The articles posted on this page are written from a conservative, Christian worldview. Patriot Post publications are usually posted M, W, & F. Others are posted as discovered by yours truly. These posting are meant to instill a love for God, family and country as well as to educate, equip, enlighten, and challenge to good deeds for the betterment of mankind, those who visit these pages.
"The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president." Author Unknown
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The Patriot Post
Friday’s Daily Digest
Aug. 22, 2014
“[T]he longest liver of you all will find no principles, institutions or systems of education more fit in general to be transmitted to your posterity than those you have received from your ancestors.” –John Adams, letter to the young men of the Philadelphia, 1798
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Netanyahu: Hamas Is ISIL
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS in some transliterations) and Hamas are “branches of the same tree,” because they practice the same kind of savagery. “Hamas is ISIS, ISIS is Hamas. They’re the enemies of peace. They’re the enemies of Israel. They’re the enemies of all civilized countries. And I believe they’re the enemies of the Palestinians themselves. And I’m not the only one who believes that.” Not only do they practice the same kind of terror, but ISIL is suspected of operating in Gaza. The flag of ISIL was seen at a funeral1 in Gaza several weeks ago, and users of ISIL web forums boast2 the group is operating in Gaza. Hamas denies the group’s existence in its territory. Perhaps it’s fear. Perhaps it’s lying to cover up the obvious.
Republicans Have a ‘Thread of Bigotry That Is Appalling’
Why attribute honest motives to your political opponents when you can besmirch their character instead? That’s what we learn from DNC Chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who says Republicans are just evil when it comes to immigration. “This isn’t about politics at all,” she declared. “It’s not about politics for the president, nor is it about politics for any of us who care.” Au contraire. Everything is politics for the president. She continued, “They [illegals] essentially have become the backbone of our economy.” Let’s just say that’s giving them too much credit. Furthermore, she said, “The Republicans have not only played politics with this for too long, but I think deeply embedded in too many of the Republicans in the House of Representatives is a thread of bigotry that is appalling.” What’s appalling is the gross political spin and character assassination critical to Democrats' approach to this or any other issue.
About That Active Democrat Delegate on Perry’s Grand Jury…
We already knew that the indictment of Rick Perry3 was a pathetic political ploy. But those targeting the Texas governor may include someone on the grand jury. Rho Chalmers, one of the jurors, said, “For me, it’s not a political decision. That’s what a grand jury is about – take the emotion out of it and look at the facts and make your best decision based on your life experience.” Her high-minded pontification left out some key information: According to Media Trackers, she “was an active delegate to the Texas Democratic Party convention during grand jury proceedings.” She “attended, photographed, and commented on an event with Democratic state Sen. Kirk Watson while grand jury proceedings were ongoing.” But other than that, we’re sure “it’s not a political decision.” No wonder Rick Perry is having fun4 with this one.
Pouring Cold Water on the Ice Bucket Challenge
The ice bucket challenge is all the rage on Facebook in recent days, and it has been an incredibly successful fundraiser for the ALS Association – $42 million raised so far, compared to just $2 million last year. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is often called Lou Gehrig’s Disease after the famous baseball player who died from it. The challenge is to either donate $100 to ALS or dump a bucket of ice water on your head. It’s certainly entertaining. But the ALS Association spends at least some of its money on embryonic stem cell research, which results in the destruction of embryos – often those created solely for this purpose. While the National Institutes of Health, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, says embryonic stem cells “are thought to offer potential cures and therapies for many devastating diseases, research using them is still in its basic stages.” In other words, all promise, no results – which is not to say results would justify destroying embryos. Adult stem cells, on the other hand, which do not require the destruction of life, are currently being used to great effect. Something to think about before dousing yourself with ice water.
Doctor Cured of Ebola to Return to Mission Field
Dr. Kent Brantly, the victim of Ebola7 taken to Emory Hospital in Atlanta, walked out of the hospital cured of the disease. He and Nancy Writebol are the first patients to be treated for and cured of Ebola in the States. In Brantly’s case, the Samaritan’s Purse worker was the first person to be treated with ZMapp, an experimental serum designed to fight the virus. President of Samaritan’s Purse Franklin Graham wrote an op-ed in USA Today defending the decision to bring Brantly back to the U.S. to treat him. “[O]ne of the first things he and his family wanted to know when they arrived in Atlanta was how soon they could return to medical work overseas. In other words, this drug is being used to save a doctor who will say thank you by returning to some of the darkest, dirtiest, loneliest places on earth to bring hope and healing to others.” Furthermore, now that he’s had Ebola, Brantly is immune to that particular strain of the virus.
GAO Says Bergdahl Swap Was Illegal, Highlighting Incoherent Foreign Policy
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a damning report10 Thursday regarding Barack Obama’s infamous prisoner swap – five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl11. As we argued at the time, the swap was a political charade that was detrimental to national security by setting a dangerous precedent, and it was pure dereliction of duty by the commander in chief. GAO now says it was illegal.
Obama violated the legal requirement that the Executive Branch give Congress 30 days' notice on any negotiated release of a Gitmo prisoner. But he claimed his executive prerogative superseded the requirement and that his “signing statement” accompanying the 2013 Defense Authorization Act served as his bypass authority.
GAO disagrees with the president’s claim. Additionally, GAO said, “[B]ecause DOD used appropriated funds to carry out the transfer when no money was available for that purpose, DOD violated the Antideficiency Act. The Antideficiency Act prohibits federal agencies from incurring obligations exceeding an amount available in an appropriation.” The mission to complete the deal reportedly cost $988,400.
Naturally, the Obama administration still insists its actions were lawful. But this administration cares nothing for Rule of Law, opting instead to do whatever is politically expedient.
As an example of the bad precedent, take the case of James Foley12. In addition to a $132 million ransom, ISIL reportedly sought a prisoner swap in that case as well, and they are collecting hostages for such deals with us and other countries13.
Incredibly, the National Security Council responded to such a proposal, saying, “[The U.S.] does not grant concessions to hostage takers. … Doing so would only put more Americans at risk of being taken captive.” Yet the administration deviated from that common sense notion with the Bergdahl swap. Was Bergdahl’s life more valuable than Foley’s? If so, why?
Speaking of Foley’s murder by ISIL, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday the Justice Department would investigate. “Those who would perpetrate such acts need to understand something,” Holder said. “This Department of Justice, this Department of Defense, this nation – we have long memories and our reach is very wide. We will not forget what happened and people will be held accountable one way or the other.”
Evidently, Holder and his cohorts remember only what life was like before 9/11, when terrorism was treated solely as a criminal concern and not an act of war. But Holder is just taking a cue from his boss, who repeatedly boasted he “decimated” al-Qaida when all he did was quit fighting, allowing al-Qaida to regroup as ISIL. Now ISIL is stronger than ever.
In fact, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that ISIL is “beyond just a terrorist group” and “beyond anything that we’ve seen.” Why, then, is the Justice Department taking such a prominent role in responding to ISIL’s barbarous murders? Maybe it’s because the president still views them as the “JV team.”
Meanwhile, ISIL says it’s at war with the U.S., but State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf insisted Thursday that we’re not at war with ISIL. “This is not about ISIL versus the United States,” she said. “They are killing anyone who gets in their way: Sunnis, Shia Muslims, Christians, Yazidis, Iraqis, Syrians – anyone who gets in their way – and now an American. … They are at war with everybody they come into contact with.” So they’re not at war with the U.S. because they’re at war with everybody?
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said ISIL “will eventually have to be defeated,” which will almost certainly entail countering them in Syria as well as Iraq – “both sides of what is essentially at this point a nonexistent border.” Our own nonexistent border is also a problem, Dempsey warned – “because of open borders and immigration issues, [ISIL is] an immediate threat.”
But Obama asserted that ISIL will “ultimately fail” because it “has no place in the 21st century,” as if time itself will end the threat.
To summarize the positions of the Justice, Defense and State Departments, ISIL is a criminal enterprise posing a serious military threat that we must counter, though ISIL will fail because of history and we’re not at war with them anyway. And all that was said just Thursday.
Such baffling incoherence in White House policy is itself a clear threat to our national security. And that’s not to mention the erratic and detached behavior of the golfer in chief. The bottom line is that Obama’s foreign policy malfeasance14 is going to cost us dearly.
Finally, on a related note, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan did their first joint interview15 since 2012 Thursday critiquing Obama’s foreign policy. “I believe the president has made extraordinary errors with regards to the Middle East that contribute to the growth of ISIS and the danger that it represents to us and to the world,” Romney said. “And one of those things was not putting in place a status of forces agreement that would allow us to have troops in Iraq. The president has a foreign policy which has failed. … He underestimated the extent of the threat of terror in the world and specifically ISIS. And as a result now we find ourselves facing a very severe and horrific series of scenes on the world stage.”
The sight of the two together certainly drove home what our nation is sorely missing right now – presidential leadership.
You Probably Didn’t Hear About This Police Shooting
A police shooting of a supposedly unarmed man by a Salt Lake City police officer of a different race last week has received scant media attention in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri16.
Here is what is known: Dillon Taylor, a 20-year-old white man, his brother, Jerrail Taylor, 22, and their cousin were confronted by police outside a 7-Eleven. Cops were responding to a 911 call about a man they are saying matched Dillon Taylor’s description waving a gun. Taylor was also facing an arrest warrant for violating probation connected to a felony robbery. Cops ordered him to the ground. According to his brother Jerrail, Dillon was wearing headphones at the time and did not hear them. Jerrail said that the officers pointed their guns at Dillon’s face, and he was told to put his hands up, while another officer repeated the command to get on the ground. Jerrail claims that his brother reached down to pull up his pants so that he could get down on the ground, at which point an officer fired, fatally wounding Dillon.
Keep in mind the brother of the slain man gave this version of the story, and that Jerrail also has had his share of run-ins with the law. The Salt Lake City police department has released few details of the case. They stand by the officer’s actions, but they have so far refused to confirm or deny whether there was actually a gun. Nor have they identified the officer, other than to say that he was “not white.” Police chief Chris Burbank told reporters that the entire incident was captured by a body camera worn by one of the officers. He said that the video would be released at the “appropriate” time, along with the officer’s identity.
So, there are two young men in different cities, both supposedly unarmed (which police could not have known) but with a criminal history, both shot by cops who were of a different race than the suspects. Facts in the Ferguson case indicate that Michael Brown assaulted the officer who ultimately shot him. Civilian witnesses and Dillon Taylor’s family and friends claim he was unarmed when he was killed, though police have refused to comment on that aspect of the incident. In reaching for his pants, Dillon could have been reaching for a weapon. Brown became a national news story and his shooting sparked a riot and became the focal point of race baiters looking to cash in and play up the racist cop narrative that further stoked violence in Ferguson. Conversely, Taylor’s death was barely reported and life continues pretty much as before in Salt Lake City.
In the Ferguson case, a black man was shot by a white police officer. That plays into the Left’s race-baiting narrative of cops supposedly declaring war on black people. That means ratings. And in this case, it also meant a full-scale riot that took days to bring to a close, even by heavily armed police officers. In Salt Lake City, the man who was shot was white, and the cop is … not white. Therefore, the Salt Lake City story runs against the racial narrative, and reporters can’t, or won’t, confirm the officer’s race.
As Mark Alexander pointed out17, if there is a war on black people in this country, then it is a war with other blacks. The latest national statistics on homicide and race tell the story. Blacks represent 13% of the population, yet half of all homicide victims were black. And over 90% of those murdered were killed by other blacks.
This is a disturbing trend that truly is a national tragedy. Yet, it gets no airplay, and it certainly doesn’t get the attention of Barack Obama or Activist General Eric Holder. Stopping black-on-black crime would require real work to stop the cycle of poverty, crime, and lack of education that has plagued blacks for decades. It would mean admitting that the “Great Society18” was a failure that has created nothing but a poverty-plantation base of Democrat support. It’s more convenient to point fingers and stir racial animosity, because that draws headlines and makes it appear as if something is being done without expending any real effort.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Author Booker T. Washington (1856-1915): “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”
Columnist Mona Charen: “‘History’ is not an actor with a point of view and a direction. You cannot be on its ‘wrong’ side. Progressives tend to believe that the world is evolving, through some unseen but inexorable force, toward greater peace, equality, prosperity and justice. The great task for a leader of the United States, Obama appears to believe, is to get out of history’s way. That’s why it’s a good idea to reduce our army to its smallest size since 1940, and to reduce the Marines by 8 percent. … In Obama’s telling, history is making American might unnecessary because the ‘tide of war is receding.’ Others believe that wars are won or lost. They don’t ebb and flow like oceans. Sadly for the president and the country he leads, his own over-eagerness to disengage from global responsibilities and to back away from military commitments has stimulated just the sort of forces he describes as retrograde.”
Columnist David Limbaugh: “The First Amendment contains two religion clauses – the free exercise clause, which guarantees that we may freely exercise our religion, and the establishment clause, which prohibits the federal government from establishing a national religion or national church. … The purpose of both religion clauses was to promote religious liberty. … But courts have twisted the establishment clause into a weapon against religious liberty. To argue that blessing a sneezing classmate25 constitutes the government’s establishing or even supporting a particular religion is surreal. … To those Christians who casually dismiss all this as beneath them because they want to focus on evangelizing and not politics, please understand that your ability to evangelize would evaporate in the absence of political freedoms. So if you want to be removed from the fight, I won’t object, but please don’t condemn those who willingly engage in this struggle so that you can continue to focus on evangelism.”
Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “Missouri Governor Jay Nixon apparently sent the National Guard to Ferguson without letting the White House know first. When he heard he was left out of such an important decision, Obama said, ‘Holy crap, I’ve been Bidened!’"
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
The Jihadi Serial Killer no One's Talking About
8/22/2014 12:01:00 AM - Michelle Malkin
For two bloody months, an armed jihadist serial killer ran loose across the country. At least four innocent men died this spring and summer as acts of "vengeance" on behalf of aggrieved Muslims, the self-confessed murderer has now proclaimed. Have you heard about this horror? Probably not.
The usual suspects who decry hate crimes and gun violence haven't uttered a peep. Why? Like O.J.'s glove: If the narrative don't fit, you must acquit. The admitted killer will be cast as just another "lone wolf" whose familiar grievances and bloodthirsty Islamic invocations mean nothing.
I say: Enough with the whitewashing. Meet Ali Muhammad Brown. His homicidal Islamic terror spree took him from coast to coast. The 29-year-old career thug admitted to killing Leroy Henderson in Seattle in April; Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young in Seattle on June 1; and college student Brendan Tevlin, 19, in Essex County, New Jersey, on June 25. Tevlin was gunned down in his family Jeep on his way home from a friend's house. Ballistics and other evidence linked all the victims to Muhammad Brown. Police apprehended him last month hiding in an encampment near the Watchung Mountains of West Orange, New Jersey.
While he was on the run, he disguised himself in a Muslim keffiyeh. He carried a notebook with jihadist scribblings and advice on evading detection. I obtained the latest charging documents filed in Washington state, which detail the defiant domestic terrorist's motives.
Muhammad Brown told investigators that Tevlin's slaying was a "just kill." The devout Islamic adherent proclaimed: "My mission is vengeance. For the lives, millions of lives are lost every day." Echoing jihadist Fort Hood mass killer Nidal Hasan, Muhammad Brown cited Muslim deaths in "Iraq, Syria, (and) Afghanistan" as the catalysts for his one-man Islamic terror campaign. "All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life."
When a detective asked him to clarify whether all four murders were "done for vengeance for the actions of the United States in the Middle East," Muhammad Brown stated unequivocally: "Yes." He added that he was "just doing (his) small part."
Seattle's left-wing mayor, Ed Murray, rushed to issue a statement -- which might as well have sported an insipid "Coexist" bumper sticker across the page -- asserting that Muhammad Brown's seething, deadly hatred did "not reflect the values of Muslims." But the fact is Ali Muhammad Brown has plenty of company. Seattle alone has been a long-festering hotbed of anti-American, anti-Semitic jihadism.
In 2011, a Muslim terror ring led by Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif and Walli Mujahidh plotted "to kill officers and employees of the Department of Defense who worked at the (Military Entrance Processing Stations) located in the Federal Center South building in Seattle, Washington, and to kill other persons assisting such officers and employees in the performance of their duties" using "fully-automatic weapons pistols, and fragmentation grenades."
In 2007, Seattle jihadist James Ujaama pleaded guilty to terrorism charges related to his plan to establish a terror-training ground in Bly, Oregon. He had previously pleaded guilty to aiding the Taliban.
In 2006, Everett, Washington Islamic revenge-seeker Naveed Haq shot six innocent women and killed one at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building while spewing anti-Israel hatred and Muslim diatribes.
In 2002, James Ujaama's mosque leader, Abdul Raheem Al Arshad Ali of the radical Dar-us-Salaam mosque in Seattle's Central District, was first arrested on illegal weapons charges. He had provided arms to fellow Seattle-area Muslim cleric, Semi Osman. The ethnic Lebanese born in Sierra Leone had served in a naval reserve fueling unit based in Tacoma, Washington. Osman had access to fuel trucks similar to the type used by al-Qaida in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers, which killed 19 U.S. airmen and wounded nearly 400 other Americans. Osman later pleaded guilty to illegal weapons possession.
Another militant Seattle jihadist, Muslim convert Ruben Shumpert (aka Amir Abdul Muhaimin) was arrested after an FBI raid in 2004 for his role in a terror-financing scheme. He skipped out on his sentencing hearing and turned up in Somalia, where he was killed fighting the U.S. military. Terror group al Shabaab hailed Muhaimin as a martyr.
Which brings us back to Ali Muhammad Brown, who had been arrested 10 years ago as part of Muhaimin's suspected terror-financing ring. A decade later, despite being on the feds' radar screen, four innocent men are dead at Muhammad Brown's hand.
These homegrown Muslim haters don't want to coexist. They want to kill and help fund and train other Islamic killers. They are living and working among us, embedded in local mosques and inside our military. Where are our political leaders? Making Kumbaya excuses, sitting on the sidelines and golfing while homegrown and global jihad burn.
War on Christianity Still Alive and Well in America
8/22/2014 12:01:00 AM - David Limbaugh
Many reject the notion that a good segment of our popular culture and of our political class is at war with Christianity. But this is a real war -- not a phony one, such as the left's manufactured "war on women."
This hostility toward Christianity is a global phenomenon. Radical Muslims are targeting, persecuting and, in many cases, slaughtering Christians in numerous countries around the world. But I want to talk about a softer form of hostility -- though nevertheless of serious concern -- that is occurring in the United States.
I filled an entire book with examples of discrimination against Christians in this country about a decade ago, and since then, there has been little or no abatement of this practice.
For example, a student in Dyer County, Tennessee, was suspended because she committed the unforgivable sin of saying "bless you" when a classmate sneezed. High-school senior Kendra Turner said her teacher told her such expressions are for church. Turner said, "She said that we're not going to have godly speaking in her class, and that's when I said we have a constitutional right." It was this objection and the student's being "disruptive and aggressive" that reportedly led to her suspension by an administrator.
Well, it seems to me that the disruption, aggressiveness and inappropriate behavior came from the teacher, not from Turner. Indeed, Turner's youth pastor, Becky Winegardner, implied that this was about not insubordination but rather the teacher's apparent hostility toward faith. "There were several students that were talking about this particular faculty member there that was very demeaning to them in regard to their faith," said Winegardner.
The secular left, the humanists, the anti-theists and sometimes the militant homosexual lobby aggressively challenge Christian expression in the public square, arguing that our Constitution mandates a strict separation of church and state. That is grossly wrong and leads to much confusion and sloppy thinking on the issue.
The First Amendment contains two religion clauses -- the free exercise clause, which guarantees that we may freely exercise our religion, and the establishment clause, which prohibits the federal government from establishing a national religion or national church.
Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to the Danbury Baptists, used the expression "wall of separation between Church & State," but that language is not in the Constitution. The establishment clause is the provision that secularists and activist courts have used to argue the Constitution dictates this separation. But it was never intended to and, though courts have dramatically expanded it beyond the framers' intent, still does not require any such strict separation.
Courts have expanded it to prohibit all kinds of religious expression in state-funded venues, on the grounds that if religious expression occurs in such places, the government -- state or federal -- is indirectly funding or supporting a particular religion and this constitutes an establishment of religion.
