Sen. Rand Paul Busts John Kerry: Do You Believe in Candidate or President Obama on War Powers Clause?

Woman Arrested While Refusing Smart Meter Installation on Her Property Tells Us Her Story

Jennifer Stahl has been a strong advocate against the smart meter program in Naperville, Ill., for the last two years. The issue came to a head Wednesday afternoon when she was arrested while refusing to let the utility workers install the controversial device.

“I was protecting my property,” Stahl said in an interview with TheBlaze Thursday afternoon. “I felt my emotion was like a momma bear protecting her babies.”

Stahl was at a friend’s house when she received the call from her husband that the utility workers had arrived. She was home within 15 minutes and saw they were at a neighbor’s house. Her neighbors were not home, but they had signs stating they did not permit the new meter to be installed.

Stahl said she waited on her porch for the workers to arrive at her house. When they did, she refused them access to her backyard through her locked gate. The police — including the police supervisor, a sergeant — were called. Stahl said the sergeant explained the workers had authorization to access the meter, but Stahl stood her ground saying she didn’t approve it. The sergeant continued to try and convince Stahl to comply and said if she didn’t, he’d arrest her.

“The city has always had and maintains the right to access our equipment, and today we were simply exercising that right,” City Manager Doug Kreiger told the Chicago Tribune, which reported Wednesday’s events.

The lock on Stahl’s fence was cut, and when Stahl wouldn’t step away from the meter, she was lead away by an officer, cuffed and waited for a marked squad car to arrive to take her to the department. When asked why she was being arrested, she was told it was for interfering with a police officer.

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D.C. man who shot dogs biting boy could face charges

D.C. police are investigating whether a man will face criminal charges for shooting a pit bull that was attacking a child in his neighborhood.

The incident unfolded Sunday afternoon, after three pit bulls attacked an 11-year-old boy as he rode his bicycle through the Brightwood neighborhood of Northwest, according to a police report.

When the man, a neighbor, saw the boy being mauled by the dogs, he went inside his home and got a gun. The man killed one of the dogs. The gunfire attracted the attention of a police officer in the area near Eighth and Sheridan streets, where the attack occurred. The officer responded and shot the other two pit bulls as they continued to attack the boy.

The police report, which did not identify any of the people involved, said the boy suffered severe lacerations. The Washington Post, which first reported the details of the shooting, quoted the boy’s uncle as saying the boy was also shot in the foot.

Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said Wednesday that the entire case, including whether the man legally owned the gun he used to kill the dog, is under investigation.

While public opinion might be supportive of the man’s actions, he could still face significant charges depending on the outcome of the investigation, criminal defense attorney Daniel Gross said.

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Democrats Issue Bill to Destroy Constitution and Create Tyranny

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) will introduce a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips on Thursday.

Feinstein’s bill will expand the criteria for classifying military-style assault weapons from a 1994 law, which lapsed a decade later. Her new measure will ban the sale of about 150 types of firearms, including some rifles and handguns, as well as the sale of high-capacity magazines, according to USA Today.

The bill will exempt firearms used for hunting and will grandfather in guns and magazines owned before the law’s potential enactment. However, the grandfathered weapons will be logged in a national registry.

The measure is expected to face a tough fight in the Senate, with many GOP lawmakers and the nation’s
gun lobby vowing to oppose any new restrictions on gun ownership.

But Feinstein, a longtime proponent of gun reform, said she is ready to push her measure in the face of opposition from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

“I have worked on this for a long time,” said Feinstein in an interview with USA Today. “I’m not a newcomer or a novice to guns.

“The NRA sort of specialized in trying to denigrate me, but I don’t think there’s anyone around that’s spent 20 years on this subject, plus some,” she added.

Calls to renew the federal assault-weapons ban, which expired in 2004, have grown after last month’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

President Obama has been urging congressional leaders to pass legislation aimed at reducing gun violence, vowing “to use whatever weight this office holds” to make the new rules a reality.

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‘So What if Abortion Ends Life?’

