Monday, November 30, 2009

Obama and the Marines

He can wear a Marine shirt. He can charm his way into office on promises of hope and change and "not a penny more in taxes for those making under $250,000." He can become Commander-in-Chief as a civilian, in a democratic republic, and order Marines to war, where they will die for that Republic as they have for 234 years.

But not on his best day could he have been a Marine.

Political Digest November 30, 2009

PoI post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

Why the Peaceful Majority is Irrelevant
This has been around, but is worth reading if you missed it. Excerpt: I used to know a man whose family were German aristocracy prior to World War II. They owned a number of large industries and estates. I asked him how many German people were true Nazis, and the answer he gave has stuck with me and guided my attitude toward fanaticism ever since. “Very few people were true Nazis,” he said, “but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.” We are told again and again by experts and talking heads that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unquantified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars world wide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or execute honor killings. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard, quantifiable fact is that the “peaceful majority” is the “silent majority,” and it is cowed and extraneous.

Teaching plan: America 'an oppressive hellhole' University outlines 're-education' for those who hold 'wrong' views
Indoctrinating the next generation to hate America—and thus to lose it. Excerpt: A program proposed at the University of Minnesota would result in required examinations of teacher candidates on "white privilege" as well as "remedial re-education" for those who hold the "wrong" views, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The organization, which promotes civil liberties on the campuses of America's colleges and universities, has dispatched a letter to University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks asking him to intervene to prevent the adoption of policies proposed in his College of Education and Human Development. "The university's general counsel should be asked to comment as soon as possible," said the letter from Adam Kissel, an officer with FIRE. "If the Race, Culture, Class, and Gender Task Group achieves its stated goals, the result will be political and ideological screening of applicants, remedial re-education for those with the 'wrong' views and values, [and] withholding of degrees from those upon whom the university's political re-education efforts proved ineffective." By any "nontotalitarian" standards, he wrote, the the plans being made so far by the school are "severely unjust and impermissibly intrude into matters of individual conscience." Kissel wrote that it appears that the university "intends to redesign its admissions process so that it screens out people with the 'wrong' beliefs and values – those who either do not have sufficient 'cultural competence' or those who the college judges will not be able to be converted to the 'correct' beliefs and values even after remedial re-education."

Misunderstanders of Islam suspected in Russia train bomb
Didn’t get the Islam-is-a-religion-of-Peace memo.

Germany home to 90 combat Islamists: report
Quick, send them the memo before more die! Excerpt: There are about 90 combat-trained Islamists in Germany moving among underground networks, Focus magazine reported Saturday, as intelligence agencies and police prepare to overhaul the country's anti-terrorism approach. Some 30 of them have actual fighting experience through clashes with US or Pakistani soldiers, the magazine reported, citing German security sources. In total, 185 Islamists trained in terrorist camps in central Asia had lived or worked in Germany in the past 10 years, the sources said.

Anti-Semitism czar on group accused of working against Israel
J Street pick hints Jewish state to blame for hatred against its people
Excerpt: President Obama's new anti-Semitism czar serves on the board of a controversial Israel-lobby group accused of working against the Jewish state, while her writings suggest Israel's policies are to blame for anti-Semitism. Hannah Rosenthal, a former Health Department regional director under the Clinton administration, started her position earlier this week as the State Department's new special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism. She previously headed the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, an umbrella U.S. Jewish organization. Rosenthal, however, serves on the board of J Street, a lobby group that is mostly led by left-leaning Israelis and that receives funds from Arab and Muslim Americans.

Riding HIV's superhighway
Political Correctness continues to kill blacks in Africa. Excerpt: The differences in HIV prevalence between South Africa’s racial groups are as large as those between countries with the highest and lowest prevalences in the world. It follows that examining the different sexual behaviours underpinning these differences would likely provide helpful clues about what is driving our ongoing high HIV transmission rates. Why then has no such study been published in South Africa? The prevalence rates are 19.9%, 3.2% and 0.5% for 15- to 49-year-old Africans, coloureds and whites respectively. The dominant explanation for the racial differences in HIV prevalence is that these merely reflect the fact that HIV is a disease of poverty….We have experienced one reason first-hand. When presenting our data showing higher concurrency rates are the most plausible reason for higher HIV rates among Africans and that this is driven more by cultural than socioeconomic factors, we have been accused of both “cultural essentialism” and racism.

The great climate change science scandal
Excerpt: Steve McIntyre, a prominent climate sceptic, was amazed. “Words failed me,” he said. Another, Patrick Michaels, declared: “This is not a smoking gun; this is a mushroom cloud.” Inevitably, the affair became nicknamed Climategate. For the scientists, campaigners and politicians trying to rouse the world to action on climate change the revelations could hardly have come at a worse time. Next month global leaders will assemble in Copenhagen to seek limits on carbon emissions. The last thing they need is renewed doubts about the validity of the science. The scandal has also had a huge personal and professional impact on the scientists. “These have been the worst few days of my professional life,” said Jones. He had to call on the police for protection after receiving anonymous phone calls and personal threats. Why should a few emails sent to and from a single research scientist at a middle-ranking university have so much impact? And most importantly, what does it tell us about the quality of the research underlying the science of climate change?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Political Digest November 29, 2009

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

Some of these are older, as I was traveling without access to some sources. Pass them on as may still be of interest.

Two days worth, as I was jammed yesterday. Enjoy

Taxes going up? Voters: yup
Excerpt: Just as my column appeared, pollster Scott Rasmussen reported that 48% of likely voters expect their taxes to go up and only 9% expect them to go down. That’s a vivid contrast with the responses back in January, when only 29% expected their taxes to go up and 21% expected them to go down. About half of American voters, it seems, have caught on to the Democrats’ stuff-the-beast strategy: raise spending to previously unheard of levels and then raise taxes to reduce the deficit. Moral of the story: never underestimate the perceptiveness of the American voter.

Obama Shatters Spending Record for First-Year Presidents
Anyone who didn’t expect this on November 4, 2008 just wasn’t paying attention.

Obama meets Hu, says Tibet part of China
Well, so much for those “Free Tibet” bumper stickers—the One has spoken. Excerpt: "We did note that while we recognise that Tibet is part of the People's Republic of China, the United States supports the early resumption of dialogue" between the Dalai Lama's representatives and Beijing," Obama said after his meeting with Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao. Chinese President Hu Jintao hailed US President Barack Obama's recognition of sovereignty issues dear to China. "China approves of President Obama's repeated reiteration of the one-China principle," Hu told reporters.

Comment from a Marine buddy: Tibet has had a totally different language and culture from China for thousands of years, and has never been identified as part of China. It was taken over by brute force decades ago, many thousands killed then and still since, the culture subordinated to Chinese, the children forced to learn Chinese, Chinese immigrants as appointed "managers" (read rulers), no civil liberties, freedom of the press, freedom to dissent, etc. For an American President today to recognize Tibet as part of China would be like FDR recognizing Silesia and the Sudetenland as parts of Germany after the Wehrmacht marched into those places. I am totally appalled at this, there is no excuse for making such a statement, it is a gross betrayal of the basic American commitment to human rights. It is more than puzzling for Obama to do this. And he got nothing whatsoever for this, the Chinese will not really join in on reduction of hothouse gases (they're building coal fired plants faster and faster), they won't revalue their money to realistic adjustment to the dollar, and they lecture us on being more responsible. Essentially it was a social visit, an exchange of niceties, but zip in the way of any accomodation to Obama's programs. So why throw the Tibetans under the bus, and thereby tell every other small country that they cannot depend on the US to even talk about their rights when the bigger, well armed neighbor nation decides to pound them or take them over? Very, very, very sad. So much for moral leadership among nations. –Del

PC-ed to death
Nice to have a TV editor tell it like it is. Gotta love this guy.

Timely Medicine – Not
Excerpt: As America rushes headfirst into Government Run Healthcare, here are a few realities Americans should not ignore. As a Canadian, I was raised since the mid 1960’s on a diet of Government Paid Healthcare. In a single statement: IT WAS TERRIFIC. But, I have to emphasize the word WAS.

Why Obama Isn't Changing Washington
Excerpt: Why has the president's publicly expressed vision of a kinder, gentler Washington failed to materialize? I think Mr. Obama—while hardly the only person at fault—is chiefly responsible. He might have spawned a different Washington, a less divided town with Democrats firmly in charge but Republicans actively involved. The bonus for Mr. Obama and Democrats would be higher popularity and better prospects in 2010 midterm elections. Instead, the president made three strategic mistakes—or, really, misreadings of the political landscape—and they've come back to haunt him and his party. First, Mr. Obama misread the meaning of the 2008 election. It wasn't a mandate for a liberal revolution. His victory was a personal one, not an ideological triumph of liberalism. Yet Mr. Obama, his aides and Democratic leaders in Congress have treated it as a mandate to radically change policy directions in this country. They are pushing forward one liberal initiative after another. As a result, Mr. Obama's approval rating has dropped along with the popularity of his agenda. Mr. Obama should have known better. The evidence that America remains a center-right country was right there in the national exit poll on Election Day. When asked about their political beliefs, 34% identified themselves as conservative, 22% as liberal, and a whopping 44% as moderate.

