Homeland Security Secretary Attacks Patriot Act

Consistent with what President Obama and others in his party ran on, Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security, is taking a valuable tool out of the war-on-terror toolbox.

Let’s try this again. The head of Homeland Security, that’s the new cabinet level position in The White House responsible for preventing terrorist attacks and keeping us as safe from terrorists as possible. That one.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano plans to kill a program begun by the Bush administration that would use U.S. spy satellites for domestic security and law enforcement, a government official said Monday.

Napolitano recently reached her decision after the program was discussed with law enforcement officials, and she was told it was not an urgent issue, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about it.

The program, called the National Applications Office, has been delayed because of privacy and civil liberty concerns.

Tearing up the Patriot Act by removing the tools from the toolbox means Obama is willing to take a gamble with your life where his predecessor would not.

link: AP, DHS to kill domestic satellite spying | Free, But Not Free To Kill, Patriot Act

Sotomayor, Equality Or Pay-Back

Economist and philosopher Thomas Sowell examines President Obama’s Thomas SowellSupreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor from a perspective that is quite refreshing. Her record.

Back when I was on the receiving end of racial discrimination, it was to me not simply a personal misfortune, or even the misfortune of a race, it was a moral outrage. But not everyone who went through such an experience sees it that way.

When it comes to subjecting other people to the same treatment in a later era, some have no real problem with that. They see it as pay-back.

One of the many problems of the pay-back approach is that many of the people who most deserve retribution are no longer alive. You can take symbolic revenge on people who look like them but this removes the whole moral element. If it is all right to discriminate today against individuals who have done you no harm, then why was it wrong to discriminate against you in the past?

These are not just abstract questions. These are serious, real world questions, especially when considering someone to be given a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Some judicial nominees have had racial bias attributed to them, despite their years of unwavering support of civil rights for all— Judge Robert Bork and Judge Charles Pickering being striking examples. But the current Supreme Court nominee is the first in decades to explicitly introduce racial differences in their own words, along with the claim that their own racial or ethnic background makes them better qualified.

For nominee Sonia Sotomayor, Sowell points out from her words and deeds that she is anything but an equal applier of the law. That one point alone is enough to be a disqualifier for judge, let alone a Supreme Court Justice.

link: Equality or Pay-back?

Black Activists, Slavery Apology Useless

I don’t know where I’ve been but I thought the government already apologized for slavery.  Seems to me Bill Clinton did it when he was in Africa one time. Anyway, last Thursday the Senate passed a resolution, with all the substance that resolutions provide, to apologize for slavery and segregation. That and that the resolution is not to be used as fodder for the reparations crowd which, it already is.

OK fine. Now can we move on?

David Almasi at the National Center for Public Policy Research puts it this way.

The U.S. Senate resolution apologizing for slavery and segregation will be used as a lobbying tool to acquire reparations payments, say members of the black leadership network Project 21. The group urges the Senate to “move on,” saying the apology will do little to heal perceived racial gaps.

On June 18, senators unanimously passed a resolution apologizing for slavery and segregation in the United States. While the resolution was written with the intention that it could not be used to support claims for monetary reparations, reparations activists Randall Robinson told the Washington Post the legislation constitutes a “confession” that will aid the process of acquiring reparations. Harvard professor Charles Ogletree said the resolution should not be a substitute for reparations, saying “That battle will be prolonged.”

Project 21 members voicing skepticism about the politics behind the resolution and the need for it:

Jerry Brooks (Auburn, WA): “I’ll accept the Senate’s apology, but let’s move on already. This apology is something that might have been more appropriate long ago, and now it’s likely going to be misused by those with a political axe to grind. In particular and despite its intention to the contrary, it is already being used to promote reparations. Not only is this an idea without merit, but an extremely foolish one to be clinging to while our nation is trying to recover from its current economic distress.”

Brooks continued, “I also take offense to the ignorant partisan attacks involved in this debate. In trying to infer Republicans are responsible for slavery is downright silly considering that the party came about as part of the movement to abolish slavery.”

link:  Black Activists Call Senate Slavery Apology “Useless”; Say It Will Empower the Call for Reparations