STOCKHOLM — As the growing “Occupy Wall Street” protests prepare to enter their second month after spreading across the United States, “solidarity” demonstrations were held over the weekend in hundreds of cities in dozens of countries around the world. South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa all had protests of varying sizes. Most of the demonstrations were supposedly targeting bankers, greed, capitalism, bailouts, governments, central banking, and a wide range of other perceived ills. Some European capitals saw tens of thousands of people peacefully gather to express their anger over the assorted themes. Demonstrations in Spain, which have been ongoing for over five months, were reportedly among the largest. While most of the protests were peaceful, some turned ugly. Rome, one of the worst-hit cities, saw hundreds of masked marauders causing chaos and destruction estimated in the millions of dollars. Dozens of police officers were also injured in clashes and street fights. According to news reports, shop windows and statues were smashed, churches were covered in graffiti, police cars and the Interior Ministry were set ablaze, and terror reigned supreme. Violent battles between law enforcement and hordes of “Black Bloc” thugs — often using pipes, homemade explosives, knives, and other weapons — lasted for hours.
In a display of disregard for public opinion, leaders of the ruling Australian Labor Party (ALP) pushed through legislation in the lower house of parliament that will burden their nation with a whole new form of taxation: a carbon tax. Following the razor thin legislative ‘victory’ — a vote of 74 to 72 — opposition leader Tony Abbott of the Liberal Party (LP) gave a “pledge in blood” that his party would dismantle the new tax as soon as his party regains power. According to an article for the Sydney Morning Herald, the massive legislation was pushed through the Australian parliament with an untimely rapidity reminiscent of President Obama’s effort to nationalize the American health care system. In the words of The Sydney Morning Herald: Against last-minute efforts by the opposition to delay the passage of the bills and 11th-hour pleas for amendments by some business groups, the government passed its 18 pieces of legislation by a vote of 74 to 72 just before 10am. … Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has vowed to repeal the legislation if he becomes prime minister, though the government has insisted he will not be able to manage that. The bills were passed with help from crossbench MPs Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windsor and Andrew Wilkie, as well as Greens MP Adam Bandt.
Forbes magazine's Richard Miniter claimed Congressman Ron Paul has the Fifth Amendment wrong on Obama's assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, but the example of George Washington during the Whiskey Rebellion reveals that it's Ron Paul who got it right. Congressman Paul condemned the September 30 drone strike ordered by the Obama White House against Awlaki and fellow U.S. citizen Samir Khan, noting that the Fifth Amendment says that the U.S. government can't allow persons to "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Paul added in comments the day of the killing: "I think what would people have said about [Oklahoma City bomber] Timothy McVeigh? We didn't assassinate him, who we were pretty certain ... had done it. Went and put through the courts then executed him. To start assassinating American citizens without charges, we should think very seriously about this." Miniter claimed in his October 13 article that Ron Paul's argument "contains a lot of pernicious nonsense" and that "While seemingly sensible, more due process is actually a dangerous and unconstitutional idea. President Obama, a former constitutional law lecturer at the University of Chicago, actually got the balance right." Miniter admitted,
Among the eight or so GOP presidential candidates, Mitt Romney is “the frontrunner,” the establishment darling whom the media has all but assured us will be Barack Obama’s rival come next year. Considering that the rubbing together of two wet stones stands a better chance of generating sparks than does Romney’s candidacy, it is indeed fascinating that, from the outset, it is this former Governor of “the bluest” state in the Union that has garnered greatest support from Republicans. After all, just ask yourself: Outside of the circle of establishment talking heads on Fox News and elsewhere, when do you recall encountering so much as a hint of enthusiasm for Mitt Romney? Let us be honest with ourselves: Politically speaking, Romney hasn’t a conservative or libertarian instinct in his body. But the situation for genuine conservatives and libertarians is actually much worse than this. It would be bad enough if Romney were just a committed leftist; in truth, though, it is clear with all eyes to see that he is actually a leftist conspicuously lacking in conviction. The regularity with which he undergoes political conversions, to say nothing of their timing, makes this verdict all but impossible to circumvent.
On September 30, the Economic Cycle Research Institute announced that the U.S. economy officially entered a new recession. On the following Tuesday, October 4, the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index dropped to 1,074.77, the lowest level of the year. Since then the index has rebounded to 1,224.58, or 14 percent. Reports of rising retail sales, buoyed by reports that retailers Macy’s and Kohl’s are boosting hiring, have led some to suggest that predictions of another recession are premature. The 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg estimated that retail sales for September would rise 0.7 percent and instead they rose by 1.1 percent. And the August numbers were revised upward as well, causing Michael Moran, chief economist at Daiwa Capital Markets, to claim, “It looks like we’re going to be avoiding a recession [after all]. Even though consumers don’t feel good, there is job growth going on and that is fueling some pickup in spending.” But then the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan results came out on Friday, showing sentiments among those very same consumers dropping in early October to the lowest level in more than 30 years, and their expectations for the future falling to the lowest level since May of 1980.
