Archive for the ‘Making A Difference’ Category
The dam has broken, the curtain has been lifted, and the flood of scandals coming to light this week is finally beginning to open people’s eyes.
1. Benghazi. Four Americans were abandoned to die in the middle of a terrorist attack. In the aftermath the administration changed the talking points, lied about a stupid video being to blame, and spent months trying to hide the truth as they intimidated and blocked access to witnesses.
2. The IRS admits to targeting Tea Party groups. It turns out they were also targeting pro-life groups, pro-Israel groups, religious groups, and pretty much anybody who dared to criticize Obama’s policies. They were also leaking confidential information about the opposition to their political friends.
3. The Department of Justice secretly obtained months of phone records from over 100 AP reporters and sources, including Congress. Guess the Obama administration likes to keep a jealous eye on his favorite mistress.
4. HHS Secretary shakes down companies she regulates for “donations” to implement Obamacare. It’s the Chicago way.
5. The EPA applies a double standard when dealing with conservative vs. liberal groups. If you’re “green,” you’re clean. If you oppose EPA power grabs and agenda, you’re treated as an enemy.
So how is Obama trying to squirm his way out of trouble?
One unique excuse being offered by David Axelrod is that the government is simply too big for Obama to know what’s going on. Yes, you heard that right…the liberals’ favorite argument that more government is the solution to every problem has suddenly turned into an excuse for ruling class ignorance and incompetence.
Another approach has been to claim that Obama is simply a passive and aloof leader who tends to distance himself from the nitty gritties of governing, and therefore has no clue what his underlings are up to.
Obama’s consistent claim that he always finds out about these scandals the same way that we do – when they first appear on the news – has become such a running joke that even Jon Stewart tore into him over the absurdity of it all.
Whoever created this meme summed it up beautifully:
Yep. That’s their story and they’re sticking to it.
Barely a week ago, President Obama stood before a crowd of new graduates and told them to reject the voices which warned them to be wary of government tyranny and oppression.
His remarks are all the more ironic, given the explosion of scandals which have been exposed this week, not the least of which involves the Obama administration using the IRS to intimidate and harass political opponents.
The Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.
IRS agents singled out dozens of organizations for additional reviews because they included the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their exemption applications, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups. In some cases, groups were asked for lists of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.
Conservative applicants were forced to answer bizarre and intrusive questions, provide mounds of paperwork, and wait as the IRS stalled on their applications for up to three years. For some groups, these hurdles prevented them from fully participating in the 2012 election.
An IRS campaign to apply additional scrutiny to conservative groups went beyond targeting “Tea Party” and “patriot” groups to include those focused on government spending, the Constitution and several other broad areas.
[...] The internal IG timeline shows a unit in the agency was looking at Tea Party and “patriot” groups dating back to early 2010. But it shows that list of criteria drastically expanding by the time a June 2011 briefing was held. It then included groups focused on government spending, government debt, taxes, and education on ways to “make America a better place to live.” It even flagged groups whose file included criticism of “how the country is being run.”
By early 2012, the criteria were updated to include organizations involved in “limiting/expanding government,” education on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and social economic reform.
It wasn’t just Tea Party groups being targeted. The IRS also targeted pro-life groups, Jewish groups, and individuals who dared to challenge, question or criticize Obama or his policies, including Billy Graham, columnist Todd Starnes, news anchor Larry Conners, businessman and Romney donor Frank VanderSloot, and Wayne Allyn Root, who describes the ugly ordeal:
I am the face of Obama’s IRS attacks. I am proof of how bad it is, when it started, that it was directed at individuals as well as groups, and that it did not involve only “low level IRS employees.”
[...] Most importantly, I’m living proof it was directed at individuals — with the intent of ruining our lives. It almost ruined mine. This is important because the American public needs to see the faces of the targets. I have a wife and 4 children. I didn’t deserve this.
Here is my personal story. I’m a small businessman, but also a national media personality with a megaphone. I’m an outspoken critic of Obama. My views are seen by millions on Fox News Channel, and read at web sites like The Blaze and FoxNews.com. And in almost every media appearance its pointed out that I’m Obama’s Columbia Class of ‘83 classmate. You don’t think Obama noticed?
The result? In January, 2011 an unprecedented IRS attack was launched against me. My personal story of IRS attack was covered extensively by conservative media.
In 30 years of doing business, I’ve had a spotless tax record. And I had never heard a peep from the IRS. The attack was so over-zealous and out of bounds, I was forced to hire one of this nation’s top tax attorneys, who took my case to court where we won a 100% victory.
My relief at being vindicated lasted five days! Then the IRS announced a new tax audit against me.
My attorney had never heard of such a thing and, before me, assumed it wasn’t possible.
The many legal and accounting experts (who drained my savings) all agreed this could only happen if I was on “Obama Enemies List.”
The attack was chilling and intimidating, affecting every aspect of my life. It was meant to bleed me dry, and teach me a lesson — if you dare to criticize Obama, get ready to lose everything.
Former Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld claims that the IRS has been used to retaliate against businessmen who dared to speak out, as well:
“Having been in the position of a chief executive officer, I can understand why a businessman might be reluctant to speak out against the actions of federal agencies that have the power to harm their enterprises,” he wrote in Rumsfeld’s Rules, which goes on sale Tuesday.
“By doing so, corporate leaders could expose themselves and their companies to government retaliation–from the IRS, the SEC, congressional committees, or the many other agencies of the federal government that regulate and oversee their operations,” he added.
Criticism of presidents, he said, is hard. “I suppose if more business leaders defended capitalism, there might not be quite as many smiling photos with politicians.”
As if this weren’t bad enough, it appears that not only was the IRS targeting conservatives for additional scrutiny and investigation, but they were also handing over their confidential information to progressive groups that could use the information against them:
The progressive-leaning investigative journalism group ProPublica says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office that targeted and harassed conservative tax-exempt groups during the 2012 election cycle gave the progressive group nine confidential applications of conservative groups whose tax-exempt status was pending.
The commendable admission lends further evidence to the lengths the IRS went during an election cycle to silence tea party and limited government voices.
A little over a year ago, I reported that, ”It is likely that someone at the Internal Revenue Service illegally leaked confidential donor information showing a contribution from Mitt Romney’s political action committee to the National Organization for Marriage, says the group.”
Now — on the heels of news the IRS’s apology for having targeted conservative groups — NOM is renewing their demand that the Internal Revenue Service reveal the identity of the people responsible.
“There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law,” said NOM’s president Brian Brow, in a prepared statement. “The only questions are who did it, and whether there was any knowledge or coordination between people in the White House, the Obama reelection campaign and the Human Rights Campaign. We and the American people deserve answers.”
Eric Holder’s corrupt Department of Justice has promised to investigate the IRS scandal. Congressman Issa scoffed at the idea of the Executive branch legitimately investigating itself, promising a thorough and transparent congressional investigation.
The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight is already demanding all IRS communications which contain conservative buzz words such as “tea party” or “patriot,” along with the names of anyone involved in the scandal.
Repeal the 16th Amendment. Abolish the IRS.
Obama sent an envoy to Venezuela dictator Hugo Chavez’s funeral, but refuses to send anyone from his administration to honor Thatcher.
Why? Because a Socialist dictator like Chavez is an ideological ally, while a liberty-loving conservative like Thatcher is political enemy. That should tell you all you need to know about dark and dangerous Obama’s personal ideology truly is.
This is a deliberate, public slap in the face in front of the entire international community. Obama is a small, petty, dangerous man.
President Obama declined to send a high-level delegation to Wednesday’s funeral of Britain’s Margaret Thatcher. It’s a measure of how little he values the special relationship — and a sign of his own smallness.
Back in more gracious times, vice presidents routinely attended funerals of foreign dignitaries. As such, the presence of Vice President Joe Biden — if not Obama himself — would seem fitting for as significant a U.S. ally as the late Prime Minister Thatcher, if not out of warmth of feeling, then simply to represent the U.S.’ gratitude. Thatcher’s uncompromising friendship with the U.S. helped to set off a free-market revolution, end the Cold War, and left the U.S. and U.K. the standard-bearers for freedom in the world — the very basis of the power Obama now enjoys.
But appallingly, not even Biden could be spared for the funeral of the most consequential British prime minister since Winston Churchill.
[...] This snub shows Obama places partisan politics above leadership or statecraft.
Obama isn’t the only one deliberately insulting the memory of this great woman. The media is taking this opportunity to verbally burn her memory in effigy:
In the days leading up to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral on Wednesday, the three networks repeatedly hyped hateful, ugly attacks on the former Prime Minister of Britain, describing her as a “polarizing,” “divisive” figure. On Rock Center, his low-rated Friday night show, Brian Williams explained that it was “sad, but necessary to report” that, while Americans may like Thatcher, “It’s been a harsh couple of days …Tonight, the number one song on iTunes in Great Britain is the Wizard of Oz classic [Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead], in this case celebrating the death of the Iron Lady.”
On Sunday’s Today, Lester Holt began by insisting, “Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is proving to be as polarizing in death as she was in life.” He, too, highlighted angry liberals in Britain gleefully playing the mocking song. Leftist journalist Martin Bashir appeared on the program to bemoan the “controversial” Thatcher. He touted, “An online campaign has pushed the song Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead up towards the top of the British music charts.”
Bashir made sure to play a clip of a protester complaining, “I’m here to remember the victims, the victims of Margaret Thatcher and her society– her type of government.”
On Wednesday, CBS This Morning reporter Mark Phillips lectured, ”Well, this funeral was going to be a tense and controversial affair even before [the Boston bombing.]“ It was going to be “controversial’ to bury Thatcher, the woman elected three times in massive landslides?
On the April 17 Today, Keir Simmons reported live from the funeral route and deemed Thatcher a “divisive figure for many people in Britain.” He did allow that there were “many people here in the streets to pay their last respects.”
This last point, the massive outpouring of people who actually admired Thatcher, hasn’t received as much attention from the network reports.
Explosions at the Boston Marathon
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With thousands of runners still on the course, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing three people, injuring at least 113 and turning the city’s most celebrated event into a grisly spectacle of shattered glass, blood and screams.
President Barack Obama said authorities did not know who carried out the attack but vowed to render “the full weight of justice” against those responsible. Minutes later, law enforcement officials said that an 8-year-old child was one of the dead.
Video from the scene showed two blasts about 20 seconds apart just off the course at the finish. White smoke rose, barriers flew, and throngs of people who had gathered to cheer the runners turned and fled in terror. They later reported seeing horrific injuries that included blown-off limbs and bodies thrown to the asphalt.
However, the Left isn’t necessarily opposed to jumping to conclusions, so long as the people they wish to target are being blamed. The bodies weren’t even cold before Leftists began exploiting tragedy to attack political opponents.
Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce noted that today was “Patriots Day” in Massachusetts, and suggested it might be the work of the Tea Party, whom he compares to Timothy McVey.
Wolf Blitzer speculated the same, live on the air.
CNN’s Peter Bergen claimed it must have been “right wing extremists.”
Nicholas Kristof at The New York Times blamed Republicans, claiming their blocking Obama’s radical ATF nominee was the culprit.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews posed the question of whether or not the bombing was motivated by the fact that April 15th was tax day.
“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” ~ Rahm Emanuel
After all that’s happened today, it can be difficult to remember that there are still good people in this world. For that reason, Business Insider has made a list of “People Being Awesome After The Attack On The Boston Marathon.”
The Real Legacy of Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s Iron Lady
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So long, Maggie! Say “Hi” to Ronnie for us! You’ll be missed!
Mrs. Thatcher’s predecessor as prime minister, the amiable but forgotten Sunny Jim Callaghan, once confided to a friend of mine that he thought Britain’s decline was irreversible and that the government’s job was to manage it as gracefully as possible. By 1979, even this modest aim seemed beyond the capabilities of the British establishment, and the nation turned to a woman who was one of the few even in a supposedly “conservative” party not to subscribe to the Callaghan thesis. She reversed the decline, at home and overseas.
[S]he understood that the biggest threat to any viable future for Britain was a unionized public sector that had awarded itself a lifestyle it wasn’t willing to earn. So she picked a fight with it, and made sure she won. In the pre-Thatcher era, union leaders were household names, mainly because they were responsible for everything your household lacked. Britain’s system of government was summed up in the unlovely phrase “beer and sandwiches at Number Ten” — which meant union grandees showing up at Downing Street to discuss what it would take to persuade them not to go on strike, and being plied with the aforementioned refreshments by a prime minister reduced to the proprietor of a seedy pub, with the Cabinet as his barmaids.
In 1990, when Mrs. Thatcher was evicted from office by her ingrate party’s act of matricide, the difference she’d made was such that in all the political panel discussions on TV that evening no producer thought to invite any union leaders. No one knew their names anymore.
What Reagan and Thatcher showed–and it is a lesson that may seem at odds with the conservative impulse that the private sector is the most significant–is what a difference political leadership can make. (Later Rudolph Giuliani showed the same thing–he was for urban policy what Reagan and Thatcher were for national policy.) They both inherited a mess: In Thatcher’s case she took over in 1979 following the “Winter of Discontent” when Britain was paralyzed by multiple strikes and high unemployment. As the Conservative advertising slogan had it, “Labour isn’t working.” Reagan, of course, took over from Jimmy Carter in the wake of the failed hostage-rescue mission and in the midst of a severe recession characterized by “stagflation.” Worst of all was a widespread loss of confidence in the future–both in Britain and America it was fashionable back then to imagine that the “the West” was finished and that the Soviet Union was ascendant.
Reagan and Thatcher would have none of it. Both were firmly outside the political and intellectual mainstream, and both were derided as simpletons for imagining that they could reverse the course of history. But that is precisely what they did–Reagan with his tax cuts (helped by Fed chairman Paul Volcker’s anti-inflationary policy) and defense spending increases which, respectively, revived the economy and restored our military power; Thatcher with her income-tax cuts, budget cuts, interest-rate hikes and her willingness to stand up to the unions, all of which revived the British economy, and her willingness to fight Argentina for the Falkland Islands, which restored British confidence.
[...] Thatcher’s challenge was all the greater given that so much of the Conservative Party remained “wet”–i.e., skeptical of her conservative principles. Eventually it was not the political opposition but her own party which toppled her, leading to a long period of Conservative wandering in the wilderness, punctuated by uninspiring rule first by John Major and now by David Cameron, neither of whom will ever be mentioned in the same breath as the Iron Lady.
Like Reagan, Thatcher was vindicated by history–and just as Reagan was praised by Bill Clinton, so she was praised by Tony Blair. She will be remembered as the greatest female ruler since Queen Elizabeth I and the greatest British prime minister since Winston Churchill.
Nothing stirs the Left’s seething rage more than a woman, black or gay person refusing to toe the ideological line and daring to speak out for conservative values.
Dr. Ben Carson is the latest target of the bigoted Left, which does not allow independent thought from “minority” groups they seek to keep under their control. Mark Levin recently had an amazing interview with Carson, in which they discussed the Left’s agenda to silence conservative minorities.
Kyle Becker has the transcript at the Independent Journal Review:
MARK LEVIN, HOST: These attacks on you, I have to ask you. You’re a religious man. Do these attacks make you want to speak out more and do more or do they cause you to second guess coming out and talking like this?
DR. BENJAMIN CARSON: No, they make me recognize what serious trouble we’re in. And what has really brought it home to me is, you know, I’ve gotten so many letters of support or phone calls or emails from people who believe similarly, but are afraid to speak out because they think there may be retribution. And basically, it proves what I was saying at the National Prayer Breakfast that political correctness is threatening to destroy our nation because it puts a muzzle over honest conversation, and the fabric of our nation is changed without the benefit of a conversation.
LEVIN: Well, you’re right. They don’t want a conversation, do they? They don’t want us to engage. In fact they…
CARSON: No, they want to shut us up completely.
CARSON: And that’s why the attacks against me have been so vicious because I represent, you know, an existential threat to them. They need to shut me up, they need to get rid of me. They can’t find anything else to delegitimize me. So they take my words, misinterpret them, and try to make it seem that I’m a bigot.
LEVIN: And you’re attacked also, in many respects, because of your race, because you’re not supposed to think like this and talk like this. A lot of white liberals just don’t like it, do they?
CARSON: Well, you know, they’re the most racist people there are because, you know, they put you in a little category, a little box. You have to think this way. How could you dare come off the plantation?
Listen to the whole interview on the Mark Levin show:
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Republican Establishment Blames Social Conservatives, Tea Party For GOP Being Viewed As ‘Out Of Touch’
Hmmm…could it be that the reason people think the GOP is ‘out of touch’ is that they keep ignoring the American people’s concerns about massive debt, out-of-control spending, the erosion of constitutional liberties, and massive power-grabs like Obamacare?
Karl Rove has founded an organization for the specific purpose of bulldozing Tea Party candidates and replacing them with those hand-picked by the GOP establishment.
House Speaker Boehner has caved on Obamacare, illegal immigration, and a host of other issues, and even says that “trusts Obama completely.” WTH???
And he’s not the only one. Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have all waved the white flag on Obamacare.
The conservative base has been betrayed again and again by their own party. But who does the party blame for their losses? Their base!
I believe that the disappointing results for Republicans in the 2006 elections and probably the 2012 elections, as well, were in no small part attributable to frustrated conservatives staying at home.
The thinking among many conservatives has been that the party has consistently fallen short by failing to restrain the growth of the ever-expanding federal government and by failing to nominate sufficiently conservative presidential nominees. That is, if we would just nominate and elect Reagan conservatives and govern on Reagan principles, we would recapture majority status in no time.
The main opposing view — call it the establishment view — holds that Republicans need to accept that the reign of small government is over, get with the program and devise policies to make the irreversibly enormous government smarter and more energetic. In other words, Republicans need to surrender to the notion that liberalism’s concept of government has won and rejigger their agenda toward taming the leviathan rather than shrinking it.
I’d feel better if the ongoing competition between Reagan conservatives and establishment Republicans were the only big fissure in the GOP right now, but there are other cracks that threaten to break wide open, too. Our problems transcend our differing approaches to the size and scope of government and to fiscal and other economic issues.
Reagan conservatism is no longer under attack from just establishment Republicans; it’s also under attack from many inside the conservative movement itself. Reagan conservatism is a three-legged stool of fiscal, foreign policy and social issues conservatism. But today many libertarian-oriented conservatives are singing from the liberal libertine hymnal that the GOP needs to remake its image as more inclusive, more tolerant, less judgmental and less strident. In other words, it needs to lighten up and quit opposing gay marriage, at least soften its position on abortion, and get on board the amnesty train to legalize illegal immigrants. I won’t even get into troubling foreign policy divisions among so-called neocons, so-called isolationists and those who simply believe we should conduct our foreign policy based foremost on promoting our strategic national interests.
[...] I belong to the school that believes the Republican Party must remain the party of mainstream Reagan conservatism rather than try to become a diluted version of the Democratic Party. This does not mean Republicans can’t come up with creative policy solutions when advisable, but it does mean that conservatism is based on timeless principles that require no major revisions. Conservatives are champions of freedom, the rule of law and enforcement of the social compact between government and the people enshrined in the Constitution, which imposes limitations on government in order to maximize our liberties. If we reject these ideas, then we have turned our backs on what America means and what has made America unique. What’s the point of winning elections if the price is American exceptionalism?
Rush Limbaugh is calling the Republicans to task for their “blame the conservative base” mentality:
The Republican National Committee released earlier on Monday an “autopsy” of its 2012 election failures and pinned the blame on the party being out of touch with voters, particularly minorities.
Limbaugh said the opposite was true. “We are in touch with the founding of this country. We are in touch with the greatness in this country and its people,” the popular radio commentator said, according to Politico.
Limbaugh said that if the party moves away from championing values, such as traditional marriage, it will lose support among its base.
“If the party makes that [gay marriage] something official that they support, they’re not going to pull the homosexual activist voters away from the Democrat Party, but they are going to cause their base to stay home and throw their hands up in utter frustration,” Limbaugh said.
Limbaugh said it was party leaders who were out of touch with its own base.
Jonathon Moseley writes that the problem isn’t conservative values, but a failure to effectively market them to a new generation:
The Republican Party is violating time-tested, basic principles of sales and marketing. That’s why the GOP is failing to communicate its messages. On Monday, the Republican National Committee released a massive reform strategy, whimsically labeled an “autopsy” or “reboot,” to completely overhaul the GOP. Like Democrats in 1992, Republicans are growing hungry to win in 2014 and 2016.
Here is what is wrong with the Republican Party. This author taught in a sales training seminar firm in Eastern Europe, International Trendsetters. The solutions are overwhelmingly time-tested and proven in real life. This is not theory. Republicans are chronically making classic rookie sales mistakes.
“FAB” — Features, Advantages, Benefits. You must explain how a policy benefits the voter. Bad salesmen talk about features – the radio has a better tuner. Good salesmen talk about how the radio benefits the customer – you will enjoy the music more and set a better mood for your love interest because it sounds better and clearer. People don’t buy a mattress. They buy a good night’s sleep. And maybe good décor.
On Monday, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus explained that we must talk about how Americans benefit from low taxes and lower national debt. We have to talk about how Republican policies will put more people to work, at higher salaries, improve our economy, and strengthen our country. Republicans talk about details — lower taxes, lower regulations, lower deficits. We fail to explain why those details actually matter to the voter.
But isn’t it obvious? No. Classic rookie mistake. It’s obvious to you if you spend lots of time thinking about these things. It’s not obvious to busy people who have other things to think about, which they feel are more important in their lives. Yes, you have to draw them a map.
There is an imbalance between the speaker who is extremely familiar with a topic and the listener who isn’t. The speaker needs to understand how the speaker really sounds to the listener. Republicans skip over too many steps and assume too much. The American voters are smart. But they haven’t spent as much time thinking about your topic as you have. We have to be able to empathize with the busy listener and even remember how we were when we first learned about these issues.
It is amazing that the GOP has been so bad at this, when Ronald Reagan was so good at it. If anyone is thinking of running for office, Step #1 is to listen to every speech Ronald Reagan ever gave. Several times. Reagan “got” it. Then the GOP lost it.
Next, the mind abhors a vacuum. What you don’t say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion. People have never stopped talking about cuts in education, even while education spending soars year after year. People will assume you want to help the rich by lowering taxes. They will assume you hate immigrants. They will assume you want women barefoot and pregnant. If you don’t explain how GOP policies benefit the listener, their minds will fill in the vacuum with other explanations. If you don’t provide a reason, their minds will provide one for you.
