Archive | July, 2013

Remember Richard Reid, the Shoe Bomber?

31 Jul

Well, if you fly much, you should. He’s the reason the TSA to this day has you take off your shoes when going through airport security.

He’s the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe and tried to light it but failed. He was the Englishman and Muslim convert Richard Reid and that was way back in December 2001.

Now, over 11 years later, did you know when his trial was finally over? Did you know how he was sentenced? Did you see/hear any of the judge’s comments on TV or radio? Did you know Reid was sentenced to over 100 years and is currently in a super max prison, where he will spend the rest of his useless life? Didn’t think so! Not really a “news story” for our liberal, lapdog media.

But everyone should hear what the judge in his case had to say. Here, with credit to the Republicans Conservative Organization website, is the ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.

Prior to sentencing, the judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say. 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 apologize for my actions,’ and told the court ‘I am at war with your country.’

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:

“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, 4 and 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 discretely. 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.”

Well said, Judge. Well said! US Supreme Court nominee anyone?

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SCOTUS, Affirmative Action and the VRA

16 Jul

My gosh, it’s almost like lions and tigers and bears, oh my, with some on the Left. That, or the end of the world as we know it. Hyperbole not only abounds but also goes into warp speed. Chicken Little runs rampant and the sky is truly falling. First, liberals were disappointed on affirmative action and then more or less devastated on voting rights.

On affirmative action, an issue on which the Obama Administration and other liberals were hoping to score a clear victory of sustainment, the high court instead recently just punted the issue back down to a lower court for further review. MSN News reports:

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has sent back a Texas case on race-based college admissions to a lower court for another look. The court’s 7/1 decision leaves unsettled many of the basic questions about the continued use of race as a factor in college admissions. The compromise ruling throws out the decision by the New Orleans-based 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the Texas admission plan. Justice Kennedy said the appeals court did not test the Texas plan under the most exacting level of judicial review. He said such a test is required by the court’s 2003 decision upholding affirmative action in higher education.

The case involves Abigail Fisher, a white Texan who sued the university after she was denied a spot in 2008. She has since received her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University. The challenge to the Texas plan gained traction in part because the makeup of the court has changed since the justices ruled in 2003 on affirmative action in higher education. Then, Justice Sandra O’Connor wrote the majority opinion that held that colleges and universities can use race in their quest for diverse student bodies. O’Connor retired in 2006, and her replacement, Justice Samuel Alito, has shown himself to be more skeptical of considerations of race in education.

In short, universities can still consider affirmative action applicants — they just have to apply more stringent criteria in doing so and can’t do it “just for diversity” alone. They must means test applicants “…under the most exacting level of judicial review.”

On voting rights, with its recent 5/4 decision to RETURN to some states their inherent rights which the 1965 Voter Rights Act (VRA) took away from some Southern states which had historically suppressed the black vote, the SCOTUS is slowly moving us into the 21st Century and of course liberals, who ACT like they’re progressives while actually PREFERRING that people in their base stay stuck on the Democratic dependency plantation of the past, don’t like it.

In recent years, we’ve had two black Secretaries of State, a black UN ambassador, a Hispanic and a black Attorney General and a black (well, halfway and half-assed at least) president, just to mention a few. Affirmative action and Section 4 of the VRA aren’t needed any more. And of course the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons of the Left are predicting Armageddon because they foresee their cash contributions will dry up — and well they should — from blacks who think civil rights is still stuck back in the ’60s. Heck, Al and Jesse may have to finally get real jobs.

Some other alarmists on the Left, like Fox News’ The Five’s resident liberal, the avuncular Bob Beckel, say that even if things have changed in the last 48 years and these states should get back the rights which were taken from them, albeit arguably and justifiably at the time, some counties in those same states are “pockets” of black voter suppression to this day and should be subject to federal, congressional oversight, or some form of federal “formula” to ensure they stay on the straight and narrow.

Well, some counties may arguably still be that way, but if the states have progressed so that some of those same Southern states now have more registered black voters than white voters, why can’t the states monitor their own counties?

And, contrarily, what about those counties in liberal states, most notoriously in the Northeast and Mid-West, who are “pockets” of over 100% voter turnout (a statistical impossibility), to include multiple votes by the same person, votes by dead people and cartoon characters and votes suddenly “found” in car trunks? Can it not be argued they also should be subject to federal, congressional oversight, or some form of federal “formula” to ensure they stay on the straight and narrow? You betcha! Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Despite all of the liberal hoopla, in and out of the misled and misleading meeed-ya, Eric Withholding Holder’s Department of INjustice can still sue states which it thinks are enacting laws intended to suppress the black, or other minority, vote. They just can no longer rely on the VRA doctrine of pre-clearance which up to now has required certain states to prove what they weren’t doing, rather than the DOJ now having to prove that they, just like any other states, are doing something wrong. Seems right to me. Innocent until proven guilty, burden of proof on the prosecutor and all that, right?

The bottom line is that affirmative action isn’t dead yet but may be appropriately wounded and only lives to be ever more strictly and narrowly applied and further adjudicated by the SCOTUS on another day, and voting rights were just brought into modern times as they should have been.

And Texas passed its voter ID law, which had previously been denied by the DOJ under the pre-clearance doctrine, within SIX HOURS of the SCOTUS decision. Talk about Texans being cocked and ready! And more states are expected to follow suit with their own voter ID laws, so stick that in your eye, liberals, or progressives, or whatever you’re calling yourselves most recently. Maybe the days of dead people and cartoon characters voting and suddenly “found” votes are coming to an end.

So, go back to sleep, Chicken Little. The sky is not really failing, although it may have just gotten a little more “cloudy with a chance of rain” for liberals. And, from my conservative perspective, I consider that a good thing.

NSA Leaker Snowden: The Bigger Picture

14 Jul

The Obama Amateur Hour Administration continues chasing its tail to catch Edward Snowden, alleged leaker of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) national security secrets, so Obama finally declared, probably in frustration, that he had more important things to do than be concerned with a 29-year-old hacker. Really?

Well, yeah, Mr. Prez-Boy, we “feel your pain” and understand your efforts to downplay this whole thing, but the guy did reveal a HUGE national security “secret” and that’s kind of important, even if you’ve proven yourself once again inept and impotent to do anything about it, as with so many other things.

And, in another instance of the Obama Admin’s left hand not knowing (or apparently not caring) what its right hand is doing (otherwise known as contrary or contradictory actions), how do you square that you’re dismissing as “just a hacker” someone who your Attorney General Eric “The Arrogant” Holder’s Department of INjustice is saying is a traitor and leaker of national security secrets extraordinaire and your own NSA director has testified before Congress has done irreparable harm to our national security methods and interests? Evidently, part of the mental disorder of ideological liberalism also includes large elements of incongruity and cognitive dissonance as well.

Russia’s Putin is saying Snowden is not actually IN Russia and that’s why they “can’t” do anything. And the Russkies will probably continue saying Snowden is there but not there until he’s suddenly somewhere else.

First, he was going to Cuba and lots of lame lamestream media types wasted their news agencies’ money booking seats on a flight on which they could only take pictures of the empty seat Snowden might have sat in, had he been on that flight, which he was not. He was still IN Russia but not technically IN Russia, as I mentioned before. Then, Snowden was going to Ecuador. And now, most recently, he’s supposed to be going to Venezuela for asylum. I’m sure Snowden will be treated well in Venezuela, even though Chavez is thankfully still dead, and the climate there is very nice, I hear.

But let’s face it, the Chinese and now the Russians are having great fun with this whole thing at the expense of the reputation of the US and our feckless prez-boy who leads from behind and keeps drawing lines in the sand and then doing little or nothing to enforce them.

All the while the very capable Chinese and Russian intel services are, with or without Snowden’s complicity, accessing whatever he has on the alleged four laptops full of classified US intel he’s carrying. Snowden, Obama, nor anyone else should be naive about that.

The fact is, other world leaders who may be our trade partners but are certainly not really our friends are making hay over our having a prez who they know is weak and indecisive. Reagan, along with Gorbachev, ended the Cold War and Bush I, Clinton and Bush II maintained that, but Obama’s failed, so-called “reset” policy with Russia in particular and feckless foreign policy in general are fast and furiously frittering all that away.

China, who wants to be a superpower, and Russia, who used to be a superpower, are enjoying themselves at the expense of the US, who used to be more of a superpower than it is now, after four-and-a-half years under Obama.

But the bigger picture about Snowden and the NSA is not what has seemingly been most debated in the social and other media, to wit, is Snowden a traitor or a hero, but two other, bigger things.

The first of these is the question of how a former high school dropout and 29-year-old former CIA, then NSA contract employee had sufficient classified clearance and access to know what he claims to know — and to have misappropriated it? That would indicate to me, someone who used to have a Cosmic Top Secret Atomal clearance (I know, I’m not making this up and I didn’t totally understand it either), a glaring need to tighten up our classified info access standards. Maybe not just anyone or everyone should be cleared to have access to our most sensitive classified info, ya think?

And, the second thing is, whether it was patriotic or not, whether he’s a hero or a traitor, whether he could have done it a better way or not, Snowden’s revelations have served the public interest in revealing the extent of the NSA’s spying on Americans and, more recently, our allies, and is as well truly telling about the Orwellian world we now live in — little to no expectation of privacy anywhere, at any time, in any way.

And those of you who thought CBS’s show Person of Interest about “the machine” was mere fiction might now need to rethink that, too. Feeling your freedoms being frittered away much?

Egypt — Revolution or Coup? And Who Cares?

6 Jul

It’s estimated that 33 million Egyptians all across their country filled Egyptian streets everywhere over a period of days to demand an end to the Morsi-Muslim Brotherhood government, which promised moderate reforms but instead began installing an Islamic state, which the Egyptian people obviously did not want, while doing little or nothing to enhance Egypt’s economic expectations as promised. (Sort of like all the promises President Obama has made to the American people and not fulfilled.)

Imagine that — 33 MILLION! Such a massive uprising is clearly a revolution and not merely a coup, but why is this distinction so important and why should we care what the Egyptians do anyway?

There is a US law which prohibits our sending or continuing foreign aid to a country in which a democratically elected leader has been deposed by a military coup. And Morsi was democratically elected, albeit based on lies, because the Egyptian people wanted a democratic government and economic improvement — not an Islamic state.

Obama may have alluded to this law when he initially tried to save his stooge Morsi and the Muslime (not a typo) Brotherhood by threatening the Egyptian army that if they deposed them, he would cut off the army’s US funding. However, since then, perhaps cooler (and more “brilliant”) heads have prevailed among Obama’s Amateur Hour Administration and they have carefully avoided calling it a coup.

As I have stated, what’s happening in Egypt is clearly not just a case of the military strong-arming an elected leader out of office a la South American style. That is a coup. But when you have the massive and sustained uprising of the people as evidenced in Egypt, that is a revolution.

Frankly, I would like to see a comparable and revolutionary demonstration here in DC against the inept and corrupt Obama regime. Since the Congress seemingly won’t act to rein Obama in, that may be our only way of getting rid of him and his crooked crew of cronies. And if you read many of the signs used by the Egyptian demonstrators, they have Obama’s number and have called him out, just as many Africans demonstrated against his visit to various parts of that continent on his recent $60-100 million dollar trip — something low-info, sheeple voters here in the US have disgustingly failed to realize or do — TWICE. But, I digress.

But why should we keep funding the Egyptian army? Why don’t we just do as some have suggested and stop all foreign aid to everybody? Because US foreign aid is one of the most potent leveraging agents on the world stage. Money does talk. And because the Egyptian army are the only stabilizing force in the largest and most strategically located country in the ME (think Suez Canal and being bordered by Libya to the West, the Sudan to the South, and the Gaza Strip and Israel to the East), and leverage with the Egyptian army gives us leverage with Egypt.

The Egyptian people have clearly shown what they don’t want — Obama’s stooge Morsi, the Muslime Brotherhood or an Islamic state, and those are all good things for us and the rest of the West. But we should maintain funding because it is in our own self-interest to give the Egyptian people time for their army to provide the stability necessary for them to figure out what kind of democracy they do want, as that brand of democracy could then spread from Egypt throughout the region. And that would be good for us, good for them and good all around.

The US has a chance to play a pivotal role in what’s happening now and helping to bring about a good outcome (and Obama has an opportunity to make a presidential legacy move which might obviate all the feckless foreign policy faux pas of his administration so far), that is, unless Obama finds some “leading from behind” way to muck it up (at which he has shown an amazing aptitude), (1) like he missed supporting the Iranian uprising in 2009, (2) not timely intervening in Syria when we could still tell who the real freedom fighters were and before the horrendous killing of over 100,000 people, or (3) when we should have realized the weaknesses we left in Libya after toppling Gaddafi and done something about them long before the tragic Benghazi attack, instead of pretending for Obama’s reelection purposes that all was well and Libya was such a success story.

We should help ensure that Egyptian democracy is truly a success story. Obama was on the wrong track in sponsoring and supporting Morsi and the Muslime Brotherhood, and some may argue he did so for ideological, Muslim appeasement and American apologetic reasons, but he needs to be practical now, not ideological, not idealistic, not petty, petulant or persnickity over his chosen ones being rejected.

If Obama is practical and proactively seizes this moment to help Egypt become some kind of Middle Eastern true democracy, he may have a foreign policy legacy worth mentioning instead of forgetting, like that other worst president of ours ever — before Obama, that is.

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