It has been reported that today the House will vote on whether or not Puerto Rico will become the 52st state of the United States of America.
Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory since 1898. It is self-governing, but depends on Washington in matters of defense, monetary policy, immigration and customs. It's citizens cannot vote however in Presidential elections or in Congressional elections and this is based on Article One and Two of the U.S. Constitution.
Here's the inside scoop:
The bill,if passed, will require Puerto Rico to hold an election on a referendum asking it’s citizens, “Do you want to maintain the status quo?” Notice that it does not mention statehood.
In the past 40 years, Puerto Rico has voted three times on the question of becoming a state. Each time they voted it down. In 1998, voters were given four choices, A) statehood, B) sovereignty, C) modified commonwealth or D) None of the above. Option D got the majority. In 1967 and 1993, only options A, B and C were on the ballots. The options of independence or a modified commonwealth usually get only about 3% of the vote in 1998. Statehood got 46.6% and 46.7% in 1993 and 1998, only 39% in 1967.
The current drive is being pushed by the Democrats to placate to the Latino voters. If Puerto Rico does vote NO on the referendum detailed in HR2499, the next step would be to elect six representatives and two senators. A further vote for statehood may not necessarily be needed, thanks to the “Tennessee Plan”.
Tennessee, and later Alaska, entered the union by electing members for the House and Senate without applying to Congress for statehood. The elected officials just went to Washington, D.C. and demanded to be seated, and they were! In June of 2009, the United Nations Committee on Decolonization drafted a resolution calling for the United States to enact a process to change the current status of Puerto Rico. The Natural Resources Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives voted 30-8 in July, 2009 and passed HR 2499 – The Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009. If the citizens of Puerto Rico like their tax-free status and vote Yes on the referendum, HR2499 requires subsequent votes every eight years. I guess the Democrats want mandatory votes until they get it right!
This is not about helping out Puerto Ricans, it is not about being nice, it is about shoring up a voting block that will not likely dissipate for decades.
The only reason the Left wants to make Illegals citizens is to secure a huge voting block. This isn't about helping others, this isn't about being kind, this isn't about fairness...this is about politics and power. If illegals are made legal the next 5 to 6 decades of elections will go to the Democrats.
Democrats have decided that in order to prevent Wall Street from starting more financial meltdowns, wrecking the economy and leaving the American taxpayer holding the bag, we need to give more oversight authority to the same government employees who were busy surfing Internet porn as private investors frantically tried to warn them about Bernie Madoff.
The Democrats' financial "reform" bill also includes a $50 billion bailout fund -- that's million with a "B" -- that will save the Democrats from the unpleasant task of having to go on record voting for another Wall Street bailout.
Under the Democrats' bill, the FDIC will distribute the bailout money to Wall Street bankers without Congress having to take any action at all. (In the House version, the slush fund for the Democrats' Wall Street friends is $150 billion.)
True, the billions of dollars will be doled out to banks for the purpose of "dissolving" them. So what? They'll come back under a new name. But the guilty parties will lose no money for making bad bets -- although if the bets paid off, they'd take all the profits. That's what Democrats mean by "accountability."
Not surprisingly, the only politicians opposed to a permanent bailout fund for bankers are the politicians not owned by Wall Street -- that is, most Republicans, and one socialist, Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
The Democrats' defense of Wall Street's golden parachute is to say Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell used a "talking point" formulated for him by pollster Frank Luntz in opposing the bailout fund.
As Frank Rich explained in The New York Times, the bailout fund is not a bailout fund because "Sen. Mitch McConnell went on CNN to flog his big lie that the Senate reform bill somehow guaranteed bank bailouts -- a talking point long ago concocted for the GOP by its favorite spin strategist, Frank Luntz."
In other words, it must be a lie because ... because Frank Luntz told McConnell what to say and then McConnell said it on CNN!
Yes, and Steve Jobs gets his best ideas from parishilton.com.
Sen. McConnell doesn't need Frank Luntz to explain anything to him, least of all the financial reform bill. A fifth-grader could find out about the permanent bailout fund simply by reading the bill.
You will notice that neither Rich nor any of Wall Street's defenders specifically deny the existence of a permanent bank bailout fund in the Democrats' bill. They just say McConnell used a "talking point" to denounce it. (You might say this has become a "talking point" for Democrats defending the bill.)
