I Guess Man-made Global Warming May Be Possible

Reuters posted a story yesterday with this headline, “Wind farms may have warming effect – research.” I’m sorry if you are offended that I find this hilarious, but I do.

The article reports:

Researchers at the State University of New York at Albany analysed the satellite data of areas around large wind farms in Texas, where four of the world’s largest farms are located, over the period 2003 to 2011.

The results, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, showed a warming trend of up to 0.72 degrees Celsius per decade in areas over the farms, compared with nearby regions without the farms.

“We attribute this warming primarily to wind farms,” the study said. The temperature change could be due to the effects of the energy expelled by farms and the movement and turbulence generated by turbine rotors, it said.

“These changes, if spatially large enough, may have noticeable impacts on local to regional weather and climate,” the authors said.

First of all, I do not believe global warming (if it is occurring) is man-made–I think it reflects nature climate cycles. One of the greatest warming periods was during the Middle Ages, and there certainly was not a lot of carbon emission during that period.

The article concludes:

The authors of the study released on Sunday said: “Given the present installed (wind farm) capacity and the projected installation across the world, this study draws attention to an important issue that requires further investigation.”

“We need to better understand the system with observations and better describe and model the complex processes involved to predict how wind farms may affect future weather and climate.”

Commenting on the study, Steven Sherwood, co-director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia, said: “Daytime temperatures do not appear to be affected. This makes sense, since at night the ground becomes much cooler than the air just a few hundred metres above the surface. The wind farms generate gentle turbulence near the ground that causes these to mix together, thus the ground doesn’t get quite as cool.” (Edited by Pravin Char)

The bottom line here is very simple–we just don’t know as much as we think we do! I am not sure we will ever find a ‘perfect’ way to generate energy, but we need to understand that energy is needed and right now we need to embrace any form of energy that will give America energy independence.


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The Massachusetts Senate Race

Scott Brown, Republican U.S. Senator represent...

Scott Brown, Republican U.S. Senator representing Massachusetts, at a U.S. Senate campaign event on December 31, 2009, in Plymouth Massachusetts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Senate race in Massachusetts is going to be interesting. Scott Brown took the seat in a special election in 2010 after the death of Senator Kennedy. He was embraced by the Tea Party and traveled the state extensively to win votes. Senator Brown has not voted in line with the wishes of the Tea Party, but has definitely been his own man. I have not always agreed with his votes, but will be voting for him again–he is an honest man, and I believe he is trying to vote in the best interests of Massachusetts and America.

The other candidate for the Senate seat is Elizabeth Warren, currently a law professor at Harvard. Ms. Warren has made a few misstatements in her campaign that may be a problem for her.

Today’s Boston Herald reports:

Despite claiming she never used her Native American heritage when applying for a job, Elizabeth Warren’s campaign admitted last night the Democrat listed her minority status in professional directories for years when she taught at the University of Texas and the University of Pennsylvania.

Other than the fact that the statement calls into question Ms. Warren’s basic honesty, it really is no big deal.

The Herald further reports:

The Herald reported Friday that embattled Harvard Law School officials touted Warren’s Native American heritage — she reportedly has ancestors from the Cherokee and Delaware tribes — as proof of the faculty’s diversity.

The Warren campaign has said the U.S. Senate candidate never allowed Harvard Law to claim her as a minority hire. Warren herself has said she could not “recall” ever listing her Native American background when applying for college or a job.

It really is no big deal whether or not Ms. Warren was hired because of her racial background or not–it is a concern, however, that she feels necessary to lie about it during the campaign.


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This Slogan Only Works If You Ignore The Facts

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today reminding us of some inconvenient truths about the government bailout of the automobile industry. Since one of the campaign slogans of President Obama’s campaign this year will be, “Osama Bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive,” it might be wise to take a look at some of the facts surrounding the auto bailout.

The article reports:

The administration has already written off $7 billion in taxpayer losses in the American takeover of Chrysler and General Motors; those losses are expected to climb as high as $23 billion—27 percent of the $85 billion spent on the bailout.

While the bailout is widely credited with saving the two companies, increasing taxpayer losses have made it nearly as unpopular in 2012 as it was when Obama was elected. More than half of Americans still disapprove of the auto bailout compared with 61 percent in 2008.

Aside from the taxpayer losses involved, there is the violation of bankruptcy laws. We have laws for a reason–if they are wrong they need to be changed (these particular laws are not wrong), but until they are changed, they have to be followed.

As was pointed out at rightwinggranny in June of 2009, in bailing out Chryster, laws were broken:

The issue here is the secured debt.  The government is trying to pressure those who hold secured bonds to accept less than the value of the bonds so that other creditors can be paid.  We need to remember that one of the basic principles of bankruptcy law is that secured creditors (who loaned money only on the contractual promise that if the debt was unpaid they’d get specific property back)  get paid off in full before unsecured creditors get anything.  To do anything else is a violation of the US Constitution and its rules on private property rights.

Laws were broken in the auto bailouts in order to hand the companies over to the unions. Some Americans remember that. General Motors is alive, but aside from the taxpayer losses, the government and the unions have much more power in running the company than is appropriate.

The article at the Free Beacon further reports:

“They came in and forced these companies into pre-packaged bankruptcy where unions were made whole and creditors were squeezed out,” the expert said. “In normal bankruptcy they don’t rearrange stakeholders rights willy-nilly…there’s no way those union contracts would have been untouched.”

Labor is not the only constituency to which Obama has tried to appeal by championing the bailout.  “After three decades of inaction, we’re gradually putting in place the toughest fuel economy standards in history for our cars and pickups,” Obama said in the same February speech. “That means the cars you build will average nearly 55 miles per gallon by the middle of the next decade—almost double what they get today.”

Obama tied the bailouts to strict environmental standards that have led to increasingly efficient cars, an achievement he has used to woo green advocates. The move has affected more than just the environment, establishing “dangerous” legal precedents, according to some legal experts.

General Motors may be alive, but it is a whole lot less free than it was before President Obama said, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you.”


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Saudi Arabia Has Closed Its Embassy In Cairo

Yesterday’s Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia has closed its embassy in Cairo after protests by Egyptian activists at the embassy. The protesters are protesting the arrest of Ahmed al-Gizawy, who was arrested when he arrived in Saudi Arabia for a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. The Saudis have accused Mr. al-Gizawy of smuggling Xanax (which is an illegal substance in Saudi Arabia) into the country.

The article further reports that the protesters believe that Mr. al-Gizawy is being held because of a court case he brought in Cairo over the illegal detention of Egyptians in Saudi Arabia. The Egyptians have been held without trial. Mr. al-Gizawy had been tried and sentenced in absentia in a Saudi court, but was not told that in advance of his trip.

Before the fall of Mubarak, the government of Egypt would not have allowed protests against the Saudis. One reason I find this interesting is that I believe that the rulers of Saudi Arabia are the next target of the Muslim Brotherhood in the ‘Arab Spring.’ They are the major non-democracy still standing in the Middle East. Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia practices Sharia Law, it is under the control of the Saudi royal family–not the Muslim Brotherhood.

Make no mistake, the Muslim Brotherhood supports a world-wide caliphate–but only one which they control.

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There May Be Hope For Democracy In Tunisia

The Washington Post posted a story yesterday which updated what is happening in Tunisia after the revolution.

The article opens with this scene:

Upstairs, Ibrahim Amara and his friends gather around the computer to watch YouTube preachers offering a vision of Islam that rejects democracy and elections. “Democracy’s freedom is absolute,” Ibrahim says, “and we don’t accept that. In our religion, freedom is limited to the freedom God gives you.”

Downstairs, Ibrahim’s father, Saleh Amara, explodes in frustration over his son’s new, post-revolutionary passion. Saleh and his wife have gone along with some of their 27-year-old’s new restrictions — okay, they’d stop watching soap operas and “Oprah” on TV, because there was too much sexual content — but Saleh says his son goes too far. Growing the long beard of the pious is fine, though it will probably limit his job opportunities. And if Ibrahim insists that his secular-raised, college-educated wife cover her hair and wear gloves, well, that’s his business. But how can he spurn free elections, the sweetest fruit of Tunisia’s revolution?

That is the problem with balancing democracy with Islam. Islamic governments, if they follow Islamic Law (Sharia Law) are incompatible with democracy. There is a divide in Tunisia as to whether the country will become a western-style democracy or a Muslim theocracy.

The article further states:

In the campaign leading to October’s elections and in the months since, small but violent demonstrations by Salafists have frightened many Tunisians.

Islamist preachers calling for sharia law, a return to polygamy and a reduced role for women do not represent a majority but are making headway, some secular Tunisians worry. At brunch, over spicy tuna salad and brik — Tunisia’s fried phyllo snack — served on Royal Albert china, Cherif tells of a well-educated friend whose mother chastised him for voting for a secular party. “You voted against Allah,” the mother said.

“How do you fight against that?” Cherif asks. “How do you educate people about our mild Tunisian brand of Islam when Islamist parties are telling voters that their path is the only one to paradise?”

There has been hope from the beginning of the ‘Arab Spring‘ for western democracies in the Middle East. Tunisia is the only country where that seems remotely possible. We need to keep in mind that Turkey existed as a western democracy since Ataturk’s reforms in 1924 helped Turkey become a secular nation. Unfortunately in the past few years, the Muslim Brotherhood is taking over the nation and support for Sharia Law has grown. There are still Christian churches in Turkey, but they do not have signs on their buildings–it would not be safe to identify them as churches. I hope that Tunisia can survive as a western-style democracy where all religions are treated equally. Unfortunately, recent events in the Middle East which have strengthened the Muslim Brotherhood will make that difficult.


