Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mantra

This is, amazingly enough, from Chronically Pissed, and we believe every politician in D.C. should be required to recite it every morning before they go about the business of protecting us.

1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by
a. Superman
b. Jay Leno
c. Harry Potter
d Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40

In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by
a. Olga Corbett
b. Sitting Bull
c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:
a. Lost Norwegians
b. Elvis
c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
a. John Dillinger
b. The King of Sweden
c. The Boy Scouts
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
a. A pizza delivery boy
b. Pee Wee Herman
c. Geraldo Rivera
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and 70 year old Leon Klinghoffer, an American passenger confined to a wheelchair, was murdered and thrown overboard by:
a. The Smurfs
b. Davy Jones
c. The Little Mermaid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and Robert Stidham, a US Navy diver was murdered by:
a. Captain Kidd
b. Charles Lindberg
c. Mother Teresa
d Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
a. Scooby Doo
b. The Tooth Fairy
c. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
d Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
a. Richard Simmons
b. Grandma Moses
c. Michael Jordan
d Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
a. Mr. Rogers
b. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill' s women problems
c. The World Wrestling Federation
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

The answer, of course, to every single question, is (d) Muslim male extremist(s) mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Are we sure of the facts? You make the call.

Anna Diggs Taylor. According to Judicial Watch, there is a possible conflict of interest concerning her recent ruling that our government's warrantless wiretapping is unconstitutional.

According to her 2003 and 2004 financial disclosure statements, Judge Diggs Taylor served as Secretary and Trustee for the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan (CFSEM). She was reelected to this position in June 2005. The official CFSEM website states that the foundation made a recent grant of $45,000 over two years to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, a plaintiff in the wiretapping case. Judge Diggs Taylor sided with the ACLU of Michigan in her recent decision.

According to the CFSEM website, The Foundation's trustees make all funding decisions at meetings held on a quarterly basis.

This potential conflict of interest merits serious investigation, said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. If Judge Diggs Taylor failed to disclose this link to a plaintiff in a case before her court, it would certainly call into question her judgment
.

And this isn't the only case under scrutiny:

(Judge Diggs Taylor is also the presiding judge in another case where she may have a conflict of interest. The Arab Community Center for Social and Economic Services (ACCESS) is a defendant in another case now before Judge Diggs Taylor's court [Case No. 06-10968 (Mich. E.D.)]. In 2003, the CFSEM donated $180,000 to ACCESS.)

Read the rest of the article here.

Here are the facts we know, after doing several hours of research:

Anna Diggs Taylor, on her 2003 and 2004 Financial Disclosure Statements, states that she is both secretary and a trustee of CFSEM (Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan).
2003 Statement
2004 Statement

It has been stated that she may not have had a vote, but we think it is clear that she did, as she sits on the Board, and CFSEM itself has this to say - "The Foundation's trustees make all funding decisions at meetings held on a quarterly basis." also noted in the report from Judicial Watch.

The HOPE Fund (involved in the gay/lesbian community) is listed on their (CFSEM) grants page. On page 3 of the list of grants through HOPE Fund, the ACLU of Michigan is listed as receiving a total of $45,000 for two things- 1) To hire a lawyer for family law issues, and 2) support for some GLBT project.

It appears the judge is once removed because she is not on the board of the HOPE Fund, but is on the board of CFSEM, the organization that gave money to the HOPE Fund, who in turn gave $45,000 to the ACLU.

But wait ... there is one more thing that we have found, and it is this - Within CFSEM's guidelines for grantmaking, specifically for the HOPE Fund, we read the following: The HOPE Fund is a targeted grantmaking program of the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan that provides grants and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in southeast Michigan.

Hmmmm. This gets more interesting, doesn't it?

Now, where her issues come into play are within the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges. Within Canon #5, it says: A JUDGE SHOULD REGULATE EXTRA-JUDICIAL ACTIVITIES TO MINIMIZE THE RISK OF CONFLICT WITH JUDICIAL DUTIES.

Feel free to read the rest for yourself. It's very interesting.

So, either she did not disclose the fact that she knew money she had a vote in was earmarked for the ACLU, OR she did not reevaluate the organizations she is involved in, in order to learn where money was actually going, thus leaving herself wide open to a conflict of interest. Considering the fact that the HOPE Fund is a TARGETED GRANTMAKING PROGRAM OF THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SOUTHEASTERN MICHIGAN, it is very likely that Judge Diggs Taylor did, indeed, know what that money was going to be used for, that part of it was going to the ACLU.

Did she know? You make the call.

In other news:

Our phone call and email last week to Melissa Hart concerning Pennsylvania Earmarks remain unanswered. No explanation has been given as to why that is, but we are not pleased with the lack of response. We want answers and information from our rep.

