Monday, May 25, 2015

Observations From the Back Row!

What if We Didn’t Have a Constitution? - By Andrew P. Napolitano
What if we didn’t have a Constitution? What if the government were elected by custom and tradition, but not by law? What if election procedures and official titles and government responsibilities merely followed those that preceded them, and not because any of this was compelled by law, but because that’s what folks came to expect? What if those elected to office, and those appointed to it, as well, took oaths to uphold the Constitution? What if those who took the oaths promised fidelity to the Constitution? What if the Constitution declares itself to be the supreme law of the land? What if the supreme law of the land means what it says?  What if all in government, from presidents to park rangers, from generals to janitors, from judges to jail guards, take substantially the same oath? What if very few who have taken their oaths take them seriously? What if very few who have taken their oaths have actually read the Constitution? What if very few who have taken their oaths understand the values the Constitution upholds?....

Hillary Clinton: The Worst of the Worst Opportunist - By Rod Eccles
We are seeing the ramping up of the campaign season for the next election in 2016 and there is bad opportunity all around. We see candidate after candidate not living up to what we believe is still the American Dream. We see candidate after candidate from all levels of government telling us about their ideas to help the American people as a whole and individually. The reason this is a bad opportunity is because history has shown and taught us that big government can never help us on an individual level. I cannot even begin to fathom how someone, anyone, would argue that fact since we have overwhelming evidence which includes data and history that over shadows any small successes there might have been in this area.

A new decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals holds that New York’s state government has the right to ban “Choose Life” license plates on the grounds that such a statement is “patently offensive.”  The dispute stems from a now-suspended program offered by New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) which allowed private organizations to create custom license plates. If drivers purchased the plates, the purchasing price was split between the DMV and the non-profit.  The Children First Foundation (CFF), an organization promoting adoption as an alternative to abortion, submitted a design for a “Choose Life” license plate, which featured a drawing of two children’s faces in front of a yellow sun.

I love Pamela Geller. I have known and loved her for years. She is a great American! If only everyone who has the honor of calling himself American could grow courage like hers we would be un-terrorizable as a nation. Pamela gets that we are at war and stands as an example for those of us who have lost our way.  Many of you under fifty have been educated by the whackerino indoctrinators crowding reality out of our High Schools and Universities. These liars and fantasists are so busy obliterating, truncating or revising history (when they're not entirely ignoring it), that our true history has drifted out the window like so much smoke wafting in the wind. As a consequence there are few Americans left to say, "Hey, whoa, that's not the way it goes...that's not the way it is"; especially when it comes to our Constitution….."The First Amendment is "an ABSOLUTE". This is contrary to Leftists, who would re conform our culture of liberty to please the tastes of savage, knife-wielding hordes. According to a report, one-half of Democrats and one-third of Republicans want to ban "hate-speech". Whaaaa? Let’s just get rid of our sacred free thought amendment?...... An Imam …..[said]…. "You have to know that when you say such things there will be consequences!"….. She was forced to talk over his incessant shrieking….”…… the very idea of such freedom makes him hysterical.…

With today’s news that the 170-member Republican Study Committee is opposed to reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, the House appears poised to allow the troubled agency to finally expire on June 30 without taking any action. That, however, hasn’t stopped proponents of the bank from staking their hopes on the Senate’s taking action to jam the House. Fortunately, that path seems to be increasingly difficult to walk. While it is conventional wisdom to believe the Senate can “jam the House,” the reality is that doing so is extremely difficult. There are two general scenarios in which Senate action could spur House action, but those situations are unlikely to materialize into significant threats...
A Nation Of Wimps? - By Steven Laib
In a recent column for Townhall John Hawkins asks an important question. When Did America Turn Into Such A Nation Of Wimps? Yes, he probably knows several answers for this question, and so do many other intelligent people, but it seems proper to address it anyway. So, for what it is worth, here is one answer that provides some interesting insight on the reasons……

The Global Warming Scam -- So Simple, a 5th Grader Can Debunk It  - By Jonathan Henderson
I seem to find myself frequently of late reading various frequently-published commentaries by non-certified psychobabblers how "Climate Change skeptics" suffer from mental illness. Apparently, skepticism rather than abstaining from being a sheep herded to his pending slaughter must be akin to not laughing when Democrats or a global government body like the United Nations sanction rape. Not only am I profoundly disabled intellectually, I need something else far more applicable to my ills than a taste of their own medicine. According to the UN, I must be one of the many targeted for eradication to fulfill their depopulation initiatives. Far be it from moi, given the Left already has me cast into "White Man's Hell" just because of my racial genetic code some call a "privilege"... except most on the Left do not believe in God, so therefore, I cannot go to hell. I will be sent to the purgatory of one of Obama's FEMA camps nearest me as soon as Operation: Jade Helm 15 rears its ugliest head…

The Tyranny of Radical Secularism (Part 2 of 3)  - By Justin Soutar
A major propaganda weapon in the militant secularists' assault on America's Christian identity and on religious liberty is their re-interpretation of the concept of the "separation of church and state" implicitly enshrined in the First Amendment. Our nation's founders intended the distinction between religious and civil authority to allow each governing entity to fulfill its proper public role. Radical secularists reinterpret this common-sense distinction as a radical divorce between the religious and civil spheres. In their view, every trace of religion must be scrubbed from American public life: no references to God should be made by government leaders; no symbols of the Christian religion should be displayed on public property. This malicious anti-God and anti-Christian animus would have struck the Founders as not only quite alien but extremely dangerous to the well-being of our nation. Here is what General George Washington wrote to the governors of the original thirteen states in a letter announcing the disbanding of the Continental Army on June 8, 1783 (note that this was an official U.S. military document):……

The Mississippi city of Richland has a new $4.1 million police station, a top-level training center and a fleet of black-and-white Dodge Charger police cars.  All of it was paid for through civil forfeitures of property and cash seized during traffic stops of what police say were suspected drug runners on Interstate 20. TEARFULLY DONATED: The sign for Richland’s $4.1 million police station, which was paid for entirely by civil forfeiture. Civil libertarians question the constitutionality of civil forfeiture, which has become a key part of revenue for state and local law enforcement agencies nationwide. Under the laws of many states, citizens can be deprived of their property or even cash if police merely suspect the owners to be involved in criminal activity…..

A Washington state senator has survived a campaign by Western Washington University students who demanded their school revoke his master’s degree because he’s not radical enough on global warming.  Doug Ericksen, a Republican and chair of Washington’s Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee, has blocked efforts to force businesses and residents to go green, but he supports voluntary compliance. He opposes mandated cap-and-trade programs and low-carbon fuel standards. But the effort to yank Ericksen’s degree — he earned his MA in political science and environmental policy at WWU — met with a stiff rebuke last week from the university’s president.

“Green” power is smacking Texans with higher utility bills, but Democratic lawmakers in Austin, aided by wayward Republicans, don’t care. They’re stalling legislation that would reel in wind-energy costs. The price of putting up power lines to connect wind farms in West Texas to customers in the central and eastern parts of the state has blown away initial estimates. The $4.9 billion venture has hit $6.8 billion, and counting. The Senate passed SB 931 to curb the program and relieve ratepayers, but Democrats determined to push more wind power have blocked the measure in the House. The bill, authored by state Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Abilene, is on deathwatch with barely more than a week remaining in the legislative session. Texans will pay an average of $300 more per year on their electric bills to fund the power-line project. Continued expansion would increase costs.  State Sen. Eddie Lucio of Brownsville was the lone Democrat to vote for Fraser’s bill…. “The wind industry is apoplectic about this,”…… “If Texas (approves SB 931), other states will follow.”

The collapse of Hawaii’s state-run health exchange has observers wondering which of the other beleaguered exchanges could be next to fail. Hawaii dumped its Obamacare exchange last week after state lawmakers refused to pump an additional $28 million into what they saw as a failed experiment. Despite using up $135 million of an appropriated $205 million, Hawaii Health Connector fell well short of goals, enrolling just 37,000 Hawaiians since 2013. The program ceased taking new enrollees on Friday, and health officials will end outreach services at the end of the month. The exchange’s 70-plus employees, temps and contractors will go home for good on Feb. 28, 2016. The decision by lawmakers to abandon the exchange came after the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services restricted the state’s grant money. Earlier this year, the group warned Hawaii Health Connector would lose funding for not integrating with Medicaid or reaching target enrollment goals…….

Ferguson Rent-A-Mobs Exposed - By Matthew Vadum
ACORN’s successor group in Missouri has been paying protesters $5,000 a month to generate civil unrest in Ferguson, the troubled St. Louis suburb where black youth Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer last August. We know this because some of the protesters haven’t been paid and, now, they are demanding what they were promised. They held a sit-in at the offices of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) and posted a demand letter online.  MORE is the rebranded Missouri branch of the former Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) which filed for bankruptcy in late 2010. That ACORN state chapter reconstituted itself in December 2009 as MORE under orders from ACORN’s national headquarters. President Obama used to work for ACORN and he represented it in court as a lawyer. (See my previous article on MORE.)….

Simply put: The March Against Monsanto (MAM) is a menace to society. It spreads lies and distrust about science and scientists. Its organizers frequently compare themselves to great American civil rights leaders like Rosa Parks and Dr. King. They believe they are protecting society from something they feel is a danger, but what they are really doing is failing to comprehend basic biology. For two years its gone unchecked, but not anymore! A group of activists is readying to “Take Science to the Streets” to fight back. The group, led by 3 science activists from the midwest, have organized a counter protest against MAM which they are calling the March against Myths about Modification (MAMyths). The organizers say the event is happening “everywhere”; but formal marches are scheduled for many cities in the US including Chicago, Portland, Oregon, Washington DC and Seattle, and globally in cities from Ottawa to Brisbane to Amsterdam. The group is also encouraging people who cannot attend a rally to participate on social media……

We have lavished well-deserved praise on McGill University’s Dr. Joe Schwarcz on several occasions over the years. Unlike many of his “science-y” colleagues whose news media megaphones take the sensationalist, “sky is falling” approach to trace levels of anything in the environment, he usually presents a voice of reason amidst the clamor.  So it was in his column in a recent posting to the Montreal Gazette, where he has a regular gig (“The Right Chemistry”), entitled Don’t Worry About Teflon Pans. Apparently, even though the “concern” about the fluorinated chemical PFOA was debunked almost a decade ago (see ACSH’s publication here), and even though the amount of PFOA that was present in the finished products was always undetectable, some folks somewhere remained fearful of toxic contamination by this ephemera.

In April, we brought you the story of Mark Lynas, a former anti-GMO activist who converted to supporting the technology when he observed the power of GMOs to revolutionize the third world. One specific example for his conversion he cited was Uganda, where the bacterial wilt is devastating banana crops and two viruses are decimating starchy cassava crops. Both plants are staples of the Ugandan diet and economy, and both have GMO lines that are resistant to their respective diseases. Currently, it is illegal for farmers to use these modified crops, however new legislation is expected to change this….

When it comes to government policies regarding health policy, we’ve seen pretty much every type: Meaningless, but mostly harmless, anti-science, money driven, and ill-conceived and harmful.  Some of these (the full list would shut down the Internet) include the Hatch DSHEA act of 1994, which allowed untested drugs to be sold under the guise of “food supplements,” state laws that permit vaccine exemptions based on religious and personal beliefs, and the routine banning or restricting of chemicals that are harmless, only to have them replaced by another chemical that has been much less studied.  Arguably, the worst of them all was the decision by the FDA in 2005 to ban CFC propelled albuterol (the drug in asthma inhalers) by 2008. This ridiculously silly rule is the epitome of what happens when bad policies are put into place.  The US Clean Air Act was first introduced in 1963, and has since been amended and modified several times. It is clear that it has done a very good job in reducing air pollution:….

Getting vaccinated against measles is not only important for preventing the disease itself, but for preventing many other potential diseases. A new study finds that the measles vaccine reduces deaths from other infections by protecting the immune system…… In the latest study, authors led by Michael Mina, a medical student at Emory University, analyzed measles cases and death rates from other infections before and after widespread measles campaigns in the United States, England, Wales, and Denmark. They found that after vaccinations, measles cases declined in all the countries, as expected. But deaths from other infectious diseases dropped as well for up to three years. They concluded that this was because the measles virus caused the body to “forget” some of the immunity it had developed to fight other contagions. By getting vaccinated to prevent measles, “you preserve your ability to fight off all of these other infections,” said Mina…..

Chemophobia Rampant, Science in Retreat: This Cannot End Well - The baseless, superstitious fear of chemicals has certainly gripped our supposedly advanced population in a haze of inchoate panic akin to the residents of 17th century Salem, or Europeans of the Dark Ages. Sadly, science ignorance pervades our populace, largely because the perception is "Who cares?" or “How do I know what to believe?” And perhaps even more important: "Do I really need to know that?” Yes, you do.  Here's why: when charismatic charlatans and quacks—and there is hardly a shortage of them— purvey miracle cures and "nutritional supplements" to supposedly support healthy bodily functions, only those with a modicum of scientific insight will be armed to distinguish salesmanship from factual information. Those without become easy marks.



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