This strained interpretation is absurd in light of the purpose of the clause, to prevent the establishment of a national church. But the Turner story takes it beyond absurdity. It's ludicrous enough to say the federal or state government is establishing a national religion when a publicly funded official (e.g., a teacher) promotes a particular religion, but this was a student, not a teacher, and this was a reflexive blessing, not an act of proselytizing.
Please understand: The purpose of both religion clauses was to promote religious liberty. That is abundantly obvious with the free exercise clause, but it should be just as clear with the establishment clause. The only reason our framers would have prevented the establishment of a national religion is to protect religious liberty.
But courts have twisted the establishment clause into a weapon against religious liberty. To argue that blessing a sneezing classmate constitutes the government's establishing or even supporting a particular religion is surreal.
Further examples abound -- enough to fill up another book. In the name of protecting religious liberty (for Christians, anyway), the secular left, at every turn, is choking and smothering it.
But it's not just these constitutional issues that should concern us. There is an increasing hostility toward Christians and Christianity in our culture, the liberal media, Hollywood and our universities.
For the record, if the secularists were concerned about the government's taking sides on such questions, they would also object to the rampant secularization of the curricula in schools and universities, including the demonization of our Christian heritage. They would be concerned about the preferential treatment often given to Islam. But it's not the Constitution these people are fighting for; it's Christianity that they are fighting against.
The "tolerant" left has zero tolerance for Christianity, and all Christians and all lovers of liberty would be well advised to be vigilant against this societal assault on Christianity that uses the Constitution as an excuse.
To those Christians who casually dismiss all this as beneath them because they want to focus on evangelizing and not politics, please understand that your ability to evangelize would evaporate in the absence of political freedoms. So if you want to be removed from the fight, I won't object, but please don't condemn those who willingly engage in this struggle so that you can continue to focus on evangelism.
Obama and 'History'
8/22/2014 12:01:00 AM - Mona Charen
Bad actors around the globe keep getting confused about the calendar, and it falls to the Obama administration to set them straight. The Russians, Secretary of State John Kerry protested back in March, have forgotten what century we're living in: "You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext." Kerry was echoing President Obama's observation that by seizing Crimea, Russian president Putin was putting himself "on the wrong side of history."
It's a theme this president sounded in his first inaugural address, warning that "those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent" are "on the wrong side of history." He returned to it in his remarks (bracketed by golf outings) about the horrific murder of James Foley. After describing just how barbaric the ISIL terrorists are, Obama offered the following complacent analysis: "And people like this ultimately fail. They fail, because the future is won by those who build and not destroy and the world is shaped ... by the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed [Foley] ... One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century."
That would be nice, but it's fatuous. "History" is not an actor with a point of view and a direction. You cannot be on its "wrong" side. Progressives tend to believe that the world is evolving, through some unseen but inexorable force, toward greater peace, equality, prosperity and justice. The great task for a leader of the United States, Obama appears to believe, is to get out of history's way. That's why it's a good idea to reduce our army to its smallest size since 1940, and to reduce the Marines by 8 percent. According to the American Thinker, the Army chief of staff recently testified that due to cutbacks in training funds, 75 percent of our forces are not combat ready. Apparently that's OK, because according to the words of Martin Luther King Jr., which Obama had embroidered into the Oval Office rug, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
James Foley's family might not agree. Nor would the Yazidis, or the hundreds of thousands of Syrians murdered by gas and artillery and barrel bombs, or the 100,000 Bosnians and others killed in the heart of Europe in the late 20th century, or the 1 million Rwandans killed in 1994, or the roughly 2 million Cambodians massacred between 1975 and 1979. History, in all cases, looked on impassively.
In Obama's telling, history is making American might unnecessary because the "tide of war is receding." Others believe that wars are won or lost. They don't ebb and flow like oceans.
Sadly for the president and the country he leads, his own over-eagerness to disengage from global responsibilities and to back away from military commitments has stimulated just the sort of forces he describes as retrograde.
In his Martha's Vineyard remarks, the president said, "Let's be clear about ISIL" and itemized some of its depredations including torture, rape and slavery. He might have added crucifixions and beheadings. He might also have admitted that despite his boasts that "core al-Qaida" has been decimated, ISIL is al-Qaida reborn.
Yet, aside from an air campaign (which is good as far it goes), the president again seems ready to permit a benevolent history to manage events. "Governments and peoples across the Middle East" will unite to "extract this cancer," he predicted.
That has never been true. When have the nations of the Middle East ever joined forces against an evil government or movement? Even the Europeans proved utterly feckless at intervening in the Bosnian genocide. Only with American leadership did the killing come to an end.
The peace of the post-World War II world was kept, to the degree it was, by American arms and American world leadership. Obama's abandonment of an American role in Iraq left the space into which ISIL has moved. Only American leadership and engagement can defeat ISIL. But that will require vigorous presidential leadership, not wan invocations of history's trajectory.
From cupcakes to the police, fed up with government
By George F. Will Opinion writer August 20
In physics, a unified field theory is an attempt to explain with a single hypothesis the behavior of several fields. Its political corollary is the Cupcake Postulate, which explains everything , from Missouri to Iraq, concerning Americans’ comprehensive withdrawal of confidence from government at all levels and all areas of activity.
Washington’s response to the menace of school bake sales illustrates progressivism’s ratchet: The federal government subsidizes school lunches, so it must control the lunches’ contents, which validates regulation of what it calls “competitive foods,” such as vending machine snacks. Hence the need to close the bake sale loophole, through which sugary cupcakes might sneak: Foods sold at fundraising bake sales must, with some exceptions, conform to federal standards.
What has this to do with police, from Ferguson, Mo., to your home town, toting marksman rifles, fighting knives, grenade launchers and other combat gear? Swollen government has a shriveled brain: By printing and borrowing money, government avoids thinking about its proper scope and actual competence. So it smears mine-resistant armored vehicles and other military marvels across 435 congressional districts because it can .
And instead of making immigration policy serve the nation’s values and workforce needs, government, egged on by conservatives, aspires to emulate East Germany along the Rio Grande, spending scores of billions to militarize a border bristling with hardware bought with previous scores of billions. Much of this is justified by the United States’ longest losing “war,” the one on drugs. Is it, however, necessary for NASA to have its own SWAT team?
A cupcake-policing government will find unending excuses for flexing its muscles as it minutely monitors our behavior in order to improve it, as Debra Harrell, 46, a South Carolina single mother, knows. She was jailed for “unlawful neglect” of her 9-year-old daughter when she left her, with a cellphone, to play in a park while she worked at a nearby McDonald’s.
Resistance to taxation, although normal and healthy, is today also related to the belief that government is thoroughly sunk in self-dealing, indiscriminate meddling and the lunatic spending that lards police forces with devices designed for conquering Fallujah. People know that no normal person can know one-tenth of 1 percent of what the government is doing.
In Federalist Paper 84, Alexander Hamilton assured readers that, although the proposed Constitution would increase the power of a distant federal government, this government would be inhibited by scrutiny: “The citizens who inhabit the country at and near the seat of government will, in all questions that affect the general liberty and prosperity, have the same interest with those who are at a distance, and . . . they will stand ready to sound the alarm when necessary.” Not now, when five of the nation’s richest 10 counties, ranked by median household income, are Washington suburbs, parasitic off the federal government. The people who write the regulations of school lunches must live somewhere.
Darin Simak, a first-grader in New Kensington, Pa., who accidentally brought a toy gun to school in his backpack, turned it in to his teacher. School administrators then suspended him because the school has a “zero-tolerance policy.” What children frequently learn at schools is that schools often are run by biological adults incapable of commonsensical judgments.
“We can’t allow toxic things to be in our schools,” said a spokesman for the Texas school district that confiscated the suntan lotion of a 10-year-old who then became sunburned on a school trip. Students, the spokesman explained, “could ingest it. It’s really a dangerous situation.” Not as dangerous as entrusting children to schools run by mindless martinets.
Contempt for government cannot be hermetically sealed; it seeps into everything . Which is why cupcake regulations have foreign policy consequences. Americans, inundated with evidence that government is becoming dumber and more presumptuous, think it cannot be trusted to decipher foreign problems and apply force intelligently.
The collapse of confidence in government is not primarily because many conspicuous leaders are conspicuously dimwitted, although when Joe Biden refers to “the nation of Africa,” or Harry Reid disparages the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision as rendered by “five white men” (who included Clarence Thomas), Americans understand that their increasingly ludicrous government lacks adult supervision. What they might not understand is that Reids and Bidens come with government so bereft of restraint and so disoriented by delusions of grandeur that it gives fighting knives to police and grief to purveyors of noncompliant cupcakes.
You can't touch the same river water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again.
Posted August 21, 2014
Written by a USMC Vet. Name Unknown
The American Dream ended on November 6th, 2012 in Ohio. The second term of Barack Obama will be the final nail in the coffin for the legacy of the white Christian males who discovered, explored, pioneered, settled and developed the greatest Republic in the history of mankind.
A coalition of Blacks, Latinos, Feminists, Gays, Government Workers, Union Members, Environmental Extremists, The Media, Hollywood, uninformed young people, the 'forever needy', the chronically unemployed, illegal aliens and other 'fellow travelers' have ended Norman Rockwell's America.
The Cocker Spaniel is off the front porch...The Pit Bull is in the back yard. The American Constitution has been replaced with Saul Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals' and Chicago shyster, David Axelrod, along with international Socialist George Soros will be pulling the strings on their beige puppet to bring us Act 2 of the New World Order.
Our side ran two candidates who couldn't even win their own home states, and Chris Christie helped Obama over the top with a glowing 'post Sandy' tribute that elevated the 'Commander-in-Chief' to Mother Teresa status. (Aside: with the way the polls were run, he didn't need any help!)
People like me are completely politically irrelevant, and I will never again comment on or concern myself with the aforementioned coalition which has surrendered our culture, our heritage and our traditions without a shot being fired.
You will never again out-vote these people. It will take individual acts of defiance and massive displays of civil disobedience to get back the rights we have allowed them to take away. It will take Zealots, not moderates & shy not reach-across-the-aisle RINOs to right this ship and restore our beloved country to its former status. Those who come after us will have to risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to bring back the Republic that this generation has timidly frittered away due to 'white guilt' and political correctness..........
An American Veteran.......... Semper-Fi
Patriot Post’s Daily Digest
Aug. 21, 2014
“We are, heart and soul, friends to the freedom of the press. It is however, the prostituted companion of liberty, and somehow or other, we know not how, its efficient auxiliary. It follows the substance like its shade; but while a man walks erect, he may observe that his shadow is almost always in the dirt. It corrupts, it deceives, it inflames. … It is a precious pest, and a necessary mischief, and there would be no liberty without it.” –Fisher Ames, Review of the Pamphlet on the State of the British Constitution, 1807
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Holder Inserts Himself Into Ferguson Riots
Attorney General Eric Holder visited Ferguson, Missouri1, and spoke at the Florissant Valley Community College, where he told of his experiences being racially profiled. “I think about my time in Georgetown – a nice neighborhood of Washington – and I am running to a picture movie at about eight o'clock at night. I am running with my cousin. Police car comes driving up, flashes his lights, yells ‘Where you going? Hold it!’ I say ‘Whoa, I’m going to a movie.’ Now my cousin started mouthing off. I’m like, ‘This is not where we want to go. Keep quiet.’ I’m angry and upset. We negotiate the whole thing and we walk to our movie. At the time that he stopped me, I was a federal prosecutor. I wasn’t a kid. I was a federal prosecutor. I worked at the United States Department of Justice. So I’ve confronted this myself.” While Holder’s empathetic words may have helped to finally bring relative peace Wednesday night, he should not be inserting his feelings into every racial flashpoint. His job is to enforce the law, not sympathize with those who break it.
Some Mass. Residents Have to Re-Enroll in ObamaCare
Approximately 400,000 Massachusetts residents, or nearly 17% of the state’s population, will need to re-enroll in the state’s ObamaCare exchange, “and many of them probably do not even know it,” according to The Boston Globe. “They are people who do not have employer-sponsored health insurance and who instead sought insurance through the state. After the Massachusetts insurance website failed last year, most of them were enrolled in temporary coverage that ends Dec. 31, which is why they must select a new plan.” The exchange, called Massachusetts Health Connector, plans to spend between $15 million and $19 million dollars on a publicity campaign to get those facing the possibility of losing coverage re-enrolled. And even then, it’s not guaranteed the new system will be stable. As former Department of Health and Human Services official Michael Astrue put it, “[It’s] likely that, at best, we will only have a partially functional system on Nov. 15,” the day the new system goes online. Partially functional pretty well describes ObamaCare.
Illegal Alien Kills Two, Shielded From Deportation
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was Barack Obama’s first pass at amnesty for select illegal aliens. It was an illegal abuse of power that has had tragic results in at least one case. Breitbart reports, “Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros, an illegal immigrant who came to the U.S. from Mexico as a child and was shielded from deportation by DACA, was convicted of two counts of felony hit and run after she killed two Forest Grove, Oregon stepsisters – Anna Dieter-Eckerdt and Abigail Robinson ages 6 and 11 respectively – playing in a leaf pile last October.” Last week, a judge dismissed the deportation case against Garcia-Cisneros, returning her to DACA protection. The parents say they forgive the woman, but it’s a travesty that the politics of illegal immigration are playing out in this way.
A Win and Loss in Fast and Furious Decision
A judge appointed by Barack Obama has ordered the Department of Justice to hand over to Congress a list of all the documents it was withholding from the legislative branch. The DOJ had invoked “executive privilege.” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said5, “This administration has been so intent on hiding the contents of these documents that it allowed Attorney General Holder to be held in contempt instead of just turning them over to Congress. The privilege log will bring us closer to finding out why the Justice Department hid behind false denials in the wake of reckless conduct that contributed to the violent deaths of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and countless Mexican citizens.” But the DOJ is also happy with the ruling, saying the court upheld its confidentiality claim because the court only ordered the list of the documents released, not the documents themselves. The ruling may give the executive branch even more reason to stonewall.
Venue Fined Over Religious Convictions
Big Brother coercion is alive and well. The owners of Liberty Ridge Farm, a wedding venue, were penalized by the government for standing firm in their traditional view of marriage. According to The Daily Signal, “On August 8, [the New York State Division of Human Rights] fined Cynthia and Robert Gifford $13,000 for acting on their belief that marriage is the union of a man and woman and thus declining to rent out their family farm for a same-sex wedding celebration. The Human Rights Commission ruled that ‘the nature and circumstances of the [Giffords’s] violation of the Human Rights Law also warrants a penalty.’” What about the rights of the Giffords? The same-sex couple looking for a venue could have taken business elsewhere, but chose instead to file a complaint. “The Giffords' case illustrates the growing conflict between religious liberty rights and laws that grant special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” the Signal notes. “In a nation founded on limited government and religious freedom, government should not attempt to coerce any citizen, association, or business into celebrating same-sex relationships.”
It Will Take More Than Words of Outrage to Defeat ISIL
Jihadis with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) gruesomely beheaded American journalist James Foley, whom they kidnapped in 2012 in Syria. They posted video of the murder online to taunt the United States. Before his execution, Foley was forced to read a statement condemning “my real killers, the U.S. government.” He said the Obama administration “hit the last nail in my coffin with the recent aerial campaign in Iraq.” Finally, “I wish I wasn’t an American.” Beside him was Steven Joel Sotloff, another American journalist and one of perhaps three other Americans under threat of death depending on Barack Obama’s “next decision.”
It’s a grisly reminder of the barbaric nature of our enemy.
The Pentagon released a report saying it had attempted a Special Forces mission to rescue Foley earlier this summer. A fierce firefight occurred in Syria – the first acknowledged “boots on the ground” in that country – and one U.S. soldier was injured. But the mission failed to free Foley or Sotloff because they were not present where intelligence said they would be.
Clearly, the administration released this information to save face after Foley’s murder, though they claim it was to preempt imminent media reports. Publicly detailing a Special Forces operation was incredibly foolish, as it greatly compromises sources, methods and future operational capabilities.
Left out of the White House account, however, was the inconvenient report10 that Foley and Sotloff were captured by the Dawood Brigade, a group that defected to ISIL from the Free Syria Army – the “moderate” rebels backed by the administration.
Perhaps the whole thing would have worked out if Obama had simply traded five more Gitmo detainees11.
The president took time to call Foley’s family, which is a step rarely taken for the families of U.S. Armed Forces personnel killed in service to their country. Obama also made a statement12 Wednesday regarding the murder, if only to remind the press how important they are to him and to show the country that he cares. At least in between rounds of golf. He headed straight for the golf course13 immediately following the statement. Compare that to British Prime Minister David Cameron, who cut his vacation short to consider action given the jihadi in the murder video spoke with a British accent.
To be fair, Obama began with appropriately touching words about Foley and his family, and he had stern words for his murderers: “Jim Foley’s life14 stands in stark contrast to his killers. Let’s be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages – killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children, and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims – both Sunni and Shia – by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can for no other reason than they practice a different religion. They declared their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people.” That’s well said.
Unfortunately, the president then ventured into politically correct nonsense about Islam. “ISIL speaks for no religion,” he said. “Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents.” He might want to check his copy of the Koran. It contains numerous verses calling on faithful Muslims to kill infidels. It’s where the term “jihad” originates – Koran-prescribed holy war against unbelievers, and if other Muslims get in the way, so be it. There are indeed peaceful Muslims, but to deny ugly reality and insist that Islam is only The Religion of Peace™15 is either ignorant or disingenuous.
Obama also dismissed the idea of war: “[ISIL] may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision, and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior.” Just because he doesn’t have the stomach for a fight doesn’t tell us anything about ISIL.
“The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people,” he declared. “We will be vigilant and we will be relentless.” He promised a “common effort to extract this cancer, so that it does not spread.”
Yet his tough words don’t match his actions. He couldn’t wait to get every U.S. soldier out of Iraq in 2011, and he’s bent over backwards to avoid sending more than a relative handful back now despite the sweeping advances of ISIL over wide swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria. Instead, he’s called ISIL the “JV team” and dismissed the threat. The cancer has spread, and it’s thanks to the vacuum he left by abandoning Iraq.
The Associated Press reports16, “[M]ilitary planners weighed the possibility of sending a small number of additional U.S. troops to Baghdad.” U.S. forces also conducted more airstrikes, bringing the total to well over 80 since our involvement resumed. That’s all well and good, but it’s defensive and will do nothing to dislodge ISIL from it’s so-called caliphate.
“[P]eople like [ISIL] ultimately fail,” Obama pontificated Wednesday. “They fail, because the future is won by those who build and not destroy.” And, he assured, “One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.” Translation: ISIL is on the “wrong side of history” – one of Obama’s favorite formulations used to spurn his political opponents. But ISIL won’t be defeated simply because Obama says they’re mean relics of another century. Unfortunately, those paying the price for Obama’s foreign policy malfeasance17 will be those in the military. And those of us in our humble shop with family members serving don’t say that lightly.
Underestimating the Burden of Corporate Taxes
As more and more companies seek to lower their tax burdens through a strategy known as inversion – merging with foreign-based companies and then re-incorporating overseas to take advantage of lower tax rates – one new academic paper is claiming the corporate tax rate in the U.S. isn’t so bad after all.
According to Edward D. Kleinbard, a professor at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law and a former chief of staff for the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, our tax code is actually the “envy” of international companies. And that highest-in-the-world corporate tax rate? Yes, 39.1% – that one. Hardly a burden. Who knew?
In fact, according to Kleinbard, tying corporate competitiveness to our tax rate relative to the rest of the world is a “fact-free” narrative. In his paper18, he writes, “Despite the claims of corporate apologists, international business ‘competitiveness’ has nothing to do with the reasons for these [inversions]. … [W]hether one measures effective marginal or overall tax rates, sophisticated U.S. multinational firms are burdened by tax rates that are the envy of their international peers.”
What Kleinbard means is, in reality, corporations pay far less than the actual rate. He cites a 2013 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report noting that, for tax year 2010, U.S. corporations paid around 13% in federal income taxes and approximately 17% when foreign, state and local income taxes were included.
He writes, “It is true of course that the federal corporate tax rate – nominally, 35 percent – is too high relative to world norms, and that the ersatz territorial system requires firms to waste money in tax planning and structuring, but effective marginal tax rates and overall effective tax rates reach the level of the U.S. headline rate only when firms studiously ignore the feast of tax planning opportunities laid out before them on the groaning board of corporate tax expenditures.”
In other words, the tax rate is high, but it’s not so bad because corporations don’t actually pay it. So it doesn’t impact competitiveness. It’s a nice sound bite, but even as Kleinbard claims the competitive narrative lacks facts, his lacks logic.
As economists Stephen Moore and Arthur Laffer note19, for example, despite having the highest corporate tax rate in the world, the U.S. has one of the lowest tax revenues, at just 1.5% of GDP. This underscores the fact that the exorbitant rate is, indeed, driving companies to identify legal ways to lower their tax burdens. It also highlights all the tax favors such as wind-tax credits and energy subsidies that are essentially graft doled out to various politicians' favorite campaign supporters. That system will be very difficult to change.
Furthermore, the costs of complying with the tax code are significant and the high tax rate encourages companies to outsource jobs overseas. Not only that, but as the American Enterprise Institute’s Kevin Hassett points out, “[C]orporate tax rates affect wage levels across countries. Higher corporate taxes lead to lower wages.” So the burden of these supposedly not-too-high taxes impacts wages, thereby hurting employees, and increases compliance costs to companies – costs invariably passed on to shareholders, consumers and, again, employees in the form of lower wages.
But it doesn’t end there. We can’t discuss the corporate tax code without taking into account the many small businesses that file taxes as individuals. The Patriot Post is one of them. Lacking the legal benefits and breaks corporations receive – and unable to relocate or move profits overseas – these small businesses can face a federal tax rate of up to 39.6%. Small businesses are key to American employment, and high taxes hurt.
Barack Obama has called on corporations that use inversions to lower their taxes to display a little “economic patriotism20” instead. But perhaps the true patriotism would be in supporting an economic climate that actually encourages American businesses and entrepreneurs to grow, produce and create jobs.
Instead of focusing on punishing profit with the government-stamped seizure of revenue and aiming for the “fundamental transformation of the United States,” Obama and Congress should work to make taxes as low and impartial as possible. But we’re not holding our breath.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Judge Jerome D. Frank (1889-1957): “Increasingly constructive doubt is the sign of advancing civilization.”
Columnist George Will: “Washington’s response to the menace of school bake sales illustrates progressivism’s ratchet: The federal government subsidizes school lunches, so it must control the lunches' contents, which validates regulation of what it calls ‘competitive foods,’ such as vending machine snacks. Hence the need to close the bake sale loophole, through which sugary cupcakes might sneak: Foods sold at fundraising bake sales must, with some exceptions, conform to federal standards. What has this to do with police, from Ferguson, Mo., to your hometown, toting marksman rifles, fighting knives, grenade launchers and other combat gear? Swollen government has a shriveled brain: By printing and borrowing money, government avoids thinking about its proper scope and actual competence. So it smears mine-resistant armored vehicles and other military marvels across 435 congressional districts because it can. … Contempt for government cannot be hermetically sealed; it seeps into everything. Which is why cupcake regulations have foreign policy consequences.”
Columnist Thomas Sowell: “The only time I ever pointed a firearm at a human being, I had no idea whether he was armed or unarmed. To this day I don’t know whether he was armed or unarmed. Fortunately for both of us, he froze in his tracks. Was I supposed to wait until I made sure he had a gun before I used a gun? Is this some kind of sporting contest? Some critics object when someone with a gun shoots someone who only has a knife. Do those critics know that you are just as dead when you are killed with a knife as you are when you are killed by a gun? If we can’t be bothered to stop and think, instead of repeating pat phrases, don’t expect to live under the rule of law. Do you prefer the rule of the media and/or the mob?”
Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Forbes published a poll showing the Puritan Work Ethic is alive and well in America. The survey showed only twenty-five percent use all their paid vacation time. Seventy-five percent of Americans use just part of their paid vacation time and give the rest to President and Mrs. Obama.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
The Media and the Mob
8/20/2014 2:39:00 PM - Thomas Sowell
Those of us who admit that we were not there, and do not know what happened when Michael Brown was shot by a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, seem to be in the minority.
We all know what has happened since then -- and it has been a complete disgrace by politicians, the media and mobs of rioters and looters. Despite all the people who act as if they know exactly what happened, nevertheless when the full facts come out, that can change everything.
This is why we have courts of law, instead of relying on the media or mobs. But politics is undermining law.
On the eve of a grand jury being convened to go through the facts and decide whether there should be a prosecution of the policeman in this case, Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri has gone on television to say that there should be a "vigorous prosecution."
There was a time when elected officials avoided commenting on pending legal processes, so as not to bias those processes. But Governor Nixon apparently has no fear of poisoning the jury pool.
The only alternative explanation is that this is exactly what he intends to do. It is a disgrace either way.
Race is the wild card in all this. The idea that you can tell who is innocent and who is guilty by the color of their skin is a notion that was tried out for generations, back in the days of the Jim Crow South. I thought we had finally rejected that kind of legalized lynch law. But apparently it has only been put under new management.
Television people who show the home of the policeman involved, and give his name and address -- knowing that he has already received death threats -- are truly setting a new low. They seem to be trying to make themselves judge, jury and executioner.
Then there are the inevitable bullet counters asking, "Why did he shoot him six times?" This is the kind of thing people say when they are satisfied with talking points, and see no need to stop and think seriously about a life and death question. If you are not going to be serious about life and death, when will you be serious?
By what principle should someone decide how many shots should be fired? The bullet counters seldom, if ever, ask that question, much less try to answer it.
Since the only justifiable reason for shooting in the first place is self-protection, when should you stop shooting? Obviously when there is no more danger. But there is no magic number of shots that will tell you when you are out of danger.
Even if all your shots hit, that doesn't mean anything if the other guy keeps coming and is still a danger. You can be killed by a wounded man.
Different witnesses give conflicting accounts of exactly what happened in the shooting of Michael Brown. That is one of the reasons why grand juries collect facts. But, if Michael Brown -- a 6 foot 4 inch, 300 pound man -- was still charging at the policeman, as some allege, there is no mystery why the cop kept shooting.
But, if Michael Brown was surrendering, as others allege, then there was no reason to fire even one shot. But the number of shots tells us nothing.
None of this is rocket science. Why bullet counters cannot be bothered to stop and think is a continuing mystery.
Among the other unthinking phrases repeated endlessly is "he shot an unarmed man." When does anyone know that someone is unarmed? Unless you frisk him, you don't know -- until, of course, after you have shot him.
The only time I ever pointed a firearm at a human being, I had no idea whether he was armed or unarmed. To this day I don't know whether he was armed or unarmed. Fortunately for both of us, he froze in his tracks.
Was I supposed to wait until I made sure he had a gun before I used a gun? Is this some kind of sporting contest. Some critics object when someone with a gun shoots someone who only has a knife. Do those critics know that you are just as dead when you are killed with a knife as you are when you are killed by a gun?
If we can't be bothered to stop and think, instead of repeating pat phrases, don't expect to live under the rule of law. Do you prefer the rule of the media and/or the mob?
Jackie Gingrich Cushman
8/21/2014 12:01:00 AM - Jackie Gingrich Cushman
While we might like to think that voters research the issues, review the candidates, and then vote for the candidate that best reflects their views; the reality, based on political science research, is much different. According to George Washington University Professor Danny Hayes' research paper "When Gender and Party Collide: Stereotyping in Candidate Trait Attribution," "Stereotypes are relevant in politics because citizens are willing to devote only limited time to thinking about political matters. As a result, political judgments -- whether about issues, events or candidates -- are often the result of a few salient cues. Stereotyping is the assignment of 'identical characteristics to any person in a group regardless of the actual variation among members of that group.'"
Yes, while voters don't want to be stereotyped and fight against stereotypes, they stereotype candidates.
The good news is that while Hayes found that "voters are likely to use party stereotypes in making inferences about candidate traits, but that gender stereotypes are not as influential."
The bad news is party stereotypes are influential, regardless of whether or not they are in fact accurate.
This might lead you to wonder, as did I, what the standard Republican and Democratic Party stereotypes are? This baseline voter stereotyping was discussed in "Candidate Qualities through a Partisan Lens: A Theory of Trait Ownership," by Hayes and published in the "American Journal of Political Science."
"Republicans tend to be regarded as more adept at handling matters of defense, taxes and social issues (such as so-called family values). Democrats, meanwhile, own the issues of social welfare and social group relations."
While these might be the stereotypes, there are Republican candidates who work at reaching out to the elderly and the working class and Democrats who focus on leadership and national security.
What do these stereotypes mean in today's environment?
Based on a Gallup Poll released last week, dissatisfaction with government (18 percent) was the greatest concern facing this country, (1,032 adults, aged 18 and older, 95 percent confidence level, plus or minus 4 percent). This was closely followed by immigration (15 percent), economy in general (14 percent) and unemployment (12 percent).
Maybe it's more that just dissatisfaction with government, Rasmussen Reports released survey results last week that echoed this theme, finding that "60 percent of American Adults believe the federal government plays too big a role in the lives of average Americans. Only 8 percent think the feds play too small a role, while 22 percent think the level of government involvement is about right." (1,000 Adults, 95 percent level of confidence, plus or minus 3 percent).
Interestingly enough, while Republicans might paint Democrats as the party of big government, and therefore Republicans should have an edge, since the Democrats own the issue of social welfare, they could leverage this issue to cast themselves as pro-social groups, anti-government.
Core issues -- issues that normally have a large gap between the Democratic and Republican positions, are falling in concern. One of the key Democratic wedges, the gap between the rich and poor is at a lowly 3 percent while the Federal budget debt/ deficit, a key Republican issue has also fallen to 3 percent, according to Gallup.
The issues that for so long created clear comparisons between the parties are not as important -- so the parties must rethink their strategies in approaching the voters.
Hayes found that while voters stereotype, the candidates that talked about issues the other party normally dominates influenced "the personal characteristics voters attribute to them." This is reminiscent of President George W. Bush's compassionate conservatism.
According to Hayes, "a politician who appears to care about the welfare of the needy cultivates for himself an image of being compassionate and empathetic."
