When thousands of people around the world took to the streets to extol the death of the most vilified person in modern history, you knew it would not take long for some people to proclaim such celebrations as “disgusting.” Many on the left have taken this opportunity to engage in a distasteful game of moral equivalence, comparing recent celebrations of Osama bin Laden’s death with those that occurred in some areas of the world following the death of 3,000 American civilians.
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Scott G. Erickson is an advocate of conservative, principled solutions to the issues facing America. He has worked to advance conservative priorities through coalition building and is an active participant in myriad organizations seeking to restore the foundational principles of America. A committed public servant, he has worked in the field of law enforcement for the past decade and holds both his B.S. and M.S. in Criminal Justice Studies. He resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.
As we remember the recent anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, an attack as vivid to a previous generation of Americans as the attacks of 9/11 have been to our own, I thought it important to recall a story of American heroism and sacrifice: The Legend of Colin Kelly.
Upon taking the reins of the Democratic-controlled House, incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) famously stated that she would preside over the “most ethical” Congress in the history of the United States. On Tuesday, four years after her infamous statement, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) was formally convicted on 11 of the 13 ethics charges against him. The Ethics Committee did so in absentia, as Rangel left the proceedings as a form of protest. It appears Speaker Pelosi’s “most ethical Congress in history” has far from lived up to its hype.
The movement toward a federal moratorium on congressional earmarks, led by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Senator-elect Rand Paul (R-KY), has caused considerable annoyance among some within the Republican Party. While many have argued that earmarks amount to little more than a fraction of federal outlays, and thus are not a particularly worrisome or defining feature of the bulging federal deficit, their position fails to address the crux of the anti-earmark argument itself. Namely, prohibiting the profligacy of earmarks within Congress represents a principled stand against government waste and surreptitious spending practices.
As one might imagine, it easy for a conservative living in the San Francisco Bay Area to find events from which to draw inspiration for discussion. On Wednesday, soon-to-be former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi provided yet another such incident, as she echoed President Obama’s post-election lament. Unmoved by the obvious sentiment conveyed by the American people to an out-of-touch Washington, Pelosi chooses to continue pursuing the politics of delusion.
Last month marked the nine-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks against the United States. As we reflect upon the strikes that took nearly 3,000 lives, recent events remind us of the ongoing struggle to protect the American homeland from further acts of terror. As every month seems to usher in the revelation of a new terror plot hatched within our nation’s borders, we are reminded of the vigilance necessary to combat the dangers posed by radical Islamist ideologies.
Last week, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law legislation that reduces the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor to an infraction. This attempt to decriminalize the possession of marijuana comes on the heels of similar actions taken by several other states, which are apparently convinced that certain drug laws are ineffective at best and contribute to both fiscal and societal chaos at worst. But proponents of legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana place far too much faith in the power of government to alleviate social ills.
Since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States has employed both conventional and unorthodox means to counter the threat of additional assaults on the American homeland. While these strategies have been largely successful in thwarting further attacks of the magnitude or scope of 9/11, the dangers of a strike nonetheless remain. As the threat from Islamist fundamentalist groups has evolved from one being predominately outward to one increasingly spawn within our own borders, so too has the nature of protecting the homeland from such threats.
As Israeli and Palestinian leaders began their first direct peace talks in nearly two years, the usual cast of provocateurs immediately set out to protest the negotiations. The Iranian government, Hamas, and Hezbollah respectively ratcheted up their own rhetoric in an attempt to inflame anti-Israel sentiments and further undermine the tenuous peace process.
When former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was found guilty on one count of lying to federal agents, he joined a long line of Illinois governors and politicos whose misdeeds bound them to fates ranging from mere social rebuke to extended stays in a variety of penal institutions.
Having recently disclosed over 90,000 documents related to the Afghanistan War, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and those accused of providing his website with sensitive data, have met with resounding criticism. Although most have vocally condemned the cavalier manner in which Wikileaks has offered previously undisclosed documents for public consumption, many have in fact downplayed the significance of the information revealed.
Congressional Democrats don’t always legislate as though they understand human nature. In fact, legislation in theory often deviates from its practical implementation. Senator John Kerry’s recent attempt to avoid the high boat-use tax rates of the Bay State shows that when a legislative body aims to alleviate its fiscal morass by imposing ever-higher tax rates on its people they often only succeed in producing unintended consequences. Those advocating the expiration of the Bush tax cuts should take note.
As if congressional Democrats didn't face enough of an uphill battle this coming November the inquiry into ethical violations on the part of Congressman Charlie Rangel is sure to exacerbate their already tenuous grip on power. In an attempt to maintain control of the House and Senate congressional Democrats have had to contend with both voter discontent and now scrutiny into the actions of one of its most senior members. This combination may prove too much for the Democratic leadership to overcome.
The Daily Caller’s revelation that hundreds of liberal journalists, professors, and activists had participated in an ongoing dialogue with one another lamenting the treatment of candidate Barack Obama throughout the 2008 presidential election has left an unsettling impression in its wake. Not surprising is the notion that traditional media outlets and those within academia have long seemed at least tacitly inclined toward a left-of-center position. Surprising, however, was the extent to which acrimony toward conservatives and outright enthusiasm for liberals distinguished the online correspondence to which many participants within the discussion group known as Journolist engaged.
July 16 will mark the one-year anniversary of the encounter and subsequent arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates by Sergeant James Crowley of the Cambridge police department. Following that event, tensions flared and accusatory rhetoric permeated a national discussion of police and race relations that extended all the way to the White House. The culmination of these events led to the president presiding over the now infamous “Beer Summit” between the two participants; a “summit” that offered little insight into the underlying issue itself.
President Obama exerted a welcome amount of executive leadership this past week as he dismissed Gen. Stanley McChrystal following the revelation of inappropriate comments offered by McChrystal and his staff in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. Excerpts from the Rolling Stone article demonstrate an impermissible lack of judgment on the part of McChrystal and his staff and the subsequent actions taken by the president were both appropriate and justified. Unfortunately, this recent example of executive leadership belies the uncertainty with which the American public has come to view Obama’s credibility as both leader of the free world and overseer of a nation struggling through myriad domestic crises.
Following the tragic explosion and oil spill that rocked the Gulf coast on April 20, President Obama responded to the crisis by announcing a six-month moratorium on offshore oil drilling in the region. This impetuous response was comparable to that offered by the president and his Democratic colleagues following the mortgage crisis and subsequent credit crunch that struck the American economy and ushered in a phalanx of legislation designed to address its root causes. Each incident evoked a strong reaction from the public, nearing what sociologists refer to as a “moral panic,” and each incident equally saw the president attempt to advance his own legislative priorities throughout the crises.
While the dispute between North and South Korea over the torpedoing of a South Korean naval vessel has largely been overshadowed by events unfolding within the waters outside of Gaza, both incidents revealed just how divergent global reactions can be when confronting incidents of similar gravity. They also provide a disturbing glimpse into how the perceived instability of one nation affects the willingness of others to hold them accountable.
During his recent trip to Washington, D.C., Mexican President Felipe Calderon was the guest of honor in only the second State Dinner conducted by the Obama administration during its nearly eighteen months in office. While in Washington, Calderon also had the distinguished opportunity to address a joint session of the United States congress. While doing so, Calderon took advantage of this opportunity to lecture his hosts on what he deems to be the troubling nature of recently passed Arizona legislation designed to curb the proliferation of illegal immigrants in the state.