From the Right

Observing my upside down America

Posts Tagged ‘Politics

So what’s so wrong with the left?

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This might give a clue.

Massachusetts may be one of the most liberal states in the U.S. today. Some would argue for alifornia and they might be right, but most would agree Massachusetts ranks right up there at or near the most liberal.

So it really is no surprise that a school board in Massachusetts unanimously votes to offer free condoms to all students in the district without parental consent, sparking national outrage.

If that weren’t outrage enough, and to show there are other states vying for that number 1 slot of “Most Liberal”, the Fayetteville, Ark., Gay Pride Parade will be led by a young man who has made a career out of fighting for gay rights. That young man is 10 years old.

So what’s so wrong with the left, anyway?

Plenty, and the above events show how sick they’ve become.

Written by Ben

June 24, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Posted in Liberals, Politics

Tagged with ,

Democrat Party racism legacy

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Certain liberals of late have worked hard to label Tom Tancredo as a racist. The boneless finger pointing comes as a result of recent comment which he made at a Sarah Palin gathering where he spoke to the audience. The liberals use his comments about the number of uneducated voters who cannot speak English as their evidence.

I do not support Tancredo, but I find it difficult to leap to the same conclusion. While the Dems cry long and hard, getting their panties in a wad and frothing at the mouth while casting this baseless accusation, they have no problems affiliating themselves with a political party whose legacy on racism is appalling.

If liberals actually believed in what they spew, they would distance themselves from it, but they won’t.

So, let’s look back at the Republican Party’s record.

Mississippi Senator Trent Lott recently stepped down from his post as Senate Majority Leader because of racially offensive comments which he made. He was persuaded to take this step by Republicans who believed that his comments were at odds with the principles of their party.

Being the hypocrites they are, Democrats used the Lott affair to paint Republicans as racists. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, who had first dismissed the idea that Sen. Lott was a racist, later claimed that his stepping down did not really address the Republican Party’s inherent racism. “Republicans have to prove, not only to us, of course, but to the American people that they are as sensitive to this question of racism, this question of civil rights, this question of equal opportunity, as they say they are,” Senator Daschle said. Among high-profile Democrats, Senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer offered similar comments.

Makes ya wanna puke, doesn’t it?

In both principle and practice, the Republican Party has a far better record than the Democrats on race. Even more importantly, historically and enduring even today, the Democratic position represents racism of the most offensive sort—a patronizing racism that denigrates Blacks every bit as badly as the old racism of Jim Crow and segregation.

The Republican Party was founded on the basis of principles invoked by Abraham Lincoln who often referred to the Declaration of Independence. It can be said the principles of the Republican Party are the principles of the nation. Those principles clearly state that people have rights and that the only role of government is to protect the rights of its citizens. They are the rights invoked by the Declaration of Independence—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—not happiness, but the pursuit of happiness.

The Republican Party was created in response to a crisis arising from the fact that American public opinion on the issue of slavery had drifted away from the principles of the Founding. While the Founders had tolerated slavery out of necessity, many Americans, especially within the Democratic Party, had come to accept the idea that slavery was a “positive good.” While Thomas Jefferson, the founder of what evolved into the Democratic Party, had argued that slavery was bad not only for the slave but also for the slave owner, John C. Calhoun, had turned this principle on its head: slavery was good not only for the slave holder, but also for the slave.

In the 1920s, the Republican Party platform routinely called for anti-lynching legislation. The Democrats rejected such calls in their own platforms. When FDR forged the New Deal, he was able to pry Blacks away from their traditional attachment to the Party of Lincoln. But they remained in their dependent status, Democrats by virtue of political expediency, not principle.

When Strom Thurmond, the praise of whom landed Sen. Lott in hot water, ran a segregationist campaign in 1948, he ran as a Dixie-CRAT, not a Dixie-CAN. When he lost, he went back to being a Democrat. He only repudiated his segregationist views when he later became a Republican.

Even the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which supposedly established the Democrats’ bona fides on race, was passed in spite of the Democrats rather than because of them. Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen pushed the bill through the Senate, despite the no-votes of 21 Democrats, including Gore Sr. and Robert Byrd, who remains a powerful force in the Senate today. In contrast, only four Republicans opposed the bill, mostly like Barry Goldwater on libertarian principles, not segregationist ones.

Indeed, the case of Sen. Byrd is instructive when it comes to the double standard applied to the two parties when it comes to race. Even those Democrats who have exploited the Lott affair acknowledge that he is no racist. Can the same be said about Sen. Byrd, who was a member of the KKK and who recently used the “n” word on national TV?

“Ah, but this is all in the past,” say the Democrats. “Now we push a pro-African-American agenda.” But the reality differs significantly from the claim.

Take the issue of education. The single biggest obstacle to the achievement of true equality in the United States is not poverty, but education. If Democrats sincerely wished to help the minority children on whose behalf they claim to labor, they would embrace school choice to help such children escape the trap of sub-standard schools. But that would offend the teachers’ unions upon which the Democrats depend for financial and “in-kind” support. So as has often been the case with the group politics of the Democratic party, African-American interests are sacrificed to other groups who have more pull.

“Affirmative action” has become the touchstone of Democratic racial politics. Democrats portray anyone who opposes affirmative action as racist. But affirmative action, as currently practiced, is racist to the core. It is based on the assumption that African-Americans are incapable of competing with whites. It represents the kind of paternalistic racism that would have done honor to Calhoun. For the modern liberal Democratic racist as for the old-fashioned one, blacks are simply incapable of freedom. They will always need Ol’ Massa’s help. And woe be to any African-American who wanders off of the Democratic plantation. Ask Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, or Ward Connerly. Although they echo the call for a “color-blind society” that once characterized the vision of Martin Luther King Jr., they are pilloried as “Uncle Toms” of “Oreos” by such enforcers of the Democratic plantation system as Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.

If we need the perfect symbol for the true character of the Democratic Party when it comes to race, we need look no farther than Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy. Rep. Kennedy portrays himself as a friend of African-Americans. But his touching solicitude for African-Americans as a group is gross hypocrisy. When inconvenienced by a real African-American woman trying to do her job, Rep. Kennedy shoved her out of his way, giving her arm a yank for good measure. In practice, the Democratic Party as a whole cares as much about real African-Americans as Rep. Kennedy does.

John Murtha (D-PA), dead. Good Riddence.

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THIS is a Democrat’s idea of democracy in America, 2010.

He will not be missed as his behavior represents just what is wrong with congress today. Indeed, he is a scumbag.

Written by Ben

February 17, 2010 at 6:32 pm

More Bad Science

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U.N. Climate Change Expert Cites More Errors in Report

Another blow is dealt to the credibility of the science community.

The head of a panel of United Nations climate scientists said Saturday he would not resign despite a recent admission that a panel report warning Himalayan glaciers could be gone by 2035 was hundreds of years off.

The claim, made in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s voluminous, Nobel-winning report, came in a paragraph with several errors. Data indicates the ice could melt by 2350. The assertion went virtually unnoticed until The Sunday Times said the projection seemed to be based on a news report.

The scientists are investigating how the forecast got into the report and apologized Thursday for the mistakes, adding that they were not intentional. But the errors have opened the door for attacks from climate change skeptics.

But Rajendra Pachauri, who heads the panel, said no action would be taken against the authors of the report and he would not resign.

“I have no intention of resigning from my position,” Pachauri said on Saturday, adding the errors were unintentional and not significant in comparison to the entire report. The mistakes also do not negate the fact that worldwide, glaciers are melting faster than ever, he said.

He added that such mistakes must be avoided because effective climate change policy depends on good, credible science. He said he is now working on the fifth IPCC assessment report dealing with sea level rise and ice sheets, oceans, clouds and carbon accounting. The report is expected by 2014.

On Sunday, the environment ministers from Brazil, South Africa, India and China are scheduled to meet in the Indian capital New Delhi to discuss how they will fight global warming. The four nations, which brokered a political accord with President Obama at last month’s climate summit in Copenhagen, will play a key role in shaping a legally binding climate deal that the U.N. hopes will be completed by the end of 2010 in Mexico.

Pachauri said it was “a practical necessity” to postpone a Jan. 31 deadline set by the Copenhagen accord for developing countries to present their nonbinding carbon-curbing actions, and for rich nations to submit economy-wide emissions targets for 2020.

Written by Ben

January 23, 2010 at 11:42 am

Unprecedented Warming and Swimming in Cash

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Based upon the following information, if we just sit down and shut up, we’ll be in a period of global cooling in no time at all. Cosmologically speaking, of course.

Al Gore should be ashamed of himself, but hey, he’s not a multi-millionaire (did I hear Billion?) for nothing.

I suppose then it is true that fools and their money are soon parted.

Written by Ben

December 17, 2009 at 7:23 pm

It’s not the holiday season. It’s Christmas, dammit!

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Federal law (5 U.S.C. 6103) establishes the following public holidays for Federal employees.

New Year’s Day
Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Washington’s Birthday
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Veterans Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day

That last entry should grab everyone’s attention. Nowhere in that list is the term “Winter Holiday” or “Holiday Season”. The Federal Government, through law, has recognized Christmas.

What this means is this; if you take offense to the terms “Winter Holiday” or “Holiday Season” used as a substitute for the proper and legal term “Christmas”, you are well within your right to call it out and to express your concern.

Call it what it is; that’s what words are for. We don’t modify “Happy Hanukkah ” to “Happy Candle-lighting” for our Jewish friends.

It’s “Merry Christmas”. Oh, yea, and it ain’t no “Holiday Tree” or “Family Tree” as Lowes wants to call it a couple of years ago. Nice try, Lowes, but as you found out, trying to rename the beloved “Christmas Tree” comes with consequences.

It’s legal to call it “Christmas” or a “Christmas Tree”.

For those still feeling compelled to change it to suit them, why don’t you leave the wording to those who observe the holiday? After all, if you want to rename it, it probably wasn’t your holiday in the first place.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Written by Ben

December 8, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Posted in Politics

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NASA hiding climate data

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The Washington Times is running a story about a U.S. researcher poised to sue NASA, demanding release of the same kind of climate data that has landed a leading British center in hot water over charges it skewed its data.

Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said NASA has refused for two years to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act that would show how the agency has shaped its climate data and would explain why the agency has repeatedly had to correct its data going as far back as the 1930s.

“I assume that what is there is highly damaging,” Mr. Horner said. “These guys are quite clearly bound and determined not to reveal their internal discussions about this.”

The numbers matter. Under pressure in 2007, NASA recalculated its data and found that 1934, not 1998, was the hottest year in its records for the contiguous 48 states. NASA later changed that data again, and now 1998 and 2006 are tied for first, with 1934 slightly cooler.

Mr. Horner, a noted global warming skeptic and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism, wants a look at the data and the discussions that went into those changes. He said he’s given the agency until the end of the year to comply or else he’ll sue to compel the information’s release.

His fight mirrors one in Europe that has sprung up over the the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit in the UK after thousands of e-mails from the center were obtained and appear to show researchers shaving their data to make it conform to their expectation, and show efforts to try to drive global warming skeptics out of the conversation.

The center’s chief has stepped down pending an investigation into the e-mails.

The center has also had to acknowledge in response to a freedom of information request under British law that it tossed out much of the raw data that it used to draw up the temperature models that have underpinned much of the science behind global warming.

Mr. Horner suspects the same sort of data-shaving has happened at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), another leading global warming research center.

Written by Ben

December 4, 2009 at 4:11 pm

CNN losing their base

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Founded in 1980 by Ted Turner, encompassing international networks and wholesale news reports, mobile device services, a Web site, a wire service to print publications, and radio, CNN has built its business around the notion that it is delivering nonpartisan, straight news reporting.

If you were to take out the nonpartisan part, that statement would be accurate. It might have also have saved them from the dismal ratings and the accompanying future waiting for it.

MSNBC’s move to the left and Fox’s ownership of the right theoretically would give CNN a wide middle to conquer. As if to make my point about the moderate middle, or the independents who waffle between the parties, not sure where their convictions lie, that middle might be more inclined to watch Tom DeLay on “Dancing With the Stars” than on “Larry King Live.” Inreality, CNN’s audience is far from being nonpartisan.

Conservatives began to identify CNN with President Bill Clinton, in part because a president is a natural time-killer for a network on 24 hours a day, he said. They believe conservative voices are weak and outnumbered on CNN.

Liberals are suspicious about CNN because of Lou Dobbs and his anti-immigration efforts, said Karl Frisch of Media Matters. CNN points out that Dobbs’ show has become less opinionated this year. In the meantime, the Fox News Channel and the Obama administration have squabbled publicly.

The Trouble With Main Stream Media

The trouble with the MSM today is similar to what ails the Democrat Party; they don’t know what concerns Americans today. If they do, they’re ignoring it to address their own agenda.

Take the latest scandal, “Climate Gate”. Everyone knows what this is about, but only if you’ve been watching Fox News.

The chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, has issued a major response to the Climategate scandal. As a result a rift has developed between the IPCC and a delegate to that organization. Sound like news? You bet, but throw out a guess as to how many MSM reporters were there.

One.

Andrew Revkin, the New York Times environmental reporter covered the story here.

With the lack ability to to determine news worthy items such as ACORN and Van Jones, deciding to not cover the global warming meltdown demonstrates the disconnect between MSM and Americans who seek information affecting their daily lives.

CNN’s Future

Reorganization within 6 months. Format change. Realignment to appeal to broader base. Anchors who throw out offending terms like “Tea Bagger” are out. Larry King is allowed to stay.

Maybe Lou Dobbs saw the writing on the wall.

Written by Ben

December 3, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Posted in Media, Politics

Tagged with , , ,

UN asked to admit climate change errors

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A group of four scientists has sent a letter to the UN’s IPCC asking them to “admit that there is no observational evidence in measured data going back 22,000 years or even millions of years that CO2 levels (whether from man or nature) have driven or are driving world temperatures.”

The reprint of that letter sent to the IPCC on Monday, April 14 2008, can be read here.

Written by Ben

December 3, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Term Limits For Congress – Is it possible?

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The purity and effectiveness of a Congressman diminishes with time.


I believe introducing a bill to advance term limits into law is almost an impossible task. I think of it this way; all of them are up there in Washington riding the gravy train. Why would any of them want to essentially vote themselves out of office?

Don’t get me wrong. There was a time when I did not believe in term limits. Instead, I believed in our ability to get off our collective a**es and go out and vote every two fricking years. When I finally got a clue that America doesn’t care (i.e. Kennedy, the lifer ilk, et. al.), I woke up to the fact term limits are going to be the only way to save America. After all, the voters won’t.

Look at the current occupant in the White House.

Sen. Jim DeMint says Washington politicians are like fruit on the vine: the longer they hang around, the more rotten they get.


On November 10, 2009, the South Carolina Republican introduced an amendment to the Constitution that would limit Senate members to three six-year terms and House members to three two-year terms. His motive is to fix the corrupting influence of “permanent politicians“.

“As long as members have the chance to spend their lives in Washington, their interests will always skew toward spending taxpayer dollars to buy off special interests, covering over corruption in the bureaucracy, fundraising, relationship building among lobbyists, and trading favors for pork – in short, amassing their own power.” – Senator DeMint

In a grotesque way of proving his point, Senator DeMint is also running for a second term next year. History may also be working on his side. Although changes in the nation’s political mood can bring changes to Congress, incumbent senators have a high probability of reelection. One such example was seen during the opening years of the Reagan era in 1980. However, changes of this scale are very rare.

For U.S. Representatives, the rate of reelection is even better. In the preceding 22 years from 2008, an incumbent representative had a better than 90% chance for reelection for 17 of those years. With large cash reserves and name recognition, they are almost guaranteed reelection.

With the continuous reelection of the majority of incumbents, Congress has become stagnant. In the 2000 Congressional Elections, out of the 435 Congressional districts in which there were elections, 359 were considered to be able to remain holding their seats. Historically, congressional elections shift very few seats from one party to another.

The Role of Soft Money and Issue Advocacy Ads
Enacted March 27, 2002, Congressional legislators passed into law the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 to combat the growing stagnation of Congress, claiming that it would revitalize elections. The law is an ammedment to the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 which regulates the financing of political campaigns.

The Act attempts to address two issues:

  • The increased role of soft money in campaign financing, by prohibiting national political party committees from raising or spending any funds not subject to federal limits, even for state and local races or issue discussion;
  • The proliferation of issue advocacy ads, by defining as “electioneering communications” broadcast ads that name a federal candidate within 30 days of a primary or caucus or 60 days of a general election, and prohibiting any such ad paid for by a corporation (including non-profit issue organizations such as Right to Life or the Environmental Defense Fund) or paid for by an unincorporated entity using any corporate or union funds.

“Soft money” refers to contributions made to political parties for purposes of party building and other activities not directly related to the election of specific candidates. It also refers to unlimited contributions to organizations and committees other than candidate campaigns and political parties. The Act prohibits soft money contributions to national party committees.

“Issue Advocacy Ads” are a type of advertisement that is used in political campaigns. These advertisements get their funding from soft money.

Corruption Can Undermine Incumbency Financial Advantages
With a 22:1 financial advantage over his Republican challenger Michael Flanagan, 18 term incumbent Congressman Dan Rostenkowski was defeated by 52-46 percent.
Rostenkowski spent close to $2.5 million on the election compared to the $133,000 spent by his Republican opponent. The advantage that opponent Michael Flanagan had over Rostenkowski in this case was that Flanagan wasn’t involved in a 17-count federal investigation in “misuse of personal and congressional funds, extortion of gifts and cash, and obstruction of justice.”

This example serves to show that financial advantages aren’t always related to guaranteeing reelection. It also serves to suggest that the longer a Congressman is in office the great the chance there is of becoming corrupted. Sometimes, it only takes a few years to succumb to corrupt ways.

From Hero to Convict
After Randy “Duke” Cunningham enlisted into the U.S. Navy in 1967, Cunningham and his Radar Intercept Officer, (RIO) “Irish” Driscoll became the only Navy aces in the Vietnam War, flying an F-4 Phantom from aboard aircraft carriers, and recording five confirmed kills. He was one of the early graduates of the Navy’s TOPGUN school that taught dogfighting techniques to F-4 Phantom pilots and RIOs.

Cunningham downed a MiG-17 which was supposedly piloted by North Vietnam Air Force fighter ace Col. Nguyen Toon, aka, “Colonel Tomb”. Although “Colonel Toon” was an American-manufactured myth, a North Vietnamese Air Force pilot from the 921st Fighter Regiment named Nguyen Van Coc. “Colonel Toon” was not only skilled but unorthodox, as Cunningham found out, when the Navy pilot made an elementary tactical error engaging him. The resulting dogfight became extended. Cunningham climbed steeply, and the MiG pilot surprised Cunningham by climbing as well. Remembering his TOPGUN training, Cunningham finally forced the MiG out ahead of him and destroyed it with an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile.

In 1990, Cunningham ran for the office of U.S. Representative in 44th District, one of four that divided San Diego. The district had been held for eight years by Democrat Jim Bates, and was considered the most Democratic district in the San Diego area.

Bates had held the office since 1980 and was bogged down in a scandal involving charges of sexual harassment. Cunningham won the Republican nomination in 1990 and hammered Bates about the scandal, promising to be “a congressman we can be proud of.” He won by just one percentage point, meaning that the San Diego area was represented entirely by Republicans for only the second time since the city was split into two districts after the 1960 census.

Not immune from corruption and abuses himself, Cunningham resigned from the House on November 28, 2005, after pleading guilty to accepting at least $2.4 million in bribes and under-reporting his income for 2004. He pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion. On March 3, 2006, he received a sentence of eight years and four months in prison and an order to pay $1.8 million in restitution.

