Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Payback For Biting the Hand That Feeds You

Michelle Malkin has posted an analysis by one of her readers, MINER51. He took the time to break down the House members who voted Aye for the Cap and Trade bill by coal producing state, and he put it in a spreadsheet. I took the time to list from largest to smallest the coal producing states who had House members voting Aye on this bill.

16 Top coal producing states with House members voting Aye on Cap & Trade bill








New Mexico









62 Top targets from these top coal producing states

John Yarmuth

Ben Chandler

Allyson Schwartz

Michael Doyle

Paul Kanjorski

Patrick Murphy

John Murtha

Henry Cuellar

Lloyd Doggett

Charles Gonzales

Al Green

Gene Green

Ruben Hinojosa

Sheila Jackson-Lee

Eddie Bernice Johnson

Silvestre Reyes

Diana DeGette

Betsy Markey

Ed Perlmutter

Jared Polis

Baron Hill

Andre Carson

Melissa Bean

Debbie Halvorson

Phil Hare

Mark Kirk

Daniel Lipinski

Janice Schakowsky

Rick Boucher

Gerald Connolly

Jim Moran

Tom Perriello

Bobby Scott

Martin Heinrich

Ray Lujan

Harry Teague

John Boccieri

Steve Driehaus

Marcia Fudge

Marcy Kaptur

Mary Jo Kilroy

Tim Ryan

Zack Space

Betty Sutton

Gabrielle Giffords

Raul Grijalva

Ed Pastor

Bennie Thompson

Steve Cohen

Jim Cooper

Bart Gordon

Donna Edwards

Steny Hoyer

Frank Kratovil

Dutch Ruppersberger

Chris Van Hollen

Dennis Moore

Russ Carnahan

Lacy Clay

Emanuel Cleaver

Ike Skelton

Vic Snyder

Now on moral grounds alone I can understand the argument all 211 Ds and 8 Rs that voted Aye for this bill should be defeated, but I am not making a moral argument. I am talking about House members whose votes take money out of their constituents' pocketbooks by destroying the coal industry in their State that provides jobs and income. This kind of vote is like biting the hand that feeds you. I hope that payback is in order.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Lessons We Can Lean From a Honduran Blogger

I ran across a blog by a Honduran that is titled What We Hondurans Want. I encourage you to read the entire article, and Digg it if you deem it worthy. While it is very helpful in getting an understanding about life in Honduras, I believe there are lessons from this article for also understanding life in the USA.

Mr. Zelaya was elected because he opposed death penalty, and he promised to continue his party's work on improving the situation on our country's education, health and social situation, while promoting democracy and swearing to protect our Constitution. He also promoted a so called "Citizen's power", which was supposed to be a channel for the people to express their thoughts to the government.

Apparently the promises and oath he took to protect the Constitution, much like promises Obama made, had an expiration date.

The blogger lists four crimes committed by Mr. Zelaya against the Republic of Honduras.

Crime #1:

Zelaya starts also to take a populist stance, first approving a huge increase in government workers' wage, then approving a general increase to the minimum wage to levels where small and medium business were not able to cope with. He uses his "Citizen's power" initiative to promise the poor areas of Honduras a thousand and one benefits with the integration to the ALBA. This all seems good, but in the background, he is asphyxiating our country's air-thin budget with these initiatives, and forgoing such responsibilities such as the fight of crime, drug trafficking, diseases, the World's economical crisis, and many other social matters. With this strategy, Zelaya "purchased" the support of some in-country blocks, such as peasant and indigenous organizations.

Am I the only one seeing a similar strategy being employed by the O?

Crime #2

His purpose was of gathering support for his new project: to dispose of the current Constitution, over which he was sworn in, and create a new one, similar to ones crafted by Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, with which he would be allowed to be re-elected.

Crime #3

In trying to create a legal and "democratic" facade for his project, Zelaya used one of the statutes of his "Citizen's power" initiative, which is the "Law of Citizens' participation", in which the people can put request to the government to conduct surveys about the peoples opinion. The problem is that no one to be asked about their will to change the constitution. This was fabricated by Zelaya, by threatening public employees to fire them, if they do not bring in a quota of "voluntarily" signed requested for this inquiry. So public employees, trying to safeguard their jobs, started forcing people to sign this if they wanted to be treated at hospitals, sold needed medicines, and even have a phone line repaired.

Does the phrase “conduct surveys about the peoples’ opinions” bother only me?

Crime #4

After gathering a certain number of "requests", he started moving for the installation of a popular inquiry, in which he would ask if the people wanted a new constitution, and which was going to take place today. The issue here is that this "popular inquiry" was not sanctioned by any independent and legal body, such as the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, and, furthermore, was declared illegal by the Supreme Court of Justice, on the grounds that our Constitution forbids anyone on changing the basic, or petrous, articles of it, which state the form of government and the impossibility of re-election.


I do believe some things were done incorrectly, such as the extraction of the president to Costa Rica. He should have been placed under arrest here at Honduras, for him to face proper trail and sentencing for his crimes. But I believe he was taken out of the country due to imminent threat of Hugo Chavez. Chavez has vowed to reinstate Zelaya, "no matter what it takes".

I finalize this long report, by stating that I voted for Zelaya on November 2005, and after talking to several of friends and family that voted for him, we agree that we profoundly regret that, and feel we have been betrayed us. This is also shown in numerous polls taken along the last two years.

The answer to the title of his blog

We ask the international community to take a closer look of our situation, and not allow other states such as Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Ecuador, to interfere with what we have chosen. We, the people of Honduras, have chosen: that is Democracy.

We The People of the United States of America should not allow other countries to provide an example of a policy for the US to adopt. Are there lessons here that we can learn from a Honduran blogger?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

We Need Another Guardian President

So often it seems like there is a sickness in politics that spreads a belief the Federal Government is a delightful sugar daddy able to provide for our every want and need. This is especially true of the Democratic Party, but is also evident to a degree in the Republican Party. As much as I admire Ronald Reagan, even he was unable to stunt the growth of power and scope of the Federal Government bureaucracies. He makes up for this failure big time for me by his success in crushing the Soviet Union. Actually the Soviet Union is easy compared to halting the growth of government.

It's a shame that instead of looking back only to the era of FDR that folks don't look back to when Grover Cleveland took office.

Stephen Grover Cleveland fell into politics without really trying. In 1881, local businessmen asked Cleveland, then a young lawyer, to run for mayor of Buffalo, New York. He agreed and won the Democratic nomination and the election. As mayor, Cleveland exposed city corruption and earned such a reputation for honesty and hard work that he won the New York gubernatorial race in 1882. Governor Cleveland used his power to take on the Tammany Hall, the political machine based in New York City, even though it had supported him in the election. Within a year, the Democrats were looking to Cleveland as an important new face and pragmatic reformer who might win the presidency in 1884.

In the election of 1884, Cleveland appealed to middle-class voters of both parties as someone who would fight political corruption and big-money interests. Many people saw Cleveland's Republican opponent, James G. Blaine, as a puppet of Wall Street and the powerful railroads. The morally upright Mugwumps, a Republican group of reform-minded businessmen and professionals, hated Blaine and embraced Cleveland's efforts at battling corruption. Cleveland also had the popularity to carry New York, a state crucial to victory.

But Cleveland had a sex-scandal to live down: he was accused of fathering a son out of wedlock -- a charge that he admitted might be true -- owing to his affair with Maria Halpin in 1874. By honestly confronting the charges, Cleveland retained the loyalty of his supporters, winning the election by the narrowest of margins. After Cleveland's election as President, Democratic newspapers added a line to the sound-bite used against Cleveland and made it:
Ma, Ma, where's my Pa? Gone to the White House! Ha Ha Ha!

Cleveland's administration might be characterized by a quote from his inauguration address:
I have only one thing to do, and that is to do right
. Cleveland himself insisted that, as President, his greatest accomplishment was blocking others' bad ideas. He vigorously pursued a policy barring special favors to any economic group. Vetoing a bill to appropriate $10,000 to distribute seed grain among drought-stricken farmers in Texas, he wrote:
Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character....

In December 1887, he called on Congress to reduce high protective tariffs. Told that he had given Republicans an effective issue for the campaign of 1888, he retorted,
What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something?
He often opposed the Republican-controlled Senate.

Cleveland won the election of 1892 in part by blaming Harrison for the downturn in the economy. By February 1893, the economy was in a depression. Seventy-four railroads and six hundred banks failed that year. Meanwhile, thousands of Midwestern workers known as "Coxey's Army" tramped toward Washington to demand government action to relieve the economic hardships of war veterans and the unemployed, which Cleveland declined to give. He vetoed hundreds of private pension bills to American Civil War veterans whose claims were fraudulent. When Congress, pressured by the Grand Army of the Republic, passed a bill granting pensions for disabilities not caused by military service, Cleveland vetoed that, too. Cleveland used the veto far more often than any President up to that time. As the price of silver dropped, there was a rush to redeem the declining silver certificates for gold, touching off a run on the U.S. treasury. He dealt directly with the Treasury crisis rather than with business failures, farm mortgage foreclosures, and unemployment. He obtained repeal of the mildly inflationary Sherman Silver Purchase Act. With the aid of J. P. Morgan and Wall Street he maintained the Treasury's gold reserve. Critics accused him of being unfeeling and heartless, but Cleveland believed that the nation's finances had to be maintained in sound condition.

He was an adamant opponent of strikes that interfered with interstate commerce and the operation of the government, as shown in his disapproval of the Pullman Strike. When railroad strikers in Chicago, Illinois violated a court injunction, Cleveland sent Federal troops to enforce it, since interstate commerce was involved, including mail delivery under the auspices of the federal government.
If it takes the entire army and navy of the United States to deliver a postcard in Chicago, that card will be delivered.

Cleveland did not see himself as an activist President with his own agenda to pursue, but as a guardian or watchdog of Congress. While several important pieces of legislation became law during his terms -- most notably bills controlling the railroads and distributing land to Native Americans -- he did not initiate any of it.

Cleveland will be remembered for protecting the power and autonomy of the executive branch. His record-breaking use of the presidential veto earned him the deserved moniker of the "guardian President" and helped balance the power of executive and legislative branches. But he did not think that the President should propose legislation and he disliked using legislative solutions to address America's growing social and economic difficulties.

America's social and economic accomplishments occurred with no meddling by Cleveland's executive branch or by Congress. These accomplishments include Basketball, braille typewriter, Coca-Cola, cotton candy, Eastman Kodak Co., the escalator, the fountain pen, the zipper, the revolving door, X-Rays, and the gasoline-powered tractor. I do not think that this is too shabby of a list of accomplishments that occurred with no government assistance or interference whatsoever.

We need another guardian President who dislikes legislative solutions to America's cultural and business endeavors.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Final Vote on HR2454

2008 Presidential Election result

blue = R win red = D win

Final Vote on HR2454 219-212 3 not voting 1 vacancy

Representative Offices

Alabama all Nay

* Aderholt, Robert, Alabama, 4th
* Bachus, Spencer, Alabama, 6th
* Bonner, Jo, Alabama, 1st
* Bright, Bobby, Alabama, 2nd
* Davis, Artur, Alabama, 7th
* Griffith, Parker, Alabama, 5th
* Rogers, Mike, Alabama, 3rd

Alaska all Nay

* Young, Don, Alaska, At-Large

Arkansas 1 Aye 3 Nay

* Berry, Marion, Arkansas, 1st
* Boozman, John, Arkansas, 3rd
* Ross, Mike, Arkansas, 4th
* Snyder, Vic, Arkansas 2nd voted Aye

Arizona 3 Aye 4 Nay

* Flake, Jeff, Arizona, 6th
* Franks, Trent, Arizona, 2nd
* Giffords, Gabrielle, Arizona, 8th voted Aye
* Grijalva, Raul, Arizona, 7th voted Aye
* Kirkpatrick, Ann, Arizona, 1st
* Mitchell, Harry E., Arizona, 5th
* Pastor, Ed, Arizona, 4th voted Aye
* Shadegg, John, Arizona, 3rd

California 32 Aye 20 Nay

* Baca, Joe, California, 43rd voted Aye
* Becerra, Xavier, California, 31st voted Aye
* Berman, Howard, California, 28th voted Aye
* Bilbray, Brian P., California, 50th
* Bono, Mary, California, 45th voted Aye
* Calvert, Ken, California, 44th
* Campbell, John, California, 48th
* Capps, Lois, California, 23rd voted Aye
* Cardoza, Dennis, California, 18th voted Aye
* Costa, Jim, California, 20th
* Davis, Susan, California, 53rd voted Aye
* Dreier, David, California, 26th
* Eshoo, Anna G., California, 14th voted Aye
* Farr, Sam, California, 17th voted Aye
* Filner, Bob, California, 51st voted Aye
* Gallegly, Elton, California, 24th
* Harman, Jane, California, 36th voted Aye
* Herger, Wally, California, 2nd
* Honda, Mike, California, 15th voted Aye
* Hunter, Duncan D., California, 52nd
* Issa,Darrell, California, 49th
* Lee, Barbara, California, 9th voted Aye
* Lewis, Jerry, California, 41st
* Lofgren, Zoe, California, 16th voted Aye
* Lungren, Daniel E., California, 3rd
* McKeon, Buck, California, 25th
* Matsui, Doris O., California, 5th voted Aye
* McCarthy, Kevin, California, 22nd
* McClintock, Tom, California, 4th
* McNerney, Jerry, California, 11th voted Aye
* Miller, Gary, California, 42nd
* Miller, George, California, 7th voted Aye
* Napolitano, Grace, California, 38th voted Aye
* Nunes, Devin, California, 21st
* Pelosi, Nancy, California, 8th voted Aye
* Radanovich, George P., California, 19th
* Richardson, Laura, California, 37th voted Aye
* Rohrabacher, Dana, California, 46th
* Roybal-Allard, Lucille, California, 34th voted Aye
* Royce, Ed, California, 40th
* Sanchez, Linda, California, 39th voted Aye
* Sanchez, Loretta, California, 47th voted Aye
* Schiff, Adam, California, 29th voted Aye
* Sherman, Brad, California, 27th voted Aye
* Solis, Hilda, California, 32nd - Vacancy
* Speier, Jackie, California, 12th voted Aye
* Stark, Fortney Pete, California, 13th
* Tauscher, Ellen, California, 10th voted Aye
* Thompson, Mike, California, 1st voted Aye
* Waters, Maxine, California, 35th voted Aye
* Watson, Diane E., California, 33rd voted Aye
* Waxman, Henry, California, 30th voted Aye
* Woolsey, Lynn, California, 6th voted Aye

