Stopping The Antibiotics Before The Infection Is Gone

Heritage.org posted an article today about President Obama’s plan for troop withdrawals from Afghanistan. 

The Heritage Foundations’ Lisa Curtis stated:

“It is short-sighted to use bin Laden’s death as justification for hastening the U.S. troop draw down in Afghanistan.  Announcing rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces will likely bolster the morale of the Taliban and encourage them to stick with the fight.  Since al-Qaeda has not yet dissolved as an organization and its relationship with the Taliban remains strong, reducing military pressure on the Taliban in Afghanistan could benefit al-Qaeda and provide it a lifeline at a critical juncture in the fight against terrorism.

“The withdrawal plan will signal to both our Afghan allies and enemy forces that the U.S. is more committed to withdrawing its forces than the long-term goal of stabilizing the country. The U.S. made a grave error in turning its back on Afghanistan after the Soviets departed in 1989. President Obama’s speech will stoke fears that the U.S. is getting ready to repeat a similar mistake.”

The Daily Caller also posted its analysis of the President’s plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

The Daily Caller reports:

“Obama’s retreat from Afghanistan before the Islamic Taliban is defeated is militarily risky, because it may embolden Taliban attackers and fracture the central’s government shaky coalition. If additional U.S. troops are killed, or the country is split by war in the fall before the 2012 election, Republicans will likely pin the blame on the president.

“Already, many Afghans have begun maneuvering for advantage in a post-American Afghanistan. An alliance of groups from Northern Afghanistan — “the Coalition for Change and Hope” — has openly split with Karzai’s government and begun to seek alliances with Southern anti-Taliban tribal leaders.

“”This spits and realignments are unsurprising, said Ahmad Majidyar, a senior research at the American Enterprise Institute, “Because many leaders and communities were killed or wrecked in the civil-war that followed the retreat of the Soviet Union from Afghanistan. A civil-war can be avoided only if the U.S acts as a honest broker and strong backer in the politically diverse country.””

After the Americans abandoned Afghanistan in the late 1980’s, it took the Taliban three years to establish control.  The challenge in Afghanistan as American troops leave in the next two years is that history will repeat itself. 

Like many Americans, I am tired of being at war.  However, my being tired does not change the fact that there are evil people in the world who do not support freedom and see America as a target.  We can choose to deal with that fact or we can choose to ignore it.  I fear that President Obama’s plan for Afghanistan is based on politics–not military strategy.  I truly feel that we are planning to stop taking our medicine before the infection is cleared up.

A New Problem With Obamacare

As Obamacare moves through the courts, as exemptions from Obamacare come under scrutiny, and the implementation of Obamacare approaches, there seem to be more problems with the legislature.  On Tuesday, Jennifer Rubin posted an article at the Washington Post about the latest problem with Obamacare.

Ms. Rubin cites an Associated Press report:

“President Barack Obama’s health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed.

“The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual income of about $64,000 and still get Medicaid, said officials who make long-range cost estimates for the Health and Human Services department.

“Up to 3 million people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the anomaly. That’s because, in a major change from today, most of their Social Security benefits would no longer be counted as income for determining eligibility.”

Needless to say, this would bankrupt the states and Medicaid.  Obviously this is another reason for “repeal and replace.”  Ms. Rubin asks how such a flawed piece of legislature ever got through Congress.  She states that it was the result of the rush to do something about healthcare–anything. 

It’s time for lawmakers in Washington to admit that they made a serious error in judgment when they passed Obamacare.  If the current Congress will not repeal and replace, it’s time to elect a Congress than will.

Good News From The Netherlands

Sky News is reporting today that Geert Wilders has been cleared of hate speech charges in the Netherlands.  Mr. Wilders had previously stated that Islam was a violent religion and called for a halt to Muslim immigration into the Netherlands.  He also called for banning the Koran in the Netherlands.  After he made those statements, he was put under police protection due to death threats.  There seems to be a bit of irony in that statement–if Islam was not a violent religion, why did he need police protection after criticizing it?

Mr. Wilders produced a film called “Fitna” in 2008 which was shown on various internet websites.  The film showed a connection between some of the terrorism committed by Muslims and verses in the Koran which condoned the killing of infidels.

There are a few things to keep in mind about this case.  According to Reliance of the Traveler (the manual of Muslim jurisprudence), the definition of slander (ghiba) is “to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike.”  Truth is not a part of the discussion–the rule on slander is simply whether or not the person hearing what is said approves of the remarks.  Obviously this concept is not compatible with free speech.

Mr. Wilders’ acquittal is a victory for free speech .  The goal of radical Islam is a world-wide caliphate.  If we are not free to talk about the goal of the terrorists, how will we ever end terrorism?

