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Archive for August, 2009

LOVE THAT DIANE WATSON

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 30, 2009

diane watsonServing California’s 33rd Congressional District is Los Angeles native, Congresswoman Diane Watson. Among her other laudable attributes is not only her titillating support of Fidel Castro and his country’s exemplary health care delivery system, but her capacity to deal cards from the race deck effortlessly.

At a town-hall meeting on Thursday, Watson declared that those who oppose ObamaCare do so because they wish to see the President destroyed. As sure as there are pungent armpits in a summertime New York subway tunnel, it is no surprise to learn that the President’s skin color is the real reason. Indeed, according to Watson, the desire to see Bracak Obama’s initiatives defeated – and thus, his presidency branded a failure – comes down to good old-fashioned, let’s-break-out-the-hoods-and-matchstick racism.

From the well of incisive thought and seasoned analysis that is Diane Watson, there are two comments she made during that meeting that I’d like to dissect.

First, said Watson:

“You might have heard their philosophical leader. I think his name is Rush Limbaugh. (She pronounced it Lim-BO). And he said early on, “I hope that he fails.” Do you know what that means? If the President – your Commander-In-Chief – fails, America fails.”

To begin with, the term “philosophical leader” is about as meaningless as the words that roll off an Obama teleprompter, or a New York Mets baseball game.  However, seeing as I’m in a particularly festive mood this morning, I’ll roll with it.

Rush is certainly one of conservatism’s finest “spokesmen” (for the want of a preferable phrase), but he didn’t invent conservatism. To the great dismay of liberals, leftists and other children, he happens to articulate it exceedingly well – almost as well as the “drive-by” media misinterpret, misquote and misunderstand almost everything he says. And while there is definitely a profusion of weak-kneed, mushy-in-the-middle, pseudo-conservatives who attempt to redefine conservatism by abandoning its principles for more leftward ideals, Rush does no such thing.

His “philosophy” has remained steadfast since his Sacramento radio debut in 1984. That fact alone is enough to send the undergarments of liberals into vexatious knots.

Again, assuming the “philosophical leader” tag is applicable, the most entertaining part of Watson’s statement is when she says she “thinks” his name is Rush Limbaugh – as if trying to decide whether or not she’s heard of him.

There isn’t a single self-respecting, self-serving, big-government liberal taking in oxygen today who has not heard of Rush Limbaugh.

He haunts their dreams.

Additionally, Limbaugh’s “I hope Obama fails” remark has been so well explained, so painstakingly explicated and so remarkably misunderstood by the saliva-danglers who spend countless hours frantically collecting fractured phrases and out-of-context hateful commentary from him, that Watson – like all Democrat notions – comes across as weak, tired and pedestrian. However, for those who came in after the credits, read my articles The Limbaugh Fetsih – The Democrats Are Obsessed and My Two Cents On Whether You Can Support The President While Not Supporting His Policies. 

In short, if the Commander-In-Chief fails to apologize on foreign soil for his own country; and fails to expand the deficit to unsustainable record-breaking levels; and fails in his quest to nationalize the greatest health care delivery system in the world; and fails in his attempts to have the government take over automobile companies and financial institutions; and fails to weaken the defenses of the country he is charged to protect by keeping agencies like the CIA from doing their job; and fails to recognize the ongoing battle against murderous Islamo-fascists as a genuine war; and fails to understand that enemy combatants captured on the field of battle are not to be afforded the same rights as American citizens; and fails in adopting industry-killing, job-killing “global warming” legislation … then America wins.

It’s pretty simple, really.

Watson continues:

“Now when a Senator says that this will be his Waterloo – and we all know what happened at Waterloo – then we have him, and he fails. Do we want a failed state called the ‘United States?’ So remember, they are spreading fear, and they’re trying to see that the first President who looks like me fails.”

Regarding fear … it was not a conservative who scared America into believing that the nation would be ravaged by heterosexual AIDS in the 1980s. It was not a conservative who promised that food supplies would run out by the year 2000. It was not a conservative who warned that natural resources would be depleted by 1990 due to human over consumption. It was not a conservative who foresaw a world in peril due to global cooling. It was not a conservative who promised a planet devastated by overpopulation by 1996. It was not a conservative who said the bird flu would wipe out countless numbers of humans. It was not a conservative who promulgated the impending Y2K disaster and set up numerous agencies, websites, roundtables, taskforces and contingency plans to save the world from it. It was not a conservative who predicted widespread catastrophe due to mad cow disease.

And as far as the “first President who looks like me” remark … is there any group of people more intolerant, more race-consumed, more fixated on the skin color of people than leftists? Time after time, these sorry excuses for thinkers hurl their character-assassinating bombs into the public square, accusing conservatives of harboring animosity toward President Obama due to his race, never once realizing that everything they project is a direct reflection of how they think. To leftists, everything that carries even the slightest negative connotation regarding Barack Obama can only be about his color. It must be about his color. It simply isn’t possible for anyone to legitimately disagree with President Obama policy-wise and not be bad; it has to be because they hate blacks or resent the fact that America would put a black man in the White House.

Frankly, people like Watson need to get their antiquated behinds out of the 1960s and enter the real world. If Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream of a nation where character previals over color is at all being asphyxiated, it is happening because of the likes of Watson and her race-obsessed ilk. 

To people like me, President Obama needs to fail because of his desire (and promise) to transform America into something the country has never been – a nation where the State is more important than the individual.

Obama’s failures assure that such a transformation cannot – and will not – take place.

Watson also threw in these gushing words about Cuba’s world-class health care:

Let me tell you, before you say, ‘Oh, it’s communist,’ you need to go down there and see what Fidel Castro put in place. And I want you to know, you can think whatever you want to about Fidel Castro, but he was one of the brightest leaders I have ever met. And you know, the Cuban Revolution that kicked out the wealthy – Che Guevara did that – and after they took over, they went out among the population to find someone who could lead this new nation and they found … well, just leave it there … an attorney by the name of Fidel Castro.

Perhaps Ms. Watson could use a paper towel or a sedative … or a cigarette.

As Jay Ambrose wrote in October, 2007, outside of Guevara’s reckless extermination of “people proven guilty of absolutely nothing,” his desire to use Soviet missiles against America, and the fact that he “ran a Havana prison in which he killed, killed and then killed some more, and later helped start the labor camp system in which homosexuals and others considered undesirable were to be confined as nothing more than slaves,” what’s not to love? 

Does anyone love a war criminal more than a leftist? Or a t-shirt manufacturer?

And as for Cuba’s health care system … until Congresswoman Watson ditches her inferior Capitol Hill health plan for CastroCare, the discussion is closed. 

Diane Watson is a first-class farce and a genuine disgrace.

The great Breitbart.com website has the audio.

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Posted in American culture, health care, Liberalism, Racism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

HOW ABOUT THAT PUBLIC OPTION?

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 28, 2009

Democrat Arlen Specter says, "I will consider it."

Democrat Arlen Specter says, "I will consider it."

Following his diagnosis of brain cancer, would Senator Edward Kennedy have ever considered entrusting his life to the type of health care that would have been available to him via a “public option” delivery system?

While Obamacare proponents religiously espouse the necessity of implementing government-run health care, assuring the masses with phantom logic that the quality of care will not suffer, the question remains: Exactly how many of those on Capitol Hill who support it – and will surely vote for its passage – will be willing to dive right in and secure their own chunk of the public option?

What better way to amass support from the electorate than to stand up and proclaim that what is good enough for “the people” is damn well good enough for those elected to serve the people?

Imagine the likes of Chuck Schumer and Barbara Boxer slinking up to a battery of microphones somewhere, cameras rolling, shutters a-clickin’, declaring incontrovertibly that they have such unflagging faith in the success of Obamacare that they pledge to sign up upon the bill’s passage.

True, many of these pro-Obamacare lip flappers can more than afford to pay for their own healthcare outright, but if they are honestly intent on convincing the public at large that the quality of care available through a government-run system will be just as good – something beneficial for all Americans – a little signature on the dotted line could go a long way.

However, I’d be willing to bet a vital body appendage that not one socialized-medicine supporting Senator on the Hill would dare give up the coverage he or she has now for what would be offered to the uninsured in America through such a plan. (What is that total up to now? A hundred million now?)

Recall this exchange between Fox News’ Chris Wallace and newest donkey Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania:

WALLACE: Senator Specter, as you well know from your town halls, this is one of the issues a lot of doubters are asking, so let me put it directly to you. You support the public option. If it passes, will you, Arlen Specter, go on it?

SPECTER: I will consider it. I think members of the House and Senate ought to have exactly the same plans, the same options, as any citizen.

Bear in mind, Chris, the public option is an option. It is one choice you can make. And I think my situation ought to be the same as any other citizen.

Note Specter’s clever political latchhooking: “I think members of the House and Senate ought to have exactly the same plans, the same options, as any citizen.”

It’s interesting (and no accident) – that it wasn’t worded the other way around – that “citizens out to have the same plans, same options as members of the House and Senate.”

Isn’t the point of a “public option” to accommodate those who “cannot afford” to purchase health insurance? If one is to believe Democrat portrayals of the American health care system as one in peril, with bodies of medically deprived citizens potentially littering the streets of America, what other “options” do these people really have? They certainly haven’t the means of some of America’s more affluent public servants.

Sure, Specter may eventually have the “public option” available to him in a technical sense should the bill ever become law, but that doesn’t mean he would ever take it.

If, God forbid, Senator Specter is afflicted with a life threatening illness, is there anyone alive who believes that he will see the “public option” as good an alternative as his current one?

By the way, if you turn to page 109 of your Democrat/English dictionary, you will see that the phrase, “I will consider it” translates to “Not a chance in hell.”

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KENNEDY DEAD

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 26, 2009

Senator Edward Kennedy died yesterday at the age of 77 after a fifteen month battle with brain cancer. He was, unquestionably, one of the most influential politicians of our time – the protagonist and champion of modern liberalism – and one of the longest-serving senators in the country’s history, having taken office while his brother was still President in 1962.

He was a political force unparalleled. In terms of impact, he had no equal. It cannot be denied.

In a statement released earlier today, the family said:

“We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever. We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all.”

kennedyHis passing closes the book on a political dynasty – the American royal family, the Kennedys have been called – wrought with such public triumph and tragedy that it wouldn’t be believable to even the most imaginative novelist. Two of his brothers were assassinated; one brother was killed during World war II; both a sister and a nephew were killed in plane crashes; another sister was institutionalized for life after a lobotomy; another nephew was killed in a skiing accident; Kennedy himself was responsible for the death of a young woman, Mary Jo Kopechne.

But rather than eulogize, summarize, or criticize the life of Senator Edward Kennedy, I would rather take a moment to praise him for a characteristic I wish more Republicans would seize and emulate – that is, the ability to remain steadfast to one’s political convictions without fail.

Kennedy could never have been confused for anything other than being a pure tax-the-rich, anti-war, there’s-never-a-government-program-too-big, knee-jerk liberal. His leftism was incontestable, unmistakable and irrefutable. He was as big government as they came – and then some. Despite being known to many as a matchless “deal maker,” he was undeniably the bedrock of the American left.

He rarely “moved toward the center,” despite constant demands from he and fellow Democrats that Republicans do so. He never gave in to the opposition nor compromised the principals of modern liberalism he embraced so fervently.  His legendary ability to build “support” from the other side almost always involved coaxing Republicans to shift toward the mushy middle, not the other way around.

There was never any question where he rested on any given issue. (Liberal Lions are hardly ever ambiguous).

In political terms, it is a most admirable quality.

Republicans could learn something from him.

My sincere condolences and prayers go out to those who knew and loved him.

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A BROKEN PROMISE

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 25, 2009

hero's welcome in libyaThe word he used was “sensitivity.”

According to Kenny MacAskill, Scotland’s Justice Secretary, the man who blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988 killing 270 showed “no sensitivity” to the families of those he murdered in celebrating his release from a Scottish prison last week.

According to MacAskill, Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi was being insensitive. (In the mind of a leftist, is there anything more dastardly, more shocking, more contemptible than being insensitive?)

Al-Megrahi broke his promise. He said he wouldn’t do anything to upset the families of those he killed, but he did anyway.

Such a fibber! Such a cad! Such insensitivity!

And the Libyan government – led by the ever-upstanding, incorruptible, honorable Muammar Gaddafi – who pledged the whole affair would be handled in a respectable, low-key fashion – well, they fibbed, too.

They’re all gosh-darn fibbers!

Who would have guessed?

Those images of the terrorist, al-Megrahi, being greeted in Libya by an orgasmic hero’s welcome were reminiscent of the Beatles landing at JFK in 1964, or Charles Lindberg touching down in Paris in 1927. While al-Megrahi is reported to be rapping at death’s door, about to succumb to prostate cancer, what a thrill it must have been for him to descend from the plane and be greeted with such fanfare, such adulation. Such a moment could not have been possible without the massacre of all those innocent people – most of whom were American (a bonus for any self-respecting jihadist). One could imagine that this is what it must be like to get to heaven and have all those virgins waiting for you.

While the “insensitivity” of whooping it up is certainly worth touching upon, I would ask MacAskill about the original “insensitivity” of killing 270 innocents. Does the passage of time somehow make the crime more palatable?

If, for instance, al-Megrahi were convicted of the bombing within a year or so of the event, and diagnosed with prostate cancer, say, a year after that – or even five years – would his release on “humanitarian” grounds still have been considered? Does time somehow have the effect of deteriorating life’s worth?

How “humanitarian” is it to devalue human life by sending the message that the penalty for murdering the innocent means nothing when the comfort of the killer takes precedence?

Next to the killing of the passengers, crew and the innocents on the ground, the ultimate insensitivity was in releasing him so that he might enjoy some peace in his final days outside of his cold, unwelcoming prison cell.

Justice anyone?

The continued submission of the nations of Europe to the ongoing spread of civilization-eroding leftism is a frightening thing to behold. So-called compassion for evil-doers, in the name of humanity, accomplishes nothing more than demeaning the value of life itself.

How is it that a terrorist thug like al-Megrahi – who should have been put to death upon his conviction – deserves such accomodation when the 270 innocent people he ripped from this Earth were robbed of their lives?

How does this example of human debris deserve any comfort and joy when the 270 innocents he wiped from the planet were deprived of the right to live?

Al-Megrahi should have been left in his cell to die –  a death far less disturbing and less frightning than the one that befell his victims on Pan Am 103.

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Posted in Libya, Talk-Radio, terrorism, Values | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

PICTURE OF THE DAY FOR AUGUST 24, 2009

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 24, 2009

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picture of day 8_24_09

 

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GOVERNOR RACE CARD

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 24, 2009

David Paterson, NY GovernorSo, let me see if I understand this correctly – and please feel free to jump in at any time with any necessary corrections.

In a state so egregiously liberal as New York – ranked as the “least free” state “by a wide margain” in a recent study released by the Mercatus Center of George Mason University – where equality supercedes liberty, high taxes are driving out business by the boatload, and government intervention is the happy norm, Governor David Paterson believes a racist media means him no good.

In blue New York, where avid multiculturalists, same sex marriage advocates, abortion proponents, and Al Sharpton all feel right at home, David Paterson thinks a bigoted press wants to drive him from office because he’s black.

In a state so blue that centrists are seen as potential fascists; where campaigns for “gender neutral” bathrooms are par for the course; where individual income, corporate and sales taxes are disgustingly high and spending on social services is well above the national average; where certain cooking oils are banned from use in privately owned restaurants; where the mayor decided that the will of the people was irrlevant and put the kaibosh on term limits; and where one of the most diverse population centers of the world – including a large, vibrant, influential and culturally expansive black community – exists, the Governor is yanking out the good old race card and slamming it on the table.

In New York of all places!

Kenneth Lovett of the Daily News writes:

Gov. Paterson blamed a racist media Friday for trying to push him out of next year’s election – launching into an angry rant that left even some black Democrats shaking their heads. “The whole idea is to get me not to run in the primary,” Paterson complained on a morning radio show hosted by Daily News columnist Errol Louis.

He suggested that Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, the country’s only other African-American governor, also is under fire because of his race.

“We’re not in the post-racial period,” Paterson said. “The reality is the next victim on the list – and you can see it coming – is President Barack Obama, who did nothing more than trying to reform a health care system.”

Paterson said the campaign against him is being “orchestrated” by reporters who would rather make the news than report it. But critics said the governor should blame his own blunders.

“He’s given the media more than enough to feed on with the incompetence shown in his administration,” said state Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn), an African-American.

“To quote Michael Jackson, he should start with the man in the mirror,” Parker said. Even state Sen. Bill Perkins (D-Harlem), a black supporter of the governor, urged him to be more like Obama by staying “focused on the message.”

Paterson has been the target of Democrats who fear his low approval ratings – 18% at their lowest and about 30% now – will endanger the party next year if he decides to run for his first full term as governor.

Paterson’s incompetence as New York’s head honcho couldn’t possibly be the reason for any negativity coming his way. Rather, it must be the inherent “white hooded” mentality that secretly permeates the media in the Empire State – and elsewhere. The main stream media simply cannot stand blacks. They’ll do anything necessary to help facilitate their removal from public office. After all, it’s common knowledge that New York’s media complex is ferociously right-wing.

Everyone knows that.

As a blogger at Red State.com writes:

His inability to deal effectively with a complete break-down in the state economy, numerous state level scandals among the Democrat leadership and the leadership debacle in the state Senate have certainly not helped this lightweight.

Recall during the Presidential campaign that Paterson said the repeated use of the term “community organizer” by Republicans in describing Barack Obama’s experience was really code for “black.” Recall that it was during a speech at the NAACP convention in Cincinnati where Paterson implied that an Obama loss in the presidential election would be a win for racism. He also said that being called an “accidental governor” following Eliot Spitzer’s resignation was motivated by racial bias.

The Governor of New York has got to learn to shut his whiny mouth, act like a man, and come to the realization that he is simply ill-equipped to handle the position. His well publicized failures and almost non-existant support reflect his lack of skills as an executive, not the level of melanin in his skin.

No one gives a damn about his skin color.

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Posted in American culture, Pop Culture, Racism | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

BAM GOES WEE WEE

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 21, 2009

obama wee weeI’ve never claimed to be among the “hip” of American society, nor am I in tune with what is fashionable and chic. To be perfectly honest, I stopped caring about such things when the real world came a-knocking and the time had come to embark on life’s journey in earnest, i.e., I got married, had kids, and had to figure out how to replace the flapper in the toilet tank.

While I fully acknowledge that having a keen understanding and grasp of American culture – particularly the unquestioned and far-reaching influence of popular culture on America’s young – is critically important, I long ago gave up the desire to be connected to what is trendy.

Perhaps that’s why I never quite understood the Barack Obama phenomenon as anything other than in-vogue, pop culture poppycock (and hatred for George W. Bush). 

President Obama can turn magic marker on a cue card into golden magniloquence (which the media lap up like so much water), but as an out-of-the-box grassroots whistle-stopper, he cannot hold a candle to Bill Clinton. Indeed, he’s not nearly the orator he is billed to be, evidenced by the fact that when his teleprompter has the day off, he is a hem-hawing, sometimes incoherent, often unimpressive blatherer of platitudes and vacuity. Other times, he can make George W. Bush’s mispronunciation of the word “nuclear” sound Shakespearian.

Take, for instance, a comment Barack Obama made yesterday while levelling counter attacks at his critics who cite his falling poll numbers as evidence of a less-than-successful first seven months.

Again, I admit to being as unstylish and disconnected to “what’s hot” as they come, but I couldn’t help but scratch my head at the President’s now infamous “wee weed” remark (where he uses the phrase “wee wee” as a past-tense). I honestly spent a few moments trying to figure out if my “unhipness” contributed to my confusion at the phrase, or if the President was simply at a loss of something better – more Presidential – to say.

Was this some sort of slang?

Is it something the young kids say these days?

Am I missing something?

For those who may not be familiar with what I’m talking about, the great Breitbart.com website explains:

US President Barack Obama launched a mocking counter-attack Thursday at pundits who believe the euphoric early promise of his presidency is evaporating amid bitter political warfare.

“We have been through this before, in Iowa,” Obama said, referring to the first state to hold a 2008 Democratic nominating contest, which saw him capture a come-from-behind win.

“All Washington said ‘Oh, it’s over,’ hand-wringing angst …”

Then Obama drew parallels to the media frenzy that greeted the nomination of firebrand Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in 2008.

“The media was obsessed with it, cable was 24 hours a day,” Obama told a friendly audience of grass-roots Democratic activists at a Washington forum broadcast live over the web.

“‘Obama’s lost his mojo,’ you remember all that?

“There is something about August going into September where everybody in Washington gets all wee weed up!”

You read that correctly. President Obama actually said, “Everybody in Washington gets all wee-weed up.”

The first image that came to mind was that of a three year old boy standing on the beach, dripping wet, naked and crying, while his mom searched through the carry bag for a towel and dry clothes.

The second was of a nagging urinary infection.

If you think about it, getting “wee-weed up” does sound a little distrubing – like some penecillin may be needed, doesn’t it?

One e-mail I received yesterday read, “Tell me the leader of the free world did not just say that Washington gets all ‘wee-weed up’ in August. Tell me he didn’t say that. Please.”

Another one said, “Maybe it’s a Kenyan phrase from his childhood.”

Yet another one quoted a blogger at Breitbart.com who summed it up nicely: “He’s a joker, he’s a smoker, he’s a midnight toker.”

I’ll just leave it at that.

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Posted in Obama Bonehead, politics, Polls | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

CLIMATE CHALLENGE

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 20, 2009

HARDtalk

I would like to take an enormous “attaboy” out of petty cash and present it to Stephen Sackur of the BBC.

Yes, the BBC.

I know this little morsel is currently making its way across the blogosphere, but it was only brought to my attention earlier today, thanks to Dennis Prager’s radio program. (Isn’t it annoying how work can keep one from updating one’s blog?)

A little over a month ago, the activist organization Greenpeace – led by Gerd Leipold – put out a press release saying that the humanity-induced catastrophe of global warming is advancing with such ferocity that in another twenty-one years, Arctic ice will be nothing but a memory.

And since Leipold is the top dog at Greenpeace, it is not unreasonable to presume that he would probably have final approval of (or at the very least be aware of) any official statements put out by the organization – including that one.

Among the other declarations, predictions and recitations of impending doom in the July 15th press release was this one:

As permanent ice decreases, we are looking at ice-free summers in the Arctic as early as 2030.

Thanks to a brief but voracious outbreak of genuine journalism at the BBC, Stephen Sackur of HARDtalk was able to get Leipold to not only admit that the absurd claim of disappearing Arctic ice was probably not true, but that emotionalizing an issue (or “scare tactics,” as Mr. Sackur suggests) is employed by Greenpeace as a means to an end.

Here was a portion of the exchange:

SACKUR: But when you, in one of your press releases that I read, on July 15th say this – and this Greenpeace’s own press release – “As permanent ice decreases, we are looking at ice-free summers in the Arctic as early as 2030,” I mean that is just plain misleading, isn’t it?

LEIPOLD: I don’t think that it’s plain misleading. I know that there’s uncertainties. I’m a climate scientist myself.

SACKUR: But the Arctic includes the Greenland ice sheet. I mean, the Greenland ice sheet is in the Arctic. That’s not going to melt by 2030. That’s preposterous.

LEIPOLD: The Greenland ice sheet is already retreating, and the people there can tell it.

SACKUR: Forgive me, the Greenland ice sheet, from where I have just come, is 1.6 square kilometers. It is three kilometers thick in the middle. It’s been there for hundreds of thousands of years. It’s survived previous warming periods much warmer than we see today or will see tomorrow. There is no way that ice sheet is going to disappear.

LEIPOLD: What we have said, by and large, over the last twenty years, I think, was wise and was rational and reasonable to it. And we were confronted with a world, unfortunately, (that) only recently has woken up to it. And we – as a pressure group – have to emotionalize issues. We are not ashamed of emotionalizing issues. I think it’s a fact.

SACKUR: You call it emotionalizing. Others would call it “scare tactics.” Will you sit here now and tell me, in all honesty, that you do not that the Greenland ice sheet is going to melt by 2030?

LEIPOLD: I don’t know. I don’t think it will be melting by 2030.

SACKUR: So, in fact, would you say that it was a mistake for your organization to put that out?

LEIPOLD: It may have been a mistake. I don’t know this specific press release. I do not check every press release.”

Apparently, the head of Greenpeace has more important matters to tend to than being cognizant of what the organization he runs is saying publicly in press releases. He’d probably say he’s not a micromanager. He delegates.

To be fair, he may have been preoccupied with moving his personal effects from his basement to his attic in preparation of the raging flood waters that are on the way thanks to the melting Artic ice.

Frankly, Mr. Leipold looked like a deer in headlights, frightfully unprepared and ill-equipped to deal with a professional – much like the current New York Mets lineup.

Here is a video of the exchange:

In a related story, according to the Copenhagen Post, dated 19 August:

“The Foreign Ministry has cancelled 20,000 overnight hotel reservations meant for people attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December. The move is expected to cost the hotel industry about 40 million kroner in lost revenue. The ministry described the cancellations as a natural ‘adjustment’. But Thomas Færgeman, the director of environmental think tank Concito, was concerned the government had lost confidence that it could broker a ground-breaking climate and had therefore lowered expectations as to how many participants were expected.”

It probably had nothing to do with the fact that more and more people are coming to the realization that global warming, i.e. climate change, is (thus far) the 21st Century’s biggest farce – next to Al Sharpton and MSNBC.

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ANOTHER REASON WHY OBAMACARE IS NECESSARY … NOW

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 20, 2009

And so it is that in the United States of America – where the health care delivery system is so deficient, so defective, so in need of a thorough reconditioning – the life expectancy of Americans has reached its highest level ever, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, there has been a ten year upward trend..

From the CDC website:

CDC logoU.S. life expectancy reached nearly 78 years (77.9), and the age-adjusted death rate dropped to 760.3 deaths per 100,000 population, both records, according to the latest mortality statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report, “Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2007,” was issued today by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. The data are based on nearly 90 percent of death certificates in the United States.

The 2007 increase in life expectancy – up from 77.7 in 2006 — represents a continuation of a trend. Over a decade, life expectancy has increased 1.4 years from 76.5 years in 1997 to 77.9 in 2007.

While heart disease and cancer remain the two leading causes of death in the United States (nearly half of all), both saw declines in their mortality rates in 2007. In fact, death rates have gone down for eight of the top fifteen causes of death – including influenza, pneumonia, diabetes and stroke.

It is important to note that two of the top fifteen leading causes of death – number five (accidents) and number 15 (homicide) – are not health related at all; and while both of those rates declined in 2007, number 11 (suicide) did not.

With all of this in mind, recall an article published by the New York Times two years ago in which they referenced an oft-quoted 2000 World Health Organization (WHO) report ranking the United States health care system 37th out of 191 nations surveyed:

There is a growing body of evidence that, by an array of pertinent yardsticks, the United States is a laggard not a leader in providing good medical care.

Of course, just a little bit of digging into the WHO report – and a subsequent report put out by the Commonwealth Fund that actually ranked the United States health care system at or near the bottom – shows that the rankings are based heavily on equity not quality. Such an approach assumes that providing health care to its citizens is the responsibility of government.

ABC’s John Stossel, in a response to the New York Times piece, wrote:

The WHO judged a country’s quality of health on life expectancy. But that’s a lousy measure of a health-care system. Many things that cause premature death have nothing do with medical care. We have far more fatal transportation accidents than other countries. That’s not a health-care problem.

Similarly, our homicide rate is 10 times higher than in the U.K., eight times higher than in France, and five times greater than in Canada.

When you adjust for these “fatal injury” rates, U.S. life expectancy is actually higher than in nearly every other industrialized nation.

Diet and lack of exercise also bring down average life expectancy.

The lines aren’t exactly extending around the country with people waiting to leave the United States for countries like Andorra and Columbia – both of whom ranked higher than the United States.

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Posted in health care | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

BENDING OVER AGAIN – AFRAID OF ISLAM

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 19, 2009

america will bow downAs I sit here collecting my thoughts, sipping at my iced coffee, doing my best to frame my arguments coherently, I am angry.

Damn angry.

My approach on this blog has been to try and infuse humor, sarcasm, biting satire, occasional abrasiveness and well reasoned arguments into a collection of blog entries I hope are as entertaining as they are insightful.

Sometimes, I forego the humorous approach and write what could be accurately called straight “essays,” like the companion pieces I posted last week about the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment –  First Amendment Musings and More First Amendment Musings (A Follow Up).

And while it is tempting to do so here, I’d like to veer away from a straight-forward First Amendment colloquy and inoculate some values into the discussion.

Recall that during his lackluster inauguration speech, President Barack Obama said, “Our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus—and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth.”

While partially correct in one area, he was flat out dead wrong in another.

He is correct in the sense that we are a nation of comprsied of Christians, Jews, Muslims and even nonbelievers. America’s people come from every corner of the globe. And indeed there are cultures that have had varying degrees of influence on different areas of American life. All of that is undeniable.

But as nifty as all of that may sound to multiculturaliststhis, this country was not shaped by every language and culture on Earth.

The Mongolian influence on American life, for example, is nonexistent; the Malaysian culture’s impact on America would remain negligible even if it were multiplied by a thousand billion; and although the Tunisians may very well be wonderful people, they had no influence on the shaping of America. Moreover, as difficult as it may be for some to believe, the United States was not – repeat not – built on an Islamic value system, nor did Islam have any influence on the nation’s development, its founding document, or its Constitution.

America was shaped by the English language, the Anglo-Protestant culture and the Judeo-Christian value system.

Liberty, equality of opportunity, individualism, and the freedom to go as far as one’s abilities, passions and desires take them is what America has always been about.

(E Pluribus Unum has a meaning).

Thus, understanding that the vast majority of those who subscribe to the modern misinterpretation of the “separation of church and state” tend to be on the left, I would like to pose these hypotheticals to separationists:

Let’s say the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) – part of the Department of State – implemented several outreach programs and publications for the upcoming Christmas season designed to bring people together and cultivate understanding between those who may not be Christian and those who are.

And let’s say the State Department issued a publication tracing the ancestry of American-Christians to more than eighty countries with an emphasis on discovering the diversity of those cultures as seen through the celebrations of Christ’s birth. The content of such a publication would include essays by young Christians talking about their faith. Such a thing would be used to create a bridge of tolerance and acceptance of Christianity among nonbelievers.

And let’s go on to say that the following articles were being published by the State Department just in time for Christmas 2009: “The Concept of a Christian in America ‘Brand'”; “Advocacy (Civic and Political) of the Christian-American Community”; and “Community Innovation/Community Building.” The writer or writers would contact Christian American experts in each of these fields.

And, finally, picture a publication put out by the State Department called “Being Christian In America” It is the IIP’s crown jewel, full of stories and insights on the “varied experiences” on America’s Christians, complete with illustrations.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Allow the words – and the spirit – of the First Amendment to bounce around in your mind as you contemplate such a hypothetical situation.

Would the ACLU be sending in the big guns?

Would conspiracy theorists be chirping about an all-powerful Christian-right steering America into the pits of a theocracy?

Now, just to make it interesting, go back to each of those aforementioned IIP scenarios and substitute every reference to Christianity with Islam. Make it so that the IIP’s outreach programs are geared toward the Muslim holy month of Ramadan instead of Christmas.

Does it change anything?

What if I told you that this was no longer a hypothetical situation, but an honest-to-goodness initiative of the Obama administration underway right now?

Would that change anything?

Pamela Geller at the great American Thinker website writes about a “cable” that has been sent from Hillary Clinton’s State Department to all American embassies and consulates around the world:

Here is but the latest act of submission to Islam by your State Department. A State Department cable has just been sent out with this announcement :

The Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) has assembled a range of innovative and traditional tools to support Posts’ outreach activities during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Can you imagine every Embassy and consulate putting up a Menorah and having some Rabbis as speakers via a webcast?

