Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jay Leno's JetBike

The Special Counsel to the President on Ethics and Government Reform Has Trouble with the First Amendment

(Imported from HotAir... good work in bringing this to our attention). Let me say that this won't happen, but even for it to be suggested elucidates the liberal tenancy towards socialistic monopolies on "free-speech." Tammy Bruce's book, "The New Thought Police: Inside the Left's Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds," comes to mind.

White House: We’ll cut off criticism of Porkulus

Mark Tapscott notices an interesting blog post by Norman Eisen, who works for Barack Obama as Special Counsel to the President on Ethics and Government Reform. Anticipating a deluge of criticism over the thus-far ineffectual spending plan, Eisen has a straightforward plan to deal with criticism. He’ll simply use the power of the federal government to silence it. Problem solved!

“First, we will expand the restriction on oral communications to cover all persons, not just federally registered lobbyists. For the first time, we will reach contacts not only by registered lobbyists but also by unregistered ones, as well as anyone else exerting influence on the process. We concluded this was necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program. [emphasis mine -- Ed]

“Second, we will focus the restriction on oral communications to target the scenario where concerns about merit-based decision-making are greatest –after competitive grant applications are submitted and before awards are made. Once such applications are on file, the competition should be strictly on the merits. To that end, comments (unless initiated by an agency official) must be in writing and will be posted on the Internet for every American to see.

“Third, we will continue to require immediate internet disclosure of all other communications with registered lobbyists. If registered lobbyists have conversations or meetings before an application is filed, a form must be completed and posted to each agency’s website documenting the contact.”

Silencing dissent and criticism is “necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program”? Gee, what “unique circumstances” might those be? Perhaps the fact that it costs more than the Moon shot, and has yet to halt the economic skid. Maybe it’s the fact that most of the stimulus package doesn’t actually stimulate anything except doctrinaire liberal dreams and the pens that check off the items from the Democratic wish list.

Remember when the Left took to the streets to declare dissent “patriotic” during wartime? I didn’t have a problem with dissent then, but apparently the Left has a curious definition of “patriotism”. Now, suddenly, the federal government can silence their critics at will, not to protect critical national-security programs or keep from undermining a war effort, but to protect a Democratic president intent on seizing control of private industry across a wide swath of the nation. Suddenly, that kind of dissent threatens America.

UPDATE from Mark Tapscott

Carter Wood at Shopfloor sees the same threat to the First Amendment:

"Lobbyists and organizations that lobby complained that the White House’s restrictions on lobbying on stimulus fund projects were discriminatory and unfair because the same restrictions didn’t apply to people like corporate executives or officials. So these memorandumly noted changes address that fairness issue by expanding the ban on orally petitioning the government or expressing one’s views through speech. In the interests of transparency the First Amendment must be sacrificed.

"The restrictions are also ambiguous enough that a lobbyist or other petitioner won’t be sure how to fully comply. So if someone runs afoul of White House officials, a phone call to a news outlet or a friendly prosecutor can punish the offender. Ambiguous rules plus capricious application equals negative rule of law."

Total Eclipse of the Heart: Literal Video Version

(HotAir h/t)

Sea Monsters -- A "Dinosaur" of Sorts

A strange ugly sea monster was cast ashore in Guinea, the partially decomposed monster has 4 paws, a tail and long fur… scientists who examined the creature said that they had already seen such animals before, but they have no clue to their definition.

A.C.O.R.N. vs Bill O'Reilly & Glenn Beck (featuring the ACORN Eight)

Bill O'Reilly

Glenn Beck

Obama Learns Existence of Defense Department Intel Agency During Burger Run

Politico: "So explain to me exactly what this National Geospatial..." Obama said, after the worker mentioned his employer, according to a video of the event. "We work with, uh, satellite imagery," the worker, Walter replied. A POLITICO reader caught the exchange, which starts around 5:45 on this C-SPAN video.

(The transcript)

Obama: What do you do Walter?
Walter: I work at, uh, NGA, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Obama: Outstanding, how long you been doing that?
Walter: About six years
Obama: Yea?
Walter: Yes.
Obama: You like it?
Walter: I do, keeps me...
Obama: So explain to me exactly what this National Geospatial...uh...
Walter: Uh, we work with, uh, satellite imagery..
Obama: Right
Walter: [unintelligible] systems, so...
Obama: Sounds like good work.
Walter: Enjoy the weekend.
Obama: Appreciate it.

Cable News Race -- Drudge Report h/t


FOXNEWS BECK 2,009,000
FOXNEWS SHEP 1,787,000
MSNBC MADDOW 1,029,000
CNN COOPER 852,000

Very Fine Artist - Drawing Studio

The "Bigot" Sotomayor?

An adept reader pointed out the fact that La Raza is a bit more broad than supposed here:

Reader: Sotomayor is Puerto Rican.

Wiki: "La Raza (literally 'The Race') is sometimes used to denote people of Chicano (i.e. Mexican American) and Mexican descent and the Hispanic world, as well by mestizos who share Native American or national Hispanic heritage."

La Raza is closely allied with MECha, in fact, our L.A. Mayor is La Raza/Aztlan as well and supported a school that most reasonable people would consider dangerous:

(Libertarian Republican Import)

Calling Bullsh*t on La Raza Pres. Janet Murguia on group's name: Tancredo is right, it does mean "The Race"

by Eric Dondero

Janet Murguia must think us Gringos are stupid. She must think that we'll all just buy her "mierda" because surely none of us speak Spanish.

From CNN, "White House responds as GOP continues Sotomayor attacks":

On CNN Friday, La Raza president Janet Murguia disputed Tancredo's statements about the 40-year-old group. The motto, she said, is not "All for the race, nothing for the rest," the organization is very much "mainstream," the group's name does not translate to "the race" as understood in English.

Our name has a long history to it, but the bottom line is that words in English and in Spanish, have different meanings," she said. "Race in Spanish, la raza in Spanish, has a broader meaning. It means the people, the community. And it really is meant to be a very inclusive term. It comes from the term 'la raza cosmica,' the cosmic race, which is a very inclusive term."
I'm a certified Spanish/English interpreter. I've lived in Mexico, twice, once for 3 months in Tampico, and another stint for 2 months in Guadalajara. I've visited 11 Mexican states from Veracruz in the far southeast, to Baja in the far northeast. I've been to Spain numerous times, and was stationed in Puerto Rico in the Navy. I've even written two books on language learning, one titled "Vacation Spanish." (I speak over a dozen languages, and am fluent in five).

I can tell you that completely contrary to what Ms. Murguia is saying, the term "La Raza" is a strictly Mexican term. It's not used by Puerto Ricans, and certainly not Spaniards. In fact, Mexicans are often disdainful of other races, most certainly of Central Americans (Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans), who they see as purely Indio. Mexicans hold themselves in esteem, for their mostly Spanish blood. Thus the term "La Raza."

What Ms. Murguia is not saying here, and what she expects no Gringo to be privvy too, is that the term "La Raza," is as much about distinguishing Mexicans from Central Americans, than it is about Norteamericanos norte de la frontera.

Mexicans are extremly prideful people. In my own region of South Texas, Tejanos wear their family names on the backs of their pick-ups in big white letters: "Garcias," "Hernandez," "Castros," and "Morales."

Imagine if Euro-Americans did the same with "Smiths," "Johnsons," or "McCains."

That Family pride extends to the entire Nation of Mexico. They view all fellow Mexicans as part of their extended Familia. It doesn't extend to Central Americans or Puerto Ricans, however.

You'll rarely find a dude from El Salvador here in the US with "Espinoza" plastered on the back of his pick-up. And the custom does not extend at all to Caribbean Hispanics or South Americans.

Don't fall for the bullshit line that Ms. Murguia is peddling. Just because you may not speak Spanish, doesn't mean you have to believe everything a native Spanish speaker is trying to feed you.

La Raza, most certainly means The Race. And it is a term fully intended to evoke pride and sectarianism; in other words, if you ain't part of the Mexican! family, you ain't one of us.