The Crisis of American Self-Government Harvey Mansfield, Harvard's 'pet dissenter,' on the 2012 election, the real cost of entitlements, and why he sees reason for hope. By SOHRAB AHMARI Cambridge, Mass. 'We have now an American political party and a European one. Not all Americans who vote for the European party want to become Europeans. But it doesn't matter because that's what they're voting for. They're voting for dependency, for lack of ambition, and for insolvency." Few have thought as hard, or as much, about how democracies can preserve individual liberty and national virtue as the eminent political scientist Harvey Mansfield. When it comes to assessing the state of the American experiment in self-government today, his diagnosis is grim, and he has never been one to mince words. Mr. Mansfield sat for an interview on Thursday at the Harvard Faculty Club. This year marks his 50th as a teacher at the university. It isn't easy being the most visible conservative intellectual at an institution that has drifted ever further to the left for a half-century. "I live in a one-party state and very much more so a one-party university," says the 80-year-old professor with a sigh. "It's disgusting. I get along very well because everybody thinks the fact that I'm here means the things I say about Harvard can't be true. I am a kind of pet—a pet dissenter." Partly his isolation on campus has to do with the nature of Mr. Mansfield's scholarship. At a time when his colleagues are obsessed with trendy quantitative methods and even trendier "identity studies," Mr. Mansfield holds steadfast to an older tradition that looks to the Western canon as the best guide to human affairs.
Submitted by snake-plisskin on Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:49.
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was retired from active service on Saturday, temporarily reducing the number of carriers in the U.S. fleet to 10 until 2015.
The USS Enterprise ended its notable 51-year career during a ceremony at its home port at Naval Station Norfolk, where thousands of former crew members, ship builders and their families lined a pier to bid farewell to one of the most decorated ships in the Navy.
"It'll be a special memory. The tour yesterday was a highlight of the last 20 years of my life. I've missed the Enterprise since every day I walked off of it," said Kirk McDonnell, a former interior communications electrician aboard the ship from 1983 to 1987 who now lives in Highmore, S.D.
The Enterprise was the largest ship in the world at the time it was built, earning the nickname "Big E." It didn't have to carry conventional fuel tanks for propulsion, allowing it to carry twice as much aircraft fuel and ordnance than conventional carriers at the time. Using nuclear reactors also allowed the ship to set speed records and stay out to sea during a deployment without ever having to refuel, one of the times ships are most vulnerable to attack.
"Nuclear propulsion changed everything," said Adm. John Richardson, director of Naval Reactors.
Submitted by snake-plisskin on Sat, 12/01/2012 - 12:34.
The first same-sex wedding ceremony will be held Saturday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point’s Cadet Chapel, USA Today reported.
Two women, Brenda Sue Fulton and Penelope Dara Gnesin, will exchange vows one year after the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy banning gays from serving openly in the military came to an end.
“We will be the first same-sex couple to wed at the Cadet Chapel at West Point,” Fulton told USA Today in an email Friday night. She is a veteran and the communications director of OutServe, an organization for LGBT military personnel.
The wedding will actually be the second gay marriage held at the New York academy — two of Fulton’s friends married in a small, private ceremony elsewhere on campus last weekend — but the first held at the Cadet Chapel.
Fulton graduated from West Point in 1980 and was named to the West Point Board of Visitors by President Barack Obama in 2011, making her the first openly gay member of the academy’s advisory board.
“West Point has been an important part of my life,” Fulton told USA Today of her decision to marry there, but said it was also because New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a gay marriage bill in her home state earlier this year.
Submitted by snake-plisskin on Fri, 11/30/2012 - 22:35.
According to a new study from 24/7 Wall Street, California is the worst run state in the nation … for the second year in a row. The best run state is North Dakota. What went into the calculation? 24/7 Wall Street explains:
To determine how well the states are run, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed hundreds of data sets from dozens of sources. We looked at each state’s debt, revenue, expenditure and deficit to determine how well it is managed fiscally. We reviewed taxes, exports, and GDP growth, including a breakdown by sector, to identify how each state is managing its resources. We looked at poverty, income, unemployment, high school graduation, violent crime and foreclosure rates to measure if residents are prospering.
So what made California so terrible? Its budget situation is disastrous; all the best states have fiscally responsible budgets. Its credit rating is problematic; all the best states have a sterling credit rating. California has the lowest Standard & Poor’s credit rating of any state, at A-. California has an undereducated population compared to the rest of the country, and a skyrocketing unemployment rate. Compare North Dakota to California:
Submitted by snake-plisskin on Fri, 11/30/2012 - 22:27.
On his Wednesday podcast, comedian Adam Carolla blamed Mexican immigrants for overwhelming and destroying California’s troubled public-education system.
“Schools are fucking ruined, and schools are ruined — not because they’re out of money, but because we’re flooded with Mexicans, and they’re not into studying,” Carolla said. “They don’t come from that culture, and we’re not asking them to change. That’s the thing. We have a culture that is not focused on the schoolwork. It’s a different culture. It’s, by the way, why their culture is failing, and their country, ironically — it’s why they’re here. They’re here because they ain’t into studying. And somebody needs to tell them to get into studying.”
Carolla, who is also a Fox News contributor, said the solution to the problem is not more state funding for education, but a fundamental cultural shift that begins at home.
“The family has to get into studying,” Carolla continued. “The families have to be — the family is all you’re ever going to use, or all you’re ever going to need, when it comes to this topic. There’s just not enough money for the school system. There’s not enough principals. … You’ve heard this speech a million times. Families need to take cultures. Basically what we need to is go, ‘Look, here’s our culture. Our culture values family, studying and hard work and education.’ That’s our culture. Now you’re presumably coming from a country that does not focus on that as much in your culture.”
Submitted by snake-plisskin on Fri, 11/30/2012 - 22:15.
SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — The city attorney of San Bernardino is under scrutiny for telling residents to “lock their doors and load their guns” during a city council meeting.
The official explained that because the city is bankrupt and slashing public safety budgets people will need to start protecting themselves.
City Attorney Jim Penman said he doesn’t regret what he said.
“You should say what you mean and mean what you say,” Penman said.
The city attorney said approximately 150 residents came to a council meeting to voice their concerns about recent crimes in the area, including the murder of an elderly woman last week.
“You could tell the swell of frustration was coming over a lot of folks. They did not feel like they could get an officer out as quickly to some of the quality-of-life issues that they were dealing with as they would have preferred,” said councilwoman Wendy McCommack, who organized the meeting and was present that night.
“Well, if I remember right, I told them to ‘lock their doors and load their guns,’” Penman said.
Penman said the city is dealing with bankruptcy, which has forced officials to cut its police force by about 80 officers. Consequently, there’s been growing criticism about the police department’s response time.
“Let’s be honest, we don’t have enough police officers. We have too many criminals living in this city. We have had 45 murders this year…that’s far too high for a city of this size,” Penman said.
Two Indicted for Online Distribution of Puppy-Snuff Videos
A Houston man and woman are being indicted for allegedly distributing snuff films online in which puppies and other animals were tortured and killed, federal officials said.
Federal authorities say the pair made eight videos — bearing titles like puppy 1, whitechick and crushblackluvsample — that depicted puppies, chickens, kittens and other animals being tortured and killed.
The indictment (.pdf) on Wednesday of Brent Justice, 51, and Ashely Richards, 22, comes three months after they faced similar state allegations in Texas for producing and distributing the graphic movies, referred to as “crush” videos. The two remain in a Houston jail on the state charges and are set to appear in a Texas federal court next month to answer to the new charges.
UK Doctor’s Horrifying Admission Reveals How Sick & Disabled Babies Are Put on ‘Death Pathways’, Deprived of Food & Fluid for 10 Days
Sick children and even disabled newborn babies, are reportedly being discharged from NHS hospitals in England only to die slowly at home or in hospices in an unfathomable manner. The innocent children are being put on controversial “death pathways,” once only thought to have involved elderly and terminally ill adult patients.
The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), an organization that facilitates end-of-life treatment, is behind the inhumane program. The Daily Mail has learned the process of “withdrawing food and fluid by tube is being used on young patients as well as severely disabled newborn babies.” In other words, patients — young and old — are slowly starved and dehydrated to death.
Hypocrisy is rife in American politics, particularly on the Left.
We are by now used to the likes of Oliver Stone and Sean Penn — who themselves live, quite literally, like Medici princes — spewing endless neo-Marxist drivel like sophomores at a four a.m. reefer klatsch. (Most recently, Stone has unleashed upon the public the eponymous Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States, a work best described as “Stalin porn.”)
Perhaps more significantly we are used to the giant leftist hypocrisy of supporting supposedly exploited Third World nations that themselves espouse and seek globally to expand virtually everything leftists claim to abhor (misogyny, homophobia, theocracy, etc.). Go figure.
