Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Well, actually, yeah, I can imagine it. Here's why:
Friday, November 6, 2009
In case she still doesn't get the point, here's the Preamble to the Constitution:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
And for some reason, people take this creature seriously?
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Apparently that is no longer the case.
I’m referring specifically to the media’s coverage of Rush Limbaugh and his attempt as a minority party of a consortium to purchase the St. Louis Rams National Football League team.
As soon as the story of Limbaugh’s interest in the team broke, stories surfaced in the media about Limbaugh’s racist statements on his radio show, such as praising slavery and saying Martin Luther King’s assassin James Earl Ray deserved a medal.
The problem is that Limbaugh never said any of these things. He wasn’t misquoted or taken out of context; he simply never said them. The most cursory check would have revealed the untruth of these statements.
Yet, the mainstream media, not to mention left-wing bloggers, accepted these outrageous allegations as Gospel truth.
In the wake of the firestorm created by these false accusations, the consortium asked Limbaugh to withdraw his offer. He refused. The consortium fired him.
Another subject covered in journalism school was libel law. One aspect of libel is what’s known as the public figure doctrine. That means that it’s not enough to demonstrate that the story was untrue, malice had to be demonstrated as well as damage.
Rush Limbaugh is certainly a public figure.
So, can he demonstrate malice?
In this context, malice means either knowing that the information was untrue or that the reporter displayed careless and reckless disregard for the truth.
For example, if I were to report a story from the Associated Press that later turned out to be untrue, I'd be protected from libel because I would have every reason as a professional journalist to assume an AP story was accurate. But if I us to cite such an unreliable source as the neighborhood gossip, Wikipedia or someone with a history of libel such as Al Sharpton, I’d be in serious trouble.
But this doesn’t prove libel against a public figure. It’s not enough to demonstrate that the story was maliciously untrue, the libeled party must also show loss.
Rush lost the St. Louis Rams
I’m a “recovering journalist,” not a lawyer. I can’t speak to what will happen should Limbaugh seek judicial relief.
But I will say from what I know as a journalist, some journalistic careers will be ended by this shameful episode.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
It’s best to make sure that your intended victims are not actually two extreme cage fighters out for a night on the town, as these two Brits discovered to their chagrin.
According to the U.K.’s Daily Mail:
Two thugs who attacked what they thought were a pair of transvestites picked on the wrong men - when their intended victims turned out to be cage fighters on a night out in fancy dress.
Dean Gardener, 19, and Jason Fender, 22, singled out the two men walking along a street in wigs, short skirts and high heels.
Bare-chested Gardener was caught on CCTV confronting one of the men in a pink wig, black skirt and boob tube - then seen swinging a punch, a court heard.
But the other cage fighter, wearing a sparkling black dress and matching long wig, sprang to his friend's help, delivering two lightning-quick punches to the two stunned yobs.
The cage fighters were then seen teetering away in their high heels, stopping only to pick up a clutch bag they dropped during the melee.
Gardener and Fender were left dazed and seen staggering to their feet after their failed attack.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
President Obama announced one of these policy changes Sept. 17 when he cancelled anti-missile defenses promised to Poland and the Czech Republic. The timing was particularly ironic, coming as it did on the 60th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland when Communist forces joined hands with their Nazi cousins in destroying the Polish state.
The Poles and Czechs are not happy with this shift in American policy.
According to an Associated Press report by Vanessa Gera on Sept. 18:
Poles and Czechs voiced deep concern Friday at President Barack Obama's decision to scrap a Bush-era missile defense shield planned for their countries.According to the AP report, the Czechs are no happier with Obama's policy reversal than are the Poles:
"Betrayal! The U.S. sold us to Russia and stabbed us in the back," the Polish tabloid Fakt declared on its front page.
Polish President Lech Kaczynski said he was concerned that Obama's new strategy leaves Poland in a dangerous "gray zone" between Western Europe and the old Soviet sphere.
