Category Archives: Politics

Hasta La Vista Father Christmas: California Post-Election Blues

“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.”  Mary Ellen Chase

There will be no Christmas in May for California. What happened to California?  How did we come to this: poised on the brink of State bankruptcy?

Reason TV has produced an excellent video analysis. Unfortunately, it emphasizes too heavily the role of public employee unions in the State’s budget woes and doesn’t spend enough time analyzing how wasteful spending has compounded the crisis.

While voters overwhelming voted “Yes” (by the almost mythical 2/3 “supermajority”) to preventing salary increases for members of the legislature in budget deficit years, the overwhelming majority of these useless State Senators and Representatives will be re-elected. Go figure.

It’s not a surprise that there is not one county in California where a majority voted “Yes” on Propositions 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D and 1E.

It has always been my contention that Californians like to spend money, they just don’t like to pay the bills.

EXTRA READING:

Sundown for California, The American
California’s Dependency Culture, George Will
Voters Say ‘no way’ to budget ballot measures, The Sacramento Bee
California budget mess: Where did our money go?, San Jose Mercury News
A California election left open to interpretation, The Los Angeles Times

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Filed under California, California Budget Crisis, Politics, Taxation

Yoo Hoo: Pelosi Knew Too

Walking down Bancroft Avenue today, I noticed this flyer posted on a newspaper box:

yoo_demo_outreach_flier

The following flyer deserves to be its companion:

FIRE

UPDATED 5-15-09

Panetta to CIA Employees: We told Pelosi the truth
, Politico.com

Taunted by the GOP, Nancy Pelosi throws a punch-at the CIA, Slate Magazine

EXTRA READING:

Pelosi says she learned of waterboarding in 2003
, Breitbart.com

Why Didn’t Pelosi Act?, RedState.com

Why don’t the Democrats dump Pelosi?
, HotAir.com

List Says Top Democrats Were Briefed on Interrogations, New York Times

Top Pelosi Aide Learned of Waterboarding in 2003, Washington Post

Aide told Pelosi waterboarding had been used, CNN.com

Congress and Waterboarding, WSJ.com

Security Before Politics, Washington Post

Democrats surprised to discover CIA plays politics with intelligence, HotAir.com

Omission Watch: ABC, CBS and NBC Ignore Pelosi’s Torture Hypocrisy, Newsbusters.com

Madame Speaker, Have You No Decency?, Pajamas Media

Pelosi Roasted by Waterboarding Revelations, Pajamas Media

Waffle House, The Daily Show

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Filed under Berkeley, Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, Hypocrisy, John Yoo, Nancy Pelosi, Politics, UC Berkeley, Uncategorized, Waterboarding

Liberty is better than slavery: Andrew Klavan and YAF Student Videos

Late in April, Andrew Klavan wrote a wonderfully erudite piece about culture and the media entitled Toward a New American Culture. Klavan begins his analysis by noting:

For many years, conservatives have been complaining about the left-wing bias of both the mainstream media and popular culture. The two are intimately connected because, over and above commercial success, the culture and the artists who create it are empowered by reviews, prestige and awards that the mainstream media bestow, facilitate and publicize.

But it’s now become clear that conservatives are wrong. The media are not biased against the right. They are openly hostile towards us. They are openly attempting to crush one point of view and elevate another. This is not a conspiracy. It is simply the result of a poisonous conformity, a climate of opinion which the MSM, populated almost exclusively by liberals, barely even realize they inhabit.

But in allowing themselves to become immersed in this climate, the bulk of the American media have now become the toadies of the state and the enemies of the people.

Although I am not an artist, I work in a profession (academia) where, if made known, my political and social beliefs could sink my career. The people that I work with are not evil–in fact, I personally like a great many of them–but once their innate assumptions about social justice, environmental justice, the prerogative of the educated elite to determine the course of the nation, and their horror at the folly of letting the less-educated “People” determine their own will are challenged, they go on the offensive. The result is either (1) an attempt to “re-educate” the person who poses a thread, the outcome of which has you publicly renouncing your beliefs and denouncing everything that you know to be true in order to be accepted back into the fold, or (2) marginalization, isolation and demotion.

Klavan provides a vision of what the New American Culture might entail:

Individualism [emphasis mine] is the very essence of both conservatism and art. But I think we can say that such a culture would reflect and uplift the values and perspectives that made the west and America the greatest and freest places on the globe; it would put forward an image of man as our founders knew him to be, flawed and sinful yet capable of striving toward dignity and salvation through self-reliance and sacrifice… In truth, there is only one essential principle our new culture needs to remember and embody and it’s this: liberty is better than slavery. This principle alone implies a moral order and a human purpose. It makes a small state better than a big one. It makes America better than, say, Saudi Arabia. It makes a religion based on “love thy neighbor,” better than one based on submission. This principle alone will guide us away from mealy-mouthed self-abasement to balanced self-criticism and praise amidst our search for the dignity, strength and morality befitting free men and women…. If artists guided by this principle begin to create, if reviewers guided by it write reviews, if foundations give us grants and awards, if investors give us the funding we need, then the cultural infra-structure of the left will collapse of the rot and corruption of its bad ideas. We will take back the culture and if we take back the culture, we will take back the country too.

In this spirit, I link to two student videos created for the Young America’s Foundation. These young people were willing to step forward and challenge a liberal canard: that redistribution of wealth is a positive good.  The aroma of hypocrisy among the student interviewees does not go unnoticed. I encourage you to support this worthy organization.

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Filed under academia, Andrew Klavan, Assault on Individual Freedom, conservatives, Education, MSM, Politics, Redistribution, Student Videos, Uncategorized, Young America's Foundation

Lies, Damn Lies and English 1B at SJSU

On April 16th, Frank Lindh, the father of John Walker Lindh, spoke via teleconference to an English 1B class at San Jose State University in California.  John Walker Lindh (aka: The American Taliban and Johnny Jihad) was charged with and pleaded guilty to

(1) engaging in a conspiracy, while outside the United States, to kill nationals of the United States outside of the United States, namely, United States nationals engaged in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2332(b); (2) providing, attempting to provide, and conspiring to provide material support and resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations, namely, al-Qaeda and Harakat ul-Mujahideen (“HUM”), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2339B and 2; and (3) engaging in prohibited transactions with the Taliban, in violation of Title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, Sections 545.201 and 545.204, Executive Order # 13129, Title 50, United States Code, Sections 1702 and 1705, and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.

Affidavit in Support of a Criminal Complaint and an Arrest Warrent, United States of America v. John Walker Lindh

Here is a video of the class presentation by Frank Lindh.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Frank Lindh Speaks at SJSU“, posted with vodpod

[hat tip:  The Jawa Report]

When I took English 1B, I remember a writing exercise that involved analyzing propaganda.  We selected a political advertisement and were required to describe what ideas the ad intended to convey and how the ad used images and language to spin the topic for a specific purpose.  Did SJSU Lecturer Richard Flynn have the same intention with this exercise, or is this just a hideous example of political indoctrination in Lower Division classes?

Frank Lindh claims that his son is presumed to have been involved with the events of 9/11.  Rubbish.  The charges in the affadavit above are quite specific.  Walker Lindh was convicted of being an enemy combatant and providing material support to a terrorist organization for his actions in Afganistan (The Case of the Taliban American, and The Taliban Next Door).

Here is the SJSU English Department’s description of English 1B:

Assignments shall emphasize those skills and activities in writing and thinking that produce 1) the persuasive argument, and 2) the critical essay, each of which demands analysis, interpretation, and evaluation.

It would be nice to see some of the analysis, interpretation and evaluation that will comprise Flynn’s students’ critiques. If Flynn’s class assignment was to analyze Frank Lindh’s propaganda and revisionist history involving his son (The Real Story of John Walker Lindh), then kudos to Richard Flynn. But, after listening to some of the student comments in the video, it does not appear that critical thinking was a part of the exercise. Lindh’s revisionism includes describing his son as “scholarly” even though he was a student in an alternative high school (i.e., couldn’t cut it in traditional high school) and eventually dropped out.   Lindh describes his son’s life as a “spiritual quest” even though that quest landed him in the middle of a prison uprising in Afganistan. The Crusades could be described as similar “spiritual quests,” except they involved White Christians fighting Islamists not White Islamic converts fighting against their own country.

The course description also says that English 1B addresses:

Diversity: Assignments (both reading and writing) shall address issues of race, class, and gender when appropriate, and the perspectives of women and diverse cultural groups shall be incorporated into course instruction and materials in an inclusive and comprehensive manner whenever possible.

Lindh’s English 1B teleconference may be one of the rare instances in American academia in which a privileged White male is the topic of sympathetic discussion. Oh, but I forget: (1) John Walker Lindh converted to Islam, (2) that now qualifies him as a member of a “diverse cultural group,” and thereby (3) he has achieved victim status and, in the minds of some, justification for his misguided acts.

Additional Reading:

US v. John Walker Lindh Grand Jury Indictment

Statement of John Walker Lindh to the Court

UPDATE: Additional Information

This has been added as a point of contrast to John Walker Lindh and actions that JWL freely chose to take.

Honor Mike Spann

mike_colorized

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Filed under academia, Academic Indoctrination, John Walker Lindh, Mike Spann, Political Correctness, Politics, San Jose State University

Dead Parrots: The ObamaNation Speaks

Ok, it’s viral so I can’t pass it up…

The producer, John Ziegler, also commissioned a Zogby poll to supplement his video “findings” and has a recap at this website www.howobamagotelected.com.

Here’s a sampling:

512 Obama Voters 11/13/08-11/15/08 MOE +/- 4.4 points

97.1% High School Graduate or higher, 55% College Graduates

Results to 12 simple Multiple Choice Questions

57.4% could NOT correctly say which party controls congress (50/50 shot just by guessing)

81.8% could NOT correctly say Joe Biden quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism (25% chance by guessing)

82.6% could NOT correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)

88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)

56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).

How are people so ignorant? Although the mainstream media tried to ignore or downplay much of this information, it was readily available. It was available on the Internet. It was available from Conservative Talk Radio. I know some intelligent people who DID know all of this, but chose to ignore it. It made them feel all warm and fuzzy and non-racist to vote for Obama, despite what they knew.

That, my friend, is the root of the problem: people make decisions with their “hearts” and not their “heads.”

Some minds remain open long enough for the truth not only to enter but to pass on through by way of a ready exit without pausing anywhere along the route. ~ Elizabeth Kenny

EXTRA READING:
Video: How Obama Got Elected; Update: Zogby confirms poll, denies “push polling”, HotAir.com

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Filed under Barack Obama, Media bias, ObamaNation, Politics

Card Check: Renewed Push for Unionization at UC

It’s already started. The solicitations to unionize administrative professionals. The election was only a week ago. Obama isn’t President yet (although from the media attention he’s getting you’d think he was already running the country). But, Congress still has unfinished business to pursue and my guess is that “Card Check” legislation (Employee Free Choice Act) will be one of those items. Under current procedures, a secret ballot vote has to be conducted so that employees can vote yes/no to unionize. Card Check circumvents that secret ballot, allowing union members to ask employees directly–up close and in person–to sign ballot cards. This lends itself to coercion, with people agreeing to unionize out of fear of retribution.

I received an email from the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) Union yesterday, soliciting my membership, even though I’m employed in a non-covered position. My guess is that they’re gearing up for another attempt to unionize the remaining non-union staff (lower level administrative positions are already covered by the Coalition of University Employees). While I don’t make as much money as some of my colleagues in private industry, I do have significantly better benefits (selection of health care options, dental, vision, legal, dependant care, vacation package, more paid holidays, etc.). I’m not the least bit unhappy with my job or how the University treats me as an employee. I have no grievances and no interest in unionization.

Back in 2001/2002, the Union made an attempt to organize the administrative professionals and were voted down by a 3 to 1 margin. If I had any good will towards the union before then, that experience left me as one of their bitterest enemies. I was never solicited directly by anyone from the Union. What the organizers did was to have pro-union employees go through the campus phone directories and call everyone in the prospective covered positions. I was called by a colleague in another department who asked if I was interested in helping to organize. I said “no.” No explanations, no political diatribes, no anti-union screed… just a simple “no, thank you.”

Almost immediately afterward, certain colleagues in my unit stopped talking to me. They wouldn’t respond when I walked past them in the hallway and said “hello.” They gave me the cold shoulder in the break room. Several changed seats when I sat next to them at meetings. One even overtly tried to sabotage a project I was working on. I had no idea why or what I had done/said. So, I asked a trusted co-worker. She informed me that these people were all pro-union and were pissed off at me for refusing to help their unionization efforts.

No need for Vinnie to drive up in his pink Cadillac and cap you in the knees with a baseball bat to get you to vote for the union, just get the co-workers to ostracize you, sabotage your work, and make your life miserable.

Welcome to Card Check.

Welcome to hell.

EXTRA READING:

How the Employee Free Choice Act Takes Away Workers’ Rights
, Heritage Foundation

Unions Creepy Push Against Secret Ballots, Froma Harrop, RealClearPolitics.com

The price of a money machine: Obama would owe more favors than any president in history, HotAir.com

Bring Back the Union Label? , American Thinker

In Their Haste to Scrap Democracy, Unions Ignore the Facts, RedState.com

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Filed under Card Check, Employee Free Choice Act, Politics, Unions

Lindsey Graham Leads The RINO Parade

Tonight, this from CNN:

Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd said he thinks Emanuel is a “great choice.”

“I know that he and Barack Obama have a very good relationship going back a long time. So it touches all of the critical elements, it seems to me, in beginning that kind of transition we’d like to have. So I think it’s a great choice, and I think the president-elect will be well-served with Rahm Emanuel,” he said.

Republican Lindsey Graham sided with Dodd and called Emanuel a “wise choice.” [emphasis mine]

I hold in my hand a blank voter registration card. If the Republican Party leadership doesn’t repudiate self-serving, aisle-crossing, Liberal-in-Conservative-Clothing RINOs like Lindsay Graham, Olympia Snow, Susan Collins, et al, I will re-register as “Decline to State.” Then, the RNC, NRSC, and all the other scum-sucking, money grubbing Republican PACs will never see a dime from me again.

P.S. – If Sarah Palin hadn’t been on the ticket, I would never have voted for John McCain.

P.S.S. – I’m tired of my Party’s representatives being geriatric dinosaurs or pasty white men who have to use a can of hairspray each day to keep their comb-overs in place.

Extra Reading:

Leadership questions in the GOP, HotAir.com

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Filed under 2008 Election, conservatives, John McCain, Politics, Republicans, Sarah Palin