Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blagojevich Is Right

What was Illinois Governor "Hot Rod" Blagojevich to do? Yes, he got arrested and charged, and is probably as crooked as the rest of the Chicago political machine. But he is still the governor of the state of Illinois. And he had a problem.

A good chunk of that problem was created by the state legislature. They met to consider changing the law, as recommended by the governor, so a vacancy in a U.S. Senate seat would be filled by a special election instead of by appointment by the governor. But the legislature's Democrats decided they couldn't do that because, with the Democrats' corruption on all the front pages, they feared the seat might actually be won by a Republican. (!) As a result, since the law was not changed, the only legal way the Senate seat vacated by President-Elect Barack Obama can be filled is by the governor appointing someone to fill it.

But that creates another problem. The Congressional Democrats' leadership has said they will not allow anyone named by Governor Blagojevich to be seated. That means they are unwilling to allow Illinois to be represented by a Senator named in the only way provided for by Illinois law — which means they are unwilling to allow Illinois to be represented by two Senators as provided in the Constitution. And that gives them yet another problem since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1969, in the case of Adam Clayton Powell, that what the Senate leadership intends to do is unconstitutional — the Senate can expel a member, for cause and by a 2/3 vote of the full Senate, but they cannot refuse to seat a properly elected/appointed Senator.

So Rod Blagojevich, as governor of Illinois, was presented with this problem: He could follow the warnings and illegal orders of the Democrats' state and national leadership and leave Illinois without complete representation, or he could follow the state law and appoint a new Senator. In this instance, for good reasons or bad, he decided to follow the law.

Blagojevich is still the governor. There is no legitimate or legal basis for blocking or voiding this appointment to the Senate seat. Under these circumstances, anyone trying to block this appointment should have to spent a LOT of time in court, at their own personal expense. After all, violating the law is never part of a public official's job description. And, in this instance, the one following the law is Governor Blagojevich.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

How Dare You Do What We Demanded!?!

Community organizers and organizations like National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a "community-based organization," used the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act to pressure banks and other financial institutions to grant mortgages to people with "insufficient borrower income levels." Now that so many of those loans — predictably — have gone bad, the Coalition has filed suit against two Wall Street rating services, saying the firms "knew or should have known" that the loans would go into default at a high rate. Thus the Coalition is suing the rating services for making it possible for the financial institutions to do what the Coalition was pressuring them to do. (!)

Seems to me the news is providing more and more "through the looking glass" kinds of stuff.

Two hat tips, here and here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Terror Attacks in Mumbai

An e-mail written by a friend of a friend — a man closely associated with the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai — provides more details from the terrorist attacks (the Islamist incursion) there. Information from that e-mail is extracted and summarized here (with some additions from other sources):

The e-mail was written at 10:45 last Friday morning, "after almost 37 hrs of sustained flushing out operations by the National Security Guard Black Cat commandos, Army, Navy, Air Force and the Police ...... a combined operation of all security forces." In it, he talked about the attacks, labeled by the media there as "India's 9/11" and considered an invasion of India, and the toll they took on the hotel staff. Battles were continuing, at that point, at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, at the Oberoi Hotel, and at the Nariman House (home of the Chabad House Jewish outreach center). He gives some specifics I haven't seen other places.

At least 17 senior hotel staff died in the terrorists' initial charge into the hotel, including chef Banja and the young chef Boris (son of the Taj's legendary Goan chef Cruz Rego of Divaar). Most of these were shot at point blank range. A number of other hotel staff members apparently also died protecting hotel guests. Seldom was anyone spared. (Even so, the staff apparently kept up their tradition of immaculate service as best they could.)

The terrorists moved to the executive suites on the sixth floor — corner suites 643-649. Escaped colleagues and others could only watch helplessly from near the Gateway of India as the terrorists attacked this section with guns and grenades, setting the suites on fire. The wife and two children of the hotel's general manager Karimbir Kang died in one of these suites while he helped shepherd hotel guests to safety.

The writer summarizes what he knows about the attacks — from observation, escaped staff members, and the news media (the Wall Street Journal has another summary):

A new expose on 'Z news' says that 2 of the terrorists had checked in earlier at the Taj while 2 young men had taken casual jobs 2-3 months back in the banquetting dept. The degree of planning that has gone into this strike amazes. The entire execution of the plan from its start at Karachi in a 'seized' Indian fishing vessel, the landing near Cuffe Parade, the grouping of 10 Pakistani and 2 local terrorists close to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the railway headquarters at Badhwar Park, the diversionary tactics in blowing the gas station, the assault on backpack foreign tourists at the popular Cafe Leopold, the charge thru the weakly manned staff entry gate of the Taj hotel, the commando type movement thru the service galleys of the hotel in the first basement emerging up to the lobby, scattering bullets on all and sundry in the lobby at 10 pm, the swift move spraying bullets on staff and guests in the reception area and restaurants (including the Golden Dragon, Zodiac, Shamiana and Masala Craft) before sprinting up the grand stairway of the old Taj Palace ...... finally settling in the 6th floor .......... all speaks of intense planning. That the hotels were warned 2 months earlier by the Intelligence Bureau is now a standard warning carried out consciously by terror groups to give them time to study the security preparations of targets.*   This has seldom failed as the psyche of fear and panic in India (or elsewhere) are now well understood by terror groups.
* It has been noted since that the additional security measures put in place at that time, which were relaxed a few days before the attack, would have had no effect on the attack on the Taj as it occurred.
One of the things made possible by the terrorists' observations of Mumbai's responsive security preparations was the murders of the chief and senior members of the Anti-Terror Squad, and of the police commissioner, in the early phase of the attack.

The writer provides a good summary of what is behind this and similar attacks. He notes the terror outfits (i.e. Lashkar-e-Taiba, Harkat-ul Jihad al Islami, Jamiatul Mujaheedin, etc.) are all creations of the Al Qaeda. The ability of these terror outfits to cross India's borders and execute strikes whenever and wherever at will all speaks, he says, of the extreme decay of evil minds among us. He notes that "such minds have no religion, no faith, no colour and no language" — only evil.

Others are noticing their depravity, as well. The Muslim Jama Masjid Trust says the terrorists were not true followers of Islam and refused to allow their burial in the Badakabrastan graveyard they control. A trust spokesman said "People who committed this heinous crime cannot be called Muslim. Islam does not permit this sort of barbaric crime." Several Islamic scholars have backed the Trust's decision. Because of this Trust's influence, none of the seven other Muslim cemeteries is likely to accept the bodies, either, and their final disposition is in question. (Gee, maybe that's a good thing!)

