and hopefully rewarding work she could have done.

* * *

When I left for school in the morning (after she had made me breakfast), she was there. When I came home at the end of the day, she was there. She drove me to HOURS of my sports lessons and competitions (baseball, tennis, basketball, etc), and was my #1 fan in the stands. She encouraged my musical interests, and cheered me on at my piano recitals and high school band concerts. I could go on and on.

Did Ann Romney punch a time clock or draw a paycheck? No, she didn't. She was, however, doing the most important job there is -- being a mom. And contrary to the accusations of those who want to tear down her husband, she didn't farm the job of mother hood out to the hired help.

|| Greg, 04:13 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Missing Reagan

My boyhood hero was the last politician of the sort who could pull off telling this story.

The thing is, it is still true today.

|| Greg, 07:14 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Here are this weeks full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

|| Greg, 06:57 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||


Let's be honest -- bodybuilding has been a popular pastime -- no, make that avocation -- for many folks for a lot of years now. The goal of making one's body the best, most physically fit biological machine that one can is a major goal of those who participate in bodybuilding.

Continue to be enlightened while reading "Supplement" »

|| Greg, 12:32 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 14, 2012

A Great Thing About America.

Even the worst sort of human beings have rights that must be respected under the Bill of Rights.

On Tuesday. . . the actual American Nazi Party was making its move onto the Hill. One John Bowles registered with the Clerk of the House that day as a lobbyist for for the white supremacist group (hat tip LegiStorm). Bowles was the National Socialist Movement's presidential nominee in 2008.

What could the Nazis want to lobby the Congress about? "Political Rights and ballot access laws," according to the registration form, which also lists lists accounting, agriculture, clean air and water, civil rights, health issues, the Constitution, immigration, manufacturing, and retirement as "general lobbying issue areas." Who knew the Nazis had strong views on agriculture?

Nazis are scum -- their foul ideology merits no respect and ought to have withered away after its crimes were revealed to the world in 1945. Unfortunately, it has not. But God bless America and the Bill of Rights, because where else and under what other document would such folks (and the equally evil Communists) be granted the full political rights of citizens?

|| Greg, 07:20 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Selective Ethics From President Obama

Yeah, I know -- what else is new. But I want to notice how Obama has responded to other "ongoing investigations" when there are political points to be scored. Why the silence on the Secret Service scandal?

Like this case in which Obama was more than willing to jump in despite the fact that there was an ongoing investigation of the matter.

Interestingly enough, it turned out that the Cambridge police acted appropriately.

And then there is this more current case.

After starting out by saying he has to be careful not to interfere with this case, Obama proceeded to comment anyway and take sides on the case.

But now, when there is a case that he actually has some business talking about -- not merely because it was his bodyguards who appear to have "acted stupidly", but also because he is the head of the Executive branch and is ultimately responsible for the failings of the Secret Service -- Obama has his spokesdrone say this.

"This is matter that is being looked in an appropriate manner by the Secret Service itself. It would not be appropriate for the president to characterize something being looking into the Secret Service at this time. All I can tell you is that it was -- he was made aware of it, but beyond that i'm not going to characterize his reaction," Carney said on Saturday afternoon.

I guess there are just no votes to be gained by speaking here -- after all, how can he stoke the fires of racial division by talking about Secret Service Agents and hookers?

|| Greg, 06:38 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Has Gingrich Lost The Flightless Antarctic Fowl Vote?

You just can't make this stuff up.

This was the same day the Speaker visited the St. Louis Zoo, was nipped by a penguin and met a tiger named Callista just like his wife, he joked to reporters.

Bit by a penguin? Seriously? You must be kidding. That ranks right up there with Carter's killer rabbit.

|| Greg, 06:16 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Message About Life, Marriage, And Freedom

Rarely have I seen a more compelling political video.

Catholic or not, I encourage you to conside the message of that video -- and to pass it on.

H/T PrairiePundit

|| Greg, 12:22 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 13, 2012

Profiles In Bad Parenting

I give you April Sosa of Crosby, Texas, who thinks that disabling 58 school buses, disrupting the education of thousands of students, and costing the district lots of money constitutes a "senior prank", not a crime.

Our kids have been plastered all over the news like they've committed a crime.

The worst part is that in the comments on the story at the station's website, April goes on attack against those who dare to disagree with her. She seems to ignore that the "apology" she coached her son to make on camera (you can hear her voice in the background) includes a confession to criminal activity.

|| Greg, 05:01 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 12, 2012

Union Legal Brief Makes Best Case For Right-To-Work Laws

Here it is.

In this case, the state of Indiana restricted a channel of speech-supporting finance, the union brief maintains. The Union legitimately utilizes dues money collected through the agency shop provisions in its collective bargaining agreements, in part, to finance political speech The Indiana Right to Work law prohibits agency shop agreements, and that prohibition restricts a channel through which speech-supporting finance might flow.

Lets translate -- a law banning agreements between a union and an employer that forces non-members to pay money to the union is unconstitutional because it limits the unions political speech by denying it the ability to force unwilling contributions from unwilling workers in support of that speech.

Or more simply, the union claims that it has a First Amendment right to force you to pay for political speech you oppose.

And if forced dues and fees are about funding political speech and activity, then the only proper response that respects the First Amendment is to ban compulsory union membership and forced agency fees.

|| Greg, 06:20 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Who Is More in Touch With Average Woman Ann Or Michelle?

The falied economic policies of the Obama Administration have hit women hard 92% of jobs lost have been held by women. On the White House staff, women are systematically underpaid. And now the Obama campaign has added to Obamas war on women by attacking a mother for staying home and raising her children.

Ann Romneys debut on Twitter couldnt have come at a more opportune time.

