March 31, 2015

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District Dies Not With A Bang, But A Whimper

That appears to be the only reasonable conclusion that can be drawn from the decision of the US Supreme Court to deny a the certiorari petition in Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District.

The US Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would not take up a major First Amendment case testing whether school officials in California violated the free speech rights of three high school students who were told they could not wear American flag T-shirts at school because it might upset students of Mexican heritage.

The court took the action in a one-line order. The justices offered no further comment on the case.


Ive written about this case before. A group of students chose to wear apparel depicting the American flag to school on May 5 the minor Mexican regional holiday Cinco de Mayo, which has been adopted as a Mexican cultural celebration in the United States to demonstrate their love of the United States and pride in their American heritage. A group of Hispanic students declared this to be racist and threatened violence if the students were allowed to continue to wear the pro-American shirts. School officials then ordered the students to change clothes of go home for the day, despite the fact that the students themselves were engaged in no violent or disruptive conduct themselves.

Let me repeat that for you a group of American students wearing American flags were silenced by an American high school because other students threatened violence because they felt that nobody should be allowed to celebrate anything other than a foreign country on that day.

The silenced students sued, arguing that the Supreme Court precedent in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District mandated that the school allow their peaceful expression of pro-American sentiments. One would have thought that to be the case, given that the main holding in Tinker is that students do not lose their First Amendment rights at school and that this included the peaceful, non-disruptive wearing of symbols. These students were peaceful, and they in no way caused disruption. Rather, other students threatened to engage in criminal conduct against them for daring to express a view which was not deemed orthodox by a majority of students on campus in other words, these other students were engaged in a criminal conspiracy to violate the civil rights of the American flag wearing students. The school then facilitated this criminal conspiracy by enforcing the demands of the violent conspirators, rather than protecting the civil rights of the peaceful students. It did so using the argument that the actions of the students engaged in patriotic speech, rather than the criminal conspiracy by the violent students, was causing a substantial disruption of the school. Sadly, two courts have upheld the schools decision, and the Supreme Court has declined to review those decisions.

It is therefore clear that the expansive protection of student speech found in Tinker has been implicitly repudiated by our nations courts. While the denial of certiorari is not a ruling on the merits, the refusal to take up a case in which courts have so clearly ruled contrary to would seem to indicate that there no longer exists even a plurality of justices who are supportive of the holding in Tinker. The irony of the matter is that the same argument used by the school district in Dariano that threats of violent disruption of school operations by a violent mob justifies the suppression of the civil rights of students was rejected by the Supreme Court in Cooper v. Aaron, the Little Rock High School desegregation case.

Mary Beth and John Tinker, the two students whose choice to wear black armbands to protest the Vietnam War gave rise to the earlier case on student free speech rights, have remained active in the area of student rights and filed an amicus brief in the Dariano case. I believe that the words of that brief need to be given serious weight by the educators (and the American people as a whole), even if the Supreme Court did not heed their call.

Mary Beth Tinker and her brother, John, were 13- and 15-years-old in December 1965 when they donned armbands to make a point about the Vietnam War.

In a friend-of-the-court brief, they argued that some lower courts have been reluctant to uphold constitutional protections for student political speech at school. Instead, they said, judges often give school administrators broad discretion to censor student speech they find offensive or that they believe might potentially be disruptive.

It is time for the high court to revisit the issue and clarify the core holding in the Tinker case, Washington lawyer Robert Corn-Revere wrote in the Tinkers brief.

He added that the California case also offered the justices a teaching moment. This case is about the future of free speech as much as about the present and the past, Mr. Corn-Revere wrote. If students learn that threatening speakers is an effective way to suppress speech, this will produce more threats, and more suppression of a wide range of other speech, he said.

And beyond this, even peaceful students will learn that free speech must yield whenever its opponents are willing to threaten violence a message antithetical to all that this Court has tried to convey about the First Amendment, he wrote.

And yet it appears that the seminal holding of Tinker, that students do not shed their rights at the schoolhouse gate, is no longer even given lip service by our courts. Today all it takes is threats of a violent mob, intent upon violating those rights, for school officials to be allowed to suppress the liberties of peaceful students with an unpopular message. The lesson being taught to American students today is that a good American should no longer stand up and speak out even if their views are rejected by the majority instead they must sit down and shut up because an angry majority is allowed to turn government officials into agents for the suppression of rights rather than guardians of liberty.

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Ross Douhats Seven Questions For Liberals On The Place Of Individuals And Institutions Supporting Traditional Marriage In Contemporary Society

The NY Times commentator asks seven quite pertinent questions about how much space supporters of gay marriage are willing to offer supporters of traditional marriage in the name of pluralism.

1) Should religious colleges whose rules or honor codes or covenants explicitly ask students and/or teachers to refrain from sex outside of heterosexual wedlock eventually lose their accreditation unless they change the policy to accommodate gay relationships? At the very least, should they lose their tax-exempt status, as Bob Jones University did over its ban on interracial dating?

2) What about the status of religious colleges and schools or non-profits that dont have such official rules about student or teacher conduct, but nonetheless somehow instantiate or at least nod to a traditional view of marriage at some level in the content of their curricula, the design of their benefit package, the rules for their wedding venues, their denominational affiliation? Should their tax-exempt status be reconsidered? Absent a change in their respective faiths stance on homosexuality, for instance, should Catholic high schools or Classical Christian academies or Orthodox Jewish schools be eligible for 501(c)3 status at all?

3) Have the various colleges and universities that have done so been correct to withdraw recognition from religious student groups that require their leaders to be chaste until (heterosexual) marriage? Should all of secular higher education take the same approach to religious conservatives? And then further, irrespective of leadership policies, do religious bodies that publicly endorse a traditional Judeo-Christian-Islamic view of sexual ethics deserve a place on secular campuses at all? Should the Harvard chaplaincy, for instance, admit ministers to its ranks whose churches or faiths do not allow them to perform same-sex marriages? Should the chaplaincy of a public university?

4.) In the longer term, is there a place for anyone associated with the traditional Judeo-Christian-Islamic view of sexuality in our societys elite level institutions? Was Mozilla correct in its handling of the Brendan Eich case? Is California correct to forbid its judges from participating in the Boy Scouts? What are the implications for other institutions? To return to the academic example: Should Princeton find a way to strip Robert George of his tenure over his public stances and activities? Would a public university be justified in denying tenure to a Orthodox Jewish religious studies professor who had stated support for Orthodox Judaisms views on marriage?

5) Should the state continue to recognize marriages performed by ministers, priests, rabbis, etc. who do not marry same-sex couples? Or should couples who marry before such a minister also be required to repeat the ceremony in front of a civil official who does not discriminate?

6) Should churches that decline to bless same-sex unions have their tax-exempt status withdrawn? Note that Im not asking if it would be politically or constitutionally possible: If it were possible, should it be done?

7) In the light of contemporary debates about religious parenting and gay or transgender teenagers, should Wisconsin v. Yoder be revisited? What about Pierce v.Society of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary?

These are all reasonable questions several of them (numbers 1-4) based upon situations that have already arisen in our country and others based upon situations that have arisen abroad or upon the demands of some elements of the gay rights/gay marriage movement.

Over at National Reviews Corner, Ed Whelan suggests the answers that lurk in the darkest corners of the hearts of enlightened progressive advocates of tolerance and inclusion.

1 & 2. Religious colleges that fail to accommodate gay relationships should lose their accreditation. Religious colleges, high schools, grade schools, and nonprofits that fail to embrace SSM should lose their tax-exempt status.

3. Public and private universities should withdraw recognition from any student groups that subscribe to traditional religious views on sexuality.

4. No one who embraces traditional religious views on sexuality should be allowed to take part in what Douthat refers to as our societys elite level institutions (including any respected position in government, business, or academia).

5. Ministers who perform marriages recognized by the State are functioning as agents of the State. Therefore, any ministers who refuse to marry same-sex couples shall be denied permission to perform marriages recognized by the State.

6. Churches that decline to bless same-sex unions should have their tax-exempt status withdrawn.

7. Parents do not have any fundamental right to raise their children according to their religious beliefs. Inculcation of traditional religious views on sexuality is a form a child abuse that ought to lead to forfeiture of parental rights.

