The drug cartel war moves into the U.S. On Monday, November 21st, D.E.A. agents in unmarked cars were discreetly following a large chemical tanker truck carrying 300 pounds of concealed marijuana as they monitored a "controlled delivery" — a law enforcement trap for drug smugglers. Suddenly, in a secluded area of suburban Houston, at least three vehicles rapidly approached the truck, and several members of Los Zetas, a dangerous Mexican drug cartel, jumped out of the vehicles, "yanked open the passenger cab door and repeatedly shot Chapa [the truck driver], whose hands had been raised in the air," tossed his body to the street, and may have been about to drive off with the truck, when dozens of D.E.A. agents and local law enforcement converged on the scene, killed one member of Los Zetas, and arrested four others. Something had definitely gone wrong with this controlled delivery.
After the standard, one-day news blackout to give law enforcement a chance to run down any leads garnered from the arrests, various news media were reporting that "hijackers" had attempted "to take control of the truck" — thereby leaving the impression that the murdered driver was merely unfortunate collateral damage, because he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
However, according to Curtis Collier — President of U.S. Border Watch, with more than 20 years of law enforcement and drug interdiction experience — this incident was not an "attempted truck hijacking." It was a planned hit, designed to send a message to rival drug cartels, as well as to law enforcement.
In last Saturday’s print edition of The Economist magazine, staff writers attempted to compare today’s Internet with the publication of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses in 1517. Claiming that by nailing his complaints onto a bulletin board, Luther started the Reformation. This was done, according to The Economist’s rewriting of history, “when Martin Luther and his allies took the new media of their day — pamphlets, ballads and woodcuts — and circulated them through social networks to promote their message of religious reform.” From there the article concentrates on the alleged “social network” that Luther had to promote his views, rather than on the message — the information — contained in those views:
In December 1517 printed editions of the theses, in the form of pamphlets and broadsheets, appeared simultaneously in Leipzig, Nuremberg and Basel, paid for by Luther’s friends to whom he had sent copies. German translations, which could be read by a wider public than Latin-speaking academics and clergy, soon followed and quickly spread throughout the German-speaking lands. Luther’s friend Friedrich Myconius later wrote that “hardly 14 days had passed when these propositions were known throughout Germany and within four weeks almost all of Christendom was familiar with them….”
A conservative legal advocacy group has filed suit against a Michigan school district and teacher for their actions against a student who was removed from class and threatened with suspension for expressing his opposition to homosexuality during a classroom discussion. The Thomas More Law Center said that it filed the federal lawsuit against the Howell, Michigan, school district and one of its teachers, Johnson “Jay” McDowell, “for punishment and humiliation” they exhibited toward high school student Daniel Glowacki after he expressed his Christian beliefs regarding homosexuality in response to McDowell’s prompting.
Congressmen long ago granted themselves the privilege of mailing items to constituents at taxpayers’ expense, a process called “franking.” Usually such a mailing amounts to a barely disguised plea for reelection, bragging about how much pork the congressman has brought home and listing services he offers to his constituents.
There are numerous rules governing the content of franked mailings, but one in particular has attracted attention lately: a ban on the use of the phrase “Merry Christmas.” A congressional staffer told the Washington Examiner’s Mark Tapscott that after he submitted a draft mailing to the House Franking Commission to determine whether it could be franked, the commission responded with a memo stating that the inclusion of “Merry Christmas” in an otherwise acceptable mailing is prohibited. In fact, no mention of any specific holiday is allowed — not Christmas, not Hanukkah, and not New Year’s Day.
Members of Congress are prohibited from franking “greetings, including holiday celebrations, condolences, and congratulations for personal distinctions (wedding anniversaries, birthdays, etc.),” according to the Members’ Congressional Handbook. The Franking Commission, however, went beyond that simple, commonsense ban on taxpayer reimbursement of purely personal greetings, stating in its memo: “You may make reference to the season as a whole using language along the lines of ‘Have a safe and happy holiday season.’ It may only be incidental to the piece rather than the primary purpose of the communication.”