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Why You Need To Read Between The Lines

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about some of the fund raising methods currently being used by the Democrat party. Fund raising for Democrats is not going as well as hoped, so they are trying to kick up the numbers before an FEC fundraising deadline Monday at midnight.

The article reports that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz sent out a fund raising email that included this message:

This week, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Here’s how the vote went: Sixty-eight in favor, thirty-one against.

Each of the 31 senators who voted against it were Republican men.

Every time these guys get the chance to put women’s health before politics, they fail to.

That just sounds so unfair (those evil Republicans are at it again)–until you begin to look at the details:

The Democrats’ Senate version of the bill adds 10,000 U-visas annually, but the Democrats refused to include any protections against immigration fraud in the issuance of such visas. The bill extends the criminal jurisdiction of Indian tribal courts to cover non-Indians; this has to be unconstitutional. And the Democrats’ bill includes hundreds of millions of dollars for grant programs, but the Democrats rejected all audit and oversight provisions, even though a Department of Justice investigation found that in the past, some grantees have misused more than 90% of the money they received through VAWA.

During the political silly season, nothing is what it appears to be. The bill is headed back to the House of Representatives where the extra things added in will probably be taken out. At that point we will see who is willing to support a bill that actually addresses the issue of violence against women.


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The Friday Night Document Dump

The Friday night document dump is not unique to the Obama Administration–it has become an American tradition during the last twenty years. It usually includes something that the administration involved hopes the major media will not notice. Sometimes that works; sometimes it doesn’t.

Last nights Friday night document dump included some interesting information about how American taxpayer money is being spent. Andrew McCarthy at the National Review posted an article today stating that President Obama has authorized sending $192 million to the Palestinian Authority despite Congress’s freeze on PA funding. The funding to the PA was cut off after President Abbas attempted to declare statement unilaterally last September, in violation of the PA’s treaty commitments.

The article reports:

White House spinmeister Tommy Vietor stated that President Obama made the decision to pour American taxpayer dollars into Palestinian coffers in order to ensure “the continued viability of the moderate PA government.” He added the claim that, as the report puts it, “the PA had fulfilled all its major obligations, such as recognizing Israel’s right to exist, renouncing violence and accepting the Road Map for Peace.”

The PA has not recognized Israel’s right to exist–the article further reports the comments of Adil Sadeq, a PA official writing in the official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida:

(Israelis) have a common mistake, or misconception by which they fool themselves, assuming that Fatah accepts them and recognizes the right of their state to exist, and that it is Hamas alone that loathes them and does not recognize the right of this state to exist. They ignore the fact that this state, based on a fabricated [Zionist] enterprise, never had any shred of a right to exist…

Andrew McCarthy suggested how we deal with the President’s ignoring the wishes of Congress–cut the State Department’s budget. That will give the President less money to give to those who are friends of neither Israel or America.




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Misusing The Office Of President

On Thursday the Wall Street Journal posted an article about some of President Obama’s campaign tactics.

The article sited a post of one of the President’s campaign websites:

Save Mr. Obama, who acknowledges no rules. This past week, one of his campaign websites posted an item entitled “Behind the curtain: A brief history of Romney’s donors.” In the post, the Obama campaign named and shamed eight private citizens who had donated to his opponent. Describing the givers as all having “less-than-reputable records,” the post went on to make the extraordinary accusations that “quite a few” have also been “on the wrong side of the law” and profiting at “the expense of so many Americans.”

This is simply unacceptable. All Americans are free to donate to any candidate of their choosing.

The article concludes:

The Obama campaign has justified any action on the grounds that it has a right to “hold the eventual Republican nominee accountable,” but this is a dodge. Politics is rough, but a president has obligations that transcend those of a candidate. He swore an oath to protect and defend a Constitution that gives every American the right to partake in democracy, free of fear of government intimidation or disfavored treatment. If Mr. Obama isn’t going to act like a president, he bolsters the argument that he doesn’t deserve to be one.

We need to remember these actions in November. We have a choice–do we want a President who supports the Constitution or do we want someone whose roots in Chicago politics have clouded thier judgement on abuse of power.


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This is a new campaign ad produced by American Crossroads:

The ad targets the fact that being cool isn’t really worth much when it comes to leading America effectively. I have another comment on President Obama. It is a shame that the first black American President has done such a rotten job–I fear that President Obama’s performance as President will make it more difficult for a black man to become President in the future. I hope I am wrong on that, but I am not sure I am. Unfortunately, how a person looks (generally or in terms of race) is still an important part of the American culture.

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About That Tax Policy Thing…

Yesterday wthr.com, an Indiana television station, posted an article about a tax loophole that it costing Americans billions of dollars–it doesn’t involve ‘evil’ corporations or the ‘evil’ rich–it involves a simple IRS tax policy toward legal and illegal aliens who are working in America.