Congressional ethics laws prohibit members from accepting any largess over $100 per year from any one source, and only $50 at one time. Sometimes the rules are subtly skirted.

“I think the only defense he could possibly have is stupidity,” said Samuel L. Popkin, a professor of political science at University of California at San Diego, who has followed Cunningham’s career. “But he’s smart enough to know the rules — which he thinks don’t apply to him.”

A friend had another explanation: “I know what happened, and I know how it happened,” Nesby said. “It’s really very simple. In the political arena, what at first seems abnormal becomes normal. . . . It’s very easy in this environment for one to lose their moral compass.”

Weak Support For Term Limits
Obviously, to combat congressional stagnation, we cannot simply wait for a congressman to become corrupt, as inevitable as it may seem.

Term limits can be a useful tool for weeding out corrupt politicians. Judicial Watch does a great job of identifying and publishing a “top 10” list. Their list for 2008 can be seen here.

Applying term limits to Congressmen was proposed in the “Citizen Legislature Act” (H.J.Res.73) during the 104th Congress as an amendment to the Constitution that would limit Congressmen to 6 two-year terms. This act was defeated in the House by a 227-204 margin (the 227 votes in favor were insufficient, as a proposed Constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority of 290 votes to be passed).

Washington watchdogs said DeMint’s bill has a zero chance of becoming law, mostly because of a general lack of interest and the high hurdles to amending the Constitution.

“It’s a great issue to talk about, but it’s not going to happen,” – Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Democratic majority’s second-highest ranking leader.

Term limit proposals have seen little support on Capitol Hill since the issue was featured in the “Contract with America” that helped the Republican Party win control of Congress in 1994. House Republicans brought three versions of constitutional amendments for term limits to the floor in 1995 and each failed to win the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), disagrees with Mr. DeMint’s premise that politicians get more corrupt the longer they serve.

“There are plenty of bad members who have been there a short time and plenty of bad members who have been there a long time. Length of service just isn’t telling enough. It doesn’t make a great member or a terrible member.” – Melanie Sloan, executive director, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics

Mrs. Sloan, a Democrat, said the amendment appeared to be more about Mr. DeMint making a statement than about changing the Constitution.

DeMint's Case For Term Limits


However, DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton said the bill will succeed if the American public get behind it and force lawmakers to put it to a vote.

To pass a constitutional amendment, it takes a two-thirds vote of approval in both chambers of Congress. Then it must be ratified by three-fourths of the states. The last one to succeed – the 27th Amendment that delays pay raises for members of Congress until after the next election – was proposed in 1789 as part of the Bill of Rights but was not ratified by the states until 1992.

Mr. DeMint’s bill is cosponsored by two Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who is running for a second term next year and has pledged to not seek a third, and Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas, who is in her third full term.

It would appear history is not on their side.

Written by Ben

December 1, 2009 at 10:45 am

Finally, A GOP Litmus Test

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A prominent attorney, Jim Bopp, Jr., has come up with a plan called the “Resolution on Reagan’s Unity Principle for Support of Candidates” and it’s being circulated among RNC members in the hopes of generating party support. Mr. Bopp is in the perfect position to advance this idea. You see, James Bopp is the Vice Chairman of Republican National Committee, a position he has held since 2008.

What does this have to do with Reagan? The resolution states,

“President Ronald Reagan believed … that someone who agreed with him 8 out of 10 times was his friend, not his opponent.”

With that in mind, the resolution establishes a list of party policies which the party member must support to receive party support. If a candidate strays from the list on three or more issues, the RNC resolution, if approved, would block him/her from receiving financial support and/or official endorsements.

The test for Republican candidates includes the following points:

  1. Smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill
  2. Market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;
  3. Market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;
  4. Workers’ right to secret ballot by opposing card check
  5. Legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants
  6. Victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;
  7. Containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat
  8. Retention of the Defense of Marriage Act
  9. Protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion
  10. The right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership

The resolution also says that the RNC will decide whether a candidate actually agrees with eight out of 10 — merely promising to go along isn’t enough if the party doesn’t like your voting record.

The Republican Party needs teeth in their party oath.


Proving my point that George W. Bush was not a Republican but actually a Democrat, the list indicates Bush would have been deemed ineligible for support from the Republican National Committee. He did, after all, increase the size of government, run enormous deficits, endorsed cap and trade, allowed North Korea and Iran to become more serious security threats, and rejected the right’s line on immigration.

I’ve been a strong advocate for a test to show proof that a Republican office holder was not a R.I.N.O. as some in the party are today. In light of the recent experience in New York’s 23rd, it’s time to root out “Republicans in Name Only” such as Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) of Maine who would easily fail this test, and be made ineligible for support from the GOP.

In fact, on November 2, 2009, after Dede Scozzafava endorsed a Democrat for a vacant congressional seat over a Conservative backed by Republican leaders, I was motivated to write to the GOP to let off some steam. I figured it was a fruitless endeavor but it would let me vent.

By pointing to Scozzafava, I wanted to tell the GOP leadership she represented exactly what is wrong with the GOP. I wrote,

“The GOP is rife with R.I.N.O.s and takes on the characteristics of a box of chocolates…. you never know what you’re going to get.” I continued:

It makes it difficult to vote for GOP candidates when they turn out to be frauds in that they don’t represent party values.

Get serious about yourselves or you will be irrelevant … if not already.

Remember, recent polls show conservatives outnumber liberals by 2 to 1. It would appear the party has miscalculated by trying to align itself with left to moderate leaning party planks.

Poking some fun at myself, as if it would matter, I also decided to tell them about the planks I thought they should adopt. I opened up all the doors for this one. (Yes, I’m certifiable.)

This was the first item on my list:

Loyalty to party values

Ensure members of the party pledge their allegiance to the party’s values. G.W. Bush was a R.I.N.O.; Republican In Name Only. Purge the party of those with left-wing and liberal ideas and who do not support with actions and voting history the core values of the Republican Party. Arlen Specter is another example … good riddance.

We cannot follow a party that is filled with members who are not aligned with the party’s core values. The core values should revolve around these basic concepts; border, language, culture, national defense, support of the Constitution.

I also included these;

    Secure our borders
    Deport all illegal aliens immediately
    Religion and abortion
    Clean up our rotted universities (yes, I know. Not likely)
    Overhaul America’s education system
    Fix America’s media (Again, not likely)
    Provide for the common defense
    Reduce the size of government
    Energy policy
    Overhaul Immigration Policies
    Amend the U.S. Constitution to include an immigration policy

The details for these are here:

Now, I’m not going to suggest that my email rant to the GOP caused them to adopt the idea for party loyalty, but I will suggest that I am thinking what they are already thinking.

I will also suggest I am not alone. Here, you can read a recent Rasmussen poll which reveals 73 percent of the respondents believe GOP leaders have lost touch with the Republican base.

The full text of the resolution

RNC RESOLUTION ON FINANCIAL
SUPPORT OF CANDIDATES

Proposed RNC Resolution on Reagan’s Unity Principle for Support of Candidates

WHEREAS, President Ronald Reagan believed that the Republican Party should support and espouse conservative principles and public policies; and

WHEREAS, President Ronald Reagan also believed the Republican Party should welcome those with diverse views; and

WHEREAS, President Ronald Reagan believed, as a result, that someone who agreed with him 8 out of 10 times was his friend, not his opponent; and

WHEREAS, Republican faithfulness to its conservative principles and public policies and Republican solidarity in opposition to Obama’s socialist agenda is necessary to preserve the security of our country, our economic and political freedoms, and our way of life; and

WHEREAS, Republican faithfulness to its conservative principles and public policies is necessary to restore the trust of the American people in the Republican Party and to lead to Republican electoral victories; and

WHEREAS, the Republican National Committee shares President Ronald Reagan’s belief that the Republican Party should espouse conservative principles and public policies and welcome persons of diverse views; and

WHEREAS, the Republican National Committee desires to implement President Reagan’s Unity Principle for Support of Candidates; and

WHEREAS, in addition to supporting candidates, the Republican National Committee provides financial support for Republican state and local parties for party building and federal election activities, which benefit all candidates and is not affected by this resolution; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee identifies ten (10) key public policy positions for the 2010 election cycle, which the Republican National Committee expects its public officials and candidates to support:

(1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill;

(2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;

(3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;

(4) We support workers’ right to secret ballot by opposing card check;

(5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;

(6) We support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;

(7) We support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;

(8) We support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;

(9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and

(10) We support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership; and be further

RESOLVED, that a candidate who disagrees with three or more of the above stated public policy position of the Republican National Committee, as identified by the voting record, public statements and/or signed questionnaire of the candidate, shall not be eligible for financial support and endorsement by the Republican National Committee; and be further

RESOLVED, that upon the approval of this resolution the Republican National Committee shall deliver a copy of this resolution to each of Republican members of Congress, all Republican candidates for Congress, as they become known, and to each Republican state and territorial party office.
Chief Sponsor:
James Bopp, Jr. NCM IN
Sponsors:
Donna Cain NCW OR
Cindy Costa NCW SC
Demetra Demonte NCW IL
Peggy Lambert NCW TN
Carolyn McLarty NCW OK
Pete Rickets NCM NE
Steve Scheffler NCM IA
Helen Van Etten NCW KA
Solomon Yue NCM OR

Written by Ben

November 27, 2009 at 2:08 pm

U.S. Labor Unions: Bane or Benefit?

with 12 comments

Introduced in March 2009 and then referred to the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions in April, H.R.1409 – Employee Free Choice Act of 2009 Act (aka “card check”) is a bill intended to establish an efficient system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts, and for other purposes. It would make it easier for workers to join unions and would tighten penalties for employers who try to stop them. Supporters such as Human Rights Watch and the NAACP say the bill provides important protections for the middle class.


With only 12% of American workers in unions, why should the rest of us care? Experts say a revived labor movement could benefit workers both in and out of unions and cite a need for forces that promote a fairer sharing of wealth. They also note that the gap between America’s rich and poor is the largest it’s been since 1928. Over the last 75 years, unions helped secure benefits like unemployment insurance, Social Security, and the 40-hour workweek.

Under the bill, workers would be able to decide whether to hold a secret ballot vote on union formation after a majority of employees have signed union authorization cards, or to have the union certified based on the cards alone. Under the current rules, employers have the power to make that decision. The bill also designates a time line for first contracts to be drawn up between unions and employees and stipulates that if no deal is reached within 120 days, an arbitration panel will render a decision that will be binding for two years. Finally, it would increase the fines employers must pay if found guilty of violating their employees’ right to unionize.

This bill is organized labor’s number one legislative priority, and it is vigorously opposed by the business lobby. Democratic leader are expected to bring it to a vote in the Senate sometime this summer. The big question regarding its passage is whether or not the Democrats can find 60 votes in favor of breaking an inevitable Republican filibuster. The Senate version is S. 560.

Opponents like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Restaurant Association say it increases labor costs and hurts the bottom line. Both sides have spent millions on lobbyists and advertising to make their case.

Supporters such as Human Rights Watch and the NAACP say the bill provides important protections for the middle class. Opponents like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Restaurant Association say it increases labor costs and hurts the bottom line. Both sides have spent millions on lobbyists and advertising to make their case.

Others contend that unions have outlived their usefulness. “The workplace is much better today,” says Michael Eastman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Employers know they need to offer certain benefits and good wages to keep good workers.”

Professor Daniel says Card Check likely would not increase union membership until the economy improves, since workers are currently more concerned about job security than wages and benefits. “ Today, most workers are too fearful to take a risk for unions,” he adds.

Looking at the numbers

As of March 5, 2007, a UAW represented assembly worker’s wage rate at GM/Ford/DaimlerChrysler are as follows:

AssemblerHourly rate COLATotal
GM$26.09$1.77$27.86
Ford$26.10$1.83$27.93
DAIMLER-CHRYSLER$26.86$1.77$28.75

When Congress debated the bailout package for Detroit, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans had demanded that wages and benefits for employees of U.S. automakers needed to be renegotiated to match the lesser overall compensation that foreign carmakers like Toyota, Honda and Nissan pay at their U.S. plants.

The Japanese automaker has fewer retirees in the U.S., and its health care benefits and pensions are less generous than those negotiated between Detroit and the UAW. Another key point is that health costs and pensions for auto workers in Japan – worth billions – are subsidized by the Japanese government. Not so in the U.S.

In December 2008, The Detroit Free Press reported that it had obtained an internal Toyota report which said the company should align its hourly wages with the prevailing manufacturing pay in the state rather than those of competitors in the auto sector, with the goal of cutting an expected $900 million increase in worker compensation by 2011 by one-third.

On average, other manufacturing jobs pay less. In Kentucky Toyota workers in Georgetown earn about $30 per hour, while the median wage in the state for manufacturing jobs, according to the Department of Labor, is $12.64.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger points to generous union-negotiated benefits packages as being a burden to America’s auto industry,

“You know, if you pay the auto workers or the benefits and all of those things, are maybe too high. … We have, like, in America, you sell a car, and you have $2,000 of each car just goes to benefits. So I think that there’s a way of reducing all of that, make them more fiscally responsible.”

Sen. Jim DeMint:

“Some auto manufacturers are struggling because of a bad business structure with high unionized labor costs and burdensome federal regulations. Taxpayers did not create these problems and they should not be forced to pay for them.”

Sen. Jon Kyl:

“For years they’ve been sick. They have a bad business model. They have contracts negotiated with the United Auto Workers that impose huge costs.The average hourly cost per worker in this country is about $28.48. For these auto makers, it’s $73. And for the Japanese auto companies working here in the United States, it’s $48.”

Written by Ben

November 27, 2009 at 10:16 am

Posted in Labor Unions, Politics

Tagged with ,

Liberty Is Not For Sissies

with 4 comments

This is not the correct driving behavior.

Recently, I was conversing with The Vermont Farmer about issues he has against the Republican Party. He had made reference to GOP policies he viewed as “extreme”. As the conversation evolved, he mentioned the Patriot Act and said “Liberty is not for sissies”, calling it “risky business”. He’s right, and it got me to thinking.

When I was learning to drive, my dad was in the right seat and I used the horn for some reason I don’t remember. From the reaction of my dad, my reason for using it apparently wasn’t warranted. He simply said to me, “If you’re driving the car correctly, you’ll never need that horn.” It took a few seconds for that to sink in, but it did. He was right.



Here’s another one from my brother. He once got ticked-off when the ATMs started to show up. I asked why and he said, ” ‘They’ can track you. ‘They’ know that at that moment, you are there at that machine pulling money out of your account.” Falling back on my horn-lesson, I retorted with something like “So what? If you’re behaving properly, who cares who knows where you happen to be?” He only said something like “That’s not right. That’s intrusion.” I thought then and today continue to think it’s a very weak argument. The bank and authorities could “intrude” upon my withdrawal habits long before the advent of ATMs.

Smile, you're being surveilled.





Today, we see that ATMs and camera’s have turned out to be a valuable tool for law-enforcement making our society a safer one in that it helps authorities apprehend the perpetrator quicker.



Liberty isn’t for sissies, which is to say we have to be willing to stomach the actions of those who take their rights of liberties too far by robbing, killing and destroying.

The game has changed.


Today we live in a world where we have a stateless enemy we like to call “radical Muslims”. (Which is a joke, but that’s another topic) I won’t go into the reasons, but we know they have avowed to kill Americans from any quarter and in as many numbers as possible. They have demonstrated their mission on numerous occasions in our country and abroad. It is a hard fact.



If we know we have a stateless enemy who is submerged into our society, we would be irresponsible to wait for them to attack a refinery or another high-rise as in the recent case in Dallas (given simulated explosive and detonator which they pushed). That was stopped only because of broad surveillance methodologies. Many lives and millions of dollars in property were saved. They are now in jail.


You and I were never targeted by those surveillance methodologies. Know why?


We behaved properly.



My acceptance of these methodologies isn’t easy. It’s a hard choice for me, but it is also easy to see the price for not choosing this position is very, very high. Too high. Liberty is at stake. I will not tolerate another event on the scale of 9/11 and I am willing to be surveilled to avoid that. As I said, liberty isn’t for sissies and as we see, it’s a double-edged sword. To enjoy our liberty we have to be willing to make some hard choices. It isn’t going to be pretty, either.



In this video, Gingrich classifies America’s anti-terror strategy as weak.

Written by Ben

November 17, 2009 at 11:45 am

Posted in Liberty, Politics

Tagged with ,

The Selective and Self-Serving Memories of the Left

with 26 comments

BushHateSigns

imheretokillbush

killBush
This idiot can’t determine the difference between “there” and “their”. T-shirt says it all.

killBush2
Same idiot.

killBush3
Again.

killBush4

killBush5

killBush6

killBush8

Written by Ben

November 15, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Is the GOP Irrelevant?

with 4 comments

Irrelevancy. That’s the charge many are lobbing at the GOP. The argument is that it has become pointless, peripheral and extraneous to politics in America.

GOPplanks

The GOP needs new party planks


Critics say it needs to rebuild a respect for civil debate including self-criticism. It must appeal to the youth in America today and must appeal to generations of the future. They charge that the GOP today seems to be stuck in the newspaper and T.V. era, oblivious to the existence of the internet and hand held devices America’s youth have embraced to interact and communicate. The GOP is completely unaware of what occupies the minds of Americans who have a forward-looking vision for America right now – today. The GOP is occupied by too many who are unwilling, as a condition of admission, to sign an oath of allegiance to a set of talking points or party planks upon which a party platform is to be built.

I think I am at the point where I have to agree. Personally, I find it disturbing that the GOP continues to demonstrate such a narrow minded and two-tone palate of policies coupled with a lackluster set of leaders.

On the issue the recently house-passed HR-3962, the GOP has managed to bring forth a bill to address the “problem” of national health care in response to the Democrat’s mammoth 1.2 trillion dollar band aid. At the end of the day, the GOP’s response is still yet another spending program.

OK, maybe we can call it a good start, but only if at the same time, the GOP had advanced a bill which recalled the unused balance of the $787 billion stimulus bill and another bill which cut taxes on business and broke up these mega-banks we now have.

But it’s wishful thinking to expect any vision from this party which does very little to distinguish itself from the DNC. Today, I believe the GOP should be keeping the Democrats off balance, forcing them to justify their ruinous policies on the economy by authoring bills based upon sound and proven ideas, such as cutting taxes.

The crux of the problem are the GOP planks. What are they? Anyone? Beuller?

Look at the oath of the GOP and compare it to the oath the Democrat takes when they join the party. Not much difference. (To be clear, this is not the same as the oath of office. I’m speaking about the oath of the party.)

I believe we should push for a few sound basics for party planks to distinguish the GOP from Democrat Party.

For starters, let’s try “Border”. America’s borders are so wide open you could literally drive a country through it.

Next, maybe we should push to establish English as our nation’s official language as a basis to prevent our local and federal government from spending our tax dollars printing government multilingual forms and local street signs.

Once that’s done, perhaps we should add another plank to deport all illegal aliens we have in the U.S. today. Let the economic chips fall where they will; she will quickly adjust. America’s education, medical, social security other social systems cannot afford to pay for the welfare of another country’s population.

Once here legal aliens are required to learn to use the English language – the official language of the nation.

How about an energy policy unique to the GOP? If we are so willing to spend trillions of dollars to prop up a failing banking system, then we should be equally willing to spend a trillion dollars to

  • hasten the development of Polymer exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) technology
  • upgrade the country’s infrastructure with the necessary hydrogen fueling stations
  • develop fuel cell based postal delivery vehicles for delivery of mail into urban and city areas to hasten arrival of 2nd generation fuel cells to drive down unit costs
  • to recover research and development costs, license and then export the technology to other countries. When it comes to the Middle East, attach an up-charge of significant mass that is required to make transportation by camel look not only like a viable alternative but an attractive one.

