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October 16, 2011

Death By Cultural Misunderstanding

"The Iranian terror plot: Why would Iran do it the way they allegedly did it?" So goes the title of an article by Allahpundit at Hot Air. It is representative of many, not only on the Internet, but across the conventional media. Allahpundit is not nearly as credulous as many and raises several good points.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is former Federal Prosecutor Andy McCarthy—whose article is also linked in Allahpundit's article—who concludes:

"But, as night follows day, the State Department and other administration officials are out throwing cold water on these claims with their usual tap dance: Iran is very complicated; the IRGC is like a government within a government; there are various rogue elements, so this was probably a rogue operation; just because somebody in the Iranian government may have been complicit does not mean muckety-mucks like Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei were involved; diplo-blah, blah, blah. It looks like we will keep chasing the Holy Grail — rationalizing inaction in the face of ever-mounting provocations while we keep searching for “moderates” embedded somewhere in the regime who will somehow maneuver Iran into a new era of good relations with the Great Satan. Continued good luck with that."

What we now know is that the Iranian used-car salesman from Texas who was apparently the prime broker in the plot was actually trying to arrange not only the murder by explosives of the Saudi Ambassador in a Washington DC restaurant, but attacks on American and Israeli embassies possible in simultaneous strikes. Not only was this used-car dealer traveling between Texas, Mexico and Iran, but was prepared to deliver $1.5 million dollars to the DEA informant posing as a representative of a Mexican drug cartel. It is not known with certainty, but it seems we may have intercepted this plot for no reason other than that the Iranians blundered—by pure chance—into one of our assets rather than the Mexican killers he sought. If so, this is truly one of the most remarkable cases of serendipity on record.

Some excerpts from Allahpundit:

"As Iranians struggled Wednesday to comprehend an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, analysts here agreed that even if U.S. charges of official Iranian involvement were true, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his government likely had nothing to do with the scheme…"

"The Quds Force is Iran’s A-team, equivalent to the Mossad in Israel. As Robert Baer, a former CIA analyst, told WaPo, “If they wanted to come after you, you’d be dead already.” And yet, their big idea for striking a blow against the Great Satan and its Wahhabist puppet in Riyadh was to … hook a used-car salesman from Corpus Christi up with an alleged member of a Mexican drug cartel? Seriously?"

In its 30-year history of attacking the West, the Quds Force went out of its way never to be caught with a smoking gun in hand. It always used well-vetted proxies, invariably Muslim believers devoted to Khomeini’s revolution. And when the operation was particularly sensitive, they gave the job to Lebanon’s militant Shi’ite Hizballah, organization the Iranians themselves had founded and which has an unsurpassed record in political murder. Hizballah has cells all over the world, including in the United States. But the point of it all was that if caught — and they were, more than once — Iran still enjoyed plausible deniability, a commodity in this business worth its weight in gold. So, if this plot was genuine, why didn’t the Iranians use tried and tested Hizballah networks and keep Iranian nationals, much less unknown Mexican narcos, out of it?"

Allahpundit suggests that the Revolutionary Guards have somehow gone rogue and are conducting, dangerous, provocative operations on their own, outside of the knowledge and control of the Iranian leadership. Another possibility is that the democratic Iranian opposition is trying to frame the Mullacracy in an attempt to bring the United States into a direct conflict that might unseat the hardliners, allowing democracy to flourish.

McCarthy is less apparently conflicted:

"Iran’s brazenness. It is surprising to hear suggestions that Iran has suddenly crossed a line by — allegedly — plotting to kill a Saudi diplomat on U.S. soil. As Iranian provocations go, this one is pretty tame. I related the history here a couple of years ago, and the best accounting is found in Michael Ledeen’s books — most recently, Accomplice to Evil. To highlight just a few things: Iran killed 19 members of our air force at Khobar Towers in 1996; it has had a working relationship with al Qaeda since the early nineties; it was likely complicit in the 9/11 attacks (a matter the 9/11 Commission strongly suggested — but on which neither the Commission nor anyone else in government followed up); and Iran has been plotting against and killing American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq for a decade. Compared to that rich record of direct attacks against Americans, the current plot is no more than par for the course."

In my conversations with adults, and in the classroom with teenagers, I am endlessly fascinated to discover that most Americans seem unable to truly understand that the peoples of other nations are so utterly different than Americans, so actually alien in the truest sense of the word. Americans seem to believe that since other peoples wear blue jeans, watch American movies, have McDonald's, speak English, even attend college in America they must be more or less unusual looking Americans with funny accents. My students, for instance, are universally amazed when they learn that hundreds of millions of people have never seen toilet paper, using their left hands instead.

In the same way, Americans tend to think of religion only within the American framework of separation of church and state and tolerance for the faiths of others. Americans may think adherents of some faiths to be a bit odd--holy Mormon underwear, people going to church on Saturday, eating only fish on Fridays—but they are generally accepting of that, and the fact that Americans are free to change religions and churches as often as they change their socks. Many Americans take their faith seriously, but the idea of killing in its name is—alien, as alien as the idea of being ruled by ministers, mutilating the genitals of their wives and daughters, killing their wives and daughters for violating family honor, killing friends, even family members who leave the faith, or killing anyone not of the faith for that reason alone.

Perhaps the most pitiful—and potentially deadly--example of American inability to understand Muslims in general and other cultures in particular is Mr. Obama who has a tendency to want everything both ways. Mr. Obama is Muslim, or at least, observant Muslims would certainly consider him to be Muslim. In every Muslim culture, the children born to a Muslim father are themselves Muslims. It is not a matter of choice. Muslims do not leave the faith, for if they do, they immediately become apostates and there is one punishment in Islam for apostasy: death. It is the duty of all Muslims to defend the faith by killing apostates.

Mr. Obama has declared himself to be Christian by choice, and has denied that he is, or ever has been, Muslim. His supporters cry racism and foul if anyone speaks or prints his middle name: Hussein. Yet for a Christian POTUS, he seems determined to do everything possible to support Muslim sensibilities and causes. For example, he told newly appointed NASA chief Charles Bolden that NASA's new primary mission was to make Muslims feel good about the scientific accomplishments of their ancient ancestors. Mr. Obama reflexively supports—or at the very least shows great deference toward—Muslim despots. Because of our cultural and Constitutional heritage, we think nothing of those who choose to change faiths, or who profess no faith. Not so in the Muslim world.

Mr. Obama traveled to Cairo and extended a hand to Muslims. What could they have thought of this? Did they recognize his Muslim middle name, hear his words of conciliation and peace, believe that he was one of them, a man they could trust and with whom they could do business? Hardly. Most would simply ignore him. True believers would want to kill him, not only because he is the President of the United States, but because he is a self-confessed apostate. The Iranians almost certainly see him as a weakling, a fool not to be feared but manipulated. They believe their actions against us will have few, if any, consequences, and thus far—since 1979--they've been right.

In a very real way, we are dealing with medieval thinking, a mindset that sees the world in black and white terms. There are the strong and the weak, the elect and infidels. There is, above all, the Dar al-Islam—the realm or land under Islamic control—and the Dar al-Harb—the realm of war or chaos, the land of the infidels where Islam is not in control. In the Dar al-Islam, Sharia—Islamic law—reigns supreme. It is a medieval code of conduct and justice administered by Imams, essentially Islamic ministers, who have absolute power over life and death. In Islam, there are no individual freedoms, not separation of church and state. The church is the state and individuals live—or die—at its whim.

Islam and Sharia are absolutely incompatible with freedom of religion and individual liberty. Christianity teaches the inestimable worth of each individual, the incalculable value of each human life, not just during its earthly journey, but because each human being possesses an immortal soul which can have, by means of faith, eternal life. These beliefs are the foundation of our Constitution and our criminal and civil laws, yet no American is required to pay them deference or to adhere to these beliefs. A nation where ministers decide civil disputes, hand down brutal, medieval punishments, treat women little or no better than cattle, afford children no rights at all, is almost unimaginable for Americans, yet this is the reality of daily life for the Dar al-Islam.

Christianity does not demand that its adherents conquer—in the spiritual or military sense—the world. It suggests only that they spread the Gospel; it is an entirely voluntary faith. Therefore, Christianity does not proscribe specific steps to be observed in the waging of war, nor does it demand that those who do not accept Christianity be treated as second-class beings, with a complete set of rules for how such beings may be enslaved, treated, taxed, even killed. Islam does all of this and more.

Winston Churchill observed that individual Muslims may have "splendid qualities," and indeed, most Muslims wish only to live in peace with their neighbors. However, it must be clearly understood that these Muslim are not, in fact, following the dictates of their faith. It is those who war against the Dar al-Harb who are being true to the letter and intent of their religion. And if there are only ten million such Muslims in the world—and there are surely that many—who are determined to follow the clear dictates of their faith to the letter, it's not hard to see the depth of our problem.

The leaders of Iran, those who so brutally crushed the Iranian democracy movement—the movement Mr. Obama studiously ignored—are very much determined to conquer the world for Islam, to turn the entire globe into the Dar al-Islam. The Koran holds special enmity for Jews, specifically preaching their destruction. It is no accident that Iran's leaders constantly refer to America as "the Great Satan," and Israel as "the Little Satan," for when they mouth these labels, they mean that Satan is the fount of all evil and must be destroyed by those faithful to Islam.

In waging war, Americans generally abstain from striking the first blow, are incredibly cautious about harming non-combatants, even risking and losing American lives rather than accidently killing innocents. Americans even avoid unnecessarily destroying property. For Americans, there are specific laws regulating the conduct of soldiers. None of this is true for Muslims waging Jihad—holy war aimed at establishing a global Dar al-Islam. They kill indiscriminately, ignore the international laws of war, use innocents as human shields, and commit inhuman atrocities as common practice.

In the pursuit of Jihad, Islam encourages and allows Muslims to lie to infidels. However, it requires Muslims to give infidels a chance to convert to Islam. If they do not, they may be slaughtered at will. When Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatens America and Israel and suggests conversion to Islam, he is not doing this because he has a sincere religious concern for the souls of Americans and Israelis, but because he is adhering to Islamic rules for war.

Americans make the mistake of hearing what they think is yet another preacher trying to convert them and think ignoring them will have no consequences just as it does in America. They fail to realize that when they don't immediately convert to Islam, the safeties have just been released on Muslim weapons.

Jihadists recognize no international laws, no "international norms," no treaties, no diplomatic protocols. There is only the struggle to conquer the world, and apart from the Islamic rules for waging war, they observe no restraints, even killing other Muslims, which the Koran forbids.

Islam is a culture of death; Christianity is a culture of life. Islam preaches that the most sublime pleasures of paradise are reserved for those who die in Jihad. Christianity teaches love for all and the attainment of paradise through steadfast faith, mercy, kindness and tolerance.

One of the most dangerous misconceptions Americans have is confusing the political realities of America with those of other nations, particularly Islamic nations. "We can't attack Iran," our State Department says. "It's only the leaders of Iran that are bad. The people love us. There are many factions. There are moderates. Why, the leaders of Iran may not even know what is being done in their name!" Idiocy.

Doubtless many Japanese in 1941 had no desire for war. Many Germans were likewise peaceful people, but nations are responsible for actions done in their name, using their resources--$1.5 million and more in this case--pursuing their stated national goals. All of these factors are clearly present in the thankfully foiled plot.

Islamic nations, particularly rogue states like Iran—unquestionably the foremost terrorist nation on the planet—do not brook internal opposition. There is no democracy, no debate, no effective political opposition. Iron-fisted rule extends from the top down. And while it is true that millions of young Iranians think well of the United States and would welcome having the heel of the Islamic boot lifted from their collective necks, this is a tactical, not a strategic concern.

It is not as though we are contemplating turning all of Iran, or even its major populations centers, into a sheet of glowing, radioactive glass. Alone in the world we possess the military means to strike with amazing precision, severely limiting collateral damage. Our assets could, with a few days of overwhelming strikes, severely damage, even obliterate Iran's ability to produce nuclear weapons and wage war.

But Iran would be angry with us! Iran would strike out at us! Iran has been doing just that since 1979. Not only have its agents been caught on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have captured its munitions, specifically designed and manufactured to kill American soldiers. There is no doubt that Iran is arming and training our enemies, enemies that have killed Americans and the citizens of our allies. Iran declared war on us in 1979 and has been actively pursuing that war on multiple fronts.

Yet, Iran has exercised some restraint. Its leaders understand that in a conventional military conflict with the United States, it wouldn't last a week. But they also understand that we are tied down in two conflicts. It works with China, North Korea, Syria, any nation opposed to America, to keep us occupied, to limit our ability and willingness to respond. Above all, it knows that with Barack Obama in the White House, there is virtually nothing it cannot do—even producing nuclear weapons it has sworn to use against Israel and America—that would provoke Mr. Obama to punishing military action.

Would Iran conduct an attack against Americans that would cause hundreds, even thousands of deaths? Of course it would. Iran has been killing hundreds, even thousands of Americans for years. But iran has never done anything so brazen before! You mean like seizing hundreds of American diplomats hostage and keeping them for more than a year? You mean like killing hundreds of Americans through proxies and by providing purpose-built weapons to them? But this hasn't been Iran's modus operandi—their method of operation—in the past!

Even if that were true—and it isn't--it is now.

Mark Twain said that one should be careful in reading health books because they could die of a misprint. Americans must now be careful in interpreting the clear words and actions of one of our most deadly and determined enemies. They say: "we will kill you all," over and over again. If we don't take them at their clear words, if we don't understand their mindset, millions of Americans and Israelis could die of a cultural misunderstanding.

Posted by MikeM at 09:47 PM | Comments (4)

October 11, 2011

This Is A Parody--Right?

Well, now they've done it, and the United States is fighting back with every tool at its disposal:

1) The United States "…will use the plot to marshal international pressure…" against those responsible.

2) Attorney General Eric Holder said: "The United States is committed to holding [them] accountable for [their] actions."

3) A "State Department Official" called it a "flagrant violation of international law."

And then we brought out the really big gun:

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said we'd work with allies to "send a very strong message that this kind of action, which violates international norms, must be ended."

She also said:

This "crosses a line," and she and President Obama are calling international leaders to tell them what happened. She said Mr. Obama and she intend to "pre-empt" any efforts by [them] to deny responsibility, and to "enlist more countries in working together against what is becoming a clearer and clearer threat…"

One might be tempted to think that this situation—whatever it is and whoever it involves—is a very serious matter and that our government will respond with the kind of righteous rage demonstrated after 9-11. It is a very serious matter indeed, but that's where reality breaks down.

As reported at Fox News, we've intercepted an Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to America, with explosives, on American soil. Iranian members of the Quds Force," a paramilitary spy/internal security force pursued a hit on the Ambassador by trying to hire what they thought was a Mexican drug cartel to make the attack. Two Iranian agents were captured and others remain at large.

Would this be the same Iran:

1) that constantly threatens to obliterate Israel and the United States?

2) that has been killing Americans and American soldiers for decades?

3) that is the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in the world?

4) that sponsors terrorists that kill the citizens of our allies around the world?

5) that threatens to turn the Middle East in a charnel house of unimaginable proportions?

6) that is feverishly producing nuclear weapons and which plans to use them in an EMP attack on America?

7) that is building missile bases in Venezuela and infiltrating every Latin American country that will have it?

8) that is working daily to infiltrate sleeper cells into America for future attacks?

9) that is working with cartels and Marxists south of our border to facilitate any and every kind of harm to Americans they can devise?

10) that declared war on us in 1979 when they seized our embassy and took hostages?

11) that is ruled by Islamist lunatics who want to provoke Armageddon because they believe it will produce the return of the "hidden Imam," and lead to a new caliphate?

Yes. It's that very Iran.

Our elected representatives are resolute and incensed:

"Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., urged the administration to revisit a request by dozens of senators to target the country's central bank, calling it the 'paymasters' for the Quds Force.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., called the plot an 'outrage' and called for increased sanctions against Iran.

[Senator Durbin has now, without question, cinched the title of the most-irony challenged politician of all time. He's calling for financial sanctions, which will have to be imposed through the cooperation of the very banks he first slammed with idiotic legislation, and then excoriated for implementing the completely predictable results of his ill-considered stupidity.]

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, speaking on Fox News, called the plot an 'act of war' against the United States.

'We have to do something,' he said, saying the specifics of the response should be left up to the Defense Department and the president."

And which serious steps commensurate with Iran's actions against us since 1979 is the Obama Administration planning?

"But a senior Defense official told Fox News the announcement Tuesday "'s not a trip wire for military action in Iran.' '
'No one should read into this as a pretense for any type of military response," another senior Defense official added.

Speaking to Fox News on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the subject, the officials said the Pentagon sees the alleged plot as a criminal act that is rightly being handled by the Department of Justice. "

"The Treasury Department said the other Quds officials named were also involved in the plot. The sanctions will freeze any U.S. assets held by the individuals and prohibit anyone in the U.S. from doing business with them."

Mrs. Clinton is reported to be planning to speak with the Swiss Ambassador to Iran who will in turn likely present a strongly worded message to the Iranians on our behalf.

There are several possible scenarios at play. With the Gunwalker debacle and the Solyandra scandal threatening to overwhelm the Obama Administration and absolutely devastate Mr. Obama's already fast-failing re-election chances, it is not outside the realm of possibility that the Obama Administration is exaggerating the involvement of the highest levels of the Iranian regime, and Stratfor, the private intelligence firm, is suggesting just that, according to Fox. However, Stratfor also notes that the Iranians have been conducting "preoperational surveillance," in the US, but have not yet carried out a high profile attack. Obamites would surely welcome the diversion of public attention from the alleged malfeasance and possible criminality of the Obama Administration, the Department of Justice, and a plethora of federal alphabet agencies. As more and more damning evidence against the Administration and its allies becomes public, the Obama Administration must be desperate to escape scrutiny.

A lengthy civilian trial—the Obamite preferred vehicle for dealing with enemy combatants--of Iranian agents extending well into the election season could potentially help Mr. Obama burnish his anti-terrorist warrior credentials when even the Lamestream Media has taken to calling him isolated and withdrawn from the day to day performance of his duties.

But the possibility that the Iranians, emboldened by what they must surely believe to be the unlimited fecklessness of Mr. Obama, would embark on such a provocative course cannot be dismissed. If Mr. Obama will take no obvious, affirmative steps to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons it has repeatedly sworn to put to immediate, genocidal use, why should the Iranians worry about Mr. Obama's response to a much lesser provocation? What will he do? Threaten to impose really serious sanctions by a date certain, and this time—unlike all the previous times--he really, really, pinky swear, double dog dare, means it?

What must the Iranians think of our response thus far? We're imposing sanctions on individual Iranian spies? American firms won't be able to do business with them? Just how many Americans firms, pray tell, do a considerable portion of their business with Iranian operatives such that these sanctions will have any effect—other than provoking uproarious Iranian laughter—on Iran? Will the threat of treating their spies as common criminals accorded the full protections of the Constitution the Iranians not only refuse to recognize but see as a sign of weakness strike fear into the hearts of the hardened terrorist murderers running that despotic nation? Will it cause them to abandon their nuclear designs? Beg for mercy and forgiveness from Israel?

At least Hillary Clinton knows the score. Our own "Lady Of Jello" knows that Iran's action "violates international norms." She recognizes that Iran represents a "clearer and clearer threat." She believes that working with other nations might "further isolate Iran." This is a parody—right? Right?

On the international stage, Mr. Obama has made several noteworthy accomplishments. One of the most remarkable has been making the French seem—compared to Mr. Obama--resolute defenders of freedom. Another has been making it possible for fiscal basket case nations to lecture us on our economic policies. But the most truly noteworthy accomplishment of Barack Obama and his Administration has been the absolute transcendence of parody. Ironhawk? The Onion? Reality? Who can say with certainty? Who would wish to expend the effort?

It is not unreasonable to wonder if even a nuclear attack against Israel, American interests, or even America itself would provoke the Obama Administration to anything beyond strong language, a stirring invocation of the "international community" and "international norms," criminal charges against individuals and sanctions which might "further isolate Iran."

America—and the world—will be very fortunate indeed if our many enemies do not take advantage of what they must surely believe to be a historic opportunity between now and November of 2012. On the other hand, with leadership that bows to despots, reflexively supports Marxist and Islamist despots and which actually delivers arms to our deadly enemies as a cynical and incredibly stupid means of imposing anti-freedom domestic policies, do we really need enemies?

Posted by MikeM at 08:50 PM | Comments (15)

October 10, 2011

Welcome to PoopStock

Here's all you need to know about the temper tantrum known as the "Occupy" movement, as a disgusting Occupy Wall Street denizen defecates on a NYPD car.

welcome to poopstock

The photo seems verboten in the U.S. mainstream media that is cheering heavily for the movement as a counter to the Tea Party, even though the "Occupy" gatherings have nothing resembling a common cause, and seem to be nothing more than angry hipsters mad at everyone for not having an easy life of success handed to them on a plate, and union thugs trying to co-op the movement for their Democratic masters.

Crapping on America. That's Poopstock, and the "occupy" (bowel) movement in a nutshell (Credit for coining Poopstock goes to @SamValley).

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:53 AM | Comments (4)

October 06, 2011

A Hilariously Unscientific Poll

Consider this scenario: You have been told, at least five weeks in a row, by memo—memos it is your job to read and act upon—that something very wrong is happening. You do nothing, and things blow up in everyone's face. The boss asks you about it, and you tell him that you have no idea what's going on; you only found out about it when things blew up. He says: "Oh, OK then."

Right. How about if you say: "Oh, I didn't understand your question." Or "I was responding to another question about some other context." How about: "Memos? What memos? I never saw any memos." Or better yet: "Memos? I don't read memos!"

Q: What is the chance of keeping your job:

A) Zero
B) Zip
C) Less than nothing
D) Hahahahahahahahaha—gasp---hahahahaha! Keep your job?! Hahahahaha…

Comes now Tina Korbe at Hot Air who writes:

"It was never a comforting thought to think the Attorney General just can’t be bothered to read his weekly briefings, but it was at least plausible to think Eric Holder overlooked one or two memos about the pernicious and fatal Fast and Furious program. But make that five memos and the AG’s incompetence and negligence appear especially gross:
Senator Chuck Grassley and Congressman Darrell Issa today said that Attorney General Eric Holder received at least five weekly memos beginning in July 2010, including four weeks in a row, describing the ill-advised strategy known as Operation Fast and Furious. The memos were to Holder from Michael Walther, the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center.

The Attorney General told Issa during a House Judiciary Committee in May 2011 that he had just learned of Fast and Furious a few weeks before. Yet, on January 31, in a previously scheduled meeting, Grassley personally handed him two letters about Fast and Furious. Grassley and Issa said they find it very troubling that Holder actually knew of Operation Fast and Furious much earlier, and in greater detail than he ever let on.

The memos specifically said that the straw buyers were 'responsible for the purchase of 1500 firearms that were then supplied to Mexican drug trafficking cartels.'”

Mr. Obama also weighed in at a press conference on Thursday:

"I think both Holder and I would have been very unhappy if someone had suggested that guns were allowed to pass through that could have been prevented by the United States of America."

So we now know:

1) Senator Chuck Grassley, on January 31, gave AG Holder specific information about Fast and furious.

2) Holder received at least five weekly briefings, very specific briefings, about the case beginning in July 2010.

3) In May of 2011, Holder told Rep. Daryl Issa in a congressional hearing, under oath, that he heard of the case only a few weeks earlier.

I'll give Ms. Korbe the benefit of the doubt and literary license for understatement. Is it plausible that Mr. Holder missed a memo or two? It's plausible. However, let's consider that Mr. Holder is a man intimately involved in an Administration famous of power mongering, ignoring the law, and micromanagement. Let's further consider his absolutely mind-blowing, bald-faced lying regarding his role in securing a pardon for Marc Rich. Incompetence? Negligence? Certainly, but that doesn't account for what now appears to be absolute proof that Mr. Holder was lying under oath.

I caught Lanny Davis, former Clinton lawyer and Democrat apologist on the O'Reilly Factor last night. He suggested—and this with a straight face—that Holder has no reason to lie. Well, apart from the fact that he may be implicated in multiple federal crimes including conspiracy, murder, treason, terrorism, etc., I'd have to agree with Mr. Davis. Yup. No reason to lie at all.

Gentle readers, let's hear from you. What do you say about these three questions:

1) Is AG Holder lying?

2) Is Mr. Obama involved (and lying)?

3) Did they push Gunwalker to build support for anti-gun policies they couldn't obtain through the Congress?

Posted by MikeM at 09:55 PM | Comments (8)

October 04, 2011

Guns, Irony and Prosperity

Time for a bit of heresy: In a way, I almost hope Barack Obama is reelected. Now I've done it. I know if he is reelected America is in deep trouble, Marianas Trench-deep trouble from which we may never escape, but I speak entirely selfishly. Mr. Obama has arguably been the greatest producer of political topics and satire for bloggers in American history. I have no doubt that Bill Clinton might have been in the running, particularly where steamy content and sexually oriented cheap and easy puns are concerned, but it wasn't until after he left office—literally with White House silverware and furnishings—that the blogosphere really took off as a true alternative to the Lamestream Media. We have Dan Rather to thank for that, which is a delicious morsel of irony in and of itself.

Allow me to clarify my heresy: I'll do all I can to defeat Mr. Obama and to overturn virtually everything he did. However, it is entirely reasonable to assert that the "most transparent Administration in history" has been a particularly rich source of hypocrisy, self-parody, outrage, and above all, irony. A prime example is the fact that Mr. Obama is arguably the greatest gun salesman of all time. A slightly less hilarious and tasty counterpart is that in destroying America's economy, he is driving America's gunmakers out of their traditional, coastal, elite environments into the welcoming arms of the bumpkins of Flyover Country, thus further impoverishing his base. Self-defeating irony doesn't get a lot better than that.

An August 9, 2011 story in the New York Times (I said this was ironic!) by Timothy Williams makes clear two trends: Firearms makers in the Northeast and California are considering moving away from the anti-gun, anti-business climates of their traditional, even historic home bases, and midwestern and southern states are competing to be their new homes. Considering the economy and the Obama Administration's never-ending anti-business policies and regulations, even New York Senator Chuck Schumer—one of the most anti-gun senators in American history—is getting on the bandwagon:

"In New York, Senator Charles E. Schumer issued a news release in May praising Remington after it agreed to move a factory from Maine, bringing with it 40 to 50 jobs.

The release made no mention of Senator Schumer’s record supporting gun control. Instead, it said Mr. Schumer had 'led the effort in Congress to repeal the law that limited competition for small arms contracts, so that Remington can now compete for small arms contracts with the Department of Defense.'”

Life doesn't get much more ironic than that.

For nearly two decades, South Dakota has been working to attract gun manufacturers. Many famous manufacturers of high-quality, top dollar firearms have relocated there, including HS Precision and Bar-Sto Precision Machine. SD Governor Dennis Daugaard actively recruits at gun and trade shows:

“'When we approach gun makers, we first make the cultural argument,' said Gov. Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, a hunter… “People in business want to feel their business is wanted and welcome in the communities where they are located. In South Dakota, the culture is there. We don’t regulate firearms businesses out of existence.”

Irv Stone, owner of Bar-Sto Precision Machine, which makes competition pistols, moved to Sturgis, S.D., from California last year because he said he found it increasingly difficult to operate in an environment where guns are shunned.

'The cultural thing is like night and day,' he said. 'I felt like the bastard child in California. It is not a firearms culture. In California, it was like: ‘Eww, firearms. Really?’ Here, on the other hand, you are looked at kind of weird: ‘Oh, you don’t shoot or fish? What do you do?’"

Draconian firearms regulations have also encouraged gun makers to move. Micro-stamping is a technology that would require specialized firing pins, perhaps even extractors and chambers that imprint unique identifying markings on fired casings. Research has shown the technology to be highly unreliable at best. Requiring it would increase manufacturing costs and retail prices, and it can be defeated merely by swapping parts or the application of five minutes of filing. Aluminum or steel cartridge casings can defeat the technology entirely. It is particularly ineffective in revolvers which do not eject fired brass, and even where semiautomatic firearms are involved, all an enterprising criminal need do is pick up the fired brass. Manufacturers are, to say the least, unimpressed:

"Gun manufacturers say proposed micro-stamping laws could drive Colt out of Connecticut and Remington out of New York, which are among more than half a dozen states where the legislation has been introduced. California, which employs more firearms industry workers than any other state, has already approved a micro-stamping law that is pending.

Carlton S. Chen, a vice president at Colt, said the company would have few qualms about leaving Connecticut if micro-stamping became law.

'At that point, we and other firearms manufacturers doing business in Connecticut would need to seriously consider whether we should completely move ourselves out of Connecticut and relocate to a friendlier state,' Mr. Chen said in written testimony to a state legislative committee in 2008. 'The upshot would be a loss of thousands of jobs.'”

Illinois, home of pay to play and thuggish government, land where the dead rise from the grave for elections and almost exclusively vote Democrat, is also driving out manufacturers:

"And in Illinois, home to several large firearms manufacturers, a law would ban assault rifles and would prohibit manufacturers from selling guns to state residents.

In recent years, Illinois has lost Les Baer Custom Inc., a small company that moved to Iowa, as well as 1,000 Winchester jobs."

Not that Illinois is getting the message:

"Marcelyn Love, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity wrote in an e-mail, 'I am not aware of an increased effort by other states to lure specific manufacturing sectors from Illinois.'”

Perhaps Ms. Love might want to get in touch with Winchester and Les Baer.

This trend is not entirely Mr. Obama's fault of course, but it is precisely the Statist philosophy embraced by the blue states--which Mr. Obama embodies--that is all but forcing historic firearm companies to move to states where the political and cultural climates are far more welcoming, and where making a profit is actually understood to be a good thing for a private business to do.

Still, some blue states are fighting back—while simultaneously shooting themselves in the foot by pushing policies like micro-stamping:

"But the attempted poaching of its gun makers is not being taken lightly in Massachusetts, which is home to Smith & Wesson, the nation’s largest handgun manufacturer (founded in 1852) and the Savage Arms Company (1894), or in neighboring Connecticut, where Colt (1836), the Marlin Firearms Company (1870) and O. F. Mossberg & Sons (1919) are located.

In 2005, this small region produced 1.8 million firearms, according to the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council, about one-third of all firearms made in the country.

…Massachusetts has published a brochure promoting its firearms makers that traces the state’s gun culture back to 1777, when George Washington chose Springfield as the site of the country’s first arsenal.

…last year, when Massachusetts sought to ensure that Smith & Wesson stayed in Springfield, the state gave the company $6 million in tax credits to relocate one of its New Hampshire factories there. While the factory employs a modest 225 people, Massachusetts wanted to make sure the company would not start shifting operations elsewhere."

Despite a horrendously anti-gun, high-tax, and insane regulatory climate, Smith and Wesson is staying in Massachusetts—for now.

Here’s some additional irony: should Mr. Obama win a second term, the economy would almost certainly continue to decline, forcing more and more businesses and manufacturers—including gun makers—to more business friendly states with rational tax and regulatory climates, with low costs of living and welcoming populations. The more Democrats win, the more their stronghold states lose. Regardless of federal policy, blue states are increasingly cutting their own economic throats, benefitting the red states they so disdain.

Perhaps the ultimate irony, even more delightful than Mr. Obama's inadvertent support for the firearms industry he would be overjoyed to obliterate is the reality that he, in only a single term, may well accomplish more to advance gun ownership, the movement of manufacturers to states where they can expand and prosper, and will have increased the total number of guns and gun owners far more than any Conservative president could ever hope to do. Now that's ironic joy.

Posted by MikeM at 09:06 PM | Comments (6)

October 02, 2011

Barack Obama: Anti-Terror Warrior?

I was discussing the recent death of Jihadist Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born Al-Qaeda honcho, in a CIA directed Predator drone attack, with an acquaintance. My acquaintance is a fellow I've known for several years who, while not a flaming Marxist, still thinks Barack Obama is slicker than sliced bread, though he is beginning to admit that perhaps a bit of mold is starting to form on the loaf (or is that the loafer?) He's obviously seeking reasons to maintain that old, tingle-up-the-leg, glistening pecs, Obama is a god fervor, and was going on about Mr. Obama's manly mojo in authorizing the strike on Osama Bin Laden and now, the vile and deranged al-Awlaki. To his way of thinking, this—and the fact that Guantanamo Bay is still open for business—is proof positive that Mr. Obama is a genuine, fire-breathing anti-terrorist all-American warrior for truth, justice and the American way. Oh yes: he was also exercised that al-Awlaki, an American citizen, was not given a proper civilian trial before being executed. Irony challenged, my acquaintance.

As to Awlaki's citizenship, the facts are clear. Awlaki was an American citizen, but a citizen who took up arms against America. We know this because he explicitly told us, many times, that he was at war with America. We know that he was a top enemy commander and that he was directly involved in the planning and execution of attacks against America, American interests and Americans, attacks resulting in American deaths, the Fort Hood attack being only a single example.
Arguably, this would make Awlaki guilty of treason, and if captured, he could be tried for that offense. However, capture and trial were not required for one very powerful and well understood—legally speaking—reason: we are at war.

It is hard for most Americans to understand this simple fact: we are at war and have been since at least the first attack on the World Trade Center on Feb. 26, 1993 and probably since the Islamic takeover of Iran in late 1979. Because most Americans have to make no sacrifice, because the ongoing war does not disrupt or directly affect their lives in any way, the very concept of war seems a matter of semantics, a debating topic, not a deadly, personal or national reality. We will almost certainly be at war for a generation or more. We may not consider ourselves to be at war with our Islamist enemy, but he does not share our peaceful convictions.

In war, our declared enemies may be killed whenever and wherever they are found. This simple fact does not change because of the nationality of the enemy. This too is a well-settled fact of law. There are no clear demarcation lines on a worldwide battlefield. Americans have, in past wars, gone over to the side of America's enemies and have as a result become indistinguishable from any other enemy soldier or leader. We have killed them when necessary and captured them when possible. When captured they were tried by military commissions.

Some allude to the Geneva Conventions, but they fail to understand that any declared combatants that do not wear the clearly distinguishable uniform of their nation, that target civilians, that use civilians as shields, or who are non-state actors—all characteristics that describe our Islamist enemy—may be summarily shot when and where they are captured without trial. Such people have none of the protections the Geneva Accords provide to legitimate soldiers acting on behalf of their nation, nor do they deserve them. Even if Awlaki was captured, my acquaintance would doubtless demand that he be tried in a civilian court, a trial for which there is no legal requirement or historical precedence.

Some have suggested that due to the unique nature of our current world wide conflict, the Congress should enact standards for stripping Americans of citizenship so that they may be killed without trial when acting as an enemy of America, but this is unnecessary and likely designed to impede rather than assist America in her war fighting efforts. American and international laws and standards are quite clear on all of the issues involved and have been since the early 1900s.

Mr. Obama and his anti-terror bona fides are quite another matter. He has shown himself, long before his inauguration, to be a man who recognizes no Constitutional restraints, no legal obstacles to his policies and goals. Recall his pseudo-presidential great seal of Obama trotted out during the campaign. Recall his extra-constitutional "Office Of The President-Elect." One might assert that this simply reveals extraordinary arrogance and narcissism—and it does—but it goes much deeper.

There is more than sufficient evidence to acknowledge that Mr. Obama is at the least a Socialist, and likely, a Marxist. Socialism is essentially Marxism-lite. His background is steeped in Marxism, he actively supports Marxist goals, does all he can to damage our capitalist economy, reflexively supports Marxists and Islamists in international relations, and hires avowed Communists (Van Jones) and admirers of Communist murderers (Anita Dunn).

He came into office swearing to close Guantanamo within a year and searched desperately for an alternative, even planning to use an unused prison in Illinois. Fortunately, even in Illinois most people are smart enough to know that the last thing they want is to paint an enormous "come get us, terrorists" target on their community and that suggestion died, even among Democrats. He quickly discovered that no other nation—other than absolute terrorist regimes—want any of the psychotics inhabiting Gitmo, and was certainly told by his more rational advisors of the consequences of turning any of them lose, the reality being that all of the least dangerous were released during the Bush years and more than a fair share of them have returned to Jihad.

He believes that military commissions are evil and that Islamist killers must be accorded civilian trials, trials to be conducted in New York City. Understanding that they have a large terrorist target painted on their collective backs, New Yorkers, and their Democrat representatives, nixed that idiotic idea and to date, only one lower level Jihadist has been tried. The case was a near-disaster. He nearly walked and was convicted on only a single count. Even so, AG Holder—and certainly Mr. Obama—would close Gitmo and begin civilian trials in a second if they thought they could get away with it.

Mr. Obama came into office attacking everything Mr. Bush did, and did away with waterboarding, which had actually been used on only three high value terrorists to great effect. There is no doubt that in those three cases, the technique saved untold lives. However, he not only kept drone attacks; he increased their frequency. This may seem to run counter to his values, but is their epitome.

What would happen to Mr. Obama if we captured a high value terrorist such as Osama Bin Laden or Awlaki and he steadfastly refused to authorize the techniques necessary to extract information from them claiming the moral high ground? Mr. Obama would be in a very difficult predicament. If he authorized anything he had previously taken away, his base and the international community—particularly the Muslims—would go berserk. His political viability would be severely—perhaps fatally--damaged. Yet if he did not authorize whatever was necessary and therefore did not intercept and prevent damaging attacks, particularly on American soil, impeachment and conviction might be the least of his worries.

Drone attacks are the perfect solution. They allow Mr. Obama to adopt the persona of the resolute, anti-terrorist leader while avoiding any real downside. Surely, the usual Leftist suspects complain and raise specious legal and Constitutional arguments, but those have no real political or legal consequence, and other Leftists won't let such minor issues get in the way of enacting their larger agenda through Mr. Obama. There are no high-value terrorists who would not be waterboarded by any rational president, and not waterboarding lesser terrorists represents a much lower attack and political risk and a much more easily defended policy. Mr. Obama would need only to trot out another teleprompter reading with high and moral-sounding rhetoric, claiming that those who oppose him have un-American values. Simply capture no terrorists, kill them instead. That way Mr. Obama doesn’t have to put anyone in Gitmo, and he doesn't have to make any potentially politically harmful decisions.

My acquaintance made much of Mr. Obama's authorization of the raid on Bin Laden. He forgets, or never knew, that Mr. Obama dithered for a full day before authorizing the raid. His dithering cost an additional day due to unfavorable weather. Consider that: Having been in the loop from the first day of the planning phase of the operation, knowing that he would have to decide on capturing or killing America's most wanted terrorist enemy, when the operation was ready to jump off, he took an additional day to make the decision. He was actually seriously considering not doing it! There is every indication that Leon Panetta—of all people—had to insist that he do it.

Imagine what would have happened had he not authorized the raid. Could any American President survive having refused to capture or kill Bin Laden? Imagine if another Bin Laden ordered or inspired 9-11-like attack succeeded. Even democrats couldn't save Obama in such a case, though I have little doubt that the Lamestream Media would labor mightily to save him. Yet knowing this—I have no doubt the more rational among his advisors would have warned him of the dire consequences—he actually considered leaving Bin Laden unmolested. Does such a man deserve congratulations? Does such a man deserve credit for doing the absolute minimum any President must do, particularly considering he took a full day to make that decision after many months to fully consider every ramification?

By the way, wouldn't it have been useful to have Bin Laden? Wouldn't it have been of great value to squeeze him for every drop of actionable intelligence? To use that information to save lives, to pressure hostile governments, and to capture or kill other high-value terrorists? But to preserve Mr. Obama's Leftist street cred, Bin Laden had to die by SEAL bullet or Predator Hellfire. Imagine the Leftist uproar to try Bin Laden in a civilian court, particularly in New York. That's what happens when we elect a President that imposes Marxist values on our abilities to defend ourselves, but not on our enemies.

Barack Obama: all-American anti-terror warrior? I think not.

Posted by MikeM at 10:02 PM | Comments (7)

September 29, 2011

Gunwalker Analysis: Where Walsh was Wrong

Via Instapundit comes a NY Post op-ed by Micheal Walsh that excoriates the Obama Adminstration's murderous gun-walking plot, but I think he draws an incorrect conclusion.

...calling "Fast and Furious" a cockamamie operation gone wrong just isn't going to cut it anymore.

There are two possible explanations. The first is that the anti-gun Obama administration deliberately wanted American guns planted in Mexico in order to demonize American firearms dealers and gun owners. The operation was manufacturing "evidence" for the president's false claim that we're to blame for the appalling levels of Mexican drug-war violence.

If this is true, then Holder & Co. have got to go -- and the trail needs to be followed no matter where it leads. For the federal government to seek to frame its own citizens is unconscionable.

A second notion is that the CIA was behind the whole thing, which accounts for all the desperate wagon-circling. Under this theory, the Agency feared the los Zetas drug cartel was becoming too powerful and might even mount a coup against the Mexican government. So some 2,000 weapons costing more than $1.25 million were deliberately channeled to the rival Sinaloa cartel, which operates along the American border, to keep the Zetas in check.

Of course, there's a third explanation -- that both scenarios are true, and that those in charge of Fast and Furious saw an opportunity to shoot two birds with one Romanian-made AK Draco pistol.

After months of following and writing about developments int his case, the only scenario that makes sense is the first one, that the Obama Administration provided weapons to the Sinaloa cartel in order to frame American gun owners and American gun dealers and support the President's oft-repeated "90-percent lie." Obama has been trying to undermine the Second Amendment since his days as a director of the Joyce Foundation doling out grants to anti-gun groups and subverting Second Amendment scholarship by gaming law reviews. It is utterly consistent with his radical views and training.

The second option and third options, that the Sinaloas were armed to counteract the Zetas, simply doesn't make sense.

If up-gunning the Sinaloa cartel to counteract the Zetas was the goal, the State Department would not have been arming the Zetas with military weapons, nor would there have been any reason to arm domestic criminal gangs in Indiana.

It would have been far cheaper and more effective to arm the Sinaloa cartel with untraceable automatic weapons from the black market.

No, the goal of the various Gunwalker plots is very clear. Elected officeholders and political appointees in the Obama Administration tried to frame American citizens in order to create the political opportunity to subvert the Bill of Rights. It will be up to a special prosecutor to determine the correct charges for such an heinous act, and determine if the actions of this corrupt government constitute an act worthy of a RICO prosecution, a prosecution for international terrorism as U.S. code seems to suggest, hundreds of counts of accessory to murder, arms export violations, or perhaps even treason.

No wonder the Obama Administration is fighting this investigation like their lives depend on it.

It very well may.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:10 AM | Comments (3)

September 28, 2011

Raleigh Television Station Doctors Perdue Quote Via Selective Editing

From our imagined betters at WRAL-TV:

"I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover," Perdue said.

"The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines," she continued. "You want people who don't worry about the next election."

Perdue's support of tyranny was edited by WRAL to make it more palatable.

Here is the full quote:

"You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It's a little bit more contentious now but it's not impossible to try to do what's right in this state. You want people who don't worry about the next election."

I bolded the very important sentence that WRAL edited out that shows just how serious our state's governor is in her call to usurp the power of the people to hold elected officials accountable.

