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nChrist
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« on: July 13, 2009, 06:17:34 PM »

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The Patriot Post Digest 9-27
From The Federalist Patriot
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THE FOUNDATION

"It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions." --Thomas Jefferson

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
Wailin' About Palin


Defying convention once again, former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin resigned as governor of Alaska last Friday, effective July 26. Forget reaction from the Leftmedia, which was predictably skewed and derisive; there's enough consternation on the Right to go around. Karl Rove, longtime advisor to George W. Bush, called Palin's move a "risky strategy." Mike Huckabee, who also ran for president in 2008, said that "nobody knows whether it's going to pay off or not." Both assume Palin is angling for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. But there have been unconventional strategies to get to the White House before, and Palin is not one to abide strictly by convention. Furthermore, the presidency may not be her goal, though she has mentioned a "higher calling" and said that "all options are on the table" for her future.

Palin exits ... for now

In her press conference, Palin used a basketball analogy, saying, "A good point guard drives through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her eye on the basket ... and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can win. And I'm doing that..." GOPUSA's Bobby Eberle responded, "I don't think the people of Alaska, who voted for her to be governor of their state, voted for her so that she could 'pass the ball.' They voted for her so that she could be governor." That, perhaps, is the only criticism worth hearing. Despite her decision to not seek re-election in 2010, the governor should have stuck it out for the remainder of her term, 2012 in view or not.

Yet there is more to the story. As we noted frequently during the campaign, Sarah Palin was beset by remarkably negative press coverage. Indeed, she was ruthlessly savaged in a way rarely -- if ever -- seen before. Even her children were the targets of leftist hatred. For Palin as a mother, this undoubtedly took a toll, and one can't blame her for saying enough is enough.

Beyond the media gauntlet, Palin's critics in Alaska filed 15 ethics complaints (all dismissed) and scores of freedom of information requests that often paralyzed her staff over her two-and-a-half years in office. The Palin family itself incurred more than $500,000 in legal fees defending her. Republican Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who will succeed Palin, said the FOI requests cost Alaska $2 million to comply.

In her quick rise to stardom, Palin proved that she's a capable and solidly conservative politician, albeit one who would benefit from a better grasp of national and geopolitical issues. Her strength is her ability, as columnist Tony Blankley put it, "to talk to [the people] rather than at them or down to them." Perhaps now she will have the time to do her homework and be able to use her talents to rally conservatives another day.

Quote of the Week

"What is it about Palin that elicits such furious bipartisan Washington dismissiveness? After all, the polls show her to be tied with Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee for the very early lead in the 2012 Republican primary. As an outspoken conservative with about an 80 percent favorable rating among Republicans and a high-40s percentage favorable plurality among independents, objectively she should be seen as quite competitive nationally compared with other Republicans.... Palin draws by far the biggest crowds of any current politician, other than, perhaps, the president. She was the only news phenomenon capable of knocking the Michael Jackson story off the cable news lineups. ... At a time when governments around the world -- left, right and center -- are failing to gain public confidence and even the winning Democratic Party in the U.S. struggles to match independents for the leading political category (while the Republican Party struggles to get to 25 to 30 percent market share), it might behoove those same party professionals who have been failing to connect their parties to the public to pause before calling Sarah Palin an incompetent politician. Conventional wisdom may not be reliable in unconventional times -- or for unconventional politicians." --Tony Blankley

Judicial Benchmarks: Ricci v. DeStefano

The Supreme Court recently issued a 5-4 decision in Ricci v. DeStefano, finding that the city of New Haven, Connecticut, violated the rights of several white and one Hispanic firefighters by denying them promotion based on the results of a test on which blacks scored poorly. The city claimed it was better to toss out the results of the test and promote no one rather than promote those who actually did well and risk being sued for discrimination. The white firefighters sued, however, and as the case wound its way through the courts, it briefly found itself before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, where Judge Sonya Sotomayor, President Barack Obama's nominee to replace Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court, took part in a unanimous ruling stating that New Haven acted properly.

