Conventional collectivist created authority is a deception in consciousness. You are your own Authority!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hillary Scare

I remember like it was yesterday my overwhelming sense of relief during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign when it became apparent that Hillary Clinton was not going to get the nomination of her Party. Barack Obama, by far the lesser of the two evils in my mind, had prevailed.
But the terrifying specter of President Hillary Clinton has arisen from the ashes once more and the thought of that serially incompetent, lying, smirking political hack actually becoming President of the United States is again causing my stomach to turn.
Yes, that’s how I’m feeling right now after reading the love-sick slobbering CNN editorial by David Rothkopf: “President Hillary Clinton? If she wants it.”
“There are few certainties in American politics. But you can write it down: If Hillary Clinton wants to be the next nominee of the Democratic Party to be president, the job is hers,” writes Rothkopf.
“Because, as the most popular politician in America -- who also happens to be married to America's most popular ex-president and who has in place a nationwide network of donors, campaign staffers and committed supporters -- Clinton has the power to keep potential rivals from raising money or gaining political traction simply by saying, ‘I haven't decided what my plans are.’ She's in control.”
“She has been the most successful U.S. secretary of state in two decades,” he deadpanned, explaining how her performance last week before Senate and House committees on her role in the Benghazi debacle was simply dazzling.
“She defended the president and revealed her character by accepting responsibility,” he gushed. “[s]he is likely to be the next president, the first woman to be president of the United States, because of the quality of her character and her work on behalf of the American people.”
Am I missing something important here?
This lady just candidly admitted under oath that she alone as U.S. Secretary of State is fully responsible for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, including our Ambassador to Libya.
That admission reveals her character all right. It confirms that she’s a lazy, incompetent, lying political hack whose dereliction of duty and lack of a proper response was the primary cause of that tragedy.
She should have been fired!
This politician is a consummate professional liar. That is her long suit. Her only qualifications for the high office of Senator from New York and later U.S. Secretary of State are the fact that she was once the first lady, the wife of former President Bill Clinton.
That’s how she acquired her political connections. Remember that she was from Arkansas, not New York, but with those connections and nothing else, she was elected senator from New York, her first and only elected political office. That’s how she launched her political career. 
“A lot of people in Washington apparently forget how good Hillary Clinton is at not telling the truth,” opines Jonah Goldberg in the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Her Benghazi testimony, for example was full of lies.
Asked by Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson to explain why she and her Department initially blamed the terrorist attack on a protest over an anti-Muslim video, Hillary yelled in an obviously rehearsed moment of spontaneous outrage: "With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided to kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?"
So instead of answering the question truthfully and admitting she and her department lied about it for two weeks, she screamed at her questioners that it doesn’t make any difference.
Then she flat out lied, using the very same lie again: "I did not say ... that it was about the video for Libya." But we have it on video tape that she directly blamed the attack on an "awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with."
"We will make sure the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted," she lied to the father of one of the four victims.
Clinton was a big part of the State Department and White House strategy to brazenly blame the Benghazi attack on an obscure anti-Muslim video instead of al-Qaida terrorists until after the 2012 elections because their incompetence in the matter was so excruciatingly embarrassing.
Clinton, the President, the White House Press Secretary, and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice all knew the whole truth right from the start but chose to deliberately and repeatedly lie to the American people.
Clinton, the most popular politician in America, true to her political nature, is still lying while planning her run for president in 2016.
And my stomach is churning again with Hillary scare.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Life Begins at Conception? Not!

