Monday, November 18, 2013

Common Core, Common Complaints

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All but a few states have formally adopted Common Core, the state-driven campaign to improve educational outcomes for K-12 students by meeting common academic benchmarks, particularly in math and English. But the program has faced criticism across the spectrum. The basic flaw of Common Core, according to education policy expert and Independent Institute Research Fellow Vicki Alger, is that its standards are “weak, costly, politicized, and unconstitutional.” In recent pieces in The Beacon, she has focused on two problems with Common Core: the political overtones of some of its reading recommendations, and the program’s threat to student and family privacy.

Common Core reading recommendations, Alger contends, include material that is pro-Obamacare and pro-union; an example of the latter was woven into the civics curriculum for third graders. But Common Core even politicizes math standards. Stanford mathematics professor James Milgram, who served as a member of the Common Core validation committee, complains that scholastic rigor was “compromised for the sake of political buy-in.” The academic content of Common Core is a major worry, but not the only cause for concern.

Alger notes that civil libertarians are increasingly anxious about Common Core’s threat to student and family privacy. Under a law called FERPA—the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act—private contractors, consultants, and other non-government personnel may become privy to data about a student’s family income, religion, student disciplinary records, and parents’ political affiliations. Last month, Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.) pressed U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to explain why, in at least one state, student Social Security numbers were given to a private data collection company. But “as interesting as any official response would be, there is still no legitimate, much less Constitutional, reason for the federal government to be spying on American citizens or their children,” Alger concludes.

Shocker: Common Core Is about Politics, Not Academic Standards,

More on Common Core: It’s about Snooping, Not Standards

Twelfth Grader Schools School Board over Common Core National Standards

An Open Letter to Oprah (Of Barack and Barry)

Via Cousin John

 barack-obama-oprah

 “There’s a level of disrespect for the office that occurs. And that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he’s African American.”

No, Oprah. In all sincerity I disrespect Obama for the same reason I disrespect you… because he is not worthy of respect.

Hard as it is to believe, in some circles of this great and glorious land we call “America,” there are people who think for themselves. These are those who don’t wait for some overpaid, egocentric talk-show host to tell them what to believe, what to think, or how to vote. They are the countless millions who expect others to take responsibility for themselves and their own families.

You see, we grew up in a time when there was no Oprah show to tell us we were poor, downtrodden, mistreated and abused.

Instead, we had to shoulder both trial and tragedy with no one to blame for our state but the man in the mirror. If we succeeded or if we failed, it was because of something we had done, not the color of our skin. There have been many in America of every race who were born into truly poor and terribly disadvantaged homes, yet succeeded wildly.

Drones, Tanks, and Grenade Launchers: Coming Soon to a Police Department Near You

Via Cousin John

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“The argument for up-armoring is always based on the least likely of terrorist scenarios. Anyone can get a gun and shoot up stuff. No amount of SWAT equipment can stop that.”—Mark Randol, former terrorism expert with the Congressional Research Service
Why does a police department which hasn’t had an officer killed in the line of duty in over 125 years in a town of less than 20,000 people need tactical military vests like those used by soldiers in Afghanistan?  For that matter, why does a police department in a city of 35,000 people need a military-grade helicopter? And what possible use could police at Ohio State University have for acquiring a heavily-armored vehicle intended to withstand IED blasts?

Why are police departments across the country acquiring heavy-duty military equipment and weaponry? For the same reason that perfectly good roads get repaved, perfectly good equipment gets retired and replaced, and perfectly good employees spend their days twiddling their thumbs—and all of it at taxpayer expense. It’s called make-work programs, except in this case, instead of unnecessary busy work to keep people employed, communities across America are finding themselves “gifted” with drones, tanks, grenade launchers and other military equipment better suited to the battlefield. 

And as I document in my book, A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, it’s all being done through federal programs that allow the military to “gift” battlefield-appropriate weapons, vehicles and equipment to domestic police departments across the country.

It’s a Trojan Horse, of course, one that is sold to communities as a benefit, all the while the real purpose is to keep the defense industry churning out profits, bring police departments in line with the military, and establish a standing army.

Who Was Throwing Spears Before Humans?

Via Ol' Remus 

 

Remains of the oldest known stone-tipped throwing spears, described in a new paper, are so ancient that they actually predate the earliest known fossils for our species by 85,000 years.

