Tuesday, January 31, 2017
By Doug Book, editor
We’ve heard a great deal recently about candidates for the Chair of the Democrat National Committee and the contempt they have for members of the White race. During the DNC Candidate Forum last week, Sally Boynton Brown, Executive Director of the Idaho Democrat Party, stated that Democrats must “train” Americans “how to be sensitive and how to shut their mouths if they are white.”
Of course it’s just possible that this attitude among Party representatives had something to do with the stunning defeat of their shoo-in candidate last year. But I won’t suggest that hostility toward some 78% of the American public necessarily makes for bad political mojo. So what if white voters are not welcome in the Democrat Party. Who needs ‘em, after all!
For Democrats, it seems, have come up with the last word in the battle to attract followers. It’s called “intersectionality.” And according to at least one elected Democrat it explains what the Party did wrong in 2016.
Speaking at the DNC Candidate Forum, Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said “We did a poor job of communicating intersectionality.” “I’m a walking intersectionality,” decided Buttigieg. “I’m a left-handed, Maltese-American, Episcopalian, gay, war veteran.”
So what is this new recruiting tool which Democrats find so appealing? According to Wikipedia:
Intersectionality (or intersectional theory) is a term first coined in 1989 by American civil rights advocate and leading scholar of critical race theory, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw. It is the study of overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination. Intersectionality is the idea that multiple identities intersect to create a whole that is different from the component identities. These identities that can intersect include gender, race, social class, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, age, mental disability, physical disability, mental illness, and physical illness as well as other forms of identity. These aspects of identity are not “unitary, mutually exclusive entities, but rather…reciprocally constructing phenomena.” The theory proposes that we think of each element or trait of a person as inextricably linked with all of the other elements in order to fully understand one's identity.
This framework can be used to understand how systemic injustice and social inequality occur on a multidimensional basis. Intersectionality holds that the classical conceptualizations of oppression within society—such as racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia and belief-based bigotry—do not act independently of each other. Instead, these forms of oppression interrelate, creating a system of oppression that reflects the "intersection" of multiple forms of discrimination.
Got that? Apparently, the endless classes of Victimhood so thoroughly cherished by liberals will at some point intersect in each particular individual, creating a whole person who is far more aggrieved than the sum of his oppressed parts. In short, what was once a simple victim will become a SUPER-Victim. Liberals will have the opportunity to bemoan an even more disturbing fate for the poor, lesbian, ethnic, overweight victims of White arrogance, homophobia, xenophobia, racism and bigotry.
Imagine the glee with which re-energized liberals will instruct America’s victims about the hopeless cesspool that is their life.
And we believe that leftists never enjoy themselves!
Sunday, January 29, 2017
The following piece was originally published in the Bakersfield Californian on January 24th
By Jerry Todd
“Dark and sinister” is the latest mantra the left is already widely using against Donald Trump and any who oppose their totalitarian schemes.
But Trump’s inaugural speech very much paralleled the Declaration of Independence. His statements about the Congress also fit the wisdom of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson before him:
“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be to-morrow.” — James Madison, Federalist No. 62, 1788.
We all know and love this part of the Declaration:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
In his exhortations to “Make America Great Again,” every move the president has made since the election is aimed at fulfilling that beautiful statement of truth.
The Declaration could be called “dark and sinister” for its litany of the abuses our Founders confronted. It is also fact that progressives have long held the Declaration of Independence as legally unfettered from their view of a “living, breathing Constitution.” They commonly vilify the critical “endowment by our Creator.” There’s more to the Declaration’s role as the moral, spiritual and philosophical basis of the Constitution than defining “inalienable rights.”
In the Declaration there is also the “dark and sinister” chronicled history of “repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.”
Taking a small bit of literary license to prove there are no new sins of despots, only new spins. The tiresome, “Hey get with it, it’s the 18th, 19th, 20th and now the 21st Century” as if the human hunger for freedom and natural law change with the whims of the arrogant. The “21st Century, get with it” updates are in italics to clarify the same old damage done by the aggressors in this modern spiritual war.
