Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

The troubled world can offer no award
To you who sleep beneath the chiseled stone.
You died because we handed you the sword,
And we are free because you sleep alone.

The tides of history well may change the cause,
And time may blunt the sharpness of the debt,
For sacrifice, a nation under laws
Is gathered here today, lest we forget.

--Robert A. Hall

I composed this poem while marching in the Fitchburg, MA Memorial Day Parade in 1975, then used it in my speech at the upper common. Not sure the press believed I wrote it on the spot, but they were too lazy to do any research. I usually drag it out this time of year, so forgive me if you've seen it before.

Political Digest May 31, 2010

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. Nor that I disagree with them, of course.
I approach Memorial Day with a lot of sadness, as I’m no longer convinced that the majority of Americans are worth the sacrifice these men and women made.

Old 666
This is for my Uncle Vern, who volunteered to fly at a tail gunner (he was a ground ordinance officer) in the biggest bomb mission of the war in Europe on December 24, 1944. His group, the 487, was in the lead. The wind was from the east and the American fighters couldn’t keep up. His plane was shot down by German fighters and he was killed. I never knew him, but he’s among those I remember on Memorial Day. Increasingly, I have trouble believing that the majority of Americans deserve the sacrifices made for them.

Gene Simmons Military Tribute
Not a KISS fan, but love this.

Obama supporters protect AZ law

Training of Afghan military, police has improved, NATO report says
Excerpt: A U.S. military review in Afghanistan has concluded that the addition of more than 1,000 new U.S. military and NATO troops focused on training has helped stabilize what had been a failing effort to build Afghanistan's security forces, but that persistent attrition problems could still hinder long-term success.

As 'top kill' effort fails, BP must fall back on oil spill containment strategy
If I had some cash and a ten-year investment strategy (I don’t). I’d look for some nice Golf front property for sale and make a low ball offer. These things do get resolved, as bad as this looks. But it means the drill at home movement is dead, so we will keep feeding money to people trying to destroy us.

Obama proposed downsizing Coast Guard crisis center three months before spill
Excerpt: Three months before the massive BP oil spill erupted in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration proposed downsizing the Coast Guard national coordination center for oil spill responses, prompting its senior officers to warn that the agency’s readiness for catastrophic events would be weakened…

Obama's trip to Gulf coast a metaphor for his presidency
Excerpt: Memorial Day weekend was poised to kick into high gear when perpetual vacationer Barack Obama decided to helicopter over the Louisiana bayou toward the Port Fourchon shoreline. Barack's pre-vacation goal was to check out beach damage related to the Gulf coast oil spill. Unfortunately, as British Petroleum struggled to "plug the hole," crude oil continued to flood into the Gulf of Mexico. The "top kill" process is a familiar one. In fact, "top kill" methodology should have forewarned BP engineers that addressing problems, the top down, Obama-style oftentimes delivers disastrous results.

Barack Obama's credibility hits rock bottom
Excerpt: The first thing Barack Obama probably should have done was to order the livestreaming Oil Spill Cam to be turned off. As the President insisted to Americans that he was "singularly focused" on staunching the flow, there was that mesmerizing image on their television screens of plumes of hydrocarbons gushing relentlessly into the Gulf of Mexico. When any political leader feels they have to declare that they are "fully engaged" in an issue, it is clear that they are in trouble. Talking about it undermines the very point you are trying to make - not to mention that pesky Oil Spill Cam showing that, 38 days into the Deepwater Horizon disaster, not a whole lot had been achieved.

Terror link alleged as Saudi millions flow into Afghanistan war zone
We can’t drill here or have nukes, to protect the environment, so we have to keep funding our own murders. Excerpt: Millions of dollars of Saudi Arabian money have flowed into Afghanistan over the past four years, the country’s intelligence officials say, with the sponsorship of terrorism its most likely use. According to members of the Afghan financial intelligence unit, FinTraca, the funds, totalling more than £920 million, enter from Pakistan, where they are converted into rupees or dollars, the favoured currency for terrorist operations. “We can trace it back as far as an entry point in Waziristan,” said Mohammed Mustafa Massoudi, the director-general of FinTraca in Kabul. “Why would anyone want to put such money into Waziristan? Only one reason — terrorism.”

Mexican pirates attack Texas fishermen on Falcon Lake, which straddles border
As the violence spreads into the US, the anti-illegal majority will grow. More on this story: Falcon Lake is famous for its monster bass and for the maniacal obsession of the fishermen who come from all over Texas -- and the world -- to stalk them. Now this remote reservoir that straddles the international boundary is known for something else: pirates. In the past month, crews of outlaws in a small armada of banged-up skiffs and high-powered bass boats launched from the Mexican shore have ambushed bass anglers from the Texas side innocently casting their plastic worms over favorite spots. The buccaneers have struck in Mexican waters but within sight of the Texas shore. Dressed in black, the pirates brandish automatic weapons, carry radio cellphones and board the anglers' boats. They demand weapons or drugs from their captives, but finding neither, seem satisfied with taking $400 or $500 as booty, according to law enforcement officials and victims' accounts.

Illegal immigrants gravitate toward Arizona border
The closer you are to the problem, ion the border or in the drug-infested cities, that angrier you are. Excerpt: Along a rugged stretch of the Mexican border here in southern Arizona, U.S. authorities captured 687 illegal immigrants in a 24-hour period last week, three times the number captured near San Diego. During the past eight months, agents have apprehended 168,000 migrants along this sector of the border. The border crossers are so determined, and so impervious to a long-running buildup of federal agents and technology, that few here think President Obama's recent decision to dispatch 1,200 National Guard soldiers and $500 million will make much difference. "I doubt it, frankly," said Don Severe, a vocal opponent of illegal immigration who favors stronger measures, including certain incarceration. "It sounds good, but what are they going to do? We have a very serious problem." Arizona, home of a controversial new law that makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally, has become the leakiest portion of the nearly 2,000-mile border. The continuing flow of illegal immigrants, compounded by a rise in narcotics traffic and the slaying of an Arizona rancher, perhaps by a border crosser, has triggered a fresh fight over immigration policy.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and the Imam
Scary. Grab on to the gun and the sword.

Feds Issue Terror Watch for the Texas/Mexico Border
Profiling Alert! Excerpt: The Department of Homeland Security is alerting Texas authorities to be on the lookout for a suspected member of the Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorist group who might be attempting to travel to the U.S. through Mexico, a security expert who has seen the memo tells The warning follows an indictment unsealed this month in Texas federal court that accuses a Somali man in Texas of running a “large-scale smuggling enterprise” responsible for bringing hundreds of Somalis from Brazil through South America and eventually across the Mexican border. Many of the illegal immigrants, who court records say were given fake IDs, are alleged to have ties to other now-defunct Somalian terror organizations that have merged with active organizations like Al Shabaab, al-Barakat and Al-Ittihad Al-Islami.

Taliban Using Chemical Weapons Against US Troops? 4-5 Troops Reportedly Fall Ill
The Nazi’s didn’t use gas, but only to be expected from adherents of the Religion of Peace. Saddam did, after all, against his own people. Excerpt: Five US troops serving in Afghanistan recently fell ill after a suspected chemical weapons attack. Four or five members fell ill after the attack. One soldier is very sick. They are having trouble breathing. I am waiting for more information. In 2009 National Terror Alert reported that Al-Qaeda and the Taliban had developed some expertise in making bio-chemical weapons.

Report: Sestak Was Not Eligible for Job Clinton Supposedly Offered…
Not to worry, they have their story straight. The job offered was non-paying, thus it wasn’t a crime. Excerpt: In a little-noticed passage Friday, the New York Times reported that Rep. Joe Sestak was not eligible for a place on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, the job he was reportedly offered by former President Bill Clinton. And indeed a look at the Board’s website reveals this restriction:

CONFLICT: Secret Service, Fruits of Islam, The Press in Chicago
We’ll never know if this is true, as if so it doesn’t fit the narrative the press is selling us. Excerpt: President Obama’s home is in the same Chicago neighborhood as Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. On Saturday night, the overlapping of Obama’s and Farrakhan’s worlds made for a strange, and sometimes testy, encounter between the Secret Service, the press corps covering the president, and the paramilitary security force, the Fruit of Islam, surrounding Farrakhan. The encounter was written up — for distribution to the press, not necessarily for publication — by the New York Times’ Jackie Calmes. It began a little after 4:00 p.m. when Obama and his family walked to the nearby home of longtime friend Marty Nesbitt for a backyard cookout. It just so happens that Nesbitt lives across the street from Farrakhan. A few hours after Obama went to Nesbitt’s home, the press pool, including Calmes, was waiting in a bus parked near 49th Street and Woodlawn Avenue, next to Farrakhan’s mansion. The reporters’ Secret Service minder allowed them off the bus to stretch their legs. As they stood on the sidewalk, some of the journalists inadvertently touched the grass next to the sidewalk, and that is when the encounter began. From Calmes’ report: Immediately a polite man in jeans and T-shirt emerged to ask us to stay off the grass. Though this grass was the curbside city property, we obliged. But it turned out that simply staying off the grass was not enough to satisfy the man in the T-shirt. Calmes continues: Soon, however, he was pacing and talking on a cell phone. He went inside the mansion’s black wrought iron fence, crossed the well-landscaped yard, lifted a water bucket behind rose bushes and, voila!, a walkie-talkie. He was heard to refer to “the CIA” once he began speaking into it. Soon he approached our [Secret Service] agent, asking him to move the van and its occupants, though your pooler could not hear much else he said. But the agent said, “How is this a security breach?” And he asked if the house was a government property. The man said something else and at that point the agent stuck out his hand to shake hands and introduced himself as a Secret Service agent. He added, “Sir, I can assure you that we will do nothing to interfere with whatever is going on in there.”. . .Reinforcements arrived — three men in T-shirts reading “Wide or Die!” One surly man has been staring daggers at us. Asked if this is Minister Farrakhan’s house, he just stared at your pooler. Asked again, he said, “I don’t have no comment.” At nearly 8 p.m. local time we are still holding while POTUS and family remain at the Nesbitts. More time passed. The men in T-shirts were joined by even more men, from the Fruit of Islam, Farrakhan’s security force. From Calmes: It’s 8:45 and nearly dark; your pool has retreated back inside the van. We’re outnumbered now by roughly a dozen Fruit of Islam agents for the Nation of Islam. As each casually dressed man arrives, he exchanges elaborate handshake/hug/double air-kisses with others. Two walked by your pooler chanting “Islam.” Several have filmed and photographed your poolers, the van and its license plates with their cell phones.

