Have We Lost The Tenth Amendment?

The Tenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

In today’s language that simply means that if a power is not specifically stated in the Constitution as belonging to the federal government, that power is to be exercised by the states. So how in the world did we ever get a Department of Education? We did, and now we are beginning to see the dangers of the fact that we did.

The State of Oklahoma has chosen to opt out of the Common Core education program. Because of that decision, the U.S. Department of Education has rescinded Oklahoma’s waiver from No Child Left Behind (NCLB). So what does this mean?

On Thursday, Breitbart.com posted an article explaining what is going on:

The loss of the waiver means that 100 percent of Oklahoma students must be performing math and reading at grade level at most schools by this school year. The USED expects the state to use student test results from last school year to determine which schools are meeting the requirement. Those schools that fall short will have to take steps toward improvement, which could include a total reconfiguration of the staff or a private or state takeover of the school.

Oklahoma will also have to set aside about $29 million in federal Title I dollars to pay for tutoring, school choice, and professional development.

I don’t have a problem with setting high standards for students. I do have a problem with the government strong arming a state to allow the federal government to take over the state’s educational system.

The article reminds us:

The fact that Oklahoma’s waiver was denied while Indiana was granted an extension makes it clear that, despite the protests of Common Core supporters that the standards are “voluntary” and “state-led,” the federal government is, in fact, determining which states will receive reprieves from federal restrictions based on their choices of academic standards.

The Oklahoma congressional delegation released the following statement regarding the issue:

“The Obama Administration doesn’t like when Oklahomans buck big government regulations, and today the Administration responded by penalizing our children with failing to grant the one-year extension of the ESEA flexibility,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R).

“Oklahomans want education reform that sets standards created and certified by Oklahoma’s institutions, community leaders, and parents,” Inhofe added. “Instead of supporting these values, the Obama Administration has chosen to make it more expensive and difficult to achieve the state’s education goals that, once met, will exceed the requirements set by the U.S. Department of Education.”

“As seen with ObamaCare taxes or the Endangered Species Act rulings, today’s decision continues the trend of this Administration punishing Oklahoma for making decisions that represent the goals and interests of its constituents,” the senator said.

“Our state stood firm against further federal intrusion into the education of our children by rejecting the Common Core curriculum and determining that local educational leaders could best develop the appropriate curriculum for Oklahoma students,” said Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R). “Instead of applauding this constitutional decision and leadership, the Obama Administration decided today to reject the requested one year extension of flexibility previously granted to Oklahoma under ESEA.”

“This politically motivated decision is the perfect example of how the unconstitutional federalization of education has effectively taken away the power reserved for the states and the people by our founders,” Bridenstine continued. “It’s time to abolish the federal Department of Education and return power to the states consistent with the 10th Amendment.”

Pay attention. This is coming to your state in the very near future.

There Is A Price To Be Paid For Telling The Truth–Even In America

Below is a picture of a door at a synagogue in Stoughton, Mass. It is a place that has hosted conservative speakers, speakers who support Israel, and speakers who share valuable information about the terrorist threat facing America. This synagogue and the people in it are one of the things I miss the most about Massachusetts. I spent many nights there learning things that I have shared on my blog. The Rabbi of the temple, Rabbi Jon Hausman, is a courageous man who loves his country and is working to wake people up to the dangers facing America. The door has been defaced with cow manure. The vandalism is most likely related to an event to be held at the synagogue on September 9. (see coming events Massachusetts on this site).

On September 9, Allen West, General Jerry Boykin (Ret.), Gary Berntsen, CIA Station Chief (Ret.), and General Tom McInerney (Ret.) will be part of an Israel Security Summit entitled “The Fight for Western Civilization.” The event will be co-hosted by Rabbi Jonathan Hausman and Tom Trento of TheUnitedWest.

Rabbi Jon Hausman made the following statement about the vandalism:

“In this era of increasing anti-Semitism and burgeoning anti-Israel rhetoric combined with action, we at ATC (Ahavath Torah Congregation) are not taking this lightly and are moving in the direction recommended by the Stoughton Police Department. The Israel Security Summit will take place”

synagog

 

This is happening in America.

Using The Justice Department To Redistribute Wealth

The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about the recent $16.6 billion settlement with Bank of America.

Investors.com reports:

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) last week agreed to pay $16.65 billion to settle claims that SNL noted “primarily” emanated from the activities of Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch, which prosecutors said knowingly sold toxic mortgages in the years leading up to the financial crisis and recession of 2007-09, before BofA acquired Countrywide in July ’08 and Merrill in January ’09.

Bank of America paid a fine mainly due to the actions of Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch, which Bank of America acquired in July 2008 and January 2009. The fine was based on the actions of Countrywide and Merrill Lynch before they were owned by Bank of America. Bank of America acquired these companies under pressure from the government in order to help slow the damage in the financial crisis.

Investors.com notes:

But massive legal bills — with more than $128 billion paid in settlements and fines by the nation’s six largest lenders, according to SNL Financial — may not prevent another financial crisis and could make big banks less cooperative in rushing to the nation’s rescue should another financial crisis flare up, critics say.

So what happens to this money? Does it go to the people who were hurt by the two company’s business practices?

The Daily Caller reports:

The groups benefitting from the lawsuit, according to Investor’s Business Daily, are the National Council of La Raza, Operation Hope, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. The money also went to “delinquent borrowers” in Chicago, Oakland, Detroit, Philadelphia and other major “Democrat strongholds.”

“This is a wealth redistribution scheme disguised as a lawsuit,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told The Daily Caller. “And who benefits from the distribution? Interest groups the administration relies on, outside interest groups, allies and politicians in communities trying to benefit as well.”

…La Raza, Operation Hope, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America have all intimidated banks to give loans to minorities, even if they can’t afford to pay them back.

 Impeachment is not an option because it would be political suicide. However, it is what is needed. It is a shame that the Democrats in the Senate are more loyal to the President than they are to their country.

This Isn’t News–Some Of Us Have Known It All Along

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article about a recent statement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy.

The article reports:

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed global warming regulations aren’t just about stemming global temperature rises — according to agency’s chief, they are also about “justice” for “communities of color.”

“Carbon pollution standards are an issue of justice,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a teleconference call with environmental activists. “If we want to protect communities of color, we need to protect them from climate change.”

McCarthy is referring to the EPA’s proposed rule that would limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The agency says the rule will not only help fight global warming, but will also improve public health as coal-fired power plants are shuttered. McCarthy, however, put special emphasis on how the rule would reduce asthma rates, which affect African-American children.

Rush Limbaugh said once that if the world were going to end tomorrow, the New York Times headline would be, “World Ends Tomorrow–Women And Children Most Effected.”

If we have any doubt that the climate-control movement was the new home of the communists and socialists, the above statement by Ms. McCarthy should remove all doubt.

The article reports:

Green For All acknowledges the need to disrupt the current economy, because we understand that our current economy was based upon human trafficking, the exploitation of labor, and violent racism,” according to the group’s website. “We are safe enough to be invited into spaces where power-building groups are not, and radical enough to push a deeply justice-based agenda in those spaces. We are radical enough to partner with grassroots organizations when other national groups are turned away, and enough of an ally to offer resources and support in those spaces.”

The article reminds us that the disruption in the economy would hit the very people the movement claims to be helping the hardest. The higher energy costs would impact small businesses, causing people to lose their jobs. Lower paid and unskilled workers would be impacted. Low income people would be devastated by higher energy costs.

Wealth redistribution never accomplishes anything good. It simply makes more people poor. It also allows certain people who are in control to be immune from having their wealth redistributed. Generally speaking, it is a really bad idea. Socialist and communist countries have a much lower standard of living than countries where people are free and have property rights. To move in the direction of socialism or communism is to move toward poverty–not toward economic equality or freedom.

This is a photo taken from the Breitbart Facebook page:

This is what we are up against in the Middle East.

How To Ruin The Last Weekend Of Summer

Today’s New York Post is reporting on President Obama’s plans for Labor Day Weekend. The President will be working hard while people in the northeast who were hoping to take advantage of the last weekend of the summer will be challenged to get to their destinations.

The article reports:

President Obama’s plan to schmooze Wall Street honchos at a Westchester fund-raiser Friday is grounding wealthy weekenders who planned to fly to the Hamptons or Nantucket for the Labor Day holiday.

The FAA has issued a no-fly warning that extends for most of Friday and all day Saturday through Sunday, grounding seaplanes to East Hampton, Montauk, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

On Friday, Obama will be feted at the home of one of his top bundlers, 32 Advisors’ Robert Wolf, in the aptly-named Purchase, NY, with 250 high-rollers paying up to $32,000 each to bend Obama’s ear.

To quote a previous article at rightwinggranny.com, “Only in America…could politicians talk about the greedy rich at a $35,000 per plate campaign fund-raising event.”

The article at the New York Post further reports:

Obama will then fly to Newport, R.I. for an event to benefit House Democrats. Melissa Tomkiel, president of seaplane companies, Fly the Whale (which flies from NYC to the Hamptons and Nantucket) and Tailwind (NYC to Boston and DC), told us, “A flight restriction was issued banning operations in the NYC area due to the president’s visit on Friday for practically the whole weekend, causing major business losses and inconvenience for our passengers on the busiest weekend of the year. It is frustrating. We have had to move at least 10 flights and cancel a number of private charters, costing us thousands of dollars. We count on this weekend to get us through the quieter months of the year. This will create a perfect storm on a holiday Friday, creating air space havoc between New York City and Boston.”