Can you imagine if we had the Stations of the Cross put on the walls of all of our embassies, consulates, and other posts, as well as the many Department of State buildings across the country, including C Street?

Why aren’t priests, pastors, etc. invited during Christmas to give blessings or talk about Christianity in the United States?

Can you imagine if the Buddha were revered and we had some monks coming to do a meditation session with all of the officers of each embassy, consulate, etc.?

Can we get printed and distributed Hare Krishna posters for all of our posts, so as to reach massive audiences?

I mean, put it in reverse and see how crazy it is. Absolutely nuts.

She’s right, of course.

Since we have successfully crossed over from the presumptive world to the real one, I wonder if we can we now expect to see the cape-wearers of the American Civil Liberties Union spring into action against the federal government. Can we anticipate the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) to start assembling “innovative and traditional tools” for every other faith? Where exactly are the outreach initiatives for Jews and Hindus? Or Satanists and Atheists?

Again, leaving the First Amendment issue aside, allow the magnitude of this reality to sink in.

Let it get you angry, as it does me.

This is not what the federal government is there to do.

freedom-of-expression-go-to-hellFrom all across the world, stories of Ramadan violence being perpetrated by practitioners of Islam are coming out daily. Any reasonable person would only have to take a rudimentary look around the world to notice that the overwhelming percentage of the world’s violence and brutality is being undertaken by Islamists – and that during the holy month of Ramadan, these occurrences increase.

The idea that the United States of America would actively bend over in this way for the “religion of peace” – the ideology that creates the murderous terrorists that want to destroy us – while Muslims across the globe continue to persecute non-Muslims in nations they control is both disgusting and unforgivable. By conservative estimates, one tenth of all Muslims on Earth support fellow adherants of Islam who target innocents, deprive others of basic human rights, and strive to subject the entire population of the world to Sharia law – that’s a mere one hundred million people.

Does the President forget what religion spawned those who brought down the Twin Towers on September 11th?

Is the President blind to the fact that at least one tenth of the Muslim world celebrate September 11th as a triumph?

Does it not register in the deep recesses of his messianic brain that we are still at war with Islamo-Facist terrorists?

Is it really the right thing to do to spend taxpayer dollars on “reach out” programs on the religion that produced (and continues to produce) such vermin?

Honestly, what the hell goes on in a liberal mind?

How on Earth does President Obama have the audacity to launch a taxpayer funded, State Department-sponsored, “Love a Muslim” campaign after the horrific slaughter of innocents by the Iranian government? Or the continued atrocities being undertaken in Sharia-run nations and terrorist strongholds, like tortuous clitorectomies performed on young women, the slow sadistic beheadings of dissenters and infidels, and the denial of even the most basic human rights?

And the irony?

As much as liberals wince and whine when religion is brought into the public sphere, note how easily they genuflect at the feet of those who adhere to a faith that promotes the blowing up innocents, the flying of planes into buildings, and the launching of rockets into civilian neighborhoods in the name of their religion.

Such strength.

What the hell is this President thinking?

Was his multi-city overseas American apology tour not enough to add to the weakness and vulnerability being put forth by this administration?

Why is he hell-bent on sparing the feelings of terrorist thugs and other human debris while the memory of three-thousand of his own murdered countrymen at the hands of those who would do it again without blinking an eye – those who subscribe to the “religion of peace” – still burns vividly?

It is mystifying.

This is not to say that the United States is at war with Islam. It simply isn’t true. Indeed, the majority of the world’s Muslims are not terrorists. Millions of Muslims live peacefully in this country.

But Muslim extremists are at war with us; and in a 21st Century World, the overwhelming vast majority of terrorism – and the greatest threat to national security – comes from practitioners of Islam. No other group, religion, cult or organization comes remotely close to posing the threat that radical Islamists pose.

And just think, my tax dollars are paying for “Muslims Are Okay” reach-out programs.

You’re damn right I’m angry.

Posted in First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Liberalism, Obama Bonehead, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

IT’S HUMANITY – ALWAYS HAS BEEN

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 18, 2009

From the beginning, it's been us

From the beginning, it's been us

It’s about time someone came out and said it. It’s about time someone had the courage to step up to the plate and say what so many of us have been thinking. There’s a certain kind of vindication – a feeling of exoneration and, yes, even victory – in having something corroborated that you’ve always known to be true in your heart, but couldn’t prove – namely, that man’s very existence causes global warming.

While I have no plans to immediately slit my own wrists, there’s no question that I deserve it.

As do you.

And we all owe it to the Earth.

From The Economist:

Anthropogenic global warming started when people began farming.

Imagine a small group of farmers tending a rice paddy some 5,000 years ago in eastern Asia or sowing seeds in a freshly cleared forest in Europe a couple of thousand years before that. It is here, a small group of scientists would have you believe, that humanity launched climate change. Long before the Industrial Revolution—indeed, long before a worldwide revolution in intensive farming, the results of which kept humanity alive—people caused unnatural exhalations of greenhouse gases that had an impact on the world’s climate.

It looks as if humanity has been interfering with the climate since the dawn of civilisation.

While there is so much begging to be said, is there anything that can remotely hold a candle to the notion that human exhalations of carbon dioxide can be considered “unnatural?”

Naturally, my first question would be … What level of human exhalation would have been more “natural?”

It’s not unlike asking a global warming hysteric, “What should the temperature be right now?”

Of course, global warming nutcases, climate change screwballs, and environmentalist whackjobs view humanity itself as being unnatural.

The totality of all existence is natural except humanity.

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Posted in environmentalism, Global Warming, Junk Science | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

THE DEATH OF OBAMA’S “SNITCH” INITIAVE

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 17, 2009

Without hullabaloo, hype or a formal press release, the “Snitch On Your Fellow Citizen” campaign initiated on the official White House blog back on August 4th has died a quiet death. No retrospectives, commemorative magazines or all-star celebrity albums are expected in the foreseeable future.

The e-mail address set up specifically to collect “disinformation” about ObamaCare  – flag@whitehouse.gov – has formally been disabled. Those vigilant citizens anxious to forward juicy misnomers and untruths about the President’s health care plan to Obamacrat watchdogs were probably surprised to see their cyber tattle-tales bounced back to them undelivered today.

No, this was not a hack job by cyber-bandits dispatched by Dick Cheney.

Enterprising young Nazis did not breech White House firewalls.

Mike Allen at Politico writes:

Following a furor over how the data would be used, the White House has shut down an electronic tip box — flag@whitehouse.gov — that was set up to receive information on “fishy” claims about President Barack Obama’s health plan.

E-mails to that address now bounce back with the message: “The e-mail address you just sent a message to is no longer in service. We are now accepting your feedback about health insurance reform via http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck.”

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said at a briefing shortly after the service launched: “We’re not collecting names from those e-mails. … All we’re asking people to do is if they’re confused about what health care reform is going to mean to them, we’re happy to help clear that up for you. Nobody is keeping anybody’s names.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, wrote a letter to Obama raising privacy concerns about what the senator called an “Obama monitoring program.”

Despite plummeting poll numbers, record-breaking deficits, continued high unemployment, failed economic stimulus, unpopular health care reform, an apologetic foreign policy, and a Vice President whom the public largely views as the crazy uncle who likes to take his teeth out at the dinner table, the first seven months of the Obama presidency have been a swimming success, don’t you think?

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CAN YOU DEMS MAKE UP YOUR MINDS?

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 17, 2009

question marksLast week, in front a Hillsboro, Missouri crowd, Senator Clair McCaskill asked the fateful question, “Don’t you trust me?”

The crowd answered with a resounding, “No!”

Keep that sentiment in mind while this story develops.

In a blog from earlier this morning, commenting on reports that the White House may be “backing away” from the “public option” in the ObamaCare debacle, I began one of the paragraphs, “Still, if there is any truth to the reports that Obama is slinking away from his unapologetic desire to have the federal government takeover the healthcare system …”

Note the degree of confidence I place in anything that comes from this White House or anyone affiliated with this administration.

I am simply not convinced that the “public option” is off the table – or that it ever will be.

Neither are Democrats (as I will get to in a moment).

“Public option” or not, this debate is far from over. And if there will not be a “public option,” then what? Once the government finds its way into the kitchen, does anyone truly believe they will not eventually slither their way to the stove and poison the stew anyway?

There is simply no telling what the Democrats are thinking or what any of this really means. The party’s liberal base obviously wants this health care overhaul to happen, and as I alluded to in my earlier piece, Dems may be more than willing to take some minor to moderate hits in order to bring this victory home for Obama, as long as the power ultimately remains theirs.

Yet, as things continue to develop, the Dems seem  a tad confused.

Yesterday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius did an about-face on a long-time hallmark of the Obama health care vision, saying that government-run health care wasn’t “the essential element” of reform. (Since when?) She started talking about “insurance cooperatives” (Co-Ops) – a phrase that is sure to find its way into the American lexicon post haste.

But hold on.

In response to Sebelius, an administration official (anonymously) came forward and said that Sebelius actually misspoke.

Get that?

She misspoke.

Mark Ambinder at The Atlantic writes:

This official asked not to be identified in exchange for providing clarity about the intentions of the President. The official said that the White House did not intend to change its messaging and that Sebelius simply meant to echo the president, who has acknowledged that the public option is a tough sell in the Senate and is, at the same time, a must-pass for House Democrats, and is not, in the president’s view, the most important element of the reform package.

A second official, Linda Douglass, director of health reform communications for the administration, said that President Obama believed that a public option was the best way to reduce costs and promote competition among insurance companies, that he had not backed away from that belief, and that he still wanted to see a public option in the final bill.

“Nothing has changed.,” she said. “The President has always said that what is essential that health insurance reform lower costs, ensure that there are affordable options for all Americans and increase choice and competition in the health insurance market. He believes that the public option is the best way to achieve these goals.”

Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota, on the other hand, says that the “public option” is all but dead.

Carrie Budoff Brown at Politico writes:

“Look, the fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for the public option,” said Conrad, who has pushed an alternative proposal to create a network of consumer cooperatives, on Fox News Sunday. “There never have been. So to continue to chase that rabbit, I think, is just a wasted effort.”

Not to confuse things any further, just this morning, former Democratic Party Chairman Howlin’ Howard Dean said that meaningful health care reform just cannot happen without a direct government role.

Philip Elliot of the Associated Press writes:

Dean urged the Obama administration to stand by statements made early on in the debate in which it steadfastly insisted that such a public option was indispensable to genuine change, saying that Medicare and the Veterans Administration are “two very good programs that have been around for a long time.”

Dean argued that a public option is fair and said there must be such a choice in any genuine shake up of the existing system.

“You can’t really do health reform without it,” he said. Dean maintained that the health insurance industry has “put enormous pressure on patients and doctors” in recent years.

He called a direct government role “the entirety of health care reform. It isn’t the entirety of insurance reform … We shouldn’t spend $60 billion a year subsidizing the insurance industry.”

The President himself has started suggesting that the “public option” isn’t essential to his plan.

Oh, those wacky Dems.

The real shame is that while the mainstream media continues to obsess over so-called splits in the Republican Party, there is actually a much better – and far more interesting – story to cover over on the donkey’s side – if they’d only crawl out of the tank long enough to take a look.

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Posted in health care | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

TOWN-HALL IMPACT?

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 17, 2009

obama poll numbersIn case you missed it …

On Saturday, Rasmussen reported that 54% of registered voters believe that no health care reform is a better option than ObamaCare.

That number will only rise as Dems continue to try and shift focus from their failing aspirations of socialized medicine to what the eternally-cloddish Senator Harry Reid called the “evil mongers” who pervade town-hall meetings with their hate-filled fist pumping. Unfortunately for the whiners and fabricators who comprise the modern left, most Americans are simply not buying the “angry right-wing” ishkabibble. And as encouraging as that majority number is, 54% percent has got to turn into 60% … and then start ballooning towards 70% for any of this to really matter.

Remember which side runs Capitol Hill.

Democrat majorities could certainly survive some damage, as long as it is modest.

Many Dems, indeed, are aware that now may be their very best, if not their last, opportunity to rework, e.g., kill the current health care delivery system (that, as of today, is still the envy of the world). Rising opposition simply may not matter unless that number is considerable – into super majority territory. Otherwise, the donkeys will be more than willing to take small congressional hits to see America’s healthcare system socialized.

This is a victory Obama must have in some form or another.

Rasmussen reports:

“One reason that the President has been careful to distinguish between his idea of health care reform and a single payer system is that just 32% favor Single-Payer health care while 57% are opposed.”

Again, those numbers certainly lean in the right direction, but President Obama’s support of a single-payer system cannot exactly be questioned, can it?

In 2003, he was perfectly lucid on the matter, saying, “I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody … And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”

Many who defend the President on this matter will attempt to “clarify” what he meant by quoting him from one of the sixteen-thousand Democrat presidential debates that took place during 2007 and 2008 when he explained, “I never said that we should try and go ahead and get single payer. What I said was that if I were starting from scratch – if we didn’t have a system in which employers have typically provided healthcare – I would probably go with a single-payer system.”

That, of course, was not what he said – or meant – in 2003. There was no “what if” scenario. There was no “let’s say I was starting from scratch” disclaimer. The future President was clear in questioning why a single-payer system could not be implemented in a country as wealthy as the United States.

Tape recorders are pesky things.

Still, if there is any truth to the reports that Obama is slinking away from his unapologetic desire to have the federal government takeover the healthcare system, how much of it can be attributed to those town-hall disrupting “evil mongers” and “swastika carriers?” 

Perhaps the better question is … who among the Dems will admit that the protestors have played an enormous role in the administration’s sudden shift?

And speaking of those town-hall protests that have so dominated ObamaCare coverage in recent weeks, Rasmussen writes:

As for the protesters at congressional town hall meetings, 49% believe they are genuinely expressing the views of their neighbors, while 37% think they’ve been put up to it by special interest groups and lobbyists. One surprising by-product of the debate over changing the system is that confidence in the U.S. health care system has grown over the past few months. That may be because when it comes to health care decisions, 51% fear the government more than they fear private insurance companies. Forty-one percent (41%) hold the opposite view.

Those numbers, too, will continue to swing away from the pro-ObamaCare camp.

The question is … will it matter to a party hell bent on putting one in the “win column” for The One?
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WHAT’S NOT TO BELIEVE?

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 15, 2009

Obama, Transformer

Obama, Transformer

In speaking of President Obama and his ongoing bid to transform the nation he says he loves (because, naturally, if one loves his country, the customary instinct is to want to transform it), I admit to some perplexity when conservative friends make curious comments like, “I can’t believe what Obama is doing to my country,” or pose questions like “Can you believe what this President is doing to America now?”

Some I’ve spoken with shake their heads not at the President’s liberalism, but at how far left his worldview actually is.

“I knew he was a liberal, but not like this.”

While exasperation and resentment understandably exist among limited-government, Constitution-loving, free-market types (like myself) – as well as some head scratching Democrats who are now looking at each other with puzzled expressions, asking themselves, “Is this what we asked for?” – the Obama Transformation Plan is not at all unbelievable.

Throughout the eon-long presidential campaign season, the writing on the wall was unmistakenly bold and legible. His resume, associations, public comments and policy positions prior to becoming a candidate for the presidency revealed a man with leftism in his blood and Marxist sympathies. Once Obama officially threw his hat into the presidential ring – and details of his leftist past were brought to light by industrious alternative news sources – the mainstream news outlets routinely brushed aside much of the concern coming from conservatives about Obama’s hard left leanings, dismissing them as fear-mongering and shameless demagoguery.

That’s not to say these stories did not make the news.

They certainly did.

The alphabet channels, for example, did explore Obama’s associations with people like the racist Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the reprehensible Bill Ayers; but ultimately, their desire to be a part of history and jump on the Bam-a-licious bandwagon trumped any real interest in getting at the heart of these stories or Obama’s radical leftism. Obama’s “past” was deemed largely irrelevant to the task of saving America from George W. Bush.

The media were so enamoured with him – so consumed with everything Obama – it didn’t seem to matter that only days before the election, some of the biggest names in America media admittedly still had no idea who Barack Obama was.

Take this famous exchange between PBS’s Charlie Rose and former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw:

ROSE: I don’t know what Barack Obama’s worldview is.

BROKAW: No, I don’t, either.

ROSE: I don’t know how he really sees where China is.

BROKAW: We don’t know a lot about Barack Obama and the universe of his thinking about foreign policy.

ROSE: I don’t really know. And do we know anything about the people who are advising him?

BROKAW: Yeah, it’s an interesting question.

ROSE: He is principally known through his autobiography and through very aspirational (sic) speeches.

BROKAW: Two of them! I don’t know what books he’s read.

ROSE: What do we know about the heroes of Barack Obama?

BROKAW: There’s a lot about him we don’t know. 

But how on earth can that be true? Especially for professionals like Rose and Brokaw?

Obama Back In The DayIn the real world, the man who admitted to choosing his friends carefully while in college – namely, “the more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists” – couldn’t exactly be confused for a political centrist. The man who, while in New York, would visit the East Village for “the socialist conferences (he) sometimes attended at Cooper Union” could never be mistaken for a middle-of-the-road independent.

His support of late-term abortion was perfectly clear. His desire to see the American health care system transformed into a single-payer model was unquestionable. His belief that wealth should be distributed was incontrovertible. His two-decade long membership in a church led by a man who promulgated racism and hatred of America was indisputable. His affiliation with terrorists like Bill Ayers was undeniable. His adherence to the teachings of hyper-radical Saul Alinsky was unmistakable.

Yes, Virginia, these are among the tell-tale signs of leftism.

This once again brings me to ask my conservative friends … What exactly is there to be surprised about? What exactly is “unbelievable” about the Obama vision for America?

In October of last year, at the great American Thinker website, Kyle-Anne Shiver wrote:

Obama was raised on the mother’s milk of socialism. Both his parents were fellow travelers, who met at the height of the Cold War in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii. Obama’s grandfather was a close friend of Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis, sending young Barry (as he was then known) to him for mentoring, despite (or in ignorance of ) Davis being a pedophile. From the time he returned from 4 years in Indonesia and rejoined his grandparents in Hawaii at the age of 10, he was taken often to be with Frank Marshall Davis.

In Obama’s book, Dreams from My Father, there is a strange revelation, perhaps intended as a signal of Davis’ stamp on Obama’s socialist creds. Obama makes this odd observation:

“The visits to his (Davis’) house always left me feeling vaguely uncomfortable, though, as if I were witnessing some complicated, unspoken transaction between the two men, a transaction I couldn’t fully understand.”

Dedicating the young Obama to the elder socialist mentor for the collective cause, perhaps? One hopes there were conditions protecting the ten year old from worse than indoctrination, in this “transaction.”

Obama did everything Alinsky prescribed. He went to Chicago, home of Alinsky and the place where Davis had worked for the communist revolution. Obama trained at the Industrial Areas Foundation, an Alinsky training institute. He organized in Chicago and did voter registration and training for ACORN. He went to law school. He built political alliances. He kept a tight lock on his records and his past.

You may recall that the official blogger for the Obama Campaign was a man by the name of Sam Graham-Felsen. He was a writer for the leftist magazine The Nation before he joined the Big Bam ranks.

As reported in April, 2008 at World Net Daily:

In 2003, Graham-Felsen participated in a labor march in France that Associated Press reported ended in violent riots – a characterization he disputed in The Nation. His coverage of the 2003 French protests against a new employment law again appeared in 2006 in Socialist Viewpoint, a journal that proudly proclaims its Marxist point of view:

The Socialist Workers Organization was formed to advance the revolutionary Marxist political program in the United States. Our members are long time active participants in the socialist and labor movements. We agree with Karl Marx that society is divided into social classes whose interests are irreconcilable. …

Socialism, the ownership and democratic control of the means of production by the working class, and the removal of profit from the system of production, is the aim of Socialist Viewpoint, which reflects the political views of the Socialist Workers Organization. Socialism is the prerequisite for the next stage in human development that will end class oppression and exploitation for all time.

The President’s catapulting deficit totals; his attempt at destroying private sector health care delivery; his unabashed declarations that the “rich” should have to pay more taxes to help those who are not (which they already do in gross disproportion); his transparent contempt for the free market system; none of this should be surprising to anyone.

In a 2006 opinion piece, Benjamin Shapiro writes:

Obama cites as his economic guru Warren Buffett and quotes him as stating, “[Billionaires] have this idea that it’s ‘their money’ and they deserve to keep every penny of it. What they don’t factor in is all the public investment that lets us live the way we do.”

This is Marxist trash.

“Capital is therefore not a personal, it is a social power,” Marx wrote in “The Communist Manifesto.”

Viewing private property as social property is a mandate to tyranny. Yet that’s precisely how Obama views private property: “I simply believe that those of us who have benefited most from this new economy can best afford to shoulder the obligation of ensuring every American child has a chance for that same success.”

Let us also not forget that Barack Obama was named the most liberal Senator on Capitol Hill prior to becoming the Democratic nominee for President .

Quoting Barack Obama himself:

Senator Obama-What I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”

-This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably

-We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.

-I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.

-If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement, and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples, so that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at a lunch counter and order, and as long as I could pay for it, I’d be okay. But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent, as radical as people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted – and the Warren Court interpreted it in the same way – that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.

That pretty much sums it up.

I’m not sure what else anyone could have been expected from electing someone with such a pedigree.

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Posted in Liberalism, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

SO IT’S NOT ABOUT ACCOMPLISHMENT?

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 14, 2009

Billy Earl Dade Middle School, Dallas

Billy Earl Dade Middle School, Dallas

His approval ratings are dropping. He has made apologizing for his country on foreign soil an art form. He has stood silent while innocents lay slaughtered by the government in the streets of Iran, yet wasted no time condemning police officers in Massachusetts. He has pushed the deficit into record-breaking territory with no end in sight. He has condemned profit making in the midst of a recession. He has voiced his steadfast support for a single-payer health care system. He has awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to an Israel-hating, terrorist supporting leftist. He’s buddied up to Hugo Chavez; condemned the legal removal of dictator-in-waiting Jose Manual Zelaya in Honduras; and is considering bringing terrorist thugs from a perfectly functioning detention facility in Cuba to the United States. Unemployment has risen consistently under his watch. His stimulus packages have been a rousing failure. He is lauded as a brilliant orator, but stumbles and stammers when his teleprompter is out sick. He has openly laughed when “comedians” have joked about the death of conservatives like Rush Limbaugh, and he has never run anything in his entire life, but is now Chief Executive of the most powerful nation on earth.

He is President Barack Obama, and he did not approve this message.

So, naturally, almost seven months into what can only be characterized (at best) as a troubled presidency (even with both houses of congress tucked away nicely in the Obamacratic fold), what could possibly make more sense than to name another school after him?

And while we’re at it, why not go ahead and rename a school after newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor? (Did you know she was the first Latina on the high court?)

That’s exactly what’s being proposed in a South Dallas school district.

However, it hasn’t been smooth sailing.

Steve Pickett, reporting for CBS 11 in Dallas, writes:

The debate to rename two Dallas schools after President Barack Obama and newly sworn-in Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor is heating up.

Much of the focus has been on the call to add Mr. Obama’s name to a much-loved south Dallas school. DISD school board trustee Ron Price called for the change to Billy Earl Dade Learning Center to Barack Obama Middle School. However, former educators like Wilber Williams said a tribute to the President shouldn’t be made at the expense of a pillar of south Dallas’ education community.

“It’s my understanding that we have a bond program and new schools are going to be built, and I think it would be appropriate for them to consider President Obama during that time,” Williams said.

“Overwhelmingly, the parents and the kids said we want Barack Obama and when you see those kids eyes, their eyes just started glowing, and even the parent’s eyes were glowing just for the fact that their kid would one day go to the Barack Obama school,” Price said.

So far, there hasn’t been much debate over the selected Sotomayor school.

Glowing?

Like radioactivity?

I may need something to settle my stomach after reading that.

Please don’t misunderstand. The idea of naming a school after President Barack Obama does not, in and of itself, bring on the nausea.

My question is … what exactly has the President achieved to justify it?

Other than being the first black man elected to the office, he hasn’t yet done anything to warrant displacing the name of someone else who clearly deserved the honor. And even if the accolade involves co-naming an already existing school, or building a brand new school, the President hasn’t even been in office seven months. Can he at least do something first?

(It is a loaded question, I know).

And what if Obama’s presidency is an unmitigated, bona fide failure?

What if his time in office is disastrous?

His immortalization will be based on what?  His skin color?

It is a marvelous testament to America’s greatness that less than fifty years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law the United States elected a black man to the nation’s highest office; but at the risk of sounding callous (or dare I say it, “racist”), the “novelty” of his skin color has long since worn off. The most powerful man in the world must now be judged as all others who have occupied the Oval Office before him.

Lost in all of this is the fact that honoring him in such a way, without a track record to speak of, sends the wrong message to these “glowing” children and their equally luminous parents – namely that Barack Obama’s name was given to a school, not because of his achievements as President, but because of the melanin levels in his skin.

Not exactly what Mr. King had in mind.

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Posted in Obama-Mania, social issues | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

LES PAUL, RIP

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 14, 2009

PAUL

Les Paul with his guitars

Classic Les Paul

 Les Paul and Mary Ford

APTOPIX Obit Les Paul

Les Paul

1915-2009

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Posted in Music | 1 Comment »

IT WAS LAROUCHE

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 13, 2009

It was HIM!

It was HIM!

As Obamacrats – in consort with the main stream media – continue to do everything they can to shift attention from ObamaCare to those speaking out against it, the attempts to paint these people as fringies, demagogues and, yes, racists are well underway.

It is Marginalization 101.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman says that racism is at the heart of the town hall protests.

MSNBC’S Chris Matthews believes that “some of the people are upset because we have a black president.”

Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution thinks that “45 to 65% of the people who appear at these groups are people who will never be comfortable with the idea of a black president.”

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, said town hall protestors were “carrying swastikas and symbols like that.”

And so on.

It couldn’t possibly be because ObamaCare stinks.

Libs would have us believe that only people who take to the streets calling for the end to war are patriotic dissenters. Only those who rally against the dangers of global warming are genuinely concerned citizens called to a cause. Only those who carry “BUSH: WANTED, DEAD OR ALIVE” signs with an “X” over the word “ALIVE” are legitimately redressing their grievances. Only protestors who carry posters of George W. Bush’s face with the words “F— YOU, MOTHERF—ER!” underneath are compelled to do so for appropriate reasons. Only activists who display “CHRISTIAN FASCISM” signs with a swastika in place of the letter S can be taken seriously.

Otherwise, it is all “manufactured.”

It isn’t “grass roots,” it’s “astroturf.”

Ever since Pelosi exposed what was clearly a ubiquitous “swastika” culture running through the ranks of the “astroturfers” who disrupt townhall meetings, much has been made of a poster depicting President Obama with a Hitler moustache. This stupendously stupid poster is evidence, according to the pro-Obama set, that the folks showing up at these town hall meetings are nothing more than hate-filled, angry, pitchfork wielding right-wingers – quite possibly organized and dispatched by Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter.

In covering the growing outrage over Obamacare, the alphabet channels have made love to the poster.

To read it or hear it from the mainstreamers, these vehemently anti-Obama displays are happening with enormous regularity across the country. In fact, one could understandably infer that swastikas abound at these town hall meetings, and that posters featuring Obama with his Hitlerian cookie duster are plastered as far as the eye can see.

Yadda, yadda.

Of course, it is as political as it is disingenuous, all meant to cast conservatives in a negative light – even though a considerable portion of those opposed to the Bama-langa-ding-dong health care proposals are Democrats.

The problem is … the Obama-with-a-moustache poster was not created by a conservative. It originated with the Lyndon LaRouche movement.

Remember him? The eight-time Presidential candidate who ran as a Democrat in seven elections (and once as a member of the US Labor Party)?

From today’s Washington Times Inside The Beltway column:

NBC, MSNBC and CNN have showcased a controversial image of President Obama depicted as Hitler during recent news coverage of contentious town-hall meetings and health care reform.

“They run dialogue and video over this poster and clearly imply that either Rush Limbaugh or ‘conservatives’ in general are behind the image, which they use as a symbol of extremism. But look closely, and you discover the real credit. It goes to the Lyndon LaRouche political action committee. You can see it. It’s right there,” Seton Motley tells Inside the Beltway.

The Media Research Center communications director and blogger calls the coverage “pathetic journalism” that fails to inform the public about the origins of the image or important health care legislation.

“Are these major news organizations willfully ignorant? They make a slap at the right when this Obama-as-Hitler poster is clearly coming from the left. It’s absurd, and it’s dangerous. The public is not getting the real story,” Mr. Motley says.

The LaRouche folks deny nothing.

“The image of Obama with a toothbrush mustache was initiated by LaRouche PAC organizers. The captions vary: ‘Is This Your President?’ was one; a recent one was ‘I’ve changed.’ ” spokeswoman Nancy Spannaus tells Beltway.

“Lyndon LaRouche and his organization have declared war against Obama’s so-called health care reform because it is a direct copy of the policy Hitler declared in October 1939, when Hitler issued the order for euthanasia against those determined, by a board of medical experts, to have ‘lives unworthy to be lived,’ ” Ms. Spannaus says.

“LaRouche has also put forward the clear alternative: cancel the bailout and HMOs, implement bankruptcy reorganization of the financial system, and return to the Hill-Burton system that made our health care the best in the world.”

Dan Gainer at the great NewsBusters website writes:

For eight years in America, protest was in and all the cool kids did it. We had flamboyantly dressed Code Pinkers demonstrating at conventions and in sessions of Congress, calling Marine recruiters “traitors” and protesting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Then there were the crazies from Acorn stalking Wall Street executives at their homes. And anti-war lefty Cindy Sheehan got so much news coverage from the major networks and top newspapers that they practically had to create a bureau to handle her antics.

Through it all, the left whined that President George Bush was a fascist – with “BusHitler” a common term among the foam-at-mouth Birkenstock set. (Google Bush and Hitler and you’ll get more than 1 million hits including a bunch of Photoshopped images of Bush in a Nazi uniform with a Hitler mustache.) We were supposed to bear with it. Dissent was patriotic we were told. Those hate-spewing anti-war activists really loved our soldiers – especially when they were mocking the war right outside a veteran’s hospital. And the endless stream of Nazi comparisons were just free speech, after all.

As talk show host Dennis Prager says often, “First state the facts, then give your opinion.”

I like that line.

Posted in health care, Media Bias | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

EMASCULATING AUTHORITY

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 13, 2009

male and female

There is a disturbing, almost frightening  penchant toward feminization in today’s America. Doing what’s right in favor of that which feels good, or that which is geared specifically not to offend, has become the exception, not the rule. The feminist movement did much to demonize masculinity in our culture, and because masculinity is not cultivated in our institutions of learning, and is generally looked down upon by those who control academia, authority itself has taken a hit.

True authority – the kind that summons respect, reverence and even a touch of fear – is being pushed aside, condemned as antiquated patriarchal nonsense, in favor of more “progressive” methods of trying to maintain order. Thus, authority itself is emasculated, common sense is effectively castrated, and unintended consequences create new difficulties where there should be none.

This emasculated authority has several ugly heads, one of which is the “easy way out” approach to maintaining order.

As an example, think about a typical school yard fight between two boys.

Punches are thrown, bodies are rolling about in the dirt.

A crowd gathers around, and the audience starts cheering them on as they pound each other.

Eventually, the Dean (or some school official) rushes over to break it up.

As they’re being separated, both boys are still throwing punches, arms flailing in the air, hoping to land one last blow. The Dean says something like, “Okay, knock it off!” or he asks “What is going on here?” Predictably, one of the boys (if not both) will start pointing fingers at the other, screaming, “He started it! He started it!”

