Sunday, September 19, 2010

Political Digest September 19, 2010

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

Cartoonists vs. Islamic extremists: A timeline
But of course, there are historic depictions of Mohammad (PBUH) in various branches of Islam. So the “rule” is only a rule when the large mass of Muslims looking for an excuse to riot and murder decide someone else has broken their rules. ~Bob. Excerpt: Islam forbids artistic depictions of the Prophet Mohammed. Cartoonists in recent years have found out just how seriously some people take that rule. Islam forbids artistic depictions of the Prophet Mohammed. Cartoonists in recent years have found out just how seriously some people take that rule. Molly Norris, a Seattle-based cartoonist who organized a deliberately provocative "Draw Mohammed for a Day" contest in May as a response to Comedy Central's censoring of a Mohammed-themed episode of "South Park," has gone into hiding. The cartoonist changed her name and stopped drawing for Seattle Weekly, the newspaper that employed her, after a Yemeni cleric said online that Norris "should be taken as a prime target of assassination." Hers is just the latest battle in the years-long war between cartoonists who try to make a political statement by drawing the Prophet and the Islamic extremists who are outraged by the act, forbidden under Islamic law. Here's a timeline:

Where do conservatives stand on gay marriage? Excerpt: If you listen to leaders of the various gay organizations spout off about the opponents of gay marriage, you’d believe they all inhabit some kind of fever swamp called the right where everybody’s busy hating everyone everyday, including themselves. But, it seems that just as opponents of same-sex marriage are a diverse lot*, it seems the conservatives hold a multiplicity of views on gay marriage. As Allahpundit observes, there is no official conservative position on gay marriage: “I was thinking this morning when I read that passage that, to my knowledge, there’s no clear “true conservative” position on, say, gay marriage at the moment. Opinions run the gamut from Palin, who still (I think) supports the Federal Marriage Amendment, to Rush Limbaugh, who supports civil unions but not marriage, to Glenn Beck, who takes the traditional libertarian pro-marriage stance of MYOB. It is indeed fiscal issues around which tea partiers coalesce, although there’s a little room for dissent even there — I think.” The energy on the right is in the Tea Party movement and they’re worked up about the burgeoning size of the federal government. As the Tea Party gains in prominence, expect to see social issues fall by the wayside and to see more people adopt the Glenn Beck attitude.

Dog Poop Powers Light in Massachusetts Park
I think dog poop is carbon-based fuel. Alert Al Gore. ~Bob. Excerpt: What does your dog do when you visit the dog park? Run, play, sniff? There's one other thing, based on our vast experience, that we're willing to bet they do during most visits to the park... But now, with the help of the Park Spark Project, launched by artist Matthew Mazzotta, a dog park in Cambridge, Mass. has found an innovative (and very eco-friendly) way to recycle the waste your dog leaves behind -- an on-site methane digester. The concept is simple. People put dog poop into an air-tight container and it begins to produce methane, an odorless, colorless gas that is a major part of the natural gas many of us use in our homes. The methane is then piped into a street lamp that continues to burn as long as park visitors and dog walkers dump the doo into the digester and turn the hand crank to stir the mixture. (We recommend you try not to picture that part in too much detail.) The goal of this interactive project is to not only show how dog waste can be recycled into something practical, but to also spark ideas about other ways to use the heat and light created by the poop that had been filling up nearby trash cans.

The Tea Party Paradox: The country has moved right, but it's not clear that this helps Republicans in the long run.
Excerpt: The polls are weeks from opening, yet the meaning of the 2010 midterm election results is already in dispute. Already, Republicans are crowing about their resurgence. Already, Democrats are saying, "Not so fast." Peter Wehner, an astute analyst with the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a former official of the George W. Bush administration, points to opinion polls showing that a growing percentage of Americans regard the Democrats as too liberal. "What's happening, in other words, is that an increasing number of Americans are becoming more conservative," he blogged recently. "This is more fallout from the Age of Obama. Mr. Obama is, for the GOP, the gift that keeps on giving." Wrong, replies Ruy Teixeira, a Democratic-leaning political analyst and a senior fellow with the liberal Center for American Progress. "It's not Obama that's the gift that keeps on giving, it's the economy that's the gift that keeps on giving," he said in a recent interview. "I think it's a judgment on how things are going in the country. I don't think it's a judgment to take the country in a conservative direction." Oddly, both analyses may be correct. The country has indeed moved to the right in the past few years. Yet it's not clear whether this is happening in a way that helps Republicans.

It’s Not About O’Donnell
Excerpt: Christine O’Donnell may or may not be electable. She certainly has her eccentricities and defects. But what’s distasteful about the Delaware candidate for U.S. Senate has little to do with the Tea Party. Sexual abstinence is not a pillar of the movement; nor are suspicious lawsuits or conspiracy mongering. The very reason O’Donnell is attracting attention is because she’s an aberration and not an exemplar. If the Tea Party were made up of nothing but Christine O’Donnells, it would not have produced a Tupperware party’s worth of turnout at a single event. Yet the movement caught fire among America’s working class and reshaped the political landscape in about a year. It befuddled the liberal establishment because it could not easily be pegged as crazy, misguided, or inauthentic. The mainstream media’s objection to the Tea Party was aesthetic. For all the concern about how America was wary of a presidential candidate with a funny name and a different appearance, the small-town bearings of the Tea Partiers had the open-minded elites packing their bags for Canada. But Nancy Pelosi and the liberal media couldn’t wage an effective campaign of destruction on aesthetic grounds. Now, with O’Donnell, they think they have the substance to move forward. We see article after article about the Tea Party as a conservative Frankenstein’s monster. But despite the left’s best efforts, that’s an insignificant red-herring subplot, not the central political narrative. What is most significant is that small-government, anti- elite, anti-tax sentiment is so strong that an apparent oddball candidate was not enough to dissuade conservatives of their passion for reform.

The Death Wish of the Jewish Intellectual Left
Excerpt: It’s always fascinating to find historical parallels to contemporary events. When one discovers an obscure gem of this type, cutting the stone to let it reflect the light of truth is irresistible. For well over a century, the Jewish people have been beset by an eleventh plague inside their own house: extreme left-wing intellectuals who urge they throw away their own interests, concerns, and even lives for the supposed higher ones of humanity or the chimera of being morally perfect. According to this view, their supposed true interests lie in bringing about utopia for everyone, paved by abandoning their own aspirations, dissolving their identity while other groups are encouraged to do the opposite. While I admire Bertram Wolfe for things he did in later life, he spent thirty earlier years campaigning for Communism. During that period he produced one of the greatest examples in this genre of left-wing calls for Jewish suicide. On April 6, 1939, Wolfe made a speech to the Keep America Out of War Congress, opposing U.S. involvement in the looming war in Europe against the Nazis, the worst persecutor of the Jewish people (so far) in modern times. Wolfe was then an exemplar of what has become known recently by the name “As-a-Jew.” That is, those who never identify as a member of the Jewish people or religion except when bashing some aspect of it, usually in our era, Israel. So they start their rant by saying, “As a Jew…” I oppose this or that thing. (With the implied meaning: Aren’t I a great and noble person!) In this tradition, Wolfe’s speech ordered Jews to sacrifice themselves for a left-wing cause based on a distorted left-wing view of reality: The element that makes the war party [who want to fight Nazi Germany] so much larger in New York than elsewhere in this country, [are] those whose anguish blinds their visions as each day their spirits are bruised and shocked afresh by the daily budget of news of Jewish persecutions throughout the world. Profiting by their anguish which amounts to hysteria, there are those who would sell them the coming war as a war against antisemitism. And this is the more dangerous delusion because the growth of militarism and reaction in this country is bringing with it the growth of antisemitism. In those days, “New York” was a code word, often used by anti-Semites, for Jews. True, he expresses sympathy to gain credibility but only uses it to warn that the worst thing Jews could do was to advocate a war against Hitler. 9Now days, Barack’s buddy Jessie just calls it “Hymietown.” ~Bob)

Couple Charged With Trying to Help Venezuela Make Nuclear Bomb

Excerpt: Who wants Hugo Chavez to have a nuke in 10 years? Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni, 75, and Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni, 67, two former employees of Los Alamos National Laboratory, were arrested today in the wake of a sting operation launched by the FBI, charged with providing nuclear secrets to men they believed to be Venezuelan agents. A federal grand jury in New Mexico received a 22-count indictment of the married couple that included charges ranging from conspiracy to communicate restricted data with "the intent to injure the United States and secure advantage to a foreign nation" to making false statements, a statement for the U.S. Department of Justice said. If convicted of the charges, the suspects face the possibility of life in prison. U.S. federal agents posed as representatives of the Venezuelan government and asked the married couple for help gaining access to information to help build a nuclear weapon. According the authorities, the couple agreed and passed on classified data to the agents. (I thought the Rosenbergs were dead. –Ron P. First squad, fall out and draw weapons for a firing detail. ~Bob)

Holder smacked down over voting

Excerpt: The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division has lurched from multiple controversies into an outright embarrassment. In an order issued Sept. 16, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates of the District of Columbia gave Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s team the legal equivalent of a 2-by-4 across the head. The department's handling of a voting rights case from Shelby County, Ala., has been so slipshod as to invite questions of its legal competence across the board. Shelby County is challenging the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act's Section 5, an increasingly problematic requirement that election jurisdictions in several states, mostly Southern, secure "pre-clearance" from Justice for any change in voting practices. This includes minor details such as moving a polling place from a school gym to its cafeteria. The county writes, "in the last 10 years, [it] has sought pre-clearance numerous times, expended significant taxpayer dollars, time and energy to meet its obligations under Section 5 of the VRA, and has had at least one election delayed in order to ensure compliance."

Obama's very first Executive Order on January 21st, 2009
E-mail circulating on the web: Obama's first Executive Order as President of the USA was to seal all of his records as follows: personal, educational, identity, passport, travel, birth, selective service, employment, financial, business, real estate, Illinois state senate and US Senatorial, k-12 in both Hawaii and Indonesia, Harvard, Harvard law review, Columbia, Occidental college, foreign, scholarship applications and awards, memberships, subscriptions, political affiliations, law firm clients, Annenberg Challenge, ACORN client relationships, and other foundation boards and decisions he made while on those foundation boards. National Archives:
His second executive order was to "create more transparency in government" and compel government agencies to respond more effectively to Freedom of Information Requests. What a joke! And now his records are being denied in a court proceeding. Check this video link here:

Overweight Chinese kids sent to Fat Camp

The Backlash Myth
Excerpt: Many of my liberal friends are convinced that the Republican Party has a death wish. It is sprinting to the right-most fever swamps of American life. It will end up alienating the moderate voters it needs to win elections. There’s only one problem with this theory. There is no evidence to support it. The Republican Party may be moving sharply right, but there is no data to suggest that this has hurt its electoral prospects, at least this year. I asked the election guru Charlie Cook if there were signs that the Tea Party was scaring away the independents. “I haven’t seen any,” he replied. I asked another Hall of Fame pollster, Peter Hart, if there were Republican or independent voters so alarmed by the Tea Party that they might alter their votes. He ran the numbers and found very few potential defectors. The fact is, as the Tea Party has surged, so has the G.O.P. When this primary season began in early February, voters wanted Democrats to retain control of Congress by 49 percent to 37 percent, according to an Associated Press-Gfk poll. In the ensuing months, Tea Party candidates won shocking victories in states from Florida to Alaska. The most recent A.P./Gfk poll now suggests that Americans want Republicans to take over Congress by 46 percent to 43 percent. Nor is there evidence that the Tea Party’s success has changed moderates’ perceptions about Republicans generally. According to a survey published in July by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, Americans feel philosophically closer to the Republicans than to the Democrats. Put another way, many moderates see Democrats like Nancy Pelosi as more extreme than Republicans like John Boehner. Nor is there any sign that alarm over the Tea Party is hurting individual Republican candidates. In Ohio, Republican Rob Portman has opened up a significant lead on his Democratic opponent. In Kentucky, Republican Rand Paul is way ahead, as is Marco Rubio in Florida. In Illinois, Republican Mark Kirk has a small lead, and Linda McMahon has pulled nearly even in Connecticut. Sharron Angle, a weak candidate, is basically tied with Harry Reid in Nevada.

NYT - Unions Find Members Slow to Rally Behind Democrats
Excerpt: Labor leaders, alarmed at a possible Republican takeover of one or both houses of Congress, promise to devote a record amount of money and manpower to helping Democrats stave off disaster. But political analysts, and union leaders themselves, say that their efforts may not be enough because union members, like other important parts of the Democratic base, are not feeling particularly enthusiastic about the party — a reality that, in turn, further dampens the Democrats’ chances of holding onto their Congressional majorities.

Militias Sanctioned By Local Government!/group.php?gid=151735038190294&ref=mf

Please help share and support the Sheriff's Militia Resolution!
Thanks to all that have helped, made suggestions and helped write this resolution. Many indicated that they were in favor of the "Sheriff's Militia Resolution," as posted in the original draft. Here is the final version of a resolution to form local government sanctioned militias as authorized by the Constitution. I will begin sending and posting copies of this resolution wherever possible and especially to holders of and candidates for public office. This resolution is a nonpartisan effort and I sincerely hope that we can gain support from all that love America regardless of political affiliation or view. Please carefully read the new and improved version of the resolution and please join me in an effort to make it known and to make it happen. There is a link below the resolution and information about the Facebook group for the resolution and a special email address for the group. –Mac. I dunno, Mac. If the Cook County Sheriff formed a militia, it would probably come for conservatives and gun owners. ~Bob)

Kyler Robertson accused of drug use because of "bloodshot eyes" after dad's death
Zero Tolerance idiots. ~Bob. Excerpt: A Texas mother is outraged after her son was accused of using marijuana by high school officials. Their only evidence: The boy's bloodshot eyes, two days after the death of his father. Kyler Robertson, a junior at Byron Nelson High School, was suspended for three days and transferred to an alternative school until January. His father, Richard Robertson of Fort Worth, was stabbed to death near Azle on Sunday after getting into an argument with another man, police said.

Ron Klein attempts to fend off challenge from tea party favorite Allen West
Excerpt: He’s called on supporters to “grab their muskets” and “fix your bayonets,” railed against “coexist” bumper stickers, and called his opponent a “pathetic liberal” – and it’s working. Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Allen West, a fire-breathing conservative beloved by the tea party movement, is gaining political momentum and may become South Florida’s newest member of Congress. West is challenging U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton – and waging a war on liberalism. A West victory would help Republicans win the 39 seats they need to take control of Congress and tip the balance of power in Washington. A passion-filled West speech has been seen more than 2.2 million times on YouTube. He has the endorsement of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. And he’s raised more money than Klein in each of the last four fundraising periods. 9i’ve contributed to West. Like the idea of a LtCol and conservative joining the “Black Caucus.” Might make it less racist. ~Bob.)

Cries for Vengeance Against L.A. Cops Who Shot Knife-Wielding Thug
Excerpt: Everyone knows there are few certainties in life. Yes, you always hear about death and taxes, but recent events here in Los Angeles have revealed other certainties which are, perhaps not coincidentally, related to the first two. The first is this: If it is your custom to spend your afternoons getting drunk, wielding knives, and menacing passers-by on busy street corners, and if, after the police have arrived as they must when this behavior has been brought to their attention, you fail to drop your knife when ordered to do so, and if then you further tempt fate by advancing toward a police officer with the knife raised in such a way that the officer reasonably believes his life is imperiled, it is as close to a certainty as this world can produce that you will be shot and maybe even killed. So discovered — too late — one Manuel Jamines (a.k.a. Manuel Ramirez, a.k.a. Gregorio Luis Perez, a.k.a. heaven knows what else) on the afternoon of September 5 at the corner of 6th Street and Union Avenue, just west of downtown Los Angeles. The facts presented by the Los Angeles Police Department are these: At about 1 p.m., three officers from the LAPD’s Rampart Division were patrolling that area on bicycles when they were flagged down by people who informed them that Jamines (or whatever his name is) was brandishing a knife and threatening people, including a pregnant woman and some children. The officers stopped and got off their bikes, and at least one of them ordered Jamines — in both English and Spanish — to drop his knife. Rather than comply with the order and surrender, Jamines raised the knife and advanced on one of the officers as if prepared to attack him. That officer fired his service pistol, striking Jamines and killing him on the spot. The entire encounter lasted about 40 seconds. There followed four nights of protests, some of them violent, when area residents and some outsiders took to the streets and challenged the many LAPD officers who were called in from all over the city. Protesters threw all manner of projectiles at officers, including rocks, bottles, and eggs, they lit trash cans on fire, they rolled fully loaded Dumpsters weighing hundreds of pounds downhill at them, and when officers chased some of them into nearby apartment buildings, they threw microwave ovens, air conditioning units, television sets, and a variety of other items from upper-floor windows and rooftops. Some also armed themselves with slingshots and used them to shoot marbles at police officers and reporters.

Dems Hope Voters Will Focus on O’Donnell & Not on Chris Coons’ Marxist Past
Excerpt: The democratic-media complex is doing all it can to focus on Christine O’Donnell’s “tainted” past of late payments and abstinence hoping that voters don’t avert their attention at the former(?) Marxist she is running against in Delaware.

60 years later, Marines still search for fallen soldiers

Excerpt: United States Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Kurtis S. Witt pulls out a knife and kneels beside a WWII-era Japanese 3-inch projectile. Witt gingerly chips away at corrosion on the still unexploded artillery shell. As pieces fall off, he gives it several more heart-stopping whacks. Biteti Tentoa, or "Peter," a Betio island native, watches from a safe distance. He jumps back expecting a catastrophic explosion. Nothing happens. Witt is an explosive ordnance disposal technician with the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command. This 13-member team has spent the past month on Tarawa, a tiny Pacific atoll straddling the equator, searching for the remains of missing soldiers and Marines from the Battle of Tarawa. Now 67 years later, hundreds of Americans are unaccounted for and buried in mass graves around the island. The team is digging meticulously, sifting for bone fragments through several meters of sandy soil. Archaeologist Gregory Fox keeps Witt close by. "We do a sweep on a site first to try to locate any ordnance, then he tells us whether or not we can work and keep him real close while we're digging. He's an essential team member for everywhere we work. We don't work in city parks; we work in battlefields."

Swedes May Usher In Anti-Immigrant Party
Excerpt: A Swedish anti-immigrant party is expected to win its first-ever parliamentary seats in the country's election on Sunday, in the latest example of rising anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe. Voter response to the far-right Sweden Democrats could even rob Sweden's ruling center-right Alliance of its majority, forcing it to seek new coalition partners or form a weak minority government. Opinion polls suggest Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's Alliance holds a clear lead over the left-leaning Social Democrats and Greens. However, with many voters still undecided, analysts said the Alliance couldn't be sure of winning an outright majority.

Good column: Why It's Time for the Tea Party
Excerpt: Here are pollsters Scott Rasmussen and Doug Schoen in the Washington Examiner: "The Tea Party has become one of the most powerful and extraordinary movements in American political history." "It is as popular as both the Democratic and Republican parties." "Over half of the electorate now say they favor the Tea Party movement, around 35 percent say they support the movement, 20 to 25 percent self-identify as members of the movement." So far, the tea party is not a wing of the GOP but a critique of it. This was demonstrated in spectacular fashion when GOP operatives dismissed tea party-backed Christine O'Donnell in Delaware. The Republican establishment is "the reason we even have the Tea Party movement," shot back columnist and tea party enthusiast Andrea Tantaros in the New York Daily News. It was the Bush administration that "ran up deficits" and gave us "open borders" and "Medicare Part D and busted budgets." Everyone has an explanation for the tea party that is actually not an explanation but a description. They're "angry." They're "antiestablishment," "populist," "anti-elite." All to varying degrees true. But as a network television executive said this week, "They should be fed up. Our institutions have failed." …. But establishments exist for a reason. It is true that the party establishment is compromised, and by many things, but one of them is experience. They've lived through a lot, seen a lot, know the national terrain. They know how things work. They know the history. I wonder if tea party members know how fragile are the institutions that help keep the country together. One difference so far between the tea party and the great wave of conservatives that elected Ronald Reagan in 1980 is the latter was a true coalition—not only North and South, East and West but right-wingers, intellectuals who were former leftists, and former Democrats. When they won presidential landslides in 1980, '84 and '88, they brought the center with them. That in the end is how you win. Will the center join arms and work with the tea party? That's a great question of 2012. (Elections are usually won in the center. If you concede the center to the opposition, as I believe just happened in Delaware, they win. The tea party hope is to convince enough of the center to move right, thus moving the center. The reason government grows under both parties, as she says in this column, is that every government program creates a constituency, who will fight fiercely for it, and vote against you to protect it, even if they agree with you on all other issues and think you are the most honest, competent candidate. ~Bob.)

Murkowski announces write-in campaign to keep Senate seat
More good news for Democrats. She probably can’t win, but could elect the Democrat. ~Bob. Excerpt: U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who lost Alaska’s GOP primary last month in a stunning upset to a tea-party backed rival, announced Friday that she’ll mount a write-in candidacy in a bid to hold onto her job. “The campaign for Alaska’s future begins,” Murkowski told an Anchorage rally while surrounded by supporters chanting: “Run, Lisa, Run!” Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin urged Murkowski on Twitter Friday afternoon to recognize that the state’s primary voters demonstrated their support for Joe Miller in last month’s election. “Listen to the people, respect their will,” said Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee. “Voters chose Joe instead.”……In running, Murkowski would face long odds. Historians and election officials can think of no Alaska candidate who has successfully run as a write-in. She also has lost support from within the Republican establishment with some leaders urging her either to wait to challenge Alaska’s Democratic Sen. Mark Begich in 2014 or to join them in supporting Miller, the self-described “constitutional conservative” who also has been endorsed by Sarah Palin. Murkowski also would have just has over six weeks to gear up a campaign and turn out the vote.

Mao’s Great Leap Forward ‘killed 45 million in four years’
Well, no wonder the Obamas have Mao’s picture on their Christmas tree, and Obama appointees quote Mao--he’s number one! The Tea Party better watch out. ~Bob. Excerpt: Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic of China, qualifies as the greatest mass murderer in world history, an expert who had unprecedented access to official Communist Party archives said yesterday. Speaking at The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival, Frank Dikötter, a Hong Kong-based historian, said he found that during the time that Mao was enforcing the Great Leap Forward in 1958, in an effort to catch up with the economy of the Western world, he was responsible for overseeing “one of the worst catastrophes the world has ever known”. Mr Dikötter, who has been studying Chinese rural history from 1958 to 1962, when the nation was facing a famine, compared the systematic torture, brutality, starvation and killing of Chinese peasants to the Second World War in its magnitude. At least 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over these four years; the worldwide death toll of the Second World War was 55 million. Mr Dikötter is the only author to have delved into the Chinese archives since they were reopened four years ago. He argued that this devastating period of history – which has until now remained hidden – has international resonance. “It ranks alongside the gulags and the Holocaust as one of the three greatest events of the 20th century…. It was like [the Cambodian communist dictator] Pol Pot’s genocide multiplied 20 times over,” he said.

Pence picked as best presidential material at conservative summit
Excerpt: Conservative activists on Saturday picked Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) as their choice for president in 2012. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin -- who was the vice presidential candidate on the unsuccessful 2008 GOP ticket -- was voted the pick for vice president in 2012. Palin, who has helped conservative candidates storm the national election scene, was awarded the VP spot because Pence also won the vice presidential straw poll.

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