October 01, 2014

Jimmy Carter May Be Right On This One

Had he been more aggressive in defending American interests and using American strength to obtain the release of the hostages in Iran, he might well have been reelected.

Former President Jimmy Carter claimed Wednesday that he would have been re-elected and beaten Ronald Reagan in 1980 if had been more “manly” in his dealings with Iran.

Interviewed by the show "CNBC Meets," Carter repeated his belief that the failed mission to free American hostages held in Tehran killed his chances, but then added that had he gone to war, America would have rewarded him with a second term in 1980.

“I could've been re-elected if I'd taken military action against Iran, shown that I was strong and resolute and, um, manly and so forth,” said the former president, who has established himself as a world human rights leader.

“I could have wiped Iran off the map with the weapons that we had, but in the process a lot of innocent people would have been killed, probably including the hostages and so I stood up against all that all that advice, and then eventually my prayers were answered and every hostage came home safe and free. And so I think I made the right decision in retrospect, but it was not easy at the time,” he said, according to a transcript provided to Secrets.

Carter, however, was doomed to failure there. After all, having come to a decision early on to weaken America militarily and diplomatically, it was impossible for him to go to war once hostages were taken. Of course, if Carter had not adopted such a weak-kneed policy to begin with, it is likely that there would not have been hostages taken in the first place. As it was, Carter’s fecklessness led directly to the election of a president with more muscular foreign and defense policies – one who left America stronger instead of weaker and whose actions hastened the downfall of America’s major world adversary.

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Boots On The Ground?

We have long known that Obama promise come with an expiration date. Many of us expected the “no boots on the ground” promise he made to eventually be declared “no longer operational”. But not quite as soon this makes it appear it may be.

The US Marine Corps plans to deploy 2,300 troops to the Middle East for a new unit designed to quickly respond to crises in the volatile region, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

It will include several aircraft and be prepared to move rapidly in the case of "contingencies," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters.

Wanna bet that this “not related to the ongoing operations in Iraq” move will soon be used to “quickly respond” to the conflict with either ISIS/ISIL or the Khorasan Group/al-Qaeda in Syria?

H/T American Thinker

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Just Say No To Same Sex Homecoming/Prom Court Candidates

Either that, or eliminate the custom of having a Homecoming or Prom Court altogether, if something as traditional as having a King and a Queen is too oppressive for the politically correct crowd.

Students at Willow Canyon High School in Surprise are banding together behind a lesbian couple who has been denied the opportunity to be nominated as homecoming queen and queen due to a school practice where homecoming royalty must be made up of a male and female pair.

Supporters of the couple say any ballots nominating the couple for homecoming royalty were discounted in a recent poll of students.

Apparently students find it rather prosaic to have a guy represent the guys and a girl represent the girls at the school. But this raises a question – how long until we have a polyamorous threesome (or more demand the right to be "King and Queen and Queen" (or maybe "King and King and King") because it is somehow more inclusive of the full diversity of the student population? At what point does the desire to be inclusive have the effect of being destructive?

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Why Is Northeast Losing Representation?

It is related to one of the things I noted yesterday in commenting on why the South is Republican – taxes.

The Northeast, once the nation’s political engine that produced presidents, House speakers and Senate giants including the late Edward M. Kennedy, is losing clout in Washington as citizens flee the high-tax region, according to experts worried about the trend.

The Census Bureau reports that population growth has shifted to the South and the result is that the 11 states that make up the Northeast are being bled dry of representation in Washington.

Critics blame rising taxes in states such as Massachusetts and Connecticut for limiting population growth in the Northeast to just 15 percent from 1983 to 2013, while the rest of the nation grew more than 41 percent.

Interesting, isn’t it, that the low-tax, pro-economic freedom parts of the country are growing while the high-tax, big government areas are generally shrinking. People are leaving places like Massachusetts and setting in the South – which (as I noted yesterday) undercuts the notion that the success of the GOP in the South is due to latent racism.

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Note To Houston Chronicle Writers – Delete The Dummy Text

From an article by Chris Tomlinson at

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Say what?

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September 30, 2014

Doesn't This Create Potential Problems?

With the rare exception of a relative handful of folks with genetic defects and/or anomalies, human beings are born either male or female -- something that is in their DNA. Accepting the politically correct nonsense that one's gender is what one feels like/chooses rather than what one's DNA decrees makes no sense -- despite absurd outcomes like this one.

I probably would have missed this story were it not for Maggie Gallagher at The Corner. It seems that the good people on the appeal board considering a case at Atherton High School (part of the Jefferson County public school system) have determined that you can use the girls’ bathrooms, locker room and showers if you say you’re a girl. No physical required.

A transgender teenager, who was born male but identifies as a female, can continue to use a women’s restroom and locker room at a Jefferson County Public School.

In a 5-to-1 vote, an appeal board upheld Atherton High School’s nondiscrimination policy Thursday, which states the school must accept the gender identity each student asserts and shouldn’t discriminate on the use of school space on the basis of gender identity nor gender expression.

If you read the full report from the local press you will find that the appeals board is composed of teachers, two parents and a school administrator. The board rejected appeals from parents who somehow thought this might be a bad idea. (They were clearly haters of some sort, I’m sure.)

So all right, Mr./Ms. School Administrator -- you are going to let a student decide what restroom they use based upon what gender they declare they are? Presumably this means that the school administration is not permitted to challenge such declarations -- after all, who are they to make that decision for any child?

So what happens when Bobby shows up at school some morning and slips into the girls restroom singing this little ditty?

Now come on -- the policy says a student can use the restroom that they identify with. What right do you have to question such a student's proclaimed self-identification? And if said young man who says he's a young woman then declares that he/she is a lesbian, who are you to judge? Never mind the discomfort and privacy rights of the young women who were actually born female -- you've set the policy and can you really play favorites among those taking advantage of the policy? Heck -- having declared that DNA and the comfort of those who feel violated by such accommodations to be irrelevant, why not simply do away with the entire notion of gendered restrooms and locker rooms and have the high school equivalent of a Roman bath, where everyone bathes together? After all, you've already started down that pathway.

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Speaking Of Racist White Democrats

Look at the historical error pointed out by my buddy Hube.

Check out the pic accompanying this Politico story.

Titled "Race and the Modern GOP," it features notorious Gov. George Wallace -- a Democrat -- confronting folks in front of a schoolhouse.

As Insty notes, "Even more amusingly, it’s labeled 'History Dept.'”

Once again we see an attempt to chalk up today's political differences to the racism perpetrated by the Democrat Party for the bulk of its existence. Given that the article is all about dismissing today's real political differences about matters unrelated to race as ultimately being about the civil rights legislation of 1964 is to ignore the reality that most of the racist Democrats lived out their lives as Democrats and that today's conservative Republican majority came of age in the post-segregation era and embrace the concept of equality before the law for every American regardless of race that was at the heart of the historical civil rights movement (and which has been rejected by today's "civil rights" "leaders").

By the way -- the use of the map showing the states won by Johnson and Goldwater in 1964 is somewhat disingenuous. In the wake of the Kennedy assassination and with the nomination of a candidate who was outside of the mainstream of national politics by the GOP, an overwhelming victory by Johnson was inevitable. In 1968, those same southern states cast a majority of their votes for one of two Democrats (Humphrey or Wallace). In 1972 they all went Republican -- along with all the rest of the country but Massachusetts and Washington, DC. And don't forget that in 1976 these states went solidly for Democrat Jimmy Carter -- and while all of those states except for Carter's home state of Georgia voted for Reagan in 1980, the reality is that the same was true of most of the country. In other words, the South does not become solidly GOP in presidential races until the 1980s -- nearly two decades later. And if one looks at representation in the House and Senate, the South does not become reliable Republican until some time after that.

What changed in those decades? Well, a lot of thing -- but in terms of the South, one of the things you discover is a period of strong economic growth in the region. As a result, you saw rapid migration from other parts of the country by people drawn to that economic opportunity. How did these people vote? They voted for economic growth and low taxes rather than more social programs and government expansion. As Lee Atwater noted in a much maligned (and selectively excerpted by the Left) 1981 interview, what happened was that politics in the South (at least among white voters) moved away from race issues and focused on other issues -- in the process moving from being a stronghold of New Deal liberalism to the bastion of Reagan conservatism.

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I'm Ashamed He's White, Too

Anyone who has so bought into the racial grievance scam that is "white privilege" that they agonize over being white is clearly a white supremacist at heart.

A Democratic state lawmaker from North Carolina is raising eyebrows with comments indicating he’s ashamed of his own “whiteness.”

“Just when you thought Chapel Hill couldn’t get any kookier along comes THIS GUY,” wrote Brant Clifton of the Daily Haymaker blog in a column about lawmaker Graig Meyer.

Meyer, described on the blog as “um, ‘interesting,’” was quoted discussing “Whiteness, White Guilt, and um, ‘White Supremacy’” in “Courageous Conversations About Race” by Glenn E. Singleton.

Subtitled “A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools,” it includes Meyer’s comments.

“The truly difficult work is looking deep within myself to recognize where my own reservoirs of whiteness reside and what value or burdens they present to me,” the excerpt states. “Every time I review Peggy McIntosh’s inventory of white privilege I learn something more about myself, and – through attentiveness to my own experience – I think I could add a few more forms of racial privilege to her list.”

Of course, this guy probably does have something to be guilty about. As a white Democrat, he is an heir to his party's generations of promoting racism and racial supremacy -- something that Democrats work to promote today any time they encounter a person of color who dares to think, speak, or act contrary to what white Democrats declare to be "authentic". So yes, I'm ashamed that Graig Meyer is white -- he is a white man who knowingly and willingly associates himself with the leading purveyor of racism in American history and who clearly believes himself to be so superior to racial minorities that he has to feel guilty about that superiority. I'm therefore ashamed to share any racial, ethnic, or cultural heritage with such a pathetic excuse for a human being -- and am proud to be a member of the largest political organization in the United States to have unambiguously rejected racism from its inception, the Republican Party.

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But I Thought That In Person Vote Fraud Never Happens

Oh, wait – she is a Democrat – that makes it OK.

HARTFORD >> State Rep. Christina “Tita” Ayala, D-Bridgeport, was arrested Friday on 19 voting fraud charges.

Ayala, 31, is accused of voting in local and state elections in districts she did not live, the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office said in a press release.

The arrest warrant affidavit also alleges Ayala provided fabricated evidence to state Election Enforcement Commission investigators that showed she lived at an address in a district where she voted while actually living outside the district, according to the release.

You know – a state-issued photo ID with an address and an expiration date would have prevented this.

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Obama’s Non-Feasance In Office

The man is AWOL when it comes to national security.

A new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report reveals that President Barack Obama has attended only 42.1% of his daily intelligence briefings (known officially as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB) in the 2,079 days of his presidency through September 29, 2014.

The GAI report also included a breakdown of Obama’s PDB attendance record between terms; he attended 42.4% of his PDBs in his first term and 41.3% in his second.

