Florida: 3-Way Sex Cop busted

jim bulcher vice may north port

Mayor Jim Blucher, North Port City Commission Seat # 4

The message of North Port Chief of Police Kevin Vespia states, “Our citizens expect and deserve that their police officers will act with honor and integrity at all times.” Well it seems they are not, not by any stretch of the imagination. The City of North Port, Florida and the North Port Police Department (NPPD) have a major and growing scandal on their collective hands.

WWSB ABC Channel 7 reports, “Since we first reported the ongoing scandal involving sexual assault at a party attended by on- and off-duty North Port police officers, multiple people have come forward with stories about previous wild parties involving members of the department. One of these people is a former law enforcement officer here on the Suncoast, and while he wasn’t at the party the night of the alleged assault, he says he has been to several other similar parties hosted and attended by North Port cops where things got out of hand.”

Bill Warner, a Sarasota private investigator, posted a column on his blog titled “Told You So Sarasota: NPPD Swinger Parties With Drugs Headed Up By 3 Way Sex Cop Melanie Turner.” North Port resident Sherry Smart, after reading Warner’s article, sent an email to the City Commissioners. Smart states, “3 Way Sex Cop…. what a great tag line for North Port. Perhaps we would get more visitors to our ‘esteemed’ city with that for our city motto instead of ‘the city where you can achieve anything’… but then again perhaps those are interchangeable like our police officers at sex parties?”

Smart notes, “The article does not elude [sic] to a ONE time event. Good officers (those who don’t do 3 ways with their peers) would be fearful to expose this behavior. They would be fearful of repercussions from those who do not wish to be exposed… or rather, found out. (Exposure doesn’t seem to bother them). Because we now have an officer who has committed suicide rather than go to court and eventually jail, this leads one to question…. what else was there that he didn’t want to come to light and with this dire action, he thought would die with him? So what’s the percentage of exposure — 10%? with another 90% hidden within the department?”

police chief kevin vespia north port

North Port Chief of Police Kevin Vespia

rhonda difranco vice mayor city of north port

North Port Vice-Mayor Rhonda Y. DiFranco

It has been reported by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that North Port Vice-Mayor Rhonda Y. DiFranco’s female domestic partner is Jennifer S. Cohen. DiFranco, Cohen and former Sarasota City Commissioner Ken Sheilan (who is a homosexual) were the force and faces behind the effort to approve a domestic partner registry in North Port. Vice Mayor DiFranco is the City Commission’s liaison to the North Port Police Department. DiFranco is also a retired Sarasota County Deputy Sheriff.

Smart concludes with, “Houston we have a problem. (Stating the obvious here) So now what are you going to do about it? I do have some thoughts on how to go about routing [sic] out the rotten roots. Am waiting expectantly to hear your thoughts.”

If Smart receives a reply we will post an update to this column. The following questions have been sent to all of the City Commissioners:

1. Who hired Officer Melanie Turner and when?
2. Did the department do a background check on Officer Turner?
3. Did the department know Officer Turner was a lesbian?
4. If so, was this not a red flag to the department?

j-cohen-193x300

Jennifer S. Cohen.

The contact information for the City of North Port Commission is:

Cheryl Cook, Commissioner, Seat # 1, ccook@cityofnorthport.com
Tom Jones, Commissioner, Seat # 2, tjones@cityofnorthport.com
Rhonda Y. DiFranco, Vice-Mayor Seat # 3, rdifranco@cityofnorthport.com
Jim Blucher, Mayor, Seat # 4, jblucher@cityofnorthport.com
Linda Yates, Commissioner, Seat # 5, lyates@cityofnorthport.com

RELATED STORIES:

Debunking 5 Common Arguments for Homosexuality
White Paper: Child Molestation and the Homosexual Movement
North Port moves ahead on domestic partner registry
Florida cops keep spy technology docs secret

ASCETICISM: It’s all about Fasting and Discipline!

Hope all is well on this “25th Day of Lent”, as for those who are “fasting for forty”, have 15 days left. For those of you who are “fasting forever” (until Pentecost Sunday, June 8th) – we’ve got “69” days left. It is a long time to fast but, after reading an email and watching this short video from one of my mentors, the inspirational Father Robert Barron, it gives me that much more motivation and incentive to continue with my “96” day fast.

What can the saints teach us about Lent? Father Robert Barron elaborates on this topic in a powerful two minute video:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/5O72XmOVeUk[/youtube]

 

Friends:

That’s NO steak, chicken, ribs, pizza, pasta, pork, fish…no soda, alcohol, chocolates, ice cream or any type of dessert…just bread, water and mixed nuts for almost 100 days. I don’t bring this up to impress you, but to impress upon you that when one puts his mind to doing something (specially when it comes to “spiritual discipline”) – he or she can accomplish anything if one keeps his or her focus on what the Lenten season is all about…fasting, praying and almsgiving…

“Asceticism”:

A lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various worldly pleasures, often with the aim of pursuing spiritual goals. It is all about discipline and focusing on something and someone of higher power. This term is one that we rarely hear and I truly thank Father Barron for bringing it to light. It is a term that needs to be promoted more in the Catholic Church and a lifestyle that needs to be promoted among those who are serious about their Faith, about transformation. The word “disciple” comes from the term discipline. If we want to be true disciples of Christ, we must have true discipline for Him.

In order to become more in tune with our Faith, one needs to put away all the pleasures and distractions that the world bombards us with and when one fasts for 40 days or 96 days, he or she automatically has to set his or her mind for this period of “abstinence”. It puts one’s spiritual life into perspective and every time I personally feel any sense of hunger (which I do pretty much all day), I resort to prayer – an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be…This basically keeps me in prayer for the entire 96 days and it is a discipline that I humbly honor and take as serious as our relentless fight against abortion.

Please watch and share this video from the “one who brought us the Catholicism series” a couple of years ago. The mere fact that Father Barron focuses on the life of one of my favorite saints – Saint Ignatius of Loyola – the namesake for our beloved Cathedral and my home away from home – gives this entire “Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday Fast” that much more significance. For it was this incredible “Soldier of Christ” who taught me so much about discipline and transformation. His going out to the desert (the caves of Manresa in Catalonia, Spain), in order to seek the true meaning of his life and to see what GOD was calling him to do, is what attracted me to this bold saint in the first place.

And, because of his great love for Jesus and the discipline it took for Saint Ignatius to be transformed into this holy man, he was admired by all those who saw that tremendous conversion, with many following his every step, and thus, the order of the Jesuits was born. Like Jesus who spent “40 days and 40 nights” in the desert, Saint Ignatius became the man that he became because of that “spiritual discipline”, living for good lengths of time in extreme deprivation, relentless fasting and utter simplicity. He felt that that was GOD’S calling and he followed it to the “T”.

Today, the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) flourish in all parts of the world, with even our own beloved Pope Francis, himself, being a devout Jesuit. Be careful what you pray for…Saint Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Saint Ignatius of Loyola by Miguel Cabrera (1695–1768).

Kosher Meals For Inmates Will Cost Florida Taxpayers $14.9 Million A year

Judge Patricia Seitz of the United States District in Miami, FL on December 5, 2013 ordered the Florida Department of Corrections to provide Kosher meals to inmates beginning July 1, 2014. That is unless the Florida Attorney General puts a stop to this raping of Florida taxpayers money.

Cost To The Taxpayers

The estimated additional cost to provide Florida housed convicts with Kosher meals would be approximately $14,952,283 per year.