Frankly, I believe that Whelans answers are precisely what society is moving towards and not in the long run, but in the relatively short term.


After all, forty years ago I recall the nascent gay rights movement telling Americans that all homosexuals wanted was to be left alone. I recall two decades ago, when we were assured by activists that gay rights were not a threat to religious rights. Even a decade ago, the notion that the law would force businesses to provide services for gay weddings was laughed at by gay activists and concerns that religious groups and religious institutions would be under siege and facing legal threats and disadvantages because of laws and policies requiring the equal rights for LGBT individuals were defined as scare stories. Today, however, each and every one of the things that Americans were told not to worry about are a reality in our society and any effort to push back and recover a bit of freedom for those who dissent from the gay orthodoxy is defined as bigotry and hate. Indeed, today the demand of a movement that once claimed that nobody should have to live in a closet is that religious believers go back to the catacombs if they wish to live out their faith, on pain of being (metaphorically, for now) fed to the lions.


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Will Someone Tell Me Why?

Because I see no good reason for this law.

AUSTIN A state House committee has voted unanimously to make it illegal to sell or possess powdered alcohol, moving to preemptively ban a controversial new product that is still months away from hitting store shelves.

In an 8-0 vote, the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee on Monday sent a measure to the full House by state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, to designate powdered alcohol as an "illicit beverage." The committee also recommended the bill get placed on the House's local and consent calendar, which is designated to fast-track noncontroversial measures.

* * *

Texas lawmakers have raised concerns that powdered alcohol will lead to a new wave of underage abuse, comparing it to the alcoholic energy drink Four Loko. Lawmakers also worry that the powder sold in a small pouch could easily be snuck into bars, restaurants and sporting events, cutting into tax revenue relied upon by those venues.

The argument about underage alcohol use? Purely speculative. Besides, if you want to do away with underage alcohol use, just re institute Prohibition -- that will stop kids from getting alcohol, just like it stops them from getting pot.

But wait -- I think I see the real reason right there at the end of that paragraph. They are protecting favored businesses. Lets check the campaign contributions that have gone to the sponsors and supporters of this bill. I bet that they are all getting money from bars, restaurants, and those who make money off of concessions at sporting events.

In other words, this isn't really about public safety at all it is about protecting their donors from consumer choice.

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March 30, 2015

Noting The Hypocrisy Of My Own Church Denominations Leaders

The denomination of which my congregation is a part has decided to immerse itself in the midst of the Indiana RFRA debate.

Though the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has made Indianapolis its headquarters for nearly a century, the denomination is considering pulling its next biennial convention out of Indiana over a new state law that allows businesses to turn away gay customers.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Thursday (March 26), the day after receiving a letter from church leaders pleading with him to veto it and threatening to move their 2017 General Assembly outside the state.

* * *

Purportedly a matter of religious freedom, we find RFRA contrary to the values of our faith as well as to our national and Hoosier values, stated the letter, which was signed by Sharon E. Watkins, the churchs general minister and president, as well as the leaders of its overseas and domestic missions.

As a Christian church, we are particularly sensitive to the values of the One we follow one who sat at table with people from all walks of life, and loved them all.

The General Assembly will bring more than 6,000 church members to whatever U.S. city the church decides upon and is expected to generate about $5 million in tourism dollars. After Pence signed the law, ministry leaders said they are weighing the costs of moving not only the General Assembly, but smaller meetings such as the more frequent gatherings of the 125-member board of directors which most often meets in Indianapolis.

Associate General Minister and Vice President Todd Adams said the churchs board will decide whether to yank the General Assembly from Indianapolis at its next meeting, which begins on April 10.

Dare I suggest that this move is rank hypocrisy on the part of the leaders of the Disciples?

After all, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) does not formally recognize gay marriage. It does not require that member congregations allow gay weddings to take place in their sanctuaries. It does not require, as a matter of maintaining ministerial standing, that its clergy officiate at gay weddings. Why does it not do so? Because it recognizes that there is diversity of opinion and conscience on the matter, and that it would be improper to either require or forbid participation in such ceremonies.

Whats more, the leaders of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) recognize that any vote by the General Assembly to recognize gay marriage or to seek to require that its congregations and clergy follow a policy of non-discrimination in regard to gay marriage would most likely kill the denomination, which has lost somewhere around 1/3 of its congregations and 60% of its membership over the last four decades. Consider the losses in other denominations over the gay marriage issue if you question that assertion.

In other words, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers to its clergy and member congregations that which it demands that the government deny to everyone else. Denominational leaders seek to establish an orthodoxy for society as a whole that they refuse to establish for their own denomination.

So to the leadership of my denomination, I offer the guidance of Scripture.

Matthew 7:3-5 Why do you see the speck that is in your brothers eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brothers eye.

And that is without getting into the fact that for over 20 years the denomination has stood silent as 19 other states have had virtually identical laws and that the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) strongly supported the passage of the essentially identical federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993. Or the fact that rarely, if ever, would any RFRA overcome an anti-discrimination law.

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Chicago Mayor Tries To Attract Businesses From Indiana Because Of RFRA Law Just Like The One In Illinois

Dumb and hypocritical in other words, typical of the Democrat political class..

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has engaged in some interstate payback by attempting to lure Indiana companies over the states newly signed religious-freedom bill, but what he doesnt mention is that Illinois already has a similar law.

In a Friday letter, Mr. Emanuel cited the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as a reason to look next door to an economy that is moving forward into the 21st century, referring to Illinois.

But Illinois has had a RFRA law since 1998 and one of the legislators who voted for it was Barack Obama. When will Obama and Emanuel demand its repeal?

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Given Obamas Policies, Biden May Be Exactly Right

On Israel.

An incredible admission by US Vice President Joe Biden has been revealed, in which he told Jewish leaders that should the American Jewish community be in danger, it has only Israel to rely on - and not America.

* * *

"Folks, there is no place else to go, and you understand that in your bones," Biden said. "You understand in your bones that no matter how hospitable, no matter how consequential, no matter how engaged, no matter how deeply involved you are in the United States...theres only one guarantee."

"There is really only one absolute guarantee, and thats the state of Israel," he stated.

Obamas policies are objectively harmful to Jews in both Israel and the United States. Im sure Biden didnt mean to communicate that message in his comments but the reality is that he is absolutely right.

Especially given the history of the likely Democrat nominee for president with regard to Jews.

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Hillary Clinton Slimes Again


The latest scandal? She has wiped her private server clean, destroying evidence sought by congressional investigators.

This dwarfs anything done by Richard Nixon, whose 18 minutes of erased tape recording was a major factor in costing him his presidency.

Hillary should know that after all, she was a part of staff of the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate investigation.

Oh, but I forgot she was fired from that job and denied a letter of recommendation by her supervisor, a life-long Democrat who said the following about her.

Because she was a liar, Zeifman said in an interview last week. She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.




Conspired to violate the Constitution.

Wow some things havent changed in 40 years.

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The Line Between Abortion And Infanticide Has Now Been Erased

By the supporters of abortion.

Parents should be allowed to have their newborn babies killed because they are morally irrelevant and ending their lives is no different to abortion, a group of medical ethicists linked to Oxford University has argued.

The article, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, says newborn babies are not actual persons and do not have a moral right to life. The academics also argue that parents should be able to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born.

See how far the slippery slope has gone?

I wonder can we make a case that medical ethicists supporting infanticide are not actual persons and therefore lack a moral right to life?

Not that I would ever kill such a medical ethicist. I would be personally opposed to doing so. But I dont know that I should impose my personal morality on those who think it would be OK to do so. Just call that position being pro-choice.

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March 27, 2015

Watcher's Council Results

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week's Watcher's Council match up.

"Too much of what is called 'education' is little more than an expensive isolation from reality." - Thomas Sowell

"Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love; close enough on the surface but, to the nonsucker, not exactly the same thing." - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. - GK Chesterson

This week's winning essay,Bookworm Room's When it comes to campus fascism, revolutions always eat their own is a tour de force on how radicalism is taking 0ver America's college campuses. Here's a slice:
One of the truisms I grew up hearing is that revolutions always eat their own. I have understood this to mean that, in any revolutionary movement, the second generation, having been marinated longer in the revolutionary brine, is more extreme than the first generation and invariably purges that first generation. Both the French and the Russian revolutions prove this point.

