Category Archives: Culture

Obama Believes He Alone Is The Law In America

IBD

Rule Of Law: First, the president issues unlawful executive orders giving illegal immigrants amnesty. Then, he dares an equal branch of government to vote on his orders’ legality so he can veto it. Is he establishing a monarchy?

While speaking at a town hall meeting Wednesday night at Florida International University, President Obama clearly indicated that he believes he is the final authority on law in this country. He will not tolerate dissent.

“If Mr. McConnell, the leader of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, want to have a vote on whether what I’m doing is legal or not, they can have that vote. I will veto that vote, because I’m absolutely confident that what we’re doing is the right thing to do,” he told a group organized by Democratic Rep. Jose Diaz-Balart.

In November, Obama announced a set of unilateral actions to change the immigration system. Government agencies were ordered not to enforce the law against up to 5 million illegal immigrants in the country. He also declared that they would not be subject to deportation and were to be handed green cards.

There was no vote in Congress. No consultation with the House and Senate. No law cited that gave him the authority. Just his word.

A month ago, we wondered if Obama was “so hellbent on amnesty for illegals he’ll resort to nullifying and even breaking the law.” Today, we know that he is.

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Filed under "Community Organizers", "Intelligence", "Transparency", Abuse of Power, Buying Indulgences, Constitutional, Cronyism, Democrats, Elitism, Entitlement, Government, Hypocrisy, Liberals, President

Indian Country looks to marijuana as new moneymaker

McClatchyDC

After making hundreds of billions of dollars running casinos, American Indian tribes are getting a good whiff of another potential moneymaker: marijuana.

The first Tribal Marijuana Conference is set for Friday on the Tulalip Indian Reservation in Washington state as Indian Country gets ready to capitalize on the nation’s expanding pot industry.

Organizers said representatives from more than 50 tribes in at least 20 states have registered, with total attendance expected to surpass 300.

The gathering comes after the Obama administration announced late last year that it would not interfere with any federally recognized tribes that want to grow and sell pot on reservation lands – if they do a good job policing themselves.

The tribes would join the District of Columbia and four states – Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska – where voters already have approved marijuana for recreational use.

Robert Odawi Porter, one of the conference organizers and the former president of the Seneca Nation of Indians in New York, said tribes have “a tremendous economic diversification opportunity to consider” with marijuana commerce. He said the event would bring together “trailblazers” in the industry who will help tribal leaders understand the complex issues involved.

While it’s unknown how many tribes ultimately will seek to take advantage of the change, one analyst warned that any tribe expecting to hit the jackpot might be in for a surprise, particularly as the supply of legal pot in the U.S. increases.

“People keep forgetting it’s a competitive market,” said Mark Kleiman, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, who served as Washington state’s top pot consultant. “And it’s cheap to grow.”

In Washington state, where retail pot stores opened in July, Kleiman said pot growers who sold their product for $21 a gram only a few months ago are now getting $4 a gram.

Marijuana is a divisive issue among tribes, with many tribal officials worried about high rates of drug addiction among American Indians.

Last year, the Yakama Nation decided to ban marijuana from its reservation in south central Washington state. The Tulalip Tribe, located just north of Seattle, voted to work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of Justice to try to legalize medical marijuana.

Legalization opponents fear that more tribes will want to begin selling marijuana without understanding the risks.

“I worry about this being a big expansion and I worry that the potential consequences – health, safety and legal – have not been properly communicated to them,” said Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, an anti-legalization group.

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Filed under American Indians, Fundraising, Legalizing Marijuana

Will someone do something NOW? The IRS Scandal, Day 658

IRS watchdog reveals Lois Lerner missing emails now subject of criminal probe

The IRS’s inspector general confirmed Thursday it is conducting a criminal investigation into how Lois G. Lerner’s emails disappeared, saying it took only two weeks for investigators to find hundreds of tapes the agency’s chief had told Congress were irretrievably destroyed.

Investigators have already scoured 744 backup tapes and gleaned 32,774 unique emails, but just two weeks ago they found an additional 424 tapes that could contain even more Lerner emails, Deputy Inspector General Timothy P. Camus told the House Oversight Committee in a rare late-night hearing meant to look into the status of the investigation.

“There is potential criminal activity,” Mr. Camus said.

He said they have also discovered the hard drives from the IRS’s email servers, but said because the drives are out of synch it’s not clear whether they will be able to recover anything from them.

“To date we have found 32,744 unique emails that were backed up from Lois Lerner’s email box. We are in the process of comparing these emails to what the IRS has already produced to Congress to determine if we did in fact recover any new emails,” Mr. Camus said.

Democrats questioned the independence of Inspector General J. Russell George, who is overseeing the investigation, saying he’s injected politics into his work. (Pay back hurts, doesn’t it? Ed)

In one of the new emails, Lerner apparently wrote, “No one will ever believe that both your hard drive and mine crashed within a week of each other.”

irsUn-freakin’-believable…

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Filed under "Intelligence", "Transparency", Cronyism, Culture, Democrats, Elitism, Entitlement, Government, Hypocrisy, IRS, Liberals, Politics, President

Obama to ban bullets by executive action, threatens top-selling AR-15 rifle

WashingtonExaminer

It’s starting.

As promised, President Obama is using executive actions to impose gun control on the nation, targeting the top-selling rifle in the country, the AR-15 style semi-automatic, with a ban on one of the most-used AR bullets by sportsmen and target shooters.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this month revealed that it is proposing to put the ban on 5.56 mm ammo on a fast track, immediately driving up the price of the bullets and prompting retailers, including the huge outdoors company Cabela’s, to urge sportsmen to urge Congress to stop the president.

Wednesday night, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, stepped in with a critical letter to the bureau demanding it explain the surprise and abrupt bullet ban. The letter is shown below.

The National Rifle Association, which is working with Goodlatte to gather co-signers, told Secrets that 30 House members have already co-signed the letter and Goodlatte and the NRA are hoping to get a total of 100 fast.

“The Obama administration was unable to ban America’s most popular sporting rifle through the legislative process, so now it’s trying to ban commonly owned and used ammunition through regulation,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA, the group’s policy and lobby shop. “The NRA and our tens of millions of supporters across the country will fight to stop President Obama’s latest attack on our Second Amendment freedoms.”

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Filed under "Intelligence", "Transparency", Abuse of Power, Americana, Cronyism, Culture, Democrats, Elitism, Entitlement, Executive Order, Government, Gun Control?, Hypocrisy, Liberals, Politics, President

Ten Reasons People Still Need Cursive

TheFederalist

1. Cursive Helps People Integrate Knowledge

As Dr. William Klemm argues in Psychology Today, “Cursive writing helps train the brain to integrate visual, and tactile information, and fine motor dexterity. School systems, driven by ill-informed ideologues and federal mandate, are becoming obsessed with testing knowledge at the expense of training kids to develop better capacity for acquiring knowledge.”

2. Writing Long-form Teaches Us How to Write

There is a direct relationship between quality of handwriting and the quality of written text. The significant cognitive demands of writing combined with the added cognitive load of physically writing means it is important for a student to be able to handwrite effortlessly.

3. Our Hands Should Be Multilingual

During early childhood, writing letters improves letter recognition, and we use the hand and brain differently when writing than when typing. In fact, it is important to teach it all: typing, manuscript, and cursive: or, being “multilingual by hand” as Dr. Virginia Berninger states.

4. We Learn Better When We Write It Down

Two psychologists ran studies in which they realized students learn better taking handwritten notes as opposed to typing on a computer—even with Internet distractions disabled.

5. Handwriting Leads to Cognitive Development, Self-Esteem, and Academic Success

Failure to create fluency in written script has negative effects on both academic success and self-esteem. Even though typing seems ubiquitous, handwriting is still “the most immediate form of graphic communication.” In addition, no other task taught in school requires as much synchronization as handwriting.

