Squeezed out a little time in the middle of a long day to pull a few items together. New law here in DC. If you buy stuff in a store, costs five cents for a bag. Going green—but what kind of green.
35 years after fall of Saigon
I was a member of the Massachusetts Senate on that terrible day. At my motion, the Senate adjourned that day in memory of the Americans who gave their lives in Vietnam. Little enough, but all I could do. Except hate. Excerpt: Thirty five years ago this Friday, the final chapter to the American portion of the Vietnam War was ingloriously concluded – even though American combat forces were largely gone by late 1971 and all remaining support troops, air crews and POWs were home in early 1973. Unlike Dec. 7, 1941, or June 6, 1944, or Aug. 15, 1945 (Victory over Japan Day), or any other notable day from World War II, April 30, 1975, will never be recalled in positive ways by those old enough to remember or those too young whose ideas have instead been shaped by contemporary media. For the more than three million American servicemen who honorably served in Southeast Asia between 1964 and 1973, there were no tumultuous homecoming parades, no victory celebrations in Times Square or any town square – nothing. For the remaining 200 million Americans alive then who did not go to Vietnam, the war was mostly a vicarious, unpleasant inconvenience. Where Americans might recall this day in 1975, if they recall it at all, they are likely to conjure tension-filled images of action at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, of Marines attempting to impose order from chaos, of throngs of Vietnamese clamoring to get aboard already overcrowded helicopters hoping to leave ahead of the invading communists, some of those same helicopters later being pushed over the sides of U.S. Navy ships, of barely seaworthy, ramshackle hobo freighters packed to the gunwales with star-crossed refugees steaming well in trace of the American armada. As negative as it all seemed, as bad as the day was, at least the bad dream that was, for Americans, the Vietnam "experience" was ending. Time to move on. For the left-behind 17 million citizens of the Republic of Vietnam, which ceased to exist the moment the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet retired over the eastern horizon, memories of that day are far different. While April 30, 1975, really did signal the conclusion of American involvement, all that changed for our discarded former allies was the manner of struggle and degree of difficulty. There would be no moving on. The new communist masters would impose a different kind of peace. It would be peace with retribution, peace with subjugation, peace with no forgiveness and peace with maximum pain.
Sonnet for the Vietnam Lost
They were but boys, whose lives you threw away,
They went because the country asked them to,
And served a cause their leaders would betray—
Thank Christ they never saw that bitter day.
They lived in holes and slept in soaking rain,
Grew thin and sick and weary through and through.
They knew each day the taste of fear and pain,
But never thought that sacrifice was vain.
And when the touch of death had come around
To valiant lives forever shaming you,
For love of comrades and by honor bound
They poured their blood like water on the ground.
And we who loved them, we cannot forget—
And won’t forgive, while breath is in us yet.
Robert A. Hall
Former SSgt, USMC
Vietnam: A Tale Of Two Westministers: 28 and 35 Years Later
Excerpt: Thirty-five years ago, South Vietnam fell to the communist North. Twenty-eight years ago, President Reagan addressed the British Parliament at Westminster in his famous “Ash Heap of History” speech, to where tyrants will be sent by those valiantly defending freedom. Yesterday, I went to Orange County’s “Little Saigon”, Westminster, to attend a forum marking the 35th anniversary of the fall.
Thirty Five Years After The War, Betrayal is Vietnam's Story
Excerpt: There are, of course, many kinds of betrayals. Thirty-five years ago, the South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) was abandoned by the United States and its arms supplies dwindled to a few bullets per soldier at the end of the war, while the northern Communist tanks came rolling southward. Yet, betrayal is not restricted to those who lost the war. It plays itself out with even deeper irony among those who supposedly won. The Viet Cong –- guerillas in the National Liberation Front based in the South –- quickly found that they did not exactly “win” when Saigon fell. Within months, their units were dissolved or integrated under Hanoi commands, their own southern leadership forced into retirement. Though, of all factions, they suffered the highest casualties, the Viet Cong found themselves losing their autonomy and ending up playing underlings to northern leadership.
Post-ABC poll indicators suggest possible political climate change
Excerpt: The most intriguing findings in the Washington Post-ABC News poll published Wednesday are the barest hints of a possible upturn for the Democrats. They suggest that, while the political climate remains tilted strongly in the direction of the Republicans, the next months will be crucial in shaping what ultimately happens in November.
A law Arizona can live with
Excerpt: It is passing strange for federal officials, including the president, to accuse Arizona of irresponsibility while the federal government is refusing to fulfill its responsibility to control the nation's borders. Such control is an essential attribute of national sovereignty. America is the only developed nation that has a 2,000-mile border with a developing nation, and the government's refusal to control that border is why there are an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona and why the nation, sensibly insisting on first things first, resists "comprehensive" immigration reform. Arizona's law makes what is already a federal offense -- being in the country illegally -- a state offense. Some critics seem not to understand Arizona's right to assert concurrent jurisdiction. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund attacks Gov. Jan Brewer's character and motives, saying she "caved to the radical fringe." This poses a semantic puzzle: Can the large majority of Arizonans who support the law be a "fringe" of their state?
Illegal immigrants plan to leave over Ariz. Law
Excerpt: Many of the cars that once stopped in the Home Depot parking lot to pick up day laborers to hang drywall or do landscaping now just drive on by. Arizona's sweeping immigration bill allows police to arrest illegal immigrant day laborers seeking work on the street or anyone trying to hire them. It won't take effect until summer but it is already having an effect on the state's underground economy. "Nobody wants to pick us up," Julio Loyola Diaz says in Spanish as he and dozens of other men wait under the shade of palo verde trees and lean against a low brick wall outside the east Phoenix home improvement store. Many day laborers like Diaz say they will leave Arizona because of the law, which also makes it a crime to be in the U.S. illegally and directs police to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants.
'When we understand that slide, we'll have won the war:' US generals given baffling PowerPoint presentation to try to explain Afghanistan mess
Come on, figure it out!
Deconstructing the Outrage
Excerpt: I have been trying to collate all the furor over the Arizona law, much of it written by those who do not live in locales that have been transformed by illegal immigration. These writers are more likely to show solidarity from a distance than to visit or live in the areas that have been so radically changed by the phenomenon. On the unfortunate matter of "presenting papers": I have done that numerous times this year — boarding airplanes, purchasing things on a credit card, checking into a hotel, showing a doorman an I.D. when locked out, going to the DMV, and, in one case, pulling off a rural road to use my cell phone in a way that alarmed a chance highway patrolman. An I.D. check to allay "reasonable suspicion" or "probable cause" is very American. On the matter of racial profiling: No one wishes to harass citizens by race or gender, but, again unfortunately, we already profile constantly. When I had top classics students, I quite bluntly explained to graduating seniors that those who were Mexican American and African American had very good chances of entering Ivy League or other top graduate schools from Fresno, those who were women and Asians so-so chances, and those who were white males with CSUF BAs very little chance, despite straight A's and top GRE scores.
Everyone prospers with free trade
Excerpt: As French economist Frederic Bastiat put it, "When goods don't cross borders, soldiers will." Palmer offered another way to think about trade: as a machine – "a machine that allows Florida farmers to turn oranges into (phones). They can't grow cell phones on their trees in Florida. They grow oranges really well. What they can do is take those oranges and trade them for cell phones." And when people do this worldwide, they get richer. "Just like the case of you buying some coffee at Starbucks. You could have made your own coffee. But your time might have been better spent doing something else. So you outsourced your coffee production. You made yourself better off. And that young lady who sold you the coffee made herself better off." Palmer points out that China was once the most advanced society in the world. It had developed the clock, printing, the compass and more. Not coincidentally, while it was advancing technology and science, it was a major world trader. "And it crumbled because they destroyed their trade. They made it illegal to trade with foreigners. And they turned inward. That set in process a stagnation that only now is being undone. We shouldn't do that to our country." (Far from doing nothing, Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Anti-Trade Bill, world trade collapsed, and the recession was turned into the great depression. But unions hate free trade and they elect Democrats.)
