Sunday, January 30, 2011

Did Obama Forget About the Teachers Union?

Did Obama Forget About the Teachers Union?

By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann


When Obama started to speak about the need to improve education, upgrade our schools and attract quality teachers, an elephant appeared in the living rooms of most Americans who were watching. Obama never mentioned the beast, but most of the country saw clearly the three letters on his back -- AFT. American Federation of Teachers -- the union that, along with its counterpart, the NEA, National Education Association, has destroyed public education in America.

How can we take seriously any proposal to improve schools that does not deal with the force that has dragged them down -- the teachers union?

Detroit is a great example of the damage they have wrought. Due to the costs imposed by the union, the public school system has already had to close 59 of its 200 schools, and another 70 are slated for closure. The result will be eighth-grade classes of 40 children and high school classes predicted to have more than 60 students.

Why is Detroit in such bad shape? The same reason its car companies are broke: the unions. Not only do they get high salaries and benefits, but their union has a monopoly on health insurance coverage for teachers and marks the coverage up a third higher than private insurance companies with no better benefits -- and it's all paid by the taxpayer. Detroit will actually now have to pay teachers more to compensate them for their bigger class sizes.

In New York, it is almost impossible to fire an incompetent teacher. It took three years of litigation and $300,000 in legal fees to fire a teacher who sexually solicited a 16-year-old student.

Governors throughout the country are getting it, even if the president is not. Rick Scott in Florida, John Kasich in Ohio, Mitch Daniels in Indiana, Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania and Chris Christie of New Jersey have all proposed major new initiatives to promote school choice. (This week is National School Choice Week). They will promote private, parochial, charter, and virtual schools and home schooling, and provide vouchers and scholarships to permit the poor and middle class to afford them.

Over the next two years in these states, public schools will face real competition for students for the first time. Just as our colleges maintain standards of excellence in order to attract good students, so our lower schools will have to do the same.

As states grapple with intractable budget problems, the attractiveness of alternative schools that cost, on average, about one-third less than public schools will be irresistible. The teachers unions will run afoul of Margaret Thatcher's dictum that socialism cannot succeed because, sooner or later, "you run out of other people's money."

Missing from this list of innovative states, conspicuously, is New York state, where the state government is totally beholden to the teachers union. No experimentation, no opening of the system seems in the offing, and the Empire State appears to be content to continue its downward spiral. If they don't turn things around, they are headed for the same place as Detroit.

The real question is: Can our cities and states free themselves from the ropes with which the unions have bound them? The problem is that states cannot abrogate contracts. It's in the Constitution. But a federal bankruptcy court can. So to free ourselves of the ties that bind, we need Congress to create a procedure for federal Chapter 9 voluntary bankruptcy for states. When that initiative is coupled with the school-choice policies of the new Republican governors, the teachers union will have lost its power, and then we can have the kind of schools Obama professes to dream about.  But not before.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mafia Roundup...

NRA-ILA :: Obama To Push Gun Control Soon

NRA-ILA :: Obama To Push Gun Control Soon

Obama To Push Gun Control Soon
Friday, January 28, 2011

To the dismay of the Brady Campaign and other gun ban groups, President Barack Obama didn’t address gun control during his State of the Union address on January 25th. However, Newsweek reports that “in the next two weeks, the White House will unveil a new gun-control effort,” and that the White House confirms, “Obama will address the gun issue in a separate speech, likely early next month.” According to Newsweek, Obama believes that gun laws have been “too loose for much longer than just the past few weeks” following the murders in Tucson, Arizona.

Precisely what President Obama might have in mind is uncertain. His post-election transition website advocated reimposing the expired federal “assault weapon” ban, but that ban would clearly be irrelevant in the wake of a shooting that involved a firearm not covered by the old ban.

The President, a long-time gun control supporter, has been conspicuously silent on gun control restrictions since taking office. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the anti-gun groups prodding him to support their agendas. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which sent the President a long list of gun control recommendations in August of 2009, is proposing that all private sales of firearms be subject to checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)—which would have been irrelevant in Tucson, since the accused killer acquired his guns from a dealer. MAIG is also calling for “fixing” NICS. Among the many “fixes” the group has in mind is that “people who have been suspended or expelled from a federally funded college or university because of mental illness” and “people who are compelled by a court to take medication for mental illness or to get other mental health care” would be prohibited from possessing firearms. MAIG also proposes to extend the prohibition to anyone who has had a drug-related arrest, a failed drug test, an admission of drug use, or a drug-related conviction within the previous five years.