As unlikely as it might have seemed to professional politicians and talking-head media stars just a few weeks ago, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is now regarded as a real threat to win the Iowa caucuses on January 3, just one week before the New Hampshire primary. And the reaction of party leaders to that would not be pretty, said columnist Timothy Carney of the Washington Examiner.
“The Republican presidential primary has become a bit feisty, but it will get downright ugly if Ron Paul wins the Iowa caucuses,” Carney wrote in Monday's column. “The principled, antiwar, Constitution-obeying, Fed-hating, libertarian Republican congressman from Texas stands firmly outside the bounds of permissible dissent as drawn by either the Republican establishment or the mainstream media.”
Carney, who does not hide his admiration for the popular underdog, noted in the interest of “disclosure” that Paul wrote the forward to Carney's 2009 book, Obamanomics. He went on to say that in a crowded Republican field, led nationally by “a collapsing Newt Gingrich and an uninspiring Mitt Romney, Paul could carry the Iowa caucuses, where supporter enthusiasm has so much value.” Given the national media coverage of the Paul campaign up to this point, Carney suggested a Paul victory might generate headlines like, “Romney Beats Out Gingrich for Second Place in Iowa.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron has sent atheists and leftists into a rage by asserting that Britain is a Christian country. In a speech commemorating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, which Cameron called, with Shakespeare, the zenith of the English language, he declared that the Bible is important for three reasons, the third being that Britain “is a Christian country.”
Earlier this week, two human rights advocacy groups issued a joint preliminary report denouncing the governments of Europe for allegedly aiding the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in conducting the now infamous rendition program. Persons accused by the U.S. government of being "enemy combatants" were subject to "extraordinary rendition": capture and shipment off to one of the so-called “black site” secret prisons for questioning, where the detainees were often reportedly subjected to inhuman tactics to elicit responses from them.
Recently there has been much discussion of the eradication of the panoply of fundamental principles of liberty by the Congress and attempts to convert the President into a totalitarian dictator with historic powers to apprehend and indefinitely detain American citizens. This author has questioned whether the permission for the absolute abuse of power soon to be codified as part of the National Defense Authorization Act is not a greater act of tyranny than any perpetrated by George III that precipitated the waging of America’s war for independence.
The “long train of abuses” of which Britain’s crown was accused are enumerated in the Declaration of Independence. This historic indictment of King George III was penned principally by Thomas Jefferson and was laid out in a manner both methodical and lyrical. It stood on the rooftops and decried for the all the world to hear the despotic measures levied against the American colonies by the government of Great Britain.
As our own modern government passes one after the other laws eroding the bedrock of freedom upon which our Republic was built after the successful waging of the war against English oppression, the specific examples of the abuse of power cited in the Declaration of Independence may prove prophetic and may help to enlighten 21st-century Americans and embolden them in their efforts to restore liberty and the constitutional boundaries of government.
Ron Paul has elaborated on his views in his books, in speeches, and in interviews. During the debates, however, when he has a national audience, he doesn’t always present his views as persuasively as he could. In my last article, I suggested ways in which he could respond to challenges regarding his views on foreign policy and national security. In this article, it is to criticisms concerning his position on drugs and the recently resurrected charge that Paul is a "racist."
Last week, the Republican presidential contenders slugged it out in Iowa. As usual, Ron Paul’s remarks concerning American foreign policy have drawn heat. Paul is by far the most honest of the candidates. At the same time, he is also the most unpolished. In fact, chances are better than not that the former accounts for the latter.
Substantively speaking, Paul’s ideas are more cogent, and certainly more consistent with liberty, than any of those bandied about his rivals. But stylistically, he is at a disadvantage. Like or not, we are living in an imagistic age in which, as far as the electability of a candidate is concerned, style means at least as much, and often much more, than substance.
Paul, that is, needs to package his eminently sensible ideas so as to make them more palatable to both the base of his party as well as the rest of the country.
Fortunately, this is hardly as formidable a task as some may think. In fact, it isn’t particularly formidable at all.
When it comes to Israel, for example, imagine something like these words springing from the lips of Congressman Paul: