Saturday, December 25, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS

May God bless you and keep you on this most glorious of days.


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Sunday, December 19, 2010

KARMIC BOOMERANG

The Wikileaks scandal has been quite an eye opener, but this week really takes the cake.  First, the mainstream media was in a tizzy over the conditions Pfc. Manning was suffering under.  Apparently people who become traitors to their country at a time of war deserve better treatment than 1-6 hours of basic cable per day, reading materials and visitors on weekends and holidays.  Even his jail cell, at 6'x12', is larger than the average prison cell.  Poor baby.  This hero of the left stole military and diplomatic secrets during war time and sold them to someone whose sole mission in life seems to be to discredit and damage the United States.  Pfc. Manning is a traitor to his country; he has committed acts of treason.  The size of his cell and how many hours of cable he gets per day are the least of his worries.

Then there was Julian Assange's arrest and subsequent bail.  Media whore darling and self-appointed mouthpiece of the far left Michael Moore bragged about posting $20,000 of Assange's bail in an article in the New York Times.  One wonders if he is rethinking that show of support, considering the very next day Wikileaks released cables from Cuba referring rather unflatteringly, to Moore's movie "Sicko".  Moore posted a response on the HuffPo:

So what do you do with about a false "secret" cable, especially one that involves you and your movie? Well, you wait for a responsible newspaper to investigate and shout what it discovers from the rooftops.


But yesterday WikiLeaks gave the 'Sicko' Cuba cable to the media -- and what did they do with it? They ran it as if it were true!

Hmm...so, basically, he got a tiny taste of what the Bush administration got from the media for eight long years.  This time, though, instead of cheering for yet another example of the glories of free speech and the patriotism and bravery of the people who exercise it, he is whining about the horrible unfairness of it all and the media malpractice being perpetrated.  Wah!

And finally, in the most ironic irony of the year, the lawyers for Assange are moaning and complaining about the nerve of the media to actually release the details of the rape allegations Assange is facing in Sweden.  Here's my favorite quote, via the Australian:

"I do not like the idea that Julian may be forced into a trial in the media. And I feel especially concerned that he will be presented with the evidence in his own language for the first time when reading the newspaper. I do not know who has given these documents to the media, but the purpose can only be one thing - trying to make Julian look bad."


It's like the dictionary definition of being "hoisted by your own petard" brought to full, vivid life.
Although his supporters (including Mr. Moore himself) tried to chum the waters with the lie that the women were just complaining about broken condoms, the reality is more creepy and violent than that.  What is even worse is that information about the women who brought the charges, namely who they are and where they live have been released to a public eager to attack them.  But Assange - Mr. Transparency himself - wants the courts to keep his address and the details of the charges against him secret.  This guy is such a dirtbag.  His followers, who condone and facilitate this behavior, are as well.  "Sex by surprise", indeed.

Karma is a funny thing.  Sometimes it takes a while for the karmic boomerang to come back around - years, even.  But sometimes, the wrong is so egregious that karma just can't wait to teach it's lesson.  Unfortunately, Assange and his merry band of cretins will most likely be oblivious to the karmic thwacking they just received.  Sometimes karma has to come a knockin' a few times before it manages to break through the arrogance and self-importance. 

But it's a start.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

TRIANGULATION TANGO

President Obama enraged his base last night when he announced his plans for a two-year extension of the current tax rates, potentially saving the country from a massive tax hike that it simply cannot afford right now.  Hopefully the lame duck congress will see that and support the plan Obama and the GOP hammered out.  To all those disappointed lefty millionaires and billionaires who were pushing him to raise their taxes (and everyone else's, too, because misery loves company, doesn't it?), sorry you didn't get your wish - but you can still feel free to put your money where your mouth is and make as large a deficit-reducing donation to the US Treasury as you would like - here's the link to help you out. 

Obama's progressive base are beside themselves with outrage.  He has betrayed them, he has given in to those eeeeevil republicans (who most likely tied him up and waterboarded him to get him to cave), he has lost his morals, his values...his very soul.  No less a lefty luminary than Dan Rather is hinting at the possiblity that his base will primary him for this offense.   

There are plenty of righties who are just as angry as the left at the deal that was struck.  After all, it includes another 13 months of unfunded unemployment benefits, something the White House is, ironically, touting as "stimulus".  Interesting how one president's evil, economy destroying tax cuts are another president's stimulus.    Ah, politics....  As for me, I applaud Mr. Obama.  I don't agree with him very often, but I agree with this deal, warts and all.  Compromise was needed, and compromise was reached. 

Mr. Obama and his progressive pals like to blame Bush's tax cuts for the failing economy but in reality, tax revenues increased (as did employment, median income, new wealth, and the stock market) under the cuts.   Which means the problem comes down to the policies the administration has pursued over the past two years.  If they hadn't spent like a pimp with a week to live, created an anti-business atmosphere of invasive regulation and oversight and the threat of heavy taxation, as well as shackling businesses (although more and more are getting waivers) and the public with the health care "reform" law, we would have bounced back from the recession that ended over the summer of 2009 and jobs would have begun to be created again. 

Ultimately, President Obama did what most presidents do - they govern according to what is best for the entire country, not just their hard-core base.  But it seems progressives despise anyone who doesn't walk in lockstep with them; even The One, who was practicallly deified two short years ago, is facing their wrath.  But while they are busy stomping their feet and having hissy fits, threatening Obama and anyone else who has a commonsense, rational option to the crisis at hand, the grown-ups are trying to right the ship of state and make the hard decisions.  Obama has made a first step in abandoning ideology and embracing the realities on the ground.  This well may be a watershed moment in his term, but not necessarily in the way his base thinks.

Obama also added in a little bonus goodie for the peons - a reduction in Social Security payroll taxes of 2%.  A six-month suspension of federal payroll taxes would have been most welcome, but this will do.  Add in the new death tax rate of 35% (as opposed to the 55% it was set to spike to on Jan. 1) that has been agreed on and the whole package seems to have a little something for everyone.  No, no one will be completely satisfied, of course - that is the nature of compromise.  But at least the country can move forward.  A tone has been set - compromise is possible. 

As compromises go, this was a pretty good one.  Obama gets his unemployment extension, the GOP gets a tax rate extension, businesses get a two-year window of stability which should result in some job creation, families who lose someone don't also lose the lion's share of their inheritance, too, and, most importantly, taxes aren't being raised during an economic downturn. 

The progressives need to start understanding that their far-left agenda has been soundly rejected by the rest of the country.  The historic losses of last month apparently didn't sink in, or they are actually buying their own lame spin.  Hopefully this will do the trick for them.  Progressivism is a noble theory, but, like many theories, it fails when put into action.  For a large portion of the country that reality was evident from looking at other countries who had gone the progressive route and failed. 

The recently revealed Fed documents outlining just how much American taxpayer money went to bail out those failing states illustrates this point.  The only reason Europe, in particular, has managed to survive (albeit in genteel poverty) all these years, as opposed to outright collapse, is due to the largesse of the US government.  If we follow the same path, who will subsidize our descent into the mediocracy that Europe has enjoyed for decades now on our dime?  For that matter, who will pay to allow Europe to continue down the progressive path once we collapse under the weight of excessive regulation, taxation and an ever growing welfare state?  China?  Could it be that in the 21st century countries will be liquidated and bought out instead of invaded and conquered with military might?  A checkbook conquest, if you will.  The thought would be laughable, if it weren't for the huge debts we are racking up.  How long before we default and China 'forecloses'?