Anns first tweet came just moments after Democratic strategist and DNC adviser Hilary Rosen lobbed an insult at Ann Romney, suggesting that the 64-year-old mother of five and grandmother of 16 had never held a job.

Guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life, said Rosen, who was being interviewed by CNNs Anderson Cooper about the war on women.

And then, just like that, a familiar name popped up on Twitter: @AnnDRomney.

I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work, Ann tweeted.

Yeah stay at home moms are so out of touch with real women. Our liberal elite finds it weird and outside the mainstream for a woman to actually stay home and raise her own kids instead of contracting the job out to the day care, the au pair or a nanny.

And remember, Michelle Obama is the ultimate superwoman, working to meet those ordinary childcare expenses that every ordinary family deals with.

I know were spending I added it up for the first time we spend between the two kids, on extracurriculars outside the classroom, were spending about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements and so on and so forth, Mrs. Obama tells the women. And summer programs. Thats the other huge cost. Barack is saying, Whyyyyyy are we spending that? And Im saying, Do you know what summer camp costs?

Yeah, it was hard for the Obamas to raise two kids on a half-million dollars a year (plus book royalties) thats why Barack had to seek new a new job and the family had to move into public housing.

So tell me, who is more in touch with the average American woman? Is it the stay at home mom, or the career woman whose job included making sure that uninsured poor people didnt come to her hospital?

By the way, I cant help but be struck by the fact that very Democrats that attacked Ann Romney for choosing to raise her children would be celebrating her if she had chosen to abort them instead or if she was demanding free birth control from religious groups.

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

Al Franken Legal Scholar

Looks like Vice President Joe Biden thinks that the not-so-funnyman from Minnesota is a big effing deal.

Vice President Joe Biden described former Saturday Night Live comedian, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., as a "leading legal scholar," presumably in the Senate, today.

"He has been one of the leading legal scholars," Biden said of Franken today, according to the pool report. He also said that Franken "is deadly serious" as a senator. He made the comments while recalling concerns that then-candidate Franken could not be taken seriously as a Senate candidate given his SNL work.

Al Franken isnt a lawyer and has no published works of legal scholarship. He is, on the other hand, an admitted coke-head with a history of publishing not-so-scholarly polemical works of dubious scholarship who is best known for his marginally amusing work on Saturday Night Live. But if an intellectual giant like Joe Biden is endorsing him, I guess we have to give those words the weight that they deserve.

|| Greg, 03:27 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Trayvons Mom Indicates The Problem With Zimmerman Case

With a charge of second degree murder, the state of Florida must prove that George Zimmerman exhibited depraved indifference in killing Trayvon Martin. Any number of observers think that the state is going to have problems meeting the burden of proof needed to convict on such a charge. And whether she meant to or not, Trayvons mom is one of those who makes just that argument.

Trayvon Martins mother Sybrina Fulton told the TODAY show Thursday that she believes her sons fatal shooting by George Zimmerman was an accident.

I believe it was an accident, I believe that it just got out of control and he couldnt turn the clock back," she said. "I would ask him, 'Did he know that that was a minor, that that was a teenager and that he did not have a weapon?' she added.

Special prosecutor Angela Corey announced Wednesday at a news conference in Jacksonville, Florida, that Zimmerman was going to be charged with second-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

If the shooting was an accident based upon an incomplete knowledge of the facts in the course of a rapidly escalating altercation, then the state cannot meet its burden of proof. After all, the legal definition of depraved indifference is as follows:

To constitute depraved indifference, the defendant's conduct must be 'so wanton, so deficient in a moral sense of concern, so lacking in regard for the life or lives of others, and so blameworthy as to warrant the same criminal liability as that which the law imposes upon a person who intentionally causes a crime. Depraved indifference focuses on the risk created by the defendants conduct, not the injuries actually resulting.

If we are looking at a case of accident, where in the heat of the moment George Zimmerman shot and killed an adolescent boy who he believed was casing the neighborhood for a potential burglary while that adolescent was atop him, pummeling him about the head and face, you cannot show that Zimmermans actions were deficient in moral sense or lacking in regard for the life of another even if you believe that Zimmermans conduct is worthy of blame and condemnation, and even if you believe he should be punished. Trayvons mothers own words really make that case.

And let's not forget -- the only reason there are charges in this case is that a flock of loud-mouthed race-hustlers and ratings-driven news-harpies have descended upon Sanford, Florida and demanded this dubious prosecution. What do you think the odds are that they will be satisfied with anything less than a conviction on this questionable charge? And should the facts of how this decision to file charges came about -- after the local police and the local prosecutor investigated and concluded that charges were not warranted -- really inspire confidence that justice under the law is the goal of this prosecution?


|| Greg, 03:26 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Data Recovery

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April 11, 2012

UN Official Volates UN Charter Regarding Trayvon Martin Case

Since i strongly believe in providing as many extracurricular opportunities for my students as possible, I have long volunteered to be the sponsor of the Model United Nations program at the schools where I have taught -- even though I have some qualms about the actual operation and effectiveness of the UN itself.

That is part of why this story leaped out at me.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay commented on the Martin shooting during a visit to Barbados on Thursday.

* * *

Although local, state and federal inquiries have been underway for weeks, Pillay called for an immediate investigation into the shooting.

Justice must be done for the victim, she told a media briefing in Hastings, on the southern end of the Caribbean island. Its not just this individual case, it calls into question the delivery of justice in all situations like this.

In this particular case it was the family itself, their distress that became known to the general public once again people pressure that has drawn attention to this case. It shouldnt be so, Pillay continued. The law should operate equally in respect of all violations. So, like every other situation such as this, we will be urging an investigation, and prosecution and trial and of course reparation for the victims concerned.

