Saturday, January 19, 2013

op ed review 1/20

The White House announced that President Obama will take 23 "executive actions" to deal with guns.

President Obama surrounded himself with schoolchildren as he announced his gun control plans.
“White House Releases Letters from Little Children Pleading for Gun Control...”
Pictures of “Other Tyrants Who Have Used Children As Props”

The National Rifle Association continues to have more supporters than detractors, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
NRA: Membership Has Grown by 250,000 in One Month
Sixty percent of high school and college students say they plan on owning guns at a later stage in life, an academic study from American University revealed on Monday.  

During the NRA’s meeting with Vice President Biden, Biden was asked why existing gun laws aren’t fully enforced.   Biden’s answer:  “we simply don’t have the time or manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form;  that checks a wrong box…”

CBS’s Bob Schieffer “Likens Obama 'Taking on the Gun Lobby' to the Hunt for Bin Laden, and 'Defeating the Nazis'”
New Video Game Allows Players to Murder NRA President

Maybe it’s time to join the NRA, you don’t have to be a gun owner:

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has a message for New York gun owners: Come to Texas, and bring your guns with you. "Texas is better than New York, and New York just gave us another excuse to say that," Abbott, a Republican, said on Thursday, after ads extolling Texas appeared on several media websites.
Attorney General Eric Holder asked a federal court to indefinitely delay a lawsuit brought by watchdog group Judicial Watch. The lawsuit seeks the enforcement of open records requests relating to Operation Fast and Furious, as required by law.

Government Motors North America chief Mark Reuss said he isn´t giving up on electric vehicles, despite struggling industry sales in 2012. "The electric car is not dead," Reuss insisted.

A southwestern Pennsylvania hospital will stop delivering babies after March 31 because of Obamacare.
The CEO of Whole Foods Market said President Obama´s healthcare law is more like "fascism" than "socialism," a parallel he drew in 2009, to some backlash. John Mackey made the remark in an interview Wednesday with NPR. "Technically speaking, it´s more like fascism," Mackey said of the Affordable Care Act. "Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn´t own the means of production, but they do control it, and that´s what´s happening with our healthcare programs and these reforms."

President Obama's Jobs Council has gone one year without an official meeting.
The Obama Economy: Americans are drawing down their 401(k)s for nonretirement needs in record numbers, just as Social Security goes bust. This portends poverty for millions as the White House fiddles. Cat food, anyone? One out of four U.S. workers with 401(k) retirement savings accounts has been forced to cash them out or borrow from them at high costs just to stay solvent.

A longtime substitute teacher in Phillipsburg, NJ, has been fired after he shared a Bible verse with a student (“The first shall be last but the last shall be first.”) – and then upon request gave the child a small pocket Gideon’s Bible.

But a school district in Wisconsin said only that they “will review” a high school diversity class that exposed students to radical leftist thinkers and promoted a critical race theory that alleges white people are oppressors.

Obama Will Seek Citizenship for most of 11 million illegal immigrants Path “in One Fast Push”

$518 Billion in Regulations Since Obama Took Office

The Obama administration would like to scrap the federal gas tax in favor of a pay-per-mile fee which would boost the tab to Americans as high as 250 percent, raising their current tax of 18.4 cents a gallon to as high as 46 cents, according to a new government study.

President Obama’s Sandy Hook speech edited and turned into a pro-life video for the March for Life, Wash DC Jan 19th.

The U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld the Wisconsin union law repealing collective bargaining for most public employees , handing a victory to Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans.

How bad is Chuck Hagel for the state of Israel? Al Jazeera is rejoicing in his nomination for Secretary of Defense.


Jonah Goldberg
The Myth of an Impure Party

It’s hard for a lot of people, particularly on the right, to recognize that the conservative movement’s problems are mostly problems of success. But the Republican party’s problems are much more recognizable as the problems of failure, including the failure to recognize the limits of that movement’s success.

American conservatism began as a kind of intellectual hobbyists’ group with little hope of changing the broader society. Albert Jay Nock, the cape-wearing libertarian intellectual — he called himself a “philosophical anarchist” — who inspired a very young William F. Buckley Jr., argued that political change was impossible because the masses were rubes, goons, fools, or sheep, victims of the eternal tendency of the powerful to exploit the powerless. Buckley, who rightly admired Nock for many things, rightly disagreed on this point. Buckley trusted the people more than the intellectuals. Moreover, as Buckley’s friend Richard Weaver said, “ideas have consequences,” and, consequently, it is possible to rally the public to your cause.

It took time. In an age when conservative books make millions, it’s hard to imagine how difficult it once was to get a right-of-center book published. Henry L. Regnery, the founder of the publishing house that bears his name, started his venture to break the wall of groupthink censorship surrounding the publishing industry. With a few exceptions, Regnery was the only game in town for decades. That’s hardly the case anymore. While there’s a higher bar for conservative authors at mainstream publishers (which remain overwhelmingly liberal), profit tends to trump ideology.

And publishing is a lagging indicator. In cable news, think tanks, talk radio, and, of course, the Internet, conservatives have at least rough parity with, and often superiority to, liberals. It’s only in the legacy institutions — newspapers, the broadcast networks, and most especially academia and Hollywood — that conservatism is still largely frozen out. Nonetheless, conservatism is a mass-market enterprise these days, for good and for ill.

The good is obvious. The ill is less understood. For starters, the movement has an unhealthy share of hucksters eager to make money from stirring rage, paranoia, and an ill-defined sense of betrayal with little concern for the real political success that can come only with persuading the unconverted.

A conservative journalist or activist can now make a decent living while never once bothering to persuade a liberal. Telling people only what they want to hear has become a vocation. Worse, it’s possible to be a rank-and-file conservative without once being exposed to a good liberal argument. Many liberals lived in such an ideological cocoon for decades, which is one reason conservatives won so many arguments early on. Having the right emulate that echo chamber helps no one.

Ironically, the institution in which conservatives had their greatest success is the one most besieged by conservatives today: the Republican party. To listen to many grassroots conservatives, the GOP establishment is a cabal of weak-kneed sellouts who regularly light votive candles to a poster of liberal Republican icon Nelson Rockefeller. This is not only not true, it’s a destructive myth. The Rockefeller Republicans were purged from the GOP decades ago. Their high-water mark was in 1960, when the Goldwater insurgency was temporarily crushed. Richard Nixon agreed to run on a platform all but dictated by Rockefeller and to tap Rockefeller’s minion Henry Cabot Lodge as his running mate. When the forebears of today’s tea partiers threatened to stay home or bolt the party in 1960, Senator Barry Goldwater proclaimed, “Let’s grow up, conservatives!”

It’s still good advice. It’s not that the GOP isn’t conservative enough, it’s that it isn’t tactically smart or persuasive enough to move the rest of the nation in a more conservative direction. Moreover, thanks in part to the myth that all that stands between conservatives and total victory is a philosophically pure GOP, party leaders suffer from a debilitating lack of trust — some of it well earned — from the rank and file. But politics is about persuasion, and a party consumed by the need to prove its purity to its base is going to have a very hard time proving anything else to the rest of the country.

Another notable column by Jonah:
“Dear Socially Liberal Fiscal-Conservative Friend…….you know who you are. You’re the sort of person who says to his conservative friends or co-workers something like, “I would totally vote for Republicans if they could just give up on these crazy social issues.” When you explain your votes for Barack Obama, you talk about how Republicans used to be much more moderate and focused on important things such as low taxes, fiscal discipline, and balanced budgets……you think Republicans are acting crazy-pants on the debt ceiling. You don’t really follow all of the details, but you can just tell that the GOP is being “extreme,” thanks to those wacky tea partiers…….I don’t want to go spelunking in that cranium of yours. I don’t know why you think you’re a fiscal conservative. The simple fact is, you’re not. The green-eye-shaded Republicans you claim to miss would be scandalized by the mess we’re in, largely thanks to voters like you…... Eisenhower would take a flamethrower to today’s Washington. I don’t expect you to vote Republican, never mind admit you’re simply a liberal. But please stop preening about your fiscal conservatism, particularly as you condemn the GOP for not being fiscal conservatives, even when they are the only fiscal conservatives in town.”

"No sooner do I finish explaining to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo why people might need 10 bullets for something other than blowing away deer, than the headlines burst with an example. ... Not only was a 'high capacity magazine' involved, but the story involves a teenage boy in Texas defending his even younger sister from a couple of thugs with one of those dreaded AR-15 'assault rifles': 'The teenage son of a Harris County Precinct 1 deputy shot a home intruder Tuesday afternoon in the 2600 block of Royal Place in northwest Harris County, deputies said. The 15-year-old boy and his 12-year-old sister had been home alone in the Mount Royal Village subdivision when around 2:30 p.m. a pair of burglars tried the front and back doors, then broke a back window. The teenager grabbed his father's assault rifle and knew what to do with it. "We don't try to hide things from our children in law enforcement," Lt. Jeffrey Stauber said. "That young boy was protecting his sister. He was in fear for his life and her life." The home invaders fled, leaving a trail of blood.'... [Y]ou might have to pull that trigger, and if you've got two or three predators closing in on you and your wife, children, or 12-year-old sister, you will almost certainly need more than six rounds to put them down. ... Every single thing that some sneering elitist thinks you don't 'need' has come clearly and obviously to the defense of innocent people in these incidents. In fact, all of them have involved the defense of children."
                         -John Hayward

"The Obama White House has shamelessly employed this kiddie human shield strategy at every turn to blunt substantive criticism and dissent. ... From health care to gun control, the left has perfected this fallacious art of prop-a-palooza -- the well-being of the children and national discourse be damned."
                            -Michelle Malkin

"[C]hanging magazines takes one to three seconds, which will rarely make a difference in assaults on unarmed people. The gunman in Connecticut, for example, reportedly fired about 150 rounds, so he must have switched his 30-round magazines at least four times; he stopped only because police were closing in, which prompted him to kill himself. Magazine size is more likely to matter in confrontations with people who are armed, which is why it is dangerously presumptuous for the government to declare that no one needs to fire more than X number of rounds."
                             -Jacob Sullum

"For well over a half-century, the nation's liberals and progressives ... have waged war on traditions, customs and moral values. These people taught their vision, that there are no moral absolutes, to our young people. To them, what's moral or immoral is a matter of convenience, personal opinion or a consensus. ... Customs, traditions, moral values and rules of etiquette, not laws and government regulations, are what make for a civilized society. ... The importance of customs, traditions and moral values as a means of regulating behavior is that people behave themselves even if nobody's watching. Police and laws can never replace these restraints on personal conduct so as to produce a civilized society."
                            -Walter E. Williams

"I suppose there's some intrinsic value in the fact that Biden serves as a high-profile inspiration to America's mentally challenged. After all, we already have a president who proves that anyone, and we mean absolutely anyone, no matter how arrogant and corrupt, can grow up to be president. In Biden, we have proof that anyone, and we mean absolutely anyone, no matter how vain and ignorant, can grow up to be that person's second-in-command."
                            -Burt Prelutsky

"Vice President Joe Biden said American gun laws should include 'universal background checks, including private sales.' What about sales to Mexican drug lords?"
                            -Fred Thompson
Zero Dark Thirty is already the most talked about film of the year. The Sony Pictures release about the 10-year hunt for Osama bin Laden has been nominated for five Academy Awards, and raked in an impressive $24 million in its first weekend on wide release, a huge figure for January, normally a quiet period at the US box office….Zero Dark Thirty has also become the most controversial film of the year, with some members of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (including Martin Sheen) calling for a boycott of the film for its depiction of the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques

Mother Jones:  “14 Ways Obama Can Push Gun Control Without Congress”

Paul Krugman:  “increased government spending is key to economic recovery.”

The Leftist advocacy group People for the American Way (PFAW) has launched an all-out war against Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN).

Liberals booed God at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte last year after skittish party officials reinserted a mention of him in the platform. Nothing has changed since then. The latest secularist push of the party is to remove God from the inauguration. Prominent liberals are questioning the use of the Bible for the presidential oath and the use of prayers in the ceremony….the Giglio flap just reminded liberals of the odious theistic traditions that still cling to the inauguration, prompting them to ask: Why have a benediction at all? Why invite clergy to the stage in the first place? And why should the president swear his oath with his hand placed on the Bible? MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, who sees the Bible as hate literature, considers the spectacle of Obama placing his hand on it “absurdist.”

The left’s next target:  ”lookism.”  “The media never disappoints with its asinine twisting and turning to ensure political correctness. You can no longer say a beautiful woman is beautiful during the broadcast of a live sporting event.  ESPN has issued an apology for their play-by-play guy, Brent Musburger, saying that Katherine Webb, Miss Alabama, was a "lovely lady."

Statement by Gov. Perry on President Obama’s Executive Actions  "The Vice President's committee was appointed in response to the tragedy at Newtown, but very few of his recommendations have anything to do with what happened there. Guns require a finger to pull the trigger. The sad young man who did that in Newtown was clearly haunted by demons and no gun law could have saved the children in Sandy Hook Elementary from his terror…….the piling on by the political left, and their cohorts in the media, to use the massacre of little children to advance a pre-existing political agenda that would not have saved those children, disgusts me, personally. The second amendment to the Constitution is a basic right of free people and cannot be nor will it be abridged by the executive power of this or any other president."

“There was something nauseating about the way Barack Obama surrounded himself with children as he unveiled his gun control plans. It looked like emotional blackmail. "Look these innocent babes in the face and tell them guns are good" – that was the implicit message of this cynical, innocence-exploiting press conference, which brought to mind one of the late Wacko Jacko´s weird child-centred peace concerts more than it did a serious Lincoln-style presidential address.”

This week, Wyoming lawmakers introduced a bill banning the federal government from enforcing an assault weapons ban or a prohibition on high-capacity magazines in the state, calling the effort an attempt to “take the Second Amendment seriously.” The bill, which is sponsored by eight Wyoming state representatives and two state senators, calls for federal agents who attempt to enforce those measures to be imprisoned for at least one year and up to five years, and fined a maximum of $5,000

Charlie Daniels:  “Precedent Teaches Us The Left Really Wants ALL Our Guns”

The NRA released a new video on its Web site Tuesday calling President Obama an “elitist hypocrite” for having Secret Service protection of his daughters at school but saying he was “skeptical” about installing armed guards in all schools. “Are the president’s kids more important than yours?”
“Obama signs bill giving himself lifetime Secret Service protection”

“Ben Shapiro Shows the Right How to Beat the Media”    Republicans need to first come to terms with the fact that they have a problem, a big one. Then they need to man up, go to school, and do something about it.
And they can start by studying Shapiro's CNN appearance last night like the Super Bowl game-tape it is.”

It is an article of faith that closing the “gun-show loophole” would make America a safer place. But that is what it is: faith. In 2008, three criminologists (one of them not at all friendly to guns) studied the effects on murder and suicide rates in California (which prohibits private sales without a background check) and Texas (which does not). They looked at homicide and suicide rates for adjacent ZIP codes for a week after gun shows. They found no change in suicide rates, and in Texas, which has no restrictions on private party sales, a small but statistically significant reduction in gun homicides.

“Sign the Petition: Make the White House a Gun-Free Zone!”

As Republicans discuss the future of the party, abandoning conservative values need not be part of the conversation. The party can appeal to larger segments of the electorate without forsaking core principles. One case in point is a group the party has long written off: public school teachers. Conservative values go hand in hand with teaching. Teachers see the evidence every day that stable families produce well-adjusted kids who succeed in the classroom. Many teachers are people of faith. Most of us are proud Americans who say the pledge every day with our students and mean it.

“Praise government! Just hours after the federal bureaucracy went over the “fiscal cliff” on New Year´s Day, President Obama voiced approval for an emergency Congressional bill to save us all. Yes, ailing American families and businesses will pay more in taxes. But that´s what it takes for big government to avoid real budget cuts, for now. As soon as the beltway bandits raise the federal debt ceiling above $16.4 trillion in February, runaway deficit spending can continue unabated. Hallelujah!”

Coulter On Gun Violence: ‘If You Compare White Populations, We Have The Same Murder Rate As Belgium’

“O’Reilly And Krauthammer Agree: Obama’s Long-Term Goal Is The Destruction Of The Republican Party”

Federal welfare spending will skyrocket 80 percent over the next decade, according to new analysis. Here´s a chart detailing the growth in spending:

Inside the F-35, the world's most futuristic fighter jet.  An aviation fantasy from the realms of Star Wars, the F-35 is the most sophisticated, expensive and controversial jet fighter ever produced.

At this point, it’s entirely possible that no one wants Solyndra’s solar modules except political junkies and clean-tech geeks. But an electronics dealership in Santa Clara will happily sell you one for $9.50.

As a young Afghanistan soldier is enthusiastically welcomed home, one member of his family is overcome with emotion and excitement--his beloved pet dog.

“Loyal dog attends mass every day at church where owner's funeral was held, waiting for her to return”

We all know that feeling - a large lunch leaves us sprawled out on the sofa. Similarly, this juvenile red-tailed hawk was rendered immobile after scoffing down another bird. Photographer Steve Shinn managed to snap the stricken bird of prey on its back after a meal of a coot near a nature preserve in Long Beach, California.´I found this bird in a very unhawklike position looking very distressed. It had attacked a Coot near the stream and chewed away on it for about a half hour before it waddled about 50 feet and fell flat on his keister.

The pictures we love best: Flickr celebrates fifth birthday with its most viewed images

Leno: President Obama has announced the theme for his second inauguration. It´s "Faith in America´s Future." The idea is to get our minds off of America´s present………President Obama said this week that he wants to find a "pathway for citizenship" for immigrants in the United States. Don't we have that? It's called the Rio Grande river……….Ann Romney, the wife of Mitt Romney, has reportedly turned down a chance to appear on “Dancing With the Stars.” Apparently, she has something called "self-respect."

"There are those in America today who have come to depend absolutely on government for their security. And when government fails they seek to rectify that failure in the form of granting government more power. So, as government has failed to control crime and violence with the means given it by the Constitution, they seek to give it more power at the expense of the Constitution. But in doing so, in their willingness to give up their arms in the name of safety, they are really giving up their protection from what has always been the chief source of despotism -- government."
                         -Ronald Reagan

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. ... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants."
                        -Cesare Beccaria, 1809

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