Concurrently, the Brady Campaign is throwing its support behind H.R. 308—the “more than 10 round” magazine ban introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.)—and asks the group’s supporters to sign a petition urging “a few basic steps,” with neither the “steps” nor the intended recipient of the petition disclosed (to read a detailed fact sheet on H.R. 308, please click here).

The Violence Policy Center, which guided McCarthy in crafting her magazine ban bill, is supporting it with yet another of its countless “analyses”-- Accessories to Murder: High-Capacity Magazines—and a similar effort directed against the type of pistol used in Tucson. The VPC uses the opportunity to suggest, as it often does, that gun ownership is fading, by referring to standard magazines for self-defense handguns as a marketing tool the firearm industry uses to appeal to “its shrinking customer base.” That's an interesting argument to hear from a group that has no members, while the number of guns possessed by Americans increases year after year.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence—VPC leader Josh Sugarmann’s employer back when the group was known as the National Coalition to Ban Handguns—advocates not merely running NICS checks on gun buyers, but “investigating” them as well. The group also insists that the Tucson shooting was the result of “insurrectionist rhetoric” the group blames on conservatives, various politicians, and the five justices who joined the Supreme Court’s Heller decision—rather than being the act of one deranged individual, as all available evidence suggests.

And, in a return to his modus operandi of vilifying gun shows and the purchase of firearms by show attendees, this week anti-gun Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), introduced legislation to “establish background check procedures for gun shows.” As usual, this bill is not about gun shows. Rather, S. 35 is the latest rendition in a long line of Lautenberg-introduced bills that are nothing more than “solutions” in search of a problem. Numerous government studies have determined that gun shows are an insignificant source of firearms misused in crime.

Which, if any, of these proposals and theories will get the president’s endorsement remains to be seen. But gun owners should be prepared: The second two years of President Obama’s term may be tougher than the first.

Copyright 2010, National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action.
This may be reproduced. It may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.
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Out of the concentration camp and into the Gulag

If you, or anyone else, finally decides to leave Kalifornia and defect to the USA, be careful where you choose to relocate.

Washington state has been subjected to a steady stream of liberal insurgents from California for decades.  The Seattle area is essentially a northern suburb of San Fran Angeles.  We, in the Eastern part of the state, have been fighting a gruesome battle against the Libtards on the West side of the Cascade Mountains for years.  From time to time there has been serious thought given to seceding  and forming the 51st state.

Over the latter half of the 20th century (and reportedly as far back as 1889), the counties of Eastern Washington have occasionally raised the possibility of splitting largely conservative and rural Eastern Washington (and sometimes the Idaho Panhandle) away from urban and liberal Western Washington . As recently as 2005, this has been officially proposed in the state legislature, amid the fallout of the 2004 governor's election. Suggested names for such a state include East Washington, Columbia, and Lincoln.

When Barack Obama left the Senate Chamber for the White House, our very own Senator Patty Murray was knighted a the most liberal Senator in D.C.  According to the LA Times on 2-27-2009 : 
"Well, the always-controversial and brand-new ideological rankings are out this morning from the National Journal, and Barack Obama is no longer the most liberal member of the United States Senate.
That distinction falls to a Western Democrat, Patty Murray of Washington. She holds that distinction all by her lonesome with a 92.7 composite liberal score (meaning she voted more liberally on the Journal's key votes than 92.7% of her colleagues)."

On the bright side, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, my Representative in the House, is one of the key Conservatives of the House leadership. She is often seen at John Boehner's side on the tube.

So - if you are able to get out of that rat-hole, be sure you don't jump out of the concentration camp and into the Gulag.

Friday, January 28, 2011

What is it like on your side of the fence?


Which side of the fence?
If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a Republican doesn't like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
If a Democrat doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A Democrat wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a Republican doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Democrats demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it..
A Democrat demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a Republican reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A Democrat will delete it because he's "offended".

Even though I do not classify myself as a Republican, I did not delete this.

It does, however, accurately describe my Conservative principles.

It also makes the Liberals look quite petty.

The truth hurts.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Jack LaLanne - Rest in Peace

This parody of Jack is one of my favorites.

Lalanne was the Man!

Reminds me of Dan Akroyd and the Bass-O-Matic

Dear Abby

Dear Abby,

I have never written to you before, but I really need your advice.

I have suspected for some time now that my wife has been cheating on me. The usual signs; phone rings but if I answer, the caller hangs up. My wife has been going out with 'the girls' a lot recently although when I ask their names she always says, just some friends from work, you don't know them. I try to stay awake and look out for her when she comes home, but I usually fall asleep. Anyway, I have never broached the subject with my wife. I think deep down I just did not want to know the truth, but last night she went out again and I decided to finally check on her. 
Around midnight, I hid in the garage beside my gun cabinet so I could get a good view of the whole street when she arrived home from a night out with 'the girls’. When she got out of the car she was buttoning up her blouse, which was open, and she took her panties out of her purse and slipped them on. 
It was at that moment, crouching next to the gun cabinet, that I noticed a hairline crack where the stock meets the trigger guard on my Winchester 270
Is this something I can fix myself or should I take it back to the gun-shop where I bought it?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Barack's Deal With GE Bodes Ill for America

From the Canada Free Press.

Barack's Deal With GE & Immelt Bodes Ill for America
Is Obama Resurrecting Nazi Fascist Economics?

By Kelly O'Connell Sunday, January 23, 2011

Don’t look now, but Obama again sails into uncharted waters by naming Jefferey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, head of his jobs committee. Imagine, if this was announced by George W, liberals would have screamed like fat kids at diet camp. But the national response is light applause and yawns, proving once again—it’s not what is done, but who does it—that matters to leftists.

Fascinatingly, such collusion between government and big business recalls Nazi fascist economics. Such blurred lines between public and private sectors is the subject of this column.

I. Obama’s Agreement with General Electric & Jeff Immelt

Obama is not Adolph Hitler. Yet, it’s still weirdly fascinating how he repeatedly recycles disproved ideas of leftist regimes. For example, fascists accommodated industry in a way communists could not imagine. Now Obama reuses their playbook.

Of the Immelt appointment, the White House said,

A board to get Americans back to work and strengthen our economy will be chaired by Jeff Immelt, CEO and Chairman of General Electric…The Council will focus on finding new ways to promote growth by investing in American business….

So, the current CEO of one of America’s largest companies running a government jobs program raises no red flags? Ironically, GE has long flouted sanctions on Iran, Syria and o thers. But instead of punishment, GE is rewarded. Has no one really asked what kind of quid pro quo, or reward, GE gets for its aid to Obama?

The American Spectator reports GE already benefited from Obamanomics:

Obama had signed the stimulus bill, which included $24.9 million in grants that would flow directly to GE, with roughly $20 billion more slated for health care record modernization of the kind that GE specializes in—“with a direct request to do so from GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt.”

So Obama and GE already had some kind of agreement. And seeing what rewards are at stake, consider how this will encourage other captains of industry to publicly support Obama. Such a scenario harkens back to Nazi Germany, where companies either accepted Hitler or had no future.

II. Fascist Economics

Nazism was a fascist movement, a fascinating ideology and practice about which exists much confusion. This is because there exists no single “Fascist” doctrine. Instead, in Italy and Germany, public policy was often ad hoc in nature. But there are set fascist doctrines, nonetheless, and we can address some generalities.

First, let’s summarize that it is highly misleading to categorize fascism as simply “right-wing,” as if its ideas were somehow an appendage to modern Conservatism. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fascism is totalitarian in nature, more than anything else. Totalitarianism is defined by the Encyclopaedia Britannica as:

A form of government that theoretically permits no indiv idual freedom and that seeks to subordinate all aspects of the individual’s life to the authority of the government.

Under fascism, men have no rights and government no restrictions. Contra, a state based upon constitutionalism, a republican theory, and democratic practice, highlighting a natural rights theory, like America, is polar opposite. Conservatism, or historical Classical Liberalism, uses government to increase, not diminish, human freedom.

