Saturday, February 18, 2012

The War Is On: Obama’s Gestapo Arrest Catholic Priest For Praying Outside White House

February 17th, 2012
Posted By Pat Dollard

The Arrest Comes After #Occupiers Throw Grenades At White House Unmolested, And As #OccupyDC Continues To Illegally Occupy Park….

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Father Denis Wilde, OSA, associate director of Priests for Life, was among six people arrested today during a peaceful protest outside the White House.

Father Wilde was representing Priests for Life at an organized protest of the HHS contraception mandate that violates the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion. Priests for Life yesterday filed a lawsuit against the Obama Administration that seeks to permanently block the implementation of the mandate because it imposes clear violations of conscience upon any American citizens who morally object to abortion and contraception.

Father Wilde and the other protesters, including the Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, were cited for “Failure to obey a lawful order” as they knelt in prayer in front of the White House. They each paid a $100 fine and were released from custody.

“Occupy Wall Street protesters have been occupying federal property for months, but when we kneel in prayer, the police are called in and we are arrested,” Father Wilde said. “We knew that was the risk when we gathered today, and we will do it again regardless of the risk. What people of faith – of every faith – need to do now is stand with us.”

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said the New York-based organization remains committed to battling the HHS mandate because it forces Americans to become morally entangled in practices they find objectionable.

“As an organization of Catholic clergy, as a corporation that employs 60 people of various religious backgrounds, and as a ministry whose very purpose is to protect and promote the pro-life teaching about the specific practices at issue in the HHS mandate, we are particularly well-positioned to fight against this intrusion of conscience,” Father Pavone said.

To see the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, on Wednesday, click here:

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit

Today’s Top Story!

Written By : Michael Fell - RWN

The “progressive” Party Pravda, in concert with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and with permission from their overlords at Media Matters for America, announced today that construction of a ladder to heaven is scheduled to begin next spring, immediately after the current administration begins its second term. Funding will require implementation of a 100% tax rate on all tax brackets, to be supplemented as needed with dollars printed by the Federal Reserve.

It has been confirmed that only unions donating sufficient funds to “progressive” re-election campaigns will be considered as potential labor for the project. Quintuple overtime union wages will be paid for the duration of the construction, which is expected to take five to six hundred times as long to complete as originally planned.

Objections raised by Conservative Americans about the negative impact this project may have on the national debt were met with ridicule from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who said:

“This Tea Party fueled overreaction to a shovel ready project that will put tens of millions of struggling middle class Americans back to work, by racist, hostile, demon extremists is clearly due to failed Republican ideas and lack of leadership by George W. Bush. We have to pass this bill to be able to see what’s in it.”

Questions about how to cover the overhead costs of paying union members being taxed at a 100% tax rate were deferred to the Treasury Department. The term “sufficient funds” was not defined.

The commander in chief was in Air Force One flying to yet another $50,000.00 a plate campaign fundraiser in Hollywood and thus was unavailable for comment.

Film at 11:00

Is the Current Santorum Criticism Substantive, Or Political?

by Dan Riehl

Big Government:

All of the remaining GOP candidates in the 2012 primary can justifiably be criticized for something. There’s no disputing that. At the link below, the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto takes a look at some specific criticism that’s been prominently directed at Rick Santorum.

After reading Taranto’s well reasoned arguments, it’s hard to conclude anything other than it’s much ado about nothing, or liberals in the media telling us to not believe our lying eyes and brains.

Fear and Feminism Some criticism of Rick Santorum is downright irrational.

Of late we have been struck powerfully by one such complication, namely the emotional intensity of the opposition to Santorum by some on the center-right. This has led them to criticize him on grounds that are utterly irrational.

In truth, Santorum says only that he would “talk about” what he sees as the social harms of contraception. There is no conflict whatever between limited government and moral exhortation, provided the latter is unaccompanied by legislative or administrative action.

And the quote is very much in keeping with “a tradition rooted in the pursuit of happiness.” Santorum is merely making a case for deferred gratification. His claim is that the easy availability of birth control has enabled and encouraged a pursuit of pleasure that is inimical to the achievement of happiness. One may reasonably argue that Santorum is overgeneralizing or that on the whole he is mistaken. But to write him out of the American tradition on the basis of that quote, as Friedersdorf attempts to do, is simply bonkers.

While encouraging you to read the entire piece, what Taranto does is apply reason to what appear to be either emotionally, or politically driven criticisms. These are the same ones you are most likely to see being highlighted in the news. At some point, one might ask, am I going to believe in my own ability to reason and understand, or shall I let this, or that news, or media outlet simply dictate what I believe, whether it’s true, or not?

What he says is that birth control has greatly expanded sexual freedom, and that sexual freedom has had consequences that are harmful to society and to women in particular. Again, one may disagree whether, on balance, these harms outweighed the benefits. But what is so upsetting about the idea that they might have? What in the world explains Friedersdorf’s and Rubin’s overwrought emotionalism?

Here’s our attempt at an explanation: In liberal metropolises like Los Angeles, Washington and New York (homes of Friedersdorf, Rubin and this columnist, respectively), a high proportion of conservatives have internalized the assumptions of feminism. One of those assumptions is that female sexual freedom, an essential component of sexual equality, is an unadulterated good. Santorum’s statements to the contrary challenge this deeply held view.

Smoking, No, Nicotine, Maybe

The diminishing returns of the anti-tobacco campaign.
Feb 27, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 23 • By ELI LEHRER

Weekly Standard:

If there’s one perfectly safe conclusion to draw from nearly a century of public health research, it’s this: Cigarette smoking is really, really bad for your health. An unusually complete, if rather obvious, 2010 Surgeon General’s Report on the topic shows that inhaling tobacco smoke not only causes lung disease but also leads to increased risks of stroke, heart attack, and dozens of other maladies. As a result, it’s not surprising that 38 states (sin-happy Nevada among them) and countless localities have enacted various smoking bans while advertisements, public health campaigns, and tax policies send a simple message: Smokers must quit all tobacco use or die early, painful deaths.

But public health crusaders haven’t stopped at fighting smoking: Bans on smokeless tobacco use, e-cigarettes, and outdoor smoking have gone into force in locations ranging from the University of Texas’s Arlington Campus (all tobacco), to Boston (e-cigarettes). A growing body of research, however, reveals that the shun-tobacco-or-die dichotomy is an oversimplification. In fact, there’s significant evidence that the act of inhaling burning plant matter does much of the harm while the addictive substance in question (nicotine) and the plant itself (tobacco) are a mixed bag. Public health policy may be better served by a harm reduction strategy that continues efforts to discourage smoking while trying to steer tobacco and nicotine users towards safer forms of the substances.

A review of the evidence should start with nicotine. Like other stimulants, it potentially causes long-term cardiovascular harm by increasing one’s heart rate and, without a doubt, is addictive for at least a portion of the population. However, peer-reviewed research also shows that nicotine improves focus and alertness, and decreases appetite (hence the weight gain associated with quitting smoking). And the relationship between nicotine and cancer is complicated: It doesn’t necessarily cause cancer in humans but some animal studies indicate it could potentially promote tumor growth.

In some cases, nonetheless, the benefits of nicotine use may outweigh the harms. Schizophrenics, for example, smoke at up to four times the rate of the population as a whole, and a significant, well-regarded body of research suggests that smoking is a form of self-medication to control their condition. (States including Connecticut, Maryland, and Pennsylvania specifically exempt mental hospitals from smoking bans.) And nicotine gum seems as effective as anything else in helping smokers avoid weight gain after they quit.

Despite the manifest harm of cigarette smoking, it’s surprisingly hard to find strong evidence linking nicotine or tobacco per se to serious negative health outcomes. Certain formulations of smokeless tobacco, particularly Swedish-style snuff, snus, that’s held under the lip rather than chewed, appear to produce cancer rates only a bit higher than those in the population as a whole. (Other forms of smokeless tobacco—mostly forms consumed outside of the United States—can be nearly as bad as cigarettes.) To be sure, tobacco isn’t a health food and its repeated use in any common form will probably increase cancer prevalence somewhat. But it’s pretty clear that the way one consumes tobacco matters a lot.

Indeed, the real harm appears to stem from the inhalation of thousands of compounds—several hundred of them identified as toxic—contained in burning plant matter. Brad Rodu, an oral cancer specialist at the University of Louisville who holds an endowed chair in tobacco harm reduction research, puts it well: “I love coffee and I’m sure I could get my caffeine if I smoked my coffee beans,” he says. “But I would be paying a much different price in overall health if I were consuming caffeine that way instead of in a water soluble mix.”

