Thursday, 02 April 2009
"FIXING" THE NEW CENSUS
In case you're wondering whether Barack Obama will be keeping the census
bureau apolitical, here is an excerpt from an
Associated Press article that gives you the answer. Please pay special
attention to the headline, versus the article itself:
|Obama to nominate sampling expert
to head census
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack
Obama has chosen Robert M. Groves to be the next census director, turning to a
professor who has clashed with Republicans over the use of statistical sampling
to lead the high-stakes head count.
01:28 PM US/Eastern|
By HOPE YEN
The White House will
announce the selection of Groves on Thursday, a Commerce Department official
told The Associated Press. The official demanded anonymity because the
individual was not authorized to speak before the announcement.
Groves is a former Census Bureau associate
director of statistical design, who served from 1990-92. He has spent decades
researching ways to improve survey response rates. If confirmed by the Senate, he will take
the helm less than a year before the decennial count, which has been beset by
partisan bickering and will be used to apportion House seats and allocate
billions in federal dollars.
House Republicans quickly expressed dismay over
the selection of Groves, saying Obama's choice raised serious questions about
his political intentions.
"This is an incredibly troubling selection that
contradicts the administration's assurances that the census process would not be
used to advance an ulterior political agenda," said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.,
the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. "Mr.
Groves will have every opportunity to address these concerns during the
When he was the bureau's associate director,
Groves recommended that the 1990 census be statistically adjusted to make up for
an undercount of roughly 5 million people, many of them minorities in dense
urban areas who tend to vote for Democrats.
But in a fierce political dispute that prompted
White House staff to call advisers to the bureau and express opposition, the
Census Bureau was overruled by Republican Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher,
who called the proposed statistical adjustment "political tampering."
The Supreme Court later
ruled in 1999 that the use of statistical sampling cannot be used to apportion
House seats, but indicated that adjustments could be made to the population
count when redrawing congressional boundaries.
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke has made
clear that sampling will not be used for apportionment. He stated during his
confirmation hearing that there are no plans to use sampling for redistricting,
while indicating that sampling could be used to measure census accuracy or
collect a wider range of demographic data.
There's your "apolitical" census bureau selection - someone with a history of
trying to add in voters he has no way of finding, for the benefit of the
Democratic Party and to the detriment of Republicans.
So when you hear Mr. Obama and his people tell you that they're going
to "fix" the census, baby, understand what they mean by the term.
By the way, don't you love the article's headline? People who
don't read further on will have no idea that Groves is controversial at
all. Heck, he's a "sampling expert". That's great. Who could ever
have a problem with that?
OBAMA AND THE CIGARETTE TAX
President Obama pledged not to raise taxes on people earning below a certain amount of
money. The actual amount seemed to vary from day to day, but at one time or another was
$250,000, $200,000 and $150,000 (the $150,000 might have been mentioned by Joe
Biden rather than Barack Obama. Joe is capable of saying anything at any time).
In February, Mr. Obama signed legislation that
dramatically raised the federal tax on cigarettes - from .39 to $1.01. The increase took effect
yesterday. And the argument is being made that,
since it is a statistical fact that poorer people are more likely to smoke cigaretees,
he is breaking his tax pledge.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of truth to this
claim. By almost tripling the federal tax, it is likely that more poor
people will be shut
out of cigarette smoking than well to
Or will they?
The reality that neither federal nor state legislatures never seem to
understand is that the more cigarettes are taxed, the greater the market there
is for illegal, untaxed cigarettes. And the greater the
opportunity there is for organized crime to make a killing by selling them.
Take New York, for example. It has the highest cigarette tax
(state and federal combined) in the country; a stunning $3.76 a
pack. That means criminals can charge $2,00 above the normal per-pack
markup in New York and still save their customers $1,.76. Do you doubt
that huge amounts of cigarettes are sold this way?
And remember: every pack that is bought illegally not only deprives the
federal government of its new .61 cent additional tax, it deprives the
federal and state governement of all cigarette tax, old and
new. All $3.76 of it.
Personally, I wouldn't at all be surprised if the additional .61 tax creates a net
loss in tax revenues --- not to mention a tremendous windfall for the
criminals who engage in illegal sales.
Great going, Mr. Obama. Super job, congress. You really showed
One last thing: As a matter of disclosure, I gave
up cigarettes 28 years ago. I think it is a
dangerous, unsanitary habit, and wish no one at all smoked them. (No,
I don't smoke cigars or a pipe either).
BOWING DOWN TO THE SAUDIS
That title is two things:
1) It is the accusation made ongoingly about former President Bush by
Democrats, especially Barack Obama during his campaign.
