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Anti-Vaxers Proved Wrong….AGAIN!

by coldwarrior ( 169 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, Healthcare, Medicine, Open thread, Progressives at April 23rd, 2015 - 9:37 am

It was only a matter of time until this study got published. I got wind of it a few months ago:

MMR Vaccine and Autism: Yet Again, No Link Exists — Even For Children At Risk For Autism

You might have thought scientists were done studying the MMR (measles mumps rubella) vaccine and autism. After all, numerous studies show no link between the two. But the anti-vaccine advocates frequently move the goalposts with their arguments, and one of those arguments is that the vaccine might “trigger” a developmental disability only in certain children who are already susceptible to it.

Therefore, researchers studied more than 95,000 children to find out if those at higher risk for developing autism were any more likely to develop the disability if they had received the MMR vaccine.

They weren’t.

“This study has been long awaited in the autism community – a retrospective look at families where the older sibling has ASD and the parent either does or does not vaccinate the younger child,” said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center and a pediatrician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “The benefit of this study is that the second child is at higher risk for autism, which makes for a more powerful study.
”

In fact, in the raw analysis of the study published in JAMA today, the likelihood of developing autism was actually lower for those at-risk children if they received the vaccine, though that finding was not statistically significant and no one would suggest that vaccination reduces autism risk. What vaccination reduces is disease, the kinds that can disable and kill children and the kind that is even more likely to cause serious complications in children with neurological conditions.

“In addition to providing further evidence of vaccine safety, specifically MMR, this study dispels another myth: namely, that there’s a subset of children who are somehow genetically or biologically predisposed to have an adverse reaction to MMR,” said Dr. Mark Schleiss, a pediatric infectious disease physician at the University of Minnesota. “This is very useful because it provides parents with more reassurance about vaccinating children with neurodevelopmental issues – children who are particularly vulnerable to many vaccine-preventable diseases – and their siblings.”

All of the children in the study had older siblings, and the 2% who had an older sibling with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were considered at higher risk for developing the disability since autism has a strong genetic component. Overall, 1% of the children in the study eventually were diagnosed with ASD, including 6.9% of those with autistic older siblings and 0.9% of those with non-autistic siblings.

The vaccination rates for the first dose were 84% at 2 years old for the children with non-autistic siblings and 73% at 2 years old for children with autistic siblings. When the researchers compared vaccinated and unvaccinated children, both those who did and did not have an older autistic brother or sister, they found no increased risk for the disability among any of the children.

“The findings were what one would expect,” Offit said. “Therefore, the choice not to vaccinate the younger child didn’t decrease the risk of ASD. It only increased the risk of contracting measles, mumps or rubella.
”

Although the study’s findings might have been expected by those in the field and anyone who has followed the research, the research still cost money, and those funds, which came from the National Institutes of Health and a handful of major universities, might have gone to any number of other projects.

“Unfortunately, precious resources were invested in proving what we already knew – that MMR vaccine is safe and doesn’t trigger autism – because of the sham and fraud promulgated by Wakefield,” Schleiss said. Wakefield refers to Andrew Wakefield, the former gastroenterologist who lost his ability to practice medicine in the U.K. after he was found to have falsified a study with dozen children that he claimed (inaccurately) showed a link between the MMR and autism. “We must now focus those resources on legitimate scientific hypotheses about autism.”

 

Please read the rest and follow the links.

Juche: Kim Jong Un climbs 9,000-feet tall mountain

by Husky Lover ( 207 Comments › )
Filed under Communism, JUCHE!, Marxism, North Korea, Progressives, Religion, Theocratic Progressives at April 20th, 2015 - 8:00 pm

Like all religions, Juche gives miraculous powers to those deem holy. The Kim family are considered deities by the Juche cult and all sort of supernatural events and power are subscribed to them. The latest miracle is that Kim Jung Un climbed a 9,000 foot mountain only with shoes and overcoat. The weather did not affect Kim due to his godlike stature.

The power of Juche!

Hothouse Orchids…

by coldwarrior ( 206 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, Censorship, Open thread, Political Correctness, Progressives at April 20th, 2015 - 7:00 am

America started losing it’s mind when the Personnel Departments were revamped and changed to Human Resources Departments.

Further HRization of America. Make sure all of the boxes are checked…do we have an otherly-enabled transgendered person on our panel? Did we include the right amount of minorities? Are we inclusive? We must embrace diversity! Hopefully, no one will be offended! SILENCE THOSE WHO DEVIATE FROM THE PATH!

