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Tuesday, June 26, 2012



Can Barack Obama Rewrite Federal Law?

If the president can rewrite federal laws that he doesn't like, there is no limit to his power.



Here we go again. Is the Constitution merely a guideline to be consulted by those it purports to regulate, or is it really the supreme law of the land? If it is just a guideline, then it is meaningless, as it only will be followed by those in government when it is not an obstacle to their purposes. If it is the supreme law of the land, what do we do when one branch of government seizes power from another and the branch that had its power stolen does nothing about it?
Late last week, President Obama, fresh from a series of revelations that he kills whomever he pleases in foreign lands, that the U.S. military is actually fighting undeclared wars in Somalia and Yemen, and that the CIA is using cyber warfare -- computers -- to destabilize innocents in Iran, announced that he has rewritten a small portion of federal immigration law so as to accommodate the needs of young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and remained here. By establishing new rules governing deportation, rules that Congress declined to enact, the president has usurped the power to write federal law from Congress and commandeered it for himself.
Immigrants should not be used as political pawns by the government. When government does that, it violates the natural law. Our rights come from our humanity, and our humanity comes from God. Our rights are natural and integral to us, and they do not vary by virtue of, and cannot be conditioned upon, the place where our mothers were physically located at the time of our births. Federal law violates the natural law when it interferes with whom you invite to your home or employ in your business or to whom you rent your property or with whom you walk the public sidewalks.
When the government restricts freedom of association based on an immutable characteristic of birth -- like race, gender or the place of birth -- it is engaging in the same type of decision-making that brought us slavery, Jim Crow and other invidious government discrimination. Regrettably, the feds think they can limit human freedom by quota and by geography. And they have done this for base political reasons.
Along comes the president, and he has decided that he can fix some of our immigration woes by rewriting the laws to his liking. Never mind that the Constitution provides that his job is "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed," and that "all legislative power" in the federal government has been granted to Congress. He has chosen to bypass Congress and disregard the Constitution. Can he do this?
There is a valid and constitutional argument to be made that the president may refrain from defending and enforcing laws that he believes are palpably and demonstrably unconstitutional. These arguments go back to Thomas Jefferson, who refused to defend or enforce the Alien and Sedition Acts because, by punishing speech, they directly contradicted the First Amendment. Jefferson argued that when a law contradicts the Constitution, the law must give way because the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and all other laws are inferior and must conform to it. This argument is itself now universally accepted jurisprudence -- except by President Obama, who recently and inexplicably questioned the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Health Care Act on the basis that it is unconstitutional.
Nevertheless, there is no intellectually honest argument to be made that the president can pick and choose which laws to enforce based on his personal preferences. And it is a profound violation of the Constitution for the president to engage in rewriting the laws. That's what he has done here. He has rewritten federal law.
Only Congress can lay down specifics such as in order to avoid deportation and qualify for a two-year work visa, one must have entered the U.S. prior to age 16 and possess a valid American high school diploma or be a military veteran, as the president now requires. By altering the law in this manner -- by constructing the requirements the government will impose -- the president has violated his oath to enforce the laws as they are written. His second responsibility in the Constitution (the first is to defend the Constitution) is to enforce federal laws as Congress has written them -- hence the employment of the word "faithfully" in the Constitution -- not as he wishes them to be.
Congress should have enacted years ago what the president is now doing on his own, because it is unjust to punish children for the behavior of their parents, and it is unjust to restrict freedom based on the place of birth. But this can be remedied only by Congress. If the president can rewrite federal laws that he doesn't like, there is no limit to his power. Then, he will not be a president. He will be a king.
Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written six books on the U.S. Constitution. The most recent is "It Is Dangerous To Be Right When the Government Is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom."

89 comments:

  1. Obama :

    I am pleased that the Supreme Court has struck down key provisions of Arizona's immigration law. What this decision makes unmistakably clear is that Congress must act on comprehensive immigration reform. A patchwork of state laws is not a solution to our broken immigration system – it’s part of the problem.
    At the same time, I remain concerned about the practical impact of the remaining provision of the Arizona law that requires local law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of anyone they even suspect to be here illegally. I agree with the Court that individuals cannot be detained solely to verify their immigration status. No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like. Going forward, we must ensure that Arizona law enforcement officials do not enforce this law in a manner that undermines the civil rights of Americans, as the Court’s decision recognizes. Furthermore, we will continue to enforce our immigration laws by focusing on our most important priorities like border security and criminals who endanger our communities, and not, for example, students who earn their education – which is why the Department of Homeland Security announced earlier this month that it will lift the shadow of deportation from young people who were brought to the United States as children through no fault of their own.

    I will work with anyone in Congress who’s willing to make progress on comprehensive immigration reform that addresses our economic needs and security needs, and upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. And in the meantime, we will continue to use every federal resource to protect the safety and civil rights of all Americans, and treat all our people with dignity and respect. We can solve these challenges not in spite of our most cherished values – but because of them. What makes us American is not a question of what we look like or what our names are. What makes us American is our shared belief in the enduring promise of this country – and our shared responsibility to leave it more generous and more hopeful than we found it.

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  2. So now we have Obamamnesty. Back in Ike's day we had Operation Wetback. Which worked to a certain extent.

    If Ike were on the ballot, I'd vote for Ike. He would have kept us out of Vietnam too.

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  3. Going forward, we must ensure that Arizona law enforcement officials do not enforce this law in a manner that undermines the civil rights of Americans, as the Court’s decision recognizes.

    Arizona is now the first state with de facto alien amnesty. In other words, Obama will not enforce immigration laws because it undermines real American’s civil rights? Arizona will soon tip over the edge as the first fallen state of the Mexican Anschluss of the south eastern US.

    The Frankenstein agency, Homeland Security, creation of the dumbest of the dumb, George W. Bush, will now further harass Arizona and states like it that are trying to protect the US for American citizens.

    Uneducated Mexican and Central American peasants, many with criminal records will soon be given a vote, take a seat at the table and decide which part of your wealth should be transferred to them .

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  4. And our first line of defense is George Fucking Romney.

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  5. Ask why I detest Abraham Lincoln? You are seeing the last dying results of state’s rights. It is Lincoln's final triumph of imperial executive rule over individual state’s rights.

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  6. A fine looking mountain defaced by the graffiti of the chiseled face of a dead tyrant so future young children can be brain washed about his ‘greatness.’

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  7. Obama and Lincoln, Illinois’ gift to the USA.

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  8. It is not quite over, but damn close.

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  9. Operation Wetback -

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search

    Operation Wetback was a 1954 operation by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to remove illegal immigrants, mostly Mexican nationals from the southwestern United States.[1]
    Contents

    1 History
    2 Operation Wetback in action
    3 Civil rights violations
    4 See also
    5 Notes
    6 References

    History

    Burgeoning numbers of Mexican migrants prompted President Dwight D. Eisenhower to appoint General Joseph Swing as INS Commissioner. According to Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr., Eisenhower had a sense of urgency about illegal immigration upon taking office. In a letter to Senator J. William Fulbright, Eisenhower quoted a report in The New York Times that said, "The rise in illegal border-crossing by Mexican 'wetbacks' to a current rate of more than 1,000,000 cases a year has been accompanied by a curious relaxation in ethical standards extending all the way from the farmer-exploiters of this contraband labor to the highest levels of the Federal Government."[2]
    Operation Wetback in action

    The effort began in California and Arizona in 1954 and coordinated 1,075 Border Patrol agents, along with state and local police agencies. Tactics employed included going house to house in Mexican-American neighborhoods and citizenship checks during standard traffic stops.

    Some 750 agents targeted agricultural areas with a goal of 1,000 apprehensions per day. By the end of July, over 50,000 illegal aliens were caught in the two states. An estimated 488,000 illegal aliens are believed to have left voluntarily, for fear of being apprehended. By September, 80,000 had been taken into custody in Texas, and the INS estimated that 500,000 to 700,000 had left Texas of their own accord. To discourage illicit re-entry, buses and trains took many deportees deep within Mexican territory before releasing them.

    Tens of thousands more were deported by two chartered ships: the Emancipation and the Mercurio. The ships ferried them from Port Isabel, Texas, to Veracruz, Mexico, more than 500 miles (800 km) to the south. Some were taken as far as 1,000 miles (1,600 km). Deportation by sea was ended after seven deportees jumped overboard from the Mercurio and drowned, provoking a mutiny that led to a public outcry in Mexico.[1]
    Civil rights violations

    There were widespread allegations of abuse against Mexicans and US citizens of Mexican descent, including harassment and beatings.[3] Lawsuits were filed and settled in favor of victims.[4]


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  10. It's all a hell of a mess, I agree with that.


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  11. However, the debate continues as more than 10 million unauthorized immigrants — from Mexico and other countries — continue to live in the United States.

    The Obama administration said Monday that it has increased both Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement staffing and taken other steps that helped cut border apprehensions in half since 2008.

    Even if immigration has slowed to lows not seen in decades, proponents of tough immigration laws want to beef up enforcement ahead of any future pressures.

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  12. There is a valid and constitutional argument to be made that the president may refrain from defending and enforcing laws that he believes are palpably and demonstrably unconstitutional. These arguments go back to Thomas Jefferson, who refused to defend or enforce the Alien and Sedition Acts because, by punishing speech, they directly contradicted the First Amendment. Jefferson argued that when a law contradicts the Constitution, the law must give way because the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and all other laws are inferior and must conform to it. This argument is itself now universally accepted jurisprudence -- except by President Obama, who recently and inexplicably questioned the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Health Care Act on the basis that it is unconstitutional.
    Nevertheless, there is no intellectually honest argument to be made that the president can pick and choose which laws to enforce based on his personal preferences. And it is a profound violation of the Constitution for the president to engage in rewriting the laws. That's what he has done here. He has rewritten federal law.
    Judge Napolitano

    That's what we get when we have a 1/2 American--1/2 Kenyan in the top job. And which half is the more wacko is a good question.

    At least Romney can't be attacked for the former polygamy of his church. Cause daddy O had several wives, and you have to go back a long ways in the Romney saga to find that.

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  13. The Left learned how to use the courts during the civil rights era. The formula is simple: relentlessly challenge and attack and eventually they always win because they own academia, the media, the federal bureaucracy and increasingly the courts. They have unlimited resources as they can now vote unlimited funding from the government. One more Supreme Court justice and that is it.

    The courts took the country and no one stopped them.

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    1. The Cherokee took the Federal Government to Court, and Won. Andrew Jackson promptly said, "The Supreme Court has ruled, Now let them enforce it," and ordered the Cherokee sent (walked) to Oklahoma.