Colorado 4 Aye 3 Nay

* DeGette, Diana, Colorado, 1st voted Aye
* Lamborn, Doug, Colorado, 5th
* Markey, Betsy, Colorado, 4th voted Aye
* Perlmutter, Ed, Colorado, 7th voted Aye
* Polis, Jared, Colorado, 2nd voted Aye
* Salazar, John T., Colorado, 3rd
* Coffman, Mike, Colorado, 6th

Connecticut all Aye

* Courtney, Joe, Connecticut, 2nd voted Aye
* DeLauro, Rosa L., Connecticut, 3rd voted Aye
* Larson, John B., Connecticut, 1st voted Aye
* Murphy, Christopher S., Connecticut, 5th voted Aye
* Himes, Jim, Connecticut, 4th voted Aye

Delaware all Aye

* Castle, Michael N., Delaware, At-Large

Florida 9 Aye 15 Nay

* Bilirakis, Gus M., Florida, 9th
* Boyd, Allen, Florida, 2nd voted Aye
* Brown, Corrine, Florida, 3rd voted Aye
* Brown-Waite, Virginia, Florida, 5th
* Buchanan, Vern, Florida, 13th
* Crenshaw, Ander, Florida, 4th
* Castor, Kathy, Florida, 11th voted Aye
* Diaz-Balart, Lincoln, Florida, 21st
* Diaz-Balart, Mario, Florida, 25th
* Hastings, Alcee L., Florida, 23rd
* Grayson, Alan, Florida, 8th voted Aye
* Klein, Ron , Florida, 22nd voted Aye
* Kosmas, Suzanne M., Florida, 24th voted Aye
* Mack, Connie, Florida, 14th
* Meek, Kendrick, Florida, 17th voted Aye
* Mica, John, Florida, 7th
* Miller, Jeff, Florida, 1st
* Posey, Bill, Florida, 15th
* Putnam, Adam, Florida, 12th
* Rooney, Tom, Florida, 16th
* Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana, Florida, 18th
* Stearns, Cliff, Florida, 6th
* Wasserman Schultz, Debbie, Florida, 20th voted Aye
* Wexler, Robert, Florida, 19th voted Aye
* Young, C.W. Bill, Florida, 10th

Georgia 3 Aye 10 Nay

* Barrow, John, Georgia, 12th
* Bishop Jr., Sanford D., Georgia, 2nd
* Deal, Nathan, Georgia, 9th
* Gingrey, Phil, Georgia, 11th
* Johnson, Henry C. "Hank" Jr., Georgia, 4th voted Aye
* Kingston, Jack, Georgia, 1st
* Lewis, John, Georgia, 5th voted Aye
* Linder, John, Georgia, 7th
* Marshall, Jim, Georgia, 8th
* Broun, Paul C., Georgia, 10th
* Price, Tom, Georgia, 6th
* Scott, David, Georgia, 13th voted Aye
* Westmoreland, Lynn A., Georgia, 3rd

Hawaii all Aye

* Abercrombie, Neil, Hawaii, 1st voted Aye
* Hirono, Mazie K., Hawaii, 2nd voted Aye

Iowa 3 Aye 2 Nay

* Boswell, Leonard, Iowa, 3rd voted Aye
* Braley, Bruce L., Iowa, 1st voted Aye
* King, Steve, Iowa, 5th
* Loebsack, David, Iowa, 2nd voted Aye
* Latham, Tom, Iowa, 4th

Idaho all Nay

* Minnick, Walt, Idaho, 1st
* Simpson, Mike, Idaho, 2nd

Illinois 11 Aye 8 Nay

* Bean, Melissa L., Illinois, 8th voted Aye
* Biggert, Judy, Illinois, 13th
* Costello, Jerry, Illinois, 12th
* Davis, Danny K., Illinois, 7th voted Aye
* Gutierrez, Luis, Illinois, 4th voted Aye
* Foster, Bill, Illinois, 14th
* Hare, Phil, Illinois, 17th voted Aye
* Halvorson, Deborah "Debbie", Illinois, 11th voted Aye
* Jackson Jr., Jesse L., Illinois, 2nd voted Aye
* Johnson, Timothy V., Illinois, 15th
* Kirk, Mark, Illinois, 10th voted Aye
* Lipinski, Daniel, Illinois, 3rd voted Aye
* Manzullo, Donald, Illinois, 16th
* Quigley, Mike, Illinois, 5th voted Aye
* Roskam, Peter J., Illinois, 6th
* Rush, Bobby L., Illinois, 1st voted Aye
* Schakowsky, Jan, Illinois, 9th voted Aye
* Schock, Aaron, Illinois, 18th
* Shimkus, John, Illinois, 19th

Indiana 2 Aye 7 Nay

* Burton, Dan, Indiana, 5th
* Buyer, Steve, Indiana, 4th
* Carson, André, Indiana, 7th voted Aye
* Donnelly, Joe, Indiana, 2nd
* Ellsworth, Brad, Indiana, 8th
* Hill, Baron, Indiana, 9th voted Aye
* Pence, Mike, Indiana, 6th
* Souder, Mark E., Indiana, 3rd
* Visclosky, Peter, Indiana, 1st

Kansas 1 Aye 3 Nay

* Jenkins, Lynn, Kansas, 2nd
* Moore, Dennis, Kansas, 3rd voted Aye
* Moran, Jerry, Kansas, 1st
* Tiahrt, Todd, Kansas, 4th

Kentucky 2 Aye 4 Nay

* Chandler, Ben, Kentucky, 6th voted Aye
* Davis, Geoff, Kentucky, 4th
* Guthrie, S. Brett, Kentucky, 2nd
* Rogers, Harold, Kentucky, 5th
* Whitfield, Ed, Kentucky, 1st
* Yarmuth, John A., Kentucky, 3rd voted Aye

Louisiana all Nay

* Alexander, Rodney, Louisiana, 5th
* Boustany Jr., Charles W., Louisiana, 7th
* Cao, Joseph, Louisiana, 2nd
* Cassidy, William "Bill", Louisiana, 6th
* Fleming, John, Louisiana, 4th
* Melancon, Charlie, Louisiana, 3rd
* Scalise, Steve, Louisiana, 1st

Maine all Aye

* Michaud, Michael, Maine, 2nd voted Aye
* Pingree, Chellie, Maine, 1st voted Aye

Massachusetts all Aye

* Capuano, Michael E., Massachusetts, 8th voted Aye
* Delahunt, William, Massachusetts, 10th voted Aye
* Frank, Barney, Massachusetts, 4th voted Aye
* Lynch, Stephen F., Massachusetts, 9th voted Aye
* McGovern, James, Massachusetts, 3rd voted Aye
* Markey, Ed, Massachusetts, 7th voted Aye
* Neal, Richard E., Massachusetts, 2nd voted Aye
* Olver, John, Massachusetts, 1st voted Aye
* Tierney, John, Massachusetts, 6th voted Aye
* Tsongas, Niki, Massachusetts, 5th voted Aye

Maryland 7 Aye 1 Nay

* Bartlett, Roscoe, Maryland, 6th
* Cummings, Elijah, Maryland, 7th voted Aye
* Edwards, Donna F., Maryland, 4th voted Aye
* Hoyer, Steny H., Maryland, 5th voted Aye
* Kratovil, Jr., Frank M., Maryland, 1st voted Aye
* Ruppersberger, Dutch, Maryland, 2nd voted Aye
* Sarbanes, John P., Maryland, 3rd voted Aye
* Van Hollen, Chris, Maryland, 8th voted Aye

Michigan 8 Aye 7 Nay

* Camp, Dave, Michigan, 4th
* Conyers Jr., John, Michigan, 14th voted Aye
* Dingell, John D., Michigan, 15th voted Aye
* Ehlers, Vernon J., Michigan, 3rd
* Hoekstra, Pete, Michigan, 2nd
* Kildee, Dale, Michigan, 5th voted Aye
* Kilpatrick, Carolyn, Michigan, 13th voted Aye
* Levin, Sander, Michigan, 12th voted Aye
* McCotter, Thaddeus, Michigan, 11th
* Miller, Candice, Michigan, 10th
* Peters, Gary, Michigan, 9th voted Aye
* Rogers, Mike, Michigan, 8th
* Schauer, Mark, Michigan, 7th voted Aye
* Stupak, Bart, Michigan, 1st voted Aye
* Upton, Fred, Michigan, 6th

Minnesota 5 Aye 3 Nay

* Bachmann, Michele, Minnesota, 6th
* Ellison, Keith, Minnesota, 5th voted Aye
* Kline, John, Minnesota, 2nd
* McCollum, Betty, Minnesota, 4th voted Aye
* Oberstar, James L., Minnesota, 8th voted Aye
* Paulsen, Erik, Minnesota, 3rd
* Peterson, Collin C., Minnesota, 7th voted Aye
* Walz, Timothy J., Minnesota, 1st voted Aye

Mississippi 1 Aye 3 Nay

* Childers, Travis, Mississippi, 1st
* Harper, Gregg, Mississippi, 3rd
* Taylor, Gene, Mississippi, 4th
* Thompson, Bennie G., Mississippi, 2nd voted Aye

Missouri 4 Aye 5 Nay

* Akin, Todd, Missouri, 2nd
* Blunt, Roy, Missouri 7th
* Carnahan, Russ, Missouri, 3rd voted Aye
* Clay Jr., William "Lacy", Missouri, 1st voted Aye
* Cleaver, Emanuel, Missouri, 5th voted Aye
* Emerson, Jo Ann, Missouri, 8th
* Graves, Sam, Missouri, 6th
* Luetkemeyer, Blaine, Missouri, 9th
* Skelton, Ike, Missouri, 4th voted Aye

Montana all Nay

* Rehberg, Dennis, Montana, At-Large

Nebraska all Nay

* Fortenberry, Jeff, Nebraska, 1st
* Smith, Adrian, Nebraska, 3rd
* Terry, Lee, Nebraska, 2nd

Nevada 2 Aye 1 Nay

* Berkley, Shelley, Nevada, 1st voted Aye
* Heller, Dean, Nevada, 2nd
* Titus, Dina, Nevada, 3rd voted Aye

New Hampshire all Aye

* Hodes, Paul W., New Hampshire, 2nd voted Aye
* Shea-Porter, Carol, New Hampshire, 1st voted Aye

New Jersey 10 Aye 3 Nay

* Adler, John, New Jersey, 3rd voted Aye
* Andrews, Robert E., New Jersey, 1st voted Aye
* Frelinghuysen, Rodney, New Jersey, 11th
* Garrett, Scott, New Jersey, 5th
* Holt, Rush, New Jersey, 12th voted Aye
* Lance, Leonard, New Jersey, 7th voted Aye
* LoBiondo, Frank, New Jersey, 2nd voted Aye
* Pallone Jr., Frank, New Jersey, 6th voted Aye
* Pascrell Jr., Bill, New Jersey, 8th voted Aye
* Payne, Donald M., New Jersey, 10th voted Aye
* Rothman, Steven, New Jersey, 9th voted Aye
* Sires, Albio, New Jersey, 13th voted Aye
* Smith, Chris, New Jersey, 4th voted Aye

New Mexico all Aye

* Heinrich, Martin T., New Mexico, 1st voted Aye
* Lujan, Ben R., New Mexico, 3rd voted Aye
* Teague, Harry, New Mexico, 2nd voted Aye

New York 22 Aye 7 Nay

* Ackerman, Gary, New York, 5th voted Aye
* Arcuri, Michael A., New York, 24th
* Bishop, Timothy, New York, 1st voted Aye
* Clarke, Yvette D., New York, 11th voted Aye
* Crowley, Joseph, New York, 7th voted Aye
* Engel, Eliot, New York, 17th voted Aye
* Hall, John J., New York, 19th voted Aye
* Higgins, Brian, New York, 27th voted Aye
* Hinchey, Maurice, New York, 22nd voted Aye
* Israel, Steve, New York, 2nd voted Aye
* King, Pete, New York, 3rd
* Lee, Christopher J., New York, 26th
* Lowey, Nita, New York, 18th voted Aye
* Maffei, Daniel B., New York, 25th voted Aye
* Massa, Eric J.J., New York, 29th
* McCarthy, Carolyn, New York, 4th voted Aye
* McHugh, John M., New York, 23rd voted Aye
* McMahon, Michael E., New York, 13th voted Aye
* Maloney, Carolyn, New York, 14th voted Aye
* Meeks, Gregory W., New York, 6th voted Aye
* Murphy, Scott, New York, 20th voted Aye
* Nadler, Jerrold, New York, 8th voted Aye
* Rangel, Charles B., New York, 15th voted Aye
* Serrano, José E., New York, 16th
* Slaughter, Louise, New York, 28th voted Aye
* Tonko, Paul D., New York, 21st
* Towns, Edolphus, New York, 10th
* Velázquez, Nydia M., New York, 12th voted Aye
* Weiner, Anthony D., New York, 9th voted Aye

North Carolina 6 Aye 7 Nay

* Butterfield, G.K., North Carolina, 1st voted Aye
* Coble, Howard, North Carolina, 6th
* Etheridge, Bob, North Carolina, 2nd voted Aye
* Foxx, Virginia, North Carolina, 5th
* Jones, Walter B., North Carolina, 3rd
* Kissell, Larry, North Carolina, 8th
* McHenry, Patrick T., North Carolina, 10th
* McIntyre, Mike, North Carolina, 7th
* Miller, Brad, North Carolina, 13th voted Aye
* Myrick, Sue, North Carolina, 9th
* Price, David, North Carolina, 4th voted Aye
* Shuler, Heath, North Carolina, 11th voted Aye
* Watt, Mel, North Carolina, 12th voted Aye

North Dakota all Nay

* Pomeroy, Earl, North Dakota, At-Large

Ohio 8 Aye 10 Nay

* Austria, Steve, Ohio, 7th
* Boccieri, John A., Ohio, 16th voted Aye
* Boehner, John A., Ohio, 8th
* Driehaus, Steve, Ohio, 1st voted Aye
* Fudge, Marcia L., Ohio, 11th voted Aye
* Jordan, Jim, Ohio, 4th
* Kaptur, Marcy, Ohio, 9th voted Aye
* Kucinich, Dennis J., Ohio, 10th
* LaTourette, Steven C., Ohio, 14th
* Latta, Robert E., Ohio, 5th
* Kilroy, Mary Jo, Ohio, 15th voted Aye
* Ryan, Tim, Ohio, 17th voted Aye
* Schmidt, Jean, Ohio, 2nd
* Space, Zachary T., Ohio, 18th voted Aye
* Sutton, Betty, Ohio, 13th voted Aye
* Tiberi, Pat, Ohio, 12th
* Turner, Michael, Ohio, 3rd
* Wilson, Charles A., Ohio, 6th

Oklahoma all Nay

* Boren, Dan, Oklahoma, 2nd
* Cole, Tom, Oklahoma, 4th
* Fallin, Mary, Oklahoma, 5th
* Lucas, Frank, Oklahoma, 3rd
* Sullivan, John, Oklahoma, 1st

Oregon 3 Aye 2 Nay

* Blumenauer, Earl, Oregon 3rd voted Aye
* DeFazio, Peter, Oregon, 4th
* Schrader, Kurt, Oregon, 5th voted Aye
* Walden, Greg, Oregon, 2nd
* Wu, David, Oregon, 1st voted Aye

Pennsylvania 8 Aye 10 Nay

* Altmire, Jason, Pennsylvania, 4th
* Brady, Robert, Pennsylvania, 1st voted Aye
* Carney, Christopher P., Pennsylvania, 10th
* Dahlkemper, Kathy, Pennsylvania, 3rd
* Dent, Charles W., Pennsylvania, 15th
* Doyle, Mike, Pennsylvania, 14th voted Aye
* Fattah, Chaka, Pennsylvania, 2nd voted Aye
* Gerlach, Jim, Pennsylvania, 6th
* Kanjorski, Paul E., Pennsylvania, 11th voted Aye
* Holden, Tim, Pennsylvania, 17th
* Murphy, Patrick J., Pennsylvania, 8th voted Aye
* Murphy, Tim, Pennsylvania, 18th
* Murtha, John, Pennsylvania, 12th voted Aye
* Pitts, Joseph R., Pennsylvania, 16th
* Platts, Todd, Pennsylvania, 19th
* Schwartz, Allyson Y., Pennsylvania, 13th voted Aye
* Sestak, Joe, Pennsylvania, 7th voted Aye
* Shuster, Bill, Pennsylvania, 9th
* Thompson, Glen W., Pennsylvania, 5th

Rhode Island all Aye

* Kennedy, Patrick, Rhode Island, 1st voted Aye
* Langevin, Jim, Rhode Island, 2nd voted Aye

South Carolina 2 Aye 4 Nay

* Barrett, J.Gresham, South Carolina, 3rd
* Brown, Henry, South Carolina, 1st
* Clyburn, James E., South Carolina, 6th voted Aye
* Inglis, Bob, South Carolina, 4th
* Spratt, John, South Carolina, 5th voted Aye
* Wilson, Joe, South Carolina, 2nd

South Dakota all Nay

* Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie, South Dakota, At-Large

Tennessee 3 Aye 6 Nay

* Blackburn, Marsha, Tennessee 7th
* Cohen, Steve, Tennessee, 9th voted Aye
* Cooper, Jim, Tennessee, 5th voted Aye
* Davis, Lincoln, Tennessee, 4th
* Duncan Jr., John J., Tennessee, 2nd
* Gordon, Bart, Tennessee, 6th voted Aye
* Roe, Phil, Tennessee, 1st
* Tanner, John, Tennessee, 8th
* Wamp, Zach, Tennessee, 3rd

Texas 9 Aye 23 Nay

* Barton, Joe, Texas, 6th
* Brady, Kevin, Texas, 8th
* Burgess, Michael, Texas, 26th
* Carter, John, Texas, 31st
* Conaway, K. Michael, Texas, 11th
* Cuellar, Henry, Texas, 28th voted Aye
* Culberson, John, Texas, 7th
* Doggett, Lloyd, Texas, 25th voted Aye
* Edwards, Chet, Texas, 17th
* Gohmert, Louie, Texas 1st
* Gonzalez, Charlie A., Texas, 20th voted Aye
* Granger, Kay, Texas, 12th
* Green, Al, Texas, 9th voted Aye
* Green, Gene, Texas, 29th voted Aye
* Hall, Ralph M., Texas, 4th
* Hensarling, Jeb, Texas, 5th
* Hinojosa, Rubén, Texas, 15th voted Aye
* Jackson Lee, Sheila, Texas, 18th voted Aye
* Johnson, Eddie Bernice, Texas 30th voted Aye
* Johnson, Sam, Texas, 3rd
* Marchant, Kenny, Texas, 24th
* McCaul, Michael T., Texas, 10th
* Neugebauer, Randy, Texas, 19th
* Olson, Pete, Texas, 22nd
* Ortiz, Solomon P., Texas, 27th
* Paul, Ron, Texas, 14th
* Poe, Ted, Texas, 2nd
* Reyes, Silvestre, Texas, 16th voted Aye
* Rodriguez, Ciro, Texas, 23rd
* Sessions, Pete, Texas, 32nd
* Smith, Lamar, Texas, 21st
* Thornberry, Mac, Texas, 13th

Utah all Nay

* Bishop, Rob, Utah, 1st
* Chaffetz, Jason, Utah, 3rd
* Matheson, Jim, Utah, 2nd

Vermont all Aye

* Welch, Peter, Vermont, At-Large voted Aye

Virginia 5 Aye 6 Nay

* Boucher, Rick, Virginia, 9th voted Aye
* Cantor, Eric, Virginia, 7th
* Connolly, Gerald E. "Gerry", Virginia, 11th voted Aye
* Forbes, J. Randy, Virginia, 4th
* Goodlatte, Bob, Virginia, 6th
* Moran, Jim, Virginia, 8th voted Aye
* Nye III, Glenn C., Virginia, 2nd
* Perriello, Tom, Virginia, 5th voted Aye
* Scott, Robert C. "Bobby", Virginia, 3rd voted Aye
* Wittman, Robert J., Virginia, 1st
* Wolf, Frank, Virginia, 10th

Washington 7 Aye 2 Nay

* Baird, Brian, Washington, 3rd voted Aye
* Dicks, Norman D., Washington, 6th voted Aye
* Hastings, Doc, Washington, 4th
* Inslee, Jay, Washington, 1st voted Aye
* Larsen, Rick, Washington, 2nd voted Aye
* McDermott, Jim, Washington, 7th voted Aye
* McMorris Rodgers, Cathy, Washington, 5th
* Reichert, David G., Washington, 8th voted Aye
* Smith, Adam, Washington, 9th voted Aye

Wisconsin 5 Aye 3 Nay

* Baldwin, Tammy, Wisconsin, 2nd voted Aye
* Kagen, Steve, Wisconsin, 8th voted Aye
* Kind, Ron, Wisconsin, 3rd voted Aye
* Moore, Gwen, Wisconsin, 4th voted Aye
* Obey, David R., Wisconsin, 7th voted Aye
* Petri, Thomas, Wisconsin, 6th
* Ryan, Paul, Wisconsin, 1st
* Sensenbrenner, F. James, Wisconsin, 5th

West Virginia all Nay
* Capito, Shelley Moore, West Virginia, 2nd
* Mollohan, Alan B., West Virginia, 1st
* Rahall, Nick, West Virginia, 3rd

Wyoming all Nay

* Lummis, Cynthia M., Wyoming, At-Large

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An I-Pod for the Queen of England-How About Kindles for the Muslim World Leaders

Monday, June 15th Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote this article, Obama Should Speak Truth to Islam Because Others Can't. I encourage everyone to the read the entire article for the knowledge you'll get about the Muslim world as well as the excellent political analysis.

One thing I learned is that there are the three men (pictured above) who have a compelling claim to represent the heart and soul of the umma. From left to right these three men are Muhammad Sayyid Tatawi, Ali Khamenei, and Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz. The three men hail from Egypt, Iran. and Saudi Arabia.

Muhammad Sayyid Tatawi is the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque and Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar University in Cairo. This University is one of the most influential in the Muslim world.

Ali Khamenei is the grand ayatollah supreme leader of Iran, and the highest authority for Shia Muslims.

Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz is the King of Saudi Arabia and is the protector of the holy shrine of Islam (Mecca).

President Obama has met the Saudi King, and when he gave his speech in Cairo he met the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar U. and the ambassador of Iran to Egypt. Here is an excerpt of her column-

They have their differences. The king is the protector of the holy shrine of Islam and a political leader. The grand sheik has no formal political power, but it is not an exaggeration to say his institution is one of the most influential in the Muslim world. And Iran not only claims spiritual power but pursues political and military dominance. The issue of who speaks for Islam is perhaps the worst nightmare for the US; this is not fully appreciated by the crafters of American foreign policy.

This makes a discussion of the relationship between Islam and the West much more problematic than the president's speechwriters realise.

The courtship articulated in his speech was peppered with false praise (". . . it was innovation in Muslim communities that developed . . . our mastery of pens and printing."), feigned common principles and made ridiculous promises to fight negative stereotyping of Islam wherever he encounters it.

This is all part of political rhetoric, but it really doesn't lead to concrete change. This, in my view, is the wrong strategy. Instead of pretending that Muslims invented printing, the President should be confronting them with the key products of the Western printing press. And it's here that Kindles could be of use.

I imagined him offering the king, the sheik and the ayatollah each a Kindle with Abraham Lincoln's case against slavery and for equality. Obama reminded the Muslim world that "black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the centre of America's founding."

I would include Thomas Jefferson's improvements on the New Testament. The king, the sheik and the ayatollah have the authority to rule that parts of the Koran no longer apply in the modern world. For instance, the edicts of sharia law that reject scientific inquiry and order all Muslims to spread Islam.

And of course, no reading selection would be complete without a copy of the US Constitution, highlighting (because you can do that in a Kindle) the Eighth Amendment banning cruel and unusual punishment.

And for good measure, I would also add John F.Kennedy's inaugural address: "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. . . . To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required. . . . To those nations who would make themselves our adversary . . . we dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed. . . . Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man." Not to mention woman.

I think Ayaan Hirsi Ali is smart enough to know that this idea of hers will not happen. While the Ds have played a masterful political game of giving lip service to caring about women, children, and minorities this is not what they are most passionate about. They are most passionate about seizing power and control over every aspect of your life that they can acquire. In a way they can have envy for the Muslim world leaders not being restrained by that Bill of Rights thingy in the US Constitution.

The other reason it will not happen is that it requires President Obama to promote the wonders, greatness, and achievements of the United States of America that are based on its founding ideals. This kind of promotion runs counter to his self-promotion as the first one elected for the purpose of remaking a nation that is fatally flawed from the start.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Those Violators of Fair Competition

I just finished reading New Deal or Raw Deal? written by Burton Folsom, Jr. So much of what he writes about is so applicable to the current Obama administration plans with respect to the economy. He asks the question why would they be so eager to manipulate the market for higher wages and and prices without an increase in production? He answered that they believed that artificially higher wages meant greater purchasing power. If people earned more they could buy more, and that would stimulate industrial and economic recovery. In this “high wage” theory, the efficient businessman, the innovator, and the price cutter are evil because they are believed to be violators of 'fair competition.' His gain was not just the loss of his competitors, but of the whole country. By creating codes of ‘fair competition’, we’re giving all existing businesses a chance to make profits, to pay high wages, and to survive those evil efficient businessmen, innovators, and price cutters. The good intentions are to put people back to work at a decent wage to let them buy more products.

All of these good intentions have very bad consequences that even an economist like John Maynard Keynes could see. By carving up markets among existing producers and by fixing prices and wages assumes all industry is stagnant and unchanging. Almost no industry fits this model.

When Andrew Carnegie founded Carnegie Steel in 1872, he was the smallest producer in America--and England far outsold the US in the world steel market. Carnegie cut costs by using the Bessemer process and open-hearth method of making steel; he innovated in accounting with double-entry bookkeeping. Unlike his competitors, if Carnegie found a cheaper way to make rails, he would rip out a factory and rebuild the improved version immediately. Andrew Carnegie is just one evil dude, a violator of ‘fair competition.’ As a result, in 1900 Carnegie was the largest steel producer in the US and larger than all the major steel producers in England put together. By this time he could make steel rails that had cost $56 a ton in 1872 for only $11.50 a ton.

Cheaper steel meant cheaper cars, and Henry Ford took advantage of that. He took the cheaper steel, and innovated an assembly line making Model Ts. Just another evil dude, a violator of ‘fair competition.’ By 1920 he had captured over one-half of the American car market and had cut cost of a car from $3,000 to $300.

The dynamic and changing instead of stagnant and unchanging nature of steel and car industries shows three things.
1. Competition is necessary for new and cheaper products to appear on the market.
2. Competition is a sensible way to arrive at prices and wages.
3. Many established big businessmen want to avoid competition--to them ‘fair competition’ is letting them set prices, wages, hours of work, and market share.

If codes of creating ‘fair competition’ had been in place in 1900 we would have had higher priced steel, no assembly line, and a small car market with few Americans rich enough to buy expensive cars. The makers of carriages and buggy whips would have been delighted. The street cleaners in NYC who cleaned 1.3 million pounds of horse manure daily all would have had protected jobs. I just don’t personally believe the US could have been such a great country if it were not for those violators of ‘fair competition’ like Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

If Europe Falls Blame the Lily-livered Europeans

Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote an article for AEI, It's Time Lily-Livered Europe Stood Up to Muslim Bigots, that makes a compelling argument that Europeans are lily-livered weenies that will not stand up to Muslims. There have been a lot of news stories about the suppression of freedom of expression, the rise of antisemitism, and the rise of violence against women and gays in Europe from Muslim immigrants. Ms Ali reads about this, and asks some questions.

Why do European countries give citizenship to individuals who feel no obligation to share in their societies for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer and in the event of a catastrophe, sacrifice themselves? An excerpt -

In this way, they evade one of the chief criteria of citizenship. Political allegiance to the constitution of your country is the minimum requirement. It is this state of affairs that makes Christopher Caldwell's book Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration and the West (Allen Lane, £17.99), which opens with the sentence, "Western Europe became a multi-ethnic society in a fit of absence of mind," a chilling read.

Caldwell discusses this theme in an interesting light: he does not overlook the Europeans who feel that Islam is a danger to European values but asks, "How can you fight for something you cannot define?" And this is Europe's problem--insecurity about who we are, what our various flags mean, why, with every turn, we spend less and less on the military.

Europe has become a place for new religions, new creeds, multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, transnationalism. Everything is thus relative. This is an uncertainty that the Muslim does not share. The Muslim ethic and tribal spirit are far more resilient and fierce in war than the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism.

What happened to the European value of freedom of expression? an excerpt -
Take the debate on freedom of expression. In 1989 and afterwards, the provocations in the name of Islam were greeted with a confident, "No way! This is Europe, and you can say what you like, write what you like," and so on.

Two decades later, Europeans are not so sure about the values of freedom of expression. Most members of the media engage in self-censorship. Textbooks in schools and universities have been adapted in such a way as not to offend Muslim sentiment. And legislation to punish 'blasphemy', if not passed, has been considered in most countries--or old laws that were never used are being revived.

What happened to the sensitivity and guilt Europeans felt about the Holocaust? an excerpt

Take anti-Semitism in Europe. The sensitivity and guilt Europeans feel about the Holocaust is comparable to the sensitivity and guilt that Americans feel towards black Americans. A decade or two ago, it was unthinkable for Jews to be slandered openly and be targeted for no other reason than their Jewishness.

Today, in the name of Islam, synagogues are vandalised. There are open denials of the Holocaust. There is an active network of Muslim organisations lobbying to curtail or even get rid of Israel. There are incidents of Jews being harassed, beaten, even killed. All this is met with grim silence and rationalisations that it's not really anti-Semitic but anti-Israel.

What happened to Europe’s Women’s Liberation values? an excerpt

In the 1970s, women were burning their bras, abortion was legalised almost everywhere and rape in marriage was penalised. Today, more and more European elites, including some feminists, argue that it might, perhaps, just be better to respect the culture and religion of a minority.

What happened to Europe’s Gay Liberation values? an excerpt

Ten years ago, it would have been unthinkable that anti-gay sentiment would pass without condemnation. In Holland, for instance, we pride ourselves on allowing gays to have the exact same rights as heterosexuals. Yet today, they are beaten on the streets of Amsterdam. To be on the safe side in certain neighbourhoods in Europe, it's advisable to conceal your identity if you are gay or lesbian.

What happened to the descendants of Franks, Saxons, Vikings, and Normans? an excerpt

In reality, if Europe falls, it's not because of Islam. It is because the Europeans of today--unlike their forbears in the Second World War--will not die to defend the values or the future of Europe. Even if they were asked to make the final sacrifice, many a post-modern lily-livered European would escape into an obscure mesh of conscientious objection. All that Islam has to do is walk into the vacuum.

I wrote a previous diary, They Are Not Monsters, that touched on this problem. Ms Ali did a better job than I of clarifying where the blame for this problem really lies. I also really hope and pray that Europe is not the precursor of what America will one day become. We need to know our values and what we stand for so we can stand up and fight to preserve our identity. We are Americans and we know what it means to be an American.

Monday, June 08, 2009

They Are Not Monsters

I just stumbled upon an article in The Brussels Journal, Wilders causes another row. Pre-captivity Stockholm-Syndrome.

In a speech in the Dutch Parliament last Thursday, the Dutch opposition leader Geert Wilders referred to Joanie de Rijke’s case.

“She was raped, but she was not angry. The journalist who went looking for the Taliban in Afghanistan saw her curiosity end in a cruel ordeal of multiple rape. While this would make others angry or sad, this journalist shows understanding. She says: ‘They also respected me.’ And she was given tea and biscuits.”

“This story” Wilders said,

“is a perfect illustration of the moral decline of our elites. They are so blinded by their own ideology that they turn a blind eye to the truth.
Rape? Well, I would put this into perspective, says the leftist journalist: the Taliban are not monsters.

The article went on to describe the reaction to this speech.

Wilders’ words caused instant fury on all benches except those of his own party. Parliamentarians and government ministers reacted furiously to his reference to Joanie de Rijke. “You should be ashamed of yourself,” Femke Halsema of the far-left Green Left Party yelled. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, a Christian-Democrat, called Wilders’ statement “extremely painful and tasteless.”

As in the case of Rush’s comments about Sonia Sotermayor, they do not dispute his conclusions. They just think it is so politically incorrect for him to state these conclusions.

This 43 year old lady journalist travelled from Flanders to Afghanistan to interview some Taliban fighters who had killed ten French soldiers last August. When she arrived for the interview the Taliban fighters abducted her and sent her interpreter back to Kabul with the message that 2 million dollars in ransom must be paid or they would slit her throat. The Dutch and Belgian governments refused to pay the ransom. The magazine she worked for offered $100,000 Euros, and the Taliban leader accepted the money after holding her hostage for six days.

In her book In de handen van de Taliban, which she published last month, she writes that the Taliban commander

“could not control his testosterone. I had the impression that afterwards he regretted what had happened. He knew it was wrong.”

The noble savage even “invited her to a threesome,” i.e. to have sex with him and one of his three wives.

After her release, Joanie de Rijke, too, criticized the Dutch and Belgian authorities for their refusal to pay ransom. “The Belgians have done nothing. They said it was a matter for the Dutch. And the Dutch authorities said they never pay ransom. In Afghanistan they know well enough that Western governments pay up after an abduction. Germany, Italy and France have all paid ransoms.”

Though de Rijke was angry with the Dutch and Belgian authorities, she told the Dutch media in interviews given after her release that she was not angry with her abductors. “I do not want to depict the Taliban as monsters. I am not angry with Ghazi Gul. After all, he let me live,” she said. About the rape ordeal she declared that though the experience had been horrible, she was also shown respect.

De Rijke, too, said she was appalled at Wilders’ statement. “I did feel angry because of the rape,” she explained, “what I tried to make clear was that the acts of the Taliban cannot be reduced to rape. The fact that I wanted to stress that aspect of my feelings is not the same as the Stockholm syndrome people like Wilders like to talk about. In a war situation people seem only able to think in black and white. I wanted to refine the story. A person is not a monster because he calls himself Taliban.”

Her reaction confirms precisely what Wilders was trying to say. In reality the Taliban are not monsters because they call themselves Taliban, but because they behave like monsters. People like de Rijke, however, no longer judge people by their behavior and their actions, but condone them for the noble motives which they imagine have driven them to commit their acts.

This sickness is not just something one can find in among the Dutch elites, and this sickness of being so blinded by your ideology that you turn a blind eye to the truth can also be found in Bakersfield, CA. March 30, 2009.

The story comes from KGET:

The woman had just left the Babies R Us store on when she noticed a man in a tattered military coat lurking in the parking lot, she told police. The woman told detectives she was worried because the man looked like a thug, but she didn't want to seem racist.

So, not wanting to seem racist, the Bakersfield, California woman proceeded to her car, where the man held her up at gun point and threatened to kill her 11 month old daughter if she didn't do what he told her. He had her to drive to an ATM where he stole $500 from her, then he had had her drive to a junior high school parking lot where he raped her in front of her child.

These are disturbing stories for a couple of reasons. Reason number one is the outrage over merely identifying a moral decline evidenced by these incidents. Have we gotten to point where reporting the incident is more disturbing than the incident itself? I hope not. Reason number two is the fear that this sickness of being so blinded by your ideology that you turn a blind eye to the truth is a spreading sickness. Once again, I hope not.

Wilders understates the problem because this kind of sickness is far worse than Stockholm-Syndrome.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

It Took Russia Three Centuries To Do What Obama Did In Three Months

Russia in terms of land mass is the largest country on the the planet. Its size spans ten different time zones, and overlaps two continents (Europe and Asia). This country introduced to the rest of the world the concept of a Czar, and President Obama has moved with lightening speed on this concept. The appeal of the czar rests on the belief that if we could just figure out the right smart, competent, well-intentioned person to put in charge, everything would go more smoothly. The big problem with this belief is that the very thing that defines the Russian czars is total control over the lives of their subjects.

In 19th century America it was considered a political insult to be called a Czar. When Andrew Jackson referred to bank president Biddle as Czar Nicholas he was not complimenting him. When in 1890 the Speaker of the House, Thomas Reed, was referred to as Czar Reed he was not being complimented. It was only years after the last Russian Czar was killed by the Bolsheviks that some Americans had a more fuzzy acceptance of the term. The Commissioner of Baseball, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was considered the Czar of baseball in a good way.

It’s too bad IMO that the word Czar became an acceptable word in the American lexicon because it really is just an odious four-letter word.

Mark Twain had initially favored the Russian Czar, Alexander II, because he had issued an emancipation Manifesto in 1861 that abolished Russian serfdom. Alexander II's reforms which began with the 1861 emancipation of the serfs were not satisfactorily fulfilled. Peasants thought that they would be freed together with the plot of land they worked. Such was not the case. Although they were free, peasants were often denied an opportunity to purchase fertile land on which they had lived a lifetime. Instead many were offered poorer quality land that could not be farmed. Demands for a more democratic form of government and basic freedoms continued to be denied. When Alexander II was assassinated by a bomber in 1881 his son Alexander III succeeded him as Czar of Russia. Alexander III proved to be a more repressive monarch than his father.

Mark Twain changed his attitude about Russian Czars. A reading he delivered at the Hartford Monday Evening Club on March 22, 1886 indicates his opinion of the Russian aristocracy changed:

Power, when lodged in the hands of man, means oppression -- insures oppression: it means oppression always: … give it to the high priest of the Christian Church in Russia, the Emperor, and with a wave of his hand he will brush a multitude of young men, nursing mothers, gray headed patriarchs, gently young girls, like so many unconsidered flies, into the unimaginable hells of his Siberia, and go blandly to his breakfast, unconscious that he has committed a barbarity …

His autobiographical dictation on December 5, 1906 shows he was still very much an anti-Czarist:

Cruel and pitiful as was life throughout Christendom in the Middle Ages, it was not as cruel, not as pitiful, as is life in Russia today. In Russia, for three centuries, the vast population has been ground under the heels, and for the sole and sordid advantage, of a procession of crowned assassins and robbers who have all deserved the gallows. Russia's hundred and thirty millions of miserable subjects are much worse off today than were the poor of the Middle Ages whom we so pity. We are accustomed now to speak of Russia as medieval and as standing still in the Middle Ages but that is flattery. Russia is way back of the Middle Ages; the Middle Ages are a long way in front of her and she is not likely to catch up with them so long as the Czardom continues to exist.

Mark Twain died in 1910, and never knew that the 1917 Revolution ended Czar rule in Russia without ending ending the practice of a ruthless tyranny grinding the vast population under their heels.

Eighty years to the day after the last Czar of Russia was killed, July 18, 1998, Nicholas II and his family were reburied in St. Petersburg. Boris Yeltsin's speech at the funeral was a plea for nonviolent methods of change:

We must end the century, which has been an age of blood and violence in Russia, with repentance and peace, regardless of political views, ethnic or religious belonging.

This is our historic chance. On the eve of the third millennium, we must do it for the sake of our generation and those to come.

More than ten years after that speech I see no evidence of a Russia of repentance and peace. The USA seems more likely to me to unravel the tyranny of living under Czars than Russia. I wish the unraveling of Czarist tyranny in the US could begin now, but it will not end until Obama is out of office.

The 18 Czars installed in the USA by Obama include the following:

Carol Browner - energy czar
Cass Sunstein - regulatory czar
Daniel Fried - Guantanamo closure czar
Adolfo Carrion, Jr. - urban czar
Joshua DuBois - faith-based czar
Gary Samore - non-proliferation czar
John Brennan - terrorism czar
John Holdren - weather czar
Van Jones - green czar
Nancy Ann DeParle - health czar
Alan Bersin - border czar
Vivek Kundra - tech czar
?- cyber security czar
Herb Allison - TARP czar
Earl Devaney - stimulus czar
Steve Rattner - car czar
Gil Kerlikowske- drug czar
Kenneth Feinberg- pay czar

None of these eighteen czars need confirmation by the US Senate. The House and Senate do not have any oversight role for any of these czars. There is no Supreme Court judicial review process created for these czars compared to the judicial review process for Congress.

We were told by candidate Obama that he promised to bring change if he were elected President. I do not think this is the kind of change his voters had in their mind when they voted for him.