This $14.9 Million dollar number is based on 6,283 convicts who identify with religious groups that have previously maintained that Kosher diets are necessary.

Seventh Day Adventists = 402 Convicts
Jewish = 2,136 Convicts
Muslim = 3,745 Convicts

Kathleen Fuhrman, Public Health Nutrition Manager for the Department of Corrections estimates the annual cost to provide an inmate Kosher meals would be $2,379 compared to $584 per year for regular meals. According to Judge Seitz’s ruling if this program goes statewide it could result in a cost upwards of $54.1 Million.

Florida’s prison system, the third-largest in the country, is projected to run a $45 million deficit this year alone and yet, in this case, we taxpayers are forced to foot the bill for this unnecessarily expense food accommodation.

Battle_over_religious_food_at_PBC_jail_780620000_20130725182519_320_240The Hypocrisy of Prison Meal Accommodations

The Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) already provides an alternative entree program which includes dairy and eggs but no meat or a vegan program where all animal products are avoided. These alternative entree’s are provided at little or no added expense to the taxpayer.

In and of themselves, these ‘alternative entree’s’ are Kosher, Halal, Seventh Day Adventist, Hindu, and frankly acceptable in practice for any particular religious based special dietary requirements.

The most glaring hypocrisy comes from these inmates who had already violated their deeply held religious beliefs committing crimes that landed them in prison to begin with. Therefore, it is safe to conclude, in most cases, these inmates believed their criminal activity was more important to them than following their faiths religious doctrines.

These inmates, by their own actions, are solely responsible for being wards of the state. The rights to any special diet is a luxury forfeited when they committed their crimes against society.

The FDOC has already gone above and beyond by offering vegan and dairy & egg only alternative entree’s. The FDOC has voluntarily removed all pork products from their menus as an accommodation to Muslim inmates.

Bruce Rich, one of the Plaintiff’s in this Kosher meal suit, stated in court documents that, “his soul would be negatively affected if he ingested anything non-kosher.” Was Mr. Rich’s soul negatively affected when he murdered his parents, Irving and Blanche Rich?

Prosecutors proved Rich killed his parents for their life insurance policy and will, and he tried to make their deaths look like a murder-suicide. Rich, also claimed that because of his parents’ Jewish faith, they could not be subjected to autopsy. Inmate Bruce Rich is no ‘Greener’ he is using Judaism to scam the system and Judge Seitz is his patsy.

Now Bruce Rich is trying to make the case that a Vegan diet is not Kosher because of the way alternative entree’s are prepared. Judge Patricia Seitz is allowing this travesty of religious blackmail to continue. Shame on the Aleph Institute for aiding and abetting this farce that is going to cost Florida taxpayers a minimum of $15 million per year and more likely $54 million by the time this is all over with.

CAIR-FL Says Halal Diets Are Next

In a Fox 35 News story, The Council On American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Director Hassan Shibly says making Halal food available to Muslim convicts will be a priority for his organization in 2014.

This is just another example of CAIR’s Hassan Shibly trying to game the FDOC when the vegan alternative entree fulfills Halal dietary requirements short of an Imam blessing the food. The fact that a federal court has declared CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist funding trial in U.S. history should limit their credibility with the court until their terrorist status is removed by a Federal judge.

First and Eighth Amendment Arguments

A Vegan diet does not hamper a convicts First Amendment right to practice Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Atheism, Paganism, or even Satanism. The argument could be made that forbidding a practitioner of Santeria to ritually slaughter live chickens is a violation of their freedom to practice one’s religion while incarcerated. The Santeria argument is just one example of the slippery slope these special food accommodations creates in a jailhouse institutional environment.

The Eighth Amendment protects a prisoners rights from cruel and unusual punishment. A Vegan or Vegetarian alternative entree is currently offered to inmates incarcerated in the Florida Jail System could in no way be considered cruel and unusual punishment as defined by law.

Conclusion

The Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi should make fighting this case a priority. If Pam Bondi caves into the unreasonable demands of the Kosher Food and Halal interests, then the real trouble begins.

CAIR-FL Director Hasan Shibly has made it very clear, he will make Halal food for convicted felons a priority issue in 2014. In light of the Vegan alternative entree currently available, one could speculate Hasan Shibly’s motivations are political/ religious blackmail of the FDOC rather than a Muslim inmates civil rights.

The big losers are the taxpayers who could be looking at prison food costs rising $50+ Million annually if these religious food requirements are instituted statewide.

It is time for Attorney General Pam Bondi and Governor Scott to fight these religious shakedown artist convicts and their supporters once and for all. The Florida voters will remember this outcome on election day 2014.

RELATED VIDEO: CAIR Supports Halal, Kosher Meals for Fla. Prison Inmates

[youtube]http://youtu.be/ZyDW2BE-vXs[/youtube]

Guitars, Eccentric Billionaires, and Space Travel by Andrew Heaton

Recently astronaut Chris Hadfield became a global music sensation without so much as a nipple slip. He jumped to stardom by a combination of guitar mastery and zero-g singing via a music video he made. In space.

It’s certainly an odd way of carving a niche in the country-music industry. The standard career track is to develop guitar skills and a drinking problem simultaneously, then write songs about both until you wind up in Nashville. Very few astronauts ever wind up with Grammys—Neil Armstrong never even got nominated. Going through rigorous astronaut training in order to be blasted through the stratosphere in a billion-dollar tin can seems like roundabout career planning, but perhaps that’s the standard course for Ontario musicians. I don’t know.

While the spacefaring Canuck might have performed his orbital David Bowie tribute as a hobby and not for personal advancement in entertainment, his achievement nonetheless synthesizes a phenomenon that might define humanity’s future: combining space travel with the entertainment industry. In fact the next big fusion of the two is already under way.

Most of the space program thus far has been funded with tax dollars. American space exploration began when the Eisenhower administration found itself with a surplus of Nazi rocket scientists. After defeating Hitler, the United States and the Soviet Union snatched up every Raketenforscher they could get their hands on, only to realize they had dozens of German guys in lab coats sitting on their hands all day doing nothing. Eisenhower couldn’t stand layabouts, so he dared the co-opted Germans to see if they could launch random, blinking, metal objects—like a refrigerator, or a Winnebago—into space.

Four years later NASA leaped ahead in the space race when President Kennedy suspected that there might be women on the moon. We spent eight years and $25 billion figuring out how to get to the moon and potentially introduce its inhabitants to JFK. By the time we actually landed there, Nixon had become president, so the space program’s main priority shifted to finding novel locations in which to play golf. Then, in the 1980s the Russians ran out of dogs to launch into space, thus formally concluding the Cold War.

Now, in the 21st century, space travel has reached a new and glorious apex: It has been privatized.

You might ask, “What does privatizing space exploration mean to me?” Well, it means that now everyonegets a crack at bagging moon babes. And because eccentric moguls are pairing their insane intergalactic ambitions with the profit motive, we will probably build a moon base before you can say “President Gingrich.”

Elon Musk, the billionaire tech mogul who founded PayPal, intends to retire on Mars. And he means it. Richard Branson of Virgin Records has graduated from building trains to building rocket planes by forming Virgin Galactic. Director James Cameron and Google’s Larry Page are combining forces and investment capital in an asteroid mining company, which will drag asteroids full of platinum and gold back to Earth.

While the startup costs are immense, the profit margin is likewise staggering. There are gold nuggets the size of Houston drifting around the asteroid belt, just waiting to cloak the teeth of Lil Wayne. Enough so that, somewhat ironically, if Cameron and Page pull it off, we could see gold become less valuable than copper within our lifetimes. Rappers would have to resort to other forms of swag, like wearing antique brooches.

An even more fascinating development is Mars One, which seeks to build a permanent settlement on Mars. The brilliance of Mars One is that they are combining the highest of human aspirations (real estate investment) with the lowest of human depravity (reality television). Mars One will acquire part of the funding needed to send four people to Mars in 2022 by offering the film and licensing rights to private investors.

Adam Smith (who did not live on Mars or the moon) stated that government has four functions, the last of which is to fund activities that could not be handled by the private sector, or for which the private sector could not aggregately muster sufficient capital. Space exploration used to fit this bill: In 1957 no single company could have drummed up the necessary funding to launch probes into space. Only a government hell-bent on beating the Russians at everything from chess to rockets could possibly have done so.

Now space exploration has matured and is swiftly becoming the purview of wealthy entertainment moguls. This is the best possible thing that could happen to mankind. Within our lifetimes we will have orbital rocket planes that render flights to Australia brief and palatable. Someday I could send my children to space camp on the moon if I want peace and quiet in my house over the summer.

And all of us, if sufficiently photogenic and entertaining, have a crack at living on Mars. I’m hoping Chris Hadfield will apply, because I think an album about traveling to Mars would be worth purchasing. I would definitely tune in to watch a show featuring him and Megan Fox on a rocket.

ABOUT ANDREW HEATON

Andrew Heaton is a former congressional staffer, now working as a writer and standup comedian in New York City. He is the author of From the Monkey Cage: Fixing Politics With Wit & Cartoons. More of his wit and insight can be found at his website, MightyHeaton.com.

I’ll Fly Away by Sarah Skwire

About two years ago blogger Will Wilkinson confessed that when he runs out to the market to pick up bok choi, he tends to listen to country music in the car. He seems mildly perturbed by his own choice of radio stations, because he considers country music to be, “A bulwark against cultural change, a reminder that ‘what you see is what you get,’ a means of keeping the charge of enchantment in ‘the little things’ that make up the texture of the every day, and a way of literally broadcasting the emotional and cultural centrality of the conventional big-ticket experiences that make a life a life.” Country music, he argues, “is culture war, but it’s more bomb shelter than bomb.”

It turns out that I have been mildly irritated by that blog post for two years. So I thought I’d tell you why I listen to country music in the car, and why I am not perturbed at all by that choice.

The country music that attracts me is the music that contains exactly the same push for cultural change and the same aspirational goals that Wilkinson doesn’t hear in the genre. Explicitly religious country songs often request that the listener give up the desire to “get adjusted to this world” and focus on the moment when “Hallelujah, bye and bye, I’ll fly away” to heaven. The more secular side of country music can take that same call to “plant my feet on higher ground” and turn it into a call to shake the small town dust off your shoes and head for the possibility of the big city. That’s why I listen to it.

I listen because in songs like “Suds in the Bucket” by Sara Evans and “Bye Bye, Baby” by JoDee Messina, romance (either a new one, or a broken one) is a spur for moving on. Evans contrasts the static, “biddies in the beauty shop gossip goin’ non-stop/Sippin’ on pink lemonade” with the young woman who heads out of town with a handsome man and a convertible, leaving “the suds in the bucket/and the clothes hangin’ out on the line” as she heads for a more enticing future. Messina, inspired by a broken heart, simply puts a “lead foot down on my accelerator and the rearview mirror torn off/I ain’t never lookin’ back.” These women don’t seem as afraid to “buck conventional norms” as Wilkinson suggests, or all that committed to the tired Tammy Wynette stereotype of “standing by your man.”

I listen to country music for songs like Toby Keith’s “How Do You Like Me Now” where the former small town loser turned big country star comes back from the big city to get revenge.

When I took off to Tennessee
I heard that you made fun of me
Never imagined I’d make it this far
… How do you like me now,
Now that I’m on my way?
Do you still think I’m crazy
Standin’ here today?

And in the same vein, I listen for Taylor Swift’s song “Mean,” which is unapologetic about its ambitions to get out of town and do better.

Someday I’ll be living in a big ol’ city
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean.
Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean.

The video for the song shows us young people saving for education, working at their passions for music and design, and succeeding. I’ll sing those lyrics, loudly, any time that my kids and I are in the car.

I sing just as loudly for songs like “Big Star” by Kenny Chesney and “Love, Your Baby Girl” by Sugarland, both of which tell the stories of small town musicians making it in the big city. And their success doesn’t come by magic or by good luck. It comes because “if you work hard to get where you are it feels good in the hot spotlight.” The waitress who features in Jason Aldean’s “Wide Open” has less of a meteoric rise, but is still focused on aspiration and change, balanced by the desire to hang on to her core values while she moves forward.

The corner cafe,
She scrapes some quarters off the table,
Says “Thanks yeah now maybe I’ll be able,
To get that black Mercedes,
I’ve been saving for.”
The other girls say,
“You oughta undo a couple buttons,
Start showing off a little something.”
She says, “Naw you go ahead,
Think I’d rather stay poor,
See I’m just making rent.”
She said. “This ain’t where my road ends.”

The people in the stories told by country songs are often—not always—moving, and changing, and working to make their lives better. They are even, in Brad Paisley’s “American Saturday Night,” possessed of an Adam Smith-like understanding of the wonders of international trade that make it possible for them to have:

…Brazilian leather boots on the pedal of her German car
Listen to the Beatles singing back in the USSR
…Canadian bacon on their pizza pie
They’ve got a cooler full of cold Coronas and Amstel light
It’s like were all livin’ in a big ol’ cup
Just fire up the blender, mix it all up

Admittedly, the songs mentioned so far are the kind of bubbly “upbeat and conventional” music that Wilkinson criticizes. They aren’t breaking a whole lot of musical or lyrical new ground. But it’s not particularly fair to country music to pretend that these tropes of aspiration and success, of heading for bright lights and new futures, don’t exist.

And when you go even slightly farther afield in the genre, you find similar tropes expressed in more complicated ways. The assembly line worker in Johnny Cash’s “One Piece at a Time” so desires one of the Cadillacs he builds, but can’t afford to buy, that he steals one, a piece at a time, from the factory. It may be illegal and rebellious (after all, it’s Johnny Cash), but it’s certainly a lot of hard work put into getting something better. And Brandy Clark’s album 12 Stories is filled with narratives of people who longing to get out of their small towns and struggling to find a way to do it. Some of them get high or take pills to dull down their sense of being trapped. Others “pray to Jesus and play the Lotto/Because there ain’t but two ways/We can change tomorrow.”

None of this sounds to me like music written by a culture that fears change. It sounds, instead, like music written by a culture that is dying for it, celebrating when it finds it, and grieving when it cannot.

20121127_sarahskwire (1)ABOUT SARAH SKWIRE

Sarah Skwire is a fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc. She is a poet and author of the writing textbook Writing with a Thesis.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

Oil and Water: President Obama Meets with Pope Francis

Hope all is well on this very chilly 55 degree Wednesday evening up here in Tallahassee, as 40 of us are participating in the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops “Catholic Days at the Capitol“. Our meetings began at 8:45 this morning with another important one at 1:15 pm this afternoon. And, there is a critical meeting at Governor Rick Scott’s office at 11:00 a.m. today March 27th.

But, another really big meeting is happening March 27th, at the Vatican. The meeting is the first between Pope Frances and President Obama, it is like oil meeting with water? Oxymoron is a word that comes to my mind. This meeting is almost like Al Capone meeting with Herbert Hoover…Bernie Madoff meeting with Mother Teresa…Pete Rose with MLB Commissioner, Bowie Kuhn.

You get the picture. We just pray that Obama gets the “real picture”, the “bigger picture”.

For starters, the pope does not speak English. President Obama does not speak Italian or Latin. No teleprompter. Not much communication between the two? I feel for the interpreter. I feel even more for Obama by the time the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio gets through with him. We pray that the President uses his two big ears.

Where does Lesson I begin? Where does the Holiest of all Catholics in the world begin with the most “Pro-Abortion” President the United States has ever seen in its 238 year history? Where does the 266th pope of the Holy Catholic Church, who has showed the entire world what it means to meet the people in the streets; to humbly work with the poor; and to embrace the entire world by inviting them to the banquet table by way of his “Global Open House” – begin with a former “community organizer” who spends more money on rounds of golf in one year than the pope will spend in his entire papacy?

Where in GOD’s name does Pope Francis begin with Barack Obama? Better question: Where does he end?

As a devout Catholic and as a supporter of Pope Francis, my prayer is that the pope covers four critical topics with President Obama in their first-ever meeting:

1.) Pro-Life vs. Abortion
2.) Same sex Marriage
3.) Obamacare contraception mandate
4.) Religious Freedom

If the pope is successful in planting a few seeds with this progressive President and he is able to convert a portion of Obama’s heart, then we may have a prayer. I pray that President Obama puts his politics aside and comes to the meeting with some type of humility. That he puts his ego away and honors our Holy Father with some type of reverence.

There is a lot at stake here and GOD only knows when these two will ever meet again. Obama met with the former Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus a few years back and their 15 minute meeting ran into 30 minutes but not much was accomplished. This time around, I believe that Pope Francis will have a profound effect on President Obama as I pray that he focuses on the sanctity of life with him and shows him that the Sixth Commandment clearly states “Thou Shalt Not Murder” and the Fourth Commandment, Honor thy Mother and thy Father.

Pope Francis to meet with President Obama on Thursday

U.S. President Barack Obama is set to travel to Vatican City to meet Pope Francis for the first time Thursday, hoping that perhaps some of the pontiff’s seemingly universal popularity will rub off on him before he leaves

The focus of the conversation when President Barack Obama meets Pope Francis on Thursday is expected to be the gap between the rich and the poor. Obama has called income inequality “the defining challenge of our time,” and Pope Francis has made the plight of the poor the centerpiece of his papacy. “One of the things that the Pope has done globally is put the issue of poverty back on the list,” says Stephen Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington.

For Obama, whose job-approval rating slipped to a lowly 41% earlier this month, the meeting is a rare chance to share a common platform — both physically and in terms of policy — with a Pontiff who enjoys the popularity of a media superstar. “It would be terrific for any politician on the planet to have his picture taken next to Pope Francis right now,” says Schneck, who served during the last election as national co-chair of Catholics for Obama. “Here in the United States, politicians like Paul Ryan are talking about poverty almost every day, and I think we have to credit the Pope with that.”

In the first year of his papacy, Francis has shifted the Catholic conversation toward Obama’s side of the court, lowering the heat on culture-war battles like gay marriage in favor of an emphasis on the least fortunate. But the two men may find that they also have plenty on which to disagree. The meeting comes two days after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a challenge to the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature accomplishment, on grounds that it violated religious freedom by requiring for-profit corporations to provide insurance coverage for contraception. It’s an issue repeatedly stressed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and which Francis is likely to raise.

The visit will be the second Obama has made to the Vatican, and his previous appearance, along with a meeting in January between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his counterpart Pietro Parolin, offer hints of what the President can expect. In 2009, Obama met with Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. The two talked for a little less than half an hour, nearly double the 15 minutes that had been allotted. In a conversation that seemed to be a search for common ground, the two discussed immigration, the global economic crisis and the peace process in the Middle East. Benedict raised the issue of abortion, and Obama pledged to do everything in his power to reduce their numbers.

Read more.

EDITORS UPDATE: The Heritage Foundation reported:

During a meeting today, Pope Francis talked to President Obama about religious freedom, an issue that has come under heightened scrutiny in recent years as religious business owners have objected to Obamacare’s contraceptive and abortion-inducing drugs coverage mandates.

According to the Vatican, Francis and Obama “discussed questions of particular relevance for the Church, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection, as well as the issue of immigration reform.”

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments from two family-owned businesses objecting to Obamacare coverage mandates on the grounds that such mandates violated their freedom to run their businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs.

The Pope and Obama had a “cordial meeting,” per the Vatican statement, and also discussed “their common commitment to the eradication of human trafficking throughout the world.”

Shocker: FBI dumps Southern Poverty Law Center as “hate crime” watchdog partner

This is indeed a shocker, as it goes against the consistent policy line of Obama’s FBI and Justice Department. But it is a most welcome development. The SPLC is one of the Left’s foremost propaganda organs, tarring any group that dissents from its extreme political agenda (such as our American Freedom Defense Initiative, and this website) as a “hate group.” Significantly, although it lists hundreds of groups as “hate groups,” it includes hardly any Islamic jihad groups on this list. And its “hate group” designation against the Family Research Council led one of its followers to storm the FRC offices with a gun, determined to murder the chief of the FRC. This shows that these kinds of charges shouldn’t be thrown around frivolously, as tools to demonize and marginalize those whose politics the SPLC dislikes. But that is exactly what they do. Its hard-Left leanings are well known and well documented. This Weekly Standard article sums up much of what is wrong with the SPLC.

“Shocker: FBI dumps Southern Poverty Law Center as ‘hate crime’ watchdog partner,” by Paul Bedard for the Washington Examiner, March 26:

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has labeled several Washington, D.C.-based family organizations as “hate groups” for favoring traditional marriage, has been dumped as a “resource” on the FBI‘s Hate Crime Web page, a significant rejection of the influential legal group.

The Web page scrubbing, which also included eliminating the Anti-Defamation League, was not announced and came in the last month after 15 family groups pressed Attorney General Eric Holderand FBI Director James Comey to stop endorsing a group — SPLC — that inspired a recent case of domestic terrorism at the Family Research Council.

“We commend the FBI for removing website links to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that not only dispenses erroneous data but has been linked to domestic terrorism in federal court. We hope this means the FBI leadership will avoid any kind of partnership with the SPLC,” Tony Perkins, FRC President, told Secrets.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center’s mission to push anti-Christian propaganda is inconsistent with the mission of both the military and the FBI, which is to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States,” he added.

The FBI had no comment and offered no explanation for its decision to end their website’s relationshipwith the two groups, leaving just four federal links as hate crime “resources.” Neither eliminated group had an immediate comment.

SPLC has been a leading voice against hate crimes, and has singled out evangelical and traditional family groups as advocates of hate against gays. It has even gone after a local official, Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, who also heads a group that promotes traditional, opposite sex marriage.

In August 2012, a Washington area man guided by the SPLC’s “hate map” that cited FRC, entered the group’s headquarters and shot a security guard. The guard survived and the shooter, a volunteer with a gay group, pleaded guilty to domestic terrorism.

In their letter, the 15 conservative groups argued that the FBI website’s inclusion of SPLC as a resource “played a significant part in bringing about an act of domestic terrorism.” It added, “It is completely inappropriate for the Department of Justice to recommend public reliance on the SPLC hate group lists and data. The links to the SPLC as a FBI ‘Resource’ must be taken down immediately, leaving only official, trustworthy sources listed on the agency’s webpage.”

