Thursday, January 29, 2009

All is Forgiven

From today's Detroit Free Press:

"The Michigan Parole Board gave Susan LeFevre her other life back on Wednesday, agreeing to set the 54-year-old California mom and longtime fugitive free on May 19. LeFevre, a Saginaw native who lived in San Diego for 32 years as Marie Walsh before her arrest last spring, will be released barring major misbehavior in prison in the meantime, said Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan. Her case gained national attention after LeFevre, a mother of three, was arrested at home last year by police acting on a tip. LeFevre had served about a year of her 10- to 20-year sentence for selling heroin to an undercover police officer (Mike Robinson, who later became director of the Michigan State Police) when she escaped the old Detroit House of Corrections in 1976."

Just so we're clear: she sold heroin to an undercover officer; was caught, tried, convicted, and sentenced to 10-20 years in prison; and escaped in 1976. She was caught (again) 32 years later, and is told, essentially, "You've been good since you escaped, so you can go." Her co-conspirator, who received the same sentence initially, spent 3 years and 4 months in prison and did not escape. LeFevre will spend a little over a year of her sentence in prison.

Where are the charges for escaping the jail in the first place? Escape from a jail or prison is a felony in Michigan, which should have brought another 2-5 years. Here? Nothing.

What's the message? Go ahead, escape, but then live a good life and when you're caught again, we'll give you a little nudge and send you on your way, you rascal!

Nice message for the correction officers who have to guard our prisoners -- "We've just given prisoners a powerful new incentive to escape, so good luck!"

Many people chalked LeFevre's crime up to "youthful indiscretion," but the Freep points out the weakness in that position:

"[Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan] said LeFevre has had nearly a dozen misconduct citations [since being returned to prison], most for disregarding orders. Law enforcement officials were skeptical about her claim that her offense was a petty, youthful indiscretion. At the time of her arrest, police estimated LeFevre was making $2,000 a week selling drugs."

Wonderful. Another proud day here in the Enchanted Mitten.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Appeasement Years, Day 9

In 1904, 64-year-old Ion Perdicaris and his stepson were taken hostage in Morocco by a scruffy band of rifle-toting Berber tribesmen on horseback, led by flamboyant, black-bearded Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli. Raisuli wanted to extort a heavy ransom from the Sultan of Morocco. There was one problem -- Perdicaris was an American.

President Theodore Roosevelt was enraged, and he sent seven American battleships from the Atlantic fleet to the coast of Morocco. Roosevelt then delivered the famous ultimatum, "Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead!"

Cut to present day. Islamic terrorists just over seven years ago killed 3,000 Americans. Since then, they have killed many more and vowed the destruction of the U.S. and Israel. Our new president's response? He gave the first formal interview of his presidency on Arab television, and he apologized!

Time magazine also reports this proud moment:

"Whether it was chemistry with the journalist or Obama's scripted intention, [Hisham Melhem, the Washington Bureau Chief for al-Arabiya] came away with an interview that amounted to an unprecedented reach-out to the Muslim world by an American president. Unprompted, Obama spoke about his own Islamic connections, noting that some of his family members are Muslims and that he had lived in the largest Muslim country, Indonesia. "My job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect," Obama said."

His own Islamic connections. Some of his family members are Muslims. He lived in the largest Muslim country, Indonesia. These facts were not exactly centerpieces of his campaign, during which he repeatedly denied his Muslim roots and maintained he was a Christian through and through. Now, talking on Arab TV, Obama celebrates his Muslim heritage. Just before he apologized:

"My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task."

What exactly does that mean -- "America was not born as a colonial power"? Is he suggesting that America has become or sought to become a colonial power? Exactly what "respect and partnership . . . with the Muslim world" is he referring to? With Iran? 30 years ago another Democrat abandoned one of our allies in Iran and Americans were taken hostage and held for more than a year, until Ronald Reagan was elected. Does Obama remember the terrorist attacks that occurred in Lebanon? In Scotland? Does he recall the salad days when Libya was a terrorist nation? What is he talking about?

There is no doubt how his interview was received. Again, according to Time:

"Melhem, long a vocal critic of U.S. Middle East policy, says that he was touched by Obama's conciliatory tone and references to his Muslim roots."

I am sick and tired of liberals apologizing for America. Are we perfect? No, certainly not, but we are closer than any other nation on earth, and the world needs us far more than we need them. What is this overpowering need to be liked? Let's be respected. We stand by our friends, and woe to our enemies.

An American president cannot go on foreign television and apologize for America. Now that he has, God help us.

Update: The Associated Press is now reporting that one world leader is rushing through the door Obama has opened:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Wednesday [Jan. 28] for "profound changes" in US foreign policy - including an end to support for Israel and an apology to the Islamic republic for past misdeeds. * * * "Change means giving up support for the rootless, uncivilized, fabricated, murdering ... Zionists and letting the Palestinian nation decide its own destiny," Ahmadinejad said. "Change means putting an end to US military presence in (different parts of) the world."

Here we go.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why I'm Blogging Again

I started this blog in 2007, fully intending to write daily. Didn't happen. So why start again now?

One word: socialism.

The advent of The One's presidency, his radical agenda, and the liberal hallelujah chorus occupying the Congress and the media are frightening. An unprecedented power grab is underway, with the federal government having seized or being poised to seize our banking, health care, energy, and manufacturing industries. We will all pay confiscatory taxes, and the answer to this failed nationalization of our economy will be -- wait for it -- more nationalization!

So, this blog is an outlet and an expression of my views and thoughts. It's also an opportunity for you to comment on my posts and to get a conversation going.

I have no illusions about the impact of this blog, but let me tell you a story. During the Reagan presidency, Joan Kroc, the widow of the McDonald's founder, used her fortune to finance various "peace" groups and to take out ads in newspapers, decrying the Reagan defense build-up and declaring it a threat to peace in the world. For years, I refused to eat at McDonald's because I wouldn't contribute my millionth of a cent to her nutty crusade. Didn't work; no impact at all. But, I was true to my principles.

So, I don't expect this blog to turn the tide of what used to be called "creeping socialism" (and now should be called "leaping socialism"). But I will observe and write nonetheless. Perhaps, in the words of Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart) in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," somebody will listen to me.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Assault on Life

What do Democrats have against human life?

It's not enough they want to ruin our existing lives by destroying our industries and our way of life in the name of global warming (I refuse to use the meaningless term "climate change"). The last week provides further evidence of their desire to prevent potential life.

First, Obama signed an executive order rescinding the "Mexico City Policy," under which funds in the U.S. "population assistance" program go only to overseas organizations that pledge not to "perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning." Second, he is expected to lift the limits imposed by President Bush on stem cell research, which will create a demand for "donor" fetuses. And, just as incredibly, he is pushing a "stimulus" package that includes hundreds of millions of dollars for contraceptives!

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had this to say when asked how funding for contraceptives could be considered stimulus:

"Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government."

Anti-life is not a new position for Obama. While in the Illinois legislature, on those rare occasions when he could be roused to cast an actual vote, he voted multiple times against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act bills to provide medical care for newborns who survive failed abortions.

So, we now have a program of encouraging abortions internationally, incentivizing abortion domestically to increase the number of donor fetuses, and using contraception as a budget alternative.

What did you expect from a president who considers children to be punishment?

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Appeasement Years, Day 4; and An Interesting Video

It's day 4 of the Appeasement years, and we're already closing Gitmo and any CIA prisons abroad. If you are asking what we received in return for these decisions, you don't understand the nature of appeasement. According to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, "appease" is defined as: "to yield or concede to the belligerent demands of (a nation, group, person, etc.) in a conciliatory effort, sometimes at the expense of justice or other principles."

Don't expect anything good, now that we have displayed such weakness.

