____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>“The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” declared President Barack Obama during his latest address to the United Nations. He continued, “Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed or the Holocaust is denied.” As the truth about the Benghazi debacle emerges following last week’s congressional hearing, perhaps the scariest details are those that highlight the President’s contempt for free speech.Let me be clear about what happened in Libya.On Sept. 11, Ambassador Chris Stevens spent the day in meetings inside the American embassy, a compound protected by a 9-foot barbed wired wall and reinforced by “barriers, steel drop bars and other security upgrades.” He finished his last meeting with a Turkish diplomat at 8:30 p.m., when Stevens escorted the diplomat outside. It was quiet and calm. There were no protests.About an hour later, “loud noises, gunfire and explosions” at the entrance alerted the four U.S. agents about security detail, who then watched many armed men force their way inside the compound via security cameras.The agents “immediately sounded the alarm and made telephone calls to the embassy in Tripoli, officials in Washington, the Libyan authorities and the U.S. quick reaction force located at a second compound a little over a mile away.” The aggressors then carried out a coordinated terrorist attack that ended in the deaths of four American servicemen, including Stevens. There were no protests, no raging Muslim men screaming about a YouTube video. Despite this and the fact that Washington officials were notified of the details “immediately” as the attack began, the Obama administration peddled the tale that the assault was the direct result of a larger protest about an anti-Muslim film.The administration took pains to condemn the video. Obama said on “The View,” “I don’t care how offensive this video was, and it was terribly offensive. And we should shun it.” Hillary Clinton called it “disgusting and reprehensible.” Ambassador Susan Rice called it “heinous.” The administration asked YouTube to “review” the video, suggesting it shouldn’t have been disseminated in the first place. Then the president stood idly by as a federal court judge ordered the maker of the video, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, to be kept without bail on the pretext of a probation violation from his 2005 check fraud conviction. The administration’s response to the recent rage against the United States is an embarrassment. The Muslim freaks who carried out the anti-American demonstrations are laughing in our faces, feeling legitimized due to the administration’s focus on the anti-Islam video — a video which had nothing to due with the Benghazi terror strike.In an American future, we do not appease fanatics who can’t fathom life in a pluralistic world. We do not justify terrorism against a country that is a refuge for all who wish to escape the tyranny of regimes that dictate truth. Yet, in Obama’s world, we don’t tolerate literature that some may disagree with. We don’t hurt the feelings of Muslims or protect petty criminals from being arrested on a pretext.In Obama’s world, the future belongs to the political correctness czar, a man so worried about tolerance that he does not tolerate.— email@example.com
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____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Since Wednesday’s presidential debate, liberals have been squawking about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s pledge to end the government subsidy to the Public Broadcasting Service in an attempt to distract us from, as Charles Blow of the New York Times put it, ”President Xanax’s” dismal performance.Their outcries against Romney’s pledge to “kill Big Bird” are nothing short of demagogic religious dogma. Liberals regard government subsidies for broadcasting as a sacrament. Their words drip with reverence.Blow wrote, “It’s almost impossible to overstate how instrumental PBS has been in my development ... We were poor. My mother couldn’t afford day care, and I didn’t go to preschool ... I could watch one hour of television: PBS.”Blow goes on to credit this daily hour as that which enabled him to achieve most of his major professional accomplishments. Even LeVar Burton of “Reading Rainbow” said of Romney, “I am personally outraged that any serious contender for the White House would target as part of his campaign the children of America in this fashion.”Did you know that you’re anti-children of America if you support ending the subsidy to PBS? These hysterics make me wonder, how did we raise children before PBS? How will our children learn how to count or recite the alphabet if we don’t subsidize PBS? How will they learn important social skills?The left creates emotional pandemonium whenever talk of defunding PBS arises because they can’t argue the facts.As Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., pointed out in the Wall Street Journal in 2011, Sesame Street “made more than $211 million from toy and consumer product sales from 2003-2006. Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 in compensation in 2008.” PBS made enough to pay CEO and President Paula Kerger $632,233 in one year. Kevin Close, president emeritus of NPR, received $1.2 million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.Like these executives, Big Bird is a multi-millionaire. Sesame Street is an international brand that would thrive in the private market, and it alone raises enough revenue to support PBS.While it may be a miniscule amount of the federal budget that goes toward PBS, what does it say about us that we can’t end government subsidies even to millionaire cronies like Big Bird?— firstname.lastname@example.org
