Second takes…

I was listening to a local radio station this morning. The host was on a tirade about the flu and hospitals. The flu is in full swing in the KC area at the moment. Elsewhere, too.

A news item said that a woman had died of the flu. However, when you read the body of the announcement, it said she died of a staph infection as a complication of the flu. The situation is not uncommon. People, weakened by disease, often fall to other conditions as a side effect of their primary contribution of their death.

Then the host went off on the hospital. It said the woman died of a ‘staff’ infection, an infection the woman had acquired from the ‘staff’ in the hospital. I think someone took him aside and explained to him the difference between ‘staff’ and ‘staph’. One is people, the other is a class of infectious bacteria, staphylococcus. A few minutes later he attempted to backtrack and then wandered off onto another topic, immunizations, repeating the myths and ‘urban knowledge’ of falsehoods about that subject. The ignorance and outright stupidity of presumed adults continues to astound me. It’s a reminder of the degradation of education over the last fifty years.

***

In 1967, Adam Clayton Powell was unseated from the US House for corruption. The House and Senate has the right to not recognize members for specific reasons. Powell subsequently sued and was reelected in 1969. Congress then passed more legislation to solidify the process and justification for refusal to seat a member. That legislation was a result of the Powell controversy. It was a pyrrhic victor for Powell. He died in 1972.

Another New York City Congressman is in a similar situation.

U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm will resign from the House this week after having pleaded guilty to felony tax evasion, the New York Daily News reported Monday night. — The Washington Times.

At first reports, Grimm stated he would remain in Congress. Evidently, someone spoke to him and explained to him the realities of his situation.

Perhaps, NYC Mayor de Blasio should take a tip from Michael Grimm and resign, too. It has been said that no Mayor of a large metropolitan city can be successful without the support of the police. De Blasio has lost that support in New York City.

***

John Boehner thinks he has the Speakership in the bag. Truth is he is probably right. Not everyone, however, will rollover, unlike our local Vicky Hartzler, and rubberstamp vote for Boehner next week.

Conservative Lawmakers Plan To Vote Against Boehner For Speaker

Alex Pappas, 9:57 PM 12/29/2014

Some disaffected conservative House Republicans are planning to rebel and vote against John Boehner for speaker of the House when the new Congress convenes next week.

The official speaker’s election is set for Jan. 6., when the House will convene for a public floor vote to open the new Congress.

While the vote is usually just a formality, these conservative lawmakers are planning to vote for someone other than the Ohio Republican who has been speaker since 2011. (The column continues here.)

The Daily Caller can’t be labeled a conservative news outlet. Given that, they usually are more balanced that most of the MSM. I’m happy to see that there are still a few ‘Pubs in Washington who stand by the principles that elected them to office.

 

 

 

 

 

The Provocateur within…

Representative Darrel Issa, R-CA-49, is continuing his committee‘s investigation of Lois Lerner, former IRS director who targeted conservative groups. Some emails have been released that point to one of the Committee’s own ranking democrat members as the one who may have initiated the targeting of conservatives, Elijah Cummings, D-MD-7. From these emails, it appears that Cummings was one the instigators of those IRS investigations of conservatives.

Top Dem. on House Committee Investigating IRS Scandal May Have Been Involved in Targeting of Conservative Group: Issa

Milestones…and liberal education

I was asked, in an e-mail, how long I’ve been blogging. I’d not paid much attention to milestones, I just write a post five days a week (some, like yesterday’s, can be very short.) I’ve done that since October 2008. I’m in my 53rd month of blogging. It doesn’t seem that long.

***

chamberlain_joshuaLiberal Arts colleges have been in the news lately…and the revelations aren’t good. Some of those revelations are ludicrous! Imagine giving degrees in History and not requiring, nor even teaching, American history! That is the practice of Joshua Chamberlin‘s alma mater, Bowdion College.

