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.
Obama Unplugged — and Unintelligible
Excerpt: Before Obama’s presser on Friday, Michael Gerson wandered down the memory lane, recalling the 2008 campaign, when Obama’s “message had something to do with unity, healing and national purpose.” No more, he explained: “Obama’s initiatives … are not only unpopular; they have made it impossible for him to maintain the pretense of being a unifying, healing, once-in-a-generation leader. It is the agenda that undermined the idiom. With that image stripped away, Americans found Obama to be a somber, thoughtful, touchy, professorial, conventionally liberal political figure.” Actually, it’s worse than that. For starters, it is hard to be “thoughtful” when you are touchy and prone to regurgitating leftist talking points. In fact, Obama’s Friday presser was at times rather incoherent — he didn’t change Washington, it’s the GOP’s fault, the stimulus isn’t really a stimulus but it is stimulating, and so forth. He insisted that, all along, he had warned that health-care costs would bend up (What!? When had that spasm of truth telling occurred?), and lamented that he couldn’t close Gitmo because of politics (i.e., there was no public support for it and no one solved the “where do we put them” problem.) At this point, all but the die-hard Obama supporters must be chagrined to find that the only straight answer he can give is on the Ground Zero mosque. (He is fine with it.)
Harry Reid’s New Dairy Commercial Only Tells Half the Story
Excerpt: As I watched Harry Reid’s ad on ‘saving’ Anderson Dairy and the jobs of 130 employees I felt the need to explain the total ramifications of exempting Las Vegas from the federal milk marketing order referenced in the ad. I manage the Ponderosa Dairy, Nevada’s largest dairy, which milks over 9,000 cows twice a day. We produce 12 semi-tankers of milk each day, or one every two hours, and directly employ 145 employees and indirectly contribute to the employment of over 1,000 Nevadans. Our economic output for Nevada is over $90 million. When Sen. Reid carved out an exemption for Anderson Dairy – which, by the way, milks NO cows – he allowed cheaper ‘overbase’ milk – drinking milk produced in excess of government caps - to flow into Nevada from California, Arizona and Utah, which allows Anderson Dairy to pad their profit margin. That’s a great deal for Anderson Dairy; however, Ponderosa Dairy – an actual production dairy, not a processing-only dairy - now has to truck its milk all the way to California in order to get the full “Class 1” allowable price for drinking milk (as opposed to milk used for making cheese and butter). Then some of our same trucks pick up cheap overbase milk from California and bring it to Anderson Dairy in Las Vegas. Yes, you read that correctly. Ponderosa Dairy now has to ship its milk to California, while California ships its cheaper overbase milk to Nevada. We call it the ‘Milk Loop’ – and it eats up over a million gallons of diesel fuel, costing us millions of dollars a year in higher trucking costs. The Ponderosa is only 80 miles from Las Vegas, but now we have to ship our milk 280 miles to southern California. Because of the special deal Sen. Reid cut for Anderson Dairy – the Milk Money Compact - our business is now at a competitive disadvantage with others in the milk producing businesses in our region. As such, we shelved all expansion plans in Nevada and instead invested over $100 million in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas where we now directly employ hundreds of workers and generate much-needed tax revenue and economic activity which otherwise would have benefited Nevada. (As I’ve said before, when politicians get involved in the economy, the decisions are made on the basis of politics, not economics. ~Bob.)
Animal, Vegetable, or E. O. Wilson
Excerpt: In a book excerpt in the February 2002 Scientific American entitled “The Bottleneck”, the noted ant entomologist Professor Edward O. Wilson put forward the familiar Malthusian argument that humans are about to run out of food. He said that we are currently getting wedged into a “bottleneck” of population versus resources. He warned of the dangers of “exponential growth” in population, and he averred that we will be squeezed mightily before the population levels off. His solution? In part his solution was that everyone should become a vegivore. (...) Is this correct? Would we have a net gain in carrying capacity if all the human carnetarians agreed to become vegivores? Wilson gets his figure of 10 billion people by taking the total amount of the grain that is being fed to animals, and then figuring how many people that grain would feed. In 1999, about 655 billion tons of grain were fed to animals. That’s a lot of grain. At the world average of about 150 kg of grain per person per year, he’s right, that’s an increase of 4 billion more people who would have enough grain. There were 6 billion on the planet in the year 2000, so that makes a total of about 10 billion people. So up to there, he is correct. But wait. Although he stops the calculation at that point, there’s a few things he is leaving out of the calculation. (Perhaps I'm a raving human supremacist, but I've never even considered becoming a vegetarian. I like to eat things that go moo, oink, and cock-a-doodle-do. I've eaten Bambi, various kinds of sea life, and other creatures I won't bore you with. This is the first good, scientific explanation I've ever heard of why meat-loving cultures produce more and better food than vegan cultures. No wonder vegetarian lifestyles only work well when practiced within, or with the assistance of, meat-eating cultures. Ron P. Well, personally, I believe there is a place for all God’s critters…usually next to the mashed potatoes. ~Bob.)
Disappointment at the White House
Excerpt: For the last three days, I've been sitting at my kitchen table in California cranking out press releases, calling reporters, and generally playing "pit crew" for Bill and our Put Solar On It road trip. It's been a great ride: tens of thousands of people have shown their support for putting solar back on the White House, the crew had great stops in Boston, New York, and D.C., and we managed to secure a meeting with the Administration to discuss putting solar back on the roof. As we expected (but secretly hoped wouldn't be the case), the White House didn't commit to ... well, anything. We tossed them a big, fat soft ball to hit out of the park and they just watched it float on by. That's too bad. But it's also a great reminder of who the real leaders are. As Joe put it, if the President can't climb up on the roof and hammer in some solar panels, clearly we need to push him up. That's exactly what we're going to do on 10/10/10. (This is a warmist site dedicated to lowering atmospheric CO2 to 350 parts per million or less. From all the publicity on NPR and various TV networks, I thought this was pretty much a done deal. They would simply show up and install the things the next day. That turns out not to be the case. The true believers tried to strong-arm the White House with publicity and got rebuffed publicly. That's got to hurt. It also has to irritate still another of Obama's support groups. I wonder if we could get these guys to try again right around Halloween instead of Oct 10th? Ron P. )
Harry Reid, Sharron Angle Running Neck-and-Neck
Excerpt: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican challenger Sharron Angle remained deadlocked in Nevada's Senate race, with Reid holding a statistically-insignificant 46 percent to 44 percent lead, according to a Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey conducted Sept. 7-9 for the Las Vegas-Review Journal. Six percent are undecided and the rest do not like either choice. The margin of error is 4 points. Two weeks ago, Mason-Dixon had Reid at 46 percent and Angle at 45 percent. A Rasmussen Reports poll conducted Sept. 1 had the two tied at 45 percent each. (Even if Reid survives, he may be crippled. Ron P. Well, a win is a win, and it’s six years to the next election. Unfortunately, it was a three way GOP primary, and the pre-primary polls showed Angle as the weakest candidate, but strong with the motivated Tea Party. We will see if the Tea Party thus re-elected Reid. ~Bob.)
Saudi diplomat seeking asylum: 'My life is in danger'
Excerpt: A ranking Saudi diplomat told NBC News that he has asked for political asylum in the United States, saying he fears for his life if he is forced to return to his native country.
The diplomat, Ali Ahmad Asseri, the first secretary of the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles, has informed U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials that Saudi officials have refused to renew his diplomatic passport and effectively terminated his job after discovering he was gay and was close friends with a Jewish woman. In a recent letter that he posted on a Saudi website, Asseri angrily criticized his country’s “backwardness” as well as the role of “militant imams” in Saudi society who have “defaced the tolerance of Islam.” Perhaps most provocatively of all, he has threatened to expose what he describes as politically embarrassing information about members of the Saudi royal family living in luxury in the U.S. (Send him back. Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance they keep telling us. ~Bob.)
We need to get away from occupation type warfare
Excerpt: Lt. Col. Allen West talks about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars with the Mangru report, as well as the “war on terror”. He says some very interesting things, like “we need to stop calling it a ‘war on terror.’
Risk and Regulation
Excerpt: As economic activity dwindles, and tea party activism rises, some Americans are now beginning to question the most flagrant of these rules and regulations. But that alone won’t suffice. If we’re to truly effect fundamental and long-lasting change, we must identify, examine and challenge the basic premises responsible for the regulatory state. One vital concept here is that of risk. Regulators act on the implicit premise that our primary focus should be on avoiding risk. According to them, all we have to do to be successful is avoid tainted food, drugs with side effects, companies that could swindle us, imperfect aircraft, etc. Moreover, in their view, doing so is easy. Simply ban and forbid any risky product or idea from the marketplace. What they fail to appreciate is that avoiding a negative is not the same as achieving a positive. Avoiding tainted food doesn’t ward off hunger any more than avoiding a side-effect will cure the primary disease. Instead, what life requires are positive values, from material goods like food, shelter and medicine; to emotional ones like a lover or a spouse; to spiritual ones like a lifelong purpose and career. As much as regulators may pretend otherwise, these values aren’t just there for the taking, they’re created by positive human actions which aren’t—and can’t be—automatically successful. That is, the risk of failure or of something going wrong is inherent in the very nature of value-creation. Investing in a company carries the risk that its new products won’t appeal to potential customers, that competitors will undercut its prices, or that its CEO will turn out to be a deadbeat. A suitor seeking a romantic relationship can get involved with someone unstable, untrustworthy, or who’s simply a waste of valuable time. Yet those are the risks that must be borne to find wealth and love respectively.
Only in Chicago Would Street Gangs Be So Bold
Excerpt: Soon a young man, we’ll call him Applicant A, appears at your doorstep. He has obviously made some effort to impress, wearing a coat and tie and giving you cause to believe he adheres to a passably tolerable regimen of personal hygiene. His résumé, though not extensive, indicates some degree of initiative: he has graduated from high school and junior college with passing but not sterling grades, during which education he supported himself by working as a busboy, a cook, and a waiter. For references he presents a list of former teachers and supervisors at his previous jobs. During the course of your interview with him, you form the opinion that he is eager, honest, and intelligent, the kind of young man who, though not highly educated, will be an asset to your business and a pleasant coworker for your other employees. And then along comes Applicant B, who arrives thirty minutes late for his interview. The initial impression he makes is one of stark contrast to Applicant A. Where Applicant A has chosen an approximation of business attire, Applicant B is more casually dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and baggy jeans, the waistband of which rests somewhere well below his waist to expose a vast expanse of his plaid boxer shorts. He also wears athletic shoes with the laces untied and a baseball cap whose bill points off in some direction other than the front. He discloses that he is a high school dropout, and when you inquire about the skills he might bring to the job, he recites a litany of talents which, though impressive in their own way, seem ill suited for the position you seek to fill: he can outrun any cop in his neighborhood, can start almost any car with only a screwdriver, and is an expert shot with a 9-millimeter Glock, so expert in fact that he can — and has — hit a moving target from a moving car. For references he offers his probation officer and a friend he knows only by the sobriquet “Pookie.” Now, to whom do you offer the job? Be honest now — you chose Applicant A, didn’t you? Shame, shame, shame on you. Now Applicant B, having suffered discrimination at your hands, has no choice but to go out and continue in a life of crime. When he shoots and kills someone in the course of a robbery it will not be his fault but yours for having denied him an escape from his descent into perdition. This was the theme of a bizarre press conference held this month in Chicago, where a collection of so-called gang leaders addressed reporters and aired their grievances on a number of subjects including the police and economic conditions that, they claim, offer poor young men no choice but to commit robberies, burglaries, and various other crimes, and to shoot each other with a staggering degree of regularity. The press conference was a response to a meeting Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis held with gang members on August 28, during which Weis and prosecutors are alleged to have threatened to prosecute gang crimes under federal RICO statutes if Chicago’s street violence is not curtailed. The gang members claim they were tricked into attending the meeting, having been summoned under the pretense of a routine parole hearing. (I live in Crook County, just outside Chicago. Had 303 shootings, 33 fatal in July in Chicago. Three cops were shot to death in two months, two of them black guys that black thugs tried to rob on the street. As I’ve noted before, it is decent blacks and Hispanics who suffer the most at the hands of the thugs. Pretty amazing that the top cop would hold a meeting with gang leaders to threaten them, even more amazing that the gangs would then hold a press conference to denounce the threats. Most amazing was that it got a little play in the local media, but not that much. Of course, I live in the relatively safe burbs. Only found one body close to our condo this year, and to be fair, it was actually only half a body, the other half having turned up earlier two towns over. ~Bob.)
Cyber jihad group linked to 'Here you have' worm
Excerpt: A fast-spreading e-mail worm that crashed systems Thursday may be linked to a cyber jihad organization called Tariq ibn Ziyad, according to security vendor SecureWorks.
The "Here you have" worm spread like wildfire through some computer networks, bringing e-mail servers down and reportedly disrupting large U.S. organizations including Disney, Proctor and Gamble, Wells Fargo, and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). It's known as "Here you have" because that is sometimes the subject line of the messages used to spread the malware.
The Democrats Can Win the House
Excerpt: Two months after White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs let slip that Republicans could take over the House of Representatives in November, the Democrats’ prospects have only grown bleaker: No one seems to think that they have a prayer. Nate Silver announced Friday that Republicans have a two-thirds chance of gaining control of the House. Charlie Cook says the Republicans will win “well north of the 39 seats needed for the House to flip,” while, at a recent gathering of the American Political Science Association, several academics predicted Republican gains of 50 seats. But not everyone has written off the Democrats just yet. Deep in the heart of red country, Rob Mellen, an assistant professor of political science and public administration at Mississippi State University, has something that offers liberals a flicker of hope: a model that shows Democrats keeping a slim majority of the House of Representatives—between 224 and 226 of the House’s 435 seats. Mellen’s isn’t the only model that shows the Democrats holding on to the House. But unlike the others in this category, which look mostly at slow-changing economic fundamentals, Mellen’s model shows that President Obama himself can make a difference between now and Election Day. Mellen looks at the impact of presidential campaign appearances on behalf of House candidates in midterm elections. (...) The improvement has to do with the so-called enthusiasm gap. The dire predictions for the Democrats in November don’t necessarily assume a defection of voters from the Democratic Party to the GOP. Rather, Republican voters, riled up by being out of power, are more likely to turn out in the midterms; Democrats, resting on their laurels after the 2008 landslide, are much more likely to sit this one out. ("Please, B'rer Bear and B'rer Fox, don't throw me into that briar patch," cried B'rer Rabbit ~ Uncle Remus's Tales. I think the author has completely misread the situation. Sending Obama on the campaign trail will be the best thing they could do, all right, for Republicans. He might spark a little more enthusiasm in Dems, but would also arouse more ire in republicans, who will then work even harder. Republicans and conservative independents are NOT "riled up by being out of power," they are frightened and upset by the direction the government is going. The electoral problem facing Dems is NOT that Dems won't vote, it's that independents have abandoned the Dems in wholesale lots. The missing enthusiasm isn't among Dems--they're merely depressed--it's with the independents. Yes, republicans CAN still lose the election, if we fail to work to deserve to win; but, giving us even more reason to redouble our efforts seems counterproductive. Ron P.)
Fact check: Obama's health care statements haven't matched reality
The AP calls Obama out! Excerpt: President Barack Obama told voters repeatedly during the health care debate that the overhaul legislation would bring down fast-rising health care costs and save them money. Now, he's hemming and hawing on that. So far, the law he signed earlier this year hasn't had the desired effect. An analysis from Medicare's Office of the Actuary this week said that the nation's health care tab will go up -- not down -- through 2019 as a result of Obama's sweeping law, though the increase is modest. Obama offered some caveats when asked in his news conference Friday about the apparent discrepancy between what he promised and what's actually happening so far. On several other topics, too, his rhetoric fell short of a full accounting. (Wow, this new capacity in the press to start looking at the man behind the curtain seems to really be taking off, at long, long last. Great... let's hope a lot of people read all these criticisms and determine to make things change in November. --Del)
Agitator & Chief
Excerpt: Does anyone else besides me feel like President Obama is poking his finger in your chest almost on a daily basis, agitating the very people he has sworn to defend, "Americans." All I heard with the media during the 2008 Presidential election is how Barrack Obama was going to "unite" this country and the world when he gets into office. He even won the "Nobel Peace Prize" 20 days before he was sworn into office with the mere "expectation of greatness' and the theme of "The One" that surrounded him. He might not have parted the seas, but he definitely had the media sitting up panting like a dog, begging for morsels of face time with him loaded with sugar coated questions, getting tingly feelings up their legs, running interference for him on all sides keeping his mystical aura a glow.
Woman's links to Mexican drug cartel a saga of corruption on U.S. side of border
Excerpt: She lived a double life. At the border crossing, she was Agent Garnica, a veteran law enforcement officer. In the shadows, she was "La Estrella," the star, a brassy looker who helped drug cartels make a mockery of the U.S. border. Martha Garnica devised secret codes, passed stacks of cash through car windows and sketched out a map for smugglers to safely haul drugs and undocumented workers across the border. For that she was richly rewarded; she lived in a spacious house with a built-in pool, owned two Hummers and vacationed in Europe. For years, until an intricate sting operation brought her down in late 2009, Garnica embodied the seldom-discussed role of the United States in the trafficking trade.
Dalit girl forced to convert to Islam in Pakistan: Report
Excerpt: A 13-year-old Dalit girl was kidnapped and apparently forced to convert to Islam in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, according to a media report on Saturday. Poonam was kidnapped from her house in Lyari Town in Karachi on Wednesday, her uncle Bhanwroo told the Daily Times newspaper. When neighbours informed her family of Poonam's presence at a madrassa in Lyari, they went there. "She was very scared and under the influence of maulvis. She told us they will not let her go, so she will stay with them as a Muslim," said Bhanwroo. The family contacted police in Chakiwara to lodge an FIR on the kidnapping but they refused to do so, he said. (Well, the Prophet (PBUH) sanctioned sex with slave girls. ~Bob.)
Path to reelection steeper for U.S. Rep. Ron Klein http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/state/path-to-reelection-steeper-for-u-s-rep-910625.html
Excerpt: Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Klein won his Palm Beach-Broward congressional seat in 2006 by nationalizing his campaign against former Rep. Clay Shaw, relentlessly tying the Republican incumbent to former President George W. Bush and the Iraq war. Four years later, Klein is the incumbent confronting a different national tide. In a swing district that will help determine which party controls the U.S. House, Republican challenger Allen West wants to make the District 22 race a referendum on President Obama and the Democratic Congress. West, who calls Klein a "mama's boy" for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, says his mission is nothing less than "destroying the liberal progressive socialist machine and its legislative agenda. Klein is just a steppingstone to that end."
The Terry Jones saga shows the strength of anti-Americanism
Good column from a Brit. ~Bob. Excerpt: Anti-Americanism has a new pin-up. “Pastor” Terry Jones, whose congregation may number as many as 50 on a good week, is holding the world in thrall with his on-again, off-again Koran-burning stunt. In spite of his idiotic proposal having been condemned by everyone in US public life, including the President, Sarah Palin, the secretaries of state and defence, the Pentagon, and the spokesmen of every respectable religious group, this wacko fantasist would have been capable (we were told) of destroying any prospect of peace between the West and the Islamic world. Mercifully, after what may have been a persuasive visit from a gaggle of FBI men, the “pastor” decided to cancel his grotesque commemoration of September 11. But presumably if his face-saving story of receiving an assurance that the Ground Zero mosque was to be moved is definitively trounced, he could choose once again to push us to the brink of global Armageddon. Hello? Has anyone noticed how utterly ridiculous this is? One publicity-crazed loony threatens to commit an irresponsibly offensive act, to the virtually universal disgust of his own countrymen and the populations of America’s allies, and that’s it: the annihilation of any chance of bridge-building or conciliation between Muslim countries and the Western nations. That this absurdity became the immediately accepted received wisdom suggests that the world (and not just the Muslim parts of it) must be very eager indeed to find a plausible excuse for casting America as a cartoon country whose heartland is dominated by bigoted know-nothings. Never mind that this is the same America which, only two years ago, was being hailed by ecstatic European liberals for having elected a black president, whose father and stepfather had been Muslims. I remember saying at the time that the victory of Barack Obama would provide only the most fleeting respite from the dominant anti-American mythology which is so essential to European self-regard. But we are where we are. The failure to make any serious attempt to understand the United States and its political culture is now more than smug, stupid and cynical (although it is certainly all those things). The perverse ignorance which allows the British liberal establishment to caricature America’s obsessive concern with its constitutional integrity as simply a front for bigotry (note the BBC’s derisive treatment of the Tea Party movement) is beyond silly: it now presents a real threat to the common cause which the nations of the Enlightenment must make if they are to see their way through the present danger.
As Obama's popularity drops, so do sales of his merchandise
Excerpt: In Union Station, the souvenir shop once dubbed the Obama Store because of its mostly Obama-related selection (save for the Michael Jackson memorabilia of the same vein that popped up after his death) has closed. A jewelry-repair shop stands in its place near the food court. "That moment in history is gone," said Molly Andolina, a professor of political science at DePaul University, in the president's adopted home town of Chicago. "You're going to only see the enthusiasts" continue to buy, she said.
In the Middle East, there was cheering that day…
Excerpt: This is the video that the non-interventionist wing of the libertarian movement, rather you not see. Palestinians cheer the attacks of 9/11 in the streets of Ramallah, and Gaza, hours after the planes flew into the World Trade Center. (If it wasn’t Islam that attacked us, Mr. President, why were so many Muslims cheering that day? Were they are members of the “tiny minority of extremists” we hear about? Suppose we run this video and the one below on a continuous loop on a billboard across from the Ground Zero Mosque,? We have the right to do that if they have the right to build it. ~Bob.)
Remembering ‘the Jumpers’ of 9/11
Excerpt: [CAJ note: Please be advised the videos are disturbing and emotional...] Another post most will not want, and should not have, to read and view. But we owe it to ourselves to witness the utter despair forced upon innocent people by Islamic terrorists adhering to an ideology that is unchanged, unscathed, and will continue to terrorize until eradicated. [The note at YouTube: USA TODAY estimates that at least 200 people jumped to their deaths that morning, far more than can be seen in the photographs taken that morning. Nearly all were from the north tower, which was hit first and collapsed last. Fewer than a dozen were from the south tower. [The jumping started shortly after the first jet hit at 8:46 a.m. People jumped continuously during the 102 minutes that the north tower stood. Two people jumped as the north tower began to fall at 10:28 a.m., witnesses said.]
Bribing the public with the public's money
Excerpt: A new report by the Federal Reserve points to "widespread signs of deceleration" in the U.S. economy. No kidding! These signs follow what the Fed calls a "burst" of growth in the last quarter of 2009 and first quarter of 2010 triggered by President Obama's $862 billion stimulus package. Unfortunately, the burst failed to help anybody except special interests like unions and public employees. Note the Fed's evasive word choice: Another word for "decelerating" would be "contracting." That's what happens in an economy debilitated by high unemployment, government over-regulation, spiraling public debt, and whopping tax increases looming for the most productive people and businesses.
Obama hasn't yet learned his economic lesson
President Obama was in full campaign mode this week as he delivered a stump speech on the economy in Cleveland. But the magic is gone. He's no longer the silver-tongued orator who could make us feel good about ourselves and the prospects for our country -- which was key to his victory in 2008. Now he's just another partisan hack blaming the other party for his own failure of leadership. Instead of changing his tone and rhetoric, the president should be focused on changing his policies. But he seems incapable of any new thinking on what to do about the ailing economy. His only solution is to spend more. He's now touting a new economic stimulus: $50 billion in supposed infrastructure spending, which he's coupled to some targeted tax breaks for businesses. But few people -- including those vulnerable members of Congress in his own party -- are buying his plan, for good reason. If nearly a trillion dollars in stimulus spending couldn't create enough jobs to drop the unemployment rate to under 9 percent, how could adding $50 billion more for infrastructure improvements make a difference? The problem with the president's new plan is the same as it was with the old one. (Obama’s trapped. Changing his economic policies, even though they don’t work, won’t buy him much with the people who despise him, and his base believes in them no matter how many times they’ve brought misery throughout history. ~Bob.)