Monday, May 30, 2011

Political Digest for May 31, 2011

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
Info about my book. All royalties go to wounded veterans. Please forward and post where possible.

For those who want further information about the topics covered in this blog, I recommend the following sites. I will add to this as I find additional good sources.

Best older posts for new blog readers

Reader Quote
As a statesman Obama pales in comparison to Netanyahu. --Robin

The Jew-Hating Roots of the Conspiracy Culture
Excerpt: Jonathan Kay’s compulsively-readable new book Among The Truthers is as definitive a book on the American conspiracy culture as we are ever going to get. Kay, a managing editor for Canada’s National Post, jumped right into the oddball world of the so-called Truthers who doubt Osama bin Laden’s responsibility for the 9/11 attacks and instead suspect an “inside job.” Kay spent years in this world, going to Truther conferences, interviewing prominent Truthers in depth, and pouring over their literature. In Part I, Kay describes the history and rise of American conspiracism, noting the powerful effects of the ambiguity of the JFK assassination, the real conspiracy of Watergate, and the shattering of a consensus media reality with greater technological development. He then positions the wide variety of Truther narratives in this context, noting the multitude of different stories. For some Truthers, Osama bin Laden really was responsible for 9/11, except that he did so under the orders of his American government handlers. For others, the hijacked planes were controlled by remote control and all the passengers and hijackers were secretly unloaded before they crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The motive for the attacks is generally the same – a cabal of “neo-cons” wanted to make money, colonize the Middle East, defend Israel, and transform the United States into a police state. (Though, for prominent British Truther David Icke, 9/11 was engineered by his unique boogeymen, the most creative and entertaining in all of conspiracy culture: blood-drinking, child-molesting, shape-shifting lizard humanoids from the fifth dimension.)

It’s All Over: Kyoto Protocol Loses Four Big Nations
Excerpt: Russia, Japan and Canada told the G8 they would not join a second round of carbon cuts under the Kyoto Protocol at United Nations talks this year and the US reiterated it would remain outside the treaty, European diplomats have said. (Gee, damn good thing our condo is on the second floor, what with the rise in Lake Michigan this will cause! ~Bob.)

Memorial Day 2011 – America’s Finest Hours
Excerpt: They made it possible to learn, to dream, to build, to adapt, and to work through the darkness to see the light when the situation seemed hopeless. I can think of no better way to honor our veterans, than to thank them for enabling the environment that gave birth to what you can watch and experience below. This, is science, engineering, mathematics, and uniquely American can-do ingenuity, all combined, and made possible by the sacrifice and the dreams of many whom we honor today. Please set aside 90 minutes of your time to watch these series of Failure is Not an Option. (Great videos, and I remembered the name Gene Kranz, but couldn’t connect it to what he’d done. Ron P.)

Hackers Post Phony Tupac Shakur Story on PBS Site
Excerpt: The PBS Web site briefly carried a fake story claiming that famed rapper Tupac Shakur was alive and living in New Zealand after a group of hackers took over the organization’s computer systems on Saturday night. In addition to posting the fake news story, the group, which identified itself on Twitter as @LulzSec or The Lulz Boat, began posting passwords and e-mail addresses of people from a wide range of news organizations and other information belonging to PBS. As late as 2:30 a.m. on Monday, PBS had still not regained control of its Web site as the hackers continued to post defaced pages. Comments posted by LulzSec indicated that the group was unhappy with a Frontline program about WikiLeaks that recently aired on PBS. The group began posting messages on Twitter about midnight on Sunday: “What’s wrong with @PBS, how come all of its servers are rooted? How come their database is seized? Why are passwords cracked?” That message was following by a succession of follow-up posts with links to lists of passwords and other data. (Gee, this is terrible (snicker, snicker). I’m trying to work myself up to being suitably angry with the hackers. So far, I’ve successfully made it all the way to “mildly piqued with overtones of amusement.” I wonder why they didn’t hit the NY Times as well. Ron P. Maybe they did. Who reads the Times? Who would know? ~Bob)

Obama Names New Military Leadership Picks
Excerpt: President Obama nominated Army Gen. Martin Dempsey on Monday as his pick to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, whose term ends Sept. 30. Dempsey, an accomplished veteran of the Iraq war and the current Army chief of staff who's only been in his post for one month, will need Senate confirmation. The president also named Adm. James Winnefeld, the commander of Northern Command, to be his vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, replacing Marine Gen. James Cartwright. While not a household name, sources describe him as a smart officer, who is well-known at the White House. One source described him as "Mullen's guy." (Surprised me. I was expecting Marshal Georgy Zhukov.)

Incensed voters 'repudiate' Washington's leadership
This is from a conservative news site, may be mostly wishful thinking. I have yet to detect the majority of voters paying attention, or being able to think beyond "I want" to, "Who pays? What's the cost to the economy?" ~Bob. Excerpt: Voters across America are fed up with Washington's behavior, don't believe representatives are getting the message and may just respond with demands for a constitutional amendment that would wrap duct tape around the profligate spending habits in government, according to a new poll. "An overwhelming percent of 75 percent said they would favor a U.S. constitutional amendment requiring an annual balanced budget from the federal government," said Fritz Wenzel, whose public-opinion research and media consulting company, Wenzel Strategies, conducted the poll. It was a telephone survey conducted May 18-20 and has a margin of error of 3.01 percentage points. He said voters jumped onto the bandwagon for GOP candidates in 2010 in Congress to send a message of restrained spending and no more borrowing, and now find that Washington hasn't been listening all that well.

The Five Stages of Islam
Excerpt: Forget the Five Pillars of Islam. It is the Five Stages of Islam that threaten the fundamental freedoms of Western Democracy. Freedoms which include freedom of thought, expression, and association and the crucial derived right of freedom of the press. We should never forget that "Islam" means submission -- the opposite of self-determination and Enlightenment values. Six years ago Dr. Peter Hammond published a remarkable book which included a statistical study of the correlation between Muslim to non-Muslim population ratios and the transition from conciliatory Islam to fascist Islam. The stages are the same in 2011 but the demographics have changed to show an alarming progression. Many European nations and the U.S. are on the cusp of moving to a higher bracket. The demographics change but the story is the same. First comes the taqiyya and the kitman; then comes the Sword of Islam. Imam Rauf, the Ground Zero Mosque promoter, is the current master of taqiyya. He has gulled everyone from Bloomberg to Maureen Dowd of the NYT -- who fanaticizes over male Muslims. Expect doppelgangers of Khomeini for stage 5 and Islamic PEACE at last.

Weiner's Weiner in a Pickle
Warning--Adult Entertainment Content. Confirms my view that "Tweets are for Twits." ~Bob. Excerpt: Anthony has been caught with his pants down. Well, sorta. It seems he was tweeting a crotch shot to his college-age girlfriend in Seattle when he accidentally tweeted it publicly instead of as a DM (direct message). He is spinning now (saying his account was hacked). But it looks like the snake is lying. Big Government broke the story here: Hacked or hung? Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY 9″) finds himself in a late night online pickle. This evening a photo surfaced on Congressman Weiner’s yfrog account and in his verified Twitter timeline of a man in his underwear with an erection. The photo was reportedly sent to a woman on Twitter. We’ve protected her name and her account, which was at one time verified to be active but has since been deleted after the photo in question was deleted. Coincidentally, the rest of the photos in the congressman’s alleged yfrog account were also deleted around 11 p.m. eastern.

And the Winner Is….Iran
Excerpt: A week after President Obama’s Middle East speech, it has become increasingly evident that although there was much talk, little will result. President Obama’s proposal to go back to 1967 borders, a day before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington, will have less to do with creating new borders and more to do with damaging old friendships. Ultimately, the United States made a proposal. Israel said, “No,” and Iran was victorious. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for “wiping Israel off the map,” pointed out on several occasions that instead of singling out Arab dictators or the Iranian government, President Obama should condemn the actions of Israel’s “Zionist regime” against the Palestinians. And so he did. In his speech Thursday, President Obama put forth a new approach to facing turmoil in the Middle East. He promised economic relief and investment to Tunisia and Egypt and briefly denounced government crackdowns in Libya, Syria and Iran. The keystone of his talk came unexpectedly at the very end as he proposed a Palestinian state based on Israel’s 1967 borders as a way to settle the conflict.

Illegal Immigrant Arrested in Death of Texas Police Officer
Excerpt: A motorist accused of killing a Houston police officer while driving drunk is in the country illegally, reports. Police say Johoan Rodriguez was drunk when he drove his car into a road block Sunday morning, striking and killing Officer Kevin Will with the Houston Police Department. Rodriguez has since been charged with intoxication manslaughter of a peace officer, felony evading, and possession of a controlled substance. Police say he had .3 grams of cocaine in his pocket along with an alcohol level of .238, according to the station.

Space Policy And The Constitution #1
Excerpt: Expenditures of taxpayer provided funds on space related activities find constitutional justification in Article I’s power and obligation to “provide for the Common Defence.” This power relates directly to the geopolitical importance of space exploration at this frontier of human endeavor. A vibrant space program sets the modern geopolitical tone for the United States to engage friends and adversaries in the world as well as building wealth, economic vitality, and educational momentum through technology and discovery. For example, in the 1980s, the leadership of the former Soviet Union believed America would be successful in creating a missile defense system because we succeeded in landing on the Moon and they had not. Dominance in space clearly constituted a major factor leading to the end of the Cold War.

The Heartlander
Good blog with a new name.

Pro-Obama media always shocked by bad economic news
Excerpt: Unexpectedly! As megablogger Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, has noted with amusement, the word "unexpectedly" or variants thereon keep cropping up in mainstream media stories about the economy. "New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed," reported May 25. "Personal consumption fell," Business Insider reported the same day, "when it was expected to rise." "Durable goods declined 3.6 percent last month," Reuters reported May 25, "worse than economists' expectations."

No sweat, Prince. We only TALK about developing domestic energy. ~Bob. Excerpt: Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal said Sunday that he wants oil prices to drop so that the United States and Europe don’t accelerate efforts to wean themselves off his country’s supply.

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