Wall Street's defenders also crow that the money in the bailout fund won't come from taxpayers! (There's a newfound sympathy.) No sir, it will come from "the banks."
That's like saying that the original bailout money didn't come from the taxpayers -- it came from the government! Where do Democrats imagine banks and the government get their money?
Banks, like the government, are entities that spend money they collect from human beings. We'll all be charged up front to cover Gordon Gekko's future bad bets.
In other words, the Wall Street slush fund will be paid for by a group of despicable fat cats recently discovered by the Democrats known as People Who Have Bank Accounts. Damn them!
Another idea, based on the ancient concept of personal responsibility, comes from financial writer James Grant. He proposes that the bankers -- are you sitting down? -- take their own losses.Let them keep their humongous salaries, Grant writes, but if their bank fails, "let the bankers themselves fail. Let the value of their houses, cars, yachts, paintings, etc. be assigned to the firm's creditors."
There's nothing wrong with speculation, creating derivatives or selling them, especially to sophisticated investors. The problem is that when the bets go bad, the speculators keep being back-stopped by the government -- i.e., "by me and people like me."
Strangely enough -- for a bill that allegedly sticks it to Wall Street -- during the Senate Banking Committee hearing this week, Goldman Sachs chairman Lloyd Blankfein endorsed the Dodd bill. Someone should have asked him who from Goldman wrote it.
In 2008, Goldman employees gave a record-breaking $1,007,370 to the Obama campaign.
This year, the "securities and investment" industry has already given twice as much money to the Democrats as to the Republicans.
ABC News reports that "the five biggest hedge fund donors all gave almost all their donations to Democrats." Among the biggest recipients of hedge fund money were Senators Harry Reid (Democrat), Chris Dodd (Democrat) and Charles Schumer (Democrat).
Even with the evidence right in front of their eyes, people still believe that it's the Republicans who are in Wall Street's pocket.
How out of touch with reality would a comedy writer have to be to write the following joke for Jay Leno this week: "The head of Goldman Sachs was going through security and was asked to empty his pockets -- and five Republican senators fell out."
Why didn't Barack Obama or Chuck Schumer fall out? Why not Rahm Emanuel, who worked for Goldman? Or Greg Craig, who used to work for Obama but just took a job with Goldman?
The fact that anyone laughed at that joke proves that Republicans have a serious PR problem.
It is the high holy day of the environmentalism cult and I choose not to engage in that particular brand of idol worship.
I choose not to worship the earth as if it were a god and I were a savage. I am its steward, not its slave.
I wasn’t created for it, it was created for me.
Man exists not as an accidental product of earth’s evolution, the earth exists as a home for man. It did not produce us, it was produced for us.
God made the heavens and the earth, and he made them for a purpose – and humankind is that purpose.
The problem with Earth Day is that it gets everything bass ackwards. It views the planet as the priority, when in actuality humankind is the priority and purpose. The earth was created by God, but man was created in God’s image.
The environmentalists’ perversion of the relationship between man and nature seeks to turn things completely upside down, fostering confusion and degeneracy. Applied through government mandate, the principles of environmentalism choke off human progress and prosperity.
They also deny the fact that the earth is a gift to man from God.
And it has been stocked with the things that are necessary to support human needs for as long as God intends for humans to populate this planet.
Coal, for example, is not some evil substance interlarding the earth as a temptation to energy excess. It is, rather, a gift from God to give us light and heat, to fuel our industry and better our lives. The oil and gas fields around the world are not environmental cancers, they are miraculous aids to transportation, manufacturing and physical comfort.
They are all blessings.
They are causes for rejoicing.
But those who would leave them in the ground, who would turn their back on their bounty, are showing indifference and ingratitude. They are spitting in the face of the God who provided these resources for us.
Granted, we are not to be despoilers of the earth, we are to be its stewards. It is not moral to waste or to be filthy, to destroy just to destroy, to leave things – large or small – in an ugly and dangerous state. And we should take care of what we are responsible for. Good farming, construction, logging, drilling and mining practices conserve our resources so that they last longer and are used more efficiently.
We should turn off the lights when we leave a room, conserve water, protect our soil and let nothing whatsoever go to waste. We should reuse our trash when possible and produce less trash in the first place.