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>California has loomed in the American psyche as the place for dreamers. California has been a promised land where anything is possible with a little elbow grease.“Why don’t you go on west to California?” asks John Steinbeck’s narrator in “The Grapes of Wrath.” “There’s work there, and it never gets cold. Why, you can reach out anywhere and pick an orange. Why, there’s always some kind of crop to work in. Why don’t you go there?” That was then. A study published last week by the Manhattan Institute explains why, today, you shouldn’t go to California. The state suffers from a migration crisis. Millions of people are fleeing the Golden State, traveling east in search of paradise.In total, California lost about 3.4 million residents to other states since 1990. This large exodus of citizens means that four-fifths of what it gained in the massive population increase from the previous 30 years — during which time “California took in enough American migrants to populate the entire state of Missouri” — is gone. These migrants are mostly going to southern and western states. Texas, Nevada and Arizona are the top three destinations. Due to the large number of people leaving the state, California has lost billions of dollars in revenue to these states: $5.67 billion to Nevada, $4.96 to Arizona and $4.07 to Texas.The destination states share certain things in common. They each have more jobs. This is especially true of Texas, where the unemployment rate was 8.1 percent compared to California’s 12.4 percent in July 2010. They each have a lower tax burden. Nevada’s tax burden as share of income from 2000-09 was 7.37 percent, and California’s was 10.46 percent. In each of these states, it is easier and cheaper to conduct business. Most of these states have right to work laws. Californians are flocking to red states.Traditional values like hard work and free enterprise made California the great place it once was. The liberal impulse to regulate and tax is destroying it. This is the modus operandi of liberals: inculcate, exploit, steal, regulate.They convince voters that they are entitled to government services. Then, they take advantage of the altruistic spirit typical of Americans. They know you want to help your neighbor, and they persuade you that your vote accomplishes this.Next, they steal your money to pay for their promises. They regulate everything since they are the ones running the show.When the reckoning hour comes and they realize they’ve promised too much, liberals raise taxes more, invent new regulations and create bigger deficits. It’s a vicious cycle that ends in default, bankruptcy and insecurity.The Joads left behind the Dust Bowl for California’s sunshine in search of land, opportunity and jobs. They had hope and dignity.Steinbeck got it right: “Muscles aching to work, minds aching to create — this is man.” California is discovering just how dangerous it is to stifle a person’s dynamic spirit.After all, there are millions of oranges waiting to be picked along the gulf coast.— email@example.com
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Leslie Knope, the hopelessly optimistic director of the Pawnee, Ind., parks department on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” faced a brutal reality in last week’s season opener: You cannot rely on the government to fix all your problems.Hoping to secure federal funds for a local river-cleaning project, Knope travels to Washingon, D.C., to personally persuade the U.S. Department of the Interior to take on her project.She discovers there that the department would not make an effort to honor her meeting request.Moreover, she discovers that her proposal is just one of hundreds the agency has to review. She realizes the futility of trying to secure federal funding, so she resolves to clean up the river herself with the help of individuals in the community.Knope, a stereotypical, government-worshipping liberal, gives a big “F— you” to Uncle Sam.The episode reminds me of the Hawaiians who, during the massive 2009 stimulus give-away, refused to wait on the government to fix their problems.A vital road that provides access to Polihale State Park on Kauai had been damaged as a result of severe flooding in December 2008.The damage halted the local economy, which depends on the tourism the park attracts.The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources estimated that the damage would cost $4 million and take two years to complete. The only problem was that the department didn’t have $4 million, and the residents didn’t have two years to wait around.So, they took matters into their own hands. The HDLNR found local businesses to donate machinery and man power, and they got to work on March 23, 2009. In eight days, the road was repaired at a total cost of $0 (minus wages lost, which would have been far greater had they waited for the government to act).The people stimulated their community themselves. They did it in a more efficient manner than the government could ever achieve.If only the people of Bloomington would come together to finish our massive road projects.Then, just maybe, I could get to College Mall from campus in fewer than 30 minutes.The government can be good in small doses (and is, at times, essential). But serving the people giant portions of it denies them the option of using their God-given talent and drive to achieve something. Large federal programs like the ’09 stimulus package, Obamacare and, most recently, QE3, are pessimistic in nature.They do not represent the belief that the individual is strong or wise enough to exercise liberty.If Leslie Knope realizes this, when will real liberals?— firstname.lastname@example.org
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>America is under attack.Across the Middle East and beyond, Islamic radicals have come unhinged, storming our embassies, tearing down our colors and killing our servicemen. Meanwhile in the United States, the president campaigns in Las Vegas and promotes a fundraiser with Jay-Z and Beyonce.He had a bit to say about the rage against America. It was a “tough day,” he said in his one-and-a-half-minute shoutout at the event, speaking of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other dead Americans. Obama had more to say about the producer of “Innocence of Muslims,” the ludicrous video posted to YouTube in July that sparked the Islamist rage.First, his administration rebuked anyone who might have “hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” Then, his press secretary called for YouTube to review the video, suggesting that the company remove the video from its website. Later, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ranted on about the “disgusting and reprehensible” video, saying it, “appears to have a deeply cynical purpose: to denigrate a great religion.” Anyone who has read the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution lately surely will recognize a great error in this administration’s continued condemnation of a private individual’s self expression.Any rational person might ask why it