Monday, December 28, 2009

Political Digest December 28, 2009

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

Freedom Fails
A slave is forced to work full time for the benefit of others, against his will. Americans who work are taxed. Some of that is by consent, for the common good, such as defense, police, fire, schools and roads (though even much of that is siphoned off into the pockets of the politically-connected). But much also goes to benefit individuals or causes we abhor. In that, American workers under our democratic system are, at best, part time slaves. Soon you will not be free to choose to protect your family by buying a large car, and a certain but unknown number of our children will die on the highways, because their families had to buy smaller, fuel-efficient but less safe in crashes cars, against their wills, rather than drill for oil and develop nuke plants. You are not now free to buy a health insurance policy that doesn’t cover things you don’t want, that the government has mandated must be covered, in response to lobbying groups. Non can you buy a policy from another state. Soon you will not be free to refuse to buy health insurance. Thus is freedom eroded in response to politics, all for the “common good,” as defined by someone other than the individual. The Founding Fathers would look at the number of laws and regulations that bind our lives and conclude we were not free at all, as they understood freedom, but slaves to bureaucracy and government. Not for nothing did I run this quote from Mussolini in yesterday’s blog: “We were the first to assert that the more complicated the forms assumed by civilization, the more restricted the freedom of the individual must be.” Step by step our politicians and bureaucrats have asserted the same thing, and we have acquiesced. Our grandchildren will live in a society as restrictive of freedom as Germany and Russia in the 1930s, but it will seem normal to them to have the government control their lives in behalf of the “general welfare.”

Senator Max Baucus Drunk on Senate Floor
Media would only be interested if he was a Republican Excerpt: During the general debate on the health care legislation that recently passed the Senate, Senator Max Baucus, Democrat from Montana, took to the floor of the Senate and engaged in a drunken tirade. Oblivious to the fact that he was slurring his words and mangling his sentences, Senator Baucus shouted down opponents as he let loose a rambling, and at times incoherent, tirade against those dastardly Republicans who refused to be bipartisan Max

Baucus gave girlfriend $14K raise
Older, but maybe she drove him to drink. Hope he thanked her. Excerpt: Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, gave a nearly $14,000 pay raise to a female staffer in 2008, at the time he was becoming romantically involved with her, and later that year took her on a taxpayer-funded trip to Southeast Asia and the Middle East, though foreign policy was not her specialty.

Gandhi vs Limbaugh: Spot the Real Racist
Excerpt: Rush Limbaugh sleeps with naked teenaged girls, is obsessed with enemas, and once stated that blacks “pass their lives in indolence and nakedness.” Wait. Did I say Rush Limbaugh? I meant Gandhi. Reading “The Gandhi Nobody Knows” was a major milestone on my journey out of the Left.

The Gandhi Nobody Knows
Long 1983 piece, but very interesting! SgtMaj Gandhi, who won the Military Medal keeping blacks down in South Africa! I was stunned to read some of his history.

An Internet Course On American Constitutional Law

Engineers, Scientific and Social
Excerpt: On January 14, 1953, the chairman of Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp. spoke at the annual meeting of the Society of Automotive Engineers in Detroit. He was Admiral Ben Moreell, and in 1953, most people in the audience would have known him as a founder and leader of the Seabees -- the U.S. Navy component that built the docks, the airports, and just about everything else our military forces needed to fight and win World War II, often working under fire. The speech Moreell gave that day is quite simply stunning. It is among the most remarkable talks about human nature, and the nature of government, ever delivered by anyone, anywhere. It rises above politics, as all serious discussions on human life ought to (but lately do not). Although written more than fifty years ago, it is relevant today -- maybe even more so. You be the judge. While he never mentions politics, this is a must-read for every Conservative and a challenge to the foundations of every Liberal.

Oh, No! Kevin’s Back!
Excerpt: As my brother Kevin headed off to Christmas Eve Mass in the Maryland suburbs, I asked him how he thought the first year of Barack Obama had gone. He didn’t have to pray long over that one. “Fine,” he replied, “if you like unmitigated disasters like the Hindenburg and the Redskins season.” … But by forcing through a government takeover of health care, the auto industry and the banks, the president and his Congressional henchmen have brought us in a time machine to Russia 1917. These massive changes have been done in secret and along bullying, straight party-line votes. It is stunning to watch rich lawmakers driving their own expensive cars off the cliff and signing on to such a socialist agenda. In dismissing the tea parties and pushing through plans the American people obviously don’t want, they have made the fatal disconnect between the representatives and the represented. President Obama continues life in the H.O.V. lane, fawned over by the press and the crowned heads of Europe. In between apologies, the president should have reminded those pompous blowhards that without our interference, they would all be speaking German. My dad was a D.C. policeman, and I would like to apologize (not “recalibrate”) to the Cambridge police for the president’s assumption that they “acted stupidly.” You would think that Mr. Obama would have afforded the police the same consideration he gave to the mass-murdering Muslim Army major when he said: “I would caution against jumping to conclusions.”