We should let some trees stand and some vistas go untouched by the hand of man. The beauty of nature is of practical worth, it is in and of itself a resource that – in balance – should be preserved. We should only kill things that we’re going to eat, or which are going to eat us. We can also kill things that are messing with our stuff – like bugs on our crops and mice in our houses.
But it’s got to stay in balance, and the needs of man must always trump. The world doesn’t stop for a snail darter or a spotted owl or some obscure species of desert wildflower.
We are shepherds of the earth. That means we must protect it and watch over it and keep it safe.
But we have to remember the context and purpose of that protection. The shepherd, after all, watches over the sheep so that he can shear their wool and eventually eat them. His stewardship is self-serving and fully directed toward his own self-interest.
And so is ours.
Earth Day is a great day to remind ourselves of the bounty of the earth, especially when managed under the ingenious hand of industry. It is a day to thank God for the richness of this earth, which supports us all so well. It is a day to worship the God who made the earth – but not the earth itself.
And it is a day to redouble our efforts to resist the paganism of our day, the cult of environmentalism. It is scientifically and morally wrong, it is nothing but the worship of a very large idol.
I don’t go along with it. And, I wager, neither do you.
WOULDN'T A MINI SERIES ON ATTILA THE HUN EXPLAIN NANCY PELOSI?
April 21, 2010
Rachel Maddow's MSNBC special on Timothy McVeigh this past Monday night did not come a moment too soon. As Maddow explained in the introduction to her show: "Nine years after his execution, we are left worrying that Timothy McVeigh's voice from the grave echoes in the new rising tide of American anti-government extremism."
After months of hysterically warning viewers that cheerful, well-dressed tea partiers carrying "I Can See November From My House" signs could suddenly erupt into wanton violence, MSNBC finally had proof: Timothy McVeigh.
How about a special on the KGB to help us understand what makes Henry Waxman tick? We're just trying to seek answers ...
On her April 14 show, Maddow gave a "War of the Worlds" report on gun rights activists whom she claimed were planning tributes to Timothy McVeigh's bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City. "On the anniversary of the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh," she said, "there will be two marches on Washington."
After reminding viewers that McVeigh was "an anti-government extremist with ties to the militia movement" (his only "ties" being that he tried to join the Michigan Militia, but was rejected) Maddow said one of the groups, the Second Amendment March, had "been holding armed rallies at state capitols from Kentucky to Montana to Virginia -- anti-government marches and rallies at which participants are encouraged to wear and display their guns."
So if I have this straight, the pro-Second Amendment marchers were both armed ... AND displaying guns!
Having received an "A plus" from the Department of Redundancy Department, a deadly earnest Maddow continued: "Also on the occasion of the Oklahoma City bombing anniversary," there would be an Open Carry rally.
Participants, she said, "are being encouraged to bring guns" (you know, just like the guns Timothy McVeigh used to shoot up the federal building in Oklahoma City).
True, April 19 is the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. It's also the anniversary of Lexington and Concord.
Once upon a time, the skirmish that sparked the Revolutionary War was a date that every schoolchild knew. When British soldiers moved to seize the gunpowder and arms of voluntary militias, armed citizens defended themselves, firing upon the British in "the shot heard 'round the world" -- as Ralph Waldo Emerson put it in his "Concord Hymn."
Hmmm, I wonder if the gun rights activists chose April 19 for their rallies because it was the anniversary of Lexington and Concord -- or because it was the anniversary of Oklahoma City?
Unless the organizers of the Second Amendment March and the Open Carry rally specifically told Rachel, "Oh no, we picked April 19 to honor the bombing in Oklahoma City -- gosh, we had no idea it was date of Lexington and Concord!", I'm pretty sure they picked April 19 because that was the day armed patriots defended themselves from British troops.
Maddow's idiotic attempt to ascribe the date of the gun rights marches to Oklahoma City rather than Lexington and Concord is so Olbermanic that -- to paraphrase Truman Capote -- it is now apparent that you lose a point of your IQ for every day you spend at MSNBC.
We have enough U.S. history by now that there's not a day on the calendar that isn't the anniversary of something. In fact, the very day that Maddow was attacking gun rights groups on her show -- April 14 -- was the 235th anniversary of the founding of the first anti-slavery society in America!