President Obama has become the poster child for narcissism. His weekend schedule reflects a total disregard for other Americans attempting to enjoy their last weekend of the summer.

Economic Policies Have Consequences

Today’s Washington Examiner posted a story about Congressional Budget Office (CBO) statements on the condition of the American economy. The CBO is not optimistic about the future.

The article reports:

The CBO updated its fiscal projections Wednesday, and they reflected its new gloomy view that the future of the U.S. economy is one of slower growth and lower productivity.

“They think that we will get back up to potential growth,” said Loren Adler, an analyst at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, “but they make it clear that they think potential growth is lower than it used to be in the ‘80s and ‘90s.”

The CBO first reached the conclusion that future growth will be slower when it released its long-term budget projections in July, but only incorporated it into its official 10-year budget projections Wednesday.

In its new projections, the CBO sees the economy suffering from a scenario in which its potential is slightly lower than before — 1 percent lower in 2024 than previously expected.

As a result of weak economic growth this year and slightly slower potential growth over the next 10 years, the CBO sees $514 billion in lost revenue.

…The CBO’s scenario — slower growth and permanently lower interest rates — is consistent with the “secular stagnation” scenario outlined by former Obama economic adviser and Harvard professor Larry Summers, who has argued that the U.S. economy may not be able to generate enough consumer demand for goods and services on its own without stimulus from the Federal Reserve or through federal spending.

The assumption that demand will return to normal “now seems problematic,” Stein (Center for American Progress’ Harry Stein) told the Washington Examiner, noting that he wasn’t sure whether the CBO assumed secular stagnation in its model.

So how do you grow an economy? Ronald Reagan seemed to have the answer–lower taxes. If you look at the deal that President Reagan made with Congress (a Democrat-controlled Congress), Congress was going to cut spending along with the tax cuts. Unfortunately, Congress chose to ignore their part of the bargain, and spending during the Reagan years increased greatly and deficits went up despite record tax revenues coming into the government. Even with the growing deficits, the economy grew rapidly once the tax burden was taken off of the people who create jobs and produce wealth. The Obama Administration has increased the income of the wealthy while leaving the middle and lower classes behind. This is the fruit of crony capitalism. The gap between rich and poor has increased during the Obama Administration–not decreased. If you want to see America prosper again, elect people to Congress who will cut taxes and cut spending.

Evidence Of The Decline Of America

On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) carried out a series of airstrikes in Tripoli, Libya. Neither country informed the United States before taking action.

The article reports:

The airstrikes appear tied to fear over the growing muscle of Islamist militias. The region’s monarchies and secular dictatorships are increasingly alarmed about Islamist gains from Libya to Syria and Iraq. And the airstrikes may signal a new willingness by some Arab states to take on a more direct military role in the region’s conflicts.

Various groups in Libya have been battling for control of the main Tripoli airport, and the strikes may have been a failed attempt to keep the strategic facility from falling to extremists.

Our intervention in Libya was a mistake. The only true justification for America’s getting involved was to protect the oil fields that supply Europe with oil. There is also some questions as to whether of not Gaddafi was planning to begin to trade oil in currency other than American dollars. If he had done that, it would have crashed the American economy. Gaddafi had turned over his weapons of mass destruction after the United States had invaded Iraq. He was a horrible dictator, but there was no assurance that he would be replaced with anything less horrible. The Obama Administration’s decision to bomb Libya as part of the ‘Arab Spring’ only strengthened the grip of the multiple terrorist groups in Libya and surrounding areas.

President Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East has been a disaster. It will take years to restore the faith in the United States that our allies once had and to undo the damage President Obama has done by supporting the enemies of democracy.

An Email From A Friend

Canada‘s Top Ten List of American Stupidity

Number 10) Only in America…could politicians talk about the greedy rich at a $35,000 per plate campaign fund-raising event.

Number 9) Only in America…could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans when they have a black President, a black Attorney General, and roughly 20% of the federal workforce is black, while only 14% of the  population is black.  And 40+% of all federal entitlements go to black Americans, which is 3X the rate that go to whites and 5X the rate that go to Hispanics! (This one should probably be closer to #1 than #9)

Number 8) Only in America…could they have had the two people most responsible for our tax code, Timothy Geithner (the head of the Treasury Department) and Charles Rangel (who once ran the House Ways and Means Committee), BOTH turn out to be tax evaders who are in favor of higher taxes!

Number 7) Only in America..can they have terrorists kill people in the name of Allah and have the media primarily react by fretting that Muslims might be harmed by the backlash.

Number 6) Only in America..would they make people who want to legally become American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege, while they discuss letting anyone who sneaks into the country illegally just ‘magically’  become American citizens.

Number 5) Only in America …could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by their country’s Constitution be thought of as extremists .

Number 4) Only in America ..could you be asked to present a driver’s license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote.  This one is a real joke!

Number 3) Only in America ..could people demand the government investigate whether oil companies are gouging the public because the price of gas went up when the return on equity invested in a major U.S. Oil company (Marathon Oil) is less than half of that of a company making tennis shoes (Nike).

Number 2) Only in America could a country collect more tax dollars from the people than any nation in recorded history, still spend a Trillion dollars more than it has per year (for total spending of $7-Million PER MINUTE), and complain that it doesn’t have nearly enough money.

And Number 1) Only in America could the rich people (who pay 86% of all income taxes) be accused of not paying their “fair share” by people who do not pay any income tax at all.

If Congress Won’t Pass It, Do It Anyway

Yesterday’s Daily Caller is reporting that the Justice Department has found a new way to legalize the flood of illegal immigrants.

The article reports:

The Department of Justice’s board of immigration appeals has decided to let Guatemalan women win asylum in the United States if they claim to be victims of domestic violence.

The decision creates a huge new incentive for Guatemalan women to cross the U.S. border, because if their asylum claim is accepted, their children get U.S. citizenship, plus the use of federal health, education and retirement programs, regardless of their initial education and work skills.

The article points out that the immigration courts are under the Justice Department–not the judiciary. So the decision to allow illegals to stay is in the Executive Branch of the government. It is another power grab that ignores the wishes of Congress and the American people.

The article points out:

Since 2009, the Department of Homeland Security quietly reversed a prior policy that said victims of domestic violence don’t count as a “social group” for immigration purposes.

Note that this was done by the Department of Homeland Security–not by Congress.

It would be political suicide for the Republicans to impeach President Obama; however, that is exactly what he deserves. The only chance Americans have of keeping their representative republic is to elect congressmen who have read and support the Constitution. Please remember that in November.

A Subtlety That I Didn’t Understand

Allen West posted an article on his blog today explaining the difference between ISIS and ISIL. The Obama Administration and some news sources have begun to use the word ISIL instead of ISIS to describe the terrorists making their way across Iraq. I really wasn’t paying much attention to the change, but Colonel West explains the difference.

The article explains:

This week I listened to two Obama administration spokesmen, Josh “Not So” Earnest from the White House, and Rear Admiral Kirby from the Pentagon in relation to the Islamic terrorist army freely operating in Iraq and Syria. These two individuals and many other voices out of the Obama administration refer to them as ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant). The group has professed the establishment of an Islamic caliphate and refers to itself as IS (Islamic State). The manner in which we should all be referring to this savage and barbaric group is ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).

 …First, if you choose to refer to this group as ISIL, you have basically rewritten the map of the Middle East and fallen into the trap of not recognizing the existence of Israel and also Lebanon. If you use ISIL you are then validating the Islamic totalitarian and jihadist claim that the modern day Jewish State of Israel is an occupation state and does not exist.

The Obama Administration has used some strange words in the past when referring to events in the Middle East. At a Ramadan dinner at the White House, Obama counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan referred to Jerusalem as Al Quds–a name that has a significant meaning to Muslim extremists. The name of the city is Jerusalem. It is the capital of Israel. The Arabs do not have the right to rename it. This is also the administration that referred to the shooting at Fort Hood as ‘workplace violence.’

The article reminds us:

Lastly, we need to address this group as ISIS because it is seeking to establish an Islamic state within the borders of two recognized nation-states; Iraq and Syria. ISIS can attempt to break down any borders and not recognize them, but we must. We cannot allow this group to reestablish some 7th century regional caliphate and therefore must fight to reestablish sovereignty.

Now, I would much rather use this crisis as a means to establish something long since needed — a separate country called Kurdistan — but my focus would be on destroying ISIS. There is an opportunity here to truly promote a country where there can be respect and coexistence of Muslims, Christians, and other religious minorities. A place that would thoroughly reject the idea of Islamic jihadism and would continue to be a reliable ally of the United States.

It is a shame that the Obama Administration does not include people with the understanding of the Middle East that Allen West represents. A more qualified group of presidential advisers might have avoided the disaster that President Obama’s foreign policy has become.

The ‘Look At Me’ President

Fox News is reporting today that two senior Defense officials told Fox News that President Obama has authorized the U.S. to fly surveillance drones over Syria. Why in the world is this being announced? Did former Presidents announce surveillance flights over other countries? We are not actually at war with Syria, so why in the world should we make this announcement? I am not opposed to the surveillance flights–we should have been doing them all along–I am opposed to the fact that the Obama Administration announced them.

The article reports:

Sources told Fox News that Obama approved surveillance missions in Syria for the first time over the weekend; they have since begun. 

It remains to be seen whether the Syrian government will raise any objections to the move. On Monday, the Syrian regime demanded that the U.S. seek permission before launching any airstrikes on its territory against Islamic State targets, but did not discuss its position on surveillance drones. 

The internal discussion over whether to expand the U.S. mission into Syria comes after the U.S. military earlier this month began launching a volley of strikes against Islamic State targets in northern Iraq. Top Pentagon officials have said that the only way the threat from the militants can be fully eliminated is to go after the group inside neighboring Syria as well. 

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday that the U.S. wants more clarity on the militants in Syria, but declined to comment on the surveillance flights.

“Clearly the picture we have of ISIS on the Iraqi side is a more refined picture,” said Dempsey, using one of the acronyms for the Islamic State group. “The existence and activities of ISIS on the Syrian side, we have … some insights into that but we certainly want to have more insights into that as we craft a way forward.”

The action is considered the first “intrusive” surveillance by the U.S. in Syria since the country’s civil war began. This differs from protective surveillance, such as the U.S. used in the failed mission to rescue American hostages held in Syria.

I don’t have a problem with destroying ISIS, but I think we need to take a very close look at who we are supporting when we oppose ISIS. In opposing ISIS, we are supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. We also need to remember that Iran also opposes ISIS. ISIS is a horrible group of people, but do we really want to align ourselves with Bashar al-Assad and Iran? I am not sure there are any good guys in this. We need to help the Kurds defend themselves, but I am not sure we need to do anything else.

With Friends Like These…

The friendship between President Obama and Warren Buffett is not news. Warren Buffett supported President Obama’s tax increase proposals saying that his secretary paid higher taxes than he did. The failure of the Obama Administration to permit the Keystone Pipeline to be built allows the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, owned by Warren Buffett, to transport the oil (see rightwinggranny.com) from the oil fields to other areas of the United States.

Well, President Obama has often stated that companies that move their headquarters overseas are unpatriotic. He has stated that it is patriotic to stay in America and pay higher taxes. I guess Warren Buffett does not let President Obama’s opinion interfere with his business decisions.

Today’s Washington Post is reporting that Burger King is buying Canadian chain Tim Hortons Inc.. CNBC is reporting today that Berkshire Hathaway (Warren Buffett) is helping to fund the deal by committing $3 billion of preferred equity financing. Berkshire Hathaway will not play a role in the management, it is only providing the financing.

So why is this ironic? This acquisition will allow Burger King to move its headquarters to Canada where the corporate tax rate is 26.3 percent as opposed to America where the corporate tax rate is 39.1 percent.

It is not unpatriotic to want to save money. Burger King is accountable to its stockholders for its finances. It is not illegal for the company to move its headquarters to Canada to avoid an unreasonable tax burden. The solution to the exodus of corporations from America would be for Congress to lower the corporate tax rate. The Laffer Curve illustrates that this would create income for the government–not reduce income.

Why We Need To Abolish Hamas And All The People Who Support It

Arutz Sheva posted a story today quoting Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri as to the actual goals of Hamas. Some of us have been led to believe that all Hamas wanted was to end the blockade of Gaza (we saw how much good that blockade has done in keeping weapons and tunnel-building material out of Gaza). It seems that we have been lied to.

This is the quote from the article:

“The time has come for us to say that the true war is not aimed at opening border crossings,” Sami Abu Zuhri said. “Our true war is aimed at the liberation of Jerusalem, Allah willing.” His words were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI. 

He then chanted “Khaybar, Khaybar al Yahood,” an Arabic phrase meaning that Allah will return to expel (or kill) the Jews. Khaybar was a Jewish village north of Medina, Saudi Arabia, which was conquered by Islamists in 629 CE. Crowds waving Hamas flags cheered him on. 

“The army of Mohammed has begun its return,” he continued. “Resistance, resistance. . .we are all with the resistance.”

“The war will continue,” Abu Zuhri affirmed. “However, it is not only the blockade which is rejected by our people. Our people refuses to accept the defiling of the land by the occupier.” 

“Therefore, as of today, the resistance is not preparing for the opening of a border crossing here or there, but rather, for the liberation of our Palestinian land,” he continued. “This is the truth that Netanyahu should understand.”

“We have become more resolute to wage the war of liberation, in order to end the settlements and Judaization, and in order to liberate our land and holy places.”

Israel is not ‘an occupier.’ Israel left Gaza in 2005, turning it over to the Arabs. There were greenhouses there and the structure to form a prosperous society. The Arabs promptly destroyed the greenhouses there, and turned Gaza into a terrorist haven and training camp. They showed a total disregard for the people who lived there–destroying their means to make a living. The majority of the people who lived in Gaza before 2005 were better off under Israeli rule than they have been under Arab rule. Hamas turned a place where people prospered and lived in peace into a war zone. That will also happen in areas where ISIS takes over. Both organizations need to be destroyed.

One Of The Problems With Solar Energy

On August 19, Outside Magazine posted a story about the  Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert.

The article reports:

When investigators visited the $2.2 billion Ivanpah plant last year before its February launch, they saw bird-based smoke plumes (known as “streamers” by employees) shoot through the air once every two minutes. BrightSource Energy—one of the companies involved in Ivanpah and spearheader of the proposed larger solar farm—estimates about 1,000 such deaths occur annually, but the Center for Biological Diversity says the carnage could climb to 28,000. Either way, investigators want the planned solar farm put on hold until a full year of bird deaths at Invanpah is tabulated.

We hear a lot about the ecological damage done by traditional energy plants, how much ecological damage does the death of 28,000 birds do?

The article explains the problem with the Ivanpah plant:

The desert gets some of the best solar radiation in the country, but Ivanpah is also the biggest solar farm to employ power towers—a system wherein 300,000 garage-door-sized mirrors reflect light on boiler towers that produce steam to rotate turbines. Like a lethal disco ball, the solar farm singes birds as it generates electricity for 140,000 homes. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials reported this month that power-tower solar farms have “the highest lethality potential” of any California solar project. The new BrightSource farm would have a 75-story power tower and stand in the flight path of more than 100 endangered species along the California-Arizona border. Investigators say it would be four times as lethal as Ivanpah.

Unfortunately, animals and insects are attracted to light—and concentrated light just concentrates the problem. The investigators told the Associated Press that Ivanpah “might act as a ‘mega-trap’ for wildlife … with the bright light of the plant attracting insects, which in turn attract insect-eating birds.” Ivanpah officials think they can solve the streamer problem despite biologists saying there’s no known way to curb the deaths.

I think we need to do some more research before we attempt to convert to alternative energy sources. There is no way the Keystone Pipeline could cause this much damage, yet it is not being approved because of potential environmental damage.

Why Has It Taken So Long For The Public To Learn This?

Fox News is reporting today that the IRS emails that Lois Lerner claimed to have lost may exist on back-up computers. Politico posted a story at the end of July that summarizes the timeline on this whole scandal.

Politico reports:

Backgrounder recap: It all started in May 2013, when ex-IRS tax-exempt chief Lois Lerner acknowledged the agency inappropriately used loaded key words like “tea party” to scrutinize applicants seeking tax breaks. A critical inspector general report followed, Lerner and others stepped down, and here we are, dozens of congressional hearings later.

Although the Justice Department, FBI and Treasury inspector general for tax administration are all probing the matter, it could be awhile before they issue final reports on how and why the ex-IRS official at the heart of the scandal lost two years’ worth of emails, the latest wrinkle in the controversy.

When the Ways and Means Committee began investigating the IRS scandal, they requested Lois Lerner’s emails. In June the Committee was told the emails were missing and that the IRS had been aware of that fact since February.

I hate to be cynical (although sometimes it is necessary), but do you think that the IRS and the Justice Department have had enough time to sanitize those emails and delete anything that might be incriminating? I strongly suspect that when the emails are released, there will be nothing even remotely problematic for the IRS. The emails will be strangely innocent.

Were it not for the efforts of Judicial Watch using the Freedom of Information Act, the IRS and Justice Department would not even have to take the time to clean up the emails. At least Judicial Watch is forcing the IRS to spend some time covering their tracks.

Brilliant, But Sad That It Is Even Needed

The Blaze is reporting today that four college students at the University of North Carolina have invented a product that will help protect women from the date rape drug. The product is a nail polish that changes color when a woman dips her finger in her drink.

The article reports:

They developed a prototype nail polish, which works like so: Dip your finger into your drink, and if someone has spiked it with date rape drugs, the nail polish will change colors.

The company the four students formed is called “Undercover Colors.” It is a sad reflection on our society that there is any need for this product, but I hope they sell a million bottles to women of dating age.

Whoops!

Wattsupwiththat is reporting today that glaciers are appearing in Scotland.

The article quotes the BBC:

“Hazards common in arctic and alpine areas but described as “extremely unusual” in the UK during the summer have been found on Ben Nevis.

A team of climbers and scientists investigating the mountain’s North Face said snowfields remained in many gullies and upper scree slopes.

On these fields, they have come across compacted, dense, ice hard snow call neve.

