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Huckabee: God's Blessing Would Help Me as President to Stop 'Secular Theocracy'

January 22, 2015 in Blogs

By David Edwards, Raw Story

The ex-Fox News host said he was considering a 2016 presidential run.


Former Fox News host Mike Huckabee said on Thursday that if he was elected president then he would have “God’s blessing” to fight a so-called “secular theocracy” that had been imposed by atheists.

During an appearance on the Christian Life Today program, Huckabee told televangelist James Robinson that he was considering a 2016 presidential bid because the country needed to become a “God-centered nation that understands that our laws do not come from man, they come from God.”

“It’s the natural law of God,” the former Arkansas governor said, adding that he was not calling for a theocracy.

“We have a theocracy right now,” Robinson interrupted. “It’s a secular theocracy.”

“That’s it,” Huckabee agreed. “It’s a humanistic, atheistic, even antagonistic toward Christian faith. And that’s what we need to understand. Our basic, fundamental rights are being robbed from us, taken from us piece by piece.”

At the conclusion of the program, Robinson said that people should pray that whoever was president would “keep God in the center of their focal point.”

“Absolutely,” Huckabee remarked. “And whether it’s me or someone else, and I do ask people to pray. For me, this is not just a political or financial decision, it is a spiritual decision.”

“You know, the only thing worse than not being elected president would be to be elected president without God’s blessing,” he observed. “I can’t think of a worse place in the world to be than in the Oval Office without God’s hand upon you. I’d rather not get near the place.”

“But if that’s a purpose, so be it. And that’s my prayer.”

Watch the video below from Life Today, broadcast Jan. 22, 2015.

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Source: ALTERNET

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My Journey to America

January 22, 2015 in History

January 22, 2015 4:55 p.m.

On October 3rd, 2014, my children and I went to the Michigan Theater to watch Last Days In Vietnam, a film directed by Rory Kennedy, who is the youngest daughter of Robert Kennedy. This documentary meticulously covers the stressful events that led to the 1975 evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. Through never before seen footage of intense interviews with U.S. servicemen and Vietnamese civilians, Ms. Kennedy brings their story to life with unprecedented detail.

During the second half of the film, I was stunned to see images of my family walking on the deck of the U.S.S. Okinawa aircraft carrier, one of several aircraft carriers used in the evacuation, after exiting a Chinook. My sister carried my niece, my older brother holding our elderly grandmother, and the rest of my family followed closely behind. The footage is from the National Archives showing evacuees leaving the cargo helicopter CH-53.

The footage from the documentary sparked flashbacks of my journey from Vietnam to the United States. After viewing this documentary, I felt inspired to write this article after gathering important information obtained from Ms. Tran Vu, a project coordinator at WGBH in Boston, and close family relatives, to share my story of how I came to America.

My family and I received notification on April 28, 1975, that we would be boarding a flight at the Tan Son Nhat airport scheduled to depart Vietnam the next day. The North Vietnamese attacked the airport that night causing all flights in and out of the air base to be canceled. We were obviously worried about our opportunity to leave Vietnam, but then we had instructions to board a helicopter. By mid afternoon on April 29, we were on a Chinook heading to the U.S.S. Okinawa. We stayed one night in a cabin on the aircraft carrier and then arrived in Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines, where we stayed another night.

On May 1, 1975, we boarded a commercial ship en route to Guam. As we left the Philippine shore, I saw many helicopters floating in the ocean, which I later learned from watching Last Days In Vietnam that they were discarded due to lack of space on the aircraft carriers. While on the ship, there was a short supply of food and water, so they had to be rationed out to the passengers. …read more

Source: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

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Maureen Dowd's Clueless White Gaze: What's Really Behind the 'Selma' Backlash

January 22, 2015 in Blogs

By Brittney Cooper, Salon

The NY Times columnist is the latest critic of “Selma” for its depiction of LBJ. Here's why a new racial lens is needed.


New York Times critic Maureen Dowd saw “Selma” last week “in a theater of full of black teenagers.” Her ethnographic impressions of the “stunned” emotional responses that these D.C. teenagers had to seeing four little girls blown up in an Alabama church basement and watching civil rights leaders viciously clubbed during a march in Selma reek of the kind of voyeuristic and clueless white gaze often used to devalue and pathologize urban youth.  They become fascinating objects of study to those who don’t get to spend a lot of time with them.

 

And it is precisely these kinds of impressions from white people, the inability to make sense of genuine black emotion, the inability to recognize what filmic representations that respect the interior lives of black people actually might look like, that have contributed to the disingenuous backlash against the Selma film.

This magnificent and powerful film has, at this point, been endlessly derided by white and black critics alike who say it fails to get the story just right. Among white critics, its cardinal sin is failure to pay proper homage to Lyndon B. Johnson for being a champion of black voting rights. He’s represented in the film as a reluctant ally in the civil rights struggle, as one whose racial views evolve over time.

Dowd rips what she calls Ava’s DuVernay’s “artful falsehood,” for having the potentially and apparently regrettable result of making the “young moviegoers [now] see L.B.J.’s role in civil rights through DuVernay’s lens.”

“Artful falsehood,” Dowd tells us, “is more dangerous than artless falsehood, because fewer people see through it.”

But the truth is, a new racial lens is exactly what America needs. In “Selma,” we learn what films look like when directors and cinematographers who love and respect black people turn their gaze on us. “Selma” artfully displaces a white gaze, and it is this unnamed and unsettling anxiety that sits at the heart of so many of the critiques of the film.

This white racial anxiety of …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Sen. Paul Statement on the Passing of Wendell Ford

January 22, 2015 in Politics & Elections

Sen. Rand Paul today made the following statement on the passing of former Kentucky Gov. and U.S. Sen. Wendell Ford: ‘I wish to extend my sincerest condolences to the Ford family. Wendell Ford loved Kentucky deeply. He served the Commonwealth and its people for decades with honor and purpose. I am honored to sit behind the same desk and serve in the same seat as Sen. Ford, a man so dedicated to his party, our state and this country.’ …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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I Understand Why People Believe Sexual Predators Rather than Victims—I Did

January 22, 2015 in Blogs

By Ijeoma Oluo, The Guardian

A close relative was a rapist and our whole family refused to believe it.


I am a woman. I am a feminist. And it took me 12 years to admit that someone I loved was a sexual predator.

This isn’t easy to acknowledge, but it feels especially important after a year marked by several high profile accusations of sexual assault and domestic violence. Almost every case featured public scrutiny of the accuser’s history and values and motivations; almost every case featured a woman who choses to publicly stand by the accused. Many other women responded with shock and disappointment: Why would any woman defend a rapist? How could any smart, confident woman be in such denial?

The public refusal to believe rape accusations is harmful to all women, and it casts a shadow on rape victims all over the world. But as appalling as it is to refuse to believe a woman who has been so brutally violated, I cannot help but feel some empathy with the disbelievers, because when a close family member of mine – who I’ll call Steve – was accused and convicted of sexual assault, I refused to believe it.

My father had left for Nigeria when I was two years old and my brother was six months old and, as we grew up, Steve was what we imagined a “cool dad” would be like: he was funny, he swore, he played pranks. He always had time for us when it seemed like all the other adults had more important things to do. 

The first time Steve was arrested for sexual assault was in 1988, when I was seven years old. I remember little more than visiting him in prison, talking to him through the glass. Nobody talked about why he was there. 

When he was released three years later we all acted as if nothing had happened. Steve went back to being the ticklemonster and the prankster in the family. He babysat me. We went to Disneyland together.

Three years later, he was arrested again – this time, for a particularly violent rape of a prostitute.

After his second arrest, I …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Filmmaker Robert Greenwald: American Sniper is a 'Neocon Fantasy' in Which 'There's No Good Iraqi Except a Dead Iraqi'

January 22, 2015 in Blogs

By Kali Holloway, AlterNet

In a debate on the Ed Show, Greenwald criticized the film for its deadly take on patriotism.


Filmmaker Robert Greenwald squared off against former Congressman and Iraq War veteran Patrick Murphy over the film American Sniper, the blockbuster Hollywood film about late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Greenwald implicated the film for its “strong political agenda,” and said it painted world in which “there's no good Iraqi except a dead Iraqi” — including “dead Iraqi children.”

Murphy rejected the idea that the film is “a political movie,” and even said he “got choked up a couple times” watching it. “[P]eople out there who are trying to make this a controversy are conflating the issues,” he suggested.

Greenwald countered by asking the ex-Congressman to “name one Iraqi who is portrayed with any kind of humanity.” 

He went on to suggest the film would inspire Americans to believe “we gotta go to war” to be safe, a notion he dismissed as “nonsense” and even dangerous.

Said Greenwald: “What this movie will achieve will be more Americans believing and cheering for more wars. And then more veterans being injured. More veterans losing arms and legs and families destroyed. That's the tragedy and the concern about this film.”

American Sniper, which stars Bradley Cooper, brought in an astounding $90.2 million dollars its opening weekend. 

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Source: ALTERNET

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Sen. Rand Paul Appears on Fox's 'On the Record' with Martha MacCallum – January 21, 2014

January 22, 2015 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL

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Sen. Paul and Rep. Young Introduce REINS Act

January 22, 2015 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Todd Young (R-IN9), along with 31 Senate co-sponsors, reintroduced their Regulations from the Executive in Needs of Scrutiny (REINS) Act on Wednesday as S.226 and H.R. 427, respectively. The REINS Act would require any executive branch rule or regulation with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more-designated by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a ‘major rule’-to come before Congress for an up-or-down vote before being enacted.

‘Today, we are introducing legislation to increase transparency in the Federal regulatory process,’ said Sen. Paul. ‘If the Obama Administration wants to impose regulations that effectively operate as laws on U.S. citizens, it is important that those citizens are made aware of how the laws come to be. Cutting red tape and opening the regulatory process to scrutiny is an important first step in holding government accountable.’

Click HERE to read the REINS Act in its entirety.

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Source: RAND PAUL

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If You Like Higher Prices, Enriched Cronies, and Weak National Security, Then You’ll Love the Jones Act

January 22, 2015 in Economics

By Scott Lincicome

image

Scott Lincicome

Lost in the never-ending debate about the KeystoneXL pipeline is great news for anyone who opposes cronyism and supports free markets and lower prices for essential goods like food and energy. Sen. John McCain has offered an amendment to repeal the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, which requires, among other things, that all goods shipped between U.S. ports be transported by American-built, owned, flagged, and crewed vessels.

By restricting the supply of qualified interstate ships and crews, this protectionist 94-year-old law has dramatically inflated the cost of shipping goods, particularly essentials like food and energy, between U.S. ports—costs ultimately born by U.S. consumers. Thus, the Jones Act is a subsidy American businesses and families pay to the powerful, well-connected U.S. shipping industry and a few related unions. For this reason alone, the law should die, but it turns out that the Jones Act also harms the very industry it’s designed to protect and, in the process, U.S. national security.

The Jones Act Inflates Shipping Costs for Americans
There is no question that the Jones Act inflates U.S. shipping costs. A 2011 Maritime Administration (MARAD) report, with input from the U.S. maritime industry, compared the costs of U.S.-flagged versus foreign cargo carriers, and found that the former far outweighed the latter due to the Jones Act and other U.S. regulations:

Carriers noted that the U.S.-flag fleet experiences higher operating costs than foreign-flag vessels due to regulatory requirements on vessel labor, insurance and liability costs, maintenance and repair costs, taxes and costs associated with compliance with environmental law… [T]he operating cost differential between U.S.-flag vessels and foreign flag vessels has increased over the past five years, further reducing the capacity of the U.S.-flag fleet to compete with foreign-flag vessels for commercial cargo…

Higher costs are precisely what you’d expect from an industry that has a “coastwise monopoly” on shipping, due almost entirely to the Jones Act. As a result, U.S. vessel operating costs are 2.7 times more expensive than their foreign counterparts.

Domestic unions and shipbuilders, with a bipartisan coalition of their congressional benefactors, vehemently deny that these outrageous shipping costs differences have any effect on the ultimate cost of U.S. goods that are transported on Jones Act vessels, but several examples belie such claims (and prove that, once again, basic economics still works).

First, there is ample evidence that the Jones Act distorts the U.S. energy market and raises …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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U.S. Should Stay Out of the Russo-Ukrainian Quarrel: Why the Conflict in Ukraine Isn't America's Business, Part I

January 22, 2015 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Fighting over the Donetsk airport between Ukraine’s military and separatist forces backed by Russia has flared anew. The U.S. has begun providing heavier weapons as well as personnel training to Kiev. The conflict could go on for a long time, with Kiev and Moscow locked in a small hot war and the U.S. and Russia stuck in a larger Cold War lite. An extended confrontation would be in no one’s interest, especially America’s.

The U.S. has made a habit of promiscuously meddling around the world. The results rarely have been pretty. Thousands of Americans have been killed, tens of thousands have been wounded, hundreds of thousands of foreigners have died, and a multitude of international furies have been loosed.

At least none of these conflicts involved a real military power. In contrast, advocates of confrontation with Russia over Ukraine want to challenge a nation armed with nuclear weapons and an improving conventional military, steeped in nationalist convictions, rooted in historic traditions, and ruled by a tough authoritarian. No one should assume that in a military showdown the Kremlin would yield to Washington or that war with Moscow would be a cakewalk.

The U.S. has made a habit of promiscuously meddling around the world. The results rarely have been pretty.”

Yet Ukraine’s most fervent advocates assume that any American who fails to believe that, say, inaugurating global nuclear war to save their distant ethnic homeland is a Putin troll, Russian agent, friend of dictators, proto-communist fellow traveler, or even worse. Of course, Ukrainian nationalists are not alone in their conclusion that anyone who disagrees with them is not only wrong but evil. That’s Washington politics today.

However, the issues of the Russo-Ukraine conflict are complex with no obvious solution. People of good faith and basic intelligence can disagree about both facts and solutions. In fact, there is at least a Baker’s Dozen of good reasons for America to stay out of today’s messy, tragic, and bloody conflict involving Ukraine and Russia. The first six are reason enough: Ukraine isn’t important geographically; Russia matters more than Ukraine to America; blame is widely shared for Ukraine’s travails; Washington never guaranteed Ukraine’s security; Vladimir Putin is not Hitler and Russia is not Nazi Germany (or Stalin’s Soviet Union); and there’s no genocide.

1) Ukraine isn’t important geopolitically.

It might come as a shock to Kiev’s strongest supporters, but Ukraine is not the center of the …read more

Source: OP-EDS