I just had the [dis]pleasure of hearing noted Louis Farrakhan fan and Israel hater Liz Allen on local radio. Scum like this will begin crawling out from under their rocks now that Israel has had a scuffle with a flotilla that was supposedly carrying "humanitarian" aid to the Gaza Strip.
I suggest regularly checking out sites like Soccer Dad to counter-balance the usual anti-Israel reporting you'll hear on the MSM (and elsewhere).
It happened in New Zealand, but of course only an American could conceive of such a suit:
A woman is suing Google for more than US$100,000 after following directions on Google Maps and being hit by a car.
Lauren Rosenberg, from Utah, using her Blackberry phone, followed the site's directions onto Deer Park Drive, which turned out to be a rural highway with no footpath.
Instead of looking for an alternative route, Rosenberg tried to follow the road for the half-mile Google Maps had suggested, but was hit by a passing vehicle.
I like this from the comments:
That is quite typical american - in every other contry of the world this woman would risk to be judged as mentaly handycapped for walking on a motorway because her mobile told her so...what is coming next - does google have to take care of every chuckhole on every street before giving you a route?
There's plenty for which to blame The Messiah of late, but him not being at Arlington National Cemetery isn't one of them. He'll be at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Illinois instead. As John J. Miller notes,
This is a silly controversy and has the potential to make the complainers look petty. Thousands of American veterans are buried at national cemeteries that aren't as famous as the one at Arlington. These heroes are worthy of presidential visits on Memorial Day, too.
Much like the Joe Sestak controversy, conservatives/Republicans need to be careful with the tendency for overreach. Concentrate on the things that really matter.
Why did they choose the word "target?" Isn't that "hateful" and "inciteful?" How quickly the hypocrites forget, eh?
Courtesy of the awesome Screen Rant:
Wilmington News Journal "report" of a shooting suspect:
The assailant is 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 8 and weighs about 180 pounds. He was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.
WDEL.com's report of same:
The victim was taken to Christiana Hospital where he was treated for a wound to his leg. The suspect is described as a black male, 5'6" to 5'8", about 160 pounds.
Via The Daily Caller:
April 22: The Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, which had been burning for two days, sinks into the gulf. President Obama, after speaking in New York about the significance of financial regulatory legislation, hosts an Earth Day celebration in the Rose Garden.
April 23: The U.S. Coastguard pronounces 11 Deepwater workers dead after traveling almost 2,000 miles throughout the gulf in search of their bodies. The president and First Lady Michelle Obama travel to North Carolina for a brief vacation, where they enjoy BBQ.
April 24: Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry announces that the Deepwater wellhead is spewing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The president and first lady continue to enjoy their vacation in North Carolina.
April 26: A remote sub fails to stop the leak. Just four days after the explosion, the spill covers an area the size of Rhode Island. After hosting a ceremony for the New York Yankees, Obama travels to Andrews Air Force Base for a game of golf.
April 28: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) pegs the leak rate at 5,000 barrels a day — up from BP’s claim of 1,000 barrels a day. Obama leaves Iowa and spends the day in Illinois, where he speaks to the owner of a family farm. He then visits a biofuel plant where he picks up mechanical parts and pretends to be interested in them.
April 29: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declares a state of emergency, as the spill “now covers a 600-square-mile area” and “is about 16 miles off the state’s coast.” Obama delivers remarks in Washington on the importance of cybersecurity. Later in the day, he attends a FEMA meeting about hurricane preparedness.
May 1: The U.S. military lends BP two C-130 aircraft to release potentially dangerous chemical dispersants over the oil spill. Obama tells jokes at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner, including one about killing the Jonas Brothers using CIA drones.
May 2: Obama makes a quick trip to Louisiana to ”get a firsthand view of the recovery efforts.”
May 3: Alabama Attorney General Troy King demands that BP stop asking fisherman to sign complicated agreements that would severely limit the amount BP would be forced to compensate them for the loss of their livelihood. Obama hosts dinner for the Business Council, “a group of current or former chief executive officers from a broad range of companies.”
May 8: BP’s containment dome, thought by many to be one of the environmentally safest solutions, fills with ice and fails to stop the leak. Obama plays golf at Arkansas’s Fort Belvoir.
May 9: The first tar balls wash up on Dauphin Island off the coast of Alabama. Obama delivers the commencement address at Virginia’s Hampton University.
May 12: Under pressure from journalists and government agencies, British Petroleum releases a short video of the wellhead, located one mile beneath the gulf surface. Using independent analysts, NPR determines from the video that at 50,000 barrels a day, the leak rate is 10 times higher than NOAA’s estimate and 50 times higher than BP’s early claim. Obama spends the morning with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. After lunch, Obama retires to the Oval Office with his advisers.
May 17: While BP attempts to siphon oil into a special tube, scientists warn that the oil is headed for the Gulf Stream, which would carry it around the southern tip of Florida and into the Atlantic Ocean. Obama hosts the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team.
There's plenty more, too. As they say, "read the whole thing" and then ponder "Change We Can Believe In."
Good luck to the administration in November if this happens:
[Arizona state Sen. Amanda] Aguirre’s Mexican-American delegation is making the latest move against the law, appealing to the U.N. and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in the name of international law.
Though conservatives have criticized the move, experts say it’s unlikely to accomplish anything significant, in part because the U.S. does not recognize the legitimacy of international courts.
Ah yes, the UN -- that same entity concerned with human rights ... so much so that it recently put Iran on its Commission on Women's Rights. But it wouldn't surprise in the least if The Messiah gave weight to the IACHR, if they actually weigh in.
Digby explains:But here’s the thing. [snip] There is no winning with these noise machine pseudo-scandals. They have an alternate media structure that is designed to stoke scandal fever and the way they keep the mainstream media on the hook is with “smell tests” and demands that the person address the claims, apologize or make amends, none of which will be deemed adequate and all of which necessitate another round of investigations, demands etc. With every impossible requirement that isn’t met, the press will become more convinced that the person must be hiding something, is too hot to handle and will eventually agree that he has to step down or quit the race because “the scandal” is devouring him.
It seems that the law that might have been violated is sufficiently vague enough that, as Digby stated, nothing will ultimately come from this. Obama will come off looking like the typical hack politician (something he promised NOT to be -- big time), and some official may offer his/her resignation (to "spend more time with his/her family"), but what would the GOP (in this case) ultimately hope to gain? Obama's impeachment? Really??
I wouldn't even begin to attempt it.
One, the GOP is poised to gain BIG this coming November. There'd be no better way for Obama and the Dems to mobilize their base than by a Republican overreach.
Two, Bill Clinton's impeachment hurt the GOP in the long run. They lost seats in 1998 (when they were supposed to gain), and IMO led to the overconfidence and arrogance that cost them in 2006 and 2008.
Three, many many liberals still want George W. Bush impeached (and convicted) for anything from lying to war crimes. Since that can't happen now, they'll settle for the Hague trying him for whatever. Impeaching Obama for violating some law worded with typical labyrinthine legalese -- while articles against Bush got absolutely nowhere -- will backfire big time.
Four, Obama is inept enough. If he were a Republican, the press would have eaten him alive three times over already. Let him continue doing what he's doing. He shown he's no different from any other politician -- indeed, he's probably worse than a lot of them. Continuing to press for straight answers regarding this mess is sufficient, and since the MSM isn't likely to hound Obama for the truth, use this campaign hypocrisy against him in November.
The public is thoroughly fed up with the same old political crap-as-usual. Granted, the GOP isn't much different, but keep in mind Obama promised everyone "change" and swore that he was different.
He swindled us, period. It's time to remind him of this fact in Novermber.
First place in the Council category was Bookworm Room with Everybody draw Mohamed Day — or, you’re not the boss of me.
First place in the non-Council category was Althouse with If you’re going to criticize the new social studies curriculum adopted by the Texas Board of Education, you’d better quote it.
Full results are here.
It's George W. Bush's fault the oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and leaked untold gobs of crude. So says Senator Chris Dodd. Fortunately, host Don Imus makes Dodd look like the total a-hole that he is:
Is it WDEL's Al Mascitti or Rick Jensen?
Mascitti has the annoying habit of making a lame "funny" and then heartily laughing at it himself ... followed by an equally annoying "oh well" or "oh my."
Jensen has what probably is the fakest-sounding laugh I've ever heard. He never sounds sincere when he's giggling.
After all, even the Kool Aid-drinking Wilmington News Journal is getting miffed with his lameness in response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico:
President Obama has missed an opportunity to pound a sense of urgency into the nation and the oil company. He could have called on volunteers to clean beaches, used his "bully pulpit" to explain the problem. The American people need to see more energy and a stiffer spine from their president.
But ... he's been busy campaiging for embattled Democrats like California's Barbara Boxer! Give him a break!
New Jersey teachers don't like their new governor very much, that's been made clear. But some of them sure aren't helping their cause:
RealClearPolitics has a video circulating of an exchange between Governor Chris Christie and Rita Wilson, a school teacher in the Rutherford School District.
The teacher demands more salary, telling Christie, “if she were paid $3 an hour for the 30 children in her class, she’d be earning $83,000, and she makes nothing near that.”
Christie told her that teachers go into teaching knowing the salary. The teacher tries to claim she does it as a calling, but clearly thinks she should be doing it to earn a cushy living.
There’s just one problem. There is one Rita Wilson working for the Rutherford School District. Assuming the teacher confronting Governor Christie is the same lady, she has no freaking clue what she makes.
Public records from the school district show her making $86,000+.
Nice work there, Rita.