2) It is what Barack Obama actually did when meeting king Abdullah of Saudi
See for yourself, and be sure to have a barf bag handy:
US President Barack Obama, center, back to
camera, greets King Abdullah of Saudi
Does this make you want to puke as much as it makes me want to?
Now: when do our wonderful, "neutral" media report on the absolutely
disgusting spectacle of a President of the United States bowing before the
king of Saudi Arabia, like a grovelling little commoner?
Or are they still 100% determined to insulate this ignorant, bumbling joke
from the criticism he has so richly earned?
If President Obama felt it necessary to humble himself by bowing to
someone, it should have been Queen Elizabeth. Then he could have
given that stupid iPod to Abdullah.
If Barack Obama had an R instead of a D next to his name, he would be the
laughingstock of all media today. Is he?
THE US AND THE UN'S "HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION"
Ann Bayefsky of the Hudson Institute has written a superb analysis of the
folly inherent in the US attempting to become a member of the United Nations
Human Rights Commission. Here it is without further comment from me -
because Ms. Bayefsky says it all:
April 02, 2009, 0:00 a.m.
Obama Joins Human-Rights Charade
The United States is participating in a risible U.N.
Pres. Barack Obama has
announced that the United States will seek a seat on the U.N. Human Rights
Council for the first time. The formal election of new members is in May, but
the result is a foregone conclusion. The human-rights abusers who dominate the
Council and use it to protect themselves, to eliminate universal standards, and
to demonize their democratic foes are already celebrating.
This is a
surrender of American values unlike any other. The spectacle of this particular
president legitimizing a lethal weapon for the defeat of human rights will haunt
him until the end of his term.
The Council was created in March 2006
after the U.N. Human Rights Commission became too much of an embarrassment even
for the U.N. The General Assembly rejected a U.S. proposal requiring that states
actually protect human rights as a condition of Council membership. As a result,
the United States voted against the Assembly resolution that gave it
The Bush administration also refused to use taxpayer dollars to
pay for the Council. Obamas move will reverse this policy. It is, therefore,
important to appreciate exactly what American tax dollars will now be
purchasing. Here is a sample of what the Council has accomplished over its
Council has adopted a formal agenda of ten items that governs all its meetings.
One agenda item is reserved for condemning Israel. This item is called the
human-rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories; the
human rights of Israelis are deliberately omitted. And one agenda item is
assigned to the human rights of the remaining 99.9 percent of the worlds
population. By taking a seat on the Council, the United States will be agreeing
to this agenda and to the resulting apportionment of the Councils
Every morning throughout the Council sessions, all U.N.
member states meet to strategize and share information in one of the U.N.s five
regional groups. All that is, except Israel. At the Council, Israel is denied
membership in any regional group, including the amalgam of Western states to
which the United States belongs. The United States is, therefore, about to
attend a continuous stream of meetings through doors effectively marked no
representatives of the Jewish people allowed.
The Council has had ten regular sessions concerning human
rights worldwide and five special sessions to condemn Israel.
The Council has adopted more resolutions and decisions
condemning Israel than all the other 191 U.N. member states
The Council has terminated human-rights investigations of
such paragons as Belarus, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and
The last time the Council took action on Sudan was seven
months ago. The resolution on that country acknowledges . . . the steps taken
by the Government of the Sudan to strengthen the human-rights legal and
institutional framework, principally in law reform. (The Sudanese criminal code
prohibits homosexuality, makes adultery a capital offense, and provides for
flogging, amputation, stoning, and crucifixion.)
The Council has just terminated every investigation of
consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of all human
rights and all fundamental freedoms. Under this heading, it has discontinued
investigations of the likes of Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Turkmenistan, and
Uzbekistan. Even the discredited U.N. Human Rights Commission had investigations
under way every year since this process began in 1974.
The Council president has made a procedural ruling that
any commentary connecting the practice of Islam to human-rights violations is
out of order.
The Council has sabotaged the key resolution in the U.N.
system on freedom of expression. The resolution now requires investigation of
abuses of the right of freedom of expression . Most Council members
do not permit freedom of expression, much less suffer from the abuse of
The Council regularly adopts resolutions on the
defamation of religions, an overt attempt by Islamic states to stymie free
speech of individuals in the name of protecting religion.
The Council has made repeated efforts to circumvent
universal principles. It has spawned numerous entities charged with searching
for normative gaps with the intention of filling them with sharia exemption
The Council has created an investigator charged with
reporting on respect for cultural diversity (read: the refusal to hold Islamic
states to universal standards of human rights). Not surprisingly, this plan was
spearheaded by some of the worst human-rights abusers on the planet: Iran,
Syria, Cuba, China, North Korea, Venezuela, and Belarus.