The HR department has ruined American business and the HRization of America itself continues on college campi:

Getting Coddled at College

ByJack Kelly – April 19, 2015

The Center for Campus Involvement at the University of Michigan recently canceled a screening of “American Sniper,” the Clint Eastwood film about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. It was canceled after sophomore Lamees Mekkaoui gathered “roughly 200” signatures (out of a student body of 42,700) on a petition alleging the film “promotes anti-Muslim rhetoric and sympathizes with a mass killer.”

CCI said in a statement: “We deeply regret causing harm to members of our community, and appreciate the thoughtful feedback provided to us by students.”

The screening was back on a day later, and the vice president for student life said in a statement: “The initial decision to cancel the movie was not consistent with the high value the University of Michigan places on freedom of expression.”

The flip-flop occurred shortly after Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said he would show “American Sniper” to the football team. “Proud of Chris Kyle and proud to be an American,” Mr. Harbaugh tweeted. “If that offends anybody, then so be it!”

Aside from Mr. Harbaugh, UM officials appear to be all too typical of college administrators today.

“Universities emulate greenhouses where fragile adults are coddled as if they were hothouse orchids,” wrote Victor Davis Hanson, who taught classics at Fresno State University. “Hypersensitive students are warned about ‘micro-aggressions’ that in the real world would be imperceptible.”

Many colleges have established “designated areas where traumatized students can be shielded from supposedly hurtful or unwelcome language that should not exist in a just and fair world,” he said.

“Safe spaces are an expression of the conviction, increasingly prevalent among college students, that their schools should keep them from being ‘bombarded’ by discomfiting … viewpoints,” wrote Judith Shulevitz in The New York Times.

Columbia University professor Todd Gitlin recalls having to watch the Nazi propaganda film “Triumph of the Will” in a sociology class. “The pedagogical tactic was precisely to produce discomfort,” he said. “Discomfort was the crucible for a ‘teachable moment.’ ”

Denying free speech is “a horrible betrayal of everything universities are supposed to be about,” wrote Bard College professor Walter Russell Mead. But the worst thing about “PC stupidity and mandatory cocooning on campus is … the catastrophic dumbing down of a younger generation that is becoming too fragile to exist in the current world,” he said.

Smith College President Kathleen McCartney apologized for causing students to be “hurt” and “made to feel unsafe” because she didn’t object when a fellow panel member uttered the “N word” during a discussion about teaching “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” The culprit, free-speech advocate Wendy Kaminer, wrote to Ms. Shulevitz, “It’s amazing to me (students) can’t distinguish between racist speech and speech about racist speech.”

Mr. Gitlin: “Attention to the appalling causes disturbance. Deal with it. You’re at college to be disturbed.”

Colleges that shield students from the world’s harsh realities – and from opinions that differ from their own – aren’t preparing leaders for tomorrow. Because most also aren’t learning what they need to know to have productive careers, young “hothouse orchids” aren’t getting much value for the exorbitant cost of college.

Michigan’s CCI scheduled an alternative film for students who might object to watching “American Sniper.” It was a children’s movie about a stuffed bear. Could there be a better metaphor for the infantilization of the university?

When “American Sniper” eventually was screened, the 150-seat room was filled to near capacity. Most applauded as the credits rolled. Only seven students chose to watch “Paddington Bear.”

Typically only a relative handful of leftist students demand protection from “hurtful speech.” But colleges all over the country have rushed to violate free-speech rights to appease the few who complain, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Fascist wimps control the “education” of many of our children. What are we going to do about it?

Jack Kelly is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Blade of Toledo, Ohio.

Obama the Hipster President

by Husky Lover ( 240 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Cult of Obama, Democratic Party, Hipsters, Marxism, Progressives at April 6th, 2015 - 9:24 am

When I lasted visited NY back in 2012, I met with Speranza and Urban Infidel in Hipster Central: Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The observation I made and one they both concurred with was that Obama is a creation of the Hipster world, not Black America. With the exception of his skin tone (outside the US he would not be considered Black), Obama has nothing in common with most Black Americans. His world, is that of the Hipsters and when he first declared his run for the Presidency in 2007, it was the Hipsters, not Blacks who fueled Obama’s rise.

President Obama has always been skilled at sending out very precise, targeted signals, whether it’s to mainstream swing voters or to his liberal base. But the group Obama works hardest at signaling to is the young, Millennial hipsters who were so vital to his 2008 victory over Hillary Clinton.

As a substantive matter, Obama’s presidency has been terrible for these people. High unemployment numbers for recent graduates. No bending of the curve on college tuition prices. An entitlement system that gets less solvent by the day. And a new healthcare regime that’s an explicit transfer of wealth from younger, healthier workers to older folks and the unemployed.