is that this president cares more about hurting the feelings of Muslim nuts than protecting Americans’ right to free speech.For that matter, any rational person might ask why this president refuses to say the words “Islamic terrorism,” why he didn’t ensure that our foreign embassies were secure on Sept. 11, why he’s attended only half of his daily intelligence briefings or why he didn’t heed the supposed warnings that some say predicted the violence. Of course, there are no rational people in mainstream media, where the news item of the week has been Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The talking heads of MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, etc., went into panic mode after Romney issued a very presidential and on point statement in response to the violence and the administration’s handling of it. They fanatically protected Obama by creating the narrative that Romney spoke too strong, too soon, that he “politicized” the attacks.As MSNBC village idiot Joe Scarborough explained, Romney “didn’t allow” them to address the questions sane people have. That is the acme of self-delusion.America is under attack — abroad by freedom-hating Islamic fanatics, at home by a wimpy president and his brainwashed media.— email@example.com
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>More bad news for young people has come from the August jobs report.Despite MSNBC’s vapid attempt to spin the latest numbers into good news for President Barack Obama, consensus among the rational people of the world is that the U.S. economy is bad. Very bad. The economy that supports some 300 million people added only 96,000 jobs in August after expecting about 142,000 new jobs. For some perspective, the economy would need to add 150,000 jobs each month just to keep up with population growth. The official unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, making August the 43rd straight month of more than 8 percent unemployment. The decrease is not good.It means a lot of people have simply given up trying to find a job. In total, 368,000 dropped out of the market last month. In Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s words, “For every net new job created, nearly four Americans gave up looking for work entirely.”The actual unemployment number, which takes into account those not actively seeking work, stands at 11.2 percent if labor participation rates were the same as the day Obama took office.The numbers for young people are even worse. The unemployment rate for 18 to 29-year-olds is 12.7 percent. Among black youth, the rate is 22.4 percent, and among Hispanics, 13.7 percent. If you factor in the number not participating in the labor market, the youth unemployment rate is 16.7 percent. This means young people have to cut back going to the bars and the movies. It means they have to spend less on groceries. It means they cannot take vacations, drive as often or buy gifts for friends and family. Young people have had to reduce their energy use, find second jobs — which, as mentioned above, is very hard to do — sell personal items and skip weddings, family reunions and other important social events. The unemployment numbers mean young people have had to delay big life events like buying their own place, starting a family, moving to another city, paying off student debt and getting married. Our president has failed us. He promised change and a 5-percent unemployment rate and gave millions the false hope of a better future. The numbers show he has failed.As Paul Ryan said in the best line at either convention, “College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.” In 2008, young people voted for the president by a margin of 34 percent.While youth enthusiasm for the president has dropped demonstrably since 2008, a poll conducted by conservative non-profit Generation Opportunity shows that 76 percent of millennials plan to reelect our president. This, to me, is the most staggering number of all.— firstname.lastname@example.org
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The Republican National Convention featured a small number of boisterous party crashers, including Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and contraception activist Sandra Fluke.The women spent their time in Tampa, Fla., raving about the GOP’s imaginary “War on Women,” labeling the stellar lineup of female conservatives — which included Ann Romney, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez, Utah congressional candidate Mia Love and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, among others — as nothing more than “shiny packaging.” Fluke said it was a charade to see so many “women in skirts” paraded around the RNC and that American women cannot consider Republican women as role models because the policies they support hurt women. Apparently, all those crazy Republican women are masochists.Apparently, you’re only pro-women if you support their right to choose to murder their young and think the government should pay for their birth control.These are Fluke’s main talking points, and the progressive machine has convinced her that she is empowered by spewing its nonsense.The flaw in her “reasoning” is summed up with a beautiful Internet meme that features a picture of Fluke with the declaration, “MY BODY MY MIND YOUR MONEY.” Empowerment does not mean becoming a ward of the state, allowing bureaucrats to manage your uterus and expecting others to pay for your birth control.Today’s feminists have perverted the cause to the point where women prance around in giant vagina costumes demanding “Congress: Respect Women,” as if anyone dressed as a giant vagina can be taken seriously.If Mary Wollstonecraft’s brand of feminism is “Don’t treat me differently because I have a vagina,” that of today’s feminists is “Treat me differently because I have a vagina.”It seems that while today’s feminists do not want to be subservient to their husbands, they do not have a problem with their government viewing them as victims simply because they have vaginas.Conservative women do not rant on about “women’s issues” because they are not silly enough to think women should be concerned with different problems than men. As such, they recognize that this election is about the president’s failure to turn around the economy, not the definition of “legitimate rape.”Conservative women do not reduce themselves to their vaginas. They raise their children. They buy their own birth control.Fluke fails to recognize that the president regards her as just a tool to push his agenda, convenient to him only because she is anatomically correct. She is the mindless Mildred Montag from Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451.”After Mitt Romney’s speech, in which he accepted his party’s nomination for president, thousands of balloons fell from the ceiling. During Sandra Fluke’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, thousands of birth control pills will fall from the ceiling.— email@example.com