The Councils one new device the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was
heralded as introducing a careful examination of all U.N. states without
discrimination. What actually happens is that a series of human-rights abusers
congratulate one another, avoid any serious scrutiny, and then denigrate the
democracies that agreed to the travesty in the first place.
It is true
that some human-rights groups are willing to admit there is a problem with the
Human Rights Council. But they still insist that Obamas decision to participate
in this sham raises the prospect of change from the inside. They are mistaken.
Serious reform of the U.N. Human Rights Council is impossible. The
United States failed to win over a majority of U.N. members to the idea of
minimal preconditions for Council membership because the majority of U.N.
members are not fully free democracies and have no interest in introducing
democratic hurdles for anything they do. On the Council itself, the majority of
seats are held by the African and Asian regional groups, and the Organization of
the Islamic Conference (OIC) has a majority in both of these groups. That means
the OIC holds the balance of power. The more time the Council spends demonizing
Israel, the less likely it becomes that it will ever get around to condemning
genocide in Sudan, female slavery in Saudi Arabia, or torture in Egypt.
President Obamas decision to bring the United States into the Council
is a gift for his political adversaries. The Council and its many subsidiary
bodies meet almost year round, and many of their proceedings are webcast. Every
time the president makes a speech about human dignity, the welfare of
minorities, the equality of women, or an end to torture, his critics can
circulate another picture of the hapless American representative to the Council
glued to his chair during the adoption of yet another decision trashing human
rights with the United States paying the bill.
will rue the day that the United States legitimized this morally bankrupt
institution. President Obama will, too.
HAS ANYONE SEEN THESE TWO IN THE SAME PLACE?
Is it just me, or does Hamid Karzai, the Prime Minister of
...look an awful lot like Carlo Rota, the guy who plays Morris O'Brian,
Chloe's husband on the hit TV show "24"?
For the record, in the top picture Karzai is the one on the
MAKING THE USA A SOCIALIST COUNTRY (CONT.)
From CBS News:
Posted by Stephen W Smith |
Days after GM's CEO Rick Wagoner was forced out by
the Obama administration, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner left open the
possibility that such moves could happen again.
In an interview with
CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric, Geithner acknowledged the
government has had to do "exceptional things" citing AIG as well as Fannie and
"We have changed management aboard," he said. "And where
we've done that, we've done it because we thought that was necessary to make
sure these institutions emerge stronger in the future."
When asked if he
would leave open the option to pressure a bank CEO to resign, Geithner replied:
We are watching the USA become a socialist country. Right in front of our eyes.
With a Democratic majority in congress, a complicit media and enough mind-numbed
Obama worshippers so that it can't be stopped - unless enough of them
wake up, realize this is happening and think of the consequences.
I've been writing this blog for over 2 years, and readers know that I don't
say things like this as a matter of course. I'm no chicken little, and
don't see the sky falling when it isn't.
Well, now it is.
THE ORANGUTAN AND THE LEOPARD CUBS
This sweet story, complete with magnificent pictures, comes to us from
London's Daily Mail. Enjoy:
The adorable leopard cubs who are best
friends with a baby orangutan
Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 4:08 PM on 02nd April
Just five weeks old, these twin
baby leopards are as inquisitive as they are adorable - which is how they've
made friends with a baby orangutan.
Solka and his sister Chant go
to Rishi, aged one, for warm cuddles in his already long fur.
The pair, both African leopards were born at The Institute
of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species, inMyrtle Beach, South
They now weigh around two
pounds, stand at six inches tall and measure 12 inches from tail to
Best of friends: Five-week-old
leopard cubs Chant and Sloka cuddle up to Rishi, a one year old
Hand raised by carers at the
institute, these two endangered cubs will grow up to be animal ambassadors at
the conservation centre, where people are given extraordinarily close access to
the animal kingdom.
'Solka and Chant came away from
their mother, Kirean, 10, around ten days ago,' said Rajani Ferrante, who gives
the cubs 24 hour care.
'The babies are fed every four
hours with a special formula made from vitamins, fresh yogurt and goats
'In the wild the mothers are
usually very attentive for around one month, after which they leave the babies
to fend for themselves.
Time for sleep: The pair are
being raised at The Institue For Endangered Species Myrtle Beach, South
'These guys will never be going
into the wild and so to form a relationship with them they need to be hand
raised by us after that time.'
