Sunday, November 21, 2010

Political Digest for November 21, 2010

Yesterday's post was dated the 19th. Sorry. Time moves too fast for an old guy. I fixed it. ~Bob.

Arlington Heights Marine Killed on Corps' Birthday
Since this was a local Marine, Bonnie and stood in line for about two hours Friday night to pay our respects to a fallen brother. He leaves a wife and one-year-old daughter. His dad noticed my USMC tie and thanked me for my service, which was very humbling considering the sacrifice that family has made for the Republic. Do you earn his sacrifice with the way you live your life? ~Bob. Excerpt: Lance Cpl. James B. Stack was shot and killed Wednesday -- the Corps 235th birthday -- while on foot patrol in Afghanistan's Helmand Province. He'd been in the country for just one month. At 20 years old, Stack was a son, a brother, a new father and a husband. His father on Thursday recounted a meeting his son once had with the family's friend and pastor. The man, himself a Marine veteran, asked the then-14-year-old boy if the military was something he really wanted to join. "James, are you prepared to meet your savior? Are your prepared to die?" Stack's father, Bob Stack, recalls the pastor asking his son. The boy said he was, adding that he saw the Corps as an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than himself. He finally enlisted in April 2009. Stack was a rifleman, and prior to the military was a nationally-ranked air pistol shooter in the 2008 Junior Olympics.

Memorial Fund
The family asks to omit flowers, but requests donations to the James Stack Memorial Fund, in care of the Fifth Third Bank, ATTN: Nick Kerimi,
345 W. Dundee Road, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089.

Another TSA Outrage
If you don’t subscribe to Red State, I recommend it. He e-mails conservative stories to a wide list, gets interesting item. He seems to me to sacrifice practicality for ideology sometimes, but he may be right. The solution to this stupidity is to require all TSA personnel to serve six months at a forward operating base in Afghanistan. Those who don’t wet themselves get to keep their jobs. ~Bob. Excerpt: When we were on our way back from Afghanistan, we flew out of Baghram Air Field. We went through customs at BAF, full body scanners (no groping), had all of our bags searched, the whole nine yards. Our first stop was Shannon, Ireland to refuel. After that, we had to stop at Indianapolis, Indiana to drop off about 100 folks from the Indiana National Guard. That’s where the stupid started. First, everyone was forced to get off the plane–even though the plane wasn’t refueling again. All 330 people got off that plane, rather than let the 100 people from the ING get off. We were filed from the plane to a holding area. No vending machines, no means of escape. Only a male/female latrine. It’s probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons. Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren’t loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs. The TSA personnel at the airport seriously considered making us unload all of the baggage from the SECURE cargo hold to have it reinspected. Keep in mind, this cargo had been unpacked, inspected piece by piece by U.S. Customs officials, resealed and had bomb-sniffing dogs give it a one-hour run through. After two hours of sitting in this holding area, the TSA decided not to reinspect our Cargo–just to inspect us again: Soldiers on the way home from war, who had already been inspected, reinspected and kept in a SECURE holding area for 2 hours. Ok, whatever. So we lined up to go through security AGAIN. This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols. So we’re in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers. The conversation went something like this: TSA Guy: You can’t take those on the plane. Soldier: What? I’ve had them since we left country. TSA Guy: You’re not suppose to have them. Soldier: Why? TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon. Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I’m allowed to take it on. TSA Guy: Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane. You don’t have bullets. Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers? TSA Guy: [awkward silence] Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the f**k out of here. I’ll buy you a new set. Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security] This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns–but nothing that could have been used as a weapon. (Remember the phrase the general used in the press conference at New Orleans a few years ago... "stuck on stupid"? Here is one of the nicest examples of the blind, stupid, but unchallengeable bureaucracy in action that's come along in a while. Dumb on anyone of several counts, starting with making everyone come off the plane even though only a fraction were at the end of their trip. Moving through two wasted hours cooped up like people in a holding cell, and then progressing into the absurdity of carefully checking every possession of soldiers returning from a combat zone who'd already been checked quite thoroughly. We really need an Office of Bureaucratic Idiocy set up somewhere that people can call and have a high ranking federal official then call the idiots of the moment to get their names and tell them to back off and try an approach to sanity. That's one new federal office I'd pay taxes to support. --Del)

TSA Forces 12 Year-Old Girl Traveling Without Parents Through Naked Scanner
Stuck on stupid or getting sick thrills. I don’t object to walking naked through the airport if it will keep my plane safe. But the only real defense is to go where these Islamic terrorists are and kill them. And keep killing them until the decide that Islam really is a religion of peace. ~Bob. Excerpt: Recently a 12 year-old girl traveling with friends of the family was separated from her group and forced to go through the naked scanner at the Tampa airport. The girl’s parents say that TSA, “In essence conducted a strip search on a 12-year-old girl without her parents present to advocate for her.”