Fascism is not synonymous with socialism or communism, but similarities form a long list:

According to Kevin Passmore’s Fascism, A Very Short Introduction, these similar traits are discernible in Fascism:
It is a totalitarian system meaning a total theory of life, enforced by threat, and organized from the top-down by government.
Much like Marxism, it offers a political religion in the place of historic belief systems.
It persuades the populace on the basis of propaganda and the threat of terror for those who refuse the system.
It opposes the rule of law, exactly as communism.
It boasts a highly aggressive, militaristic, conquering approach to international relations.
It claims to supersede all reproductive and family rights, identical to communism.

III. Nazi Economic Theory & Practice
  • A. Nazi Economic Fallacies:  Several misconceptions regarding Nazi economics must be mentioned. First, the Nazis were not the unmitigated success some writers claim, states Adam Tooze in his groundbreaking work The Wages of D estruction, The Making And Breaking Of The Nazi Economy. Second, Nazis did not have an economy based on free markets, or unfettered capitalism. Third, Nazi Germany was not a “corporatist” affair where the state was run by an equal marriage between the Third Reich and big business, according to Avraham Barkai in Nazi Economics, Ideology, Theory And Policy.

As economist Gary North explains, there was nothing Conservative, or of Classical Economics about Nazi Germany, writing:

The German economic system was run by the central government. It preserved the illusion of private property, but it was a socialist system. The government controlled the means of production. The government issued fiat money, and it established price and wage controls. It set up a system of 1,600 cartels in 1933-36. Beginning in 1934, government officials set the prices of commodities, and this resulted in shortages of most domestic commodities. The government also expanded the power of the government over the affairs of everybody in the society.
  • B. The Nazi 25 Points Program:  Hitler had no deep knowledge of economic theory or practice. He believed if his experts were in charge, he could give commands and his demands would be achieved. Hitler was disinterested in economics, but knew he could not win popular support without a good economy. This was one chief difference between Marxist and Fascist states, as the communists were positively fatalistic in removing industrialist leadership. To this end Hitler employed the ideas of Gottfried Feder, who formulated the Nazi’s Twenty-Five Point Program (25 Punkte Partieprogramm) of 1920.

Ten of the Points expressed Third Reich economic policy. For example, Point 18 made it a capital crime to mone y-lend or profiteer; whereas Point 13 nationalized all publicly owned companies; and Point 14 demanded profit sharing from all large companies. Feder’s philosophy was the cliche’ “Breaking the slavery of interest,” an obvious code phrase attacking Jewish business interests. The points morphed into unalterable"sacred” Nazi policy.

  • C. Big Business and Nazism:   Some essentials about Third Reich market theory are apropos. First, Nazi economic policy was a pure triumph of politics over anything else. Known facts defy Marxist propaganda that Nazism arose from blessings of Big Business upon Hitler. Yet, large corporations did sully themselves by cooperating with the Nazis to stay alive. Yet, Tim Mason argues there exists no proof wealthy industrialists had any important influence on Hitler’s singular opinions. Barkai refers to this remarkable happening:

The primacy of politics in the Third Reich was indeed a unique phenomenon in the annals of bourgeois society since the Industrial Revolution, but was an unassailable fact per se.

Tooze also weighs in on this point:

The evidence cannot be dodged. Nothing suggests that the leaders of German big business were filled with ideological ardor for National Socialism.

Second, the businesses that survived Nazi takeover and thrived were those supporting Hitler’s rise. Barkai quotes David’s Schoenbaum‘s observation:

The status of business in the Third Reich was at best the product of a social contract between unequal partners , in which submission was the condition for success…Business recovered, in effect, as an accomplice of the Third Reic h and by the grace of it. But the initiative was the State’s and economic recovery a means, not an end.

