Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The Chinese Communists invaded Washington on Monday demanding not that we sacrifice our freedoms but rather that we balance our budget. Creditors get to make that kind of call. And the Marxists of Beijing, who have turned out to be the world’s most prudent bankers, are worried about their assets invested in our banana republic.
“China has a huge amount of investment in the United States, mainly in the form of Treasury bonds. We are concerned about the security of our financial assets” was the way China’s assistant finance minister put it. Briefing reporters at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, he added, “We sincerely hope the U.S. fiscal deficit will be reduced, year after year.” Quite sincerely, one suspects, given a U.S. budget shortfall this year that is slated to reach $1.85 trillion.
Suddenly, it was U.S. officials who were promising deep reform to their disgraced economic system rather than demanding it from incompetent foreigners. President Barack Obama’s economic team of Clinton-era holdovers, who a decade ago had hectored China on the virtues of fiscal responsibility, now were falling over themselves to reassure the Chinese that their $1.5 trillion stake in U.S. government-issued securities is safe, and that they should buy more at this week’s $200 billion Treasury auction. If they don’t, we’re in big trouble...
...And don’t blame any of this on peacenik liberals. The new conciliatory—nay, deferential—tone toward China precedes the Obama administration, having begun in bilateral talks during the last years of the Bush administration as the U.S. economy began its ignominious downfall. It was George W. Bush’s treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, who set the course when the former Goldman Sachs chairman realized how dependent were his Wall Street buddies on Chinese goodwill...
...The tone of this week’s talks, ironically held at the Reagan Building and co-chaired by Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, finally signaled the end of the Cold War assumption that regimes with labels like communist and capitalist could not form profitable partnerships...For those who recall the rhetoric of the Cold War, the idea that we would someday be cooperating with Chinese Communists because they had humbled us economically rather than militarily is a startling turnabout. How did they get to be better capitalists than us, and being that they are good capitalists, why are we still spending hundreds of billions a year on high-tech military weapons to counter a potential Chinese military threat when the weapons they are using are all market-driven deployments?...
I feel like we're in an episode of Punk'd. Except for it isn't Ashton Kutcher playing a joke on us.
It's America playing it on herself.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This attitude is pervasive in our culture. It used to be that no matter how criminal you were, killing a cop was something hardly even thought about. Now even bloggers [in poor taste] joke about it, as was seen here by one comment: "...My philosophy in dealing with the police is simple: stay out of my way and I will stay out of your way. But if you step on my toes, better hope you kissed your wife buh-bye when you left for work that day because I don't put up with any shit from anyone. Especially a cop." I was floored by this comment. I mean, talk about crossing the line.
Here are some excerpts from Vidal's essay, America The Great ... Police State:
...Every municipality is complaining about local police forces run wild. And no one does anything about it. And our masters are armed to the teeth and would seem more likely to fire at us instead of at the troublemakers. I can’t think of any civilized country that would allow this, from the look of these bulky guardians of the peace, to whom no right-minded person would allow even a slingshot to be given.
So, we are a weirdly militarized citizenry governed by the worst elements in the United States, and something is bound to blow up, as I have felt for some time now. In my wanderings around the U.S., I talk to people without money, without power, ordinary voters, as well as nowadays, people maimed by war, or time, or life or whatever, and I am convinced more and more that this is a vicious country in which the police are allowed to run amok, absolutely independent of anyone, and that is why from time to time they are allowed to get away with murder. One surprisingly knew that a wrinkle has been discovered in the seamless surface of our troubled state. Policemen are seldom tried for their crimes, or indeed, held responsible for what they do, which disturbs the peace and causes distress among the orderly.