Why, it's almost like the media is protecting her...

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 06:09 PM | Comments (0)

New Audio: Perdue Was Dead Serious About Cancelling Elections

Listen to the audio yourself.

"You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It's a little bit more contentious now but it's not impossible to try to do what's right in this state. You want people who don't worry about the next election."

The bolded text is mine. The treasonous sentiment is owned entirely by a governor that should be rode out of Raleigh on a high-speed rail.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:04 PM | Comments (4)

Trial Balloons for Tyranny?

North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue's dead-serious suggestion suspend elections wasn't an isolated incident.

Only days ago, former Obama OMB director, Citigroup executive, and current Council on Foreign Relations fellow Peter Orszag published an article in The New Republic entitled "Too Much of a Good Thing: Why we need less democracy."

It is stunning to hear any politician so openly discuss the throttling of democracy and the open suspension of our Constitutional rights. To hear two politicians beholden to the same political party and president make the same suggestion, within days of one another, is no accident.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:29 AM | Comments (5)

September 27, 2011

Good News: When It's Time to Hang Tyrants, I Won't Have Far To Drive

I'll only have to go just up the road to the NC Governor's mansion, where they conveniently have some very nice oaks suitable for the kind of partisan zealot that would like to suspend elections in 2012.

"You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It's a little bit more contentious now but it's not impossible to try to do what's right in this state. You want people who don't worry about the next election."

Those were the words in support of tyranny uttered by North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue to the Cary Rotary Club today.

Perdue's spokesperson is trying to write this off as hyperbole, but there was nothing in her delivery, nor in the context of her statements that suggested her words were anything but exactly what they appear to be.

North Carolina Republicans took control of the state legislature in 2010, the first time they've had control since 1898, and have created a powerful redistricting map that threatens to overturn the Democrat's dominance in state politics through a century's worth of gerrymandering.

Coincidentally, 1898 is infamous in North Carolina for another reason; the 1898 Wilmington Insurrection, in which the North Carolina Democratic Party and the Ku Klux Klan overthrew the Republican government of Wilmington, NC, killing dozens to perhaps as many as a hundred in the process. The Democratic governor Daniel Lindsay Russell effectively supported the violence, as did President William McKinley, who did nothing to bring the insurrectionists to justice. Josephus Daniels, editor of the Raleigh News and Observer (appropriately enough, the same news organ that brings us Perdue's comments) also was a champion of the insurrection, infamously the only successful coup d'etat in American history.

Is Perdue serious? Considering the history of North Carolina Democrats supporting tyranny and the destruction of the electoral process, it would be foolish to consider anything otherwise.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 06:03 PM | Comments (5)

September 26, 2011

President Raised in Muslim Country Rips Jews

It's like his teleprompter hates him:

If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a Jew, uh, as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor. I have no problem with that.
Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:57 AM | Comments (3)

September 25, 2011

Fuel Follies

Did you know that about 70% of all the consumer goods purchased in America are transported by truck? Understanding this bit of economic reality, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that the price of fuel is directly linked to all consumer prices. This is fortunate in that Mr. Obama has charged our real rocket scientists to spend their time trying to make Muslims feel good about the scientific accomplishments of their ancient ancestors.

But Mr. Obama has reiterated, for what is it--the twentieth time?--that creating jobs is his first priority with handling the deficit following close behind. For a bit of perspective, let's journey back to April 8th when Mr. Obama ran into a man with a large family at a town hall meeting in Pennsylvania. The poor fellow was concerned about high gasoline prices and suggested that Mr. Obama do something to lower them. Demonstrating the kind of common touch and concern for the little man for which he has become justly famous, Mr. Obama said:

"I know some of these big guys, they're all still driving their big SUVs. You know, they got their big monster trucks and everything. You're one of them? Well, now, here's my point. If you're complaining about the price of gas and you're only getting eight miles a gallon, you may have a big family, but it's probably not that big. How many you have? Ten kids, you say? Ten kids? Well, you definitely need a hybrid van then."

Yeow. Talk about foot in mouth disease. But Mr. Obama handled it in his usual style, even though off teleprompter:

"So, like I said, if you're getting eight miles a gallon you may want to think about a trade-in. You can get a great deal. I promise you, GM or Ford or Chrysler, they're going to be happy to give you a deal on something that gets you better gas mileage."

I'm sure a man with ten children can easily afford new vehicles at will. As you can see, Mr. Obama will not rest—except for rounds of golf and vacations costing more than a decade of most folk's annual salaries—until the middle class has some relief from high gas prices and the skyrocketing prices of frivolous consumer goods like food. He's our middle class warrior. He recently said so himself so it must be true. So let's all fast forward to the middle of August and a story by Jazz Shaw about Mr. Obama's newest effort on behalf of the middle class: That's right! CAFE standards for semi tractors!

Regular readers know that Mr. Obama is demanding a CAFE average of 54.5 MPG by 2025, but never before have the Feds meddled in the long haul trucking business in this way. Mr. Obama is now mandating that heavy-duty vehicles, work trucks and long-haul semis reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from between 9% to 23% by 2018.

Well now. Let's consider this for a moment. Truck owners and operators already know that their single largest fixed expense is fuel. They have every reason to buy the most fuel-efficient trucks they can afford and manufacturers have every reason to build such vehicles. The problem is that the laws of physics apply to semis just as they do to passenger cars. There are three primary ways to save fuel in motor vehicles: (1) More efficient engines and transmissions; (2) more aerodynamic vehicles; and (3) lighter vehicles.

Diesel engines are already quite efficient but some small progress can, and already is being made in increasing efficiency without sacrificing reliability and longevity. Transmissions are more problematic as manual transmissions are pretty much required and it is driving technique rather than the transmissions themselves that have the largest effect. However, in trucking time is money and driving more slowly is more costly. Aerodynamics and weight are closely intertwined because the only way to significantly increase mileage would be to make trucks smaller and lighter. Of course, doing this means smaller loads and more runs to transport the same amount of goods, all of which is reminiscent of Al Gore (this one, unlike the internet, really is his invention) mandating stingy toilets to save water, except that they flush so poorly that people often have to flush twice to finish the job, actually increasing rather then decreasing water use. Greenie types seem to have no understanding of the law of unintended consequences--not that they'd care if they did.

These new regulations can only greatly increase the costs of transporting the 70% of goods hauled by truck, which will directly increase all consumer costs, including gasoline costs—here comes the irony--because gasoline is virtually exclusively hauled by truck. Higher prices means lower hiring, more unemployment, less consumer spending, which means even less hiring, even more unemployment, even less consumer spending, which means…It's tempting to think that this—rather than what he says--is actually Mr. Obama's real policy. But he's the President of the United States. He wouldn't actually be trying to crash the economy. Would he?

And now for a final shot of outrage-fueled adrenalin to start the week: travel back with me to April for an article at MSN Money by Lynn Mucken. Ms. Mucken will explain to you why $4.00 a gallon—and more—gas is a good thing. I've no doubt Mr. Obama would agree, and he's the President, so we should do what he says. Shouldn't we?

After your blood pressure returns to normal, have a great rest of the week!

Posted by MikeM at 10:40 PM | Comments (4)

Obama Desperately Tries to Isolate, Polarize Blacks to Shore Up His Base

In one of the most transparently self-serving political addresses in U.S. Presidential history, a shameless Barack Obama attempted to isolate and polarize African-Americans in an attempt to shore up his crumbling base of support for his 2012 reelection campaign.

In a fiery summons to an important voting block, President Obama told blacks on Saturday to quit crying and complaining and "put on your marching shoes" to follow him into battle for jobs and opportunity.

And though he didn't say it directly, for a second term, too.

Obama’s speech to the annual awards dinner of the Congressional Black Caucus was his answer to increasingly vocal griping from black leaders that he's been giving away too much in talks with Republicans — and not doing enough to fight black unemployment, which is nearly double the national average at 16.7 percent.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Barack Obama is not an African-American except in the most technical sense of the word, and arguably knows less about the "black experience" than any partial minority in American politics. He grew up as a Pacific Islander in Hawaii and Indonesia, but did not spend time on the U.S. mainland until he was already in college. Once there, he immersed himself in a culture that was the province of radical, higher middle-class and rich leftist whites at Columbia and then Harvard, who absorbed the son of a radical west coast hippie mother and communist father with open arms and a self-satisfied nod towards diversity.

I have spent more time "in the hood" than Barack Obama, who relates to the "black experience" about as well as I relate to the cocktail party concern circus in which he's embedded himself his whole life. He is an utter and shameless veneer of an black man, a race-hustling pusher that uses his skin-deep physical appearance to push the agenda of Manhattan, and Cape Cod, Berkeley and Beverly Hills.

It makes me ill to watch Barack Obama try to use real African-Americans as self-indentured vote slaves. But try he shamelessly does.

"Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes," he said, his voice rising as applause and cheers mounted. "Shake it off. Stop complainin'. Stop grumblin'. Stop cryin'. We are going to press on. We have work to do."

Barack Obama has a long history of helping himself by using the black community that he was never really a part of. He's treated them as stepping stones and chumps as he's enriched himself beyond his expectations and his competence.

The question is, will he be able to do it again?

MIKE ADDS:

Once upon a time in those thrilling days of yesteryear, the Lone Ranger and Tonto found themselves in great peril:

Lone Ranger: "There are indians to the left of us; indians to the right of us; indians before and behind us! Tonto, what are we going to do?"

Tonto: What you mean 'we' white man?"

Despite not being the first black president--an honor claimed by Bill "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" Clinton--one would think

that the CBC would fully embrace Barack Obama, yet they do not. Their quarrel is not that Mr. Obama supports a society based on equality of opportunity; he absolutely does not. Many, perhaps most CBC members share that concept, being fully supportive instead of the Marxist goal of equality of outcome. Their quarrel is that Mr. Obama had not turned over a sufficiently large quantity of the property of others. He has not sufficiently coddled them and their version of the culture of victimhood.

Even so, some 90% of blacks will likely vote for Mr. Obama in 2012 in large part because he is black, if not in fact, at least in appearance and in the chosen cadences of certain teleprompter readings, such as those he employed when he most recently read to them. Bob is absolutely right: Mr. Obama's experience is far from that of most American blacks. Despite his literary claims to seek his black identity, he has steadfastly sought his inner Marxist, and has been remarkably successful in finding him. Despite the fact that most blacks are manifestly not Marxists, they will reflexively support a man who cares no more about them because of their skin color--and a racial heritage and culture he has never shared--than he does for any other American. He is above any identification with any particular nation. He is far more important than that.

Until black Americans can be content with being just Americans and can stop voting on skin color and the vain hope that black politicians will look out for some ill-defined set of monolithically "black" issues and concerns, they will never fully obtain the promise of America, access to which their parents and grandparents secured long ago.

Blacks hearing Mr. Obama's faux-black cadenced teleprompter readings might rightfully ask: "what do you mean 'we'?"

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:10 AM | Comments (7)

September 23, 2011

I Question His Definition of "Is"

Think Progress quotes the liberal saint of stained dresses once again showing the kind of brilliance that comes from a man whose oxygenated bloodflow goes mostly below the waist.

Clinton: 'There Is Not A Single Solitary Example' Of A Country That Has Succeeded With A Tea Party Philosophy.

Really? I think the Founding Fathers might just disagree.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:12 AM | Comments (4)

September 22, 2011

Love, Loyalty and Leadership

At a meeting of the American Historical Society at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893, historian Frederick Jackson Turner proposed the Turner Thesis: America is unique—as are Americans—because unlike every other nation, we had a West to conquer. This both revealed and forged our unique national character. It taught us the meaning—meaning unique to Americans—of love, loyalty and leadership.

Fast-forward to September 14, 2011, North Carolina State University at Raleigh, a venue friendly—to say the least—to President Barack Obama. Mr. Obama is demanding, like an endlessly looped, stuck recording, that Congress pass his latest, non-existent, half-trillion dollar retread jobs bill. "I love you, Barack," blurts a voice from the adoring crowd. "I love you back," he replies, "but if you love me, you've got to help me pass this bill!" Mr. Obama's love is apparently conditional: one must first accept and actively support ruinous, socialist fiscal policies. What is most remarkable about this bizarre morality play is that it is utterly unsurprising and unremarkable.

Let's return to the beginning, to May 14, 1787, the State House in Philadelphia, the Constitutional Convention. There is no question of the president of the Convention. George Washington serves his new nation yet again. There is no oxymoronic leading from behind. Washington scarcely utters a word throughout the Convention; his steady presence is more than sufficient.

When the Constitution is finally ratified in 1788 there is no question of America's first president. With reluctance, George Washington serves once more. As he rides to New York to take the oath of office, Americans turn out to wish him well all along the way and he is moved to tears by their sincere appreciation for his character and accomplishments, yet he is distinctly uncomfortable for he knows that his example will establish precedence for all time for all who follow him. The adulation, even worship of kings and potentates can never be allowed to take hold in America. Washington is determined that there be no cults of personality.

Washington serves honorably, but always looking to the day when he owes no more to the future. He knows that the presidency is his for life—a virtual kingship is his—yet he chooses to close that option, not only for himself, for all. Other presidents--notably Bill Clinton--will flirt with a lifetime presidency, but Americans have always rejected such narcissistic overtures.

The Bible tells us that there is no greater love than that a man lay down his life for another. Americans have always embodied and practiced this love without reservation, not only for friends, but foreign strangers. True love is reserved for family and for those few friends whose character and accomplishments render them worthy of such devotion. Our forefathers the pioneers took these lessons to heart and passed them down, for they understood through hard experience upon whom they could rely.

Love cannot be wasted on politicians, for such is the infatuation of the teenage girl for the rock star regardless of how momentarily intensely felt. Loyalty to such people is wasted, for it cannot be reciprocated. Their loyalty is only to themselves, for most recognize no one and nothing greater than themselves. Their fame and popularity, based on the fickle preferences of crowds, propaganda and craven media support are ephemeral--fleeting. We owe our elected representatives only deference for their positions. Respect must be earned, each and every day, and freely given in recognition of character, morality and accomplishment.

For Americans, personal loyalty must be carefully, selectively bestowed. Few politicians are worthy of the least bit of it. Above all, it is given willingly, without reservation and with justifiable pride in America, to the American idea and ideals, to our national faith in what Americans alone can accomplish for good. What politician that does not gladly give his loyalty to America is worthy of the loyalty of a single American? The ultimate loyalty of all Americans must never be invested in politicians, for all fail, all pass away, but only in America which must ever endure.

While common in our military, true leadership is hardly common in our presidents. Election to office does not a leader make, though some would point to the fact that they have managed to be elected to several offices as proof of accomplishment and leadership. Leadership arises out of steadfast character and genuine accomplishment. Washington, Lincoln, Truman, Reagan, all men of character and real accomplishment rose to the challenge of the office. Barack Obama, a man famous for being famous, accomplished for being elected, has not and cannot.

Conservative radio host Andrew Wilcow suggests that the Obama sycophant expressing their love for Mr. Obama in Raleigh may have been a plant. This is a possibility not to be discounted for a White House infamous for its shameless stage-managing of Mr. Obama's public appearances, and which may be smarting from accusations that without his teleprompter, Mr. Obama is stilted and clumsy.

In either case, spontaneous or scripted, love expressed for a politician reveals a fundamental disconnect, even a repudiation of America.

Politician love is utterly misplaced, the stuff of cult-of-personality dictatorships. It reveals a sickness of the individual and national soul. Prior to Barack Obama, newsmen calling any president a god, worshiping the creases of their trousers, expressing amazement and admiration for their fly-swatting abilities or serially depicting them as pseudo religious icons with halos would have been thought deranged, but where Mr. Obama is concerned, such lunacy has become daily fair, remarkable only in its most insanely outrageous manifestations. In its intention and intensity, it is anti American, it rejects the example of Washington and embraces the worst aspects of the narcissism and vanity of the world's despots.

Mr. Obama is not worthy of the respect of any American. His character and accomplishments before and after assuming the presidency reveal a hollow man, a man who has actually admitted that he is an empty vessel—tabula rasa—a blank slate upon which the hopes—even the fantasies--of anyone may be drawn. Being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, not for any accomplishment—his chair behind the Resolute Desk was hardly warm—but for being Barack Obama, for some possible future accomplishment--is a case in point. Mr. Obama admitted that he deserved it not, yet revealed the depth of his character by accepting it knowing it to partially represent a crude slap in the face of America. This is a man whose loyalty is always to self, never America, which he sees as unremarkable, just one of many nations. He is a man who proudly announces his leadership from behind, who proposes non-existent bills and demands they be immediately passed, and who seeks to address ruinous deficits of his creation by means of class warfare and by creating yet greater deficits. This is a man who tolerates his Vice President calling fellow Americans "terrorist" and "barbarian" for daring to embrace the Constitution and demand fiscal responsibility.

The presidency of Barack Obama is the embodiment of a national holiday from responsibility and history. It is a departure from traditional and necessary American understandings of love, loyalty and leadership and a perversion of those essential, noble ideals. That such publically expressed, fawning devotion to a politician, particularly one of such abysmal character and destructive, anti-American intentions and accomplishment seems unremarkable to so many must stand as an urgent warning. It is an unmistakable indicator of how far we have allowed ourselves to stray from the path of liberty so carefully established by George Washington and so lovingly, carefully maintained by many that have followed him. It is a warning we fail to heed at our peril.

Posted by MikeM at 09:33 PM | Comments (2)

September 20, 2011

General Motors: American Jobs--For China?

The convoluted story of the Chevy Volt took another bizarre twist today with the publication of an Associated Press article detailing "cooperation" between General Motors and the Chinese government on electric vehicle technology, which inescapably means the Chevy Volt. It is, of course, the only electric vehicle (actually a ridiculously complex and expensive pseudo-hybrid) currently manufactured by GM, though an even more expensive version of the Volt is reportedly on Cadillac's drawing board and on the fast track for production.

The Volt's MSRP is approximately $41,000 and individual Volts have sold for up to $65,000. It's virtually certain that even fewer Volts would have sold without the $7500 government subsidy. Even with that generous subsidy—it's about double the cost of comparable conventional, high-mileage conventionally fueled compacts that actually get better mileage than the Volt—Volt sales have been abysmal (302 in August). But of course, the Volt isn't a product meant to survive in the free market, nor is it meant to turn a profit (GM probably loses money on every vehicle): it's an entirely political animal. It's difficult to imagine how much a Voltilac (Cadiolt?) will cost or precisely where the market for such a vehicle is. These days, Cadillac has become a brand built upon high performance, luxury and perceived prestige, none of which an even more ridiculously expensive Volt can possibly provide.

The AP story, as we’ll explore, dances around the reasons for this "cooperation." A Green Auto Blog story is more to the point, but for the moment, let's focus on the AP, which titled its story: "GM to Build Electric Cars in China, Protect Chevy Volt Technology."

The AP continues:

"General Motors Co. agreed Tuesday to deepen cooperation with its flagship
Chinese partner on development of electric vehicle knowhow amid pressure from
Beijing to hand over proprietary technology.

Investments and other details of the plan were not provided, and it was unclear if the agreement was the result of a renewed push by China to acquire advanced technology its own automakers still lack."

Right. It's unclear. But all is not smiles and fortune cookies:

"U.S. lawmakers have complained that China is shaking down GM to get the technology that drives the Chevrolet Volt electric car. GM plans to start selling the Volt in China by the end of the year, but its prospects are iffy because it doesn't qualify for a Chinese government subsidy that amounts to $19,000 per car. The government offers the subsidy only to electric cars made in China.

Lawmakers contend such requirements are unfair and may violate world trade rules."

Oh no! The Chinese Communists aren't playing fair! Who could possibly have imagined that? GM provides an unintentionally informative tidbit:

"But GM spokesman Jay Cooney in Detroit said the company has not been pressured by the Chinese government to share the Volt technology and has no plans to share it. He said GM is working with the Chinese government in an effort to get the subsidy for the Volt because it helps reach a government goal of getting more electric vehicles on the road.

The cooperation agreement was signed during a meeting of the U.S. automaker's board in Shanghai — a visit underscoring China's importance to the company's future. It was the GM board's first meeting outside of the U.S."

Hey, didn't the GM spokesman just say they have no plans to share Volt technology?

"'We can accomplish far more by working together than we can by working separately,' Tim Lee, president of GM International Operations, said as GM and state-owned partner Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corp. signed an agreement on developing a next-generation electric vehicle platform.

The agreement 'to co-develop electric vehicle architecture is further proof of GM's and SAIC's plan to lead the auto industry in new energy vehicle technology," he said, describing the plan as a "very aggressive and challenging project.'

Cooney said the companies will work together to develop a new fully electric car. The Volt can travel about 35 miles on battery power, and a gas-powered generator kicks in to run the car when the batteries are depleted. The generator technology eliminates anxiety over whether a driver will run out of electricity."

Let's review:

(1) GM is going to "deepen cooperation with its flagship Chinese partner."

(2) GM's "flagship partner" is, in fact, the belligerent communist government of China, our undeclared enemy, the ally of our declared enemies (such as North Korea), a nation that reflexively works against American interests and is currently producing a massive military buildup obviously aimed at directly challenging American interests in Asia and the Pacific, and a nation whose generals and politicians often rattle their collective sabers at us. You know, those guys, our pals who flood our market with children's toys virtually dripping in lead-based paints.

(3) GM spokesman say they're not going to share EV technology with the Chinese.

(4) The Chinese are demanding that GM share EV technology or they'll do something absolutely horrible and unfair: Make Chinese peasants pay the full MSRP for Chevy Volts. Good grief! Even the evil running dog American capitalists don't do that! They're proletarian enough to provide a $7500 people's subsidy, and they're not even Marxists! OK, so having a Marxist president and government doesn't count.

