Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Political Digest December 16, 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.

2009 in Review: The Year of Obama
Interesting analysis of Obama and Reagan. Excerpt: President Barack Obama’s speech in Oslo marking his receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize was eloquent, as most of his speeches are. It was also enigmatic — both for its justification of war and for his speaking on behalf of the international community while making clear that as commander in chief, his overarching principle is to protect and defend the United States. In the end, it was difficult to discern precisely what he meant to say. An eloquent and enigmatic speech is not a bad strategy by a president, but it raises this question: At the end of his first year, what precisely is this president’s strategy abroad? Ironically, it is useful to consider Obama in the light of the last president who dominated and defined his time: Ronald Reagan, a man as persuasive, polarizing and enigmatic as the current president.

Warning Signs: Obama: What a Difference a Year Makes
Excerpt: Historians are likely to look back at 2009, the first year of Barack Obama’s term in office and assess the damage it has done to Americans and to the image of America as the primary line of defense against the world’s thugs.

NRA News: UN Doomsday Treaty With Ginny Simone
Gun control from the UN.

Spirit Lake Sioux Sue North Dakota to Keep Fighting Sioux Name
Stupid Injins. Don’t they know liberals know what’s best for them? Bad as the dumb Seminoles who want Florida State to keep the name, and the tribal scholarships and the heritage center. Excerpt: North Dakota's top prosecutor said the state will seek to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Spirit Lake Sioux tribal members who want the University of North Dakota to keep its Fighting Sioux nickname.

I graduated from U-Mass back when they were the Redmen. But that was deemed demeaning to native Americans, so instead they decided to demean the patriots of the Revolution, and the school’s teams became the Minutemen. But in recent years, lefties are pointing out that is politically incorrect, because the Minuteman Statue is a man, and is carrying a flintlock rifle or musket. So they may change again.

My suggestions as an alum are:
     --The Politically Correct Anuses
     --The Busybody Bureaucrats
     --The Corrupt Politicians
     --The All-Powerful Statists

The GOP's suicide pact
A lot of Conservatives prefer having Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid running the Congress, than having a few RINOs who vote Republican to organize, thus putting conservatives in charge of the agenda and the committees. They are the liberals’ best allies. If we had 11 RINOs in the senate along with the 40 Republicans there, Cap and Trade or the Healthcare Boondoggle wouldn’t be on the floor, never mind about to pass. Excerpt: Some people can't stand prosperity, my father used to say. Today, he might be talking about Republicans, who, in the midst of declining support for President Obama's hope-and-change agenda, are considering a "purity" pledge to weed out undesirables from their ever-shrinking party. Just when independents and moderates were considering revisiting the GOP tent. Just when a near-perfect storm of unpopular Democratic ideas -- from massive health-care reform to terrorist show trials, not to mention global-warming hype -- is coagulating over 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Just when the GOP was gaining traction after gubernatorial victories in Virginia and New Jersey . . . Republicans perform a rain dance at their own garden party.

Obama's Afghan endgame
From a retired Pakistani general, not necessarily a good guy! Excerpt: While explaining the New Afghan Strategy President Barack Obama, the world's most powerful man, appeared least powerful. He ordered a surge of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan, making a total of 100,000 supported by 45000 NATO troops. Obama came to this decision "through a series of deliberations and getting a strategy for how to go forward and finish the job in Afghanistan." The president admits: "There ought to be an exit strategy for Afghanistan." Therefore, the underlying idea is not to win the war, but to ensure a safe exit. It is in this context, we have to examine the new strategy, in words and deeds, which in fact, is meant to cover the shame of defeat, which is difficult for a superpower to admit. If winning the war was so vital for the sake of American interests, then 30,000 were not enough. At least 300,000 troops were needed to gain a favourable balance of power against the resistance, which according to CIA reports, is organised as Shadow Army, with 17 divisions under command, each division having a number of lashkars. The Shadow Army comprises old mujahideen who fought against the Soviets and the Taliban, with a hardcore of young fighters born under the shadow of war, who hold the banner of freedom. The veterans from Iraq and the new fighters from around the world have joined the lot. The Al-Qaeda 005 Brigade, which fought against the Soviets, has also joined the Shadow Army. Thus, the resistance has grown into a formidable force - a diehard, committed force - fighting for freedom against the occupation forces, who have no ideological commitment as such.