It is also the anniversary of an anti-war actor's murder of a crusading, anti-slavery Republican president. (In addition -- like I have to tell any of you -- it was National Restless Leg Syndrome Awareness Day, but I don't think that had anything to do with Rachel's report.)
Oh sure, Rachel may claim that she had no idea what April 14 was the anniversary of, and that the date of her attack on our constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms was just a coincidence. But given the long and ugly history of gun control laws in America being used to keep guns out of the hands of free blacks, it was a shockingly insensitive date for Maddow to engage in such extremist anti-gun rhetoric.
What's curious about the left's current obsession with Timothy McVeigh is that it proves that -- despite a frantic search for 15 years -- liberals have come across no better evidence of burgeoning "right-wing extremist" violence than a drug-taking, self-described "agnostic" who was thrown out of the Michigan Militia and who proclaimed, "Science is my religion."
That sounds more like Bill Maher than Rush Limbaugh.
Two rockets were fired from the Jordanian port of Aqaba towards Israel on Thursday but landed on an empty warehouse in Jordan, a Jordanian security source said.
Jordanian Minister of State for Information, Nabil al-Shareef, told the state news agency Petra: "A limited explosion took place in the early hours of the morning at a refrigeration warehouse at the northern edge of the city that caused minor damage."
Aqaba is adjacent to the Israeli city of Eilat.
In Jerusalem, the Israeli military said security forces searched Eilat after explosions and flashes of light were reported nearby, but they found no evidence indicating a security-related incident.
Later, the remains of a Katyusha rocket were found near Aqaba and the army was investigating the source, it said.
The incident took place nine days after Israel told its nationals holidaying in Egypt's Sinai peninsula, across the border from Eilat, to leave at once, saying militants planned to kidnap Israelis.
Israeli media reports said earlier that Israel suspected the rockets were fired by militants in the Sinai. One rocket landed near Aqaba, and the other fell into the Gulf of Aqaba, the reports said.
An Israeli security source said nothing had hit Eilat, a popular resort.
Egyptian sources denied that rockets were fired from Sinai.
An Egyptian security source in north Sinai said on condition of anonymity that security patrols along the Egypt-Israel border had detected no rocket launches toward Israel from north or central Sinai.
Abdul Fadheel Shousha, governor of South Sinai province, said it would be virtually impossible to fire rockets into Israel from southern Sinai into Israel for technical reasons.
Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979.
In 2005, rockets were fired at two US warships in Aqaba port but missed their targets and killed a Jordanian soldier on land. A group claiming links to al Qaeda said it carried out that attack.
Two years later, a Palestinian suicide bomber infiltrated through the Sinai and killed three people in an Eilat bakery.
Jordan, which made peace with Israel in 1994, is one of a handful of Arab countries to have diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. Those ties were frayed by Israel's crackdown in 2000 on a Palestinian uprising that erupted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Anti-Israeli feeling has risen in recent years and many politicians, from independent figures to the Islamist-led opposition, have repeatedly demanded the severing of relations with Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.
Our president is always telling us we need to "spread the wealth around" and that we need to have "social justice," and he is even raising taxes on the have's while the have not's pay nothing. It seems that at every turn Obama is telling us the poor need our help.
I have no problem helping out the poor, in fact I think that most don't have a problem donating to a charity or paying a tithe, so long as it's not coerced. It seems that our president does have a problem giving to the poor though.
Obama has a half brother who is living in Kenya. Nothing wrong with that, except that there is. He lives in a shack and lives off of less than a dollar a month! Morally shouldn't Obama be throwing his brother a bone here and there? Half brother or full I think this guy needs some help. Especially since Obama is a millionaire.
And it's not just family Obama turns a blind eye to, but the poor in general. The Obama's released their tax returns the other day and what was found was shocking. They gave just under 6 percent of their $5.5 million joint income to charity. That's it. The Biden's did even worse giving four tenths of one percent.
I think the President should change his motto to "yes YOU can" not "yes WE can."
Two observations about retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens are about to become established fact by sheer repetition. The first -- that Stevens is the last Protestant on the court -- is not true in any meaningful sense. The second -- that Stevens didn't move left, the court moved right -- is madness.
While it's true that there are no other Protestants on the court -- now composed of six Catholics and two Jews, making the Supreme Court only slightly less diverse than cable news hosts, 75 percent of whom are Catholic or Jewish, but also include a Scientologist, a Mormon and a gay -- it's difficult to believe Stevens is any kind of Protestant.
Stevens is more like a pre-road to Damascus Saul. Or maybe the late Justice William Brennan.
It has been said that when asked during his confirmation hearings if he would follow his Catholicism or the Constitution, Brennan should have answered: "Neither." (Only one senator voted against that cheap leprechaun. Guess who!... That's right: Joe McCarthy.)
Stevens' overall career-average may be less ridiculous than Brennan's, but in one respect, Stevens was a standout: He was the most fanatically anti-religious justice in modern times.
In the 1989 abortion case, Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, for example, Stevens argued that a state law that defined life as beginning at conception violated the First Amendment by -- yes, establishing a religion. The abortion law, he said, gave "a theological answer to the question of when life begins." (You've all heard of the First Church of When Life Begins, United, haven't you?)
Fortunately, Stevens didn't read far enough to see that the Bible also condemns murder generally, or he might have voted to strike down all laws against murder.
In the 2002 school voucher case, Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, Stevens argued that an Ohio program giving poor parents tuition aid to send their children to schools of their choosing also violated the establishment clause. Stevens admitted that the public school system in question was in "crisis" and also that the new schools were freely chosen by the parents.
Still, he said, because the program did not forbid parents from using the tuition payments at religious schools, the state was using "public funds to pay for the indoctrination of thousands of grammar school children in particular religious faiths." That money should have been used to indoctrinate children in subjects such as animal rights, Gaia theory, anti-Americanism and fisting etiquette!
Speaking as a Protestant, and not a "Protestant," we're happy to see Stevens leave the court.
Stevens' claim that he hasn't moved left, the court has moved right, if stated during a mental competence hearing, would have earned him a straitjacket and a handful of Thorazine.
But because Stevens' self-characterization comports with the legal left's position that the Supreme Court's failure to enact the entire platform of the Green Party constitutes "conservative judicial activism," it has been reverently repeated.
It's true that on a few issues, Stevens didn't change. He has long found any religious practice not crushed by the government to be an "establishment of religion." Stevens has also never been an enthusiast of tenuous claims to free speech rights, voting to uphold city restrictions on strip clubs in 1976 and voting to uphold a law that prohibited the burning of the American flag in 1989.
But on many other issues, such as race discrimination, Stevens swung so far to the left that his earlier opinions would be unrecognizable as having been written by the same man.
In 1978, Stevens was not only in the majority in University of California Regents v. Bakke, but he wrote the opinion holding that the school's race-based admissions program violated Title VII and ordering the university to admit Bakke.
In another case of government race-based classifications, Fullilove v. Klutznick (1980), Stevens ridiculed the idea of race-based "remedies" being applied to every ethnic group under the sun.
Adopting Justice William Rehnquist's view that the specific history of blacks in America makes their claims unique, Stevens wrote: "Quite obviously, the history of discrimination against black citizens in America cannot justify a grant of privileges to Eskimos or Indians." (Remember when you could use terms like "Eskimo" and "Indian" without being accused of a hate crime?)
Unlike blacks, who were "dragged to this country in chains to be sold in slavery," Stevens said "the 'Spanish-speaking' subclass came voluntarily, frequently without invitation, and the Indians, the Eskimos and the Aleuts had an opportunity to exploit America's resources before the ancestors of most American citizens arrived."
Now fast-forward to 2003, when the court considered the race-based admissions policy at the University of Michigan. The school automatically awarded 20 points -- one-fifth of the total points needed for admission -– to every minority, including not only blacks, but also Hispanics, Indians, Eskimos and Aleuts.
This time, affirmative action for Aleuts was just peachy with Stevens, who came up with a ludicrous procedural objection to the lawsuit, basically concluding that no one ever has standing to sue for race discrimination in college admissions. I guess he figured it was time somebody did something about the University of Michigan's long, shameful history of discriminating against Aleuts.
That's quite a change from the Justice Stevens of Fullilove, who compared government affirmative action programs to Nazi policies, saying if the government "is to make a serious effort to define racial classes by criteria that can be administered objectively, it must study precedents such as the First Regulation to the Reich's Citizenship Law of Nov. 14, 1935," translated in Volume 4 of "Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression."
Whatever you think of Stevens' newfound admiration for government racial preferences, it's preposterous to say, as Stevens did, "I really don't think I've changed all that much."
If liberals will lie about obvious facts from the last few decades, such as Stevens' dramatic swing to the left, how can they be trusted to tell the truth about a 200-year-old Constitution?
While waiting for a bone marrow transplant Diana Smith was dropped by government run Medicaid. The Social Security Administration called her up and told her that herthree-year-old son was entitled to receive Social Security disability payments. She signed the proper forms and the first check came in the mail shortly thereafter.
Then in April, Medicaid canceled her policy because... her income had risen! Yeah. They contact her, tell her she qualifies for money and then drop her for having too high an income. She tried to reverse what had been done but was told it was too late.
This mom was effectively sentenced to death by government health care. If you wanna know what Obamacare is going to be like, multiply this by 10.
Sarah Palin got made fun of for telling us that death panels would be utilized in Obamacare. Obamacare doesn't go into effect for a few more years but were already starting to see how the death panels work.
It looks as if the insurance companies don't have a monopoly on evil like the left want you to believe.
"Hey Tina! The election is over! Obama won! You can stop making fun of Sarah Palin now!"
So I turned on SNL this weekend because I had heard Tina Fey was gonna be hosting. I love her show 30 Rock. It's one of the funniest shows on TV right now.
Tina is always being touted as a great, witty writer who always has a firm grasp on current events and pop culture. But after seeing the monologue and another sketch or two I shut it off. I didn't see the rest of the show but jusging by the first 15 minutes I'd guess it was a big Slam Sarah show.
Hey Tina! The election is over! Obama won! You can stop making fun of Sarah Palin now!
In fact this goes for all the MSM and Hollywood. My wife turned on the Marriage Ref. the other night and halfway into it Jimmy Fallon made a rude comment about Sarah and her mentally challenged son Trigg.
The election is over, your guy won, you can stop campaigning for him now.
The jokes about Sarah aren't funny or even smart. The only reason she is attacked all the time is because she is the Alpha female (for lack of a better phrase). She held down a powerful job as Governor and was a full time mom. She is the the way the feminist movement should be headed.
As uninformed and unprepared as she was to be VP, she was and is still a threat to the left, otherwise they wouldn't be attacking her.
In an opinion that may have been written by Heidi Montag, a federal court of appeals recently threw out a jury verdict in favor of a father, Albert Snyder, who had sued protesters at his son Matthew's funeral for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Solely because Matthew was a Marine, a Kansas-based cult, consisting mostly of members of a single family, traveled to Maryland in order to stand outside Matthew's funeral with placards saying things like, "God Loves Dead Soldiers," "God Hates You," "You're Going to Hell," "Semper Fi Fags," "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," "Thank God for IEDs" and "God Hates Fags."
But wait, it gets funnier.
The cult's leader/father is Fred Phelps, who calls America a "sodomite nation of flag-worshipping idolaters." Since you won't read it anyplace else, Phelps has run for public office five times -- as a Democrat.
The Fred Phelps cult members travel around the country and hold vile signs outside military funerals because they believe that the reason American soldiers die in wars is that God hates the U.S.A. because it tolerates homosexuals.
I'll leave it to others to speculate as to why the very thought of male homosexuality gets Fred Phelps into such a lather.
Snyder has appealed his case to the Supreme Court, and now the court will have to decide whether the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) can ever exist in a country with a First Amendment.
Unlike many legal concepts, the tort of IIED is not an obscure legal doctrine written in pig Latin. It means what it says: speech or conduct specifically intended to inflict emotional distress. The usual description of the tort of IIED is that a reasonable man viewing the conduct would react by saying, "That's outrageous!"
The Second Restatement of Torts (1965) defines IIED as conduct "so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community."
As a respected New York judge, Judith Kaye, described it, "The tort is as limitless as the human capacity for cruelty." Inasmuch as IIED claims are made based on all manner of insults, rudeness, name-calling and petty affronts, the claim is often alleged, but rarely satisfied.
But if a group of lunatics standing outside the funeral of a fallen American serviceman with hateful signs about the deceased does not constitute intentional infliction of emotional distress, then there is no such tort recognizable in America anymore.
The protesters weren't publishing their views in a magazine, announcing them on a "Morning Zoo" radio program, proclaiming them on some fringe outlet like "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" -– or even standing on a random street corner. Their protest was held outside a funeral for the specific purpose of causing pain to the deceased's loved ones.
But the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals noticed that the cult's malicious signs contained words, and that words are "speech" ... which is protected by the First Amendment! (Or was it the Seventh?) Anyway, that was basically the end of the court's analysis.
True, speech will often be involved in inflicting emotional distress on someone, say, for example, standing outside a funeral with signs that say "God Hates You!"
Similarly, words are used in committing treason ("The Americans are over here!"), robbery ("Your money or your life!") and sexual harassment ("Have sex with me or you're fired."). Copyright law prohibits speech that uses someone else's words, and insider trading and trade-secrets laws prohibit the use of words revealing insider information or trade secrets.
The fact that "speech" was involved in the Fred Phelps cult's assault on Matthew Snyder's funeral is a mundane and irrelevant fact. The question is: Did that speech constitute intentional infliction of emotional distress? Hey, look! That reasonable man over there is nodding his head "yes." If so, the First Amendment is as irrelevant as it is to a copyright law violation.
The Supreme Court has upheld shockingly restrictive bans on speech outside of abortion clinics: content-based restrictions on the speech of pro-lifers singing, "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world."
Is abortion more sacrosanct than a son's funeral? Is singing "Jesus loves the little children" deserving of less First Amendment protection than placards saying, "God Loves Dead Soldiers"? Hey, reasonable man over there -- got a minute?
Even the Fred Phelps cult's "epic" posted online and accusing the Snyders of raising their son badly, which would seem to have the strongest claim to First Amendment protection, would not be protected in other contexts. Last week in Massachusetts, nine teenagers were criminally charged with cyberbullying, based in part on malicious postings about the victim on their Facebook pages.
Thanks to idiot lawyers, who think it makes them sound smart to say "Black is white" and "Up is down," one of the biggest problems in society today is the refusal to draw lines. Here's a nice bright line: Holding malevolent signs outside the funeral of an American serviceman who died defending his country constitutes intentional infliction of emotional distress.
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You may have heard that recently at the funeral for Matthew Snyder, a fallen soldier, the Westboro Baptist "Church" picketed with signs reading GOD HATES THE USA and THANK GOD FOR 9/11 and GOD KILLED MATTHEW SNYDER.
The Snyder family sued claiming the church intentionally inflicted emotional distress and won millions of dollars in the decision.
The Snyders then lost on appeal. The judges on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the Snyder family would also be forced to pay the Westboro Baptist Church's legal fees because they lost the case, which is typical, but obviously morally wrong.
This case will go to the Supreme Court. (BTW, Bill O'Reilly picked up the Snyder family's tab.)
Here is what FOX news anchor Megyn Kelly had to say about the decision.
Here is what my favorite conservative had to say about it.
I dislike Mrs. Waters...a lot. And here are a few reasons:
1. In their 2009 (and 2005 and 2006) report, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington named Maxine one of the most corrupt persons in Congress.
2. On the House Floor, Waters made a few inappropriate remarks and was asked to stop her speaking until the dispute was resolved. She refused and kept right on talking. The Chair kept pounding the gavel but Waters wouldn't shut up. Finally Rep. Robert Walker yelled "get the Mace!" which shut her up.
3. The LA Times reported in 2004 that Water's friends and relatives made over $1 million dollars over the nect eight years by doing business with companies that Waters helped out.
4. Waters' hubby is a shareholder and former director of OneUnited Bank. Waters put together a meeting between the Treasury Dept. and the bank so that they could beg for federal cash. It worked and OneUnited Bank avoided bankruptcy by acquiring $12 million in TARP funds. This is being investigated right now by the House Ethics Committee.
5. Got in a screaming fight on the House Floor. She wanted an earmark that would put a public school employment training center in LA...and it would be named after her. Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey told her that he would not ok that because it violated the "monuments to me" policy. She yelled, he yelled back. After the yelling was over it was overheard that Waters said "He touched me first."