These direct accusations against the King of England from the Declaration of Independence need no further explanation.
He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good (energy and monetary policy to destroy our economy and enrich his cronies and our enemies.).
He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance (illegal immigration, maintaining the peace), unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly (bypassing Congress by unconstitutional Executive Orders, overturning initiatives voted overwhelmingly by the people — immigration policy, marriage under natural law between a man and woman), for opposing with “manly” firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
We know today that a Constitutional Republic under God works well. It must be restored or we will suffer the fate of civilizations that came before us.
Today, it is the usurpation of human and Constitutional rights of an established and successful nation. Today, the same offenses must be named and acted on. Ignore the Declaration, pay the price!
Moral issues aside, it costs three to four times as much for federal government to usurp community responsibilities in health, education and welfare, resulting in not only loss of freedom, but gaining a mountain of debt.
Do you think it is time for truth and thrift? Isn’t this what President Trump has been talking about?
By Jim Bray
The Acura MDX has traditionally been a very nice luxury SUV and this might explain why the 2017 version hasn't changed a lot from the previous year.
Probably the biggest change is to its front end, which now sports a new grille the company calls "diamond pentagon." I had no issues with the last schnozzola on the MDX - my issues with the vehicle stem more from an interior treatment that hasn't been changed significantly, and that's a shame.
|Acura MDX for 2017|
Besides the new grille, the MDX gets a more sharply sculpted hood, front fascia and front fenders, new LED fog lights and the cool Jewel Eye headlights that are appearing on the company's inventory. There's also a new chrome rocker panel design, the rear bumper has been redesigned, and you now get twin tailpipes. It's a handsome exterior, indeed.
Acura Canada says this is the most premium and technologically advanced MDX in history, and points out that it's now available with 20 inch wheels and captain's chairs for the second row seats. The third row is still a tight bench suitable mostly for small kids or emergency use, but over the generations the manufacturer has at least made it easier to get into and out of it, which is very welcome.
All MDX models see their standard luxury and technology features upped for 2017, including stuff like an electric parking brake with automatic brake hold, automatic high beam headlights, four USB charging ports and the kind of capless fuel filler first introduced a few years ago by Ford. Opt for the Elite trim level (which raises the MSRP from its entry level of $53,690 to $65,790 CAD) and you get stuff like LED fog lights, genuine Olive Ash Burl (or new Black Limba) wood trim, and a handy surround-view camera system that gives you six selectable viewing angles.
There's also a six passenger version of the MDX Elite, for the same price as the seven seater, which features the second row captain's chairs and also adds a centre console with two more USB ports for those unlucky people riding back in steerage.
There are also Navi and Tech trim levels, which retail on Acura's Canadian website for $57,190 and $60,190 respectively. Acura's sample was of the Elite variety and it included upgraded audio and video capabilities as well: a cool Ultrawide Rear Entertainment DVD System with its 16.2 inch display and HDMI input jack that lets you plug in your own player or game platform if you have one. The ELS Surround system has traditionally been one of the best sounding I've experienced, and though it's lost some of its functionality (SACD and DVD-Audio playback) over the years, its 546 watt total power output and 12 speakers (including a subwoofer) still rock very well.
The Elite also gets parking sensors front and rear.
Even the "entry level" MDX is equipped well, with such amenities as the suite of annoying AcuraWatch Driver Assist features, keyless lock/unlock with pushbutton start, a power tailgate, remote engine start and heated front seats.
It's still a pretty great vehicle to drive, too, however you configure it. Power goes to all four wheels (thanks to Acura's SH-AWD - super handling all wheel drive - system) through a reasonably smoothly shifting nine speed automatic transmission (with paddles). Power originates in a 3.5 litre direct-injected i-VTEC 24 valve V6 engine rated at 290 peak horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of peak torque. It's plenty of poop to get the big SUV going, while the four wheel disc brakes (with ABS, etc.) do a fine job of getting rid of your speed when the time comes.