Recent events in the region have rattled nerves throughout central and eastern Europe, a region controlled by Moscow during the Cold War, including the war last summer between Russia and Georgia and ongoing efforts by Russia to regain influence in Ukraine. A Russian cutoff of gas to Ukraine last winter left many Europeans without heat.
The Bush administration's plan would have been "a major step in preventing various disturbing trends in our region of the world," Kaczynski said in a guest editorial in the daily Fakt and also carried on his presidential Web site.
An editorial in Hospodarske Novine, a respected pro-business Czech newspaper, said: "an ally we rely on has betrayed us, and exchanged us for its own, better relations with Russia, of which we are rightly afraid."Reportedly, the Russians offered no concessions in return for scrapping the missile shield plans.
The move has raised fears in the two nations they are being marginalized by Washington even as a resurgent Russia leaves them longing for added American protection ... "No Radar. Russia won," the largest Czech daily, Mlada Fronta Dnes, declared in a front-page headline.
This new policy gained nothing for the United States and betrayed the trust of two allies, both of whom have reason to distrust their aggressive neighbor to the east.
Still, there is at least one major foreign leader who appreciates this policy shift by the Obama Administration:
Friday, September 18, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Well, is seems that gay marriage supporters in Washington State planned to use the same tactics there to, uh, "convince" their opponents not to sign a defense of marriage petition in that state. But this time, a federal judge wants to see where political debate ends and voter intimidation begins.
A news release from the law firm Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom, which represents Project Marriage Washington, notes in part:
“This has triggered hundreds of cases of harassment, vandalism and threats of violence directed at marriage supporters throughout the nation. Such personal attacks occurred in large numbers after the adoption of Proposition 8 in California last November ... No one should have to suffer vandalism and death threats just because they support government protection of traditional marriage.”
A U.S. District Judge agreed to issue a temporary restraining order preventing the release of petition signers’ names will remain in effect until the court makes a permanent ruling.
For more on the case, visit the Catholic News Agency.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Ashcroft ruling: An article on Saturday’s Page A1 about a federal appeals court ruling involving former Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft inaccurately described the breadth of the court’s decision and mischaracterized some elements of the case. The 2-1 ruling by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday held that Ashcroft could be sued personally for allegedly violating the constitutional rights of a Muslim man, Abdullah Kidd, who was detained after the Sept. 11 attacks. The opening paragraph of the article incorrectly said that the court held that Ashcroft had “violated the rights of U.S. citizens.” The appeals court did not decide that question. Instead, the judges ruled that Ashcroft could be held personally liable if Kidd’s allegations proved true. They sent the case back to a lower court for a trial to determine whether the allegations were accurate.
The allegations involve Kidd’s arrest under a federal law that allows officials to detain witnesses in criminal cases whose testimony is needed and who might otherwise flee before a trial. Kidd alleges that Ashcroft adopted a policy that authorized officials to deliberately misuse the material-witness law to detain people the government lacked probable cause to arrest. The court ruled that such a policy — if it existed — would violate the Constitution.
The article also compared the alleged material-witness arrests to another Bush administration anti-terrorism policy, the seizure of suspects outside the U.S., and in doing so referred to both types of arrests as “secret.” Kidd’s arrest and detention were not secret. The article quoted one portion of the ruling, which sharply criticized those who “confidently assert” that the government has the power to detain people on material-witness warrants, but it incorrectly attributed the quotation to “the panel,” rather than to the two judges in the majority. Moreover, the article described the judges as having aimed their criticism at the Bush administration’s policies. Although that was the clear implication of the judges’ words, they never directly named the targets of their criticism, and the article should have made clear that the criticism of the administration was implied, not stated.
Finally, the article quoted two constitutional scholars as praising the ruling, but failed to note that both of them had previously been on record as criticizing Bush administration policies in the area of civil liberties. The article should have included a broader range of reaction to the decision.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
There is a growing sentiment that taxes should be used to curtail antisocial behavior, such as smoking or alcohol consumption. That being the case, we should start heavily taxing the causes of gas pollution ... vegetables!