Morocco And The Arab Spring

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you understand that I am very skeptical about the ‘Arab Spring.’  I have listened to enough people who have extensive backgrounds in Islamic studies to understand that democracy and Islam are not compatible.  However, many of the major media has not yet figured that out, so we continually have optimistic articles about Muslim nations moving toward freedom and human rights.  I remain skeptical.

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at the National Review yesterday stating his skepticism about King Mohammed VI’s new constitution for Morocco.  Jennifer Rubin posted an extremely optimistic article in the Washington Post on Monday about the new constitution.  Mr. McCarthy states that he is not quite ready to break out the champagne. 

Mr. McCarthy points out:

“Morocco is not just a “Muslim country” in the cultural sense. It is a country proudly adherent to sharia law. Since 1969, Morocco has been a member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, whose Islamic member states proclaimed, in 1990, the “Declaration of Human Rights in Islam.” The rationale for this proclamation — which is also known as the “Cairo Declaration” — is that the signatory nations do not accept the concept of “human rights” as it is understood in the West and outlined in such instruments as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which the Cairo Declaration is a rebuttal.”

Can you have democracy in a country where it is illegal to criticize Islam or Sharia Law?  Can you have human rights when women are only allowed the rights given to them under Sharia Law? 

Mr. McCarthy further points out:

“Similarly, “freedom to practice religion” comes with the severe restrictions sharia imposes on non-Muslims. Yes, they are “free” to practice their religion in the sense that they are not compelled to convert to Islam (Article 10 makes that explicit), but there are considerable legal and financial disadvantages to being a non-Muslim in a sharia state. And “freedom of speech” does not include the freedom to utter statements that cast Islam in a poor light or that sow discord among the ummah — regardless of whether those statements are true.”

It is my wish that someday the people in the Middle East will be free and have true human rights.  Right now the only country where that is true is Israel.  Until the people under Islamic dictatorships realize the slavery they are in and rise up against it, I don’t see much hope for the ‘Arab Spring.’  However, it would be nice to see freedom reign in the Middle East.

Operation Fast And Furious Expected To Lead To Higher Officials

Today’s Daily Caller posted a story stating that Frederick Hill, a spokesman for House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, has told the Daily Caller that the investigations into the Justice Departments Gunrunner Project are expected to lead to people higher than acting ATF director Kenneth Melson.

Director Kenneth Melson is expected to resign in the next few days because of the findings of the Congressional investigation.  The article reports:

“”The investigations are far from over,” Hill told TheDC. “It’s quite certain that Kenneth Melson was not the principal architect of this plan nor was he the only high-ranking official who knew about and authorized this operation.””

The investigation is expected to continue even after the resignation of Director Melson.  The article concludes:

“Former El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) director Phil Jordan said he thinks this scandal goes as high as Attorney General Eric Holder. From his decades of law enforcement experience working with Washington-based Justice Department officials, Jordan said he’s sure this kind of program would have needed approval from either the Attorney General or one of his direct deputies.”

If this program was authorized by the Justice Department, then it is time for a new Attorney General.  If the charges that this program was part of a gun-control agenda are true, then we need a whole new administration.  2012 can’t come quickly enough.

Submitted For Your Opinion

I don’t have enough of a scientific background to understand fully what this story is about, but the premise of the story is important, so I wanted to post an article on it.

Today, the American Thinker posted a story about the flooding that has taken place in the midwest this year.  The premise of the article is that the flooding was avoidable.  Unfortunately this premise is not out of line.  The devastation we saw in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina could be partially traced to the Army Corps of Engineers being prevented from placing a floodgate system on Lake Pontchartrain to prevent the kind of flooding that occurred after the hurricane.

According to Discover The Networks:

“In 1977, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) was slated to launch its Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Barrier Project, which called for the construction of levees at two strategic locations — the Rigolets and Chef Menteur passes — to prevent massive storms on the Gulf of Mexico from causing Lake Pontchartrain to flood the city of New Orleans (which is below sea level). A state environmentalist group known as Save Our WetLands (SOWL) believed that these proposed levees would negatively affect the area surrounding Lake Pontchartrain. Further, the organization was convinced that the construction of the levees would be merely the first step in a malicious plan to drain Lake Pontchartrain entirely and open the area to capitalist investment, which it regarded as a de facto evil. Thus SOWL filed a lawsuit to prevent the ACE from building the fortifications. 
 
“On December 30, 1977, U.S. District Judge Charles Schwartz, Jr. ruled in behalf of SOWL by issuing
an injunction demanding that the Corps of Engineers draw up a second environmental-impact statement, three years after the Corps had submitted the first one. Ultimately, the project was aborted in favor of a campaign whereby the government would merely build up existing levees.”

Well, here we are again.  The American Thinker article reports:

“Some sixty years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began the process of taming the Missouri by constructing a series of six dams.  The idea was simple: massive dams at the top moderating flow to the smaller dams below, generating electricity while providing desperately needed control of the river’s devastating floods.”

This program was a success.  However, during the Clinton Administration, the priorities of the program changed from flood control, facilitation of commercial traffic, and recreation to habitat restoration, wetlands preservation, and culturally sensitive and sustainable biodiversity.  The bottom line here is that someone in Washington decided that animals were more importatnt than people and more important than the farms that feed the American people.

The article at the American Thinker further reports:

“The Corps began to utilize the dam system to mimic the previous flow cycles of the original river, holding back large amounts of water upstream during the winter and early spring in order to release them rapidly as a “spring pulse.”  The water flows would then be restricted to facilitate a summer drawdown of stream levels.  This new policy was highly disruptive to barge traffic and caused frequent localized flooding, but a multi-year drought masked the full impact of the dangerous risks the Corps was taking.

“This year, despite more than double the usual amount of mountain and high plains snowpack (and the ever-present risk of strong spring storms), the true believers in the Corps have persisted in following the revised MWCM, recklessly endangering millions of residents downstream.” 

The flooding in the midwest this year was a man-made disaster.  The article at the American Thinker gives the details on how much water was actually released and its impact.  The bottom line here is simple:  we need sanity in Washington–we don’t seem to have it right now.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to preserve the environment.  There is something very wrong about wanting to kill people to do it.

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set I go into the other room and read a book.” ~ Groucho Marx

An Ugly Attack Designed To Limit The Second Amendment

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story about the ongoing investigation of Operation Fast and Furious. 

The article reports on how Fast and Furious worked:

“Under DOJ’s new strategy, gun shop owners would be given the names of suspected straw purchasers and would report to ATF the serial numbers of guns that they sold to those purchasers. However, the purchasers themselves were not kept under surveillance and no effort was made to stop them from transferring the guns to Mexican drug gangs. On the contrary, such transfers were the hoped-for result, on the theory that identifying the guns when they later turned up at crime scenes in Mexico or on the U.S. side of the border would “create a ‘nexus’ between the drug cartels and the straw purchasers.” Under this theory, approximately 2,000 AK-47s and other weapons were allowed to pass from known straw purchasers into the hands of the drug cartels.”

Many of the ATF agents complained about the policy, stating that it would put agents in greater danger and increase violence among the drug cartels.  The program allowed the weapons to be taken into Mexico without interdiction, and surveillance efforts stopped at the Mexican border.  There is no way that this program was going to succeed as a law enforcement operation.  So what was the program about?  Why were we allowing the sale of weapons to people buying them for known drug cartels?

Bob Owens at Pajamas Media has a theory:

“At the same time in 2009 that federal law enforcement agencies (the ATF, the DOJ, and presumably Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security) were creating the operation that led to the executive branch being the largest gun smuggler in the Southwest, the president’s team was crafting the rhetoric to sell the crisis they were creating.

“On television, in various news outlets, and even in a joint appearance with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Obama pushed the 90 percent lie, implying that 90% of the guns recovered in Mexican cartel violence came from U.S. gun shops.

“At the same time they were damning gun dealers in public, the administration was secretly forcing them to provide weapons to the cartels, by the armful and without oversight. More than one gun industry insider suggests that the administration extorted cooperation and silence from these gun shops. As the ATF has the power to summarily shut dealers down for the most minor of offenses, that is very, very possible.”

In March 2009, CBS News quoted Hillary Clinton:

“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on a visit to Mexico, said Wednesday that America’s inability to prevent weapons being smuggled across the border is causing the deaths of Mexican police officers, soldiers and civilians.”

The plan was to shut down the gun dealers claiming that it was necessary to protect Mexican police officers, soldiers and civilians. 

Pajamas Media concludes:

“The Department of Justice claims that their inspector general will investigate Gunwalker, but it appears obvious to the very agents that brought this scandal into the open that they have a clear conflict of interest. There are already calls for a special prosecutor to investigate Gunwalker.

“Considering the arming of narco-terrorist gangs, the destabilizing geopolitical effect on Mexico, the foreign policy ramifications, and the possibility of extrajudicial and criminal activity at the highest levels of the executive branch, a special prosecutor should be just one avenue of investigation. This could possibly lead to prison for senior administration officials and an indictment against President Barack Obama himself.”

I suspect there will be more information to come about Operation Fast and Furious.  Thanks to Darrell Issa and the Congressional Oversight Committee, the Second Amendment is still intact.

Following The Money In Libya

I need to say up front that I don’t disagree with what the Pentagon is doing in regard to military pay in Libya, I just think it contradicts what the President is saying.

Yesterday, Hot Air reported that the Department of Defense is paying “imminent danger pay” to service members who fly planes over Libya or serve on ships within 110 nautical miles of its shores. 

Hot Air reports:

“This is Obama’s big argument for why the War Powers Act shouldn’t apply to Libya, of course. No American is in any serious danger, therefore there aren’t really “hostilities” going on, therefore there’s no need for Congress to formally authorize the mission.”