Obama's lost face (Important reading)
Excerpt: Why did Chinese premier Wen Jiabao choose to publicly humiliate Barack Obama at Copenhagen? In their eyes, and those of much of the world, he has lost face, and with it, power and influence. While getting widespread play overseas, this story has been kept very quiet by our disinterested, nonpartisan media (I haven't seen it mentioned in any major U.S. outlet). After promising to meet the Messiah at 7:00 p.m., Premier Wen stiffed him in favor of a meeting with the leaders of India, South Africa, and Brazil. Rather than wait, a no-doubt infuriated Obama stalked into the room in question and demanded, "Are you ready to see me, Premier Wen?" No word on Wen's reaction, though he did submit to a discussion on the spot that evidently sealed the release of the immortal and glorious Copenhagen Quasi-Agreement on Climate Change. So with Barack Obama, we've reached the point where the leader of record of the most powerful state in history has become a man you can casually stand up. But the question remains, why? There are a number of reasons why the Chinese might take a cavalier attitude toward an American leader. China is the chief foreign holder of American debt, which may well have created an impression of the U.S. as a beggar nation on the level of a failed African republic. (I strongly suspect that words were exchanged on this topic during Obama's recent visit to China, though we're unlikely ever to learn about them in detail.)… But there's one event in particular that very likely played a part -- the fact that, only a few weeks before, Obama publicly and notoriously bowed to the emperor of Japan. Japan and China have a lengthy history, very little of which can be termed benign. They have always been rivals, often acting at cross purposes and usually at sword's point. But the past century of Sino-Japanese relations has been little short of horrendous.

Civilian, military planners have different views on new approach to Afghanistan
Excerpt: Two days before announcing the deployment of additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, President Obama informed Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal that he was not granting McChrystal's request to double the size of the Afghan army and police. Cost was a factor, as were questions about whether the capacity exists to train 400,000 personnel. The president told McChrystal, the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, to focus for now on fielding a little more than half that number by next October. Ten days after Obama's speech, the U.S. command responsible for training the Afghans circulated a chart detailing the combined personnel targets for the army and police. McChrystal's goal of 400,000 remained unchanged. "It's an open issue," a senior Pentagon official said last week.

Obama falls short on pledge to curtail earmarks, fiscal hawks say
Excerpt: Fiscal hawks in Congress say President Barack Obama hasn't followed through on a pledge to lower federal spending on local projects. Earmarks are expected to total nearly $12 billion in fiscal 2010, according to fiscal watchdog groups. While that number is less than the $15 billion total in 2009, lawmakers from both parties said Obama hasn’t kept up the kind of pressure he showed during his first weeks in office or that he promised as a candidate. (Seriously, who with a brain thought he would? Just another promise to fool the rubes into voting for him.)

America’s Lowest Moment
Excerpt: “There’s a hundred Senators here. And I don’t know if there’s a Senator that doesn’t have something in this bill that was important to them. And if they don’t have something in it important to them, then it doesn’t speak well of them. That’s what this legislation is all about.” (Harry Reid, 12/21/09, Democratic press conference after cloture vote on health care bill.) Apparently, Senator Reid sees the legislative process as an activity through which individual Senators vie for tax-payer dollars to obtain results that are beneficial to them. If individual Senators don’t get something out of specific legislation, then it “doesn’t speak well of them.” As the supreme benefit broker, behind closed doors, Senator Reid dished out abundant benefits to selected members of the Senate as a reward for their vote on the health care bill.

Cross the River, Burn the Bridge
Excerpt: Last week, during a bit of banter on Fox News, my colleague Jonah Goldberg reminded me of something I’d all but forgotten. Last September, during his address to Congress on health care, Barack Obama declared: “I am not the first President to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last.” Dream on. The monstrous mountain of toxic pustules sprouting from greasy boils metastasizing from malign carbuncles that passed the Senate on Christmas Eve is not the last word in “health” “care,” but the first. It ensures that this is all we’ll be talking about, now and forever. Government can’t just annex “one-sixth of the U.S. economy” (i.e., the equivalent of annexing the entire British or French economy, or annexing the entire Indian economy twice over) and then just say: “Okay, what’s next? On to cap-and-trade . . . ” Nations that governmentalize health care soon find themselves talking about little else.

Congressional hearings next month in Christmas bombing attempt
Since the alleged terrorist with the alleged burns on his alleged legs, etc. from the alleged bomb is alleged to be the son of a banker, might they look into the liberal canard that Islamic Jihad violence grows out of poverty, not religion? No, the fact that bin Laden is rich hasn’t spiked the myth, why should this? One thing we know, they won’t recommend anything that would really make us safer, if not PC. Before they would add extra scrutiny to people from Muslim countries, they would strip search your grandmother.

