Hamas, as per the usual tactic in Gaza for many years, uses kids as human shields and places missiles and mortars in residential areas and at schools etc. Dan Gillerman says, “If you go to sleep at night next to a missile don’t be surprised if you don’t wake up in the morning.”
Archive for December 29th, 2008
Posted by iusbvision on December 29, 2008
Posted by iusbvision on December 29, 2008
UNC (University of North Carolina) has been on these pages before. It is like they never learn. Violating student rights, faculty rights, persecution of faculty and students for partisan political reasons and lying about it. The latest time UNC appeared here is with the UNC participation in “the war on Christmas” by America hating secular leftists that Bill O’Reilly and John Gibson have brought to light.
UNC is embroiled in at least one federal civil rights lawsuit for their illegal behavior (that I know of) and who knows where the latest incident will take us. Since the fraternity involved has decided to fight the illegal and unconstitutional treatment it has received from UNC, perhaps we may see FIRE, the ACLU, and other groups join in and assist in the matter.
The fraternity had a banner with many things on it, one of the items portrayed on the banner was a confederate flag made some consternation by Southern Democrats flying it over their state houses. Lets get one thing clear. The display of flags, the display of flags up side down and the burning of flags is clearly constitutionally protected speech and the Supreme Court has ruled so specifically (See Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989).
Some poeple believe that the confederate flag is offensive, so what. The First Amendment is designed to protect offensive speech and the court has made it clear that the answer to offensive speech is more speech not less. So what does the administration do, they claim “harassment”. The harassment canard has been so overused and abused by university administrations to illegally suppress free speech that the Department of Education told public universities to knock it off.
Do not be surprised if the pinheads at the UNC administration end up getting a letter from FIRE or perhaps the ACLU that says something like this:
The Supreme Court has held that for student conduct to constitute constitutionally unprotected hostile environment harassment, it must be “so severe, persistent, and objectively offensive that it effectively bars the victim’s access to an educational opportunity or benefit.” Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, 526 U.S. 629, 633 (1999). Clearly, the speech in question here—an isolated expressive act, made in the context of a demonstration—fails to meet the exacting demands of this precise and well-established legal standard. Moreover, in 2003, the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued a letter to college presidents specifically to clarify that “the offensiveness of a particular expression, standing alone, is not a legally sufficient basis to establish a hostile environment under the [harassment] statutes enforced by OCR.”
One professor is helping the UNC students uphold their rights and the law, Dr. Mike Adams:
SAE v. UNC
Mike S. Adams
Monday, December 29, 2008
A few weeks ago I reported on an incident at UNC-Wilmington involving the punishment of a fraternity for the brief display of a banner, which included a small representation of a Confederate Flag. I referred to the fraternity with a pseudonym (Alpha Epsilon Sigma) in order to respect their wishes to avoid turning the conflict into a major news story. Now that the fraternity has reconsidered and decided to fight UNCW I am free to refer to the fraternity by its real name, Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
In my previous column, I asked readers around the country to a) write a donation to UNCW in the amount of $.02, and b) demand a receipt via mail. This was done to make sure the university paid a $.40 fine (two cents minus forty-two cents for a stamp) to all of my readers who were offended by a public university that punishes constitutionally protected activity as so-called hate speech.
(Note: I also asked people to join me in sending Confederate Flags to Office of the Chancellor, Alderman Hall, UNCW, Wilmington, NC, 28403).
Just a few days before Christmas UNCW started to mail back checks with the following form response: “We have received your check in response to the alleged Confederate Flag incident. You have been misinformed. We are returning your check because no fraternity or other student organization has been suspended due to a display of a Confederate Flag. Thank you.”
In other words, the university is accusing me of lying. They are also indirectly accusing my three sources – two officers of SAE and their chapter advisor – of lying. But anyone familiar with UNCW knows we are all telling the truth and, as usual, the administration is the party guilty of deception.
This kind of dishonesty among university administrators has become a serious problem. First, the university enacts speech codes, which clearly violate the First Amendment. Second, the university selectively enforces the codes in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Finally, they top it all off by lying to the public and falsely accusing their students and faculty of lying.
This simply cannot continue. And today I plan to do something about it by exposing the university administration for both unconstitutional activity and blatant dishonesty. Relying upon NCGS 132 – the public records law of North Carolina – I am asking all of my readers who were misled by the university to send the following letter to the provided address:
Vice Chancellor Pat Leonard
Wilmington, NC, 28403
Vice Chancellor Leonard:
Pursuant to NCGS 132, I am requesting all correspondence between officials at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) and Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity (SAE) as it relates to their alleged suspension – for whatever reason – from participation in intramural activities for the remainder of the 2008-09 academic year.
I am also seeking copies of all relevant university policies upon which any disciplinary action was based. This request is directed towards, but not limited to, any university speech codes or any broader codes directed towards student speech and/or conduct.
Furthermore, I am requesting any correspondence between the Kappa Alpha fraternity and officials of UNC-Wilmington as it relates to the alleged suspension of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Finally, I am seeking all correspondence including, but not limited to emails and other memoranda, used by university personnel during its preparation of the form denial of Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s suspension.
I thank you in advance for your cooperation.
DrAdams.org (substitute reader name)
PO Box 319 (substitute reader address)
Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480
I expect the results of this public records request to reveal three things: 1) SAE was, in fact, suspended from participation in intramurals for the rest of the academic year, 2) the suspension was a result of their brief display of a banner with a Confederate Flag, and 3) the university attempted to cover up the unconstitutional suspension by fabricating alternative reasons for the SAE suspension.
If I am wrong about any of my predictions, I will offer a public apology to the university. If not, I will offer a list of “suggested firings” within the UNC-Wilmington administration.
Posted by iusbvision on December 29, 2008
Well the first impeachment hearing has begun in the Illinois State House and with ethical rigor that rival’s soviet standards of justice, the leadership of the Democratic Party have denied Governor Blagojevich the right to have witnesses in his defense.
If the shoe were on the other foot and it was Republicans impeaching a Democrat they would be crying about due process. The media would be having a field day about what fascists the Republicans are and how your due process are next “because that is just how Republicans are” etc. In the face of Blegojevich’s basic due process rights being violated to help other Democrats, the word from the elite media now is silence.
Don’t get me wrong, any politician from the “Chicago Democratic Machine” is going to be tainted with corruption, if not full blown political scum, but even scum deserve proper due process. This just goes to show how basic rights don’t mean crap to those in the Democratic Party leadership when it comes to preserving their power. All of you secular leftists at school who lie to yourselves and others by calling each other “liberals” should try to justify this in the comments section below. I am dying to see what excuse you come up with to justify this.
Has it gotten to the point where basic due process rights have to be written into the Constitution itself and into the constitutions of the several states because those in power like to make it up as they go for their own convenience and situational ethics?
Illinois House committee agrees to U.S. attorney’s request; criminal case was called at risk
By Rick Pearson | Tribune reporter
December 28, 2008
Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s attorney will not get to call key aides of President-elect Barack Obama to testify at impeachment hearings after U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald told an Illinois House panel doing so would “significantly compromise” his ongoing criminal investigation of the governor.
The chairman of the House impeachment committee, state Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), will respect Fitzgerald’s request and not issue the subpoenas for incoming White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and close Obama friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett, panel spokesman Steve Brown said Saturday. Ed Genson, Blagojevich’s attorney, sought their testimony before the impeachment panel.
Don’t let the “it may compromise a criminal probe” excuse fool you. If it suited the political leadership they would tell Fitzgerald to cram it and subpoena them anyway, but for the sake of argument, let’s say that the Illinois House really was interested in preserving the criminal probe (that has already been tainted by a corrupt and self serving US Attorney who is leading the probe). In order to preserve the due process rights of the accused you delay the impeachment hearing, or you let the accused have his witnesses, but you do not violate the rights of the accused. Without those witnesses any impeachment hearing is a sham.
Government Gone Wild: Oregon Wants to GPS Your Car and Tax You by the Mile – Houston Engaging in Eminent Domain Abuse to Aid Political Donors – UPDATE – STATE OF OREGON RESPONDS!
Posted by iusbvision on December 29, 2008
Track your every move…
Albany Democrat-Herald excerpt:
A year ago, the Oregon Department of Transportation announced it had demonstrated that a new way to pay for roads — via a mileage tax and satellite technology — could work.
Now Gov. Ted Kulongoski says he’d like the legislature to take the next step.
As part of a transportation-related bill he has filed for the 2009 legislative session, the governor says he plans to recommend “a path to transition away from the gas tax as the central funding source for transportation.”
What that means is explained on the governor’s website:
“As Oregonians drive less and demand more fuel-efficient vehicles, it is increasingly important that the state find a new way, other than the gas tax, to finance our transportation system.”
A GPS-based system kept track of the in-state mileage driven by the volunteers.
The first few paragraphs in the story imply that the mileage tax will be used to replace the gas tax – but here is the last line of the story:
The gas tax would stay in force — Kulongoski has proposed that it be raised 2 cents — for vehicles not equipped to pay the mileage tax.
So they want to raid the gas tax too. Ok can I see a show of hands here, who really believes that such a system would never be used to track citizens, compromise their privacy or be abused? Ok I see that the only people raising their hands are the exact same idiots who want nationalized health care. Since your trust in government is so unshakable let’s move on to Houston.
When finished, the .09-acre patch of land near the Galleria will be the city’s smallest park. Too small even for a basketball court, Post Oak Lane Park might be big enough for a game of horseshoes, a few benches and greenery.
Using its power of eminent domain, the city of Houston seized the land for the park from brothers James and Jock Collins last year. Officials claimed there was a “public necessity” for the park in the Uptown area, despite the fact that a much larger one — the 4.7-acre Grady Park — is just two blocks away.
What will the new “pocket park” be used for? That’s hard to say. The city has yet to draw up any plans for the land at the corner of Post Oak Lane and San Felipe. In fact, city parks director Joe Turner testified in a sworn deposition last month that his department did not come up with the idea for the park and that he opposed using condemnation powers for its creation.
What the park will provide is a landscaped gateway to an upscale development planned next door, called BLVD Place.
Mayor Bill White and council members insist they condemned the land last year as a matter of good faith to taxpayers. The city needed some of the land to widen San Felipe and will turn the rest into the park.
But documents obtained by the Houston Chronicle show the move also helped BLVD Place developer Ed Wulfe, a major donor to White, seal the deal on a $12.5 million land sale related to his ambitious mixed-use development.
It gets better:
Ed Wulfe has given White $10,000 in campaign contributions since 2005, while Hanover executives have donated at least $21,000 to the mayor. Councilman Brown, whose wife is an investor in the BLVD Place development, received at least $3,500 from Wulfe and $6,500 from Hanover executives during the same period.
Brown did not recuse himself from the condemnation vote; he voted for it. Councilwoman Pam Holm, who documents show was intimately involved in the decision to seize the land, has received $2,000 from Wulfe and $10,000 from Hanover employees.
The Chronicle comments:
Councilman Peter Brown’s vote to condemn the land next to BLVD Place is the kind of action the state’s conflict-of-interest rules were meant to prevent.
Brown is married to oil-services heiress Anne Schlumberger, who is an investor in BLVD Place. Under Texas conflict-of-interest law, a public official should recuse himself from a vote involving a property if he, his spouse or close relative has a “substantial interest,” valued at more than a $2,500.
Both the corrupt Mayor and members of the city council are using legal means in an attempt to resist deposition by the eminent domain abuse victim’s attorneys. Obviously going under oath and repeating their lies could have consequences, just as reversing themselves under oath would.
UPDATE: Betsy Imholt, who runs the “GPS in your car to tax you more program” in Oregon has left a comment which I have responded to.
I’m the administrator for the Road User Fee Pilot Program at ODOT. I understand that there is concern over Oregon’s interest in a mileage fee. However, there is a few things I would like to explain.
Oregon is preparing to replace the gas tax when it no longer will be a adequate revenue source to fund our roads. Cars will be on the market next year that will get over 100 miles per gallon. This is great news for the environment but problematic for road funding. Knowing this problem is coming, Oregon has led the nation in developing possible solutions. Charging by the mile rather than by the gallon is one possible solution.
With that said, Oregon has worked through the details of developing a mileage fee system over the last seven years at the direction of the Road User Fee Task Force. Like you, the Task Force shared many of your concerns which we have addressed though our work as described below.
Privacy. ODOT was directed by the task force to protect the privacy of Oregonians while developing the mileage fee system. The mileage counting device that was designed for the study receives a GPS signal (much like a television or radio receives signals) to locate itself but does not transmit a signal. Therefore, there is no ability for anyone’s car to be tracked. The mileage counter tallies miles driven within Oregon and does not create a travel history. A mileage fee could be charged without the use of GPS but the downside would be that Oregonians would be charged for miles driven out of state, something the task force wanted to avoid.
No retrofitting. ODOT’s mileage fee concept does not include installing any devices in existing cars. Instead we propose that auto companies equip the vehicles at manufacturing much like they already do with other government mandated standards like seat belts and emission controls.
Fairness. Some people assume all vehicles will pay the same mileage fee rate and this would be unfair to drivers of fuel efficient vehicles. This may not be true because the rates and structure have yet to be decided. A flat rate of one cent per mile was used for the pilot study however the rate could differ for different types of vehicles.
Rural motorists. Rural motorists could gain under a mileage fee proposal depending on how it is structured. Because we know that rural Oregonians drive larger, less fuel efficient vehicles, they are already paying more in gas taxes for driving the same miles than their urban counterparts. If the mileage fee was a flat rate, like one cent per mile like in the pilot test, rural drivers would actually pas LESS.
More info (reports, videos, etc) can be found at: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/RUFPP/mileage.shtml
Here is our response…
I appreciate you writing but the problem with the program is a fundamental issue of trust and common sense and it is of little surprise to me that a bureaucrat like yourself just doesn’t get it.
People who have lost their jobs drive less; others are driving more fuel efficient cars to use less gas for economic as well as national security reasons as everyone has been talking about. So now that people are conserving more here comes the bureaucrat to punish them for it.
Everyone is getting by with less…. well not everyone… everyone except you. Here is a novel idea Betsy, everyone is getting by with less, so government should too.
Also with all due respect, you claim that Oregon wants to “REPLACE” the gas tax with this new system. Since when does government repeal taxes and government programs?? It doesn’t. If you expect people to sit here and actually believe that the gas tax would be repealed as you imply, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you. Your own governor said that he wants this program and wants to raise the gas tax on top of it.
It is also amusing, by your own admission, that the state does not want to pay for these GPS devices, but that car buyers have to pay for them because the state will mandate that they be put in the vehicles; so that is another tax, and as if cars were not expensive enough already.
Here is a lesson in economics 101; when the economy is bad it is a result of a loss of liquidity among the public and a loss of confidence. Raising taxes lowers BOTH.
There are also privacy issues and the idea of “big brother”. Bureaucrats are famous for making sure that they are not held accountable for when things go wrong. Betsy, would you be willing to accept a provision in the law that would mandate 20 years in prison without possibility of parole, for you and your staff if these devices are ever used to track someone’s whereabouts. You won’t do it because if one thing is always consistent, it is that government breaks any and all promises when it comes to limiting its own power and influence.
Betsy, you and your staff are paid to sell this program, and if it is stopped you are either out of a job or looking for a new one. There is no reason to believe that your view is objective or in the least bit credible and there is every reason and incentive to believe that your views are entirely self serving at the expense of the people of Oregon and the nation.
If the State of Oregon would like to save some money, may I suggest certain personnel reductions? – Editor
Posted by iusbvision on December 29, 2008
No bias here – we are all totally objective and straight at Reuters….. (hat tip Hotair.com)
The president-elect, looking uber-cool with his White Sox baseball cap on backwards, flipped the shaka to a crowd of about 30 people as he left a gym on a Marine Corps base on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, where he is vacationing.
Posted by iusbvision on December 29, 2008
Watch this video: