Saturday, July 11, 2009

op ed review 7/12

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

Despite the results of the 2008 presidential election, Americans, by a 2-to-1 margin, say their political views in recent years have become more conservative rather than more liberal, 39% to 18%.....more members of all three major partisan groups indicate that their views have shifted to the right rather than to the left.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/121403/Special-Report-Ideologically-Moving.aspx?CSTS=alert

The United States was founded on the idea that "history has a right side and a wrong side," Arizona Sen. John McCain said in the weekly Republican address broadcast on the Fourth of July. "We share a kinship of ideals with every man and woman on earth who struggles for their God-given rights. The world must never doubt where we stand in the liberation struggles of our time…" he said.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/07/04/mccain-history-has-a-right-side-and-a-wrong-side/

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced Friday that she is quitting her job at the end of the month, unleashing a torrent of speculation about her plans and the political wisdom of the decision.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-palin_satjul04,0,6497616.story?track=rss

Gov. Palin's abrupt announcement caused plenty of GOP operatives to wonder aloud whether she will be dismissed as a quitter if she makes a bid for the presidency in 2012. But the road to the White House runs through Iowa and New Hampshire, and grassroots activists in both kickoff states generally give Palin's decision more-positive reviews.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/pi_20090711_7914.php

Gov. Palin criticized both President Obama and the Republican Party in her first interview since announcing she was stepping down. Standing astride a fishing boat she would later climb aboard to haul in fishing nets and salmon, Palin expressed bitterness at bloggers who peppered her with ethics accusations, whom she said brought government in Alaska to a grinding halt.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/07/07/palin-blasts-critics-resignation-announcement/

Rich Lowry: Her decision wasn't particularly public-spirited, but neither was it crazy. She's seen her opportunities, and she's going to take them. Now she can travel the country headlining Republican events and campaigning for candidates, unencumbered by other professional responsibilities. Wherever she goes, she'll draw crowds and attention. If she can command $60,000 per paid speech, as an aide speculates, she'll match her annual gubernatorial salary after a mere two gigs. That's welcome income for a woman who isn't rich and has five children and one grandkid.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/07072009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/the_real_reason_sarahs_skipping_out_178009.htm

Rarely does the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights vote unanimously on anything. What unified the commission was outrage at the Justice Department for letting the Black Panthers off the hook. One veteran of the civil rights movement called the defendants' actions "the most blatant form of voter intimidation I have encountered in my life in political campaigns in many states, even going back to the work I did in Mississippi in the 1960s."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/07/return-of-the-black-panther/

Michele Obama has twenty two attendants to cater to her every whim and to satisfy her every request in the midst of the Great Recession. Just think: Mary Lincoln was taken to task for purchasing china for the White House during the Civil War. And Mamie Eisenhower had to shell out the salary for her own personal secretary. Here’s the list and salary for each.

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/12652

President Obama hosted a reception at the White House celebrating LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Pride month. “Black Christians should take note and learn a few things about our black President…It tells us something that Mr. Obama had no time to host an event for the National Day of Prayer.”

http://townhall.com/Columnists/StarParker/2009/07/06/when_color_trumps_christianity?page=full

“Welfare checks to increase for the first time in 19 years.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/06/nyregion/06welfare.html?_r=2&ref=nyregion

Billions of dollars in federal aid delivered directly to the local level to help revive the economy have gone overwhelmingly to places that supported President Obama in last year's presidential election.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-07-08-redblue_N.htm

Now he tells us. Colin Powell says the president's ambitious blitz of costly initiatives may be enlarging the size of government and the federal debt too much.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/03/powell-airs-doubts-on-obama-agenda/

Congress returns for its midsummer session Monday with a Senate supermajority not super enough for President Barack Obama's top priorities to pass without Republican support. The seating of Minnesota Sen. Al Franken will give Democrats the filibuster-proof 60-40 majority in the Senate, but only on paper. Absences by two ailing senators mean the party can count only 58 votes.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D997L8SG0&show_article=1&catnum=3

“In violation of Article 1, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution, President Barack Obama has assumed complete control of the 2010 Census. This Article, which concerns the legislative rather than executive branch of government, stipulates that the “enumeration” be conducted by a commerce official under the supervision of the Senate and the House of Representations.”

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/12587

Washington state officials are ready to verify signatures for the only initiative that might appear on this fall's ballot. Initiative 1033 would cap the amount of money flowing into state, county and city general funds. Yearly increases would be tied to inflation plus population growth.

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/50413042.html

The UK sets up the green police.

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/public_sector/article6639289.ece

The Healthy Americans Private Insurance plan, which incidentally goes by the acronym ''HAPI,'' is the new plan the federal government has devised to force us to pay more in taxes and take a handout whether we want it or not. The bill is S.391 and is currently making rounds in the Senate.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/no_hapi_ending.html

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Thomas Sowell 7/7

A Tangled Web

While the recent Supreme Court decision in the New Haven firefighters' case will be welcome news to those who don't think that a gross injustice is O.K. when those on the receiving end are white, the reasoning behind the 5 to 4 decision is a painful reminder that the law is still tangled in a web of assumptions, evasions and contradictions when it comes to racial issues.

