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Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Photos from the Staten Island Advance
Did Donald Trump just outmaneuver President Obama on the so-called “birther” issue? It sure looks that way at first glance. In interviews Trump for weeks has been musing about whether the nation’s chief executive was really born in America. Now Obama has released a detailed Hawaii birth certificate in an effort to end such questions.
In politics, anytime you force an opponent to react to you, as opposed to talk about what they want to talk about, you’ve often scored a point. “Winning!” as that unemployed former sitcom actor would say. So in that sense – which admittedly is pretty narrow – Trump may have managed to do something none of the other GOP presidential hopefuls have yet accomplished.
Well I have news for you, Mr. Obama. You better go after many other Americans, too: home buyers, stock buyers, gold buyers, art buyers, classic-car buyers, wholesalers, small-business owners and investors. Because everyone who risks money to buy things and attempts to resell later at a profit is a speculator.
By going after oil speculators, Mr. Obama is setting the stage to go after every businessman and woman in America, seeking to redefine profits as either immoral or criminal, and targeting, demonizing and punishing the people who invest in America, courageously take financial risk and create most new jobs.
Why is Mr. Obama engaging in class warfare? Because A) he has to blame and demonize someone for his failures; B) he has to distract American consumers and voters from a failing economy and $5 per gallon gas; and C) most investors and speculators are fiscal conservatives, many of whom contribute to Mr. Obama’s political opposition.
"The rain fell through the canopy of oaks as I drove down the dirt road along the bayou toward my house. During the summer it rains almost every afternoon in southern Louisiana. From my gallery, around three o'clock, you could watch the clouds build high and dark as mountains . . ."
The words belong to Dave Robicheaux, the Louisiana detective created by crime novelist James Lee Burke. But they could just as easily belong to Hunt Slonem, the celebrated New York artist who now owns Albania Plantation on Bayou Teche and who declares that sitting on its rear gallery is "as good as it gets on the planet."
The Slonem era at Albania, in Jeanerette (Iberia Parish), began several years ago when he bought the Greek Revival house and 10 acres of grounds after its longtime mistress, Emily Cyr Bridges, passed away.
Slonem credits his studies at Tulane University, in the early 1970s under renowned architectural historian Sam Wilson, with beginning his love affair with old Louisiana buildings. His feelings increased over the years as he made many trips to New Orleans to exhibit his artwork in local galleries. On one visit, he got a lead on buying a plantation.
"I got off the plane and my Realtor said, 'We're going to Albania tomorrow, ' " Slonem recalled. "It was love at first sight. The house was everything I craved, right down to the falling plaster. I didn't know how I was going to pay for it, and it needed so much work. But after my first offer was rejected, we eventually worked it out."
By the time Slonem took possession, the storied home's contents -- 50 years worth of Bridges family artwork, antiques and curiosities -- had been auctioned off.
"When I got the house, everything was gone, including the chandeliers. There was nothing but bare light bulbs, three of Miss Emily's dresses hanging in a closet and loads of trash that took 10 truck loads to haul away, " he said.Via Jerry, Belle Grove
GUT 271: Government
Information Retrieval Paper
U.S. vs. C.S.
Constitution, Confederation, and War
....That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. (Declaration of Independence – last paragraph).
From the inception of the Declaration of Independence, the United States had been a collection of “free and independent states.” This is reflected in the wording of the United States Constitution regarding taxes: “Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union” (U.S. Constitution, Art. I S 2).
Although the end result of the American Civil War was to make this loose collection of states one of the largest and most respected countries in the world, the Federal Government then turned a blind eye to rights guaranteed in the United States Constitution and waged war upon it’s own citizens. As we face the diminishment of our rights under The Patriot Act, it would do well to heed British Statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke, who said “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”
Among the rights in the United States Constitution that were granted, two recognized slave ownership; Article I called for the cessation of slave importation in 1808:
The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person. (Art.I S 9)
No Person held to Service or Labour [sic] in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, But shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due. (Art.IV S 2)
The U.S. Constitution also gave states and individuals certain non-enumerated rights: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people (Amendment IX).” “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” (Amendment X).
All of these Constitutional articles formed the basis for the War Between the States. The North’s primary source of income was industry. The South’s primary source of income was farming; a human labor intensive occupation that necessitated the use of slaves. From 1820 onward, the economic needs and political outlooks of the two areas continued to differ, widening into a chasm (Funk, Wilfred 1744; Andrews 6). Federal taxes meant to protect Northern businesses from competition by European businesses which imported their cotton from the Southern states caused price of cotton in the South to drop and the costs of manufactured goods to go up (Wikipedia, Tariff).