The Supreme Court majority found that New Haven could not prove that its test was in fact discriminatory, and therefore the city had no right to deny promotion. Sotomayor's supporters in the White House and the activist wing of the judiciary had the gall to say that this complete reversal of her decision by the High Court actually helps her nomination to that same court. Despite the fact that not even the Court's four liberal justices supported Sotomayor's rationale for siding with the city, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs crowed, "She doesn't legislate from the bench." Sure, Bob.

Beyond Sotomayor's direct involvement in this case, the real issue, which the justices decided to sidestep in their decision, is whether Title VII violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution. This provision maintains that individuals may not be treated differently because of race, but that testing requirements can be discriminatory if they have a disparate impact on the members of a particular racial group. Justice Antonin Scalia was the only one of the nine on the Court willing to touch this issue. In his lone concurring opinion, Scalia wrote, "The war between disparate impact and equal protection will be waged sooner or later, and it behooves us to begin thinking about how -- and on what terms -- to make peace between them."
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2009, 06:19:32 PM »

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The Patriot Post Digest 9-27
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This Week's 'Braying Jenny' Award

"Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of." --Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a statement so grotesque we don't know where to begin

News From the Swamp: Democrats' 60 Votes

With the April party switch of Pennsylvania's Sen. Arlen Specter and the Minnesota Supreme Court declaring Al Franken to have gotten "the highest number of votes legally cast" (cough, cough) in the final outstanding electoral race from last November, Senate Democrats have achieved their cherished goal of a 60-40 filibuster-proof majority. Or have they?

While these numbers suggest otherwise, signs point to continuing headaches for Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and President Obama. Two formerly reliable members from the Jurassic Era, Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA), are battling health issues that force them to miss votes. Other members may be picked off due to concerns on particular issues -- the Waxman-Markey cap-and-tax scheme can adversely affect Democrats hailing from Rust Belt states, and the newly minted Franken is one senator thought not to be completely sold on Obamacare, previously calling it "not feasible" in this political climate.

On the other hand, the defection of Specter leaves only three predictable "moderates" among the GOP ranks -- Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins from Maine and George Voinovich from Ohio, who's already announced he won't run again in 2010.

In a classic case of "be careful what you wish for," Senate Democrat leaders and their special interest backers may find it harder to make up lost votes from a Republican minority which is more united but can't be tagged as obstructionist when their minority is less than that required to sustain a filibuster.

Hope 'n' Change: Scripted Press

If there's a living soul who can testify as an expert about press coverage of the White House, it would have to be Helen Thomas. At 89 years of age, the flaky and curmudgeonly journalist is the "dean" of the White House press corps. Though it may seem like so many more, Obama is the 10th president she's covered in her long career.

So heads turned when she had a heated exchange with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs over prearranged questions for a recent town hall meeting. Thomas criticized Obama's "pattern of controlling the press" at "prepackaged" engagements. In a later interview, Thomas complained that even President Richard Nixon didn't attempt to control the press as much as the current administration has done. "I'm not saying there has never been managed news before, but this is carried to fare-thee-well for the town halls, for the press conferences. It's blatant. They don't give a **** if you know it or not. They ought to be hanging their heads in shame." Snapped Thomas, "What the **** do they think we are, puppets?"

Apparently, The Washington Post is willing to be a puppet. National Review editor Jonah Goldberg sums it up: "Before Sarah Palin stepped on the story, the talk of the Beltway was Salongate at the Washington Post. The newspaper had hatched a scheme whereby it would hold a series of 'salons' at the home of publisher Katharine Weymouth in order to sell lobbyists and corporations access to Obama administration officials and the Post reporters and editors who cover them." The ears of the administration could thus be had for a mere $25,000. At least until the story broke and the Post had to cancel. Helen, call your office.

NATIONAL SECURITY
Honduras Displays Rare Courage


Last week, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was deposed by the nation's military after its supreme court found that he was violating the Honduran constitution. Article 237 of the Honduran constitution limits the president to a single four-year term. This was not acceptable to Zelaya, who, in his best impression of Venezuelan thug-dictator Hugo Chavez, tried to circumvent the constitutional term limitation by scheduling an unconstitutional referendum to stand for a second term. Thus, the intervention of the court and the military.

First and foremost, then, this was not a coup as President Barack Obama, the UN and the Organization of American States (OAS) have stated, but a restoration of constitutional rule of law, something painfully unfamiliar -- detestable, even -- to the aforementioned Friends of Chavez.

The OAS suspended Honduras until Zelaya is reinstated. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has promised to work on a "deal." State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said, "Our goal remains ... a peaceful solution to this crisis. We're very focused on the need for a dialogue to restore him back [to office] and restore the democratic order." Uh, memo to Kelly: The people of Honduras do have democratic order -- it's called defending the constitution when it's under assault. May they remain steadfast and may that resolve spread to the U.S.
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2009, 06:20:35 PM »

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Obama to Cut U.S. Nuclear Capability

President Barack Obama and his Russian comrade, President Dmitri Medvedev, agreed this week on the framework of a nuclear weapons treaty, planning to cut both nations' inventories by as much as a third. The 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty expires December 5. The Wall Street Journal reports, "Under the agreement, deployed nuclear warheads targeted at each country would be reduced to between 1,500 and 1,675 over seven years from the current ceiling of 2,200." Additionally, "Nuclear-weapons delivery systems would be reduced to between 500 and 1,100 from the current ceiling of 1,600. The wide gap reflects continued division over four U.S. Trident submarines, the entire U.S. B-1 bomber fleet and dozens of B-52s that have been either converted to release conventional weapons use or mothballed." The Russians want them counted; the U.S. does not.

Obama declared, "As the world's two leading nuclear powers, the United States and Russia must lead by example.... It is very difficult for us to exert that leadership unless we are showing ourselves willing to deal with our own nuclear stockpiles in a more rational way." By rational way, of course, Obama means to systematically get rid of them. Not exactly peace through strength.

This Week's 'Alpha Jackass' Award

Looks like Babblin' Joe Biden, Barack Obama's handpicked Veep -- chosen for his foreign policy "expertise," no less -- has stepped in it again. Playing perfectly the part of the crazy family uncle in the attic, Biden seemed to give Israel a green light to attack Iran's nuclear program, saying that the U.S. "cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do," when asked if the U.S. would try to stop such an attack. "Israel can determine for itself -- it's a sovereign nation -- what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else," he said. Indeed, Reuters reports, "An Israeli submarine sailed the Suez Canal to the Red Sea as part of a naval drill last month, defense sources said on Friday, describing the unusual maneuver as a show of strategic reach in the face of Iran."

Biden's remarks, while sensible policy, required yet another "let me explain what Joe meant" appearance by Obama, who explained that the U.S. has "absolutely not" given Israel a green light for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. He further slapped the VP by saying it was "very important that I'm as clear as I can be, and our administration is as consistent as we can [be] on this issue." Rumor has it that Biden was last seen being forcibly escorted to Dick Cheney's infamous "undisclosed location" -- which, by the way, thanks to Joe's big mouth, we all know is in the basement of the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC.

Warfront With Jihadistan: Saddam From the Grave

Last week, some interesting new information emerged about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs, as well as Saddam Hussein's final days. In more than 100 pages of notes, FBI special agent George Piro, who interviewed Saddam after his capture between February and June 2004, described his sessions with the deposed despot. Saddam claimed that he had allowed the world to believe Iraq had WMD because he feared that without them Iraq would appear vulnerable to Iran, Iraq's enemy in a disastrous eight-year war in the 1980s during which Saddam did in fact use chemical weapons, on both Iranians and on his own Kurdish Iraqis. Saddam denied having any WMD before the U.S. invasion, saying, "If I had such weapons, I would have used them in the fight against the United States."

It has been, and remains, The Patriot's position, based on substantial intelligence reports, that Saddam did have WMD materials and programs, if not weapons ready to use, most of which were spirited out of the country in the year prior to the war as diplomats droned on ceaselessly about useless UN resolutions that ultimately and predictably led nowhere.

As for his final days, Saddam claimed that he stayed in Baghdad until a day before the city fell -- an unlikely tale from a coward who was later found disheveled, hiding in a spider hole. Perhaps that's an indication of the truthfulness of his WMD tales.

Democrats Lack Intelligence

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recently claimed that she knew nothing of the CIA practice of waterboarding, only to be exposed as a liar: She was briefed in 2002. Now, Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, is helping to circle the wagons. A letter written by the congressman was leaked this week alleging that the CIA "misled" and "affirmatively lied to" Congress about its activities after 9/11. CIA Director Leon Panetta continues to deny such allegations, but as Investor's Business Daily writes, "Clearly Panetta testified to something big in closed session that Democrats are now using to clobber our spies." Panetta is a former Democrat congressman and knows how to play the Beltway game. Evidently, he's a double agent.

An intelligence authorization bill before Congress would, as The Wall Street Journal put it, "hobble the CIA and further handcuff the executive branch" because "gone would be the right of the President to limit disclosure of sensitive information to the so-called Gang of Eight -- the House Speaker and Minority Leader, Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, and the Chairmen and ranking Members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. This authority would pass to Congress. The bill would also expand disclosure requirements for all sorts of intelligence activities." As the Journal concludes, "Congress wants to know about, and often second-guess, intelligence decisions without being responsible for the result."
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2009, 06:21:39 PM »

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Lessons of the Best & the Brightest

Robert McNamara, the self-deluded Kennedy/Johnson-era secretary of defense who was instrumental in embroiling the U.S. in Vietnam, died this week at the age of 93. We pause to remember him, one of the original "best and brightest" referenced sarcastically in David Halberstam's book of the same name, because of the uncanny parallels between that era and the present. The Wall Street Journal aptly summed up those parallels: "Whatever else distinguishes JFK's New Frontier or LBJ's Great Society from Barack Obama's 'New Foundation,' this too is an era of soaring rhetoric, big plans and boundless self-regard, issued by an administration convinced it can apply technocratic, top-down solutions to huge and unpredictable systems -- the banking, auto and health-care industries, for instance, or the climate."

Having started as a liberal poster child, McNamara quickly fell from grace, his tenure having been marked by abject failure. That failure derived in large part from his ego-driven belief that any war -- especially Vietnam -- was winnable on the basis of technology and application of "scientific" principles. His mechanistic approach to guerilla war in Vietnam -- which included using enemy "body counts" as a metric -- proved otherwise.

His subsequent descent into obscurity was virtually total, save the 2003 political biography, "The Fog of War," a documentary drawn from interviews with an older, "wiser" McNamara, who had been for the war before he was against it. An Oscar-winner by virtue of McNamara's self-flagellation, the movie is little more than a catharsis for the troubled soul.

In his later years, McNamara took great personal comfort in convincing himself that the Vietnam conflict was "unwinnable" -- only because he had failed, of course; not on the basis of factual data that overwhelmingly indicated otherwise. Until recently, we faced a very similar situation in Iraq. Just a few short months ago, prior to General Petraeus' now-famed "surge," we were subjected to a near-constant din decrying the "impossible" war in Iraq. Petraeus' strategy having succeeded, those cries are silent now.

Meanwhile, the current administration embodies the same smug self-confidence that led to McNamara's undoing. As columnist George Will notes, "Today, something unsettlingly similar to McNamara's eerie assuredness pervades the Washington in which he died. The spirit is: Have confidence, everybody, because we have, or soon will have, everything -- really everything -- under control." Populated neither by the best nor the brightest, the Obama administration would do well to crack its history books open to "Vietnam" and study McNamara to re-learn an age-old lesson before it's too late: pride goes before a fall.

Profiles of Valor: U.S. Army Pfc. Moss

Pfc. Channing Moss of the United States Army was serving in Afghanistan in March 2006 when disaster struck. His convoy was attacked by Taliban fighters with small arms and rocket propelled grenades. Moss, manning an MK 19 machine gun in the turret of his Humvee, was struck by an RPG -- and survived. Though Moss was impaled through the abdomen with live ordnance, his comrades didn't leave him to die. Army regulations dictate that MEDEVAC choppers should never carry a wounded soldier with a live round in him, yet the flight crew did just that. "At the time, I really didn't think about it," said flight medic Sgt. John Collier, then a specialist. "I knew [the RPG] was there but I thought, if we didn't do it, if we didn't get him out of there, he was going to die." Protocol also dictates that soldiers in Moss's condition be placed in a sandbagged bunker and considered "expectant" -- expected to die. But Maj. John Oh, 759th Forward Surgical Team general surgeon and a naturalized Korean immigrant, performed the life-saving surgery while wearing body armor and a helmet and assisted by a member of the explosive ordnance disposal team and other brave volunteers.

The Military Times has more on this incredible story here and a moving video here (warning: graphic content).

Three months after surviving the attack, Moss witnessed the birth of his second daughter, Ariana. That would not have been possible without the heroic efforts of Maj. Oh, Sgt. Collier and the crew of the 159th Medical Company. "They saved my life," said Moss. "I hope God watches over them if they get deployed." Indeed.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Income Redistribution: Stimulus Fails, Health Care Next


This just in: The Obama administration's "stimulus" spending continues to be ineffective against the recession. Joe Biden recently admitted that they "guessed wrong" in frittering away $787 billion of taxpayer money and that "everyone misread how bad the economy was" -- this from the guy who incessantly whined about having inherited "the worst economy since the Great Depression." Well, the private sector lost another 473,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate rose to 9.5 percent, far beyond the administration's promise of 8 percent if the stimulus was passed. For House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) to say, "I don't think anybody can honestly say that we're satisfied with the results so far of the stimulus," is an understatement, though Blue states seem to be doing quite well.

Enter Obamacare. Under the dubious assertion that because 15 percent of Americans have no health insurance, we should be willing to socialize 17 percent of the U.S. economy, President Obama and congressional liberals will soon begin debate on their health care reform package with a fall deadline for passage. The cost estimates for this unprecedented expansion of government into the medical field range from a low of $1 trillion (as guessed by the party pushing the reform efforts) to $4 trillion, as a professor from the University of Minnesota recently testified to Congress. What do we get for all this spending? A modest reduction of estimated uninsured numbers from 49 million to 30 million for the "low cost" of $71,428 to $285,714 per person.

Liberals continue to argue the government's public option will force the 1,300 private health insurers into being more competitive. But as Sen. Bernie Sanders (S-VT) put it, private insurance companies "should be afraid, I mean let me tell you, they should be afraid. ...They have a right to be exposed, a right to be afraid that they will not be able to compete against a strong Medicare type public plan which treats people with dignity." In saying private insurers "will not be able to compete," Sanders actually gets it right, though he seems to think that's a good thing. And Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) insisted, "The only holdouts are sort of ideologues on the Republican side of this saying no government involvement whatsoever. ...If you're a fiscal conservative you ought to be for a public option because it saves money." The truth, of course, is anything but.
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2009, 06:22:46 PM »

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On Cross-Examination

"Our first stimulus bill ... was sort of like taking half a tablet of Viagra and having also a bunch of candy mixed in ... as if everybody was putting in enough for their own constituents." --billionaire investor and Obama supporter Warren Buffett, though he also thinks a second stimulus "may well be called for"

The BIG Uh...

"The more that we can do to stimulate the economy in the short term, the challenge we've got as everybody knows is that we inherited a big deficit, and it is at a certain point potentially counterproductive if we're spending more money than we're having to borrow." --President Barack Obama

Around the Nation: More Tea Parties

On July 4th, more than 200,000 Americans chose to celebrate our nation's independence, not only by attending barbeques and fireworks, but by protesting the erosion of that independence. The TEA (for "Taxed Enough Already") Parties were begun in April to protest the rise in taxes and the growth of the federal government in general, and the second round was held last weekend in every major city in the country and many mid-sized ones as well.

Naturally, the mainstream media's coverage of the events was lukewarm at best. While CNN's Anderson Cooper, with his tasteless sexual innuendos, and Susan Roesgen, with her insults, were thankfully engaged elsewhere, the coverage remained condescending and diminutive, as if fighting for the freedoms promised us by the Founders is somehow passť. Perhaps the best gauge of our media today is CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin's comment about the protesters: "Of course, exercising that First Amendment right to protest, but hopefully, they'll clear out of the way for the fireworks tonight." Do these people actually consider themselves professional journalists?

The reporters also continue to insist on treating the Tea Parties as a sideshow of the Republican Party, when in fact many of these people are either apolitical or have become disillusioned by the post-campaign delivery of the Obama regime.

But not all the coverage was sub par. Local papers, including New Jersey's Star Ledger for example, proudly reported on how their citizens took a stand. The Ledger covered the Morristown tea party, where residents said the Pledge of Allegiance, sang the Star-Spangled Banner, and thanked God for blessing the country. It also recounted the town's role in early American history, and reminded us all that the spirit that built the United States is still alive and kicking.

GOP Auto Dealers Not Targeted

After Chrysler announced several weeks ago that a slew of dealerships were getting the axe, whispers began swirling that the affected dealers were overwhelmingly Republican. However, according to Kevin Hassett and Alex Wein of the American Enterprise Institute, the verdict on this accusation is in, and it's "innocent." It's just that most dealers (a.k.a., small business owners) are Republican. Hassett and Wein cross-referenced dealers with campaign contributions and dealership closings and found that dealerships owned by Republican and Democrat donors, respectively, not only were equally affected but were so to an almost eerie degree.

Of the 420 dealerships for which affiliation could be determined, 300 were Republican and 120 Democrat. Of the former, 77, or 25.7 percent, were targeted for closure, while 31, or 25.8 percent, of the latter were shut down. Even more curious, 25.1 percent of closures were in blue states ... and 25.1 percent in red.

Playing political favorites? Maybe not this time. Scrambling to avoid even the appearance doing so? Perhaps.

Meanwhile, Government Motors got the nod from a bankruptcy judge to sell most of its assets to a new company. The new GM emerged from bankruptcy Friday, escaping not only liquidation but also liability for claims from pre-bankruptcy-protection incidents. And while Uncle Sam will be the new majority owner, Obama claims he doesn't want to interfere in daily operations. Apparently, firing former CEO Rick Wagoner (though he is technically still employed with an exit package in the works) and steering the selection of the new board of directors is involvement enough.

CULTURE & POLICY
Climate Change This Week: Warming Nazis


Has the world gone mad? Vice President Al Gore is now comparing the fight against global warming to our battle against the Nazis in World War II. "Winston Churchill aroused this nation in heroic fashion to save civilization in World War II," Gore droned. "We have everything we need except political will, but political will is a renewable resource."

But, then again, perhaps Gore has a point, for the global warming hysterics are appearing more and more totalitarian each day. They have already made it clear that they should be able to tell us what to drive, how to light our homes and how many children to have. Now they have a new target: the wealthy.

In the months leading up to the December meeting scheduled in Copenhagen -- and in the face of scientific findings that dispute that global warming is occurring at all -- the ecofascists are fumbling to come up with new ways of building their new world order. No surprise, they are now pointing to a study that suggests the rich are responsible for half the world's carbon emissions, presumably because of the gas-guzzling cars they drive and those big fancy homes they live in. If the study's recommendations are followed, a Global Warming Police would track each country's wealthy individuals to assess their level of carbon emissions.

While denying that this is a limousine-and-yacht tax on the rich, Shoibal Chakravarty of the Princeton Environment Institute -- one of the study's authors -- nevertheless revealed his true colors: "We are not by any means proposing that. If some country finds a way of doing that, it's great." We believe it's called "cap and trade" -- a tax on all Americans.
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2009, 06:23:50 PM »

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Faith and Family: Massachusetts Challenges DOMA

Massachusetts became the first state to grant "marriage" rights to same-sex couples in 2003 and, this week, the Bay State also became the first to challenge the federal Defense of Marriage Act in federal court. "We cannot and should not be required to violate the equal-protection rights of our citizens in Massachusetts who choose to be married," said state attorney general Martha Coakley. She also claimed that the act forced the state "to disregard the marriages of same-sex couples when implementing federally funded programs."

In the end, this is a good illustration of the Pandora's Box opened by too much government control, interference and "benefits." Many conservatives have argued that allowing states to regulate marriage is part of the problem. We would point to "federally funded programs" as another quagmire. After all, once the pie is baked, everyone wants a piece. And with Democrats in control of Washington again, we don't expect DOMA to survive much longer.

Village Academic Curriculum: About That Free Lunch...

If trends continue, Philadelphia parents may soon find themselves competing for their children's recognition -- not with one another, but with the Philadelphia school district. Thanks to the city's "universal meals" program, students attending school receive not only an education but also breakfast (and lunch, of course), free of charge, courtesy of the federal government.

The pilot program, which is now in its 17th year (a creative application of the term "pilot," to be sure), was launched to eliminate the gap between those who qualify for free or low-cost school meals (80 percent at the time) and those who actually receive them (less than one-third in 1991). The solution? Give them all free meals! Yes indeed, under the program, if at least 75 percent of a school's students meet a low-income standard, all students are automatically enrolled. Today, nearly 200 of Philadelphia's 270 schools serve free meals.

One mother of three school-age children appreciates the program, saying, "Sometimes we need that extra little help as far as food goes.... That's one less thing that we have to worry about as parents." Perhaps, but don't be surprised when one day Junior starts calling the cafeteria lady "Mom."

In other academic news, Denver District Court Judge Larry Naves refused to give Ward Churchill his job back at the University of Colorado. Former professor Churchill, who gained infamy for slurring the 9/11 victims as "little Eichmanns," lost his job for plagiarism in 2007. He sued and a jury awarded him $1, but the judge wrote, "If I am required to enter an order that is 'consistent with the jury's findings,' I cannot order a remedy that 'disregards the jury's implicit finding' that Professor Churchill has suffered no actual damages that an award of reinstatement would prospectively remedy."

And Last...

"Four workers were charged Thursday in an elaborate scheme in which hundreds of corpses were dug up at a historic black cemetery near Chicago and strewn in a weeded area or reburied with other bodies so that plots could be resold," reports the Associated Press. The "Reverend" Jesse Jackson didn't miss out on the action, saying that there's "a special place in hell" for the accused. Perhaps Jackson has his facts wrong. Word on the street is that the gravediggers work for ACORN, and that the graves are empty because the Obama campaign unearthed the corpses back in November in order to drum up a few more votes. But we don't want to spread any rumors...

*****

Veritas vos Liberabit -- Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis! Mark Alexander, Publisher, for The Patriot's editors and staff.

(Please pray for our Patriot Armed Forces standing in harm's way around the world, and for their families -- especially families of those fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, who granted their lives in defense of American liberty.)
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