These are just a few examples which should highlight the need of the GOP to adopt and then publicize future-looking, sovereignty-protecting, building-for-the-future platform planks.

While we’re doing that, we should purge the system of its RINOs.

Written by Ben

November 10, 2009 at 11:02 am

Barney Frank Proposes New Bank Resolution Authority

with one comment

After years of Fed policies which allowed mergers of massive banks to form the very mega-banks which have now failed, Barney Frank, after his years of rebuking repeated efforts by Republicans to reform the system, is only now rising up to look the hero.

On October 27, 2009, House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) released the latest version of the most complex piece of the financial reform puzzle: solving the “too big to fail” problem by giving the federal government more powers to wind down major financial firms.

barney-frank-pointing

Barney Frank blamed others for the mortgage industry meltdown while literally in bed with Fannie Mae.

Frank’s bill seeks to avoid the kinds of massive taxpayer bailouts that characterized last year’s financial crisis by empowering the federal government to wind down any financial firm, no matter how large, complex or interconnected.

“We’re going to have death panels. But they’re going to have death panels that are going to put to death these institutions before they can cause us problems, not old people,” — Frank said in a CNN interview Tuesday.

Back in 2003, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Frank led the government charge that helped create the GSE meltdown (time line here). He made this now infamous quote about new terms to lower lending standards of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

I do think I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness that we have in OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] and OTS [Office of Thrift Supervision]. I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing.

Under Frank’s new (I’ve found God) vision, shareholders and unsecured creditors would have to pay for the failure, not taxpayers, according to a summary of the bill. The legislation would require resolution costs to come first from the failed firm’s assets “at the expense of shareholders and creditors,” with any additional cost to be paid from an after-the-fact assessment on the remaining large financial firms.

But as we all know, except for perhaps Frank, the costs of these penalties will ultimately be passed on to the consumer in the form of bank processing and administration fees.

Frank’s proposal reeks of a “let the bank fail and allow the market to absorb the consequences” tactic which the Feds dismissed earlier in the crisis, preferring to instead follow their “too big to fail” philosophies.

The bill’s proposal for an oversight council to act as the so-called “systemic risk regulator” to keep an eye on the overall health of the financial industry also sounds suspiciously like Bush’s proposals first advanced in 2001. The council would be directed to identify risky firms and financial activities, and have the power to slap tougher rules and standards on those firms.

Frank said Tuesday morning on CNN that the systemic risk council would also have the power to break up a company “if its too big.”

Frank’s use of the term “systemic risk” mirrors comments made in April 2005 when Secretary of the Treasury John Snow repeatedly called for GSE reform, saying

“Events that have transpired since I testified before this Committee in 2003 reinforce concerns over the systemic risks posed by the GSEs and further highlight the need for real GSE reform to ensure that our housing finance system remains a strong and vibrant source of funding for expanding homeownership opportunities in America … Half-measures will only exacerbate the risks to our financial system.”

Then house Minority Leader Harry Reid rejected the legislation saying ” we cannot pass legislation that could limit Americans from owning homes and potentially harm our economy in the process.”

Frank’s proposed Council and Fed Board would be banned from publicly releasing a list of “systemically significant” institutions – a major concern in the industry which fears that those singled out would be penalized by the market.

If these institutions were to be publicly singled out, it might have positive results on the market as banks would have a built-in incentive to engage in policies which minimize risk to themselves.

Written by Ben

November 3, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Free Speech vs Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009

with 10 comments

The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009

On October, 28, 2009, President Obama signed into law HR-1913 – Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.

The law is designed to help local law enforcement agencies who are operating with small budgets and resources by providing funding “or other assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of a violent crime, a hate crime, or a crime that constitutes a felony under state, local, or tribal law….at the request of a state, local, or tribal law enforcement agency, to provide technical, forensic and prosecutorial assistance” and limits “the amount of any grant to $100,000 for any single jurisdiction in any one-year period.”

The law focuses on the term “hate crime” and defines it as “a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person”.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights and prohibits Congress from making laws “respecting an establishment of religion”, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, infringing on the freedom of speech and infringing on the freedom of the press.

In the 20th century, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies the First Amendment to each state, including any local government.

Conscious of this, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 provides “that any provision of this Act that is held to be unconstitutional shall be severable from the remaining provisions of this Act.” (Section 7 of HR-1913) In addition, it declares “that nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit the exercise of constitutionally-protected free speech.” (Section 8 of HR-1913).

Officially Preferred Victims

Liberty University law professor Shawn Akers writes that if H.R. 1913, the federal “Hate Crimes” bill, becomes law, “local and state law enforcement would have the incentive of federal funds to prosecute cases involving … preferred victims to the exclusion and neglect of less valuable victims.” Membership in the “preferred” category is “based not on immutable characteristics but on the class member’s choice of sexual conduct… and subjective gender self-identity.”

Following is Akers’s analysis of the federal “Hate Crimes” bill, HR 1913.

The “Hate Crimes” Bill

H.R. 1913, the “Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009”

I. Characteristics

    A. “This bill would create a federal offense imposing federal criminal penalties – potentially in addition to criminal penalties imposed under state law” – on any defendant who chooses his victim in whole or in part because of the victim’s “actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin” or “actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.” “Violations would be punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment of up to 10 years, or imprisonment for life if the offense results in death or ‘includes kidnaping [sic] or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.’” See Legislation Detail: http://www.overcriminalized.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?id=441.
    B. The bill includes the terms “Gender, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity” – ambiguous terms that the drafters of the bill have refused to define. It places those descriptions on par with race, color, religion and nationality.
    C. As a matter of mechanics, the bill provides financial grants to state and local entities, provides additional personnel for investigation and prosecution, creates new federal criminal offenses, and creates a new evidentiary rule (no evidence of speech or associations is admissible to prove motive of defendant unless the speech or association is “specifically related” to the “hate crime”).
    D. The bill is couched in terms of providing assistance to state local and Indian governments but it reserves the right to act if they fail to exercise their jurisdiction, or leave “demonstrably un-vindicated the federal interest in eradicating bias-motivated violence.”

II. Status

    A. The version of the bill titled HR 1913 RH passed out of Judiciary committee on a 15-12 vote. It appears that the only change from the prior version, HR 1913 IH, was the dropping of the original section 2 – the findings section which included exaggerated figures of so-called hate crimes and included the interstate commerce language.
    B. Rep. Steve King, Rep. Bob Goodlatte and others offered and argued persuasively for several amendments all of which were defeated. One that was particularly interesting was Steve King’s amendment to merely exclude pedophiles from the protected class based on “sexual orientation” – it was voted down 13-10.

III. Major Concerns

While the bill’s supporters have very effectively framed the bill as one that will protect victims from criminal acts, the bill actually has very little to do with protection. Indeed, if the bill’s drafters and supporters are to be believed, the bill only becomes relevant after a criminal has committed an already illegal act. On closer analysis, the bill does not merely provide stiffer penalties for certain crimes but, rather, represents a substantive and fundamental shift away from the American ideas of free speech and God given immutable equality and toward the European ideas of state approved speech, state endorsed morality, state-given egality. The particular concerns with the bill are numerous, but a few of the most troublesome are listed below.

A. Unequal Protection of Laws Under 14th Amendment

    1. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution requires that all citizens be extended equal protection under the law. HR 1913 in effect creates two classes of victims, i.e. those who are a member of the preferred and protected class created by the bill and those who are not. Inclusion in the preferred class is to a great extent based not on immutable characteristics but on the class member’s choice of sexual conduct, subjective gender, and subjective gender self-identity.

    2. The practical effect of the carrot and the stick of federal funds, federal promotion and federal oversight is the promotion of the preferred class and the neglect of non-class members. Specifically, local and state law enforcement would have the incentive of federal funds to prosecute cases involving these preferred victims to the exclusion and neglect of “less valuable” victims. Additionally, with federal funds available when the requisite “hate” connection can be alleged, the bill creates a powerful incentive to force cases into the “hate crimes” mold. This heavily incentivized increase in reported “hate crimes” would artificially inflate the number and apparent prevalence of so called “hate crimes.” The natural and very political result of such a perceived increase in “hate crimes” would undoubtedly be an increase in the political influence of the preferred class, and as night follows day, a corresponding increase and expansion of even more intrusive “hate crime” and “hate speech” legislation to address the perceived crisis.

B. Punishes Thought (Potentially Religious or Political thought) rather than Mere Intent To Commit a Crime.

    1. Ironically hate is not even an element of a “hate crime” in the bill. Rather, the definition of a “hate crime” is borrowed from the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 – requiring only that the defendant selects a victim because of the membership or perceived membership in one of these proposed protected classes. Proponents of the bill argue that the criminal is being punished for his or her intent to terrorize an entire class of people (i.e. all homosexuals) but no such intent to terrorize is actually required. Indeed, despite the framing of the term “hate crime” the bill does not even require a showing of animus toward the victim or the preferred class. Under existing law, the criminal would be punished if he or she possessed the requisite intent to commit the act. The additional criminal fines and prison sentences that would be created by HR 1913 are based not on whether the defendant intended to commit the act but on whether the defendant considered the victim’s membership in the preferred class in choosing the victim. In other words, because penalties already exist for those who commit criminal acts, HR 1913 serves only to punish individuals for the beliefs, opinions, or convictions held at the time an act is committed. As such, HR 1913 does not punish criminal intent, but criminalizes thought.

C. Wider Immediate Application than Claimed.

This bill will certainly be construed in light of existing federal law including specifically United States Code Title 18, Section 2, that says that : “Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.”. This is the feared immediate nexus between the speech of a pastor or radio commentator and the actions of a deranged parishioner or listener. Proponents of the bill argue that it clearly, under its own language, applies only to acts of violence. This argument is misleading and naïve in that it implies that criminal liability would be available only for the person physically committing the violent act, while ignoring completely the likelihood that courts, especially ideologically driven, activist courts, will impose criminal liability on those deemed complicit in the violent act whether or not they physically contributed to the act.

