Thursday, June 30, 2011

TSA Agents: Body Scanners Gave Us Cancer

Picture above is a common type of skin cancer (called basal cell carcinoma) that TSA agents in Boston may have contracted as a result of repeated exposure to the TSA's poorly-tested and controversial naked body scanners. TIME Magazine reports:

Could radiation from full-body scanners be responsible for a "cancer cluster" among airport security workers? That's what Transportation Security Administration union representatives in Boston have claimed.

Now, the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has obtained documents from the Department of Homeland Security, which EPIC says provide evidence that the government failed to properly test the safety of full-body scanners at airports, and dismissed concerns from airport agents about excessive exposure to the machines' radiation.

The documents, which include emails, radiation test results and radiation studies, were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by EPIC and released on June 24. The advocacy group says they indicate that Homeland Security "publicly mischaracterized" safety findings by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), by suggesting that NIST had "affirmed the safety" of full body scanners.

The government lied to us again? No way! And made us less safe and less healthy because of their lies? Unbelievable!

Hat tip: The Daily Paul

PROOF that the TSA naked body scanners reveal TOO MUCH

The Smoking Gun reports: "The Transportation Security Administration employee charged with assaulting a coworker who taunted him about the size of his penis after his genitalia was exposed by a full-body scanner has agreed to attend anger management classes and write a letter of apology as part of a settlement of his criminal case, records show...

During a May 2010 training session for TSA workers at the Miami airport, Negrin walked through a high-tech 'whole body image' scanner. 'The X-ray revealed that [Negrin] has a small penis and co-workers made fun of him on a daily basis,' cops reported."

Cheerleaders for the vast and growing fascist police state in America have emphatically defended these scanners by insisting that they don't show details of passengers' private parts, but this case shows that this is patently false. Here's a TSA officer himself, not only admitting that the the TSA's naked body scanners revealed the size of his penis to his co-workers during a training exercise, but becoming enraged and assaulting one of them after being continuously taunted for it.

Not only does this prove that these naked body scanners do indeed reveal the intimate details of passengers' genitalia (consider who you might know that has been forced through one of these scanners-- your wife, mother, daughter, friend?), but that those employees appointed to conduct these invasive scans are shamefully lacking in professional behavior and attitudes.

On what planet is it okay to take these kind of images of people's (including children's) genitalia, and hand them over for examination to TSA agents whose conduct in the case above rivals that of drunken frat boys and adolescent locker room hoodlums for immaturity, harassment, and viciousness?

If even TSA officers can take what they're apparently dishing out, why should the rest of us have to?




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

David Simpson: Full Video of Speech on TSA in Texas Legislature

Video: June 29, 2011 State Rep. David Simpson, (R) Longview, delivers his "personal privilege" speech after the Texas House of Representatives fails to pass his anti-TSA groping bill.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Ron Paul Closes in on $5M for the Quarter

When I interviewed Ron Paul earlier this month for the June 5th money bomb, I asked him if it would be better to donate as much as we can upfront instead of holding back for future money bombs. While showing concern for the finances of his supporters, Ron Paul agreed that more money earlier on helps make headlines and lend credibility to his presidential campaign.

Now as Ron Paul pushes for $5M by the end of this FEC fundraising quarter tonight at midnight (with less than a million left to go as of 6pm Eastern), he's making a stronger appeal on his campaign website, saying:

"Right now, every dollar is worth as much as five dollars later on. This is a critical moment in our Revolution, and I hope you can contribute as you can before the deadline. -Ron Paul"
So if you plan on holding back $100 for a future money bomb, if you can afford to do so right now in terms of your monthly finances, it'd be even better to give just $25 right now, today.

Today The Daily Paul linked to an article reporting just how hard Ron Paul is campaigning in New Hampshire this time around, which some of his supporters believe he neglected back in 2007-08. He is in this to win it, and mobilizing hard in early voting states like New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina. The more funds he can raise early on, the faster he can build momentum in these states, propelling him to a GOP victory and ultimately the White House!

This is our Revolution's moment in history! Take action right now and seize the day. The future belongs to those who would be free. You can make a secure donation at RonPaul2012.com.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Libertarians: Don't. Lose. Hope.

It's easy to get despondent when every time you turn around another insane idea is about to become policy and shove America and the rest of the world even further down the slippery slope to ruin. Don't! A couple Facebook friends of mine were recently agreeing in a comment thread that this country might be a lost cause, past the point of saving and inevitably headed toward its own destruction. It certainly feels that way sometimes and the day of reckoning for a century of bad policies is frighteningly near, but America is NOT a lost cause yet! I just wanted to share what I said to encourage them:

Come on guys. There's hope. There used to be slavery in this country. Think about that. There used to be a military draft. A bottle of whisky used to be illegal. Under Nixon there were actual wage and price controls on the economy. We have made progress in a lot of ways and overcome some pretty egregious violations of liberty and entrenched attitudes that supported them. Not all is lost yet. We're in for some economic hurt in the next decade for sure. Can't take back the past and we're going to have to pay for it, but there is still a very real chance of restoring our republic. In fact, I'd bet on it happening :)


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Bachmann's Gaffes Matter

Michele Bachmann had a rather bizarre 36 hours. She did Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace and the interviewer asked her to respond to the charge that she is a “flake.” It was a softball question and he personally apologized for it.

In 2007 Ron Paul made the case that we should be out of the Middle East, among other reasons, because they don’t want us there and Wallace shot back by saying, “You’re basically saying we should be taking our marching orders from al Qaeda?” Might that have had a little more buckshot in it than (paraphrasing) "How does it make you feel when some people kinda think that, maybe, you might be a little bit of a flake, not that I think you’re a flake?"

Wallace’s public and then private apology to Bachmann sandwiched her announcement on Monday that she was officially running for president in Waterloo, Iowa. Earlier she had said it was the birthplace of John Wayne. Of course, John Wayne the actor wasn’t born in Waterloo, but the serial killer John Wayne Gacy did live there. Her supporters, who would probably not bat an eye if she said the earth was flat, don’t seem to think it’s a big deal because John Wayne’s parents lived in Waterloo for a time and that should be close enough.

Well, it is a big deal, not because presidential candidates necessarily need to know where Republican actors were born, but someone running for chief executive should be able to remember facts.

It’s not just a matter of misspeaking. At some point everybody says one thing when they mean another. Accidents happen but from context you can figure out what was obviously meant. No one can possibly think Bachmann intended to compare herself to a serial killer. She meant to compare herself to The Duke and she meant to say that The Duke was from Waterloo.

Here's a personal example to illustrate this absurdity of trying to justify just this gaffe: My parents briefly lived in St. Cloud, Minnesota before moving to Kentucky where I was born and raised. Would it be any more of a pathetic gaffe if I or anyone else said I had been born in St. Cloud, but oh, it's not a big deal because my parents lived there for a time?

Maybe the problem is that Bachmann was a lawyer before politics. Perhaps she’s accustomed to making things up and assuming no one will figure it out. John Edwards, another lawyer, made a fool of himself in 2004 by claiming that Christopher Reeve would walk if John Kerry was president.

With George Stephanopoulos, Bachmann claims that John Quincy Adams was a founding father and sticks by it even though John Quincy was a child at the time, albeit an exceptionally gifted child.

The closest thing to evidence she can say to support JQA as a founding father is that he was "actively involved" as his father’s secretary. It’s quite a stretch to claim that being a personal secretary makes one a founder and it certainly wouldn't pass muster on an essay test.

She also says the founding fathers worked "tirelessly" to abolish slavery. It's a loaded statement. It's really no more accurate to say the founders worked tirelessly to abolish slavery than it is to blame them all as just a bunch of slave-holding white guys.

Here she makes a mistake by speaking about the founders as if they were monolithic or if the founding of the country represented some sort of utopia. Yes, there were some founders who worked to get rid of slavery, particularly Franklin, but the legacy of the founders regarding slavery is that they were content to punt.

These gaffes aren’t harmless as some would have us believe. Ignorance leads to consequences.

