L.A. Students To be Taught Lies

By Jana Winter

The Los Angeles Unified School District school board wants all public school students in the city to be taught that Arizona’s new immigration law is un-American.

The school board president made the announcement Tuesday night after the district’s Board of Education passed a resolution to oppose the controversial law, which gives law enforcement officials in Arizona the power to question and detain people they suspect are in the U.S. illegally when they are stopped in relation to a crime or infraction.

Critics of the law say it will result in racial profiling.

The school board voted unanimously on Tuesday to “express outrage” and “condemnation” of the law, and it called on the school superintendent to look into curtailing economic support to the Grand Canyon State. About 73 percent of the students in the school district are Latino.

But supporters of the law say the school board is way out of bounds and that the measure will just distract from the children’s education.

“This is ridiculous, it’s ridiculous for us to be involved in Arizona law,” said Jane Barnett, Chairman, Los Angeles County Republican Party. “There is a 50 percent dropout rate in some parts of the school district—is this going to keep kids in school?”

According to its press release, “The Los Angeles Board of Education also requested that Superintendent Ramon Cortines ensure that civics and history classes discuss the recent laws with students in the context of the American values of unity, diversity and equal protection for all people.”

“America must stand for tolerance, inclusiveness and equality,” said Board President Monica García, according to the release. “In our civics classes and in our hallways, we must give life to these values by teaching our students to value themselves; to respect others; and to demand fairness and justice for all who live within our borders. Any law which violates civil rights is un-American.”

In an e-mail to FOXNews.com, school district spokesman Robert Alaniz elaborated:

“The Board of Education directed the Superintendent to ensure that LAUSD civics and history classes discuss the recent laws enacted in Arizona in the context of the American values of unity, diversity, and Equal Protection for all. Much like a number of controversial periods and laws that are part of our history and are currently taught including:

— Slavery

— Jim Crowe laws and segregation

— Native American reservations

— Residential schools (for Native Americans)

— The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882

— Anti-Irish racism in the 19th century

— Racism against immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe in the 20th century

— Anti-Semitism

— Internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II

— The Mexican Repatriation Program (1929-1939).”

The school district resolution also opposed another new Arizona law that bans schools from teaching classes that promote the overthrow of the government or advocate ethnic solidarity.

The school board called on Arizona’s leaders to reverse both of these “misguided” new laws, the press release said.

The board said the laws “effectively sanction and promote unconstitutional racial profiling and harassment,” and “blatantly violate the civil rights of both Arizona residents and all visitors to the State.”

They said Arizona’s new laws also “severely restrict the education of all children in Arizona by refusing to incorporate vital sections of history that incorporate the contributions of this country’s many diverse groups.”

The superintendent was also asked to investigate ways to curtail contracts with Arizona-based businesses and district travel to the state.

“We need to do everything in our power to help our students be global citizens, develop appreciation for the diversity in our midst, and reject any forms of racism or bias,” said Board Vice President Yolie Flores. “This resolution highlights our commitment to ensuring that our students understand the ideals and constitutional rights that this great country is founded on, while also gaining an appreciation of the histories and cultural contributions of those who have helped build this nation.”

“It is a sad day in America when the rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution are trampled upon under the color of law and authority,” said LAUSD Board Member Martinez. “Everyone, regardless of their status in the United States, has the right to equal protection under our laws. These Arizona laws are nothing but a knee-jerk backlash resulting from the lack of a comprehensive and well thought out immigration reform policy.”

The LA County Republican chairwoman said she’s been inundated with phone calls, e-mails and Facebook messages from people all over Los Angeles who say their school district has no business meddling in another state’s laws when they’ve got so many problems of their own to deal with.

“This is really crazy,” she said. “Everybody is upset about this.”

Barnett called the school board resolution a “pathetic stunt” that distracts educators from what they should be focusing on: educating the students.

“This is nothing we should be involved in. Let the courts deal with this,” she said. “We need to keep out of other people’s states’ business.”

Nathan Mintz, the founder of the South Bay Tea Party and the Republican nominee for the 53rd State Assembly seat.

“This is just another example of these embedded bureaucrats in California doing anything they can to deflect and distract from the poor job their doing of educating our children,” said Nathan Mintz, the founder of the South Bay Tea Party and the Republican nominee for the 53rd State Assembly seat.

He said attacking Arizona’s immigration law is just “a distraction from the key issue of educating the kids in our schools.”

“We support Arizona,” Barnett said. “In fact, I think we ought to go there right now for vacation.”

Israel points finger at Turkish activists

ByDelphine Strauss in Ankara

Turkish activists who survived Israel’s raid on their convoy to Gaza could expect a hero’s welcome on their return home on Wednesday, but the aid agency that channelled millions of dollars into the boats and their cargoes is attracting controversy.

The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief – known by its Turkish acronym IHH, draws on widespread sympathy for the Palestinian cause in Turkish society.

But its ethos is more Islamist than is typical in secular Turkey. Founded in the 1990s, the IHH’s early work was directed at aiding Muslims in Bosnia. It came under scrutiny from a Turkish government fearful of fundamentalism, and was excluded by the army from official efforts to help victims of the 1999 earthquake.

Israelis claim the IHH has a history of supporting violent extremism and even of links to al-Qaeda. Israel’s government points to intelligence reports from the 1990s saying that the IHH aimed to “recruit veteran soldiers in anticipation of the coming holy war” and sent men to gain battlefield experience in Bosnia, Chechnya and Afghanistan.

“It’s not difficult to understand why Israel is spreading these slanders,” responded Izzet Sahin, an IHH member who was detained by the Israeli authorities earlier this year.

From its headquarters in Istanbul’s Fatih district, the IHH has backed Muslim causes célèbres, notably by sending a mobile hospital to the Iraqi town of Fallujah after the US bombardment. Its president, Bulent Yildirim, urges engagement with Hamas – in Israeli eyes, enough to prove IHH’s guilt, but it also runs health projects in African countries and sent aid to Haiti after the earthquake.

“I think they support whoever needs help most,” said Ravza Kavakci, a supporter. As for IHH’s finances, she said the body was “extra careful because they are being watched in the international arena”.

The IHH’s staff and resources have grown in tandem with the wealth of socially conservative Anatolian businessmen who are also natural supporters of Turkey’s ruling AK party.

Politically, IHH it is closest to the Islamist Saadet party, but its board also includes at least one AK member. The government does not condone its efforts, but previous aid to Gaza was sent by the national carrier, Turkish Airlines, and the Mavi Marmara that joined the convoy was bought from the state ferry company, IDO.

Gareth Jenkins, an Istanbul-based analyst, said Israeli accusations were misleading, but there were some IHH members who “would help jihadists get to places they want to go”, as well as many sympathisers with radical causes.

Additional reporting by Funja Guler

Standing On Principle/Mike Calpino For Wicomico County Council

Standing on Principle

On of the things that irritates people about the political process is that so few of the men or women who are part of it are principled, and even fewer are willing to consistently stand on their principles. First, allow me to define a principle. Webster’s defines it as a “fundamental truth or law, a moral rule.” I will also quote Ayn Rand’s definition, because I find it highly instructive.

“A principle is “a fundamental, primary, or general truth, on which other truths depend.” Thus a principle is an abstraction which subsumes a great number of concretes. It is only by means of principles that one can set one’s long-range goals and evaluate the concrete alternatives of any given moment. It is only principles that enable a man to plan his future and achieve it.” (Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal, p143.)

It is the lack of principles that have led, politically, fiscally and morally, to the situation in which we find ourselves. We have politicians we assume are corrupt and self-serving, debt we cannot repay, citizens who are content to be slaves whining for their basic bread from the hand of the state. Our political discourse consists of petty arguments over how to properly allocate billions or trillions of dollars to special interest groups in order for the politicians to secure their power and re-election. The only principle involved is that of power, gaining it and expanding it. The fiscal and moral health of the country, any consistency of program or policy, is all sacrificed on the altar of power. Power over the individual, the collective, over you and I. The power to determine every decision, the power to mold and shape minds, the power to control everything in society, for their own egomania. They happily sacrifice the freedom and rights of the individual on the altar of “the public good” or the “greater good” or “social justice.” The merrily go about confiscating the wealth of those who produce it for their own aggrandizement and the perpetuation of the perverse system that supports them. They speak the language of “compromise,” “fairness,” and “bi-partisanship,” but they are all lies to hide their true motives and the consistent advancement of their cause at the expense of our liberty.