So bravo, Obama and the GOP, for meeting halfway and forging a compromise for the good of the country, if not their respective parties.  It would have been nice if Obama hadn't demagogued the issue and accused the GOP of being "hostage takers", but whatever.  The two year experiment in progressive social engineering has failed.  It's time to start looking at other options.  This is a step in the right direction.  Our system of free market capitalism is what made us into the global powerhouse we were until recently.  It's success is evident in our meteoric rise to world power in the short time (globally speaking) we have existed as a country.  Capitalism is the secret to our success; it's failure (and the country's) was due to it having been over regulated, over spent and taxed nearly to death over the past decade or so.  It's time for a resurrection.

The progressives are howling right now, forecasting doom for Obama's reelection hopes, but this compromise could well be his first step towards reelection, because it is his first step towards the middle, after two years spent on the far left.  Perhaps he realized that appeasing his base, which constitutes less than 20% of the electorate, meant alienating moderates and independents, which constitutes nearly 40% - a substantially larger pool of voters.  That was the lesson he learned on Nov. 2nd.

Viva triangulation!

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL LAME

In a highly successful attempt to put the "lame" in 'lame-duck session', the Senate has illustrated once again why years of service do not necessarily add up to competence.

Yesterday, Senators were patting themselves on the back and touting their latest accomplishment, S510 - the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.  They sent out press releases and crowed about the bill practically being of a historic nature (aren't they all, these days?) because it is apparently one of the most major pieces of legislation to pass a lame-duck Senate session evah. 

Today, however, the miracle bill has been sent back to chambers as unconstitutional.  Ooops!  What makes it worse is that they were purposely focusing attention on what was originally an obscure bill so that they could toot their own horns and score a few political points.  If it had been allowed to continue unheralded, they could have quietly pulled it back with no egg on their faces. 

In Section 107 there is a set of fees, which are classified as revenue raisers.  According to Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution, only the House can create tax provisions.  The House holds the purse strings, not the Senate, and the Ways and Means Committee is preparting to "blue sheet" the bill, which will block it.  It's unclear whether the House will pursue a bill of their own - if they are, they'd better get cracking, because time is running out on the lame-duck session.

Perhaps there should be a requirement that our elected representatives, who swear an oath to uphold the Constitution, are actually familiar with the document.  This is Civics 101, for heaven's sake.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

HOLIDAY FUN

A little Thanksgiving week giggle for you, courtesy of the Onion:


Obama Outlines Moral, Philosophical Justifications For Turkey Pardon


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

HEROIC TRIBUTE

This week has been a tribute to heroes.  On Tuesday, President Obama bestowed our nation's highest honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor, on Staff Sargeant Salvatore Giunta - the first living endowment since the Vietnam War.  Sgt. Giunta's humility and his dismissal of his actions as merely doing his duty stood in stark contrast to the political spinning and inside ball going on in Washington.  It was like a brief, cleansing shower of courage and humility, washing off the muck and mire that is our current reality.  Congratulations, Sgt. Giunta.  You are a man among men and an inspiration to us all.  If only there were more like you. 

The other tribute comes from little Pittston, PA.  This week they laid to rest a native son, killed in Afghanistan November 7th.  Wednesday, a public wake was held for Spc. Dale Kridlo (he was interred with full honors at Arlington Thursday).  I got a call from my sister about it.  She lives near Pittston, and called to ask what I knew of Westboro Baptist Church.  She had heard that they were planning a demonstration at Spc. Kridlo's funeral, and the town was up in arms about it.  According to the church's website (via the Times Leader):

“Military funerals have become pagan orgies of idolatrous blasphemy, where they pray to the dunghill gods of Sodom & play taps to a fallen fool.”


The web posting says the above message will be “preached in respectful, lawful proximity to the memorial of Spc. Dale J. Kridlo” on Wednesday at the church service.

The web posting then states: “Spc. Kridlo gave his life for the Constitutional right of the Westboro Baptist Church to warn America. To deny our First Amendment rights is to declare to the world that Spc. Kridlo died in vain, and that America is a nation of sodomite hypocrites.”

The Westboro posting ends by stating, “The Lord no longer builds the American house; nor does the Lord watch over and protect America. These soldiers are dying for the homosexual and other sins of America. God is now America’s enemy, and God Himself is fighting against America.”

So this is their idea of "respectful"?  One shudders to think what constitutes disrespect for these people.

The reaction in Pittston to Westboro's plans was swift and impressive. These are salt of the earth people who don't take kindly to strangers attacking one of their own.  The area where Westboro was permitted to protest was surrounded by American flags, effectively blocking any protesters from view.  Bikers from the Patriot Guard Riders were there in force, as were a huge number of Pittston residents.  Hundreds turned out to pay their respects and drown out the lunatic rantings of Fred Phelps and his Westboro minions. 

There are more and more stories of towns rising up in protest of the disgusting displays at the funerals of our military, and it seems to be working.  First was Weston, MO, whose residents managed to block Westboro picketers from tormenting the families of Sargeant C.J. Sadell as they attended his funeral and graveside service.  Then there was McAlester, OK, where the tires of the Westboro van were slashed and they were refused repair by every service station in town after they attempted to protest the funeral of Sgt. Jason James McCluskey.  This after being confronted by up to a thousand counter-protesters earlier in the day.

And now the events in Pittston.  The town mobilized in a big way, but it hasn't made much news beyond the local stations.  It was the story of the week for the locals, heavily covered in the days prior to the funeral.  Perhaps all that coverage, combined with the projected turnout to pay tribute to Sgt. Kridlo and protest Westboro was too much for Phelps and company. 

Because this time, they didn't even show up.

For those who say that the people of Pittston were infringing on Westboro's right to free speech, they forget that the people of Pittston also have a right to free speech as well.  In this case, their speech is in opposition - and, like the other towns that have rallied around their fallen heroes, they vastly outnumber Westboro's representatives.   The first amendment protects free speech from being stifled by the government.  There's nothing in there about protection from being drowned out by fellow citizens.  Westboro has every right to protest those funerals (although some of the things they say can - and should - be seen as hate speech - please note the church's website is "godhatesfags.com"), and the people of Pittston had every right to honor their dead by protesting that protest.

More and more towns are realizing this, and Westboro seems to be getting the message.

Our heroes and their families deserve honor, not derision; tributes, not protests.  The upswell of patriotism and support for our troops and their families is a beautiful thing.  They deserve our respect, and it's wonderful to see them getting it. 

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NO BIGGIE - IT'S JUST A MISDEMEANOR....

CNN reported a story on Nov. 5th about an elementary school teacher who attempted to kill her husband but is still teaching.    Rebecca Allwine and her husband were having an argument and both had been drinking.  She allegedly hit him a few times on the head and neck (he didn't hit back) and then eventually dropped 10 ambien and about 18 melatonin tablets into his beer.  She left shortly after she gave him the drugged drink.  He noticed a sludge at the bottom of the glass after a few sips and called 911.  Mrs. Allwine was initially charged with battery and aggrevated assault but later pled down to misdemeanor disorderly conduct.  Because the crime had been pled down to a misdemeanor, Mrs. Allwine returned to her teaching job. 