On the "Today" show this Tuesday, President Obama claimed the massive government takeover of health care the Democrats passed without a single Republican vote was a "middle of the road" bill that incorporated many Republican ideas.
One Republican idea allegedly incorporated into the Democrats' health care monstrosity is "medical malpractice reform." Needless to say, the Democrats' idea of malpractice reform is less than nothing. Until trial lawyers are screaming bloody murder, there has been no medical malpractice reform.
The Democrats' "malpractice" section merely encourages the states to set up commissions to "study" tort reform, in the sense that frustrated mothers "encourage" their kids not to slouch. By "study," the Democrats mean "ignore."
So we get more taxpayer-funded government workers under the Democrats' "medical malpractice reform," but not one tittle of actual reform.
Democrats manifestly do not care about helping Americans get quality health care. If they did, they could not continue to support trial lawyers like John Edwards making $50 million by bringing junk lawsuits against doctors who are saving people's lives. (At least Edwards has not done anything else to publicly disgrace himself since then.)
At a minimum, any health care bill that purports to improve Americans' health, rather than trial lawyers' bank accounts, must include a loser-pays rule and a restriction on damages to actual losses -- as opposed to punitive damages, which mostly serve to enrich the John Edwardses of the world, and their mistresses.
The Democrats also lyingly claim their health care reform includes the Republican ideas of competition across state lines.
I know they're lying because -- well, first because I read the bill -- but also because Democrats are genetically incapable of understanding the free market. You might say it's a pre-existing condition with them.
True, you can buy insurance across state lines under the new health insurance law -- but only after the Democrats have created a national commission telling all insurance companies what they are required to cover.
That's not as bad as the current patchwork of state mandates -- it's worse!
At least before the passage of ObamaCare you could move to states such as Idaho or Kentucky, where all insurance plans aren't required to cover fertility treatment, restless leg syndrome and social anxiety disorder.
Under federal mandates, there will be no escape.
That's right, a single, one-size-fits-all, jammed-down-your-throat national plan is what the Democrats mean when they say their plan includes "competition across state lines."
How much do you want to bet that the national commission in Washington will mandate coverage for every form of shopping addiction treatment, body image therapy and sex-change operations with mandatory mental health counseling, but not injuries from hunting accidents or smoking-related illnesses?
The Democrats compare their new health care bill to entitlements like Medicare and Medicaid. But those are welfare, not health care. They may go to deserving welfare recipients, but they are a government-enforced gift from the young to the old (Medicare), and from the middle class to the poor (Medicaid).
There's no reason why most Americans shouldn't be able to buy our own medical insurance the same way we buy our own cell phones, hair care and cars.
And just incidentally, Medicare and Medicaid are projected to go bankrupt slightly before the United States of America is projected to go bankrupt. So turning all of health care into a larger Medicare program may need a little more thinking through.
These programs will have to be reconfigured at some point, but how society takes care of the old and the poor should be put in a separate box from how the non-elderly and non-poor should obtain health care.
Democrats want to turn the entire citizenry into welfare recipients.
A few weeks ago, The New York Times ran an editorial noting the amazing fact that, by the middle of this year, there will be an estimated 6.8 billion people on Earth -- and 5 billion will have cell phones! (Even more astounding, at least one of them is seated directly behind me every time I go to the movies.)
How did that happen without a Democrat president and Congress using bribes, parliamentary tricks and arcane non-voting maneuvers to pass a massive, hugely expensive National Cell Phone Reform Act?
How did that happen without Barney Frank and Henry Waxman personally designing the 3-foot-long, 26-pound, ugly green $4,000 cell phone we all have to use?
How did that happen without Obama signing the National Cell Phone Reform bill, as a poor 10-year-old black kid who couldn't afford to text-message his friends looked on?
The reason nearly everyone in the universe has a cell phone is that President Reagan did to telephones the exact opposite of what the Democrats have just done with health care.
Before Reagan came into office, we had one phone company, ridiculously expensive rates and one phone model. Reagan split up AT&T, deregulated phone service and gave America a competitive market in phones. The rest is history.
If you can grasp how inexpensive cell phones in a rainbow of colors and wonders like the iPhone could never have been created under a National Cell Phone Reform Act, you can understand what a disaster ObamaCare is going to be for health care in America.