From Michelle Malkin at Townhall:
A mannequin hanging from a Las Vegas billboard emblazoned with “Dying For Work” had motorists lighting up 911 switchboards at the crack of dawn this morning — drivers were convinced they were seeing a real person swinging from the rope.
Another billboard in the Las Vegas area read ”Hope You’re Happy Wall St.,” with a second mannequin hanging from the edge.
No one has claimed responsibility for the creepy hangmen, though the website forOccupy Las Vegas applauds the displays, and accuses Nevada lawmakers of slashing social aid programs in the down economy.
“People saying it’s in bad taste are living sheltered lives,” says Sebring Frehner, an Occupy supporter. They ”don’t pay attention to what affects the working class.”
From : death+taxes
From Walter E. Williams at Townhall:
In Europe, especially in Germany, hoisting a swastika-emblazoned Nazi flag is a crime. For decades after World War II, people have hunted down and sought punishment for Nazi murderers, who were responsible for the deaths of more than 20 million people.
Eagle Stadium, in Allen, TX, a Dallas suburb, opens later this month after three years of construction, and tongues are wagging at its $60 million price tag.
The state-of-the-art facility boasts 18,000 seats (all bleachers), two luxury suites, a pro-quality press box, and a 3,400-square-foot HD video scoreboard. The project was funded by a $119 million bond package approved by 63 percent of voters three years ago.
“It shows that the people of Allen support their kids,” said Allen head football coach Tom Westerberg.
Meanwhile, by the 2011-2012 school year, the Allen school district was facing a $4.5 million budget shortfall and was forced to cut 44 teaching positions and 40 support positions.
Luckily for Allen football fans, the school’s operating budget was separate from construction; voters eventually agreed to increase property tax rates by $0.13 to offset state education cuts.
From : deadspin
Sometimes you just have to dress kids as iconic movie characters.
When the mirror reflects how you actually feel.
From Slate: Why do so many murderers have three names?
U.S. Olympians aren’t all that impressed with Fox News, either.
The score of Aly Raisman’s gold medal-winning floor routine was a tribute to the victims of the 1972 Munich Games massacre.
While these types of governments are different in some ways, they are not exclusive. Most overlap in a number of ways.
Military and ideological governments will become tribal as a few officers, leaders or Ayatollahs use their control of the economy to enrich themselves and their families. That is what happened in Egypt and in Iran. The Muslim Brotherhood differs from Mubarak in any number of political ways, but on a personal level, its leaders share his goal of enriching their families.
Whether a new government starts out as Islamist, Fascist or Socialist; these facades inevitably revert to the tribal. That is the fate of all governments in the Muslim Middle East, which do not evolve, but devolve.
Every Muslim leader, beginning with Mohammed borrowed ideas brought in from outside to form a new system that became identical with the old. Mohammed borrowed from Judaism and Christianity to create the religious structure for yet another tribal government controlled by his father-in-law. In the 20th Century the Muslim Middle-East borrowed from the British Empire, France, Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, the USSR and the United States, to create hybrid systems that were either overthrown or devolved into tribalism with an ideological facade. Like Mohammed, the bright new ideology ends up with a bunch of relatives in charge of the loot.
Muslim countries are forever at war with themselves. Military governments fear popular protests organized by ideological movements to seize power. And the ideological governments fear military coups. Tribal governments fear everyone and cripple their own military and bribe their own people to avoid being overthrown by officers or ideologues.
Every government is only a few bad months away from losing power and so every government fears being overthrown by its enemies and implements a regime of secret police and prisons. No sooner do the revolutionaries step out of prison to usher in a new era, than the same thugs are rehired to torture enemies of the new regime.
The victors of the Arab Spring know that another few bad months could toss them out of power as easily as the bad months put them into power. Like every other regime in the Muslim Middle East, their main priority is staying in power by making it impossible for others to do to them what they did to their predecessors.That leads to a cycle of repression, broken by temporary liberalization as alliances with the opposition are explored and then abandoned, because the opposition cannot be trusted not to seize power for themselves.
Everyone in the region is playing rock-paper-scissors all the time which leads to total regional paranoia and conspiracy theories. Everyone distrusts everyone else by necessity and keeps trying to guess how many fingers their rivals will put out while defending against their own weaknesses by preemptively attacking everyone else.
Military governments persecute ideologues. Ideologues imprison top officers. Tribals seek out military protectors– and then undermine them by backing their ideological enemies so as to stay in control of the relationship.
That is what happened to us and the Saudis, who, along with the other Gulfies, depend on our protection, but undermine us by supporting terrorism and Islamization to gain the upper hand. Paradoxically, the more that the Saudis need us, the more they undermine us, much as any feral population that is dependent on the charitable welfare of the majority lashes out against that majority to the exact degree that it is dependent on it.
The borders of Muslim nations are artificial and fluid. Their nationalism has no depth no matter how often Socialist ideologues borrow from European nationalism to proclaim the glories of the nation. The Muslim Middle East is not purely nomadic, but it is nomadic enough that large families stretch out across different nations and their tribal allegiances stretch with them. Ethnic groups like the Kurds cross national borders carrying with them the dream of an ethnostate carved out of the Sunni states that dot the desert.
The Palestinians are a fraud, but so are the Jordanians, and to a lesser degree, the Egyptians and the Syrians. Every nation is an artificial entity ruled over by powerful families or old soldiers who are keeping the whole thing together with guns and bribes, not to mention imported bread and circuses.
The British treated the region as a grab-bag of clans, and backed any powerful family willing to throw in with them. That is how the Hashemite kings and the Arab-Israeli wars came to be. Unlike the Brits, the United States was not interested in an empire, just in oil rights, which is how we got in bed with one of the most powerful families in the region, who became far more powerful thanks to their association with us. And who repaid us by trying to conquer us in their own way.
At some point we forgot that the Saudis, the King of Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and most of our so-called allies, are just powerful families with territorial claims based on that power. And even slightly more civilized countries such as Egypt, aren’t really any better, the invaders who overran them just absorbed more culture and civilization from their conquests and their proximity to more civilized parts of the world.
Mostly they’re feudal states with skyscrapers planned by foreign architects and built by foreign labor and if you can imagine Dark Ages Europe striking oil and selling it to industrial Incan mercantile democracies, with the barons plotting to settle and invade the new land, in between cutting each other’s throats over rights of succession, then you have a good picture of the Muslim Middle East.
No sudden Arab Spring will transform the Muslim Middle East. Uprisings can change governments but they cannot bring civilization. The Muslim world has access to Western learning, just as it had access to Indian, Roman and Greek learning. It made use of some of those ideas in a slapdash fashion just as it made use of Judaism, Christianity, Socialism and Democracy, in a similar fashion.
A primitive society confronted with an advanced civilization does not become civilized, it adopts some of the habits and facades of civilization in cargo cult fashion, it uses some of its tools, and hybridizes some of its ideas, but all this is done in pursuit of its existing goals. Everything that the Muslim Middle East has taken in from the civilized world has been used to pursue the same goals that it was pursuing a thousand years ago.
Imagine savages buying advanced steel knives, designed with space age technology, manufactured to never rust or grow dull, then shipped by jet plane to their island, where they are used to perform ritual human sacrifices so that the crops may grow. That in a nutshell is the relationship between the civilized world and the Muslim Middle East– except that the savages are not content to stay on their island and perform their human sacrifices only on their own tribe.
The Muslim leader of today may call himself a president or prime minister, more honestly he may call himself king, but whatever he calls himself, he is much the same figure that he was a thousand years ago.
The only place that the Muslim Middle East ever goes is backward.
From FOX News:
A top Obama campaign official is being accused of lying over what she knew about the man at the center of a damning super PAC ad tying his wife’s death to Mitt Romney.
Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter appeared on CNN Wednesday morning to say, among other things, that “I don’t know the facts” about the case of Joe Soptic, a steelworker who appeared in a controversial ad for the pro-Obama super-PAC Priorities USA. In the ad, Soptic, recounts how his wife died of cancer after he lost his health insurance when his plant was shuttered after a takeover by Bain Capital and other companies working with the private equity firm.
Cutter said she didn’t know when Soptic’s wife fell ill, or about his health insurance.
Yet in May of this year, Cutter herself hosted a conference call in which Soptic detailed his case to reporters. During the call, as he did in the ad, Soptic explained how his wife fell ill after he lost his job, and how he lost his health insurance. The call took place as Soptic began appearing in Obama campaign ads, and was featured in a profile on the Obama campaign website.
The campaign profile listed Soptic as one of the “faces of Romney economics.”
Cutter wasn’t the only Obama campaign official caught up in the controversy.
From ka ching!
From FOX Business:
It’s being called a loan not even a subprime lender would make.
A school district north of San Diego, Poway Unified, borrowed $105 million over 40 years by selling a bond so unusual that the State of Michigan outlawed it years ago. Taxpayers in the area will end up with a nearly $1 billion bill at the end of this deal.
The Poway school district is not the only one — three other California school districts in San Diego are set to gouge taxpayers in similar fashion. The San Diego Unified School district borrowed $164 million up front, but will owe a whopping $1.3 billion at the end of its long-term bond. Oceanside Unified sold a $30 million bond, but will owe nearly ten times as much decades later, $280 million total. And Escondido Union School District likewise borrowed $27 million and will owe $247 million total. (Will Carless and Joel Thurtell at the Voice of San Diego, a local blogger, has been tracking these bond developments.)
The bonds are a “kick the can” move to avoid dinging taxpayers now with higher property taxes.
Oh, and the bonds are not callable — they can’t be paid off early or refinanced.
School administrators appear to have looked around at the sluggish economy and property tax revenues and figured, ‘Heck, why not defer now and pay nothing at all for decades? We’ll be dead by then.’”
The problem is, the school districts are sitting on unused cookie jar reserves, $34.5 million for Poway. The school district has set aside the $34.5 million for things like “economic uncertainties” or “unassigned/unappropriated.”
A Poway official declined comment.
And the Poway district has already borrowed tens of millions of dollars at nosebleed 12.6% interest rates. The new $105 million bond will go toward things like green recyclable building materials, the school district’s financial disclosures show (for more see below).