Okay, so she was drunk and wasn't thinking clearly.  Obviously.  The argument was over whether or not her husband had been to see his girlfriend that day, so it's pretty clear the relationship is rocky, at best.  Apparently she was not aware of just how it is easy to get a divorce nowadays.   Was this a spur of the moment crime of passion?  Certainly.   At best, we can establish that she has serious impulse control issues - always an asset in the classroom.

So, since this woman was so imbalanced that she tried to off her husband, is it really a good idea that she be allowed to continue shaping the young minds in her classroom?  Shouldn't the parents of her students have been informed of the situation, perhaps given the choice on whether to keep their child in the class?  Does Georgia really have such a shortage of good teachers that she could not be replaced?  It's good that she was up front with the school and kept them informed on the progess of the case, but is she really a suitable person to have in a class full of seven year olds?  Isn't there some sort of administration position she could have been moved to?

No, of course not, because it all comes down to tenure.  That job is her entitled right, and even attempted murder cannot keep her from her post.  Thanks to her union contract, a misdemeanor is not grounds for termination, according to Julie Smith, a human resources consultant:

"Legally, they can't terminate based on a misdemeanor," she said in a telephone interview. "It's got to be a felony conviction."


Allwine's return to work has been greeted with disbelief, needless to say:

That rankled Bob Bowdon, an education expert.


"It's another 'Thank you, tenure,'" he told HLN's "Prime News." "Despite the teacher unions' refrain to be 'treated like professionals,' these are the moments when it becomes clear they also demand job guarantees that no other professionals have. How long would a CEO, a lawyer or a broadcast journalist get to continue their employement after admitting to poisoning his/her spouse? I think we all know."

 Yes, we do.  But, after all, those people don't have tenure.  Once again the unions have shown that it's not about safer, better schools with talented, qualified (non-homocidal) teachers - it's about keeping tenured teachers working and paying dues no matter what.

No wonder so many people are home schooling these days.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

THANK YOU



It's the Veteran... not the preacher,
who has earned for us freedom of religion.

It's the Veteran... not the reporter,
who has earned for us freedom of the press.

It's the Veteran... not the poet,
who has earned for us freedom of speech.

It's the Veteran... not the campus organizer,
who has earned for us freedom to assemble.

It's the Veteran... not the lawyer,
who has earned for us the right to a fair trial.

It's the Veteran... not the politician,
who has earned for us the right to vote.

It's the Veteran... who salutes the flag,
who has protected and served under the flag

Thank you.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

MEMORANDUM FOR SLAUGHTER

On October 25, 2010, President Obama signed a memorandum that will exempt four countries from 2008's Child Soldiers Prevention Act - Yemen, Sudan, Chad, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  This Act was a bipartisan effort to block countries that recruit child soldiers from getting US military assistance or buying US arms.  Two other countries mentioned in the law, Myanmar and Somalia, are still prohibited. 

So let me get this straight - if a kid in this country makes a gun shape with her finger and pretend 'shoots', she is suspended for making a "terroristic threat" to a teacher.  But if some third world hellhole forcefully 'recruits' a kid, gives him a real gun, trains him and sends him off to war, they get Uncle Sam to supply the weapons and foot the bill.

Isn't this genocide?  Why are we now supporting this?

For those not aware of the genocide in Darfur, many of those fleeing the violence are seeking refuge in Chad - another of the four exempted countries.  Could there possibly be a spillover of violence?

This has gotten little notice, but it should.  How can Obama in good conscience exempt these countries?  What in the world is he thinking?  The reason given for the exemptions is 'national security', and yet there is no explanation forthcoming on how, exactly, this affects our national security.  Is there some crisis he sees down the road where we will need armed children at our disposal?  Or does he believe the armed youth will be the voices of reason that will overthrow the government and then create a peaceful utopia?

Darfur is already in chaos.  Tacit approval of child soldiers by the US government is like throwing gasoline on a brushfire.  Please remember that this isn't economic aid, aid for reugees or food and other supplies for the poor.  This is a block on military aid.  Places like Darfur most definitely do NOT need more weapons.  What they need is a functioning, accountable government and a return to sanity.  This memorandum all but ensures they will not get it.

Cross Posted at RipleyReport.com

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

SHOWING RESPECT

This is a truly great country.  Not just for her innovation or military might, not because of our bread basket that feeds the world or our economy which drives it, but because of her freedoms and the people who enjoy them.

On the one hand. we have a free society that enjoys truly free speech.  Case in point, Westboro Baptist Church - the ultimate bullies.  This tiny church which boasts a congregation of barely 200 (most family members, at that), but they have made quite a name for themselves.  Their greatest joy, it seems, is to protest the funerals of our fallen military.  No matter what you may think of the signs they hold or the things they shout at the grieving families, no one can deny that they have the right to do it.  The question now seems to be at what distance, so that the families can grieve without suffering the emotional an psychological trauma Pastor Phelps and his minions would like to inflict upon them.

On the other hand, we have Rebecca Rooney.  Ms. Rooney, upon hearing about Westboro's plans to protest at the funeral of hometown hero Sgt. First Class C.J. Sadell, took action.  She rallied the people of tiny Weston, MO to join together in support of Sgt. Sadell and his family.  They filled up parking spaces, and came armed with patriotic music and American flags.  The best part?  It worked:

 


"If you think about it, they've all gone to serve just so we could be able to do this," said Rebecca Rooney who organized the supporters. "He didn't die in vain."

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

TAKING OUT THE TRASH

We here in Florida's 8th CD did our civic duty Tuesday and took out the trash:




You're welcome, America!

(Hat tip to Joe for his sharp eye and quick photography skills, and the public library for putting this election in a nutshell!)


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Monday, November 1, 2010

ONE MORE DAY....

One more day to go.  Tomorrow the die is cast, and a decision will be made on which direction the majority of Americans want to head.  Do we continue with the tax and spend social justice of the progressives, or a return to the small government, free market principles our founders envisioned.   It has been an exhausting, vicious, hard-fought election, with a lot of mud-slinging, accusations and vitriol.

The most egregious harm done in this election cycle, though, is the inability of our states to get absentee ballots to our military serving overseas in time for them to be returned and counted.  Those brave men and women who are fighting and dying for this country, of all people, should be the ones whose votes are counted first and foremost, and yet every election cycle is filled with reports of the military being denied the ability to cast a vote.  It got so bad that in 2009 Congress passed the MOVE act.  This is the first year the states need to comply, and the project seems to be off to a rocky start.  States are required to mail out ballots 45 days before the election.  Unfortunately, there are some states that are seriously late, giving their servicemembers less than 30 days to receive, fill out and return their ballots.  That's a pretty quick turnaround for a war zone.  


Michael Ramirez captures the issue perfectly, as usual:




(Unless, of course, he's originally from Chicago! Ba-dum-bum!)

Well, they weren't able to get the military their ballots, but at least they managed to hand deliver ballots to these worthy recipients.  After all, which group deserves to have their voice heard more?  Why, the one that is a reliable democrat vote, of course!  Whatever happened to those laws keeping felons from voting, anyway?  Oh.

No, there's nothing funny going on this election cycle...and if there is, don't worry, the SEIU is on the job!  Now that's reassuring!

If you should happen to notice something at the polls, be it intimidation or fraud, make a record of it.  The iphone has an app for that, but taking a picture or video with a regular phone or camera is good enough.  Report anything suspicious immediately to your local election board. 

Most importantly, get out there tomorrow and exercise your hard fought right to have your voice heard.  Happy Voting!


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Sunday, October 31, 2010

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Happy Halloween everyone!  In case you haven't carved your pumpkin yet, here's a technique you might want to try:




Happy carving!

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Friday, October 22, 2010

TARGETING YOUTH

The youth vote is being targeted in a big way by the administration again.  The obvious pandering to the various voting blocks in the past week has been pretty blatant.  But the war being waged for youth votes is beyond belief.  (Although the fact that Illinois hand delivered ballots to prisoners comes pretty close - are the cemeteries next?)

Last week, President Obama did a town hall meeting in conjunction with MTV, BET and CMT.  Hopeful participants had to give their political point of view and a headshot to be considered.  He will also be appearing on Mythbusters and The Daily Show.  After all, nothing says 'presidential' like satire.  No doubt the stoners watching the Daily Show will get a kick out of seeing him on the show, but don't expect them to get off their sofas on Nov. 2nd to vote. In the vernacular, they tend to 'flake out' a lot.   As for the Mythbusters episode which will air Dec 8th but was recorded recently, ironically enough the myth has already been busted.  But, true to form, Obama is simply not one to admit when something didn't work, and so it's deja vu all over again. 

Trying to grab their attention on tv isn't enough for this oh so desperate party.  So now they are resorting to actually raiding Cincinatti high schools for (hopefully) voting aged kids to take to the polling place to vote, give them sample ballots for only democrat candidates, and then an ice cream afterwards (at least it's not cigarettes this time) for their contribution to the cause.  Did they get a pat on the head, too?  How about a participation ribbon - we want to make sure everyone feels really good about the choices they made, now don't we? 

Needless to say there is a lawsuit pending on that one, but there are also four more high schools targeted for GOTV efforts next week, too.  Shameless.

There has also been a flurry of campus speeches as well, but none of it seems to be doing the trick.  Attendance at the rallies has been good, but the numbers look bad for the party in power.  Many of their followers are disillusioned by the reality of Hope and Change and are more interested in getting a job than furthering the Pelosi/Obama agenda.  As for me, I'd just like to know how much all this campaigning is going to cost. 

Considering how focused on the halcyon days of the '60's and '70's the party is, they must surely be thinking about the last time the youth were seriously disillusioned.  The Nixon-era ripples must be in the backs of their minds.  Surely they are seeing how things are trending, knowing there is a chance of generational defection.  They have a hardcore base, to be sure, but they have seriously overestimated their numbers.  Only 18% of the electorate self-identify as liberal.  As opposed to 54% conservative and 27% for moderates.  They can't afford to lose any more liberals off the reservation, so they are desperately trying to ride herd on them.  And therein lies the identity politics rub: it's hard to unite groups that are steeped in division.  It is time consuming, if nothing else, having to address each individual group in their own setting.
Until recently, one of the largest democrat voting blocks, both for turnout and reliability, has been women.  That they are slipping there, too, is making them redouble their efforts with the youth voter. And so they are pulling out all the stops to woo back the youth. Even to targeting high school kids and plying them with a field trip/day off and an ice cream.  So what if a few laws are broken in the process?  As our good buddy Saul says, the ends justify the means

.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

MEME BUSTERS Updated

This week seems to be meme destruction week.  It has been a devastating week for some well-worn liberal canards. Two different vehemently upheld liberal/progressive beliefs have been proved  wrong and one is under heavy fire.  We seem to be reaching a point of implosion for the democrat party and the fallout is not restricted to just the halls of Congress.

First on the chopping block was the much-hyped "shovel ready jobs" that were used to sell the Porkulus bill.  According to President Obama in a recent New York Times piece, he has since learned that

"there's no such thing as shovel ready projects".
 

Apparently the only thing shovel ready about that bill was the bill itself.... Too bad Mr. Obama couldn't have figured out the futility of the effort before he spent a trillion dollars of other people's money.

And then there is the meme that the Tea Parties are chock-a-block full of racist signs carried by white-hooded klansmen out for blood.  All the press and liberals have been talking about is how incredibly, overtly racist and dangerous the movement is.  Eh, not so much, it turns out.   The woman who did the study has liberal creds, inasmuch as she is a graduate student from UCLA.  For anyone who has attended a Tea Party, the results of this study are unsurprising.  What is surprising is the fact that the Washington Post actually carried the story.  Doubtless the rest of the neo-pravda media will be all over this story and apologize for their biased, flat-out wrong coverage of the movement.  Yeah, riiiiiiiight.

Another meme that is in the process of being busted is the one about conservatism being solely the jurisdiction of whites.  In a piece in Ebony Magazine entitled "The Browning of the GOP", author Armstrong Williams makes the case for the growing number of self-identified Black Republicans and their place in the history of the GOP.  He also explains the single event that caused the exodus from republicans to democrats in the 1960's - an exodus that has been the norm for so long that Democrats have managed to fool the black community into thinking they were always democrats.   But, as Mr. Williams states:

But today, the great flight has the chance to be met by the great return as a new breed of Black conservative has emerged and taken center stage in the Republican Party.

This meme has not yet been busted, but it seems to be coming off the tracks.  The best argument in favor of the Ebony article is the unprecidented fourteen black republican candidates running for Congress this fall.  Primary season boasted a whopping thirty-two black conservative candidates vying for the republican nod.  There is a very good chance that three of them will win their elections, which would set a record for the most black republicans since Reconstruction.  It is a small number, but it is a start, and hopefully more black conservatives will step up and run in the future.  If Messrs. West, Scott and Frasier are any indication of the caliber of candidate in the offing, the Republican party could hardly do better.

The liberal/progressive talking points seem to be going down like a line of dominoes.  Not only are their recent claims being proven to be false, but even long-held positions are being challenged. 

The information age is a beautiful thing, isn't it?

UPDATE:  Uh-oh, another one bites the dust!

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

MELTDOWN IN VANCOUVER CITY

Today's dose of bad government reality comes to us from Vancouver City, Washington.  Councilwoman Jeanne Harris is in definite need of a chill pill.

Ah, petty tyranny....such an unattractive thing:


Not only is Ms. Harris inexcusably obnoxious, but the rest of the council, with the sole exception of Jeanne Stewart, were a study in enabling.  The mayor's half-hearted gaveling of the second man was breathtaking in it's ineffective weakness.  He knew Harris was in the wrong, but did not speak up or even attempt to.  When Ms. Stewart finally called Harris on her incivility, Mayor Leavitt had a perfect opportunity to put Harris in her place. Instead he sat there like a spineless lump while Harris then dressed down her own colleague, to the point of making unsubstantiated allegations that the people who were speaking were supporters of Stewarts. 