One of the great unspoken truths is that vegetarians in general and vegans in particular are flatulent. Oh, they’ll deny it, just as the little girl with crumbs on her face will solemnly deny that she raided the cookie jar, despite empirical evidence to the contrary. Anyone who has spent any time around vegetarians knows this to be true.
I used to work at a newspaper where about half the staff were vegetarians. Our daily editorial budget meetings resembled the bean-eating scene in “Blazing Saddles.”
In particular, I remember our photo editor. The guy was a talented photographer with a keen eye and a wiz in the darkroom. He was also a strict vegan. I always knew when he entered a room because I could smell him. If my daily meetings with him were uncomfortable, the times I had to be in the tiny, enclosed darkroom with him were nightmares.
So, it’s time to take a stand against the planet-destroying practice of vegetarianism! We must urge our lawmakers to levy a “gas tax” on vegetables such as beans, peas, corn, cucumbers, green peppers, kohlrabi, onions and leeks, radishes, rutabaga and turnips and vegetarian restaurants before it’s too late!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
You might be a liberal if...
You hate Fox News because its biased, and wish there were a liberal channel just to make it fair.
You know Medicare is losing billions, and you want EVERYONE in America to have it.
You think meat is bad for you, but are convinced of marijuana’s health benefits.
You wear a ribbon to fight disease.
You think marriage is an outdated institution, except for gays.
You believe free enterprise is the cause of poverty.
You love helping the poor with other people’s tax dollars.
You are convinced we need to follow the lead of Canada and Europe to make America great.
You ever said, &$147;That Maxine Waters is pretty bright.”
You support limits on carbon emissions but oppose carbon-free nuclear power plants.
You want to ban Wal-Mart but want more marijuana dispensaries.
You believe California is really Mexican territory anyway.
You think ACORN rallies are patriotic, but tea parties are racist.
You still think Obama is doing a great job.
You, too, get a thrill up your leg.
You think Keith Olbermann is a solid journalist.
You are certain anyone with more money than you must have obtained it dishonestly.
You think Barney Frank is kinda cute because he talks like Sylvester the Cat (“Sufferin’ Succotash”).
You are convinced people who die owe their estate to the government, not their families.
You would live in a tree to save it, but you fully support abortion.
You abhor racial stereotypes, but think the NRA is mostly a bunch of ignorant, white rednecks.
You supported the Million Man March, but think town hall protesters are un-American.
You really believe Obama never heard anything controversial in church.
You are very troubled by how we are viewed by the French.
You champion freedom of the arts but want to ban nativity scenes.
You are one of the dozens of people who still watch MSNBC.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
What was the picture the officer found so offensive?
Looks like another case of Joker Derangement Syndrome.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
This leads me to think that perhaps the leader of the Free World just may be on to something. Just imagine...
Monday, August 3, 2009
Behar and Goldberg should stick to comedy. At least they know something about that.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Goldberg insulted Sen. John McCain, who was running for president last year, by asking if she had to fear becoming a slave again. She was apparently iunaware that she was never a slave, innocent of any knowledge of the Civil War, the 13th Amendment or that Sen. McCain spent six years in a Vietnamese snakepit defending her against slavery.
Goldberg's latest contribution to celebrity inanity occurred on the anniversary of the Apollo 11 misison when she voiced doubt that the moon landing had ever occured. Her reason for this is that she claimed that the flag planted by Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin was apparently waving in a breeze.
CNN recently interviewed "Mythbusters" Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage about this very topic. Be sure to wait until about 2:50 to see how astronout Buzz Aldrin handled a moon-landing denier.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Warning: Contains explicit references to guns and God.
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
These people will all have something in common, whether they are welfare recipients, teachers or members of public service unions — all are feeding at the public trough and believe they have a special claim on the common purse.
What about those who foot the bill, the taxpayers? Every California taxpayer should ask themselves if they are harmed by the state running out of money. This is one of the highest-taxed states in the Union, and those who pay no taxes, about half the population, receive a disproportionate share of tax benefits.
I hear politicians claim that taxes must be raised to meet the services demanded by the people.
I have to ask, “Who is making these demands?”
I suspect it’s not those who have to pay the bill.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Ms. Garofalo obviously had not attended any of these rallies. So, organizers of the upcoming July Fourth Tea Bag rally in Dallas invited her. To date, the normally voluable Garofalo has been silent.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
It seems to me that we may be overthinking the entire immigration question. The very problems and issues confronting America suggest a solution amicable to all parties. Let us more closely examine the issue.
On one hand are those who favor open borders, amnesty and a path to citizenship. Many of these are the would-be immigrants themselves and their home countries.
The governments of those people are unable or unwilling to provide the simplest services or economic opportunities for their people. To do so, would mean the dictators and oligarchs that rule would have to curb their own corruption and even permit the underclass a voice in their ruling circles. This is intolerable because it would necessarily mean such adverse concepts as accountability, power sharing and a fewer dollars pouring into their pockets or off-shore accounts.
Yet to forcibly crack down on those seeking economic and political reform is to risk armed revolt. Even if the existing order were to retain control, it would cost money and might even put some of the oligarchs in physical danger.
So, they must seek a third path.
That is emigration for the opportunity seekers. They facilitate the movement of these elements into the United States via a variety of mechanisms. Mexico’s government-funded Grupo Beta aids would-be immigrants in a variety of ways, including issuing publications on how to cross the Mexican-American border in safety.
In addition, the Mexican government, through its consulate in the United States, issues Matricular Consular identification cards, whether in the U.S. legally or not, as an official identification that is recognized by various commercial group on the American side of the border, thus bypassing the inconvenient obstacle of having legal status to obtain other documents required for such things as housing, banking and the like that encumber U.S. citizens and legal aliens.
The immigrants themselves of course are anxious to flee intolerable conditions in their own countries. Often the mantra is heard that these immigrants do the work Americans refuse to do.
That is not quite accurate. What they are doing is working for wages and conditions that Americans would refuse, largely because those salaries and conditions are illegal. However, as oppressive as these conditions seem to an American, they are still many times better than those allowed by the corrupt oligarchs in their home countries.
So, we see on the other side of the border governments that are happy to export their working class so they may hold on to their privileges, and the workers themselves who may obtain a standard of living far above what they could expect in their homeland.
On this side of the border is an unusual alliance of capital and labor, Republicans and Democrats.
Capital is delighted at the prospect of a workforce that is satisfied with sub-minimum wage salaries, no benefits, no workplace rights and nowhere to complain about working conditions. This means an increase in the bottom line for capital, thus satisfying both management and the stockholders. Consumers are also delighted in that prices are kept low.
Organized labor is also happy with the situation. This glut of cheap labor depresses wages across the board for all workers. As American workers become more dissatisfied and insecure, they turn to organized labor to protect their jobs and salaries.
The unions gain strength and influence so long as the migrants pose a threat to legitimate workers.
Both major political parties also stand to gain from the status quo.
Democrats see their voter rolls grow, as they are perceived as defending yet another downtrodden minority, while their coffers swell with contributions from organized labor, ethnic hucksters and liberal celebrities anxious to prove that they actually matter outside the fantasy world of entertainment.
Republicans also see a more energized voting base as unrestrained immigration brings increased crime, lowers property values and overwhelms social services. The GOP’s coffers bloat with contributions from business interests that rejoice they have found a workforce that actively seeks semi-slavery status.
Herein are the seeds of a solution amenable to all parties. This is a solution that will prove to be even more beneficial to the interests of the home countries, organized labor, capital, Democrats and Republicans than the status quo.
I propose the United States revive the practice of indentured servitude.
Different from involuntary servitude (more commonly known as “slavery”), indentured servitude is a voluntary condition. One party offers labor for a certain period of time, generally seven years, and a second party offers to purchase the indenture, or contract. Upon conclusion of the contract, the indentured party becomes a U.S. citizen.
