Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WikiLeaks: what does it mean?

WikiLeaks: What We’ve Learned from them

Napoleon was a lunatic who thought he was Napoleon, and the joke applies to the 44th United States president with a vengeance. What doesn't the president know, and when didn't he know it? American foreign policy turned delusional when Barack Obama took office, and the latest batch of leaks suggest that the main source of the delusion is sitting in the Oval Office.

From the first batch of headlines there is little in WikiLeaks' 250,000 classified diplomatic cables that a curious surfer would not have known from the Internet. We are shocked - shocked - to discover that the ARAB GULF STATES FAVOR AN INVASION OF IRAN; that members of the Saudi royal family fund terrorism; that PAKISTAN MIGHT SELL NUCLEAR MATERIAL TO MALEFACTORS; that SAUDI ARABIA WILL TRY TO ACQUIRE NUCLEAR WEAPONS IF IRAN DOES; that Israel has been itching for an air strike against Iran's nuclear facilities; that the Russian government makes use of the Russian mob; that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan tilts towards radical Islam; or that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi mixes politics and business.

American career diplomats have been telling their masters in the Obama administration THAT EVERY THEATER OF AMERICAN POLICY IS IN FULL-BLOWN ROUT, forwarding to Washington the growing alarm of foreign leaders. In April 2008, for example, Saudi Arabia's envoy to the US Adel al-Jubeir told General David Petraeus that King Abdullah wanted the US "to cut off the head of the [Iranian] snake" and "recalled the king's frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program"…..

The initial reports suggest that the US State Department has MASSIVE EVIDENCE THAT OBAMA'S APPROACH - "ENGAGING" IRAN AND CODDLING PAKISTAN - HAS FAILED CATASTROPHICALLY. The crisis in diplomatic relations heralded by the press headlines is not so much a diplomatic problem - America's friends and allies in Western and Central Asia have been shouting themselves hoarse for two years - but A CRISIS OF AMERICAN CREDIBILITY.


This is a scary look at what Obama’s foreign policy is reaping. Rather than getting the USA the respect of the world, it appears we are becoming an untrustworthy ally.


Here is another perspective on WikiLeaks. The author is not impressed by them.

Another WikiLeaks whirlwind has hit us…..

This correspondence was never intended to enter the public domain, and its entry into the public domain may have thrown American diplomacy into a crisis of confidence.



3. Mr. Assange may not have endangered lives directly in this latest round of leaks, compared with the reprehensible mischief in July, when HE IMPERILED HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE IN AFGHANISTAN. But Mr. Assange has certainly made immeasurably more difficult the conduct of American diplomacy abroad.

4. Of course, the fault for the exposure lies, in large measure, with THE STATE DEPARTMENT, AND ITS ASTONISHINGLY PROFLIGATE APPROACH TO CONFIDENTIALITY. Thousands of people, it turns out, have access to this material. Why are we so lax, so trusting? …

5. On the bright side: The leaks show, happily, THAT FOGGY BOTTOM ISN’T AS CLUELESS IN PRIVATE AS IT APPEARS TO BE IN PUBLIC. ….


7. The key to understanding the WikiLeaks phenomenon lies in the erosion of the distinction, once clear and accepted, between the public and the non-public. Diplomacy, to work at all effectively, must draw a line between the “consultative process” and the “work product.” …..


What WikiLeaks told us

If you want to know more about the latest WikiLeaks you can check out the highlights below or go to the link and read the commentary that goes with the headlines.

1. Yemen Takes the Fall for U.S. Drones

2. China Hacked Google—and the Dalai Lama

3. Hillary Commissioned U.N. Spies

4. “Feckless” Berlusconi Has “Shadowy” Ties to Putin

5. Saudi King Wants a U.S. Military Strike on Iran

6. Corrupt Afghan V.P. Caught With $52 Million in Cash

7. U.S. Offers Payouts in Exchange for Guantanamo Detainees

8. U.S., S. Korea Are Planning to Reunite the Two Koreas

9. State Department Gives Low Marks to Germany’s Merkel


NYT Drops ClimateGate-era Ethics Qualms, Publishes Scores of WikiLeaks Docs

The New York Times has taken an admirable stand on the potentially-criminal release of diplomatic cables by the online "whistleblowers" at Wiki Leaks. Said one Times reporter: "THE DOCUMENTS APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN ACQUIRED ILLEGALLY AND CONTAIN ALL MANNER OF PRIVATE INFORMATION AND STATEMENTS THAT WERE NEVER INTENDED FOR THE PUBLIC EYE, SO THEY WON'T BE POSTED HERE."

Oh, wait. That wasn't in reference to the Wiki Leaks documents. That was the Times's former environmental blogger Andy Revkin discussing the so-called ClimateGate emails. The Times has, in fact, posted a number of American diplomatic documents obtained illegally by Wiki Leaks, and containing massive amounts of sensitive diplomatic communications.

And so we get another glimpse of the amazing depths of the Gray Lady's hypocrisy
Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2010/11/29/nyt-drops-climategate-era-ethics-qualms-publishes-scores-wikileaks-d#ixzz16hyDpclJ

I’m not sure if it is hypocrisy or simply schizophrenia.

Europe's Ominous Reckoning

One of the reasons the dollar hasn’t fallen further is that there really isn’t a good currency out there to take its place. The Euro has been down this year and then when QE2 was announced, the dollar plunged. Now the Euro is going down again because of the fundamentals of what is happening in Europe. This article explains a lot of what is happening and what might happen.

What you need to know about IRELAND'S ECONOMIC CRISIS IS THAT IT'S NOT ABOUT IRELAND: a small country of slightly more than 4 million people and an economy of roughly $200 billion. IT'S ABOUT EUROPE. For decades, Europe has pursued two great political projects. One is the democratic welfare state, designed to improve economic justice through various social safety nets. The other is European unity, symbolized by the creation in 1999 of a single currency -- the euro -- now used by 16 countries. The fact that both contributed to Ireland's troubles SUGGESTS THAT EUROPE COULD BE ON THE BRINK OF A BROADER CRISIS.

Ireland's problems are not isolated, and IF THEY PORTEND A WIDER MELTDOWN, THIS WOULD MARK A DANGEROUS NEW PHASE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC TURMOIL that began in 2007. Europe represents about one-fifth of the world economy, comparable to the U.S. share. If the continent relapsed into recession, worldwide economic nationalism would intensify, as the already-weak global recovery faltered and countries competed for scarce sales. For example: Europe buys about 25 percent of America's exports, which would suffer. Protectionism and predatory behavior would increase……

That Ireland, after Greece, has come to grief is ironic. Until recently, IT WAS ADMIRINGLY DUBBED THE CELTIC TIGER for emulating Asian countries in attracting foreign investment -- Intel and others -- and achieving rapid export-led growth. From 1987 to 2000, annual economic growth averaged 6.8 percent; unemployment fell from 16.9 percent to 4.3 percent. But then, SOLID GROWTH GAVE WAY TO A HOUSING BOOM AND BUBBLE WHOSE COLLAPSE LEFT IRISH BANKS AWASH IN BAD LOANS.


The EU and Democracy

An interesting speech in the EU parliament. I’ve thought for a while now that the EU IS A FASCIST STATE and it appears so does this speaker.


Candidate Obama vs President Obama

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama CRITICIZED THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION FOR ITS EXCESSIVE SECRECY, noting that it had “invoked a legal tool known as the ‘state secrets’ privilege more than any other previous administration to get cases thrown out of civil court.” Obama also promised to end “extraordinary rendition,” a practice through which “we outsource our torture to other countries.”

IN SEPTEMBER, HOWEVER, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION USED THE STATE SECRETS PRIVILEGE TO BLOCK A LAWSUIT BY FIVE FORMER CAPTIVES who say they were tortured as a result of extraordinary rendition. Although candidate Obama surely would have been outraged, President Obama is for some reason less concerned about abuses of executive power.


