Race Baiting Andre Carson Style

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tryanny

Rep. Andre Carson - Democrat Indiana

Allegations of racism being leveled at the Tea Party have been there since the beginning. Anyone who denies the existence of racism, whether from the right or the left is either naive or blind.

Both conservatives and liberals should come together and denounce any form of racism, wherever it rears its ugly head. However, the use of race baiting to further the political agenda of an individual or group is as reprehensible as actual racism.

Rep. Andre Carson recent remarks with respect to the Tea Party amount to nothing more than over heated race baiting at its worst.

From Politico:
A top lawmaker in the Congressional Black Caucus says tea partiers on Capitol Hill would like to see African-Americans hanging from trees and accuses the movement of wishing for a return to the Jim Crow era.

Rep. Andre Carson, a Democrat from Indiana who serves as the CBC’s chief vote counter, said at a CBC event in Miami that some in Congress would “love to see us as second-class citizens” and “some of them in Congress right now of this tea party movement would love to see you and me ... hanging on a tree.”

“The Tea Party is protecting its millionaire and oil company friends while gutting critical services that they know protect the livelihood of African-Americans, as well as Latinos and other disadvantaged minorities,” Tomcsi wrote. “We are talking about child nutrition, job creation, job training, housing assistance, and Head Start, and that is just the beginning. A child without basic nutrition, secure housing, and quality education has no real chance at a meaningful and productive life.

This type of inflammatory, unproductive, and untrue race baiting rhetoric has no place in civil debate. Congressional members of either party that use race to further their ideologically driven agenda ought to be taken to task. Both by their own party as well as the "opposition" party.

Others should look to Allen West as an example.

Even given President Obama's remarks about moving away from over the top rhetoric such as that used by Rep. Carson the opposite seems to be more commonplace than ever.

The Congressmen from Indiana, as well as others who engage in race baiting rhetoric such as he did should be ashamed of themselves. Not that they will be.

One of the best, and most concise expressions of what racism is follows...
Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.

Racism claims that the content of a man’s mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man’s convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical factors beyond his control. This is the caveman’s version of the doctrine of innate ideas—or of inherited knowledge—which has been thoroughly refuted by philosophy and science. Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. It is a barnyard or stock-farm version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men.

Like every form of determinism, racism invalidates the specific attribute which distinguishes man from all other living species: his rational faculty. Racism negates two aspects of man’s life: reason and choice, or mind and morality, replacing them with chemical predestination. {Link}

If, and when, the human race ever fully comprehends the above maybe there will be true racial harmony.

Via: Memeorandum

Obama: "Kiss of Death" to Yet Another "Green" Company

Remember when Barack Obama told us that "Green" energy was the wave of the future, providing the jobs the economy needed while keeping the air cleaner and enabling us to clone unicorns?? Okay. I may have made that last part up!

But, another company that Obama visited, hyped and funneled large amounts of federal money to, is going belly up. I know! Big surprise!

Regulatory and policy uncertainties in recent months created significant near-term excess supply and price erosion,” Solyndra's CEO said.

A California-based solar company that received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration announced Wednesday that it will shut down.

The company, Solyndra Inc., said Wednesday it would suspend its manufacturing operations and lay off 1,100 employees effective immediately. The company said it intends to file a petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

“Regulatory and policy uncertainties in recent months created significant near-term excess supply and price erosion,” Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison said in a statement. “Raising incremental capital in this environment was not possible. This was an unexpected outcome and is most unfortunate.”

Oh, really? "Regulatory and policy uncertainties"? Would those be the regulations and policies generated by the Democrat controlled legislature and governor's mansion, or the would those be the regulations and policies generated by the Democrat controlled Senate and White House?

The mind reels!

Solyndra received the $535 million stimulus loan guarantee from the Energy Department in 2009 to help finance the construction of a new plant to manufacture solar panels.

A half a billion here, a half a billion there...pretty soon it adds up to real money!

What are the odds that the current resident of the White House will take this as a sign that "Green" technologies are not necessarily the engine to drive the economy out of this recession, or do you think he will double down on stupid?

Yeah. Me, too.

H/T Memeorandum

Obama schedules jobs speech on same night as GOP presidential debate. UPDATE: DeMint vows to block speech, White House backs down

Just a few weeks ago, President Obama gave some campaign speeches where he complained about partisanship, "Washington needs to put aside politics and start making decisions based on what is best for our country and not what is best for each of our parties in order to grow the economy and create jobs."

As Jim Geraghty says, “All statements from Barack Obama come with an expiration date. All of them.”

Obama's statement about “putting aside politics” expired today.

In an obvious move to co-opt the Republican Presidential Debate next week, Dear Leader has decided he wants to give a speech before a joint session of Congress…at the exact same time.
President Obama on Wednesday pulled rank on the Republican presidential candidates, announcing a key jobs speech next week on the same night as a GOP 2012 primary debate in California.

The two-hour debate, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, was supposed to start at 8 p.m. on Sept. 7. In his letter to congressional leaders Wednesday, Obama requested to speak before a joint session of Congress at the very same time.

Republicans quickly slammed the president for the move. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called it a "thinly-veiled political ploy."

"President Obama's decision to address Congress at the same time as a long-scheduled Republican Presidential debate cements his reputation as Campaigner-in-Chief," he said in a written statement.

A Reagan Library official, speaking to Fox News, says there is no official reaction yet from the organizers of the debate, but the event has been on the schedule for months. The Reagan Library is expected to issue a statement shortly. Politico, which is co-sponsoring the debate with NBC News, said the debate would not be postponed.

The White House insisted the timing was coincidental. Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters there were many scheduling "considerations" and suggested the president has no interest in detracting from the debate viewership.

He said the administration would "welcome" a decision by debate hosts to "adjust the timing of their debate so that it didn't conflict."

The Republican debate has been planned for months. Then, King Barry suddenly decides he wants to give a speech at the exact same day and time, and he expects everyone to believe it's merely a coincidence? Sorry, that doesn't fly. Besides, there's a big, glaring hole in his excuse:
Technically, the president must be formally invited by Congress in order to address a joint session and can't just show up.

And judging by House Speaker John Boehner's response, not only was Obama not invited, there were no plans for a joint session of Congress. And pulling one together at the last minute conflicts with their official business.

Obama has had over two and half years to focus on jobs, and he chose to ramrod his unwanted Obamacare plan down the throats of America instead. And now he's engaging in a petty power play. Even WaPo's Chris Cillizza notes, "Coincidences don’t happen in presidential politics. Ever."
“It’s a bad idea [and] seems a little small,” said one Democratic consultant granted anonymity to speak candidly. “And it suggests perhaps his jobs plan wont be that appealing because now the coverage will be about the strategy and not the substance.

I think all of this is missing the larger picture. Obviously this scheduling conflict is George W. Bush's fault.

UPDATE: Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has pledged to block Obama's speech.
Obama could learn something from the GOP, DeMint reasoned, in adding his voice — and his vote — to a growing chorus of Republican objections.

“The president should pick another night. I’m planning to watch the Republican primary debate … and the president should watch it, too.”

The iconic South Carolina conservative said. “If he has a jobs proposal, put it in writing, give us a cost estimate, and send it over. I want to read the bill, not listen to talking points off a TelePrompter. If he insists on playing politics by picking the night of the GOP debate, I will object to the session.”

A lone determined senator can tie the chamber in knots for days, and the House and Senate must both pass a concurrent resolution to allow for the president to speak to a joint session.

UPDATE: CBS News’ Mark Knoller tweeted that the White House is backing down.

Cross-posted at Full Metal Patriot

Losing Faith in God Particles

The "God Particle" is (almost) dead:
A few years ago, celebrated British physicist Stephen Hawking was widely reported in the press to have placed a provocative public bet that the LHC (along with all particle accelerators that preceded it) would never find the Higgs boson, the so-called “God particle” believed responsible for having imbued massive particles with their mass when the universe was very young...

...informal polls of physicists over the last decade have shown that an overwhelming majority believed that the existence of the Higgs was a foregone conclusion and that all that was needed was simply to run the LHC long enough...

But the Higgs boson never appeared...

And yesterday, August 22, ... CERN scientists declared that over the entire range of energy the Collider had explored—from 145 to 466 billion electron volts—the Higgs boson is excluded as a possibility with a 95% probability.

...there is still a 5% chance that the Higgs is hiding somewhere ... But the Higgs is quickly running out of places to hide.
Fortunately, particle physics isn't nearly as politicized as climate science, so Higgs boson skeptics probably needn't worry about being likened to racists. But the possibility of erosion of faith in science causes some to fret:
Another, less profound, but far more obnoxious, outcome is that people who choose to dismiss science altogether simply because it doesn’t have the all the answers (in this case, the answer to, “How did we come to exist in the first place?”) will have new ammunition for their arguments. So, don’t be surprised when CERN’s troublesome admission that Higgs boson is likely a myth is cited as a reason that global warming doesn’t exist.
I don't know anyone who's "dismissing science altogether," but the fact of the matter is that the hard work of science can be a miserably difficult and disappointing endeavor.

And science isn't democratic in the sense that it can be settled by comfortable consensus. Fueled by skepticism, science is never "settled."

Reason.tv: Adam Smith; The Invisible Hand

By the Left Coast Rebel

From Reason.tv:

Why are some countries wealthy while other nations are poor? Prof. James Otteson, using the ideas of Adam Smith, explains how the division of labor is a necessary and crucial element of wealthy nations. Additionally, Otteson explains Smith's idea of the invisible hand, which explains how human beings acting to satisfy their own self interest often unintentionally benefit others.

Related: Adam Smith Institute

A Decade Since 9/11/2001...Obama Style.

(Cross-posted at The War Planner.)

"What, me be concerned about my fellow citizens?"
From an insider on Obama's plans for the 9/11 10-year anniversary observance:
“The important theme is to show the world how much we realize that 9/11 — the attacks themselves and violent extremism writ large — is not ‘just about us,’ ” said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal White House planning.
Revolting! Absolutely and remorselessly revolting!

The sequence of events over the last month-and-one-half are coagulating into a perfect storm of disgust and disapproval for this incredibly small man with his incredibly big ego.

His temper tantrums and mishandling of the so-called debt-crisis, his tone-deaf three-day Canadian bus tour, his even more tone-deaf vacation to Martha's Vineyard, his posturing photo-op at the FEMA/NHC/whatever HQ in the wake of that intense morning dew that struck the Eastern Seaboard with its 45-kt zephyrs, the massively-hardware-supported three-minute oratory to introduce his new "Clunker-for-Clunkers" czar, and now, we all breathlessly await his impending pronuncimiento on his new...newer...newest plan...outline on how he will pivot with lazer-like focus on THE JOBS PROBLEM.

This bumbling sequence of incompetent missteps is not enough? He will follow this with a watered-down, Kumbay-ya, politically-correct observance of all of the A-RAB MOOZ-LEMS who perished in, and because of the tragedy that occurred a decade ago and ranks as one of the worst transgressions against Americans on American soil..

..with a "shout out" to those brave American civilians, soldiers, sailors, airmen, and first responders who spilled their blood and have given their all that day and the following 3,654 days since.

I just want to vomit!


White Devils: Racism, Real and Imagined

Ken Layne: Reads books, hates white people

The race-obsessed left never misses an opportunity to fabricate evidence of conservative racism:
Ever a magnet for controversy, Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann is once again the subject of a vicious rumor. A doctored video surfaced this week that appears to show Bachmann asking an audience, “Who likes white people?”

Accusations of racism followed, as blogs and websites including Wonkette used the video as evidence of Bachmann’s extreme views.

Alice Stewart, a spokesperson for Bachmann’s presidential campaign, explained to The Daily Caller: “She said, ‘Who likes wet people?’ It was pouring down rain that night.”

A Yahoo! News report also laid the rumor to rest by pointing out that when Bachmann seized the microphone on stage, her audience was soaking wet and as a way to lighten the mood, she jokingly asked, “Who likes wet people?”
Over at Wonkette, where the video rumor was launched given prominence, self-loathing "subhuman" Ken Layne provides relevant commentary:
Who likes white people? Uhh, everybody except for black people and brown people and yellow people, we guess? Also, many actual white people don’t much like white people, having read a history book or two.
Being a white person, Ken Layne may be inherently inferior, but at least he is educated well enough to recognize that he was born with a heart marred by sinful white nature. He's "one of the good ones."

Discussion: Memeorandum


Robert Stacy McCain produced the orignal, unaltered version of the doctored smear job video:
...on Saturday Aug. 27, a left-wing anti-Christian blog, “On Knees for Jesus,” posted a pirated version of my video, edited and with a caption falsely asserting that Bachmann asked the crowd, “Who likes white people?” — with the contextual clue about “the winds and the rains” removed. That dishonest smear was then given prominence by the left-wing gossip site Gawker.

