South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley Says No to NAACP Call to Remove Confederate Flag From Capitol |

South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley said she has no intention of removing the Confederate flag that flies beside the Statehouse, despite the head of the NAACP calling it a “contradiction” for Haley, an ethnic minority, to allow the flag to fly.

The Confederate flag has flown beside the South Carolina Statehouse since 2000. Gov. Nikki Haley rejected NAACP President Benjamin Jealous’ call Monday to remove it.

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous called on Haley to remove the flag during an NAACP conference in Los Angeles on Monday, comparing African American slavery and segregation to the oppression Haley’s ancestors in India faced under British colonialism.

“Perhaps one of the most perplexing examples of the contradictions in this moment in history is that Nikki Haley, South Carolina’s first governor of color, continues to fly the Confederate flag in front of her state’s Capitol,” Jealous said. “Given the similarities between our struggles to end slavery and segregation, and her ancestors’ struggle to end British colonialism and oppression in India, my question to Governor Haley is one that Dr. King often asked himself: What would Gandhi do?”

Haley’s spokesman, Rob Godfrey, said the governor has no intention of renewing the flag debate, which has come under fire before from the NAACP and others who say the flag represents slavery and white supremacy.

“More than a decade ago, under the leadership of a Democratic governor, South Carolinians — Republican and Democrat, black and white — came to a compromise position on the Confederate flag,” Godfrey said. “Many people were uncomfortable with that compromise, but it addressed a sensitive subject in a way that South Carolina as a whole could accept. We don’t expect people from outside the state to understand that dynamic, but revisiting that issue is not part of the governor’s agenda.

According to South Carolina newspaper the State, the flag has flown on the north end of the Statehouse near a monument to Confederate soldiers since 2000. It was placed there as part of a legislative compromise to remove it from the Statehouse dome



What Happens When You Put a Coffee Table at a Bus Stop? – Transportation – GOOD

Forget Disneyland, the Hollywood Sign, the Getty. Designer Julie Kim is interested in L.A.’s neglected, forgotten attractions, places like its sidewalks and public transit systems. “It bothers me when outsiders have a perception that Angelenos are all blond surfers that hang out at the beach and drive everywhere,” she says. To show the other side of L.A., Kim placed a coffee table she designed at a bus stop on a busy corner in Koreatown (6th and Vermont, to be exact) and shot video from a far enough distance that people didn’t know they were being filmed. The resulting 1.5-minute video is pretty fun to watch.

The table—set with a newspaper and a vase of flowers—becomes a hub of interaction for the corner. People not only flock to the table, they end up talking to each other about it. Kim says she was surprised to see so many serendipitous moments in what amounted to only eight minutes of video. “The number and variety of people milling about—workers, kids, the elderly, of every ethnic group—surprised me,” she says. “I thought I’d have to shoot for at least an hour to capture anything worthwhile.”

Kim thinks that creating better environments for transit riders is certainly a missed opportunity for the city. “People wait for a while at these stops, 15 to 20 minutes,” she says. “This is an opportunity for the city to engage them.” Included in her growing ideas of creating “surreal, out-of-place” situations, is the idea of building exercise equipment at stops, so people could squeeze a few pull-ups in. Sadly, she’s got her work cut out for her, since most corners in L.A. offer the same ugly, uncomfortable bus benches, and not much else. “Many neighborhoods in L.A. still lack built features that stimulate the senses and elicit interest at pedestrian scale,” she says. “Perhaps the coffee table filled that role momentarily.”


Michigan Woman Charged for Starting a Vegetable Garden

Julie Bass of Oak Park, Michigan was faced with a possible 93 days in jail after being charged with a misdemeanor — planting a vegetable garden in her own front yard.

The garden consists of 5 raised beds, where she grows squash, corn, tomatoes, flowers, and other vegetables. Bass received a warning from the city telling her to remove the vegetable garden, because they claimed it violates an ordinance stating that only “suitable” plant material is allowed in a front lawn — although exactly what is suitable is not defined.

