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
What is Wrong with the Black Culture in America
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The Patriot Post
Dec. 17, 2014
“It behooves you, therefore, to think and act for yourself and your people. The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.” –Thomas Jefferson, A Summary View of the Rights of British America, 1775
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Judge Arthur J. Schwab, nominated by George W. Bush, found parts of Barack Obama’s amnesty action2 unconstitutional Tuesday, writing that the president not only exceeded his own authority but usurped congressional power. “President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore is unconstitutional,” Judge Schwab said, though his opinion isn’t legally binding, as the case was simply one immigrant’s deportation hearing. Schwab also found Obama’s action goes far beyond prosecutorial discretion because it “provides for a systematic and rigid process by which a broad group of individuals will be treated differently than others based on arbitrary classifications, rather than case-by-case examinations.” Furthermore, Schwab wrote, it grants “substantive rights” to these individuals. It’s also important to note that there is no actual executive order – only a series of memos. Perhaps Obama knew an order wouldn’t survive a legal challenge and instead buried his mandate. Will higher courts do what congressional Republicans so far seem unwilling to do?
Barack Obama addressed U.S. troops at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (a.k.a. Fort Dix) in New Jersey, saying, “Our combat mission in Afghanistan will be over this month, and our war in Afghanistan will come to a responsible end.” Except it won’t. Thousands of U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan to continue operations against al-Qaida and the Taliban. Obama talked tough on al-Qaida, promising, “[M]ake no mistake, our coalition isn’t just going to degrade this barbaric terrorist organization – we’re going to destroy it.” But he also wants you to remember his success in “decimating al-Qaida’s core” by killing Osama bin Laden. The best we can say is leaving a contingent of U.S. forces in Afghanistan shows he perhaps learned a little something after abandoning Iraq5 to the Islamic State. On a final note, it’s worth remembering that Fort Dix was the target of the radical Weather Underground terrorists, who in 1970 planned to detonate a bomb6 at a dance for non-commissioned officers. Fortunately, the bomb detonated while they were constructing it, killing only three members of the group. Obama began his political career in the living room of two other members of the Weathermen: Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn7. He didn’t mention that in his speech.
NASA once put a man on the moon just seven years after setting out to do so. The space agency enjoyed glorious triumphs and persevered through tragic disasters over the years, but we’ve never seen anything quite like this. The Washington Post reports, “In June, NASA finished work on a huge construction project here in Mississippi: a $349 million laboratory tower, designed to test a new rocket engine in a chamber that mimicked the vacuum of space. Then, NASA did something odd. As soon as the work was done, it shut the tower down. The project was officially ‘mothballed’ – closed up and left empty – without ever being used. … The reason for the shutdown: The new tower – called the A-3 test stand – was useless. Just as expected. The rocket program it was designed for had been canceled in 2010.” So how did this happen? “[A]t first, cautious NASA bureaucrats didn’t want to stop the construction on their own authority. And then Congress – at the urging of a senator from Mississippi – swooped in and ordered the agency to finish the tower, no matter what. The result was that NASA spent four more years building something it didn’t need. Now, the agency will spend about $700,000 a year to maintain it in disuse.” A grossly over-budget monument to nothing now stands in Mississippi as a sad reminder that money without proper vision is a terrible waste.
The report Veterans Affairs released to Congress in April is flawed, yes, even downright misleading, a new report11 issued by the VA’s inspector general shows. At that time, the VA told Congress it examined the unresolved consults with veterans that remained open for more than 90 days going back to 1999. In that report, the VA said only 23 veterans died from delayed care. But now the IG questions the report’s accuracy, saying the way the VA conducted the review made the report “misleading or incorrect.” Chair of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Jeff Miller (R-FL) said12, “VA’s statistics regarding the number of veterans harmed by department delays in care are almost certainly wildly inaccurate, and we may never know the actual number of veterans affected by gaps in the VA system that existed for years.” Around this time last year, VA bureaucrats were collecting fat bonuses while veterans languished. After congressional investigation, it appears that the VA resisted reform and the same thing could happen this year.
Senate Republicans are upset at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for keeping them on Capitol Hill last weekend to vote on the constitutionality15 of Barack Obama’s executive amnesty when they wanted to veg for the holidays. They also say Cruz is the reason why Democrats were able to ram through Obama’s bureaucratic nominees16. But here’s how Cruz explained17 what happened behind closed doors over the weekend: “Within hours [of the House passed the spending bill], I joined a handful of other senators in going to leadership and affirmatively offering to cooperate to facilitate a quick vote on the CRomnibus – that very evening, we suggested – in exchange for a simple up or down vote on defunding executive amnesty. Republican leadership told us we would likely get our vote. All day Friday, they told us the same thing. Then, late Friday night, Harry Reid apparently changed his mind, and we were told there would be no vote on amnesty. At that point, I supported an objection to delaying the CRomnibus vote any further. We used the leverage we have under the rules to try to force our vote. Harry Reid responded in anger. He forced the Senate to come back Saturday and spend the entire day casting procedural votes to move forward a series of Obama nominations.” Reid would have gotten those nominations to help Obama with or without Cruz’s actions.
Some guys never learn to listen to Mom.
Case in point, the matriarch of the powerful Bush family says she doesn’t miss “one darn thing” about life in Washington. Furthermore, Barbara Bush said of her son, Jeb, “I don’t think he’ll run.” Why? “He’ll get all our enemies, half our friends.”
But despite Mom’s wishes, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush posted on Facebook21 Tuesday his intention to explore a run for president in 2016.
In the post, he said that over Thanksgiving weekend his family discussed America’s future at length. “As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs,” he wrote, “I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States.” He plans to create a political action committee to “facilitate conversations with citizens across America.” The Facebook post was likely designed to make him look tech-savvy – all the cool people are on Facebook – and separate him from the media’s Republican caricature.
But again, we remember the words of his mother: “I think it’s a great country, there are a lot of great families, and it’s not just four families or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified, and we’ve had enough Bushes.”
We couldn’t agree more. Rule by dynasty is one of the reasons we separated from Britain. Jeb would be the third Bush candidate, but the family already has enough children and grandchildren to last through the 2100 election.
Few these days would call Jeb Bush a genuine conservative, though he was a successful and popular governor in Florida, cutting taxes several times and pushing school choice. Yet many would argue he cedes any claim to the moniker “conservative” because he supports a “path to citizenship” for illegal aliens, as well as Barack Obama’s Common Core22 curriculum that will have the next generation capable only of communicating through Instagram.
And the Bushes' close-knit family friendship with the Clintons is bothersome. While Bill Clinton is infamously known to conservatives as “Slick Willy,” Jeb and his brothers refer to Bill as a “brother by another mother” and to Hillary as a sister-in-law. A Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton race would be little more than a family reunion.