Hypocrisy within the so-called “pro-life” movement is nothing new – a fetus is definitely a person they always say -- but now the Catholic Church, the archetypal pro-life institution, has successfully defended itself in a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit by arguing just the opposite – a fetus is not a person they claimed.
So a human life begins at conception and a fetus is a person unless we’re being sued for wrongful death says the Church.
Well, at least legally the Church is absolutely correct in this instance. That’s why this Catholic hospital chain, Catholic Health Initiatives,’ beat a medical malpractice case in a Colorado court by saying that fetuses aren’t people.
And I have no doubt that, under Colorado law, they will be affirmed on appeal in that state's Supreme Court.
I suppose it’s perfectly OK for them to argue one way spiritually and another legally. The fact that they’re guilty of the most blatant hypocrisy possible is beside the point when big money is at stake. Catholic Health Initiatives, you see, is a non-profit conglomerate organization that owns roughly 170 health care facilities in 17 states, with national assets totaling around $15 billion.
Catholic hospitals purportedly base their ethical practices on the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church, which were authored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. These guidelines state that, “Catholic health care ministry witnesses to the sanctity of life ‘from the moment of conception until death. The Church’s defense of life encompasses the unborn.” Consequently, they refuse to dispense contraceptives, perform abortions or offer end-of-life services.
If you are a Catholic, in light of what the Church has argued in this lawsuit, what exactly are you now expected to believe?
The plaintiff’s decedent, a 31-year-old woman, was seven months pregnant with twins when she died of a heart attack in the Catholic hospital’s emergency room. ER personnel had paged her obstetrician but the doctor never answered. So the twin boys, who surely would otherwise have been saved, perished in the womb with their mother.
The wrongful-death suit filed by her husband maintained that the doctor should have made it to the hospital or ordered an emergency cesarean section by phone in order to save the babies. But Colorado law defines “person” to include only those born alive. Therefore, ruled the court, Plaintiff cannot maintain wrongful death claims based on two unborn fetuses.
The Catholic Bishops of Colorado declined to comment on the legal proceedings but said it will review the litigation and Catholic Health Initiatives' practices "to ensure fidelity and faithful witness to the teachings of the Catholic Church."
They won the lawsuit; they don’t have to pay a nickel; but now they’re going to review the case "to ensure fidelity and faithful witness to the teachings of the Catholic Church."
If I were the grieving father, I wouldn’t hold my breath over the prospect of the Catholic Church changing its mind on this one.
The law is the law, they dodged a bullet, and to Hell with Church doctrine!
Life begins at conception? Not this time!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Christianity is just another Authority!

Christianity is either brilliant or foolish” is the title of Free Advice blogger Robert P. Murphy’s latest post referenced in RRND.
“Here’s where we have to decide, is this brilliant or is it foolish? There’s no in between,” he writes.
Murphy recounts that when he was an atheist he thought that part of the problem with Christianity was the implausibility of the gospel accounts, but the real problem was that “it makes no senseGod is mad at humanity because two people ate an apple, but then He forgives them when they murder His innocent Son; What the heck?!”
But now that Mr. Murphy has become a believer he thinks the whole concept is “brilliant ... if you seriously entertain the notion that there is a God who loves us, and you can see with your own eyes what a bunch of scoundrels all humans are, then there is a certain beautiful logic to it, that it takes God to swoop in and save us from ourselves, through His own sacrifice.
First of all, in my own experience, I can say with absolute certainty that most human beings are not scoundrels at all – imperfect, flawed, and vulnerable, yes – but not scoundrels. Most people are good. So where is the beautiful logic that it takes an imaginary God to swoop in and save us from ourselves; and how is it that we are saved from His own sacrifice?
Humanity doesn’t need to be saved. That is a major flaw in the idea. Therefore it still doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense – except that is, within the context of just another human Authority demanding sacrifices from the faithful – which, of course, is the major purpose of all religions, and all other Authority for that matter – altruistic sacrifice.
Human sacrifice is the central lesson of Christianity and the New Testament of the Holy Bible. The crucifixion and the cross are powerful symbols of human sacrifice. Jesus taught and demanded self denial and sacrifice from all his followers. Good Christians are supposed to be sacrificial beings.
The idea is that, if God, the Supreme Being, is willing to sacrifice his only son, and if Christ His son is willing to make that ultimate sacrifice for humanity, then surely the multitudes of lesser mortals should be willing to make sacrifices of what they hold dear for the benefit of the greater good, i.e. God.
If He can sacrifice to us then we must sacrifice to Him. That’s the message. If you sacrifice you will be saved from death. The reward for your own self denial, human sacrifice and eventual death on Earth in the manner of Jesus Christ, is eternal life in Heaven with Christ, who, together with His Father, is God.
And it works! There are now more than a billion Christian believers on the planet who fervently believe that if they sacrifice like good Christians they will not die. So I suppose one could rightfully say that it is indeed brilliant.
“But that’s the whole point of this blog post,” Murphy explains. “If there really were a God of the kind described in the Bible, His plan would be like nothing you or I would invent.”
I, on the other hand, think that the people who dreamed up Christianity were certainly not foolish by any means. They knew exactly what they were doing.
“It is undeniable that there is something incredibly powerful and compelling about the gospel stories. They have inspired some of the greatest works of art, music, and literature known to man. Then, when you begin to study them with a rational approach, at first they seem to be absurd–but the more you study them, the more sense they make… I submit that this is exactly what we would expect to observe, if the Bible were the inspired word of God,” concludes Murphy.
But Murphy overlooks the plain fact that the overall compelling urgency of Christ’s teaching was his steadfast promise that the world as we know it was coming to an end within his own generation and it was therefore crucially important for the people to get themselves right with God before the looming judgment day arrived.
You know; Jesus was just another one of those “The End is near” preachers.
And just like all the rest of them, Jesus was plainly wrong! Two millennia have passed since the stories in the Gospels were told. Thus, the prediction has proved demonstrably false. The end is not near. There has been and will never be any Kingdom of God because all gods are imaginary.
Christianity is just another Authority!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

