Wednesday, November 30, 2011
"Before the video went viral on the Internet, the campus police department had claimed that the officer had used the spray only after being surrounded and physically pressed by protesting students."
The editorial goes on to state that that was untrue. Here is a video interview with one of the protesters that were sprayed with pepper spray.
"at one point...we had encircled them and they were trying to leave and they were trying to clear a path and so we sat down and linked arms and said that if they wanted to clear the path they would have to go through us"Apparently, the editorial staff at the Citizen's Voice thinks it is OK to encircle police officers or otherwise physically obstruct their path. They also think it is OK to obstruct public and private paths of traffic.
"Another thing that we had to get over was the fact that the nonviolent resister does not seek to humiliate or defeat the opponent but to win his friendship and understanding. This was always a cry that we had to set before people that our aim is not to defeat the white community, not to humiliate the white community, but to win the friendship of all of the persons who had perpetrated this system in the past. The end of violence or the aftermath of violence is bitterness. The aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation and the creation of a beloved community. A boycott is never an end within itself. It is merely a means to awaken a sense of shame within the oppressor but the end is reconciliation, the end is redemption."Then we had to make it clear also that the nonviolent resister seeks to attack the evil system rather than individuals who happen to be caught up in the system. And this is why I say from time to time that the struggle in the South is not so much the tension between white people and Negro people. The struggle is rather between justice and injustice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. And if there is a victory it will not be a victory merely for fifty thousand Negroes. But it will be a victory for justice, a victory for good will, a victory for democracy."Another basic thing we had to get over is that nonviolent resistance is also an internal matter. It not only avoids external violence or external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. And so at the center of our movement stood the philosophy of love. The attitude that the only way to ultimately change humanity and make for the society that we all long for is to keep love at the center of our lives."
Today, President Obama will use taxpayer dollars for what an expert stated could only be a campaign stop. Dr. Jean Harris, chairwoman of the University of Scranton political science department was quoted as saying "At this point, you know it's a campaign visit."
Obama is making his taxpayer-funded campaign trip because he is tanking in Pennsylvania. Bloomberg wrote about it, PPP Polling has consistently shown it, and the results of his October taxpayer-funded campaign stop really affirm it.
When President Obama was last in Scranton, he did an exclusive interview with Borys Krawczeniuk at the Scranton Times. In it, Obama said the one thing he would do to improve the economy was to “to invest in clean energy, to lower demand and lower gas prices and create millions of jobs in clean and renewable energies like wind and solar and biodiesel. I think that would make a huge improvement -- long term.”
As the Wall Street Journal reported, Obama’s “Green Jobs” were a failure. Not only did each job cost the taxpayers $157,000 to create, they were elusive. As it turns out, it appears most of the green jobs money was instead given to companies controlled or otherwise operated by Obama Donors. Some of it did however land locally. That is, a Kanjorski got some of it so that should count for something right?
Obama also promised to stabilize the housing market in his interview with Borys. Not so hot on that front either considering the industry is slated to have its weakest year on record. Don’t believe me? Ask someone trying to sell their house. It shouldn’t be too hard to find someone selling their house in Scranton considering the twin Democrat tax increases coming out of Doherty and O’Brien.
Oh, and don’t forget Corey O’Brien, the Democrat that is raising Lackawanna County Taxes by 38% after repeatedly stating that he wouldn’t, was Obama’s campaign guy in Lackawanna County.
I guess breaking promises runs in the Obama Campaign operation as well as the Obama White House.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
The Times Leader’s recent story, written by Tom Mooney, examines local history, particularly the influence of Democrat politician A. Mitchell Palmer.
The story runs through Palmer’s life. Palmer represented Pennsylvania’s 26th Congressional District and was so involved in Democratic politics that he not only was vice-chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) but also was later asked to help write the Democratic 1932 and 1936 Democratic Party platforms. The 1932 Platform is best to examine for policy since the 1936 platform, as most re-election platforms, was more a narrative in support of the President than a real policy statement.
Palmer was a progressive. He grew dissatisfied with the old guard establishment in the Democratic Party and assisted in a political coup to lead other like-minded politicians and the Democratic Party to the left. Dragging Palmer out at a time like this is particularly timely since that is exactly what has happened with today’s Democrats, but in a far more leftist direction.
The 1932 Democratic Party Platform was written at a bad time for America. Unemployment was high, foreign trade was wrecked, and poverty was wide-spread. Today, we face many of the same problems so it is particularly illustrative to look at what the progressive left, represented by Palmer, of 1932 and 1936 saw as viable solutions to our problems and compare them to what the average Democrat today believes.