So, we are a weirdly militarized citizenry governed by the worst elements in the United States, and something is bound to blow up, as I have felt for some time now. In my wanderings around the U.S., I talk to people without money, without power, ordinary voters, as well as nowadays, people maimed by war, or time, or life or whatever, and I am convinced more and more that this is a vicious country in which the police are allowed to run amok, absolutely independent of anyone, and that is why from time to time they are allowed to get away with murder. One surprisingly knew that a wrinkle has been discovered in the seamless surface of our troubled state. Policemen are seldom tried for their crimes, or indeed, held responsible for what they do, which disturbs the peace and causes distress among the orderly...
...Anyway, the president has not done what he should have done, which is to have reminded us that the United Kingdom—a more livable nation than the United States, let me say with first-hand experience of both—has disarmed its police. There are no angry men wandering around carrying guns over there. This is a lesson to us, but we’ve armed practically every grange house in the United States because our regular guys just want to swagger around.
Let us accept the facts staring us in the face—that demonstrably we are no longer a republic. We are no longer governed by laws, only by armed men and force. This is just like the days of Billy the Kid. You have an armed man going down a dusty street and that is authority. And it has come to this for us...
And so Vidal goes, decrying police and wanting to disarm them, because they are all criminals in his mind, based upon some encounter he had in the '40s.
Not to mention that police corruption is at all-time lows, so much so that when an isolated incident does happen, it makes national headlines.
Not to mention that Police Officers are shot at as a part of their jobs.
But let's take away their guns and tasers. Let's send them out there like UN Peacekeepers without guns. Let them just ask criminals to be nice. I'm down. Let's do it. I'm sure those criminals, armed with uzis, shotguns, and knives, will be more than happy to oblige a uniformed, unarmed person. I'm sure crime will go down, and utopia will be the norm of the land again.
We'll start the unarmed policemen with Gore Vidal's hometown.
Sunday night, three officers responding to a domestic disturbance were talking to one of the residents when another began to shoot at the officers for no reason.
Three officers were hit. Only two survived.
Click here for the whole story.
Sgt. David Kinterknecht died answering a "routine" call. How was Sgt. Crowley to know that Gates wasn't armed? Or that his yelling wouldn't inspire a roomate to do the same? The police don't know, so when someone won't calm down, they are arrested to immediately diffuse a situation.
This weekend was bad for cops responding to routine calls:
In New York, NYPD Officer Rodney Lewis was shot responding to a domestic disturbance.
In Oklahoma, two sheriff's deputies were killed trying to serve an arrest warrant at a suspect's home.
All of you who judge Sgt. Crowley for diffusing a situation with an irate homeowner: You never know who is armed and may shoot the police for no reason at all, even from their own residence.
Friday, July 24, 2009
It is just getting worse. Obama has come out against the police, saying that the Police "acted stupidly" in arresting Gates, while acknowledging that he "doesn't know all the facts" and that he "may be a little biased" because the professor, Henry Louis Gates Jr., is a friend.
"But I think it's fair to say, No. 1, any of us would be pretty angry; No. 2, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, No. 3 ... that there's a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately."
So instead of letting the police do their job, he makes this into a national incident. Not only that, but he generalizes and stereotypes all police offices, especially white ones. Isn't that what is being thrown at the police here? Police around the country are understandably upset. Obama is playing to the "cops are bad" mentality. Why don't we just get rid of the police and see how we are then. Let society crumble under anarchy. See who gets "profiled" then.
And now Professor Gates, whose charges were dropped, is going to sue.
Attorney Charles Ogletree said Gates might sue the department and would bring forward witnesses who say they've had similar experiences with Crowley.
When asked for specific examples, Ogletree said only that they may come out in time depending on how the police department handles the situation moving forward.
Isn't procuring false witnesses a crime? But Ogletree is saying that they will bring "witnesses" when money is on the table. Witnesses get paid for their time. And suddenly, when money is to be had, these people will come forward? Sounds fishy to me. Some mature professor.