No wonder his foreign and defense policies have been a mess. Incompetence and a lack of concern for anything beyond his golf game has clearly had consequences.

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September 26, 2014

Perry Prosecutor Facing More Corruption Charges

Last week it was the revival of contempt of court charges against Special Prosecutor Michael McCrum. Now it appears that he is stealing from Texas taxpayers by billing them for his services at triple the legal rate.

A Houston lawyer is alleging the prosecutor handling the indictment against Rick Perry is over-charging taxpayers for his services, breaking the same law the governor stands accused of violating.

In a criminal complaint sent Monday to the Travis County district attorney’s office, Houston criminal defense attorney David Rushing says special prosecutor Michael McCrum is abusing his official capacity by billing the county $300 per hour, or more than three times the highest possible rate set by a state law.

Interestingly enough, the charges will be investigated by the office of the same drunken district attorney whose refusal to do the honorable thing after her arrest and attempt to use her position to intimidate law enforcement officers into releasing her. There is certainly a conflict there – but no doubt that will be ignored along with the clear evidence of wrongdoing. After all, corrupt Dems of a feather indict each other never.

By the way – where’s Greg Enos’ comment on this one? He certainly loves to go after Republicans on billing issues.

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Michigan Court Allows Union To Keep Unconstitutionally Obtained Cash

Because apparently theft is OK if you are a union.

A Michigan court ruled that the state branch of the powerful Service Employees International Union does not have to pay back tens of millions of dollars in dues taken from home health care workers who were forced into unionization.

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled last week that the SEIU Healthcare Michigan does not have to pay back more than $34 million in dues collected from over 40,000 home health care workers. Many were forced into the union under state requirements that they join because they were taking care of sick family members at home.

The SEIU successfully lobbied for the plan in multiple states that classified unpaid family members as "home health care workers." Dues were then automatically collected from the care recipients' Medicare or Medicaid checks.

The Court of Appeals ruling was in favor of SEIU Healthcare Michigan’s motion to have the case dismissed because the union had paid back dues to Patricia Haynes and Steven Glossop, who had filed suit demanding dues they were forced to pay be returned. The court noted that Haynes and Glossop were paid back more than they requested in their lawsuit.

So they stole money from some 40,000 family members of the disabled with the collusion of the state, and now they get to keep it. What a racket!

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The FBI Is Looking Into What In Relation To Beheading Case?

Looks like the resignation of Eric Holder is already loosening things up at the FBI.

FBI probing suspect's recent conversion to Islam in Oklahoma beheading

What? You mean there might be a connection between Islam and beheadings? Why on earth would anyone think that? Other than tens of thousands of examples of beheadings in the name of Islam by radical Islamists, why would anyone think the two would be related?

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September 24, 2014

White House Manipulates Press Coverage

Could you imagine the howls of outrage if the Bush White House had sought to revise and correct press pool reports before they were sent out?

White House press-pool reports are supposed to be the news media’s eyes and ears on the president, an independent chronicle of his public activities. They are written by reporters for other reporters, who incorporate them into news articles about President Obama almost every day.

Sometimes, however, the White House plays an unseen role in shaping the story.

Journalists who cover the White House say Obama’s press aides have demanded — and received — changes in press-pool reports before the reports have been disseminated to other journalists. They say the White House has used its unusual role as the distributor of the reports as leverage to steer coverage in a more favorable direction.

The disputed episodes involve mostly trivial issues and minor matters of fact. But that the White House has become involved at all represents a troubling trend for journalists and has prompted their main representative, the White House Correspondents’ Association, to consider revising its approach to pool reporting.

And given that the White House sends out the pool report – and can hold it or decline to send it out if it objects – the effect is government control and censorship of the press. That was apparently not an issue in previous administrations, but the Obama Administration insists upon changes frequently. But then again, what do you expect from an administration that views the Constitution as not binding upon itself?

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Does Obama Not See The Irony?

After all, his administration has been doing the very things at home that he is opposing abroad.

Speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative's annual conference on Tuesday, Mr. Obama unveiled a U.S. government directive aimed at strengthening citizen movements that push for freer, more open societies.

"When people are free to speak their minds and hold their leaders accountable, governments are more responsive and more effective," Mr. Obama said at the conference hosted by the Clinton family's charitable foundation.

* * *

Threatened by what he called "civil society"—community organizations, labor unions, charities and other nongovernmental groups—repressive governments "are doing everything in their power" to stifle dissent, Mr. Obama said.

"From Russia to China to Venezuela, you're seeing relentless crackdowns," he said, "vilifying legitimate dissent as subversive."

U.S. government agencies would take new steps to bolster citizen groups abroad so that they can operate more freely, the president said.

Unless, of course, the groups in question are the Tea party, conservative in social and political groups, orders of Catholic nuns, pro-life and pro-family groups or organizations in favor of enforcing America’s immigration laws – those groups must be investigated and suppressed in Obama’s America. The dissent from Obamunist doctrine by those groups must be stifled at all costs. After all, too much of this “free to speak their minds and hold their leaders accountable” thing could hurt Barry’s chance to implement his agenda.

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September 23, 2014

A Candidate I Won’t Be Backing In 2016

Ben Carson.

Former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon and conservative activist Ben Carson said there is a “strong” likelihood that you will see his name in the presidential primaries come 2016.

“Unless the American people indicate in November that they like Big Government intervention in every part of their lives, I think the likelihood is strong,” Carson said Monday night on “The Hugh Hewitt Show,” according to a show transcript, when asked about the chances of a presidential run.

Carson, who was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President George W. Bush, said that he will be waiting for “a few more months” before making any definite decisions, and predicted that he will make a formal announcement in May of next year.

Don’t get me wrong – I like Dr. Carson. He is a fine man and a patriot. But let’s be honest – his skill-set does not translate over very easily to the task of governing a country.

Sorry, folks, I’ll be backing one of our nation’s fine Republican governors –whether that individual is named Jindal, Walker, Martinez, Pence or Kasich.

H/T Outside the Beltway

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Coddling College Students

Now I don’t mind it a state allows for colleges and universities to issue IDs that are valid for voting purposes. But I do find it troubling that the response to such decisions comes out sounding like this one from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

UW System spokesperson Jim Villa said UW-Superior’s current student IDs already meet the law’s specifications and that the three remaining institutions are planning on issuing free IDs on campus, as well.

“That’s really great news,” United Council of UW Students Executive Director Nneka Akubeze said. “It certainly alleviates a huge burden for students who would have to travel [to the Division of Motor Vehicles]. In the case of UW-Madison, they’d have to research a bus line they’re not used to and travel further down University Avenue than they’ve traveled before.”


You are a student enrolled at the state’s flagship university where the average ACT score is a 23 -- but it is a “huge burden” to have to figure out a bus schedule and travel a few stops further down one of the main streets in town than you would otherwise have done? If I were a Wisconsin Badger, I would feel terribly insulted by that statement.

H/T Althouse

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September 22, 2014

Looks Like The Democrats Know About The Evil Of Money In Politics

After all, they are the ones selling offices to the highest bidder.

House Democrats, panicked after Newt Gingrich and the GOP shocked Washington by winning the House in 1994, became so obsessed with raising money to take back the chamber they even sold off top leadership jobs, according to a longtime Democratic fundraiser.

In an explosive book out next month, Lindsay Mark Lewis said that former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt’s team set a price of $100,000 to be the top Democrat on every House committee, $100,000 on a trade deal and $200,000 for a tax proposal to be considered by the House Ways and Means Committee.

They also demanded that members raise money 12 hours a week and collect $1.5 million per election cycle or be put on a “deadbeat list.”

“For the first time in history, House Democrats had made money the central measuring stick of success,” wrote Lewis in Political Mercenaries. An advance copy, co-written by journalist Jim Arkedis, was provided to the Washington Examiner.

Now the executive director of the Clinton-aligned Progressive Policy Institute, Lewis said Democrats tapped House members because Bill Clinton, readying for re-election in 1996, was sucking up available donations, leaving little for House races.

I don’t want to hear another word about campaign donations by the Koch Brothers or their independent expenditures to convince Americans to see political matters their way. After all, the Democrats were selling the power of the nation’s governing body to the highest body.

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Obama To Restrict Entrance To Public Streets Near White House

Apparently you will now have to be searched in order to enter areas blocks away from the White House.

WASHINGTON — The Secret Service is considering screening tourists and other visitors at checkpoints before they enter the public areas in front of the White House in response to the episode Friday in which a man with a knife managed to get through the front door of the president’s home after jumping over the fence on Pennsylvania Avenue, according to law enforcement officials.

As part of the screening, the Secret Service would establish several checkpoints a few blocks from the White House, the officials said. The screening would likely be limited to bag checks and not include measures taken at airports by the Transportation Security Administration, which include metal detectors and body scans.

Along with giving Secret Service agents and uniformed Secret Service officers a chance to check for explosives and weapons in bags, the screening would allow them to interact with the visitors and try to identify those who may pose a problem, the officials said.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a continuing investigation or security measures under consideration.

This isn’t something as innocuous as closing Pennsylvania Avenue to vehicular traffic. Now even seeking to approach the White House on foot will be grounds for a police search. What’s more, this is likely to inhibit the exercise of First Amendment rights near the White House.

And why? All because some guy jumped the fence at the White House and the Secret Service let him into the building before detaining and arresting him.

Which seems to be somewhat unfair. After all, the only thing he did was jump a fence and go someplace federal law prohibited him from going.


Shouldn't an American veteran get at least the same consideration as foreigners who break our nation's immigration laws?

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September 20, 2014

Watcher's Council Results

Here are this week’s full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

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Wendy Davis Shows Her Unfitness For Office

Forget Wendy's lies.

Forget Wendy's sordid personal life.

Forget Wendy's votes to aid her paying clients.

Forget Wendy's use of campaign funds to promote her book.

This clip from last night's debate shows why Wendy Davis is unfit to be Governor of Texas (or to hold any position of public trust anywhere in this country).

A quick synopsis of the video:

Davis: I call upon my opponent to stop doing his job by defending statutes duly enacted and signed into law pursuant to the Texas Constitution.

Abbott: You and your colleagues passed a law stripping me of the power to not appeal an adverse decision in court.

Davis: I call on you to break that law because I like the decision the court made. How dare you faithfully execute your duties as you swore to do!

Moderator: Senator Davis, you are violating the rules of the debate you agreed to.

Davis: Rules? We don't need no stinking rules! Rules are like laws and are only for Republicans and other suckers. I'll run Texas like Obama runs America.

Right there, Wendy Davis made it clear that she will not follow the Constitution and laws of the state of Texas when it suits her to ignore them. Americans have grown increasingly frustrated by the lawlessness of the petty tyrant in Washington -- Texans will not put up with such shenanigans from Austin.

Pass the popcorn -- I'mm looking forward to Wendy's continuing meltdown.