Via the Caesar Rodney Institute:
WILMINGTON, Del. – The National Rifle Association filed a civil rights lawsuit today against the Wilmington Housing Authority (WHA) and its executive director Frederick S. Purnell, Sr., seeking to force the WHA to allow its residents to possess firearms within their homes.
The civil rights lawsuit was filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery by Wilmington Attorney Francis Pileggi, the founding partner of Fox Rothschild LLP’s Wilmington office.
The question before the court, Pileggi said, is “whether or not residents of a public housing authority can be deprived of their Constitutional right to bear arms for self defense.”
“I think it’s important to remember that the Second Amendment rights being championed here are the first example of civil rights dating from the time of the Civil War,” Pileggi told the Caesar Rodney Institute. “The Second Amendment is just as important as any other amendment in the Bill of Rights.”
Read the whole thing here.
The Weekly Standard Blog reports on The Messiah's recent statement at a Barbara Boxer fundraiser: "Let's face it this has been the toughest year and a half since any year and a half since the 1930s."
Sure, FDR had a tough ‘30s with the economy and all, but by the time the ‘40s hit, it was smooth sailing. (What’s worse: the Nazis and the threat of world-dominating totalitarianism or the obstructionist Republicans?) And President Harry Truman really had an easy time ending World War II, and having to nuke the Japanese. President Dwight Eisenhower only had the Korean War to worry about – and who remembers that, anyway? JFK and LBJ had Vietnam – not to mention the worry that the Russians might nuke America from Cuba, or any other place in the world, etc., etc., etc.
Hey Barack -- you wanted the job, remember? No one said it would be easy. So how 'bout shutting up and getting on with it? The Gulf Coast could sure use some leadership about now.
The MSM spent how long(?) trying to convince themselves -- and us -- that Tea Partiers were hateful, violent racists; have you heard about this from former NYT Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Hedges?
Here’s to the Greeks. They know what to do when corporations pillage and loot their country.
Greeks ... know what to do when Goldman Sachs and international bankers collude with their power elite to falsify economic data and then make billions betting that the Greek economy will collapse. They know what to do when they are told their pensions, benefits and jobs have to be cut to pay corporate banks, which screwed them in the first place. Call a general strike. Riot. Shut down the city centers. Toss the bastards out. Do not be afraid of the language of class warfare—the rich versus the poor, the oligarchs versus the citizens, the capitalists versus the proletariat. The Greeks, unlike most of us, get it.
Now, consider for a moment if a noted conservative journalist, say, like Fred Barnes, had written something like this about the Tea Party with regards to ObamaCare.
Yes, consider ...
* The Colossus of Rhodey – Don’t know much ’bout history
* Rhymes With Right – Why Rand Paul Is, In A Sense, Both Right And More Principled Than Those Disagreeing With Him
* Mere Rhetoric – Arizona Democratic Rep: Yes To Boycotting Arizona, No To Boycotting Gaza
* Bookworm Room – Everybody draw Mohamed Day — or, you’re not the boss of me
* Right Truth – Expanding Clandestine Military Activity in Midddle East
* The Glittering Eye – Conspiracy Is a Serious Charge
* Joshuapundit – The Palestinian ‘Demographic Bomb’ Myth
* The Provocateur – Emery Joe Yost: In the Eye of the Storm
Also check out the non-Council links for the week here.
The most pro-American countries on the planet are all located in ... Africa:
#5: Mali, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo (all tied at 89% approval)
#1: Ivory Coast
One of the big reasons for these figures? Yep -- George W. Bush.
"Change you can
believe in throw up on."
Yet another lefty forgets it's merely been a year and a half since he felt completely differently:
Governor Deval Patrick, even as he decried partisanship in Washington, said today that Republican opposition to President Obama’s agenda has become so obstinate that it “is almost at the level of sedition.”
Patrick said that even "on my worst day, when I’m most frustrated about folks who seem to rooting for failure," he doesn't face anything like the opposition faced by the president.
"It seems like child’s play compared to what is going on in Washington, where it is almost at the level of sedition, it feels to like me,” Patrick said.
George W. Bush, when asked about Patrick's comments, merely looked down and let out a big sigh.
Why? Because the militants "accused the United Nations of promoting immorality in the religiously conservative enclave controlled by Hamas Islamists."
Numbskull, over at the LGOMB, predictably knows little about what's actually IN the Texas history standards or how they're written. Pandora, also predictably, calls for her acolytes to e-mail Delaware districts to lobby against adopting any of Texas' textbooks. (But, of course, if a teacher doesn't parrot the standard "progressive" line on certain topics, though, pandora has a different attitude!)
Maybe these dolts ought to pick out the standards that are so "offensive" and let us know why they are so ... just so we don't have to take their word for it (because their word, frankly, is rarely, if ever, good). Like sort of what the Washington Post did. Thankfully, Ann Althouse injects some common sense into the WaPo. Here's an example:
The Washington Post writes:The Texas state school board gave final approval Friday to controversial social studies standards....
The new standards say that the McCarthyism of the 1950s was later vindicated -- something most historians deny --...
The students are required to "describe how McCarthyism, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), the arms race, and the space race increased Cold War tensions and how the later release of the Venona Papers confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government..." The word "vindicated" is inflammatory and unfair. What is the Washington Post saying historians deny? One can be informed of the reality of what the Venona Papers revealed about communist infiltration into the U.S. government and still understand and deplore the excesses of "McCarthyism."
Ah, but you see, by including anything about communist infiltration into the US, you are insulting true-blue leftists! McCarthy was an evil, evil man and must remain such without any caveats, get it?
They also removed references to capitalism and replaced them with the term "free-enterprise system."
The document on economics does use the term "free enterprise system" throughout, but students are required to "understand that the terms free enterprise, free market, and capitalism are synonymous terms to describe the U.S. economic system," so what is the problem?
This must be some sinister attempt to "absolve" capitalism -- or at least lessen its culpability -- regarding the current economic crisis, eh? Since so many "progressives" are busy pointing out how capitalism "caused" the contemporary downturn in the economy, let's just "change the wording," right? LOL!!
Personally, though I don't concur with all of the changes that I've seen in the Texas standards, I think it is a push-back from decades of leftist politicization of school texts. I once was a member of a committee that analyzed various secondary level history texts, and probably the biggest example of such politicization was the overriding effort of "inclusion" -- that of various ethnic, racial, religious, gender, sexual orientation groups -- at the expense of actual historically relevant knowledge. Here's but one example from California. Certainly, inclusion of previously neglected peoples (and events) is a good thing -- provided, of course, such inclusion has some historical merit. Inclusion for inclusion's sake is just politically correct silliness. As our textbook review committee wrote about one American history text, The American Journey by Glencoe McGraw-Hill (1996 edition), it
attempts to make all groups equally important to development of American history ... Inclusion of the contributions of women and minorities is beneficial when it relates to the main themes of historical development, but forcing trivial information into the text to ... increase the number of politically correct paragraphs creates a disjointed and unsatisfactory narrative.
A lot of the leftward PC tilt in history standards can be traced to UCLA's Gary Nash. He was the principal author of the 1992 National Standards for History. He stated that American history is the story of outcast groups "struggling under difficult conditions and ... in large and small ways, refusing to submit to abuse, discrimination and exploitation." In Nash's standards, for example, "the 1848 declaration at Seneca Falls by a conference of feminists gets more coverage than either the Declaration of Independence of the Gettysburg Address."
That's American history? Thankfully, Nash's standards were shot down by the US Senate by a vote of 99-1.
By the way, California's "great" for PC textbook matters. Bet you didn't hear a peep from lefties about the state's law that prohibits "... the adoption of official teaching materials or the conducting of school activities that reflect adversely on people on the basis of race, religion, gender and so on." Or of Muslim efforts to "tone down" textbook lessons on terrorism carried out with religious motivation. Hey -- maybe Cali can take a page from the UN and ask whether the Holocaust should be taught in schools, eh?
Lastly, the big difference in the Texas controversy and those noted above should by now be obvious: The former, because it involves conservatives dominating the standards, gets a large amount of negative MSM coverage. The latter was only covered at all by conservative-oriented media which, back in the early 90s, really only included talk radio. Thankfully, that situation has changed.
The Lilith Fair's July 8 date in Phoenix at the Cricket Wireless Pavilion has been canceled.
Although no reason has been given, Belinda Carlisle posted her objections to the Phoenix gig on Facebook earlier this month - "in protest of the new immigration law in ARIZONA."
Carlisle's post went on to say the Go-Go's "condemn the law and want the date moved."
Tour co-founder Sarah McLachlan has been saying sales are soft for the entire tour, but if you go to lilithfair.com, you can see that Phoenix is no longer listed but 35 other cities are.
Good luck, Sarah. Sales are about to get a lot softer, you dopes.
(h/t: Exurban League.)
One of America's national organizations fighting against illegal immigration is announcing that 17 states are now filing versions of Arizona's SB 1070 law which is designed to help local police enforce America's existing immigration laws.
ALIPAC has documented the following 17 states are following Arizona's lead in response to citizen pressure.
ARKANSAS, IDAHO, INDIANA, MARYLAND, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, NEBRASKA, NEVADA, NEW JERSEY, OHIO, OKLAHOMA, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA, TEXAS, UTAH.
I used to get [unsolicited] e-mails from ALIPAC; I unsubscribed after the group's leader, William Gheen, made nasty remarks about Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina. However, this information from the group is quite interesting: It shows that, despite the Obama administration's efforts to paint AZ's law as "racist," "insensitive" and a host of other typical "progressive" platitudes, Americans are fed up with the federal government's lazy attitude toward securing the border. This attitude led to AZ's new law, and appears is now instrumental in what other states are working on.