No Law Abridging Freedom of Speech: [Except]

The United States Constitution First Amendment unambiguously declares that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech or of the press …” and this constitutional mandate applies to all 50 states since the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Take note here that the First Amendment conspicuously makes no exceptions under any circumstances to this mandate. No law means no law.
So neither the federal government nor any of the 50 state government authorities have the power to make any law which abridges freedom of speech or the press, right?
Isn’t that what a strict constructionist of the Constitution, like Anton Scalia or John Roberts or Clarence Thomas or Samuel Alito, would say?
Well, no; not exactly; the sad truth is that all strict judicial constructionists of the Constitution are only strict about it when it comes to furthering their own personal political agendas. Otherwise, they are quick to carve out imaginary exceptions when the mood strikes them to do so, and in those instances strict construction goes flying out the courthouse window.  
Consider the recent case against Ira Isaacs who was sentenced to four years in federal prison last week for the “crime” of producing and selling “obscene” material. His conviction is part of several other obscenity prosecutions that began under the Bush administration in 2005 with the formation of an Obscenity Prosecution Task Force.
Isaacs produced, starred in, and distributed pornographic films through a website he advertised as "the Web's largest fetish VHS, DVD superstore." Some of his films, which depict bestiality and sexual situations involving human excrement, were shown to the jury during his trial.
Again, please take note here that the First Amendment makes no exception what-so-ever for obscenity, pornography, fetishes, or any other kind of sexual activity – all of which existed in the print media at the time the founding fathers created the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Never-mind that ruled the court; this criminal was allowed no First Amendment defense even though his “crime” consisted entirely of speech, albeit, speech which many people would find disgusting.
But again, the First Amendment makes no exceptions for disgusting speech, patently offensive speech, or prurient speech. Obscene speech is speech which shall not be abridged by the government authorities.
"They were so disgusting I couldn't even watch them," said Isaacs' own attorney, who said he averted his eyes and read a book as the 90-minute films were played in court. "But that doesn't mean they're not free speech."
Isaacs maintained that his films are supposed to shock and disgust people in a way that challenges their conception of art. "It makes people think, 'What is art? Can art be gross?'" he explained.
According to federal law, material must meet a three-part test to be considered criminally obscene: It must appeal to a prurient interest, lack scientific, artistic and political value and be patently offensive.
Federal obscenity law in the U.S. is unusual in that there is no uniform national standard. Former Justice Potter Stewart of the Supreme Court, attempting to classify what material constituted exactly "what is obscene," infamously wrote, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced…[b]ut I know it when I see it…"
Clearly then, this exception to the First Amendment Free Speech Clause is entirely arbitrary and imaginary.
Chief Justice Warren Burger, in the 1973 case of Miller v. California enunciated the current test for a finding of “obscenity.”
“The basic guidelines for the trier of fact,” he wrote, “must be: (a) whether 'the average person, applying contemporary community standards would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, (b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and (c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”
But where did he find that test in the First Amendment?
It isn’t there.
Where does this Justice get the harebrained idea that speech which “lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value” might not be protected by the First Amendment? Since when must speech not appeal to the “prurient” interest and not be sexually offensive to some?
This is the Supreme Court of the United States making imaginary law while trampling on the constitution.
Prosecutor Michael Grant said Isaacs had never mentioned artistic intentions until he was in front of a court. "Since 1999, he has operated a business with one goal in mind: make money off of individuals that enjoy sick materials," Grant said in court.
Once again, at the risk of beating a dead horse, take note that the First Amendment makes no reference to this imaginary test or any exception for materials which are deemed to be “sick” by the authorities.
U.S. District Judge George H. King, who presided over the case, said Isaacs had sought to "cloak himself” in the 1st Amendment with a "cynical post-hoc justification" and was not "a defender of the 1st Amendment."
Obviously, this judge thinks that defendants in his court who wish to rely on the First Amendment are actually “cynically cloaking themselves” in it instead of defending it. Addressing Isaacs directly, King said, "You are an abuser of the 1st Amendment. You cheapen the 1st Amendment."
As a lawyer who respects the U.S. Constitution, that’s the first time I’ve heard that cynical cloaking oneself in the law rather than defending it is a no-no. I really can’t imagine where His Honor came up with such rubbish. It’s certainly not the law.
How can one abuse or cheapen the First Amendment – or any other provisions in the Bill of Rights for that matter -- merely by relying on it as a defense? Free speech either applies to the accused or it does not and the First Amendment provides that it applies to all, not just some.
People who find “sick” materials offensive are free to avoid such materials if they don’t wish to be offended.
Personally, I had never even heard of Mr. Isaacs or "the Web's largest fetish VHS, DVD superstore," before I learned of his conviction. If others like me have never sought out and looked at his works, how can they possibly be offended?
Ironically, Isaacs was convicted and given four years in prison for distributing the same materials that another federal jurist involved in the case, Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, distributed by putting the stuff on an Internet server that could be accessed by the public.
Why isn’t Judge Kozinski going to prison?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