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ObamaCare Architecht, Brother Of Major Dem Pol, Declares You Should Die At 75

Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, thinks we need to die at 75.

It is now clear that Ezekiel Emanuel designed Obamacare with the idea that 75 is optimal age of death.

“That’s how long I want to live: 75 years. This preference drives my daughters crazy. It drives my brothers crazy. My loving friends think I am crazy. They think that I can’t mean what I say; that I haven’t thought clearly about this, because there is so much in the world to see and do. To convince me of my errors, they enumerate the myriad people I know who are over 75 and doing quite well.”

Despite the efforts of his family and friends, Emanuel is convinced that 75 is a “pretty good age to stop” living. He justifies this conclusion by offering medical research and insightful quips, such as, “The average age at which Nobel Prize–winning physicists make their discovery is 48″ and, “We literally lose our creativity.”

It always amazess me how "progressives" like to think it is their place to substitute their judgement for God's. Abortion is OK because someone knows which kids should be allowed to live and die in the name of "choice". We need to start hastening deaths because some folks live too long and aren't "productive" or "creative" enough.

Who knows -- maybe what they really are after is "Logan's Run" or "Soylent Green".

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Harry Reid Quits Protecting Rapists From Prosecution

Remember who led the real war on women.

Senate Democrats dropped their objection to a bill designed to mitigate the rape kit backlog, ending a summer of procedural fighting and giving Senate Republicans a victory as both parties attempt to win women voters.

The Senate reauthorized the Debbie Smith Act, a bill that expedites DNA testing of rape kits, Thursday evening before leaving for the home stretch of the 2014 midterms.

* * *

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) refused to let it pass by unanimous consent when Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R., Texas) brought it up in April.

Time for American voters to take the reins of power away from that dirty old man who preferred protecting rapists to passing legislation that was overwhelmingly supported by members of both parties. Makes one wonder why he was unwilling to help make sure victims got justice and rapists got caught. Could his DNA (or that of a close family member or supporter) be in one of those untested kits?

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September 19, 2014

When Headlines Get It Wrong

If I had not read earlier stories on the situation that led up to this story, I would be outraged by this headline. But then again, I am outraged – by an editor slapping this inaccurate headline on a story.

Air Force dumps ‘so help me God’ from enlistment oath

The thing is, the Air Force did not “dump” the phrase from the oath. It instead rightly made the phrase optional so as to conform with the Constitution.

And I’m not even talking about conforming with the First Amendment. I’m talking about conforming with Article VI, Section 3 of the Constitution.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

As noted in this excellent analysis of this provision, from the earliest days this has been understood to forbid even the requirement that they profess a belief in a Supreme Being. Consider words of Oliver Ellsworth, one of the drafters of the Constitution and third Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

In his defense of the religious test clause, Mr. Ellsworth first explained what was meant by the term “religious test”:
“A religious test is an act to be done, or profession to be made, relating to religion (such as partaking of the sacrament according to certain rites and forms, or declaring one’s belief of certain doctrines,) for the purpose of determining whether his religious opinions are such, that he is admissible to a publick office.”

He then proceeded to examine the most basic religious test possible and to demonstrate that it would be wrong for us to have such a test in America.

“If any test-act were to be made, perhaps the least exceptionable would be one, requiring all persons appointed to office to declare at the time of their admission, their belief in the being of a God, and in the divine authority of the scriptures … But I answer: His making a declaration of such a belief is no security at all. For suppose him to be an unprincipled man, who believes neither the word nor the being of God; and to be governed merely by selfish motives; how easy is it for him to dissemble! how easy is it for him to make a public declaration of his belief in the creed which the law prescribes; and excuse himself by calling it a mere formality. This is the case with the test-laws and creeds in England … In short, test-laws are utterly ineffectual: they are no security at all … If they exclude any persons, it will be honest men, men of principle, who will rather suffer an injury, than act contrary to the dictates of their consciences. If we mean to have those appointed to public offices, who are sincere friends to religion, we, the people who appoint them, must take care to choose such characters; and not rely upon such cob-web barriers as test-laws are.”

We insist that members of our armed forces defend the Constitution – it is important that we do not make their enlistment contingent upon an oath that violates the provisions of that document. Therefore this change merely allows an airman to avoid having to violate the Constitution in order to be allowed to defend it – while still permitting others to bind themselves before a deity in which they believe. To this Constitution-loving Christian, that seems to be the perfect way in to honor both God and the Constitution.

|| Greg, 02:31 PM || Permalink || Add your comment || TrackBacks (0) ||

Fewer Than Four-In-Ten Americans Know The Three Branches Of Government

Which disturbs me greatly, considering that my lesson in my Government classes today on the structure of the Constitution included this very topic.

Wednesday marked national Constitution Day, the 227th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. But only 36 percent of Americans can actually name the three branches of government the Constitution created.

That’s according to a new survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center, and it shows a huge percentage of Americans might need to take a civics refresher course.

Sometimes I am shocked by how ignorant my fellow Americans are about their own government.

Maybe that’s why I sort of like this proposal by an Arizona legislature to require students to pass the same test given to prospective citizens in order to graduate from high school.

|| Greg, 02:28 PM || Permalink || Add your comment || TrackBacks (0) ||

Christie Cleared, Democrats Mourn

It was clear to most reasonable observers from the very beginning that Chris Christie was not involved in the Bridgegate scandal. Now that is confirmed.

Gov. Christie says he's not surprised by a report by and NBC affiliate in New York suggesting that federal investigators have found nothing linking him to the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge which occurred last year.