Yet Obama has made sure to signal that, despite everything, he’s really on their side. We see these signals in the big show he makes each year of filling out his NCAA bracket. (It’s not like there’s a war on or anything.) We see it in his choice of bffs. And above all, we see it in his TV habits, where Obama goes out of his way to let it be known that he’s a huge fan of HBO and Millennial darling shows such as Game of Thrones and True Detective.

Barack Obama is the first Hipster President and is a very powerful symbol to these people. He is considered one of their own and it is this demographic, not Blacks who have the most emotional attachment to this man.

Too many on the Right especially the Conservative element underestimate the Hipsters.

Cartoon sums up the Mideast

by Husky Lover ( 348 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Humor, Iran, John Kerry, Leftist-Islamic Alliance at April 1st, 2015 - 7:00 am

This cartoon shows Obama’s alliance with Iran.

Strange_Bedfellows

Thanks to Obama, we are now viewed by Israel, Turkey and Sunni Arabs as Iran’s ally.

Racist Free Speech

by coldwarrior ( 164 Comments › )
Filed under Censorship, Democratic Party, Free Speech, Open thread, Politics at March 23rd, 2015 - 7:00 am

The article below decries that only those who slight blacks with words are punished. All others are protected by free speech. Swift penalties if you even so much as think something that might be possibly offensive to a Black. (I use Black because they call me White.)

 

So what does this mean? It means that the Left believes that Blacks can’t solve their own problems, aren’t smart enough to solve their own problems, too emotionally immature to handle free speech, and must be protected by elementary school ‘Zero Tolerance’ Speech laws. To the left, the Blacks are children, incapable and needy; to bew coddled whenever the Dems need a vote. Welcome to the Plantation, Homee.

 

So who are the real racists? The Left or some drunk frat boyz.

Oklahoma frat fallout: Some speech protected, some punished

By David Lightman
TERESA CRAWFORD — AP

WASHINGTON — Three times in in recent days, people uttering slurs against African-Americans were quickly punished.

Yet such consequences are hardly automatic. Insults aimed at Muslims, Latinos, Jews, women and others are routinely decried but also often defended as free speech. A congressman says something derogatory about immigrants, yet remains a power in politics. An activist-preacher slurs Jews and is later an adviser to a president.

Some offensive speech is punished. Some is protected. The line changes, and shifts over time.

The latest furor was triggered by a video showing University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members singing, “You can hang them from a tree but they’ll never sign with me. There’ll never be a n—– at SAE.”

A few days later, Univision fired talk show host Rodner Figueroa for saying first lady Michelle Obama looked like a cast member of “Planet of the Apes.” Last week, a Cleveland anchorwoman returned to the air after being suspended for using a term offensive to African-Americans.

Where, asked some experts, was their right to speak freely?

When terrorists killed French journalists who satirized Muslims, President Barack Obama led the Western chorus defending “a universal belief in the freedom of expression . . . that can’t be silenced because of the senseless violence of the few.”

Yet speech often is silenced, or at least punished.

In Oklahoma, University President David Boren quickly kicked the fraternity off campus. “I have a message for those who have misused their freedom of speech in this way,” he said. “You’re disgraceful.”

They apparently weren’t breaking any laws, and some questioned whether their right to speak was being compromised.

“Absent information that is not at our disposal, it is difficult to imagine a situation in which a court would side with the university on this matter,” the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma said.

After all, “there is no crime in the U.S. called hate speech,” said Paul Butler, a professor of law at Georgetown University Law School, thanks to the First Amendment and a long string of court rulings.

Speech is often subject to two tests in this country: Whether it crosses a moral line that makes it impossible to defend in the court of public opinion, and whether it crosses a legal line.

Americans have become more willing, even eager, to express revulsion at slurs against long-oppressed minorities, particularly African-Americans.

Insults against Muslims and Hispanics do not stir the same sweeping rejection.

“We can permit free speech and at the same time say we are morally outraged,” said Daniel Wueste, director of the Rutland Institute for Ethics at Clemson University in South Carolina.

Dave Agema, a Republican National Committee member from Michigan, in October said that “camel jockeys don’t make good fighter pilots.” After other incendiary comments, the RNC’s executive committee censured him in January. He remains a member.

Two summers ago, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, outraged young unauthorized immigrants.

“For every one who is a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that . . . weigh 130 pounds and they have calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

Despite protests, King was re-elected easily, and in January he hosted the first Republican presidential forum of the 2016 campaign.

The Rev. Al Sharpton in the 1990s called a Jewish store owner a “white interloper” and referred to Jews as “diamond merchants.” He said that his store owner reference wasn’t meant to apply to all Jews and that his other comment was misconstrued. He is today an MSNBC anchor and an adviser to Obama.

This much has changed: Slurs are more easily detected and debated today.