Chris Moody of Yahoo News exposed this vicious falsehood and, after I learned that my video had been stolen and misused for such a defamatory purpose, I put up a blog post denouncing the smear, and sent an e-mail to the anonymous proprietor of the “On Knees” Web site. He then deleted his first lie and substituted another vicious smear as a “correction.” But his pirated and re-edited version of my video — a clear violation of my copyright, and of YouTube’s terms of service agreement — is still online. I have spoken to an attorney and fully intend that the perpetrator of this crime will be brought to justice.

9/11 - "Like Walking Into Hell"

By Proof

This hour long National Geographic special is being rebroadcast tonight at 9 PM Eastern (6PM PDT) and again at midnight Eastern. Catch it if you can.

It is not at all clichéd to say, Thank God that George Bush was our president when this terrible thing happened to us.

H/T Hot Air

Cross posted at Proof Positive

Quote of the Week

By the Left Coast Rebel

"I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution ... or have failed their purpose ... or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should be attacked for neglecting my constituents' 'interests,' I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty, and in that cause I am doing the very best I can."

--- Barry M. Goldwater

More on Mr. Conservative at The Last Tradition.

Would the '2000 Year Old Man' Be Eligible for Medicare for 1,935 Years?

By Frank Hill

Long-time readers of Telemachus know that we have been advocating a rapid and immediate increase in the retirement age for SS and Medicare to at least 70, possibly overnight.

Why? For one thing, life-expectancy is certainly far higher than it was in 1935 when FDR passed SS and set the Golden Retirement Age at 65. If truly indexed for extended life expectancy to be equal to what it was in 1935, the retirement age would have to be closer to 80 today than 66 for SS and 65 for Medicare.

The second reason is that raising the retirement ages for both of our major entitlement programs, almost twice as large when combined as the US military budget, would save trillions for the federal budget going forward and darn near be the single largest solution to correct our budgetary woes going forward.

For decades, we have been told by CBO and other respectable economic forecasting services that the single most important factor in our ‘structural’ deficits is the relatively low, by now, retirement ages to become eligible for the two major federal entitlement programs, SS and Medicare. Raising the retirement ages is the one single thing that Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, Paul Volcker and even Warren Buffett can all agree on and have said so in repeated testimonies before the various committees in Congress.

Until now. And the passage of Obama Care is the reason why.

‘The Law of Unintended Consequences’ rears its ugly head once again.

Take some time to read the embedded blogs below and let this information sink into your cerebral cortex. The first is from the Incidental Economist in which the author talks about how raising the retirement age will not save as much money as previously believed, pretty much because of Obama Care coming on-line in 2014, if fully funded by a Republican Congress, that is.

The second is from Chuck Blahous, a trustee for the SS/Medicare 'Trust Fund' (sic), who pretty much clearly lays it on the line that we can't get out of this budget deficit spending morass unless we reform and repeal major parts of Obama Care immediately, like by the end of this year, 2011.

The first rule of federal budgeting policy? 'If you want to get out of Budget Hell, quit digging!'

The bottom-line is that due to the passage of Obama Care, companies can, and most likely will, dump employees into the ‘exchanges’ funded by the government and pay the $2000/head ‘penalty’ instead of providing the $7000+/person health care coverage from their company level.

So far, so good…for the company and corporation. They get to ‘save’ up to $5000/year per dumped employee.

But the taxpayer will have to pick up much of that $5000/person cost through the exchanges since it is highly unlikely the individual will be forced to pay the full actuarial cost of the health care coverage at that age. It could be $10,000/person after age 65.

And unless a massive tornado runs through Congress to rearrange the laws and regulations governing health care in America like one that ‘magically’ runs through a junkyard and somehow produces a Boeing 777 out of all the spare parts there, there is no chance that costs to the taxpayer under Obama Care will ever ‘go down’ which is where we need them to go.

Let’s say the retirement age does increase to 70 somehow for Medicare tonight at midnight. (Sorry, you 64.9999 year-old workers. It looks like you will just have to work for another 5 years to help save the republic and improve your children’s future in an act of selflessness and sacrifice no generation has had to make since the Greatest Generation saved the world from the Nazis)

Assuming Obama Care is fully operational in 2014, (again, how odd is it that this happens 'after' the next presidential election?) and assuming the retirement age goes to 70 somehow by then, people aged 65-70 will be dumped into these exchanges as if on cue by every single sentient corporate or company exec.

You may have heard President Obama say you can keep your health insurance if you like it.

Yeah, but ‘only if your employer wants to keep providing it!’ And if he can save $5000/head by dumping you into the ObamaCare exchanges, guess where the head of the 20, 200 and 2000+ employee company is going to dump you?

Into the exchanges, no doubt about it. If you can save $10 million by dumping your 2000 employees into the exchanges and you don’t do it, rest assured your stockholders will find someone who will do it in a blink of an eye.

So what’s so bad about this, Mr. Cassandra Doom-and-Gloom?

What is ‘bad’ about it is that we might not save any money for the US taxpayer or reduce the explosive budget deficits and moderate the debt by moving the retirement up to 70 or 80 or even 100!

Why? Because the people caught in the gap between working under a corporate plan and qualifying for Medicare will have ALREADY BEEN DUMPED ON THE FEDERAL DOLE! Their costs will already be factored into the budget spending projections and when they do become eligible for Medicare at 70, the so-called ‘savings’ will be rendered miniscule by this sleight-of-hand passed under Obama Care.

We just saw a very interesting article. It said that there is a person now living in America who will live to be 150 years old. He/she might finally expire and draw their last breath long about, oh, let’s say, the year 2140.

Here’s our question: ‘Will he or she be eligible to draw federal benefits for over 85 years under what is left of SS and Medicare if we don’t ever raise the retirement age from 66 for SS and 65 for Medicare?’

The way the Defenders of the Status Quo in SS and Medicare explain it, ‘Hell, yes! That old person deserves it!’

85 years of federal assistance.

There has to be a better way. Even Chile has figured out how to blend federal entitlement programs with private market investment decisions.

Are we totally incapable of making coherent, intelligent decisions for the good of the entire nation any longer? Think about it.

(Editor's Note: Frank Hill's resumé includes working as chief of staff for Senator Elizabeth Dole and Congressman Alex McMillan, serving on the House Budget Committee and serving on the Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform. He takes on politics from a fiercely independent perspective at the blog Telemachus).

Why America Doesn't Embrace The Left

Lefties at Salon.com are wondering why their quest to fundamentally transform America has been so difficult.

I suspect that the global failures of communism and socialism of the past 100 years have made an indelible impression on most Americans, but Van Deven and Kazin are looking for less obvious answers (i.e., ones not necessarily based on reality). Their discussion is an interesting example of willful blindness:
...most Americans accept the basic ground rules of capitalist society. The ideas are that if you work hard you can get ahead and that it's better to be self-employed than employed by the people. They believe that the basics of a capitalist society are just or can be made just with small alterations. Americans want capitalism to work well for everybody, which is somewhat of a contradiction in terms since capitalism is about people competing with each other to get ahead, and everyone's not going to be able to do well at the same time. That's simply not possible.
That is possible, actually, and we owe our 21st century standard of living to the fact that it's possible. Fortunately, a great number of Americans have an intuitive understanding of the trader principle, harmony of interests, comparative advantage, etc. In short, we know why capitalism works because we're immersed in it.

We know that life doesn't have to be a zero-sum game and we know from experience that in the effort to create wealth, preserve wealth and spread wealth around, free-market capitalism can't be beaten.

Surprisingly, Kazin seems to come perilously close to admitting that the left has failed to sell its economic agenda because their ideas don't work:
When the economic crisis hit in the 2008, Americans were already primed to believe the government couldn't do anything right because it hasn't been doing anything right for years. Ironically, the conservatives were proved right when the stimulus didn't do what the Obama administration hoped it would do, and clearly the Tea Party has been able to grow on that policy mistake.
On the other hand, Kazin thinks that one of the great successes of the left is in their approach individual freedom, er, social equality:
The left has promoted a lot of the important changes that have occurred in American society, especially in expanding the meaning of "individual freedoms" to include African-Americans, women and homosexuals. The United States says it is committed to individual freedoms, but in practice those freedoms have been either betrayed or not fully realized. The left in this country has always been the vanguard of calling for complete equal rights and social equality.
Folks like Kazin seem to be incapable of accepting the fact that most Americans apparently have no trouble distinguishing "individual freedom" from the left's dreadful substitute for individual freedom, i.e., "social equality."

Why is collectivist egalitarianism unpopular in America? Kazin has an explanation for that:
The myth of the self-made man that emerged in the 19th century wasn't entirely a myth. There were people who came to America and did very well for themselves.
So Kazin is prepared to admit that an exceptionalism of rugged individualism is a cherished part of the fabric of our culture, but he goes on to declare that our exceptionalism is actually one ofexceptional oppression, exceptional destruction and exceptional bloodthirst.

Isn't it amazing that the left even has to ask why the rest of America doesn't approach them with warm and fuzzy hugs?

Related: "A progressive laments how they have taken over our culture, yet Americans have still failed to embrace their destructive economic policies. If only we were more like Europe, we’d have found utopia!" Read the rest at the Lonely Conservative.

Discussion: Memeorandum

The Truth About Texas Governor Rick Perry...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Rick Perry, the new "hot" candidate of the Tea Party, has intrigued me since he hit the national scene and declared his candidacy for the republican nomination for President.

Mr.Polish has been selling himself as the conservative alternative to President Obama and business as usual in DC. But is Mr. Polish really a conservative with proven bona fides? Me thinks not.

In fact as my research progressed it became clear Mr. Polish is much more the big government profligate spender and corporate kinda guy {read corporate whore} than I originally suspected.

Some of Mr. Polish's most severe critics actually come from the fiscally conservative right. A right I willingly take credit for being a part of.

What I find most befuddling is how anyone with a modicum of understanding of what true conservatism is can be fooled by Mr. Polish.

Given my skepticism of Mr. Polish it was only natural I look deeper. It seemed only rational to turn to those who know full well his record as Governor of Texas.

What I found was enlightening and solidified my skepticism of Mr. Polish as nothing more than a slick, and disingenuous politician that lacks a consistent political philosophy. Other than a "fly by the seat of your pants" crony capitalism acumen.

Some highlights of rational analysis from The New Republic.
It’s true that Perry has trafficked heavily in anti-Washington rhetoric, especially in the run-up to his candidacy to become president. But the closer you look at Perry’s record in Texas, the harder it is to discern any coherent ideology at all. When GOP primary voters in other parts of the country examine his signature legislative accomplishments and policy stances, some won’t like what they find.


The first Perry proposal to rile some Texas right-wing activists was the Trans-Texas Corridor—an ambitious plan to cover the state in a series of toll roads. Perry first pitched the idea during his 2002 campaign for governor. The plan would have used government’s eminent domain authority to seize rural farmland not just for multi-lane tolled highways, but also for rail and utility lines. Perry’s office and the Texas Department of Transportation gained legislative approval for the plan in 2003. The state handed the contract for the road planning and building to a Spanish-based company named Cintra.


Perry’s plan for a comprehensive network of toll-roads would eventually die slowly over the next four legislative sessions, meeting resistance from conservative Republicans. Toll roads are still being built in Texas, but the corridor plan is remembered as a colossal failure for the governor.


Perry caused conservative revulsion again in 2007 when he proposed that all young girls in Texas receive the HPV vaccine. The drug company Merck had just put the drug on the market, and the governor’s office made a heart-wrenching case for why all Texans should have access to it. His office brought to the Legislature a young woman with terminal cervical cancer, caused by HPV, to meet with the press and argue for mandatory vaccinations.

Some Texas Democrats agreed with Perry’s position. But the governor’s critics also pointed out that Perry’s former chief of staff, Mike Toomey, was serving as a lobbyist for Merck, which stood to make millions from the vaccine requirement. In the end, conservative Republicans in the Legislature bucked at the thought of requiring young girls to receive an STD vaccine, and Perry's effort died in the Legislature.


Then there’s the one major proposal that Perry did, in fact, pass into law—the state’s business tax. This tax increase on business was crafted in 2006 as part of a school-finance reform. The idea was to cut local property taxes and replace the lost revenue with a new business margins tax. This 2006 tax “swap” was the one instance during Perry’s decade as governor when he proposed a wide-ranging plan and successfully pushed it through the Legislature mostly unchanged. It will likely be remembered as his signature legislative accomplishment.

The problem is, it’s been a disaster. Small businesses hate it because they’re forced to pay regardless of whether they’re turning a profit: it seemed to be the very definition of a “job-killing” tax. Some conservatives simply hate it on principle. A few even argued that Perry’s business tax is unconstitutional—amounting to a tax on income, which is forbidden by the Texas Constitution.

But worst of all, the tax doesn’t even generate enough revenue. The tax “swap” has cost the state $5 billion a year for five years running. The Texas budget now faces an ongoing structural deficit because of the underperforming business tax. And with a tax increase on small business and a structural budget deficit to boot, it’s clear that Perry hasn’t taken conservative economists like Milton Friedman as his inspiration.

Another example of his conservative heresy is the Texas Enterprise Fund, which Perry seem to be especially proud of. The purpose of the Fund is to dole out public money to lure companies to Texas. It has created tens of thousands of jobs in the state, but critics have not incorrectly, labeled it “corporate welfare,” a slush fund for well-connected businesses. The Observer investigated the fund in 2010 and found that several companies with political ties to Perry had received state grants. Some Texas Tea Party activists have been especially critical of Perry's Enterprise Fund, labeling it a quintessential example of wasteful government spending


As governor of Texas, Perry’s lack of policy depth hasn’t hindered him much. He simply lets the Legislature do the heavy lifting. When the Legislature isn’t in session, Perry is largely content to float from one public appearance to another, cheerleading the Texas economy. He rarely bothers to diagnose the state’s problems, or offer any novel solutions.

When Perry does involve himself in policy debates, the most consistent thread is that he has sided with big business—that is to say, with industries big enough, or fortuitous enough, to have strong connections with the state government...


In many ways, Perry is quite conservative. He espouses limited government, low taxes and light regulation. But in his 10 years as governor, he’s often strayed from conservative orthodoxy. If there’s one phrase that best describes Perry’s governing ideology, it isn’t “conservative.” It’s crony capitalism. {Read Full Article Here}

Further research of Mr. Polish's background revieled the following.
The narrative is appealing: Small-town guy becomes Texas governor and makes (the economy) good—all by sticking to conservative principles. But while Texas remains “open for business”—the slogan of his successful re-election campaign in 2010—the state’s Legislature is in the process of a going-out-of-business sale. The Texas budget for the next two years is a mess of accounting tricks and gutted programs, thanks to an unprecedented budget shortfall. The state’s business tax has not only been unpopular, it also doesn’t generate nearly enough revenue. Operating at a structural deficit, the state has even begun to attack funding in the once-hallowed ground of education. And while Perry has spent a good bit of June on his non-campaign-campaign, state lawmakers from both parties are fighting tooth-and-nail to legislate around his dictums.


...as he told the Associated Press, “Texas is better off than practically any state in the country,” Perry, along with the rest of the state, soon discovered that Texas’s budget gap—$27 billion short of what it would need to maintain its already lean services in the next biennium—was among the worst in the nation.


...many lawmakers didn’t want to use the rainy day fund in the first place, but that’s because they know a dirty little secret: Even after this two year budget period, the state’s fiscal woes are far from over. The Lone Star State has a standing $10 billion shortfall every two-year budget cycle, thanks to a faulty tax system pushed by Perry that fails to balance the budget.


State legislators on both sides of the aisle have decried Perry’s ill-conceived fiscal planning. The chief Senate budget writer, Republican Steve Ogden, hasn’t been afraid to mince words about just how bad the business tax is. “None of us were elected to raise taxes on anybody,” he said the first day of the session.{Read The Full Article}

The most damaging is the following as it exposes Rick Perry, Mr. Polish for the fraud that he is.
The following are 14 reasons why Rick Perry would be a really, really bad president….

#1 Rick Perry is a “big government” politician. When Rick Perry became the governor of Texas in 2000, the total spending by the Texas state government was approximately $49 billion. Ten years later it was approximately $90 billion. That is not exactly reducing the size of government.

#2 The debt of the state of Texas is out of control. According to usdebtclock.org, the debt to GDP ratio in Texas is 22.9% and the debt per citizen is $10,645. In California (a total financial basket case), the debt to GDP ratio is just 18.7% and the debt per citizen is only $9932. If Rick Perry runs for president these are numbers he will want to keep well hidden.

#3 The total debt of the Texas government has more than doubled since Rick Perry became governor. So what would the U.S. national debt look like after four (or eight) years of Rick Perry?

#4 Rick Perry has spearheaded the effort to lease roads in Texas to foreign companies, to turn roads that are already free to drive on into toll roads, and to develop the Trans-Texas Corridor which would be part of the planned NAFTA superhighway system. If you really do deep research on this whole Trans-Texas Corridor nonsense you will see why no American should ever cast a single vote for Rick Perry.

#5 Rick Perry claims that he has a “track record” of not raising taxes. That is a false claim. Rick Perry has repeatedly raised taxes and fees while he has been governor. Today, Texans are faced with significantly higher taxes and fees than they were before Rick Perry was elected.

#6 Even with the oil boom in Texas, 23 states have a lower unemployment rate than Texas does.

#7 Back in 1988, Rick Perry supported Al Gore for president. In fact, Rick Perry actually served as Al Gore’s campaign chairman in the state of Texas that year.

#8 Between December 2007 and April 2011, weekly wages in the U.S. increased by about 5 percent. In the state of Texas they increased by just 0.6% over that same time period.

#9 Texas now has one of the worst education systems in the nation. The following is from an opinion piece that was actually authored by Barbara Bush earlier this year….

•  We rank 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates. An estimated 3.8 million Texans do not have a high school diploma.

•  We rank 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores.

•  We rank 33rd in the nation on teacher salaries.

#10 Rick Perry attended the Bilderberg Group meetings in 2007. Associating himself with that organization should be a red flag for all American voters.

#11 Texas has the highest percentage of workers making minimum wage out of all 50 states.

#12 Rick Perry often gives speeches about illegal immigration, but when you look at the facts, he has been incredibly soft on the issue. If Rick Perry does not plan to secure the border, then he should not be president because illegal immigration is absolutely devastating many areas of the southwest United States.

#13 In 2007, 221,000 residents of Texas were making minimum wage or less. By 2010, that number had risen to 550,000.

#14 Rick Perry actually issued an executive order in 2007 that would have forced almost every single girl in the state of Texas to receive the Gardasil vaccine before entering the sixth grade. Perry would have put parents in a position where they would have had to fill out an application and beg the government not to inject their child with a highly controversial vaccine. Since then, very serious safety issues regarding this vaccine have come to light. Fortunately, lawmakers in Texas blocked what Perry was trying to do. According to Wikipedia, many were troubled when “apparent financial connections between Merck and Perry were reported by news outlets, such as a $6,000 campaign contribution and Merck’s hiring of former Perry Chief of Staff Mike Toomey to handle its Texas lobbying work.”

Rick Perry has a record that should make all Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents cringe.

He is not the “conservative Republican” that he is trying to claim that he is. He is simply another in a long line of “RINOs” (Republicans in name only).