This kind of bait and switch spending problem is rampant throughout California. This is why the Securities and Exchange Commission just last week announced plans to force better disclosures from states and cities in the $3.7 trillion municipal-bond market.
Much more will be needed than that if taxpayer wallets are to be protected.
From Ben Shapiro at the Patriot Post:
President Obama is my president. He’s not illegitimate. He’s not a usurper. He was duly elected by my fellow citizens — and as much as I think he’s a horrible commander-in-chief with anti-American ideals, that’s the choice Americans made in 2008.
But by the same token, President Obama isn’t my president. He isn’t doing anything for me, the typical, faceless American citizen. I’m not a member of a minority group — at least a minority group that counts (being Jewish obviously doesn’t count when it comes to Obama’s giveaway grab bag). I’m not a welfare case, and I’m employed. I’m not a member of a public sector union.
And so I don’t count when it comes to President Obama.
President Obama’s entire re-election campaign — and, thus far, his entire presidency — has been predicated on appealing to various splinter groups within the American population. He isn’t interested in presenting broad policy initiatives that appeal to the vast swath of Americans; in fact, his one major policy initiative, Obamacare, bombed with the American public so badly that the Democrats were unceremoniously thrown from Congress in 2010.
That’s why Obama finds himself on the defensive with regard to his polarizing campaign tactics. In an interview with Black Enterprise magazine, Obama said, “I want all Americans to have opportunity. I’m not the president of black America. I’m the president of the United States of America.” But that’s not what he says on his campaign website, where he breaks down Americans by color, including a subgroup of African-Americans for Obama, where he pushes posters urging blacks to “get his back” — just $35 to show your support!
Obama’s website also offers groups for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Jewish Americans (well, liberal Jewish Americans), Latinos, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgenders, people with disabilities, small business owners (all two of them who support Obama), seniors, women, and young Americans, among others.
Obama sees America as a country of differences papered over with the flag; Americans, by contrast, have historically seen America as a country of different folks united by dreams, goals and principles. To Obama, unity is aesthetic, an idea to be photoshopped to the front of a campaign brochure. To Americans, unity is engraved on our coinage.
But that fundamental difference in perspective has yet to manifest itself in this campaign. Americans seem to want to take Obama at his word. They don’t understand that his campaign philosophy of 2008 is worlds apart from his campaign philosophy of 2012. He has failed as a universal president — a president whose rising tide has lifted all boats. His only success must spring from his particularism. He must deconstruct his “all things to all people” persona in order to appeal to any one particular group.
But Obama’s enigmatic persona means that there’s no there there.
The rest of his early work can be found here.
From : flavorwire
From Brother Bob at Flopping Aces:
This might have happened recently or it might just be the “Frog in a pot of boiling water” effect, but the recent controversy around Chick Fil A and gay marriage made me notice how that debate fits into a bigger picture. I’ve read articles, seen blog posts, and seen tons of electrons spilled on Facebook1 over the Chick Fil A / Gay Marriage issue. I’ve noticed that a great deal of the leftist sentiment often uses carefully crafted language to define their opponents’ positions – “against gay rights”, “anti-gay”, or my personal favorite, “Extreme anti-gay”. Aside from my referring to people who disagree with me as leftists (which as far as I can tell all of them have been), I try to avoid labeling other’s views, as it takes away from the argument itself.2 For example, I’ve followed the lead of other right-leaning writers in labeling people in the abortion debate by their chosen monikers of “pro-life” or “pro-choice”. All of that said, I’ve noticed a disturbing overuse of one particular word that I just noted – extreme.
We see the extremist moniker applied to any conservative position:
Sadly, we don’t see people on the right call out the Democrats or leftist journalists (but I repeat myself) when they throw out these buzz words. Naturally, everyone sees their own opinions as perfectly reasonable, but from what I’ve seen Conservatives use the “extreme” label a lot less frequently. Phrases like that are useful to try to paint yourself as the reasonable person in the debate while your opponent is out on the fringe, but it’s not useful for that respectful dialogue that leftists claim to want.
To go back to one of my favorite “extremist” arguments on cutting government spending versus raising taxes to balance our budget, I’ve already done the math and explained that tax increases will not work, and I’ve drawn the perfect analogy:
Leftists truly believe that we can balance our budget with a combination of spending cuts reduced rate of government growth along with tax increases on somebody else. To illustrate why this plan will not work I compare our economy to a car that is driving at 100 MPH and sees a sign that there is a cliff a mile away. The conservative will say that we need to alter our course by at least 90 degrees or we will drive off of the cliff. The leftist at the wheel will call for a balanced approach of slowing down to 80 MPH and altering our course by 30 degrees. While your driver is patting himself on the back for being reasonable and the balance of his bipartisan approach, at the end of the day the economy does its best impression of Thelma and Louise.
You can call me extremist all you want, but while nobody likes the guy who holds an intervention, keeping our country alive is not extremist. Driving us off of a fiscal cliff is.
And as much as leftists hate to admit it, their party has taken a leftward turn that can not be described as moderate. Anyone who has followed the president’s policies over the last few years can see it firsthand.