Saturday, December 12, 2009

Political Digest for December 13, 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.

Remembering the Brave
A moving tribute.

Special Democratic Voting Counties Would Get Protected Medicare Benefits
Some counties protected.

RAND Corporation Blueprint for Militarized "Stability Police Force"
The acronym SPFOR is too long. I suggest shortening it to “SS” for Special Service, Ja? Excerpt: The RAND Corporation, one of the most fecund research arms of the Military-Industrial-Homeland Security Complex, has released a study entitled A Stability Police Force for the United States: Justification and Creating U.S. Capabilities. The SPFOR (to use the inevitable acronym) would be a "hybrid" military/law enforcement unit created within the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) for use "in a range of tasks such as crowd and riot control, special weapons and tactics (SWAT), and investigations of organized criminal groups" - both abroad, in UN-directed multilateral military operations, and at home, as dictated by the needs of the Regime.

Republican Congressman rips GOP over Pork

More on Pork in latest budget
Republicans voted against it, but most got their share of earmarks.

The Independent Caucus

Cap-and-Trade Model Loses Billions to Fraud
Maybe this is why the Chicago crowd wants it so bad. Bigger cookie jar to get their mitts in. Excerpt: As negotiators grapple in Copenhagen over a global scheme to curtail carbon emissions, Europe's own iteration was revealed as an easy mark for organized crime. The development could lend fresh ammunition to congressional critics of the Obama administration's plans to limit carbon emissions through a cap-and-trade system. Europol, the European Union's joint criminal intelligence agency, announced that in the last 18 months, criminals have gamed the EU's Emissions Trading System for a cool $7.4 billion in purloined tax revenues.

Hollywood and Howard Zinn's Marxist Education Project
Excerpt: The two most important questions for society, according to the Greek philosopher Plato, are these: What will we teach our children? And who will teach them? Left-wing celebrities have teamed up with one of America's most radical historians to take control of the classroom in the name of "social justice." Parents, beware: This Hollywood-backed Marxist education project may be coming to a school near you. On Sunday, Dec. 13, the History Channel will air "The People Speak" -- a documentary based on Marxist academic Howard Zinn's capitalism-bashing, America-dissing, grievance-mongering history textbook, "A People's History of the United States." The film was co-produced and bankrolled by Zinn's Boston neighbor and mentee Matt Damon. An all-star cast of Bush-bashing liberals, including Danny Glover, Josh Brolin, Bruce Springsteen, Marisa Tomei and Eddie Vedder, will appear. Zinn's work is a self-proclaimed "biased account" of American history that rails against white oppressors, the free market and the military. Zinn's objective is not to impart knowledge, but to instigate "change" and nurture a political "counterforce" (an echo of fellow radical academic and Hugo Chavez admirer Bill Ayers' proclamation of education as the "motor-force of revolution"). Teachers are not supposed to teach facts in the school of Zinn. "There is no such thing as pure fact," Zinn asserts. Educators are not supposed to emphasize individual academic achievement. They are supposed to "empower" student collectivism by emphasizing "the role of working people, women, people of color and organized social movements." School officials are not facilitators of intellectual inquiry, but leaders of "social struggle."

The Tip of the Climategate Iceberg
The global-warming scandal is bigger than one email leak.
Excerpt: Mr. Pachauri and his allies are fond of pointing out that climate change science is bigger than East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU), and that other institutions' research backs the theory. This is true. But it's also the best argument for opening up to public scrutiny both the raw data and the computer code that lies behind pronouncements of looming climate catastrophe. Citizen-researchers—some of whom are, indeed, skeptics—have been after some of this information for years. CRU's apparent obstruction of freedom-of-information requests, as revealed by the leaks, is only the tip of the iceberg. In 2004, retired businessman Stephen McIntyre asked the National Science Foundation for information on various climate research that it funds. Affirming "the importance of public access to scientific research supported by U.S. federal funds," the Foundation nonetheless declined, saying "in general, we allow researchers the freedom to convey their scientific results in a manner consistent with their professional judgment." Which leaves researchers free to withhold information selectively from critics, as when CRU director Phil Jones told Australian scientist Warwick Hughes in a 2005 email: "Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it."