Melissa Hart, are you sponsoring any of the earmarks in Pennsylvania, and if so, why is your name not publicly attached to them? These are valid questions, ones we have a right and a duty to ask, and we deserve answers BEFORE the vote occurs in September.

Voters are waiting to hear from you.

As a reminder, you can go to Sunlight Foundation to see what this is all about.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Pork Peddlers Beware

You may or may not know that there is a campaign beginning, meant to identify pork peddlers in Congress. It's a delightful little plan, and one that should prove very illuminating in the near future.

It concerns the upcoming bill - The Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Measure, due to be voted on in September by Congress.

As Mary Katharine Ham said -- Let's play "Pin the Pork on the Politician!"

From Sunlight Foundation and Examiner.com:

Is Congress spending your money in secret?

Congress is considering a bill — the Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations measure — that presently contains 1,867 earmarks worth more than a half-billion tax dollars and averaging nearly $268,000 each. Many are for things that sound like worthy causes such as "hospital facilities and equipment," yet none of the sponsoring congressmen put their names on their earmarks.

That's why The Examiner newspapers have joined with the Sunlight Foundation, Porkbusters.org, and Citizens Against Government Waste in posting the database of earmarks in the Labor-HHS appropriations and inviting readers to help identify the congressmen behind each earmark. Organizations like The Heritage Foundation, National Taxpayers Union and Club for Growth blog are linking to the database. The database was obtained from a congressional source and has been checked and double-checked. Congress may still modify the bill, approve it as is or reject it.

Check out the earmarks for your state and then call your congressman and ask if he or she sponsored any of your state's earmarks. If the answer is yes, ask why the congressman's name isn't on the earmark. If you recognize the institution designated to receive the earmarked tax dollars, call them and ask them what they intend to do with your money.

Then email us at info@examiner.com with the subject line "Earmarks" and tell us what you found out. The Examiner will be asking more questions about who got the earmarks and why, so your information could be very important. You will be part of an army of citizen journalists determined to shine some much-needed light on spending decisions made behind closed doors by powerful Members of Congress.

Not sure who is your congressman? Go to this web site: http://www.house.gov/writerep/

Via these fine people: The Absurd Report, Michelle Malkin, & Townhall.com

We have contacted our local representative, Melissa Hart, both by phone and email, and hope to have an answer to this question soon. We will let you know what we learn when we learn it.

Carry on!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

What Few Want To Say Outloud

From Little Fox at The Absurd Report - Right now all over Europe and America, innocent travellers are having their Evian confiscated and their unmentionables pawed through by federal security guards. This of course is due to the terror plot to blow up 20 planes that has been thwarted in England. Did I mention that the plotters were English-born Pakistanis? Here’s an idea. Instead of taking my grandmothers eye drops and shaking down blonde women with babies, STOP LETTING ARAB MEN ON AIRPLANES until the threat is lowered. That way, the rest of us could travel as usual and the only people who will be inconvenienced are the only group of people who have been known to blow up planes. Let’s make all airports Arab-free zones for the weekend or for however long it takes to lower the threat level.

As you can probably discern, my sensitivity meter is broken. I don’t really give a @!#? who gets offended at this point. But unfortunately, this scenario won’t happen until a few million Americans or British are killed when one of our cities goes up in flames. Then, we will finally have had enough and we’ll do what we should have done after 9/11 and build detainment camps for all Muslims, ban the religion/ideology from our shores and turn the Middle East into a parking lot.

In the meantime, get in line, make sure you’re not wearing any underwire, and prepare to be violated.

Happy travelling!

We wish we had done this post, as my cohort and I have many times had this very discussion.

Listen folks, it's not nice to insult people or to be rude, but this Politically Correct crap is going to keep us in danger and definitely get some of us killed if we don't begin using the tools we have available (profiling specifically). Little Fox is right -- stop checking old women, kids and everyone else EXCEPT Arab-looking people, especially men between the ages of 18 and 40. We KNOW who the terrorists are. We KNOW what they look like and what age range they fall into. We know which people to be suspicious of, but yet we keep going after everyone else. Stop playing to the ACLU and the "Give 'em a hug" Dems, and start targeting the people who fit the terrorist profile.

In case you missed the best part, here it is again. Shake off your PC fog and read the one plan that would absolutely make a difference in our safety:
Here’s an idea. Instead of taking my grandmothers eye drops and shaking down blonde women with babies, STOP LETTING ARAB MEN ON AIRPLANES until the threat is lowered. That way, the rest of us could travel as usual and the only people who will be inconvenienced are the only group of people who have been known to blow up planes.

We think Little Fox is right on target.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Changing our government - Part One

There are many ways to begin reshaping our government, and voting is one of the most vital.

