Sunday, March 29, 2015

Something stinks in Indiana

Last week, the Indiana State Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act". The verbiage of the bill is sufficiently vague [by design] to seem benign on it's face....but the public statements by supporters of this bill, leading up to it's passing, make it quite clear what it's about [some Indiana establishments are already declaring that they will no longer serve gays]. A special privilege for religion....but with an ironic twist probably not thought of by the proponents - only those religions sanctioned by the Government. If I followed a religious belief not shared with the dominant faiths of this nation, my standing in a court of law under this bill, would likely be nil.

That's something I fail to understand, regarding the pursuit of a victimhood status by the dominant and pervasive religious faith of this society. Many of the faithful rail against alleged government intrusion in their religious practices while accepting both special privileges and incentives from said government - and ignorant of the precedent set when laws like this pass. They seemingly fail to realize that every time a law is passed creating a special right or allowing them to discriminate as please, they set a legal precedence that can be used against them. The chicken little charades over Shari'a law taking hold in this nation, are made more likely with the passing of each one of these laws.

In the end however, it is not religious freedom they seek, they already have that. Are there instances where this is infringed upon? Absolutely, and those cases should be adjudicated appropriately, taking religious liberty into account, without carving out a special right not available to other citizens...based merely on what a citizen believes.

Back to the Indiana law. I wrote above that the bill was written to a level of vagueness [by design I believe], such that Gov. Pence is forced to "clarify the intent" of the measure. I'm thinking that a "Clarification Bill" is an easier process now that the law has been passed, than were the "clarity" to be written into the law in the first place. By design. Special privileges.

Personally, as I have stated previously, I support the right of private business owners to refuse goods or services to whomever they wish. That someone believes in a deity, and I am fairly agnostic, doesn't equal their belief to be any more valid than my own, in the eyes of the law. THAT is religious freedom.

But let the majority continue to pursue their crusade of victimhood, along with their well heeled industry of faux outrage and contrived injury. It will be their undoing, because they're not playing the long game; they're not pursuing a coherent and just strategy; and they are ensuring that they will not remain the dominant religious faith [among the landscape of faithful and not] in perpetuity [as declining numbers already indicate].

Schloss Hohenbaden

Hohenbaden Old Castle (Altes Schloss Hohenbaden) is one of the oldest possessions of the margraves of Baden – with origins that go back to the 12th century. The oldest part of the complex, the Oberburg (upper castle) is built on a crest on the southwestern side of the Battert hill. The newer Unterburg (lower castle) was expanded on the orders of Margrave Bernhard I in the late 14th century. The impressive Bernhardsbau, the main building in the castle’s lower bailey (courtyard), bears testimony to the heightened importance of the margraves of Baden. In 1479, however, they moved to the more comfortable Neues Schloss (new palace) in the valley. The old castle fell into disuse, and was left in ruins after a fire in the late 16th century. Interest in Hohenbaden Old Castle was reawakened in the 19th century, when Baden-Baden became a popular spa destination. Today, the ruin, with its fabulous view, is one of the most attractive destinations in the northern Black Forest.

I took my spunky little Citroen through the Black Forest enroute to Baden-Baden, on what was arguably the first spring weekend here in Baden-Wurttemburg.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The stunning hypocrisy of the Gun Control Cabal

A woman who has made a career out of publicly attacking the democratically-enacted gun laws of the District of Columbia and Maryland has no business serving as the “chief investigative reporter” of a television station covering the region’s affairs. That’s the message of more than 6,300 supporters of a petition campaign led by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), an organization that works to prevent gun violence at the local, state and federal level.
Ladd Everitt, communications director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said, “By the standards of her profession, Emily Miller has no business calling herself a journalist. Miller’s crusade against popular gun laws has been a professional one since the beginning. At this point, area residents can have no reasonable expectation that she will provide objective, impartial coverage on matters of concern to them. If Miller wishes to behave like a pundit and activist, then WTTG should replace her with an actual reporter.”

We already know that in some political camps, some rights are more equal than others. But in an era where the media largely fellates government power, this group of intellectual midgets calls for a reporter to be excommunicated from the field of journalism.....because she dares publicly advocate for the protection of Constitutional rights.

She dares to attend 2nd Amendment events, just as so many others in her field attend similar events regarding the freedoms of speech, due process and privacy. CSGV is a group who should applaud journalistic integrity...but like the rest of their brethren....that's not really what they want.

Smells like desperation.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Even the WaPo calls out Obama on his gun lies

The president was playing fast and loose with his language here—to a group of college students no less. There’s little excuse for the claim that in some neighborhoods, it is easier to buy a gun than vegetable (see update above) — or to say he’s “not exaggerating” when he claims that some people have proposed laws that would allow machine guns in bars. 
As for the U.S. ranking on homicides among industrialized nations, the president certainly would have had a stronger case if he said the United States was above average, or that it was in the top ranks. But instead he claimed the United States had rates that were higher “by like a mile.” 
The gun debate is serious enough that it should not be poisoned by exaggerated claims and faux statistics. The president earns Three Pinocchios.