New comment on “I’m Tired.”
From the reading of your post, I imagine that you are the type of man that would say that you don't need any thanks but I can't begin to express to you sir how much I thank you for your service to our country. But maybe more than that, I thank you for your meaningful and real expression of concern right now for our country. I am a 42 year old mother of two and am scared to death of what kind of country my children and their children will be left with. My husband and I sit and watch the news, read the paper and on-line and can only believe that there have to be others who feel the way we do - and your words prove that there are and that gives me hope! I feel that there is a tipping point for middle-class Americans and we are rapidly approaching it. My only hope is that there are enough citizens brave enough to bring America back...back to her true self. Home of the free, home of the brave, home of the self-sufficient, home of the honorable!
DNC chairman fights race-baiting charges
If racism ever disappeared, it would be a disaster for the Democrats. Keeping that wound fresh motivates their base. Excerpt: Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tim Kaine said Wednesday that GOP accusations of Democratic race-baiting are dishonest. He said Republicans have injected race into the election. “They’re just grasping at a whole lot of different stuff,” Kaine said at a lunch hosted by The Christian Science Monitor. “It was just a week ago that [Republican National Committee Chairman] Michael Steele said, ‘Our party hasn’t done enough to reach out to minority voters. We have to do more.’ I didn’t put out a press statement accusing him of race-baiting.
Gordon Brown's 'bigoted' comment threatens to shake up campaign
Excerpt: --The headlines here Thursday morning told it all. "Day of Disaster," read the Telegraph. "A Hypocrite Who Shames Britain," screamed the Daily Express. The subhead in the Times added context: "Brown's 'Bigot' Blunder Plunges Labor Campaign into Crisis." Wednesday was a terrible day for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the worst so far of the British election campaign. On a campaign swing near Manchester, the embattled leader of the Labor Party encountered 66-year-old Gillian Duffy, who was out to buy a loaf of bread and, as one paper put it, ended up making "Brown Toast." Duffy asked Brown a series of questions, including one on immigration, an issue that is as politically charged in Britain as it is in the United States. It all seemed a civil and harmless conversation. But back with his aides, an angry Brown complained about having been told to talk to her at all and then called Duffy a "bigoted woman." He forgot he was wearing a live microphone. Brown's comment, which came a day before the third and final debate of the campaign, quickly spiraled into a full-blown calamity for the Labor Party. It was broadcast and rebroadcast all-day and overnight. The coverage could not have been more devastating. The question is how devastating it will prove for Brown and his party.
States Face Their First ObamaCare Test
Excerpt: States have until tomorrow to let Washington know if they plan to participate in one of the first government programs to be launched under ObamaCare—new high-risk pools for the uninsured. The question states should be asking is: Why would we participate? The high-risk program is essentially insurance for individuals who have pre-existing conditions and are expensive to insure. The new health law allocates $5 billion for insuring them until 2014 when enrollees would be transferred to new health-insurance exchanges. But Richard Foster, chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, reported last week that the high-risk program will run out of money next year or in 2012. Therefore, if states sign up for the program, they'll end up shouldering the burden for about two years after it runs out of federal money. This will be a heavy lift considering the other costs ObamaCare is foisting onto states, one of which is the expansion of Medicaid, a joint federal-state program originally designed to cover low-income Americans. Under ObamaCare, Medicaid will be expanded to cover 84 million people by 2019, up from about 50 million today, putting pressure on states' budgets. Georgia, Nebraska and other states have already taken a pass. The federal government will likely set up these risk pools without their participation. In a letter to federal Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Georgia's insurance commissioner John W. Oxendine said he feared the high-risk pools would "ultimately become the financial responsibility of Georgians in the form of an unfunded mandate." Kansas, Ms. Sebelius's home state, among many others, is considering opting out as well.