We in America have had a revolution too. Its been a very slow-moving revolution of the kind that the British used to call a Fabian Revolution. It involves advancing revolutionary goals, not through violence, but through slow, reformist means. As Ferguson shows, the violence then comes after the revolution. Indeed, Ferguson is one of the best manifestations of that revolution.

The other obvious manifestation is the American college campus. On campuses throughout America, a Nanny state fascism is the norm. That didnt happen overnight. It happened through Fabian gradualism, with hard-Left revolutionary principles being slowly introduced in the classrooms (increasingly open, aggressive Marxist teaching), in the administrative buildings (read Heather MacDonalds Multiculti U for the best discussion about the hard Left Fabianism in college administration), and in the dorms (which had a slow Progression away from same-sex dorms, same-sex floors, same-sex bathrooms, and same-sex rooms, which a completely unsurprisingly commensurate uptick in rape claims).

One of the biggest slow-mo revolutions in academia was the whole concept of trigger warnings. When the idea got started, nobody said that trigger warnings were going to be censorship. Instead, they were sold as good manners and sensitivity. Its kind and polite to warn people who might have delicate sensibilities that youre going to talk about something shocking, such as mass murder, or blood, or something else most people agree is disgusting or revolting. It turned out, though, that at the average college campus an amazing number of kids have heightened sensibilities. More interestingly, it also happened that, thanks to the Leftism in which Americas young have been pickled since preschool, the things that they just cant bear to hear without horrific mental suffering are facts and ideas that run counter to their Leftist ideology.

One of the biggest slow-mo revolutions in academia was the whole concept of trigger warnings. When the idea got started, nobody said that trigger warnings were going to be censorship. Instead, they were sold as good manners and sensitivity. Its kind and polite to warn people who might have delicate sensibilities that youre going to talk about something shocking, such as mass murder, or blood, or something else most people agree is disgusting or revolting. It turned out, though, that at the average college campus an amazing number of kids have heightened sensibilities. More interestingly, it also happened that, thanks to the Leftism in which Americas young have been pickled since preschool, the things that they just cant bear to hear without horrific mental suffering are facts and ideas that run counter to their Leftist ideology.

Over the last few months, however, something interesting has happened: The Fabian revolutions Founders are getting disgusted with their progenys extremism. It began when Jonathan Chait questioned the stifling effects of the new orthodoxy. In his article challenging the orthodoxy, he still oozed contempt for conservatives having a say in things, but he was definitely perturbed by modern young peoples inability to tolerate any opposing opinions, ideas, or facts. I wonder if Chait was surprised by the subsequent Leftist demand that he be silenced.

The next salvo from old revolutionaries against new happened when Laura Kipnes wrote about the sexual paranoia that is the norm in academia. Kipnes too was excoriated. Michelle Goldberg, writing at the hard-Left Nation, describes the attack on Kipnes and, as part of the same article, also suggests that the revolution has gone too far.

One week later, Judith Shulevitz got an opinion piece published in the New York Times entitled In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas. She too is shocked to see that sensitivity has morphed into censorship. (Jonah Goldberg, author of the informative and prescient Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change, would not have been shocked at all. He explained in his book how the next revolution was being ushered in, not with guns, but with stifling nanny statism.)

I certainly appreciate the effort these old revolutionaries are making to stem the flood waters they first let loose. I doubt theyll be successful, though. I see them as this revolutions Robespierres. He, of course, ended up on the same guillotine to which he had so mercilessly consigned others.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was James Simpson with a superb article in Accuracy in Media, Obama Accused of Obstructing Battle against Boko Haram to Promote Axelrods Nigerian Muslim Client submitted by Nice Deb .

Apparently Israel's election isn't the only one this president is trying to subvert. Read about his deliberate schemes to do his best to oust another friend of the West in Nigeria and replace him with a Muslim with ties to Islamists, including Boko Haram.

Here are this weeks full results.Only Ask Marion was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the normal 2/3 penalty for not voting :

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watchers Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks' nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

Its a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you wont want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher's Council content.

And dont forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..cause were cool like that, y'know?

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March 26, 2015

When Fictional Quotes Describe The Beliefs Of All Too Real Politicians

Anyone who is a fan of the classic British science fiction show Doctor Who knows that it injects more than a little bit of the absurd into its story lines and dialogues. Fans also know that the Eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith, was a rather eccentric, oft-times clownish character prone to grandiose statements and plans that go awry (though since he is a fictional hero, everything generally turns out right by the end of the episode).

This morning I encountered this quote over at Hogewash.

No, I have a thing. Its like a plan, but with more greatness. The 11th Doctor

As I read it, a thought struck me this sounds ever so much like our current president.

Unfortunately, Barack Obama doesnt have the superior intellect, advanced technology, or dumb luck that make a fictional character like the Doctor so successful and beloved. And that is what makes him so incredibly dangerous to America and the world. After all, after six years as president, Obama still doesn't have a plan -- he has a thing, and he believes that thing is so much better for everyone. Unfortunately, his ongoing campaign of failure and destruction proves that is not so.

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Indiana Governor To Sign Law Permitting Businesses To Discriminate Against Westboro Baptist Church, Churches That Refuse To Perform Gay Marriages

That isnt, of course, the way that the law is being presented by liberals.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is set to sign into law a measure that allows businesses to turn away gay and lesbian customers in the name of "religious freedom."

The move comes as Pence considers a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination -- and just a year after Pence and socially conservative lawmakers lost their first policy battle against gay Hoosiers. In 2014 they had sought to amend Indiana's constitution to ban same-sex marriages -- but were beaten back by a highly-organized coalition of Democrats, traditionally right-leaning business organizations and fiscally focused supporters of Pence's predecessor, former GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels.

This year, though, the Republican-dominated state House and Senate both approved the "religious freedom" bill, and Pence plans to sign it into law in a private ceremony Thursday, his spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

Now the big concern is that some small number of business owners might choose to not bake a wedding cake for a gay wedding or might refuse to print shirts for a gay pride festival because doing so would be sinful according to their religious beliefs. What no one talks about is that this law is also a tool for allowing folks whose religious beliefs are different to do follow their beliefs. For example, why should a person who believes that God loves everyone regardless of sexual orientation be required to produce God Hates Fags signs for Westboro Baptist Church if they roll into town for a protest? Why should someone whose religion accepts gay marriage be required to do business with a church that does not bless such unions if they believe that doing so promotes sinful beliefs? And why should a floral wholesaler be required to provide flowers for a florist who refuses to do arrangements for gay weddings?

Thats the thing about religious freedom, you see either everyone has it or no one does.

H/T Gay Patriot

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March 25, 2015

Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) Strikes Blow Against Racism In Parking


As reported by Roll Call.

Per our tipster, Norton performed the sub-par squeeze-in around the same time the rest of her colleagues were crowding into the House chamber to hear the joint address by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

At around the 40-second mark, an oblivious U.S. Capitol Police officer appears to zoom by on a motorcycle, right past the textbook parking offense.

Once the aide seen assisting Norton from outside the slow-moving vehicle finishes waving her into clearly disastrous position, Norton emerges from the car, clicks her remote locking device (better safe than sorry) and starts to walk away.

Then, all of the sudden, she doubles back.

Has her conscience gotten the best of her? Is she going to slide a quickly composed apology onto the now-stuck trucks windshield? Or perhaps a business card?


Norton simply retrieves some forgotten item from inside the car and then heads on her merry way.

Our spy estimates the entire head-scratching episode lasted about half an hour, including the painful insertion process and her 20-minute jaunt into Cannon.

Once done with her business, the tipster said Norton backed out of the space and rolled out onto the unsuspecting District streets.

She hit the car next to her and did not leave a note, though I couldnt see any damage, was our spys takeaway from the mid-day drama.

Frankly, I find the article above a microaggression due to its utte obliviousness to the blow for racial equality that non-voting representative from the District of Columbia struck during this episode.

You see, Eleanor Holmes Norton was striking a blow against the white privilege asserted by the lines which sought to define the proper manner of parking on the black pavement upon which those lines had been painted. Her actions were an effort to check the privilege of those white lines by parking in a manner more authentic to the experience of the pavement of color. Those who mock rather than applaud her actions have clearly bought into the racist paradigm of American society exemplified by the unconscious acceptance of the heretofore unchallenged practice of subjugating black streets and parking lots to the dominance of white paint.

Then again, maybe the old bat simply can't park worth a damn.

H/T Gateway Pundit, Sister Toldjah, and Hot Air

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I Proudly Condemn These Self-Proclaimed Patriots Who Adopted Shameful Leftist Tactics

My response to the misdeeds of these protesters? A strong desire to vomit.

While some folks may want to praise crashing a meeting and preventing others from exercising their First Amendment rights because they disagree with the message, I don't. Instead I'll condemn the folks whose views on immigration I agree with and side with the left-winger whose beliefs I despise. After all, for most of my life we have complained about progressives who engage in disruptive activity to silence conservative speakers. Principle requires that we not adopt those repugnant tactics in order to silence those with whom we disagree. After all, we have truth and right on our side, and can only discredit our side by doing so.

And if I end up calling out friends for having given approval to such despicable tactics when they our used by our side, so be it.

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It'sOfficial -- Obama Traded Terrorists For Treasonous Turd

Should we be surprised?

The U.S. military has charged Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with one count each of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, officials announced Wednesday afternoon.

Bergdahl left his post in Afghanistan before being captured and held captive for five years. For that, he faces charges that carry a maximum penalty of life in a military prison, and he could also have to forfeit pay and be stripped for his rank, Army Col. Daniel King said as he announced the charges.

Bergdahl now faces a military procedure similar to a grand jury deciding whether charges are appropriate, King said. Then, he could face court martial proceedings.

The decision comes nearly a year after Bergdahl returned to the United States as part of a prisoner exchange and since the Army began a formal investigation into his disappearance from his unit in eastern Afghanistan in June 2009.

Obama made trading terrorists for this traitorous deserter a priority, and repeatedly made it clear that he cared more about Bergdahl than the troops who died as a result of his desertion or those who would be endangered or killed when the released terrorists make their way back to the field of battle. But then what does one expect when you have a president who is more supportive of the terrorists (of which Bergdahl is definitely one) than the troops? And let's not forget that Obama is typical of his party in that regard.

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March 24, 2015

Starting A Conversation On The Platform Of The Republican Party Of Texas

Last summer, I wrote a draft proposal of a reformed platform for the Republican Party of Texas. There has been a lot of vocal discontent surrounding both the current platform and the process by which it has been created, and I thought I would take a shot at writing something that was shorter, clearer, and still reflective of the core values of Texas Republicans without being cluttered with some of the many planks that have been included over the years without being fully considered by the delegates to the State Convention.

Given that our new chairman has appointed a committee to review the process by which the platform has been written in recent years, I thought it might also be a good time to circulate my proposal from last summer, somewhat revised, to some 400 members of the State Republican Executive Committee, County Chairmen, Auxiliary leaders, and other party leaders around the state and in Harris County. My goal was not to hijack the process and get any body other than the 2016 RPT Convention to adopt a new platform in place of the one adopted in 2016. Rather, it is an effort to start a conversation about what a leaner platform that spoke to core principles might look like.

Here is the text of the email I sent.

* * *

My Fellow Republicans:

My name is Greg Aydt.  I am a life-long Republican, having cut my political teeth as a teenage volunteer for the 1980 Reagan campaign, before I was even old enough to vote.I have served as a precinct chair in two states -- first in Illinois, where I became the first precinct chair ever elected from one of the campus precincts at Illinois State University, and more recently as the precinct chair from Precinct 333 in Harris County.  After some three-and-a-half decades as a grassroots activist, much of it here in Texas, I believe the time has come for me to take a stand on a matter that I believe needs to be addressed by Texas Republicans -- the sad state of the platform of the Republican Party of Texas.

Let's consider some of the problems with that document.  

First, at around 40 pages, the platform is too long to be given the sort of scrutiny and debate it deserves at the state convention.  Brought to the floor at the last minute, parliamentary gamesmanship and the desire to adjourn results in little actual consideration of the document.  This past year there was only one significant area of debate on the floor, and the form it took brought little credit to our party.  The remaining couple hundred planks were not examined at all by the assembled delegates -- nor was there time for any sort of rigorous analysis of those planks to determine if they were well thought out or supported by a majority of the delegates in attendance.  

This leads to the second problem with the platform as it currently stands -- because it is a hodgepodge of old and new planks, the document contradicts itself at times.  Consider these two planks, right next to each other, as an example.

Constitutional Convention - We strongly oppose any constitutional convention to rewrite the United States Constitution. We encourage the Texas Legislature to rescind its 1977 call for such a convention. We call upon other states to rescind their votes for such a convention.

Article V Convention - Under no circumstances shall the Bill of Rights, the first 10 constitutional amendments, be changed in any manner. We urge the Texas State Legislators to take the lead in calling for an Article V Amending Convention of States, for the specific purpose of reigning in the power of the federal government. Any proposed amendments must be ratified by of the states to take effect.

Unfortunately for the drafters of our platform, an Article V convention is a Constitutional Convention with the power to rewrite the entire Constitution through the amendment process. The scope of its amendments likely cannot be limited (see the original Constitutional Convention for an example of how effective limits would be), and the requirement for ratification of amendments by of the states is already in the text of the Constitution itself -- for the purpose of making sure that any amendment has broad support nationally.  We therefore find ourselves in the position of being a party that is both in support of and opposed to a convention called under Article V of the United States Constitution.

Third, some platform planks are so obscure as to defy understanding by most delegates.  Consider this one.

Selection of Primary Candidates - The SREC should study the Utah model for selecting primary candidates.

Now this may be an excellent idea or it may be a horrible one.  The reality, though, is that there is not enough information here for delegates to make an informed decision on the advisability of making such an alteration in how candidates are selected.  What's more, since the platform is supposed to be our party's plan of action for the legislative and executive branch, does such a proposed rule change even belong in the document in the first place?

Needless to say, I could go on listing problems with our current platform -- but it is not my goal to engage in a plank-by-plank critique.  Rather, I'd like to propose to you that you lend your support to the notion of thoroughly revising the platform with the goal of making it significantly shorter.  This would be accomplished by making the platform a statement of broad Republican principles that we as a party can agree on without finding it necessary to wade through the minutiae that currently clogs our party platform.  Having spent significant time studying the platforms of other state Republican parties, I would like to offer for your consideration this document based upon the Utah Republican Party platform -- a version of which was adopted at last summer's Texas Young Republican convention.

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.

As you can see, this proposed platform is much shorter than what we currently have.  It states principles which Republicans of all varieties can support.  It provides direction for our elected officials without tying their hands with too-specific planks.  And yes, it also removes some of the planks that have brought negative scrutiny to the RPT because they are poorly drafted or not given adequate consideration by delegates.

What am I asking of you?  A couple of things.  First, I would appreciate any feedback on what i have presented to you here.  Such feedback can only serve to strengthen this proposal.  Second, I would appreciate your sharing it with other Republicans -- county chairs and precinct chairs in particular -- for their consideration.  Lastly, I would appreciate your endorsement of this effort to fix our broken platform.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration in this matter.

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Let's just say that I was amazed by the response to this email. Some individuals have been quite supportive of my draft, while others have viewed it negatively. Others have been taken a position somewhere in between, offering their support for the concept of creating a document that is more helpful to the grassroots, party officials, and elected officials while not necessarily endorsing the version I proposed. Some have agreed to share my proposal with others Republicans for purposes of discussion, while others have respectfully declined. The key thing is that it appears to have jump-started some discussion on the future of the RPT platform -- which was my goal when I began to circulate it this past weekend. I offer my sincere thanks and utmost respect to all who responded, whether positively or negatively -- the passion and insights expressed demonstrates that even when we disagree we are all animated by sincere belief and support for for the principles that make the GOP great.