Neve is the first stage in the formation of glaciers, the team said.”

The team has also encountered sheets of snow weighing hundreds of tonnes and tunnels and fissures known as bergschrunds.

This is how ice ages start–the snow does not melt in the summer, and the growing ice sheet reflects more sunlight back into space instead of absorbing it. As the cycle continues, the earth gets colder. So much for global warming.

What Are These People Smoking?

Today’s Daily Caller posted a story about comments made by Al Sharpton on NBC’s “Meet The Press” today. The Reverend Sharpton was responding to a question about a recent article in Politico Magazine describing him as a surrogate of President Obama regarding race relations.

The article reports:

“First of all, I’m not a surrogate,” he contended. “I have access to the White House in every era going back to Lincoln with Frederick Douglass. Presidents talk to those that were leading at that time.”

“Not comparing Marc Morial or Melanie Campbell and I to Frederick Douglass,” Sharpton added (though the “and I” was barely audible). “But that’s nothing unusual.”

“I went to Ferguson because the family, the grandfather called to ask me to come,” he said. “The White House called while I was there, talked to me, the head of the NAACP and others. So it’s not a surrogate, it is a customary, traditional role.”

Reverend Sharpton is no Frederick Douglass. Let’s talk a little bit about the Reverend Al Sharpton. He has done more to stir up strife between races than to quell it. Reverend Sharpton has a way of showing up in a difficult situation and throwing gasoline on whatever fire is raging. More than one of the situations Reverend Sharpton has been involved in included  information that was questionable at best at the time, and later proved false. Reverend Sharpton is not a man seeking peace and harmony between races, he makes a living by stirring up strife and claiming to be a peacemaker. If harmony between the races occurred, Reverend Sharpton would be out of the spotlight and out of a job. He is very aware of that.

The Tale Of The Illegal Cookie

The Daily Caller is reporting today on the saga of the famous Elyria pink cookie. The cookie has been a staple in the public schools in Elyria, Ohio, since roughly the Carter Administration. Now the cookie is illegal because it does not meet the nutritional guidelines of the new Smart Snacks standards created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is part of the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, a signature issue of Michelle Obama.

The article reports:

Amy Higgins, a spokeswoman for Elyria City Schools, agreed.

“It’s a tradition,” Higgins told Fox. “It’s not only a tradition. It’s one that tastes really, really good. You’d be surprised by how many people are upset about the pink cookie going away. Anyone who’s gone to Elyria schools in the last 40 years knows the pink cookie.”

Efforts to bring the pink cookie into conformity with federal guidelines have failed.

Teaman, the cafeteria services director, told The Chronicle-Telegram that his staff tried whole-grain flour and less icing, to no avail.

“There is only one way to do the pink cookie, and to do it any other way would not do it justice,” he said.

“It’s not the pink cookie anymore,” Higgins explained. “It doesn’t maintain the integrity of the homemade recipe.”

Mayor Brinda likened an Obama administration-approved pink cookie to “eating diet potato chips.”

The government should not be taking cookies out of schools. I understand that obesity in children is a problem in America, but that is not the government’s responsibility. I would not oppose a program to educate children and parents about nutrition, but I am not sure that this is a matter of education. I do think banning a cookie is not something the government needs to be involved in.

While The Press Was Covering Ferguson…

Yesterday, Hot Air reported on four murders that the press seems to have overlooked. Ali Muhammad Brown was suspected of killing three Seattle men. He is now accused of shooting 19-year-old Brendan Tevlin eight times at a West Orange traffic light in New Jersey in June.

The article reports:

He sought revenge against America for what he said was the wanton killing of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tevlin was allegedly Brown’s fourth victim.

Brown’s victims, with the exception of Tevlin, had a similar background: they were young, gay men.

…Brown may eventually face federal and/or state-level terrorism charges, but few press accounts of his attacks – most of them in local outlets — state clearly that Islamic jihadist ideology inspired him. “All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life,” court documents allege Brown said of United States actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some outlets are not mincing words about the nature of Brown’s crimes. A July report via a Seattle-based Fox affiliate described Brown as a “radical jihadist” who targeted homosexual men, but few have followed suit.

Brown was an Islamist who targeted homosexual men. Under Sharia Law, homosexuals are subject to the death penalty. He was simply acting within the bounds of his religion. Somehow the press does not seem to be concerned with this man who killed four men in America in the name of jihad. The jihadis are already among us. Unfortunately, the press is not keeping us informed.

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What Are Our Children Learning?

I have posted a few articles on Common Core and on the AP U. S. History course for high school students. There are some real questions as to what the curricula associated with these standards and programs is actually teaching, but now we have strange curriculum showing up in other areas.

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article quoting Minnesota teachers on how their schools teach literature classes.