Ken Cuccinelli versus 810 academics
Excerpt: Mann is the former UVA professor, whose “hockey stick” temperature chart was used to promote claims that “sudden” and “unprecedented” manmade global warming “threatens” human civilization and Earth itself. The hockey stick was first broken by climatologists Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas, who demonstrated that a Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age were clearly reflected in historic data across the globe, but redacted by Mann. Analysts Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick later showed that Mann’s computer program generated hockey-stick patterns regardless of what numbers were fed into it – even random telephone numbers; that explained why the global warming and cooling of the last millennium magically disappeared in Mann’s “temperature reconstruction.” The Climategate emails revealed another deliberate “trick” that Mann used to generate a late twentieth-century temperature jump: he replaced tree ring data with thermometer measurements at the point in his timeline when the tree data no longer fit his climate disaster thesis. During his UVA tenure, he employed other sly statistical tricks to generate a purported, and truly unprecedented, CO2-driven warming of 2-4.5 degrees F per decade (1-2.5 degrees C). That extrapolates to as much as 45 degrees F per century! Not surprisingly, he refused to share his data, computer codes and methodologies with skeptical scientists. Perhaps worse, Climategate emails indicate that Mann and others conspired to co-opt and corrupt the very scientific process that Carr asserts will ultimately condemn or vindicate them. This behavior certainly gives Cuccinelli “probable cause” for launching an investigation. As the AG notes, “The same legal standards for fraud apply to the academic setting that apply elsewhere. The same rule of law, the same objective fact-finding process, will take place.” Some witch hunt. There is simply no room in science, academia or public policy for manipulation, falsification or fraud. Academic freedom does not confer a right to engage in such practices, and both attorneys general and research institutions have a duty to root them out, especially in the case of climate change research. Work by Mann and other alarmist scientists is not merely some theoretical exercise that can be permitted to “play itself out” over many years, if and when the “academic arena” gets around to it. These assertions of climate crisis are being used right now by Congress, states, courts and the Environmental Protection Agency to justify draconian restrictions on energy use and greenhouse emissions. They would shackle our freedoms and civil rights and hammer our jobs, economy, health, welfare and living standards. If the science is wrong – or far worse, if it is manipulated, fabricated, fraudulent and covered up – then grave damage will be done to our nation, liberties and families, before the truth gets its boots on.

Obama, the Thin-Skinned President
Excerpt: In their book "The Battle for America 2008," Haynes Johnson and Dan Balz wrote this: [Chief political aide David] Axelrod also warned that Obama's confessions of youthful drug use, described in his memoir, Dreams From My Father, would be used against him. "This is more than an unpleasant inconvenience," he wrote. "It goes to your willingness and ability to put up with something you have never experienced on a sustained basis: criticism. At the risk of triggering the very reaction that concerns me, I don't know if you are Muhammad Ali or Floyd Patterson when it comes to taking a punch. You care far too much what is written and said about you. You don't relish combat when it becomes personal and nasty. When the largely irrelevant Alan Keyes attacked you, you flinched," he said of Obama's 2004 U.S. Senate opponent. I thought of this memo after reading the comment by Sen. Pat Roberts after he and other Senate Republicans had a contentious 80-minute meeting with the president on Tuesday. "He needs to take a Valium before he comes in and talks to Republicans," Roberts said. "He's pretty thin-skinned." Sen. Roberts is being too generous. Obama is among the most thin-skinned presidents we have had, and we see evidence of it in every possible venue imaginable, from one-on-one interviews to press conferences, from extemporaneous remarks to set speeches.

Are Climate Alarmists losing the Mainstream Media?
Excerpt: On Monday, the NY Times broke with years of blatant warmist bias in reporting that Climate Fears Turn to Doubts Among Britons. The article cited a February BBC survey which “found that only 26 percent of Britons believed that ‘climate change is happening and is now established as largely manmade,’ down from 41 percent in November 2009.” The Times attributed the public opinion swing in Great Britain and similar shifts in Germany and the US to what it referred to as “a series of climate science controversies unearthed and highlighted by skeptics since November.” In other words, the climate fraud uncovered at the University of East Anglia (aka Climategate) and the multitude of errors uncovered in the latest IPCC (AR4) report. Of course, the Times abhor the new public awareness as it “will make it harder to pass legislation like a fuel tax increase and to persuade people to make sacrifices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” But shouldn’t facts drive policy? Not according to Greenpeace spokesman Ben Stewart, quoted by the Times complaining that “[l]egitimacy has shifted to the side of the climate skeptics, and that is a big, big problem.” Really? Now Newsweek has joined the newly aware, but with a dash more honesty. In a piece titled Uncertain Science, the normally climate alarm sounding magazine has also acknowledged the turning tide:

American Jews and Israel
Excerpt: In fact, the problem is that far too many college students are not being taught history without it being politicized. In 1995, David McCullough gave an acceptance speech for the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. His talk, entitled "Why History," centered on the widespread crisis concerning the lack of judicious study of American history. The problem has become far more critical. Our students do not even know the basics of American history, let alone international history.... How is it that the world yawns when Israelis are booed at sports events, when singers boycott Israel, when the U.N. appoints the basest of the base to its Human Rights unit? Where is the outcry from the power brokers? Yet Mr. Beinart expects 18-year-olds to shoulder the responsibilities of these daily battles? Middle Eastern Studies programs, once the jewel of genuine multicultural studies, have become the tools of propaganda and distortion by terrorist-leading pundits.... Why are the Palestinians the only ones whose plight is pictured on television? What about the survivors of suicide bombs, whose lives have been shattered, whose hopes have been dashed? Pierre Rehov has interviewed and filmed captured failed suicide bombers who are jailed in Israeli prisons; the bombers vow that if given a chance, they would continue to blow up Jews. Some of these suicide bombers were Israelis, born and educated in the country. Is it any wonder that Israeli Jews have a justified suspicion of the Arabs living among them?

Obama's Charm Offensive Masks Israel Policy Change
Excerpt: On Thursday, Obama hosted some 250 Jewish luminaries and high-achievers at an elaborate White House reception to mark Jewish Heritage Month. The administration pulled out all the stops to make this a memorable, first-ever event. It gave Obama another chance to pump up his charm offensive to persuade Jews who voted overwhelmingly for him to remain lined up behind him. The President spoke about the "unbreakable Israeli-U.S." alliance and pulled out his oratorical skills to dispel any concern that his administration might be going wobbly on Israel. But even as Jewish leaders basked in the glow of the White House, the president's diplomatic team was busy in New York cutting a nuclear deal at the UN with Egypt and other Arab states that stabs Israel in the back.

The Combat Veterans For Congress Pac Calls For Blumenthal To Drop Out Of The Senate Race
Excerpt: Democrat Richard Blumenthal repeatedly “lied” about service in Vietnam. “There is a huge difference between a Combat Veteran like Col Rob Simmons, and Democrat Richard Blumenthal who repeatedly lied about his service in Vietnam. Blumenthal's service was in a service detachment in the safety of the United States following "five" deferment applications so he could remain out of "Harms Way." No self respecting Veteran would be so blatant to lie about serving in Vietnam in order to make the Connecticut voters believe that he was as valorous as other patriotic US Marines who served in Vietnam. Many US Marines gave the last full measure of devotion in service to their country. Blumenthal dishonors the memory of all those US Marines who were killed on a foreign shore. Combat Veterans like Col Rob Simmons who served on multiple tours of Combat duty in Vietnam and was awarded 2 Bronze Star Medals for his Combat service feels Blumenthal’s repeated lies were unforgivable. It is disrespectful to the memory of all Vietnam Veterans for someone to try to get credit for serving in Vietnam when he did not. Blumenthal is not qualified to be a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars; his bogus membership is an affront to the millions of Veterans who served on foreign fields of battle “In Harms Way”, and it should be cancelled. Repeatedly, over many years, Blumenthal tried to mislead voters into believing he served in Vietnam and that he had been spit on when he returned to the United States, those public statements were unconscionable. Blumenthal impugned his record, his standing as a public servant, his Senate candidacy, and even his legitimacy as a creditable Veteran.”

Israel key to conference on banning nuclear arms
Excerpt: After 15 years, Arab nations finally won agreement from the United States and the other nuclear powers to take the first step toward banning nuclear weapons from the Middle East. Now the next move is Israel's. But the Israeli government rejected the resolution Saturday, calling it "deeply flawed and hypocritical." Although the U.S. joined the 188 other member nations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty on Friday in giving a green light to a conference in 2012 "on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction," senior U.S. officials appeared to backtrack afterward, setting several conditions for the talks to go ahead.

China Leader Tries to Defuse Korean Tensions
Excerpt: China's premier said today that tensions over the sinking of a South Korean warship urgently need to be defused, but did not join other key nations in blaming longtime ally North Korea and gave no indication he would support U.N. sanctions. Premier Wen Jiabao's comments came at the end of a weekend summit in South Korea where he was closely watched for signs that Beijing would get tougher on the North, which is accused of sinking the naval ship Cheonan with a torpedo two months ago, killing 46 sailors. North Korea has repeatedly denied attacking the ship, and on today tens of thousands of people packed the main square in Pyongyang, the nation's capital, for a rally condemning South Korea and the U.S. The isolated North often organizes such events during times of tense relations with foreign countries.

The Prepper Movement -- a Growing Network Preparing for the World's End
Excerpt: Asylum readers, there is a posse of self-sufficient men and women out there who make it their goal to be prepared when disaster strikes. They call themselves "preppers." From natural catastrophes to economic meltdowns to nuclear blowouts, the preppers' collective goal is quite simple: to carry on as usual, even when catastrophe strikes. Think backyard fallout shelters of the 1950s or Y2K shenanigans -- only circa 2010. The whole prepper movement may seem pretty zany. So zany, in fact, that you'd think only a miniscule amount of people would actually be partaking in it. Wrong. Over recent years, a huge community of preppers has developed. Perform a simple Google search and you'll turn up plenty of prepper-related stuff, including the Web television portal Prepper TV, survival blogs, podcasts (such as DoctorPrepper and PrepperPodcast), and forums that cover everything from a woman's perspective to recycling to how to handle dead bodies. There's even a rash of YouTube videos offering tutorials on such topics as how to construct your own nuclear bomb shelter, what firearms you should own, and how to earthquake-proof your stored food. (Not sure if they are crazy or smarter than me. But I’m too old and sick to survive the collapse anyway.)

Senate Democrats defeat McCain bid to send 6,000 troops to U.S.-Mexico border
Excerpt: President Barack Obama’s Democratic allies in the Senate have repelled a move by presidential rival John McCain to send an additional 6,000 National Guard troops to the U.S-Mexico border. The Arizona Republican says the security situation along the order has deteriorated so badly that 3,000 guard troops are needed just to help protect his state. But McCain failed to muster the required 60 votes for his plan as the Senate continued debate on an a war funding bill.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Obama supporters protest AZ law

Political Digest May 30, 2010

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. Nor that I disagree with them, of course.

Options studied for a possible Pakistan strike
Note that we would only strike after a successful attack on American soil. If, say, they were able to kill 50 Americans in London or Afghanistan, they are home free. Not sure how many Americans have to die to qualify as “catastrophic.” Would 50 do it? Would it make a difference if they were Red State Voters? How about if they were undocumented workers? Excerpt: The U.S. military is reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the country's tribal areas, according to senior military officials. Ties between the alleged Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, and elements of the Pakistani Taliban have sharpened the Obama administration's need for retaliatory options, the officials said. They stressed that a U.S. reprisal would be contemplated only under extreme circumstances, such as a catastrophic attack that leaves President Obama convinced that the ongoing campaign of CIA drone strikes is insufficient. "Planning has been reinvigorated in the wake of Times Square," one of the officials said. At the same time, the administration is trying to deepen ties to Pakistan's intelligence officials in a bid to head off any attack by militant groups. The United States and Pakistan have recently established a joint military intelligence center on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, and are in negotiations to set up another one near Quetta, the Pakistani city where the Afghan Taliban is based, according to the U.S. military officials. They and other officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity surrounding

Insider Patenting: How Fannie Mae Chief Got the Patent for Cap and Trade in 2006
Going green, all the way to the bank. Excerpt: Just one day after the Democrats seized control of Congress, the Chief Executive of Fannie Mae, Franklin Raines, received the patent for a residential cap-and-trade system (Patent 6904336), What this means is that Raines, along with several colleagues who also “own” the patent, could stand to make huge amounts of money if the cap-and-trade regime was ever brought to the residential marketplace. What does this have to do with Fannie Mae? Absolutely nothing. To understand the implications, a little discussion about patenting is needed. Patents are basically “ownership” rights to an invention. If you invent something, you can license it to others to produce and collect royalties. Each year, thousands of patents are sent to the US Patent Office for consideration. Many “patent houses” simply put in very general patents so they can turn around and sue businesses later for “stealing” their inventions. Sometimes it’s legit, many times its bogus. As examples, Amazon holds the patent of “one-click purchasing”. Litigation ensued on that. There’s a patent on a “self-executing webpage” which is the reason why a few years ago Microsoft had to convert Internet Explorer to not automatically play media as soon as someone visited a webpage. (i.e. why you have to click a YouTube video for it to play). Here is where things get interesting. Cap-and-trade legislation literally creates an asset out of thin air. It requires some means to “value” the asset and some means to trade it. In essence, it would lead to government created assets and trading mechanisms. However, when this patent was awarded and applied for, cap-and-trade was not even on the public radar yet. It is important to remember a few things. Franklin Raines has privileged access to Congress and politicians. He knew and could talk to them about what they were thinking and what they planned to do. As head of a government corporation, he also had a degree of access to the Patent Office to help “smooth the way” to get a patent. What happened here has all the marks of “insider patenting”. While technically legal, Raines was able to use inside information to put a patent into place before government action created a new marketplace that would require the creation of this systems. The result would have been huge amounts of cash to him and his “co-inventors” and likely, a few patrons on Capitol Hill as well.

Uncertainty over Medicare pay sets doctors on edge
Excerpt: For the third time this year, Congress is scrambling to stave off a hefty pay cut to doctors treating Medicare patients _ even as the Obama administration mails out a glossy brochure to reassure seniors the health care program is on solid ground. The 21.3 percent cut will take effect June 1 unless Congress intervenes in the next few days. Recurring uncertainty over Medicare fees is making doctors take a hard look at their participation in a program considered a bedrock of middle-class retirement security. If the problem is allowed to fester, it could undermine key goals of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, which envisions using Medicare to test ideas for improving the quality of care for all Americans. Doubts about Medicare's stability can also create political problems for Democrats in the fall elections, since polls show seniors are worried about the impact of the remake on their own care. "We will not have that cut," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., vowed Wednesday. How lawmakers will resolve the problem is unclear. Initially, Democrats had talked about a five-year fix, then three years. Now leaders are proposing postponement through the end of 2011. Doing away with the cuts altogether would be expensive, an estimated $200 billion or more over 10 years. That's what the American Medical Association wants. "In the past two years, (lawmakers) keep coming up to the deadline _ or a little past it _ and waiving the cuts for shorter and shorter periods of time, which makes us uneasy," said Dr. Susan Crittenden, a primary care physician practicing near Raleigh, N.C. "The current uncertainty about what the fee schedule will be, and whether at some point there will be a 20 percent cut, makes it harder to accept new Medicare patients," Crittenden said.

Obama Says He’s Too Busy To Meet With Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer…
Excerpt: President Obama has turned down Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's request to meet while she's in Washington next week as tensions mount between his administration and Arizona over the state's new law cracking down on illegal immigrants. (AP) President Obama has turned down Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's request to meet while she's in Washington next week as tensions mount between his administration and Arizona over the state's new law cracking down on illegal immigrants. Brewer will be in Washington to meet with other governors. She said Friday that she had asked to meet with Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to discuss border security and immigration. But Obama's schedule "doesn't allow for a meeting" with her, White House spokesman Adam Abrams said, adding that the president "does intend to sit down with the governor in the future." When Obama returns from his Chicago vacation on Tuesday, he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Peru President Alan Garcia at the White House. On Wednesday, Obama is meeting with Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, before heading to an event in Pittsburgh and hosting a concert at the White House to honor Paul McCartney.

Netanyahu, Obama’s newest prop
Excerpt: Netanyahu must not permit Obama’s public relations campaign to divert him from this mission. The Democratic Party is feeling the heat for US President Barack Obama’s hostility towards Israel. In an interview with Channel 10 earlier this month, Democratic Party mega-donor Haim Saban characterized the Obama administration as ideologically aligned with the radical Left and harshly criticized its treatment of Israel. Both Ma’ariv and Yediot Aharonot reported this week that Democratic congressmen and senators are deeply concerned that the administration’s harsh treatment of Israel has convinced many American Jews not to contribute to their campaigns or to the Democratic Party ahead of November 2’s mid-term elections. They also fear that American Jews will vote for Republican challengers in large numbers. It is these concerns, rather than a decision to alter his positions on Israel specifically and the Middle East generally, that now drive Obama’s relentless courtship of the American Jewish community. His latest move in this sphere was his sudden invitation to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to visit him at the White House for a “warm reception” in front of television cameras next Tuesday.

In Defense of Arizona's Ethnic Studies Law,2933,592863,00.html
Excerpt: TOM HORNE, ARIZONA SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT: No. In the summer of 1963, when I just graduated from high school, I went on the march on Washington, in which Martin Luther King gave his famous speech in which he said we should be judged by the quality of our character, rather than the color of our skin. And that has been among my deepest beliefs my entire life. And so this has made me opposed to dividing students by race. In the Tucson school district -- this was what led me to introduce this legislation -- they divide the kids up. They've got Raza studies for the Latino kids. Raza means "the race" in Spanish. African-American studies for the African-American kids, Indian studies for the native American kids and Asian studies for the Asian kids. And they're dividing them up just like the old South. And I believe that what's important about us is what we know, what we can do, what's our character as individuals, not what race we happen to have been born into. And the function of the public schools is to bring in kids from different backgrounds and teach them to treat each other as individuals. And the Tucson district is doing the opposite. They're teaching them to emphasize ethnic solidarity, what I call ethnic chauvinism. And I think that's exactly is the wrong thing to do in the public schools, and that's why I introduced this legislation to give myself the authority to put a stop to it.

North Korea: We're Heading To 'The Brink Of War'
Excerpt: North Korea's most powerful state organ said Friday that South Korea faked the sinking of one of its own warships and warned that the Korean peninsula was edging ever closer to war. Pyongyang has made similar statements through state media since a multinational probe said last week that a torpedo fired by a North Korean submarine downed the vessel, killing 46 sailors in the worst attack on the South Korean military since the Korean War. This time, though, the comments were delivered at an extremely rare press conference in the North Korean capital presided over by a uniformed official with the secretive country's National Defense Commission, which is headed by leader Kim Jong Il.

U.S., South Korea Ready to Repel North as Raptors, Ships Deploy
Maybe just a pick up game of midnight basketball and all will get along? Excerpt: U.S. and South Korean forces said they are ready to repel any threat posed by North Korea as 24 stealth fighter jets deploy to the region and a report said the military alert level has been raised. Naval vessels plan anti-submarine exercises close to the disputed maritime border between North and South Korea where one of the South’s warships sank on March 26, killing 46 sailors. An international team of experts last week concluded that a North Korean torpedo blew apart the Cheonan, prompting Kim Jong Il’s regime to cut all ties with the South and threaten “all-out war” over any punitive action. “U.S. and ROK forces are well prepared to deter aggression against the Republic of Korea and meet any threat posed by North Korean Forces,” said Lieutenant Colonel Angela Billings, a spokeswoman for U.S. forces in Korea, in a written response to questions. She declined to give any details on operational strategy, ship movements or contingency plans should the North make good on a threat to open fire on vessels invading disputed waters, citing security policy.

What Would a Korean War Look Like? 4 Predictions
Excerpt: Tensions continue to mount on the Korean peninsula in the wake of an international investigation that concluded a North Korean submarine was responsible for sinking a South Korean navy ship in April, killing 46 sailors. In the latest chess moves, Seoul staged a big anti-submarine drill, which Pyongyang responded to by saying it will no longer honor an agreement meant to avoid accidental naval clashes between the two nations. As the crisis escalates, an unsettling question comes into focus: What would war on the Korean peninsula look like some 50-odd years after the armistice that brought the Korean War to an end? (I think Wachter (the author) has painted these scenarios with his rosiest possible brushes. If the NKs go nuclear, Obama HAS to respond, though perhaps with very large FAEs. Once he does, the NKs will feel justified in attacking us directly---and they don't have fuel-air technology. I doubt they think they can "win," but they (their leadership, anyway) may think they can survive. And, if health reports are correct, Kim may figure he can go out in a Gotterdammerung as he has little to lose. Also, Wachter makes no mention of possibly coordinated action from Syria and/or Iran and their surrogates. This summer could be very tough for all of us. Ron P.)

UN experts say N Korea is exporting nuke technology
Excerpt: North Korea is exporting nuclear and ballistic missile technology and using multiple intermediaries, shell companies and overseas criminal networks to circumvent U.N. sanctions, U.N. experts said in a report obtained by The Associated Press. The seven-member panel monitoring the implementation of sanctions against North Korea said its research indicates that Pyongyang is involved in banned nuclear and ballistic activities in Iran, Syria and Myanmar. It called for further study of these suspected activities and urged all countries to try to prevent them.

Don't Speak for Me
The Tea Parties may yet save Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, but giving us candidates who can’t win the centrist vote, where elections are decided. Excerpt: Watching some of the self-appointed Tea Party leaders, my early excitement has given way to an unsettling concern that the ideology police on the right are committing the same error as the intolerant on the left. Just as Keith Olbermann has his worse, worser, and worst, the new wannabe arbiters of everything conservative are giving us conservative, conservativer, and conservativest. During this election cycle, beware if you do not fit their hair-splitting definition of conservativest. The conservative orthodoxy police who have press access and national forums appear to be making or breaking conservative candidates based upon their own "are you conservative enough" litmus tests. This scares me. Faced with two candidates who believe in small government, low taxes, fiscal and personal responsibility, who decides which candidate is really "better"? Is abortion a litmus test? Do libertarians (with whom I also sympathize) get bonus points? Do common sense and real-life experience -- in which tough decisions that might render someone's record only 98% "pure" -- enter into the decision at all? Or are they looking for the candidate who talks the loudest and seems to be the most extreme tax- and government-shrinker? Does the ability to get elected matter?

Must watch: The agencies created by the healthcare bill
All of which will be creating regulations

Obama's new national security strategy a recipe for disaster
Excerpt: The document and philosophy behind it limit America's capacity to respond quickly and decisively to threats and acts of terrorism and war against us and our allies and virtually guarantees that these will occur with ever increasing frequency and ferocity because our enemies know they have nothing to fear and that there will be no real consequences for their actions. As the U.S. places shackles on itself by emphasizing diplomacy and a collective response to anything and everything enemies throw it's way and becomes weaker as a result those who would destroy us and our way of life become stronger and more emboldened in turn and more likely to threaten and attack. This is an equation that seems to have escaped Obama.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer abruptly suspends state's attorney general from illegal immigrant law defense
Excerpt: A sudden new twist in the ongoing rhetorical and legal struggle over Arizona's tough new law to round up illegal immigrants. Late Friday night as the Memorial Day weekend began, Arizona's Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, in effect, suspended the state's Democratic attorney general from defending the new law in upcoming legal challenges. The measure, known as S.B. 1070, is due to take effect this summer and, among other things, allows local police under federal guidelines to check the immigration status of people they stop. (For a full list of background stories, see Related Items below.) The governor's abrupt action against Terry Goddard, her likely Democratic opponent in this fall's gubernatorial election, came after months of disputes between the two and at the end of a long day of legal maneuvering in both Arizona and the nation's capital. As the state's chief lawyer, Goddard would be expected to take the lead in defending Arizona against.... ...challenges to the Legislature's action, which erupted after years of state frustration with the federal government's inability to secure the state border with Mexico against illegal immigrants, drugs and criminals. However, Goddard has vocally opposed the measure, so much so that the Legislature gave the governor advance authority to hire outside legal counsel. On Friday, Goddard met with the Obama administration's Atty. Gen. Eric Holder in Washington, then held a news conference just hours before Brewer's handpicked attorneys were to meet with Holder, an outspoken critic of the law. Brewer said, "I believe the federal government should use its legal resources to fight illegal immigration, not the State of Arizona.” Seeing apparent collusion between the two Democrat lawyers, Brewer pulled the plug Friday night. Her statement (full text below) said:

How to Cripple the Free Economy
Excerpt: The socialist policies implemented by the Obama administration and the Democrat leadership undermine America's economic prosperity and prolong the misery for millions of companies and workers. Despite passing multi-trillion dollar government tax and spend initiatives, numerous bailouts of failed businesses, and repeated extensions of government benefits, Americans are suffering and the economy is languishing. Nationwide the unemployment rate has risen to 9.9%, while mortgage defaults and foreclosure rates have surged to record numbers.... The situation is grim for millions of American homeowners. The foreclosure crisis that the administration hoped to address via its "prevention program" is far from being over. In fact the situation may be getting worse. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that during the January to March period of this year more than 10% of homeowners missed making at least one mortgage payment. This is an increase from the 9.1% that missed home payments in 2009. Right now approximately 4.3 million Americans are either in foreclosure or have missed at least three months of mortgage payments. Nationally, more than 4.6% of all homeowners are in foreclosure, a new record for the country. New home buyers with good credit have now become the fastest growing group of homeowners facing foreclosure. Poor economic conditions and high unemployment rates have contributed to the latest rise in homeowner foreclosure rates. Even homeowners with solid credit, who signed up for conventional loans with fixed-rates, are now being affected by the weak economy. These borrowers account for almost 37% of the new foreclosures in 2010, significantly higher than the 29% last year.

U. of Virginia Asks Court to Halt Attorney General's Demand for Documents
Excerpt: In a petition prefaced with lofty language from Thomas Jefferson, lawyers for the University of Virginia asked a state court on Thursday to stay or overturn an "unprecedented" demand by the state's attorney general for more than a decade's worth of documents related to a prominent climate researcher formerly on the university's faculty. The researcher, Michael E. Mann, taught at the university from 1999 to 2005 and is now director of the Earth System Science Center on Pennsylvania State University's main campus.... Mr. Cuccinelli's investigation of Mr. Mann has drawn criticism from scholars in Virginia and elsewhere. Among critics have been the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association of University Professors, the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Getting the message
Excerpt: It was widely acknowledged that climate sceptics wanted to continue the debate in order to delay action to curb emissions. But what did the phrase mean? Did it mean the IPCC is unquestionably right? Or that cutting emissions 80% is the only way to save the planet? Or simply that it is basic physics that CO2 is a warming gas? Even at the Heartland Institute climate sceptics' conference in Chicago last week most scientists seemed to agree that CO2 had probably warmed the planet at the end of the 20th century, over and above natural fluctuations. But they did not agree that the warming will be dangerous - and they object to being branded fools or hirelings for saying so. The attitude of the establishment to the sceptics shines through the succession of inquiries into controversial science at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU). When at the launch of the Sir Muir Russell inquiry I asked about the credibility of the review panel in the blogosphere, Sir Muir dismissed the enquiry with the flick of a wrist - he had been a senior civil servant and he had run a university, his bona fides were beyond question. But the blogosphere does not respect past reputations, only current performance. And some of the top performers in the blogosphere are critics of the establishment. Steve McIntyre, for instance, is a mining engineer who started examining climate statistics as a hobby. He has taken on the scientific establishment on some key issues and won. He arguably knows more about CRU science than anyone outside the unit - but none of the CRU inquiries has contacted him for input.

Rebel scientists force Royal Society to accept climate change scepticism
Excerpt: The Royal Society has appointed a panel to rewrite the 350-year-old institution’s official position on global warming. It will publish a new “guide to the science of climate change” this summer. The society has been accused by 43 of its Fellows of refusing to accept dissenting views on climate change and exaggerating the degree of certainty that man-made emissions are the main cause. The society appears to have conceded that it needs to correct previous statements. It said: “Any public perception that science is somehow fully settled is wholly incorrect — there is always room for new observations, theories, measurements.” This contradicts a comment by the society’s previous president, Lord May, who was once quoted as saying: “The debate on climate change is over.” The admission that the society needs to conduct the review is a blow to attempts by the UN to reach a global deal on cutting emissions. The Royal Society is viewed as one of the leading authorities on the topic and it nominated the panel that investigated and endorsed the climate science of the University of East Anglia.

Royal Society to publish guide on climate change to counter claims of 'exaggeration'
Excerpt: The most prestigious group of scientists in the country was forced to act after fellows complained that doubts over man made global warming were not being communicated to the public. In particular they were unhappy that the long term effects of greenhouse gases were being oversimplified. Lord Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, admitted that the case for man-made global warming has been exaggerated in the past. He emphasised that the basic science remains sound but agreed to issue guidance so that it better reflects the uncertainties. ”Climate change is a hugely important issue but the public debate has all too often been clouded by exaggeration and misleading information," he said. "We aim to provide the public with a clear indication of what is known about the climate system, what we think we know about it and, just as importantly, the aspects we still do not understand very well." (...) [Dr.] Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation said it was about time the sceptics were taken more seriously. "I think it is a very significant development in that it is no longer one or two eccentrics but a wide group of fellows so it is taken more seriously – as it should be," he said. "I think it is very wise to accept that while the basic science is solid, we have no idea what is going to happen in the future."

Where Has the Magic Gone?
Excerpt: This lead paragraph from the New York Times is just priceless: Last month hundreds of environmental activists crammed into an auditorium here to ponder an anguished question: If the scientific consensus on climate change has not changed, why have so many people turned away from the idea that human activity is warming the planet? Imagine popular children's fables retold by Times reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal: Anguished weavers gathered to ponder the sudden shift in fashion by subjects who only recently thought the emperor was wearing a splendid suit of clothes. If the boy still says there is a wolf, why have so many farmers turned away from the idea that the sheep are in danger?

Arizona Leading the March Back to Sovereignty,css.print/pub_detail.asp
Excerpt: Arizona's new immigration law is a copy of a 1940 Federal statute requiring non-citizens to show their papers. It allows local and state law enforcement to join in the fight to stop illegal immigration. Open border advocates are opposed. So-called civil libertarians are aghast. Why? It is simple. If local and state police can enforce our immigration laws, that will add enormously to the number of "good guys" going after the "bad guys." In addition, that means a real dent could be made in the flow of unlawful migrants into the United States from Mexico. And those people illegally in America, living and working here, many would over time probably go home. Instead of surrendering to the inevitable flow of people from around the world coming to America, the United States would re-establish its sovereignty over its own territory. In his recent address to Congress, President Calderon of Mexico sneered at such an idea by literally daring the United States to control its borders. Many liberals in the audience applauded his condemnation of the new Arizona law. On the other side, conservative members of Congress were urging the administration to send National Guard troops to our southern border to help bring back some, well, law and order. Jan Brewer, the Arizona Governor, asked that we send drones to help with surveillance. Arizona Sen. McCain called for some 6,000 new soldiers for the border. In a surprise, the administration yesterday pledged 1,200 National Guard to be sent to the border. Added surveillance would be their job. The cost: $500 million. It looks like a lot of money. But by comparison, for example, we spend $720 million a year sending condoms to the third world.