This leads to a strong case for a different way of looking at nicotine. The burgeoning official hostility to devices like the e-cigarette, which delivers aerosolized nicotine to users who would otherwise be smoking, is unwarranted. While broadly discouraging cigarette smoking will promote better public health, trying to end all use of tobacco and nicotine is a fool’s errand. A sizable majority of the U.S. population—median age 37—has grown up in a world where public health officials have always offered stern warnings about the consequences of tobacco use, where “good guys” in current movies have never smoked, and where most indoor public places outright ban smoking. But over a fifth of the population nonetheless smokes. And quitting is hard. No given method of smoking cessation works reliably for more than about 8 percent of smokers.

Unless the United States seriously wants to legislate an all-out tobacco prohibition, the easy public health victories achieved by reducing smoking (prevalence has fallen by almost half since the surgeon general issued the first stern warnings about it in the early 1960s) may have mostly been won, as the “hard core” smokers find themselves unable to quit and thus go to their graves sucking on cancer sticks.

Thus, for at least some people, some of the time, less harmful ways to get nicotine deserve attention from public health authorities. Anecdotal evidence shows that it might work. The country with the lowest smoking-related cancer and cigarette smoking rates for men in the Western world, Sweden, also has the highest rates of smokeless tobacco use. People who use snus, nicotine gum, or lozenges as a replacement for cigarettes, likewise, see many of the same short-term positive health benefits as those who quit tobacco use altogether. (Longer-term trends look promising, too, but, as with any public health issue, the data are incomplete.)

Public health strategies that continue to discourage smoking while accepting and, in certain cases, even promoting the use of other tobacco or nicotine products deserve a try. In fact, Rodu and some others are trying just this in Owensboro, Kentucky. (Results won’t be available for a few years.) Absent significant evidence to the contrary, efforts that ban the use of all tobacco/nicotine products—particularly those that appear less harmful than cigarettes—may well do more harm than good.

Public health should never promote tobacco use for those who don’t already use it, but it should be welcoming to the idea that some forms of tobacco are less harmful than others. Americans will never stop smoking altogether, and truly safe tobacco use is impossible. But strategies that try to direct smokers towards less harmful alternatives could save lives.

Eli Lehrer is vice president of the Heartland Institute.

White House Tries to Hide the Decline in Number of Working Adults

February 17, 2012
By Lonely Conservative

It looks like the global warming moonbats aren’t the only ones “hiding the decline.” The White House tried to hide the declining number of working adult Americans in its latest economic report. The Daily Caller’s Neil Munro dug through the paperwork and found what the White House would prefer stayed buried.

The increasingly visible statistic shows that roughly 11 million working-age Americans are being excluded from the nation’s formal tally of 13.75 million unemployed Americans.

Today’s 2012 Economic Report of the President attempts to bury the statistic in a 448-page blizzard of statistics, jargon and reassuring comparisons. “In the last 23 months, businesses have created 3.7 million jobs,” says the upbeat report, released at 4 p.m. on a Friday afternoon by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Democrats are touting downward ticks of the formal unemployment rate to 8.3 percent, but Republicans are making an increased effort to highlight the painfully low employment participation rate.

A new chart produced by the Republican Study Committee shows the downward jumps of that job-participation rate, even after President Barack Obama deployed his trillion-dollar stimulus in February 2009, and after Obama declared the summer of 2010 a “Recovery Summer.”

“I expect you will be seeing this chart on the House floor during debates, it will be shown at town hall meetings and in district events,” committee spokesman Brian Straessle told The Daily Caller.

Amid the optimistic text in today’s economic report, the detailed tables reveal a sharp statistical decline. (Read More)

See the chart referenced above here.

Cato: Soviet-Style Cybersecurity Regulation

Reading over the cybersecurity legislative package recently introduced in the Senate is like reading a Soviet planning document. One of its fundamental flaws, if passed, would be its centralizing and deadening effect on society’s responses to the many and varied problems that are poorly captured by the word “cybersecurity.”

But I’m most struck by how, at every turn, this bill strains to release cybersecurity regulators—and their regulated entities—from the bonds of law. The Department of Homeland Security could commandeer private infrastructure into its regulatory regime simply by naming it “covered critical infrastructure.” DHS and a panel of courtesan institutes and councils would develop the regulatory regime outside of ordinary administrative processes. And—worst, perhaps—regulated entities would be insulated from ordinary legal liability if they were in compliance with government dictates. Regulatory compliance could start to usurp protection of the public as a corporate priority.

The bill retains privacy-threatening information-sharing language that I critiqued in no uncertain terms last week (Title VII), though the language has changed. (I have yet to analyze what effect those changes have.)

The news for Kremlin Beltway-watchers, of course, is that the Department of Homeland Security has won the upper-hand in the turf battle. (That’s the upshot of Title III of the bill.) It’s been a clever gambit of Washington’s to make the debate which agency should handle cybersecurity, rather than asking what the government’s role is and what it can actually contribute. Is it a small consolation that it’s a civilian security agency that gets to oversee Internet security for us, and not the military? None-of-the-above would have been the best choice of all.

Ah, but the government has access to secret information that nobody else does, doesn’t it? Don’t be so sure. Secrecy is a claim to authority that I reject. Many swoon to secrecy, assuming the government has 1) special information that is 2) actually helpful. I interpret secrecy as a failure to put facts into evidence. My assumption is the one consistent with accountable government and constitutional liberty. But we’re doing Soviet-style cybersecurity here, so let’s proceed.

Title I is the part of the bill that Sovietizes cybersecurity. It brings a welter of government agencies, boards, and institutes together with private-sector owners of government-deemed “critical infrastructure” to do sector-by-sector “cyber risk assessments” and to produce “cybersecurity performance requirements.” Companies would be penalized if they failed to certify to the government annually that they have “developed and effectively implemented security measures sufficient to satisfy the risk-based security performance requirements.” Twenty-first century paperwork violations. But in exchange, critical infrastructure owners would be insulated from liability (sec. 105(e))—a neat corporatist trade-off.

How poorly tuned these security-by-committee processes are. In just 90 days, the bill requires a “top-level assessment” of “cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, risks, and probability of a catastrophic incident across all critical infrastructure sectors” in order to guide the allocation of resources. That’s going to produce risk assessment with all the quality of a student term paper written overnight.

Though central planning is not the way to do cybersecurity at all, a serious risk assessment would take at least a year and it would be treated explicitly in the bill as a “final agency action” for purposes of judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act. The likelihood of court review and reversal is the only thing that might cause this risk assessment to actually use a sound methodology. As it is, watch for it to be a political document that rehashes tired cyberslogans and anecdotes.

The same administrative rigor should be applied to other regulatory actions created by the bill, such as designations of “covered critical infrastructure,” for example. Amazingly, the bill requires no administrative law regularity (i.e., notice-and-comment rulemaking, agency methodology and decisions subject to court review) when the government designates private businesses as “covered critical infrastructure” (sec. 103), but if an owner of private infrastructure wants to contest those decisions, it does require administrative niceties (sec. 103(c)). In other words, the government can commandeer private businesses at whim. Getting your business out of the government’s maw will require leaden processes.

Hopefully, our courts will recognize that a “final agency action” has occurred at least when the Department of Homeland Security subjects privately owned infrastructure to special regulation, if not when it devises whatever plan or methodology to do so.

The same administrative defects exist in the section establishing “risk-based cybersecurity performance requirements.” The bill calls for the DHS and its courtesans to come up with these regulations without reference to administrative process (sec. 104). That’s what they are, though: regulations. Calling them “performance requirements” doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. When it came time to applying these regulatory requirements to regulated entities (sec. 105), then the DHS would “promulgate regulations.”

I can’t know what the authors of the bill are trying to achieve by bifurcating the content of the regulations with the application of the regulations to the private sector, but it seems intended to insulate the regulations from administrative procedures. It’s like the government saying that the menu is going to be made up outside of law—just the force-feeding is subject to administrative procedure. Hopefully, that won’t wash in the courts either.

This matters not only because the rule of law is an important abstraction. Methodical risk analsysis and methodical application of the law will tend to limit what things are deemed “covered critical infrastructure” and what the regulations on that infrastrtucture are. It will limit the number of things that fall within the privacy-threatening information sharing portion of the bill, too.