Report: Napolitano considering Hamas-linked CAIR's demands for Muslim women in airports, including the "self-pat-down"
The Department of Homeland Security needs to clarify its position here without delay. CAIR advised Muslim women in the press release quoted here that: "Instead of the pat-down, you can always request to pat down your own scarf, including head and neck area"... Two facts should be self-evident to demonstrate how outrageous this idea is. First, the whole point of being searched by someone else is to find concealed objects. A "self-pat-down" clearly defeats that purpose and is a completely unacceptable lapse in security. Let's remember the stakes here: if something goes wrong in air security in the wrong place at the wrong time, people die. There is enough margin for error in the system already without adding this variable. Secondly, the fact that Napolitano could even be considering such a measure highlights a double standard for special treatment that would not be considered for any other religious group, but is extended to Muslims without a second thought. What is going on here is a politically correct sort of anti-profiling: by all appearances, the air security apparatus bends over backwards to profile Muslims as not being a threat, in a way that it does not strive to reassure other demographic groups in the traveling public.

Excerpt: There was no pat-down, intrusive or otherwise … no metal-detecting wand … no swabbing for explosives … no rude TSA treatment. Something similar happened in Munich’s airport last year. I walked through the upright metal detector and informed the inspector that I had a right knee replacement. He looked me straight in the face and immediately asked me for the name of the company that made the knee prosthetic. I replied, “BioMet.” He smiled, thanked me, and said I was free to go. What happened at Tel Aviv and Munich… as well as other international airports where security is intense… is called, intelligence. The inspectors use profiling and are trained to ask precise questions. If a person flinches in a response, then there’s another level of screening. I didn’t fit the profile of a bad guy… and I didn’t flinch.

Womb with a view
Good TSA Cartoon.

And funny TSA Bumper Stickers

The 25 Best Ann Coulter Quotes About Liberals
Coulter is often too shrill for my tastes, which feeds the base red meat, but is counter-productive at convincing the uninformed/uninvolved center, where elections are decided. But one can still enjoy these. ~Bob

The Ghailani Verdict and the War on Terror by John Yoo
The near-total acquittal of an al Qaeda agent by a New York jury this week should, at a minimum, be the last gasp for President Obama's misguided effort to wage the war on terrorism in the courtroom. But it should also spell the end for a broader law-enforcement approach that interferes with our effective prosecution of the conflict. The best course now is simply to detain al Qaeda members, exploit them for intelligence, and delay trials until the end of hostilities. A federal jury on Wednesday convicted Ahmed Ghailani on only a single count of conspiracy for the massive 1998 car bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. But it acquitted him of the murders of the 224 people, including 12 Americans, who died in the attacks. After the trial judge excluded a key witness whose identity was learned through tough CIA interrogation, prosecutors were lucky even to win on the single charge of conspiring to destroy government property. For nearly two years, the Obama administration has persisted in treating al Qaeda operatives as garden- variety suspects entitled to all the constitutional rights of Americans, rather than as enemy combatants intent on committing the war crime of killing innocent civilians. Ghailani's was supposed to be the easy case, a clean win, a demonstration that civilian courts could try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other al Qaeda leaders still held at Guantanamo Bay. (I recommend War by Other Means by John Yoo. Anyone who really wants to understand how the legal decisions in the War on Terror were made, rather than depend on the red state-blue state polemical attacks, should read John Yoo’s book. He is a University of California at Berkeley law professor who served in the Office of Legal Counsel at Justice, and was involved in many of the legal decisions about military tribunals, the Patriot Act, wiretapping and coercive interrogation. Regardless of your views on these issues, doubtless formed by red state-blue state polemical attacks, your understanding of the arguments will benefit from Yoo’s clear presentation of the issues and the reasoning behind the decisions. ~Bob.)

