Thursday, May 20, 2010

Picking & Choosing When To Enforce The Law

This from John Morton, Obama's head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

Echoing comments by President Barack Obama and others in the administration, Morton said that Arizona's new law targeting illegal immigration is not "good government." The law makes it a crime to be in the state illegally and requires police to check suspects for immigration paperwork.

Morton said his agency will not necessarily process illegal immigrants referred to them by Arizona officials. The best way to reduce illegal immigration is through a comprehensive federal approach, not a patchwork of state laws, he said.

"I don't think the Arizona law, or laws like it, are the solution," Morton said.

This administration is nothing if not a thugocracy. This is also ripe for a law suit requiring Morton to perform his job - but how screwed up does this administration have to be for it possibly come down to that. The other option is to let Morton release just one illegal alien referred by Arizona and then have him or her involved in the murder of Americans, then let's watch what happens. I don't think even the MSM, in full Obama lust, could spin or repress that one, not when a significant majority of Americans support the Arizona law.


GM & The Real Story Of Their Loan Payback

Last month, GM and the Obama administration were crowing over GM's repayment of a government $4.7 billion dollar loan. GM released an ad announcing the act. I wrote at the time that the ad was likely so misleading as to constitute fraud under SEC regulations. Powerline has come to a similar conclusion. Apparently, someone at the Weekly Standard reworked the ad to bring it in line with reality. Heh.


Arizona, Mexico, Two Presidents & A Race Card

Under Arizona's new law, if you are stopped for reasonable suspicion of breaking a law, you can be asked for your identification. In the rest of the United States, if you are stopped for reasonable suspicion of breaking a law, you will inevitably be asked for your identification. The only modification Arizona's law makes in practice is to give its law enforcement agencies the authority to then pursue further whether the individual is also in compliance with federal laws on illegal immigration. That is subsumed in asking for one's identificaiton.

Yet the La Raza crowd who advocate sesesion, the Democrats who see them as a special interest group to be seduced, and the Mexican government who benefit from illegal immigration to their north are all busting at the seems over Arizona's attempt to address the influx of illegal aliens that are severely hurting their state. And yesterday we were treated to President's Obama and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon jointly

First from Obama:

. . . I want everyone, American and Mexican, to know my administration is taking a very close look at the Arizona law. We're examining any implications, especially for civil rights. Because in the United States of America no law-abiding person, be they an American citizen, a legal immigrant or a visitor or tourist from Mexico, should ever be subject to suspicion simply because of what they look like.

Okay, what are the first clues that a person might be an illegal alien - its what they look like. That is reality that no amount of wishful thinking will change. And given that we have between 12 and 20 million illegal aliens in this country, of course the fact that a person looks Mexican of South American and speeks accented English raises enough supicion to follow up. But what the Arizona law does not allow for are stops simply based on that suspicion. Obama, if he has read the law, of course realizes this. But why allow reality to stand in the way of demagougery aimed at placating a special interest voting block.

And then Obama stands by while President Calderon chides Arizona and America for having the temerity of taking a stand against illegal immigration from Mexico.

In Mexico, we are and will continue being respectful of the internal policies of the United States and its legitimate right to establish, in accordance to its Constitution, whatever laws it approves. But we will retain our firm rejection to criminalize migration so that people that work and provide things to this nation will be treated as criminals. And we oppose firmly the S.B. 1070 Arizona law given unfair principles that are partial and discriminatory.

For one, the hypocrisy displayed by Calderon is breathtaking. Mexico's treatment of illegal aliens is far more draconian than that of the U.S., including up to ten years in jail for multiple violations of its immigration law. Two, what Calderon is arguing for is that the U.S. explicitly adopt an open boder with Mexico. This is insanity. One of the most basic functions of government is to control its border. Three, there is nothing discriminatory about enforcing the border. Having a foreign official come to the U.S. and play the race card is a bit too much to stomach. That Obama stood by, listening to this, and in essence, seconded it is utterly outrageous.

Update: From Hot Air: Democrats give Mexican president standing ovation for dumping on Arizona.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Saudi Rosa Parks

The single most oppressed class of people in our modern world are women living under the massively repressive hand of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia. Women in Saudi Arabia cannot drive, they cannot inherit property, they cannot petition for divorce nor, in the event of a divorce, gain custody of children. Women in Saudi Arabia may be legally beaten by their husbands and any female who brings dishonor on their family - such as by being raped - may well be beaten or worse. In courts, a woman's testimony is by law given half the weight of a man. And God help a Saudi woman should she be found outside of her home without the escort of a male family member. The Saudi tool of oppression is often as not the Saudi religious police. Their most iconic act of repression occurred a few years ago when they forced several young girls back into a schoolhouse that was on fire. The girls, who had run from the building without their hijabs, paid for that sin with their lives.

Today, there are tremors of change in the Saudi desert. It would appear that at least one Saudi woman has, one, stones worthy of our own civil rights icon, Rosa Parks, two, poor choice in men, and three, apparently a very good straight right. This from the Jerusalem Post:

It was a scene Saudi women’s rights activists have dreamt of for years.

When a Saudi religious policeman sauntered about an amusement park in the eastern Saudi Arabian city of Al-Mubarraz looking for unmarried couples illegally socializing, he probably wasn’t expecting much opposition.

But when he approached a young, 20-something couple meandering through the park together, he received an unprecedented whooping.

A member of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the Saudi religious police known locally as the Hai’a, asked the couple to confirm their identities and relationship to one another, as it is a crime in Saudi Arabia for unmarried men and women to mix.

For unknown reasons, the young man collapsed upon being questioned by the cop.

According to the Saudi daily Okaz, the woman then allegedly laid into the religious policeman, punching him repeatedly, and leaving him to be taken to the hospital with bruises across his body and face.

“To see resistance from a woman means a lot,” Wajiha Al-Huwaidar, a Saudi women’s rights activist, told The Media Line news agency. “People are fed up with these religious police, and now they have to pay the price for the humiliation they put people through for years and years. This is just the beginning and there will be more resistance.”

“The media and the Internet have given people a lot of power and the freedom to express their anger,” she said. “The Hai’a are like a militia, but now whenever they do something it’s all over the Internet. This gives them a horrible reputation and gives people power to react.”

This story says very little about Saudi men, whether it be the woman's escort or the religious policeman whose ass the budding Ms. Parks apparently whooped. Heh.

But this is apparently not the only change taking place in Saudi Arabia. The same JP article documents some small changes being made by the current King of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah. He took over the kingship with a reputation as a reformer and - possibly the least corrupt of the House of Saud. That said, change has come slowly indeed as the King rules Arabia not by fiat, but by consensus with other members of the House of Saud. Nonetheless, some small change has come:

The decision last year by Saudi King Abdullah to open the kingdom’s first co-educational institution, with no religious police on campus, led to a national crises for Saudi Arabia’s conservative religious authorities, with the new university becoming a cultural proxy war for whether or not women and men should be allowed to mix publicly.

A senior Saudi cleric publicly criticized the gender mixing at the university and was summarily fired by the king. . . .

Last month, . . . members of the religious police in the northern province of Tabuk were charged with assaulting a young woman as she attempted to visit her son, in a move that marked an unprecedented challenge to the religious police’s authority.

"There is some sort of change taking place," Nadya Khalife, the Middle East women’s rights researcher for Human Rights Watch, told The Media Line. "There is clearly a shifting mentality regarding to the male guardianship law and similar issues. More women are speaking out, there are changes within the government, there is a mixed university, the king was photographed with women, they want to allow women to work in the courts and there are changes within the justice ministry. So you can witness some kind of change unfolding but it’s not quite clear what’s happening and it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight."

In this most repressive of societies - the one that gave birth to the Wahhabi school of Islam that undergirds virtually all of Sunni terrorism - seeing a change to an even somewhat normalized society with equality for women would work a significant change. Let us hope that we are witnessing is a good first step - or uppercut, as the case may be.


Monday, May 17, 2010

In The End, Beauty Contests Always Come Down To . . .

You have to love the juxtaposition.

Congratulations to 24 year old Michigan beauty Ms. Rifa Fakih, shown on the left above. She, an Arab immigrant from Lebanon, was crowned Miss USA yesterday. My hats off to her - and one must wonder how long it will be until she gets her first fatwah.

Rifa of course would never have had a chance to compete in a beauty contest were she in the Arab nations of the Middle East. A "Ms. Burkah" contest would incredibly hard to judge. Instead, in Abu Dhabi, men from all over the Arab nations come together annually to view the equally popular Ms. Camel contest. Pictured above is last year's winner, outfitted in winner's garb befitting her beguiling beauty.

Surprisingly, though, there is apparently much similarity in judging beauty contests, whether they be of women or camel. This from National Geographic explains:

But the judges in Abu Dhabi view camels with different eyes, scrutinizing them from nose to tail and back again, evaluating each according to strict criteria. Her ears must be firm. Her back high, her hump large and symmetrical. A rump that's not too big, with just enough room for a saddle. The hair, of course, must shine. A good head is massive. Her nose should have a strong arch in the bridge, sloping toward a bottom lip that hangs down like a bauble. A long neck appeals. As do long legs. And the judges examine the two toes of the feet, looking for what their guidelines call "toe-parting length."

Because so many beauty pageants, in the end, do come down to cleavage.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Anti-Obama

With Obama, we get supremely nuanced speeches and expiration dates on every one of his pronouncements. NJ Gov. Chris Christie Cristie could not be more the opposite in virtually all respects. I sincerely hope Christie succeeds in turning around NJ. If he does, there is no limit on how high he can go in elective politics. Below is his most recent youtube appearance, directed at a news reporter describing his tone as confrontational. Enjoy.


An Unexpectedly Rough Week . . .

Sorry for the lack of posts.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Left & Economic Illiteracy

This from the Volokh Conspiracy on the "startling" lack of economic literacy as one moves further to the left along the political spectrum:

Some of the results in this new article by Zeljka Buturovic and Dan Klein in Econ Journal Watch (a peer-reviewed journal of economics) are startling:

◦ 67% of self-described Progressives believe that restrictions on housing development (i.e., regulations that reduce the supply of housing) do not make housing less affordable.

◦ 51% believe that mandatory licensing of professionals (i.e., reducing the supply of professionals) doesn’t increase the cost of professional services.

◦ Perhaps most amazing, 79% of self-described Progressive believe that rent control (i.e., price controls) does not lead to housing shortages.

Note that the questions here are not whether the benefits of these policies might outweigh the costs, but the basic economic effects of these policies. Those identifying as “libertarian” and “very conservative” were the most knowledgeable about basic economics. Those identifying as “Progressive” and “Liberal” were the worst.

I wrote in a post below about a recent poll showing that a significant percentage of young Americans are coming out of our schools imbued with a positive view of socialism and a negative view of capitalism. The above study described by the Volokh Conspiracy certainly goes a long way to further explaining those results. Only a lack of a fundamental grasp of basic economic reality can possibly explain the economic fantasies and arrogance of the socialist left. And as I wrote in What In The World Are They Teaching Our Children:

I have long thought that no child should graduate from high school without an understanding of free market economics, basic accounting and business law. It would seem we are a long way indeed from that reality.

I think that we fail to teach those topics at fundamental, long term risk to our nation.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Right & Wrong Responses To The Gulf Spill

The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from BP's Deepwater Horizon rig was the Titanic of oil spills. It will certainly be one of the largest in size - and, like the "unsinkable" Titanic's own failure, it is one that few thought possible. Nearly two years ago, Fred Barnes wrote in the Weekly Standard:

Advances in technology . . . make serious offshore oil spills a thing of the past. One hundred eight platforms were destroyed and hundreds more damaged in the Gulf of Mexico by hurricanes Rita and Katrina without a single major spill. Californians may remember the damaging spill off Santa Barbara, but that was 40 years ago and was the result of ancient technology.

New technology also means the coastlines would not be marred by unsightly oil platforms. Drilling now goes miles deeper to capture oil once out of reach--and much farther offshore. . . .

While we can look on what Mr. Barnes wrote as a bit of a Pollyanna, the plain fact is what he was saying was accurate. Modern technology for offshore drilling comes with an impressive array of redundant safety features that have worked over the past several decades to make offshore drilling so free from spills that the most hazardous part of the oil production process came to be transporting the oil by tanker to the mainland. Some of those safety systems were discussed in a recent article on the spill in the Gulf:

Blowouts are infrequent, because well holes are blocked by piping and pumped-in materials like synthetic mud, cement and even sea water. The pipes are plugged with cement, so fluid and gas can’t typically push up inside the pipes.

Instead, a typical blowout surges up a channel around the piping. The narrow space between the well walls and the piping is usually filled with cement, so there is no pathway for a blowout. But if the cement or broken piping leaves enough space, a surge can rise to the surface.

There, at the wellhead of exploratory wells, sits the massive steel contraption known as a blowout preventer. It can snuff a blowout by squeezing rubber seals tightly around the pipes with up to 1 million pounds of force. If the seals fail, the blowout preventer deploys a last line of defense: a set of rams that can slice right through the pipes and cap the blowout.

Deepwater Horizon was also equipped with an automated backup system called a Deadman. It should have activated the blowout preventer even if workers could not.

So what happened at the Deepwater Horizon site, where the well head sits one mile below the surface of the water, in a perpetual night? The pressure at that depth is about 2,367 psi, far beyond the ability of any human to withstand. Indeed, only specialized submersibles can work at that depth.

The Deepwater site was in the process of being changed from an exploratory well head to a working well, with concrete poured 20 hours before the explosion and safety devices in the process of being emplaced. Somehow, some methane, which exists on and in the sea floor in the form of a slush like semi-solid, methane clathrate, was released into the pipe. This from ABC News:

As the workers removed pressure from the drilling column and introduced heat to set the cement seal around the wellhead, the chemical reaction created heat, destabilizing the seal and allowing a [methane] gas bubble to form inside the pipe.

. . . [A]s the bubble rose up the drill column from the high-pressure environs of the deep to the less pressurized shallows, it intensified and grew, breaking through various safety barriers, the interviews said.

“A small bubble becomes a really big bubble,” Bea said. “So the expanding bubble becomes like a cannon shooting the gas into your face.”

It is not completely clear whether all of redundant safety systems were fully in place at the time of the blowout, and if not why not, though it is clear that what was in place suffered a cascade failure. Obviously it will be of great importance to identify how this accident managed to occur and insure that another like it is reasonably guarded against. Indeed, those who recognize the need for us to exploit our natural resources, including drilling for oil offshore, should be the loudest voices in demanding that we identify the precise causes of this Deepwater Horizon spill and in demanding that solutions be identified and tested before resumption of new drilling in the Gulf.

As an aside, we should likewise vociferously demand a thorough evaluation of the response to this Titanic of oil spills. Clearly, when Department of the Interior chief of staff Tom Strickland, responsible for coordinating the response to an oil spill, is on vacation and sees no need to return to work, there is an obvious problem. And that is only one small part of what appears to be the lack of any sort of robust response to the oil spill from the Obama administration.

But for many, this is an excuse to demand that the U.S. stop offshore drilling. If we give into that call, we will be foolish indeed. Phil Weingart at Plumb Bob Blog puts this accident, terrible though it might be, in context:

Incidents like the Exxon Valdez and this one give us reason periodically to consider the cost of maintaining an industrialized society.

The technological explosion and economic growth of the 19th and 20th centuries raised billions of people out of abject poverty and provided the great mass of ordinary people around the globe with basic sanitation, antibiotics, inexpensive clothing and food, transportation, communication, and other advantages in a lifestyle that was unavailable to kings in earlier eras. The West has nothing for which to apologize when we consider the advances conferred by technology. And yet, the price of that technology includes occasional accidents of a magnitude previously only produced by random acts of God, like volcanoes or earthquakes.

The question is, can we face those, work sensibly to minimize and contain them, and yet not succumb to the temptation to abandon technology? Victims and governments will initiate a head-hunt soon, looking to find a scapegoat on which to pin the blame. Gulf coast fishermen are grousing about how they were misled by BP, and some have already filed suit. Environmentalists are already using photos of waterfowl endangered by the oil slick to obstruct public support for the issuing of new offshore drilling leases. Can we competently assign responsibility without succumbing to the urge to create demons?

Accidents happen. So do stupid humans. And so long as those things are true, the advance of technology will be accompanied by the periodic accident.

Like accidents, politicians and governments also happen. Wherever they do, the self-righteous posture and puff to use the events to enhance their own images, and the gullible are taken in by the display. “At least they’re doing something.” Sure thing.

The important things that need to be done are procedures for minimizing the occurrence of accidents and improving the response to them. This almost never requires new regulation; BP is already, under existing law, going to pay the cost of the cleanup, not to mention the exorbitant public relations cost of having owned the platform that caused the incident. The incentives to avoid future accidents of this sort far exceed anything that can be accomplished by new regulations, and none of the techniques currently being used to prevent or clean up spills are the result of regulation. But new regulations will be written, because politicians need to appear to be doing something in order to impress gullible constituents.

Those who argue now that, as a result of the spill, we should forgo further exploitation of our resources are the same people who have been yelling for decades against any new drilling and further, that we need to ween ourselves off of dependency on fossil fuels. The reality is that we have made very significant advances in energy efficiency over the past few decades, but there is no realistic chance that, even with these advances, we can be weened off of oil at any point in the foreseeable future. This from Stephen Hayward at the Weekly Standard:

One remarkable fact is that American oil consumption has remained virtually flat over the last 30 years. Today, we use only slightly more oil than we did in 1978, even though the economy has more than doubled in real terms. This is testimony to the steady improvement in energy efficiency over the last generation, including—yes—our cars and trucks. Since 1975, energy consumption per dollar of economic output has fallen 50 percent. Though efficiency and conservation measures are beloved of environmentalists, it is doubtful any of the government’s manifold mandates, tax incentives, or direct subsidies have made a significant difference in the overall trend of energy efficiency in the United States. The basic market drivers—higher energy prices and expanding profits through resource efficiency—account for most of the improvement. So when we hear the handwringing about our growing dependence on foreign oil, now over 60 percent of our total oil consumption, we should be clear that this trend is entirely the result of declining domestic production and not any soaring demand for oil. Domestic oil production has fallen by more than 1 million barrels a day over the last 10 years. The United States now produces less oil than it did in 1947. This is pathetic. And unnecessary.

As Mr. Hayward makes clear in his thorough analysis, our energy policy is a morass where "cliché, wishful thinking, and wince-inducing ignorance dominate the discourse." The one thing that is clear is that, of all the possible responses to the oil spill, the one that we should not pursue is an end to drilling, whether on-shore or off.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Normal Blogging To Resume Monday

Have been overcome by events since Thursday and need to attend to familial duties on Mother's Day. I shall resume normal blogging on Monday.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Misplaced Presidential Humor

Arizona's Governor has a message for President Obama:

(H/T Instapundit)

Well said, Governor.


Defending The Little Guy

Apparently, TSA employee Rolando Negrin, like JD above, is also not familiar with the El Toro Grande brand of prophylactic:

Perhaps the new airport body scanners are a bit too revealing.

A TSA worker in Miami was arrested for aggravated battery after police say he attacked a colleague who'd made fun of his small genitalia after he walked through one of the new high-tech security scanners during a recent training session.