According to Treehugger:

“When she refused, she was ticketed and charged with a misdemeanor. Her trial, before a jury, is set to begin on July 26th. If she is found guilty, she can be sentenced to up to 93 days in jail.”

Fortunately, the jury trial never took place, as on July 14 Bass wrote on her blog that the city had dropped the charges. However, although the case was dismissed, the charges could be reinstated at any time.

Is this America?

What We Don’t Know about History Can Hurt Us – HUMAN EVENTS

“It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us into trouble. It’s the things we know that just ain’t so.”
That famous line, attributed to many authors but apparently said by humorist Henry Wheeler Shaw (aka Josh Billings), applies to history as much as anything.
What liberates oppressed people? I was taught it’s often American power. Just the threat of our military buildup defeated the Soviet Union, and our troops in the Middle East will create islands of freedom.
Unlikely, says historian Thaddeus Russell, author of “A Renegade History of the United States.”
“As a matter of fact,” Russell told me, “in general American military intervention has increased anti-Americanism and hardened repressive regimes. On the other hand, American popular culture — what was often called the worst of our culture in many cases — has actually done more for liberation and our national security than anything that the 82nd Airborne could do.”
I told him that I thought that the Soviet Union collapsed because the Soviets spent so much trying to keep pace with Ronald Reagan’s military buildup
On the contrary, Russell said, “it collapsed from within. … People simply walked away from the ideology of communism. And that began especially when American popular culture — jazz and rock and roll — began infiltrating those countries after World War II.”
I demanded evidence.
“American soldiers brought jazz during World War II to the eastern front. Soviet soldiers brought it back. Eastern European soldiers brought it and spread it across those countries. … Stalin was hysterical about this.”
The authorities were particularly concerned about young people performing and enjoying sensual music.
“Any regime at all depends on social order to maintain its power. Social order and sensuality, pleasures of the body, are often at odds. Stalin and his commissars understood that.”
American authorities 30 years earlier also feared the sensuality of black music, said Russell, attacking it “as primitive jungle music that was bringing down American youth. Stalin and his commissars across Eastern Europe said exactly the same things with the same words later.”
Then rock and roll came.
“That was even more threatening,” Russell said. “By the 1980s, disco and rock were enormously popular throughout the communist world.”
The communists realized they had to relax the rules or risk losing everything, but it was too late. One of the most amazing and significant spectacles was Bruce Springsteen’s concert in East Germany in 1988, when a crowd of 160,000 people who lived behind the Iron Curtain sang “Born in the USA.”
I’m skeptical. I don’t know how much effect Reagan’s military buildup had versus rock and roll, but I bet ordinary consumer goods had an ever bigger effect. People trapped behind communist lines wanted the stuff we had. When I was in Red Square before the fall of communism, I sold my Nikes and jeans to eager buyers.
People want choices, and you can’t indoctrinate that out of them.
Which leads me to the most destructive myth about history: the idea that if we are to prosper, government must make smart plans for us. I was taught that in college, and despite the failure of the Soviet Union, many government leaders still believe it.
It’s no coincidence that the countries with the least economic freedom, according to the Heritage Foundation — Cuba, Zimbabwe, North Korea — are the worst places to live. They not only lack freedom, they are also poor.
Who’s at the top of the economic freedom list? Hong Kong. (The United States is ninth.) Hong Kong has low taxes, and as I demonstrated in an ABC special years ago, they make it easy to become an entrepreneur. I got permission to open a business there in one day. In my hometown, New York City, it takes months.
Hong Kong doesn’t even have democracy, but because its rulers protected people’s personal safety and property and left them otherwise free, Hong Kong thrived. In 50 years, it went from horrible poverty to income levels that are among the highest in world. Prosperity, thanks to economic freedom.
We should try that here.

How true.