It’s a fulfillment of a principle Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis expressed in 1927: “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence. Only an emergency can justify repression.”

The media is particularly sensitive, since it must balance a need for audience-building with not alienating potential customers.

That’s why extremes only occasionally cross the moral outrage line, and why the line is drawn differently depending on the speaker and the audience.

Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a vulgar word and remains the host of a program on HBO. Martin Bashir called her an “idiot,” as well as more offensive names, and resigned from MSNBC.

At Univision, Figueroa was dismissed after saying Michelle Obama “looks like she’s from the cast of ‘Planet of the Apes,’ the movie.” “What are you saying?” asked hostess Lili Estafan. Figueroa defended his comment, saying, “But it is true.”

In Cleveland, television anchor Kristi Capel returned to the air recently after a three-day suspension for using the word “jigaboo,” a deeply offensive term for African-Americans. She apologized to viewers.

But conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh remains on the air. Three years ago, he ignited a furor when he called Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” after the Georgetown law student found herself in the middle of a congressional battle over whether medical insurance should be required to pay for contraception.

The legal do-not-cross line is brighter.

Courts have long recognized two limitations on free speech rights. The fighting words doctrine allows the government to punish people for speech that might incite potential listeners to respond violently. In the Oklahoma matter, the test could involve whether an ordinary citizen hearing the chant would be likely to respond violently. The government may also prohibit hate speech if it is a “true threat.”

In the Oklahoma case, “The question is whether a reasonable person, notably a reasonable African-American, perceives an intent on the part of drunken fraternity members to harm them.” asked John Szmer, associate professor of political science and constitutional law expert at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Probably not, because courts have given wide latitude to the expression of one’s views. Courts, he said, are careful not to engage in what he called viewpoint discrimination.

“If we stop the Nazis and the KKK, they have ruled, who’s to say that in some town in the South we can’t stop civil rights protesters?” Szmer asked.

Four years ago, the Supreme Court affirmed the right of Westboro Baptist Church to protest, from a certain distance, at military funerals with its fiercely anti-gay message. The court said the First Amendment protects even offensive funeral protests such as the church’s infamous “God hates fags” message.

“Racial or hateful intimidating speech – by itself – is not a hate crime,” said Michael Lieberman, Washington counsel for the Anti-Defamation League.

When speech is accompanied by action, it crosses the legal line, said Lieberman, who has helped draft federal and state hate crime laws.

It’s a tough balancing act between allowing people to speak freely and stopping them from doing harm. “It’s an experiment,” Lieberman said. “And so far the First Amendment has worked pretty well.”

 

 

Mars Attacks: Blogmocracy Book Club Recommendation

by Mars ( 119 Comments › )
Filed under Anti-Jihad, Blogmocracy, Conservatism, Dhimmitude, Entertainment, Europe, Fascism, Free Speech, Guest Post, Islam, Islamic Invasion, Islamic Supremacism, Islamists, Jihad, Leftist-Islamic Alliance, Middle East, Military, Patriotism, Political Correctness, Sharia (Islamic Law), United Nations at March 18th, 2015 - 7:00 am

Caliphate from Thomas Kratman is now a free book from the Baen Free Library. http://www.baen.com/library/books.asp
Caliphate is a pretty good military science fiction thriller. It details a future in which the middle east and most of Europe have fallen under the control of the Caliphate and the United States has become a fascist dictatorship. It’s a good story and contains a lot of information that we know about but the general public is mostly ignorant. Thomas Kratman himself used to post occasionally at the swamp before its downfall.

Here is the blurb from Baens site.

Caliphate
by Tom Kratman
Publisher: Baen Books

“Caliphate is Mark Steyn’s America Alone with body count.”—John Ringo

“Slavery is a part of Islam . . . Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam.” —Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan, author of the religious textbook At-Tawhid (“Monotheism”) and senior Saudi cleric.

Demography is destiny. In the 22nd century European deathbed demographics have turned the continent over to the more fertile Moslems. Atheism in Europe has been exterminated. Homosexuals are hanged, stoned or crucified. Such Christians as remain are relegated to dhimmitude, a form of second class citizenship. They are denied arms, denied civil rights, denied a voice, and specially taxed via the Koranic yizya. Their sons are taken as conscripted soldiers while their daughters are subject to the depredations of the continent’s new masters.

In that world, Petra, a German girl sold into prostitution as a slave at the age of nine to pay her family’s yizya, dreams of escape. Unlike most girls of the day, Petra can read. And in her only real possession, her grandmother’s diary, a diary detailing the fall of European civilization, Petra has learned of a magic place across the sea: America.