So Lance Armstrong Used Drugs

Lance Armstrong told Oprah Winfrey on her TV show last week, after years of bitter public denials, that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his legendary cycling career.
Yawn …
So what?
Big deal!
Ask me if I care.
Armstrong admitted to using a variety of performance enhancing substances starting sometime in the "mid-90s." The powers that be in the cycling business had already stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles and banned him for life from participating in future professional cycling events.
But as far as I’m concerned he crossed the line first; he won all seven of those titles; and its way too damn late now to take them away from him. It’s a bit like the NFL calling a clipping penalty during a game winning touchdown run ten years after the game is over and declaring the losing team the winner.
How many games in baseball’s major leagues have been won by a batter hitting a home run using a corked bat in the bottom of the ninth inning? We’ll never know. But if some player admits to doing just that many years ago, should the game be awarded to the team that lost? Should the offender be punished today?
It’s ridiculous.
Had he been caught violating the rules during a race that would be different; he could have been disqualified then without any complaint from me.
There really should be something like a statute of limitations on this kind of thing. You know; if someone admits to stealing $10million in a train robbery that happened seven years ago, he can’t be prosecuted. It’s too late.
If O.J. Simpson goes on Oprah tomorrow to admit that he murdered his ex-wife and Ronald Goldman, too bad; his trial is over; he can’t be touched for that; it would constitute double jeopardy.
O.J. Simpson and train robbers clearly did something wrong. But as a hard core libertarian I don’t believe that Mr. Armstrong did anything wrong until he lied and bullied others about his conduct in order to keep it a secret.
Yes, those things were wrong.
Maybe he’s a jerk; I suppose he is, but the only reason he felt compelled to lie and bully was because he had to keep it secret. He had to keep it secret because the statist bastards controlling those events think they have the right to tell the participants what they can and can’t do with their own bodies.
He wanted to enhance his performance. Who wouldn’t want that, especially with the huge rewards out there now in professional sports? He could not have won the race seven times without the drugs, Armstrong admitted with a small smile. Surely there were many others who were doing exactly the same thing.
Men have been trying to enhance their performance since the dawn of time. Sales of male enhancement drugs are booming everywhere these days. I’ll bet money that the toads that stripped Lance of his titles go home at night regularly and pop a Viagra before hopping into bed with their wives.
It’s that kind of hypocrisy about the use of drugs that disgusts me. There is an illogical hysteria about drugs which has been embedded in our culture only relatively recently. Babe Ruth would have gotten away with what Lance Armstrong did with no one thinking twice about it or batting an eye.
The public today expects its athletes to all be angels, pure as the driven snow, and honest to the core. That is never going to happen with the millions of dollars at stake now on the playing fields. Nice guys finish last and that fact of life has never been truer than in the gritty, dirty and fiercely competitive world of pro sports.
"At the time it did not feel wrong?" Winfrey asked.
"No," Armstrong replied. "Scary."
"Did you feel bad about it?" she pressed him.
"No," he said; "Even scarier."
"Did you feel in any way that you were cheating?"
"No," Armstrong paused. "Scariest."
"I went and looked up the definition of cheat," he added. "And the definition is to gain an advantage on a rival or foe. I didn't view it that way. I viewed it as a level playing field."
I hate this never ending War on Drugs. It’s downright disgusting, demeaning and dehumanizing to insist randomly that free people must allow their blood to be drawn or have to pee in a jar so that some sanctimonious martinet can test it.
It’s none of their business.
Now it has come to the point where public schools are insisting on drug tests for any student who wishes to participate in any extra-curricular activity, including the debate team and marching band. Soon it will be all the kids rounded up and being randomly tested like cattle just for showing up for their compulsory education.  
So Lance Armstrong used performance enhancing drugs almost 20 years ago – yawn!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mr. President for Life