The President can’t have it both ways–either we are at war or we are not.  The article points out that two of the lawyers from the Pentagon have advised President Obama that the military actions in Libya do actually fall under the War Powers Act. 

This is not a minor issue.  What is at stake here is whether or not the President is accountable to Congress on the issue of declaring war.  The media has pretty much ignored this story, but depending on the actions of Congress, we may not have heard the last of this issue.

Dangerous Logic

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted a story about a statement made by National Public Radio host John Hockenberry.  Mr. Hockenberry stated, “The Taliban has never been an enemy of the United States. They don’t love us in Afghanistan, but they’re not sending planes over to New York or to the Pentagon and it seems to me much more broadly that the debate needs to happen is what is the sort of multi-state strategy for dealing with rogue nations of all kinds. Yemen is about to fall apart. You’ve got Somalia problems. The idea that terrorists just go to Afghanistan and launch weapons at the United States it seems in 2011 is an absurdity.”

I realize that Al Qaeda sent the planes on September 11, 2001, but they were allowed to operate freely under the Taliban government.  There was a mutual animosity toward western freedom.  To ignore the role the Taliban played in facilitating September 11 is to rewrite history.  The Taliban were part of a repressive government supporting the idea of a world-wide caliphate.  They are the enemies of all democracies, including America.  If they are allowed to regain power in Afghanistan, we can expect a repeat of September 11 in the not-too-distant future.

Texas Takes A Stand On Our Right To Choose Light Bulbs

On June 13, The Miami Herald posted a story about a law recently passed in Texas that would allow people in the state to continue to use incandescent bulbs after 2014.  The 2007 Energy Independence Act begins phasing out incandescent bulbs next year.  Oddly enough, the company that is moving forward to meet the demand for flourescent bulbs is General Electric, the favored child of the Obama Administration (rightwinggranny.com).

The law in Texas would allow incandescent bulbs to be manufactured and sold in Texas for use in Texas, therefore not being subject to federal regulation.  The compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are expensive, do not provide as much light, and present an environmental hazard if broken. 

The article points out:

“The federal act doesn’t ban incandescent light bulbs, but it creates new standards for them, such as requiring 100-watt bulbs to be 25 percent more efficient.  After that, similar changes will go into effect for 75-, 60- and 40-watt bulbs.  The goal is to make the bulbs more energy efficient because much of the traditional bulbs’ energy leaves the bulb as heat rather than as light.

“The act requires the changes or essentially removes incandescent light bulbs from the market by 2014, leaving consumers to mostly use flourescent bulbs, which some say are more energy efficient and others say are just more expensive.”

The article also reports that Osram Sylvania stated that it has developed a more efficient incandescant bulb that will meet the new federal requirements.  Free enterprise is alive and well in America!

I believe that telling Americans what kind of light bulbs they can buy is government overreach. There is a move in Congress to repeal the 2007 Energy Independence Act, but I would not expect it to go anywhere with a Democrat Senate and a Democrat in the White House. 

The Attack On Texas

President Obama wants to be a two-term President.  He says it’s not important to him, but I strongly suspect it is.  Winning a second term is going to be something of a challenge for President Obama based on the current state of the economy and the high unemployment numbers.  The question then becomes, “How can President Obama win with the current economy?”  The answer is simple–destroy the competition to the point where the economy is irrelevant. 

The current example of this is the EPA’s attack on Texas.  Rick Perry is emerging as a possible presidential candidate.  One of the issues he will run on will be the Texas economy.  The Texas economy is a result of a number of conscious decisions–no personal income tax, tort reform that discouraged frivolous lawsuits–both medical and otherwise, and an aggressive development of the state’s natural energy.  These policies have resulted in a major migration of businesses from other states into Texas.  Since there doesn’t seem to be a lot of scandal to be found on Rick Perry as a candidate, the Obama administration will use the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to attack the prosperity and growth of the State of Texas.  You think I’m kidding.  Watch.

An article at Hot Air reports that:

 “…And in spite of being by far the largest electric power producer of the 50 states, and heavily reliant on coal, Texas has been steadily reducing its emissions of the EPS’s least-favored compounds from coal combustion (e.g., sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide).  Its emissions of NOx and SO2 are substantially lower than the national average; Texas is ranked the 11th lowest in NOx emissions (.098 lb/mmBtu in 2009, versus a national average of .159 lb/mmBtu), and 24th in SO2 (.309 lb/mmBtu in 2009 versus a national average of .458 lb/mmBtu).”

However, that has not stopped the EPA from attacking the state.   In January 2010, the EPA decided that the Texas air-permit program was invalid and every facility in the state operating under that permit would have to be re-permitted.  The argument was that Texas was measuring the pollution from the entire facility–the EPA wanted separate measurements from every area of the facility.  Obviously this will be more expensive with very questionable results.  The second aspect of the attack on Texas is the war on coal.  The Texas Public Policy Foundation submitted a report to Congress in March saying that the new EPA regulations will shut down 5700 MW of electrical generating capacity–about one-twelfth of peak demand.  The new regulations also make no allowance for increased energy demands in the State of Texas in the coming years.  The third attack on Texas energy is in the area of natural gas.  Please follow the link above to Hot Air to read the details on this.  It is an amazing story.