More times than not, the Dean will respond with the game-breaking, ever-diplomatic, “I don’t care who started it!”

Both boys will then get punished for “fighting.”

It’s precisely that kind of “easy way out” response that curdles my blood.

When I was in school, I remember hearing teachers and principals say they didn’t care who started the fights; they weren’t interested in justice. They only wanted peace.

It always infuruated me.

Why didn’t the Dean care who started it?

Shouldn’t he have cared?

Shouldn’t the Dean at least have tried to do the right thing and not unjustly punish someone who may have been defending himself?

These kinds of things have always driven me crazy – and they still do.

With authority emasculated, everyone is treated equally. The line which separates right from wrong is blurred. Feelings are spared. No one is allowed to feel worse than the other. Defining values is not a priority.

The “easy way out” approach – one of the by-products of this growing trend – manifests itself in many different ways.

In New York City, for example, students are not permitted to carry their cell phones into school with them (except in very specific circumstances). Apparently, the beeping, chirping and ringing was enough of a distraction to prompt a flat-out city-wide ban – even though the vast majority of students do not use them while in school.

Most kids, in fact, use their cell phones to stay in contact with parents after school. Seeing as city-street pay phones are quickly going the way of the eight-track tape, cell phones have proven – at least in this context – a positive thing. Yet, instead of each school being allowed to formulate its own rules regarding inappropriate cell phone usage during classroom hours, the city opted for an easy, dismissive, all-encompassing, band-aid-type fix of a much bigger wound, namely the ever-weakening hand of authority.

banWhen void of reasoned thought, ban, ban, ban.

Please don’t misunderstand. This is not an endorsement of children having cell phones. Personally, seeing ten year olds with their heads down, staring into their cell phone screens, thumbs-a-tapping at breakneck speed, carrying devices so sophisticated that they can browse the internet while spell checking their book reports, is not my ideal. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I’ve wanted to yank one from the clutches of some self-absorbed kid (almost redundant) sitting on a city bus, screaming into it at the top of his lungs, showing the rest of us how well he can use profanity, and shove it (along with an explosive device) into an orifice to be named later.

I must ask … why not just confiscate the phones of disruptive students the way teachers used to take away sling shots, secretly scrawled notes or, when I was kid, those hand-held electronic football games? Blaming the technology instead of the student sends the wrong message. Instead of just prohibiting cell phone use during school hours and, say, making it compulsory for phones to be turned off upon entering the building – and then having the backbone to actually enforce it – a cowardly ban was made law.

Perhaps more importantly, banning the phone doesn’t teach or enforce the value of having to exercise discipline. Despite the popular notion from leftists everywhere, technology is not the problem. As citizens of the greatest, freest and most advanced country the world has ever known, we should want to improve our standard of living, shouldn’t we? Why are cell phones somehow beyond the sphere of influence when it comes to teaching our kids restraint, responsibility and self-control?

I make this point, not as an advocate of the cellular phone industry, but as an authentic lament for the changing and misguided role of responsibility and accountability in our society.

People simply throw their hands in the air too easily.

To make a somewhat peculiar comparison, it is precisely this thinking that is behind those that blame guns for crime instead of those who use them recklessly or illegally. Indeed, the argument of everything having a time and place is well-taken. However, law abiding citizens who possess firearms are absolutely no threat to society. Only criminals are. Banning guns doesn’t keep bad people from acquiring or using them. By the same token, students who abide by the rules (and have the value system to know what’s appropriate and what is not) by keeping their cell phones turned off during school hours are no threat to disrupt the classroom – not with the phone anyway. Conversely, kids who have no regard or respect for the school and its authority will still manage to sneak them in and disrupt things.

It is about values, not technology.

I recall last year, in Cedar Lake, Indiana, a move was made by school administrators to foster a culture of safety – namely, the banning of all carry bags in school, including purses. Apparently, the ludicrous rule had been on the books for three years but only began being enforced last year.

The reason?

To make it more difficult for students to carry weapons and drugs into school.

No, really.

Book bags, purses and other potentially lethal carriers are to remain in lockers during school hours. One student commented, “People even got yelled at for carrying fanny packs and too big of a pencil holder, which is ridiculous.”

Why not a similar push to ban pockets?

Perhaps an all-sandal policy should be implemented to keep students from sneaking things into school via their sneakers?

At one time, clearly defined boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable were the norm. If rules were violated, the offender was punished. Behaviors that once had stigmas attached to them became more accepted. What were once good old fashioned expulsions from school became in-house suspensions. Fostering discipline and maintaining order were replaced with getting in touch with one’s feelings and having the “right” to express them. The line of thought that endorses the handing out of awards and medals to kids for simply “participating” in a given activity (so as to cheapen the kid who genuinely earns the award) is prevalent almost everywhere. The burden of actually having the courage to instill and reinforce good values in students is apparently too much for some educators these days, lest they offend anyone. Citizenship classes have been replaced with “save the earth” curriculums, safe-sex programs, and free condoms on demand.

How delightful.

It is the feminization of society.

Denene Reppa, mother of one of the Cedar Lake, Indiana students who was forced run to his locker in between each class to get the needed book instead of being able to carry several in a book bag, saw the bright side, saying, “Those types of organizational skills will transfer when she goes to college. Very important … She can keep her other things in there as well that kind of relate to her being a female.”

That’s definitely one way of looking at it.

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Posted in American culture, social issues | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

BECAUSE THE WHITE HOUSE ASKED US TO

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 11, 2009

Mr. Snitch

The call from the White House for Americans to keep their ever-vigilant eyes and ears open for fellow citizen dissenters remains active. A week after it was originally posted by Macon Phillips on the White House blog, the “Calling All Snitchers” campaign lives. It was intended to draw the White House’s attention to “disinformation” on blogs and websites critical of President Obama’s health care reform initiatives. Of course, this “Rat Out Your Neighbor” crusade is still being largely ignored by the mainstream media – as difficult as that might be to believe.

It just isn’t particularly newsworthy to them.

Meanwhile, the objective mainstream media coverage of manufactured dissenters, contrived protests, and right-wing-led “marching order” rabble-rousing kool-aiders who disrupt townhall meetings across the map goes on in earnest.

I admit to finding it a tad mystifying how more people – even Obamacrats and other assorted leftists – aren’t enraged that the White House, regardless of whose feet are up on the desk, could make such an intimidating (and intrusive) request of its citizens.

Imagine for a moment that the George W. Bush White House had posted a request for Americans to notify them of any blogs or websites openly critical of the war in Iraq. The media would have wet themselves. The skulls of liberals would be exploding from sea to shining sea. Grey ponytails on college campuses all over America would spontaneously burst into flame. Jeneane Garafolo’s face would have already melted into a fine yellow custard-like paste.

It would not have been pretty.

In that spirit, the great Indy Mind blog brings to my attention a story out of Nashua, New Hampshire.

Apparently, invoking the state’s “Live Free or Die” motto while criticizing the President can bring one face to face with the Secret Service.

Albert McKeon, staff writer for Nashua Telepgraph, writes about a man who posted an online criticism of the Obama health care plan:

The man, who posted his comments Wednesday under the username NashuaDan, wrote that Obama’s events are often orchestrated and that the president’s upcoming Town Hall meeting in Portsmouth could be more of the same.

“I hope NH is better than letting this guy off the hook. Let Obama know what ‘Live Free or Die’ means (hint: it isn’t reckless TAXING and SPENDING). Otherwise, Portsmouth will just be another glorified photo-op for the Socialist-in-Chief,” he wrote below a news brief announcing the president’s Seacoast visit Tuesday.

On Thursday morning, NashuaDan found himself on the phone with a Secret Service agent, explaining that his remarks were only philosophical and not intended to threaten Obama, he said.

The Secret Service accepted his response, he said. And from now on, NashuaDan said he will use caution in future Internet postings.

“I do support the fact that we have freedom of speech,” he said in an interview. “This incident doesn’t change my thoughts on that, but the lesson is, I’ll have to choose my words carefully.”

NashauDan is not incorrect.

Indeed, Freedom of Speech accurately relates to the content of what is being said, not necessarily the manner. For instance, laws against indecency across certain forums – like the public airwaves – do not inhibit someone from professing a view or opinion, just the way in which they say it. And when there is no law in place restricting manner, societal standards, values and common decency should (and often do) prevail.

Such is the way of a civil society.

The question in this instance is … Did NashuaDan cross the line?

Another registered user who goes by the name of SLRNashuan thought so – and turned NashuaDan in.

(SLRNashuan) posted a comment in reply to NashuaDan on Wednesday afternoon: “Amazing, NashuaDan. All of those words and not one truth! And, by the way, is that a veiled threat ‘Let Obama know what ‘Live Free or Die’ means’ on the President’s life. Just in case, I called it in.”

Based on the White House blog post calling for Obamacratic Americans to rat out other Americans, one can only conclude that President Obama himself would be damn proud.

Vigilance lives!

It is unclear whether or not SLRNashuan was responding directly to the White House’s request, but at the Indy Mind blog, there can be no doubt:

A fellow reader found the comments to be objectionable and inspired by the new fascistic White House, called in a complaint! Apparently someone took the complaint very seriously and Dan found himself on the phone with the Secret Service! At this point, some people should be wondering what country are we living in and I can only smugly say – Welcome to Obamanation.

You see, when we disagree with the policies of this ultra liberal administration then we are labeled in the worst imaginable way. These tactics are used to shut us up and paint the opposition as a bunch of raving Nazi lunatics. However all that is required to decipher this nonsense, is a modicum of historical knowledge and the realization that the only Nazis in this country are the ones that clamp down free speech and advocate government run health care. Yet I implore you to go to Google and search for “Bush Hitler” and observe how much information you get back from a seemingly idiotic combination of words, amount of hate speech and edited photography is overwhelming. Yet, apparently that is considered to be “patriotic” and perfectly normal, after all, bashing a Republican is akin to exercising one’s duty.  

As leading Democrats continue to condemn those who vigorously speak out at town hall events against Obama’s health care debacle, dismissing them as nothing more than organized, manufactured, “astro-turf”, nazi-like trouble makers, one can at least hope they are willing to extend kudos to the White House with equal zeal.

After all, if using the White House blog to ask people to rally against those who voice dissent isn’t the very essence of manufactured and organized “astro-turf” activism, then nothing is. 

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Posted in health care, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

I’M NOT JUST BILL’S WIFE, PEOPLE

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 11, 2009

She channels no one else

She channels no one else

She is Secretary of State, hear her roar – with a husband too famous to ignore.

All of the King’s horses and all of the King’s men could not help keep Hillary Clinton from losing her cool again.

And really, who could legitimately blame her?

How exactly was she supposed to react?

She was asked by a Congolese student, through a translator, what her husband – former President Bill Clinton – thought of a trade deal involving China and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The former President, of course, has had his share of the limelight in recent days for coming to the rescue of two American journalists imprisoned in North Korea. Thanks to his heroics, he is a bonafide rock star once again – something that must be a source of great joy to Mrs. Clinton on a multitude of levels. That the Secretary of State, who has been in Africa on a trip she had hoped would raise awareness of much of continent’s plight, would be asked what her famous hubby thinks about anything makes a little fire breathing on her part quite understandible.

How infuriating.

She is the Secretary of State, dammit.

ABC’s Kirit Radia writes:

“You want me to tell you what my husband thinks?” Clinton replied, clearly irked by the thought of being her husband Bill’s spokeswoman.

“My husband is not secretary of state, I am,” she replied. “If you want my opinion I will tell you my opinion. I am not going to be channeling my husband.”

Ouch.

Irritated is a fair, if not understated, word.

But the problem, as Radia writes, was that the question from the student was translated incorrectly.

Apparently the translator made a mistake and the student had wanted to know what President Obama thought of the deal. A State Department official tells ABC News the student went up to Clinton after the event and told her he was misquoted. No immediate word yet how Clinton responded.

Still, imagine what the students thought when her response was translated back and they heard Clinton call President Obama her husband….

Hillary Ridham Clinton Obama?

The logical follow up question: Mrs. Clinton, what does your husband say about his wife being married to the current President?

Annoying as it may have been, Madame Secretary, there are two things to be said.

One, the only reason you are known to any of us outside of your personal sphere of freinds, family and acquaintences is that you are are married to Bill Clinton. He is a former President of the United States. By default, he will always cast a shadow larger than yours.

Two, a little dignity goes a long way.

Nice time, mix in a chuckle or a quip.

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CBO SAYS OBAMA IS A RECORD-SETTER

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 10, 2009

As promised

As promised

From the “Who Would Have Guessed?” file …

It isn’t neuro-surgery – although one may be able to make a compelling case that Democrats are in desperate need of some group synapse therapy. (That’s a separate issue).

It’s really quite basic.

Government bailouts for car companies and banks actually cost money. Liberal nation-saving initiatives such as the stimulus bill and Tarp  – not to mention the looming health care overhaul – will take a tremendous financial toll. The President has decided that the current generation of Americans is incapable of dealing with tough times and can only survive by making future generations carry the load. President Obama is not only transforming the country (as he promised), he is setting records.

Ladies and gentlemen, glance up at the Big Board, if you will; the deficit, as of the end of last month, has hit $1.3 trillion.

And there’s more where that came from.

Walter Alarkon from The Hill writes:

Bailouts for financial firms and billions in tax revenue lost because of the recession drove the deficit to a record $1.3 trillion in July, according to the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Tax receipts that have fallen due to the poor economy and increased spending to save car companies, banks and mortgage firms were major contributors to the federal deficit, according to CBO, which provides official budget numbers for Congress. The federal deficit grew by another $181 billion in July.

Falling tax receipts and increased spending on bailouts for auto companies and the financial sector and for the economic stimulus package added to the deficit, according to CBO, which provides official budget numbers for Congress.

Spending through July of 2009 has increased by $530 billion, which is 21 percent over the same period in 2008. The bailout money for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae accounted for almost half of the spending increase. Unemployment benefits have more than doubled, Medicaid spending has grown by a quarter and Medicare spending has increased by 11 percent.

Keep in mind that Nancy Pelosi – America’s official swastika spotter, and third in line for the Presidency of the United States – recently assured Colorado town hall attendees that the proposed health care bill will not increase the deficit.

How about that?

The cost of destroying the greatest health care delivery system on earth and transforming it into a government-run entreprise of rationed mediocrity (at minimum) is projected to total a trillion dollars over ten years, but it will not have any effect whatsoever on the exploding deficit.

That’s what Nancy says.

Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), the top Republican on the Budget Committee, said that Democrats in Congress aren’t doing anything to address the record deficit and are instead pushing ahead with “wildly expensive” healthcare legislation.

“To allow the deficit to hit these previously unthinkable levels – while still planning to implement massive new spending programs – shows an incredible lack of fiscal responsibility, especially toward the future generations who will be saddled with the consequences of today’s actions,” Gregg said.

Unthinkable levels by unthinking politicians.

Who would have guessed?

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Posted in Economy, Obama Bonehead, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MORE FIRST AMENDMENT MUSINGS – A FOLLOW UP

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 9, 2009

Establishment Clause

Since posting my piece First Amendmant Musings” on Thursday, I’ve received some marvelously thoughtful e-mails and commentary. Thanks so much to everyone. (Please feel free to post your thoughts publicly on the blog.  E-mails are nice, but I do not post comments that come via e-mail). I especially wish to thank Doug Indeap who posted a most attentive, reasoned and well-written response. (Please read it).

My fear in posting the original article was that the discussion might evolve into yet another argument about the existence of God. While it is, indeed, a discussion I revel in engaging in (for what is more profound than contemplating the existence of God?), it was not the point of “First Amendment Musings,” nor did I wish it to be. Rather, I wanted to make the historical case for religiosity being an accepted (some would say necessary) influence and component to an effectively functioning – yes, secular –  government. The irony is, it is the secular nature of the Constitution enables the United States to continue to be the most religious nation  in the free world. I submit that The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, as written and understood by the Framers of the Constitution, simply does not require, nor call for, religion to be sequestered from government function.