I wonder how he will respond to these kinds of charges when he runs for reelection in 2012? Or will he do a Lyndon Johnson and drop out of the race?

A Blue Dog survivor assigns blame

Rep. Ben Chandler (Ky.), who won reelection by only 648 votes, said in a recent interview that he BLAMES OUTGOING HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CALIF.) FOR DEMOCRATS' DEEP DEFEATS IN THE MIDTERMS.


"If not there, where else does the responsibility lie?" Chandler told McClatchy. "You're talking about the loss of 60 or something seats held by capable public servants. There had to be something going on at a level above them."

He added, "If that isn't the lesson, I don't know what is."

Chandler, a member of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition, VOTED AGAINST PELOSI FOR CAUCUS LEADER, saying that her opponent, Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), was a "better fit" for his district.



I’d venture a guess that he won’t be getting a Christmas card from either Ms. Pelosi or the President.

Crack!—Was that the sound of Hell freezing over?

After vilifying W for the past three years, the pundits are telling him to emulate George W. Bush. That MUST have caused hell to freeze over.

If Obama is serious about reclaiming his own narrative, HE MIGHT WANT TO LOOK TO THE EXAMPLE OF A MAN WHOSE RECORD HE TRASHED AT EVERY TURN in the presidential election: George W. Bush.

Six years ago, Bush's reelection campaign faced a daunting set of circumstances. Iraq had spiraled into a brutal civil war, while the rationale for the invasion had collapsed along with any signs of weapons of mass destruction. Job growth across Bush's four years in office was anemic, and there was deep concern about a so-called jobless recovery. Polls showed only about 40% of voters saying the country was on the right track.


Should we profile at the airports?

In the wake of yet another Muslim terror plot, we can't ignore the threat profile any longer—or the solution. Asra Q. Nomani argues the case for religious and racial profiling.

AS AN AMERICAN MUSLIM, I’ve come to recognize, sadly, that there is ONE COMMON DENOMINATOR DEFINING THOSE WHO’VE GOT THEIR EYES TRAINED ON U.S. TARGETS: MANY OF THEM ARE MUSLIM—like the Somali-born teenager arrested Friday night for a reported plot to detonate a car bomb at a packed Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in downtown Portland, Oregon.

We have to talk about the taboo topic of profiling because terrorism experts are increasingly recognizing that RELIGIOUS IDEOLOGY makes terrorist organizations and terrorists more likely to commit heinous crimes against civilians, such as blowing an airliner out of the sky. Certainly, IT’S NOT AN EASY OR COMFORTABLE CONVERSATION BUT IT’S ONE, I BELIEVE, WE MUST HAVE.

I know this is an issue of great distress to many people. But I believe that WE CANNOT BURY OUR HEADS IN THE SAND ANYMORE. We have to choose PRAGMATISM OVER POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, and allow U.S. airports and airlines to do religious and racial profiling.


And here is a link to at 27 page report she refers to in her article. It’s on Rational Profiling.


And you thought solar power would be free!

After billions of years THE SUN FINALLY HAS AN OWNER -- a woman from Spain's soggy region of Galicia said Friday she had registered the star at a local notary public as being her property.

Angeles Duran, 49, told the online edition of daily El Mundo she took the step in September after reading about an American man who had registered himself as the owner of the moon and most planets in our solar system.

There is an international agreement which states that no country may claim ownership of a planet or star, but it says nothing about individuals, she added.

"There was no snag, I backed my claim legally, I am not stupid, I know the law. I DID IT BUT ANYONE ELSE COULD HAVE DONE IT, IT SIMPLY OCCURRED TO ME FIRST."

The document issued by the notary public declares Duran to be the "owner of the Sun, a star of spectral type G2, located in the centre of the solar system, located at an average distance from Earth of about 149,600,000 kilometers."

Duran, who lives in the town of Salvaterra do Mino, said SHE NOW WANTS TO SLAP A FEE ON EVERYONE WHO USES THE SUN and give half of the proceeds to the Spanish government and 20 percent to the nation's pension fund.

She would dedicate another 10 percent to research, another 10 percent to ending world hunger -- and would keep the remaining 10 percent herself.

You have to think that the UN Is kicking themselves in the pants on this one. They’ve been trying to do what she proposes to do for years (not own the sun, but slap a fee on everyone in the world).

Monday, November 29, 2010

Liberals vs Conservatives

Liberals vs Conservatives

Here’s an interesting article about how liberals, conservatives and libertarians see the world and how we change with age.

University of Virginia moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s research explores similar territory: the differences in ethical reasoning between liberals, conservatives, and libertarians. He argues that THERE ARE FIVE DIMENSIONS ALONG WHICH PEOPLE MAKE MORAL CHOICES, E.G., FAIRNESS, HARM, LOYALTY, AUTHORITY, AND SPIRITUAL PURITY. Haidt finds that LIBERALS FOCUS CHIEFLY ON THE FIRST TWO DIMENSIONS, whereas CONSERVATIVES DEPLOY ALL FIVE DIMENSIONS IN THEIR ETHICAL REASONING.

At a recent lecture at the American Enterprise Institute, Haidt further refined the notion of fairness, asserting that there are THREE KINDS OF FAIRNESS. LIBERALS FOCUS ON ONE KIND OF FAIRNESS, WHERE EVERYONE'S NEEDS ARE MET TO SOME DEGREE. CONSERVATIVES, BY CONTRAST, SEE FAIRNESS WHEN PEOPLE ARE REWARDED FOR THEIR EFFORTS, e.g., what they put in, they get to take out. They also see retribution as a special kind of equity in which perpetrators of wrongs must suffer to the same degree as their victims, e.g., an eye for an eye.

What about libertarians? After his lecture, I asked Haidt where libertarians fit along the five moral dimensions. He asked me to GUESS HOW LIBERTARIANS TESTED. "Like liberals," I said, by which I meant that libertarians, like liberals, are less concerned about group loyalty, obedience to authority, and purity. He laughed and said, "Yes, LIKE LIBERALS, BUT WITHOUT COMPASSION." Put another way, libertarians react like liberals, but without the concerns about egalitarianism that dominate the way liberals—and 10-year-olds—think about fairness


The Republican South getting more so

Protected by a potent mix of gerrymandering, pork, seniority and a friends-and-neighbors electorate, DEMOCRATIC STATE REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS MANAGED TO SURVIVE THROUGH THE SOUTH’S GOP EVOLUTION—the Reagan years, the Republican landslide of 1994 and George W. Bush’s two terms. Yet SCORES OF THEM RETIRED OR WENT DOWN IN DEFEAT EARLIER THIS MONTH. AND AT LEAST TEN MORE ACROSS THREE STATES HAVE CHANGED PARTIES SINCE THE ELECTION, with rumors swirling through state capitols of more to come before legislative sessions commence in January. Facing the prospect of losing their seats through reapportionment – if not in the next election – others will surely choose flight over fight.

Democrats lost both chambers of the legislature this year in North Carolina and Alabama, meaning that they now control both houses of the capitol in just two Southern states, Arkansas and Mississippi, the latter of which could flip to the GOP in next year’s election.

The losses and party-switching, one former Southern Democratic governor noted, “LEAVES US WITH LITTLE BENCH FOR UPCOMING AND FUTURE ELECTIONS.”

“There's little reason to be optimistic in my region,” said this former governor, who did not want to be quoted by name offering such a downcast assessment. “We can opportunistically pick up statewides every now and then, but BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE PARTY PROGRAM ISN'T IN THE CARDS. I suppose the President has bigger concerns now, but it’s not healthy for the Democrats to write off our region and not have any real strategy to be competitive.”

Being Black in America

Well worth a read.

The philosopher Eric Hoffer also wondered about THE INABILITY OF MANY BLACK AMERICANS TO EMBRACE THE MAGNITUDE AND MEANING OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR. In his essay "Black Studies," Hoffer offers a useful comparison between 1860s America and 1860s Africa. In Africa, ARAB MERCHANTS WERE SELLING SEVENTY THOUSAND SLAVES A YEAR AT THE ZANZIBAR SLAVE MARKET. "The Arabs," says Hoffer, "looted ivory, grain and cattle, made slaves of the able-bodied natives, burned villages and wantonly killed those who did not escape into the bush." Arab slave routes could be traced "by the vultures and hyenas feeding on putrefying corpses."

Indeed, explorer David Livingston, says Hoffer, "was haunted in his last days by the horrors" of the Arab slave trade. Calling the slave merchants "the open sore of the world" Livingston wrote late diary entries telling of images "so nauseous that I always strive to drive them from memory. But the slaving scenes come back unbidden and make me start up at dead of night horrified by their vividness."

While the "depredations of the Arabs were gathering momentum" in 1860s Africa, over in America says Hoffer, "HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN SOLDIERS DIED OR WERE MAIMED TO ABOLISH NEGRO SLAVERY." For Hoffer, the paradox is that "many black Americans feel a greater affinity with the descendents of Arab slavers than with Americans whose forefathers fought one of the bloodiest civil wars in history to set the Negro free."

And yet, says Hoffer, we are not allowed to take pride in or feel grateful for these monumental displays of moral rectitude. Of the Civil Rights legislation during the 1960s Hoffer says:

"Nowhere in the world at present and at no time in the past has an underprivileged minority experienced such spectacular changes in its fortunes as did some twenty million Negroes in America during the 1960s. Yet WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE PRIDE IN THIS UNPRECEDENTED ACHIEVEMENT. NEGRO SPOKESMEN SEEM TO BELIEVE THAT THE NEGRO'S CAUSE WILL BE ADVANCED NOT BY PRAISING BUT BY SHAMING AMERICA; that a proud, confident America would resist racial integration."

Hoffer had a good idea of what was driving this strange paradox -- he called it "THE INVISIBLE POWER." According to Hoffer, a safely ensconced army of adversary intellectuals in academia and in the media gleefully occupies itself with "discrediting and besmirching" society in order to undermine "the faith of its potential defenders." Says Hoffer:


It’s Business, Not Personal

In the corporate world it is understood: This is business: not personal.

PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS NO COMPREHENSION OF THE PHRASE: "NOT PERSONAL." To him, EVERYTHING is about Obama, and his definition of "we" is "me, myself and I." Never having had much of a real job other than campaigning and community organizing, he also doesn't grasp the concept of "business." Obama seems oblivious of his job description (defined by the oath of office), he displays scant loyalty to his company (America), and appears unconcerned with the product it produces (freedom and liberty).

Yes, fellow citizens (shareholders), Obama works for you. He was correct when he once offered, "You've got me," but now, several bills, regulations, lies, deals, executive orders and appointments later, we find HE MEANT SOMETHING MUCH DIFFERENT THAN "I WORK FOR YOU."

In the corporate world, in-depth interviews with prospective employees are conducted to mitigate such surprises. Typically, a personnel department will thoroughly vet candidates before involving upper management in a hiring decision. It would be unimaginable to rely on an initial application that failed to require basic credentials, to seriously consider a candidate who instead brought with him a flowery autobiography and a compilation of his own favorite speeches, or to depend on tingly-legged interviewers who asked no discerning questions. Whether liberal or conservative, most Americans now realize they elected a man not resembling the one advertised by the mainstream media or pictured in their own minds, drawn on the blank screen that Obama offered.


George Will defines Progressivism

PROGRESSIVISM IS A FAITH-BASED PROGRAM. The progressives' agenda for improving everyone else varies but invariably INVOLVES THE CULT OF EXPERTISE - an unflagging faith in the application of science to social reform. Progressivism's itch to perfect people by perfecting the social environment can produce an interesting phenomenon - the Pecksniffian progressive.


TSA Procedures and the Courts

One advocacy group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, has already filed a lawsuit, calling the body scanners unconstitutional. Could this challenge succeed?

Courts evaluating airport-screening technology tend to give great deference to the government's national security interest in preventing terrorist attacks. But in this case, THERE'S A STRONG ARGUMENT THAT THE TSA'S MEASURES VIOLATE THE FOURTH AMENDMENT, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.

Although the Supreme Court hasn't evaluated airport screening technology, lower courts have emphasized, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in 2007, that "a particular airport security screening search is constitutionally reasonable provided that it 'is no more extensive nor intensive than necessary, in the light of current technology, to detect the presence of weapons or explosives.' "

In a 2006 opinion for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, then-Judge Samuel Alito stressed that SCREENING PROCEDURES MUST BE BOTH "MINIMALLY INTRUSIVE" AND "EFFECTIVE" - in other words, they must be "well-tailored to protect personal privacy," and they must deliver on their promise of discovering serious threats. Alito upheld the practices at an airport checkpoint where passengers were first screened with walk-through magnetometers and then, if they set off an alarm, with hand-held wands. He wrote THAT AIRPORT SEARCHES ARE REASONABLE IF THEY ESCALATE "IN INVASIVENESS ONLY AFTER A LOWER LEVEL OF SCREENING DISCLOSE[S] A REASON TO CONDUCT A MORE PROBING SEARCH."

As currently used in U.S. airports, the new full-body scanners FAIL ALL OF ALITO'S TESTS. First, as European regulators have recognized, they could be much less intrusive without sacrificing effectiveness.

Read it all to see the newer technology used by the Dutch

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

GOOD INTENTIONS WILL GET YOU IF YOU DON'T WATCH OUT. That's true of the invasion of the body scanners, of minimum-wage laws, of some welfare programs and – please don't forget it – a supposedly altruistic push by federal agencies and politicians to put low-income families in their own homes.

Again and again, the government throws us lifesavers that aren't lifesavers at all, but weighty, entangling devices that ensnare us, sink us, drown us.

Because BODY SCANNERS WON'T DETECT BOMBS IN BODY CAVITIES, they'll do no good even as they humiliate airline ticket-holders on a scale only a world power could devise.


And those mortgages THE GOVERNMENT INSISTED BANKS BESTOW ON THOSE WHO COULD NOT AFFORD TO PAY THEM? All they did was contribute mightily to a rash of foreclosures, the worst financial crisis in decades and a recession wrecking the lives of millions of people.

To learn the real lowdown on how good motives can produce bad results, it helps to heed the writings and speeches of Jay Richards, a Princeton philosophy-theology Ph.D., author of "Money, Greed, and God," and someone whose thoughts I recently took in at a speech at Colorado Christian University.

"PIETY IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR TECHNIQUE," he said, quoting the Christian philosopher Etienne Gilson and adding this by way of explanation in the book: "What he meant is that HAVING THE RIGHT INTENTIONS, being oriented in the right way, DOESN'T TAKE THE PLACE OF DOING THINGS RIGHT."


An interesting article that points out the problems with simply having good intentions. You need good techniques too.

Liberal science or is that lies?

When it was passed in 2004, Proposition 71, with its $3 billion state fund and 10-year mandate for embryonic stem-cell research (ESCR), HELD OUT THE PROMISE OF IMMINENT MIRACLE CURES for everything from spinal disorders to Parkinson's.

One campaign ad showed actor Christopher Reeve, aka Superman, asking California voters to "stand up for those who can't."

Some six years later, with ABOUT $1.1 BILLION DISPERSED, there have been $270 million worth of impressive new labs built, research papers published, and respected scientists hired at exorbitant salaries, but NO MIRACLE CURES OR EVEN MARKETABLE THERAPIES. And none is likely for years, if not decades, to come. The promised financial payback for the financially strapped citizens of California is also far off.


