I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.
Oh Holy Night by Celtic Women
Too lovely not to share.
The Bob Hope Christmas Show—1968
E-Mail Christmas Gift for Your Friends
Give your friends a Christmas Gift. If you send an e-mail to more than one person, put the addresses in the BCC field. And if you forward e-mails, take the time to highlight and delete all the old e-mails in the message. This will stop Spammers from getting e-mail address of your friends and sending them “Buy Cheap Viagra” ads that appear to have come from you. It’s the polite thing to do. ~Bob.
Reapportionment winners and losers
Excerpt: Eighteen states traded 12 congressional seats on Tuesday, when the U.S. Census Bureau released its new reapportionment numbers for the 2012 election cycle. We detailed the changes earlier today, so we won't rehash it all here. But suffice it to say: The announcement was largely devoid of surprises. What it was not devoid of, however, was winners and losers. After the jump, The Fix simplifies it all for you, picking five winners and five losers from the big announcement.
Belligerent Burqa Bimbo: Busted
Excerpt: In a couple of news feeds last month we featured the case of a culturally enriched Australian woman who was pulled over by a cop for a routine traffic stop. She angrily insisted that the fact that she was wearing a niqab was the reason the cop stopped her. She went so far as to file an official complaint against him, accusing him of “racism”, and even insisted that he had attempted to pull off her veil. As we all know, this sort of charge from a burqette is enough to ruin a career. Fortunately for the poor police officer, there was a dashboard cam in his car which recorded the entire encounter and vindicated him completely. The young woman was eventually sentenced to six months in jail for filing a false complaint, but has now been released on bail, and is appealing — although obviously not to many Australians. (Apt alliteration, artfully applied! ~Bob.)
Map Showing Where $130 Billion in Earmarks Went, by State, District, and Politician
Will Net Neutrality Save the Internet?
Good explanation of the issue.
Republicans say net neutrality 'cannot be allowed to stand,' promise fight in 112th
Doesn’t matter. Congress is increasingly irrelevant, it’s the bureaucrats and courts who make law. Look at the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in which lawmakers specifically promised there would be no quotas and affirmative action. But the bureaucrats and courts decided otherwise. ~Bob. Excerpt: House Republicans are promising a swift reaction to the Federal Communication Commission's net-neutrality rules that could get off the ground as soon as January. Incoming House Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (
) said in a press conference on Tuesday that his committee is planning multiple hearings to beat back regulations the FCC approved Tuesday. Mich.
The 'Net Neutrality' Coup
One can’t help thinking this is aimed at chilling anti-statist free speech on the Net. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Federal Communications Commission's new "net neutrality" rules, passed on a partisan 3-2 vote yesterday, represent a huge win for a slick lobbying campaign run by liberal activist groups and foundations. The losers are likely to be consumers who will see innovation and investment chilled by regulations that treat the Internet like a public utility. There's little evidence the public is demanding these rules, which purport to stop the non-problem of phone and cable companies blocking access to websites and interfering with Internet traffic. Over 300 House and Senate members have signed a letter opposing FCC Internet regulation, and there will undoubtedly be even less support in the next Congress. Yet President Obama, long an ardent backer of net neutrality, is ignoring both Congress and adverse court rulings, especially by a federal appeals court in April that the agency doesn't have the power to enforce net neutrality. He is seeking to impose his will on the Internet through the executive branch. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a former law school friend of Mr. Obama, has worked closely with the White House on the issue. Official visitor logs show he's had at least 11 personal meetings with the president.
Save the Net; Abolish the FCC
Excerpt: Because there exists no area of human activity that couldn't benefit from more paternalistic attention ... Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Federal Communications Commission to your Web browser. Congressional Democrats cannot find the votes to pass "network neutrality." No problem. Three unelected officials will impose rules on hundreds of millions of satisfied online consumers. A federal appeals court stops the FCC from employing authority over the Internet. Again, not a problem. Three out of five FCC commissioners can carve out some temporary wiggle room, because, as any crusading technocrat knows, the most important thing is getting in the door. It's not that we don't need the FCC's meddling (or worse); it's that we don't need the FCC at all. Rather than expanding the powers -- which always seem to grow -- of this outdated bureaucracy, Congress should be finding ways to eliminate it.