According to former ambassador Peter Galbraith, George W. Bush didn't know the difference between Sunni and Shiite Muslims before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Might a rudimentary knowledge of the people whose country was about to be raped liberated have been a tad helpful? Does careful knowledge of one's own country matter?

Gaffes matter because they reveal inattention to detail and a lack of critical thinking. Bachmann's behavior of shaking off these missteps without any indication of reflection and her defenders' acts of pointing to Obama's flubs suggests she and they don't really care about these issues in the first place.

Should we have expected anything different from someone who, yes, probably is a "flake?"


Carl Wicklander,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles Author's Page Website

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Weird: John Lennon was a closet Republican?

Was John Lennon a closet Republican and even a fan of Ronald Reagan? According to the Toronto Sun, that's what John Lennon's last personal assistant is claiming:

John Lennon was a closet Republican, who felt a little embarrassed by his former radicalism, at the time of his death - according to the tragic Beatles star's last personal assistant.

Fred Seaman worked alongside the music legend from 1979 to Lennon's death at the end of 1980 and he reveals the star was a Ronald Reagan fan who enjoyed arguing with left-wing radicals who reminded him of his former self.

In new documentary Beatles Stories, Seaman tells filmmaker Seth Swirsky Lennon wasn't the peace-loving militant fans thought he was while he was his assistant.

He says, "John, basically, made it very clear that if he were an American he would vote for Reagan because he was really sour on (Democrat) Jimmy Carter.

Hat tip: Memeorandum.

Maybe we shouldn't be surprised:

You say you’ll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know
You better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow





Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

#NotTheOnion - Lindsay Lohan Slams Federal Reserve and Inflationary Monetary Policy

Lindsay Lohan talking monetary policy and arguing against the Federal Reserve's inflationary bubble? It's got to be The Onion, right? Wrong. In a tweet this Monday, the Hollywood star said one of the smartest things I've ever heard of an actor saying:

"Have you guys seen food and gas prices lately? U.S. $ will soon be worthless if the Fed keeps printing money! http://spn.tw/t1exbE #ad"


Now before getting too excited, do note that the tweet was an ad for the National Inflation Association (who must have a savvy marketer working or consulting for them), served via SponsoredTweets.com, which allows celebrity users to make revenue by tweeting paid links to advertiser's websites.

But when one of Lindsay Lohan's followers tweeted that she doesn't really care about food and gas prices, Lindsay insisted that even though her tweet was a sponsored ad, she really does care about monetary policy and its effects on people, and that inflation is something "important for people to be aware of."

For taking a stand against the Federal Reserve bank, next time I see Lindsay Lohan, I'd like to give her one of these:



Hat tip: The Daily Caller.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Why Can't More Politicians Be Like Rand Paul?

In a CNN interview Wednesday with Wolf Blitzer, Senator Rand Paul says Congress should cancel their vacation and solve the nation's debt crisis.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Obama Official: Dropping a Nuclear Bomb on Libya Would Not Constitute Hostilities

Senators at a recent hearing responded with skepticism to the Obama Administration's claim that U.S. warplanes aren't engaged in hostilities with Libya.

State Department legal adviser Harold Koh, whose opinion forms the basis of Obama’s assertion, testified in defense of the Obama Administration's definition of "hostilities," saying that "we are not in hostilities" with Libya because "exposure of our armed forces is limited, there have been no U.S. casualties, no threat of U.S. casualties" and "no exchange of fire with hostile forces."

But as Tea Party Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) pointed out in a Facebook update early Wednesday, under this definition of hostilities, the Obama Administration is actually claiming that it could go as far as dropping a nuclear bomb on Libya, and that would not constitute hostilities:

'Under the President's astonishing and indefensible definition, the United States' dropping a nuclear bomb on Libya would not constitute "hostilities."

Think about that.'

Dropping a nuclear bomb would meet Harold Koh's criteria for not legally putting America in "hostilities" with Libya, as regulated by the War Powers Resolution. Because dropping a nuclear bomb would clearly be an act of hostility, the Obama Administration's definition is obviously unserious.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Michele Bachmann a Constitutional Conservative?

Think Michele Bachmann is a true Tea Party candidate, an advocate for limited government and more freedom? Why? At MockPolitics.com Aaron Rainwater takes a look at her legislative record and exposes votes against tax cuts, for more regulation of the Internet, and for more executive power for a president that already illegally exercises way more power than he is Constitutionally entitled to exercise. Michele Bachmann's voting record should seriously concern any Tea Party goer who really wants to limit the size, role, and influence of government.



Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

The Imperialism of the IRS

Over at U.K. libertarian blog Samizdata, Jonathan Pearce has written an excellent piece on an action of the IRS that should, by any account, be considered an act of Western imperialism, yet we've heard not so much as a peep out of the anti-imperialists about it, because it concerns the source of funding for their precious welfare state:

It bemuses me that a certain type of commentator will often - sometimes rightly - be angered at the over-reach of Western powers' foreign policy but be quieter about other, less obvious, intrusions if they happen when a more leftist government happens to be in power. And a lot of this sort of double-standard occurs with the United States.

Such critics appear to have been silent on the following issue: under the current Democrat presidency of Mr Obama, the US last year passed a stunningly badly crafted piece of legislation, known as FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act). The law was passed at a time of what can best be described as hysteria about the amount of money that Americans were allegedly stashing abroad in places such as Switzerland, the Bahamas, the Caymans, and so forth. The major governments of the world, such as the US, Germany and UK, fondly imagine that there is, so to speak, a huge pot of gold that got lost down the back of the sofa.

What FATCA does is require any financial institution that is believed to deal with expat US citizens and Green Card holders to provide a great deal of information to the Internal Revenue Service. In other words, all manner of financial institutions, ranging from big banks to small investment boutiques, must prove to the Internal Revenue Service's satisfaction that they have not got US citizens/GC holders on their books if they want to be unmolested by the IRS's powers. If they have such clients or invest into the US stock market, etc, they must provide huge amounts of additional reporting data to the US. "Foreign Financial Institutions" must report investors who are taxable in the US to the US tax authorities. If they fail to do so, they pay a 30 per cent withholding tax. And proving that someone is, or might be, a US citizen might be hard, particularly if that person has been living outside the US for decades, and there is not much paperwork going back, say, 30 years.

This is a quite stunning extension of the IRS's power around the world, affecting European, Asian, African, Latin American and other regions' banks, who may have been blissfully unaware that some of their clients had, at any point, a US "taint". And I am frankly astonished that not more has been said by non-US governments about this; however, given that governments such as those of Germany have resorted to the dubious practice of paying for data stolen from Swiss banks, I have no great hopes that respect for sovereignty or the rule of law applies.

Read the rest at Samizdata.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Supreme Court upholds free speech in California and Arizona First Amendment decisions

From my most recent CAIVN article: In all fairness, critics of the Robert Court's First Amendment decisions don't seem to base their opposition on judicial philosophy and interpretation of the law as written. For them, the issue is not whether a law violates the Constitution's prohibition on abridgements of free speech, but whether they happen to like the outcome of the free exercise of a particular kind of speech. Note that their objections to the court's recent rulings are rooted in the negative results they perceive as stemming from speech they don't like, whether it's political speech or video games that they find obscene.



Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Video: Ronald Reagan's Foreign Policy

In his most recent video op ed, Jack Hunter takes a sober look at Ronald Reagan's foreign policy, revealing some things about Reagan foreign policy that might surprise you.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Friedrich Hayek For President in 2012

The ever-shifting American populace is temporarily sick of deficit spending and bailouts. Not necessarily because they disagree with the fundamental principles behind them, but rather, they simply don't like what the current economy looks like. So, more and more are jumping on the Paul Ryan bandwagon that says shallow spending cuts will solve everything.

But did anyone else catch this video of John Stossel on Bill O'Reilly, translating Ron Paul's views on Keynesian economic policy for him?



Perhaps it shouldn't have, but this clip completely shocked me.

Bill O'Reilly, a leading political commentator and conservative voice, is wholly unfamiliar with the man the United States bases its entire macroeconomic model off of! How much more so the average American voter!?!?

It's as if we've conceded Keynesian theory as de facto best practice and inarguable economics. Because of that, the current economic debate in this country is overly-simplified and, from a macro standpoint, entirely one-sided.

The 2008 Presidential campaign made Ron Paul a household name. The 2012 campaign needs to do the same for a man who's not running. His name is Friedrich Hayek.


Eric Olsen,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page
Church Music Blog

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ronald Reagan Video: "Those Voices Don't Speak for the Rest of Us"

This is an extremely well done video that showcases vintage Ronald Reagan applied to our current circumstances. Whatever you may think of his administration's deficits, "The Great Communicator's" words themselves are flawlessly delivered in this video and remind me of the ideas of F. A. Hayek in his Road to Serfdom. Every word of it is so true and so on point. Washington's planning is doomed to fail and a detriment to our liberty.



Hat Tip: Memorandum


Daryl Luna
,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page

10 of the TSA's Worst Actions

With Americans crying foul as the TSA defends its decision (m) to force a 95-year-old, cancer-stricken, wheel-chair bound woman to remove her adult diaper for a screening sexual assault, here's a reminder of nine other egregious and revolting TSA actions for a list of just ten (out of many, many more) reasons we need to abolish the TSA immediately!

2. TSA Sexually Assaults Miss USA, Susie Castillo

Susie Castillo, who held the 2003 Miss USA title, posted an article and video to her blog this April to courageously share with her readers an experience that no woman should ever have to go through-- a sexual assault by a TSA agent at the Dallas Fort Worth Airport-- and urge her fans to take action to end the TSA's invasive pat downs. Here's the video that Susie Castillo recorded moments after the assault happened, relating how her vagina had been fondled four times by a TSA officer:



My full report on Susie's story here.


3. TSA Sexually Assaults Six Year Old Girl

This April, Americans were outraged after The Drudge Report posted the following video of a six year old girl being molested by a federal employee working for the TSA:



Photobucket

4. This May: TSA pats down a baby.

Details here.


5. TSA admits to conducting 8000 surprise raids yearly

It emerged earlier this month that the TSA doesn't merely confine its illegal bullying to airports:

"As part of the TSA's request for FY 2012 funding, TSA Administrator John Pistole told Congress last week that the TSA conducts 8,000 unannounced security screenings every year. These screenings, conducted with local law enforcement agencies as well as immigration, can be as simple as checking out cargo at a busy seaport. But more and more, they seem to involve giving airport-style pat-downs and screenings of unsuspecting passengers at bus terminals, ferries, and even subways."

6. TSA Sexually Assaults a Mother in Phoenix


The country was shocked by the following video of a woman in tears screaming for the police to come after being sexually assaulted by the TSA at a checkpoint in Phoenix. Notice how the TSA harasses and lies to her son as he films them (which is perfectly legal in a public place):




7. Male TSA Officers Laugh as a Passenger Is Forced to Remove Her Nipple Piercings with Pliers


Could their behavior get more brutal or disgusting? Back in 2008, CNN reported one woman's harrowing experience in Texas:

The Transportation Security Administration said Friday its officers at a Texas airport appear to have properly followed procedures when they allegedly forced a woman to remove her nipple rings -- one with pliers -- but acknowledged the procedures should be changed.

The woman involved -- Mandi Hamlin -- told reporters earlier Friday she was humiliated by last month's incident, in which she was forced to painfully remove the piercings behind a curtain as she heard snickers from male TSA officers nearby. The incident occurred at the Lubbock, Texas, airport.

8. TSA vandalizes passenger's prescription drugs

In an email last year, one Humble Libertarian reader told me about how the TSA had vandalized her prescription medicine:

'The difference between this trip and the countless similar trips over the past two decades is that in both of these instances the TSA tampered with my prescription medicine. I personally saw them rifle through my bags and open my prescription medicine and "test" it after it was flagged as "suspicious" by the TSA busy body at the X-ray machine - I guess to make sure I wasn't going to blow up the plane with it.'

Read her entire story here.