We have heard a lot of serious talk lately from the parasite politician class about how entitlement spending is driving America into bankruptcy, and how Social Security, Medicare, and other government programs which provide financial benefits to the little guy will have to be trimmed back in order to save money, lower the annual deficit, and decrease the national debt.
That is all well and good. Perhaps the scale of each of these programs should properly be revised downward along with all other categories of government spending, especially military expenditures and the overall costs of government. I’m all for that.
But you can rest assured that the very last people who will ever be forced to tighten their belts in order to resolve the current financial crisis will be the parasite politicians themselves, their wives and their families. They have feathered their nests nicely, thank you, and no one is going to talk about, much less mess with, their financial perks, prerogatives and benefits.
Entitlement spending on politicians – including former politicians -- is going to keep going up.
Case in point:
President Barack Obama on Thursday signed into a law a measure giving him, George W. Bush and future former presidents and their spouse’s lifetime Secret Service protection.
Never mind the fact that President Obama, George W. Bush, and every other living former U.S. president, are multi-millionaires, well able to afford their own lifetime protection, the Congress has seen fit to pad their benefits at the expense of the American taxpayers at a time when the nation is teetering on the edge of financial ruin.
Of course, the real and lasting financial benefit of being a former president these days is the fame, clout and influence they retain after leaving office. Most of them command millions of dollars every year just in speaker’s fees alone.
Not surprisingly, the new law had bipartisan support from politicians on both sides of the aisle. It passed the House of Representatives by voice vote and raced through the Senate unopposed. It scuttles a 1990’s cost saving law which imposed a 10-year limit on Secret Service protection for former presidents, starting with George W. Bush.
Those who supported the former law said it would save the government millions of dollars because former presidents could hire private security firms (as Richard Nixon did after he decided to forgo Secret Service protection in 1985).
So much for saving any money; the 1990’s cost cutting measure has and will never affect a single former president. It was a total waste of time and effort. Politicians today just don’t care about saving the taxpayers millions of dollars, especially when it comes to increasing their own entitlement benefits.
It wasn’t always that way. Long before, and even after Social Security became law in the 1930’s to benefit the little people of America, the U.S. federal government provided no pension or other retirement benefits at all to former United States presidents. They were on their own and most of them got along fine with no problems.
Legislation introduced in 1912 to establish a presidential pension failed. The Secret Service didn’t even begin to protect current presidents until 1901 after the assassination of William McKinley. It wasn’t until 1958 that the Former Presidents Act took effect because former President Harry S. Truman was having trouble financing an office staff, which prompted the legislation.
Now former presidents under the FPA are entitled to a pension, staff and office expenses, medical care or health insurance, and Secret Service protection for life. The measure was enacted to “maintain the dignity” of the Office of the President by providing financial benefits so that they would not have to enter unsuitable occupations after leaving office.
You see, we have to have a law passed in order to maintain the dignity of the presidency. Without it, both current and former presidents would have no dignity. They might otherwise have to become used car salesmen.
Former Presidents currently receive a pension immediately upon leaving office that is equal to pay for the head of an executive department (Executive Level I), which was $191,300 as of January 1, 2008. They don’t have to wait until old age like the rest of us peasants.
But that’s not all. Transition funding for the expenses of leaving office is available for seven months. It covers office space, staff compensation, communications services, and printing and postage associated with the transition. Private office staff provided by the Administrator of General Services and funds. Persons employed under this subsection are selected by and responsible only to the former president for the performance of their duties.
On top of that they receive an office staff with full benefits, travel expenses, office rental expenses, telephone, postage, printing, supplies and equipment expenses for the rest of their lives. The former president’s budget just for the year 2009 requested $8,520,000 for those types of expenses and the amounts are growing by leaps and bounds every year.  
Today, former presidents have the expensive distinction of being called and treated like Mr. President for life.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

First Amendment Establishment Clause: Is it Hostile Toward Christianity?

Many evangelical Christians in America simply cannot shake the conclusion in their minds that the First Amendment Establishment Clause is downright hostile toward Christianity.
This is a story which repeats itself over and over again: If it’s not about Ten Commandment displays in courtrooms, it’s about Christian nativity scenes on courthouse lawns.
If the government and its agents are required to exercise in the course if their duties strict neutrality in matters of religion and prohibited from promoting Christianity over other religions or non-religion, they call it hostility toward Christianity.
They describe it as a war on Christianity
If a public school teacher, for example, is advised by her superintendent not to proselytize Christianity to the captive audience of children in her classroom, well that means to them that she is being denied her First Amendment Freedom of Speech rights.  
Neutrality equals hostility in the mind of the evangelical Christian. They do not understand much less accept the Establishment Clause. They hate it with every fiber of their being. They fervently believe that they have the right to use our government to spread the Christian gospel.
The latest chapter in this saga is about Joelle Silver, a veteran a New York State public school teacher, devout Christian, and advisor to the school’s Bible Study club, whose been unlawfully decorating her classroom with biblical inspirational verses as a shrine to Christianity.
Now she’s filing a civil rights lawsuit against her school district after she was forced against her will by the superintendent to remove all religious content from her classroom — including a prayer request box, and this quote from former President Ronald Reagan:
“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under.”
She claims her freedoms of speech rights have been violated. In short, she and her lawyer actually believe that she has the right to proselytize Christianity to a captive audience of students in a public school.
Robert Muise, co-founder of the American Freedom Law Center and Silver’s attorney, says he’s never seen such an egregious example of religious hostility in a public school. “It’s like they’re treating those posters and inspirational sticky notes like it’s some sort of pornography … I find that offensive.”
Muise claims that the sole reason they are attacking his client is because she is a devout Christian. “When they launched the investigation, they literally went through her classroom with a fine-tooth comb and removed anything that had anything to do with Christianity,” he whined. “I’ve never seen anything like that. Ms. Silver does not cease being a Christian nor does she shed her constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate.”
He added that the district also forbade his client from any form of communication with students “that would conflict with your duty to show complete neutrality toward religion and to refrain from promoting religion or entangling yourself in religious matters.”
 “Our nation was founded to promote religious liberty,” AFLC co-founder David Yerushalmi said. “Yet, for years our public schools have been bastions of religious hostility.”
But this public school teacher and her lawyers conveniently forget that, when she is in her classroom teaching students, she is exercising government speech, not private speech.
She is an agent of the government, she represents the government to her students, and government agents are required under the First Amendment Establishment Clause to maintain neutrality in matters pertaining to religion while performing their official duties.
Why is that simple concept so difficult for intelligent people to understand?
Neutrality does not equate to hostility.
And just because a former President has uttered a religious statement does not mean that a public school teacher is at liberty to display it prominently on her classroom wall.
If she were at liberty to do so under the First Amendment, then nothing should prevent an atheist teacher from displaying this famous quote from our nation’s founding father and former President, Thomas Jefferson:
“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”

That’s right. Our third President, Thomas Jefferson, was certain that the supposed divinity of Jesus Christ is a myth.
What about this masterful gem from another of our nation’s founding fathers and former President, John Adams?
"The question before the human race is, whether the God of Nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?"

Perhaps this famous line from another founding father, James Madison:
"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."

Should these famous quotes be taught to public school children?
I seriously doubt that Ms. Silvers and her lawyers would agree with that, because if these quotes were fair game, then we really would have government hostility toward Christianity.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Manning Abuse Trivialized

Now it is official that former Army intelligence analyst, Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, facing a potential life sentence, has been serially abused and tortured while in the brig awaiting trial on 22 charges for allegedly providing military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks.
Prosecutors are pursuing charges, including aiding the enemy and violating the Espionage Act, that could result in a life sentence if he is convicted. His court-martial is scheduled to begin on March 6.
Col. Denise Lind, a military judge ruled recently that brig officials had admittedly mistreated and improperly kept Private Manning under unduly and unlawfully harsh conditions for excessive periods while being held at the Marines brig at Quantico, Va.
But instead of dismissing the case against the accused as provided in the military code of justice, or punishing his serial abusers, she granted the prisoner a paltry 112 days of credit against any eventual prison sentence.
This means that Manning’s abusers are free to continue punishing and abusing him before his trial as they like without fear of any substantial consequences – one day of credit on his sentence for each one day of serial abuse.
After all, what is the benefit to the prisoner of a few days credit against his sentence when that sentence is likely to be life in a military prison without the possibility of parole?
“There was no intent to punish the accused by anyone in the Marine Corps brig staff or chain of command,” said the judge. “The intent was to make sure the accused was safe, did not hurt himself and was available for the trial.”
The recognition that pre-trial punishment did occur during the nine months that he was held in Quantico supports Manning’s long-held complaint that he was singled out by the US government for excessively harsh treatment.
Private Manning is the most hated soldier in the U.S. military, he was improperly mistreated under unlawfully harsh conditions, but the court found no intent to punish. That’s absurd.
Allowing the prisoner just 20 minutes of exercise a day, instead of the full hour other prisoners were granted sounds an awful lot like punishment to me. He’s supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty.
Later the judge began hearing arguments on a pair of motions by prosecutors seeking to restrict the ability of Private Manning’s defense team to call witnesses and introduce other testimony related to his motivation and whether the documents were over classified.
She might as well order a gag on his defense lawyers as this soldier defendant is not going to be allowed a proper defense. It’s already shaping up to be a kangaroo court, which is just another form of institutionalized abuse. The government wants this guy convicted and that is what the government is going to get.
And there won’t be any constitutionally guaranteed speedy trial either. At the request of prosecutors the judge has agreed to delay his trial from March to June, 2013 to allow them extra time to deal with classified information.
Manning has offered to plead guilty to some of the lesser charges in exchange for a reduced sentence. The most serious accusation is that by passing information to WikiLeaks, he effectively made it available to al-Qaida and its affiliate terrorist organizations – the “aiding the enemy” charge which carries the punitive life sentence.
So it is admitted that he didn’t pass the information to the enemy. He gave it to WikiLeaks. That indicates to me that he did not have criminal intent; he was merely acting as a whistle blower regarding inappropriate conduct on the part of the United States government, a laudable purpose in my opinion.
The military judge in this case predictably went out of her way to trivialize the serial abuse of prisoner Private Bradley E. Manning.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Statist Public Schools USA

Life in America’s public school’s nowadays is based largely on the North Korean model. The captive charges have no rights and their overlords control both thoughts and actions. Creative thinking is never encouraged. Humor is prohibited. Absolute conformity to the correct government line is the norm.
Witness, for example, the case of Oklahoma Prague High School valedictorian Kaitlin Nootbaar, who was arbitrarily denied her diploma by the school’s statist principal for using the word “hell” instead of "heck" in her graduation speech.
This was her heinous speech “crime”:
“When I first started school I wanted to be a nurse, then a veterinarian and now that I was getting closer to graduation, people would ask me, what do you want to do and I said ‘How the hell do I know? I’ve changed my mind so many times,'"
According to the girl’s father, her speech was met with a warm reception by the audience, but when she went to pick up her official diploma, the principal told her she would have to submit a written apology before she could receive it.
"We went to the office and asked for the diploma and the principal said, 'Your diploma is right here but you’re not getting it. Close the door, we have a problem,'" said dad.
I’d be willing to bet money that there are several books in the Prague High School library that contain the word ‘hell,’ including no doubt the Holy Bible, which mentions the place numerous times, but never-mind that – statist school administrators do what they are programmed to do and students have no First Amendment rights as far as public school statists are concerned.
Did you know that at least 50 percent of the grains served in U.S. public school lunches must now be whole grains, according to new statist legislation that went into effect last July?
School lunches are now squarely within the statist lawmakers’ cross hairs. By July 1, 2014, all grains will have to be whole.
It’s the statist food police mandate of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which includes limits on fat and salt and heftier servings of fruits and veggies for the captive children.
Real fruit is replacing frozen fruit bars, pizza is being made with whole wheat crust and sweet potato fries are being substituted for tater tots — all part of first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign effort aimed at lowering rates of childhood obesity.
Now we have the likes of professional statist, Michelle Obama, dictating the kind of slop kids have to eat for lunch at public schools.
I’ll bet she doesn’t eat that crap.
Meanwhile, an innocent little 6-year-old boy was suspended from his Montgomery Maryland elementary school for making a gun gesture with his finger, pointing it at a female first-grader classmate, and saying "pow."
“We always make sure there is clear conversation with the student and parents about any behaviors that have to change and what the consequences are if that behavior doesn’t change,” a statist school spokesman told The Washington Post.
She characterized the incident as a "threat" to shoot another student
What threat? With is finger? His finger is a threat?
“He’s skinny and meek," explained the family’s attorney of the boy. "In his words, he was playing.”
He filed an appeal, asking that the incident be expunged from the child's record and arguing the boy never had the intention of shooting anyone.
What could be more obvious?
But don’t try to explain that to the administrators in charge of Statist Public Schools USA.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Resurrection of Tricky Dick

