A Lawless Justice(sic) Department (Part Two)

Remember the uniformed Black Thugs of the New Black Panther Party  wielding a baton in front of a Washington, D.C. polling place in 2008 – the people let loose by the US Department of Justice who said that that was no intimidation interference with voting?
The outstanding group Justice Watch (which I belong to and highly recommend) filed suit to get the Justice Department e-mails on that case.
A Federal Judge has ruled that Obama administration officials interfered with the Justice Department decision on that matter.
“The documents reveal that political appointees within DOJ were conferring about the status and resolution of the New Black Panther Party case in the days preceding the DOJ’s dismissal of claims in that case, which would appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision.”
http://www.examiner.com/article/obama-appointee-interfered-with-2008-black-panther-voter-intimidation-case
There should be more coverage on this issue than there is – and I suspect that some Super=Pac money will be spent on a “Willie Horton” type ad for the election.
Note: You may recall that Willie was first introduced in the campaign against Michael Dukakis (aka “Dufus”) by (drum roll, please) – Al Gore!

A Lawless Justice(sic) Department (Part One)

Between 2008 and 2011, the US Justice Department refused to deport illegal aliens who subsequently committed 19 murders, three attempted murders and 142 sex crimes according to a report made by the House Judiciary Committee.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jul/31/illegals-released-feds-19-murders-142-sex-crimes/
Those were the most violent criminals of the 47,000 illegal aliens that were officially reported to the Justice Department that the Justice Department refused to deport.
One wonders if there is not a mechanism to make the government enforce the laws that the Congress has passed. We are seeing more and more laws ignored by this increasingly lawless administration.

Good (Temporary) Ruling Being Generally Ignored By MSM

There is little enough good news these days, but here is one that I found in only a few Main Stream Media outlet (The San Francisco Examiner, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor), although conservative and Catholic news outlets are carrying it: A Federal Judge (appointed by Carter, no less) has made a TEMPORARY ruling (last Friday) that a company can claim religious reasons not to enforce the Oabamacare edict on contraception.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/07/28/a-federal-court-ruled-against-the-contraceptive-mandate-heres-what-happens-next/
The family-owners of Hercules Industries, manufacturers of heating and air conditioning for 50 years and devout Catholics, have sued in federal court to overturn the Obamacare provision that would require them to provide contraception to its several hundred employees.
The US government position is that Hercules Industries does not HAVE to provide such insurance – it could, alternately, go out of business.
We can only hope that the temporary ruling becomes permanent, is appealed, and the US Supreme Court upholds the ruling.
We should keep an eye on this case.

Good Olympics, Better Writing, Terrific Story

While I enjoy watching the Olympics, sometimes the writing about the events exceeds the value of the video itself.The Washington Post writer (Sally Jenkins) superbly placed the swim of Missy Franklin in perspective in ways that that the video coverage could not – because he encapsulated it:
“Take Emily Seebohm of Australia. She entered the water at London’s Aquatic Center the clear favorite in the women’s 100-meter backstroke, a veteran in her second Olympics who had posted the fastest time in qualifying. But when she hauled herself out less than a minute later, she was broken and sobbing, saying, “I couldn’t hold on to it…
For a lap and a half, you wondered if Franklin might prove just a little too tender to handle all the expectations. She’s not only 17, she’s a particularly young-seeming version of it, palpably naive and open-faced. This was her first Olympic gold medal attempt in a grueling program of seven planned events — and on top of that, she had had to swim a semifinal heat in the 200 freestyle less than 15 minutes earlier. But with about 25 meters to go in the backstroke, a mean girl took possession of her.
Her arms flicking through the water, Franklin drew alongside Seebohm, and then showed an edge with 10 meters to go. She drove even harder, and arched toward the finish. “Brought it home and just tried to get my hand on the wall,” Franklin said.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/olympics/missy-franklin-a-gold-medalists-tenacity-inside-a-youthful-demeanor/2012/07/30/gJQAEx7KLX_story.html?tid=wp_ipad

(It was actually less than 13 minutes between competitions! Ahhh, the luxury of youth!)
Missy Franklin is a 6’1” girl with outsized hands, feet and heart. To make the story even better, she is from Aurora, Colorado, the recent scene of the theater massacre – and if all of that is not enough she enters her Senior Year at the Aurora high school!
The Olympics are filled with great highs and lows, but the story of Missy is terrific.
Of course, she didn’t do that on her own. She must have had great roads and bridges in Aurora, Colorado!

Speaking Truth To Power

The Brits, and I admit to being an Anglophile, are all a twitter about Mitt telling the truth to power.

Having been raised in Texas, I recognize the syndrome because Texans complain bitterly about many things that no visitor or newcomer dare mention.

The Brits KNOW, and because I read their newspapers I know they know, that they botched the planning. Their immigration people did go on strike at a terrible time but Brits are so accustomed to labor strikes that it bothered the nation of shopkeepers very little. The security firm contracted to provide guards utterly failed, and the government brought in thousands of the British military on short notice. The North Korean soccer team was greeted with the South Korean Flag.  Bad Karma.

One thing that politicians should not do, apparently, is tell the truth.

But the games are underway – I watched some of the US v. Colombia Women’s Soccer on my iPad on the lanai, this morning.

Quick Hits

The Greek Triple Jumper who was booted from the Olympics for tweeting what the Politically Correct think was a racist comment is justifiably angry that she was given an Olympic “Death Penalty by the Greek Olympic Committee.”

The punishment was far more severe than the crime.

With decision-makers like this it is no mystery what Greece is bankrupt and dependent upon others for rescue!

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The polls indicate that President Obama’s “They didn’t build that!” comment has had a major negative impact on the business community.

Not at all certain I object to his anti-business rhetoric because he first alienated Wall Street, then corporation, now entrepreneurs. Many of the aforementioned were in his camp last time, creating a 3-1 funding of media-buys over McCain.

His rhetoric has lost that advantage. Romney is outraising him, although Obama is currently outspending Romney.

Normally, it is advantageous to spend early to set the tone, but normally the incumbent is the favorite and that is not the current condition – so the president must spend just to say even.

That may give Romney an advantage in the last sprint, although every poll shows precious few without a a decision as to whom they will vote.

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Newsweek is going digital…another deserved nail in the coffin of printed media. I too get too many printed publications, although most have a digital edition and those publications, like the Weekly Standard and Reason Magazine could cut the cord to the Webb Press at any second without much ado.

I certainly encourage them to do so.

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The Daily reports a new app (PROLOQUO2GO) that lets children and adults “speak,” even with such serious speech impediments that they cannot articulate a word – by pressing icons with such meanings as, “I want to…”

The app costs $189.99 and those are numbers most iPAD owners are not accustomed to, although I have seen an app for several thousand dollars, they are rare.

http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/07/26/072612-tech-apps-proloquo2go-scharr-zzphotoglzz/

Consequently, many bloggers think the app for speaking is far too high.

Development costs were probably very high.

If many “first adapters” buy who can, the price- just like the price of everything will come down.

Those who can buy first, pave the way for those who cannot.

It will be a blessing for many disabled people.

Problem and Solution are Both Obvious

There is an interesting article today in the LA Times about the City of San Bernardino, the latest but not the last of the bankrupt cities.

San Bernardino must cut its costs by 30%, and everyone is going to take a “haircut” – or as the Mayor of the city calls it, a “scalping” because the cuts must be so severe.

Like so many other California cities, the city spends about 75% of its budget on “safety” – police and fire. That leaves very little for fixing the roads and maintaining the parks.

Austerity is one of those items that is best taken early and in small sips, because once you are in extremis it must be taken in big gulps and quickly – something that causes riots in the streets.

We have a severe disconnect between pay and benefits for our safety providers and the rest of us who provide us.

In my small community, because of the older population and relative high fire danger, we depend a lot on our local and cooperating firefighters. I am one of the community families who weekly provide some “home cooking” for the local firefighters, so we appreciate them – but they are vastly overpaid.

70% of the nations’ firefighters are volunteers! In almost every community, 90% of the responses are NOT for fire, but for medical and false alarms, car fires and other responses.

But the average firefighter in California makes more in pay and benefits than the Commanding Officer of a nuclear powered submarine! Firefighters need nothing even approaching the educational requirements of a Submarine Commander, and work nowhere near the hours. Firefighting does not even crack the Top Ten of dangerous profession.

We know where the problem is, but a great PR campaign has hidden the solution.

Vive la Différence

There have been so many examples of successful nations using Capitalism bordering a part of the country with the same language and culture with close family members living under abject poverty in a part of the country with some brand of socialism, that one wonders why we still have this debate in the United States.

We have the obvious examples of East and West Germany, North and South Korea, along with South Florida and Cuba that it just amazes me.

Spain had been under socialism for years, ever since they voted the socialists in after the bombing of the Spanish rail system by terrorists following our 9/11 attack.

Spanish voters had hoped to placate the terrorists by turning to the Socialists.

The Socialists ran the country into the ground in about nine years.

Their national debt is now $140 billion. Their interest rate for bonds has exceeded the threshold for EU intervention of a bailout. The threshold is 7%, and Spain has reached more than 7.5%. (Germany, the strongest European nation, is less than 1.5%.)

It is ironic that just one US CAPITALIST company, Apple Computer could bail out the entire Spanish nation from its CASH bank account.

And THAT is a basic difference between socialism and free enterprise.

Some people are just too dim to recognize the difference.

Hawaii is NOT “America” But Neither is SoCal!

Senator Scott Brown has a new ad out that is a bit long but the money line is “Let America be America again.”

Now I believe that President Obama was born in Hawaii, but as I told my three Exchange Students decades ago, Southern California is not the United States so don’t judge the US by San Diego! Iowa is America!

Believe me, Hawaii is not the United States either. I have spent a total of more than two years there living the life of a Kama’aina , writing extensively about the history, culture, and politics of Hawaii and believe me Hawaii is not Iowa, which is more nearly “America.”

I know Hawaii in ways that tourists cannot conceive. It is a combination of Chicago corrupt politics combined with New Jersey union business practices, and all with a Japanese accent.

Years ago I was in Hawaii during an event that encapsulated it all, and is a metaphor for the culture, and it was the Bishop Trust when several attorneys published in the front page of one of the two Honolulu newspapers a long exposé titled “Broken Trust.”

More than a decade ago I wrote this in an article that appears on my website still today:

“The Bishop Estate is run by five Trustees, and until the recent controversy, they were appointed by the State Supreme Court. These were political patronage appointments for generations, and one of the now ousted Trustees was the former Leader of the State Senate. These political appointees were paid a minimum of $865,000 a year, each!
In 1997, five influential private citizens submitted a report called “Broken Trust” in which they said the huge Bishop Estate was being badly mismanaged. The two main Hawaiian newspapers (eventually) published Broken Trust in front-page articles.

Jean and I followed the saga since the day it was exposed.

Subsequently, the Trustee who was the former Leader of the State Senate filed a suit against another Trustee, and was himself indicted for felony fraud. His wife and her brother were also indicted, all in a kickback scheme that involved the Bishop Estate.

Another Trustee attempted suicide by drug overdose after having been found in a compromising position in a local hotel restroom with a female attorney who represented a branch of the Bishop Trust. The female attorney committed suicide the day after the discovery. Another Trustee was under investigation by a Grand Jury, and the most controversial Trustee – no, she is none of those so far mentioned – was sued for incompetence by two of the other Trustees and her resignation was demanded by almost everyone.

No one resigned during the years of controversy. Why would they when they continued to receive a salary of more than $72,000 a month?

The State Supreme Court washed their hands of the whole affair, because they appointed each of the Trustees, and announced that they will appoint no future Trustees. Several of the State Supreme Court members were criticized for their close ties with the Trustees.

Will Rogers once said that the two funniest things he had ever seen was the Mexican Army on parade, and the Arizona Legislature, but he had never witnessed the Bishop Estate in Hawaii. The Bishop Estate was emblematic of the self-dealing, corruption, and political “good old boy” network that has been entrenched for more than a hundred year in Hawaii.

None of this is obvious to the tourist who is sunning on Waikiki Beach, but the results of the disarray of the state in general, the bad economic condition caused by the Japanese economy and (Hawaiian) anti-business atmosphere has caused a real “brain-drain.” The Honolulu newspaper, which has been on this subject for years, had a two-page article on that “brain drain”. Many Hawaiian who have fled to the mainland complained about that which I have expressed. The newspapers have been filled for years with articles on the anti-business atmosphere, corruption, etc.”

If Mitt Romney does not understand “average” Americans, believe me Barack Obama from Hawaii and the Ivy League, then Chicago does not either.

At least Romney understands business. Big step up!

Win for Parents, Loss for Teacher Unions!”

Parent’s Revolution has successfully won their lawsuit against the school Board in Adelanto. EdSource reports it under a headline “Big Win…”
It is!
San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Steve Malone ruled that the Adelanto School District trustees illegally rejected the petition submitted by a majority of parents to turn Desert Trails Elementary into a charter school. Malone has given the school board a month to approve the petition, and the parents a green light to immediately begin the charter conversion.”
http://www.edsource.org/today/2012/big-win-in-court-for-parent-trigger-organizers/18214
This fight has been going on for years, with the parents fighting the unions and the school board. California schools are God Awful, but Adelanto is worse than almost all other schools, and the parents revolted with the help of, appropriated enough, named “Parents Revolution.’
I have written blogs on this fight before, and indeed the unions and the school board may well appeal and drag this still further through the Courts.
Parents have an agenda – their children. That is an agenda lacking in the school board and the teacher unions.