Setting aside the fact that Pillay clearly does not know the facts of the case or the investigation, thee is one other issue that ought to be noted here -- her words here are at odds with the United Nations Charter itself.

Article 2(7): Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII.

By definition, the criminal investigation and prosecution of a shooting that may or may not have violated the criminal laws of the state of Florida certainly falls within the "domestic jurisdiction" of the United States and is beyond the scope of UN authority. For a UN official to inject herself into the matter -- especially when clearly speaking in utter ignorance of the facts and the law -- is unacceptable and contrary to the mandate of the UN itself. Navi Pillay owes the United States an apology -- and her resignation.

|| Greg, 05:45 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 10, 2012

Santorum Out

With mitt Romney surging and everyone else dropping back, it was only a matter of time until the race was whittled down to three.

Today, Rick Santorum made that happen.

Rick Santorum, with an abrupt decision to end his campaign Tuesday, cleared the way for Mitt Romney to claim the Republican nomination while dashing the hopes of social conservatives who had propelled Mr. Santorums surprisingly successful challenge to the Republican establishment.

* * *

In a hastily called 12-minute speech in a small hotel meeting room here, with his wife, Karen, and four of their seven children at their side, Mr. Santorum said his campaign was over but made it clear that any retreat from the political stage would be only temporary.

We made a decision over the weekend that while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we will suspend our campaign today, we are not done fighting, Mr. Santorum said as tears welled in the reddened eyes of his wife and the aides and friends who ringed the room. He did not mention Mr. Romney.

The decision was made over the weekend. I think I know what this means, and I'm surprised not to hear others speculate about it. Bella Santorum, the candidate's youngest daughter, was hospitalized over the weekend, She suffers from the effects of Trisomy 18, and has already surpassed the ordinary life expectancy of children with her condition. I believe this is less of a matter of giving up than it is a recognition by Santorum of what truly matters -- spending time with hs sick child rather than continuing a quixotic campaign that will ultimately end in failure. There will be other campaigns for Rick Santorum -- but he'll never get this time with his daughter back if he squanders it.

As I've mentioned several times, I have an affinity for Rick Santorum given certain commonalities in our lives. We graduated from the same high school in Illinois a few years apart, and I lived across the street from th VA hospital where his parents worked. I would not have voted for him due to his over-emphasis on religious messages -- but I respect him and wish him well. He and his family are, given my speculation above, in my prayers.

Which lead to the question -- how much help will Rick Santorum be for presumptive nominee Mitt Romney? Will he help unify and rally the party, or will he sit back and do nothing? And what role will Rick Santorum have in the Romney Administration? Ambassador to the Vatican, or something more substantive? Time will tell.

|| Greg, 10:00 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Ill Take An Unpopular Stance Here

And by unpopular, I mean everyone on all sides of the issue is likely to disagree with me.

So here goes -- The Miami Marlins are absolutely wrong to suspend Ozzie Guillen for five games for praising Fidel Castro.

The Miami Marlins announced Tuesday morning that the team has suspended manager Ozzie Guillen for five games effective immediately after his comments about Fidel Castro. In a news conference on Tuesday during which he began by speaking Spanish, Guillen said he felt like he had betrayed the Latin American community, especially Cuban Americans, and repeatedly asked for forgiveness "with my heart in my hand and on bended knees." "I'm very embarrassed. I'm very sad," Guillen said. "I let the ballclub down." Guillen said his published statement about Castro was a mistake but was misintrepreted. "It was misintrepreted by what I mean in Spanish," he said. Guillen said he was trying to say that he couldn't believe that someone who has hurt so many "is still in power" and added he did not share Castro's ideology. Regardless, the Marlins acknowledged the "seriousness of the comments" attributed to Guillen. "The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized, especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorship," the team said in Tuesday's statement.

What the Marlins have done here is wrong. Either the team should have issued a statement disassociating itself from Guillens political opinion and supported his right to speak freely on his political beliefs, or it should have fired him and declared that such statements are utterly unacceptable and the team will not employ anyone who holds such opinions. There really is not any room for middle ground here. After all, a five day suspension is not a significant punishment if his stated beliefs in support of the Cuban dictator (and prior statements in support of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, which predated his employment) are beyond the pale of acceptable beliefs in major league baseball. And if support for communism is acceptable in the major league baseball, then any punishment for expressing such support publicly is too much punishment.

Which leads us, of course, to the question of the propriety of employers punishing employees for their political speech or political participation. I realize that Guillen is the employee of a private organization and not a government body -- but are we comfortable with going down a path where employees lose their job for exercising their civil liberties? Personally, I'm not, at least in most instances, unless the beliefs, opinions, and activities substantially interfere with someone's ability to do their job. I just don't see that here.

|| Greg, 09:16 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Faux Outrage From The Left

I remember a time when dissent was called the highest form of patriotism, and calling the president stupid was routine.

Then the world changed -- Barack Obama became president and suddenly dissent became racism and calling the president stupid became grounds for attacking the speaker.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who has long been an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama, used scathing language in a tweet Saturday to condemn the president's remarks about the Supreme Court last week.

"Constituents askd why i am not outraged at PresO attack on supreme court independence. Bcause Am ppl r not stupid as this x prof of con law," Grassley wrote, using typical shorthand for the social networking website.

Responding to the message, Obama campaign senior strategist David Axelrod, himself a prolific tweeter who often engages critics of the president, blasted the Iowa senator.

"Heads up, Sen. Grassley. I think a 6-year-old hijacked your account and is sending out foolish Tweets just to embarrass you!" Axelrod wrote.

Personally, I have only one problem with Grassley's tweet -- I would have said that I don't think the American people are as Obama thinks they are.

But given the rhetoric that was deemed acceptable to use towards this president's immediate predecessor, calling this president "stupid" is not at all out of line. Anyone who argues differently is setting a race-based standard for presidential treatment that is itself racist -- because it implies that the black man in the White House cannot handle the same sort of rhetorical attacks that his 43 Caucasian predecessors were expected to weather as a matter of course.

|| Greg, 04:39 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Coupon Codes

As a kid, I remember watching my mother cut coupons from the newspaper. I heard the sound of the scissors slicing through the paper, and I knew that every coupon that went into her shopping envelope was money that our family could spend on other needed and wanted things. Clip clip clip went the coupons.

Continue to be enlightened while reading "Coupon Codes" »

|| Greg, 01:39 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 09, 2012

No Grand Jury In Trayvon Martin Case?

So says CNN.

[Updated at 12:11 p.m. ET] State Attorney Angela Corey, appointed as a special prosecutor in the February shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, has decided against sending the case to a grand jury, her office said Monday.

"The decision should not be considered a factor in the final determination of the case," Corey's office said in a statement.

The grand jury, set to convene on Tuesday, was previously scheduled by the former prosecutor.

Corey previously said she has not used grand jury's in cases like this and added that from the time she was appointed she said she may not need a grand jury.

The decision about whether or not to charge George Zimmerman in the case now rests with prosecutors.

Now I see three possible reasons for this.

  1. The special prosecutor has completed her investigation and has decided that there is simply not enough evidence against George Zimmerman to charge him.
  2. The special prosecutor has completed her investigation has decided that there is sufficient evidence for her to file charges without taking the matter to a grand jury.
  3. The special prosecutor has decided that the continued development of evidence means that further investigation is warranted and a decision on whether or not to charge George Zimmerman will come at a later date.

Now given that Angela Corey has previously indicated that she has not used grand juries in the past in such cases, so I am inclined towards choice 3. After all, I don't believe that a grand jury could make a fair and unbiased decision in this case, given the inflamed rhetoric and passions that surround Zimmerman's killing of Martin. If you were on that grand jury, knowing what you know about the case from the media, could you vote to not indict Zimmerman, knowing that it would be likely that your identity would be leaked to the media and/or public despite laws protecting the identities of grand jurors? I think that Corey must ultimately act on her own -- and that she is waiting for the further development of evidence, and for the extreme public passions to die down.

And given the way the evidence is developing in the media now, it seems to me that not indicting George Zimmerman would be the proper decision -- no matter how sad, tragic and lamentable the death of Trayvon Martin at his hands may be. After all, it is the duty of a prosecutor to do JUSTICE UNDER THE LAW, not under some metaphysical concept of absolute justice.

H/T Althouse

|| Greg, 10:45 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

Here are this weeks full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

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April 08, 2012

You Are Looking For Jesus The Nazarene, Who Was Crucified

He has risen! He is not here.
See the place where they laid him.

|| Greg, 06:26 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 06, 2012

Clarence Thomas Suggests Colleagues Listen More, Interupt Less

I admire Clarence Thomas. I believe history will regard him well -- and we are already seeing legal scholars of all stripes giving him his due for his writing and philosophical consistency.

And yet Thomas is often criticized for his silence on the bench -- he does not join in the shower of questions that rain down upon the advocates arguing the cases. He commented on that yesterday at the University of Kentucky.

I dont see where that advances anything, he said of the questions. Maybe its the Southerner in me. Maybe its the introvert in me, I dont know. I think that when somebodys talking, somebody ought to listen.

* * *

He said the lawyers presenting their cases are capable and dont need guidance from the justices: I dont need to hold your hand, help you cross the street to argue a case. I dont need to badger you.

Thomas was asked specifically about the plethora of questions during three days of oral arguments as the justices decide whether to kill or keep President Barack Obamas health care overhaul. But Thomas said its become habit for justices to interrupt lawyers.

We have a lifetime to go back in chambers and to argue with each other, he said. They have 30, 40 minutes per side for cases that are important to them and to the country. They should argue. Thats a part of the process.

I dont like to badger people. These are not children. The court traditionally did not do that. I have been there 20 years. I see no need for all of that. Most of that is in the briefs, and there are a few questions around the edges.

On today's court, the silence of Clarence Thomas is striking. But as a group of Supreme Court advocates pointed out a couple of years ago, today's court is particularly active in terms of questioning. Liberal judicial giants like William O. Douglas and William Brennan were significantly less likely to question than today's justices. And if one goes back further, questions were quite rare from the bench. Were the quiet justices of an earlier age -- men like Marshall, Story, Holmes, Brandeis, Jackson, and Warren -- somehow unengaged or intellectually stunted? Or does today's practice represent a degeneration of the process of oral argumentation into something other than an opportunity for the presentation of the parties' cases?

|| Greg, 08:11 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Larry Tribe Lies to America

Blatantly, and in the opening paragraph of a rant excoriating judges who simply took Barack Obama's words and insisted that the Obama Administration indicate whether they believed their court had jurisdiction in the case they were hearing.

There has never been any doubt that President Obama fully accepts the Supreme Court's authority to render a definitive ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

Except for the fact that, well, there were these utterly stupid words that dripped from the lips of the First Ignoramus.

Ultimately, I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.

Now granted, that paragraph was found among other equally pompous and poorly-reasoned verbiage, but even when one looks at the whole thing was not at all clear that our "con law prof" president accepted the notion that the courts can overturn a law passed by Congress and signed by a president, no matter how repugnant that law may be to the US Constitution, historical understandings of the limits of federal power, and the will of the American people.

By the way, I can't help but note that Larry Tribe thinks it is his place to determine what is fit and proper conduct by a federal judge. After all, Prof. Tribe has apparently been deemed unfit for such a position even by presidents of his own Democrat Party, including his mentee Barack Obama -- allegedly Tribe's "best law student ever" (which certainly lowers my esteem for Harvard law graduates) -- despite his lobbying for such a SCOTUS appointment. Maybe that has something to do with his history of academic dishonesty and other ethical lapses.


|| Greg, 04:49 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?


Now it was about the sixth hour,
and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
Then the sun was darkened,
and the veil of the temple was torn in two.
And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice,
He said, Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.
Having said this,
He breathed His last.
So when the centurion saw what had happened,
he glorified God, saying,
Certainly this was a righteous Man!

Luke 23:44-47

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April 05, 2012

An Answer To Bill Ayers Question And A Question About Bill Ayers And Bernadine Dohrn

Admitted terrorist and Obama mentor Bill Ayers offered this complaint at Occupy Wall Street.

Weve got a militarized society and its become so common sense that, getting on the airplane coming out here, the first thing they said was let all the, uhh, let all the ya know, uniformed military get on first and thank you for your service. And I said as I always do: lets let the teachers and nurses get on first and thank them for their service.

Well, this teacher can offer you two reasons for the airline doing this.

  1. Memebers of the armed forces are doing the single most important job there is in our society preserving and protecting our freedoms by putting their lives on the line for us.

  2. The airline decided to show respect for those individuals out of a sense of patriotism and a recognition that they are traveling as a part of that service.

And why not do the same for teachers and nurses? Easy because members of the military traveling in uniform are easily identified because they are in uniform, while teachers and nurses dont wear a uniform of the sort that would make identification easy.

But this story raises another concern for me. Ayers is a confessed terrorist. His wife, Bernadine Dohrn, is a convicted terrorist. What are they doing getting on an airplane? Why are they not on the no fly list? Dont they sort of fit the profile of exactly the sort of people who should not be allowed anywhere near an aircraft?

|| Greg, 03:32 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Connecticut Legislators Ignore Lesson Of Petit Murders, Will of The Citizenry

My wife and I followed with horror the senseless murders of Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela Petit in Cheshire, Connecticut and the subsequent trials of their killers. There was satisfaction when both of the murderers received the only appropriate sentence for the horrific crimes the committed.

Im therefore outraged to read this news.

The Connecticut Senate on Thursday voted to repeal the death penalty, setting the stage for Connecticut to join several states that have recently abolished capital punishment.

In the last five years, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Illinois have repealed the death penalty. California voters will decide the issue in November.
The bill now goes to the House of Representatives, where it is also expected to pass. Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, has vowed to sign the measure into law should it reach his desk, his office said.

"For everyone, it's a vote of conscience," said Senate President Donald Williams Jr., a Democrat who says he's long supported a repeal. "We have a majority of legislators in Connecticut in favor of this so that the energies of our criminal justice system can be focused in a more appropriate manner."

This really is an act of legislative tyranny, given the unambiguous reality that over sixty percent of Connecticut residents support the death penalty, in part because of their shared experience of the Cheshire murders. So much for the notion that the will of the people should guide their so-called representatives. Heres hoping that the people respond to this outrage when they make their way to the ballot box in November.

|| Greg, 03:31 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The One Bad Apple Rule

It just takes one educator making a bad move to give us all a black eye. Take this guy as an example.

Students at Fullerton Union High School are protesting the action of an administrator who removed a classmate of theirs from a campus competition for his pro-gay comment.

He was removed from the school's Mr. Fullerton competition Tuesday night for answering a question of where he saw himself in 10 years.

The student said he hoped to find the love of his life, marry him and hoped gay marriage would be legal.

After the answer, an assistant principal took the student from the Plummer Auditorium stage and disqualified him from the competition.

Dumb move. The AP may have disagreed with the sentiment expressed (Ill concede not being a big fan of the political position hes implicitly advocating), but the student said and did nothing that justified the action. He brought discredit upon both his school and his district as well as his profession.

But there is a bright spot to all this the resolution of the situation.

The district quickly took action to resolve the matter. The assistant principal apologized to the student privately AND to the student body over the public address system. The students held a peaceful, non-violent letter-writing protest over the mistreatment of their classmate. Frankly, Im impressed with all of that especially the students finding a way to make their point without disrupting the important work of getting an education. Bravo!

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

Who Comes Up With These Stupid Ideas?

One of the hazards about being a teacher is that you are subjected to in-service trainings by experts who are deemed to be experts because someone in the administrative office read an obscure book or article and decided that they were worthy of being paid the equivalent of the monthly salary of three teachers for a two hour presentation. Generally speaking, these experts present theories that experienced teachers know to be unworkable in a real classroom OR that you used to do back in the day but were told to stop doing because it was ineffective (despite the fact you knew it to be effective in practice like phonics).

Somehow I imagine that there will be teachers in some school district hearing speakers extolling the virtues of this absurd concept come fall.

Teachers said lessons should put a greater emphasis on broad skills such as independent research, interpreting evidence and critical thinking rather than learning dates, facts and figures by rote.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers warned that pupils risked being failed by a Coalition overhaul of the curriculum that will emphasise the core knowledge that pupils should acquire at each key stage.
It claimed that the move represented a throw-back to the 50s and would kill childrens creativity.

Jon Overton, a teacher from inner-London, said that smartphones with full internet access can by used by pupils to quickly search for facts.

Is there a nugget of truth in Overtons words smartphones and the internet do open up a world of information for students that my generation certainly did not have. But the notion that students do not need to have grounding in basic facts and information is crazy. Students who do not have such a foundation dont know that they dont know things that they ought to know and lack a frame of reference to even begin to look for sources and discern what information they find is valid and what is not. If you dont know certain basic facts about octopi, why wouldnt you believe this?

|| Greg, 03:07 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Gets Criticized By Former Prof, Former Student

Well, when our "con law prof" president makes utterly stupid comments that betray a profound ignorance of our Constitution and our nation's history of judicial review, what do you expect.

First, there was Obama's former law professor.

Constitutional law scholar Laurence Tribe, a Harvard Law School professor and former mentor to President Barack Obama, said the president obviously misspoke earlier this week when he made comments about the Supreme Court possibly overturning the health-care law.

Mr. Tribe, who calls the president was one of his best students, said in an interview: He didnt say what he meantand having said that, in order to avoid misleading anyone, he had to clarify it.

Mr. Tribe said he saw no reason for the president to express his views on the matter, because everyone already knows he wants the case upheld.

Tribe says he doesn't think anything was to be gained by commenting on the case -- but he also doesn't think there was any harm done. I'll disagree -- it made Obama look like a Grade A ignoramus. . . well, maybe Tribe was right after all and there was no harm done to Obama.

And then there is one of Obama's former students, Professor Thom Lambert of the University of Missouri Law School.

Thus, a Wall Street Journal editorial queried this about the President who famously taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago: [D]id he somehow not teach the historic case of Marbury v. Madison?

I actually know the answer to that question. Its no (well, technically yeshe didnt). President Obama taught Con Law III at Chicago. Judicial review, federalism, the separation of powers the old structural Constitution stuff is covered in Con Law I (or at least it was when I was a student). Con Law III covers the Fourteenth Amendment. (Oddly enough, Prof. Obama didnt seem too concerned about an unelected group of people overturning a duly constituted and passed law when we were discussing all those famous Fourteenth Amendment cases Roe v. Wade, Griswold v. Connecticut, Romer v. Evans, etc.) Of course, even a Con Law professor focusing on the Bill of Rights should know that the principle of judicial review has been alive and well since 1803, so I still feel like my educational credentials have been tarnished a bit by the Presidents unprecedented, extraordinary remarks.

Yeah, I can see that. After all, when one's most well known instructor shows himself to be an utter incompetent in the field of his expertise, that does sort of tarnish the prestige of having taken a class with him.

But Lambert does have one thing to mitigate the damage -- he clerked for Judge Jerry Smith, who has directed the Justice Department to confirm whether or not Obama's effort to undermine the authority of the Supreme Court constitutes official administration policy -- which has resulted in Attorney General Holder having to repudiate the stated views of the man who appointed him to office.

|| Greg, 04:46 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 04, 2012

UNPRECEDENTED -- Justice Department To Repudiate President In Official Court Filing!

Well, when the President has made constitutional claims contrary to the entire history of American jurisprudence and constitutional interpretation, I suppose there really is no other choice.

Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged Wednesday that the "courts have final say," and said his department would respond formally to an appeals court order to explain whether the Obama administration believes judges in fact have the power to overturn federal laws.

The attorney general, at a brief press conference in Chicago, made clear the administration thinks they do.

"We respect the decisions made by the courts since Marbury v. Madison," Holder said Wednesday, referring to the landmark 1803 case that established the precedent of judicial review. "Courts have final say."

So our "con law prof" president gets to set another precedent for historians and political scientists to note -- sometimes an attorney general has to have the Justice Department go on record as saying that the president who appointed him is ignorant of how American government is supposed to work.


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

April 03, 2012

Romney Sweeps Three More Primaries

I think this graphic from the New York Times says all that needs to be said.


Supporters of Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Dr. Demento Ron Paul really need to read the writing on the wall and get behind the individual who is clearly going to be the GOP nominee in November.

Mitt Romney tightened his grip on the Republican nomination on Tuesday with a sweep of the primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia, and found himself in his first direct engagement with President Obama, an unmistakable signal that the general election would not wait for internal Republican politics.

Mr. Romney emerged from the evening with substantial gains in delegates and a growing perception that he was winning over previously reluctant elements of the party.

* * *

Whatever the final vote tallies, the results of Mr. Romneys wins Tuesday were certain to put him that much further ahead in the hunt for the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination before the Republican convention in August. He won the majority of the 100 delegates in play in the three contests Tuesday night. According to The Associated Press delegate tally, Mr. Romney had 646 delegates, Mr. Santorum had 272, Newt Gingrich had 135 and Representative Ron Paul had 51.

Mr. Romneys campaign is hoping to rob Mr. Santorum of a victory in his home state, and, in the process, steal away his hopes of, at the very least, blocking Mr. Romney from reaching the delegate mark and forcing an open convention where he would have a new shot at the nomination.

We can keep the useless blood-letting continue for a few weeks longer,or we can start to pull together as a party and do the thing that really matters -- getting rid of Barack Hussein Obama for the good of America.

In the mean time, I'd like to dedicate this to the fading challengers for the nomination.

|| Greg, 10:13 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Fifth Circuit Calls Obama's Bluff

Obama says unelected federal judges are not permitted to overrule laws passed by Congress. Based upon this statement, judges of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals have made an unusual request of the Justice Department.

In the escalating battle between the administration and the judiciary, a federal appeals court apparently is calling the president's bluff -- ordering the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama Administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, according to a lawyer who was in the courtroom.

* * *

The panel ordered the Justice Department to submit a three-page, single-spaced letter by noon Thursday addressing whether the Executive Branch believes courts have such power, the lawyer said.

The panel is hearing a separate challenge to the health care law by physician-owned hospitals. The issue arose when a lawyer for the Justice Department began arguing before the judges. Appeals Court Judge Jerry Smith immediately interrupted, asking if DOJ agreed that the judiciary could strike down an unconstitutional law.

The DOJ lawyer, Dana Lydia Kaersvang, answered yes -- and mentioned Marbury v. Madison, the landmark case that firmly established the principle of judicial review more than 200 years ago, according to the lawyer in the courtroom.

Smith then became "very stern," the source said, suggesting it wasn't clear whether the president believes such a right exists. The other two judges on the panel, Emilio Garza and Leslie Southwick--both Republican appointees--remained silent, the source said.

So, the Justice Department is in a bind. Does it abide by the declaration of the President that the unelected judges of the federal courts cannot uphold the Supreme Law of the Land by overturning an unconstitutional statute -- or does it concede that our "con law prof" president is ignorant of both the US Constitution and the single most significant ruling in the history of the Supreme Court?


|| Greg, 07:40 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Lies To America

Not the first time, of course, but certainly one of the most blatant.

Obama said Tuesday that he would respect the courts opinion, but still believes the justices should not overturn the healthcare law.

The point I was making is that the Supreme Court is the final say on our Constitution, and all of us have to respect it, he said. But its precisely because of that extraordinary power that the court has traditionally exercised significant restraint and deference to a duly elected legislature.

Wrong, Barry. Yesterday you said that a decision would be unprecedented and activist, and that it would delegitimize the court. Now you say you will respect the court and repeat the same false claim that there would be something illegitimate about striking down your pet statute.

Especially since you note that there is precedent for striking down statutes as incompatible with the Commerce Clause.

We have not seen the court overturn a law that was passed by Congress on a economic issue like healthcare, that I think most people would clearly consider commerce a law like that has not been overturned ... at least since the 30s, Obama said.

The mere fact that there have been no such rulings in some time does not mean that they are inappropriate, nor that this particular statute does not cross a line into a constitutionally forbidden area.

By the way, Barry -- here is a list of the Acts of Congress held unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in whole or in part.

|| Greg, 04:49 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obamas Drunk Driving Uncle Gets A Hardship Drivers License

What he should get is an order for immediate deportation, along with Obamas illegal alien auntie.

Just a week after he copped a plea in a drunken-driving rap, President Obamas illegal-alien uncle has landed a hardship drivers license from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, making it perfectly legal for him to drive in Massachusetts even though the feds say he doesnt belong here.

By the way, youll love how he qualified for the special license.

He claimed that actually being required to follow the terms of his sentence (no license for 45 days) would be a hardship because he would not be able to get to work.

Even though it is illegal for him to work in this country.

And his illegal job?

He manages a liquor store.

Just what you want a drunk driver doing.

How long before hes soused behind the wheel again?

|| Greg, 04:48 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Orrin Hatch Nails It

He may not be the most conservative guy in the Senate, but Im willing to see him remain in the Senate just so he can make observations like this one.

Republican lawmakers slammed the president for his Supreme Court comments. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, accused the president of misrepresenting the implications of a ruling against the law. "It must be nice living in a fantasy world where every law you like is constitutional and every Supreme Court decision you don't is 'activist,'" he said in a statement. "Many of us have been arguing for nearly three years that the federal government does not have the power to dictate individuals' purchasing decisions. After a national debate on the subject, more than two-thirds of Americans agree that the Obamacare insurance mandate is unconstitutional."


|| Greg, 04:39 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Liberal Rejects Vilification Of SCOTUS

I dont always agree with Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post. I dont agree with her analysis of ObamaCare in this column. But she is right to note the fundamental flaw of President Obamas attack on the Supreme Court and the two century old precedent in Marbury v. Madison and to make this observation about the oral arguments made last week.

I would lament a ruling striking down the individual mandate, but I would not denounce it as conservative justices run amok. Listening to the arguments and reading the transcript, the justices struck me as a group wrestling with a legitimate, even difficult, constitutional question. For the president to imply that the only explanation for a constitutional conclusion contrary to his own would be out-of-control conservative justices does the court a disservice.

Ive got no problem with criticism of the Supreme Court and its decisions. Sometimes there are elements within them that are worthy of criticism whether we are talking old cases like Scot v. Sandford, Plessy v. Ferguson, Lochner v. New York, or Wickard v, Filburn, or more recent cases like Lawrence v. Texas, Roper v. Simmons, Employment Division v. Smith or Kelo v. City of New London. And as any student of the Court knows, the Supreme Court sometimes reverses precedents or moves in a new direction on constitutional questions and that is a legitimate part of its operation as the justices weigh the legal and constitutional questions before them. But to launch a preemptive attack upon the Court before a ruling has even been issued is nothing short than an attack upon the essential principles embodied in our Constitution and is nothing short of un-American.

There have been attacks on the Courts power of judicial review before. Jefferson disagreed with it but as noted over at the Volokh Conspiracy, his method for dealing with constitutional questions would unquestionably lead to a decision that ObamaCare is unconstitutional. Franklin Roosevelt was prevented by public opinion from implementing his judiciary-emasculating court packing plan. Does Obama, a man who is much inferior in character and intellect to either of those predecessors, truly believe that he can undo more than two centuries of American jurisprudence through his mere words? Indeed, this attack merits an unsigned per curiam opinion of the sort issued in Cooper v. Aaron reaffirming the principle of judicial review and the right of the Court to strike down unconstitutional legislation a rebuke previously reserved for a recalcitrant racist who rejected the power of the courts to order the desegregation of Americas schools.

|| Greg, 04:26 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Reverse Mortgages

When making one's plans for retirement, a Reverse Mortgage is one tool for borrowers aged 62 and older to consider It is helpful because often older individuals do not qualify for home equity or other loans, and the reverse mortgage provides a way to tap into one's equity free from the traps of the home equity loan -- limits on the amount that can be borrowed, monthly payments to repay the loan, and the ever-present possibility of the credit line being canceled.

Continue to be enlightened while reading "Reverse Mortgages" »

|| Greg, 01:36 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 02, 2012

Proof Obama Doesnt Understand Foundational Case On Judicial Review

I really cant believe our constitutional law professor president (actually a non-tenure track adjunct instructor) would make this argument.

Overturning the law would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step since it was passed by a majority of members in the House and Senate. I just remind conservative commentators that for years weve heard that the biggest problem is judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint. That a group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example. And Im pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step.

Actually, Barry, every law overturned by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional has been passed by a majority of the members in the House and Senate (or by a majority of a state legislature). Elected representatives can and do pass laws that are unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court ruling one to be so is hardly unprecedented it actually happens a couple of times a term. Surely you read Marbury v. Madison when in law school, and assigned it to your classes when you taught. Didnt you understand it? Or are you just lying to the American people today?

|| Greg, 03:29 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Possible Criminal Charges For Saints Players?

Sounds good to me, given the facts here.

The NFL Players Association told players involved in the New Orleans Saints' bounty case that there is a chance they could face criminal charges and it hired outside counsel to represent them if needed.

* * *

The NFL has said that 22 to 27 defensive players were part of the Saints' pay-for-pain bounty pool, which awarded thousands of dollars of cash bonuses from 2009-11 for vicious hits that knocked targeted opponents out of games. One example, according to the league: Linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to any New Orleans player who sidelined Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre during the 2010 NFC championship game.

Now maybe participation in the bounty pool is not, in and of itself, grounds for criminal charges. After all, big hits are a part of the game, and so are injuries. But where there is evidence of specific bounties placed on specific players, what you have there is the equivalent of an entirely different sort of hit, more akin to a contract killing than a bonus for peak performance. And just as someone who tries to hire a someone to kill a spouse, business partner or rival is criminally liable even if the killing does not take place, those who selected targets and offered pay for their incapacitation ought to be treated in the same fashion.

|| Greg, 03:27 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Study In Moral Obtuseness

I can only define what follows as jaw-dropping political obscenity. In response to those who criticize a possible civic stature of Che Guevarra in the Irish community from which his forebears came, there is this defense of this hero of clueless students and pseudo-revolutionaries.

While it might seem extreme to equate Che with abominations like Stalin or Pol Pot, it's equally disingenuous to paint him as some whiter-than-white superhero. The man had serious flaws and committed some dreadful acts. The question is, were those acts justified? He used and advocated remorseless political violence. He proselytised for global Marxist revolution -- a stark ideology, now thoroughly discredited.

He disagreed with most of the tenets of democracy: properly free elections, due process, private property ownership. He was damned for ordering the execution of hundreds of Batista supporters, although many, it was alleged, were guilty of war crimes.

Che declared, chillingly: "To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail... A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate."

* * *

Yes, Che was ruthless and fanatical and sometimes murderous. But was he a murderer? No, not in the sense of a serial killer or gangland assassin. He was one of those rare people who are prepared to push past ethical constraints, even their own conscience, and bring about a greater good by doing terrible things.

Whether morally justifiable or not, there is something admirable in that -- pure principle in a world of shabby compromise. Maybe this is why Che remains such an icon, both in image and idea.

The problem, of course, is that while writer Darragh McManus wants to differentiate Che from Stalin, is that really possible? The Russian dictators excesses could be written off with the same excuse he was one of those rare people who are prepared to push past ethical constraints, even their own conscience, and bring about a greater good by doing terrible things. For that matter, the same malignant justification could be used to whitewash Hitler didnt he believe he was trying to bring about a greater good by doing terrible things?

But even if you set aside the great monsters of the twentieth century Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot it is possible to find other historical parallels to this revolutionary so esteemed by the Left. My example would be Robespierre, whose deeds in the interest of furthering the French Revolution resulted in the execution of even children for the crime of having been born into the wrong family. Virtually alone among the major figures of the French Revolution, he is for the most part unmemorialized in France. Indeed, the era he presided over is rightly known as the Terror. Even those who view his motives sympathetically are forced to acknowledge the essential wrongness of his heeds. Id argue that it is only appropriate to classify Che (and the Castro brothers) similarly, and to therefore reject the celebration of the Cuban Revolution. Those who do otherwise are clearly suffering from a politically motivated moral psychosis, and merit being treated as ideological lepers by men and women of good will who support and celebrate human freedom.

|| Greg, 03:19 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (22) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Gloria Steinem Doesn't Have A Clue

Not because of the first part of her answer to this question it is the second part that is problematic in my book.

Q. What if it's a conservative Republican woman who gets elected? How would you feel?

A. I would be totally against her. The women's movement in England was totally against Margaret Thatcher. She was a disaster. . . .

I really have no problem with the first part of her answer. Lets be honest she is a liberal and would be opposed to ANY Republican presidential candidate on policy grounds alone. The genitalia of the candidate in question would have nothing to do with that opposition any more than my opposition to the election (and reelection) of Barack Obama relates to the color of his skin rather than genuine policy differences.

But to characterize Lady Thatcher as a disaster that is just plain nonsensical, given that she is generally regarded as a successful prime minister by reputable scholars. Thatcher can only be characterized as a disaster if one is an idiotic ideologue who believes that moving away from socialist/communist principles constitutes a failure.

|| Greg, 03:18 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

April 01, 2012

Watcher's Council Results

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See you next week!

|| Greg, 07:07 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

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NAME: Greg
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