Taxes continued to grow along with the country and the Federal government. The rights of states to make their own laws regarding slavery were questioned. The issues continued to create divisiveness between the Northern and the Southern states. In November of 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected President to an already feuding United States (Funk. 1744).
Lincoln’s election caused further fractures between the North and the South. The eleven Southern states, (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee) seeing their Constitutional rights being challenged, called on their perceived states rights to leave the union of the United States, created their own Confederacy, and formed their own Constitution of the Confederate States of America (Funk.1745; Library of Congress 909-924).
During “Mr. Lincoln’s War,” as it was sometimes called (Wikipedia, Naming), the rights of individuals guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution were trampled. Homes in the South were taken over by Federal soldiers for use as quarters. Amendment III of the U.S. Constitution states that “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” Federal soldiers often searched through houses taken over by them, removing anything they deemed suspicious, destroying personal belongings, and keeping certain items as trophies; clearly violating Amendment IV of the U.S. Constitution: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,....” Yet the Federal army at the time seemed to have forgotten that particular section of the Bill of Rights when they took Martinsburg (then) Virginia. Belle Boyd was present in Martinsburg when the Federal Army took over. On July fourth of 1861 she wrote:
The Yankees were in undisputed possession of Martinsburg; the village was at their mercy, and consequently entitled to their forbearance; and it would at least have been more dignified in them had they been content to enjoy their almost bloodless conquest with moderation; but, whatever might have been the intentions of the officers, they had not the inclination, or they lacked the authority, to control the turbulence of their men (Boyd 63).
The doors of our houses were dashed in; our rooms were forcibly entered by soldiers who might literally be termed "mad drunk," for I can think of no other expression so applicable to their condition. Glass and fragile property of all kinds was wantonly destroyed. They found our homes scenes of comfort, in some cases even of luxury; they left them mere wrecks, utterly despoiled and mutilated. Shots were fired through the windows; chairs and tables were hurled into the street (65).
Even the home occupied by Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his wife, Mary Custis Lee, was not above appropriation. Immediately following the secession of Virginia in 1861, Federal troops occupied the land and built several forts on it. In 1864, while the war was still on, a requirement was made that the taxes on the property had to be paid in person. Robert was away at war, while barriers to travel (transportation difficulty, as well as the necessity for passes through areas that may or may not be granted at the whim of commanding officers) made the trip impossible for Mary. The property was put on the auction block and purchased by a tax commissioner for “government use, for war, military, charitable and educational purposes.” The cemetery was established by Brigadier General Montgomery C. Meigs in June of 1864 with the intent to “render the house uninhabitable should the Lee family ever attempt to return.” (In 1870, Lee’s son, George Washington Custis sued the Federal Government for illegal confiscation of property that was rightfully his by inheritance. The Supreme Court agreed in 1882, citing that the property was confiscated without due process. The property was returned to Lee who then sold the property back to the U.S. Government in 1883 for $150,000.) (Arlington National Cemetery website)
Art 4, S3 of the United States Constitution states:
New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claimes [sic] of the United States, or of any particular State.
On June 20, 1863, Congress made the decision to take a part of a state (Virginia) and turn it into a new state (West Virginia) without the consent of the legislatures of Virginia and the proposed new state. The method of creation and the issues it raised caused several senators at the time to debate against the formation of the new state on the grounds that the action was unconstitutional and improper (Winston).
Anyone who studies history and government together can easily spot the manipulation of the United States Constitution by the Federal Government during the Civil War. Today that manipulation seems far away and historically quaint; but is it something that we should be more concerned about? There has long been a call to make the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms null and void. The Patriot Act has already taken away some of our rights to privacy under the guise of a “War against Terror.” Indeed, how many more “guaranteed” rights will no longer be guaranteed if we don’t know what they are or how close we are to losing them? We should heed Edmund Burke’s admonishment to know our history, so that we are not destined to repeat it.
Andrews, Matthew Page. The Women of the South in War Times. Baltimore. The Norman, Remington Co. 1920
Arlington National Cemetery website 23-May-06
Boyd, Belle. Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison. Vol.1 London. Saunders, Otley and Co. 1865 Rare Book Collection University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1998 23-May-06
Funk, Wilfred, Inc. “Civil War” The Universal Standard Encyclopedia NY. Standard Reference Works Publishing Co, Inc. 1956 and 1957 Library of Congress. 58th Congress, 2d Session Senate Document No. 234.
Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861—1865 Volume I . Washington Government Printing Office 1904 909-924 27-Apr-06
Wikipedia “Tariff of 1828” 2 May 06
Wikipedia “Naming the American Civil War” 2 May 06
Winston, Shelton Article “Statehood for West Virginia: An Illegal Act?” on West Virginia Division of Culture and History 23-May-06
CBS News has learned that House and Senate investigators have descended upon Arizona for their probe into the so-called "Gunwalker" scandal. They're gathering interviews from witnesses, including ATF insiders and area gun shop owners. Sources tell CBS News the congressional investigators are frustrated by what they view as across-the-board stonewalling by government agencies which have refused to provide information in the investigation. Government officials have said they won't provide information while their own investigations are ongoing.
"They're investigating themselves," says one source on Capitol Hill, "and then claiming the open investigations preclude them from giving Congress information it needs for independent oversight. It's highly improper."
California Handing out Money for Booze and Cigs: One News Story that sums up the Entire Welfare State Disaster
"California: A beautiful place destroyed by socialism."
I hate to admit this but for the most part, I really don't follow California politics any more. Sure, my Once Golden State is a shining rusted-over and decaying example of what liberalism/progressive policy and the entitlement mentality does to a once-thriving society but the argument against further destruction is a useless enterprise. Their comes a day -- as with the parent of a spoiled child -- where one throws up his hands and says ''to hell with it, he has to learn by his own mistakes!"
It's simply disgusting and even more disgusting is that the fools that inhabit this place want more of it because they have yet to pay the price! Remember, there was only one area of the country that didn't say Hell No! to the Obamanation agenda last November.
And you know what? These people vote -- and outnumber productive earners twofold -- and they send fools to Sacramento that think "assistance" dollars should go to those who don't (and in many cases, choose not to) work and instead opt to live the Life of Riley while you and I and the dwindling percentage (a tad over 30% of the population, according to the 2010 Census) that work here haven't yet fled and pick up the tab with the highest taxes and lowest quality of life to show for it in the entire nation! (sighing as I catch my breath).
Good news, though: The Life of Riley now officially includes a taxpayer-supported buzz:
Via Wolf Files
The Battle for Sweden
Part 2 of a Series
In 2001, the politics of Denmark turned against the liberal immigration policies that threatened to bankrupt the Danish social welfare budget and destroy Danish culture and social cohesion. Denmark is one of the few countries in Europe to see a net decrease in its immigrant population in the last few years. However, the damage done by liberal immigration policies is not going to disappear overnight. In Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark, nearly 45 percent of first-grade students are Muslim, and that means that in ten years at least 45 percent of the 17-year-olds in Copenhagen will be Muslim. As in other European countries, most Muslim youth in Denmark do not want to assimilate to Danish culture, have little identification with Denmark, and do poorly in school. In various degrees, they are in a civilization Jihad with Denmark and the Danish people.
Only a narrow strait, the Oresund, separates the Danish island of Zealand (Sjaelland) and Copenhagen from the tip of Southern Sweden. A five-mile-long bridge, in fact, connects Copenhagen with Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city. Thus only a narrow strait divides Europe’s strongest convert to immigration sanity and a nation on the brink of cultural and political implosion because of immigration insanity.
The last time I visited Sweden was in 1986. At that time, it was still one of the most ethnically homogeneous states in Europe. There was remarkably little crime, and despite a heavy burden of taxation, Sweden was by and large a prosperous and happy country.
In 2010, the Muslim population of Sweden was 451,000, just over 5 percent of the total population of approximately 9.0 million. This is expected to double to nearly 10 percent by 2030. Only 81 percent of the population of Sweden is ethnically Swedish, but Finns and other Scandinavians constitute a large portion of the immigrant total of 14 percent. Sweden has an open-door immigration policy but has also swelled its immigrant population by taking in a greater number of political refugees than any country in Europe. Little scrutiny, however, has been exercised in screening refugees. In fact, since counting immigrants is politically incorrect in Sweden, there is a controversy over the total population of Sweden.
As elsewhere in Europe, Swedish Muslims and other third-world immigrants have been drawn to ghettoes or “enclaves.” These enclaves are exploding in Sweden. The most famous is Rosengard in Malmo. The population of Malmo is about 300,000, of which nearly 25 percent is Muslim. The population of Rosengard is about 30,000, possibly more. Of these more than 90 percent are Muslims from the Middle East, Albania, and former Yugoslav states. Rosengard is especially known for its high crime rate and high degree of Islamization. Many consider Rosengard to be a lawless area outside of de facto Swedish police jurisdiction. Except for contact with Swedish welfare offices, there is little contact with outside Swedish society. There is thus no need to learn Swedish or assimilate to Swedish society. Only about 20 percent of the men and less than 10 percent of the women in Rosengard have jobs. Rosengard is a virtual “no-go” zone for police, fire, and ambulance service without reinforced special police force deployment.
In 2009, Sweden hosted Israel in Malmo for the Davis Cup men’s tennis match. More than 6,000 anti-Jewish demonstrators filled the streets of Malmo. More than a thousand Swedish police, equipped with tanks, were required to keep them in check. Twelve additional Danish Police tanks were brought in to help. Swedish history professor Kristian Gerner called it the worst Jewish safety crisis in Sweden since World War II.
Swedish social anthropologist Aje Carlbom attributes Rosengard’s development as a social nightmare and Muslim enclave to low levels of immigrant education, massive immigration numbers from Muslim countries, and the fact that Swedish ideology ranks multiculturalism as “the highest of values.”
According to Norwegian immigration writer Hege Storbaug, “In enclaves like Rosengard, Islamists have firm control over the residents, and conditions are ripe for the spread of politicized Islam.” A series of articles in Aftonbladet in 2004 contained an admission by Malmo Police that they have little control over Rosengard and that brutal crime is ravaging the city. Public transport has been drastically reduced. Teachers have been savagely attacked, often by students. Rape has quadrupled in the last decade.
In the last 20 years, the number of Muslim enclaves in Sweden has increased from three to 136. Stockholm and Gothenburg now have neighborhoods much like Rosengard. Sweden is no longer a safe place, especially for women and children.
Sweden now has the highest number of rape crimes per capita in Europe with over 6,000 being reported in 2009. This is twice the rate of second place Britain and almost four times the rate for Germany and France. Just under one-third of the rapes in Sweden involved children under 15-years-old. Furthermore, The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention believes that only 10 to 20 percent of rapes are reported. Who are the main perpetrators? Sweden, of course, is too liberal to collect crime statistics by ethnicity, but a study by Dr. Ann Christine Hjelm of the districts of Stockholm and Uppsala found that 85 percent of the violent sex crimes were committed by criminals of foreign origin.
As in Denmark, Muslim immigration to Sweden is threatening to bankrupt Swedish welfare. Approximately 50 percent of social services outlays in Sweden are paid to non-Western immigrants.
The Islamization of Europe
Will Sweden Act in Time?
Part 3 of a Series
According to the conservative Brussels Journal, “Sweden is self-destructing at a pace that is probably unprecedented in history, but for the extreme Left, even this isn’t fast enough.” The battle for Sweden’s future is still in the balance, but two things are certain: Sweden has one of the most costly and socially destructive immigration problems in Europe, and Sweden’s Leftist parties are doing everything they can to make it worse. The worst-case scenario is the death of Sweden, when native Swedes will be a minority without rights in their own country—a future totalitarian nightmare.
When the Great Depression of the early 1930’s arrived in Sweden, there was naturally an increased desire in Swedish society for more material security. This proved a great political opportunity for the socialist parties in Sweden, and the Social Democratic Party was able to win control of the government in the 1932 elections. The Swedish Socialists had a long-range plan, which they executed astonishingly well. Their plan was first to dominate the media and then the educational establishment. By dominating such powerful means of influence they would be able to marginalize Christianity, which they considered divisive and ideologically and socially backward. Controlling government, media, and education, and marginalizing Biblical Christianity allowed them to reshape Swedish society into the humanist, socialist society of their ideological dreams.
The Social Democratic Party was able to stay in power for 44 years, until 1976. They regained power in 1982 and kept it until 1991. They regained it again in 1995 and kept it until 2006.Thus they have had an enormous impact on Swedish society. Fortunately, a center-right alliance narrowly defeated the leftist parties in 2006. Public dissatisfaction with Sweden’s self-inflicted immigration problems was one of the silent deciding issues. The 2010 election tilted further to the right with the independent nationalist Sweden Democrats (SD) going from zero to 20 votes in the 349-seat Riksdag (parliament).
During the election, Sweden Democrat (SD) leader Jimmie Akesson stated that the SD wished to cut political assylum and family reunification immigration by 90 percent. In the Social Democrat newspaper Aftonbladet, He wrote that the growth of the country's Muslim population “is the greatest foreign threat to Sweden since the Second World War.”
However, both the Center-Right Alliance (Moderate, Liberal, and Center parties) and the “Red-Green” Coalition (Social Democrats and the radical social and environmentalist Greens) pledged not to seek SD support and have tried to distance themselves from “xenophobic” issues. Moderate Party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt, was, however, reelected Prime Minister.
The Center-Right Aliance got 49.3 percent of the vote and 173 seats in parliament, while the Red-Greens fell to 43.6 percent of the vote and 156 seats in parliament. Sweden Democrats got 5.7 percent of the popular vote and 20 seats in parliament. They gained these votes eventhough they were excluded from TV debates, had several of their political meetings broken up by violent demonstrators, and had several party members assaulted. One criticism of SD was that they had some Nazi’s associated with the party in the 1970s, but there are none now.
Sweden has two serious political obstacles to survival. Since 1932, the Left has continued its dominance of the media and educational spheres of influence in Sweden and still strongly influences the remaining religious spheres of influence. In addition, the so-called Center-Right Alliance will not even officially acknowledge that out-of-control immigration and a large and fast-growing anti-Swedish Muslim population are serious problems. Only the small SD Party is speaking out on the issues. Yet opinion polls indicate that two out of three Swedes doubt whether Islam can be combined with Swedish society
Another huge problem in getting people to come to grips with Sweden’s nation-threatening immigration problems is that for any subject touching on ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and a growing list of other sensitive issues, there is no free speech. Dahn Pettersson, a Swedish local politician was fined 18,000 kronor ($2,955) for writing that 95 percent of all heroin brought into Sweden comes via Albanians from Kosovo. Yet this is an indisputable fact. A Brussels Journal immigration critic recently remarked that on many important social issues, there is more free speech in North Korea than in Sweden.
Prime Minister Reinfeldt at least realizes that immigration is causing a serious threat to the Swedish welfare state. Each non-Western immigrant costs the Swedish economy a net loss of 170,000 Kronor ($27,920) over their lifetime or stay in Sweden. Non-Western immigrants use 50 percent of the Swedish welfare budget. You cannot have a welfare state and open-door immigration for long. The clock is ticking away on Sweden’s economic or social collapse. Yet Reinfeldt is getting little cooperation, even in his own party, to start making changes to save the country. The Rikstag consensus is that doing something to halt the Islamization of Sweden is un-liberal and therefore evil. I don’t know how they reconcile Islam’s anti-Jewish teachings and violence with making anti-Nazism a moral fetish. Islam and Nazism are likeminded on this issue. Criticism of Islam is hate speech in Sweden, but violence against Jews, Christians, and other Swedes by Muslims is swept under the rug.
The wave of robberies and muggings in and near Muslim enclaves is something most Swedish politicians will not talk about. No one in the Riksdag, save a few brave members of the ostracized SD Party, seems to notice the victims. They do not notice that Swedes are fleeing from cities like Malmo. Where is their concern that Sweden now has the highest sex-crime rate in Europe—6,000 rapes in 2009—and one third of the victims are children? Where is their concern that Sweden is no longer a safe place?
There is a battle for Sweden, but time is running out for the Swedish people to win. The Riksdag is a long way from the discernment and courage necessary for Sweden’s survival.
--Noah Webster, On the Education of Youth in America, 1788
Contrary to the claim made by the Iranian Center for Non-Military Preemptive Defense, the Stuxnet virus has disabled Iran’s nuclear centers.
Contrary to the claims made by Gholam-Reza Jalali — director of the Iranian Center for Non-Military Preemptive Defense — regarding the nature of the virus and Iran’s capabilities in dealing with the fallout, Stuxnet has wreaked serious and perhaps fatal havoc on the foundations of energy structure and the operating systems of the Bushehr nuclear installation. According to the Green Liaison news group, over the past year and a half the Bushehr plant has incurred serious damage and has lost major capabilities.
An individual involved in Iran’s nuclear activities reports that this virus was placed in the system by one of the foreign experts contracted to Iran. The virus has automatic updating capabilities in order to track and pirate information, and can also destroy the system hardware step-by-step. The internal directives programmed into the structure of the virus can actually bring the generators and electrical power grids of the country to a sudden halt, or create a “heart attack” type of work stoppage.
Via Double Tapper
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