The problem here is the use of a government agency for political purposes.  I am sure this instance of the EPA being used politically is not new, but it needs to be stopped in its tracks.  The article lists a group of states that support the EPA in this action.  Oddly enough, the list includes many of the states with the largest deficits, highest unemployment, highest taxes, etc.  If the states are the laboratories for the federal government, we need to pay more attention to Texas and less attention to Washington and the EPA.

Is Representative Weiner Finally Gone ?

This article is based on three articles–one in USA Today, one in the New York Post, and one at th website of KPHO.com.  It seems that one of the advantages of serving in Congress is a fantastic pension that you don’t have to contribute to.  This is another example of those who make the laws making sure their own interests come first.

USA Today reports:

“Weiner announced his resignation Thursday amid an embarrassing online sex scandal, but he still hasn’t officially submitted his papers to House Speaker John Boehner that he’s leaving.”

The New York Post reports:

“Every day Weiner puts off his official departure date enlarges his congressional pension.  But so far no one has pushed for Weiner to clear out of the Capitol.”

KPHO reports:

“Weiner, 46, will have the option to take discounted payments of about $35,000 a year when he turns 56 or he can wait another six years and get about $46,000.

“Compare that to a private citizen contributing $1,000 a month to their 401K plan with a $3,000 company match over the same period., and it would add up to $231,000, less than 1/5 of what Weiner will receive.”

Our founding fathers envisioned Congress as a place where a citizen would serve his country for a short period of time and then return to the private sector to live under the laws he had passed.  Somehow selfishness has taken over where patriotism was needed.

Why ?

I am posting this story with more questions than answers.  The story itself is simple.  CNS News is reporting that NBC has apologized for editing out “under God” and “indivisible” in its piece showing school children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Announcer Dan Hicks told viewers, “We began our coverage of this final round just about three hours ago, and when we did it was our intent to begin the coverage of this U.S. Open championship with a feature that captured the patriotism of our national championship being held in our nation’s capital for the third time.  Regrettably, a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance that was in that feature was edited out. It was not done to upset anyone, and we’d like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it.”

My questions are simple.  Why would anyone take the time to edit those words our of the Pledge?  Did NBC think that Americans wouldn’t notice?  Does this matter?  Is it a call to pay closer attention to anything we see on network television?

A Sad Day In The World Of Music

New Jersey.com posted an aritlce today about the death of Clarence Clemons yesterday.  Mr. Clemons was an amazing musician and he will be greatly missed. 

Clarence Clemons was 69 and died due to complications from the stroke he suffered on June 12. 

The article reports:

“”Clarence Clemons represented the soul and spirit of New Jersey,” said Gov. Chris Christie, in a statement. “His partnership with Bruce Springsteen and the rest of the E Street Band brought great pride to our state and joy to every fan of this music around the world.

“”On a personal note, when I heard about the Big Man’s passing on Saturday night, I was struck with an overwhelming feeling that the days of my youth were now finally over.””

I spent my teenage years in New Jersey at a time when Asbury Park was still a place you took the family for a seaside dinner.  The music scene had not yet developed, and the boardwalk was a place of rides and pinball machines.  In his music, Bruce Springsteen captured the changes that took place on the New Jersey shore in the 1970’s, and Clarence Clemons was an important part of that music. 

The article concludes:

“Life does go on, and the band may live to rock another day. But it would be a different band — with the same name, maybe, but a different sound, and a different personality.

“The E Street Band may eventually present joyful shows again. But there will be an inescapable sadness whenever your eyes wander to the part of the stage where Clemons always stood. The Big Man’s stamp was simply that big.”

Clarence Clemons, you will be sorely missed.  Rest in peace.

Sometimes Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

Today is Father’s Day, so I am going to share a memory of my father that actually relates to the news story that will follow.  One of the joys of my father’s later years was taking my husband and I and our three daughters to a Pawtucket Red Sox game.  Dad loved baseball and he was thrilled to see that all three of our daughters played softball and understood the game of baseball.  They always brought their gloves to the ballpark just in case an errant foul ball came their way.  My daughters still remember “Honey”(as they called him) taking us all to a ball game.  At one of these games when he was about seventy-some years old, he got up and went to the refreshment stand.  He came back with a beer and a huge grin.  All patrons of the ballpark had to show identification to buy beer, and he had been carded!  He was thrilled.  It made his day.

Fast forward to Jesse Jackson at a conference for his social justice organization, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.  The Reverend Jackson stated, “Now governors and legislators in over 30 states are engaged in a radical rollback of our civil and voting rights,”   He was describing the laws passed by many states requiring that voters show photo identification to vote. 

Some of the things you need to show a photo identification for are:

buying alcohol

buying cigarettes

buying cough medicine

buying allergy medication

getting into an R-rated movie

boarding an airplane

You get the picture.  I have no statistics to back up what I am about to say, but I would guess that at least 85 percent of all Americans engage in at least one of these activities.  Being asked for photo identification is not a civil rights issue–it is a voter fraud issue. 

The article reports:

“The delegation of lawmakers at the 40th annual conference decried such bills, as well as budget cutbacks and early voting regulations, as thinly veiled political maneuvers aimed at weakening Democrats.”

My question is simple, “Given the normal life events that require photo identification, why would requiring that identification to vote weaken Democrats?”  Don’t Democrats support honest elections?

This Might Be A Good Time To Remember That the Republican National Convention Is In August 2012

I wonder what all this speculation about the Republican Presidential candidate is about.  I realize that the Republicans need to choose a candidate–but now??!!  There is a part of me that says if the Republicans pick a frontrunner now, the liberal media will have more time to destroy that candidate and we will have four more years of President Obama.  I am not at all sure this country could survive four more years of President Obama.

Having said that, I have a few observations and articles to recommend.  Daniel Henninger at the Wall Street Journal posted an article on Thursday (unfortunately this is a subscription only article, so I will try to summarize it) talking about Texas Governor Rick Perry.  Governor Perry spoke Saturday at the Republican Leadership Conference.  The speech is posted at Breitbart TV in its entirety.  It is worth listening to for a lot of reasons.

Mr. Henninger points out a few basic facts in his Wall Street Journal article:

“The Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas recently estimated that since June 2009, Texas has produced about 37% of the net new jobs in the U.S. At The Journal’s offices this week, Gov. Perry said a closer look puts the Texas new-jobs number closer to 48%. Whatever. It’s an astounding feat.”

The article further observes:

“…Without the details of the Texas economic boom, this is a normal candidacy. But the details are impressive. Texas is a zero income-tax state, and Mr. Perry gives the impression he’d die at the Alamo before allowing one. The state is historically business-friendly. I recall attending the 1992 GOP convention in Houston, visiting from New York, and feeling as if I were in a capitalist utopia. You could argue that many of the state’s new companies are mainly fleeing intolerable hells, such as California. But Texas and Mr. Perry keep producing new welcome mats, notably the recent passage of a loser-pays tort-reform bill. Mr. Perry says Haley Barbour told him they’d need turnstiles on the border if that tort bill passed, and indeed the in-migration of doctors to Texas is significant.”

There are three people that I would be happy to see on the Republican ticket in 2012.  Any two of them would make me very happy.  They are Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry, and Michele Bachmann.  Most of the other people running I could probably support, but much less enthusiastically.  My biggest fear is that in 2012, the media will pick the Republican candidate.  They will like this person until the actual campaign for President begins.  Then, they will turn on him and support Barack Obama.  That’s exactly what they did with John McCain, and it worked.  I see no reason why they will not try that again.  It is up to the Republican primary voters to be aware of the media and its role in the election process and to make sure they do not allow the media to determine their candidate.  Otherwise we will have four more years of Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, I think the Republican primary voters need to take a good look at Governor Perry and what is happening in Texas.

Common Sense In The Senate ???!!!!

Investors.com reported Friday that 73 Senators (Republicans, Democrats, and the two independents) voted to end both the ethanol tax credit and the tariff on imported ethanol.  This is a major move if for no other reason than Iowa (the Cornhusker State) is the site of the first presidential primary.  This will not be a popular move in Iowa, but it is a necessary move.

The article reports:

“The amendment not only would repeal the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit that subsidizes ethanol producers, a favored industry unlike Big Oil, but also a 54-cent a gallon tariff on foreign ethanol from the likes of Brazil.

“According to the administration, oil from Brazil is good, but ethanol is not. Domestically produced ethanol is good but domestically produced oil is bad. Huh?”

The logic of this totally escapes me–and I make no claim to being logical. 

The article further points out:

“…the amendment does nothing to end the actual federal mandate specifying U.S. consumption of 36 billion gallons in “renewable fuels” each year until 2022. Without this mandate, the tariff and the tax credit, ethanol could not compete in the marketplace.”

Theoretically the removal of the tax credit allows the free market to operate in the area of renewable energy.  We’ll have to wait and see how that turns out.

Tax credits for ethanol and mandates requiring ethanol have a negative impact on world food prices:

“According to a report prepared by 10 international organizations, including the World Bank and five different arms of the U.N., such as the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Fund for Agricultural Development — we’re not talking right-wingers here — increased bio-fuel mandates by governments could raise the price of coarse grains as much as 13%, oilseeds by 7% and vegetable oil 35% on average each year between 2013 and 2017.”