Voting 101

Compulsory Voting
In the 2004 election 64% of Americans voted. That's a record number, but it's not close to Australia's 96.2% and Belgium's 91.1%. Both countries have compulsory voting, and that is a point we would like to make - compulsory voting is one way to make a difference in this country. Our politicians may not like it - they enjoy low voter turnout and apathy in our society, but officially making voting a duty will go a long way in changing the make-up of the government machine.

Let's make it compulsory, move it to Fridays and Saturdays, and give everyone a holiday on the Friday polls. And don't forget the fines. If you do not vote, you are fined, say ... $100.00. That's how it works in Australia, although the fines are not enforced as strictly as they could be.

Who do you vote for?
When you go to the polls to elect a president, assuming that you DO vote, how do you make your decision? Do you vote for the candidate you believe in, the one who most reflects back your beliefs and ideology, or do you vote against a candidate? If your answer is the latter, you are part of the problem, but know that you are not alone as many people feel and vote the same way.

If you ask the average Democrat how they voted in the 2004 presidential election, many will tell you they voted for Mr. Kerry because they hate Mr. Bush, not because they felt John Kerry was the better man for the job (We don’t think even the most whacked Dem could say that with a straight face). Conversely and unfortunately, that type of voting mentality also applies to many Republicans. Entirely too many Americans vote against a candidate instead of voting for one, and this says a lot about the type of people running for office and what has become of our choices.

If you feel you have to vote for “the lesser evil” what does that tell you? It should tell you that you are settling, that you are not getting what you deserve from the politicians who are running. It should tell you that there has to be a better way and that the status quo is not good enough any longer. It should also tell you that there’s work to be done, and if you again vote for that lesser evil you are perpetuating a part of the pattern that has brought us to this point. We as a society deserve, and should demand, candidates we can believe in. We deserve to support people we believe will represent us to the best of their abilities while in the jungles of D.C. How do we get that? Keep reading.

The Uninformed
During the last presidential election my cohort and I received political e-mails almost every day. The mostly unknown authors of those messages were attempting to sway our votes with rumors and outright lies in both directions. Being that we rarely take e-mail messages such as those at face value, we did our homework, sorting through the falsehoods and smear tactics, separating fact from fiction. The problem is that most of those e-mails came from friends and coworkers, people who seemed to believe everything they read. As we see it, not enough people are doing their homework, thus allowing skewed views and then voting on those views, ones mostly based in lies. This is no way to go about voting intelligently.

Research is necessary if you wish to vote smart. As voters we have an obligation to ourselves and our country to be informed, and to never show up at our polling places without knowing something about every candidate. If you are an uninformed voter, or if you strictly vote your party line, we would rather you did not vote at all. We would rather you stay home and let the rest of us make informed decisions about our political makeup.

Become a smart American. Do the work and know your choices.

Ridding ourselves of those heavy incumbents
John Dingell has served in the senate for 50 years, Senator Byrd 47, and Ted Stevens 37. Quite obviously they have forgotten their jobs were meant to be temporary, not lifetime seats. When folks stay in D.C. too long they tend to forget their obligation to the people who put them there in the first place, and they lose touch with the average person. This is part of the problem.

The rest of the problem is that we continue to vote for these people. This has to stop. We need to vote the cronies out - all of the incumbents, and replace them with people who wish to actually accomplish something good for our country. Did you get that? We must vote ALL of the incumbents out of our government.

We should be looking in our communities for that man or woman who views the world realistically, who has a genuine love for our country and our people, and who has more common sense than anyone else we can think of. When we find that person we need to support them in running for local offices, and stand behind them as they work toward D.C.

This, of course, is not an easy task. Professional politicians are good at playing the game, and they will not relinquish their cushy jobs without an ugly fight, but it can be done. It's a matter of commitment - our commitment to reshaping our government so that it actually works.

Before you head to the polls next time, arm yourself with knowledge so that you become an informed voter. It's the best place to start if you want to make a difference in this country.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Absurd Report is joining a grassroots campaign - RightRoots.

We now are approaching three months until Election Day 2006. This is day that we the people get to exercise our right to vote for representatives to our government.

The vote we cast that day will influence the future direction that our government will go. I, like many of you have been upset with the Republicans in Congress and feel that they have lost their way with uncontrollable spending. Here is our chance to do something about it and restore the conservative philosophy of limited government and controlled spending to Washington.

RIGHTROOTS has endorsed a group of 18 Republican candidates. There are no incumbents in the group, no candidates in seriously contested primaries, and all the candidates are in competitive races
.

If you have the same issues, this is a good time to join in the fight and actually do something about the direction your country is moving in. Take a look, list the blogs, and maybe throw a little cash in the direction of someone who might actually make a difference in government. Even if you don't endorse any of the candidates at least you will come away more informed, and that is the best place to start when dealing with political issues.