Archive for October, 2010
Samhain marked the end of the harvest, the end of the “lighter half” of the year and beginning of the “darker half”. It was traditionally celebrated over the course of several days. Many scholars believe that it was the beginning of the Celtic year. It has some elements of a festival of the dead. The Gaels believed that the border between this world and the otherworld became thin on Samhain; because some animals and plants were dying, it thus allowed the dead to reach back through the veil that separated them from the living. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. People and their livestock would often walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual, and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Read the rest of this entry »
A fun little video, complements of IUSB Vision, that illustrates why government regulation harms small businesses:
We all know that Democrats are the compassionate, caring, empathetic, and civil ones, and the Republicans are heartless, stone-cold, angry, and hateful. This is especially true when it comes to minorities. And we know this, because Democrats tell us, and since they’re compassionate and caring, we have to believe them, right?
Well, Bookworm at Right Wing News has put together a list that belies this propaganda conventional wisdom, and shows how Democrats really tend to act. It doesn’t seem to compassionate to me: Read the rest of this entry »
Reason TV Presents this brief video that asks a simple question: If Obama’s economic policies are so great, and he’s fixed the recession, then where are all the jobs at? An interesting comparison between the policies of today and those that ended prolonged the Great Depression.
Today many Americans credit FDR with rescuing our nation from the Great Depression, but there’s plenty wrong with that view, says Lee Ohanian, a UCLA economics professor who specializes in economic crisis. “What’s wrong with that view is that private-sector job growth did not come back under Roosevelt,” says Ohanian, who notes that Americans often forget how long the Great Depression lasted. Unemployment stood at 17 percent in 1939, a decade after the infamous stock market crash, and, although times were much worse back then, Ohanian sees troubling parallels between the Great Depression and the Great Recession. In both instances our nation emerged from a severe downturn with strong productivity growth and the banking system largely restored. We were poised for a recovery, but didn’t get one. “So the key puzzle for both today and the 1930s is why aren’t private-sector jobs being created at a much more rapid rate?” Read the rest of this entry »
Researchers have determined that genetics could matter when it comes to some adults’ political leanings.
According to scientists at UC San Diego and Harvard University, “ideology is affected not just by social factors, but also by a dopamine receptor gene called DRD4.” That and how many friends you had during high school. Read the rest of this entry »
The Cato Institute researches many political and policy issues, and one of the most disturbing ones they focus on is the overuse of police force when conducting paramilitary raids.
Cato Fellow Radley Balko highlighted the trend toward heavy-handed police practices in Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America. Radley continues to chronicle police abuses at The Agitator and Reason. Recent examples of police excesses include the unnecessary death of seven-year old Aiyana Jones in Detroit and this raid on an innocent elderly couple in Chicago (immigrants who fled the Soviet Union because of oppression).
One of the fruits of Radley’s research was the Raidmap, a Google map application that allows you to see the scope of this epidemic of “isolated incidents.” You can also sort botched raids by category: death of an innocent, raid on an innocent suspect, death or injury of an officer, death of a nonviolent offender, unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people, and other examples of paramilitary police excess.
The Raidmap is an interesting tool that allows users to study paramilitary police raids and abuses across the country in an interactive form. And now you can embed it on your webpage if you should so desire. Find the embedable link here.
T.L. Davis at the American Thinker takes a look at how Obamacare has sparked a crisis of how people (and politicians) view the US Constitution:
The debate is also a stage-setting for the greater issues of how to read the Constitution. There are two schools of thought on the issue of constitutionality: the Literalist school and the Case Law school. Each one approaches the document from a different point of view. The Literalist reads the words and meanings as they are presented without nuance, whereas the Case Law adherent reads the Constitution as seen through the filters of case law and precedent. The words they see are not the words themselves, but placeholders for an extended file of subsequent cases and rulings. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve waited a bit to comment on this, in part because I’ve had other things going on, and in part because I wanted to see what further developments came from it. And I think I’ve got enough of a picture of what happened.
First, a recap for anyone who hasn’t heard about this yet. At a recent debate in Kentucky between Rand Paul and his Democratic opponent Jack Conway, a woman was subdued and allegedly stomped in the head by Rand Paul supporters.
(I say allegedly because the video shows that she was stomped kinda on the shoulder, not the head. Not that this somehow makes it okay, but just mentioning it in the interest of accuracy, which as will soon be demonstrated, is important because the Left has ignored it. Accuracy, that is.)
The action itself, of course, seems pretty inexcusable. Some conservatives speculated that this woman and the people who attacked her were part of some kind of conspiracy and all in on it together, but that isn’t the case. Rand Paul immediately condemned the incident, and the person responsible for the stomping, a Rand election coordinator, was fired and banned from future events.
Okay, sounds good so far. There are supposedly criminal charges pending, Rand has disavowed the action, and we move on, right?
The “activist ” involved – a woman named Lauren Valle — claims that she was peacefully presenting her sign when she was recognized by Rand supporters, surrounded, and attacked. She did nothing, she says, but exercise her First Amendment rights, and those evil right-wingers viciously attacked her!
This, of course, became the narrative the Left was pushing – that the Right is violent and extreme, and will use violence to suppress free speech. Leftist shill and nutjob Chris Matthews almost immediately drew Nazi comparisons, invoking Brownshirted Republicans beating dissenters.
Classy, as always, Mr. Matthews.
So, we have Miss Valle’s version of the events:
Well just before the tape I was identified by the Rand Paul campaign because they’ve seen me around town at these events. And they realized they know me because of my work and they don’t support it. So they actually formed a blockade around me once they realized that I was there. And as Rand’s car pulls up they step in front of me and start to block me so I stepped off the curb to try and get around them and at that point they pursued me around the car, chased me around the car, and what you see in the video is when I’m in the front of the car and that’s when I’m pulled down and then my head is stomped on.
Well, it didn’t go down that way.
Says Donald Douglas:
More details at Red State. But honestly, she’s a young woman with a criminal history. And as we can see she’s obviously lying about being “chased around the car,” which is typical for leftists. And of course, commie idiots like Blue Texan and Scott Lemieux are simply suborning the dishonesty. It’s all plain as day.
Robert Stacy McCain, who has followed this story diligently, also opines:
The video shows MoveOn.org activist Lauren Valle lunging toward Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul’s vehicle, thrusting her sign through the vehicle’s open window.
Red State is quick to say, “You don’t stomp on a person’s head.” Indeed. But as Red State also says, “the idea that Valle was the victim of an angry mob . . . is demonstrably false. . . . She claims to have been an innocent bystander. She clearly was not.”
And the initial breaking report from Red State:
This video was sent to RedState by an anonymous witness at the event. It shows what Valle was doing when the Paul supporters grabbed her. No one chased her around the car. She was never in front of the car. As you can see in the video, Valle reached in the candidate’s window with her “RepubliCorp” sign and shoved it in his face. Several supporters in Paul shirts have her surrounded at that point, and a man in a suit is the first person to actually intervene physically. It’s hard to tell from the video, but it could be that the man in the suit was with Paul’s security staff.
Toward the end of the video, you see several Paul supporters asking a police officer to come intervene. It was Paul supporters who told Profitt to back off. It was Paul supporters who brought the police. Contrary to the growing narrative on the left, this video clearly shows that Valle was not the victim of a conspiracy to “take her out.”
Again, as the video clearly demonstrates, Valle was there to do more than simply “hold a sign,” and Paul supporters were not reacting to a mere dislike of her message.
As we noted at the beginning of the article, none of that is any excuse, nor even mitigating circumstances, when it comes to Profitt stomping on Valle’s head.
ISUB Vision has a video clip from Fox News discussing the incident:
So we get to the real matter here. Yes, it was wrong that Valle was attacked the way she was. But then again, we have to consider the fact that she was wearing a disguise, and she lunged at a conservative political candidate – twice, and once while shoving an object at him. And she responded by condemning right-wing violence.
I’ll say it. She was hoping to provoke this kind of response.
Mrs. Valle is a professional activist and trouble-maker. Her criminal record speaks to her desire to stir trouble to gain publicity and push her radical agendas.
Miss Valle appears to be an itinerant all-purpose protester. Two years ago, while a student at Columbia University, she was the youngest of five Americans detained by Chinese officials after unfurling a “Free Tibet” banner at the Beijing Olympics. In May of this year, she was charged with felony trespassing in Louisiana when she and other Greenpeace activists illegally boarded a ship, unfurled a banner, and painted the ship with slogans, a protest evidently timed to coincide with an appearance in the area by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. (Their banner read: “Salazar Ban Arctic Drilling.”) Law enforcement officials said the Greenpeace group had been in the area for two weeks and “had been repeatedly warned not to hamper clean up operations and not to trespass.”
So what we have is a professional troublemaker/publicity hound who instigated a response that she and the Left could then use to demonize the Right. And it worked. Because if they were really worried about politically motivated violence at these kinds of events, they would have mentioned the other attack that occurred that night:
In a separate incident, according to the Kentucky Post, “a Conway supporter stepped on the foot of a female Rand supporter, who recently had foot surgery. The woman was wearing a surgical boot, but after the injury, her incision was cut open. Police say she refused medical treatment and also filed an assault report.
A woman in disguise lunges at a candidate while thrusting an object at him, and is subdued, and it is proof of inherent Right-wing violence. At the same event, a Left-winger stomps on the bandaged foot of a conservative woman, and nary a peep. Typical.
And don’t lecture us, Mr. Matthews, about people who “hire armies” in politics. Why don’t you ask some of Hillary Clinton’s supporters how Obama’s goon squads cheated in every caucus from Iowa to Texas?
Let’s see: Black Panthers wielding nightsticks at polling places, Kenneth Gladney beaten by union thugs, Bill Rice’s finger bitten off by MoveOn protesters . . . Hey, if you really want to argue that political violence is “right wing by its very nature,” Mr. Matthews, we could point to the riots in France and Greece. And what about the May Day riots in Santa Cruz, Calif.? But I guess if it’s OK to hang around with terrorists, all bets are off.
And golly, why isn’t this case of a Leftist choking a conservative counter-protester getting such wide coverage?
On October 19 outside the venue where a candidate debate was about to be held between Arizona’s Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her Republican challenger Jesse Kelly, a MoveOn.org-style, left-wing activist physically accosted a lone conservative that had the temerity to yell back and challenge the leftist’s outrageous claims.
President Obama is extremely unpopular right now. The Democrat-dominated congress has the lowest approval rating in decades. And millions of bitter-clingers are attending Tea Party rallies to eagerly support candidates that will oppose the Progressive agenda.
In short, the question is not will the Democrats be solidly defeated in this week’s upcoming election, but how bad will it be?
Well, thanks to the typical efforts of Leftists to manipulate the vote, it won’t be as bad as it should be. With advance voting taking off this year, voter fraud has already become evident. Read the rest of this entry »
Erick Erickson at Red State has some observations on the Left’s inconsistency regarding religious faith: when convenient, faith is a virtue, but also when convenient, it is a failing.
In Missouri they are running an attack on a Republican saying he covered up pedophilia in the Catholic Church.
In Minnesota the Democrats are attacking Catholics full on for not living up to Christ’s teaching to help the poor.
In Kentucky they are attacking Rand Paul for blaspheming Christ or some such nonsense.
But then Erickson latches on to Michael Bennet, a Democratic candidate in Colorado:
Michael Bennet, you see, rejects religion. Yes, he says he believes in God, but he makes clear he does not go to worship, does not believe in organized religion, and does not affiliate with a religion.
And they say the Republicans are running candidates outside the mainstream.
If Bennet is really a favorite of Obama, as Erickson claims, then he will get no love from me. But seriously, does his religious inclination really matter? A lot of Americans claim a belief in God to some degree but do not affiliate with a particular denomination or regularly attend worship services. Are all of these Americans “outside the mainstream”?
The Constitution prohibits a religious test for a reason. Who is to determine what religious beliefs qualify one for public office? Obviously, voters are free to take religious affiliation into consideration when selecting a specific candidate if they choose, but should a politician be chosen based upon political beliefs rather than religious ones? Does it really matter if a candidate is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, or even Pagan if that candidate is earnest and consistent in those beliefs and supports the political policies and positions that a given voters wants to see implemented?
So disagree with Bennet on politics, Mr. Erickson. Criticize any political inconsistencies he shows. Highlight any major moral failings that question his abilities to fulfill the duties of office. But please keep in mind that holding vague religious views that are different from your own is not, in itself, a justifiable reason to keep someone out of office. If the strongest argument you have against someone is the fact that he’s agnostic, perhaps you need to find some better reasons to oppose him.