Abortion continues to be a highly-contentious issue, even as this week marks the 40th anniversary since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court verdict was handed down. It’s a never-ending battle, typically colored by raw emotion. While one polar side traditionally argues that life begins at the moment of conception, the other tends to shy away from any recognition that the unborn qualify as human lives.

This pro-life versus pro-choice dynamic often leads to intense clashes in the public sphere, with both sides accusing the other of restricting rights and advocating damaging policies. In a new piece that was published this week, Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams, a pro-choice adherent, decides not to steer clear of the “life” issue and asks: “So what if abortion ends life?”

The question, itself, is enough to send anti-abortion advocates into a tizzy. Williams, who identifies herself as pro-choice, takes a divergent route from others on the left who have staunch views about abortion rights. Rather than denying the fact that fetuses are human lives, she, like pro-lifers, fully embraces this ideal. However, Williams differentiates between the rights that the unborn have from those that belong to women.

“Yet I know that throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me. I believe that’s what a fetus is: a human life,” Williams wrote. “And that doesn’t make me one iota less solidly pro-choice.”

She went on to decry the “semantic power” that is inherent within the modern-day debate, taking particular aim at those who oppose abortion by using the word “life” to win the debate. But rather than cowering to what the writer says are the “sneaky, dirty tricks of the anti-choice lobby,” Williams proposes that pro-choice advocates should not cower when the word “life” is brought into the discussion. Instead, she believes that pro-choicers should double down and explain why women should have more rights than fetuses.

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Gun Control Doesn’t Work

Freshman Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has released a statement in response to California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s new ban on semi-automatic rifles, pistols and handguns.

Washington politicians shouldn’t be taking advantage of recent tragedy to try to push an aggressive gun control agenda. Real assault weapons—machine guns—are already functionally illegal, and they have been since 1934. This proposal would have done nothing to prevent the terrible murders in Newtown, but it would limit the constitutional liberties of law-abiding citizens. And gun control doesn’t work – the empirical data overwhelmingly demonstrate that strict gun-control laws consistently produce more crime and more murders.

The Second Amendment exists to ensure that law-abiding Americans can protect their homes and families, and I look forward to helping lead the fight to defeat this bill and to protect our constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

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Wrong on Women Warriors?

We have apparently arrived at the Golden Age, free from strife and the threat of foreign enemies. Little else can explain so gratuitous a decision as to place women in combat units. The downsides to such a policy are legion and obvious; the only reason to pursue it is to placate feminism’s insatiable and narcissistic drive for absolute official equality between the sexes.

Any claim that our fighting forces are not reaching their maximum potential because females are not included is absurd. The number of women who are the equal to reasonably well-developed men in upper-body strength and who have the same stamina and endurance is vanishingly small. Because the number of women who will meet the military’s already debased physical-fitness standard will not satisfy the feminists’ demand for representation, the fitness standard will inevitably be lowered across the board or for women alone, as we have seen in civilian uniformed forces.

Feminists routinely deny Eros — except when it suits them to exploit their sexual power. Only someone deliberately blind to human reality could maintain that putting men and women in close quarters 24 hours a day will not produce a proliferation of sex, thus introducing all the irrational passions (and resulting favoritism) of physical attraction into an organization that should be exclusively devoted to the mission of combat preparedness. Reported “sexual assaults” will skyrocket, and of course it will only be the men who are at fault. Any consensual behavior leading up to the “assault” — getting in bed with your fellow grunt drunk and taking off your clothes, for example — will be ignored, since in the realm of sexual responsibility, women remain perpetual victims, at the mercy of all-powerful men. Expect a windfall to the gender-sensitivity-training industry, which will be called in both before and after the entry of women into combat units to eradicate endemic male sexism.

Even if Leon Panetta intends to keep female fighting units sex-segregated, that distinction won’t last. Feminists will complain that female-only units stigmatize women.

Chivalry is one of the great civilizing forces, taming men and introducing social graces and nuance to what would otherwise be a brutish social world. It is already on life support, but sex-integrated combat units will provide the coup de grâce. If a woman is taken prisoner, will special efforts be made to rescue her to save her from the risk of rape? If so, the necessary equality among unit members will be destroyed. If, however, policy requires that she take her chances along with the male captives, we are requiring men to squelch any last remaining vestige of their impulse towards protection and appreciation of female difference.

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The Reality That Awaits Women in Combat

America has been creeping closer and closer to allowing women in combat, so Wednesday’s news that the decision has now been made is not a surprise. It appears that female soldiers will be allowed on the battlefield but not in the infantry. Yet it is a distinction without much difference: Infantry units serve side-by-side in combat with artillery, engineers, drivers, medics and others who will likely now include women. The Pentagon would do well to consider realities of life in combat as it pushes to mix men and women on the battlefield.

Many articles have been written regarding the relative strength of women and the possible effects on morale of introducing women into all-male units. Less attention has been paid to another aspect: the absolutely dreadful conditions under which grunts live during war.

Most people seem to believe that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have merely involved driving out of a forward operating base, patrolling the streets, maybe getting in a quick firefight, and then returning to the forward operating base and its separate shower facilities and chow hall. The reality of modern infantry combat, at least the portion I saw, bore little resemblance to this sanitized view.

I served in the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a Marine infantry squad leader. We rode into war crammed in the back of amphibious assault vehicles. They are designed to hold roughly 15 Marines snugly; due to maintenance issues, by the end of the invasion we had as many as 25 men stuffed into the back. Marines were forced to sit, in full gear, on each other’s laps and in contorted positions for hours on end. That was the least of our problems.

The invasion was a blitzkrieg. The goal was to move as fast to Baghdad as possible. The column would not stop for a lance corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, or even a company commander to go to the restroom. Sometimes we spent over 48 hours on the move without exiting the vehicles. We were forced to urinate in empty water bottles inches from our comrades.

Many Marines developed dysentery from the complete lack of sanitary conditions. When an uncontrollable urge hit a Marine, he would be forced to stand, as best he could, hold an MRE bag up to his rear, and defecate inches from his seated comrade’s face.

During the invasion, we wore chemical protective suits because of the fear of chemical or biological weapon attack. These are equivalent to a ski jumpsuit and hold in the heat. We also had to wear black rubber boots over our desert boots. On the occasions the column did stop, we would quickly peel off our rubber boots, desert boots and socks to let our feet air out.

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Dispute Over Line at Food Stamp Office Turns Into an All-Out Brawl

Peace in Our Time?

In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama spoke of “peace in our time” as a foreign policy goal. The next steps toward pursuing that lofty–if ill-starred–ambition will unfold at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today, where Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) will face hearings on his confirmation as Secretary of State. The other two Obama nominees, Chuck Hagel (Defense) and John Brennan (CIA), face hearings next week.

Kerry is widely expected to breeze through the confirmation process. He will face easy questions from the committee he has chaired for several years, and which showed little stomach yesterday for questioning current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about her role in the Benghazi scandal. Prominent Republicans, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona, have already indicated that they favor Kerry’s appointment to the position.

Yet Kerry has a troubling record on foreign policy issues, and a history of backing the “wrong” side, most recently attempting to shore up Hugo Chavez ally Manuel Zelaya in Honduras. He also led efforts by Democrats to rehabilitate the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, criticized the life-saving Israeli security barrier, recognized “legitimate complaints” of the FARC terrorists in Columbia, and opposed the first Gulf War.

Kerry was not the Obama administration’s first choice. UN Ambassador Susan Rice was to have been nominated for a position she is long thought to have coveted, having been brushed aside in 2008 to make way for Clinton. However, Rice’s role in misleading the American public about the role of an anti-Islamic video in allegedly provoking the attack caused several key Republicans to indicate their strong opposition to her appointment.

Regardless, Kerry is a choice who fits President Obama’s ideological mould. While his infamous slander against U.S. troops in the “Winter Soldier” investigation, and his flip-flops on the Iraq War, made Kerry unpalatable to many Americans as a potential commander-in-chief, his enthusiasm for multilateralism, his eagerness for reconciliation with America’s enemies, and his strident criticisms of war match Obama’s priorities.

Read more here.

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