Archives for November 2010

Culture of Corruption Giveaway!

Last night I got invited to this fancy-pants party at the home of a very gracious host, who also turned out to be a book publisher.

I know. I don’t know how I got there either.

However I managed to wrangle the invitation, the amazing and incredible host seemed genuinely pleased to meet me. I gushed over his hospitality and beautiful home, and he gushed over Thing 1 (she and Leif had tagged along with me). He told me to stay right where I was, and he disappeared.

He came back with presents! Beautiful, hard-cover, word-filled presents. I’m keeping Courting Disaster:
How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack
by Mark Thiessen because I haven’t read it yet, I really like Mark Thiessen, and let’s face it, when a super nice publisher tells you to read something and gives you the book, you read it.

The other book he gave me was Michelle Malkin‘s Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies. I got to meet the beautiful and wicked smart Malkin once upon a time, and I am the happy owner of an autographed copy of her latest book. The lovely publisher/host told me to keep the extra copy and give it to someone that needs it.

I know at least one of my eight readers needs this book. So it’s giveaway time!

To enter: Leave a comment telling me who your favorite conservative author, blogger, or commentator is. Or your six favorite. Or your favorite politician. Or a note of sympathy for us Californians. Or how many Coke Zeros you’ve consumed today (I’m on my third and it’s not even 10A.M.). Basically – leave a comment!

Winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator. If you lose, blame the machines. It’s what I do. It makes me feel better. No entries after midnight EST on Thursday.

WikiLeaks Scandal: Free Speech or Terrorism?

Over the weekend, the website WikiLeaks released over 250,000classified State Department documents. Top-secret information about everything from Iran’s nuclear status to concerns over China’s growthas a superpower to the potentiality of a united Korean peninsulasuddenly became public knowledge.

Secretary of State Clinton is mad. President Obama is cracking down with a zero-tolerance policy for anyone caught leaking information. Congressman Pete King (R-NY) is calling for the government to declare WikiLeaks a foreign terrorist organization, in order to “seize their funds and go after anyone who provides them help or contributions or assistance whatsoever.”

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claims that total transparency is in the public’s best interest.

Read the rest at The Stir

Thank You Pilgrims, for Prosperity

This is the third of a three-part series on Thankfulness for the Pilgrimage to America. Read the first part Thank You, Pilgrims, for Religious Freedom, and the second part Thank You, Pilgrims, for Democracy.

When the Pilgrims first arrived in America, it was cold — really, really cold. We’re talking Massachusetts-in-winter-cold, because, well, it wasMassachusetts in winter.

They did not fare well that first winter, and almost half of them died.

Once spring came, the Mayflower and her crew departed, and the settlers began to build a community. The men built things and worked the land, and the women did chores and minded the children. They lived a communal life, with everyone working together for the good of the group. In other words, they were socialists.

Read the rest at The Stir

Thank You Pilgrims, for Democracy

This is the second of a three-part series on Thankfulness for the Pilgrimage to America. Read the first part: Thank You Pilgrims, for Religious Freedom.

The Pilgrims longed for religious freedom, and they knew they were never going to get it in England. The little group of Separatists (Pilgrims) decided to move to Holland, which did not have a state-run church and was generally tolerant of differing religious ideologies.

For 12 years, the Pilgrims lived, worked, and worshipped as they pleased in Amsterdam, but life became increasingly difficult. It was hard for the foreigners to find work as anything other than textile workers or sailors, and the peaceful political climate was becoming tense. The 12-year truce between the Netherlands and Spain was coming to an end, and as the Pilgrims never planned to stay in Holland permanently, they decided to move on.

Read the rest at The Stir

Thank You, Pilgrims, for Religious Freedom

This is the first of a three-part series on Thankfulness for the Pilgrimage to America.

It’s Thanksgiving week. Which means that I’m frantically grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, and generally trying not to go insane. One trick I’ve employed over the years to preserve my sanity is to take a deep breath and remind myself of what I’m thankful for.

Isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about?

This year, I find myself ironically thankful that my life is nothing like the lives of the Pilgrims before they ventured to the new world. I have the freedom to work, play, and worship how I want, but 400 years ago, the Pilgrims didn’t.

Read the rest at The Stir

Tax Cheat Charlie Rangel: The Punishment Should Fit the Crime

Charlie Rangel is a member of the House of Representatives. He’s a fairly high-ranking one in fact; until last March he was the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. That’s the committee that writes our tax laws, by the way.