Third, love objections. This is one of the most powerful principles good salesmen know. We view objections with dread. A voter tells you why they don’t like the GOP. Time-tested sales techniques have proven that objections are opportunities. When a prospect tells you what he is concerned about, you now have the opportunity to address his or her concerns.
This is especially true when a voter believes something that isn’t true about Republicans — if they are willing to talk to you, that is. Proven sales experience shows that when someone is willing to tell you their negative views, and talk to you about it, you have an open door to dramatically turn around their perceptions.
Of course you have to treat them as a future friend, not as a current enemy. But the overwhelming majority of successful sales are closed after the third or fourth objection. That’s right, most sales succeed after not just the first negative response, but after several negative issues are raised and discussed. But you have to care about the other person as much as you care about yourself to answer their concerns fully, fairly, and respectfully.
Fourth, “ask for the order” as RNC Chairman Reince Priebus described on Monday. In other words, you have to show up. You are not going to win over any hearts or minds sitting in your office across the street from the Capitol South Metro station (the RNC headquarters). It is common sense that you have to go out and talk to Hispanics, Blacks, and other groups.
The GOP’s “outreach” efforts have often been embarrassing. Republican campaigns appoint leaders of, say, “Korean-Americans for Bush,” then order bumper stickers and campaign pins. And that’s about it. Pretending to be doing outreach, but not really, is a Republican specialty.
If there’s one think Planned Parenthood is good at, it’s targeting and destroying the opposition. Prosecutors are terrified of going after them for their crimes. A lone teacher doesn’t stand a chance.
Neither did the people who tried to save the Jews from the holocaust. But they did it anyway, and today they are remembered as heroes.
An exemplary math and computer science teacher has been unjustly escorted out of Benson High School by police following a protracted battle with school officials about Planned Parenthood’s presence in the school and its association with his students.
Bill Diss was notified on Tuesday after the last student left his class that he was being placed immediately on administrative leave “pending a recommendation to the superintendent that you be dismissed from your employment with Portland public schools for reasons that have been discussed with you.” The mild-mannered Mr. Diss told STOPP that he was given only a few minutes to gather his belongings before police escorted him out. He was ordered not to return to the Portland, Oregon, school where he has taught for 11 years.
Mr. Diss is an outstanding teacher, who recently was awarded certification and recognition as the only teacher in Oregon who is qualified to teach college level computer science to high school students for dual credit. He has taught at the college and high school level for a total of 18 years.
Planned Parenthood has been in pursuit of Mr. Diss since 2007 when he began organizing efforts to stop Planned Parenthood. A STOPP press release from February of 2009 noted that Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette wanted Bill Diss’ teaching license revoked. The press release quoted American Life League’s Jim Sedlak: “Bill has organized one of the most effective efforts against Planned Parenthood in the country. It’s no surprise Planned Parenthood will resort to anything—even going after his teaching license—in order to silence him.”
Bill was opposing, on his own time, outside of any school activities, the construction of a Planned Parenthood killing center in an African American neighborhood in Portland. The Planned Parenthood business was eventually built, and today targets minority women for abortions.
Planned Parenthood was unsuccessful in its revocation bid but, incredibly, a decree came from the school district that Bill could not indicate that he was a teacher at Benson or that he taught for the Portland schools when he was giving talks outside the school.
Things really started heating up again at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year when Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette began to push its Teen Outreach Program (TOP) in partnership with Benson High School. The program is fueled by a multi-million dollar Obamacare teen pregnancy prevention grant, funneled through a coalition of Planned Parenthood affiliates. Benson High is located in the inner city, where sixty-two percent of the students qualify for free or reduced price lunches.
On September 17, 2012, Planned Parenthood operatives entered Mr. Diss’ classroom where he was tutoring students in basic math skills and other subjects. They expected to be given the floor to recruit students for the Teen Outreach Program. Because Mr. Diss had been notified that TOP representatives were coming to speak to the class and they produced ID showing they were from Planned Parenthood rather than TOP, Mr. Diss asked them to leave his classroom. They left, and a few moments later the principal and vice principal came to remove Mr. Diss from class.
The next day he was forced to sit through a Planned Parenthood presentation. “They were extremely aggressive in obtaining the children’s signatures by promising them all sorts of gifts and cash,” Bill said. Planned Parenthood filed a formal complaint against Mr. Diss with the school. You can read STOPP’s coverage about the events of that day and the TOP permission forms here.
This is a very unique and insightful view from an openly gay man with adopted children.
I wholeheartedly support civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, but I am opposed to same-sex marriage. Because activists have made marriage, rather than civil unions, their goal, I am viewed by many as a self-loathing, traitorous gay. So be it. I prefer to think of myself as a reasoning, intellectually honest human being.
The notion of same-sex marriage is implausible, yet political correctness has made stating the obvious a risky business. Genderless marriage is not marriage at all. It is something else entirely.
Opposition to same-sex marriage is characterized in the media, at best, as clinging to “old-fashioned” religious beliefs and traditions, and at worst, as homophobia and hatred.
I’ve always been careful to avoid using religion or appeals to tradition as I’ve approached this topic. And with good reason: Neither religion nor tradition has played a significant role in forming my stance. But reason and experience certainly have.
Learning from Experience
As a young man, I wasn’t strongly inclined toward marriage or fatherhood, because I knew only homosexual desire.
I first recognized my strong yearning for men at age eight, when my parents took me to see The Sound of Music. While others marveled at the splendor of the Swiss Alps displayed on the huge Cinerama screen, I marveled at the uniformed, blond-haired Rolfe, who was seventeen going on eighteen. That proclivity, once awakened, never faded.
During college and throughout my twenties, I had many close friends who were handsome, athletic, and intelligent, with terrific personalities. I longed to have an intimate relationship with any and all of them. However, I enjoyed something far greater, something which surpassed carnality in every way: philia (the love between true friends)—a love unappreciated by so many because eros is promoted in its stead.
I wouldn’t have traded the quality of my relationships with any of these guys for an opportunity to engage in sex. No regrets. In fact, I always felt like the luckiest man on the planet. Denial didn’t diminish or impoverish my life. It made my life experience richer.
Philia love between men is far better, far stronger, and far more fulfilling than erotic love can ever be. But society now promotes the lowest form of love between men while sabotaging the higher forms. Gay culture continues to promote the sexualization of all (viewing one’s self and other males primarily as sexual beings), while proving itself nearly bankrupt when it comes to fostering any other aspect of male/male relationships.
When all my friends began to marry, I began to seriously consider marriage for the first time. The motive of avoiding social isolation may not have been the best, but it was the catalyst that changed the trajectory of my life. Even though I had to repress certain sexual desires, I found marriage to be extremely rewarding.
My future bride and I first met while singing in a youth choir. By the time I popped the question, we had become the very best of friends. “Soul mates” is the term we used to describe each other.
After a couple of years of diligently trying to conceive, doctors informed us we were infertile, so we sought to adopt. That became a long, arduous, heartbreaking process. We ultimately gave up. I had mixed emotions—disappointment tempered by relief.
Out of the blue, a couple of years after we resigned ourselves to childlessness, we were given the opportunity to adopt.
A great shock came the day after we brought our son home from the adoption agency. While driving home for lunch, I was suddenly overcome with such emotion that I had to pull the car off to the side of the road. Never in my life had I experienced such pure, distilled joy and sense of purpose. I kept repeating, “I’m a dad,” over and over again. Nothing else mattered. I knew exactly where I fit in within this huge universe. When we brought home his brother nearly two years later, I was prepared: I could not wait to take him up in my arms and declare our kinship and my unconditional love and irrevocable responsibility for him.
Neither religion nor tradition turned me into a dedicated father. It was something wonderful from within—a great strength that has only grown with time. A complete surprise of the human spirit. In this way and many others, marriage—my bond with the mother of my children—has made me a much better person, a person I had no idea I had the capacity to become.
Intellectual Honesty and Surprise Conclusions
Unfortunately, a few years later my marriage ended—a pain known too easily by too many. At this point, the divorce allowed me to explore my homosexuality for the first time in my life.
At first, I felt liberated. I dated some great guys, and was in a couple of long-term relationships. Over several years, intellectual honesty led me to some unexpected conclusions: (1) Creating a family with another man is not completely equal to creating a family with a woman, and (2) denying children parents of both genders at home is an objective evil. Kids need and yearn for both.
It took some doing, but after ten years of divorce, we began to pull our family back together. We have been under one roof for over two years now. Our kids are happier and better off in so many ways. My ex-wife, our kids, and I recently celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas together and agreed these were the best holidays ever.
Because of my predilections, we deny our own sexual impulses. Has this led to depressing, claustrophobic repression? No. We enjoy each other’s company immensely. It has actually led to psychological health and a flourishing of our family. Did we do this for the sake of tradition? For the sake of religion? No. We did it because reason led us to resist selfish impulses and to seek the best for our children.
And wonderfully, she and I continue to regard each other as “soul mates” now, more than ever.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve found our decision to rebuild our family ratified time after time. One day as I turned to climb the stairs I saw my sixteen-year-old son walk past his mom as she sat reading in the living room. As he did, he paused and stooped down to kiss her and give her a hug, and then continued on. With two dads in the house, this little moment of warmth and tenderness would never have occurred. My varsity-track-and-football-playing son and I can give each other a bear hug or a pat on the back, but the kiss thing is never going to happen. To be fully formed, children need to be free to generously receive from and express affection to parents of both genders. Genderless marriages deny this fullness.
There are perhaps a hundred different things, small and large, that are negotiated between parents and kids every week. Moms and dads interact differently with their children. To give kids two moms or two dads is to withhold from them someone whom they desperately need and deserve in order to be whole and happy. It is to permanently etch “deprivation” on their hearts.
”This isn’t a struggle between Republicans and Democrats. This is a struggle between the President and the Constitution.” – Senator Rand Paul
On Tuesday night, Senator Rand Paul went on Sean Hannity’s show to discuss Obama’s dangerous and unconstitutional threat to allow drone strikes against American citizens on U.S. soil – with no due process:
View on YouTube
On Wednesday at 11:47am, Paul launched a nearly 13-hour filibuster on the floor of the Senate to draw attention to this blatant attack on constitutional rights, earning admiration and support from both sides of the aisle, as well as internationally.
Some of the best quotes of the day:
On John Brennan: “I have hounded and hounded and hounded him… Only after yanking his chain… does he say he’s going to obey the law. We should be alarmed by that.”
Taking a stand: “I have allowed the president to pick his political appointees…But I will not sit quietly and let him shred the Constitution.”
On his colleagues in the Senate: “If there were an ounce of courage in this body I would be joined by other senators… saying they will not tolerate this.”
On White House “kill list”: “The people on the list might be me.”
On Obama: “He was elected by a majority, but the majority doesn’t get to decide who we execute.”
On making a point: “This will be a blip in his nomination process. But I hope people will see it as an argument for how important our rights are.”
On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) served notice to both the Republican establishment and to the Democrat-Media Complex: conservatism isn’t gone. It’s not even on vacation. The new wave of conservatives is here, and they know how to play the game.
At approximately 11:47 a.m. EST, Paul took to the floor of the Senate to filibuster the nomination of counterterrorism czar John Brennan for CIA Director. Paul stated his reason specifically and clearly: the Obama administration has refused to answer question as to whether they believe it is acceptable under the Constitution to kill American citizens on US soil using drones if those citizens are not engaged in an immediate terrorist threat. Paul was broader than that, actually – he simply asked the administration for a set of rules that could be used to limit their power to execute American citizens here at home. Over and over again, the administration refused to turn over the legal memos detailing its policies.
And so Paul talked. And boy, did he talk. For nearly 13 hours, he talked, taking breaks only when spelled by Senators including fellow Tea Partiers Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Pat Toomey (R-PA). Even an honest Democrat – apparently the only one in the chamber – got into the act: Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). Citing everyone from left to right, Paul pointed out the hypocrisy of an administration ripping into waterboarding of terrorists but happy to target them for death from the skies. He asked repeatedly why the administration could not answer his simple question about the boundaries of government power. And the American people listened.
It was an astonishing demonstration of the power of ideas. Paul spoke directly to the American people from the floor of the Senate. No media interrogators. No Obama functionaries. No spin machine. He was not strident, but he was firm. [...]
Paul’s dramatic action today may not have stopped John Brennan from becoming CIA Director. But that was not the point. He proved that conservatism in America is not merely alive, but that it has the potential for post-partisanship. He proved that conservatives can still seize the narrative, and fight back against an authoritarian-minded, non-transparent administration. And he proved that a new generation of conservatives is about to take the field for Republicans. Over the next 24 hours, look for the Democrat-Media Complex to strike back against Paul. They know the battle is on.
Finally, it appears that Republicans do too.
Oregon patriot Kristina Ribali remarked:
“Hey America, don’t look now, but it’s those crazy right wingers, Senator Rand Paul, Senator Mike Lee, and Senator Ted Cruz who are currently filibustering the United States Senate against the unconstitutional practice of executing you by drone without a trial. You’re welcome – Love, the Tea Party.”
Don’t worry, little citizen. It’s not like they’re planning on actually using them or anything…right?
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has customized its Predator drones, originally built for overseas military operations, to carry out at-home surveillance tasks that have civil libertarians worried: identifying civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones, government documents show.
The documents provide more details about the surveillance capabilities of the department’s unmanned Predator B drones, which are primarily used to patrol the United States’ northern and southern borders but have been pressed into service on behalf of a growing number of law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Secret Service, the Texas Rangers, and local police.
Homeland Security’s specifications for its drones, built by San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, say they “shall be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not,” meaning carrying a shotgun or rifle. They also specify “signals interception” technology that can capture communications in the frequency ranges used by mobile phones, and “direction finding” technology that can identify the locations of mobile devices or two-way radios.
The sequestration question du jour is why the Department of Homeland Security, busy releasing hundreds, if not thousands, of deportable and detained illegal aliens due to budget constraints, is buying several thousand Mine Resistant Armored Protection (MRAP) vehicles?
And just who are they intended to be used against?
[...] The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) recently retrofitted 2,717 of these MRAP vehicles for service on the streets of the U.S. They were formerly used for counterinsurgency in Iraq.
These vehicles are specifically designed to resist mines and ambush attacks. They use bulletproof windows and are designed to withstand small-arms fire, including smaller-caliber rifles such as a .223 Remington. Does DHS expect a counterinsurgency here?
An “expert” at West Point recently published a study for the Combating Terrorist Center which warns cadets about the dangers of the “violent far right,” such as Christians, pro-lifers, and advocates for limited government.
It is the extreme left (Occupy, Bill Ayers, ELF) that has been involved in bombings, riots, and other violent actions. Never ONCE has there been an arrest, destruction of property, or other violent action at a Tea Party. And yet WE are supposedly who they’re worried about?
Oregon Sen. Ginny Burdick, one of the top Democrats leading the charge on the massive anti-gun legislation HB 3200, originally scheduled a town hall to meet with her constituents and Portland State University on March 4th at 7 p.m. When citizens concerned about her bill found out, they passed out fliers encouraging anybody who cared about gun rights to attend and make their voices heard:
When Burdick found out that the townhall was going to attract more than her usual sycophant crowd, she promptly canceled the event, citing a “scheduling conflict.” Having spared herself the inconvenience of having to listen to constituent concerns over her gun-grabbing agenda, she thought the controversy was over. It was just beginning.
A citizen journalist decided to borrow a “60 Minutes” tactic and sit outside Burdick’s house with a camera to see if she actually had a “scheduling conflict,” or if she had lied about it to avoid her constituents. The result speaks for itself:
View on YouTube
The video clearly shows Burdick was home at the time she claimed she couldn’t make it to her own townhall due to a “scheduling conflict.” So naturally, the questions becomes, “conflict with what?” Her favorite show? Hasn’t she ever heard of DVR?
After seeing the video, blogger Jeff Reynolds contacted the Senator’s office to ask what the scheduling conflict had been, and was given the run-around. His blog post quickly got people talking about why Burdick had lied to her constituents and hidden out at home instead of meeting with them.
Realizing she had been caught lying, Burdick immediately fell back on an old Alinsky tactic of playing the victim, and the Zero was all too happy to try and spin the narrative that citizen journalists who try to hold their elected officials accountable are “mentally unstable or threatening“:
“It was clearly an attempt to intimidate me,” Burdick said Tuesday morning. “It’s a sad time when people feel they can intimidate people like that.”
[...] ”I think it’s a concern because these people are very angry and they’re carrying guns,” Burdick said. “It’s not a good combination.”
The clip showed the need for “reasonable gun laws so people who are mentally unstable or threatening” do not have access to guns, she said.
But in playing the victim card, Burdick inadvertently admitted that she HAD lied to her constituents about a “scheduling conflict,” and her real reason for canceling had been to avoid gun rights supporters:
Burdick said she canceled her town hall because she feared gun owners would storm the event and be rude and disruptive. That has happened before, she said, and she wanted to ensure it didn’t occur at the PSU town hall.
Got that? If you care about your 2nd Amendment rights and have the audacity to challenge your elected officials or catch them lying, the ruling class will try to smear you as unstable, threatening, rude and disruptive.
When her first excuse was questioned, Burdick changed her story again, claiming that she had canceled the event because of some threatening e-mails she’d received.
So which is it, Ginny? Scheduling conflict? Unwillingness to meet with your pro-gun rights constituents? Or fear for your life?
Why does your story keep changing? Why should anyone believe you now, when you’ve been caught on tape lying to your constituents?
And why does it take a citizen journalist to expose the facts? Is the media asleep at the wheel, or just in your back pocket?
Bonus: Republicans at PSU didn’t let the cancellation go to waste, organizing a pro-gun event in it’s place:
Meanwhile, back at Portland State University, where Burdick was originally scheduled to speak, the campus College Republicans student group was able to book the room on short notice and bring in Oregon Firearms Federation‘s Kevin Starrett, effectively turning what would have been a gun control town hall into a pro gun presentation.
Democrats are preparing for a major nationwide fight on the gun issue by purging the party’s moderates–including the very candidates it cultivated in 2006 and 2008 to win seats in conservative districts. Republicans are preparing for a major debate on immigration reform by purging the party’s conservatives, casting opponents of bipartisan legislative efforts as bigots who will doom the party to ongoing electoral failure.
It is true that both parties have shown little tolerance towards moderates lately. Democrats began the purges in 2004, when the left netroots commandeered the Democratic National Committee elections. In 2006, the anti-war movement succeeded in defeating Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary in Connecticut. In 2010, the Tea Party began defeating establishment, moderate Republicans in the GOP primaries before going on to wipe out the Blue Dog Democrats, finishing what the anti-war movement had already started. In effect, Capitol Hill today is divided not by two governing parties but two opposition movements, speaking past one another.
But the Democratic Party has managed to maintain a striking degree of party unity, even amidst grumbling and dissatisfaction with President Obama’s disappointing performance. It has done so primarily through Chicago-style carrot-and-stick patronage dished out by the White House, partly by demonizing Republicans, but also by defeating, silencing or otherwise co-opting the party’s moderates before going into big legislative battles.
[T]he pattern remains the same: the new, netroots-and-community-organizer Democratic leadership dispenses with party’s moderates, while the old Republican establishment tries to marginalize the grass roots conservatives who are largely responsible for the limited electoral successes the party has enjoyed in recent years.
The time for moderation is over. Obama and the Democrats are advancing the most extreme left-wing agenda in American history. From radical left-wing judges and cabinet appointments, to the most radical anti-liberty regulations and legislation ever imposed (Obamacare, HHS mandate, gun control, EPA…). They’ve helped radical Islamic jihadists in their conquest of the Middle East, and armed extremist drug cartels. They’re succeeding because they actually STAND for something – Socialism and the destruction of America as we know it – that their base firmly believes in.
Republicans can no longer afford to be “moderate.” It’s time to give Americans a REAL choice between liberty and tyranny. Block, defund, and filibuster the left-wing extremists at every turn. Run the most conservative, liberty-minded, fiscally responsible candidates, and advance a pro-liberty agenda: school choice, entitlement reform, REAL spending cuts and tax cuts, defunding Obamacare and agencies that impose extreme anti-business regulations, etc. It’s time to actually STAND for something. The time for moderation is over.
“We are Americans. The politicians are only as powerful as We The People allow them to be.”
View on YouTube
The NRA comes out with both guns blazing…so to speak. ;)
Liberal conspiracy theorists unite! Rolling Stone, Al Gore and others have already donned their tinfoil hats!
Hans Bader at Open Market calls it “Shades of McCarthyism“:
A government-funded study — paid for by the National Cancer Institute! — says (ridiculously) that Big Tobacco and Koch brothers created the Tea Party. The study is now being parroted by Al Gore. The study is based on strange reasoning, such as the fact that one group funded in small part by tobacco companies used the word “Tea Party” in passing in 2002, a group largely unrelated to the groups that later came into being and used it in 2009. (Because, obviously, no one had ever used the words “Tea Party” before the 21st century.) Never mind that much of America’s non-profits get money from tobacco companies, which fund countless causes, such as arts funding, domestic violence shelters, and non-profits across the political spectrum — the family behind Lorillard Tobacco is famously liberal and donates to liberal politicians. But Al Gore trumpets the study, relying on its taxpayer-funded status to buttress its credibility…
[...] As the Huffington Post notes, this “study” was “funded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institute of Health.” The federal government has become so politicized that it can even use money intended for cancer research to demonize the administration’s critics.
The study was funded by federal taxpayer grants through the National Institutes of Health and its subsidiary the National Cancer Institute, both federal agencies. It’s difficult to tell how much grant money specifically went toward this study, but federal records show researchers at the university have received $7 million since 2007 to study tobacco issues.
Of course the Tea Party principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility and free enterprise must be a “tobacco issue,” right? That’s why they can redirect money that was intended for cancer research into opposition research and spinning conspiracy theories (who needs cancer cures when the REAL threat is those “right wing extremists”?).
The theory was developed because a study funded by the National Cancer Institute found that the Tobacco industry and Koch brothers advocated and organized for limited government, and even used the term Tea Party. Because, as we all know, before the Tobacco industry and Koch brothers advocated for limited government and used the term Tea Party, no one had ever done that in the entire history of the United States.
It is so stupid, and such an abuse of taxpayer funding, that one would have hoped it would die in the laboratory, but it was just the sort of crackpot theory to which the left-blogosphere inevitably would be drawn. And it has.