Legal immigrant says SB 1070 law is essential
Excerpt: I am a naturalized citizen, coming to the U.S. from South Central Africa in the 1970s. It took us years and a lot of patience to wait in line and apply for entry. Eventually we received a visa to come and work here. Each of us carried a green card, and we thanked God for that privilege. It was necessary to have a "sponsor" who would guarantee that you would not become a state liability. This kind of control over immigration not only makes sense, but it also is essential for the orderly maintenance of the comings and goings of people in any country. Many people have decided to ignore the illegality of their actions and enter the United States under their own rules. These same people, who now number in the millions, would use the very laws granted to the legal inhabitants of these United States to champion their cause and scream and shout about the unfairness they're enduring. Now we see the narrow-minded liberal viewpoints played out by reports of groups who choose to boycott Arizona.

Want to read AZ SB1070?
You’ll know more than Eric Holder!

BP bused in 100s of temp workers for Obama visit, state official says
Wonder if these were “jobs Americans won’t do?” Excerpt: Perhaps you saw news footage of President Obama in Grand Isle, La., on Friday and thought things didn't look all that bad. Well, there may have been a reason for that: The town was evidently swarmed by an army of temp workers to spruce it up for the president and the national news crews following him. Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts, whose district encompasses Grand Isle, told Yahoo! News that BP bused in "hundreds" of temporary workers to clean up local beaches. And as soon as the president was en route back to Washington, the workers were clearing out of Grand Isle too, Roberts said. "The level of cleanup and cooperation we've gotten from BP in the past is in no way consistent to the effort shown on the island today," Roberts said by telephone. "As soon as the president left, they were immediately put back on the buses and sent home." Roberts says the overnight contingent of workers was there mainly to furnish a Potemkin-style backdrop for the event — while also making it appear that BP was firmly in command of spill cleanup efforts. New Orleans NBC affiliate WDSU reports that the workers were paid $12 an hour and came mostly from neighboring Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.

Steve Wynn Takes on Washington, Vegas & EBITDA
Excerpt: Watch the first video, No confidence in DC. Here is a very successful business man who is right on target. This will get your attention. Excerpt: “Washington is unpredictable these days,” declares the CEO of Wynn Resorts. Wynn speaks of “wild, uncontrolled spending,” and “unbelievable, unsustainable debt”. As he plans to split his company headquarters between Las Vegas and Macau, with a bigger emphasis on Macau because of its tremendous profitability, he has no qualms about dealing with the Chinese government. “Macau has been steady. The shocking, unexpected government is the one in Washington.” He’s concerned about the prospect of inflation, of FHA repeating the mistakes of Fannie and Freddie, and the cost to business from the new healthcare law. “We’re on our way to Greece, in the hands of a confused, foolish government,” Wynn says. “It’s got to stop. It’s got to stop.”

Sestak's lesson for NY
Excerpt: So the White House tried to bulldoze Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak out of a primary challenge to GOP-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter? Big deal. The White House has been taking aspiring opponents of rookie New York Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand and squashing them like bugs for months now -- and nobody's made a federal case out of it. Sure, it's moderately interesting that the designated bulldozer in the attempted Sestak disappearance turns out to have been Bill Clinton. And it's also possible that offering Sestak a job to keep him out of the Senate race -- if that happened -- was a crime. So the whole affair (if that word can be used to describe a matter involving Bubba) bears watching.

The U.N. gun grabber
Excerpt: American gun owners might not feel besieged, but they should. This week, the Obama administration announced its support for the United Nations Small Arms Treaty. This international agreement poses real risks for freedom both in the United States and around the world by making it more difficult - if not outright illegal - for law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. The U.N. claims that guns used in armed conflicts cause 300,000 deaths worldwide every year, an inordinate number of which are the result of internal civil strife within individual nations. The solution proposed by transnationalists to keep rebels from getting guns is to make the global pool of weapons smaller through government action. According to recent deliberations regarding the treaty, signatory countries would be required to "prevent, combat and eradicate" various classes of guns to undermine "the illicit trade in small arms." Such a plan would necessarily lead to confiscation of personal firearms.

Mass. Senate passes crackdown on illegal immigrants
Excerpt: With one lawmaker citing President Lincoln's respect for the rule of law, the Massachusetts Senate passed a far-reaching crackdown this afternoon on illegal immigrants and those who would hire them, going further, senators said, than any immigration bill proposed over the past five years. In a surprising turn of events, the legislation replaced a narrower bill that was passed Wednesday over the objections of Republicans. The measure, which passed on a 28-10 vote as an amendment to the budget, would bar the state from doing business with any company found to break federal laws barring illegal immigrant hiring. It would also toughen penalties for creating or using fake identification documents, and explicitly deny in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants. (....) The measure comes weeks after immigration measures failed in the House, and amid heightened debate over illegal immigration fueled by the state's election season and Arizona's passage in April of the toughest immigration law in the nation.

Candidates urge illegal immigrant crackdown
Excerpt: Staking out increasingly tough stances on illegal immigration, Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles D. Baker and independent rival Timothy P. Cahill said yesterday that they want to give police the authority to arrest people who are in the country illegally and charge them with immigration violations. As the two candidates battle for conservative voters, Baker said he would reinstate a controversial agreement with the federal government that Governor Mitt Romney signed in 2006 that deputized 30 specially trained State Police troopers to detain illegal immigrants. Cahill said he wants to go further, authorizing the State Police and all local officers to check the immigration status of suspects they encounter during regular police investigations. Immigration is currently the province of the federal government, though many critics say Washington has failed to stem the influx of illegal immigrants, and the issue has emerged as a flashpoint in the Massachusetts governor’s race. Romney’s order, signed in the final month of his term as he intensified his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, was reversed by Governor Deval Patrick in his first week in office in 2007. Patrick criticized the policy as a misuse of scant police resources. Some urban police chiefs, including Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis, have said it would have strained relations between officers and residents in immigrant neighborhoods.

Has Obama Lost the Mandate of Heaven?
Excerpt: Presumably, when a dynasty begins its rulers show great concern for the good of the people. After a while, later generations of dynastic rulers become less concerned about the people, less concerned about behaving in a responsible and upright fashion, and more worried about their own good. In Western terms they become narcissistic and decadent. When catastrophe befalls the people they manifest disinterest and unconcern. The issue is not so much whether the leaders can immediately mitigate the catastrophe or can rescue its victims with their own hands, but whether they are present and accounted for or whether they are off playing golf.

Sestak: Brother Collaborating With White House
Excerpt: On Thursday, Congressman Joe Sestak took the centuries old position of all children in trouble: my brother did it. And his brother? Richard Sestak, the candidate's campaign guru, is now conspiring behind the scenes with the White House on what to say. According to Joe Sestak himself. In a stunning admission Thursday, the same day President Obama answered Fox News White House correspondent Major Garrett's question on the issue at the President's first press conference in almost a year, the Washington Post is reporting this morning that Sestak is now admitting: "They (the White House) got hold of my brother on his cellphone, and he spoke to the White House… about what's going to occur," said Sestak, who said he expects the White House will release its information Friday. He declined to elaborate on his discussions with his brother.

How the Sestak job offer became a big deal
Excerpt: Party leaders and campaign operatives -- on nearly a daily basis -- approach challenger candidates seeking to disrupt the established political order with a simple message: Get out or else. And so, the report this morning that former President Bill Clinton was tasked by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to make such an approach to Rep. Joe Sestak -- allegedly offering him an unpaid advisory role on an intelligence board in exchange for getting him to drop his primary bid against Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) -- would not normally raise much of a stir in official Washington. That the story has become a major controversy, a regular fixture on cable news chat shows and a momentum-killer for Sestak following his come-from behind victory against Specter in last week's Pennsylvania primary is evidence of how the White House mishandled the controversy, according to conversations with several high-level Democratic strategists. "How do you make something out of nothing?," asked one such operative who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about the matter. "By acting guilty when you're innocent." Another senior party official said that the White House "has a lot of egg on their face" and described the events as a "PR nightmare".

The Endgame of Class Warfare
Excerpt: The pursuit of happiness and the acquisition of wealth and property are as integral to capitalism as the products advertised on television. But President Obama would have Americans believe that this activity is inherently evil and must be curbed. Obama has appointed a czar to oversee what he deems "excessive" pay. And according to President Obama, there is a point at which someone has "enough" money. Assuming Obama's premise is correct, who is he to make such a determination? Who is Congress? These men and women are public servants, not public masters, as noted by financial commentator Thomas Sowell. Moreover, these individuals long ago made "enough" -- with President Obama raking in over $5 million this year. At the heart of this paradigm is the mistaken belief that the economy is a zero-sum game, a fixed pie that neither expands nor contracts, and that making money takes money from someone else. In this paradigm, the existence of tycoons like Bill Gates "steals" opportunity from the poor and removes wealth from the "fixed" economy. This misconception is bad economics and certainly bad politics for a free country.

Israel and America's Jews
Excerpt: There are many explanations for why younger Jews do not feel the same way about Israel as earlier generations. For one thing, young liberal Jews today are increasingly the product of secular parents, mixed marriages, and homes devoid of serious attachment to not only Israel, but God and Judaism. Secular Jews have become increasingly suburban and affluent and there is little sense of struggle or threat in the lives of the younger generation (other than whether they can get into an Ivy League college or professional school and make their parents proud). These young liberal Jews know very little or nothing of World War 2, Jewish life in Europe, the Holocaust, the 48 War, the 6 Day War, the Yom Kippur War, or even the scud attacks in the ‘91 Gulf war. They are comfortable. And since most of the people they come into contact with on campus, or in their new professional lives are liberals, they do not want to cross swords with them by backing Israel (the politically incorrect stronger party) against the Palestinians (the weaker party). It is hard to defend Israel, and not lose points earned for all one's good deeds -- attacking capitalism, greedy Wall Street bankers, George Bush, Sarah Palin, Christian conservatives, and Tea party bigots, and backing all the noble causes: abortion rights, ending global warming, raising taxes on the rich, making health care cheap, accessible and high quality through a public option, saving Darfur, and did I mention abortion rights? How can one be for all these noble and moral causes and not also fight for human rights in Gaza and the West Bank?

As Harvard Law Dean, Kagan Nixed Required Study of US Constitutional Law But Did Require Study of International and Foreign Law…
Why study a document that means whatever you want it to mean? Excerpt: Elena Kagan, President Barack Obama’s choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court, is best known for moving Harvard Law School away from the 100-year old “case-law method” of legal study. But in the process, critics say, she moved the nation’s premier law school away from requiring the study of U.S. constitutional law towards the study of the laws of foreign nations and international law.