In today’s era of ever-expanding federal government – and the slow correlative corrosion of personal liberties – the “separation of church and state” debate isn’t simply a matter of making a definitional distinction between that which is considered the “public square” and that which falls under the awning of “government.”

For one, government has become more and more intrusive in the lives of Americans over the course of time. Thus, those elements that have historically been outside the realm of government control have shifted – and continue to shift – into their ever-annexing clutches (health care, the automobile industry, the banking industry). The idea that religion – specifically the free exercise thereof – is somehow immune from the metastasizing influence of the federal government is naive. The Supreme Court already has twisted the Establishment Clause far from the Framers’ intent – from validating the so-called erection of the Jeffersonian wall separating government and religion, to the removal of prayer in public schools, to the ongoing battles to make the Pledge of Allegiance (with its reference to God) unconstitutional.

Second, the concept of separating “church and state” – a phrase I find particularly obnoxious – has evolved disjointedly into an unfounded belief that the banishing of all things religious from public settings, such as city parks, town squares, government buildings and city streets is (or can be found to be) constitutionally sound.

“Separationists” and sympathetic organizations (such as the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation) allege that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment is being violated when, for instance, a nativity scene is put up on the grounds of a city hall; or when students participate in Easter plays at school; or when the tablets displaying the Ten Commandments are visible at a county court house; or when public prayers are conducted at high school football games. Indeed, each year, stories from across the country tell of “offended” people who demand that Christmas lights be taken down from the neighborhood playground, or that decorations along streets be removed because of some phantom violation of the Establishment Clause.

These are things that are happening regularly in this country – and they are entirely inconsistent with the Founders’ understanding of religion, its role in society, and their vision of keeping the federal government from meddling with religious liberties.

It isn’t clear exactly how such aforementioned activities translate into a Congressional establishment of religion or an infringement of the free exercise thereof, but clearly, a century and a half of pre-Hugo Black originalist interpretations of the First Amendment didn’t prevent ardent “separationists” from pursuing their “separation of church and state” agendas.

And that is really what sits at the heart of this entire discussion – the fallacious “separation of church and state” arguments, all based on one misinterpreted private letter written by one man who wasn’t even in the country when the content of the First Amendment was originally debated and created.

Justice Hugo Black

Justice Hugo Black

The idea of such a thing – a constitutionally judicious argument for the “separation of church and state” based on a phrase pilfered from a Thomas Jefferson letter – is a concocted notion that has been nurtured and normalized thanks in part to the Supreme Court’s “incorporation” of the Establishment Clause in the 1947 Everson vs Board of Education case – that is, the Supreme Court’s application of the Establishment Clause directly to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. As originally intended and applied by those who wrote the First Amendment, the modern view of the Establishment Clause – born with that case – is almost unrecognizable.

Whereas the Establishment Clause was originally designed to protect the states, Everson vs Board of Education effectively took power away from the sovereign states – and thus delivered a blow to federalism itself. In other words, all federal “church and state” cases were to be exercised against state laws.

Justice Hugo Black, writing for a 5-4 majority, adopted the position that government shall not be touched by or tainted by religion in any way, nor will the business of government be conducted under its influence. In using the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause to apply the Establishment Clause to the states, the Founders’ original intent was forever altered.

Black wrote:

“The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”

Even if one subscribes to the idea of the First Amendment erecting a wall between church and state, the notion that the wall is to be “impregnable” is spun from whole cloth, without an iota of corroborating history or tradition.

The Framers wanted to make certain that the new federal government did not infringe on the growing religious freedom and tolerance taking root across much of the young nation. Despite popular modern day rhetoric to the contrary, they did not wish to ensure that religion was without influence on government at all costs. In truth, there is much from the era of the founding that indicates that the vast majority of Framers supported religion because it helped to foster a more virtuous population, something that was deemed crucial for a free society to function successfully.

Take, for instance, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, reenacted by the First Congress:

Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged.

Former Chief Justice William Rehnquist, in the 1985 case Wallace v Jaffree, argued:

The Establishment Clause did not require government neutrality between religion and irreleigion, nor did it prohibit the Federal Government from providing nondiscriminitory aid to religion. There is simply no historical foundation for the proposition that the Framers intended to build a “wall of separation’ that was constitutionalized in Everson.

Indeed, the nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, proclaimed that there existed one law for all men, the Law of our Creator – the Natural Law on which the Founders built this nation. As talk show host and constitutional attorney Mark Levin writes in his book Liberty and Tyranny:

In 1776, when representatives of the colonies signed the Declaration, they did so for the first time as representatives of states and as part of a loose confederation. The designation of the colonies as states did not erase the long histories and traditions of the former colonies. Many continued to promote religion with taxes and land grants. Some states required officials to affirm their allegiance to a particular religion or religious sect by way of an oath, although this practice was dropped a few decades after the founding. And some states continued to discriminate against certain religions. But when they bound themselves to the Declaration’s principles, they bound themselves to, among other things, religious liberty. It is little understood that the Declaration was a declaration of political and religious liberty.

The Declaration’s most famous passage reads:

We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

While the Declaration of Independence is not the law of the land, it is quintessential in understanding and establishing the foundation of principles on which the United States of America was constructed. And because any and all discussions of the Constitution (adopted eleven years after the Declaration), and the amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights (added four years after that), can only be properly scrutinized if the intent of the Founders is taken into consideration, the Declaration of Independence, with its “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,” is critical to that task.

The Founders’ believed that rights could not be bestowed by men upon other men – and thus they could not be taken away by other men; these rights, they affirmed, can only come from God.

Thus, in crafting the Constitution, the Framers were very specific in the words they chose.

It is in their meaning of the words that the interpretation of the Constitution is best rooted.

James Madison said:

Father of the Constitution, James Madison

Father of the Constitution, James Madison

I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and stable, more than for a faithful exercise of its powers.

If the meaning of the text be sought in the changeable meaning of the words composing it, it is evident that the shapes and attributes of the Government must partake of the changes to which the words and phrases of all living languages are constantly subject.

What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense. And that the language of our Constitution is already undergoing interpretations unknown to its founders, will I believe appear to all unbiased Enquirers into the history of its origin and adoption.

 

Indeed, the majority of the Framers were opposed to the establishment a national church for fear that it would threaten the free exercise of religion and take away powers rightfully assigned to the sovereign states.

That is the key – and it is most relevant.

Interestingly enough, the Establishment Clause actually served to protect established state churches in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Georgia, South Carolina and Maryland at the time of the adoption of the Bill of Rights.

Antithetical to today’s conventional wisdom, the men of that generation thought it perfectly acceptable for religion to play an influential role on how government conducted itself.

As Michael Medved writes in his book The 10 Big Lies About America:

In his first inaugural address George Washington declared his ‘first official act” his “fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe” that He might bless the new government.

In his farewell address, President Washington said, “And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.”

Former Attorney General Edwin Meese writes, “There is nothing in the drafting history of the First Amendment that contradicts Washington’s understanding of the appropriate relationship between government and religion.”

In his book The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, Meese details the evolution of the Establishment Clause:

In the First Congress, the committee proposal in the House read, “no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed.” But some evinced concern that the phrase might put in doubt the legitimacy of some of the states’ own religious establishments.

James Madison believed modifying the phrasing to prohibit a “national religion” would be sufficient to allay that concern and would make clear that the new government was not to impinge on the rights of conscience by establishing a governmental connection to a church.

Representative Samuel Livermore of New Hampshire suggested that “Congress shall make no laws touching religion or the rights of conscience.”

The House finally settled on this language: “Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, nor shall the rights of Conscience be infringed.”

The Senate preferred the formula “Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith, or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion,” which likely would have permitted direct financial support to a sect.

In the end, the conference between the House and the Senate agreed on the current version: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The addition of the word “respecting” is significant.

It prohibits Congress from legislating either to establish a national religion or to disestablish a state religion.

Meese goes on to quote Laurence Tribe, constitutional law professor at Harvard – considered one of the foremost constitutional scholars in the country – who wrote, “A growing body of evidence suggests that the Framers principally intended the Establishment of Religion Clause to perform two functions: to protect state religious establishments from national displacement, and to prevent the national government from aiding some, but not all, religions.”

The unrelenting separationists of today, with the help of mass media, the entertainment industry, and the post-Hugo Black thinkocracy, have harvested such influence and power in the culture – beyond the basic intention of keeping government religion-free – that religion is increasingly perceived as best removed altogether from public influence. Such thinking would have been implausible to the founding generation – even Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. The idea that Christian services actually took place in the Capitol Building at one time – and attended regularly by such “deists” as Thomas Jefferson – would probably surprise a great deal of people. That many of the men who participated in drafting the First Amendment also attended these religious services in the federal Capitol Building is, too, deliciously ironic.

Michael Medved writes:

In Ten Tortured Words, an invaluable book on the Establishment Clause, Stephen Mansfield writes: “For all of that generation, the understanding was certain that the states were permitted to establish religion or support religion as aggressively as the people allowed.” President Jefferson explicitly shared that viewpoint, expressed in a public address of March 1805: “In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the constitution independent of the powers of the general [federal] government. I have therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it, but have left them, as the constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of State or Church authorities acknowledged by the several religious societies.”

Sadly, it has become increasingly acceptable over the course of the last half-century to view religion as a largely private matter meant to yield minimal impact on the culture at large. For many, that’s what the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment has come to mean. Even the City of Los Angeles, under pressure from fervent separationists, acquiesced to their demands and removed a cross from its city seal, despite the fact that religion played a major role in the city’s founding. (“City of Angels”).

If, for instance, public schools allot a minute each morning for students to pray if they so choose, how exactly is that inconsistent with the First Amendment? Has the federal government mandated that the student is required to believe in God? Has a theocracy been established? Has the student been required to change his religious affiliation (if he has any), or even pray at all?

Of course not.

The fact that such actions offend some or make others feel unsettled may be unfortunate, but it is irrelevant to the constitutionality of those actions in regard to the Establishment Clause. If being offended was a sound criterion for prohibiting an action, the entire constitution could be found unconstitutional. The fact is, people are offended all the time by government actions. That does not make the action unconstitutional.

The Framers made sure that the Constitution created a secular federal government with limited powers and very specific restrictions –  including prohibiting the creation of a national religion. Time has seen the Framers’ intent turned into what is now a seemingly natural and obvious antagonism between religion and government.

It is a sad reality with no historical basis.

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THE “D” WORD

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 7, 2009

Convicted Democrat

Convicted Democrat

From the “Who Says There’s Media Bias” file …

When Republicans blunder publicly, there can never be a doubt as to his or her political affiliation. Whether that blunder comes in the form marital infidelity (which is more appropriately a private matter) or an all-out, red-light case of political corruption, you can rest assured that if he or she becomes one of the stories on a television newscast, all consumers of that newscast will know that he or she is a GOPer before they are even sure what was supposed to have happened. Regardless of how severe the charge or dastardly the deed, the world will know that a Republican is behind it.

However, this is not necessarily the case for Democrats … if you can believe it.

Take former Democrat congressman William Jefferson, for instance.

Following the ex-Louisiana congressman’s conviction on Wednesday for taking bribes (on 11 of 16 counts), the big three networks were surprisingly inconsistent in affiliating Mr. Jefferson with the Democrat Party in their news coverage … as hard as that may be to fathom.

Kyle Drennen at the great News Busters website explains:

On Thursday, all three network morning news programs reported the conviction of former Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson on bribery charges, but only NBC’s Today identified him as a Democrat. CBS’s Early Show and ABC’s Good Morning America simply referred to him as a “former congressman.”

In contrast, Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News did not provide a Democratic label for Jefferson, while ABC’s World News did identify his party affiliation. The CBS Evening News made no mention of the conviction. While both Good Morning America and Today featured news briefs early in the 7AM ET hour on Thursday, The Early Show did not mention the story until early in the 8AM hour.

While CBS finally managed that single news brief Thursday morning, reporter Russ Mitchell framed the story in the context of Jefferson’s attorney appealing the decision: “A lawyer for former Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson says he will appeal Jefferson’s conviction on 11 counts of bribery, racketeering, and money laundering.” Neither Today nor Good Morning America mentioned the appeal.

Interesting to note here is that during the time period when Democrat William Jefferson was knee-deep in bribery and frozen money, one couldn’t swing a dead woodchuck without hitting a congressional Democrat going on and on about the Republican Party’s “culture of corruption.”

Remember when that little quotable was all the rage?

Speaking of “culture of corruption,” you’ll recall late last month when a slew of New Jersey politicians (among others) were arrested in a far-reaching federal corruption and money laundering scandal. How many knew that just about all of the main political players (including Mayor Pete Cammarano of Hoboken, Mayor Dennis Elwell of Secaucus, Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini of Jersey City and Jersey City Council President Mariano Vega) were Democrats?

I didn’t.

Not at first.

welcome to new jerseyIn this CBS report, in an almost two minute-long video, there is no mention of political party, nor does a small “D” show up anywhere on the screen. If the accused had been Republicans, CBS would have had little elephant icons stampeding across the bottom third.

On the day the story broke, Joe Ryan of Newark Star Ledger listed the names of some of the arrested officials in the second paragrpah of his article. Only Republican Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt was identified politically – that is, until the 11th and 12th paragraphs when Cammarano and Elwell were finally labeled as Democrats.

In an article filed by Scott Curkin, Bill King and Lakisha Bostick of WABC-TV in New York, no mention of anyone’s political affiliation came until the eighth paragraph when Cammarano was identified as a Democrat – but no one else.

However, most interesting in their piece is the paragraph where they list the names of all the Jersey City officials who were arrested.

Only the Republicans are identified politically.

(L. Harvey) Smith, a former Jersey City mayoral candidate who served four years as the city’s council president, and several other current and former Jersey City public officials also are accused of accepting money to help the fake developer gain permits and approvals.    

The Jersey City officials include:

-(Deputy Mayor Leona) Beldini

-Jersey City Council President Mario Vega

-Jersey City Council candidate La Vern Webb-Washington

-John Guarini, Jersey City Republican, also chairman of the Jersey City 9/11 Committee

-Guy Catrillo, Jersey City Republican

-Joseph Castagna, Jersey City Health Officer

-Louis Manzo, a former Assemblyman and Jersey City mayor candidate

-Michael Manzo, Jersey City fire arson investigator

Note how John Guarini is first and foremost a Republican. He is “also” a 9/11 commitee member.

Guy Catrillo doesn’t even have a title. He’s just a Jersey City Republican.

In all fairness, New Jersey has a long, illustrious history of political corruption. They’re pros over there – Democrat and Republican alike.

But have no doubt, if New Jersey were a red state, conservatism itself would have somehow been blamed as the chief catalyst for the state’s rampant corruption … or George W. Bush.

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JOHN HUGHES

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 7, 2009

John Hughes

John Hughes

John Hughes, writer and director of such classic 1980s teen-life films as “The Breakfast Club” and “Sixteen Candles”, as well as being the man behind “National Lampoon’s Vacation” and “Home Alone,” died in New York yesterday at the age of 59. 

Film critic Roger Ebert once called Hughes “the philosopher of adolescence.”

There’s no way to improve upon that.

I am not one normally taken to crafting tributes or summarizing the lives of those I respect or admire – that’s better left to people who will due the deceased justice – but I do admit to being sad about his passing, perhaps more so than I expected; not only because he was so young, but because his work admittedly made a lasting impression on me.

Films he either penned or directed, such as the iconic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and the hilariously underrated “Planes, Trains And Automobiles,” have always been among my favorites. His films were marvelously uncomplicated, well constructed, always entertaining and never condescending.

And, of course – most importantly – his films made me laugh.

And although Hughes hadn’t directed a film for almost twenty years, I always had the feeling – and the hope – that he might return to the director’s chair one day.

Hillel Italie of the Associated Press writes:

Hughes’ ensemble comedies helped make stars out of Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy and many other young performers. He also scripted the phenomenally popular “Home Alone,” which made little-known Macaulay Culkin a sensation as the 8-year-old accidentally abandoned by his vacationing family, and wrote or directed such hits as “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Planes, Trains And Automobiles” and “Uncle Buck.”

“I was a fan of both his work and a fan of him as a person,” Culkin said. “The world has lost not only a quintessential filmmaker whose influence will be felt for generations, but a great and decent man.”

Other actors who got early breaks from Hughes included John Cusack (“Sixteen Candles”), Judd Nelson (“The Breakfast Club”), Steve Carell (“Curly Sue”) and Lili Taylor (“She’s Having a Baby”).

Actor and director Bill Paxton credited Hughes for launching his career by casting him as bullying older brother Chet in the 1985 film “Weird Science.”

“He took a tremendous chance on me,” Paxton said. “Like Orson Welles, he was a boy wonder, a director’s director, a writer’s writer, a filmmaker’s filmmaker. He was one of the giants.”

Back in the day, when I had fewer rings around my trunk, and I was sure I was either going to be a professional (world renowned) musician or a highly-respected film maker, John Hughes was one of the people in the artistic community I admired most. His way of capturing a moment without ever needing to overstate or exaggerate it – to be able to summon the emotions of the viewer so that the happenings on the screen were as accesible as they were believable – impressed me tremendously.

I, too, wanted to do that.

So did many others.

I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to John Hughes and thank him for some wonderful memories of adolescence (few as they might have been).

Rest in peace.

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POLL NUMBERS FALL DOWN AND GO BAM

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 6, 2009

arrow down

It isn’t clear as to whether or not the poll takers were donning swastikas, but the latest Quinnipiac poll of registered voters shows that the job approval numbers of President Barack Obama are slipping – some might say plummeting. In fact, presupposing that no right-wing, nazi-like “astroturf” conspiracy was at play here (and who could ever be sure), precisely one half of those polled say that they approve of the job the President is doing – down seven points from late June. Meanwhile, his “disapproval” numbers are up nine points, from 33% to 42%.

Digging a bit deeper, 49% say they disapprove of the way The One is handling the economy, compared to 45% who do. And yes, by a margin of 52-39, the poll shows that registered voters disapprove of Obama’s health care overhaul. (The poll is silent on the percentage of those 52% who wear, own or have access to swastikas).

From Bloomberg:

Americans are upset about rising unemployment and worried that health-care plans making their way through Congress will add to the U.S. budget deficit, said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Hamden, Connecticut-based polling institute. The combination has helped drive down the president’s ratings.

A “willingness to give him the benefit of the doubt is, among some voters, evaporating,” Brown told reporters in Washington yesterday.

We will undoubtedly hear how this evaporating acclaim for President Obama is all the sinister work of conspiring “astroturf” right-wingers. Some will be labeled racist; others as egomaniacal, self-serving, apathetic narcissists; others still as edacious, money-gluttonous, corporate lap dogs. Obama’s shrinking numbers will be explained away as being spearheaded by angry, string-pulling conservative ideologues who dispatch talking-point right-wing automatons out into the world to disrupt the innocent prosecution of town hall democracy.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – as I’ve alluded to – has accused these town hall meeting attending Americans who oppose the government takeover of the health care system as being swastika carriers. Across the board, from the leftist end of the arena, the “movement” to preserve our liberty has been (and will continue to be) dismissed as being nothing more than “manufactured” rabble rousing – hence, the clever new bumper sticker term “astroturf” (which is the artificial antithesis to a “grass roots” movement, which apparently only liberals are capable of participating in).

Liberals control the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, the overwhelming vast majority of newspapers, all but one of the major television news outlets, the entertainment industry and academia.

Yeah, it’s us.

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CLASSY NANCY, CLASSY

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 6, 2009

She is the third in line to the Presidency of the United States.

Here was the exchange:

Reporter: Do you think there’s legitimate grassroots opposition going on here?

Pelosi: I think they’re astroturf. You be the judge. They’re carrying swastikas and symbols like that to town meetings on health care.

They’re” carrying swastikas, Madame Secretary?

Is it a movement now?

And what other “symbols like that” are you referring to?

Pictures of the Founding Fathers?

Facsimiles of the Constitution?

American flags?

If the national debt could be reduced by one dollar for every pairing of a swastika and Goerge W. Bush that appeared on college campuses, rallies, protests and other leftist love-ins during the pre-Messianic era, the country could very well be operating in the black.

From the “It’s So Obvious, I Shouldn’t Have To Say It” file … It goes without saying that it is altogether inappropriate for anyone to compare an American President to Adolf Hitler, regardless of what side of the aisle the charge comes from. That one or two isolated cases of people carrying signs with swastikas have been documented at recent town hall meetings hardly qualifies as a trend – and is yet another attempt at distracting the attentions of the American people away from a very unpopular course of action.

After all, if the word “nazi” can somehow become identified with opposing Obama’s health care plan in the nation’s cognitive schema, then Democrats have done their job.

To be fair … one of the swastika signs in question didn’t even accuse the President of being a Nazi; it only asked if Obama was really willing to go down the path of having the government takeover health care. It had a swastika with a line through it, and the word “Obama” with a question mark after it – not exactly substituting the “s” in “George W. Bush” with a swastika, but questionable, I suppose. (Government-run health care and fascism are not synonymous).

Another sign actually had a Hitler-like moustache drawn on the face of Barack Obama.

Stupid, to be sure … but only one case out of tens of thousands of people who have spoken up against the Obama health care debacle at these town hall meetings.

Disgraceful, Madama Speaker. Disgraceful.

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FIRST AMENDMENT MUSINGS

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 6, 2009

first amendment

<Isn't it amazing what a work-out our First Amendment gets? Three commas, two semi-colons and a single period help to separate and punctuate the forty-five words that comprise it. Of those forty-five, none seem to foster such cultural disconnect from the Founder’s intent nearly as much as the first sixteen do. Plain, unambiguous and rock-solid as they appear to be to a two-dimensional originalist like myself, the “big sixteen” are apparently far more malleable than I’d ever realized, laden with nuance and intricacies that even the Founding Fathers were too short-sighted to recognize.

Having been through the first sixteen words of the first amendment hundreds of times, I’ve often wondered if I might ever see what others see in them. I’ve speculated that if I perhaps read carefully enough and concentrate intently, I might unearth something buried within, perhaps discovering something masterfully woven into the text I hadn’t seen before. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to crack that elusive third dimension and continue to come up with nothing other than what the Founders wrote:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Simpleton that I am, I find nothing indistinct. To me, the phrase “establishment of religion” means designating one specific faith as the official religion of the land and calling it something like the “Church of the United States.”

Fortunately, this will never come to pass, nor could it.

All of this seems fairly straightforward, yet “the big sixteen” have inexplicably been twisted by those charged with interpreting and caring for them into somehow meaning that no religious designation of any kind shall be acknowledged, referenced, mentioned or disseminated in any place considered a public setting or forum within the United States, lest it be considered to have been “established” by the federal government. I look across this great country – from Los Angeles, California to rural Kentucky – and see a sad and frightening trend. I see a religious heritage being stripped and banished from the public square by those who have managed to discover things in those sixteen words that simply aren’t there, reinterpreting them to the point where they are actually abolishing the “free exercise thereof.”

A palpable question is: Since when is displaying a religious symbol or acknowledging a religion publicly the same as establishing a religion?

First, the obvious point … that one sentence in a private letter from Thomas Jefferson to a Connecticut religious group should, nearly a century-and-a-half after the fact, be the unembellished foundation for the trite, belabored, utilitarian argument for a “wall of separation between church and state” is laughable.

Of course, Jefferson was a slave-holder, so his credibility takes an immediate hit on any issues inconsistent with modern liberalism.

Jefferson’s one-time use of the term in a personal letter was actually written as an attempt at finding common ground with the Baptist community, of which he was not a member. In hoping to ease their concerns, and responding to spreading rumors that a national religion was close to being established (the Congregationalists), Jefferson chose to employ the language and style spoken by Roger Williams, a well-known Baptist preacher, to make his point. Williams had said:

“When they have opened a gap in the hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the Church and the wilderness of the world, God hath ever broke down the wall itself.”

Jefferson thus wrote:

“I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”

Second, and most important, even if people like Jefferson, James Madison and George Washington were not openly religious people and did not wear their faith on their sleeves (whatever that faith may have been), it only lends more strength and credence to the countless writings put forth by almost all of the Founding Fathers that without religion and God in everyday life, virtue and morality cannot exist. For instance if, for the sake of argument, Jefferson was an openly acknowledged agnostic (and he certainly wasn’t), the First Amendment is even that much more relevant and the vision and wisdom of the Founding Fathers that much more obvious.

It isn’t. That’s the dirty little secret. I know these sorts of things tend to frighten clacking yackers of modern liberalism – more so than, say, the threat of Islamo-fascist terrorism – but they needn’t worry.
Melting glaciers, second-hand smoke and fatty cooking oil will devastate the planet before Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and the Illuminati are afforded the opportunity to successfully institute a federally mandated religion.

It’ll be close, though.

JeffersonThe oft-alluded to “separation of church and state” clause exists nowhere in the federal Constitution. (This should be a booming “well, duh” factoid by now). Thomas Jefferson’s use of the term in a personal letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut in 1802 – eleven years after the Bill of Rights was ratified – and regularly cited by modern secularists and anti-constitutionalists (a phrase coined by talk-show host Mark Levin, I believe) as the smoking gun to the Founding Fathers’ endorsement of removing God from the public square, was actually written by Jefferson as an attempt at finding common ground with the Baptist community, of which he was not a member.

Jefferson’s well-selected – and appropriate – words were meant as an assurance to the Danbury Baptists that there would never be an officially state-sanctioned religion for the United States of America.

So then, what exactly do the first sixteen words of the first amendment – the “big sixteen” – really mean?

James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” said that the first amendment was worded as it was because “the people feared one sect might obtain a preeminence, or two combine together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform.” 

Note the word “sect.” It helps to illustrate a dirty little secret that may come as a surprise to the enlightened. The vast majority of the American population at the time of the founding was not only religious but also Christian. (There, I said it!) And comprising that overwhelming majority were many different Christian denominations – or “sects.” Thus, as Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, one of the founders of Harvard Law School and considered “the foremost of American legal writers,” wrote:

“The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects [denominations] and to prevent any national ecclesiastical patronage of the national government.”

The Founders, in writing the establishment clause, were actually prohibiting the exclusivity of one Christian sect from becoming the national sect – not keeping religion altogether out of the public square. Read the words of North Carolina Governor Johnston during his state’s convention to discuss ratification of the Constitution. It lends wonderful insight into the national mindset regarding the ratification debate. He said:

“The people of Massachusetts and Connecticut are mostly Presbyterians. In every other state, the people are divided into a great number of sects. In Rhode Island, the tenets of the Baptists, I believe, prevail. In New York, they are divided very much: the most numerous are the Episcopalians and the Baptists. In New Jersey, they are as much divided as we are. In Pennsylvania, if any sect prevails more than others, it is that of the Quakers. In Maryland, the Episcopalians are most numerous, though there are other sects. In Virginia, there are many sects; you all know what their religious sentiments are. So in all the Southern States they differ; as also in New Hampshire. I hope, therefore, that gentlemen will see there is no cause of fear that any one religion shall be exclusively established.”

Quite obviously, there was never an intention to remove God from public view – only the desire to keep God in plain view without having to fear any sort of reprisal from the government.

Justice Joseph Story also wrote:

“We are not to attribute this prohibition of a national religious establishment [in the First Amendment] to an indifference to religion in general, and especially to Christianity (which none could hold in more reverence than the framers of the Constitution).”

Despite this, in 1947’s landmark case Everson v. Board of Education, the First Amendment was treated to a new, restrictive interpretation, reviving and subjecting the “separation of church and state” syntax to a twentieth century makeover. Thanks to Justice Hugo Black, the following words essentially paved the way for all subsequent restrictions placed on public religiosity.

Wrote Black:

“The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”

I don’t even own a black robe, and I am saying categorically that he could not have been more wrong.

bill of rightsThe First Amendment “erects” nothing. Rather, it limits what Congress can do – namely, prohibiting the establishment of a state religion. It also prohibits Congress from restricting the free exercising of one’s religion, whatever it may be.

It’s certainly true that neither Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists or the writings of Joseph Story constitute law. Nor do the elucidations of John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison in the Federalist Papers. The Constitution itself – in its succinct brilliance – is indeed the law of the land, and anything else is ultimately fodder for think tanks, opinion columns and debating societies. But to whom else should we turn to help explicate the meaning of the Constitution? To whom should the judiciary turn to in helping to determine the Constitutionality of disputes? Isn’t it invaluable to understand exactly what the founders intended when they composed the Constitution as well as the interpretations of their contemporaries? Aren’t their expositions and thoughts regarding the very document they created (of which there is an enormous wealth available) absolutely crucial to any interpretation of the Constitution? Isn’t it essential to put it all in proper context?

And isn’t it clear that the creators of the Constitution did not ever mean to vanquish religion from public life?
There.

Some research for you.

Can we agree that the old cliché “freedom OF religion is not freedom FROM religion” is entirely consistent with the Founder’s concept of America?
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Posted in Constitution, First Amendment, History | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

GO SNITCH FOR US

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 5, 2009

white house website

The White House is asking for help.

As talk show host Mike Gallagher pointed out on his radio program this morning, the Obama administration is asking Americans to step up to the plate and snitch on other Americans.

They’re dead serious.

Rest assured, this is not Obamaphobic paranoia on my part.

The White House is quite literally requesting you to serve as informants against fellow citizens. They’re asking that the vigilant among us comb through blogs, websites, printed literature, fortune cookies, bathroom wall scribbles and any other sources of “disinformation” out there regarding the Obama health care initiative and bring them to the attention of the White House. 

The request comes directly from the White House website blog.

There is even a new e-mail address specifically created to accomodate those requests.

From the White House Blog, Macon Phillips writes:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

I had no idea that the White House actually had a crack staff of web detectives, cyber slueths and information specialists compiling lists of “disinformation” sources on the Obama health care reform plan – a plan that will effectively eliminate the free market health care delivery system in this country as we know it while lavishing incalculable debt on generations to come. 

They must be overloaded.

In all honesty, I’d like to help.

Thus, in an effort to do my part, I am voluntarily turning myself in to flag@whitehouse.gov as one of those sources of “disinformation” I was asked to keep an eye open for.

Here is the letter I have just sent in its entirety:

Dear Flag,

I wish to alert you, as per your request on the WhiteHouse.gov blog dated 4 August 2009, to another blog that has published “disinformation” in regard to President Obama’s health care reform initiatives. The blog is called “Roman Around,” and it is written and maintained by one individual – Andrew Roman.

Since I am, in fact, Andrew Roman, this information is firsthand and should be considered reliable.

At this time, I voluntarily turn myself in (while throwing myself onto your tender mercies) as a direct provider and distributor of such “disinformative” content. I am contacting you of my own free will, being of sound mind and body, as well as an ardent supporter of the free market and private sector.

As one who fully supports the Constitution of the United States, and the Founders’ intent, I must also inform you that I will continue to be a willing and enthusiastic supplier of this health care “disinformation” on the “Roman Around” blog, as well as other forums, bulletin boards, e-mail lists and neighborhood telephone poles.

I can assure you, I have not been “called to action” by right-wing activists, nor have I been recruited by anyone to launch unfounded attacks on President Obama. I am, however, an admirer of this nation’s founding documents, and believe that life, liberty and pursuit of happiness are not (and cannot be) fostered by government intervention into a health care delivery system that is still – at least for now – the envy of the world and unparalleled in terms of quality and quantity.

If you have any problems accessing my blog, please let me know. If you type “Obama farce” or “Destroying our nation” in a Google search window, you should find your way there.

Thank you for your time.

Yours truly,

Andrew Roman

http://andrewroman.net

P.S. – Tell the President he can smoke anywhere in that house he damn well pleases, as far as I’m concerned. And if he is arrested for it, there’s no need to worry. The cops will know he is black going in. (See Henry Louis Gates, Jr.)

I’m still waiting for a reasonable response to my question as to why the already existing government health care initiatives, Medicare (for people 65 years of age or older) and Medicaid (for low income and resource families), could not have been modified and/or “fixed up” first before a complete overhaul of the entire system was considered.