Along those lines, "a Democrat who establishes himself as an unusually strong leader or a Republican who comes across as especially empathetic -- might win over voters looking for information to distinguish between the two candidates. Likewise, a candidate who falls short of these party-based expectations-a Republican who shows little leadership ability or a Democrat who seems cold-hearted -- may lose standing in the eyes of voters who expected more."
So the take away for candidates is to, rather than simply rally their bases, keep their base but run as if they were a candidate from the opposite party, thereby bridging the difference between the two parties.
Opportunists Fan the Flames of Racial Unrest
Victor Davis Hanson
8/21/2014 12:01:00 AM - Victor Davis Hanson
Violence following the recent fatal shooting of an unarmed robbery suspect in Ferguson, Missouri, has tragically followed a predictable script.
On average, more than 6,000 African-Americans are killed by gun violence each year. That startling figure is nearly equal to all of the U.S. combat fatalities incurred in both Afghanistan and Iraq over some 13 years. African-Americans are the victims in about half of the homicides in America each year despite the fact that blacks represent only about 13 percent of the U.S. population.
One would think that these alarming statistics would provoke the sort of protests that we've seen in Ferguson, but that is not the case. Nor does racial unrest automatically follow cases in which white police officers fatally shoot black criminal suspects. Only a small handful of such instances trigger outrage in the black community.
Instead, the sort of civil unrest we're seeing in Ferguson is most likely to be ignited by the infrequent and disparate cases in which someone white, whether a police officer or not, fatally shoots an unarmed African-American.
Controversy, for example, arose over George Zimmerman's fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida. Now, small-town Ferguson is in an uproar over a police officer's fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.
There is a second theme in such cases. The media almost invariably distorts the facts, sometimes deliberately seeking to incite tensions. In the Trayvon Martin case, journalists published photos of Martin as a diminutive adolescent, not more recent pictures of Martin as a 17-year old who was much taller than Zimmerman.
Zimmerman was referred to by the New York Times as a "white Hispanic" (a term not usually accorded those of mixed ancestry). ABC News was accused of airing footage of Zimmerman shortly after his encounter with Martin that concealed the severity of Zimmerman's head injuries. NBC edited a recording of Zimmerman's 911 call to police in a way that suggested Zimmerman was a racist. CNN falsely speculated that Zimmerman may have used the racial slur "coon" during his 911 call.
In the Brown case, the media has rushed to portray the victim as a "gentle giant" who was almost certainly gunned down by a racist, trigger-happy cop. Only days later it was reported that just minutes before his death, the 6-foot-4, 292-pound Brown had allegedly committed a strong-armed robbery, bullying and assaulting a store owner half his size -- and had been almost immediately been stopped not far away for walking down the middle of the road.
A third theme is the entrance of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the New Black Panther Party. Almost immediately, they incite tensions by issuing wild, unfounded charges. Jackson said of the Martin shooting that "targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business." Jackson just called the Brown shooting a "state execution." Sharpton called the legal acquittal of Zimmerman an "atrocity." In the Zimmerman case, the new Black Panther Party put a bounty on his head, and in Missouri it called for violence against the police.
Fourth, demagogic politicians use these tragedies for political advantage -- usually in ways that only make things worse. Libertarian Sen. Rand Paul, who is eyeing a 2016 presidential run, blamed the police for their overt military appearance and their crowd-control tactics. Yet street violence still persisted days after police in military-style riot gear were pulled from the scene -- until finally there were requests for National Guard intervention.
President Obama did not soothe tensions when he claimed that Trayvon Martin looked like the son he never had, an implication that any president of the United States might have greater sympathy with those who shared a similar appearance. Obama initially weighed in on the Brown case before all the details had emerged, faulting both sides equally for the violence. In 2009, when police arrested Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates at his home, Obama blasted the police as racial stereotypers and thereby only spiked tensions.
Finally, these shootings for weeks on end spark racial finger-pointing. Liberals acknowledge high black violent-crime rates but cite poverty, racism and unfair police enforcement as the catalysts. Conservatives counter that high rates of single-parent families, dependence on government entitlements, and glorification of misogyny and violence in popular culture account for inordinate black violent-crime rates.
Eventually, the unrest peaks, then abates, and the country goes back to business as usual -- a little more racially divided as we await the next predictable controversy.
Meanwhile, we might remember that the American experiment to unite various racial and ethnic groups into one culture is as noble as it is rare in history. When it has previously been tried in the modern world -- Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Iraq, Rwanda, Syria, Congo -- it usually had failed spectacularly.
What will save us are not more elite and self-serving "conversations" about racial difference, but a new classically liberal effort to consider race irrelevant in our shared American culture. Perhaps if we started treating people as unique individuals and not as hyphenated and anonymous groups, we could deal with these tragic shootings as individual tragedies rather than collective conspiracies.
Culture Challenge of the Week: Taking Things for Granted
8/21/2014 12:01:00 AM - Rebecca Hagelin
We live in a culture that is all about “me, me, me.” Take a stroll through the mall on any given day and you will see children whining when they can’t have the latest toy or video game, while discouraged parents shrug their shoulders and give in. Hang around any retail store and it may seem like the “Gimme" generation is running the show. You hear an “I want this” and the register replies with a hearty “ch-ching!"
Overindulging children instead of teaching them the value of earning what they receive is a big problem. It creates an unrealistic perception of life, turns our sons and daughters into "brats" and even weakens our nation and economy in the long-run. If our children don’t learn the meaning of earning through practical and real experience as children, adulthood will hit them like a slap in the face. They will feel like they were thrown into the pool before they learned how to swim. Some will drown - and some will cling to others and cause the great swimmers who feed the economy to be bogged down and maybe even drown too. Creating a sense of entitlement ruins individuals, and if we as a society create too many of them, the nation can come to ruin too.
Childhood, while a time of great joy and innocence, is also a time to plunk children in the shallow end and teach them how to swim basic strokes. That way, when they get to the “deep end’ of adulthood, they are strong swimmers, and able to handle turbulent waters or whatever obstacles may come their way.
Helping children learn the value of earning provides real life skills and gives them a deep sense of satisfaction. As humans, we were created to work. We love to see the fruits of our labors, whether that is a life accomplishment like building a company or everyday tasks like finishing a project around the house. We were not created to lie around slothfully. Perpetual laziness creates unhappiness every time. Working toward a goal and feeling pride in our efforts is a huge motivator - and we must continually allow our children experience it or we are unwittingly denying them much happiness. Children who work hard and feel the satisfaction that comes with completing that work and earning its reward will have a deeper sense of self-worth and capability than children who are merely given the things they desire.
We shouldn’t treat our kids’ desires as bad things. Instead, our task is to teach our children the link between their desire to have privileges and possessions with strong work ethic.
In a 1981 article in the American Journal of Psychiatry, George Valliant, the director of the study, reported that the single biggest predictor of adult mental health was “the capacity to work learned in childhood”—In other words, the development of a work ethic. Men who Valliant described as “competent and industrious at age 14”—Men who had developed a work ethic during the Industry Stage of human development—were twice as likely to have warm relationships, five times more likely to have well-paying jobs and 16 times less likely to have suffered significant unemployment.
There is a direct, positively correlative relationship between combating an attitude of entitlement in your child’s youth and his or her happiness and success later in life.
How To Save Your Family: Teach Your Children the Beauty of Work
Dealing with attitudes of entitlement is actually easy if you start when they are young: Identify privileges and material goods your child values and link them to some sort of quantifiable task. You can start the next time your child asks for something.
Find ways to teach them about entrepreneurship early in life —whether it’s opening their own lemonade stand, lining up babysitting jobs, or taking on a paper route—these time-honored “classic” kids’ jobs still teach great skills and give children a sense of accomplishment when done well.
We all know how much fun it was to earn our first dollars as children. But if no one is there to guide and encourage us to earn honestly, spend wisely, and give to others freely, the culture of “gimme, gimme” soon takes over. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Humans are hard to satisfy. But we feel much more satisfied when we know that we have earned what we have. Teaching your child how to have that profound sense of satisfaction is a lesson that cannot be learned too early in life.
There are a few keys to remember when opening your child's eyes to the value of earning:
1) You must be consistent and true to your word. When you promise your child something if he or she fulfills an assigned task, you must follow through. I cannot emphasize that enough. Being true to your word is always critical - and that includes in earning your child’s trust and establishing a regular pattern of work followed by just reward. As adults, we know that we do not always feel the immediate fruits of our labors. But children have short attention spans, and it is very important to make the connection between work and reward as clear as possible.
2) Thematically link the task you give your child to the reward he or she seeks. For example, if your daughter asks for a prom dress that costs $100, tell her she can earn it by working 10 hours of community service at a center that helps underprivileged women—women who will likely never wear a prom dress. Not only will she gain some perspective and realize what a true privilege it is to dress up in expensive clothes with friends and have fun, she will also attach value to something she would have otherwise taken for granted.
3) Finally, make the task straightforward and quantifiable. Give it a clear beginning and a concrete conclusion. Both my sons had to earn the rank of Eagle Scout before acquiring their driver’s licenses. That hard-earned piece of plastic bears a lot of responsibility—including making acquiring the ability to make decisions that end up being life and death decisions. It was critical for my husband and me that our sons understood the responsibility they would take along with the increased freedom that becoming a driver would bring. In the process of being rewarded with their driver’s licenses at the completion of the years of dedication and hard work it took to become Eagles, our sons also attained the life-long honor and rewards that come with being an Eagle Scout. Everybody won in this scenario - and today as men in their mid-20's, our sons continue to reap the benefits of their concentrated, dedicated work.
Michael Brown: A Criminal and a Thug
By Matthew Vadum
August 18, 2014
As the media-sanctioned rioting, bloodshed and looting continue in Ferguson, Missouri, evidence is emerging that police shooting victim Michael Brown wasn’t the upstanding citizen that many on the Left have claimed him to be.
All of this is happening as mobs have been attacking cops with Molotov cocktails and destroying community infrastructure. Some blacks in the region are reportedly randomly assaulting non-blacks as collective payback for what happened to Brown. Looting and property destruction are rampant. Scores of people have been arrested. Aircraft were ordered to fly at least 3,000 feet over Ferguson airspace after police said their helicopters were fired on from the ground.
A curfew was imposed, and the state’s feckless Democratic governor, Jay Nixon, stripped local police of some of their responsibilities, replacing them with state highway patrolmen. This, predictably, led to more looting of stores and all the things that usually happen when an angry, violent mob is rewarded for its bad behavior.
Through it all, the Left is out in force in Ferguson, trying to make a bad situation worse. The criminal elements of the city have been emboldened by martyrized accounts of Brown, and have carried out a campaign of destruction against the civil order under the banner of “no justice, no peace.”
As happened in the Trayvon Martin case two years ago, the hulking, nearly 300-lbs. Brown has been portrayed as an innocent doe-eyed angel unfairly cut down by evil police as a promising future awaited him. In Brown’s case, he was said to be just days away from heading off to college.
But as one blogger observed, in this age of ubiquitous social media, the 18-year-old African-American man left behind the following:
“a cache of rap songs … that contain pretty much what you’d expect out of modern rap – lots of boasting about murdering, taking drugs, drinking, and sex with hos.”
In one of them labeled “Free$tyle Big’Mike,” one performer raps, “My favorite part’s when they bodies hit the ground. I soak ‘em up like I’m wringin’ out a sponge.”
The fact that Brown liked performing thug music obviously doesn’t by itself make him a thug, but it does provide insight into his state of mind. The same can be said for the photographs that have surfaced of Brown posing like a tough guy, making gestures with his hands that some say are gang signs.
But what Brown did before he was killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, whose home and address were publicized by a reporter despite ceaseless death threats against the officer, offers compelling insight into what made Brown tick.
Evidence is now available that shows that Brown tried to wrest a gun away from a policeman and that he was ordered to freeze before he charged Darren Wilson and was shot. Some have suggested Brown was high on drugs at the time and that made him especially aggressive but a toxicology report on his body won’t be available for weeks.
Before the shooting incident last weekend, Brown used violence and the threat of more violence to steal. With an accomplice, he knocked over a convenience store, bullying victims with his prodigious size and weight. (Incidentally, the owner of the store told the Washington Post he fears that his customers will murder him and that he begged reporters not to suggest that he called the police on Brown.
An official incident report about the robbery was released Friday by Ferguson police, over the vehement but ultimately groundless objections of left-wing politicians, including the Missouri governor and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. History shows that leftist office holders aren’t too concerned about getting to the bottom of a matter when their supporters are in the streets calling for blood. If the documentation in question helped make the case that the local police were cold-blooded, murdering racists, those same politicians would be loudly demanding its release.
The report in question identifies Brown and his 22-year-old friend Darren Johnson as suspects in the Aug. 9 robbery that took place minutes before Brown’s death.
According to the report, police responded to a call about “stealing in progress” at a convenience store. The stolen item was a $48.99 box of Swisher Sweets cigars. Marijuana users are known to hollow out such cigars and use them to smoke drugs.
A man identified as Brown was captured in store surveillance stills having a physical confrontation with a much smaller store employee who tried to lock the doors of the establishment to prevent the men from departing with the stolen item.
The 6’ 4”, 292-pound Brown took the employee by his shirt and pushed him back into some merchandise. As Brown moved toward the door, he then turned around and moved toward the worker “appearing to intimidate him.” After that Brown disappears from the camera footage.
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson made the video of the robbery available Friday, explaining that state law forced him to act. Reporters had demanded the footage under the Freedom of Information Act, Jackson said.
The Obama administration sought to suppress the release of the inconvenient footage by pressuring the department not to release it to the public. Pandering for votes, Gov. Jay Nixon said Sunday he “deeply” disagreed with the decision by Ferguson police to release the robbery video.
The recording was made public “Number one to attempt in essence to disparage the character [of Brown] in the middle of a process like this is not right,” Nixon said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
So, first local police were condemned for not being sufficiently transparent; then after they released a key piece of evidence they were condemned for being too transparent.
Gov. Nixon then claimed that releasing the video was too painful for his constituents. “And secondarily it did put the community and, quite frankly, the region and the nation on alert again,” he said.
Of the week-old case, Nixon said, “These are old wounds, these are deep wounds in these communities and that action was not helpful.” Of course, by the governor’s reasoning the local police have no right to make the case that they are not murderers while they are being indicted by the frenzied Ferguson community, media and political Left.
Gov. Nixon again pushed emotional buttons, playing to the mob. “When you see your son gunned down in the street and then you see a police chief begin an attempt to attack his character, that’s just not the way to operate and we’ve made that clear to everyone,” he said.
This means Nixon believes that Jesse Jackson Sr. and Al Sharpton, who have been making campaign stops in Ferguson, have every right to be heard while the local police at the heart of the case should just remain silent and take whatever abuse is hurled at them.
Sharpton, the perpetrator of the infamous Tawana Brawley hoax and a close ally of President Obama, also weighed in on the release of the video. Yesterday in St. Louis he said:
“Michael Brown is gone. “You can run whatever video you want. He is not on trial. America is on trial!”
“I have never in all my years seen something as offensive and insulting as a police chief releasing a tape of a young man trying to smear him before we even have his funeral.”
However, the more we learn about the nature of the crime and of Brown’s character, the clearer it is to see who should really be on trial: The likes of Al Sharpton and the race-hate industry, whose lies are fueling a vicious war against civil society in Ferguson.
Meanwhile, an autopsy performed by famed pathologist Dr. Michael M. Baden, former chief medical examiner for New York City, determined that Brown was not shot in the back as some have claimed. In particular, the autopsy contradicts the “eye witness” account of one left-wing media darling, Tiffany Mitchell, who claimed on MSNBC that Officer Wilson was pursuing Brown as he ran away and that Brown was shot in the back as he fled.
The autopsy report concluded that Brown was shot six times. One bullet penetrated his right eye, proceeding through his face, leaving through his jaw and then entering his collarbone. The final two shots in his head were probably the last ones fired.
Brown, who otherwise appeared to be healthy, would have died as a result of the shooting even if he had been transported immediately to a hospital, Baden said.
“People have been asking: How many times was he shot? This information could have been released on Day 1,” Baden told the New York Times after completing the private four-hour autopsy yesterday. “They don’t do that, even as feelings built up among the citizenry that there was a cover-up. We are hoping to alleviate that.”
Baden stressed that he was not assigning blame for the death or justifying what was done the day of Brown’s death.
But Benjamin L. Crump, an attorney for Brown’s family, tried to use the new forensic evidence to bolster the case that the young man was a victim of police brutality.
“The sheer number of bullets and the way they were scattered all over his body showed this police officer had a brazen disregard for the very people he was supposed to protect in that community,” Crump said. “We want to make sure people understand what this case is about: This case is about a police officer executing a young unarmed man in broad daylight.”
Of course the fact that a suspect was shot repeatedly and all over his body doesn’t necessarily demonstrate “brazen disregard” or that the individual was summarily executed by a police officer. It more likely indicates that the shooter, rightly or wrongly, believed that the suspect posed a danger to his life. And the fact that a suspect was “unarmed” doesn’t necessarily have much probative value in a case in which the individual allegedly tried to gain control of a police officer’s firearm.
Crump covered travel expenses for Baden and an assistant to Missouri, retaining the two for the procedure. Baden waived his customary $10,000 fee, the newspaper reports.
This autopsy and an official county autopsy apparently aren’t enough. Now Eric Holder’s spokesman says the “extraordinary circumstances” — whatever those may be — require that a federal autopsy be conducted. Forty FBI agents have also reportedly gone door-to-door in Ferguson in an attempt to gather evidence in an ongoing civil rights investigation related to the shooting.
And they’ll keep digging until they find evidence that vindicates the mob and the left-wing media and the community organizers from Chicago who have descended on Ferguson in order to make an example of the innocent people who live there.
The Ferguson Feeding Frenzy
8/20/2014 12:01:00 AM - Michelle Malkin
The most poisonous "-ism" now infecting Ferguson, Missouri, is not virulent racism. It's viral narcissism.
Over the past two weeks, the impoverished St. Louis County suburb has become a magnet for self-absorbed publicity seekers of all colors and agendas.
Perhaps the most repulsive species on display in Ferguson is the Journalisto Vanitatis. This breed of egotistical East-Coast reporters can be easily identified by its ever-present appendages: a smartphone and smart glasses. For the J.V., the story is all about "me, me, me!" Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilly and Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery were among the first and most prominent Beltway journos to parachute into the Ferguson protests.
Admiring media colleagues hang on the J.V.'s every tweet and selfie. When Reilly and Lowery were "arrested" (that is, detained briefly and released) amid the chaos, they morphed into civil rights heroes. Both complained indignantly about not being read their "Miranda rights." Never mind that they were neither arrested nor interrogated, the two basic preconditions for Miranda warnings.
The J.V.'s have been hailed for their "courage" on the "front lines" -- like veritable 21st-century versions of Audie Murphy and Ernie Pyle! Of course, Audie Murphy and Ernie Pyle would know real bullets when they saw them. But Reilly revealed his abject cluelessness this week when he hysterically tweeted a photo of what he thought were "rubber bullets." They turned out to be high-capacity... ear plugs.
Not to be outdone, J.V. Chris Hayes of MSNBC squealed about being threatened with mace and simpered about being confined in a press area -- created by police for the safety of meandering interlopers gawking at rioters and looters. Later, he breathlessly trumpeted seeing a "dead body," which turned out to be neither dead nor a body.
While New York journalists have applauded reporters making themselves a part of the story, locals demonstrated their own opinion of MSNBC's journalism on Monday night -- by pelting Hayes and one of his co-anchors with rocks.
A close cousin of the Journalisto Vanitatus is the omniscient Albinus Hipsterex. These white progressives can't resist the opportunity to raise their fists and chant "F**k the police" to show they're down with the cause. Leftovers from the defunct Occupy Wall Street movement are now occupying West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson to make excuses for the vandals and thieves victimizing immigrant-owned convenience stores. The absurdity of these critters was best illustrated earlier this week in a candid photo of a trio of Albinus Hipsterii: two bandana-clad, tattooed anarchists strapping a gas mask onto a young woman sporting a tie-dyed shirt stretched across her heavily pregnant belly.
Next on the scene: Canis Celebritus -- also known as the Celebrity Hound Dog. Rapper Nelly best epitomizes this attention-seeking creature. He jetted down to Ferguson to preach peaceful social justice. Some in attendance took note of the wealthy rapper's ostentatious protest attire: massive diamond earrings as big as some of the rocks protesters hurled at hapless Hayes. Not-so-wise Nelly told residents not to "overreact," while accusing police of purposefully inflaming protesters in the same breath. He lectured the crowd to have a plan. But when asked to outline his own, he said he didn't have one, and his large megaphone went silent.
Accompanying Canis Celebritus are members of the infamous class of hucksters who belong to a class I'll dub Divisio Demagogus. Chief agitators include Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Marc Lamont Hill, Van Jones and Malik Shabazz. These race-hustling pot-stirrers have made their names concocting hate-crime hoaxes, inciting violence against police and deepening racial and ethnic division for decades. Their total lack of self-awareness never ceases to amaze. Hatemonger Shabazz, who repped the lying Duke lacrosse rape case liar, dropped into Ferguson to proclaim: "We're not going to let agent provocateurs ruin things tonight."
From the L.A. riots to Hurricane Katrina to Ferguson, an eternal truth endures: Tragedy is the mother of poisonous pretension.
Tuition Pays for This
Walter E. Williams
8/20/2014 12:01:00 AM - Walter E. Williams
According to College Board, average tuition and fees for the 2013-14 school year totaled $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for in-state residents at public colleges and $22,203 for out-of-state residents. Many schools, such as Columbia University and George Washington University, charge yearly tuition and fees close to $50,000. Faced with the increasing costs of higher education, parents and taxpayers might like to know what they're getting for their money.
Campus Reform documents outrageous behavior at some colleges. Mark Landis, a former accounting professor at San Francisco State University, frequently entertained students at this home. He now faces 15 charges of invasion of privacy. Police say he was discovered with dozens of graphic videos he had made of students using his bathroom.
Mireille Miller-Young -- professor of feminist studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara -- recently pleaded no contest to charges of theft of banners and assault on a pro-life protester last March.
Every so often, colleges get it right, as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign did when it withdrew its teaching offer to Steven G. Salaita. He had used his Twitter account to tell followers they are awful human beings if they support Israel, saying he supports the complete destruction of Israel, as well as calling for the decolonization of North America.
Then there are some strange college courses. At Georgetown University, there's a course called Philosophy and Star Trek, where professor Linda Wetzel explores questions such as "Can persons survive death?" and "Is time travel possible? Could we go back and kill our grandmothers?"
At Columbia College Chicago, there's a class called Zombies in Popular Media. The course description reads, "Daily assignments focus on reflection and commentary, while final projects foster thoughtful connections between student disciplines and the figure of the zombie."
West Coast colleges refuse to be left behind the times. University of California, Irvine physics professor Michael Dennin teaches The Science of Superheroes, in which he explores questions such as "Have you ever wondered if Superman could really bend steel bars?" and "Would a 'gamma ray' accident turn you into the Hulk?" and "What is a 'spidey-sense'?"
The average person would think that the major task of colleges is to educate and advance human knowledge. The best way to do that is to have competition in the marketplace of ideas. But Michael Yaki, head of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, disagrees. During a July 5 briefing on sexual harassment law in education, Yaki explained that college free speech restrictions are necessary because adolescent and young adult brains process information differently than adult brains.
Fortunately, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has waged a successful campaign against college restrictions on free speech. Some of its past victories include eliminating restrictions such as Bowdoin College's ban on jokes and stories "experienced by others as harassing"; Brown University's ban on "verbal behavior" that produced "feelings of impotence, anger or disenfranchisement," whether "unintentional or intentional"; the University of Connecticut's absurd ban of "inappropriately directed laughter"; and Colby College's ban on any speech that could lead to a loss of self-esteem. Some colleges sought to protect female students. Bryn Mawr College banned "suggestive looks," and "unwelcome flirtations" were not allowed at Haverford College.
Greg Lukianoff, president of FIRE and author of "Unlearning Liberty," argues that campus censorship is contributing to an atmosphere of stifled discourse. In 2010, an Association of American Colleges and Universities study found that only 17 percent of professors strongly agreed with the statement that it is "safe to hold unpopular positions on campus." Only 30 percent of college seniors strongly agreed with that statement. The First Amendment Center's annual survey found that a startling 47 percent of young people believe that the First Amendment "goes too far."
The bottom line is that many colleges have lost sight of their basic educational mission of teaching young people critical thinking skills, and they're failing at that mission at higher and higher costs to parents and taxpayers.
Why Gun Owners Need to Be Thankful
8/20/2014 12:01:00 AM - Scottie Hughes
I want to take advantage of the words of Rahm Emanuel when he said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste,” as we are enduring several crises here presently in the world today. It’s like a buffet of blood, riots, and death leaving gluttonous journalists never hungry for negative content. However, rather than join in the glass is half empty crowd, I decided there has to be something good coming out of all the turmoil.
When Robin Williams died, friends and fans alike in Hollywood and the liberal left were quick to call for attention to mental health and mental disorders. Their posts were demanding for Congressional hearings and education initiatives to encourage people to recognize the warning signs of someone who is suffering from a variety of mental disorders.
Right now, protesters have been filling the streets for more than a week protesting the death of Michael Brown. Some protests have been peaceful, while some have been violent and have involved the destruction of property. These more aggressive protests that have been contained by police serve as reminders of how quickly violent mobs can be motivated to rise and form.
In Iraq, the pictures and videos of the slaughter of Christian men, women and children are flooding social media. Despite President Obama’s claims that conditions are improving, I keep seeing more and more horrifying, vulgar pictures each day.
It is obvious that the Iraqi military are overwhelmed and cannot control the well-funded and increasing power of ISIS. Christians in Iraq have virtually been exterminated—for first time in a millennia, almost none are left within Iraq’s borders. Targeted only because of whom they choose to worship.
In these three news headlines we see the recognition and call for attention to mental disorders; violent protesters that can not only gather at a moments notice, but also have disregard for personal property; and an example of where the government is not strong enough to stop thousands of people from being murdered because of a choice they have made.
All three of these factors are key points of the pro-Second Amendment movement and right now, for the first time since President Obama took office in 2008, we can take a short breath of relief knowing that the last use of this president’s pen and phone would be to issue executive orders in regards to restricting our Second Amendment rights.
Every time there has been a mass shooting, gun grabbers are quick to lay blame on the lack of gun laws and scream loudly about how those in the federal government need to do everything in their power to take guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens. At the same time, those Second Amendment defenders accurately point out that the common denominator of all the shooters is that they suffer from some form of a mental disorder that was not being addressed or was being mishandled because of the politically correct society we now live in.
In a perfect world, Hollywood and pro-gun groups like the NRA might work together to encourage a new attitude, which would focus more on mental health and less on taking granny’s legal gun.
Both the protests in Ferguson as well as the slaying of Christians by ISIS reminds us that we do not live in a Leave It To Beaver sitcom and people still need the ability to defend themselves and their families against aggressors who want to do harm. Truth is, those who want to commit evil will always find a tool to carry out their goal and most of us just hope ours is more powerful.
While it is wishful thinking that President Obama cut short his vacation because he was just worried about running into Hillary at another social function and have to publicly give her a hug, truth is, I am sure his pen and his phone will be quite busy for the next few weeks until Congress returns.
Issues like immigration, healthcare waivers, and judicial appointments are sure to be on his agenda. However enjoy the brief respite, Second Amendment defenders, because it is safe to say that after the midterms you will be back to work It is only a matter of time before those on the left will find another reason to reignite the assault on granny and the rest of the law abiding citizens’ right to own and carry a gun.
Forgetting the Meaning of Freedom
Dr. Ben Carson
8/20/2014 12:01:00 AM - Dr. Ben Carson
Many people in this country were shocked when the U.S. Navy recently announced the removal of all Bibles from military hotels under their control. This was in response to pressure from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a well-known atheist group.
The surprise is not the hypocritical stance of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, but rather the fact that an established bulwark of American strength and patriotism caved to a self-serving group of religious fanatics. The previous sentence may seem out of place if you don't realize that atheism is actually a religion.
Like traditional religions, atheism requires strong conviction. In the case of atheists, it's the belief that there is no God and that all things can be proved by science. It is extremely hypocritical of the foundation to request the removal of Bibles from hotel rooms on the basis of their contention that the presence of Bibles indicates that the government is choosing one religion over another. If they really thought about it, they would realize that removal of religious materials imposes their religion on everyone else.
Some atheists argue that there should be a library or cachet of religious material at the check-in desk of a hotel from which any guest could order a Bible, Torah or Koran for their reading pleasure. No favoritism would be shown through such a system, and those who reject the idea of God would not have to be offended.
This is like saying there shouldn't be certain brands of bottled water in hotel rooms because there may be guests who prefer a different type of water or are offended by bottled water and think everybody should be drinking tap water. The logical answer to such absurdity would, of course, be that the offended individual could bring his own water or simply ignore the brand of water he does not care for.
As a nation, we must avoid the paralysis of hypersensitivity, which prevents us from getting anything done because virtually everything offends someone. We need to distribute "big boy" pants to help the whiners learn to focus their energy in a productive way. We must also go back and read the Constitution, including the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of religion. It says nothing about freedom from religion, and in fact, if you consider the context and the lives of those involved in the crafting of our founding documents, it is apparent that they believed in allowing their faith to guide their lives. This has nothing to do with imposing one's beliefs on someone else.
Those of us who do believe in God can hope and pray that at some point secular progressives will come to understand that they must abide by the same rules with which they attempt to control others. There is nothing wrong with the philosophy of "live and let live." America was designed to be a free country, where people could live as they pleased and pursue their dreams as long as they didn't infringe upon the rights of others. By continually broadening the scope of an "infringement" on the rights of others, the purveyors of division will succeed in destroying our nation -- but only if we continue to cater to their divisive rhetoric.
Liberty and justice for all has worked extremely well for an extended period of time, and there is no reason to upset the equilibrium by endowing the hypersensitive complainers in our society with more power than everyone else. Thankfully, the Navy quickly realized its mistake and restored the Bible to its lodges. Maybe now we can deal with the real issues that threaten our safety.