(5) So GM is not going to share EV technology with the Chinese, except they're going "'to co-develop electric vehicle architecture," which is " further proof of GM's and SAIC's plan to lead the auto industry in new energy vehicle technology," all of which lack of cooperation and sharing with the Chinese will be a "very aggressive and challenging project."

(6) The primary method American diplomats use in negotiating with the Chinese, particularly under Democrat administrations, consists of the Chinese making outrageous, bellicose demands to which our diplomats respond by saying "OK."

What is the most unintentionally revealing part of the story? The Obama Administration, including Mr. Obama himself, has repeatedly said that they have no role, none whatsoever, in the day to day operation of General Motors, despite the taxpayer's continuing ownership of GM and GM's continuing loss of taxpayer money, the Volt being an excellent case in point.

As Americans have learned whenever Mr. Obama says "let me be clear," or in any way suggests that he's going to tell the truth, he's about to obfuscate and lie on a cosmic scale. While GM has, in recent years, demonstrated some familiarity with political lying –most notably it's "we paid off our government loans early by taking money from another government loan" ploy--Mr. Cooney does not seem to play in mendacity's big leagues.

Mr. Cooney's statement has an unclear pronoun antecedent. Does he mean to say that putting more EVs on the road is a goal of the American government or of the Chinese government? I suspect it's a Freudian slip. We know beyond any doubt that putting immature EV technology on American roads, regardless of whether Americans want it, is one of the foremost goals of the Obama Administration, which has made no secret of it. Mr. Cooney is merely confirming what those who have been paying attention to this debacle have long known: The Volt exists at the demand of the Obamites and their greenie bundlers and they will stop at nothing to promote it even if it again bankrupts GM, for real this time.

Green Auto Blog suggests a somewhat more pedestrian motivation for GM:

"As General Motors seeks to introduce the Chevrolet Volt to the Chinese market, it's counting on these subsidies to help make the car attractive to potential buyers. It could work, too, since the Chinese subsidies are large enough to essentially slice the Volt's MSRP in half."

Notice that if GM can get the communists to agree to extend their $19,300 per vehicle subsidy to the Volt, it would actually be affordable to American consumers, who, of course, won't be able to take advantage of it because, well, they're seriously disadvantaged by not being Chinese and living in America. It's difficult to believe that GM is making this deal—you know, the deal they're not making--for financial reasons. After all, no matter how large the government subsidy or which government pays it, GM is almost certainly losing money on each and every Volt that rolls out of the factory. There must be more pressing reasons for this non-agreement agreement. What could they be?

Mr. Cooney has provided the answer: The Obamites wants to put more electric vehicles on the road. Their green purity keeps them from realizing—or caring—about whether their EV flagship actually works, will sell in anything approaching fiscally rational numbers, or whether those EVs are on the road in America or China. The environmentalist virtue of displacing vehicles powered by evil carbon based fuels takes precedence over reality, politics, national security and certainly common sense. Let's not even try to bring rational business practices into this infernal mixture.

There is no doubt that GM will give away the EV technological farm to the Chinese—or the Chinese will steal it if they haven't already. There is also no doubt that whatever electronic technology they glean from this venture will be used to the maximum degree possible in military applications. Perhaps the Obamites have forgotten that the Chinese Military has its hand in every state-run business venture, and certainly controls all exchanges of technology with foreign states, particularly the United States. And have I mentioned that the Chinese are almost certainly behind a massive and ongoing cyber espionage and sabotage program against America?

On the other hand, the Obamites probably know all about it. No wonder they're behind this "very aggressive and challenging project."

I've long thought that if Mr. Obama loses his bid for office in 2012 that GM, which will almost certainly be thrown out into the cold, hard reality of existence in the free market, will dump the Volt like the economic albatross it is. The only way that the Volt could ever be profitable in America—absent unbelievable leaps in technology which could greatly extend its range and lower the price—is if manufacturing costs could be drastically lowered, and by drastically, I mean essentially cut in half. But of course, the only way to do that would be to outsource the production of the Volt, to move it to a country with very cheap labor costs, a country like—no! You don't suppose they're thinking about moving Volt production to China, do you?

A $20,000 Volt just might be at least marginally economically viable in the American market. But wouldn't that be a complete repudiation of Mr. Obama's serial promises to make American job creation his first priority? Wouldn't shipping the production of an entire model line of American vehicles to China be counterproductive to job creation in America? Wouldn't it in fact be strengthening an avowed, if not specifically declared, mortal enemy of America? OK, OK, maybe I'm exaggerating. After all, they probably only have several thousand nuclear warheads aimed at us. What's a few nucs between friends?

Surely Barack Obama wouldn't be un-American enough to benefit the Chinese communists at the expense not only of American labor, but national security, and all in the name of putting more EVs on the road? Why, that would be—unimaginable.

Posted by MikeM at 10:46 PM | Comments (3)

September 15, 2011

... Of a Miserable Failure

In 2007 and 2008 the signs were there and all too vivid for those who cared to look.

Unrepentant and continual contact with not one, but two of America's most infamous political terrorists. Ties to another mentor who was both an admitted child rapist and a radical. Befriending a radical priest that advocates lynching. Spending more than two decades in a radical church that is a blend of Marxist political theory and racial supremacy.

An short and undistinguished political career marked by radical positions, when he would even take a position at all. An incomplete, sometimes contradictory personal history and an unwillingness to divulge everything from his associates to his collegiate records. The padding of his resume.

But he was new, and charismatic. He was a handsome and gifted speech reader with a on-pitch delivery and a vague promise of "hope and change" at a time when much of the nation wanted to simply pretend everything that had happened from 9/11/01 onward was just a bad dream.

He wasn't a candidate.

He was an escapist fantasy for a nation worn down by protracted wars and deep domestic divisions. Looked at it objectively with the benefit of hindsight, it seems obvious that the Democratic Party could have run almost any fresh-faced candidate and won against the feeble and caustic old man offered up by Republicans.

Barack Obama was then, and always has been... a miserable failure (NSFW).


(also NSFW)

We all know that now.

Between arming drug cartels and street gangs with guns and grenades, and using his position to press for loans to campaign donors, Barack Obama will be lucky if his legacy is something other than a prison library.

We did this to ourselves and deserve every bit of what we're getting, America.

Perhaps you should research your candidates a little deeper next time, and cast your vote for someone with a proven track record of leadership, and not, as Obama has given us, "just words."

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 02:09 PM | Comments (7)

September 11, 2011

9-11's New Rallying Cry

On this hallowed day, I leave devotions to others. The Lord embraces his own; our concerns are, of necessity, more worldly. Perhaps the best way to honor those not lost, but murdered, ten years ago is to recognize the very real lessons of 9-11, lessons even more pressing today. Among them: Appeasement is disaster, medieval barbarians and contemporary despots fear only strength and we cannot afford Progressivism—we never could.

From Jimmy Carter's feckless encouragement of and mishandling of the Iranian hostage taking—an act of war—to Bill Clinton's dismantling of our human intelligence networks, to Barack Obama's continuing attempt to treat the world's most rabid terrorist murderers as common criminals, the evidence that progressives are as dangerous to our national security, to our very lives, is long-standing and unmistakable. We can't afford to ignore it any longer.

Mr. Obama's "smart diplomacy" has predictably made the world even more dangerous to freedom. Indeed, Mr. Obama has continued many Bush/Cheney policies, but this is not a result of his firm commitment to American Democracy and freedom, but because to do otherwise would have dissipated his political viability and even led to impeachment. We should waste not a single breath in praise of a politician doing the bare minimum any president should do.

Instead, let us remember and pay attention to these imminent threats:

1) Egypt now stands ready to take up Islamist rule and at the very least has abandoned its groundbreaking stance of non-aggression toward Israel. Unless Mr. Obama intends to abandon Israel in case of war—and this cannot be discounted (I'm sure this is much on the minds of Israelis)—heightened aggression toward Israel is heightened danger for us.

2) The "rebels" Mr. Obama supported with American air power in Libya are now revealed as Al Qaeda terrorists. This does not bode well for peace and democracy in North Africa, to say the least.

3) Iran's progress toward nuclear weapons proceeds at great speed. Iran continually swears that it will use nucs against Israel and us. We would be idiots not to take them at their word, yet "smart diplomats" are incapable of treating such unambiguously genocidal threats seriously.

4) Turkey is throwing off democracy in favor of Islamism and cutting its peaceful ties with Israel.

5) North Korea not only provides missile and nuclear technology to terrorist states, it is actively aggressive toward us and our allies, attacking at will. The Leaders of North Korea are easily deranged enough to use nucs or to provide them to terrorists.

6) China's aggression and military build up are a substantial threat not only to our allies and interests in the Pacific, but to our survival. Their serial cyber attacks on us are arguably acts of war.

7) The drug war in Mexico threatens to cause the failure of the Mexican state and to spill across the border in far more serious fashion than the relatively limited incursions we've already experienced. The Obama Administration responds by passing, through administrative fiat--bypassing the Congress and people--the DREAM act, and by using our law enforcement, diplomatic and national security apparatus to arm the cartels through the Gunwalker scandal.

These are far from the only threats facing us as a direct result of progressive policy and disdain for America. The media—a wholly owned arm of progressivism—has never shown the footage of innumerable Americans falling to their deaths from the Twin Towers, choosing a few final seconds of life and freedom rather than death by fire. They have withheld this footage not to spare our sensibilities, not out of concern for decency, but because they know that each and every falling body would only harden the resolve of Americans, would only pound terrible, final nails into the rotting coffin of Progressivism.

Honor those who died by restoring America, by restoring limited government, self-reliance, the work ethic, personal responsibility, and the unashamed, unreserved appreciation for all that America is and has done for the world. Take America back from those who deal with nuclear threats with repeated, weak threats of sanctions against terrorist despots that murder their own people. Take her back from those who see our defense budget as just another bargaining chip, from those who don't believe that America is in any way exceptional, from those who scorn and belittle Americans who believe in God and the Bill of Rights, calling them "barbarians" and "terrorists" and telling them to go to Hell. Restore it to those who will uphold America's sovereignty and who will restore and preserve her economic and moral might.

Our enemies have, for some time, been taking advantage of the perception of American weakness. If America is to survive in the brutal and endlessly perilous world Progressivism has so foolishly created, Americans must utterly and finally reject Progressivism beginning now, and in 2012. From this day forward, this should be 9-11's rallying cry that such an atrocity never be repeated on American soil.

Oh yes--we're actually at war against an enemy devoid of mercy. It might not be a bad idea to have a president who can actually say the word "war."

Posted by MikeM at 01:59 PM | Comments (4)

September 09, 2011

Triumphs Of Smart Diplomacy: #28,764

Crowds of Egyptian "protestors" attacked and breached the Israeli Embassy in Cairo on Friday, forcing the ambassador, his family and other staff to flee to Israel.
Egyptian military police helped them evacuate safely, but the police did not impede those seizing and ransacking the embassy.

According to Fox News, President Obama told Israeli President Netanyahu that he was working "at all levels" and also expressed "great concern."

The seizure of the embassy of a foreign nation is normally considered an act of war.

ObamaCare, the Stimulus (which name may no longer be spoken), leading from behind, overseas contingency operations, "reeducation," Gunwalker, single-handedly dismantling the Arab-Israeli "peace process," allowing Iran to build nuclear weapons, and now expressing "great concern" over the seizure and sacking of the Israeli Embassy. Is there anything Mr. Obama cannot destroy within less than three years?

Israel will be fortunate to survive the Obama Administration. We may not be in much better shape.

Posted by MikeM at 11:24 PM | Comments (4)

The World Turned Upside Down

The Associated Press nails Obama for lying about Son of Son of Stimulus, and the NY Times compliments Sarah Palin.

I think I need to lie down.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:44 AM | Comments (4)

September 08, 2011

It's Muslim Day At Six Flags!

"Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities."
Winston Churchill

"The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them."
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

The Houston Bugle, Friday, September 2, 2011

SAN ANTONIO: As many as 4000 Catholics from around the state are expected to converge on Six Flags Rodeo Texas on Sunday for "Catholic Family Day," to spread the eternal truth of the Gospel and to assure Americans that Catholics are peaceful and mainstream.

Activities will include Catholic prayers and devotions, entertainment, socializing, and confessionals set up throughout the park. The event, which is open to the public, was organized by local chapters of the Knights of Columbus.

The interaction with the public at a popular, high-traffic amusement park will go far in reducing anxieties between Catholics and the larger community, said Steve O'Donnell, The KOC's local president.

"It's our community too, and we are mainstream just like anybody else," he said.

Local Baptist minister Paul Chilton observed: "the event is a sign of the gradual acceptance of local Catholics. After all, they're just like the rest of us, except for maybe the whole fish thing on Fridays."

Readers with a keen eye will recognize this "news" story as a parody of a recent story appearing on the Houston Chronicle's website titled "Muslim Family Day Will Spread Peace At Six Flags" (links at the end of the article) The event, reported with all of the diverse, culturally sensitive prose one might expect in such a story, reportedly went off without a hitch on Sunday, which is as it should be and less than surprising.

Why is this "event" news, and why should anyone care? Can't Six Flags, which took pains to note that it was not formally sponsoring Muslim Day, and which is a private, for-profit business have a Catholic day, or a Mormon day, a "celebrate little yapping, ankle-biting dogs day" or an "Aliens are coming to take us to Venus day"? Of course it can, and while most Americans would find devoting a day to a given faith a bit odd, most would shrug their shoulders and move on. Not so where Islam is involved, which is why the Houston Chronicle thought the event newsworthy and why CAIR sought to publicize it. Islam is indeed a special case, and with the annual approach of 9-11, now is a particularly good time to remember why.

Americans are a people who truly welcome all faiths and all peoples. As long as those peoples are willing to honor our Constitutionally established separation of church and state, they are welcome. Some might consider the practices of a given faith to be odd or perhaps even mildly sinister, but America has never been into the policing of thought, at least not too much thus far in the Age of Obama. Americans simply accept Muslims who are willing to assimilate. Such acceptance takes no conscious thought or action; it's merely taken for granted. Some, however, can't take "yes" for an answer and seek to stir the pot of intolerance. CAIR is among the most egregious pot-stirrers in America, and the Lamestream Media is not far behind.

In April of 2006, in an attempt to make, rather than report, the news, NBC sent men dressed in outlandishly Islamic clothing to a NASCAR race, hoping to record what they obviously hoped would be the intolerance and racism of the red-necked, gun and God clinging denizens of Flyover Country. NBC ended up with nothing to show for its clumsy efforts, which any NASCAR fan could have told them beforehand: Southerners—even NASCAR fans--tend to be polite people. NBC probably ended up with hours of tape of people of all races, genders and faiths saying "hello," "how are you," or "the men's room is down that way."

Americans, like Winston Churchill, are quite capable of understanding that most Muslims are not Jihadists and wish no one harm. However, most Americans are also aware that tens of millions of Muslims—even some in America--are Islamists and do wish not only to harm infidels but to subjugate the world. A global Caliphate will certainly not be compatible with amusement parks, just as prior to American intervention in Afghanistan, the punishment for kite flying could easily be death. Unfortunately, those Muslims who choose to assimilate are not following the literal dictates of their faith, in fact, they are commonly considered apostates by their more militant, scripturally adherent brethren who have no scruples about killing fellow Muslims who do not mirror their beliefs.

This is why CAIR promotes this, and similar events. CAIR, which has a long and well-documented history of support for Islamists and their goals, and its supporters surely understand that Muslims are universally accepted in American culture where people are judged by their character and actions rather than their faith. What CAIR seeks to do is to normalize Islamic practices as part of a long- term strategy toward its eventual goal: Islamic rule and the imposition of Sharia, or Islamic law. In essence, CAIR is hoping to gradually, subtly condition Americans to give them the unthinking acceptance and blindly ignorant tolerance necessary for Islam to prevail.

At a teacher, I find that one of the concepts with which my students struggle most is the idea that other cultures are not like Americans. They may wear blue jeans, listen to rock, eat at McDonald's and watch American movies, but they do not share our religious, political or cultural assumptions and beliefs. Islam admits no such thing as the separation of Church and State, which has been essential in establishing a nation where all faiths may practice freely. Islam is a complete scheme of theologically based government. It is anti-democratic—utterly incompatible with democracy and individual freedom--and is dedicated to enslaving the world and imposing Sharia.

Unfortunately, this global caliphate all good Islamists seek must be carried out by human beings who must, as best they can, try to divine the will of God, or Allah, as they prefer. Politicians are, of course, not fit to understand God's will (or even understand basic economics, particularly if Progressives), so only ministers may rule, and all law is based on the Islamic scripture and commentaries as interpreted by the minister/rulers. The Koran is quite clear about all of this, and even lays out precisely how war against the Infidels—that's all non-Muslims—must be waged.

When an Islamist terrorist leader issues a demand that a nation or people submit to Islam, he is not preaching repentance or engaging in mere rhetoric as Americans used to religious rhetoric would imagine, he is following the Islamic principles of war as outlined in the Koran. Muslims must first give an enemy an opportunity to convert, and if they refuse, may put them to the sword. Once conquered, Muslims may simply kill all of their enemies, or they may allow some to live. If they choose the latter course, they may institute Dhimmitude, allowing the conquered some measure of political, cultural and religious tolerance in exchange for the Jizyah, a tax which all Dhimmis must pay for the privilege. However, even in conquered people allowed this privilege, the fact that they are infidels always hangs over them like a sword of Damascus steel, for the fate of infidels and apostates in Islam is death and it may be imposed at any time.

It is particularly fascinating to find American politicians, ministers, gay activists, even feminists supporting Islamists and calling for "understanding" and "tolerance." Should Islam prevail, there will be no cultural or religious understanding or tolerance. There will be no Christian or other ministers, gays will be killed wherever they are found, politicians will be out of the job unless they are willing to convert to Islam and become Mullahs (Islamic ministers) and women will find themselves to be worse off than cattle, for in Islamic countries, cattle are often afforded more concern and care than women and girls. Genital mutilation, beatings, forced marriage, torture, the denial of even basic education, honor killings, and more are the fate of hundreds of millions of women in Islamic nations, particularly those with a more Islamist bent.

There is no need to publicize a Muslim Day at an amusement park any more than there is a need to publicize an Episcopalian day or a Lutheran day or an atheist day. All are accepted; all are unremarkable. All are, if not exactly mainstream, subject to the protections and legitimacy mandated by the Constitution. This goes beyond an earnest desire for acceptance and assimilation, yet it may provide a benefit CAIR could not anticipate.

Even as we remember those savagely murdered on 9-11, let us not forget that they died not as a result of an unfortunate accident, not in a tragedy, not as a result of an "overseas contingency operation," not because some felt aggrieved, not because of American domestic or foreign policy, but because we are, and have for decades been, engaged in a war for the very survival of Western civilization, a war we did not provoke, did not start, and would prefer not to have to fight.

Muslim Day at Six Flags in San Antonio, Texas was merely one small yet important propaganda effort in that war, a war we cannot afford to minimize, ignore or lose on any front.

Links For This Article:

http://www.chron.com/default/article/Muslim-Family-Day-will-spread-peace-at-Six-Flags-2153726.php

NASCAR: http://www.nascar.com/2006/news/opinion/04/06/cross.nbc.dateline/

CAIR Background: http://spectator.org/blog/2011/03/10/yes-cairs-terrorist-ties-are-r#

Posted by MikeM at 10:07 PM | Comments (3)

The Major Economic Salvation Speech

"Pass this bill." "Pass this bill." Pass this bill right now." "If you pass this bill…" "PASS THIS BILL RIGHT NOW!" And that—and more—was just the first 10 minutes of Mr. Obama's major economic salvation speech. It was like judging a round of beginning debaters, and very dim beginning debaters at that. And now we discover that there is, in fact, no actual—ahem—bill. Once again, Mr. Obama is expecting the CBO to score a speech. Obama uber-advisor Valerie Jarrett has admitted that the bill does not exist. They're still writing it, she tells us, and it will be delivered to Congress next week (maybe). Talk about a Pelosiesque "you'll have to pass it to find out what's in it," ploy!

And the way to promote job growth is for the Federal Government—you know, our "federal family"—to spend $450 billion dollars! That's roughly half the failed stimulis.

I was going to write about this monstrosity in some depth, but all you really need to know is that it was essentially Mr. Obama telling Congress and the American people about how smart and wonderful he is and how only partisan, barbarian (thanks Mr. Biden!) terrorists could possibly oppose anything Mr. Obama wants.

Mr. Obama condescending and lecturing, Congresswoman Waters telling us to go to hell, VP Biden calling us Barbarians (in comparison with union thugs—see Bob's article on the Longshoremen and Rob's article as well), and now they want conservatives to come together in peace and brotherhood to spend money we'll have to borrow to do essentially nothing to actually create jobs? For them, it really is a feature, not a bug.

Oh, and does anyone really believe that when the ink is dry—if that ever happens—the price tag will remain at a mere $450 billion?

They really do think that the American people are utter morons, particularly those of us in Flyover Country. And yes, gentle readers, they do think and talk just that way.

PS: Biggest, most bald-faced lie: It's all paid for. Uh…the Super Committee will have to figure out how to do it!

Posted by MikeM at 09:22 PM | Comments (5)

Labor Union Terrorism Strikes WA State Port

union label
Thugs first, last, and always.
Hundreds of Longshoremen stormed the Port of Longview early Thursday, overpowered and held security guards, damaged railroad cars, and dumped grain that is the center of a labor dispute, said Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha.

Six guards were held hostage for a couple of hours after 500 or more Longshoremen broke down gates about 4:30 a.m. and smashed windows in the guard shack, he said.

No one was hurt, and nobody has been arrested. Most of the protesters returned to their union hall after cutting brake lines and spilling grain from car at the EGT terminal, Duscha said.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union believes it has the right to work at the facility, but the company has hired a contractor that's staffing a workforce of other union laborers.

They committed multiple counts of kidnapping, assault with deadly weapon, assault on a police officer, vandalism, property damage, and God knows what else, because they feel they have the right to take the jobs away from other people.

Expect either a half-hearted response or not response at all from the Democratic Party, including the President.

You will not see a forceful response from Homeland Security.

You will not see a forceful response from the Department of Justice.

This is precisely the kind of violence that they condone, and why the labor union constituency that are the enforcers of the Democratic Party must not just be controlled, but utterly destroyed.

Update: Shockingly, it's co-ordinated and happening at other ports.

ILWU is claiming that the actions must be local, which would be much more credible if ILWU International President Robert McEllrath wasn't personally leading the Longview assault and union rags weren't triumphantly showing photos of him being arrested.

thug-arrested
Posted by Confederate Yankee at 02:23 PM | Comments (8)

Obligatory, Next-Day Reagan Debate Commentary

Rick Perry may as well have walked on to a bullseye instead of a stage last night at the Reagan Library, with fellow Republican Presidential candidates and the moderators doing their level best to tear him apart.

Overall, Perry held his ground, which is all you must do as the front-runner. He got testy with Mitt Romney, which was expected, and with Ron Paul, which is unnecessary (you don't punch down, and you don't engage crazy).

Mitt Romney, was, well, Mitt Romney. Incredibly polished, impeccably Presidential in his bearing, and yet so slightly off-putting and almost imperceptibly insincere. He's like a more refined version of Joe Isuzu.

Newt Gingrich showed us all he is still a masterful debater and personality, and I hope they keep him around well into the primary season if for no other reason than to drop like a sack of hammers on badgering moderators like we saw last night. He will not be President or the Veep, but he is a brilliant man, and whoever the eventual candidate would be smart to find him a place in their administration.

Herman Cain gave the most direct answers of the night, and impressed me with his ability to stay on message. He didn't duck or weave like the professional politicians, and had the kind of confidence that comes from experiencing real success. He and he alone stands on the stage as the only candidate in either party with a legitimate claim as a job maker. I want to see him around until the end, and suspect he would be solid Vice Presidential pick for the eventual nominee, where he could be set loose to promote job growth for the next four years.

There was also another Mitt Romney in a orange face and yellow tie. I think they called him Jon something.

Michelle Bachmann, God bless her, was neutered last night, primarily by the moderators, who all but excluded her. I quipped on Twitter that I thought she must have left early, and of course, Politico thought I meant that literally, when I was actually a bit ticked at the way the moderators focused on trying to destroy Perry and Romney instead of trying to provide an actual forum people could learn from.

I think there were a couple of other candidates, but they don't matter.

And there you are.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:03 AM | Comments (9)

September 07, 2011

They Do WHAT?!

Submitted for your approval: A federal regulatory agency that, lacking a legal mandate to impose its will, encourages radical pressure groups to sue it so that it can claim that it is being forced to do what it, and the radical pressure groups, want to do in the first place. And that's not all. The agency has also paid one of the pressure groups to produce a do-it-yourself guide to suing the agency, and routinely pays the legal bills of the pressure groups it encourages to sue it!

How could any federal bureaucracy be so out of control? Why is such a bureaucracy allowed to exist? Go here to my latest Pajamas Media article to find out. Take your blood pressure medications first. You might want to sit down first too.

Posted by MikeM at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)

That Game's a Killer

So we have violent rhetoric from the Hoffa that's still above water to "take these sons of bitches out," and a nice little Brooklyn liberal who created a video game so that progressives can get whet their eliminationist instincts by violently killing Fox News personalities and conservative politicians... all under a shallow veneer of being a zombie killing game.

Yeah, right. It's the joy of killing zombies that makes progressives happy, not the enabling of their fantasy to murder real-life, flesh-and-blood conservatives that they loathe without facing consequences. It's like being Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, without all the nasty side effects. Win!

I have another one Starving Eyes Advergaming could develop.

It's called the "OZombie Shooter."

In it the Executive branch ships guns and grenades to Mexico, everyone dies, and the media tries to cover it up.

Real damn funny, isn't it?

If only it were a game...

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:45 AM | Comments (1)

September 06, 2011

Obama Stealth Socialism And The EPA

As a nation breathlessly awaits Mr. Obama's upcoming homily on his certain economic salvation of the nation, it might be good to recall that President Obama recently directed the EPA to put on hold proposed regulations that would have substantially ramped up smog control controls relating to ozone. The regulations, if imposed, would have hit American businesses with as much as $90 billion dollars a year in compliance costs.

This move has been met with praise from some quarters. Even Conservatives, who tend to want to respect their leaders and who tend to want to seek the good in them, even to the extent of giving due credit to political enemies who have sworn ever-lasting enmity against them, have also given cautious praise to the President. Perhaps a few are wondering if, at long last, Mr. Obama might be seeing the light—compact fluorescent light, not incandescent light, of course.

However, many Progressives, including virtually all environmentalists, are wailing, gnashing their teeth and rending their garments in expressing their disappointment, even outrage at Mr. Obama's enviro-apostasy.

All are wrong.

Barack Obama remains what he always has been: A Marxist-indoctrinated stealth Socialist. However, extraordinary circumstances of Mr. Obama's own making have forced him to temporarily bow to reality, not for the sake of reality, but for a far more important consideration: the sake of his own reelection.

To better understand what is happening, it may be useful to consider three discrete time frames: the upcoming presidential campaign (for Mr. Obama, the campaign is eternal), the lame duck post election day period from early November until the inauguration in early January of 2013, and the next presidential term.

On September 2, Friday, the traditional Washington bad news dumping day, the Labor Department admitted that in August, not a single new job was created (or presumably, saved) for the first time since 1945, and that official unemployment remained at 9.1%. Adding to the economic bad news, the Obama Administration also admitted that unemployment would almost certainly remain at 9+% throughout 2012. Historically, no president has won reelection with unemployment at such an elevated level. In fact, Democrats ruthlessly excoriated President George W. Bush for unemployment in the 5% range, which videos will make for amusing viewing during the coming campaign.

No doubt Mr. Obama, at the behest of his more occasionally rational advisors, has realized that unless he creates at least the appearance of moderating his reflexively anti-American, anti-business, rabidly pro-labor union and environmentalist core beliefs, his electoral prospects are grim at best. So why not announce a roll back (which can be reinstated when the heat is off) of a juicy, politically charged regulation about to be imposed by a much-reviled agency? It's a perfect, and perfectly predictable, stealth Socialist ploy.

Mr. Obama's base will be allowed, even encouraged, to complain while giving independents the illusion that he has suddenly discovered rational policy. Even some conservatives might be tempted to partake of the Kool Aid for they, trusting souls (suckers!), seek the good in others and hope for their repentance and redemption. Simultaneously, the more rabid environmentalists are unleashed to express vitriolic disgust. All the while, however, the wiser of the Socialist base know that Mr. Obama is winking at them and that they can't lose.

If Mr. Obama wins a second term, even if Republicans control both houses of Congress, America will see a blizzard of executive orders and bureaucrat-imposed regulations that will take a generation to undo, if such undoing is even possible. If he loses, America will experience a two-month blizzard of executive orders, regulations and pardons that will make Bill Clinton's pardons of Puerto Rican terrorists and of Marc Rich seem paragons of wisdom and rectitude in the administration of justice by comparison. In both cases, Progressives know that many such mandates, once established, will never be fully overturned. Despite their hatred for Ronald Reagan, Progressives ironically give him credit through their actions for his aphorism that the closest thing to eternal life we will ever see on Earth is a government program.

Regardless of the outcome of the election, Mr. Obama's actions are merely a cynical continuation of his standard operating procedure: If it can't be obtained legislatively, accomplish it by means of executive order or bureaucracy. Like a bargain basement children's party magician, with his left hand he misdirects, rolling back or temporarily delaying a handful of ruinous regulations and mandates, while with his right he imposes thousands of new, far more destructive regulations.

More than 4200 new regulations enacted since his election have been put into effect or will soon be imposed. Unless it is fully repealed, the more than 100 new federal bureaucracies conjured by ObamaCare will add thousands of additional regulations even more expensive, economy-destroying and enervating than those already imposed or planned, for the full impact of ObamaCare is not in those regulations written in the thousands of pages of the law, for in those which will be created by unaccountable, unelected bureaucrats. Mr. Obama will surely do nothing to ward off this perfect storm of rule making and imposition by the Socialist administrative state he has worked so hard to create. This is Mr. Obama's only true accomplishment, and it is to America's detriment.

It is Socialist orthodoxy, not rational thought or concern for America that drives Mr. Obama. It forces him to continue to double down on obviously failed policies rational men would have long ago abandoned, for the Socialist truly believes only two things: Socialism cannot possibly be wrong, and Mr. Obama and his cadre of self-imagined elite Socialists will succeed where all Socialists before them have failed. This may seem self contradictory, but that's certainly not Socialist thinking.

Rational people behold the abject failure and obscene waste of the Stimulus and vow never to repeat such an idiotic mistake. Socialists believe it failed only temporarily and only because it was too small. They demand more and even bigger and more wasteful Stimuli; they want to do more and spend more. Rational people behold Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and realize that they will soon bankrupt the nation. They want to take affirmative steps to retain necessary social protections for the deserving while preventing disaster. Socialists ignore the washed out bridge over the looming fiscal abyss and pass, against the wishes of the American people, ObamaCare, an entitlement which will, by itself, bankrupt the nation, even cynically stealing a half trillion dollars from its lesser brethren to prop it up.

If a Socialistic program is floundering, this can only be because insufficient socialism has been applied. If more is applied but still avails nothing, this can only be because conservatives are allowed to exist to oppose it or because the program has not had sufficient time to work its transformative miracles. Socialism is always and in all ways unfalsifiable; it cannot fail; it cannot be wrong.

Has Mr. Obama truly seen the CFL light? Ask Texas. If a January 1 EPA rule regulating cross-state air pollution goes into effect, Texas—and a great many other states—will have to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to upgrade their coal-fired power plants. This despite the fact that even the EPA admits that Texas really doesn't contribute to the problem and has its own, stringent, pollution control laws. Mr. Obama, during the campaign, promised to essentially destroy the American coal industry and threatened to bankrupt coal-fired power producers.

The effects of such a regulation in Texas alone would be catastrophic. Texas, like most states, cannot do without a single megawatt of power. Any degradation in power production capacity would result in periodic blackouts in times of greatest demand, particularly during the summers, resulting in multiple deaths of the poor and infirm. Those of greater means will almost certainly install fossil-fueled generators, which will contribute to rather than reduce pollution, but Socialism cannot be wrong. Texas was never going to vote for Mr. Obama anyway, so why should he care?

Before the election, Mr. Obama earned the coveted title of the most leftist Senator in America, more left even than the sole self-identified Socialist. That title is surely richly deserved, unlike the Nobel Prize he won for being Barack Obama. Like all magicians, Mr. Obama deals only in illusion.

Posted by MikeM at 10:42 PM | Comments (1)

September 05, 2011

Liberal Academics Support Prejudices Against Conservatives

Specifically, a couple of college professors asked ambiguous questions and inferred racist intent from questions like these:

...Mr. Abramowitz also said they were more likely to harbor racial resentment, which he judged based on their answers to questions such as whether blacks could succeed as well as whites if they "would only try harder," and whether they agreed with the statement that Irish, Italians and Jews overcame prejudice and "blacks should do the same without any special favors."

Mr. Abramowitz said tea party supporters were substantially more likely than other voters to question how much effort black Americans are making to advance themselves, versus being held back by social factors.

You see, for liberal, often Marxist and truly racist academics, blacks are lesser humans, and they need subsidies, special treatment, and incentives. How else are they supposed to be "equal" unless we make them equal?

Tea Party supporters of every race view this as condescending rubbish with good reason; equality means everyone having the same opportunities, not ensuring that everyone has the same results.

In the eyes of the ignorati, however, such sentiments equal racism and bigotry because it doesn't embrace their belittling view of minorities.

Remind me again... who are the racists?

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 07:57 AM | Comments (1)

September 01, 2011

The Eco-Aliens Are Coming! The Eco-Aliens Are Coming!

In July of 2010, newly appointed NASA Administrator Charles Bolden was proud to announce the new mission given him by President Obama, the mission he considered most important to NASA: To make Muslims feel good about the scientific accomplishments of their ancient ancestors. Even then, Mr. Obama exhibited an almost divine prescience, for a year later, NASA no longer had the ability to send men into space, so why not focus on more Earthly pursuits? Exhibiting the same spirit that once landed men on the Moon, NASA has done just that.

According to Ian Sample of The Guardian, NASA has turned its legendary scientific brilliance and can-do culture to conquering an entirely new—if not essentially debunked and disgraced—frontier: Global Warming. Wait a minute! NASA is the National Aeronautic and Space Administration. Where’s the aeronautics or space in that? It’s actually spacier than anyone could have imagined.

According to NASA scientists and Pennsylvania State University, we can forget all of that Climategate stuff, and all of the other evidence indicating that the UN and other climate doomsayers have been more or less making it all up. There is now a new and far more compelling reason to bankrupt the entire world even faster than was thought possible through ObamaCare. Using the unfathomable brainpower of NASA scientists and the tenured fecklessness of academia, NASA has determined that the gravest threat to Earth is: Greenie space aliens.

Among the scenarios posited by this galaxy-class brain trust is the idea that alien civilizations watching Earth from across the vast expanse of interstellar space will be compelled to destroy Earth because they detect a change in Earth’s atmosphere due to greenhouse gas emissions. Being just about as green as they come (who knew the little green men were literal and figurative?) these advanced alien intelligences will be terribly offended by what we have done to our planet, so they will, of course, have to obliterate mankind. The authors wrote:

"These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets."

This is not, by any means, NASA’s first foray out of rocket science and into crackpot science. Dr. James Hansen (who was just arrested while protesting a proposed oil pipeline) of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies has a long history of embarrassing NASA and reputable scientists with his global warming pronouncements, which have upon occasion forced NASA to disavow or walk back his alarmist claims. Even Hansen’s boss, after his retirement, stated that Hansen violated NASA’s official position on climate forecasting, and embarrassed the agency with his unsupportable claims of impending climate catastrophe.

Yet contact with extraterrestrial life is not beyond the realm of possibility, and responsible scientists have pondered it. Dr. Travis S. Taylor and Dr. Bob Boan published Alien Invasion: The Ultimate Survival Guide for the Ultimate Attack in 2011. The book was an outgrowth of a two-hour documentary produced for the National Geographic Channel in 2010. Taylor and Boan served as consultants for that effort. In the book (pp. 116-118) Taylor and Boan propose fourteen general reasons that might motivate an extraterrestrial visit, including a desire for conquest, food, resources, and a variety of other reasonable possibilities. Unsurprisingly, Earthlings being mean to Mother Earth thus sparking genocidal rage in a technologically advanced space-faring race is not among them.

No longer able to put men in space, reduced to begging the Russians for a lift on their 70s technology capsules for the short hop to the International Space Station and further reduced to serving as self-esteem coaches for cultures that are, for the most part, unable to design and manufacture toasters, NASA has fallen to trying to prop up Al Gore’s declining fortunes. Mr. Gore, obviously deranged as the global warming scam which provided such amenities as a 100 foot houseboat and a mansion that uses more electrical power in a week than most people use in a year collapses around his ears, dissolved into an obscenity-laced rant at an August 8 speech at the Aspen Institute. More recently, he branded as racists those who don't worship his AGW orthodoxy. Poor Al. People just aren't taking him seriously anymore.

It doesn’t take a doctorate in astrophysics to understand why this particular NASA rocket blew up on the launch pad, much like the August 24th launch of a Soviet resupply rocket. Let’s listen in on two alien scientists:

Alien Scientist #1: “Hey, look at this!”

AS#2: “What?”

AS#1: “Extreme range sensors indicate an infinitesimal increase in carbon dioxide concentration with a miniscule increase in global temperature on planet X-39822877B993XC988.1”

AS#2: “What! What are those maniacs doing to their planet! We must immediately rally a fleet and obliterate every sentient being on that planet that we may reduce carbon dioxide and the ambient temperature! We must…wait a minute; which planet did you say?”

AS#1: “Lemme check again…Yup, it’s X-39822877B993XC988.1 alright.”

AS#2: “How far away is that?”

AS#1: “Gimme a sec…uh, says here three trillion light years, give or take a billion or two.”

AS#2: “Three trillion…hmmmm, even at maximum glorg quotient, that's quite a ways…wait a minute, isn’t that the planet a deep space mission visited last clerch, you know, the one that sent back what the inhabitants call “television broadcasts?”

AS#1: “Now that you mention it, I think you’re right.”

AS#2: “Forget it. I’ve seen them. There’s no sentient life there.”

There are those who suggest that anything is possible, but they’re wrong. Monkeys are not going to fly out of my posterior. Barack Obama is not going to create jobs, Iran is not going to sue Israel for peace, and pigs aren’t going to achieve self-propelled flight. Of all of the potential alien visitation scenarios, this is probably one of the most far-fetched (apart from coming to Earth to get modest dressing tips from Lady GaGa), and besides, it’s a shameless rip off of a shameless rip off. One would expect rocket scientists to have a bit more imagination.

I refer, of course, to the classic 1951 classic SciFi film The Day The Earth Stood Still. At least the motivation of the alien visitor, Klatu, was remotely plausible. Alarmed at Earth’s nuclear weapon progress, his civilization, representing many alien races, delivered a warning: Expand Earth’s destructive tendencies beyond Earth, and face "obliteration."

Produced at the beginning of the Cold War, the film has a great deal of charm and delivers its message without Al Gorish condescension and pedantic hectoring. However, the idea that advanced aliens would take notice of a force as slight as a handful of low-yield nuclear weapons wielded by a barely advanced species requires a bit of suspension of disbelief. Why the aliens would be concerned about a species unable to travel even within its own solar system is an interesting question, as is why a race capable of obliterating entire planets via a single eight foot tall autonomous robot would be worried about a few miniscule nuclear explosives. But the film is well made and entertains 60 years later.

The first rip off was the 2008 Keanu Reeves vehicle of the same name. Reeves demonstrates his chops as an honor graduate of the Mt. Rushmore school of acting as an alien race comes to destroy Earth because we’re mean to it in a sort of vague, non-ecologically conscious sort of way, and probably because we eco-racists don’t listen to Al Gore anymore. Reeves is convinced to spare the planet by Jennifer Connelly, who could probably convince me that Al Gore actually won in 2000.

NASA’s rip off requires us to believe than an alien civilization sufficiently advanced to have mastered interstellar travel and with the power to obliterate an entire species on a given planet, ostensibly without harming any of the other flora or fauna, would even notice a completely unremarkable planet in a completely unremarkable star system in a completely unremarkable galaxy in a completely unremarkable corner of the universe. Such a species almost certainly wouldn’t notice if our sun went super nova, and we’re to think plausible that they’re measuring, across the unimaginable vastness of space/time--our global temperature and greenhouse gas concentrations as a sort of omniscient inter-galactic greenie police force?

To be fair, NASA has disavowed its own scientists involved in this scenario, much as it has done with Dr. Hansen from time to time, treating them all like the crazy uncle every family keeps locked in the attic. But perhaps all is not lost. If the alien greenie police do arrive to exterminate us, Mr. Obama can practice the smart diplomacy for which he is so famous. On second thought, maybe not: that would doom us for sure.

Posted by MikeM at 09:34 PM | Comments (5)

August 31, 2011

C-A-R-S-O-N is Just Another Way of Spelling R-A-C-I-S-T

The Congressional Black Caucus has beclowned itself yet again with ignorant, inflammatory and race-baiting rhetoric with comments like thse.

A top lawmaker in the Congressional Black Caucus says tea partiers on Capitol Hill would like to see African-Americans hanging from trees and accuses the movement of wishing for a return to the Jim Crow era.

Rep. Andre Carson, a Democrat from Indiana who serves as the CBC's chief vote counter, said at a CBC event in Miami that some in Congress would "love to see us as second-class citizens" and "some of them in Congress right now of this tea party movement would love to see you and me ... hanging on a tree."
Carson also said the tea party is stopping change in Congress, likening it to "the effort that we're seeing of Jim Crow."

Carson's comments—which he refuses to retract—are some of the most vile and volatile levied by members of the CBC as they travel on a national tour that seems to have the express intentions of fanning racial discord so that black voters react emotionally, instead of intellectually.

The caucus is attempting to drive in a psychological wedge and isolate African-Americans from the larger American community, and assert control over their votes by defining acceptable behavior.

According to the Congressional Black Caucus, it isn't acceptable to embrace values that champion small government, or lower rates of taxation, or spur innovation, or take concrete steps that actually create jobs, and it certainly isn't acceptable to think rationally about which political group serves the individual interests of your family and its circumstances.

Instead, the CBC wants each and every African-American beholden to them, and what they deem is acceptable. Who died and made them Massa?

The CBC wants blacks beholden to big government, robbed of the respect and the self-satisfaction that comes from being the master of your own destiny.

Let us state clearly, in no uncertain terms, that Andre Carson and his ilk support nothing less than the mental chaining of African American minds to the Democratic Party.

It is a shameful display of naked bigotry by small-minded zealots that are trying to bully an entire race into voting in a monolithic block so that this handful of bomb-throwers can personally benefit from the polarization and strife they insist on creating.

If Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today, and he really meant what he said about wanting all Americans judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, he would be appalled at these bigots in the CBC that claim the right to decide what all African-Americans should think and feel.

