June 30, 2017
To The Editor,
Those of us who still read the Post-Dispatch saw, once again, why the paper no longer commands the rank and respect that it once had. I refer, specifically, to the lead editorial of Tuesday, June 27th, entitled "Monument On The Move", expounding on the Confederate Monument controversy in Forest Park. What we saw here is a classic PD strategy of obfuscating an issue by drawing up a false or misleading premise, hammering on this logical fallacy as though it were indisputably true and creating a false paradigm. The newspaper then proceeds to slander, defame and ruin anyone who questions or seeks to debate the issue.
In the PD editorial in question the author asserts that the sole motivation of Confederate soldiers was the defense of slavery. (An accompanying Op-Ed basically accused every Confederate soldier of murder) Your paper stated, "...it (the monument) pays tribute to soldiers who fought for the cause of preserving slavery." Later in the piece your author dismisses the accomplishments of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson because they were, also, fighting to preserve slavery.
So, where those who fought for the south all fighting for the preservation of slavery? This in ridiculous on its face. Let's look at the facts. In 1860 a total of 27.75% of White Southerners owned slave, while 72.25% of White Southerners did not own slaves. Did those non-slave owning White Southerners fight to defend a social institution that they did not practice or even support? Hardly. Likewise, what about the nearly 67,000 Black Southerners who fought for the Confederacy? The Confederate government granted freedom to any slave who would enlist in the CSA armed forces. It is perfectly ludicrous to suggest that Black Southerners fought for the Confederacy to preserve slavery when they enlisted in order to secure freedom.
While on this topic it must be remembered that the Confederacy enacted three conscription bills that eventually required all Southern White Males between 17 and 50 years of age to serve in the armed forces. Where poor illiterate southern men who could not avoid the law and/or the conscription officers fighting to preserve slavery? What about those who fought because their homes and farms were in the path of advancing armies and they hoped to defend hearth and home? Were these men fighting to preserve slavery? Of course not.
Many of the southern partisans were fighting to perpetuate that evil institution but to insist that all were fighting for this reason is patently ridiculous. Still, it comes as no surprise that the PD would rather not engage in reasoned debate on this issue, but would, instead stoop to slander and defamation. It is sadly, what we have come to expect from this formerly great American newspaper.
Brian E. Birdnow
A QUICK NOTE FROM TIM:
How about the Native Americans who fought on the side of the Confederacy? On October 7 1861 Cherokee Chief John Ross signed a treaty with the Confederate States of America. In 1862 Ross's competitor Stand Watie imposed a draft on the Cherfokee, making able bodied men join the Confederate Army. General Watie was the last Confederate leader to surrender - a full two months after Lee surrendered at Appomatox.
Native American soldiers were important combatants at Pea Ridge, at Second Manasses (Second Bull Run), at Spotsylvania and Antietam.
The Catawba fought for the Confederacy, losing so many men that their existence was imperiled.
Do these brave Native Americans not deserve to be honored? I can aassure you none of them fought to protect slavery.
As usual 0bama et. al. make matters worse.
Have any of you ever gotten one of those phone scams that tells you that you're in trouble with the IRS for some strange reason? Unpaid taxes, or something like that? Well, this guy got a call like that and decided to fight back. Hard!
It would be nice to have access to this kind of technical heavy-hitting!
On Wednesday night, the naive intern running fanatical animal rights group PETA's Twitter account decided to initiate a suicide mission: challenge the public to give their best argument for eating delicious, mouth-watering bacon.
As you can imagine, PETA lost that battle faster than Ron Swanson can throw away vegan bacon. Within moments of the post, PETA was inundated with snarky retorts and, of course, endless bacon gifs.
For example, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro, who, as an Orthodox Jew, doesn't even eat bacon, couldn't help but to troll the food police.
For all you folks who wait with baited breath for the latest Minnesota Madness. .
"Man under arrest hands cop 'Get out of jail free' Monopoly card.
This suspect headed directly to jail — without ever passing go or collecting $200."
Guy is from Dakota County, even. Can't be sure, but I'll bet a decent bottle of wine he voted for Al Franken for Senator -- twice. As to his vote last November, well, he really sounds like Bernie Boy to me. . .
