Five years ago today, Theo Van Gogh (of THAT Van Gogh family) was murdered by a radical Islamist for the crime of making a film critical of Islam. Many people are taking the time to honor the film maker today, including the folks at Islam Watch who remind us that free speech is still under attack - just in a more subtle way.
...Islamists still answer free speech with violence. Two Chicago-area Muslims were charged last week with plotting attacks against those involved in publishing the Danish Muhammad cartoons. Shortly before that, Dutch MP Geert Wilders was welcomed to the UK by Islamist thugs who warned him — and everyone else — to "take lessons from people like Theo van Gogh," because "whoever insults the prophet, kill him."
Yet the greatest threat to free speech does not come from homegrown jihadists who wish to make examples of rabble-rousing Westerners. It arises from governments and related entities blinded by the fanciful notion that radicals will leave us alone if we only stop saying things that offend them. Some recent happenings:
It's Election Day and while here in Utah we don't have a marque governors race or Congressional special election that everyone is watching, we do have a lot of equally important local races. Please get out and vote today. Just because it is an off year election does not mean you can shirk your duty as a citizen. Go vote and then stick around later for updates to the marque races. It's going to be an interesting night.
OK - I have been slacking in my updates I realize it. Things have been crazy in the Logical Household. So today I finally get a chance to check the tally board and what do my eyes see....the MARINES are leading the competition??? That can not be!
Come on folks - dig in and help team Army take back the lead. This especially goes for all of you Minnesota Red Bulls! What are you waiting for? A written invitation? Well consider this that written invitation! Click on the thermometer in the right sidebar and donate NOW!
Approximately two hours ago (10pm eastern time) Public Policy Polling released it's most recent poll on the state of the race in New York's 23'rd Congressional District - a race that Jazz and I discussed yesterday with guest Rick Moran. At the time of our show, all three of us were referring to the dueling Club for Growth/Dkos/Minuteman Project polls that could only agree on who was in 3rd place - "Republican" Dede Scozzafava. Well the PPP polling has been getting a lot of chatter today because it's results are so far removed from what the previously mentioned polls showed. This most recent polling has Doug Hoffman, Conservative Party candidate for Congress, winning by a very comfortable 17 percentage points.
Longtime readers know that I am extremely distrustful of polls and polling because of the nature of the "science". Polling can be very easily manipulated by a multitude of things - which is why I feel that the methodology is so very important and the methodology appears to be quite sound. PPP polled 1747 LIKELY voters - meaning these folks will most likely be going to the polls on Tuesday. A large sample of likely voters is most often a better read of what the real turn out will be. Also telling were some of the questions asked.
- If the race were just between Scozzafava and Owens, Owens would win in a squeeker. (Q 10)
- If the race were just between Hoffman and Scozzafava, Hoffman would win by 17 points (Q 9)
- Obama’s approval in that district is 39% (Q 15)
- Palin has a higher favorable rating than the Democrats or the Republicans in Congress (Q's 16, 11 & 12)
- Do you listen to Rush Limbaugh? (Q 17) 71% said no (but I thought he was the “leader” of the GOP).
- Do you regularly watch Fox News? (Q18) 55% said no – another meme busted!
Also telling is the breakdown by party for the candidates. Republicans favored Hoffman 71% to Scozzafava's 17%. Hoffman leads all three with independents 52% to 30% for Owens and he manages to garner 21% of Democrats polled! In all three groups, Scozzafava could only muster 14-17% support - a likely cause of her eventual withdrawal from the race this weekend.
Conservatives are often admonished (usually after they complaing about some RINO stabbing them in the back - see Dede Scozzafava)) to beware of shrinking the "big tent" and often the ones making those admonishments are liberals and progressives. Yet these same "progressives" are usually the first to purge their party of their more "moderate members" like Joe Lieberman.
Which leads this conservative to wonder...why should we take the advise of these progressives who are always doing the thing that they "counsel" us against doing? It really is a curious thing...
Join Jazz and I at 1 pm Eastern, 11 Mountain today for Mid-Stream Radio. Today we will be discussing the latest version of the House Health Care Reform Bill (the Affordable Health Care For America Act) which Jazz wrote about yesterday and the surprise announcement out of New York's 23rd Congressional District where Dede Scozzafava has suspended her campaign for Congress. Reaction for that is still coming on so there will be lots to discuss!
Last week the Obama Administration took aim at executive compensation. This is not the first time that the federal government, under the guise of good intentions has dictated what corporations could pay their top executives.
In 1992, Congress decided it would use the tax code to "improve" (i.e., reduce) executive compensation in publicly traded companies. Its vehicle was the Budget Reconciliation Act, a key provision of which became Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Noting that executive compensation levels had received negative "scrutiny and criticism" from the public, the new law targeted what it called "excessive employee remuneration." It did so by limiting the ability of public companies to deduct executive compensation for its top employees unless the compensation was paid out in a form that Congress found acceptable. Salary was bad. Stock options were tax favored.
So in 1992, taking risk was good and needed to be encouraged. Then the self interests of selfish man took advantage of the tax code in order to make themselves more money...all with the government's blessing.
This is exactly what happens when government interferes with the internal controls of the market. Whether it is advancing programs to push for more people to own homes or telling banks that they are required to make loans to people with less than perfect income and payment histories, governments interference in how businesses do business has backfired badly.
Maybe instead of tinkering with the tax code, what the government should get out of the business of dictating business practice and let the appropriate regulatory agencies do their jobs - as Congress refused to do with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae....
Day 2 has Team Army and Team Marines in a neck and neck battle for first place and Team Air Force and Team Navy at the back of the pack. If you have not done so, please donate. Our wounded warriors are the true winners here. So please be an Angel...
First we had rabid environmentalists advising that we "Save the planet, eat a dog...", now we have Pete Singer (animal rights guru, faux ethicist and inspriation to Obama advisor Ezekiel Emanual) saying that the government should put a special tax on meat.
Taxes can do a lot of good. They pay for schools, parks, police and the military. But that’s not all they can do. High taxes on cigarettes have saved many lives – not only the lives of people who are discouraged from smoking as much as they would if cigarettes were cheap, but also the lives of others who spend less time passively inhaling smoke.
No reasonable person would want to abolish the tax on cigarettes. Unless, perhaps, they were proposing banning cigarettes altogether – as New York City is doing with transfats served by restaurants.
A tax on sodas containing sugar has also been under consideration, by Governor Paterson among others. In view of our obesity epidemic, and the extra burden it places on our health care system – not to mention the problems it causes on a crowded New York subway when your neighbor can’t fit into a single seat – it’s a reasonable proposal.
But in all these moves against tobacco, transfats and sodas, we’ve been ignoring the cow in the room.
That’s right, cow. We don’t eat elephants. But the reasons for a tax on beef and other meats are stronger than those for discouraging consumption of cigarettes, transfats or sugary drinks.
Sigh....where to start....well start with the one thing we can agree on I guess. Some taxes can indeed do some good...and eating excessive amounts of meat is indeed unhealthy for your heart. However, in typical Peter Singer/Animal rights fashion he takes a common sense sentiment and carries it to the most illogical extreme. I mean if Singer is really concerned about agricultural run off and polition, he really should look at the pesticides and herbicides that are used to grow the VEGATABLES that his vegan lifestyle demands. Then there is the fact that the taxes that he is so highly touting are the most regressive of all taxes. The "rich" don't smoke, the "rich" don't spend the majority of their income on transfat laden foods and sugary soft drinks and obesity is not a problem of "the rich".....
Mr. Singer then gets to the "real reason" for his proposed tax.
The clincher is that taxing meat would be a highly effective way of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and avoiding catastrophic climate change.
If you really are concerned about the rising cost of food prices, we could talk about the increased costs that cap and trade will put on the costs of raising vegatables. If you were really concerned about reducing green house gases, you would live the carbon neutral lifestyle you demand the rest of us live. If you were really concerned.....
But those of us who have followed Mr. Singer's "career" know that he doesn't give a flying fig about the costs of food or agricultural run off or greenhouse gas emissions. He is only concerned with promoting the same radical animal rights agenda that wants to exterminate the human population of planet Earth.
Well, kinda. In his second hour monologue this afternoon, he quotes heavily a PoliticsDaily.com column on the rights "displeasure" with Newt Gingrich.
Rush emphasis the fact that this was a special election with no opportunity for the more conservative Republican Hoffman to run in a primary.
...for the health care debate to come up. Swine flu is now a "national emergency".
President Obama has declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, allowing hospitals and local governments to speedily set up alternate sites for treatment and triage procedures if needed to handle any surge of patients, the White House said on Saturday.
And true to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' prediction, there are 120 million doses of the vaccine ready for those who are at risk....
Federal officials predicted last spring that as many as 120 million doses could be available by now, with nearly 200 million by year’s end. But production problems plagued some of the five companies contracted to make the vaccine. All use a technology involving growing the vaccine in fertilized chicken eggs; at most of them, the seed strain grew more slowly than expected.
Now to be fair the Feds are the ones trying to make the vaccine, but they were the ones who promised us it would be there without knowing how long it would take to make the vaccine. As recently as Sept. 13, Secretary Sebelius went on the record to promise that the vaccines would be available.
President Obama has stated repeatedly that he was going to solicit input from all sides of the health care debate, but as we have seen Congress has not shared his desire for alternative ideas...then again, apparently neither has the President.
We aren't among the doctors invited to a Rose Garden event today to "join the President in pushing for health insurance reform this year and [who] have offered their help and support," as a White House press release put it. It's unfortunate only supporters of the president's plans will be there. Mr. Obama has missed an opportunity to learn more about the real issues facing patients and doctors and to formulate a plan that truly puts patients in control with doctors as trusted advisers.
The United States has the best health care in the world today, and thanks to the ever-expanding frontiers of science and medical innovation the brightest days are ahead. It is true that there are Americans who fall through the cracks of our medical system every day—and as a caring nation, we must do what we can to expand access to medical care to those who need it. But this can be accomplished without a costly and inefficient government overhaul of the entire system. One easy reform would be to enable individuals to buy policies offered in any state, not just where they live. This will enhance competition. But more government-run health insurance will only lead to disaster.
Then again the supporters of single payer are also willingly blinding themselves to other points of view as Whole Foods CEO John Mackay found out.
As you can see from the side-bar, Project Valour-IT (Voice Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops) is now under way. The widgit on the side bar will be there tracking our progress through Veterans Day (November 11). Again, I will be supporting Team Army in the friendly blogger competition.
You can find out more about Project Valour-IT by going to their main page. You can find out more about the teams and their leaders and how the over-all competition is going. Check back often and spread the word!
Once upon a time, if you were going to petition government you had to walk the neighborhoods gathering signatures. While doing that your friends and neighbors got the opportunity to see who had recently signed the petition. It was time intensive work which meant that those who organized in advance were the ones who got their petitions before the government. With the advent of the internet it is really easy to put petitions together and gets hundreds of signatures in a matter of a few hours. As a natural result of that, the question is being asked - are these signatures a public act or a private one?
The Supreme Court voted last week to block release of the names of more than 138,000 people in Washington state who signed petitions seeking to repeal a same-sex domestic partner law in a ballot scheduled for Nov. 3.
The Supreme Court's intervention set off a broad debate among election-law experts and 1st Amendment scholars over what is private and what is public when it comes to politics.
Is signing a petition and delivering it to the government a public act, like voting on a bill in the legislature or contributing money to a campaign? Or is it more like casting a secret ballot at the polling place?
The reason this question is being raised is because gay rights activists are trying to make the names public.
The case in Washington was the latest in which gay rights advocates had sought to use public records to expose supporters of anti-gay measures.
"We've put close to a million names online," said Aaron Toleos, co-founder of Boston-based KnowThyNeighbor.org. He said the group had posted the names on petitions seeking rollbacks in gay rights laws in Massachusetts, Florida, Arkansas and Oregon.
Given how these same gay rights activists treated people who supported traditional marriage in the Prop 8 debate I can understand the reluctance to release the names.
Lost in last months media circus that was Roman Polanski's arrest (in Switzerland) for a 30 year old warrant was the <b>reason</b> for the warranty and the story of his victim, a 13 year old girl. The Los Angeles Times went back into their archives and the courts archives and brings their readers back up to speed on the story. They then bring us the very graphic testimony of Polanski's victim and why they are telling her story anew.
When candidate Obama was running for President last year, he ran on a platform of change - changing the "failed" policies of the Bush Administration. As we have all seen, there has been a lot of talk about change, but there has been little change from the previous administration. When pressed on it, the Administrations usual reaction is to fall back on that old tried and true Progressive/Liberal tactic - to blame President Bush. Well that tactic is starting wear thin in some quarters.
First comes the President's home town paper - the Chicago Sun Times.
You'd think it's October 2008, the final month in the Obama presidential candidacy, rather than October 2009, nine months into the Obama presidency. Yet the Obama White House is in full campaign mode -- maybe because it needs to mask the shortcomings of the Obama presidency.
Take, for example, all the talk of inheriting the worst economy since the 1930s crisis. That came in response to the news that the federal deficit hit $1.4 trillion.
Yet just a few months ago, the Obama camp was singing a little different tune. It was under criticism for the $787 billion stimulus package it bulldozed through Congress on grounds that massive spending was needed to keep the unemployment rate from breaching 8 percent. When joblessness hit 9.5 percent in June, Vice President Joe Biden said, "We misread how bad the economy was."
They inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, or the economy turned out to be worse than they thought. Which is it? It can't be both -- unless your brain is completely addled by the Obama charisma.
- Just A Reminder
- Save A.....
- Winds Of Change
- On The Pathway
- Penn Jillette On Free Speech
- What Happened To The "Will" of The People?
- Lace Up The Ice Skates...
- Is Anybody Listening?
- Why People Oppose ObamaCare
- He Who Shows Up...
- Drill Here, Drill Now Redux
- Why Tort Reform Is Necessary...
- Why Is It?
- A Volcanic Solution
- Look Out Jon Stewart