Jun 192012

787 Crew:

Jacob Williams, a stand-up comedian from Chicago:

Brilliant future…

Mary Joyner, daughter of famous Olympians Flo Jo and Al Joyner:

Lil Starr is a little six-year-old tap dancer with unstoppable energy and a huge personality :

Jun 192012

The Oversight Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight, and Government Spending held a hearing entitled, “The Obama Administration’s Green Energy Gamble Part II: Were All The Taxpayer Subsidies Necessary?” on June 19, 2012.

The Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending held a hearing entitled, “The Obama Administration’s Green Energy Gamble: What Have All The Taxpayer Subsidies Achieved?”

The Obama Administration’s Green Energy Gamble Part II: Were All The Taxpayer Subsidies Necessary?

Also See from past week:

Obama Energy Dept. Awards $2 Million Grant to Solar Company Linked with Van Jones

Jun 192012

Hard cases make for bad law. So, apparently, do tight presidential campaigns.

On Friday, the Obama Administration’s Department of Homeland Security issued a memorandum telling U.S. immigration officials how they should “enforce the Nation’s immigration laws against certain young people who were brought to this country as children and know only this country as home.” Coming five months before the election, the administration’s move is an attempt to implement major elements of the DREAM Act, a controversial bill that’s been introduced in both Democratic- and Republican-controlled Congresses but has always lacked the votes to be passed into law.

Having failed in the legislative branch, how can the executive do this?

See Friday Dump: Young Illegals Will Not Be Deported

The Administration insists it has wide “prosecutorial discretion” when it comes to enforcing immigration law. No one doubts that judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers should have discretion about what charges to bring and how to handle particular cases. There are always exceptions to the rule. But Friday’s order, which uses the term discretion some ten times, seems to go beyond discretion to the point of creating a policy scheme contrary to existing law. The exception has become the new rule.

Imagine a police chief instructing everyone on the police force to issue no speeding tickets to anyone under age 26, regardless of how fast the driver was going. That’s not discretion; it’s a policy instruction that changes the meaning of the law. Former Bush Administration lawyer John Yoo goes further:

Imagine the precedent this claim would create. President Romney could lower tax rates simply by saying he will not use enforcement resources to prosecute anyone who refuses to pay capital-gains tax. He could repeal Obamacare simply by refusing to fine or prosecute anyone who violates it.

Obama’s discretionary policy is government at its worst: arbitrary, narrowly political and subject to administrative whim. This is amnesty by imperial decree.

~ Important Snippets:

* The fundamental problem is that the Administration is trying to implement laws that Congress hasn’t passed. The president himself has admitted he doesn’t have the constitutional authority to implement the DREAM Act. “The idea of doing things on my own is very tempting, I promise you, not just on immigration reform. But that’s not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions,” he told Hispanic activists last year.

* The Administration is making a habit of overstepping its bounds. Last fall it issued sweeping waivers of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) if states would implement national education standards not authorized by Congress. “Congress hasn’t been able to do it, so I will,” Obama announced then. The Obama administration has sued the State of Arizona in an attempt to prevent the state from enforcing a federal law aimed at curbing the problem of illegal immigration. Then there are the president’s recess appointments when the Senate isn’t in recess.

The list goes on.

In our system of government, Congress is the legislative branch and is responsible for making the laws. Presidents are supposed to “faithfully execute” the laws to the best of their ability, not reshape them to suit their own policy goals and political needs.

- source

The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy.

~ Benjamin Franklin

Jun 192012

Something new from RightChange.com. New video parody of the Dos Equis spot “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” “The Most Arrogant Man in the World illustrates how Obama believes he can just essentially push his agenda regardless of the congress which has made many believe he has an arrogant leadership style. This video takes a look at him accepting the Nobel Peace Price for doing nothing, picking Joe Biden as VP just to prove he doesn’t need one, referring to the Supreme Court as just another unelected body, week stand on Iran and much more. Features new ending for “Don’t Be a Donkey”, which is a new site that will feature numerous new parody videos going into the 2012 election. Hope you get a Chuckle out of this one.

Jun 192012

Google says it increasingly fields requests from government agencies trying to use their power to suppress political opinions and other material they don’t like. (AP)

Google exercised its belief in freedom of speech recently, turning down a censorship request by the Canadian government to remove a YouTube video showing a man urinating on his own Canadian passport.

“We received a request from the Passport Canada office to remove a YouTube video of a Canadian citizen urinating on his passport and flushing it down the toilet,” the company revealed. “We did not comply with this request,” Google said.

But Google had to comply with others:

The search giant claims it increasingly fields requests from government agencies trying to use their power to suppress political opinions and other material they don’t like.

The details of the Canadian case were released in Google’s semi-annual “transparency report” for the last half of 2011, released on Sunday. It was the U.S.-based company’s fifth since 2009, summarizing the company’s responses to requests received from governments to remove links to web content alleged to be illegal, hateful, terrorism-promoting, or offensive — an onslaught of requests that are only increasing, the company said Sunday.

“It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect — Western democracies not typically associated with censorship,” Dorothy Chou, Google’s senior policy analyst, wrote in a Sunday blog post.

That comment may have been aimed at the U.S., where police prosecutors, courts and other government agencies submitted 187 requests to remove content from July through December last year, more than doubling from 92 requests from January through June.

The country-by-country capsule illustrates the pressure Google faces as it tries to obey the disparate laws in various countries while trying to uphold its commitment to free expression and protect the sanctity its more than 1 billion users’ personal information.

‘Some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect — Western democracies not typically associated with censorship.’

– Dorothy Chou, Google’s senior policy analyst

Governments zero in on Google because its services have become staples of our digital-driven lives. Besides running the Internet’s most dominant search engine, Google owns the most watched video site in YouTube, operates widely used blogging and email services and distributes Android, the top operating system on mobile phones. During the past year, Google has focused on expanding Plus, a social networking service, that boasts more than 170 million users.

JUST read the rest of this report…

Jun 192012

~ a PF find…

~ Take the video with a grain of salt. This video on YouTube is allegedly of the cloud as well:

Let’s hope the explanation suffices. That’s because some citizens of the Hunan, Hubei, Anhui, Jiangxi and Jiangsu provinces witnessing the haze (not the cloud) criticized the government’s explanation and two were arrested for spreading rumors the haze was the result of a chemical plant malfunction.

- source

A thick yellow cloud covers a busy intersection in Wuhan on June 11. Wuhan was blanketed by thick yellowish cloud Monday, raising fears of pollution among its nine million inhabitants, residents told AFP. Witnesses said the haze appeared suddenly in the morning, and residents rushed to put on face masks. (AFP Photo/Str)

Young and old residents of the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan were advised to stay indoors on Monday after a thick haze blanketed the city of nine million people, official media said.

Described by residents as opaque with yellowish and greenish tinges, the fog descended suddenly in the morning, prompting people to rush to put on face masks, witnesses told AFP.

The official Xinhua news agency quoted the environmental protection department of Hubei province saying in a statement: “Children, the elderly and people with heart or respiratory diseases are advised to stay indoors.”

Xinhua said straw burning was the cause and denied there had been any industrial accidents in or near Wuhan, after Internet rumours suggested there had been an explosion at a chemical complex northeast of the city.

“I looked out of the window of my office and I could not believe my eyes,” said resident Li Yunzhong.

“At first I thought it was going to rain. In 31 years in Wuhan I have never known anything like it. We are very worried because we do not know what it is.”

* Xinhua described the haze as grey-yellow in colour and said it was seen in seven cities in Hubei province, including Wuhan.

* Air-quality monitoring showed Wuhan’s PM10 particulate concentration stood at 0.574 mg per cubic metre at 2:00 pm, more than triple the daily average of 0.150 mg, Xinhua reported.

~ The disturbing part of this report is what is seemingly a blatant cover-up:

“Many farmers choose to burn crops that are left behind in their fields after harvesting,” Xinhua said.

But Li was sceptical. “I doubt that,” he said. “We don’t practise large-scale shifting agriculture in our region.”

Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province and an industrial centre where many foreign firms have set up factories, including the French automotive group PSA Peugeot Citroën.

Alstom also manufactures boilers for coal-fired power plants there.

~ This says it all:

Official air-quality statistics are sometimes at odds with non-government measurements, and are often viewed with distrust.

See Video: Unexpected smog in Pristine Park

China tells US to stop tweets on Beijing’s bad air

Trending on Twitter

– featured image: A woman wears a mask as she walks along a street in front of a Chinese temple during a hazy day in Wuhan, Hubei province June 11, 2012. China’s carbon emissions could be nearly 20 percent higher than previously thought, a new analysis of official Chinese data showed on Sunday, suggesting the pace of global climate change could be even faster than currently predicted. REUTERS/Stringer