Revelations of government fraud, abuse of power and other scandals seem to be growing in number, gravity and financial impact. In this article, investigative journalist and political analyst Ron Arnold examines the Italian anti-chemical advocacy Ramizzini Institute, its New York based affiliate, and the US government agencies that have channeled some $315 million of taxpayer money to Ramizzini.
Some of the people running those agencies and controlling the purse strings have close ties to Ramazzini, whose principal claim to fame is its intense opposition to artificial sweeteners and now glyphosate, the herbicide in Roundup and other weed control products. Ramazzini’s junk science, advocacy, public relations and fear-mongering skills – combined with its enormous US taxpayer funding – have made it an abusive power to be reckoned with.
Ron’s article provides sordid details
US funding dubious science and unfounded fear
Eco-militants that defiled scientific integrity in government agencies defy corrections
Donald Trump’s EPA is facing a tsunami of vitriol for trying to drain the DC swamp of rogue regulators that rule with made-to-order scientific lies and invented threats, such as its ruling that the carbon dioxide which makes life on Earth possible is a pollutant. When President Trump proposed a $1.6 billion cut from EPA’s expected $8.1 billion budget, employee screams of doomsday intimidated Congress into forking over the full gimme-gimme. In response to the specter of lost jobs and less political power, entrenched Obama holdovers have organized to sabotage Trump’s reforms in what is being called the Deep State.
Fear is palpable throughout the EPA, where secret email accounts revealed serious abuses of power, where bureaucrats dictatorially took over virtually anything wet as "Waters of the United States,” including agricultural irrigation ditches and stock watering ponds (Trump revoked that rule), and where policies that destroyed the homes and lives of thousands have been routinely based on "liberal” interpretations of federal laws and scientific research that did not stand up to critical scrutiny.
The fear evidently touched EPA "Scientific Integrity Official” Francesca Grifo, an Obama appointee who previously oversaw the "scientific integrity program at the Union of Concerned Scientists ("an oxymoron if there ever was one,” said Forbes magazine). She postponed this year’s meeting of EPA’s scientific integrity "stakeholders” when she found out that her faithful corps of environmental activist advisors was to be joined by independent scientists approved by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
The Grifo flap and other Environmental Protection Agency problems masked a much bigger government science outrage: the $315 million scandal engulfing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This scandal further underscores why Trump’s reforms are necessary.
In March, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee probed into HHS’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the $315 million in taxpayer-funded grants awarded since 1985 to the Italian research group Ramazzini Institute. The organization is an "independent” science academy focused on cancer research into commercial products. Its output had become the subject of controversy for its fixation on "scaremongering about chemicals, artificial sweeteners and other products.”
Ramazzini’s early claim that sweetener aspartame was carcinogenic was widely panned by the European Food Safety Authority, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Italian media. Its 2016 claim that sucralose (Splenda) was linked to cancer brought similar reactions. Not surprisingly, government and scientific bodies around the world have long criticized it for using secretive, questionable science to reach politically motivated conclusions.
In 2012, EPA scientists "identified discrepancies in the results of methanol studies” conducted by Ramazzini. Similar EPA complaints from 2010 prompted Senators James Inhofe (R-OK) and David Vitter (R-LA.) to say Ramazzini’s work "is in dire need of review.”
The question remains: Who opened America’s public coffers – mostly without competitive bidding – for Ramazzini and its New York-based affiliate Collegium Ramazzini, the advocacy cooperative of scientists and researchers in the grant-gobbling Ramazzini circle?
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute (E&E Legal) confirm that the money came from HHS’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program.
Since toxicologist-microbiologist Linda Birnbaum became director of both in 2009, the two agencies provided $92 million, one third of Collegium members’ support. She herself is a Collegium member. A knowledgeable source says she got the NIEHS-NTP appointment largely because she was willing to expand the agency’s mission to include the health effects of climate change, while the other candidate for her job was not.
According to public records, Birnbaum’s NIEHS contracted with Ramazzini and its affiliates – through multiple third parties – muddying it up what services were rendered under these contracts and how they were prearranged.
Another Ramazzini fellow, Dr. Christopher Portier, a senior collaborating scientist for the anti-pesticide Environmental Defense Fund, and a well-known anti-glyphosate activist, worked for an HHS agency for 32 years. He initiated a report claiming the common weed killer glyphosate (used in Roundup herbicides) is carcinogenic. It was the only study among many that made this assertion, but activists used it to call for banning Roundup, which is often used in conjunction with genetically engineered crops to eliminate the need for weeding and tilling, thereby reducing erosion.
The president of Collegium Ramazzini is former NIH researcher Dr. Phil Landrigan, now a professor at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. According to reports, Director Birnbaum coordinated with Dr. Landrigan to publish more than two dozen Ramazzini studies in the NIEHS-run journal, Environmental Health Perspectives. Landrigan also received substantial funding from Birnbaum’s NIEHS, E&E Legal reported.
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee continues to probe the Ramazzini morass. Backed by Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is following up on a joint letter to HHS Secretary Tom Price, requesting documents and correspondence between Ramazzini and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The letter noted that Birnbaum’s NIEHS "has refused to respond to [FOIA] requests seeking information related to contracts between your Department, including NIH and NEIHS, and Ramazzini.” A source familiar with the issue says a dialogue was established and is progressing.
The controversies are likely to heat up in the face of news stories saying that Aaron Blair, the scientist who led IARC’s review of glyphosate risks, deliberately withheld findings from studies of some 89,000 U.S. farm workers and family members, concluding that there was no link between cancer and exposure to the chemical. Under Blair’s direction, while he and his team for years apparently ignored evidence that contradicted that conclusion, IARC found that the weed killer was "probably carcinogenic.”
Collegium Ramazzini strongly rebuts any assault on its integrity and infallibility. Its website says its mission "is to be a bridge between the world of scientific discovery and the social and political centers which must act on the discoveries of science to protect public health.” Is this self-congratulation, a power ploy – or a subtle warning to anyone who might question its funding arrangements?
In his 1961 farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned against the military-industrial complex and included this important final caveat: "In holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
Can the Trump Administration or Congress untangle today’s web of the scientific-technological elite and, more importantly, prevent our health and agricultural policies from being driven by dubious science, unfounded fears, deliberately withheld studies, and serious potential conflicts of interest?
It would take more than plowing through mountains of paper. We would learn a lot more from public testimony taken under oath.
Ron Arnold is a widely known researcher, columnist and the author of eleven books on environmental and public policy issues.
June 28, 2017
Sent to me by my brother-in-law. This is one of the most frightening things I have ever read! But it explains a lot of what's going on these days.
Why You Can Expect Increased Violence When The Left Is Out Of Power
June 27, 2017
The Supreme Court, overturning millenia of culture and tradition as well as American jurisprudence through our entire history, rewrote the Constitution when they made homosexual "marriage" the law of the land. That decision was written by Justice anthony Kennedy and was split down the middle. But now SCOTUS has ruled in favor of extending this usurpation.
According to Breitbart:
"A six-justice majority has extended homosexual rights to same-sex couples by ordering the state of Arkansas to allow a non-related or same-sex spouse be named as the second parent on a child’s birth certificate, with Chief Justice John Roberts
joining Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito dissented in a decision that reverses what until now was a space on one’s birth certificate reserved for the opposite-sex spouse. Both the majority and minority opinions held opposing views on whether the Arkansas law reserves the parental space on the birth certificate for biological parents.
"When a married woman gives birth in Arkansas, state law generally requires the name of the mother’s male spouse to appear on the child’s birth certificate—regardless of his biological relationship to the child. According to the court below, however, Arkansas need not extend that rule to similarly situated same-sex couples: The State need not, in other words, issue birth certificates including the female spouses of women who give birth in the State. Because that differential treatment infringes Obergefell’s commitment to provide same-sex couples ‘the constellation of benefits that the States have linked to marriage’ … we reverse the state court’s judgment.
"The State uses those certificates to give married parents a form of legal recognition that is not available to unmarried parents. Having made that choice, Arkansas may not, consistent with Obergefell, deny married same-sex couples that recognition.”
Get that? John Roberts, the man who gave us Obamacare in violation of the Constitution, has now acted to cement gay marriage into the fabric of America.
We desperately need regime change at SCOTUS.
Did you know that Hillary is under Senate investigation?
I didn't! Here it is:
In early June, Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, launched a new probe of former Secretary of State Clinton’s attempts to deflect a Bangladesh government corruption investigation of Muhammad Yunus, a Clinton Foundation donor and friend of Hillary and Bill Clinton.
"While secretary of state, Hillary Clinton made a personal call to pressure Bangladesh’s prime minister to aid a donor to her husband’s charitable foundation despite federal ethics laws that require government officials to recuse themselves from matters that could impact their spouse’s business," Circa reported.