Jeb’s longtime advisers, Sally Bradshaw and Mike Murphy, will likely serve again in his campaign, though, notably, he hasn’t run for office since 2002. Bradshaw served as Mitt Romney’s senior adviser in his 2008 presidential bid, advised him during his 1998 gubernatorial campaign, and advised John McCain on his presidential bids. Murphy has also advised such nationally prominent Republicans as John McCain, Christie Whitman, Lamar Alexander, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not a conservative in the bunch.
Holding positions that the party’s base would reject out of hand leaves us wondering how Bush expects to get anywhere in his campaign. A recent McClatchy-Marist poll23 has Bush at 17%, two points behind Romney. But the poll has 15 candidates, and nearly two-thirds of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they favored a candidate who will stand for conservative principles. And a poll nearly two years out doesn’t mean much except to excite hopeful contenders.
Clearly, a significant philosophical difference divides the Republican Party. The leadership, the elites and the donor class want the party to “modernize.” They argue that as national demographics change, the “outworn thinking” – especially what they consider the radical Christian element – will ultimately marginalize the party for most segments of society.
Republican elite also fear Tea Party-esque Republican “radicals” will cause another Barry Goldwater-like landslide loss. They point to Baby Boomers who will demand more benefits as they age, and to Millennials24 who gave Obama 66% of their votes in 2008 and 60% in 2012, making them the most government-friendly generation since FDR.
Jeb Bush is just the kind of candidate these elites want – one who can keep a Republican Congress in check, keep ObamaCare with some reforms, grant amnesty (an essentially open-borders policy that warms their hearts and protects their wallets with cheap labor), and generally acquiesce to the Left’s social agenda.
But grassroots conservatives are furious with the Republican establishment. During the Bush years, voters gave Republicans control of Congress and the presidency for more time than in any period in nearly a century. In return, Republicans gave us grossly inflated spending, a new entitlement (Medicare Part D) and a new federal behemoth bureaucracy (DHS).
Last month, after six difficult years under an imperial presidency25, voters gave Republicans another bite at the apple with solid majorities in both houses of Congress. Naturally, then, party leaders helped pass the CRomnibus26 and hindered conservatives' ability to stop Obama’s most loathed plans.
Given this sordid history, it’s not overstating the case to say that the party’s next choice for its presidential candidate could have long-lasting consequences with its base.
The stores in Russia were jammed Tuesday with people snatching TVs, cooking equipment and appliances. Lines of shoppers piled up and shelves were stripped bare. While the pictures28 resembled Black Friday in America, Russians rushed to the stores on Black Tuesday not to snag holiday deals but to convert their savings into something more stable than rubles.
Russia’s currency started its nosedive Monday. The Russian central bank tried to entice investors to keep the ruble. In a 1 a.m. meeting, it cranked the interest rate from 10.5% to 17% to encourage people to keep using the currency. But the Russian government faced a lose-lose situation. Increasing interest rates to save the ruble hurts the everyday Russian family by hobbling the Great Bear’s economy. But doing what was best for the average Russian would doom the country’s large industries, which make money in rubles but owe debts in dollars. The ruble lost 17% against the dollar Monday and Tuesday (and 50% since June), and it continued fluctuating wildly Wednesday.
The U.S. is largely responsible for Russia’s misfortune, as our fracking revolution sent oil prices plummeting below $60 a barrel. It’s great for America’s economy, its national security and your wallet29, but disastrous for Russia. As Matt O'Brian writes30, “It’s only a small simplification, you see, to say that Russia doesn’t so much have an economy as it has an oil exporting business that subsidizes everything else.”
On top of this, America is poised to hit Russia with a third round of economic sanctions this week. The first round came after Russia plucked Crimea from Ukraine in March, and the second round hit Russia after its missiles were used in July to shoot down civilian flight MH1731.
The White House sees Russia’s imploding economy as a sign that its strategy is working – that “history is against them,” to borrow Barack Obama’s formulation. Jason Furman, who chairs the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, said32, “I think they are facing a very serious economic situation, and it’s a serious economic situation that is largely of their own making and largely reflects the consequences of not following a set of international rules.”
The remaining question is how Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been playing Eastern Europe like a chess board, will respond now that his queen has been captured.
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air wonders if33 the ruble’s collapse could turn Russia’s oligarchs – its oil tycoon mafia types – against Putin, possibly paving the way for his removal. But other pundits fear Putin will only be more dangerous. “There is nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal,” writes Jake Novak at CNBC34. “Vladimir Putin is wounded – and he’s not known for holding back. His entire adventure in Ukraine this year is an example of just how destructive and unpredictable Putin can be, and that all happened when oil was still trading at $100 a barrel.”
For rulers like Putin, the number one priority is to keep power, period. For Putin and his Machiavellian tactics, that includes smothering freedom of speech, bullying neighboring countries and offing a few political enemies via the KGB. But as Niccolo Machiavelli himself argued in “The Prince,” any ruler must nurture the favor of the people. “I shall conclude only that for a price it is necessary to have his people as a friend, otherwise, in adversities, he has no remedy,” Machiavelli wrote. The Prince of Despots also noted rulers keep power based on the loyalty of the governors underneath him. In Putin’s case, those are Russia’s oligarchs.
Even the Clintons know the way to keep the subjects happy is to keep the economy humming. For what it’s worth, Russians just named Putin man of the year35 for the 15th time in a row, showing how “popular” he is. But how long will his popularity last, as Russian army veterans worry if the government will stop paying out pensions36 and inflation threatens to climb into double digits? Russia imports much of its food. And winter is coming.
Putin could always divert from the economic issues to the war in Ukraine or a chilly conflict with the West. He’s framed Russia’s involvement in the past as concern over native Russians in Ukraine yearning to join the motherland. It’s not a stretch to imagine Putin whipping up the drums of war to distract from the lack of bread.
But this is not the first time Russia’s economy suddenly fell. Yegor Gaidar, who was Russia’s acting prime minister, minister of economy and first deputy prime minister between 1991 and 1994, recalled37 in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, “In 1985 the idea that the Soviet Union would begin bargaining for money in exchange for political concessions would have sounded absolutely preposterous to the Soviet leadership. In 1989 it became a reality, and Gorbachev understood the need for at least $100 billion from the West to prop up the oil-dependent Soviet economy.”
Last time oil prices and sanctions crippled Russia’s economy, a totalitarian government fell. The chance for the next generation is coming.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Author Eric Hoffer (1902-1983): “To the frustrated, freedom from responsibility is more attractive than freedom from restraint. They are eager to barter their independence for relief from the burdens of willing, deciding and being responsible for inevitable failure. They willingly abdicate the directing of their lives to those who want to plan, command and shoulder all responsibility.”
Columnist Walter E. Williams: “Imagine a chief of police in a city where there has been a rash of automobile hubcap thefts and he’s trying to capture the culprits. Should he have his officers stake out and investigate residents of senior citizen homes? What about spending resources investigating men and women 40 or older? I would imagine that he would have greater success in capturing the culprits by focusing most of his resources on younger people – and particularly on young men. Doing so would more likely lead to the capture of the culprits because hubcap theft is a young man’s game. My question to you is whether you’d bring charges against the police chief because he used age and sex profiling – and didn’t investigate seniors and middle-aged adults. … God would never do profiling of any sort, because God is omniscient. We humans lack that quality and must depend upon sometimes-crude substitutes for finding out things. By the way, my attempting to explain profiling doesn’t require one to take a position for or against it any more than the attempt to explain gravity requires one to be for or against gravity.”
Columnist Ben Shapiro: “On Monday, Australian police stormed the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney, where an Islamist terrorist named Man Haron Monis had taken dozens of hostages and held them for 17 hours. … Australians all over the country took action: They tweeted with the hashtag #illridewithyou. This hashtag came from the mind of one Rachel Jacobs, who witnessed a Muslim woman removing her hijab on the local train after the news of the hostage situation broke. Jacobs tweeted, ‘I ran after her at the train station. I said "put it back on. I’ll walk with u.” She started to cry and hugged me for about a minute – then walked off alone.’ … Here’s the problem: Islamists don’t care about hashtags when they can take hostages and earn the sympathetic hashtags of others. … [T]]o slander the West with a sort of communal guilt for an Original Sin, even as the West is under fire from those who would seek to destroy its civilizational foundations, is nothing less than barbaric.“
Comedian Conan O'Brien: ”[Monday] in Washington, DC, several government buildings were left without power. Of course, the White House will be without power for two more years.“
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
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.
Jeb Bush: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Waterboy
12/17/2014 12:01:00 AM - Michelle Malkin
Allow me to unite America's left, right and center in just three words: No, Jeb, No.
Former GOP Florida governor Jeb Bush made the obvious official this week when he announced on Facebook that he's "actively exploring" a 2016 White House run. Of course, he's running. That's what inveterate politicians do.
Well, I hate to break it to Jeb Inc. There's no popular groundswell for Bush Part III. None, zip, nada. Independents, progressives and conservatives are all weary of the entrenched bipartisan dynasties that rule Washington and ruin America. Only in the hallowed bubble of D.C. and New York City elites does a Jeb Bush presidential bid make any sense.
Jeb's indulgent (and ultimately doomed) enterprise has three privileged constituencies: Big Business, Big Government and Big Media. This iron triumvirate explains how the failed campaigns of so-called "pragmatic," "thoughtful" and "moooooderate" liberal Republican candidates such as John McCain, Jon Huntsman and Bob Dole ever got off the ground. The "Reasonable Republican," anointed and enabled by the statist Big Three, serves as a useful tool for bashing conservatives and marginalizing conservatism.
For Republicans who argue that Jeb is the most "electable" choice, I ask: What planet are you on? After two disastrous terms of Barack Obama's Hope and Change Theater, the last thing the Republican Party needs is an establishment poster child for Washington business as usual. I mean, really? A third Bush who's been working for his dad, his dad's friends or the government since 1980?
A Beltway-ensconced scion so chummy with the Clinton family that he awarded close family friend -- and potential 2016 nemesis -- Hillary a "Liberty Medal" last year as chairman of the National Constitution Center?
That's the GOP donor bigwigs' "fresh idea" for "American Renewal?"
To blunt criticism from the grassroots base on the right, Jeb's cheerleaders at the Wall Street Journal cite his "conservative" gubernatorial record of cutting taxes and privatizing jobs. So we're supposed to swoon when a GOP governor acts like he's supposed to act on standard, bread-and-butter GOP issues? Whoop-de-doo.
One thing Jeb's promoters won't be emphasizing: Over the course of his eight years in the Florida governor's mansion, government spending skyrocketed. The libertarian Cato Institute notes that Florida general fund spending "increased from $18.0 billion to $28.2 billion during those eight years, or 57 percent" and that "(t)otal state spending increased from $45.6 billion to $66.1 billion, or 45 percent."
Like big-spending father, like big-spending big brother, like big-spending second son and lil' brother.
I have another interpretation of Bush's "conservative" Florida years: It's called biding his time. Yes, Jeb put in his obligatorily GOP service on taxes and the Second Amendment. Not because he was wedded to deep-rooted principles, mind you. But because the "conservative" facade will come in handy during the primaries when he has to defend radical, divisive positions on his two defining national policy issues: Education and immigration.
Jeb Bush's agenda is neither left nor right. His agenda is the agenda of the D.C. headquarters of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Remember: The chamber is a politically entrenched synod of bipartisan special interests. As I've said before, these fat cats do not represent the best interests of American entrepreneurs, American workers, American parents and students or Americans of any race, class or age who believe in low taxes and limited government.
The chamber's business is the big business of the Beltway, not the business of mainstream America. And so is Jeb Bush's.
The Chamber supports mass amnesty for cheap, illegal alien workers. Jeb Bush supports mass legalization of cheap, illegal alien workers and accuses those of us who oppose it on constitutional, sovereignty, security and fairness grounds of lacking "compassion."
The Chamber supports the top-down, privacy-undermining, local autonomy-sabotaging Common Core racket. Jeb Bush spearheaded and profited from Common Core -- and accuses those of us who oppose it of opposing academic excellence for our own children. Jeb's problem isn't just Common Core. It's that he has no core. Instead of retreating from the costly federalized scheme that has alienated teachers, administrators and parents of all backgrounds, Bush has doubled down with his Fed Ed control freak allies and corporate donors.
The reign of Obama ushered in massive cronyism, corporate favoritism and Boomtown boondoggles galore. We've lived too long already under the boot of arrogant D.C. bureaucrats who've exploited their power to serve their friends.
No more business as usual: Stop Jeb Bush.
Should Profiling Be Banned?
Walter E. Williams
12/17/2014 12:01:00 AM - Walter E. Williams
Last week, the Obama administration announced new curbs on racial profiling by federal law enforcement. Before deciding whether this is good or bad policy, we might try to develop a description/definition of racial profiling or any other kind of profiling.
A good definition of profiling in general is the use of an easily observed physical characteristic as a guess for some other, difficult-to-observe characteristic. The reason people profile is that information is costly and they seek methods to economize on information costs. One way to do that is through profiling.
Imagine a chief of police in a city where there has been a rash of automobile hubcap thefts and he's trying to capture the culprits. Should he have his officers stake out and investigate residents of senior citizen homes? What about spending resources investigating men and women 40 or older? I would imagine that he would have greater success in capturing the culprits by focusing most of his resources on younger people -- and particularly on young men. Doing so would more likely lead to the capture of the culprits because hubcap theft is a young man's game. My question to you is whether you'd bring charges against the police chief because he used age and sex profiling -- and didn't investigate seniors and middle-aged adults.