... is designed to be show the modern-day event that set in motion the eventual dominance of apes over humans seen the classic 1960s and '70s movies.
Um, if that's the case, there's a problem: it's already been done! Do the brains behind this flick know that there were several sequels to the Charlton Heston-led classic movie from 1968? It seems not:
Rupert Wyatt is on board to direct the feature project, which focuses on a scientist (Franco) who has been working on a cure for Alzheimer's that is being tested on apes. The test subject named Caesar starts to evolve rapidly, and the scientist takes him home to live with him and protects him from cruel doctors.
But that's not how it happened. As shown in "Escape From the Planet of the Apes," Caesar was born in his past because his parents (Cornelius and Zira) traveled back in time in Taylor's (Heston's) repaired spaceship. They journeyed back some 2000 years. Caesar was intelligent because his parents were, not because of some human scientist's meddling. In the films it is implied that ape intelligence had been gained 1) due to the two millenia which had passed since Taylor's launch, 2) the excessive radiation from the nuclear war (which led to [intelligence-creating] mutations), and 3) Caesar showing his fellow simians what they were capable of. Because ...
... in "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" (the sequel to "Escape"), Caesar is grown up and his secret of intelligence is known only to his "handler." It is explained that a virus had killed all dogs and cats so humans have taken to using simians as pets and servants. Shocked and disgusted by how humans treat their apes, and then vengeful after his handler is murdered, Caesar goes about setting in the motion the ape "revolution."
"Rise of the Apes" would do better to play in the "reimagined" ape universe spawned from the original's 2001 remake. Why ruin a classic franchise's back-story?
The "Hardball" host has an epiphany? From Thursday's show's finale:
Let me finish tonight with a tough one. You know, we want to have our politicians to have strong principles. We can‘t stand the crowd pleasers, the party switchers, the pander-bears out there who say all the easy stuff, feed us the cotton candy, and leave us wondering who is really going to solve the country‘s problems? Who is really going to take a stand, face the heat and give it to us straight, at least the way they see it straight?
Well, you want principle? You have it in Rand Paul, who just won the Republican nomination for the Senate for Kentucky. Paul takes a principled position against federal power. Here comes the rub. Paul has said he doesn‘t like looking back the way we passed the law in 1968 telling people who own restaurants and hotels that if they‘re open for business, they can‘t turn away a
customer because of his or her race. He has yet to say, under a lot of questioning, including that from my colleague Rachel Maddow last night, that he supports the federal power to tell business owners that if they‘re open for business, they can‘t discriminate someone because of how they were born.
Just to be clear, candidate Paul did not, apparently, ever call of the Civil Rights Act. He never did say categorically, even, that he would have voted against it. But when you read his words on the subject, it‘s clear he is torn between his deep philosophical belief in the rights of the individual and the ideal of a non-discriminatory America. He doesn‘t like discrimination by private business owners, but he treats it much like liberals don‘t like some horrible things people say, but support their right to say them. This is where it stands with Mr. Paul. It‘s a tough place to be, trying to square your fundamental views with an electorate that may not share them. It‘s one reason why people of pure philosophy and absolutist views stay out of electoral politics. It‘s why people should be interested in politics long before they run for office, so they can settle these issues in their head and heart before they try to settle them on editorial boards and on TV shows.
First Place in the Council category was Joshuapundit with Update On UCSD MSA Member Who Admitted She Wants A Second Holocaust.
First Place in the non-Council category was Iowahawk with Invisible Assholes.
Full results are here.
Cuban lawmakers have passed a resolution denouncing Arizona’s new immigration law as “racist and xenophobic,” recalling an old dispute in the process: the argument that the United States’ purchase of Arizona from Mexico in the 19th century was tantamount to theft. [...] Several U.S. cities including Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego and Austin, Texas, have passed resolutions against the law or urged outright boycotts, and President Barack Obama has denounced it as “a misdirected expression of frustration.”
But the denunciation of the law by Cuban lawmakers, who called it a “brutal violation of human rights,” is sure to raise anger among U.S. backers of the law.
... what can one really say to such total and complete hypocrisy?
Meanwhile, several international reporters wanted to ask what those in Cuba's gulags thought about this. They weren't available for comment.
It's now "Countering Violent Extremism."
Now, to be fair, Obama is hardly alone in using Orwellian Newspeak. Anyone remember "revenue enhancement" (ie "tax hikes") during the Reagan years? Or, less controversially, what about "enhanced radiation weapon" in place of "neutron bomb"?
That'd be the LGOMB's Unstable Mental State defending CT Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal for his "errors" in claiming he served in Vietnam.
Yeah ... it was just an innocent slip of the tongue!
The Obama administration still KEEPING US STRONG!! [/sarcasm]
CHICAGO - Arizona's new law targeting illegal immigration is not "good government," a top Department of Homeland Security official said in Chicago on Wednesday.
John Morton, who heads U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said his agency will not necessarily process illegal immigrants referred to them by Arizona officials. The best way to reduce illegal immigration is through a comprehensive federal approach, not a patchwork of state laws, he said.
"I don't think the Arizona law, or laws like it, are the solution," Morton said during a visit to the Chicago Tribune editorial board.
Great. So, Arizona's actually doing Morton's job in the first place, and now -- even though, again, AZ is doing his job -- he still WON'T DO HIS JOB!
I wonder -- has Morton read the Arizona law, unlike 1) Barack Obama, 2) Eric Holder, and 3) Janet Napolitano? Is he just parroting the standard administration line on the topic? Will Morton now hold a press conference with Mexican President Calderón too -- and let him (again) trash Arizona's law?
Watch Mexico's President Calderón make a huge hypocrite out of himself:
You'll be hearing a lot about this in the MSM in the coming days, because it has the obsession of the MSM: race. "Ky. Senate candidate questions Civil Rights Act." This would be Rand Paul, Kentucky US Senate candidate and son of Rep. Ron Paul. Never let it be said that the AP would write a biased headline(!), so let's delve into the actual article:
Senate nominee Rand Paul, R-Ky., said he would have opposed forcing businesses to integrate under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The day after his stunning primary rout, Paul was asked to explain his recent comments about that landmark law in separate interviews with National Public Radio and MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show." Paul had told The Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal last month that while he supports anti-discrimination laws, he challenges imposing those rules on private businesses.
This should come as a surprise to no one as Paul holds very libertarian views on the whole. And part of that philosophy is a strict separation between the public and private spheres of influence. Paul notes:
Asked whether he opposes part of the Civil Rights Act, Paul said if "you decide that restaurants are publicly owned and not privately owned, then do you say that you should have the right to bring your gun into a restaurant even though the owner of the restaurant says, 'Well no, we don't want to have guns in here.' The bar says, `We don't want to have guns in here because people might drink and start fighting and shoot each other.' Does the owner of the restaurant own his restaurant? Or does the government own his restaurant?"
Although I happen to disagree with Paul about this particular issue (racial discrimination vs. the private sphere, and here's one good reason), the overall debate about the rights of private businesses/entities/individuals is a quite legitimate one. For instance, here in the First State, smoking in private bars and restaurants (are there public ones? I guess in state buildings ...) is illegal. Though I personally love the fact that I don't have to take a shower when I come home from a bar on a Saturday night, I still believe it should be up to the restaurant/bar to decide whether they'll allow smoking on their premises, not the state.
Paul can defend himself well enough about his libertarian views; I just wonder if outlets like the AP and the rest of the MSM will give him a fair shake about it. Like, could they have used a headline like "Paul Favors Allowing Private Businesses to Make Their Own Rules"?
Alan Colmes on why the administration's distaste for using the term "radical Islam" makes ... "sense?"
Here's a new personal pet peeve of mine: Why is it that people can't park in a parking space when they go to [whatever] store? Why do they insist on pulling right up to the front door -- parking in the FIRE LANE -- with their emergency flashers on? It's reached epidemic proportions where I live, and makes it a royal pain in the ass to even drive down a store's main drag so that I can find an actual parking spot!
It's the 'ol "The Rules Don't Apply to Me" attitude. I've seen a lot of that at school of late. Now I know where it's coming from! ;-)
... what about a third installment?
First, of course, there will be "Thor" (next spring -- see the scene after the credits in "IM2?"), "Captain America" (next summer) and then "The Avengers" (summer of 2012), but the Golden Avenger has proved to be such a hit that it'd be silly not to consider a second sequel. The question is, what would be the plot? Who would be the enemy?
1) The Mandarin. This is the most obvious choice since Mandy is IM's arch-nemesis, not to mention, he was sort of subtlely alluded to in the first film (the terrorist group "The Ten Rings," remember?). The 60s-style stereotyping shouldn't be a problem ('the evil Oriental!"); Mandarin won't even be [east] Asian as the apparent leader of The Ten Rings is of central Asian descent (Afghan, Pakistani, etc.). Still, it'd be easy enough to avoid an all-Muslims-are-terrorists motif since the character has already been used in the film. And just imagine the boffo F/X that we'd see with Mandy blasting away with his rings!
2) Ultimo. How do you get beyond battling "fellow" Iron types like the Iron Monger and Whiplash? Really take it to the Nth degree, that's how. Ultimo is the huge robotic doomsday machine from another planet that even Rhodey and his "Iron Legion" couldn't stop (Iron Man #300). This would be another F/X bonanza.
