Monday, April 25, 2011
I read with interest the recent letter that included this:
"I fully realize what a hungry man will do to feed his family and have even been told by a law enforcement officer that he don't need to store food. He said that he could take it for his family so they don't starve. I know he has a large arsenal and I get his drift."
This fallacious and frankly un-Christian belief that the writer encountered is not unique. I was discussing the need to obtain an emergency food supply with a couple of lads who work at the local shooting range. I told them that the hard times that are fast approaching and they needed to make some preparation now while there is still time to do so.
They laughed and said they had plenty of ammunition and weapons and figured they could "take what they needed" when TSHTF.
I told them: "There's one problem with your 'plan.'
Across-the-board spending cuts are needed to fix the U.S. fiscal problem; unless they are enacted, special interests will win and the public at large will continue to be saddled with huge levels of public debt, according to Ivan Eland, director of the Independent Institute's Center on Peace & Liberty.
In his latest op-ed, Eland argues that the bloated U.S. military budget is one area that grows almost ceaselessly, due to domestic political concerns. "Weapons purchases are often welfare projects doled out to congressional districts and states with political clout," he writes. "In fact, unlike in the commercial market, defense contractors don't give subcontracts to the best subcontractors but spread them around the country to build political support, so that it is very difficult to kill weapons programs."
Pushing for across-the-board spending cuts, Eland argues, is the only strategy that could defeat the "iron triangle" of interests that succeed in fostering greater increases in public spending and debt. "If every program in the budget had to take a substantial and equal percentage cut," he continues, "the plan could be sold with the simple and honest phrase: 'In this dire time of record budget deficits, endangering the creditworthiness of the United States, everyone must sacrifice equally.'"
In the 2009 “Nation’s Report Card” of students’ achievement, by state, produced by the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences, Californian students ranked 49th in reading—ahead only of Hawaii and the District of Columbia—and above only Mississippi in science.
One would think that those kind of statistics would focus all attention on reversing the tragedy of processing students through schools that leave them incapable of dealing with the world they will inherit.
One would be wrong.
Instead, last week, the California State Senate passed a bill specifying:
Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people would be added to the lengthy list of social and ethnic groups that public schools must include in social studies lessons….
This new legislation clearly helps fill the gaping holes in earlier mandates:
California law already requires schools to cover the contributions to the state and nation of women, African Americans, Mexican Americans, entrepreneurs, Asian Americans, European Americans, American Indians and labor.
Sorry, guys, but a child who cannot read, and knows little math and science, is not going to get a lot out of such “social studies,” and is certainly never going to make history.
Here we go again:
Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, whose outspoken libertarian views and folksy style made him a cult hero during two previous presidential campaigns, will announce on Tuesday that he's going to try a third time.
The fact that Ron Paul was absolutely right about everything he warned Republicans during the last primary should make him the automatic nominee. Naturally, this means that the Republican leadership is going to do everything they can to stop him so that they can throw up a sacrificial RINO.........
"If you are wondering why some folks are starting to question whether a college education is worth the cost, the video below goes a long way towards explaining it. Recently, the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) sponsored two college courses: Introduction to Labor Studies and Labor Politics and Society, to be taught simultaneously through a video conference between to two campuses."
"It may sound a little callous and abrasive to even be suspicious of Obama's choice of churches for Easter Sunday 2011, but given the climate of the media bias so overwhelmingly in favor of casting Obama in the best light possible, the regular media professionals can't be trusted to actually do some basic reporting.
The one and only detail reported about Shiloh Baptist Church was that it was founded by freed slaves during the Civil War. There was no mention that this was the first Presidential visit to Shiloh, nor any mention that this inaugural visit could be more than a coincidence.
Was there no mention that this is a predominately black church because the media didn't want the American people to know that our President chooses his church based on race? I'm reticent to openly guess at the media's intentions, but when flattering facts are reported and unflattering facts are omitted, we have no choice but to fill in the blanks.
It's understandable that the President hasn't been to eager to jump back into church life given that the one and only church our President has ever joined in his life is one of the biggest political sandbags he carried through the 2008 campaign."Via Weasel Zippers
I've posted before about the ongoing battle over Oakwood Cemetery in Richmond. (See here and here) Oakwood has more (17,000) combat-related Confederate graves than any cemetery in the United States. But the current U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs administration doesn't want to honor these veterans with any proper V.A. issued headstones. I think they're playing politics. What an absolute disgrace.
As Lee Hart of the SCV noted in a recent Richmond Times piece about the ongoing battle:
"This is total, total discrimination," said F. Lee Hart III of Suffolk, chairman of the SCV Oakwood Restoration Committee. "I don't think they want to see an Arlington of Richmond, with all of the positive media and tourism that this cemetery will draw, this being the largest combat casualty Confederate cemetery."
Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.
Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days. He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”
Well one California criminal used his tattoos to get him INTO prison. For a loooong time.
Via Weasel Zippers
"One of the most fundamental concepts in economics is the reality of scarcity. No matter what economic system a nation employs, no matter what laws are passed, there will simply never be enough resources to fully satisfy everyone's desires. Every nation therefore must choose a way to allocate their limited resources. This has been done by the sword and spear, on the whims of politicians and bureaucrats and, in the free market system, through the free decisions of individual citizens reflected by the price system.
In the long and miserable history of government intrusion of health care, perhaps the single most damaging act has been to hide medical care prices from the patient. Americans are actually very sophisticated consumers but the government doesn't trust them to to consume health care. Instead they've created a system that utilizes third-party payers (insurance companies, Medicare, etc.) and while the prices may be hidden from the consumer the ever-increasing costs in the form of premiums and taxes certainly aren't.
Imagine using the government's health care economic model for any other sector of our economy."
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- "Taliban militants dug a lengthy tunnel underground and into the main jail in Kandahar city and whisked out more than 450 prisoners, most of whom were Taliban fighters, officials and insurgents said Monday.
The massive overnight jailbreak in Afghanistan's second-largest city underscores the Afghan government's continuing weakness in the south, despite an influx of international troops, funding and advisers. Kandahar city, in particular, has been a focus of the international effort to establish a strong Afghan government presence in former Taliban strongholds.
The 1,200-inmate Sarposa Prison has been part of that plan. The facility has undergone security upgrades and tightened procedures following a brazen 2008 Taliban attack that freed 900 prisoners. Afghan government officials and their NATO backers have regularly said that the prison has vastly improved security since that attack.
But on Sunday night, about 475 prisoners streamed out of a tunnel that had been dug into the facility and disappeared into Kandahar city, prison supervisor Ghulam Dastagir Mayar said. He said the majority of the missing were Taliban militants."
*My Suggestion For Equal Time For The S&S
Citizens in our (once) free republic founded under the English common law system, have both the power and the right to vote according to conscience when they sit on a jury and can vote not guilty even in the face of the law and in the face of the evidence. The defendant also has a right to expect that his jury will be fully informed of their rightful power to vote "not guilty" if they believe justice requires it, regardless of the evidence. Anything less is not a real jury trial.
The jury issues no opinion, gives no explanation of its decision. It simply renders its verdict, and if the verdict is "not guilty," that acquittal cannot be questioned or overturned by any court. It is telling that a conviction can be overturned, but an acquittal cannot – the deck is stacked on the side of the liberty of the individual on trial. While a judge can overturn a jury conviction that in his judgment is unsupported by the evidence, or where the jury harbors prejudicial animus toward the defendant, the judge cannot overturn an acquittal even if the evidence is overwhelming – even if the defendant admits on the stand that he did the actions of which he is accused.
A landmark case in jury history is that of William Penn,