Kill the Bills. Do Health Reform Right
Excerpt: The United States has the best health care in the world -- but because of its inefficiencies, also the most expensive. The fundamental problem with the 2,074-page Senate health-care bill (as with its 2,014-page House counterpart) is that it wildly compounds the complexity by adding hundreds of new provisions, regulations, mandates, committees and other arbitrary bureaucratic inventions. Worse, they are packed into a monstrous package without any regard to each other. The only thing linking these changes -- such as the 118 new boards, commissions and programs -- is political expediency. Each must be able to garner just enough votes to pass. There is not even a pretense of a unifying vision or conceptual harmony. The result is an overregulated, overbureaucratized system of surpassing arbitrariness and inefficiency.

Bomber may have been heading for Eilat
Didn’t get the Religion-of-Peace memo. Excerpt: An IDF bomb squad detonated a 15-kilogram explosive seized during a search conducted along the Egyptian border on Thursday. Late Wednesday night, IDF troops on a routine patrol of the border area spotted a suspicious figure carrying a bag containing what was later discovered to be a 15-kilogram bomb. The soldiers ordered him to stop and fired several shots in the air. However, the man fled the scene back into Egypt, dropping the bag in his haste.

Iranian pilgrims stage hajj protest
Didn’t get the memo. Excerpt: “Death to America, death to Israel," thousands of Iranians chanted inside a huge tent on the Arafat plain.

Be thankful that you are breathing.
Excerpt: Jihad attacks and attempted attacks inside the U.S. have sharply increased. In response, the entire government and media establishment hastens to assure the world that the root cause is not the root cause. And the President of the United States rushes to make more concessions to the jihadis and their sponsors and allies. Eight years after 9/11, and fewer people than ever know or care about what we are really up against. are alive. You are breathing. You can read this. You are not beaten.

Find a gun, turn it in, go to jail
Zero tolerance in the UK
How to answer the census
Very funny.

Obama’s Most Courageous Act: Pardoning a Turkey
Excerpt: President Obama pardoned a turkey for Thanksgiving named Courage. That turns out to be the gutsiest decision that Obama has made since taking office. Courage is not the only recipient of Obama’s generosity who has reason to be thankful. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his boss Osama bin Laden are grateful for the opportunity provided by the Obama administration to put on a propaganda display during the circus trial that the whole world will be watching. KSM will be the perfect ringmaster, following up on his ringleader performance on 9/11. And I couldn’t think of a better clown than Attorney General Eric Holder. But there are many more folks who should be writing thank you notes to Obama this season. In no particular order, here are just a few:

Saudi Columnist: Obama Will Be President of the 'United Collapse of America'
Excerpt: “Obama fought tooth and nail to be the first black president of the U.S., and he was successful at it. But in the future he may also gain the title of 'President of the United Collapse of America.'"

Prosecuting American 'War Crimes'
Excerpt: Because Kabul in 2003 ratified the Rome Statute—the ICC's founding treaty—all soldiers on Afghan territory, even those from nontreaty countries, fall under the ICC's oversight, Mr. Ocampo told me. And the chief prosecutor says he is already conducting a "preliminary examination" into whether NATO troops, including American soldiers, fighting the Taliban may have to be put in the dock. "We have to check if crimes against humanity, war crimes or genocide have been committed in Afghanistan," Mr. Ocampo told me. "There are serious allegations against the Taliban and al Qaeda and serious allegations about warlords, even against some who are connected with members of the government." Taking up his inquiry of Allied soldiers, he added, "there are different reports about problems with bombings and there are also allegations about torture."

9/11 plotters start on their road to freedom: lawyers to argue they're incompetent to stand trial
Excerpt: When five defendants are brought before a New York federal judge to face charges for the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the first question may be whether some of them are competent to stand trial at all. Military lawyers for Ramzi Binalshibh, an accused organizer of the 9/11 plot, and Mustafa al-Hawsawi, the conspiracy's alleged paymaster, say their clients have mental disorders that make them unfit for trial, likely caused or exacerbated by years of harsh confinement in Central Intelligence Agency custody.

Fifty lashes for the (Christian) teenage girl who wore an 'indecent' knee length skirt in Sudan
Excerpt: A girl of 16 was given 50 lashes after a judge ruled her knee length skirt was indecent. Silva Kashif was punished without her family being told after she was arrested while walking alone near her home in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. Her mother, Jenty Doro, said: ‘I only heard about it after she was lashed. Later we all sat and cried. She said she would sue the police and the judge because her daughter is a Christian and underage. The law states that under-18s should not be given lashes. Doro said Khashif was taken to Kalatla court where she was convicted and punished by a female police officer in front of the judge. 'I only heard about it after she was lashed. Later we all sat and cried ... People have different religions and that should be taken into account' she said. Khartoum is governed by Islamic sharia law. But although Miss Kashif is living there she is originally from the south of the country, which is not. The government is supposed to be working to soften the impact of sharia for southerners living in Khartoum. Her lawyer, Azhari al-Haj, said: ‘She was wearing a normal skirt and blouse, worn by thousands of girls. They didn’t contact a guardian and punished her on the spot.’

Will Time Magazine Apologize to Glenn Beck?
Excerpt: “Government Distrust and a Dead Census Taker.” That was the headline of a September 25th story in TIME about the death of 51-year old Bill Sparkman. Sparkman’s naked body had been found in a remote area of Harlan County, Kentucky, with the word “FED” scrawled on his chest. Sparkman had been hanged. Immediately, TIME and others began to speculate. Had Sparkman been hanged by anti-government, anti-Obama violent right wingers? TIME led the speculation, taking the opportunity to drag in Glenn Beck:

Cleaning Out the Climate Science Cesspool
Excerpt: However, the planet and science are not cooperating with the fear-mongering. There has been no statistically significant global warming for over a decade, despite steadily increasing CO2 levels – and for several years average annual global temperatures have actually declined. Carbon dioxide plays only a minor role, many scientists now say, and our climate is still controlled by the same natural forces that caused previous climate changes: periodic shifts in ocean currents and jet streams, water vapor and cloud cover, evaporation and precipitation, planetary alignments and the shape of the Earth’s orbit, the tilt and wobble of Earth’s axis, cosmic ray levels and especially solar energy output. Far worse for the Climate Armageddon movement, newly released emails from its leading scientists reveal a cesspool of intimidation, duplicity and fraud that could rock Copenhagen and the alarmist agenda to their core. The emails cast deepening suspicion over global warming data, science and models. They reveal an unprecedented, systematic conspiracy to stifle discussion and debate, conceal and manipulate data, revise temperature trends that contradict predictions of dangerous warming, skew the peer-review process, pressure scientific journals and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to publish alarmist studies and exclude dissenting analyses, and avoid compliance with Freedom of Information requests. British Climate Research Unit (CRU) chief Phil Jones to Penn State climatologist Michael Mann, of Hockey Stick infamy: “Can you delete any e-mails you may have had with Keith [Briffa] re AR4 [the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report and Briffa’s suspect tree-ring data]. Keith will do likewise.” Jones to Mann: “If they [Canadian researchers Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre] ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send it to anyone.”

A rusty nail for South Carolina
Excerpt: Like Jindal, Haley is of Indian descent -- lean, mean (in a nice way) and ready to rumble with the good ol' boys. Raised in the tiny town of Bamberg (population 2,500), she is as unlikely a candidate in this neck of the woods as Jindal was in Huey Long's old neighborhood. When she was first elected to the state House of Representatives, Haley ran against the longest-serving member of the General Assembly, whose uncle had held the seat before him. She didn't know any better, she says. Now in her third term, the married mother of two young children is a bit of a troublemaker. Again, like Jindal, she's willing to challenge the status quo, insisting, for example, that her colleagues let citizens know how they vote. When she realized that fewer than 10 percent of votes were on the record, she wrote a bill to rectify the situation. Despite being warned by House leadership that she risked losing her committee assignments if she didn't drop the bill, Haley persevered. She was, indeed, removed from her position as chair of the banking subcommittee. Although a social conservative, Haley's focus is on business, taxes, government spending and education. Married to a full-time officer in the National Guard, Haley is an accountant who began keeping books for her family's clothing business when she was 13.

There's time to get climate policy right
Excerpt: The rush to legislate is based on the argument that we must act now or risk climate Armageddon. But most of the predictions of catastrophe are based upon a series of computer models that are increasingly recognized as fundamentally flawed. For instance, global temperatures have been flat or even slightly decreasing for the past 10 years all the while greenhouse gas emissions have continued to increase. None of the multitude of models predicted this result. How can we be expected to trust the long-term projections of computers that can't get the near-term stuff right? There is mounting evidence that the sun has a larger role to play in global temperatures than the models and many climate scientists understand. Which just goes to show how imperfect human understanding of our global environment really is.