This concept will be a boon to the home countries of the indentured servants. Presently, undocumented immigrants send much of their meager salaries back to family in the home country. This infusion of hard American currency is welcome by these countries as it trickles through their crippled economy and finds its ways into the hands of various government officials through bribery and other means.
But under the indentured servitude system, the home countries can directly sell the labor contracts to American concerns. That way, the home country government pockets the entire fee, rather than skimming a meager percentage as it filters through their economy.
Not only do they export their surplus labor and reduce domestic would-be reformers, they also stand to gain a financial windfall.
American capital will also be delighted with this solution. Rather than expensive negotiations with each individual employee or union, the employer simply purchases the labor outright. Obviously, there will be the expense of housing and feeding this labor, but it will certainly be cheaper than the present situation; Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., has solved this problem.
Also, should it be necessary to cut the workforce, capital can sell the labor to the highest bidder. Under the present system, the company gains nothing by laying off an employee except for saved future salary and benefits. Under bonded indenture, the company actually stands to make money by the sale of surplus labor.
At first blush, it is tempting to believe the organized labor might oppose such a program. However, I believe that even they stand to gain significant benefits from bonded indenture. Consider that the unions themselves are free purchase any number of labor contracts. They can then resell these contracts for whatever the market can bear.
What is equally important is that they could simply hold the contracts off the market entirely, thus creating a labor shortage. This, in turn, would lead to an increased demand for non-indentured labor, which the unions would supply from their membership rolls. More union members working means more money flowing in to the unions’ pension plans through mandatory dues.
So, organized labor also benefits from the indentured servitude system.
The Democrat Party would also find the plan acceptable for a variety of reasons. First, is the plan offers the clear-cut path to citizenship that the Democrats have sought for so long. Since most of these new citizens will come from non-European societies, the Democrats can parley their racial grievance skills into recruiting new voters. After all, the newly enfranchised workers will be lacking immediate employment and thus will be anxious for government-financed subsidies in housing, education and health care.
Republicans will also delight in the solution. Bonded indenture means it will be much easier to keep track of foreigners within our borders, so a major security issue is resolved. The benefits to business will stimulate the economy. As profits increase, the stock market will respond accordingly. Consumers will be delighted that prices are kept low, thanks to lowered production costs. Also, with government no longer being responsible the health or education of the undocumented, the public will see an easing of the strain on public services and infrastructure
I offer my modest proposal, not in the hope of any personal gain, but in the sincere desire to resolve this rancorous issue that has proven so divisive to our society. I trust that sanity will prevail and see indentured servitude enacted as the law of the land.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
One of my all-time favorite musical groups was a British outfit called Renaissance that played back in the ’70s and ’80. Their lead singer, Annie Haslam, had a five-octave range. I found this video of Annie and Renaissance performing “Ashes Are Burning” at a concert in 1983.
I hope you’ll enjoy this.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
It seems that our State Department, under the brilliant, dynamic leadership of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, doesn’t realize that Texas is part of the United States. It lists as part of the administration’s accomplishments Clinton's travels to Texas.
It make a certain amount of sense. Since candidate Obama claimed there were 57 states, there’s no reason to expect his Secretary of State to know what states are actually part of the Union.
This is from the State Department’s official news release about its first 100 days.
OVERALL DEPARTMENT POLICY ACCOMPLISHMENTS, REGULATORY INITIATIVES, AND INTERAGENCY EFFORTS
In the first 100 Days of the Obama Administration, Secretary Clinton and the State Department have made significant progress in advancing America’s national security goals and promoting America’s values around the world.
Secretary Clinton is already the most traveled Secretary of State in a new Administration. The Secretary’s trips have included her inaugural trip to Asia, the Middle East and Europe, Mexico and across the border to Texas, the Hague in the Netherlands, Europe with President Obama, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago with President Obama, and to Iraq and Kuwait.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
This reminds me of an incident when I had just turned five.