The left likes to say they are on the side of science and the right isn’t. But a distain for religion does not make you a science supporter. It just means you’ll be hypocritical and gullible in your own way.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Demonizing your opponents

Class warfare

The following article is well worth the read. In making his analogy of class warfare and demonizing your opponents, the author tells some good stories about the morality of it.

Listening to the declarations of class warfare by congressmen who demonize wealth and the wealthy, I am reminded of these stories of THE MORAL HYPOCRISY DISPLAYED BY THOSE WHO DEMAND WITHOUT RESPECT. They require more and more, yet they blame these subjects for any setbacks caused by said subjects' imperfections or unwillingness to bend to the will of those who scorn them……

As our tax code has become increasingly progressive and thus ever more dependent on the wealthy to support the government, we have become more sensitive to the economic decline from the corrections of normal business cycles. But the financial contraction we are currently experiencing is both more rare and more difficult to correct, so it is even more sensitive to the contraction. This partially explains why stimulative policies that appeared to work during cyclical corrections are failing now.



The State of Environmentalism

Copenhagen was not a political breakdown. IT WAS AN INTELLECTUAL BREAKDOWN SO ASTONISHING THAT FUTURE GENERATIONS WILL MARVEL AT OUR BLIND CREDULITY. Copenhagen was a classic case of the emperor with no clothes.

Mercifully, nobody will pay attention to the climate conference at Cancun next week, where a much-reduced group of delegates will go through the motions. THE DELUSIONAL DREAM OF GLOBAL ACTION TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE IS DEAD. BARACK OBAMA’S CAP-AND-TRADE SCHEME IS DEAD. CHICAGO’S CARBON-TRADING MARKET IS DEAD. The European Union’s supposed reduction in carbon emissions has been exposed as a giant fraud. (The EU is actually responsible for 40 per cent more CO2 today than it was in 1990, if you count the goods and services it consumed as opposed to the ones that it produced.) Public interest in climate change has plunged, and the media have radically reduced their climate coverage.

THE BIGGEST LOSER IS THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT. For years, its activists neglected almost everything but climate change. They behaved as if they’d cornered the market on wisdom, truth and certainty, and THEY DEMONIZED ANYONE WHO DARED TO DISAGREE. They got a fabulous free ride from politicians and the media, who parroted their claims like Sunday-school children reciting Scripture. No interest group in modern times has been so free from skepticism, scrutiny or simple accountability as the environmental establishment.
It seems the free ride has disappeared.  After spending 30 years demonizing their opponents, the environmental movement is finding itself in trouble.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Obama's police state

Obama's police state

President Obama is ENGAGING IN A RELENTLESS ASSAULT ON OUR FREEDOMS and constitutional government. The growing backlash against the new

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport screening procedures signifies that Americans finally may have had enough.

There is A GRASS-ROOTS REVOLT AGAINST STATE-SANCTIONED SEXUAL HARASSMENT. And who can blame the protesters? Children are stripped of their shirts, and their private parts are touched. Nuns and old ladies are groped by intrusive TSA agents. Breasts have been fondled. Men's crotches have been patted down. Full-body scanners show images of people naked - a clear violation of privacy and civil liberties.

THE ADMINISTRATION INSISTS THAT THE ENHANCED PROCEDURES ARE VITAL FOR NATIONAL SECURITY. The rationale: Last year's underwear bomber nearly blew up a plane flying over Detroit. Hence, everyone's private parts are now the property of the federal government - at least when flying.



This along with the last story shows how out of touch Obama and his administration is. 

Liberals resort to conspiracy theories to explain Obama's problems

Following two years of poor economic performance and electoral repudiation, liberalism is casting around for narratives to explain its failure - narratives that don't involve the admission of inadequacies in liberalism itself.

For some, the solution is to lay the blame on President Obama. He hasn't been liberal enough. He can't communicate. "I cannot recall a president," Robert Kuttner says in the Huffington Post, "who generated so much excitement as a candidate but WHO TURNED OUT TO BE SUCH A POLITICAL DUD AS A CHIEF EXECUTIVE." Obama is "fast becoming more albatross than ally."

This is an ideological movement at its most cynical, attempting to throw overboard its once-revered leader to avoid the taint of his problems.

But there is an alternative narrative, developed by those who can't shake their reverence for Obama. If a president of this quality and insight has failed, it must be because HIS OPPONENTS ARE UNIQUELY EVIL, COORDINATED AND EFFECTIVE. The problem is not Obama but the ruthless conspiracy against him.

So Matt Yglesias warns the White House to be prepared for "deliberate economic sabotage" from the GOP - as though Chamber of Commerce SWAT teams, no doubt funded by foreigners, are preparing attacks on the electrical grid. Paul Krugman contends that "Republicans want the economy to stay weak as long as there's a Democrat in the White House." Steve Benen explains, "We're talking about a major political party . . . possibly undermining the strength of the country - on purpose, in public, without apology or shame - for no other reason than to give themselves a campaign advantage in 2012." Benen's posting was titled "NONE DARE CALL IT SABOTAGE."

So what is the proof of this charge? It seems to have something to do with Republicans criticizing quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve. And opposing federal spending. And, according to Benen, creating "massive economic uncertainty by vowing to gut the national health care system."

ONE IS TEMPTED TO RESPOND THAT IT IS $1 TRILLION IN NEW DEBT, THE PROSPECT OF HIGHER TAXES AND A COMPLICATED, DISRUPTIVE HEALTH-REFORM LAW THAT HAVE CREATED "MASSIVE ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY." For the purposes of this argument, however, it is sufficient to say that all these economic policy debates have two sides.


You read it on the liberal blogs and comments. It is one of the tenants of liberalism which shows how kooky they can get when things don’t go well.  I remember the dichotomy with President Bush.  He was a dunce but kept outsmarting the Democrats. 

Is Illegal Immigration Moral?

A very interesting piece on illegal immigration and going beyond the standard arguments.

But what is often left out of the equation is the moral dimension of illegal immigration. We see the issue too often reduced to caricature, involving A NOBLE, IMPOVERISHED VICTIM without much free will and subject to cosmic forces of sinister oppression. But everyone makes free choices that affect others. So PONDER THE ETHICS OF A GUEST ARRIVING IN A HOST COUNTRY KNOWINGLY CONTRARY TO ITS SOVEREIGN PROTOCOLS AND LAWS.


Special assistant for reality

What a president should ideally have, and what I think we all agree Mr. Obama badly needs, is AN ASSISTANT WHOSE SOLE JOB IT IS TO EXPLAIN AND INTERPRET THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO HIM. Presidents already have special assistants for domestic policy, for congressional relations and national security. Why not a special assistant for reality? Someone to translate the views of the people, and explain how they think. An advocate for the average, a representative for the normal, to the extent America does normal.

If Mr. Obama had a special assistant for reality this week, this is HOW THEIR DIALOGUE MIGHT HAVE GONE OVER THE ANTI-TSA UPRISING.

President: THIS THING IS ALL GINNED UP, ISN'T IT? Right-wing websites fanned it. Then the mainstream media jumped in to display their phony populist street cred. Right?

Special Assistant for Reality: NO, MR. PRESIDENT, IT WAS MORE SPONTANEOUS. Websites can't fan fires that aren't there. This is like the town hall uprisings of summer 2009. In the past month, citizens took videos at airports the same way town hall protesters made videos there, and put them on YouTube. The more pictures of pat-downs people saw, the more they opposed them.

President: What's the essence of the opposition?

SAR: Sir, Americans don't like it when strangers touch their private parts. Especially when the strangers are in government uniforms and say they're here to help.

President: Is it that we didn't roll it out right? We MADE A MISTAKE IN NOT TELLING PEOPLE IN ADVANCE we were changing the procedure.


President: We should have pointed out not everyone goes through the new machines, and only a minority get patted down.

SAR: Mr. President, if you'd told people, "Hello, there's only 1 chance in 3 you'll be molested at the airport today" most people wouldn't think, "Oh good, I like those odds."


