Received In My E-Mail Tonight

I have heard this before, but thought I should share it. I have no idea of the source.

Subject: Hot Air Balloonist
A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him,

“Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

She rolled her eyes and said, “You must be a Republican.

“I am,” replied the man. “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help to me.”

The man smiled and responded, “You must be an Obama-Democrat.”

“I am,” replied the balloonist. “How did you know?”

“Well,” said the man, “you don’t know where you are — or where you are going. You’ve risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air.   You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You’re in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it’s my fault.”

P R I C E L E S S !

Regardless Of What Is True, The Damage Is Done

The Christian Science Monitor posted a story today about the latest allegations against Herman Cain. I can honestly say I don’t know what to think. I am not worried about what it will do to the candidate if these accusations are true–I am more concerned about what will happen to the candidate of these accusations are not true. I’m not even sure what I would believe were I to see so-called evidence of Mr. Cain’s indiscretion(s). Now before you decide that I have gone soft in the head, let me explain. In the world of desktop publishing and the internet, evidence is very easy to manufacture. You will note that, as of yet, the only evidence of any misbehavior on the part of Mr. Cain has been the accusations of the women who claim to have been mistreated by him or the woman who claims that she had a long-term affair with him. The problem right now is the number of accusations–there is no actual proof that any of the accusations are true. If a candidate can be destroyed by numerous accusations without proof, we are in serious trouble. I am not suggesting that we automatically decide Mr. Cain in innocent–I just think that no accusation should be taken seriously unless there is irrefutable proof to back it up. Otherwise, anyone running for office can be destroyed simply by having a few people come forward with this type of accusation.

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It Really Does Depend On The Parents–Not The State

Hot Air posted a story yesterday stating that McDonald’s has found a way to get around the food police in San Francisco.

The article reports:

Come Dec. 1, you can still buy the Happy Meal. But it doesn’t come with a toy. For that, you’ll have to pay an extra 10 cents.

Huh. That hardly seems to have solved the problem (though adults and children purchasing unhealthy food can at least take solace that the 10 cents is going to Ronald McDonald House charities). But it actually gets worse from here. Thanks to Supervisor Eric Mar’s much-ballyhooed new law, parents browbeaten into supplementing their preteens’ Happy Meal toy collections are now mandated to buy the Happy Meals.

Today and tomorrow mark the last days that put-upon parents can satiate their youngsters by simply throwing down $2.18 for a Happy Meal toy. But, thanks to the new law taking effect on Dec. 1, this is no longer permitted. Now, in order to have the privilege of making a 10-cent charitable donation in exchange for the toy, you must buy the Happy Meal. Hilariously, it appears Mar et al., in their desire to keep McDonald’s from selling grease and fat to kids with the lure of a toy have now actually incentivized the purchase of that grease and fat — when, beforehand, a put-upon parent could get out cheaper and healthier with just the damn toy.

I can’t even remember the last time I ate at McDonald’s. My children probably went to McDonald’s when they were living at home about eight or nine times a year. That’s not because I was a great parent, I just figured out that some of the local hole-in-the-wall restaurants sold better food that didn’t really cost much more. However, I hate to see the food police make rules on eating establishments that have nothing to do with actual food safety. What children eat is the responsibility of their parents. If we are not properly educating the parents on what to feed their children, is that not the problem that we should be addressing. I understand that it is hard to juggle a job and familly and manage to cook healthy dinners all week, but taking the toys out of Happy Meals does not address that problem. The true solution is to help parents find alternatives to McDonald’s that are healthier, while leaving McDonald’s as an occasional option.

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If These Records Ever Get Unsealed They Will Be Dumped On Either A Friday Night Or Christmas Eve

Mark Hemingway at the Weekly Standard Blog reported today:

The Obama Administration has abruptly sealed court records containing alarming details of how Mexican drug smugglers murdered a U.S. Border patrol agent with a gun connected to a failed federal experiment that allowed firearms to be smuggled into Mexico.

