Something Worse This Way Comes?

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Chuck Norris:After 5 1/2 bumpy years of controversial service, the besieged but bolstered attorney general, Eric Holder, resigned. But is this close friend and confidant of President Barack Obama’s really stepping down for some benign reason at a critical time for our country, or is there a sinister and strategic plan behind it all?

First, it’s far more than a coincidence that the United States’ chief lawyer is leaving office with more unanswered questions about crucial life-and-death national dilemmas than any previous attorney general. Though most have been accused of sitting on issues, none has been so assailed as Holder for personally stonewalling investigations, covering up government involvement and refusing to deal with politically explosive controversies. Holder has not prosecuted such monumental and rights-infringing crimes as the Fast and Furious debacle; the Benghazi, Libya, tragedy; National Security Agency wiretappings; press infringements; drone attacks on U.S. citizens; and the Internal Revenue Service scandal.

The Bronx, New York-born 63-year-old Holder proudly boasted that he had “taken steps to protect the environment,” taken swift action in Ferguson, Missouri, and even opened a broad probe into the police department in Ferguson. However, he — like our president and even Secretary of State John Kerry — hasn’t said a single word over the past six months about Marine reservist Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi’s being wrongly imprisoned in Mexico.

Sadly, it has been recently reported that Tahmooressi, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, is “highly despondent” because of the drastic deterioration of his mental health. And still, Holder refuses to speak up on behalf of this suffering, imprisoned American patriot.

Can you say resignation of denial and avoidance?

If Obama invoked executive privilege when Holder sat before Congress to protect him from his role in Fast and Furious, who’s to say he isn’t protecting him again — or vice versa — through Holder’s resignation? What better way to avoid the line of fire than to move completely out of the way? And what if Obama and Holder are not only protecting themselves from some past public sin through his resignation but also prepping Holder for some future position by his absence from the public stage?

That’s exactly what Rush Limbaugh proposed this past week. He explained the scary scenario this way:

“After you perform your six years of government service, you then retire to the private sector and get paid off for it. People hire you who are grateful for what you did, or you go back to your law firm, where you are a rainmaker, don’t even have to do any work.

“They put your name on the letterhead, on the door, and you attract clients and get a percentage of what walks in the door. There is any number of ways this can happen. But there’s also another possibility regarding Eric Holder. I just want you to prepare yourself. It may happen. We still have two years to go.

“There may be a Supreme Court vacancy, and I can see Barack Obama nominating Eric Holder to fill it, and it would be much easier for Eric Holder to make the jump from private-sector law firm rainmaker after six years at (the Department of Justice) to the Supreme Court than from DOJ straight to the Supreme Court. I don’t know how much that would matter, but don’t rule any of that out. I don’t think there’s any scandal. I don’t think it’s Fast and Furious. I don’t think he’s worried about the Republicans investigating anything if they win the Senate.”

It is worth noting that Rahm Emanuel resigned as Obama’s chief of staff two years before the end of the president’s first term in order to attain the post of mayor of Chicago — a resignation that Obama labeled as “bittersweet,” which he also did with Holder’s.

Hillary Clinton was next, with her resignation as secretary of state, which most people think was in order to run for president in 2016.

Now, two years before the end of the president’s second term, could Obama and Holder’s scope be set on SCOTUS? Given they are the kings of corrupt calculated chess moves, I believe the odds are incredibly high.

Having finished their insider dirty work, this trinity of terror (Emanuel, Clinton and Holder) is being sent out like apostles onto the mission field to infuse Obama’s Cabinet’s secular progressive agenda into the deepest roots of the land.

Liberal legacy and progressive perpetuity is the name of their game and their master plan.

HAIL HYDRA!

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

 

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

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Patriotic Bigot

Idiocracy: a dystopian society wherein advertising, commercialism, and cultural anti-intellectualism have run rampant and dysgenic pressure has resulted in a uniformly unthinking society devoid of intellectual curiosity, social responsibility, and coherent notions of justice and human rights.

So let’s re-cap America 2014.

You’re a Racist if you disagree with The Left, on just about anything, but especially on things like Illegal Aliens, Voter Fraud, Global Warming, and any time you’re white and their black.

You hate Women if you disagree with the radical leftist feminist and are in any way anti-abortion or dislike Hillary Clinton as the next Queen of of Amerika.

You’re homophobic (“bigot”) if you cross the Gay Mafia in any way whatsoever. They should be allowed to do or say anything they want, when they want, because they want.

And Christians are bigots automatically because religion is oppressive. But Muslims who cut people’s head off and ACTUALLY oppress women are politically correct and restricting them is “bigotry” and “intolerance”.

Got it? 🙂

Which brings us to…

Old Glory is Offensive!

An apartment complex told a tenant to remove his American flag because they deemed it “offensive” to foreigners.

http://www.khou.com/story/news/local/2014/07/25/12525186/

San Diego State University sophomore Brad Smith moved into the Boulevard 63 State Apartments last month and hung an American flag off his balcony, ABC10 reports.

A month later, he received a notice asking him to remove it:

“We were then told that it was for political reasons and that the flag could offend foreign people that live here, foreign exchange students,” Smith told ABC10.

“I’ve had friends and family fight to defend that flag.”

EAGNews reports that under the leasing office and apartment community’s rules, flags could not be displayed:

The rules do say “no signs or other personal property may be kept outside the premises” and management determines what is “permissible and acceptable.”

Even the notice that Smith got said flags could not be displayed.

Smith said that none of the rules were brought to his attention when he started to live there.

However, the leasing office started to change its tune later on when a representative admitted that the complex would allow “state and country flags,” according to ABC10.

Flag bans seem to be trending in the news over the past few months in both public and private spaces.

CNSNews reported last Friday that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a California high school’s ban on wearing American flag t-shirts on Cinco de Mayo:

School administrators said that they feared the students would face violence from Latino students for wearing the American flag-themed clothing during the school-sanctioned celebration because there had been at least 30 fights between Caucasian and Hispanic students on campus during the preceding six years.

KHOU reported back in June about a similar situation where an apartment complex in Texas ordered a man to take his American flag down because it was offensive to Muslims. (CNS)

Feb 2014: A federal court ruled Thursday that a northern California high school did not violate the constitutional rights of its students when school officials made them turn their American flag T-shirts inside out on Cinco de Mayo or be sent home due to fears of racial violence.

It’s done. We’re toast. Turn out the lights, the idiots rule the world and they have the news media and the “justice” system to back them up.

In truth, THEY just don’t like what you said and have no respect for The First Amendment because after all, their offense is SO MUCH more important but they won’t tell you that. They will just hide behind some rule or regulation and expect you to respect THEIR authority over you and that’s it. So shut up you bigoted peasant and do as you are ordered by your Lord and Master!

2011 Article: Increasingly, it seems that the American flag is joining toy guns and dodgeball on the banned-from-school list.  And the latest story on this front involves The Butterfield Elementary in Orange, Massachusetts, where a teacher told an eleven-year-old boy that he may not hang his depiction of Old Glory because it might “offend” another student.

The boy, Frankie Girard, had drawn the picture in art class but then found that his teacher didn’t share his patriotism.  Says his father, John, “He was denied hanging the flag up.  And he asked if he could just even hang it on his desk, and he was told no.  He could take the picture that he drew and take it home and be proud of it there.”

I guess patriotism has joined piety as a “private matter.”  (Leftists tend to confuse closets with shelves.  Everything that should be in the former, they display; everything that should be on the latter, they hide.)

There is a bit of a back story here, too.  It is claimed that this incident followed an altercation in which the offended one struck Frankie after Frankie asked him why he didn’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

As for the accusation leveled against the teacher, it’s denied by the school superintendent, Dr. Paul Burnim.  He refused to go on camera, but, reports WWLP.com’s Matt  Caron, he “told 22News over the phone that nobody ever told Franklin the drawing was offensive, and said the only reason it wasn’t hung was because Franklin was supposed to be doing other work; [sic] not drawing a picture.”

Nose growing much, doctor?

The reason why I don’t believe this man for a second is this: What eleven-year-old is going to concoct a story that his teacher said his flag drawing was “offensive”?  Oh, I understand that kids can lie almost as well as educators, but such a fabrication would require a level of cultural knowledge and sophistication beyond the grammar-school set.  No, what we have here is a guilty teacher and a superintendent doing damage control and hiding under his desk.

As to this, Frankie’s father, John — who has contacted the ACLU (which makes me wonder about his cultural knowledge) and gotten a lot of press — said that Dr. Burnim asked him if this would “go away” if his son were allowed to hang the flag now.  Obviously, this educator is worried about being hanged himself.  Doctor, the time for that is past.

And you are a coward.

If you were any kind of man, you would have been offended that a teacher would look askance upon the flag.  If you were any kind of a man, you would have leapt into action without hesitation.  If you were any kind of man, you would have defended our culture.  But you’re something other than a man.

It’s called a leftist.

And this is typical of leftists.  They persecute traditionalist students in thousands of schools and universities nationwide (see Campus-Watch.org), and, when they are occasionally caught with their hands in the commie jar, they don’t even have the guts to come on camera and defend their “beliefs.”

This is because they operate based on popularity, not principle.  They are pack animals, fawners over the fashionable.  In 1936 Germany, they would have been doing the goosestep, and in 1917 Russia, they would have sported the hammer and sickle.  This malleability isn’t surprising, either.  “Left,” like “right,” is a relative term.  Left of what?  In the case of these folks, the only constant is that they’re left of sanity.

Now, in the comments section under Caron’s article, someone in the community accused Frankie of being a bully.  But this is irrelevant.  It would be a mistake to conflate a defense of the flag with a defense of a flag-waver.  If the boy misbehaved, punish him, but you don’t prohibit the flag’s display because it’s “offensive.”  You hang the flag — and then “hang” the child if necessary.

Speaking of which, was the little offended offender punished for striking Frankie?  Or is that allowed now when someone has the temerity to express patriotic sentiments?

And who is offended by the flag, anyway?  Is this classmate a budding al-Qaeda member?  A La Raza Reconquista type?  Is his last name Chavez?  (Actually, Frankie’s sister claims he’s a Jehovah’s Witness.)  Whatever the case, if the American flag offends him, I suggest that he’s in the wrong country.

The thing I find most irritating about this story is the ridiculous idea that “offensiveness” should be a guide for anything.  And it not only shouldn’t be…

…but it cannot be.

This is because offensiveness is completely relative and subjective: most everything offends someone and most everyone is offended by something.  Yet we won’t prohibit everything.  Would we kowtow to a child who was offended by sitting next to a black classmate?  In short, we have to discriminate among people’s feelings.  And what will be the yardstick that we use to judge?  Unless it is the “feelings” of the given authority figure — in which case the judgments are completely arbitrary — the standard of right and wrong must be applied.

Once you recognize this, the offensiveness argument goes out the window.  It passes muster only in a relativistic universe in which, without a conception of Truth as a yardstick for making decisions, people use the only thing they have left: emotion.  Yet this reduces society to the law of the jungle: we fight, using fists, votes, or words (maybe lies), and those who prevail see their will done.  And that higher one, and civilization, are casualties.

The truth is that when people take offense, it’s usually just a ploy.  They’re not really offended.

They just don’t happen to like what you’re saying.

But if they were honest and said just that, they’d seem intolerant.  So they try to seize the moral high ground by putting the onus on you and claiming you’re “offensive.”  Yet they usually have neither the high ground nor anything moral.  If they had the latter, they’d likely be able to mount an argument as to why you’re wrong in a real, absolute sense.  Instead, all they’re saying, properly translated, is that they don’t like how you taste.  If they looked to Truth, however, they might find that the problem actually lies with their palate.

Something else that can exist only in a relativistic universe is the spiritual disease that today wears the label “liberalism.”  Get people to believe in Truth, and this disease will die as surely as will a fungus exposed to the light. (American Thinker)

Take your orders and never forget the words of Gen. Douglas MacArthur: “I see that the old flagpole still stands. Have our troops hoist the colors to its peak, and let no enemy ever haul them down.”

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

But what do I know I’m  a patriotic bigot, after all.

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

 

154269 600 Holder Resigns cartoons

Wacko Birds

Decades from now, when academic historians describe today’s Tea Party movement, they will almost surely repeat the tripe we often hear today—that the movement is motivated primarily by racism, that Tea Party members have no real principles, that instead their main goal is to deter President Obama from achieving significant accomplishments, that the movement is funded and largely controlled by the Koch brothers, who support the movement mainly because it would help their personal financial interests, etc.

When such academic histories are written, some of us will want to explain that the truth was quite different. We will be aided by Joel Pollak’s excellent new book, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party. (Released Today)

“Wacko Birds” tells the story of the Tea Party, the conservative movement that has become the backbone of political opposition in the Obama era. Loved by many, feared by many, the activists of the Tea Party and the political leaders they support have built a new constituency for limited government, fiscal responsibility, and constitutional restraint. In a few short years, they have restrained the growth of the federal government, pushed back against presidential abuses of power, and rolled back the clout of the public sector unions. They have succeeded despite unprecedented repression by the IRS and relentless demonization by the mainstream media.

Yet the Tea Party has also failed in several important respects, especially in the quest for power. Ambivalent about governing, the movement has not yet taken charge of the Republican Party agenda, nor has it fulfilled many of its own policy goals. It has often proved adept at replacing Republican moderate incumbents, but less so in winning elections against Democrats. And at several critical moments, both the Tea Party and the “establishment” it often challenges have failed to find ways to work together toward achieving common goals or against common threats.

The book tells the story of the Tea Party in two ways. First, it traces the broad history of the movement and its political battles, from the fight over Obamacare in 2009-10, to the debt ceiling negotiations of 2011, through the elections of 2012, the federal government shutdown of 2013, and the ongoing fight over immigration reform. Second, the book focuses on the roles played by particular political leaders and the issues with which they become most closely identified: Michele Bachmann and leadership; Paul Ryan and the budget; Rand Paul and foreign policy; Ted Cruz and Obamacare; Marco Rubio and immigration; Scott Walker and public sector unions. The book also discusses troubled candidates who ran under the Tea Party banner, the exposure of the IRS scandal; the role of Gov. Sarah Palin; and the important role played by Andrew Breitbart and conservative new media in defending the Tea Party at several critical moments.

Despite many setbacks, the Tea Party has persisted, and remains an important factor in our political system. Indeed, the success of the “Wacko Birds” remains crucial to the future of American democracy. Without the Tea Party, political opposition in the United States would be both weak and incoherent, and our republic would be in even greater danger than it finds itself at present. “Wacko Birds” provides a concise contemporary history of the Tea Party movement–as well as a criticism of its record so far, and a defense of its ongoing role in the future.

Pollak’s first step into the world of punditry occurred in April 2009, when he was a student at Harvard Law School. During the Q&A period of a speech by Barney Frank, Pollak asked Frank a simple question: How much, if any, responsibility do you have for the sub-prime mortgage crisis? Frank became defensive and visibly agitated. In fact, Pollak had to persist through several interruptions by Frank before he could even finish his question. Frank kept evading the question, and at one point Pollak offered “You can say ‘none.’ That’s fine.” Frank still would not answer. Soon after, Greta van Sustern invited Pollak on her show to discuss, what she called, his “showdown” with Frank.

After an unsuccessful campaign to unseat Rep. Jan Schakowsky from the House of Representatives, Pollak received an offer from Andrew Breitbart to become the chief legal counsel for his “Big” web sites. Pollak accepted, and he still holds that position, while also serving as an occasional editor and writer for the sites.

In March, 2012, Pollak appeared on CNN to discuss a video, which Breitbart.com had recently released, showing a young Barack Obama expressing his support and admiration for law professor Derrick Bell, an advocate of “critical race theory.” People who’ve spent significant time at a university campus know that the theory is radical and held only by people on the very far left. The CNN moderator, Soledad O’Brien, however, insisted that the theory was much more tame, that it is nothing more than the study of “the intersection of race and politics and law.” When Pollak wouldn’t concede to O’Brien’s point, one of her panelists chimed in. “Can I say something as a white person? What are you so frightened of? Are you frightened that some black people are going to do something to you? … What are you afraid that Barack Obama is going to do to you? Is there a secret black movement that’s going to start killing white people? What are you talking about—as a white guy?”

At the time (and still), Pollak was married to a black woman, yet he chose not to mention that. Instead, he calmly responded, “You’ve accused me of being a racist. You’ve accused me of being afraid of black people. And that doesn’t even deserve a response. But let me respond anyway. No, I’m not afraid that black people are going to be violent and take over the country. What I’m trying point out is that there is a pattern in Barack Obama’s associations with Derrick Bell, with Rev. Wright, that carries over into his governance…”

Similarly, when O’Brien spouted an inaccurate definition of critical race theory, the most natural response would have been to point out her intellectual shortcomings—to respond something like “Soledad, you have no idea what you’re talking about”—yet he did not. Instead, he coolly responded, “I’m glad that we’ve got you saying that on tape.”

In many ways the tone that Pollak adopts in Wacko Birds is similar to the tone he adopted during his CNN appearance.

First, in Wacko Birds he almost never makes himself part of the narrative. Although this helps make the book more detached and scholarly, at least at times I think it may detract from the book. For instance, Pollak never relates inside stories about his interactions with Breitbart, one of the most important figures of the Tea Party, even though I’m certain that most readers would appreciate such stories. Similarly, Pollak does not mention his on-air scuffle with O’Brien, even though many believe that it was a major embarrassment to CNN and it contributed to O’Brien’s dismissal from the news channel.

Second, although Pollak is a strong supporter of the Tea Party, his tone for the most part is stoic and even-handed. Indeed in many paragraphs of the book he sounds more like an opponent than a supporter of the Tea Party. His goal seems more to chronicle events—to get them “on tape”—than to argue for a position.

A major contribution of the book is Pollak’s efforts to define the Tea Party and, as part of the definition, to list its principles and purpose. This is a slippery endeavor, since the Tea Party has no founding documents, no headquarters, no organizational structure, nor a leader. He writes that the Tea Party is a “grassroots conservative movement restoring the spirit of the U.S. Constitution, restraining a runaway federal government, and bringing power back into the hands of the people, often against the will of an entrenched GOP establishment that prefers power to principle.”

Some may disagree with this characterization, but I believe it is at least an accurate approximation. That is, if one were to survey people who call themselves members of the Tea Party, I believe that the vast majority of them would define their movement something like the way Pollak describes.

If so, an interesting aspect of Pollak’s definition is that it is silent about social issues. That is, for instance, it does not mention things like abortion, gay marriage, or legalizing drugs. Indeed, I suspect that at a typical Tea Party rally the participants would not be at anything close to a consensus on these issues.

Another aspect of Pollak’s definition is its emphasis on minimal government. This is consistent with an academic study by UCLA graduate student Emily Ekins, who attended a number of Tea Party rallies, at which she photographed all the signs she saw. She notes that a plurality of the signs advocate, in some form, minimal government.

The most interesting aspect of Pollak’s definition, I believe, is the part about “restoring the spirit of the U.S. Constitution.” I think this aspect of the Tea Party has gone largely unnoticed by the left—that is, the left has not yet recognized that people really can get worked up over things like the rule of law and constitutional principles. However, to such skeptics, I invite them to conduct the following experiment: 1) Enter “constitutional conservative” in Google, Twitter, or any other search engine or social media site. 2) Note the frequency of the phrase and how many people use it to describe their political views. 3) Do the same with the phrase “constitutional liberal” or “constitutional progressive” and note the scarcity of people who use the phrase to describe their political views.

As the above experiment demonstrates, there is a genuine asymmetry between conservatives’ and liberals’ regard for the Constitution and the rule of law. While the asymmetry, I believe, was small three or four decades ago, I believe that now the asymmetry is large, and it is growing larger. Pollak’s book and the very existence of the Tea Party help to illustrate this asymmetry.

The closest thing I have to a criticism of the book is that most of it is little more than a retelling of recent events that involved the Tea Party or its key figures. In the retelling of these, Pollak is often short on analysis and reporting of new news.

While the book’s descriptions of these events will be extremely useful to, say, students reading about the Tea Party twenty years from now, they will be less interesting to present-day news junkies who lived through the events.

Still, many readers will be like me: They will have forgotten, or never learned, some of the important details of these events, and they will appreciate Pollak’s re-telling. Some examples of such details include the following:

  • During the IRS scandal (in which the IRS devoted heightened scrutiny to conservative groups), its staff urged a pro-life group to give equal weight to the pro-choice side of the abortion issue.
  • The Treasury Department completed an internal investigation of the IRS scandal in mid-2012. However, that was not revealed to the public until after the 2012 election.
  • Once the investigation became known, President Obama expressed his outrage at the IRS. However, once evidence was revealed that suggested possible White House involvement, Obama mocked the scandal. “[S]uddenly everybody’s outraged,” he told MSNBC’s Chris Mathews in December, 2013.
  • According to conventional wisdom, the debt-limit crisis of 2011 occurred because John Boehner and House Republicans provoked the White House into a political fight. However, the confrontation began in January, 2011, when with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter to John Boehner. Before that time Republicans were not even discussing the issue.
  • After CNBC’s Rick Santelli delivered his “rant heard round the world,” Mark Ames, a frequent guest on MSNBC, claimed that the rant was not spontaneous but part of a carefully planned campaign engineered by the Koch brothers. (Pollak—as would any reasonable person, I believe—dismisses this theory.)

Another interesting detail that Pollak provides involves Andrew Breitbart, a man whose status, deservedly, is legendary in the Tea Party movement. Breitbart, in a moment of spontaneous passion, gives a description of the Tea Party that is perhaps better than anyone else has ever offered or will offer.

First some background: In 2011, during his first weeks as governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker decided to reform public-sector unions in his state. When Walker had earlier served on the Milwaukee County Board, he’d seen how collective bargaining forced local authorities to provide lavish benefits to their employees, which the localities often could not afford. Worse, the benefit plans of these employees were run by companies that were controlled by the unions. This meant that the benefit plans could charge exorbitant fees not charged by their private-sector competitors. To change this, Walker wanted to restrict the ability of unions to bargain collectively for non-wage provisions.

Union members and their supporters were naturally angry, and they mounted a vigorous opposition. This included a “disappearing quorum,” whereby Democratic legislators fled the state in order to prevent a vote on Walker’s reforms. It also included many union members and supporters skipping work or school so that they could attend demonstrations. Some sympathetic doctors roamed the crowd of the demonstrations, offering to write notes that would falsely claim that the workers and students were ill and thus needed to skip work or school.

Two months after the union demonstration, the Tea Party staged a counter demonstration. Several union members showed up to disrupt it, and police officers directed them to stand at the periphery. One of their tactics was to shout down the Tea Party speakers. One speaker said that the union members were so loud that he could not even hear himself.

Andrew Breitbart was at the counter demonstration to introduce Sarah Palin. As Pollak notes, “When Breitbart spoke—wearing an open-necked shirt in a driving snowstorm—he took on [the union protesters] directly:

“I was here two months ago—good to see you guys! … Do you know what you’re seeing on the periphery here, and what you’re hearing? The death of community organizing. … The Tea Party has been the most peaceful, law-abiding, clean-up-after-themselves group in the history of American protest. And to be lectured by you in the periphery, who have lied in getting the “doctors’ notes”—you have no right to lecture us on civility. You have no right to lecture us on language. Your “Koch suckers” business—Go to hell! No, serious! Go to hell! Go to hell! You’ve been so rude, you’re trying to divide America. Class warfare is not American. Class warfare is not American.”

Thanks to Pollak’s excellent book, details such as this are now preserved for posterity. (ricochet)

That is until it’s on the Banned Book list… 🙂

154243 600 Missing Illegals cartoons

154229 600 Barack Em Sock Em Robot cartoons

Take Offense

A Northern California case against wearing American flag T-shirts could be headed to the Supreme Court. AP
A Northern California case against wearing American flag T-shirts could be headed to the Supreme Court. AP

Rights: A Ninth Circuit Court ruling that students can’t wear American flag T-shirts because they may offend Mexican students celebrating Cinco de Mayo is a ridiculous yet dangerous assault on the First Amendment.

On Sept. 17, more than four years after Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Calif., sent students home for wearing American flag t-shirts, an 11-judge Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that it was the right choice, “tailored to avert violence and focused on student safety.”

The decision upheld the court’s three-judge ruling in February that justified the school’s actions based on tensions between Mexican and American students. Past events, Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote, “made it reasonable for school officials to proceed as though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real.”

We are not making up this surreal situation. Oh, yeah, the incident occurred on Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates the defeat of the French army of Napoleon III by Mexican forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

It’s often mistaken as Mexico’s independence day and is actually celebrated more in the U.S. than in Mexico.

The shirts offended Mexican students who, the Ninth Circuit ruling states, responded by shouting, “They are being racist. F*** them white boys. Let’s f*** them up.”

According to the court, the wearing of an American flag t-shirt on Cinco de Mayo was the functional equivalent of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.

“The controversy and tension remained,” a panel of judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said in their opinion, “but the school’s actions presciently avoided an altercation.”

William Becker, a lawyer for the students, has said that he’ll take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. “The 9th Circuit upheld the rights of Mexican students celebrating the holiday of another country over U.S. students proudly supporting this country,” he said.

The ruling sets a chilling precedent that “by threatening violence against those with whom you disagree, you can enlist the power of the state to silence them,” wrote Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain in a dissent.

What about the students, O’Scannlain asked, wearing Che Guevara, Martin Luther King or a President Obama “Hope” t-shirt? Ban them, too?

The irony here is that Sept. 17 was the 200th anniversary of the first printing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The song celebrated the Battle of Baltimore, in which American forces beat the British In that battle, the rights and freedoms that we hopefully still enjoy were defended.

Come to think of it, that would make a great t-shirt.

Maybe we just need more Burkhas!

Or Halal Food Mandates…

Muslims in Minnesota facing poverty and tapping local food banks say they need a program that recognizes their pork-free needs.

Somali-Americans in one Minneapolis community have called for local government officials to create a no-pork zone via a special food shelf just for foods that conform to their faith, a local CBS News affiliate reported.

“It’s about human rights also — basic human rights to get the proper food and also healthy food,” Imam Hassan Mohamud told the affiliate.

“Some food shelves are trying to meet the need, but some of them already got canned beans that have already been mixed with pork — and there is a literacy issue here,” Mr. Weli said, CBS reported.

So Americans need to cater to illiterate unemployed Muslims on welfare. Human rights doesn’t mean having the government give you pork-free products. It means not being forced to eat pork products.

How dare you give people a choice to buy Pork & Beans with the Pork in it! How Racist are you!

Maybe Pork should be banned from Grocery Stores out of consideration for our Muslim brothers and sisters! 🙂

After all, you don’t want to “offend” anyone now do you… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Hold(er)ing Action

So Eric Holder, Obama’s chief Ideological butt-buddy and Chief Lawless Enforcer of Extreme Left Wing Social Justice is resigning, eventually. They have to nominate someone who is even crazier first, say before the election. 🙂 After all, making Republicans look mean and nasty and “partisan” is what Obama loves to do when he’s being even worse.

And the Leftist Media I’m sure is in mourning. Their national Hero, champion of Social Justice, “informal workers” (aka illegal aliens),the gay mafia, defender of the(ir) one true faith.

Who cares about The Black Panthers suppressing votes, it’s the voting rights of illegal aliens, “minorities” and “the poor” that matters (especially if you’re all 3 and NOT white). So what if you need more ID to rent a Video than vote in his eyes, he was their Ideological hardline champion of the cause.

“Fast & Furious”, fah, who cares about that silly old thing.

National Security on the Border, who gives a crap. And if YOU try to enforce it we’ll sue your ass and crush you like the insignificant bug you are compared to the might of the All-Powerful Federal Government!

If we want to ignore the problem you can’t do anything about it!  <sticking tongue out>

He was a warrior of the Leftist faith. The Defender of The Federal Supremacy Clause!

He was their strong man. The “Justice is Blind” and impartial was completely destroyed, but since it was to enforce with an iron first the Leftist Ideology, he was a Demi-God to the Left.

Justice was Blind Partisanship and “Fair” only to those of Faith. The infidels needed to be crushed.

I wonder if he’ll be Sainted or just get 72 virgins?

And if you didn’t like it, you were a RACIST! 🙂

As a longtime, current employee of the Justice Department told us, Mr. Holder and his subordinates have “racialized and radicalized” the department “to the point of corruption.” They have “embedded politically leftist extremists in the career ranks who have an agenda that does not comport with equal protection or the rule of law; who believe that the ends justify the means; and who behave unprofessionally and unethically. (why does this sound like that new “hit” show ‘How to get away with Murder? 🙂 ) Their policy is to intimidate and threaten employees who do not agree with their politics, and even moderate Democrats have left the department, because they were treated as enemies by administration officials and their lackeys. Another black employee who has worked for the Justice Department for decades said to me, ‘There is no justice left in Justice under this administration.’”

Mr. Holder is an ideologue who considers himself part of Mr. Obama’s political team first and the attorney general a very distant second. His first loyalty has been to helping the president break, bend, ignore or fail to enforce the law, doing untold damage to our constitutional system and the rule of law.

As former Justice Department prosecutor Andy McCarthy has said, the Justice Department under Mr. Holder has become “a sort of full-employment program for progressive activists, race-obsessed bean counters and lawyers who volunteered their services during the Bush years to help al Qaeda operatives file lawsuits against the United States.”

Well said.

Meanwhile, the Left is mourning. But at least they have all those Hydra Agents in The “Justice” Department to carry on Their God’s work and Obama will find another ideologue to replace him.