Tricky Dick Nixon, that scandalous lying presidential criminal, who should by all rights have served time in prison right along with his thoroughly corrupt inner circle of political sycophants, was fondly remembered this week with full military honors, a flyover by a squadron of U.S. fighter jets, musical presentations by a U.S. Marine band, and a 21-gun salute, followed by the laying of a White House wreath from current President Barack his tomb. 
It was all part of a planned yearlong centennial celebration of the late 37th U.S. president Richard Nixon's birth 100 years ago run by the Richard Nixon Foundation and the National Archives which kicked off on Sunday at his presidential library in Yorba Linda, California - his birthplace.
Nixon holds the dubious distinction as the only American president to resign from office.  Facing almost certain impeachment and conviction in the Senate, he left the White House in humiliating disgrace in 1974 over the infamous Watergate scandal and cover-up for which he was criminally responsible.
His political campaign operatives were caught red handed burglarizing his Democratic opponents' offices at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C., during the tumultuous 1972 presidential election campaign, attempting to dig up dirt and bug their headquarters. He personally orchestrated the cover-up which followed and successfully stonewalled the resulting investigation until after his re-election.  
It was during this investigation when he publicly uttered this famous line in a campaign speech to the American people: “I am not a crook.”
But he most definitely was a crook. He violated his oath of office. He covered up evidence of crimes. He committed his own crimes, and had it not been for the magnanimous gesture of a full pardon for those crimes by his successor, President Gerald Ford, only one month after the resignation, Nixon might have been serving hard time with the likes of his equally guilty co-conspirators, White House counsel, John Dean, Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman, and number two advisor, John Ehrlichman.
The national outrage generated by the Watergate scandal was widely seen as undermining the American public's trust in the White House and in government in general. It was proof that American citizens should never place their trust in politicians and the government. Honesty and integrity in American politics and government is a rare commodity indeed. 
Nixon campaigned on a promise to achieve "peace with honor" in Vietnam. Instead, after his election, he escalated the conflict by approving a secret bombing campaign against communist North Vietnamese positions in Cambodia. Finally, when it became obvious that Americans had had enough of the Vietnam War, he ended it abruptly allowing South Vietnam to go to the communist North.
Fifty-eight-thousand Americans were killed in Vietnam and Richard M. Nixon was responsible for many of those unnecessary deaths. When I think of Tricky Dick Nixon, those deaths are the first things that come to my mind, closely followed by the criminal means he employed to keep himself in office.
But today we are all forced by our government to commemorate Tricky Dick for his so-called greatest achievement -- his dramatic 1972 visit to China, which ushered in a new era of U.S. engagement with Beijing after decades of Cold War hostility. Now we are encouraged to remember this criminal as an underappreciated president and a foreign policy genius.
Of course, there never should have been any Cold War hostility in the first place, but never-mind that. When a President of the United States pays any kind visit to a foreign country, hobnobbing with government leaders, touring the countryside, and drinking toasts, he automatically becomes a foreign policy genius in the minds of the American sheep.
Naturally, during Sunday's elaborate ceremony at the taxpayer’s expense, the Watergate scandal was not even once mentioned. "To me, there's nothing to mention," Bruce Herschensohn, a friend and speech writer for Nixon, said after the delivering the keynote address. “That doesn't make (the Watergate scandal) right, but that's the way Washington operated," he added.
Right, don’t blame it on the crook; blame it on the environment in which he operated.
Thusly we now witness the resurrection of Tricky Dick.