I post this text here now in the hope of expanding the conversation beyond those I contacted over the weekend. Please feel free to offer your critique of the ideas here, and to make suggestions regarding other ways we might improve the platform and the process by which it is created. Most importantly, please feel free to share this with others, and encourage them to do the same. If you like what I have here, please feel free to submit it at your precinct conventions next March after primary voting concludes, or offer it at your County or Senatorial District convention. But most importantly, please keep the conversation going, because the RPT (and the GOP as a whole) can only be strengthened by the full, free, and open exchange of ideas at all levels of the party.

|| Greg, 07:59 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (14) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Corporation With History Of Using Courts To Assert First Amendment Rights Decries Corporations Exercising First Amendment Rights

Because, you know, the New York Times Company (a New York corporation trading on the New York Stock Exchange as NYT) is troubled that the new corporate beneficiaries tend to be conservative in their outlook and the decisions by courts have a libertarian philosophy that keeps government from silencing speech that the big media corporation opposes.

Liberals used to love the First Amendment. But that was in an era when courts used it mostly to protect powerless people like civil rights activists and war protesters.

These days, a provocative new study says, there has been a corporate takeover of the First Amendment. The assertion is backed by data, and it comes from an unlikely source: John C. Coates IV, who teaches business law at Harvard and used to be a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, the prominent corporate law firm.

Corporations have begun to displace individuals as the direct beneficiaries of the First Amendment, Professor Coates wrote. The trend, he added, is recent but accelerating.

Oh, the horror of it all -- corporations asserting rights that ought only belong to the poor and downtrodden, and being treated impartially by a blindfolded Lady Justice who is not peeking in order to know when to put her thumb on the scales of justice!

The problem, this article seems to indicate, dates back to decisions that were made in the mid-1970s. Before that, the courts used to only protect the First Amendment rights of downtrodden individuals -- and corporations like the New York Times Company (a New York corporation trading on the New York Stock Exchange as NYT)

How recent a phenomenon is this shocking corporate takeover of the First Amendment? The Times does not provide a precise start date, but surely it must be at least as old as the year 1964. Why? Because that was the year when a wealthy and powerful corporation prevailed in the landmark First Amendment case known as New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. In that decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the for-profit corporate entity (otherwise known as The New York Times) by rejecting a libel suit filed by a Jim Crow official from Alabama who objected when the paper published a letter critical of his local government's mistreatment of black Americans. If the corporation lost, the Court observed, "would-be critics of official conduct may be deterred from voicing their criticism," thus diminishing the scope of the First Amendment.

Seven years later, that same wealthy and powerful corporate entity prevailed in yet another landmark First Amendment case, a decision known as New York Times Co. v. United States. Here the Supreme Court invalidated the federal government's attempt to suppress publication of the so-called Pentagon Papers. According to Justice Hugo Black, the corporation had to win this dispute, otherwise the outcome "would make a shambles of the First Amendment."

So you see, the New York Times Company (a New York corporation trading on the New York Stock Exchange as NYT) used to be a supporter of expanding corporate First Amendment rights -- back when it was the rights of the New York Times Company (a New York corporation trading on the New York Stock Exchange as NYT) that were being protected and expanded.

|| Greg, 06:55 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (8) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Hillary Clinton's Brother, Clinton Operatives, Used Connections To Influence Visa Decisions While She Was Secretary Of State

Conceding that the pressure was exerted upon the Department of Homeland Security, but when long-time members of the Secretary of State's inner circle begin pressuring officials to give favorable decisions to certain applicants, it certainly has an effect.

The No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department meddled in three high-profile immigration cases, giving special treatment to applications from wealthy and well-connected immigrants after calls from major Democrats despite the objections of career employees, the departments inspector general concluded in a report Tuesday.

Alejandro Mayorkas, who was elevated from head of the departments legal immigration agency to be deputy secretary while the investigation was ongoing, also angered many of his colleagues by getting involved in the cases, and created an appearance of favoritism and special access for the wealthy immigrants, the inspector general concluded.

Inspector General John Roth said the cases involved major Democrats: former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, Sen. Harry Reid, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Anthony Rodham, brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In each case, pressure from those individuals helped earn favorable treatment, Mr. Roth said.

Looks to me like we need to have another investigation into Hillary Clinton and the corrupt Obama Administration.

|| Greg, 04:33 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (8) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Government Urges Banks To Report Legal Financial Transactions To Law Enforcement!

Call it one more example of Justice Department lawlessness.

The Justice Department is ordering bank employees to consider calling the cops on customers who withdraw $5,000 dollars or more, a chilling example of how the war on cash is intensifying.

Banks are already required to file suspicious activity reports on their customers, with threats of fines and even jail time for directors if financial institutions dont meet quotas.

But as investor and financial blogger Simon Black points out, last week, A senior official from the Justice Department spoke to a group of bankers about the need for them to rat out their customers to the police.

Assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell gave a speech in which he urged banks to alert law enforcement authorities about the problem so that police can seize the funds or at least initiate an investigation.

As Black highlights, according to the handbook for the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council, such suspicious activity includes, Transactions conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank (or an affiliate) and aggregating $5,000 or more

The thing is, there is no legal requirement for the reporting of cash transactions of less than $10,000, though in many cases banks will make reports if there is a cash transaction of as little as $8,000. Now the Justice Department is demanding information on transactions of only half the legally required amount so that they can investigate why one wants that much cash and perhaps even seize it.

Stuff like this leads me to wonder at what point are We the People going to rise up and overthrow the fascist regime operated by Barack Obama.

|| Greg, 02:56 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (8) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

When Political Correctness Keeps Officials From Stating The Obvious

I know that rape happens Ive had too many women close to me who have been victims. And I know that too often the victims of rape have not been believed one of those women I mentioned earlier told me the awful tale of having been violently assaulted by an acquaintance only to have the police tell her that they believed she just regretted having consented to rough sex with someone other than her boyfriend. Im therefore quite sympathetic to calls to believe the victim even though I am also a firm believer in due process for those accused of sexual assault. But at a certain point, the weight of evidence requires that one concede that a claim of sexual assault is not simply unsubstantiated, but is actually a lie.

Unfortunately, the politically correct orthodoxy of the current day leads even those charged with investigating claims of sexual assault to bend themselves into pretzel-like shapes to avoid declaring a claim to be unambiguously false.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. Police here say they have found no evidence to support claims in a Rolling Stone article that a University of Virginia student was gang raped at a campus fraternity in September 2012, noting that months of investigation led detectives to discredit several claims about the alleged assault.

Police Chief Timothy J. Longo on Monday afternoon said the police department had multiple meetings with Jackie the woman who claimed she was gang raped at a fraternity party and that she declined to speak about the alleged incident or provide any information about it. Numerous lines of inquiry yielded evidence that the fraternity did not have a party the night of the alleged attack, and police were unable to find anyone matching the description of the alleged attacker.

Were not able to conclude to any substantive degree that an incident occurred at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house or any other fraternity house, for that matter, Longo said at a news conference. That doesnt mean something terrible didnt happen to Jackie were just not able to gather sufficient facts to determine what that is.

In other words, there is not a single scrap of evidence that shows that any of the claims made by the putative victim of this alleged assault contains even a grain of truth but nobody in authority is prepared to say that the myriad false claims made lead inexorably to the conclusion that the alleged victim is a confirmed liar. Would that somebody, anybody, in a position of authority would mockingly denounce the liar and her supporters with the infamous old line I deny the allegations and I defy the alligators.

UPDATE(Via Hot Air): It gets worse -- now the supporters of Jackie the Liar are demanding that people not blame her for lying and instead affirm her for having had the courage to lie so boldly.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who is pushing for stronger laws against rapes on college campuses, today warned against people criticizing the woman at the center of a University of Virginia sexual assault case.


But Gillibrand said the ire over the case shouldn't shift blame onto victims, who already have a hard time coming forward to authorities.

"Victim blaming or shining the spotlight on her for coming forward is not the right approach," Gillibrand said on "The Capitol Pressroom," a public radio show in Albany. "In fact, what we have to focus on is how do we keep these campuses safe? How do we have better trained personnel on campuses so they can tell a survivor what her options are and so they can have all the facts?"

Not only that, Senator Gillibrand rejects the notion that the false accuser should face criminal charges for violating laws against making false police reports.

Gillibrand said it would be wrong for some to call on the female student in the UVA scandal to face criminal charges.

"I think it's inappropriate," she said. "One of the challenges with survivors of sexual trauma and rape is that they often dont want to actually participate with law enforcement because they dont think justice is possible. They don't think they will be believed; they think theyll be blamed."

So never mind that there is not a scrap of evidence supporting the report that she made or the stories that she has told. Never mind the damage she has done to those who she falsely branded as rapists and accessories to rape. Never mind the damage that she has done to ACTUAL VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT by perpetrating this fraud upon the public by making up a patently false story out of whole cloth. It is a bad thing to hold her accountable like we would those who filed false reports about other crimes because she lied about being raped and if we punish women who lie about rape it might discourage those who have actually been sexually assaulted from reporting those crimes.

Ace of Spades has it right. These are not advocates for victims -- they are Cultists who demand that no one examine or criticize their false religion.

|| Greg, 02:53 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (10) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

On The Ted Cruz Presidential Announcement

I like my states junior senator I really do. But Im not backing him for the nomination. I dont think he is ready for the presidency and dont think that is the best place for him to use his gifts. Instead, I would like to see President Scott Walker appoint Ted Cruz to the first available opening on the US Supreme Court preferably replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg. That would make for a good four decades of a constitutional conservative on the High Court.

But on to the announcement itself.

First, the speech was masterful. But then again, when doesnt Ted Cruz show himself to be a master of the art of political rhetoric? In that he is very much in the mold of Ronald Reagan. The vision he laid out is a conservative one that I think many, if not most, Americans believe in. Unfortunately, he is not the man to bring it to fruition, just as Barry Goldwater was fated to be the prophet of conservative governance rather than the one who brought it into effect. I embrace the vision Ted Cruz presented yesterday a vision that a generation ago was firmly and undeniably in the American mainstream even if the left-wing opinion elite declare it to be dangerously extreme today and I believe that most Americans embrace it today.

But I have to admit that I was put off by the choice of Liberty University as the site for the Cruz announcement. It wasnt just that Cruz chose not to make the announcement here in Houston, the city he calls home in the state he represents in the Senate. It wasnt just that Liberty University is inextricably tied to its late founder, Rev. Jerry Falwell, and the social conservative movement. It was that the audience itself was composed of students made into involuntary props because the speech was a part of a mandatory student assembly (indeed, students would have been fined by the university for nonattendance). Ted Cruz could have drawn an adoring and enthusiastic audience of supporters any number of places but he didnt try to do so. I believe that was a mistake in terms of optics, and an insult to those who would have gladly turned out to voluntarily support Cruz.

But at the same time, I want to point to something very interesting that happened at the speech something that I believe shows a greater openness to diversity of opinion at Liberty University than one would have found at most public colleges of liberal-dominated private universities.


Yeah, thats right a band of Liberty University students wearing shirts supporting Rand Paul placed themselves in the right spot to be in many shots of the Cruz speech. University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. commented on it this way when asked about it by the media.

"The fact that some students attended the service wearing t-shirts supporting another potential candidate shows that our students are not indoctrinated; they are freeand encouragedto form their own opinions about what they hear in Convocation and to express it," Falwell said.

Considering that any number of institutions of higher education and political campaigns (notably the Obama campaign in both 2008 and 2012) have banned the expression of dissenting political speech during appearances by presidential candidates and their surrogates at campus speeches and rallies, the fact that Liberty University and the Cruz campaign made no such effort to suppress the speech of students who support other candidates shows a level of support for freedom of thought and freedom of expression not generally found on campuses today. I commend both the school and the campaign for modeling truly American values that are too often neglected by the self-proclaimed voices of tolerance on campuses today and note that the fact that Falwell had to explain to the media why freedom of speech was permitted on campus tells us a great deal about the degree to which suppression of student liberties is expected and accepted at most institutions of higher education today.

|| Greg, 02:52 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (9) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

I Heard You Missed Me Im Back

It has been an interesting couple of weeks and a silent couple of weeks as well.

Two weeks ago tonight, I came home from school feeling tired and headachey but looking forward to a night at the rodeo, followed by a concert by Tim McGraw. I told my wife that I was going to lay down for 30 minutes or so only to instead sleep for about the next 300 when she decided that I was clearly too sick for a night out. By morning I could barely talk or breathe, and spent the next couple of days fighting a sinus infection. Thanks to my students for cooperating with me as I gutted out the rest of the week leading up to Spring Break they are the best.

But as the weekend began, my illness got passed on to my darling wife and settled into her lungs. It wasnt the worst case of bronchitis she has ever had, and we caught it before it tipped over into pneumonia but that put our rodeo plans on hold for most of break as we coughed, sneezed and sniffled our way through what was planned to be an active vacation. We did make it to the rodeo a during the latter part of the week only to get caught out in a major thunderstorm that sent Paula into a relapse .

Needless to say, I just havent felt like writing for the last couple of weeks both because I needed to recover and I needed to help her recover. But it is just as well the rest Ive gotten has been a big help and I started back to school yesterday feeling better and on an emotionally higher not than I would have if I had forced myself to keep up with the news as closely as I usually do so that I can blog the way I usually do.

But Im back. And I hope that the rest turns out to be as good for my writing as it has been for other areas of my life.

|| Greg, 02:48 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (9) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 20, 2015

Watcher's Council Results

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this weeks Watchers Council match up.

You see, its been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didnt we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness? Adolf Hitler

I studied the Quran a great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction that by and large there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad. As far as I can see, it is the principal cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world and, though less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion more to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself Alexis de Tocqueville

All this talk of people who burn the Koran and nothing about the people who reacted in such a stupid way. We are always blaming the victim and not holding them not most Muslims, but at least a large part of Muslim culture that doesnt condemn their people There is one religion in the world that kills you when you disagree with them and they say look, we are a religion of peace and if you disagree well f**king cut your head off, and nobody calls them on it there are very few people that will call them on it. Its like if Dad is a violent drunk and beats his kids, you dont blame the kid because he set Dad off. You blame Dad because hes a violent drunk - Bill Maher

This weeks winning essay, Joshuapundits The Chicken Or The Egg? looks at some elements of Islamic culture and asks: is it Islam that promotes the extreme violence and misogyny associated with Muslim societies? Or is that just [art of a tribal society that persists in spite of Islam? Heres a slice:

Unless youre in a coma, youve probably noticed that a great many of the violent and barbaric acts in our modern world can be attributed to followers of Islam.

In the Islamic world today, aside from homicide bombings, jihad and terrorism directed against dar harb ( the part of the world not ruled by Islam), honor killings, female genital circumcision and other forms of violence against women are commonplace, and homosexuals are routinely brutalized and murdered. Non-Muslims are treated as barely human in much of the Islamic world, if theyre allowed to exist at all. Warfare carried out by Muslims is done with modern tools of the trade provided by the despised infidels, but is a relic of the good ol primitive and tribal days. Hostages, beheadings and the deliberate killing of civilians are all fair game, and the language of jihad is essentially the same heady stuff used back in the 7th century against the infidel. And through it all, there remains the miasma of seething violent rage at things like the Danish cartoons that simply doesnt exist in other religious groups.

The question nobody wants to ask keeps floating to the surface: Is Islam to blame? Or, to put it another way, are the perpetrators simply bad Muslims or are they actually good ones who are simply more in tune with Mohammeds message than the majority? Does Islam itself promote violence? Or are the acts simply a product of primitive tribal society that persists in spite of Islam?

Actually, this is a trick question. I personally believe that Islam and the primitive tribal culture combined back in the day to sustain each other and cant be separated by their very natureeven though some valiant attempts have been made in the past, and are being made today.

Lets look at honor killings, for example. Probably the oldest recorded one is in Genesis 34, when Jacobs daughter Dinah was seduced (or raped, depending on how you interpret the text) by a man from the town of Shechem( modern day Nablus). Afterwards, Jacobs sons Simeon and Levi instigated the killing of the towns men in revenge. But the Torah also tells us how Jacob denounced the killings and actually took the time to bad mouth his sons for the deed from his deathbed. Not only that, but youll notice a profound difference from the Islamic way of handling this the onus of punishment fell on the male, not the female.

his isnt the only honor killing mentioned in the Bible, but they were never condoned or part of Jewish law, just merely reported.

