Reporters Not Doing So Well with That “Press=Flaming Sword” Thing

April 21, 2010


“The power and the freedom of the press is a flaming sword. That it may be a faithful servant to all the people, use it justly… hold it high… guard it well.”

Lafayette Park, located directly across from the Whte House, was closed yesterday, so that half a dozen servicemen could handcuff themselves to the White House fence in peace and privace privacy, unmolested by our valiant servants of the press. The protesters were objecting to the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Michael Walsh at Big Government says his blood is boiling.

It’s not just the cop’s rudeness and bullying, although that’s bad enough… There had better be a pretty darn good reason from barring citizens, and their representatives in the media, from a public park, and this sure doesn’t seem like it.

What’s even more disheartening, though, is the way the reporters passively accept getting shoved around, and meekly shuffle backwards while complaining into their cell phones.  And they weren’t sounding off like they had a pair, either.

Lafayette Park is closed. Docile reporters meekly move back. And back. And they keep moving back.

We don’t know why the park was closed (well, of course we do), but nobody reported on that.

We don’t know who authorized the park’s closing, because nobody reported on that.

We don’t know how long the park had been closed, because nobody reported on that.

We don’t know when the park would re-open, because nobody reported on that.

Lafayette Park reportedly has the densest squirrel population known to science. It seems that our “reporters” are nothing more than a few more squirrels, hoping for crumbs from the tourists.



Via HotAir

The Abject Failure Of The Obama Presidency – Part 7

April 20, 2010


Depressions and mass unemployment are not caused by the free market but by government interference in the economy. – Ludwig von Mises

As we head down the home stretch of this series, I felt it necessary to seek the input of someone who can give a first-hand example of how the seventh of the 10 tenets to maintaining democracy in a free-enterprise system directly affects him:

7. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.  

Recently, I spoke with a friend of mine who has been the owner of an automotive repair shop for some 3o years. He considers his employees to be “family.” He treats (and pays) them well. More important, he pays for 100% of their health insurance.  Not because he has to, but because he CAN. He is probably no different from millions of other small businessmen across the land. For it is the small business owners who employ the vast majority of Americans and contribute the most to our economy.  

My friend despairs over this new healthcare decree.

“If it goes through as indicated, I will be forced to pay for the insurance, not just for my employees, but their whole families,” he told me. “And their kids are to be considered kids until they are 26 years old? Who the hell came up with the definition of a child being 25 years old?”  

He went on to tell me that healthcare alone is probably going to cause him to go out of business. A businessman with decades of success, forced out of his business and forced to lay off all employees, not because of bad business practices or lack of customers, but simply because of a socialist’s agenda that simply will not work… except to destroy the free-enterprise system perhaps so it can be replaced by socialism.

“For 30 years, I’ve prided myself on working hard, giving a good service to my customers for a price that enables me to hire good workers and pay them well. It’s a formula that’s worked in this country for 200 years. And now someone comes along and says, ‘No, this isn’t how it should be done… we’re gonna change everything and do things differently… trust me!’ Well, I’ve got news for the President: You’re taking away the very thing that has made America work for centuries: The opportunity to work hard, earn a decent, honest income and provide for your family.  What the hell is wrong with that?”

This small business owner has figured out that, with the cost of labor, benefits, rent, advertising, insurance, and all the other mandates required to run a business, it now costs him $3,500 for every day he opens his door to do business.  

“Add to this the cost of his healthcare system and I’m done,” he told me. “And even if I could find a way to survive that, if Cap and Trade goes through, the energy prices will go through the roof for absolutely NO legitimate reason. But virtually every business I can think of will have to adapt to skyrocketing energy prices. What other way can you survive but to raise the prices of your services? That’s the kiss of death for most of us small businesses. And that means even more people out of jobs and on unemployment! It’s like [Obama’s] trying to ruin this country and the whole free-enterprise system!”

Add one more small buisinessman to the list of those who stand to lose it all under the ideology of Barack Obama… and one more reason to stand up and be counted – before it’s too late.

Gerry Ashley

Need Inspiration? See “Letters To God”

April 17, 2010
“Letters To God” – Possibility Pictures

Earlier this week, I attended a private screening for the movie “Letters To God.” There was no lavish party, however. When I say “private screening,” I’m using irony… you see I was the only one in the theater. As the movie was about to begin, I thought, “Great! No pesky ‘talkers, coughers, texters, crying babies and those who feel the darkness of the movie theater is the perfect place to catch up on their tweets.