But it will take more than magic to free Petra and Europe from their bonds; it will take guns, superior technology, and a reborn spirit of freedom.
About the author

In 1974, at age seventeen, Tom Kratman became a political refugee and defector from the PRM (People’s Republic of Massachusetts) by virtue of joining the Regular Army. He stayed a Regular Army infantryman most of his adult life, returning to Massachusetts as an unofficial dissident while attending Boston College after his first hitch. Back in the Army, he managed to do just about everything there was to do, at one time or another. After the Gulf War, and with the bottom dropping completely out of the anti-communism market, Tom decided to become a lawyer. Every now and again, when the frustrations of legal life and having to deal with other lawyers got to be too much, Tom would rejoin the Army (or a somewhat similar group, say) for fun and frolic in other climes. His family, muttering darkly, put up with this for years. He no longer practices law, instead writing full time for Baen. His novels for Baen include A State of Disobedience, A Desert Called Peace and its sequel Carnifex, as well as two collaborations with John Ringo, Watch on the Rhine and Yellow Eyes.
A NEW STAR OF MILITARY SCIENCE FICTION

Those Who’ve Violated The Logan Act Repeatedly Accuse The GOP Of Treason? Iron Pot Meet Stainless Steel Kettle

by Flyovercountry ( 89 Comments › )
Filed under Democratic Party, John Kerry, Marxism, Progressives at March 13th, 2015 - 9:51 am

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

First, here’s the text of the act itself:

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

Before we tackle the above law in the context of today, (and please note the refreshing brevity of laws written in 1799, before we got really smart and decided to complicate things to the point where only 7 years of post secondary education could help us to decode our national registry,) let’s look at several recent violations of this law which went unprosecuted.

First a little note here. The Logan Act itself has never been the reason for anybody’s prosecution, in its entire 216 year history. So, there’s that. The reason of course is that it’s a political nightmare. Even when there is a clear violation, any prosecution will be immediately decried as partisan hackery, no matter how egregious the violation.

In 1977, Billy Carter, the brother of President Jimmy Carter danced with members of the Libyan Government for a nice publicity release on the evening news and stated that he was great friends with Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s terror sponsoring dictator. He announced that the Libyan Government had given him a large amount of cash so that he would be able to influence his brother’s foreign policy decisions and lobby on behalf of the Libyan interests.

In 1984, Senator Ted Kennedy, the drunken liberal lion of the Senate himself, went to the Soviet Union and met with Mikhail Gorbachev. In that meeting, he apologized for Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy, promised a tangible change should Walter Mondale win election as our President, gave specifics of those changes, and requested campaign donations from the Soviets for Mondale’s efforts to defeat Reagan, complete with a promise to pay back those donations via future increases in foreign aid.

Also in 1984, Democrat Jesse Jackson traveled to both Cuba and Nicaragua in order to negotiate with the Communist Leaders of those respective nations, promising that he could affect foreign policy with his self styled and by the way not asked for peace mission to those nations.

In 1987 and 1988, Democrat House Speaker Jim Wright traveled to Nicaragua and also conducted negotiations with the Communist regime in power, based upon a Democrat winning the White House in 1988’s Presidential Election. His promise was that if they would simply talk nice for the remaining couple of years of a Reagan Presidency, then the Democrat successor would not pursue the same policy of aiding the Contras in their efforts to rid themselves of an oppressive Sandinista rule.

In 1985, John Kerry, the current Secretary of State, traveled to Nicaragua and conducted negotiations with the Sandinista Government, after expressly being warned off of doing so by the Reagan Administration.

In 2007, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Syria in order to conduct foreign policy negotiations with that great friend to the United State, Bashar Al Assad, again promising a change in foreign policy with a Democrat in the White House, and won’t he please write them an illegal campaign contribution check.

In 1974, Senator George McGovern was accused publicly by members of the Nixon Administration, but as Nixon’s own legal eagles pointed out, Nixon’s Administration approved the travel visas for McGovern and his entourage, making any claim that those talks were taking place without his O.K. a hard point to prove in court.

In 1941, Sumner Welles, then an Under Secretary of State for Franklin Roosevelt, publicly accused former President Herbert Hoover of violating the act for telling European Leaders that he would convey a request for food relief in war torn nations. America’s involvement in World War Two, plus Roosevelt’s own desires to get America involved in that war made his accusations moot rather quickly.

The only indictment under the act came in 1803, when an ambitious man named Francis Flournoy attempted to convince the Germans and French that a separate nation called Louisiana that would ally itself with France and Germany would be advantageous to both of those nations. He was never prosecuted, as France had made the decision to sell the Louisiana Territory in its entirety to the United States, and end her colonial ties to the Western Hemisphere.