Ghailani Trial Provides Road Map to Victory for Future Terror Detainees
Excerpt: The verdict in the trial of Ahmed Ghailani, who was acquitted of 284 counts of murder and convicted on but one count of conspiracy to destroy property, is the direct result of trying the man charged with the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in our civilian court system and not in a military commission. The trial also provided a legal roadmap for future detainees to escape entirely, or like Ghailani, to severely limit the scope of conviction should the Department of Justice attempt to continue with this misguided policy. The prosecution’s major problem in Ghailani’s trial was that it was prohibited from using its star witness, Hussein Abebe, who would have testified that Ghailani bought explosives from him and that the purchase was made on the black market. Such evidence would have permitted the government to argue that Ghailani knew what he was doing was illegal, otherwise why would he be surreptitious in buying the TNT. Without Abebe, the defense argued that Ghailani was but a dupe, unaware the explosives would be used for an illicit purpose. The fate of the absent star witness was sealed the minute the Department of Justice decided to put the case into our regular criminal process. (...) Ghailani’s trial also exposes the perverted nature of our detainee policy. If a person wants to attack us and complies with all the rules of war, e.g., he wears a uniform and only attacks military targets, he will be tried in a military tribunal. But if he comes by stealth disguised as a civilian to make it easier to kill American civilians, we give him all the protections of our constitutional system. (Who could’ve possibly guessed this outcome? Everyone. And everyone said so, too, in print. Only the DOJ, the administration, and a few media outlets ever doubted this kind of result. Perhaps it was intentional. Ron P. This is not obscure inside politics baseball. Americans will die because of the decisions of this administration to put a politically-correct base ahead of your and your children’s lives. ~Bob.)

A crippling obsession-O needs to forget about W
Excerpt: Barack Obama remains fixated by George W. Bush. For nearly two years, President Obama and his team have prefaced their explanations for the tough economy, tough finances and tough situation abroad with a "Bush did it" chorus. Apparently, they believed that most of our problems, here and abroad, either started with George W. Bush, or at least would not transcend him. At first, it was an easy enough habit to fall into. Things were not in great shape in January 2009 when Obama took over. And he started out with a nearly 70 percent approval rating, where Bush left office with rating in the low 30s. Yet Obama's serial fixation with his predecessor made little sense when he first took office -- and has now become a disastrous misreading of political realities. Recent polls reflect that Bush and Obama are now just about even in popularity. Obama's supporters in the House have suffered the worst Democratic shellacking since 1938. The president got out of Washington on a foreign tour immediately after the election -- only to be cold-shouldered by fair-weather foreign leaders who sensed weakness. Bush, in contrast, is basking in endless media exposure as he expounds on his best-selling memoir -- appearing above the partisan fray, past and present.

GM's Bailout Is a Financial Disaster
Excerpt: Only the government would consider it a success to buy stock at $43.84 a share and sell it at $33. -- But President Obama and those who supported his bailout of General Motors and Chrysler are claiming just that today. First, the alternative to the government bailout wasn't to "give up" as Obama claimed on Thursday at his press conference. Bankruptcy didn't mean that all jobs were going to be lost. It didn't mean that all the factories producing cars would be closed. Yet, the president made that claim in his announcement again today and he continually misstates what would have happened in a normal bankruptcy. Courts don't just close down bankrupt companies. In fact, that rarely occurs. Any part of a company that can continue operating profitably continues to do so.

$52 Mil To Restore Habitat Damaged By Border Fence
Excerpt: The region where an illegal immigrant murdered an Arizona rancher six months ago remains plagued by Mexican drug-cartel violence yet the Obama Administration has chosen to spend $52 million on restoring habitat damaged by the border fence rather than secure the area. A chunk of the cash—$14.3 million—will fund more than a dozen habitat restoration projects in a region long afflicted by the violence of Mexican drug and human smuggling operations. It’s an area where earlier this year a veteran cattle rancher (Robert Krentz) was gunned down by an illegal immigrant on his 34,000-acre property in Cochise County near the southern border.

Armed Mexican Drug Cartel Convoy stopped on
Texas Highway
Just folks seeking a better life, doing jobs Americans won’t do. How long until cops or BP agents are killed by thugs like this? ~Bob. Excerpt: Three men are expected to face a federal judge after authorities came across an armed drug convoy loaded with more than 567 pounds of marijuana in San Benito. U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested the three men and four others on Tuesday night. Court records released late Wednesday afternoon show that investigators learned about a shipment of drugs that was supposed to go from Mission to San Benito.