My friend Sean sent me the following link to an interesting video:
It won't persuade anyone who favors abortion, but it should.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Our Second Black President

Let's put to rest the notion that Obama is our first black president. And no, I'm not talking about Bill Clinton. Condoleeza Rice was our first black (and female) president. Here's how:

The 20th Amendment provides:
Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

But, Article II, section 1 provides:
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--''I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

So, until Obama took the oath, he wasn't president. Biden took his oath at around 12:01 or 12:02, and Obama at about 12:04 or 12:05.

So, if Bush and Cheney were out as of noon, who was president between noon and the oaths? Well, the Presidential Succession Act, 3 USC sec. 19, provides that the president would be the Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi), but only if the Speaker resigned from the House first. Ditto the next person on the list, the President Pro Tem of the Senate (Robert Byrd, currently). Since neither resigned in that minute or two, the next person on the list is Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice (for whom there is no resignation requirement, presumably because she is already in the Executive Branch).

So, Condi was our first black and first female president. Two more firsts for the Grand Old Party!

And let's toast the success of her presidency -- no attacks, no scandals, no problems. Thank you, Condi, for your marvelous stewardship of this great nation!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Off to a Flying Stop

Our newest president stated during his inaugural address yesterday:

"To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

Wow. I'll bet that put the fear of God into the little tin dictators who rule our enemies. They're soooo afraid of how their people will judge them! As if that statement is even true -- these radical terrorists are judged on what they destroy, and they believe they will be rewarded for destruction, especially of themselves.

To emphasize his toughness, The One was barely off the mall when he ordered that all of the Camp Gitmo terrorist trials be suspended. The AP reported:

"Eric Holder, the president's nominee for attorney general, has said the so-called military commissions lack sufficient legal protections for defendants and that they could be tried in the United States. * * * 'It's a great first step but it is only a first step,' said Gabor Rona, international director of Human Rights First. 'The suspension of military commissions so soon after President Obama took office is an indication of the sense of urgency he feels about reversing the destructive course that the previous administration was taking in fighting terrorism.'"

Ah, yes. Let us treat terrorists as though they were charged with jaywalking -- through the criminal justice system! How civilized! Perhaps the terrorists will reform after some rigorous probation or counseling!

Treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue is precisely the mistake Clinton made when dealing with Bin Laden (remember when Janet Reno vetoed a plan to grab Bin Laden when he was being expelled from Sudan?). Here we go again, and of course the left is celebrating it as a first step in "reversing the destructive course that the previous administration was taking in fighting terrorism." I assume she meant the "destructive course" that has liberated two nations and prevented another terrorist attack on the U.S.A. over the last 7 years.

Oh, there was a minor footnote buried in the AP article:

"Relatives of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, who were also at the base to observe the hearings, have said they oppose any further delay in the trials of the men charged in the case."

Those pesky relatives of victims, relatives of the Americans who were murdered on American soil by foreign terrorists. Although they are merely nuisances to be brushed aside by the new administration, we will never forget them and will never stop hoping, praying, and working for justice.

The One also uttered this doozy:

"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. "

What exactly does this mean? If we take him at his word, he will move to abolish the Departments of Education and Energy, which have produced neither education nor energy, and he will substantially remodel the Department of Health and Human Services which, with the possible exception of the NIH, has not produced much health, and its "human services" are the single biggest cause of the decline of the family, particularly in poor communities.

And since when is it government's responsibility to find jobs for people? Oh, maybe since yesterday. This more than anything betrays the new president's view of government -- it is the provider, the guarantor, of all things.

No thanks. I refuse to participate in the current recession, and I refuse to participate in any effort to make government the guarantor of my welfare. I will provide for myself and my family. I will contribute to private charities that assist those in need. I will give to my church. I will pay my taxes because it is the law and good citizens always follow the law, even as they work to change it.

I do not wish our President ill; I wish his policies ill. I hope they will not be enacted and, if enacted, I hope they fail. We are on the precipice of disaster, and we will go over the edge if he is able to accelerate the socialization of our government and our economy. God help us.