Glenn Beck’s Co-Author a Poster Child for ‘The Original Argument’ – HUMAN EVENTS

Joshua Charles—co-author of Glenn Beck ’s latest work,  The Original Argument—never thought that at 23 he would be cast into the national spotlight for writing a book with his hero.  A piano performance major at the University of Kansas, Charles spent most of his life planning to be a concert pianist.  But last summer, he felt inspired to modernize the Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay so today’s generation would understand the underpinnings of our republic.  Glenn Beck took an interest in the manuscript and turned it into a No. 1 New York Times best seller.  Charles talked to HUMAN EVENTS editor Jason Mattera about his inspiration for the book and how he hopes it will impact conservatives, both young and old.
You’re 23 and you have a book co-authored with Glenn Beck.  That’s not the usual course for many 23-year-olds.  How did this all come about?
I saw the movie Amazing Grace, and then read about the abolitionist William Wilberforce.  I was very inspired by it all.  I had just finished reading the Federalist Papers for the second time, but it just wasn’t an enjoyable reading experience.  It was very difficult, mind-numbingly boring.  I just felt that if the language was simply updated, the amazing foundational, very powerful ideas the Founders were talking about could be brought to light in a much better way for a modern audience.  I had decided to do it kind of half-heartedly.  I sent a few examples to some friends, and they liked it.  They thought it was easy to read, more enjoyable to read.  Literally two or three days later, I was watching Glenn’s program on TV and he advocated someone doing the exact same thing.  That was the point at which my resolve really increased and I decided that this really needed to be done.  I decided to save money so that over the summer I could have the option of just working on this project, and in May, that’s exactly what I did.  I finished the original rough draft on July 4—all 85 Federalist Papers. 
How did you get connected with Glenn Beck?
Initially, I called into his radio show and was on hold for four hours.  I almost got on, but it didn’t quite work.  I sent manuscripts to Fox, to Glenn, letters, but nothing was getting through.  I actually did get offers from two much smaller publishers and I almost moved forward with them, but in December some friends and I decided to take a trip to Wilmington, Ohio, which Glenn highlighted on his show as being absolutely devastated by the recession but came together in Christian love and charity.  My main contact there ended up being the main contact for Glenn’s show, and she had told them about us because they were looking for updates on the Wilmington story.  I knew then that there was more to this trip than met the eye, so I gave her the PDF of the book and asked her to show it to them.  After the trip, they asked me to come to New York to do the show on Wilmington.  Before we started recording on Tuesday, I handed Glenn a full manuscript.  He seemed very moved by it, and said if it was any good he’d publish it.  I got an e-mail from the head of publishing at Glenn’s company less than a week later, and the rest is history.
What went in to choosing the 33 Federalist Papers you eventually published out of the original 85?
All the Federalist Papers are important and interesting in one way or another, but there are definitely some that are more applicable to the time in which they were written.  They focus much more on the actual problems with the actual Articles of Confederation.  They focus much more on providing examples of the exact same problems being exhibited in history—in Belgium, and Greece, and the Holy Roman Empire, etc.  So we tried to choose the papers that would be most directly relevant to the modern debate and modern issues we’re dealing with.  And we explain it and give background and relevance to today, but when reading it, we wanted it to be pretty obvious so the reader could make the connection easily.  Some of the topics that we felt needed to be particularly emphasized were federalism—what that really means—the difference between a republic and a democracy, taxation, American exceptionalism, and the balance between liberty and security, in light of the whole post-9/11 world we live in now.
Now that  The Original Argument has been released, what’s next for you?
Right now I’m doing book publicity for  Original Argument, public speaking, and working with Glenn Beck on other projects.  I’m also finishing up my term as president of my fraternity at University of Kansas.  Next fall, I’m planning on going to law school at Regent University Law School, hopefully in constitutional law.  The last few months have been pretty crazy, so I’m hoping to do whatever Providence has in store for me.
What advice do you have for young conservatives?
One thing that strikes me about young people is that many of them have great intentions.  Many can say the right words, but a lot of what they say is based in cliché.  There’s not a whole lot of substance to it in terms of our founding, in terms of our history and in terms of the actual Constitution.  Our dialogue has been forced into this mold of catchphrases and sound bites.  If the conservative movement is going to survive in the way that it must survive for the country, people need to know the actual arguments, they need to know their basis in the Constitution, and their basis in the experience of the Founders themselves, historically.  I love the Tea Party, but I’m also a little nervous about the cliché.  You can believe in less government all you want, but I think very few people can really make the case for it.  If someone provided one quote from Hamilton in a Federalist Paper that maybe lends itself to a bigger view of government, they wouldn’t be able to respond, because they would have no context, and they have to fall back on the same clichés.  So I think young conservatives should strive to be more informed on these documents, beyond what they get in school about checks and balances and a living Constitution.