If Rick Perry becomes president, he will probably be very similar to George W. Bush. He will explode the size of the U.S. government and U.S. government debt, he will find sneaky ways to raise taxes, he will do nothing about the Federal Reserve or corruption in our financial system and he will push the agenda of the globalists at every turn. {Read The Full Article With Videos Here}

Rick Perry, or as I prefer to call him Mr. Polish is indeed the the fiscal conservatives worst nightmare. He is not only lacking in a consistent and rational political philosophy, he epitomizes he worst in the anti-capitalist methodology of "crony capitalism."

Just what we DO NOT NEED, anther GWB in the Big Chair.

Via: Memeorandum

New York Times: Obama Is Failing Miserably, So Let's Talk About Jesus


Right Klik

Anything to distract from Obama's miserable failures...

The economy is in the latrine, likewise for Obama's approval numbers, so Obama's "Journolist" fanboys at the New York Times have no choice but to change the subject and try to portray the GOP as a radical bunch of Dixiecrat crucaders whose judgement is clouded by tribal superstitions.

Hugh Hewitt explains:
Former editor of the New York Times Bill Keller is out with a piece that encourages his colleagues in the Manhattan-Beltway media elite to do their best to stoke the fires of religious intolerance by turning this presidential campaign into the occasion for an inquisition into all of the Republican's religious beliefs...

Having just returned from Jerusalem where one thinks a lot about the consequences of religious intolerance, Keller's naked appeal to prejudice is startling to me. Can he not know --really not know-- how his lines of inquiry play out and how they have always preceded the worst sort of religious intolerance?
So the New York Times thinks folks running for high office should answer obnoxious questions about their religious background?

Fair enough!

Let's ask Barack Hussein a few questions. He's an important guy in politics, right? Other conservative bloggers have already come up with a bunch of good questions here are mine:
  • How does your "Christian faith" distinguish your thinking from that of atheists and agnostics?
  • How does your "Christian faith" distinguish your thinking from that of Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Jews?
  • Do your religiopolitical views on "social justice" make you vulnerable to faith-based political decisions?
  • You said, "It's that fundamental belief — I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper — that makes this country work." Do your relationships with your brother and other family members reflect your Christian faith?
  • How do your deeply held religiopolitical beliefs interfere with your ability examine scientific issues with appropriate skepticism (e.g. AGW)?
  • How many times did you attend services at Reverend Jeremiah Wright's church?
  • Do you support or believe in Black Liberation Theology? Why or why not?
  • Your spiritual adviser, Jim Wallis, runs a blog called "God's Politics." Do you believe that Jim's politics should be described as "God's politics?" Do you believe that your politics can be described as "God's politics?"
  • Describe your relationship with Jim Wallis. How has he influenced your administration? Do you disagree with Jim Wallis on any issues?
  • When you refer to people who "cling to religion" what does that phrase mean? Do you harbor antipathy toward people who, in your view, fit that description? Are you someone who refrains from clinging to religion?
  • Would you have any hesitation about appointing a religiously conservative church-going Southern Baptist to the federal bench?
  • Many religious leaders who are close to you and your administration believe that their religious views should shape public policy. Do you believe that your ability to maintain the wall of separation between Church and State has been compromised by your relationships with religious leaders?
  • What, if anything, do you do to keep your religion out of your decisions in the Oval Office?
John has a score of great questions over at Verum Serum. Here are the ones I like best:
1. Do you believe the God of the Christian Bible is the same as the God of the Koran? Does this view influence your foreign policy?
4. Do you believe, as some liberals churchmen do (including some you’ve consulted with), that socialism is the system most compatible with the Gospels? Does this influence your public policy and if so how?
10. How do you integrate your faith with a scientific worldview including belief in evolution?
15. Do you believe Christ will return to earth in the future?
Bryan Preston adds this one: "What did you find so appealing and comforting about the preachings of the Reverent Jeremiah Wright?"

The fact that Obama is already in the White House should not exempt him from difficult questions about his religious and spiritual views. In fact, I would argue precisely to the contrary.

Don't miss this one! Obama’s Enablers:
It’s counterintuitive, but Obama has been hurt by the media’s leniency. Both his presidency and reelection prospects have suffered. He’s grown lazy and complacent. The media have encouraged him to believe his speeches are irresistible political catnip, though they aren’t. His overreliance on words hasn’t helped.

Advocates Of Capitalism and Rational Self Interest... Smith and Rand

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Adam Smith has been caricatured by some as endorsing greed, much as his modern counterpart Ayn Rand has been by today's political left. The truth is neither were advocating a society driven by greed. Rather both advocated a society driven by rational self interest. Which is to say a free and open market economy.

Both Adam Smith and Ayn Rand would likely find the American political, economic, and social system of today anti rational. Rational self interest dictates that not only do you work for prosperity for yourself and family but also for society at large. Individuals, businesses, and government must grow to understand this, and act accordingly if the country is to ever return to economic stability and real national prosperity.

Today corporatism and crony capitalism are systems that benefit the few and often reward the most unworthy. In doing so capitalism, as well as the concept of rational self interest based on ethical behavior is destroyed.

As our government and businesses have become steadily more corrupt and unethical the results are taking a heavy toll on individuals as well as the nation. Like Rome, American government and businesses {as well as many individuals} seem to be unable to grasp the inevitable outcome of our lack of fiscal and moral discipline.

Perhaps Rand had it exactly right when she asked in the title of one of her books... "Philosophy, Who Needs It?" The answer it would seem is... Everybody.

Given the state of our nation today isn't it becoming clear Americans are following political, governmental,and economic systems that are lacking in rationality and sound ethics?

From Adam Smith Institute:
Self-interest and virtue

Some people wonder how the self-interest that drives Smith’s economic system can be squared with the ‘sympathy’ that drive his ethics. Here is his answer:

How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it.

In other words, human nature is complex. We are self-interested, but we also like to help others too. Smith’s books are complementary: they show how self-interested human beings can live together peacefully (in the moral sphere) and productively (in the economic).

The Wealth Of Nations is no endorsement of economic greed, as sometimes caricatured. Self-interest may drive the economy, but that is a force for good – provided there is genuinely open competition and no coercion. And it is the poor that economic and social freedom benefits most.

Could it be that the very capitalist system that created the greatest prosperity the world has ever witnessed will ultimately be responsible for its own demise in America? Time to think outside the box and ones comfort zone methinks.

Related: At Memeorandum, "Obamanomics vs. Reaganomics"

Fisking the Left's victimhood mindset

Blog-buddy Kira Davis posted this video on her Google+ stream the other day. And it was so spectacular in its ignorance that I felt the need to address it in this forum because I think it offers valuable insight into the victim mentality of many Democrat voters.