After all, THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA!

Hail Hydra!

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

 

 

 

 

Big Brother Loves You

Miss a Payment? Good Luck Moving That Car

The thermometer showed a 103.5-degree fever, and her 10-year-old’s asthma was flaring up. Mary Bolender, who lives in Las Vegas, needed to get her daughter to an emergency room, but her 2005 Chrysler van would not start.

The cause was not a mechanical problem — it was her lender.

Ms. Bolender was three days behind on her monthly car payment. Her lender, C.A.G. Acceptance of Mesa, Ariz., remotely activated a device in her car’s dashboard that prevented her car from starting. Before she could get back on the road, she had to pay more than $389, money she did not have that morning in March.

“I felt absolutely helpless,” said Ms. Bolender, a single mother who stopped working to care for her daughter. It was not the only time this happened: Her car was shut down that March, once in April and again in June.

This new technology is bringing auto loans — and Wall Street’s version of Big Brother — into the lives of people with credit scores battered by the financial downturn.

Maybe now they’ll get the idea even more Big Brother (government or companies) is not a good thing. I wonder when ObamaCare will adopt this? Or Maybe your Electric Company? or even Momma Obama and her Food Police?

I know! If you use too much gas and don’t have a required level of “carbon footprint” you’re tech shuts down until you learn to be a better citizen of the planet! 🙂

Naw, they’ll just expect government to “save” them from the big, bad corporations, after all this was in the The New York Times. I’m sure this was a “big bad corporate” story and I read more into it that the normal idiot on the street worried about “Dancing With The Stars”. After all, personal responsibility has no place in 21st Century America and the answer to everything is government intervention…

But Obama makes the economy, and keeps it, bad and people vote for him. So you made your bed…

Auto loans to borrowers considered subprime, those with credit scores at or below 640, have spiked in the last five years. The jump has been driven in large part by the demand among investors for securities backed by the loans, which offer high returns at a time of low interest rates. Roughly 25 percent of all new auto loans made last year were subprime, and the volume of subprime auto loans reached more than $145 billion in the first three months of this year.

Just like the housing market. Boy, when this subprime crashes, it could really CRASH

But before they can drive off the lot, many subprime borrowers like Ms. Bolender must have their car outfitted with a so-called starter interrupt device, which allows lenders to remotely disable the ignition. Using the GPS technology on the devices, the lenders can also track the cars’ location and movements.

Big Brother is watching you. But ObamaCare is ok… 🙂

The devices, which have been installed in about two million vehicles, are helping feed the subprime boom by enabling more high-risk borrowers to get loans. But there is a big catch. By simply clicking a mouse or tapping a smartphone, lenders retain the ultimate control. Borrowers must stay current with their payments, or lose access to their vehicle.

Sound like the Housing crash, 10 years prior to the crash? 🙂

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Credit

“I have disabled a car while I was shopping at Walmart,” said Lionel M. Vead Jr., the head of collections at First Castle Federal Credit Union in Covington, La. Roughly 30 percent of customers with an auto loan at the credit union have starter interrupt devices.

Now used in about one-quarter of subprime auto loans nationwide, the devices are reshaping the dynamics of auto lending by making timely payments as vital to driving a car as gasoline.

Seizing on such technological advances, lenders are reaching deeper and deeper into the ranks of Americans on the financial margins, with interest rates on some of the loans exceeding 29 percent. Concerns raised by regulators and some rating firms about loose lending standards have disturbing echoes of the subprime-mortgage crisis.

ECHO ECHO ECHO!!! Now pinch hitting for Pedro Borbone…Manny Mota! 🙂

When in Debt, Spend even more! The Obama Mantra!

As the ignition devices proliferate, so have complaints from troubled borrowers, many of whom are finding that credit comes at a steep price to their privacy and, at times, their dignity, according to interviews with state and federal regulators, borrowers and consumer lawyers.

Welcome to Big Brother land. The land where your overseers are everywhere and know everything at all times. But not to worry, The IRS and The NSA are there to save you… 🙂

Some borrowers say their cars were disabled when they were only a few days behind on their payments, leaving them stranded in dangerous neighborhoods. Others said their cars were shut down while idling at stoplights. Some described how they could not take their children to school or to doctor’s appointments. One woman in Nevada said her car was shut down while she was driving on the freeway.

Beyond the ability to disable a vehicle, the devices have tracking capabilities that allow lenders and others to know the movements of borrowers, a major concern for privacy advocates. And the warnings the devices emit — beeps that become more persistent as the due date for the loan payment approaches — are seen by some borrowers as more degrading than helpful.

I wonder when there Air Conditioner/Heater in their house starts beeping because the EPA  doesn’t like you “wasting” energy will they get it?

Oh, that’s right, The EPA Hates fossil fuels to begin with. Problem solved! 🙂

“No middle-class person would ever be hounded for being a day late,” said Robert Swearingen, a lawyer with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, in St. Louis. “But for poor people, there is a debt collector right there in the car with them.”

So No Democrat has seized on this one yet? They love a good “corporate exploitation”
while they promote Government exploitation! 🙂

Lenders and manufacturers of the technology say borrowers consent to having these devices installed in their cars. And without them, they say, millions of Americans might not qualify for a car loan at all.

Just like the houses in the 1990s.

A Virtual Repo Man

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"I have disabled a car while I was shopping at Walmart," said Lionel M. Vead Jr., the head of collections at First Castle Credit Union in Covington, La., who said that starter interrupt devices and GPS tracking technology had made his job easier.
“I have disabled a car while I was shopping at Walmart,” said Lionel M. Vead Jr., the head of collections at First Castle Credit Union in Covington, La., who said that starter interrupt devices and GPS tracking technology had made his job easier.Credit Cheryl Gerber for The New York Times

From his office outside New Orleans, Mr. Vead can monitor the movements of about 880 subprime borrowers on a computerized map that shows the location of their cars with a red marker. Mr. Vead can spot drivers who have fallen behind on their payments and remotely disable their vehicles on his computer or mobile phone.

