A new mass of humanity is moving across the U.S. border with Mexico. Illegal-alien Indians, many of them Sikhs, are coming to the the United States, the Associated Press reported on Sunday, because it elevates their social status back home. They will account for 33 percent of the illegals caught trying to cross the border. So border officials now contend not only with Mexican revanchists and drug traffickers but also Indians from the Punjab and Gujarat, who are using dangerous smugglers to get them across the border into Texas. According to the AP, an immigration detention center in Texas holds a large number of Sikhs who lie to judges by claiming they are seeking asylum from religious persecution.
One of the quintessential ingredients of small-town America is the local civic group, an organization of individuals who attempt to better their community by influencing their local government. Of course, not everyone appreciates their efforts — especially politicians who prefer to do as they please without interference from the people they are supposed to be serving. In trying to evade local civic groups, however, few local governments have gone as far as the city council of Gould, Arkansas. First the council passed an ordinance demanding the Gould Citizens Advisory Council a group of concerned Gould citizens, cease to exist. Then it passed another one forbidding the mayor to meet with any organization without the express consent of the city council. Mayor Earnest Nash, Jr., a member of the group, vetoed both measures, but the council overrode his vetoes.
When public debt abounds, politicians look to slippery ways to keep buying votes with tax dollars while reassuring skittish markets that everything is okay. America, of course, faces a deficit showdown driven, largely, by the explosion in federal expenditures during the reign of Obama. The glut of mandated money (currency backed by the “full faith and credit of the United States” — and nothing else) has produced predictable economic behavior. People invest in what they believe will be safe. Real estate, historically, has been a good investment for most Americans.  But when the federal government pushes and bribes big lenders to make imprudent loans, and the predictable avalanche of defaults occurs, then an artificial glut of housing drives down the market price and strips hard-working families of the investment that had been the principal economic asset of the family.
A photograph in the Toronto Star shows a Muslim prayer service in a Canadian middle school, in which Sharia law is being imposed. Muslim girls who are “unclean” may not join the prayer service. “Clean girls” sit in rows behind the boys, who occupy the front rows. “Unclean” is the word Muslims use for girls who are menstruating. Sharia law states they must be separated from the "clean" students. The story focused on whether such Friday prayer services, which run between November and March for 30 minutes during class time after lunch, are permissible under Canadian law.
Last December, I reported on Harvard University professor Stephan Thernstrom's essay "Minorities in College — Good News, But...," on Minding the Campus, a website sponsored by the New York-based Manhattan Institute. He was commenting on the results of the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress, saying that the scores "mean that black students aged 17 do not read with any greater facility than whites who are four years younger and still in junior high.... Exactly the same glaring gaps appear in NAEP's tests of basic mathematics skills." Thernstrom asked, "If we put a randomly-selected group of 100 eighth-graders and another of 100 twelfth-graders in a typical college, would we expect the first group to perform as well as the second?" In other words, is it reasonable to expect a college freshman of any race who has the equivalent of an eighth-grade education to compete successfully with those having a 12th-grade education?
Time’s July 4th cover story about the United States Constitution, “Does It Still Matter?,” reveals more about the mindset of the liberal elite than it does about the Constitution. Actually, Richard Stengel, Managing Editor of Time, and author of the article, has some nice things to say about our Constitution. He ran the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia before becoming editor of Time, so he has some knowledge of our country’s basic law. Yet, he starts off with the title: “One Document, Under Siege.” Why is the Constitution under siege? My Scribner desk dictionary defines siege as “surrounding of a fortified place by an army to compel its surrender; prolonged or persistent attempt to gain something.” Well, we know which Americans comprise the army that wants to defeat the Constitution: the liberal, progressive, socialist left. And why? Because the Constitution actually protects the rest of us from the left’s tyrannical ambitions.
The Obama administration has declared many times that ObamaCare will not institute death panels. Rationing panels may be another story. President Obama’s healthcare law authorizes an independent panel, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, to control excessive Medicare costs. The Blaze notes, “IPAB has the power to force Medicare cuts if costs go up beyond certain levels and Congress fails to act. Although Medicare’s long-term finances are troubled, it’s unclear if short-run costs will rise enough over the next decade to trigger the board’s intervention.” Currently, the law explicitly prohibits the IPAB from rationing care, or shifting costs, or limiting benefits, but Republicans have voiced concerns that such a panel may very well turn into a rationing panel.
At last Friday’s press conference, President Obama reviewed the status of talks with Republicans over the debt ceiling and reiterated his determination to “get our fiscal house in order.” He added: "We have a unique opportunity to do something big. We have a chance to stabilize America’s finances for a decade, for 15 years, or 20 years, if we’re willing to seize the moment." "Now, what that would require would be some shared sacrifice and a balanced approach that says we’re going to make significant cuts in domestic spending. And I have already said I am willing to take down domestic spending to the lowest percentage of our overall economy since Dwight Eisenhower.”(emphasis added)
With President Barack Obama having issued an executive order banning secret Central Intelligence Agency prisons and then-CIA Director Leon Panetta having stated that “CIA no longer operates detention facilities or black sites,” one might think a credible report that the CIA is still operating such a prison would make the front page of every newspaper in the country and be covered on all major television news programs. Alas, in 21st-century America, where the news media are the handmaidens of the state, the story has largely been ignored; and those outlets that have deemed it worthy of coverage have done so in such a way as to play down its revelations and play up the government’s denials. On July 12 The Nation published a lengthy article by Jeremy Scahill exposing a secret CIA prison in Mogadishu, Somalia. Scahill’s report was based on an in-person investigation of the allegations, undertaken at great personal risk.
A Nevada man is suing the Department of Motor Vehicles after it denied his request for vanity license plates reading "GOPALIN," alleging that the plates violate the standard against "vulgarity." James Linlor, who requested the plates, is bringing the case for what he asserts to be political bias at the DMV. Requests for vanity plates are measured against a standard that indicates those plates cannot include a message that may be deemed to be “contempt, ridicule, or superiority of … political affiliation.” According to the Nevada DMV, “GOPALIN” is “vulgar” and “inappropriate.” Linlor requested the same plates in 2009 and 2010, but both applications were denied, for the same reason. Later in 2010, Linlor requested a variation on the plates: either “Palin,” “Palin12,” or “Palin16.”
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