But the Right is guilty of its own kind of hypocrisy. It’s interesting how some of those who most vociferously object to government interference in our economic affairs are most desirous of government interference in our personal ones.
I’m referring of course to social conservatives, who want to legislate our morals and values according to their views.
Submitted by snake-plisskin on Wed, 11/28/2012 - 21:23.
November 28, 2012
One bright spot of Barack Obama's re-election was knowing that unemployment rates were about to soar for the precise groups that voted for him -- young people, unskilled workers and single women with degrees in gender studies. But now the Democrats are sullying my silver lining by forcing Republicans to block an utterly pointless tax-raising scheme in order to blame the coming economic Armageddon on them.
Democrats are proposing to reinstate the Bush tax cuts for everyone ... except "the rich." (Why do only tax cuts come with an expiration date? Why not tax increases? Why not Obamacare? How about New York City's "temporary" rent control measures intended for veterans returning from World War II?)
Raising taxes only on the top 2 percent of income earners will do nothing to reduce the deficit. There's not enough money there -- even assuming, contrary to all known history, that the top 2 percent won't find ways to reduce their taxable income or that the imaginary increased government revenue would be applied to deficit reduction, anyway.
Apart from Obamacare, it's difficult to think of a more effective method of destroying jobs than raising taxes on "the rich." This isn't a wealth tax on useless gigolos like John Kerry -- it's an income tax on people who are currently engaged in some profitable enterprise. Their business profits, which could have been used to hire more employees, will instead be used to pay the government.
Submitted by snake-plisskin on Wed, 11/28/2012 - 18:48.
CAIRO — An Egyptian court convicted in absentia Wednesday seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor, sentencing them to death on charges linked to an anti-Islam film that had sparked riots in parts of the Muslim world.
The case was seen as largely symbolic because the defendants, most of whom live in the United States, are all outside Egypt and are thus unlikely to ever face the sentence. The charges were brought in September during a wave of public outrage in Egypt over the amateur film, which was produced by an Egyptian-American Copt.
The low-budget "Innocence of Muslims," parts of which were made available online, portrays the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, womanizer and buffoon.
Egypt's official news agency said the court found the defendants guilty of harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam and spreading false information – charges that carry the death sentence.
Maximum sentences are common in cases tried in absentia in Egypt. Capital punishment decisions are reviewed by the country's chief religious authority, who must approve or reject the sentence. A final verdict is scheduled on Jan. 29.
The man behind the film, Mark Basseley Youssef, was among those convicted. He was sentenced in a California court earlier this month to one year in federal prison for probation violations in an unrelated matter. Youssef, 55, admitted that he had used several false names in violation of his probation order and obtained a driver's license under a false name. He was on probation for a bank fraud case.
Multiple calls to Youssef's attorney in Southern California, Steve Seiden, were not returned Wednesday.
Submitted by snake-plisskin on Wed, 11/28/2012 - 18:36.
Russian newspaper Pravda is blaming President Obama’s re-election on an “illiterate society” who voted for him.
Putin in 2009 outlined his strategy for economic success. Alas, poor Obama did the opposite but nevertheless was re-elected. Bye, bye Miss American Pie. The Communists have won in America with Obama but failed miserably in Russia with Zyuganov who only received 17% of the vote. Vladimir Putin was re-elected as President keeping the NWO order out of Russia while America continues to repeat the Soviet mistake.
After Obama was elected in his first term as president the then Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin gave a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January of 2009. Ignored by the West as usual, Putin gave insightful and helpful advice to help the world economy and saying the world should avoid the Soviet mistake.
Recently, Obama has been re-elected for a 2nd term by an illiterate society and he is ready to continue his lies of less taxes while he raises them. He gives speeches of peace and love in the world while he promotes wars as he did in Egypt, Libya and Syria. He plans his next war is with Iran as he fires or demotes his generals who get in the way.
Submitted by snake-plisskin on Tue, 11/27/2012 - 21:34.
CAIRO (AP) — More than 200,000 people thronged Cairo's central Tahrir Square, protesting against Egypt's Islamist president Tuesday in an opposition show of strength, as the standoff over Mohammed Morsi's assertion of near-absolute powers escalated into the biggest challenge yet to his and the Muslim Brotherhood's rule.
The massive, flag-waving, chanting crowd in the iconic plaza rivaled the size of some of the large protests of last year's uprising that drove autocrat Hosni Mubarak from office. The same chants used against Mubarak were now turned against Egypt's first freely elected leader.
"The people want to bring down the regime," and "erhal, erhal" — Arabic for "leave, leave," rang across the square.
Protests in Tahrir and several other cities Tuesday were sparked by edicts issued by Morsi last week that effectively neutralized the judiciary, the last branch of government he does not control. But it turned into a broader outpouring of anger against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, which opponents say have used election victories to monopolize power, squeeze out rivals, and dictate a new, Islamist constitution, while doing little to solve Egypt's mounting economic and security woes.
Clashes broke out in several cities as Morsi opponents tried to attack offices of the Brotherhood, setting fire to at least one. At least 100 people were injured when protesters and Brotherhood members protecting their office pelted each other with stones and firebombs in the Nile Delta city of Mahalla el-Kobra.
Submitted by snake-plisskin on Tue, 11/27/2012 - 21:27.
Overwhelming demand crashes FBI background check center
Paul Joseph Watson
November 27, 2012
Black Friday gun sales hit an all time record high last week with demand for new firearms so overwhelming that it caused outages at the FBI background check center on two separate occasions.
Fueled by fears that the Obama administration will go after gun rights during a lame duck term, the FBI reported 154,873 background check requests on Friday – a 20 per cent increase on last year’s record total of 129,166 checks.
The number of guns sold could actually be double or more that figure because only one background check is recorded per sale even if buyers purchase multiple firearms.
“With the recent election, some people are making buying decisions just in case something (new law) happens,” Don Gallardo, manager of Shooter’s World in Phoenix, told USA Today.
Gun stores noted that first time gun owners and women represented a significant number of those purchasing firearms on Black Friday.
Gun sales were so brisk that the FBI’s Instant Background Check center was overwhelmed with the volume of requests and crashed on two separate occasions. Some even saw the outages as an insidious way of providing “anti-gunners a clue about how to suspend the Second Amendment.”
(Oct. 1, 2012) — As I noted in the introduction to my book, The Obama Timeline, a jury at a murder trial will often find the accumulated circumstantial evidence so overwhelming that a guilty verdict is obvious—even though there may be no witness to the crime. "The jurors in the Scott Peterson trial believed the collection of evidence more than they believed Scott Peterson. Among other things, the jury thought that being arrested with $15,000 in cash, recently-dyed hair, a newly-grown goatee, four cell phones, camping equipment, a map to a new girlfriend's house, a gun, and his brother's driver's license certainly did not paint a picture of a grieving husband who had nothing to do with his pregnant wife's disappearance and murder."
In the four years I have been gathering information about—and evidence against—Barack Hussein Obama, I have encountered hundreds of coincidences that strike me as amazing. None of those coincidences, by themselves, may mean much. But taken as a whole it is almost impossible to believe they were all the result of chance. Consider the Obama-related coincidences:
Submitted by snake-plisskin on Wed, 11/21/2012 - 15:39.
Charlie Brown’s Christmas is on the outs at an elementary school in Little Rock, Ark. — at least among atheists who are calling foul over a planned student trip to see a stage production of the beloved Peanuts story.
The trouble began when students at Terry Elementary School brought home letters detailing the trip to see “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at a local church, according to a report from Arkansas’ KARK. A parent who had a problem with the play’s content notified the local atheist group of the field trip.
“We’re not saying anything bad about Charlie Brown,” Anne Orsi, vice president of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers, told KARK. “The problem is that it’s got religious content and it’s being performed in a religious venue and that doesn’t just blur the line between church and state, it oversteps it entirely.”
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” is about the title character’s struggle to overcome the holiday’s commercialism and embrace the true meaning of Christmas. The holiday classic culminates with the character Linus quoting from the second chapter of Luke.
While students can opt out, the parent whistle blower who preferred to remain unnamed told KARK that she is letting her child go because she does not want her child to be bullied.
In 2001 WTO declared 19th November World Toilet Day (WTD). Today it is celebrated in over 19 countries with over 51 events being hosted by various water and sanitation advocates.
World Toilet Organization created WTD to raise global awareness of the struggle 2.6 billion face every day without access to proper, clean sanitation.WTD also brings to the forefront the health, emotional and psychological consequences the poor endure as a result of inadequate sanitation.
WTD's popularity is gaining momentum, and in 2010 there were 51 events spanning 19 countries. Our "Big Squat" campaign generated 24 "Big Squats" globally and in Singapore over 600 squatters joined the cause in six locations island-wide. WTO would love to see our day become "The" event that represents the sanitation crisis globally, and we strongly encourage our members, volunteers, the community, media and partners to get behind our cause and support our day.