The devices are reshaping how people like Mr. Vead collect on debts. He can quickly locate the collateral without relying on a repo man to hunt down delinquent borrowers.

Gone are the days when Mr. Vead, a debt collector for nearly 20 years, had to hire someone to scour neighborhoods for cars belonging to delinquent borrowers. Sometimes locating one could take years. Now, within minutes of a car’s ignition being disabled, Mr. Vead said, the borrower calls him offering to pay.

“It gets their attention,” he said.

Mr. Vead, who has a coffee cup that reads “The GPS Man,” has been encouraging other credit unions to use the technology. And the devices — one version was first used to help pet owners keep track of their animals — are catching on with a range of subprime auto lenders, including companies backed by private equity firms and credit unions.

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Using his computer or cellphone, Mr. Vead can monitor the movements of about 880 subprime borrowers, and if they are late in making a payment, he can disable their vehicles.
Using his computer or cellphone, Mr. Vead can monitor the movements of about 880 subprime borrowers, and if they are late in making a payment, he can disable their vehicles.Credit Cheryl Gerber for The New York Times

Mr. Vead says that first, he tries reaching a delinquent borrower on the phone or in person. Then, only after at least 30 days of missed payments, he typically shuts down cars when they are parked at the borrower’s house or workplace. If there is an emergency, he says, he will turn a car back on.

None of the borrowers or consumer lawyers interviewed by The New York Times raised concerns about the way Mr. Vead’s credit union uses the devices. But other lenders, they said, were not as considerate, marooning drivers in far-flung places and often giving no advance notice of a shut-off. Lenders say that they exercise caution when disabling vehicles and that the devices enable them to extend more credit.

Without the use of such devices, said John Pena, general manager of C.A.G. Acceptance, “we would be unable to extend loans because of the high-risk nature of the loans.”

But then their new cash cow would dry up, just like the housing market…

The growth in the subprime market has been good for the devices’ manufacturers. At Lender Systems of Temecula, Calif., which sells a range of starter interrupt devices, revenue has more than doubled so far this year, buoyed by an influx of new credit union customers, said David Sailors, the company’s executive vice president.

Mr. Sailors noted that GPS tracking on his company’s devices could be turned on only when borrowers were in default — a policy, he said, that has cost it business.

The devices, manufacturers say, are selling well because they are proving effective in coaxing payments from even the most troubled borrowers.

I wonder if Michelle Obama could get this for Grocery Carts or Cash Registers? Instead of nagging you not to buy that Cheesecake it simply won’t let you buy it!!

Imagine that as a way to make “fat” people do what Momma Obama Wants! 🙂

A leading device maker, PassTime of Littleton, Colo., says its technology has reduced late payments to roughly 7 percent from nearly 29 percent. Spireon, which offers a GPS device called the Talon, has a tool on its website where lenders can calculate their return on capital.

Fears of SurveillanceCredit

While the devices make life easier for lenders, their ability to track drivers’ movements has struck a nerve with a number of borrowers and some government authorities, who say they are a particularly troubling example of personal-data gathering and surveillance.

At its extreme, consumer lawyers say, such surveillance can compromise borrowers’ safety. In Austin, Tex., a large subprime lender used a device to track down and repossess the car of a woman who had fled to a shelter to escape her abusive husband, said her lawyer, Amy Clark Kleinpeter.

The move to the shelter violated a clause in her auto loan contract that restricted her from driving outside a four-county radius, and that prompted the lender to send a tow truck to take back the vehicle. If the lender could so easily locate the client, Ms. Kleinpeter said, what was stopping her husband?

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU. Say is that a drone outside your window, or just the IRS?  🙂

“She was terrified her husband would be able to find out where she was from the tow truck company,” said Ms. Kleinpeter, a consumer lawyer in Austin, who said a growing number of her clients had the devices installed in their cars.

Lenders and manufacturers emphasize that they have strict guidelines in place to protect drivers’ information. The GPS devices, they say, are predominantly intended to help lenders and car dealerships locate a car if they need to repossess it, not to put borrowers under surveillance.

Spireon says it can help lenders identify signs of trouble by analyzing data on a borrower’s behavior. Lenders using Spireon’s software can create “geo-fences” that alert them if borrowers are no longer traveling to their regular place of employment — a development that could affect a person’s ability to repay the loan.

A Spireon spokeswoman said the company takes privacy seriously and works to ensure that it complies with all state regulations.

Corinne Kirkendall, vice president for compliance and public relations for PassTime, which has sold 1.5 million devices worldwide, says the company also calls lenders “if we see an excessive use” of the tracking device.

Even though the device made her squeamish, Michelle Fahy of Jacksonville, Fla., agreed to have one installed in her 2001 Dodge Ram because she needed the pickup truck for her job delivering pizza.

Shortly after picking up her four children from school one afternoon in January, Ms. Fahy, 42, said she pulled into a gas station to fill up. But when she tried to restart the truck, she was not able to do so.

Then she looked at her cellphone and noticed a string of missed calls from her lender. She called back and asked, “Did you just shut down my truck?” and the response was “Yes, I did.”

To get her truck restarted, Ms. Fahy had to agree to pay the $255.99 she owed. As she pleaded for more time, her children grew confused and worried. “They were in panic mode,” she said. Finally, she said she would pay, and within minutes she was able to start her engine.

Borrowers are typically provided with codes that are supposed to restart the vehicle for 24 hours in case of an emergency. But some drivers say the codes fail. Others say they are given only one code a month, even though their cars are shut down more often.

Some drivers take matters into their own hands. Homemade videos on the Internet teach borrowers how to disable their devices, and Spireon has started selling lenders a fake GPS device called the Decoy, which is meant to trick borrowers into thinking they have removed the actual tracking system, which is installed along with the Decoy.

The War Begins…

Oscar Fabela Jr., who said his 2007 Dodge Magnum was routinely shut down even when he was current on his $362 monthly car payment, discovered a way to circumvent the system.

That trick came in handy when he returned from seeing a movie with a date, only to find his car would not start and the payment reminder was screaming like a burglar alarm.