Climate change no longer scary in Europe
Excerpt: For decades the climate debate has been obfuscated by cherry-picking, spin-doctoring and scare-mongering by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other climate alarmists, including the environmental movement and mainstream media. Their massive effort to overstate the threat of man-made warming has left its imprint on public opinion. But the tide seems to be turning. The Climate Conference fiasco in Copenhagen, Climategate scandal and stabilization of worldwide temperatures since 1995 have given rise to growing doubts about the putative threat of “dangerous global warming” or “global climate disruption.” Indeed, even Phil Jones, director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and one of the main players in Climategate, now acknowledges that there has been no measurable warming since 1995, despite steadily rising atmospheric carbon dioxide. People are paying attention, and opinion polls in many countries show a dramatic fall in the ranking of climate change among people’s major concerns. They are also beginning to understand that major rain and snow storms, hurricanes and other weather extremes are caused by solar-driven changes in global jet streams and warm-cold fronts, not by CO2, and that claims about recent years being the “warmest ever” are based on false or falsified temperature data.

Obama vs. Bush
Excerpt: America is a fascinating country. If you don't believe me, consider this: In the space of just ten years, we have elected two men to the presidency who could not be more opposite. That fact was clarified for me last week when I spent some time with George W. Bush. After disappearing for almost two years, President Bush is back in the public arena with a book about his decision-making during the eight years he spent in the Oval Office. But the former president is not interested in commenting on Barack Obama, nor does he want to reinvolve himself in the political process. He simply wants to sell some books and go back to the golf course. In a televised interview, he told me that he would most likely not campaign for Republicans in 2012 and would only offer private advice if it is sought. Also, the former president feels no obligation to comment on his policy decisions (or lack thereof) that continue to this day -- things like Iraq, Afghanistan and the brutal economy. Simply put, Bush did his time and believes he has no further obligation to the public.

Allen West: Civil Rights Icon John Lewis is a Hypocrite
Excerpt: Civil Rights Icon John Lewis, admitting he didn’t know the facts of the case, proceeded to defend Charlie Rangel against his ethics violations by dredging up Rangel’s involvement in the Civil Rights movement. I guess the facts of the case or rather the actual ethics violations themselves don’t matter to John Lewis if you are one of his friends. Yet Allen West says that while he was being viciously attacked during his recent campaign, having his social security number mailed to all of his constituents and being accused of being a member of an all white motorcycle gang, that John Lewis came down and campaigned against him, supporting the man who was playing the race card and egregiously smearing him. West sees this as duplicitous and asks if instead of defending Charlie Rangel, Lewis should have stood on character. West also has strong words for the Congressional Black Caucus that he criticizes for ‘preaching victimization and dependency’ while supporting ‘liberal social welfare policies that are failing in the black community’. It’s been a long time in coming, but I am so happy to see Allen West, a man of character and principle, not only taking on the Congressional Black Caucus but the liberal policies of the Left in his new capacity as a congressman. This will be a fight worth watching. (Lewis was one of the black congressmen who claimed tea party protesters called him the “N’ word. There were hundreds of cameras rolling and none show this, but the media took it as fact because he’s an “icon.” They failed to notice that he’s a politician. ~Bob.)

Polly Toynbee And The 'Final Solution' - This Woman Has Lost The Plot
The “entitlement riots” are coming. Britain will be before California, I think. ~Bob. Excerpt: From next year, the Government will not pay more than £400 [$639] a week in housing benefit. That’s only £89 [$142] less than the average wage in this country, but according to Polly, it’s the “final solution”. As though that wasn’t emphatic enough, she then goes on to accuse Iain Duncan Smith of “forcing people to move to cheap ghettos”. Basically, Polly Toynbee seems to be implying that the Government’s policies are akin to Nazism. I imagine most readers will already have heard of Godwin’s Law, but for those who haven’t, it’s been around for as long as the internet has. The gist of it is simple: the first person to invoke Hitler in an online argument automatically loses... As Dan Hannan has repeatedly said in his blog, many on the Left are so convinced of their beliefs that they cannot even imagine alternative viewpoints. Instead, they presume that everyone who disagrees with them must be “evil”. Well sorry Polly, if you are reading, but Iain Duncan Smith is not Heinrich Himmler. He just disagrees with you.

Waters accuses ethics panel of having weak case after calling off her trial
Excerpt: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) accused the ethics committee of having a weak case that is unraveling after the panel abruptly cancelled her public trial. “The committee’s decision to cancel the hearing and put it off indefinitely demonstrates that the committee does not have a strong case and would not be able to prove any violation has occurred,” she said in a lengthy statement Friday reacting to the announcement.

U.S. wants to widen area in Pakistan where it can operate drones
Excerpt: The United States has renewed pressure on Pakistan to expand the areas where CIA drones can operate inside the country, reflecting concern that the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan is being undermined by insurgents' continued ability to take sanctuary across the border, U.S. and Pakistani officials said.

No comments:

Post a Comment