On the Occasion of the Heller Decision...
On the Occasion of the Heller Decision our local paper, the Staunton Daily News Leader published an editorial as shown below. Sadly, these "educated" newspaper people don't get that the 2nd Amendment isn't about hunting squirrels but resisting squirrely politicians just as the 1st amendment isn't about calling people names but about calling down lying politicians...
There's likely lots of champagne and cigars at the NRA headquarters in Northern Virginia after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 32-year-old handgun ban in the District of Columbia.The 5-4 decision upholds and strengthens the Second Amendment, which gives us a right to own guns for hunting and self-defense.Now, all the deer and bear hunters in the District of Columbia can once again put food on the tables for their families. The squirrels on the Mall should hop the Metro out of town quickly.More importantly, the ruling limits what governments can do to control handgun violence. The D.C. gun ban was not meant to violate the Constitution. It was designed to keep people alive. The District of Columbia and other cities across America are certainly not safer today after this ruling. The Supreme Court has struck down a potential solution to the problem of gun violence. Now, another solution must be found.The problem of gun violence in America is not going away. Even this gun ban did not solve the problem in the District of Columbia. Gun advocates would say it made the matters worse by taking away the option for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves. But more guns does not mean less gun violence.The Supreme Court is often frustrating in that it never solves problems. It only kicks out solutions that go against the Constitution without giving suggestions about what might work in its place. The decision hinges on the disagreement between the two sides of whether the Second Amendment offers gun rights only to citizens in a formed militia or all citizens for the purpose of self defense. The majority opinion, written by Justice Scalia, states that the Second Amendment is meant to provide the right of gun ownership for anyone's self defense.Of great concern is what this ruling does to other gun laws. Thankfully, the opinion makes it clear that this decision does not cast doubt on the legitimacy of concealed weapons laws or the assault weapons bans. The decision holds that the Second Amendment's rights are not unlimited.Hopefully this ruling is not the top of a slippery slope of loosening gun laws. It would be extremely unfortunate if this court's narrow majority ruling is used as a pry bar by gun lobbyists to turn our modern-day environment into a gun-slinging, Old West B movie.The message to the District of Columbia was go back and try again. But any regular reader of the Washington Post would realize that they need to try again regardless of what the Court ruled. And we as a society need to work for solutions to control gun violence not only in D.C., but in cities and communities large and small throughout America.The Court isn't going to help us with this one and it is unlikely that government will be much help either. We will have to make these necessary changes as a society and that is going to be a huge challenge. But it will not come with everyone carrying a six-shooter. Fewer guns, not more, is the key to solving the problem of gun violence.Opinions expressed in this feature represent the majority opinion of the newspaper's editorial board, consisting of: Roger Watson, president and publisher; David Fritz, executive editor; Cindy Corell, community conversations editor; and Jim McCloskey, editorial cartoonist.
10 reasons to blame Democrats for soaring gas prices
The finger pointing at the Dems is well deserved. It is THEY who will not/have not compromised.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Top 10 reasons to blame Democrats for soaring gasoline prices
This started out as an attempt to create a light and humorous, Letterman-esque Top 10 list. But the items on the list, and the drain Americans are seeing in their pocketbooks because of Democrats' actions (sometimes inaction) are just too tragic for that.
10) ANWR If Bill Clinton had signed into law the Republican Congress's 1995 bill to allow drilling of ANWR instead of vetoing it, ANWR could be producing a million barrels of (non-Opec) oil a day--5% of the nation's consumption. Although speaking in another context, even Democrat Senator Charles Schumer, no proponent of ANWR drilling, admits that "one million barrels per day," would cause the price of gasoline to fall "50 cents a gallon almost immediately," according to a recent George Will column.
9) Coastal Drilling (i.e., NIMBY - not in my backyard) Democrats have consistently fought efforts to drill off the U.S. coast, as evidenced by Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's preotestation against a failed 2005 bill: "Not only does this legislation dismantle the bi-partisan ban on offshore drilling, but it provides a financial incentive for states to do so." A financial incentive? With the Chinese now slant drilling for oil just 50 miles off the Florida coast, wouldn't that have been a good thing?
Insistence on alternative fuels One of the first acts of the new Democrat-controlled congress in 2007 was an energy bill that "calls for a huge increase in the use of ethanol as a motor fuel and requires new appliance efficiency standards." By focusing on alternative fuels such as ethanol, and not more drilling, Democrats have added to the cost of food, worsening starvation problems around the word and increasing inflationary pressures in the U.S., including prices at the pump.
7) Nuclear power Even the French, who sometimes seem to lack the backbone to stand up for anything other than soft cheese, faced down their environmentalists over the need for nuclear power. France now generates 79% of its electricity from nuclear plants, mitigating the need for imported oil. The French have so much cheap energy that France has become the world's largest exporter of electric power. They have plans in place to build more reactors, including an experimental fusion reactor.
The last nuclear reactor built in the United States, according to the US Dept of Energy, was the "River Bend" plant in Louisiana. Its construction began in March of 1977.
Need I say more?
6) Coal "The liquid hydrocarbon fuel available from American coal reserves exceeds the crude oil reserves of the entire world," writes Dr. Arthur Robinson in an article on humanevents.com. The U.S. has approximately one-fourth of the world's known, proven coal reserves. Coal would be a proven, and increasingly clean, source of electric power and--at current prices--a liquified fuel that would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Yet Dems and their enviro friends have fought, and continue to fight, both coal-mining and coal plants.
5) Refinery capacity "High oil prices are still being propped up by a shortage of refinery capacity and there is little sign of the bottleneck easing until 2010," according to Peak Oil News. And, while voters in South Dakota have approved zoning for what could become the first new oil refinery in the United States in 30 years, the Dems' environmentalist constituency vows to oppose it, just like environmentalists opposed the floodgates that could have saved New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina.
4) Reduced competition: With consolidation in the oil industry, has come reduced competition. Remember, most of the major oil company mergers -- Shell-Texaco, BP-Amoco, Exxon-Mobil, BP-ARCO, and Chevron-Texaco -- happened on Clinton's watch. The number of oil refiners dropped from 28 to 19 companies during Clinton's two terms.
3) The Global Warming Myth: At a Group of 8 meeting this week, host and Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akira Amari "described the issues of climate change and energy as two sides of the same coin and proposed united solutions ... to address both issues simultaneously". As a result of Global Warming hysteria, the Al Gore-negotiated Kyoto Protocol created a worldwide market in carbon-emissions trading. Both 2005 --the year that trading was initiated--and this year --when the trading expanded dramatically -- saw substantial and unexpected price spikes in the cost of oil, leading us to reason Number...
2) Speculation: "Given the unchanged equilibrium in global oil supply and demand over recent months amid the explosive rise in oil futures prices ... it is more likely that as much as 60% of the today oil price is pure speculation," writes F. William Engdahl, an Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. According to a June 2006 US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report, US energy futures historically "were traded exclusively on regulated exchanges within the United States... The trading of energy commodities by large firms on OTC electronic exchanges was exempted from (federal) oversight by a provision inserted at the behest of Enron and other large energy traders into the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000." The bill was signed into law by Bill Clinton, in one of his last acts in office.
1) Defeat of President Bush's 2001 energy package According to the BBC, "Key points of Bush('s 2001) plan were to:
- Promote new oil and gas drilling - Build new nuclear plants - Improve electricity grid and build new pipelines -$10bn in tax breaks to promote energy efficiency and alternative fuels
A New York Times article, dated May 18, 2001, explained:
Quote:Mr. Bush's plea for a new dialogue came as his administration published the report of energy task force containing scores of specific proposals... for finding new sources of power and encouraging a range of new energy technologies."
[The Bush plan] "mentions about a dozen areas including land-use restrictions in the Rockies, lease stipulations on offshore areas attractive to oil companies, the vetting of locations for nuclear plants, environmental reviews to upgrade power plants and refineries that could be streamlined or eliminated to help industry find more oil and gas and produce more electricity and gasoline."
The article went on to quote some rather prescient words from the President, "this great country could face a darker future, a future that is, unfortunately, being previewed in rising prices at the gas pump and rolling blackouts in the great state of California" if his plan was not adopted in 2001.
The Times account continued:
Quote:"Mr. Bush talked not only of blackouts but of blackmail, raising the specter of a future in which the United States is increasingly vulnerable to foreign oil suppliers...Mr. Bush was praised by many groups for laying out a long-term energy policy. His report contained 105 initiatives..."
Just as President Bush's predictions have been born out, the article quoted from that most sage of Democrats, former President Jimmy Carter:
Quote:"World supplies are adequate and reasonably stable, price fluctuations are cyclical, reserves are plentiful," he (Carter) argued. Mr. Carter said "exaggerated claims seem designed to promote some long-frustrated ambitions of the oil industry at the expense of environmental quality."
But, as a later Times article notes, "the president's ambitious policy quickly became a casualty of energy politics and, notably, harsh criticism from Democrats enraged by the way the White House had created the plan."
In other words, Democrats refused the President's plea to "break free of the traditional antagonism between energy producers and environmental advocates."
Remember that the next time you pull up to the pump ... or the voter's booth.
William Tate is a former award-winning journalist and the author of the new novel, A Time Like This (www.atimelikethis.us/
----------------------------------------- Now, recall #5 above and read the following:
Urgent: House Democrats call for nationalization of refineries
Per Pergram-Capitol Hill
House Democrats responded to President's Bush's call for Congress to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling. This was at an on-camera press conference fed back live.
Among other things, the Democrats called for the government to own refineries so it could better control the flow of the oil supply.
They also reasserted that the reason the Appropriations Committee markup (where the vote on the amendment to lift the ban) was cancelled so they could focus on preparing the supplemental Iraq spending bill for tomorrow.
At an off-camera briefing, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said the same. And a senior Republican House Appropriations Committee aide adds that "there were multiple reasons for the postponement" including discussion on the supplemental. But the aide said there was the thought that Democrats may wish to avoid a debate today on energy amendments.
Here are the highlights from briefing
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), member of the House Appropriations Committee and one of the most-ardent opponents of off-shore drilling
We (the government) should own the refineries. Then we can control how much gets out into the market.
Hinchey on why they postponed the Appropriations markup
I think there aren't enough votes for the Peterson amendment. It wasn't taken up (the Interior spending bill) because of the omnibus Appropriations bill. That's the main focus of the Appropriations Committee.
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL)
They (Republicans) have a one-trick pony approach. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), Chairman of the Resources Committee
You cannot drill your way out of this.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), chairman of the House Select Committee on Global Warming
The White House has become a ventriloquist for the oil and gas energy. The finger should be directed back at them. They had plenty of opportunity to (arrange an energy policy). But they did not put an energy policy in place.
The governors of California and the governors of Florida are going to scream this is not the way to go.
There are a lot of arrows in the President's quiver that he decided not use.
What we do has to be in the interest of the American people. Not major corporations.
It's like when I talk to my kids. Before we're going to talk about dessert, we've got to talk about what's on your plate. I hope I'm a little more successful with the oil industry than I am with my kids.
There are so many red herrings out there they might as well construct an aquarium.
From House Majoirity Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) when I asked him if the markup was cancelled because of potential Democratic defections on the Peterson amendment..
"No. The reason the markups aren't going through is because we're trying to get the supplemental on the floor tomorrow."
And from a Senior Republican House Appropriations Aide..
"There were multiple reasons for the postponement including ongoing negotiations on the (supplemental) and a (Democratic) wish to avoid debate and votes on the energy amendments.
6 Degrees of Separation - Barack Hussein Obama
Everyone knows the game "6 Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon" (How DID he get chosen as the pivot man in that game?) and sometimes we play it with somebody else replacing Mr. Bacon (and isn't it delicious that Barack Hussein Obama replace a guy named 'Bacon'?). Anyway, let's try this.
William Ayers (domestic terrorist from Weather Underground) - Bernardine Dohrn, now a Northwestern University law professor. Together they were founding members of the Weatherman, an offshoot of the Students for a Democratic Society that claimed responsibility for about a dozen bombings. - Diana Oughton, another Weather Underground member. - Enemy Communist Governments. "In July 1969, Dohrn, Eleanor Raskin, Dianne Donghi, Peter Clapp, David Millstone and Diana Oughton, all representing "Weatherman", as Dohrn's faction was now called, traveled to Cuba and met with representatives of the North Vietnamese and Cuban governments."
Father Michael Pfleger (radical Catholic priest)
Reverend Jeremiah Wright (radical, racist, pastor and mentor to BHO)
Michelle Obama (finally proud of her country wife of BHO)
Tony Rezko (real estate developer, convicted racketeer)
Culture of Corruption - New London, CT
First thing I hear out of New London, CT is that they are stealing land from one private owner to give to another private owner who will presumably develop it to produce greater tax revenue for the city which is cleared and then it remains undeveloped producing minimal tax revenue for the city. So it should be no surprise that the same city discriminates against and won't hire as police officers people they deem to be too, yes, TOO smart. Can't have cops smarter than the city leaders, can we?
I for one feel that while the draft is likely a thing of the past until the Muslims are killing Christians here in the city streets, we do need more of a sense of civic responsibility among all citizens. It seems to me that 98% of the country doesn't care how they get to do what they do, only that they get to do it. The only people earning liberty are those who give it up for 2-30 years (and too many for the rest of their lives).
Until it was revealed that Jackson was also involved those exposed in reports of the scandal were: * Jim Johnson former chief of Fannie Mae, Obama advisor, and longtime Democratic Party power broker. * Franklin Delano Raines, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Fannie Mae who served as White House budget director under President Bill Clinton, and “retired” from Fannie Mae to halt a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into accounting irregularities. He was accused by The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), the regulating body of Fannie Mae, of abetting widespread accounting errors, which included the shifting of losses so senior executives, such as himself, could earn large bonuses. * Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services, who in 1993, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, along with several other groups, filed a lawsuit against Donna Shalala over closed-door meetings related to the HillaryCare socialized health care plan, and since leaving the administration was embroiled in scandals at the University of Florida due to her extravagant lifestyle at the University's expense.
* Richard Holbrooke, former U.N. ambassador and assistant Secretary of State, who as U.N. Ambassador ignored whistleblower reports about the infamous Oil-for-Food scandals * Senator Christopher Dodd – D. Connecticut, who oversees the U.S. mortgage industry as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.
*Gaylord Kent Conrad – D. North Dakota, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and one of the first politicians to support Obama over Hillary.
Democrats all. Where's that moral Congress Ms. Pelosi?
On the Subject of Homosexual "Marriage"
Much is being made of California's newly legal permissability of homosexual "marriage". I am reminded of President Abraham Lincoln, "How many legs does a dog have, if you call a tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg." Calling some committment, legal or otherwise, between two (or more) homosexuals of the same gender a marriage doesn't make it one.
Flag Day - 2008
Today is Flag Day. The flag of these United States of America is a powerful symbol. People all over the world look for it in times of need.
It flies over public buildings.
The flag has had songs written about it not the least of which is "The Star Spangled Banner" but also "That Grand Old Flag" and other patriotic tunes.
It is draped over the coffins of deceased Presidents
AND servicemen and women.
It is honored in many places in many ways by many people...
Between the fields where the flag is planted, there are 9+ miles of flower fields that go all the way to the ocean. The flowers are grown by seed companies. It's a beautiful place, close to Vandenberg AFB. Check out the dimensions of the flag. The Floral Flag is 740 feet long and 390 feet wide and maintains the proper Flag dimensions, as described in Executive Order #10834. This Flag is 6.65 acres and is the first Floral Flag to be planted with 5 pointed Stars, comprised of White Larkspur. Each Star is 24 feet in diameter; each Stripe is 30 feet wide. This Flag is estimated to contain more than 400,000 Larkspur plants, with 4-5 flower stems each, for a total of more than 2 million flowers.
The Lockheed Plant in WWII
Most chain e-mails are just crap. This one was interesting.
Lockheed During W.W.II (unbelievable 1940s pictures) This is pretty neat--special effects during the 1940's: I have never seen these pictures or knew that we had gone this far to protect us.
During World War II the Army Corps of Engineers needed to hide the Lockheed Burbank Aircraft Plant to protect it from Japanese air attack. They covered it with camouflage netting to make it look like a rural subdivision from the air. Imagine the materials and labor needed to create this. Look at the large dimensional lumber used to support the netting. Just amazing.
Unfortunately, as is so with most such e-mail, I don't know to whom to attribute either the photos or original e-mail. However, I hope you'll enjoy the photos.
While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old Texas rancher, whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Obama and his bid to be our President.
The old rancher said, 'Well, ya know, Obama is a 'post turtle'.' Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a 'post turtle' was. The old rancher said, 'When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a 'post turtle'.'
The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain. 'You know he didn't get up there by himself, he doesn't belong up there, he doesn't know what to do while he is up there, and you just wonder what kind of a dumb butt put him up there to begin with.'
D-Day, June 6th 1944
We should remember these young (and many not so young) men who struggled ashore, who died, who strove to fulfill their duty 64 years ago today.
Among those men was one Gano Haynes "Sonny" Jewell. Sonny was my dad's first cousin and they were close. Sonny had been pre-med at Cornell but he felt he wasn't doing his part. He thought he needed to do more and he enlisted in the army. Wonder of wonders, he was made an aideman probably recognizing his pre-med training and perhaps with a bit of work towards that end by Sonny himself. Nobody in our family is known for being a shrinking violet. He came to be assigned to work in the aide-station of the 2d Battalion, 116th Infantry, 29th Infantry Division. The 116th was one of the assault regiments and attached to the 1st Division for the landings. Sonny made the landing. He likely was very busy from June 6th through August 6th when he was wounded near Vire, France by German artillery fire. On August 7th, 1944 PFC Gano Haynes "Sonny" Jewell was killed by a fragment from a German artillery shell. He was 21 years old, an only son and a beloved cousin/nephew. Dad once told me how when his mother and aunt (Sonny's mom) went to get the body, he followed them as they drove a car and he drove a borrowed truck. He remembered how he watched the sidewall of old right rear tire on the car suddenly balloon out and burst and how they had to get the tire replaced before they could continue and get Sonny's body. A small thing to us but Dad's eyes would mist up a bit.
On VE Day (I think this was May 8th, 1945) the government released farm labor from enlistment restrictions and Dad enlisted in the Army. In fact, when he heard the news on the radio he telephoned home and told his mother that he didn't know when he was coming back but that he was going to Oneonta to enlist. Dad allowed that this was at least in part because of Sonny.
In 1985 I was sitting in my office in the home armory of the 116th Infantry and met Winston Morris. Winston had gone into service at age 35 and was 80 years old when we met. Prior to the war he'd been photographer and got command permission to carry and use his camera in theater. As NCOIC of the Regimental aide-station he got to move around quite a bit and take photos of a number of the Regiment's activities. He had a quite collection of photographs from those years and included in them was a photo of Sonny Jewell the day before he died. He was sitting at the edge of his foxhole in the aide station. Winston remembered him fondly. Unfortunately, I didn't get a copy of the photograph.
Sonny Jewell was one of millions, like Winston Morris, who did their duty and I hope that today, you'll take a moment and remember the Sonny Jewell or Winston Morris in your family and somehow thank him or her.
According to allegations in court records, Devens violated Wesley Allen Lewis’ constitutional right to be “free from the use of unreasonable force” and then erased a portion of a dashboard camera videotape of the incident, thus obstructing justice.
Devens later told state investigators that he had become angry because Lewis had endangered a woman and child by having them in his truck during a high-speed chase that preceded the beating.
He also acknowledged erasing a portion of the tape because he realized that the sheriff’s department might be liable for his conduct and did not want to become the subject of unfavorable publicity.
A video camera in a nearby Kearney police car captured images of the beating.
Barack Hussein Obama Finally has the Votes
What does it mean? Well, to start it means that the United States has proven that it has matured to the point that it can consider a black man as President (well, it has also matured to the point that it can consider a woman as President). Too bad it is one of these two people...
Yep, Barack Hussein Obama has finally gotten the vote count necessary to make him the presumptive nominee for the Dem/S. Michelle Obama is finally proud of the United States of America (for the first time in her life) and Mrs. Hillary Clinton is going to consult (or something) with her supporters.
The truth is that there is a hope among Mrs. Clinton's supporters that there will be enough dirt out on Obama that there will be a sea change in super delegate (read "party elite") support and that she will get those votes and the nomination. So, she's going to let it go to the convention. Good for her. Never give up.
Which is what I've heard some Republicans wanting to do, i.e. elect Obama and after 2-4 years the American public will be so fed up that the Republicans can't help but get elected. This is I think what happened with Bill Clinton, despite his personal popularity, but because he wasn't the raging fanatical socialist that Mrs. Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama are the switch was more gradual than they envision. The thing is that you never lose on purpose. Losing is losing. All that accompanies losing is what you get whether you lose after exerting every effort to win or just get up. Losing to the Dem/S on purpose, i.e. surrender, will have the same effect on the country as surrendering to the Japanese. The Dem/S are going to bayonet our freedoms, starve our economy and give us up to our enemies on foreign shores. They will kill this country.
We need to fight, we need to resist, and we need to start now. We need to reject every cockamamie socialist bill like the Warner/Lieberman act, even the whole idea of global warming, and move forward strongly to defeat the terrorists and establish a strong, stable, democratic republic in Iraq. We don't need to acquiesce to economic blackmail but start drilling off-shore Florida and take the oil the Chinese are already drilling to get. We need to develop our own sources of fuel including alternatives like nuclear energy. We need to eliminate mandates for fuelish actions like converting food (corn) to fuel and thus starving out our allies around the world. We need to improve the atmosphere for business through tort reform and permanent tax reductions including elimination of the death tax (inheritance taxes). We need to secure our borders. We need all of us to obey the law and keep laws reasonable and not go off on witch hunts we can't justify in court such as was done in Texas.
You won't see this from Barack Hussein Obama. You'll see instant surrender to our foreign enemies. You'll see appointments of judges who can't read the constitution. You'll see business (and job) killing taxes. You'll see rising fuel prices. You might just see the death of the United States. Hyperbole? I certainly hope so. But that isn't the kind of hope that Barack Hussein Obama was selling, is it?
For us, the American ideal is personified in the concept of self-reliance, work ethic, honesty/forthrightness, decency, personal property rights, family, religion, an ability to defend oneself from criminals and crooked politicians, and personal responsibility.