Please watch the video at the link above to hear the entire story. Essentially what is happening is that non-Americans who are working in America are issued an ITIN, an individual taxpayer identification number. A 9-digit ITIN number issued by the IRS provides both resident and nonresident aliens with a unique identification number that allows them to file tax returns. This number is issued to both legal and illegal aliens.

The article reports:

Each spring, at tax preparation offices all across the nation, many illegal immigrants are now eagerly filing tax returns to take advantage of a tax loophole, using their ITIN numbers to get huge refunds from the IRS.

The loophole is called the Additional Child Tax Credit. It’s a fully-refundable credit of up to $1000 per child, and it’s meant to help working families who have children living at home.  

But 13 Investigates has found many undocumented workers are claiming the tax credit for kids who live in Mexico – lots of kids in Mexico.

“We’ve seen sometimes 10 or 12 dependents, most times nieces and nephews, on these tax forms,” the whistleblower told Eyewitness News. “The more you put on there, the more you get back.”

Some of the tax refunds generated by this practice have reached $30,000. I wonder if $30,000 was paid in taxes in the first place.

The article posted a statement from the IRS regarding this matter:

Full statement to WTHR from the Internal Revenue Service

The law has been clear for over a decade that eligibility for these credits does not depend on work authorization status or the type of taxpayer identification number used. Any suggestion that the IRS shouldn’t be paying out these credits under current law to ITIN holders is simply incorrect. The IRS administers the law impartially and applies it as it is written. If the law were changed, the IRS would change its programs accordingly. The IRS disagrees with TIGTA’s recommendation on requiring additional documentation to verify child credit claims. As TIGTA acknowledges in this report, the IRS does not currently have the legal authority to verify and disallow the Child Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit during return processing simply because of the lack of documentation. The IRS has procedures in place specifically for the evaluation of questionable credit claims early in the processing stream and prior to issuance of a refund. The IRS continues to work to refine and improve our processes.

Why do I have the feeling that if I start listing my nieces or nephews on my tax return, the IRS will pay me a visit?



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The Power Of The New Media

Image of a family farm near Stockbridge, Wisco...

Image of a family farm near Stockbridge, Wisconsin, United States Espanol: un granja de la familia en Stockbridge, Wisconsin, Estados Unido (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday’s Daily Caller posted an article showing the power of the Internet and the new media. (Note: I suspect what happened in this case is the result of the fact that it is an election year.)

On Wednesday I posted an article about new farm regulations which will severely limit the activities of children on the family farm (rightwinggranny). I wasn’t the only one who was concerned about the regulations–the Daily Caller article I sourced made it to facebook, the Drudge Report, and other social media.

The results:

Under pressure from farming advocates in rural communities, and following a report by The Daily Caller, the Obama administration withdrew a proposed rule Thursday that would have applied child labor laws to family farms.

Score one for the good guys! However, don’t get too confident. If Obama wins a second term and has more flexibility in his policies (as he told Russian leader Dmitri Medvedev recently), these regulations may magically reappear.

Meanwhile, we can celebrate at least a temporary victory.


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Haven’t These People Ever Heard Of Motel 6 ?

The Daily Caller reported today that Michelle Obama‘s trip to Spain in 2010 cost the American taxpayers an estimated $467,585. Let’s take a minute and talk about some of the places we could easily cut federal spending. I don’t begrudge the First Lady a vacation–she deserves time off. But it does seem a little insensitive that when many Americans are putting aside their vacation plans in a tight economy with rising gasoline costs, Michelle Obama is living like a queen.

The article reports:

The New York Times reported that those on the trip included the first lady, one of her daughters and “two friends and four of their daughters, as well as a couple of aides and a couple of advance staff members.”

Fitton’s group has previously disclosed the cost of sending the first family on overseas trips. Its analysis indicated that it cost $424,142 to fly the first family to South Africa and Botswana in 2011.

That’s nearly one millions dollars on trips in two years. It seems a little high. I would think that the First Family would be willing to set an example for the rest of the country in cutting back their spending.

In February 2010, as quoted in an article in The U. K. Telegraph, the President told Americans:

Speaking about the economy at an event in New Hampshire, Mr Obama told Americans: “When times are tough, you tighten your belts.

“You don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college. You prioritise. You make tough choices.”

The President should start listening to his own speeches.



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An Alternative To Obamacare

Congressman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) posted a press release on his website upon his introduction of H. R. 3000, the Empowering Patients First Act.

The Press Release read:

“True health reform in this country must put patients first while working to improve accessibility to, and affordability of, quality health care,” said Congressman Price.  “Over the past year and a half we have seen plenty of signs that President Obama’s health care bill will be every bit the disaster we warned it would be when the then-Democrat majority jammed the bill through the last Congress.  Thousands of pages of regulations complicating the health care process, mandates on individuals and businesses, higher taxes, and fewer choices will do nothing to improve the quality and affordability of care in this country.  ObamaCare has only just begun to show the incredible cost – monetary and otherwise – that it will have, adversely affecting our American health care system.

‪“Rather than granting government more authority in the lives of patients and their doctors, we must seek reforms that empower patients while advancing the principles of accessibility, affordability, and quality of care.  The Empowering Patients First Act would provide the opportunity for all Americans to have health coverage, solve the insurance challenges of portability of health insurance and pre-existing illnesses and injuries, end the practice of defensive medicine with robust lawsuit abuse reform, all without putting the government in charge!

‪“Where ObamaCare believes in government, the Empowering Patients First Act believes in patients and their doctors.  It ensures that individuals maintain control of their health care decisions.  Patient-centered, positive solutions are at the core of moving our nation in the right direction. This bill does just that.”

The bill has 35 co-sponsors. Details of the bill can be found at Thomas.gov. It was introduced in late 2011 and on 11/18/2011 was referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training.

There are three things we need in a healthcare program–tort reform, portability across state lines and when a person changes jobs, and tax credits for individuals buying health insurance to help defer the cost. Those three things would solve our healthcare problem.


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Some Background Information On The Student Loan Interest Debate

To listen to the President now, you would think that all students are going to be bankrupted in two months and it will be the Republicans’ fault. Well, I don’t know how many students will be bankrupted, but the history doesn’t line up with the current story line.

On March 8, 2010, the Wall Street Journal posted an article entitled, “The Other Government Takeover.” The article explained that the Higher Education Act was an add-on to the Obamacare bill.

The article reports some of the details of the Higher Education Act:

…(The act would) ban private companies from offering federally guaranteed student loans as of this July. Congress has already passed laws in recent years discouraging private lenders from making loans without a federal guarantee. But most college financial-aid departments still want private companies to originate and service the guaranteed loans. That’s because the alternative—a public option run by the Department of Education—has been distinguished by its Soviet-style customer service.

Unfortunately, the Higher Education Act passed, along with Obamacare.

An article posted at Heritage.org provides some background on the current flap about the interest on these loans:

After gaining control of Congress in 2007, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) championed H.R. 2669, legislation that only temporarily phased down interest rates for subsidized Stafford Loans made to undergraduate students over four academic years, at which point the rate would revert back to 6.8 percent.… [E]xtending the 3.4% interest rate on subsidized Stafford Loans made to undergraduate students for one year would cost roughly $6 billion.

This current ‘crisis’ was set up!

Heritage further reports:

Debate over interest rate hikes are part of a larger problem with federal involvement and ever-increasing subsidies for higher education. The cost of attending college has increased 439 percent since 1982 (after adjusting for inflation). Continuing to increase federal subsidies hasn’t helped reduce college costs and has likely exacerbated the problem over the decades.

Maybe we should consider the fact that as student loan money has increased, the cost of college has increased. The fact that there has been a 439 percent increase in the cost of attending college in thirty-years (even after adjusting for inflation) should tell us something.


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This Might Explain The President’s Energy Policy

President Obama has been in office for more than three years now. One of the things that will be a problem for him in the coming election is the high price of gas at the pump. The President is threatening to take away the tax deductions from oil companies that all other businesses have–singling them out for higher taxes. That will further increase the price of gas at the pump. A video has surfaced recently that might explain some of these actions.

Yesterday CNS News reported that in 2010 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region VI Administrator Al Armendariz stating that the “general philosophy” of the EPA is to  “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies. And we wonder why we haven’t made serious progress in the area of energy independence.

The article reports:

Soon after Armendariz touted the EPA’s “philosophy,” the EPA began smear campaigns against natural gas producers, Inhofe’s office noted in advance of today’s Senate speech:

“Not long after Administrator Armendariz made these comments in 2010, EPA targeted US natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.

“In all three of these cases, EPA initially made headline-grabbing statements either insinuating or proclaiming outright that the use of hydraulic fracturing by American energy producers was the cause of water contamination, but in each case their comments were premature at best – and despite their most valiant efforts, they have been unable to find any sound scientific evidence to make this link.”

This is the link to the YouTube clip of Administrator Armendariz’ statement. Here is the video clip: 

If we want to be energy independence, we need new leadership.

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This Really Isn’t A Victory

Yahoo News reported yesterday that a federal judge has cleared to way for the cross in the Mojave Desert to be restored.

The article reports:

A federal judge approved the lawsuit settlement on Monday, permitting the park service to turn over a remote hilltop area known as Sunrise Rock to a Veteran of Foreign Wars post in Barstow and the Veterans Home of California-Barstow.