They are building a prison for those they should be uplifting, and that is anything but leadership.

MIKE ADDS: Q: What do Tea Party activists say when they meet a black person? A: Hello. What is conspicuously missing from Rep. Carson's narrative is anything resembling actual evidence of his projection of racist hatred on unspecified Tea Party supporters. However, evidence to the contrary, in the form of actual black people, can be seen at any and every Tea Party event throughout America. Rep. Carson is counting on two things: The media will slavishly report whatever he says while asking no questions about his complete lack of supporting evidence, and because the Tea Party is a loose federation of Americans of all political parties and walks of life who want smaller government and reduced spending, no unified Tea Party resistance will be raised against his irresponsible and race-baiting rhetoric.

Readers may remember that it was Rep. Carson, who with several other prominent members of the CBC, staged a stroll through a Tea Party gathering accompanied by a legion of video cameras on March 20, 2010. Obviously, they hoped that someone would say or do something they could turn to their political advantage, and when no one did, they did as Rep. Carson has now done: they made it up. Carson and the others claimed that they were pelted with racial epithets and even spat upon. The Lamestream media uncritically parroted their fabrications. A Washington Post account even called Carson "a revered figure on both sides of the aisle."

Unfortunately for Carson and his CBC co-fabricators--several of whom quickly went silent--despite multiple witnesses and multiple video cameras with unobstructed camera angles, not a single racial epithet or molecule of saliva was documented. Andrew Brietbart offered a $100,000 reward for video of such abuse of the tragic legislators. It remains unclaimed to this day.

Rep. Alan West (R, FL), a former Army officer, has informed the CBC that unless they repudiate Carson's comments, he will quit the CBC. That is statesmanship of the kind Rep. Carson cannot imagine. If Carson is indeed a revered figure on both sides of the aisle, those so uncritically bestowing reverence on the race-baiting Congressman might want to reconsider, just like Rep. West. Perhaps it is men like Rep. West who deserve a bit of reverence.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:32 AM | Comments (2)

August 30, 2011

On Public Service: Dick Cheney

Not long ago I finished watched Sean Hannity's most recent interview of Vice President Dick Cheney on the occasion of his second autobiographical book In My Time (go here for Amazon ordering information). Mr. Cheney looks quite thin, if not exactly frail, and I learned that he has had a very rough year, including a five week period in an ICU during which time he was on a ventilator and in a medically induced coma for several weeks. He lost 40 pounds and is kept alive by a mechanical heart pump. These devices, in the past, were appropriate only for keeping very sick people alive long enough to receive a heart transplant, but as Mr. Cheney said, the technology is now sufficiently advanced that he is living quite well with its assistance without the immediate need for a transplant. This is remarkable indeed for a man who suffered his first heart attack at the age of 37.

I'll not go into the specifics of the interview, the content of which is very much in line with the contents of his book. Rather, my purpose is to honor a fellow Wyomingite and American who has for more than 40 years served his country with dignity and courage, despite suffering the kinds of health problems—to say nothing of mindlessly vicious attacks by the media—that would have sidelined a lesser man.

It was refreshing indeed to see a man with such a depth of experience, an experience that served him and America very well indeed during one of its darkest chapters. It was also refreshing to see a man whose experience has served to temper and even humble him, a man who chooses his words with care, yet does not hesitate to speak directly to issues of importance. Of course, Dick Cheney earned my eternal respect when he appropriately told the execrable Democrat Patrick Leahy, on June 22, 2004, what he might do with himself, a service provided for the victims of Leahy's leaks not alive to deliver that message in person.

What also impressed is that Mr. Cheney's life is, and always has been, an open book. We know precisely who he is and how he became that man. We know of his upbringing, his high school years in Casper, WY, his college experiences, and all of the details of his public service. This is not a man who has spent millions hiding his transcripts or birth certificate.

Mr. Cheney also takes, without prevarication or evasion, responsibility for his mistakes, even when they are painful, as was his accidental shooting of a friend. Dick Cheney is not the kind of man who blames others. He has always lived in a world where action—correct action and competence—matter and where words have value only in their service to the truth. He is, clearly, a serious man, a man any American should want on their side. We are, in fact, far better off because he was on our side for so long, because he was willing to come when called when it would have been far easier and more personally profitable to do otherwise.

Ultimately, my greatest portion of respect for Mr. Cheney lies in the fact that no rational person could ever doubt his devotion to America. It is there in his eyes and in the reverent tone of his voice as he speaks of his country and the honor of serving it. He surely believes that America is the one indispensable, exceptional nation. He knows that America is mankind's last, best hope. It is impossible to imagine Dick Cheney groveling to foreign dictators, bowing before foreign dignitaries, or in any way denigrating America, domestically, or particularly, abroad. He has never had any difficulty telling the difference between our allies and our enemies, and clearly understands that the only way to deal with the latter is to make them respect and fear America. He is more than capable of calling a war a war, and has no time for moral fecklessness.

I fear that Mr. Cheney will not be with us much longer, but pray that I am wrong. Still, even now, to paraphrase Shakespeare, nature might stand up and say, "this is a man." Even more, Dick Cheney is unmistakably an American. In this fallen world, to what greater title might one aspire than "American?" Mr. Cheney's advice to the disgraceful Leahy to those who imagine otherwise would be quite fitting.

How tragic, even heartbreaking, that those who now lead us cannot hold a candle to such as Cheney, yet foolishly consider themselves his superior.

God Speed Mr. Cheney. Grateful Americans honor your service.

Posted by MikeM at 10:23 PM | Comments (4)

August 29, 2011

It's Turned To "11"! Run! BUMPED AND UPDATED

BUMPED AND UPDATED:

While it is certainly reasonable and rational to be outraged at the Obama Administration's recent raid on the Gibson Guitar Company...What? The Gibson Guitar Company?! You haven't heard about that one? Les Paul is surely spinning in his grave.

This week the Feds raided Gibson, seizing what they claim are woods prohibited by various environmental regulations from importation and use. The most bizarre aspect of their raids seems to be that Gibson is not actually, you know, violating any American laws nor are the Feds enforcing any American laws. The Feds now seem to be enforcing Indian--as in the nation, not domestic indian--laws.

One of the truly good and Obamaesque parts of the whole sordid affair is that federal agents at our borders have for some time been seizing guitars if they suspect that portions of them were made--even decades ago--with wood that might, under some obscure treaty or foreign law somewhere, be somehow currently illegal, even if the owner could have had no possible way to know that. Apparently the feds intend to continue this practice as well. Guilty until you prove yourself innocent; it's the Obama way!

All I can say is thank goodness Mr. Obama is now focused on doing away with a handful of unnecessary, idiotic and nationally suicidal regulations--while simultaneously implementing literally thousands of unnecessary, idiotic and nationally suicidal regulations each and every year. And thank goodness someone is now dealing with the horrific societal effects of a bit of imported ebony or other semi-exotic woods, whether it's actually illegal or not. No doubt Gibson is responsible for most of Global Warming. Notify Al Gore!

Wait a minute! I'll bet this is just a part of Mr. Obama's never-ending campaign to save or create jobs! I wonder how much a federal guitar raider makes a year? Do they have groupies? Could be a pretty cool gig!

The best way to attack such totalitarian lunacy is through humor, and the invaluable Ironhawk has done just that to magnificant effect. Go here for the musical mayhem. Who knew this whole mess was related to Gunwalker?

With Barack Obama, we really do have to pick and choose our daily outrages. There are just so many. Rick Perry's promise to make Washington DC as inconsequential in our daily lives as possible is sounding more and more like the new "don't tread on me" every day.

UPDATE: 093011

From Tina Korbe at Hot Air comes proof that some people are beyond parody and irony. It now seems that a prominent member of the Obama Administration is also likely guilty of trafficking in precisely the kinds of woods and instruments crack federal guitar agents seized from Gibson. The environmentally insensitive, anti-globalist, fascist rare wood and forest hooligan is none other than---wait for it---Michelle Obama! That's right! It's the ten million dollar woman and First Lady of the United States. Check your dictionaries students, because when you look under "irony" and "hypocrisy" you'll find her smiling visage.

In 2009 Mrs. Obama gave French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy a shiny new
Gibson (there's the irony) Hummingbird guitar featuring an Indian Rosewood fretboard, which is one of the types of wood seized by the ever vigilant federal coherent fiber agents (that's the hypocrisy). The Hummingbird, long a feature of the Gibson catalog, is a high-dollar acoustic guitar featuring various expensive woods. Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy is a musician who has produced several albums.

There is, of course, one other possibility: Perhaps Mrs. Obama, acting undercover and in concert with an alphabet soup of federal law enforcement agencies, cleverly funneled that Hummingbird to Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy in the hope that French rock and roll cartels would use it in their criminal endeavors, thus stirring up the support of the American public for bans on domestically produced "assault guitars" and illegally modified automatic extra-capacity amplifiers that go all the way to "11."

Wait a minute…you don't suppose Nigel Tufnel is in league with them…?

UPDATE #2: 093011

As readers have suggested, there is clear evidence that the raid on Gibson could well be politically motivated. Go here to Hot Air for convincing proof via direct links that the Obama Administration would surely consider Gibson, whose CEO donates to Republic candidates, to be the enemy. C.F. Martin, perhaps Gibson's most direct competitor, is very much aligned with Democrat interests and uses precisely the same kinds of woods from the same sources as Gibson, yet Martin has never been targeted by the Obamites. In fact, there are many guitar makers both large and small, that use the same materials in their instruments and they too remain unmolested.

The question remains: Would the Obama Administration, steeped in the corrupt juices of the Chicago Political Machine, stoop to blatant, thuggish intimidation of political enemies? Would the most partisan and politically corrupted Justice Department in American history abet such overt attacks on the rule of law? Would Barack Obama, the man who even now is hard at work on a speech about how to create jobs, directly attack an American industry that not only gainfully employs many skilled, well-paid (though non-union) workers, and whose products are exported around the world?

The answer lies in each and every bit of "unexpected" horrific economic news. If that's not convincing, ask Boeing, the American oil industry, Texas, and American business, both small and corporate.

Thanks to Junk Science Skeptic for help in documentation before my day job allowed me the time for research.

Posted by MikeM at 11:45 PM | Comments (3)

August 28, 2011

Substance vs. Appearance

This is an interesting photo comparison I came across in the last few days. Trying to trace it back to its origin has been a bit like running a maze. It may have been originally posted by David Limbaugh, but apparently Limbaugh didn't know its origin and it has been posted in multiple other places. From what I can tell, Texas Gov. Rick Perry would have been about 22 years old in the photo, but I suspect that Barack Obama looks a bit younger than that. There's just no way to know for sure. If anyone has a solid lead on the origin of the photo, please let me know and I'll be glad to give proper credit.

perry-at-22-e1314270044719

What is fascinating is that in some cases, a picture really is worth a thousand words. On one hand, we have future Texas Governor Rick Perry, a young man with the right stuff. The Air Force does not allow just anyone to fly its jets. Being selected for pilot training says a very great deal about one's judgment, intellect, grace under pressure, courage and leadership ability. Completing pilot training says even more. Perry eventually flew C-130's--four engine cargo aircraft with amazing capabilities--all over the world. Not bad for a small town Texas kid raised on a ranch that graduated from a no-name, non-Ivy League school. Oh yes, and anyone involved in military aviation, despite its overarching emphasis on safety, is risking their life on every flight.

On the other hand, we have the young Barack Obama, future President of the United States. Virtually nothing is known about his college years. We have no idea which classes he took or his grades in those classes. All of this information is carefully hidden. By his own admission, he spent his time hanging out with Marxists and consumed at least his fair share of marijuana and cocaine. Judgment? Intellect? Grace under pressure? Courage? Risking his life? At least we know that his idea of leadership is "leading from behind," which in the real world, the world inhabited by Rick Perry (yes, and even George W. Bush) from a young age is the epitome of lack of judgment, lack of intellect, no grace under pressure, cowardice, no risks and of course, no leadership.

It is a sad commentary on contemporary America that anyone, let alone a substantial portion of the citizenry, viewing this post will almost certainly sneer at a young Air Force pilot, minimizing and denigrating his service, while simultaneously lionizing a young, Marxist doper unwilling to release most pertinent details of his past.

But Barack Obama was an Illinois State Senator and a US Senator! Indeed he was, and what were his accomplishments in those positions? I mean, apart from voting present some 130 times, including on bills he sponsored, as a means of leaving no political footprints? Apart from earning the title of the most leftist man in the US Senate, more left even than the only avowed Socialist? Apart from running for president most of his time in the Senate?

But he's the President of the United States! Indeed he is, and every one of his "accomplishments" has, in only 2.5 years, caused substantial harm to the nation. Those not yet fully implemented, like Obamacare, have been revealed to be lies and will surely bankrupt us.

But he got Bin Laden! He deserves credit for the absolute minimum any president should do? He dithered for a day on even that decision, causing an unnecessary two-day delay that could easily have allowed Bin Laden to slip through our fingers and endangered our troops. But he won in Libya! Well, if you consider constant hesitation and a complete lack of any policy for pursuing what he denied was a war or anything like a war, and having no idea who we were supporting winning, perhaps. But he has played more golf in 2.5 years than any other president in eight! Well, you got me there.

One can only hope that the Republicans use this, or something like it, in the campaign. But considering how often Republicans have pulled defeat from the jaws of victory, I'm less then encouraged.

Certainly, people change with time, and dissolution in youth doesn't automatically mean failure in adulthood. But sometimes, youth foreshadows the future. In the cases of Rick Perry and Barack Obama, this would appear to be very much the case. It's a matter of substance vs. appearance.

Posted by MikeM at 06:53 PM | Comments (5)

Obama's Illegal Alien Relative Gets Drunk, Nearly Hits Cop Car, Is Arrested. No, Not That Illegal Alien Relative. Another One.

The President's illegal alien aunt continues to suck off the public teat (and blames the system for it), but it looks like his uncle may be headed back to Kenya.

A number of media outlets have already reported that an illegal immigrant from Kenya by the name of Onyango Obama, 67, was arrested last week on Wednesday after he nearly rammed his SUV into a police car in Framingham, Massachusetts.

He was later charged with DUI among other violations. I spoke to Framingham Public Information Officer Lieutenant Delaney who told me that when Onyango Obama was asked at booking if he wanted to make a telephone call to arrange for bail, the Kenyan immigrant replied: "I think I will call the White House."

...

According to article, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement has warrant for his arrest and ICE previously ordered him to be deported back to Kenya. In the meantime, a judge has not set bail on the driving charges but ordered that he be held on the ICE warrant.

Oh, who am I kidding?

Aunt Zeituni is a welfare leech that thinks we owe her citizenship, and the government ha decided to let her stay in the country because of her relationship to the President, despite the fact she is nothing more than a drain upon the economy.

Uncle Omar will no doubt get the same sort of waiver—the Obama family exemption—and be allowed to stay, suck up money meant for citizens, and increase the national debt.

It is, after all, what all Obamas due, regardless of their citizenship.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 04:56 PM | Comments (1)

August 25, 2011

Martin Luther King: Spinning Like A Lathe

Much has been written—at least in the conservative blogosphere—about the images of Mr. Obama produced by his eternal campaign and his slobbering worshipers. But for those not familiar with the issue, merely google "obama posters" and you'll see what I mean. Conservatives, and those who lived through the Cold War, have been rightfully appalled by the iconographic, fawning images because they are very much in the style of Cold War Communist propaganda iconography, imagery that reflected the hero worship of some of the most vile monsters humanity has ever produced, men like Stalin, Lenin, Mao and the lesser monster in terms of numbers of victims, Che Guevera. Equally appalling has been the starry-eyed worship of these images by Mr. Obama's leftist followers, people who are apparently unaware of the horrific parallels, don't care about them, or see in those parallels the kind of virtue and power sought only by the deranged and tyrannical.

MLK PHoto

It is with this in mind that I write about the recently unveiled Martin Luther King Memorial on the Mall in Washington DC. The centerpiece of the four-acre memorial is a massive, 30 foot tall statute of Dr. King, a work some eleven feet taller than the statutes of Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. The Memorial is the only such shrine on the Mall not dedicated to a former President. The statue is of a piece with Communist propaganda and rather than being rendered in the classical (ancient Greek/Renaissance) style as the majority of other monuments in DC, it resembles nothing so much as the massive, triumphal statutes of Chairman Mao (a dictator beloved of Obama appointees), arguably the most depraved—in terms of sheer body count—mass murderer and despot in the history of mankind.

The statute--amazingly--was carved by Chinese artist Lei Yixin who prior to carving the MLK statute, was best known—imagine this—for massive statues of Mao. Or perhaps I should observe that it is amazing only to those who consider America to be an exceptional nation and the beacon of freedom and liberty in the world, a nation that expended considerable blood and treasure during the Korean War fighting the Chinese and North Koreans that South Korea would not experience the kind of oppression and mass murder the Chinese—and later the North Koreans--visited on their own people.

By all means, go here and here for an American and a British take on the Monument.

Interestingly, this is not the first time an Asian was involved in controversy roiling around a Washington memorial. Maya Lin, at the age of 20, won the design competition for the Vietnam Memorial. Lin is a natural born American. In fact her parents fled China for America in 1949 when Mao came to power.

With emotions about the war still raw, opposition to her concept was angry and fierce, with some referring to it as "a black gash of shame." Others were upset that the monument contained no statuary reflecting the soldiers who served, nor was an American flag on display. Still, the monument was completed and dedicated on November 13, 1982

Over time, a flagpole was added, and finally, by Nov 11, 1984, a statue by Washington sculptor Fredric Hart entitled "Three Servicemen," was added. The statute depicts three Vietnam-era soldiers with correct uniforms and equipment as though emerging from the forest after a mission. These additions did much to silence opposition, and Lin's vision has been vindicated. The Vietnam Memorial is the most visited in Washington, and is renowned for its solemnity, dignity and emotional power.

Sadly, it is unlikely that the MLK Monument will ever attain similar status. The statue is clearly rendered in the Soviet/Mao propaganda style. King stands, his massive, stiff arms crossed, his visage not impassive and noble as in classical sculpture, but rather, stern, even angry and menacing. Unlike the graceful, lifelike fluidity of the statues of Jefferson and Lincoln, King—rendered in coarse, abrasive texture--appears more rock than man, more state-conjured goblin than human being, more stiff, grim, and threateningly stylized in the blatantly intimidating Marxist style, a style that does not inspire awe and reverence, but inescapably reminds the unwilling viewer of the consequences of failing to demonstrate sufficiently worshipful public deference. This is no idle threat even today in China where dissidents are often shot in the back of the head and their surviving relatives billed for the bullet. Most bizarre is the inescapable observation that Lei Yixin has carved Dr. King with unmistakably Asian features.

I suspect that as with so much else in contemporary America, some 25% of Americans—leftists all—will be thrilled with the statute, for it directly reflects their policy and political preferences. It symbolizes the strength, rigidity and inflexibility of the idealized leftist state, ostensibly caring for "the people" with appropriately soaring rhetoric, but in reality, more than willing to wield the iron fist of power, to crush any individual or disfavored group to achieve its ends, the Constitution and freedom be damned.

The rest of America will be, at best, ambivalent about it. Many will be as appalled as was I to see the monstrosity. But I suspect none would be as appalled as Dr. King himself, who was far from an admirer of Communist doctrine and its propaganda manifestations.

Yet another triumph for the Obama Administration. Yet another disgrace for America.

Posted by MikeM at 10:18 PM | Comments (7)

August 23, 2011

Becuase Ideological Conformity is More Important than Solutions

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) is the latest member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to try to blame the problems of her constituents on anything but the policies she champions.

"When you look at African American males, 40% of them are unemployed, those under 30 years of age. I understand exactly the entire nation must be involved in this recovery but the black community is experiencing a great recession. That's what we're experiencing," Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) told MSNBC.

First, criminals are all but unemployable, and while blacks comprise just 12.6% of the U.S population, they make up 39.4% of the prison inmates in 2009 according to Wikipedia.

A Guardian post claims that 30-percent of black men will go to jail.

So who is really to blame, the business community for not wanting to hire convicted criminals, or the culture and communities that allow such a high percentage of their young men to turn to a lives of crime and celebrate a popular culture of "thug life" that glorifies gang activity, violence, and misogyny?

The Great Society brought about by liberalism destroyed the black family unit, and Planned Parenthood is nothing more than slow-motion genocide being waged against African-Americans by white liberal cultural elites.

If black Democratic legislators were something other than Stepin Fetchits "out to get me mine's'" and cash in on the misery of their peers, they are a substantial enough force within Congress to effect positive change for their communities.

But they aren't there to enrich their communities.

Corruptocrats like Maxine Waters, Jesse Jackson Jr., Charles Rangel and others are there to personally profit at the expense of their communities, and instead of providing a way out, merely reinforce the broken system that that caused so many parts of what was once a thriving African-American middle class to implode.

From their perspective, it makes sadly perfect sense.

The unemployable and destitute will reliably keep voting for Democrats to ensure the table scraps offered by the Democratic party continue to come their way.

A thriving black middle class would turn their attention to matters of business and culture would break the Democratic stranglehold on the nearly monolithic black vote, and put shameless race-baiters out of work.

Wilson, et al find a wonderful scapegoat in vague claims of racism. It excuses the fact they've done nothing for their constituents, and serves to reinforce the low expectations that keep them chained to servant and victim mentality.

It's loathsome that a sitting Congresswoman is allowed to make such claims unchallenged, and sadly, completed expected.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:35 PM | Comments (1)

August 21, 2011

I'm Takin' A Vacation!

What to make of Mr. Obama's Martha's Vineyard vacation? Some have suggested that considering the horrendous economic situation for which Mr. Obama bears primary responsibility, it is, as the trendy saying goes: "bad optics." Indeed it is. Others claim that Presidents are due their vacations, which also has the ring of truth. Others bewail the extravagance of the Obama family's choice of vacation spots and of the expense involved. The Obama's will be staying in digs reportedly costing some $50,000 per week, which is more than a great many Americans make in a year. There is indeed a case to be made for unthinking, uncaring extravagance.

All of this is disturbing too because the Martha's Vineyard excursion is hardly an isolated event. Combined with Mr. Obama's plethora of golf outings and his many command performance White House parties starring himself with a supporting cast of various celebrities, to say nothing of jetting on Air Force One on various "date nights," Mr. Obama has succeeded in creating a particularly unfortunate stereotype: The low roller suddenly come into money who lives large and fast and blows it all in an ostentatious display of greed and carelessness.

In Julius Caesar (Act. II, Scene I), Brutus speaks of those who climb the ladder of power too fast, and reaching its upper rungs, forget how they got there and the people they used and tend to abuse power. One might be forgiven for thinking that Mr. Obama didn't learn that lesson from Shakespeare, or the most important lesson: When the mighty allow themselves Hubris—excessive pride--they fall.

Yet this is far from the only evidence of Hubris. Mr. Obama recently went on a "jobs" bus tour of the middle states of flyover country. The two busses specially ordered and manufactured for this transparent campaign junket were painted Darth Vader black, which is as far as I'll go into the symbolism of that odd choice, except to wonder if perhaps some little bit of color, such as an American flag, might not be appropriate for Mr. Obama, who when last I checked was the President of the United States. Symbolism, you know.

What is most interesting is that prior to embarking on a bus tour to reassure America of his serially renewed, laser-like focus on creating American jobs, Mr. Obama chose a Canadian company to build his conveyances. Costing the American taxpayer $1.1 million each, the busses are among the most luxurious manufactured by Prevost of Quebec. Why so much? Armor, various conveniences, and of course the electronic and other support gear required by the Secret Service. The costs of housing, feeding and otherwise maintaining all of the minions of the Obama campaign machine on this trek are not yet available, but surely are not, as Dr. Evil suggested about the details of his life, "quite inconsequential."

Remarkable is that even as Mr. Obama ventures into the lands of those bitter clingers to God and guns who have antipathy for those not like themselves—which presumably includes Mr. Obama (such Olympian bravery!)—he hasn't the faintest notion of a plan to produce that about which he now, yet again, claims to most concern him: jobs. He has, however, announced that after Labor Day, when his Martha's Vineyard labors are done, he will deliver—a speech! Praise be! If I can only hang on until then! This particular speech, it is said, will reveal Mr. Obama's plan to produce jobs and to rescue the economy. It is even rumored that he will propose spending cuts far in excess of anything seen to date. However, considering that to date, nothing at all has actually been cut, two cents might qualify.

And here I have my quandary. I have often criticized Mr. Obama's class warfare and his Socialistic fixation on taking money from the rich and giving it, if not exactly to the poor, to those Mr. Obama feels more worthy such as starving labor unions, waifish community organizers, down on their luck car manufacturers, pitiful Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and similar down on their luck victims of Mr. Obama's policies. Such class warfare is indicative of bad breeding, of envy and of coveting a neighbor's possessions. It is a repudiation of the American values of hard work and industry, of self-reliance and pride. It ignores the fact that the creation and accumulation of wealth in America is not a zero-sum game. A dollar my neighbor makes is not a dollar that I can no longer make—at least not until Mr. Obama completes his dissolution of the economy.

It's rather hard to teach our children to take sincere pleasure in the good fortune and honest accomplishments of others, and to encourage them to engage in the character building and hard work necessary to do the same while supporting those who paint the industrious and prosperous as somehow indecent, heartless and even evil.

So bless his heart, may Mr. Obama and his family enjoy themselves on their vacation and on all the vacations, golf outings, date nights, White House command performances, campaign tours, and other frolics they can afford. The Obamas are apparently paying for their lodging on this particular trip, which is only right and I salute them. If I am to be consistent I must; we all must.

But we are completely justified in our disgust, perhaps even outrage, about $1.1 million dollar busses made in Canada. When last I checked, there were one or two firms in America capable of producing luxurious busses, perhaps for a bit less than $1.1 million. Some of these firms might even employ union employees. Look for the union label—in Canada? Of course I could ask whether it was really necessary to buy the busses at all, but that might make too much sense. No doubt future presidents can conduct their own Star Wars tours when possessed, as Chris Muir's Day By Day cartoon on August 17, 2011 suggested, by the power of the "Debt Side," which fits well when one is traveling in one's own personal "Debt Star."

Our annoyance entitlement also extends to all of the other ostentatious displays of wealth, power and excess in which Mr. Obama seems to revel, particularly since we are footing a substantial portion of the not inconsequential bills for these quaint and frequent gatherings of the self-imagined elite. We are on solid ground as well when we observe that the "optics" of much, if not all, of this seem particularly wretched, for they do make Mr. Obama appear to be a man who considers himself to be superior to the little people with whom he occasionally condescends to mix. At the very least, his leisure choices would seem to indicate a sense of entitlement far beyond what reasonable people would consider justified or wise. True believers would observe that the Scientific Socialists leading the masses on the path to socialist utopia deserve certain perks as a reward for all they have done for those incapable of understanding and appreciating their altruistic revolutionary labors. Fortunately, for the moment, Americans seem of a mind to boot them—and America—off the path.

So we begrudge not Mr. Obama's vacations. He is free to use his wealth as he pleases, for if he is not, one of the foundations of America, one of the cornerstones of good manners and character is illegitimate. But it does not violate the principles of good manners, or even the Ten Commandments, to consider any man's character as revealed by his choices and actions. Americans are rather good at those kinds of considerations, and they tend not to make the same mistakes twice. In 2012, they'll have the chance to rectify a very expensive mistake.

Posted by MikeM at 09:01 PM | Comments (1)

Self Defense Or Socialism?

Do you have an inalienable right to self-defense, or is the value of your life measured only in its utility to the state? Is your right to continued existence contingent on the whims of Socialistic politicians and their allies in the permanent bureaucratic class? Who is more valuable to society, a member of the producer class or a member of the parasite class? And how does the Gunwalker scandal relate to this?

My latest article, published by the good folks at Pajamas Media, brings it all together. My thanks to Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit for linking to it.

Posted by MikeM at 03:42 PM | Comments (1)

August 17, 2011

Vacation + Presidency = Vacancy

Like OJ chasing the "real killers" of his wife and Ron Goldman across the golf courses and country clubs of America, Barack Obama is chasing economic recovery from one vacation hotspot to another as the economy falters.

In the third year of his Presidency, he still doesn't have plans to create jobs or reduce the deficit, and you won't see anything, either, until after Labor Day.

The official who disclosed details on Obama's jobs and deficit plans spoke on condition of anonymity because Obama has not yet disclosed them. No final decisions on the economic package have been made.

Seeking re-election in a dispiriting economic time for the nation, Obama's rollout plan allows him to come into September swinging after one of the roughest periods of his presidency.

The economy has improved from the deep recession Obama inherited, but growth and hopes have stalled.

The unemployment rate is at 9.1 percent. No president in recent history has been re-elected with a jobless rate nearly that high.

He doesn't want to do the work that goes with the job, he just likes the power and the perks. Far from being one of our smartest Presidents, Barack Obama is proving to be the most peevish and lazy President to ever occupy the Oval Office. The sooner he is primaried, the better it will be for both parties and the Republic.

Sponsered link: online bingo games

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:08 PM | Comments (3)

August 15, 2011

BEASTWEEK: Evil Christian Candidates Want to Rule World, Bring Back Slavery

Radical progressives are just peachy with 7th Century ideas if the offending party prays to Allah instead of Jehovah, but if you happen to be a Christian—especially a living, modern-day one—rest assured they can't wait to smear you as a nutter.

The author, Michelle Goldberg, seems to be a progressive feminist with half-baked delusions of Christanity tied together with murky and tenuous associations and assertions. It would be amusing if fellow leftists weren't so easily duped into thinking that such off-the-wall conspiracy theorizing wasn't well, the gospel.

And yet in every election in recent memory where the Republican challenger is a practicing Christian, the left trots out their "theocracy" scare card.

That Tina Brown's rage-rag is reduced to retreating to this schtick so early in the 2012 Presidential run merely serves to indicate how badly the left thinks Obama will fare.

The early panic is, I dare say, heavenly.

MIKE ADDS: I've been fascinated and disgusted by this utterly insupportable tactic of the left. The only truly political movement of contemporary American Christians was the Moral Majority, led by the Rev. Jerry Fallwell from 1979-1987. It collapsed of its own internal political and theological contradictions, and while it could claim some electoral successes, since its self-extermination there has been no organized Christian political movement that could claim even a tiny fraction of the influence of the Moral Majority.

Cal Thomas, a high ranking Moral Majority figure, left that organization in 1985 and in 2000, published Blinded By Might, in which he repudiated the imposition of Christianity through politics and once again fully embraced the Gospel. Many others have done the same.

In truth, the Christian political threat imagined by Leftists hasn't existed since before 1987. In fact, the Gospel does not support such political machinations and never has. The Rev. Fallwell and many of his followers were surely guilty of hubris, but were never capable of coming remotely close to imposing a theocracy. Ms. Goldberg and others are erecting a smokescreen to distract people from the real and continuing threat of Islamism and the related machinations of the Left. To paraphrase Shakespeare: "Methinks she doth protest too much."

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:11 PM | Comments (11)

Krugman's Sanity Leaves Via Anal Probe

The Nobel-winning economist has gone around the bend in trying to defend the failure that is Keynesian economics, and now admits that just about the only thing that can save the Obama presidency and his own delusions of adequacy are invading space aliens.

If we discovered that, you know, space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat and really inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months. And then if we discovered, oops, we made a mistake, there aren't any aliens, we'd be better –

I think the next word out of his mouth before he was interrupted would have been "off"... and Krugman certainly is.

Off his rocker.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 03:53 PM | Comments (3)

August 14, 2011

Why We Can't Afford to Have Ron Paul as President

A reader asked me why I have such a low opinion of Rep. Ron Paul and his fan base. I gave him a rather lengthy answer, but my opposition to the candidate himself is summed up well enough in this reference from Rep. Allen West, who has a much better grasp of the way the real world works.

Paul's "hand's off" philosophy if implemented after World War II, would have gleefully let Russia pile nuclear missile batteries in Cuba, and expand in Central and South America unopposed. It would have let the Iron Curtain extend fully over Western Europe, Africa, and the Korean peninsula. It would have certainly led to our decline as a world power, and quite possibly would have plunged free populations into tyranny, or even a third World War.

Simply put, Paul's beliefs, if implemented as policy, would constitute a clear danger to this nation's very existence.

My second objection to Paul is the cult-like followers he has attracted. That are every bit as zealous as the Obamites, and their constant screaming and yelling at events is off-putting (to put it mildly). I've seen enough of cult-leaders with destructive policy agendas. No more.

I'd contemplate sitting at home if it came down to Paul versus Obama. Sadly, I suspect more Americans would simply vote for Obama again in a landslide, assuring our fiscal collapse.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:00 AM | Comments (12)

August 13, 2011

News That Doesn't Matter

In the Iowa Straw Poll, Bachmann edged out the insane clown posse, some dude from Minnesota came in a distant third, and the folks who are most likely to end up with the nomination weren't even on the ballot.

Next.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:41 PM | Comments (1)

August 12, 2011

It is Going to Get Bad. It is Going to Get Bloody . The Question is How Bad, and How Bloody.

Over at Hot Air Jazz Shaw points to a new Rasmussen poll that indicates roughly half of Americans expect violence when it comes time to pay the piper.

Nearly one-out-of-two Americans (48%) think that cuts in government spending are at least somewhat likely to lead to violence in the United States, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. But that includes just 13% who feel it’s Very Likely.

A bit less than have thinks that cuts will not lead to violence. These would be you victims.

I stopped by one of my local gun shops Wednesday night to drop off a part I had that belonged to the owner, and the gentleman behind the counter (who knows me as a gun blogger) took just a few minutes to tell me about the significant increase in calls about firearms just this week.

The calls were in response to the S&P downgrade, the rioting in Great Britain, and the mob racial violence in the Midwest and Northeast in recent weeks. It can happen here, and people are starting to say so.

A majority of calls were from young families that had not owned guns before, but who were now concluding that they need firearms to protect themselves.

Interestingly enough, the majority of callers seemed to be requesting information about AR-15 pattern rifles, similar to what our military carries but without the option of automatic fire. Most of these callers were hit by the shock shock of the cost of an AR ($750-$1500 and up) and didn't have the money to purchase them, and so turned their attention to pistols and shotguns.

People are scared, and the clerk lamented that a lot of people now in the market aren't going to get the training they should, and are going to end up shooting people they don't legally have a right to shoot, and a lot of these people are going to end up in jail.

We're going to have to severely cut social programs. As much as liberals are burying their heads in the sand (or other warm, dark places) to avoid dealing with that fact, we simply have to cut spending, and that is going to mean significant entitlement reform. Combine that with an entitlement mindset and a consumer culture with eroding moral guidance, and you have the recipe for the kind of violence you saw in the United Kingdom, and the very distinct probability that it will happen here to some extent.

The big question no one can answer is that we don't know how widespread or deep the rioting and violence with occur.

Will it be mindless, but weapon-free looting and racial attacks like we've seen in recent weeks that just sent a few people to the hospital, or are we going to see cities burn again?

Will the violence be confined to small isolated incidents quickly stomped out by effective policing, or will President Empty Suit dither as America burns?

It is likely to get bad. How bad, we simply don't know.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 04:19 PM | Comments (10)

Don't Listen to the Government. If You do, You're Going to Be Labeled A Terrorist Threat.

Mike Vanderboegh pissed me off last night. No, it wasn't anything he did. He simply emailed a link to his story about how the paranoid Obama Justice Department has decided to label a significant part of the population as a terrorist threat for buying common disaster preparation items.

Yes, while one branch of the government urges you to develop a disaster preparedness kit, another is poisoning the local police against you for doing so.

The FBI handout, entitled "Communities Against Terrorism: Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Military Surplus Stores" also instructs surplus store owners to:

"Require valid ID from all new customers.

Keep records of purchases.

Talk to customers, ask questions, and listen to and observe their responses.

Watch for people and actions that are out of place.

Make note of suspicious statements, people, and /or vehicles.

If something seems wrong, notify law enforcement authorities."

The handout also instructs surplus store owners to consider as "suspicious" anyone who "demands identity 'privacy'" or anyone who expresses "extreme religious statements" and those who "make suspicious comments regarding anti-US, [or] radical theology."

The list of items that the Feds consider possible indications of terrorist intent are common items set aside by disaster preparedness:

  • Weatherproofed ammunition or match containers
    Weatherized ammunition optimized for long-term storage to avoid corrosion is very common, as is the bulk purchase of ammunition in general. Matches work best when they aren't soggy. horrors!
  • Meals Ready to Eat (MREs)
    Without question, the single most common disaster preparation foodstuff, almost always bought by the case. Want to eat after a hurricane? You terrorist!
  • Night Vision Devices; night flashlights; gas masks
    Night vision gear and flashlights are essential for search and rescue for those disasters not conveniently scheduled during the daytime, and have the added benefit of not ruining the night vision of those using them, causing temporary blindness as bright normal lights can. Gas masks can filter out the deadly toxins in molds (which is why you saw construction crews using them after Katrina) and some work as well to filter out particulate smoke and deadly chemicals from fires.
  • High capacity magazines
    They are commodities, and your are supposed to have a minimum of five for each firearm for many shooting classes. A person with a half-dozen magazines ("high capacity" is a made-up term) or more for his or her weapon and steely nerve can face down crowds of thugs and looters like those that have set London ablaze.
  • Bi-pods or tri-pods for rifles
    Make up your minds! you don't want people to have magazines, because you don't want them shooting with any volume of fire. Now you're trying to tell me you want to take away the weapons stabilization platforms that enhance accuracy? Is the FBI trying to encourage innaccurate shooting?

The more I see from this Justice Department, the more it concerns me that they are devolving into armed enforcers (and occasionally covert criminals) for the Executive branch, and that they are creating opportunities to envision solid citizens as threats to their power.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:01 AM | Comments (6)

August 11, 2011

The Osama Bin Laden Dead Cat Bounce

Since the death of Osama Bin Laden, I've seen bits and piece on the Internet that suggest that Progressives and Mr. Obama himself are perplexed and frustrated that sending Bin Laden straight to Hell resulted in only the briefest PR bounce for Mr. Obama. Of course, Mr. Obama can't understand why every American isn't continually singing his praises, saying on more than one occasion, and with substantial indignation, "you [meaning the American people] ought to be thanking me" for this or that.

What is interesting and more than a little disturbing is that I've yet to see anyone touch on the reason. It's not rocket science; it is common sense. Perhaps that's why Mr. Obama and his Progressive sycophants—and the Media (but I repeat myself!)—can't "get" it.

So as a public service, to whatever degree trying to convince Progressives of common sense and the truth is a service (it's probably like trying to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig), I explain why Mr. Obama's "accomplishment" accomplished only a dead cat bounce.

First and most importantly, rational Americans see the accomplishment not as Mr. Obama's, but as our military's, most specifically as the accomplishment of SEAL Team 6. They also appreciate all of the other military and intelligence assets who worked diligently for years to make the successful raid possible.

Those who are well informed know that Mr. Obama dithered for so long to authorize the strike while our warriors sat, ready to go, awaiting his order. His dithering set the strike back a full day, increasing the risk of discovery and the risk that Bin Laden could have been tipped off. While Mr. Obama is due some credit as CINC for this raid, most people see his authorization not as evidence of military or leadership brilliance, but as the very least any American President should do in the same circumstances, yet Mr. Obama dithered for a day! Imagine the PR fallout if his dithering caused the mission to fail.

It's not hard to figure out: If you're the CINC, you ruthlessly pursue America's self-identified, deadly enemies and you have no hesitation in taking them out. This is the default position, the baseline, the absolute minimum required of any American President, yet Mr. Obama and his followers expect a massive PR bounce because Mr. Obama did the minimum? Because he simply did his job, though only after considerable indecision? Indecision about getting Osama Bin Laden?

As I write, I'm shaking my head in amazement that I have to explain this. I doubt that those for whom I am trying to explain are capable of accepting this little bit of reality. What do you, gentle readers, think?

Posted by MikeM at 09:57 PM | Comments (8)

Slutwalk Feminists: Too Dumb to Survive

The chronically confused pseudo-feminists behind the dim notion of "Slutwalks" have offered up some of the least effective self-defense tips ever offered to man or woman-kind.

Somehow, I don't think the girls have the guts to take Breda's far more effective advice of using something that experts agree works.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 06:04 PM | Comments (5)

Radical Leftists Openly Plot Terror Attacks on Financial Centers. Obama Does Nothing. Media Ignores.

We've learned in recent days from such noted Constitutional scholars as Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) that peacefully protesting the government and asking them to undertake such radical tasks as spending within their means and acting within the Constitutional boundaries our Founding Fathers envisioned, amounts to terrorism.

Specifically, they are quoted as saying:

"We have negotiated with terrorists," an angry Doyle said, according to sources in the room. "This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money."

Biden, driven by his Democratic allies' misgivings about the debt-limit deal, responded: "They have acted like terrorists."

Like you, I view the peaceful demands for rational spending restrictions to be the exact same thing as suicide bombing, the sawing off of heads, or crashing airliners into skyscrapers... other than the fact that that viewpoint is certifiably insane.

That said, the media and progressive left (but I digress) certainly seemed to nod along with the suggestion, even when they didn't dare vocalize it.

The rhetoric was ratcheted down, but the underlying vitriol remained, when Standard and Poor downgraded the nation's credit rating from AAA to AA+, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and Presidential adviser David Axelrod were quick to again try to blame the Tea Party.

Clearly, Democrats and the bobblehead media view any threat to the nation's credit or economic straits—no matter how farfetched or ill-conceived—as the equivalent of a terror attack.

So why aren't we hearing anything from the White House, Senate, House of Representatives or the editorial pages about the "days of rage," "occupation," and "revolution" targeting the heart of the nations financial sector?

A list of aligned terrorist groups (using the democratic definition) wants to Occupy Wall Street, and advocates the physical occupation and gridlock of our nation's financial nerve center... attempting the exact the same trauma on the U.S. financial markets as the late terrorist Osama Bin Laden did when he chose New York's financial district and the nation's leadership in Washington, DC as his primary targets.

US Day of Rage is one site promoting a takeover of Wall Street on September 17. Their message is as muddled as the logic of adopting a name synonymous with violence that birthed a terrorist group. Maybe they hope to attract bomb-builder and Obama mentor Bill Ayers as guest speaker.

Some in the media are noting the incredible lameness of the "cause," it's incoherence, and it's likelihood of failure.

That's fair.

But terrorist attacks are terrorist attacks, and those who commit them are not deemed to be terrorists only if they succeed.

If the Tea Party can be considered terrorists for merely standing up for traditional American values and fiscal common sense, then radical terror groupss attempting to interrupt the financial markets are most certainly worthy of being shot on sight by police.

I'm sure even our Vice President would agree.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:08 AM | Comments (1)

August 10, 2011

Interest Clairvoyance

Just a few thoughts, gentle readers, on a rather remarkable but little reported factoid. Mr. Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, recently announced that he would keep interest rates very low for the next two years. Does this sound remarkable? It should. Consider:

(1) The Fed virtually never makes long-range prognostications. Until now, Fed Chairmen have understood that the economy is prone to unforeseeable changes, and planning more than a few months ahead is foolish. The necessity of corrections is a reality that can't be predicted.