Some years ago, a Washington, D.C., taxicab commissioner, who is black, issued a safety advisory urging D.C.'s 6,800 predominantly black cabbies to refuse to pick up "dangerous looking" passengers. Cabbies in D.C. and other cities often bypass black males for fear of robbery or of being taken to an unsafe neighborhood. We seriously misunderstand the motives of a taxi driver who racially profiles and passes up a black customer if we use racism as the sole explanation for his behavior.
The reality is that race and other behavioral characteristics are correlated, including criminal behavior. That fact does not dispel the insult, embarrassment, anger and hurt a law-abiding black person might feel when being stopped by police, being watched in stores, being passed up by taxi drivers, standing at traffic lights and hearing car door locks activated, or being refused delivery by merchants who fear for their safety in his neighborhood. It is easy to direct one's anger at the taxi driver or the merchant. However, the behavior of taxi drivers and owners of pizza restaurants cannot be explained by a dislike of dollars from black hands. A better explanation is they might fear for their lives. The true villains, to whom anger should be directed, are the tiny percentage of people in the black community who prey on both blacks and whites and have made black synonymous with crime.
There's little-noticed racial profiling in medicine. Some racial and ethnic groups have a higher incidence of mortality from various diseases than the national average. Mortality rates for cardiovascular diseases are approximately 30 percent higher among black adults than among white adults. Cervical cancer rates are almost five times higher among Vietnamese women in the U.S. than among white women. The Pima Indians of Arizona have the highest known diabetes rate in the world. Prostate cancer is nearly twice as common among black men as it is among white men. Would one condemn a medical practitioner for advising greater screening and monitoring of black men for cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer or greater screening and monitoring for cervical cancer among Vietnamese-American women or the same for diabetes among Pima Indians? It surely would be racial profiling -- using race as an indicator of a higher probability of some other characteristic.
God would never do profiling of any sort, because God is omniscient. We humans lack that quality and must depend upon sometimes-crude substitutes for finding out things. By the way, my attempting to explain profiling doesn't require one to take a position for or against it any more than the attempt to explain gravity requires one to be for or against gravity.
Women Have a Role to Play in Ending Rape
12/17/2014 12:01:00 AM - Erica Wanis
Before circumstances and Providence brought me to a small, Christian liberal arts college in a sleepy northern Virginia town, I spent three years studying at the University of Illinois followed by a two year stint in the Army. Needless to say, I spent much of my early twenties participating in American party culture, and I'm lucky I made it through those years relatively unscathed. Looking back, I made a lot of foolish decisions. I put myself in a lot of compromising situations that could have easily taken a dark turn. What I have to say in the following paragraphs, then, does not come from a place of ignorance or unsympathetic idealism. It comes from a woman who's played the game, learned many lessons, and come to realize exactly what's at stake for America's young people if something major doesn't change. It comes from a mother who knows in her heart that it's her daughter, even more than her son, who has a role to play in the change that needs to happen.
Rape is terrible. It is something that no person should ever have to experience. The way the issue is being politicized and sensationalized by feminists and their sympathizers in the media, however, is not helping matters. It is eclipsing the true nature of the problem and preventing authentic dialog from occurring. The hysterical and sometimes supremely irresponsible media coverage of this issue has created the impression that America has a rape epidemic on its hands, and hordes of feminist activists have mobilized to combat it. On college campuses across America, students are protesting what they see as institutional indifference to an extremely serious problem. A group of students at the University of Virginia participated in a "SlutWalk" protest to draw attention to the problem of rape. Protest organizer Maria Dehart explained the origins of the provocative name. "[Slut Walk]," she said, "is trying to fight against this victim-blaming, slut-shaming culture we have that sexualizes women, yet shames them for being sexual. So we were trying to take the word slut, and the movement tries to turn it around and take the shame out of it."
With virtually any other public health crisis, Progressives are more than eager to examine the causal factors at play. Think of how they addressed the AIDS epidemic, or how they discuss the problem of obesity. "Why is this happening? What behaviors increase the risks of this happening? What can people to do avoid it?" Not so with the public health crisis that is rape. On this issue Progressives stop short of critical analysis and resort to the infantile tactic of indiscriminate male bashing. Anyone who dares ask these basic questions and ventures to connect the dots between behavior and consequences when it comes to rape is pilloried as a foot soldier in the so-called War on Women.
Professor Harvey Mansfield incurred the wrath of feminists when he suggested that feminism itself shares much of the blame for campus "rape culture" and that a return to standards of feminine modesty and gentlemanly honor holds the key to combating it. From his letter:
"In return for women's holding to a higher standard of sexual behavior, feminine modesty gave them protection while they considered whether they wanted to consent. It gave them time: Not so fast! Not the first date! I'm not ready for that! It gave them the pleasure of being courted along with the advantage of looking before you leap. To win over a woman, men had to strive to express their finer feelings, if they had any. Women could judge their character and choose accordingly. In sum, women had the right of choice, if I may borrow that slogan. All this and more was social construction, to be sure, but on the basis of the bent toward modesty that was held to be in the nature of women. That inclination, it was thought, cooperated with the aggressive drive in the nature of men that could be beneficially constructed into the male duty to take the initiative. There was no guarantee of perfection in this arrangement, but at least each sex would have a legitimate expectation of possible success in seeking marital happiness. They could live together, have children, and take care of them.
Without feminine modesty, however, women must imitate men, and in matters of sex, the most predatory men, as we have seen. The consequence is the hook-up culture now prevalent on college campuses, and off-campus too (even more, it is said). The purpose of hooking up is to replace the human complexity of courtship with "good sex," a kind of animal simplicity, eliminating all the preliminaries to sex as well as the aftermath. "Good sex," by the way, is in good part a social construction of the alliance between feminists and male predators that we see today. It narrows and distorts the human potentiality for something nobler and more satisfying than the bare minimum."
Feminists reject Mansfield's analysis wholesale. They scoff at the misogynistic notion that women have a responsibility to protect themselves from unwanted sexual advances by conducting themselves in a ladylike manner. On the contrary, they insist that women should be able to act however they please. They should let their libidos run free and wild. They should be able to participate in the popular hookup culture. They should be able to dress provocatively, and party and drink and flirt without any thought for the compromising situations this behavior might lead to, the dangers they might find in dark dorm rooms and frat houses, their reason and their inhibitions weakened by alcohol. And men should stand ready to respond to the whims of the feminine libido... but they must also be responsible for navigating the gray and foggy world of "consent." The "SlutWalk"ers don't explain exactly how this would look or should work, other than to suggest that we program our boys to be able to determine "conscious consent" without error, and that if in any way a woman is unhappy with the way an encounter plays out, it's 100%, without question always the man's fault.
This all speaks to the feminist's refusal to acknowledge reality, reality about their own nature as women and that of their male counterparts. And as Mansfield suggests, this refusal bears significant responsibility for increasing rates of sexual violence on college campuses. Feminist and cultural commentator Camille Paglia recently discussed the terrible danger of feminine obliviousness to their innate vulnerability and their cavalier attitude about the sexual power they wield. In the wake of UVA student Hannah Graham's disappearance, Paglia wrote:
"Too many young middleclass women, raised far from the urban streets, seem to expect adult life to be an extension of their comfortable, overprotected homes. But the world remains a wilderness. The price of women's modern freedoms is personal responsibility for vigilance and self-defense.
Current educational codes, tracking liberal-Left, are perpetuating illusions about sex and gender. The basic Leftist premise, descending from Marxism, is that all problems in human life stem from an unjust society and that corrections and fine-tunings of that social mechanism will eventually bring utopia. Progressives have unquestioned faith in the perfectibility of mankind.
The horrors and atrocities of history have been edited out of primary and secondary education except where they can be blamed on racism, sexism, and imperialism – toxins embedded in oppressive outside structures that must be smashed and remade. But the real problem resides in human nature, which religion as well as great art sees as eternally torn by a war between the forces of darkness and light...
The gender ideology dominating academe denies that sex differences are rooted in biology and sees them instead as malleable fictions that can be revised at will. The assumption is that complaints and protests, enforced by sympathetic campus bureaucrats and government regulators, can and will fundamentally alter all men. . . .
Misled by the naive optimism and "You go, girl!" boosterism of their upbringing, young women do not see the animal eyes glowing at them in the dark. They assume that bared flesh and sexy clothes are just a fashion statement containing no messages that might be misread and twisted by a psychotic. They do not understand the fragility of civilization and the constant nearness of savage nature."
Paglia, in discussing the pathology of sex crime, articulates precisely the problem with prevailing feminist attitudes about sex. In rejecting the notion that women have a responsibility of personal vigilance and self-defense, they are exposing themselves to grave dangers. For some, like Hannah Graham, the price paid is their very lives. For others, it is the trauma of rape or the embarrassment of an early morning "walk of shame."
If indeed American college campuses are experiencing an epidemic of rape, then women must be willing to consider how their attitudes and behavior might be contributing to the problem. This would likely mean a radical transformation of college party culture, including a female-led rejection of the hookup culture that has and continues to damage so many young lives. Would such a change eradicate all instances of rape? Certainly not, but in the case of the alcohol-soaked, consensually-murky encounters plaguing America's institutions of higher learning, it would go along way towards solving the problem.
Democrats' Wasteful Torture Report
Dr. Ben Carson
12/17/2014 12:01:00 AM - Dr. Ben Carson
The recent release of a Senate report commissioned by Democrats regarding torture of terrorism suspects in order to obtain vital information was a waste of $40 million of taxpayer money.
It already had been documented extensively that three suspects were waterboarded and that sleep deprivation and other such techniques were used to extract vital information from terrorists. Though the report says otherwise, that information played a part in the apprehension or annihilation of many upper-echelon terrorist leaders, including Osama bin Laden. The high-profile release of this information at a time when we are engaged in war with various terrorist groups demonstrates a profound lack of wisdom because this information will undoubtedly be used as an effective recruitment tool by our enemies.
Some of the people responsible for the release of this report have publicly acknowledged that it could put members of the military and other Americans at significant risk because they could now become prized targets for revenge. It seems likely that the unwise timing of this information release was politically motivated, seeing as control of the Senate will be in Republican hands in January.
This is a prime example of a potentially lethal disease that has infected Washington, called blind partisanship. It is exhibited when people are more concerned about damaging the other party or enhancing their own party than they are about the welfare of their nation. Of course, we should all be concerned about cruel and unusual treatment of any human being, but we must have enough common sense to recognize that it is foolish to do anything that contributes to the long-term weakening of our military efforts, especially when we are engaged in a war, even though some may not want to call it that.
Unfortunately, conflicts and wars seem to be a part of the human condition from which we cannot escape, even though we must never cease trying. However, when we are involved in a war, we should use every resource available to end it quickly and successfully, including the use of covert weapons and techniques that are not meant for public consumption. It is absolutely foolhardy to believe that everyone is going to abide by the rules of moral war, if there are such things. If we allow our enemies to do anything they want to do, including beheading our citizens, but we feel that we must accord them every courtesy and comfort, our days of winning wars will be over. We should not put our military forces, our intelligence-gathering forces or any of our defensive or offensive personnel in a position of questioning whether we will back them up when a problem arises if they are using their best judgment on behalf of their fellow citizens. This will only cause them to be fearful and tentative at times when definitive and aggressive action is warranted.
The $40 million that was used on this study could have been better employed to study alternative techniques for extracting vital information from unwilling captives, which could be added to our armamentarium. We also need to understand that peace is much more likely to be realized if we are in a position of strength and possess a military force that cannot be challenged. We also might experience more peace if we tried to anticipate and prepare for trouble, as opposed to waiting and simply reacting to ever-increasing problems.
Members of both parties need to take time to figure out who the real enemies are and stop trying to demonize each other. We have a lot to be proud of as Americans. Maybe we should spend time studying and talking about that.
12/16/2014 12:01:00 AM - Thomas Sowell
Critics and defenders of the harsh interrogation methods applied to captured terrorists can argue forever over whether those methods were "torture." But any serious discussion of a serious issue -- and surely terrorism qualifies as serious -- has to move beyond semantics and confront the ultimate question: "Compared to what alternative?"
If you knew that there was a hidden nuclear time bomb planted somewhere in New York City -- set to go off today -- and you had a captured terrorist who knew where and when, would you not do anything whatever to make him tell you where and when? Would you pause to look up the definition of "torture"? Would you even care what the definition of "torture" was, when the alternative was seeing millions of innocent people murdered?
Senator Dianne Feinstein's recent release of a massive report on the CIA's severe interrogation methods, used against captured Islamic terrorists, has set off a firestorm of controversy. It is hard to see what benefit the United States of America gains from releasing that report. But it is painfully obvious what lasting damage has been done to the security of Americans.
One of the most obscene acts of the Obama administration, when it first took office, was to launch a criminal investigation of CIA agents who had used harsh interrogation methods against captured terrorists in the wake of the devastating September 11, 2001 aerial attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Right after those terrorist attacks, when there were desperate fears of what might be coming next, these CIA agents were trying to spare fellow Americans another attack that could take thousands more lives, or perhaps millions more. To turn on these agents, years later, after they did what they were urged to do, as a patriotic duty in a time of crisis, is both a betrayal of those who acted in the past and a disincentive to those in the future who are charged with safeguarding the nation.
Other nations, whose cooperation we need, in order to disrupt international terrorist networks, see how their involvement has now been revealed to the whole world -- including terrorists -- because supposedly responsible American officials, in the Congress of the United States, cannot keep their mouths shut.
The public's "right to know" has often been invoked to justify publicizing confidential information. But is there any evidence that the American public was clamoring to learn state secrets, which every government has? I don't know where our nuclear weapons are located and I don't want to know, certainly not at the cost of letting our enemies know.
The ease with which politicians are willing to pull the rug out from under people whose job is to safeguard our lives -- whether they are CIA agents, the police or the military -- is not only a betrayal of those people but a danger to us all.
People who are constantly denouncing the police, including with demonstrable lies, may think they are showing solidarity with people in the ghettos. But, when police hesitate to go beyond "kinder and gentler" policing, that leaves decent people in black communities at the mercy of hoodlums and thugs who have no mercy.
When conscientious young people, of any race, who would like to help maintain peace and order see that being a policeman means having race hustlers constantly whipping up mob hostility against you -- and having opportunistic politicians and the media joining the race hustlers -- those young people may well decide that some other line of work would be better for them.
High crime areas need not only the most, but the best, police they can get. Taking cheap shots at cops is not the way to get the people who are needed.
When people who volunteer to put their lives on the line in the military to defend this country, at home and abroad, see their buddies killed on the battlefield, and sometimes themselves come back minus an arm or a leg, or with severe physical and mental damage that they may never get over -- and then see some headstrong politician in the White House throw away everything they fought for, and see enemy forces take back places for which Americans shed their blood, that can be galling to them and a deterrent to others who might otherwise take their place in the future.
If we cannot see beyond the moment today, we will pay dearly tomorrow and in many more tomorrows.
Hacking Sony? It's Near Treason
Debra J. Saunders
12/16/2014 12:01:00 AM - Debra J. Saunders
The intelligence was obtained illegally. The hackers presented a threat to workers and their families. Foreign operatives likely were behind the document theft. Any news organizations that report this ill-gotten information are, if not un-American, surely "morally treasonous and spectacularly dishonorable."
Are those the words of intelligence talking heads railing against National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden? No, they are the thoughts of screenwriter and "Newsroom" creator Aaron Sorkin, who argued in The New York Times on Monday that news organizations should not print stories about purloined internal Sony corporate documents -- replete with dirt on stars' compensation, employee medical records and top execs' emails, some with snarky racial references to President Barack Obama. The documents were extracted by a group that calls itself Guardians of Peace, which threatened to leak more Sony tidbits if the corporation goes through with its scheduled Christmas Day release of the comedy "The Interview," about a CIA-inspired assassination plot against North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un.
"You're giving material aid to criminals," Sorkin scolded. And: "First, salaries were published. Not by the hackers, but by American news outlets." Sorkin directed more umbrage toward the "American journalists helping them" than he did toward the hackers, who reputedly are linked somehow to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.
There is something precious about Sorkin's outrage toward the Sony leaks. Sorkin notes that the Guardians of Peace have threatened Sony families. OK, the same can be said of a spate of national security leaks, which threaten to expose U.S. intelligence assets abroad.
It says something about this country's lack of seriousness that the Hollywood left can applaud hackers who purloin sensitive national security information but can find outrage after leaked emails reveal that Hollywood honchos -- as opposed to tea party activists -- can be racially insensitive. CNN's Don Lemon confessed that he is "torn" about the Sony story. Lemon asked, "Do you want people gaining information that way?" How else does Lemon think this happens?
Sorry. It's hard to hit the brakes on the leak culture when it has run over so many nameless public servants in the intelligence community.
For its part, Sony reacted with Washington-like heavy-handedness. The entertainment giant hired David Boies, the lawyer who represented Al Gore's losing case on the 2000 Florida presidential vote recount. He shot off a letter to news outlets warning that the material is "stolen information," that Sony does not consent to publication of hacked documents and that the corporation "will have no choice but to hold (them) responsible for any damage or loss arising from such use or dissemination by (them)."
If Sony wants to win public sympathy, then its execs should be railing about the copious blood on Kim Jong Un's hands. They could vow not to buckle to blackmail, be it from the henchmen of a North Korean despot or anonymous anarchistic hackers. They even could talk about the ugliness of information theft.
Instead, Sony hired a big-shot lawyer to repeat the thought of every Hollywood biggie treated like a civilian: Don't you know who I am?
Ph.D.'s and other False Gods
12/16/2014 12:01:00 AM - Dennis Prager
I have been devoting my columns this month to the Ten Commandments because we need a fixed moral anchor to solve the problem of evil. And nothing is as effective as the Ten Commandments.
Two weeks ago PragerUniversity.com released 11 five-minute video courses -- one for each Commandment and an introduction. It has received over two million views.
Everything needed to make a good world is contained in these Ten Commandments.
Whatever your faith, or if you have no faith, I invite you to watch the videos at www.prageru.com. They are cleverly animated with text and graphics.
Here is the video commentary on the second commandment as enumerated in the oldest, that is, the Jewish, tradition. In Christian tradition, it is the first commandment.
The most common translation begins: "You shall have no other gods before me."
The commandment then goes on to prohibit both making idols and worshiping idols.
Most people, when they think of this commandment, understandably think that it only prohibits the worship of idols and the worship of gods such as the ancient pagan gods of rain, of fertility, all the other nature gods, and chief gods such as the Roman Jupiter and the Greek Zeus.
However, there is a major problem with this understanding of the commandment. Since no one today worships these gods, let alone worships idols made of metal, wood or stone, most people think that this commandment is irrelevant to modern life.
The irony, however, is that this commandment is not only relevant to modern life, but also it is in many ways the mother of all the other commandments.
Why is it relevant today? Because today we have as many false gods as the ancients did. And why is it the mother of all the other commandments? Because if we identify false gods and avoid worshipping them, we will eliminate one of the greatest barriers to a good world.
So, let's begin by defining a false god. The point of biblical monotheism is that there is only one god and that only this God, the Creator of the universe who demands that we keep these Ten Commandments, is to be worshiped.
Why? First, because one God means one human race. Only if we all have the same Creator, or Father, as it were, are we are all brothers and sisters. Second, having the same parent also means that no person is intrinsically more valuable than any other. And third, one God means one moral standard for all people. If God declares murder wrong, it is wrong for everyone, and you can't go to another god for another moral standard.
When anything else is worshipped, bad things result. Not only things that can obviously lead to evil such as the worship of power, or race, or money, or flag. But also things that are almost always seen as quite beautiful -- such as art, or education or even love. Yes, any of these often wonderful things, when worshipped, can lead to terrible results.
Take art. Many of the cruelest humans in history loved beautiful music and art. But, as a music lover, I learned early in life the sad fact that great music can be used to inspire people to follow evil just as much as it can be used to inspire people to do good. The great Hollywood director Stanley Kubrick vividly made this point in his classic 1971 film, "A Clockwork Orange," based on the Stanley Burgess novel. In it, men rape and murder while classical music plays in the background.
The Nazis had prisoner orchestras play classical music while Jews were led to gas chambers.
Take education. We all recognize how important education can be -- from preparing people to join the modern workforce to understanding the world. But education in and of itself, divorced from the higher ends of God and goodness, can, and often has, led to great evil. Many of the best-educated people in Germany supported Hitler and the Nazis. Professor Peter Merkl of the University of California at Santa Barbara studied 581 Nazis and found that Germans with a high school education "or even university study" were more likely to be antisemitic than those with less education ("Political Violence under the Swastika," Princeton University Press).
And almost all of the Western world's supporters of the genocidal regimes of Stalin in the Soviet Union and Mao in China were highly educated. Education is morally useful when it is a means to the higher ends of God and goodness.
The same holds true even of love. Love, of course, is so often beautiful. But it, too, can lead to evil. In the 20th century people who put love of country or love of ideology -- of an unattainable dream for humanity -- above love of God and goodness often committed terrible evil.
And here's a test for you: Imagine that the pet you love and a stranger -- a person you don't know and therefore could not possibly love -- are drowning. Do you first try to save your pet or the stranger? Well, if love is an end in itself, you save your pet. But if you hold human life as a higher value than love, you won't follow love.
This commandment made the ethical revolution of the Bible and of the Ten Commandments -- what is known as ethical monotheism -- possible. Worship the God of the Ten Commandments and you will make a good world. Worship a false god -- no matter how noble sounding -- and you will end up with evil.
Study Finds All-Electric Cars Aren't Very Green At All
12/15/2014 8:00:00 PM - Leah Barkoukis
Electric cars are often touted as the most environmentally friendly vehicles out there, but the devil is always in the details. While charging tends to be the focus of environmental assessments, the entire life cycle of the vehicle needs to be considered.
Researcher and former electric car enthusiast Ozzie Zehner put it best when he said, “moving from petroleum-fueled vehicles to electric cars starts to appear tantamount to shifting from one brand of cigarettes to another."
Zehner is not alone in his assessment. A new study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences echoes his finding that green cars aren’t very green at all.
The AP reports:
"It's kind of hard to beat gasoline" for public and environmental health, said study co-author Julian Marshall, an engineering professor at the University of Minnesota. "A lot of the technologies that we think of as being clean ... are not better than gasoline."
The key is where the source of the electricity all-electric cars. If it comes from coal, the electric cars produce 3.6 times more soot and smog deaths than gas, because of the pollution made in generating the electricity, according to the study that is published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They also are significantly worse at heat-trapping carbon dioxide that worsens global warming, it found.
The study examines environmental costs for cars' entire life cycle, including where power comes from and the environmental effects of building batteries.
"Unfortunately, when a wire is connected to an electric vehicle at one end and a coal-fired power plant at the other end, the environmental consequences are worse than driving a normal gasoline-powered car," Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science told AP.
Let’s Get Government Out of the Charity Business
12/15/2014 12:01:00 AM - Star Parker
The story is told that when Tennessee frontiersman Davy Crockett served in the US Congress (between 1827 and 1835) he voted for a bill appropriating $20,000 for relief for victims of a fire that broke out in Georgetown.
When he returned home, a constituent farmer chastised him for supporting the bill and for “giving what is not yours to give.”
The farmer told Crockett the constitution does not grant Congress the power to give charity and if it did, “You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and favoritism and corruption, on the one hand, and robbing the people on the other.”
We are far from those days. Supreme Court decisions over the years have opened the door for rationalizing just about anything under the spending authority of the Congress.
Those who crafted the American constitution did not intend limitations on the federal government’s role out of mean spiritedness. They did so out of a sense of what would best serve the public.
It stands to reason that bureaucrats spending other people’s money - funds taken by force - is not going to produce good results.
According to a 2012 Congressional Research Service report, and the staff of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala), who commissioned the report, combined annual federal and state spending on antipoverty programs exceeds $ 1 trillion. About 75 percent comes from the federal government.
These funds, which include programs such as welfare, food stamps, low-income housing programs, child care assistance, etc. are programs that mostly came onto the American scene with the War on Poverty and, in that they are focused on helping the less fortunate, are what it is usually considered charity.
These programs are notoriously wasteful and are too often counterproductive and motivated by political gain rather than genuine sincerity to really help people.
Funds extracted from taxpayers, dispensed by bureaucrats, under rules and conditions designed by other bureaucrats, remove personal responsibility from both the giving and receiving ends of the equation.
In addition to waste, unintended consequences of this social engineering has produced government dependence, family breakdown, and removal of the sense on the part of recipients that they bear responsibility for their own lives.
As government expands, private resources are squeezed out.
While government spends a trillion dollars annually on antipoverty programs, total private charity in the US in 2013, according to Giving USA, was about a third of this - $335 billion. And much of this, contributions to universities, museums, etc., doesn’t go to causes we normally think of as charity.
There are initiatives to come up with ways to spend government funds more efficiently. Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray have introduced legislation to create a commission to better “use data to evaluate the effectiveness of federal programs and tax expenditures.”
A new book by Brookings Institution scholars Ron Haskins and Greg Margolis, “Show Me the Evidence,” reviews “evidence-based” strategies for what works as a precondition for federal funding of programs.
But why focus on trying to make government more efficient rather than on what government should or should not do?
I run a non-profit and I know what it means to deliver results in order to satisfy donors and raise funds. It is no different than any commercial enterprise.
In my column last week, I proposed 5 conservative reforms to help low income communities transition off destructive government dependence. One idea is dollar for dollar tax credits for private charitable contributions going to designated low-income zip codes.
Can there be any doubt if a trillion dollars in private giving was going to low –income America, rather government money, everyone would be better off?
Rather than trying to fix government, let’s put it back in its constitutional place and restore private decision-making and responsibility to American life.
Boehner Bombs the Base
12/15/2014 12:01:00 AM
John Boehner sold out America last week. Sold out his party. Sold out conservatives. Sold out libertarian leaners. Sold out disaffected populists who voted and hoped for something different and better from Republicans.
Boehner became the proud daddy of Obama’s obscene federal budget and also tied the new majority’s hands in fighting the worst abuses of the worst administration in US history.
Speaker Boehner joined forces with President Obama and outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to push through the House—barely--an omnibus continuing resolution that locks America into its current bloated budget and liberal priorities through next year. He dumped the 1,600 page monstrosity on the House just a few days before the vote. He ignored conservative pleas to pass a short term resolution and allow the new Republican Congress to take up the annual budget resolutions. He denied member the ability to offer amendments.
Boehner ramrodded a process of secrecy and haste that blocked debate and deliberation His move maximizes his own power and neuters the role of 435 elected members of Congress. He rode the vote of the repudiated outgoing Congress and its dozens of ousted members. He preempted the voice of incoming members that Americans elected just weeks ago.
Now that we’ve passed the bill, we get to find out what’s in it. With friends like John Boehner, who needs enemies like Nancy Pelosi?
Whatever is in cromnibus, President Obama wanted it to pass. He sent his Chief of Staff to Capitol Hill to lobby wavering Democrats. Something is wrong with this picture. The Republican Speaker of the House lost 76 of the most conservative votes in his caucus, and got bailed out by Barack Obama whipping Democrats to take up the slack.
John Boehner, what were you thinking? What constituency do you lead? What message do you think voters sent on November 4th?
Americans spoke loud and clear. They rendered a vote of no confidence in the federal government headed by Barack Obama. They hired Republicans to check the president’s abusive agenda.
Mr. Speaker, you had momentum and public leverage going into this lame session.
Why would you cede the budget for the next year—half of the next two years of Republican majority--to the Obama/Reid agenda?
Mr. Speaker, your party would take control of the power purse in just over a month. Is there a reason you offered a year of budget approval to the biggest spenders in the history of the known universe?
Mr. Speaker, is there a single principled or strategic reason you didn't just offer a two month continuing resolution and then take up the fight with a majority?
Mr. Speaker, do you have any excuse for foisting a last minute trillion dollar budget on lawmakers, let alone the voting public that had no had time to absorb a line, let alone 1,600 pages?
Mr. Speaker, this capitulation is worse than just rubberstamping ruinous spending. You threw away Congress’s most potent tool for oversight, the power of the purse. Thanks to you, Congress doesn’t even carry a knife into Obama’s shooting war.
For generations, Congress has exercised the prerogative to defund executive functions it abhors. Not this year. From the IRS to the Justice Department to the EPA to Energy and all the rest, every petty tyrant who stretches or breaks the law to persecute and harass Americans and their employers just got a one-year pass. You gave it to them, Mr. Speaker. For half of this historic Congress, for half of the rest of Obama’s term, Republicans will be powerless to choke corrupt, abusive, or unlawful doings in the Obama administration.
No wonder, Mr. Speaker, the President had your back and helped push his bloated goody bag across the finish line. You just flipped the bird at Americans who voted for change. At the Republican base who worked and fought and hoped for a cleaner, more transparent and honest government.
Mr. Speaker, do you have a clue about the reform movement on the ground--the people who want to have a bleeping clue and voice of input into what their government is doing BEFORE it does it? Like allowing time for laws and national budgets to be reviewed? There’s no way your members could absorb and deliberate 1,600 pages in a few days.
Mr. Speaker, do you know how revolted, disgusted, and discouraged so many of us will be when all your corrupt, favor seeking pork and deals are discovered in the post-mortem?
Mr. Speaker, at long last, have you shamelessly learned nothing? Are you just the reincarnation of Tom DeLay making whatever deals you think will bring in a few more dollars for the next cycle?
Republican members of Congress, is this all we can expect from you? Will no one take on the Lords of the status quo? Will no one risk their career, their cushy seat, their upward mobility to do the right thing and assault this corrupt fortress?
Over 1,000 Gun Owners Violate Washington’s I-594 - In Front Of Police!
12/15/2014 12:01:00 AM - Rachel Alexander
Fed up with the passage of an 18½-page incoherent, rambling, unconstitutional gun control initiative that was bankrolled by billionaires, gun owners across Washington state held the largest felony civil disobedience rally in the nation’s history, brazenly titled “I Will Not Comply.” No one was hurt and no stores were looted. Between 1,000 and 3,000 lawful gun owners showed up openly armed at the state capitol in Olympia, Wash., on Saturday to defy the newly passed gun control law, I-594.
Organizer Gavin Seim made the extraordinary nature of the rally very clear, "This isn’t just a protest. We are here to openly violate the law." Attendees publicly transferred their guns to each other in violation of I-591’s background check provisions, and some even bought and sold guns just a few feet away from law enforcement. A fire pit blazed throughout the rally, and at the conclusion, gun owners lined up to burn their concealed weapons permits. A petition was circulated affirming gun owners’ refusal to follow I-594, which ended with, “We pledge our blood. We will not comply.”
As the RSVPs in advance of the rally grew to over 6,000, the police - most who probably detest I-594 - decided not to enforce the law. The Washington State Patrol announced there would be no arrests for exchanging guns - not even for selling guns. Seim refused to obtain a permit to hold the rally, citing the right of people to peaceably assemble.
The rally could not be dismissed as fringe elements. Several lawmakers and lawmen spoke, including former Graham County Sheriff Richard Mack of Arizona, Washington State Rep. Elizabeth Scott (R-Monroe) and Rep. Graham Hunt (R-Orting), who sported an AR-15 during his speech. Mack advised gun owners engaging in civil disobedience to “put your sheriff next to you to keep it peaceful.” Scott defiantly explained in her speech, “I will not comply with I-594 because it is unconstitutional, unenforceable and unjust. It is impossible to enforce this law unless there is a police officer on every back porch and in every living room. So it will be enforced selectively.” She noted that Founding Father Alexander Hamilton said any law that violates the Constitution is not valid, and there is a moral obligation to disobey unjust laws.
Seim, a political activist and congressional candidate, wrote on his website, “Today I become an OUTLAW! Arrest me! I will NOT comply.” He led the rally peacefully, and at one point asked everyone attending to kneel with him in prayer. As he led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, he stressed, “I am not pledging obedience to the government, it is to the Republic. We don’t ask for our rights, and we don’t negotiate for our rights. We will take America back.”
Another speaker explained what was happening this way, “We no longer consent nor comply.” Mike Vanderboegh, whose Three Percenter movement is modeled after the three percent of the colonists who fought in the American War of Independence, said that those at the rally are the resistance behind enemy lines. The resistance is also taking place in a handful of other states with strict gun control laws, where patriots are now smuggling in weapons illegally. Vanderboegh told attendees, “This is the tyranny the Founding Fathers warned us about. Tyranny can be voted into existence by a majority. We will not fire the first shot, but if need be, we will fire the last.”
Gun control zealots have finally gone too far. Gun owners are now discovering that the police in New York are using gun control laws to confiscate guns from family members within days after their owners pass away. Hundreds of thousands of gun owners in Connecticut and New York who failed to register their AR-15s earlier this year are now felons. Requiring the registration of guns or requiring background checks, as I-594 does, allows the government to compile a list of gun owners, which can be used later for confiscation.
If guns cause crime, then why wasn’t there a single mishap, considering there were 1,000 or so guns present and hundreds of violations of felony law taking place? Tellingly, Washington State Trooper Guy Gill predicted beforehand, “"Most of these folks are responsible gun owners. We probably will not have an issue." The truth is, the state capitol was probably the safest place in the state last Saturday.
Patriots have had enough. The Second Amendment is gradually being eroded, state by state, and gun owners are not going to lie down and give up their arms. A handful of billionaires and elitists in blue cities like Seattle do not respect the Constitution nor represent the vast majority of Americans. Another rally in Olympia is planned for January 15, and another one in Spokane on December 20. The Second Amendment Foundation, headquartered in Bellevue, intends to sue the state over I-594, and will be lobbying the legislature to get the law changed or repealed. Washington state is now ground zero for patriotic gun owners resisting tyranny, which is at a tipping point since law enforcement does not intend to enforce I-594. What happens next?