RELATED STORIES:

Russia warned U.S. about Tsarnaev, but spelling error let him escape

“My name is Layla Murad. I left Islam in April 2013.”

Watch as 1000 years of European borders change (time lapse map)

An incredible time lapse look at how drastically European borders have changed over the last 1000 years. Video from the “Centennia Historical Atlas” by Frank E.Reed.

CENTENNIA is a map-based guide to the history of Europe and the Middle East from the beginning of the 11th century to the present. It is a dynamic, animated historical atlas including over 9,000 border changes. The map controls evolve the map forward or backward in time bringing the static map to life. Our maps display every major war and territorial conflict displaying the status of each region at intervals of a tenth of a year. The maps reflect actual “power on the ground” rather than internationally-sanctioned or “recognized” borders.

The Centennia Historical Atlas was required reading for all beginning students at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis for over twelve years. Over 1150 copies have been purchased annually for all prospective naval officers at Annapolis. The software serves as a visual introduction to Western History from a cartographic perspective. Centennia is also licensed by hundreds of secondary schools, colleges, and universities worldwide. Editions of the Centennia Atlas are available in Greek and German, as well as English.

A Faulty Education = A Faulty Foreign Policy

The recent impotence of America’s leaders on the world stage has left many wondering where the strength, power, and resolve that used to characterize our nation’s foreign policy have gone.  Some have located this in the administration’s preoccupation with domestic policy, while others view it as a concerted effort to roll back American influence.  Politics aside, the origin of this inaction may be as easy to locate as your local high school’s world history textbook.

Russia provides the perfect example.  Those who wonder why the administration refuses to recognize Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine for what it is – naked territorial conquest – can find the answer in the history education our country has provided to those who fill the staffs of President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and the halls of the State Department.

Verity Educate recently reviewed a world history textbook from a prominent publisher that is currently in use throughout school districts in Florida, with disturbingly misleading information about the history of Russian involvement in Crimea (a small peninsula on the Black Sea that Russia has recently annexed from Ukraine.)  There is a distortion of historical fact and misinformation conveyed in the most basic information American children learn in school, and this explains, in part, why our society and our political leaders fail to understand Russian intentions and the role of the Crimean region today.

The singular focus of this textbook, like many other world history books today, is on European imperialism – the military conquest of global territory by European and other Western nations.  Russian actions in the region are viewed in this light.  This particular textbook describes Russia’s historical intentions toward Crimea and the Black Sea region under the heading, “Europeans Claim Muslim Lands,” with the argument that “European nations expanded their empires by seizing territories from Muslim states.”  Overemphasis on the crimes of imperialism, however, obscures the important strategic concepts that ring true today.

The textbook explains, “Each generation of Russian czars launched a war on the Ottomans to try to gain land of the Black Sea” and that “In 1853, war broke out between the Russians and the Ottomans.”  The Crimean War is then described as a war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire over control of the Black Sea region.  The only attempt the book makes at explaining Russia’s longstanding motivation in seeking to control this territory is the offhanded remark that “the purpose was to give Russia a warm-weather port.”  Two empires fought a war because Russian sailors wanted a comfortable place to relax on shore leave?

This explanation is a paltry attempt to explain a key geostrategic reason for continued Russian expansionism in the southern Slavic regions of Europe.  Russia did not simply desire a “warm-weather port” where sailors could discard their heavy parkas.  Rather, Russia was in desperate need of a warm-water port that would not freeze over in the winter months.  This was critical economically at that that time, primarily to ship grain, and also militarily.  Despite its size, Russia had no other options for a warm-water port.  Moreover, control of Crimea, which Russia acquired in 1783, was not enough, because the Ottoman Empire could easily block Russian ships from leaving the Black Sea through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles.

The textbook glosses over a key Russian national interest – control of a warm-water port on the Black Sea with access to the Mediterranean – that has remained just as important throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.  The textbook fails to teach this vital lesson about history, world strategy, and international relations because it is focused only on teaching that “Europeans Claim Muslim Lands.”

When I taught the history of international relations to college students, I emphasized, repeatedly that Russia has always sought to secure for itself access to a warm-water port.  Iced over ports have always constituted a geographic weakness the country seeks to overcome.  This has always been at the heart of Russia’s southern expansionism on the Black Sea.  I also taught that Great Britain, France, and Sardinia joined the Ottomans in fighting Russia in the 1850s in order to maintain a balance of power and check Russian expansion.  But the fact that the two European countries most guilty of the crime of colonial imperialism fought on the side of a non-Western, non-Christian power contradicts the argument of Western crimes, and so it is omitted from many curricula.

These misunderstandings of history do more then just create confusion about international relations today.  They make it impossible to understand Russia’s strategic motivations.  It is no wonder, then, that American policy makers seem dumbfounded by Russia’s decisive movements into Ukraine.  If they, and, in particular, the staff members advising them, learned history from our textbooks, it should come as no surprise that they have no understanding of what is going on or how to react.

One thing we can be sure of is that Russia suffers from no such confusion.  They, and the students in their schools, understand their own country’s national interests – both historically and today.

RELATED STORY: AP History Changes Lean Toward a Negative American Perspective

EDITORS NOTE: The featured picture titled “Uncertain Future” was taken by Danielteolijr. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Wildlife is Thriving Because of Guns and Hunting

Since the late 1930s, hunters, target shooters and the firearms industry have been the nation’s largest contributors to conservation, paying for programs that benefit America’s wildlife and all who love the outdoors.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Interior just announced that firearms and ammunition manufacturers contributed a record $760.9 million in excise taxes in 2013 through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program.

National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has created the below infographic, “How Wildlife is Thriving Because of Guns and Hunting,” to illustrate how “we as an industry and as sportsmen are the greatest contributors to wildlife conservation in America, providing nearly $9 billion over the past 76 years.”

HowWildlifeisThrivingBecauseofGuns_533323d3aa357_w1500

What Common Core Looks Like In Desperation

It seems that the protests of the American citizen against the so-called Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has become proverbial grains of sand in the works of the mammoth corporate reform machine.

Die-hard supporters of CCSS are becoming desperate, and such is showing in their words and actions.

Consider Jeb Bush’s declaration, “In Asia today, they don’t care about children’s self esteem….”

This hard-nosed attitude is supposed to appeal to the American public and advance CCSS?

Jeb is definitely pushing CCSS whether America likes it or not– but he is becoming sloppy in his rhetoric.

He is not alone in his desperate, Save CCSS efforts.

Founder and director of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools Caroline Roemer-Shirley (sister to our state board of education president) wrote this op/ed for the Baton Rouge Advocate on March 24, 2014.

Not surprisingly, she is pro-CCSS.

Notice the authoritarian desperation in her closing statement:

It’s critically important that all of us — parents, educators, community leaders and businessmen — oppose efforts to derail the Common Core State Standards.

Good public education is the key to success for our children and we must help them get there by all means available. A quality education is one of childhood’s most basic civil rights. Our goal must be to get our children into the top tiers nationally. That means pushing aside anything or anyone standing in the way of their success. [Emphasis added.]

Roemer-Shirley equates CCSS with “a quality education.”

The same day at Roemer-Shirley’s op/ed, education historian Diane Ravitch posted a marvelous piece that unequivocally demonstrates CCSS as not even qualifying as standards given its secretive, controlled, stakeholder-absent creation and declared rigidity:

In the United States, the principles of standard-setting have been clearly spelled out by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  …

[CCSS] were written in a manner that violates the nationally and internationally recognized process for writing standards. The process by which they were created was so fundamentally flawed that these “standards” should have no legitimacy.