The Unanswered Questions for GOP Leaders from Freshmen | RedState

Forget the tax issue or the timetable for a moment; any proposed “spending cut” deal that fails to slash funding for discretionary spending and welfare programs to pre-Obama levels, as proposed in Paul Ryan’s budget, is worthless.  As Congressman Dennis Ross (R-FL) tweeted earlier today, “debt “deals” that count on 10 years worth of spending cuts are the Mr Snuffleupagus of budget tricks. No one sees them except pols.”

If House leaders fail to stand by their own budget, freshmen members like Ross might pose the following question: was the entire Republican majority of the 112th Congress a waste of time?

A record number of freshmen Republicans were swept into Congress to downsize government in general, and repeal/defund Obamacare in particular.

In April, Republicans had their first chance to fulfill their mandate by passing a continuing resolution for FY 2011 that slashed government and defunded Obamacare.  As the clock ticked down to a government shutdown, GOP leaders retreated in fear.  They forced the conference to pass a spending bill that maintained funding for Obamacare and only trimmed a paltry $352 million from the deficit, thereby abrogating their popular mandate from just five months before.

But we were told that the CR was not our fight, and that we should remain patient until we are presented with real opportunities; the debt ceiling fight and the Paul Ryan budget for FY 2012.

The Ryan budget, unlike the impending debt ceiling deal, more or less fulfills the mandate of the 2010 freshmen by defunding Obamacare and downsizing government to pre-Obama levels.  This is not the RSC plan or a Tea Party plan; it is the plan of the entire conference, supported by leadership.  Ever since the budget resolution was adopted on April 15, the House has worked diligently to carry out the budget blueprint and implement comprehensive cuts in every appropriations bill.

But what will come of all those cuts, including Obamacare, when the rubber meets the road in late September?

If GOP leaders could not expend their political capital and fulfill their mandate through the 2011 CR for fear of a gov’t shutdown; if they will not hold the line with the debt limit on August 2 for fear of default, will they hold the line on the Ryan budget on September 30?  Will they suddenly exhibit newfound courage in the face of a government shutdown, or was the entire Ryan budget just a charade?  They certainly won’t have more fortitude when we reach the next debt limit under this new “two-tiered debt ceiling plan.”

When will the conservatives deliver on their promise to defund Obamacare?

An overwhelming majority of voters support repeal of Obamacare; 66% of adults support Cut, Cap, and Balance; 74% of adults support a balanced budget amendment.  Throughout the debt negotiations, Obama has incurred record disapproval, while the GOP has made gains among the young and the poor – those most affected by Obama’s pernicious policies.

If such resounding support is not enough for them to pull the trigger, they will never have the guts to engage in brinkmanship over the Ryan budget in September.  There will be no other “bites at the apple” if Democrats know that Republicans will never force the issue.

The bottom line is that Democrats will never willingly sell out, and will go to the brink for their principles.  If Republicans don’t match their intransigence with a parallel degree of gumption, all of their promises will remain empty.

Those conservative freshmen will have nothing to show their constituents beyond a non-binding commission and unenforceable baseline spending cuts.

In order to preclude such disappointment, GOP leaders must hold the line on Cut, Cap, and Balance.  Additionally, they should opt for a “two-tiered” approach by bringing the Full Faith and Credit Act to the House floor, along with CCB.  This would force the Treasury to prioritize its payments to our soldiers and Social Security recipients.  Consequently, any default that ensues would be Obama’s prerogative.

To that end, our good freshmen won’t find themselves pondering this depressing question:  Is there any purpose of assuming power other than for its own sake?

Good question.