On Tuesday, Congressman Rangel was found guilty on 11 of 13 charges of rules violations. Some of the charges were using House stationery to solicit money for a pet project, soliciting donors for said project with interests before the Ways and Means Committee, failing to report $600,000 in assets, and not paying taxes on the rental income from his property in the Dominican Republic.

Rangel claimed to be the victim of “good faith mistakes.”

Read more at The Stir

Gender Inequality? Fair Pay Is a Lifestyle Choice

On Wednesday, the Senate voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which supposedly would have closed the gap between the amount of money that men and women earn in similar jobs. If passed, the bill would have required small businesses to submit data on sex, race, national origin, and earning to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Naturally, the Huffington Post reported: Republicans Block an Up-or-Down Vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act. Which is a very silly sentiment for a Congress that is striving for compromise and bipartisanship. The vote went straight down party lines, with the Democrats voting for it, and Republicans voting against it. Only one senator, Ben Nelson (D-NE), crossed the aisle with his vote. If a bill can’t get a single “yea” vote from an entire party, it probably shouldn’t be passed.

It is true that on averagemen earn more than women. I view that as a triumph. It means that women are actually choosing their own lifestyles; some are choosing to work while others are choosing to stay home and care for their families.

The fact of the matter is that women actually make more money than men, when all factors are considered. If you look strictly at education level, time on the job, and training, women come out ahead of men in income. The studies that spout the false idea that women are oppressed in the workplace don’t take those factors into consideration.

Read more at The Stir

Naked Scanners or Body Groping: Has the TSA Gone Too Far?

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano reassured us almost a year ago that “the system worked.” Her words were in response to the panty bomberUmar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to detonate a bomb in his drawers on an international flight headed into Detroit, Michigan.

If the system was working so well, why have some intense new screening procedures been introduced by the FTA recently?

Naked body scanners have been popping up in airports all over the country. These machines can literally see through your clothes to your naked body to determine whether or not you’re wearing a diaper full of C4. By the way, scientists aren’t sure of the medical side effects that may occur to those lucky enough to be singled out for a scan on their way to Toledo.

In addition to the scanners, TSA agents have implemented anenhanced pat-down procedure, which has left many people feeling sexually violated when their “special places” were given some extra attention. Some people have chosen to leave the airport, rather than have their junk groped by a complete stranger.

Even 3-year-olds have been subjected to physical pat-downs.

Is this really necessary? Do a mom’s labia and breasts need to be fondled to be sure that she’s not a terrorist? Does my toddler really need to take off her Robeez to go through airport security?

When was the last time a mom traveling with an infant attempted to blow up a plane in a terrorist attack? I couldn’t find any incidences in the United States.

Meanwhile, while average American citizens are being forced to choose between being seen naked or be groped by the TSA, CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) has recommended that Muslim women traveling in a hijab forgo the scanners, and only be searched around their neck and head. This is in accordance with their religion, and Janet Napolitano is considering the request.

National security is important. I get that. But no one has the right to ogle or touch my body without due cause. Until a bunch of green-eyed, blonde, twenty-something females start using commercial airliners for terrorist attacks, or I personally act in a suspicious manner, please leave my private parts alone.

Otherwise I might have to sue the TSA for “reverse discrimination.”

Cross Posted at The Stir

Jenny Erikson Radio Show – Episode 0007

In which I chat with Red State‘s Aaron Gardner about social and fiscal conservatism. Later, Mike G. stops by for an FTA-inspired Cocktail Time.

National Debt: Raise the Ceiling or Cut the Spending?

With the US Debt Clock continuing to tick, and the incoming freshman class in Congress saying they’ll vote against raising thedebt ceiling, it looks like Uncle Sam is going to have to go digging under the sofa cushions for loose change.

It turns out that money doesn’t grow on trees.

Margaret Thatcher once said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” We are officially out of money. Actually, we were out of money years ago, so we started borrowing it from China and future generations.

With all the wonderful government initiatives to pay for (wait — I thought health care was going to be free?), the money has to come from somewhere. It must be time for a tax increase. Maybe eliminating the mortgage interest deduction would help. What about a Value Added Tax? Of course, we could just let the Bush tax cuts expire in January.

Read more at The Stir