9. Texas State officials groped by TSA as punishment


State officials from Texas, which has been leading the charge to nullify the TSA's unconstitutional police actions, are reporting the use of searches by the TSA for punitive and intimidation purposes, rather than for the purported reasons of national safety and counter-terrorism:

“Let me put this delicately. I was still feeling the effects of the pat-down as I sat in my seat from New Orleans to Houston, and then Houston to Austin.” Chairman of the Texas Public Utilities Commission Barry Smitherman told Fox 7 News.

Smitherman described the groping as “aggressive” and recounted an admission by a TSA supervisor that he was being “punished” for opting out.

Texas State Rep. Barbara Nash also told Fox 7 that a TSA agent “moved my legs apart and went up my legs, all the way up, and then she made me stand a different way where she could go all the way up the front., and then all the way up the back of my dress.”

State Rep. David Simpson, who sponsored the original anti-groping bill, House bill 1937, noted “This is a sexual assault in any other activity. If that happened right now, it would be sexual assault.”

More details here.


10. TSA Spills Urine All Over Bladder Cancer Survivor


Earlier this year, MSNBC reported:

A retired special education teacher on his way to a wedding in Orlando, Fla., said he was left humiliated, crying and covered with his own urine after an enhanced pat-down by TSA officers recently at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

“I was absolutely humiliated, I couldn’t even speak,” said Thomas D. “Tom” Sawyer, 61, of Lansing, Mich.

Sawyer is a bladder cancer survivor who now wears a urostomy bag, which collects his urine from a stoma, or opening in his abdomen. “I have to wear special clothes and in order to mount the bag I have to seal a wafer to my stomach and then attach the bag. If the seal is broken, urine can leak all over my body and clothes.”

On Nov. 7, Sawyer said he went through the security scanner at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. “Evidently the scanner picked up on my urostomy bag, because I was chosen for a pat-down procedure.”

Due to his medical condition, Sawyer asked to be screened in private. “One officer looked at another, rolled his eyes and said that they really didn’t have any place to take me,” said Sawyer. “After I said again that I’d like privacy, they took me to an office.”

At Reason Magazine, Mike Riggs exposes the TSA's flawed reasoning in defense of all of the revolting things you just read above:

If such incidents are starting to feel almost common, there’s a reason for that: TSA screeners are doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing.

When the online response to this weekend’s screening faux pas grew to a howl, the TSA issued the same statement it’s issued dozens of times since its founding: "We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure."

These bodily violations, in other words, are consistent with how the TSA thinks travelers should be treated. Screeners are simply following orders.

So much for dignity.

As Republican Liberty Caucus Chairman Dave Nalle recently said:

"Going after the TSA for groping flyers is not an end goal. It's a wedge issue which has a strong emotional appeal to a broad audience which we might not be able to reach otherwise. It's not the war, it's just a battle where we've found some friendly ground to fight on. It opens the door on the larger campaign which is to end the entire apparatus of the overblown security state once and for all."



Anti-TSA Merchandise

Check out this AWESOME Anti-TSA merchandise today. Ladies- get your "HANDS OFF TSA!" briefs and/or t-shirts. Men- we've got something for you too!


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Michele Bachmann Totally Mishandles Chris Wallace "Flake" Question / Apology

Michele Bachmann, who formally entered (m) the 2012 presidential race today, threw a fit when asked by Chris Wallace "Are you a flake?" Contrast this with the kind of calm and self-assured response that Ron Paul has given interviewers for years now as they've consistently maligned him with unserious and insulting questions.

And now that Chris Wallace has apologized-- which is absolutely absurd; the sky will fall the day a news anchor is bullied into apologizing to Ron Paul for being rude, and honestly Wallace's question wasn't rude at all-- Michele Bachmann is refusing to accept his apology (m). Critics have asked it about Sarah Palin, and I'll ask it about Michele Bachmann... if she's really that thin-skinned does anyone actually want Michele Bachmann to have the nuclear football?

Someone as sensitive, emotional, and vindictive as Michele Bachmann is frankly-- pretty flaky, and lacks the poise, self-assurance, and magnanimity necessary for someone in such a critical executive role as President of the United States. Over at MichelleMalkin.com, Doug Powers gives an excellent example of any number of good answers Bachmann could have given: "I’m the least flaky person in all 58 states, Chris." Too bad we haven't had a presidential candidate that clever, quick, and funny since Ronald Reagan.

The absolute best analysis of the whole Wallace interview and "flake" question, comes from Ann Althouse, who summarizes it thusly:

Chris Wallace throws a softball question at Michelle Bachmann, then is bullied into apologizing... and Bachmann won't even accept the apology!

When did people become so humorless? Wallace — who seems like a sweetheart — asked "Are you a flake?" Obviously, he was saying, in a cute and pithy way A lot of people would like to portray you as some kind of flake: What do you have to say to them?

It was an easy set up for her to attack those people who say things like that. Why pillory Wallace?

Althouse is absolutely correct here. Wallace was clearly not asking the question to beat up on her, but giving her a chance to respond to her critics, a chance she took and used to list off her tall list of credentials. It was a soft ball question. (Contrast Wallace's interview with George Stephanopoulos' treatment of Ron Paul in the 2008 election.)

Interesting that it should take Ann Althouse, a woman to point this out. In all the sanctimony over Wallace's question, calling it condescending and insulting, I can't shake this feeling that it's all colored by a subtle undercurrent of paternalism-- the media and supporters jumping in to "save" Michele Bachmann, a vulnerable damsel in distress, from that mean old Chris Wallace.

As Althouse suggests, Wallace is quite obviously a sweetheart. Michele Bachmann is quite obviously a flake.

George Soros Trying To "Stack" U.S. Courts?

Is George Soros trying to "stack" U.S. courts with judges favorable to his political agenda in order to circumvent legislatures and democracy by writing law from the bench?

That's what critics are saying, who charge that George Soros has spent $45 million through his Open Society Institute fund in a systematic "campaign to reshape the judiciary."

As a blogger at Left Coast Rebel recently noted, "progressive" and Democratic groups and politicians love using the scaaary Koch Brothers and all their corporate money as a bogeyman to raise funds from their constituents and supporters.

He provided quotes from fundraising emails all from this past week alone that used the Koch Brothers as a political foil to rile up donors. In just one week, donors got emails from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), and Democratic strategist James Carville asking for donations to combat all that dirty corporate money that the Koch Brothers are polluting the political process with.

But it's a wonder that you never hear Democrats complaining about the millions in corporate money coming from billionaire George Soros. That's all good money, I guess. He's using it to help "their team" win. But if fears of corporate money in politics are genuine, they would probably apply to George Soros as well:

Fox News reports:

Billionaire George Soros spends tens of millions each year supporting a range of liberal social and political causes, from drug legalization to immigration reform to gay marriage to abolishing the death penalty.

But a less well-known Soros priority -- replacing elections for judges with selection-by-committee -- now has critics accusing him of trying to stack the courts.

Most non-federal judges around the country are selected by voters in elections. But some states use a process called “merit selection” in which a committee – often made up of lawyers – appoints judges to the bench instead.

Soros has spent several million dollars in the past decade in an attempt to get more states to scrap elections and adopt the merit method. Supporters say it would allow judges to focus on interpreting the law rather than on raising campaign funds and winning elections.

Interesting. So George Soros and his supporters are spending millions of dollars on the judicial system in order to get money out of the judicial system? A quote from a bumper sticker about "screwing for virginity" comes to mind.

And I've always wondered what the Democrats find so scary about the Koch brothers while having no problem at all with George Soros. Is it the fact that the Kochs also support gay marriage (which Obama opposes), liberalizing immigration laws, legalizing drugs, repealing the Patriot Act that Obama's autopen re-authorized, and ending Obama's wars in the Middle East?

Is that the scaary right-wing conspiracy they hope to stop all this Koch money from funding? Or is it the fact that maybe the Kochs are actually serious about these things, which just might rob George Soros of the credibility to keep funding the campaigns of fascists with Ds next to their name?




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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"Dear Ron Paul Nerds..." a call to action (video)

In the following video, a Ron Paul activist shares some excellent ideas and important campaigning principles to encourage you to get more involved in your local Ron Paul meet up group and take specific actions that will move us closer to a 2012 victory.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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