Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Political Digest May 26, 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.

Must see political ad for Les Philip for Congress
Here’s his website
After seeing the ad, I had to send a contribution.

Book Recommendation: Shakedown by Ezra Levant
I read this 200-page book in two evenings. While it’s about the Human Rights Commissions in Canada and their assault on free speech, it’s a great warning for us, since the statists want to restrict free speech here in the name of controlling “hate speech,” as they define it, (and have done so on university campuses). I firmly believe if they get the power to do so, this will all happen here. As SCOTUS nominee Kagan said, “Free Speech has to be balanced against the societal costs.” The HRCs in Canada had never lost a hate speech case. If you were charged, you were found guilty and punished. Reading how they destroyed people and businesses, I’m surprised there was not violence. They do not have to follow any rules of evidence or due process like a real court and accept hearsay evidence. HRC employees go on Nazi/White Supremacist websites and make racist statements, then charge the responders with hate speech. For one HRC, all the hate speech complaints but two have come from one person, who is an employee, and has been awarded money for being serially offended. I knew Canada didn’t protect free speech like we try to do, though it’s in their charter of rights, but found the stories in the book unbelievable. Interestingly, while they have tried many cases of hate speech against Muslims, no case of hate speech against a Christian has ever gone to trial. Thanks to the Levant case and the Mark Steyn/McCalls case, covered in the book, they are making progress in restoring the right of free speech. Among the cases covered was the woman who couldn’t wash her hands as required by McDonalds because she had a skin disease. For firing her, McDonalds had to pay her $50,000 in addition to the severance and disability she had received. Another restaurant had to pay $5k to a woman who was fired because she had hepatitis. Never mind Arizona—boycott Canada.

Gates of Vienna
Great blog for news.

Realistic Training using special effects
Even the wounds are grossly real looking.

Crowd Boos Commencement Speaker Who Criticized Arizona Law
Didn’t teach her to read at college, or she could have read the law.

U.S. to bolster South Korean defenses
Excerpt: The Obama administration announced Monday that it would bolster South Korea's defenses and initiate joint military exercises with Seoul because of growing tensions with the North over the sinking of one of South Korea's warships. In twin announcements, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the White House said U.S. forces in South Korea had been directed to "coordinate closely with their Korean counterparts to ensure readiness and to deter future aggression." "U.S. support for South Korea's defense is unequivocal," the White House statement said.

5 sentenced to death in honor killing of Indian couple from same clan
Not all honor killings are Muslim. Excerpt: No one in this village visits Chanderpati Banwala's home, which stands at the end of a lane full of sleeping buffaloes and overturned wooden carts. The boycott began three years ago when her son eloped with his sweetheart, a neighbor from his clan. But the marriage was short-lived. Village elders declared the relationship incestuous, a violation of ancient Hindu rules of marriage because the two were descendants of a common ancestor who lived thousands of years ago. As the couple tried to flee town, the young woman's family chased them down and dragged them out of a bus on a busy highway. The groom, Manoj, was strangled, and his bride, Babli, was forced to drink pesticide. Their bodies were dumped in a canal.

Health law could mean penalties for one in three employers
Excerpt: About one-third of employers subject to major requirements of the new health care law may face tax penalties because they offer health insurance that could be considered unaffordable to some employees, a new study says," The New York Times reports. The survey, of nearly 3,000 employers, by Mercer, "one of the nation's largest employee benefit consulting concerns ... found that one-third of employers had some workers for whom coverage might be 'unaffordable.'" One provision of the law says that if employee premiums that cost more than 9.5% of their household income, "the coverage is deemed unaffordable, and the employer may have to pay a penalty.”

Doctors' Medicare payouts to be cut 21% June 1
After five years, we’ll be so broke it won’t be fixable and Medicare will no longer work. Excerpt: One possible outcome of the congressional wrangling is a five-year delay in the 21% cut in Medicare fees. That option, the most-discussed so far, would cost about $80 billion. That spending would be exempt from a "pay as you go" law enacted in February that requires lawmakers to find ways to offset certain spending increases or tax cuts.

Culture vulture$
The arts—like any other subjective entertainment—should be privately funded. Which painting, song or poem is better than others is a matter of opinion. You should not be taxed to fund my opinion. Excerpt: Taxpayer-funded museums and cultural attractions suffered their worst economic crisis in decades but still paid executives fat salaries and bonuses -- and doled out perks like housing allowances and club memberships, The Post has learned. Hammered by the recession, with donations down and endowments shrinking, the institutions saw revenue drop by 50 percent in some cases, according to tax filings for the year ending June 30, 2009. The groups cut hundreds of jobs and slashed programs. Yet bosses at many of the 33 museums, zoos and other attractions hardly felt the hit. They continued to rake in six- and seven-figures in salaries and benefits, the tax reports obtained by The Post show. Suzanne Brenner, the Met's chief investment officer, got a $354,923 bonus, bringing her total compensation to $1.2 million in 2008, the museum's tax filing shows. Yet the income from investments she supervised plummeted from $270 million to $112 million.

What Blumenthal might have learned from the war zone
Excerpt: I have a thing for Marines, always have. It began a long time ago when I watched my older brother amble away in the night toward his barracks at Camp Pendleton near San Diego. I cried myself dry that evening, thinking that I might not see him again, knowing that the next morning he was off to Vietnam. Khe Sanh, his ultimate destination, might as well have been another planet. As it turns out, it was Hell……..Who knows what motivated Blumenthal to stretch his truth? Perhaps it was survivor's guilt. "There is nothing that binds Marines together like combat and, if you missed it, I can understand that he [Blumenthal] may have actually convinced himself he was there," my brother wrote in an e-mail. "But those who served in combat consider Marines who did not the same brothers, regardless. We are a team and those in the rear are just as important as those on the line." The deception, as always, is something else. Blumenthal had every right under the law to seek deferments. He had every right to be proud of his service during the Vietnam era. But he did not have the right to build personal equity on the borrowed suffering of others. Had he gone to Vietnam, as he apparently thinks he should have, he would have learned that, and this: Real heroes never brag, and real Marines don't lie.

The Next Bailout: $165B for Unions
Buying votes with your grandkids money. Excerpt: A Democratic senator is introducing legislation for a bailout of troubled union pension funds. If passed, the bill could put another $165 billion in liabilities on the shoulders of American taxpayers. The bill, which would put the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation behind struggling pensions for union workers, is being introduced by Senator Bob Casey, (D-Pa.), who says it will save jobs and help people. As FOX Business Network’s Gerri Willis reported Monday, these pensions are in bad shape; as of 2006, well before the market dropped and recession began, only 6% of these funds were doing well.

When Debt is a National Security Issue
Not going to happen. Long term fiscal responsibility has huge short-term political pain and politicians are rewarded short term, at the next election. Excerpt: Several months ago, a group of logistics officers at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces developed a national security strategy as a class exercise. Their No. 1 recommendation for maintaining U.S. global leadership was "restore fiscal responsibility." That's a small illustration of what's becoming a consensus among national security experts inside and outside the Obama administration: To play an effective role in the world, the United States must rebuild its economic strength at home. After a decade of war and financial crisis, America has run up debts that pose a national security problem, not just an economic one. This need to restore domestic prosperity, and share the costs and burdens of global problem-solving with other nations, will be one theme of the new "national security strategy" that the White House will release this week. A premise of the document, according to a senior official who worked with the drafters, is that: "We can't do it alone. Unless we find ways to get other countries to step up, we're in trouble." The Obama administration wants other nations to participate in a new global architecture that embodies one of the president's favorite phrases -- "mutual rights and responsibilities." But there's a catch: At the very moment when America is eager to share leadership, much of the rest of the world is backing away. That's because our potential partners are enfeebled by the same economic problems that have weakened America.

A Danish Tribute to LTC Allen West
Excerpt: With his African-American background it probably carries a special weight when Allen B. West states that the accusations of racism in the Tea Party Movement have been constructed by the liberal critics and the mainstream media. Why should we support him? We should because this man has everything that almost all of our European politicians lack; namely the sense of history. Just read what he said recently about a thwarted terrorism attempt in New York: “You want to dig up Charles Martel and ask him why he was fighting the Muslim army at the Battle of Tours in 732? You want to ask the Venetian fleet at Lepanto why they were fighting a Muslim fleet in 1571? You want to ask…the Germanic and Austrian knights why they were fighting at the gates of Vienna in 1683? You want to ask people what happened at Constantinople and why today it is called Istanbul because they lost that fight in 1453?

Kidnapped German sisters speak Arabic to each other
Excerpt: Lydia Hentschel, five, calls herself Sarah and sister Anna, four, is known as Fatima. Experts believe their abductors may have named them as they moved them around to secret hideouts during their ordeal. They had their hair dyed with henna, play with clay pots. Their total immersion in Arab culture makes family members caring for them since they arrived back in Germany last week fear they have been separated from their parents for some time, although they have not yet asked the children when they last saw their mother and father, fearing such a question could trigger post traumatic stress disorder. The children were reunited with their uncle and other family members late on Wednesday after being flown back to Germany aboard a Bundeswehr aircraft. The tiny village of Meschwitz in Saxony where, in the words of mayor Norbert Wolf "practically everyone knows everyone else," has promised to collectively pull together to provide the sisters with the care they need after their ordeal. Anna and Lydia were abducted along with their parents and brother Simon, two, in June 2009. A British engineer, Anthony Saunders, two German care workers and a South Korean teacher were also taken. Both care workers and the teacher were found dead a few days later in the Saada province while the fate of the others remains unknown. Kidnapping in the area is said to be co-ordinated between Shiite rebels and terrorist network al-Qaeda.

Greece; Molotovs Thrown At Thessaloniki University
Excerpt: Incidents this morning in front of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where several dozens of young people have thrown Molotov cocktails and set fire to rubbish skips. According to media reports, the extremists set fire to several parked cars and dispersed before the police could intervene.

The euro crisis is a judgment on the great lie of 'Europe'
Excerpt: Easily the most telling statement by any politician last week was that from an anguished Angela Merkel, in pronouncing that "the current crisis facing the euro is the biggest test Europe has faced for decades, even since the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957". "If the euro fails," she went on, "Europe fails," warning that the consequences for the whole of Europe would be "incalculable". We have still scarcely begun to wake up to the gravity of the crisis now upon us, not just for the eurozone but also for us here in Britain and for the entire global economy. The measures so far taken to prop up the collapsing euro, such as that famous "$1 trillion package", are no more than gestures. Greece was just the antipasto: Italy, Spain, Portugal and others are now hanging over an abyss of debt which scarcely all the money in Europe could fill – created by countries living way beyond their means, thanks not least to the euro's low interest rates. The only possible consequence of the collapse of one of the world's leading currencies, leaving Europe with no money to trade in, would be utter chaos. What we are witnessing here is a judgment on the entire deceitful and self-deceiving way in which the "European project" has been assembled over the past 53 years. One of the most important things to understand about that project is that it has only ever had one real agenda. Everything it has done has been directed to one ultimate goal, full political and economic integration. The headline labels put on the various stages of that process may have changed over the years, such as building first a "common market", then a "single market", finally a "constitution". But by far the most important project of all was locking the member states into a single currency.

Sorry, Mr. President: Socialism's not in the Bible
Excerpt: But Obama, who once dismissed the Bible's relevance to politics, saying, "People haven't been reading their Bibles lately," may need to go reread his Engels. Co-author with Karl Marx of The Communist Manifesto, Friedrich Engels knew better than Obama about collectivism's clash with Christianity, stating, "...if some few passages of the Bible may be favourable to Communism, the general spirit of its doctrines is, nevertheless, totally opposed to it ...."

Obama will use Memorial weekend for a trip home to Chicago
No big deal—flubbermouth can fill in. Excerpt: On Monday, Obama will make remarks at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, south of Chicago - missing the usual tradition of presidents speaking at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.

Viva Arizona
Excerpt: When I moved to the US, straight to California, then the state of innovation, hipness, and jobs, I thought that California would have my heart forever. The affair is coming to an end, not because of unfaithfulness on my part, but because California has cheated on me. To be very specific, the rulers of Los Angeles County have cheated on me. They let me know, in no uncertain terms, that they do not appreciate my contributions. They do not appreciate my immigrating here the legal way, playing by the rules, and those old-fashioned ways of doing things. They shoved it in my face that their allegiance is to the people of their countries of origin, even if those people are breaking the laws of the United States. They took the side of illegality over the lawful stance of Arizona, a fellow state.

NY Cops furious at 'don't-kill' bill
People making the rules never put their own lives at risk. Excerpt: City cops are livid over a legislative proposal that could handcuff the brave officers involved in life-and-death confrontations every day -- requiring them to shoot gun-wielding suspects in the arm or leg rather than shoot to kill, The Post has learned. The "minimum force" bill, which surfaced in the Assembly last week, seeks to amend the state penal codes' "justification" clause that allows an officer the right to kill a thug if he feels his life or someone else's is in imminent danger. The bill -- drafted in the wake of Sean Bell's controversial police shooting death -- would force officers to use their weapons "with the intent to stop, rather than kill" a suspect. They would be mandated to "shoot a suspect in the arm or the leg." Under present NYPD training, cops are taught to shoot at the center of their target and fire their weapon until the threat has been stopped. (More feel-good legislation. Cops have a simple solution: "Gee, Your Honor, I'm a notoriously bad shot. Why, I haven't qualified in years. I was aiming for the rapist's leg and blew his balls off purely by accident." Ron P.)

N. Korea severs all ties with rival S. Korea
Being socialists, they can’t feed their people—so will they not take food aid from the south? Excerpt: North Korea declared Tuesday that it would sever all communication and relations with Seoul as punishment for blaming the North for the sinking of a South Korean warship two months ago. North Korea also announced it would expel all South Korean government officials working at a joint industrial park in the northern border town of Kaesong, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch monitored in Seoul late Tuesday. Tensions were rising on the divided Korean peninsula in the wake of an investigation report blaming North Korea for a torpedo attack that sank the Cheonan warship on March 26, killing 46 South Korean sailors. South Korea's military restarted psychological warfare operations — including blaring radio broadcasts into the North and placing loudspeakers at the border to blast out propaganda — to punish the North for the provocation. The South is also slashing trade and denying permission to North Korean cargo ships to pass through South Korean waters.

Top Senate Democrat wants answers from Sestak on job offer
Let’s see, if he backs down, he’s a liar and it hurts his campaign. If he says who offered him a job, Obama has to call him a liar, as offering him a job to not run is a crime. Can you say, “Rock and a hard place”? Excerpt: Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) should explain more about allegations the White House offered him a job in exchange for dropping out of the Pennsylvania Senate race, a top Senate Democrat said Tuesday. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said the onus is on Sestak to say more about the offer he claimed to have received from the Obama administration in exchange for dropping his primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.). "At some point, I think Congressman Sestak needs to make clear what happened," Durbin told reporters at the Capitol.

The Joe Sestak thing is kind of a big deal, actually.
Maybe even a “Big F---ing Deal” as VP Flubbermouth would say. Excerpt: I have to disagree with Jim Geraghty here that Rep. Joe Sestak’s (D) admitting that the White House tried to bribe him reflects well on Sestak. Either Sestak is lying about this, in which case he’s, well, a liar who did so for crass political gain; or Sestak’s telling the truth about this, in which case he’s pretty much explicitly participating in a cover-up of a felony. Either way, talking in general terms is not really acceptable. Unless there was an active conspiracy permeating the entire Executive Branch to bribe Joe Sestak, somebody in the White House is innocent of this crime - but until we get the full details of what happens, we won’t know who. And while I may have been heavily critical of the unprofessional behavior of the White House’s staffers, I think it’s hardly fair of Sestak to talk about this scandal in a fashion that implicates all of them.

Justice and Injustice by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Inequalities have so many sources that this fact undermines the simple dichotomy between believing that some people are innately inferior and believing that discrimination or other social injustices account for economic and social differences. Yet people who are afraid of being considered racists, or believers that the lower classes are born inferior, often buy the notion that only the sins of "society" can explain why some people end up so much better off than others. Decades ago, Edward Banfield pointed out how the different ways that children from different classes are raised helps or hinders them in their later life. Yet he was demonized by the intelligentsia for saying what most people would consider only common sense. While it is heartbreaking to think of the large differences in ability and behavior that can be created by the way different parents raise their children, it is no less heartbreaking to think of other social differences that go back to the way kids are brought up. For example, anyone who watches the television program "Cops" will see an endless succession of real losers who wreck their lives and the lives of others through sheer irresponsibility and lack of self-control.

Climate Fears Turn to Doubts Among Britons
Excerpt: 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? Nowhere has this shift in public opinion been more striking than in Britain, where climate change was until this year such a popular priority that in 2008 Parliament enshrined targets for emissions cuts as national law. But since then, the country has evolved into a home base for a thriving group of climate skeptics who have dominated news reports in recent months, apparently convincing many that the threat of warming is vastly exaggerated.

We must stop saying ‘The science demands...’
Excerpt: Ironically, he says, the search for a consensus on the science of climate change is evidence of deep divisions on this issue. ‘Consensus in science only makes sense if there is disagreement amongst experts’, he says. ‘If all the experts agreed, you wouldn’t need to go through this process of consensus-making. Hence we don’t need to go through a process of consensus-making around the laws of gravity. But a process of consensus-making around climate change is important because there is disagreement. So actually consensus assumes disagreement amongst scientists. ‘But what the process of forming a consensus does do is establish where the centre of opinion lies, given the spectrum of views and judgements. So it’s not just about consensus knowledge, it’s about the spectrum of beliefs. And those two things actually work together: there’s a wide spectrum of beliefs about aspects of climate change, but nevertheless this is where the centre of gravity lies. And that’s a slightly more subtle position than simply saying “the IPCC consensus is this or that”.’ Yet if consensus is predicated upon disagreement, why, politically, is there so much anxiety about anyone appearing to challenge the consensus, with people branded as ‘deniers’ and modern-day heretics if they dare to question what some greens mistakenly consider to be concrete agreement amongst leading experts? ‘One of the reasons for that’, says Hulme, ‘is because of this belief that there is a specific relationship between scientific knowledge and policy. As a result, it is argued that you have to have clear and certain scientific knowledge that will translate into clear and certain policy. And if the science is presented as being not clear and not certain, then the whole argument, or the whole policy, breaks down.

U.S. Is Said to Expand Secret Actions in Mideast$8NyB8J2hU2h&
Must have been nice in WWII, when the press was on our side and didn’t publish secret stuff. Excerpt: The top American commander in the Middle East has ordered a broad expansion of clandestine military activity in an effort to disrupt militant groups or counter threats in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and other countries in the region, according to defense officials and military documents. The secret directive, signed in September by Gen. David H. Petraeus, authorizes the sending of American Special Operations troops to both friendly and hostile nations in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa to gather intelligence and build ties with local forces. (What? No names, pictures, home addresses? Seriously, I don't think merely burning down their printing plant and business offices would have any effect on their thinking. Maybe publishing the names and addresses of ALL their reporters and editors, especially to veteran's organizations and web-sites would do the trick???????????? Ron P.)

Booby Trapped Donkey-Drawn Wagon Used in Attempted Attack
But does the donkey get 72 virgins? Headline should have been, “Terrorists make ass of selves.” Excerpt: An explosive device concealed on a donkey-drawn wagon exploded along the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip earlier this morning. The explosive device was hidden by a Palestinian terrorist. The device exploded as the donkey approached the security fence. No injuries or damage was caused IDF forces. This incident is yet another attempt by terrorists to conceal their operations using agricultural activities for cover.

Germany After the EU and the Russian Scenario
Excerpt: For example, the Polish government recently announced that the United States would deploy a battery of Patriot missiles to Poland. The missiles arrived this week. When the United States canceled its land-based ballistic missile defense system under intense Russian pressure, the Obama administration appeared surprised at Poland’s intense displeasure with the decision. Washington responded by promising the Patriots instead, the technology the Poles had wanted all along. While the Patriot does not enhance America’s ability to protect itself against long-range ballistic missiles from, for example, Iran, it does give Poland some defense against shorter-ranged ballistic missiles and substantial defense against conventional air attack. Russia is the only country capable of such attacks on Poland with even the most distant potential interest in doing so, and at this point, this is truly an abstract threat. In removing a system that was really not a threat to Russian interests — U.S. ballistic missile defense at most can handle only a score of missiles, meaning it would have a negligible impact on the Russian nuclear deterrent — the United States ironically has installed a system that could affect Russia. Under the current circumstances, this is not really significant. While much is being made of having a few U.S. boots on the ground east of Germany within 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) of the Russian Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, a few hundred technicians and guards are simply not an offensive threat. Still, the Russians — with a long history of seeing improbable threats turning into very real ones — tend to take hypothetical limits on their power seriously. They also tend to take gestures seriously, knowing that gestures often germinate into strategic intent. The Russians obviously oppose this deployment, as the Patriots would allow Poland in league with NATO — and perhaps even by itself — to achieve local air superiority. There are many crosscurrents in Russian policy, however….. The euro and the European Union will probably survive this crisis — although their mutual failure is not nearly as unthinkable as the Europeans would have thought even a few months ago — but this is not the only crisis Europe will experience. Something always will be going wrong, and Europe does not have institutions that could handle these problems. Events in the past few weeks indicate that European countries are not inclined to create such institutions, and that public opinion will limit European governments’ ability to create or participate in these institutions. Remember, building a super state requires one of two things: a war to determine who is in charge or political unanimity to forge a treaty. Europe is — vividly — demonstrating the limitations on the second strategy. Whatever happens in the short run, it is difficult to envision any further integration of European institutions. And it is very easy to see how the European Union will devolve from its ambitious vision into an alliance of convenience built around economic benefits negotiated and renegotiated among the partners. It would thus devolve from a union to a treaty, with no interest beyond self-interest.

Invading the USA
Excerpt: If the Mexican government cannot control the border, much as the Spanish government could not control Florida in 1817, it is incumbent on the Federal Government of the United States to take whatever steps are necessary to curb the violence. And let’s call this what it is. When foreign nationals with weapons cross a border and murder, destroy property and kidnap Americans, that is an invasion. We have every right to defend ourselves; now the only relevant question is where has America’s pride gone when we don’t care enough for protecting Americans from violence being committed across an international border. That is singly the Federal Government’s responsibility. Does this mean we should invade northern Mexico? Probably not yet, but we do need to militarize the border and prepare for whatever actions become necessary. As history shows, the precedent is there. America can and should not stand by and allow a lawless borderland to continue. The drug cartels have taken control of the border and murdered thousands of Mexicans and now that violence has come north. Call it what you want, but it is a war. And if Mexico won’t or can’t fight this war, we will. If we can send hundreds of thousands of American troops to protect the life and liberty of Iraqis, Afghans, Vietnamese, Koreans, Bosnians, and millions of others, then we can surely do the same for our own American citizens.

Must Read: Lost in Obama's imagination
Excerpt: Barack Obama's remarkable powers of oratory are well known: In support of Chicago's Olympic bid, he flew into Copenhagen to give a heartwarming speech about himself, and the games were given to Rio. He flew into Boston to support Martha Coakley's bid for the U.S. Senate, and Massachusetts voters gave Ted Kennedy's seat to a Republican. In the first year of his presidency, he gave a gazillion speeches on health care "reform" and drove support for his proposals to basement level, leaving Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to ram it down the throats of the American people through sheer parliamentary muscle. Like a lot of guys who've been told they're brilliant one time too often, President Obama gets a little lazy and doesn't always choose his words with care. And so it was that he came to say a few words about Daniel Pearl upon signing the Daniel Pearl Press Freedom Act. Pearl was decapitated on video by jihadist Muslims in Karachi on Feb. 1, 2002. That's how I'd put it. This is what the president of the United States said: "Obviously, the loss of Daniel Pearl was one of those moments that captured the world's imagination because it reminded us of how valuable a free press is." Now Mr. Obama's off the prompter, when his silver-tongued rhetoric invariably turns to sludge. But he's talking about a dead man here, a guy murdered in public for all the world to see. Furthermore, the deceased's family is standing all around him. Even for a busy president, it's the work of moments to come up with a sentence that would be respectful, moving and true. Indeed, for Mr. Obama, it's the work of seconds because he has a taxpayer-funded staff sitting around all day with nothing to do but provide him with that sentence. Instead, he delivered the one above, which, in its clumsiness and insipidness, is most revealing. First of all, note the passivity: "The loss of Daniel Pearl." He wasn't "lost." He was kidnapped and beheaded. He was murdered on a snuff video. He was specifically targeted, seized as a trophy, a high-value scalp. And the circumstances of his "loss" merit some vigor in the prose. Yet Mr. Obama could muster none….. Notice how reflexively Mr. Obama lapses into sentimental one-worldism: Despite our many ZIP codes, we are one people, with a single imagination. In fact, the murder of Daniel Pearl teaches just the opposite - that we are many worlds, and worlds within worlds. Some of them don't even need an "imagination." Across the planet, the video of an American getting his head sawed off did brisk business in the bazaars and madrassas and Internet downloads. Excited young men e-mailed it to friends, from cell phone to cell phone, from Karachi, Pakistan, to Jakarta, Indonesia, to Khartoum, Sudan, to London to Toronto to Falls Church, Va. In the old days, you needed an "imagination" to conjure the juicy bits of a distant victory over the Great Satan. But in an age of high-tech barbarism, the sight of Pearl's severed head is a mere click away. And the rest of "the world"? Most gave a shrug of indifference. And far too many found the reality of Pearl's death too uncomfortable and chose to take refuge in the same kind of delusional pap as Mr. Obama….. Daniel Pearl was the prototype victim of a new kind of terror. In his wake came other victims, from Kenneth Bigley, whose last words were, "Tony Blair has not done enough for me," to Fabrizzio Quattrocchi, who yanked off his hood, yelled "I will show you how an Italian dies," and ruined the movie for his jihadist videographers. By that time, both men understood what it meant to be in a windowless room with a camera and a man holding a scimitar.

They're All Obama Liberals Now
Excerpt: Liberals have a learning disability when it comes to the impracticability of socialism. They are so steeped in the seductive lies of false compassion that no amount of logic, history or everyday experience registers. Thus, they continue to burden the market system to an unsustainable level. Liberals have always denied they intend to unduly shackle the free market. They say America is exceptionally prosperous -- though it never occurs to them why -- and can afford robust entitlement and redistributive schemes. But in no way would they favor anything extreme that would push the market to the tipping point. Well, now that they are completely in charge, we've seen what they will do. Obama liberals believe not in America's promise (and Martin Luther King Jr.'s hope) of equality of opportunity, but in equality of outcomes. Truth be told, Obama probably believes in a wholesale reversal of wealth distribution: not just equalizing it, but making the wealthy poor and the poor wealthy.

Muhammad Cartoons Everywhere
Excerpt: Another, perhaps even more ominous response to those cartoons was the beginning of the OIC’s anti-free speech campaign — an attempt to compel the West to criminalize criticism of Islam and accept Sharia restrictions on non-Muslims speaking about Islam. In 2008, the Secretary General of the OIC, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, issued a peremptory threat of his own: “We sent a clear message to the West regarding the red lines that should not be crossed” regarding free speech about Islam and jihad terrorism. Yet while the government and media elites in America and Europe have generally rushed to show how willing, even eager, they are to show that they will not cross those red lines, their supine response to this assault on free speech has created a backlash among free people. It is worth bearing in mind the “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” would never have aroused much interest among anyone if cartoons of Muhammad didn’t arouse Muslims worldwide to homicidal rage and attempts to restrict the freedom of speech.

'Most trusted man', Walter Cronkite, was named a Soviet target by the FBI
Excerpt: The late CBS Evening News anchorman Walter Cronkite is named in a just-released FBI document from 1986 as being targeted in a Soviet “active measures” campaign against President Reagan’s anti-communist foreign policy. Cronkite is named as a possible member of a U.S. delegation that would sign a pro-Soviet “People’s Peace Treaty.”

Energy Policy? What Energy Policy?
Excerpt: When the government controls the provision of energy, it controls the lives of all citizens and the growth or failure of the nation’s economy. Everything else, including national defense, runs second when it comes to this single factor.... The Obama administration’s energy policy is to have as little as possible. The administration is bent on reducing access to national energy resources, coal, oil and natural gas, combined with a bizarre emphasis on “alternative” or “renewable” sources in the form of wind and solar energy. European nations that went this course ended up with fewer jobs, insufficient energy for the money invested, and massive fraud in its carbon credits exchanges.

Oxford Union Debate on Climate Catastrophe
Excerpt: Last week, members of the historic Oxford Union Society, the world’s premier debating society, carried the motion “That this House would put economic growth before combating climate change” by 135 votes to 110. The debate was sponsored by the Science and Public Policy Institute, Washington DC.... Lord Monckton repeatedly interrupted Lord Whitty to ask him to give a reference in the scientific literature for his suggestion that 95% of scientists believed our influence on the climate was catastrophic. Lord Whitty was unable to provide the source for his figure, but said that everyone knew it was true. Under further pressure from Lord Monckton, Lord Whitty conceded that the figure should perhaps be 92%. Lord Monckton asked: “And your reference is?” Lord Whitty was unable to reply. Hon. Members began to join in, jeering “Your reference? Your reference?” Lord Whitty sat down looking baffled.

Obama to send more National Guard troops to U.S.-Mexico border
With orders to? Shoot to kill? Profile? Scratch their…. How long is the border? Excerpt: President Obama will deploy an additional 1,200 National Guard troops to the southern border and request $500 million in extra money for border security, according to an administration official. The decision, to be announced Tuesday, comes as the White House is seeking Republican support for broad immigration reform this year. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan hasn't been announced, said the new resources would provide "immediate enhancement" to the border even as the Obama administration continues to "work with Congress to fix our broken immigration system through comprehensive reform, which would provide lasting and dedicated resources by which to secure our borders and make our communities safer."

No limits for government
Excerpt: "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business," President Calvin Coolidge told journalists in March 1929. If Coolidge suddenly sprang to life today, he would look around and drop dead. Washington Democrats are minding their own business . . . and everyone else's. In this Era of Unlimited Government, the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats stick their snouts anywhere they will fit, without the guidance of common sense, frugality or any sense of priorities. For today's federal government, it's everything, all the time. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has moved to cap ATM fees at 50 cents per transaction. Between 1999 and 2009, the number of money machines has exploded from about 227,000 to 425,000 nationwide, reports Independent operators spend $9,000 to $50,000 to purchase each ATM and $12,000 to $15,000 annually to operate it. If Congress slaps price controls on ATM transactions, these businesses will shrivel -- perhaps fatally. And then who will install and maintain ATMs?

Liberal activists ratchet up effort to unseat Democrat Jane Harman
DINO hunt! Excerpt: A national progressive group is throwing its weight behind a primary challenger to Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.), the latest attempt by liberal activists to replace an incumbent Democrat they deem too centrist.

Recent Angry Street Mob Actions
Excerpt: President Barack Obama and his administration, is shamefully deeply connected to the people and organizations that recently organized street mob protests, terrifying a teenage child in his own home, and storming bank buildings (violating how many Federal laws?) in a show of uncivil disobedience (intimidation).

Ariz. immigration law makes Census count tougher
I sent mine in, but didn’t see where I was to check that I was a citizen. Excerpt: The once-a-decade government count of every person in the USA began in March with a giant mail-out. Seventy-two percent of U.S. households responded by mail — 67% in Arizona and 64% in Santa Cruz County. On May 1 — eight days after the immigration law was signed into law — 635,000 Census workers nationwide started going door-to-door to every home that did not send back the forms. They will return up to six times until they get answers to the 10 questions on the form. In Arizona, many civic groups fear the new law will discourage cooperation.

Attempt to recall senator moves to N.J. high court
Why you should answer your mail. Excerpt: The move to recall U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, driven by tea party activists and conservatives angry over bank bailouts and health-care costs, started at a kitchen table in the hills of Sussex County. Long active in conservative issues, little-known county tea party chairwoman RoseAnn Salanitri wrote to Menendez last year protesting President Obama's health-care legislation. She says Menendez didn't respond, describing the slight as "probably the trigger" for the recall movement, which will play out before the state Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Stolen Honor—Have You forgotten?

Administration Says Virginia Lacks Standing to Challenge Health Care Law
Not satire. Excerpt: President Barack Obama's administration on Monday asked a federal judge in Virginia to dismiss the state's lawsuit alleging Congress overstepped its constitutional bounds with the new health care reform law. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius argued in a motion filed hours before a midnight deadline that the law is well within the scope of the Constitution's Commerce Clause. Virginia's Republican attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Richmond less than eight hours after Congress enacted the law. It argues that requiring people to buy health coverage or pay a fee exceeds federal powers limited by the Constitution's 10th Amendment. More than a dozen state attorneys general have sued over the legislation on broadly similar grounds in cases that are likely be determined by the Supreme Court.

Sebelius Calls Health Act Constitutional in Many Countries
Satire. Excerpt: The Obama administration, in a brief filed in federal court Monday, said the Commonwealth of Virginia’s claim that the president’s health reform plan is “unconstitutional” demonstrates a “woefully narrow and provincial grasp of constitutionality.” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the court, “Despite Virginia’s outlandish claims, the constitutionality of this measure was carefully vetted by White House lawyers, and by the president himself, who was once a constitutional lecturer. There are actually dozens of nations around the globe in which our health reform plan is, in fact, constitutional — Burma, Venezuela and Cuba, to name just a few.”

Great Line
“The SEIU purple people beaters.” –Erick Erickson at RedState.

Farewell to Lost
Another fad show dies without me having seen a minute of it.

1 comment:

  1. One can make an argument that Jesus and his Disciples were "socialists," with a small "s."
    They evidently lived on the basis of "share and share alike," Jesus taught that rich people would have a hard time getting into Heaven and Paul wrote the famous line "the love of money is the root of all evil."

    They hardly sound like a bunch of committed free-market capitalists.

    But then, Jesus also thought the end of the world was days away.