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Posted in health care, Liberalism, politics, Roman Around | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

DAMN THE BOURGEOISIE – POWER TO THE PEOPLE

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 5, 2009

Venezuela's positive dictator wannabe, Hugo Chavez

Venezuela's positive dictator wannabe, Hugo Chavez

I recall an incident that occurred during the 2004 presidential election cycle – the year the Republicans held their convention in New York City – while taking my then-twelve year old twin daughters to an RNC event at the big Post Office (The Farley Building) on 8th Avenue in Manhattan. We were climbing the steps, making our way inside to create banners and signs for the upcoming convention – pro-Bush stuff – when the three of us we were accosted by a small group of foul-smelling, maggot-infested, neo-hippie types shouting out their anti-Bush slogans at us.

They waved angry fingers at us, showered us with endearing terms like “nazi lover,” “fascist” and “baby-killer” and prettied it all up with some choice expletives. They moaned and groaned about Bush eroding the rights of American citizens, compared him to Hitler, and waved their own signs (cleverly substituting the “s” in “Bush” with a swastika).

The irony of being able to protest against one’s own government without the fear of being hauled away because of it, while screeching about the corrosion of civil rights, was obviously lost on them.

The “protestors” were still there when we left about two hours later, but by that time, they were tuckered out. They were sitting on the steps in front of the big post office, signs strewn all over the ground, probably too stoned to lob insults at anyone anymore. One exhausted Kerry-gal – obviously worn out beyond words – could only muster a glance at my daughters and a single comment: “Lookit. Twins. Cool.”

Obviously, it’s hard to take people who cheapen words like “fascist” seriously. These pampered rabble-rousers who bellow incessantly about totalitarianism and the suppression of rights and the destruction of civil liberties have no sense of how infinitely foolish and contemptible they sound spouting off about despotism in a country that affords them the most liberty of any in the world. It goes without saying that spoiled brat college kids who use words like “nazi” in describing George W. Bush – as well as American conservatives in general – profoundly dishonor and degrade the millions and millions of innocents who experienced the utter brutality and ruthlessness of the Nazi regime, not to mention the brave warriors who fought against them and lost their lives defending the very liberty these campus brain-deads take for granted.

And while people like George W. Bush are relentlessly vilified by the artists and performers we admire, ruthless dictators like Fidel Castro are somehow glorified. While leftists continue to pump fists and cry about the need for President Bush to stand trial for crimes against humanity, they laud genuine violators of human rights like Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

This is an extension – or the logical result – of what talk show host Dennis Prager calls the “Age of Stupidity,” born in the 1960s. We now live in an age where free, young people – with more liberty than they can handle or often deserve – walk down the streets with the likeness of a murderous hooligan like Che Guevara on their t-shirts thinking it’s “cool.” (Try to envision young Americans walking around with Hitler apparel in the 1930s and 1940s).

This is the era where equality trumps liberty and moral equivalence runs rampant. This is the time where thug nations like Syria hold a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council. This is the moment when the President of the United States is content to stay silent while innocents lay slaughtered in the streets of Iran by the hands of government.

And yes, this is the time when American elitists embrace dictators.

Totalitarian hob-nobber and well-respected thinker Sean Penn once said that Hugo Chavez is “much more positive for Venezuela than he is negative.”

(All he needs are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and he’ll be fine).

One must wonder what the likes of Penn, Kevin Spacey, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte and other back-slapping entertainment-land comrades of totalitarians and thug rulers across the globe think of a story like this from Reuters:

More than a dozen of 34 radio stations ordered shut by the Venezuelan government went off the air on Saturday, part of President Hugo Chavez’s drive to extend his socialist revolution to the media.

The association of radio broadcasters said 13 stations had stopped transmitting, following an announcement Friday night by government broadcasting watchdog Conatel that 34 radio outlets would be closed because they failed to comply with regulations.

Critics said the crackdown infringed on freedom of speech and that owners were not given the right to a proper defense.

“They’re closing the space for dissidents in Venezuela,” William Echeverria, head of the National Council of Journalists, told RCTV, a private cable TV station, which did not have its broadcasting license renewed in 2007.

Chavez defended the closures, calling them part of the government’s effort to democratize the airwaves.

I suppose that’s what President Obama is trying to do to the American health care system – democratize it.

“We haven’t closed any radio stations, we’ve applied the law,” Chavez said on state television. “We’ve recovered a bunch of stations that were outside the law, that now belong to the people and not the bourgeoisie.”

Chavez supporters say they are waging a “media war” against private news companies and have denounced in recent days what they say is a renewed offensive by privately owned domestic and international media to discredit Venezuela.

Diosdado Cabello, the public works minister who also oversees Conatel, said some of the radio stations were shut because they did not have their broadcasting licenses renewed and others transferred them illegally to new owners.

Those damn bourgeoisie. They ruin everything.

Kevin Spacey with Hugo Chavez

Kevin Spacey with Hugo Chavez

To hear it from the left, President George W. Bush was everything from a war-hungry, civil rights crushing totalitarian to a flat-out murderous fascist. He was a war criminal and a free-speech thwarting right-wing power-crazed authoritarian. All of the world’s ills can, in some way, be traced back to something done, said, conceived or associated with George W. Bush, according to leftists, Obamacrats and other mental adolescents.

No, there were no rape and torture rooms in Bush’s America like there was in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, nor did W’s government round up those who spoke out against his administration like the governments in Iran and Venezuela do. (Hollywood, the music industry and newsrooms across the nation would have gone to tumbleweeds if they had). Also, keep in mind that no media outlets were shut down by George W. Bush’s government – nor would they or could they have been.

Yes, First Amendment rights remained fully in tact under W.

Nonetheless, ask any leftist for his recollections of the Bush years, and the vast majority of them will tell you that fascism practically ruled the day. His “regime” couldn’t have ended fast enough. That America survived to reach the Messianic Age may be proof positive that God really does exist. (You can catch him sneaking cigarettes in the rose garden now and then).

Imagine for a moment if anyone in the Bush administration had even remotely suggested that a privately-owned media outlet in this country be shut down by the government.

Imagine the backlash.

With the announcement that the ever-benevolent, big-hearted Hugo Chavez is “democratizng” the Venezuelan airwaves by shutting down opposing-viewpoint media outlets, when will we be privileged enough to hear from Mr. Penn and Mr. Glover on the matter? Where are the representatives of the American branch of the Hugo Chavez fan club today now that free speech has taken another hit in Venezuela? Where are the defenders of freedom and human rights now?

Not that it will matter, mind you.

Chavez is a hero to these people.

Indeed, he could line up a hundred dissenters against the wall, have them shot, and you can bet your bottom dollar that someone as detestable as Danny Glover will still kiss his ass and call it ice cream.

… and, of course, still manage to find a way to blame it on George W. Bush.

…or the slave-owning Founding Fathers.

…or something.

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Posted in Foreign Policy, Hugo Chavez, Liberalism, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

JOE COCKER FINALLY REVEALED – 40 YEARS LATER

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 4, 2009

Like many, my “inbox” gets slammed on a daily basis with e-mails that have “made the rounds,” featuring jokes, funny pictures, political satire, links to interesting sites, and so on.

I try to give them all a look – and many of them are quite good – but rarely does one make me “laugh out loud” like this one did.

For those who are fmailiar with classic rock music, you know that Joe Cocker covered the Beatles’ song “With A Little Help From My Friends.”

He famously performed it at Woodstock – forty years ago this month.

As many of you may know, Cocker has a unique way of interpreting songs – very soulful, with a bluesy edge, manically expressive, free-flowing and from the gut (even though it often looks like he’s about to rip his open).

If you’ve ever wondered exactly what Mr. Cocker is actually singing during his rendition of the Beatles’ classic, this industrious translation may help.

Incidentally, Sunday monkeys won’t play piano songs.

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Posted in humor, Music | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

HOW ABOUT IN YOUR BACK YARD?

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 3, 2009

The sun is setting on Gitmo

The sun is setting on Gitmo

Democrats long ago lost their ability to keep themselves from advocating policies that are proven failures. They, too, misplaced their capacity to distinguish between things that sound real nice from things actually rooted in common sense (the War on Poverty, multiculturalism, raising taxes on the rich, etc.). In the “PM” days of William Jefferson Clinton (Pre-Messiah), Dems used to be very good – in fact, remarkable – at being able to twist, convolute and rework facts to cloak their misguided allusions while keeping things sounding so reasonable. They could look you in the eye, wave their fingers at you, convince you they were brewing cappuccino from mud water and charm your socks off while chipping away at your liberties.

They were clever that way.

These days, Dems run a more “in-your-face,” let’s-have-a-go-at-Marxism kind of ship. 

Sure, President Barack Obama is as good as anyone – if not better – at shoving a whole lot of platitudinal cadence together to create some of the sweetest sounding emptiness this side of Mario Cuomo. It can hardly be denied. From redefining “earmarks,” to declaring that a recession is no time for corporations to make profits, to his “strategic” silence in the wake of the violent upheaval in Iran, no one can peddle the farm food – and be praised for it – like our current Commander In Chief. In fact, early on in his seventh-months-feels-like seven years term, he was running circles around Bubba in terms of yanking the wool over the eyes of salivating disciples.

However, in recent times, it seems that Democrats are also losing the ability to hear when their own “stupidity” alarms go off. Whereas at one time, they could catch themselves, regroup, and redefine the parameters of the game in short order, today’s Dem – including the Messiah himself – is slipping. Oh sure, they still promote stupid, unproductive, emotion-based policies, but they don’t seem to be able to play their smoke-and-mirrors game as well as they used to. Maybe they’re getting lazy. Maybe they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

I opt for the ladder.

For instance, why on earth would it be necessary to open up a prison for terrorists within the contiguous 48 states when a perfectly functioning, tremendously successful, fully-equipped, enormously secure, efficiently run facility already exists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba? Why would anyone bring suspected al-Qaida, Taliban and enemy fighters who are already under lock and key onto the mainland United States so they can be locked up closer to the American people?

Who thinks up this stuff?

The words “ill-conceived” seem somewhat understated, but House Republican leader John Boehner is otherwise spot on: “The administration is going to face a severe public backlash unless it shelves this plan and goes back to the drawing board.”

At the very least, yes.

The President has had a wild bug in his nest since Day One in wanting to see the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay closed. His rationale has yet to move the needle on the “Makes Sense” meter, but it doesn’t matter. To Obama and all the happy little Obamacrats, anything connected in any way to his predecessor George W. Bush, no matter what it is, no matter how effective or successful it has been, must be eradicated. It is irrelevant that Guantanamo Bay, Cuba has absolutely nothing to do with the prison at Abu Grahib, Iraq, but it just sounds so good – and feels so right – to Leftocrats that Gitmo is being crushed by President Transformation.

True, speaking out against such atrocities as the Iranian government slaughtering its own people may be too much for any Annointd One to have to handle, but shutting down a well-run, secure detention facility that houses people who wish to wipe America off the face of the earth with such decisiveness is the mark of real leadership.

Besides, the world will love us for it.

So, in the deep recesses of the liberal mind, it stands to reason that the best thing to do – the right thing to do – after Gitmo closes up shop is take those well-guarded murderous vermin from their secure confines outside of the United States and bring them into to the United States.

From Fox News:

Several senior U.S. officials said the administration is eyeing a soon-to-be-shuttered state maximum security prison in Michigan and the military penitentiary at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as possible locations for a heavily guarded site to hold the 229 suspected al-Qaida, Taliban and foreign fighters now jailed at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.

The officials outlined the plans — the latest effort to comply with President Barack Obama’s order to close the prison camp by Jan. 22, 2010, and satisfy congressional and public fears about incarcerating terror suspects on American soil — on condition of anonymity because the options are under review.

White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said Friday that no decisions have been made about the proposal. But the White House considers the courtroom-prison complex as the best among a series of bad options, an administration official said.

This is why Democrats cannot be trusted with national security or other serious matters.

Indeed, as alluded to in the Fox News article, it makes perfect sense that there are only bad options to choose from; That’s because Obama’s plan to close Gitmo is a monumentally bad idea.

Why do it?

What is the strategic advantage in it?

It simply is not necessary. Doing so will provide absolutely no benefit to the nation and will not make her more secure.

america is safeEven if someone spiked the White House stash of Lucky Charms with LSD, how could anyone possibly think such an assinine suggestion as bringing terrorists into America when it doesn’t have to happen sounds like a reasonable alternative to keeping the facility at Guantanamo Bay open? That Obama is willingly and voluntarily closing Gitmo, and is considering bringing the terrorists detained there onto American soil, is just the latest prize from his Big-Bag-O-Incompetence.

Since January 20th, it is astounding how regularly the citizens of the United States are peppered with embarrassingly bad, horribly reasoned policies based in sheer demagoguary.

That’s why today’s liberal is dangerous.

Why go through what will be a costly, time-consuming, totally unnecessarily symbolic move when there is simply no good reason to do so?

Does closing the facility make America safer?

Is it good for the country?

Those are the only questions that matter.

Because Leftocrats act almost entirely on emotion and resist the urge of the thinking class to ascertain “what happens next,” and because transporting terrorist thugs onto the very soil they wish to destroy stands as the “best option” to Obama and Company, America is quite literally made that much more unsafe for the sake of appeasing the whims of President Obama and the children in charge.

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Posted in Foreign Policy, Liberalism, Obama Bonehead, politics, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

MEDAL ANYONE?

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 1, 2009

Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson

Why not just come out and spit on a map of Israel for the cameras? Or offer an obscene finger gesture?

Or better yet, why not just have another photograph circulated across the globe featuring him showing off the bottom of a different pair of shoes?

A “Screw You Israel” t-shirt would have done the trick.

So many possibilities.

For someone who has said that the pomp and circumstance of the American Presidency isn’t quite his cup of tea, it’s interesting (and not particularly surprising) that President Obama has decided to use such a ceremonious occasion to take a steel-toe boot to the nether regions of the nation of Israel in awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom - the highest civilian award in this country – to someone like Mary Robinson.

She wasn’t just the first female President of Ireland, or the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (which in itself should have been enough to trigger a “Something’s fishy in Denmark” alarm), but an unmistaken, unabashed enemy of Israel and a supporter of Palestinian suicide bombings as a means to an end.

Let’s not forget that she was the heart and soul of the infamous Durban I human rights conference, a.k.a Anti-Semitism-Free-For-All ’01.

President Obama would have been better served choosing a blood blister or the second Darrin from Bewitched for the award.

Richard Beahr at the great American Thinker site writes:

This is like sticking a fork in the eye of a supporter of Israel. But I am sure the Jewish left will think nothing of it. Each time I see a foreign policy decision of this administration — on missile defense, disarmament, Israel, Honduras, on the Iranians crushing dissent to their fraudulent election, the question I now ask is this: If Hugo Chavez were the American President, would the action be any different?

Far more often than not, the answer is no. We now have Hugo Chavez running the foreign side, and Henry Waxman running the domestic agenda. Is this the change we can believe in? Our country is disappearing before our eyes, if they are open.

Tevi Troy at the National Review’s Corner adds:

Robinson’s record is well known to most Jews with even a passing familiarity with the Jewish media. It cannot be a surprise that honoring Robinson in this way would be anathema to the Jewish community. In addition, I know from having worked in the White House that these selections go through extremely careful vetting of public and non-public databases to make sure that they would not embarrass the president in any way.

If you are looking for more to smile about, be advised that Bishop Desmond Tutu – who, as Behar observes, is “the man who compares Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to apartheid” – will also be receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama.

Among others receiving the honor is Senator Edward Kennedy from Massachusetts, responsible for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne in 1969, as well as the Reverend Joseph Lowery.

You’ll recall Lowery delivered that inspiring Inaugural Day benediction asking us all to work for a day when blacks didn’t have to get in back, browns could stick around, and whites could embrace what is right.

I guess Keith Olbermann is next year.

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Posted in Antisemitism, Obama Bonehead | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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