There is something similar in each of the above examples of Logan Act violations. In each case, with the exception of Herbert Hoover’s, (and it should be noted that Roosevelt refused to back his Under Secretary in that accusation,) the offending party was a Democrat. That’s some track record.

Today I learned that there’s an actual petition up at the official White-House-file-a-silly-petition website which demands that the 47 Senators who sent an open letter, (meaning they published it in local news papers but addressed it to someone else,) to Iran’s ruling Mullahs. That letter basically served as an informational text, for those unfamiliar with the U.S. Constitution. I states quite correctly that while Presidents have the authority to negotiate treaties, said treaties are not official unless they are approved by the Senate. Now the petition in question conflates the Logan Act with Treason and Sedition, but we’ll put that aside for the moment, and circle back to the issue of Treason later.

Just for reference, here is the text from the U.S. Constitution, Article Two, Section Two, Paragraph Two:

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent
of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the
Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and
with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint
Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges
of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United
States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise
provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but
the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior
Offi cers, as they think proper, in the President alone,
in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

In terms of violating the Logan Act, there’s no way that anyone with two functioning grey cells could ever in a Million Sundays come to the conclusion that the aforementioned 47 Senators came anywhere close to that threshold. They have the authority of the United States to affect foreign policy. They may not have the right to negotiate treaties, but they do have Constitutional Authority to veto any Treaty negotiated and then proposed by our President. Publicly stating that fact, either through an open letter published world wide, or through personal correspondence does nothing other than to point out a very real and important fact for all concerned parties to know. In this particular instance, seeing as how our President seems hell bent on national suicide, I consider it to be an important fact for the world, most especially Americans, the Iranians, and even our President, to know ahead of time that he’s not likely to garner the consent of the Senate for a treaty likely to further that suicidal end.

All the 47 Senators have done here, far from acting to undermine the Chief Executive, is to remind him and everyone else for that matter, that they intend to exercise their Constitutionally mandated authority, by rejecting a pact that is clearly bad for the nation and the world as a whole. Accusing them of Treason is at best silly. Barack Obama campaigned on, twice by the way, a promise to do whatever was necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a Nuclear Weapon. Since his election in 2012, that promise made by Barack Obama, like every other promise made by Barack Obama, reached its expiration date. His new policy, never approved of by the American People, was that Iran should be allowed to obtain a Nuclear Weapon, but should be forced to wait until after Barack Obama leaves office, so that a Republican can be blamed for it. That’s closer to an act of Treason than anything that 47 Senators with Constitutional Authority to veto any proposed treaty have done.

Oh, there’s some treason being committed here, but it isn’t by anyone in the Senate. Our President, that guy who’s twice taken the oath to protect and defend our Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, has sat down at a negotiating table with the single greatest purveyor of international terror, and coincidentally has openly declared war on our nation dating back to 1978, and basically agreed that we’ll let them have whatever they want, including the means to destroy a key ally and kill every Jew on the planet. Now that’s some treasonous activity right there, and something that must be dealt with. (Maybe a group of brave Senators who have finally had enough of watching a renegade President continue with his attempt to destroy our nation will act in an effort to stop the insanity, through an eloquent statement that they intend to perform their Constitutional duty and uphold the supreme law of the land.)

Of course, in a nation where suddenly facts themselves become malleable things, right is wrong and vice versa, those who would seek to protect our nation and allies are called out as treasonous, while those actively engaged in treasonous acts are busy claiming the mantle of patriotism. We have 19 more months of this, and in a morbidly sick sort of way, I can not wait to see what this group will come up with next.

Just to drive home the point of exactly how looney tunes the Left has turned over this, here’s a gem I read from one of those annoying Addicting Info links so thoughtfully supplied to my facebook timeline against my will:

The letter states that, “the Senate must ratify [a treaty] by a two-thirds vote.” But as the Senate’s own web page makes clear: “The Senate does not ratify treaties. Instead, the Senate takes up a resolution of ratification, by which the Senate formally gives its advice and consent, empowering the president to proceed with ratification (my emphasis).” Or, as this outstanding 2001 CRS Report on the Senate’s role in treaty-making states (at 117): “It is the President who negotiates and ultimately ratifies treaties for the United States, but only if the Senate in the intervening period gives its advice and consent.” Ratification is the formal act of the nation’s consent to be bound by the treaty on the international plane. Senate consent is a necessary but not sufficient condition of treaty ratification for the United States. As the CRS Report notes: “When a treaty to which the Senate has advised and consented … is returned to the President,” he may, “simply decide not to ratify the treaty.”

So there you have it, don’t worry so much about what the Constitution actually says, but take this interpretation of it instead, and allow the gibberish to wash all over you. That’s the legal argument supplied to convince us that 47 Senators violated the Logan Act, where those previous cases of Democrats actually conducting face to face negotiations with bad actors against the express stated wishes of the Executive Branch, were not.

Nope, OU, YOU Are Wrong…Lawyer Up. Update: Black Student leader calls for forgiveness

by coldwarrior ( 271 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, Censorship, Open thread, Progressives at March 11th, 2015 - 7:41 am

Free Speech? Not at OU.

 

What these Fratboyz did was stupid, very stupid but it wasn’t illegal. Nor was there any damage to property or person. So, they got tossed for violating the official and approved speech/thought code at a University. That should be the most ironic phrase you read today. Universities are for learning and divergent ideas…sometimes the ideas are moronic and die in the light of day.

 

Academicians have become lazy and are cowards.  They have allowed Free Speech as protected by the First Amendment to die on their campuses. These same campuses were the hotbed of the Free Speech Movement when these Deans and Chairs were in college. Such tyrants the Baby Boomer Hippies have become. They have become what they protested.

 

Congratulations, University of Oklahoma, In Your Outrage You Just Violated the Law

This week several University of Oklahoma frat boys were caught on tape singing a vile, racist song (and, no, it wasn’t “unconscious” racism or “coded” racism — it was straight up segregation-era hate). The video triggered a tidal wave of outrage on and off campus. A top football recruit “de-committed” to OU and committed to Alabama, the national fraternity expelled the local OU chapter, and students, coaches, professors, and administrators marched in protest. To this point, the matter is rather simple. The SAE students engaged in racist expression, and private citizens countered with expression of their own — doing what the marketplace of ideas does best, countering bad speech with better speech. Then, the government got involved. OU president David Boren has summarily expelled two students allegedly responsible for the chant. I agree with Eugene Volokh. This action is almost certainly unconstitutional. I’m not going to repeat his entire analysis, but his first point should be sufficient: [R]acist speech is constitutionally protected, just as is expression of other contemptible ideas; and universities may not discipline students based on their speech. That has been the unanimous view of courts that have considered campus speech codes and other campus speech restrictions — see here for some citations. The same, of course, is true for fraternity speech, racist or otherwise; see Iota Xi Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity v. George Mason University (4th Cir. 1993). (I set aside the separate question of student speech that is evaluated as part of coursework or class participation, which necessarily must be evaluated based on its content; this speech clearly doesn’t qualify.) Our public universities are becoming national leaders in trampling the Constitution to legislate their brand of “inclusive” morality. FIRE’s Robert Shibley gets the issue exactly right: Censorship isn’t necessary for those who are confident in the truth of their views. It’s a signal of insecurity and displays a fear that if an idea is allowed to be expressed, people will find that idea too attractive to resist. Somehow, college administrators are convinced that if they don’t officially punish racism, their students will be drawn to it like moths to a flame. But there’s simply no reason to expect that. Given the history of campus activism in our nation from the civil rights movement onward, there are myriad reasons to expect the opposite. Instead of government crackdowns on a viewpoint, it is far better to let the marketplace of ideas determine the social consequences for racist speech. In this instance, the OU members of SAE are not only likely to spend the rest of their college careers as pariahs but to be hounded to the ends of the earth on social media and exposed for posterity on Google. When I was at FIRE I fielded a call from an angry administrator demanding to know what he could do to “take action” after a handful of Klansmen posted racist flyers on a community bulletin board. He forwarded the flyers, which were full of typos and barely legible. I asked him whether he thought his students would be persuaded by this nonsense or would use it as an opportunity to express their support for their African-American brothers and sisters. The latter, he said, and he explained the groundswell of student expression in response. “There’s your ‘action,’” I told him. Let the students send their own message. If the Klan wants an argument, it will lose. I hope these students find the courage to sue — not because anyone agrees with their words but because the First Amendment needs a defense. They said terrible things, but they did not violate the law. Ironically, the only lawbreaker here is a university so incompetent that it created First Amendment martyrs out of students who redefine the word “crass.”

Husky Lover Update: The leader of OU’s Black Student association, Isaac Hill disagrees with OU expelling these students. Instead he calls for dialogue and forgiveness.

Isaac Hill has bright future ahead of him and understands that hate begets hate.

Can We Add Agency Law To Our Growing List Of Grievances?

by Flyovercountry ( 94 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Fascism, Progressives, Regulation, Tranzis at March 5th, 2015 - 8:58 am

Tip of the hat to The Daily Caller whose video I did not embed here due to their insistence upon the usage of autoplay, something I view as evil. Please click here, for their story, complete with a recorded phone conversation in which an apologetic banker gets to tell a business owner who had held an account at said bank for over a decade, that the government had forced his account to be frozen for no other reason than the fact that the government no longer appreciates his industry’s contribution to our economy.

Yes, Operation Choke Point is an evil perpetrated by Barack Obama and Eric Holder. The fault dear Brutus however does not lie in our stars that we are underlings, but in ourselves. There are many who would point to the 60’s as the beginning of the Progressive’s gaining their stranglehold on our nation. Some point to FDR and the, “New Deal,” as that beginning point. I’ve heard that our troubles with the progressive movement date back to Woodrow Wilson and his Presidency. However, I would like to point out that the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments did far greater damage, even before Wilson took his position as our Chief Executive. (I realize that the Seventeenth Amendment became part of our Constitution about a month after Wilson’s Inauguration, but it was ratified before Wilson actually took office.) Many experts in our nation’s history will state that Teddy Roosevelt was the first Progressive to affect our national agenda, and granted he gave us a big push in that disastrous direction, and redefined the Executive Branch, but he was not where it all began. This all started with the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. This was the first victory of the Progressive Movement, and it has grown into the behemoth that allows Barack Obama to act as a man elected to be our emperor, rather than our President.

For those who are not familiar with it, the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 established our very first Federal Agency. This agency was vested with the ability to create its own rules, its own authority to enforce those rules, and its own system to adjudicate the process for any who wished to push back against the decisions of the agency. Quite literally, we had managed to create an entity that had contained within its scope of operation, a body that was vested with all of the powers of governance, thus doing away with the separation of powers. Since that date in our history, any and all legislation has been written purposefully vague, only ever including a desired outcome, with the specific rules to be determined later by either an existing federal agency, or through the creation of a new federal agency. It is With this wonderful exercise of genius that the destruction of our Constitutional Protections began. Agency Law was created with the establishment of the ICC in 1887. It should also be noted here, that it took almost exactly five years for the agency purportedly designed to keep the railroad men from becoming too powerful for the liking of those who lobbied for this legislation, to be peopled entirely with those, “robber barons,” so feared and vilified that the agency was thought necessary. Funny how that works out.

Once that happened, what we see today, even though it has taken 128 years to get here, became inevitable. Give Barack Obama credit for this at least. He saw the potential to simply ignore the U.S. Constitution afforded to him by this set of circumstances, and has taken full advantage of it. All he needs to do is suggest or ask that one of the agencies situated under the federal umbrella, write some additional rules to add to the scope under which they operate, and he pretty much can enact unilaterally anything he wishes to codify as law. Yes, technically such efforts can be overturned by our Judicial Branch, and indeed many of these actions have been thus far. However, our Judicial Branch moves too slowly to monitor or even address every such indiscretion. Even if it were capable of keeping up, Agency Law itself has become so ingrained in our society, such Judicial oversight and pushback has itself become all too rare.

In our history, there have been two Presidents who’ve tried earnestly to do something to put an end to, or at least reign in this system run amok. The first was Richard Nixon, and I’m sure you all remember what happened to him for his efforts. The second was Ronald Reagan, who also failed, and in fact discussed that failure as being his lasting regret.

So far, 26 states throughout the fruited plains have formally adopted ballot initiatives in favor of an Article V Convention for the purpose of proposing and debating Constitutional Amendments. I am most definitely in favor of this. By the way, many of the Liberals in our nation are as well, since they’re convinced that they would be able to alter the First Amendment to, “correct,” the Citizens United Decision.

One amendment that I’d like to see come to fruition would be something to put an end to Agency Law. Consider for one moment what this system has allowed for a President with dictatorial ambitions to do in only the short amount of time from early November until now. Barack Obama has rewritten our Immigration law, repealed the Second Amendment, pledged to unilaterally raise our taxes, promised to confiscate our 401k’s, threatened to fire the entirety of the retail financial services industry, instituted cap and trade, inflicted net neutrality, signed some very questionable treaties without the requisite Senatorial Consent, changed existing law, and all of this done with the statement that he gave Congress the chance to do what he wanted before he did it alone.

Don’t blame the Bamster however. While his actions are bad enough, it was we the people who didn’t realize that gridlock was itself a perk, gifted to us by the founding fathers, rather than a problem as proclaimed by the low information voting crowd. Barack Obama is merely the messenger, who has alerted us to a huge problem, and one that hopefully we can figure out how to correct.

Ronald Reagan campaigned on a platform that included ending the Department of Education and the Department of Energy. If the single most popular President in the modern era could not rid us of the two most unpopular facets of the federal behemoth, as he’d promised to do while campaigning, then what chance would anyone have to actually do something about reducing the size and scope of government? We keep talking about the symptoms, meanwhile, the cancer grows free. Something must be done to reign this monster in, and unless Agency Law itself is addressed, nothing will be successful.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.