Monday, September 20, 2010

Constitution Day; Governement to Determine Our Household Appliances; Democrat Ad Against Tea Parties; Outreach to Palestine; Insulting Christianity OK (Islam? Not So Much); President Takes Creator Out of Declaration of Independence

Readers:  Following each item which is selectively quoted is the web address for the entire article.

   ANAHEIM HILLS – The Cookie Monster was busted. SpongeBob Squarepants, jailed without trial. And some ninja turtles were facing prison after police found them loaded down with weapons.
Fortunately for all of them, they had the U.S. Constitution on their side – as hundreds of school children learned Friday.
Anaheim Hills-area schools celebrated Constitution Day on Friday with skits that brought each article and ten amendments to life – in terms that any fifth grader could understand. It was a lot more fun than the stale textbook entries of old, and teachers said it works: Social-studies test scores, they said, have risen in the schools that participate.
Since 2005, the federal government has required any school that receives federal funding to teach the Constitution on Sept. 17. That was the day in 1787 when 39 delegates and a secretary scratched their names onto the original, making the Constitution law.
"It's how we ended up today," said William Klos, 11, of Anaheim Hills. "The Constitution has all the rights and laws on it, and what you should do and shouldn't do."
Assistant Secretary of Energy Cathy Zoi said Thursday that the U.S. Department of Energy has a “mandate” to issue regulations to determine what household appliances are available to Americans in the future.Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the recently reestablished Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB), Zoi pointed to four tactics the Obama administration intended use to advance the “deployment of clean energy.” The first three were government subsidies for private-sector green energy projects, special tax incentives for green energy projects and low-interest government-backed loans for green energy projects.
“The fourth one, which the secretary and I love,” said Zoi, “is where we have a mandate. Where we can actually just issue regulations and do market transformation.”
WASHINGTON — President Obama’s political advisers, looking for ways to help Democrats and alter the course of the midterm elections in the final weeks, are considering a range of ideas, including national advertisements, to cast the Republican Party as all but taken over by Tea Party extremists, people involved in the discussion said.  “We need to get out the message that it’s now really dangerous to re-empower the Republican Party,” said one Democratic strategist who has spoken with White House advisers but requested anonymity to discuss private strategy talks.
The Tea Party victories of last week have clearly revealed the movement for what it actually is: not a tantrum, not a voter mutiny, not a short-term insurrection, but something never actually seen before in this country -- it is a counter-revolutionBut such speculation, I think, misses the point, which is this: the Tea Party tsunami is knocking down every obstacle in its way, no matter if it's Republican or Democrat. If there were Whigs or Ghibellines running, they'd be dropping too. The Tea Parties are a political phenomenon the likes of which we have not seen in our lifetimes, one that occurs once every century or so. It is exhilarating to witness.
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Bush administration said it was prepared to absorb 100,000 Palestinian refugees if a peace deal was reached, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday, Israeli media reported. Speaking at a Geneva Initiative conference in Tel Aviv, Olmert said during negotiations under his premiership with President Mahmoud Abbas that he had offered a solution that would have been in line with the Arab league Peace plan, Israeli daily Haaretz reported. He also said former US President George W Bush had offered the immediate recognition of 100,000 Palestinian refugees as American citizens.
So just to clarify the ground rules, if you insult Christ, the media report the issue as freedom of expression: A healthy society has to have bold, brave, transgressive artists willing to question and challenge our assumptions, etc. But, if it’s Mohammed, the issue is no longer freedom of expression but the need for "respect" and "sensitivity" toward Islam, and all those bold brave transgressive artists don’t have a thing to say about it.

More importantly, the logic of Breyer's halfwit intervention is to incentivize violence, and undermine law itself. What he seems to be telling the world is that Americans' constitutional rights will bend to intimidation. If Koran-burning rates a First Amendment exemption because Muslims are willing to kill over it, maybe Catholics should threaten to kill over the next gay-Jesus play, and Broadway could have its First Amendment rights reined in. Maybe the next time Janeane Garafolo goes on MSNBC and calls Obama's opponents racists, the Tea Partiers should rampage around town and NBC's free-speech rights would be withdrawn.
Meanwhile, in smaller ways, Islamic intimidation continues.
Now Molly Norris, an American citizen, is forced into hiding because she exercised her right to free speech. Will President Obama say a word on her behalf? Does he believe in the First Amendment for anyone other than Muslims?  Thank you to everyone at the Danish Free Press Society who helped make my trip to Copenhagen such fun
The most famous words in the Declaration of Independence — and almost surely the most famous words ever written by an American — read, “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

On Friday evening, when President Obama addressed the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, he quoted that passage as follows (on the clip at 22:30):  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal [pause], endowed with certain unalienable rights:  life and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

In Obama’s version, there is no “Creator.”

Only two plausible explanations spring to mind.  One is that President Obama isn’t very familiar with the most famous passage in the document that founded this nation; that even when plainly reading from a teleprompter, he wasn’t able to quote it correctly.  The other is that President Obama doesn’t subscribe to the Declaration’s rather central claim that our rights come from our “Creator” (also referred to in the Declaration as “Nature’s God” and “the Supreme Judge of the World”).
At the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing last Thursday, Democrats passed a bill to require federal health officials to question anyone seeking services from Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) community health centers or other programs about their sexual orientation and “gender identity.” Introduced by Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), H.R. 6109 requires HHS to obtain, retain and analyze sexual identity information from patients who seek healthcare, including children. “This bill is about collecting data, no more, no less,” Baldwin said. According to Baldwin, the current “lack of cultural competency” among federal officials

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