Even with all the terror and destruction, the writer ends on a hopeful note.

Voices hope that this may be a divine blessing (in disguise) to unify all leaders, crossing all political and national barriers, all interests, thus creating one common aim for the good of all mankind.

The fight against terror. The beginning of a new world order.

The prophecy of Nostradamus, that of a new golden era in the World, of a long period of peace, may not be very far.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Voter ID Law Reinstated

The U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday reinstated Albuquerque's voter ID law. The appeals court relied on the landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in an Indiana case (the Crawford case) last spring that a photo ID requirement did not violate voters' rights, and reversed the ruling of an Albuquerque federal court last year that the photo ID requirement was unconstitutional because it wasn't applied identically for in-person and absentee voters.

The photo ID requirement was passed in 2005 by what City Councillor Sally Mayer described as "a huge margin". The ACLU opposed (and opposes) the requirement, and is considering its options; it may decide to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The reversal of the lower court's decision was reported in Tuesday's edition of the Albuquerque Journal (subscription required).

In my view, anyone who opposes a voter ID requirement is objectively promoting vote fraud.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Modified Campaign Signs

Steve Hayward, of National Review's The Corner has found a use for yard signs from the just-completed presidential campaign — he reported having a pair of modified campaign signs (one from each campaign) in front of his house the morning after the election. One is modified from a McCain-Palin sign,

and the other from a Obama-Biden sign.

These both look pretty good to me!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

John McCain in New Mexico

John McCain was in Roswell last night -- his last stop on the way back to Arizona to vote. But he was back in New Mexico this afternoon. He had a rally, but that wasn't what he was really here for. He and his folks went up to the north side of Albuquerque, to a restaurant called El Pinto, where they picked up chile and salsa.

Now the campaign is over, and we are left with our hopes and our fears. Let us all pray that our hopes are fulfilled and our fears fail to manifest.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sarah Palin & John McCain

Here's what I wrote to friends a month ago.

Background: We have seldom made a political contribution; the only one I can think of is one we made to one of the re-election campaigns for Senator Pete Domenici. We have never attended a political rally for any candidate. We have never had a political bumper sticker on any of our cars, though for part of that time that may have been influenced by military political prohibitions. (Don't get ahead of me, now!)

Nearer background: John McCain has not been my candidate. I have strongly objected to some of the bills he has sponsored -- McCain-Feingold and Kennedy-McCain come immediately to mind. John McCain is still not my candidate -- except by comparison to Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. You may remember what I wrote more than a year ago, that New Mexico governor Bill Richardson was the only Democrat running who was worth considering. That's still the case -- and he's been out of the race for some time now.

Current observations: From what I read and what I hear in conversations, McCain's selection of Alaska governor Sarah Palin for the VP spot has been making a BIG difference. Crowds have gotten big. Money is pouring in. Volunteers, too. Offices all over the country have described the difference as "like a switch being thrown." It's added an excitement factor to his campaign.

Since Gov Palin was named, I've seen three sorts of reactions. The Left and the yellow dog Democrats (who would vote for a yellow dog before they would vote for a Republican) -- and I know a number of folks in both categories -- have been negative. [I noted and commented on some of that reaction here.] Of course, those folks would have a negative knee-jerk reaction about ANYONE on a Republican ticket. For the rest, the reaction has varied with how much they knew about Palin. Those who have known about her record have been positive. Those who have not known about her have been unsure -- but have tended to become more supportive as they have learned about her. Yes, my circle of acquaintance might be a factor, and these advantages could be thrown away, but I don't see a downside as of now.

There seems to be some tactical good news in this pick, too. Obama spent quite some time ignoring McCain and trying to make the case that he has more experience than Palin. To do that, he's had to lie about both his experience and hers -- ignoring her governorship and pretending that going where his campaign manager tells him to go is executive experience. Independent of anything else, his focus on comparing himself to Palin makes clear he can't compare to McCain, which will have an effect on everyone but the committed Left and the yellow dog Democrats.

For myself: I knew a lot more about Gov Sarah Palin than most folks. I'd actually been running across material on her for some months. Some was from folks who said things like "I wish McCain would select her for VP, but it'll never happen." I tended to agree with that assessment. But I was also impressed with her drive, and with what she's accomplished in Alaska in a relatively short time. And then what they thought would never happen, did happen. And it made a difference. For us, McCain's willingness to stake out a position in this manner and select someone with real reform and issue (especially energy) credentials got us to make a contribution to his campaign.

It is said a candidate's VP selection gives a view into the candidate's head. Obama's selection said his "change" mantra was BS, eyewash. McCain's selection seemed to put a different light on even the things he's done that I objected to. It seems to emphasize his mission orientation, and the resulting willingness to take "half a loaf" to get SOMETHING -- ANYTHING -- to get something done. It reminded me of my Dad muttering at the director when something went wrong at his TV station "Do SOMETHING, even if it's WRONG!" (And, clearly, I believe he gave up far too much to Feingold and Kennedy, for example, to get some kind of bill.) But it also suggests that, given the opportunity, McCain would prefer to be a true reformer. This selection made us much more positive about supporting and voting for him.

That enthusiasm, and a friend's wife who works in a political office and moonlights for the McCain campaign, got us tickets to the event when John McCain and Sarah Palin came to Albuquerque the Saturday after the Republican convention ended. 6000 tickets were given out, in about a day. Then a bigger room (exhibit hall) was obtained, and the campaign said others should just show up. MANY did. Even so, the press reports just said "over 6,000" attended. Like most people, we were behind the podium; not many were in front, between it and the TV cameras. The good thing about where we were was that, being higher, we could actually see the platform and the speakers -- and we have the pictures to prove it.

Now we need to find bumper stickers. The one for my wife's van should be one that says "I'm voting for Sarah -- and that old guy she's running with". And one for my car -- maybe "Another Democrat for McCain". Yes, I am aware that wearing McCain bumper stickers puts our cars at risk for damage.

One more thing: A friend (actually more than one) asked me if I thought Palin would be a good president, a question with particular relevance because of McCain's age and long-term physical damage. Under these circumstances, that is a legitimate question. My answer is that one can argue the hypotheticals of whether she would make a good president. But if John McCain's age kicks in and he drops dead, I'd MUCH rather see Sarah Palin in the White House than either Barack Obama or Joe Biden. Plus, of course, she starts today with a lot more experience than Harry Truman had, for example, when he succeeded FDR -- and much more executive experience than either Obama or Biden. And she'll get more between now and whenever it might be needed. (I should say, too, that my friends started off being pretty negative, but have since made contributions to the McCain-Palin campaign.)

