Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Political Digest for October 12, 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.

Blog Removed again this morning--sorry.
If you log on to the Old Jarhead blog and get the blog removed notice, please check back. From time to time, Google’s Spam Filter pulls my blog. They restore it when I appeal, but they don’t seem to have the technical ability to fix the problem. I hate to move to another platform with page views running to 10k a week and over 1,150 followers here.

Best older posts for new blog readers

US accuses Iran of plotting to kill Saudi ambassador in Washington
Excerpt: Didn’t get the “Islam is a religion of peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: The U.S. government charged two men with planning to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S in a bombing plot sponsored by elements of the Iranian government and carried out by members of a Mexican drug cartel. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the two individuals, Manssor Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri, were charged with planning to assassinate the Saudi ambassador.

Great Kass Column: Some bright ideas for stops on the guided expedition of the
Chicago Way
Excerpt: Like Chicago's budget drowning in $600 million or more of red ink, and all those contracts to cronies over the decades that sopped up the cash, all those hungry parking meters, and all those kids who drop out of school each year. Stare further into the bean and you'd see businesses that received city development bucks and kicked into former first lady Maggie Daley's After School Matters charity, and all those cops who still aren't on the street because all the money is gone.

Worth Reading: Reverse Racism by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Among those who have been disappointed by President Barack Obama, none is likely to end up so painfully disappointed as those who saw his election as being, in itself and in its consequences, a movement toward a "post-racial society." Like so many other expectations that so many people projected onto this little-known man who suddenly burst onto the political scene, the expectation of movement toward a post-racial society had no speck of hard evidence behind it -- and all too many ignored indications of the very opposite, including his two decades of association with the egregious Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Those people of good will who want to replace the racism of the past with a post-racial society have too often overlooked the fact that there are others who instead want to put racism under new management, to have reverse discrimination as racial payback for past injustices.

Convicted Bank Fraudster Robert Creamer Leads Democrats, #OccupyWallStreet Against Bank of America
Married to my US Rep. And people say, “Write your Congressman.” I would vote to leave the seat empty rather than for her. ~Bob. Excerpt: Convicted bank fraudster Robert Creamer, who recently set up a nationwide political consultancy to boost Democrats’ 2012 campaigns , and who wrote the Democrats’ political strategy on health care from federal prison , is promoting efforts by Democrats and the #OccuptWallStreet protestors to single out Bank of America. Bank of America has been a focus of the #Occupy demonstrations across the country. Last Thursday, in downtown Los Angeles, eleven #OccupyLA protestors were arrested after illegally occupying a Bank of America branch. (The demonstration was filmed by Andrew Breitbart and myself ; footage of the bank occupation appears at the beginning of the video below.) Creamer, who is married to Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), went to prison in 2006 for bank fraud and tax evasion. That has not stopped him from demanding that Americans pay higher taxes and attacking Bank of America for introducing–as other banks have done–a monthly fee for debit card usage. It is unknown how closely Creamer is involved in the #OccupyWallStreet movement, but he has visited lower Manhattan as the protests have unfolded, and has been promoting the demonstrations at his Huffington Post blog. (Schakowsky has described visiting the #OccupyWallStreet protest at the same time that Creamer was in Manhattan, and has claimed ignorance about “who’s organizing it or how.”) Indeed, Creamer may be an important link between the fringe “community organizing” and anarchist groups behind the #Occupy protests, the unions that have joined the demonstrations, and the Democrats’ campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama. Creamer worked on Obama’s 2008 campaign in a senior capacity, training volunteers and activists at “Camp Obama,” and running the Democrats’ “field based rapid response” operation.

Excerpt: The children—dozens of them at first, then hundreds—gathered in downtown Manhattan on September 17 to change the world. For better or worse, they’re still there. They may even be multiplying. Many of them, especially the girls, seemed too young to have so much facial hair. Many…if not most…if not all…of them who huddled together to denounce “corporate greed” seemed unemployed: Unemployed street poets, unemployed performance artists, unemployed interpretive dancers, unemployed bongo drummers, unemployed Gender Studies grads, unemployed placard-makers, unemployed graphic designers, unemployed social-media directors, and unemployed soup-makers. It was a diverse group of people who were all fully involved at being unemployed. If employed at all, it was obviously not in professions that require periodic showering and rudimentary grooming.