Rolando Negrin, 44, was busted for assault after things got ugly at Miami International Airport between Negrin and some of his fellow Transportation Security Administration workers on Tuesday.

Sources say Negrin stepped into the machine during the training session and became embarrassed and angry when a supervisor started cracking jokes about his manhood, made visible by the new machine. . . .

Mr. Negrin obviously has his shortcomings. But the reality is that having the opposite problem can also lead to criminal charges of assault . . .

That said, I am sure Mr. Negrin would prefer the latter problem. But reality is what it is. And now for the ultimate irony. Because Mr. Negrin has been charged with a felony, he will no doubt be fired for failing to measure up to TSA's standards.


Obama's War


A Hung Parliament - Updated

The election is over in the UK, but the byzantine maneuvering to create a government is just beginning. With the vast majority of results in, the BBC is predicting:

Tory - 306
Labour: 262
Liberal Democrats: 55
Others: 27

To form a government, there must be a party - or a coalition of parties - holding 326 seats. The Labour Party, which has deconstructed Britain over its past 13 years of socialist rule, still managed to lose only 100 seats. And even though the Tories will be by far the largest party in Parliament, the fact is that the Labour may well be able to retain power through a coalition with the Lib Dems - also a far left party - and a few of the far left minor parties. This from the BBC:

Gordon Brown may start coalition talks with the Lib Dems, who, Nick Clegg admitted, had a "disappointing night" .

The BBC projection suggests David Cameron's Conservatives will have 306 seats. If there are 10 Unionists elected in Northern Ireland then Mr Cameron might be able to command 316 - probably still slightly too few for him to be sure of winning a Queen's Speech.

But Labour and the Lib Dems together would have 317 seats, according to the BBC figures, which even with three SDLP MPs would still leave them at 320 - again probably just a few votes short.

So everything is still at issue - though Labour has a slight advantage. All of this is truly horrendous. David Cameron, who has misled the Tory Party for a decade, attempting to turn it into a light version of Labour, has managed to pull defeat from the jaws of what should have been a victory so thorough as to have banished Labour the halls of government for a decade or more. You could track the recent downward spiral of the Tory party towards this election from the date the boywonder officially reneged on his promise to hold a referendum on the issue of EU.

Assuming Labour forms the next government, Cameron should be booted so fast from the Tory leadership his head should spin. The Tories need to replace him with someone who is actually a conservative and who will actually be governed by his ideals rather than pure political calculation, though it might already be too late. Labour has so deconstructed Britain that it may well be the damage it has wrought cannot be undone. A few more years of Labour misrule - or Cameron misrule for that matter - will like insure the damage is permanent.

Update: It appears that the Lib Dems have already slapped down Gordon Brown and Labour, saying that the Tories should have the first opportunity to form a government. That is code for "make me an offer."


Thursday, May 6, 2010

What In The World Are Our Children Being Taught?

Where is Milton Friedman when you need him:

Capitalism has been the world's greatest engine of wealth creation. The past three centuries of economic - and concomitant social - advancements throughout the world are a history of the impact of capitalism - and, in the mirror image, the failure of socialism. Yet today, many of our children are apparently coming out of school with a negative view of capitalism, a dearth of knowledge about economics, and no understanding of the negative impacts of socialism. Moreover, it would appear that the left's rebranding from "liberal" to "progressive" has been a successful one. Chalk that one up to the "you can fool most of the people some of the time." See this recently released - and highly depressing - poll from Pew:

“Socialism” is a negative for most Americans, but certainly not all Americans. “Capitalism” is regarded positively by a majority of the public, though it is a thin majority. There are certain segments of the public – notably, young people and Democrats – where both “isms” are rated about equally. . . .

These are among the findings of a national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press that tests reactions to words and phrases frequently used in current political discourse. Overall, 29% say they have a positive reaction to the word “socialism,” while 59% react negatively. The public’s impressions of “capitalism,” though far more positive, are somewhat mixed. Slightly more than half (52%) react positively to the word “capitalism,” compared with 37% who say they have a negative reaction.

A large majority of Republicans (77%) react negatively to “socialism,” while 62% have a positive reaction to “capitalism.” Democrats’ impressions are more divided: In fact, about as many Democrats react positively to “socialism” (44%) as to “capitalism” (47%).

Reaction to “capitalism” is lukewarm among many demographic groups. Fewer than half of young people, women, people with lower incomes and those with less education react positively to “capitalism.”

The survey, conducted April 21-26 among 1,546 adults, measured reactions to nine political words and phrases. The most positive reactions are to “family values” (89% positive) and “civil rights” (87%). About three-quarters see “states’ rights” (77%) and “civil liberties” (76%) positively, while 68% have a positive reaction to the word “progressive.” . . .

The most striking partisan differences come in reactions to the word “socialism.” Just 15% of Republicans react positively to “socialism” while 77% react negatively. By more than two-to-one (64% to 26%), independents also have a negative impression of “socialism.” However, Democrats are evenly divided – 44% have a positive reaction to “socialism” while 43% react negatively.

“Capitalism” elicits a less partisan reaction. About six-in-ten Republicans (62%) react positively to “capitalism,” compared with 29% who have a negative reaction. About half of independents (52%) have a positive impression while 39% react negatively. Among Democrats, 47% react positively to “capitalism” while nearly as many (43%) react negatively.

There is a substantial partisan divide in views of the word “progressive.” However, majorities of Democrats (81%), independents (64%) and Republicans (56%) have a positive reaction to “progressive.” . . .

Young people are more positive about “socialism” – and more negative about “capitalism” – than are older Americans. Among those younger than 30, identical percentages react positively to “socialism” and “capitalism” (43% each), while about half react negatively to each. Among older age groups, majorities view “socialism” negatively and “capitalism” positively. . . .

More than twice as many blacks as whites react positively to “socialism” (53% vs. 24%). Yet there are no racial differences in views of “capitalism” – 50% of African Americans and 53% of whites have a positive reaction.

Those with a high school education or less are evenly divided over “capitalism” (44% positive vs. 42% negative). Among those with some college experience, 49% react positively to “capitalism” as do 68% of college graduates. Those with a high school education or less are more likely to express a positive view of “socialism” than do those with more education. . . .

Perhaps surprisingly, opinions about the terms “socialism” and “capitalism” are not correlated with each other. Most of those who have a positive reaction to “socialism” also have a positive reaction to “capitalism”; in fact, views of “capitalism” are about the same among those who react positively to “socialism” as they are among those who react negatively (52% and 56%, respectively, view “capitalism” positively). Conversely, views of “socialism” are just as negative among those who have a positive reaction to “capitalism” (64% negative) as those who react negatively (61% negative). . . .

I have long thought that no child should graduate from high school without an understanding of free market economics, basic accounting and business law. It would seem we are a long way indeed from that reality.


The Saudi / Harvard Influence On Public School Text Books


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Steny Goes Pelosi

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's constant proximity to Crazy Nancy has apparently infected him with a similar inability to perceive reality - or at least the same utter willingness to ignore it, as the case may be. The other day, with a straight face, Hoyer claimed that "the Obama administration has been more successful in combating terrorism than its predecessor." Says Hoyer:

We're tough on terrorists. That’s our policy. That’s our performance. And, in fact, we've been more successful.

Killing known terrorists with drones in Pakistan was started by Bush and continued by Obama. It is a good thing. But Obama has made it his centerpiece of combatting terrorism while severly curtailing the most important part of any anti-terrorism campaign - human intelligence.

There were no large scale successful acts of Islamic terrorism in the U.S. during the Bush years. There have already been four acts or attempted acts of significant terrorism on Obama's watch and, as I explained in detail here, Obama is determined, on fatuous grounds using the language of morality - to deconstruct much of our ability to respond to terrorism through acquisition of human intelligence. Indeed, Obama is in the process of making our nation far less safe than it was when he took office.

Obama has been incredibly lucky that the two bombing incidents - the Christmas Day Undiebomber and the Times Square bombing attempt - both of which could have caused massive casualties, failed only through pure luck. Critically, nothing that Obama and the left did impacted on the failure of either bomb to detonate, though apparently Hoyer and the left are claiming that as a successful part of their efforts at "combatting terrorism." It is utterly surreal. [Update: Ann Coulter adds to that in her column today:

. . . [I]t would be a little easier for the rest of us not to live in fear if the president's entire national security strategy didn't depend on average citizens happening to notice a smoldering SUV in Times Square or smoke coming from a fellow airline passenger's crotch.

But after the car bomber, the diaper bomber and the Fort Hood shooter, it has become increasingly clear that Obama's only national defense strategy is: Let's hope their bombs don't work!

If only Dr. Hasan's gun had jammed at Fort Hood, that could have been another huge foreign policy success for Obama.

The administration's fingers-crossed strategy is a follow-up to Obama's earlier and less successful "Let's Make Them Love Us!" plan.]

It is unrealistic to expect that any administration will be able to stop a true lone wolf terrorist. But three of the four acts or attempted acts of terrorism on U.S. soil on Obama's watch have not been lone wolves. Major Hassan, the Ft. Hood shooter, was tied to an al Qaeda cleric. His act of terrorism never should have come to fruition. Abdulmutallab, the Christmas Day Undiebomber, was tied directly to al Qaedea and certainly should have been on the no-fly list. And how weak is our intelligence that the most recent would be jihadi, Faisal Shahzad, was apparently never identified as a threat, even though he spent months in Pakistan attending jihadi training camps on how to make a bomb and was in telephone contact with people known to have terrorist ties.

I applaud the efforts of our investigative services to quickly find and apprehend Shahzad after the attempted bombing. I also believe that the Administration's hands were pretty well tied in how they treated Shahzad in terms of Constitutional protections. Those claiming that he shouldn't have been read Miranda are on far more tenuous grounds when it comes to Shahzad, and I for one won't criticize the administation's handling of him at this point.

But what should concern every American is that Shahzad's act occurred to begin with. That is the difference between the Obama and Bush approach. Obama takes a criminal investigative approach to the war on terror which, by its very definition, is reactive. Bush prosecuted this as a war with emphasis on ending terrorist plots before they ever got to the point of failing or succeeding solely on the vagaries of fate.

It is only those vagaries that allow Hoyer to make his ridiculous claim today. However, everything we have seen involving the last three terrorist incidents tells us that it is only a matter of time before masses of Americans die or are injured by terrorist acts on American soil. Hoyer and the left's luck can only hold out so long. Then their spin will fall utterly flat and the debate on how to conduct a war on terror will end. It is a crime that it will take American blood before the left comes to grips with reality. And even then, it is not the blood that will bother them, but the votes. Hoyer and his ilk are contemptible indeed.


Racism, Tea Parties & A Mystery At The Washington Post

The Washington Post,having fully played their role in amplyfing the left's attempt to smear the Tea Parties as racist, comment today on the degree to which the Tea Party movement is perceived as racist and the attempts of the Tea Party movement to fight the smear. They do so without ever mentioning how this perception of racism came about. It is something like a criminal in a novel commenting on the effect his work for public consumption, playing the role of a neutral observer. It is shameless. This from the Washington Post:

As several states with active "tea party" groups prepare to hold important primary elections this month, the movement is struggling to overcome accusations of racism that are tinting perceptions of this loose network of conservatives. . . .

The challenge is made tougher by one of the defining elements of the tea party movement: No one person controls it. There is no national communications strategy. And incidents of racist slogans (when and where? I haven't seen any such or heard of any such racist slogans - unless they are talking about the now thoroughly discredited incidents involving the Congressional Black Caucus) and derisive depictions of President Obama continue to crop up, providing fuel for critics who say the president's skin color is a powerful reason behind the movement's existence.

In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, most Americans see the movement as motivated by distrust of government, opposition to the policies of Obama and the Democratic Party, and broad concern about the economy. But nearly three in 10 see racial prejudice as underlying the tea party (how that occurred is apparently a mystery to the Washington Post).

Supporters and opponents alike say the movement draws its strength from opposition to Obama's policies, but they split deeply on the race question, according to the poll: About 61 percent of tea party opponents say racism has a lot to do with the movement, a view held by just 7 percent of tea party supporters.

That indicates that the issue of race and the tea party is largely about differing perceptions, reflected in how people view the well-known illustration of Obama made up like the Joker from the Batman movie "The Dark Knight." Some see the image, with its exaggerated lips, as an offensive reference to minstrelsy. (Given that the "Joker" has nothing at all to do with racism in the context of the movies - and indeed, it is a white actor playing the joker, how is it possible, with any intellectual honesty whatsoever, to claim that portraying Obama as the joker is in any way racist) Obama's critics, however, say President George W. Bush was also portrayed as the Joker, as well as Dracula.

Economic anxiety and a general distrust of government are the motivations most often mentioned by tea party supporters. Opponents, who are largely Democratic and a more diverse group, see resistance to the policies of Obama and the Democrats as the movement's leading motivation, followed by racial bias.

"I think there is an element of fear that 'our white country' is now being run by a black man. There is a sense that 1950s America is gone," said Herb Neumann, a white Democrat from Tulsa. "There's a sense of loss. I grew up in the 1950s, and I don't think that moving on is a bad thing." (Note how WaPo offers up this utterly scurrilous charge without having any sort of direct response. This is par for the course in today's MSM)

The question of racism and the tea party flared on the eve of Congress's divisive vote on the health-care overhaul in March, when black congressmen accused protesters of using racial epithets and spitting on them. Tea party supporters have denied the allegations. . . .

"As long as people who oppose us can frame the debate that way, then they can get people to stop listening to us," Coleman said. "The charge of racism is one that can be thrown out there, and it really doesn't have to be proven. But it has such a negative connotations that it can pretty much halt the debate." (This should have been at the start of the article if WaPo was actually interested in giving a balanced look at this issue. The left is throwing out the race cards with wild abandon in an attempt to end debate. That WaPo puts this at the end of its article and does absolutely nothing to analyze or pursue this line of thought just adds the final element of the surreal to this article.)


Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Faisal Shahzad, a Pakastani native and a naturalized American citizen living in Connecticut, has been arrested for the bombing attempt in Times Square. He was already on a plane to Dubai when authorities finally identified him as the culprit. The plane turned around and Faisal was arrested when it landed at Kennedy International. It also appears that he was trained in bomb making in Pakistan and several of his contacts in that country are now under arrest. This from the NYT:

. . . Mr. Shahzad was arrested just before midnight Monday aboard an Emirates flight. He was charged in a five-count complaint with crimes including conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction in what Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. called a “terrorist plot aimed at murdering Americans.” Speaking at a news conference in Washington, Mr. Holder said Mr. Shahzad had been talking to investigators and had provided “useful information.” Officials had previously said that Mr. Shahzad had implicated himself in statements after he was pulled off the plane. At the same time, President Obama said federal investigators were looking into whether Mr. Shahzad had any ties to terrorist organizations.

Mr. Shahzad, 30, a naturalized United States citizen from Pakistan, had apparently driven to the airport in a white Isuzu Trooper that was found in a parking lot with a Kel-Tech 9-millimeter pistol, with a folding stock and a rifle barrel, along with several spare magazines of ammunition, an official said. He told the authorities that he had acted alone, but hours after he was arrested, security officials in Pakistan said they had arrested seven or eight people in connection with the bombing attempt.

Pakistani officials identified one of the detainees as Tauhid Ahmed and said he had been in touch with Mr. Shahzad through e-mail, and had met him either in the United States or in the Pakistani port city of Karachi.

Another man arrested, Muhammad Rehan, had spent time with Mr. Shahzad during a recent visit there, Pakistani officials said. Mr. Rehan was arrested in Karachi just after morning prayers at a mosque known for its links with the militant group Jaish-e-Muhammad.

Investigators said Mr. Rehan told them that he had rented a pickup truck and driven with Mr. Shahzad to the northwestern city of Peshawar, where they stayed from July 7 to July 22, 2009. The account could not be independently verified. Mr. Shahzad, who lives in Bridgeport, Conn., spent four months in Pakistan last year, the authorities said.

The criminal complaint charging Mr. Shahzad says that after his arrest he admitted attempting to detonate the bomb in Times Square and told investigators that he recently received bomb-making training in Waziristan.

The detailed 10-page document tracks his movements in the days before and after the failed car bomb attack, describing how he used a pre-paid cellular telephone to contact the seller of the car and arrange the purchase – and how the phone received four calls from a number in Pakistan hours before he made the purchase on April 24.

Apparently, authorities were able to identify Shahzad through his pre-paid cell phone and call history. I would be surprised if this wasn't primarily the work of the NSA using its massive data base and complex software developed over the past decade.

There appears nothing in his eleven years living in the U.S. to mark him as a potential terrorist. The same cannot be said of his contacts in Pakistan. At least one of those arrested in Pakistan appears to have links to Jaish-e-Muhammad, one of the principal jihadi organizations in Pakistan.

Unlike the Christmas Day Undiebomber, this was an act by an American citizen acting on American soil, so there is no question that he is entitled to the full panopoly of Constitutional rights. The Obama administration is using the word "terrorist" at every opportunity at this point, and no one will fault AG Eric Holder for reading Shahzad his rights on this one. That said, Shahzad, as American citizen, should be additionally charged with treason. At any rate, by all accounts, our investigative services have worked swiftly and efficiently to make this capture. My hat is off to them.


Reach Out & Touch Someone

Using the Brit's new sniper rifle, the L115A3, firing a non-standard 8.59mm bullet, a British sniper has set new records for kills:

A British Army sniper has set a new sharpshooting distance record by killing two Taliban machinegunners in Afghanistan from more than a mile away.

Craig Harrison, a member of the Household Cavalry, killed the insurgents with consecutive shots — even though they were 3,000ft beyond the most effective range of his rifle.

“The first round hit a machinegunner in the stomach and killed him outright,” said Harrison, a Corporal of Horse. “He went straight down and didn’t move.

“The second insurgent grabbed the weapon and turned as my second shot hit him in the side. He went down, too. They were both dead.”

The shooting — which took place while Harrison’s colleagues came under attack — was at such extreme range that the 8.59mm bullets took almost three seconds to reach their target after leaving the barrel of the rifle at almost three times the speed of sound.

The distance to Harrison’s two targets was measured by a GPS system at 8,120ft, or 1.54 miles. The previous record for a sniper kill is 7,972ft, set by a Canadian soldier who shot dead an Al-Qaeda gunman in March 2002. . . .

What can one say but "damn good job, mate."


Monday, May 3, 2010

Making A Motion On The Floor

Heh. This is like a Leno skit. So what do Republican state lawmakers do when they get bored during floor debate. Well, if you're Florida Senator Mike Bennett . . .

Actually, Bennett claims the photo was attached to an e-mail sent from a female friend. I am sure there is a moral to be teased from this, but my brain is too tired at the moment to identify it.

My own reaction to this - relief. At least this isn't a Republican Senator taking a wide stance in an airport restroom or sending sexually charged messages to underage male pages. Besides, this may well just generate more converts to the Republican party's fastest growing new wing.


The Left's Plan To Sell Us On "Pro-Growth" Taxation

We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.

- Sir Wintson Churchill

The Democrats appointed by Obama to his Budget Deficit Commission apparently haven't read Sir Winson. Having met just once, the commission is already floating as a fix to our deficit "pro-growth" tax hikes. As Hot Air points out, there has been no talk as of yet of cutting any of the 1 trillion in spending increases authorized by Democrats since 2007.

It has been no secret that this "Commission" is nothing but cover for Obama to raise taxes on all Americans. I have been pointing it out for months. And indeed, if the polls are accurate, most Americans realize as much.

When it comes to the economy, business, and our own personal incomes, there is no such thing as "pro-growth" taxation. The only thing that grows is the pot of money avaialable for our legislators to spend. If Obama thinks he and the left are going to spin the fairy tale of "pro-growth" taxation on America this time around, he will likely find few willing to believe.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

The NYT Finally Addresses The Obama Administration - GM Fraud

I posted here on the fraud being jointly perpetrated by GM and the White House as regards GM early repayment of its government loan. Touted by both GM and the White House as proof of GM's profitability and responsibility, they failed to note that the repayment was accomplished using TARP funds. The Bush administration would have been roasted to a smoking husk over this in the MSM had his administration engaged in such a blatant fraud. Nonetheless, as with most things involving the left, it has been virtually ignored by the left. Today, weeks after the story broke, the NYT has posted an article addressing the fraud:

. . . Truth seekers the nation over . . . are indebted to Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, who in recent days uncovered what he called a government-enabled “TARP money shuffle.” It relates to General Motors, which on April 21 paid the balance of its $6.7 billion loan under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

G.M. trumpeted its escape from the program as evidence that it had turned the corner in its operations. “G.M. is able to repay the taxpayers in full, with interest, ahead of schedule, because more customers are buying vehicles like the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse,” boasted Edward E. Whitacre Jr., its chief executive.

G.M. also crowed about its loan repayment in a national television ad and the United States Treasury also marked the moment with a press release: “We are encouraged that G.M. has repaid its debt well ahead of schedule and confident that the company is on a strong path to viability,” said Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary.

Taxpayers are naturally eager for news about bailout repayments. But what neither G.M. nor the Treasury disclosed was that the company simply used other funds held by the Treasury to pay off its original loan.

Neil M. Barofsky, the inspector general overseeing the troubled asset program, revealed this detail when he spoke before the Senate Finance Committee on April 20.

“So it’s good news in that they’re reducing their debt,” Mr. Barofsky said of G.M. But he went on to note that G.M. was using other taxpayer money to make the loan repayment, according to the transcript of his testimony.

Armed with this information, Mr. Grassley fired off a letter to Mr. Geithner on April 22, asking for details of the transaction. “I am concerned ... that this announcement is not what it seems,” he wrote. “In fact, it appears to be nothing more than an elaborate TARP money shuffle.”

Mr. Grassley heard back from the Treasury last Tuesday. Herbert M. Allison Jr., assistant secretary for financial stability, confirmed that the money G.M. used to repay its bailout loan had come from a taxpayer-financed escrow account held for the automaker at the Treasury.

Emphasizing that the cash in the account was “the property of G.M.,” Mr. Allison said that the department had approved the company’s use of the money to retire the original debt because it was “consistent with Treasury’s goal of recovering funds for the taxpayer and exiting TARP investments as soon as practicable.”

It’s certainly understandable that G.M. would want to spin its repayment as proof of improving operations. But Mr. Grassley said he was troubled that the Treasury went along with the public relations campaign and didn’t spell out how the loan was retired.

“The public would know nothing about the TARP escrow money being the source of the supposed repayment from simply watching G.M.’s TV commercials or reading Treasury’s press release,” Mr. Grassley said in a speech on the Senate floor last Wednesday, saying that “many billions” of federal dollars remained invested in G.M.

“Much of it will never be repaid,” Mr. Grassley added. “The Congressional Budget Office estimates that taxpayers will lose around $30 billion on G.M.”

(Taxpayers still own $2.1 billion in preferred stock of G.M. and almost 61 percent of its common equity.) . . .

Of course, there is much joy in Mudville when a recipient of government aid repays its obligations. And it is also natural that the administration is keenly interested in reassuring taxpayers that losses on their bailout billions will be smaller than expected. Still, employing spin and selective disclosure is no way to raise taxpayers’ trust in our nation’s leadership. . . .

I pointed out in my initial post that this fraud and collusion likely fell afoul of securities regulations. And today, Hot Air and Powerline conclude similarly. This is more than a bad act - it is a potentialy criminal scandal. It is certainly a scandal deserving of far more than a buried article in the business section of the NYT, though that is at least a small start.


Christian Beliefs Are The New Sins In A Secular Socialist Nation

The left's war on Christianity continues unabated. In Britain, it is now a sin to criticize homosexuality, one that the socialist Labour government is punishing with the police powers of the state. The most recent - the arrest of a preacher for the mere public expression that he sees homosexuality as sinful. This from the Daily Mail:

A Christian street preacher has been arrested and charged with a public-order offence after saying that homosexuality was sinful.

Dale Mcalpine was handing out leaflets to shoppers when he told a passer-by and a gay police community support officer that, as a Christian, he believed homosexuality was one of a number of sins that go against the word of God.

Mr Mcalpine said that he did not repeat his remarks on homosexuality when he preached from the top of a stepladder after his leafleting. But he has been told that police officers are alleging they heard him making his remarks to a member of the public in a loud voice that could be overheard by others. . . .

(H/T: Crusader Rabbit)

The arrest of Rev. McAlpine comes on the heels of a decision by Lord Justice Laws last week, likewise attacking Christianity and enforcing his own secular values on all Brits, even in matters of conscience (see here). Christopher Booker in the Telegraph and Peter Hitchens at the Daily Mail put these acts in context. This from Mr. Booker:

Lord Justice Laws last week ruled that Gary McFarlane was rightly given the sack as a relationship counsellor for refusing to give "sex therapy lessons" to gay couples because it was against his Christian principles. According to Laws, "law for the protection of a position held purely on religious grounds is irrational, divisive, capricious, arbitrary".

Climate change evangelist Tim Nicholson, on the other hand, was recently awarded £42,200 for his wrongful dismissal by a property firm, after last year's ruling by Mr Justice Burton that Mr Nicholson's "philosophical belief" in man-made global warming was on a par with religious belief and must therefore be given legal protection under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, issued under the 1972 European Communities Act to implement EC directive 2000/78.

So let us get this straight. Under a law designed to bar religious discrimination, it is now perfectly legal to discriminate against someone's beliefs so long as these are based on religion – eg Christianity (but not of course Islam) – because religion is irrational, capricious and arbitrary. But the same law must protect someone's belief so long as it is not based on religion – eg a devout faith in man-made global warming. . . .

And this from Mr. Hitchens:

Revolutions do not always involve guillotines or mobs storming palaces. Sometimes they are made by middle-aged gentlemen in wigs, sitting in somnolent chambers of the High Court.

Sometimes they are made by police officers and bureaucrats deciding they have powers nobody knew they had, or meant them to have.

And Britain is undergoing such a revolution – quiet, step-by-step, but destined to have a mighty effect on the lives and future of us all.

The Public Order Act of 1986 was not meant to permit the arrest of Christian preachers in English towns for quoting from the Bible. But it has. The Civil Partnerships Act 2004 was not meant to force public servants to approve of homosexuality. But it has.

The Sexual Offences Act of 1967 was not meant to lead to a state of affairs where it is increasingly dangerous to say anything critical about homosexuality. But it did.

And the laws of Britain, being entirely based upon the Christian Bible, were not meant to be used by a sneering judge to declare that Christianity had no higher status in this ancient Christian civilisation than Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism.

But it has come to that this week.

How did it happen that in the course of less than 50 years we moved so rapidly from one wrong to another?

Until 1967, homosexuals could be – and were – arrested and prosecuted for their private, consenting, adult acts.

This was a cruel, bad law that should never have been made. It led to blackmail and misery of all kinds.

Those who repealed it did so out of humanity and an acceptance that we need to live in peace alongside others whose views and habits we do not share. No such generous tolerance is available from the sexual revolutionaries.

Now, as the case of Dale Macalpine shows, we are close to the point where a person can be prosecuted for saying in public that homosexual acts are wrong.

And officers of the law, once required to stay out of all controversy, get keen official endorsement when they take part in open political demonstrations in favour of homosexual equality.

We have travelled in almost no time from repression, through a brief moment of mutual tolerance, to a new repression. And at the same time, the freedom of Christians to follow their beliefs in workplaces is under aggressive attack.

Small and harmless actions, offers of prayer, the wearing of crucifixes, requests to withdraw from duties, are met with official rage and threats of dismissal, out
of all proportion. . . .

Daily the confidence of the new regime grows. The astonishing judgment of Lord Justice Laws last week, in which he pointedly snubbed Lord Carey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, and mocked the idea that Christianity had any special place in our society, is a warning that this process has gone very deep and very far.

The frightening thing is that it has not stopped, nor is it slowing down. What cannot be said in a Workington street will soon be unsayable anywhere.

And if Christianity has officially ceased to be the basis of our law and the source of our state’s authority (a view which makes nonsense of the Coronation Service) who, and what – apart from the brute power of the manipulated mob – is to decide in future what is right, and what is not, and what can be said, and what cannot? . . .

Hitchens in particular makes several points that I have likewise made repeatedly on this blog. Christianity and the Judeo-Christian ethic have undergirded our laws and social framework for nearly two thousand years. It has been the avowed goal of socialists for over two centuries to rip Christianity from the foundations of Western civilization as part and parcel of their effort to remake society. But this comes with deeply fundamental - and likely existential - ramifications, for if morality and the law become unmoored from the Judeo-Christian ethic, then it is left to the whims of politicians and the "manipulated mob" to redefine morality based on whatever they see as the greater good. It is but a very short step from there to using the police power of the state to enforce that new morality. As I wrote here:

. . . For the better part of two millennium, the Judeo-Christian ethic has provided a rock solid framework for morality at the heart of Western society - one that puts maximum value on each individual human life and one that provides moral clarity in such things as Christianity's Golden Rule and Judaism's "Great Commandment." Take that mooring away from the ancient expressions of our deity and all morality then becomes dependant on what any particular person or government defines as the greater good.

When governments and individuals can define by their whim what is moral or immoral, what is desirable and what is punishable, human life is almost inevitably devalued. Certainly Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, and Pol Pot, between them responsible for the murder of well over a hundred million people in the 20th century, held to socialist belief systems that devalued human life and elevated in its stead political ideology. Many in the green movement argue that man is a parasite on the world and call for strictly limiting his impact using authoritarian means - including population control, forced sterilization and other such methods. Far less destructive but no less insidious are the new age religions - for but one example, mystic beliefs based on the book and movie The Secret, where one only needs to really believe - and maybe click their heels three times - and then the "universe will provide." It certainly saves one the trouble of actually dealing with real world problems, at least until they come to crisis proportions. Or the neo-Druidism one can see in practice among the many robed figures gathered at Stonehenge each Equinox. Hopefully these modern day animists will not also seek to resurrect the Druidic custom of human sacrifice.

The bottom line is, regardless whether one believes in Judaism or Christianity, we will pay a very heavy price indeed for jettisoning them as the bedrock of Western society. Yet that is precisely what the left has sought for over two centuries, promising in their stead a secular heaven on earth. Ironically, should the socialist left fully succeed, history teaches us that their promised earthly heaven will be far more likely to resemble biblical hell.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Arizona Takes A Big Step Against The Left's Sins & Grievance Politics

Arizona, which lit a fire under the left and the radical Latino seperatists with its passage of a law authorizing police to arrest illigal immigrants, has now taken a another big step sure to inflame the them both further. This from Fox News:

. . . After making national headlines for a new law on illegal immigrants, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill Thursday that would ban ethnic studies programs in the state that critics say currently advocate separatism and racial preferences.

. . . The new bill would make it illegal for a school district to teach any courses that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or "advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals."
The bill stipulates that courses can continue to be taught for Native American pupils in compliance with federal law and does not prohibit English as a second language classes. It also does not prohibit the teaching of the Holocaust or other cases of genocide.

Schools that fail to abide by the law would have state funds withheld.

State Superintendent for Public Instruction Tom Horne called passage in the state House a victory for the principle that education should unite, not divide students of differing backgrounds.

"Traditionally, the American public school system has brought together students from different backgrounds and taught them to be Americans and to treat each other as individuals, and not on the basis of their ethnic backgrounds," Horne said. "This is consistent with the fundamental American value that we are all individuals, not exemplars of whatever ethnic groups we were born into. Ethnic studies programs teach the opposite, and are designed to promote ethnic chauvinism."

Horne began fighting in 2007 against the Tucson Unified School District's program, which he said defied Martin Luther King's call to judge a person by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. Horne claimed the ethnic studies program encourages "ethnic chauvanism," promotes Latinos to rise up and create a new territory out of the southwestern region of the United States and tries to intimidate conservative teachers in the school system. . . .

It is far beyond time that the majority of Americans of all backgrounds fight back against the identity and grievance politics of the left. My hats off to the Arizona state government for leading the way.

(H/T Joshua Pundit)