3) Armor Wars. What better way to immortalize this classic Shellhead story and showcase myriad Marvel armored characters at the same time? You could even extend the Marvel film continuity by having Iron Man go after Dr. Doom from the Fantastic Four flicks! Baddies who definitely should be featured are the Titanium Man, Crimson Dynamo, and Firepower.
4) Raga, Son of Fire. Iron Man battles the hippie Raga, complete with his freaky "lava powers" and tag-along granola gang (see Iron Man volume 1, #52 and #53). This'd probably be what we'd get if Marvel stupidly let Stan Lee have creative control over the second sequel ... after all, this is the same Stan Lee who put forth what is most likely the worst movie I've ever seen in my life. Guaranteed to go straight to DVD -- if it was lucky!
Wonder why such an anti-incumbent mood around the country these days? Because people are tired of politicians speaking out their ass, that's why. Here's yet another example: The Messiah, whose visit to a Michigan high school's graduation will require all those in attendance to provide "their birthdates, Social Security numbers and citizen status to the Secret Service so background checks [could] be performed," at the same time thinks the Arizona immigration law is "unfair." (While misstating what could actually happen under it, too.)
Why's that, Mr. President? Why are you more important than the citizens of an entire state? Why have you -- and your Attorney General and your Homeland Security Chief -- opined negatively on the Arizona law ... when you haven't even read it?? YOU. HAVEN'T. EVEN. READ. IT. And, meanwhile, your Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner apologizes to the Chinese for the Arizona immigration law, saying it is "racial profiling." I wonder -- has he read the law? If so, it would be a remarkable first! But it's doubtful -- racial profiling is specifically prohibited in the law.
UPDATE: Victor Davis Hanson nails The Messiah -- and hypocrite Mexican President Calderón -- perfectly:
How strange that the president of Mexico, while a guest on the lawn of the White House, would attack the laws of a U.S. state, while his own country's immigration laws and policies in relation to Central America have never approached American tolerance. It is unimaginable that an American president would ever travel to Mexico City and lecture that nation and its president on its treatment of both aliens from Latin America and American tourists. But, as President Obama reminded us, "we are not defined by our borders" — although apparently a million Mexican nationals a year disagree and so risk everything to be on the north rather than the south side of a supposedly imaginary line. That is the truth that we dare not speak.
Anyone remember this gem of a column by the NY Times' Tom Friedman?
There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today.
One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.
Yeah, y'know, never mind the gulags for political prisoners, one-child per family program, massive censorship and routine human rights abuses, etc.!! They can get stuff done!
Now, that savvy political mind Woody Allen offers this brilliant insight:
"It would be good...if (Obama) could be dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly. I am pleased with Obama. I think he is brilliant. The Republican Party should get out of his way and stop trying to hurt him."
One can only imagine (gee, I've been saying this a lot of late!) if right-leaning celebs said that George W. Bush should become a dictator for a few years ... and that the Democrats should just "get out of the way" so that Bush could win Iraq and Afghanistan without all the negative "hoopla."
Yeah. Just imagine -- the incredibly swift condemnation by the usual MSM suspects. (They'd be right, of course; it'd be refreshing, however, to see them be just a little even-handed.)
... the teacher called the student a "teabagger":
A Francis Howell High School teacher failed to get approval from an administrator before using the 2007 Michael Moore documentary "Sicko" as part of a final exam, prompting a student complaint, district officials say.
Senior Celeste Finkenbine, 18, found out last week that her final involved watching a movie by the liberal filmmaker critical of America's health care system. The assignment was to analyze the film for different forms of persuasion, said Finkenbine, who objected and went to a principal. (Source.)
OK, it was a mistake to overlook the administrative approval process for films; however, the issue of watching the film for the purposes of writing a paper to analyzeg different forms of persuasion sounds perfectly legitimate to me. If you disagree with the premise of the film -- even quite vigorously -- say so in your written paper!
But then this happened (which, unsurprisingly, the St. Louis Post Dispatch article above omitted):
Finkenbine said that, after she compared her participation in Tea Party rallies with the civil disobedience in which Dr. King participated, Blessman responded to her by saying, “Well, we all know you’re a ‘teabagger.’”
Afterward, Finkenbine recalled, the teacher started laughing and everyone in the class started laughing about Blessman’s use of the derogatory term, prompting the student to think, “Wow! Did she really just say that?”
That is crossing the line, of course. One can only imagine what would happen if a teacher reacted similarly but dubbed the kid a Communist because he supported ObamaCare.
Via Colossus R&D man Gooch:
Sixteen principals in the Philadelphia School District are working without proper state certification, officials said Tuesday, citing a failure to monitor staff credentials.
The disclosure cames days after LaGreta Brown, the former principal of South Philadelphia High, resigned after The Inquirer asked questions about her credentials.
The principals will face no discipline, and efforts are under way to get them emergency certification or submit proof of coursework needed to obtain full certification.
"There is simply no excuse why the district did not properly monitor the certification expirations and requirements," Superintendent Arlene Ackerman said in a statement. "Just as every employee in the district must pass an FBI background check, all teachers and principals require up-to-date certifications. We failed to do our job in these cases and will take immediate steps to repair the process." (Source.)
Sounds to me like the solution is quite simple: Superintendent Ackerman should either resign immediately or else be axed by the district school board ASAP.
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, a Democrat (of course), laments the lack of a Fairness Doctrine so that those who oppose the new Arizona immigration law would get a, well, "fair" hearing:
"I think it goes back to the Reagan era when the fairness doctrine was dropped, and instead of requiring both sides of a debate to be aired, only one side was given the chance depending on who was providing that."
"But more importantly, language that was never acceptable became maintstream. Those that were deemed to be in disagreement with those on television or radio were demonized as traitors and extremists and hateful and language that we have never heard or seen.
"So it became acceptable in the mainstream media, it became acceptable in debates. And as a result the wedge issue that came about as a result of the economy over the last four years immigration became front and center."
Dude, wake up and smell the reality. The MSM reported negatively on the new law by a 12 to 1 margin. Is that "fair" enough for 'ya, Mayor?
Second, who's being demonized in this debate? It certainly isn't those in favor of the law -- they're being labeled "racists," "Nazis" and "fascists."
Once again, all this is is yet another liberal who hates the fact that opposing voices actually have an outlet for their views -- and that he can't control those outlets. (Which are, mainly, talk radio and the Internet.)
70%, Mr. Mayor. That's the figure you're dealing with who oppose your opinion on this subject in your home state. No amount of favorable MSM coverage has changed it, and no Fairness Doctrine will. Your only hope may be to adopt an Hugo Chávez-style censorship program. Good luck with that.
First we saw the president himself misstate what the Arizona immigration law was all about by scaring people into think they could be arrested on the street when they're eating ice cream. Then there was Attorney General Eric Holder who admitted he hadn't read the Arizona law -- but had said he didn't like it anyway. Now it's Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano -- former governor of AZ -- who said she wouldn't have signed the law ... but guess what? She hasn't read the law either!!
Are you freakin' serious??
Isn't this the very same administration that castigated opponents of ObamaCare for "not reading the bill" (as if they did themselves, eh?) and "lying" about its provisions? The Arizona law is much thinner than the ObamaCare bill and can be read quite easily in a short amount of time. Don't you think the administration would have advised its various bigwigs (including Obama himself) to know WTF they were talking about -- especially as some 2/3 of the American public support the new law?
Be sure to check out this intriguing article by my pals over at Screen Rant about the stars who almost played our favorite superheroes.
Tom Cruise ... as Iron Man?
Bill Murray ... as Batman??
Edward Furlong and Leonardo DiCaprio ... as Spider-Man???
Nick Cage, Will Smith and Sly Stallone ... as Superman????
Read -- and be aghast and bewildered!
2,000 US Actors, Prominent Liberals Accuse Obama of “War Crimes,” Says He’s “Worse Than Bush” For Authorizing Assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki. (Source.)
“Crimes are crimes, no matter who does them,” the statement reads over pictures of Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush due to appear in the New York Review of Books.
The statement, published as a paid advertisement, accuses Obama, who was elected in 2008 with the enthusiastic support of US liberals, of continuing Bush’s controversial approach to human rights in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in domestic security.
It takes aim especially at Obama’s decision — reported by US officials — to authorize the killing of a radical Islamic cleric and US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, who is accused of ties to Al-Qaeda in Yemen.
“In some respects this is worse than Bush,” the statement says. “First, because Obama has claimed the right to assassinate American citizens whom he suspects of ‘terrorism,’ merely on the grounds of his own suspicion or that of the CIA, something Bush never claimed publicly.”
Among the signatories are linguist Noam Chomsky, “L.A. Confidential” actor James Cromwell, actor Mark Ruffalo and prominent Bush-era anti-war protestor Cindy Sheehan. By midday Thursday there were 1,804 signatures.
They also lambast Obama for having refused “to prosecute any members of the Bush regime who are responsible for war crimes, including some who admitted to waterboarding and other forms of torture, thereby making their actions acceptable for him.”
Wait -- Bush "regime?" Isn't this the term for which Rush Limbaugh has been getting endless grief ... for using it to describe the current administration?
Nevertheless, I wonder when the usual suspects will gather the cojones to do what these libs have done. After all, during the last administration we were treated to a daily cacophony of protests about George W. Bush "trashing" and "shredding" the Constitution.
President Nixon then warned the Soviets that the US would strike them if they actually did attack China. Apparently, the threat worked.
Wow. Spooky stuff.
Tea Parties are protesting the horrible overreach of big government and they are Tax Enough Already, right? An analysis by USA Today found that despite what the teabaggers say, taxes are at their lowest level since 1950.
But, as could predictably be predicted about those cretins, the gun was jumped, so to speak:
First of all, ceteris paribus, as personal income decreases, we’d expect the percentage of personal income collected by the federal government to decrease. That’s evidence of our highly progressive tax system. So the story isn’t really one about tax rates at all — it’s about revenues collected.
Second, readers may walk away knowing that the US government costs much more than 9.2% of national income to operate, but figure that corporations or foreigners pay the rest. In other words, “we” pay 9.2%, “they” pay the rest. It’s an iron-clad rule of public finance that corporations don’t pay taxes, people pay taxes. All tax incidence ultimately rests on a person. If you tax a corporation’s profits, for instance, the people who pay are the owners of its shares, who are (ultimately) individuals.
Third of all, it’s important to get a sense of what state and local governments collect. In 2006, state governments collected over $710 billion in taxes, around 5.4% of GDP. When you include local governments, that figure goes to $1.24 trillion, or about 9.5% of GDP. In other words, in 2006, state and federal revenues were about to the percentage of personal income collected by all levels of government in taxes in 2009. That should give you a sense of how skewed this particular figure is. All levels of government in 2009 did not cost less than state and local governments in 2006.
Fourth, the historical tables in the President’s FY2011 budget give a good sense of what tax revenues look like. In 2009, according to table 2.1, the federal government collected $2.104 trillion in revenues. Assuming a GDP of $14 trillion, that means federal revenues were 15% of national income. Including receipts on the state and local level (see the last graf), even assuming they fell to 2006 levels, this means 2009 tax revenues at all levels of government were around $3.35 trillion, or about 24% of GDP.
But perhaps governments took in surplus revenues and spent less than that? Not hardly. The 2009 federal budget deficit was $1.4 trillion, the largest since 1945 at 9.9 percent of national income, and tripling the previous year’s deficit. The states face a total shortfall of another $113 billion.
In other words, in addition to collecting about a quarter of GDP in taxes, governments in the US at all levels tacked on another 10.7% of GDP in future costs. Add that up and governments in the US spent over a third of national income in 2009. A far cry from the 9.2% that the USA Today article inadvertently implies.
But hey, give the LGOMB some credit. At least they're attempting to keep up the portrayal of Tea Partiers as redneck racist morons. Hey -- is that what they call "projection?"
Our FDA is considering -- wait for it -- a redesign of the hot dog:
At the instigation of the American Academy of Pediatrics, federal bureaucrats at the FDA, the Department of Agriculture, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are studying whether to require the nation’s hot-dog makers to redesign hot dogs to reduce the likelihood of choking.
Walter Olson notes:
Now, as every parent knows who makes sure to cut up a hot dog for the smallest eaters, the risk of choking on one of these food objects is not zero (though it is very, very low; 13 children’s deaths in 2006 were linked to hot-dog asphyxiation, but children eat nearly 2 billion hot dogs a year).
Now, my computer calculator computes that as a 0.0000000065 incidence of children choking on hot dogs annually. And this warrants an FDA study?? And people wonder why people wonder why government is too big?
The Philadelphia Flyers become only the fourth team in major sports history to come from 3-0 games behind to win a playoff series.
Black and orange, baby.
First place in the Council category was Rhymes With Right with Didn’t These Administrators Read Tinker v. Des Moines?
First place in the non-Council category was Daled Amos with The Palestinian Leader (Who Actually Isn’t) Got Approval (Not Really) For Peace Talks.
Full results are here.
Over at the LGOMB (for the uninitiated, that's the "Local Gaggle of Moonbat Bloggers"), they recently advertised the podcast for former members dimwitty and Jason "Trust Fund" Scott. Included in the podcast were very disparaging comments about Sarah Palin's Down Syndrome child.
Now, why would "progressives" -- whose very existence is supposed to be all about "empathy," "sensitivity" and "tolerance" -- tear into a defenseless, handicapped young child?
Check out the ridiculous rationalizations by the loyally dogmatic in the comments. And hey, at least these group-thinkers know there are some "big tent" Republicans who'll welcome them anytime.
That would be Attorney General Eric Holder:
Attorney General Eric Holder concedes during testimony on Capitol Hill that he has NOT read the Arizona law, despite the fact that he has spoken out against it already. He says he WILL read it. (Source.)
Well hey -- he's just following his boss in ignorance, right?
When it debuted, the new "moderate" GOP blog Delaware Tomorrow made a big deal about the need to hear diverse points of view, lamented the influence of the hard-right on GOP politics, and by and large yearned for a "big tent" among GOPers. Just check out its first few blog entries.
Well, that didn't last very long.
While perpetually engaging the juvenile antics of the LGOMB's Jason Scott -- who never adds anything of substance to any discussion -- contributor Michael Stafford amazingly took offense that I challenged his notion of Abraham Lincoln as the "greatest president in history." You be the judge: What about this comment is so out of line -- to merit (again, by so-called "big tent" moderates) a response such as this:
The alternative to saving the Union was the emergence of a slave state republic in the south- and the high probability of future fracturing. Given the role America has played in, quite literally, saving the world in the 20th Century, I find it draw-droppingly insane to think that he should have simply let the South go its way.
Debatable? To whom?
You can read my follow-up comments; however, the reaction by Michael to my points are along the lines found every day at the LGOMB. It's "jaw-droppingly insane" to suggest the South be allowed to secede as it wished (which I did not, at any rate, outright suggest). The suggestion of alternatives to that which Lincoln undertook is "not debatable." As I just noted, it seems Michael really didn't take much time to actually read what I had written and instead placed his own words and thoughts over my own. Then, the topic had to be dropped:
I’m not going to follow you much further down this off-topic rabbitt hole of yours Alice- if you want to blog about the causes of the CW- by all means, go and do it.
That's great. Nice "big tent" you have there, Mike. Very receptive to different points of view, especially from someone who is likewise right of center. Amazing how someone like Jason Scott is constantly tolerated but I cannot broach Lincoln's impregnable aura.
Over the years at Colossus I've posted about Lincoln and how he handled matters political and legal during the Civil War. See here, here, here, here, here, here, and here among others. Judge for yourself. I hardly think Lincoln's handling of the war is "not debatable;" indeed, if it is, then why can't any ideologue claim such about any historical figure he likes?
The Civil War remains one of the most complex events in American history. We need to understand the conflict rather than turn it into fodder for squalid political debates. But that's how politicians and pundits achieve their goals: misusing history to advance present-day agendas.
Hear that, Michael Stafford?
Y'know, with countries like North Korea, China, Cuba, Venezuela, and just about the entire Muslim world, ya'd think UN human rights "experts" would have plenty on their plate. Not so fast:
In a joint statement, five independent U.N. experts expressed concern that Hispanics could be subject to discriminatory treatment in the border state.
"The law may lead to detaining and subjecting to interrogation persons primarily on the basis of their perceived ethnic characteristics," they said.
"In Arizona, persons who appear to be of Mexican, Latin American or indigenous origin are especially at risk of being targeted under the law."
The U.N. experts decried a "disturbing pattern of legislative activity hostile to ethnic minorities and immigrants" in Arizona, which passed the United States' toughest immigration law last month.
The U.N. experts voiced concern at the "vague standards and sweeping language" of Arizona's law, saying it raised "serious doubts about the law's compatibility with relevant international human rights treaties to which the United States is a party."
"States are required to respect and ensure the human rights of all persons subject to their jurisdiction, without discrimination," they said.
First, notice the use of "could," "may" and "at risk."
Second, AZ's legislative activity is only "hostile" to ethnic minorities who're illegal immigrants because -- get this -- 99% of the illegal immigrants in the state happen to come from Mexico. Yet, how is enforcing immigration law a "hostile" act? Mexico's immigration laws must border on the murderous, then.
Lastly, the only thing "vague" about Arizona's law is the knowledge of it by these supposed "experts." Maybe they ought to try reading it before making asinine statements.
Especially with countries on our planet like North Korea, China, Cuba, Venezuela, and just about the entire Muslim world. Y'know, where real human rights abuses are rampant.
MSNBC.com has an article from May 4 titled "Dear Iron Man: Please don’t blow it in sequel."
Well, did he? (WARNING!! SOME SPOILERS BELOW!!)
1) Don’t forget: Action, action, action.
In this, "IM2" delivers -- much more than the original if you're especially thinking of the film's climax. Though there is a mid-flick lull, it's more than made up for with Stark and Rhodes (in their respective armors) blowing the living sh** out of Justin Hammer's armored drone army.
2) The obligatory dark side.
MSNBC.com argues that these failed abysmally in "Superman 3" and "Spider-Man 3." They're right. However, Tony doesn't succumb to his well-known alcoholism; he only gets lit during one party when he believes he's dying -- and he quickly is set straight (with notable "help" via Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury). So, in "IM2," this also succeeds.
3) Don’t explain everything.
Quickly, "IM2" doesn't. It certainly could have, but Favreau is superb with his weaving of myriad storylines into a coherent narrative. Again -- success.
4) Know thy fan base.
This is Jon Favreau's strength, much like that of Bryan Singer with his "X-Men" films and Sam Raimi with "Spidey." Favreau knows his Iron Man lore and knows his hardcore fans do too. And he doesn't us. Success.
5) Don’t be afraid to make changes.
Again -- success! Though I personally didn't like how Justin Hammer was turned into a swarmy, bumbling fop, Favreau turning War Machine into essentially a Hammer creation, and neatly transforming Ivan Vanko into an amalgam of the Crimson Dynamo and Whiplash among other things worked out very, very well. Although, I would have enjoyed hearing Scarlett Johansson's character being called "Black Widow" just once!
If Favreau leaves the franchise, I'll be worried. But he hasn't. Success again.
7) The revolving cast.
The only change in "IM2" was Don Cheadle assuming the role of Rhodey. Although I'd have preferred seeing Terrance Howard back in the role (I'm in the minority on that one, apparently), Cheadle did a good job. Another success.
This was my biggest worry when I saw all the different characters involved in "IM2." But unlike "Spidey 3" and "Batman and Robin," "IM2" works well because Favreau knows how to best make use of 'em all. Mickey Rourke's Whiplash is supposed to be the main bad-guy, but we see him only sporadically -- and when it counts. Johansson's Black Widow is inserted expertly as a SHIELD covert agent. And the intro of Cheadle in the War Machine armor doesn't detract from Downey's Iron Man in the least. Still, some might get overwhelmed. Success again -- but just barely.
Final verdict? "IRON MAN 2" IS A SUCCESS!!!
Attorney General Eric Holder said that Congress should “give serious consideration” to updating the Miranda warning which requires law enforcement officials to inform suspects of their rights – including the right to remain silent.
In an interview on “This Week,” Holder said that the U.S. needs to exam whether the current rules regarding Miranda warnings give law enforcement agents the “necessary flexibility” when dealing with terrorism cases.
“If we are going to have a system that is capable of dealing, in a public safety context, with this new threat,” Holder said, “I think we have to give serious consideration to at least modifying that public safety exception” of Miranda warnings, which allows law enforcement agents to ask suspects about impending threats before reading them their rights.
Modifying that exception, Holder said, is “one of the things that I think we’re going to be reaching out to Congress to do – to come up with a proposal that is both Constitutional, but that is also relevant to our time and the threat that we now face.”
Now, put your thinking caps on and imagine if this had been Attorney General John Ashcroft proposing this on Sunday morning television. The LGOMB, among many other moonbat sites, would have at least three different posts up by now screaming and yelling about how George W. Bush is "shredding the Constitution" and "flushing it right down the crapper."
But now? Crickets. And still more crickets.
When these young men refused Assistant Principal’s Rodriguez’s request to turn their shirts inside out, they were standing up for their First Amendment rights and pride in their nation. Hispanic students at the school threw a hissy fit. Roughly 200 Hispanic teens protested, claiming they were slighted by the young men wearing American flags on Cinco de Mayo. They chanted “We want respect!” and “Si se puede!”:The group — mostly high school students — walked out of school this morning after the story of four students who were sent home because they wore American flag T-shirts went viral on TV and online. Many wear red, white and green and two large Mexico flags can be seen at the front of the line.
The students say they want people to know they’re proud of their heritage and they believe wearing red, white and blue on Cinco de Mayo is disrespectful.
I mean ... cripes -- what can anyone actually say to such outright stupidity? Some educators "tried to use the bizarre argument that wearing the U.S. flag to school on Cinco de Mayo was the equivalent of wearing the Mexican flag on the Fourth of July," but Cinco de Mayo isn't even Mexican Independence Day ... not to mention it's not even widely celebrated in Mexico! And why does this high school officially sanction MEChA -- the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán -- a group which desires that much of the [US] southwest be returned to Mexico? Can you imagine the reaction if, say, an Idaho high school sanctioned a student "militia" group that wanted the northwest to be "purged of all foreigners?" Yeah, I'm sure you can -- MSNBC and the rest of the MSM would be tying it into the Tea Party movement and blaming it on the fact that Barack Obama is a black guy!
As I said in my original post on this matter, "Only in America, folks." Only in America.
Yes, of course I saw it on opening day, and yes, it was damn good. But, as always, any review from me about anything "Iron Man" usually includes spoilers, so only continue below the fold if you don't care about inside scoop!
First of all, I'll be like all the reviewers I've read thus far and say that "IM2" is not as good as the original. But only just. The movie starts with Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko tending to his sick father, Anton Vanko. In the comicbook, Anton was the original Crimson Dynamo, the first Russian analogue to Iron Man. Vanko eventually defected to the West and was hired by Stark Industries. Here, the senior Vanko passes away, and Ivan then presses on with some of his work, creating an arc reactor similar to that which Tony Stark created (and which powers his Iron Man armor).
Half a year later, we see Tony Stark at the height of his popularity (due to his being Iron Man, natch). He's eventually called before Congress which demands possession of his Iron Man armor and technology. Stark refuses, and here is where we get introduced to rival business bad-guy Justin Hammer. In the comics, Hammer is much older than Sam Rockwell's portrayal, and he's not nearly as bumbling and incompetent. This is probably the one downside of any of the characters' facets; whereas every other character lives up to his/her persona, Hammer clearly does not. Hammer has always been one of Stark's greatest nemeses, and he is certainly no slouch. But not in this film. During the congressional hearing, Stark shows what a bumbler Hammer is (by hacking into a video feed showing how Hammer's attempts to duplicate Iron Man tech have been disastrous failures), and Rockwell's geeky (on-screen) attempts at humor and toughness make the character quite less than the malevolent scum that he really is.
In another neat homage to IM lore, Tony jets off to Monaco and decides to race his team's own car. Ivan Vanko shows up as the villain Whiplash (actually, again, he's a good combination of the Crimson Dynamo -- who had electricity-based powers -- and Whiplash) and begins trashing the race course en route to nailing Stark. But Happy Hogan (played by director Jon Favreau) takes Stark's Rolls Royce out onto the race course to rescue his boss! (In the comics, this is how the two actually met -- Stark suffered an accident while car racing, and Hogan ran out onto the track to save his life.) Hogan has Stark's new "suitcase" armor (another neat hat tip to the comics) and Tony promptly suits up! A terrific early battle scene ensues, and Iron Man gets the better of the Russian. After being sent to prison, Hammer's devious self gets Vanko out of jail, and Ivan begins working for the evil industrialist making Iron Man-like suits for the military. But ... Vanko has other plans!!
We also see that Tony Stark is dying due to palladium poisoning (palladium powers his chest device). Nothing he tries works as a substitute for palladium, so eventually Tony resigns himself to the fact that his days are numbered. This is where director Jon Favreau and co. neatly weave two of IM's best storylines into one here: "Demon in a Bottle" by the classic David Michelinie/Bob Layton team, and "War Machine" by Len Kaminski and Kev Hopgood. Dying, Stark becomes a party animal, even "entertaining" party guests in his Iron Man suit ... drunk! Best buddy Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes -- who, even as a member of the US Air Force has been defending his friend against government attempts to procure the IM armor -- now changes his mind upon seeing what his friend has turned into. He goes down to Tony's lab, dons one of his other suits of armor, and then confronts his friend (another neat homage to comics; Tony and Rhodey have squared off a few times, notably when Stark was drunk once). After a brief battle Rhodes jets off his his suit, with the intention of turning it over to the US military!
Rhodes begins to have misgivings when, after turning over his IM suit to the military, it's Justin Hammer who is assigned to "upgrade" it! In effect, it is Hammer who turns what was a "standard" Iron Man suit into the "War Machine" armor! And the cool thing is, at a military expo, Hammer refers to the War Mach suit by its original [Len Kaminski-given] name: the Variable Threat Response Battle Suit! (In the comic, ironically the War Machine outfit was designed by Tony Stark to take on several high-tech baddies who attempted to assassinate Stark via the machinations of Justin Hammer.)
As Stark's demise grows near, Samuel L. Jackson makes an appearance as SHIELD's Nick Fury. He gives Stark clues on how to reverse his medical condition, and also supplies him with a temporary antidote to his palladium poisoning. It's also here that we finally see the true intentions of Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow character -- she is in SHIELD's employ as a secret agent. (My buddy and I thought she was a Russian spy working for Vanko.) Tony unearths (literally -- hidden within the bowls of his home) an old "footlocker" of his father's, and therein is the clue to curing his blood poisoning! Stark actually creates a new element on the periodic table to replace the palladium which is killing him. (This is neat, too, in that it forms a triangular shape -- which just happens to be the shape that Iron Man's chestpiece has had for about the last decade or so in the comics!)
Meanwhile, back at the big expo where Hammer is unveiling his new battle suits, Vanko has hacked into Hammer's computer systems and has gained control over his battle armor control network! He begins trashing the expo with his control of the remote suits ... and he's even taken control of Rhodey's War Machine armor!! But ... Iron Man comes to save the day, natch -- and a battle royal begins!!
Eventually Stark breaks Vanko's control over Rhodey's armor, and the two friends begin tearing apart Hammer's/Vanko's armored remotes. Of course they're successful, and this finale certainly surpasses what we saw in the first "Iron Man" film! Just make sure you stay past the credits for a very cool scene which directly ties in to 2012's "Avengers" movie!! You won't be sorry!
Tales of Suspense #46: The first appearance of Anton Vanko, the Crimson Dynamo.
Tales of Suspense #52: The first appearance of Johansson's Black Widow.
Tales of Suspense #97: The first appearance of Whiplash.
Takes of Suspense #45: The first appearances of Pepper Potts (Paltrow)
and Happy Hogan (Favreau).
Iron Man #118: The first appearance of James "Rhodey" Rhodes.
Iron Man #120: The first appearance of Justin Hammer.
Iron Man #170: Rhodey assumes the role of Iron Man for the first time.
Iron Man #192: Rhodey and Tony battle it out in armor for the first time!