Putting aside her laughable mangling of the word “bondage,” allow me to address several of the points she makes in her diatribe.
“I feel like I'm in bundage to a f@ckin' job. If I had a choice, I wouldn't work at all.”

Well, gee. Welcome to the world. Most of us would prefer to be able to do whatever we want, whenever we want. But there's this pesky thing called reality, the response to which is known as adulthood. Children get to play all day. Adults do what needs to be done in order to meet life's obligations.

I'll give her credit for this much; she admits that she needs to work in order to pay off the debt which she has accumulated. But within just a couple breaths of that tidbit of truth, she descends into a harangue against our “capitalistic system,” as if the free market system is somehow to blame for her personal choices.
“This whole system, this whole capitalistic system is basically in place to rip yo ass off, I'ma just be unnest witchu. The whole capitalistic system that we live in today, ok, is one big scam. Basically to rip you off.

They know you have to have a car to get around. They know you have to pay off that mortgage note, ya know. If you want a house, you gotta pay the bank their money for that house. You gotta pay the loan on that house. Otherwise, they gon' take that shit away from you and yo ass is gon' be homeless.

Who is the nefarious “they" to which she refers? Car manufacturers? House builders? Bankers? Last time I checked, nobody was running around putting guns to people's heads and forcing them to buy things for which they would become indebted. The answer is simple: don't borrow beyond your ability to repay. And if you DO decide to borrow, don't bitch about it. Make a choice and live with it.

This woman's victimhood mentality is what keeps so many other poor people stuck in their poverty. The notion that you can't do anything for yourself, the notion that if only you could wave a magic wand and move somewhere better, things would spontaneously improve for you. It's so much easier to blame some ethereal bad guy and bemoan one's fate.
“The banking industry is one big scam. I tell you…land…land is supposed to be free. We don't supposed to be paying for f@ckin’ land.”

Land is “supposed to be free?” According to whom? Apparently this genius has never heard of private property rights. I'm quite sure if someone were to walk into her apartment and take what she owns, she'd quickly change her tune. But when it's someone else's property, she doesn't feel like she should have to pay in order to use it.

Her ignorance goes way beyond just property rights. She seems to think everything should be free.
“Why are we paying for water? Water is supposed to be free.”

Again, according to whom? If you want free water, go drink it from a stream or lake. If you want someone to treat that water, remove the impurities and then pipe it into your home, you must pay them to do it. Otherwise, please take a seat and grab a big steaming mug of shut the fuck up.

But wait, it gets better.
“I mean, why do we have to continuously pay f@ckin' rent? All our lives! Why? Why can't we pay f@ckin' rent maybe ten years, you know, you stay in a place, you know, pay f@ckin' rent like ten years and aftuh dat you should never have to pay rent ageen. I mean ever. Ever! As long as you live. I'm just sayin'. I mean, we been over here since '98, we're still payin' f@ckin' rent? For dis piece of shit? I mean, dis is not worth the money dat I pay every month.”

Again, she acts as though someone is forcing her to rent. As though she can't make any choices for herself or better her situation through hard work. Millions of Americans who have achieved what she complains about would argue otherwise. If she had her way, paying rent for 10 years entitles her to steal property from its rightful owner. If she wants to live somewhere and pay for a set period of time, after which she need not pay ever again, it's called BUYING a home.


She then shifts over to the erroneous belief that Africa is a paradise, and if only she could go back there, everything would be dandy.
“My ancient ancestors didn't need 9 to 5 jobs, or 11 to 7pm jobs, or mittnight to 8am jobs. They took care of themselves. They built their own houses. They lived on land they didn't have to pay for. They didn't have to pay rent every gottdamn month…ummm…They didn't have to pay electricity bills every month. And believe it or not, there was electricity in Africa in ancient times, ok?

Umm, they didn't need f@ckin' 8-hour jobs and 10-hour jobs and 12-hour jobs and 16 hour-a-day jobs.”

Ancient Africans had electricity? Riiiiight. No need to even touch the addled notion any further.

I think if this woman were to go to “ancient” Africa, she'd find that the people there worked far longer than 16 hours a day in order to scrape out a living. Without the structure and comforts available in American society, life is far more difficult in many “simpler” countries. If this woman wants to life in a house she built herself, she's welcome to do so. But that won't be happening, because her complaints are disingenuous.

Furthermore, if this woman were to go to modern Africa, I believe she'd find things far different than the utopia she has in her mind. Kenya, Burundi, Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Mombassa are all scarred by widespread violence between various African tribes. And even they have to pay for electricity.
“I mean (chuckle) America is one big…basically mentally unstable place. I'm just gon' be honest with ya. (giggle) Dat's how I feel about America. Ya know? If I had a choice… I would go live in Africa.”

Well, lady, you finally hit upon some truth. You are truly the embodiment of mental instability. As to your wish to move to Africa; nobody's stopping you. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.
“Of course, I would need money in order to move over to Africa. Ya know, I would need money. Ok?”

Well, isn't that just a dandy excuse? Hiding behind that pretext allows her to comfortably complain about America while pining for some bizarrely idealized notion of African socialism, all while doing nothing to improve her current situation.

This social parasite thinks everything and everybody exists to give her a free ride. And she'll elect anyone who promises her the most handouts.

That is what we're up against in 2012. And if enough people like this woman are told they'll get rainbows and a pony in exchange for their vote, like they were told by President Obama in his 2008 campaign, we'll be stuck with him for another four years.
Cross-posted at Full Metal Patriot

(ED'S NOTE: This cross post is the first of hopefully many more from Full Metal Patriot. Check out his shiny new Wordpress site here.)

Politicians Beware, Little Brother is Watching You

People of my generation all remember who Big Brother was because of the wildly popular futuristic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. It became a classic and is still widely read today by those not totally fixated on the latest pop culture icon or the newest electronic gadget.

One of the reasons it has remained so popular is that so many of the predictions it made have come true, not to mention the terms and ideas that became part of the vernacular of our more contemporary language. Among those terms are doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, and memory hole.

But the one image that seems to concern us most is the cameras that were everywhere in the novel and are virtually everywhere in our real society today.

Politicians are in love with them and have legislated and "executive ordered" them to be installed to watch us everywhere from traffic lights to traffic stops and to street corners where people are suspected of being engaged in the commerce of government non-approved substances. It's not all bad for sure, it has its good uses such as solving actual crimes, but it still gives many people the creeps, myself among them.

However, one of the very best uses of them, and the one that I would opine has become the most beneficial to society, is the use of them by private citizens to keep track of the antics of those in elected positions or those seeking those positions.