Outside of regular order, cybersecurity will tend to be flailing, spasmodic, political, and threatening to privacy and liberty. We should not want a system of Soviet-style regulatory dictates for that reason—and because it is unlikley to produce better cybersecurity.

The better systems for discovering and responding to cybersecurity risks are already in place. One is the system of profit and loss that companies enjoy or suffer when they succeed or fail to secure their assets. Another is common law liability, where failure to prevent harms to others produces legal liability and damage awards.

The resistance to regular legal processes in this bill is part and parcel of the stampede to regulate in the name of cybersecurity. It’s a move toward centralized regulatory command-and-control over large swaths of the economy through “cybersecurity.”

Jim Harper • February 17, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

ACLU corrects Napolitano, says it does not support cybersecurity bill

The Hill:
By Brendan Sasso
02/18/12 07:01 AM ET

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) corrected Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano after she claimed the group supports a cybersecurity bill.

"As the ACLU itself acknowledged, this bill really has done a very, very good job of incorporating those protections right from the get-go," Napolitano told the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Thursday. "The bill really addresses the privacy concerns."

The ACLU said Napolitano’s statement was off the mark.

"The ACLU has not endorsed The Cybersecurity Act of 2012," Michelle Richardson, a legislative counsel for the ACLU, wrote to The Hill in an email.

The Homeland Security Department did not return a request to comment.

The legislation would give the Homeland Security Department regulatory authority over companies with computer systems crucial to the nation's economic and physical security. The bill would require that the companies take adequate precautions to safeguard their systems and would increase information sharing about cyber threats between the private sector and the government.

Unlike previous drafts of cybersecurity legislation, the bill would not give the president emergency powers over computer networks. Critics had dubbed the provision a "kill switch" for the Internet.

"We appreciate that the sponsors passed on giving the president a ‘kill switch’ and have included some restrictions on information sharing to protect privacy," Richardson explained. "We still have fundamental concerns, however, that the bill reserves a role for the military to collect information about domestic and civilian Internet use, among other things. We look forward to working with the sponsors to amend the bill to make it even better for civil liberties."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to bring the bill to the Senate floor in the coming weeks, bypassing any committee markups.

Supporters of the bill note that Congress has been discussing cybersecurity for several years and that the legislation incorporates elements from other measures that have already been through the committee process.

Anonymous Takes Out the FTC in Protest Over ACTA, Google Privacy

by Liberty Chick

Big Government:

The hacker collective Anonymous has struck government websites again, this time the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the National Consumer Protection Week websites. According to the Associated Press, “both sites were replaced with a violent German-language video satirizing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA.” A pastebin page to which some of the Anonymous associated Twitter accounts are linking outlines the message that was distributed by the hackers, as well as a link to the violent video mentioned in the AP article.

The hackings were in response both to Google’s recent changes to its terms of service and, more prominently, to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which 22 of the European Union’s 27 member states signed last month in Tokyo. Pressure from Anonymous and anti-ACTA activists caused Poland to suspend the bill last week, where members of its Parliament donned Guy Fawkes masks in protest. Poland and Slovenia are now distancing themselves from the treaty.

ACTA is an international treaty aimed at curtailing copyright infringement, counterfeit and pirated goods, and other forms of intellectual property theft across multiple member states. Statements from Anonymous The agreement is meant to provide a framework for member countries, which have differences in legal systems and practices, to work together cooperatively “to address the problem of infringement of intellectual property rights, including infringement taking place in the digital environment, in particular with respect to copyright or related rights, in a manner that balances the rights and interests of the relevant right holders, service providers, and users.” In light of controversy over the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, ACTA has generated a good deal of discussion and debate in the same political and activism circles. Some fear it’s too much government intrusion for a solution that they believe may not ultimately address the problem adequately anyway. Others have argued that while such legislation may be flawed, the need to protect against international stealing online does exist.

Regardless of which side of the argument one resides, the concerns over all of the bills and the ACTA treaty have sparked several months’ worth of actions taken by activists, with high profile widespread protests online, including entire or partial blackouts by bloggers and companies like Wikipedia and Google. Anonymous has been at the top of those headlines quite regularly.

When the Feds shut down file sharing provider Megaupload last month over various conspiracy charges, the move and its timing were viewed (whether wrongly or rightly) as being connected to SOPA/PIPA, and Anonymous went after the FBI, Department of Justice and other government agencies’ websites with a vengeance. The hackers also targeted Universal Music Group, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the primary benefactors of the proposed legislation.

But some, including Kashmir Hill at Forbes, a regular correspondent on Anonymous, questioned whether the hacktivist collective had undone the good will of that activism with its actions.

The next day, though, the Internet showed its darker side. The sites of the bills’ supporters — including RIAA and MPAA — were blacked out by force, when Anonymous attacked them, along with the sites of the Department of Justice, the FBI, the U.S. Copyright Office, and Universal Music, in retaliation for the criminal indictment of file-sharing site Megaupload. The sites were down for less than 12 hours, but this builds on what can only be called political thuggery by these particular advocates. This has included punishing companies that were pushing for SOPA by posting private information about their executives and their families, and Photoshopping a 25-year-old aide for the House Judiciary Committee into a pornographic photo. Not your usual tried and trued political lobbying.

And despite its prominent opposition to SOPA and participation in the partial blackout protests online, Google has since become a target of Anonymous as well. After the technology giant announced that it plans to combine the terms of service for all of its 60 products into a single agreement and user profile to go into effect on March 1st, a move that causes privacy concerns for some, the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed suit against the FTC. Many Google users have more than one profile for legitimate purposes, such as keeping their personal and work life separate. But when Google’s change combines all of a user’s activities into a single profile, some fear this will cause users to disclosure their personal information involuntarily. Bloomberg reports:

Congressmen Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, called on the agency “to investigate whether Google’s proposed changes violate” a March consent decree to settle FTC claims that the search-engine operator used deceptive practices and violated its own privacy guidelines when it introduced the Buzz social networking service in 2010.

Google announced in a blog post Jan. 24 that it will create a uniform set of privacy guidelines for more than 60 products. The move rankled regulators, including data protection agencies in Ireland and France, along with consumer groups such as San Francisco-based Common Sense Media, who said the change might limit users’ control over what the company can do with their information.

“This new policy would allow Google to follow the activities of users across nearly all its services, including Gmail, Google Search, Google+ and YouTube,” Markey and Barton said in a letter today to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “This new policy and omission of a consumer opt-out option on a product- by-product basis raises a number of important privacy concerns.”

In the past, a user could effectively have one profile for their personal life and another for their corporate life. This change will combine all activities a person does into a single profile, leading to the possible of involuntary disclosure of personal information.

According to Time’s Techland blog, Anonymous launched its own social network, AnonPlus, as an alternative to Google+ last year, after one of its high profile members was banned from the network.

Anonymous—specifically ‘youranonnews’—was banned from Google+ last week for harboring content that “violated” Google’s Community Standards (Google also yanked their Gmail account). The group says that at the time, it didn’t realize it was just one of several Anonymous accounts shown the door.

“This is the sad fact of what happens across the internet when you walk to a different beat of the drum,” opined the group on a subsidiary site. “We’ve all heard the stories of activists being banned from FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, and governments blocking their people from these sites as well through organized black outs.”

“That day has came [sic] to an end. Not only did a few people organized [sic] an Operation [against] Google+, but we have started to build our own Social Network… The sheep era is over. The interwebz are no longer your prison.”

While first amendment and privacy activists on all sides of the political spectrum may share in many of the concerns expressed by Anonymous’ actions in protest against ACTA and Google, some strongly question the role that Anonymous plays in politics. While the collective has been effective in achieving some good results on a variety of issues, such as (with The Pirate Bay) opening up internet access to the Iranian protesters during the country’s 2009 elections, and fighting child pornography, the collective has no “official” organizational structure that would maintain control of decisions on targets or the tactics used in pursuing those targets.

This has its drawbacks, which are not insignificant. Rogue elements of Anonymous have often operated in dubious ways, such as releasing the personal information of targets’ family members and associates, sometimes even getting the target or information wrong. Others have been known to release such information, and then turn to social networking sites to direct others to the details and to incite further harassment or harm. Just last week, Anonymous posted the information of various officials in Oakland, CA in response to the city’s police force blocking Occupy protesters from occupying a city convention center. Some of the information was not correct.

In January, after hacking the Ultimate Fighting Championship website, Anonymous then went after the organization’s president Dana White when he defended his stance on SOPA. The hackers retaliated by publishing his personal information – including his social security number. But the information was not that of the UFC president, rather it belonged to a now very paranoid innocent woman, prompting White to visit the victim to offer an apology, in which he referred to Anonymous as “terrorists.”

While Anonymous as an entity purports to stand for freedom of speech, this is not necessarily the ideology of many of those who associate themselves to the Anonymous moniker. And judging by the climate on Twitter, as well as first-hand reports coming in to this Bigs contributor, the number of instances of similar bullying incidents against those who express differing political opinions does not appear to be in decline, either. To the contrary, we can likely expect such tactics to become more aggressive and more nefarious as the political climate heats up leading to the 2012 elections.

Democrat Civility, Exhibit #4,305

Doug Ross:

I wonder what Gabbi Giffords and her family think of this display:

Earlier this month, Arizona State Senator Rick Murphy introduced four bills designed to curb union’s collective bargaining rights in the state. Union members/occupiers held a protest rally against the measures on February 3rd. One of the signs carried at the rally shows the kind of civility we can expect from progressives:

Here's the video this came from. Keep in mind, this protest took place in Tucson where, just last January, Jared Loughner shot 19 people, leading to a nationwide call for more civility and a “new tone” in politics. The President himself weighed in on this during a nationally televised memorial service.

So the unions want to kill state representatives for proposing bills let workers opt out of paying dues. Delightful.

Collective bargaining, which requires workers to pay dues whether they want to join a union or not, is legalized thievery. If you are compelled to pay dues against your will -- to a group of fat-cat union bosses with none of your interests in mind -- you are an indentured servant.

Collective bargaining needs to go.

Obama Administration Wants Suit Dismissed Against HHS Mandate

Posted by Jim Hoft
February 17, 2012

Gateway Pundit:

The Obama Administration asked a federal court today to throw out the lawsuit filed over its mandate to force religious employers to pay for coverage of birth control and abortion drugs.

Life News reported:

The Obama administration has asked a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the Obama administration over its mandate to force religious employers to pay for coverage for birth control and drugs that can cause abortions.

This was its first opportunity to explain to the court and the country why the mandate is not illegal and unconstitutional. The Obama administration did not defend the constitutionality of the mandate, but said the lawsuit should be thrown out because the administration plans to revise the mandate to make it on insurance companies to pay for coverage rather than employers, who will still have to make referrals.

“Plaintiff’s challenge to the preventive services coverage regulations is not fit for judicial review because defendants [Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius] have indicated that they will propose and finalize changes to the regulations that are intended to accommodate plaintiff’s religious objections to providing contraception coverage,” the Department of Justice (DOJ) wrote in its brief to the Washington, D.C. District Court.

Obama officials claim the mandate does not put forth any “immediate injury” to religious groups.

RLC Statement on Maine Caucus Scandal

By Dave Nalle
February 17, 2012

The Republican Liberty Caucus National Board issued this press release on Saturday the 18th:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 18, 2012
CONTACT: Chairman Dave Nalle at 512-656-8011 or

Maine Caucus a Failure in Leadership and a Lesson for Republicans Nationwide

AUSTIN, TX – The Republican Liberty Caucus National Board met this week to address member concerns over the way in which the recent Maine presidential caucus was conducted. The problems with this simple vote in a relatively small but important state casts light on issues which should be of concern to every Republican state party during this primary season.

When a state party organization is responsible for conducting its own polling and counting votes it is enormously important that this work be done competently and be managed with appropriate diligence and a high level of responsibility. In announcing results with incomplete data and admitted “clerical errors” Maine Republican Chairman Charles Webster did a disservice to the candidates, to his state party and to Republican voters. Under pressure from the media and campaign organizations he rushed to action when he should have proceeded with caution and he has embarrassed his party and set a negative example for other state party leaders to learn from.

William Westmiller, Data Analysis Specialist for the Republican Liberty Caucus, has examined the data from the Maine caucuses and concluded that “the candidate totals were all miscalculated, a dozen township totals were simply wrong, and the Romney margin over Paul was actually 154 votes, rather than the 194 reported.” He reports that his impression “is that the person collecting the poll data had no knowledge of spreadsheet functions, took tallies from anyone who called, and overlooked email tallies that ended up in her/his spam folder.” This indicates a failure in management of the caucus, which should have set clear and consistent procedures for collecting and processing results, for dealing with problems like weather delays and for managing the data competently to produce accurate results.

“When the eyes of a nation are on your state you cannot afford to conduct a vote which is this amateurish,” said RLC National Chairman Dave Nalle. “It is essential that party organizations be seen to be above and separate from the campaigns and avoid any appearance of picking favorites. If all Republicans are expected to support the final nominee then that nominee must be the product of a process which is above reproach. You cannot demand party loyalty from partisans who feel that their candidates and their votes were treated with disdain and disrespect and you cannot expect them to accept the results of an election which was conducted in a sloppy and incompetent manner. Chairman Webster’s failure as a leader and an organizer is an insult to Republican voters and activists nationwide.”

Chairman Webster was under no obligation to announce incomplete and incorrect results as early as he did. State law and party rules would have permitted him to wait until he could make sure that the results were correct. This was already a multi-week caucus process. A delay of a few days or even a week would have done far less harm than rushing to a flawed and controversial announcement which has stirred up resentment and hostility between the supporters of different candidates in the primary.

We are all Republicans. We share common values. We believe in a constitutionally limited government where all voices are heard and none are excluded or given special privilege. We are a party of principles and those principles suffer when party leaders take actions which reflect badly on the party whether out of expediency, partisanship, ambition or simple negligence. As Republicans we should demand a higher standard of conduct from our party leaders and party organizations. We should all take a lesson from the scandal in Maine and guard against any repetition in other states.

Founded in 1991, the Republican Liberty Caucus is a nationwide grassroots organization which promotes individual liberty and limited government within the Republican Party. You can find more about the Republican Liberty Caucus at

Good news: Wind Production Tax Credit expiring

Friday, February 17, 2012
John Ruberry - marathonpundit

One of the lessons from the three years of the Obama administration is that the government should not be picking winners and losers in our economy. Solyndra comes to mind here.

The Wind Production Tax Credit isn't an Obama invention--it dates back to 1992. It's been extended in one-to-two year intervals--a few times it wasn't extended.

We're back to not extending it--at least for 2013. Good. The tax credit is the only reason wind power is financially feasible. The wind lobby could be panicking, Hot Air writes. Big Wind thinks the expiration of the tax credit blows.

C'mon now, guys. You've had 20 years to figure out how to make money in the wind racket. But it seems your lesson is that it's best to do that the easy way--with federal help.

Didn't we liberate these ungrateful bastards?

Saturday, February 18, 2012
Pamela Gellar:

Islam on the march. This from the "moderate," "tolerant" Muslims we liberated from Saddam Hussein? Remove all churches. Islamic supremacists expect the kuffar to expend our blood and treasure in the cause of racist, intolerant Islam.

Obama say, "Respect it!"
“Next week I will present a draft law to remove all churches from Kuwait..." Arab News (hat tip Jack)

“Next week I will present a draft law to remove all churches from Kuwait because Kuwait is an Islamic country where churches are not permitted to be built”
Blazing Cat Fur queries: Didn't we liberate these ungrateful bastards?

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 17: “Next week I will present a draft law to remove all churches from Kuwait because Kuwait is an Islamic country where churches are not permitted to be built,” a source quoted an Islamist MP Osama Al-Monawer as saying. Another source, however, said Monawer is only against the construction of a new church.

According to the source he also stated, “the proposal is consistent with calls of the majority in Parliament to amend Article (2) of the Constitution to implement the Islamic Sharia law.”

In a press statement, Al-Monawer warned the Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs of political questioning if his ministry approves the construction of a new church in Kuwait, in spite of the existence of the fatwa which has been issued by Awqaf which states “the building of any house of worship for non-Muslims in a Muslim country is not permissible. It is also not permissible to rent houses to be turned into churches.”

However, another source denied Al-Monawer has threatened to present a draft law on the removal of churches from Kuwait pointing out he knows such a thing does not apply to Kuwai
The source said Al-Monawer will only focus on not allowing the construction of a new church. He stressed under no circumstances will he allow the construction of a new church in Kuwait. He also threatened to grill the Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs if the ministry gives the approval to build a new church.

He added he will take up the issue with the Ministry of Awqaf which has recently agreed to allow the construction of a new church in Kuwait in violation of a standing fatwa from the Awkaf which forbids the construction of houses of worship for non-Muslims in Muslim land.He said his vision stems from the fact that churches can be built everywhere except in the Arabian Peninsula. “That is not permissible because it is a Sharia rule and it is mentioned in the Hadith that: ‘No two religions can exist in the Arabian Peninsula.”

He added the late Islamic scholar Sheikh Bin Baz had presented a research on the prohibition of building churches in the Arabian Peninsula.

On a related issue, Islamist MP Mohammed Hayef Al-Mutairi warned that the permission given by the Awkaf Ministry to build a church in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh will not go unpunished.

Criticizing the ministry for giving permission to build a church in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, Al-Mutairi stressed “this permit will not pass unnoticed. We will not allow this serious stumble. We will take all procedures to cancel this ill-considered decision.”

Reid attacks Rubio for insufficient racial loyalty

A blatant attempt at identity politics
by John Hayward

Once again, America should pause to thank the good people of Nevada for inflicting Harry Reid upon the nation. Today the Senate Majority Leader is under fire for attacking Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and suggesting that he’s insufficiently Hispanic.

The occasion of Reid’s remarks was Rubio’s opposition to President Obama’s choice for ambassador to El Salvador, Maria Carmen Aponte. Aponte was a recess appointment, made back when our unitary Executive still felt obliged to actually wait for Congress to recess before making such appointments. She was up for a confirmation vote this year, but Rubio voted against her.

One of his reasons for doing so was a desire to make the Administration condemn the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua for vote fraud. (Yes, the Sandinistas are back.) For some reason, the Obama crew had been reluctant to make the blindingly obvious observation that the Sandinistas rigged the recent elections. They did it the old-fashioned way, by using thugs to clear out opposition poll watchers, then stuffing an extra 150,000 votes into the ballot boxes. Ballots are the only thing communists are good at manufacturing.

There are also some conservatives who criticized Aponte for writing an editorial in favor of gay rights for a newspaper in El Salvador, although that obviously wasn’t a deal-breaker for Rubio, since he did end up supporting her.

Rubio made a deal to get Aponte confirmed, in exchange for official State Department denunciation of the Sandinistas – who, it should be noted, wasted no time denouncing America after they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, declaring that allegations of vote fraud were an attempt to de-legitimize their regime, orchestrated from the U.S. embassy.

Reid didn’t deliver on his end of the deal, claiming Rubio took too long to put together the Republican votes he promised, and furthermore sniffing that two of those votes – Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire – were insufficiently eager to vote for Aponte. Reid actually pulled the nomination off the Senate floor before the vote could be called. The embassy to El Salvador stands without leadership, since absolutely no one else in the United States is qualified to be the ambassador.

So far, we’ve got a fairly typical story of Washington deal-making gone bad. Reid decided to take things up a notch, by injecting racial politics, during an interview with Politico:

“He’s struck out twice. I mean, he says he’s for her now, but he [voted] against her twice,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told POLITICO.

“In Nevada, this woman [Aponte] is seen by the Puerto Rican community, the Hispanic community, as really somebody who is an up-and-rising star. … I just think it’s a mistake for someone who is supposedly representing Hispanic issues to do what [Rubio] has done,” added Reid, who said Rubio hasn’t delivered the votes on Aponte that he promised.

(Emphasis mine.) Ah, the old “racial loyalty” card. A person of Hispanic extraction must vote for all Hispanic nominees, at least when they’re appointed by a Democrat President. A smooth career trajectory for “rising stars” in the Democrat Party is an important Hispanic issue!

Before racial commissar Harry Reid laid it out for you, did you know that all Hispanics are homogenous? Puerto Ricans, Cubans, whatever… they’re all the same, and they have the same “issues.” Say, has Reid tried explaining that to the Sandinistas?

Incidentally, Aponte actually sent Rubio a nice thank-you letter for pitching in and trying to round up Republicans to get her confirmed – you know, the vote Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled off the floor.

“Thank you very much for all of your support during my confirmation process,” she wrote, according to a copy provided to POLITICO. “Although the outcome is not what all of us had hoped for — friendships were made and a lot of strength was gathered from the effort. I will forever be grateful for your hard work.”

It was signed, “Mari Carmen.”

Harry Reid, who once hailed Barack Obama for having “light skin” and “no Negro dialect,” might seem like an odd choice for Hispanic Loyalty Commissar. Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, is not amused, as reported by Fox News:

"This blatant attempt at racial identity politics is offensive and condescending to all Latinos," he said in a statement Thursday.

"It's insulting for Reid and Obama's minions to imply that all Latinos support a person's nomination to federal office just because he or she is a fellow Latino. Many Latinos and Puerto Ricans opposed the nominations of Mari Carmen Aponte and (Supreme Court Justice) Sonia Sotomayor," Aguilar said.

Aguilar, who is Puerto Rican, said he opposed Aponte for her advocacy of gay rights issues in El Salvador, "not because she is a fellow Puerto Rican."

There’s nothing mysterious about Reid’s behavior. Obama could be in trouble with the Hispanic community after his assault on the Catholic Church, and Marco Rubio is another “rising star” whose career trajectory is a matter of great concern for Democrats. As Rubio said, in an email to Politico:

“I never had any objection to Mari Carmen,” Rubio wrote. “I was always about the administration’s lack of interest in defending democracy in Nicaragua. When we made progress on that, I kept my word and lined up the votes for her. But they didn’t keep their word. Everything is about politics with this White House. They decided to sacrifice her nomination in order to try to score political points.”

Team Obama really, really, really doesn’t want to see Rubio on stage debating Joe Biden - who once hailed the President for being “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy” - during the upcoming presidential election.

Correction: I mistakenly put the Sandinistas in El Salvador when they're really in Nicaragua. I have corrected the error.

John Hayward is a staff writer for HUMAN EVENTS, and author of the recently published Doctor Zero: Year One. Follow him on Twitter: Doc_0. Contact him by email at

The White House: laser-focused on making condoms easier to get than jobs

Doug Ross:

Two figures spotted at The Right Scoop illustrate how close we are to the precipice:

This is stunning. Zero Hedge has an article today showcasing research from Wyatt Emerich of The Cleveland Current. He shows how a single parent making minimum wage, with a family of 3 children, has more disposable income that someone making $60k/year...

And this is in Mississippi, not California. Who knows how much more they are getting there...

For another reality check, we look at a chart that PowerLine picked up from the Republican Study Committee on the decline in jobs. Here is how they describe it...:

It depicts the percentage of Americans in the labor force from January 2005 (commonly known as the “good old days” through January 2012. The decline in the number of working Americans is staggering. And note that Barack Obama became president in January 2009, about 3/4 of the way through the gray “recession,” and just before the “stimulus” that is marked with a red dot. What has happened since Obama took office is that the jobs situation has steadily deteriorated:

This is why we are headed for a debt crisis. No jobs and we’re subsidizing everything under the sun.

If only Obama would expend as much energy on private sector job creation as he does on mandating abortion pills.

NLRB Staff Union Claims Pro-Union NLRB Bosses Have Declared War on NLRB Employees

February 17th 2012

When discussing the National Labor Relations Board and its pro-union slant these days, few realize that the staff within the NLRB is also unionized.

In fact, according to the National Labor Relations Board Union, the union represents over 950 NLRB attorneys, examiners and support staff. It is these individuals, along with their bosses within the NLRB, who are charged with remaining neutral in employer-union disputes—which makes it all the more interesting when the NLRB’s union charges NLRB management with “trying to destroy their employees’ union.”

According to a flyer distributed by the NRLBU, NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce (a union attorney) and Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon have declared war on NLRB attorneys.

The NLRB Union claims NLRB bosses are demanding that the union permit management to unitlaterally cut performance incentives “at a whim,” as well as an 85% cut in “official time” (which is the time spent to conduct union business at taxpayer expense).

The Acting General Counsel’s and Chairman’s attack on official time is the federal sector equivalent of an attack on a private sector union security clause.

Later, the NLRBU’s flyer states:

The NLRBU urges Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon and Chairman Mark Pearce to practice what they preach and to stop trying to destroy their employees’ union.

This isn’t the first time the NLRB has had a spat with its employees’ union. In 2009, the NLRBU urged a boycott and picketing of an event featuring then-NLRB Chairman (and ex-Teamster attorney) Wilma Liebman over a dispute.

