Friday, January 16, 2015

Seared Music: Motorhead - "Born To Raise Hell" there any other way to end the week, musically speaking? ;) 

Despite Veto Threat, Public Supports Congress On Keystone Pipeline

Would someone tell President Obama to get the hell out of the way so that they can begin building the damned pipeline already?
This polling nugget isn't so much newsworthy as it is timely. Americans have strongly and consistently supported green-lighting the Keystone pipeline for years. It would create thousands of American jobs, please our Canadian allies, and support North American energy production. It's a privately-funded, shovel-ready infrastructure project that won't cost US taxpayers a dime. And not only has the State Department repeatedly concluded that its environmental impact would be negligible, studies show that it would lead to fewer carbon emissions and carry less risk of a spill than other methods of transporting fuel.  But a handful of powerful lobbyists and monied special interests vehemently oppose the project for ideological (and perhaps other) reasons, so our "not particularly ideological" president is slamming the breaks on it.  Team Obama couldn't shut this thing down prior to the elections without hanging members of his party out to dry, so he waited. Now he's a lame duck; the coast is finally clear, and Tom Steyer's money talks -- so out comes the veto pen to strike down what will be the first, wildly popular, bipartisan act of the new Congress:
 -Source: CNN/Orc via. Townhall, by more than a two-to-one margin, the American public wants the Keystone XL pipeline do the Canadians, whose patience, it appears, is growing thin and for what its' worth, I don't blame them. Make no mistake here: given the pro-energy sentiment of the Harper Government up in Ottawa, those Western Canadian tar sands are going to be shipped somewhere...better it be us that receives the bounty of the energy from our northern neighbor than someone elsewhere.

Supreme Court To Decide Marriage Equality Issue

At least now there will be some sort of end-game on the issue of marriage equality:
Taking on a historic constitutional challenge with wide cultural impact, the Supreme Court on Friday afternoon agreed to hear four new cases on same-sex marriage.   The Court said it would rule on the power of the states to ban same-sex marriages and to refuse to recognize such marriages performed in another state.  A total of two-and-a-half hours was allocated for the hearings, likely in the April sitting.  A final ruling is expected by early next summer, probably in late June.
The Court fashioned the specific questions it is prepared to answer, but they closely tracked the two core constitutional issues that have led to a lengthy string of lower-court rulings striking down state bans.  As of now, same-sex marriages are allowed in thirty-six states, with bans remaining in the other fourteen but all are under court challenge. (ScotusBlog)
Going by the Court's order announcing their intent to hear the issue, it appears that they're looking at two principle questions...

  1. Does the State have the right to ban same-sex marriages, the Constitution's Article IV, Sect. 1 full faith & credit clause notwithstanding, and
  2. Do states where same-sex marriage is banned have the right to refuse to recognize said marriages, irrespective of both the full faith & credit and the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause
At present, thirty-six states allow for same-sex marriage while the remaining 14 states currently ban such marriages either through state legislation, constitutional amendment and/or of the big unknowns with the Court's decision to hear this is that, should the Court opt to not recognize SSMs', it has the potential to throw lots of turmoil into the lives of those who are currently in same-sex marriages. However, given the High Court's October decision to not hear past marriage equality cases from several of the appellate courts, if I had to hazard a guess as to what direction the Court is leaning at the moment, I'd say that the odds are better than 50-50 that, come late June, marriage equality will be the law of the land in all 50 states.

Arguments before the Court are scheduled for sometime in late April, with friend-of-the-court and amicus briefs from both sides due before the Court between late February to late March 2015.

Atlanta Mayor Stands Firm Over Official's Firing

Note to social conservatives: its' not anti-Christian bigotry to reprimand and/or fire someone because of bad ethical decisions one makes while in public service:

Even though Atlanta's a major city, its' still in the heart of the South, so major, major props to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who's catching tons of heat from social conservatives over his firing of Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran for publishing a book describing homosexuality as a 'perversion', a book which the aforementioned Cochran published back in 2013 despite, (a)warnings from city officials not to publish said book in violation of city ethics rules and (b)for speaking to the media during his earlier month-long suspension despite being ordered by city officials not to.

All I can say is...good on ya', Mayor Reed!

Founder's Quote, 16 Jan. 2015

In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator. - Samuel Adams, letter to the Legislature of Massachusetts — 1794

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Seared Music: King's X - "Move"

...been listening to King's X for the better part of 2 decades now and they just keep getting better as time marches on...

Who Will Win The 2016 GOP Showdown: Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush?

....hopefully, neither, but we're still very early in the campaign:

Quoting PJ Media: Tune into this episode of Poll Position as John Phillips tells you the results of a GOP 2016 presidential poll. While Mitt Romney is in the lead with 19 percent, where do candidates like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Rick Perry stand?

FWIW, its' still way too early for Republicans to choose a nominee, but it will be interesting to watch...

Anti-Gay 'Religious Freedom' Discrimination Bill On Way To The Tarheel State

Maybe its' just me, but when are these dunderheads going to get it through their thick skulls that the time is coming when you won't be able to impose your "religious liberties" upon those of us within the LGBT community?
One of the North Carolina House of Representatives’ top Republican leaders has announced plans to move forward with an anti-LGBT “religious freedom” discrimination measure initially promised by a Senate colleague last fall.
State Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam, who was re-elected speaker pro tempore of the House during the opening of the legislature’s new session on Wednesday, has announced that House leaders will hold a legislative briefing Jan. 28 on a proposed “religious freedom” bill. State Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger said last October that he’d be introducing legislation designed to allow registers of deeds and magistrates to opt out of serving LGBT citizens if doing so “would violate their core religious beliefs.”
Similar bills, sometimes known as religious freedom “protection” or “restoration” acts, have been introduced in other states. In Virginia, legislators are considering legislation giving broad exemptions to government employees. reports that under Virginia’s bill “a person would not be required to ‘perform, assist, consent to, or participate in any action’ as a condition of ‘obtaining or renewing a government-issued license, registration, or certificate’ if such actions would ‘violate the religious or moral convictions of such person.'” (Q Notes)
I've said it before and I'll say it again: if people want to use their "religious freedom" discriminate again people such as myself and others, then by God I'd like to see those us in the LGBT community use the same tactics right back at them...after all, fair is fair, right?

Oh, and by the way...if those registrars and magistrates don't want to do their jobs to the fullest, then I have a simply solution: quit and let someone else do them! If you're a public official, you don't get to pick and choose how to carry out the laws of this state; if you don't agree with that, then kindly leave, thank you very much.

Amnesty International Says Satellite Photos Show Destruction Of Nigerian Villages By Terror Group

Remember, folks, it's not Islamophobia when they're trying to kill you:
Amnesty International has released satellite images that it says show widespread destruction in two Nigerian towns attacked by Boko Haram last weekend. The international human rights organization says that the photos show the towns of Baga and Doron Baga in northeast Nigeria, before and after the attacks. The images were taken on Jan. 2 and Jan. 7 of this year. Boko Haram fighters seized a military base in Baga on Jan. 3 and, according to witnesses, killed hundreds of civilians in cold blood in the ensuing days.
"Residents have not been able to return to bury the dead, let alone count their number. But through these satellite images combined with graphic testimonies a picture of what is likely to be Boko Haram’s deadliest attack ever is becoming clearer," Daniel Eyre, Amnesty International's Nigeria researcher, told The Independent. 
Amnesty International calculates that 3,700 homes and other structures were demolished by the Islamic militants over the course of the attack. 
In the aftermath of the assault on the multinational military base, residents were forced to escape to safety across Lake Chad in canoes. They said insurgents fired at them with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic assault rifles, and hurled explosives. "They came in their hundreds driving several Hilux patrol vehicles, trucks and some were on motorcycles and immediately began to throw explosives and bombs," fisherman Audu Labbo told The Associated Press. (Fox News
 Looking at this, one has to definitely ask: when are we in the West going to acknowledge that we are at war with radical Islamists who seek to do to us now what the Nazis' wanted to do during World War II or what the former Soviet Union wanted to do during the Cold War: subjugate us to their evil, despicable and damnable ways. When are we going to rise up as a society and tell these thugs, No More!

Founder's Quote, 15 Jan. 2015

They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men. - John Adams, Novanglus No. 7 — 1775

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Seared Music: Chris Rea - "Road To Hell" I listen to this, three thoughts come to mind: (1)this song could easily describe the average soccer team's season, from start to finish, (2)that unless we start righting the great ship that is America, we could be headed down a similar road and (3)that Chris Rea is one of those  musicians whose music is, in my opinion, very criminally unappreciated.

The Left's Love-Hate Relationship With Science

...quoting PJ Media: Liberals love to parade 'science' around as their replacement for God. They love science! Except they don't like drug companies...hmmm...

...for what its' worth, Zonation gets it right on this; for years, the Left has touted science as the 'be-all & end-all' of how to deal with the world's problems and have long tried to corner the market on science yet whenever something comes up that doesn't comport with their worldview, in which case they turn around and denounce the very science they touted.

Texas Lawmakers Considering Slew Of Anti-LGBT Legislation

...excuse me, Rep. Sheenan, but when did you get to decide how those of us in the LGBT community can be treated equally in society?
Texas Rep. Matt Shaheen (R) standing with other opponents of Plano’s LGBT protections at a press conference last week.

The Texas legislature has only just convened, but there are already three different bills proposed that are designed specifically to help people discriminate against LGBT people. As previously reported, one would allow businesses to use their religious beliefs as justification for violating nondiscrimination protections, another would punish clerks for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples should marriage equality become law, and now lawmakers are discussing a possible third bill that would actually prohibit Texas municipalities from even extending LGBT protections in the first place.
The Texas Observer reports that state lawmakers from the Plano area — Plano having recently passed a law protecting LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations — are planning to introduce legislation blocking any cities and counties from ever passing such laws. Their legislation would also likely nullify the many laws that already exist across the state, such as in Austin, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, El Paso, San Antonio and Waco. (Think Progress) know, someone really needs to remind Rep. Sheenan that all of us, no matter who or what we are, are equal before the law and that no one's rights are have a right to believe what you want and I'll defend your right to express it but what you do not have, sir, is the right to impose said beliefs upon the rest of us. This idea of his smacks of mean-spirited preemptive BS and hopefully the courts will smack it down like it so rightly deserves.

Founder's Quote, 14 Jan. 2015

Thomas Jefferson still lives. - John Adams, after waking momentarily — 1826

Oh, Mohammedans...

...have you met my new pet pig?

....looks just like Mohammed, doesn't he? 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Seared Music: George Harrison - "All Those Years Ago"

...say whatever you want about John Lennon's political leanings, but the man was a musical icon and George Harrison's song above is a perfect sentiment to how one should feel towards the Liverpool native...

Your Second Amendment

...quoting Bill Whittle over at Truth Revolt: Tired of listening to Progressives tell you that the Second Amendment only allows people in militias to keep and bear arms? Or that the Founders would have never intended the Second Amendment to apply to modern weapons? In his latest FIREWALL Bill recounts a remarkable conversation about the precise wording of the Second Amendment, and sums up why the document says what it means and means what it says.

...people forget that for all the talk of the first part of the 2nd Amendment (the well-regulated militia part), the second part (the right of the people to keep & bear arms) is just as important AND just as valid. Its' also important to remember that the right to keep & bear arms is a right inherently given to the people and that the government cannot infringe on that right...period, full stop.

Founder's Quote, 13 Jan. 2015

Let justice be done though the heavens should fall. - John Adams, letter to Elbridge Gerry — 1777

Monday, January 12, 2015

Seared Music: Led Zeppelin - "No Quarter"

...this is one of those songs that just grips you from start to finish, with symbolism that harkens back to The Lord of the Rings and TV's Vikings...its' also a kick-ass song as well. 

Why Symbolism Still Matters...

People on the Left say symbolism doesn't matter, that its' results that matters....well, given all the world leaders who were in Paris Sunday for that unity rally following the horrific events earlier in the week, you'd think, given the emphasis on internationalism that the Left puts out, that someone high-up in the Obama Administration, from Emperor Barack to Vice President Gaffe Machine to Atty.Gen. Just Us to Sec.State. Hanoi John, would've showed up to stand alongside other international leaders from Angela Merkel to Francoise Hollande to even Benjamin Netanyahu & Mahmoud Abbas, who stood - according to reports - shoulder-to-shoulder....but other benighted leaders?

Well, not so much...only Hanoi John had a excuse: he was in India on a climate & trade summit. Vice President Gaffe Machine was likely out to lunch - mentally speaking - and Atty.Gen. Just Us, though in Paris, had a prior engagement....

And Emperor Barack? Well, he decided to spend Sunday watching football instead of standing along other world leaders in the still-ongoing fight with radical Mohammedism. To quote Gay Patriot's words,
A better metaphor for the absence of American leadership under Emperor Obama would be hard to find.
 No kidding...

H/T to Gay Patriot

Founder's Quote, 12 Jan. 2015

The dignity and stability of government in all its branches, the morals of the people, and every blessing of society depend so much upon an upright and skillful administration of justice, that the judicial power ought to be distinct from both the legislative and executive, and independent upon both, that so it may be a check upon both, and both should be checks upon that. - John Adams, Thoughts on Government — 1776

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Iowa Republicans Vote To Keep Ames Straw Poll

Even though the Ames Straw Poll has had a very lackluster effect on who the Republican Party eventually nominates for presidential elections, it is fun to watch:
State Republican party leaders voted unanimously Saturday in favor of keeping their annual presidential straw poll, defeating critics who said the summer tradition attracts only fringe contenders while keeping away mainstream candidates. The vote by the Republican Party Central Committee was 16 yeas to 0 nays.(Fox News)
...and past winners of the Ames Straw Poll:

  • 1979: George H.W. Bush (eventual 1980 nominee: Ronald Reagan)
  • 1987: Rev. Pat Robertson (eventual 1988 nominee: George H.W. Bush)
  • 1995: (tie) Robert Dole & Phil Gramm (eventual 1996 nominee: Robert Dole)
  • 1999: George W. Bush (eventual 2000 nominee: George W. Bush)
  • 2007: Mitt Romney (eventual 2008 nominee: John McCain)
  • 2011: Michele Bachmann (eventual 2012 nominee: Mitt Romney)
For what its' worth, I've always liked watching the Ames Straw some degree, it is one of the most campiest of events on the political calendar, yet its' also a pretty decent gauge for looking at where the Republican base is at that point in the election cycle so its' good to see it'll still be around.