Setting national academic standards is not something done in stealth by a small group of people, funded by one source, and imposed by the lure of a federal grant in a time of austerity.

There is a recognized protocol for writing standards, and the Common Core standards failed to comply with that protocol. [Emphasis added and some text order reversed.]

Monday, March 24, 2014, also gave us blogger Peter Greene’s fine post on the purpose of CCSS to tag student data down to the very classroom assignment. 

Roemer-Shirley does not care for protocol that honors the democratic process, and she does not care about the invasive, science-fiction nature of CCSS data tagging. Instead, she is willing to “push aside anyone standing in the way of their (let’s be real, folks– she doesn’t mean students’) success.”

Hmm.

The creepy-desperate CCSS push does not stop there. On March 18, 2014, both national union presidents met with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO– one of the two CCSS copyright holders), with in attendance all desiring to save CCSS.

It seems that AFT members can expect their national president to cling to CCSS no matter what her constituency thinks:

Weingarten added that she expects that many of her members would call for outright opposition to the standards during the AFT’s summer convention, even though both the AFT and NEA support the standards and Weingarten said she wouldn’t back away from the common core[Emphasis added.]

If the AFT membership opposes CCSS “outright,” how is it, then, that “AFT supports the standards”?

Does a declared, “official” position outrank the desires of AFT’s own membership?

Apparently so.

NEA (not the membership, mind you) is right there with AFT in its protection of CCSS:

During the same discussion, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel… said the union remained squarely behind the standards themselves….

What is one to do in order to ensure CCSS support? Why, one must promote a positive CCSS message in the media:

… (South Dakota) Education Secretary Melody Schopp expressed concern that enough wasn’t being done to push more positive common-core stories to the public: “The media’s not hearing that.” [Emphasis added.]

All of this “pushing” so-called reform “to the public.”

Genuine standards are not “pushed.” Genuine standards are elicited.

Nevertheless, in our current, for-profit reform era,  it’s all about the spin. No organization knows that better than Stand for Children (SFC). (I debated SFC Louisiana twice on CCSS– see this link and this link.)

The question is, how far will SFC go in its CCSS-desperation spin?

Well beyond the ethical, it seems.

In their efforts to “push” a positive CCSS message, SFC Oklahoma decided “positive” need not necessarily be honest:

Some names on a petition, from a group hoping to keep Common Core, were faked. The group, Stand for Children Oklahoma, presented a petition to legislators in early March with 7,000 signatures, but many people whose names are on the list said they didn’t sign it.

Sherri Crawford is one of those. She’s adamantly against Common Core. …

When asked if she signed it, she responded, “No, absolutely not.”

Sherri found out her name was on the petition after a group of moms, who oppose common core, got a hold of it and started checking the names. They said they found not only several obviously fake names, like Barack Obama, but more than a thousand they have personally verified didn’t sign it. [Emphasis added.]

Yes, my fellow lovers of the democratic process, we have indeed become grains of sand in the greasy wheels of the pro-CCSS engine.

The very idea makes me smile.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is by Rennett Stowe. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The Plan for Police Nullification

“I [sic] give my left n** to bang down your door and come for your gun,” said the cop. This statement, made by Branford, Ct., police officer Joseph Peterson in a Facebook conversation earlier this month, created quite a blogosphere firestorm. Internet commenters from Sacramento to Saratoga struck a note of defiance and e-shouted the ancient words of Spartan King Leonidas, “Molon labe!” On the other side there’s Ct. governor Dannel Malloy (D), who said to a gun owner at a March 13 town-hall meeting that the anti-Second Amendment set won and “you lost.” But it occurs to me that in-your-face actions can go both ways.

Pondering this brings to mind yet another type of response to the (anti) Constitution State door-banger: from law-enforcement officers (LEOs) vowing not to enforce unconstitutional gun laws. One of them, a retired career detective responding to Officer Peterson’s statement that his job is only to enforce the law — and that he must do so no matter what form it takes — called Peterson a “fool” and wrote, “Part of the filtering process in criminal justice IS the police choosing whether or not to enforce a law at a particular point in time on a particular person.” This gets at an important point: the “good soldier” cop argument is bunk. No LEO tickets everyone driving 31 in a 30 zone, many laws are on the books but not enforced at all, and no moral cop would obey a command to round up all members of a certain ethnic group for extermination. Police use discretion all the time.

And, if our constitutional rights are to be secure, we need fewer Officer Petersons in the world and more, let’s say, Sheriff Joe Arpaio. We don’t need good-soldier cops — we need good-citizen cops.

The solution to this problem lies in the LEO selection process. If your area is electing a sheriff, there must be an explicit litmus test:

  • Will you protect constitutional rights?
  • And will you disobey unconstitutional orders, no matter their origin?

Any waffling or hesitation should disqualify the candidate. We need LEOs who won’t just yes us to death, for electoral ambitions have a way of greasing the tongue. We need LEOs who are passionate about the issue, stout-hearted cultural and constitutional warriors. And while we can’t read minds, remember this: if you want to know what a person wants you to believe he believes, listen to what he says. If you want to know what he really believes, listen to how he says it. While some people are A-list actors, it’s hard to fake true passion.

But even this isn’t enough. The candidate must also agree to incorporate as part of regular deputy training a comprehensive course on the U.S. Constitution. This course must reflect what is called a strict “originalist” view of the document, but what is really just the only lawful, correct view. (It would be silly to call someone who follows the rules of poker an originalist and someone who doesn’t a “pragmatist.” The latter is called a cheater.) It must emphasize that an unconstitutional law is no law at all.

This brings us to something else Gov. Malloy said to the gun owner at the town hall: “[W]e have courts. Courts are where the constitutionality of things are [sic] decided.”

Actually, no, they’re not.

Courts are where the courts’ position on constitutionality is decided.

As for actual constitutionality, that’s an objective reality that cannot be changed by cheaters who rationalize that rules can be “living” (which is convenient when you‘ve assumed the power of life and death over them).

And “assumed” is the operative word. Nothing in the Constitution grants the courts the power to be the ultimate arbiter of the document’s meaning. So who did grant the courts this power?

The courts themselves!

Chief Justice John Marshall took it upon himself to assert this right in the 1803 Marbury v. Madison decision. This started the transition from the rule of law to the rule of lawyers.

This is why the LEO Constitution course must also incorporate Thomas Jefferson’s correct position on the courts’ role. Our third president wrote in 1819 that he denied “the right they [the courts] usurp of exclusively explaining the constitution…,” saying that if that right became status quo, “then indeed is our constitution a complete felo de se.” That’s Latin, of course.

It means “suicide pact.”

And no American has an obligation to be party to a suicide pact.

Jefferson went on to explain, “For intending to establish three departments, co-ordinate and independent, that they might check and balance one another, it has given, according to this [judicial review] opinion, to one of them alone, the right to prescribe rules for the government of the others, and to that one too, which is unelected by, and independent of the nation.” Quite right. And if the courts can unilaterally decide that they have ultimate-arbiter power, guess what?

We can unilaterally decide they don’t.

Yes, in-your-face actions can go both ways.

As for law enforcement, what if you can’t vote for your head LEO because you live in a city in which the mayor appoints a police chief? Then the litmus test a sheriff would have to pass must be applied to a mayoral candidate. If he’s a Bolshevik Bill unwilling to appoint a Constitution-loving-and-fearing chief who will institute the aforementioned Constitution course, tell him sorry, but only true Americans need apply.

As first responders, LEOs can also be first persecutors or first protectors. What they actually will be is up to us.

RELATED STORY: Rep. Keith Ellison: I Wish Democrats Would Come Out Against the Second Amendment

BREAKING: Florida “Cultural Indicators Report” Released

The Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC) released the Florida Cultural Indicators Report which was commissioned and published by the FFPC and evaluates the cultural, social and economic condition of our state.  The study will be delivered to every member of the Florida House, Senate, and Cabinet, all legislative committees, media and news agencies across Florida. The 55 page Florida Cultural Indicators Report is available in PDF format here.

Video footage of the announcement including FFPC President John Stemberger’s remarks:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/3-dBCNgRuh8[/youtube]

The 55 page full color document provides statistical data for 37 cultural indicators in 7 different categories including vital statistics, crime, education, family, health, poverty & welfare, and business & government.  Each indicator compares Florida’s status to the rest of the country by using charts, graphs and color images to accompany the raw data.

Among the more remarkable findings of the study include:

  • While Florida’s violent crime rate has fallen 55% since 1990, since 1960 Florida’s violent crime rate has always been 36% above the national average.
  • On average, 83,000 couples are divorced each year. Florida has the ninth highest divorce rate in the nation and the divorce rate has been above the national average for more than 50 years.
  • Florida taxpayers pay $1.95 billion dollars annually as the cost of family fragmentation from divorce and unwed childbearing.
  • The total number of births out of wedlock has jumped from 28% in 1960 to 62% in 2012.  Since 1960, the percentage of births to non-white unmarried women has increased by 126%.
  • Since 1960 the number of single parent families has risen by 260%.
  • Enrolment in Medicare by Florida’s seniors has risen by 61%.
  • Florida has the fifth highest HIV infection rate in the nation with 78% of HIV in men being the result of male on male sexual contact.
  • One in six Floridians now receive food stamps quadrupling this rate since 2008.

John Stemberger, President and General Counsel of the FFPC was on hand to comment and offer analysis regarding the results and implications of the study.  Stemberger stated, “Virtually every domestic policy issue in this report is connected to the level of thriving in marriages and families.  While government’s role is limited in shaping culture, there is still much that legislative leaders can do to strengthen these institutions.  Our plea to government officials and public opinion leaders all across Florida is to begin a dialogue and discussion about how Florida can strengthen the institutions of marriage and family.  Our hope would be that future legislative leaders would create a joint commission, a workshop, a summit, or an OPPAGA study on marriage and family to explore solutions to reduce family fragmentation and increase the thriving of marriages and families.”

Does Climate Change Play a Role in Putin’s Aggression in Ukraine?

1. Russian President Vladimir Putin has bested US President Obama in the Ukraine including the recent annexation of Crimea.

2. Putin is trying to rebuild the former Soviet Union, but may also want Ukraine’s wheat and all the warm water ports of the northern Black Sea because of a potentially dangerous new cold climate.

3. Global warming ended years ago and the next global cold climate epoch has begun because of the Sun going into a reduced state of energy output called a ‘solar hibernation’ – a once every 206 year event.

4. During past cold eras, Russians were heavily dependent on the Ukraine for wheat and the warmer water ports of Crimea. Russia is a cold, far north nation. Most of it lies at the latitude of Alaska.

5. Russian government scientists and their media are free to talk about the new cold climate where US scientists are punished for telling the truth about the climate. The US mainstream media is silent on the coming cold. Russian scientists have said a new “Little Ice Age” begins this year!

6. Russia is no stranger to the ravages of cold and starvation and they are therefore more concerned about the next cold climate. In the US, most have never experienced either. Russian scientists have said their country must prepare for what the new cold epoch will do to them. In the US, just the opposite is happening! President Obama has even said global warming is “accelerating!” – a shockingly false statement.

7. Putin will do what he can to prevent the European Union or the US or western agricultural conglomerates from getting Ukrainian wheat thus depriving Russia of food for its people. The US food conglomerates are well aware of the next cold climate.

8. Putin will try to stop the US or NATO from controlling northern Black Sea ports for its Navy. If the next “Little Ice Age” (LIA) begins as predicted, Russia’s northern ports along the Baltic Sea will be frozen in for most of the year – crippling its Navy.

9. Putin may be listening to what his scientists and his media are saying about the need to prepare for the coming difficult cold epoch. President Obama continues to place US citizens in harm’s way by making sure we are totally unprepared for the coming food shortages and extreme cold weather.

QUESTION: Does Climate Change Play a Role in Putin’s Aggression in the Ukraine? 

Certainly, it looks as though the primary reason for the Russian action in Ukraine is part of Putin’s long range plan to reconstitute the former Soviet Union. Is climate change on his mind as he executes his militaristic Ukrainian strategy while taking full advantage of the feckless foreign policy of President Obama? Maybe. Should it be? Absolutely!

Putin, two steps ahead of President Obama on international affairs, is actually years ahead of President Obama on climate change. Our hapless President continues to reinforce the myth of man made global warming and engaging in active deception of the American people on the subject.  Putin, however, appears to be doing exactly what he needs to do to prepare for the predicted extreme cold climate that my climate research company, the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC,) and Russia’s leading climate scientists have warned about. That’s right, for those who haven’t been informed yet; global warming ended years ago and a potentially dangerous new cold climate has begun!

The next climate change to a predicted long cold epoch which threatens Russia’s control over the vital national resources of wheat and its long standing need for a warm water port, may be among the more important and undiscussed drivers underlying the Russian aggression in Ukraine. Securing these resources may cause him to insure he has complete control over all of the Ukraine beyond the just annexed Crimea and as much of the northern Black Sea as he can take. This bold assertion rightfully demands some explanation.

The new cold climate, a once-every-206-year event, is brought on as a result of the Sun making historic reductions in its energy output, which is leading us inextricably down the path to a much colder Earth. This “solar hibernation” has already brought about a stunning reversal from the past global warming to a new colder climate leaving the ‘warmist’ and environmental communities scrambling for new reasons for existence, e.g. ocean acidification. The widely available real world temperature data shows that not only have we had no global warming for seventeen years, but that oceanic and atmospheric temperatures have been declining for much of the last eleven years. Sea ice extent globally has reached record levels. The brutal record cold winter of 2013-2014 is but one example of many, that a fundamental change in the climate has arrived. This new cold is like the solar hibernation that has caused it, unstoppable!

The absence of discussion by our media and government, much less action to prepare for the next cold climate epoch in the US, is completely opposite in Russia! It is ironic and deeply saddening that in what was the former communist Soviet Union, scientists are more free to tell the truth about what is really happening with the Earth’s climate, than are their US colleagues. As a result, Russian climate scientists are way ahead of their shackled US counterparts on the status of this next change to a long cold climate. Tragically, here in the US, it would be a career ending move if a government scientist or government funded university climate researcher told the truth about this new cold phenomenon. President Obama has made it clear that US scientists are to mislead the people about what is happening with the climate. He has done so via executive order and in public statements where he has made public policy. In June 2013 at Georgetown University, for example,  he made the statement that global warming was “accelerating” – a shockingly false statement.

Similarly, the Russian media has no problem printing articles from their climate experts about the coming cold climate and its potentially calamitous effects. With the exception of a relatively few like Newsmax and the Orlando Sentinel, major US media outlets are silent on what may become the most important news story of the century. In Russia, the media have reported that researchers at the Russian Academy of Sciences are warning that a new “Little Ice Age” is coming, possibly in 2014! It is this new extreme cold epoch and its many ill-effects that could be an important secondary driver behind Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Unlike the US, Russia is no stranger to bitter cold and nationwide food deprivation. Their history is full of such episodes caused by natural forces and augmented by political turbulence and warfare. It is part of their country’s historical, social, and political makeup. There is a stark difference therefore, between the current US and Russian view of the next climate change. In the US, there is no future cold climate threat! Yet many ‘in the know’ in Russian view it as ‘a clear and present danger!’ As a result, while on the surface their rationale for a Ukraine invasion is political, underneath, the Russians well understand what other ‘jewels’ Ukraine has to offer.

I believe one of those jewels and reasons for a Russian takeover starting in the Crimea, is to secure complete access to Ukrainian wheat and other crops as they did in days of the former Soviet Union. In 2012, Russia proper produced 38 million metric tons of wheat, fifth largest in the world. Ukraine came in with 16 million tons about half of Russia’s output yet, making it number eleven in the global rankings. It is possible under current cold climate scenarios published in the Global Climate Status Report©, a product of the Space and Science Research Corporation, that Russia may see a substantial loss of its grain crops during the next cold climate. This could result in them becoming partially or totally dependent on the Ukraine for much of the bread on Russian tables. The quantities are not the only point – the geography matters too.

The Russian homeland is centered along latitude 60 degrees north. This is the same as northern Canada and Alaska! Russia in the winter is a vast cold land. Even the Ukraine, near the southern most extent of Russia, is about the same latitude as the wheat belt of southern Canada. What if the Russian Academy of Sciences is correct and we see another Little Ice Age start this year or in the next five or even ten years. What if Russia loses much or all its harvest of wheat for years in a row? They will turn as they have before – to Ukraine.

The March 10, 2014 Global Climate Status Report states that this new cold climate will likely “…result in substantial, global, social disruption and loss of life.”  The US government, US agricultural conglomerates and the US mainstream media are well aware of the new cold climate because of frequent updates provided to them over the years by the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC).

Putin cannot allow the western leaning Ukrainian government to permit European, or US agricultural conglomerates to have access to Ukraine’s wheat during the coming cold climate, leaving his people without the food they will be demanding.

History has shown that when the people begin to starve, they take down their government and wars begin. The French revolution of 1789, which eventually placed Napoleon Bonaparte on the throne, took place at the very beginning of the last 206 year solar cycle’s cold phase. Doubtless, President Putin has no interest in seeing any political upheaval on his watch. He will want Ukraine’s crops and will do what is needed to keep European and US agriculture conglomerates out of the way.

But what about the warm water port issue. The world has long known that Russia has historically sought out warm ports where its navy could hold up during winters and to be able to respond year-round to Russian military requirements as they also attempt to project their military force globally. But during this new cold climate, it will be different. The port issue will be paramount!

Again, if the Russian climate researchers are correct, then the far northern waters of the planet especially the Baltic Sea and waters around Russia’s northern ports could be frozen over, not just for a few months in winter, but for most if not all of the year! During the coldest time of the Little Ice Age from 1615 to 1745, the Baltic Sea was so cold for so long that roads, hotels, and shops were built on the frozen sea and people walked between counties over the thick ice. No, this would not be just another cold winter adversely affecting Russia’s fleet for a predictably short few months. This could be a period of time when Russia’s military, especially its navy, could be crippled, making it vulnerable to other foreign designs. Putin cannot permit that either. He will want to hold on to the recently annexed Crimea and its ports and as many other warm water ports along the Black Sea that he can capture, thus prohibiting NATO naval forces from moving in.

All the while, the wily Russian President Putin remains way ahead of President Obama. In the United States, the manmade climate change deception has become a joke. In Russia, as its history of incredible hardships shows, the changing climate may be viewed today as a matter of life and death. The incursion into the Ukraine though essentially political, may also be the first steps the Russians are taking to prepare for the coming cold!

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is of a Russian winter in Arzamas. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Should GOP Conservatives Adjust Their Message for Blacks?

Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote an article stating that the only way for conservatives to reach black voters is to drop their color blind idealism.

Dougherty wrote, “Conservatives in the GOP like to assail identity politics and tout their own ideology as one of color blindness. Sometimes this is stupidly marketed to black voters as a selling point for Republicans. “We don’t categorize you by race,” brags a Republican. The black audience hears: “We don’t take the most salient part of your American political identity seriously.”

I am a real-live black person. When I hear Republicans say “We don’t categorize you by race”, I think, “Thank you for respecting my intelligence enough not to pander to me.” Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, a Republican, dreamed of a day when Americans would focus on principles such as character rather than skin-color (race).

Civil rights leaders and Democrats have abandoned Dr King’s vision of a colorblind America. Especially since Obama, the exploitation of race is the Democrats’ super weapon to win every political battle. Anyone daring to oppose the black president’s socialist/progressive agenda is bombarded with accusations of racism. Checkmate!

Dougherty appears to suggest that we conservatives can not simply stand up for what is right and true. We must adjust our message to fit the Democrats’ false accusations and false assumptions.

For example. Dougherty thinks the GOP should back-off from their push for voter I-D laws because it looks like they are attempting to suppress the black vote. Mr. Dougherty, as a black conservative, I find the concept that blacks are too incompetent to find their way to acquire a photo I-D extremely insulting, demeaning and offensive. Democrats are fighting voter I-D because they seek to steal elections via voter fraud. Will Republicans waving the white flag on this issue win them black votes? I think not.

Dougherty thinks America’s history of racial injustice causes blacks to deal with the issue of race every day. I beg to differ. Neither myself nor my black family, friends and associates deal with racial issues every day.

Despicably, liberals and Democrats strive to make race an issue, polarizing Americans; keeping the fires of racial tensions burning bright for political gain.

I reject Mr Dougherty’s call for conservatives to abandon colorblind politicking. Why must we always allow Democrats and their media buddies to determine the rules of engagement?

We are all Americans and should be dealt with accordingly, rather than doing what the Democrats do; divide Americans into supposed victimized voting blocs and pandering to each group for political exploitation.

In the 1980s, as a young black kid clueless about politics, Ronald Reagan’s one-size-fits-all conservative message of American exceptional-ism spoke to me. Reagan inspired me to be all I could be. His speeches made me feel good about myself and my country.

Admittedly, Conservatism will not resonate with everyone. Some people are born leeches and lazy; always looking for a free ride. These types feel entitled to the fruits of other folk’s labors. Democrats love to pander to them.

But I believe in the character and goodness of a majority of the American people. When presented unfiltered by liberals, conservatism will find a lot of Americans eager to embrace it. Why? Because Conservatism is in-sync with the human spirit.

Please understand. Packaging the conservative message to appeal to various audiences is an excellent idea. However, watering down our principles or choosing not to challenge the Democrats’ false narratives is foolish and wrong.

Certain principles have a universal appeal. Such principles bridge racial divides.

In the 1970s, I was a student at the Maryland Institute College of Art. My fellow black students at the mostly white college were extremely militant and anti-whitey. A group of them demanded that the Black Panthers be allowed to rally on campus.

I was stunned when these same black students approached me extremely excited about this awesome movie, “Rocky”, the Italian stallion. It was remarkable to witness these particular black students so passionately embracing a white boy. The magic ingredient was the “colorblind” principles espoused in that movie which spoke to the humanity in us all.

Mr Dougherty, I respectfully disagree with your article. As an American who happens to be black, I do not desire a “black version” of Conservatism which is rooted in true compassion and common sense.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo montage was created by Soldieranabi. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.