Where Acura and I depart, besides the intrusive nannies, is with the centre stack and its two sometimes-redundant LCD screens. Between the two of them, you can control the navigation, audio system, and HVAC, but the interfaces are bizarre and annoying. Heck, even tuning in radio stations or changing the temperature are more difficult than they need to be. And pairing my Android phone was also a chore.
The nannies that make up the AcuraWatch suite, include a Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM). Blind spot monitoring is optional, as are the parking sensors and rear cross traffic monitor. If I were designing the vehicles' various trim levels, I'd put the blind spot monitor, parking sensors and cross traffic monitor as standard and offer the other stuff as options, but as usual no one consulted me. It's probably a defense mechanism on their part.
The MDX's suggested retail prices are pretty reasonable when you look at the luxury SUV/crossover market - vehicles such as Audi's Q7 ($61,900 base price) and Lexus GX 460 ($72,850, but with a V8), for example.
I can think of another couple of good choices too, however, ones that don't pretend to be luxury utes but which are really nice (and plenty luxurious) anyway: the Kia Sorento and Mazda's new CX-9. You can't get a V6 with the Mazda any more, though you can with the Kia, but they're both worth a look if you're eyeing an MDX - they're that good.
And they can cost less: the top line, loaded, three row Sorento with V6 power lists on Kia's Canadian website for $43,595, while a loaded CX-9 Signature (whose turbo four puts out 250 hp but 310 lb.-ft. of torque) comes in at $52,130 according to Mazda's Canadian website. The Mazda's loaded price is darn close to the MDX's base, it's true, but I still think it's a more interesting and less off-putting choice.
Still, the new MDX will undoubtedly continue to be a good seller for Acura. The things that drive me nuts about it may not bother you a whit, which is fine (though you're wrong!), and at heart it's still an Acura - so how bad can it be?
Not bad at all, but definitely not as pleasant to live with as it could have been.
The following article was published on the Times of Israel website .
Palestinians say Obama’s last-minute $221 million payout frozen by Trump
Source says State Department has notified Ramallah the funds will not be immediately available, while it examines the transfer
by Avi Issacharroff
The Trump administration has informed the Palestinian Authority that it is freezing the transfer of $221 million which was quietly authorized by the Obama administration in its final hours on January 20, a senior Palestinian source has told The Times of Israel.
US officials conveyed to PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday that the funds were not expected to be handed over in the immediate future, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
On Tuesday, the State Department said it was reviewing the last-minute decision by former secretary of state John Kerry to send the funds to the Palestinians despite objections to the transfer by congressional Republicans.
The department said it would look at the payment and might make adjustments to ensure it comports with the Trump administration’s priorities.
The Obama administration had for some time been pressing for the release of the money for the Palestinian Authority, which comes from the US Agency for International Development, known as USAID, and is to be used for humanitarian aid in the West Bank and Gaza to support political and security reforms, as well as help prepare for good governance and the rule of law in a future Palestinian state, according to the notification sent to Congress.
Even without the $221 million, the Palestinian source noted that in 2016 the PA received $250 million from the US government.
These funds included $180 million from USAID, $25 million to support Palestinian hospitals and $45 million to pay for fuel purchased from Israel.
Congress had initially approved the Palestinian funding in budget years 2015 and 2016, but at least two GOP lawmakers — Ed Royce of California, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Kay Granger of Texas, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee — had placed holds on it over moves the Palestinian Authority had taken to seek membership in international organizations. Congressional holds are generally respected by the executive branch but are not legally binding after funds have been allocated.
Kerry formally notified Congress that State would release the extra $221 million money Friday morning, just hours before President Donald Trump took the oath of office.
Granger released a statement Tuesday saying, “I am deeply disappointed that President Obama defied congressional oversight and released $221 million to the Palestinian territories.”
She added: “I worked to make sure that no American taxpayer dollars would fund the Palestinian Authority unless very strict conditions were met. While none of these funds will go to the Palestinian Authority because of those conditions, they will go to programs in the Palestinian territories that were still under review by Congress. The Obama Administration’s decision to release these funds was inappropriate.”