PUNDIT PRESS HAS MOVED

Today marks a very exciting day as we launch the new and improved Pundit Press. We have joined forces with High Plains Pundit to design a new website to provide our readers with even more news and information.


Here is the link that will direct you to the new Pundit Press website: http://thepunditpress.com/


This new partnership will also include all 3 of Danny R. Butcher's (aka High Plains Pundit) internet radio shows, Nightly Review, The Danny R. Butcher Show, and Sunday Night Sports Talk.


A special thank you to all of the Pundit Press readers out there for your continued support. We are very excited about what the future holds for Pundit Press, and we hope that you continue with us on this journey.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Santorum Wins Louisiana

From Politico:
Rick Santorum picked up another win on Saturday in Louisiana, but the victory won’t significantly shake up the delegate advantage held by Mitt Romney in the GOP nominating contest.

The Associated Press called the race for Santorum within minutes of the polls closing, after exit polls indicated he held a comfortable lead. Romney placed second and Gingrich third with a small percentage of precincts reporting.

With the results pretty much set before voting began, the field of GOP hopefuls had already shifted its attention to future contests. Santorum and Gingrich spent Saturday in Pennsylvania, and Santorum went on to Wisconsin. Romney took a break from the trail this weekend and will resume campaigning Monday in southern California.

“We’re going to have a pretty good day in Louisiana today,” Santorum predicted at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference on Saturday morning in Camp Hill, Pa.

While all of the candidates made stops here this week — including Newt Gingrich , who stayed in Louisiana for a week — none stuck around to see the votes get counted.

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Cheney Receives Heart Transplant

From the WSJ:
Former Vice President Dick Cheney is recovering after having a heart transplant, according to his office.

The office issued a statement Saturday disclosing the surgery, and saying that Cheney has been on the transplant list for more than 20 months.

Aide Kara Ahern said the former vice president is recovering in the intensive care unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va., after undergoing the surgery. She said Mr. Cheney does not know the heart donor's identity.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

We Know the Problem … What’s the Answer?

