Filed Under Latest News on Aug 3
With senior intelligence community members’ planned rebuttal to the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture slated for release in a few weeks, an interesting sideline is the battle going on in the APA, or American Psychological Association. The so-called Hoffman Report, or the Independent Review Relating to APA Ethics Guidelines, National Security Interrogations, and Torture is as critical or more-so of intelligence gathering in a war-on-terrorism environment as the Senate Report. Within the APA they are calling for the cutting of all links between the APA and National Security interrogations. Unless the psychologist is there to assist the accused, or to witness the process in the interest of human rights. In other words: Division 19 go away.
Division 19 is the Society for Military Psychology, which exists, for now, within the APA a civilian organization. That means that it matters to military psychologists how they work and interact with their civilian colleagues. But not according to critics of Division 19 and the PENS report, the report on Psychological Ethics and National Security. Both are seen by the progressive civilians within the APA as the military co-opting the whole organization for its own ends. The PENS report is no longer an operative guideline and if the critics have their way, the military will have nothing to do with the APA from here on.
The issue is whether psychology should ever be used as a weapon. But the debate doesn’t get framed that way for two reasons perhaps: clearly psychology should be weaponized under certain circumstances, so the left within the APA would rather frame the issue as conspiratorial creeping militarism invading their grand old society; and the military seem to have decided that such a blunt no-nonsense framing of the issue would give them bad press. The APA should keep Division 19 within their fold. Because psychology is and has been a part of conflict for a very long time and needs the best and latest research to be effective in a military or conflict-based context of any kind. And because a separate, secretive Society for Military Psychology would operate beyond the pale of any civilian criticism and containment. Do there already exist such units? One would be surprised if they didn’t, given the threats from inside and from outside. But Division 19 needs to remain within the APA. For reasons of War, and Peace.
Filed Under Latest News on Jun 26
The Idaho State Police, or ISP for short, have a problem on their hands. The problem is what kind of problem they have on their hands: is the problem process versus justice; or process as justice; or process before justice? On October 18, 2011 county deputy Scott Sloan was responding to a 911 call – that would be an emergency although it is not clear what the emergency was – and heading down U.S. 30 near New Plymouth, Idaho. That means he was driving fast, up to 115 mph on a 55 mph road, with lights flashing and siren blaring. Up ahead Barry Johnson was puddling along in his 83 Jeep at 24 mph and as the county deputy approached from behind, Barry Johnson turned left, into traffic in other words, and despite slamming on the brakes, deputy Sloan slammed into Johnson’s Jeep still doing 85 mph. Johnson died and an ISP reconstruction – done by state troopers trained and dedicated to the task of accident reconstruction – found that Barry Johnson had been drinking. His blood level was somewhere between 0.053 and 0.1271. The legal limit is 0.08, so by law Johnson was likely drunk and likely got scared and confused by the approaching squad car and turned right into Sloan’s oncoming vehicle.
What followed was an in-house quarrel between primary crash reconstructionist Trooper Quinn Carmack and primary investigator Trooper Justin Klitch, as well as higher ups in the ISP like Col. Ralph Powell and Capt. Sheldon Kelley. Sgt. Rice of the ISP was also tainted by the process. It centers around Carmack’s refusal to include information on Johnson’s alcohol blood level as Carmack felt he could not determine that Barry Johnson’s alcohol level caused or even contributed to the accident. Safe to say that many within the ISP disagreed strongly with Carmack. And it got heated fairly fast, seeing that Deputy Sloan could face serious consequences due to being accused of making an “unsafe pass” and “operating an emergency vehicle in an unsafe manner.” One can read Cynthia Sewell’s detailed account in the Idaho Statesman of how the process itself spun out of control with prosecutors and defense attorney’s playing every questionable move by ISP officers for all it was worth. The charges against Sloan by prosecuting attorney Richard Linville for felony vehicular manslaughter were dropped, however, as the result of two conflicting crash reports: one with the blood alcohol information in it as a result of senior ISP officers pressuring the investigators, and the other original one without it. Prosecuting attorney Linville said the conflicting reports undermined his ability to prosecute the case and so he dropped the charges.
