"No one benefits if politicians are forever worrying about what some chippy, resentful git might think about their salary or their travelling first class," I wrote in my Spectator column this week. I suppose the sort of thing I had in mind was this immeasurably trivial ´revelation´ that Nigel Farage (an unapologetic first class traveller, btw) once set up an offshore trust in the Isle of Man with a view to paying his children´s or grandchildren´s school fees. Why is this wrong? Why should we care? Why, for goodness sake, did the normally unflappable Farage feel he had to declare
SANFORD -When opening arguments begin in the trial of George Zimmerman, prosecutors will be able to tell the jury that Trayvon Martin was profiled, and Zimmerman was a "wannabe cop," the judge in the case ruled today. Circuit Judge Debra Nelson ruled on a defense motion this morning, seeking to block those phrases from trial. The state can also say "vigilante" if they choose, and can say that Zimmerman confronted Trayvon, Nelson ruled. However, she said prosecutors should avoid saying Trayvon was racially profiled. Prosecutor John Guy said this morning that the state didn´t plan to say
Many consider the 1973 film "The Exorcist" the scariest movie of all time. Wednesday is the 40th anniversary of the film´s release. If the mere thought of the famous flick gives you the chills, consider this: It´s directly based on a true incident that happened in St. Louis. The real story that inspired the famous book and movie happened in 1949. It began in Maryland, ended in St. Louis, and involved several Jesuits from Saint Louis University. Father Raymond J. Bishop, S.J. kept a day-by-day account of the exorcism. Click here to read the diary.
Throughout history, language has been used to manipulate, to help, to inspire and to control. In the political arena, language and communication are crucial to shaping a message and winning elections. In the 20th and 21st centuries, we’ve seen the Left hijack and manipulate language to win their battles. Saul Alinsky dedicated an entire chapter in his “Rules for Radicals” to communication. He wrote about how communication is the most important tool a radical activist must possess to be successful. “It does not matter what you know about anything if you cannot communicate to your people,” Alinsky wrote.
Immigration: The Gang of Eight says it has — presto! — fixed the big border security holes in their must-be-passed-yesterday amnesty package. After the 1986 fiasco, skeptics won´t settle for promises on paper. The world will not come to an end if immigration reform with a so-called "path to citizenship" — i.e., phased-in amnesty for 11 million illegal aliens — doesn´t happen before the 2014 congressional elections. A number of Republican politicians have been terrified by their political enemies in both politics and the media into swallowing the dubious notion that the Grand Old Party´s long-term fortunes depend
A spectacular 16.5-acre estate originally part of George Washington´s famed Mount Vernon is up for sale for a presidential $25 million, despite needing renovations. Steeped in American history, the waterfront property, located in Alexandria, Virginia, is on the market for the first time in half a century. Named River View Estateafter its 383 feet of uninterrupted vistas of the Potomac River, the residence makes plain why Washington once proclaimed: ´I had rather be on my farm than emperor of the world.´ The estate boasts a 6,000-square foot manor home, 2,000-square foot guest house, four-car garage, carriage house and
A few years ago, a friend who lives in Arizona near the Mexican border took a group on a drive though the countryside near his ranch. After about 40 minutes of bumping through the hills, he braked the Jeep and told everyone to get out. "There it is," he said. "There´s what?" I asked. "Mexico. You´re looking at Mexico." Mexico was a hill on the other side of a small wooden fence, which stretched to the left and the right to the horizon. We were in a vast, empty place. Through two presidential elections and up to this moment,
Call them Obamacare´s army. From the chief actuary at the California health insurance exchange that President Barack Obama´s healthcare reform law established to the legions of call center staffers who will help people trying to buy insurance through such state exchanges, the number of people working to implement "Obamacare" has reached the tens of thousands, a Reuters analysis has found. (Snip) But the precise size of this workforce is shrouded in secrecy. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) did not reply to a question asking how many people it has hired or assigned to implement healthcare reform
The arthritic dog whose owner was pictured lulling him through the pain in a lake reached the incredible age of 20 in spite of his illness. [Snip] The story of loyal dog Schoep became an international sensation when the picture of Unger wading in Lake Superior with him was viewed by millions last year. Since then, their story has served as the inspiration for a charity called the Schoep Legacy Foundation which has raised more than $25,000 to help low-income families care for their aging dogs thanks to donations from people as far away as Saudi Arabia and Japan
The death of reporter Michael Hastings, best remembered for taking on General Stanley McChrystal and other powerful people, has been met with shock and grief in the journalistic community, especially from those fortunate enough to work alongside him. But one layer below the fond remembrances are a host of vague questions and inferences about the circumstances surrounding the 33-year-old BuzzFeed reporter´s fiery solo car crash early Tuesday in Los Angeles. Bringing those suspicions to the forefront last night was WikiLeaks, never reticent to insert itself into a story, which teased, "Michael Hastings death has a very serious
We´ve been reading a lot in recent weeks about what President Obama is saying on his continuing stream of fundraisers and the first of his family´s two major overseas trips this month. In Germany this week, despite a broken teleprompter, Obama called for more nuclear arms reductions, despite Russia´s reluctance, and he stressed the need to fix climate change. Neither issue is high on the priority list of most Americans. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, what are Republicans offering?
In government, last year’s reform has a bad habit of causing this year’s problem. For instance, take the federal civil service, that vast army of government workers (in 2011 there were 2,756,000 employees in the executive branch). It has been much in the news lately, thanks to burgeoning scandals at the IRS and elsewhere. The civil service has been around since the Constitution took effect in 1789, when there were 40 employees in the Treasury Department and only five in the State Department.
If you enjoy snacks and drinks like Mtn Dew, Chex Mix, Hungry Man frozen dinners, or roughly 80 percent of all the packaged foods sold in your average, American grocery store, you may want to sit down before reading this. Many of the chemicals found in America´s most common foods are considered to be so unhealthy that they´re actually ILLEGAL in other countries. A new book on nutrition lists six food additives that are found in a wide range of popular groceries sanctioned by the Food and Drug Administration, but foreign governments have determined to be too dangerous to allow
HARTFORD— Could Tim Tebow be the next starting tight end for the New England Patriots? With the statuses of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski up in the air, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick might have no other choice but to give Tebow a shot. Moving Tebow to tight end is not so far-fetched. CBSSports.com NFL insider Mike Freeman reported shortly before the Patriots signed the former Heisman-winning quarterback earlier this month that Tebow might learn a new position. “Plan, I’m told, is Tebow will study a great deal at tight end,”
As a news organization funded in large part by those on the left and staffed by those on the left, NPR often hews to the priorities of the left in its coverage. Those priorities deem the death of one individual, Trayvon Martin—a black teen killed by a non-black man—to be far more newsworthy than the gruesome deaths of numerous black babies killed by abortionist Kermit Gosnell just after birth. In the 15 months between Zimmerman’s shooting of Trayvon Martin and the start of jury selection, NPR aired about 100 pieces dedicated to the issue. Contrast that with the number
I still remember the shock I felt when I was about half way through Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. I was spending an undergraduate summer meandering slowly from Chicago to New Orleans when, in the middle of a passage about something else, I came across a glancing reference to France’s ´captive king´. [Snip] Until that moment, it had not properly hit me that the entire book, the most penetrating denunciation of revolutionary excess ever composed, had been written before the Terror started. As a piece of political prophecy, it stands unsurpassed. Burke predicted the chaos, the repression
As noted in my June 7, 2013 report titled DHS Insider: It’s about to get very ugly, the additional information provided to me that was temporarily withheld from publication is now being released. The methodical and incremental release of information was (and is) deliberate, to allow other things to play out, such as the public exposure to the name Edward Snowden and his revelations regarding just how extensive the domestic surveillance apparatus is—and who the surveillance is actually targeting. Back to the early hours of June 7, 2013
Jay Carney doesn’t have an answer for that. He hasn’t discussed that subject with the president. He will refer you to the Department of [insert agency here]. He refuses to speculate on that. He’ll have to get back to you. But he appreciates the question. A Yahoo News analysis of the 444 briefings that Carney has held since becoming White House press secretary has identified 13 distinct strains in the way he dodges a reporter´s question. Since Carney held his first daily briefing with reporters in the White House Brady Press Briefing Room on Feb. 16, 2011,
Chelsea Clinton’s hubby, Marc Mezvinsky, is unloading his Fifth Avenue apartment months after the couple bought a $10 million pad off of Madison Avenue. Mezvinsky has listed his three-bedroom, 2 1/2 -bath condo at the Grand Madison for $4.5 million, according to The Real Deal. The banker son-in-law of Bill and Hillary Clinton bought the place in 2008 for $4 million, and the couple then lived in the apartment together after their 2010 marriage. In March they upgraded to a 5,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, 6 1/2- bath apartment at the nearby Whitman, across from Madison Square Park. Link repaired by Staff.
Ok, young’ns, here’s your chance. In two consecutive elections, you’ve carried Barack Obama to victory. When he said, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” he basically meant you. You voted for Obama by a margin of 66 percent to 32 percent in 2008, and, despite a horrendous economy for people your age, by nearly that much again in 2012. The president announced his candidacy in 2007 by insisting, “This campaign can’t only be about me. It must be about us — it must be about what we can do together. This campaign must be the occasion, the vehicle
WASHINGTON The government contractor that performed a background investigation of the man who says he disclosed two National Security Agency surveillance programs is under investigation, a government watchdog said Thursday.Firm that checked Snowden´s background under investigation, official says Snowden was low-level contractor with top-secret clearance. How much damage did NSA surveillance leaks do?
Democracy. The word is nearly ubiquitous in American political discourse. We routinely refer to our country and those modeled after our own as democracies. We listen to speeches, read books, and profess our belief in democratic principles, democratic governments, and democratic ideals. Americans in the modern world completely fail to comprehend two important points. The first is that America -- as organized under the Constitution -- is not a democracy. The second is that democracy, in its pure form, is nothing more than mob rule.