Two Bad, One Good: Supreme Court Decisions

BAD:
Constructive Curmudgeon says

The Supreme Court just ruled that a college or university may deny a student group official status if that group does not allow homosexuals as leaders.

BAD:
Stop the ACLU says that people are going to quit signing petitions.

In an 8-to-1 decision, the high court said public disclosure of referendum petitions does not as a general matter violate the First Amendment.

We saw how well the “saying who gave $$” worked out, with Prop. 8 in California, right? (Such as this article.)

GOOD:
Bloomberg.com, in “Gun Rights Must Be Honored by States/Cities,” says:

[T]he constitutional right to bear arms … binds state and local governments, as well as federal officials…

The justices, voting 5-4, said an individual right to bear arms was among the fundamental guarantees protected against state and local interference through a constitutional amendment after the Civil War.

So Chicagoans have the right to own and use their weapons to stop criminals.

Are we losing our freedoms?

Right on the Left Coast quotes from the Washington Examiner about the government’s working paper on the “reinvention of journalism.”

Apparently the working paper thinks that the newspapers have a right to the news they report:

Copyright protects an author’s articulation of facts, but not the facts themselves.

State law versions of the “hot news” doctrine, however, can protect a news
organization’s investment in fact gathering to a limited extent. In International News
Service (INS), the AP challenged the use of its news wire stories by INS, which
immediately rewrote the stories and distributed them to its own clients. Based on
common law misappropriation principles, the Supreme Court recognized a “quasi
property” right of very short duration in the facts that were gathered, digested, and
disseminated at great expense by the AP.

Would anyone be talking about this if there weren’t a move to federalize the press? I don’t think so.

Would the government recognize a blogger’s right to the news? Probably not. And, according to some, the bloggers wouldn’t be protected.

God help us that we are giving away our freedoms to a government which wants to run it all. (That’s totalitarianism, in case you weren’t thinking.)

Flag Etiquette

All persons present should face the flag, stand at attention and salute on the following occasions:

1. When the flag is passing in a parade or review. The salute to the flag
in the moving column is rendered at the moment the flag passes.
2. During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag.
3. When the National Anthem is played and the flag is displayed.
4. During the Pledge of Allegiance … I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

from Flag Co

Health Care Perspective

“In a private fee-for-service medical system, a dead patient is a revenue loss. In the National Health Service (UK), a dead patient was a cost savings.” -Harry Bailey MD 1930-2003, Sheffield (England) University Medical School 1950-1956; Harvard Medical School 1958-1981, US Navy Medical Corps 1982-1991.

The above quote is from my late father.

from Take Me To Your Lizard

Sorrow, not quite despair.

The health care bill has passed.

My government now owns the auto industry, banking, and health care.

One giant step at a time into socialism.

Sorrow. Pain. Tears. Weeping.

Despair sits just outside, though. Despite the immediate tax additions, the health care aspect won’t go into effect until 2014. There is still a little time to potentially stave off the destruction of America.

But not much.

And despair crouches at the door.

Guns

I am a strong believer in the second amendment. I like guns. I think everyone who is not mentally deficient or a criminal and is over 18 (or possibly 21) should own one, at least.

American Daughter has an interesting post on the differences between US gun ownership and Swiss gun ownership. The Swiss come out way ahead.

And the “Why no one invades Switzerland video” that my husband liked so much is also there. (And now here.)

As Texas Goes…

so goes the country.

I doubt that seriously, though our education system has offered something to the nation.

Joanne Jacobs sent me to this NYT article. It is inconsistent, inaccurate, and biased. Other than that though (seriously), there are some interesting things in it.

I love my state, so I’m a little prejudiced.

But, let me be clear, the founders of our nation were Christians- regardless of what the Times wants to say.

The Government Wants Your IRA

transcript of Rick Santelli’s discussion

Market Ticker

Business Week said:

The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are spearheading the effort.

And this is why the survivalists are gaining traction.

I have an old friend who is converting his life time savings into gold, silver, ammunition, booze and other non-perishable staples for what he believes is the inevitable “economic crunch.” I hope he is wrong that it is imminent, but at least now he can rest easy knowing that the government can’t get to his nest egg, and based upon the recent price of ammunition and gold/silver it is appreciating nicely.

from the Rofasix

By the way, this was proposed in 2008 in Argentina and is now fact in Argentina.

If we’re going the way of Argentina, we are in a world of hurt.

Blame Bush: a broken meme

[O]n March 14, 2008, then Sen. Obama voted in favor of the 2009 budget which authorized $3.1 trillion in federal outlays along with a projected $400 billion deficit. The 51-44 vote that morning was strongly along party lines with only two Republicans saying “Yes.”
When the final conference report was presented to the House on June 5, not one Republican voted for it.
This means the 2009 budget was almost exclusively approved by Democrats, with “Yeas” coming from current President then Sen. Obama, his current Vice President then Sen. Joe Biden, his current Chief of Staff then Rep. Rahm Emanuel, and his current Secretary of State then Sen. Hillary Clinton.
How is this possibly something that happened before Obama “walked in the door” when his Party ramrodded the original budget through Congress with virtually no Republican approval — save Bush’s signature, of course — and the highest members of the current Administration — including the president himself!!! — supported it when they were either in the Senate or the House?
Sadly, Obama-loving media care not to address this inconvenient truth.
But that’s just the beginning…

Read the rest.

I do think he can blame some of it on Bush. Bush, after all, chose to sign the legislation that not a single Republican voted for. That says something about Bush’s shift to the left that I hadn’t thought about before.

Found via the Common Room.

Unemployment

Very interesting map that shows unemployment from 2007 to 2009 can be found here.

You know, Obama said 1 in 10 is unemployed. I was like, really.

Ten grownups in my family.
Mom- not employed, doesn’t want to be
Dad- not employed, doesn’t want to be
baby sister- not employed, doesn’t want to be
BIL- employed
sister- employed
BIL 2b- employed
husband- employed
me- underemployed
brother- unemployed
SIL- unemployed

So my family’s unemployment rate is 25%.

Wow. I didn’t realize how bad it is.

And that’s without taking into account people like my sister’s best friend who work full time and make $12,000/year.

Americanization of Mental Illness

An intriguing article/title from the NYTimes.

This unnerving possibility springs from recent research by a loose group of anthropologists and cross-cultural psychiatrists. Swimming against the biomedical currents of the time, they have argued that mental illnesses are not discrete entities like the polio virus with their own natural histories. These researchers have amassed an impressive body of evidence suggesting that mental illnesses have never been the same the world over (either in prevalence or in form) but are inevitably sparked and shaped by the ethos of particular times and places. In some Southeast Asian cultures, men have been known to experience what is called amok, an episode of murderous rage followed by amnesia; men in the region also suffer from koro, which is characterized by the debilitating certainty that their genitals are retracting into their bodies. Across the fertile crescent of the Middle East there is zar, a condition related to spirit-possession beliefs that brings forth dissociative episodes of laughing, shouting and singing.

For more than a generation now, we in the West have aggressively spread our modern knowledge of mental illness around the world. We have done this in the name of science, believing that our approaches reveal the biological basis of psychic suffering and dispel prescientific myths and harmful stigma. There is now good evidence to suggest that in the process of teaching the rest of the world to think like us, we’ve been exporting our Western “symptom repertoire” as well. That is, we’ve been changing not only the treatments but also the expression of mental illness in other cultures. Indeed, a handful of mental-health disorders — depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anorexia among them — now appear to be spreading across cultures with the speed of contagious diseases. These symptom clusters are becoming the lingua franca of human suffering, replacing indigenous forms of mental illness.

And those are just two of the fascinating sections of the article.

Isn’t this a little weird?

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/1/20/worldupdates/2010-01-20T080717Z_01_NOOTR_RTRMDNC_0_-455265-3&sec=Worldupdates

It says it is copyrighted in 2008.

It also says Coakley conceded. No one else does though.

The Denver Post says he won.

Is this a Dewey-Truman moment? We’ve already had those. One news center posted election returns yesterday.

French View of American Soldiers

Subject: French view of US Military by Jean-Marc Liotier

The original French article is available, but this is part of the translation I found at Blackfive:

And that is a first shock to our preconceptions: the American soldier is no individualist. The team, the group, the combat team are the focus of all his attention. And they are impressive warriors! We have not come across bad ones, as strange at it may seem to you when you know how critical French people can be. Even if some of them are a bit on the heavy side, all of them provide us everyday with lessons in infantry know-how. Beyond the wearing of a combat kit that never seem to discomfort them (helmet strap, helmet, combat goggles, rifles etc.) the long hours of watch at the outpost never seem to annoy them in the slightest. On the one square meter wooden tower above the perimeter wall they stand the five consecutive hours in full battle rattle and night vision goggles on top, their sight unmoving in the directions of likely danger. No distractions, no pauses, they are like statues nights and days. At night, all movements are performed in the dark – only a handful of subdued red lights indicate the occasional presence of a soldier on the move. Same with the vehicles whose lights are covered – everything happens in pitch dark even filling the fuel tanks with the Japy pump.

This is the main area where I’d like to comment. Anyone with a passing knowledge of Kipling knows the lines from Chant Pagan: ‘If your officer’s dead and the sergeants look white/remember it’s ruin to run from a fight./So take open order, lie down, sit tight/And wait for supports like a soldier./ This, in fact, is the basic philosophy of both British and Continental soldiers. ‘In the absence of orders, take a defensive position.’ Indeed, virtually every army in the world.

The American soldier and Marine, however, are imbued from early in their training with the ethos: In the Absence of Orders: Attack! Where other forces, for good or ill, will wait for precise orders and plans to respond to an attack or any other ‘incident’, the American force will simply go, counting on firepower and SOP to carry the day. This is one of the great strengths of the American force in combat and it is something that even our closest allies, such as the Brits and Aussies (that latter being closer by the way) find repeatedly surprising. No wonder it surprises the hell out of our enemies.