Gone are the days of candidates going from one town to the next telling a different story in each one even if they are the exact opposite of each other. It's harder for Presidents to claim they never said such a thing or took such a position. They still do it of course, but it must be a nuanced denial in order to give their useful idiots some wiggle room to support them anyway.

So now the tables have been turned on these elected elite and they don't like it one bit. In fact, they have begun to go far out of their way to attempt to keep the citizens from recording the happenings at these farcical "town hall meetings" they insist on pretending to have with the common folk.

The latest goof to pull this stunt is a Republican Congressman from Ohio named Steve Chabot. But this time the evidence of the overbearing and underinformed police intimidation has been caught on a different camera and is spreading across the internet.

These staged events are getting harder to control even with the different tactics they employ to keep the pesky questions from being asked. So a few of them are now using the police to confiscate any obvious cameras they find being used to record the events they appear at.

Public meetings in public buildings with elected officials being paid by the taxpayers are now off limits to recording devices in some places. And only politician approved private media are allowed to keep track of the events.

I suggest we-the-people all become "Little Brothers" to keep these usurpations of our 1st amendment rights from becoming more commonplace than they already are.

Here are the aforementioned videos.

(Editor's Note: A retired investment advisor and resident of Illinois, Grant Davies blogs from a liberty perspective at What we Think and Why)

Second Great White Shark Spotted at Mission Beach Tower 13

By the Left Coast Rebel

Yet another (or the same) Great White shark was spotted at Mission Beach, this time at lifeguard tower 13. This time a surfer spotted a large dorsal fin protruding above the water (yikes). Beaches are closed one mile north and south of the tower 13 location.

More details at NBCSanDiego.com.

Feds Harass, Intimidate Gibson Guitar Company

By the Left Coast Rebel

Is it any wonder that American business is dying? Is it any surprise that China and India (not to mention several European nations, Asia et al.) are eclipsing the United States in entrepreneurial activity, wealth creation and business friendliness?

A story like this tells us everything that is wrong with the federal government:

(WSJ) (Memeo) Federal agents swooped in on Gibson Guitar Wednesday, raiding factories and offices in Memphis and Nashville, seizing several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. The Feds are keeping mum, but in a statement yesterday Gibson's chairman and CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, defended his company's manufacturing policies, accusing the Justice Department of bullying the company. "The wood the government seized Wednesday is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier," he said, suggesting the Feds are using the aggressive enforcement of overly broad laws to make the company cry uncle.


In 2009 the Feds seized several guitars and pallets of wood from a Gibson factory, and both sides have been wrangling over the goods in a case with the delightful name "United States of America v. Ebony Wood in Various Forms."

....But with the new raid, the government seems to be questioning whether some wood sourced from India met every regulatory jot and tittle.

Cross an international border with an instrument made of that now-restricted wood, and you better have correct and complete documentation proving the age of the instrument. Otherwise, you could lose it to a zealous customs agent—not to mention face fines and prosecution.

Potentially illegal Indian ebony wood? Give me a friggin' break.

The WSJ includes an extremely spooky, related story:

Consider the recent experience of Pascal Vieillard, whose Atlanta-area company, A-440 Pianos, imported several antique Bösendorfers. Mr. Vieillard asked officials at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species how to fill out the correct paperwork—which simply encouraged them to alert U.S. Customs to give his shipment added scrutiny.

There was never any question that the instruments were old enough to have grandfathered ivory keys. But Mr. Vieillard didn't have his paperwork straight when two-dozen federal agents came calling.

Facing criminal charges that might have put him in prison for years, Mr. Vieillard pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of violating the Lacey Act, and was handed a $17,500 fine and three years probation.

What does this kind of government enforcement activity remind you of? Did you read about this kind of stuff in your history texts years ago?

The delicious irony here is that a lot of musicians -- and creative musical types -- are raging libs that vote in ludicrous gunpoint-enforced laws like this.

Now, when their houses are raided (or companies) and they face airport coercion and molestation, they know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of government largess.

A conservative is a liberal musician who's
been mugged by the federal government

Update (by Proof): Full disclosure: I owned a Gibson twelve string back in the early 80's.

It's sad that the oxymoron known as the Obama Justice Department won't protect the integrity of our voting system by prosecuting hate crimes committed at polling places (if the offender is a certain race or color), won't uphold the integrity of our borders against illegal immigration, failed miserably against tracking illegal gun sales to Mexico, (even encouraging and expediting them), but will enforce laws against raw milk producers and now, regulations about where wood comes from for a musical instrument.

Note to guitar pickers: The cost of your next Gibson just went up.

Note to Gibson employees: The Feds just gave your boss another reason to ship your jobs overseas.

Have a nice day!

Update II (by Proof): According to Doug Ross, campaign contributions (or the lack thereof) may have contributed to the raid(s).
One of Gibson’s leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Company. The C.E.O., Chris Martin IV, is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the DNC over the past couple of election cycles. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain “East Indian Rosewood.” In case you were wondering, that is the exact same wood in at least ten of Gibson’s guitars.

It's good to know that the oxymoronically named Obama Justice Department is above being used to punish one's political opponents or reward partisan political support. /sarcasm

(PHOTO) Thursday, August 25, 2011 Great White Shark Spotted off Mission Beach?; Mission Beach Closed, Reopened Today

By the Left Coast Rebel

I had no idea Jaws was spotted yesterday at Mission Beach. Video from Fox 5 San Diego tells the story:

Via SignOnSD:

— A two-mile stretch of Mission Beach that was closed after a lifeguard spotted what was believed to be a great white shark was reopened Friday morning. Lifeguard officials said an advisory warning of the potential danger will remain in effect until noon.

The sighting was around 12:15 p.m. Thursday beyond the surf break in front of Lifeguard Tower 15, at the foot of Ventura Place, lifeguard Lt. Nick Lerma said.

The beach was closed a mile in each direction from the tower, between South Mission Beach jetty to Santa Clara Place.

Todd Rice, a San Diego lifeguard for 10 years, said he was paddling 30 yards off shore, on his knees on his rescue board, when he saw an 18-inch tall shark dorsal fin about 70 yards away, heading north.

Photo of lifeguards searching for the shark yesterday (hat-tip Fox 5 San Diego):


Heading north? Hmm. I was considering hitting the water and enjoying the warm weather this weekend. I think I'll go anyway but keep my eyes "peeled" (as my mother would say.)

Apparently an 18-inch dorsal fin puts the shark at approximately 10-feet long, which, by Great White standards is pretty small.

Here's a Google Map image of the area. Look closely. Can you see a fin?

View Larger Map