There are a couple possible implications, and both are mind-blowing. The first is that our species could be much older than previously thought, which would forever change the existing human family tree.

The second, and more likely at this point, is that a predecessor species to ours was extremely crafty and clever, making sophisticated tools long before Homo sapiens emerged.

More @ Discovery

Goodies From Ol' Remus


 1936-mississippi-terry-tomato-packing.jpg 
1936. Terry, Mississippi, a tomato packing operation
Terry is a settlement of 1,000 just south of Jackson, Mississippi. 
 
European schools are far less feminized than the American schools.  Most "ADHD" is little more than mothers and female teachers drugging little boys due to their inability to behave like little girls. It's not so much that the French schools are doing it right as the American schools are at war with human nature and the male sex. The lesson, as always, is this: sending children to a public school in America is child abuse.
Vox at blogspot.com

 art-link-symbol-small-rev01.jpg Sniffing the gallows - We went on a bond-buying spree that was supposed to help Main Street. Instead, it was a feast for Wall Street. I can only say: I'm sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed's first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I've come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time, says Andrew Huszar in this article, Confessions of a Quantitative Easer, at The Wall Street Journal.

 art-link-symbol-small-rev01.jpg A glut of media coverage on the partisan schism between Democrats and Republicans has masked a more fundamental fact: both are part of the same class. They are both members of a ruling elite that uses the political means to feed on the productive class, it is the state versus society. Republican versus Democrat partisanship is an intra class struggle and does not reflect a fundamental clash of goals. They are akin to two criminal gangs who clash because they want to control the same territory and for the same reason: to live by power and privilege, says Wendy McElroy in in this article, Politicians as Interchangeable Units, at Explore Freedom.

New capital crime discovered in New Jersey - Officers approached the man outside the residence on Stanley Street and asked him to remove his hand from his pocket. He did not comply and one officer fired pepper spray at him. The man continued to threaten the officers and did not remove his hand from his pocket. He was then shot and killed by three officers, according to the statement.
Lisa Rose at nj.com

 The insurance companies, having spent three years scrambling an egg, must now unscramble said egg. They will have to revive contracts they canceled, pursuant to a law which required their cancellation, yet without any legal leg to undo the do. Hence the lawsuits that will arise, the confusion which will ensue, the absolute chaos which will reign can only but be dimly imagined.
Richard Fernandez at pjmedia.com/richardfernandez 

The only legitimate way to interpret the Constitution—or any form or level of law, for that matter, including statutes and regulations—is originalism: the words of the Constitution and every law must be faithfully interpreted in accordance with what ordinary citizens would understand those words to mean... judges should strike down democratically-enacted laws only when the Constitution requires it, not whenever some judge thinks the people are wrong and that the his superior and enlightened understanding of life and liberty entitles him to supersede the will of the people.
Ken Klukowski at breitbart.com 

Will govern for food - The truth about government is that it consists almost entirely of people who simply aren't good enough to get real day jobs. All their grandiose central plans and legislation for the betterment of mankind are the desperate ploys of the runts of the litter to convince themselves they are not as helpless as they seem.
Texas Arcane at vault-co.blogspot.com 

 In 1906, the FDA was created to prevent "the manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated or misbranded or poisonous or deleterious foods, drugs, medicines, and liquors." Its claim that trans fat in foods make them adulterated is a deliberate misinterpretation of its powers... The FDA's food policing powers do not give it the right to ban unhealthy foods... The FDA has given itself the authority to ban everything from a glass of milk to a carton of eggs.
Daniel Greenfield at frontpagemag.com art-link-symbol-tiny-grey-arrow-only-rev01.gif 

Crime
Cincinnati - A little more than half of the homicides reported last year remain unsolved. All but two homicide victims and one suspect were black.
News article at wlwt.com, 2012
In 53 percent of violent crimes nationwide, no one is arrested let alone convicted.
Ted Balaker at reason.com
Philadelphia - 94.4 percent of the homicide suspects were black (81.7) or Hispanic.
phillypolice.com
Philadelphia "no snitch" - In Philadelphia, defendants charged with murder, rape, robbery, and serious assaults were walking free on all charges in nearly two-thirds of all cases.
Craig McCoy at articles.philly.com
WebMD's infomercial payoff - The administration’s top health care official heaped praise on WebMD for launching an online resource to help Americans navigate the complex law... the company, which millions of Americans regularly read for health news, also stood to earn millions of dollars from a federal contract to teach doctors about Obamacare... WebMD says it doesn’t believe it had an obligation to disclose to its broad consumer base its $4.8 million contract.
Jim McElhatton at washingtontimes.com

Full length war movie on YouTube.
art-link-symbol-small-rev01.jpg The Brotherhood of War, Korean, Korean War. English captions option

Congressmen Will Receive Obamacare Subsidy Even Though They Don’t Qualify Under The Law

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Allow me to plagiarize myself. Back in August, I wrote about how if you make “too much money,” Obamacare would in effect penalize you for it. If you made more than 400% of the Federal Poverty Limit (FPL), which varies by household size, even by $1, you would no longer be eligible for a government subsidy to purchase health insurance, and you’d be on your own.

Under Obamacare’s rules, as long as you’re within 400% of the FPL, you won’t be required to pay more than 9.5% of your income toward health insurance. The subsidy will pick up the difference. But as soon as you make just over 400% of the FPL, you’ll no longer be eligible for the subsidy, and you’ll have to pay the entire premium yourself, leaving you with less money by the end of the year, even though your income is higher.

Unless you’re a congressman. In which case, even if your taxpayer-funded salary is way above that 400% threshold, you’ll still be eligible for a taxpayer-funded subsidy. CNS News reported:

Under the OPM deal arranged in August, the average member of Congress who makes $174,000 a year will be able to keep his approximately $10,000 health insurance subsidy, like he used to get under his old plan, before Obamacare. Congressional staffers who buy through the exchange will also get to keep the subsidies they were receiving.

South Africa Petition Wants To Ban Melissa Bachman From Hunting There

 
 Best comment
rom buckhunter wrote 
 
A non-hunter will look at this photo and only see the death of a magnificent creature and the shameless smile of the hunter. 

A hunter will look at this photo and imagine her handing the government of South Africa $20,000 for a lion tag and that $20,000 going to conservation efforts and anti-poaching campaigns. Plus a hunter will imagine locals dining on a well needed meal of lion. Or maybe a livestock farmer free of a pesky predator. 

Funny thing is, neither is wrong. If people do not wish to hunt and kill, great. The problems arise when one group attempts to control the other because they feel everyone should be like them. Can we not just say the world is full of hunters and non-hunters and leave it at that?

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Melissa Bachman, host of the show "Winchester's Deadly Passion" posted a picture of herself on her Twitter account with a lion she shot in South Africa, prompting viral outrage. Negative and vulgar comments poured in to the now-deleted account, including one from comedian Ricky Gervais.

In South Africa, a petition to bar Bachman from the country has gathered 13,000 signatures. As posted on ABC News, it reads:

"She is an absolute contradiction to the culture of conservation, this country prides itself on. Her latest Facebook post features her with a lion she has just executed and murdered in our country.

Food Stamp Costs Swelled by States Spending $1 on Heating Aid

 
 Projected to decrease?  Fat chance.

Congressional critics looking to cut the nation’s food stamp bill, which has doubled in the past five years, are pointing to what some say is a loophole in the law:

If a state gives a resident as little as $1 a year in heating assistance, it allows that person’s household to automatically qualify for an average of $1,080 in additional food stamps annually from the federal government.

More @ Newsmax

Man shoots his attacker to death

 Ray Lee Harvey Jr

A man in Fairfield called police this morning around 4:55 a.m.  saying he shot another man who had attacked him.  When police arrived on the scene at 6702 Forest Drive they found the suspect dead.

Family members identified the suspect as Harvey Lee Ray Jr.

Witnesses on the scene and the intended victim told police Ray was beating on the victim's vehicle and eventually pulled him  from it.
 
The victim fired off one shot into the ground to scare off his attacker.  Ray continued to advance towards him.  Fearing for his safety, the victim fired several times at Ray killing him.

More @ WBRC

Two Sides to Every Story: Perspectives on the Vietnam War and the Iraq War

                                            
 
The famous photograph of Nguyen Ngoc Loan shooting Viet Cong commander. The full story behind this image is rarely told.