D. Federal Power Grab

The bill, if passed into law, would as a practical matter federalize virtually every sexual crime in the United States. This federalization would occur even in the absence of any evidence of failure by states and municipalities to prosecute. Under the bill, membership in one of the preferred classes does not have to be the impetus for the criminal act but merely a factor in the defendant’s selection of his victim. This is almost always the case. Muggers invariably choose little old ladies as victims precisely because they are little old ladies and unlikely to be able to fend them off. Under the bill, consideration of the gender of the victim effectively creates the potential for federal jurisdiction. Considering both the extreme breadth of the bill and the built-in incentives to bring crimes under the bill, the likely result is the practical federalization of large swaths of state and local criminal law.

E. Trend of Nationalization of State and Local Law and the Internationalization of Federal Law; And a Corresponding rise in Anti-Semitic and Anti-Christian activity.

    1. The recent report by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) widely increased the number of people who may be classified as terrorists and who almost by definition would be members of hate groups. Under the HR 1913, the speech of a criminal defendant and the mere membership of the defendant in a given group may be used as evidence of his or her biased motive so long as a prosecutor can show that the speech or association was “specifically related” to the criminal act.
    2. Substance and methods similar to that offered in the DHS report have recently been echoed by the Southern Poverty Law Center. That group provides influential lists of alleged hate groups relied upon by state and federal law enforcement. The reports have begun to blend among its lengthy list of true hate-based groups such as neo-Nazi groups and the Ku Klux Klan, other organizations based on little more than their opposition to homosexuality. The effect of listing a pro-family organization along side several neo-Nazi groups is to create guilt by the artificial manufactured appearance of association.
    3. Additionally the appointment of Harold Koh as legal advisor to the State Department and the rise of acceptability of his stance that international laws should be used to interpret American laws, even among such figures as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, creates the danger and likelihood that judicial activism would further increase the power, reach, and tyrannical effect of HR 1913 by bringing its application in line with its counterparts in Canada, the Netherlands, etc.
    4. Proponents of HR 1913 argue or imply that the law would provide greater protection for members of all faiths, presumably including Judaism and Christianity. The application of hate crimes laws in the countries they are most prevalent (and the countries to which Harold Koh would likely look for interpretive guidance), produce exactly the opposite result. The application of hate crimes laws in countries like the Netherlands experiencing the increased influence of Shariah – stringent Islamic religious law — is patently and consistently anti-Semitic. The most concrete example of this is the stark contrast in the application of the hate crimes laws in the Netherlands between those who criticize Shariah and those who call for violence against Israel and the Jewish people. For instance, Geert Wilders, who produced a 17-minute film critical of Shariah, is being vigorously prosecuted under the Netherlands’ hate crimes laws — while the blatant and violent anti-Semitism of others such as Dutch MP Harry van Bommel, who called for intifada against Israel earlier this year, and Doekle Terpstra, who sponsored an “Olive Tree Campaign” rally in Amsterdam where the participants chanted “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas!” are apparently immune from hate crimes prosecution.
    5. The same is likely true of the UN Anti-Blasphemy measures which realistically can be seen only to forbid criticism of Shariah while allowing wholesale anti-Semitism.
    6. Christians who vocally oppose homosexuality and the state endorsement of homosexuality in Holland, Canada, and Brazil routinely receive similar treatment, finding themselves on the prosecuted and persecuted end of hate crimes legislation while the anti-Christian actions of other groups are ignored.
    7. Historically an increase in Shariah influence and/or a rise in economic problems have consistently shown a corresponding rise in anti-Semitism. The growing national and international acceptance and preferential treatment of the pro-homosexual movement has likewise shown a similar increase in anti-Christian activity (such as the threats of violence against Proposition 8 supporters in California and the recent attack launched by homosexual activist Perez Hilton against a contestant in the Miss USA competition). Were the United States under the leadership of Harold Koh, Janet Napolitano, etc., to follow the hate crimes trends and precedents established in the international community, the actual application of HR 1913 and its certain coming hate crimes and hate speech progeny, would likely undermine the rights of Christian and Jewish citizens.

F. Incremental Move Toward Making Speech a Federal Crime.

    1. All of the above can reasonably be expected to lead to a quickly spawned progeny of hate crime legislation demanding greater and greater control of thought, expression and association. This is the pattern in the international community. HR 1913 would firmly brand one’s thoughts on the issues of human sexuality as potentially criminal activity. The logical next step is to recognize the “harmful impact of hateful speech” on preferred classes and to begin outlawing speech that would communicate what members of preferred classes find offensive. Proponents of HR 1913 have argued that this is preposterous but tellingly, in the April 23, 2009 Judiciary Committee hearings on HR 1913, Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) said unequivocally that “We need to protect victims against hateful words, hateful acts and even violent acts.”

IV. Action Steps
Since the bill was signed into law by President Obama coupled with the fact that Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh was confirmed 06/25/2009 as the State Department’s legal advisor in a roll-call vote, 62-35, the relevant items below have been struck.

    1. Encourage constituents to participate in immediate, continued, and persistent contact with both personal senators and congressmen and those of other districts and states (Congressional Switchboard: 202-225-3121; or 202-224-3121; http://www.congress.org).
    2. Support, promote and demand a filibuster if the measure reaches the floor of the Senate.
    3. Record and hold to account every member of Congress supporting the bill in the coming elections.
    4. Actively oppose the confirmation of Harold Koh.
    5. Vigorously hold Janet Napolitano responsible for the libelous report issued by the DHS.

Source:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-1913&tab=summary

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h1913/show

Written by Ben

October 29, 2009 at 10:25 am

Bush Bashing Media Engine Continues to Support Obama

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First, a couple of jokes

President Bush goes into a library. “I would like a cheeseburger and fries,” he says in a loud, clear voice.”
“But sir,” says the assistant, “this is a library.”
“Gee, I’m sorry,” says Bush, and whispers very quietly, “I’d like a cheeseburger and fries.”

Change We Can Believe In

Obama campaigned for the presidency with a sweeping promise of “change we can believe in” and entered office with America in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and with the nation at war on two fronts. It is a time when America is at one of the most challenging junctures in modern American history.

However, since his inauguration, confidence in this president has been fading – and fading fast.

Six months into his term, a July 2009 Rasmussen Poll showed just 30 percent of the nation’s voters “strongly approve” of Mr. Obama’s job performance while 40 percent “strongly disapprove” of the president’s performance.

An October 2009 Gallup Poll recorded an average daily approval rating of 53 per cent for Mr Obama for the third quarter of the year, a sharp drop from the 62 per cent he recorded from April. It is worst poll rating drop in 50 years.

Jeffrey Jones of Gallup explained: “The dominant political focus for Obama in the third quarter was the push for health care reform, including his nationally televised address to Congress in early September.”

Jones continued, “Obama hoped that Congress would vote on health care legislation before its August recess, but that goal was missed, and some members of Congress faced angry constituents at town hall meetings to discuss health care reform. Meanwhile, unemployment continued to climb near 10 per cent.”

President Obama is also facing criticism from the right for his drawn-out decision-making process over what to do next in Afghanistan.

In a speech given at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, Vice-President Dick Cheney accused Mr Obama of failing to give Americans troops on the ground a clear mission or defined goals and of being seemingly “afraid to make a decision” about Afghanistan “The White House must stop dithering while America’s armed forces are in danger” .

“Make no mistake, signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries.” – Vice-President Dick Cheney

Cheney further criticized Obama aides who suggested that the Bush administration had failed to weigh up conditions in Afghanistan properly before committing troops.

“Now they seem to be pulling back and blaming others for their failure to implement the strategy they embraced. It’s time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity.” – Vice-President Dick Cheney

Former Bush deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said, “For a guy who campaigned on taking responsibility and looking forward, he spends an awful lot of time pointing fingers and looking backward.”

Democratic Party strategist Liz Chadderdon defends their Bush bashing and believes things are better now than they have been.

“I think Bush-bashing has been alive and well since ’07 and, since it keeps working, why not use it? Voters have short memories. The administration needs to remind people that things were way worse over the last four years than in the last six months.” – Liz Chadderdon

While he asserts his responsibility for addressing the nation’s problems, Mr. Obama manages to highlight that he was left to deal with others’ missteps.

At a July 2009 town-hall meeting in Michigan — the state with the nation’s highest jobless rate — Mr. Obama said that fixing the economy is “a job I gladly accept.”

But he added, “I love these folks who helped get us in this mess. And then suddenly say, ‘Oh, this is Obama’s economy.’ ”

Wrapped in controversy, Bush’s support of TARP legislation averted a full-blown economic melt-down but Obama wants to take the credit and often claims Bush let the economy burn, despite evidence to the contrary.

While Bush didn’t compel Obama to spend money nearly as fast as it could be printed, or roughly double the projected debt over the next decade, Obama continues to blame Bush for the $1.42 trillion dollar deficit. Obama’s motto: “Stop Bush – before he makes me spend again!”

As expected, the nation’s press levied this list of criticisms over his drunken spending habits.

New Orleans who? What’s a New Orleans?

After Obama’s recent trip to the Gulf Coast regions which are still wrestling with Katrina’s aftermath, a few Gulf Coast newspapers and politicians were a bit miffed about the shortness of his visit.

The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune : “That’s it?”

The Picayune’s Jonathan Tilove : “Say what you will about former President George W. Bush and his administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath — the man knew how to put together a post-Katrina White House visit to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. “They were exhaustive, exhausting, sun-up-to-sundown, sometimes multiday and multistate affairs.”

Mississippi’s Sun Herald : “Why are we invisible?”

Fellow Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu : “If this visit is too brief, it will not afford the president the opportunity to see firsthand the impact that an effective and committed administration can have on rebuilding neighborhoods and communities.”