Iron Man #281: The debut of the War Machine armor!
Here's the kickin' splash page at issue's end:
Iron Man #291: Iron Man and War Machine fight side-by-side against a bunch
of robotic drones (just like in "IM2's" finale!).
UPDATE: My buddy Brent (with whom I saw "IM2") sends me a terrific link to an interview with Iron Man greats David Michelinie and Len Kaminski discussing the evolution of Rhodey/War Machine!
First Place in the Council category was The Razor with Dumb Luck Highlights Failure of the Obama Administration.
First Place in the non-Council category was Autographed Letter Signed with The Nanny State Diaries.
Full results are here.
Via the Gilroy Dispatch:
Five Live Oak High School students' First Amendment rights were challenged this morning when they were asked to leave school because they donned American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. Officials at the school chose not to comment on the situation, but one student said an official called the T-shirts "incendiary."
An assistant principal told the boys that they had to turn their shirts inside out or be sent home. They refused, so they went home.
"More than 100 students were spotted wearing red, white and green as they were leaving school. Some had the Mexican flag painted on their faces or on their arms." None of these students were asked to change or go home, however.
Only in America, folks.
RELATED: On a side note, I was chatting with an old friend of mine from Costa Rica yesterday. She asked me about the situation in Arizona as it is a hot topic of discussion down there, too. When I told her that police cannot just stop someone because they "appear Mexican," she was surprised. "Really?" she said. "That's not what we heard here." Well, gee -- no wonder. If our own media has been perpetuating that myth, why wouldn't others follow suit.
In addition, she mentioned that Costa Rican authorities can stop anyone at anytime to ask for identification -- mainly because CR has an illegal immigration problem of their own: with neighbor Nicaragua. One time, her bus was stopped coming back from a beach resort, and she didn't have any ID. She had to contact her employer via cell phone to vouch for her identity. As a result, the bus was detained for about a half hour.
Michelle Malkin reports on a "unity" stunt by the Phoenix Suns basketball team -- they will wear jerseys that say "Los Suns" on them tonight for their playoff game.
Besides the stupidity of the team owner for needlessly injecting politics into his sport (good luck on that revenue next year, pal; up to 70% of your state favors the new immigration law), what -- didn't the team know the Spanish word for "suns?" At least AllahPundit was almost correct: He said "First, shouldn’t 'Los Suns' be 'Los Sols'?" Not quite. Nouns in Spanish that end in a consonant add "es" to make the plural. Therefore, it would be "Los Soles."
* Right Truth - Where did Time Square bomber get his money?
* The Colossus of Rhodey – Maybe if the feds just did their job …
* Rhymes With Right - We Will Hear Nothing About This Extreme And Violent Protester Sign
* Joshuapundit - Did Netanyahu Cave On Jerusalem? Yes And No ... Bibi’s New Plan
* The Razor - Dumb Luck Highlights Failure of the Obama Administration
* Wolf Howling - Christian Beliefs Are The New Sins In A Secular Socialist Nation
* Mere Rhetoric - Dubai Courts Launching Full-Scale Campaign Against… Love And Affection?
* Bookworm Room - Sit back and watch as America enters “The Twilight Zone”
* The Glittering Eye - Can It Happen Here?
And scope out the non-Council nominations here!
Hey -- why is it The Messiah can use the term "Teabagger," yet he won't use "War on Terror," or "Islamic terrorism"??
Probably the same reason that the MSM will pour over the supposed racism of the Tea Partiers for days, even weeks, on end -- and even speculate without a scintilla of evidence that the Times Square bomber was a TPer, yet now that it's been revealed the bomber was a Muslim fundie, his actions were due to "hitting hard times" and his motive is "a mystery."
Why is this news?
Steven Hawking says forward time-travel is possible. Well, no sh**, based on the reasons he gives us -- long known:
Preparing for the debut of his Discovery documentary, Stephen Hawking's Universe, which screens next week, Hawking said he believed humans could travel millions of years into the future and repopulate their devastated planet.
Hawking said once spaceships were built that could fly faster than the speed of light, a day on board would be equivalent to a year on Earth. That's because -- according to Einstein -- as objects accelerate through space, time slows down around them.
One point about the above: This theory doesn't apply to ships that fly faster than the speed of light because nothing can go faster (at least as we know currently). Nothing can even achieve the actual speed of light itself as an object's mass would then be infinite.
But this concept has been well understood for some time. One of my favorite novels about the effects of time dilation due to relativistic speeds is Poul Anderson's Tau Zero. The crew and its ship get so close to light speed, and as a result time flows so slow by their frame of reference, that they actually survive the end of this universe -- and the birth of the next!
Hawking says time travel to the past is impossible -- primarily due to the "grandfather paradox;" however, who says that time is a "closed loop?" Why couldn't a person travel back in time, and at the precise instant of his materialization in the past, a new -- alternate -- timeline is created? This (neatly) eludes the danger of the "grandfather paradox" and indeed is a favorite theory among not only physicists, but science fiction writers alike.
You know by now what would have happened in the MSM had this been directed at a supporter of ObamaCare:
[Arizona] State Capitol police shut down the access to the Executive Tower Tuesday morning after a letter containing an unknown "white powdery substance" was opened in the governor's constituency services office.
An employee opened the letter about 10:15 a.m. and contacted Capitol police, who then alerted Phoenix Fire Department about the substance. A hazardous materials crew was on scene.
Officials did not evacuate the Executive Tower, however they limited access in or out of the building, said Andrew Staubitz, chief of the Arizona Capitol Police. The lockdown was lifted at 11:23 a.m.
Gee, why would this happen to the Arizona governor? Hmm ... oh, right! She signed into law a tough anti-illegal immigration bill. But those opposed seem not to like it. I wonder if the MSM and lefty bloggers will use a very wide brush to paint those opposed to the law ...
Delaware Douche, who yesterday commented that the Times Square would-be bomber would turn out to be domestic talk radio listening/Fox News watching Tea Party sympathizer, offers nary a word of apology -- only excuses. And he congratulates the Obama administration (surprise) while simultaneously ripping conservatives (bigger surprise):
A naturalized American citizen originally from Pakistan was arrested for the attempted Times Square car bomb last night on his getaway plane to Dubai. A victory for law enforcement and the Obama Administration. Now try him in our courts and convict him, and that will be another victory for our justice system. He is an American citizen and should be punished according to our laws. Law and order conservatives can have no problem with that, and if they do, they are hypocrites.
To quote Booman, with whom I share a mistaken first impression that the Time Square attempted carbombing was not the work of foreign terrorists:I admit my initial skepticism that it was an attack with foreign connections was incorrect, though it seems clear that the bomber wasn’t particularly well trained in the art of bomb making by the Taliban in Pakistan or by anyone else for that matter. Terrorists do hate us, but not for our freedom as idiot conservatives like to say. They often have very legitimate reasons for hating us. If they attacked us with predator drones and killed your innocent family, I’d say we hate them too.
You follow that? Delaware Douche and this "Booman" are saying that foreign TERRORISTS have a legitimate gripe against us because the US sends predator drones to kill ... TERRORISTS. Because these predator drones may kill a TERRORIST'S innocent family. TERRORISTS, whose sole occupation is to kill innocent families.
But y'know what? If this suspect ended up being a guy like the one who flew a plane into that IRS building ... because, say, our own government screwed up his tax filings and hence was now making him destitute with liens and wage attachments, Delaware Douche and his co-horts wouldn't offer excuse one. There would be a flood of posts all week about the "epidemic" of rightist domestic terrorism, and how talk radio and Fox News were co-conspirators.
This is your modern "progressive," folks. Foreign enemies whose only desire is to see their religion dominate the globe, see all who oppose them killed, and see all women as subservient subjects, are less of a threat than the opposing political party and philosophy here at home.
Nationally, bigwig lefty sites also make themselves look like a-holes.
Some MSM types are "frustrated" that the terrorist looks to be Muslim:
"I get frustrated...There was part of me that was hoping this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country."
"...There are a lot of people who want to use terrorist intent to justify writing off people who believe in a certain way or come from certain countries or whose skin color is a certain way. I mean they use it as justification for really outdated bigotry."
You mean ... like Tea Partiers? Conservatives? Republicans?
Of course not.
James Taranto on how the AP covered a recent anti-Arizona immigration law protest, and a Tea Party protest:
Close to 20 businesses were damaged after what started as a peaceful immigrants' rights march in downtown Santa Cruz [Calif.] turned violent, requiring police to call other agencies for help, authorities said.
Police spokesman Zach Friend said an estimated 250 people started marching through the city around 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
It was a harmonious but "unpermitted and unsanctioned event," he said, until some in the crowd started breaking windows and spraying paint on retail shops that line the downtown corridor.
Friend said he wasn't sure if the damage was caused by people marching in support of immigrants' rights, or if the group was "infiltrated by anarchists."
Anarchy signs were spray-painted on some of the buildings.
"They're a group of people who seem to fancy themselves as revolutionaries, but what they really are are a group of morons," Friend said.
Compare this with the lead paragraph of the AP's March 20 dispatch on the anti-ObamaCare tea-party protests:
House Democrats heard it all Saturday -- words of inspiration from President Barack Obama and raucous chants of protests from demonstrators. And at times it was flat-out ugly, including some racial epithets aimed at black members of Congress.
[H]ad the tea-party protesters gotten the Santa Cruz treatment, the AP would have noted that the rally was completely nonviolent, even if it featured some ugly words; that there was no ugliness at all until the protest "turned ugly"; and that the people who (allegedly) shouted the ugly words might well have been infiltrators.