This means information will now be kept from the public as well as the media. Could this be a cover-up on the part of the “most transparent” administration in history? After all, the rifle used to kill the federal agent (Brian Terry) last December in Arizona’s Peck Canyon was part of the now infamous Operation Fast and Furious. Conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the disastrous scheme allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels.

This story has been a nightmare for the administration since the story first broke. On October 4, 2011, Big Government reported on a CBS reporter who had been yelled at by the Department of Justice for reporting on Operation Fast and Furious. These documents need to be made public and the entire story told.


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There Seems To Be A Slight Difference Of Opinion On This

The Washington Times reported yesterday that the Senate voted Tuesday to give the U.S. military first crack at holding al Qaeda operatives, even if they are captured in the U.S. and are American citizens, and also reaffirmed the policy of indefinite detention.

A website called reports:

A provision in the National Defense Authorization Act would authorize the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect — anywhere in the world — without charge or trial. The measure would effectively extend the definition of what is considered the military’s “battlefield” to anywhere in the world, even within the United States.

This is the link to the actual text of the bill at What the bill does, contrary to the panic expressed in, is allow the military to deal with terrorists in military courts rather than civilian courts. Terrorists have no right to be tried in American criminal courts with all the benefits of American citizens, regardless of where they are captured–they are not criminals, they are terrorists.

If you think this is a new thing, please review the case of the Nazi saboteurs who came ashore on Long Island in 1942 (at Like it or not, we are at war. We have been at war since 1979, when Iran and its radical Muslim leaders declared war on us. We ignore the fact that we are at war at our own peril.

Please note that the vote of this bill was bipartisan. The article at the Washington Times reports: 

Tuesday’s 61-37 vote to buck Mr. Obama and grant the military dibs exposed a deep rift within the Democratic Party. Sixteen Democrats and one independent who caucuses with them defied the veto threat and joined 44 Republicans.

This bill protects the safety of Americans. If you doubt that, please follow the link to and read the bill or the summary.

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Government By The People At Work

Last night I attended a Town Meeting in my town in Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the town had a population of about eight thousand people. Because this was a special town meeting called to address a specific financial issue, about 500 people showed up (usually about 200 or 300 show up).

The issue causing the controversy was how to finance sewers that the town was installing.

Last June, the town voted to put sewer lines in some areas of the town that do not have public sewers. Included in that Article was the amendment to the article which stated:

100% by betterment to the bettered properties in this area as the funding locally and contingent upon successful funding from SRF Massachusetts DEP and or USDA-RD loans and or grants.

What happened was that no loans or grants came through, and the sewers were going to have to be totally paid for by the 155 town residents they impacted–not just the sewer hook-up–the actual sewer. Those 155 residents had received letters telling them that the town was putting $25,000 tax liens on their property, plus they were going to be required to hook into the new system at their own expense.

The residents of the town at the meeting voted 317-225 to pay for the cost of the sewers with a property tax increase for everyone in the town (a cost of approximately $62 annually per residence). Although I would have liked to have seen the cost split between the homeowners effected and the town, I was happy with the outcome. However, there are a few things here to take note of.

The sewer project has already started. It is not practical finacially to try to stop it. However, it seems to me that when it became obvious that the loans and grants were not forthcoming, there should have been a town meeting to vote on whether or not to undertake the project. The project was supposed to be contingent upon those loans and grants; obviously it was not. Public sewers are an asset to a community, and I suspect that the government will someday get around to requiring them, so putting in sewers is not a bad thing. I suspect, however, that the way this was done may cause some people who have never been involved in local politics in the past to be more involved in the future. That is a good thing.

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When Is A Tax Cut Not A Tax Cut ?

President Obama and the Democrat party are currently complaining that the Republicans really do not support tax cuts for the middle class because the Republicans are not supporting the extension of the payroll tax cut. That may be good for the campaign trail, but it really doesn’t tell the whole story.

On Sunday, the Business Insider posted the following:

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), the retiring minority whip, said he is opposed to extending the payroll tax cut — raising taxes an average of $1000 on American families and risking eliminating half-a-million jobs from the economy — because he is concerned about the longevity of Social Security.