This weekly column, which I have been privileged to submit for your consideration for the past three years, elicits many comments and questions.  The most common of which can be summed up as, “I agree with your analysis, appreciate the Historical context, but how about some practical suggestions.” 
If you are one of the many who have sent me those emails, posted those replies, made those phone calls, or asked me in person this column is for you.
To fully address these questions we have to look at two levels: the macro and the micro.  We need practical suggestions for the very large and the very small.  We need practical suggestions for the societal and cultural level and the personal level.
First of all we need some historical context for our current situation.  In some ways we are unique, we are America after all.  And in some ways what is happening to us has happened many times before.  As I have often said in these columns if History doesn’t actually repeat itself it does rhyme. 
The French Revolution occurred between 1787 and 1799.  It was the first to try to replicate the phenomenon of the American Revolution which overthrew the age old tyranny of divine right kings and landed aristocracy replacing it with a federal republic operating on democratic principles based upon limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom.
The American Revolution inspired the French to believe they too could break free of the chains and breathe the fresh air of freedom.  However, it lost something in the translation.  Perhaps because the French didn’t have the centuries long tradition of limited self-government and human rights which had grown up in England since the Magna Carta had been forced on a reluctant King John in 1215.  Perhaps it was because the French had endured centuries of the cruelest servitude under the most absolute of absolute monarchs. 
Whatever the reason once the French broke free of the cultural, societal, and personal restraint of the Old Regime which had persecuted and exploited them for so long the French people sought to exact revenge.  They sought to cut the former ruling class out of society and while they were at it establish a completely new regime in its place.  The French, always famous for philosophers, had produced one who had a tremendous influence on the thinking of the Founders of our country and the Framers of the Constitution: Jean-Jacques Rousseau. 
However, Rousseau had two sides.  On one he eloquently expressed the idea that government was established upon a social contract between the rulers and the ruled and that to have any legitimacy government must base itself upon the consent of the governed.  Thus empowering the governed to decide when that contract has been violated and giving them a philosophical basis for change.  Our forefathers based their work upon this side.
On the other side, Rousseau argued against private property.   And that it is the role of the state to impose freedom, equality, and justice for all within the state regardless of the view of the majority.  Thus empowering a minority to decide what constitutes freedom, equality, justice, and justifying the use of state power to mold society to fit the vision of the few.  On this side Rousseau is considered the father of modern socialism and communism.  This is the side that the leaders of the French Revolution chose to follow.
Another difference is that by 1787 France had been a highly centralized nation for centuries.  The local governments served at the pleasure of the central authority and they could be established or overthrown upon the whim of the ruler.  In America we had the experience of thirteen separate colonies each with their own particular history and each with their own particular traditions.  In America this led to the establishment of a Federal republic with sovereignty resting in the states and only delegated to the central government.
These differences led to the corruption of the French Revolution into The Terror.  This was a period between 1793 and 1794 when France was surrounded by enemies and pressed on every side.  The Leaders of the Revolution felt as if there were agents and sympathizers of their enemies everywhere and they proceeded to execute thousands of their own people in order to secure freedom.  The Terror eventually led to a military dictatorship which evolved into an Empire with a monarch at least as absolute as the one they had overthrown in 1787.
Unfortunately for humanity suffering under the yoke of absolute rulers and their crony elites, subsequent revolutions have tended to follow the French model instead of the America.  The Mexican Revolution (1810-1821) was part of a wide ranging revolt against the once great Spanish Empire (1808-1826).  From the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego revolutions cast aside the foreign rule of Spain and established homegrown republics.  All of these republics modeled their initial declarations of independence on America’s but the successor regimes all came to model some variation of the French.  The people rose up in righteous indignation against an oppressive system and in the end found themselves under one military dictator after another.  They fought to gain their liberty and merely traded one elite for another as the iron heel of tyranny maintained its stand on the throat of liberty.
Other revolutions, the Russian (1917) and the Cuban (1952-1959) are further examples of the trend.  What begins as an attempt to bring the blessing of limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom to people ends up bringing instead a tyranny usually more cruel than what the people originally rebelled against.
As can be seen by this litany of subverted revolutions it is usually violence that brings the fall of the former tyranny and facilitates the rise of the latter.  One example of a revolution that came about through an election would be the Nazi revolution in 1932.  Another would be the current regime of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.  A revolution by way of the ballot box, but a revolution none the less.
Today America is in the midst of a revolution.  America has elected a President who has vowed to fundamentally transform America.  He promised this to his adoring supporters before his election, and he has worked tirelessly to bring it about.  He is an Alinsky style community organizer who is working to organize our community by occupying the center of power and the streets at the same time.  He follows the Cloward/Piven Strategy spending us into oblivion in the name of saving the economy.  He has seized major portions of the economy and shoved national health insurance, a financial sector take-over, and undeclared war down the throats of a passive American public.  Polls show that vast majorities do not want what he is selling but he is closing the deal anyway.
Right now Mr. Obama is campaigning day and night for another term, and a term that would be without restraint for a President who has already said he can rule without Congress.  He would undoubtedly appoint at least one more Supreme Court Justice and solidify America’s passage from a federal republic to a European style social democracy.
That is the context, so what should patriotic Americans do now?  As I said at the beginning to fully address these questions we have to look at two levels: the macro and the micro.  We need practical suggestions for the very large and the very small.  We need practical suggestions for the societal and cultural level and the personal level.
On the macro level we need to do everything in our power to make sure Barack Obama does not win a second term.  We need to contribute our time, our talent, and our treasure to making sure he is defeated and defeated decisively in the November of 2012.  Whom should we support?  My advice is study the opposition candidates, and support the one who stands for limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom.  Choose the one that most credibly supports a return to constitutional government.
If after the primaries that candidate does not win the nomination of the Republican side of the government party, patriots will be faced with a dilemma.  If we are forced to choose between Obama and the sure, sudden and, complete destruction of constitutionally limited government or a big government Republican who is in favor of more foreign interventions and a continuation of our role as policeman of the world what’s a patriot to do? 
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you are still choosing evil.  However in this instance with code blue on one side and a slow fall off a high cliff on the other we may want to choose the one who will drive us to the poor house a little slower.  At least that way we will have more time to prepare and perhaps another opportunity to make the logical choice and vote for a return to constitutional government.
On the Micro level I am reminded of the many people I have met over the years who have escaped from any one of the hell-holes socialist revolutions have produced in the last hundred years.  Whether it is Poland, or Russia, or Cuba they have told me over and over that they see the same things happening here that once swallowed their homelands.  They have told me how they cry at night as they see central planning and social engineering consuming America.  They have tearfully asked me, “Where can we go now?  We escaped tyranny looking for freedom and now we see the same thing coming here?”
In answer to their questions I have asked one of my own, “How can we survive the coming darkness?”  One by one they have all given me the same advice, “Get out of the cities, get yourself some land where you can grow your own food, and do all you can to protect your family and preserve the traditions of liberty.”
In other words, head for the hills and hunker down.  Personally my wife and I have made this choice.  We have decided to sacrifice whatever portions of our modern life styles and lucrative careers must be jettisoned to maintain what is truly important: our family, our lives, and our liberty.  We saw this coming and made a five year plan which is now coming to fruition.  Myself and many others have been sounding the alarm from the watchtowers for years. 
Now is the time for all good citizens to come to the aid of our nation.  We must stand up for our heritage.  We must do battle in the marketplace of ideas, and we must engage in the struggle at the ballot box, but we must also prepare to save some seed corn in case the winter does descend.  We must preserve what we can so we can begin again.  So “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Keep the faith.  Keep the peace.  We shall overcome.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Video - The Freedom Collection Presented by the George W. Bush Institute

