News Briefs Tuesday March 12th 2013


Thanks to Lucy

constitutionHal Rounds (Master Scholar) has agreed to teach his class on the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence for those of us in and around the Savannah area. Mark your calendars for Saturday March 23rd and join us in the Savannah, Tennessee City Hall building.

The course will start at 8:30 so be there and be ready to learn about how and why our country began. There is no charge for the course and I guarantee you will learn a lot  and will come away with an entirely new respect for what our founding fathers did for us. It is equally enlightening for teens and adults and is being offered free of charge. If you have any questions contact Jerry Key through


We had one other Tennessee congressman who signed on to PUPS last time toward the end of the session. He hasn’t signed on yet this time but it would be a good idea if he heard from people in his district asking him *not* to co-sponsor the bill. That’s Phil Roe in district 1. He’s a Republican but there’s a strong shelter and anti-breeder network in his district and he’s been kind of soft on HSUS animal issues in the past.

If you live in district 1 — that’s Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol and northeast TN, please call or write Phil Roe and ask him not to support PUPS.

This is the Cavalry group’s cap wiz. You can personalize their letter to say whatever you want, but it’s easy to use:

You can also use the NAIA cap wiz but this is their letter from 2011-12. The bill is exactly the same but the bill numbers have changed. I don’t think that matters for the contents of the letter. Just copy and paste from the paragraphs they have for you and submit the letter or personalize it any way you want.

Please do write to Congressman Roe. If you’re in other districts please let your legislators hear from you, too. We don’t want any of them supporting PUPS.

Fight Club vs. the Weenie Brigade

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) is doing what needs to be done in the House. He is proposing voting against all rules for legislation that increase the size of government or have a majority of Republicans opposing the underlying legislation. “Rules” are the instructions dictating how much time will be spent on debate of legislation, how many amendments can be offered, etc. The minority party typically votes against the rules, which means if enough conservatives also vote against the rules, the underlying legislation can either be killed or opened to lots of amendments.  This is a needed and worthy goal that I have been calling for, for some time. Rep. Dave Schweikert (R-AZ) is joining Rep. Salmon in this. I hope you will consider calling their offices and thanking them. Let them know you support them. You can reach Rep. Salmon’s office here and reach Rep. Schweikert’s office here. Tell them thank you. Maybe if they hear from enough of you other congressmen will know it is safe to join them. These gentlemen and the conservative fight club in the House stand in stark contrast to the weenie brigade lording over the GOP in Congress. Byron York has a piece at the Washington Examiner that exposes just how timid  some of the Republicans are becoming. I noted yesterday the rise of this weenie brigade that wants the GOP to talk about no issue and fight on no ground lest they offend anyone. It’s as if Bob Michel is back in charge.

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Manning Trial Underscores Obama’s Broken Promise

Editor’s Note: In his first run for the Oval Office, Barack Obama promised to protect government whistleblowers. Has he lived up to his word? Hardly. According to Bloomberg News, his attorney general, Eric Holder, has “prosecuted more government officials for alleged leaks under than World War I−era Espionage Act than all his predecessors combined.” Particularly egregious is the administration’s persecution of Bradley Manning, the army soldier who provided WikiLeaks with documents revealing severe U.S. military malfeasance, such as the 2007 killings in Iraq made famous in a video that went viral three years ago. Manning’s recent guilty plea, according to Independent Institute Research Fellow Anthony Gregory, should remind Americans not only of Obama’s broken promise to make the government more transparent and accountable, but also of the heroism of those who have risked their lives and liberties to draw attention to government misconduct.

“Many struggle to reconcile their genuine commitments to human rights with their admiration for the president,” Gregory writes. “But here no reconciliation is possible. Manning is the good guy in this whole ordeal, and his persecution at the hands of the Obama administration should be condemned as loudly as anything that happened on Bush’s watch.”

Manning, who has already served about one thousand days, could get up to 20 years in prison. A presidential pardon for him would not be unprecedented: Andrew Johnson pardoned Confederate soldiers; Warren Harding pardoned conscription foe Eugene Debs; and Jimmy Carter pardoned Vietnam War draft-dodgers. A pardon from Obama is possible, but it’s almost certainly not imminent. “A lot of things can happen,” Gregory continues, “but Manning will most likely suffer for at least the remainder of Obama’s second term.”

Read the following:

Obama’s Persecution of Bradley Manning, by Anthony Gregory (The Huffington Post, 3/6/13)

Video: Anthony Gregory on Rand Paul’s Senate Filibuster (3/8/13)

Video: Anthony Gregory on Independent Watch: The Bellicosity of a Democrat’s Second Term (3/4/13)

Remember this recent story “Anne Arundel second-grader suspended for chewing his pastry into the shape of a gun”

The Post’s Donna St. George reports:

A 7-year-old Anne Arundel County boy was suspended Friday for chewing his breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun and saying, “bang, bang”— an offense that the school described as a threat to other students, according to his family. The pastry “gun” was a rectangular strawberry-filled bar, akin to a Pop-Tart, that the second-grader had tried to nibble into the shape of a mountain, but then found it looked more like a gun, said his father, William “B.J.” Welch. Welch said an assistant principal at Park Elementary School told him that his son pointed the pastry at a classmate. The boy maintains he pointed it at the ceiling, according to his father. “In my eyes, it’s irrelevant; I don’t care who he pointed it at,” Welch said. “It was harmless. It was a danish.”

One more Time…..

Well it brought us this story…..

A Maryland lawmaker has proposed The Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013 also called the “Toaster Pastry Gun Freedom Act” to curb punishment of school children for having things, or talking about things, or eating things that resemble guns.A seven year-old Maryland boy was suspended this month after chewing a pastry into the shape of the gun.

The Daily Caller reported, via Instapundit:

A Maryland state senator has crafted a bill to curb the zeal of public school officials who are tempted to suspend students as young as kindergarten for having things — or talking about things, or eating things — that represent guns, but aren’t actually anything like real guns.

Sen. J. B. Jennings, a Republican who represents Baltimore Harford Counties, introduced “The Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013″ on Thursday, reports The Star Democrat.

“We really need to re-evaluate how kids are punished,” Jennings told The Star Democrat. “These kids can’t comprehend what they are doing or the ramifications of their actions.”…

The bill also includes a section mandating counseling for school officials who fail to distinguish between guns and things that resemble guns.

See the video

John C. Goodman criticizes what Obama is doing to the job market

Firms are awash with cash, but they’re not hiring. What’s going on? One place to look for an explanation is the policies of the Obama administration. President Obama’s proposal to increase the minimum wage and the health insurance employer mandate are combining to destroy job opportunities for young, unskilled workers in cities and towns across the country. The minimum wage, currently set at $7.25 an hour, will jump to $9 an hour and be indexed going forward if the president gets his way. The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is already the law of the land and its effects are being felt right now, even though the employer mandate doesn’t go into effect until next January.

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Men vs. Women, Blacks vs. Whites, Gays vs. Straights

Editor’s Note: The State exacerbates conflict, the better to rule us, says Butler Shaffer.

Congressional renewal of the federal Violence Against Women Act is generating a good deal of discussion in the media, academia, and political forums over what sounds like a noncontroversial topic. Is there to be a debate on the question of whether violence should be visited upon women? Are there articulate “pro” and “con” positions to be heard and evaluated on the propriety of brutalizing females? Might this be the time to recall W.C. Fields’ answer to the question: “do you believe in clubs for women?,” to which he replied “only when kindness fails”?

Owners of the established order insist that their serfs limit the range of their inquiries to subjects that do not disturb the tranquility of their minds. The owners depend upon a select group to be the keepers of the questions to be asked in our world, and woe unto those who dare wander beyond the boundaries of the permitted. Journalist Peter Arnett, television personality Bill Maher, and presidential candidate Ron Paul suffered the consequences of daring to raise unapproved questions.

The drive to defund ObamaCare: doomed, but useful

[T]he drive to defend ObamaCare is not an exercise in futility.  For starters, it’s the right thing to do, and it is appropriate for the Republicans to insist on it.  What chance do they have to bring Americans around to their way of thinking, if they insist on compromising with ruin, because they need another half-dozen Senators to help them find their convictions?  Sometimes there is value in choosing political values carefully, but refusing to engage in any doomed vote until reinforcements arrive via ballot box is a formula for dejected submission.  That doesn’t make voters eager to put more Republicans in Congress; it makes them wonder why they bothered voting for the ones who are already sitting there.

It is also appropriate for congressional Republicans to keep Democrats on the defensive when it comes to ObamaCare.  Don’t meekly accept the program as an immutable fact of life, an argument Americans lost forever in 2009; make the Democrats defend it, over and over again, even as they wail about the unbearable agony of sequestration “cuts” that stack up to five percent of ObamaCare’s budget bloat.  Make the Democrats explain to the American people why they can’t have air-traffic controllers, meat inspectors, or firemen, but they have to spent twenty times as much to fund a health-care boondoggle they hate.  Help the public understand why there is no reason to take any ObamaCare supporter seriously on the topic of “deficit reduction.”  The political price paid by Democrats for ramming ObamaCare down our throats in 2010 was a tiny down payment on the price that should be extracted from them forever.  It was a horrible mistake to refrain from collecting another big installment in the 2012 election, and that’s something Rep. Ryan’s running mate needs to answer for

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Bloomberg’s 16 ounce enforcement shows ignorance about measurements

New York City’s ban on select beverages larger than 16 ounces struck many of us as a progressive nanny state running its due course. It was a senseless blow to liberty, expanding government in a pointless way, that also happened to affect less-wealthy New Yorkers disproportionately. But as the city turns toward enforcement of the ban, which a court threw out yesterday only to see New York promptly appeal the ruling, new developments in city government point to a disturbing revelation: New York City’s health department knows nothing about science, about testing, or about how to use calibrated instrumentation to make accurate measurements in restaurants.

In expanding the nanny state, Mike Bloomberg reveals New Yorkers probably aren’t very safe under its growing umbrella.

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Americans killed, wounded by Afghan dressed as cop

Two American service members were killed and 10 others were wounded by an Afghan dressed in police uniforms in Afghanistan’s Wardak province on Monday. The shooting occurred at a U.S. special operations outpost in Wardak province, U.S. officials said. The shooter, who was dressed in a police uniform, was shot and killed by Americans returning fire. “We have two confirmed dead, but the toll could rise,” according to the ISAF officials. A senior official in the Afghan Defense Ministry said that at least three Afghans were also killed by the shooter. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shootings in a text message allegedly sent by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. Karzai has also accused American military forces of conspiring with the Taliban to overthrow Afghanistan’s central government.

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Latin America after Chávez

Editor’s Note: When Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez succumbed to cancer last week, did his revolution die with him? Chávez’s hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, will attempt to lead the Latin American left—with the backing of Havana, which has gained huge influence in Venezuela by providing 45,000 Cuban workers to help staff Chavez’s social programs. But according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow Alvaro Vargas Llosa, Maduro faces two major challenges: he lacks his predecessor’s charisma, and he faces stiff competition from other leaders eager to take Chávez’s place as an ideological leader.

Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner would love to lead the Latin American left. Her administration has taken the country further toward the left on matters of economic policy, and she has taken to denouncing foreign “imperialists” and making regular trips to Havana to shore up her radical bona fides. But Argentina’s constitution currently prohibits Kirchner from seeking another presidential term—an obstacle she is seeking to have amended. Evo Morales of Bolivia would also seem like a strong candidate, given the symbolism of his indigenous roots, but the movement that propelled him into office has criticized him for failing to make good on his promises of social justice. What about Rafael Correa of Ecuador? Vargas Llosa calls him “the intellectual alpha male of the pack,” but Ecuador’s diminished economic power—the country defaulted on some of its national debt in 2008—would prevent Correa from handing out favors to foreign allies in the lavish manner tha Venezuela’s huge oil resources allowed Chávez to do. And as for Dilma Rousseff of Brazil—she seems more interested in reviving her country’s moribund economy than in leading the Latin American left.

“With no viable leader to take up Chávez’s mantle, the future portends disarray for the Latin American left,” Vargas Llosa writes. “Fearful that this may spell the end of the movement, there is but one miracle the left can cling to—that Chávez finds a way to rise from his…deathbed.”

Read the Following

The End of the Latin American Left, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa (Foreign Policy, 2/7/13)

The Che Guevara Myth and the Future of Liberty, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa

Liberty for Latin America: How to Undo Five Hundred Years of State Oppression, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa

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