"If the Secretary of State used her position to intervene in an independent investigation by a sovereign government simply because of a personal and financial relationship stemming from the Clinton Foundation rather than the legitimate foreign policy interests of the United States, then that would be unacceptable,” Grassley said in a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
"Co-mingling her official position as Secretary of State with her family foundation would be similarly inappropriate. It is vital to determine whether the State Department had any role in the threat of an IRS audit against the son of the Prime Minister in retaliation for this investigation,” Grassley wrote.
This is part of a larger story, which points out that Bernie Sanders and his wife, plus former AG Loretta Lynch, are also under investigation for various reasons. Hey, gang, we can hope, can't we?
Proving that not all feminist / liberal / gays are beyond the pale. This woman "gets it," in every sense of the word.
From the article:
Iconic and iconoclastic feminist Camille Paglia regularly infuriates her liberal colleagues by exposing the self-contradictions and double standards of the progressive left. On Sean Hannity's radio show on Tuesday, Paglia did it again, this time passionately asserting what conservatives have been saying for a while now: Democrats have made a mockery of journalism.
Hannity led into the discussion by citing Paglia's recent discussion of the Democrats' self-defeating "nationwide and spite." Paglia, who voted for Bernie Sanders, launched into a unflinchingly brutal critique of her own party, particularly as it has influenced journalism. The ceaseless hysterics from the Democrats she said, is "obscene" and "outrageous," and their "fantasy and hallucination" have not only hurt their own party, but journalism in America.]
"It shows that the Democrats are nothing now but words and fantasy and hallucination and Hollywood," she said. "There’s no journalism left. What’s happened to The New York Times? What’s happened to the major networks? It’s an outrage."
She continued: "I’m a professor of media studies, in addition to a professor of humanities, OK? And I think it’s absolutely grotesque the way my party has destroyed journalism. Right now, it is going to take decades to recover from this atrocity that’s going on where the news media have turned themselves over to the most childish fraternity, kind of buffoonish behavior."
I recommend the entire article to you -- it's here: http://www.dailywire.com/news/17765/famous-feminist-democratic-party-has-destroyed-james-barrett
"The gay pride parade in Israel is the largest in the region, over 200,000 strong. There are no gay pride marches in Muslim countries. Turkish authorities banned LGBT Pride in Istanbul. On the contrary, gays are thrown from roofs and/or executed in the most gruesome fashion under Islamic law. And yet gay leadership in America stands with Islamic supremacists and their Jew-hatred.
In the wake of the Pulse gay nightclub jihad massacre and the slaughter of gays in Muslim countries, gays embrace Islamic Jew-hatred.
You can’t make this insanity up."
Liberals are so condescending to people that work with their hands is partly the blame for this.
Cliff (John Ratzenberger) from Cheers has been on a crusade to get "shop” class back into schools for many years.
This isn't a Kurt Schlichter article but it sounds more than a little like his work. Basically it's saying "Why aren't you sending some juicy stuff up for the President to sign?"
This country is at a political crossroads that only comes around once or twice in a century. Congressional Republicans are totally blowing it.
Right now the GOP comfortably controls both chambers of Congress. In the Senate, they are even poised to pick up seats in next year’s elections — a nearly impossible feat for the party in power during midterm races.
Down Pennsylvania Ave., there is a Republican president in the White House who is starving for major legislative accomplishments. The guy would literally sign anything he could be convinced is good for the country.
The only opposition Republicans face in dramatically overhauling the bloated federal bureaucracy would come from the squeamish and fickle Supreme Court. But history has shown that Republicans always win in political showdowns with the federal courts.
Perhaps best of all for Republicans right now is that the deranged media is completely obsessed with all sorts of ridiculous things that nobody — and I mean NOBODY — cares about. Republicans could start ramming through big, serious legislation gutting the federal bureaucracy, and the media would not even know it. Unless they could somehow pin it on Russia.
So, Mr. Speaker, where is your bill to abolish the federal Department of Education? That should be done on Monday.
By Tuesday, start the process of abolishing the federal Department of Labor. Defund the entire Internal Revenue Service while you are at it.
He was the first tv newsman to do street reporting. He invented the process by taking a cameraman and one of the bulky 50s era tv cameras out the back door of NBC, with the attached long cable, and asked people on the streets of New York their opinons about news topics. Considering the number of tourists and new immigrants in New York City, those people could have literally been from anywhere in the world. And he interviewed people who were "guys and gals from the neighborhood." He was an icon. NBC brought him back after he retired, he was that good. And he put the young reporters...excuse me, newsreaders...to shame. Megyn Kelly should have asked his advice because she would have learned something she desperately needed to know. Now it is too late to ask Gabe anything. Perhaps young reporters can watch videos of his classic reports. As the artcle below states, he interviewed Elvis, Fidel Castro, Marylin Monroe and went to the Woodstock festival.
Here is a brief quote from the NY Daily News article on Gabe:
For 60 years, New Yorkers welcomed revered reporter Gabe Pressman into their living rooms on the evening news for good reasons: Accuracy, honesty, veracity.
The pioneering broadcaster, who served as both the inspiration and envy of generations of reporters, died in his sleep early Friday at a Manhattan hospital. He was 93.
The perpetually rumpled Pressman, microphone in hand, became an iconic New York figure during his decades at WNBC-TV, inevitably covering the city’s biggest stories and newsmakers.
The 11-time Emmy-winning dean of New York journalism was among the first, if not the first, local television reporter working in New York City.
Gabe Pressman on the beat: A great TV journalist is dead
"Gabe Pressman always gave you the story straight, and always asked the tough questions that New Yorkers wanted answered,” said Gov. Cuomo.
June 27, 2017
The Trinity Lutheran revolution
By Frank Friday
The SCOTUS decision on the President's Travel Ban is getting the most attention this week, but more consequential will be the decisive 7-2 opinion in the Trinity Lutheran case, overturning the so-called "Blaine amendment” in the Missouri state constitution. Blaine provisions of the 1870s and 1880s were aimed at denying religious schools any form of government assistance, but specifically allowed help for private secular schools. (The help in question in this case was the relatively trivial matter of free playground rubber pellets, but the principle now applies across the board to many forms of assistance.)
Such blatantly discriminatory laws were targeted at the burgeoning parochial schools in the United States begun after the Civil War, owing to the efforts of the large number of Catholic immigrants at the time, often German, as well as German Lutherans in the Midwest, who were keen to have their children educated in the native tongue.
The Blaine movement was the cynical creation of Republican politician James G. Blaine to rally nativist and secularist support for his presidential hopes. Blaine himself seems to have eventually had second thoughts about this and President McKinley eventually returned the GOP to the much friendlier posture of the Lincoln era regarding immigrants and Catholics. But the bad laws were left in the books and we have had an 80-year battle in the Supreme Court since Everson to have religious schools treated fairly under the federal and state constitutions. Well over half the states still have some sort of Blaine provision. NOTE FR
A NOTE FROM TIM:
This decision was based on a rather strange case. Trinity sued because they were denied cut up tires, yes, tires, from the State of Missouri. Someone came up with a way to cut up old car tires and turn them into a spongy material to be used instead of gravel on children's playgrounds, and the state was giving it away free to primary-grade schools - but not religious schools. Why not? Old tires are a blight on the landscape, a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other disease-bearing creatures, and they can either be burned - polluting the atmosphere - or cut up in this fashion. Missouri has been doing the latter, giving the material away free to schools and likely anyone else who will take it. But Blaine wouldn't allow the state to give it to religious schools. The Lutherans sued.
Winning a bunch of cut up tires seems like something of a booby prize, like getting the goat and cage on Let's Make a Deal, but it sets a fundamental principle; government may not discriminate against an entity based on religion. In an era when we are told we cannot discriminate against foreign Muslims it is the height of hypocrisy to discriminate against Christian schoolchildren. The Court has ruled that we can't.
But Liberals hate Christianity and we can expect a series of nasty fights over this as the Left attempts to stop the many dominoes from falling.
What is MY take on this? I don't think governments should be funding any such programs by and large (and if they do it should be local and not state) but if they are going to do it (and getting rid of old tires can be argued as a government matter as they are nearly indestructible things and hurt the environment) then there should be no discrimination. IF any private school gets it all should share.
At any rate, this marks a potentially fundamental shift in policy, one where the government will not be at the service of secular humanism and the assault on religion. No doubt the "Freedom from Religion" groups suffered collective aneurisms.
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