There were many issues that I had with President Bush.  But no one can say that he didn't have the best interests of freedom in mind.   Disagree with how he went about it, that is fine, but the commitment to it was there.  He is continuing that work today, watch:






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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Explosions Heard Outside Hideout of French Terror Suspect

Breaking from Yahoo! News:
Three explosions were heard near an apartment building in southwest France where a suspected gunman who boasted of shooting seven victims in an al-Qaida-linked terror spree is holed up.

Orange flashes lit up the night sky with each blast near the Toulouse apartment building where police have been surrounding 24-year-old suspect, Mohamed Merah, since a pre-dawn effort to arrest him went awry.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

TOULOUSE, France (AP) — Riot police surrounded an apartment building into the night on Wednesday, laying siege to a gunman who boasted of bringing France "to its knees" by carrying out an al-Qaida-linked terror spree that killed seven people.

Hundreds of heavily armed police, some in body armor, cordoned off the five-story building in Toulouse where the 24-year-old suspect, Mohamed Merah, had been holed up since the pre-dawn hours.

Authorities said the shooter, a French citizen of Algerian descent, had been to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he claimed to have received training from al-Qaida.
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Mass Effect 3 Ending to Be Changed

FUCK YES! From the NY Daily News:
In the end, rebellious Mass Effect 3 fans are going to get exactly what they wanted.

After a few weeks of serious fan backlash over the final moments of Mass Effect 3, Bioware announced Wednesday on its website that it will redo the ending to its fabled space trilogy.

“It’s incredibly painful to receive feedback from our core fans that the game’s endings were not up to their expectations,” Bioware co-founder and general manager Ray Muzyka said. “Our first instinct is to defend our work and point to the high ratings offered by critics — but out of respect for our fans, we need to accept the criticism and feedback with humility.”

The statement seemed to take recognition of both fan comments and the huge amount of work the Bioware staff had put into the Mass Effect saga.

The game’s latest version debuted to rave reviews earlier this month, and provided some of the most impressive play in the series, as lead character Commander Shepard finally led Earth and the rest of the Milky Way against the powerful conquering race known as the Reapers.

The latest game earned a top five-star rating from The Daily News and was similarly lauded throughout the gaming community.