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    2. You will never hear me defend Abraham Lincoln or Andrew Jackson.

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  14. I doubt there is a civil solution.

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  15. It's absurd. Mark Levin was making that very point just shortly ago. One damn vote. How did we get to this point, he was asking.

    I am hoping for a big republican surge in the House and the Senate.

    While I can't seem to imagine Obama winning, I can surely imagine the damage done if he does. A bull, with four more years in the china shop.

    Scary comes to mind.

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  16. The thought of one more liberal justice and game over is justification to vote for Romney right there.

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  17. There's hope. We did get the house back in the middle of Obama #1.

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  18. It's really maddening. 2/3rds or more of the people have said again and again they don't like this ObamaCare stuff. Same with illegal immigration. Some other issues too, and yet their voice always seems lately to get drowned out.

    It will be interesting to see what Roberts & Company come up with on Thursday.

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  19. I was going to say we need a Designated Daily Optimist in here, and today it's Sam, then you post that :)

    gnite

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  20. These DC shits could have addressed this years ago, but then they would have one less hole card. One less ostracizing, alienating, get out the vote card.

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  21. If race is the issue (Obama gets 97% of black votes and now 65% of the Hispanic vote) then it is obvious that there is a clash of values based on race. Who is that clash against? White European descendants are the target. It is a zero-sum game. Wait till the chain migration starts. Romney and the Republican establishment spout the belief that if they explain things to racial minorities they will become Republicans. This is an economic invasion. The Left is fighting it with the race card. This morning it has been announced that Obama and Holder is opening a hotline for illegal aliens to report on “civil rights violations” on state and local government. That will bring the weight of the federal government down on these states.

    A new USA Today-Gallup poll shows that President Obama holds a big lead among Hispanic voters in his general election matchup against presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney — and that unemployment and economic growth, not immigration, remain the top issues for these voters.

    The survey of a random sample of 1,753 adults between April 16 and May 31 showed Mr. Obama leading Mr. Romney by a 66 percent to 25 percent margin.

    "Given the current dampened support for Obama among non-Hispanic whites, Obama's ability to build support or, more specifically, registration and turnout, among Hispanics in 2012 is widely seen as critical to his ability to win re-election. Thus, both candidates are carefully wooing the Hispanic vote," by Lydia Saad wrote in the poll analysis.

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  22. We have Al Capone in the White House and the Republicans are preparing to take on the boys in the hood with Mr Rogers.

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  23. "With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations (of immigrants brought here illegally as children) through executive order, that's just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed.”

    -- President Obama, March 28, 2011

    WASHINGTON -- Those laws remain on the books. They have not changed. Yet Obama last week suspended these very deportations -- granting infinitely renewable "deferred action" with attendant work permits -- thereby unilaterally rewriting the law. And doing precisely what he himself admits he is barred from doing.

    Obama had tried to change the law. In late 2010, he asked Congress to pass the DREAM Act, which offered a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants. Congress refused.

    When subsequently pressed by Hispanic groups to simply implement the law by executive action, Obama explained that it would be illegal. "Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. ... But that's not how our system works. That's not how our democracy functions. That's not how our Constitution is written."

    That was then. Now he's gone and done it anyway. It's obvious why. The election approaches and his margin is slipping. He needs a big Hispanic vote and this is the perfect pander. After all, who will call him on it? A supine press? Congressional Democrats? Nothing like an upcoming election to temper their Bush 43-era zeal for defending Congress' exclusive Article I power to legislate.

    With a single Homeland Security Department memo, the immigration laws no longer apply to 800,000 people. By what justification? Prosecutorial discretion, says Janet Napolitano.

    This is utter nonsense. Prosecutorial discretion is the application on a case-by-case basis of considerations of extreme and extenuating circumstances. No one is going to deport, say, a 29-year-old illegal immigrant whose parents had just died in some ghastly accident and who is the sole support for a disabled younger sister and ailing granny. That's what prosecutorial discretion is for. The Napolitano memo is nothing of the sort. It's the unilateral creation of a new category of persons -- a class of 800,000 -- who, regardless of individual circumstance, are hereby exempt from current law so long as they meet certain biographic criteria.

    This is not discretion. This is a fundamental rewriting of the law.

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  24. Imagine: A Republican president submits to Congress a bill abolishing the capital gains tax. Congress rejects it. The president then orders the IRS to stop collecting capital gains taxes, and declares that anyone refusing to pay them will suffer no fine, no penalty, no sanction whatsoever. (Analogy first suggested by law professor John Yoo.)

    It would be a scandal, a constitutional crisis, a cause for impeachment. Why? Because unlike, for example, war powers, this is not an area of perpetual executive-legislative territorial contention. Nor is cap-gains, like the judicial status of unlawful enemy combatants, an area where the law is silent or ambiguous. Capital gains is straightforward tax law. Just as Obama's bombshell amnesty-by-fiat is a subversion of straightforward immigration law.

    It is shameful that Congressional Democrats should be applauding such a brazen end-run. Of course it's smart politics. It divides Republicans, rallies the Hispanic vote and pre-empts Marco Rubio's attempt to hammer out an acceptable legislative compromise. Very clever. But, by Obama's own admission, it is naked lawlessness.

    As for policy, I sympathize with the obvious humanitarian motives of the DREAM Act. But two important considerations are overlooked in concentrating exclusively on the DREAM Act poster child, the straight-A valedictorian who rescues kittens from trees.

    First, offering potential illegal immigrants the prospect that, if they can successfully hide long enough, their children will one day freely enjoy the bounties of American life creates a huge incentive for yet more illegal immigration.

    Second, the case for compassion and fairness is hardly as clear-cut as advertised. What about those who languish for years in godforsaken countries awaiting legal admission to America? Their scrupulousness about the law could easily cost their children the American future that illegal immigrants will have secured for theirs.

    But whatever our honest and honorable disagreements about the policy, what holds us together is a shared allegiance to our constitutional order. That's the fundamental issue here. As Obama himself argued in rejecting the executive action he has now undertaken, "America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the president, am obligated to enforce the law. I don't have a choice about it."

    Except, apparently, when violating that solemn obligation serves his re-election needs.
    KRAUTHAMMER

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  25. Another nice day for Renewables in California - about 14%, it looks like.

    CAISO

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  26. Maybe Romney can take a few dollars out of his Swiss bank account, and hire a few border guards.

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  27. The Republicans are right on immigration (this time around,) but I'm so damned mad about Healthcare, and Energy that I can't find my "give a shit."

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  28. This morning it has been announced that Obama and Holder is opening a hotline for illegal aliens to report on “civil rights violations” on state and local government.

    Jesus H. Christ it is unbelievable.
    ....

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    1. If you are an illegal alien and feel your rights have been violated in health care matters call 1-800-ObamaLife now, and you will be ushered to the head of the ObamaCare line.

      Your anchor babies need educating, feel you are discriminated against, call 1-800-ObamaBook now.

      Need food, call 1-800-ObamaMeal.

      Housing, 1-800-ObamaHome

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  29. June 26, 2012
    Jesse Jackson Jr. takes leave from Congress for 'exhaustion'
    Thomas Lifson

    Everyone knows how exhausting it is to be a congressman from a safe district. Everyone also knows that the prospect of an indictment on corruption charges can really sap the energy.

    Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s office has announced that the poor congressman is just worn out from...his crushing workload. Abdon M. Pallasch and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times report:

    "On Sunday, June 10th, Congressman Jesse L. Jackson Jr. went on a medical leave of absence and is being treated for exhaustion. He asks that you respect his family's privacy. His offices remain open to serve residents of the Second District."

    The son of the famed civil rights leader is facing a Congressional ethics investigation concerning allegations tied to the Rod Blagojevich corruption case.

    Just last week, a fund-raiser in the middle of the Jackson saga - Raghuveer Nayak - was arrested by federal authorities in an unrelated alleged fraud scheme.

    Jackson was already on his leave by then, and his attorney, Paul Langer, said the leave has nothing to do with the Nayak case.

    "I can tell you unequivocally it is unrelated to the arrest of Mr. Nayak," Langer said.

    The background:

    Blagojevich was heard on tape saying that Jackson's emissary - Nayak - offered what Blagojevich believed was a $1.5 million offer in exchange for the Senate seat that was about to be vacated by Barack Obama following his 2008 election as president.

    Jackson has repeatedly and vehemently denied he authorized anyone to approach Blagojevich on his behalf. Jackson has not been charged in the probe.

    "Respect our privacy" was the same request Jackson made via news release in Sept. 2010 when the Sun-Times revealed that federal investigators were looking into Nayak's claims that Jackson had him pay to fly Washington, D.C., cocktail waitress Giovana Huidobro to Chicago at Jackson's request.

    Stay tuned. We wish the Congressman a restful interlude, for he may be facing some stressful times ahead. Perhaps he needs to take a long rest somewhere, say, Leavenworth, Kansas.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/06/jesse_jackson_jr_takes_leave_from_congress_for_exhaustion.html#ixzz1yuA9dVbU

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  30. :):):):)

    In case readers didn’t already realize it … it’s on. The Daily Caller has a letter sent by House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa to President Barack Obama challenging the assertion of executive privilege in the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious. In the letter, Issa tells Obama that the assertion means one of two things: either the highest levels of the White House were involved in the effort to mislead Congress on OF&F, or Obama is deliberately obstructing the investigation:

    “[Y]our privilege assertion means one of two things,” Issa wrote to the president in a letter dated June 25. “Either you or your most senior advisors were involved in managing Operation Fast & Furious and the fallout from it, including the false February 4, 2011 letter provided by the attorney general to the committee, or, you are asserting a presidential power that you know to be unjustified solely for the purpose of further obstructing a congressional investigation.”


    I like Issa.


    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/06/26/issa-to-obama-so-the-white-house-is-involved-in-fast-and-furious-then/

    Some may question the timing but I like the timing too.

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  31. When Obamacare passes, Obama will sprinkle pixie dust on each of us, and there will be no more unbearable pain, no more suffering. Then we can all sit in a circle, legs crossed, holding hands, singing KumBaYa.

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    Replies
    1. Did you really think that was funny?

      Delete
  32. "
    The dialogue on coal, its impact and federal government’s role has reached a stunningly fevered pitch—carefully orchestrated messages that strike fear into the hearts of West Virginians and feed uncertainty about coal’s future are the subject of millions of dollars of paid television ads, billboards, break room bulletin boards, public meetings, letters and lobbying campaigns.

    A daily onslaught declares that coal is under siege from harmful outside sources and that the future of the state is bleak unless we somehow turn back the clock, ignore the present and block the future.

    It was an ugly fight on the Senate floor to roll back the EPA’s restrictions on mercury – one of the most toxic substances known. When coal is burned the mercury can either go up the chimney, to be breathed by the men, women and children downwind, or it can be scrubbed by pollution control systems."


    Source: Red Green & Blue (http://s.tt/1fvBa)

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  33. In the next two and half years, Costa Rica is planning to add 100 megawatts of wind power and 40 from hydroelectric.

    While this amount is a fraction of the 1,000 MW of wind power Uruguay is trying to add in the same time frame, it is still an ambitious plan.

    It also meshes well with Costa Rica’s overall plan to become carbon neutral by 2021.


    Source: Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1fVBc)

    Heading for Fossil Fuel Freedom

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  34. Costa Rica should try and get its rivers sewage neutral by 2021.

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  35. The question is still basically, how in the world could anyone have trusted a person with the background of Obama? I know people who voted for him the first go round that were willing to overlook everything in his background, simply due to the "guilt factor" of voting for a person of color.

    His philosophical beliefs were right there for everyone to see. He hates America as it is and wants to substantially change it. For crying out loud, he told us that. Did any of you believe that his substantial change would be only to public political discourse?

    I haven't been able to get the people that I know who voted for him to open up to me and really discuss what it is that they saw as positive in this man. I know only a few people who intend to vote for him again and they are among those who would never vote for a libertarian or a conservative under almost any circumstances.

    I simply am amazed that there are those who consider him to be a great man, a great person and a great president. Even is you are one of the most partisan people on earth, you surely have to admit that he is one of the greatest liars, provocateurs, and sham artists ever to sit in such a position of authority.

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    1. He's not only not in the same league, he's not even in the same universe as the lying, stinking, fossil fuel-corrupt republicans.

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    2. Rufus, you have totally and absolutely lost your mind.

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    3. It may be the stress that is causing the problem.

      http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/328927/Dementia-caused-by-stressful-lifestyle

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    4. .

      IMO, anyone who says one political party is worse than the other is blowing it out his ass. They are all corrupt.

      If you want a clear snapshot of the corruption and collusion that exists between the nation's largest banks, brokerage houses, and politicians in both parties and at all levels pick up this month's Rolling Stone magazine and look up Matt Taibbi's article The Scam Wall Street Learned from the Mafia. It talks about the background of the recent US v. Carolla case. Warning: For those with a short attention span, it's a long article.

      What struck me most about the article was how nonchalant the principles were about their actions. They had been doing it for so long with no adverse consequences, they forgot what they were doing was illegal. As proof, they conducted these deals on telephones that had stickers saying the conversations would be recorded.

      As an aside, and a perverse and telling commentary on where we have sunk to in this country, part of the defense argument was that these are smart people and surely they wouldn't have intentionally committed a crime if they knew they were being recorded. Of course they would. The arrogant bastards figured they had nothing to fear given the corrupt political system we have in this country.

      To those who tell me things like, "Well, at least the Dems are trying...", or "The GOP would have to be an improvement over...", I can only say, grow a brain. They all suck. And if one party doesn't screw you on one thing, it will screw you on another.


      http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-scam-wall-street-learned-from-the-mafia-20120620#ixzz1yqx81Mr9

      .

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  36. RE: sewage

    More than half the sewage from Mediterranean coastal development seeps into the sea untreated. Although that percentage is lower than in some other parts of the world – in Latin America, 80 percent of sewage is untreated – the problem is particularly acute in the Mediterranean, whose closed geography means that it takes 100 years to renew its waters.

    LINK from 2008

    Of course it takes energy to run a treatment plant, also planning, management, technical skill, maintenance, expansion horizons.

    Seems like people would rather flap their gums fomenting some sort of geriatric rumble in the rest home over partisan politics than actually ... solve problems.

    If "making the trains run on time" is a recipe for socialist capitulation of personal freedom, then where is the private sector?? Always whining about something - can't access a skilled labor pool, regulatory burden, no long-term planning horizon, security, corruption, cost of capital, taxes ... and the piece de resistance, better return from trading paper in the OTC derivatives market, otherwise known as hedging. Capital investment in growth industries - I won't say that it's not prudent, but it's not being done (I can give you all kinds of stories), for whatever variety of reasons, outside of weapons and health care sectors, both of which are growing like gangrene.

    Where are the water and waste water treatment plants?

    (To be fair, I already know the answer. I am trying to suggest that it isn't a Grand Design assembled by that obscure terrorist group known informally by the name of Teat-Sucking Socialists.)

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    1. The cheap and eco-friendly answer is sewage lagoons. When I worked for the City Engineering in summer during high school we put in several in small towns around here. They are still there, doing their job.

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    2. Not much energy required to gravity flow the turds into a lagoon, add a little microbe formula.

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    3. Med. seaside more densely populated. Land constraints. Existing cesspools overloaded. Seep into groundwater and Out to Sea.

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    4. The Southern Europeans never were renowned for their attention to hygeine, were they? :)

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    5. Rid-X.

      Plastic pool liners.

      Cull the old people via ObamaCare.

      Bulldoze medieval inner cities, create lagoons.

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  37. Hmm, I notice nat gas is now up 44% since the now famous "Rufus Bottom" call. :)

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    1. Rufus you got that one right but when the price of something is nearly zero even I could guess it might go up. But you do deserve a shiny trinket of some sort.

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  38. More than one in seven Americans are on food stamps, but the federal government wants even more people to sign up for the safety net program.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been running radio ads for the past four months encouraging those eligible to enroll. The campaign is targeted at the elderly, working poor, the unemployed and Hispanics.

    The department is spending between $2.5 million and $3 million on paid spots, and free public service announcements are also airing. The campaign can be heard in California, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, and the New York metro area.


    Ads to get people on Food Stamps.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/06/26/gallup-and-rasmussen-agree-consumer-confidence-plunging-in-june/

    Things are looking up. Consumer confidence is down, Romney seems to be ahead in Virginia, alfalfa prices are solid, and all Obama can think to do is advertise Food Stamps and free citizenship for hispanics to stop the hemorrhaging of his support.

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  39. Democrats Are trying - and they are getting results. Democracy isn't beanbag. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to grow a pair.

    On health care, the Democrats have already scored a rather large win because they moved the policy debate at least one rung up the ladder by elevating the subject of health care reform to a high level of national concern, where it decidedly was not before.

    Prior to passage in 2010, the dominant rebuttal position held by the Republicans was that reform was not needed. They can no longer get away with that position. Cite [h/t Quirk IIRC]: recent AP poll that Americans want health care reform but not "ObamaCare." That is a major step forward. Brought to you by Democrats.

    Democrats are invested in government. That is their tool, their vehicle for action.

    Republicans are invested in free markets (which are actually mixed markets since some degree of regulation is required.)

    Markets do not handle problems related to The Commons, such as environmental protection and health care.

    Now that health care has been elevated to the national table, the Republicans will clearly try to evolve a pure market solution, which is their only option since their core belief system does not permit even a quasi-public option.

    .....

    On energy, the markets are "clearly giving mixed signals" with more than a little help from the dueling banjo campaign of competing marketing departments. This country is paying a large price for failure to enact even the bare outline of an "Industrial Policy" that would have "guided" the load-shifting of the manufacturing base and the introduction of energy start-ups as a means of diversifying the national energy portfolio.

    The Dems Are trying.

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  40. The dems are killing our industry and energy.

    See: coal, fracking, nuclear, drilling, and anything do with permitting on public lands.

    ...

    George Zimmerman passes the police lie detector test - no deception indicated.

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    1. Forgot to mention the pipeline from Canada.

      The Occam's Razor answer is it must be an intention effort to ruin the economy of the United States of America.

      Nothing complex about it.

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  41. That pipeline will be built. And, someday, that pipeline will spring a really nasty leak. But, it won't leak into the "headwaters" of the Ogalalla Aquifer, because it's not going through the Ogalalla Aquifer.

    Meantime, as a result of "bottling up" that Bakken Oil (you'll notice, I said Bakken, because the Tar Sands Oil is going through - it has to, no one outside of the Gulf Coast can refine it *very much of it anyway*) we're paying $2.99/gal for gasoline down here in the Midsouth (Idaho, also, I think.)

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    1. As for "jobs:" There are ten times more jobs to be created in the "Renewables" industries than are even remotely possible in a dying fossil fuel industry.

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    2. Gasoline is $3.80 here.

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    3. :) Too bad for you

      I guess there's no refinery over there that can process that toxic, carcinogenic tar sands crap. Oh well.

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  42. Jan Brewer says the Obama administration has told Arizona to 'drop dead' --

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/06/26/jan-brewer-the-obama-administration-basically-just-told-arizona-to-drop-dead/

    That about sums it up.

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  43. I don't think there's a chance in hell of it, but what if the Court strikes down the Mandate, and leaves all the rest (including the prohibition on rejecting coverage due to Pre-existing Conditions?)

    It would be bedlam. :)

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    1. It would, arguably, be the Worst Possible Outcome for the Conservatives. Wailing, Gnashing of Teeth, Rending of Garments - the Din would Deafen the Sphinx.

      Delete
    2. .

      Who would suffer would be a crapshoot.

      The first thing that would happen is insurance rates would go through the roof. Yet, the subsidies for the poor to get insurance would still be there.

      I think the winner of the election would probably be the loser on health care.

      If The Dems win the election and decide to keep everything that was put in place, they will draw the ire of ordinary citizens who would see their rates rise, the debt escalate, and millions of people receiving subsidized health care at their expense, this after all the giveaways, waivers, etc. offered to everyone but them. I suspect it would be much like the government offering special refinancing to some people but not others.

      If the Dems decided to trim back some of the benefits, their own base would disown them.

      If Obama, through his 'newly defined powers' mandate that the ionsurance companies cannot raise rates to cover the insurance companies new costs, the lawsuits will follow quickly.

      If the GOP wins, they will immediately try to cut back provisions in the program that make it economically non feasible (at the very least). That is, if they don't try to do away with the bulk of the program.

      If they have the votes, and are successful the Dem base will hate them. What's new? If they lack the votes and are unsuccessful, they blame it on the Dems. See above.

      Regardless of the short term pain, either side would accept it if they can win in November.

      .

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    3. Actually, what would happen is, No one would write another health insurance policy under any circumstances. period. That industry would be ancient history.

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    4. Anyway, it seems almost inconceivable that the Court would do that.

      They very well might kill the mandate, and the pre-existing conditions prohibition, and leave the rest of it, however.

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    5. .

      Hey, most of them are non-profits anyway.

      :)


      They will keep writing policies. Their execs are raking in too much loot to let that little honey pot disappear.

      .

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  44. The Greatest Inintended Consequence in the history of litigation.

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    1. .

      Naw, if the mandate is struck down, it will merely show the hubris of the Dem party.

      I didn't say ignorance since most of these guys are lawyers, some constitutional lawyers, and should have known better.

      .

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  45. Once the new checks on national spending have been established, common debt issuance "could be explored," the report says. It mentions the possibility of commonly issued short-term debt, which have been dubbed euro bills, as well as a so-called debt redemption fund, which would pool national debts larger than 60% of economic output and bring the excesses down over time.

    As governments discuss longer-term issues, they also face more urgent matters. Euro-zone finance ministers are due to hold a telephone conference on Wednesday to discuss Spain's request for euro-zone assistance to boost the capital of its banks and a request for a bailout from Cyprus, officials said.

    That will follow a meeting on Tuesday evening in Paris of the finance ministers of France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

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    1. .

      I tried to understand what they are doing over there but I still don't get it.

      They are going to pool the debt but each country will still have to pay according to their percentage of the pooled debt. How does it help any individual country? I can see it if all countries in the pool are getting a lower interest rate. However, the various central banks will still be the prime creditors if any country defaults. They have priority and would collect first. Why would any bank or individual buy bonds from these guys if they are second prioprity creditors? Unless, of course, they get a good interest rate to cover the risk, but then you are back to square one. I never did understand the bond market that well.

      What am I missing here?

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  46. While most of Washington is waiting around, nervously chewing on its fingernails in anticipation of the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision (may I have the envelope, please), there are some who are still in the fight. As Melissa Healy writes in the Los Angeles Times:

    a federal health advisory panel on Monday recommended that all obese adults receive intensive counseling in an effort to rein in a growing health crisis in America.

    That too many Americans weigh far too much is indisputable. That they need counseling in order to find out why they are fat and what they can do about it ... well, less so.

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  47. In stark contrast to outbreaks of seasonal flu, children and young adults were the group most affected. The elderly, it is claimed, developed some antibodies to the H1N1 strain in 1957, when a similar virus was prevalent.

    In this instance however, 9.7 million years of life were lost compared with 2.8 million if swine flu had followed normal flu patterns.

    The first confirmed case came in Mexico in March 2009, and the first UK case was discovered in April 2009. During the pandemic, a reported 474 people died in the UK.

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  48. Countries with strong property rights generally see environmental improvement, e.g., air and water pollution are declining, fishery stocks are stable, and forests are expanding. First, because owners protect their resources since they directly suffer the costs and consequences of not doing so.

    ...

    Looking back the failure of environmentalism as an ideology looks inevitable since has misconstrued the causes of many of the problems to which it claims to have a solution. At the close of the Rio +20 Earth Summit last Friday, environmentalism reached its highwater mark and is now ebbing as a political force internationally.

    It will be interesting to see in which direction those cherishing a permanent animus against democratic capitalism will go.

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    1. It will be interesting to see in which direction those cherishing a permanent animus against democratic capitalism will go.

      Oh my.

      The environmental movement was hugely successful in the area of natural resource protection - water, air, and land. Those successes came through government-sponsored initiatives. Wasn't GE or ADM.

      When the environmentalists moved into the hugely different (and vastly larger and more integrated) fields of ecosystem management they stumbled badly; in part, from inadequate science to support what we now understand is a data-intensive technical field of study, and, in part, from hubris bred of their earlier success with natural resource protection.

      China is about to enter it's Silent Spring period. The air around industrial centers is toxic.

      USA is working through the technical problems relating to ecosystem sciences (including of course climate), which includes retracing original missteps.

      Private sector, via property constraints/incentives, is not equipped to handle any of it. Acknowledging such is an open invitation to anti-capitalist venom. It's a cheap shot.

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    2. There is a famous case whose name I can't recall where some rich fellow back east somewhere finally got ticked enough to sue a mill for polluting his back yard. This was back in the late 1800's I think. First real case of its kind. He prevailed. China might do well to have a stronger court system.

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    3. Or maybe not, when you considers how the courts have come to run nearly everything in our lives now.

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  49. On this day in 1919, the first edition of The New York Daily News was published.

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  50. It is the pooling of the products that worries regulators.

    ...

    n an article published in late March in China Forex, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange's official magazine, Bank of Jiangsu vice general manager of risk and compliance Wang Kaining, and Cui Jianguo, a risk manager, said that banks don't have sufficiently sophisticated accounting or computer systems to manage the wealth-management products individually. They warned against using long-term assets to generate return on short-term investments.

    "This leads to liquidity risks with some banks using the issuance of new products or their own funds to relieve payment pressures" when products mature, the article said. "This significantly raises the risk for banks."

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  51. Bris Ban Raises Specter of German Hate
    Jonathan S. Tobin | @tobincommentary 06.26.2012 - 3:09 PM

    In a ruling that will affect Muslims as much as Jews, a district court in Cologne, Germany, has ruled that circumcision is illegal. The case, which stemmed from a botched circumcision of a Muslim child, is just the latest instance in which the religious practice has been attacked. But though the legal implications of the ruling are not yet entirely clear as it may violate the European Union’s Convention on Human Rights, it raises the possibility that a ritual integral to Jewish identity as well as required by Muslim religious law will be banned.

    For the growing Jewish community, the court may have created a serious logistical problem, as this may deter doctors or other persons from performing circumcisions because of a fear of prosecution or lawsuits. But just as important is the symbolism of the ban coming from a country where open expressions of anti-Semitism were driven underground by the reaction to the Nazi era. If a judge can attack Judaism as well as Islam head on in this manner without fear of the consequences, then perhaps a tipping point may have been reached in German society that may have serious consequences for the long-term viability of Jewish life in the country and Western Europe.

    The ruling baldly claimed circumcision inflicted “damage” on children and could not be protected by freedom of religion, though there is no rational reason for anyone to believe this is the case. Mistakes in circumcisions are rare and probably less likely to occur than errors in routine medical procedures. But the court went even further in asserting the assumption that parents don’t have the right to choose a faith for their child. That might be interpreted as an attack on all religions. But it must be considered particularly threatening to members of minority faiths, particularly Jews who remember well that in past centuries the majority sometimes tried to take Jewish children away from their parents by claiming it was in their interests not to be inculcated in Judaism.

    While some on the left, including one German professor quoted in Ha’aretz, may think this is a blow struck for the freedom of children, it is really an attempt to further marginalize both Judaism and Islam.

    An attempt was made last year to place a referendum banning circumcision on the ballot in San Francisco. But the sponsors’ use of an openly anti-Semitic Web comic book drew so much attention that critics were able to quash the effort. Though support for such measures may exist on the margins in the United States, the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe may have allowed this cause to drift into the mainstream. Along with other attempts to ban kosher slaughter elsewhere in Europe, the German bris ban calls into question the safety of Jews in a Western Europe where Jew-hatred often mixed with anti-Zionism has emerged from the shadows.

    Though it is to be hoped this ruling will soon be overturned by joint legal efforts by Jews and Muslims, no matter what the outcome of the litigation, it must send a chill through a growing German Jewish community that has come to think of itself as immune to the dangers presented by the country’s past. They may be learning that in spite of the country’s advances, anti-Semitism never goes completely out of fashion in Germany.

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  52. My favorite scoundrel Charlie Rangel has survived his primary! Admit it, it wouldn't be the same old jolly world without Charlie around.

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    1. Earlier in the evening, Assemblyman Keith Wright, the Manhattan Democratic chairman, was asked if he thought that a victory for Mr. Rangel meant that the longtime Harlem congressman could soon be serving his final term.

      “No,” Mr. Wright replied. “Charlie Rangel might be the Strom Thurmond of Harlem.”


      :)

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    2. I think of Mr Rangel as kinda a Fellaheen of the House, he will be there when the civilization has washed away under the sands.

      Monday, January 5, 2009
      A Kerouac favorite word: fellaheen
      I haven't counted how many times Jack uses the word "fellaheen" in his novels, but it's often enough to trigger my curiosity and, maybe, yours.

      First of all, what does it mean?

      Here's my favorite definition and one that I think Jack would like (from CD Baby about this musician's CD): "the great mass of peasants who adapt and survive from one civilization to the next without becoming part of any, thus remaining separate from the great movements of history."

      The Free Dictionary defines it as "a peasant or agricultural laborer in an Arab country, such as Syria or Egypt."

      Although the word definitely has Arabic origins, Jack uses it a number of times in his references to Mexico.

      Indeed, Chapter 2 of Lonesome Traveler (which I recently finished) is titled, "Mexico Fellaheen." The chapter contains this passage:

      ...but you can find it, this feeling, this fellaheen feeling about life, that timeless gayety of people not involved in great cultural and civilization issues (p. 22).



      Part of Jack's ethos involved keenly observing but not becoming involved in great cultural issues. As indicated in a previous post, he didn't appreciate the way the media propped him up as the cultural hero of the "beatnik" culture. And in later years he distanced himself from Ginsberg because of the latter's anti-war activities. He just wanted to be a writer.

      We may not be peasants but we can adopt a "fellaheen" attitude. It seems like an Eastern philosophy, in particular Buddhist, involving presence, awareness, and nonattachment.

      It's being in the "world" but not being part of its unconscious, conditioned foolishness. Rather, when you are brushing your teeth, eating, showering, talking, driving, gardening, or reading, or what-have-you, your entire attention is on that one thing. That one ultimately important thing. Which is everything.

      As opposed to suffering over who won the football game yesterday. Or whether your clothes are "stylish." Or you listen to "popular" music. Or your car sports the "correct" bumper stickers. Or you give to the "proper" charities. Or worship the appropriate god. Or went to the "right" school. Or married "well." Or have a "good" job.

      FELLAHEEN!
      Posted by Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook at 7:29 AM
      Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook
      Labels: fellaheen
      1 comment:

      AnonymousFebruary 23, 2012 2:07 AM

      Kerouac got the word 'fellaheen' from Spengler's 'Decline of the West', which was a big influence on the original Beats.



      Spengler didn't like the prospect of becoming fellaheen. Whether the Decline of the West was an influence on the original Beats I leave to Quirk, though Campbell thought it was a dreadful prospect, like Spengler.

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    3. ...but you can find it, this feeling, this fellaheen feeling about life, that timeless gayety of people not involved in great cultural and civilization issues (p. 22).


      And of course it goes without saying this is a bunch of shit. If you like to cook your breakfast over burning dried camel dung, go for it.

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