By any reasoned view, how Carmack could decide that alcohol was not a factor in the crash is astounding. But reading Sewell’s article gives one a sense of how far any inquiry – whether judicial or quasi-judicial or otherwise – is nowadays mired in detailed quibbling over process. Detailed quibbling with vested interests at stake. Barry Johnson died, and that is tragic. But ask yourself this: when you need police help in a hurry, do you want your state trooper to drive 55 in case a drunk is gliding down the county road at less than 30 mph? If some prosecutors and some ISP Troopers had their way, the answer would be yes.
Maybe two Harvard Law School graduates jabbing one another may not appear to be critical circumstances. In any case when it’s David Frum versus David French and the subject is gun control, then guns, life and liberty are all in play. As the Florida House passes a bill permitting School Superintendents to assign people to carry a concealed weapon on school premises, the spat between the two last year rings a bell. Concealed weapons are a right in every one of the 50 states be that as it may, as in the Florida policy which will need to go through an evidently unenthusiastic State Senate. The insights concerning the who and the how are significantly more laborious than the media leads on.
On the account of Florida, the people assigned by School Superintendents will need to have military and/or law enforcement experience and complete special training at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Basically, it’s about having the sort of protection at every school, that ordinarily arrives in squad cars minutes after any shooting or tragedy happens. The one Subcommittee member who voted against the proposition, requested to instead have an experienced cop designated to each school in Florida.
David Frum from the Atlantic depicted the NRA as an association that guarantees “to put the means of self-emancipation from a dangerous world right into one’s own hands.” That’s a direct Frum quote. David French writing in the National Review reminded Frum that we can’t be completely dependent on the state to secure us, or our companions, family, and neighbors, from this dangerous world. In the division between the defenseless protected, and the proactive defenders, David French defended the case of the defenders. Ultimately, French is stating that the state has failed to offer the local citizens a sensible level of security, and that the issue lies within the state itself, not the policy. Also the outcome to that will be that any endeavor at state control over individual firearm proprietorship rights is an attack on one’s liberty to protect one’s family and home. It’s hardly an optimistic or rational position. It is safe to say that it is a reasonable position to take in today’s circumstances? Obviously, David Frum would love a long and wonky argument on criminal logistics and gun ownership to attest that the NRA’s position is a misguided one.
For David French, it’s straightforward: in the event that somebody endangered you and your family, would you depend just on the police or opt to protect yourself as well? Progressively in today’s reality, whether right or wrong, self-protection is seen as a valuable right, in the same way as any other valuable right. There will always be debate, particularly in regards to public safety. While Frum may strike others as more rational, where personal or public safety is at concern, it seems French’s ideas prevail.
Here’s a nice new project John and Nancy can work on together, seeing they are getting very good at closing deals. As in legislative deals where Democratic Party votes help pass legislation for the GOP House Speaker. For example, Democratic Representative Michael Capuano D-Mass said “this bill is my idea of a perfect situation” referring to the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act, which does some cautious pruning of Amtrak’s money-losing lines and other reforms, and was voted nay by conservatives who said it did far too little in trying to save taxpayer money. So perhaps John and Nancy can put together a revised, revitalized, reinvigorated high-speed train from Monterey to San Antonio. There’s already rumors the long-planned project might be put back on track, so to speak. As Rep Cuellar, D-Texas, after a meeting with Transportation Secretary Foxx last August said, “I think we’re going to get it done.” And of course, customs pre-clearance is an important part of the project.
With Obama’s executive action on amnesty still standing, and with DHS fully funded, think of the reduction in border delays offered by a new high speed rail line linking Mexico with Texas and the rest of the country. You could have a steady stream of illegal immigrants whisked into the heart of Texas and putting their hard-earned pesos to work helping to subsidize the enormously expensive project, instead of paying coyotes to take them across the Rio Grande. Perhaps the Chinese and the French could provide consulting services. Now the only detail to be cleared up, aside from who will get the enormous construction, engineering, and design sub-contracts, is how to make pre-customs affirmative and fair and welcoming. Let’s be honest. Who else in Monterey would get aboard a train to Texas aside from illegals hoping to start a new life in America? The people with money in Mexico will drive or fly and tourists and train lovers could go the other way south. But it will be illegals, working hand in hand with taxpayers who will help subsidize their voyage north on the rails, who will be the principal customers of a new high speed rail line. So let’s get to it John and Nancy. You have a wonderful long-term legacy-building mega=project beckoning on the US-Mexico border. How can you resist?
The media, basically on the left half of the political spectrum – obsess about Giuliani’s remarks about Obama’s asserted absence of affection for America ignore, or evade a fundamental certainty. As in the Bill Ayer’s debate over Obama’s relationship on a few sheets in Chicago amid the 90’s and up until 2002 with the previous terrorism, the issue is not whether Obama traded mystery handshakes with Bill Ayers, or had the PLO banner up on his residence divider back when. The issue is the essential philosophical standpoint that a Bill Ayers has and its relationship to his radical and fierce past; a viewpoint imparted by a critical piece of the scholastic, learned and media planets. Also the individuals who agree with them.
The Vietnam War was terrible, a bleeding slip-up as opposed to an exorbitant war that helped contain socialism in courses a long ways past the geographic limits of Southeast Asia. Reagan was a militarist as opposed to the President who brought peace to the world through American quality. The legislative issues of character are what matter as opposed to what one does and accomplishes, in light of the fact that this bigot entrepreneur planet must be switched from the beginning, at the same time being cautious as they are not to connection the expression “unrest” with the likelihood of brutality. Yet defending viciousness far and wide all in the meantime. As these previous and not really previous radicals joined the framework they had viciously restricted, despite everything they have comparable objectives which they now go about attaining to through the instruction framework, through the political framework, and through the media.
Ayers is an uncomfortable update for some who impart a large portion of his social equity objectives as a result of his past, however not due to his objectives. Also that gathering obviously incorporates President Obama. So when Guiliani lets his more confrontational side detached, despite the fact that what he really said was so affably expressed it appeared to be practically hesitant in its structure if not in its ramifications, he is only expressing the self-evident: Obama accepts that through procedure, and differences, and counsel you can settle most things in this world, including the scourge of terrorism. Also that process, differences, and counsel is vigorously bound with hard line reactions of America. From inside from individuals like Bill Ayers, and from without from everybody from European contingent associates to risky radical gatherings. That is the reason Obama needs to “proceed onward” from an emphasis on terrorism and its subsequent good objectives that request a reasonable position in light of terrorism’s barbarities. Maybe Obama’s amiable and huge “I” incorporates seeing himself as an extension in the middle of East and West. Between Islam, particularly Sunnism, and Christianity. As a honest prophet who helps Christians to remember their past sins as an individuals, as he did at a late petition to God breakfast. Patriotism, then again, is specific and divided by nature, on the grounds that it means affection for one’s own nation. An affection that is not adapted by the points of view of those of aversion or even despise the nation. How a president adjusts his or her patriotism with their occupation as pioneer of the free world is not a simple issue to judge. Anyhow it is not nit-picking or crazy to ask how devoted the man in the Oval Office is, or isn’t. What’s more to ponder what he truly accepts about Islam and its different fanaticisms.
As reported in the Denver Post, Colorado’s Department of Motor Vehicles is cutting back its program, “The Colorado Road and Community Safety Act” passed last year and set up to provide licenses to illegals in the state in an effort to make roads safer by having more drivers insured and licensed. A reasonable question to ask is why should one expect someone who has violated immigration laws, either entering the country illegally or overstaying their visa, to suddenly become a responsible driver because they have a license? Maybe some who flee scenes of accidents will now remain to give their personal details to a police officer. Maybe many won’t.
So the GOP controlled state senate took the practical step of denying funding for the CRCSA, a program they have opposed from its inception. That means that illegals must now head to the Denver central DMV office to book an appointment for a license, or to renew the one they have obtained. That’s down from 5 offices in the first 6 months or so of the program and far less than the large increase Hispanic activists were calling for. The new waiting lists are long, years maybe, and that means a driver’s license in Colorado is now much harder to obtain for those living illegally in Colorado. Rather than engage in heated debates about top-down overarching immigration policy on a national level, the Republican Senators in Colorado cut off the money. Simple and perhaps very effective. Perhaps because politicians do change their minds and it remains to be seen how constant they are in upholding their stance, and because the evidence of how effective this will prove remains to be seen.