Leopard populations are
declining due to hunting and degradation of their habitat and prey base, and
have a 'lower risk' status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened
By far the strongest climber
among big cats, an adult leopard can haul prey twice its own body weight up into
a tree where it can feast without disturbance from other predators.
Adult male leopards usually
grow to 80 cm high at the shoulder and weigh around 180 pounds, while adult
females are considerably smaller, weighing around 120 pounds.
Both Solka and Chant have an
outdoor habitat where they play and interact but they are so small and young
they have free reign of the house and they roll around on the
Adorable: Chant and Sloka with
their surrogate mum Rajani Ferrante
'It will be several months
before they can be re-united with their 10-year-old other and 15-year-old father
Chance,' said 35-year-old Rajnee who has worked at the Institute for 12
'They are so inquisitive and
are walking around in the institute and meet the guests.
'They even play with Rishi who
is a one year old orangutan who is their play mate and will be for the next six
to eight months.
'Leopards are the most
intelligent of the big cat family and Rishi is having a good time teaching them
a few things.
'They will be animal
ambassadors and meeting guests who visit the reserve.'
and Rare Species is a
wildlife education organisation, dedicated to promoting global
Chant and Sloka will be
handreared by staff at the centre until they are a little
THE OBAMA BLUEPRINT FOR IMPROVED FOREIGN RELATIONS
Wasn't it Barack Obama who said that President Bush put us into disfavor with
the world, and he would restore our lofty standing?
Well, read this blog by Mark Finkelstein of www.finkelblog.com and tell me how this
Obama Spokesman Mocks Ally Who
Supported US Anti-Missile Policy
Is this Pres. Obamas new approach to
diplomacy: sending his spokesman out to mock foreign leaders who dare question
his profligate spending, even when those leaders have sacrificed to support US
national security policy? Apparently so . . .
spokesman Robert Gibbs made the rounds of the morning shows today, and
interestingly it was GMAs Diane Sawyer who asked the toughest questions.
She displayed the
chart shown in the screencap
which demonstrates that PBO is spending, as a percentage of GDP, about 5x as
much on his stimulus package as our European allies.
When Sawyer quoted Czech Prime Minister Mirek
Topolanek, also currently serving as President of the European Union, as saying
that PBOs big spending is the way to hell, Gibbs responded by
sniping at Topolaneks judgment . . . and mocking him for his domestic political
Diane, the person who made that comment, the day earlier had had a
no-confidence vote in his country about his economic policies, so I can assure
you that the president isnt looking to that person to devise the economic
policies of our country.
Now its true that Topolanek suffered a
no-confidence vote. But heres the irony: the Voice of America, an arm of
the US government, explained that
no-confidence vote in these terms [emphasis added]:
came after the center right government of Prime Minister Mirek
Topolanek was criticized for the way it handled the economic crisis and
for supporting a controversial American anti-missile defense
So a good ally risks his political fortunes to
support the United States, and instead of thanking him, Pres. Obama returns the
favor by mocking the very troubles that the allys pro-American stand
caused. Some diplomacy.
Let's see what takes more time: You (or anyone) figuring out how this
improves our foreign relations, or you (or anyone else) waiting for our
wonderful "neutral" media to give the administration's hypocritical, stupid
behavior significant coverage.
Personally I expect a tie. At infinity.
THE COUNTRY WHERE ARAB CITIZENS ARE MOST FREE
As readers of this blog certainly know, I have often pointed out that
Arabs have more rights and privileges in Israel than they have in any Arab
country on earth.
Today, Scott Johnson, writing for www.powerlineblog.com, has a piece which
demonstrates another facet of the power and influence Arabs have in Israel
- and, sickeningly, how at least one elected Arab official exploits it:
There are 22 country members of the League of Arab
States. In what Middle Eastern country do Arab citizens have the greatest civil
and political rights? I think the correct answer must be a non-member of the
league. I'm thinking of Israel. In his Impromptus this
morning, Jay Nordlinger observes:
Every now and then, I think of the status of
Arabs in Israel, contrasted with the status of non-Arabs in Arab countries.
And years ago, I was arrested by a news story. I read -- I am going from
memory -- "Prime Minister Sharon's speech in the Knesset on Thursday was
interrupted by heckling from Arab legislators." And I tried to imagine
parallel reports: "President Assad's speech to the Syrian legislature was
interrupted by heckling from Jewish legislators." "President Mubarak's speech
to the Egyptian parliament was interrupted by heckling from Jewish
legislators." "King Abdullah's speech to the Saudi parliament was interrupted
by Jewish members." Etc., etc.
Those men couldn't even be interrupted by Arab
and Muslim legislators!