In her quickly issued apology - two days after the incident - she states:


Two days after she told another Vancouver City Council member at a public meeting to “get out of here” and “shut up,” Councilor Jeanne Harris publicly apologized.
She said Wednesday in a statement that she had “behaved in a manner that is not normal for me,” and wished to apologize to the council, the mayor and the public.

Hmmmm....Considering the reactions of her colleagues - heads down, eyes averted, refusing to speak or engage - it is far more likely that she was behaving in a manner that is quite normal for her.  Those people have obviously had to deal with that behavior before.    They are taking the "don't attract her attention or you're next" posture.  That is something that comes after having to deal with certain behavior over a period of time.

Here's the kicker, though.  The next day, two of the councillors decided to man up and file a complaint about her treatment of Stewart (apparently it's okay to treat constituents like she did - but that's another post).  They sent a request to the mayor's office for an ethics investigation into her behavior.

Harris took offense to the fact that they filed a complaint without coming to her first.  Apparently she found out about it from a voicemail from a reporter:


“This is rash and uncalled for,” she wrote. “Especially to send out a press release without talking to me first and hearing my side of the story … I take this allegation as a very serious matter and yet no one had the courtesy to call me?”

Yeah, because she's all about courtesy.

Now she is demanding they drop the complaint and ...:


She also asked for an apology and said she won’t be at the Sept. 20 meeting, when the council is supposed to decide on whether to form an ethics committee to investigate the complaint. She said that she will be at a fellowship

Most likely working on her martyrdom.  By the way - the fellowship was a privately funded trip to Germany.  Her position?  "Goodwill Ambassador", of course.  No, really.

The newly minted goodwill ambassador had this to say in an email to her colleagues:


“Looks like I’ve lost two policies and we’ve received numerous rude phone calls that my 19 year old customer service rep has had to listen to. Apparently the gavel incident is now on utube (sic). Thanks for making my life hell.”

Yup, it's all their fault people are calling to protest her boorish behavior and have decided not to do business with her.  It's also their fault that the clip of her acting like a shrewish petty dictator got on youtube.  Who else's fault would it be?

Harris has mentioned a difficult divorce as a contributing factor to her outburst.  It might be feasible to blame a quick outburst on stress, but the prolonged haranguing, the attacks on her peers, and the continued aggression in emails speaks of deeper issues.  This does not seem to be her first outburst, it's just the first one caught on tape and posted on Youtube.

The citizens who were attempting to speak were residents who did not want the light rail to go where it was going.  They wanted to be heard - something Leavitt and Harris have apparently have not given them the opportunity to do. They have every right to be heard.  Which is why Councilwoman Stewart was right to try to call Harris out on her behavior. Which brings us to the question - is Councilwoman Harris drunk with power or cracking under pressure? 

Either way, she should not be in office.
.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

PROJECTING FAILURE

The latest meme by the administration, which has officially hit the echo chamber that is the neo-pravda media, is an attempt to paint the tea party and conservatives as 'radicals'.  I'll give you a minute to stop laughing....

Yes, the administration that brought us communist Van Jones, Mao lover Anita DunnEcoscience author John Holdren, and 'fisting' fan/NAMBLA supporter Kevin Jennings are pointing the finger of radicalism at the tea parties. 

It's called 'projection'.

I honestly never thought I would see the day when groups of americans gathering together to show their love and support for their country and demand a return to the observance of our founding documents would be called radical, while those who support marxist ideals, the welfare state and global governance are being portrayed as mainstream.  They assert that the call to "Take our country back" is some sort of attempt at a radical overthrow of the administration.  They miss the point entirely.  It is about taking our country back to it's constitutional roots; taking it back to the system that made it great, before it was perverted by the welfare state and yes, to a certain extent, taking it back from the career politicians on both sides of the aisle that have exploited and perverted the system. 

This latest attempt to control and distort the debate is about as transparent as saran wrap.  They cannot run on Obamacare.  they cannot run on the so-called 'recovery summer'.  They cannot run on any of their legislative wins, because of how unpopular they are.  All that is left is demonization of their favorite target, the tea party.  They are preaching to the choir on this one, attempting to motivate their base. Unfortunately, their base seems rather lethargic.  Instead, what they are doing is motivating the so-called radicals they are busy slandering. 

When in heaven's name did it become sound political strategy to demonize a large portion of the voting public?  How can this possibly work in their favor?  Not only did they misread their mandate in 2008, but now they are miscounting their base.  They seem to think that the 53% that Obama won by in 2008 is their new base.  In reality, only about 20% of americans consider themselves democrat/liberal/progressive.  About 40% self identify as conservative/republican, with 36% being fluid, identifying with neither party. 

There is a good chance that they will succeed in stimulating their base with all of the radical rhetoric they are spewing, but this level of discourse has traditionally been rather off-putting for moderates.  This is why most campaigns wait until the final weeks to sling mud.  This election season, there has been no attempt to debate the issues; mud slinging has gone from being the last-ditch 'nuclear option' to the only option for endangered democrats.  While this new tactic might just motivate their base, the demonization merely strengthens the resolve of conservatives to get out and vote.  This will backfire on them, simply because conservatives outnumber liberals by a 2-1 margin.  Add in the disillusioned moderates and the moderates who were on the fence but have been turned off by the negativity, and it's not a pretty picture for democrats.

Bottom line: is it really worth rallying 20% when it also means you will be alienating and energizing somewhere in the neighborhood of 60+% in opposition?  I'm no politician, but the logic seems a little...off. 

But, then again, this administration isn't really known for it's math skills.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

CONSTITUTION DAY Updated

Here is my ten-year-old daughter's contribution to Constitution Day.  She rearranged these refrigerator magnets to quite cleverly express her support of not just our founding document, but also our nation as a whole.  Can you tell she's been to a few Tea Parties?



That's my girl!

UPDATE:  Big thank you to Michelle Malkin for linking to this post via her Twitter page!!!  It's a thrill to have someone I watch and admire not only respond via email but want to send her followers to one of my links!  Thanks Michelle - you rock!

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

REBRANDING FEVER

The democrats are in a tizzy of rebranding this week.  This is their go-to tactic when things are falling apart.  Don't try to come up with a new message/legislation/platform, just slap a new name on it, hype a different angle and keep on truckin'. 

Rebranding is a not uncommon thing, but it has had a long history with progressives in particular.  Waaaaaay back at the turn of the 20th century, the progressive party took hold.  Unfortunately, their policies eventually fell out of favor and they had to start calling themselves liberals in the mid 1900's.  After a few decades of the same failed policies under the new label, they managed to make the term liberal unattractive, and so they pulled "progressive" back out of the closet, dusted it off, and have been using that term to describe themselves ever since.

More recent examples of their rebranding fervor was just last year, when the highly unpopular health care bill was rebranded.  "Single payer" became "public option" which then became the "consumer option" with a little side trip to "co-op".  

The war on terror became an overseas contingency operation.  Violent attacks on our country by jihadis were no longer terror attacks or suicide/homocide bombers, they were man-caused disasters.  Just a few weeks ago, President Obama declared an end to combat operations in Iraq, while leaving 50,000 active troops in the country.  Operation Iraqi Freedom was rebranded as Operation New Dawn, and voila! we're no longer at war in Iraq (even though we still have troops dying over there).