Drug-dealing killer: Chicago cop stopped DEA investigation of me
Excerpt: A high-level drug trafficker admits he was involved in three killings after a Chicago Police officer scuttled a federal investigation into his illegal activities in the mid-1990s, according to a recent court filing. Saul Rodriguez, who pleaded guilty last month to federal drug conspiracy charges, was an informant for Officer Glenn Lewellen for years. But Rodriguez told authorities he and Lewellen were also longtime partners in crime. They allegedly worked together to rip off other drug dealers, splitting millions of dollars in loot. Lewellen recruited Rodriguez as a police informant in early 1996. Rodriguez’s undercover name was “Bill Pager.” From 1996 to 2001, the Chicago Police Department paid him $807,000 for information that led to seizures of drugs and cash, prosecutors said.

'Staggering' Fraud Uncovered At Army Corps Of Engineers
Excerpt: Two senior employees at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers bilked the government out of $20 million through a "brazen" bribery and kickback scheme, federal prosecutors charged Tuesday afternoon. Prosecutors identified the mastermind of the scheme as Kerry F. Khan, 53, of Alexandria, Va., a program manager at the Army Corps' Washington, D.C., headquarters. According to the 42-page indictment, Khan controlled a dizzying array of shell companies, which were used to mask millions of dollars being skimmed off inflated federal contracts paid to a Dulles, Va., technology firm. Khan, who is charged with bribery, money laundering and wire fraud, pocketed roughly $18 million from the scheme over four years, prosecutors said.

Eric Holder, Obama’s albatross
Excerpt: President Obama says that he has “complete confidence” in Attorney General Eric Holder. That’s good news for Republicans. Pick almost any unnecessary, losing battle in Obama’s first term, and his hapless attorney general is at the center of it. If not for the fact that so many of Holder’s decisions harm national security, he would be a political dream come true for the GOP – delivering up reliably disastrous controversies for the president every few months. The latest controversy over whether Holder misled a House committee on “Operation Fast and Furious” — the botched federal gun sting that allowed hundreds of weapons to flow to Mexican drug cartels and resulted in the death of an ATF agent — is only the most recent of these debacles. Holder’s bad advice began almost immediately after Obama took office, when he and White House counsel Greg Craig convinced the president to announce the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay by January 2010 — without even examining the feasibility of doing so. Not only did the president suffer the indignity of missing this deadline, public opinion turned against the decision so sharply that Democrats abandoned the president and joined Republicans in voting 90-to-6 in the Senate to block funds for the facility’s closure. Almost three years later, Guantanamo remains open and the administration has given up hope of closing it.

Politics ‘Despicable,’ ‘Violence-Baiting’: Van Jones & Sharpton Attack Beck For Occupy Wall St. Warnings While Confirming What Glenn Has Said For Months – SEIU and Progressive Groups Are Funding And Expanding It
SEIU had better think about where the tax dollars to pay their salaries come from before they destroy corporate America. But they are ignorant of economics, and think the government can print and spend all the money it wants without consequence. They need to read Dr. Thomas Sowell’s “Basic Economics.” ~Bob.

Democrats scramble to save face on President Obama's jobs bill
Excerpt: Democratic leaders in the Senate are scrambling to avoid defections on President Obama’s jobs package, which appears headed for defeat on Tuesday. A lack of Democratic unity on the president’s bill would be embarrassing for the White House, which has been scolding House Republicans for refusing to vote on the measure. (Obama wants the bill defeated by Republicans. Then he can blame them for the bad economy. If it passed, and had the puny affect of his other big government measures, then the economy would be all his. But he doesn’t want a bi-partisan defeat; that makes blaming the GOP harder. This is only about one job—his. ~Bob.)

Does Disease Cause Autocracy?: New studies say reducing infection rates promotes liberalization.
Might be equally true that autocracy creates poor healthcare, thus causes disease. ~Bob. Excerpt: Greater wealth strongly correlates with property rights, the rule of law, education, the liberation of women, a free press, and social tolerance. The enduring puzzle for political scientists is how the social processes that produce freedom and wealth get started in the first place. Many political theorists have linked liberal democracy to the rise of wealth and the establishment of a large middle class. “Growing resources are conducive to the rise of emancipative values that emphasize self-expression,” write political scientists Ronald Inglehart of the University of Michigan and Christian Welzel of Jacobs University in their contribution to the 2009 book Democratization, “and these values are conducive to the collective actions that lead to democratization.” That same year, a group of researchers led by the Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs noted in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B that a billion people live on less than a dollar per day and “are roughly as poor today as their ancestors were thousands of years ago.” Sachs and his colleagues suggest that heavy disease burdens create persistent poverty traps from which poor people cannot extricate themselves. High disease rates lower their economic productivity so they can’t afford to improve sanitation and medical care, which in turn leaves them vulnerable to more disease.

Protesters plan to create chaos on Capitol Hill
Chaos on Capital Hill—will we notice? Seriously, I’ve been predicting ‘entitlement riots” for two years. As I say in Collapse, it’s only going to get worse. ~Bob. Excerpt: Excerpt: Demonstrators march across the National Mall in Washington Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, as part of Occupy DC activities in the nation’s capital. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) During an evening meeting at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., protesters discussed plans to storm Capitol Hill Tuesday and create chaos inside and outside House and Senate office buildings. “We will have people going in over time into all the different doors of all the different buildings,” said one of the organizers of the “Stop the Machine” movement to roughly 100 assembled protesters. At an appointed time and in a particular office building — both of which will be named at a meeting in Freedom Plaza Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. — the protesters plan to create a ruckus which they hope will shut down work on Capitol Hill.

Five Truths about Climate Change
Excerpt: Inspired by groundbreaking steps such as Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," but spurned by the constant obstinacy of federal governments, climate changes activists continue the fight on the streets via protests and demonstrations. Yet, when assessing climate change and what to do about it going forward, it is important to avoid submitting to propagandist dogma, and recognize five facts we have come to learn about climate change thus far, says Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. First, carbon taxes are not feasible (at least in the near future). Even while Mr. Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change dominated the environmental debate, global carbon dioxide emissions rose by 28.5 percent. This reflects increased demand for electricity (up 36 percent) which fostered increased consumption of coal, natural gas and oil by 47, 29 and 13 percent, respectively. The lesson is, as the world modernizes, larger portions of the population will want access to energy, thereby making a tax on that energy evermore unpopular and untenable. Second, assuming that current demographic trends hold, this demand for energy will continue to increase. Third, the issue of climate change is no longer U.S.-centric. While the United States is the second-largest energy consumer, its carbon dioxide emissions fell by 1.7 percent over the last decade. In this same time span, Africa's carbon dioxide emissions jumped by 30 percent, Asia's by 44 percent and the Middle East's by a whopping 57 percent. Fourth, there is most certainly room for improvement in the use of resources we already have, and this must be taken advantage of. Fifth, a definitive end goal is not yet clear -- the science has not been settled, and therefore drastic policy decisions ought to be left out of the viable political arena until a certain end is clear.

Another Border Agent Jailed for Stopping a Mexican Drug Smuggler
Excerpt: Agent Jesus Diaz facing 10+ years in prison for “pulling handcuffs” during arrest in Texas. In what appears to be yet another case of the Mexican Government orchestrating a fake crime against one of their drug smuggling criminals hauling dope into the U.S., Border Patrol Agent Jesus Diaz, a 7-year Border Patrol veteran, was convicted in Federal Court on February 24 of one count of excessive force (under color of law) and 5 counts of lying to Internal Affairs. He is facing a maximum of 35 years in prison when he is sentenced in November. Meanwhile, he’s been in jail since the verdict nearly two months ago. He’s in solitary confinement 23 hours per day for his safety. So far, the judge has refused to allow bond while Diaz awaits sentencing. This latest prosecution against a U.S. border agent stems from an October 2008 incident near the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass, TX where Diaz and several other agents responded to illegal aliens who had crossed the river into Texas with bundles of drugs. Agents apprehended the aliens and as Diaz was getting ready to put one of the aliens in the truck for transport, he allegedly pulled on his handcuffs, a common law enforcement technique to get suspects to cooperate. It was 1:30 in the morning and Diaz and the other agents were trying to find the drugs brought over by the suspects and determine if any other cartel smugglers were hiding in the bushes nearby. The suspect refused to answer their questions. They eventually found the drugs and all were taken to the station for processing.

Good Read: The 1960s radicalism of
Occupy Wall Street
will help elect a Republican in 2012
Excerpt: The Occupy Wall Street movement is an exercise in nostalgia. It’s an attempt to recreate the excitement of 1968, when the world’s youth took to the barricades. That cosmic revelation hit me while sitting crossed-legged on a bean bag reading about the earnest search for "the Bob Dylan of our age". Among the people being touted for that position is Kanye West (worth $70 million). On Monday, he toured the cardboard boxes and rainbow flags of Zuccotti Park, New York. Out of solidarity for the bling-ridden poor, Mr West wore a gold chain. He was accompanied by record producer Russell Simmons (worth $340 million). … Photos confirm what I suspected: that most of the protesters are kids looking for their Sixties rush. Naked girls are painted in psychedelic colours. Handsome boys lounge around in cable-knit sweaters. Angry, doomed youth wave signs in the faces of frustrated policemen. Numbers are exchanged; kisses are snatched behind the barricades; disease is spread. This is what every generation of liberal has tried to recreate since 1968, be it the Watergate protests, the Battle of Seattle or the Stop the War Movement. (A comparably young scholar comments on the "Occupy...." movement. Interesting, and at times entertaining, reading. –Tom.)

Leftist freedom of speech. Typical Obama supporter, except for his fat cat Wall Street contributors, of course. ~Bob.

Morning Jolt . . . with Jim Geraghty
Excerpt: Life isn't fair. A lot of us came to terms with that in puberty or sometime shortly thereafter, but protesters across the country are still stunned to learn that the world does not value what they do as much as they do. If you want to get rich in America -- really rich -- you have to be exceptionally talented in some field -- or you have to work exceptionally hard. It helps a great deal to save. (Ever read The Millionaire Next Door? A surprising percentage of America's millionaires live exceptionally frugal lifestyles.) Yes, there are some folks who inherit wealth or come from the right families and have all the doors opened for them, but they're actually a fairly small percentage of those we consider wealthy. (The authors of TMND found that more than half of America's millionaires never inherited so much as $1.)

Obama Orders Launched Fast and Furious
Not sure the video proves the headline, but think he was responsible. On his watch, as FEMA was on Bush’s. ~Bob.

Still confusing terror & crime
Excerpt: Sunday’s New York Times report on the Obama administration’s secret legal justification for the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki shows just how dangerously confused the administration has become about the rules of war. All of this comes, of course, with the caveat that we are only going on secondhand descriptions of the Office of Legal Counsel opinion (and we should at least note, in passing, that this administration’s members attacked the Bush folks for not making similar national-security documents public and have already refused to make public their legal opinions that laughably found the Libya conflict not to be a “war”). Let’s give partial credit where it’s due. Apparently, the Obama administration argues that Awlaki was a legitimate target because he was a member of an enemy engaged in hostile conduct against the United States. At least President Obama has figured out that the War on Terror is, in fact, a war and that it isn’t limited just to Afghanistan. We should be thankful that Obama officials have quietly put aside the arguments they made during the Bush years that any terrorist outside the Afghani battlefield was a criminal suspect who deserved his day in federal court. I’d rather the Obama folks be hypocrites in favor of protecting national security than principled fools (which they are free to be in faculty lounges both before and after their time in government).

Tell this warrior how hard your day was.
Excerpt: Sgt. Ricardo Ramirez, a combat replacement for 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, wades through an irrigation canal to move into a night observation post in Sangin, Afghanistan, Aug. 5. In February of 2006, Ramirez was wounded in action while serving in Iraq with 3rd Bn., 5th Marines and two years later became the first hand-amputee to re-enlist in the Marines Corps. Since then the multiple-tour combat veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan has served as an urban warfare instructor, attended the pre-sniper course at division schools and stayed close to his infantry roots. (As I reflect, my day wasn't nearly as hard as I first thought. MasterGuns)

CNN says Iranian pastor's death sentence for apostasy shows "nuance" of Islamic law
Excerpt: Will Joseph Nadarkhani get a "nuanced" hanging? This story has been circulating for a few days, but is certainly not the first time CNN has tried to peddle Paper Sharia: that is, Sharia as advertised as what it could, would, should be, as opposed to Sharia as observed. This report virtually ignores the other innumerable cases of apostasy from Islam that have resulted in a death sentence, whether carried out according to a criminal court's sentence, or extra-judicially, and publicly or privately. It alludes to one of two major cases of apostasy in Afghanistan (Abdul Rahman), leaving the defendant unnamed So much the better to treat it as an isolated case, and as an exception, except... funny how it keeps happening. Of course, as is on fine display below, whenever a non-Muslim notes an unpleasant tenet of Sharia, it becomes a shape-shifting jellyfish. It's "complicated." And no one can really say. That is, until someone does, and someone dies.