“The problem here is payroll doesn’t go into general revenue, it supports Social Security, and you can’t keep extending the payroll tax holiday and have a secure Social Security,” he said on Fox News Sunday.

The problem with the cutting the payroll tax is that you are taking money directly out of Social Security, which is already in financial trouble. The government has gotten into the habit of manipulating Americans through tax policy–if you do this, you get a tax break, if you do that, we tax you extra. The payroll tax gives Americans the sense that they are getting something back, without explaining that they are helping destroy the future viability of Social Security. Again–the problem isn’t taxes–it’s spending, and until we deal with the spending (and excessive government regulations), the economy will not recover.

As much as I would love to have extra money in my pocket to spend, extending the payroll tax cut is a bad idea.


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Why Does The Tea Party Need Permits And Occupy Movement People Do Not ?


A few members of the Tea Party have wondered why when they hold a rally in a city they have to pay for permits, put up port-a-potties, pay for police details, etc. The Occupy Wall Street protesters don’t seem to be required to do this.

Yesterday, Big Government reported:

Two weeks after the Richmond Tea Party delivered an invoice to Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones for costs incurred for previous rallies, we received a letter from the City of Richmond formally stating that the city is auditing our Tea Party. 

The Tea Party sent the invoice to illustrate the fact that Occupy Richmond had occupied Kanawha Plaza for two weeks without having to meet the city’s requirements for a rally.

The article reports:

The blog Virginia Right reported that the city provided services such as portable toilets, trash pickup, etc. The incomplete invoices obtained from the city totaled $7,000. This was only a portion of the actual costs to taxpayers because the costs of police, helicopter and incarcerations were not included. Also not accounted for was the 24-hour police protection of the Mayor’s home after the Occupiers moved their camp next door to the Mayor’s house. The Richmond Tea Party, conversely, paid for all services for our rallies, including the police, portable toilets, park fees and permits, amounting to approximately $8,500.

The response by the city of Richmond to the Tea Party invoice? The Richmond Tea Party received a letter from the Richmond Department of Finance saying that the city was going to audit them and requesting some of their financial records.

The article concludes:

The Richmond Tea Party stands for constitutional adherence, and clearly this has been unequal treatment under the law. We stand for fiscal restraint, and this is a case where a mayor used taxpayer money for his personal agenda. We stand for virtue and accountability in government and that is why we have taken a stand. We will be submitting a Virginia Freedom of Information Act request for all city correspondence pertaining to our Tea Party and its decision to audit us. We will not be intimidated and we will not back down. A Richmond attorney and fellow Tea Partier is currently reviewing our situation. Also, the ACLU has also contacted us inquiring about this matter.

The Tea Party and the ACLU working together? This is going to be a very interesting case because it will impact cities all over the country that have charged the Tea Party for rallies while letting the taxpayers pay for the expenses of the Occupy people.

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It Never Really Was About The Environment

On Friday, posted an article about new information on the impact of carbon dioxide on global warming.

The article reports:

The study’s findings are simple and devastating. “This implies that the effect of CO2 on climate is less than previously thought,” said Oregon State University’s Andreas Schmittner, the study’s main author.

Even with a doubling of CO2 from levels that existed before the Industrial Revolution, the study found a likely increase in Earth’s temperature only from about 3.1 degrees Fahrenheit to 4.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

That compares with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report, which predicted an increase of 3.6 degrees to 8.6 degrees.

The latest batch of emails released by European climate-change scientists have shown that scientific data is not as important as the global-warming agenda.

The article concludes:

Happily, the left’s pernicious, economy-destroying and false global warming ideology is collapsing under a growing body of evidence that the CO2 scare is a fraud.

The environmental movement as it currently exists is not about the environment. It is about redistributing the wealth of prosperous democracies to poverty-stricken third-world tyrants. The Kyoto treaty (which was supposed to control greenhouse gas emissions) expires in 2012. There is serious question as to whether or not a new treaty will follow.

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Barney Frank Retires

The Hill is reporting today that Barney Frank will not be running for reelection in 2012.

The article reports:

His legislative legacy is likely to be the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that passed in 2010 in the wake of the Wall Street meltdown that sent the economy into a tailspin in 2008. Hailed by the Obama administration, the law has drawn sharp criticism in the Republican presidential nomination fight, and one leading contender, former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), even suggested that Frank be jailed, along with Dodd, for their support of the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the lead up to the financial crisis.

I suspect that if the Republicans take two branches of government in the 2012 election, Dodd-Frank will be revised or repealed. It was a legislative solution that never addressed the actual cause of the problem. Representative Frank’s statements in the years before Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s collapse declaring that the government would not be on the hook if the companies went bankrupt are a matter of record. His role in making home loans available to people not able to pay them back is also a matter of record.

With the recent redistricting in Massachusetts, I now live in Barney Frank’s district. It will be interesting to see exactly what happens next.

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It May Be Part Of Our Future, But It Is Not Part Of Our Present

 Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line about some recent events in the quest for green energy. On Friday, the Huffington Post reported that the lithium-ion batteries in the Chevy Volt have caught fire after being involved in crash tests. The fires did not occur immediately–in one instance the car was being stored in a parking lot of a test facility in Burlington, Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, Google has abandoned its quest for running its data center entirely on green energy.

The article reports:

Meanwhile, Google has quietly abandoned an alternative energy program that it launched with great fanfare just two years ago.  Google’s “Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal” project featured all the hallmarks of the pie-in-the-sky energy mongers, especially the “it’s-just-around-the-corner” trope.  Google’s green energy czar at the launch, Bill Weihl, predicted that renewable electricity cheaper than coal would be achieved quickly: “In three years, we could have multiple megawatts of plants out there.”

The article also reports on Google’s other investments in green energy:

“Google’s stakes in the wind farms are ‘tax equity’ investments, in which investors buy into a project and use federal tax credits granted to the project to offset their own taxes.”

Remember all the uproar from Occupy Wall Street about corporate welfare? This is what corporate welfare actually is–the government granting a tax break to a company that funds the government’s pet project. This is what crony capitalism is about. Taxes and government are being used to control the behavior of corporations. When you consider that many of the major investors in green energy companies are key players in Congress, this begins to look really ugly.

Green energy is a wonderful idea. I suspect we will see it actually work sometime in the near future. However, pouring government money into a technology before it is ready for prime time is not a wise move.


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Rethinking Immigration


If you have read this website for a while, you know that I have taken a hard stand against illegal immigration. I believe it is a problem, and I believe we need to deal with it. Having said that, the ruckus over Newt Gingrich’s statements in the last debate has caused me to re-examine what I think. I learned a long time ago that I don’t know half of what I think I know, and I think I am about to learn that again!

Just for the record, Newt Gingrich’s statement that he cannot imagine deporting immigrants who have been here for a long time and not broken the law (other than immigration law) is consistent with statements he has made in the past. It is a ‘humane’ immigration policy that has been supported consistently by some in the Republican party.

I have not come to a general conclusion yet, I am still learning and thinking. However, I have concluded that no matter what we do as a country regarding illegal immigration, we need to seal our borders so that we know who is entering the country. I am not talking alligators and moats, but I am talking about fences, troops and adequate measures taken to close our borders to anyone attempting to enter the country illegally. Next, we need to keep track of people who entered legally and have overstayed their legal time here. I am not talking deportation–I am talking about a case by case study, done honestly and fairly (can we do that?) and decisions made.

We really shouldn’t be getting all hyped up about what to do with illegal immigrants until we have successfully closed our borders. Otherwise, why bother?

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The Wall Street Journal Comments On Gibson Guitar

Gibson Les Paul Invader

Image via Wikipedia

Kimberly Strassel at the Wall Street Journal (unfortunately, subscribers only) posted an opinion piece on the August raid on Gibson Guitar by federal agents. The charges against the guitar company are rather complicated.

Ms. Strassel reports:

The company, after all, is not accused of importing banned wood (say, Brazilian mahogany). The ebony it bought is legal and documented. The issue is whether Gibson ran afoul of a techinical Indian law governing the export of finished wood products. The U. S. government’s interpretation of Indian law suggests the wood Gibson imported wasn’t finished enough. Got that?

This whole episode was a set-up. The idea was to discourage imports. In 2007, the Lacey Act, which was passed in 1900 to stop trade in illegal wild game, was expanded to cover “plant and plant products” and related items.

The article reports on the impact of this change on one company:

Furniture maker Ikea noted that even if it could comply with the change, the “administrative costs and record-deeping requirements” would cause furniture prices to “skyrocket.” The wood chips that go into its particle-board alone could require tracking back and reporting on more than 100 different tree species.

If you want to see an economy grow, this is not the way to grow it. Tennessee Representatives Marsha Blackburn and Jim Cooper are working to give companies some relief from this insanity. This is, unfortunately, another example of run-away government.

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Medical Expenses Of The Elderly

Friday’s Wall Street Journal (I am not linking to the article because it is subscribers only) contained an article entitled, “Commonly Used Medicines Send Seniors to Hospitals.”  The article reports on a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found that an estimated 99,628 hospitalizations every year of people 65 years and older are linked to adverse drug events such as allergies and unintentional overdoses. It further reports that nearly half of those hospitalized were age 80 or older. The drugs responsible were not high-risk medications–they were commonly used diabetes pills and blood thinners.

Maybe we need to rethink the way we handle medical care for seniors. Is there a way to make the commonly used drugs safer, for example bottles that somehow remind the person to take their medicine and let them know if they have already taken their dose for the day? I have no idea if that is possible or already in existence, but certainly drug safety might be one way to seriously cut medical expenses for everyone.

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I Think I Understand Free Speech–But This Is Not It

A picture of the inside of a remodeled Walmart...

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday Human Events posted a video and account of a flash mob that attacked (yes, that is the right word) Walmart in San Diego on Black Friday. Now, I can agree that Christmas is too commercial and that some of the Black Friday shoppers were nuts, but that is no excuse for bad behavior.

The article reports the actions of the San Diego Occupy Wall Street people:

Meanwhile, the San Diego occupiers stormed into a Wal-Mart, filled 75 carts with merchandise, disrupted shoppers by chanting their nonsense for several minutes at the cash registers, then fled the store leaving behind 75 full carts for the employees to put away.

Didn’t their parents teach them any manners?

This is a first-hand account of the incident reported at Human Events:

Their idea on the flash mob was that we’d all enter Walmart inconspicuously and shop for 30 minutes, filling up our carts as much as possible. Then we’d meet at the front to check out and the first person to get up to a checker calls asks the cashier to page their child (Michael Check) to the checkstand cause they’re ready to leave, and then right after the page: MIC CHECK! Citizens of Walmart!! Greetings and welcome back from the food coma!! In the spirit of holiday giving, we believe a discussion is in order about the meaning of value and low cost. For every low-priced product purchased at Walmart, your communities pay the difference. Every price drop represents mistreated workers who STILL cannot feed their families, STILL cannot afford their homes, and STILL cannot payoff their tuitions. Every sweet deal can be attributed to our jobs being outsourced from American communities. Each item on sale helps bankrupt small businesses. YOU, YOUR COMMUNITIES, AND YOUR WORKERS ARE BEING ABUSED!!

That really does not sound like the way free speech is supposed to work. I personally think that Occupy San Diego abused the workers–Walmart gave them jobs!

America is not perfect, but these people need to learn some manners. The people working at Walmart work hard enough without having to put away 75 baskets of merchandise collected by idiots. I’m sorry if that statement offends anyone, but it represents the way I feel. If these people want to truly make a difference, they need to start their own company, treat their workers the way they believe the workers should be treated and change the system from within. Making extra work for hard-working employees is just tacky.


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The Federal Budget Has Become One Big Slush Fund


On Thursday the Washington Times reported that Congress took money slated for ObamaCare for the third time this year. Please understand, I don’t support ObamaCare, but there are a few things to look at here. One of the reasons ObamaCare could be passed off as a deficit-reducing program was that the money to pay for it would be collected for years before anyone was able to benefit from the program. That way, the first year or two or the program wouldn’t seem to cost much because the money would have already been collected. Later on, of course, when the initial money ran out and the program was supposed to support itself, it would become a typical Washington program and begin to lose money quickly. (I think Congress has its own idea of how numbers work.) Well, times are tough, even in Washington, so Congress is raiding Obamacare.

The article reports:

Congress last week axed a part of Democrats’ signature domestic achievement to find $11 billion to cover the cost of repealing a withholding tax that otherwise would have hit government contractors in 2013. Mr. Obama signed that bill into law on Monday.

The withholding bill follows two other efforts — one in December and another in April — that reworked the health care law to squeeze savings for other priorities. The December bill funded higher payments for doctors who treat Medicare patients, and the April legislation repealed a paperwork provision in the original health care law that businesses said would be onerous.

All told, Congress and the president have tapped some $50 billion earmarked to pay for benefits and programs in the health care overhaul in future years to fund more-immediate spending needs.

One of the problems with the healthcare bill as it is currently written is the philosophy behind it. As usual, it is a follow-the-money issue. The healthcare bill is partially paid for by a $500 billion cut to Medicare. That money is used to expand Medicaid programs which provide healthcare to the poor. I am not opposed to providing healthcare to the poor, but we need to remember that no person in America in need of medical care who shows up at a hospital can legally be denied treatment, regardless of their ability to pay for it. The bulk of medical expenses in a persons life occur in the last two years of their life. The transfer of money from Medicare to Medicaid is the beginning of rationing that care. We also need to remember that a large amount of the money in ObamaCare will go toward supporting a brand new federal bureaucracy, which will ad expense to medical care–not reduce it.

Anyway, my wish is that the Supreme Court will get rid of ObamaCare before Congress can raid it anymore and before it can do any further damage!




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A Tradition Under Attack By The Board Of Health

Ducks playing in the fountain at the Peabody H...

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On Wednesday the New York Post reported that Matilda III, the current Algonquin Hotel feline, has been leashed and banished to behind the Algonquin’s check-in desk, or out of sight on a higher floor. I will admit to being a cat lover, and I was totally offended by the fact that Mayor Bloomberg’s Department of Health decided that Matilda III is a health hazard. I can think of nothing more relaxing than checking into a hotel away from home and having a friendly cat to pet.

Upon reading this story, I immediately called my sister in Memphis to see if the ducks were still allowed in the Peabody Hotel. I wondered if the insanity had spread. The Peabody ducks have been in the hotel in Memphis since the 1930’s. The Algonquin has had a cat roam it’s lobby since 1932. My sister assured me that the ducks were still in residence at the Peabody and believed that they would be permanently housed there because the South understands the concept of hospitality.

If New York City wants to be tourist attraction, they need to preserve their tourist attractions. Matilda III was one of those attractions.

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The Arab Spring May Lead To A Very Cold Winter


The distinctive multiple-arched BYU Jerusalem ...

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Ynet News reported yesterday on a Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo’s most prominent mosque Friday. The rally ended with those in attendance vowing to “one day kill all Jews.”

The article reports:

Some 5,000 people joined the rally, called to promote the “battle against Jerusalem’s Judaization.” The event coincided with the anniversary of the United Nations’ partition plan in 1947, which called for the establishment of a Jewish state.  

The article further reports:

Muslim Brotherhood spokesmen, as well as Palestinian guest speakers, made explicit calls for Jihad and for liberating the whole of Palestine. Time and again, a Koran quote vowing that “one day we shall kill all the Jews” was uttered at the site. Meanwhile, businessmen in the crowd were urged to invest funds in Jerusalem in order to prevent the acquisition of land and homes by Jews.

 Throughout the event, Muslim Brotherhood activists chanted: “Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, judgment day has come.”

I can understand the initial revolt in Egypt. There were a lot of young people who wanted freedom and the opportunity for economic advancement. Unfortunately, I think the so-called Arab Spring has been co-opted and turned into something that will be very ugly and will destabilize the Middle East.

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Do You Want Your Child Care Providers Unionized ?

Hot Air reported recently that Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has issued an executive order that calls for a vote to unionize child care providers. However, the only people who will be able to vote on the unionization are those providers that are state-licensed and state-subsidized. Not all providers are eligible to vote on the measure. However, if the vote is to unionize, all providers will quite likely have to join the union and pay union dues. Somehow, that seems like taxation without representation–they don’t get to vote on it, but they have to pay for it!

The article at Hot Air reports:

A well-documented detrimental product of unionization is less flexibility. Union contracts do not allow for flexibility (without lavish benefits). Families have ever-changing schedules that will conflict with union contracts. A likely outcome: an increase of unfair labor practices. Unfair labor practices will lead to increased litigation, escalating child care costs.

A number of families can only afford child care through subsides awarded by the state. Gov. Dayton’s E.O. not only restricts availability of child care to families in need, it forces the taxpayer to bear the added expenses from unionized child care.

If Minnesota’s desired outcome is to provide affordable child care, Gov. Dayton must rescind his executive order. Unionization requires forced dues payment, loss of worker rights, and restricts entry into markets. Reducing providers and making child care a less attractive industry for potential entrepreneurs are steps in the wrong direction. Maintaining worker rights and freedom to choose will afford Minnesotans ample quality child care. Unfortunately, Gov. Dayton’s choice will deny widespread access to affordable child care in Minnesota in order to line the pockets of Big Labor.

That pretty much sums it up. Paying back the unions at the voters expense tends to discourage private enterprise and slow the economy. It is where we are nationally right now. Governor Dayton will create more financial problems for families in his state with this executive order.

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The Dangers Of Telling The Truth

On Wednesday the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that the Secret Service had paid a visit to Bill Looman, the owner of U. S. Cranes, LLC.

The article reports:

A Waco, Ga., businessman has stirred up a load of controversy due to signs he posted on his company’s trucks that say: “New Company Policy: We are not hiring until Obama is gone,” reports Atlanta Business Chronicle broadcast partner WXIA-TV.

When Mr. Looman was asked why he was not hiring, he stated, “Can’t afford it.” Someone reported him as a threat to national security, and the secret service paid him a visit. The signs have been on his trucks for six months, but the pictures of them he posted on the internet went viral this week. Unfortunately, he represents the realities of doing business in America under the Obama administration.

According the Mr. Looman, the visit from the Secret Service seemed to end on a positive note. Mr. Looman is a former Marine who served ten years in the corps, and I am sure the Secret Service realized very quickly that his honesty was not a threat to national security.

Mr. Looman stated that he does not plan to take the signs down.

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When Laws Get Totally Out Of Control

Last week the U.K. Telegraph reported that the European Union (EU) has banned drink manufacturers from claiming that water can prevent dehydration. I am still trying to figure that one out.

The article reports:

EU officials concluded that, following a three-year investigation, there was no evidence to prove the previously undisputed fact.

Producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making the claim and will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the edict, which comes into force in the UK next month.

There are a few problems with this statement. First of all, with all the current problems in the EU, why in the world are they worried about whether or not water is the solution to dehydration? Second of all, this does seem to be a rather odd conclusion.

The story began when German professors Dr Andreas Hahn and Dr Moritz Hagenmeyer, asked the European Commission if the claim that “regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration” could be made on drink labels.

The article reports:

However, last February, the European Food Standards Authority (EFSA) refused to approve the statement.

A meeting of 21 scientists in Parma, Italy, concluded that reduced water content in the body was a symptom of dehydration and not something that drinking water could subsequently control.

Now the EFSA verdict has been turned into an EU directive which was issued on Wednesday.

I am not a scientific type, but this just seems odd to me!

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Some Ideas Are Not Compatible With Freedom

Today’s U.K. Daily Mail posted a story about Glasgow-based Saif Rehman, 31, and Uzma Naurin, 30, from New York, murdered in Pakistan earlier this month.

The article reports:

Police in the country say Miss Naurin’s taxi driver father, 58-year-old Muzaffar Hussain, is being viewed as a chief suspect in the shootings.

The family of the bride was not happy about the couple’s marriage, and the murder is believed to be an ‘honor killing.’

Mr. Hussain had complained of chest pains and was taken to the hospital. His daughter, Miss Naurin, rushed to the hospital to see him. The article relates the story:

While in hospital, Mr Hussain is said to have asked his driver – ‘Adeel’ – to take her daughter and son-in-law to Gujrat for a shopping trip. At around 5.30pm, Adeel received a call on his mobile phone, he stopped the car and got out – then moments later the gunmen pounced.  

Police investigating the killings later found Mr Hussain was no longer in hospital. Officers say he drove to the port city of Karachi in a rental car and boarded a flight for the U.S.

Mr Hussain, who lives in a £250,000 house in Jersey City, New Jersey, with his wife Munir Begun, 55, insisted he did not know who had killed their daughter and her husband.

The good news here is that at least Pakistan is regarding the murder as a crime. Unfortunately, honor killing is an acceptable part of devout Islam. If a family member is behaving in a way that is considered to bring shame on the family, the family must kill that family member.

The number of honor killings in the United States has risen in recent years as the number of Muslims living in the country increases. I am not opposed to Muslims living in America, and I am not opposed to Muslims practicing their religion in America, but everyone in America, regardless of religion, needs to obey the laws of the land. I hope that Mr. Hussain, if he is guilty, receives the full penalty of the law in Pakistan for murdering his daughter and her husband.


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A Strong Statement From The Editor Of The Patriot-News

I know this is a long post, but please read it–it is important. Yesterday the Patriot-News posted the following statement by David Newhouse:

From the very beginning of reporting on the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse story, Patriot-News reporter Sara Ganim knew the identity and many details about the young man known in the grand jury presentment as Victim One.

It is the policy of The Patriot-News and PennLive not to identify alleged victims of sexual abuse, whether children or adults. In all of our reporting, we have been extremely careful not to reveal any of those details about Victim One which would help someone make that identification. Instead, through her stories and interviews, Sara Ganim put the focus where it should be – on the alleged crimes, the pain that this young man says he has suffered, and the alarming frustrations he and his mother describe in trying to report it.But the Sandusky child sex abuse story has showed the difference between truly protecting the identity of a victim and the fiction of protecting the identity of a victim.

In Wednesday’s story in The New York Times, for example, a profile entitled “For a Reported Penn State Victim, a Search for Trust,” reporters Nate Schweber and Jo Becker write a profile so detailed that, even though they do not name him, googling certain information in the profile results in the young man’s name within seconds. The Patriot-News has learned that other news organizations, which did not have the young man’s name, have already done so.

Although the Times story has been all over the web, and of course the Times web site draws a huge amount of traffic on its own, we decline to link to it here.
The story quotes his next-door neighbor and names his neighborhood. It describes the detailed circumstances of a car accident which was reported in local papers at the time. It says he liked to wear tie-dyed socks. None of these details have the slightest to do with why or how the boy was allegedly befriended and then assaulted over several years by Sandusky. They do not serve the story of Jerry Sandusky. They only serve to make an alleged victim of sexual assault easily identifiable.You could call the anonymity maintained in the story a polite fiction, but there is nothing polite about it.

To be clear, the Times story is not alone. It is just the latest and most prominent example so far of such reporting. 

The pledge of most news organizations to withhold the names of sexual assault victims – men and women, children and adults – is not some journalistic game of who can say the most while following some arbitrary rule. Most media have adopted it because, tragically, reporting sexual assaults still carries a stigma. It is no accident that Victim One was only the second boy to come forward to authorities in what is alleged to have been more than 15 years of assaults by Sandusky. Stories like these, if anything, could discourage future victims from speaking up. 
Victim One told the grand jury that he had been victimized by Jerry Sandusky. Now one could argue that he is being victimized again – this time, by frenzied news media who essentially name the victim in the pursuit of salacious details, all done in the name of anonymity.

David Newhouse is the editor of the Patriot-News.




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