SAR: At the moment, according to some. BUT MOST AMERICANS DON'T FLY FREQUENTLY, and the protocols are new. As time passes, SUPPORT WILL GO STEADILY DOWN.


You probably should read this one, and so should BHO.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Democrats and Cronyism

Five Reasons Obama Will Likely Win in 2012, and Five Reasons He Might Not

Everyone is talking about how badly President Obama is doing in the polls. Remember Harry Reid? Remember how badly he was doing in the polls? Yeah. He got re-elected.

Why will Obama win?






And one for good measure:.......
The five reasons he will lose are also very interesting.

Obama's poll numbers point to his defeat in 2012

Just look at the exit polls from 2008, which reveal the demographic contours of Obama's support. Compare those with Gallup's weekly analysis of the president's approval rating, drawn from multiple polls broken down by age, gender, political philosophy, and the like. Throw in some insights from the midterm elections, and the mix shows a dramatic deterioration in Obama's 2008 support. "HIS MAJORITY COALITION IS NOT THERE," says Republican pollster David Winston. "What he put together, at least in the way he put it together, just isn't there."

Start with voters who call themselves independents. Obama won 52 percent of them in 2008; now, according to Gallup, he is at 42 percent. Obama's party as a whole fared even worse among independents in the midterms, losing them to Republicans by 19 points. IF OBAMA DOES ANYWHERE NEAR THAT BADLY IN 2012, HE'LL LOSE.

Next, women……
An interesting look at the numbers.  It shows why it is an uphill battle for Obama in 2012.


Bush vs Obama in the Press

For those who don’t think the press is in the pocket of the Democrats, try reading this.

For years, the media insisted that the terrorist holding pen at Guantanamo was a horrific stain on our global reputation. IT WAS A “CANCER” (CBS’s Bob Schieffer) and the networks uncritically aired Amnesty International quacks denouncing it as “the gulag of our times.” Any denunciation had THE WORDS “BUSH” AND “CHENEY” INEXORABLY ATTACHED.

But now the outrage has died, and the story is being downplayed, since the Evil Bush is no longer the target. Take the case of Gitmo prisoner Ahmed Ghailani, who participated in the U.S. embassy massacre in Tanzania in 1998. When the federal judge crippled his trial in mid-October by omitting a witness, ABC and NBC skipped over it. “CBS Evening News” offered an anchor brief, with Couric calling it A "BIG SETBACK FOR FEDERAL PROSECUTORS." Nothing was attributed to the Obama administration.

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-bozell/2010/11/23/bozell-column-bushs-gulag-now-acceptable#ixzz16CK5FPhI

The Rule of Law?

When it comes to cronyism and special treatment, the left likes to accuse the right of it.  But as government gets bigger, so does the cronyism and special treatments.  We are seeing it daily with the Obama Administration. 

Since the politicos miscalculated the regulatory burdens, they have to brace for the real possibility that some health care plans will collapse under the strain. Starting in late September, reality hit home when McDonald’s announced that it would have cut out its “mini-med” program for about 30,000 of its low-paid workers. It insisted that it could not meet the statutory requirements for the simple reason that high employee turnover raises administrative costs.

RATHER THAN FACE THIS PUBLIC RELATIONS DISASTER, Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, granted a one-year waiver from the requirements of the program. That particular result does not stand alone. Since that time FRESH WAIVERS HAVE BEEN ROUTINELY DISPENSED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES to many other organizations, including many powerful unions. AT LEAST ONE MILLION WORKERS ARE NOW OUT FROM UNDER OBAMACARE, WITH MORE TO COME.

The process vividly shows how unrealistic expectations can UNDERMINE THE RULE OF LAW. Waivers are by definition an exercise of administrative discretion that benefits the party who receives its special dispensation. Yet nothing in ObamaCare explains who should receive these waivers or why.

Just another example of the rule of unintended consequences. That’s the problem with passing laws because your intentions are good and not looking to see if you actually help or hurt things.

The Liberal view of the Republicans

Thanksgiving may be a time to give thanks for our blessings, but in Washington, the resurgent Republican conservatives want needy Americans to have fewer of them. The new Republicans have the same old leaders - and their passion hasn't changed. It isn't about offering a hand up to the afflicted - it's about HANDOUTS TO THE CONNECTED.

In the lame-duck session now convened until the end of the year, Republicans have continued their strategy of obstruction - opposing the New START treaty, opposing repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," opposing consideration of immigration reform, opposing even passage of appropriations for the current year. Their passion is focused on getting one thing done. They will run through the wall to extend the extra tax cuts enjoyed by those, largely millionaires, earning more than $250,000 a year.

FORGET ABOUT DEFICIT REDUCTION. According to Republicans, THESE TAX CUTS - COSTING AN ESTIMATED $700 BILLION OVER THE NEXT DECADE - need not be balanced by spending cuts, or "paid for" in the Washington parlance.

I’m always amazed by how liberals see the extension of the Bush Tax cuts. First they ignore the major part of the tax cuts that is the $3 trillion over the next 10 years that go to people making less than $250,000 per year. If they were serious about deficit reduction they would take the hit with the voters and call for doing away with all the tax cuts. Secondly, since these rate are in effect this year, a repeal of them is a tax increase, not a tax cut. Finally, it’s been shown that higher taxes lead to higher spending ($1 of addition revenue causes the congress to appropriate $1.17 in spending). The deficit problem is a spending problem, not a tax revenue problem.


Britain out of the EU?

THE Daily Express today becomes the first national newspaper to call for Britain to leave the European Union.

From this day forth our energies will be directed to furthering the cause of those who believe Britain is Better Off Out.

The famous and symbolic Crusader who adorns our masthead will become the figurehead of the struggle to repatriate British sovereignty from a political project that has comprehensively failed.


It appears with the major cuts in domestic spending, some in Britain are wondering why they are spending billions of pounds to save a currency system they aren’t even part of.

The Big Bang—An new theory

The current widely-held theory of life, the universe, and everything holds that at some point roughly 13.7 billion years ago everything that now is was packed into a tight little package from which sprung the Big Bang, which violently hurled everything into existence. But 13.7 billion years to get to where we are isn’t enough for renowned physicist Sir Roger Penrose, and now he thinks he can prove that things aren’t/weren’t quite so simple. Drawing on evidence he found in the cosmic microwave background, Penrose says the Big Bang wasn’t the beginning, but ONE IN A SERIES OF CYCLICAL BIG BANGS, each of which spawned its own universe.

By Penrose’s estimation, OUR UNIVERSE IS NOT THE FIRST – NOR WILL IT BE THE LAST – to spawn from a dense mass of highly-ordered everything into the complex universe we see around us. In fact, it’s that high degree of order that was apparently present at the universe’s birth that set him on this line of thought. The current Big Bang model doesn’t supply a reason as to why a low entropy, highly ordered state existed at the birth of our universe unless things were set in order before the Big Bang occurred.


Interesting idea. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More on the TSA

TEA Party support grows

The country is divided, but the TEA Party is growing in influence.

WASHINGTON — Just about as many Americans want Tea Party-backed members of Congress to take the lead in setting policy during the next year as choose President Obama, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.

In a survey taken Friday through Sunday, 28% SAY OBAMA SHOULD HAVE THE MOST INFLUENCE on government policy next year while 27% SAY THE TEA PARTY STANDARD-BEARERS SHOULD. GOP CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS ARE CHOSEN BY 23%, Democratic congressional leaders by 16%.

The results reflect the strength of the Tea Party movement as the GOP prepares to take control of the House of Representatives in January


Rocks in the river
As always, Jonah Goldberg is very entertaining and very insightful.

In the spring of 2005, Pope John Paul II died. My father, who passed away that summer, watched the funeral and the coronation of the current pope, Benedict XVI, from his hospital bed. My dad, a Jew, loved the spectacle of it all (the Vatican, he said, was the last institution that "really knows how to dress").

I loved the literary quality of the expression "more rocks in the river," even though the imagery doesn't quite convey what my dad really believed. Dad was a conservative, properly understood. By that I mean he didn't think conservatism was merely an act of passive and futile defiance of what Shakespeare called "devouring time." Unlike human institutions, the rocks do not fight the devouring river of time. MY DAD BELIEVED THAT CONSERVATISM WAS AN AFFIRMATIVE ACT, A CHOICE OF PRUDENCE AND WILL. In the cacophonous din of perpetual change, the conservative selects the notes worth savoring and repeats them for others to hear and, hopefully, appreciate


Eugene Robinson asks the right question, but gets the wrong answer.

If we only search people who "LOOK LIKE TERRORISTS," AL-QAEDA WILL SEND PEOPLE WHO DON'T FIT THE PROFILE. It's no accident that most of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers were from Saudi Arabia; at the time, it was easier for Saudi nationals to get U.S. visas than it was for citizens of other Arab countries. If terrorists are clever enough to hide powerful explosives in ink cartridges, then EVENTUALLY THEY'LL FIND A SUICIDE BOMBER WHO LOOKS JUST LIKE YOU, ME OR GRANNY.


Eugene seems to think profiling would be based on what a person looks like rather than how they behave. Israel has kept terrorists off El Al for over 30 years and they have the problem that Arabs look just like Jews.

More on TSA

But the question isn't whether enhanced security measures are needed -- given the rash of recent airline bombing attempts, clearly they are.

And most passengers doubtless agree.

But does the TSA's choice of X-ray screenings or physical groping actually PROVIDE THE KIND OF SECURITY THAT PROTECTS AIRLINE PASSENGERS AS FULLY AS POSSIBLE?


And Israel -- gasp! -- profiles.


That makes total sense.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/pat_downs_vs_profiling_zmskpLyrrFEHL8mSXJlpdK#ixzz1673WFOKE

Airport "Security"?

And finally one more on Israeli security at airports

NO COUNTRY HAS BETTER AIRPORT SECURITY THAN ISRAEL-- and no country needs it more, since Israel is the most hated target of Islamic extremist terrorists. Yet, somehow, Israeli airport security people don't have to strip passengers naked electronically or have strangers feeling their private parts.

Does anyone seriously believe that we have better airport security than Israel? Is our security record better than theirs?....

If anything good comes out of the airport "security" outrages, it may be in opening the eyes of more people to the utter contempt that this administration has for the American people.



It’s a spending problem, not a taxing problem

We've updated the research. Using standard statistical analyses that introduce variables to control for business-cycle fluctuations, wars and inflation, we found that over the entire post World War II era through 2009 EACH DOLLAR OF NEW TAX REVENUE WAS ASSOCIATED WITH $1.17 OF NEW SPENDING. Politicians spend the money as fast as it comes in—and a little bit more.

With politicians, spending is an addiction.

Remember how Obama was going to restore competence?

It appears things aren’t working out how he said they would anywhere

KABUL, Afghanistan — For months, the secret talks unfolding between Taliban and Afghan leaders to end the war appeared to be showing promise, if only because of the repeated appearance of a certain insurgent leader at one end of the table: Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, one of the most senior commanders in the Taliban movement.

But now, it turns out, MR. MANSOUR WAS APPARENTLY NOT MR. MANSOUR at all. In an episode that could have been lifted from a spy novel, United States and Afghan officials now say THE AFGHAN MAN WAS AN IMPOSTOR, and high-level discussions conducted with the assistance of NATO appear to have achieved little.

“It’s not him,” said a Western diplomat in Kabul intimately involved in the discussions. “AND WE GAVE HIM A LOT OF MONEY.”


Healthcare promised and healthcare delivered

Barack Obama is only halfway through his term, but it's not too early to ask: WHAT IS THE BIGGEST WHOPPER HE HAS TOLD AS PRESIDENT? So far, the hands-down winner is:

"No matter how we reform health care, WE WILL KEEP THIS PROMISE to the American people. IF YOU LIKE YOUR DOCTOR, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO KEEP YOUR DOCTOR, period. IF YOU LIKE YOUR HEALTH CARE PLAN, YOU'LL BE ABLE TO KEEP YOUR HEALTH CARE PLAN, period. No one will take it away, no matter what."

For example, we know that the government's Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has found that THE NEW LAW WILL INCREASE HEALTH CARE COSTS, rather than reduce them, in the coming decade. We know that CUTS IN MEDICARE, with the money saved going to pay for expanding coverage to the poor, WILL JEOPARDIZE SENIORS' ACCESS TO CARE. We know the law will make it impossibly expensive for companies that currently offer bare-bones health coverage to low-income employees to keep doing so. We know several corporations are taking giant write-downs because the bill will increase the cost of providing prescription drug coverage to retired employees. And perhaps most important, we KNOW THE LAW OFFERS AN ENORMOUS INCENTIVE FOR EMPLOYERS WHO CURRENTLY PROVIDE COVERAGE TO WORKERS TO STOP DOING So, sending those workers to buy coverage in government-subsidized health care exchanges.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/2010/11/empty-promises-health-care-will-haunt-obama#ixzz1672KWJnS

Why Unhappy People Become Liberals

. . . and why liberalism makes them even unhappier.

According to polls — Pew Research Center, the National Science Foundation — and studies such as Arthur Brooks’s Gross National Happiness, conservative Americans are happier than liberal Americans.

Liberals respond this way: “If we’re unhappier, it’s because we are more upset than conservatives over the plight of those less fortunate than ourselves.”

But common sense and data suggest other explanations.

For one thing, CONSERVATIVES ON THE SAME SOCIOECONOMIC LEVEL AS LIBERALS GIVE MORE CHARITY AND VOLUNTEER MORE TIME THAN DO LIBERALS. And as regards the suffering of non-Americans, for at least half a century conservatives have been far more willing to sacrifice American treasure and American blood (often their own) for other nations’ liberty.


An interesting perspective on this.

Fat. What is it good for? Stem cells, as it turns out

Here's something many of us can tell ourselves the next time we look in the mirror. "GOD MADE LOVE HANDLES FOR A REASON."

And this comes from one of the leading researchers in the field of fat-derived stem cells, according to The Washington Post. Flying in the face of a widely publicized obesity epidemic, fat may not be something all that bad, according to Stuart Williams, scientific director of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, a partnership between the University of Louisville and Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare.

That's because there's a kind of Cracker Jack surprise inside your fat--STEM CELLS THAT RESEARCHERS SAY COULD LIMIT THE LOSS OF HEART FUNCTION AFTER A HEART ATTACK AND FIX DAMAGE AFTER HEART FAILURE. Research into fat-derived stem cells began about eight years ago, when about 300 scientists from around the world formed the International Federation of Adipose Therapeutics and Science Society. Yes, that acronym is, indeed, IFATS.

Read more: Fat. What is it good for? Stem cells, as it turns out - FierceBiotech Research http://www.fiercebiotechresearch.com/story/fat-what-it-good-stem-cells-it-turns-out/2010-11-23#ixzz169Jo2RYw

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Obama, TSA and other disappointments

TSA and Obama
40 Below

And I’m not talking about the temperature outside, but the approval rating of President Obama.

President Obama has passed the Big 4-0 -- going the wrong way.

Turns out voters were not simply satisfied to spank the Democrat and his party in the Nov. 2 midterm elections with historic losses in the House of Representatives.

Obama's job approval rating as calculated by the ZOGBY POLL HAS NOW SUNK TO  39%, a new low for his 22-month presidency that began with so much hope and excitement and poll numbers up around 70. As recently as Sept. 20, his job approval was 49%.

A whopping 60% NOW DISAPPROVE of his job, up from 51% disapproval Sept. 20.

Obama now trails in hypothetical 2012 matchups against Republicans Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and the next Bush, Jeb.