A Note of Encouragement and Warning for Allen West
Excerpt: There is absolutely nothing that can be done to change the minds of this current crop of leaders because they were in fact very properly indoctrinated by the academic authority figures of their day. They never stood a chance of becoming the kind of critical thinkers that would dare question the authenticity of the teachings they received in the great institutions of indoctrination... Enter Colonel Allen West. Colonel West, soon to be Congressman West has been selected to serve on the House Armed Services Committee. Given the content of his campaign speeches and especially those dealing with this particular issue, it is apparent, for the moment, that he could be the greatest ally our Warriors have inside the beltway; someone knowledgeable of the military, the battlefield, Islam and with the tenacity of a dog with a bone. My encouragement to Colonel West is to never forget 'your first love' and never forget that an appointment inside the beltway by reason of a won election is first, foremost and always, service. You must never forget that service comes with a cost to the one serving - and always be prepared to pay the price... You will, however, be held in the highest esteem by the only group that really counts right now, especially during a time of war and that is, the Warrior community. Those who have chosen to put their collective backsides where their beliefs and hearts lie are in the end, the only ones that matter because their lives are the only ones truly at risk for the benefit of us all…..(I spent 26 years in the USMC, both active and reserve and have spent 47 years in the trade. I characterize myself as a political conservative. I am a Christian and believe our country was founded, largely by Christian men and men who ascribed their beliefs to something far greater than themselves. I do not believe the US Constitution is a 'living document' anymore than I believe we can remain the United States of America should we choose to 'morph' into some other ideology, vision, or entity not consistent with the vision of the founders. I believe we have an innate responsibility to defend these shores, it's citizenry and especially the US Constitution and further believe the oath I took IS UNTO DEATH. I have been married for 27 years and have one daughter and one son (KIA Dahaneh 08/14/09)and who is now safe and resting in the arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I miss him! --Profile of the writer, John Bernard on his blog.)
Apostates of Islam
Interesting blog. ~Bob. Excerpt: We are ex-Muslims. Some of us were born and raised in Islam and some of us had converted to Islam at some moment in our lives. We were taught never to question the truth of Islam and to believe in Allah and his messenger with blind faith. We were told that Allah would forgive all sins but the sin of disbelief (Quran 4:48 and 4:116). But we committed the ultimate sin of thinking and questioned the belief that was imposed on us and we came to realize that far from being a religion of truth, Islam is a hoax, it is hallucination of a sick mind and nothing but lies and deceits.
Day of Reckoning—State Budgets
If you think everything is going to turn out all right, you need to watch this. 60 Minutes on the coming collapse of state governments.
Muslims and Westerners: The Psychological Differences
Excerpt: When I first read about Nicolai Sennels’ work concerning therapy, which he had conducted with criminal Muslims in
, I knew that it would be groundbreaking. I hope that you the reader will listen closely to what he has to say. I also had the opportunity to conduct prison interviews of Muslim detainees, which were not interrogations. Denmark Minneapolis has the largest diaspora of Somali Muslims outside of , and there was an overload in the county jail. I was trying to decide if I wanted to draw up a research project. Pressured for time and with too many other responsibilities plus receiving a death threat during one of the interviews, I decided against it. Like Sennels, I came away with a similar sense that Western law enforcement and the general public did not understand why there was so much crime in the Muslim population. And why there has been this problem of jail house converts to Islam who then become radicalized through contact with other criminal Muslims during incarceration. Mogadishu
Two feet of snow in the
Midwest. But the good news is, these are the first shovel-ready jobs Obama has come up with since becoming president. -- Jay Leno
Black Education Disaster By Walter E. Williams
Excerpt: Harvard University Professor Stephan Thernstrom's recent essay, "Minorities in College---Good News, But...," in Minding the Campus (11/4/10), a website sponsored by the New York-based Manhattan Institute, commented on the results of the most recent National Assessment of Education Progress test: The scores "mean that black students aged 17 do not read with any greater facility than whites who are four years younger and still in junior high. ... Exactly the same glaring gaps appear in NAEP's tests of basic mathematics skills." Thernstrom asks, "If we put a randomly-selected group of 100 eighth-graders and another of 100 twelfth-graders in a typical college, would we expect the first group to perform as well as the second?" In other words, is it reasonable to expect a college freshman of any race with the equivalent of an eighth-grade education to compete successfully with those having a twelfth-grade education. SAT scores confirm the poor education received by blacks. In 2009, average SAT reading test scores were: whites (528), Asians (516) and blacks (429). In math it was whites (536), Asians (587) and blacks (426). Twelve years of fraudulent primary and secondary education received by most blacks are not erased by four or five years of college. 9keep them uneducated, poor, dependent on government, and they’ll be reliable Democrat votes. I just ordered William’s autobiography, “Up From The Projects.” Like I need another book in my growing reading pile. ~Bob.)
Nearly 1 in 4 fails military exam
Fifty years of liberal tinkering with education, putting teachers’ unions and politics ahead of learning, putting in “soft” PC subjects, and destroying the future. ~Bob. Excerpt: Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can't answer basic math, science and reading questions, according to a new study released Tuesday. The report by The Education Trust bolsters a growing worry among military and education leaders that the pool of young people qualified for military service will grow too small. "Too many of our high school students are not graduating ready to begin college or a career — and many are not eligible to serve in our armed forces," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the AP. "I am deeply troubled by the national security burden created by America's underperforming education system." (But what is the answer? A total overhaul of rules on educational systems, or just abolish the Dept of Education and let the states and localities deal with it on their own? Who is really fitted to come up with a solution that brings better education to our society in its present state? I sure wish I knew. –
Video: U.S. Director Of National Intelligence On
Terror Arrests...Er...What Terror Arrests? London
Excerpt: If you thought the gaffes in Diane Sawyer’s interview with our counter-terror brain trust couldn’t get worse than “364 days a year,” skip ahead to 3:35 and brace yourself. It’s so bizarre that I’m actually searching for ways to rationalize it. Napolitano claimed yesterday that there was no evidence thus far to think the plot was aimed at the
, so … maybe they figured Clapper didn’t need to be briefed on it? That can’t be right, though. There were fully a dozen men arrested and, after all, British-based plots have targeted U.S. before, so surely the DNI would be apprised. In fact, let’s approach the question this way: Why would the DNI ever not need to be briefed on a major unfolding plot? Napolitano and Brennan apparently knew the details; even if Clapper was in a meeting when the news broke, wouldn’t you pull him out of it or at least him fill him in on the details on the way to being interviewed by a major network news anchor? Sawyer herself is clearly amazed by his ignorance or else she wouldn’t have devoted valuable airtime to highlighting it. Lucky for this guy that he’s a Democratic appointee. Otherwise this might have been worrisome! Exit question: Dude? America
Israeli teen hurt as Qassam strikes meters from
Happy Holidays from the Religion of Peace. Naturally CAIR will condemn this….someday. ~Bob. Excerpt: A Qassam rocket struck the
Ashkelon beach early Tuesday, exploding in an open field near a kindergarten and lightly wounded a teenage girl in a nearby building.
Contest? What will happen to
’s ice pig. Sweden
There they go, offending Muslims again. ~Bob.
Excerpt: They’re readying an executive order right now that will confirm that certain detainees - read: the murderous, terrorist scum that we already weren’t releasing - can be continued to be held indefinitely without trial. The fig leaf here is that the new proceedings (unlike those of the wicked, wicked Bush administration!) will be ‘more adversarial’ - which means whatever you want it to mean, of course - and that lawyers for the murderous, terrorist scum can ask again after the administration refuses to let said murderous, terrorist scum go the first time. Maybe even every year. What’s going on here is, of course, that Congress is on the verge of passing legislation that would effectively make it impossible to transfer the cases of murderous, terrorist scum to regular American courts. Congress is doing this, earlier Democratic rhetoric to the contrary, because there are actual limits to legislative stupidity, and it’s pretty stupid to put murderous, terrorist scum into a civilian court system not particularly designed to handle it. For that matter, the Obama administration itself is unlikely to have really believed any of the nonsense that it spouted off on the subject in years past… but they have to do something, seeing as progressives are already fairly livid with them over the tax issue. (Are there no Halfway Houses in Obama’s tony
Hyde Park neighborhood, and other bastions of wealthy liberalism, where we could put them? ~Bob.)
Uncle Sam Will Help Buy You an Alpaca
Excerpt: But the government is unequalled in producing one thing: negative unintended consequences. Show me a government activity, and I will show you bad results that even the program's advocates probably don't like. Here's one example. Congressmen say our government should "support and strengthen family-based agriculture." Abstractly, supporting family-based agriculture sounds good. Government policies often harm small farms by favoring corporate agribusinesses. Government could help family farms by ending the subsidies that mostly go to the big guys. But that doesn't interest the politicians. They prefer to do things like creating tax breaks to encourage livestock breeding. The tax breaks have led to a boom in alpaca breeding. Twenty-five years ago, there were 150 alpacas in
. Now, there are 150,000. One website even advertises: "Have Uncle Sam Help You Buy Your Alpacas." America
Going out this Holiday Season? The religion of peace has a gift for you. ~Bob. Excerpt: Al Qaeda terrorists are plotting to put deadly poison in the salad bars and buffets of hotels and restaurants, according to
intelligence sources. They would hide either ricin or cyanide in the food at a number of locations during one weekend to cause panic. Those who ate the poisoned meals would fall ill and die within days. It takes only tiny quantities of either ricin or cyanide to kill. U.S.
Excerpt: Isn't it great that Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange made
safe for Sharia? Oklahoma
In any case, she was lashed, not stoned to death, so her executioners must be moderates. "Bangladeshi 'stepson affair' woman dies after caning," by Ethirajan Anbarasan for BBC News, December 20 (thanks to all who sent this in): Sufia Begum's home in Rajshahi district, north-western Bangladesh Women's rights campaigners have also gone to Sufia Begum's village to find out what happened
Two people have been arrested after the death of a Bangladeshi woman who was publicly caned for allegedly having an affair with her stepson, police say. A group of village elders and clerics sentenced Sufia Begum under Sharia law to 40 lashes for adultery.
If the Seventh Century was good enough for Mohammad, it’s good enough for you, Kuffer! ~Bob. Excerpt: An act of Islamic piety: destroying the Christians' "misguided" books. After all, as the caliph Umar is supposed to have said when ordering the library of
to be burned: "If the books agree with the Qur'an, they are superfluous. If they disagree with it, they are heretical." Alexandria
P4A: Pulmonary Fibrosis
Education video—but I don’t like the music.
Would that well-thinking people should be replaced by thinking ones. -- Natalie Clifford Barney
Assange anger at 'smear campaign' after leaked police files published in The Guardian
Too funny. Leaks are a bitch, huh. ~Bob. Excerpt: LAWYERS for Julian Assange have expressed anger about an alleged smear campaign against the WikiLeaks founder after incriminating police files were published in the newspaper that has used him as its source for hundreds of leaked
embassy cables. In a move that surprised many of Mr Assange's closest supporters on Saturday, The Guardian newspaper published previously unseen police documents that accused Mr Assange in graphic detail of sexually assaulting two Swedish women. One witness is said to have stated: "Not only had it been the world's worst screw, it had also been violent." Bjorn Hurtig, Mr Assange's Swedish lawyer, said he would lodge a formal complaint to the authorities and ask them to investigate how such sensitive police material leaked into the public domain. "It is with great concern that I hear about this because it puts Julian and his defence in a bad position," he told a colleague. (This is actually funny..... Assange's lawyers are upset somebody leaked information from Swedish police records about him. The dirty ratfink who leaked that stuff should be horsewhipped!!! I just love it. -- US ) Del
If they were Muslims, any activity would be protected. ~Bob. Excerpt: They call themselves the “Christmas Sweater Club” because they wear the craziest ones they can find. They also sing Christmas songs at school and try their best to spread Christmas cheer. Now all 10 of them are in trouble because of what they did at their school. “They said, ‘maliciously maim students with the intent to injure.’ And I don’t think any of us here intentionally meant to injure anyone, or did,” said Zakk Rhine, a junior at
. The boys say they were just tossing small two-inch candy canes to fellow students as they entered school. The ones in plastic wrap that are so small they often break apart. Skylar Torbett, also a junior, said administrators told him, “They said the candy canes are weapons because you can sharpen them with your mouth and stab people with them.” He said neither he nor any of their friend did that. Battlefield High School
Census: Fast growth in states with no income tax
Excerpt: This leads to a second point, which is that growth tends to be stronger where taxes are lower. Seven of the nine states that do not levy an income tax grew faster than the national average. The other two,
South Dakota and New Hampshire, had the fastest growth in their regions, the Midwest and New England.
Altogether, 35 percent of the nation's total population growth occurred in these nine non-taxing states, which accounted for just 19 percent of total population at the beginning of the decade.
Napolitano Makes Global Warming a Homeland Security Priority
Excerpt: There she goes again. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano just can’t speak in public without destroying any remaining confidence Americans have left in her agency. CNS News reports that at a conference devoted to “environmental justice”, Secretary Napolitano announced that the Department of Homeland Security would be creating the “Climate Change and Adaptation Task Force” to mitigate the affects of global warming on security and response operations. No…really. (The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits. --Albert Einstein)
Homeland Security Dept. Admits Millions Minus Mandated ID
Yes, but how big was their carbon footprints? ~Bob. Excerpt: More than 18 months after U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors were supposed to start enforcing stringent ID requirements at the nation's land borders, millions of travelers are still being admitted without passports or other secure IDs, a new government audit shows. An Office of Inspector General report released Monday found that CBP remains unprepared to fully implement the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which officially took effect in June 2009 and requires all travelers, including U.S. citizens, to carry passports or one of a handful of other forms of secure ID. In the first eight months after the requirements took effect, 2.3 million travelers failed to provide proper paperwork at
land ports of entry. U.S.