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French Police Corner Heavily-Armed Al Qaeda Operative and Toulouse School Shooting Suspect


In the hours after yesterday's killing spree in front of a Jewish school in southwestern French city of Toulouse, investigators had focused their attention on three former soldiers in the French Army who were neo-Nazis and had also served in the same unit as the three soldiers who were gunned down at an ATM earlier this month.
According to reports published Monday, French police investigating the fatal shootings of a teacher and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse were searching for the three soldiers, who were dismissed from the army a few years ago after being photographed while giving Nazi salutes in front of a Swastika flag.

Monday's deadly shooting came just days after three soldiers — from the same 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment with which the dismissed trio served — were shot dead in broad daylight in Montauban 30 miles away last Thursday. Two of the murdered soldiers were Muslim.

But France Info's report, published Tuesday, said the three neo-Nazis were located by police and cleared of any suspicion. A police official told the website that two of the former troops were interrogated after the shooting attack on the Jewish school, while the third was questioned after the attack in Montauban.

Ynet's correspondent in Toulouse added that according to reports in France, one of the three neo-Nazis voluntarily reported to a police station to be interrogated.
Investigators from the DRCI (Central Directorate of Internal Intelligence) were focusing on 24 year old Mohammed Mera, a French national of Algerian descent who had reportedly travelled to the tribal area in Pakistan's North West Frontier province to fight alongside the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Merah was reportedly arrested by authorities in Afghanistan for planting bombs and sentenced to 3 years in prison, but was part of a massive April 2011 jailbreak that freed hundreds of inmates and captured Taliban fighters.

The DRCI had reportedly found Mera after checking e-mail correspondence from the first known victim. Mera was reportedly exchanging e-mails under a false account with a French soldier who was gunned down in a residential area of Toulouse earlier this month. Investigators traced the e-mails to a computer using the IP address of Mera's brother. Ballistics experts also conclusively matched bullets used in the school shooting as coming from the same one used to shoot the paratroopers.

On Wednesday morning, Mera exchanged gunfire with heavily armed police officers as they moved in to raid his Toulouse home- which was near the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school. Three officers were wounded and Mera barricaded himself inside his residence as he attempted to negotiate his surrender as the neighborhood was cordoned off.

CCTV footage from the schoolyard massacre also showed the shooter appeared to have some sort of digital camera around his neck to film the attack as it took place. DRCI investigators believe that Mera was ultimately going to post the footage of his attacks online at a jihad website.

Also on Wednesday morning, funeral services were held in Jerusalem for the four victims slain at the school. Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, his sons Arieh, 5, and Gabriel, 4, and 7 year old Miriam Monsonego were laid to rest with at least 2000 mourners present at the massive Gavit Shaul cemetary west of Jerusalem.

[Cross-posted at Not Another New England Sports Blog!]

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Romney Wins Big: Let the VP Stakes Begin




First, I take no pleasure whatsoever saying this.  Romney will be the GOP nominee.  Santorum has run out of field.  There are not enough truly conservative states left to get him to the nomination.  Of course he will keep going in the hopes of a contested convention, but in their hearts of hearts they know it is not in the cards.  

Therefore, it is time.  VP Stakes:

There are plenty to choose from.  

Herman Cain: I don't see it.  The issues that came up about the affair would scare off any candidate in my mind.  Why deal with that distraction when you don't have to?  I give this almost no chance.  

Paul Ryan: A great choice, but very young.  He also has very young children who he doesn't want to put into the spotlight at their tender ages.  Which just makes me love him all the more.  Also, very remote chance of this happening.  

Chris Christie:  This is a non-starter as far as I am concerned.  I like many things about Christie, but he adds nothing to the ticket.  He won't bring NJ over to the GOP.  He is just as moderate as Romney is in most respects.  So I give this almost no chance.

Michele Bachman: She will excite the base, but let's be honest; she is a loose cannon.  Romney won't take the chance of her blowing his last chance at being president.  

Marco Rubio: He is dynamic and from a swing state.  He had a great deal of tea party support.  Notice I said had.  There are many in the Tea Party who have lost confidence in him.  He has some issues with a brother-in-law who has had some drug dealing issues.  Of course that has nothing to do with him, he didn't marry the guy, but the media will have some fun with that.  He also has said that he has zero intention of taking it even if offered.  Of course much easier to say no to a reporter than to the nominee.  He is also young.  He may feel he isn't ready yet.   I would give this a 50/50 chance.  