Leave Arizona Alone
Excerpt: Throughout my tenure as a Charter Member of the Citizens Advisory Board to the U.S. Border Patrol Nogales Station, I've heard many of the same accusations, such as racism and racial profiling, emanating from those opposed to enforcement of our immigration laws. This is laughable because so many of the local agents are dark-skinned Hispanics, some with noticeable accents. There are also agents of Afro-Hispanic origin. The last local agent to die in the line of duty was a swarthy Russian Jew who had gained citizenship shortly before being ruthlessly slain by an illegal entrant. As a nation of immigrants, we are pro-immigrant, but anti-illegal immigration. We have as much right as any other land to control our own borders and to expel anyone who comes here in a less than legal manner. If you want in, get in line with the rest of the law-abiding people, pay your fees, and don't come here demanding what your own homeland won't provide for you. Those fees, by the way, are usually less than you'd pay one of the coyotes who prey on those willing to risk life and limb to reach the United States.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Political Digest May 29, 2010

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. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t agree with them. I have to say all this to give some of my critics the benefit of the doubt, assuming they are thick, rather than deliberately taking things the wrong way.

Update on this story: 80-year old Army vet shoots, kills home invader,0,7198801.story

Excerpt: As an 80-year-old Army veteran, his wife and great-grandson slept in their Humboldt Park home just before dawn Wednesday, a would-be burglar busted a basement window, crawled over discarded bikes and paint buckets, and made his way up winding stairs to an enclosed porch. The intruder — who police said wore stockings over his hands to keep from leaving prints — wiggled the brass doorknob of the locked door that led to the first-floor apartment, but it didn't open, the family said. He then turned to the oversized glass window of the 80-year-old's bedroom, pulled out his gun and shot, police and family said. But just as the man got off a second round, the homeowner, who had a handgun of his own, fired a single shot, killing the intruder, a police source said…..But many in Chicago echoed the feelings of the victim's family that if he hadn't been armed, the frightening encounter could have ended in their deaths. "He saved our lives," said the man's wife, 83, who had been asleep with her husband when the noise of shattered glass startled the family from its sleep about 5:20 a.m. Police let the Korean War veteran, who walks with the aid of a cane, go without filing immediate charges because he appeared to act in self-defense, according to police sources. The homeowner bought his handgun after being robbed just six months ago, having vowed not to be a victim again, his family said. In an interview at the home, the wife said her first thoughts were of her 12-year-old great-grandson asleep in the next room. She rushed to wake him up and led him to the front living room, away from the gunfire. "The only thing I could think is 'God, please save my husband, myself and my grandbaby,'" she said…..The intruder was later identified by his family as Anthony Nelson, 29, who was on parole since December following a three-year prison sentence for a drug conviction, according to county and state records. He was pronounced dead at the scene, his blood splattered just feet away from the couple's bedroom window. Nelson had a 13-page rap sheet that includes a number of drug and weapons convictions dating to 1998, according to police and court records. He lived less than a mile from the home he broke into. Neighbors recognized him from his mug shot as a man they had seen at the corner liquor store who went by the name "Big Ant."

From The Patriot Post

Prominent Chicago attorney Joel Brodsky has already offered to take up the case and represent the Army veteran pro bono if the courts decide to prosecute him. Brodsky says, "Self-defense isn't just a right, it's a duty. If this man is prosecuted for saving his own life, it's not just a travesty, it's justice turned inside out."

Mexico gives nothing, takes much

Excerpt: By Jose A. Pacheco. 'Why do you betray your people?', someone recently asked me. Just because we are of the same color does not make us a common people. Since the day I was born, I have been an American. Who I am, what I have, and what I have done with my life, I owe it all to this country I call home: America. Mexico has never been there for its people, and even less for an American like me. Mexico has never protected me from any foreign or domestic enemies. It has never taken care of me in times of need; it has never paid my hospital bills, never given me a job, has never given me an education and has not allowed me to collect welfare. It has not even given me a mere meal. But Mexico has given to me the burden of supporting its people, and has made me tolerate its drug dealers, its human traffickers and criminals. We have had to endure many violations committed on us. We have had our national security violated by all who come here illegally; we have also seen murders, rapes, assault, theft and many more crimes committed. Some will say they don't do any of those crimes, that they are a good, honest hard working people. Coming here illegally is not a good way to immigrate; it is not an honest way. While many do not commit any federal crimes, they do take from us, by leaching off of our welfare system, overcrowding our hospitals, and depleting our school system of money that belongs to our children while not paying a cent into the American system. Since the signing of SB1070, many civil rights leaders and liberals have come out and criticized the new law. If people want civil rights, where's the concern for the civil rights of all those who have been violated by some of the people coming over illegally? What about the civil rights of the murdered rancher in southern Arizona, and the endless list of victims who have been murdered, raped, assaulted, had their identity or their car stolen, or numerous other crimes?

‘Synthetic’ Cell Research Isn’t Frankenstein Science

Excerpt: This technology is neither simple cloning nor is it the Frankenstein-like creation of new life. Specifically, the authors of the research article claim the successful “design, synthesis and assembly” and finally “transplantation” of the genome – or genetic map – of a specific type of bacteria. In other words, the scientists claim they were able to copy and create synthetic genetic information virtually identical to that of a “donor cell” of one bacterium and implant it into an already existing “recipient cell” of another bacterium. The recipient cell in turn operated completely on this synthetic genetic information that was transplanted into it so that it replicated and even constructed proteins like that of the donor cell. “People need to understand that, despite the more lurid headlines that Craig Venter ‘created synthetic life,’ (he didn’t) – not really,” Dr. David Prentice, senior fellow for life sciences at the Family Research Council and science adviser for several members of Congress, told Prentice said that Venter “did make a significant step forward in being able to design and put together these genomes for a very small bacterium.”

Mailing of brochure touting health-care law irks GOP lawmakers, who ask GAO to investigate

Not to worry. Honest Eric Holder, the AG, will be all over this use of our grandkids money to elect Democrats. Excerpt: The federal government this week spent millions of dollars mailing a brochure to 40.2 million Medicare beneficiaries describing how the recent health-care overhaul "will provide you and your family greater savings and increased quality health care." The Obama administration said the mailing is an effort to inform the public about the effects of the legislation. Republican lawmakers call it misleading propaganda and an illegal use of taxpayer funds. On Wednesday, senior Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a federal watchdog, to assess the issue. The dispute is part of a continuing battle to shape public opinion in the run-up to the midterm congressional elections. Democrats are arguing that the legislation was a historic step forward, while Republicans say that it will compromise medical care -- including coverage under Medicare, a federal insurance program for the elderly and disabled.

Ethics office asks for investigation of lobby firm PMA Group's clients

Not to worry. Honest Eric Holder, the AG, will be all over this—if it nails Republicans. Excerpt: A congressional ethics office asked the Justice Department on Thursday to review evidence it found suggesting that companies are providing campaign cash to lawmakers for no-bid contracts, and consider a criminal probe. The Office of Congressional Ethics investigation focused on companies that were clients of the once powerful lobby firm the PMA Group and sought earmarked contracts from lawmakers who sat on the House Appropriations committee. The referral was an end-run around the House ethics committee, which earlier this year declined to investigate the matter as the OCE recommended and said it found no substantiation that lawmakers were engaged in a quid pro quo with corporations that had been generous contributors. The referral to the Justice Department focuses on evidence that company executives privately discussed the importance of giving specific Congress members money in connection with those members steering lucrative contracts their way. In one noted e-mail exchange, a McLean defense contractor seeking an earmark complained he didn't want to go to a wine-tasting fundraiser hosted by PMA for Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.) because he didn't drink. His boss responded: "You don't have to drink. You just have to pay."

AZ State Legislators Team Up With Mexican Counterparts To Challenge SB 1070 in International Court

Good news. This will make Americans even more pissed off. Since Mexico’s immigration law is far more restrictive and racist than AZ or the US, will they challenge that too? Excerpt: To reverse the effects of SB-1070, legislators in Mexico and the U.S. (EU) have agreed to submit an appeal to the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), since this initiative criminalises migration with racial profiling in the state of Arizona. Amanda Aguirre, state Sen. governed by Jan Brewer, read-after a closed-door meeting in the City of Nogales, “a joint statement announcing the promotion of comprehensive immigration reform” before the U.S. Congress- to enable the safe and orderly flow of migrants, in response to the reality of both nations in labor. “We will seek to denounce the SB-1070 to the Organization of American States (OAS) through the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (…) in order to determine if the imminent implementation of this legislation violates the human rights of residents Arizona, regardless of their immigration status, “he said.

Defying Obama, House votes to keep F-35 second engine funds

Complicated fight, with lots of politics and lobbying dollars. But surely the bloom is off the Obama Rose. I recall Dukakis’s first term in Massachusetts, when the Senate, with 33 Democrats and only seven Republicans, used to override his vetoes unanimously. Excerpt: The House on Thursday voted to keep funding a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, defying the White House and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Gates has repeatedly threatened that he would personally recommend that President Barack Obama veto any defense bill containing funding for an engine made by General Electric-Rolls Royce that the Pentagon does not want. The Office of Management and Budget on Thursday followed up with its own veto threat in a statement of administration policy.

King Rudy's famous 'castle' sits on vacant and tax-exempt land, records show,0,7757312.column

A rap singer with a politically-connected lawyer and a property he values at $1.89M wasn’t paying much property tax, as his land was assessed public or vacant. Meanwhile, the condo we bought in June for $160k was valued at $210k and the appraiser denied our appeal. The Board of Review lowered it to $204k. Since the three other similar units in the complex for sale are all offered between $170k and $160k, I offered to sell it to them for a $10k discount, at $194k. So far, no bites. Must not have the right lawyer. And you wonder why we despise living in Crook County—but the job’s here. Excerpt: Despite howls from his neighbors, King Rudy got the right zoning lawyer, Jimmy Banks, from the Banks family, the first family of Chicago zoning. The city's Zoning Committee, then controlled by Jimmy's uncle Ald. William Banks (now retired), approved the zoning changes. The castle sits on several parcels of land once held by the Illinois Department of Transportation. King Rudy bought the land in 2002, but a miraculous thing happened. We discovered on Wednesday that, according to county real estate records, one parcel is still listed as vacant land. The other parcel is listed as tax-exempt state-owned property.

Society to review climate message

Excerpt: The UK's Royal Society is reviewing its public statements on climate change after 43 Fellows complained that it had oversimplified its messages. They said the communications did not properly distinguish between what was widely agreed on climate science and what is not fully understood. The society's ruling council has responded by setting up a panel to produce a consensus document. The panel should report in July and the report is to be published in September. It is chaired by physicist John Pethica, vice-president of the Royal Society. Its deliberations are reviewed by two critical sub-groups, each believed to comprise seven members. Each of these groups contains a number of society Fellows who are doubtful in some way about the received view of the risks of rising CO2 levels. One panel member told me: "The timetable is very tough - one draft has already been rejected as completely inadequate." The review member said it might not be possible for the document to be agreed at all. "This is a very serious challenge to the way the society operates," I was told. "In the past we have been able to give advice to governments as a society without having to seek consensus of all the members."

CNN poll: 82% oppose boycotts of Arizona over immigration-enforcement law

About that boycott of Arizona over its new illegal immigrant law? 82% of Americans say, Nah!

Excerpt: Out Wednesday is a new CNN/Public Opinion poll indicating that even more Americans want: The number of illegal immigrants decreased (76%, up from 73%). Illegal immigrants removed from the country (41%, up from 37%). To halt the influx of illegal immigrants and deport those here (60%). To assign more federal agents to security on the Mexico border (88%). To fine employers of illegal immigrants tens of thousands of dollars (71%). As you may know, frustrated with federal inaction on border security, Arizona recently passed its own tough new law on illegal immigrants. Asked, "Do you favor or oppose this law?" 57% were in favor of it and 37% were opposed. Now, how about boycotting Arizona over this new law? Nope -- 82%.

Small donors come up big for GOP candidates

Excerpt: For the first time in a decade, Republican candidates for Congress are raising more than Democrats from small donors. GOP candidates for the House and Senate this year have raised $70 million from small donors, compared with $44 million brought in by Democratic candidates, according to a Washington Post analysis of campaign finance data. The trend is another sign that Republicans have turned their political momentum into money. Reports covering the first quarter had shown that GOP candidates were closing the gap or exceeding Democrats in key races and that corporations have started to shift behind the party.

White House asked Clinton to talk to Sestak about Senate run

Ah, it was Impeached Perjurer Bill Clinton. It will depend on what the meaning of “job” is. Excerpt: Senior White House advisers asked former President Bill Clinton to talk to Joe Sestak about whether he was serious about running for Senate, and to feel out whether he'd be open to other alternatives, according to sources familiar with the situation. But the White House maintains that the Clinton-Sestak discussions were informal, according to the sources. The White House, under pressure to divulge the specifics of its interactions with Sestak, will release a formal statement later today outlining their version of events, including Clinton's involvement. According to the sources, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel asked Clinton and his longtime adviser, lawyer Doug Band, to talk to Sestak about the race. It's unclear right now whether the White House will say that Clinton was asked to suggest specific administration positions for Sestak, whether Clinton floated positions on his own, whether Clinton discussed other options not related to the administration, or whether employment even came up at all in the talks.

White House Asked Bill Clinton to Urge Sestak to Drop Out of Senate Race

Fox News take. I think they’ll be able to spin themselves free with media help. Excerpt: The White House asked former President Bill Clinton to talk to Rep. Joe Sestak about the possibility of obtaining a senior position in the Obama administration if he would drop out of the Democratic primary race against establishment-backed Sen. Arlen Specter, the Obama administration will say in a report to be released Friday morning, Fox News has confirmed. The report, by the White House Counsel's office, will describe the Clinton conversations as informal and unhinged from any precise job offer since, as a former president, Clinton could not guarantee Sestak anything. The conversations with Sestak were initiated by Clinton at the behest of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel was Clinton's political director when he was president. Clinton had promoted Sestak to vice admiral and made him his director of defense policy. Sestak was a loyal and tireless supporter of Hillary Clinton's run for the presidency in 2008. The report will be released one day after President Obama said the White House would issue a formal explanation that should answer questions about Sestak's allegation of a job offer and insisted "nothing improper" happened. On the same day, Clinton had lunch with Obama. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has also said nothing improper happened, but refused to elaborate when asked repeatedly about the charge at Thursday's briefing.

South Korea deploys troops in border zone to ‘punish’ North\05\28\story_28-5-2010_pg7_36

Excerpt: It is almost a replica of Operation Parakaram that India launched immediately after December 13, 2001 attacks on the Indian parliament; South Korean military divisions are marching with tanks, artillery and an assortment of American weaponry towards borders alongside Seoul announcing retaliatory measures against its Northern peer. At the Itaewon US military base near Seoul, marines and commandos seem gearing up for an assault. Railway stations and bus stations in South Korea are full with young soldiers in their battle dresses, kissing their girlfriends and bidding adieu to their families. Leaves have been cancelled and rumours are thick in Seoul that government is even drafting young men into the army in an emergency. At the Dorasan military station overlooking North Korea, a senior military officer with maps and sketches is briefing the visiting Japanese delegation about South Korean plans. As visitors, mostly Western tourists, were allowed inside the hall, I asked the officer, if his operations would be different from Operation Parakaram, which failed to achieve any objective for India eight years ago, he looks in surprise and replies curtly that he has not studied the Indian operation.

Mexican Pirates Prey on Boaters on Texas Lake

Just doing jobs Americans won’t do. Excerpt: In the first incident, on April 30, five American fishermen were exploring the small town of Old Guerrero on the Mexican side of the lake when, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, four "heavily tattooed" men who identified themselves as federal police but wore no uniforms boarded their boat and asked, "Where are the drugs?" No one was harmed, but the pirates got away with $200 in cash. Tom Bendele, owner of a Falcon Lake tackle shop, said the men who had been robbed told him the pirates bore tattoos that may mark them as members of the Zeta cartel.

Detecting a crime before it happens,0,6627385,full.story

Excerpt: If Bob Burns is correct, terrorists may betray themselves someday by jiggling on a Nintendo Wii balance board, blinking too fast, curling a lip like Elvis — or doing nothing at all. Burns and his team of scientists are researching whether video game boards, biometric sensors and other high-tech devices can be used to detect distinct nonverbal cues from people who harbor "mal-intent," or malicious intent. "We're looking pre-event," said Burns, the No. 2 at the Homeland Security Advanced Research Project Agency, a counterpart of the fabled Pentagon agency that developed Stealth aircraft and the Internet. "We're trying to detect a crime before it has occurred." (...) The need for improvement is clear. Security teams trained to spot suspicious behavior have pulled 152,000 people out of airport lines in recent years, according to a report this month from the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. That led to about 1,100 arrests, mostly for immigration violations and outstanding warrants. No one was charged with terrorism. But screeners failed to spot 16 travelers who later were linked to failed terrorist plots in New York and Virginia, jihadist training in Pakistan and lethal attacks in Somalia, Afghanistan and India.

Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as 'Legitimate Tenet of Islam'

Glad he cleared that up. I suggest we parachute him into the AfPak tribal border so he can explain to the…er…whatever they are that they are wrong about Islam. Excerpt: The president's top counterterrorism adviser on Wednesday called jihad a "legitimate tenet of Islam," arguing that the term "jihadists" should not be used to describe America's enemies. During a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, John Brennan described violent extremists as victims of "political, economic and social forces," but said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in "religious terms." He repeated the administration argument that the enemy is not "terrorism," because terrorism is a "tactic," and not terror, because terror is a "state of mind" -- though Brennan's title, deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism and homeland security, includes the word "terrorism" in it. But then Brennan said that the word "jihad" should not be applied either. "Nor do we describe our enemy as 'jihadists' or 'Islamists' because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children," Brennan said.

Jihadist glorified on silver screen

Excerpt: Take, for instance, Johari Abdul-Malik. Recall he's the Virginia imam who starred in the State Department's cinematic hagiography "Eid in America." Abdul-Malik is an African-American from Brooklyn who converted to Islam. If the video is your only encounter, you'll reckon him up as the warm, avuncular "Director of Outreach" at the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church. For the unwary viewer, the friendly Islamic Center, and its ur-tolerant companion, the Dar al-Hijrah Mosque, instantiate Muslim life in the United States. I daresay the cutting room floor was more interesting ... and more accurate. State apparently thought it best not to include footage of Imam Abdul-Malik's call for "sabotage" terrorist attacks against Israel. As he put it in 2001: "You can blow up bridges, but you cannot kill people who are innocent on their way to work. You can blow up power supplies ... the water supply, you can do all forms of sabotage and let the world know that we are doing it like this because they have a respect for the lives of innocent people." Yes, what better way to show respect! Of course, not alluding to this speech spared State the embarrassment of explaining that the conference at which Abdul-Malik gave it was hosted by the Islamic Association of Palestine, the epicenter of U.S. support for Hamas, itself the Palestinian terrorist branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Perhaps Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has forgotten that the self-proclaimed "purpose" of Hamas -- according to its charter -- is "to create an Islamic Palestinian state throughout Israel by eliminating the State of Israel through violent jihad."

Detroit transit sued for nixing 'Leaving Islam?' ad

Excerpt: A bus-ad campaign that seeks to offer resources to those considering leaving Islam already has stirred up controversy in Miami and New York, but its next city may create the most fireworks - Detroit, the U.S. metropolitan area with the heaviest concentration of Middle Easterners. The Detroit-area bus authority has refused to run the ads from Stop Islamization of America, an organization headed up by conservative activist and anti-jihad blogger Pamela Geller, prompting SIOA to file a federal lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Mrs. Geller said the transport authority's refusal to run her ads violates her First Amendment right of free speech, and she will take the lawsuit to the Supreme Court if necessary….. The consensus view among Muslim jurists worldwide is that apostasy, unless mitigated by such factors as mental illness or duress, is punishable by death. Mrs. Geller cited a fatwa, or ruling point on Islamic law, issued by the authoritative Al-Azhar University in 1978, that said: "This man has committed apostasy; he must be given a chance to repent, and if he does not, then he must be killed, according to Shariah [law]."…. "People are free to leave Islam or any religion at any time. This is the United States of America," he said. But a public educator in Dearborn, speaking on the condition of anonymity owing to fear of retribution, said there is a climate of fear in the Detroit area's Muslim community. "The fear is palpable. I know there are things I am 'not allowed' to say. A discussion of religion with a Muslim person is often prefaced by the statement, 'Dont say anything about the Prophet [Muhammad].' In free society, open and honest conversation is not usually begun by a prohibition. Threats and intimidation are just part of life here." CAIR's denial of the dangers of apostasy are part of the reason behind Mrs. Geller's campaign, which she defined as a religious-freedom issue.

The dhimmis: guilty people

Excerpt: Why must Maher El-Gohary and his daughter live in hiding, under serious daily threat of death? What crime have they committed? Obviously they have apostatized from Islam, and despite the willful ignorance of the American mainstream media and the deceptions of American Muslim advocacy groups, leaving Islam really does warrant the death penalty according to Islamic law. But there is more to this as well. Note that the imam shouts about Christians, "Do not shake their hands. Do not go into their homes. Do not eat their food." He is apparently referring not just to apostates, but to all Christians. The Qur'an does say that the idolaters are unclean (9:28) -- the Arabic word used in this verse is مشركون (mushrikun), those who commit شرك (shirk), which is the worst sin in Islam: associating partners with Allah. Christians are the worst practitioners of shirk, since they worship Jesus Christ as the Son of God; thus they are unclean as per this verse. Christians are also by definition guilty people.

Security charade

Excerpt: President Obama may have Katrina'd himself this week over the Gulf oil spill -- but at least it distracted attention from the fact that he also got caught using the National Guard as lipstick on a cactus. Anyone with military experience knew that the president's earlier decision to send 1,200 National Guard soldiers to Arizona's border with Mexico was a purely political move. But few realized just how cynical it was. Troop numbers don't matter as much as what the Guard is tasked and allowed to do. If the president doesn't authorize those in uniform to track and apprehend illegal border crossers, their presence is worthless -- the coyotes and narcos soon figure out that the troops are just decoration. In the past, our troops have not been allowed to bust illegals -- or drug smugglers. Even though the president has the authority to empower them to do so.

Ahmadinejad Threatens Russia, Receives Response

Excerpt: In the past 24 hours, there has been an exchange of harsh words between Iran and Russia. When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened Russia by saying that its policy was turning it into an enemy of Iran, the Russians responded by calling Ahmadinejad a demagogue, and by issuing an unprecedented warning to Tehran while reminding it of the historic power balance between the two countries – under which Russia took for itself lands from the 19th-century Persian empire and forced it to sign humiliating agreements accepting these terms.

When Professor Obama Meets Dirty Reality

Excerpt: This is what happens when an academic finds himself in the position of actually having to get something done. Nothing written on a blackboard or recited from a textbook or lectured from a podium will plug the leak miles deep off of Louisiana. Nothing in Barack Obama's background full of lectures and text books makes him fit for any job where getting things done is important. Like many activities that impact our existence, drilling for oil is damned hard and damned risky and damned expensive and involves a lot of hard physical work and technical know how. The same can be said of making automobiles, building houses or manufacturing the heavy equipment that makes all of these activities possible. The problem is, academics unfamiliar with such work and know how believe their tenured cushiness and "think how" is enough. I guess if you can Google something, you can convince yourself you can actually do it. (About the time it started to look like Obama was going to win the Dem nomination, I asked some of my employees, separately, without knowing others had been asked, each of whom had made it clear they would be voting for him for President, if they thought he could be hired to manage our store (assuming he had applied). Without hesitation, each of the three said no, of course not. Their reason: he lacked the necessary job experience to be manager, though he'd probably make a great clerk until he learned. I then asked if they thought it might be more difficult to manage the entire country than just our store? Two of them just looked at me with blank expressions and wandered off to do some work. The third said: "Oh, he'll have advisors that know what to do to help him." I have no reason to believe any of the three changed their vote. Ron P.)

Why Obama's sinking in the polls

Excerpt: President Obama's job-approval rating just hit an all-time low. And there's a pattern behind the trifecta of issues that are driving the drop -- the oil spill, the Arizona immigration-policing law and the fallout from the Greek crisis. After four months of hovering between a low of 46 percent approval and a high of 49 percent, Obama just fell to 42 percent in the daily Rasmussen polls. What's hurting him, and why? The president originally seized on each of these issues to make populist political hay. But then the problem wouldn't go away -- and voters began to realize that Obama is, in fact, the president and (logically enough) started giving him much of the blame.

Whose Blowout Is It, Anyway?,_anyway

Excerpt: Here’s my question: Why are we drilling in 5,000 feet of water in the first place? Many reasons, but this one goes unmentioned: Environmental chic has driven us out there. As production from the shallower Gulf of Mexico wells declines, we go deep (1,000 feet and more) and ultra deep (5,000 feet and more), in part because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production. (President Obama's tentative, selective opening of some Atlantic and offshore Alaska sites is now dead.) And of course, in the safest of all places, on land, we’ve had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Kurdistan: the "Second Israel"

Worth reading. Excerpt: Twenty-two years ago, in this dusty town hard up against the mountainous border with Iran, Saddam Hussein's military used chemical weapons to murder 5,000 Kurdish men, women and children. The Halabja massacre was only the most infamous atrocity of Operation Anfal, a name Sadam took from a sura of the Koran that details permissible conduct against enemies of Islam. Of course, most Kurds are Muslims. But they are not Arabs. Kurds have had their own distinctive culture and language since long before armies from Arabia embarked on the first jihads -- wars of Islamic conquest -- in the 7th century. The goal of Operation Anfal was genocide. At least 150,000 Kurds were slaughtered, many having first been herded into concentration camps where mass executions were conducted. More than a million Kurds were driven from their homes. Kurds have not forgotten that, in 1991, Americans established a "no-fly zone" over Iraq's Switzerland-sized Kurdish region, to provide them some protection from Saddam's predations. They regard America's 2003 military intervention in Iraq as their liberation. Iraqi Kurds now enjoy substantial self-rule. Kurds living as minorities in Syria, Iran and Turkey do not. Six months after the collapse of Saddam's regime, the Kurds erected a memorial on the edge of Halabja. It includes haunting photos; those of mothers clutching babies to their breasts as they died in the streets are perhaps the most heart-wrenching. A sign, in fractured English, gets its point across nonetheless: "Live and victory for all nations. Death for all kinds of racism."

Doctors Reverse Stand on Circumcision

AAP backs down on female genital Mutilation. Excerpt: The American Academy of Pediatrics has reversed its decision last month regarding the practice of female circumcision by immigrants from some African, Middle Eastern and Asian cultures. The academy had suggested in a policy statement that doctors be given permission to perform a ceremonial pinprick or nick on girls if it would keep their families from sending them overseas for the full circumcision. Although the nick on a girl’s clitoris is illegal in the United States, the academy’s bioethics panel had noted it is practiced in some countries. The policy statement ignited a storm of criticism from opponents of female genital cutting. Dr. Judith S. Palfrey, president of the academy, said: “We’re saying don’t do it. Do everything that you can to support that family in this tough time, but don’t be pulled into the procedure.”

Government-Funded Jihad

Excerpt: Rep. Darrel Issa (R-C.A.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-M.E.) are demanding answers following the Investigative Project on Terrorism’s discovery that taxpayer money is going to the radical Dar al-Hijrah mosque of Falls Church, Virginia. The revelation is an unsettling reminder of how jihadists are using America’s freedoms and ineptitude of the government to their advantage. The Investigative Project on Terrorism has found that the Census Bureau has been paying Dar al-Hijrah about $23,000 per month since November 2008 to rent space in one of its buildings. The State Department has used the mosque in its videos about America’s Muslim community and sent students from its Foreign Service Institute to Dar al-Hijrah this month. Dave Gaubatz, a former Special Agent with the U.S. Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations, and author of Muslim Mafia, described Dar al-Hijrah to FrontPage as “Wahhabi quarter,” in reference to the oppressive form of Islam practiced and promoted by Saudi Arabia. He said that when he investigated the mosque, he found that its library included “very, very violent materials” that advocated physical jihad and sedition, and that extremism was promoted during the week but not during Friday prayers when they are most likely to be caught.

US money supply plunges at 1930s pace as Obama eyes fresh stimulus

This is scary. Hard to know what way to jump with personal finances. Excerpt: The M3 money supply in the United States is contracting at an accelerating rate that now matches the average decline seen from 1929 to 1933, despite near zero interest rates and the biggest fiscal blitz in history. The M3 figures - which include broad range of bank accounts and are tracked by British and European monetarists for warning signals about the direction of the US economy a year or so in advance - began shrinking last summer. The pace has since quickened. The stock of money fell from $14.2 trillion to $13.9 trillion in the three months to April, amounting to an annual rate of contraction of 9.6pc. The assets of insitutional money market funds fell at a 37pc rate, the sharpest drop ever. "It’s frightening," said Professor Tim Congdon from International Monetary Research. "The plunge in M3 has no precedent since the Great Depression. The dominant reason for this is that regulators across the world are pressing banks to raise capital asset ratios and to shrink their risk assets. This is why the US is not recovering properly," he said. The US authorities have an entirely different explanation for the failure of stimulus measures to gain full traction. They are opting instead for yet further doses of Keynesian spending, despite warnings from the IMF that the gross public debt of the US will reach 97pc of GDP next year and 110pc by 2015. Larry Summers, President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser, has asked Congress to "grit its teeth" and approve a fresh fiscal boost of $200bn to keep growth on track. "We are nearly 8m jobs short of normal employment. For millions of Americans the economic emergency grinds on," he said.

Sestak-gate: White House Offered Romanoff Job, Too

Excerpt: Allegations that the White House offered Joe Sestak a job in exchange for dropping out of the Pennsylvania Senate race echo an earlier report of a job offer to candidate Andrew Romanoff in Colorado. On Sept. 27, 2009, the Denver Post reported that the Obama administration offered Senate candidate Romanoff a position if he canceled plans to run for the Democratic nomination against incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet.

Public college in California creating scholarship specifically for illegal immigrants

Nothing for the kids of corrupt politicians? Excerpt: Santa Ana College will dedicate a scholarship for illegal immigrant students in memory of 27-year-old immigration activist Tam Ngoc Tran of Garden Grove, who was killed in a crash involving a suspected drunken driver in Maine on May 15.

Israel Start-Up Nation

A Final Farewell to Arms

Excerpt: For more than six decades, the remains of Sgt. First Class Carl J. Baller were hidden away. The World War I veteran's ashes weren't in an unmarked grave, but in a plastic box at a funeral home in this Detroit suburb. When the 52-year-old civil servant died in a veterans' hospital here in the spring of 1947, his body was cremated. His wife held a service for him at the red-brick Howe-Peterson funeral parlor on Michigan Avenue. But for some reason, nobody picked up the deceased. Sixty-three years later, Sgt. Baller and 18 other military men whose ashes were never claimed will receive a public farewell on Memorial Day, May 31. Plans call for an elaborate send-off with a horse-drawn caisson carrying the remains through this city before the playing of taps and a simple interment service at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Mich.