And, oh, my! Lookee here! Obama has even fallen into A STATISTICAL TIE WITH NONE OTHER THAN SARAH PALIN, the former Alaska governor. How embarrassing that is because other polls have shown a majority of Americans believe she is unqualified for the presidency


I pretty sure now if he were on DWTS, he would be voted off before Bristol Palin would. 

How Progressive Think

Liberal Friend: "Round Table is awful."

Me: "I LIKE IT."

Liberal Friend: "It's awful. Just go on Yelp."

Me: "Why should I go on Yelp? That's helpful if I haven't been some place and am trying to get I feel for it. I've already been to Round Table, and I KNOW THAT I LIKE IT."

Liberal Friend: "It gets terrible reviews on Yelp." (This is untrue, by the way. The service gets mixed reviews but, by and large, our local Round Table ranks pretty darn well in Marin, ahead even of some of the fancy "artisan" pizza places.)

Me: "BUT I LIKE IT. The fact that others don't is irrelevant to me."



I wish I were just making this up, but I’m not. Beware of liberals trying to do things for your own good.


Let me begin with the sanctioned airport groping of passengers. This is more than the "civil liberties versus security" question or the "unwillingness to profile Muslims" reality. AMERICANS HAVE REACHED A TIPPING POINT AND THEY ARE FED UP WITH HAVING NO SAY OVER WHO CAN LAY HANDS ONE THEM, how they can be touched, or where they can be touched. We all want security from Terrorism but let's look to the Israelis. They have highly trained airport personnel who are trained how to look at a passenger, how to question a passenger, to profile when necessary -- all without sexually molesting one single person.

Part 2

FOX had the head of the Sanford Airport on air this morning. He is also a police officer. His comment about the TSA pat down was profound. He said for law enforcement to pat down a suspect like they are doing in the airport, THE SUSPECT WOULD BE ARRESTED AND IN HANDCUFFS.

Part 3

You know you are in trouble when SNL starts making fun of you

TSA and SNL for FUN


Part 4
TSA comments don’t surprise me

“Wolanyk's attorney said that TSA requested his client PUT HIS CLOTHES ON SO HE COULD BE PATTED DOWN PROPERLY .”

Question:  "Did they touch your body parts?"

"Yeah, they did and it was A FIRST TIME ANYBODY TOUCHED THEM IN A LONG TIME and frankly, I LIKED IT," Gloria Allred


When asked if she would submit to a pat-down "NOT IF I COULD AVOID IT, no. I mean, who would?" Hillary Clinton (Obviously the answer is Gloria Allred)


A Liberal Dilemma

The defeat of Russ Feingold in the November 2 election has unexpectedly provided the most uncompromisingly left-wing Democrat in the U.S. Senate with a new job opportunity—that of candidate for the presidency of the United States. Feingold hinted in his concession speech on election night that he might challenge Barack Obama in the Democratic primaries. “IT’S ON TO 2012,” FEINGOLD SAID, “AND IT IS ON TO OUR NEXT ADVENTURE.”

Obama is certainly in political peril. In 2008 he won independent voters by 17 points in 2008; on November 2, independents preferred Republicans by eight points, an unprecedented 25-point shift. The percentage of the electorate that called itself Democratic shrank by 9 percent (from 39 percent in 2008 to 36 percent this year). Republicans’ participation grew from 32 percent to 36 percent—proportionately, a 12 percent gain. Let us assume that Obama succeeds in changing the trend line in 2012 by BRINGING BACK HALF THE INDEPENDENTS HIS PARTY LOST IN 2010 and INCREASING DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION by a percentage point or two over Republicans. If he does so, he will not suffer the kind of defeat his party did in November. But HE WILL STILL LOSE.


Monday, November 22, 2010

JFK-- 47 years ago today

JFK died 47 years ago today

For people who were alive then, you most likely remember where you were when you heard about the assassination of JFK on November 22, 1963. I was standing watch at the USNA. It was a double blow to us at the Academy. President Kennedy had planned on speaking at our graduation and had come to the Academy and spoken to us in August.

We had been told that we would form up in Tecumseh Court. When the President came in we would come to attention, our squad leaders would then put us at parade rest for his remarks.

That happened. President Kennedy went to speak and told us all, “I hope you gentlemen will stand easy.” No one moved a muscle. President Kennedy turned to the Superintendent and said, “I guess that comes later in the program.” The next day we were told “THE PRESIDENT OUTRANKED OUR SECOND CLASS SQUAD LEADERS and we should have stood easy when he told us to.”

A Nonstory story

In the category of dog bites man, we have this story about the Democrats being in disarray of what to do about the Bush Tax Cuts. Tax cuts generally put the Democrats in disarray. They simply don’t like them, but some feel they need to have them.
Democrats in the U.S. Congress, many upset with him for election losses, are in disarray over what to do about tax cuts for millions of Americans that are set to expire on December 31.

With time running out and high political and economic stakes, Obama is pushing Democratic leaders to determine if they can win an acceptable extension of the cuts, which he could sign into law.

Resurgent Republicans are demanding that all the tax cuts be renewed, including those for wealthier Americans -- individuals making more than $200,000 and families above $250,000.

Obama favors renewing the tax cuts only for those at or below those level, saying the nation cannot afford to renew them for wealthier Americans.

Despite a number of options -- including renewing all tax cuts or only those for the middle class or tying any extension to a renewal of jobless benefits -- there is no indication a consensus is near.

TSA an example of Big Government “service”

If you don't want to pass through an airport scanner that allows security agents to see an image of your naked body or to undergo the alternative, a thorough manual search, you may have to find another way to travel this holiday season.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is warning that any would-be commercial airline passenger who enters an airport checkpoint and then refuses to undergo the method of inspection designated by TSA will not be allowed to fly and also will not be permitted to simply leave the airport.

That person will have to remain on the premises to be questioned by the TSA and possibly by local law enforcement. Anyone refusing faces fines up to $11,000 and possible arrest.

I’m beginning to believe this administration is so out of touch with the people and tone deaf that they make the case for limited small government. If you think healthcare can be better provided by the government, all you need to do is to look where the government is in charge of “services” to see the death of “service.” As Ronald Reagan used to say, “Government is not the solution. Government is the problem.”


TSA and common sense?

It may be a good TIME FOR TSA TO START EXERCISING RANDOM ACTS OF COMMON SENSE and pass on the shakedown of less obvious terrorist suspects. With Thanksgiving travel upon us and a change in Congress coming, it is likely that TSA WILL COME UNDER GREATER SCRUTINY. Right now, its biggest problem is a public relations one — driven, fairly or not, by Drudge and local media covering each excessive (or perceived excessive) search. In reality, the agency is acting with privacy constraints placed upon it by Congress, so it is playing the hand that it was dealt. Obviously, IT WOULD BE MUCH MORE PREFERABLE FOR IT TO LOOK FOR TERRORISTS, RATHER THAN UNDERWEAR, SHOE OR SHAVING KIT BOMBS, but privacy advocates and their allies in Congress have made the current nonsensical regime possible, if not necessary.


N.C. Rep. Shuler pushes Democrats toward center

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler is pushing the DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO ADOPT MORE CENTRIST POLICIES AFTER THE GOP'S HUGE GAINS NATIONWIDE IN THIS MONTH'S ELECTION. And he's looking to President Barack Obama to follow suit

With many moderate Democrats and even some liberals saying the party needed a change of leadership after the election losses, Shuler led a largely symbolic campaign this past week to become the top Democrat in the U.S. House. He took more than 20 percent of votes within the Democratic caucus but still lost to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The moderate lawmaker who represents the mountains of North Carolina believes the effort conveyed a message: "WE HAVE TO BE MORE OF A CENTRIST CAUCUS. WE CAN'T JUST HAVE A PLATFORM THAT'S TO THE LEFT," he told The Associated Press.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Racism and the Democrat Party

Are white voters racists?