Is the U.S. “the most open market in the world”? Not even close
Excerpt: Representative Ron Kirk couldn’t resist repeating the old line that the United States is “the most open market in the world.” The chief U.S. trade negotiator was trying to rebut criticism from Chinese officials that the Obama administration, with its 35 percent tariff on Chinese tire imports and all that, has retreated from a commitment to free trade. The administration’s “more open than thou” rebuttal is a weak one. As I write in Chapter 9 of my new Cato book, Mad about Trade: If an Olympics were held for the most open economy, the United States would be out of medal contention. According to the most recent annual Economic Freedom of the World Report, people living in 26 other countries enjoy greater “freedom to trade internationally” than do Americans.

Portland, America's Ultimate White City
Excerpt: Among the media and academia and within planning circles, there's a generally standing answer to the question of what cities are the best, the most progressive and best role models for small and midsize cities. The standard list includes Portland, Seattle, Austin, Minneapolis and Denver, says Aaron M. Renn, and urban affairs thinker and writer. In particular, Portland is held up as a paradigm, with its urban growth boundary, extensive transit system, excellent cycling culture and a pro-density policy. These cities are frequently contrasted with those of the Rust Belt and South, which are found wanting, often even by locals, as "cool" urban places. But look closely at these exemplars, and a curious fact emerges, says Renn. If you take away the dominant Tier One cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles -- places no one expects the average U.S. city to be able to imitate - you will find that the "progressive" cities aren't red or blue, but another color entirely: white, says Renn.

Justice probing lawmaker with oversight over department
How’s that Swamp Draining going, Nancy? Excerpt: For three years, Rep. Alan Mollohan has chaired the important Appropriations subcommittee that controls the Justice Department's $65 billion budget. At the same time, he has been under a Justice Department investigation, according to documents and two sources briefed on the probe. The investigation has centered on the West Virginia Democrat's finances and nonprofits he created and helped fund in his district, and has put him in the unusual position of wielding control over an agency at the same time it is probing his conduct and contractors he helped while in office.

Obama to debut Afghan troop strategy; says he intends 'to finish the job'
But will he be able to do, with his party? If he tries to do the right things, we must support him.

In announcing new Afghan strategy, Obama faces a crowded calendar
Excerpt: As White House observers attempt to read the tea leaves about the timing of President Obama's Afghanistan announcement, one thing becomes clear: There's not much time left. For more than a month, Obama has been meeting with his war council to determine a new strategy in Afghanistan and whether to send additional troops, as requested by his top general there. He said in interviews Wednesday that he would reveal his decision within the next several weeks. The president has just 20 weekdays left -- not counting Thanksgiving break -- before he leaves for his Christmas-holiday vacation in Hawaii. But the presidential schedule for the rest of November and December is already filling up with other priorities, some of which could create some awkwardness if they happen too close to news of a beefed-up war effort.

Save the vouchers
Why kill programs giving other black parents the rights the Obamas have? Because the unions don’t like them. Excerpt: The future of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which gives low-income parents up to $7,500 so their children can attend private school, will be determined within the next weeks as Congress decides appropriations bills. What's on the table is a proposal advanced by President Obama that would extend the program until the 1,700 students currently receiving vouchers have graduated from high school. But no new students would be accepted. We have a hard time understanding the president's logic. The argument for discontinuation is that the program has not proved to be effective. Why then come up with millions of dollars to continue it for the next 12 years? Besides, scientific studies have shown clear benefits in terms of parental satisfaction and improved student reading. Why deny these advantages to new students? D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and a majority of the D.C. Council favor letting in new students. Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee has been working behind the scenes to win support for a proposal that would allow new students to be admitted to slots vacated by those exiting the program. She believes that it will be at least five years before the public schools will be at a point where they will provide the right alternative for all parents.

Hasan had intensified contact with cleric
Nothing to do with Jihad or Islam of course. Let’s not jump to conclusions. Excerpt: In the months before the deadly shootings at Fort Hood, Army Maj. Nidal M. Hasan intensified his communications with a radical Yemeni American cleric and began to discuss surreptitious financial transfers and other steps that could translate his thoughts into action, according to two sources briefed on a collection of secret e-mails between the two.

Lord Lawson calls for public inquiry into UEA global warming data 'manipulation'
Climate-gate growing

Bending the Productivity Curve Why America Leads the World in Medical Innovation
One of the things healthcare “reform” will likely destroy will be innovation in technologies, business models and drugs. Excerpt: In general, Americans tend to receive more new treatments and pay more for them—a fact that is usually regarded as a fault of the American system. That interpretation, if not entirely wrong, is at least incomplete. Rapid adoption and extensive use of new treatments and technologies create an incentive to develop those techniques in the first place. When the United States subsidizes medical innovation, the whole world benefits. That is a virtue of the American system that is not reflected in comparative life expectancy and mortality statistics. Policymakers should consider the impact of reform proposals on innovation. For example, proposals that increase spending on diagnostics and therapeutics could encourage such innovation. Expanding price controls, government health care programs, and health insurance regulation, on the other hand, could hinder America’s ability to innovate

Health Care Reform Protests
Excerpt: Both Paul and Neeta Dang are doctors at Huntsville Hospital. Before moving here in 1996 they practiced in Canada for 9 years, where there is universal health care coverage. It's a system they say is flawed. "The problem is that the access to health care was limited and the system was overburdened and under funded. People couldn't get access to scans and treatments. Getting in to see the doctor was hard. Getting surgeries like getting bypass surgery or your hip replacement would take several months. To pay for such a system our taxes were much higher than they are here in the US," said Dr. Paul Dang. Dr. Dang says that this will probably be the case here in the US if the government option passes. "The changes that are being proposed are going to significantly limit access to care and to the type and quality of care that's already available for most Americans," said Dr. Dang. While living in Canada their family had to get care in the u-s to be able to survive. "My own family member had to be flown down here for cancer treatment because it wasn't going to happen in Canada where we have a government run system. We've had first hand experience with this, where patients have died of disease that may have been successfully treated if they had been diagnosed earlier," said Dr. Neeta Dang.

U.S. Army Agrees That The M-4 Sucks
Excerpt: The U.S. Army has finally addressed years of complaints about the M-4 and M-16 assault rifles. The M-4 is a short barrel M-16, and has become very popular with the troops. The army has asked the Department of Defense for permission to spend a few hundred million dollars on upgrades for its 400,000 M-4 assault rifles. The big change is replacing the main portion of the rifle with a new component that contains a short stroke piston gas system (to reduce buildup of carbon inside the rifle) and a heavier (by five ounces) barrel (which reduces barrel failure from too much heat, which happens when several hundred rounds are fired within a few minutes.)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Political Digest November 27, 2009

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

Obama's first pardon: A turkey named Courage
No word if the turkey, like Marc Rich, pardoned by Clinton, was a Democrat contributor. Meanwhile, troops die in Afghanistan waiting for Obama to have to courage to announce his bold, new strategy, to replace the bold, new strategy in this “war of necessity” which he announced last March. Once he does that, he can get working on the next bold, new strategy for Afghanistan, due next March.

Fight against malaria: Battle of life and death,0,4063348.story
A horrific story. Likely another victim of the DDT ban, instituted by Al Gore’s hero, Rachel Carson. It doesn’t usually touch us, but since the ban, something like 30 million third world folks have died of Malaria needlessly. But if liberals can feel good about saving the birds, what’s a few million black, brown or yellow kids?

Police: Hanged Ky. census worker died at own hands, not killed by anti-government plotters,0,144060.story
Remember this case? All the Leftstream media jumped on it to prove the real terror threat in America was right-wing, anti-government nuts. Meanwhile, a Muslim who send donations to Jihadist groups screams Allah Akbar while killing 123 Americans and the Presidents says we “shouldn’t jump to conclusions.”

Obama’s Science Czar John Holdren involved in unwinding “Climategate” scandal
This keeps getting more interesting. I love that the NYT, which has published leaked material undermining national security, refused to publish this stuff because it was stolen. Excerpt: Lift up a rock and another snake comes slithering out from the ongoing University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) scandal, now riding as “Climategate”. Obama Science Czar John Holdren is directly involved in CRU’s unfolding Climategate scandal. In fact, according to files released by a CEU hacker or whistleblower, Holdren is involved in what Canada Free Press (CFP) columnist Canadian climatologist Dr. Tim Ball terms “a truculent and nasty manner that provides a brief demonstration of his lack of understanding, commitment on faith and willingness to ridicule and bully people”. “The files contain so much material that it is going to take some time t o put it all in context,” says Ball. “However, enough is already known to underscore their explosive nature. It is already clear the entire claims and positions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are based on falsified manipulated material and is therefore completely compromised. “The fallout will be extensive as material continues to emerge. Reputations of the scientists involved are already destroyed, however fringe players will continue to be identified and their reputations destroyed or sullied.”

Inside the mad, mad, mad, mad world of Obama's czars
Excerpt: "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy," warned Obi Won Kenobi, while approaching the fictional Mos Eisley spaceport in "Star Wars." For many Americans, the closest thing on planet Earth to the famous "Star Wars" bar scene, teeming with all its bizarre and malevolent denizens, is the Obama White House with its ever-growing menagerie of radical, unaccountable and utterly weird "czars" advising the president of the United States. People like regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, who defends the removal of organs from terminally ill patients without their permission. Or Obama's choice of school-safety czar, gay activist Kevin Jennings who actually pioneered the practice of introducing homosexual advocacy into public schools by disguising it as "school safety"! Or science czar John Holdren, who has advocated sterilizing welfare recipients and seizing babies born to unwed mothers, and predicted one billion people would die in "carbon-dioxide induced famines" caused by – are you ready? – a coming new ice age. And those are just the ones you've already heard about. There are dozens more, and you'll meet them all – up close and personal – in the November issue of WND's monthly Whistleblower magazine, titled "SHADOW GOVERNMENT: Inside the mad, mad, mad, mad world of Obama's czars."

Why Switzerland Has The Lowest Crime Rate In The World
And the Swiss have universal healthcare through private insurance, no large government bureaucracy. These are my kind of bleeding heart liberals!

Sen. Conrad Suggests That People Who Don’t Believe in Civilian Trials for Terrorists Should Leave America and ‘Go Somewhere Else’
The Obama justice system—love it or leave it. Excerpt: Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) told that civilian courts are well-suited to prosecute al Qaeda terrorists and that "if people don't believe in our system, maybe they ought to go somewhere else.”

Antisemitism widespread among immigrant Misunderstanders of Islam in Denmark
Excerpt: "The Qur'an has specified a considerable deal of its verses to talking about Jews, their personal qualities and characteristics. The Qur'anic description of Jews is quite impartial; praising them in some occasions where they deserve praise and condemning them in other occasions where they practice blameworthy acts. Yet, the latter occasions outnumbered the former, due to their bad qualities and the heinous acts they used to commit.

Obama reaches out to Philippine jihadists
Excerpt: As Weasel Zippers says: "What a disgrace. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has been responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Christians in the areas it controls, beheadings, numerous terrorist attacks etc. not that this would bother Obama...."

Threat of jihad infiltration did not factor into U.S. Army's screening process
 Better soldiers should die than some general blight his career with a charge of Islamophobia from CAIR. Excerpt: The U.S. Army, fearing political repercussions, refused to consider the prospect of infiltration by Al Qaida supporters. A former senior army official told Congress that the military service drafted guidelines on a range of scenarios, including racism. But the army, despite the recruitment of thousands of Muslims, many of them converts, failed to examine prospects of infiltration by Al Qaida and other Islamists.

Saudi Arabia sentences TV host to death for witchcraft
Modern, moderate Islam. Excerpt: A man has been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for witchcraft because he makes predictions on television. Ali Sibat is not even a Saudi national. The Lebanese citizen was only visiting Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage when he was arrested in Medina last year. A court in the city condemned him as a witch on November 9. The only evidence presented in court was reportedly the claim he appeared regularly on Lebanese satellite issuing general advice on life and making predictions about the future. The case is causing outrage among human rights campaigners but has made little news elsewhere despite the ludicrous nature of the charges and the extraordinary severity of Sibat's sentence.

Our New Politically Correct Pentagon
Excerpt: In the American political tradition, elected civilian officeholders command military leaders. That's the way it should be. Democracy, however, is not a suicide pact. Our top officeholders are politicians, but political agendas shouldn't trump responsible military counsel. The rules of democratic warfare are pretty clear-cut. Generals are supposed to exercise principled, consistent, competent and honest leadership. Presidents are supposed to act as commanders in chief, not campaigners in chief. The brass is supposed to be respectful of the prerogatives of its political leaders, but politicians are supposed to take the business of war seriously. It is not clear that is happening to Washington today, where what was allegedly sound military advice in one administration is so easily discarded without apology in the next.

POW Jeremiah Denton: God Spoke to Me in Prison
Excerpt: Denton is famous for sending a message using Morse code with his eyes during a 1966 interview in a Vietnamese prison. He simply blinked t-o-r-t-u-r-e as he was being interviewed by a Japanese journalist to let the U.S. military know the Vietnamese were torturing him and other prisoners.

Obama National Anthem
Satire. I hope.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Political Digest November 26, 2009

I post articles because I believe they will be of interest, not because I agree with every—or even any—opinion in them.

Much to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving:

• I was born in the United States, which, regardless of your family’s status, is equivalent to winning the lottery.

• At age 18, I earned the title “Marine.” I can think of no higher honor.

• My doc ran a CT scan Tuesday and my lungs are stable. So I cough, but my health isn’t getting worse at this time.

• My job is going very well. The folks I work for are terrific, very mission-focused, and the mission is helping the members help people.

• I have a loving wife and my granddaughter continues to be a joy.

• And there is increasing resistance to the President’s efforts to turn America into East Germany through a healthcare takeover, cap and trade, Zimbabwe economics and weakness overseas.

The criminal conspiracy of global warming
Excerpt: This is what they did - these climate "scientists" on whose unsupported word the world's classe politique proposes to set up an unelected global government this December in Copenhagen. An unelected global government with vast and unprecedented powers to control all formerly free markets, to tax wealthy nations and all of their financial transactions, to regulate the economic and environmental affairs of all nations, and to confiscate and extinguish all patent and intellectual property rights. The tiny, close-knit clique of climate scientists who invented and now drive the "global warming" fraud - for fraud is what we now know it to be - tampered with temperature data so assiduously that, on the recent admission of one of them, land temperatures since 1980 have risen twice as fast as ocean temperatures. One of the thousands of emails recently circulated by a whistleblower at the University of East Anglia, where one of the world's four global-temperature datasets is compiled, reveals that data were altered so as to prevent a recent decline in temperature from showing in the record. In fact, there has been no statistically significant "global warming" for 15 years - and there has been rapid and significant cooling for nine years.

Afraid to Kill
Excerpt: But political correctness has possessed Washington. It's so bad that even Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who's done a great job in many other respects, parrots the cliché that "we can't kill our way out of this." Well, folks, there's no other way out of this all-or-nothing struggle with fanatics. Three thousand years of history teach that there's no alternative -- none -- to killing fanatics in large numbers when your enemies are ablaze with religious zeal. What Gates and countless others really mean is that we're unwilling to kill our way out of this assault on our civilization. So the terrorists keep on killing us. We tell ourselves that one more charm offensive, one more inept aid program, one more surge of troops who aren't allowed to fight will persuade terrorists on a murderous mission from their god to lay down their arms and run for alderman…. The laws of war provide for the battlefield execution of illegal combatants -- those who refuse to wear uniforms or identifying insignia or who commit atrocities. Instead, we give them flu shots before American citizens can get them. When a madcap ideologue such as Attorney General Eric Holder tells Congress we mustn't be afraid to try terrorists in our judicial system, he gets it exactly wrong. The terrorists believe we're afraid to kill them. And they're right.

Holder tells Senate committee Justice Department supports more 'gun control'
No surprise here. Wouldn’t want anyone armed when the next Hasan barges in.

Welfare recipients face drug tests
But do they have to be citizens?

Heroes of Our Dark Age: Marcel Efroimski, a Defiant, 13-year-old Israeli Chess Prodigy
Excerpt: …during the awards ceremony, the malignant (if not turban’d) and increasingly Islamic supremacist Turkish authorities refused to play the Israeli National Anthem, as is required at such ceremonies. However, young Marcel would not play the dhimmi. She stood on the podium and raised her trophy with an expression of defiance…

A Survivor’s Battle Against Female Genital Mutilation
Excerpt: One chilly morning in a group of 29 girls, we were mutilated. I was tied with a rope because I was screaming and begging them to stop. Some girls were considered brave for not crying aloud. But I know their heart cried out loud. I could hear their cry and still do. It is so hard for me to talk about this. It’s so fresh. I am still so traumatized. They used the same knife on us, not caring about any infections. These are tradition mutilators and midwives that perform this savagery. My mom could not watch this. Up to now, I am scared of any human blood. I scream when I accidentally cut myself. A few days ago I passed out when I cut my finger and I hurt my back as I live by myself. No one could help me. I have nightmares. I have never coped. I have very painful PMS. I have extra glands growing so I need surgery. I have scar tissues. That’s why my vagina muscles hurt. I will live with this for the rest of my life. I will never cope but one thing for sure I will never stop voicing out against FGM. One day I will reach the World Court and criminalize globally FGM. I swear I am going to reach there. I am now building a very big network of very committed people. I aspire even to be a human rights movie documentary producer. I am going to get words out there and catch the attention of all kinds of good people. I will kick FGM ass out off this planet. And that makes me smile.

Modern, moderate, secular Turkey: 42% of women targets of violence
Excerpt: Forty-two percent of women in Turkey become targets of physical or sexual violence, a staggering statistic which along with others will be the focus of events held on the occasion of tomorrow's International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Free Speech Silenced at Columbia and Princeton
Excerpt: Nonie Darwish, the executive director of Former Muslims United and author of Cruel And Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law, was scheduled to speak at Columbia and Princeton Universities last week, but both events were canceled under pressure from Muslim groups on campus. Remember, we are talking about Columbia University, where Ahmadinejad was welcomed like a returning king. Just hours before Darwish was scheduled to speak at Columbia, the groups that had invited her to both universities, the Whig-Clio Student Debate Society and Tigers for Israel, succumbed to demands from student Muslim groups and canceled her speaking event. Tigers for Israel, my eye. Their name mocks them. The Whig-Clio Society is the oldest debating society in the U.S., founded by James Madison in 1765. These are the students who are supposed to be the leaders of the future. What a joke. Look how the cancellation went down at Princeton. Look at the systematic bullying. This is the state of freedom of speech in the age of jihad. Arab Society president Sami Yabroudi and former president Sarah Mousa issued a joint statement, claiming: “Nonie Darwish is to Arabs and Muslims what Ku Klux Klan members, skinheads, and neo-Nazis are to other minorities, and we decided that the role of her talk in the logical, intellectual discourse espoused by Princeton University needed to be questioned.” KKK? Neo-Nazi? Nonie Darwish was scheduled to speak about Sharia law and Israel, about standing up for human rights against jihad.

When the house runs out of chips: Tribes teeter on financial brink
It’s always been clear to me that there had to be a saturation point on gambling. Apparently expansion met the declining economy at that point. Excerpt: After making and spending billions over the last decade, the Mohegans and their nearby neighbors, the Mashantucket Pequot Indians, are teetering on the brink of a financial meltdown. Expansion plans have been canceled, employees have been laid off, credit ratings are in free fall, and bankers and bond holders are knocking on the door. In a sign of just how bad it has become, the Pequots last week defaulted on a Wall Street bond, signaling to creditors the tribe cannot meet its obligations.

Global warming industry becomes too big to fail
Excerpt: "I'm in the process of trying to persuade Siemens Corp. (a company with half a million employees in 190 countries!) to donate me a little cash to do some CO2 measur[e]ments here in the UK -- looking promising," wrote Andrew Manning, a climate-science research fellow at the University of East Anglia, "so the last thing I need is news articles calling into question (again) observed temperature increases." Manning's e-mail, written in October to a colleague at East Anglia University's Climate Research Unit, was one of the thousands of private communiques exposed to public view by a whistleblower or a hacker. The note and others like it reveal the intriguing relationship between industry giants like Siemens and the scientists driving climate change fears. More importantly, though, Manning's e-mail shows the incentives of climate scientists: Convince people there is a climate disaster coming, get more money.

Damn the deficit: Full speed ahead on health care
Excerpt: Double-digit. That hyphenated adjective has been used most often recently to describe October's 10.2 percent unemployment rate. But it can also be used to describe the federal budget deficit as a percentage of the gross domestic product. That precise number is not yet known, but it may turn out to have a more dire effect on our national life than October's unemployment rate. In the fiscal year just ended, federal spending was nearly 25 percent of GDP while federal revenues slipped below 15 percent because of the financial crisis and recession. We have not seen a budget deficit of this magnitude since World War II, which surely was a greater challenge than recent economic troubles.

Hide the Decline
Cold Comfort humor

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Political Digest November 25, 2009

I post article because I believe they will be of interest, not because I agree with every—or even any—opinion in them.

Sanctions and Strategy (Long but educational)
Excerpt: The difficulty of creating effective sanctions raises the question of why they are used. The primary answer is that they allow a nation to appear to be acting effectively without enduring significant risks. Invading a country, as the United States found in Iraq, poses substantial risks. The imposition of sanctions on relatively weaker countries without the ability to counter the sanctions is much less risky. The fact that it is also far less effective is compensated for by the lowered risk. In truth, many sanction regimes are enforced as political gestures, either for domestic political reasons, or to demonstrate serious intent on the international scene. In some cases, sanctions are a way of appearing to act so that military action can be deferred. No one expects the sanctions to change the regime or its policies, but the fact that sanctions are in place can be used as an argument against actions by other nations. This is very much the case with Iran. No one expects Russia or China (or even many of the European states) to fully comply with a sanctions regime on gasoline. Even if they did, no one expects the flow of gasoline to be decisively cut off. There will be too many people prepared to take the risk of smuggling gasoline to Iran for that to happen. Even if the U.S. blockaded Iranian ports, the Caucasus and Central Asia are far too disorderly and the monetary rewards of smuggling are too great of an incentive to make the gasoline sanctions effective. Additionally, the imposition of sanctions will both rally the population to the regime as well as provide justification for an intense crackdown. The probability of sanctions forcing policy changes or regime change in Iran is slim.

Inspector General: Rhee visited me to intervene for Johnson
Excerpt: On June 27, 2008, Michelle Rhee, head of the Washington, D.C., school system, paid a visit to Gerald Walpin, who was inspector general of the government volunteer organization AmeriCorps. At the time, Walpin was investigating a California private school known as St. Hope, which was founded by Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star and friend of Rhee's who was running for mayor of Sacramento. St. Hope had received about $850,000 in AmeriCorps money, and Walpin's investigators were looking into charges that Johnson had misused those funds by assigning paid volunteer tutors to run errands for him and wash his car, as well as making them take part in political activities. In the course of the investigation, some young female AmeriCorps volunteers also charged that Johnson had made inappropriate sexual advances toward them and offered one of them $1,000 a month to keep quiet.

The True Costs of Health Care Reform
This chart shows the costs for the first tens years the bill is in effect, not the ten year from now, which include four years of taxes but no healthcare.

The Death Blow to Climate Science
The question is, was the stuff posted altered? Excerpt: Someone hacked in to the files of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) based at the University of East Anglia. A very large file (61 mb) was downloaded and posted to the web. Phil Jones Director of the CRU has acknowledged the files are theirs. They contain papers, documents letters and emails. The latter are the most damaging and contain blunt information about the degree of manipulation of climate science in general and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in particular.

'Too high a price',0,2514797.story
Excerpt: Meeks, who chairs the Illinois Senate Education Committee, has been in a war with the Chicago Teachers Union since he had some tough things to say about public education in a Tribune essay and in a speech at Rainbow Push. The CTU responded with a vow not to give him another dime in campaign money until he apologized. Meeks promptly wrote a check for $4,000, giving back every dime the union had already given him. No apology. You have to love this guy. He's genuinely looking out for kids and doesn't back down to pressure. Back to the video. It shows the top lawyer of the National Education Association, Bob Chanin, speaking at the NEA's annual meeting in July. Chanin was retiring. This was his swan song. Chanin makes unmistakably clear what the highest priority is for the union. Hint: It's not the education of your kids.

Married Couples Face Extra Tax in Healthcare Bill
Excerpt: Senate Democrats’ health care bill would create a new marriage penalty by imposing a tax on individuals who make $200,000 annually but hitting married couples making just $50,000 more. That’s one of 17 new taxes imposed by the bill, which also creates a levy on elective plastic surgery – some call it “botax” – and places a 40 percent excise tax on those who have generous health care plans. “If you have insurance, you get taxed. If you don’t have insurance, you get taxed. If you need a life-saving medical device, you get taxed. If you need prescription medicines, you get taxed,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, who is leading the fight against the bill…

Wilding of Sarah Palin
Excerpt: Fear of rape became a constant dread, and I sought a solution that would help shield me from danger. The answer: seek safe harbor within the Democratic Party. I even became an activist for feminist causes, including violence against women. Liberalism would protect me from the big bad conservatives who wished me harm. Like most feminists, it was a no brainer to become a Democrat. Liberal men, not conservatives, were the ones devoted to women's issues. They marched at my side in support of abortion rights. They were enthusiastic about women succeeding in the workplace. As time went on, I had many experiences that should have made me rethink my certainty. But I remained nestled in cognitive dissonance -- therapy jargon for not wanting to see what I didn't want to see. One clue: the miscreants who were brutalizing me didn't exactly look Reagan-esque. In middle and high schools, they were minority kids enraged about forced busing. On the streets of New York City and Berkeley, they were derelicts and hoodlums. Another red flag: while liberal men did indeed hold up those picket signs, they didn't do anything else to protect me. In fact, their social programs enabled bad behavior and bred chaos in urban America. And when I was accosted by thugs, those leftist men were missing in action. What else should have tipped me off? Perhaps the fact that so many men in ultra left Berkeley are sleaze bags. Rarely a week goes by that I don't hear stories from my young female clients about middle aged men preying on them. With the rationale of moral relativism, these creeps feel they can do anything they please.

How Sarah Palin might win the White House
Excerpt: Gallup polls over the past 60 years show that no president with an approval rating under 47 percent has won reelection, and no president with an approval rating above 51 percent has lost reelection. (George W. Bush's approval rating in the weeks before the 2004 election hovered around 50 percent.) The 2012 election will be primarily about our current president and whether voters are satisfied with the country's direction. Who the Republican candidate is, and his or her qualifications and abilities, will matter only if Obama's approval rating is between 47 and 51 percent going into the fall of 2012. Interestingly, in the latest Gallup poll Obama's approval rating was at a precarious 49 percent.

Petition to Senate for Tort Reform
Only way to really bring down costs, but hopeless with the Lawyers Party in charge.

Navy SEALs Face Assault Charges for Capturing Terrorist,2933,576646,00.html
Whose-side-is-he-on alert. Excerpt: Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told The three, all members of the Navy's elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called an admiral's mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.

A domestic Islamic threat is real, and the FBI is unprepared to fight it.
Excerpt: Moreover, President Barack Obama's determined effort not to mention Islam in terrorist discussions—which means that we must not suggest that Maj. Hasan's murderous actions flowed from his faith—will weaken American counterterrorism. Worse, the president's position is an enormous wasted opportunity to advance an all-critical Muslim debate about the nature and legitimacy of jihad. European counterterrorist officers know well that jihadists can appear, self-generated or tutored by extremist groups, inside Muslim families where parents and siblings lead peaceful lives. Security officials live in fear of the quiet believer who quickly radicalizes, or the secular down-and-out European who enthusiastically converts to a militant creed. Both cases allow little time and often few leads to neutralize a possible lethal explosion of the faith….The great Muslim reformers of the last 200 years have all been intellectually deeply intertwined with the West. The West has stimulated every single great modern Muslim conversation. The abolition of slavery, the study of science, public schools and widespread literacy, the widely felt and growing need for constitutional and representative government—and less meritorious subjects like socialism, communism and fascism—came about because of Westernization. The Westernization, moreover, was usually driven by Muslims themselves. This "globalization" has not always been appreciated on the Muslim side. Britain's imperialistic doggedness against the slave trade was deeply resented by Muslims who, like American Southerners, saw slavery, as sacred. Devout Muslims often go ballistic when Westerners and secular Muslims push hard for an expansion of women's rights. Militant Islam is a response to the unstoppable Westernization of Muslim society.

The computer I’m borrowing while traveling has started locking up when I try to paste a blurb from a story on the Internet. Sorry—but if interested, you’ll have to click the link on the rest.

Solving whose problem? By Thomas Sowell, PhD.
The ever-readable Sowell on politicians and the housing collapse.

Global Warming faithful starting to question

Under the veil: faces disfigured by acid—please read
If this just happened ONCE in the world from a Christian fundamentalist, women world wide would howl with rage forever. But this is from Islam, and the feminists are silent.

We have been betrayed
By the politicians we elected? Gee, news flash.

How to get those embarrassing “Obama ‘08” stickers off

Save the Mosquito!
This is a joke….I think. In America today, it’s hard to be sure.

Teleprompter Failure
Satire by the Onion

What’s the difference between an optimist and a pessimist? An optimist thinks Obama is the Messiah. A pessimist thinks Obama is the Mahdi.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Political Digest November 24, 2009

I post article because I believe they will be of interest, not because I agree with every—or even any—opinion in them.

If we’d all chipped in, say, $350M and bribed Mary Landrieu (D-La) to vote “no,” we’d have saved a lot of money and the best healthcare system in the world, in the long run. But Reid bribing her with $300M to vote yes was legal. It would have been illegal for us. The Government hates competition in things like bribery.

Anti-Palin hatred, and the coming backlash
Excerpt: After all, Palin did leave her state with its books in the black; she led the Alaska National Guard, a unit operating in very difficult conditions less than 100 miles from Siberia; she authored a strong energy policy emphasizing domestic energy production and independence from oil- and terrorist-producing countries; and she demonstrated a commitment to family values and personal morality while holding down a very demanding job. To top it all off, she's good-looking. Now THAT cannot be tolerated by your average liberal! Look, I'm not suggesting that Palin is an intellectual heavyweight. I'm not saying her speech patterns and mannerisms are endearing to me. I'm also not wowed by her good looks. I'll also agree that Sarah Palin is a polarizing figure who may not be the best choice to lead our country — just as Hillary Clinton wasn't in 2008. But now that we know a great deal more about Barack Obama, turnabout is going to be fair play. If you think your reaction to Sarah Palin is visceral and vitriolic on the basis of her hockey mom looks and accent, just wait until the American electorate reacts to the Obama administration. They will react on the basis of facts, deeds and actions. The angry response will not be emotional and irrational. It will be carefully planned and ruthlessly delivered. After enduring this terrorism of liberalism, the American people will rise up and deliver a world-class ass-kicking to the Democrats in 2010 and 2012.

Why Hasan's superiors didn't flunk him out of Army medical school
Excerpt: One of Hasan's commanding officers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Lieutenant Colonel Melanie Guerrero, told investigators she had considered failing him as an intern but "decided to allow him to pass since he was going into psychiatry and would not be doing any real patient care."

San Diego ACORN Document Dump Scandal
Excerpt: Shockingly, we now learn that the ACORN office in National City (San Diego County) engaged in a massive document dump on the evening of October 9th, containing thousands upon thousands of sensitive documents, just days prior to the Attorney General’s visit.

A Special Form of Disrespect
Well, President Wobbly did promise to change our relationship with other countries. Excerpt: It says much about Britain’s rapidly disappearing ‘special relationship’ with America that when I happened to mention to some of our senior military officers that I was visiting Washington, they begged me to find out what the Obama administration was thinking about Afghanistan. It is not just that the transatlantic lines of communication, so strong just a few years ago, have fallen into disuse. There is now a feeling that, even if we reached the Oval Office, there would be no one willing to take Britain’s call. For weeks now, President Obama has been deliberating over what the Afghan strategy should be — and how many troops to send. If there is confusion in Washington, then Britain’s strategy is not much clearer. Gordon Brown has staged a recent flurry of activity on the subject, from writing misspelt letters to grieving mothers to demanding that an exit strategy be established for the withdrawal of British forces. Yet among our top brass, the general perception is that the Prime Minister has little interest in the war.

9/11 Suspects to Use U.S. Foreign Policy as Defense for Killing Americans
Excerpt: The Associated Press offered a superficial glance at a complex and alarming update in the upcoming trial of the five 9/11 defendants, leaving me to wonder where is their thoughtful, penetrating examination of this judicial travesty about to take place in New York City. There is certainly no shortage of critical questions in want of answers. The AP reported Sunday that the five 9/11 defendants to be tried in New York City will not deny their role in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but will nonetheless be pleading “not guilty.” This, to me, initially seemed a sure sign that the defense attorney feels compelled to observe no ethical responsibilities to the American judicial system as his clients attempt to put U.S. foreign policy on trial. The attorney assigned to defend the five terrorists on trial, Scott Fenstermaker, reported Sunday that all five of his clients are also planning to use the “stage” they are given to deliver their radical Jihadist message and explain why they believe more Americans must die. The Obama Administration can’t say they weren’t warned – again, and again, and again.

Meet Burka Barbie
I guess now, having had a clitorectomy on the kitchen table at age five, she became Ken’s third wife when she was nine. This will keep her in her place.

Obama adminstration appoints Muslims to key Homeland Security posts -- but... they're "moderates," aren't they?
Excerpt: The track record of the two appointees, taken together with the administration's own ability to distinguish "moderates" from "extremists" inspires anything but confidence. After all, the Fort Hood jihadist was himself a member of a panel advising the incoming Obama administration. At the heart of this issue are the politically correct articles of faith that few dare blaspheme, which insist that there is nothing problematic about Islam's core texts and teachings regarding warfare and the rights of women and unbelievers, and that there exists a well-defined "moderate" Islam that the West can work with. The problem is, no one ever stops to define "moderate," for fear that articulating actual standards may cause offense.

Medical Highways
Excerpt: Overconsumption: Economics teaches us that people tend to consume goods and services until their value at the margin is equal to the price they must pay. If the price is zero, we will consume a service until its marginal value to us approaches zero. A joyride in an automobile is viewed the same as a romp through the woods. But unlike the woods, the road really isn’t free. Rationing by Waiting: In urban areas, there is no way we can supply all the road space or all the doctor services people want when their out-of-pocket cost is zero. So demand persistently exceeds supply in both cases and the service is rationed by waiting. Many Americans like to think that our health care system is very different from Canada’s. In fact, it isn’t. In Canada, when you see a doctor it’s free. In America it’s almost free. In both countries we primarily pay with time, not money. The major difference is that Canada’s rationing problems are much worse than ours because of severe restrictions on supply — especially the supply of expensive technology. The Cost of Rationing by Waiting: Rationing by waiting is expensive. In general, it doubles the cost of the service. Imagine a market in which doctors are selling their services for $200 an hour. Now suppose the government nationalizes the industry and makes their services available to patients for free. Since people cannot pay with money, they will pay with time; and the rationing price of an hour with a doctor will now be about $200 worth of patients’ time.

Centrist Senators Say They Oppose Health Care Bill But they voted yes on the best chance to stop it.

Where Has the Thrill Gone? The Harder They Fall?
Excerpt: Who appointed over 40 ambassadors on the sole basis of campaign contributions, or has as many lobbyists in government as did any President in memory? And who releases touchy news—whether increased unemployment or trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in civil courts—on Friday nights, or wants his Democratically-controlled Congress to debate unpopular legislation on Saturday nights? You see where this is going. Prophets fall harder than normal politicians. When you claim that seas recede and planets cool before your presence, and that Latin mottos, new presidential candidate seals, neo-classical victory trophies, and faux-Greek temple sets are the appropriate backdrops for Your speeches, then you raise the bar a bit high. Obama is not necessarily any more partisan than a Nixon or Reagan or Bush, only just as partisan—but when he claimed something quite different. Add in the hope/change mantra, and a cadre of lackeys talking about tingling legs, his majesty Caesar, and apotheosis into a “god”, and our young Icarus was simply soaring too near the sun for his own fragile wax-feather wings. The problem is not just that Obama is proving Clinton-like in his Chicago hardball partisanship (cf. the trash-talk of Rahm Emanuel, Mao-admirer Anita Dunn, or the Truther Van Jones), but that his entire persona was fabricated on a touchy-feely “there is no red state, no blue state America.” Despite Obama’s vows to restore science to its rightful place in government (I think that was his dig at George Bush’s opposition to human embryo, stem-cell research), we get superstition. Instead of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ non-partisan, depressing unemployment figures, we are instead to rely on a new unproven notion of jobs “saved” and “created”, and in nonexistent, made-up congressional districts, listed, no less, on a government official website. War against reason? Remember the “reset” button promises abroad? Do we have a safer, saner relationship with Putin? Is Iran closer to disarmament? North Korea quieter? Did George Mitchell transform the Middle East? Is the “good” war still good, the “bad” one still bad? Do the Brits feel the special relationship is stronger? Maybe Sarkozy is more impressed now with America, or are the Poles and Czechs? And do Chavez, Castro, Ortega, Morales, Zelaya, and others in Latin America feel more pressure to be democratic or less? Is one third of the planet in India and China more comfortable with the messiah Obama or with the hated Bush?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Political Digest November 23, 2009

I post article because I believe they will be of interest, not because I agree with every—or even any—opinion in them.

Traveling, but grabbed some borrowed computer time, so will post a few things.

Regular readers know that I’m a fan of the economist, Thomas Sowell, PhD. Dr. Sowell is about 80 and has been described as a national treasure. He’s been at the Hoover Institute at Stanford for years, has published a lot of books on economics, culture and race, from the scholarly to . He was born into a poor black family in NC, was supporting himself in NYC at 17, worked his way through Harvard in the days before affirmative action and eventually earned a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago. It started as a Marxist, but unlike most leftists, he looked not at intentions, but for results for real people. He is, in my opinion, the leading free market economist in the world. If you want to learn more, a list of his books, archived columns, favorite quotes, tips on writing and more are to be found at

Palinophobes hate first, ask questions later,0,184334.column
Excerpt: Slate magazine is just one of the countless media outlets convulsing with St. Vitus' Dance over that demonic succubus Sarah Palin. In its reader forum, The Fray, one supposed Palinophobe took dead aim at the former Alaska governor's writing chops, excerpting this sentence from her book: "The apartment was small, with slanting floors and irregular heat and a buzzer downstairs that didn't work, so that visitors had to call ahead from a pay phone at the corner gas station, where a black Doberman the size of a wolf paced through the night in vigilant patrol, its jaws clamped around an empty beer bottle." Other readers pounced like wolf-size Dobermans on an intruder. One guffawed, "That sentence by Sarah Palin could be entered into the annual Bulwer-Lytton bad writing contest. It could have a chance at winning a (sic) honorable mention, at any rate." But soon, the original contributor confessed: "I probably should have mentioned that the sentence quoted above was not written by Sarah Palin. It's taken from the first paragraph of 'Dreams From My Father,' written by Barack Obama." The ruse should have been allowed to fester longer, but the point was made nonetheless: Some people hate Palin first and ask questions later.

Palin’s overzealous fact checkers and a Mea Culpa (apologies to Oprah and Palin)
Excerpt: Much has been made by conservatives about The Associated Press assigning 11 fact checkers to parse Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue.” The typical rhetorical question, “Where was the venerable AP when Barack Obama wrote his books?”, came with the implied or stated assertion that the press is staffed mostly by Obama-loving liberals who hate everything about Palin. Here’s an interesting counterpoint to that assertion. Greg Marx, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review, which is highly respected by journalists, faults the AP for its work on the Palin book. And he does so in no uncertain terms. (This is a few days late, I admit, but I came across it late.) Asking whether the fact check delivered, Marx writes: “Not so much – at least not if the phrase ‘fact check’ is to have any meaning.” (Wonder if AP fact-checked any of the Clinton books, or for that matter, the Health Care bills?)

Everything I Need to Know About Khalid’s Ground Zero Trial, I Read in “Going Rogue”
Excerpt: When I wrote my first article, “Everything I Need to Know About ACORN, I Learned From Sophie Scholl,” my brilliant husband raised an eyebrow. When I followed with, “Everything I Need to Know About Sarah Palin, I Learned From Sir Ernest Shackleton,” he raised both and said, “Is this a new way to analyze news, find two things that have absolutely nothing to do with each other and twist them together?” I understood that this sort of Cirque de Soleil-journalism might get old quickly, but after staying up most of the night reading Going Rogue, I am going to indulge in one last juxtaposition. (Extra credit if you know who Sophie School was. Hint, she lost her head over a White Rose.)

Burris and the truth,0,1728363.story
Excerpt: "(T)his is not about Mr. Burris; it is about the integrity of a governor accused of attempting to sell this United States Senate seat. Anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and, as we have said, will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus." -- U.S. Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Dec. 30, 2008. The illicit taking of a U.S. Senate seat that supposedly belongs to the people of Illinois is formally complete. On Friday the Senate Ethics Committee gave Roland Burris its mildest possible rebuke, a "Public Letter of Qualified Admonition." The letter's essential meaning: Mr. Burris, you repeatedly lied to become one of us. Do this one more time and we'll have to -- gee, we don't know -- maybe issue a Public Letter of Unqualified Admonition. But you get to keep the seat, so sit down and enjoy. The Ethics Committee didn't use those words in gently patting Burris' wrist, of course. It critiqued him "for actions and statements reflecting unfavorably upon the Senate" and scolded: "Your shifting explanations about your sworn statements appear less than candid." Appear less than candid? Burris has spouted five different versions -- three of them sworn -- about his lobbying of Team Blagojevich for the Senate seat. But if the other Democratic pols had kept their own word, Burris' lies wouldn't matter one whit. (Hard to blame Reid for whiffing on his pledge. The Black Caucus demanded that Burris be seated because, while he might be a liar, he was black, which trumps ethics in Barack Obama’s post-racial America. That such cynicism feeds racism matters not at all. What matters is power to get goods for supportive interest groups. If racism went away tomorrow, they would work day and night to re-create it, because it supports their power base. The end of racism would be a disaster for the Democrats and they will never let it happen.)

Vietnam veteran robbed, killed on his way to deposit VFW money
William Burtner had helped raise money for WWII vets' trip to Washington,0,391111.story
Welcome to Chicagoland. Doubtless the killers will be punished as severely as Sen. Burris was for lying about trying to buy a Senate seat. A country that dsoes not execute the murders of heroes does not deserve heroes.

Misplaced Viet lessons
Excerpt: Current opinion affecting decisions on Afghanistan could well be, at least subconsciously, influenced by a "Vietnam syndrome" based on two persistent and widespread myths - that the war could not be won and, in any case, was not worth fighting. It is, therefore, past high time to set the record straight. The following expose of these myths is based on more than 10 continuous years' experience with that war from the rice paddies to the White House as well as extensive research. When the end came in 1975, I was probably the most senior U.S. official who dealt exclusively with Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The conclusion that the war was "unwinnable" clearly can be traced to the 1968 Tet Offensive. Mainly Viet Cong forces penetrated or captured most of South Vietnam's cities and towns, including Saigon, even reaching our embassy's grounds. Resulting sensationally vivid TV and other reporting created a profound and lasting defeatist outlook in and out of government. Scarcely reported and still widely unappreciated, however, was that this offensive ended in a catastrophic defeat of the Viet Cong from which it never recovered. Not reported at all were the resulting impressive gains in countryside pacification that led to one of the most successful land reforms in history. By 1972, the (well overdue) Vietnamization process had withdrawn all U.S. ground forces in Vietnam except advisers. However, we still provided air, naval and logistics support. In 1972, about 200 Americans were killed in action as opposed to an average of about 7,000 in previous years. With its Viet Cong forces defeated, Hanoi decided in 1972 to test Vietnamization by launching its largest conventional offensive of the war. This Easter Offensive employed the equivalent of 23 divisions equipped with hundreds of Soviet-supplied tanks, long-range artillery and rockets, surface-to-air missiles and other modern weapons. South Vietnamese ground forces, ARVN (army) and marines, with U.S. air, naval and logistics support, stopped the offensive and launched counteroffensives, inter alia recapturing the enemy's strongest position, Quang Tri near North Vietnam. If they couldn't hold Quang Tri, what could they have held? This offensive cost North Vietnam nearly 100,000 killed in action, twice the number U.S. troops suffered in the entire war. After Hanoi's 1975 victory, a former top commander in the South, Gen. Tran Van Tra, revealed in the party organ Nhan Dan that, in effect, his troops were on the ropes and close to defeat by 1972's end. As former CIA Director William Colby wrote in his 1983 book "Lost Victory," "On the ground in South Vietnam the war had been won" by the fall of 1972. We then proceeded to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by prematurely concluding the Paris "Peace Accords," which left North Vietnamese troops in South Vietnam. As North Vietnamese Chief of Staff Gen. Van Tien Dung later wrote, "The [Paris] agreement represented a big victory for our people and a big defeat for the U.S. imperialists and their lackeys." (Anyone not hooked on Kool-Aid, who would be interested in hearing a side not presented by the media types who supported the Communists, should read “A Better War” about the war after Tet, which few histories examine in depth, and “Triumph Forsaken,” a new history of the early years with access to North Vietnamese sources.)

Detroit and Multiculturalism
Excerpt: Food for thought: For 15 years, from the mid 1970's to 1990, I worked in Detroit , Michigan . I watched it descend into the abyss of crime, debauchery, gun play, drugs, school truancy, car-jacking, gangs and human depravity. I watched entire city blocks burned out. I watched graffiti explode on buildings, cars, trucks, buses and school yards. Trash everywhere! Detroiters walked through it, tossed more into it and ignored it. Tens of thousands and then, hundreds of thousands today exist on federal welfare, free housing and food stamps! With Aid to Dependent Children, minority women birthed eight to 10 and in once case, one woman birthed 24 kids as reported by the Detroit Free Press—all on American taxpayer dollars. A new child meant a new car payment, new TV and whatever mom wanted. I saw Lyndon Baines Johnson’s “Great Society” flourish in Detroit . If you give money for doing nothing, you will get thousand over thousand more hands out taking money for doing nothing. Mayor Coleman Young, perhaps the most corrupt mayor in America , outside of Richard Daley in Chicago, rode Detroit down to its knees. He set the benchmark for cronyism, incompetence and arrogance. As a black man, he said, “I am the MFIC.” The IC meant ‘in charge’. You can figure out the rest. Detroit became a majority black city with 67 percent African-Americans. As a United Van Lines truck driver for my summer job from teaching math and science, I loaded hundreds of American families into my van for a new life in another city or state. Detroit plummeted from 1.8 million citizens to 912,000 today. At the same time, legal and illegal immigrants converged on the city, so much so, that Muslims number over 300,000. Mexicans number 400,000 throughout Michigan, but most work in Detroit. As the Muslims moved in, the whites moved out. As the crimes became more violent, the whites fled. Finally, unlawful Mexicans moved in at a torrid pace. You could cut the racial tension in the air with a knife! Detroit may be one our best examples of multiculturalism: pure dislike and total separation from America.

A Conscientious Objector in the Culture War …
On Saturday, I was at a conservative luncheon. A woman at the table was attacking RINOs (moderate or liberal Republicans, those who weren’t as “pure” as her in their conservatism) and calling for the defeat of all of them. I attempted to explain why a liberal or moderate Republican, who will vote for Republicans to control the Senate, is better than defeating him and electing a liberal Democrat who would vote for liberal control of the Senate. She announced she wasn’t interested in hearing what I had to say about RINOS, as I was doubtless one myself. I was highly offended and angry that she came to spout her opinions, but refused to listen to a response. This link speaks to a need for some diversity and tolerance in conservative circles. Or we’ll finely get down to a few hundred “pure” conservatives, and liberals will run everything (until the collapse, of course.) Excerpt: I used to be a liberal, along with all my friends, but then I evolved. I was liberal on civil rights. I didn’t even object to affirmative action in the beginning. But then it started bothering me that a black kid whose father or mother was a lawyer or a doctor would get better treatment than a white kid whose dad was a coal miner in West Virginia. How was that fair? That white kid wasn’t privileged? Simply being for women’s rights when the modern feminist movement began in the 1960s wasn’t good enough either, not as far as a lot of elite liberals were concerned. You had to buy into the whole feminist package. So you were expected to support women who wanted to be firefighters even if they weren’t strong enough to carry some big guy out of a burning building – in the name of women’s rights and equality. Sorry, no can do. Abortion? Even being pro-choice wasn’t enough for a lot of liberal feminists. You had to also support late term or partial birth abortion. A woman’s right to choose apparently has no bounds in such matters. And you had to accept the idea that a 14-year old girl should be allowed to get an abortion – without her parents knowledge or consent. So over the years I edged in the right direction, and now I’m as conservative as Rush Limbaugh on anti terrorism and national defense issues, for example, and on small government and lower tax issues as well. But not on social issues. Frankly, I don’t care if Adam marries Eve or if he marries Steve. I just don’t care! I don’t think civilization as we know it will crumble if we allow gay marriage. But unlike many liberals, I don’t think you’re necessarily a bigot if you’re against it. If you simply hate gays, then yes, you are a bigot. If you’re against gay marriage, say, for religious reasons, I get it. Reasonable people, as they say, may disagree. I don’t think a zygote, the size of a dot at the end of a sentence, is a human being just like you and me. So if there’s even a whiff of a chance that embryonic stem cell research will cure some horrible disease, I’m all for it. If conservativism is a three-legged stool – defense, small government, social issues – I’m on board for two out of the three. In most circles that would be enough. But I’ve been “accused” of not being a “real conservative” because I can see the other guy’s point of view – a cardinal sin among the true believers. And of late the culture wars have me wishing I were a conscientious objector.

Hacked E-Mails Heat Up Climate Dispute
Interesting if true. Excerpt: LONDON (Nov. 21) -- Computer hackers have broken into a server at a well-respected climate change research center in Britain and posted hundreds of private e-mails and documents online — stoking debate over whether some scientists have overstated the case for man-made climate change. The University of East Anglia, in eastern England, said in a statement Saturday that the hackers had entered the server and stolen data at its Climatic Research Unit, a leading global research center on climate change. The university said police are investigating the theft of the information, but could not confirm if all the materials posted online are genuine. More than a decade of correspondence between leading British and U.S. scientists is included in about 1,000 e-mails and 3,000 documents posted on Web sites following the security breach last week. Some climate change skeptics and bloggers claim the information shows scientists have overstated the case for global warming, and allege the documents contain proof that some researchers conspired to manipulate data. The furor over the leaked data comes weeks before the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen, when 192 nations will seek to reach a binding treaty to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases worldwide. Many officials — including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon — regard the prospects of a pact being sealed at the meeting as bleak. In one leaked e-mail, the research center's director, Phil Jones, writes to colleagues about graphs showing climate statistics over the last millennium. He alludes to a technique used by a fellow scientist to "hide the decline" in recent global temperatures. Some evidence appears to show a halt in a rise of global temperatures from about 1960, but is contradicted by other evidence which appears to show a rise in temperatures is continuing. Jones wrote that, in compiling new data, he had "just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline," according to a leaked e-mail, which the author confirmed was genuine.

Russian Orthodox priest who preached among Muslims shot to death in church
As President Wobbly would say, “Let’s not jump to conclusions.”

Israelis Baffled by News of Defenseless US Soldiers
Excerpt: Many Israelis want to know: why didn't the soldiers attacked by a U.S. Army major-turned-terrorist return fire? When a Muslim goes, well, Muslim in Israel he is typically shot to death by someone--say, a reserve soldier--within seconds of screaming "Allah Akbar." In contrast with the Israeli experience, it took 10 minutes before a civilian police officer at Fort Hood was able to shoot and stop Muslim fanatic Nidal Malik Hasan. How could that happen? How could so many people trained in the strategies and tactics of modern warfare be so defenseless? (we will learn, but it’s going to take a few thousand more dead Americans. Israel has lost a much higher % of citizens to terrorism. And of course, we will have to change the PC-is-more-important-than-lives politicians.)

The Day Global Warming Stood Still
Excerpt: Now we have the German publication Der Spiegel, which is rapidly becoming the house organ for climate hysteria, weighing in again with the sad news that the earth does not have a fever so we really don't have to throw out the baby with the rising bath water. In an article titled, "Climatologists Baffled By Global Warming Time-Out," author Gerald Traufetter leads off with the observation: "Climatologists are baffled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years." They better figure it out, Der Spiegel warns, because "billions of euros are at stake in the negotiations." We are told in sad tones that "not much is happening with global warming at the moment" and that "it even looks as though global warming could come to a standstill this year." But how can it be that the earth isn't following all those computer models? Is the earth goddess Gaia herself a climate change "denier"?

Big night with Gore in Portland, OR
Excerpt: Ever wonder if your grassroots efforts are making a difference — well the state’s largest newspaper, The Oregonian which is one of the most liberal in the nation, editorialized the next day that the pro cap-and-trade side sees its “momentum slip sliding away…” The Oregonian went on to detail how public opinion is turning against the cap-and-trade forces as well which is a stunning confession from such a liberal newspaper.

From “This is True”
NO HONOR AMONG THIEVES: A student at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee was walking home from work when four men pulled him into an alley and forced him to lie face-down with a gun to his neck. They took everything from his pockets, but when the gang leader looked in the victim's wallet and saw an Army Reserve ID card, he told his accomplices to give him his stuff back. "The guy continued to say throughout the situation that he respects what I do and at one point he actually thanked me and he actually apologized," the unidentified 21- year-old victim said. "The leader of the group actually walked back [and] gave me a quick fist bump." Police note that 10 minutes later, the gang robbed another man, who had a Department of Corrections inmate ID in his wallet. They didn't give him his wallet back. (AP) ...Fair enough.

SNL spoofs Obama in China
Though I don’t think he breathed a word about “Human Rights” there anymore than he supported them in Iran. He only tells countries like Honduras how to behave.