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Filed under Culture, Education

Gov. Scott Walker: I refuse to take the media’s bait

USAToday

Americans believe our nation is facing some substantial challenges. Government spending is out of control. Terrorists seek to destroy our way of life. Our economic recovery has been slow. Our borders aren’t secure. The federal government has usurped powers that rightly belong to our states.

I hear from people who lost their jobs and are back in the workforce but who still have not quite made it back to where they were before the recession — and they wonder when, or if, they’ll ever get there.

Across party lines and state lines, Americans want America to be secure and prosperous again. And they’re looking for leaders who can focus on that goal and who will get results.

One thing we’ve learned in Wisconsin through all our challenges and successes over the past four years, is when we keep our focus on what matters to the people, we earn their respect, if not always their agreement. And, in a purple state that hasn’t gone to a Republican presidential candidate in 30 years, our approach has translated into three wins in four years.

There has been much discussion about a media double standard where Republicans are covered differently than Democrats, asked to weigh in on issues the Democrats don’t face. As a result, when we refuse to take the media’s bait, we suffer.

I felt it this week when I was asked to weigh in on what other people said and did and what others’ beliefs are. If you are looking for answers to those questions, ask those people.

I will always choose to focus on what matters to the American people, not what matters to the media.

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Filed under Americana, Economics, Education, Employment, Government, Immigration, MSM

Probably not…

Question for the New York Times: If Gays Are Offended, Do Christians Have Rights?

In other words, the Chief not only went beyond legal requirements to solicit LGBT employee input when drafting department doctrine, he was performing his core job function at the highest levels. Yet the Times claims he had to go — in part because he allegedly “failed to get approval” to publish his Christian book.
Yet, according to the Complaint, Chief Cochran specifically contacted the City of Atlanta’s Ethics Officer inquiring whether he could write the book and whether he could — for autobiographical purposes only — identify himself as Atlanta’s fire chief in the “about the author” section. She not only consented on both counts, she asked for a copy of the book when it was complete. Further, he shared the book at work with only a small number of individuals — three “command level” members of the department, and to a select few that he knew shared his faith or had asked for copies. He even shared the book with the mayor months before any public controversy, and the mayor did not comment or complain about its contents. No one at the Fire Department claimed that the book violated their rights, and no complaints were made against him within the Fire Department.
Instead, an unknown individual shared the book’s few comments about sexual morality (expressing the orthodox Christian view that sex is reserved for marriage) with an openly gay Atlanta councilmember, who contacted the City’s human resources commissioner. Four days later, the city suspended Chief Cochran, without pay. At the conclusion of his suspension, the mayor fired the chief. Yet in terminating Chief Cochran, the mayor apparently disregarded the Atlanta Code, which not only contains specific notice requirements, it requires progressive discipline for defined offenses and allows for a right of appeal.
All of these rights were denied Chief Cochran. An outstanding fire chief — a man never accused of discrimination and who’d gone out of his way to solicit the views of diverse voices — was fired on trumped-up charges, in violation of Atlanta codes (not to mention the Constitution), because he dared express orthodox Christian views on sexual morality. And most of the Left applauds. In the world of the Times, of the City of Atlanta, and of vast numbers of the intolerant Left, “religious freedom” is nothing but a freedom to “believe.”
It is not a freedom to speak. Only one side can be heard. As for the rest of us? We just need to shut up and learn our moral lesson. If Chief Cochran can prove his allegations — and if a Court rules in his favor — will the Left revise its view of the case? Or will it argue for more censorship, that our core constitutional liberties must be narrowed to further constrict religious speech to protect the sensibilities of politically favored groups?
I suspect we know the answer.

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Filed under Abuse of Power, Christianity, Homofascism, LGBT, Religion, Religious Freedom

State Says 70-Year-Old Flower Shop Owner Discriminated Against Gay Couple. Here’s How She Responded.

DailySignal

A judge in Washington state ruled this week that a 70-year-old florist who declined to make flower arrangements for a gay couple’s wedding violated the state’s anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws.

In a phone interview with The Daily Signal, Barronelle Stutzman said the decision—and its accompanying fines—will put her flower shop out of business, or worse.

After the fines and legal fees, “There won’t be anything left,” Stutzman said.

“They want my home, they want my business, they want my personal finances as an example for other people to be quiet.”

Contesting the decision, Stutzman said the state is taking away one of her “basic rights, and feels that she is being used as a case example after the state of Washington legalized same-sex marriage in 2012.

“They’re taking everything because I disagree with their stand,” Stutzman said.

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Filed under Abuse of Power, Culture, Homofascism, Law, Religious Freedom

And this is why we can’t have nice things…

The Danger of Being Neighborly Without a Permit

Since 2009, when a Wisconsin man built a little, free library to honor his late mother, who loved books, copycats inspired by his example have put thousands of Little Free Libraries all over the U.S. and beyond. Many are displayed on this online map. In Venice, where I live, I know of at least three Little Free Libraries, and have witnessed chance encounters where folks in the neighborhood chat about a book.

I wish that I was writing merely to extol this trend. Alas, a subset of Americans are determined to regulate every last aspect of community life. Due to selection bias, they are overrepresented among local politicians and bureaucrats. And so they have power, despite their small-mindedness, inflexibility, and lack of common sense so extreme that they’ve taken to cracking down on Little Free Libraries, of all things.

Last summer in Kansas, a 9-year-old was loving his Little Free Library until at least two residents proved that some people will complain about anything no matter how harmless and city officials pushed the boundaries of literal-mindedness:

The Leawood City Council said it had received a couple of complaints about Spencer Collins’ Little Free Library. They dubbed it an “illegal detached structure” and told the Collins’ they would face a fine if they did not remove the Little Free Library from their yard by June 19.

The power to require permits is the power to prevent something from ever existing. This lovely movement would’ve never begun or spread if everyone who wanted to build a Little Free Library recognized a need to apply and pay for a permit. Instead they did good and asked permission never.

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Filed under Abuse of Power, Americana, Culture, Government, Law

The Failure of Multiculturalism

Pandemonium

Thirty years ago, many Europeans saw multiculturalism – the embrace of an inclusive, diverse society – as an answer to Europe’s social problems. Today, a growing number consider it to be a cause of them. That perception has led some mainstream politicians, including British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to publicly denounce multiculturalism and speak out against its dangers. It has fuelled the success of far-right parties and populist politicians across Europe, from the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands to the Front National in France. And in the most extreme cases, it has inspired obscene acts of violence, such as Anders Behring Breivik’s homicidal rampage on the Norwegian island of Utøya in July 2011.

How did this transformation come about? According to multiculturalism’s critics, Europe has allowed excessive immigration without demanding enough integration – a mismatch that has eroded social cohesion, undermined national identities, and degraded public trust. Multiculturalism’s proponents, on the other hand, counter that the problem is not too much diversity but too much racism.

There has also been a guiding assumption throughout Europe that immigration and integration must be managed through state policies and institutions. Yet real integration, whether of immigrants or of indigenous groups, is rarely brought about by the actions of the state; it is shaped primarily by civil society, by the individual bonds that people form with one another, and by the organizations they establish to further their shared political and social interests. It is the erosion of such bonds and institutions that has proved so problematic – that links assimilationist policy failures to multicultural ones and that explains why social disengagement is a feature not simply of immigrant communities but of the wider society, too. To repair the damage that disengagement has done, and to revive a progressive universalism, Europe needs not so much new state policies as a renewal of civil society.

And it has to take place on both sides of the aisle, not one bending backwards to appease the other…

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Filed under Culture, History, Immigration, Politics, Religion, Religious Freedom