Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ugly protest

Ed Morrissey blogged
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker visited Messmer Preparatory Catholic School yesterday, while the school repaired the first vandalism that had occurred at the facility in eleven years of operation.
Teachers, who are union members, vandalized a "Choice" school. Aren't liberals supposed to be in favor of "choice", or does that only apply to choosing to kill unborn babies. And aren't teachers supposed to be in favor of children getting a good education? These children are getting a much better education than those in the public school.
While Walker read Dr. Seuss to the grade-school children inside, unions protested the visit and the school outside. Want to guess which group was more well-behaved? Actually, you don’t have to guess. The MacIver Institute shot video of the protest and the visit and then interviewed Messmer’s President, Brother Bob Smith. We see childishness, petulance, and bullying — and then we see Messmer’s students
being more adult than the "adults" outside.
(via Wisconsin Reporter):

It got ugly on the street outside the facility, which is no surprise, since Messmer is a “choice school” — an alternative to the union-gripped public school system. It’s an alternative that sends 85% of its high-school graduates to college. It’s also no surprise that “choice schools” threaten the union’s power in the state, which gave them extra added incentive to protest Walker’s visit … and to attempt to intimidate Messmer staff while doing so. The video provides a jarring disconnect between the well-behaved students on the inside and Brother Bob’s explanation of teaching positive discipline and self-control to the self-indulgent nastiness taking place on the sidewalk outside.

At the 1:05 mark, a man in a “JOBS NOW” union T-shirt bumps Brother Bob in a clear attempt to intimidate him, which amusingly has no effect. At 1:48, a protester harangues another member of the staff, telling her to get out of his neighborhood;
I wonder if the protester really lived in that neighborhood, and if he did, what he thought of the rapid rise in property values Brother Bob talked about on the video when Messmer Catholic School opened.
the protester appears again at 2:40 in the apparent conclusion to the incident, saying “You must be really proud of what you’ve accomplished.” Well … yeah. They’re actually educating students rather than interfering with someone else’s attempt to do so.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Allergic to brains

Mediaite reported
Cranky CNN commentator Jack Cafferty lit into Republican superstars Sarah Palin (R-FNC), Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on Wednesday’s The Situation Room, comparing them to The Three Stooges (sans Shemp), calling Perry’s instant burial of Mitt Romney in the polls “a little scary,” and asking, “When it comes to presidential politics, why does America seem to be allergic to brains?”
Maybe they are just worried about catching the same brain infection that the liberal media seems to have caught.


B4U-Act wants tolerance for pedophiles

Hot Air reported
B4U-Act is a 501(c)(3) organization in Maryland that was established “to publicly promote services and resources for self-identified individuals (adults and adolescents) who are sexually attracted to children and seek such assistance, to educate mental health providers regarding the approaches helpful for such individuals, to develop a pool of providers in Maryland who agree to serve these individuals and abide by B4U-ACT’s Principles and Perspectives of Practice, and to educate the citizens of Maryland regarding issues faced by these individuals,” according to the group’s website.
I suspect the citizens of Maryland are more concerned about protecting their children from these monsters, than being educated about the issues faced by them. Should they become so tolerant of the needs of these monsters that they would be willing to sacrifice their children to fill the needs of the monsters>
Perhaps that sounds innocent enough (although I don’t think so). Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt for a second: What’s wrong with psychiatrists seeking to help those attracted to children better understand why they have that tendency?
I don't object to them treating the monsters, but they should follow the law, and they should not seek to make the public tolerant of the needs of the monsters
Perhaps those psychiatrists could even be an instrument of crime prevention or of after-the-fact justice. But no. Consider: At least one psychiatrist in the bunch has been known to treat child molesters without reporting them, Bream said.
Obey the law, and protect the children.
Last week, the group hosted a scientific symposium to discuss a proposed new definition of pedophilia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association. Presenters expressed a wide range of views — but the thrust of the B4U-Act movement appears to be, ultimately, to decriminalize pedophilia.
Not only NO, but HELL NO.
As all too often happens with any kind of push for political correctness, with a twist of language, the blameless are forgotten.
The children must be protected.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beware the tea party

Naked Politics reported
Democratic members of the Congressional Black Caucus are in Miami Tuesday to host a jobs fair, part of their five-city tour to draw attention to high unemployment, particularly in the black community. But at a town-hall style meeting the members held Monday night, some of the most heated talk centered not on jobs but on the tea party.
So they don't really care about jobs. They just want to bash the Tea Party.
"The real enemy is the tea party –- let's remember that," said Rep. Frederica Wilson of Miami Gardens, host of the meeting and jobs fair. "The tea party holds Congress hostage…They have one goal in mind, and that's to make President Obama a one-term president."
That alone would make me support the Tea Party, even if I did not understand what they are for.
She got energetic applause from the crowd of hundreds at Mt. Hermon AME Church in Miami Gardens. So did Rep. Maxine Waters of California, who recently said the tea party should "Go straight to hell."
She must want them to try to create jobs in her congressional district.
"I'm in church. I'm not going to repeat that," Waters said Monday. She also said: "We have to stand up and fight. It's fight time...We're not afraid of the tea party…In this struggle, we have to define who we are,
I think we already know who you are.
what the president is doing
I know we know what he is doing, and that is why we want to make him a one-term president.
and not let our voices be overshadowed by the tea party."
There are many voices besides the Tea Party that wants to make him a one-term president.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New public works program

Althouse blogged
"President Barack Obama is likely to propose a new public works program in a post-Labor Day speech."
Say the Bloomberg editors.
... It makes economic sense. The president should think big -- upward of $100 billion a year for at least two years...
Unfortunately, a major public works program doesn’t make political sense right now. Republicans have served notice that they intend to stand pat against new federal spending...
The editors recommend a deal:
Obama should temporarily suspend Davis-Bacon, then ask Congress to repeal the act and let the market decide wage rates, as it does for every other industry....
Such a deal would stretch federal money, resulting in more jobs, especially for less-skilled workers who have been out of work for more than six months. And it would finally allow Obama to have a Works Progress Administration-style program that’s been missing from his recovery plans.
I can't picture the Republicans accepting this. And does the public actually want a Works Progress Administration-style program?
Actually I believe the Republicans are much more likely to support a plan that would spread already approved federal spending over more out of work people, than Obama is likely to risk offending Labor by calling for a repeal of Davis Bacon. Labor Unions do not care their people are out of work, as long as enough are employed to pay the dues that keep them employed, but repealing Davis Bacon would hurt them as much as not having dues deducted directly from the Union Members paychecks.


Qaddafi Wanes, and Now Things Get Interesting

Victor Davis Hanson opined
I considered the war against Moammar Qaddafi — admittedly a monster — to be ill-conceived, poorly articulated, unnecessarily drawn out, and predicated on the whims of the U.N. and the Arab League rather than on authorization from the U.S. Congress. But the only thing worse than a unwise war is losing an unwise war — and that is what the Obama administration has finally realized.
I don't think they even have a clue what a Pandora's Box they have opened.
What Libya will look like in a year, no one knows.
I've got a pretty good idea, and it is not good.
As for outcomes, there are many scenarios, but these two may be the most likely: either a sort of on-again-off-again chaos until a military-backed clique or strongman emerges and the same old cycle resumes, or some sort of constitutional system in a decidedly Islamic context, analogous to the Turkish model. In the latter case, we could expect the new state’s foreign policy to be anti-Western, friendly to China and Russia, virulently and actively anti-Israel, and more accommodating with Iran and its subsidized terrorist appendages. Given Western insolvency, public weariness with the Middle East, the announced draw-downs in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the president’s leading-from-behind diplomacy, I think the region will do pretty much what it wants without any worry whatsoever about U.S. feelings or interests.
I believe it will be the latter, an Islamic state ruled by Sharia Law that will respond favorably to an effort in the very near future to reform the Islamic Caliphate. But they will probably just join with Egypt first in the Ezekiel attack on Israel that is about to happen.
On our end, it would seem wise to keep our defenses strong and ready, and finally start exploiting our own sizable fossil-fuel reserves (especially oil and gas offshore) in the Gulf, the West, and Alaska.
I could not agree with you more. Not only does that make sense from an Energy Policy perspective, it does from a Jobs perspective as well.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Glenn Beck is Correct on the Middle East; Let’s Analyze Why That’s True

RubinReports blogged
Having studied the Middle East professionally for 35 years, written or edited more than 40 books on the region, and having a PhD in Middle East history, let me make it perfectly clear: Glenn Beck, who is holding several rallies in Israel this week, has a better grasp of Middle East politics than most Western experts, not to mention Western leaders.

I completely agree.
Certainly, Beck makes silly mistakes on factual matters and details. Yet what’s important is that he comprehends the big picture. I don’t say this based on a superficial view or on his support for Israel. As part of the GLORIA Center’s project on understanding current American politics and debates I have monitored virtually every television and radio show Beck has done over the last two years. When people voice absurd and slanderous stereotypes about Beck, it turns out they haven’t actually listened to what he’s been saying.
They never listen. They quote him out of context or make up things, and blast him for those false statements.
Why has Beck gotten things right that so many others have missed or distorted? There are five key reasons: Common sense; courage; knowing the difference between right and wrong, willingness to learn, and readiness to admit when one has been wrong. These are virtues often lacking among those with more elegant reputations and impressive diplomas.
And the left has a major problem with all five: Common sense; courage; knowing the difference between right and wrong, willingness to learn, and readiness to admit when one has been wrong.
What has he gotten right?

Go to his site and see the 10 points Barry Rubin identifies.


Restoring Courage

Jerusalem Post reported
The solutions to the problems of our times are not within the reach of political leaders, rather divinity, US pundit Glenn Beck told nearly 3,000 enthusiastic followers in the Caesarea Amphitheater on Sunday night, at the opening event of his four-day Restoring Courage rally.

“I’ve spent the last few years trying to find solutions for what is happening in the world,” he said on the backdrop of the pillars of the grand stage. “While there may not be a political solution, the good news is the God of Abraham ain’t running for office,” he said to loud applause.
Amen. He is already on His Throne, and His term of office is Eternity.
“Be not afraid, know who he is, know his face, know that he is a God of covenants and miracles. We are leaving the age of man-made miracles of spacecraft, and we are entering the age of the miracles of God.”
Amen. And while politicians do not have the answer, He does. And it involves Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, who will be returning real soon.

.... Beck addressed the sensitivity of the Christian Evangelist love to Israel and Jews, which many shy away from in suspicion. “There is a 2,000-year-old flinch of the Jewish people, when someone says I love you; I’d imagine the Jewish people at first would say thank you.” he said. But over the years, Christian love of Jews and their desire to bring them to the truthful beliefs cost too many lives.
It is true. Our love of Christ and a desire that Jews might know him too, may have made us too enthusiastic. But God has a solution for that, and soon he will seal (protect) 14,400 Jews to do that job.
“It’s not just the Holocaust, it’s happened over and over again,” said Beck. “There’s an important distinction of saying I love Israel, I defend Israel, and not separating that from the Jewish people. Make sure to say not that we only love Israel, but we love the Jewish people as they are.”
Amen. I pray nightly for the protection of Israel, and I believe they are about to see a Supernatural protection from God.
One Jew not afraid of contemporary Christian love is Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Efrat’s chief rabbi, who is active in Jewish-Christian dialogue. “He is the reason I had hope, because he reached back and didn’t question, just heard love and that is good enough for him,” Beck said of Riskin, who was instrumental in making Beck believe he could pull off the event. “For close to 2,000 years we were persecuted by the church, suffered wars at the hands of the church,” Riskin said. “Now, despite the fact we are different, Jews and not Christians, who respect Jesus as a Jewish teacher and not as god – you Christians have the courage to love us in our otherness. We are grateful to your courage to love us, stand by us, in the time of our grave need and danger, as rockets fall on southern towns.”

I stand with Israel.
Pastor John Hagee, head of Christians United for Israel, equated today’s Israel to West Berlin of 1963 when JFK gave his “Ich bin ein berliner” speech. Like that part of the city in the midst of Communism, “Israel is today a tiny island, an outpost swimming in a sea of tyranny. I stand here with a strong message, at this difficult juncture in history – please know that what I say now is shared by multiple Christians – ani yisraeli – I am an Israeli,” Hagee said, the crowd chanting with him.
Fantastic. I stand with Israel, and I also say ani yisraeli – I am an Israeli
Beck also addressed the controversy over his visit here, which is being frowned upon by politicians from the Left.
Who believe in themselves more than they believe in God.
“Somebody said we’re going to bring chaos, mayhem,” in the Wednesday rally, close to the Temple Mount, “and I thought- it’s the Middle East, how would you know?” “We don’t bring chaos and mayhem,” he said in a more serious tone. “No, we bring truth, we bring peace, we bring support, we bring comfort. Let our actions this week and from here out – let the Jewish people know, no matter what our governments say – we are not our governments, we stand with you.” “It was wonderful,” beamed Marie Conforto, who came from San Diego, California along with her husband, Dennis. “I really enjoyed it. And I can’t wait for Wednesday, it sounds like it’s going to be phenomenal.”
Everything about God is phenomenal.


Balanced Budget Acts in Europe

Noah Feldman opined
If you think balanced-budget amendments are the stuff of madmen or dreamers, you were in for a surprise this month.
Actually I think they are a good idea. Not a perfect slution, but a tool that could lead to a solution.
No, not the requirement of the U.S. debt-ceiling agreement that Congress vote up or down on such an amendment -- everyone knows that proposal will be dead on arrival. Rather, it was the joint recommendation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy that all 17 euro-area members adopt constitutional amendments by next summer that would require balanced budgets by specific target dates.
Striking fear into the hearts of the intelligencia.
In the context of the world’s current economic troubles, how could responsible, economically sophisticated leaders think it is a good idea to impose an inflexible constitutional debt ceiling? Merkel and Sarkozy are, after all, a far cry from Rick Perry.
But they still could all be right.
What makes mainstream politicians imagine that sovereign states would be helped, not harmed, by taking away their option to borrow and spend their way out of a fiscal crisis?
Perhaps the demonstrations in most European countries?
The answer lies in a naive but widespread understanding of how successful constitutions actually operate. The textbooks say that a constitution binds the government in advance so that in the future it will not do something tempting but foolish -- the way Odysseus bound himself to the mast when he knew the sirens would be seducing him. The idea is that a prior commitment will legally prevent later backsliding.
Not prevent but limit.
But the reality is much more complicated. Most constitutional provisions are written with loopholes, either explicit or implicit. A constitution almost never successfully binds the government from doing what it believes it must do to survive.
And it shouldn't. They should be free to have an unbalanced budget for a short time, such as war or national disaster, but not in the long time.
A creative interpretation of the document can generally be found sufficient to enable the government to do what it wants. Merkel and Sarkozy are well aware of this, so what are they after? First, they want to convince bond markets that poor euro- area members will not drag down the whole system by running up large deficits and then relying on France and Germany to bail them out. They aspire to use constitutions to convey this promise.
And Merkel and Sarkozy are from Germany and France. It is understandable that they don't want to be left holding the bag.
If the euro-area members really gave up the sovereign power of deficit spending, they would become much more like the American states.
Wasn't that the idea of a European Union?


Fareed Zakaria and Parliamentary Systems

Fareed Zakaria opined
After the credit downgrade, “only countries with parliamentary systems” have AAA ratings (except for France, which is a presidential/parliamentary hybrid).
And many of those (European) countries are having riots because they are almost broke and can't keep giving the people more and more.
That “brought to mind my years in political science graduate school,” where he learned that parliamentary systems were superior because “the executive governs the legislature.”
And the legislature can take down the government.
Citing Juan Linz’s “The Perils of Presidentialism,” an essay that argued that parliamentary systems are less stable but more efficient
Less stable. Sounds loke what we all want.
because “there is no contest for national legitimacy and power,” Zakaria agrees with the thesis of that paper, suggesting that the American regime is antiquated in its functions. “Think of David Cameron in England,” Zakaria noted, arguing that the UK Parliament was far more likely to not “squabble” or “hold the country hostage” in a way that would hurt the economy.
And look at the pictures of the fires in England right now.