Nor have these problems been clarified with the passage of time. On the contrary, the growing complexity and murkiness of civil rights law over the years recalls the painful saying: "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

The original Civil Rights Act of 1964 was very straightforward in forbidding discrimination. But, even before that Act was passed, there were already people demanding more than equality of treatment. Some wanted equality of end results, some wanted restitution for past wrongs, and some just wanted as much as they could get.

Opponents of the Civil Rights Act said that it would lead to racial quotas and reverse discrimination. Advocates of the Act not only denied this, they wrote the language of the law in a way designed to explicitly prevent such things. But judges, over the years, have "interpreted" the Civil Rights Act to mean what its opponents said it would mean, rather than what its advocates put into the plain language of the legislation.

A key notion that has created unending mischief, from its introduction by the Supreme Court in 1971 to the current firefighters' case, is that of "disparate impact." Any employment requirement that one racial or ethnic group meets far more often than another is said to have a "disparate impact" and is considered to be evidence of racial discrimination. In other words, if group X doesn't pass a test nearly as often as group Y, then there is something wrong with the test, according to this reasoning or lack of reasoning. This implicitly assumes that there cannot be any great difference between the two groups in the skills, talents or efforts required.

That notion is the grand dogma of our time-- an idea for which no evidence is asked or given, and an idea that no amount of contradictory evidence can change in the minds of the true believers, or in the rhetoric of ideologues and opportunists.

Trying to reconcile that dogma with the principle of equal treatment for all has led courts into feats of higher metaphysics that the Medieval Scholastics could be proud of. The dogma survives because it is politically useful, not because it has met any test of facts. Innumerable facts against it can be found around the world and down through history.

All sorts of groups in all sorts of countries have been demonstrably better than other groups at particular things, whether economic, intellectual, political or military. This fact is so blatant that only people with great cleverness can manage to deny the obvious. That cleverness is what creates the tangled web of confusion that has plagued civil right cases for decades.

Does anybody seriously doubt that blacks usually play basketball better than whites? Does anybody seriously doubt that the leading cameras and lenses in world have long been produced by Germans and Japanese? Or that Jews have been over-represented among the top performers in various intellectual fields?

Many groups whose performances have greatly outstripped the performances of others in a particular field have often been in no position to discriminate, even when the disparities have been far greater than those between blacks and whites in the United States. In a number of countries, powerless minorities have so outperformed the dominant majority that group preferences and quotas have been instituted to favor the majority group that has otherwise been unable to compete. This has happened in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and Fiji, among other places. Before World War II, quotas to benefit the majority were common in a number of European universities, where Jewish students outperformed others.

It is not stupidity, but ideology and politics, which allow the "disparate impact" dogma to create a tangled web of deception in even the highest levels of our legal system. The recent Supreme Court's decision in the New Haven firefighters' case was a rare example of sanity prevailing, even if only by a vote of 5 to 4.

Edited from a longer column, read it here:

http://townhall.com/Columnists/ThomasSowell/2009/07/07/a_tangled_web?page=full

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

“Whoever said you never want to see sausage made or laws passed did a grave injustice to sausage-makers, who are surely engaged in a much more wholesome enterprise."

-Paul Greenberg

"It is one thing for a president to be liked, but in a dangerous world with dictators who have, or wish to acquire, nuclear weapons and by these and other means destroy the United States, it is better that an American president be feared."

-Cal Thomas

“Internal democratic change in Iran is the only peaceful solution to stopping an Iranian bomb, three decades of Iranian-sponsored terrorism and a Middle East arms race. When thousands risked their lives for a better Iran, a better Middle East and a better world, we, the land of the free, simply were not with them."

-Victor Davis Hanson

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LEFTIST WATCH

Now leftie actor Alec Baldwin is eyeing a post-acting career in Congress.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/07/06/alec-baldwin-interested-in-congressional-run/?tsp=1

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, whose bilious hatred of conservatives and Republicans oozes from every proverbial pore of his spirit, had some interesting things to say yesterday about these objects of his daily derision. Specifically, he cited conservatives’ “pervasive immorality and holier-than-thou hypocrisy” as the wellspring of “the reeking pile of manure that is the right wing media and right wing commentary.” And, for good measure, Olbermann characterized conservative columnist Ann Coulter as “putrid” and “evil.”

http://newsrealblog.com/2009/07/10/msnbc-olbermann-likens-conservatism-to-manure/

Liberal groups are quietly targeting the Connecticut firefighter who's at the center of supreme Court nominee Sotomayor's most controversial ruling. "To go after so sympathetic a plaintiff as Frank Ricci . . . is a new low in the politics of personal destruction," says a spokesman from CATO. “Once we were borked. Now we are about to be sotomized,” says one wag.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/71660.html

This member of the Kennedy clan says Barack Obama represents American Catholics better than the Pope does.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/205961

Corporate and political officials who defy workplace and community organizers risk being made objects of scorn by bright red-clad protestors in public and private, courtesy of an activist union and its close allies in the nation’s most controversial liberal non-profit advocacy group. It’s officially called the “Muscle for Money” program within the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) where it was started,

http://tinyurl.com/kovuny

In an era when the most vehement proponents of big government happen to be the most politically active billionaires, it is not surprising that the Democracy Alliance, a collaborative of liberal donors led by George Soros and Peter B. Lewis, has set out on an offensive to pile funds into the liberal machine. The tactics of Soros, his constituent investors and foundations are revealed easily

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=32591

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GLOBALONEY

Al Gore compared the battle against climate change with the struggle against the Nazis.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6658672.ece

Gore also declared this week that the Congressional climate bill is good because it will help bring about “global governance.”

http://www.climatedepot.com/a/1893/Gore-US-Climate-Bill-Will-Help-Bring-About-Global-Governance

NASA's James Hansen became an instant folk hero among global warmists and "journalists" and a poster child for government censorship after he claimed the Bush administration had suppressed and rewritten his research on "climate change." It is unlikely the Environmental Protection Agency's Alan Carlin and John Davidson will be so deified for suffering the same treatment at the hands of their bosses and President Obama.

http://www.rep-am.com/articles/2009/07/06/opinion/423874.txt

New York City has its coolest June since 1958.

http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&product=PNS&issuedby=OKX

Officials in Washington and elsewhere may start telling you how you can wash your car:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009443661_apuscarwashrunoff.html?syndication=rss

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ARTICLES

Must read: “Sarah Palin: The Best is Yet to Come” by JR Dunn

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/sarah_palin_the_best_is_yet_to.html

Palin’s plan and why it will work”

http://stonezone.com/

“President Barack Obama's Orwellian rhetoric has become absolutely pathological. And it's become so blatant that you can almost guarantee that the truth is the exact opposite of what he says”

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/s_632488.html

For those wondering when the American people are going to start holding President Obama accountable for the weak economy, the answer could be: very soon…..Obama's favorability rating has dropped to 49 percent in what is considered one of the most reliable political bellwether states in the nation. More telling, voters there now disapprove of the way Obama is handling the economy by a 48 percent to 46 percent margin.

http://spectator.org/blog/2009/07/07/is-obamas-fade-in-ohio-a-sign

The Tea Party movement is becoming a national phenomenon. They started locally, in a few cities in a few states, just this year. But the idea is spreading as fast as the internet can take it. On April 15, tax day, there were 750 across the country. For July 4, there were 1,505. Now, a Sept. 12 taxpayer march on Washington is being planned. The number of local organizers running Tea Party groups has swelled to well over 2,000 throughout the 50 states.

http://blog.nj.com/njv_mark_diionno/2009/07/growing_numbers_at_antitax_tea.html

How’s’ that stimulus working for you?......billions of dollars further in debt (trillions?) and the economy is still stagnant.

http://townhall.com/columnists/NealBoortz/2009/07/06/hows_the_stimulus_working_for_you_so_far

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NOTICE:

The Traveling Viet Nam Memorial Wall will be on display @ Memorial Park in Bellingham, WA from 09 July thru 12 July 2009. This will be the only time this year that 'The Wall' will be in the State of Washington. Memorial Park is located @ 2800 James Street (behind Sunnyland Grade School) in Bellingham. The opening ceremonies will be @ 6 pm on Friday July 9th and the closing will be @ 4 pm on Sunday July 12th. "The Wall" will be available to the public 24 hours on Thursday thru Saturday and till 4 pm on Sunday. Points of contact are: Shelley Prentice @ 360-647-8268 Paul Wentland @ 360-935-4190

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Could you pass the citizenship test?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25461301/?GT1=43001

Must see:

http://oldbluewebdesigns.com/mybeautifulamerica.htm

Protests in Iran are starting again: here are some photos:

http://shooresh1917.blogspot.com/

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WISE WORDS

"Posterity -- you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it."

-John Quincy Adams

"Ludwig Von Mises, that great economist, once noted: 'People must fight for something they want to achieve, not simply reject an evil.' Well, the conservative movement remains in the ascendancy because we have a bold, forward-looking agenda. No longer can it be said that conservatives are just anti-Communist. We are, and proudly so, but we are also the keepers of the flame of liberty. And as such, we believe that America should be a source of support, both moral and material, for all those on God's Earth who struggle for freedom. Our cause is their cause, whether it be in Nicaragua, Afghanistan, or Angola. When I came back from Iceland I said -- and I meant it -- American foreign policy is not simply focused on the prevention of war but the expansion of freedom. Modern conservatism is an active, not a reactive philosophy. It's not just in opposition to those vices that debase character and community, but affirms values that are at the heart of civilization."

-Ronald Reagan

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