                                                  
Kim Phuc, "The Girl in the Picture", was paraded by the communists as a propaganda tool, until she escaped to Canada.

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This is the edited text of a talk given by Quynh Dao on the 26th of May 2004. Quynh fled from Vietnam after the Vietnam War, having experienced the conflict and the ensuing communist regime. 

She is now involved in human rights organisations in Australia. This talk was presented by Perspectives on World History and Current Events, in conjunction with the Australia-Vietnam Human Rights Committee and the Vietnamese Professionals Society (Victorian Chapter)


Introduction Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my honour to be here with Perspectives on World History and Current Events. Many prominent speakers were invited to your previous functions and so I do have reservations as to whether I'm up to the task. However I will try my best.

I share with Perspectives on World History and Current Events the worthy aspiration to aim for unique perspectives in world events, to go behind the news, to not take what is on offer by the media as gospel. I came to that point of view from my own dissatisfaction, to put it mildly, of the way the Vietnam War was and still is wrongly projected and understood by some influential people in the Western media. I'm here to share with you the other side of the story and an updated account about Vietnam, the Vietnam that I know. Many public figures have drawn analogies between the Vietnam War and the current Iraq situation. Before making comparison, before drawing lessons about the Vietnam War in any meaningful way, I think it is important to understand the Vietnam War from a factual and up to date perspective.
Vietnam War & Australia The Opposition leader Mr Mark Latham recently referred to Vietnam when articulating his Iraq policy.1 He said we got into the Vietnam War to prevent communism spreading, but it turned out to be a civil war involving nationalists who wanted unification. He echoed Jim Cairns, the Labor leader of the anti-Vietnam War Moratorium movement during the '60s. The whole of the anti-Vietnam War movement sprang from the belief that the Vietnam War was essentially a national revolutionary movement against the South Vietnamese regime, perceived by them as unpopular, not one fomented or directed by the communist North which, in turn, was being instructed by communist China.2 1 ABC Radio, 8 April 2004.
2 Paul Strangio, Keeper of the Faith, Melbourne University Press, 2002, p141.

Well, the anti-war protesters got their facts wrong. Mr Jim Cairns was wrong then. Mr Latham is wrong now.
The Truth About the Vietnam War The Vietnam War was about preventing communism from spreading. The Vietnam War was fomented by the communist North. The communist North was instructed and abetted by communist China and supported by the rest of the communist bloc.

This is not just me saying this. This is what the Communist Party of Vietnam's website says.

What does it say? Allow me to quote from the Communist Party of Vietnam's official biography on Ho Chi Minh:


"Ho Chi Minh . . . felt the need for active propaganda and organizational work in order to step up the revolutionary movement in colonial countries, including Vietnam. He deemed it his task to spread communist doctrine in Asia in general and in Indochina particularly.3
[Emphasis added.]
3 Communist Party of Vietnam's website, English version
 More @ PWHCE

The Lost Cause: A reporter remembers the agony of South Vietnam.

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VERBATIM

Thirty-eight years after the last American helicopter took off from the roof of the U.S. embassy in Saigon, it might not seem possible for any new book to offer important insights and reporting on the Vietnam war.

Duc, however, does just that. Uwe Siemon-Netto, a Far Eastern correspondent for Axel Springer Verlag, arrived in Vietnam in 1965, early enough to see an elegant, Francophile Saigon not yet metamorphosed into an Asian honkytonk by hordes of GIs, but also early enough to be an eyewitness to harrowing scenes of the Battle of Ia Drang, when U.S. Army forces and North Vietnamese regulars clashed for the first time. Siemon-Netto’s last trip to Vietnam was in 1972, when the famous North Vietnamese Easter Offensive was well underway.

Unlike some American reporters who seldom ventured anywhere outside Saigon, Siemon-Netto ranged far and wide across South Vietnam, dipping in on remote Special Forces bases and brave South Vietnamese Army units who were cutting down from trees the corpses of village elders and their children (including babies) who had been strung up, tortured, and murdered by Communist forces. The author’s love for Saigon certainly includes forthright admiration for the beauty of Vietnamese women in their fetching ao dais, but also for the cocky street urchins who kept his aging Citroen clean and safe by taking refuge in it when it rained. He also writes admiringly of the German doctors and nurses who courageously staffed the West German hospital ship Helgoland, in the face of relentless Vietcong attempts to destroy it, far up north near Da Nang.

Duc is, in parts, hilariously funny, especially when narrating incidents involving foreign reporters in Vietnam or describing the perplexity of the Vietnamese encountering Western culture and social life. But it is also poignant and tragic, especially in reporting the viciousness of the Tet Offensive of February 1968, which Siemon-Netto experienced close-up in Saigon, and whose brutal and bloody aftermath he witnessed in Hue.

He describes weeping Marines coming across hundreds of women and children murdered by the Vietcong on their way to enjoy the holiday. Then, slowly, the full horror of the Tet atrocity emerging when it became clear that the Vietcong had targeted at least 3,000 South Vietnamese civilians on written execution lists even before the offensive started. When this fastidious German reporter came upon a mass grave of victims, he was astonished to find an American television crew standing around with idle cameras. The crew refused to shoot the scene because, they said, they didn’t want to film “anti-Communist propaganda.”

Because he loved the Vietnamese so much, Siemon-Netto became deeply angry that the murderous brutality of the Communist side was never fully reported by American or other Western reporters. Vo Nguyen Giap, the North Vietnamese commander, supervised a military campaign that deliberately terrorized civilians, understanding that, in Giap’s own words, “the enemy does not possess the psychological and political means to fight a long, drawn-out war.”

Unfortunately, General Giap turned out to be correct in his cynicism: Democratic societies are too vulnerable to their own doubts and critics to stomach the vigorous and costly struggle needed to defeat persistent and ruthless tyrannies.

Siemon-Netto was, of course, well aware of some of the civilian murders perpetrated by American soldiers.  He personally reported on the court-martial of Lt. William Calley for his role in the My Lai massacre. There is also a touching scene in which he meets an American machine-gunner who was desolate with grief and contrition because the black-clad figures he had earlier gunned down had turned out to be children. But Siemon-Netto makes it clear that the chasm between Vietcong and American murders was galactic in size: The Communists carefully planned violence against civilians, whereas the Americans punished anyone they could prove had committed such acts.

Ultimately, it was the South Vietnamese who suffered most from the war, ending up under the tyrannical rule of a Hanoi regime that continued to murder thousands of South Vietnamese military and civilians even after it had won the military victory. Duc is a rhapsody of admiration for the warm and talented people of South Vietnam and for those, both Vietnamese and American, who struggled, and often gave their lives, to try to keep the country free. 

David Aikman is the author, most recently, of The Mirage of Peace: Understanding the Never-Ending Conflict in the Middle East

Obama Offers High School Seniors $30,000+ to Snoop for NSA

 

Obama is offering high school seniors $30,000 a year for college tuition, PLUS a job, housing, transportation and a galore of other benefits. Apparently, Obama is having a hard time finding youths willing to spy on their friends, so he’s upping the ante.

NSA.Gov currently has a “job” posted for young people who are desperate for a job, thanks to Obama’s lackluster recovery. Under “Careers” and “Opportunities for You,” the NSA has this posting with a bold red alert notice at the top: “Notice: Stokes Scholarship Application Deadline extended until 30 November 2013.”

 More @ Townhall

A Very Dangerous Game, Thomas Sowell

 

New York City police authorities are investigating a series of unprovoked physical attacks in public places on people who are Jewish, in the form of what is called "the knockout game."

The way the game is played, one of a number of young blacks decides to show that he can knock down some stranger on the streets, preferably with one punch, as they pass by. Often some other member of the group records the event, so that a video of that "achievement" is put on the Internet, to be celebrated.

The New York authorities describe a recent series of such attacks and, because Jews have been singled out in these attacks, are considering prosecuting these assaults as "hate crimes."

More @ Townhall

Fishing

Via dashing

Sinks

Via dashing

 

DixieBroadcasting Radio

  https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-ash2/c15.10.160.160/317014_311865865506989_105715998_n.jpg

@ WDXB

You’re Eight Times More Likely to be Killed by a Police Officer than a Terrorist

Via avordvet

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Dated 
 
It got a lot of attention this morning when I tweeted, “You’re Eight Times More Likely to be Killed by a Police Officer than a Terrorist.” It’s been quickly retweeted dozens of times, indicating that the idea is interesting to many people. So let’s discuss it in more than 140 characters.