Gov. Christie was asked about the NBC report during a radio interview yesterday evening. "I told the people of New Jersey, directly and honestly, on January 9th that I had no knowledge of this and no role of any kind in the planning or execution of it." Christie said. He added, "what matters most to me is that the people of New Jersey know that I tell them the truth."

This means that Chris Christie is a viable candidate for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. Not my preferred one, but a viable one nonetheless.

|| Greg, 02:27 PM || Permalink || Add your comment || TrackBacks (0) ||

September 18, 2014

Point/Counterpoint On The Katy ISD Bond Vote

One of the hottest measures on the ballot this fall in the Houston area is a school bond vote in the Katy Independent School District. As a teacher and a taxpayer, I know such elections are important. But as someone who lives and works on the other side of Harris County and who therefore does not know a great deal about the bond proposal and the conditions in the district that might weigh for or against its passage, I just don't feel that I can adequately comment on it. I've therefore agreed to publish one post in favor of the proposal and one post opposed. The authors are both friends and solid conservatives -- and better positioned to offer an informed commentary on it. I therefore welcome Ed Sarles and Kelly Horsley and thank them for their contribution to this blog.

|| Greg, 07:11 PM || Permalink || Add your comment || TrackBacks (0) ||

POINT -- Building Schools with Free Market Financing

By Ed Sarlls
Member of the 2014 Katy ISD Bond Committee
GOP Precinct Chair -- Precinct 644

Government debt is ballooning in many areas of the country, potentially leading to local and state bankruptcy. Yet free market investors who see the value in Katy ISD stand ready to fund our school construction needs by paying premium prices for AAA rated Katy ISD bonds. Even in today’s low interest rate environment, taxpayers need to be vigilant in analyzing requests for additional debt. Such is the case with the 2014 Katy ISD bond proposal. Used properly, building with low-interest debt today can save millions in inflated costs later. Careful consideration in these areas is important to determine the worthiness of the proposal:

  1. Is the debt growing faster than the ability to pay? Katy ISD’s debt to property value ratio shows a steady decline. The Texas Comptroller and other oversight organizations recognize Katy ISD for financial integrity, and transparency.
  2. Is the debt growing faster than the need for the services provided? Katy ISD inflation adjusted debt per student is similar to other large fast-growth districts in Texas and is stable, even with the proposed bond added.
  3. Did voters approve the projects funded by the debt? The recession created low interest rates and lower construction costs that created a surplus from the 2010 bond authorization. The Board used this surplus to build two additional elementary schools, postponing the next school construction bond by a year. Notably, the board did not use these funds to build a stadium.
  4. Is debt funding recurring expenses? I agree with some bond opponents that recurring expenses should be in the maintenance budget. This includes items such as periodic replacement of flooring, roofing, buses, copiers, and computers. Converting from bond to budget funding for these items requires adjustment of priorities and planning. This change is a long-term objective that should be a subject of discussion for candidates for the Katy ISD School Board election in May.
  5. Are the proposed projects required at this time? With Katy ISD growing by 3000 students each year, we must build additional schools (48% of the proposal). Some schools already have six lunch periods starting before 10am and use separate bell schedules for each grade due to crowding in the cafeteria and hallways. Other facilities (30%) need renovation, replacements, or expansion to restore educational utility and implement current school standards. Scheduling our current seven high schools for varsity football games requires an additional stadium facility (8%) to avoid distant school-night games. This directly affects hundreds of students in each school’s football team, band, drill team, cheerleaders, and color guard. Short-term bonds allow replacement of copiers and computers (7%). Medium term-bonds fund replacement of 96 old buses, 100 new buses, and portable buildings needed over the next three years.

In summary, Katy ISD is a financially stable, well managed, and recognized district. While not perfect, Katy ISD has steadily improved over the last decade. The Bond Committee process itself, once more controlled by the School Board, changed to include over 200 self-nominated members of our community. After months of presentations, questions, and debate, the recommended projects passed a line-item vote by at least 2/3 of the community Bond Committee. The proposal builds six schools; providing space for 8890 new students, including the ones crowded into existing schools. Further delays in building schools will not only increase taxpayer costs, but also will significantly affect students in the growth areas with increased portable building usage, reduced parking space, and more traffic congestion. In listening to the community that voted down the dream stadium proposed in 2013, the Committee cut over $250 million in project requests, including scaling down the stadium project by $19 million. Adding the new stadium to the existing Rhodes facility saves over $25 million in land cost and uses the recently expanded traffic corridors to I-10 and the Grand Parkway. This central location is equally convenient to all district schools and keeps additional traffic out of other more congested areas. Katy ISD voters should be comfortable supporting the many necessary projects in this bond proposal while working to continue future improvements to the management and operation of our district.

|| Greg, 07:11 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (4) || Add your comment || TrackBacks (0) ||


By Kelly Horsley
GOP Precinct Chair -- Precinct 877
Republished from The Political Chicken

There are many issues that we encounter and deal with as a community on a local, city, state, and a national level. Some are more controversial than others, obviously. There is one issue that can tear apart an education community or school district faster than any of these other issues; a school bond proposal. Want to make it even more divisive? Throw in a new football stadium proposal in the bond proposal. Look. Out.

The Katy ISD bond is no different. And sadly, it's a statewide epidemic.