By the end of the movie, however, I wished every one of the above had been there. THIS is the kind of movie we need more of. It is about hope, redemption and seeing the good in those who can’t find it themselves.

Based on the true story of a young boy battling brain cancer, the film covers his journey… and how his faith and willingness to accept that which he cannot change inspires others in need of serious re-evaluation of their own lives.

There was a time when simple stories of honorable people was enough to bring people to theaters. Sadly (and governing by box office receipts), this no longer ranks anywhere near the top – or middle – of people’s “must see” list, unless it features stars with the clout of a Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep. And that’s sad. While I am a fan of the work of each of the afore-mentioned actors, I’d like to think a good story still can find its audience.

The movie can only be found in the larger cineplexes with a dozen or more screens and, given the limited audience it’s getting, will probably be gone in a week or two. Movie theaters are restricted to a numbers game like so  many other businesses. If a movie isn’t bringing people to buy over-priced refreshments, it’s quickly reduced to matinee only performances, or simply pulled in favor of the latest flick featuring aliens, mass-murder slasher films or inner-city twaddle that only succeeds in lowering the standards our children learn to strive to underachieve.

I would recommend that all people of ANY religious background or conservative group (are you listening fellow tea-partiers?) get off your duffs and get out to see this movie. If you’re not happy with what Hollywood drivel is being shoved down our throats (and the throats of our children), get your church, civic or social groups together and make a night of it. You will be inspired and refreshed to know there are people and families out there like this. There really are. More than likely, YOU are a part of this group if you are reading this. These movies don’t come along very often. It’s time to put your money where your values are. And trust me… it’s no donation to charity. You will leave the theater refreshed and filled with hope.

One caveat: Bring tissues with you. There are numerous points in the film where you will find yourself relating to some of the scenes…

Letters To God: Don’t let it be sent back to the producers marked “Return To Sender… Addressees Unknown.”

Gerry Ashley

State Department Contributing to US Job Losses

April 16, 2010

No, silly, they’re not firing their own employees. They’re just ignoring American workers who are being laid off, in favor of outsourcing jobs to Sweden.

Last month the State Department awarded a multi-million dollar contract to an upscale Georgetown interior design firm, which in turn, promptly outsourced the job to Swedish giant Orrefors. The contract is to make fine crystal stemware for 400 American embassies. Each glass will be engraved with the seal of the United States. The NY Post reports:

The contract was given to a tiny Washington, DC, interior designer, which in turn subcontracted the crystal work to a Swedish firm — snubbing such US companies as the famous manufacturer in Clinton’s own back yard, Steuben Crystal of upstate Corning.

The firm didn’t even get a chance to bid on the contract, which will outfit embassies and ambassadors’ residences with fancy crystal for ritzy functions…

The firm that got the contract, Systems Design Inc., is a small interior-design firm in tony Georgetown. The company, which is eligible for minority small-business contracts, does not appear to have done any similar work…

While there is no doubt that Orrefors creates outstanding glassware, our embassies stand as representatives of the United States around the world. Should they not be provided with the very best that America has to offer, as a way to promote the sterling quality of U.S. products, rather than shoveling the job off to a European firm?

Of course they should. And that’s where Steuben Glass comes in. Steuben has been in business in New York since 1903 and makes “the finest glass the world has ever seen.” Sadly, they are also currently in the process of laying off workers, due to the recession. When the State Department has the chance to salvage American fine craft jobs, what do they do? They reach out to their liberal European pals, ignoring the not just the quality of American artistry and craftsmanship, but also ignoring the fact that American work should adorn American embassies.

Since all this has come to light, the State Department has backed off a bit, much to the surprise of Orrefors:

“We haven’t heard anything from the U.S. State Department, so this comes as a surprise to us,” said Eva-Marie Hagstrom, an Orrefors spokesperson, in The Local. “We have a contract with the U.S. State Department. We’ve already begun production and are ready to start delivering later this spring.”

… The State Department initially explained that Steuben Glass was not considered because it did not produce lead-free crystal, which Orrefors could. Steuben disputed that, and the State Dept. has acknowledged its mistake.

The original contract is a multi-year agreement, but it has provisions to review the arrangement each year, and apparently that is what is going to happen.

Time and time again, the Obama administration has shown itself to be both tone deaf and clueless to America and Americans. And in its attempts to pander to the gods of political correctness, the State Department just reinforced that stereotype once again.


Lambs to the Slaughter

April 16, 2010

The mid-term elections are barely six months away, and the President continues to denigrate those whose votes his party desperately needs, driving moderate Democrats, Libertarians, and Independents further away. The AP reports that yesterday, while at a fundraiser in Miami, the President scoffed at the Tea Party demonstrations taking place across the country:

President Barack Obama said Thursday he’s amused by the anti-tax tea party protests that have been taking place around Tax Day.

Obama told a fundraiser in Miami that he’s cut taxes, contrary to the claims of protesters.

“You would think they’d be saying thank you,” he said.

While remarks like this are perfectly in keeping with President Obama’s outlook on anyone who disagrees with him (See Alinsky Rule #5), they aren’t gaining him or his party any street cred with his increasingly disillusioned constituents. In Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell’s latest column, they look at the fact that Americans are polarizing more toward the Tea Party outlook and away from Obama:

Last week, a Rasmussen Reports survey showed that overall more Americans say that they agree with the Tea Party movement on major issues than with the president of the United States — 48 percent with the Tea Party and 44 percent with Obama. Among independents, 50 percent said that they’re closer to the Tea Party, while only 38 percent are with Obama.

Moreover, the most recent Gallup poll shows that the Tea Party movement is at least as popular as the Democratic Party. And the Tea Party movement stands for fiscal discipline, limited government and balancing the budget — an agenda that has broad public support extending well beyond the movement. Polling conducted by one of us (Schoen) found that 55 percent of respondents endorse that agenda. More important, a solid majority of swing voters endorse it.

Having wasted nearly 12 months on forcing a wildly unpopular health care bill on the American people, and ignoring the ominous Burma Shave signs of Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, Obama and Congress are facing potential disaster in November’s elections.

These voters are outraged by the seeming indifference of the Obama administration and congressional Democrats, who they believe wasted a year on health-care reform. These voters will not tolerate more diversion from their pressing economic concerns. They view the Obama administration as working systematically to protect the interests of public-sector employees and organized labor — by offering specific benefits such as pension protection and tax reductions at the expense of all taxpayers.

Democrats must understand that voters will not accept seeing their tax dollars used to pay for higher wages and better benefits for public-sector employees when they themselves are getting higher taxes and lower wages…

Democrats can avoid the electoral bloodbath we predicted before passage of the health-care bill, but in one way: through a bold commitment to fiscal discipline and targeted fiscal stimulus of the private sector and entrepreneurship.

Even if they had the gumption to follow that advice, I believe they lack the imagination to understand that November could actually see Democrats losing both the House and the Senate.

Like lambs to the slaughter, Congress will follow Obama’s lead, ignoring the wishes of their constituents, and get voted out in droves later this year. President Obama had a difficult enough time getting his health care bill passed with solid majorities in both houses. How on earth will he salvage his entire presidency once the lambs are silenced?

UPDATE: Moe Lane suspects that Schoen and Caddell had been drinking heavily when they wrote their column… he opines that there’s no other explanation for such a flight of fantasy. And Malkin says, “Keep laughing, chump.”


Boston Tea Party Extravaganza

April 15, 2010

After discarding over an hour of crap that I shot at the tea party yesterday, I came up with about four minutes’ worth of decent video. Make no mistake: it’s not the Flip Mino’s fault, it’s entirely mine. I’m an awful videographer. That said, here is my humble offering on the 2010 Boston Tea Party.

After yesterday, I don’t fear quite so much for America as I used to. There are still plenty of us around to get the job done.


Nobody Said Party Crashers Have To Be Smart

April 15, 2010

Most of these folks seem to be interested simply in garnering attention for themselves, and disrupting proceedings generally, rather than genuinely protesting against Palin, Tea Parties, or whatever.

Notice the older gentleman standing quietly with his “DNC Infiltrators” sign next to the “Pea Party” morons.

Disclaimer: I’m a crappy videographer, you don’t need to mention it in the comments, thank you.