Friday, June 27, 2014

Abolishing the Death Penalty Should be an Issue in the 2016 Elections

“Last weeks Road to Majority conservative confab had an unlikely exhibitor in the conference hall: opponents of the death penalty.”

The radical Muslim terrorists are continuing to define themselves by their brutality and disregard for human dignity and our common humanity. It is time for the United States to recognize the role of ideas in foreign policy and the court of world opinion.

In 2007, 88% of the executions worldwide occurred in China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. This is the company that we keep, and they are quick to point to the United States to justify their use of coercive power and the death penalty.

  • Kirsten Powers Conservative Death Penalty Column

    Last weeks Road to Majority conservative confab had an unlikely exhibitor in the conference hall: opponents of the death penalty.

    The activists were in the right place because their opposition stems from conservative principles.

  • Reconsidering the Death Penalty in Ohio

    A major unacknowledged but obvious important conflict in international affairs, for example, is between moderate and radical Muslims, with the radical Muslims being defined as those who are willing to use lethal force based on religion as a means to their ends. This has included stoning women to death for infidelity, honor killings, assassinations for “blasphemy”, executions by the Taliban and al-Qaeda of farmers and journalists for political control, suicide bombings and terrorist attacks. As usual, the ends are used to justify the means. The means, however, define any group as much as the ends, and the means often come to distort the ends. We should do everything we can to focus world opinion on such issues. Abolishing the death penalty in Ohio and then our nation would help to do so. It would also help us understand and convey that the primary moral values in our constitutional democracy include equality understood as a respect for human dignity and our common humanity in addition to freedom.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

“Who would rid me of this turbulent priest?”

- King Henry II referring to Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was subsequently murdered (1170)

It is unlikely that President Obama ordered the targeting of tea party groups by the IRS or that Governor Christie ordered the closing of lanes on the George Washington bridge, but they both set the tone for those things to happen. The IRS is now acting in an arrogant way that it would not tolerate from any of the taxpayers that it audits, and thus they are rapidly losing credibility.

  • WSJ - Bradley A. Smith
    “Connecting the Dots in the Irs Scandal”

    "The mainstream press has justified its lack of coverage over the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups because there's been no "smoking gun" tying President Obama to the scandal. This betrays a remarkable, if not willful, failure to understand abuse of power. The political pressure on the IRS to delay or deny tax-exempt status for conservative groups has been obvious to anyone who cares to open his eyes. It did not come from a direct order from the White House, but it didn't have to..."

  • “The High Price of Obama Fatigue”

    "The IRS tea-party audit story isn't Watergate; it's worse than Watergate.

    The Watergate break-in was the professionals of the party in power going after the party professionals of the party out of power. The IRS scandal is the party in power going after the most average Americans imaginable."

Thursday, June 19, 2014

This from the International New York Times on Hillary

When will Hillary let it go?

“You know, your natural tendency is how do you bring people together so that you can better communicate? I’m done with that. I mean, I’m just done.” She continued: “I am over it, over it. I think I have changed; not worried so much about what other people are thinking.” She vowed to now “say what I know, what I believe, and let the chips fall.”

“ There isn’t one surprising or scintillating or provocative word in the whole book. “Hard Choices” is inert, a big yawn.”
    -- Maureen Dowd

Monday, June 16, 2014

History and Struggle for Iraq in Maps

  • History of Iraq

    "Three provinces from the old Ottoman Empire were combined by the British after WWI to form modern Iraq..."

  • Current Struggle for Iraq

    "The areas where ISIS is operating largely match areas where al-Qaeda was active during the height of the Sunni insurgency in Iraq between 2004-06..."

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Different views on Iraq

  • While Obama Fidels

    "The fall of Mosul, Iraq, to al Qaeda terrorists this week is as big in its implications as Russia's annexation of Crimea. But from the Obama presidency, barely a peep..."

  • Slate -- After Mosul

    "As the U.S. pullout began under the terms of a treaty signed in 2008 by then-President George W. Bush, Maliki, the leader of a Shiite political party, promised to run a more inclusive government..."

  • Six Things that went wrong for Iraq

    "The borders of the modern Middle East are in large part a legacy of World War One. They were established by the colonial powers after the defeat and dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire..."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kids take on Teacher’s union

  • Vargara ruling allows California a chance to change a broken system

    "California's extraordinary protections for public school teachers were dealt a heavy blow Tuesday when a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled that the state's tenure laws unconstitutionally deprive students of an adequate education..."

  • Historic victory for America’s kids

    "Sweeping and unambiguous, the outcome of Vergara v. California is more than one decision in one big state, although even that much is significant given the shudders it will cause. It is an indictment of laws in any state that protect inferior teachers at the expense of students — and a powerful inspiration for other families nationwide who will turn to the courts out of desperation..."

Sunday, June 8, 2014

How The Recession Reshaped the Economy

The New York Times produced a fascinating chart that shows how the Great Recession that began in 2007 changed the economy.

From Time Magazine:

Immigrant Minors

  • Immigrant Minors Present Crisis

    "Tens of thousands of children unaccompanied by parents or relatives are flooding across the southern U.S. border illegally, forcing the Obama administration and Congress to grapple with both a humanitarian crisis and a budget dilemma."

  • Feds Shipping Hundreds of Kids to Arizona

    "Three hundred more unaccompanied migrant children — with more on the way — were transported Saturday from southern Texas into a makeshift way station set up in a Border Patrol detention facility in Nogales, Ariz., as government agencies took additional steps to improve the living conditions there."

  • California Counties Ignoring ICE Detainer Requests For Illegal Aliens

    "Officials in over a dozen counties in Southern California recently declared that detainer requests from federal immigration agents will be ignored--specifically, illegal immigrants eligible for deportation will no longer be held past the length of their jail times."

Friday, June 6, 2014

Primary Day and Election 2014

  • Washington Post -- Election Lab 2014

    "Like most forecasting models, Election Lab uses the past to predict the future. To predict House and Senate elections in 2014, we draw on the elections from 1980-2012. We first look at how well key factors were related to outcomes in those past elections..."

  • US Today -- 2014 Senate Landscape Tilts

    "Contests are set in nearly half the states for November's elections, and with few contested primary elections remaining on the calendar, Republicans are enjoying clear advantages in their quest for a Senate takeover."