It's not just the enemy killing U.S. soldiers
Excerpt: New military rules of engagement ostensibly to protect Afghan civilians are putting the lives of U.S. forces in jeopardy, claim Army and Marine sources, as the Taliban learns the game plan based the rules' imposed limits. The rules of engagement, or ROEs, apply to all coalition forces of the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Their enactment is in response to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's complaints over mounting civilian deaths apparently occurring in firefights.

Villagers forced to watch stoning in Somalia
All cultures are equally valid, remember, so this is okay. Excerpt: This barbaric scene belongs in the Dark Ages, but pictures emerged today of a group of Islamic militants who forced villagers to watch as they stoned a man to death for adultery. Mohamed Abukar Ibrahim, a 48-year-old, was buried in a hole up to his chest and pelted with rocks until he died. The group responsible, Hizbul Islam, also shot dead a man they claimed was a murderer. Moments before his execution, his hands still free, Mohamed Abukar Ibrahim is buried in the ground.

Norwegians Must Be Asking: Why Obama for Peace Prize?
Excerpt: Norway, it seems, has gotten as good as it gave. After the six Norwegians on the Nobel Peace Prize Committee awarded the coveted honor to a man who clearly and self-admittedly did not deserve it, Norwegians themselves have become upset with the man and, by inference, their decision to honor him in this singular fashion. Two public opinion polls revealed dissatisfaction with Obama's decision to skip the traditional Nobel events, including a "Save the Children" concert in which the only presence of the U.S. president was a cardboard cutout brought in a kind of good-natured rebuke. "Norwegians's Verdict: Obama Is Impolite" blared the headline in one Oslo daily newspaper. A little bit of background research might have alerted the Nobel Committee to Obama's annoying tendency toward expediency and away from commitment to principle.

Inconvenient truth for Al Gore as his North Pole sums don't add up
More Gore misstatement of facts, like his saying the temp at the center of the Earth was millions of degrees. Excerpt: Mr. Gore, speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, stated the latest research showed that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in five years. In his speech, Mr. Gore told the conference: “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.” However, the climatologist whose work Mr. Gore was relying upon dropped the former Vice-President in the water with an icy blast. “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at,” Dr. Maslowski said. “I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.” Mr. Gore’s office later admitted that the 75 per cent figure was one used by Dr. Maslowksi as a “ballpark figure” several years ago in a conversation with Mr. Gore. The embarrassing error cast another shadow over the conference after the controversy over the hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, which appeared to suggest that scientists had manipulated data to strengthen their argument that human activities were causing global warming.

Crew of N. Korean plane detained in Thai jail
Excerpt: The Bangkok Criminal Court accepted a police request to hold the five-man crew in prison pending further investigations in a case that could shed new light on the illicit weapons trade from North Korea, which is widely accused of selling weapons to nations in Africa and the Middle East, in violation of U.N. sanctions. The United States, which is particularly concerned about North Korea selling weapons and nuclear technology in the Middle East, reportedly tipped off Thai authorities to the aircraft's illicit cargo, according to Thai media reports that the government and U.S. Embassy declined to comment on. Thai officials impounded the Ilyushin IL-76 transport plane Saturday and discovered 35 tons of explosives, rocket-propelled grenades and components for surface-to-air missiles.

Christmas Books
Thomas Sowell’s recommendations, to which I’d add you can’t go wrong with his great book Basic Economics.

Minnesotans For Global Warming
Too funny.

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