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The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for December 17th, 2010

Hugo Chavez’ Party Gives ‘Order by Decree’

Posted by iusbvision on December 17, 2010

OK all of you leftist students and professors who defended this guy; those of you who denied the killings, the suppression of freedom of speech, the opposition people who suddenly vanish…

Let’s see you deny this.

 

Reuters:

CARACAS, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Venezuela’s parliament gave President Hugo Chavez decree powers for 18 months on Friday, outraging opposition parties that accused him of turning South America’s biggest oil producer into a dictatorship. [Who want’s to bet that this will never be undone – Editor]

The move consolidated the firebrand socialist leader’s hold on power after nearly 12 years in office, and raised the prospect of a fresh wave of nationalizations as the former paratrooper seeks to entrench his self-styled “revolution.”

Chavez had asked for the fast-track powers for one year, saying he needed them to deal with a national emergency caused by floods that drove nearly 140,000 people from their homes. [Oh yes there is always a crisis that leads to these things isn’t there – Editor]

But the Assembly, which is dominated by loyalists from his Socialist Party, decided to extend them for a year and a half.

That means the president can rule by decree until mid-2012, and can keep opposition parties out of the legislative process until his re-election campaign is well under way for Venezuela’s next presidential vote in December of that year. [Who want to bet that there will either be no election, or this will be the last one, or that the opposition gets “vanished” to the point where the election is pointless – Editor]

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Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Leftist Hate in Action | Leave a Comment »

Palin to Senate: Vote NO on START

Posted by iusbvision on December 17, 2010

I really do not care what you may think of Sarah Palin at this moment because this is an issue that every good American can get behind. The latest START Treaty gives away the farm and was very poorly negotiated to put it mildly.

I am aware that a long time ago Democrats opposed missile defense because it was Ronald Reagan’s idea but it is time to get over it. The way nuclear and ICBM technical proliferation has spread around the world the United States and our closest allies need missile defense. I would like one leftist to explain to us how being vulnerable and letting yourself get blown up is some kind of virtue.

The Governor is spot on with these critiques of the START Treaty.

Palin in National Review:

The proposed New START agreement should be evaluated by the only criteria that matters for a treaty: Is it in America’s interest?  I am convinced this treaty is not.  It should not be rammed through in the lame duck session using behind the scenes deal-making reminiscent of the tactics used in the health care debate.

New START actually requires the U.S. to reduce our nuclear weapons and allows the Russians to increase theirs.  This is one-sided and makes no strategic sense.  New START’s verification regime is weaker than the treaty it replaces, making it harder for us to detect Russian cheating.  Since we now know Russia has not complied with many arms control agreements currently in force, this is a serious matter.

New START recognizes a link between offensive and defensive weapons – a position the Russians have sought for years.  Russia claims the treaty constrains U.S. missile defenses and that they will withdraw from the treaty if we pursue missile defenses.  This linkage virtually guarantees that either we limit our missile defenses or the Russians will withdraw from the treaty.  The Obama administration claims that this is not the case; but if that is true, why agree to linking offensive and defensive weapons in the treaty?  At the height of the Cold War, President Reagan pursued missile defense while also pursuing verifiable arms control with the then-Soviet Union.  That position was right in the 1980’s, and it is still right today.  We cannot and must not give up the right to missile defense to protect our population – whether the missiles that threaten us come from Russia, Iran, China, North Korea, or anywhere else. I fought the Obama administration’s plans to cut funds for missile defense in Alaska while I was Governor, and I will continue to speak out for missile defenses that will protect our people and our allies.

There are many other problems with the treaty, including the limitation on the U.S. ability to convert nuclear systems to conventional systems and the lack of restriction on Russian sea launched cruise missiles.  In addition, the recent reports that Russia moved tactical nuclear weapons (which are not covered by New START) closer to our NATO allies, demonstrate that the Obama administration has failed to convince Russia to act in a manner that does not threaten our allies.

If I had a vote, I would oppose this deeply flawed treaty submitted to the Senate. Just because we were out-negotiated by the Russians that doesn’t mean we have to say yes to this. New START’s flaws have to be addressed in the form of changes to the treaty language that, at a minimum, completely de-link missile defense from offensive arms reductions.  Other issues would have to be addressed in the ratification process.  If this does not happen either now or next year, Senate Republicans, vote no!

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration, Palin Truth Squad, Russia | 1 Comment »

Gallup: Number of people insured by their employer down 5.2%. Number insured by taxpayers up 3.5%

Posted by iusbvision on December 17, 2010

They told us that we would not lose our health insurance and that the cost of insurance is going down. We know as we have covered in our ObamaCare Round-Up posts of elite media coverage that neither is the case. Premiums are rising, companies are dumping their insurance plans, insurers are getting out of some markets and prices have gone up quickly with those who had to do so stating clearly that the new legislation is to blame.

Now we are seeing the effects of big government economics in the aggregate. Prices up and wealth being destroyed so employers and people cannot afford it. Unemployment, uncertainty, debt crisis, monetizing, the cap & trade threat, and ObamaCare all add up.

Gallup:

In U.S., New Low of 44.8% Get Healthcare From Employer

Government healthcare up, employer-based care down in 2010 vs. 2009

by Elizabeth Mendes

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new low of 44.8% of American adults report getting their health insurance through an employer in November, down from 50% in January 2008, when Gallup began tracking it. The percentage of Americans with government-based healthcare remains elevated, with the 26% who report having it last month similar to the high of 26.3% found in September.

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Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Health Law, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 1 Comment »

University Rejects Overwhelmingly Qualified Professor Because he is Christian – UPDATE University pays $125,000 damages

Posted by iusbvision on December 17, 2010

 

UPDATE – University of Kentucky settles for $125,000. Prof. Gaskell was represented by the ACLJ.

University of Kentucky was wise to settle this early as they had no chance of victory. Considering the progress FIRE has been making in the courts to strip administrators of immunity soon we will see not the taxpayers paying these damages, but administrators who foolishly break the law.

 

The University of Kentucky … KENTUCKY folks… This is smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt. People of Kentucky are you going to tolerate this? Call your legislator today.

Their own university emails show it all. In spite of the fact that one member of the search committee said he was “breathtakingly above the other applicants.”

More censorship form the progressive secular left…… what a surprise…

Associated Press:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — An astronomer argues that his Christian faith and his peers’ belief that he is an evolution skeptic kept him from getting a prestigious job as the director of a new student observatory at the University of Kentucky.

Martin Gaskell quickly rose to the top of a list of applicants being considered by the university’s search committee. One member said he was “breathtakingly above the other applicants.”

Others openly worried his Christian faith could conflict with his duties as a scientist, calling him “something close to a creationist” and “potentially evangelical.”

Even though Gaskell says he is not a creationist, he claims he was passed over for the job at UK’s MacAdam Student Observatory three years ago because of his religion and statements that were perceived to be critical of the theory of evolution. [But wait, isn’t it a scientists job to be skeptical of every theory? That is what I have been taught in science classes – IUSB Vision Editor]

Gaskell has sued the university, claiming lost income and emotional distress. Last month a judge rejected a motion from the university and allowed it to go to trial Feb. 8.

“There is no dispute that based on his application, Gaskell was a leading candidate for the position,” U.S. District Judge Karl S. Forester wrote in the ruling.

Gaskell later learned that professors had discussed his purported religious views during the search process. Gaskell told the AP in an e-mail that he didn’t grow frustrated, but felt “one should not allow universities to get away with religious discrimination.”

University scientists wondered to each other in internal e-mails if Gaskell’s faith would interfere with the job, which included public outreach, according to court records.

The topic became so heated behind the scenes that even university biologists, who believed Gaskell was a critic of evolution, weighed in by citing a controversial Bible-based museum in Kentucky that had just opened.

“We might as well have the Creation Museum set up an outreach office in biology,” biology professor James Krupa wrote to a colleague in an October 2007 e-mail. The museum was making national headlines at the time for exhibits that assert the literal truth of the Bible’s creation story. [It is this evidence that is going to sink them, even if the local district judge rules against Gaskell, the university is almost certain to lose on appeal.  – Editor]

Science professors cited a lecture Gaskell has given called “Modern Astronomy, the Bible and Creation,“ which he developed for ”Christians and others interested in Bible and science questions…,” according to an outline of the lecture. Gaskell told the AP he was invited to give the lecture at UK in 1997, and organizers had read his notes.

The wide-ranging lecture outlines historical scientific figures who discuss God and interpretations of the creation story in the biblical chapter Genesis. Also in the notes, Gaskell mentions evolution, saying the theory has “significant scientific problems” and includes “unwarranted atheistic assumptions and extrapolations,” according to court records.

Gaskell was briefly asked about the lecture during his job interview in 2007 with the chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Michael Cavagnero, according to Gaskell’s deposition. Gaskell said he felt that questions related to religion during the job interview were “inappropriate.”

“I think that if I had a document like this and I was advocating atheism … I don’t think it would be an issue,” he said of his lecture.

Science professors also expressed concern that hiring Gaskell would damage the university’s image.

An astrophysics professor, Moshe Elitzur, told Cavagnero that the hire would be a “huge public relations mistake,” according to an e-mail from Cavagnero in court records.

“Moshe predicts that he would not be here one month before the (Lexington) Herald-Leader headline would read: ‘UK hires creationist to direct new student observatory.’”

University spokesman Jay Blanton declined to comment Monday because the litigation is pending.

Gaskell said he is not a “creationist” and his views on evolution are in line with other biological scientists. In his lecture notes, Gaskell also distances himself from Christians who believe the earth is a few thousand years old, saying their assertions are based on “mostly very poor science.”

Gaskell’s lawsuit is indicative of an increasingly tense debate between religion and science on college campuses and elsewhere, said Steven K. Green, a law professor and director of the Center for Religion, Law & Democracy at Willamette University in Salem, Ore.

“I think it reflects a phenomenon that the sides in this debate are becoming more encamped, they’re hunkering down,” Green said. “Because certainly within the biology community and within the science community generally, they see the increasing attacks creationists are making as very threatening to their existence — and vice versa, to a certain extent.”

Gaskell was uniquely qualified for the new position at the University of Kentucky, according to court records, because he oversaw the design and construction of an observatory at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also advised UK during the building of the MacAdam facility. He currently teaches at the University of Texas.

His attorney, Frank Manion, said scientists at UK were too quick to place Gaskell on one side of the creation-evolution debate.

“Unfortunately too many people get hung up on the idea that you have to be one extreme or the other,” said Manion, who works for American Center for Law & Justice, which focuses on religious freedom cases. They say “you can’t be a religious believer and somebody who accepts evolution, which is clearly not true. And Gaskell’s a perfect example of that.”

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Culture War, Leftist Hate in Action | Leave a Comment »

The Sustainability Inquisition: The beginning of marxist litmus tests for professors.

Posted by iusbvision on December 17, 2010

Sustainability. It sounds like such a yummy word, such a responsible word. Doesn’t it?

Do not be fooled. Sustainability is a euphemism for leviathan government, eco-extremism, the consolidation of wealth and power to an elite few, and the central planning of not just our economy, but our communities as in where and how we live.

The more the planner’s plans fail the more the planners plan, so in reality these ideas are anything but sustainable.

Academics and administrators who push this nonsense are violating the most basic academic rules of conduct. The purpose of an education is to prepare people to think for themselves, not to indoctrinate them. Believe it or not academics there is a difference between a school and a political party. Consider this a friendly warning; if you keep going down the path you are going, which is making public education subversive, you are inviting legislation to fix these problems permanently. The American people are waking up and they have had just about enough of government’s nonsense and that very much includes your behavior. Straighten up or face legislation that will either mandate your curriculum for you or defund your institutions.

 

National Association of Scholars:

Do you teach sustainability? Do you research sustainability? Will you promote sustainability? Are you setting an example in sustainability? Give us details.

Rather intrusive questions like these are popping up in faculty surveys across the country. This week, two Argus volunteers—one on the East coast, one on the West—wrote to us after they were each startled by the bluntness of their universities’ inquiries.

Faculty members at San Diego State University recently received an email from Provost Nancy Marlin asking them to “take a few minutes to respond to San Diego State’s first survey on faculty teaching and research related to sustainability.”

The survey asks nine questions. The first is, “Do you teach sustainability focused courses?” Fine print under the question explains that these are “Courses in which the primary content focuses on the Environment, Social Justice, Economic Equality, Human Health; Resource Management; Environmental Ethics, Economics or Law; Sustainable Tourism Management, Conservation and/or Preservation, Land Use Planning and Development, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management.”

While such subjects as the environment, ecosystem management, conservation, and resource management make immediate sense as names for stewardship of the earth, a few aren’t so obvious. Social justice, economic equality, economics, and law don’t seem to be specifically “sustainability focused” or fit with the environmental theme.

That’s because there’s a lot more to sustainability than just the environment. For a great many of its proponents, the environment serves as a cover to smuggle in a host of other ideologies. As the University of Delaware framed it in its 2007 residence life materials, “sustainability is a viable conduit for citizenship education and the development of a particular values system.”

Part of that “particular values system,” we’ve found, is a proclivity to big government, economic redistribution, and politically correct preferences for certain identity groups. That’s how sustainability is able to include ideas such as social justice, economic equality, economics, and law. Indeed, the top of the survey says:

Sustainability curriculum and research activities are not limited to considerations of environmental impact of human development or climate change but include content on interrelated social, economic, ethical, and environment dimensions.

The tension between sustainability’s shared aims is commonly depicted in a Venn diagram, with three interlocking circles labeled “Environment,” “Economy,” and “Society.”
This intrusion into partisan politics and economics is what makes “sustainability” unfit to be “the foundation of all learning and practice in higher education,” as powerful advocacy groups such as Second Nature are trying to make it.

 

Second Question:

But let’s move on to the second, more important question: “Do you incorporate sustainability as a distinct course component or deal with a single sustainability issue in any of your courses that are not specifically sustainability focused? Please indicate how many courses you teach that have a sustainability related course component.

Selecting a number, 0-9, is the sole possible response here. Answering “no” isn’t an option—in fact, only four out of the nine questions have a “no” option.

This question is a net to catch all courses that aren’t explicitly sustainability focused (which are themselves quite widely defined). The implication is that there is no course that sustainability can’t touch, no subject too self-contained for sustainability to be squeezed in.

There’s where that phrase “the foundation of all learning and practice in higher education” comes in. Sustainability, say its advocates, should be the primary goal of academic learning. Not only if you’re studying to be an environmental engineer—or even an economist or lawyer—but also if you want to be a nurse, a mathematician, or a philosopher. Like diversity, sustainability doesn’t stop with administrators but turns a greedy eye toward the curriculum. And it won’t be content with just some of it.

 

Third Question:

The third question presses for specifics: “How do you incorporate sustainability into your courses that are not sustainability focused? Check all that apply:”

 

Followup  Question:

A follow-up question to this one is intended to gauge faculty members’ commitment levels: “Would you be willing to integrate (or integrate more thoroughly) sustainability concepts in the courses you teach that are not sustainability focus [sic]? This may be phrased as a question, but its message is loud and clear. Essentially it means, “Get on board with our agenda.”

“No, it does not relate to my subject,” and “No, I am not interested in sustainability” are in the drop-down menu as options. It would be interesting to know how respondents who select these answers will be marked in the university’s records. Will they be asked or given incentives to reconsider?

 

Fourth Question:

Conforming Students to the New Ethics.

The answer set for the fourth question is where things really get strange. Most courses are now required to announce in advance a list of student learning outcomes—things students should have mastered by the end of the semester. Student learning outcomes as a concept tends to encourage professors to come up with low aims and high-sounding words. Here are the ones SDSU wants to see, some of which sound as if they came from the educational jargon generator:
Do the courses you teach include any of the following student learning outcomes? Check all that apply:
  • Understand and be able to effectively communicate the concept of sustainability
  • Develop and use an ethical perspective in which students view themselves as embedded in the fabric of an interconnected world
  • Become aware of and explore the connections between their chosen course of study and sustainability
  • Develop technical skills or expertise necessary to implement sustainable solutions
  • Understand the way in which sustainable thinking and decision-making contributes to the process of creating solutions for current and emerging social, environmental, and economic crises
  • Contribute practical solutions to real-world sustainability challenges
  • Synthesize understanding of social, economic, and environmental systems and reason holistically

“An ethical perspective”? We’ve seen sustainability’s strange, non-humanistic definitions of “ethics,” its stricter-than-Puritan moral codes, and its overtly religious nature. We’ve also seen that a nation’s manner of educating shapes the character of its people. So what character quality does sustainability ethics seek to instill in students? The ability to “view themselves as embedded in the fabric of an interconnected world.”
What does that even mean? It sounds more like burying your face in a planet-sized pillow than using “an ethical perspective.” The word perspective is also troublesome. Higher education’s role is not to tell students which perspectives they should adopt, but to give them the tools to develop their own.

 

There Is a Right Answer

In her email, Provost Marlin said that taking this survey is “critical” in order to “ensure that San Diego State is more competitive in many of the external ‘green’ ratings and rankings, which are increasingly important to students.” She does not point to any evidence that incorporating sustainability into more of the curriculum will give students a better education or give faculty members a deeper knowledge of their disciplines. The rationale, instead, is to do something that students think is important. This seems on plane with parents who appease their children by giving them whatever they want. Is that wise? Is it good for students in the long run?

SDSU’s choice to conduct this kind of assessment has some serious implications. Such a survey has the weight of institutional authority behind it. If you’re a faculty member and receive Provost Marlin’s email, you’re going to feel obliged to answer a certain way, and to indicate some eagerness to get on the bandwagon. Again, while there aren’t known incentives or consequences for answering one way or the other, this one-track survey says clearly, “Follow the pattern we laid out for you.”

This pressure means that many professors will exaggerate their interest in sustainability, which likely means the university will brag about its high faculty involvement rate. Green ratings will soar and outsiders (including prospective students) will get the “right” picture.

As of today, hundreds of college and university presidents have vowed to make sustainability “part of the curriculum for all students.” The president of Unity College declared, “It has to be ubiquitous, it has to be done by everyone, it has to be part of the whole infrastructure.” Colleges and universities are on the verge of a major overhaul of higher education to refit it around sustainability. Questions such as, “How do you incorporate sustainability courses?” are only the beginning.

Posted in 2012, Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Culture War, Economics 101 | Leave a Comment »

ACORN supervisor convicted for election fraud

Posted by iusbvision on December 17, 2010

May there be more to come.

Examiner:

A supervisor for the now defunct political advocacy group the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, has entered into a plea bargain with prosecutors in a case alleging that canvassers were illegally paid to register Nevada voters during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Amy Busefink, 28, pleaded no-contest in state court to two misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit the crime of compensation for registration of voters. Her nolo contendere plea acknowledged the state had sufficient evidence for a conviction if the case went to trial.

Busefink is expected to get a slap on the wrist, according to critics of ACORN, with only one year of probation, a $1,000 fine and 100 hours of community service probable.

Last month, House Republican Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri applauded reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had opened a criminal investigation into whether the left-wing advocacy group ACORN has violated federal election law by fostering and promoting a national program of voter registration fraud.

The Associated Press reported at the time that “the FBI is actively pursuing leads in the investigation of ACORN. Word of the investigation comes less than a week after Blunt joined Reps. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Tom Cole (R-Okla.), and Lamar Smith (R-Texas) in sending a letter to the Department of Justice urging it to act.”

Blunt, a former secretary of state in Missouri, joined other House leaders in urging the Bureau to “take all active and appropriate measures” to ensure the civil rights of legitimate voting Americans aren’t diluted by systemic voter fraud.

 

 

Posted in Campaign 2008, Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild, Vote Fraud | 1 Comment »

Top Ten Most Gerrymandered Congressional Districts in the United States

Posted by iusbvision on December 17, 2010

Pajamas Media has a fabulous post about the 10 most gerrymandered districts in the country. For those of you who do not know what gerrymandering is, it is the drawing of districts in long snake like scribbles in order to generate a politically motivated outcome.

Here in Indiana, the Democrats twisted out a portion of Elkhart county like a long snake for the express purpose of drawing our Congressman Chris Chocola out of the district.

Go HERE to see the material and wow is it educational. It goes to show just how far government will go to manipulate and thwart the votes of some to amplify the votes of others.

 

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild, Post 2010, Vote Fraud | Leave a Comment »

Churchill Warned us About the American Left

Posted by iusbvision on December 17, 2010

This is a great read especially for students. This is an example of what you are deliberately not taught in school.

Via Julia Shaw at the Heritage Foundation:

One hundred and thirty six years ago this week, Winston Churchill—arguably the leading statesman of the twentieth century—was born. The son of a British father and an American mother, Churchill is often remembered for his formidable oratory skills and his love of fine cigars. Yet Churchill was also a great friend to America whose warnings about the empty promises of the nascent welfare state have come to fruition.

A great admirer of America, Churchill especially praised our founding document: “The Declaration is not only an American document. It follows on the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights as the third great title deed on which the liberties of the English-speaking peoples are founded.”  Though Britain and America were two separate nations with different forms of governments, they were united in principle: “I believe that our differences are more apparent than real, and are the result of geographical and other physical conditions rather than any true division of principle.” As Justin Lyons explains in “Winston Churchill’s Constitutionalism: A Critique of Socialism in America,” Churchill’s ideas about individual liberty, constitutionalism, and limited government “stemmed from his explicit agreement with the crucial statements of these principles by the American Founders.”

When Churchill saw America’s principles of liberty, constitutionalism, and limited government, threatened with the rise of the welfare state, he admonished America to resist this soft despotism. In “Roosevelt from Afar,” Churchill admits that the American economy was suffering when FDR took office, but FDR used this crisis as an opportunity to centralize his political authority [Sound familiar? LINK – IUSB Vision Editor] rather than to bolster the free market through decentralized alternatives. Churchill commends Roosevelt’s desire to improve the economic well-being for poorer Americans [FDR’s New Deal never got non-farm unemployment below 20%. What it accomplished was a great expansion of government power, prolonged misery for the American people, and a supreme court that abandoned the idea of limited government after the court stacking threat. – IUSB Vision Editor], but he critiques Roosevelt’s policies toward trade unionism and attacks on wealthy Americans as harmful to the free enterprise system. Drawing on Britain’s experience with trade unions, Churchill understood that unions can cripple an economy: “when one sees an attempt made within the space of a few months to lift American trade unionism by great heaves and bounds [to equal that of Great Britain],” one worries that result could be “a general crippling of that enterprise and flexibility upon which not only the wealth, but the happiness of modern communities depends.” Similarly, redistribution of wealth through penalties on the rich harms the economy: “far from depriving ordinary people of their earnings, [the millionaire] launches enterprise and carries it through, raises values, and he expands that credit without which on a vast scale no fuller economic life can be opened to the millions. To hunt wealth is not to capture commonwealth.” Ultimately, attacks on the wealthy only serve as a distraction from other economic issues.

We can readily recall Churchill’s foresight in foreign affairs—his warnings about appeasing Hitler and the rise of the Soviet Union—but we forget his warnings about America’s welfare state. Unlike the progressives in America and abroad, Churchill recognized that tyranny is still possible—even with a well-intentioned welfare state. Political change does not necessarily mean change for the better.  Throughout the nineteenth century, political progress was assumed to be boundless and perpetual. After “terrible wars shattering great empires, laying nations low, sweeping away old institutions and ideas with a scourge of molten steel,” it became evident that the twentieth century would not live up to the nineteenth century’s promise of progress. Democratic regimes—even in America—would not be immune from destruction and degradation.

Years later, Churchill’s warnings about trade unionism and redistribution have proven accurate. Though our current economic situation seems bleak, we must also remember (as Churchill reminds us) that politics is not a mere victim of history. Just as progress is not inevitable in politics, neither is decline. Isn’t it time we looked to our old friend Winston Churchill?

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Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Culture War | Leave a Comment »

Democrats Drop 2000 Page 1.1 Trillion Spending Bill in Hopper at Last Minute – UPDATE – Democrats pull bill from floor after outrage

Posted by iusbvision on December 17, 2010

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell –

Cavuto – Here we go again ….

BY THE NUMBERS: DEMS’ LAST-MINUTE, $1.1 TRILLION SPENDING BILL CONTINUES WASHINGTON’S JOB-KILLING SPENDING BINGE
GOP URGES PRESIDENT OBAMA TO VETO RECKLESS SPENDING BILL, REAFFIRMS PLEDGE TO IMMEDIATELY CUT SPENDING IN JANUARY
December 15, 2010 | House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) | Permalink
 

While millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet this holiday season, Senate Democrats proved just how out-of-touch they are yesterday by unveiling a $1.1 trillion-dollar spending bill loaded with thousands of earmarks costing billions of taxpayer dollars.   Democrats are hoping to ram the bill through Congress this week, seeing it as “their last chance at delivering pork before serious fiscal belt tightening begins next year.”  This latest 1,924-page spending monstrosity is nothing less than an insult to the American people who have been pleading with Democrats inWashington to stop their job-killing out-of-control spending spree and focus on creating jobs.

With the unemployment rate near 10 percent and the national debt climbing by the day, it is clear that America’s economy cannot afford for Democrats’ reckless spending binge to continue.  Here is a by-the-numbers look at how Democrats’ latest spending spree will add to their already-extensive record of fiscal failure:

  • 6,600: Total number of earmarks in the Senate Democrats’ pork-laden omnibus spending bill. (The Hill, 12/14/10)
  • 1,924: Number of pages in the Senate Democrats’ pork-laden omnibus spending bill.  (The Washington Post, 12/15/10)
  • $575.13 Million: Amount of spending per page in the Senate Democrats’ pork-laden omnibus spending bill. (The Washington Times, 12/14/10)
  • $78 Billion: Amount of taxpayer money that would be saved if Congress would adopt the Republicans’ plan to cut spending back to pre-‘stimulus,’ pre-bailout levels as outlined in the Pledge to America. (Pledge to America, Accessed 12/15/10)
  • $1 Billion: Funding included in the omnibus bill for the implementation of Democrats’ job-killing health care law, including $176 million to implement Medicare Advantage cuts.  (The Hill, 12/14/10)
  • 20,785: Number of earmarks President Obama signed into law his first two years in office.  (Taxpayers for Common Sense, 2/17/10)
  • 84 Percent: Increase in non-defense discretionary government spending since President Obama took office. (House Budget Republicans, 6/4/10)
  • 0: Number of budgets passed by Democrats this year.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Energy & Taxes, Government Gone Wild, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration, Post 2010 | Leave a Comment »

Bill O’Reilly Interviews Sarah Palin

Posted by iusbvision on December 17, 2010

Great interview of Governor Palin; fun and informative.

For those of you who do not know, TLC had the Gosselin clan come to Alaska to go roughing it with the Palin clan. Kate didn’t handle it so well to put it mildly although the kids seemed to have a great time. It was not the most presidential moment so I am not sure I would have advised the Palin’s to take that risk. With that said the Palin’s despise elitist haughty attitudes and the segment demonstrated that. It also demonstrated that Alaska is called the last frontier for a reason. It is not for the timid.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Culture War, Palin Truth Squad | Leave a Comment »

Sixth Circuit Court: E-Mail Protected by the Fourth Amendment Warrant Requirement

Posted by iusbvision on December 17, 2010

It is about time. When I took constitutional law with Judge Sharp and communications law with Dr. Obata I had always lamented the courts unwillingness to do right by the spirit of the 4th Amendment and apply it to new technology. Email, third party databases like credit cards, all of it where the average citizen expects privacy, should be included as “reasonable” in my view, and in the view of almost any voter you would ask. I am from the school that popular sovereignty still counts for something.

Recently the Sixth Circuit Court did right by the Constitution and the people by doing what is clearly common sense. They told the government that if they wish to snoop in personal email they will have to show cause to a judge under oath and get a warrant. [Note – Your work email account doesn’t count and shouldn’t.]

Prof. Orin Kerr posted a nice ditty about this ruling:

In the last three years, three federal circuits have published opinions on whether the Fourth Amendment applies to e-mail (dividing 2–1). In all three cases, the initial panel opinions were withdrawn or overturned on other grounds, leaving the issue surprisingly unsettled. This morning, the Sixth Circuit handed down an opinion by Judge Boggs that addresses the question directly and concludes that the Fourth Amendment protects e-mail held by an ISP with a full warrant requirement. The case is United States v. Warshak, a criminal appeal following conviction involving the same set of facts that were the subject of one of the earlier circuit court cases later overturned en banc. I expect today’s decision to stick around: Because the Court concluded that the good-faith exception applied in light of the government’s reliance on the Stored Communications Act, the court affirmed the conviction, meaning that only Warshak can seek review at this point (and further review seems unlikely). Here’s the key passage:

Email is the technological scion of tangible mail, and it plays an indispensable part in the Information Age. Over the last decade, email has become “so pervasive that some persons may consider [it] to be [an] essential means or necessary instrument[] for self-expression, even self-identification.” Quon, 130 S. Ct. at 2630. It follows that email requires strong protection under the Fourth Amendment; otherwise, the Fourth Amendment would prove an ineffective guardian of private communication, an essential purpose it has long been recognized to serve. See U.S. Dist. Court, 407 U.S. at 313; United States v. Waller, 581 F.2d 585, 587 (6th Cir. 1978) (noting the Fourth Amendment’s role in protecting “private communications”). As some forms of communication begin to diminish, the Fourth Amendment must recognize and protect nascent ones that arise. See Warshak I, 490 F.3d at 473 (“It goes without saying that like the telephone earlier in our history, e-mail is an ever-increasing mode of private communication, and protecting shared communications through this medium is as important to Fourth Amendment principles today as protecting telephone conversations has been in the past.”).

If we accept that an email is analogous to a letter or a phone call, it is manifest that agents of the government cannot compel a commercial ISP to turn over the contents of an email without triggering the Fourth Amendment. An ISP is the intermediary that makes email communication possible. Emails must pass through an ISP’s servers to reach their intended recipient. Thus, the ISP is the functional equivalent of a post office or a telephone company. As we have discussed above, the police may not storm the post office and intercept a letter, and they are likewise forbidden from using the phone system to make a clandestine recording of a telephone call—unless they get a warrant, that is. See Jacobsen, 466 U.S. at 114; Katz, 389 U.S. at 353. It only stands to reason that, if government agents compel an ISP to surrender the contents of a subscriber’s emails, those agents have thereby conducted a Fourth Amendment search, which necessitates compliance with the warrant requirement absent some exception.

I think that is correct, for reasons I have explained before. Under the Court’s reasoning, then, 18 U.S.C. 2703(b) is unconstitutional at least in most applications– which, again, I think is correct. This is a very important opinion, and there’s a lot in there, but based on a first read it strikes me as quite persuasive and likely to be an influential decision going forward.

 

Indeed.

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