Saudi bans footballers with tattoos: report: Religious police tells foreign players to cover ink on field
Excerpt: The paper said the letter followed a picture published in local newspapers showing Pino’s tattoos included some “Christian drawings.”

Gunwalker: Issa Reveals Drug Enforcement Administration Involvement
Excerpt: It was a brutal weekend for the Obama administration: Gunwalker continued unraveling at a faster pace, with new developments suggesting that Attorney General Eric Holder may not be the only Obama appointee destined for a political fall and possible criminal charges. In an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa revealed for the first time that the Drug Enforcement Administration was far more involved in running the operation than the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives: “It wasn’t an ATF operation. They were part of that. It was a joint operation in which DEA knew more than ATF.” (…) Mike Vanderboegh, one of the bloggers who broke open the scandal, is continuing a detailed series of articles that increasingly point to a State Department role in setting up these gunwalking operations. Vanderboegh’s sources within the Department are the first to name names, including: Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, and Andrew J. Shapiro, Clinton’s assistant secretary for political-military affairs. State insiders apparently referred to the gunwalking plot as “the Mexican Hat Dance,” and claim the goal of the plot was, as we’ve indicated before, to support the 90-percent lie.

10 Thoughts About Occupy Wall Street
Excerpt: 1) If you're serious about going after Wall Street, it's hard to see how you could vote for Barack Obama who ladled out billions in taxpayer dollars to Wall Street corporations. "Wall Street (also) donated twice as much money to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008 as it did to John McCain’s." How much sense does it make to protest Wall Street and then vote for the guy who is doing more to help Wall Street at America's expense than anyone else in the country?

The Shape of the Middle East to Come
Excerpt: First, I’d like to say a few words in sympathy with Iraq’s Prime Minister Maliki. Not that I’m an admirer, mind you. But I have been warning about this moment — the moment when we are leaving, and those Iraqis in charge of things in their country have to cope with nasty neighbors on their own — ever since we first mistakenly invaded Iraq while leaving the terror masters in Iran unchallenged. (…) No doubt there are times and places when the use of military power is necessary, but, as I have often argued, if we get to that point in the case of Iran, it will show the failure of Western policy. At the moment, we have only sanctions in our quiver, we have yet to declare that “Khamenei must go,” and we have not told Ahmadinejad to go to hell. If we had supported a successful revolution in Iran, we would almost certainly not be facing armed conflict in Syria today, and we would have a strong voice in the future of Egypt, instead of standing by and pretending to lead with our shrinking rear. (Consistency: Iran’s mad mullahs have been the enemy since November, 1979. Thanks again, Jimmy Carter. --Ron P.)

Cain Speaks For Silent Majority
Excerpt: As Democrats, corporations and billionaires fell all over themselves to cheer Wall Street mobs protesting capitalism and demanding free rides, the lone voice of Herman Cain challenging them spoke for the rest of us. The unkempt protesters and their tent camps, garbage heaps and drum circles making Wall Street and other U.S. cities unbearable don't have an articulate set of demands. But their desire to end capitalism and still enjoy free-flowing government largesse is a constant, along with their nonstop claim to represent the "middle class." It's as at odds with reality as the cast of characters jumping on their bandwagon of support: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, responsible for $1 trillion in wasted government "stimulus" that went to cronies and destroyed millions of jobs, and President Obama, who publicly demonized business, despite taking in unprecedented Wall Street campaign cash.

Fast And Furious And Ugly
Photo Caption: At the Arizona Peace Officers' memorial in Phoenix Friday, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu announced that 10 Arizona sheriffs had called for a special counsel to investigate Attorney General Eric Holder for "Operation Fast and Furious," which has left at least one U.S. lawman dead.

Obama Jobs Council Stacked With Democratic Donors
Excerpt: The group of private-sector business leaders advising President Obama on how to create jobs and grow the economy is full of deep-pocket Democratic donors and high-profile financiers of Obama’s re-election campaign, a review of Federal Election Commission data shows.

Cain says he 'left the Democratic plantation a long time ago'
Excerpt: Herman Cain said Monday that he "left the Democratic plantation a long time ago," wading into a debate over racially charged language that befell black and Tea Party congressmen this summer. (And when a black person escapes the Democrats’ plantation, they send the slave-catcher dogs after you. Ask Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, star Parker, Allen West or Condi Rice. ~Bob.)

Tweet: iowahawkblog David Burge
Lemme get this straight. A bank lent you $100k that you handed to a college for a worthless degree, and now you're mad at... the bank?

Brad Thor offers Boston police pizzas for protest crackdown
Excerpt: It’s 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday and police are reportedly getting ready to move in to enforce a city curfew, despite the objections of the Occupy Boston crowd. I think best-selling author Brad Thor has the right kind of attitude — that is, we need to stand behind our police as they try to uphold the law. And you know the old saying… the best way to a man’s cop’s heart is through his stomach:

If every Dem in Congress voted no, it would still be the GOP they blamed. ~Bob. Excerpt: Bracing for the defeat of President Obama’s jobs bill, senior White House officials said Tuesday they would work with Senate Democrats to break the bill into smaller portions that might find support. The officials emphasized their view that it is Republicans who are holding up the president’s $447 billion plan, and they downplayed Democratic defections. Democratic unity, one official said, has “never been the test before.” “It's not going to be now,” the official said.

Excerpt: Every year, Ohio’s government unions pay themselves handsomely with millions of dollars taken from public workers. It’s a decent gig, considering that taxpayers (and even union members) suffer as a result of unsustainable union demands. Whenever you hear a union apologist slamming fat-cat Republicans or corporate villains, keep in mind what union bosses are paid. Senate President Niehaus’s Chief of Staff – the focal point of a recent controversy – pulls down about $139,000. Does that sound like too much?

Christie to endorse Romney at N.H. rally
Excerpt: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will endorse Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday afternoon. The announcement will be made ahead of Tuesday night's debate in New Hampshire. A spokesman for Romney's campaign confirmed to The Hill that Christie is the "special guest" joining Romney at a 3 p.m. rally in the early primary state, where he will announce his endorsement. (Hopefully he can give Romney some intestinal fortitude at the same time. ~Bob.)

Major Swiss Companies Submit to Islam: Remove Cross-Shaped Swiss Flag from Their Products
Excerpt: Switzerland's leading companies have removed Switzerland's cross-shaped flag from their products for the Islamic market. Swatch, Tissot and Victorinox logos, as iconic of their brand as NIKE"s check or McDonald's golden arches, are voluntarily censored, removed, in a breathtaking act of submission to a radical racist ideology that oppresses and subjugates all non-believers and women. Tissot, maker of Swiss watches since 1853, yes 1853, is removing its 158-year-old identity. Any company (or individual) that cannot stand up for what they are or does not know who and what they are, will inevitably disappear. Worse, capitulating to an ideology that lashes women, covers them in cloth coffins, cuts off clitorises, and denies non-Muslims basic human rights, is beneath contempt. I, for one, will never buy from these cowards. As for the Saudis demanding (under the sharia) that the cross not be shown in public, the West should respond in kind. No crescents and stars anywhere. Everywhere the sharia is imposed on the West, freedom lovers should respond in kind. Tolerance when applied to evil is a crime.

The Moral Dimensions of Illegal Immigration
Excerpt: The debate over illegal immigration is mostly fossilized. We know the predictable contours. Despite different realities on the ground, they have not changed much from the 1960s. The narrative for half-a-century has gone something like this: a callous America welcomed in cheap laborers. It treated them not so well and then panicked when their numbers grew and workers did not go home after harvest—changing the very demography of several states. Undeniable racism and discrimination fueled the tensions. That was ironic inasmuch as the American Southwest was once taken by the Yanquis from Mexico. Readers could add sidebars about the weird open-borders alliance: the corporate Right wanted access to plentiful cheap labor; the therapeutic Left saw constituent advantage in millions of illegal aliens without English, legality, and education—but with apparent need of elite self-appointed representatives in academia, journalism, and politics. If supposedly right-wing American employers had been often predatory, so in response grew a new left-wing grievance industry that enhanced the status of some second- and third-generation Mexican-Americans, who, in salad-bowl rather than melting-pot fashion, now saw their ethnicity as essential not incidental to new more partisan personas.