It’s time to put corn in our corn flakes and gas in our gas tanks.  This seems so simple until Washington starts passing laws.

Some Notes On Representative King’s Hearing On Radicalization of Prisoners

On Monday the Center For Security Policy posted an article about the literature currently found in Mosques in America and the hope that the same literature would not be allowed in our prisons. 

The article reports:

Such materials were used in a new peer-reviewed study published last week in the highly respected journal Middle East Quarterly (MEQ) as indicators of jihadist sentiment and proselytization in a random sample of 100 American mosques.  This study, which is entitled Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques, involved the collection of empirical data through repeated on-site investigations over several years.  It established that 81% of U.S. mosques had the cited materials on the premises. The study also found that in over 84% of the mosques surveyed, the imam recommended texts advocating violent jihad.”

The article lists the texts cited in the study:

The seven texts featured in the MEQ analysis are illustrative of the body of hate-mongering, supremacist literature and films used by shariah-adherent Muslims to inculcate in targeted populations their call to violent jihad:

  1. Riyad-us Saliheen (Gardens of the Righteous)
  2. Jihad in Islam
  3. Umdat al-Salik (The Reliance of the Traveller)
  4. Tafhim al-Qur’an (The Meaning of the Qur’an)
  5. Fiqh-us-Sunnah (The Book on Acts of Worship)
  6. Tafsir Ibn Kathir
  7. Ma’alim fi’l-Tariq (Milestones)

We have all heard the expression “You are known by the company you keep.”  In this case, I think we can say “You are known by the books you read and promote.” 

As Americans, we need to understand that the goal of many Muslims (not all) is to promote Sharia Law around the world and create a worldwide caliphate.  Although I believe radical Muslims are entitled to believe whatever they choose to believe, I do not believe they have the right to undermine the U. S. Constitution within the United States prison system. 

I applaud the efforts of Representative King to raise awareness on the issue of radicalization in our prisons.  Please read the entire article at the Center for Security Policy for a list of the witnesses that will be called and further details on the MEQ study.

This Kind Of Logic Makes My Head Spin

Hot Air reported Wednesday on the battle between Congress and the White House over the War Powers Resolution and the “war” in Libya. 

The article quotes:

“”We are not saying the president can take the country into war on his own,” Mr. Koh (State Department legal adviser Harold Koh) said. “We are not saying the War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional or should be scrapped, or that we can refuse to consult Congress. We are saying the limited nature of this particular mission is not the kind of ‘hostilities’ envisioned by the War Powers Resolution.””

What he is saying here is that the application of the War Powers Resolution is determined by how deeply involved we are in a war–not by the fact that we are in a war.  The 90-day mark in the war on Libya (which began March 18) is here. and Congress has already reminded the White House that Congress has not authorized the Libya mission.  John Boehner has sent a letter to the President stating that if Congress does not authorize the Libya mission by Sunday, President Obama is in violation of the War Powers Act.

The article further reports:

“What’s the difference, according to the White House’s War Powers logic, between what we’re doing in Libya right now and what we’re doing in Yemen? Special Ops has been using drones and remotely piloted planes in Yemen for years; CIA drones are set to join the battle soon to provide more firepower against Al Qaeda. So while there are no U.S. forces at risk, the mission is escalating and we’re not in a support role. Does that mean the WPA does or doesn’t apply? Or is it the White House’s position that the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force passed after 9/11 lets it go after AQ anywhere, in perpetuity, so that a new congressional authorization isn’t needed?”

I guess the thing that worries me here is that theoretically we could be at war with the entire Middle East by saying that we are pursuing Al Qaeda or protecting civilian lives from a tyrannical dictator.  That is expensive in both monetary cost and the cost of the young men and women in our military.  We need an organized Middle East policy that puts the interests of America first.  All other countries in the world have foreign policies that put their own interests first.  We need to make sure we do that.  I am not opposed to humanitarian aid–but we cannot continue to spend our young lives for causes that may or may not be worthwhile.

No Lemonade Stand–Just Parking If You Have A Permit

Channel 9 News is reporting on a children’s lemonade stand near the U. S. Open which has been shut down by a county inspector:

“A county inspector ordered the Marriott and Augustine kids to shut down the stand they set up on Persimmon Tree Rd., right next to Congressional. And after they allegedly ignored a couple of warnings, the inspector fined their parents $500.”

The article points out that because the children did not have a vendors license, they could not see their lemonade. 

The article reports:

“Jennifer Hughes, the director of permitting for the county, says it’s technically illegal to run even the smallest lemonade stand in the county, but inspectors usually don’t go looking for them. She said this one was unusually large. Hughes also says they’ve warned all kinds of other vendors they couldn’t operate near the US Open because of concerns about traffic and safety.”