Just this week, the democrats launched their new website and logo in an attempt to rebrand themselves as...well, no one's really sure.  I just hope they didn't pay a lot of money for the logo design and website, because it sure looks like they didn't.

Now Science czar John Holdren has offered up rebranding for climate change.  Which, you may recall, was once called global warming.  Well, now they want to call it "global climate disruption".  After all, trying to sell us that we were actually changing a global phenomenon like the weather was a little far fetched, so they must be hoping "disruption" is more palatable. 

The other rebranding taking place this week is a rather odd, ham handed thing involving the much debated Bush tax cuts. Nancy Pelosi managed to really paint herself into a corner on the whole tax cut thing.  She was adamant that the cuts would expire, all of them, top to bottom.  Now she is being forced to backtrack because so many economists are warning of dire consequences to the economy if they are allowed to sunset. So what is her brilliant plan?  She gives them a different name and suddenly, instead of a Bush era payoff to the evil rich, they are an Obama-sent gift from above to the poor, suffering middle class.  She used the new term during her weekly press briefing today, talking about extending the "Obama middle income tax cuts".

 Now, maybe the woman is really stressed out - she certainly has reason to be - and is simply confused.  Unfortunately, the more logical answer is that, since they have nothing else to run on and more and more economists are freaking out, this is a feeble attempt to show her party in a compassionate light while denying credit to the evil Bush.  She seems to think that merely extending the tax cuts for a year or two will automatically make them the brain child of this administration, instead of a holdover from the last.  Frankly, it's rather insulting to our intelligence, Madame Speaker.  This is a blatant attempt to steal credit for something to score political points while simultaniously vilifying Bush for having done it in the first place. 

You would think that they would have learned that a tactic like that doesn't work.  After all, they tried that with the Iraq war, and got blasted for it.  But hope seems to spring eternal on Capitol Hill.  Either that, or she's having a nervous breakdown.  It's hard to tell which. 

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NO GO LOGO

So, is it me, or does the new Democrat logo that Tim Kaine was all excited about the other day look remarkably like a target? Not to mention it's a little boring. At least Obama's logo had flair, not to mention there was a bit of a Pepsi-inspired pleasant subliminal connection to it. The DNC logo (and the website, really) is very...industrial looking. They should have stuck with the jackass. At least then they would be a moving target.


Just sayin'.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

PAIN, COMPASSION AND POLITICS

September 11th is particularly pognant this year. It is a difficult day for many americans anyway; a day to remember and, even nine years later, to grieve. It is a day that we, the citizens of the most powerful country on earth, are confronted by our vulnerability. Nine years and one day ago, the US was on top of the world. We were the gentle giant, leading the world with our innovation and thriving economy. It seemed inconceivable that just 24 hours later, we would be brought to our knees in shared grief, anger and disbelief. The horror of it all is still a raw, gaping wound on the psyche of the country as a whole.


This year, 9/11 will be more emotional for many because of the proposed mosque scheduled to be built two blocks away in a building that was partially destroyed on 9/11 when it was hit with the landing gear of one of the planes. This project is an affront to all who lost loved ones that horrific day. For those who say "It's not the "Ground Zero Mosque" - it's two whole blocks away!" the response is simple - it was destroyed by the same forces that destroyed the Twin Towers. It is Ground Zero. Adding insult to injury, the mosque has been fast tracked, even though a Greek Orthodox church, which was destroyed on September 11, 2001 when one of the towers fell on it, has yet to receive approval to rebuild.

This past week has been a three-ring circus of outrages, from the unyielding determination of the mosque builders to the lunatic in Florida who has threatened to burn a Qu'ran today to the burning of american flags in protest of the qu'ran burning.  The nearly 70% of americans who oppose the mosque have been called "islamophobes", racists, zionists, and a plethora of other insults in an attempt to shut them up. They have even been threatened, if you consider a warning of a potential explosion of rage in the muslim world if the mosque isn't built exactly where Imam Rauf wants it built as a threat.  His assertion that "the story will be that the radicals have taken over the discourse" is laughable, at best.  The "warning" he issued is quite indicative of exactly which radicals will take over the discourse and from where the violence will come.  Michelle Malkin has an interesting rundown of some other incidents that have caused "explosions of anger" in the muslim world. This threat is nothing new. It is endlessly fascinating that, with all the rhetoric over the years that attempts to paint "radical christians" and right wing extremist opposition as somehow worse than jihadis, there has been no talk of the potential risk of a terrorist attack on the mosque.

Quite frankly, the constant threats have become tiresome, as is the perpetual kowtowing to these extremists. No, they don't represent a majority of muslims, but they certainly seem to be the only voice we hear on the subject. There should be no support whatsoever for the burning of the qu'ran, and the pastor who threatened it dropped the level of the debate to somewhere in the septic tank range. However, his attempt to equate the atrocity of burning the qu'ran with the atrocity of building an islamic center and mosque on the site of a devastating, deadly attack made in the name of islam has some merit. Both acts are an affront to all that is civil and respectful. The fact is, both acts are legal under our constitution, and both acts are morally objectionable. In the case of the pastor, he stepped back from the edge. In the case of the imam, he is refusing to budge from his position.

If the aim of this "cultural center" was really to build bridges between the muslim world and americans, Rauf is definitely going about this the wrong way. Part of building a bridge is to meet halfway. Demanding the submission of the american people to his will is most certainly not what most people would consider compromise. That President Obama is backing Rauf and his demands is not surprising either. After all, this is the man whose idea of compromise is for his opposition to shut up and support his agenda or be demonized.

Staking out a position on the legality of the situation but refusing to comment on the morality of it speaks volumes about Obama's inability to properly unite and lead this country. He may be charismatic, but he lacks empathy and he seems to lack the understanding that he is not just the commander in chief, but our moral leader as well. That he does not understand the pain the mosque is inflicting on his people is indicative of his problems in the polls of late. Because the wound is still raw, we need a leader who understands our pain. Sometimes, a president is like a mother - required to reassure, comfort and defend her children even when she doesn't understand the full extent of their pain. The fact that they are in pain is enough for her to act on their behalf. Instead, Obama comes off as some sort of frustrated step-father, who cannot understand why the child can't move on and has no interest in building a bond by attempting to empathize. It seems that all he sees are petulant children making his life difficult with their ridiculous demands for solace, understanding and protection from that which hurts them. For all of George W. Bush's faults (and there were many) he got this concept, and his approval ratings in the aftermath of 9/11 illustrate that quite clearly.

It is ironic in the extreme that the so-called party of compassion is so very uncompassionate when it comes to this grievous wound to our country. This year, when the hallowed ground of Ground Zero has become a political football for islamic radicals and the progressives who cater to them, our national loss is all the more poignant.


Cross Posted at the Ripley Report

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

STALKING ON A NATIONAL LEVEL

The NAACP and various left-wing media groups have started up a new website, TeaPartyTracker.org.  The point of this new website?  Why, to monitor and report on any and all examples of "racism" and "extremism" in the Tea Party movement, of course.  They are calling on bloggers and assorted lefties with camera phones to document any wrongdoing on the part of the tea party.

