Among those who have been disappointed by President Barack Obama, none is likely to end up so painfully disappointed as those who saw his election as being, in itself and in its consequences, a movement toward a "post-racial society."
Like so many other expectations that so many people projected onto this little-known man who suddenly burst onto the political scene, the expectation of movement toward a post-racial society had no speck of hard evidence behind it — and all too many ignored indications of the very opposite, including his two decades of association with the egregious Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
Those people of good will who want to replace the racism of the past with a post-racial society have too often overlooked the fact that there are others who instead want to put racism under new management, to have reverse discrimination as racial payback for past injustices.
Attorney General Eric Holder became a key figure epitomizing the view that government's role in racial matters was not to be an impartial dispenser of equal justice for all, but to be a racial partisan and an organ of racial payback. He has been too politically savvy to say that in so many words, but his actions have spoken far louder than any words.
Forecasters at Britain's national weather service are predicting another frigid winter in the Northern Hemisphere due to sunspot activity. Their recent findings, published in Sunday's issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, show that low-level solar radiation is likely responsible for Europe's past three harsh winters and probably holds the same in store for the upcoming season. Met Office head of Seasonal to Decadal Prediction Dr. Adam Scaife bragged, "Our research establishes the link between the solar cycle and winter climate as more than just coincidence," as reported by the Daily Mail.
On the contrary, scientists have known about the more-than-coincidental relationship for two centuries. Last month Larry Bell, professor of space architecture at the University of Houston, outlined the history in a Forbes article entitled, "Sorry, But With Global Warming, It's the Sun, Stupid." In 1801 William Herschel correlated the number of sunspots to the price of grain in London. German astronomer Heinrich Schwabe proved the 11-year cycle of sunspot activity in 1843. Bell noted the absence of sunspots during the Little Ice Age that spanned the 17th and 18th centuries. And for the past two decades scientists have been publishing research based on the satellite record available since 1979 pointing to the overwhelming influence of solar activity on Earth's temperature. Their research has been very unpopular with, and routinely ignored by, climate change alarmists.
More than 2,000 Christian U.S. military chaplains have joined their Catholic colleagues in refusing to perform wedding ceremonies for homosexual soldiers who want to “marry” their partners. According to CNSNews.com, the evangelical and Orthodox chaplains are part of the newly formed Chaplain Alliance for Liberty, which will not allow member clergy “to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies under any circumstances.”
Dr. Ron Crews, executive director of the group, said chaplains are concerned about the implications of the September 30 directive that allows military clergy to perform same-sex “wedding” ceremonies. The Pentagon memorandum stated: “A military chaplain may participate in or officiate any private ceremony, whether on or off a military installation, provided that the ceremony is not prohibited by applicable state and local law.” The memo added that “a chaplain is not required to participate in or officiate a private ceremony if doing so would be in variance with the tenets of his or her religion.”
Crews, a former chaplain with 28 years of service, told CNSNews: “By dishonestly sanctioning the use of federal facilities for ‘marriage counterfeits’ that federal law and the vast majority of Americans have rejected, the Pentagon has launched a direct assault on the fundamental unit of society—husband and wife.”
Developments relating to the Solyndra debacle continue to surface as newly-surfaced internal government emails reveal that an Obama administration appointee at the Department of Energy (DOE) — and major Obama fundraiser — pushed to expedite a $535-million loan guarantee to the now-defunct solar firm. The emails expose "a disturbingly close relationship" among the White House, top campaign donors, and prominent Solyndra investors, according to a senior congressional Republican.
Steve Spinner, an adviser to the Department of Energy, actively endorsed the loan after agreeing to avoid any "active participation" in the application process, because his wife, Allison, was working for Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a law firm which represented Solyndra. Due to his wife’s association with the company, the DOE had ensured that Spinner would refrain from engaging in "any discussions" relating to the loan details because of a "conflict of interest." In a September 23, 2009 email to a DOE ethics officer, Steve Spinner described active participation as "solicitation, due diligence, [and] negotiations."
Energy Department spokesman Damien LaVera affirmed that Spinner was "authorized [only] to oversee and monitor the progress of applications, ensure that the program met its deadlines and milestones, and coordinate possible public announcements," because of his wife’s relations with Solyndra.
Europeans are more concerned about climate change than they are about their financial affairs, according to a new Eurobarometer poll conducted on behalf of the Climate Change Programme of the European Commission (EC). More than two-thirds of the public believe climate change is a serious problem, and nearly 80 percent say that tackling it will boost the economy and create jobs.
Pollsters tallied responses from almost 27,000 residents of the 27 European Union countries. They found that most Europeans view climate change as second only to poverty, hunger, and lack of drinking water (counted as a single concern) in terms of serious problems facing today's world. The global economic recession placed third on the list. In addition, 68 percent of respondents support the idea of taxing people based on energy use.
EU policy makers are jubilant, especially because these numbers are all up from a similar survey in 2009. "The fact that more than 3 out of 4 Europeans see improving energy efficiency as a way to create new jobs is a strong signal to Europe's decision makers," said Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action. "I see this poll very much as an encouragement also for us in the Commission to continue fighting for ambitious and concrete climate action in Europe."
On Monday morning Sentier Research announced the results of its new study showing changes in household income since the year 2000 and how those incomes have fared both during the recent recession and since the recovery that began in June, 2009. Not only did household income (which counts all incomes of all members of the household, including wages, Social Security payments, interest, dividends, welfare checks, retirement income, unemployment benefits, and veterans’ benefits, all adjusted for inflation) decline during the recession by 3.2 percent, it fell another 6.7 percent during the recovery.
The household income index (HHI) — created by two former Census Bureau analysts, Gordon Green and John Coder — has declined by almost 10 percent since the start of the recession, marking “a significant reduction in the American standard of living.” And the decline has been steady, month after month since January 2000, with only nine months out of the 138 months since then showing any improvement.
As noted by Robert Pear in the New York Times, this explains “why Americans’ attitudes toward the economy, the country’s direction and its political leaders have continued to sour even as the economy has been growing.” And even the assumption that the economy really is growing is still unclear. Henry Farber, a Princeton University economist, observed, “As a labor economist, I do not think the recession has ended.
Within the last few years, a phenomenon emerged to become among the most formidable forces in contemporary American politics. It goes by the name of “the Tea Party movement.” Supposedly, the Tea Party movement is not affiliated with either of our two national political parties. Rather, it is composed of millions of ordinary Americans who, jealous as they are of the liberties bequeathed to them by their progeny, find intolerable the gargantuan proportions to which the federal government has grown.
This, at any rate, is the conventional account of the genesis and character of the Tea Party movement.
I once endorsed it. Sadly, I no longer can.
It is my considered judgment — a judgment, mind you, from which I derive not the slightest satisfaction — that the Tea Party movement, like the so-called “conservative media” of Fox News and talk radio, has become, if it hasn’t always been, an organ of the GOP.
Late last week GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney released the names of his foreign policy and national security advisors just in time for his Friday address on America’s foreign policy. He effused over his selection:
I am deeply honored to have the counsel of this extraordinary group of diplomats, experts and statesmen. Their remarkable experience, wisdom and depth of knowledge will be critical to ensuring that the 21st Century is another American Century.
His campaign continues to be plagued with an increasing chorus of doubters about his conservative posture. His claim to have balanced the budget of Massachusetts without raising taxes was found to be false. In a widely-seen interview with Tim Russert on NBC’s Meet the Press in 2008, Russert nailed Romney:
The military regime ruling Egypt is under fire after it responded to weekend protests by Coptic Christians in Cairo with deadly force, leaving hundreds wounded and dozens dead. An official investigation is ongoing.
Following another church attack last week blamed on Islamist extremists, Christian activists marched to the state-run TV station headquarters in the capital. The demonstrators were demanding government protection from Muslim attacks and the resignation or firing of a provincial governor.
“Down, down, Field Marshal Tantawi!” the protesters were also reportedly chanting, calling for the Egyptian regime’s chief to step down. Then the situation spiraled out of control.
According to news reports, thugs in civilian clothing unleashed a wave of violence against the Christians using swords, clubs, and other weapons. The government then sent armored personnel carriers and mowed down dozens of protesters. At least 25 were killed, probably more — some crushed under tanks, others shot.
President Obama has created a secret death panel to decide which American citizens should be killed without trial by our own military, and he approved a secret legal memorandum from the Office of Legal Council (OLC) that tries to justify the killings, according to Reuters and the New York Times, respectively.
Of the death panel, Reuters reported October 5,
There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House's National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.
The Obama administration has refused to comment officially or publicly on the existence of the death panel.
New York Times reporter Charlie Savage described the legal memorandum in detail after lengthy, perhaps administration-approved, conversations with anonymous Obama administration officials. Savage describes the document as "a roughly 50-page memorandum by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, completed around June 2010," which means that it was drawn up about six months after the assassination list already existed. Savage continued: