Justice For Darryl: Where Are The Race Mongers?

There were 1,009 people murdered in Florida last year. The young black man who was shot on Feb. 26, 2012, by a “white Hispanic” in the town of Sanford isn’t one of them. A jury decided that.

But if you are famous, or if you are employed within the 24-hour mainstream news juggernaut, the chances are strong you disagree with that jury’s decision — or at least you find it in your interest to say you do. Sensible people were sick of the unmerited attention the Florida case received the day it was reported outside local news. But those people are pretty inured to media’s aspirational attempt to set the tone for what’s worth talking about, and they’ve had their hearing aids switched off for a long time. Would that there were more of them, but the bell curve of human nature eternally says “no.”

People in this country are shot and killed every day, every hour. Close to three people were murdered in Florida every day in 2012. No one outside their sphere movement while they lived, along with a few cops and lawyers, will ever know or care who any of them were. It’s likely that most of those deaths were unjust. It’s possible that some of them were unjust manifestations of burgeoning racial hatred.

The media doesn’t care about the victims of crime. The elected class doesn’t care about the victims of crime. A great many cultural leaders and highly visible famous people don’t care. But they do care about manipulating outrage, because their authoritative voices in times of manufactured hardship help to consolidate their profit, their legal power and their brand recognition.

Contrived, emotionless proxy outrage makes power more powerful and, too often in America, makes profit more profitable. In America, political and cultural leaders don’t need smart followers anymore — in fact, they’re a liability. The leaders are preaching sermons in hoodies and pretending to fantasize on Twitter about violent karmic payback for the exonerated. Turn off your hearing aid.

So comes conservative-slant news agency Breitbart, which evidently went to some effort to locate a separate, recent American murder story in which the circumstances surrounding the victim’s death make his apotheosis a complete, airtight foil to counter that of the sainted Florida victim. Breitbart Editor-At-Large Ben Shapiro’s synopsis of the crime, as well the moral parallel he draws, are subtle like an anvil:

On Thursday, July 11, police discovered the rotting body of 17-year-old Darryl Green, a black child from the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Green’s body was found behind a boarded-up house in the 6500-block of South Damen, face down on basement stairs. The body was so badly decomposed that originally, local news reports suggested that he had died of blunt force trauma. On Friday, an autopsy showed he had been shot to death. Relatives reported that Green had refused to join a gang at school.

Meanwhile, members of the media including Reverend Al Sharpton and Reverend Jesse Jackson focused on the “not guilty” verdict in [the Florida case]. The only media outlets that have covered the murder of Darryl Green are The Chicago Sun-Times and ABC 7 Chicago. The New York Times’ Joe Nocera mentioned Green in passing in a blog post devoted to highlighting gun crimes across the country. President Obama has not commented on Green’s death. Neither have any other politicians, including local Congressmen Danny Davis and Bobby Rush, or Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Neither has anyone at MSNBC, CNN, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, The Washington Post, Associated Press, Reuters, or throughout the Hollywood community.

Swapping one red herring tragedy for its antithesis, Shapiro also set up the first #JusticeForDarryl message, which had been retweeted about 700 times Monday afternoon. As distasteful as it might be to co-opt a local tragedy — one of hundreds in Chicagoland — to prove a point, it’s a pretty powerful point. The whole kaboom over the death of one young man in Florida was never about principle. And that’s why Green’s death, which is the very definition of hatred running roughshod over principle, is likely to remain a local tragedy. It simply doesn’t fit a narrative anyone in the American exploitative class can use.

No Love Lost As Big Sis Heads For Big Sur

The Center for Security Policy (CSP), a self-described bipartisan nonprofit research and advocacy coalition, chided President Barack Obama in a press release Friday, calling on the White House to chart a different domestic security course than the one set by Janet Napolitano.

As Napolitano departs her cabinet position as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to head the University of California system, the CSP offered the President some advice: “[N]ominate a replacement for Napolitano that takes into account, especially, the failures of her counter-terror strategy.”

The CSP correctly notes that, under Obama, the DHS has actually subverted its stated mission of ferreting out terror threats fueled by Islamist extremism, preferring instead to neglect any investigation that might insinuate a link between a terror cell and Islam:

As Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano oversaw a hyper-partisan leveling of her department’s awareness of the domestic terrorist threats we face, scandalously equating Tea Party conservatives and returning veterans with Islamists intent on advancing shariah in this country.

Under her watch, DHS came in line with the Obama administration’s failed and highly ideological approach to counter-terrorism; its Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) strategy wiped clean any attempts to identify the enemy we face. The imperative of Napolitano’s CVE, in fact, was less to adequately prevent homegrown Islamist terror attacks but to prevent any association of terrorism with Islam, no matter the cost.

Replacing accurate analysis of Islamic jihad with the meaningless “violent extremism” was part of an administration-wide effort to understand and reflect the grievances of local Muslim communities. Community engagement became more important than counter-terror policing, as career subject matter experts who correctly identified the nexus between jihad and acts of terror were silenced and purged. With the makeup of Napolitano’s CVE Advisory Board — including a who’s-who of Muslim Brotherhood-linked individuals — this strategy is unsurprising.

The Department of Homeland Security was created in the wake of 9/11 to unify efforts to combat terrorism against Americans. The Center for Security Policy urges President Obama to nominate a replacement for Napolitano that takes into account, especially, the failures of her counter-terror strategy.

That’s a fine suggestion. Here’s another: Abolish the DHS (for starters).

Teamsters Union Balks On Obamacare

Teamsters Union president James Hoffa sent an open letter to President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi last week warning them that he’s all but decided to pull his support from the Affordable Care Act if it reneges on the President’s promise that workers happy with their present coverage could continue it once the law takes effect.

Saying Obamacare now threatens to “destroy”Americans’ health and fundamentally change the 40-hour work week, Hoffa’s letter bears the tone of an ultimatum. Here’s the letter in its entirety, printed in a July 12 story for The Wall Street Journal:

Dear Leader Reid and Leader Pelosi:

When you and the President sought our support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you pledged that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them. Sadly, that promise is under threat. Right now, unless you and the Obama Administration enact an equitable fix, the ACA will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.

Like millions of other Americans, our members are front-line workers in the American economy. We have been strong supporters of the notion that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care. We have also been strong supporters of you. In campaign after campaign we have put boots on the ground, gone door-to-door to get out the vote, run phone banks and raised money to secure this vision.

Now this vision has come back to haunt us.

Since the ACA was enacted, we have been bringing our deep concerns to the Administration, seeking reasonable regulatory interpretations to the statute that would help prevent the destruction of non-profit health plans. As you both know first-hand, our persuasive arguments have been disregarded and met with a stone wall by the White House and the pertinent agencies. This is especially stinging because other stakeholders have repeatedly received successful interpretations for their respective grievances. Most disconcerting of course is last week’s huge accommodation for the employer community—extending the statutorily mandated “December 31, 2013” deadline for the employer mandate and penalties.

Time is running out: Congress wrote this law; we voted for you. We have a problem; you need to fix it. The unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are already creating nightmare scenarios:

First, the law creates an incentive for employers to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week. Numerous employers have begun to cut workers’ hours to avoid this obligation, and many of them are doing so openly. The impact is two-fold: fewer hours means less pay while also losing our current health benefits.

Second, millions of Americans are covered by non-profit health insurance plans like the ones in which most of our members participate. These non-profit plans are governed jointly by unions and companies under the Taft-Hartley Act. Our health plans have been built over decades by working men and women. Under the ACA as interpreted by the Administration, our employees will treated differently and not be eligible for subsidies afforded other citizens. As such, many employees will be relegated to second-class status and shut out of the help the law offers to for-profit insurance plans.

And finally, even though non-profit plans like ours won’t receive the same subsidies as for-profit plans, they’ll be taxed to pay for those subsidies. Taken together, these restrictions will make non-profit plans like ours unsustainable, and will undermine the health-care market of viable alternatives to the big health insurance companies.

On behalf of the millions of working men and women we represent and the families they support, we can no longer stand silent in the face of elements of the Affordable Care Act that will destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans.

We believe that there are common-sense corrections that can be made within the existing statute that will allow our members to continue to keep their current health plans and benefits just as you and the President pledged. Unless changes are made, however, that promise is hollow.

We continue to stand behind real health care reform, but the law as it stands will hurt millions of Americans including the members of our respective unions.

We are looking to you to make sure these changes are made.

You know things have gotten bad for Obamacare when the unions – among the law’s most ardent supporters in the early sledding – are now jumping ship.

Is Government Laying The Groundwork For Propagandist State Media?

The law that has long kept government-supported media outlets – such as Voice of America and Radio Free Europe – from being broadcast here in the U.S. was repealed on July 2nd with President Barack Obama’s signing of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act.

In practical terms, that means that propagandist state media outlets ostensibly funded by taxpayers can now be aimed at the very taxpayers who’re funding them, right here in the U.S. Supporters of the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 – the embedded legislation that lifted the ban – say the change actually opens the government to greater scrutiny by sharing with all the Nation the propaganda it’s been piping over to Europe, the Middle East and everywhere else but here.

Lynne Weil, a spokesperson for the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors (that’s a government agency) said that Americans would now “be able to know more about what they are paying for with their tax dollars – greater transparency is a win-win for all involved.”

Benevolent, no doubt. But John Hudson of Foreign Policy magazine offers a nice reminder of just how inevitable abuse is for government to begin interjecting its own voice in an effort to subvert the domestic enemies of the ruling class or to sell policy with half-truths (or outright lies):

[I]f anyone needed a reminder of the dangers of domestic propaganda efforts, the past 12 months provided ample reasons. Last year, two USA Today journalists were ensnared in a propaganda campaign after reporting about millions of dollars in back taxes owed by the Pentagon’s top propaganda contractor in Afghanistan. Eventually, one of the co-owners of the firm confessed to creating phony websites and Twitter accounts to smear the journalists anonymously. Additionally, just this month, The Washington Post exposed a counter propaganda program by the Pentagon that recommended posting comments on a U.S. website run by a Somali expat with readers opposing [al-Quaeda group] Al-Shabaab.

 

Most Want Free Market, Not Regulations, To Dictate Healthcare Costs

A poll that sampled 1,000 Americans last week revealed that 62 percent don’t want healthcare prices set by government mandates or well-intentioned policies, and that the free market offers a better opportunity for striking a desirable balance between healthcare quality and healthcare costs.

That’s hardly a revelation. It’s just another dollop of evidence atop a mountain of studies and surveys, as well as editorials, talk-radio rants and millions of anecdotes (just about everyone, it seems, knows a local doctor who’s planning an early retirement to escape the imminent mess) that collectively demonstrate the confusion and destruction Obamacare is set to wreak not only on the quality and cost of healthcare, but on patient choice as well.

For all the injustice evident in our current, corrupt feedback loop of doctors, insurers and Big Pharma, there’s still a reason Americans don’t like socialized medicine. It limits quality of care, asks people who aren’t sick to pay for treating people who are and takes crucial liberties out of patients’ (and even doctors’) hands.

Look across the Atlantic, where a prominent member of the British Medical Association said the country’s debt-ridden National Health Service (NHS) is worse than “communist China” in leashing doctors and handing bureaucrats the decision-making control over operational policies that directly affect what diagnoses and treatments patients can receive.

The NHS system faces a shutdown of 20 hospitals throughout Britain as it struggles under a growing debt set to top $50 billion within the next decade. The impact of the financial crunch has meant three-month waits (often the difference between life and death) for cancer treatments and warnings that a present-day bailout of British healthcare would dwarf that of Cyprus — not of Cypriot hospitals, but the whole country.

Reading British healthcare officials’ comments is a depressingly Kafkaesque trudge through the lamentations of administrative bosses set within hierarchies pitched against one another in ridiculous power struggles, white noise about what a disservice everything is to the patients and vindictive glances to the past to assign blame along partisan lines. Kind of like watching C-SPAN when the U.S. Senate is in session. Expect the same sort of buzz to filter to these shores, for good, unless Obamacare is repealed.

James Clapper Lies to Congress; Congress Says ‘That’s Cool’

Back in March, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied when asked by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) whether the National Security Agency (NSA) was collecting “any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans” by saying, “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not willingly.”

That was before the NSA PRISM scandal broke and exposed the obvious lie.

Clapper spent the next couple of months getting beat up by mostly-conservative online media before issuing a ridiculous apology last week in which he claimed, when answering Wyden, he “simply didn’t think of” the Patriot Act and its broad authorizations (and expansions upon its original powers) that either permit or forgive almost any warrantless spying the Federal government undertakes.

But as the scandal has turned into a circus, it appears the threat of perjury some GOP Congressmen had rhetorically threatened has fallen by the wayside. Wyden and other members of the Senate Intelligence Committee appear to have taken the side of Big Brother in vilifying leaker Edward Snowden, while closing ranks in giving both Clapper and the NSA a pass.

Ben Shapiro of Breitbart wrote Friday:

 Both parties in Congress have declined to do anything about Clapper’s possible perjury. Sen. Wyden and Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) did not call for his removal; Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), and Reps. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-CA) have all declined to comment. “This administration views [NSA leaker Edward] Snowden as the problem, not Gen. Clapper,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

Spying on millions of Americans and lying about it to Congressional overseers? Hey, we’re all friends. Go home; relax.

Allegedly lying to Congress about getting an extra spring in your step while you played a silly children’s game with a bat and ball? Indictment.

 

Selling Public Office: Presidential Campaign Donors Rewarded With Posh Embassy Appointments

President Barack Obama’s penchant for appointing top campaign fundraisers to cherry positions inside luxe American embassies in the capitals of allied nations isn’t a new abuse of American Presidential power; it’s simply an expansion on a trend that’s begun to tick off our friends and frustrate advocates for reform here at home.

Nile Gardiner of Britain’s The Telegraph summed up the feeling in a column indicting the Obama Administration’s “selling of public office” Wednesday:

The Obama administration will claim this is no big deal. After all, previous US administrations, both Democrat and Republican, have also rewarded major donors with plum diplomatic posts.

But long-standing precedent doesn’t mean the practice of rewarding party fundraisers is in any way ethical or right, and it certainly doesn’t serve American interests.

The appointment of Matthew Barzun and other major fundraisers to key diplomatic posts is an insult to the American people, as well as an insult to the countries to which they are being sent.

Who’s Matthew Barzun? Well, for one thing, he’s not a diplomat; and he certainly lacks any connection to Britain. He’s a former Obama campaign finance chairman who helped the President raise $700 million for his re-election bid, including $2.3 million out of his own funds. That all happened after Obama had rewarded him for similar work in the 2008 race by appointing him as ambassador to Sweden, another honorific that placed Barzun at the front of a line of vastly more qualified career diplomats. Barzun’s nomination still must be confirmed by the Senate.

In all, Obama has sent 18 of his biggest fundraisers to American embassy posts since 2009. But his friends don’t end up in dangerous, destabilized places (like, say, Benghazi, Libya); they go to London, Paris and Rome.

For conservatives, lambasting Obama has become a straw man pastime; it’s too easy. But this sort of abuse of office has been slowly creeping into the culture of the American Presidency, and Obama is only building on a perverse tradition laid down by immediate predecessors hailing from both major parties.

According to the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), 89 of Obama’s 276 ambassador nominations — 32 percent — have been “political” appointees, with the rest going to “real” diplomats. Slain Libya ambassador Christopher Stevens was one such “real” diplomat, having joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1991 and having served in multiple roles in several Mideast countries.

Those numbers are very much in keeping with precedents set by George W. Bush (28 percent political, 72 percent diplomatic); Bill Clinton (26 percent political, 74 percent diplomatic); George H. W. Bush (31 percent political, 69 percent diplomatic); and Ronald Reagan (33 percent political, 67 percent diplomatic).

“Now is the time to end the spoils system and the de facto ‘three-year rental’ of ambassadorships,” the AFSA asserts in a statement on its website. “The United States is alone in this practice; no other major democracy routinely appoints non-diplomats to serve as envoys to other countries.”

GOP To Harry Reid: Go Nuclear, And It’ll Bite You In 2014

Republican Senators have threatened Majority Leader Harry Reid that they’ll stall every attempt at passing legislation until after midterm elections, if he invokes the so-called “nuclear option” that would change Senate rules to allow a simple 51-vote majority vote to end a Republican-threatened filibuster.

“If Senator Reid changes the character of the Senate, then the Senate ceases to function. We’ll take our case to the people, we’ll argue for a new majority and then Republicans will be in a position to do whatever Republicans with 51 votes want to do,” said Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) Thursday.

Reid’s “nuclear” threat stems from GOP Senators’ warnings that they’ll use a filibuster to halt the nomination of several of President Barack Obama’s nominees.

In other words, turnabout is fair play – and if the Republican Party regains control of the full Congress in 2014, expect Obama’s final two years in office to be a prison sentence, as the President watches Congress dismantle signature legislation like the Dodd-Frank Act and Obamacare.

H/T: The Hill

Ohio School System Allows Concealed Carry For Teachers

The board of education for an Ohio school district has approved a concealed carry policy for teachers in the 1,300-student system.

The school board of the Newcomerstown Exempted Village school district approved the change for the upcoming academic year after parents of students attending the system’s four schools urged changes that would equip faculty and staff to answer a hypothetical active-shooter scenario by shooting back.

In order for selected employees of the school system to carry a concealed weapon on campus, they must complete training and certification by the local sheriff’s department each year, and must possess a concealed carry permit.

In order to ensure the program assuages possible criticism that teachers aren’t supposed to double as law enforcement officers, or that bad guys could plan a mass shooting around knowledge they might gain about how the program is carried out among the faculty, the board is keeping quiet about specifics.

“Our school safety plan is not public record for obvious reasons,” said Board President Jerry Lahmers “We also want to protect the safety of the individuals [carrying guns], so that they don’t become targets, if such a situation does occur. We hope that this policy will act as a deterrent. The policy is intended to provide that extra last margin of safety.”

H/T: Reason

Charging Zimmerman; Texas Gold; Britain’s Panopticon; ‘High’ Taxes; Secession In The Wild West – Thursday Morning News Roundup 7-11-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

  • Prosecutors in George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial want to ask jurors to consider lesser charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter as closing statements are underway today. Source: Associated Press
  • Texas’ oil output has doubled in less than three years, putting it in the ranks of OPEC heavy-hitters like Venezuela, Kuwait and Nigeria. Source: FuelFix
  • The British Security Industry Authority (BSIA) estimated there are up to 5.9 million closed-circuit television cameras in the country, including 750,000 in “sensitive locations” such as schools, hospitals and care homes. That’s one per 11 people. Source: The Telegraph
  • The taxes on recreational marijuana might go a lot higher than first thought. Smokers buying at shops in Denver may pay up to 35 percent in taxes. Source: CBS Denver
  • More From Colorado: Secessionists are pushing to create a 51st state out of parts of northeast Colorado, as this year’s legislative session underscored a growing urban-rural divide over State policy on a number of issues – but especially gun control. Source: CBS Denver

Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.

Schools Expelling Michelle O’s Austere, Expensive Lunch Program

Michelle Obama pushed hard to get the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFK) passed by Congress in 2010. And it did pass. Who wants kids to be hungry?

The Act authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USAD) to revamp the nutritional criteria for public school lunches and expanded the free school lunch program. The USDA estimates it will cost $3.2 billion to completely implement the nutritional changes nationwide over a five-year span. The free lunch expansion increases the Federal government’s $11 billion annual allotment for lunch subsidies by more than $1 billion per year.

But as quickly as many public schools have begun adopting new standards that replace traditional menu offerings with things like “part of” a chicken patty on a little croissant and arugula pizza, they’ve often just as quickly abandoned the program.

Why? Because kids hate it, it’s too expensive for the schools, the lunches themselves cost more for paying students, and cafeterias are losing money as kids continue to resort to bringing lunch from home in order to stave off hunger and eat what they choose.

It was reported Tuesday that the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake school district in New York dropped the program after losing $100,000 implementing the new Federal menu, but it’s only the most recent district to have left Obama’s attempted food fiat in the dust. Schools in Wisconsin, South Dakota, Massachusetts, Iowa, Kansas — pretty much everywhere, in other words — are either ditching the program or wrestling with angry students and parents in an effort to stay the course.

As with all nanny programs, the 850 calorie-maximum school lunch scheme is fraught with hypocrisy.

“The voluminous menu that’s good enough for the federal bureaucrats’ cafeteria should be good enough for our children’s school lunchroom,” said Senator Tim Huselkamp (R-Kan.), an ardent HHFK opponent, in April. “If USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack thinks the federal government should dictate what local governments put on their school lunchroom menus, why isn’t he leading by example? Secretary Vilsack should impose his ‘Nutrition Nanny’ standards on the USDA buildings’ cafeteria menus before the USDA seizes control of lunchroom menus in 100,000 school districts.”

New Leaked Graphic Reveals Upstream — Big Daddy To PRISM’s Big Brother

If the National Security Agency’s (NSA) PRISM program is Big Brother to American (and global) computer users, then a program revealed Wednesday in The Washington Post is the surveillance state’s Big Daddy.

Meet “Upstream.”

upstream-promo-606 CROPPED

Upstream became public knowledge with the release of a single slide — presumably one leaked to both The Washington Post and the Guardian by Edward Snowden — that appeared on The Post’s website Wednesday atop a story titled “The NSA slide you haven’t seen.”

As it appears, Upstream is a program of undersea fiber-optic cable tapping authorized and carried out by the U.S. government.

From Wednesday’s story:

The slide also shows a crude map of the undersea cable network that carries data from either side of North America and onto the rest of the world. As a story in Sunday’s Post made clear, these undersea cables are essential to worldwide data flows – and to the surveillance capabilities of the U.S. government and its allies.

…Both slides [the Guardian had previously published a separate slide that reveals some, but not all, of the same information] have circles attached to arrows suggesting possible collection points, but they cover areas too broad to discern where NSA accesses fiber-optic cable networks. The slides also list code names under the Upstream program.

If PRISM is intended to siphon off information about computer users’ activities by deploying surveillance at the host servers where all that information is being passed back and forth, Upstream can be thought of as the bottleneck-hijacking of the major 12-lane highways on which that information has to travel. What information it’s collecting is, of course, not known. But there’s no limit to what information it could be collecting.

Programmatically, Upstream is just a name on a slide — just as PRISM is. Leaving aside the empowered few in the loop of illegal government surveillance, there’s no telling whether the public holds enough information to conjure an accurate mental picture of the scope of these programs or a true understanding of how they overlap and intersect. These names are just shorthand to describe the things that outrage us. But at this point, outrage is a de rigueur state of mind for thinking Americans.

See more slides from the Snowden leak here.

Illinois Lawmaker Welcomes Police State As Palliative To Murder In ‘Gun Free’ Chicago

An Illinois State Representative held a press conference at the State Capitol Tuesday calling on the governor muster the National Guard to quell inner city violence.

“I am requesting with this press conference that Governor Patrick Quinn order the Illinois National Guard [and] the Illinois State Police come to Chicago and work with our mayor Rahm Emanuel to provide safety for the children, especially,” said Rep. Monique Davis, a Democrat, at the press conference.

Using similar logic, Governor Quinn had attempted, on the same day, to legislate guns out of more people’s hands through a veto effort that would have gutted a State law freeing Illinois residents to apply for concealed carry licenses – but the State Legislature overruled him. He had not responded to Davis’ unlikely request as of late Wednesday.

More than 100 people have been shot in Chicago since July 1, with 12 murders occurring over the July 4th holiday period. Last year, more than 500 people were murdered – a Chicago record.

Davis oddly compared Chicago’s epidemic of largely black-on-black “gun” violence to genocide in remarks to the Chicago Sun Times.

U.S. Abortion Laws Liberal Compared With (Liberal) Europe

With a bill before Congress that aims to establish a 22-week cutoff for abortion procedures in the U.S. – as well as a high-profile debate in Texas over similar legislation – the public discussion over late term abortion limits has escalated into extremism, with passions on both sides fueling hyperbolic language.

But a survey of abortion laws in other Western countries reveals that, even if Congress were to make abortions beyond 22 weeks illegal, the U.S. would still be one of the developed world’s most abortion-friendly Nations.

Canada has no law limiting when an expectant mother can end a pregnancy, and both the U.K. and the Netherlands cut off abortions after 24 weeks. But the rest of the Western world limits abortions with far greater severity. Liberal bastions like Sweden forbid abortion after 18 weeks; in Germany and France, the limit is set at 12 weeks.

Here’s a look at where the U.S. would stand among Western Nations if it limits abortion to 22 weeks:

abortion

Source: Phillip B. Levine, “Sex and Consequences: Abortion, Public Policy, and the Economics of Fertility” (Princeton University Press, 2007)

H/T: Weekly Standard

Obama’s Utopian Hypocrisy: The Developing World Needs Coal – But In The U.S., It’s Evil

President Barack Obama knows that the African energy initiatives he announced in a June 30 speech in Cape Town, South Africa, will rely heavily on developing nations named in the ambitious program using coal as a primary supplier for any expansion of the sub-Saharan region’s energy infrastructure.

In fact, with rich coal resources and plans to construct new coal-fired power plants, coal is certain to be the centerpiece of any energy-reliant effort at modernizing Africa. More than 1 billion people live in the region, but they’re presently using about as much energy as Canada’s sparse population of 34 million.

Early morning smog hangs over Cape Town, South Africa. Credit: Open Knowledge

But Obama’s vilification of coal in his Georgetown University speech last month is wholly absent from the $7 billion U.S.-backed plan he’s crafted for Africa. He knows Africa will develop with Evil, Polluting, Regressive Coal. There is no economic incentive for Africa to buy “green” energy from the Solyndras of the world. Come to think of it, there’s no incentive in the U.S., either.

No matter how idealistic the President may be about curbing greenhouse gases; no matter how condescending toward those who wonder whether mankind understands the Earth’s age-old atmospheric mysteries as well as he, Obama knows that no amount of coal-killing regulation in the U.S. is going to make one whit of difference in altering the net effect of burning coal to generate electricity worldwide.

Writing for National Review, Charles Krauthammer devastates Obama’s duplicitous take on climate change:

The U.S. has already radically cut CO2 emissions — more than any country on earth since 2006, according to the International Energy Agency…

And yet, at the same time, global emissions have gone up. That’s because — surprise! — we don’t control the energy use of the other 96 percent of humankind.

…This massive self-sacrifice might be worthwhile if it did actually stop global warming and save the planet. What makes the whole idea nuts is that it won’t. This massive self-inflicted economic wound will have no effect on climate change.

… We can kill U.S. coal and devastate coal country all we want, but the industrializing third world will more than make up for it. The net effect of the Obama plan will simply be dismantling the U.S. coal industry for shipping abroad.

To think we will get these countries to cooperate is sheer fantasy. We’ve been negotiating climate treaties for 20 years and gotten exactly nowhere. China, India, and the other rising and modernizing countries point out that the West had a 150-year industrial head start that made it rich. They are still poor. And now, just as they are beginning to get rich, we’re telling them to stop dead in their tracks?

Fat chance.

Indeed, in the 10 years between 2002 and 2012, the U.S. could have reduced its carbon emissions to nothing, and it wouldn’t have made a difference globally — the net output of carbon generated by the rest of the world over the same period would still have amounted to a net increase. Asia is the world’s emerging polluter, and our President’s answer is to punish Americans through onerous regulations that aim, in practice, to destroy the coal industry (and several State economies along with it), while driving up energy costs for everyone living and doing business in the U.S. — while the rest of the world develops apace.

Krauthammer explains this sort of starry-eyed liberalism represents the very mode of thinking Obama thinks he’s transcending when he refers to global warming’s skeptics as members of the “flat earth society” peanut gallery:

It’s flat-earthers like Obama who cite perennial phenomena such as droughts as cosmic retribution for environmental sinfulness…For a president to propose this with such aggressive certainty is incomprehensible. It is the starkest of examples of belief that is impervious to evidence. And the word for that is faith, not science.

More Warrantless Federal Surveillance: CFPB Collects, Shares Americans’ Credit Card Data

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) isn’t yet 3 years old, but it’s already every bit as entrenched as the National Security Agency (NSA) in snooping through the personal data of millions of unwitting Americans — average people who aren’t suspected of breaking any laws and who have no idea just how far the agency’s so-called “protections” could compromise their privacy.

That’s the report from nonprofit accountability group Judicial Watch (JW), which analyzed a trove of records it compelled the CFPB to hand over through a Freedom of Information Act demand filed in April.

What JW found may be more unsettling than anything the NSA’s been accused of doing.

Why? Because it reveals the CFPB has hoarded financial information from 5 million Americans’ credit and debit card transaction histories, and it has authorized private contractors to share the data across government agencies.

Note from the Editor: Under the Obama Administration, the NSA, the IRS, and the State and Justice departments are blatantly stepping on Americans’ privacy-and these are just the breaches we’re aware of. I’ve arranged for readers to get a free copy of The Ultimate Privacy Guide so you can be protected from any form of surveillance by anyone-government, corporate or criminal. Click here for your free copy.

In other words, not only does the CFPB have all the “track 1” and “track 2” data held in the magnetic strip of your credit and debit cards — information like your name, account number, expiration date and service code — it knows when and how you use your cards and what you use them to buy. Worse, the agency paid private contractors to collect all that information in the first place — and then hold onto it so other unnamed government agencies could acquire it, without a warrant and without even relying on a patronizing justification that involves “national security” or some such.

How, then, did the CFPB qualify its ambitious money-spying program? Like this:

THE CFPB seeks to acquire and maintain a nationally representative panel of credit information on consumers for use in a wide range of policy research projects.

The panel [i.e., guinea pigs] shall include 5 million consumers, and joint borrowers, co-signers, and authorized users. The initial panel shall contain 10 years of historical data on a quarterly basis. The initial sample shall be drawn from current records and historical data appended for that sample as well as additional samples during the intervening years to make the combines sample representative at each point in time.

Protection and research: Two things the Federal government uses to aggrandize power and enlarge its intrusion into the private sector.

What’s perplexing about this broad surveillance of information — information that, for most Americans, ranks among their most sensitive and personal – is that there’s no mention (either by the CFPB itself or Judicial Watch) of getting a court order authorizing any of this. U.S. News and World Report published a response in which a CFPB spokesman argued that the agency has had this kind of power ever since it was created under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.

That spokesman also declared that no one’s collecting data about actual purchases. But if that’s the case, then what other data is worth collecting? And how would it be quarantined from all the other “safe” data that’s being gathered in real time? And who is anybody trusting do carry out all of this? Oh, private contractors.

“The Obama administration’s warrantless collection of the private financial information of millions of Americans is mind-blowing,” said JW President Tom Fitton in a press release posted to the group’s website. “Is there anything that this administration thinks it can’t do? These documents show that the Consumer Financial Protection Board is an out-of-control government agency that threatens the fundamental privacy and financial security of Americans. This is every bit as serious as the controversy over the NSA’s activities.”

House Attacks White House Over Delaying Obamacare For Businesses – But Not People

GOP leaders in the House of Representatives are calling on President Barack Obama to grant the American people the same one-year reprieve from mandatory state-managed health care that the White House recently announced it would be granting to businesses.

House Republican Leader Eric Cantor said he “never thought I’d see the day when the White House; the president, came down on the side of big business but left the American people out in the cold as far as this health care mandate is concerned.”

Other Republicans predicted the business-only delay would shift the cost of Obamacare’s first year of subsidized health care from companies to individuals.

House speaker John Boehner and Republican colleagues wrote Obama, pressing him to let individuals in on delaying the much-dreaded implementation of a wealth-redistributing health care law that critics say is too byzantine to ever succeed.

“We agree with you that the burden was overwhelming for employers, but we also believe American families need the same relief,” the GOP coalition remarked.

Illinois Now A Concealed Carry State As Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto

The Illinois House of Representatives has blocked Democratic Governor Pat Quinn’s attempt at effectively vetoing a bill providing for the issuing of concealed carry permits, making the State the last in the U.S. to allow its residents to concealed carry a loaded firearm.

The override came on the last day of a court-mandated timeline to change the law, following a Federal appeals court’s earlier ruling that found the State’s longstanding ban on concealed carry unConstitutional.

Quinn had sought to eviscerate the bill by means of an amendatory veto process, but was roundly defeated Tuesday on a vote in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. Even fellow Democrats accused the Governor of pandering to his liberal voter base in defiance of a court order.

“I think he needs to learn how to count,” Senator Mike Jacobs, a Democrat, told the Chicago Tribune. “Anyone who doesn’t understand that we’re going to run this bill over his objections doesn’t understand government.”

The 2nd Amendment victory still leaves Illinois far from leading the States in upholding citizens’ rights to keep and bear arms. The law requires motorists to immediately inform police at a traffic stop if they’re carrying a concealed weapon, and the $150 concealed carry permits will have to be renewed every five years. There’s no reciprocity provision for visitors from other concealed carry States.

But the override is, according to 2nd Amendment blog The Truth About Guns, “a huge step forward, particularly for the downstate population who’s chafed under the iron-fisted control of Chicago for decades.”

Obama Rides For Amnesty; Jim Carrey’s (Sorta) Sorry; Fall In Line For Farm Bill; House GOP To Take On IRS; Smelling For Cancer – Tuesday Morning News Roundup 7-9-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

  • President Barack Obama is heading out on the road to promote the Senate’s immigration rewrite bill, amid increasingly effective opposition from the Republican base, a reversal of his previously under-the-radar tactics, which helped push the far-reaching rewrite through the Senate. Source: Daily Caller… 
  • Actor Jim Carrey sent out a volley of vicious tweets against gun owners March 24. He released his “Cold Dead Hand” video the following day, which accused the late Heston of playing a role in recent gun-related deaths. Now he’s tweeting apologies. Source: Breitbart… 
  • In a tense, closed-door meeting Monday, House majority leader Eric Cantor (R – Va.) scolded several Republican committee chairmen for voting against the farm bill that failed to pass the House last month, coolly reminding them that the leadership is much more likely to usher their bills to the floor if they stick with him on votes. Source: National Review… 
  • Speaking of Cantor: He’s aiming for House floor votes before the August recess on a slew of bills in response to the IRS controversies – including a bill that would “allow” Americans to record conversations with Federal law enforcement officials and another bill blocking the IRS from involvement in enforcing Obamacare. Source: POLITICO… 
  • British researchers have devised a test that can detect bladder cancer from certain odors in the urine. In its testing phase, the method correctly assigned 100 percent of cancer patients. Source: France 24… 

Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.

‘He’s Perfectly Innocent And He Knows His Rights’: A Fourth Of July Police Video

There are a lot viral videos of test-case encounters with police — the kind in which a law-abiding person, tired of the way in which police usurp the Bill of Rights, decides to open carry a firearm or to refuse to give consent to a vehicle search. But this video, recorded July 4 by a 21-year-old Tennessee student stopping at a DUI checkpoint, is one of the most illustrative.

That’s because the driver, Chris Kalbaugh, kept his demeanor robotically neutral, even as the officer attempted to escalate the situation. By doing so, he allowed the officer’s behavior — and judgment — to speak for itself.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-WMn_zHCVo&w=560&h=315]

 

The payoff comes at 5:10, when another officer says simply, “He’s perfectly innocent and he knows his rights. He knows what the Constitution says.” Clearly, the police at this checkpoint know what the Constitution says, too, and are accustomed to relying on the ignorance of the vast majority of the people whom they stop. They never check Kalbaugh for DUI (even though this was a DUI checkpoint), and they never tell him (so far as the video reveals) whether he’s being detained. The K-9 officer even has to backtrack in qualifying the weak “hit” his drug dog (inevitably) got while sniffing the car — a hit that precipitated a “probable cause” search of the entire vehicle.

If this can happen to a citizen who’s doing no more and no less than exactly what the law allows, imagine what happens to those who — heaven forbid — have unpaid parking tickets or obliviously tote a couple of prescription pills in an unmarked bottle left in the center console by an absentminded spouse?

A Temp Service Is America’s 2nd-Biggest Employer

It’s a great time to be a temporary or part-time employee in America. But it’s a terrible time to have a full-time job or a job that tasks you with making anything — except, maybe, burgers and tacos.

That’s one takeaway from last week’s June jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which revealed that Kelly Services, an international temporary staffing agency based in Michigan, is the Nation’s second-largest employer behind a company well known for its heavy dependence on part-time employees: Wal-Mart.

Between temp firms like Kelly and volume retail/service companies like Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, Kroger and Target, about 85 percent of the jobs held by Americans are either temporary assignments or low-wage, part-time positions. The Administration of President Barack Obama hailed the jobs report as a signifier of successful White House economic policy, ignoring the fact that the net gain in jobs for the month of June represented a massive shift in the American labor force from full-time jobs (which fell dramatically) to part-time work.

Writing for The Washington Examiner, Ashe Schow notes the June report isn’t a mere workforce aberration brought on by a glut of teenagers looking for summer work:

Temp jobs made up about 10 percent of the jobs lost during the Great Recession, but now make up a tenth of the jobs in the United States. In fact, nearly one-fifth of all jobs gained since the recession ended have been temporary.

It’s a sad state of affairs for our country. While part-time and temp jobs reached highs last month, full-time jobs decreased by another 240,000. The recovery, or lack thereof, is being fueled by a shift from full-time to part-time work.

Further buttressing the mounting evidence that the Obama-led “recovery” has only accelerated a gradual U.S. trend away from actually making tangible goods (i.e., heavy manufacturing) and toward an service-oriented marketplace where the value of everything’s ephemeral, The New York Times created an infographic last year showing that service industries make up nine of the top 10 biggest American employers in the 21st century, compared with the 1960s, when seven of the top 10 were manufacturers like GM, Ford, U.S. Steel and General Electric.

Is it any coincidence that one-third of Americans — a number greater than the entire private sector workforce population in the United States — is now on food stamps?