July 31, 2014

Booby-Traps Built Into UN Facility In Gaza

They serve as the propaganda arm of the Palestinians, and their schools have been used both to house munitions and to unleash them on the Israelis. Now it turns out that at least one of their buildings actually was designed to be a weapon of war!

New details have emerged about the booby-trapped clinic explosion that killed three IDF Maglan unit soldiers in Gaza earlier this week - Sergeant First Class Matan Gottlieb, 21, from Rishon LeZion; Sergeant First Class Omar Chai, 21, from Savion; and Sergeant First Class Guy Algranati, 20, of Tel Aviv, hy"d.

Over eighty kilograms of explosives were built into the UN-funded hospital's walls themselves, it was cleared for publication Thursday - revealing that the clinic itself was built to mask, and perform, potential acts of terror on the IDF.

Moreover, the clinic was built over tens of terror tunnels, according to the report.

Is it just me, or has the UN become a de facto part of the Palestinian terror network? The time has come for us to cut the organization off from our treasury, expel it from our shores, and list it as a terrorist organization -- and treat it accordingly. And as for Israel, is there really any need for them to treat UN facilities as neutral when the UN long ago ceased to be a neutral party?

|| Greg, 10:35 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (427) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

DNC Head Declares Obama Does His Job Less Often Than Any President Since Grover Cleveland

Two facts are clear based upon this clip -- Obama isn't doing his job and Debbie Wasserman Schultz is an idiot.

Seems to me that she and Sheila Jackson Lee were separated at birth.

|| Greg, 07:48 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (12) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Has Anyone Considered This Regarding The Gaza Casualties?

I was with someone I know recently when a news report came on that mentioned the casualties in Gaza and Israeli warnings to Palestinians to leave the area where attacks are imminent. This individual asked the question "where are they supposed to go?" I pointed out some possibilities -- and the problem that Hamas intentionally locates their weapons and their command-and-control facilities among civilians precisely to create civilian casualties in order to paint Israel as the aggressor. The answer did not satisfy the questioner.

Since that time, I've come to a realization as my brain has pieced together disparate bits of information.

For example, there are all the tunnels that Hamas has built in recent years to enable it to attack into Israel.


And then there are the statistics out there about what else the supplies used to build the tunnels could have (and, indeed, were supposed to have) been used to build.


So many civilian resources devoted instead to making war on Israel rather than improving the lives of the people of Gaza.

And then I saw this article -- somewhat silly, I'll admit -- about the phenomenon of the "bomb shelter selfie" in Israel.

When the air-raid sirens ring out across Israel, hundreds of thousands of people scramble to the safety of shelters. Taking cover in safe rooms, bomb shelters, and stairwells can be a terrifying experience for many Israeli citizens, but dozens of teenagers and adults have posted smiling selfies on Facebook to document their experiences. Sara Eisen, a resident of Beit Shemesh in central Israel, set up one of the group's called 'Bomb Shelter Selfies.'

And then it hit me -- the people of Israel have bomb shelters to retreat to in the face of attacks. The people of Gaza do not. Why is that? Because Israel has had a policy of building bomb shelters for its people going back to the 1950s. Hamas, on the other hand, wants "martyrs" and therefore is not interested in protecting its civilians from Israel's response to the thousands of unguided rockets Hamas launches at civilian areas in Israel.

In short, the civilians of Gaza have no place to go because Hamas does not want them to have any place to go -- and as a result, the blood of any civilian who dies is on the hands of Hamas.

|| Greg, 06:42 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (22) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Queen Sheila Declares No Attempt To Impeach Bush - Though She Co-Sponsored Resolution To Impeach Bush

If stupidity could be converted to energy, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee could supply power to the United States for at least a century.

Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee argued Wednesday the Republican effort to sue President Obama is nothing but a veiled attempt to impeach him something Democrats never did to President George W. Bush:
I ask my colleagues to oppose this resolution for it is in fact a veiled attempt at impeachment and it undermines the law that allows a president to do his job. A historical fact: President Bush pushed this nation into a war that had little to do with apprehending terrorists. We did not seek an impeachment of President Bush, because as an executive, he had his authority. President Obama has the authority.

Well, except for this.


Yeah, that's right -- the buffoon from the Eighteenth Congressional District of Texas was one of the co-sponsors of the effort to impeach George W. Bush.

We'll just add this one to the Sheila Jackson Lee Hall of Shame!

|| Greg, 05:58 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (159) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 30, 2014

Let's Consider The Difference Between Hamas And Israel

Here's how Israel deals with peace protesters.

Several thousand left-wing activists gathered in Tel Avivs Rabin Square on Saturday evening, calling for an end to bloodshed in the Gaza Strip and a return to negotiations with the Palestinians.

Slogans chanted by the protesters included Stop the war, Bring the soldiers back home and Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies, Channel 2 reported.

Channel 2 noted that prominent left-wing party Meretz as well as the Peace Now organization had opted not to take part in the rally, with the TV report speculating that the protesters may fall to the left of those groups on the political spectrum.

The demonstrations were cut short when Hamas unilaterally ended a humanitarian truce with Israel and resumed rocket-fire from Gaza.

Israeli police had even granted a permit for the rally once it was clear that a ceasefire that was in place meant the large gathering would not create a public safety problem.

And then there is Hamas.

Hamas shot some 20 Palestinians on Monday night for protesting against Hamas for the massive destruction inflicted on their neighborhood in Shejaia by the IDF in the past weeks, Channel 10 reported on Tuesday.

Oppose the polices of the terrorist organization -- policies that are inflicting terrible suffering upon the people of Gaza? You will be killed as an enemy.

That might be something for folks to consider -- especially those on the Left who insist that dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

|| Greg, 01:23 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (19) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Shows How Shallow He Is

Because it is all about him -- and any opposition to him is just "hatin'".

In Kansas City today, President Obama complained that Republicans continued to oppose his agenda in Congress.

Cmon and help out a bit, he said, addressing the GOP. Stop bein mad all the time. Stop just hatin all the time. Cmon, lets get some work done together.

Hey Barry -- quit bein' an asshole all the time. After all, you are the guy who has rejected compromise with the GOP time and again.

|| Greg, 12:54 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (7) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

But I Thought She Was Too Poor To Afford Birth Control

So can you explain to me how Sandra Fluke can afford to pump over $100,000 of her own money into her campaign for the California legislature?

Liberal darling and free-birth-control advocate Sandra Fluke is her own biggest donor in her state Senate race, according to official California campaign finance reports.

Fluke donated $12,000 to her campaign and $4,826.27 in non-monetary contributions. While $16,826.27 may not sound like a lot, Fluke also loaned her campaign $100,000.

Where does a 2012 law school grad working as a social justice attorney get a loan that size? Her campaign never responded to a Washington Examiner inquiry, so were left to speculate.

Perhaps the loan was in part secured by the family of Flukes husband, Adam Mutterperl. In 2012, Fluke married Mutterperl, an amateur stand-up comic and son of big-time Democratic donor William Mutterperl.

But wait -- if the family is securing the loan rather than Fluke herself, wouldn't that need to be disclosed? And if it isn't doesn't that violate the relevant campaign finance laws?

|| Greg, 12:22 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (6) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Racism, Pure And Simple

Frankly, I view the classes in question as a waste of time and money. But given the racist tirade by those objecting to the race of the teacher, I think the bigger objection is that teaching them constitutes the institutionalization of racism and grievance mongering.

Black community leaders in Fresno, Calif., are urging the Fresno Unified School District to re-evaluate the hiring of a white guy to teach three cultural studies courses at a brand-new middle school that will overwhelmingly serve minority students.

* * *

On Monday morning, a small band of activists showed up in front of the sparkling new school at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Church Avenue. The local press was also there.

Were just saying what the community wants, said Rev. Karen Crozier, one of the activists. We didnt fight for a white male or female teacher to educate our babies.

Crozier, who appears to be a professor at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, also suggested that a white person cannot teach minority children in this instance because of racism.

We still are at these racial fault lines, and we want someone who will be able to think critically about those racial fault lines and how do we help heal, to restore the problems that have existed, she explained.

Apparently this idiot thinks that the way to "heal" and "restore" racism is to judge people based upon race and to exclude individuals from employment based upon the color of their skin. The hypocrisy is astounding -- or would be if it were not so common among "leaders" whose position depends upon stoking the racial hatred that they then use to justify their leadership positions.

|| Greg, 12:10 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Yes, Anti-Zionism Is Anti-Semitism

All you have to do is look at the words of the "anti-Zionists" as they have protested not Israeli policy or the existence of Israel, but the very existence of the Jewish people.

In the late 1960s, the Austrian Jewish writer and Auschwitz survivor Jean Amery wrote, Anti-Zionism contains anti-Semitism like a cloud contains a storm. To put it mildly, Amerys definition of modern anti-Semitism wasnt accepted by post-Holocaust Europe as a force to be combated. Anti-Zionism was deemed by many Europeans to be a politically and socially correct world view. In short, they viewed it as a form of legitimate Israel criticism.

The calls for the dismantling of Israel and shouts to kill Jews on the streets of London, Paris, Berlin, and Frankfurt, to name some of the major European cities where theyve occurred, are indicative of a lethal anti-Semitic mass movement. What unifies many European elites, large numbers of Muslims, motley crews of leftists and neo-Nazis is a loathing of the Jewishness of Israel.

The 19th-century anti-Semitic German historian Heinrich von Treitschke infamously said, The Jews are our misfortune. For the modern anti-Semite that slogan has been transformed into Israel is our misfortune.  

Take a small sample of some of the headlines in the media about what is unfolding in Europe: Neo Nazis, Islamists Declare You Jews are Beasts During Protest of Israeli Operation in Frankfurt; Firebombs Fail to Ignite at Toulouse Jewish Center; Madrid Jews Vow Legal Action against Author Who Justified Expulsions; Jewish Museums in Norway closed for fear of Attacks; Well-Known Italian Philosopher: Id Like to the Shoot Those Bastard Zionists
; Pro-Palestinians Throw Molotov Cocktail at Paris Synagogue; Its Like 1938, Says Israeli Ambassador to Germany; Anti-Semitic Attacks Scar British Cities.

Germany, yes Germany, seems to be one of the main hubs of some of the most intense anti-Semitism. Protesters in Berlin chanted slogans calling for the gassing of Jews.

And it isn't just Europe -- it is happening in America as well. You know -- places like Miami, Chicago, Boston and elsewhere in the United States.

What we are seeing is not merely condemnation of Israel's policies and actions in defending itself from Hamas terrorism -- as if Israel does not have the right to oppose terrorism every bit as much as the United States does.. We are not just seeing calls for the disestablishment of Israel and the ethnic cleansing of the Promised Land of its Jewish inhabitants -- as if fulfilling the goals of the hard-line opponents of Israel does not constitute a de facto act of genocide. Instead we are hearing more than a few calls to move from the vow of "Never Again" that all people of good will agreed to following the destruction of Nazi Germany to a demand to "finish it now" -- a cry to bring to fruition Hitler's Final Solution to the "Jewish Problem".

Can one legitimately disagree with Israel and its policies? Certainly. But all too often, those who claim to be opposed to Israel's policies have a deeper agenda in mind. One therefore must take care not to give aid and comfort to the hatemongers who demand the destruction of the Jewish state and (either implicitly or explicitly) the destruction of the Jewish people with one's criticism. What's more, one must ask an even more basic question -- when one's criticism of Israel gives aid and comfort to the supporters of genocide, doesn't one have a moral duty to avoid saying that which one knows the Jew-haters will use to justify and sanitize their malignant ideology?

|| Greg, 10:35 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (27) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Breaking Political News, Sourced by Social Media

By Doug Ross

Like you, I spend a lot of time trying to keep up-to-date on the hottest significant news stories. Since we free-thinking folks have to largely bypass vintage media, which have largely become a public relations arm of the Obama administration, it isnt easy to do. There are thousands of great sites out there, any of which can have a noteworthy news story.

I dont know about you, but I dont have the time to check thousands of websites for breaking news.

Yes, there are some great aggregators out there: Drudge, Twitchy, etc. But all of them rely upon human editors and, most importantly, dont give smaller blogs and websites much of their attention.

Thats why we created BadBlue News. Its a very different type of news aggregator because it uses machine learning and automation to achieve massive scalability in assessing news sources and breaking stories. Heres how its different:

1. It uses social network buzz, not a set of human editors, to determine how important a story is.

2. It levels the playing field for smaller websites and blogs by taking into account traffic patterns; that is, a story on a small blog with 15 retweets might be equivalent to a story on Fox News with 1,000 retweets. The traffic patterns and social buzz are both factored in by BadBlue to offer a much wider range of news coverage than any other aggregator.

3. It never sleeps: BadBlue runs 247 and never relies upon human editors making decisions.

BadBlue is growing quickly. From September 2013 to January 2014, page views grew by 20 percent, with Google Analytics reporting the average time onsite is a startling 31 minutes!

In this election year, BadBlue can play an important role for advancing the conservative agenda by cutting through the media censors and offering a level playing field for websites and blogs of all sizes.

Id love for you to come visit and, if you like it, to tell your friends, tweet about it, or like it on Facebook.

2014 will be a big year for liberty and I believe getting the word out on uncensored news stories bypassing the state-run media will be critical.

|| Greg, 10:11 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

I'm With Krauthammer On Impeachment

Obama is ginning up talk of impeachment in order to make sure that the American people are tired of the subject when he does commit an impeachable offense by overturning our nation's immigration laws by executive order.

