In response to the passage by the House and the Senate of the National Defense Appropriations Act of 2012 (NDAA), Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers, announced a national effort to recall every member who voted for the act. Oath Keepers was founded by Rhodes to encourage current members of the military services and veterans to keep their oath to protect and defend the Constitution against “all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Members commit to following certain “orders we will not obey,” including, as especially relevant to NDAA, Number Three:
The Pew Forum’s just released study Global Christianity: 2011 Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population, shows that at 2.18 billion adherents, or around a third of the world’s 2010 population of 6.9 billion, Christianity is still, by far, the predominant faith across the globe. But while a century ago the demographic center of the Christian faith was Europe, today “no single continent or region can indisputably claim to be the center of global Christianity,” note the Pew researchers. In fact, while over 66 percent of the world’s Christian population lived in Europe in 1910, by 2010 that number had dwindled to just 26 percent, while the numbers of the world’s Christians in North and South America had risen from 27 percent in 1910 to nearly 37 percent in 2010. Moreover, with the massive global missions emphasis among many Christian groups, along with dramatic population growth and demographic shifts over the past 100 years, today nearly “one in every four Christians lives in sub-Saharan Africa (24%), and about one-in-eight is found in Asia and the Pacific (13%),” noted the Pew study.
The Los Angeles Unified School District embraced First Lady Michelle Obama’s "war on obesity" campaign earlier this year when school officials launched a program to phase out junk food and offer a "trail-blazing" new menu of black-bean burgers, quinoa salad, and a catalog of other "healthy" foods. But according to an article published by the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Unified’s efforts to purge its school cafeterias of cheeseburgers and fries has in fact spawned an underground ring of junk food bootlegging. The new menu, introduced this fall, was lauded as a revolutionary step toward eradicating the "growing epidemic" of obesity, diabetes, and other health issues percolating among America’s youth. The Times reported that ever since the district radically altered its food menus — "think Caribbean meatballs and pad Thai, in place of nachos and strawberry milk" — uneaten lunches are finding a home in the bottom of school trash bins. However, writes the L.A. paper, not only is the food unpopular, poor logistics have also attributed to the program’s hasty demise:
Rep. Ron Paul’s top-tier status heading into Iowa and New Hampshire means he definitely can’t be totally ignored by the major media, as he has been in the past. So the censors and blackout artists have been replaced by the smear bund. This past week they got pretty well revved up, but they’re still probably a long way from being in high gear. As The New American's Jack Kenny noted here a couple of days ago in his article, “Campaign Could Get 'Downright Ugly' if Paul Wins Iowa,” the Big Government Republicans are sharpening their knives for a bloodfest. But they’re not waiting for the results of the January 3, 2012 Iowa caucuses to get ugly. Over the past week, the apoplectic attack dogs of the neoconservative kennel were unleashed for a rabid, howling blitz against the Texas Congressman. It’s testimony to Dr. Paul’s squeaky clean personal and political life that the attackers have been forced to fabricate issues with which to clobber him. No sex scandals. No political payoffs from Freddie Mac or favoritism for Goldman Sachs. No political flip-flops on issues. No sellouts to special interests. So how do you attack a straight arrow such as Dr. Paul who is a constitutional purist and has doggedly stuck to his convictions for over three decades of public life? Well, they’re dusting off their playbook from the 2008 presidential campaign, and adding a few new twists. The smear bund is harping on several memes, hoping that sufficient repetition from multiple voices will convince voters that Ron Paul is “dangerous,” “crazy,” a “pacifist,” an “isolationist,” a “conspiracy crank,” and a “grumpy old man.”
"He offered specific advice to anti-government militia members," James Kirchick warned with a dark intonation of the Rep. Ron Paul newsletter scandal. Writing with a tsk-tsk tone in The Weekly Standard, Kirchick fearfully screeched of the Paul newsletters:
On December 22, a judge from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order granting a motion to dismiss a complaint filed by Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak al Janko, a former prisoner at the Navy’s Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility in Cuba. In the suit, Janko, a Syrian national, alleges that while detained at the Guantanamo Bay facility he was subjected to torture by agents of the United States government and armed forces.
“Everything we know about [Mitt] Romney’s record tells us to not trust anything he says while he’s campaigning for office, because his positions will change when he’s trying to appeal to a different electorate,” observed Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner. Klein is correct, of course. In just a few short years Romney has, for instance, gone from being pro-choice to being pro-life and from describing himself as a “progressive” to saying he’s a “conservative Republican.” Klein, however, is specifically reacting to video of an April 2010 Romney appearance that has recently resurfaced on YouTube. In the video Romney compares and contrasts the healthcare plan he signed into law as Governor of Massachusetts with the one President Barack Obama approved shortly before this appearance. He ends by saying that he wants “to eliminate some of the differences, repeal the bad, and keep the good” in ObamaCare.
An online article by the Associated Press reported on December 19th that the Iowa Republican Party is taking seriously the threat of disrupting the Iowa Caucuses. The article went on to say that the Republican Party is encouraging the use of paper ballots instead of show of hands, which has traditionally been the norm at many of the caucus sites. This is for the purpose of reconstructing the results, if necessary. It also quoted Ryan Gough, who is in charge of coordinating the caucuses, as declining to release the specific details of the Iowa GOP's security plan in order not to make these details available to any hackers.
“It’s infuriating,” Bruce Schneier remarked. “We’re spending billions upon billions of dollars doing this — and it is almost entirely pointless. Not only is it not done right, but even if it was done right it would be the wrong thing to do.” Schneier could, of course, have been referring to any of dozens of government programs. In this case, however, he was speaking of the federal government’s post-9/11 airport security measures — measures that Schneier, a security expert, has dubbed “security theater,” defined as “actions that accomplish nothing but are designed to make the government look like it is on the job.”
A judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina issued a preliminary injunction on December 22 against key provisions of the South Carolina immigration statute. The plaintiffs in the case include a group of civil rights organizations and the United States Department of Justice. Of the 20 sections of the South Carolina law, four of them were challenged and are now blocked from enforcement. These four include provisions which that state criminal sanctions for: “harboring and transporting of unlawfully present persons”; “failure to carry alien registration materials”; “the creation of fraudulent identification documents”; and the directive to state and local law enforcement officials to “determine the immigration status of certain persons encountered in routine traffic stops and other contacts in which there is a ‘reasonable suspicion’ that the person may be in the United States unlawfully.” The civil rights groups challenging the law argue that enforcement of the law requires de facto racial profiling. The Justice Department argues that the Constitution places all power over the establishment of immigration policy in the hands of the federal government and that the legislature of South Carolina is thus preempted from passing legislation in that area of the law.