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Category : Issues: Personal Freedom & Liberty

Ohio River Coal Barge Flies Gadsen Flag – We Must Never Forget!

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Published on: November 5, 2012

Here is a coal barge on the Ohio River, today.

I note that they are flying the Gadsden flag.

I hope they and their families, and other like-minded folks in Ohio and Pennsylvania, vote to end the self-inflicted war on American energy production.

Thanks to ChicagoBoyz reader Bob Skinner for the picture. Bob half-expected our Commander in Chief to call in a drone strike on these guys, partly for the yucky coal, but mostly for the flag.

This election is a nail biter. I am struggling not to obsess.

God bless America.

Originally appeared HERE

Homeschoolers Flee Persecution in Germany and Sweden

Two leaders in the European home education movement, a father from Sweden and a German mother, drew tears from the audience as they told a packed conference room about life in exile and the heart-rending decision to flee abroad. While each of their stories was unique, both parents were forced to escape from their homelands due to relentless government persecution when they refused to stop homeschooling.

The presentations were made during a Friday workshop at the first-ever Global Home Education Conference (GHEC), held in Berlin, Germany, bringing together around 200 homeschooling leaders, policy makers, parents, human rights activists, and pro-family forces from every corner of the world. Meeting here this weekend, they say the plan is to join forces in the battle to protect the right of parents to direct the education and upbringing of children.

Today, parental rights over the education of children are almost universally recognized. Even the controversial United Nations’ so-called “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” concedes that “parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children,” as more than a few activists at the conference have pointed out. But under certain totalitarian regimes, as well as in Sweden and Germany, that is not always the case.

Jonas Himmelstrand, the chairman of the GHEC, is the president of the Swedish Home Education Association (ROHUS). He also lives in exile, having fled to Finland as a “homeschooling refugee” after the Uppsala municipality adopted a restrictive view on homeschooling — a process that began even before the national government passed a law purporting to ban home education in 2010.

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Thousands of Russian nationalists rally against Putin

Participants hold a cartoon depicting Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov as they attend a 'Russian March' demonstration on National Unity Day in Moscow November 4, 2012. Russia marks the National Unity Day on November 4 when it celebrates the defeat of Polish invaders in 1612. REUTERS-Maxim Shemetov

Thousands of black-clad Russian nationalists marched through central Moscow on Sunday, marking a “National Unity Day” holiday created by Vladimir Putin by calling for an end to his rule and voicing hostility to ethnic minorities.

Putin instituted the holiday in 2005 to replace the annual Soviet-era celebration of the Bolshevik revolution. But civil rights activists say his own flirtation with ethnic nationalism has stoked a rise in far-right violence, and is partly to blame for the hijacking of the holiday by hardline militants.

The marchers, mainly young men with closely cropped hair in black leather jackets, shouted “Russia without Putin” and anti-immigrant slogans, carrying Russian Orthodox icons, waving imperial flags and chanting “Russia for Russians”.

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November surprise: EPA planning major post-election anti-coal regulation

President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency has devoted an unprecedented number of bureaucrats to finalizing new anti-coal regulations that are set to be released at the end of November, according to a source inside the EPA.

More than 50 EPA staff are now crashing to finish greenhouse gas emission standards that would essentially ban all construction of new coal-fired power plants. Never before have so many EPA resources been devoted to a single regulation. The independent and non-partisan Manhattan Institute estimates that the EPA’s greenhouse gas coal regulation will cost the U.S. economy $700 billion.

The rush is a major sign of panic by environmentalists inside the Obama administration. If Obama wins, the EPA would have another four full years to implement their anti-fossil fuel agenda. But if Romney wins, regulators will have a very narrow window to enact a select few costly regulations that would then be very hard for a President Romney to undo.

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Remembering Great Conservative John Silber, President and Chancellor of Boston University

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Published on: November 4, 2012

When John Silber died, age eighty-six, at the end of September, he was at work on an essay for The New Criterion. I was very much looking forward to the piece. It was to be a review of Martin Duberman’s new biography of the left-wing historian Howard Zinn (1922–2010), the author of the anti-American bestseller A People’s History of the United States. John had often crossed swords with Zinn at Boston University, where Zinn was a professor and where John reigned as President from 1971 to 1996 and then as Chancellor until 2003. Duberman’s biography is certain to be an exercise in hagiography, probably of the fawning variety, and John’s anatomy of the book and its subject promised to be a piquant addition to his library of salubrious polemic.

I deeply regret that John did not complete the review, but I was not surprised. I had spoken to him just a couple of weeks before his death. He was as cogent and cheerful as ever but was clearly fighting a formidable battery of ailments. I was abroad when the news came that he had died. I returned a few days later to find a brief letter from him informing me that his illness was terminal and thanking me for our friendship. It was written two days before his death.

If we lay aside our customary editorial voice in these notes, it is because John was such a close personal friend. I had first met John some time in the late 1980s, but it was not until after I published my book Tenured Radicals in 1990 that we became friends and ideological allies. A look at my files shows that I have well over one hundred letters from John—only occasionally in the last couple of years did he resort to email—and there are nearly as many from me to him. I mention this because it highlights one of John’s signal characteristics: his intellectual and personal responsiveness. Some of his letters are brief notes bringing an article or author or event to my attention. Many are responses, often quite detailed, to something I’d written. There was, I am grateful to report, a certain quantum of praise. There was also, I am even more grateful to report, plenty of criticism. John was one of the contributors to our series on “The Betrayal of Liberalism” in the late 1990s. His essay was about what he regarded as the “core of liberalism”—more about the term “liberalism” in a moment—and he began by making the point that true liberalism cherishes candid criticism because such corrections are aids to enlightenment. “Socrates,” John wrote, “taught us to prize those persons of knowledge, candor, and good will who challenge our views, and to be especially grateful when we are shown to be mistaken. For then we exchange a false opinion for a truer one.”

This is a point that will be familiar not only to readers of Plato but also to readers of John Stuart Mill. John understood Mill’s limitations. We were at one in our admiration for James Fitzjames Stephen’s Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, a devastating attack on what we might call Mill’s libertarianism. (“Complete moral tolerance,” Stephen wrote in that book, “is possible only when men have become completely indifferent to each other—that is to say, when society is at an end.”) When I published my book Experiments Against Reality in 2000, John wrote me not one but two long letters. One dilated on things he liked about the book. The other was full of pointed criticisms of my treatment of Mill. He wrote two letters, he explained, because he did not want his criticisms to obscure his praise. (He didn’t have to add that he also wanted to be sure that his commendation did not obscure his criticisms.)

It must have taken hours for John to compose those two letters. Yet that was the proverbial tip of the iceberg. I was hardly the only recipient of such generous intellectual attention. Some years ago, I had occasion to see some of the assessments he wrote for BU faculty who were up for promotion or tenure. They were extraordinary for their penetration, detail, and breadth. John did not weigh in on faculty in the sciences, but in history, philosophy, literature, and kindred subjects in the humanities, he ranged in a masterly fashion.

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NAACP Takes Over Houston Polling Station, Advocates for Obama!

Friday afternoon at an early polling place located at 6719 W. Montgomery Road in Houston, NAACP members were seen advocating for President Barack Obama according to volunteer poll watchers on location at the time.

According to Eve Rockford, a poll watcher trained by voter integrity group True the Vote, three NAACP members showed up to the 139 precinct location with 50 cases of bottled water and began handing bottles out to people standing in line. While wearing NAACP labeled clothing, members were “stirring the crowd” and talking to voters about flying to Ohio to promote President Barack Obama.

After watching what was occurring, Rockford approached Polling Supervisor Rose Cochran about what she was seeing.

“I went to the polling supervisor and let her know that it was not appropriate that they were in the building handing out water. She ignored me. I repeated my statement. She told me that she would handle it. She did nothing. I then went to the assistant supervisor and he stood up, walked over to another table and then sat down. I then walked into the waiting room and they were reloading another dolly with more cases of water,” Rockford said in a True the Vote incident report.

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Early Election Call Tuesday: Romney will win Pennsylvania

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Published on: November 3, 2012

Despite all the hype, it’s going to be a short election night. The Keystone State is the key reason. Pennsylvania will go for Governor Mitt Romney.

Reasonable prognosticators — and even the MSNBC crowd — will realize once the results are in from Pennsylvania that the other three time zones won’t matter.

Once upon a time, Pennsylvania was a pivotal swing state. But in recent years it has been reliably Democratic in presidential elections.

Certain other patterns have persisted as well. For example, the Pennsylvania governor’s mansion changes parties every eight years, with Democrats and Republicans swapping the residence.

But this presidential election is different. The Boston crowd has decided to compete for the state’s 20 electoral votes.

And it’s with good reason.

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thumbVideo: Non-Union Crews Barred From Helping NJ Hurricane Victims (Union Scum)

New Arab Party Says Real Arab-Israelis Not Represented

Aatef KarinaouiAatef Karinaoui says that the current Arab elected officials in the Knesset do not truly represent the Arab-Israeli public and spend most of their time bashing Israel instead. Karinaoui, a Arab Muslim Bedouin from the southern city of Rahat hopes that his new party will make a difference. The party, tenatively called El Amal Lat’gir, translated from Arabic as Hope for Change, will run in the upcoming January 22nd national elections.

Karinaoui’s views were exposed in an interview with Israeli based journalist Philippe Assouline. Assouline spoke to Israel National Radio about his eye-opening conversation with the Muslim politician. For the full interview click here.

“I had been trying to write about Arab supporters of Israel within the State and I was led to this man,” Assouline said. “He wants to run as an Arab who is pro-Israel in terms of both foreign policy and domestic policy.”

Karinaoui held a launch event for the new project in the northern region of Israel this week. For the past 20 years he has been a member of the Likud Central Committee and has worked in an advisory capacity for Binyamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon.

Assouline said that while Karinaoui didn’t mention any names specifically, he was outraged by current Arab Members of Knesset who bash Israel publicly.

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One month until they regulate the Internet

Better enjoy Facebook while you can.

A U.N.-sponsored conference next month in Dubai will propose new regulations and restrictions for the Internet, which critics say will censor free speech, levy tariffs on e-commerce, and even force companies to clean up their “e-waste” and make gadgets that are better for the environment.

Concerns about the closed-door event have sparked a Wikileaks-style info-leaking site, and led the State Department on Wednesday to file a series of new proposals or tranches seeking to ensure “competition and commercial agreements — and not regulation” as the meeting’s main message.

Terry Kramer, the chief U.S. envoy to the conference, says the United States is against sanctions and believes management of the Internet by one central organization goes against free speech.

“[Doing nothing] would not be a terrible outcome at all,” Kramer said recently. “We need to avoid suffocating the Internet space through well-meaning but overly prescriptive proposals that would seek to control content.”

Tsumani of Awesome Anti-Obama Text Messages Create a Stir in Libtardville!

A screenshot of one of the unsolicited texts is shown. | POLITICO Screen grab

Hundreds of people reported receiving strident, unsolicited anti-Obama text messages throughout Tuesday evening in an unusual spamming incident that had Twitter and Facebook users in an uproar.

“Voting for Obama means voting for same-sex marriage,” one message read. Others included “Obama stole $716 Billion in Medicare. We cant [sic] trust Obama to protect our seniors,” “Obama is using your tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood and abortions. Is that right” and “VP Biden mocks a fallen Navy Seal during memorial. Our military deserves better.”

Another said: “Obama supports transgender marriage in America. Obamas values are just wrong.”

While several people on social media sites angrily posted that the messages were coming from Republican Mitt Romney, there is no indication that the messages were sanctioned or produced by his campaign. The messages do not carry the customary notations of who approved or paid for political ads.

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Unpopular, sarcastic Obama 3.0 (2nd term would not be a pretty picture!)

Shakespeare was right when he wrote, “What’s past is prologue.” The Bard’s quote provides a solid road map for predicting how Obama will run his presidency if re-elected. During his 2008 campaign and subsequent four years in office there have been three iterations defining the man and his approach to governance.

Obama 1.0 is the mythic figure and the now crumbling foundation for understanding how the president was presented by the media and perceived by the public. Candidate Obama circa 2008 was calm, collected and cool — smooth as silk. The mainstream media and much of America were captivated by the multicultural heritage of the new phenom on the political scene.

Newness and uniqueness were a large part of what drove Obama into the Oval Office. These characteristics were combined with a positive theme, “Yes we can” and a nonpartisan pitch that appealed to a country divided by military and political wars for over a decade. The rhetoric and communication style of the president was a model of political persuasion. Media critic Jack Shafer wrote of Obama, “The voice works like aerosolized Paxil.”

The Obama 1.0 persona reinforced his popularity. His style was taken directly from the Marshall McLuhan playbook. He was the ultimate pop star in the era of celebrity. Chris Lehane called it “the paparazzi presidency.” Michelle Obama, the daughters and even Bo the dog completed the perfect first family package.

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thumbVideo: Obama Kills Joe The Plumber Business in 2012

Bloomberg’s Folly: When the Nanny State Plays Weatherman

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Published on: October 30, 2012

As I write this, New York is still struggling to deal with massive storm surges, flooding, and power outages that have now forced the evacuation of two hundred patients from the New York University Langone Medical Center-Tisch Hospital, including 20 babies from the neonatal unit. Elevators are not working, since the hospital’s backup generators cut out, and so patients have had to be taken down the stairs in what must be low light conditions.

Numerous commentators are beginning to point a finger of blame at Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who unwisely offered a wildly inaccurate weather prediction on Saturday. Brendan Loy of Pajamas Media quotes the relevant bit:

Although we’re expecting a large surge of water, it is not expected to be a tropical storm or hurricane-type surge. With this storm, we’ll likely see a slow pileup of water rather than a sudden surge, which is what you would expect from a hurricane, and which we saw with Irene 14 months ago.

The blame game is really quite premature–especially with first responders in the midst of the fight, doing all they can to save lives in extraordinary circumstances. In fact, when the dust settles and the water resides, we will likely be amazed by how much worse things could have been, but for the work and self-sacrifice of the NYPD, the FDNY, and other agencies. And it’s not clear to me that Bloomberg’s statement has anything to do with the terrible circumstances at the NYU Hospital.

However, I agree with Loy that the statement itself was condemnable on its own. A mayor should not, of course, tell the citizens of a major city to panic–yet nor should he lull them into a false sense of security. Better the straight, gruff talk of former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, who constantly reminded residents of the dangers of extreme weather after a deadly 1995 heat wave, than the omniscient pretensions of a mayor who presumes to tell you that you must breastfeed your baby or that your drink’s too big, but appears to downplay the dangers of a once-in-a-century flood.

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Cardinal Dolan Implies That Obama Lied To Him

Important Note:  The title is my own and not the actual words used by Cardinal Dolan; however, the title is 100% accurate. Cardinal Dolan, as usual, was very charitable.  John Quinn by Cardinal Timothy Dolan: Over the last six months or so, the Catholic Church in the United States has found itself in some tension with the executive branch of the federal government over a very grave issue: religious freedom.  Can a government bureau, in this case the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), define for us or any faith community what is ministry and how it can be exercised?  Can government also coerce the church to violate its conscience?

Obama had personally assured me that he would do nothing to impede the good work of the Church in health care, education, and charity, and that he considered the protection of conscience a sacred duty

This has not been a fight of our choosing.  We’d rather not be in it.  We’d prefer to concentrate on the noble tasks of healing the sick, teaching our youth, and helping the poor, all now in jeopardy due to this bureaucratic intrusion into the internal life of the church.  And we were doing all of those noble works rather well, I dare say, without these radical new mandates from the government.  The Catholic Church in America has a long tradition of partnership with government and the wider community in the service of the sick, our children, our elders, and the poor at home and abroad.  We’d sure rather be partnering than punching.

Nor is this a “Catholic” fight alone.

As a nurse from Harrison emailed me, “Cardinal, I’m not so much mad about all this as a Catholic, but as an American.”  It was a Baptist minister, Governor Mike Huckabee, who observed, “In this matter, we’re all Catholics.”

And it is not just about sterilization, abortifacients, and chemical contraception. 

Pure and simple, it’s about religious freedom, the sacred right, protected by our constitution, of any Church to define its own teaching and ministry.

When the President announced on January 20th that the choking mandates from HHS would remain — a shock to me, since he had personally assured me that he would do nothing to impede the good work of the Church in health care, education, and charity, and that he considered the protection of conscience a sacred duty — not only you, but men and women of every faith, or none at all, rallied in protest.  The worry that we bishops had expressed — that such government control was contrary to our deepest political values — was eloquently articulated by constitutional scholars and leaders of every creed.  Even newspaper editorials supported us!

On February 10th, the President announced that the insurance providers would have to pay the bill, not the Church’s schools, hospitals, clinics, or vast network of charitable outreach.  He considered this “concession” adequate.

Did this help?  We bishops wondered if it would, and announced at first that, while withholding final judgment, we would certainly give it close scrutiny.

Well, we have — and we’re still as worried as ever.  For one, there was not even a nod to the deeper concerns about trespassing upon religious freedom, or of modifying the HHS’ attempt to define the how and who of our ministry through the suffocating mandates.

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