He can't handle that the police officer didn't let the celebrity get away with getting in the officer's face. He yelled "You don't know who you are messing with!" when the officers came to investigate the possible break in. And then injects race into this. If you look at pictures, there is a black officer, and the secondary officer was hispanic. But since the primary officer was white, Gates pulls the race card and tries to claim racism. Seems to me like Gates is the racist here.
In the wake of this, many people are coming to the support of Crowley, of all races and walks of life.
Numerous police officers, including African-Americans, have spoken up on Crowley's behalf and portrayed him as a good and fair officer. Crowley, who is white, had once been chosen by a black police officer to teach a police academy course on ways to avoid racial profiling.
Cambridge police Commissioner Robert Haas said he "deeply regrets" the arrest but stands by the procedures his department followed.
"I trust [Crowley's] judgment implicitly. He is a stellar officer," Haas said.
"I believe that Sgt. [James] Crowley acted in a way that is consistent with his training at the department, and consistent with national standards of law enforcement protocol," Commissioner Robert Haas said, referring to the officer who made the July 16 arrest at the professor's home.
Crowley also said he is exercising caution and his previous actions clearly show he is not a racist.
In fact, Crowley taught a racial profiling course at the Lowell Police Academy, said Deborah Friedl, deputy superintendent of the police department.
Last year was his fifth year as a co-instructor of the course, Friedl said.
"He seems to be a highly regarded instructor at the academy. He consistently received high praise from students," she said.
Check out this video, in which an African-American female voices support for Sgt. Crowley and says "shame on" Gates for turning this into another racial statement.
But Gates continues to demand an apology from the police for daring to arrest him, when he's obviously famous and they "don't know who they are messing with!" I am so tired of celebrities thinking they are above the law. And I'm tired of minorities accusing white police officers of racism whenever they are arrested. It's getting ridiculous.
It's true there was racism here. But it was Sgt. Crowley; the racist behaviors came from Professor Gates and his supporters who jumped behind the black man against the "evil policeman"...racism is racism, even when directed at white men.
Obama has apologized for worsening the situation, and said he "hoped the controversy surrounding Gates' arrest provides Americans with "a teachable moment" on how they can improve "relations between police officers and minority communities."
Gates is still maintening that he was 100% faultless, and that he may still sue.
Gates' lawyer is still threatening suit, and that he'll find people that don't like Crowley, saying "I think you will be hearing much more complex and different perspective on him [Crowley] in the coming days and weeks," Ogletree said, alleging that Crowley "is well-known among people, particularly young people, for some of his police practices."
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I've seen this on a few blogs, with different takes. Here's what CNN has to say about it, which to date has the most information available. It IS conflicting, but take a look:
Charles Ogletree, Gates' lawyer in this case, told CNN on Tuesday that Gates -- the director of Harvard's W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research -- had returned from China on Thursday to his Cambridge home and discovered his front door jammed.
He opened his back door with his key and tried unsuccessfully from inside his home to open the front door. Eventually, Gates and his driver forced the door open from the outside, Ogletree said.
The professor was inside for several minutes when a police officer, Sgt. James Crowley, appeared at his steps and asked him to step outside, the lawyer said.
According to his lawyer, Gates told the officer he lived there and showed him his Massachusetts driver's license and Harvard University identification card. The officer followed him into his house and said he had received a report of a possible break-in, the lawyer said. Gates grew frustrated that the officer was continuing to question him in his home and asked for the officer's name and badge number, Ogletree said.
The police report offers a different account of the incident.
Gates refused to step outside to speak with the officer, the police report said, and when Crowley told Gates that he was investigating a possible break-in, Gates opened the front door and exclaimed, "Why, because I'm a black man in America?" the report said.
"While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited toward me," he said, according to the report.
The report said Gates initially refused to show the officer identification, but eventually produced a Harvard identification card, prompting Crowley to radio for Harvard University Police.
Gates followed the officer outside and continued to accuse him of racial bias, the report said. After Crowley warned the professor twice that he was becoming disorderly, the officer wrote he arrested Gates for "loud and tumultuous behavior in a public space."
You know, I'm a little conflicted here, but after reading a few articles and blog posts on this, I have to say I'm with the Police Officer on this. The Officer is required to follow up on calls of possible break ins, and many criminals will claim to be the owner. When the Officer asks for proof, the citizen should show proof, and leave it at that.
But following the officer outside, accusing him of things? That can quickly get under a cop's skin. And make him feel threatened, prompting a warning. If Gates didn't stop after getting warned, he deserved to get arrested.
Gates thought that he could harass an Officer just doing his job and get away with it because he played the race card and because he is famous.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
US Reservist Stefan Frederick Cook received his active duty orders on June 9th, and by July 8th he filed suit under lawyer Orly Taitz, the slime lawyer heading up the class action lawsuit against Obama, challenging his Presidency. This is ridiculous. Cook wanted "conscientious objector" status, because he didn't want to go to Afghanistan if the President isn't a Republican. Oops, I mean because he believes that the President isn't the President. What? This turncoat should be court-marshalled for this. Isn't there some kind of military code against bringing frivilous lawsuits against your Commander-in-Chief?
Good thing the judge had some sense. US District Judge Clay Land dismissed the lawsuit today because the soldier had already received a reprieve from the military, rendering the lawsuit moot. But the Judge had some good stuff to say about this stupid lawsuit:
..."[The Founding Fathers] concluded that the Judicial Branch, the unelected branch, should not inject itself into purely ‘political disputes,’ and that it should not entangle itself in hypothetical debates which had not ripened to an actual legal dispute.”
But here's the clincher: Cook believes this crap.
"...[Cook] fears that if he executed Obama’s orders, he could be prosecuted as a war criminal
for following the orders of an illegitimate commander-in-chief."
But here's where he could, and should be, prosecuted in a court-marshall:
Land asked Taitz whether Cook requested to simply have his orders rescinded, instead of filing a lawsuit.
Taitz said she filed an Article 138 complaint with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen. An Article 138 complaint gives members of the armed forces under the Uniform Code of Military Justice the right to request redress if they believe they had been wronged by their commanding officer.
According to Ausprung, an Article 138 complaint has to go through the soldier’s chain of command. Cook did not go through his chain of command, Ausprung said.
Anyone who believes this garbage is an idiot. But using it to get out of military service? Wow. "Coward" isn't a strong enough word.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Nonetheless, I'm not an expert (most of us bloggers aren't either).
This is from an article I read in USA Today in early 2008 (I read it in TIME as well, but can't find that one right now) goes right in the face of many arguments about deporting the 11 million illegals we have.
Illegal immigrants are paying taxes to Uncle Sam, experts agree. Just how
much they pay is hard to determine because the federal government doesn't fully
tally it. But the latest figures available indicate it will amount to billions
of dollars in federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes this year. One
rough estimate puts the amount of Social Security taxes alone at around $9 billion per year.
Paycheck withholding collects much of the federal tax from illegal
workers, just as it does for legal workers.
The Internal Revenue Service doesn't track a worker's immigration
status, yet many illegal immigrants fearful of deportation won't risk the
government attention that will come from filing a return even if they might
qualify for a refund. Economist William Ford of Middle Tennessee State
University says there are no firm figures on how many such taxpayers there
"The real question is how many of them pay more than they owe. There are
undoubtedly hundreds of thousands of people in that situation," Ford said.
"It's a mistake to think that no illegal immigrants pay taxes. They
definitely do," said Martha Pantoja, who has been helping Hispanic immigrants
this tax season as an IRS-certified volunteer tax preparer for the non-profit
Nashville Wealth Building Coalition.
Pantoja said she has helped a number of construction workers who,
because they are classified as independent contractors by their employers and
have no taxes withheld, owe big tax bills come April. Beyond income tax, they
have to pay the full Social Security and Medicare taxes due.
Social Security Administration estimates that about three-quarters of illegal
workers pay taxes that contribute to the overall solvency of Social Security and
The impact on Social Security is significant, though, because most
of that money is never claimed by the people who pay it but instead helps cover
retirement checks to legal workers.
"Overall, any type of immigration is a net positive to Social Security.
The more people working and paying into the system, the better," Hinkle said.
"It does help the system remain solvent."
The Social Security Administration
drew from census and Immigration and Customs Enforcement data in 2007 to project
the effects of higher and lower immigration patterns.
If net immigration is
high at 1.3 million people a year, the SSA's combined trust fund would be
exhausted in 2043. But the fund runs out four years earlier if
annual net immigration amounts to about half that — 472,500 legal immigrants and
250,000 illegal immigrants.
In 2006, then IRS Commission Mark Everson told Congress that
"many illegal aliens, utilizing ITINs, have been reporting tax liability to the
tune of almost $50 billion from 1996 to 2003."
An IRS spokesman said
more recent figures aren't available.
The Social Security and Medicare taxes
from mismatched W2s for the same period was $41.4 billion,
That adds up to roughly $90 billion in federal taxes during
they eight-year period.
The IRS defends the ITIN system, despite
criticism that some illegal immigrants have used it to open bank accounts, get
mortgages and establish a record of residency and taxpaying they hope might
someday lead to legal status.
"The ITIN program is bringing taxpayers into the system," Everson told
Ford, of Middle Tennessee State University, said a majority of
economists agree that illegal immigrants are a net benefit for the U.S.
He said the tax contributions from illegal immigrants, including sales
taxes, property taxes and excise taxes (such as the gas tax), are
He calculates that illegal immigrants contributed $428 billion
dollars to the nation's $13.6 trillion gross domestic product in 2006.
That number assumes illegal immigrants are 30% less productive than other
"If anything we need more immigrants coming into the country, not less,
especially with the baby boomers retiring," he said.
-$23,148,855,308,184,500...plus a $15 overdraft fee.
What did Muszynski buy?
A pack of cigarettes at the gas station.
Muszynski called the bank about the string of numbers on the screen and a $15 overdraft fee the bank tacked on to his mysterious debt. After two hours on the phone, Muszynski said, the representative on the line had no idea what to say.
"She just tried to assure me that everything would be fixed, and I couldn't see something like that being fixed," Muszynski said.
Nearly 24 hours after the hole formed in his bank account, Muszynski checked his statement again. The bank corrected his statement a day later.
I especially liked what he said he'd do with the money if he really had that much, and here's where the politics comes in:
If he had $23 quadrillion, Muszynski said he would give it all away, and maybe also bail out General Motors a few more times.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
1. The Congressional Probe doesn't question, nor does it criticize, the objectives and intentions of the program launched in 2001, since its aim was to stop terrorism.
2. The investigators did, however, conclude that the legal basis for doing the program was "factually flawed" and that relying on one attorney, the now infamous John Yoo, to provide the legal framework was extremely inappropriate for all parties involved.
The White House should not have relied upon one attorney in the Department of Justice. John Yoo was also well out of line to provide it, because he circumvented his bosses, Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, and Attorney General John Ashcroft.
"The lack of oversight and review of Yoo's work ... contributed to a legal analysis of the [program] that at a minimum was factually flawed," it says.
Since then, the Justice Department has repudiated all of John Yoo's legal opinions on this and others: the John Yoo Memos, in which he gave [flawed] legal rationale for the US Executive Branch to overturn much of the Bill of Rights, citizen or not, in search of terrorism.
The report notes that several members of Congress -- including then-House Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Nancy Pelosi -- were briefed on the program on October 25, 2001, and a total of 17 times before the program became public in 2005.
The document repeats the public assertion by former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden that no member of Congress had urged that the program be stopped.
John Yoo should be disbarred. He circumvented Dept. of Justice protocols, and his legal memos were all, at best, "extremely flawed." Also, I have to ask: Why did the White House depend solely on the opinion of one immigrant lawyer on issues so important as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Here are his definitions. I think I agree with them:
Left-wing and Right-wingers often sound like liberals and conservatives but are not afraid to trample truth in order to achieve their political goals. “Propaganda” is often too strong a term to even begin to describe the logic and the veracity of what passes as political discussion from both ends of the spectrum.
Liberals and Conservatives both have principles and represent what is best in America. They just disagree. They may even see truth differently but they both try to put America first. America is not a victim when these two meet — preferably over a beer or some other wholesome American pasttime. America is blessed because at the end of the day we all, liberal and conservative alike, are challenged in our views and there wisdom and answers from both.
A Moderate is absolutely the finest blending of red, white and blue. Moderates are perhaps the most practical of all Americans — their focus is on consideration of the facts and selecting the best solutions. Unlike liberals and conservatives they seldom have the hurdle of having to get past their pride to get on with getting on to finding an answer. Unfortunately perhaps, being a political moderate does not work everywhere in the USA and the result is that moderate politicians are often caught crossing the street when the light turns against them. God bless them.
Progressives are made up of liberals, moderates and conservatives. A progressive will normally claim fondness for one of the aforementioned political outlooks. The two greatest differences between progressives and their other American kinfolk is that they are proactive, rather than reactive; and they live in the land of ‘why not?!’ Progressives sometimes share the same challenges that moderates do, except they’ve figured out how to run like hell across the street when they see the lights change.
I like these definitions. Anyone want to add to them?
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The Liberals are happy about it, in a sense, because they never liked her.
The conservatives are happy about it, because Sarah Palin can do no wrong in their eyes.
And that makes me afraid.
The right talks about the "Obamassiah" and "the One" on the left.
For those on the right, that is Sarah Palin.
On one blog, I read a conservative blogger defend Palin's decision:
"She didn't quit! What are you smoking?"
Um, what? She didn't quit when she...quit?
If Sarah Palin is all we have to offer in 2012, we are done for. As David Frum writes over at New Majority,
...[we] are afraid that Palin’s distinctive combination of sex appeal, self-pity, and cultural resentment has a following in today’s GOP. We are afraid that it is not utterly inconceivable that she could win the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, and we are afraid that if she did so she would lead the party to a 1964-style debacle, accompanied by unnecessary losses down the ballot.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Most likely, it is to clear the way for a Presidential run for 2012.
God, I hope I'm wrong.
Sarah Palin one of the worst candidates to come from the ranks of the GOP in a long time.
During the McCain candidacy, she couldn't name any Supreme Court decisions she agreed with or disagreed with (except for Roe v. Wade, of course). Her foreign policy experience? Russia is almost seen from Alaska!
And now she quits on her constituents after a [undeserved] lashing from the press. Yes, her lashing was undeserved on such subjects as her family life; her womanhood; her sexuality. On her political career, however, she was fair game, and just couldn't take the heat.
So she abandons Alaska so she can facebook and twitter away to her [fanatically, unrealistically] loyal fanbase.
Just because she is conservative does not mean she is qualified for the Presidency.
Her resume was often compared to Obama's. In 2012, his will be much more qualified, with four years as President, while hers will have shrunk, since she couldn't even finish what she started. She will hold no weight in a contest between her and the incumbent.
How ridiculous that she actually sees this as a strategy.
The GOP better find someone strong, and soon.
Otherwise we'll be stuck with "gotcha!"
Saturday, July 4, 2009
I know, its tomorrow, but I'll be out of town.
So as of yesterday, July 2nd, we have been free for 233 years. (The Second Continental Congress approved the Resolution of Independence on July 2nd, 1776).
In the words of John Adams, in a letter to his wife Abigail:
The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
Though he was off by two days in the celebration, he was correct in the spirit of it. For 233 years,we have celebrated this day and the freedoms we were given.
So thank you to the founding fathers. Thank you to all veterans, past, present, & future, for making our freedoms possible.
And may we be forever free, whether a Republican or Democrat sits in the Oval Office.
May we be free, no matter what our political affiliation.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, 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. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Gov. Sarah Palin announced Friday that she will step down as Alaska's chief executive by the end of the month. She will not seek election to a second gubernatorial term in 2010.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announces she's stepping down this month.
Palin, a Republican, was elected governor in 2006. She was tapped as Arizona Sen. John McCain's vice presidential running mate last year.
Palin said she was transferring authority to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who will be sworn in at the Governor's Picnic on July 25.
A Republican source close to her political team told CNN's John King that it was a "calculation" she made that "it was time to move on." The governor's "book deal and other issues" were "causing a lot of friction" in her home state, the source said, adding that he believes she is "mapping out a path to 2012."
As the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, Palin has been considered one of the front-runners for the GOP nomination in 2012. Her decision not to seek another term as governor is sure to stoke speculation that Palin is seriously eyeing a run for the White House.
In an interview last month with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Palin said she was unsure about her re-election bid because she needed to focus on her state and her family.
"So, no decision yet on either 2010 or let alone 2012?" Blitzer asked.
"No decision that I'd want to announce today," Palin responded.
Palin catapulted on the national stage last August when McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, chose her as his running mate.
Whoa. Not sure how I feel about this yet. She's stepping down, most likely to run for President?
I'll have more on this later.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
In a phone interview with MSNBC, Representative Henry Waxman, D-CA, accused the Republican party of being unamerican in voting against the cap & trade, stimulus, and budget measure. Waxman used some surprisingly familiar rhetoric when he said that the GOP has been "rooting against the country" by voting no on the Democrats' bills.
In the article, the author first gives part of Rep. Waxman's accusations:
So far, this Congress -- since Obama became President -- the Republicans have said no to an economic stimulus bill, they’re saying no to a global warming bill... They want to play politics and see if they can keep any achievements from being accomplished that may be beneficial to the Democrats. They're rooting against the country and I think in this case, even rooting against the world because the world needs to get its act together to stop global warming. I wish they were playing a more constructive role. Some Republicans doubt the whole science of global warming, even though the consensus is overwhelming. They don’t want to believe it.
The author then points out the similarities in the rhetoric from the left on global warming, and the rhetoric from just a few years ago from the right on global terrorism. He takes Waxman's quote, and replaces "global warming" with phrases about the war on terror and Iraq:
So far, this Congress -- since they became the majority -- the Democrats have said no to the troop surge, they’re saying no to a war funding bill... They want to play politics and see if they can keep any achievements from being accomplished that may be beneficial to the Republicans. They're rooting against the country and I think in this case, even rooting against the world because the world needs to get its act together to stop global terrorism. I wish they were playing a more constructive role. Some Democrats doubt the whole success of the surge, even though the consensus is overwhelming. They don’t want to believe it.
Hmm. Interesting. Never thought about it that way. The similarities are striking.
Don't believe it? Here's Paul Krugman from the NY Times:
Do you remember the days when Bush administration officials claimed that terrorism posed an “existential threat” to America, a threat in whose face normal rules no longer applied? That was hyperbole — but the existential threat from climate change is all too real.
The author of the article points out that both sides are looking for "snakes in the garden," being vigilant against those they view as trying to ruin the country. But, he points out, "his accusation was both wrongly directed and poorly applied."
That happens on both sides of the aisle. It really should stop. I like how he ends the article:
...In Waxman's recent episode, legitimate concern was mistaken for callous sedition, quite possibly because he (like Krugman and others) truly believes global warming is a more deadly threat than radical Islam. In his world, regrettably, basic policy skepticism is “treason” and the largest tax on the middle class in more than a decade, in the words of another Democrat, is “patriotic.”
Funny, you could switch that around as well.