The park will give up the acre of land in exchange for five acres of donated property elsewhere in the 1.6 million acre preserve in Southern California.

The swap, which could be completed by the end of the year, will permit veterans to restore a cross to the site and end a controversy that became tangled in the thorny issues of patriotism and religion and made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003.

Think about this for a minute. France has graveyards of American soldiers marked with crosses to honor those who died. What has happened to America?

The article reports the history of the cross in the Mojave:

Wanda Sandoz said a wooden cross was first erected on Sunrise Rock in 1934 by a World War I veteran, Riley Bembry. He and other shell-shocked vets had gone out to the desert to recover and would hold barbeques and barn dances near the site, she said.

Her husband knew Bembry and promised the dying vet that he would look after the cross, Wanda Sandoz said. He kept the promise for decades.

“We love the cross,” she said. “It’s in a beautiful spot. … My husband is not a veteran but he feels like this is something he can do for our country.”

The wooden cross was eventually replaced with one made of steel pipes. However, the site became part of the national preserve in 1994 and that meant the cross was then on public land.

The settlement involves a lawsuit filed in 2001 by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a retired park service employee who argued that the Christian religious symbol was unconstitutionally located on government land. Federal courts ordered the removal of the cross.

Does this mean that whenever you see a cross by the side of the highway to mark the spot where someone was killed, you should sue someone to have it removed? I am sorry that the ACLU chose to be offended by this cross, but there is nothing in the Constitution that protects Americans from being offended. The cross as a symbol to honor those who sacrificed their lives for America is a tradition more than a religious item. It’s time for everyone to just relax.

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The Canary In The Coal Mind Is LIghtheaded

Česky: Vlajka Severoatlantické aliance (NATO)....

Česky: Vlajka Severoatlantické aliance (NATO). English: Flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Español: Bandera de la Organización del Tratado del Atlántico Norte (OTAN). Polski: Flaga Paktu Północnoatlantyckiego (NATO). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The canary in the coal mine is in trouble. When bad things happen to the Jews or to Israel, shortly afterward, bad things begin to happen to the rest of us.

Breitbart.com is reporting today that Turkey has blocked Israel from attending a NATO summit to be held in Chicago in May. The Turks claim that the move was made in retaliation for the refusal of Israel to formally apologize for its attack on the Mavi Marmara.

The article reports:

The Obama Administration, whose fearless leader just assured Jews of his support for Israel at the Holocaust Museum, was noncommittal in its response when queried whether they would openly state to NATO that they wanted Israel to participate.  State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland was evasive when she was confronted:

Q: Well, would you be — would the United [States] — would the administration be comfortable if Israel did not participate?

MS. NULAND: Again, we — there are many, many ways that these partnership activities may go forward. They’ve been done in different ways at different summits. So I’m not going to get into what we’re talking about, how it might work, who’s going to come. We’re still working on all of that.

Q: You — the administration won’t come out and say that it wants Israel to be at the — to participate at the — at the — at the summit in Chicago?

MS. NULAND: We haven’t made any announcements …

Q: … If you can’t come out and say that the United States wants Israel to participate, its main ally in the Middle East, and you won’t come out and say that the administration wants them to participate in whatever event is going on in Chicago, that’s — that is going to be seized on …

MS. NULAND: So every summit is done on a case-by-case basis, and we haven’t made a decision about who’s going to be invited yet …

Q: … But the Turks wouldn’t be objecting to Israel’s participation, if someone hadn’t proposed that Israel participate. And if you have proposed that they participate —

MS. NULAND: Again —

Q: — and you’re not willing to stick up for it, I don’t understand why —

MS. NULAND: I’m not going to get into, here, what we have proposed and where we are in the internal dialogue at NATO until the issues are settled by consensus.

So Turkey, whose government is now run by Islamists and whose leader is ostensibly Obama’s friend, is dictating policy to the United States. And as usual, Obama is only too willing to throw Israel under the bus.

It’s time to elect a President who will actually support Israel.


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American Industry Triumphs–Even When It Is Not Allowed To !

Escopeta Oil and Gas Spartan 151 jackup oil ri...

Escopeta Oil and Gas Spartan 151 jackup oil rig being towed, Kachemak Bay, Alaska (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is something very ironic about this story. One of the reasons that the American economy is recovering so slowly is the high price of gasoline. That price is pretty much set by OPEC (made up of countries that generally do not like us) and the falling value of the American dollar.  One of the solutions to that particular problem would be for America to develop its own oil resources and become energy independent. The Obama Administration has done a fairly good job of blocking any attempt to make that happen (offshore drilling, drilling in ANWR, Keystone pipeline, etc.). American oil companies have been limited in where they can explore for oil and where they can drill. Because American oil companies are in business to make a profit, they are going elsewhere!

Breitbart.com reported yesterday that Exxon Mobil has been hired by Russia to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean–you know–up where the Obama Administration prevented Americans from drilling.

The article reports:

Think about how backward things are under Obama—the largest oil company in America is going to be drilling in waters around the Arctic where they expect to find 85 billion barrels in recoverable oil. And instead of sending it to Texas refineries, and thereafter to gas stations across America, the oil will be sent to Russia and refined for their use.

By the way, if extracted at the rate of 1 million barrels a day, 85 billion barrels of oil would last for 85,000 days.  85,000 days equals well over 200 years.  Yet here we are, listening to Obama telling us the future is one of wind farms, electric cars, and a companies like Solyndra.

Perhaps we’ll get lucky and Russia will sell us some of their oil. If Obama keeps us in this energy stranglehold we’re going to need it.

It seems that one of the casualties of the Obama Administration’s energy policy is common sense.



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Undermining The Family And The Work Ethic All At Once

A farm, Bethel, Vt. (LOC)

A farm, Bethel, Vt. (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

You have to hand it to the federal government–they sure know how to ruin things. Today’s Daily Caller posted an article about the farm regulations about to be put in effect by the Obama Administration’s Department of Labor. The new laws would apply child labor laws to children working on family farms.

The article reports:

Under the rules, children under 18 could no longer work “in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”

“Prohibited places of employment,” a Department press release read, “would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.”

The new regulations, first proposed August 31 by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, would also revoke the government’s approval of safety training and certification taught by independent groups like 4-H and FFA, replacing them instead with a 90-hour federal government training course.

This is ridiculous.

One person related his experience of working on a relative’s farm during the summer and how it impacted him:

John Weber, 19, understands this. The Minneapolis native grew up in suburbia and learned the livestock business working summers on his relatives’ farm.

He’s now a college Agriculture major.

“I started working on my grandparent’s and uncle’s farms for a couple of weeks in the summer when I was 12,” Weber told TheDC. “I started spending full summers there when I was 13.”

“The work ethic is a huge part of it. It gave me a lot of direction and opportunity in my life. If they do this it will prevent a lot of interest in agriculture. It’s harder to get a 16 year-old interested in farming than a 12 year old.”

Weber is also a small businessman. In high school, he said, he took out a loan and bought a few steers to raise for income. “Under these regulations,” he explained, “I wouldn’t be allowed to do that.”

The federal government is interfering with a farm family’s right to teach their children a work ethic and the basics of farming. The government is also interfering with organizations like 4-H and FFA, which build a sense of community among the children who grow up on farms or are interested in farming.

This is simply the government getting involved where it does not need to get involved. The new laws will not accomplish anything except disrupt a system that works. The federal government needs to learn to heed the words ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.‘ That would probably solve a major percentage of the America’s problems–financial and otherwise. 



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Does This Mean I Can Leave My Shoes On ?

Yesterday the Weekly Standard posted an article about a rather amazing statement made by senior official in the State Department.

The article reports:

The war on terror is over,” a senior official in the State Department official tells the National Journal. “Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism.” 

Evidently, the theory behind the statement is the belief that the Arab Spring has changed things. The Obama Administration sees the need to cultivate positive relationships with the Muslim Brotherhood and other ‘moderate’ Muslim groups. That’s a really interesting idea considering that the stated goal of the Muslim Brotherhood is a worldwide caliphate achieved by overthrowing western governments either by force or subversion. (google: Holy Land Foundation Case documents)

I understand that the State Department wants to make friends with everyone. That is an admirable goal, but how wise is it to attempt to cuddle a rattlesnake? The war on terror is not over. Unfortunately, those who seek to do us harm are still out there planning. Are we planning defense?

The article concludes:

This new outlook is radically different than what was expressed under President George W. Bush immediately after September 11, 2001. “Over time it’s going to be important for nations to know they will be held accountable for inactivity,” Bush said on November 6, 2001. “You’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror.

For President Barack Obama, it would seem, one can be both with us and against us–or not with us, but not quite against us. 

We shouldn’t forget the need to protect our country. I’m not sure that President Obama understands that concept.



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Budget ? What Budget ?

It’s been more than 1,000 days since the Senate fulfilled its legal obligation to pass a budget. The Democrat talking points say that a budget is unnecessary because of the spending agreement reached last year. Well, anyone who runs a house knows that one reason to have a budget is that it helps keep spending under control. This concept also applies to the government.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday on the current budget games being played by Congress.

The article reports:

Now, with no fanfare and no press coverage, the Democrats are attempting to negate–effectively, to repeal–the Budget Control Act by adopting spending bills that exceed its limits. Harry Reid and his Senate confederates have offered a bill to increase spending on the Post Office, S. 1789. The bill has been scored by the Congressional Budget Office as increasing the federal deficit by $34 billion, and no provision has been made to recoup that money somewhere else in the budget. (Of course, we don’t have a budget because the Democrats in the Senate won’t pass one. But spending could still be cut somewhere else.)