Good luck with that, guys.  Oh, and here's a tip for you - the idiots on the fringes who carry the Obama is Hitler signs are LaRouchies - democrats.  Just a little FYI for ya, 'cause so far you don't seem to have gotten the memo.  

If the NAACP is so interested in rooting out racism on a national level, perhaps they should start here.  Or here.  And don't forget all of these.  It's really amazing that their highly tuned 'racedar' didn't go off over this one - but, then, "death to cracka's" isn't really racist, so it's understandable that they would have missed that.

Even with a $100,000 bounty for video proving claims of racism in the tea party, there has still been no video tape to prove the point, even with the hundreds of cameras present - including ones in democrat hands.  Perhaps the NAACP and their ilk should be focusiing on people like this who make their living off the back of racial prejudice, even when it is a hoax, and even when the result is violence and riots.

These constant, fruitless attempts to smear the tea parties as racist are wearing very thin.  According to a press release from Project 21, a black activist group sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research:

"Progressives have hijacked the NAACP to the extent that the group stands silent as conservative blacks suffer indignities for their beliefs. Some NAACP even egg on this appalling behavior – providing political cover and lapdog services for these elitists," said Project 21 member Kevin Martin. "As a conservative black man, I have felt more welcomed and at home within the tea party movement than among those of my own who side with the this new NAACP. If a few random signs of President Obama looking like the Joker is indeed racist, then where was the NAACP when conservative blacks are depicted as lawn jockeys, Oreos and Uncle Toms?"

Actually, members of the NAACP themselves are guilty of this.

It's time to stop the race baiting.  The damage being done is damage to themselves.  As long as the NAACP and other progressive groups indulge in these antics, there will never be progress and there will never be healing.  Resorting to baseless name-calling cheapens the NAACP and causes people to question their relevance.  Attempts to make the dissent against the current administration (and just about every other issue) about race does a disservice to their cause. 

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Monday, August 30, 2010

BECK AND THE LIBERAL NARRATIVE

Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally at the Lincoln Memorial attracted huge crowds, with estimates up to 300,000+.  The pictures are quite impressive.  The rally was to benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a great organization that helps the families of fallen special forces with scholarships and counselling, as well as financial assistance to severely wounded special operations personnel. 

The weeks running up to the event were filled with hysteria on the part of the neo-pravda media and particularly race-baiting huckster Al Sharpton, who had his own rally, "Reclaim the Dream" on the same day.  He seems to feel that Beck was attempting to usurp MLK and the "I have a Dream" speech.  This was not Beck's intent, as the actual event proves quite clearly.  They acknowledged the importance of the day, and some spoke about MLK's speech and it's importance to the country, but ultimately the day was about loving and honoring our country and the troops who fight and die for us.  According to some, Beck seemed to be stepping into Billy Graham's shoes, not Martin Luther King, Jr's. 

The day seems to have utterly flummoxed the press.  They simply don't know what to make of it.  For weeks they have been lambasting Beck for his presumptions, his nerve in stepping all over MLK's dream and, of course, highlighting Sarah Palin's participation in an attempt to illustrate how ultra political and fringe-y the whole thing is.  Apparently her mere presence made it a political event (what office is she running for, again?). 

Because they could not attack the politics of the event (mainly because there wasn't any), they had to resort to their trusty favorite fall back position and point out the "predominantly/overwhelmingly white" audience.  Interesting how none of them mention Sharpton's predominantly black audience for his rally.   But that point isn't relevant or important.  To hear the MSM report it, there wasn't a single minority face in Beck's entire rally, and besides, the few that were there were obviously confused/misled.

Today, the New York Times' Ross Douthat wrote an op-ed piece on Beck's rally titled "Mr. Beck Goes to Washington".  This article is about as close to a grudging, backhanded compliment as a thing can be: 


For a weekend, at least, Beck proved that he can conjure the thrill of a culture war without the costs of combat, and the solidarity of identity politics without any actual politics. If his influence outlasts the current election cycle, this will be the secret of his success.

The article was as fair a representation as one could hope for from the Times.  No snarky comments (even though Sarah Palin was mentioned - a minor miracle in and of itself), and no mention of the overwhelming whiteness of the crowd that others are so fixated on.  There was, however one paragraph that was a bit objectionable:


Similarly, one could call the rally a gross affront to the memory of King, who presumably wouldn’t have cared much for Beck’s right-wing politics. But one could also call the day a strange, unlooked-for fulfillment of King’s prophecies: 47 years after the “I Have a Dream” speech, here were tens of thousands of white conservatives roaring their approval of its author.

A "gross affront"?  According to his niece, Alveda King, who spoke at the rally, Dr. King was a republican.  Beyond that, as a reverend, he was a christian - a conservative christian - and as such, one would think that he might just embrace Beck's right-wing politics.  One would also think that the good reverend would be happy that a huge crowd of "predominantly/overwhelmingly white" Americans who had gathered to celebrate this great country and restore the judeo-christian ethics at her heart would hail him as a hero and great American, whose teachings should be a guiding light for all Americans.  What is so "strange" and "unlooked-for" about that? Isn't that what the dream was really about - the content of character, not the color of skin?   One might wonder, however, at his thoughts on Sharpton's rally and march.  Ms. King believes her uncle would have enjoyed Beck's rally (which is prompting critics to say she is "besmirching" his legacy), viewing it as an extension of his vision because it (via the Daily Caller):
“demonstrates the spirit of love and unity and peace.”

According to singer Lloyd Marcus:


“If Dr. King were alive today, he’d feel as if he stepped into the twilight zone,” Marcus said. “He’d feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, what happened to my dream? And, are you telling me that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and the likes of those guys now are running the civil rights movement? Oh, good Lord! What happened?’ He would be totally appalled.”


Sharpton has been at his race-baiting best.  In his speech Saturday he said:
"They may have the Mall, but we have the message.  They may have the platform, but we have the dream....
They want to disgrace this day, and we not giving them this day.  This is OUR day and we ain't giving it away."

Which is more disgraceful - Sharpton's pitting the black community against the white in a shameless attempt to relive his glory days marching arm in arm through Washington while laying claim to a man simply based on his race - a man whose whole message was about surpassing identity politics - or a peaceful rally to honor not just Dr. King, but also the country he loved?  Dr. King looked to the future - a future where race didn't matter.  Rev. Sharpton's entire purpose in life seems to be a quest to highlight racial division and keep the country believing we have not moved past 1963.  Unfortunately for him, race has nothing to do with it and his hystrionics merely illustrate how obsolete and out of touch he is.

This event was a defining moment in our history.  There were many people who felt a vague discontent under the milder progressivism of Bush and Clinton, which became more pronounced when Barack Obama took office and embarked upon his quest to "fundamentally transform" America.  It is this transformation that has people up in arms, and no matter who is driving the car, it is the inevitable transformative crash that is feared.  This is not about race.  This is a choice between wanting to restore this country to the judeo-christian ethics and values and dynamic free market system our founders put in place or fundamentally transforming it into an offshoot of the European Union, to freeze in time and slowly disintegrate into obscurity. 

Sharpton and the media do not want to have that conversation and bring that choice to the fore, because they know they will lose.  And so they bring the debate down to a level that they can get the upper hand on.  Relevancy seems optional, at this point.
One final thought - isn't it amazing how those who have been squawking about tolerance for weeks now when it comes to the ground zero mosque are suddenly showing just how intolerant they really are?  When it comes to Beck having a rally to stoke the fires of patriotism and love of God and country, suddenly the left is all about shutting him down and stifling his first amendment right to free speech.  The intolerance over Beck's event has been overwhelming, from blatantly, transparently fraudulent and yet completely expected  accusations of racism to outrage at his "usurping" MLK and his messsage of unity. 

No hypocrisy here, move along, move along. 

Cross Posted at the Ripley Report

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Monday, August 16, 2010

STAMPING OUT OBESITY

Last week, congress passed the "EduJobs" bill.  This bill is ostensibly to help save teacher's jobs in states with budget deficits.  In reality, many of the states that are to receive this "aid" don't need it, and it seems that the unions are the real beneficiaries, with $36 million going to the National Educators Association and an additional $14 million going to the American Federation of Teachers.  Let's not forget that unions are some of the biggest contributors for democrat campaigns, with teachers unions at the top of the list.

The bigger question is how this $26 billion piece of legislation is going to be paid for?  Why, by appropriating from other programs, of course.  Let's remember before we discuss where funding is coming from, that this bill was sold as helping teachers and children.  The teachers unions love to invoke the children, and yet most of their demands help no one but themselves and their members.  The unions wanted the $26 billion to be counted as "emergency spending", but the democrats were afraid to give republicans more ammunition with yet another unfunded spending bill.  Instead they decided to abide by their oft ignored PayGo legislation and raid a few piggy banks - at some point in the future.  So where is the funding coming from (via Education Report):

Education Week reported that the bill takes $50 million from the Striving Readers adolescent literacy program, $10 million from the Ready to Teach program that pays for teacher telecommunications programs and $82 million from student financial aid administration. The bill would not take money from the "Race to the Top" fund, as earlier proposed, according to Education Week.

Some of the funding will also be coming from the charter school system - a system the teachers unions oppose - because most charter schools, like private schools, are not unionized.  This is also why unions (and democrats) oppose school choice - most parents would chose a private or charter school over a public one, and most of them are union free.  How very convenient for the unions that they are getting increased funding by stealing appropriating funding from the charter schools.  No doubt that was a happy coincidence.

The remainder of the funding will be coming out of the food stamp program, to the tune of about $12 billion...but not until 2014.  Why take the blame this year when you can pile it on another congress a few years later?  Kicking the can down the road - congress' favorite sport.

Congress seems to think the food stamp program is the newest cash cow, because they are now proposing to dip into the kitty yet again to fund Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign.  Perhaps it's because there was little outcry from the public over the funding of the edujobs bill, perhaps because there's just no where else to get it from (hey, how about what's left of the non-stimulating stimulus?), but either way, the food stamp program seems to be the congressional pot of gold du jour.

Taking money from the food stamp program to fund Mrs. O's "Let's Move!" program makes sense, though - the easiest way to crack down on obesity, particularly in the poorer neighborhoods where it seems to be reaching epidemic proportions, is by taking away the means to buy food in the first place.  There is a great deal of irony in taking food out of kids mouths in the name of education - aren't we told that good nutrition is essential to good education?  Let's not forget, too, the war on cheap convenience food (led by Michelle Obama) - so they are taking away cheaper alternatives, thus forcing poor parents to pay more for food, while at the same time reducing the amount of assistance they receive to buy food. 

Progressive humanitarianism - it's a frightening thing.

What is most galling about these programs and the way they are being funded is the moral superiority their backers are displaying.  The teacher's unions and supporters of Let's Move! are crying that these programs are necessary for the good of the kids.  No, they are for the good of the unions and progressive social engineering.  It is appalling that these groups are using children as human shields to further their agendas - agendas that seem to be more harmful than beneficial in the long run.  Unless, of course, your idea of beneficial doesn't include a decent education and food on the table. 

As for the fruits of the liberal tree of knowledge, things are looking pretty grim.  Better not be too vocal about questioning their success, though.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

FUN IN PHILLY

Our trip to Philadelphia was a fun one.  We went to the Franklin Institute (a favorite of mine from when I was a child) and the National Constitution Center.  We also saw Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, as well as the Reading Market and Pat's (King of Steaks!)  for a cheesesteak. 

The Constitution Center was great:



The kids were sure they were going to be bored, but they had a good time in spite of themselves!  There are lots of interactive displays, and it goes through the Constitution from it's founding to the current day.  And by current day, I mean they had new displays up questioning the constitutionality of a) the goverment directing cleanup of the Gulf oil spill, b) same-sex marriage and c) the Arizona Immigration law.  There are post-it notes at nearby stations, and visitors are encouraged to vote yes or no and stick their post-it on the issue:


Founder's Hall was fun.  The hall is filled with life-sized statues of the Founders, and many are in the poses of the iconic painting "Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States".  Visitors are encouraged to join the signers by signing a large visitors book and pose for pictures with the various Founders:



The whole experience starts with a live-action multi-media presentation on the period just after the Revolutionary War, when the individual states were governing themselves and the union was close to splintering apart. The presentation discusses the founding; the men who started us off on the greatest political experiment in man's history, and the document they created.  The exhibit hall is round, and after the presentation, visitors are directed to begin their tour through the center at the beginning and work their way around to the present day.  The exhibit startes in 1787 with a display of books that influenced our founders and winds through the 234 years of our history.  There are artifacts from each of our presidents, and information on how their policies affected both the Constitution and We, the People.  

Patriotic geek that I am, I highly recommend the Center if you find yourself in Philly.  They have created a mall-like complex, with the Constitution Center at one end and Independence Hall at the other, with the Liberty Bell and the excavation of the President's House in the middle. 

Make sure to check out the Franklin Institute, too, especially if you have kids.  Even my teenager had fun.  Check out the planetarium shows, be sure to stop by the rooftop observatory to take a peek at the sun and don't forget to tackle the walk-through heart!





"Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember.  Involve me and I learn."  - Ben Franklin

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Monday, August 2, 2010

UNEXPECTED PLACES

   I am currently on vacation in the beautiful Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania. It had been a very stressful late spring/early summer, as my sister has been dealing with a fairly major health crisis over the past couple of months. We decided to come up to visit as soon as she was up for vistors. It's gorgeous up here, and my kids have been overwhelmed by the mountains, which they have never seen before, and their cousins (whom they have also never seen before), of which there are seven. It has been a wonderful week, full of much-needed laughter, and we will be heading down to Philadelphia in the next few days to take in the sights and visit with other family. I'm looking forward to visiting the Constitution Center, as well as the old city and possibly even a day trip to New York if we have time.


My sister lives in a lovely little town nestled in the gently rolling, ancient Poconos, in a house that was built in the late 1800's. The people here are what our president would call gun-toting bible-clingers. Real salt of the earth people, many of whom are farmers. As we were driving along one of the curving, undulating main roads one day, I saw a sign by the side of the road that led me to believe that Mr. Obama's policies aren't well liked here:





It was most unexpected. The sign belongs to a local farmer, who is obviously unhappy with the way Obama and Co. are handling things. Needless to say, I feel quite at home up here!


Cross Posted at The Ripley Report

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