There can be no compromise with evil. Strong word, you say? Any man or system that proposes to reduce or eliminate my God-given rights to life, liberty and property is evil. Any man who believes it is in his power to grant or abrogate natural rights is evil. Any system that believes it has first rights to the labor of our bodies and minds, that thinks it owns our production and our property, that it has the right to dictate every decision and action, that our liberty is inconsequential to their desire for control is evil. I state that unapologetically. Therefore the struggle of liberty and tyranny, freedom and state control is one of good and evil, the free state of man as God intended versus man as a slave of the state. To “give up essential liberty…for a little temporary security,” as Franklin said, is a false choice for a free people. To give up a natural right, or any portion thereof, reduces our humanity. Any compromise of our freedom is only a green light to the statists to take more.

In “the Anatomy of a Compromise”, Ayn Rand lists three rules about the application of principles.

1. In any conflict between two men (or two groups) who hold the same principles, it is the more consistent one who wins.

2. In any collaboration between two men (or two groups) who hold different basic principles, it is the more evil or irrational one who wins.

3. When opposite basic principles are clearly and openly defined, it works to the advantage of the rational side; when they are not clearly defined, but are hidden and evaded, it works to the advantage of the irrational side.

Let us briefly look at each one of these in turn. In the first, the men involved purport to hold the same principles. However, if they disagree, one of them is inconsistent. For example, if two politicians hold the principle that job creation is important yet one supports government policies that have historically been demonstrated to drag the economy down, he betrays his true motivations and priorities. One of the reasons the Democrat party has been successful in moving the country ever closer to statism is because while both major parties believe in wielding the power of government, the Democrat party has been more consistent in its advancement and application while the Republicans have attempted to give lip service to limited government, while their actions demonstrate their inconsistency. The problem we have in America is that both the political powers hold the same principles-those that support government expansion-and the only way to reverse our progress toward totalitarianism is to change the principles upon which our politicians govern and the principles by which we the citizens expect our politicians to govern.

The second one states that in any collaboration between two different principles, the evil one wins. This is simply articulated by this quote from Atlas Shrugged. “In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.” The Bible says the same thing, “A little leaven works its way through the whole batch of dough.” Any compromise which betrays a basic principle, any policy that infringes on basic rights, no matter what the supposed “emergency” or “crisis”, is a victory for statism. We cannot save freedom by abandoning freedom. A little poison or a lot of it will still bring about the same result.

Finally, as we enter the debates in what could be the most important election in America’s history, an election that will put people in office who will be in a position to guide us through the most difficult times since our inception as a nation, who may determine the very survival of our nation and our way of life, we need to clearly define the issues. Platitudes, bumper stickers, sound bites and flashy smiles are not going to lead to the restoration of our liberty and the stability of our country. The statists will win if their true motives and the principles by which they govern remain hidden or they are allowed to evade answers to the crucial questions. Only the irrational would willingly vote for someone who said that their goal was to control every aspect of our lives, to confiscate all our wealth, that they believed the state owns our property and our very bodies, that it was only their desire for control that led them into politics in the first place. Yet those who support the status quo of our current government operation govern according to those principles. We need people to run for office who have the courage and the ability to articulate and apply the principles of liberty at all levels of our government. People who will consistently and unapologetically make the argument for the founder’s vision of America, a vision of limited government, individual freedom, God-given rights and laissez-faire economic policy that made us the “shining city on a hill” for so much of our history.

“The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles.” Ayn Rand

Or, put another way, the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

Mike Calpino

Candidate for Wicomico County Council

Judge Orders School to Reinstate Boy Suspended Over Rosary Beads

By Joshua Rhett Miller

Raymond Hosier is wearing his purple rosary beads to school again.

A day after a federal judge ordered a New York middle school to reinstate the seventh-grader, who was suspended for wearing the Catholic prayer beads last month, the 13-year-old Schenectady boy is proudly displaying them again.

He wears them in memory of his younger brother, who died while clutching rosary beads following a car accident in 2005.

“Raymond believes in his heart of hearts that without the rosary, something’s going to happen to him,” his mother, Chantell Hosier, told FoxNews.com. “They make him feel safe — that’s the way he explains it. This child is still grieving.”

Chantell Hosier confirmed that Raymond wore the beads to Oneida Middle School on Wednesday after Judge Lawrence Kahn ordered the boy to be reinstated pending a hearing on June 11 into whether the suspension violated his civil rights.

District officials did not return requests for comment, but they contend Hosier violated a policy banning gang-related clothing such as rosary beads, which are sometimes worn as gang symbols. That led the American Center for Law and Justice to file a lawsuit on Tuesday in U.S. District Court arguing that Raymond’s suspension last month violated his rights to free speech and religion.

Hosier, 40, said she found it “absolutely offensive” that district officials included rosary beads in their policies against gang-related clothing.

“Raymond is not the only kid walking around wearing rosaries,” she said. “If that’s something that gang members are doing now, let’s take that up with the gang members, not Raymond.”

The lawsuit — filed on behalf of Raymond against Schenectady City School District and school officials — asks the court to declare the school’s dress code and the boy’s suspension unconstitutional. It also requests a jury trial.

Raymond received a one-week suspension for refusing to remove the beads or hide them under his shirt two weeks ago. He was suspended again last week when he returned to school wearing the beads.

“Raymond wants to wear his beads wherever his wants to wear them,” his mom said. “There’s absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t be allowed to. And Raymond has learned so much about his First Amendment rights through this process — it’s actually been a wonderful experience for him.”

Hosier said her son celebrated “like it was his birthday” following Tuesday’s ruling. Raymond has worn the beads ever since his younger brother, Joey, was struck and killed by a car in 2005 as the family looked on.

“The only thing I am concerned about is him getting a fat head,” she said. “You know, ‘I can do whatever I want.'”

Another school district in New York recently penalized a student for wearing rosaries. In February, a 14-year-old boy in Haverstraw was suspended for a day for wearing the symbol. In late 2008, a high school student in Dallas was told to stop wearing her rosary.

An official from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany declined to comment on whether rosary beads should be included in school dress codes.

“A rosary is a devotional object used by Catholics to assist in their worship,” the church official said, adding that they are typically carried in a pocket or purse. “A rosary is not a symbol other than anything I just told you.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Is the Party Over?

By Bruce Walker

Do we need political parties? Perhaps a better question might be: Did we ever need political parties? Most of the Founding Fathers thought that political parties or “factions” were a serious danger of representative democracy. Conservatives who endured the Republican hegemony from 1995 to 2007 might agree. Federal spending, including big slabs of greasy pork, exploded under a Republican Congress, with majority members infatuated with reelection.

Conservatives later groaned when President Bush nominated Harriett Miers to the Supreme Court. We winced when George W. Bush wistfully informed us that Islam is a “religion of peace.” Conservatives watched in despair as Republican control of the Senate translated into committee chairmanships for Arlen Specter and John McCain, men with a lovesickness for leftist praise.

Even worse, principled conservatives have endured the unprincipled machinations of pseudo-conservatives like Duke Cunningham, whose commitment to anything greater than personal gain was masked by the mantle of military heroism. His crimes smeared good men and women who were honestly trying to preserve the blessings of America.

Since Reagan, Republican presidential nominees have been bureaucratic careerist George H. Bush, ultimate Washington insider Bob Dole, likable conserva-lite George W. Bush, and then a senator who had built a career on bedeviling conservative ideas and swooning at the flirtations of the left. None of these men were wicked or corrupt or idiotic. Three were genuine war heroes. Evidently, though, none believed in the foundational principles of the Republic.

George Washington, perhaps the purest representation of the blessed spirit of our country, declared this truth: “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” What conservative would not agree with that? The Father of Our Country warned often against the dangers of parties: “Let me … warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party … in [governments] of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.”

Washington was right. Parties and factions thwart much of what the Constitution intended to maintain.

Spoils and loot, promised offices, supercilious defense of the indefensible under the false banner of party loyalty — all that and more flow naturally from the organs of political parties. Consider the almost supernatural abomination that is Obama health care. What gifts of our money were proffered to politicians for their votes? What threats of reduction in rank in party hierarchy were hissed? The obscenity of such grand arm-twisting and public bribery is so ordinary to us that we just assume that this is the way our government was supposed to operate.

But that is so very mistaken. Many of those men who wrote the Constitution also signed the Declaration of Independence. The purpose of government, they knew, was to preserve liberty. Political parties were as contrary to that purpose as political parties would be in the jury room of a trial. The absence of interest, the focus on the rule of law, the neutrality of government — these were the values which the Constitution was intended to cherish and to nurture. Parties sneer at those noble ideals.

What would politics in America be like if we could make the political party a stigma of shame? Candidates would have to campaign on what they personally believe. No one could do what Obama does now, for example, and campaign endlessly against a former president and his party. The dreary warnings of the left against “Far-Right Extremists” or “Ultra-Conservatives” would mean nothing if candidates ran as themselves. Specific positions on particular issues would be demanded of candidates.

Is this an impossible dream? Could anyone win election without the support of a party? In an odd way, Proposition 14 in California may create a system for testing the reality of nonpartisan candidates. If passed, this state measure would end primaries (or rather, party primaries) and have all candidates compete in an election. If no candidate got a majority of the vote, then the top two candidates would run against each other in a second election. Democrats are smiling on Proposition 14, a fact which makes everyone else in California nervous.

But this measure is rising because of the almost palpable disgust of Californians with the kleptocratic cabal in Sacramento. The people are sick of business as usual. They are, in fact, sick to death of it. Men and women who sought office with an utter rejection of party affiliation might — just might — elect a number of truly independent minds and free consciences to govern their state. What worked in California — and right now almost nothing is working in California — could easily migrate to other states and then seep into the crevices of Washington as well. If Americans said “the party is over,” then America might become America again.

Bruce Walker is the author of two books: Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie and The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.

Goldman Sachs sold $250 million of BP stock before spill

By John Byrne

Firm’s stock sale nearly twice as large as any other institution; Represented 44 percent of total BP investment

The brokerage firm that’s faced the most scrutiny from regulators in the past year over the shorting of mortgage related securities seems to have had good timing when it came to something else: the stock of British oil giant BP.

According to regulatory filings, RawStory.com has found that Goldman Sachs sold 4,680,822 shares of BP in the first quarter of 2010. Goldman’s sales were the largest of any firm during that time. Goldman would have pocketed slightly more than $266 million if their holdings were sold at the average price of BP’s stock during the quarter.

If Goldman had sold these shares today, their investment would have lost 36 percent its value, or $96 million. The share sales represented 44 percent of Goldman’s holdings — meaning that Goldman’s remaining holdings have still lost tens of millions in value.

The sale and its size itself isn’t unusual for a large asset management firm. Wall Street brokerages routinely buy and sell huge blocks of shares for themselves and their clients. In light of a recent SEC lawsuit arguing that Goldman kept information about a product they sold from their clients, however, the stock sale may raise fresh concern among Goldman’s critics. Goldman is also a frequent target of liberals and journalists, including Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibi, who famously dubbed the firm a “vampire squid.”

Two calls placed to Goldman Sachs’ media office in New York Wednesday morning after US markets opened were not immediately returned, though Raw Story decided to publish the story quickly after the calls since the stock sale had been already noted online.

The Coming Resignation of Barack Obama

By Peter Ferrara

Months ago, I predicted in this column that President Obama would so discredit himself in office that he wouldn’t even be on the ballot in 2012, let alone have a prayer of being reelected. Like President Johnson in 1968, who had won a much bigger victory four years previously than Obama did in 2008, President Obama will be so politically defunct by 2012 that he won’t even try to run for reelection.

I am now ready to predict that President Obama will not even make it that far. I predict that he will resign in discredited disgrace before the fall of 2012. Like my previous prediction, that is based not just on where we are now, but where we are going under his misleadership.

Is the President Above the Law?

Watergate was supposed to have established that Presidents are not above the law. If that is so, President Obama may have to resign for breaking the law in the Sestak affair.

Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) is now the Democrat nominee for the Senate seat held far too long by Arlen Specter. President Obama induced Specter to switch parties and give the Democrats their very temporary, 60 vote, filibuster-proof majority, in return for endorsing him for reelection and promising him no opposition in the Democrat primary. But Sestak had already announced that he was running for the seat, and he refused to get out. Two week ago, Sestak defeated the unprincipled, opportunistic Specter for the Democrat nomination, continuing the perfect string of everyone who Obama endorses and campaigns for going down to defeat.

For months now, Sestak has publicly claimed that President Obama tried to keep his promise to Specter by offering him a high-ranking administration appointment if he would get out of the race. The rumor is that Sestak, formerly an Admiral, was offered appointment as Secretary of the Navy. The problem is that a federal statute explicitly provides that it is a federal felony, punishable by up to one year in prison, to attempt to bribe a candidate with a federal job, or anything of value, to influence an election.

As Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has indicated, the White House is now engaged in a coverup that is only making matters worse. Former President Bill Clinton is now claiming that he carried the offer to Sestak of an appointment to an unpaid position on a Presidential Advisory Board in return for dropping out of the race. But that story is not plausible because as a sitting member of Congress he could not have legally served on such a Presidential Board. So is the White House now lying to the American people about the matter?

Moreover, indirectly offering the job through former President Clinton still violates the statute, as does the offer of an unpaid position. That is why Issa, Mark Levin, and others are saying that what the White House is publicly admitting still amounts to a federal crime, which is an impeachable offense. Democrats are going to have to decide if they really believe that presidents are not above the law. Presently, one reason to vote Republican for president is that Republican presidents are subject to the rule of law, but Democrat presidents are not.

Misfeasance or Malfeasance?

But the Sestak affair is just the early breeze of the gathering political storm that threatens to envelop President Obama. A mysterious explosion over six weeks ago in a deep sea oil well a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico continues to gush oil to this day, heading for Gulf beaches and fisheries. The White House says the President held a meeting on it in the Oval Office on Day One. But we have not heard a word on what was done in that meeting 44 days ago, other than develop political talking points.

Democrat talking head Kirsten Powers, writing in the New York Post on May 27, explained what should have been done: “Turns out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration back in 1994 drafted plans for responding to a major Gulf oil spill, a response called ‘In Situ Burn.’…The idea was to use barriers called ‘fire booms’ to collect and contain the spill at sea — and then burn it off.” Powers cites former federal oil spill response coordinator Ron Gourget as believing “this could have captured 95 percent of the oil from the spill.” But, Powers writes, “the Administration’s chief response so far was to send out Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to do his best impersonation of a totalitarian thug, proclaiming that the government would ‘have its boot on the throat of BP.'”

It is too late for the fire boom plan now, with the oil spreading across the Gulf. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal quickly developed another plan to build temporary sand barrier islands off the coasts to absorb the oil and protect fragile wetlands and fisheries. The law requires federal approval for such activity. But perhaps because Jindal is a Republican, the hyperpartisan Obama Administration has failed to even respond to his proposal first made a month ago, except to say that it is studying the idea, while the oil starts to wash ashore.

What President Obama has done instead is to suspend all offshore drilling in the Arctic, at least until the causes and solutions to the Gulf spill are discovered. No applications for drilling permits in the Arctic will even be considered now until 2011. Drilling scheduled to begin this summer under already issued Alaskan leases has also been halted. Investor’s Business Daily explains how this punishes the American people, saying on May 28, “Alaska’s Chukchi Sea holds more oil and gas than anyone thought – 1,600 trillion cubic feet of undeveloped natural gas, or 30% of the world’s supply, and 83 billion barrels of undeveloped oil, 4% of estimated global resources. You can be sure the Russians won’t be as reluctant.” Nor will the Cubans and their Chinese partners expected to drill in the Gulf of Mexico off of Florida’s coasts as well, just as the Brits and others have not been reluctant to drill in the stormy North Sea.

Moreover, President Obama has already begun to use the crisis to renew his political push for federal cap and tax legislation that will cripple the economy with arbitrary, unnecessary, soaring, energy cost increases. Does he plan to hold any future drilling hostage to passage of this legislation?

In the response to Hurricane Katrina, federal law specifically provided that the then Democrat Governor of Louisiana and Mayor of New Orleans were in charge. The federal and FEMA role was to “support…state and local assistance efforts” with the necessary, primarily financial resources. Nevertheless, in the days after the hurricane, President Bush’s federal government was the only functioning authority, as the Coast Guard rescued 30,000 people off of rooftops. Hundreds of school buses that could have been used to whisk those people out of harm’s way were left ruined under water due to Mayor Nagin’s inaction in response to federal hurricane warnings. The partisan Governor acted only to deny and delay President Bush’s control over the state’s national guard for political reasons.

FTC plan to reinvent America’s news media

What’s widely-known is that Americans are not buying newspapers anymore in droves.

What hasn’t been widely-known, until now, is that a year ago the new Democrat administration of Barack Obama launched a major internal study intended to design a major government rescue plan for the nation’s financially-troubled information media, primarily newspapers.

That strident sound you hear are the alarms going off in minds and offices across the country: Government helping the press? Which press? How help? In return for what?

Well, two years ago who’d have thought the feds would own General Motors with major holdings in a bunch of banks and financial institutions, reshaped the healthcare industry, spent $787 billion on who-knows-what to create some jobs, have rewritten a package of new financial regulations to corral Wall Street and still not be securing the U.S.-Mexico border?

The Federal Trade Commission has just released a major staff study of modern American media titled “Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism.” And….

…silly you thought the private business of journalism was doing that by itself in its own stumbling ways without the help of the Washington branch of the Chicago Democratic political machine.

The study notes those industry-wide revival efforts and adds:

There are reasons for concern that experimentation may not produce a robust and sustainable business model for commercial journalism. History in the United States shows that readers of the news have never paid anywhere close to the full cost of providing the news. Rather, journalism always has been subsidized to a large extent by, for example, the federal government, political parties, or advertising.

True, there have been government subsidies over the decades in the form of below-cost postal rates and printing contracts. But this FTC study is rated R for anyone who thinks the federal government, the object of copious news coverage itself, has no business deciding which sectors of the private media business survive and thrive through its support, subsidies and encouragement with things like tax incentives.

Yet that’s what this Obama administration paper is suggesting as another of the ex-community organizer’s galactic reform plans.

Would you believe: major changes to the copyright law, including government licensing provisions; government pilot programs to investigate potential new media business models, antitrust changes to allow media companies to unite on imposing online pay walls, establish a journalism division of AmeriCorps with government underwriting the training of young journalists, tax incentives per news employee, increased funding of public broadcasting, a 5% tax on consumer electronics and/or assessments on users of public airwaves.

Another idea would be to allow taxpayers to direct a portion of their taxes — perhaps up to $200 — to a specific media institution as payment for media services rendered. (Now, if taxpayers could direct such sums to individual bloggers…. )

Our thanks to Mark Tapscott of the Washington Examiner for his trenchant observations titled “Will journalists wake up in time to save journalism from Obama’s FTC?”

Over at BuzzMachine, Jeff Jarvis aims his usual provocative analysis at the FTC paper, a main point being that Obama’s folks are, quite likely too late, plotting to “help” the oldest, most-troubled part of the news media business: newspapers. With but one lone mention of something newer called blogs.

An equivalent task might be the feds helping U.S. car companies revive the densely-chromed, high-finned gas guzzlers of the 1950-60’s. How many of you folks, for instance, bought and read an actual newspaper this morning?

That’s what we thought.

— Andrew Malcolm