However, even the folks that support the bond are coming up short on their logic, seemingly failing to consider what the passage of this bond would do to the local and state economies. The debt of Texas' cities is comparable to California's cities, even to that of bankrupt Detroit. Even Breitbart has picked up on it in this article titled, Texas Cities Should Learn from Bankrupt, Spendthrift Detroit. Jess Fields said, "Texans must work to ensure that our localities do not rack up enormous debt and waste money on pet projects we cannot afford. Taxpayers should demand that local governments spend money on priorities, like good public safety and sound infrastructure."

On the other side, the Katy LiberTea group led the fight in 2013 and helped defeat an earlier bond. Their desire to see the bond voted down is no different this time around. Cyndi Lawrence, president of Katy LiberTea has this to say about the state of affairs in the Katy Independent School District:

"We acknowledge the fact that Katy ISD is a highly desired community. We need to look at a package that addresses classroom space for our kids and that is fiscally responsible. This community has expanded so much because it is a great area to live, but we want it to remain that way. We do not want our community to be in such a large amount of debt. This bond reminds me of Bills that come through the U.S. House, the INTENTION is always good, but somehow tons of pork gets added and then the intention of the Bill ends up lost. We need to be more transparent and fiscally responsible when preparing a bond. There has been way to much “fluff” money added to this current bond package. This bond should only be addressing growth while respecting the community’s hard earned tax payer dollars. According to debt at a glance, for school districts of similar size in Texas, Katy ISD ranks the 5th highest in debt with the amount of $1,234,844,928. The cost per student is $19,172."

"The community has already voted down the 2013 $99,000,000 bond because most felt like the school district was proposing to spend too much money on things that are not necessities. Here we are a year later, and not only did they NOT listen to the community’s concerns, but they added 700 MILLION more dollars to the bond and MORE “fluff.” This is not representative of what the community wants and what is best for our children. They need to consider our concerns and address the growth needs in a fiscally responsible manner. Our community and our children will be paying this debt off for years to come."

Most people think that conservative groups are always railing against any sort of bond referendum or proposal. That's simply not true! To back that up, I thought it would be interesting to include some quotes from some folks who would like to remain anonymous. The first person comments concerning the stadium that has been injected into the bond:

"Why is the stadium being forced into a bond that is primarily for education and facilities pertaining to education? Why is it not on its own ticket?"

"The stadium did not make the vote last year and there has been a whole year to prepare for a better solution. Why has Katy ISD not researched and secured corporate sponsors, stadium naming rights, and etc… They could sell seat options, raise ticket prices, and paid parking. There are many ways that this could have been sold to the voters without shoving it down our throats in a bond that includes mass much needed educational components. That's just dirty and unethical no matter what side your on."

"Sometimes you have to pay to play!"

Some people are not even talking about the stadium. Here's one taxpayer who is concerned about whether or not Katy ISD already has the money on hand to spend without passing the bond:

"On the KISD Bond issue, I have a house that last year was valued at $92,500 - KISD taxes $1415. This year the same house value was upped to $149,000 - KISD taxes $2279. This appears to me to be a little more than $10-$20 per year. And it's a rental with no exemptions. So, if my KISD taxes are going up $864 per year, I guess that I am accounting for the $10 increase for 86 houses. They should not need any bonds approved inasmuch as the increase in valuations more than makes up for the bonds they want to issue."

Here's more from another concerned citizen about the tax rate:

"KISD tax rate is 1.5266% (1.1266 M&O and 0.400 I&S). This is before the planned tax rate increase in the proposed bond. This current rate is already higher than over 93% of all other school districts in TX and even higher than CFISD. Not sure how that is possible with the behemoth of a Berry Center cost already included in CFISD M&O and I&S rates. Good news is it is still lower than Allen ISD but they already have their 60MM stadium. Well it's really even more than the 60MM when you add the costs they are currently incurring to repair all the cracked concrete in it."

Unfortunately, as is always the case with school bond debates, those presenting rationale, financial reasons to oppose the bond will be labeled “anti-children.”

These are real concerns from real people. They are legitimate concerns, too. None that can just be explained away by the pro-bond side as 'ignorant' or uneducated. If you live in Katy ISD, please consider a 'no' vote on this bond. It's time that we stop loving our children to debt.

|| Greg, 07:11 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Add your comment || TrackBacks (0) ||

When Educators Teach Students That The Constitution Does Not Apply To Them

I’ve always wanted to teach American Government. I’ve been blessed to teach a couple of sections the last few years, and this year staffing in the department finally made it possible for me to switch my teaching assignment so that half of my time is spent teaching that subject. One major focus of the class is the nature and extent of our liberties under the Constitution – and every semester I cause a little consternation when I teach about Supreme Court cases that deal with the rights of students, such as Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District and West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette. The discussions of those cases often lead students to recount cases when teachers and administrators failed to abide by the lawful limits of their authority and respect the constitutional rights of the students who they are supposed to be preparing to be citizens of a free nation. That’s why this story – and the spin placed on it by the commentator – makes me so very angry.

A North Dakota school has drawn the ire of a national atheist group after a teacher made a 6-year-old child stand up during the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Jesse Adams, of New Town, ND, tells the Minot Daily News that school administrators violated his son’s First Amendment rights by making him stand for the pledge.

“We’re trying to raise free thinkers,” he told the newspaper.

Yes, Mr. Adams is one of those parents.

When his child continued to defy the directions of his teacher, the youngster was told to stand in the hallway for the duration of the pledge. Mr. Adams said that amounts to bullying.

Maybe the six-year-old could’ve used hallway time for some personal meditation – or free thinking?

Superintendent Mark Bluestone is a military veteran and a patriot. He told the Associated Press the child was placed in the hallway to avoid disrupting other students who wondered why they could not sit during the pledge.

The superintendent said he feels strong about the importance of teaching children to be patriotic – a rarity in American public education.

The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center fired off a letter to the superintendent. They accused the school of coercing the underage free thinker.

“Allowing students to exercise their right to sit out the Pledge of Allegiance is a matter of free speech and freedom of conscience,” legal director David Niose wrote.

If somebody had pulled that kind of hippy dippy baloney back when I was in school, they would've been pledging allegiance with a boot up their backside.

Apparently Mr. Starnes was educated in a totalitarian nation with a government not limited by the US Constitution and Superintendent Bluestone patriotically fought to defend the same sort of fascist regime. Either that or Starnes is stunningly ignorant of the US Constitution and the US Supreme Court precedents about compelling student speech or taking adverse actions against students exercising constitutional rights and Superintendent Bluestone is an incompetent who failed to absorb the material taught in his educational law class while preparing to get his administrator’s certification. After all, this matter was settled some 70 years ago at the height of World War II in the Barnette case that I mentioned earlier. Consider these excerpts from the majority opinion by Justice Robert Jackson (mentor to the future Chief Justice William Rhenquist who was in turn mentor to the current Chief Justice, John Roberts).

The freedom asserted by these appellees does not bring them into collision with rights asserted by any other individual. It is such conflicts which most frequently require intervention of the State to determine where the rights of one end and those of another begin. But the refusal of these persons to participate in the ceremony does not interfere with or deny rights of others to do so. Nor is there any question in this case that their behavior is peaceable and orderly. The sole conflict is between authority and rights of the individual.

* * *

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.

Now let’s be clear what is going on in New Town, North Dakota. A student is exercising his uncontestable right to opt out of participation in a flag salute by peacefully remaining seated. He refuses to confess, by either word or act, allegiance to a piece of cloth, despite official efforts to compel him to do so. Exclusion from his assigned classroom for a part of the instructional day singles him out and causes a greater disruption than his remaining seated. The excuse given by the out-of-control mis-educator is that this child's actions caused a disruption because other students asked questions about their about their rights under the Constitution to do likewise. In other words, Superintendent Bluestone and his subordinates are engaged in educational malpractice by seeking to keep their charges in ignorance rather than performing a fundamental task of the American educational system – preparing students to freely exercise their rights as citizens by teaching them what their rights are. What is instead happening in this district is the un-American practice of indoctrinating students in a preferred political/philosophical point of view and marginalizing those who dissent from the officially endorsed ideology. The lesson they are teaching is that a good American does what the government demands and that those who do not are to be excluded and shunned.

And lest you think I’ve got a problem with the pledge, let me state that I do not. I proudly participate in and lead it in my classroom. I encourage my students to participate in it, or at least to stand respectfully. But I do not exclude any who will not – and use such situations (and they are rare) as a teachable moment in which I can educate students about our liberties as Americans. Why? Because I recognize that the surest way to honor American values is to place the Constitution above the flag. Otherwise the symbol is placed above the substance of what our nation is all about.

|| Greg, 04:55 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Add your comment || TrackBacks (0) ||

Death Sentence For Iranian Blogger For “Insulting The Prophet” Mandates This Post

Because voicing different views is not a crime in any civilized land.

A blogger found guilty of insulting the Prophet Mohammad in his postings on Facebook has been sentenced to death. An informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the blogger, Soheil Arabi, will be able to appeal the decision until September 20, 2014.

Arabi claims he was not in sound mental health when he made the posts. I don’t know if that is true or not – but it really doesn't matter.

So in solidarity with Soheil Arabi, I offer up the following.


The above message has been approved by Muhammad the Islamic Outrage Pig.

Islamic Outrage Pig.jpg

|| Greg, 03:26 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Add your comment || TrackBacks (0) ||

Another Liberal Who Doesn’t Understand The Word “Diversity”

Do you spot the problem?

Local members of the LGBT community are questioning an Iowa City festival's partnership with Chick-fil-A, the restaurant chain that drew national protests in 2012 after its CEO spoke out against gay marriage.

Chick-fil-A is among the nearly dozen corporate sponsors for Iowa Soul Festival, an Iowa City Summer of the Arts event that runs Friday and Saturday on the Pentacrest and Clinton Street. The restaurant, through a donation from its Coralville location, is sponsoring Soul Fest's culinary row.

Janelle Rettig, a Johnson County Supervisor who has been in a same-sex marriage for nearly 26 years, said Chick-fil-A's sponsorship makes her question whether LGBT people — those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender — are welcome at Soul Fest.

"When they're a sponsor in a city that prides itself in celebrating diversity, I think we do have to question that," Rettig said Tuesday. "It's eyebrow raising, and it makes me wonder if I should even go to Soul Fest because I'm uncomfortable with it."

So let’s see – Rettig apparently believes that the proper way to celebrate diversity is to exclude those whose views are not the same as hers. Thinking or believing differently – you know, having diverse views – is apparently something to be suppressed. And if those who dare to hold and express diverse views are allowed to participate in a community event, that somehow excludes people who disagree – meaning that diversity is must be prohibited in order to include the most intolerant and closed-minded subpopulation in the community. Thus liberals like Retting insist that “diversity” means “forced conformity”.

Of course, maybe that is why Rettig feels unwelcome. After all, celebrating the true diversity of the community – including those who hold diverse beliefs on religious, moral, and social issues – probably does make intolerant bigots like her feel unwelcome and uncomfortable.

|| Greg, 03:17 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Add your comment || TrackBacks (0) ||

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