My mother heard me making fun of a playmate's name. She took me aside and told me that since I was five years old, I was a big boy and big boys never made fun of people's names. Only babies did that.
I guess progressives' mothers never had that discussion with them.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I've just marked another year's milestone on my life's journey. I am a huge fan of the late Sandy Denny. Her signature song, which she both wrote and sang, sums up my feelings.
Who Knows Where The Time Goes
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I have no faith at all that Barack Obama will be a successful president, but my faith in my fellow Americans is unshakable.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Mike’s son, Shawn, is a specialist with the 10th Mountain Division and was recently deployed to Iraq. The reports Shawn gives differ from what we see on the evening news or hear from various politicians in Washington.
What follows is an e-mail from Mike about his son.
Things went into a news blackout for about three weeks as the 10th Mountain Division, Military Police Company moved to their new location in Kalsu, Iraq. Current temperature about 85 degrees at high noon and cold enough at night to enjoy the comfort of a sleeping bag. Shawn cannot send pictures at this point due to some restrictions. He noted camels as big as dinosaurs coming in colors ranging from black to white, so he took some shots of them next to a pickup truck to put them into perspective.
Shawn enjoys solid ground and vegetation as compared to to the sands of Kuwait; and, Kalsu provides that stability to walk normally up right. His description of the town of Kalsu is hard to believe. Lots of energetic reconstruction being done by Iraqis, or emerging Iraqi contractors, that favor prestressed post tensioned concrete panels. That is good bunker building stuff.
The markets are open into the evening mixed with neon lights aglow. This is Shawn's biggest surprise...people in the streets, running water continuous electricity and kids are making - make shift American uniforms and are friendly. They like the solders. No criminal activity on the part of American forces with very few jihad boys running around Mr. Roger's neighborhood. American contractors providing excellent food which incidentally can also be found on the local streets such unbelievable places as as Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and even Taco Bell owned by Iraqis' The local movie theater is not a potential death trap. This indicates a major victory for the United States and George Bush. This currently unquantified success is why the American public receives none of this news worthy information while the minions in press corp. search the Iraqi nation for good old suicide bomber. They'll find one too under the premise one Robin doesn't make a spring.
The nice day off in Bagdad and the visit to Hussein's wrecked palace as seen by Shawn Michael Wilson. It is kind of of a museum where you can enter fully armed and if your are not caring a weapon you will be searched. Gruesome highlights and a smash and trash policy, are rules of the road when entering. Within the palace there is one swimming pool that was not filled with water intentionally. The blood stains are still there as part of the swimming pool or... lets have a laugh... execution point. "I was surprised they never washed it out. Maybe the pool is a message,"Shawn said. Shawn and crew made it up to Sadam's main office sat in a few filthy chairs that remained. Slabs of beautiful marble lay shattered all over the palace amongst destroyed crystal chandeliers which made for souvenirs'. After writing their names and other things on the walls the troopers headed down stairs to entrance center to a web tunnels and bunkers. Shawn described one bunker room with a massive whole it caused a Tomahawk missile. At the time of the explosion fifty of Sadam's officers were watching the movie Pretty Woman. Yes Bush lied in this case, he told Saddam that he had forty eight hours to get out of Kuwait or the war would commence, and wouldn't you know it Bush showed up twenty-four hours early.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Putting aside the question of how this fits into a bill the Democrat Party and Obama apologists claimed was for job creation, it does do some frightening things.
Attorney and author Cameron Reddy explains in this important article.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
They expected hate and bigotry. Instead, they found Southern hospitality.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
A disasterous winter storm stuck Kentucky a week ago, killing 24 and leaving 700,000 without power in the freezing weather. It took a week for the Obama Adminstration to notice, despite the state calling up its entire National Guard to deal with the crisis. Local officials say FEMA failed to even contact them, much less show up with any kind of aid.Reason Online has the story.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
With each passing day, the mainstream media is dropping all pretence of objectivity or fairness. The latest example is former Democrat-operative-turned-journalist George Stephanopoulos, ABC’s chief Washington correspondent and host of the Sunday news program “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”
The Politico blog last week revealed that Stephanopoulos has daily phone discussions with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Democrat strategist James Carville and another former Democrat-operative-turned-journalist Paul Begala of CNN.
At the very least, there is the appearance of impropriety on the part of Stephanopoulos. This is a clear violation of the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. Among those tenants are:
— Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
— Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
— Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
— Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
The Media Research Center, a watchdog group, has written an open letter to ABC President David Westin asking that the network publicly address and resolve this issue. So far, both Westin and Stephanopolous have responded with silence.
It is no wonder why the mainstream media is losing viewers and readers. The public no longer trusts them, nor do they deserve to be trusted.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. When the real estate bubble burst, the local construction industry collapsed. This is a resort community that relies heavily on tourism, but with the recession, the tourists aren’t coming. That means restaurants close, hotels layoff staff and occupancy tax revenue plummets.
On top of all this, we have some of the worst schools in the state, gang violence is on the upswing, methamphetamine labs flourish, local agriculture languishes because the drought, while gays and straights are literally at each others’ throats about Proposition 8.
But have no fear. The federal government swung into action. On Monday, government agents raided a local merchant suspected of selling — illegal kilts!
Yep, that's right. Illegal kilts.
According to local news reports, federal agents with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service raided the Celtic Craft Centre hot on the trail of illegal imports, specifically Scottish kilts that might have been made with seal fur.
There are times when I don't know whether to laugh or weep.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
The Independent Institute has a transcription of Halbrook’s testomony.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Uh, how about “objective” Helen? When I was in journalism school, that’s what I was taught.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I have no patience for those who claim that America is just as racist as it was in years gone by. I remember those days. I remember federal troops in Little Rock. I remember Gov. George Wallace blocking the school door. I remember Sheriff “Bull” Conner and the fire hoses being turned on marchers in Birmingham. I remember the Freedom Riders. I remember separate drinking fountains and “white only” signs. I remember the fear. I remember the hate.
But mostly, I remember the sound of a Georgia preacher’s voice calling out. I remember him calling out, not just to his followers, but to his enemies as well. He told us that we were better men and women and that hate and fear shouldn’t divide us. He reminded is that we were all one people, regardless of skin color or religion. He didn’t defeat his enemies; he converted them.
That voice was heard. In 1964, the Civil Rights Act became the law of the land with the support of more than 80% of the Republicans in Congress and slightly more than 60% of the Democrats (among those opposing the measure were Klansman Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Al Gore’s late father who was a senator from Tennessee).
Those were heady days. Then the dream started to sour. Government programs aimed at aiding African Americans ended up causing mortal harm. The welfare structure effectively destroyed the black family. Other programs, such as affirmative action, conveyed the message to both African Americans and others that blacks were incapable of competing. Some claimed it was needed to fight vestiges of racism against minorities, while completely ignoring the success of Asian Americans, some of whom in modern times faced incarceration solely based on their ethnicity.
Whatever the intent, the effect was to make African Americans dependent upon government largess and intervention rather than encouraging their own genius.
What was perhaps even worse were Dr. King’s successors. They stood in the footsteps of a giant and were found wanting. His inheritors stood at the threshold of greatness … and stepped back.
Instead of following Dr. King’s message of inclusion, they preached a message of separation and divisiveness. Instead of finding strength in self and family, they found dependence upon the government.
Some of their leaders, specifically Jessie Jackson, Cynthia McKinney and Al Sharpton, have preached a strong message of anti-Semitism. Many leaders have refused to denounce or even distance themselves from such vile demagogues as Louis Farrakhan.As a nation, we honor Martin Luther King. His spirit soars in the heavens with angels, while many of his successors slither in the mud with an entirely different creature.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Remember “dissent is patriotic” and “don’t question my patriotism”? It seems that progressives have already forgotten.
How about last September when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called House Republicans “unpatriotic” for not attending a meeting concerning Congressional bailouts — never mind that the Republicans were never invited to the meeting!
Last December, Michigan’s Democrat Gov. Jennifer Granholm said any senator voting against an auto industry bailout was “un-American”.
The most recent example of left-wing hypocrisy comes from Hollywood. Actor Tom Hanks says he believes that anyone who contributed money to the Proposition 8 campaign is unpatriotic, “There are a lot of people who feel that is un-American, and I am one of them.”
But perhaps the winners of the Biggest Hypocrite Award are the backers of something called the “Prop 8 Maps Project.” These people used public finance records and Google Maps to create an online map locating contributors to Prop 8 and listing such information as their names, occupations and amount contributed.
I’ve read arguments in favor of this stating that if a person cares enough about an issue to support it financially, they should do so in public. If there are any consequences of such a disclosure, such as picketing, harassment or boycotts, well, maybe they’ll think twice before supporting an issue again.
I’d take this argument a lot more seriously if the organizers of the Prop 8 Maps Project had not chosen to remain anonymous.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Fred Barns, writing in The Weekly Standard, lists 10 things George W. Bush got right.
History will be far kinder to his legacy than the chattering classes want to believe.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Most of these appointments are not expected. Many seem unqualified for their positions, but the system is strong enough to survive most incompetents.
However, one appointment stands out as downright dangerous to the republic. That appointment is Eric Holder to be the nation’s top cop as attorney general.
A close examination of Holder’s record is horrifying. A disciple of the “living Constitution” concept, he has shown contempt for Constitutional rights with which he disagrees.
For example, he calls for what he terms “reasonable” restrictions on Web speech despite the near-blanket prohibition of prior restraint on speech and publication this country enjoys. Holder never really defines what constitutes reasonable restrictions on First Amendment rights, nor does he explain who will determine what is reasonable or unreasonable.
He is famous (or infamous) for his contempt of the Second Amendment. Long a holder of the discredited “collective rights” theory of gun ownership (a theory repudiated by both the U.S. Supreme Court and various legal scholars, including liberal law professor Laurence Tribe), he was one of 13 former Justice Department officials to sign an amicus brief on behalf of the D.C. government in the Heller case supporting a virtual ban on handgun ownership by citizens.
But it was his conduct as deputy attorney general under Janet Reno in the Clinton Administration that really merits close examination.
For example, what was his role in 1996 in dissuading Reno from investigating the illegal fundraising activities of the Vice President Al Gore?
Then there was the case of Elian Gonzales, the Cuban boy whose mother died while escaping from Castro’s tyranny. Reno ordered him returned to Cuba and had armed agents invade the Miami home in a pre-dawn raid where the boy was staying with relatives. The child was seized at gunpoint.
Law professor Tribe criticized the action as unconstitutional in an April 25, 2000, article in the New York Times, where he wrote, “Under the Constitution, it is axiomatic that the executive branch has no unilateral authority to enter people's homes forcibly to remove innocent individuals without taking the time to seek a warrant or other order from a judge or magistrate.”
Holder was disingenuous about the entire incident. Two weeks before the raid, the late journalist Tim Russert asked Holder, "You wouldn't send a SWAT team in the dark of night to kidnap the child, in effect?" Holder answered, "No, we don't expect anything like that to happen." When Russert challenged Holder the day after the raid, the deputy attorney general defended it by saying, "We waited 'til five in the morning, just before dawn."
Then there were the Clinton pardons in which Holder played a huge role. He was instrumental in obtaining a pardon for fugitive financier Marc Rich despite opposition of his own Justice Department. He also helped obtain pardons or commutations for 15 Puerto Rican terrorists, over the objections of the FBI. His affinity for extending clemency to terrorists included Weather Underground bombers Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans, cronies of Obama’s notorious associates Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.
Holder’s record is clear — this man is not just unqualified to be the nation’s attorney general, he is dangerous.
Senate Republicans have promised to look closely at Holder during confirmation hearings. They must do more. Senate Republicans must block Holder’s appointment, even if it means holding a filibuster.