President Obey-Me Is Not Being Obeyed
Excerpt: Rejection is no fun, especially if you're a heavenly rock star with a savior complex. When people with narcissistic personalities come into psychotherapy, they often complain that nobody loves them -- and they can't understand it, because aren't they just the most lovable fluffy dolls in the world? This is not Harry Truman. It's not Herman Cain. It's a guy who loves being worshiped, and he can't accept it when the crowds stop cheering. Narcissists are not nice. They treat others as puppets on strings. The rest of us get drawn in by their superficial charm, and then, after a while, we figure out that we've been had. As soon as we walk away, the result is a towering rage by the narcissist. We all know people like that. This is all routine psychiatric manual stuff. If you can handle a little more, President Obama is an interesting mix of narcissism and "Oppositional Defiant Disorder." No other president in history has actually given his fellow Americans the fickle finger of fate in public, to the cheers and applause of his own followers. This is not Thomas Jefferson or Abe Lincoln. This is immature kid stuff.

Elizabeth Warren raises $3.15 million for her first Senate race
Excerpt: In just a few weeks, Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren has raised $3.15 million for her Senate campaign — another sign that the Massachusetts race will be one of the most hotly-contested of 2012. According to an email to supporters from Warren’s campaign, 96 percent of contributions were of $100 or less, with 11,000 donors coming from in-state. Warren launched her exploratory committee on Aug. 30 and the third quarter ended on Sept. 30, meaning she raised all of this money in a single month. Campaign sources say that the vast majority of the funds came in the last two weeks, after her official campaign announcement. (This should be a wake-up call for any who didn’t believe this would be a tough election. I do wonder, though, where 11,000 contributors—in a difficult and unforgiving economy—found $100 each to give to someone who hadn’t declared her candidacy until a few weeks ago. Is it possible some other entity, perhaps a union or ten, gave money to its members to donate? That would be awfully difficult to prove, wouldn’t it, especially with such small contributions that no one would bother to investigate? I guess it’s just another Massachusetts Miracle, the local equivalent of the Chicago Way. Ron P.)

Scientists’ Analysis Disputes F.B.I. Closing of Anthrax Case
Excerpt: Now, three scientists argue that distinctive chemicals found in the dried anthrax spores — including the unexpected presence of tin — point to a high degree of manufacturing skill, contrary to federal reassurances that the attack germs were unsophisticated. The scientists make their case in a coming issue of the Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense. (…) The tin is surprising because it kills micro-organisms and is used in antibacterial products. The authors of the paper say its presence in the mailed anthrax suggests that the germs, after cultivation and drying, got a specialized silicon coating, with tin as a chemical catalyst. Such coatings, known in industry as microencapsulants, are common in the manufacture of drugs and other products. “It indicates a very special processing, and expertise,” said Martin E. Hugh-Jones, lead author of the paper and a world authority on anthrax at Louisiana State University. The deadly germs sent through the mail to news organizations and two United States senators, he added, were “far more sophisticated than needed.”

It's Hard To Be a Racist
Excerpt: Today it's the call for tax cuts that makes you a racist. That's why the "tea" party, short for "taxed enough already," is nothing more than organized racists. What makes tea partiers even more racist is their constant call for the White House and Congress to return to the confines of the Constitution. Racism has other guises. (…)  Say that you're a believer in Martin Luther King's wish, expressed in his "I Have a Dream" speech, that our "children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." The call to judge people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin is really code for racism. There's no question about one's racial antipathy if he voted for measures such as California's Proposition 209, Michigan's Proposal 2, Washington state's Initiative 200 or Nebraska's Civil Rights Initiative 424. These measures outlaw judging people by the color of their skin for admission to college, awarding of government contracts and employment. The call for equal treatment is simply racism by stealth and is far more insidious than name-calling and hood-donning.

City’s solar panel deal quietly suspended
Excerpt: In March 2004, then-Mayor Richard M. Daley announced a deal that promised to save taxpayer money, reduce natural gas consumption and bring “green” jobs to Chicago. But taxpayers might see red when they learn how the deal turned out. More than seven years later, the initiative has been quietly suspended amid problems with some of the equipment — and acknowledgements by city officials that taxpayers will probably lose money on the deal and never realize the energy savings that Daley touted, the Better Government Association has learned. (Another green project turns to vapor and vanishes with the wind. Be sure to read the company’s explanation of what went wrong. Even here in liberal Massachusetts, no one would offer such excuses—they’re on a par with the dog-eaten homework—even, and perhaps especially, if they are true because they make the city’s “experts” look like idiots. Ron P.)

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