Well, here is an article in the Jerusalem
Post: "New Balad party MK Haneen Zuabi, the first woman to be elected to
the Knesset as a representative of an Arab party, has welcomed Iran's growing
influence on Palestinian affairs and praised Iran's quest for a nuclear weapon
as a means of offsetting Israel's regional military edge." (Complete story, go
Lovely, just lovely.
No matter how you slice it, Israel is an
extraordinary country -- with legislators like that, rooting on the regime
pledged to the destruction of Israel.
This is an area in which we may lag Israel
slightly. Israel may have MK Haneen Zuabi, rooting on the regime pledged to the
destruction of Israel, but we have Reps. Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee and others
whose support for the enemies of the United States is less direct than Zuabi's
is for the Israel's enemies. But the views of the mainsteam of the Democratic
Party on this score is closer to Lee's and Kucinich's views than the views of
Israel's primary parties are to Zuabi's.
Amazing, isn't it?
There are about 1.3 million Arabs living in Israel - not Gaza or
Judea/Samaria (the west bank), but in Israel proper.
-They are citizens, with full rights.
-They can vote in elections - men and women both.
-As is obvious from the above piece, they can serve in government (13 of
the 120 knesset members are Arabs)***
-They can own property
-They can send their children to Israel's world class universities
-Etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
There is no Arab country on earth that comes close to providing Arab citizens
with the rights and privileges they enjoy in Israel. And it goes without
saying that there is no Arab country on earth where its citizens (the ones not
directly benefitting from oil $$$) come anywhere near the level of prosperity
that Arabs enjoy in Israel.
But what does this get Israel? It gets an Arab member of
the knesset congratulating Iran on its progress in developing a nuclear
weapon, even as ahmadinejad tells us it wants Israel "wiped off the face of the
I wonder if this genius has thought about the fact that, if Iran makes good on
its threat, she and her entire family will be wiped out too.
Or does she think an Iranian nuclear weapon is going to select only Jewish
This is a tiny little taste of what Israel is up against, folks. Keep
it in mind when you judge Israel's actions in Gaza, the west bank and the
Arab countries that want it obliterated.
*** Since I mentioned there are 13 Arab members of the knesset, I thought you
might like to see who they are, and what else they have been entrusted with by
the Israeli government:
||15th, 16th, 17th, 18th
||Former Deputy Knesset
||Arab Democratic Party,
United Arab List
||13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th
||United Arab List
||15th, 16th, 18th
||United Arab List
||15th, 16th, 17th, 18th
||16th, 17th, 18th
||Former Deputy Knesset
speaker, briefly acting President|
||16th, 17th, 18th
||First Arab woman elected on an Arab party's
LIZZIE PALMER'S TRIBUTE TO OUR TROOPS
I just saw what may well be the most stirring video I
have ever come across. It was created, I am told, by a 15 year old girl named Lizzie Palmer.
She is a high school sophomore from Ohio who intends to join the army after
The video is 5:23 long. It will both inspire you and break
Watch it by clicking
here. And have tissues nearby. I guarantee you'll
One other thing: As you will see, Ms. Palmer misspells the word
"niece". If this matters to you at all, the video was wasted on
DAWN JOHNSEN'S VIEWS ON ABORTION
dawn johnsen is President Obama's choice for Assistant Attorney General for
the office of Legal Counsel.
From the California Catholic Daily (as opposed to any mainstream media--in
keeping with its blanket protection of everything Obama):
While Johnsen served as legal counsel for the
National Abortion & Reproductive Rights Action League (now NARAL
Pro-Choice America), she authored numerous legal opinions rejecting any and
all restrictions on abortion.
Some notable quotes from Johnsen's
amicus curiae brief in the case Webster v. Reproductive Health Services
restrictions 'reduce pregnant women to no more than fetal containers.
The argument that women who become pregnant have in some sense
consented to the pregnancy belies reality... and others who are the inevitable
losers in the contraceptive lottery no more 'consent' to pregnancy than
pedestrians 'consent' to being struck by drunk drivers.
[of abortion] is no longer traumatic; the response of most women to the
experience is relief.
Personally, I am neither Catholic nor anywhere near "pro-life" in
the Catholic sense. I support a woman's right to an abortion within
what I consider reasonable limits. I have no objection at all to birth
control, including the so-called "day after" pill. I am fine with early abortions (e.g. before there is a beating heart and
brain activity). I am against partial birth abortion unless there is
definitive evidence the woman's life is in
But dawn johnsen's attitudes regarding pregnancy, and her indifference to
aborting human life, are so vile to me that I don't want her anywhere near a
governmental appointment in which she could ever rule on the abortion
How about you?