Why can't gun control folks stop lying? Surely if their position had any merit, they would simply tell the truth and see their goal come to fruition.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Common sense (almost) always prevails in the end

Two years after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut's governor said he doubts the state legislature has the "appetite" to take up many of the additional gun control recommendations included in a final report released Friday by a state commission.
ABC News 

Say it isn't so. Draconian restrictions based on falsehoods and myths failed to whet the appetitive of the public-at-large?

Propagated lies about "assault weapons" and the natural right of self defense have failed to energize the public to support disarmament?


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Here's your transparency......

The White House is removing a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act, making official a policy under Presidents Bush and Obama to reject requests for records to that office.

The White House said the cleanup of FOIA regulations is consistent with court rulings that hold that the office is not subject to the transparency law. The office handles, among other things, White House record-keeping duties like the archiving of e-mails.

But the timing of the move raised eyebrows among transparency advocates, coming on National Freedom of Information Day and during a national debate over the preservation of Obama administration records. It's also Sunshine Week, an effort by news organizations and watchdog groups to highlight issues of government transparency.

"The irony of this being Sunshine Week is not lost on me," said Anne Weismann of the liberal Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW.

"It is completely out of step with the president's supposed commitment to transparency," she said. "That is a critical office, especially if you want to know, for example, how the White House is dealing with e-mail."

Unlike other offices within the White House, which were always exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, the Office of Administration responded to FOIA requests for 30 years. Until the Obama administration, watchdog groups on the left and the right used records from the office to shed light on how the White House works.

"This is an office that operated under the FOIA for 30 years, and when it became politically inconvenient, they decided they weren't subject to the Freedom of Information Act any more," said Tom Fitton of the conservative Judicial Watch.

That happened late in the Bush administration, when CREW sued over e-mails deleted by the White House — as many as 22 million of them, by one accounting. The White House at first began to comply with that request, but then reversed course.

USA Today

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Schloss Hohenstaufen

Drove to a hilltop town outside of Goppingen, and hiked up to the ruins of Schloss [Castle] Hohenstaufen.
Hohenstaufen castle was built about 1070 by Frederick I of Hohenstaufen—even before he became Duke of Swabia, as a fortress to protect family interests in the vicinity. Until the 13th century, the castle was a possession of the imperial and royal family, the Hohenstaufen dynasty. In 1181, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa stayed there; in 1208, Irene Angelina, the widow of Barbarossa's son, the recently murdered Philip of Swabia, died at Hohenstaufen Castle. 
Since the German unification of 1871, Hohenstaufen Castle has been regarded as a national monument. The archaeologist Walther Veeck undertook excavations on it between 1936 and 1938, and further excavations were made between 1967 and 1971, uncovering and securing the castle foundations. A Hohenstaufen memorial stele (Stauferstele) was inaugurated in 2002. In 2009 additional work was done to preserve the site. - Wiki

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Stuttgart, then and now

Walking around the Stadtmitte section of Stuttgart; lot's of people doing the same thing. First nice day  since I've been here.

1938 - Hitler riding down Königstraße, with the Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof tower in the background.

Königstraße this very day. Note the Swastika flag has been replaced by the Mercedes-Benz logo.

A new level of absurdity

A bill proposed by the Student Council of the University of California-Irvine to remove the American flag from campus grounds, has been vetoed by the Executive Cabinet. Said veto could be overridden by a 2/3's majority vote of the Student Body.

The Council moved to ban the flag due to their claim that national flags [and citing the flag of the United States in particular] have "flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism" and "serve as symbols of patriotism or weapons for nationalism."

Talk about a collective grouping of ignorant, censoring, petulant twits. Enroll yourself in a private institution of learning, and can raise the fashionable Che banner and any other empty symbols of the 'workers paradise' you may desire.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

When the Left is losing their game......

they move the goalposts.

Attorney General Eric Holder, during his final weeks in office, plans to ask Congress to lower the standard of proof in federal civil rights cases, a change that would make the federal government "a better backstop" against discrimination in cases like the deaths of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin, according to NBC News and POLITICO.

"We do need to change the law. I do think the standard is too high," Holder told NBC News Thursday. "There needs to be a change with regard to the standard of proof."

Holder said that between now and his departure, likely in early March when the Senate is expected to confirm Loretta Lynch as his successor, he will call for a lower standard of proof for civil rights crimes, he told POLITICO. Such a change would make it easier for the federal government to bring civil rights charges in the future, the news organization reports.

The Justice Department said Tuesday that its independent investigation found "insufficient evidence" to charge George Zimmerman with federal civil rights violations in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. - USA Today

Can't meet the burden of proof, as laid out in our Constitutional system of jurisprudence? Simply change the standard to allow the State to use a lower standard than would be required of the Citizen.

Tyranny defined.