Is Al Gore Smarter Than a Sixth Grader?
Excerpt: Some sixth graders, fortunately for their parents, are more astute than I was and Al Gore is. Some of them can make great use of GISS data to demonstrate that warming is local and related to land use rather than global and related to everything for which the EPA is currently dreaming of taxing us. Given that this kid managed to employ the very oh-so “unequivocal” “evidence” which Gore touts as the be-all and end-all of scientific knowledge to show persuasively that anthropogenic global warming is a crock, this sixth grader is, in my estimation, smarter than Al Gore. Mr. Gore, it seems, has shot himself in the foot yet again, debunked by the same inconclusive data which serves as the foundation for his entire cult, let alone his argument.

Turkey prepares to join EU in a building confiscated from the Orthodox
Excerpt: Istanbul (AsiaNews) - Unbelievable but true: the headquarters of the Secretariat for the entry of Turkey into the European Union is a building confiscated from the Orthodox Christian community in the 90s. The building is located in Istanbul, in the well-known area of Ortakoy, under the first bridge over the Bosphorus. Before the seizure, the building was used as a primary school for children of the minority Orthodox in Ortakoy. Here, once lived a thriving Orthodox community, now non-existent because of past purges against minorities, executed by the "secular" Turkish State. Thanks to the policy of purging, the building and many other schools, at one point found themselves without students, unused and then confiscated. The forfeiture rule however prevented foundations - owners of buildings - from allocating them to different uses. The community of Ortakoy appealed to the administrative courts in Istanbul, which have yet to rule on the issue. In case of a ruling to the contrary, the Orthodox intend to apply to the court in Strasbourg. The inauguration of the Secretariat took place in the presence of Prime Minister Erdogan, accompanied by Minister for European Affairs Bajis and by various authorities and European representation.

Canada: Muslim leader objects to bomb-sniffing dogs on buses and trains
Excerpt: Dogs are, of course, unclean in Islam. But what a coincidence, eh? If the dogs are called off, someone carrying a bomb -- say, I don't know, maybe an Islamic jihadist, might just be able to slip through. Surely the modern, moderate Shawket Hassan wouldn't want to see that happen, now, would he?

Totalitarian Sentimentality
Excerpt: Conservatives recognize that social order is hard to achieve and easy to destroy, that it is held in place by discipline and sacrifice, and that the indulgence of criminality and vice is not an act of kindness but an injustice for which all of us will pay. Conservatives therefore maintain severe and -- to many people -- unattractive attitudes. They favor retributive punishment in the criminal law; they uphold traditional marriage and the sacrifices that it requires; they believe in discipline in schools and the value of hard work and military service. They believe in the family and think that the father is an essential part in it. They see welfare provisions as necessary, but also as a potential threat to genuine charity, and a way both of rewarding antisocial conduct and creating a culture of dependency. They value the hard-won legal and constitutional inheritance of their country and believe that immigrants must also value it if they are to be allowed to settle here. Conservatives do not think that war is caused by military strength, but on the contrary by military weakness, of a kind that tempts adventurers and tyrants. And a properly ordered society must be prepared to fight wars -- even wars in foreign parts -- if it is to enjoy a lasting peace in its homeland. In short conservatives are a hard and unfriendly bunch who, in the world in which we live, must steel themselves to be reviled and despised by all people who make compassion into the cornerstone of the moral life. Liberals are of course very different…..

Baucus’ Girlfriend Worked on His Divorce While on His Staff
The Tiger Woods of the Senate. Excerpt: The last person to know that Sen. Max Baucus wanted a divorce may have been his wife of 25 years. It appears that Wanda Baucus was in the dark even as a member of Baucus’ staff — Melodee Hanes, the woman who is now his live-in girlfriend — was plotting out the senator’s life without a wife. Hanes, Baucus’ former state director, reportedly met at least twice with the

$3.9 billion in earmarks in spending bill
Excerpt: In all, the bill contains 5,224 earmarks costing about $3.9 billion, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group.

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