Senate Democrats to unveil immigration plan
Hope it’s not, “Ally, Ally, in free!” Excerpt: The plan will emphasize border security over granting illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, according to a memo prepared by Senate Democratic offices. The memo indicates the Democrats' plan includes measures to bolster border security and unify standards for the detention and removal of illegal immigrants. The plan also provides a path to U.S. citizenship for illegal immigrants who agree to some penalties, including paying back-taxes. The names of three Democratic senators are attached to the memo: Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Sens. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Bob Menendez (N.J.).
It’s simply harassment
My response to this column: Dear Editor: I understand Clarence Page’s concerns about the new Arizona Immigration Law. I wouldn’t want our laws to be as restrictive and racist as immigration laws in countries like, say, Mexico. But I suggest that Mr. Page test his principals. He should invite ten undocumented workers to live in his home. And they should be allowed to bring as many more in as they wish, without limit. Of course, the money they earn “doing jobs Americans won’t do” should go to pay for their food, clothing, healthcare and the education of their children, but if their incomes don’t cover the costs, Mr. Page must make up the rest. If he says no at any point, it’s only because he’s a racist. His home would then be in the same exact situation as our country, except that, being a much smaller system, the collapse of his family's standard of living and finances would happen much faster than it’s happening to our country. --Robert A. Hall
Border Patrol Agents Assaulted Daily, Kidnappings Every 35 Hours in Phoenix
Excerpt: Three Border Patrol agents are assaulted on the average day at or near the U.S. border. Someone is kidnapped every 35 hours in Phoenix, Ariz., often by agents of alien smuggling organizations. And one-in-five American teenagers last year used some type of illegal drug, many of which were imported across the unsecured U.S.-Mexico border. These facts are reported in the recently released National Drug Threat Assessment for 2010, published by the National Drug Intelligence Center, a division of the U.S. Justice Department.
MN man gets hearing over charges of posting Islamic cartoons
Excerpt: An update to these posts on the persecution of Americans who oppose Islam and sharia law. You see, the cartoons this man posted were ruled protected by the Constitution. He wasn’t protected from zealous local politicians and prosecutors who pander to the tens of thousands of Muslims relocated from other countries to Minnesota – citing potential rage of the supposed religion of peace. Rather than protect an Americans rights and freedoms, they are protecting Muslims and sharia law.
Obama is a Bully
CNBC (The Complete National Barack Channel)—really? Excerpt: Will someone please rein in our relentlessly hectoring President? Barrack Hussein Obama has taken his gift for inspirational oratory—one of the traits that got him elected—and turned it into something darker and more insidious. Bam is a bully. Bad enough that he bashes Wall Street, but this President has gone farther than any in modern history in putting the wrong kind of “bully” back into what Teddy Roosevelt called the bully pulpit.... Can you remember any other modern President, wagging a finger from on high, so directly and bitterly criticizing a new law passed by any state?(...) And the worst part is, we’re barely calling out Obama the Bully on this behavior at all.
Fannie Mae owns patent on residential 'cap and trade' exchange
Excerpt: When he wasn't busy helping create a $127 billion mess for taxpayers to clean up, former Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Franklin Raines, two of his top underlings and select individuals in the "green" movement were inventing a patented system to trade residential carbon credits. Patent No. 6904336 was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trade Office on Nov. 7, 2006 -- the day after Democrats took control of Congress. Former Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., criticized the award at the time, pointing out that it had "nothing to do with Fannie Mae's charter, nothing to do with making mortgages more affordable." It wasn't about mortgages. It was about greenbacks. The patent, which Fannie Mae confirmed it still owns with Cantor Fitzgerald subsidiary CO2e.com, gives the mortgage giant a lock on the fledgling carbon trading market, thus also giving it a major financial stake in the success of cap-and-trade legislation.
Democratic memo: a sliver of hope amid mostly gloomy data
Excerpt: Get ready to hear many times between now and Nov. 2 that Democrats are “on your side.” That’s a key phrase recommended in a polling memo released Tuesday by veteran Democratic strategists James Carville and Stan Greenberg.