The 1932 Democratic platform called for “drastic change in economic governmental policies.” That is a rather benign statement that could meet any party’s or any “wing’s” belief but it is poignant in so far as it shows that clearly, major change was necessary.
It demanded “an immediate and drastic reduction of governmental expenditures … to accomplish a saving of not less than twenty-five per cent in the cost of the Federal Government.” It also favored “maintenance of the national credit by a federal budget annually balanced…” The Cut Cap and Balance Act of 2011 is the only piece of legislation that comes close to these goals yet, it was widely opposed by both Congressional Democrats and the President. The Democrat-controlled Senate refused to even allow the bill to come to a vote.
It called for the “removal of government from all fields of private enterprise except where necessary to develop public works and natural resources in the common interest.” Today’s Democrats have forced the government takeover of our healthcare system, injected the federal government (with the support of President Bush) into the auto-industry with their bailouts of automotive companies, instituted auto bailout 2.0 with “cash for clunkers,” pushed a “too big to fail” system for our lending industry where the government steps in to save failing private banks and insurers, etc.
Today’s Democrats are in direct opposition to Palmer’s Democrats of 1932 and that says a lot since FDR was part of that group.
The one point of the 1936 Democratic Party Platform that we will touch on is its strong language against communism and fascism. It contains the statement “…we are determined to oppose equally, the despotism of Communism and the menace of concealed Fascism.”
Communism is viewed by Marxists as a developmental stage of Marxism. Communism is an ideology that sweeps across the spectrum of social, political, and economic ideology that seeks a government run economy that is moneyless, without personal property to speak of, and is fueled by revolutionary thought.
Today’s Democratic activists embrace communism. The most energetic wing of the Democratic Party is the Occupy Wall Street protesters. President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and others have voiced their public support of the movement even though it is outwardly Marxist. Even the DCCC, the organization Palmer acted as Vice-Chair of, supports this Marxist group.
What would Palmer think if he traveled to New York and saw Marxist flags adorning Zuccotti Park? As the Times Leader story describes, Palmer sought to either imprison or deport people that had these philosophies. What would Palmer think of Communists, that were also members of President Obama’s campaign organization, marching in Chicago? What would Palmer think of his Democratic Party’s leaders joining with the Communist Party USA, the Revolutionary Communist Party, Socialist Party USA, Communist Party of China, or the Marxist Student Union, to support an anarchist group like the folks at Occupy in the United States?
Looking to Palmer’s Democrats and comparing them to today’s Democrats is a great benchmark for how far left today’s Democratic Party has swung. Palmer’s Platform called for policies decried by today’s Democrats and advocated by today’s Republicans.
Not sure what that says about today’s Republicans, but we can save that one for later.
The point is, by all measures, Palmer was a man that was a “modern liberal” or “progressive” in Pennsylvania. He was the left-wing of his time. He was a man that challenged the party bosses to pull the Democrats to the left. He was a man that embraced FDR with all the trimmings. And he was nothing at all like today’s Democrats. In fact, if Palmer, a left-wing radical of his day, saw the direction his party went now he would be apoplectic. He would be hard-pressed to recognize any vestiges of his beloved Democratic Party when looking at today's Democratic Party.
Palmer led the charge against communism from what was the progressive left of his day. If he were here today, he would be leading the charge against the Occupiers and their Democratic cohorts from the center.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
By the President of the United States of America.
WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
On the important approval index, only 42% of Pennsylvanians approve of Obama, 53% disapprove.
In the “If the election were held today, who would you vote for department:
In a head-to-head with Republican Mitt Romney, Obama would lose Pennsylvania.
Congressman Ron Paul comes in second, only trailing Obama by 4% in an electoral matchup 46% to 42%. Santorum comes in third losing to Obama with a 47% to 42% spread. Fourth is Gingrich, losing to Obama 42% to 46%.
Make no mistake, the road to the White House for any Democrat runs through Pennsylvania. Without more friends in Pennsylvania, Obama becomes a one term president.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
In Conservative circles, the Heritage Foundation is a beloved institution. Because of legal limitations on what they can do, a sister group was created. That group is Heritage Action. Among other things, Heritage Action ranks members of Congress on their conservatism.
In their description of what this covers, Heritage Action states “With each vote cast in Congress, freedom either advances or recedes. Heritage Action’s new legislative scorecard allows Americans to see whether their Members of Congress are fighting for freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society. The scorecard is comprehensive, covering the full spectrum of conservatism, and includes legislative action on issues both large and small.
“Heritage Action's legislative scorecard isn't graded on a curve – it is tough and we don't apologize. After all, we are conservatives, not tenured university professors.”
The problem is that this description is inaccurate. More on that later.
Representative Jeffrey Duncan, Representing South Carolina’s 3rd District, has the highest or most conservative rating of all members of Congress on the scale with a grade of 97%.
Pennsylvania’s delegation is rated much lower. Rep. Joe Pitts gets a score of 80%, Tim Murphy 64%, Tom Marino 56%, Glenn Thompson 54%, Mike Kelly 53%, Todd Platts 53%, Bill Shuster 53%, Lou Barletta 52%, Charlie Dent 49%, Michael Fitzpatrick 49%, Jim Gerlach 49%, and Pat Meehan 47%.
All of these members of Congress are Republicans.
The Democrats score much worse with Rep. Mark Critz getting 20%, Jason Altmire 17%, Tim Holden 16%, Allyson Schwartz 13%, Robert Brady 10%, Mike Doyle 10%, Chaka Fattah 10%.
It’s easy to dismiss the democrats getting such a bad score on a measure of conservatism but, if we were to say 70% were a passing grade, how does every Republican but one not pass a conservative test? It is even more perplexing when you examine how often members of congress vote together or, more illustrative to the point of this article, how often each member votes with Heritage Action’s most conservative member.
Using the most conservative member of Congress according to Heritage Action (Jeff Duncan) and comparing the actual votes cast by each member (thanks to opencongress.org for this tool) of the Pennsylvania delegation, we find that Joe Pitts voted with Jeff Duncan 92% of the time. Tim Murphy voted with Duncan 87% of the time, Tom Marino 88% of the time, Glenn Thompson 87% of the time, Mike Kelly 86% of the time, Todd Platts 82% of the time, Bill Shuster 87% of the time, Lou Barletta 84% of the time, Charlie Dent 80% of the time, Mike Fitzpatrick 76% of the time, Jim Gerlach 78% of the time, and Pat Meehan 81% of the time.
For the Democrats, Mark Critz voted with Duncan 39% of the time, Jason Altimire 56% of the time, Tim Holden 41% of the time, Allyson Schwartz 23% of the time, Robert Brady 17% of the time, Mike Doyle 20% of the time, and Chaka Fattah 19% of the time.
So this is how it breaks out:
Pitts votes with Duncan 92% of the time but only gets an 80% from Heritage Action.
Murphy votes with Duncan 87% of the time but only gets 64% from Heritage Action.
Marino votes with Duncan 88% of the time but only gets 56% from Heritage Action.
Thompson votes with Duncan 87% of the time but only gets 54% from Heritage Action.
Kelly votes with Duncan 86% of the time but only gets 53% from Heritage Action.
Platts votes with Duncan 82% of the time but only gets 53% from Heritage Action.
Shuster votes with Duncan 87% of the time but only gets 53% from Heritage Action.
Barletta votes with Duncan 84% of the time but only gets 52% from Heritage Action.
Dent votes with Duncan 80% of the time but only gets 49% from Heritage Action.
Fitzpatrick votes with Duncan 76% of the time but only gets 49% from Heritage Action.
Gerlach votes with Duncan 78% of the time but only gets 49% from Heritage Action.
Meehan votes with Duncan 81% of the time but only gets 47% from Heritage Action.
So, how do members of Congress that vote largely 80-90% of the time with Heritage Action’s most conservative member end up scoring in the 50 percentile?
Heritage Action picks and chooses what votes to look at.
That isn’t earth shattering. Most groups do that. The NRA looks largely at firearms bills when scoring someone. The Club for Growth looks largely at economic issues when scoring someone. The difference is these groups are very clear in what they are ranking. For instance, the NRA doesn’t say that a member of Congress gets an “A” rating as a conservative, they say they get an “A” rating on gun issues even though gun issues are probably part of any real litmus test that anyone would use to define if someone were a conservative or not.
So, what does Heritage Action look at in scoring the members of Congress? You can find their list here.
They pick and choose not only votes, but co-sponsorships of legislation. One can make an argument for or against using co-sponsorships. In favor of including it would be the argument that a co-sponsorship helps a bill move to the floor for a vote and that it is a pre-vote statement of uber support for a measure. The argument against it would be that legislators should be judged on how they legislate or more directly, how they vote, and that there is nothing preventing someone from co-sponsoring something and then voting against it (except maybe the political risk associated with it.)
Also worth noting is what they do not include. For instance, they do not score on the Balanced Budget Amendment, a bulwark of conservative policy. Even if they wanted absolute purity and scored against it in favor of the more conservative amendment, it should have been included.
The Heritage Foundation and their sister group Heritage Action are wonderful groups with dedicated conservatives that perform a very necessary function in helping to evaluate our government and deploy activists to the betterment of our country. That is why it is so disappointing that they play favorites with what they choose to include in their scoring. They are demonstrating a bias that is not simply an expected bias towards conservative ideals and principles. They are picking winners and losers based on what they deem a “Key Vote.”
This method of scoring would be acceptable and even encouraged by this writer if they accurately described what it truly was a measure of. Heritage will argue they do, if you read through the key votes page on their website. I argue that if that is the case, they should not describe their scoring as a “comprehensive” scoring that covers “the full spectrum of conservatism.” Their key vote test is neither “comprehensive” nor does it cover “the full spectrum of conservatism” as they claim.
RedState writer Daniel Horowitz more accurately describes what Heritage Action’s scorecard tests or doesn’t test.
The Heritage family has earned the reputation of being a fair, truthful arbiter of public policy. Conservatives trust the content they get from Heritage without question. That is now changing because of this test. They are tarnishing their reputation by representing this scorecard as they describe it. To claim someone that votes with the Heritage Action's most conservative member of the house around 90% of the time is actually only conservative around 50% of the time or less is ridiculous and diminishes Heritage’s credibility.
Need more proof? Tea Party luminary, Congressman Allen West, was only able to muster a score of 74% on Heritage's scorecard. Would Heritage Action support a primary fight against Allen West since he is not reliably conservative by their standard? If the answer is yes, Heritage needs to have their collective heads examined. If the answer is no, Heritage should re-examine their scoring criteria because, as this example further illustrates, it is clearly flawed as a "comprehensive," "full spectrum" measure of conservatism.
Heritage Action should either devise a test that actually is a comprehensive score on the full spectrum of conservatism or stop describing their present test as such if they wish to preserve their excellent reputation as a trusted source of conservative thought.
- Higher taxes mean bigger government, not lower deficits.
- Do not allow politicians to impose a VAT.
- Big government slows growth, but also cripples human spirit.
- Nations reach a dangerous tipping point.
- Bailouts don't work.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
House Republicans are poised to vote for a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) to the United States Constitution today. Virtually every state, including Pennsylvania has a balanced budget amendment.
Democrats are opposing the measure as it would rightly restrict their profligate spending.
The measure will require 2/3 of the House to pass today and then 2/3 of the Senate to pass. Assuming that happens, the BBA will be sent to the states for ratification. ¾ of the State Legislatures would have to pass the Amendment in order for it to change the law.
Many Democrats that voted for the BBA in 2005 are opposing it today, making it difficult to reach the 2/3 majority needed to pass. Assuming it does, it faces even bigger challenges in the Senate.
Most of the legislation that arose in the House, including 22 jobs bills, have gone to the Senate to die.
Senate Democrats either voted them down or just outright blocked the Republican bills using political gimmicks.
Democratic United States Senator Bob Casey was in favor of a Balanced Budget as a candidate as the video below demonstrates.
Will he stick to his word or again bow to the wishes of his party leadership and President Obama? The odds are that he will cave to Obama. Bob Casey has supported President Obama over 95% of the time. He is Obama’s man in PA.
The one ray of hope is that 2012 is on the horizon. Casey is on the ballot in 2012. He has a Democratic opponent and a truckload of Republicans fighting for the chance to take him on. If there was a time for him to put Pennsylvania above Obama and Washington, supporting the Balanced Budget Amendment would be it.
Casey should break with his party and the President and support the same balanced budget requirement that he operated under as a state elected official and that he advocated for as a candidate.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tonight the House of Representatives passed H.R. 822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011. The bill would allow individuals with valid state-issued concealed firearm permits or licenses to carry a concealed firearm in any other state that also issues concealed firearm permits or licenses, or in any other state that does not generally prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms.
No longer will your rights start and end at your state’s lines…IF the Senate takes up the bill.
The bill passed with 272 votes in favor, 154 against. 229 Republicans and 43 Democrats supported the legislation. 7 Republicans and 147 Democrats voted against it.
Barletta, Holden, and Marino all voted for it.
Or perhaps the general public has finally tired of the anti-semitic antics of the occupiers (language warning on video below.)