Illegal immigration is both a push and a pull phenomena: Poverty and violence push illegals towards the USA while job opportunities and a lack of punitive measures – like summary deportations – pull them north from Mexico and Central America primarily. Some like Damien Cave back in 2011, and Linda Chavez more recently, claim that the balance has shifted and that the USA is a far less attractive economy for illegals while Mexico, despite the horrifying violence related to the drug cartels, is booming. This has meant that illegals coming across the border has slowed from about 500,000 per year to around 100,000 a year. That’s ignoring the flood of children from Central America in the last couple of years of course. For Chavez, the issue of illegal immigration is over and we should move briskly to a comprehensive reform package. Aside from the fact that 100,000 illegals (in the last year or so) is still a large number, and the fact that anywhere from around 12 to up to 20 million illegals remain, what Chavez and Damien do not focus on is the fact that illegals realize there is now a great deal of anger and that tougher enforcement policies may finally be on the way, despite Obama’s amnesty. When making a decision on whether to run the border, induced by smuggling gangs and direct contact with relatives already in the USA, actions like the cutting of funding of the Colorado drivers license program makes them think twice. And might induce some of those already in the country to think about leaving. That means that specific steps by local and state governments to ensure compliance with the laws on the books – nothing more than compliance – is perhaps the best way to start winning battles over illegal immigration. It will be interesting to see what the evidence suggests in Colorado over the coming months and years. It’s a fairly straightforward concept the senate in the Rocky Mountain State have alluded to through their action: let the money go to those who are here legally and not those who are here illegally. Is that so hard to understand?
Wishing a happy and healthy New Year to all. 2014 had been stuffed with political changes and dramas and a control shift in the Senate. Another year dusted and a new year with another whole round of changes. We hope 2015 is a good one!
The holiday season brings thoughts of joy and gratitude, and there’s no better time to express our thanks and sincere appreciation to the Political Derby Community for your amazing dedication and contributions.
We wish everyone and their families a very happy and safe holiday.
For some it’s a paid holiday, and without our Veterans we wouldn’t have many of the freedoms we enjoy including paid holidays. We encourage everyone to find a way to celebrate or support our veterans today in any way they can and enjoy. There are probably to-do lists to be checked off or maybe relaxing is the only thing on the agenda, but take the time to express gratitude to the men and women who haven helped protect our freedom every day.
We wanted to share a heartfelt video from George W. Bush.
Filed Under Latest News on Sep 11
Thirteen years later, the former White House Press Secretary, Ari Fleischer, shared his day on 9/11/01 that began in a motorcade with President Bush to an elementary school. Where he initially planned to discuss education with a small group of folks which turned into a speech that America was under attach by terrorists.
Fleischer addresses a moment that Democrat film maker, Michael Moore, initiated a controversy that the President continued reading to a class knowing America was under attack. He tweeted, “Bush said later he stayed 2collect his thoughts and send a signal of calm. He said he didn’t want 2bolt from his chair and alarm the nation.”
“Bush also told VP – and I quote – ‘We’re at war Dick and we’re going to find out who did this and we’re going to kick their ass.'”
Fleischer concluded this live 9/11 timeline on Twitter saying, “I don’t remember what time I got home that night. It was a long day – and its ramifications, as world events today show, still haven’t ended,” and, “That’s what I did September 11, 2001. Thanks for listening. God Bless America.”
Check out Ari Fleischer on Twitter @AriFleischer to read the entire timeline. It’s pretty remarkable.
Filed Under Latest News on Aug 22
Of the latest participants, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has “broken the ice” into politics. Former President George W. Bush intended to “simply write a check,” but his wife Laura decided it were better for him to be doused in ice water.
In a statement on Facebook, Bush said, “Thanks to Jenna Bush Hager, Rory McIlroy, Woody Johnson, and Coach Jim Harbaugh for the#IceBucketChallenge — and to Laura W. Bush for the check. Next up: President Bill Clinton. Help#StrikeOutALS at www.alsa.org.”
In a political atmosphere of perpetual finger pointing, it is refreshing to see some sort of bi-partisanship for such a deserving cause. President Bush concludes the video saying, “Now it’s my privilege to challenge my friend Bill Clinton.” Watch the video below.
The former excentric NBA star, Dennis Rodman, has returned to North Korea for a visit with “friend” Kim Jong Un. This time, Rodman has brought ten basketball players along with him as a gift to the leader of the country.
Rodman has lashed out at news outlet CNN for the general disproval he’s received from the media for his decision to befriend the North Korean leader and travel to the country. Rodman explains the trip was for the sole purpose of his friendship and asked, “You know, you got 10 guys here. Ten guys here that left their families to help this country in the sports nature. Does anyone understand that?”
With the recent events of the imprisonment of American Kenneth Bae and the execution of Un’s uncle Jang Song-taek, Rodman was challenged for his decision to bring other Americans with him to North Korea. At the bottom line, Rodman truly believes that ultimately he can “open the door a little bit,” and “Guess what? One day, one day this door is going to open,” so people can go to North Korea.
On a scale of 1-10 how far from reality has Dennis Rodman reached?
Generally speaking, there are certain social etiquette rules that aren’t to be broken. When you’re POTUS, there are even higher social standards. Unless you’re as arrogant and egotistical as Barack Obama.
In this photo you our shamless President taking a “selfie” with the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the Danish Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in South Africa. You don’t take photos at a funeral, nonetheless a selfie. I don’t care who you are.
If this were a video Obama would be saying, “Awesome! Make sure you tag me on Facebook, and check us in at Mandela’s funeral!” Right when you think our President couldn’t be any more pretentious … he goes and does this to totally redeem himself!
This just in. At no fault to the politics involved, Obamacare is extended once again because, in a nutshell, they have too many mistakes to “learn from.” The claim is they’re giving more time to insurers to set their rates for 2015, but it’s more like they’re letting Michelle Obama’s Canadian college friend figure out how they’re going to construct a functioning website.
The underlying agenda is the disappointing numbers of applications when the website initially launched. This buys them time to relaunch and hope for a spike in applications. This is a prologue to next year, when employers will have to deal with Obamacare. I imagine more “delays” are inevitable at no fault to the objective GOP.
“Today let us take heart from the noble example of our first President. Let us pause from our many activities to give thanks to almighty God for our bountiful harvests and abundant freedoms. Let us call upon Him for continued guidance and assistance in all our endeavors.”
President Ronald Reagan, Oct. 13, 1986Thanksgiving Day, 1986
Today, we honor all who have served this country and protected our freedom. We’re forever grateful.
Republicans are really digging a grave here. I understand the rejection and condemnation for Obamacare, but it doesn’t appear the President is willing to negotiate. If he was willing to negotiate the government wouldn’t have shut down.
When Obama spoke yesterday, he placed every ounce of blame on Republicans, and a lot of people understand that this wouldn’t have happened if both sides weren’t at fault. However, the President takes zero accountability for this government shutdown and just keeps shaming and pointing his finger at the GOP.
This leaves the GOP in a worst spot than they were in before. Now, millions of people have listened to the propaganda of our President who 100% blames the Republican Party for the government shutdown. If…and this is a very big “if”… the President does agree to a negotiation, say of the medical device tax, and they approve a budget and everyone goes back to work, Obama is going to appear to be the hero. Which is utter garbage because that tax is garbage and never should’ve existed anyway.
The Senate’s rejection of two House bills; one delaying the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and another offering a negotiation. Who called whose bluff? While the government has shut down, Obamacare still went into full effect October 1.
Honestly, it wasn’t worth delaying Obamacare because the President has already delayed many parts of the law. Which is exactly what it is … it’s a law. It was passed by the House and Senate and is now in effect. Whether or not we like or agree with everything in it (i.e. medical device tax), it doesn’t and shouldn’t affect funding our government.
The last time this happened was in 1995 when Bill Clinton was President. This shutdown isn’t anything like that because Obama’s approval rating are way down and these days his affability is nothing like Clinton’s was.
Only time will tell where this goes from here…
There has to be something said for Senator Ted Cruz and the uproar he has ignited in the House. It has been a long time since we’ve witnessed a Republican vs. Republican scene. However, I can’t be mad. Defunding Obamacare has been the objective for quite some time, but somehow we keep finding our country at the mercy of a small group of people and time is always of the essence.
For far too long, the anti-partisanship has slowly and steadily lowered the standard of this nation, and it’s to the point that any type of agreement is celebrated no matter how poor or inadequate the decision is. In the greater picture, this is essentially part of Cruz’s agenda. For the first time in a long time, we’re witnessing a politician have a back bone about something. This has been killing Republicans for years, so our nation has settled for a lower standard time and time again. That’s not going to lead us to anything prosperous. Will a government shutdown lead to prosperity? Not exactly, but with the way things have been shaping up over the years, a lot of things don’t look like they lead to prosperity in our nation. In a way, Ted Cruz is somewhat refreshing because he’s not like the others.