Citizen’s Group Plans Extensive Audit of U.N. Climate Report
Excerpt: The Union of Concerned Scientists was critical of Lafromboise's initial effort. Chief scientist Peter Frumhoff, a lead author of the deforestation section of the U.N.’s climate-change report, claimed that “by and large, the IPCC process works exceptionally well.” He welcomed an additional review of the IPCC data, saying that “independent review of IPCC procedures … will assess opportunities for further strengthening it.” But another former contributor to the IPCC process, Patrick J. Michaels, a scientist and senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, and the past president of the American Association of State Climatologists, told FoxNews.com that the real criticism of the U.N.’s climate report has just begun. In addition to Laframboise’s NoConsensus.org, he said, there is a new “parallel universe” of online publications emerging, manned by serious scientists critical of the approach by governments around the world to climate change. He includes sites such as Climate Audit, Watts Up With That?, and The Blackboard in that galaxy.
12 Of The Worst Signs From The Pro-Illegal Immigration Protests
Excerpt: We've had a lot of attention focused on the signs of Tea Partiers lately, so, with illegal immigration back in the news, I thought it might be a good time to show you some of the signs that have been waved around at pro-illegal immigration protests in this country. When you hear the utterly silly and hysterical outcry over the new Arizona immigration law and the demands for a path to citizenship for illegals, understand that the sentiments you see on these signs are undergirding the reaction.
What's More Important: Liberty Or The Entity That Protects It?
Excerpt: Let me ask readers a question. What's more important: freedom and its undergirding principles, or the entity meant to protect it? A word of caution: be careful how you answer that question, because the way you answer marks your understanding (or lack thereof) of both freedom and the purpose of government. Thomas Jefferson--and the rest of America's founders--believed that freedom was the principal possession, because liberty is a divine--not human--gift. Listen to Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men." (Declaration of Independence) Jefferson could not be clearer: America's founders desired a land in which men might live in liberty. By declaring independence from the government of Great Britain (and instituting new government), Jefferson, et al., did not intend to erect an idol (government) that men would worship. They created a mechanism designed to protect that which they considered to be their most precious possession: liberty. In other words, the government they created by the Constitution of 1787 was not the object; freedom's protection was the object.
Economic Development for Muslims
Excerpt: Unemployment in America is hovering at just below 10 percent, so President Obama hosted a "Summit on Entrepreneurship" in Washington, D.C., in an effort to boost economic development ... in Muslim nations. The president thinks more U.S. investment in Muslim lands and exchange programs that will bring Muslim women to America so they can work as interns will enhance U.S. prosperity and, thus, change Muslim attitudes about the United States. Pigs will fly first. The U.S. has been more than generous to Arab and Muslim nations in direct foreign aid, military assistance and other ways. Egypt receives about $2 billion of American taxpayer dollars every year, yet it still votes against American interests at the U.N. 79 percent of the time. Jordan, a "moderate" Muslim nation, receives nearly $200 million annually in U.S. foreign aid, but votes against America at the U.N. 71 percent of the time. Pakistan votes 75 percent of the time against the U.S. at the U.N. while pocketing nearly $7 million annually in foreign aid (in addition to the money it gets to supposedly fight al-Qaida).
Economic Development for Muslims?
Here’s my seven-point plan:
1. Renounce the provisions in Shari’a law that make half your population, women, legally second class citizens.
2. Renounce child marriage and FGM that makes Shari’a law detested in the modern world.
3. Renounce violence to advance Islam in the world.
4. Renounce provisions in the Qur’an that make Christians and Jews second class citizens under Muslim law.
5. Establish secular states, where no religion is given preference by the government. Separate government and religious leaders.
6. Work peaceable with people of other religions—they will help you improve the lot of your people.
7. Use oil money to improve your country, not buying gold-plated limos for sheiks.
Nigeria: Senator who oversaw introduction of Sharia in his state takes child bride from Egypt
Excerpt: He's 49, she's 13. Of course, he's just following Muhammad's example, made sacrosanct per Qur'an 33:21. It is quite clear whose law Yerima is following, which sets up a conflict of interest with his role in the governance of Nigeria as a whole, as the country still has a non-Sharia constitution to uphold.
West Java, thousands of Islamic extremists attack a Christian center
Excerpt: Thousands of Muslim extremists attacked a Christian educational center in Bogor regency, West Java province, Indonesia. The toll from yesterday’s attack is three destroyed cars and several buildings damaged or burnt. The wrath of fundamentalists was unleashed, and encouraged by the local Council of Ulema (MUI), by unsubstantiated rumours that the Christian community BKP Penabur were planning "to build a place of worship" within the complex.
Suntanned women to be arrested under Islamic dress code
Excerpt: Brig Hossien Sajedinia, Tehran's police chief, said a national crackdown on opposition sympathisers would be extended to women who have been deemed to be violating the spirit of Islamic laws. He said: "The public expects us to act firmly and swiftly if we see any social misbehaviour by women, and men, who defy our Islamic values. In some areas of north Tehran we can see many suntanned women and young girls who look like walking mannequins. "We are not going to tolerate this situation and will first warn those found in this manner and then arrest and imprison them."
DOJ Intel Report Downplays Terror Threat at Border
Good news, Rashid, they are asleep! Excerpt: A recent report by the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), a division of the U.S. Justice Department, downplays the threat of terrorists crossing the U.S.-Mexico border even as it paints a picture of a border wide open to the smuggling activities of Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), whose poisons and criminal co-conspirators are now found in every region of the United States. The NDIC’s National Drug Threat Assessment for 2010, released on March 25, twice appears to assert that there have been no documented cases of terrorists illegally entering the United States across the Mexican border, an assertion contradicted by a 2009 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, a 2007 statement to the El Paso Times by then-Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and 2005 testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence by FBI Director Robert Mueller.
SWAT Team Called on Tea Party
Signing “God Bless America”? Filthy radicals. Excerpt: As I reported on air this afternoon via Michelle Moore’s updates, Illinois sent in the riot squad to stop the couple hundred peaceful protesters from … doing what it isn’t exactly clear. Protesters sang “God Bless America” and apparently that was enough to invoke the riot squad. Illinois may be running a deficit but sure has money to burn for silly and unnecessary things. Who gave the order to call in the riot police on protesters? Word is that Secret Service from inside the venue and the presidential team pressured local law enforcement, who were against the idea. Local cops were overruled, I’m told by various sources, including a few members of local press. Moore reported that she overheard Secret Service telling the riot squad to “push them back, out of sight.“
Some Democrats See Drugs and Border Security As ‘Distraction’
Excerpt: Some congressional Democrats say concern about drug traffickers crossing the U.S.-Mexico border are distracting attention from the main issue of comprehensive immigration reform. At a Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday, several House Democrats blasted the new Arizona law that makes it a crime to be in the state illegally. They said the law – which mirrors federal statutes -- highlights the need for comprehensive immigration reform. “The drug war that we have is another distraction from doing what we have to do right. If we do this right, we can move forward on the other issues,” Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, told CNSNews.com.
Judge asks feds to show militia did more than talk
If being stupid is a crime, they got them dead to rights. Excerpt: federal judge challenged prosecutors Wednesday to show that nine members of a Michigan militia accused of plotting war against the government had done more than just talk and should remain locked up. U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts heard nearly 10 hours of testimony and arguments over two days. She did not make a decision about whether the nine will remain in custody, saying only that a ruling would come soon. The members of a southern Michigan group called Hutaree have been in custody for a month. An indictment accuses them of weapons violations and a rare crime: conspiring to commit sedition, or rebellion, against the government by first killing police officers.
Want to get rich? Work for feds
Excerpt: For decades, public sector unions have peddled the fantasy that government employees were paid less than their counterparts in the private sector. In fact, the pay disparity is the other way around. Government workers, especially at the federal level, make salaries that are scandalously higher than those paid to private sector workers. And let's not forget private sector workers not only have to be sufficiently productive to earn their paychecks, they also must pay the taxes that support the more generous jobs in the public sector. Data compiled by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis reveals the extent of the pay gap between federal and private workers. As of 2008, the average federal salary was $119,982, compared with $59,909 for the average private sector employee.