Thus pronounced Michael Moore in an appearance on "Real Time with Bill Maher." And Maher agreed, "That is the truth."

"The statistics don't lie," Moore plowed ahead. "I'm not talking about polls. I'm talking about that the YOUNG PEOPLE IN '08 WAS THE ONLY -- DO YOU KNOW THIS? -- IT'S THE ONLY DEMOGRAPHIC -- WHITE DEMOGRAPHIC -- THAT OBAMA WON, 18- TO 29-YEAR-OLDS. Every other demographic, over 29, Obama lost the white vote. Every single one."

Crime solved. Case closed. Book 'em, Danno. Except for one minor detail: NO DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE HAS WON THE "WHITE VOTE" SINCE 1964.

Add Obama's name to a long list of white Democrats who lost that demographic: Humphrey in 1968; McGovern in 1972; Carter in 1976 and 1980; Mondale in 1984; Dukakis in 1988; Clinton in 1992 and 1996; Gore in 2000.

In fact, white voters preferred Obama to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. -- who lost the white vote by 17 points in 2004, while Obama lost it in 2008 by "only" 12 points. Obama improved on Kerry's share of the white vote in every age demographic, including the 18- to 29-year-olds (which Kerry lost)


It appears the racism is the Democratsmeme, but like so much else, simply isn't true.  So it appears the white voters aren’t racists at all, but simply they are anti-democrats.

Staffing up for congressional investigations

If you feel the Obama Administration and the Democrat congress has run roughshod over the Constitution, good news.

In a sign that DEMOCRATS ARE GIRDING FOR A WAVE OF CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATIONS, a leading liberal ethics watchdog is joining a legal crisis management firm to help Democrats on defense.

Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), will join the firm Lanny J. Davis & Associates, she told attendees at the Democracy Alliance summit of liberal donors in Washington D.C. and confirmed in an emailed statement.

“Given the new political climate in Washington, this seems an ideal time to make a transition to private practice," Sloan said the statement.


Dear Airline, I'm Leaving You

Here’s a timely and funny look at the TSA and the Airlines.

But don't feel too bad. IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S ME. OR RATHER, IT'S THE TSA.

I'm not going to lie. It's come between us. IF I HAVE TO LET SOMEONE ELSE SEE ME NAKED IN ORDER TO BE WITH YOU--WELL, I'M JUST NOT THAT KINKY. And deep down, I don't think you are either. I think it's the TSA making you act like this. Frankly, you haven't been the same since you started running around together.

But I can't put all the blame on them. I think you went along because YOU THOUGHT I HAD TO HAVE YOU--THAT I COULDN'T LIVE WITHOUT YOU. That no matter what you did, I'd stay. And it's true, you had a pretty strong hold on me. TOOK AWAY THE FOOD, AND I STILL LOVED YOU--who wanted to eat a terrible, fattening meal anyway? NARROWED THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE SEATS, AND STILL I STAYED, using my airline miles to upgrade to first class. CHARGE ME FOR BAGGAGE? I'm an economics writer--I love unbundled products. So I can see where you got the idea that I'd stick by you no matter what.

BUT THE KINKY STUFF IS JUST A BRIDGE TOO FAR. I'm not saying I'll never see you again: we can still meet up for a drink, or even a quick weekend trip to California. But our days are a regular item are through. I'm writing this letter because one of my commenters pointed out that it was only fair to let you know what was going on:

Especially if you've got frequent flyer status, don't forget to mail the airline and tell then you're flying amtrak...optouting is fine, but it's really only the airlines that have the clout to push back.

It wouldn't be fair to just drop out of sight and not return your calls without letting you know why I was leaving. As it happens, I'm a frequent flier on American, and a pretty reliable customer of Delta and United. Or rather I was. Because like I said, I'm leaving you.


Krauthammer on the stupidity of what passes for security at our airports

Charles says it well. Most of what the TSA does isn’t to make us safer, but to make us politically correct.

That riff is a crowd-pleaser because everyone knows that the entire apparatus of the security line is a NATIONAL HOMAGE TO POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. Nowhere do more people meekly acquiesce to more useless inconvenience and needless indignity for less purpose. WIZENED SENIORS STRAIN TO UNTIE THEIR SHOES; BELTLESS SALESMEN STRUGGLE COMICALLY TO HOLD UP THEIR PANTS; 3-YEAR-OLDS SCREAM WHILE BEING SEARCHED INSANELY FOR EXPLOSIVES - when everyone, everyone, knows that none of these people is a threat to anyone.

THE ULTIMATE IDIOCY IS THE FULL-BODY SCREENING OF THE PILOT. The pilot doesn't need a bomb or box cutter to bring down a plane. All he has to do is drive it into the water, like the EgyptAir pilot who crashed his plane off Nantucket while intoning "I rely on God," killing all on board.

But we must not bring that up. We pretend that we go through this nonsense as a small price paid to ensure the safety of air travel. Rubbish. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SAFETY - 95 PERCENT OF THESE INSPECTIONS, SEARCHES, SHOE REMOVALS AND PAT-DOWNS ARE RIDICULOUSLY UNNECESSARY. The only reason we continue to do this is that people are too cowed to even question the absurd taboo against profiling - when the profile of the airline attacker is narrow, concrete, uniquely definable and universally known. So instead of seeking out terrorists, we seek out tubes of gel in stroller pouches.

Time for Holder to go

The great experiment that is the Obama Administration is just about over and has shown itself to be a total failure. From economic policies that have rung up $3 Trillion in debt in less than two years, to a stimulus package that has unemployment stuck near 10% to a Justice Department that moved war trials to civilian courts and had 222 of 223 charges dismissed in its first case, we can SEE HOPE AND CHANGE has morphed into FAILURE AND INCOMPETENCE.

Let’s face it. Barack Obama and Eric Holder gambled their entire national-security credibility on the Ahmed “Foopie” Ghailani trial, arguing that they could get convictions of detainees captured abroad by military and intelligence assets while using federal courts as a venue rather than the military commissions that Congress repeatedly authorized for that purpose. HOLDER SCOLDED CRITICS who pointed out all of the reasons that such a strategy was much more likely to fail for “politicizing” the process, especially in regard to the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, whose case is more problematic than Ghailani’s, where the FBI did a large part of the investigation before intelligence assets were used to seize and interrogate Ghailani.

The failure of Holder’s DoJ to win anything more than a single conspiracy count against Ghailani as a result of using a process designed for domestic criminals than wartime enemies shows that the critics had it right all along. It also shows that BOTH OBAMA AND HOLDER HAVE BEEN PROVEN SPECTACULARLY WRONG, since a man who CONFESSED TO THE MURDER OF OVER TWO HUNDRED PEOPLE will now face as little as 20 years, with a big chunk of whatever sentence Foopie receives being reduced by time already served.


What’s the future for the Democrats?

But what’s at stake is more than just the map. THE PARTY RISKS LOSING THE VERY IDEA OF A DIFFERENT KIND OF DEMOCRAT. If voters continue to punch ballots for the Republican Party in 2012 as they did in 2010—and that’s a big if with President Obama on the ticket next time around—the Democrats are in danger of losing some of their most iconoclastic members.

“IF WE ARE MONOLITHIC AND LIBERAL, THEN WE WON’T BE THE MAJORITY PARTY,” says former Rep. Dan Glickman, who served as Bill Clinton’s agriculture secretary, and knows from experience what it’s like to serve as a Democrat from the red state of Kansas. And if Webb, Tester, and Casey are ousted, then the Democrats may be guilty of the same sort of ideological purification they tend to mock when Republicans are the ones doing it.


I’d shy away from making predictions. Only two years ago, the Democrats were pronouncing the Republicans dead—nothing more than a regional party of the South and some Mountain states. Today, the Republicans have their largest majority in the House in over 50 years. But this is something to think about.