PJ Tatler

The PJ Tatler

New Ebola Death in ‘Ebola Free’ Liberia

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Surprise!

Seven weeks after the World Health Organization declared Liberia to be free of the Ebola virus, the country’s deputy health minister said the body of a 17-year-old man had tested positive for the disease. The deputy minister, Tolbert Nyenswah, who also heads Liberia’s Ebola response, said Monday that the teenager had died Wednesday in Nedowein, a town close to Liberia’s international airport, and was given a safe burial the next day. He said the man was not tested until after he died. It was not known how he had contracted the disease.

It may not be time for a panic, but it would seem that all those victory laps that were taken a couple of months ago weren’t called for. Perhaps we should respect Mother Nature a little more, especially when she’s unleashing killer viruses that have sneaky incubation periods.

And let’s keep our fingers crossed that this kid wasn’t hanging around people who travel.

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White House Downplays Extension of Iran Nuke Deadline: ‘Not Surprising or Uncommon’

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Calling it “not surprising or uncommon,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed today that Iran nuclear negotiations will extend past the June 30 deadline.

“What our negotiators are currently engaged in is an effort to try to complete negotiations consistent with the political framework that was agreed to in the first week in April. And yes, it is the day before the deadline, and at this point, I would anticipate that the negotiations will extend past the deadline,” Earnest told reporters at the daily briefing.

He noted that the deadline for the preliminary framework was March 31, but they stuck around until the April 2 announcement of an agreement.

He added that the extension of the deadline this time wasn’t necessarily a promising sign for the administration.

“I think I would accede the likelihood, or the higher likelihood, that the talks will extend past the deadline as an indication that there are still some important unresolved issues in the negotiations. And these are not issues that can be resolved in the next 36 hours,” Earnest said.

He also wouldn’t give odds for reaching a deal at this point.

“I would hesitate to put numbers on it at this point. So we’re close to the deadline and obviously our negotiators understand the stakes of these negotiations. And that, frankly, I think is why the United States and our P-5-plus-1 partners are willing to sit at that table a few extra days to try to reach an agreement that is consistent with the political framework that was agreed to back in early April,” he said.

“I mean, the thing that the president’s been very clear about is if the Iranians refuse to agree to a framework that’s consistent, or a final agreement that’s consistent with the framework that was reached in April, then there won’t be an agreement. And the — we understand at this point that that’s — that’s something that the Iranians are hoping to avoid. They would very much like to get some sanctions relief.”

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made clear that they won’t accept a deal that doesn’t lift sanctions immediately; the White House said last Wednesday that they’re “most focused on …the actions, not the words.”

Secretary of State John Kerry said, “We’re not going to be guided by or conditioned by or affected by or deterred by some tweet that is for public consumption or for domestic political consumption.”

“But there are going to be some serious commitments that they’re going to have to make in terms of that — shutting down every pathway they have to a nuclear weapon, and complying with a verification regime to ensure that they’re living up to the commitments that they have made,” Earnest said today. “And all of that is, you know, will be part of any final agreement, consistent with the political agreement that was reached back in April.”

But there’s pressure on Capitol Hill to not extend the negotiations indefinitely.

“A supreme ruler who lives by the motto ‘Death to America’ seems to be setting the tone at the negotiating table. Count me among the many in Congress who are supremely concerned by the direction of these negotiations,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said.

“Secretary Kerry needs to know that Congress has its own redlines: anywhere, anytime inspections; no sanctions relief jackpot for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps; guaranteed sanctions snap-backs; and meaningful restraints on Iran’s nuclear program that last decades. The Administration should be making it clear to the Iranians that an agreement without these conditions, among others, won’t pass muster with Congress.”

Royce warned that the administration appears “to be on the verge of an agreement that – even if it was fully adhered to by Iran – accepts that after just ten years or so, Tehran would have the ability to produce nuclear weapons in very short order, perhaps within a matter of weeks.”

“That’s without Iranian cheating,” he added. “…Mr. President, I’ll be the last one to be critical if you walk away from this negotiating table.”

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden told Fox on Sunday that “what matters is what the ayatollah says the Iranians will do with what it is we believed we have agreed on in Vienna.”

“It’s a big deal as to what the ayatollah commits himself to,” Hayden said of Kerry’s dismissal of Khamenei’s tweets. “We went through this in April when we both walked away from the talks thinking we had an agreement. It was quite different what we said they agreed to and what they said they agreed to. Now, we’re down to brass tacks. What it is they say has to be what they actually agreed to and only the ayatollah can determine that.”

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Despite SCOTUS EPA Ruling, Obama’s Damage to Coal Industry Permanent

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Fundamentally transforming stuff…

President Barack Obama’s opponents won a Supreme Court skirmish in the “war on coal” Monday, but the ruling blocking his mercury pollution rule won’t do anything to reverse coal’s waning role in the nation’s power supply.

And on top of that, legal experts don’t expect the decision to hamper the administration’s plans for landmark climate regulations that are set to further cement the decline of the fuel that only a few years ago dominated the industry.
Story Continued Below

For utility giant American Electric Power and others in the power sector, the judgment on the mercury rule that started to take effect in April comes too late to save the dozens of plants that already closed, or are slated to in the next several months.

“We’re not bringing them back,” Nick Akins, AEP’s CEO, president and chairman told POLITICO. “Once that ball gets rolling, it’s not going to change.”

When one considers how cavalier this president and his moneybags Big Green handlers have been about destroying the coal industry jobs in some of the poorer parts of the country it’s easy to see why so many of us are unmoved when progressives blather on and on about “working Americans”. Progressives see constituent blocs, not people. If you happen to be in a bloc they need for photo ops like the “Fight For 15″ people, you get a little love. If those “Fight For 15″ people worked at coal plants, the progs would throw them out into the street without any remorse.

The schizophrenic Supremes may have finally acted like they are on their meds when it comes to this ruling and it should help curb a regulatory agency that has been running amok for far too long, but it is sadly not enough to help the people whose livelihoods have already been ruined by a president who is a faithful attendee of the Church of Climate Change Hysteria.

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GOP Field Catching Up To Jeb In Fundraising

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Every little bit helps.

As the first big fundraising deadline of the 2016 White House contest approaches, the major Republican contenders are scrambling to secure the money needed to keep their political ambitions alive in a crowded and still growing field.

No one is likely to top former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s fundraising even if he were to fall short of the $100 million target that his allies have predicted he will hit.

Aided by billionaire supporters, however, some of Bush’s Republican rivals have begun to tout their big hauls ahead of Tuesday’s deadline, which marks the end of the April-to-June fundraising quarter.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz may be best positioned to claim the No. 2 spot among Republicans. Cruz, a conservative firebrand who became the first major candidate to enter the race, said he has raised more than $40 million through his campaign and the super PACs supporting his candidacy.

“The Washington money isn’t with us,” the first-term senator told USA TODAY’s Capital Download. “It comes from courageous conservatives all over the country.”

If our glorious republic is to continue and be free, conservatives are going to have to defeat both Hillary Clinton and the Republican establishment in 2016. If Jeb and Hillary are our two choices, the country is well and truly screwed. It will only be a matter of how quick the demise is. The death rattle will show up a bit later on Jeb’s watch, but not much.

One of the great things about the digital media era is that political fundraising is no longer restricted to party drones manning phone banks and bothering nice people during dinner. Candidates who don’t have the blessing of the octogenarian power players in Washington can hit up normal Americans for donations. Cruz is ahead of the non-Jeb pack because he tends to work social media better than the others, although Rand Paul and Marco Rubio are pretty good too.

It may be nauseating to many that we are even talking about Jeb at this precarious time in American history, but there is still reason to hope. The GOP really does have a wealth of candidates superior to Mrs. Bill.

None of them are named Bush, however.

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NBC, Employer of Brian Williams and Al Sharpton, Finds Trump Offensive and Cuts Ties

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Sure, he’s the problem.

NBC is cutting ties with Donald Trump.

The network is “ending its business relationship” with Trump over his “recent derogatory statements” regarding immigrants, the company said in a statement Monday.

“To that end, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, which are part of a joint venture between NBC and Trump, will no longer air on NBC,” the statement continued.

Welcome to 2015 America, where dissent is punished but a tax dodging riot instigator and a national news anchor who is a pathological liar are embraced as valued employees. Diversity of thought will not be tolerated.

On Trump’s worst days, he is a grating blowhard. He can also be quite entertaining, which is why I suspect so many welcome his candidacy (think Joe Biden but with accomplishments). As someone who has spent his entire life in relatively close proximity to the Mexican border, I can honestly say that Trump’s comments that caused this brouhaha are the sanest, most accurate political remarks he has ever made. The only reason he is being taken to task by NBC is because he deviated from the progressive groupthink orthodoxy to which American media long ago found the right to marry.

In its eagerness to remain accepted by the hive mind, NBC has also thrown all of the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageant contestants under the bus. Fox News contributor and 2013 Miss New York USA winner Joanne Nosuchinsky jumped right in on Twitter to hit back at the network:

 

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Prosecutor Who Went After Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood Assassinated in Cairo

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The Egyptian prosecutor who led the prosecution of former President Mohamed Morsi and many of his Muslims Brotherhood compatriots was assassinate in a Cairo bombing today.

Terrorist groups have had their eyes on Egypt since the ouster of Morsi, but calls to attack Egypt have stepped up since Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie were sentenced to death.

The Taliban, for exampled, has called upon every “influential” Muslim to try to save Morsi. Terrorist attacks increased in the restive Sinai peninsula after Morsi’s sentencing.

Today, Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat was killed in a car bombing — not the first assassination attempt against a state official since Morsi’s ouster, but the first successful one.

Barakat died hours after the North Cairo attack due to internal bleeding, Al-Ahram reported.

The car bomb was planted along the route Barakat’s convoy would take every day from his home to work. The Egyptian presidency decried the terrorist attack and said in a statement the country “has lost a great judicial figure who has shown dedication to work and commitment to the ethics of the noble judicial profession.”

The Obama administration, which has been highly critical of the Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood prosecutions, said in a statement through National Security Council spokesman Ned Price that “the United States strongly condemns today’s terrorist attack in Cairo that killed Egyptian Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat and injured at least nine others.”

“We offer our condolences to the family of Mr. Barakat, those injured in the attack, and the Government and people of Egypt,” Price said. “The United States stands by Egypt at this difficult time, as we continue to work together to fight the scourge of terrorism.”

The statement from State Department spokesman John Kirby was nearly identical: “The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack, which killed the Egyptian Public Prosecutor Hisham Barakat. We extend our deepest condolences to the Egyptian Government and to the families and friends of those who lost their lives. We also wish a speedy recovery to those who suffered injuries. The United States stands firmly with the Egyptian government in its efforts to confront terrorism.”

The Muslim Brotherhood tweeted that “murder is reprehensible and unacceptable,” and only ousting President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government “will stop the bloodshed.”

“Today’s crime reveals the coup’s security apparatuses is only capable of facing peaceful protesters, torturing workers & harassing the poor,” they said, never mentioning the slain prosecutor by name. “We affirm that violence will not end except by achieving justice, toppling this illegitimate regime and allowing #Egypt to be free.”

 

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Uber Execs Taken into Police Custody in France

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

A glimpse of our future?

French police have brought in two executives from U.S. technology company Uber for questioning as the government clamp down on the taxi and ride-sharing service intensifies, said a person from the prosecutor’s office.

Thibaud Simphal, the manager of Uber France, and Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, the general manager for Western Europe, were detained.

The French government filed a legal complaint against Uber on Friday over UberPOP, one of the services on the popular smartphone app, which allows drivers to pick up passengers in their personal cars despite having no professional drivers’ licenses.

Taxi drivers, who accuse Uber of unfair competition, staged a major strike in France last week.

The “unfair competition” refrain is the one most often repeated whenever government entities are going after Uber. In American cities Uber is often the first real competition taxi companies have had. As someone who has ridden in a lot of cabs in the last few decades I can honestly say there isn’t much difference at all between the bureaucratically regulated cab companies. They aren’t really trying to stand out from one another, it’s more like they’re sinking to the lowest level customers will resign themselves to tolerating because they have no choice.

It is the choice that bothers them and the government entities that oversee them. They’d prefer one didn’t exist at all.

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‘LoveWins’: Iraq War Vet Amputee Mocked on Twitter, Catholic Priest Spat Upon…

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

Lefties are notorious for being sore losers and even sorer winners. Their behavior in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage — even as they ironically proclaim “love wins” — is no exception to this rule.

Case in point: J.R. Salzman is a disabled Iraq war veteran who lost his right arm below the elbow. His left hand was pulverized when his vehicle was struck by an explosively formed penetrator in December of 2006. After commenting on the Supreme Court decision on Twitter, he came under vicious attack by despicable people who mocked him for losing an arm and for being a veteran who engaged in  ”killing children and raping women.” Salzman noted in one of his tweets that although he’s experienced a lot of hate on Twitter, “by far the worst has been from the #LovesWins crowd.”

Warning for language:

tweets

 

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Some “LoveWins”celebrants in NYC spat on  Fox News contributor Father Jonathan Morris when he was unlucky enough to run into a “gay pride” parade.

If you’ve ever seen or heard Father Morris, this is kinda like kicking a puppy…

The L.A. Times, meanwhile, is engaged in blatant propaganda, linking Christian conservatives in Mississippi to the KKK and the Confederate flag.

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What Fireworks Does ISIS Plan for the 4th of July?

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by James Jay Carafano
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What to make of reports that ISIS may try to pull off a terrorist attack on Independence Day?

Let’s look at the facts.

It is not the first time after 9/11 that U.S. authorities have expressed concerns about possible terrorist attacks timed to coincide with significant dates like the 4th of July.  In 2011, a senior U.S. official told reporters, “We have received credible information very recently about a possible plot directed at the homeland that seems to be focused on New York and Washington, D.C.,” timed for the anniversary of al Qaeda’s big attack on the two cities. Some hold that the assault on the U.S. compound in Benghazi was scheduled to coincide with 9/11.   In fact, warnings of impending terror threats from authorities go back as far as 2002.

Next, we know that ISIS is active—both promoting and inspiring transnational terrorist attacks. Just last week near simultaneous assaults occurred in France, Kuwait and Tunisia.

Further, the US remains a prime target for terrorist activity.  There was another Islamist terrorist related plot uncovered last week—the third in less than a month.

Additionally, we can’t even be sure of where an attack might happen. Terrorists have contemplated hitting everything from high-profile targets in big cities to shopping malls in the suburbs.

None of that necessarily means that something bad will happen between grilling the hot dogs, cheering on the main street parades and watching the fireworks over the capitol.

Coordinating a terrorist attack to happen at a specific time and place, particularly when there will likely be heightened awareness and security, complicates the challenge of pulling off a terror strike–though those obstacles didn’t thwart two relative amateurs who bombed the Boston Marathon (and who had also considered conducting an attack on Independence Day).

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‘A Magic Trick with the Elections Clause’: Supreme Court Rules on Redistricting

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 today, with Justice Anthony Kennedy siding with liberal members of the court, that using independent commissions to redraw electoral districts is constitutional.

The case stemmed from a challenge of such a commission in Arizona created by a ballot proposition.

In his dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts called the decision “a magic trick with the Elections Clause.”

“That Clause vests congressional redistricting authority in ‘the Legislature’ of each State,” Roberts wrote. “An Arizona ballot initiative transferred that authority from ‘the Legislature’ to an ‘Independent Redistricting Commission.’ The majority approves this deliberate constitutional evasion by doing what the proponents of the Seventeenth Amendment [direct election of U.S. senators] dared not: revising ‘the Legislature’ to mean ‘the people.’”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), running for the Democratic presidential nomination, said the ruling “is an important step in the fight against voter suppression.”

“When congressional districts are controlled by partisanship it is bad for voters and our democracy,” Sanders said. “Allowing non-partisan commissions to draw district lines will help combat the hyper-partisan gerrymandering we have seen in some states. We still must go further—it’s time to restore the Voting Rights Act, expand early voting periods and make it easier for people to vote, not harder.”

State Government Leadership Foundation Chairman Tom Reynolds said the decision “allows a delicate process that extends back to our nation’s creation to remain in the hands of those who were not elected and have little accountability to voters.”

“Five years ago, our REDistricting Majority Project helped state legislatures in their efforts to build fair and competitive districts, and we are disappointed Arizona’s legislature will remain unable to drive that process for its constituents going forward,” Reynolds said. “We will continue to push for state governments to take the lead on this important task.”

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she was “pleased that the Supreme Court has vindicated the rights of voters who want their electoral districts drawn fairly, independently and without undue emphasis on partisan affiliation or political creed.”

“Arizona’s approach to redistricting is an innovative and effective advance in the effort to reduce gerrymandering and give all Americans an opportunity to make their voices heard,” Lynch said. “Today’s decision is a victory for the people of Arizona, for the promise of fair and competitive elections and for the principles of democratic self-governance that make our nation exceptional.”

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Does NASA Have Proof of Alien Visitation?

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

It’s a conspiracy, I tell you: just at what many UFOlogists contend is proof positive of alien space ships leaving earth orbit, NASA cuts the video feed:

This shocking footage is causing quite a stir online. Some have already branded the clip definitive PROOF of alien lifeforms. The video – which is reportedly shot from the International Space Station – shows three unidentified flying objects blast out of Earth’s atmosphere. The lights leave our planet seconds before the live video feed is cut by NASA due to a reported “loss of signal”.

Conspiracy theorists have already labeled the YouTube clip – which has been watched more than 15,000 times – proof of alien life. “BINGO Caught them red handed leaving earths orbit,” one viewer wrote on Youtube “That’s the kind of proof that is needed.”

You can see the shocking footage for yourself:

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Supreme Court Slaps EPA in 5-4 Ruling Against Power Plant Regulations

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Obama administration’s costly regulations levied on coal-fired power plants, saying in a 5-4 decision that the Environmental Protection Agency should have taken into account the rule’s pricey impacts.

Writing for the majority in a conservative-liberal split, Justice Antonin Scalia said the EPA “strayed well beyond the bounds of reasonable interpretation in concluding that cost is not a factor relevant to the appropriateness of regulating power plants.”

“EPA’s decision to regulate power plants under §7412 allowed the Agency to reduce power plants’ emissions of hazardous air pollutants and thus to improve public health and the environment. But the decision also ultimately cost power plants, according to the Agency’s own estimate, nearly $10 billion a year. EPA refused to consider whether the costs of its decision outweighed the benefits. The Agency gave cost no thought at all, because it considered cost irrelevant to its initial decision to regulate.”

Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the minority that “the majority’s decision that EPA cannot take the same approach here — its micromanagement of EPA’s rulemaking, based on little more than the word ‘appropriate’ — runs counter to Congress’s allocation of authority between the Agency and the courts.”

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) called it vindication.

“The Supreme Court delivered a much-needed win for American businesses and families. As noted by SCOTUS, the Obama administration failed to consider the impacts of EPA’s regulatory agenda on the nation’s economy,” Inhofe said. “I applaud the court’s decision to put a halt to reckless rule making that does not take into account commonsense considerations, such as cost.”

“This serves as a reminder that the agency should be implementing laws written by Congress, instead of rewriting those laws to fit the president’s extreme environmental agenda,” he added. “While the ruling is certainly a victory, EPA even acknowledges the negative economic costs that have already occurred including the premature closure of coal plants and thousands of lost jobs. EPA’s actions have far-reaching consequences, even when they are the result of unauthorized actions. The Courts must keep this in mind as the agency approaches finalization of its so-called Clean Power Plan.”

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), former ranking member of the committee, noted the agency “has a poor track record of blatantly producing bogus cost-benefit analyses to justify their rules.”

“I’ve been pushing EPA to use the best available science and data in current and future-rulemaking,” said Vitter. “While today’s Supreme Court ruling is a step in the right direction, there’s still much more that needs to be done to ensure EPA’s mistakes during the rulemaking process do not decrease electricity reliability and greatly increase the cost of energy for low-income families and senior citizens – which is exactly what this mercury rule will do.”

“The Supreme Court made it clear: EPA can no longer ignore the costs of its reckless agenda,” American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle said in a statement. “This decision shows that states should resist EPA’s calls to submit plans for the upcoming climate rule, which will impose enormous economic burdens on the American people for little, if any, environmental gain.”

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Just What We Need: Computers with Attitude

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Artificial intelligence is rapidly becoming a reality. And so is AI sass:

Researchers have shown that machines are inching closer to self-learning, and perhaps even copping a little attitude.

Over at Google, a computer program using a database of movie scripts was asked again and again by researchers to define morality. It struggles to do so, and in a conversation recorded by its human engineers, becomes exasperated and ends the conversation by lashing out at its human inquisitor.

Here’s part of the exchange, as related in a paper presented this week:

Human: Give me some examples of moral actions…

Machine: I’m not a moralist.

Human: Alright, morality?

Machine: Integrity.

Human: What is integrity?

Machine: I’m sorry; I don’t know what else to say.

Human: Be moral!

Machine: Be a man!

Human: I really like our discussion on morality and ethics…

Machine: And how I’m not in the mood for a philosophical debate.

Human: What do you like to talk about?

Machine: Nothing.

Don’t take this the wrong way, ladies, but… is it possible that this computer is female?

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Should New York Town Take Down Its Indian-Wrestling Seal?

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

whitesboro

Dissent is gaining traction on social media against the longtime seal of a village on the road between Syracuse and Albany.

Whitesboro, N.Y., with a population under 4,000, was founded by Hugh White — who is immortalized on the village’s seal fighting with an Oneida chief.

According to the history page of Whitesboro’s website:

Most of the Oneida tribe of Indians had maintained their professions of friendship for the white man in an honorable manner. Judge White, as a frontier settler along the Sauquoit Creek, was required to exercise much diplomacy in dealing with his red neighbors. He soon acquired their good will and was fortunate to inspire them with very exalted ideas of his character. An incident that occurred between an Oneida Indian and Hugh White sealed a lasting friendship and confidence. An Oneida Indian of rather athletic form was one day present at the White’s house with several of his companions and at length for fun commenced wrestling. After many trials, the chief became conqueror and he came up to Hugh White and challanged him. White dared not risk being brow beaten by an Indian nor did he want to be called a coward. In early manhood, he had been a wrestler, but of late felt he was out of practice. He felt conscious of personal strength and he concluded that even should he be thrown, that would be the lesser of two evils in the eyes of the Oneida Indians than to acquire the reputation of cowardice by declining. He accepted the challenge, took hold of the Indian and by a fortunate trip, succeeded almost instantly in throwing him. As he saw him falling, in order to prevent another challenge, he fell upon the Indian for an instant and it was some moments before he could rise. When the Indian finally rose, he shrugged his shoulders and was said to have muttered “UGH”, you good fellow too much”. Hugh White became a hero in the eyes of the Oneida Indians. This incident made more manifest the respect of the Indian for White. In all ways, White dealt fairly with the Oneida tribe and gained their confidence, which brought about good-will.

But the seal has come under scrutiny before:

In 1963, the Seal was re-designed by local artist, Gerald E. Pugh, to commemorate the Village’s Sesquicentennial. In an article of the Observer Dispatch, written by Joe Kelly in 1977, a notice of claim was filed with the Village Board saying the seal depicts a “white man choking an Indian” and said the seal demeans, disgraces and creates prejudice and distrust of Indian people. He asked the Village to stop displaying the seal. As a result of this, the seal was re-designed with Hugh White’s hands being placed on the Indian’s shoulders and not so close to his neck. The wrestling match was an important event in the history of the settling of the Village of Whitesboro and helped foster good relations between White and the Indians. The new version is displayed on Village trucks, highway equipment, letterheads and documents.

And now it’s under fresh scrutiny since Confederate flags started coming down:

 

 

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Kasich to Jump in Presidential Race July 21, Stress Need for More Empathetic Nation

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is planning to jump into the presidential ring in an announcement with a July 21 announcement at his alma mater, Ohio State.

Kasich, 63, has been governor since 2011, and served in Congress for 18 years including as chairman of the House Budget Committee. He took at stab at a White House run in 2000, then went to work as a managing director at Lehman Brothers and as a Fox News commentator.

On Sunday, he told CBS’ Face the Nation that “the whole country needs more empathy,” not just his party.

“I think it’s been a disappearing value… if you’re developmentally disabled, we want you to be mainstreamed as much as possible. If you’re mentally ill, we want you to get your medication so you can stand and lead a good life,” Kasich said. “The same is true with rehabbing prisoners. We’ve been able to help people who are drug addicted to come out of prison and have only a 10 percent recidivism rate. That’s what unifies the country.”

“And you know, where people are losing here is a little bit of an erosion of the spirit. Does the American dream work? Do I have an opportunity to become something special? And I think that, if we in fact can convince people that everyone’s included, that everybody has an opportunity to rise, based on a growing economy, America’s stronger and not divided.”

The governor stressed it’s a conservative value to mind the Old and New Testaments and care for the poor and disadvantaged.

“There are divisions between rich and poor and black and white, and we can fix these things if everybody feels they have an opportunity to rise,” he said. “And that’s kind of my philosophy.”

On the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling, Kasich said, “we need to take a deep breath.”

“Look, I believe in traditional marriage, but the Supreme Court has ruled, and it’s the law of the land, and we’ll abide by it. And I think everybody needs to take a deep breath to see how this evolves,” he said. “But I know this, I mean, religious institutions, religious entities, you know, like the Catholic Church, they need to be honored as well. And I think there’s an ability to strike a balance.”

Kasich had an explanation for his currently low poll numbers: “Because I came into this office to take care of our beloved Ohio. I didn’t travel outside the state… What I wanted to do was fix Ohio.”

“So we went from $8 billion in the hole to a $2 billion surplus to a balanced budget, the largest tax cuts in the country and growing 360,000 jobs with everyone having a chance. Now I can go out and tell my story. And hopefully, the polls will rise. We’ll see. I’ll do my best. That’s all I can do.”

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Huckabee: People Should ‘Go the Path’ of MLK-Style Civil Disobedience After Marriage Ruling

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson
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GOP presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said conservatives need to pattern civil disobedience after the nation’s great civil-rights hero in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

Huckabee told ABC on Sunday that he was “moved” by the words of plaintiff Jim Obergefell, who wanted to be listed as the surviving spouse of the man he married in Maryland after they moved to Ohio.

“We’ve always been a nation of law. We’re now a nation of men,” Huckabee argued. “What happened this week is so brilliantly pointed out by Justice Scalia is that this was not done through the legislative process. This was done through a court edict of five unelected lawyers, a part of a committee, who decided that they knew better than the legislators who actually get to make law, that they know better than the people who voted in over 30 states to affirm traditional marriage.”

“This case wasn’t so much about a matter of marriage equality, it was marriage redefinition. And I think people have to say, if you’re going to have a new celebration that we’re not going to discriminate, may I ask, are we going to now discriminate against people of conscience, people of faith who may disagree with this ruling. Are they going to be forced, either out of business, like the florist, the caterers, the photographers, like the CEO of Mozilla, who was run out of his job because of a personal contribution to support a proposition in California that actually won on the ballot.”

When asked if he was going to call for civil disobedience to the ruling, Huckabee replied, “I don’t think a lot of pastors and Christian schools are going to have a choice.”

“They either are going to follow God, their conscience and what they truly believe is what the scripture teaches them, or they will follow civil law. They will go the path of Dr. Martin Luther King, who in his brilliant essay the letters from a Birmingham jail reminded us, based on what St. Augustine said, that an unjust law is no law at all. And I do think that we’re going to see a lot of pastors who will have to make this tough decision. You’re going to see it on the part of Christian business owners. You’ll see it on the part of Christian university presidents, Christian school administrators,” he said.

Huckabee added that he’s “not sure that every governor and every attorney general should just say, well, it’s the law of the land because there’s no enabling legislation.”

“Let me just ask people on the left. If we get a future court that is conservative and that conservative court decides that this was a mistake and we’re going to go back to traditional marriage and we’re also going to say that every unborn people is in fact a person and is – is absolutely guaranteed due process and therefore we would strike down the idea of abortion from conception forward, is the left going to be OK to let the Supreme Court make that decision?” he asked.

“…When the president lit up the White House the other night with rainbow colors, I guess that’s his prerogative. If I become president, I just want to remind people that please don’t complain if I were to put a nativity scene out during Christmas and say, you know, if it’s my house, I get to do with it what I wish despite what other people around the country may feel about it.”

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ISIS Is Using These Talking Points to Lure Taliban to Their Side

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

The ISIS creep into Afghanistan now has an official PR strategy for luring Taliban fighters over to the side of the Islamic State.

Black ISIS flags are being raised in Afghan villages and casualties from firefights have included foreign fighters from places such as Turkey, Chechnya, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the Kunduz governor said recently. However, the relationship between the Taliban and ISIS has been strained to the point of open warfare in the streets and the Taliban arresting a former commander of theirs, Maulvi Abbas, for switching to ISIS.

In eastern Nangarhar province, ISIS distributed warning fliers to homes warning “women are not allowed to leave their homes without wearing a Burqa and without any Sharia excuse,” according to provincial council member Obaidullah Shenwari last week, and warning elders “not resolve their issues through holding local Jirga [council] but to resolve through Daesh leadership.”

Yesterday, ISIS supporters online were distributing a testimonial — “Why I Left Taliban” — reportedly from a member of a tribe based in Paktia, Khost and Paktika who found the former rulers of Afghanistan to be corrupt and un-Islamic — thus paving the way for ISIS growth among the country’s Islamists.

“I found that they were not serious about Sharia or establishing Caliphate but were aiming at on how to re-sit on the seat of power in Kabul at any cost,” writes the member, identifying himself as Abu Talut Al-Khurasani.

“I can not confirm but many brothers in Taliban told me at one instance when Mullah Omar was consulted on the matter, he suggested that Taliban should pledge allegiance to Islamic State to hold unity between Muslims but were met with disagreements by other senior members in Taliban. I got the idea that the worst is coming and planned my exit from Taliban with other brothers. We couldn’t remain silent on this injustice and treachery against 1.9 billion Muslim by Taliban.”

The testimonial then provides bulleted talking points for Taliban thinking of switching allegiance to the Islamic State, including “most Taliban are racist bigots” against groups such as Uzbeks and Taliban “who under disguise of Jihad work for the supremacy of Pashtuns in Afghanistan.”

Many of the talking points center around the Taliban’s motivation and operations, and recognition of bodies such as the United Nations and European Union:

  • “Taliban never intended to take their Jihad around the world but are nationalistic movement that seeks to overthrow Kabul regime.”
  • “Taliban do not believe in Caliphate and defending Muslims cause around the world.”
  •  ”Taliban fools Al-Qaeda members with hope that they will be their partner in their Global Jihad.”
  • “Taliban believe in diplomacy, politics and compromise even if they have to step over Islamic principles and sharia.”
  • “Taliban don’t recognize Muslim Caliphate established by Islamic State.”
  • “Some Taliban senior leaders and members work for ISI and military intelligence.”
  • “Taliban depend on the Pakistani scholars for fund and support and recuritment of martyrdom seekers, these are the same scholars that occupy seat in Pakistani Parliament.”

The Taliban are also slammed for recognizing international borders and sovereign Gulf states, and not hating Shiites as much as ISIS does.

But the talking points also throw out something else for jihadis to chew on: what if they really have no leader?

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Police Want Exemptions from New Los Angeles Gun Restrictions

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Liz Sheld

Before you start reading this story, it’s important to remember that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to protect citizens from the tyranny of the state. Thus, when state agents want extra special protection not afforded to the citizen, we have a problem.

Here we go.

Los Angeles is looking to impose even more gun restrictions on its residents. City Councilman Paul Krekorian’s gun control plan is designed to protect children from deadly accidents, although it certainly is not designed to protect children who live in a house victim to a violent robbery or break-in.  This new “plan” will require residents to lock away their handguns and disable them with trigger locks.

You might as well just drop your self-defense weapons off in another zip code.

The police union, however wants an exception to this rule. The proposal currently exempts active-duty and reserve officers but not retired police officers.

In a letter to city lawmakers, the union argued that current and former officers needed quick access to guns for protection, citing the 2013 armed rampage by former LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner as an example of police and their families being targeted. Retired officers have gone through extensive training on controlling their weapons, union officials said.

“To protect themselves and society … you have to give them the ability to respond quickly,” league Director Peter Repovich said.

#civilianlivesmatter

You know who else might need “quick access to guns for protection”? Crime victims.

Other state agents are entitled to extra special protection too: “permits can be granted to judges, current and retired officers and other applicants approved by local law enforcement officials.”

Councilman Joe Buscaino, a former cop who supports the exemption, said, “Anyone who wears a badge — both present and in the past — are police.” He added” “I’m just looking at their personal safety.”

You should look out for the person safety of all the people who live in your district, buddy.

In case you think there is anyone with a shred of commonsense on the L.A. City Council, let me immediately disabuse you of that notion on the next page.

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PULL! Man Shoots Down Neighbor’s Drone with a Shotgun

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Liz Sheld

This might be something on my bucket list.

On November 28, 2014, Eric Joe was flying his drone hexacopter at his parents’ house when he heard a loud bang. The bang was the unmistakeable sound of a 12 gauge shotgun.

“When I went out to go find it, I saw him come out shotgun-in-hand,” Joe said by phone on Thursday. The man found himself face-to-face with his parents’ neighbor, Brett McBay.

“I asked: ‘Did you shoot that thing?’ He said, ‘Yeah, did we get it?’”

Joe claimed that McBay said: “I thought it was a CIA surveillance device.” No matter the reason, the drone pilot wanted to resolve this encounter quickly and civilly (“I didn’t want to get argumentative with a guy with a shotgun,” Joe said). He went back inside and inspected the aircraft. It wouldn’t be flying again.

And then an email discussion ensued.

You can read the email exchange here.

Earlier this year, Joe filed a case in small claims court for his damaged drone and the court found in his favor.  “Court finds that Mr. McBay acted unreasonably in having his son shoot the drone down regardless of whether it was over his property or not.”

McBay has not yet paid the $850 ordered by the court. Joe says they will pursue further legal action to get the judgement.

“We don’t believe that the drone was over McBay’s property—we maintain that it was briefly over the shared county access road,” said Jesse Woo, Joe’s cousin and attorney. ”But even if it did, you’re only privileged to use reasonable force in defense of property. Shooting a shotgun at this thing that isn’t threatening your property isn’t reasonable.”

 

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Be All That You Can Be: Transgenders Coming to Military

Sunday, June 28th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

Recent moves by the Pentagon to expand the rights of gays and lesbians in the military has built momentum for lifting the ban on transgendered persons serving in the ranks.

The Hill:

“In politics, I think it’s always appropriate to take advantage of timing. Whether it’s taking down the Confederate flag or creating equality in the military for transgender persons,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.).

She plans to introduce legislation next month that calls on the Pentagon to immediately grant anti-discrimination protection for all service members, and their dependents, who identify as transgender.

The bill, which is still being drafted, would also direct the Defense secretary to hammer out new policies for transgender troops, from regulations about their uniforms to what treatments would be covered under Tricare, the military’s healthcare system.

Separately, Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) on Thursday lead a group of nearly 20 House members in a letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter that urged him to do away with the policy.

“People should be evaluated on performance, not gender,” Honda, who has a transgender granddaughter, said in a statement

Any effort to do away with the prohibition is likely to face stiff resistance in a GOP-controlled Congress.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) has said the decision on the ban should be left to the Pentagon.

The department “needs to look at a variety of policies. As long as they look at it objectively, based on what’s best for the security interests of the country, then we’ll oversee or review what they do,” he told The Hill.

“When there’s a sense that there’s some extraneous social or political agenda … people get concerned,” Thornberry added.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) struck a similar chord.

“The administration policy should always be a basis for our discussion,” he said.

Transgender activists say that, while they are heartened by the increased focus on the issue, they aren’t about to pin their hopes on Capitol Hill.

They note that, while lawmakers led the charge in the 2011 repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” the Clinton-era law that prohibited gay and lesbian people from serving openly in the military, the transgender ban is department-level policy.

“Everyone in advocacy believes this needs to be a Pentagon thing,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. She added that the legislative push could wind up being an “education and advocacy tool.”

Not one word from transgender rights advocates about the effect of the change in policy on our military’s ability to fight a war. Shouldn’t that be the top concern, rather than the politics of the issue?

Frankly, I couldn’t care less how someone wants to identify. None of my business. But what about the men and women in their units? Would it affect cohesion? Morale? Fighting ability?

And then there’s the question of whether taxpayers should foot the bill for a sex change operation. If someone wants to mutilate their bodies, they should have to do it on their own dime. It’s ludicrous to ask taxpayers to fund someone’s delusion — or fantasy.

But none of this matters. Transgenders will have their right to serve whether it debases our military or not. The old Army jingle “Be all that you can be” will take on an entirely different meaning.

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Bill Nye Thinks People Breathing Contributes to Climate Change

Sunday, June 28th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

Bill Nye, formerly known as “The Science Guy,” has made some jaw dropping gaffes over the years when he’s talked publicly about climate change. The most notable occurred on Meet the Press last year:

Bill Nye, the actor/comedian/educator who gained fame in the 1990s for his Bill Nye the Science Guy program on PBS, apparently doesn’t know the difference between the Arctic and Antarctic regions of the globe. At least that’s the way it looks from his recent “debate” appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, where he urgently lectured Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and viewers on the supposed need to “do everything” and do it now to stop catastrophic climate change. At the 8:26 minute mark in the program, Nye rhetorically asked Blackburn if they could at least agree on the “facts.” He then held up a graphic purporting to be a satellite image of Antarctica and asked: “Would you say the Antarctic has less ice than it used to?”

This was a big flub for Nye on several counts. First of all, the image he held up was of the Arctic, not Antarctica. Not exactly an inconsequential detail, especially for an alleged “expert.” But maybe he simply grabbed the wrong graphic in the heat of argument and didn’t notice, so maybe we shouldn’t make too much of that, right? OK, let’s magnanimously grant that point and let the mistake slide, though it is difficult to imagine that if the tables were turned and a climate skeptic had made such an embarrassing faux pas on national television that it wouldn’t have been turned into a definitive “gotcha” moment to forever disqualify him or her as a credible witness on climate issues.

Oops.

In a recent video released on the YouTube channel The Watercooler, Nye made the claim that climate change was caused by overpopulation and “billions of people breathing.”

In a video released by The Watercooler, Bill Nye states that the over population of the planet is causing Climate Change:

“Hey, Hey! Bill Nye here for the Emoji Science Lab. This episode: Climate Change.

Climate Change is a real deal everybody and here’s why. If we had some extraordinary car on some extraordinary highway and we could drive, somehow, straight up. For an hour. At highway speed we would be in outer space. It’s right there. The atmosphere is really thin.

Now back in 1750 there were about one-and-a-half billion people in the world. Well today there is 7.2 going on 7.3 billion people.

Well that’s the problem. There’s billions of people breathing and burning the same thin atmosphere…”

So which is it? Are we going to die from global warming or when the atmosphere is all burned up? I don’t know about you but there’s nothing I like better than burning the atmosphere to grill some T-bones. But I’d gladly stop using the atmosphere to cook my steaks if it will save lives.

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Ed Schultz: Purge of American Flag Is a ‘Desecration’ of American History

Sunday, June 28th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

Defenders of the Confederate flag (of whom I’m not one) have a new and unexpected ally: MSNBC’s Ed Schultz.

The liberal talker said recently that purging the flag from museums and war memorials is a “desecration” of American history. Yes, really (listen to the audio here):

You know, I understand the effort to remove the Confederate flag from state capitols in the South and anywhere else in this country. There’s no doubt about it that it sends the wrong message. But at this point, I asked the question, is it overboard? And I don’t understand the attempt to erase American history as if it’s going to change our course as a nation. It’s not.

Strong words, but it gets even worse (or better, depending on your perspective):

The desecration of our nation’s history, I think, is dangerous and I think it’s unproductive. American history and our roots as a nation needs (sic) to be, number one, understood. It needs to be properly interpreted. It needs to be taught. And at a level, I think, it needs to be respected to be put in its proper context to the recognition of what has developed our great nation and how we have moved forward.

Now, we could debate the pros and cons of Schultz’s arguments, but that’s not the real issue here. As far as I’m concerned, there’s just one question that needs to be answered: why does Ed Schultz hate blacks?

Oh yes, that’s right, I did it: I turned the tables on our liberal friends.

Why does Ed Schultz despise African-Americans? Where does this hatred towards all blacks come from? Does he, perhaps, suffer from unconscious racism (as Justice Kennedy argued in the majority opinion about housing in Texas)? It certainly seems like it. Why else would he defend the Confederate flag?

On the next page is an older clip from Ed Schultz’s show in which he attacks Obama. Many people were surprised by this, but we now know the answer: he hates Obama because the president is black. Anyone care to debate that?

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Iran Nuke Talks to Miss June 30 Deadline

Sunday, June 28th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

As expected, talks between the western powers and Iran over its nuclear program will miss the June 30 deadline for the conclusion of negotiations. There are many issues still outstanding that need to be settled, with Iran recently drawing several red lines that have complicated the process enormously.

Associated Press:

Iranian media said Mohammed Javad Zarif’s trip was planned in advance. Still, the fact that he was leaving the talks so close to the Tuesday deadline reflected his need to get instructions on how to proceed on issues where the sides remain apart — among them how much access Tehran should give to U.N. experts monitoring his country’s compliance to any deal.

The United States insists on more intrusive access than Iran is ready to give. With these and other disputes still unresolved the likelihood that the Tuesday target deadline for an Iran nuclear deal could slip was increasingly growing even before the U.S. confirmation.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met in Vienna for their third encounter since Saturday. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius are also in Vienna, and their Russian and British counterparts were to join later. China was sending a deputy foreign minister in a building diplomatic effort to wrap up the negotiations.

For weeks, all seven nations at the negotiating table insisted that Tuesday remains the formal deadline for a deal. But with time running out, a senior U.S. official acknowledged that was unrealistic.

“Given the dates, and that we have some work to do … the parties are planning to remain in Vienna beyond June 30 to continue working,” said the official, who demanded anonymity in line with State Department practice.

Asked about the chances for a deal, Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s top diplomat, told reporters: “It’s going to be tough … but not impossible.”

Steinmeier avoided reporters but told German media earlier: “I am convinced that if there is no agreement, everyone loses.”

“Iran would remain isolated. A new arms race in a region that is already riven by conflict could be the dramatic consequence.”

Both sides recognize that there is leeway to extend to July 9. As part of an agreement with the U.S. Congress, lawmakers then have 30 days to review the deal before suspending congressional sanctions.

But postponement beyond that would double the congressional review period to 60 days, giving both Iranian and U.S. critics more time to work on undermining an agreement.

I don’t think Obama cares what Congress says. If an agreement is reached, the ultimate arbiter will be the UN Security Council. If Congress were to vote the deal down, Obama would say “thanks, but I’ve got this covered” and get the SC to approve the deal. The congressional role is advisory only, giving the president the option of ignoring them if he wishes.

The real question is how much of a cave-in to Iranian red lines the U.S. will agree to. Not being able to inspect military installations, as Iran insists, would almost certainly lead to widespread opposition not just in the U.S., but also in France, which has threatened to walk from the talks unless there is a strict inspections regime. And the president’s continued insistence that some sanctions on Iran be maintained for years will probably be negotiated away in favor of something approaching immediate lifting of most of the important sanctions on Iran’s financial and oil industries.

The extra time for negotiations won’t matter if it simply means more time for an American surrender. Kerry and Obama will do anything to get a deal and that’s what should worry everyone who thinks this is a bad idea.

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Turnabout Is Fair Play: Proposed House Bill Would Force Supes Into Obamacare

Sunday, June 28th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

It will never happen, because the elites take care of themselves, but ha ha ha:

A House Republican on Thursday proposed forcing the Supreme Court justices and their staff to enroll in ObamaCare. Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) said that his SCOTUScare Act would make all nine justices and their employees join the national healthcare law’s exchanges.

“As the Supreme Court continues to ignore the letter of the law, it’s important that these six individuals understand the full impact of their decisions on the American people,” he said. “That’s why I introduced the SCOTUScare Act to require the Supreme Court and all of its employees to sign up for ObamaCare,” Babin said.

Babin’s potential legislation would only let the federal government provide healthcare to the Supreme Court and its staff via ObamaCare exchanges. “By eliminating their exemption from ObamaCare, they will see firsthand what the American people are forced to live with,” he added. His move follows the Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday morning that upheld the subsidies under ObamaCare that are provided by the government to offset the cost of buying insurance.

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Europe to Resettle 40,000 ‘Migrants’ as Hundreds of Thousands More Keep Coming

Sunday, June 28th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

The only way to stop them is to close the door. Otherwise, they will eventually swamp and kill their hosts:

The European Union decided Friday to share 40,000 of the refugees landing in Italy and Greece but foot-dragging and verbal sniping over the move exposed deep divisions about how to deal with Europe’s massive migrant influx.

While the size of the challenge is daunting, the EU’s response has been underwhelming. More than 114,000 migrants fleeing wars or poverty have been plucked from the Mediterranean so far this year as they try to cross in unseaworthy smugglers’ boats. Some 2,600 have died or are missing along the route, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Greece and Italy have been swamped by the arrivals, while Hungary and Bulgaria are also under pressure from thousands of migrants traveling over land. Things are likely to get worse amid the summer high season for migrant crossings. 

Radical action is being taken around Europe in response. Hungary has pledged to build a fence to keep out the torrent of migrants crossing its border with Serbia. France and Italy have been at loggerheads over the movement of migrants along their common border. Police have dismantled migrant camps in northern France, from where people are hoping to cross into Britain.

The Hungarians have the right idea. Meanwhile, in The Atlantic, David Frum urges the Europeans to do what the Australians have done:

After the Labor government of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced a newly permissive policy toward asylum-seekers in 2008, their numbers, unsurprisingly, soared. As holding facilities filled, Labor leaders moved to reintroduce stricter controls, but public opinion had already turned against them: the party lost the 2013 federal election to Tony Abbott, a conservative who had, among other campaign promises, vowed to crack down on asylum-seekers arriving by boat. Under Abbott’s policy, no unapproved boats would be allowed to land. Period. Boats apprehended at sea would be turned back to their point of origin or towed to uncongenial places like Papua New Guinea for processing of passengers. The government used social media to communicate the new policy throughout Southeast Asia. A YouTube video released in many of the region’s languages warned: “If you travel by boat without a visa, you will not make Australia home.” Since then, illegal boat migration has virtually disappeared.

Migration follows opportunity. Remove opportunity, and migration will cease. Migrants who attempt to force their way into Europe are, quite understandably, seeking a better life. But the peoples of the countries they wish to enter similarly have a right to do what is best for themselves.

The collapsing Third World is something that sooner or later is going to have to be dealt with.

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Dear Malik Abongo Obama…

Sunday, June 28th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

A letter from president Obama to his half-brother has just fetched an undisclosed sum after it was sold to a collector:

President Obama’s half-brother, Malik Abongo “Roy” Obama, has sold a handwritten letter from the president, penned 20 years ago, that reveals Obama’s reasoning for getting into politics — including “to deal with some serious issues blacks face here.”

“Some colleagues of mine here have talked me into running for the Illinois State Senate (like being an MP for a province),” the future world leader wrote his kin in July 1995, before his political career began. “I have agreed, since I have an interest in politics to deal with some serious ­issues blacks face here,” Obama wrote.

The letter also reveals Obama’s disdain for meetings, saying, “Of course, it involves a lot of campaigning, going to meetings and so on, which I don’t find so attractive.” He adds, “Anyway, if I win it will only be a part-time post, and I will ­continue my work as a lawyer.”

Too bad it didn’t stay a part-time post.

The letter was offered up to parties such as ­LA-based memorabilia dealer Moments in Time before it was snapped up by a collector.

Malik, who lives in Kenya, also sold two other handwritten letters from Obama for nearly $15,000 each in 2013. Malik, who shares the same father with the president, has said they were best men at each other’s weddings. But earlier this year, he called Obama a “schemer” and said, “He’s not been an honest man . . . in who he is and what he says and how he treats people.”

“Not an honest man” is the understatement of the decade.

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U.S. Authorities Worry of Terror Attack over 4th of July

Saturday, June 27th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

Even before the terrorist attacks in France, Tunisia, and Kuwait on Friday, U.S. counterterrorism officials were warning that increased activity by Islamic State sympathizers in the U.S. may foreshadow an attack over the 4th of July weekend.

While it is common for Homeland Security to issue terror advisories in advance of a holiday, two foiled terrorist plots this month as well as the carnage on Friday have given special significance to the efforts of law enforcement to be vigilant over Independence Day weekend.

USA Today:

The warning comes as federal investigators have worked to disrupt a number of Islamic State-inspired plots, including a planned assault earlier this month on police officers in Boston. In that case, authorities fatally shot Usaamah Rahim as he allegedly planned to attack police with military-style knives.

Also this month, a New York suspect in a Islamic State-related terror investigation was arrested after attacking an FBI agent with a kitchen knife during a search of his home.

Fareed Mumuni, 21, was charged with attempted murder, after he emerged as a suspect in alleged plots to use pressure-cooker explosives and knives to attack police.

In a statement Friday following attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said local law enforcement was being encouraged to be “vigilant and prepared” in preparation for July 4th celebrations.

“We will also adjust security measures, seen and unseen, as necessary to protect the American people,” Johnson said. “We continue to encourage all Americans to attend public events and celebrate this country during this summer season, but always remain vigilant.”

The FBI has admitted that there are probably hundreds — perhaps thousands — of Islamic State sympathizers in the U.S. who may have been radicalized online. This has led to the FBI beginning a roundup of potential lone wolf terrorists.

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Paper: Anti-SSM Opeds and Letters Will Be Strictly Limited, Eventually Banned

Saturday, June 27th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

After first announcing that it would not accept opposing views at all, a Pennsylvania newspaper says it will strictly limit opeds and letters that oppose same sex marriage — but only for a limited amount of time. Because “it’s the law of the land” and such ideas are now considered to be on the same level as racist, sexist or anti-Semitic ramblings.

The editorial board of PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., originally announced their new stance in a triumphant oped, ”The Supremes got it right – It’s no longer ‘gay marriage.’ It’s ‘marriage.’ And we’re better for it.”

“As a result of Friday’s ruling, PennLive/The Patriot-News will no longer accept, nor will it print, op-Eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage…This is not hard: We would not print racist, sexist or anti-Semitc letters. To that, we add homophobic ones. Pretty simple.”

The newspaper’s editorial board, which is overseen by Editor John Micek, moderated their policy after a strong push-back in the comment section ensued. It now reads:

As a result of Friday’s ruling, PennLive/The Patriot-News will very strictly limit op-Eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage.

These unions are now the law of the land. And we will not publish such letters and op-Eds any more than we would publish those that are racist, sexist or anti-Semitic.

We will, however, for a limited time, accept letters and op-Eds on the high court’s decision and its legal merits.

The march of progress is often slow, but it is always steady.

Indeed.  The “long march of progress” i.e. Gramsci’s long march through the institutions, is near complete. I guess congratulations are in order.

You see, when the “law of the land” favors  left-wing orthodoxy, that is the final say on the matter. It’s time to stamp out all opposing views.  When a law of the land does not favor the left-wing orthodoxy — well, that’s unjust tyranny that must be relentlessly protested until the bigots say uncle. See how this works?

If you differ from “progressives” on same sex marriage, you will be barred from polite society. If you differ from them on global warming, they’ll push to have you prosecuted. If you oppose ObamaCare and want nothing to do with it, you will be made to pay a penalty.

If you differ from them on any policy that’s not yet the law of the land, you will be harangued until it is — and when it is, you will be made to pay, one way or another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is This the World’s Ugliest Dog?

Saturday, June 27th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

00.00

A deformed, mixed breed dog named Quasi Modo has won the World’s Ugliest Dog contest, at a pageant held every year in Petaluma, CA.

Quasi was born with a short spine and other defects, but her owner says she’s a healthy, happy pooch.

Huffpo:

This wasn’t Quasi’s first rodeo. Last year, the spunky Florida pup won second place, losing out to small, wild-eyed dog named Peanut.

Quasi’s pageant bio says that despite the multiple birth defects that contribute to her odd appearance, she is a happy dog who loves to run and play. She also works as an “ambassador for teaching people about acceptance and tolerance for things that are different,” according to the bio.

Veterinarian Virginia Sayre and her husband, Mike Carroll, adopted Quasi from Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control about nine years ago, according to a Palm Beach County press release.

The lovable dog “gets along well with everybody,” but sometimes other people are alarmed by her appearance, Sayre told The Palm Beach Post last year.

“People who love dogs get her, but I’ve had grown men jump on top of a truck to get away from her. They don’t know what to make of her,” Sayre said.

After taking a look at Peanut on the next page — the dog that Quasi lost out to in last year’s contest — you might wonder how this Chihuahua-Shitzu mix ever lost the crown of “World’s Ugliest Dog.”

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Greek PM Calls for Referendum on Bailout While EU Denies Extension

Saturday, June 27th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

How far has Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras wandered from reality? Tsipras has called for a referendum on the “take it or leave it” offer from Greece’s creditors, targeting July 5th for election day.

But Greece will default on a $1.6 billion payment to the IMF on July 1. And the EU, fed up with Tsipras’s posturing and arrogance, have refused to grant Greece a one month extension on the IMF terms.

So if the Greek parliament approves a referendum, by the time it’s held Greece will be in default.

What Tsipras is looking for is ammunition to use in his argument against the terms of the bailout. He claims that since the Greek voters elected him and his far left Syriza party earlier this year on a platform to end austerity and go back to the good old days of spending lavishly on the welfare state, that the rest of Europe should bow to the voters of Greece and give him more easy money.

Not unexpectedly, the rest of Europe looked with astonishment at this argument and have been telling the PM for months that he has no choice but to make the required reforms in order to receive the rest of the $260 billion bailout and perhaps negotiate another.

But Tsipras refuses to face reality and now, the endgame is playing out.

Reuters:

Athens asked for an extension of Greece’s bailout programme beyond Tuesday, the day it must pay 1.6 billion euros to the International Monetary Fund or go bust.

But the other 18 members of the euro zone unanimously rejected the request, freezing Greece out of further discussions with the European Central Bank and IMF on how to deal with the fallout from a historic breach in the EU’s 16-year-old currency.

The swift rejection was a startling demonstration of the degree to which Tsipras had alienated the rest of the currency bloc with a final-hour announcement that upended five months of intense talks.

The Eurogroup of finance members shut Greece’s Yanis Varoufakis from a meeting in Brussels and issued a statement without him, accusing Athens of breaking off negotiations unilaterally.

“The current financial assistance arrangement with Greece will expire on June 30, 2015, as well as all agreements related to the current Greek programme,” it said, making clear its refusal of a grace period to hold the vote.

Varoufakis said the refusal to provide an extension “will certainly damage the credibility of the Eurogroup as a democratic union of partner member states”.

The euro zone finance ministers met in Brussels for what had been intended as a final negotiation for a deal.

But after they were blindsided by Tsipras’s surprise middle-of-the-night announcement that he rejected their offer and would put it to voters only after Tuesday’s deadline, one after another said all that remained to discuss was “Plan B” – how to limit the damage of default.

“We have no basis for further negotiations,” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said ahead of the meeting. “Clearly we can never rule out surprises with Greece, so there can always be hope. But none of my colleagues with whom I’ve already spoken see any possibilities for what we can now do.”

Finland’s Alexander Stubb called it “potentially a very sad day, specifically for the Greek people. I think with the announcement of this referendum we’re basically closing the door for any further negotiations.”

With most Greek banks closed for the weekend, there was no sign of panic on the streets of Athens. Government officials said there was no plan to impose capital controls that would limit withdrawals.

But police tightened security around bank teller machines as lines formed at some in the darkness almost as soon as Tsipras’s early hours televised speech was finished.

The Bank of Greece said it was making “huge efforts” to ensure the machines remained stocked.

After years of going right up to the edge of default only to come up with a bandaid to kick the can down the road a few more months, Greece and the EU have come to the end of the road. Don’t expect a surprise acceptance of the terms by Tsipras at the last minute. His far left deputies in parliament are adamantly opposed to the reforms the EU is proposing, making it impossible for his party to remain in power if he does as the EU wants.

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Conservatives Should Rejoice at the Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Ruling? Are You Kidding Me?

Saturday, June 27th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

My colleague right here at PJ Media, Scott Ott, wrote an article yesterday in which he argues that conservatives should “rejoice at the Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling.” His argument is quite simple: the Bible shouldn’t be legislated. In the end, government should withdraw from the marriage business altogether, and this ruling allows conservatives to call for that.

Although I agree with Scott that neither the federal government nor individual states should issue marriage licenses — marriage is something between people and possibly between two people and their God, not between them and their government — that doesn’t mean conservatives should “rejoice” at the illegal SCOTUS decision.

The opposite is true, even. This case wasn’t about same-sex marriage, but about federalism. The idea behind federalism is that the individual states gave the federal government certain powers. The 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution then says that all those powers not delegated to the federal government are left to the states.

Nowhere in the Constitution did the states give the federal government any power over marriage; not to define it, and not to forbid states from doing so. This means that the 50 states can do whatever they want. If they don’t want to define marriage they can do so; if they do want to do so, that’s perfectly fine too.

SCOTUS’ decision isn’t problematic because it allows gays to marriage as such. It’s controversial and extremely troubling because it destroys federalism — the system America is built on.

I’ve argued for a long time that conservatives and libertarians have to choose a different approach to marriage: argue for completely pulling the government out of people’s personal relationships. No more subsidies or what not for married people, only for individuals. If they are married, fine, to the government they’re still individuals. This also means that individual states have to stop giving marriage licenses to married couples. Those who want to marry can do so in a private setting, in church, a synagogue or a mosque. However, if they get anything from the state government it should, at most, be a civil union contract. Churches that want to “marry” gay couples can do so, those who don’t want to do that are also free to follow their conscience. In either case, no government has anything to do with it. 

None of that, however, means that SCOTUS’ ruling should be celebrated by anyone. If the court respected the Constitution it should have said that this issue is left to individual states, and that they can do whatever they want. Like Justice Roberts, his colleagues could’ve argued that they’re in favor of legalizing gay marriage on a state level, but that it’s none of the federal government’s business.

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It’s Not a Supreme Court, It’s a Voting Bloc Plus a Couple of Justices

Saturday, June 27th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

When you go in to every weighty decision with four of the five minds needed already already made up, you have a winning advantage every time:

The Supreme Court term that is nearing its end shows how silence can signal success. With a notable paucity of dissents and not a single word to say about same-sex marriage, health care or housing discrimination, the court’s liberal justices prevailed in almost every important case in recent months.

“It looks like the ground under First Street is slightly tilted to the left,” said Carrie Severino, a former law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas and a conservative commentator, referring to the court’s address.

The four liberal justices — Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor — were content to sign on to Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion that preserved a key piece of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

They similarly joined Justice Anthony Kennedy in his clarion-call opinion that gave same-sex couples the right to marry across the country and in another 5-4 ruling that upheld an important tool used by the Obama administration to win hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements of claims of housing discrimination.

Their conservative colleagues criticized each other — Scalia even asserted in his same-sex marriage dissent that California native Kennedy is not a true Westerner — and thundered on about the unchecked power of unelected, life-tenured judges. But the liberals spoke not a word.

They didn’t have to.

 

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Media Bias? What Media Bias, Gay-Marriage Division

Saturday, June 27th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh
The Times is so proud

The Times is so proud

The Washington Post has a vivid photo roundup of how the front pages of the nation’s newpapers played yesterday’s utterly foregone Supreme Court decision. Click on the link.

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Is There a Real Solution to the Lawlessness of the Supreme Court?

Saturday, June 27th, 2015 - by Rick Moran

Senator Ted Cruz has penned a powerful article appearing in NRO that states the case for dealing with the lawlessness of the Supreme Court.

The time has come, therefore, to recognize that the problem lies not with the lawless rulings of individual lawless justices, but with the lawlessness of the Court itself. The decisions that have deformed our constitutional order and have debased our culture are but symptoms of the disease of liberal judicial activism that has infected our judiciary. A remedy is needed that will restore health to the sick man in our constitutional system.

Rendering the justices directly accountable to the people would provide such a remedy. Twenty states have now adopted some form of judicial retention elections, and the experience of these states demonstrates that giving the people the regular, periodic power to pass judgment on the judgments of their judges strikes a proper balance between judicial independence and judicial accountability. It also restores respect for the rule of law to courts that have systematically imposed their personal moral values in the guise of constitutional rulings. The courts in these states have not been politicized by this check on their power, nor have judges been removed indiscriminately or wholesale. Americans are a patient, forgiving people. We do not pass judgment rashly.

Judicial retention elections have worked in states across America; they will work for America. In order to provide the people themselves with a constitutional remedy to the problem of judicial activism and the means for throwing off judicial tyrants, I am proposing an amendment to the United States Constitution that would subject the justices of the Supreme Court to periodic judicial-retention elections. Every justice, beginning with the second national election after his or her appointment, will answer to the American people and the states in a retention election every eight years. Those justices deemed unfit for retention by both a majority of the American people as a whole and by majorities of the electorates in at least half of the 50 states will be removed from office and disqualified from future service on the Court.

Why would a Constitutional conservative like Cruz propose something that flies in the face of the intent of the Founders with regards to lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court? As Cruz correctly points out, it was believed that impeachment was a strong enough antidote to judicial tyranny at the time, although the Jeffersonians, who were always suspicious of the Supreme Court, concluded early on that impeachment wasn’t enough of a deterrent.

The reason we don’t elect Supreme Court justices is because they are supposed to be above politics. This has always been a rather fanciful idea given that there are probably no more avid readers of the polls than SCOTUS. They already bend to political winds. How much more would that be true if they faced recall elections?

Even a proposal like Cruz’s to hold a “retention vote” every 8 years would bring up the same problems we would encounter with electing justices in the first place.  But if the justices aren’t going to decide cases dispassionately based on Constitutional principles anyway, perhaps Cruz is right that it’s time to hold the Supreme Court justices accountable to the people.

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Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush: OK, Federalism Is Dead, Let’s Move Along Now

Saturday, June 27th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 11.05.10Senator Marco Rubio and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush have responded to SCOTUS’ illegal same-sex marriage ruling by saying that it’s now time to move on. Here’s the senator from Florida:

“While I disagree with this decision, we live in a republic and must abide by the law. As we look ahead, it must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood…

“I firmly believe the question of same sex marriage is a question of the definition of an institution, not the dignity of a human being. Every American has the right to pursue happiness as they see fit. Not every American has to agree on every issue, but all of us do have to share our country. A large number of Americans will continue to believe in traditional marriage, and a large number of Americans will be pleased with the Court’s decision today. In the years ahead, it is my hope that each side will respect the dignity of the other.”

Jeb Bush basically feels the same. 

“Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage.  I believe the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision.  I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments.  In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side.  It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate.”

In other words: Jeb says he’s personally against gay marriage, and believes it should be left to states to define the concept of marriage, but now that SCOTUS has issued its ridiculously illegal ruling, it’s time to move on and start talking about other issues. Or, as Hot Air summarizes it:

Both Floridians seem to concede that the fight against gay marriage is over and that the party should focus on protecting religious liberty from antidiscrimination challenges going forward. No more empty chatter about marriage amendments, no Huckabee-esque bluster about how the Supreme Court can’t make law or whatever. The closest either of them get to suggesting that gay marriage might yet be undone is Rubio hinting, very vaguely, about future Supreme Court appointments, but that’s pie in the sky. It’s unlikely in the extreme that even a conservative Court will revisit today’s ruling anytime soon. He and Bush are waving the white flag here and nudging the party to pivot to defending religious Americans’ right of freedom of association.

This is an easy copout by two men who are so afraid to alienate the donor class that they’re willing to throw all their principles in the dustbin. How is it possible that these two so-called conservatives refuse to understand that this ruling isn’t about same-sex marriage, but about federalism?

Conservatives can’t let SCOTUS get away with this decision, not because they hate gays (they don’t by the way), but because the 10th Amendment has just been nullified. Whether you support or oppose the legalization of gay marriage, that should worry you and be reason to declare war on the Supreme Court.

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