In case it needs saying: Police officers are unlike terrorists in almost all respects. Crucially, the goal of the former, in their vastest majority, is to have a stable, peaceful, safe, law-abiding society, which is a goal we all share. The goal of the latter is … well, it’s complicated. I’ve cited my favorite expert on that, Audrey Kurth Cronin, here and here and here. Needless to say, the goal of terrorists is not that peaceful, safe, stable society.

More @ CATO

Might the Establishment Turn Against Obama?

Cartoon 



A disturbing trend among American conservatives is the increasing sense of optimism about President Obama's slow fade in mainstream perceptions, and its ramifications for the future of American leftism.  Does Obama's decline entail the undoing of the movement he represents?

Progressivism's history reveals another option, which is that the movement will, in the name of saving itself, reject Obama.


Progressives are rigid in their ideology, to be sure, but this rigidity does not extend to their support for leaders.  For it follows from the inhumane core of progressivism itself that all men -- even "historic" ones -- are expendable in the name of the cause, namely history's march into totalitarianism.


It is true that Obama has begun to get some bad, or at least unworshipful, press, and that this is both causing and reflecting a drop in his general popularity.  It is na├»ve, however, to assume that it betokens a breach of the establishment's ideological firewall. 


Apologists for Stalin's Russia were reluctant to admit that their hero was a bloodthirsty tyrant.

However, when the state-controlled press and a complicit Western intelligentsia were unable to suppress the truth any longer, even those apologists turned on him -- not because he no longer represented their views, but because he no longer served their interests.  Subsequently, this process of blaming all the regime's evils on one leader as a way of purifying the next became an essential mechanism of Soviet oppression.  It is not hard to see how democratic politics may be corrupted into the perfection of such a mechanism.  Thus, a similar fate could befall Obama, if American progressives find that their shiny hood ornament has become a rusty eyesore. 

Escape ObamaCare by Joining an Indian Tribe

 This white guy could be you
 This white guy could be you

Want to escape ObamaCare, but don’t feel like going Amish or founding the Church of No ObamaCare? There’s still another option. The tribal option.

Members of Federally recognized Indian tribes are exempt from the individual mandate subject to verification of Indian status. Now you may be saying to yourself, “But, I’m not an Indian. Sure I’ve got a distant family legend about a Cherokee ancestor. But that’s about it.”

Well joining a tribe, like getting on disability, is not that hard and it doesn’t actually require all that much. Some tribes are eager for more members and have fairly low entrance requirements. Some may require 1/4 parentage, so you’re probably out there. But some go for 1/16th.

If you can fiddle around with some genealogy, you can probably go Cherokee. There’s no blood quantum requirement. But Cherokees with a  written genealogy aren’t your best bet.

More @ Front Page

Will this court case shatter Obamacare? 'The question of whether the Constitution was obeyed needs to be litigated'

 

The Obama administration may be alarmed over the dismal number of people signing up for Obamacare, the rising health-care costs for Americans, the legal challenges to the religious discrimination embedded in the law and other problems.

But all of that would be of no consequence if a lawsuit in federal court in Washington succeeds. It alleges senators overstepped their authority in creating the Affordable Care Act and the law, therefore, is null and void.

The case argues that since the U.S. Constitution requires that revenue-raising measures originate in the U.S. House and Obamacare was created in the Senate, the law is unconstitutional. The case is headed toward the Supreme Court.

More @ WND

GRNC WINS BATTLES FOR GUN OWNERS

 

Town Governments Resist Gun Freedom
  
One would think that local politicians would be eager to do what they are legally obligated to do.  Aligning local ordinances with state law is a no-brainer, if for no other reason than it is a legal requirement. But alas, just as it has been since the beginning of time, some stubborn holdouts in government resist any change that places power back into the hands of the individual citizen. The good news is, GRNC is here to expose those holdouts, and to fight for what’s right. Such was the case on November 12th, in Asheville and in Blowing Rock. Yes, some town councilmen and women had to be dragged kicking and screaming into compliance with state law, but comply they did.

UNC School of Government Sides with GRNC
 
In October, some Blowing Rock residents asserted that, because of Memorial Park's close proximity to Town Hall, the park was actually a part of the Town Hall property. For this reason, they proposed that the park could be posted against the sane, sober, background-checked citizens who lawfully carry concealed weapons. However, a vigilant GRNC volunteer consulted with Mr. Jeff Welty, Assistant Professor of Public Law at the University of North Carolina School of Government about this issue. Mr. Welty rendered the opinion that Memorial Park was not appurtenant to Town Hall. This opinion, from the highly-respected UNC School of Government, was passed along to the Blowing Rock Town Council,  and made it clear that the town could not legally post Memorial Park against lawful concealed carry. 

Even after the UNC School of Government rendered this opinion, it became clear that some on the Town Council might still attempt to illegally ban guns from Memorial Park during the Town Code amendment’s required second reading. GRNC immediately went into action and spread the word to its supporters, who in turn phoned and e-mailed the Mayor, the Councilmen, and the Chamber of Commerce. We made it clear that we would be closely watching the Town Council’s actions on this issue, and that falling out of compliance with state law would not be tolerated. GRNC supporters attended the November 12 Council meeting and donned their “Guns Save Lives” stickers to remind Blowing Rock town leaders that the citizenry was closely watching their actions. The amendment passed, with the two anti-gun Councilmen “abstaining” from the vote (Blowing Rock’s version of voting “Present”). This was a victory for GRNC and all NC gun owners.

“Outrage” in Asheville
 
Meanwhile, in Asheville, the Mayor and City Councilmen could not quell their disdain for the State Legislature as they reluctantly voted to bring Asheville into compliance with our state’s new gun laws. Their vote to do this was soon followed by a resolution declaring Asheville’s “outrage and condemnation” for the change in the law. Said Councilman Cecil Bothwell, “What we're doing is trying to preserve as much control as we can preserve under the idiotic laws passed by our state legislature.” Trying to preserve control indeed. Ceding such control back to the citizens, such as law-abiding concealed handgun permit-holders, is always difficult for politicians. However, we commend the Mayor and City Council for shifting power back to the people with only the mildest of temper tantrums.

Victory! 
 
It’s settled. Blowing Rock’s Memorial Park will not be posted against lawful concealed carry, and Asheville city leaders have, however reluctantly, resolved to obey the law. These are decisive victories for GRNC in its support and defense of gun owners across the state! Many thanks go out to all of the watchful GRNC supporters, as well as the tireless GRNC volunteers, who made these victories possible. If you sent an e-mail, made a phone call, or attended a Town Council meeting, give yourself a pat on the back—you deserve it. You won!

The anti-gun crowd will never stop, but unfortunately for them, neither will the freedom-focused volunteers and supporters at GRNC. Until the next battle . . .
 


 PLEASE CONTRIBUTE

In order to help GRNC continue to fight for your gun rights, please consider making a contribution. Your generous donation will go along way to help preserve our priceless freedoms. Please click here to contribute, or click on the icon below (http://grnc.org/join-grnc/contribute).

D.C. Insurance Commissioner Fired Day After Rejecting Obamacare Fix

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The District of Columbia's insurance commissioner was given his walking papers on Friday, one day after he challenged President Barack Obama's fix of the troubled rollout of his signature healthcare law, The Washington Post reports.

Obama held a Thursday press conference, saying he would allow insurance companies to continue offering people policies they wanted to keep, though they had previously been dubbed substandard because they didn't offer all the benefits required under the new law."

"The action today undercuts the purpose of the exchanges, including the District’s DC Health Link, by creating exceptions that make it more difficult for them to operate," D.C. insurance commissioner William P. White said in a statement on the department's website afterward.

The next day, White was called into a meeting with the top deputies of Democratic D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and was told the mayor "wants to go in a different direction."

More @ Newsmax

Pennsylvania Town Gives Anti-Gun Mayor the Boot

Chambersburg, PA residents voted Mayor Pete Lagiovane (D) out of office on November 5th after he signed up to be part of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG).

According to Salena Zito on RealClearPolitics.com, the anti-gun influence of Bloomberg made Chambersburg hunters and gun owners feel like they were under attack. And the combination of Bloomberg and "Washington [trying to regulate] gun ownership with more background checks" caused Chambersburg residents "to react in the only respectful way they know: [by voting] out of office those who are infringing on their way of life."