The article included the following description of how Edina High School in Edina, Minnesota teaches literature classes:

Acceptance and inter-cultural understanding can be fostered through the use of powerful texts, discussion, analysis, and exploration in the classroom. An English curriculum grounded in social justice rests on a belief based in equity—that each person should have access to resources regardless of race, gender, ability, age, socio-economic status, or sexual orientation.

Why is our educational system trying to divide Americans instead of focusing on the things we have in common that made this country great?

The article includes a comment from Woodbury High School:

At Woodbury High School, the [literature] course is primarily structured chronologically. Social, economic, cultural and political frameworks of the readings are sometimes explored explicitly through eight critical lenses: feminist, deconstruction, new criticism, new historical/biographical, reader response, post-colonial, psychological and Marxist theory. Students apply critical literary elements such as figurative language, symbolism, and motif to find author’s intent.

What about teaching them the uniqueness of the U.S. Constitution instead?

John Hinderaker sums it up:

This is mis-education, worse than not attending school at all. Any child of normal intelligence would gain more from staying up late at night and reading books with a flashlight under the covers than from being subjected to such cant. For many students, such palpable bullshit is likely to ruin literature forever.

After the Constitutional Convention in 1787, people gathered outside Independence Hall in order to learn what had been created. A website called ourrepubliconline.com reports:

A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Unless we do a better job of educating our children, we won’t be able to keep it.

Why Guantanamo Needs To Stay Open And Adding Prisoners

In June, the U.K. Mail posted an article identifying the leader of ISIS as someone America once had in custody in Iraq. If you choose to follow the link, be aware that there are some graphic pictures posted there.

The article reports:

The United States once had Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in custody at a detention facility in Iraq, but president Barack Obama let him go, it was revealed on Friday.

Al Baghdadi was among the prisoners released in 2009 from the U.S.’s now-closed Camp Bucca near Umm Qasr in Iraq.

Had Al Baghdadi been shipped to Guantanamo when he was captured in 2005 (under President Bush) and kept there, the situation in Iraq, Syria, and the rest of the area might be a little different.

The article reports:

The story of how Baghadadi ended up in U.S. custody in the first place and later came to be the leader of a violent terrorist group is the stuff of legend.

It is said by some that al Baghadadi was in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was picked up by the U.S. military, a farmer who got caught up in a massive sweep. It was at Camp Bucca that he was radicalized and became a follower of Osama Bin Laden.

Another version of the story is that al Baghadadi, who also goes by the alias of Abu Duaa, was an Islamic fundamentalist before the U.S. invaded Iraq and he became a leader in al Qaeda‘s network before he was arrested and detained by American forces in 2005.

‘Abu Duaa was connected to the intimidation, torture and murder of local civilians in Qaim,’ according to a 2005 U.S. intelligence report.

‘He would kidnap individuals or entire families, accuse them, pronounce sentence and then publicly execute them.’

Releasing this man from prison was not smart, he should have been executed for his crimes.

The article concludes (remember this article was posted in June):

The news that the U.S. may have played a role in the rise of the new Osama bin Laden comes just a week after President Obama released five Taliban commanders in exchange for a U.S. soldier being held hostage by the terrorist network.

Lawmakers immediately questioned the logic of the president’s decision, saying that the move could end up backfiring on the U.S. if the five fighters return to the battlefield in Afghanistan once their mandatory one-year stay in Qatar comes to a close.

They are especially concerned given the president’s announcement just days before their release that he plans to withdraw the majority of America’s troops in Afghanistan by the end of this year.

Already one, of the Taliban 5 have vowed to return to Afghanistan to fight American soldiers there once he is able.

‘I wouldn’t be doing it if I thought that it was contrary to American national security,’ the president said at the time.

Stay tuned.

We Need Leaders Who Think Before They Speak

Yesterday Fox News Insider posted a story about the failed rescue attempt of hostages in Syria. In the statement revealing the rescue attempt, senior Obama Administration officials stated that at least six European hostages freed by the militants this spring had been debriefed by U.S. intelligence, giving us the information we needed to attempt a rescue. Think about the consequences of that making a public statement about those debriefings.

The article quotes Lt. Col. Ralph Peters:

Peters said the release of those details by the administration was shameful and could only be effective as weak political cover.

“You just don’t do it,” he said, adding that the release of details is disgraceful and murderous because it potentially endangers not only our soldiers for future raids but also the hostages that are still being held by ISIS, since we advertised that we received key intelligence from released hostages.

“You think the Islamic state is going to release more hostages? We signed their death warrants!”

The Obama Administration needs to think more carefully about the information it releases. We saw the consequences of announcing that Seal Team Six killed Osama Bin Laden. Let’s not do this again.