“It sounded like I was breaking into my own car,” said Mr. Fabela, 26, who works at a phone company in San Antonio.

While his date turned the ignition switch, Mr. Fabela used a screwdriver to rig the starter, allowing him to bypass the starter interruption device.

Mr. Fabela’s car eventually started, but it was their only date.

“It didn’t end well,” he said.

Government Scrutiny

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"I felt like even though I made my payments and was never late under my contract, these people could do whatever they wanted," said T. Candice Smith, who testified before the Nevada Legislature that her car, which had a starter interrupt device installed, was shut down while she was driving on a Las Vegas freeway, nearly causing her to crash.
“I felt like even though I made my payments and was never late under my contract, these people could do whatever they wanted,” said T. Candice Smith, who testified before the Nevada Legislature that her car, which had a starter interrupt device installed, was shut down while she was driving on a Las Vegas freeway, nearly causing her to crash.Credit John Gurzinski for The New York Times

Across the country, state and federal authorities are grappling with how to regulate the new technology.

Consumer lawyers, including dozens whose clients’ cars have been shut down, argue that the devices amount to “electronic repossession” and their use should be governed by state laws, which outline how much time borrowers have before their cars can be seized.

State laws governing repossession typically prevent lenders from seizing cars until the borrowers are in default, which often means that they have not made their payments for at least 30 days.

The devices, lawyers for borrowers argue, violate those laws because they may effectively repossess the car only days after a missed payment. Payment records show that Ms. Bolender, the Las Vegas mother with the sick daughter, was not in default in any of the four instances her ignition was disabled this year.

PassTime and the other manufacturers say they ensure that their devices comply with state laws. C.A.G. declined to comment on Ms. Bolender’s experiences.

State regulators are also examining whether a defective device could endanger the borrowers or other drivers on the road, according to people with knowledge of the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Last year, Nevada’s Legislature heard testimony from T. Candice Smith, 31, who said she thought she was going to die when her car suddenly shut down, sending her careening across a three-lane Las Vegas highway.

“It was horrifying,” she recalled.

Ms. Smith said that her lender, C.A.G. Acceptance, had remotely activated her ignition interruption device.

“It’s a safety hazard for the driver and for all others on the road,” said her lawyer, Sophia A. Medina, with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada.

Mr. Pena of C.A.G. Acceptance said, “It is impossible to cause a vehicle to shut off while it is operating,” He added, “We take extra precautions to try and work with and be professional with our customers.” While PassTime, the device’s maker, declined to comment on Ms. Smith’s case, the company emphasized that its products were designed to prevent a car from starting, not to shut it down while it was in operation.

“PassTime has no recognition of our devices shutting off a customer while driving,” Ms. Kirkendall of PassTime said.

In her testimony, Ms. Smith, who reached a confidential settlement with C.A.G., said the device made her feel helpless.

“I felt like even though I made my payments and was never late under my contract, these people could do whatever they wanted,” she testified, “and there was nothing I could do to stop them.”

But you want Big Brother,especially King Obama, to fix it!

Hilarious! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
Political Cartoons by Dana Summers

Action Words

King Fiat Strikes Back:

President Obama announced a series of executive actions to fight climate change on Tuesday, during a speech to the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City.

Obama ordered all federal agencies to begin factoring “climate resilience” into all of their international development programs and investments.

The action is expected to complement efforts by the federal government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the White House.

Obama is also expected to release climate monitoring data used by the federal government to developing nations.

The NOAA will also begin developing “extreme-weather risk outlooks” for as long as 30 days in advance to help local communities to prepare for damaging weather and prevent “loss of life and property,” partnering with private companies to monitor and predict climate change.

“This effort includes a new partnership that will draw on the resources and expertise of our leading private sector companies and philanthropies to help vulnerable nations better prepare for weather-related disasters, and better plan for long-term threats like steadily rising seas,” Obama said during his speech at the United Nations Summit. (Breitbart)

Ineffective solutions to a non-existent problems and “lead from behind” on the ones that do matter. The Legacy of Barack 0bama.

Environmentalists gathered in New York City on Tuesday for the UN Climate Summit 2014, which, according to its website, “will serve as a public platform for leaders at the highest level … to catalyze ambitious action on the ground to reduce emissions and strengthen climate resilience and mobilize political will for an ambitious global agreement by 2015 that limits the world to a less than 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperature.”

And to attend this important meeting, speakers from across the world flew a total of 1,036,537 miles. That’s awfully hypocritical considering environmentalists believe air travel to be the “most serious environmental sin,” don’t you think?

CNS News reports:

The UN Climate Summit 2014 is a glaring example of hypocrisy. Just the speakers alone, not the attendees or notable guests for the summit, traveled a grand total of 1,036,537 miles from locations as distant as China, India and Peru. That’s enough miles to circle the equator41.6 times.

According to the UN itself, in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, “more than 95 percent of our total carbon footprint resulted from air travel.”

But do I know, I’m just a Racist! 🙂

The Environmental Protection Agency last week issued the first proposed rules for regulating emissions from existing power plants that contribute to global warming.

They aim to reduce carbon emissions from power plants 30 percent by 2030,CQ though individual state targets vary widely. Arizona has the second-highest target among all the states, with the EPA expectation that the state could reduce the carbon intensity of its power generation 52 percent by 2030.

“It is a much higher goal than they set for the country,” Darwin told lawmakers. “We believe EPA made a mistake in setting the goal for Arizona.”

States will be responsible for developing a plan to reduce their carbon emissions to meet the new rules.

He said the EPA might have over-estimated the amount of carbon pollution generated in the state and then set a goal to reduce that pollution that is too high, though the department still is reviewing the more than 600 pages of proposed rules and hundreds more in supporting documents.

“We are trying to recreate the math they used to come up with all of this,” said Eric Massey, director of the ADEQ air-quality division. “My staff had done some work and didn’t come up with same numbers.”

By comparison, Vermont doesn’t have to do anything, as it houses no fossil fuel plants. Same for Washington, D.C. (AZ Central)

But, I’m just a racist denier after all! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell