Posted on | December 29, 2010 | 14 Comments
Remember that Columbia University political science professor who was arrested for having incest with his adult daughter?
When news of his arrest first broke, liberal commentors said that, though incestuous, there’s nothing wrong (or unlawful) with sex between consenting adults. Now his lawyer is making the same argument, using homosexual sex and gay marriage as justification.
By that logic, polygamy and polyandry also are okay. For that matter, why limit it only to adults? – which is precisely what the pedophilial North American Man/Boy Love Association argues.
‘It’s ok for homosexuals to do what they want at home, how is this different?’
By Daily Mail Reporter – Dec 16, 2010
The lawyer representing a professor charged with incest with his 24-year-old daughter has questioned why the alleged affair has been made public.
David Epstein was charged last week with one count of incest for what was allegedly a consensual three-year sexual relationship with his daughter. The political science professor at Columbia University, 46, allegedly slept with her between 2006 and 2009. Epstein, who specialises in American politics and voting rights, is also said to have exchanged twisted text messages with the woman during their relationship.
Matthew Galluzzo, defending Epstein, has said that even though his daughter had emerged as a victim in the case, she could “best be described as an accomplice”. He told ABCNews.com:
“Academically, we are obviously all morally opposed to incest and rightfully so. At the same time, there is an argument to be made in the Swiss case to let go what goes on privately in bedrooms. It’s ok for homosexuals to do whatever they want in their own home. How is this so different? We have to figure out why some behaviour is tolerated and some is not.”
In an interview with the Huffington Post, he added: “What goes on between consenting adults in private should not be legislated. That is not the proper domain of our law. If we assume for a moment that both parties [involved in incest] are consenting, then why are we prosecuting this?”
Epstein, who has taught at Harvard and Stanford, is currently on administrative leave from Columbia. He was married to another lecturer at the Ivy League institution, Sharyn O’Halloran, but the pair recently divorced.
In an earlier statement Mr Galluzzo called the charges against the professor “unwarranted and unfair.” “Professor Epstein is well-respected by his peers and students and he asks that his friends in the Columbia community support him and give him the benefit of the doubt during this trying time,” he added.
Switzerland legislators have proposed decriminalising consensual sexual relationships between first-degree relatives, including siblings and parents and their adult children. Consensual incest is also legal in China, France, Israel, the Ivory Coast, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain and Turkey, according to a 2007 report from the Max Planck Institute in Germany.
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The federal government is already nearly $14 trillion in debt (official figure). Tell the incoming 112th Congress to say no to bailouts of bankrupt cities and states, especially the still-in-denial state of California!
H/t my friend Bob W.
By Conn Carroll – Conservative Policy News – Dec 27, 2010
Hamtramck, Michigan, is running out of money. City Manager William Cooper tells The New York Times : “We can make it until March 1—maybe.” And Hamtramck is not alone. According to the Times, 15 municipalities have pursued bankruptcy in the past two years. And if the economy does not improve revenues, many other local governments will be in the same boat.
Many of these cities, like Hamtramck, have already cut spending on parks, senior centers, and road maintenance. But there is one area they can’t cut: salaries, benefits, and pensions of government workers. According to the Times, 60 percent of Hamtramck’s general fund goes to paying 75 current police officers and firefighters and about 240 worker and spouse pensions. “They kind of have the Cadillac plan,” Cooper tells the Times, “and we’d kind of like the Chevy.”
Reforming how police and fire workers are paid is an uphill climb politically, but polling shows that once voters are educated, they are open to change. A recent poll  by the Florida League of Cities on Police and Fire Benefits found that, initially, most respondents did believe police and fire benefits were “about right” or “too low.” But when told that police officers and firefighters can retire after 20 years of service and receive 80 percent of their salaries for the rest of their lives, 66 percent of respondents strongly opposed this policy. And when asked if they knew that the retirement pay for an average police officer was over $70,000 per year, 71 percent said that was too high.
The cumulative result of these pensions and benefit promises is staggering. A recent study  by Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Rochester and Joshua Rauh of Northwestern University found that major pension plans for city workers have a combined estimated under-funding of $574 billion. Heritage Foundation scholar David John details : “For instance, Chicago has only about $22 billion in pension assets to pay for $66 billion in pension promises to its city workers, while New York City has $93 billion available to pay $215 billion in city pension promises, and Boston has only $3.5 billion available to pay $11 billion in promises. That means that every household in Chicago has a liability of about $42,000 just to pay pensions to city workers, while each household in New York City owes $39,000, and each in Boston owes about $31,000.”
The problem is even worse at the state level. An earlier Novy-Marx and Rauh study  of the 116 major pension plans sponsored by the 50 states found these plans had assets of about $1.8 trillion to pay pension promises of between $3.6 trillion and $5.2 trillion. This leaves a gap of between $1.8 trillion and $3.4 trillion . Unsustainable public employee compensation is a major reason why large states like California, Illinois, and New York are teetering on the brink of insolvency .
Cities like Hamtramck may eventually be able to escape their government union contracts through bankruptcy. But that road is very difficult. About half the states have laws that allow for municipal bankruptcy filings. But many set limits, including Michigan, which appears ready to force Hamtramck to borrow money from an emergency loan board before it can file for bankruptcy. But what happens when the states run out of money bailing out their local governments? States currently do not have the ability to file for bankruptcy. So what will they do?
California already came to Washington asking for an $8 billion bailout  last year. The spendthrift 111th Congress said no. At a bare minimum the 112th Congress should hold the line and refuse to bailout any state government. Instead, Congress should consider a way for states to file for bankruptcy or its fiscal equivalent. While such a law would raise some serious federalism issues, as long as states are allowed to enter into bankruptcy voluntary , it could be constitutionally acceptable. But David John warns :
“Such a process should not be part of a deal under which states can also receive a federal bailout. State and local governments made the mess of their finances, and they should have to clean them up. Congress should provide a mechanism to make the process more direct, giving the states the flexibility to address their fiscal problems consistent with federalism and the principles of limited constitutional government.”
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Every Catholic diocese in America now has Masses in Spanish. Surely, this sign should be in Spanish too?
H/t beloved fellow FS
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Hawaii’s newly elected governor, Demonrat Neil Abercrombie, is vowing eternal enmity against those nasty birthers who doubt Obama’s undocumented insistence that he’s a “naturaL born citizen” as required for the presidency by the United States Constitution.
I say: “By all means! Just show us Obama’s original long-form birth certificate!”
Below is an L.A. Times article on Abercrombie written by an Obama stooge, Michael Memoli. My rebuttals to Memoli’s misleading and outright erroneous assertions are in purple.
H/t beloved fellow Tina.
|Aging hippie Neil Abercrombie.|
Michael A. Memoli of the Los Angeles Times reports from Honolulu on December 24, 2010:
Neil Abercrombie knew Barack Obama’s parents when the future president was born here in 1961, and he has been aggravated by the so-called birther movement, which alleges Obama was not born in the United States and thus should be expelled from office.
Now Abercrombie has an office of his own — he became governor of Hawaii on Dec. 6. — and he intends to do something about it.
What, exactly, is unclear. But in an interview this week at the state Capitol, he left little doubt that torpedoing the conspiracy theorists was a priority. “What bothers me is that some people who should know better are trying to use this for political reasons,” said Abercrombie, 72. “Maybe I’m the only one in the country that could look you right in the eye right now and tell you, ‘I was here when that baby was born.’ ” [Hmm, what does “here” mean? Was Abercrombie actually in the delivery room and is a percipient witness to The One’s birth? Or does “here” mean Honolulu? LOL]
One of Abercrombie’s aides said the governor is voicing the frustration of many Hawaiians who continue to be troubled by the rumors, which they see as emblematic of the view that Hawaiians are not Americans in the same way as those who live in the continental United States.
Abercrombie’s Hawaiian pride may be trumping practical politics. Ample evidence has been produced to discredit the “birther” movement, so in the view of the White House, the Democratic governor’s comments are reviving an issue that most people see as resolved. [The “evidence” consists of (1) an image posted online of Obama’s purported certificate-of-live-birth, which is a SECONDARY document generated from the presumed ORIGINAL long-form birth certificate; (2) a blurry photocopied image, posted online, of a personal ad in a Honolulu newspaper announcing The One’s birth; (3) an oral claim by a Hawaiian government official that she has seen The One’s birth certificate. Calling this “ample evidence” is ludicrous. Calling this even “evidence” at all will get you thrown out of any U.S. courthouse.]
Although Abercrombie’s goal may be to support Obama, experts who study political extremism [So now being faithful to the U.S. Constitution is “political extremism”?] say the release of additional evidence would only perpetuate the conspiracy theory. They say people who embrace such theories are guided by suspicion and, therefore, view any contrary evidence as part of the conspiracy. [Since the “contrary evidence” consists of none other than Hawaii’s Democrat Party, the National Democratic Party, and Congress itself admitting they had not vetted Obama’s birth eligibility, as well as a U.S. military judge at a court martial denying discovery documents to the Defense — documents including Obama’s birth certificate and kindergarten records — because she does not want to “embarrass the President,” any sane person would conclude that IT IS A CONSPIRACY!]
Abercrombie, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., arrived in 1959 to study sociology at the University of Hawaii. As a teaching assistant, he met and befriended Obama’s father, a native of Kenya. Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was born in Kansas and met and married his father, also named Barack, when the two were college students in Hawaii. Obama was born at Kapi’olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961. [Make up your mind: Is it Kapi’olani Hospital or is it the earlier-claimed Queens Medical Center? One thing we do know is that no hospital in Honolulu or all of Hawaii actually has admitted Obama was born there. Why is that?]
But in 2008, as Obama ran for president, critics posted allegations online, without proof, that he was born in Kenya. [Obama’s paternal grandmother said she was an eye-witness to his birth in Kenya. Kenya government official and member of parliament James Orengo said Obama was born in Kenya. As did a Nigerian newspaper and America’s own National Public Radio! They must all be lying!]
That June, the Obama campaign released a certificate of live birth, an official document from the Hawaii Health Department certifying the facts of a person’s birth, as proof of his birthplace. [Scientist Dr. Ronald Polland maintains the certificate-of-live-birth is a forgery.] Investigations by two prominent fact-checking organizations, PolitiFact and FactCheck.org, concluded that the certificate was authentic. [Neither PolitiFact nor FactCheck is a court of law. The next time I apply for a passport and the government demands my birth certificate, I’ll just show them an online image of a secondary document generated from my real birth certificate and tell the government that two websites have “certified” it’s true!] FactCheck also turned up a 1961 birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser marking the birth of a son to “Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama of Kalanianaole Hwy.” [Hey, Michael Memoli! You do know that anyone, ANYONE, can pay a newspaper to publish a personal ad, right? And you do know that such an ad is not acceptable as documentary evidence in court, right?]
But the Hawaii birth document, dated 2007 and generated at the request of the Obama campaign, was insufficient for some of Obama’s detractors. [We’re not “detractors”. We are “truth seekers.”] They demand the release of his original birth certificate, which in Hawaii is not a public record. Several lawsuits have been filed seeking to force Obama to disclose more information, but they have been routinely dismissed by courts.
Bills have been introduced in state legislatures that would require presidential candidates to document that they were born in this country. One was passed by the Arizona House of Representatives in April. Similar legislation was introduced in Congress in 2009 and failed to gain traction, but the attempt troubled Abercrombie.
“More than demonization — this is self-evisceration of politics,” said Abercrombie, who raised the birthplace issue unprompted during the interview. “Empires fall and countries fall when that takes the place of discourse.”
In Hawaii, the efforts to challenge Obama’s birthplace still burden the state government with endless requests for further documentation, officials have said. Abercrombie’s predecessor, Republican Linda Lingle, in May signed legislation that allowed the state to ignore repeated nuisance inquiries.
“If I were the governor, I would call a press conference, I’d pull out all the records I have and show the world he was born in Hawaii,” said state Sen. Will Espero, a Democrat who sponsored that bill.
But the state has consistently held that releasing all of Obama’s records would be a violation of its citizens’ confidentiality, and that privacy rights should not be sacrificed to appease extreme views. Espero said he understands that stance and noted that the conspiracy theories have ebbed.
But the movement made news this month, when a former Army officer, Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, was dismissed from the military and sentenced to six months in military prison after he refused to deploy to Afghanistan because he claimed Obama may be ineligible to serve as president.
“When you look at the certification of live birth … you don’t find the name of the doctor, hospital or signature,” said prominent “birther” Orly Taitz, a California lawyer and dentist. “We’ve asked to see the original one that is still sealed.” Taitz said she is willing to debate Abercrombie on national television and “let the American people decide.”
An Abercrombie aide said the governor has not taken action to address the birth issue because he is focusing on his transition and preparing a budget for a state facing a deficit.[But Abercrombie has the time to complain about “birthers” to the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, on CNN, as well as the local Star Advertiser and Hawaii News Now!]
Any action by Abercrombie, who spent 19 years representing Hawaii’s 1st District as one of the more liberal members of Congress, would not be his first response to the “birther” controversy. Last year, he sponsored a congressional resolution honoring the 50th anniversary of Hawaiian statehood, which included language stating, “Whereas the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii.” It passed unanimously. [Then Congress lied. None other than the Congressional Research Office has admitted that noone in Congress vetted Obama’s birth and eligibility!]