On Tuesdays Special Report, he speculated that the Obama administration may be trying to exhaust the idea of impeachment and softening people up for when the president uses executive action to grant legal status and work authorization to millions of immigrants in the country illegally. Such an action would be clearly lawless and it would be biggest domestic overreach of a president in memory and an impeachable offense, he said.

But if Obama did go ahead with his amnesty-by-fiat plan, Krauthammer still thinks impeachment wouldnt work. I would be 100 percent against impeachment because its political suicide, he said.

Let's face it -- Barack Obama could sacrifice a virgin to Satan on live national television and the Democrats would refuse to vote for his removal, while the MSM would make the argument that the GOP was acting as part of a Koch-funded scheme to suppress the religious liberties of African-Americans. Impeachment needs to stay off the table -- though a report by the House Judiciary committee documenting Obama's high crimes and misdemeanors would be an excellent road map for the Justice Department to use for obtaining an indictment of Obama under his Republican successor.

|| Greg, 06:54 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 28, 2014

Muslims Offended By Cute Dogs In Tartan Coats

Doesn't Malaysia have more pressing things to worry about than this -- like keeping their airplanes in the air?

Malaysian politicians and religious leaders have attacked the use of Scottie dogs during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, claiming it was disrespectful to Muslims.

Around 40 Scottie dogs were used in the opening ceremony in Glasgow last Wednesday to lead teams around Celtic Park.

The dogs, which all wore tartan dog coats with the name of each team on them, were widely praised on social media, with many people stating they thought they had stolen the show. Hamish, who led out the Scotland team, received one of the biggest cheers of the night.

Judy Murray tweeted after the ceremony: Scottie dogs in tartan coats at CG opening ceremony. Barkingly brilliant.

However, not everyone was as impressed. Political and religious leaders in Malaysia have claimed the use of dogs connected to Muslim countries was disrespectful.

Possibly making matters worse was the fact that Jock, who was supposed to lead out the Malaysian team, sat down and refused to move as soon as his coat was put on, meaning he had to be carried by the team representative.


Good on Jock, who I am sure was as offended by being associated with Malaysia as Malaysia was to be associated with him -- and with better reason.

|| Greg, 04:25 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Fraud At the Polls!

No, we don't need to tighten things up -- nobody is voting for anyone else, and certainly not on behalf of dead folks.

Francis J. DeGregory was a World War II Army veteran who served in the Battle of the Bulge. He died in 2008 and is interred at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Dara Welty was an aspiring opera singer and La Jolla native who died of a blood clot during a visit to Bolivia in 1998, at 22.

Both went on to vote repeatedly in San Diego County elections, records show. They remain registered to vote to this day, DeGregory as a Republican and Welty as a Democrat.

* * *

The review found that 26 ballots have been cast in the names of 10 dead San Diego County citizens since 1998.

Mail-in ballots were the most common way to vote in the name of a deceased person, accounting for 21 of the votes in question and all the votes cast for DeGregory and Welty.

The election in which the most posthumous votes were cast was in November 2012. Six votes were cast in the name of the deceased that round, twice as many as in the next-closest election.

It isn't about Republican or Democrat to me -- it is about making sure that elections are fair and honest. That's why I serve as the election judge for my precinct, and why my Democrat alternate judge and I have worked so very hard to make sure that everything runs efficiently on election day. And it is why we try to keep track of deaths in town (and people moving) so as to prevent fraudulent votes.

And I know that we are looking at a mere handful of votes in this article -- but how many are going undetected? And how big is their effect, cumulatively, in a close election?

H/T PoliPundit

|| Greg, 09:30 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Seeks To Re-Implement Failure

That is the only way to interpret this demand from the president.

Building on Secretary Kerrys efforts, the President made clear [in a phone call to Israeli PM Netanyahu] the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement.

The thing is, that ceasefire failed to stop Hamas from building tunnels, acquiring more advanced weapons, or attacking Israel. It was clearly a failed program that did nothing to increase Israel's security while allowing Hamas to become more entrenched and more dangerous. And yet somehow Obama believes that this is the best basis for stopping the current conflict. That is a fundamentally non-serious approach to the situation -- and is functionally, if not intentionally, pro-terrorist and anti-Semitic.

H/T David Bernstein/Volokh Conspiracy

|| Greg, 09:08 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 27, 2014

Obama To Netanyahu: Give In To Hamas

Obama condemns Hamas actions, but makes demands of Israel.

Obama called for an "immediate, unconditional" humanitarian ceasefire, according to a White House readout of the call.

Negotiations to extend a 12-hour truce broke down over the weekend. Israel says it offered to extend the ceasefire for another 24 hours, only to see new rocket fire from Gaza. Israel then resumed its own military actions in Gaza.

"Hamas has broken five cease-fires that we accepted," Netanyahu said on Fox News Sunday. "They rejected all of them, violated all of them, including two humanitarian cease-fires in the last 24 hours."

On the call with Netanyahu, Obama stressed the need to enact a "sustainable ceasefire" that both "allows Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives, and addresses Gaza's long-term development and economic needs while strengthening the Palestinian Authority."

Hamas repeatedly breaks ceasefires, but Obama demands that Israel unconditionally submit to one on Hamas' terms. He calls the Prime Minister of Israel and insists on a policy "to enact a 'sustainable ceasefire' that both 'allows Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives, and addresses Gaza's long-term development and economic needs while strengthening the Palestinian Authority.'" Interestingly enough, he indicates no concern about the security needs of Israel -- nor does he pressure Hamas or threaten to cut off the IS supplied "humanitarian aid" that has been diverted to build tunnels to attack Israel and to buy weapons to attack Israel. All the concessions are to be on the part of Israel.

Once again we see a functionally, if not intentionally, anti-Semitic policy from the Obama Administration.

|| Greg, 05:17 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Lib Dem Obamabot Declares That Role Of Congress Is To Sit Back And Let The Dictator Dictate

I'm sure that her position is consistent with some constitution -- just not the Constitution of the United States.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting congressional delegate for the District of Columbia, angrily sputtered during a congressional hearing Friday that the White House should not be held up to scrutiny, saying that there was no right to know what it was doing behind closed doors.

You dont have a right to know everything in a separation-of-powers government, my friend. That is the difference between a parliamentary government and a separation-of-powers government, Norton said during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.

It was, to put mildly, a significant departure from the more traditional liberal stance that openness and transparency are must to prevent abuses of power by government officials. Instead the leading advocate for statehood for the District of Columbia literally argued that even the congressional committee charged with oversight shouldnt be asking questions in the first place.

Now that argument is wrong on so many levels.

First, Congress is responsible for making the laws. How can it determine if the laws need to be changed or modified if it cannot know how (or if) the Executive Branch is carrying them out.

Second, Congress is responsible for funding the government. How can it determine what to budget if it does not know what is going on in the Executive Branch?

Third, Congress has the right to impeach a president and other Executive branch officials for high crimes and misdemeanors. How can it determine if there is cause for impeachment if it is denied the information needed to make such a determination.

What Eleanor Holmes Norton describes is not a federal system -- it is a dictatorship with a rubber-stamp legislature, much like one finds in Cuba or North Korea. But then again, anyone who has followed her career would recognize that such a system is exactly what she supports -- provided it is a dictatorship controlled by an ideological ally like Obama.

|| Greg, 09:49 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

About The Gaza Casualty Numbers

The supposed number of civilian dead is used to batter Israel for daring to go after Hamas, an aggressive terrorist organization that regularly rains missiles down on Israel's civilian population. But when one considers where the numbers come from, are they worthy of acceptance?

The media has engaged in journalistic malpractice by reporting casualty figures for civilians coming from Gaza as gospel. The figures come from the Gazan Ministry of Health, which is controlled by Hamas. The Ministry of Health counts everyone not in uniform as a civilian. Most Hamas fighters dont wear uniforms. The UN is sometimes sourced for the figures, but the UN gets its figures from the Gazan Ministry of Health. Contrary to early reports that 80% or so of the early casualties were civilians, Al-Jazeera published names and ages, and about 3/4 were men of fighting age (16-50), compared to a rough estimate of 20% of the Gazan population (40% to 50% of which is fourteen and under). Some of those men were undoubtedly civilians, but it strains credulity to believe that 80% of the casualties were civilian but just-so-happened to be overwhelmingly fighting-age men. (Heres the most recent analysis from the IsraellyCool blog). For that matter, how do we know that the Minsitry of Health isnt counting deaths from natural causes as deaths from Israeli actions? A simple the Hamas-controlled Gaza Ministry of Health claims before reciting casualty figures that the media has not itself verified would resolve the problem. Obviously, there have been civilian casualties, and I doubt that a more accurate count would change many minds about the conflict. Still, as co-blogger Ilya suggested to me, relying on Hamas for casualty figures is like relying on old East German economic reports showing it to be wealthier than West Germany. (Ill leave for another time the perplexing question of why the only time the media indulges in day-by-day casualty counts is when Israel is involved. Quick within a large margin of error, how many civilians did NATO kill in Serbia? Afghanistan? Libya?)

The point? The reported casualty numbers come from a source that has a vested interest in making Israel look bad and Hamas look good. But the reality is that accepting these numbers is at a minimum like accepting claims from Saddam Hussein's official spokesman, "Baghdad Bob" -- or taking official press releases from Josef Goebbels' Ministry of Propaganda as the unvarnished truth. I'm sure there are some civilian casualties. When even a Hamas-friendly news source like Al Jazeera presents information that calls into question the official numbers, it is the height of irresponsibility for the press to fail to inform the public of the source of their figures and their likely unreliability.

|| Greg, 09:07 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (12) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Why Did Israel Reject The Kerry Ceasefire?

This summary, from the left-wing newspaper Haaretz, shows the problem quite clearly.

The document recognized Hamas position in the Gaza Strip, promised the organization billions in donation funds and demanded no dismantling of rockets, tunnels or other heavy weaponry at Hamas disposal. The document placed Israel and Hamas on the same level, as if the first is not a primary U.S. ally and as if the second isn't a terror group which overtook part of the Palestinian Authority in a military coup and fired thousands of rockets at Israel.

Now think about this for a minute -- Israel was expected to give up everything while Hamas was expected to give up nothing. Despite the fact that Hamas is the aggressor in this conflict and is currently getting its ass whipped by Israel, the ceasefire document read as if Israel was capitulating to a power that was overwhelming it on the battlefield. No wonder the Israeli cabinet rejected the plan unanimously.

I'm regularly assured by Democrats -- those who claim to be friends of Israel and those who are partisans of the Palestinians -- that Obama and Kerry are friends and allies to Israel. Dare I suggest that this proposal shows such an assessment to not be based in reality. At best, the policies of this administration must be viewed blithely unconcerned about Israel's national security -- and it would not be unfair to argue that those policies are functionally anti-Semitic by virtue of their support for the terrorist organizations (Hamas and Fatah) that control Gaza, Judea, and Samaria.

H/T PowerLineBlog

|| Greg, 08:42 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (13) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 25, 2014

Team Hildebeast Declares Anti-Clinton Writings Should Not Be Allowed

Because the First Amendment doesn't apply to Clinton critics, apparently.

Soon there will be three anti-Clinton books on the market, which is apparently enough to have gotten under the skin of Team Hillary.

The First Family Detail by Ronald Kessler, set for release next month, will join Clinton, Inc. by the Weekly Standards Daniel Halper and Blood Feud by Ed Klein on bookshelves. Yesterday we reported that Clinton, Inc. has shot up the charts and now both Halper and Kleins books are outselling Hillary Clintons recent memoir Hard Choices.

With Klein, Halper and Kessler, we now have a Hat Trick of despicable actors concocting trashy nonsense, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said in an interview with the Washington Examiner. Their behavior should neither be allowed nor enabled, and legitimate media outlets who know with every fiber of their beings that it is completely made up should not get down in the gutter with them.

"Their behavior" which must not be allowed consists of writing and publishing books critical of the Clintons. Which explains why the response to the books has been to attack the authors personally rather than actually refute the claims found and documented in the books.

|| Greg, 10:33 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Regime Finally Finds An Alien To Keep Out Of The US

Because, you know, this guy is a danger to national security or something.

Maybe Radcliffe should have tried the southern U.S. border instead...

Daniel Radcliffe may have led a charmed life until now - but it seems not even he can work his magic on U.S. customs officers.

The Harry Potter star was stopped by American border guards yesterday when he tried to cross into the country from Canada, because he had failed to properly upgrade his visa.

That's our homeland security for you - deny entrance to a multi-millionaire actor, but allow in millions of criminals who will leech off our system for decades to come. What the hell, it's only tax-payer money.

Since we have clearly secured our northern border, how about if the Dictator-in-Chief gives the order to secure the southern one -- you know, the one with the problem.

|| Greg, 02:31 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Dem Senator Refuses To Do The Right Thing

Then again, if he were inclined to do the right thing he would never have become a Democrat Senator.

Sen. John Walsh remained steadfast Thursday amid allegations he plagiarized a research project required for a masters degree, winning fresh backing from fellow Democrats in Montana and the governor who appointed him to the Senate earlier this year.

The revelations that Walsh included both conclusions and verbatim passages from the writings of other scholars in his 2007 U.S. Army War College thesis, known as a strategy research project, will not change Senator Walshs commitment, his campaign said.

Asked if Walsh was considering abandoning his race for election to the Senate against Republican Rep. Steve Daines, campaign spokeswoman Lauren Passalacqua said: Absolutely not.

It is now clear that at least 3/4 of the strategic research project was plagiarized. Such a degree of borrowing of other's words and ideas is not an oversight or an error -- it is intellectual theft. Walsh's refusal to bow out shows just how unfit he is for any position of public trust.

|| Greg, 11:20 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Mexico Complains About Texas Efforts To Secure The Border

Because American sovereignty is a inhumane or something.

The Mexican government on Tuesday expressed its concern over the decision by Texas authorities to send 1,000 National Guard troops to the border to help stem the massive arrival of undocumented child migrants from Central America.

Attention to the immigration phenomenon must be paid from a long-term regional perspective and based on the principles of good neighborliness and shared responsibility, the Foreign Relations Secretariat said in a statement.

The strategy for responding in an effective and humane manner to this phenomenon includes the necessary shared responsibility among the countries of origin, transit and destination of migration flows, the statement continued.


Good neighborliness and shared responsibility?

Does that mean printing maps for your citizens in order to make it easier for them to find their way across our nation's border instead of stopping them -- as has been Mexican policy for years?

Does that mean agreeing with neighboring countries to help their citizens cross your territory so they can illegally cross into the United States?

You must be kidding me when you talk about good neighborliness. And "shared responsibility" would involve your country doing its part to keep those illegal border crossings to a minimum.

As far as I'm concerned, the only responsibility the US as the "destination country" has regarding illegal aliens is rounding them up, shipping them back home, and ensuring a full accounting is kept so that the amount spent in doing so can be deducted from the foreign aid earmarked for the origin and transit countries -- not the increases in foreign aid that the presidents of Guatemala and El Salvador are demanding as a payoff to stop the flow of their citizens into our country,

|| Greg, 10:16 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 24, 2014

FEC Asserts Authority Over Publishers

In 2009, a deputy solicitor general arguing a case before the Supreme Court argued that the Federal Election Commission had the power to ban books if they were deemed electioneering (see pages 27-30). The following spring his boss, then Solicitor General Elena Kagan, tried to finesse the matter and failed -- leading to the decision in the Citizens United case which among other things made it clear that the federal government does not have the power to ban books due to the First Amendment.

That is why this news is troubling.

The chairman of the Federal Election Commission today blasted Democratic colleagues opposed to his effort to protect conservative media after they imposed rules on the publisher of Rep. Paul Ryan's new book, opening the door to future book regulations -- or even a ban.

By failing to affirm this publishers constitutional right, statutory right, to disseminate a political book free from FEC conditions and regulations, we have effectively asserted regulatory jurisdiction over a book publisher, warned Chairman Lee E. Goodman, one of three Republicans on the six-person FEC.

That failure reveals a festering legal uncertainty and chill for the free press rights of books and book publishers to publish and disseminate political books free from government regulation, he added.

Seems to me that we once again have agents of a rogue administration seeking to limit the political speech of their opponents -- and in this case doing so in direct contradiction of the holding of the Supreme Court just four years ago. But then again, Obama and his cronies have never liked that ruling and the Dictator-in-Chief himself engaged in an unprecedented attack on the Supreme Court justices during his State of the Union address just days later. Here's hoping we'll see Paul Ryan take this matter to court and another SCOTUS smackdown of Barack Obama and his minions over the failure faithfully execute the laws and uphold the rights of citizens guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

|| Greg, 06:07 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May I Disagree With The Adjective?

Over at Hot Air, I came across this headline on a post.

Arizona inmate takes nearly two hours to die
by lethal injection in botched execution

May I point something out here? The guy is dead via lethal injection. By definition, the execution was a success.

And as far as the amount of time -- and even the possible suffering involved -- it seems appropriate given the nature of the crime for which has finally paid the appropriate penalty.

Joseph Wood, 55 at the time of his death, carried out the double murder in August 1989 when he shot his former partner Debbie Dietz and her father Gene at their family-run car body shop in Tuscon, Arizona.

Wood, who was said to have assaulted Debbie during their relationship, walked into Dietz and Sons Auto Paint and Body Shop and shot 55-year-old Gene in the chest.

Then, as a desperate Debbie tried to phone for help, Wood grabbed her round the neck.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that witnesses heard him tell his her "I told you I was going to do it. I love you. I have to kill you, b****" before also shooting the 29-year-old fatally in the chest.

When police arrived Wood turned his gun on officers, prompting them to open fire and shoot him nine times.

So sorry -- I just can't bring myself to give a damn that he may have experienced a bit of discomfort. He got 25 years longer than he deserved.

But if there is some opposition by drug companies to using their drugs in executions, there is an easy solution.


Firing squads.

Or the injection of lead, 9mm at a time, to the base of the skull until breathing ceases.

|| Greg, 12:26 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 23, 2014

Hundreds Of CA Taxpayers And Professors Write To Express Outrage Over SFSU-Funded Terrorist Meetings

By: Tammi Rossman-Benjamin

Independent Sentinel

7 Groups Demand Cal State Governing Board Investigate 

Los Angeles, CA, July 22, 2014  Citing broad academic and community outrage, seven groups, today, urged the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees, the group with ultimate authority over educational and fiscal matters at SFSU and all CSU schools, to launch its own investigation into San Francisco State University (SFSU) Professor Rabab Abdulhadis recent use of $7,000 from SFSU to fly to Jordan, the West Bank and Israel to meet with known terrorists.   AMCHA Initiative co-founder Tammi Rossman-Benjamin will deliver the letter and remarks at todays bi-monthly Board of Trustees meeting.

On June 24, President Wong defended Abdulhadis use of public funds for her personal advocacy mission as research and stated that his investigation concluded it complied with established rules without fault or violation, wrote AMCHA Initiative, Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Simon Wiesenthal Center, StandWithUs and Zionist Organization of America.  We are extremely troubled by President Wongs statement, as are many others throughout the state and across the county.

Hundreds of California taxpayers have written to State Controller John Chiang to express their outrage and call for an investigation into the misuse of state funds.  The following are excerpts from some of the letters:

Please help put a stop to this outrageous abuse of power and resources by any faculty member or administrator.

I am appalled to read about state funds supporting the travels of SFSU professors for a purely political agenda. You have a fiduciary responsibility to better oversee public funds.

I am opposed to any professors using California State funds to go on political tours. It is essential that politics and research be separated very carefully

This must be audited and the money reimbursed to the state by Rabab Abhulhadi.

[T]here is no legitimate personal political advocacy that taxpayers should fund, particularly when it involves taxpayer funds used for non-educational purposes, e.g. spent primarily for political advocacy

I am writing to you today to express my outrage over SFSU President Wongs decision to spend thousands of taxpayer dollars to meet with terrorists. As a California taxpayer and resident, I am calling on you to audit the university and put an end to President Wongs funding of terrorist trips.

I amdisturbed that funds designated for educational and research purposes are going for avowedly political purposes that encourage violence and intimidation here on US campuses as well as foster acts of terror overseas.

CA faculty are also outraged that Wong condoned the use of university funds for political advocacy.  Yesterday, dozens of faculty from universities throughout California sent a letter to the State Controller indicating that they are appalled that Abdulhadi has been allowed to use state funds to advance her own political agendato promote an academic boycott of Israel, and they are deeply disturbed that SFSU President Wong has condoned Prof. Abdulhadis use of state funds as legitimate research.  In addition, 12 faculty members from UC San Diego sent a letter to the CA State Controller stating: President Wongs justification of this abuse of California taxpayers money as legitimate research is outrageous and so broadens the term research as to make it meaningless.  Individual faculty also wrote to Chiang stating:

At my own university [Yale University], if I were to do this I would have to repay the university, at a minimum. Disciplinary action might also be undertaken for such misuse of university funds. 

As a professor, I always attended and reported to colleagues about any state and even self funded conference in which I participated. I cannot imagine my and my colleagues not keeping our fiscal and intellectual commitments to our employing university!

SFSU Professor Rabab Abdulhadis trip to the Middle East came under scrutiny when a California Public Records Act (PRA) Inquiry in May, requested by AMCHA Initiative, revealed Abdulhadi received more than $7,000 from SFSU to meet with the following members of known terrorist organizations:

Abdulhadi, in her own words, acknowledged her trip as purely political.  At a SFSU public event, she called her trip a political solidarity tour whose primary purpose was to promote resolute actions in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. Abdulhadi was the faculty advisor to the SFSU knife-wielding student investigated by the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force and was caught on tape glorifying terrorism to students.

We are turning to you, as members of the CSU Board of Trustees with ultimate fiduciary responsibility for the University, with a question that many concerned citizens in our state and across the country are asking: Is a self-described political solidarity trip to promote the academic boycott of Israel, which itself has been declared as contrary to the values of the university by Chancellor White and hundreds of other University leaders, consistent with the educational mission of the California State University and a legitimate use of taxpayer funds?, wrote the groups.

Across California, professors are trying to game the system and politicize the campus, stated Rossman-Benjamin.  As California faculty, we are extremely concerned.  Please put a stop, once and for all, to this egregious abuse of power and resources and uphold our scholarly values.

A copy of the full letter can be seen here.

AMCHA Initiative is a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating, documenting, educating about, and combating anti-Semitism at institutions of higher education in America. AMCHA Initiatives efforts are bolstered by a network of more than 5,000 members and supporters of the Jewish community including university alumni, parents and grandparents, rabbis, religious school principals and synagogue members who have joined together to speak in one voice to ensure the safety and well-being of Jewish students on college and university campuses across the country.

|| Greg, 08:08 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

REPOST -- You Want Pre-1967 Borders For Israel?

At least as a starting point for negotiation.

Well, that sounds reasonable -- as long as we start with THESE pre-1967 Borders.


Or at a minimum, there is always this possibility.


You know, if we really want to talk about "ancestral homelands", "right of return" and such things, it seems to me that we ought to consider the historical extent of Israel as a starting point -- and perhaps look at the possibility of telling the descendants of the bands of conquering Mohammedans with tenure in the region only since the seventh century that they need to make room for the area's rightful owners.

|| Greg, 07:38 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (423) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Montana Senator Takes Inside Track In Democrat Veep-stakes

After all, look what plagiarism did for Joe Biden.

A new report by the New York Times Jonathan Martin finds that Senator John Walsh (D., Mont.) apparently plagiarized large parts of his thesis in 2007 while obtaining his masters degree from the United States Army War College.

Walsh, who was 46 at the time, failed to cite and used the exact language from various sources, including documents from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Harvard Universitys Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, among others. The Times reports that parts of Walshs thesis were taken word-for-word without citations or footnotes; the article estimates about one-third of the thesis fails to cite sources, while another third provides footnotes, but uses the authors exact or almost exact language without quotation marks.

Now here's the question -- will the appointed senator and Democrat nominee for the seat this fall stay in the race? Will he resign his Senate seat in disgrace? Or as a Democrat, will doing the honorable thing not be required or expected of him?

|| Greg, 07:17 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Egypt Insults Kerry

Mind you, John Kerry is a joke of a human being and is only slightly more competent to be Secretary of State than Obama is to be President -- but was this really necessary?

Reuters reports that Kerry and his aides were checked with a metal detector. Security personnel reportedly raised a handheld metal-detector wand to Kerrys suit jacket before waving him through.

Kerrys aides were also subjected to the handheld wand and were told to walk through a metal detector.

The man is an American cabinet official on a diplomatic mission from the US government. Do the Egyptians really believe he is going to assassinate their president? But then again, maybe the use of the metal detector on Kerry and his entourage is a subtle reminder of how the standing of the United States has fallen under Barack Obama, and how our government is no longer trusted by those who lead friendly nations.

|| Greg, 07:06 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 19, 2014

First Revision Of A Proposed Model For A Shorter Platform For the Republican Party Of Texas

Based upon the suggestions from a number of Republican activists and my own further reflections on the proposal I set fort a month ago, I have made some changes here. The major one is the creation of the section entitled "Reaffirmation of the Principle of Federalism", which combines the previous two sections entitled "Reaffirmation of States' Rights" and "Texas State Sovereignty" due to each dealing with issues of state powers and federal limits under the Tenth Amendment. It also removes the term "States' Rights", which for better or for worse has historical connotations not intended by the plank where it was used.In light of the Hobby Lobby decision and Democrat efforts to undercut statutory protections of religious liberty, I added language supporting the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. There are also a few stylistic changes as well.


We, the Republican Party of Texas, affirm our belief in nature's God and declare our support for government based upon a moral and spiritual foundation. We affirm freedom for every individual as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and protected by the Constitution. We believe that citizens' needs are best met through free enterprise, private initiative, and volunteerism. We support the Rule of Law and believe in upholding the law of the land.

We believe government exists by the consent of the governed and that it must be restrained from intruding into the freedoms of its citizens. The function of government is not to grant rights, but to protect the unalienable, God-given rights of life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.

The 13 original Sovereign States in Constitutional Convention created the Constitution of the United States of America and subsequently ratified that document creating a Federal Government and granting to that Government limited and enumerated powers. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States defines Federal powers as those enumerated in the Constitution and reserves all other powers to the States and to the People. We oppose congressional, judicial, and executive abrogation of the principle that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. We oppose unreasonable and intrusive federal mandates.

We recognize the rights of the individual to own property. We resist any effort by government to take private property without an overwhelming need for public use. We strongly oppose civil forfeiture of private property absent the conviction of its owners for a crime involving its acquisition or use.

We demand honesty, integrity, morality, and accountability of our public officials. We will work to expose and stop corruption. We reject the buying and selling of endorsements in all elections.

We support a military force of sufficient strength and readiness to deter any threat to our national sovereignty or to the safety and freedom of our citizens. We support the Constitutional mandate to protect and secure our national borders. We oppose placement of United States troops under any foreign command, including the United Nations. We support lawful efforts of local law enforcement agencies to protect citizens in their homes and in their communities. We urge reform of the legal system to accomplish a swift and balanced administration of justice, including consideration of rights of the victim. We support capital punishment when appropriate.

We support the individual constitutionally protected natural right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes. We encourage personal responsibility for the care and use of these firearms. We support the Castle Doctrine and the right of individuals to stand their ground when confronted with criminal violence, and reject the notion that law-abiding citizens have a duty to retreat rather than defend themselves from criminals.

We claim freedom of religion for every citizen and expect the protection of government in securing to us this unalienable right. We affirm the right to religious expression, including prayer, in both private and public. We support the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

We recognize the traditional family as the fundamental unit of society. We affirm that parents have the fundamental right and primary responsibility to direct the upbringing of their children and to provide nurturing care, discipline and training in moral values.

We believe all human life is sacred regardless of age or infirmity, and therefore we oppose abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and the public funding of any of these abhorrent practices. We reject government efforts to force employers to pay for these practices directly or indirectly under the guise of "health care benefits".

We believe that the primary responsibility for meeting basic human needs rests with the individual, the family, and the voluntary charitable organizations. We recognize, however, that there are special social needs that must be addressed through state human service programs. We support requiring welfare recipients to work towards self-sufficiency. We reject the notion that the federal government may mandate the purchase of any insurance product or penalize the failure to do so, as well as federal regulation of insurance products offered for sale.

We recognize the contributions made to our quality of life through ethnic diversity. We reject efforts to sanitize history because it offends some based upon race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

We believe that no individual is entitled to rights that exceed or supersede the natural rights of others guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Texas. There shall be no discrimination by government in favor of or against any individual due to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

We believe that all children should have access to quality education. Parents have the primary right and responsibility to educate their children, and we support their right to choose public, private, or home education. We support incentives to promote competitive excellence. We encourage cooperative initiatives to help all Texans become literate in English. We support the distribution of educational funds in a manner that they follow the student to any school, whether public private, or home school. We reject federal imposition of educational standards and the tying of federal education funding to adopting federally mandated standards. We reject zero tolerance policies that mindlessly impose punishments that lack a rational relationship to the supposed offense.

We accept the necessity for limited taxation in order for government to perform and administer those services that meet essential public needs. However, we recognize that the power to tax is also the power to control, and believe that the best way to control government is to strictly control the amount of taxes imposed on the people. We encourage further simplification of tax systems, the elimination of the estate tax, and broad-based rate reduction where possible. We reject the imposition of a state income tax and support a meaningful cap on increasing property taxes so that homeowners need not fear being taxed out of their homes.

We recognize that government regulation can be a major impediment to productivity and to competition. We must rely more on market forces and less on government. Regulatory power now exercised by the federal government must be eliminated or returned to state and local governments to the degree that it is practical to do so.

We believe that a strong, diversified economy based on a positive work ethic, a well-trained and well-educated work force, a business-friendly environment, and safe work place will help Texas compete in a world market place. We believe that developing our human resources is essential to the future of Texas. We support the Texas Right to Work Law.

We appreciate the quality of our environment. Our air, water, and land are at the heart of our existence and must be protected through balanced management. We support reasonable laws and volunteer efforts to improve air and water quality. We continue to seek responsible solutions to controversies surrounding uses of our wilderness. We seek to preserve the environment while serving the best interests of our Texas citizens. We oppose as unconstitutional the declaration by any President without approval from Congress of any large tract of land as a national monument. We call on the State of Texas to use the resources at its disposal to challenge any such declaration in the courts of the United States.

The jury is a fundamental institution of liberty, because it is the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution. The jury has the right and the authority to acquit if jurors feel justice will be served.

America is a stronger and better nation because of the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of legal immigrants, and the Republican Party honors them. We believe that control of our borders is critical to both national security and national sovereignty.

We oppose illegal immigration and all forms of amnesty for illegal immigrants. We oppose granting government benefits to those illegally present in the US. We believe that current laws against employing illegal immigrants should be vigorously enforced, particularly to stem the now too common crime of identity theft in obtaining employment. We support the imposition of civil and criminal penalties for employers that knowingly employ illegal aliens. We support the mandatory use of E-Verify so that employers can determine whether job applicants are legally entitled to employment in the United States.

The Republican Party is a party by the people and for the people. We appreciate the productivity of our citizens, affirm the infinite worth of all individuals, and seek the best possible quality of life for all. We invite all citizens to join us in working together for a better Texas.

CROSSPOSTED AT Texas GOP Platform Reform Project.

|| Greg, 08:17 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 18, 2014

Those Tolerant Muslims!

Next time you hear someone say that Islam is a tolerant religion or that it does not allow for coercion in religious matters, point this one out to them.

Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Saad Sirop of Baghdad has confirmed a troubling report from Mosul that the Islamic State is now presenting Christians in that city with a final ultimatum of conversion, subservience or death.

According to sources known to Aleteia, but kept anonymous due to security concerns, a number of mosques in the city of Mosul, and through loudspeakers, called on Christians Friday to leave the city. They said they were doing so because bishops had refused to attend a meeting this week with members of the Islamic State in which the new rulers would dictate terms to the Christians: pay a special tax or convert to Islam.

Christians have until tomorrow to leave, or face execution.

That is the way it goes in Muslim countries -- Christians can submit, convert, or die. And sometimes they are left only the latter two options.

|| Greg, 10:53 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Stupid Stuff Dan Patrick Says

So, Dan, what is your solution to this alleged problem?

Statement from Dan Patrick on the use of Common Core in AP US History
HOUSTON Today, Dan Patrick, Texas State Senator and Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, issued the following statement on the use of Common Core in AP US History in Texas.

Common Core is a threat to our state's high-quality education standards. As State Senator, I carried H.B. 462, which was signed into law in June 2013, to keep Common Core out of Texas. I also asked Attorney General Greg Abbott to issue an opinion against the use of Common Core in Texas. In this opinion he agreed that the intent of H.B. 462 was to prohibit the outright adoption of the national Common Core standards.

Today, I applaud SBOE Member Ken Mercer and his efforts to fight Common Core. Ken is leading the charge to prevent Common Core from being brought back into Texas classrooms via a backdoor through the Common Core aligned AP US History exam. As Lt. Governor, I will fight to ensure that Texas continues to educate students with our own high-quality standards, rather than national mandates pushed by special interests.

Interestingly enough, Dan Patrick does not offer an explanation of what is wrong with the AP exam beyond vague invocations of "Common Core". For that matter, Dan doesn't offer any explanation of what he thinks are wrong with the Common Core standards for US History. Nor does he offer a solution for the alleged problem. Is it his intent to make the teaching of AP US History -- or administering the exam -- illegal in the state of Texas because it is "contaminated" with Common Core?

By the way -- I've taken a quick look at what appear to be the Grade 11 & 12 Common Core standards for Social Studies. Their requirements are similar to the requirements of US History TEKS 29, 30, 31, and 32 in terms of the skills required. So I'm curious -- what is the real objection here? Does Dan Patrick really expect the College Board to use the standards adopted by the state of Texas -- as opposed to the standards in effect in over 40 other states -- to write its standards and examination?

Here's the reality -- the College Board is not going to roll over and submit to the demands of one state -- or even ten -- when their standard are different from what the rest of the country uses. And unless Dan Patrick and the anti-Common Core crowd want to deny Texas students the ability to get college credit for their high school coursework, they are going to have to accept that the exams will be use Common Core standards as a part of their template.

|| Greg, 12:04 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 17, 2014

Hacked Or Whacked -- A Coda To The Denise Pratt Saga

I would have ignored the following email, but for the fact it came in the form of an email blast from the allegedly defunct Denise Pratt campaign.

SCANDAL: Republicans throw local conservative judge under the bus

"Deals" struck behind closed doors - attorneys plot to profit from child abuse cases

By ComplicitNoMore

The Republican primary season in Harris County is one of the most contentious and vicious in recent memory. It is made all the more sanguine by the fact that Republicans joined forces with Democrats in several key family court races to depose sitting pro-family judges or put transparent Obama supporters (one-time Rs) on the bench.

Such moves are not simply the result of ignorance, as evidenced by the case of Denise Pratt. Republicans from start to finish were virtually complicit with Pratts attackers. [Silence is not the absence of wrongdoing but rather, passive wrongdoing.]

Pratt, like many Republicans, was the victim of a leftist tirade. The Houston Chronicle, and its neophyte reporter Kiah Collier, succeeded in filling the blogosphere with patent falsehoods about the embattled judge. The reality? Pratt allowed plaintiffs to speak directly to her, minimizing the role of attorneys and impacting the pocketbook of a few left-leaning attorneys with an ego to protect. Moreover, many of these attorneys profited from a system that perpetuates abuse and is biased against the traditional family unit.

The attorney leading the charge against Denise Pratt is a man named Greg Enos, who went so far as to tap her phones and monitor her private, privileged communications while she sat as judge. Harris County is starting to look more like an episode of Dukes of Hazzard with men like Enos running around loose. Enos would likely be content if Boss Hog were sitting in Pratt's place. Instead, Obama supporter and pro-abortion attorney Alicia Franklin will.

No self-righteous crusade legitimizes the violation of a judges private communications.

Collier (Chronicle reporter) consistently references "many attorneys" as her source for most of the alleged "facts" she prints in her ongoing witch-hunt against Pratt, even though Pratt has more than once thoroughly and publicly addressed the allegations - and has been 'no-billed' by her fellow citizens.

Further, Collier produces an Excel sheet as her primary evidence for the alleged dismissals, even though she fails to include that a majority of all cases thrown out were thrown out because they had not been re-filed, or were possessed of other clerical issues that did not permit a hearing. When an attorney fails to request reinstatement of a case, it dies simple, the end. Why are the left-leaning attorneys who have made it their mission to sink Pratt, not aware of this? Or could it be, that the implied allegation of incompetence or foul play is merely a red herring, a means to an end? Where liberals are concerned, stranger things have happened. And where liberal attorneys are concerned, red herrings and straw man witch-hunts are a virtual certainty. Tom DeLay and Ronnie Earl, anyone?

Dismissals of the kind attacked by Collier in her role as Enos-lackey were lawful and a normal clerical practice of courts with large caseloads and backlogs of cases that are inactive and not in compliance with the rules of the courts. Making dismissals is part of any judge's JOB, and turning dismissals into a scandal would be akin to gasping in shock that a preacher preaches or that a lawmaker makes laws.

Reducing a common part of a judge's duties to the absurd is beneath even the Chronicle, a publication that always seems to endorse the most liberal Republicans for offices.

So, a few attorneys do not like Denise Pratt or her decisions - what manager in an organization is loved or adored by all its employees? If businesses were run this way, businesses would fail.

A judge should be less concerned about popularity with attorneys and more concerned about the law they are charged with protecting.

With only 32 family law attorneys (Democrats or primary opponents make up the entire list) out of over 500 family law attorneys in Harris County opposing Judge Pratt, the odds are that Pratt was doing something worth doing.


Denise Pratt for Judge PO Box 8012 Baytown, TX 77522 USA

We are left with only two conclusions here. The first is that the Pratt campaign's MailChimp account was hacked and some unauthorized individual sent out this anonymous rant. The second is that disgraced former judge Denise Pratt and her campaign organization sent out this email -- and that they are making accusations of criminal activity against those who brought her down. Given that the Pratt campaign has not come out and said they were hacked, I have to conclude (once again) that Pratt and her die-hard supporters are engaged in a bizarre campaign of libel.

I don't use the word libel lightly. After all, this email states that Enos and company tapped government phone lines. I'm hoping Enos files suit against Pratt and her campaign over this accusation, and forces her to put up or shut up.

And that when all is said and done, Denise Pratt crawls into a hole somewhere and disappears from all public notice.

UPDATE -- JULY 24, 2014: A comment below by someone calling himself "Truther1" accused me about lying by connecting this email to Denise Pratt. However, here is a screen cap of the portion of the email showing it as coming from the Pratt campaign -- To view the image click here. So no, I'm not lying and no I'm not trying to politicize the family courts here in Harris County. Indeed, Denise Pratt is a product of just such politicization of the Family Courts by the pay-to-play slatemakers.

|| Greg, 08:57 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (39) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 16, 2014

Why We Need To Focus On Juan Garcia Rather Than Stefan Kowalski

The Houston Chronicle, for reasons that I have never quite figured out, continues to run a blog by a former Houston ADA who moved to the Chicago area as somehow representative of GOP thought on issues. It's author, Chris Ladd, is a nice guy, but would generally be seen as outside the mainstream of GOP thought in Texas -- and based upon having lived nearly half my life in and around that state, I suspect he is outside of the mainstream in Illinois, too.

His most recent post is all about immigration, and contains some good points. But he falls into a trap when he goes this direction.

Is the mere presence of a large number of migrants from Latin America a problem, or are we trying to address the broader problem of illegal immigration? The reason we havent settled on an immigration reform scheme that we still arent being honest about our priorities.

There are good reasons why illegal immigration should be discouraged. Having a large pool of people who exist beyond the reach of basic legal protections essentially outside of the social contract is harmful. Even if it created no economic costs, and in reality illegal immigration probably benefits us far more economically than anyone wants to admit, there are social and moral consequences to this situation that we should not be willing to bear.

That said, when we debate immigration issues it can be difficult to separate authentic problems from cultural biases. Chicago, for example, has a very large population of illegal migrants from Latin America. It also has many from Poland. Guess which population gets the most attention from law enforcement and the public?

When someone says that we should address our immigration problems by first securing the border they tipping their hand. Its gentle way of saying that their main concern is not whether people can come here but who is coming.(Bold added)

There we have it -- as Ladd often does when he disagrees with conservatives and agrees with liberals, he imputes racial animus to those who hold a different policy view. I would argue, however, that he is dead wrong in this case -- and I've said as much over at his blog.

The notion that those of us who talk about securing the border really mean no more Mexicans is wrong. It has to do with the sort of problems that come from having a relatively open southern border that people can more or less walk across without consequence. Arguing that it is about "who" rather than "what kind" and "how many" is to ignore the realities of illegal immigration.

For example, Ladd mentions the high number of Polish illegals in Chicago -- something I know about from having lived on the edge of a largely Polish community during my high school years. How did they get here? By and large by getting a visa, flying into the United States, and then not returning home. In other words, the government knows who they are it simply becomes a matter of devoting the time and resources to finding them and returning them to Poland.

Now consider the issue with the average person coming across our southern border from Mexico or points south they never had papers, there is no record of who they are, and they often cross into this country with the aid of organized crime. Add to this the criminal activity associated with their illegal border crossings against American citizens whose life an livelihood is in the area along the border and you have an entirely different set of problems created by illegal alien Juan Garcia than by illegal alien Stefan Kowalski.

How do we stop Stefan Kowalski? Easy match those entering and those leaving the country and make a concerted effort to locate anyone from Category A who does not show up in Category B at the appointed time. Stopping and deporting Juan Garcia and those like him requires different methods -- including a stronger presence at the border. We have to stop him on the way in or he is harder to find and deport later.

By the way, there is one other reason that we have to focus on the Juan Garcias rather than the Stefan Kowalskis it is numbers. The Pew Hispanic Research Center several years ago estimated that 57% of illegal aliens are Mexican nationals and another 24% come from the rest of Latin America. About 9% of illegals are from Asia while Europe and Canada contribute another 6%, with 4% coming from the Africa and other regions. If we rid ourselves of Stefan Kowalski, Sean OConnor, Hans Klein, Chou Liu and Krishna Patel, we still barely make a dent in the illegal immigration problem we have to focus on Juan Garcia and those like him who come here from Mexico and points south.. That isnt racism that is reality.

|| Greg, 09:38 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (14) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 13, 2014

Let's Note Who The Obama Administration Supports Religious Freedom For -- And Who It Does Not

You know, just so we understand the state of religious freedom under Barack Obama.

This is Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church.


It is a Missouri Synod Lutherna Church in Redford, Michigan. It also runs a school as a part of its ministry. It designated its teachers as ministers and subjected them to the same call and dismissal procedures as a pastor.

The Obama Administration took them all the way to the Supreme Court, arguing that the church had no right to define who constituted a minister and that its decisions on ministerial employees was subject to review by the federal government. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected this contention.

This is the Green family.


In 1972, they opened a family business, selling craft supplies. Their business prospered. In time, it became has grown to 575 stores around the country. They also operate Christian bookstores -- and the devoutly Christian family is working to establish a museum composed of biblical antiquities and manuscripts that they have collected over the decades. They are noted for running their business based upon Christian principles -- to the point that their retail stores are even closed on Sunday.

This is the Hahn family.


They have operated Conestoga Wood Specialties since 1964, making cabinets and other wood specialty products. They are members of the Mennonite Church, and have sought to run their business according to their faith.

Barack Obama and his administration fought all the way the Supreme Court, arguing that these families do not have a right under the First Amendment or the religious Freedom Restoration Act to operate their business according to their deeply held religious principles. The Supreme Court recently upheld the right of these families to practice their faith in the conduct of their businesses -- at which point the Obama Administration vowed to see if there was some way to undo that decision and Senate Democrats introduced legislation to partially repeal the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

This is Gregory Houston Holt.


He's a Muslim extremist who now goes by Abdul Maalik Muhammad. He's described himself as "American Taliban". He's done time for threatening to murder the daughters of then-President George W. Bush. He is currently serving a life sentence for murdering his girlfriend by slitting her throat. He wants to grow a beard in defiance of prison regulations, claiming it is a requirement of his religion.

And the Obama Administration is supporting him on the basis of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

So I guess we can now see what it takes to get your religious freedom respected by Barack Obama and his administration. Being a Christian just doesn't cut it. You have to be a murderous Muslim terrorist wannabe who has threatened to murder the children of a Republican president.

|| Greg, 01:48 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (10) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Racial Animus Against Black Republicans Not A Concern For Holder

Let's look at some ACTUAL racial animus directed at African-Americans participating in government and politics.

[T]here is regular coverage of Republicans accused of making racially biased remarks, whether they are nationally recognized figures, or merely local candidates and officials. I should know, having covered a number of such incidents.

But while the Republican National Committee has regularly denounced such incidentseven when the organization has no direct ties to the individuals involvedprominent Democrats and Democratic organizations rarely face similar pressure. This helps confirm Steeles theory that attacks on black Republicans are not taken seriously by media.

When the [Republican] Party tries to call attention to it basically the press just yawns, Steele said.

Bravo to Keli Goff for pointing out the double standard at work. What a pity that Eric Holder and Barack Obama aren't willing to have a courageous conversation about the racism that lurks in the heart of the Democrat Party -- the party of slavery, segregation, and the Klan. Maybe it is time to recognize that what we have is not a nation of cowards when it comes to race, but an administration of cowards.

|| Greg, 12:25 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Holder Race-Baits

The Attorney General of the most racially divisive administration since Klan-lover Woodrow Wilson was president has declared that opposition to him and Obama is based upon racial animus.

Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday he and President Obama have been targets of a racial animus by some of the administrations political opponents.

There's a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that's directed at me [and] directed at the president, Holder told ABC. You know, people talking about taking their country back. There's a certain racial component to this for some people. I dont think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some there's a racial animus."

Are there some folks who have a problem with you guys because you are black? A few, I'm sure -- but not nearly to the degree you want to hint it is. But that you would imply that dissent is not patriotic, but is instead racist, tells me that you are truly worthy of the contempt you have been show.

|| Greg, 12:14 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 11, 2014

Obama/Holder Department Of Intimidation Goes After Parade Float

This investigation should be treated as another Obama Regime scandal.

Mayor Sue Fuchtman confirms to KMTV Action 3 News that Department of Justice officials are in Norfolk to discuss a controversial parade float.

Last Saturday, a man put an outhouse on his parade float with a sign that read, "Obama Presidential Library." A zombie dressed as a farmer was leaning against the building. Parade organizers told KMTV they talked to the creator, who's a farmer, and he said the zombie was supposed to be him, not the president.

Today, the Iowa-Nebraska NAACP State Area Conference of Branches sent a news release to KMTV Action 3 News, saying they were meeting with Mayor Fuchtman Thursday afternoon. "The State Area NAACP has received numerous concerns and inquiries about this issue," the group said, "and appreciate Mayor Fuchtman and the parade officials' willingness to have open dialog (sic) and address these concerns."

This afternoon, Mayor Fuchtman told KMTV Action 3 News that she and the city administrator would be meeting with a representative of the Department of Justice before the meeting with the NAACP. She did not know if the media would have accessibility to the meeting, as it was being facilitated by the Department of Justice. The DOJ apparently told the city it had received concerns, including from the NAACP, regarding the float.

The mayor's response to both the DoJ and NAACP should have been "pound sand".

The float was First Amendment protected political speech.

The investigation is use of the Department of Justice for political purposes to intimidate the president's political opponents. It needs to be investigated by Congress and added to the list of impeachment charges against Eric Holder -- and any report produced by the House Judiciary Committee looking into the impeachment of Barack Obama if it is determined that Obama had any part in this effort at speech suppression.

The NAACP, on the other hand, is just playing their usual game of falsely crying racism. Americans are not required to like or approve of Obama, show him respect, or refrain from criticizing him merely because of the color of his skin. Especially given that the NAACP has never gone after those who speak disrespectfully of Justice Clarence Thomas -- in fact, it regularly does so itself. Therefore it is nothing more than a discredited political group trying to use government to intimidate its opponents and merits no consideration at all.

And it isn't like this float was a threat or anything like it -- or even as extreme as what Obama's immediate predecessor was subjected to on a regular basis.

|| Greg, 03:14 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (10) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

One Thing I Agree With Glenn Beck About.

Folks who have read this blog over the long term know a couple of things about me. One is that I am a staunch supporter of enforcing our nation's immigration laws. A second is that I really have little use for Glenn Beck. A third is that I take my Christian faith and the teachings of Scripture seriously, even if I at times live those teachings out imperfectly (as does every Christian). It is therefore fitting and right that there is a confluence of these three on one of the most pressing issues facing our country today -- the DREAMer Deluge created by our nation's inept wannabe dictator's failed border policy and the open borders crowd.

Now I was outraged the other day when word broke that the Obama Regime is denying Christian groups and local congregations the opportunity to do something to alleviate the human suffering that Obama's failed policies have created. But now it appears that Glenn Beck and others are going to make a concerted effort against that malignant government policy.

Glenn Beck on Tuesday announced that he will be bringing tractor-trailers full of food, water, teddy bears and soccer balls to McAllen, Texas on July 19 as a way to help care for some of the roughly 60,000 underage refugees who have crossed into America illegally in 2014.

Beck said he will be joined by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), and a number of pastors and rabbis.

Through no fault of their own, they are caught in political crossfire, Beck said of the children. And while we continue to put pressure on Washington and change its course of lawlessness, we must also help. It is not either, or. It is both. We have to be active in the political game, and we must open our hearts.

Beck has it exactly right there. The bulk of these kids are victims of the implicit invitation Obama has been extending to illegals to come to this country without consequence through his executive orders that have overridden the clear mandate of the law. They are the victims of parents who have either sent them to the US to provide a basis for the rest of the family to come after some future amnesty and legal status is granted them or who are being brought to the US by parents who abandoned them in their homelands in order to come to the US illegally. Relatively few are criminals and gang members, although it is undeniable that there are a significant number who are. They are often being housed in inhumane conditions, as demonstrated by the unwillingness of the Obama Regime to allow members of Congress to visit these camps (much less photograph or video the the conditions in them) other than a few administration favorites who are given tours of specially selected camps that are akin to Potemkin villages or the Theresienstadt ghetto. And let there be no doubt -- we have an obligation to provide humane treatment.

So Beck and the rest of his group are going to this camp near the border with relief supplies for the children interned there. I just wish they were going sooner and not announcing the camp they intend to visit and force the guards to open the gates or turn back the gifts in the face of the television cameras. But I think I understand why Beck is not doing so -- and I'll explain that reason in a moment. In the mean time let me note that Beck and others who have said that we have a moral obligation to treat these children properly have been condemned as bad conservatives, RINOs, amnesty supporters, and other slurs. Such claims are absolutely wrong.

So why is this effort being undertaken? Well, this is where the matter of Christian faith comes into play. After all, Jesus did have a few words to say on matters of this sort.

Matthew 25:31-46 (NKJV)

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.

Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? And the King will answer and say to them, Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.

Then He will also say to those on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.

Then they also will answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You? Then He will answer them, saying, Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me. And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

The call there is for each believer to do these things as an individual, not rely on the government to do it on their behalf, so Beck is clearly doing these things. Now that need not be interpreted as requiring that any believer support that these kids be allowed to stay indefinitely or be granted legal status. But while they are here, we -- individually -- have an obligation to act charitably towards them. Otherwise we risk finding ourselves numbered among the second group in the parable -- and attacked by the anti-Christian Left (as was done by one of our local anti-Christian bloggers in a post that included this editorial cartoon).


Frankly, the reaction some of those who claim to be Christians in the face of this Obama-caused disaster has been appalling -- and a source of scandal. Do we give glory to God when some block buses full of women and children? Do we give glory to God with ordinances forbidding cooperation with federal authorities in providing temporary shelter for the children? Do we give glory to God with threats to shoot illegals between the eyes if they don't return to the other side of the border? Dare I suggest that doing and supporting such things (even if because we have a lawless president and we fear for the future of our nation for that reason) constitute a rejection of the Gospel and therefore a grave sin -- and that when clueless folks like Sheila Jackson Lee act more in conformity with the commands of Christ than do those who proclaim themselves to be supporters of Godly principles in government we are facing a spiritual crisis that far surpasses the legal and constitutional ones of this country once described as the last best hope on earth?

I believe that James, the brother of our Lord, said it quite well.

James 2:14-26 (NKJV)

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believeand tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also

What I am saying is that it is time for those who claim to be followers of Christ to either put up or shut up -- to either live out their faith or publicly concede that their professions of faith have been nothing but blasphemous lies. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord -- and will stand with the likes of Glenn Beck, Mike Lee, Louie Gohmert and the rest of those going with him to McAllen in doing so. And if it comes down to being rejected by certain friends and associates for taking this stance, it will be time to follow the words of the Lord in Luke 9:5 -- "shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them".

UPDATE: Looks like Erick Erickson of RedState is in general agreement with me on this one.

I am a citizen of the United States and I appreciate people are yearning to breathe free in America. But I am a citizen of the United States and want our laws enforced, our borders secured, and these illegal aliens some not yearning to breathe free, but here with other motives sent home.

I am also a citizen of the Kingdom of God. And I want these people, particularly the children, to know Christian charity and love and to go home understanding that we are willing for them to come but to come legally and lawfully through secure borders.

What Glenn Beck is doing is the kind thing to do. He is using his own money, while calling on the government to enforce the law. Conservatives and Christians can both want American borders secured and our laws enforced. But we should also be willing to show personal and private grace, mercy, and charity to the many troubled souls who have come here as they have.

Beautifully said, sir.

|| Greg, 02:11 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (9) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 10, 2014

Medical Research For The Wrong Purpose

I have no problem with finding new and better ways to deliver birth control. But I am offended that that goal is the first priority for this bit of technology.

The term wearable technology is about to get a little deeper; skin deep.

According to CNET, a chip has been developed that is capable of being used as a contraceptive or for other drug administration purposes once placed under the skin.

As part of the Bill & Miranda Gates Foundation Family Planning program, a team led by MITs Robert Langer has proposed that the chip be used to deliver birth control to women.

The company MicroCHIPS in Lexington, Massachusetts developed a chip that is a 20 x 20 x 7 millimeter reservoir array which could be used to deliver birth control to women for 16 years once placed under the skin.

Just imagine how useful something like this could be for dealing with hypothyroidism or diabetes. But I guess that making it easier to screw without consequences is much more important -- and profitable -- than delivering substances that might extend someone's life.

|| Greg, 04:55 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Terrorstinian Leaders Demand Civilians Ignore Israeli Warnings

Israel has this interesting practice in their efforts to get rid of the Islamist terrorists that infest Gaza -- they call every known phone number in the area targeted and warn those who answer of the impending attack. This is necessary because Hamas commits crimes against humanity by hiding weapons and personnel amongst civilians in an effort to paint any Israeli response to their acts of terrorism as the equivalent of the indiscriminate targeting of civilians that Hamas engages in.

So what has Hamas done? Ordered their human shields to stay put.

Hamas Interior Ministry has ordered residents of the Gaza Strip to remain in their houses if they are about to be bombed by the Israelis, a move that effectively turns citizens into human shields and is intentionally meant to boost the casualty rate, according to a copy of the order published by Hamas.

Israel warns Gaza residents of air strikes before they take place so innocent civilians have time to flee and seek shelter.

The latest Hamas order that citizens ignore Israels warnings and stay put is a clear effort by the terror group to increase the death count and apply pressure on Israel to cease its military campaign meant to end Hamass attacks.

Now one might ask why the civilians don't leave anyway. That's easy - Hamas has this habit of murdering those who are deemed collaborators with Israel for doing things like selling land to a Jew or suggesting the legitimacy of a two-state solution. Therefore the civilians stay put and hope they avoid death in the attack (which Hamas defines as martyrdom) rather than risk being hacked to death at the hands of their own "leaders".

|| Greg, 04:40 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 09, 2014

Dems Propose "Religious Freedom Repeal Act"

Because abortion, birth control, and freebies for favored groups are the highest sacraments for followers of the Cult of Obama.

On Wednesday, Senate Democrats introduced a bill that would force Christians and other conscientious objectors to pay for drugs and devices, including the "week-after" pill, that may kill human embryos.

The new bill was drafted in response to Supreme Court's ruling last week that Obamacare's so-called contraceptive mandate as applied to family-owned religious businesses was a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The Democrats' legislation would strip away the religious freedom law's protections for Americans who provide health benefits to their employees.

The text of the bill states that an employer-sponsored health insurance plan shall not exclude coverage of any item or service "where the coverage of such item or service is required under any provision of Federal law or the regulations promulgated thereunder" and that the new law would "apply notwithstanding any other provision of Federal law, including Public Law 103141 [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act]."

Now you realize what this means -- under this bill, it won't just be Hobby lobby and closely held corporations that will be required to pay for abortion pills. No, it will also be the pro-life organizations, religious groups, Christian schools and Catholic universities that will be forced to provide that which goes directly against their institutional beliefs. They want to strip all Americans of the ability to act on their sincerely held religious beliefs despite the lack of a compelling government interest for such coercion -- the opposite of what the law currently requires.

Apparently the Democrats want to take us back to the days when Christians had to make a choice.

|| Greg, 03:50 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Stopping Canuck Stoners

As our nations struggles with the unchecked DREAMer Deluge on our southern border, the Obama Administration focuses on a greater cross-border threat -- Canadian potheads headed to locales where marijuana is legal.

While the Obama administration is allowing hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied minors into the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security has its eyes on the real threat: Canadian potheads.

Canadian tourists looking to buy weed in the U.S. will not only be turned away at the border, but could be banned from the country for life, Global News reports.

Recreational marijuana is still illegal in Canada, so industrious potheads have been watching Washingtons recent legalization with keen interest. Washington shares a border with the Canadian province British ColumbiaCanadas most pro-legalization province. (RELATED: Marijuana Stores To Finally Open In Washington)

While non-citizens purchasing marijuana in Washington is not itself illegal, DHS isnt comfortable with these pot pilgrimages, saying Anyone who is determined to be a drug abuser or user is inadmissible. A crime involving moral turpitude is inadmissible, and one of those areas is a violation of controlled substances [law].

Does this seem like a failure to properly prioritize our nation's needs? We don't need to worry about the the members of violent gangs or the carriers of serious illness streaming across the southern border at a serious clip and being housed at taxpayer expense for who knows long. No, we need to make sure that folks looking for a legal buzz don't come for a weekend smoking a little ganja. And unlike the tens of thousands entering illegally, these folks who are seeking legal entry will be banned from the country for life because they want to consume a controlled substance where it is legal to do so.

I'm curious -- has any one consulted President Choom Gang about this policy?

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

Harry Reid Calls Clarence Thomas A White Man

If he were a Republican dissing a black Democrat, there would be outrage -- but since Harry Reid is a Democrat and Justice Thomas is a Republican, the media will generally remain mum.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is so angry over the Supreme Courts 5-4 decision in the Hobby Lobby contraception case last week that he apparently forgot Justice Clarence Thomas is black.

* * *

People are going to have to walk down here and vote, and if they vote with the five men on the Supreme Court, I think its theyre going to have be treated unfavorably come November with the elections, Reid told reporters on Tuesday, according to ABC.

The Senate will act soon to ensure that womens lives are not determined by virtue of five white men, Reid added.

I'd like to remind folks of something. Barack Obama is much whiter than Clarence Thomas could ever legitimately be accused of being.

Clarence Thomas was raised in poverty by his semi-literate black grandparents in the segregated South. Barack Obama was raised in an upper-middle-class community by his white grandparents, one of whom was a bank vice president.

Clarence Thomas went to a segregated Catholic school -- Obama went to Hawaii's most elite prep school.

Clarence Thomas is the descendant of slaves. Barack Obama is the descendant of slave owners (on both sides of his family).

So tell me -- who is the white guy, and who is the authentic black man?

So where are the calls for Reid's resignation from civil rights groups? Nope -- they will be silent, since Massa Harry is so good to them.

|| Greg, 02:25 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Politically Correct Travesty At Burial Place Of Robert E. Lee

This one troubles me deeply, both as an alum of Washington & Lee University (as well as another university which has deep ties to Abraham Lincoln) and as a student of history.

Washington and Lee University expressed regret Tuesday for the schools past ownership of slaves and promised to remove Confederate flags from the main chamber of its Lee Chapel after a group of black students protested that the historic Virginia school was unwelcoming to minorities.

President Kenneth P. Ruscios announcement was a surprising move for the small, private liberal arts college in Lexington, which has long celebrated its Southern heritage. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee served as the universitys president after the Civil War, his crypt is beneath the chapel, and the school has gingerly addressed its ties to the Confederacy and its having profited from the possession and sale of slaves.

The Confederate banners battle flags that Lees army flew as it fought Union forces have adorned the campus chapel that bears Lees name since 1930, and university officials said they were a nod to history and not a message intended to offend anyone. Others, however, see the flags as hate symbols representative of slavery, racism and grievous times in the nations history.

Let's set aside the silliness of apologizing for historical misdeeds committed by and against those who are long dead and the notion that there need be some sort of reparation for them. Nothing in this apology undoes the reality of the harm caused by slavery. But if an expression of regret soothes some troubled souls, so be it -- it is not a big deal.

No, it is the removal of the battle flags that is troubling to me. The flags are next to a statue of the general in a building named for him. General Lee and his family are buried in the crypt below -- which is a few feet from the office Lee used while he served as college president after the war (faithfully preserved as he left it on the day he fell victim to his final illness) and the museum that is devoted to the school and the school and the Lee family. Indeed, the statue of Lee that the flags surrounded is one that depicts wearing his uniform, asleep as if in a tent on one of the many battlefields of the Civil War. The flags are nothing if not appropriate there, as artifacts related to the lifetime of the man who saved a failing school from certain bankruptcy and who along with the son who succeeded him as college president (himself a former Confederate general) turned the school into one of the top educational institutions in the country. They are contextually correct.


|| Greg, 01:34 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (9) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Castro Confirmed To Run Agency Whose Funds He Mismanaged As San Antonio Mayor

Because. . . competence.

And. . . you only bring it up because you hate Hispanics.

The Senate easily confirmed San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro on Wednesday to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, boosting the national profile of a Democrat with a compelling biography who's considered a vice presidential contender in 2016.

The 71-26 vote makes the 39-year-old Castro one of the government's highest-ranking Hispanics, a growing group of voters who lean solidly Democratic. His ascension comes two years after he got his first broad national exposure when President Barack Obama picked him to deliver the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Well, he's really nothing but a Mexican-American Obama -- the child of radicals with a compelling biography and few accomplishments of note but who is able to read off a teleprompter.

So who cares about this minor detail about this maladministration of federal funds while serving as head of a city with a weak-mayor/strong-council system of government?

Though I will give him this much -- having served as mayor, he is more qualified than Obama and almost as qualified as Sarah Palin to serve as president.

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July 08, 2014

EJ Dionne Gets It Ass-Backwards

I don't deny that I am, when it comes down to it, an advocate of the original understanding of the Constitution when it comes to interpreting that document.

What was meant by those who wrote and ratified the Constitution in 1787 and 1788?

How did the authors of various constitutional amendments mean by their creations and how did those who ratified those amendments understand them them?

Those strike me as essential questions to be asked, and their answers ought to be normative. It is why I am frustrated at times by the constitutionalization of policy preferences by unelected judges -- usually of a liberal sort -- based upon some evolutionary theory. Bad policy is not unconstitutional, and a change in the country's social and political mores does not constitute a de facto amendment to our foundation document. Thus I might disagree with the execution of those who committed a crime while they were minors, but I do not see it as constitutionally forbidden (especially because those who wrote and ratified the Constitution and the Bill of Rights did, in fact, understand the Eighth Amendment as allowing such executions). I might, like Justice Clarence Thomas, find a ban on homosexual sodomy to be a silly law and one worthy of opposition as a legislator -- but such an assessment of said law does not make it a violation of any provision of the Constitution. the document means what it says and says what it means -- and reading something more into it is ultimately disrespectful.

I was therefore struck by this from EJ Dionne's most recent column.

The problem with "originalists," Strauss says, is that they "take general provisions and make them specific," even when they're not. One might add that the originalists' versions of specificity often seem to overlap with their political preferences.

Dare I say that the analysis is dead wrong -- and is 180 degrees reversed. We originalists do not hold to a particular understanding of the Constitution because it suits our politics -- our politics are guided by what the Constitution says.

Let me offer an example from the headlines. In recent weeks, we have heard that the President will "borrow" power from Congress and override existing law if Congress will not pass statutes that he wants. I, and most originalists like me, don't oppose Obama doing so because we disagree with the policies he wants to implement (though many of us do disagree with them) -- we oppose him doing so because the Constitution says that the legislative power belongs to Congress alone. I might fight against their adoption, but will accept their legitimacy if Congress were to pass them and Obama sign them into law -- but not otherwise.

For liberals like Dionne, however, it is quite different. He sees the policies he wants adopted implicit in the Constitution, just waiting to spring forth from some emanation of a penumbra of some random constitutional provision. It is his politics that are not merely permitted but which are affirmatively required by a document that mentions them not at all. In other words, he's projecting his own fault onto those he disagrees with -- and in the process gets his analysis absolutely ass-backwards.

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

Some Hobby Lobby Reflections -- What Does RFRA Require

Most folks were blissfully unaware of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act before the Hobby Lobby ruling was handed down. That should not surprise anyone, given that most Americans are unaware of most laws and would, in any event, presume that the government should not be telling religious people or organizations that they must act contrary to their religious beliefs in most instances. But now that everyone has been made aware of that law, let's look at what it requires.

Every RFRA case has at least three threshold questions:

(1) Are the litigants bringing a suit based on sincere religious objections?

(2) If they are sincere, are the litigants burdened in their religious exercise?

(3) If they are burdened, is the burden substantial?

Only if all three are answered affirmatively do courts engage in rights-balancing analysis, which consists of two subsequent questions:

(4) Is the state pursuing a compelling state interest?

(5) If so, is the state pursuing that interest using the least restrictive means possible?

So let's think about these for a minute. The question of sincerity simply revolves around whether or not one is serious in one's belief. The question of burden is about whether one is being required to go against one's beliefs. And the question of whether the burden is substantial goes to the question of how serious the burden is.

So let's look at my previous piece in which I used the example of Catholics and the use of wine in Holy Communion. It is beyond doubt that the Catholic Church teaches that the bread and wine consecrated in the Mass really and truly becomes the body and blood of Christ and that receiving Communion is a sacrament in which the faithful ought to be participate in if they are of the right disposition. Imposing criminal sanctions upon the participation in that sacrament due to age would obviously be a tremendous burden.

Now one could argue that there are compelling state interests at work -- preventing impaired operation of a motor vehicle by a young person or preventing the intoxication of a minor -- in banning alcohol consumption by those under the legal age to purchase and consume alcohol. However, citing and punishing those who receive or distribute communion because of the alcoholic content of one of the elements used is not the least restrictive means of carrying out those laudable ends, not the least because of the reality that the amount of alcohol consumed by an individual receiving communion would be insufficient to cause any impairment. The de facto criminalization of the sacrament for those under the legal drinking age -- or the de facto legal requirement that young people receive communion only under one form -- could never be seen as the least restrictive means of furthering the ends of the statutes in question.

I think a similar issues might well be raised in this current case from Louisiana regarding the seal of the confessional, which I suspect will ultimately have to be resolved under RFRA.

Which brings us back to Hobby Lobby. The justices found -- by my reading by a margin of 7-2 and some would argue unanimously -- that the first three tests were met by Hobby lobby. The matter then came down to the final two issues -- is free birth control for all a compelling government interest and has the government found the least restrictive means of providing it. The issue could be resolved based upon the final test -- no, the government was not using the least restrictive means of advancing its interest vis-a-vis the beliefs of Hobby Lobby's owners. It rendered answering the fourth question irrelevant -- though I wonder if we might not see that question answered in one of the coming cases from religious non-profits such as the Little Sisters of the Poor or Wheaton College.

But some have asked, what if an employer claims a belief that they must perform human sacrifice or discriminate against people because of race. Presuming they could make their case for the first three parts, it is beyond question that preventing the taking of human life is a compelling government goal -- and past precedent makes the same argument on racial discrimination. Presumably any statute or regulation challenged in such cases would be seen as a least restrictive means of accomplishing that end, and the RFRA challenge would fail. Indeed, more RFRA challenges fail than succeed for that very reason.

|| Greg, 08:09 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Some Hobby Lobby Reflections -- No, The Science Does Not Matter

The owners of Hobby Lobby believe that four of the required methods of "birth control" are abortifacients because they have the potential (acknowledged by the manufacturers and the federal government) to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in the lining of the uterus -- which many Christians hold to be the destruction of a human life. The government argued that the drug was not an abortifacient because the government, and science generally, does not view pregnancy as beginning until after implantation. Some have therefore argued that the decision is anti-science because the religious belief in question contradicts the current scientific consensus.

Of course, this argument is nonsense. As Jonathan Adler notes over at the Volokh Conspiracy, the issue of the scientific validity of the religious belief is not relevant at all to the case -- as was acknowledged even by the dissenters in the case.

Lets start with the law. When a religious individual or institution claims that a government policy impermissibly burdens the exercise of religion, the essential truth of the religious objectors claim is not at issue. As Eugene helpfully explained in this post, under RFRA, the question whether there is such a substantial burden should be based on the Hobby Lobby owners sincere judgment about what constitutes culpable complicity with sin, and not on the courts judgment. This principle was accepted by all of the justices in Hobby Lobby. As Justice Ginsburg conceded in her dissent, courts must accept as true a RFRA plaintiffs sincerely held religious beliefs and are not to question the plausibility of a religious claim. Rather, at issue in a RFRA case is whether the government policy at issue imposes a substantial burden on the plaintiff and, if so, whether the government can show a compelling interest in subjecting the plaintiff to the policy and that there is no less-restrictive alternative to meet the governments interest.

I'd like to instead present a different example for consideration, one which even the most unreasonable opponent of the Hobby Lobby decision would have to acknowledge shows why the "it contradicts the science" standard is wrong.

Catholics hold to the doctrine of transubstantiation -- defined in Paragraph 1376 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as follows:

1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."

But while the "substance" (used in the philosophical sense of the reality of a thing") is changed, the "accidents" (or appearance) of the bread and wine remain unchanged. Were a scientist to test the Eucharist after the consecration, they would find the same bread and wine as before. Thus the Catholic belief in transubstantiation is "anti-science".

Which leads us to these laws here in Texas.

Underage Drinking Laws

Minors who purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages, as well as minors who are intoxicated in public or misrepresent their age to obtain alcoholic beverages, face the following consequences:

  • Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500
  • Alcohol awareness class
  • 8 to 40 hours community service
  • 30 to 180 days loss or denial of driver's license

If a minor is seventeen years of age or older and the violation is the third offense, the offense is punishable by a fine of $250 to $2,000, confinement in jail for up to 180 days or both, as well as automatic driver's license suspension.

A minor with previous alcohol-related convictions will have his or her driver's license suspended for one year if the minor does not attend alcohol awareness training that has been required by the judge.

Penalties for Providing Alcohol to a Minor

Adults and minors who give alcohol to a minor also face a stiff penalty. The punishment for making alcoholic beverages available to a minor is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $4,000, confinement in jail for up to a year, or both. Additionally, the violator will have his or her drivers license automatically suspended for 180 days upon conviction.

Persons 21 or older (other than the parent or guardian) can be held liable for damages caused by intoxication of a minor under 18 if the adult knowingly provided alcoholic beverages to a minor or knowingly allowed the minor to be served or provided alcoholic beverages on the premises owned or leased by the adult.

Sale to a minor is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $4,000, confinement up to a year in jail, or both.

Zero Tolerance Law

In Texas it is illegal for a person under 21 to operate a motor vehicle in a public place while having ANY detectable amount of alcohol in their system. On September 1, 2009, this law was expanded to include watercraft in addition to motor vehicles.

  1. The consequences for the minor on the first offense of driving under the influence of alcohol:

    • Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500

    • Attendance at an alcohol awareness class

    • 20 to 40 hours of mandatory community service

    • 60 days driver's license suspension. The minor would not be eligible for an occupational license for the first 30 days.

  2. A second offense increases the consequences to:

    • Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500

    • Attendance at an alcohol awareness class at the judge's discretion

    • 40 to 60 hours of mandatory community service

    • 120 days driver's license suspension. The minor would not be eligible for an occupational license for the first 90 days.

  3. A third offense is not eligible for deferred adjudication. The minor's driver's license is suspended for 180 days and an occupational license may not be obtained for the entire suspension period. If the minor is 17 years of age or older, the fine increases to $500 to $2,000, confinement in jail for up to 180 days, or both.

Clearly we have a conflict here between science and belief. Would those who argue that the law must always side with the science therefore suggest that any individual under the age of 21 who received communion under both species ought to be subject to the penalties for underage consumption of an alcoholic beverage? Ought a priest, deacon, or Eucharistic minister who allows such an individual to partake from the chalice be prosecuted for supplying alcohol to a minor? Would it be a violation of religious liberty for the police to set up a checkpoint down the block from a Catholic church and flag down cars driven by those who appear under the age of 21 in order to check to make sure they are not blowing any detectable level of alcohol? After all, this would be the enforcement of laws of general application regarding an area of important public policy.

I suspect that most Americans -- even those who in the Hobby Lobby case argue that "belief should not trump science in free exercise cases" -- would find such practices repulsive and not the least restrictive means of accomplishing the compelling government interest of preventing underage consumption of alcohol. The burden on free exercise of religion is in such a case much too great to be viewed as anything other than a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act -- and likely of the First Amendment itself (although perhaps not the latter, given Employment Division v. Smith).

So look at the situation that existed prior to Hobby Lobby. Regardless of whether or not science views the actions of the four medications in question as abortifacient, it is not unreasonable (nor even outside of the mainstream of Christianity) for the Green family to believe that it is in fact an abortifacient because of a different, theologically based, view of when human life begins. The question then becomes if the government's imposition of the mandate to provide those medications is the least restrictive means of ensuring access to them. Given the existence of the alternate method for providing them created for religious non-profit corporations, it is impossible to argue that the mandate is the least restrictive means of accomplishing the government's goal. It was therefore essential that the Supreme Court rule as it did in this case -- just as it would be for it to rule that enforcing the three provisions of Texas law cited above to prosecute individuals distributing or receiving Holly Communion would fall short of the least restrictive means of accomplishing the goals of the law.

|| Greg, 03:27 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

July 06, 2014

A Study In Contrasts

Last month, three Jewish youths were kidnapped by Palestinians. They were eventually found, murdered.

The Palestinians celebrated in the streets and even stoned the ambulance transporting their bodies. The "government" of the Palestinian Authority has made no effort to apprehend and punish the killers

One of the murdered young men, sixteen-year-old Naftali Frenkel, was an American citizen -- and the US government and media were virtually silent about that fact.

Contrast that with these linked stories about the murder of a Palestinian teen and the arrest and beating of his US citizen cousin by Israeli police.

Several people were arrested Sunday in connection with the murder of 16-year-old Muhammed Abu Khdeir, whose burned body was found in the Jerusalem forest on Wednesday morning, officials said Sunday.

The suspects are members of a Jewish extremist cell, the Shin Bet security agency said.

Officials suspect the killing was most likely carried out by Jewish extremists in revenge for the killing of three Israeli teenagers earlier in June.

Notice that -- less than a week between this terrible crime and the apprehension of the perpetrators by the Israeli government. And there has been no celebration by Israelis of this murder -- except among the most fringe elements of Israeli society, this murder has been condemned without reservation. There have been no celebrations in the streets by Jews -- though the Palestinians in Jerusalem have rioted.

Which leads to the second story.

Israeli police say a 15-year-old Palestinian-American who was severely injured during clashes with Israeli security forces last week has been sentenced to nine days of house arrest.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri says a Jerusalem court on Sunday ordered Tariq Abu Khdeir to remain at home in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina.

Israeli police say an American teenager who was detained during violent protests over the killing of a Palestinian youth has been brought before a court.

* * *

Police say Tariq Abu Khdeir resisted arrest, attacked officers and was carrying a slingshot for lobbing stones when he was arrested.

The U.S. State Department said it was "profoundly troubled" by reports of his beating and demanded an investigation.

Yeah, that's right -- the kid was carrying a weapon used as a part of the riots. Oh, yeah -- and he resisted arrest. But most telling of all, the US government is taking great interest in making sure the Israelis do something about this happening to a US citizen -- a concern that never really extended to the kidnapped and murdered American teen. Indeed, the US media has been highlighting the beating of Tariq Abu Khdeir and the fact he was an American citizen, but rarely mentioned Frenkel's American citizenship -- even though he was an innocent in this entire affair and Khdeir clearly is not.

By the way -- there have been plenty of efforts in the media by "experts" to "explain" and "make Americans understand" why the three teens out for a hike were kidnapped and murdered by the terrorists, justifying their murders based upon the fact that they are Jews and Jews have no right to even be in their ancestral homeland. On the other hand, I'm certain that there will be no efforts made to make mainstream the views of the extremists who murdered Muhammed Abu Khdeir (which is totally unjustifiable) or event the beating of Tariq Abu Khdeir (which might have some sort of rational explanation). I guess that is just another one of the double standards at work here.

There is, of course, an obvious explanation. Anti-Semitism isn't nearly so unfashionable among America's liberal government and media elite today as is often claimed.

UPDATE: And lest we forget what else is going on over in Israel right now and is not being commented upon by US media or government officials -- more violence against Jews by Arabs. Also known as business as usual.

UPDATE 2: Yep -- maybe there is a rational explanation for the beating of Tariq Abu Khdeir.

|| Greg, 11:13 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (10) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Numbers Make It Appear The DREAMer Deluge Will Mostly Get To Stay

The numbers here do not lie.

President Obama and his aides have repeatedly sought to dispel the rumors driving thousands of children and teens from Central America to cross the U.S. border each month with the expectation they will be given a permiso and allowed to stay.

But under the Obama administration, those reports have proved increasingly true.

The number of immigrants under 18 who were deported or turned away at ports of entry fell from 8,143 in 2008, the last year of the George W. Bush administration, to 1,669 last year, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data released under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Similarly, about 600 minors were ordered deported each year from nonborder states a decade ago. Ninety-five were deported last year, records show, even as a flood of unaccompanied minors from Central America five times more than two years earlier began pouring across the Southwest border.

Now there is room to argue about how to deal with border issues and what sort of reform is needed. But when you look at the statistics, is it any wonder many f us doubt Obama's words about these tens of thousands of kids not being allowed to stay in the US?

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July 04, 2014

Independence Day


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The Reason For Radio Silence

Late Wednesday evening, my wife was taken to the hospital via ambulance after a fall. After being seen in the emergency room, she was admitted to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment. Tests are still ongoing regarding the cause of the fall, but while there it was discovered that she had an also has an infection that required treatment. She has been exceptionally well cared for since being admitted, and is in great spirits.

Depending on the result of the continued tests, she may be permitted to come home later this evening -- or, more likely, sometime tomorrow. I will hopefully be able to resume blogging within 24 hours of her release.

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July 02, 2014

Berkeley Requires Free Marijuana For The Poor

Well, it is Berkeley, so why should we be surprised?

The city of Berkeley will require medical marijuana dispensaries to give away two percent of the amount of cannabis they sell each year free to low-income patients.

The City Council voted unanimously at Tuesdays meeting to amend the citys medical pot rules, which would also allow for a fourth dispensary in Berkeley.

Basically, the city council wants to make sure that low-income, homeless, indigent folks have access to their medical marijuana, their medicine, said Berkeley City Councilmember Darryl Moore.

Under the proposal, at least two percent of all medical weed dispensed at a club would have to be provided at no cost to very low-income members and it must be the same quality thats dispensed to regular paying customers.

We think this is the responsible thing to do for those less fortunate in our community, said Moore.

Let me make some observations.

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California Bus Blockade Harms Supporters Of Immigration Law Enorcement

This looks so bad that it sets supporters of border enforcement back in the eyes of the public.

Protestors carrying signs and U.S. flags blocked three buses carrying undocumented children and families to an immigration processing facility in Southern California.

More than 100 undocumented immigrants were stopped from reaching the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's processing facility in Murrieta.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials turned the caravan around and headed southbound, arriving to the U.S. Border Patrol Station Chula Vista in San Diego County.

Some Murrieta residents have criticized the transfer of the women and children to Riverside County from Texas where conditions have been described as overwhelming and overcrowded due to a recent influx of unaccompanied minors along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Now I understand the frustration that these folks -- and so many other Americans -- feel. We have an administration which is intent on undermining our border security and not enforcing our nation's laws. Indeed, we've seen that this president and his party are actively looking to bypass the laws on the books and the lawmaking process.

But let's consider how this looks to the average American who does not follow border issues intently. A screaming mob forced a bus full of women and children to flee. Our side does not come out of this looking good -- instead we look like exactly what the Left paints us as -- violent racists who brimming with hate. Why? Because a group of folks in California adopted the tactics of the radical Left and played right into their hands by doing so. After all, conservatives get held to a higher standard -- by the Left, by the politicians, and by the media.

Tell me this law-breaking looks does border security supporters any good.

|| Greg, 05:52 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (10) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Isn't It Time For A Rescue Mission?

It was absurd that the Obama Administration was as passive as it was throughout the imprisonment and trial of Meriam Ibrahim, given that she is the wife of an American citizen and the mother of one, and then two, others.

And yes, I was angry that Congress did not pass special legislation to grant her immediate US citizenship and a passport so that she could be whisked out of the Islamist hellhole known as the Sudan after she was finally released from the barbaric conditions of her imprisonment for the crime of professing her faith in Christ despite being the daughter of a Muslim.

She and her family have been holed up in the US embassy after being prohibited from leaving due to trumped up claims that her travel documents were not in order, and the US has been "negotiating" with the Sudanese government over allowing her to travel to the civilized world, where her human rights will be recognized and respected.

But now it comes to this.

The mother condemned to death in Sudan for marrying a Christian is being prevented from fleeing the country by her callous brother - and could face an entirely new trial.

Meriam Ibrahim has been hit with a new petition by Al Samani Al Hadi who has publicly vowed to execute her if he gets the chance.

But lawyers for Meriam, a 27-year-old doctor, say that he is just acting out of spite and that he does not have any authority over her.

MailOnline can also reveal that Meriam could face an entirely new hearing that could delay her departure by weeks or months.

The solution is simple. Fly a couple of choppers filled with Special Forces troops to the US Embassy in Khartoum -- escorted by an appropriate escort of US fighter aircraft and perhaps some drones. In the event that there is any interference with this humanitarian mission by the military of any nation -- whether it is the Sudan or any nation that is overflown during the rescue mission -- retaliatory force should be applied.

After all, this is about human rights -- and the forces of Islam have shown themselves to be a conspiracy to violate human rights once more.

|| Greg, 02:05 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

ObamaCare Kills

Without further comment.

Time ran out for Linda Rolain.

The Las Vegas woman died Monday, less than two weeks after her family went public with details about Nevada Health Link insurance exchange enrollment troubles that kept her from treatment in January for an aggressive brain tumor.

Rolain was one of about 150 Nevadans suing Nevada Health Link contractor Xerox for enrollment mix-ups that left them without the health insurance they paid for.

Rolain is the first to die of complications from an illness said to have gone untreated for lack of coverage. But observers close to her case say she may not be the last.

May she rest in peace, and may her family be comforted.

|| Greg, 01:43 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Obama Doctrine

We have had many great doctrines established by American Presidents throughout the nation's history.

The Monroe Doctrine declared that the Americas were off-limits to further European colonization.

The Truman Doctrine established American willingness to aid free peoples seeking to prevent hostile takeovers by totalitarian forces like Communism.

The Clinton Doctrine established the principle that the United States will act proactively to stop genocide.

And now we have the Obama Doctrine. But this one is different from the others. Instead of seeking to protect foreign peoples from the imposition of oppression by outside forces or protect the defenseless from crimes against humanity, this one relates to our nation's internal affairs -- and instead of preserving free and democratic institutions, it is about undermining and destroying them.

In the past week alone, President Obama has twice been rebuked by the Supreme Court for having run afoul of the Constitution (a 9-0 decision) or federal law (5-4). Unchastened, he brazenly picked the very day that the second decision was announced to reassert the Obama Doctrine namely, that if Congress refuses to pass a political loser that Obama is championing, Obama will take the law into his own hands.

* * *

The way one can tell that Obama is backing a political loser is this: If he werent if the citizenrys congressional representatives were obstinately refusing to do their will the president would be confident that voters would rectify this situation in November and would return his own party to power (as was the case before he stubbornly pushed Obamacare). But no one expects voters to do this, and many if not most observers expect voters to install a Republican Senate through the upcoming election as well. Thus, Obama will act alone, in defiance of public will and more importantly of the constitutional separation of powers.

Or put differently, Obama has a pen and a phone by which he will override the voice and the vote of the American people who elected lawmakers to stop his policies -- the Constitution be damned.

Copyright 2014 - Bob Gorrell/Creators Syndicate

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How Can It Be Offensive If Nobody Complained?

I noted the recent decision to revoke the trademark of the Washington Redskins as disparaging and offensive on the basis of a complaint by an activist group. But one has to wonder -- was that all it took? How many complaints did the patent office receive about the team's trademark? Well now we have the answer.

>blockquote>The recent decision by an obscure administrative law board to cancel the Washington Redskins trademark registrations came despite the fact the agency hadnt received a single letter from a member of the public complaining about the teams name, records show.

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which is part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, ruled last month that the name was disparaging to American Indians. The team is appealing that decision.

So what it comes down to is that because a handful of public busybodies from a special interest group filed a complaint and a small minority (only about 30%) of Native Americans found the name offensive, it had to go -- despite the fact that 250 million Americans or more disagree with that assertion.

Here's the question -- how can the name be offensive and derogatory if most folks don't view it that way?

|| Greg, 05:56 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (12) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne Discusses Bitcoin

This post brought to you by Deep Capture Blog. All opinions are 100% mine.


The very term sounds so intriguing.  And it is -- after all, media of exchange independent of government and made secure by computer cryptography is a neat sounding idea.  If you are into computers and/or economics, you already know about the big one, Bitcoin.  After all, it is becoming more and more accepted online and has been in the news a great deal over the last several months.

Yhis leads me to the keynote address given by CEO Patrick Byrne at Bitcoin2014 annual conference earlier this year.  Byrne suggests that cryptocurrencies like BitCoin are the wave of the future and will become the standard way of engaging in economic transactions.  As I understand Byrne's position, he expects government-backed currencies to fade as increasing national debt and economic crises undermine those traditional currencies.  What's more, he expects these privately created currencies to increase economic opportunity worldwide as they gain consumer trust in a world of failing national currencies and central banks.  Byrne is even putting his money where his mouth is by having begin to accept Bitcoins as payment and even keeping a percentage of the company's cash reserves in that cryptocurrency.

What do I think about all this?  I'm not sure sure that I am ready to become an avid supporter of Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin like Byrne.  I am a big fan of allowing the market to work with minimal government regulation and intervention, and believe that the market can and will fill any niche where there is a need and a market.  But let's be honest -- there have been problems with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.  In the last several months we have seen the collapse of the Mt. Gox BitCoin exchange, followed by the by the Canada-based Flexcoin exchange.  Those who had their Bitcoins "on deposit" with these sites have seen their seemingly secure cryptocurrency assets wiped out.  Until some way of securing the stability and liquidity of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin can develop, I don't know that we can have the confidence that it will maintain consumer confidence (and therefore value).  But then again, given the economic times we live in, do we have such confidence in the government-issued fiat currencies that are the current media of exchange around the world?

Feel free to comment here --or even to engage with Patrick Byrne on Twitter.

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July 01, 2014

Speaking As A Life-Long Republican, May I Say "Neither"

Saw this headline on a column today.

Rick Perry Or Ted Cruz For 2016?

You can see my response in the title to the post -- "Neither".

I'll be honest -- I am a Ted Cruz fan. I just don't think he is ready for the Oval Office at this time. Having watched how a Washington neophyte with great academic credentials and an adoring fan base has screwed up since January 20, 2009, I'm not ready to put another guy with only 2/3 of a Senate term under his belt in the presidency. Ted Cruz is eight years younger than I am, and with another term or two of seasoning in the Senate will be ready to run for and win the presidency. There is no need to rush things.

Rick Perry, on the other hand, is a guy I have mixed-feelings about. he hasn't been a bad governor, but he has also shown some tendencies I don't like. He attempted to make law with his order that all little girls in the state receive the Gardasil vaccine as a condition of being allowed their right to a public education, and then declared that not even the state legislature had the authority to overturn that decision. He ultimately backed down, but he showed a character flaw that leaves me leery of trusting him in the Oval Office. I could see him in the Cabinet, though -- Secretary of Energy, or Secretary of Commerce --maybe even Secretary of the Interior. But not president.

There are some fine potential candidates out there -- Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Susana Martinez, Brian Sandoval and even folks like Jeb Bush and Chris Christie. I wouldn't even mind seeing Mitt Romney jump back in, given that events over the last 18 months have shown that things he said on the campaign trail were quite prescient -- though I doubt that will happen. I just don't believe that either of these fine Texans is the right man for the GOP in 2016.

|| Greg, 10:36 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

For Those Who Claim That Hobby Lobby Denies Contraception To Female Employees

May I suggest that you inform yourselves of the truth?

Hobby Lobby objected to supplying the following four items because they can prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg -- which many Christians deem to be a form of abortion.

Plan B (The Morning After Pill)
Ella (a similar type of emergency contraception)
Copper Intra-Uterine Device
IUD with progestin

On the other hand, Hobby Lobby provides coverage of the following for its employees without any co-pay at all.

Male condoms
Female condoms
Diaphragms with spermicide
Sponges with spermicide
Cervical caps with spermicide
Spermicide alone
Birth-control pills with estrogen and progestin (Combined Pill)
Birth-control pills with progestin alone (The Mini Pill)
Birth control pills (extended/continuous use)
Contraceptive patches Contraceptive rings
Progestin injections
Implantable rods
Female sterilization surgeries
Female sterilization implants

So let's see -- employees are provided an entire cornucopia of free birth control, but it is an attack on healthcare, religious freedom, and women's rights to not cover every option because doing so violates the religious beliefs of the employer? It is like claiming that you are being food because you the all-you-can-eat buffet that is overflowing with steak, chicken, fish, corn, potatoes, green beans, rice, pasta, tofu, ice cream, jello, cake, and cheesecake but doesn't have chocolate chip cookies or scrambled eggs.

And by the way, the law that was applied, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, really required this outcome.

Today an important religious- liberty law did what it was supposed to do. In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) provided the Supreme Court with a mechanism for weighing competing claims in our pluralistic society. The Court determined that we can, in fact, balance seemingly conflicting interests without throwing out religious liberty.

* * *

In todays 54 decision, the Supreme Court rejected the Obama administrations argument that forcing these family-owned businesses to provide coverage for potentially life-ending drugs and devices was the least restrictive means to achieve its policy goal.

Womens access to affordable birth control was not in question in this case. Hyperbolic claims to the contrary notwithstanding, women still have access to the whole range of contraception. What was at stake was the right of Americans to run a family business consistent with their faith. The Court made clear that the administrations policy goal could be pursued without burdening religious freedom.

Todays ruling is certainly a victory for religious freedom. In other conflicts, the government may sometimes be able to show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious freedom (to protect public safety, for instance). But RFRA sets a very high bar for the government to meet to do so. This careful balancing test has served us well for more than 20 years since RFRAs enactment. And it will continue to provide us a commonsense way of weighing compelling state interests with the fundamental right to religious freedom.

So let's clarify -- no one was being denied birth control here, and the right to operate one's business consistent with one's faith was upheld because the government was not using the least restrictive means to accomplish its goals.

Now it is perfectly acceptable for government to go back and craft another means of meeting providing those four medications. Indeed, one already exists for non-profit corporations and could merely be extended to companies like Hobby Lobby. I suspect that we will soon see President Pen-&-Phone do this by an executive order -- one which is most likely within what has historically been recognized s the limits of the president's power to issue such orders.

And as far as the issue of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is concerned, those who find this decision shocking to their conscience are certainly welcome to attempt to get rid of it and establish the principle that laws can override the guarantee of religious freedom in the First Amendment. I'm sure that the Religious Freedom Repeal Act will be embraced by progressives around the country -- but not anyone else.

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Local Leftist Hate Blogger Praises Profane Racist Speech By Fellow Democrat

In one of my two posts about the antics of Texas Democrat "rising star" Trey Martinez Fischer, I included this observation.

Looks to me like the Cobarruvication of the Texas Democrat Party is in full swing, with Trey Martinez Fischer in the lead!

Click the link above to be reminded of where that term comes from and what it means.

Well, the Democrat activist/blogger who called for the murder of Americans who dare to disagree with him following the Newtown shooting didn't disappoint anyone who has followed him for any time at all. His latest post over at BayAreaHatemonger proves once again what is deemed acceptable in Texas Democrat circles.

The GOP has been taken over by toothless, gun toting, racist, redneck, white males. . . . The Grand Old Party is dead, but the Gringos y Otros Pendejos lives!

I wonder how long until he gets a job offer working for Trey Martinez Fischer writing speeches and press releases.

I've done a screen cap in case Coby decides to edit or "disappear" the post in question (like he did after his murderous postings after Newtown).


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NAME: Greg
AGE: 50-ish
SEX: Male
OCCUPATION: Social Studies Teacher
LOCATION: Seabrook, TX
DISCLAIMER: All posts reflect my views alone, and not the view of my wife, my dogs, my employer, or anyone else. All comments reflect the view of the commenter, and permitting a comment to remain on this site in no way indicates my support for the ideas expressed in the comment.

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