The net effect was business leaders became silent partners. Writes Barkai,

In substance, this means that the captains of industry in the Third Reich occupied the position of “sleeping partners,” enjoying generous profits but having no say on the “management of the firm.” All groups in large-scale industry accumulated vast profits; they benefited from economic recovery and shared in the gains of plunder without compunction—beginning with Jewish property confiscated during the process of Aryanization and going onto the spoils of war . However, the business community had no real say with regard to far-reaching objectives of economic policy…

Nazi policy set interest at a “just rate” by decree, according to Barkai. This policy allowed a legal attack against the Jews, launching pogroms against their businesses. This well represents Nazi racial theory pursued even to their own harm.
  • D. Nazis & Keynesianism: Nazi economic policy was proto-Keynesian. David Gordon writes, “In effect, Germany had embarked on a Keynesian policy: government spending became increasingly important in guiding the economy…” For example, Feder had a theory of limitlessly increasing money supply to keep employment high, as Keynes later argued. Feder asked why ... “the state should not produce the money…which, after all, is guaranteed by the entire labor force of the people.” A series of special banks was proposed for use in economic and construction activity, like America’s Federal Reserve Banks. The work of these is described by Feder:

During the interim period, the National Socialist state will use its right to c reate money wisely in order to finance large public works and the construction of housing, in the spirit of my well-known proposals (a bank for construction and economic activities, etc).

Hitler was not anti-capitalist. He merely believed his state should control personal property, saying:

What matters is to emphasize the fundamental idea in my party’s economic program clearly—the idea of authority. I want the authority. I want everyone to keep the property he has acquired himself according to the principle: benefit to the community precedes benefit to the individual (Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz). But the state should retain supervision and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interest of others among his people. This is the crucial matter. The Third Reich will always retain its right to control the owners of property.

It would be impossible to find a better expression of fascist property theory, as distinct from socialism and communism in name, if not always in effect.

IV. Nazi Fascism & Obamanomics

Comparison between Nazi economics and the Obama Administration are inevitable given Barack’s policies. It’s stunning how Barack apes leftist maneuvers of past failed liberal regimes. Why so, given their disastrous results? One can speculate Barack is either wholly ignorant of history and economics; or he seeks power. The current collapse of US state budgets will deform American Federal structure, if national government bails them out. If Obama is indeed a socialist, will he not secretly rejoice?

Barrack again grows stronger, like a weakened hurricane regrouping over warm water. His scurrilous seduction of big business only damages America’s free-markets, building his power base upon fascist “jobs creation” at the cost of capitalism itself. So, are patriotic Amer icans going resist Barack’s unscrupulous reborn ambitions—or will we roll over like in 2008—and let our Marxist Cerberus have his way with our Republic, once again?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wisconsin to expand gun owner rights

Wisconsin expected to expand gun owner rights

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – Wisconsin, one of two states in the nation that prohibits citizens from carrying a concealed weapon, is expected to reverse this law during the upcoming state legislative session despite shootings in Arizona that highlighted lax U.S. gun laws.
Only Illinois and Wisconsin forbid carrying concealed weapons. A Republican was elected governor and Republicans won majorities in both houses of the Wisconsin legislature in November, bringing many more supporters of gun rights to the state government.

"You're going to see a concealed carry bill pass the Legislature, I have no doubt," said Chris Danou, a Democratic legislator from Trempealeau, Wisconsin. "The question is what kind of bill it's going to be."
Guns are a big part of Wisconsin culture as hunting is popular in the state, which has vast areas of forest and agricultural land. But it has traditionally restricted gun ownership and carrying weapons.

Twice in recent years the Wisconsin legislature passed a law allowing concealed carry but Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed it. Doyle left office this month and was succeeded by Republican Scott Walker.

Walker said last week that he expects a concealed carry bill to emerge as early as spring, after the legislature tackles more pressing issues such as job growth and the budget, and that he will sign the bill.

"It's definitely a pro-gun Legislature," said Nik Clark, president of Wisconsin Carry, a two-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and expanding gun rights.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Well Planned Retirement

Outside  England 's Bristol Zoo there is a parking lot for  150 cars and 8 buses. For 25 years, its parking  fees were managed by a very pleasant attendant.  The fees were 1 for cars  ($1.40), for  buses (about $7). 


Then,  one day, after 25 solid years of never  missing a day of work, he just  didn't show up; so the Zoo Management called the  City Council and asked it to send them another  parking agent.. 

The  Council did some research and replied that the  parking lot was the Zoo's own  responsibility. The Zoo  advised the Council that the attendant was a  City employee. The City  Council responded that the lot  attendant had never  been on the City payroll. 

Meanwhile,  sitting in his villa somewhere on the coast of  Spain (or some such scenario), is a man who'd  apparently had a 
 ticket  machine installed completely on his own; and  then had simply begun to show up every day,  commencing to collect and keep the parking fees,  estimated at about $560 per day -- for 25 years.   
Assuming  7 days a week, this amounts  to just over $7 million  dollars! 
And no  one even knows his name.

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Last Trip to Costco

Yesterday I was at my local COSTCO buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal pet (Abbey, the Wonder Dog) and was in the check-out line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

Abbey the Wonder Dog
What did she think I had an elephant? So since I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn't, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a Perfect Diet and that the way that it works is, to load your pants pockets with Purina Nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.)

Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care, because the dog food poisoned me.  I told her no, I stepped off a curb to sniff a poodle's ass and a car hit me.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was Laughing so hard.

Costco won't let me shop there anymore.

Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the World to think of crazy things to say.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Starbucks gives logo a new look -

Starbucks gives logo a new look -

I Like This Logo Better

Starbucks Corp. is giving its siren a facelift.
The world's largest coffee company unveiled a new logo Wednesday that drops the words encircling its iconic sea nymph and gives her a few subtle updates.
Starbucks says the changes amount to more than nips and tucks to its favorite lady. The fresh look goes with a new direction for the company as it makes its way back from its toughest times in its 40-year history.
Prior versions of the logo helped build Starbucks into one of the world's best recognized brands, and the company felt it no longer needed to reinforce its name at every turn. The new wordless logo also is better suited to the company's expansion beyond coffee into a wider array of business lines and into more international markets.
Starbucks revealed the logo Wednesday to a cheering crowd of employees in its Seattle offices and on a webcast and plans to bring it to stores in March to coincide with the company's 40th anniversary.
"What is really important here is an evolutionary refinement of the logo, which is a mirror image of the strategy," said Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks. "This is not just, let's wake up one day and change our logo."
This is the fourth version of Starbucks' logo since the company's beginnings as a small coffee, tea and spice shop in Seattle in 1971. The first update came in 1987, taking the original bare-breasted siren in brown to a more stylized -- and modest -- version in green as the company began to expand. The image was further refined in the 1990s as the company went public and its growth soared.

New Law: Take clothes off before you shower.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Shoe Bomber Richard Reid Sentenced

Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe and tried to light it?

Did you know his trial is over?
Did you know he was sentenced?
Did you see/hear any of the judge's comments on TV or Radio?
Didn't think so.!!!
Everyone should hear what the judge had to say.

Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.

Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say  His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his 'allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah,' defiantly stating, 'I think I will not apol ogize for my actions,' and told the court 'I am at war with your country.'

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:

Judge Young:  'Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General.  On counts 2, 3, 4and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively.  (That's 80 years.)

On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years again, to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed.  The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 that's an aggregate fine of $2 million.  The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.

The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.

This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes.  It is a fair and just sentence.  It is a righteous sentence.

Now, let me explain this to you.  We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid.  We are Americans.  We have been through the fire before.  There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect.  Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals.  As human beings, we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant.  You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war.  You are a terrorist.  To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether the officers of government do it or your attorney does it, or if you think you are a soldier, you are not----- you are a terrorist.  And we do not negotiate with terrorists.  We do not meet with terrorists.  We do not sign documents with terrorists.  We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court  You are a big fellow. But you are not that big.  You're no warrior.  I've known warriors. You are a terrorist.  A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders.  In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and the TV crews were, and he said: 'You're no big deal.'

You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific.  What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?

I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing?  And, I have an answer for you.  It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom.  Our individual freedom.  Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose.  Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom.  It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea.  It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom, so that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discrete ly.  It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom.  Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties.  Make no mistake though.  It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms.  Look around this courtroom.  Mark it well.  The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here.  The day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure.

Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America , the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done.  The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid?  That's the flag of the United States of America .  That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom.  And it always will.

Mr. Custody Officer.  Stand him down.

So, how much of this Judge's comments did we hear on our TV sets?  We need more judges like Judge Young.  Pass this around.  Everyone should and needs to hear what this fine judge had to say. Powerful words that strike home.