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Today, the Republican National Committee convention will commence, giving the party a chance to shape a sharp contrast between its sober headed leader and the Democratic National Committee’s messianic icon.The Romney team has done this for the duration of its general election campaign, stubbornly focusing on the issues facing the country rather than attempting to endear the former governor to the American people.The Romney-Ryan campaign is one of substance instead of style. Romney will talk about the issues. He will run on his record, not his rhetoric.This strategy contrasts with that of the DNC’s 2008 presidential candidate, who had authored two autobiographies before the age of 50 and proclaimed in his nominating victory speech in St. Paul, Minn., that “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” The same candidate tried to convince voters in New Hampshire to cast their ballots for him when he said, “... A light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany ... and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Obama.”Indeed, the entire secular, post-religious world was enlightened and overcome by a great devotion for the first half-black president. Public school teachers taught their students devotional hymns. The Nobel Committee bestowed upon him its Peace Prize. Newsweek named him “God of All Things.” Followers fainted in his presence. The masses worshiped the smooth-talker as the second coming of Christ.Now, nearly four years into the Messiah’s first term, voter enthusiasm has fallen demonstrably for the president after he failed to keep his promise of achieving a united, post-racial, end-of-politics-as-we-know-it world. Acutely aware of the consequences of over-promising, the Romney camp is striving for pragmatism in every detail, even down to the stage design at the convention. Romney has pushed for a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired set with an abundance of dark wood. The intention is to appear humble, practical and cozy — a far cry from the grandiose Greek columns in front of which the DNC nominee orated, like a divine resident of Mount Olympus. If Americans realize that what we need is a man who can deliver, not one who can orate, then, like the hundreds of Greek idols that fell into the annals of university mythology textbooks, the United States’ false idol will fall into the history books as the most blasphemous president in the nation’s history.If we can drown out the booming, dangerous rhetoric of our 44th president, America will elect Mitt Romney, the anti-Christ. A common mortal will once again occupy the Oval Office.— firstname.lastname@example.org
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The Occupy Wall Street hoopla earned the title of Biggest Joke of 2011 after it managed to accomplish nothing except extensive property damage, rape, intoxication and spectacle. This year, Elizabeth Warren, a U.S. Senate candidate from Massachusetts, has all but engraved her name on the trophy. She’ll clench the prize if she loses in November. Warren is the darling of Left, especially for her ideas about who creates wealth in the United States. “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own,” she declared.She has equally strong views of what one can and cannot do with the money he earns.“Part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that (money) and pay forward (with taxes) for the next kid who comes along.” While her unhealthy love for the government makes them swoon, the thing the Left finds especially sexy about Warren is her supposed Native American heritage.The pale, blue-eyed blonde claims to be one-thirty-second Cherokee despite her lack of any corroborating evidence outside the “family lore” that relates relatives who had “high cheekbones, like all of the Indians do.” Many claim Warren used the bogus identity to land a job at Harvard University, which, like most academic institutions, obsesses about “diversifying” its student body and faculty, as if the more varied the skin tones in a community, the more diverse the intellectual discourse necessarily will be.Warren’s alleged heritage has become a central theme her campaign has had to deflect. They do so mostly by calling it a distraction from the real issues. Perhaps it should seem silly that the media have focused so intently on the issue of one-thirty-seconds of Warren’s heritage, yet the issue goes well beyond that. Warren’s plunge into the affirmative action pool is important because it illustrates the absurdity of a tenet of liberalism: identity politics. The way Warren was able to get ahead in life based on an unsubstantiated claim to minority ancestry is liberalism in action.Rather than focus on a person’s substance, his distinct character, opinions and ideas, identity politics teaches us to categorize a person based on appearance, namely his race. Affirmative action teaches minorities they are defined not by who they are now but who their ancestors were. Is it really beneficial to anyone to foster a sense of entitlement simply due to their skin color? Shouldn’t we encourage all to work hard and earn their success? Furthermore, what if universities concerned themselves as much with diversity of thought as they fret about diversity of skin color?Affirmative action may have been conceived with the noblest reparative intentions, but it has outlived its usefulness. Playing the victim got Warren and others so far in life, and because there is no end in sight to this identity politics madness, I might as well try it myself.So, here it is, my application to IU’s Hudson and Holland Scholars Program:I am a red-headed male, one-fourth Polish who believes he is entitled to minority status and scholarship because the number of red-headed peoples in the world is declining, with ginger populations currently accounting for fewer than 2 percent of total world population.