Greenspan Calls For Lower Wages For America's Skilled Workers
Excerpt: This article is of great importance for a number of extremely important reasons beginning with national security, although the article never even mentions the issue of national security. As you read the article, please note that the visa fraud discussed in the news report has been allegedly ongoing for a decade. I would remind you that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 occurred more than 8 years ago. I would also remind you that among the findings of the 9/11 Commission, to which I provided testimony, was the fact that the terrorists who savagely attacked our nation engaged in visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud. Indeed, it has been reported that of some 94 terrorists who had been identified as operating in our country in the decade leading up to the attacks of 9/11, some 59 of those individuals had used immigration fraud and/or visa fraud as a means of entering our country and/or embedding themselves within our country, enabling them to hide in plain sight. As I have noted in previous commentaries, our nation had suffered two terrorist attacks in 1993: at the entrance to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia when a lone gunman stood outside the entrance to the CIA gates in January of that year and then one month later, on February 26, 1993 the World Trade center was nearly brought down by an explosives-laden truck parked in the underground garage at the World Trade Center complex. That explosion took 6 innocent lives, injured hundreds of other people and inflicted an estimated one half billion dollars to the complex of buildings including the twin towers that had been among the most breathtaking edifices of the New York City skyline. Those vicious attacks had both been carried out by aliens from the Middle East whose entry and presence in our country was facilitated by visa fraud and immigration fraud.

Only a failed detonator saved NW flight
Officials now say tragedy was only averted on Northwest flight 253 because a makeshift detonator failed to work properly. Bomb experts say there was more than enough explosive to bring down the Northwest jet, which had nearly 300 people aboard, had the detonator not failed, and the nation's outdated airport screening machines may need to be upgraded. "We've known for a long time that this is possible," said Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism czar and ABC News consultant, "and that we really have to replace our scanning devices with more modern systems." Clarke said full body scans were needed, "but they're expensive and they're intrusive. They invade people's privacy." (No, what’s need is profiling anyone coming from a country with a jihadist threat. But that wouldn’t be PC, while you and your family dying is. And see the next paragraph.) Investigators believe Abdulmutallab was connected to al Qaeda by the same radical imam, American-born Anwar Awlaki, who is linked to the American Army major accused of opening fire at Fort Hood in November. According to investigators, the bomb used yesterday was built in Yemen by a top al Qaeda bomb maker. (But remember, Ft. Hood had nothing to do with Islam and terror—just a random nut who happened to be Muslim. Could have been a Baptist just as likely, right? Let’s not jump to conclusions as BO said.)

Christian workers on the Arabian Peninsula "are often exploited and sometimes treated as human beings of second class"
Excerpt: That is, like dhimmis. Imagine the global outrage if the shoe were on the other foot, and Muslims were so restricted. "Vatican's top cleric in Arabia walks a thin line," by Barbara Surk for the Associated Press, December 25: ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- The Vatican's top cleric in the heart of Muslim Arabia tends to a flock of 2 million Christians spread around six desert nations. But he has to do it quietly: Most of them must still pray in secret and are forbidden to display crosses and other symbols of their faith. From his base in the emirate of Abu Dhabi on the Persian Gulf, Archbishop Paul Hinder travels the Arabian Peninsula, even slipping in and out of Saudi Arabia - the birthplace of Islam, where restrictions on Christians are the toughest. (The Saudis called for a boycott of the Swiss over the banning of minarets, but not mosques as churches are banned in our ally Saudi Arabia!)

Islamists claim killing of Russian priest
Didn’t get the Islam-is-a-religion-of-peace memo. Excerpt: An Islamist militant group based in Russia's North Caucases has claimed the killing last month of an Orthodox priest who was an outspoken critic of Islam. "One of our brothers who has never been to the Caucases took up the oath of (former independent Chechen president Doku Umarov) and expressed his desire to execute the damned Sysoyev," said a statement on the website. Daniil Sysoyev, 35, was killed on November 20 when masked gunman walked into Saint Thomas's church in southern Moscow and shot him four times.

Yemeni Muslim cleric: Jews are apes and pigs, we are human beings
Imagine if a Christian or Jewish religious leader said this about Muslims? The firestorm would never end.

Iranian student protester Neda Soltan is Times Person of the Year
I figured BO was a lock. Excerpt: Neda Soltan was not political. She did not vote in the Iranian presidential election on June 12. The young student was appalled, however, by the way that the regime shamelessly rigged the result and reinstalled Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ignoring the pleas of her family, she went with her music teacher eight days later to join a huge opposition demonstration in Tehran. “Even if a bullet goes through my heart it’s not important,” she told Caspian Makan, her fiancé. “What we’re fighting for is more important. When it comes to taking our stolen rights back we should not hesitate. Everyone is responsible. Each person leaves a footprint in this world.” Ms Soltan, 26, had no idea just how big a footprint she would leave. Hours after leaving home, she was indeed shot, by a government militiaman, as she and other demonstrators chanted: “Death to the dictator.”

A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of few individuals, with the blessing of more, and amid the passive acquiescence of all. - Publius Corneliu Tacitus (Rome had its Harry Reids.)

Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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