This past weekend, as the victors of the Ames Straw Poll were being determined in Iowa, Texas governor Rick Perry declared his candidacy for the presidency. The talking heads of “conservative” talk radio and elsewhere were giddy with excitement. For more than one reason, I, for one, do not share their enthusiasm. Already, comparisons between Perry and former President George W. Bush are being drawn in venues that are friendly to both our national parties. Admittedly, some commentators have noted the differences between the two, but these are largely stylistic and tangential. Their likenesses, though, are too obvious to be glossed over: both claim to be “conservative”; both are Texans; and both have served as governors of the Lone Star State. These similarities alone are sufficient to engender no inconsiderable degree of concern in numerous voters. George W. Bush’s approval rating was abysmal when he left office, and it hasn’t risen appreciably since.
I don’t want to sound like Lansberry, the legendary Pittsburgher who walked around town for decades with a protest sign saying that the government was withholding his mail, but I’m missing about 300 pieces of mail. My problem started in June when I went to my local post office and filled out a mail forwarding card, as I do every year in June, stating that our mail should be re-routed temporarily to our house in Sea Isle, New Jersey, for five weeks. We probably get an average of 10 pieces of mail a day, not counting the junk mail, so in five weeks that’s about 300 pieces of mail. It worked every year, except this year. Each week, we’d get no mail for four or five days and then one piece would arrive. I checked Sea Isle’s post office and they had no idea of why so little mail was arriving.
The Chinese Communist Party has exerted every effort to manage all high-tech activities within its borders. While the government has allowed the market forces more freedom, it has attempted to retain iron control over projects such as manned space travel and high-speed trains. Unfortunately for technology, the decision-making in these sorts of projects in China, critics maintain, is driven by politics, not science. Analysts note that invariably, government-controlled technology projects are inherently weak. In July, after a Chinese high-speed train crashed into a stalled train, killing 40 people, Xianfang Ren, chief economist for IHS Global Insight, noted: “If they are taking one step back to think again about these railway projects, more broadly it should have an impact on their overall planning of such projects ... It is not quite clear that stepping on the brake is the only viable option." The decision-making in these sorts of projects in China, critics maintain, is driven by politics, not science. Liu Zhijun, Railway Minister until February, was fired amid charges of graft. Chinese state broadcasting has even showed residents in the eastern province of Anhui complaining about the noise and property damage that a bullet train line caused them, seeming to indicate that Communist Party support was backing off.
A federal appeals court has ruled that it is unconstitutional for a Delaware school district to include prayer as part of its regular school board meetings. Prayer has been a part of Indian River board meetings since the school district was founded in 1969, and in 2004 the district formalized a policy in which board members rotate in leading a prayer or moment of silence to “solemnify” the meetings. The policy stipulates that the prayers may be either sectarian or non-sectarian, and may be “in the name of a Supreme Being, Jehovah, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Allah” — or some other religious entity. However, the district was dragged into court over the policy when two families complained that the prayers violated the First Amendment’s supposed separation of church and state. Associated Baptist Press (ABP) reported that the case “stemmed from a lawsuit originally filed in 2005 by a Jewish family claiming they were harassed after speaking out against religious practices including prayers at graduations and board meetings. They claimed their daughter’s graduation was ruined when she, the only Jewish person in her class, had to listen to a minister pray in Jesus’ name.”
For the first time in his presidency, Barack Obama’s poll numbers in heavily Democratic New York have gone negative, with 49 percent disapproving of his job performance compared to only 45 percent who approve. The Quinnipiac University poll last showed the President with a 57 percent approval rating in late June, a drop of 9 points in six weeks. Among Republicans, the poll showed disapproval ratings of 86 percent, up from 74 percent in June, while among Democrats his approval rating dropped from 82 percent to 75 percent. Among independents 58 percent expressed their disapproval, up from 45 percent in June. “The evidence continues to mount,” writes Dan Weil at Newsmax.com, “that President Barack Obama’s re-election bid is in trouble.” The latest daily Presidential Tracking Poll by Rasmussen Reports confirms those results, with their Presidential Approval Index rating at -22 approval index rating, the lowest of Obama's presidency, and down from a +22 approval index rating at the start of his presidency in 2009. Gallup tracks his job approval on a daily basis where 48 percent disapprove of his job performance, his weakest standing since December of 2009.