The NLRBU had been encouraging local picketing to protest the Board’s refusal to bargain with a unit of its own employees. The Union claims that the Board’s conduct shows defiance of federal law and contempt for the rights of its employees. The dispute arose in 2005, when the NLRBU filed a petition with the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the federal-sector equivalent to the NLRB, to consolidate four previously separate groups of employees. The Board opposed consolidation, but the FLRA, after considering all the evidence, agreed with the Union. After employees voted overwhelmingly in favor of consolidation, the FLRA certified the Union as the lawful bargaining representative in the new unit.

A small dose of irony, no?

By Editor

Nominee #1 for Most Sensible Comment in the 2012 Election Cycle

TT W says:
February 17, 2012
at 9:14 pm

Some of the comments about Santorum is biased. Some of the comments I have seen regarding Santorum are totally fabricated. Compared to all of the remaining candidates, Santorum is the only consistent authentic conservative. Even some of his critics admit that he is authentic. I am surprised to see some conservatives continue to support Romney or/and Newt after observing their poor judgments and persistent unpopularity at the grass root level. In politics, likability and less or non-political, personal and professional baggage are an asset. Both Romney & Newt have a lot of known baggage that could easily be used against them in the general election. The establishment (Republican) made a commitment to have Romney as a presidential nominee. Romney, Newt, & BHO have a lot of things in common: Individual health mandate; cap & trade; bailouts; TARP. Romney try to argue that his work in the private sector and as an outsider helps him better than Santorum – who worked and lived in Washington before, to grow our economy. He promotes himself as a candidate who could fix the American economic problem. He may think that the American people may not know that a POTUS cannot & will not create or and grow jobs. A president could create a healthy environment through a legislative process by the US Congress for a private sector to grow our economy and jobs. Whether a candidate is an insider or an outsider is less important than what they did or do in areas of their expertise. How can we support Romney when his records clearly show that Romney care is the basis for Obamacare (1/6 of the US economy)? His statement that “I do not care for the very poor”; Republicans say we do not want Romney. Thomas Sowell said (…His (Romney’s) Millions of dollars parked in a tax shelter in the Cayman Island is red meat for the class warfare democrats”. It is silly on the part of Romney and others to say that the most conservative person in the race (may not be an ideal of all) is the least conservative shows desperation. It is widely reported that Newt is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) since 1990. CFR stands for a global government at the cost of national independence. In his speech at the center for Strategic & International affairs in July of 1995, I have come across a report that says “He brazenly admitted his disdain for our founding document. According to the report, Newt said “I am for the United Nations”. Gingrich ruined his chance through adulterous affairs and erratic behavior (according to those who know him closely). Newt is unpredictable and Romney is unreliable. Why still some individuals would like to vote for either Romney or Newt, when the BHO and DNC could easily ruin their candidacy in the general? Why do we give to the left a red meat for class warfare? The so called moderates (liberals) will not win in 2012. If conservatives have not learned from what happened to moderate Bob Dole in 1996 and moderate McCain in 2008, they have no body but themselves to blame. Relatively speaking, Santorum has a better chance of beating BHO by making BHO and his failed policies an issue of the general election campaign. The mass media would like us to believe that either Romney or Newt is electable. Knowing fully their vulnerabilities, they promote either of them as ”electable” in order to carry out their massive and vicious attacks in the general to have BHO re-elected. Santorum has a family friendly and manufacturing centered economic policy that could grow our economy and jobs. Not only in social issues is he strong in national security & foreign policy better than any one of the remaining candidates. Please read online his Iran freedom & Support Act & the Syrian Accountability Act which he authored in 2004. His humble beginnings (lived in public housing, from a coal miner grandfather) with almost no political baggage’s unlike Romney & Newt & Ron Paul (with his reckless foreign policy and libertarian views, anti-Semitism views and his racist newsletters) make him immune to class warfare.

(Origin: Santorum Rising By Tony Branco)

Far Left Radical Extremism on Full Display

By DJ Redman
Feb 17, 2012

CDN:Sometimes words are not needed to show just how disgustingly hateful certain members of Congress can become. See for yourself, and drop in a comment below about this disgusting disply of Liberal lunacy. (unless you condone this type of hate-speech)

That display of hateful rhetoric was spewed while speaking to delegates at the 2012 CA Democratic Party Convention. Thank you, Mrs. Waters for providing the perfect example of just what the Democratic party of 2012 has become. PS: Has Maxine Waters been brought back up on the ethics trial for her TARP fraud-bank bailout graft to her husband yet? Nope! Why not, Republican Leaders in the House?

Obama Breaks Another Promise (Which Could Almost Be A Daily Headline)

By pcam
Feb 18, 2012

CDN: Will only take Public Campaign Financing…er, ah, strike that.

No Lobbyists in the Administration…er, ah, strike that.

Most Transparent Administration …er,ah, strike that.

Political Action Committees (PACs) and Super PACs threaten ‘Our Democracy’…er,ah, strike that.

One thing that is as dependable as the sunrise about Barack Obama is that when he sees an opportunity to gain political advantage his prior words, pledges, and promises to the contrary are no obstacle to him.

It is also very helpful to have the vast majority of the media running interference for you when you…searching for the correct Beltway word here… Obfuscate? Triangulate? Dissemble? Prevaricate? None of them seem to hit the mark.

Lie just seems harsh.

The truth usually is.

Intentional Ignorance – Why the Public Schools Must Die, Part 1

By Don Hays
Jan 02, 2012

CDN: Intentional Ignorance – Why the Public Schools Must Die, Part 1

I just read this sentence in a “Study Guide” for taking the public school certification test in middle school Social Studies, “The Constitution DEMANDS UNQUESTIONED respect and SUBSERVIENCE to the federal government by all states and citizens.” (emphasis mine).

WHAT??!! Unquestioned? Subservient?

We have a built-in questioning system by way of a national voting procedure every 730 days! MY Constitution starts with the phrase WE THE PEOPLE! This is the kind of crap being programmed into teachers so it can be shoved down our children’s throats!!

Let’s delude the kool-aid here for a minute.

I, like a small minority in this country, have actually read the Constitution. In fact, I make it a practice to take the 22 – 30 minutes to read it through, several times per year. Not once does this precious document DEMAND anything of the sort. The only “demands” in the Constitution are located in and around that pesky Bill of Rights; and if you really want to address to whom the demands are directed, take a look at the first word: CONGRESS.

CONGRESS shall make no law… nor shall CONGRESS prohibit the free exercise thereof. For those who need a further interpretation, Congress IS the federal government, at least in terms of what the framers intended in regards to the center of power – not the end all, be all, but the center.

Subservient? Wrong again! Under the Articles of Confederation, the federal government was subservient to the states! Admittedly, the states recognized the need to reform the Articles, hence the convention. Can one really fathom a situation where these states just would have voluntarily bowed their knees to the great and powerful Federal Government? There are several little ditties written during the time called the Federalist Papers that show clearly how tough of a sell the new Constitution was to the states. The ONLY reason that it was ratified is because the states were satisfied that they would NOT be subservient to the feds.

The “Federalist” system by definition is one that appoints responsibilities to each level, but operates under the pretext that these levels run independent of each other, and in harmony. The Constitution NEVER says that the federal government is supreme. Article six states, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States …. shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” It says the Constitution and the (constitutional) laws of the U.S. are supreme – that is NOT the same as the federal government! The mere fact that so many checks and balances established in the Constitution (of which the multi-tiered federalism plan is a part of) should be an indication that the founders and framers would have never consented to a top-down only style of governance (that’s called a unitary system), let alone 13 independent states just chomping at the bit to abdicate their power to Washington D.C.

For those of you who like to run around quoting Jefferson, you should realize that he didn’t particularly care for the Constitution in its initial form and, had he been in country, probably would have lobbied against it. He and the other “anti-federalists” of the time were only assuaged when the promise that a Bill of Rights would be one of the first items on the agenda of the new Congress.

Yet this is being systematically programmed into a generation of kids (and even scarier, a generation of teachers) day by day. We have become a “take my word for it” 30-second sound byte society that is slowly giving away our freedoms. The genius of our Constitution is that it cannot be over-ridden unless by a conscious and deliberate series of acts that culminates in an amendment. This can only be done by the people. Fortunately, the ignorant masses (made that way on purpose) cannot take away the supremacy of the Constitution. What they can do is to continue to appoint people into authority positions every 730 days who will work to circumvent these rights, OUR rights; and this can really only be done through ignorance – willful ignorance.

One more reason why the public (government run) schools should die.

Don Hays, contributor for CDNews, Host of the Don Hays Show and all around trouble maker.

Debating the General Welfare Clause

By Chad Kent
Feb 17, 2012

CDN: The General Welfare Clause

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States…

The General Welfare Clause is one of the most distorted and misunderstood parts of the Constitution. A lot of people today – including the Supreme Court – will tell you that it grants the federal government a separate power to provide for the “general welfare of the United States.” In other words, that Congress has the authority to do whatever is in the best interests in the country.

It seems like common sense that no one who was trying to create a limited government would decide to give Congress this kind of broad, unrestricted power. Despite that, this can be a tricky topic to debate. To help you the next time you have to explain the obvious to someone, I’ve prepared a crash course for you on the General Welfare Clause.

Below is an explanation of the meaning of the General Welfare Clause, along with four reasons why is simply cannot be a separate grant of power – all broken down into individual arguments that you can use.

What does the General Welfare Clause mean?

- This clause has two parts – a power and a purpose. The first half grants the power to “lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises”. The second half gives the purpose that this power is to be used for – “to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare.”

“Is this an independent, separate, substantive power, to provide for the general welfare of the United States? No, sir. They can lay and collect taxes, etc. For what? To pay the debts and provide for the general welfare. Were this not the case, the following clause would be absurd. It would have been treason against common language.”

Edmund Randolph, June 15, 1788

- The General Welfare Clause is actually a restriction on Congress rather than a grant of broader power. It is a clarification that the power to lay taxes, etc is to be used for the general welfare (the good of the whole country) rather than the specific welfare (a certain state, region, group, etc.).

- In other situations in life, the meaning of a clause like this would be obvious. For example, imagine that parent leaves a note for his teenage son that reads:

“You have permission to use the car keys and the $20 that are laying on the table, go to the football game and have a good time. ”

It’s pretty clear that the son is being given permission to use the keys and the money for the purpose of going to the football game. No one in their right mind would argue that “have a good time” is a separate grant of permission for the boy to do whatever he thought would be fun. But the way that the General Welfare Clause is currently interpreted would be like the son in this example going to an all night drinking party and then claiming, “But you said I had permission to have a good time!”

Why grant specific powers if there is a grant of “general” power?

The Founders put a lot of time and effort into deciding exactly which powers would be granted to the new federal government. It makes absolutely no sense to waste all that time on specifics if they were just going to turn around and grant the government the virtually unlimited power to provide for the general welfare.

James Madison made the same point:

“But may it not be asked with infinitely more propriety, and without the possibility of a satisfactory answer, why, if the terms were meant to embrace not only all the powers particularly expressed, but the indefinite power which has been claimed under them, the intention was not so declared? why, on that supposition, so much critical labour was employed in enumerating the particular powers, and in defining and limiting their extent?”

James Madison, Nov. 27, 1830

If it is a separate power this clause creates unlimited government power

- Creating a limited federal government was one of the central purposes for writing the Constitution. But granting the authority to provide for the general welfare would have resulted in a government of unlimited power.

We can now see for ourselves that this is true. The Supreme Court has decided that this clause does grant the power to provide for the general welfare – because of that most of our public officials believe that the General Welfare Clause justifies anything they want to do. Can you think of one area of your life that current members of Congress don’t feel is their business?

“If the clause, “to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States,” is construed to be an independent and substantive grant of power, it not only renders wholly unimportant and unnecessary the subsequent enumeration of specific powers; but it plainly extends far beyond them, and it creates a general authority in congress to pass all laws, which they may deem for the common defence or general welfare. Under such circumstances, the constitution would practically create an unlimited national government.”

Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution

- Can you think of a law that couldn’t be justified under a power to whatever is in the best interests of the country?

“[F]or what is the case that would not be embraced by a general power to raise money, a power to provide for the general welfare, and a power to pass all laws necessary and proper to carry these powers into execution [...] Can less be said, with the evidence before us furnished by the journal of the Convention itself, than that it is impossible that such a Constitution as the latter would have been recommended to the States by all the members of that body whose names were subscribed to the instrument?”

James Madison, Nov. 27, 1830

As a separate grant of power this clause would be inconsistent with the rest of the Constitution

- The 10th Amendment states that:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution [...] are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

If the General Welfare Clause is interpreted the way it is today and means that the federal government has the power to do what’s in the best interests of the country, this amendment makes no sense. Apparently – based on that interpretation – four years after the Constitution was written the Founders felt the need to pass an amendment to make sure everyone knows that the states have the power to do everything that’s not in the general welfare of the country. So… the states have the authority to do whatever is bad for the country. (On second thought, it may explain a lot about California and Illinois…)

- Nowhere else in life do we take one phrase out of over 7,000 words and assume it has a meaning that completely contradicts the rest of the document. The entire Constitution was written to carefully limit the power and scope of the government. So it is completely illogical to interpret the General Welfare Clause as granting the authority to do whatever is in the best interests of the country.

“On the other hand, construing this clause in connexion with, and as a part of the preceding clause, giving the power to lay taxes, it becomes sensible and operative. It becomes a qualification of that clause, and limits the taxing power to objects for the common defence or general welfare. It then contains no grant of any power whatsoever; but it is a mere expression of the ends and purposes to be effected by the preceding power of taxation.”

Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution

None of the Founders objected to this clause

- The authority to provide for the general welfare would have been a massive grant of power to the federal government. Yet somehow, none of the Founders objected to the General Welfare Clause during the Constitutional Convention:

“That the terms in question were not suspected in the Convention which formed the Constitution of any such meaning as has been constructively applied to them, may be pronounced with entire confidence; for it exceeds the possibility of belief, that the known advocates in the Convention for a jealous grant and cautious definition of Federal powers should have silently permitted the introduction of words or phrases in a sense rendering fruitless the restrictions and definitions elaborated by them.”

James Madison, Nov. 27, 1830

- The states – many of which were concerned about being overrun by the power of the new federal government – didn’t object either. Of all the 189 amendments that were suggested to be a part of the new Bill of Rights, none of them mentioned the General Welfare Clause:

“Here are a majority of the States proposing amendments, in one instance thirty-three by a single State; all of them intended to circumscribe the powers granted to the General Government, by explanations, restrictions, or prohibitions, without including a single proposition from a single State referring to the terms common defence and general welfare; which, if understood to convey the asserted power, could not have failed to be the power most strenuously aimed at, because evidently more alarming in its range than all the powers objected to put together; and that the terms should have passed altogether unnoticed by the many eyes which saw the danger in terms and phrases employed in some of the most minute and limited of the enumerated powers, must be regarded as a demonstration that it was taken for granted that the terms were harmless, because explained and limited, as in the “Articles of Confederation,” by the enumerated powers which followed them.”

James Madison, Nov. 27, 1830

Friday, February 17, 2012

Washington Post Skews Poll for ‘The One’

February 14, 2012


The Washington Post was very excited to report on Feb. 5 that President Obama has finally achieved “the edge” over Mitt Romney in a “general election matchup” poll. The Post was pleased to note Obama was “boosted by improved public confidence” and that he now led Romney by over 50%. Well, he does if you don’t poll actual voters, anyway and therein lies the major problem with the Post’s polling.

The flaw in the Post’s poll is that they seem to have polled “adults” instead of “likely voters” and this fact calls into question the claim in the headline that “Obama holds edge over Romney in general election matchup.” You see, you have to be an actual voter before your opinion in an “election matchup” much matters but the Post apparently did not make sure that its respondents were actual voters before declaring that Obama is now winning over more voters.

But the bigger problem is the fact that the Post has decided it no longer needs to include the partisan breakdown of its respondents for readers to assess. The Post did not include the percentages of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents in its polling data so there is no way to know if the poll included a fair representation of all parties or if the whole poll was weighted heavy with Democrats.

The Post has had troubling polls before. Ed Morrissey notes for instance that a WaPo poll from April of 2011 had 22% Republicans overpowered by 33% Democrats and 38% purported independents. If the Post is shorting Republican representation, no wonder the Obamessiah seems to be surging!

By excluding in reports its partisan breakdown, the Post risks having its results easily dismissed by serious readers. It makes the poll practically worthless. Of course, the problem is that the average reader won’t realize that things are askew with the polling and will accept the claims of Obama’s popularity at face value. But maybe that’s why the Post won’t include its partisan breakdown in its reports? As Morrissey says, “it’s easy to assume that the reason that the Post has ended its sample transparency is because they have something to hide.”

And with quotes from the Post story like, “Overall, 55 percent of those who are closely following the campaign say they disapprove of what the GOP candidates have been saying,” one has to wonder if those respondents scoffing at the Republican message were actual voters that the GOP should pay attention to, or partisan Democrats whom they won’t be able to reach anyway, or even disinterested “adults” that aren’t voting in the first place? Unfortunately, with this poll we have no way to assess the answers to those questions.

Still, the Post assures us that, “Meanwhile, the president’s recent remarks are better reviewed.” How do we know? Well, we don’t. We just have to take the Post’s word for it if we are going to believe it.

Essentially, what we have with these Washington Post polls is simple cheerleading for the president instead of legitimate analysis of the current sentiments of voters.

Jennifer Rubin Hits Santorum with Quote Out of Context

February 15, 2012
Posted by Thomas Grace

Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post’s supposedly conservative blogger, takes Rick Santorum completely out of context for no other reason than to smack her favorite whipping boy, Senator Sweater Vest again. Here’s her lede:

Santorum: ‘Birth control harms women’
ByJennifer Rubin

Yesterday I speculated on some of the reasons Rick Santorum has problems with women voters. This interview from a few year back sure isn’t going to help

(youtube embedded video)

Santorum saying that ‘birth control harms women’ would be notable… Except that’s not what he said. I’m not going to embed the video for one specific reason. I want you to be able to really understand the quote in context. Here is both the QUESTION and his reply:

Interviewer Question: So would birth control be covered by that notion of freedom without responsibilities?

I vote and have supported birth control because it is not the taking of a human life but I am not a believer in birth control. -artificial birth control- Again I think it goes down the line of being able to do whatever you want to do without having the responsibility that comes with that. …

This is from a personal point of view, from a governmental point of view I support ahh, title 10 I guess it is, and have voted for contraception and although I don’t think it works, I think it’s harmful to women, I think it’s harmful to our society to have a society that says that sex outside of marriage is something that should be encouraged or or or tolerated particularly among the young.

I think it has… we’ve seen very, very harmful long term consequences to our society. Birth control enables that and I don’t think it is a healthy thing for our country.

Santorum was expressing what should be a pretty mainstream conservative belief, that sex without consequences, especially in the young outside of marriage harms society. And it’s hardly a radical idea, even Bill Clinton said he agrees with it. (insert your own joke)

That was the whole point of the question. And the answer. Yet this is how the ‘conservative’ blogger Jennifer Rubin continues after the video.

… The impression that Santorum finds the prevalent practice of birth control “harmful to women” is, frankly, mind-numbing. If he meant to focus on teen sexual promiscuity, he surely could have, and thereby might have sounded less out of touch.

It is obvious to any honest observer that is exactly what he was was focusing on. He only said it explicitly after all.

Likewise, he wasn’t saying that ‘birth control does not work’ either. He was saying allowing sex without consequences (as facilitated by birth control) did not work to make society better. Rubin is a professional wordsmith yet pretends she does not see this.

It’s bad enough that liberals are going to lie to smear Republican candidates, shouldn’t ‘conservative’ bloggers be a little more honest?

“The move to dismantle the Catholic conscience"

"or at least to redefine it as a threat to the public good — is underway”
Posted by Rick Rice
on February 16, 2012

The Anchoress sees what’s taking place with clarity:

Some may remember that back in November, Mrs. Pelosi proclaimed her love for the church but noted regretfully, “they have this conscience thing”. And it is really getting in the way of where she thinks society should be.

Thus, the move to dismantle the Catholic conscience — or at least to redefine it as a threat to the public good — is underway. To that end an administration that didn’t need to involve the churches in its policies at all has gone out of its way to do exactly that.

And now, comes a “nuanced” assist.

"Planned Parenthood called Paul’s Pantry, part of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the biggest food pantry in Wisconsin, and asked them to come and pick up donations, which may have been noble, but wasn’t something the Catholic organization felt comfortable doing — sending a truck over and perhaps giving the abortion provider a photo opportunity. The American Life League reports what the worker at the pantry said:

All I told the young lady from Planned Parenthood was that I couldn’t send a truck to pick up, and gave her a list of other food pantries that might want to pick up, I gave her no reason at all and she didn’t ask why. Soon after, I started receiving the hate e-mail and phone calls. I politely explained to callers that although we are non-denominational in regards to those we serve, we are a Catholic organization who shares a board of directors with our sister organization, St. Vincent de Paul. We adhere to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and to the Rule of St. Vincent de Paul. I also explained our Gift Acceptance Policy and how acceptance of the donation would compromise our core values and possibly damage the reputation of Paul’s Pantry."

What happens next, of course, is entirely predictable, and of a piece with President Obama’s move with the HHS Mandate; this is all gauged to eliminate the churches from the public square.

Read what happens next and understand that it’s coordinated, willful and frankly wicked.

To suggest otherwise is to be obtuse or ignorant… or an accomplice.

“Obama’s Contraceptive Disinformation”

Protein Wisdom:

Stacy McCain:
This issue isn’t about employers imposing anything on anybody. It’s about whether the federal government can mandate certain types of insurance coverage for private employers, even to the point of requiring Catholic organizations to pay for insurance that includes full coverage — no deductible, no co-pay — for contraception, sterilization and abortifacient “morning after” drugs.

In this battle, the defense of Catholic organizations is actually a libertarian position, and the only people who could possibly take the side of the Obama administration are . . . well, crazy people, or perhaps well-meaning people who have been deliberately misinformed about the issue.

And just where may such “perhaps well-meaning people who have been deliberately misinformed about the issue” be getting their information?

Why, the mainstream press!

Who, if we don’t make the case has begun in many cases actively working to usher in a progressive democratic socialist remake of the US, will by dint of its purported “objectivity” or “neutrality,” continue to act as an effective propaganda arm for the activist left.

Those in the New Left have spent years entrenching themselves in the information dissemination and academic fields, as well as in the Democratic Party. Is it really so hard to believe that, having worked tirelessly and with cynical political purpose to take over those institutions, they might actually have a plan for how they’d hoped to use their positioning, should they ever achieve a perfect storm of power? That is, that people like Bill Ayers, or Ms Piven, or a host of other Obama mentors who were born of that revolutionary leftist mindset and never renounced it, would have strategies and blueprints for the kind of “fundamental transformation” of the US they have spent their adult lives promoting and then, they hope, ruling over?

Or is that just more Visigothic crazy talk from the cranks and conspiracy nuts who won’t admit that Obama is just an ordinary Democrat doing ordinary Dem Party things, and that the reason he drives us so crazy is because he’s a strong, educated Black man?

Stacy is correct — and this is a point we here at pw have been beating consistently since the announcement of the original, pre-”compromise” HHS dictate: this is certainly an attack on religious freedom and the First Amendment, but even moreso, it is a power grab by the federal government, who now believes it has the authority to dictate to private companies what they must sell, and for how much they must sell it.

Too, and by extension, they now believe that you as the consumer be mandated to pay for things you don’t want — and that may violate your freedom of conscience — even though they’ve tried to hide that piece of the puzzle by labeling the services as “free”.

The fact is, the services and contraceptive devices have to be paid for, and that cost will be factored in to the overall costs of coverage. Meaning, you will be paying for all the free things whether you want to or not.

To me, it matters not whether “most Catholics” favor the mandate. Most Catholics vote Democrat, too — and they’re just as wrong for doing that.

This is not a Catholic issue, or even a strictly religious issue. This is about individual sovereignty, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the fundamental relationship between the State and the individual being forcibly altered such that we are no longer a government of and by the people, but rather subjects who must petition the State for our “rights,” and who the State can mandate engage in economic behavior that we cannot opt out of, be we a private business or a private citizen.

It is the trick of the Left to try to turn this into a battle in the culture wars. It is, but that is only the facet of the fight they wish to focus on.

It’s ideological prestidigitation. And those idiots who are sending out warnings that to oppose the government on this is to free up, say, Muslim employers to impose Sharia law on their employees, would do well to understand that this is not about employers imposing anything — after all, the Catholic Church, as employer, is not mandating that their employees not use birth control, or that they go to church, or that they carry a rosary, or that they love the baby Jesus; instead, it is about a central authority’s push to overthrow the constraints of the Constitution and Declaration and “fundamentally transform” the US by way of a coup against the very foundation of American exceptionalism: individual sovereignty, a limited government of enumerated powers, and natural rights that cannot be taken away by government.

(thanks to JD)