Over 40 percent of all the money the administration claimed it would save by enacting ObamaCare just vanished when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius cancelled the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) program on Friday, October 14. The program, which would have paid at least $50 a day for long-term in-home care for enrolled persons, was clearly in trouble when the Obama administration closed the CLASS office and requested that its budget be eliminated. Although the administration denied that CLASS was in danger, it stated: “A CLASS program will only be implemented if it is fiscally solvent, self-sustaining and consistent with the statute.” The statute requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to certify that CLASS will be actuarially solvent for 75 years before initiating the program. Sebelius found that she could not do so, writing in a letter to Congress: “Despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time.” The problem is that an enrollee has to pay (relatively low) premiums for only five years before becoming eligible for full benefits, but the benefits themselves have no time limit.
A Christian school in suburban Chicago was vandalized on the morning of October 15, just hours before it hosted an event sponsored by the pro-family group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH). According to one local news report, when administrators for Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights arrived at the facility, “they discovered a number of broken windows and door panes on the east side of the building, which were shattered by bricks, Arlington Heights Police Capt. Nicholas Pecora said.” While it is not clear exactly who was responsible for the vandalism, the report continued, a note was attached to one of the bricks “which referenced speakers scheduled for a Saturday night banquet at the school, said the Rev. Calvin Lindstrom of Christian Liberty. The note read, ‘This is just a sample of what we will do if you don’t shut down Scott Lively and AFTAH,’ Lindstrom said.” The banquet, which was not canceled, featured noted Christian speaker and author Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Chicago’s famed Moody Church, along with Scott Lively of Defending the Family International, who was honored by Americans for Truth with its annual “American Truthteller” award.
In an effort to "better accommodate transgender students," the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) is flirting with a new campus experiment to accept co-ed dorm room assignments from students who would prefer to live with members of the opposite sex. If approved, the "gender-inclusive housing" policy could go into effect as early as next year, allowing students to request co-ed roommates for the 2012 academic year. Last year, the Undergraduate Students Association Council proposed the policy change to the school’s On Campus Housing Council, and the OCHC happily advised Housing Services to research the idea. Housing Services answered willingly and approved one request this year as a pilot for the student council’s request. Patrick Malkoun, a homosexual student at UCLA, has been a vigilant supporter of the policy change, suggesting that it would alleviate stress for gay students by allowing them to room with female students — which, he claims, would avoid the impending potential for "homophobia." "Living with someone that isn’t gay can be like living with a hot pink elephant in the room," he said. Malkoun’s roommate was evicted last year, so he had to find someone else to live with. He asked a close friend, a female Design/Media Arts major, also gay, to move in with him. Malkoun and his friend submitted their appeal to Housing Services but their request was denied a few days later, as Housing Services notified them that UCLA’s policy allows only single-sex housing.
A New Jersey school teacher has found herself in hot water for using her Facebook page to express her moral outrage over the normalization of homosexuality. As reported by the New York Times, Viki Knox, a special education teacher at Union High School in Union Township, used Facebook to complain about a school display recognizing October as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History month, writing that “homosexuality is a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation.” The Times reported that, after telling a friend that she was “pitching a fit” about the display, which included photos of such famed individuals as author Virginia Woolf, former San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, and actor Neil Patrick Harris, Knox “defended her views in lengthy exchanges with other Facebook users, referring at times to God and her Christian beliefs.” Knox’s Facebook page has since been removed from public view. According to the Times, “Knox wrote that while she had friends and loved ones who were gay, she believed that the way they lived was ‘against the nature and character of God’ and that the high school was ‘not the setting to promote, encourage, support and foster homosexuality.’” When a Union Township resident challenged Knox’s Facebook comments, the teacher responded:
The U.S. government's Operation Fast and Furious was a plot to subvert gun rights in America, National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre charged October 14 in an interview with Newsmax.TV. “It’s the only thing that makes any sense,” LaPierre said of the gunrunning "sting" operation that resulted in thousands of U.S.-purchased firearms ending up in the hands of violent Mexican drug traffickers. LaPierre noted that "over a period of two or three years they were running thousands and thousands of guns to the most evil people on earth,” while government officials were claiming that 90 percent of the guns used by the Mexican cartels were coming from the United States. However, said LaPierre: