Empathy is the essence of tragedy. To be able to mourn for others we have to feel their loss and make it our own. Most Americans never lost anyone on September 11. Most never knew anyone who died that day in the planes above or the buildings below. And yet we as a nation felt that blow. Their pain was our pain. And that response was not limited to the United States as millions of people beyond these shores reached out and took in the full weight of that tragedy and grief.
When cast members insist that the terrorists were not Muslims, or not truly Muslims, their denial echoes the collective denial of Muslim communities and leaders in America who have never come to terms with the problem because they are too busy misrepresenting themselves as the victims. They are too busy feeling sorry for themselves to understand the pain of so many Americans on the anniversary of that awful day.
But All-American Muslim’s denial that the September 11 hijackers were Muslims acting in the name of Islam, because Muslims are incapable of terrorism is blatantly dishonest. Especially when the series featured two Imams who support terrorists, Imam Abdul Latif Berry, who is quite a fan of the Ayatollah Khomeini, and Husham Al-Husainy, who supports Hezbollah. The appearance of these two men on a series which pretends to show us the peaceful nature of the real All-American Muslim demonstrates how difficult it is to detach the religious violence in Islam from the Muslim community.
When Al-Husainy signed a document which read in part, “We remind our sons to get ready to carry out their duty in Holy Jihad and continue the path which our young valiant men in Hezbollah began in Southern Lebanon” and which invoked a “Islamic nation which extends to all parts of the world”; how was this any different than a bulletin from Osama bin Laden?
Time for Republicans to rein in the EPA, another government agency run amuck thanks to the liberals!
In 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency provided $1 million in grants to 46 different non-profit and tribal organizations to promote what it called “environmental justice.” Since 1994, a little-noticed EPA program has handed out a total of $23 million in such grants to 1,253 organizations, for stated purposes that observers are questioning.
President Bill Clinton and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) were responsible for implementing “environmental justice” as part of the EPA’s mission. In early 1990, following a lobbying push by the CBC, the EPA established the Environmental Equity Workgroup. In 1994 it was renamed the Office of Environmental Justice.
In February of that year, Clinton signed an executive order requiring all federal agencies to develop environmental justice strategies. The order established an interagency working group comprised of the heads of 11 departments and agencies and several White House offices.
As a result, the EPA has spent millions each year to promote its “environmental justice” vision to Americans by awarding cash grants to community-based activist groups.
Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Christopher Horner told The Daily Caller that the Obama administration’s EPA is “abus[ing] environmental justice as badly as they’re abusing other grants of authority.”
The EPA’s grants have gone beyond organic gardening projects and tree plantings. One financial award went to the Cleveland Tenants Organization for fighting bed-bug infestations. Another paid the Florida-based Institute for Community Collaboration train teenagers to become environmentalists.
The Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island received money in July 2010 to organize barn-raising events. That same month, Groundwork Somerville was funded to persuade suburban Bostonians to replace their incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient — and more expensive – compact fluorescent bulbs.
In December 2011, Congress overturned a planned government-mandated phase-out of the older Thomas Edison-style bulbs.
West Harlem Environmental Action received taxpayer dollars to educate New Yorkers about the “local challenges posed by climate change (i.e., sea-level rise and extreme weather events).”
Federal dollars also paid a Utah dance company to teach children in 10 elementary schools how to dance for environmental justice. “Kinesthetic learning,” the EPA reports, “will be used to examine air quality issues and encourage youth and their families to adopt healthy living practices.”
In the queue at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”
The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment.”
He was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?
Ron Paul’s oiliest maneuver in congress is his insistence that he is pure as the driven snow when it comes to earmarks. It’s actually quite slimy. Here’s how he justifies being one of the top earmarkers in congress.
Say congress puts a general federal infrastructure spending bill up for vote. The bill is called the American Bike and Rollerblading Pathway Project, and it has a 100 million dollar budget. When this pie is held up on the floor for a vote, representatives clamor for a piece of that pie and request slices (earmarks.) Along with their vote they will put their order in – 1 million for the Grant Guthrie Nature Park, 2 million for the Shlomo Beard Memorial Pathway, etc.
Ron Paul puts in tons of requests for that pie. Then he votes “no” on the bill, claiming to have uniquely stellar principles, and simply smugly waits to see if he will get his money.
His view is, “the money is going to be spent anyway so why not bring it home to my district?” Yes, perfectly logical, except for one thing. Ron Paul is perpetuating the rising budgets year after year because HIS behavior is sending a signal to the Feds that more and more money needs to be confiscated from the public because earmark requests proves the need for more and more taxes.
It’s like being at a bachelor party with a stripper. You’re told that the stripper is going to service everyone, but it’s going to be put to a vote first. You vote no, but your pants are around your ankles with magic marker arrows pointing at the places you want special attention, and then you convince yourself that you didn’t cheat on your wife because your voting record was clear.
Ron Paul is not a solution, he is the problem. If he was principled he wouldn’t make the requests. He’d leave the room when the stripper showed up. Because of Ron Paul the next bachelor party is going to need 2 strippers because old Ronny kept last year’s stripper so busy.
Why 2012 is starting to look like 1984
~ Between SOPA, NDAA, telecommunications surveillance, and people’s willingness to share endlessly via social networking, will 2012 mark the year consumers irreversibly surrender their privacy and freedoms? ~
Read the rest of the article here.
Obama Has Dissolved the Separation of Powers
. . . In sum, Obama dissolved the separation of powers, the framers’ ingenious bulwark against any government branch’s seizure of supreme power — and thus the Constitution’s bulwark against tyranny. The president claims the power to appoint federal officers without the Senate’s constitutionally mandated advice and consent. He does so by claiming unilateral powers to dictate when the Senate is in session, a power the Constitution assigns to Congress, and to decree that an ongoing session is actually a recess. This sheer ukase, he says, triggers the part of the Constitution we’re keeping because he likes it — viz., the executive power to fill vacancies without any vetting by the people’s representatives.
Mind you, a president is the only government official constitutionally required to swear that he will “preserve, protect and defend” that Constitution. We are talking here not just about Obama’s characteristically breathtaking arrogance. These are profound violations of his oath and of our fundamental law. But rest assured he will get away with them. For that, Republicans can thank themselves and their surrender to statism.
For the entire article, go here to the National Review