Allen West: West has been favorable towards Newt, although he never came out and endorsed him.  West has the entire package that the conservative base is looking for.  He will make an excellent attack dog on the stump.  He will pull no punches with Obama, which will allow Romney to stay above the fray and concentrate on comparing and contrasting policies with the Obama administration.  West had some issues in Iraq that will come up again.  He sometimes doesn't always filter what he is saying.  He also just moved in order to run for congress again.  I would give this maybe a 40% chance.  

Sarah Palin: Heaven knows she has been vetted.  But she is also very polarizing.  I also don't think she would accept.  Why be the small dog again when she had the chance to run for the big seat and decided to bow out?  I give this less than a 20% chance.

Rand Paul: I like Rand.  A lot as a matter of fact.  He also is another that will take on Obama without fear.  His down side is that it will add fuel to the fire to the people who accused Romney and Ron Paul of working together and Rand getting the VP seat as the payoff.  It will alienate the people who believe this.  But, it may bring in Ron Paul fans.  Not likely, but some may be willing to vote for him.  I would say this is about a 30% chance.  

I don't see him taking any of the candidates he went up against.  The blood between Newt and him is way to bad for it to be repaired.  It looks like it is starting to get that way with Rick now as well.  I would give this the least likely of the scenarios.  

My pick is Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia.  He is currently the head of the RGA.  Has a rising profile nationally.  He has spoken at the Reagan library recently and was received well.  His administration has been very successful.  He has increased revenues without raising taxes, VA's ratings has increased under his administration, he has kept most of his promises when he was elected, (one more year to fulfill the balance).  He is also a very good campaigner.  He is a staunch conservative, which Romney needs to excite the base.  Virginia is a swing state, and right now is trending to Obama by 8 points with Romney as the nominee.  (Which Romney was the best of the remaining candidates).  

Your predictions?  

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Earthquake Strikes Mexico; 7.4 Magnitude on 3/20/12

From CNN:
Hundreds of houses collapsed after a strong earthquake that rattled residents in southern Mexican resort towns and the nation's capital Tuesday, officials said.

The quake had a magnitude of 7.4, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Its epicenter was about 15 miles (25 kilometers) east of Ometepec, Guerrero, the USGS said, and its depth was about 12.4 miles (20 km).

In the nearby town of Igualapa, officials reported that at least 800 houses had collapsed, the Guerrero state government said in a statement. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries or deaths.

More than an hour after the quake, residents in Ometepec were feeling aftershocks, said Francisca Villalva Davila, the city's comptroller.

"There are many cracked ceilings, many houses that collapsed," she told CNN en EspaƱol.
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US ISPs Become 'Copyright Cops' Starting July 12

What's the worst that could happen? From Fox News:
Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner Cable and other Internet service providers (ISPs) in the United States will soon launch new programs to police their networks in an effort to catch digital pirates and stop illegal file-sharing.

Major ISPs announced last summer that they had agreed to take new measures in an effort to prevent subscribers from illegally downloading copyrighted material, but the specifics surrounding the imminent antipiracy measures were not made available. Now, RIAA chief executive Cary Sherman has said that ISPs are ready to begin their efforts to curtail illegal movie, music and software downloads on July 12.

“Each ISP has to develop their infrastructure for automating the system,” Sherman said during a talk at the annual Association of American Publishers meeting, according to CNET. Measures will also be taken to establish databases “so they can keep track of repeat infringers, so they know that this is the first notice or the third notice. Every ISP has to do it differently depending on the architecture of its particular network. Some are nearing completion and others are a little further from completion.”

Customers found to be illegally downloading copyrighted material will first receive one or two notifications from their ISPs, essentially stating that they have been caught. If the illegal downloads continue, subscribers will receive a new notice requesting acknowledgement that the notice has been received. Subsequent offenses can then result in bandwidth throttling and even service suspension.
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