History majors at Bowdoin are not required to take any course in American History. Yale professor David Gelernter in his book America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture suggested this:

Teaching American history, aside from a few marvelously evil incidents out of context, is dangerous to a basic tenet of the cultural revolution and must accordingly be stopped.

American history is threatening to those who want to rewrite the past and fundamentally change everything. It might subvert the America is evil paradigm. — The American Thinker.

If you read the entire article in the American Thinker, you’ll discover that so-called “institutes of higher learning” are anything but institutions of learning. Instead they’ve become indoctrination camps of a philosophy that has failed around the world. Instead of actually teaching subjects, they preach “inclusion” and “diversity” all the while removing and barring any opinion, thought, or philosophy that does not align with theirs.

My wife and I attended the same university. We met there. At that time, the first two years consisted of “general studies.” In essence, it was high school +, a continuation of elements taught in high school—literature, history, math and the sciences, geology, physics, chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, botany, agriculture and forestry. You had to take one of each element each quarter for the first two years (our university was on the quarter system instead of the semester system.) After you completed your general study requirements, you could focus on your major area of study.

That system no longer exists.  For the most part, except apparently for Bowdoin College and the like, the basic study classes are still being taught. However the requirement that mandated their study, is not.

During my work life, I have interviewed, hired, and for a few, fired, employees. Our hiring guidelines required a college degree, bachelor or higher, or equivalent work experience. We did not examine their college transcripts except for a few subjects from local colleges where we knew the instructor. We did check to see if all the proper subjects had been taken and passed. We didn’t care all that much, due to grade inflation, what the prospective employee’s grade point was.

What we looked for was evidence of accomplishment, of a work ethic, and, evidence of some independence of thought. All too many products graduated from our colleges and university were taught by rote. Frankly, too many graduates were totally unsuited for the reality of working in the real world.

It came as a shock to them that a piece of paper did not automatically grant them a large five-figure salary. Most companies are regularly sued because of that false expectation and those suing get another revelation when they lose. Unfortunately, enough win their suits to make them a continuing nuisance. I know some companies who will not hire new graduates from college without a real work history. It’s not worth the hassle.

The failure of education, from pre-school to the university level, is systemic and endemic. The people I hired were those that could provide proof they actually learned something, usually by their private effort. I asked to see school projects. I wanted to see if the prospective employee could take a task, create a plan to complete the task, and follow through. It’s a simple procedure, really, but it’s not taught in schools. I don’t how many times I got that blank look when I asked some simple questions like, “when starting a project, what is the first thing you must do to insure success.”  The answer, of course, is to determine the requirements of the project, what is needed to be done, what are the expectations of those who are sponsoring the project.

Our educational systems fail that simple question, too.

Revolt against the DOR

UPDATE (Wednesday, March 6, 2013): I renewed my driver’s license at my local bureau yesterday. I’m over 65 so all I had to show was my voter’s registration card—something to indicate my residence. I asked the lady about the DoR scanning documents. She had not heard about it nor had in instructions to do so.  One difference, this was a franchise office. That may have been the difference.

My Missouri Driver’s License will expire next week. It seems to be coming faster every iteration. My CCW expires in a few months. That will be my 3rd renewal. For you outside Missouri, our CCW license is our driver’s license or a non-driver’s ID card issued by our Department of Revenue with the appropriate annotations added, the letters CCW and an expiration date.

Since the beginning of Missouri’s CCW, its expiration date and that of the driver’s license have had different renewal dates. Our driver’s license term is for four years, our CCW is for three.  There have been a number of attempts to synchronize both for the same term. To the best of my knowledge that has not been done.

This year, both of my licenses are due the same year—different months, but still the same year. I had thought to renew them separately until I read this in the news.

Missouri Dept. of Revenue Allegedly Compiling Data on Concealed Carry Holders, Forwarding It to Company With Ties to Gov’t

Mar. 5, 2013 3:46am

A Southeast Missouri man has sued after being told by a license office that it would make digital copies of documents needed for a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The Missouri Department of Revenue has allegedly been compiling data on Missouri residents seeking concealed carry permits and then forwarding it to a third party with ties to the federal government.

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder held a press conference on Monday and revealed the lawsuit had been filed to fight the action and prevent any violation of Americans’ privacy.

The lawsuit was filed Monday by Stoddard County prosecuting attorney Russ Oliver on behalf of Missouri resident Eric Griffin. Oliver filed the lawsuit as a private attorney.

“I fully support Mr. Oliver in this important legal action in Stoddard County Circuit Court,” Kinder said in a press release. “The case has issues of statewide importance implicating serious privacy concerns for law-abiding citizens. These folks have followed the letter of the law and have been approved for concealed carry by the proper authorities. They must not be required to share that information with any third parties or the federal government.”

The issue was brought to light after Griffin, the Missourian on whose behalf Oliver filed the lawsuit, went to his local Department of Motor Vehicles fee office after passing the application process for a concealed carry gun permit. Oliver says Griffin refused to let DMV employees scan and store some of his documentation — so he was denied his permit.

The Missouri Department of Revenue reportedly installed new computer equipment that records certain information as a part of the federal Real ID Act of 2005, according to Oliver. State laws prohibit the department from retaining and forwarding certain information. The information that was compiled by the DOR was reportedly being forwarded to Morpho Trust, U.S.A., a Georgia company that “specializes in partnering with state and federal governmental agencies,” according to the press release put out by Kinder’s office.

“There are important privacy concerns for concealed carry holders who justly fear their information is being sent to a third party or the federal government,” Oliver said. “Missouri law makes it clear that what is going on here is illegal, and serves no legitimate purpose since the county sheriff is solely charged with the duty of determining applicants’ eligibility for endorsement.”

A trial judge issued a temporary restraining order over the practice Monday — the same day the lawsuit was filed — and scheduled a hearing March 12. Oliver said the order is limited to the Stoddard County license office.

I’m glad Peter Kinder stood up to help block the illegal acts of the Department of Revenue. There has been an injunction issued blocking the DoR from collecting that information. I don’t know how long that injunction will last. It may force me to renew my CCW early.

The Department of Revenue has been operating like a rogue agency for years, if not decades. It’s time the state brought the DoR to heel.

A Revenue Department spokesman said the agency follows the law. — The Blaze.

That response makes me wonder whose law they are following? It isn’t the law of the State of Missouri.

***

Tidbits in the news: Vanity license plate, Freedom, banned in Washington, DC.

‘Freedom’ license plate banned in Washington D.C.

March 5, 2013 | 9:56 am
Banned-in-DC

Banned in Washington, DC.

The word “FREEDOM” is among the list of banned vanity license plate slogans for Washington D.C., according a government file obtained by a Freedom of Information Request filed by the transparency website GovernmentAttic.org.

Other banned phrases include anti-tax messages such as “TAXKLLR” and “TAXRUS4″…

***

Unions, specifically, teacher’s unions, in Michigan, are back in the news. Michigan is now a Right to Work state. The state’s teacher’s union, seeing mandatory union dues disappear are trying a new tactic—forcing teacher’s to pay their future dues in advance—TEN years of dues!

Teachers fight back after union locks in dues payments for next 10 years

2:39 AM 03/05/2013

A school district is attempting to force teachers to pay union dues for the next 10 years, despite being located in Michigan, which is now a right-to-work state that specifically prohibits mandatory unionization.

Michigan became the 24th right-to-work state in December. But the law doesn’t take effect until March 28 — giving unions time to grandfather in their contracts if they can get them approved before the deadline. As part of this effort, the Taylor School District approved an entirely separate “union security agreement” that will force teachers to keep paying the union until 2023.

Under the security agreement, teachers’ only options will be to pay union dues, or pay an agency fee amounting to about $800 a year.

But three Taylor teachers who want to leave the union said enough is enough.

“I believe it is unfair of the union to have a security clause that requires me to be a member for 10 years,” said Rebecca Metz, a Taylor teacher, in a statement.

Metz, along with fellow teachers Angela Steffke and Nancy Rhatigan, is suing to block implementation the 10-year dues extension.

A lawyer representing the three teachers framed the issue as a clear case of a union and a school district attempting to thwart the will of the legislature.

There is more at the website but once again, education unions are acting more like mobsters than like teachers.

Take that!

If there are two politicians that I have less use for than John McCain and Ron Paul, I can’t think of them at the moment.  Well, OK, Lindsey Graham is close. John McCain and Ron Paul finally said something that I can “like.”

John McCain was speaking to some reporters about the Benghazi investigation when a reporter attempted to divert the conversation to Patreaus’ resignation. McCain, as he has before on occasion, let his temper flare.

John McCain To Reporter: ‘That’s One Of The Dumbest Questions I’ve Ever Heard’ (VIDEO)

Posted: 11/14/2012 1:21 pm EST Updated: 11/15/2012 1:55 am EST

Wednesday seems to be a testy day for press conferences.

John McCain smacked down a reporter following his remarks on the Benghazi investigation.

In response to a question about whether classified documents found leaked in the Gen. Petraeus scandal posed a greater national security threat than the Benghazi attack, McCain quickly responded, “Well I say with great respect, that’s one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever heard.”

He continued, “There’s 4 dead Americans. There’s 4 dead Americans. Not a socialite.” The reporter attempted to interrupt but McCain quickly stopped him. “I’m answering your question. Ok, do you want me to answer your question or do you want to interrupt? Which do you want?”

After a short pause he continued, “There’s 4 dead Americans. The lives of other Americans were put in jeopardy. This is a matter of 4 dead Americans. I think that the other issue raised is very serious and I think it deserves a thorough and complete investigation. But it does not rise to the level of an attack on an American consulate that took four American lives.”

 The reporter failed in his attempt to divert attention to Obama’s failures and mismanagement of the Benghazi attack. McCain rightly slapped him down.

The second occurance was during Ron Paul’s farewell speech to the US House…a speech long overdue. Be that as it may, Ron Paul finally said something that agrees with my views—the coming extinction of the MSM.

Ron Paul: Internet is the alternative to ‘government media complex’ that controls the news

November 14, 2012 | 3:33 pm

During part one of his farewell speech to Congress, Rep. Ron Paul insisted that the internet remain free, as it is an important alternative to the “government media complex.”

“The internet will provide the alternative to the government media complex that controls the news and most political propaganda,” Paul stated. “This is why it’s essential that the Internet remains free of government regulation.”

The media is not our friend. At best it is a some-what useful tool to be understood and used when appropriate. Unfortunately, the MSM does have a captured audience who are oblivious of alternate news and information outlets. If we are to be able to present our views and arguments over the MSM propaganda outlet, we must find a means to infiltrate into those areas of the internet where that “captured” MSM audience can be found…Facebook, YouTube, twitter and other social sites. The trick is to find a method when you cannot force your audience to join you or read your posts. We need a means to attract that audience to us.

Frankly, I don’t know how to do that. But if we are to reclaim our government, end the runaway spending and taxation, we’ll have to find a means to attract more of the nation’s population to us and to join us. Waiting for the collapse of the economy and government is NOT a viable plan.

Countdown

The Missouri Primary is a week from today. The weaker candidates have begun, or in the case of a couple, continue their mud-slinging, negative ads. It is interesting to note the most of recipients of that mud have not responded in kind.

I don’t like mudslinging, especially by those who initiate it or take advantage of 3rd party attacks on their opponent. For me, it makes my choice of candidates easy. Easier still when I vet the claims personally (it’s easy with Google and internet search engines) and find them false.

I wonder why, in this internet age, more voters don’t do the same. I also wonder why my establishment ‘Pub friends don’t vet their candidates better when all the facts are readily available with only a few minutes search. Apparently one county office candidate not only does not live in the county, he doesn’t even live in the state! How did he get approval by the party to run? Good, unanswered question.

It reminds me of an old science fiction novel.  A planet is colonized by three groups. One group consists mostly of fundamental Christians (this novel was written in a time when Christian-bashing was not in vogue,) another group was anarchists (what we’d call dyed-in-the-wool libertarians today,) and the the last group was Amish.

When the planet is visited centuries later, the society on that planet is viable and growing. There is no government as such (some local committees are implied,) no money nor coinage, and…no poverty, no illiteracy, no crime.

When I said there was no money, I didn’t mean to say there was no medium of exchange.  In a nutshell that medium was…”You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” Obs or obligations was that medium. If someone needed a pair of shoes, he went to a cobbler and got a pair. In exchange, he agreed to perform an obligation to the cobbler. That obligation could be tilling a field or helping with a harvest or teaching someone a trade.  Obs could be major or minor…and could be traded.

Obs are much like politics. In exchange for support, obligations are given, or traded. That ob can be called immediately, such as campaign support, or at some future date.  In today-speak we some times call this compromising. A distasteful word that—compromise. A weakening of a personal, philosophical or moral stand to gain some advantage.

I have to question the values of a person who would violate their personal values for gain in some form. That gain usually is ambition.  The old you support me, I’ll support you. Yes, I may be naive, but I find it difficult to compromise my values at any time.

That’s why I’ll never run for office.

I’ll close this segment with a question. When you vote next week, what obligation have you given…or received for your vote. Will your vote be given because you truly think your candidate is the best of all those running? Or, will your vote be given to one who owes you an obligation, who has purchased your vote. For me, it will be the former.

***

Remember the New Black Panther voter intimidation charge from 2008? The New Black Panthers were found guilty of intimidation. The penalty phase was in progress when Eric Holder’s Department of Justice dropped the charges allowing the New Black Panthers to go free.  There was a lawsuit filed over the interference of the DoJ during that process and a Judge has ruled.  Last week in fact.

Federal Court finds Obama appointees interfered with New Black Panther prosecution

July 30, 2012

A federal court in Washington, DC, held last week that political appointees appointed by President Obama did interfere with the Department of Justice’s prosecution of the New Black Panther Party.

The ruling came as part of a motion by the conservative legal watch dog group Judicial Watch, who had sued the DOJ in federal court to enforce a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents pertaining to the the New Black Panthers case. Judicial Watch had secured many previously unavailable documents through their suit against DOJ and were now suing for attorneys’ fees.

Obama’s DOJ had claimed Judicial Watch was not entitled to attorney’s fees since “none of the records produced in this litigation evidenced any political interference whatsoever in” how the DOJ handled the New Black Panther Party case. But United States District Court Judge Reggie Walton disagreed. Citing a “series of emails” between Obama political appointees and career Justice lawyers, Walton writes:

The documents reveal that political appointees within DOJ were conferring about the status and resolution of the New Black Panther Party case in the days preceding the DOJ’s dismissal of claims in that case, which would appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision. Surely the public has an interest in documents that cast doubt on the accuracy of government officials’ representations regarding the possible politicization of agency decision-making.

In sum, the Court concludes that three of the four fee entitlement factors weigh in favor of awarding fees to Judicial Watch. Therefore, Judicial Watch is both eligible and entitled to fees and costs, and the Court must now consider the reasonableness of Judicial Watch’s requested award.

The New Black Panthers case stems from a Election Day 2008 incident where two members of the New Black Panther Party were filmed outside a polling place intimidating voters and poll watchers by brandishing a billy club. Justice Department lawyers investigated the case, filed charges, and when the Panthers failed to respond, a federal court in Philadelphia entered a “default” against all the Panthers defendants. But after Obama was sworn in, the Justice Department reversed course, dismissed charges against three of the defendants, and let the fourth off with a narrowly tailored restraining order.

“The Court’s decision is another piece of evidence showing the Obama Justice Department is run by individuals who have a problem telling the truth,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “The decision shows that we can’t trust the Obama Justice Department to fairly administer our nation’s voting and election laws.”

The Fat Lady has yet to sing on this case.

***

I have never been a Romney fan. I thought, and still think there are better, stronger candidates in the field. But Romney is the chosen one by the ‘Pub establishment and he has the committed votes to insure his nomination. That said, the following news item brought a grin to my face.

Mitt Romney Spokesman Tells Reporters ‘Kiss My …’ at Polish Holy Site

WARSAW, Poland – A Mitt Romney spokesman reprimanded reporters traveling with the candidate on his six-day foreign trip, telling them to “kiss my a**” after they shouted questions from behind a rope line.

As Romney left the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw and walked toward his motorcade parked in Pilsudski Square, reporters began shouting questions from the line where campaign staffers had told them to stay behind, prompting traveling press secretary Rick Gorka to tell a group of reporters to “kiss my a**” and “shove it.”

It seems the “reporters” where shouting questions such as, “Governor Romney, do you have a statement for the Palestinians?” and “Governor Romney, are you concerned about some of the mishaps of your trip.”

The questions were not about Romney’s visit to the Polish War Memorial but were designed to cause embarrassment. Romney’s PR guy responded appropriately, in my opinion. In fact, he deserves a bonus.

And the MSM complains about losing business and the approaching bankruptcy. Newsweek is dropping their print magazine in favor of a website. By subscription, I presume.  That won’t help.  It’s not the medium that is causing their problems, it’s biased content. People recognize bias treatment of the news and out-right lies when they see it. The MSM is doomed. In a decade there will be only a handful left.

And few of us will care. It’s another example of Evolution in Action.

A Modern-day Ancien Régime

Sometimes the most amazing insights come from outside.  In this particular case from that “progressive, Euro-centric” territory, the UK.  

We, here in the United States, have become used to being targets of ridicule by those in Europe and the UK due to their support of Obama’s attempt to socialize us along European lines. When we discover an article contrary to that viewpoint and one that supports conservative America, it’s a pleasant surprise.

The column below, by Nile Gardiner, is one of those surprises.  Gardiner, based in Washington, DC, is a foreign affairs analyst and political commentator. He has appeared on a number of media outlets including the BBC, Sky News, NPR, CNN and Fox News. He wrote this column that appeared in the UK Telegraph.

What the great French historian Alexis de Tocqueville would make of today’s Obama administration were he alive today is anyone’s guess. But I would wager that the author of L’Ancien Régime and Democracy in America would be less than impressed with the extravagance and arrogance on display among the White House elites that rule America as though they had been handed some divine right to govern with impunity.  (Links added. Crucis)

Wow! Comparing the Obamas and the democrats to Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the French aristocracy of the late 18th Century. It’s reminiscent of Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities but without, yet, the Revolution.

It is the kind of impunity that has been highlighted on the world stage this week by Michelle Obama’s hugely costly trip to Spain, which has prompted a New York Post columnist Andrea Tantaros to dub the First Lady a contemporary Marie Antoinette. As The Telegraph reports, while the Obamas are covering their own vacation expenses such as accommodation, the trip may cost US taxpayers as much as $375,000 in terms of secret service security and flight costs on Air Force Two. 

Legend tells us that when starving peasants interrupted Marie’s party by asking for food, she told them “to eat cake“—a luxury not available to the peasants. 

The timing of this lavish European vacation could not have come at a worse moment, when unemployment in America stands at 10 percent, and large numbers of Americans are fighting to survive financially in the wake of the global economic downturn. It sends a message of indifference, even contempt, for the millions of Americans who are struggling just to feed their families on a daily basis and pay the mortgage, while the size of the national debt balloons to Greek-style proportions.

There is more at the Telegraph’s Web edition.  I urge you to read the entire article.