Obama’s day began with a visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School in New Orleans’s Lower Ninth Ward. In the afternoon, he held a brief town hall meeting at the University of New Orleans Lakefront campus.

As a candidate, Obama railed against the Bush administration for abandoning and then neglecting the people of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. He made five campaign trips to the city. As president, Obama waited almost nine months before visiting the city, spent less than four hours on the ground there and then jetted to San Francisco for a $3 million Democratic National Committee fundraiser. The press had this to say about his disappearing act.

Obama Shirks Meeting with The Dalai Lama – Fears Angering China

When President Barack Obama decided not to meet with the Dalai Lama during his visit to Washington in the first week of October 2009, analysts are sensing the rebuff is related to the $8 billion U.S. Treasury debt held by the Chinese government, the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt. Obama clearly sees his ability to continue to finance his deficit spending is tied directly to keeping China as happy as a Panda.

It was the first time since 1991 that the Dalai Lama has come to Washington and not met with the U.S. president.

Co-chairman of the Congressional Tibet Caucus, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), blasted “the administration’s unwillingness to meet with an internationally respected human rights leader in order to placate Chinese tyrants.”

“The U.S. has permitted China to have a one-way free-trade policy for decades, and now we are not only suffering the serious economic damage caused by that policy; we are finding ourselves politically vulnerable to a regime that is the world’s worst human rights abuser,” — Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.)

After awarding Obama with the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, and in a clear swipe at his predecessor, George W. Bush, the Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Obama for the “change in the international climate” that the President had brought.

Obama’s War with Fox News

There are those on the left who claim that Fox News is operating as a radio show outlet, not a news organization. Several top White House advisers have gone on other channels to criticize Fox News’ coverage of the administration, dismiss the network as the mouthpiece of the Republican Party and urge other news organizations not to treat Fox News as a legitimate news station.

On October 20, 2009, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said White House officials

“render (that) opinion based on some their coverage and the fairness of that coverage.”

But asked how Fox News was different from other news organizations, Gibbs mentioned the channel’s 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. shows, in an explicit reference to “Beck” and “Hannity” — even though those two shows represent opinion programming.

Informed that those hours are for opinion programming, Gibbs said:

“That is our opinion.”

While the left may rejoice and find Obama’s tactic on target, Obama is going down a slippery slope. He is breaking a bit of new ground by focusing upon negative opinion about the effectiveness of his policies and attempts to marginalize the news outlet by claiming it isn’t a legitimate news organization.

Obama’s tactic removes all moral ground to stand upon which allows the left to complain if the next Republican president attempts to marginalize MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, et. al. simply because they disagree with opinion.

Obama’s behavior is childish, but it is to be expected from an inexperienced, untested, under-qualified yet glorified community organizer clueless about what it means to actually act like a president of the United States. Being president comes with some awesome challenges. So far, Obama demonstrates an inherent inability to meet and rise above those challenges.

Of a larger concern, if Obama cries foul over a little negative opinion and threatens to take his ball and go home like some school child, how will he behave when the going really gets tough with his failing foreign policies?

If the Bush Administration had declared a war upon the Liberal Media, we would never hear the end of it. The Liberal Media would make sure of that.

“If George Bush had taken on MSNBC, what would have happened? That’s one place you can point to a real difference in how I’d imagine Bush would be treated.” — Phil Bronstein, editor-at-large, San Francisco Chronicle.

The True Colors of the Nation’s Media

Bush was frequently criticized for secret meetings with the oil industry, politicizing the White House, the number of executive orders which pale in number compared to the pile already assembled by Obama and spending too much time on his bike.

How does Obama get away unscathed? Simple, while Obama continues with his Bush bashing campaign, the press is more than willing to oblige him. The Liberal Media Machine, aided by George Soros remains “in the tank” for Obama. What used to be Bush’s loudest critics are now Obama’s biggest supporters.

Apparently, the 500 pound gorilla is getting too big to ignore. Media observers have noted the president gets kid-glove treatment from the press, fellow Democrats and, particularly, interest groups on the left, such as Media Matters and MoveOn.org.

While Bush was characterized by the press as being a Big Business Republican who “drove daddy’s car the White House”, stories about secret energy meetings and his lack of oratory skills, the press was all too willing to reinforce the image of a backward country bumpkin with ties to evil Halliburton over and over again and the “bots” on the left willingly drank the kool aide.

The press continues to paint Obama with a positive brush despite the fact that Obama is a empty suit, however, Saturday Night Live says what the media won’t.

Obama Defends Himself While The Press Feigns Criticism

President Barack Obama has been in office just nine months and already he is aggressively defending his legacy against criticism of his record on health care, climate change, closing Guantanamo, reforming immigration laws and financial regulations and his mismanagement of the war in Afghanistan.

“There’s an aspect of the campaign that’s all about projecting our hopes and our dreams and it’s full of excitement, and now we’re in governing mode, and governing is always tough because there are conflicting interests. Things take time, people argue. Our problems won’t be solved overnight, especially problems that grew over the course of decades.” — Barack Obama, at October 2009 fundraiser for Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick

At another fundraiser in San Francisco, Obama said he doesn’t mind cleaning up the mess Republicans left. “But I don’t want the folks who made the mess to sit there and say, you’re not mopping fast enough,” Obama says. “I want them to grab a mop!”

In the last week of October 2009, when Obama appeared at yet another fundraiser (YAFuR) in New York, a crowd of several thousand Obama supporters were chanting “Grab a mop!” a reference to his campaign mantra, “Yes, we can!”.

In spite of the fact that some Democrats are finding the complaints of Obama “getting a pass” hard to stomach, the New York Times’s idea of criticism is to note that Obama’s all-male basketball games drew fire from the head of the National Organization for Women, who called the games “troubling.” This piece of dazzling journalism represents yet another outstanding example of the dynamic and weighty investigative reporting for which the Times is best known.

Read more about the MOP here.

Written by Ben

October 28, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Posted in Barack Obama, Politics

Tagged with ,

San Francisco Protects Illegal Immigrants

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The Board of Supervisors gave final approval to a measure that would keep law enforcement from turning over minors to immigration authorities unless they have been found guilty of a felony.

San Francisco. It’s a city infamous for its liberal policies. It is known for tackling issues ranging from gay marriage to universal health care. Now, it is wrestling with another divisive issue.

The Board of Supervisors gave final approval Tuesday to a measure that would keep law enforcement from turning over minors to immigration authorities unless they have been found guilty of a felony.

The move pits the panel against Mayor Gavin Newsom and law enforcement by reversing his policy of turning over youths to Immigration and Customs Enforcement after their arrest.

Newsom took the stance in 2008 after the city was accused of protecting young offenders such as Edwin Ramos from deportation.

Ramos, an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, was charged with felonies as a minor, but the sanctuary policy allowed the suspected gang member to stay in the U.S.

Now 22, Ramos is awaiting trial in the shooting death of a man and his two sons in San Francisco as they headed home from a barbecue.

Since the mayor changed the policy, 149 undocumented juveniles charged with felonies have been referred to immigration officials, ICE said.

The newly approved measure is supported by civil rights groups, immigrant advocates and the Juvenile Division of the Public Defender’s Office, who contend it restores the right of minors to due process and gives them a chance to defend themselves before facing possible deportation and separation from their families.

“We need to treat children as children — they are vulnerable and they are different from adults,” said Patricia Lee, head attorney with the Juvenile Division of the Public Defender’s Office.
Newsom’s policy, she said, “flies in the face of any code in the nation that provides for the protection of the child and reunification with the family.”

Those siding with the mayor — the police chief and district attorney, among others — argue the new ordinance will force officers to go against federal law by shielding undocumented immigrants and exposing the city to lawsuits.

“The mayor is not going to force his own law enforcement officials to break state and federal law just because supervisors have made this Quixotic gesture,” said Nathan Ballard, a spokesman for Newsom. “If you have committed a serious crime, there is no sanctuary for you.”

The measure must now go to Newsom, who has said he would veto it. Supervisors have said they would overturn his veto, a move likely to touch off a legal fight.

“The mayor does not have the authority to disregard it unilaterally,” said David Campos, the supervisor who initiated the measure. “If the law is challenged, it will be up to the courts to decide its legality.”

Other cities are watching San Francisco to see how it decides to handle undocumented minors. Requiring due process for children before they are referred to ICE is an innovative strategy and could be implemented elsewhere, said Angela Chan, staff attorney with the Asian Law Caucus, a legal and civil rights group that has worked closely with youth affected by the city rule.

At the heart of the issue is San Francisco’s City of Refuge ordinance, adopted in 1989 as part of a national sanctuary movement intended to help refugees from Central American civil wars. Dozens of cities across the country adopted similar sanctuary policies.

The sanctuary policy allows officials who encounter undocumented immigrants not to report them to federal officials. It’s credited with improving law enforcement relationships with the city’s large immigrant community.

Adults who commit crimes are completely exempted from protection, but the situation of minors was unclear under the rule. Instead of turning juveniles suspects over to immigration officers, San Francisco was housing them or flying them back to their home countries at city expense.

Bill Ong Hing, a law professor at the University of California, Davis, who testified in favor of San Francisco’s sanctuary ordinance when it was first proposed, said federal law does not require officers to turn over undocumented immigrants.

“Every day across the country, local law enforcement officials often do not turn over undocumented immigrants that they come across,” he said. “They want to maintain a good, trusting relationship with immigrant communities because that is better for public safety.”

Deputy probation officers, who would be responsible for taking youths from police and deciding whether to hand them over to ICE, are afraid that obeying the new measure would mean violating federal law. They have vowed not to follow the new rule, said Gabriel Calvillo, head of the San Francisco Deputy Probation Officers Association.

“We just want to be safe, to make sure our officers are not put in the cross hairs of federal officials,” Calvillo said. “We’re going to continue to follow the mayor’s direction.”

Written by Ben

October 27, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Posted in Immigration, Liberals, Politics

Tagged with

Unemployment rate over last 25 years

with 6 comments

A little graph

Unemployment

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. US Senate.

A few statistics

Selected statistics at the end of 2006 (last year Republicans controlled both houses of Congress):

Unemployment rate: 4.4%.
Previous year of GDP growth: +2.4%.
Previous year of job growth: +1.6%.
S&P 500: 1418.

Same statistics, most recently (after almost 3 years of Democrats controlling both houses of Congress):

Unemployment rate: 9.8%.
Previous year of GDP growth: -3.8%.
Previous year of job growth: -4.2%.
S&P 500: 1080.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, St. Louis Fed/FRED (GDPC96 and PAYEMS series), Yahoo Finance.

A Quote

“By any measure, my administration has inherited a fiscal disaster.”
President Barack Obama.

A little analysis

We’re doomed.

Written by Ben

October 23, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Posted in Politics

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Fiat, Devaluation and Hyper-Inflation

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Fiat money

Most nations have fiat money today, not backed by any physical asset. Its worth is not based on how much is in circulation, rather it is based on the “guess” of how much tax and other revenues the government will receive in the next year.

Issuance to reserve banks, nature of obligation and redemption

Federal reserve notes are issued at the discretion of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for the purpose of making advances to Federal reserve banks through the Federal reserve agents.

The notes are obligations of the United States and shall be receivable by all national and member banks and Federal reserve banks for all taxes, customs, and other public dues. They are redeemed as lawful money on demand at the Treasury Department of the United States, in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, or at any Federal Reserve bank.

Hyper-Inflation

The classification of hyper-inflation is: an episode where the inflation rate exceeds 50 per cent per month. In history this has occurred in the 1920s in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Russia. Germany in 1923, for example, experienced a 3.25 million per cent inflation rate in a single month. Since the 1950s hyperinflations have been experienced in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Ukraine and Zimbabwe, so confined largely to developing and transitioning economies.

The root cause of hyperinflation is: “excessive money supply growth, usually caused by governments instructing their central banks to help finance expenditures through rapid money creation.”

Could hyper-inflation happen in the U.S.? While possible, certain conditions would have to exist.

  • The rapid expansion of the monetary base by the Fed, European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England (BoE) would have to continue and feed into a more rapid and sustained expansion of money in the hands of the general public.
  • Governments would have to face difficulties financing their bailout packages and funding their debt.
  • Public confidence in the government’s ability to service debt without resorting to the printing press would have to disappear, as well as the government’s actual ability to withstand the pressure to do so in the first place.

With the fact that governments are pumping large sums of cash into the banking systems, the creation of government programs designed to stimulate the economy and the bailout of large corporations, a scenario of hyper-inflation cannot be ignored. Markets are currently priced with an opposite view of lasting deflation in the next several years.

More: http://www.shadowstats.com/article/hyperinflation

Written by Ben

October 18, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Posted in Market Meltdown, Politics

Tagged with ,

Obama’s Afghanistan

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Obama is a politician. As such he should keep an eye on political goals. He should also be listening to General McChrystal more and talking less.

If Obama’s political goal is to defeat the Taliban and deny Al Qaeda a safe haven then Obama should have decided last week to give what McChrystal requests.

If Obama’s political goal is to cut and run then he needs to be talking to America to explain to us why the next attack on America won’t be coming from the same place which gave us 9/11 i.e. Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

The fate of Pakistan is with Afghanistan

As with the rest of the Western world, Pakistan has a stake in the Taliban problem. If Pakistan aids and harbors the terrorists in her country then that makes her an enemy of just about every civilized country on this rock. If not, then her responsibility is to destroy the Taliban for her own sake – if she has the political will. That is yet to be seen.

Both Afghanistan and Pakistan are up against an ideology which threatens to overthrow their respective government. If Afghanistan should fall to the Taliban which gives Al Qaeda a safe haven of operations, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is at risk of falling into their hands. To then allow Pakistan to fall to the Taliban and Al Qaeda is insane. Aside from the U.S., India would be getting extremely nervous. Now it has escalated.

Under this scenario, the U.S. policy is to move in to secure the nukes. Whether or not we can secure them, the world (actually the U.S. because the world does not really seem to want to get involved with this) still has a problem with a country governed by the Taliban who now possibly possess a warhead. It is a condition which is not acceptable.

So tell me, what do we do with this problem? Do we stick our heads in the sand and hope these bastards forget their idea of Islamic domination at any cost? Do we cut and run away from the problem and allow it to escalate ? Remember their agenda includes the destruction if Israel.

A world vision

In a region of dictatorships, monarchies and theocracies with a foot in tribal law maybe a having a few democracies in the region is overdue.

At the end of the argument it boils down to knowing what kind of world we want. If we want a world with rogue states such as Syria, N.Korea and Iran who threaten the world nations who threaten nations with being “wiped off the map” then fear, uncertainty and doubt will rule the day. If we want a world with a stable future then we must get involved.

I agree, it’s ugly. But we cannot afford to sit on our hands and hope for the best.

No amount of law enforcement on the ground will prevent a freighter from quietly slipping into Boston harbor with a nuke on board.

Obama is too inexperienced in foreign affairs

Obama is dangerously over his head on this issue. He seems to be more comfortable dealing with controversial domestic issues than listening to the expert advice of General McChrystal.

At the end of the president’s Denmark trip to make his pitch for the Chicago Olympics Obama met with Gen. McChrystal. Our commander in Afghanistan was summoned from London and got 25 minutes of face time with the commander-in-chief.

That’s it — 25 minutes on the plane for the man Obama picked to lead 68,000 troops and rescue a war he calls one of “necessity.” Compare that to the 14 hours or so Obama wasted flying and speaking about the Olympics, and you get a snapshot of a president off course.

To date, Obama has given more time considering what kind of dog to buy.

If he continues to drag his feet on this issue the problem will evolve into the failure McChrystal is trying to prevent. I’d wager then Obama will blame McChrystal for it.

Meanwhile, Israel is getting nervous over Iran’s pursuit of nukes. What do yo want to bet that after Israel attacks those facilities, Obama throws Israel under the bus?

Newt Gingrich “gets it”:

“I think those of you who care about civil liberties had better be thinking through how we win this war before the (civilian) casualties get so great that the American people voluntarily give up a lot of those liberties.” – Speech at the National Press Club, Aug. 7, 2007

Written by Ben

October 5, 2009 at 10:59 am

U.N. still hopeful about Iran’s nuclear intent

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The International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei, speaking at a joint news conference in Tehran with Iran’s top nuclear official, said Sunday there is a “shifting of gears” in Iran’s confrontation with the West to more cooperation and transparency and he announced that international inspectors would visit Tehran’s newly revealed uranium enrichment site on Oct. 25.

“I see that we are at a critical moment. I see that we are shifting gears from confrontation into transparency and cooperation,” said ElBaradei.

“As I have said many times and I continue to say today, the agency has no complete proof that there is an ongoing weapons program in Iraq,” ElBaradei said. “There are allegations that Iran has conducted weaponization studies. However these allegations we are still looking into and we are looking to Iran to help us clarify,” he added.

The U.N. failed to learn from lessons given by Iraq, N.Korea and Syria

Owing to the nature of the U.N., the organization is not capable of learning from past experience. As a result it is doomed to repeat past failures. The situation with Iran and her nuclear ambitions mirror those of Iraq, North Korea and Syria.

If history is any teacher we can expect the U.N. to allow Iran to buy needed time to complete her program by continuing to engage in “encouraging talks” which always leave U.N. participants “cautiously optimistic”.

At the end of this trail is a nuclear armed Iran with a new set of toothless resolutions and fruitless sanctions with associated condemnation of any attempts by Israel to defend herself.

Written by Ben

October 5, 2009 at 9:13 am

Fox News slaughters CNN and MSNBC in ratings

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The second quarter 2009 cable ratings show Fox News prime-time ratings jumping an unheard of 34%. The prime-time segment includes Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”

During otherwise normal viewing hours, Fox News averages 1.2 million viewers on average, more than twice as many viewers as CNN which shows an average of 598,000 viewers. As for MSNBC – Obama’s favorite TV channel – Fox’s ratings more than tripled MSNBC’s pitiful average of 392,000 viewers.

Obama followers, no doubt rushing to adopt his viewing habits, helped NBC beat CNN for the first time ever by contributing to its weekday prime-time average audience of 946,000 viewers compared to CNN’s 939,000.

The prime-time slot between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. is where MSNBC and Fox place their politically driven opinion shows. For MSNBC and it’s liberal followers the shows are “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” and “The Rachel Maddow Show”. For Fox and its conservative viewers it’s “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity”. As for CNN, Anderson Cooper and Larry King tend to spend their energies on developing stories and interviews.

There has been an increase of anti-Obama sentiment in recent months and is reflected in several polls. The rise in the core viewership at Fox is being attributed to this population and the additional viewers helped Fox dominate both CNN and MSNBC. During the daily prime-time slot which includes weekends, Fox averaged 2.1 million total viewers, more than doubling the combined totals of CNN (862,000) and MSNBC (790,000).

Defending its ratings, CNN pointed out that this month was its most-watched June ever, no doubt helped along by the Iran protests and the death of Michael Jackson.

The message is clear. When America wants news and information along with thoughtful and emotionless opinion about their country, the world and the activities about and surrounding their president, they turn to Fox News. Otherwise, it appears they prefer CNN and MSNBC.

Written by Ben

September 7, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Posted in Journalism, Politics

Tagged with ,

No. This can’t be right, could it? Really?

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Global Warming: Scientists’ Best Predictions May Be Wrong

Scientists are now distancing themselves further from their own climate models. Now they’re saying they don’t even know how much earth’s climate is affected by carbon emissions.

You can read about the science community’s Michael Jackson-esque moon-walk here.

Here’s another article published Nov 2008.

But in spite of the questionable data on global warming and the admission by scientists that their climate models are “do-do”, it may not be enough to prevent passage of the Cap and Trade Climate bill.

Written by Ben

July 15, 2009 at 6:01 pm