The article includes a rather lengthy statement by Senator Jeff Sessions that is worth reading. This is a portion of that statement:

Under Senate rules, no committee can bring a bill to the floor that spends even one penny more than is already going to be spent under current law, or increases the deficit more than it will increase under current law.

 In other words, the spending and debt under the postal bill violates the debt limit agreement reached just last summer. In August, we agreed to modest, though insufficient, savings—in fact, discretionary spending will still increase $7 billion this year—and now the Senate is already planning to spend more than we agreed.

This is particularly odd since the President and the Senate Majority Leader have accused the House of breaking the budget agreement by trying to save extra money for taxpayers. This argument, of course, is not sound: The debt deal established basic spending caps—the maximum you can spend on discretionary accounts. Not one word in that law prevents you from doing your duty to try and save more money. Not one word in that law requires you to max out the cap. This is not a matter of interpretation: caps are the maximum, not the minimum, you can spend.

Almost everybody recognizes that deal was insufficient and the lawmakers trying to find more savings are doing their jobs and meeting their obligations.

Only in Washington does spending underneath a cap get you accused of breaking a deal while spending more than an agreement means people just look the other way. The Majority Leader and the Budget Committee Chairman are proud of the Budget Control Act, but where are they when it comes to making sure even these modest savings are enforced?

If this new spending is necessary, then isn’t it worth cutting spending somewhere else to pay for it? Do we really have to break our spending agreement before the ink is dry on it? At a time when we’re facing next year our fourth straight deficit in excess of a trillion dollars?

Washington is in a state of financial chaos. We are in denial. The Government Services Administration is throwing lavish parties in Las Vegas. The Government Accountability Office has identified $400 billion—$400 billion—being spent every year on waste, inefficiency, and duplication. Far worse, the Senate’s Democrat majority has failed to produce a budget plan in calendar years 2010, 2011, and now 2012. In fact, this Sunday, April 29th, marks exactly three years since the last time the Senate passed a budget.

…[N]ow, because the Senate can’t say no, and because the President refuses to exercise managerial discipline, we are set to spend another $34 billion in borrowed money.

The White House warns that Republicans want to cut too much spending. But the American people know the truth. And the truth is that we have never spent more money, more recklessly and with less accountability, than we are spending today.

This is a decisive moment. The point of order I will raise is not a mere formality. It is a crucial vote to see if the Senate will keep the agreement it made with the American people just last summer to reduce spending.

I am not optimistic about being able to change the uncontrolled spending of the current Congress. There are restraining forces (people who were elected in 2010), but there are not enough of them to be effective. Unless we elect people in November who respect the taxpayers’ money, we can expect our country to go bankrupt. We need to vote carefully this year.




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Why We Need Alternative Media

Today’s Washington Free Beacon posted a story about a CBS News report aired on  “60 Minutes” that blamed Israel for the persecution and ensuing exodus of Palestinian Christians.

The story blamed Israeli security policies for the fact that Christians are leaving the traditionally Christian areas such as Nazareth and Bethlehem.

CBN News painted a much more accurate picture of what is really happening in a story  posted in December:

Unpredictable — that’s how Israeli author and human rights lawyer Justus Weiner describes the plight of Christians in Bethlehem and the West Bank.

For years they’ve suffered from human rights violations such as land theft, beatings, and even forced marriages between Christian women and Muslim men.

The worst persecution has come against converts to Christianity.

“If they were born Muslim but they decided to find Jesus, this is like being a traitor to God,” Weiner told CBN News. “There’s very substantial chance they’ll be beaten, forced to leave the country, or killed.”

Somehow those facts were overlooked in the CBS News report.

The Washington Free Beacon points out:

Experts on the region noted that Palestinian Christians live in fear of their Muslim neighbors, who routinely intimidate them and sometimes carry out violent attacks. For this reason, it is incredibly dangerous to criticize the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which control the areas they live in.

“As a persecuted minority, if [Christians] shift the blame to Israel, they take the heat off of themselves,” said Jordanna McMillan, director of outreach for the International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation, a group that unites pro-Israel advocates across the religious spectrum.  “‘60 Minutes’ doesn’t understand the intricacies of the issue.”

We have seen the way that Muslims treat Christians when they take over a country, e.g. the Coptic Christians in Egypt are fleeing the country because they fear for their safety. Why wasn’t CBS News able to look at the entire picture of the Middle East to see what was happening in Israel? Israel is the only country in the Middle East that allows true freedom of religion. Even some of the countries that we regard as free or as friendly to America will not allow tourists with Israeli passports or Israeli visa stamps to visit their countries.

I don’t know if the report on 60 Minutes was simple ignorance or Anti-Semitism, but either way, there should be a more balanced report aired to counter what has already been reported. Again, the Internet proved its value in exposing erroneous reporting.


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