Saturday, July 31, 2010

Why do members of Congress cheat? For the reason Bill Clinton gave: because they can!

Democrats' Election Hopes Fade as Scandals MountSaturday, 31 Jul
WASHINGTON – A second House Democrat, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, could face an ethics trial this fall, further complicating the election outlook for the party as it battles to retain its majority.
...the allegations could be announced next week. The House ethics committee declined Friday to make any public statement on the matter. Waters, 71, has been under investigation for a possible conflict of interest involving a bank that was seeking federal aid. Her husband owned stock in the bank and had served on its board.
New York Democrat Rep. Charles Rangel also faces an ethics trial this fall on charges that include failure to disclose assets and income, nonpayment of taxes and doing legislative favors for donors to a college center named after him.
Both Waters and Rangel are prominent members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the trials would be an embarrassment for the group. Dual ethics trials would also be a major political liability for Democrats, forcing them to defend their party's ethical conduct while trying to hold on to their House majority.
While Rangel is a former chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, Waters is a prominent member of the House Financial Services Committee.
Waters came under scrutiny after former Treasury Department officials said she helped arrange a meeting between regulators and executives at Boston-based OneUnited Bank without mentioning her husband's financial ties to the institution.Her husband, Sidney Williams, held at least $250,000 in the bank's stock and previously had served on its board. Waters' spokesman has said Williams was no longer on the board when the meeting was arranged.
Waters has said the National Bankers Association, a trade group, requested the meeting. She defended her role in assisting minority-owned banks in the midst of the nation's financial meltdown and dismissed suggestions she used her influence to steer government aid to the bank."I am confident that as the investigation moves forward the panel will discover that there are no facts to support allegations that I have acted improperly," Waters said in a prior statement.
The committee unanimously voted to establish an investigative subcommittee to gather evidence and determine whether Waters violated standards of conduct.
Waters, like Rangel, could settle her case by arranging a plea bargain with the ethics committee. So far she has decided instead to fight.//
***Jan Schakowsky (D, IL) is accused of trying to help South Shore Bank because "it helps sub-prime lenders." Actually, it got into trouble for lending to a high-end condo developer, Also, when Schakowsky's husband, Robert Creamer, was involved in the check-kiting scheme which sent him to Federal prison, South Shore stepped in as a bank willing to accept his checks. Alexi Giannoullias's family bank just went bust at a cost to the taxpayers of $250Million. Previously, Giannoullias used is putative record at the family bank as experience to justify his running for Illinois Treasurer, a post he won. However, now that it turns out that his family bank was heavily involved with a Chicago crime family, Giannoullias all of a sudden retrosepctively is claimed to have had minimal involvement with the running of the ban. Being involved with the Illinois Fisc at a time of a terrible mess is no endorsement for the Senate or any other place outside of jail but Alexi compounds his record with statements that cannot both be correct. They could, however, both be false: his experience might have been worthless relevant to his functioning as State Treasurer but he might also have been involved in the transactions with the crime family and shoddy banking practices( which may or may not be the direct cause of the bank's failure.)****
"Waters chooses ethics trial" (Politico)
...The Waters case also presents a test of the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent body that take complaints from the public and chooses which ones to forward to the House ethics committee. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have complained that the OCE has unfairly and disportionately target them, and many have signed onto a legislative effort to de-fang the office." ****Perhaps the Black Caucus should worry about the disportionate corruption in its ranks. John Conyers' wife was convicted of bribery; William Jefferson was caught with $90,000 in his refrigerator, Alcee Hastings was impeached, convicted and cashiered as a Federal Judge but he re-surfaced as a Congressional member of the Black Caucus. ****
Judicial Watch's Ten Most Corrupt Politicians of 2009 (in alphabetical order):
1. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT)...
2. Senator John Ensign (R-NV)...
3. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)...
4. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner...
5. Attorney General Eric Holder...
6. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)/ Senator Roland Burris (D-IL)...
7. President Barack Obama...
8. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)...
9. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)...Murtha is not alone. As many as six other Members of Congress are currently under scrutiny according to The Washington Post....
10. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)...
That's only the top ten, and for 2009. (Dodd is a perennial, of course.)

Obama tells another whopper. They get bigger and bigger. (Goebbels was right!)

****Obama now claims that, without the 'stimulus', unemployment would have hit 15%. This ignores the recent paper by his chief economic advisor, Christine Romer, that AT MOST the stimulus reduced the peak unemployment rate by 1%. Since the peak rate was 10.5%, that gets even his own advisor only to 11.5%. The President has no shame. He knows he can fool some of the people all of the time ( think of who votes for him 95% ), he is counting on fooling enough people some of the time. None of this, of course, takes into consideration the fact that the "rate" excludes people who have stopped looking for work. Actually, fewer people are presently employed than were employed before the stimulus package. ****
Wouldn’t It Be Easier If We All Just Agreed that the Stimulus Worked?
Peter Suderman | July 29, 2010
E.J. Dionne has had it up to here with critics of the stimulus:
On the contrary, studies showing that the stimulus created or saved up to 3 million jobs are very hard to refute. It's much easier to pretend that all this money was wasted, although the evidence is overwhelming that we should have stimulated more.
Let me correct this: On the contrary, studies alleging to show that the stimulus created or saved up to 3 million jobs are based on scant real-world evidence, and, in the case of the Congressional Budget Office’s reports, are explicitly acknowledged not to serve as independent checks on or measurements of the actual results of the program. According to the CBO’s director, if the stimulus had failed to create jobs, the CBO’s reports would not have caught that failure. Meanwhile, there is mounting evidence that the government’s approach to stimulus was not as effective as it could have been. Or, to put it another way: “The fiscal-policy decisions of the past year and a half have not been implausible or inexplicable, but they have also not been empirically shown to work. The data point to other approaches.”
I think the correct approach to the stimulus is less criticism and more skepticism. When it comes to macroeconomic tinkering, we know very little about what works. What we do know, though, is that the case that the stimulus was effective is built on an extremely shaky foundation.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sowell's insights: Envy of achievement is worse than class warfare

Thomas Sowell on Resenting Achievement
“These are poisonous and self-destructive consequences of a steady drumbeat of ideological hype — differences are translated into ‘disparities’ and ‘inequities,’ provoking envy and resentments under the more prettied-up name of “social justice.”
Economist, author, and columnist Thomas Sowell weighs in on the story about black students at South Philadelphia High School beating up students of Asian descent. He attributes the attacks to achievement resentment.
Mainstream media and liberal types play up this very human emotion. They subtly imply that achievers are keeping down the non-achievers, that the successful are unfairly preventing others from succeeding.
“Those who explain racial antagonisms on rational bases will have a hard time demonstrating how Asian Americans have made blacks worse off,” Sowell writes. “Certainly none of the historic wrongs done to blacks was done by the small Asian-American population; for most of their history in this country, they have not had enough clout to prevent themselves from being discriminated against.”
Sowell notes that resentment and hostility toward high achievers tend to be focused on people who start at the bottom, alongside the resenters and the hostile. In the U.S., we’ve seen or read about blacks resenting others who open stores in their neighborhoods and make money off “their” people, and other immigrants resenting the success of Jewish immigrants.
“Achievements are a reflection on others who may have had similar, and sometimes better, chances but who did not make the most of their chances. Achievements are like a slap across the face to those who are not achieving, and many people react with the same kind of anger that such an insult would provoke.”
Resentment and hostility toward achievers happens in most societies, as Sowell discusses in the article and in Black Rednecks and White Liberals.
There’s nothing quite as powerful in America as racial grievance. America enslaved blacks and separated them from whites by government mandate. But American race relations have progressed so far so fast. It’s a stunning achievement. However, some will never be satisfied. Rather than seeing progress as the blessing it is and the opportunities that abound, they complain and hunt for the slightest grievance. To keep envy at bay, it’s helpful to remember an axiom: someone else’s success doesn’t stop you from succeeding.
“People who call differences ‘inequities’ and achievements ‘privilege’ leave social havoc in their wake, while feeling noble about siding with the less fortunate. It would never occur to them that they have any responsibility for the harm done to both blacks and Asian Americans.”
I’ll go so far as to say social engineers and instigators know exactly what kind of harm they’re causing. Leftists must maintain strife and tension in order to win elections and influence the masses. Sparking discord between the races and the haves and have-nots, and imbuing people with the sense that they’re being mistreated or left out, is a powerful platform, one that cuts to the heart of human nature. The challenge is to rise above that nature...
Not only is coveting a waste of time and energy, God considers it a sin.****Coveting means that one wants what another has; resenting what another has is different and worse. A middle Eastern story goes as follows:
JEW: God, my neighbor has a goat. Please give me one like his.
CHRISTIAN: Lord, my neighbor has a goat. Please give me his goat.
MUSLIM: Allah, my neighbor has a goat. Please kill it. ****

Depressing insights from Dexter Van Zile

Israel as the Ram in the Thicket
Dexter Van Zile is Christian media analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. His writings have appeared in numerous American Jewish newspapers as well as the Jerusalem Post, Ecumenical Trends, and the Boston Globe. He has a BA in politics and government from the University of Puget Sound and an MA in political science/environmental studies from Western Washington University. He is a Massachusetts native.
****The continuum of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric is the canary in the coal mine for Western Civilization.****

It's only 99% of Democrats who give 1% a bad name.

Rep. Joe Sestak hopes to succeed Sen. Arlen Specter (R2D2, Pa.), whom he defeated in the Democratic primary. Republican nominee Pat Toomey is generally rated only a slight favorite, but a report in the Allentown Morning Call gives a hint of the troubles Democrats face this year:

Joe Sestak continued Monday to distance himself from Nancy Pelosi while at the same time tying his Republican opponent Pat Toomey to George W. Bush.
Sestak, speaking at the Pennsylvania Press Club, was asked whether he believes Speaker of the House Pelosi is a liberal or a pragmatist. Sestak describes himself as the latter.
He said he didn't know, but also said he never looks at her voting record.
"My office is forbidden to look at talking points that come out of the speaker's office," the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate said. "Look, I didn't agree with Nancy Pelosi when she endorsed Arlen Specter."
Sestak boasts that he disagrees with Pelosi 3% of the time. Seriously:

The subject is especially sensitive for Sestak, who recently lost a battle with Pennsylvania television stations to pull a commercial that says he "gives it 100 percent to Nancy Pelosi." Sestak argued that he hasn't voted with Pelosi every single time (it's about 97 percent ), but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which paid for the ad, won the argument that on the big issues of the day--health care, energy, economic stimulus--Sestak has voted with Pelosi.
The Morning Call itself amusingly tries to dodge the liberal label: "High-profile political figures, such as Pelosi and President Barack Obama, who are linked to so-called liberal policies, are not viewed favorably in many areas of Pennsylvania."

So-called liberal policies? Who edits the Morning Call, Eric "Nascar Retards" Alterman?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Obama / Holder don't use Aristotelian logic in case.
Sanctuary cities become new target in immigration debateArizona immigration law goes into effect Padro Garcia AP
Opponents of the Justice Department's lawsuit challenging the enforcement of Arizona's controversial illegal-immigration law have hit upon a strategy to highlight what they contend is a gaping inconsistency in the Justice Department's policy priorities. Why should federal attorneys be targeting the Arizona law as an alleged obstacle to coherent and centralized enforcement of federal immigration statutes, they argue, while Justice officials also have done nothing to challenge the legal status of so-called sanctuary cities, which effectively block enforcement of the same federal law?... ****First the issue was to be "racial profiling" but there was none and one can't claim it prospectively, anyway. The actual Federal case filed against Arizona now claims interference with Federal immigration law. HOWEVER, the AZ law is careful to parallel Federal law in all respects and merely offers to help enforce it. Holder really can't claim interference from a law that duplicates Federal law while ignoring specific acts and laws of sanctuary cities that THWART Federal law. The argument that there would, after Arizona, be 50 different immigration laws falls if all states duplicate the Federal Law. More so, the many more CITIES that each write their own sanctuary laws would have multiple immigration laws, and more than 50 and potentially all different from each other; certainly all different from the Federal Law. These guys aren't even smart lawyers ( and smart lawyers aren't necessarily smart! )****

Monday, July 26, 2010

The chimera of a "two-state solution."

It is often forgotten that the "problem" which needs a "solution" is that of peace in the Mideast, not the establishment of yet another Arab state, the demand for which never existed until Yasser Arafat cleverly created it. As often happens, a way-station on the road to a much more important goal is transformed into a goal itself, even one that is antithetical to the original one.

The reductio ad absurdum of this flawed viewpoint was certainly the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. Rather than demonstrate that the goal of independence was the actual one,or even important, and a demonstration project for how this could solve all the problems, it has become a festering sore that has detracted from the original goal of peace. Of course, the goal of peace assumes that all sides ( and there are clearly more than two: the Israeli side, to be sure, but alao Fatah, Hamas, Hezbollah, non-Muslim Arabs of different nationalist flavors and all Muslims who are affronted by hegemony by non-Muslims over land that once, however briefly, was Muslim. One might even add in myriad others who don't like Israelis or Jews in general.)All profess to have interests in the situation, making a solution to the "peace problem" impossible until hate disappears from the scene and new generations are raised without it. It will likely, at a minimum, take three generations after the hate has stopped and it has not yet started to stop.
The basic, necessary but not sufficient, requirements of a two-state solution are such as to make it an unlikely prospect for the foreseeable future but here is an analysis:
Prerequisites for a two-state solution
By Mort Zuckerman
Will the world applaud Israel's just-announced decision to restrict its military forces by imposing even more stringent rules to avoid accidental civilian casualties? Don't bet on it. The world remained silent as Israel endured hundreds of Palestinian suicide bombers, stabbings, drive-by shootings, and kidnappings. No censure or demands for a cease-fire impeded Hezbollah in the north and Hamas from the south as they rained thousands of missiles on almost 40 percent of the Israeli population...

Grudging, soto voce admission of failure.

An Admission of Failure
It is established practice in Washington that if you have to release bad news, it is best to do it on a Friday ... the later in the day the better. So not only did the White House schedule the publication of the "Mid-Session Budget Review" for last Friday, but they then released it three hours late to ensure that as few reporters as possible were left in the nation's capital to cover it. But Heritage's dedicated budget team patiently waited the Obama administration out, and their analysis shows that this year's mid-session review is nothing short of a complete admission of failure of the White House's economic policies.

When President Obama sold his $862 billion economic stimulus to the American people, he promised that, if enacted, it would prevent unemployment from ever rising above 8%. With unemployment currently at 9.5%, the American people are now well aware that the President's stimulus has been a complete failure. But Friday's report was the first time this Administration was forced to admit just how long Americans will have to suffer for their failed economic policies. According to Friday's report, the Obama administration now projects that unemployment will average 9% throughout all of next year and 8.1% throughout 2012.

And if that news wasn't bad enough, the report pegs this year's budget deficit at $1.471 trillion, or 10% of the entire U.S. economy. In nominal dollars, it's the largest deficit in American history; and as a percentage of the economy, it's the largest deficit since World War II. To pay for that $1.471 trillion hole, our government will borrow 41 cents of every dollar it spends. And the Obama Administration concedes that these large deficits are here to stay. It projects another $1.42 trillion deficit in 2011, which is $150 billion worse than previously predicted. Looking ahead, the President's budget includes deficits that never fall below $698 billion and leaves our children with $18.5 trillion in debt by 2020. And all this assumes the economy will grow 4% from 2012-2014. The only times the economy performed that well in the past thirty years was from 1997-2000 and from 1983-1985.

These future deficits are driven almost exclusively by rising spending. As Heritage Foundation analyst Brian Riedl noted earlier this year: "Before the recession, federal spending totaled $24,000 per U.S. household. President Obama would hike it to $36,000 per household by 2020 — an inflation-adjusted $12,000-per-household expansion of government." There is a way out of this deficit nightmare: stop spending. If the federal government managed to return to the per-household spending level of the Reagan administration, the budget would be balanced by 2012 without any tax hikes. Too ambitious? Just returning to the per-household spending levels that existed before the current recession would balance the budget by 2019.

But that is not the route this President wants to take. President Obama wants to close the gap between what our government spends and what it takes in by raising taxes by $3 trillion. His Treasury secretary was on television yesterday claiming this massive tax tsunami would have no effect on economic growth. After last Friday's Mid-Session Budget Review exposed the failure of this Administration's economic stimulus claims, does anybody believe anything this Administration says anymore?

Obama's unvetted, lefty appointment also anti-Israel

Obama Names Medicaid Chief Who Backs Anti-Israel Doctors by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Republicans, and some Democrats, are in an uproar over U.S. President Barack Obama’s naming a Medicare chief who backs socialized medicine—and an anti-Israel physicians’ group.
The appointment of Donald Berwick, who is heavily involved in the anti-Israel Physicians for Human Rights organization, was made without going through the usual process of securing confirmation by the Senate. Opposition to his appointment was strengthened after it was discovered that Dr. Berwick said in a speech two years ago that the British system of socialized medicine is superior to the American health system.
Republican senators accused President Obama of bypassing the Senate to hide Berwick’s views, but White House spokesman Robert Gibbs responded, "There are aspects of the health care law that have to be implemented on a timeline that I'm sure many who oppose Dr. Berwick for political reasons didn't want to see implemented.”
However, even some Democrats are against the appointment of Berwick as the administrator for Medicare, including Senate Finance Committee chairman Sen. Max Baucus of Montana. Senate confirmation "is an essential process prescribed by the Constitution that serves as a check on executive power and protects Montanans and all Americans by ensuring that crucial questions are asked of the nominee -- and answered," he said.
Berwick’s backing of the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) group dates back to the year 2000, when he donated thousands of dollars to the organization after the outbreak of the Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo War.
Part of PHR’s mission was to conduct “a medical and forensic investigation in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] from October 20-27, 2000 to investigate allegations of excessive use of force, including the use of prohibited ammunition in the current conflict between Israeli forces and Palestinian demonstrators and authorities."
In its probe of the IDF’s counter terrorist operation in Jenin in 2002, the physicians’ group issued seven reports critical of Israel while totally ignoring the fact that the civilians were asked to leave Jenin and that 11 IDF soldiers were killed in hand to hand combat in a residential area infested by snipers. This heavy price was paid as the IDF refrained from prior bombing so as to avoid civilian casualties. They also made no mention of human rights violations in Iran and Iraq. PHR also gav an award to a Gaza activist who justified bombings of Israelis afterwards.
In 2008, Dr. Berwick joined the board of PHR, joining Richard Goldstone, who later authored the United Nations report accusing Israel of war crimes in the three-week Operation Cast Lead against the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009, while barely mentioning the prior nine years of rocket attacks on Israeli civilians.
A statement by the PHR was part of the basis of the Goldstone Report. PHR director Frank Donaghue stated about Gaza, ignoring the traumatized children of the Israeli town of Sderot and the Israeli communities near Gaza, "The parties to this horrific conflict are choking an entire population -- threatening access to food, shelter, medical care, and creating daily terror and insecurity. No military objectives can justify this."

Obama:"...Islam has always been part of America's story..." Oh, yeah?
Muslim Heritage in America
Barack Obama said: "I know that Islam has always been a part of America's story."
Is that right Mr. Obama?...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Geert Wilders on the dangers of Islam.

Geert Wilders is a Dutch Member of Parliament.
n a generation or two, the US will ask itself: Who lost Europe ?'
Here is the speech of Geert Wilders, Chairman, Party for Freedom, the Netherlands , at the Four Seasons, New York , introducing an Alliance of Patriots and announcing the Facing Jihad Conference in Jerusalem .

Dear friends,

Thank you very much for inviting me.

I come to America with a mission. All is not well in the old world. There is a tremendous danger looming, and it is very difficult to be optimistic. We might be in the final stages of the Islamization of Europe. This not only is a clear and present danger to the future of Europe itself, it is a threat to America and the sheer survival of the West. The United States as the last bastion of Western civilization, facing an Islamic Europe.

First I will describe the situation on the ground in Europe . Then, I will say a few things about Islam. To close I will tell you about a meeting in Jerusalem .

The Europe you know is changing.

You have probably seen the landmarks. But in all of these cities, sometimes a few blocks away from your tourist destination, there is another world. It is the world of the parallel society created by Muslim mass-migration.

All throughout Europe a new reality is rising: entire Muslim neighborhoods where very few indigenous people reside or are even seen. And if they are, they might regret it. This goes for the police as well. It's the world of head scarves, where women walk around in figureless tents, with baby strollers and a group of children. Their husbands, or slaveholders if you prefer, walk three steps ahead. With mosques on many street corners. The shops have signs you and I cannot read. You will be hard-pressed to find any economic activity. These are Muslim ghettos controlled by religious fanatics. These are Muslim neighborhoods, and they are mushrooming in every city across Europe . These are the building-blocks for territorial control of increasingly larger portions of Europe , street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city.

There are now thousands of mosques throughout Europe . With larger congregations than there are in churches. And in every European city there are plans to build super-mosques that will dwarf every church in the region. Clearly, the signal is: we rule.

Many European cities are already one-quarter Muslim: just take Amsterdam , Marseille and Malmo in Sweden . In many cities the majority of the under-18 population is Muslim. Paris is now surrounded by a ring of Muslim neighborhoods. Mohammed is the most popular name among boys in many cities.

In some elementary schools in Amsterdam the farm can no longer be mentioned, because that would also mean mentioning the pig, and that would be an insult to Muslims.

Many state schools in Belgium and Denmark only serve halal food to all pupils. In once-tolerant Amsterdam gays are beaten up almost exclusively by Muslims. Non-Muslim women routinely hear 'whore, whore'. Satellite dishes are not pointed to local TV stations, but to stations in the country of origin.

In France school teachers are advised to avoid authors deemed offensive to Muslims, including Voltaire and Diderot; the same is increasingly true of Darwin . The history of the Holocaust can no longer be taught because of Muslim sensitivity.

In England sharia courts are now officially part of the British legal system. Many neighborhoods in France are no-go areas for women without head scarves. Last week a man almost died after being beaten up by Muslims in Brussels , because he was drinking during the Ramadan.

Jews are fleeing France in record numbers, on the run for the worst wave of anti-Semitism since World War II. French is now commonly spoken on the streets of Tel Aviv and Netanya , Israel . I could go on forever with stories like this. Stories about Islamization.

A total of fifty-four million Muslims now live in Europe . San Diego University recently calculated that a staggering 25 percent of the population in Europe will be Muslim just 12 years from now. Bernhard Lewis has predicted a Muslim majority by the end of this century.

Now these are just numbers. And the numbers would not be threatening if the Muslim-immigrants had a strong desire to assimilate. But there are few signs of that. The Pew Research Center reported that half of French Muslims see their loyalty to Islam as greater than their loyalty to France . One-third of French Muslims do not object to suicide attacks. The British Centre for Social Cohesion reported that one-third of British Muslim students are in favor of a worldwide caliphate. Muslims demand what they call 'respect'. And this is how we give them respect. We have Muslim official state holidays.

The Christian-Democratic attorney general is willing to accept sharia in the Netherlands if there is a Muslim majority. We have cabinet members with passports from Morocco and Turkey .

Muslim demands are supported by unlawful behavior, ranging from petty crimes and random violence, for example against ambulance workers and bus drivers, to small-scale riots. Paris has seen its uprising in the low-income suburbs, the banlieus. I call the perpetrators 'settlers'. Because that is what they are. They do not come to integrate into our societies; they come to integrate our society into their Dar-al-Islam. Therefore, they are settlers.

Much of this street violence I mentioned is directed exclusively against non-Muslims, forcing many native people to leave their neighborhoods, their cities, their countries. Moreover, Muslims are now a swing vote not to be ignored.

The second thing you need to know is the importance of Mohammed the prophet. His behavior is an example to all Muslims and cannot be criticized. Now, if Mohammed had been a man of peace, let us say like Ghandi and Mother Theresa wrapped in one, there would be no problem. But Mohammed was a warlord, a mass murderer, a pedophile, and had several marriages - at the same time. Islamic tradition tells us how he fought in battles, how he had his enemies murdered and even had prisoners of war executed. Mohammed himself slaughtered the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza. If it is good for Islam, it is good. If it is bad for Islam, it is bad.

Let no one fool you about Islam being a religion. Sure, it has a god, and a here-after, and 72 virgins. But in its essence Islam is a political ideology. It is a system that lays down detailed rules for society and the life of every person. Islam wants to dictate every aspect of life. Islam means 'submission'. Islam is not compatible with freedom and democracy, because what it strives for is sharia. If you want to compare Islam to anything, compare it to communism or national-socialism, these are all totalitarian ideologies.

Now you know why Winston Churchill called Islam 'the most retrograde force in the world', and why he compared Mein Kampf to the Quran. The public has wholeheartedly accepted the Palestinian narrative, and sees Israel as the aggressor. I have lived in this country and visited it dozens of times. I support Israel . First, because it is the Jewish homeland after two thousand years of exile up to and including Auschwitz, second because it is a democracy, and third because Israel is our first line of defense.

This tiny country is situated on the fault line of jihad, frustrating Islam's territorial advance. Israel is facing the front lines of jihad, like Kashmir, Kosovo, the Philippines , Southern Thailand, Darfur in Sudan , Lebanon , and Aceh in Indonesia . Israel is simply in the way. The same way West-Berlin was during the Cold War.

The war against Israel is not a war against Israel . It is a war against the West. It is jihad. Israel is simply receiving the blows that are meant for all of us. If there would have been no Israel , Islamic imperialism would have found other venues to release its energy and its desire for conquest. Thanks to Israeli parents who send their children to the army and lay awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and dream, unaware of the dangers looming.

Many in Europe argue in favor of abandoning Israel in order to address the grievances of our Muslim minorities. But if Israel were, God forbid, to go down, it would not bring any solace to the West It would not mean our Muslim minorities would all of a sudden change their behavior, and accept our values. On the contrary, the end of Israel would give enormous encouragement to the forces of Islam. They would, and rightly so, see the demise of Israel as proof that the West is weak, and doomed. The end of Israel would not mean the end of our problems with Islam, but only the beginning. It would mean the start of the final battle for world domination. If they can get Israel , they can get everything. So-called journalists volunteer to label any and all critics of Islamization as a 'right-wing extremists' or 'racists'. In my country, the Netherlands , 60 percent of the population now sees the mass immigration of Muslims as the number one policy mistake since World War II. And another 60 percent sees Islam as the biggest threat. Yet there is a greater danger than terrorist attacks, the scenario of America as the last man standing. The lights may go out in Europe faster than you can imagine. An Islamic Europe means a Europe without freedom and democracy, an economic wasteland, an intellectual nightmare, and a loss of military might for America - as its allies will turn into enemies, enemies with atomic bombs. With an Islamic Europe, it would be up to America alone to preserve the heritage of Rome , Athens and Jerusalem .

Dear friends, liberty is the most precious of gifts. My generation never had to fight for this freedom, it was offered to us on a silver platter, by people who fought for it with their lives. All throughout Europe , American cemeteries remind us of the young boys who never made it home, and whose memory we cherish. My generation does not own this freedom; we are merely its custodians. We can only hand over this hard won liberty to Europe 's children in the same state in which it was offered to us. We cannot strike a deal with mullahs and imams. Future generations would never forgive us. We cannot squander our liberties. We simply do not have the right to do so.
We have to take the necessary action now to stop this Islamic stupidity from destroying the free world that we know.
Please take the time to read and understand what is written here, Please send it to every free person that you know, it is so very important

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Conspiracy of leftist journOlists to hide Obama's Wright problems.

How "journolists" tried to suppress the news..\\By JAMES TARANTO

The "Journolist" scandal has deepened with new revelations that participants in the now-defunct email list for ideologically approved journalists--no conservatives allowed--engaged in efforts to suppress news damaging to then-candidate Barack Obama.
The Daily Caller reports ABC News's "tough questioning" of Obama at a 2008 debate with Hillary Clinton "left many of [the Journolist participants] outraged":
"George [Stephanopoulos]," fumed Richard Kim of the Nation, is "being a disgusting little rat snake."
Others went further. According to records obtained by The Daily Caller, at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favored candidate. Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.
Most damning is a long quote from a Spencer Ackerman, who worked for something called the Washington Independent:
I do not endorse a Popular Front, nor do I think you need to. It's not necessary to jump to Wright-qua-Wright's defense. What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger's [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically.
And I think this threads the needle. If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they've put upon us. Instead, take one of them--Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares--and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.
Smashing somebody's [sic] through a plate-glass window seems like an odd way to thread a needle, but atrocious prose is the least of the problems here. The problem here isn't bias, either. Assuming Ackerman was an opinion writer rather than a straight-news reporter, he was entitled not only to hold his opinions but to express them.
But Ackerman was not engaging in a public debate; he was privately strategizing about how to suppress the news. And his fellow journolists, while disagreeing with him, did so "only on strategic grounds":
"Spencer, you're wrong," wrote Mark Schmitt, now an editor at the American Prospect. "Calling Fred Barnes a racist doesn't further the argument, and not just because Juan Williams is his new black friend, but because that makes it all about character. The goal is to get to the point where you can contrast some _thing_--Obama's substantive agenda--with this crap." . . .
Kevin Drum, then of Washington Monthly, also disagreed with Ackerman's strategy. "I think it's worth keeping in mind that Obama is trying (or says he's trying) to run a campaign that avoids precisely the kind of thing Spencer is talking about, and turning this into a gutter brawl would probably hurt the Obama brand pretty strongly. After all, why vote for him if it turns out he's not going change the way politics works?"
But it was Ackerman who had the last word. "Kevin, I'm not saying OBAMA should do this. I'm saying WE should do this."If anybody on the list objected in principle to Ackerman's idea of slandering people, including a fellow journalist, as racist, the Caller missed that part of the story. (We'll be happy to report it if a Journolist member would care to supply us with the evidence.) What Ackerman proposed was to carry out a political dirty trick in order to suppress the news and thereby aid a candidate for public office. That's about as unethical as journalism can get.
The final product of this debate was a pathetic "open letter," which, as we noted at the time, was signed by 41 self-described "journalists and media analysts," nearly all of whom were affiliated with universities, left-wing publications or left-wing think tanks. The letter does seem to have been more of a collaborative effort than we guessed back then: the Caller lists eight people who contributed to its drafting. Even so, what self-respecting journalist shares a byline with 40 other guys?
"The letter caused a brief splash and won the attention of the New York Times," the Caller reports, but thereafter was deservedly forgotten until now. Obama weathered the Wright revelations, but it seems a stretch to give Journolist the credit (or, if you prefer, the blame) for that. On the other hand, are there other stories they did succeed in suppressing? We cannot know as long as the full Journolist archives are secret.
These revelations also belie Journolist founder (and now Washington Post commentator) Ezra Klein's defense of the enterprise back in March 2009:
As for sinister implications, is it "secret?" No. Is it off-the-record? Yes. The point is to create a space where experts feel comfortable offering informal analysis and testing out ideas. Is it an ornate temple where liberals get together to work out "talking points?" Of course not. Half the membership would instantly quit if anything like that emerged.
This statement is true only if parsed as a denial that an email list is an ornate temple. Plainly the list was a forum where liberals got together to work out talking points, as evidenced by that "open letter." Worse, it was a forum where people employed as journalists conspired to suppress the news--and, by doing so "off the record," used journalistic ethics as cover.
In 2009 Klein wrote that Journolist's policy of excluding conservatives was "not about fostering ideology but preventing a collapse into flame war. The emphasis is on empiricism, not ideology."
"Call them racists." That's empiricism for you!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Kagan's Shariah Problem will become our Shariah problem

Kagan’s Sharia Problem
Posted by Mark Noonan in Elena Kagan Watch, Justice System, Nominations, Obama Administration on June 23rd, 2010 at

from Frank J. Gaffney via Catholic Exchange:

…this Supreme Court nomination offers a prism for examining the concerted and ominous campaign underway to bring Shariah to America, thanks to the troubling role Ms. Kagan played during her tenure as dean of Harvard’s Law School. In a speech on the Senate floor on June 16th, Sen. Sessions reflected on that role in noting a seemingly astonishing inconsistency in the nominee’s much-touted support of homosexual rights:

. . . Information has come to light suggesting that Ms. Kagan may…have been less morally principled in her approach than has been portrayed. Around the same time that Dean Kagan was campaigning to exclude military recruiters – citing what she saw as the evils of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – Harvard University accepted $20 million from a member of the Saudi Royal family to establish a center for ”Islamic Studies” and Shariah law…

Defenders of Kagan are saying that she had no responsibility for this – that it was Harvard, not Harvard Law School, which took the dirty money from the Saudis. But to be in any way connected with an institution tolerant of the violently homo-phobic Sharia law code while claiming you oppose military recruitment on mere grounds that they don’t allow openly gay service members? Seems to me – and to many – that her opposition to the recruitment stems more from anti-military animus than concern for gay rights.

But, there’s more – as the linked article goes on to note, Kagan has a role in Harvard Law’s work towards developing “Sharia compliant finance” – legal work being done to get our financial system in compliance with the moral strictures of Sharia. Imagine if anyone at Harvard had tried to get our financial system to be in accord with Catholic social teaching? You get the picture.

The Kagan which is emerging is a hard left ideologue – pro-gay when that can be used as a club against the US military, turning a blind eye to anti-gay actions when it advances the left’s multiculturalist agenda. Kagan is free to hold whatever views she pleases – but the Supreme Court of the United States is no place for a hard left ideologue.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It should be obvious: border security is hostage to amnesty for illegals.

"The sad and shameful truth is that Obama's lawsuit against Arizona’s tough new immigration law is part of a grand scheme to ram Amnesty for millions of illegal aliens down the throats of the American people."
***Why is this so important to Obama and the Democrats? They believe that illegal immigrants will be a dominating voting bloc for Democrats. Just as they count on the felon vote ( >1000 illegal votes by felons in Minnesota provided the margin of victory for Al Franken who won by 350 votes in a progressively narrowing series of recounts.) Obama admitted that he won't secure the border because that would relieve pressure for a "comprehensive" immigration bill. Why comprehensive? Because the goal is to get the vote for all the illegals. Why is this good for America? It isn't. We would be making citizens out of lawbreakers who provide lower-than-average contributions to the GDP. The only feature Obama likes is that they're likely to vote Democratic.***

Muslims (and Congress) are exempted from Obamacare.

Note that Muslims and certain other religions are exempt from the Obamacare penalties and it is supported by law. We are surrendering from within! Obama is leading us right down the path to total control!

Dhimmitude is the Muslim system of controlling non-muslim populations conquered through jihad. Specifically, it is the TAXING of non-muslims in exchange for tolerating their presence AND as a coercive means of converting conquered remnants to islam.

The ObamaCare bill is the establishment of Dhimmitude and Sharia muslim diktat in the United States . Muslims are specifically exempted from the government mandate to purchase insurance, and also from the penalty tax for being uninsured. Islam considers insurance to be "gambling", "risk-taking" and "usury" and is thus banned. Muslims are specifically granted exemption based on this. How
convenient. So I, Ann Barnhardt, a Christian, will have crippling IRS liens placed against all of my assets, including real estate, cattle, and even accounts receivables, and will face hard prison time because I refuse to buy insurance or pay the penalty tax. Meanwhile, Louis Farrakhan will have no such penalty and will have
100% of his health needs paid for by the de facto government insurance. Non-muslims will be paying a tax to subsidize muslims. Period. This is Dhimmitude.

Dhimmitude serves two purposes: it enriches the muslim masters AND serves to
drive conversions to islam. In this case, the incentive to convert to islam will be taken up by those in the inner-cities as well as the godless Generation X, Y and Z types who have no moral anchor. If you don't believe in Christ to begin with, it is no problem whatsoever to sell Him for 30 pieces of silver. Lots of people will say "Sure, I'll be a muslim if it means free health insurance and no taxes. Where do I sign, bro?"


If you are a mainstream Christian or a Jew, you need not apply to Opt Out of ObamaCare; that exemption is reserved for Muslims, Scientologists, Amish, Christian Scientists and Native American Indians who have a “conscientious objection” to surance. A conscientious objection to theft committed by rogue politicians under the color of law with the threat of violence for non-compliance isn’t suf-ficient in America today to exempt average Americans from the stranglehold of government.

Believe it or not, if you are a Muslim you may claim a special religious exemption to Obama-Care that is denied to main-stream Christians and Jews. Or if you prefer a New-Age religion to Islam, you may become a Scientologist and Opt Out of ObamaCare’s mandatory pur-chase of health insurance. Or, if you happen to be of Native American Indian extraction you too can opt out of the insurance laws by which everyone else in America must abide. “There are several reasons why an individual could claim exemption, being a member of a religion that does not believe in insurance is one of them. Islam is one of those religions. Muslims believe that health insurance is ‘haraam,’ or forbidden; because they liken the ambiguity and probability of insurance to gambling. This belief excludes them from any of the requirements, mandates, or penalties set forth in the bill. Other excluded groups include Amish, American Indians, and Christian Scientists.”
What is next? Allowing Muslims to opt out of mandatory state automobile insurance laws?
If you are a typical hardworking American who pays the freight for this healthcare Obamanation, you are required not only to pay the taxes to support free and subsidized healthcare for others, you also will be required to purchase health insurance or pay a fine if you don’t while certain favored religions and ethnic groups are allowed to escape the government’s maw. The U.S. Constitution supposedly grants ALL Americans equal protection of the law but under ObamaCare, some Americans are clearly more equal than others.
Make no mistake, ObamaCare is a law specifically written NOT to apply equally to everyone. It is the single biggest act of discrimination enacted under the color of law since Jim Crow Laws. One Congressman, Jim Hare of Illinois, let the cat out of the bag in shocking fashion when he admitted he didn’t worry about the Constitution when legislating ObamaCare into law.

Even more astonishing, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus admitted that the purpose of ObamaCare is as much about redistributing income—“sharing the wealth”—as it is about reforming health care: ...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The bureaucratic mind at work. Only one thought can be tolerated.

Gulf coast fishermen angry over oil claims ruling
By Leigh Coleman
BILOXI, Mississippi (Reuters) – Fishermen in Mississippi say they are angry that under the terms of BP's $20 billion oil spill fund, money they earn doing clean-up will be subtracted from their claim against the company.
The fishermen reacted after Kenneth Feinberg, the federal official in charge of administering the compensation fund, announced the decision at a town hall meeting in Biloxi on Friday.
Some walked out of the meeting in protest, arguing it was pointless to work under the Vessels of Opportunity program, set up by BP to help clean up the damage from the deepwater leak that started in April... "If he takes away the money we are making from BP when we get our claims, then nobody is going to work for BP to clean up this oil and we will not rent our boats to BP either. It is not fair," Nguyen said.
Thousands of fishermen in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, out of work because federal authorities have closed much of the Gulf to fishing, are working for the Vessels of Opportunity program, skimming oil from the water and protecting coastlines.
Vessels of Opportunity "workers can file a claim, but we will subtract the amount they are paid from BP from their claim. That is how it has to work .... Of course you can file a claim. You must file a claim, but you cannot get paid twice," Feinberg told the meeting.
Fishermen can earn between $1,000 and $3,000 a day renting their boats under the program and individuals can earn upward of $1,400 a day. Charter boat captains can make even more.
The figures represent less than what could be earned at the peak of a shrimping season, curtailed because of the spill, but more than fishermen who have claimed against BP for economic losses have been paid.
As a result, the program has created division in some communities between those working on it and others still unemployed. Local fishermen also complain that outsiders have profited from the program at the expense of those who have lost their livelihood.
"This (Feinberg's ruling) means I am actually losing money because I have to pay my crew out of the money BP is paying me to clean up this oil," Larry Dossett from Biloxi said.
"If he only pays me the difference, I am in the hole. We are financially dead already."
****The bureaucratic mind sees one rule and has no room for counterarguments. Worse, when there is a bureaucrat-in-chief, there is no appeal from his arbitrary decisions.The rational thing is not to work for BP ( since the bureaucrat's short-sightedness doesn't seem to include working elsewhere at something else )and merely file claims for lost income. Outsiders should work for BP and just pocket the wages offered. Is that really what Feinberg wants?
The way to deal with bureaucratic rules is to work strictly to them; they're invariably stupid enough to have loopholes that won't be plugged until you have gone through it.****

Protest against megaMosque at Ground Zero, censored by media.
Censored Protest At Ground Zero
Stop the Mosque at Ground Zero
Part II June 16, 2010, New York , N.Y. , � by El Marco
Americans Stand Up Against Radical Islam in New York � We Will Not Submit!

Not one major network sent a satellite truck or camera crew to this event. Without bloggers this newsworthy event would have remained unknown to the public and history
On Sunday, June 6th, a multi-ethnic, multi-racial coalition of Americans opposed to Islamic violence and intolerance rallied at the site of the World
Trade Center in New York City...

Mexico's immigration policy makes sense; ours does not.

****It should be obvious that bringing in low-wage workers, who are capable only of below-average productivity, lowers the GDP per capita of a country. The latter is a good index of standard of living. (We reject, for the moment, the benefits to an upper class of a divbided society with an underclass to serve them although this selfish aim underlies Supreme Court nominees and celebrities with illegal nannies, maids and gardeners.)Mexico's policy is to allow in only those immigrants deemed (arbitrarily) to be good for the country. Thus, a rational policy for LEGAL immigration is to foster people coming in who have money and/or skills (professionals, entrepreneurs, etc.) both of which are usually correlated with higher education.A policy of immigration that allows random choice by those proximate enough to the border to be able to walk over it is folly. It even removes the once-significant hurdle of immigrants needing the initiative to cross an ocean to come to the U.S. Even a policy of legal immigration that uses family affiliation rather than individual ability to contribute is stupid, however "compassionate" it might seem to be. It fosters the "anchor baby" concept where, if any member of a family somehow achieves legal residency, other members follow after.***
High-Immigration States Tend To Have Less-Educated Workers Roy Beck
Our new maps (see below) suggest that if a state wants an educated workforce that creates a strong middle class and high tax base, it might want to avoid high immigration. Take Nevada as an example. In 1970, it had the 5th best-educated labor force in the country (based on rate of high school dropouts). But the map on the left shows Nevada colored red for now being in the worst category of high school dropouts (having plummeted to a rank of 48th in the nation).
% of HS Dropouts % Foreign Born
HS dropouts Foreign Born %
(Click on each map to see full-size version
with state details and rank)
What might account for such a disastrous drop? Note that the map on the right also shows Nevada colored red -- in this case, for being in the highest level of immigration. (Interestingly, its long-time U.S. Senator, Harry Reid, continues to be one of the country's strongest advocates of pushing immigration to even higher levels.)
Both Senators from California (colored red for highest immigration) also are urging higher levels of immigration. After 40 years of high immigration, California has plummeted from No. 7 in educated labor forces to No. 50.
On the left map, look at the red and orange states with the most high school dropouts in the labor force. Notice how most of those states are also colored red or orange on the right map for having the most immigrants.
OK, now look at the 18 green states on the left map that have the smallest dropout rate. Then, note that all but three of those green lowest-dropout states are colored on the right map as either green or yellow for having the lowest rates of immigration.
I hope you will click on the labor force map to view an enlarged version where you can find the ranking and precise high school dropout rate for each state.
The maps raise serious questions about boosters' claims that high immigration is essential for a state to have a good economy.
Instead, it looks like states that have managed to have low immigration have tended to compete better on one of the key indicators of a healthy economic future -- a better educated workforce.
For decades, experts of all kinds have argued that states must have more and more educated workers in order to compete in the global economy, to have a large middle class and to produce the taxes necessary for the modern level of state social safety nets and services. Our labor force map shows how well the various states are competing with each other in this category, with the red and orange states failing to compete well in terms of workers at least having a high school degree.
Our summer interns from Duke University have calculated the correlation between the two maps. The correlation between the percentage of foreign born in a state and the percentage of high school drop-outs in the labor force. Their correlation analysis found that a 1% increase in the foreign-born population correlated to almost a half a percent (0.486 percentage point) increase in the dropout rate.
To be sure, immigration is not the only or majority cause of a state competing poorly with other states in terms of educated workers. For example, low education rates have always been a problem and a cause for poverty in the low-immigration states of southern Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta where the legacies of mountain-isolation and slave-economy cultures have yet to be overcome.
But who could have dreamed in 1970 that the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama would no longer be at the bottom and would have better educated workers than California, Texas, Nevada and Arizona after 40 years of high immigration there?
The Appalachian state of West Virginia (after virtually no immigration) now has barely half the high school drop-out rate in the labor force as California!
We are grateful to the Center for Immigration Studies for its original report on the Census high school dropout data on persons in the labor force (counting both those with a job or those looking for a job).
Please make use of this map -- forward it, print it, distribute it. Make sure that these maps are shown to all self-proclaimed experts in editorial pages, Chambers of Commerce or politics who claim that immigration is a boost to the economic prospects of your state or locale.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Who really are the most racist members of society?

THE END OF THE POST RACIAL PRESIDENCYBy DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN The very basis of Barack Obama's entire political career has been the assertion that he is one of the first examples of a post-racial politician. He consciously eschewed the notion that his presidency was notable for the triumph of a black politician and focused, instead, on what it said about the irrelevance of race to the political process. When the Clintons sought to inject race into the election by harping on the polarization of black support for Obama and likening his triumph in the South Carolina primary to that of Jesse Jackson, the Obama supporters cried foul and accused the former first couple of injecting race into the contest.
Now, Obama is letting his supporters strip away his image of a post-racial president by their increasingly racial rhetoric and his support for radical black activists.
Attorney General Eric Holder's refusal to prosecute the Black Panthers so obviously guilty of racial intimidation at the Philadelphia polling places in 2008 is of a piece with the NAACP's loud denunciation of the Tea Party movement as racists, likening it to the White Citizens Councils of the segregationist past. And the Obama Administration's decision to sue to overturn the Arizona immigration law -- despite the fact that Americans approve of the statute, and disapprove of the lawsuit to void it, by 59-28 -- is an attempt to foundation his appeal to Latino voters in racial terms.
In a bid to increase enthusiasm and, therefore, turnout among minority voters, Barack Obama is sacrificing his white support and his non-racial image.
Already, the results of this disastrous strategy are apparent. The latest FoxNews/Opinion Dynamics survey shows that his job approval among Democrats has fallen from 84% two weeks ago to a mere 76% today. This fall has led to a drop in his overall approval from 47% at the end of June to 43% in the middle of July.
But the political implications of Obama's lurch to the left and his efforts to polarize his Administration racially are only part of the problem. Obama, as president of the United States, is increasingly taking sides in the old racial debates, reigniting them and lending new fuel to their flames. He is no more the president of all the people, but is retreating into the racial cocoon of a supportive minority vote.
Obama's strategists must reason that it was only the minority vote tht elected him in 2008. His share of the white vote was the same as Senator John Kerry won in 2004. To be sure, Obama got more young whites to compensate for defections among older whites, but the total of his white support was the same as the Democrats won in 2004. It was the higher turnout and greater Democratic margins among African Americans and Latinos that led to Obama's triumph. Now, he is seeking to rev up the enthusiasm among minorities to repeat that success in 2010.
But his strategy is doomed to fail. There are just not enough blacks around and the Latino vote is too upset at his economic policies and his past failure to push immigration reform to rally again to his candidacy. And more and more of the white majority is being turned off by Obama's racial tactics.
It is dismaying to see a president whose rhetoric reflected racial progress to let his attorney general and his supporters play the race card in his bid to keep control of Congress. Dismaying and dumb.

The idea of a mosque at Ground Zero is an atrocity

It is an affront equivalent to the Japanese (while still an enemy) wanting to build a Shinto Shrine at Pearl Harbor.
Pat Condell makes an eloquent and substantive case:
Communism is a religion masquerading as a political system. Nazism was, likewise. Islam is a political system masquerading as a religion. Condell points out the unrealistic promise of a childish afterlife and a doctrine of violence should ban a system from being considered a religion. Islam, like Communism and Nazism, is totalitarian.The insult and the triumphalism of building a 13-story mosque at Ground Zero is designed to be an unmistakable message to Muslims: America is weak and ripe for being subsumed in a worldwide caliphate. Lest there be any doubt, the project is to be called "Cordoba", after the Spanish city used as the spearhead of the Islamization of Spain.
To point up the political correctness, an ad opposing the mosque was rejected by NBC and CBS.
NBC, CBS won't air anti-mosque ad By Hillary May
Two major broadcasters have refused to air an advertisement that urges Americans to protest the building of a mosque and Islamic cultural center just blocks from the ruins of the World Trade Center.
NBC and CBS refused to broadcast the 60-second ad, which is sponsored by the National Republican Trust, a conservative organization that promotes "American values" and supports candidates running for government positions.
The ad, titled "Kill the Ground Zero Mosque," has received more than 134,000 hits on YouTube as of Thursday afternoon. It contains graphic footage of the September 11 attacks, including a clip of one of the planes crashing into one of the Twin Towers and a man plunging to his death. It also captures images of Islamic militants.
The ad encourages Americans to join the fight to "kill the Ground Zero mosque."
"On September 11, they declared war against us and to celebrate that murder of 3,000 Americans, they want to build a monstrous thirteen-story mosque at ground zero," the narrator says. "Where we weep, they rejoice. That mosque is an monument to their victory and an invitation for war. A mosque at ground zero must not stand."
NBC Universal advertising standards manager Jennifer Riley said the use of the word "they" is open for misinterpretation.
"An ad questioning the wisdom of building a mosque at ground zero would meet our issues of public controversy advertising criteria," she wrote in a letter. "However, this ad, which ambiguously defines 'they' as referenced in the spot, makes it unclear as to whether the reference is to terrorists or to the Islamic religious organization that is sponsoring the building of the mosque. Consequently the ad is not acceptable under our guidelines for broadcast."
Although CBS did not issue an official statement, a spokesperson told The Washington Times that the ad "did not meet broadcast standards."
The National American Trust could not be reached for comment as of late Thursday afternoon.
Plans to build the $100 million, 13-story Islamic center near the site of the September 11 attacks has been a hot topic since May. Many critics believe it would be inappropriate and insensitive to families who lost loved ones during the attacks.
Building plans for the mosque have yet to be approved. A vote is expected some time in August.

Forget Islamists; Al Qaeda is racist for targeting Africans

Is al Qaeda racist?
Obama and his aides suggest that al Qaeda's targeting of Uganda proves the terrorist group has a racist agenda. Is that a meaningful analysis?
The aftermath of a terror attack in Uganda. The victims were gathered to watch the World Cup.
The deadly bombings in Uganda at the weekend are proof that al Qaeda is racist, say aides close to the president. Speaking to South African television, President Obama said that al Shabab — the al Qaeda affiliate reportedly responsible for Sunday's blasts — "do not regard African life as valuable in and of itself." Clarifying his remarks, an aide told ABC News that al Qaeda willingly sacrifices black Africans to make a point to their real targets. "Al Qaeda is a racist organization that treats black Africans like cannon fodder," the unnamed official said. Are the Uganda bombings evidence of al Qaeda's racism? (Watch Rush Limbaugh's reaction to Obama's charge)
This is about Islam in Africa, not the rest of the world: Right-wing pundits are howling that "Obama cares more about black victims of terror than about white ones," says Greg Sargent at the Washington Post. But the president's remarks were actually made in the context of a discussion of Islam in Africa, not America. Still the Right can use it as evidence for the bizarre fantasy that Obama only cares about "people with dark skin." How "sick."He should focus on Islamic radicalism, not his race obsession: "Good grief," sighs Jennifer Rubin at Commentary. The reason al Qaeda kills people is not racism, but "Islamic fundamentalism, of course." The president's "transparently manipulative" suggestion that race is a factor in al Qaeda's operations is "strikingly condescending" and "potentially divisive."
"Obama's race obsession"
But as presidential PR, it could be strikingly effective: Linking al Qaeda with racism is actually a good idea, says Allahpundit at Hot Air. It's a "cheap, hopefully effective way of combating jihadi recruitment in Africa by elevating racial pride above religious identity." I'm not sure it's strictly true — the group "tends not to, er, discriminate when it comes to killing people" — but as "psy ops on the presidential level" it's "all to the good."
"New White House talking point: Al Qaeda is racist"

Unions or a nomenklatura?

To Protest Hiring of Nonunion Help, Union Hires Nonunion Pickets
Jobless Recruits Get Minimum Wage 'To March Around and Sound Off' •By JENNIFER LEVITZ
WASHINGTON—Billy Raye, a 51-year-old unemployed bike courier, is looking for work.
Fortunately for him, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters is seeking paid demonstrators to march and chant in its current picket line outside the McPherson Building, an office complex here where the council says work is being done with nonunion labor.
"For a lot of our members, it's really difficult to have them come out, either because of parking or something else," explains Vincente Garcia, a union representative who is supervising the picketing.
So instead, the union hires unemployed people at the minimum wage—$8.25 an hour—to walk picket lines. Mr. Raye says he's grateful for the work, even though he's not sure why he's doing it. "I could care less," he says. "I am being paid to march around and sound off."
***All animals are equal except that some animals are more equal than others."***

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Support for Israel is up; support for Obama is down. Correlated?

Support for Israel near record high, Gallup Poll
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Support for Israel among Americans is at a near record high, a new poll showed.
According to the Gallup Poll, 63 percent of Americans say their sympathies in the Middle East conflict are with Israel, while 15 percent side with the Palestinians. The rest favor both sides, neither side or have no opinion.
Support for Israel was higher only in 1991, shortly after Israel was hit with Scud missiles during the Gulf War, when it was at 64 percent.
The poll, conducted in early February, was part of Gallup’s annual World Affairs survey in which Americans were asked a series of questions about their opinions of 20 countries or entities, including Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel’s ranking, at 67 percent favorable, was among the highest of the countries surveyed. The Palestinian Authority, at 20 percent, was among the lowest.
Support for Israel increased more among Republicans and independents than Democrats, the poll showed. Since 2001, there has been an increase of 25 points among Republicans and 18 points among independents. Support for Israel among Democrats has stayed about the same.
Asked whether peace eventually will be reached in the Middle East, 67 percent of respondents answered “doubtful” and 30 percent said “there will come a time” when there will be peace.****The thoughtful realize that peace will only come two generations after the Arabs stop teaching their children to be jihadis...and they haven't started to stop.****
In a general trend over the past 10 years, Democrats were more optimistic than Republicans about the chances for peace. Thirty-nine percent of Democrats said it will come; 25 percent of Republicans agreed.****Democrats are invariably optimistic, and unrealistic, about such things. Their thinking is that appeasement always works (when, in fact, it never does.) It's also easy to recommend appeasement to those who will pay the price for it.****
Pollsters conducted telephone interviews with a random sampling of 1,025 American adults between Feb. 1 and 3. The poll has a 4 percent margin of error.

Gazans aren't starving and their disability is due to Hamas, not Israel.
Palestinian Suffering in Gaza at the Hands of Hamas: 5 Reasons Stats and Facts on Israeli Humanitarian Aid Transfers to Gaza
Quality of life for Palestinians in Gaza has deteriorated considerably since Iran-backed Hamas took over the area in a bloody coup against the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) in June 2007.[1] Hamas – designated a terrorist organization by the European Union, the United States, Israel, Canada, and Australia[2] – has deprived its people of basic rights and created a regime that endangers its own citizens.[3] Meanwhile, for four years Hamas has held kidnapped Israeli soldier Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit and has refused to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit him, in violation of the Geneva Convention.[4] Following are five reasons people in Gaza are suffering under Hamas rule.
1. Loss of Palestinian lives and property due to Hamas’s continued rocket attacks against Israel . ...
2. Hamas’s violent takeover of Gaza and persecution of political opponents....Hamas stepped up its brutality against Fatah during and after Operation Cast Lead, executing and torturing Fatah activists it accused of collaborating with Israel....“Were it not for Israel’s presence between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Fatah and Hamas would most likely be dispatching suicide bombers and rockets at each other,” Jerusalem Post correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh said.
3. Hamas’s indoctrination of children in violent ideology through its network of summer camps....Most casualties among young Palestinians occur because of their direct participation in violence against Israel. Hamas and other extremist groups have accused the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) – the UN’s aid organization for Palestinians – of corrupting Palestinian youth by operating secular summer camps, which incorporate sports and human rights lessons....In May and June 2010, armed jihadist groups vandalized two UNRWA summer camps in Hamas-run Gaza ...4. Hamas’s enforcement of strict Islamic morality and repression of women. a fundamentalist religious movement based on the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas has gradually imposed Sharia (Islamic religious law) on Gazans, despite past statements by the group’s leaders that it would not do so.[27]...Hamas dispatches “modesty patrols” to check cars for men riding with single women to whom they’re not related... 5. Hamas’s repeated attempts to block humanitarian aid from reaching its citizens. ...In 2009, UNRWA suspended all aid to Gaza because armed Hamas police stole blankets and food meant for the Palestinian people....

Obama sues AZ but passes on sanctuary cities who violate two specific laws of Congress.
Obama's Illegal Immigration Policy: Break the Law, Don't get Sued By Bobby Eberle July 15, 2010
Usually if someone does something illegal, they face criminal charges, a lawsuit, or some other law enforcement action. If someone follows the law, then everything is OK. Afterall, the whole basis for having a law is so that people will follow it, right? Now, let's look at that idea in terms of local governments. Applying the same principle, a state or local government that attempts to follow a federal law, should be in good shape. But those governments which don't uphold the law should be subject to prosecution and lawsuits, right? Well, maybe in a "normal" country under "normal" circumstances. However, we are in Obama's world now, and if you try to enforce illegal-immigration laws, you will be sued. Ignore them, and you'll be fine.
The Washington Times reports that the Obama administration "said it will not go after so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with the federal government on immigration enforcement, on the grounds that they are not as bad as a state that 'actively interferes.'" That's right... as Obama's team actively tries to shut down Arizona's new illegal immigration law that simply reiterates federal law, they are ignoring local governments which are actively BREAKING the law.*...***Holder's spokesperson seemed unaware that Congress had specifically passed two laws prohibiting sanctuary cities. Competence in the Justice Department is anti-correlated with leftedness. Actually, not just in the Justice Department although Eric Holder is the poster child of an "affirmative action hire."****
Adamo: Obama And Holder Weaponize American 'Justice' By Christopher G. Adamo
In the past few weeks, America's legal system has been subjected to an avalanche of outrages from the White House and Department of Justice. But while each individual event, if considered apart from the others, would be sufficient to warrant investigations of corruption and gross ethical lapses, when examined in its entirety the situation represents a methodical and premeditated effort to fundamentally reinvent the American concept of justice.
The stage was set for the current, abominable state of affairs during the Clinton years. Scrutiny of the Internal Revenue Service during the 1990s revealed a dubious pattern of highly prejudicial behavior, wherein its audits of non-profit organizations were heavily weighted towards conservatives. In short, Clinton's political enemies faced harassment and incurred financial burdens of proving their innocence and legitimacy while liberal groups were spared any similar treatment. As the decade dragged on the pattern became glaringly obvious.
Also during that time, Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno brazenly opted to ignore or pursue evidence of malfeasance in individual cases as a direct result of the political affiliation of the subject in question. Thus, in the midst of a congressional investigation into the flagrant influence peddling of the Clinton White House by the Communist Chinese, Reno shamelessly endeavored to deflect attention by concocting a baseless case against then Republican Party Chairman Haley Barbour.
When George W. Bush was elected president in 2000, he had the opportunity and arguably the duty to investigate the perversions of law committed during the preceding administration. Yet in foolish deference to the misbegotten "new tone" strategy, Bush opted to do nothing, and in the process guaranteed that upon the eventual ascension of another liberal to the nation's highest office, the chain of transgressions could resume...***Let's not forget Holder's role as Assistant AG in the Clinton administration where his only claim to fame was pushing for the amnesty granted to the ubercrook (but Clinton donor), Marc Rich.***

FinReg bill set to pass but does anyone know what's in it?
Senate clears sweeping bank bill for final passage By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press
WASHINGTON – A sweeping crackdown on banking and high-finance broke through a Senate Republican blockade Thursday, setting the stage for Congress to send the massive regulation overhaul to President Barack Obama.
The vote to end debate was 60-38, the minimum needed to overcome a filibuster. But that ensured that the bill has the votes for final passage, which could come later Thursday.
At a thud-inducing 2,300 pages, the legislation is designed to rein in big banks and protect consumers, with the aim of averting a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. Its ultimate impact, however, will depend on the government regulators assigned to implement it...
****An analyst, Dick Bove', predicted (among other disastrous consequences) that many Americans would lose access to banking services because their accounts won't be profitable for banks. A defender of the Democrat bill responded that the legislation was too complex for anyone to predict anything about it. A most peculiar defense: again we have Congress passing legislation that, we are told, no-one understands. Likely, it is a pastiche of lobbyist-created pork items catering to the various special interest groups that constitute the "principALS" of the Democratic party. As with much recent legislation passed under Obama, there will be innumerable loopholes and special advantages for the nomenklatura and their beneficiaries but with no-one aware of the overall effect of the totality. We can, of course, reliably predict the producers in society will be disadantaged since "redistribution" is the over-arching principLE of the Obama Administration (and Congress.)****

De Borchgrave finally gives Obama a POLITICAL reason to attack Iran: retention of Congress!
Global Sentiment Builds to Attack Iran By: Arnaud De Borchgrave
There is no better illustration of the futility of the $1 trillion Iraq war than news photos of a long line of gasoline tankers lined up bumper to bumper as they leave Iraq to enter Iran...leave Iraq's defeated government unable to act.
The Iraq Study Group, led by Lee Hamilton, the prominent Democrat who heads the Woodrow Wilson International Center, and James Baker, whose Institute for Public Policy is at Houston's Rice University, warned in 2006 that Iran, now rid of erstwhile enemy Saddam Hussein, already was wielding more influence in Iraq than the United States...Officially, all the Arab rulers of the Persian Gulf and other Arab leaders strenuously oppose any Israeli or U.S. airstrikes against Iran's nuclear facilities. But that opposition is eroding rapidly...The temptation for Obama to double down on Iran will grow rapidly as he concludes...recipe for success at the polls in November. ...the bombing of Iran may give Obama a three-front war — and a chance to retain both houses of Congress.***Finally, an argument that might appeal to Obama ( loyalty to allies and the security of the U.S. not being sufficient.)***

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Comes the revolution you'll eat strawberries, like them or not, and even if you're allergic.

****Obama and his sneaked-through appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick demonstrate contempt for individual choice, judgment and the relationships of doctors and patients."Prevention" was one of the mantras used to lie about the arithmetic of Obamacare: now we have Dr. Berwick who thinks prevention is not cost-effective in the aggregate. Obama no longer aims for the Nanny state; his is the "l'etat c'est moi". It seems the President's political philosophy stopped developing in his sophomore year. Unfortunately for such a self-styled elitist, his sophomore year wasn't even in the Ivy League. It's a sophomoric view that leaders know best and that the sophomores should be the leaders.**** Berwick: Bigger Than Kagan If the American people want the health-care world Dr. Berwick wishes to give them, that's their choice. But they must be given that choice. By DANIEL HENNINGER
Barack Obama's incredible "recess appointment" of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is probably the most significant domestic-policy personnel decision in a generation. It is more important to the direction of the country than Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court.
The court's decisions are subject to the tempering influence of nine competing minds. Dr. Berwick would direct an agency that has a budget bigger than the Pentagon. Decisions by the CMS shape American medicine.
Dr. Berwick's ideas on the design and purpose of the U.S. system of medicine aren't merely about "change." They would be revolutionary.
One may agree with these views or not, but for the president to tell the American people they have to simply accept this through anything so flaccid as a recess appointment is beyond outrageous. It isn't acceptable..."One over-demanded service is prevention: annual physicals, screening tests, and other measures that supposedly help catch diseases early." "I would place a commitment to excellence—standardization to the best-known method—above clinician autonomy as a rule for care."...
****This joker's whole philosophy of medicine flies in the face of individualized treatment, the supremacy of the individual, the duty of the physician to his patient and all of the things that would make a good doctor. Berwick would reduce medicine to the Blue Book used by auto mechanics where there are standardized procedures and hours. Where does Obama FIND these people? (In Academia, of course, but why the most extreme versions of oddballs? Clearly, because Obama endorses this crap. He's on the Stalinist side of socialism.)****
Dr. Berwick and That Fabulous Cuban Health Care The death march of progressive medicine. By BRET STEPHENS...In the matter of CastroCare, progressives of Dr. Berwick's stripe are rarely at a loss for superlatives. But suggest that ObamaCare is a step in the Cuban direction, and these same people will accuse you of rank scare-mongering...when the health-care bill became law in March, Fidel Castro emerged from semiretirement to praise it as a "miracle." Note also that Dr. Berwick has made himself notorious by warning of "the darkness of private enterprise," admitting his "love" for Britain's socialized National Health Service, and insisting that "excellent health care is by definition redistributional."'s a good time to check in on the state of the Cuban health-care system. That's just what Laurie Garrett, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, does in the current issue of Foreign Affairs magazine....she praises Cuba for offering "an inspiring, standard-setting vision of government responsibility for the health of its people." Cuba's (reported) success in reducing the incidence of child mortality and tropical diseases, she adds, is "laudable."
Just one problem: The system is in an advanced state of collapse. It is bankrupting the state and driving doctors out of the medical field and the country. Its ostensibly egalitarian nature disguises a radically inegalitarian reality, with a tiny number of well-appointed clinics catering to paying medical tourists and senior Party apparatchiks while most Cubans take their chances in filthy, under-resourced hospitals...Slightly more than half of all Cuban physicians work overseas; taxed by the Cuban state at a 66% rate, many of them wind up defecting. Doctors who remain in the country earn about $25 a month.... As for the quality of the doctors, she notes that very few of those who manage to reach the U.S. can gain accreditation here,...Typically, they wind up working as nurses...Ms. Garrett reports that hospital patients must arrive with their own syringes, towels and bed sheets. Women avoid gynecological exams "because they fear infection from unhygienic equipment and practices." Rates of cervical cancer have doubled in the past 25 years as the use of Pap tests has fallen by 30%....for all those for whom "free" health care has been, as Teddy Kennedy once put it, the cause of their lives, the Cuban system has been a touchstone—proof, supposedly, that socialized medicine is, as Dr. Berwick has said, the only "just, equitable, civilized and humane" answer when it comes to addressing the dilemmas inherent in health-care delivery.
The truth is that socialism and related forms of command-and-control technocracy work as well in the health-care market as they do in every other. Which is to say, not at all. When better-heeled Americans start flying to offshore medical centers for their facelifts and bypasses (performed by expat American doctors) while poorer folk make do in ObamaCare's second tier, then perhaps the real lessons of the Cuban system will begin to sink in. Even, perhaps, among Dr. Berwick's progressive friends.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Obama's only genius: appearing to vote on both sides of any issue.

****Obama got ELECTED President of the Harvard Law Review by having every side think he, Obama, was on it with them. He voted "Present" innumerable times in the Illinois Senate to avoid having to take sides. He hasn't changed one iota.
Obama's Immigration Fakery
In 2007, then-Sen. Obama helped derail an immigration bill he claimed to support. He's no more serious about a bipartisan bill today. By WILLIAM MCGURN WSJ

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Invisible Gorilla and its manifestations

The Future of Our Illusion
Another review of the Invisible Gorilla“We seem to be wired to overtrust our memories and overrate our abilities. Should we worry?” via DAVID A. SHAYWITZ @ WSJ)

Sometimes, the reason you don’t discuss the gorilla in the room is that you never notice it’s there. That, literally, is what cognitive neuroscientists Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons discovered at Harvard a decade ago, using an ingeniously simple approach.

First, they created a short film of students passing a basketball to one another. The clip was largely unremarkable except for the fact that, about halfway though, an actor in a gorilla suit sauntered through the group of basketball-tossers, pounded his chest and then continued walking. Total screen time: nine seconds.

The mini-movie was then shown to experiment-subjects, who were told to keep track of the total number of passes that they observed during the minute-long film. Distracted by their task, about half the viewers reported never seeing the gorilla. They were shocked to learn of its existence.

In “The Invisible Gorilla,” Messrs. Chabris and Simons argue that the illusion of attention (as they categorize the gorilla demonstration) is but one of many “everyday illusions” that obscure our perceptions and cause us to place undeserved trust in our instincts and intuition.

The illusion of memory is another everyday problem. It shows itself in vivid but embellished recollections of events, based only loosely on reality. This illusion turns out to be especially common in the case of emotionally charged events, so-called flashbulb memories, such as 9/11 or the Challenger explosion. While we clearly remember more about such terrible days than the days that preceded them, the memories are much less accurate than we suppose—our recollection just isn’t that good and often includes details that are plausible but inaccurate.

We are also beset by the illusion of knowledge—we know less than we think—and the illusion of cause, where we mistake correlation for causation...

Nepotism and dumb sons. Stupid legislators behave as dumb as they are.

In a bid to stem taxpayer losses for bad loans guaranteed by federal housing agencies Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) proposed that borrowers be required to make a 5% down payment in order to qualify. His proposal was rejected 57-42 on a party-line vote because, as Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn) explained, "passage of such a requirement would restrict home ownership to only those who can afford it."
I can't add anything to this.
****Would Dodd have been a Senator if his father had not been one? Or Al Gore? Or...
Here's an article on governmental nepotism, current only through 2005!

Illegals voting and illegal voting are Dem staples

Now there is evidence that the Black Panthers may have affected other polling places than simply Philadelphia. Plus the illegal actions of ACORN. Plus, now it seems that Al Franken's margin of victory in the Minnesota Senate race might have been provided by (illegally voting) felons.
Felons Voting Illegally May Have Put Franken Over the Top in Minnesota, Study Finds By Ed Barnes AP
A study finds that at least 341 convicted felons voted illegally in the election that made former "Saturday Night Live" comedian Al Franken a U.S. senator in 2008.
The six-month election recount that turned former "Saturday Night Live" comedian Al Franken into a U.S. senator may have been decided by convicted felons who voted illegally in Minnesota's Twin Cities...
****Of course we understand why amnesty for illegals is a matter of importance for Democrats. Illegals and felons can reliably be counted upon to be part of the Democratic base. (Ever stop to consider "WHY?").****

Sunday, July 11, 2010

He wasn't even effective as a community organizer, the closest he ever got to executive experience

Gulf Spill Response Worsened by Obama's Lack of Experience
By: Dick Morris
It's one thing to say that Obama's administration showed ineptitude and mismanagement in its handling of the Gulf oil spill. It is quite another to grasp the situation up close, as I did during a recent visit to Alabama.
According to state disaster relief officials, Alabama conceived a plan — early on — to erect huge booms offshore to shield the approximately 200 miles of the state's coastline from oil. Rather than install the relatively light and shallow booms in use elsewhere, the state (with assistance from the Coast Guard) canvassed the world and located enough huge, heavy booms — some weighing tons and seven meters high — to guard their coast.
But . . . no sooner were the booms in place than the Coast Guard, perhaps under pressure from the public comments of James Carville, uprooted them and moved them to guard the Louisiana coastline instead.
So Alabama decided on a backup plan. It would buy snare booms to catch the oil as it began to wash up on the beaches.
But . . . the Fish and Wildlife Administration vetoed the plan, saying it would endanger sea turtles that nest on the beaches.
So Alabama — ever resourceful — decided to hire 400 workers to patrol the beaches in person, scooping up oil that had washed ashore.
But . . . OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) refused to allow them to work more than 20 minutes out of every hour and required an hour-long break after 40 minutes of work, so the cleanup proceeded at a very slow pace.
The short answer is that every agency — each with its own particular bureaucratic agenda — was able to veto each aspect of any plan to fight the spill, with the unintended consequence that nothing stopped the oil from destroying hundreds of miles of wetlands, habitats, beaches, fisheries, and recreational facilities.
Where was the president? Why did he not intervene in these and countless other bureaucratic controversies to force a focus on the oil, not on the turtles and other incidental concerns?
According to Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, the administration's "lack of ability has become transparent" in its handling of the oil spill. He notes that one stellar exception has been Obama aide Valerie Jarrett, without whom, he says, nothing whatsoever would have gotten done.
Eventually, the state stopped listening to federal agencies and just has gone ahead and given funds directly to the local folks fighting the spill rather than paying attention to the directives of the Unified Command. Apparently, there is a world of difference between the competence of the Coast Guard and the superb and efficient regular Navy and military.
Now the greatest crisis of all looms on the horizon as hurricanes sweep into the Gulf. Should one hit offshore, it will destroy all the booms that have been placed to stop the oil from reaching shore. And there are no more booms anywhere in the world, according to Alabama disaster relief officials. "There is no more inventory of booms anywhere on earth," one told me in despair.
The political impact of this incompetence has only just begun to be felt. While administration operatives are flying high after a week in which the president's ratings rebounded to 49 percent, per Rasmussen, after his firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the oil is still gushing and the situation is about to worsen.
The obvious fact is that Obama has no executive experience, nor do any of his top advisers.
Without a clear mandate from the top, needed efforts to salvage the situation are repeatedly stymied by well-meaning bureaucrats strictly following the letter of their agency policy and federal law. The result, ironically, of their determined efforts to protect the environment has been the greatest environmental disaster in history. But some turtles are OK!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Did the General's staff flip the bird at the community organizer?

This piece is certainly a conversation starter and a very different take on recent events than we have heard to date from the MSM.
The General and the Community Organizer by Paul R. Hollrah
Channel-surfing from ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN through MSNBC and Fox News, the inside-the-beltway pundits had a field day trying to get inside the heads of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, General Stanley McChrystal, and McChrystal’s top aides. The one thing common to all of the analyses, by the most famous and highly-paid talking heads in the Western World, was that they are all wrong… dead wrong. What is certain is that they all owe General McChrystal and his senior aides an apology for assuming that they are lame-brained numbskulls.
The facts of the McChrystal case are not in dispute. General McChrystal and his senior officers allowed a reporter for Rolling Stone Magazine, Michael Hastings, to have almost unprecedented access during an extended stay in Paris. The extended stay was due, in part, to an excess of atmospheric ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano, keeping the McChrystal party grounded for days. Hastings subsequently published a lengthy profile of General McChrystal on June 22, titled, The Runaway General.
In an interview with CNN, Hastings reported that he had a tape recorder in his hand most of the time and that McChrystal was “very aware” that his comments would find their way into print. He said, “McChrystal and his people set no ground rules for their conversations, although they did ask that some parts of their conversations were off the record.”
As Hastings wrote in his profile, McChrystal thought that Obama looked “uncomfortable and intimidated” by the roomful of military brass during their first meeting. Of their second meeting, an advisor to McChrystal quoted the general as saying that it was “a 10-minute photo op.” He went on to say, “Obama clearly didn’t know anything about (McChrystal), who he was. Here’s the guy who’s going to run his f_ _ _ing war, but he didn’t seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed.”
As General McChrystal flew from Afghanistan to Washington to face Obama in the Oval Office, the almost unanimous opinion of the talking heads was that the comments made by McChrystal and his staff were off the cuff and inadvertent. But to believe that is to totally ignore who these men are.
General McChrystal and his top officers are not simple-minded, knuckle-dragging brutes. To the contrary, they are intelligent, thoughtful, highly educated, patriots… graduates of West Point and other fine universities… who are dedicated to duty, honor, and country. To think that such men would be so careless as to speak unflatteringly of Obama, Biden, and other top administration figures, in the presence of a reporter for a notoriously left wing publication, defies logic… at the very least. To think that men who are trained to be careful and deliberate in everything they do, could do something so careless and so unguarded is simply beyond comprehension.
I would argue that McChrystal and his aides knew exactly what they were doing.
From the day that he became the handpicked “spear carrier” for Obama’s unique brand of warfare… playing at being Commander in Chief while playing to his far left constituency… McChrystal’s life had been one of constant frustration. After telling Obama exactly how many troops he needed to carry out his mission, Obama dithered for months before deciding to give him just half the troops he requested. McChrystal could not have been happy about that.
The Obama team insisted on new Rules of Engagement designed to reduce collateral damage (civilian casualties). Obama’s ROE required that U.S. troops must be able to see the enemy with weapon in hand before they were allowed to return fire. One videotape circulated on the Internet showed a platoon of Marines pinned down by enemy sniper fire. But since the enemy was firing from some distance behind the open window of a building, the Marines could not actually see the weapon being fired. Although they were taking deadly fire, they were prohibited by the ROE from putting small arms fire or an RPG through the window opening.
Under Obama’s politically correct ROE, our soldiers and Marines were required to fight with one hand tied behind their backs. McChrystal had to have been unhappy about that.
A strict new interrogation policy, dictated by Attorney General Eric Holder, required that prisoners must be delivered to an Interrogation Center within twenty-four hours of being captured or be released to return to the battlefield. A great deal of actionable intelligence was lost as a result and battle-hardened enemy fighters were returned to the field to kill Americans. McChrystal must have found that to be incomprehensible.
But the greatest insult to our troops in the field, and to the officers who lead them, may be a new battlefield medal designed by the Obama team. It is called the Courageous Restraint Medal and is awarded to soldiers and Marines who demonstrate uncommon restraint in combat by not firing their weapons even when they feel threatened by the enemy. Should we be surprised to learn that the preponderance these medals were awarded posthumously? McChrystal must have found that to be an insanity.
I suggest that, having his best military judgments subjected to the White House political sieve for nearly a year and a half, McChrystal decided that he’d had enough. And when he announced to his senior staff that he was prepared to retire they decided to push back… to make the most of a bad situation. It was clear that, if McChrystal were to simply take off his uniform and walk away, his retirement would be page-twenty news for a day or two before the mainstream media and the American people forgot all about him.
They had to make the most of his retirement because it provided a one-time opportunity to show the American people, as well as our enemies and our allies, that the man who claims the title of Commander in Chief of the U.S. military does not command the respect of our men and women in uniform. To make the most of that opportunity they had to choose their messenger very carefully.
They knew that, by openly showing their disrespect for Obama in front of just any newsman, they may not attract the attention they desired. Like any astute observer of the MSM, they knew that most reporters would turn on their own mothers if it meant a good story. But they could not take a chance that a mainstream media reporter might suffer a rare pang of conscience when confronted with the prospect of ruining the careers of some of the most senior officers in the War on Terror. They had to fix the odds as much as possible in their favor so they chose to use Michael Hastings and Rolling Stone Magazine.
During the long hours that General McChrystal was in the air between Kabul and Washington, Obama knew that he had just two choices… both bad. He could declare McChrystal to be an irreplaceable asset in the war effort, give him a public reprimand, and send him back to Kabul. Or he could fire McChrystal, sending a clear message that, at least in his own mind, he was the Commander in Chief.
In the former case, he was certain to appear weak and ineffectual… a man not totally in charge. In the latter case, he might at least win a few rave reviews from the Kook-Ade drinkers in the mainstream media. He chose the latter of the two options.
But what is now lost in all of the hand-wringing and speculation is the fact that McChrystal and his people have succeeded in doing exactly what they set out to do. They wanted to plant the seed in the minds of the American people that Obama is not up to the task of being Commander in Chief and that he does not command the respect of the men and women of the uniformed services… from the newest Private E-1 up to the top four-star generals and admirals.
That seed is now firmly planted and it cannot be unplanted.
From this day forward, no one will have to tell the American people that Stanley McChrystal is a true warrior, a man’s man, and that Barack Obama is nothing more than a… community organizer. Well done, General!