More @ Breitbart

New High: 58% View Obamacare Unfavorably

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Unfavorable views of the national health care law have risen to their highest levels this year.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 38% of Likely U.S. Voters now have at least a somewhat favorable opinion of the new national health care law. That’s down seven points from 45% a month ago. Fifty-eight percent (58%) view the law unfavorably, up five points from the previous survey and the highest finding in regular surveying since early January. These findings include 15% with a Very Favorable opinion of the law and 45% with a Very Unfavorable one, another high for the year. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Captain Usina and the Leadsman Without Peer

 Michael Philip Usina

North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial
“Unsurpassed Valor, Courage, and devotion to liberty”
“The Official Website of the North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission”
“Running the Northern Blockade”
 
Captain Usina and the Leadsman Without Peer

Born in St. Augustine to Spanish parents, Captain Michael Philip Usina (1840-1903) enlisted in the Eight Georgia Volunteer Regiment (Oglethorpe Light Infantry) after the outbreak of war in 1861.

  Wounded at First Manassas, he joined the Confederate Navy after recovering and became one theSouth’s foremost blockade runners. Familiarly known as Mike Usina, his skill and daring made him famous in Nassau and Bermuda and in all of the Atlantic States.  The [Northern] consul at Nassau, Mr. Whiting, eager for his capture by the cruisers which hovered near the British islands, bough Usina’s portraits from a local photographer, and sent them broadcast among the Federal commanders in order to identify him when captured, as many Southerners escaped long confinement by claiming to be Englishmen. Captain Usina seemed to have a charmed life, but he was in reality so cool under fire and so resourceful in a tight place or situation, that he slipped through their fingers frequently when his capture seemed certain. 

“The leadsman on board a blockade runner occupied a very responsible position; he had to have great physical endurance and courage. When shoal water was reached, the safety of the ship and the lives of all on board depended upon his skill and faithfulness.  Were he disposed to be treacherous, he could, by false soundings, put the ship in the hands of the enemy or run her in the breakers and endanger the lives of all. 

My leadsman was a slave owned by myself.  On the last trip of the Atlanta, while under fire, the ship was going very fast toward shoal water, I thought possibly he might get rattled, and to test him I said: “Irwin, you can’t get correct soundings, the ship is going too fast, I’ll slow her down for you.” 

He answered: “There is no time for to slow down, sir, you let her go, I’ll give you the bottom”; and he did, he being a leadsman without a peer.  I have had him for hours in cold winter weather, with the spray flying over him cold enough to freeze the marrow in his bones, the ship often on shoal water, frequently but a foot to spare under her, and sometimes not that. Yet I never knew him to make a mistake or give an incorrect cast of the lead. 

He is the man to whom, when pointing to the island of New Providence, I said: “Every man on that island is as free as I am, so will you be when we get there.” He answered: “I did not want to come here to be free, I could have gone to the Yankees long ago if I had wished.”

And afterwards, when the war was over, I said to him: “I am going to England, perhaps never to see Savannah again, you had better go home.” His answer was: “I cannot go without you,” and he did not. The feeling that existed between us can only be understood by Southern men; by a Northern man, never.” 

(Chronicles of the Cape Fear River, 1660-1916, James Sprunt, Edwards & Broughton, 1916, pg. 426)

The Battle of Stalingrad Reenactment

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More @ bonmaier

 

Sas VW RollGolf in action

Via Daily Timewaster

New homeowner opens shelter sealed since 1961

Via Daily Timewaster

 exchange - stop in time


With effort, Craig Denham heaves open the heavy metal door.

He heads down the steep, thick concrete steps that are set in solid limestone. He takes a sharp left into the darkness, then another, before revealing an astounding time capsule preserved from the height of the Atomic Age.

In the backyard of the creative director's mid-century modern home in West Lake Hills is a 1961 fallout shelter in near-mint condition.

Two retractable cots hang from one wall in a cramped room that is illuminated by a single light bulb. Nearby is a crank for the air shaft; across the way are spigots for water stored in tanks.

In one corner is a low, odd-looking toilet sheltered behind a plastic shower curtain.

"Probably leads right into the aquifer," Denham, 44, joked to the Austin American-Statesman (http://bit.ly/1bFWNe3) before pointing out a disabled periscope near the stairwell. "Perfect for the zombie apocalypse if it comes."

More @ The Eagle