If the Santa Cruz protesters had gotten the tea-party treatment, by contrast, the AP would have described the event simply as a riot and would not have distinguished between the peaceful protesters and the violent few who might be infiltrators anyway. What's more, conservative politicians and commentators would be sounding a constant refrain--echoed by the mainstream media--that politicians are inciting the violence with "antigovernment" statements like this one, reported April 23 by CBS News:
President Obama suggested today that the immigration bill expected to be signed into law in Arizona is a "misguided" piece of legislation that "threatened to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe."
Taranto concludes that neither protest should get the other's treatment -- the AP should be even-handed in covering both. And that's really all conservatives have ever desired from the MSM.
I think we have to consider that this might be the beginning of a new wave of domestic terrorism as well – much like Oklahoma City – with its roots in an embittered right that wants to prove its usefullness [sic] again. It will be interesting to see who is responsible for this and how it changes perceptions. While it is much scarier if it is a true terrorist with foreign ties, we should be equally alarmed if this is a sign that domestic terrorism is on the rise. It would mean all of the heated rhetoric of the last year or so is finally motiving [sic] already unstable people to act in extreme ways. -- "anononthisone"
Is it too early to pin this on Glenn Beck? Whe [sic] it does turn out to be a conservative nutbag I’m sure it will just be a loner with no connection mainstream “for entertainment only” violent wingnuttery. -- Jason "Trust Fund" Scott.
In the end it will be another numerous episode of right wing terrorism. -- Delaware "Kill All Republicans" Dem.
It certainly may end up that some [right-wing] nutjob was responsible. But it doesn't even matter to these mental defectives. If it turns out to be [another] radical Islamic fundie, the LGOMB will complain about the Right "demonizing" Muslims (much like the current administration) and how we can't "judge all Muslims" by their fringe elements. However, that is precisely what they'll do if the Times Square plotters are Tim McVeigh types.
We're quite careful here to label Islamic terrorists what they are: radical extremists who do not represent a majority of Muslims. However, it is necessary for morons like the LGOMB to label any act by a nutjob rightist as representative of ALL conservatives. Because they are the enemy -- to them, much moreso than even al Qaeda and the Taliban. After all, have you read anyplace where Delaware Dem called for all Muslims to be rounded up and shot?
... but he thinks Brazil doesn't use oil.
First place in the Council category was Wolf Howling with The Roots Of Slavery & The Races Hustlers’ Holy Grail – Reparations.
First place in the non-Council category was Wretchard/Pajamas Media with The Washington Monument.
Full results are here.
Let's first start at the top with The Messiah:
"You can imagine, if you are a Hispanic American in Arizona ..." the president said Tuesday at a campaign-style appearance in Iowa, "suddenly, if you don't have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you're going to be harassed."
Colombian singer Shakira:
"Shakira is deeply concerned about the impact of this law on hard-working Latino families," said Trevor Nielson, the singer's "political and philanthropic adviser". "She is coming to Arizona to try to learn more about how law enforcement is reacting to this and how we can ensure that people in the state of Arizona are not being targeted because of the colour of their skin."
Because they WON'T.
"This is not in the script," he said at the ceremony in San Juan, Puerto Rico. "You are not alone. We are with you. Put a stop to discrimination. Put a stop to hate. Put a stop to racism…Long live love, long live peace."
How about ... PUT A STOP TO YOUR IGNORANCE.
GOP Florida Senator Connie Mack:
"This law of 'frontier justice' – where law enforcement officials are required to stop anyone based on “reasonable suspicion” that they may be in the country illegally – is reminiscent of a time during World War II when the Gestapo in Germany stopped people on the street and asked for their papers without probable cause," said Mack in a statement. "It shouldn’t be against the law to not have proof of citizenship on you."
St. Paul, Minnesota, Mayor Chris Coleman:
Adding to calls to shun the state, Saint Paul, Minnesota, Mayor Chris Coleman on Wednesday banned publicly funded travel to Arizona. The state law set a "dangerous example to the rest of the country," he said, by creating a culture that made racial profiling acceptable.
"What I think is a mistake is when we start having local law enforcement officials empowered to stop people on suspicion that they may be undocumented workers."
Rep. Nydia Velazquez, chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus:
"It is irresponsible for any city, state or elected official to legalize racial profiling and discrimination. That is exactly what the governor of Arizona and the Republican-controlled legislature had done," the New York Democrat said. She added: "This shortsighted law is a step backward in our nation's ongoing struggle to provide civil rights for all. This bill will not make our borders more secure, but it will open the door to discrimination and racial profiling."
The "Rev." Al Sharpton:
"This is about the Constitution of the United States. And this is about making sure that people have equal protection under the law," said the Rev. Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist. "And if you are a Latino in Phoenix, you should not be subjected to having to ride around with citizenship papers any more than anyone else."
News flash, Al: FEDERAL LAW ALREADY REQUIRES THAT NON-CITIZENS ALWAYS CARRY THEIR "PAPERS" WITH THEM.
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo):
“It is absolutely reminiscent of second class status of Jews in Germany prior to World War II when they had to have their papers with them at all times and were subject to routine inspections at the suspicion of being Jewish."
AZ Rep. Ed Pastor (D):
“Arizona is better than this. Our nation is better than this. Passage of this bill will severely set back all the civil rights we have fought for in this country. It’s embarrassing to continue to see our state legislature churn out these hate-filled measures that offer no real solutions and violate our civil rights.”
New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse:
[She] called Arizona a “police state” and said she would avoid it till the law changed. She compared the law to “the most distasteful features of life in the Soviet Union and apartheid-era South Africa.”
Darrell Steinberg, the President Pro Tem of the Califorina State Senate:
“It’s a civil-rights issue whenever you set somebody aside because of the color of their skin or where they come from,” said Steinberg, who is a lawyer. “And that applies to both legal immigrants, citizens and undocumented immigrants. I mean, how do you define reasonable suspicion? There’s only one way under that law. And it’s somebody who looks Mexican. Period.”
LIE. And, some "lawyer." He doesn't know how "reasonable suspicion" is defined? Here's some legal assistance for Mr. Pro Tem, from one of the crafters of the AZ law -- a lawyer who KNOWS about "reasonable suspicion":
Over the past four decades, federal courts have issued hundreds of opinions defining those two words. The Arizona law didn’t invent the concept: Precedents list the factors that can contribute to reasonable suspicion; when several are combined, the “totality of circumstances” that results may create reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed.
Let the hysteria -- and the LIES -- continue. We'll be here to shoot 'em down. (Oh, wait -- was that "inciteful rhetoric?")
Robert Vanella thinks Tea Partiers are stupid:
A recent letter writer talked about socialism in the recent health care reform bill. Unfortunately, nowhere does she explain what makes the bill socialistic.
Nor do I imagine she could provide an accurate definition of its philosophies. Social Security is much closer to a socialistic provision but no mention is made as to its constitutionality. On April 15, I visited a regional tax day tea party demonstration attended by almost 15 people. I suggested that everyone burn their Medicare cards as a show of disapproval of progressive government. I got no takers.
Social Security, as opposed to the new health care law, doesn't mandate that the public purchase a particular private product. In addition, the constitutionality of Social Security has long been settled. Sure, Tea Partiers could complain about the SCOTUS' decision, but ultimately to what avail? The high court has spoken. Congress opted to use its [already constitutional] taxing power as a powerful basis for SS. Justice Benjamin Cardozo applied his reasoning for the constitutionality of unemployment insurance to Social Security:
Arguing that the unemployment compensation program provided for the general welfare, Cardozo observed: ". . .there is need to remind ourselves of facts as to the problem of unemployment that are now matters of common knowledge. . .the roll of the unemployed, itself formidable enough, was only a partial roll of the destitute or needy. The fact developed quickly that the states were unable to give the requisite relief. The problem had become national in area and dimensions. There was need of help from the nation if the people were not to starve. It is too late today for the argument to be heard with tolerance that in a crisis so extreme the use of the moneys of the nation to relieve the unemployed and their dependents is a use for any purpose [other] than the promotion of the general welfare."
Now, certainly, should the high court have to ultimately decide on ObamaCare they just may use some of the same reasoning -- the operative word being "may." There certainly are differences between SS and ObamaCare; in addition to the previous one noted, the feds will not be using their taxing power, at least explicitly. (Obama, by giving the IRS power to levy "fines" against those not purchasing insurance appears to be a hat tip to Cardozo and the 1937 court.)
But this is all beside the point. Vanella states that Tea Partiers need to "educate" themselves, but as I've shown it sure seems they have good reason to not protest Social Security! Not to mention, since it's safe to assume that most if not all of the Tea Partiers have already paid into SS fairly substantially, do they not thus have a right to collect their money back? This equally applies to Medicare -- people have already been obligated to pay into the system, so why would they burn their Medicare cards? Vanella might have a point if Medicare were an optional program. Or, he could have asked that once they got their money back would the Tea Partiers get out of Social Security and/or Medicare (if it was possible to do so).
By the way, so far considerably less than half of the stimulus has been used. Most of those funds have been used to lower taxes of 95 percent of our citizens.
And precisely how has that stimulus been spent, Bob? In phantom congressional districts? And how precisely have these funds been used to lower our taxes? What will happen when ObamaCare takes effect?
Clearly, the people have their right to express disapproval with Washington. But please, first educate yourself on the issues and stop watching TV.
Sound advice, Bob. Y'ought to take it yourself.
Bob Vanella: DOPE.