Police in Wisconsin will seek hate-crimes charges against a black teenager who confessed that race hatred motivated his attacks on whites at the Wisconsin State Fair on August 4. And newly released 911 tapes indicate that a black security guard at the fair watched while a black flash mob pulverized a white boy. According to the Christian Science Monitor, police in West Allis, Wisconsin, will file hate-crimes charges against others as well. But the Monitor’s reporter also suggests that the teenagers might not be to blame for the bedlam that injured 11 people. Last week, two of Milwaukee’s alderman, both whites, condemned the culture of violence and illegitimacy that is now accepted in the black community. Milwaukee’s Common Council President, Willie Hines, joined them. And Philadelphia’s Mayor lowered the rhetorical boom on black teenagers who have been rampaging through the City of Brotherly Love.
Homosexual activists have once again pressured the head of a trendy company heavily patronized by the “gay” community to back out of a scheduled speaking engagement sponsored by a Christian organization. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was booked to speak August 12 at the annual Global Leadership Summit sponsored by the Chicago-based mega-church Willow Creek. “The annual event draws tens of thousands of viewers via satellite,” noted the Chicago Sun-Times, and boasts such past speakers as former President Bill Clinton, General Electric CEO Jack Welch, and rock-star-turned-“humanitarian” Bono. But when “gay” activists caught wind that Schultz had agreed to address summit attendees about “How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul,” they turned to one of their favorite activist tools, the liberal petition clearinghouse website Change.org, to demand that Schultz renege on his commitment. According to the Chicago Tribune, an “activist” by the name of Asher Huey had “criticized Schultz for agreeing to appear at a church with a long-standing membership in Exodus International, a ministry that believes homosexual behavior is destructive and Christians can ‘grow into heterosexuality.’”
The recently released study of “heavy hitters” by the Center for Responsible Politics showed the amount of money the top 140 political donors gave to Democrats and Republicans from 1989 through 2010. Four of the top six gave $170 million over that period, with $151 million going to Democrats, and less than $3 million going to Republicans (the difference going to unaffiliated or independent political groups). In simple math, Democrats received 89 percent while Republicans got less than two percent. The top all-time political donor is ActBlue, which calls itself “the online clearinghouse for Democratic action,” and claims to have raised nearly $200 million since its founding in 2004 in order to “support thousands of Democratic candidates across the nation.” This far exceeds the amount shown in the study because the numbers in the study are based on figures obtained from the Federal Election Committee, which don’t include small donors giving less than $200. ActBlue is the largest funnel of funds supporting Democrats nationwide and as a result is “a major fundraising tool for Democrats, particularly favored by the netroots and left-leaning bloggers.”
I don’t know Peter Gadiel, and he apparently knows absolutely nothing about me. But that hasn’t stopped him from attacking me in a recent article (Influential Conservative is Dangerously Wrong on E-Verify). His article makes some outrageous statements about me, even to presume he can tell you what motives are in my head when I take a position. Recently, I released an article entitled “E-Verify and the Emerging Surveillance State.” My opposition to E-Verify is that it is a major tool in the creation of a surveillance society; will give the government the power to decide who works and who doesn’t in America; will be a great burden on both worker and business; and will do absolutely nothing to protect us from illegal immigration or terrorism. In short, E-Verify represents another false promise of security and a greater threat to our freedom.
Angered over what they perceive to be a violation of free speech, hackers in California launched an online attack against a California transit agency after it turned off cellphone service at its stations in an effort to prevent a potential protest last week. The hackers are apparently frustrated by efforts taken by police in San Francisco to jam cellphone communications so that protesters could not move forward with their protests. Gawker.com explains: "Protesters had planned to gather at a San Francisco BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit] station during rush hour to protest the fatal July shooting of Charles Hill by a BART police officer. But the protest never materialized. One reason, possibly, is the extreme lengths police went to make sure potential protesters couldn't communicate."