The article also points out that many of the people living near where the U. S. Open is taking place have purchased permits (cost $300) to allow people attending the Open to park on their lawns.  One neighbor says that he has made enough money with parking during golf events to pay for one of his children’s college tuition.

My questions is simple–if the children had paid the money for the permit, would they be allowed to sell their lemonade?  What would be the regulations that would affect their lemonade stand?

Does anyone else believe that it’s about the money and that the nanny state has run amok?

Terrorism On The Homefront

Fox News in Washington D.C. is reporting that the man taken into custody near the Pentagon early this morning is former Marine Corps reservist Yonathan Melaku.  Mr. Melaku was suspected of carrying a backpack full of ammonium nitrate.  Tests on the substance showed it to be an inert substance despite the fact that it was labeled ammonium nitrate. 

The article reports:

“A notebook was also found in his bag with words such as Taliban and Al Qaeda.

“Melaku was a Lance Corporal Marine corps reservist who joined in August of 2007.

“According to Marine Corps records, Melaku is a Muslim.”

The story recounts the story of two other arrests–one at Arlington National Cemetery and another near the Pentagon.

One of the things Al Qaeda is known for is dry runs before a terrorism event.  This definitely sounds like one.  We also need to keep in mind that the new leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri, is known for his hatred of Americans.

CNS News reported yesterday:

“In a 2001 treatise, he set down the long-term strategy for the jihadi movement — to inflict “as many casualties as possible” on the Americans.

“”Pursuing the Americans and Jews is not an impossible task,” he wrote. “Killing them is not impossible, whether by a bullet, a knife stab, a bomb or a strike with an iron bar.”

“Al-Zawahri’s hatred for Americans has also become deeply personal: His wife and at least two of their six children were killed in a U.S. airstrike following the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan after the 9-11 attacks.”

  This is a time for Americans to be very alert. 

Where Can I Get A Job Like That ?

Congressmen (and Congresswomen) do not really get paid an awful lot for the job that they do.  However, it seems to be an incredible coincidence that as the American public has seen their wealth decrease over the past three years, many of our Congressmen have seen their wealth increase greatly. 

Today’s New York Daily News reported that former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has increased her wealth 62% last year.  She is now worth $35.2 million, according to financial disclosure forms released Wednesday. 

This is not a partisan thing.  The article also reported:

“The California Democrat’s gavel-gripping successor, Republican John Boehner, also saw his wealth get a boost, with the Ohio GOPer’s net worth increasing from $1.8 million in 2009 to $2.1 million last year.”

The increase in Ms. Pelosi’s wealth is due to recent stock gains and smart investments.  The increase in Speaker Boehner’s wealth is due to his portfolio of stocks in oil companies, financial firms, communication companies and pharmaceuticals.

The article also lists other Congressmen who have increased their wealth as the wealth of Americans has decreased.  Although there may be no unethical behavior involved in these statistics, it does seem weird that some in Congress get richer as Americans get poorer.  I wonder if we could base the Congressional pay scale on the increase or decrease in the wealth of the American people.

Does This Lady Need A History Lesson ?

It would be a small stretch, but you could say that Christian radicals founded this country.  When you look at the Mayflower Compact and also the history involving the settlements in Virginia, there is little doubt as to the faith of those who crossed the Atlantic to come here.  You really did have to have a lot of faith to cross the Atlantic at that time!  But things have changed.

CNS News reported today on the congressional hearing on Muslim radicalization in U.S. prisons. 

The article reports:

“Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said that investigators needed to analyze Christian militants in America because they too might try to “bring down the country.””

I suspect that might be news to those who study the lives of George Washington and some of the other early patriots. 

The article reports the conversation:

“In an exchange with witness Patrick Dunleavy, the former deputy inspector of the criminal intelligence unit, New York Department of Correctional Services, Rep. Jackson Lee mentioned the case of a man who blew up an abortion clinic and proposed that this perhaps was an attempt to undermine U.S. law that allows a woman to procure an abortion.”

“Rep. Lee then said, “As we look to be informational, we should include an analysis of how Christian militants or others might bring down the country. We have to look broadly, do we not?”

“Dunleavy answered:  “I don’t know that Christian militants have foreign country backing or foreign country financing.”

“Lee then said, “I don’t think that’s the issue. The issue is whether or not their intent is to undermine the laws of this nation. And I think it is clear that that is the case. So it’s not — your distinction is not answering the question.””

I guess Rep. Lee believes Christians are as much of a threat to this nations as Muslims.  How far we have traveled from the day when our founding fathers wrote:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

It’s time to remember that Rep. Lee and her colleagues do not give us our rights–those rights come from God.  When our founding fathers spoke of God, they referred to the God of the Bible.  That God is not a threat to our nation–He is part of our nation’s foundation.

The bottom line here is that Muslim radicalization in prison is a problem.  Many of the approved Muslim prison chaplains have ties to militant Islamic groups.  I am glad that Rep. King has the courage to go forward with these hearings.