I wrote all the above before watching the first presidential debate. (Actually, most of it a couple of weeks before.) Yes, we watched the debate. And we saw nothing new. Obama continued to perform as the Chicago (Richard J. Daley) Machine politician he is. He'll say anything to win, no matter how what he says conflicts with either or both of reality and what he's said before. He figures once he gets in he can do whatever he wants. (Hey, it worked before -- that's how the Senate got its most left-wing member.) Meanwhile, McCain was McCain, as he's always been. As usual, he's trying too much to get along. That translates into too many times when he's let Obama get away with his false statements. (I had a fantasy earlier this week that McCain stayed in Washington and sent Sarah to the debate in his place. And she chimed in multiple times with "But Barack, that's not what you told so-and-so. That's not what you said in this debate/speech/interview.")

That's what I wrote to friends a month ago. Nothing has happened since to change these opinions. I will cast my vote tomorrow for John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Barack Obama, Chicago Machine Politician

When I lived in Chicago, I saw the way that city's political machine operates. It was and is dirty and corrupt. It's the reason "dirty Chicago politician" became a trite phrase. That's important this year because, as Canadian columnist David Warren notes

Mr. Obama was from his political beginnings the darling of a Chicago political machine, notorious for both corruption, and harbouring radicals. His very smoothness and articulacy, even his blackness, made him their golden boy, assuring him of financial patronage along his way.
Warren also commented on how unlikely it is that one can picture Obama standing up to Congress, much less facing down our enemies abroad. He continues
Whereas, I can easily imagine Ms. Palin digging in her formidable heels, and the only question -- a fair one, mind -- is, does she know enough about the mechanics of Washington and world affairs? (And to be even more fair: does Mr. Obama?)
In my view, Obama's background as a creature of the Chicago political machine is more than enough by itself to tell me not to vote for him. But there are other things that raise additional questions about him. I wrote about some of them here. My personal favorite for sheer egotism and bravado is what he said when he clinched the presidential nomination:
I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.
There are other reasons to oppose Obama's election, as well. Good summaries of those can be found here and here. More than enough reasons to oppose the most leftist and radical, inexperienced and unqualified individual ever to be nominated for President of the United States.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What's Good for the Democrats

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid made a lot of promises in 2006 to get a majority of Democrats elected in both houses of Congress. How have they done with those?

The behavior of the economy is notable. Most of the economic damage during the Bush Administration has been in the last two years, since the Democrats took over Congress. Here's what some of that damage looks like.
To be fair, some of the damage coming up now wasn't produced by actions of the Pelosi-Reid Congress. Some of it was produced by the actions of Democrats in previous Congresses, like the actions in the Carter and Clinton Administrations that got Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac making the bad loans that have now come home to roost and brought about the current economic crisis.

That's not saying the Republicans are blameless. They certainly didn't get the job done when they had control of Congress, either, though some of that was due to Democrat obstructionism. And it can be argued that many elements of the economic cycles may be out of the control of Congresses and Presidents. Even so, it's worth keeping in mind while listening to the evening news that

        What's bad for the country is good for the Democrats

Covering Up For Obama

The Los Angeles Times still won't release the tape from the going-away party for former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi at which Barack Obama apparently said some very kind things about him. Obama was joined there by his friends, and Khalidi's, domestic revolutionaries Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

The Times won't either publish a transcript of the tape or post the video. It pretends the couple of sentences on Obama's comments it buried in a story six months ago constitute "a detailed account". It claims their source gave the tape to the news media (them) on condition that they not release it, and "The Times keeps its promises to sources." And now the Times has asserted that "To break that agreement might put the source of the tape in jeopardy."

There are a couple of conclusions to be drawn from this:

  1. There is something incredibly damaging on the video, from which the Times wants to protect Barack Obama.
  2. Some of Obama's supporters may well react violently against anyone perceived to have done anything to jeopardize the Coronation of The One.
It seems to me there are good reasons why Mahmoud Admadinejad, Hugo Chavez, and the U.S. Communist Party all want Barack Obama elected President of the United States.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Ad I Want to See

I saw the text for a great proposed ad. John McCain should use this ad — preferably just ahead of Barack Obama's planned informercial. Here's the ad's proposed text:

Hi, I'm John McCain. You won't be seeing a 30-minute ad from my campaign tonight for a very simple reason. I kept my word. Both Barack Obama and I both promised you we would accept public financing and abide by the limitations associated with it. I kept my word, Obama broke his promise to you, the American people. You are going to hear a lot of promises from Obama tonight. He will promise a middle class tax cut. He made the same promise to the voters in Illinois when he ran for the Senate, that he would propose a middle class tax cut. He broke his word, and instead voted 94 times for tax increases, including tax increases on anyone making over $42,000. So when you hear Obama make his promises tonight, keep in mind that he has a history of making promises during the campaign, but after the election he doesn't keep them. I am proud of my history of keeping promises. I think the citizens of this great country deserve a President they can trust - one who tells you the truth during the campaign and keeps his promises after the election.
Thank you Rich Lowry.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Most Profligate Congress Ever

The Republican-led Congress of 2001-2006 has taken a lot of grief for their wasteful spending. And rightly so. Five of their first six budgets (for 2002-2006) increased spending year-over-year by from 6% to 8%. They finally started getting themselves under control for the 2007 budget, which increased outlays by less than 3%.

Then, suddenly, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid were in charge. Their Congress this year is known for doing nothing. But last year, they did manage to accomplish something — they managed to more than triple the outlays rate of increase over that of the last year of the Republican Congress. Tom Blumer has the year-over-year comparisons. Here's the chart

but what Blumer says should be read, too.

What Is Obama Hiding?

I saw the claims, but I didn't give them any credence. After all, similar claims had been made about Barry Goldwater (because he was born in Arizona before it was a state) and John McCain (because he was born in a U.S. military hospital in the Panama Canal Zone). I figured it was unlikely there was anything to the claims that Barack Obama was not a natural born citizen, and ineligible to run for president — especially since there was an image of a Certificate of Live Birth posted on the Obama campaign web site.

But then it turned out there were at least two different Certificate versions out there, apparently both from the Obama campaign. That meant at least one had to be a forgery. Because of that, there began to be demands that Obama authorize the release of official documents to prove his eligibility. When Obama refused, lawsuits started getting filed in state and federal courts to force the documents' release — and they weren't getting immediately dismissed. And Obama continues to fight those lawsuits, fighting to avoid the release of his birth records — even interrupting his campaign to appear in court in Hawaii last week as part of this effort. (While there, he also visited his grandmother, who was released from the hospital a couple of weeks ago.)

When John McCain's eligibility was questioned because of his birth outside the (at the time) 48 states (in the Panama Canal Zone), his immediate response was to release the documents that demonstrated the falsity of the accusations. That's a complete contrast to Obama's response. Why? It's not like this is taking up any time from McCain's staff -- they've ignored this from the beginning. It's only taking up time and effort from Obama's staff and the DNC staff. Obama could end this any time by allowing the release of the documents. Why doesn't he?

I'm still trying to figure out what Obama is hiding here. I can only think it must be something that's really important to him, or he wouldn't be spending so much time & effort & money to keep it hidden. And I don't see that any legitimate purpose is served by Obama acting like a dirty Chicago machine politician. (Yes, I know that statement is repetitive and redundant.)

Guess we'll see what happens. But I'm left wondering.
What is Obama hiding?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Biden Asks Support for Obama

ABC News reports on its Political Radar about what vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) said on Sunday to supporters in Seattle (which he also reportedly said at another venue the day before).

"Mark my words," the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

"I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate," Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. "And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

Let me translate that from Washington politicalese into human language: Biden is saying the election of Obama to the presidency will mean our adversaries will attack us within six months. And he's saying we won't like Obama's response — which is to say the response will be wrong. Another way to say the same thing is that Obama will embolden our enemies and push us to the brink of disaster — and then he will probably fumble the ball.

That all seems to be a set of very good reasons to vote for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) rather than Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). That may be why Biden has no public events scheduled between now and the election. The Democrats' biggest fear at the moment may be Joe Biden's next speaking engagement.

Separately, there seems to be a lot more stuff happening today. I can't get to all of it yet. Watch for these upcoming items Real Soon Now:

What's Bad for America

I heard the keynote speeches at the Alfred E. Smith Benefit Dinner last Thursday night by both Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama. Both gave good speeches — I thought McCain's was better and more humorous, but both were good.

Thinking about it later, I remembered one of Obama's lines. I couldn't find it in the partial transcripts I ran across, but it was something like this: "With our nation's economy in such chaos, John McCain has said that, if the election is about the economy, he'll lose. So let's talk about the economy."

That fits in with what I've seen in Congress over the last several years. It's not that the Democrats' leadership in our Democrat-controlled Congress is actively trying to hurt the U.S. economy — I think — but they will do absolutely anything to make sure anything to make sure any bad news is blamed on anybody but them — preferably on George Bush.

But the behavior of the economy is also notable. Most of the economic damage during the Bush Administration has been in the last two years, since the Democrats took over Congress. Here's just one example, from early August.

That's not saying the Republicans are blameless. They certainly didn't get the job done when they had control of Congress, either, though some of that was due to Democrat obstructionism. And it can be argued that many elements of the economic cycles may be out of the control of Congresses and Presidents. Even so, it's worth keeping in mind while listening to the evening news that

        What's bad for the country is good for the Democrats

UPDATE: This post was originally published on October 19. It was deleted and re-published to get rid of comment spam. Comment moderation has been activated.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Dishonest & Dishonorable

The "non-partisan Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)" issued a "report card" on members of Congress, supposedly based on key votes affecting Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. But it seems a bit weird:

  • "Baghdad Jim" McDermott, Maxine Waters, and Dennis Kucinich got As
  • Obama and Biden got Bs
  • McCain got a D, one of the four worst senatorial grades
Something seems seriously out of kilter.

Now I think we know what it is. It turns out a founder of IAVA is a senior Obama campaign aide (Phil Carter, Veterans Director, Obama for America). Thus, IAVA is revealed as another example of astroturfing — a campaign sockpuppet masquerading as a grassroots organization.

There it is: Obama and his campaign staff, dishonest and dishonorable. Again. (Or is that still?) I am definitely very offended.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bill Whittle, Again

People respond — appropriately — to the conditions they are faced with. Different basic conditions produce different basic responses. That's why I've found people from different parts of this country sometimes have a hard time understanding each other. Going across countries and continents gives the same problem, only moreso.

Bill Whittle has found the same thing. His "Cowboys and Secret Agents" is a must read. Really.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Own Thoughts, Written by Another

It's rare to open a national publication and see my own thoughts — expanded and better written than I have done them, but still my own thoughts. That's especially true in the political realm. But that has happened this month. Twice — both by the same author, Bill Whittle. He echoed what I have written to friends and in a posting (in preparation) when he wrote that, prior to this month,

all we had was a grim determination to vote against a dangerous, socialized vision of the future. We were portrayed — largely accurately — as old, tired, out-of-touch, out of ideas, out of candidates . . . too white, too male, too square. It doesn’t matter how true or false that caricature was. That was the narrative, and there was enough of it that fit.

And then the earthquake came.

In his second column, he shows the further development of his thoughts (and mine). He notes "the power of the mythmakers in Hollywood, the power of the information peddlers in the media, the corrosive power of America-hating professors on every campus in America". And he continues, using imagery reminiscent of one of his prior essays,
against all that we find an old warrior — a paladin if ever there was one — an old, beat-up warhorse standing up in defense of his city one last time.

And beside him: a wonder.

A common person ... just a regular mom who goes to work, does a difficult job with intelligence and energy and grace and every-day competence and then puts it away to go home and have dinner with the family.

Against all of that stand these two.

No wonder they must be destroyed.

What is there about John McCain and Sarah Palin that produces such hope and enthusiasm on one side, and such fear and rage on the other? That it has is undeniable. The change at the campaign offices has been described as "like a switch being thrown." And there are a lot of folks who never make campaign contributions, who now have. As for the other side, no one can deny the extreme level of the attacks being made against McCain and, especially, Palin. The question is WHY? I've been groping for an answer; I think Whittle found it:
I think the magic of Sarah Palin speaks to a belief that so many of us share ... — the idea that, given nothing but classic American values like hard work, integrity, and tough-minded optimism you can actually do what happens in the movies: become Leader of the Free World, the President of the United States of America.
In other words, Sarah Palin and John McCain exemplify what our people are all about, and have been since our nation was founded.

There's a lot more in Bill Whittle's two columns. Do yourself a favor and go read them both.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Never Forget

The Acceptance Speeches

Yes, I know this is a bit late. Nevertheless, ....

I watched the acceptance speech by Senator Barack Obama from Invesco Field. Nothing I heard was unexpected. (Of course, I'm one of those odd ducks who has been paying attention to the political campaigns for many months.) [Update: Even NPR's Juan Williams said Obama's acceptance speech was flat and lifeless.] I didn't see Senator Joe Biden's acceptance speech, but the press reports tell me it, too, was more of the same.

The next week's acceptance speeches were different. Some of that was because Governor Sarah Palin was a (relatively) unknown quantity, so whatever she said would not be "more of the same". Even so, she did an excellent job. I've seen a number of media analysts saying her speech really didn't/wouldn't "play" outside the hall, and all I can say is they must have been watching someone else. What I saw was well captured by Thomas Lifson:

Sarah Barracuda is turning into Barack Obama's worst nightmare. Her digs at the Democrat candidate were slyly funny, and placed him back in the position of an elitist. She has the potential to be Reagan in a dress. A younger Margaret Thatcher who is also a beautiful woman. No wonder the liberal media is trying to destroy her before they go bankrupt.

And then there's Senator John McCain, not exactly known as a stirring or polished speaker. His speech was more of a "stem-winder" than I remember him giving — ever — and I grew up in Arizona. I felt he did in that speech exactly what he needed to do.

There have been a few things happening since those speeches. Press reports suggest growing crowds and increasing contributions for the McCain-Palin ticket, and reduced crowds and contributions for the Obama-Biden ticket. And then there's Senator Joe Biden's reported reaction to the selection of Governor Sarah Palin for the VP spot on the Republican ticket, that she was only a governor — and of such a small state. (I don't know how he can say Alaska is small — it has the same number of electoral votes as Biden's state of Delaware.) I liked the reaction from New Mexico's Representative Heather Wilson last Saturday:

Memo to Senator Biden: Anchorage has public parks bigger than Delaware.

It's going to be an interesting campaign.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Palin Pick

John McCain selected Alaska governor Sarah Palin to be the Republican candidate for Vice President. Everyone, including the entire press corps, was taken by surprise. That sent enough of them off searching up information about Governor Palin that the Alaska state web servers were crashed.

The Obama campaign responded quickly. Spokesman Bill Burton said “Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency.” We had two reactions when we heard the statement:

  1. The statement sounds like a clear admission that Barack Obama will lose and Sarah Palin will be the Vice President of the United States.
  2. Yes, Wasilla is a town of about 9,000 people. But that's 9,000 Alaskans, that proved to be a rough-and-tumble training ground for hardball politics. Would you like to go up against 9,000 like her?
Further, it seemed this description is more than a bit disingenuous. Especially when it is put in the form that showed up a Jonathan Martin piece in the Politico website: “Palin, 44, is less than two years removed from being mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, has no military or foreign policy experience in a time of grave international threat” This statement is dishonest in several respects.

The two years referred to are the two years she has been serving as governor. Those two years were separated from her time as Wasilla mayor by four years, during which she spearheaded ethics efforts that brought about the the resignation and punishment of her own party chairman. And to reach the governor's chair, she had to unseat the incumbent Republican governor (and former U.S. Senator) and beat a former governor while her own party sought her defeat.

"No military experience"? She is the Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard. That means she commands the forces responsible for a good part of the U.S. missile defense. It means her air forces are involved in intercepting the Russian Bear bombers that have been flying along our coasts the past six months or so. It means her troops have been deployed to Iraq, as a result of which she has been to Iraq at least as many times as Barack Obama (and not as part of a campaign!) and visited wounded soldiers at Landstuhl, Germany. She also commands the Alaska State Defense Force. As an e-mailer told Uncle Jimbo, "She can be entrusted with our national security, because she already is."

"No foreign policy experience"? She's been leading negotiations with the Canadian government and Canadian companies over the natural gas pipeline project. I have no doubt she's also had some fairly regular contact with the government of the other country that borders her state — Russia — including over those Bear bombers.

Of course, we will have to wait and see how she works out as a vice presidential candidate. But for such a newcomer on the national political scene, she sure seems to have a surprisingly strong record in the national security area and as a reformer.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Navy Petty Officer Mike Monsoor

A good friend (a retired Army colonel) sent this to me. It's worth spreading as much as we can.

PO2 (EOD2) Mike Monsoor, a Navy EOD Technician, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Iraq, giving his life to save his fellow SEALs.

During Mike's funeral in San Diego, as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, SEALs were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a column of twos, with the coffin moving up the center. As Mike's coffin passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin.

The slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the coffin arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it. This was a fitting send-off for a warrior hero.

This should be front-page news instead of the crap we see every day.

Since the media won't make this news, we choose to make it news by posting it for you guys. I am proud of our military and the men and women who serve in it. They represent the highest and finest values of this country.

The media almost never reports this type thing. Please pass it on to a few of your friends...

God bless the men and women in our Military.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

An Engineer Says 'Enough'

James Taranto ran an item on Thomas Friedman's bizarre views on government regulation. He called the item Gas Heads to $19.84 a Gallon. The final sentence in that piece said

Such a massive exercise of government control over the economy is "cost effective" only in the sense that ignorance is strength and slavery is freedom.
He got a comment in response from reader Bruce Anderson (it's here — scroll down to "An Engineer Says 'Enough'") that I think deserves wider distribution. Bruce's comment is
Have you noticed that the people shouting loudest to make developing oil fields impossible, to tax gasoline to astronomical levels, and to have government subsidized "Manhattan Projects" to create the breakthroughs in solar, wind, waves, bio-mass, etc., are the same people who did not take the math, science and engineering courses in college? Despite their profound ignorance in these subjects, they are sure that creating enough pain will cause those of us who did grind away in these fields for all these years to suddenly have that amazing insight which will let us repeal the third law of thermodynamics. Their core belief is that genius comes forth when misery is piled sufficiently high. Why don't we announce the oil industry is going to build offshore "tire inflation" platforms and put some "auto tune-up centers" in ANWR for good measure, and just go about our business, with these airheads never the wiser?
There is a definite frustration inherent in technical decisions being made by the technically illiterate.

How Well McCain Did at Saddleback

It's been a week since the double interview at Saddleback, but Mark Hemingway's evaluation the next day is still the most accurate and succinct:

He did so well that the only way that the Obama campaign and the netroots can spin his performance is to accuse him of cheating and making up his life story.
The arrogance of the Left amazes me! They believe they are the elite, better than their opponents. Because they're better, they think the only way their opponents can beat them is by cheating. It's the only way they can comprehend it.

This degree of arrogance still amazes me — and I've been running into it from these people for 40 years!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


“I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment — this was the time — when we came together to remake this great nation” (Barack Obama, 6/3/08)

“There are things that you can do individually though to save energy; making sure your tires are properly inflated, simple thing, but we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling, if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tune-ups. You could actually save just as much.” (Barack Obama, Springfield, MO, 7/30/08) (“It’s probably not the best idea to take automotive advice from a limousine liberal.”)

“A poll last week revealed that 40% of Americans believe that Republicans are in control of Congress.” (Paul Weyrich, "Congressional Irresponsibility", 8/05/08)

"Jimmy Carter ended single-digit inflation. Maybe Obamanomics will end single-digit unemployment." (comment, Mark Van Zandt, Wall Street Journal online, 7/30/08)

“Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an 'unlicensed pharmacist'”

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nancy Pelosi, Tyrant (2)

As Politico very gently puts it, Nancy Pelosi is "encouraging vulnerable Democrats to express their independence if it helps them politically, according to Democratic aides on and off Capitol Hill." I heard a Democrat Party operative on Hannity & Colmes this evening trying to spin that in words like "Ours is a 'big tent' party, and Speaker Pelosi was just expressing that it's appropriate for all our different points of view to be expressed."

Sorry, but I have to call BS on the operative's spin. Still, there are a couple of possible interpretations of the Pelosi advice. The one that's closer to the operative's spin is

Pelosi recognizes that a lot of her minions are vulnerable on this issue. Because of this vulnerability, they will be allowed to express their disagreement on this issue without being punished by the Speaker.
The less charitable interpretation is
Pelosi recognizes that a lot of her minions are vulnerable on this issue. Because of this vulnerability, they are being encouraged to say anything necessary to get re-elected so they can protect Pelosi's obstructionist agenda.
Personally, I don't think either option reflects at all well on Speaker Pelosi and her "Marie Antoinette" political strategy.

It appears Speaker Pelosi doesn't care what happens to the country and its people, so long as she (and maybe her party) can benefit. This is not just an assumption. Politico notes that "Even as they face heat from constituents during the August break, Democrats say they aren’t going to cave in to popular pressure." And "“There is no crisis on our side of the aisle,” a top House Democratic leadership aide said. “We have a plan, and we will stick to it.”" Translation: "We have our plan, and we don't care what you rubes think or say."

Meanwhile, President Bush reportedly believes there is no chance the Democrat Congress will take any action this year. That's apparently why the White House won't call Congress back into special session to deal with the energy issue. Personally, I think that's the wrong strategy. There was no chance the Republican Congress would take any action when Harry Truman called them back into special session in 1948. But Truman called them back anyway, they demonstrated their unwillingness to put the country's interests ahead of their own, and Truman spent the rest of the campaign headlining the "Do-Nothing Republican Congress" — and won re-election as a result. The Pelosi Congress makes the one in 1948 look activist. Based on their record so far, if called back, the Pelosi Congress would help sign its own death warrant.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Terror Attacks in India

India has an illegal alien problem. They're mostly from Pakistan and Bangladesh. They come to India because they need to, because there is a LOT more opportunity in India than in their home countries.

But as guests, they stink! They expect Indian society to adapt to them rather than the other way around. They expect in India — as a matter of right — the same sort of deference for their religion and their ways that they would have in their home countries. It offends them that they are expected to respect the rights of others who don't share their religion, their sect. And it offends them that their Indian co-religionists do respect those rights.

And so these illegal alien racial and religious bigots take actions — again — to try to provoke attacks against their co-religionists — again. That's what appears to be behind the series of explosions in Bangalore and Ahmadabad a week ago. The illegal aliens, in other attacks, have identified their intent to "demolish the faith (Hinduism)" of the "infidels of India". And the style of the attacks was similar to that used in Iraq and elsewhere by al Qaeda and associated terrorist groups.

Yes, it's clear bigotry was the basis for the attacks. Both states targeted have elected, by large majorities, governments run by the Hindu nationalist BJP (the Bharatiya Janata Party). They were apparently targeted because the BJP governments can't be pushed around by these bigots the way many of the other state governments can.

The specifics of the attacks? I captured more about the Bangalore attacks (nine explosions, one dead, blogger reports here and here, NDTV reports here, here, and here, the last noting that Bangalore's IT sector now will get a lot more national security support) than about the Ahmadabad attacks (22 explosions, 42 dead). The Bangalore explosions were all, or nearly all, about the size of a pair of hand grenades. The Ahmadabad explosions included the first use of a car bomb in India. Similar attempts were made in Surat, where at least 19 bombs were found and disarmed. The cars used for the car bombs in both Ahmadabad and Surat were stolen where the attacks were apparently planned, in Mumbai. Additional unexploded bombs were found in both Bangalore and Ahmadabad, including on city buses and in/near shopping malls. And, as in Jaipur in May, among the later bombs was at least one at a hospital where victims of the earlier explosions would have been taken.

These people are barbarians. They must be stopped. They must be stopped because, as I have said before,

These extremists are not attacking only the US and its interests, or just the West and its interests — these extremists are attacking anyone and anything that is not Islamist, in their extremist version. The American press needs to recognize this, and report on these terrorist atrocities. And we all need to pay attention because, when these extremists have the ability, they will attack us, too.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Nancy Pelosi, Tyrant

Nancy Pelosi must be so proud! She managed to browbeat, bully, bludgeon, and bribe just enough of her underlings to win by just one (213-212) the vote to adjourn the House of Representatives for five weeks. Thus, she achieved her goal of making sure the House had no debate, had no vote, and took no action on anything that might help alleviate the current energy crisis.

This time the Republicans aren't taking it lying down. Even though Pelosi's minions shut off the lights and microphones, and ejected reporters from the areas where they normally interviewed Congressmen,

"This is the people's House," said Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.). "This is not Pelosi's politiburo."

Democratic aides were furious at the GOP stunt, and reporters were kicked out of the Speaker's Lobby, the space next to the House floor where they normally interview lawmakers.

"You're not covering this, are you?" complained one senior Democratic aide. Another called the Republicans "morons" for staying on the floor.

Update: The Capitol Police are now trying to kick reporters out of the press gallery above the floor, meaning we can't watch the Republicans anymore. But Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) is now in the gallery talking to reporters, so the cops have held off for a minute. Clearly, Democrats don't want Republicans getting any press for this episode.

This is what the future may look like.
Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said the dimly lit chamber is a "vision of the future by the Democrat Party: The lights are out, there's no power, and the air conditioning is gonna go off soon."
If Pelosi et al. have their way, this is the future of the country.

Sixty years ago, President Harry Truman ran against the "do-nothing Republican Congress" — and won. But that do-nothing Congress was positively activist compared with this Congress. This Congress, for what I've read is the first time ever, has reached this point in the year without either house having passed even one appropriations bill. If appropriations bills are not passed, there will be no money for government operations and the government will have to shut down.

And why is that? Apparently, because Pelosi and her Senate partner Harry Reid are so dead set on preventing any discussion of or vote on any proposal to end the Congressional ban on domestic energy development (refinery construction, offshore drilling, oil shale, nuclear energy, etc.) that they are willing to have their underlings shut down the appropriations process if that's what it takes to prevent any debate and vote on these issues. (That's why the appropriations committees have been shut down for weeks.) San Fran Nan's excuse?

“I’m trying to save the planet; I’m trying to save the planet,” she says impatiently when questioned. “I will not have this debate trivialized by their excuse for their failed policy.”
A free translation: Pelosi is so convinced she is right and everybody else is wrong that she is willing to shut down the government rather than allow a debate and vote she knows she will lose. Also that Pelosi and her friends want energy prices (especially gasoline prices) to go up — a lot — as a means of inducing conservation. And the economy — and the country — be damned.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Media Is Not Biased For Obama

I've been hearing a lot of complaints this week that the networks and major newspapers are biased in favor of Barack Obama over his opponent John McCain. Cited as particular evidence of this bias is the fact that all three network news anchors went along on Barack Obama's international travels.

Some network apologists have said this is not evidence of bias at all. They do admit, though, that it is unprecedented coverage for a presidential candidate. They say Obama's trip is being covered in a manner more like a presidential trip.

These statements are wrong. The networks and the major newspapers are not giving Obama's trip "presidential trip coverage." Presidential trips don't get this kind of coverage. The three network anchors didn't go on trips with any of our presidents. At most, they sent senior reporters.

But the fact that Charles Gibson, Brian Williams, and Katie Couric all went with Barack Obama on his photo op tour doesn't mean they're biased. They're not biased — they're part of Obama's campaign staff.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Obama vs. the Generals

President George Bush has taken a huge amount of heat for “not listening to the generals.” So how come presidential wanna-be Barack Obama is getting a pass when he says what General Petraeus and others say doesn't matter, and that he's going to pursue his withdrawal strategy regardless of what the military experts say? And he says, knowing that the surge has worked, he'd still vote against it.

Separately, a “senior Obama advisor” speaking on background (so he wouldn't be named and publicly embarrassed) said of Obama's upcoming Berlin speech “It is not going to be a political speech.” He went on to say “When the president of the United States goes and gives a speech, it is not a political speech or a political rally.” It was left to a reporter to point out “But he is not president of the United States.” (Let me guess — that reporter was not from the New York Times or any of the three major networks.)

I think both of these incidents speak volumes about the arrogance and assumptions of the Obama campaign. As I heard this afternoon, perhaps President Obama's advisors should check in with the people advising President Dewey. They might get some good pointers.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pelosi: One of FARC's Friends

The Colombian government and armed forces tricked the Communist guerillas of FARC into giving up their highest value hostages, including a former Colombian presidential candidate and three Americans, to a fictitious human rights organization. Apparently the easiest part of the plan was getting the FARC terrorists to believe a human rights organization would cooperate with them. As noted,

There are a couple of other interesting things that have turned up in the information about this rescue, and about the information culled from the computers captured in the March raid that killed FARC leader Raúl Reyes. One is that Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez is actively supporting FARC's efforts to take over the government of the neighboring country (Colombia), giving large amounts of money to the terror group and assisting them in obtaining weapons which are shipped through his (Chavez') ports, all the while pretending to be trying to mediate the conflict between the FARC and Colombia.

Another interesting thing is who is helping Hugo Chavez undermine Colombia. Three names stand out. One is Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba, currently under investigation for her ties to FARC. And working with Cordoba and Chavez in the mediation scheme were the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and her designated representative Congressman Jim McGovern.

So the question is this: Is Nancy Pelosi knowingly and deliberately cooperating with Communist insurgent groups and dictators, or is her judgment "more than a little misguided"? And is this related to her intransigence on the Colombian Free Trade Agreement?

And the more general follow-up questions: Why the support for the Communist insurgents and dictators against democratic countries and governments? Again. Is this the kind of leadership we, as a country, want to support?

Playground Bullies

Robert Reich gave an interview to New York Times Magazine. At the end of the published interview is this exchange:

Reich: I was bullied a lot when I was a kid. I was actually beat up because I was little. People frequently tell me in interviews that they were bullied as children. But no one ever steps forward and says, “I was the bully.” They don’t want to admit to being a bully.

Interviewer: What do you think playground bullies grow up to be?

Reich: Right-wing Republicans.

With all due respect, Reich can see in his own Berkeley back yard that the bullies are consistently the left-wing Democrats — and not just the ones from Code Pink. And it's not just in Berkeley, either. It's the left that demands special treatment, that shouts down those they don't agree with, that damage property and attack police — and then pretend to be the victims.

My primary reaction to Reich's claim is to ask, in the best "church lady" voice, "Can you say projection?"

Monday, June 30, 2008

Obama and His Generals

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has said military experience is a vital qualification for the presidency. Having absolutely no such experience, Barack Obama has recruited senior retired military as campaign advisors. But what sort of advisors has he been able to recruit?

One key advisor and surrogate denigrates the service of a man who has faced challenges that advisor cannot even conceive of:

"Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president."     — General (Ret.) Wesley Clark, military advisor to Barack Obama

Another key advisor has called John McCain weak on national security. He has also commented on the courage and commitment of the American fighting man:

"I never made a plan that relied on the courage of my own troops. You hope that -- and they generally will -- fight bravely. Your plan ought to be predicated on more realistic assumptions."     — General (Ret.) Merrill "Tony" McPeak, co-chairman of the Obama campaign

These statements — particularly Clark's — have produced responses. One I like is

Barack H. Obama and his pony-pal, Weasley Clark: With fiends like these, who needs enemas?
But my favorite is from Confederate Yankee, who says
The saddest thing about Barack Obama's available military expertise is that though he has Wes Clark in his corner, the only person he knows with the experience of getting a bomb on target is Bill Ayers.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hillary Proves She Can Fake It

Why does Tammy Wynette's Stand By Your Man keep running through my head?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Environmental Extremists

NASA's Dr James Hansen called today for the thought police to arrest and punish those CEOs of energy corporations that don't hew to his global warming orthodoxy. He said the heads of fossil fuel companies who "spread disinformation" (i.e., disagree with him) about global warming should be "tried for high crimes against humanity and nature."

This evening I saw a spokesman for the National Resources Defense Council being interviewed about Hansen's testimony and statements. She did say three things that were true:

  • Dr Hansen testified before Congress today.
  • He has been in the government for more than 20 years.
  • He was the first "major scientist" to warn of the dangers of global warming and assert the need for a massive and immediate response to save the earth.
Everything else she said in the prepared speeches she used, as answers to the questions she was asked, was false. And most of it was slanderous, like her explicit claim that all the scientists and researchers who don't accept Hansen's orthodoxy are bought and paid for by the oil companies.

No wonder she had no response to the question of why we should listen to politicians (several were named) who are beholden to environmental extremists.

My only question is whether these people are being deliberately dishonest — that is, are they lying only to us or are they lying to themselves as well?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Terror Attack in Jaipur, India

A significant terror attack occurred on May 13th in Jaipur, India. It was the first terror attack in that city. The attack involved at least ten bombs — reports indicate there were nine coordinated detonations and at least one additional bomb was found and defused. Depending on the report you read, there were something like 63 or 80 people killed (most reports say 80), and at least a couple hundred injured. Initial suspicion fell on Pakistan-based terror organizations, who have been responsible for a number of prior attacks, but it now appears the attack was the work of Bangladeshi illegal aliens with an intent to "demolish the faith (Hinduism)" of the "infidels of India".

It appears this terror attack has been totally ignored by the primary media and news organizations in the United States. It was covered in the Indian media, of course, and in parts of the Arab media, where it was noted that Indian Muslims are joining with other Indians calling for measures to deal with Islamist terror. It was also covered in at least two British newspapers. In this country, however, it's apparently only been reported in places like the Infidel Blogger Alliance and Wikipedia.

These extremists are not attacking only the US and its interests, or just the West and its interests — these extremists are attacking anyone and anything that is not Islamist, in their extremist version. The American press needs to recognize this, and report on these terrorist atrocities. And we all need to pay attention because, when these extremists have the ability, they will attack us, too.

Osama bin Laden is Dead

Osama bin Laden is dead — and has been for some time — according to an article in the Pakistan Daily (cited in an entry at Jihad Watch).

A top Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud has rejected reports that al-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden, and other leaders are hiding in his region.

"The al-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden is dead, and the Afghan Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, are not in our territory," he said in an interview broadcast by a satellite television network.

Good to hear, but I'll feel better with a confirmation by DNA.

One Courageous Lady

Not everyone knuckles under to Hezbollah. A courageous woman at Lebanon's Future TV spoke out in early May against actions by Hezbollah and their protectors in the Lebanese Army. The video can be seen (with English subtitles) on Gateway Pundit; the transcript is there and on MEMRI. Here are some extracts:

I am asking who represents my own voice, after I represented your voices? My voice, the voices of the people of Beirut, the voices of the people who fled their homes, the voices of the people who said "There is no god but Allah," when you were wearing ski masks on the streets of Beirut. What for? People who are proud of their actions do not wear ski masks.


I was objective, but I'm sad to say, you have made me regret my objectivity. I felt I was a victim of my objectivity, when I was defending you for a year and a half. Is there a conscience out there to defend us?

You are silencing our voice – the voice Allah made untouchable. Have you asked yourselves why? You are defying the will of Allah. Allah made only two things in the human body untouchable – the soul and the voice. This is the wisdom of Allah. Did you really think about what you are doing? You did not just break the law, but you also broke with the hearts of the people. You broke with hearts that truly loved you, even when your political leaders kept telling me that we hated you. No! Today, you abandoned people like me, and there are many like me in the Mustaqbal movement. This is the voice whose offices you came to destroy. We prepared food for you with love during the July 2006 aggression, yet you threw it on the ground.

Read/watch it all! The world needs more like this lady!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day

This is Memorial Day Weekend. It's another three-day holiday weekend. But it's also more.

This is a time set aside to remember those who made our freedom possible, including those who lost their lives in that effort.

We need to remember what these men and women have done for us — and are doing for us now. Here is something extra to help us remember.

We all should be grateful for what the U.S. military has done, especially throughout the last century. And we should express that to our fighting men, past and present.

It's Memorial Day. Thank a serviceman. Thank a veteran.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Armed Forces Day

Today, Saturday, May 17, is Armed Forces Day. It's a good day to thank a veteran:

A Veteran - whether active duty, retired, National Guard, or someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a check payable to "The United States of America" for an amount of "up to and including my life".

That is an honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

— Author Unknown courtesy of BlackFive

And don't let anyone pretend our soldiers are barbarians, Nazis, or whatever else. Look at what our soldiers have actually done.
Then there was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break one of the French engineers came back into the room saying 'Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?'

A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: 'Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships. We have gone there to help people. What has France done?

As this suggests, America's performance in the last hundred years or so has been due to a combination of the American fighting man and American government policy. Here's a good summary of how the two have played out (courtesy of Mullings):
In February [of 2003] Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared on MTV to discuss the US position with regard to our becoming an imperial power. A viewer in Norway asked why Europeans consider the US to be the "Satan of contemporary politics." Here's a portion of what the Secretary said:
Far from being the Great Satan, I would say that we are the Great Protector. We have sent men and women from the armed forces of the United States to other parts of the world throughout the past century to put down oppression. We defeated Fascism. We defeated Communism. We saved Europe in World War I and World War II.

And when all those conflicts were over, what did we do? Did we stay and conquer? Did we say, "Okay, we defeated Germany. Now Germany belongs to us? We defeated Japan, so Japan belongs to us"? No. What did we do? We built them up. We gave them democratic systems which they have embraced totally to their soul.

And did we ask for any land? No, the only land we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead.

And that is the kind of nation we are.

We all should be grateful for what the U.S. military has done, especially throughout the last century. And we should express that to our fighting men, past and present.

It's Armed Forces Day. Thank a veteran.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Can Someone Explain This To Me?

Perhaps someone can explain this to me: Why is it

• racist that the voters of one candidate's race prefer that candidate by a 3:2 margin, but

• not racist that the voters of another candidate's race prefer that candidate by a 10:1 (or 17:1) margin

It seems to me this comparison is the reflection of clear partisanship and/or racism on the part of the reporters, editors, and publishers pushing it.