Islam, on the other hand, not only sanctions honor killings but is quite clear about its position in the matter. Killing or flogging an adulteress or a female that has relations with a non-Muslim male are part of sharia ( Quran: 4:15, for example) provided an Islamic court orders the punishment rather than an individual male family member going off on his own.

Even at that, Islamic courts today in the Muslim world frequently view male family members taking the law into their own hands fairly leniently. In Jordan, for example, many brutal honor killings have been punished by as little as a three month sentence under Jordanian Public Law 340. Moreover, in the context of Islamic society such murderers are often celebrated and held up as role models. Just as homicide bombers and terrorists who kill infidel civilians often are.

But what if a Muslim feels himself disrespected and lives in say, Britain or New Jersey? If no Islamic courts are available, is it permissible to take the law into ones own hands? Probably. Theres not much in the way of Islamic rulings or commentary on that particular subject, but the near silence of most Muslim clergy in the West when it comes to denouncing honor killings speaks volumesone of those little inconvenient truths Western apologists for multiculturalism and Islam constantly run up against when a number of Muslim clerics themselves insist that honor killing, female genital mutilation, and stoning of adulterers are mandated by Islam. And, as youve probably guessed by now , thats one of the unspoken reasons behind the push among many Muslims in the West for sharia courts to handle those messy domestic problems that come up with uppity females from time to time.

Violent death penalties for women caught in adultery is fairly typical of a primitive society, but only Islam continues the practice into the present day. No Christian court has ever condemned a woman to death for adultery. And although the death penalty for adultery is found in the Book of Leviticus, there is no record of such a sentence ever carried out by any Jewish court. The same is true of homosexuality; while both Christianity and Judaism consider it a sin and an abomination only Islam clearly mandates the death penalty for such activities and carries it out in our present day.

So why does Islamic society persist in these practices ?

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Daniel GreenfieldsObamas Treason Is The New Patriotism submitted by The Noisy Room. Daniel has some very hard hitting things to say about President Obama and a number of his questionable actions..and the tendency by the usual suspects to name anyone whom disagrees with the Regime a traitor.

Here are this weeks full results. GrEaT sAtAnS gIrLfRiEnD and Rhymes With Right were unable to vote this week, but were not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watchers Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

Its a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you wont want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watchers Council content.

And dont forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..cause were cool like that, yknow?

|| Greg, 07:13 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (82) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 13, 2015

Watcher's Council Results

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week's Watcher's Council match up.

"One of the critical issues that we have to confront is illegal immigration, because this is a multi-headed Hydra that affects our economy, our health care, our health care, our education systems, our national security, and also our local criminality." - Allen West

"Illegal immigrants are to immigration what shoplifters are to shopping." - Jerry Agar

In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people. -President Theodore Roosevelt

"A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation." - President Ronald Reagan

This week's winning essay,The Right Planet's A Strong Warning from Trevor Loudon on Illegal Amnesty is an in depth look at amnesty for illegal aliens, the radical roots of many of its activists and how it is being used as a tool to subvert the basic fabric of the country . Here's a slice:

For the past three years, Trevor Loudon, author of the book "Barack Obama and the Enemies Within," has been trying to warn Americans about the Marxist takeover of the Democratic Party. If you listen to the video above, you can hear Trevor is losing his voice from all the rallies hes been attending lately. He is trying, with every fiber in his being, to warn Americans of the dire consequences of ignoring the ominous slide toward pure socialism occurring now in the American body politic.

A little while back I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down and talking to Trevor Loudon at length when he visited Indianapolis. Many of the points he is making in his presentation to the Leadership Institute were the same ones he made during his visit to Indy.

I want to focus on some key points regarding illegal immigration Trevor made in his presentation.

Before 1995, the AFL-CIO labor union was lead by alleged anti-communists like Lane Kirkland and George Meany. But, in 1995, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the Gramcsiist communists kicked out Lane Kirkland, replacing him with DSA member John Sweeney. Sweeney is currently President Emeritus of the AFL-CIO. He was president of the organization for four terms, from 1995 to 2009. Richard L. Trumka is the current AFL-CIO President.

The radical leftists took over every major labor union in the country, and purged the Democratic Party of all the moderates, dixiecrats, centrists and bluedog democratswith Sen. Joe Lieberman being the last to go.

Today, there is not a single policy embraced by the Democratic Party that can be distinguished from the platform of the Communist Party USA or the Democratic Socialists of America. This is full-on Marxism-Leninism, ladies and gentlemen. I have been warning about this for yearsTrevor, even longer. Now we have a situation where some twenty-thousand Marxists own the unions, and the unions own the Democratic Party. It was Vladimir Lenin who once wrote that the labor unions are the transmission belts from the Communist Party to the masses.

Trevor mentioned some key individuals worth noting in his presentation that have been major driving forces behind the immigration reform movement (i.e. amnesty) in the United States.

The first organized effort to bring Latinos into the Democratic Party started with hardcore communist Bert Corona in the 1950s. It was Corona who set up the Viva Kennedy clubs that, for the first time, brought large numbers of Mexican-Americans into a Presidential campaign.

The former mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosaa hardcore Marxist, who cut sugar cane in Cuba for the Castro brothersturned L.A. into a sanctuary city, and forbade the LAPD from enforcing immigration. The illegals flooded into California by the hundreds of thousands.

Communist Party supporter, and former head of the California senate, Gil Cedillo, pushed through the DREAM Act in California about three years ago, giving so-called rights to the children of illegal immigrantseuphemistically called undocumented workers.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn with The Enemy Of My Enemy submitted by The Noisy Room. This is Steyn's take on Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu' speech to congress..and as usual with Steyn, he gets to the heart of the matter with his customary wit and brilliance. Do read it.

Here are this weeks full results. Only Rhymes With Right was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watchers Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks' nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

Its a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you wont want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher's Council content.

And dont forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..cause were cool like that, y'know?

|| Greg, 07:11 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (17) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

March 06, 2015

There Are Some Things I Could Never Imagine Saying In Class

This would certainly be among them. I just dont know what is wrong with some of my fellow teachers.

|| Greg, 09:17 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (6) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Jew-Hatred Lives At American Colleges And Universities

Could you imagine the hell that would break loose if a member of a student government were to ever ask an applicant for a appointed position one of the following questions?

Rest assured, there would be protest marches, heated commentary in the campus paper, and public comment by senior officials in the campus administration denouncing the hate and bigotry expressed in any one of these questions.

But none of those questions was asked of Rachel Beyda at UCLA. Instead, she was asked Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view ?

Yep, thats right her Jewish identity was deemed to be a disqualifying factor when she sought appointment to a Judicial Board of the UCLA student government.

For the next 40 minutes, after Ms. Beyda was dispatched from the room, the council tangled in a debate about whether her faith and affiliation with Jewish organizations, including her sorority and Hillel, a popular student group, meant she would be biased in dealing with sensitive governance questions that come before the board, which is the campus equivalent of the Supreme Court.

The discussion, recorded in written minutes and captured on video, seemed to echo the kind of questions, prejudices and tropes particularly about divided loyalties that have plagued Jews across the globe for centuries, students and Jewish leaders said.

Yeah, you read that right at one of the nations premiere public universities, students actually debated whether or not a Jewish student could be permitted to serve in a sensitive position because of her religious faith. But even more shocking, the board examining Ms. Beyda rejected her appointment because of her Jewish faith and reconsidered the matter only after their faulty advisor pointed out that being a Jew did not constitute a conflict of interest that would prevent her from doing the job for which she was applying.

Now I will point out that the campus press has spoken out against what happened and the university administration has declared this to be a teaching moment. But may I point out that the students involved all still hold their seats on the student government. They have not been pressured to resign and they have not been impeached and removed. As I stated before, that is how much this stands in contrast with how any of the other versions of the question that I suggested earlier would have been dealt with. It therefore seems that Jew-hatred is alive and well in American higher education and the degree to which it exists has been highlighted in this article on the ten most anti-Semitic campuses in America on which UCLA ranks #9. Interestingly enough, President Obama's alma mater is the most anti-Semitic college or university in America (which may explain some things about his attitudes towards both Israel and Muslim terrorists).

H/T Volokh Conspiracy

|| Greg, 09:14 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (258) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Left Cheers Unemployment Drop A Sign of Economic Growth, Ignores That it Was Caused By Economic Weakness

Yeah, we went from 5.7% unemployment to 5.5%, but heres the reason.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent, the government said Friday. But the rate declined mainly because some people out of work stopped looking for jobs and were no longer counted as unemployed.

* * *

The 5.5 percent unemployment rate doesn't reflect as healthy a job market as it typically has in the past. One reason the rate has fallen so low is that many people have stopped looking for work. The proportion of Americans who either have a job or are seeking one dipped one-tenth of 1 percentage point in February to 62.8 percent. That's close to the lowest level in 37 years.

Add to that the reality that wages are barely keeping pace with inflation and you can see that the state of the economy is still quite weak. That assertion isnt based upon wishful thinking it is based upon the governments own statistics.

A great explanation of how this works is found here.

|| Greg, 09:09 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (9) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Watcher's Council Results

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week's Watcher's Council match up.

"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. " - George Orwell's 1984

"Whoever controls the media, controls the mind." - Jim Morrison of The Doors

"The medias the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and thats power. Because they control the minds of the masses." - Malcolm X

This week's winning essay, The Noisy Room's Net Neutrality: Young fool Only now, at the end, do you understand takes apart the Obama dominated FCC's plans to 'regulate' the Internet and turn it int0 something unrecognizable. Here's a slice:

We keep hearing, from the saviors in Washington, DC, how government regulation is the answer and how evil monopolies (created, incidentally, by other government regulations) are responsible for all our trials and tribulations and the fundamental unfairness of the Internet as she is currently wrote.

Obligatory movie quote:

No. No government. I know those people. Absolutely not. Col. Ira Kane

Yeah, its a movie. Its also absolutely right.

The founder of, Mark Cuban, has recently been vociferous in his opposition to so-called Net Neutrality with his most recent public appearance on the subject in an interview where he breaks it down. His effort to plain-language the argument notwithstanding, and frankly, its a subject that should not be oversimplified, he laid out the unintended consequences dominoes and how this everything is equal push plays out in terms of common services.

Now, you might want to shrug Mark Cuban off as some rich guy who owns a sports team and clearly thats being done a lot, but dont forget how he got rich: he pioneered live broadcasting over the Internet. Hes not some political hack, evil cable company exec, or mushy thinking me-too fairness uber alles flag waver. He is, for once, someone who knows what the hell hes talking about.

Net Neutrality, like so many political labels, is a fair sounding name that hides the actual motives and consequences of the real world implementations we will experience after the seemingly inevitable adoption of this latest government overreach.

It wont be fair. It wont be optimum. And the right answer will never even be mentioned, never mind entertained: deregulate the cable and broadband space to eliminate the protected monopolies.

The broadband space needs more competition, not less; needs less regulation, not more. Companies like Google laying fiber? Cox, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast suddenly no longer have a free pass.

Otherwise? The cynical and dystopian view?

One of the unavoidable dominoes will be broad censorship. Once the deprioritization of broadcast packets leads to the epic traffic jam that will reduce the Webs US speeds to worse than those found in Europe, the government of the day will, once again, have to save us from this unforseen outcome and their clever plan will include limiting who can legitimately have bandwidth preferences, since clearly legitimate news outlets need to bypass the buffering jams that will afflict TV signalling and once dot-gov starts adjudicating whos a real news or other essential service, licensing will naturally follow, and then standards of what is acceptable traffic.

At which point, whichever political party is in power at that time will have the distinct advantage of licensing whomever they deem to be more politically correct in their eyes. Neutrality on the Net? Yeah, not so much.

Were in the hands of fools and corrupt bureaucrats. Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission held a faux meeting on open Internet rules and access to broadband Internet. Commissioner Ajit Pai made a statement before the FCC vote to take unprecedented control over the internet with a secret plan. Yes, secret. Secret as in no exposure to the public or Congress prior to its enactment. What follows is the transcript of his comments in echoes of Obamacare, this had to pass before we could know what was in it. Except, they are still keeping it under wraps. It must be very, very bad indeed.

From Breitbart:

The Wall Street Journal reports that it was developed through an unusual secretive effort inside the White House. Indeed, White House officials, according to the Journal, functioned as a parallel version of the FCC. Their work led to the presidents announcement in November of his plan for internet regulation, a plan which the report says blindsided the FCC and swept aside months of work by Chairman Wheeler toward a compromise. Now, of course, a few insiders were clued in about what was transpiring. Heres what a leader for the government-funded group Fight for the Future had to say, Weve been hearing for weeks from our allies in D.C that the only thing that could stop FCC chairman Tom Wheeler from moving ahead with his sham proposal to gut net neutrality was if we could get the president to step in. So we did everything in our power to make that happen. We took the gloves off and played hard, and now we get to celebrate a sweet victory. Congratulations. what the press has called the parallel FCC at the White House opened its door to a plethora of special interest activists. Daily Kos, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press, and Public Knowledge, just to name a few. Indeed, even before activists were blocking the chairmans driveway late last year, some of them had met with executive branch officials.

But what about the rest of the American people? They certainly couldnt get White House meetings. They were shut out of the process altogether. They were being played for fools. And the situation didnt improve once the White House announced President Obamas plan, and asked the FCC to implement it. The document in front of us today differs dramatically from the proposal that the FCC put out for comment last May, and it differs so dramatically that even zealous net neutrality advocates frantically rushed in, in recent days, to make last-minute filings, registering their concerns that the FCC might be going too far. Yet, the American people, to this day, have not been allowed to see President Obamas plan. It has remained hidden.

Especially given the unique importance of the internet, Commissioner ORielly and I ask for the plan to be released to the public. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune and House of Representatives Chairman did the same. According to a survey last week by a respected democratic polling firm, 79% of the American people favored making the document public. Still, the FCC has insisted on keeping it behind closed doors. We have to pass President Obamas 317-page plan so the American people can find out whats in it. This isnt how the FCC should operate. We should be an independent agency making decisions in a transparent manner based on the law and the facts in the record.

We shouldnt be a rubber stamp for political decisions made by the White House. And we should have released this plan to the public, solicited their feedback, incorporated that input into the plan, and then proceeded to a vote. There was no need for us to resolve this matter today. There is no immediate crisis in the internet marketplace that demands immediate action. now. The backers of the presidents plan know this. But they also know that the details of this plan cannot stand up to the light of day. They know that the more the American people learn about it, the less they will like it. That is why this plan was developed behind closed doors at the White House. And that is why the plan has remained hidden from public view.

These arent my only concerns. Even a cursory look at the plan reveals glaring legal plans that are sure to mire the agency in the muck of litigation for a long, long time. but rather than address them today, I will reserve them for my written statement. At the beginning of this proceeding, I quoted Googles former CEO, who once said, the internet is the first thing that humanity has built, that humanity doesnt understand. This proceeding makes it abundantly clear that the FCC still doesnt get it. but the American people clearly do. The proposed government regulation of the internet has awakened a sleeping giant. Im optimistic well look back on todays vote as a temporary deviation from the bipartisan consensus thats served us so well. I dont know whether this plan will be vacated by a court, reversed by Congress, or overturned by a future commission, But I do believe its days are numbered. For all of those reasons, I dissent.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Jim DeMint in the Daily Signal with If Not Now When? Will the GOP Majority Ever Stand for Anything? submitted by Ask Marion . As the man who, along with Sarah Palin was pretty much responsible for the victory in the 2010 midterms that resurrected he GOP from the grave, Deb Mint is definitely in a position to look at the Republicans in Congress today and wonder if they stand for anything.

After lying to their supporters again in 2014 about ow they would dismantle President Obama's radical agenda and being rewarded with majorities in both houses of Congress, they've reneged on everything they said they would do at election time. Can they ever be trusted again? Do read it.

Here are this weeks full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watchers Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks' nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

Its a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you wont want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher's Council content.

And dont forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..cause were cool like that, y'know?

|| Greg, 07:09 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (6) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

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NAME: Greg
AGE: 50-ish
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