(2) Market forces beyond Mr. Bernanke's control can, and likely will, force interest rates up. The multi trillion pound wheel of the credit downgrade has already started rolling downhill and Mr. Obama and his economic cronies remain stolidly behind it, pushing for all they are worth.

(3) Artificially trying to keep interest rates low could have most unfortunate effects on the economy.

(4) The economy is—how to put this gently—unstable. One of the primary reasons businesses aren't hiring and building is because of this instability. They have no idea what the Obama Administration is going to do from minute to minute let alone two years hence. What Mr. Bernanke has said makes as much sense—and has much in common with—Soviet five year plans.

(5) The performance of every one of Mr. Obama's high-level economic appointees has been less than inspiring. In fact, Christine Romer, first chair of Mr. Obama's Council of Economic Advisors recently said that the American economy is "pretty darned f***ed." Ms. Romer, recently (thankfully!) retired from government service, was one of the primary architects of that f***ing. This is known as "irony."

(6) One might be forgiven for thinking that rather than being the Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States of America Mr. Bernanke is the shadow chairman of the Obama reelection committee.

Unlike Mr. Bernanke, I can make a prediction that will almost certainly come to pass: If Mr. Obama is re-elected, even if interest rates remain low, American businesses will not celebrate by means of hiring and expansion. They will realize, then as now, that our economy is in fact, "pretty darned f***ed," and that Mr. Obama is the primary economic porn film actor. This too is commonly known as irony.

Posted by MikeM at 12:18 AM | Comments (1)

August 09, 2011

Typical Leftist Wants to Introduce Us to the Reeducation Camps

Via SayUncle, proof that the violent totalitarianism the pervades leftist ideology remains deeply rooted in their fragile psyches:

Many times I've riffed on a dark, delicious fantasy about rounding up Tea Bagger types and sentencing them to green re-education camps for minimum one-year terms. Not to punish per se but to expose these contemptible morons to facts, to truth, to the way things really are and how they're being played by the rich, and the fact that Boomers have taken almost everything and that diminished lifestyles and economic security are being bequeathed to Genx and GenY for decades to come, and that the best is definitely over.

Like Chance, I'd invite Mr. Wells and any assembly of his friends he can muster to try to make his fantasy a reality.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:55 PM | Comments (6)

We're With Stupid

Or should I say, that I'm stuck with him until impeachment, his criminal trial, or his electoral defeat.

I'm sure everyone is rolling their eyes about the possibility of impeachment and a criminal trial, but you're not counting on his intellect the way that I am:

How many times have we heard it said that Mr. Obama is the smartest president ever? Even when he's criticized, his failures are usually chalked up to his supposed brilliance. Liberals say he's too cerebral for the Beltway rough-and-tumble; conservatives often seem to think his blunders, foreign and domestic, are all part of a cunning scheme to turn the U.S. into a combination of Finland, Cuba and Saudi Arabia.

I don't buy it. I just think the president isn't very bright.

Socrates taught that wisdom begins in the recognition of how little we know. Mr. Obama is perpetually intent on telling us how much he knows. Aristotle wrote that the type of intelligence most needed in politics is prudence, which in turn requires experience. Mr. Obama came to office with no experience. Plutarch warned that flattery "makes itself an obstacle and pestilence to great houses and great affairs." Today's White House, more so than any in memory, is stuffed with flatterers.

Much is made of the president's rhetorical gifts. This is the sort of thing that can be credited only by people who think that a command of English syntax is a mark of great intellectual distinction. Can anyone recall a memorable phrase from one of Mr. Obama's big speeches that didn't amount to cliché?

Every bit of available evidence suggests that Barack Obama is every bit as dumb and arrogant as he appears to be. We're pressing forward with our Gunwalker investigation, and it appears more and more likely that fellow conspirators are going to turn against Eric Holder, Janet Napolitano, other agency directors, prosecutors, and the White House to save themselves from criminal prosecution for their roles in facilitating hundreds of murders.

Is our President a man evil enough to sacrifice the lives of citizens in two nations to push a policy goal? Read the evidence—or witness the on-going cover-up—and come to your own conclusions.

I'm rather fond of the mental image of ex-President Obama behind bars and facing trail in a Mexican courtroom.

Luckily for us, he's just unintelligent enough to put himself there.

Update: Via sue in the comments, another biting dissection of Obama's alleged intelligence:

It has become obvious, in a sense that cannot be denied, that Obama is a fundamentally stupid man. He has all the equipment, all the training, would probably do well on all the tests -- but it doesn't come together and produces no worthwhile results. He knows all the buzzwords, and how to get them across. He easily impresses crowds and onlookers so long as the questions don't get too detailed. But he can't turn any of this into action. Everyhing he touches, without exception, falls to pieces. He has no single political success to his record. His administration is one endless Gobi, lifeless and bare. Compared to Obama, even Warren Harding, the last man on everybody's list, looks like a beleaguered giant. What we have in Obama is the stupidest man who ever sat in the Oval Office.

That's one part of a harsh assessment. Make sure you read the whole thing.


Mike Adds: I'd quibble with the author in only one respect: there is no evidence that Mr. Obama has done well on academic tests, or that he would do well on such measures. I have no doubt that at least some of the people with whom I attended college would recall that I was quite good at test taking in general, but there appears to be not a soul who could say the same about Mr. Obama. In fact, there seem to be very few people who recall Mr. Obama doing what one does in college: attending classes, writing papers, etc. For an actual college student, college is more than a full time job, and when one is absent from work, so to speak, it is quite obvious. I rather suspect that his inability to test well, perhaps even to complete classes, is the reason that his undergraduate and graduate transcripts are protected by walls of security that would provoke envy in the CIA. Not the sort of thing one sees with the truly intelligent.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 02:24 PM | Comments (10)

Rhetoric vs. Reality

Perhaps the most obvious sign of Mr. Obama's narcissism is his obvious belief that his words have magical powers. He has almost certainly used "I" and "my" more frequently and blatantly than the sum of all presidents before him. He surrounds himself with fawning sycophants, fake Grecian columns, the great seal of Obama, tells members of his party that they can't fail because they have him, travels to Cairo to show Muslims his glory, travels to Germany to show Germans and Europeans his glory, plays golf and vacations like there is no tomorrow and throws a massive, command performance birthday bash for himself—charging as much as $38,000 each for the privilege of attending—while the nation's economy is melting down in unprecedented fashion before a horrified world. He actually said that his reception of the Democrat nomination would be recorded by history as the moment that the seas began to recede and the planet began to heal! Yet all of that pales in significance compared to the narcissism of a man who firmly believes that what the nation—what the world—needs is yet another teleprompter reading from The One.

America is, more than anything, an idea. It is a set of beliefs and values that bind together peoples from all over with the world because they believe that only in America, only in a nation where individuals truly have inalienable rights, where there exists the rule of law, and where the government exists to ensure equality of opportunity, only there can they live in freedom. Only there do they have the opportunity, with the sweat of their brow, with their intellect and abilities, to thrive, to prosper and to instill the American ideal in their children. When enough of the residents of this nation no longer believe, when enough of those who live within our borders no longer see any advantage in being known as an American, America is over.

Our financial problems are a symptom. That we have allowed ourselves to fall into this abyss, and to continue to dig, indicates that many of us have abandoned the idea of America, if indeed they ever embraced it. Yet it is not too late. One of the most significant powers of the presidency is, as Teddy Roosevelt said, the Bully Pulpit. Our president can use the power of that pulpit to persuade, but only if he too believes in America. He does not. He believes only in the Socialist worker's paradise that, after the fundamental transformation of America through his brilliance, will exist.

Mr. Obama's August 8th speech was indistinguishable from virtually every other every other day speech on the economy he has to date given: class warfare, demands to raise taxes, blaming everyone but himself, suggesting that borrowing money to pay people to do make-work federal jobs will somehow lower the deficit, euphemisms, evasions, and as always, no actual plans, no actual proposals, no remotely rational solutions, not a dram of leadership. So impressed were the markets that mere minutes after his latest teleprompter readings, the stock market fell an additional 200 points.

Mr. Obama has truly established himself as the post-American president. He cares nothing for America, a nation he has spent his entire life criticizing. He cares nothing for Americans, a people he considers to be beneath him. He seems to be waiting for the real job, the job beyond, above the presidency, the really important job befitting his superhuman abilities to which he will ascend when he has transcended his labors ruling the ungrateful and unwashed. But until then, he will blame others, establish commissions, panels, and support economic advisors who have no experience in the real world, who can't so much as pay their taxes, and whose brilliant advice has flung us into the abyss, all the while blaming it on a loose confederation of Americans who argue only for smaller, more responsible government that lives within its means. "Tea Party Downgrade" my American posterior.

But above all, remember that for Mr. Obama rhetoric is reality. Talk, for the most narcissistic president in American history, is cheap indeed. While Mr. Obama seems to believe that whatever he says is reality, and as such, requires no actual actions that would make it manifest, rational Americans tend to want to see results. And now, international rating agencies want to see the same. Fewer and fewer Americans are bothering to listen to Mr. Obama—you've heard one Obama speech, you've heard them all--and few of those who do take anything he says at face value. Yet he cannot imagine that we don't eagerly anticipate his speeches, hang on every word, revel in his clichéd syntax as revealed truth and fall to the floor weeping that one so magnificent would take the time to speak to such as us: bitter God and gun clingers who have antipathy for those not like us.

That's narcissism on a previously unimaginable level. What we need is common sense--such as realizing that you can't save money by spending money—and a genuine belief in the idea of America. Leadership would be nice too, but only if it leads us away from the edge of the abyss.

Mr. Obama claimed that America will always be a AAA nation. Of course, he meant that he is AAA, and how dare anyone think otherwise. We are not, unlike the companies and unions Mr. Obama favors, too big to fail. Only results, not rhetoric will forestall that failure. And all Mr. Obama can do is talk.

Posted by MikeM at 12:18 AM | Comments (4)

August 08, 2011

Dow Down (Bumped) Closes -624.24 (-5.45%)

This isn't pretty.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has plummeted to begin the trading day after the nation's credit was downgraded from AAA to AA+ by Standard & Poor's after the market closed Friday.

downdowndown

Keep your fingers crossed, folks, that this is just a downgrade and that we aren't headed for a complete collapse of the economy as the Cloward-Piven-Obama left so giddily hopes it is.

Update: 10:15AM Down-down-down: Dow at -242.11.

Update: 10:30AM Dow at -343.15

Update: 11:00AM Dow at -347.84. Stabilizing?

I'm going to try not to look again until noon.

Update: 1:59PM G U L P! Dow at -445.85, and now below 11,000.


downdowndown

Update: 4:00PM Dow closes at -624.24 (-5.45%), but soon hits -633.17 (-5.53%) and continues to fall after hours.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 04:01 PM | Comments (4)

Yeah. Right.

President B+ gives us a AAA.

He has to. Otherwise, it might interfere with really important matters, like using taxpayer-funded transportation to attend two fund-raising events tonight to raise cash for his reelection campaign.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 01:16 PM | Comments (3)

S&P Now Downgrades Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

The hits just keep coming:

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Monday downgraded the credit ratings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and other agencies linked to long-term U.S. debt.

The agency also lowered the ratings for: farm lenders; long-term U.S. government-backed debt issued by 32 banks and credit unions; and three major clearinghouses, which are used to execute trades of stocks, bonds and options.

All the downgrades were from AAA to AA+. S&P says the agencies and banks all have debt that is exposed to economic volatility and a further downgrade of long-term U.S. debt. Their creditworthiness hinges on the U.S. government's ability to pay its own creditors.

Expect the Obama Administration and their Democrat allies in Congress and the Media to now do the very best they can to utterly destroy Standard and Poor's.

They don't know how to solve problems nor do they care to learn how to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.

They just intend to shoot the messenger (again), while reassuring Turbo Tax Timmy he's doing a great job on the way to default.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:30 AM | Comments (6)

Another D O W N G R A D E Possible in Just Months

While our favorite trolls continue to sippy-cup and regurgitate whatever talking point excuses the lefty elites trot out to explain away Standard & Poor's downgrading of the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+, the credit agency warns again that if reckless government spending isn't reined in, our debt crisis may force them to lower our credit rating yet again.

The U.S.'s new double A+ rating "could go down more in a time frame of six months to 24 months," to double-A, depending on government action to cut the deficit, John Chambers, managing director and chairman of Standard & Poor's sovereign ratings committee tells FOX Business senior vice president and anchor Neil Cavuto in an interview on FOX News Saturday.

That means the U.S. government effectively has until at least February to find additional cuts to meet S&P's demand for at least $4 trillion in total deficit reductions over the next decade. The debt ceiling deal cuts $917 billion over the next decade and at least $1.5 trillion from a new bipartisan super committee in Congress by November.

For the first time in history, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S.'s vaunted Triple-A rating to double A+ after the market's close on Friday night, a rating it has held at S&P since 1941.

You can repeat the basic economic facts on a middle school level as many times as you would like, and it will not matter.

Congress was given horrific power when allowed to spend without a requirement to balance the budget every year. We are now so deep in debt as a nation that there is no way—even with 100% taxation of the so-called "rich"—that we can ever raise taxes high enough to bring in enough revenue to offset spending. We must slash spending, and deeply, including the sacred cows of Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.

But progressive ideology demands followers to believe that:

  • Government is the best mechanism to accomplish _______.
  • If the _______ government program isn't working, providing more money to _______ is the solution.
  • There will always be enough money to fund _______, we just need to raise taxes to pay for it.

As a result, we will continue to hear blame-casting from the political left and would be elites. They would rather demagogue those arguing for fiscal responsibility (and call them terrorists) and drive the country into default than be forced into recognizing that a free market economy will not work with their demands for an massive, all-providing government.

It is really too bad that they have so little faith in the intelligence, initiative, and grit of the American people.

We will not only handle the needed deep cuts to big government; we'll thrive as a result.

Of course, that is precisely their biggest fear.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:40 AM | Comments (3)

August 07, 2011

The Wages of Progressivism

Mob violence—in Wisconsin? The birthplace of modern Progressivism? The state that until recently successfully resisted allowing its own citizens to lawfully carry concealed weapons? Wisconsin indeed, as Bob noted in his post titled "Just One More Reason To Carry A Concealed Weapon."

It would be tempting to observe that Progressivism has been less than a civilizing, positive influence in Wisconsin. Consider that union thugs disrupted the traditional Governor's opening of the Wisconsin State Fair, and the bizarre, Mad Max-like attacks on white fair goers by gangs of rampaging black thugs (oops! I mean: "disaffected youths of color expressing their legitimate grievances against the oppressive radical Tea Party power structure"). Yes it would be easy to say all of that and more, but this post is primarily a reminder of the realities of carrying concealed weapons, a practice that I suspect, given the behavior of unions and certain disaffected youths of color—to say nothing of Democrat politicians—will be much on the minds of rational, responsible residents of Wisconsin these days.

For those who would like to do more in-depth reading on the issues raised in this article, may I be so bold as to suggest a five-part series I wrote entitled "Me? Own A Gun?" The series explores not only the philosophical, but the moral, legal and practical issues in considerable depth. For that series go to these links:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

WHY CARRY A CONCEALED WEAPON?

The short answer is because evil exists and it can and will attack anyone at any place and time. Evil recognizes no boundaries, respects no persons, no race, no gender, no national origin. Evil exists to destroy, to humiliate, to maim and kill. It cannot be reasoned with or appeased. It must be confronted and obliterated. Anyone taking the links in the first two paragraphs will become acquainted with evil, and if they are wise, will realize that those innocents thrown to the ground and brutally beaten as they were leaving the Wisconsin State Fair certainly didn't expect to be attacked that night, nor did they do anything to provoke those attacks. That's the nature of evil, and evil is particularly likely to manifest itself in crowds, but we'll deal with that shortly.

Another part of the answer is because the police cannot protect you. In fact, the police have no legal duty to protect any given citizen, nor may they be successfully sued for failing to protect any individual. For those interested, the primary US Supreme Court case is Castlerock v. Gonzalez. In that case, the estranged husband of Mrs. Gonzalez kidnapped and killed their three daughters. Despite the fact that Mr. Gonzalez was violating a protection order, and despite the plaintive and repeated pleas of Mrs. Gonzalez over many hours the police did nothing, nothing that is until Mr. Gonzalez attacked the police station, firing a handgun. He was shot and killed by officers. The bodies of his daughters were found in his truck, which was parked nearby.

This might sound outrageous, but is actually quite sane. If any citizen injured by criminals could sue the police for failing to protect them, could any municipality afford a police department? Who would be a policeman knowing that their homes and property, and everything they might own during their lifetime would be forfeit for their failure to protect someone they could not possibly hope to protect?

Most importantly, we must consider the very nature of humanity and its primary imperative, more important even than procreation: The preservation of the self, or self-defense. This is actually the foundation for the positions of those on both sides of the politics of the Second Amendment: those who believe that the fundamental natural right is the right to preserve one's life versus those who recognize no such right, but tend to see individuals as valuable only in their utility to the state.

If you believe that each man must have the right to defend his life, it logically follows that each man must have access to the means to defend that life, for not every man is as large, fast, strong or martially skilled as others. This is particularly so for women who tend to be, on average, substantially smaller and weaker than men. If also follows that the means must not be restricted to only a single type of weapon, but to those weapons most effective and most conveniently carried by any man or woman. Circa 2011, this means the handgun.

If, on the other hand, you recognize no right to self-defense, the mere existence of such convenient weapons is an enormous threat to your view of the world, for they give any mere man or woman the power, literally in their hands, to resist the power of the state. As much as such people crow about their great concern for the welfare of "the people," it is clear that "the people" are only a politically useful abstraction, and that the individuals who make up "the people," have value only to the degree that they fully support the goals of the statist elite. All others are a threat and are the natural prey of the predators created by other statist policies who are, as members of favored victim groups, particularly useful to statists.

In Wisconsin, until recently, those who recognize no right to self-defense held sway. They are very, very angry that their power over the lives of others has been diminished, and they will not surrender that power easily or willingly, as the continuing turmoil in the land of cheese hats so clearly indicates. But do keep in mind the ultimate foundation of the struggle. Those who would deny the right and the means of individuals to maintain their very existence enable and support the kinds of mobs who attacked innocents at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Why carry a concealed weapon? Because it could be necessary at any moment and at any place, and without it, you or those you love could be maimed or killed. It's very much like a fire extinguisher. Most people will live a lifetime without ever having to use a fire extinguisher, but when they need one, they need it immediately, badly and nothing else will do. The same is true of handguns.

THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE:

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that each state has specific laws with specific language relating to the use of force, and of deadly force. It is always imperative to be intimately familiar with such laws. What follows are the general principles upon which the laws of the several states are based. They are a useful foundation for studying these issues, but again, the final word is found in state law.

There is a word for those who carry concealed weapons because they hope to use them, because they hope to harm and shoot others: criminals. The law abiding who are willing to spend time and money to be thoroughly vetted by the state in order to carry a concealed handgun are among the most law-abiding Americans and are arrested at rates far below the general population. Those whose permits are revoked are commonly less than a single percent of all licensees, and experience revocation primarily for inadvertent technical violations of the law such as accidently carrying their weapon into a prohibited place. No rational man or woman carries a handgun because they are looking for trouble, but because they know that trouble can be—at any place and time—looking for them. In fact, those who carry concealed weapons have a responsibility to go out of their way to avoid trouble. Criminals, tyrants and their sycophants relish the idea of harming others. The rational do not. They understand that to kill another is a terrible, life-changing event, something to be avoided at virtually all costs. However, they also understand that to be unprepared, to allow oneself or one's loved ones to be maimed or killed is worse.

Generally speaking, one can use deadly force when there is an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death to oneself or another. The general factors, which must be present for the use of deadly force to be justified, are:

Means: The person or persons liable to be shot must have the means—a gun, knife, etc.—to make good on their threat.

Opportunity: They must have the opportunity to carry out their threat. They must be close enough and obviously able to carry it out. If they are waving a knife at you from 100 feet away across a river while threatening to kill you, they have neither the means nor the opportunity. If they have a gun, they arguably have both.

Jeopardy: They must be placing you in imminent danger. They must be demonstrating the intention to cause you or another serious bodily injury or death. Again if they are holding a knife from 100 feet across a river, you are in no real jeopardy. However, if they have a rifle, the moment it begins to swing in your direction, there is no doubt that you are in jeopardy.

I would argue that anyone carrying a concealed handgun has a duty to do all that they possibly can to avoid any situation that might turn into a deadly force encounter. If this means that there are certain places or situations that they must avoid, so be it. A large part of avoiding trouble is being aware of your surroundings, of developing situational awareness. Most people are blissfully unaware of what is happening around them; they cannot anticipate or identify impending danger. However, it is the nature of life that the unexpected can occur, and that is why we carry concealed weapons in the first place. This is also why enlightened states have enacted Castle Doctrine laws.

THE CASTLE DOCTRINE:

These laws basically allow citizens who are lawfully present in any place or vehicle at the time they are attacked to stand their ground and defend their lives or the lives of others. They have no duty to try to retreat or to run away, and the attacker, not their victim, is presumed to be at fault. In some states, prosecutors actually expect citizens to flee from their own homes when confronted by armed thugs in the middle of the night, and should they dare to defend their lives, they are likely to be prosecuted for killing those who intended to murder them in their sleep. Castle Doctrine laws prevent such perversions of reality and justice. They also prevent those injured or killed in the commission of crimes from suing their intended victims.

Those who don't believe in self-defense have screamed that Castle Doctrine laws will allow citizens to be vigilantes, murdering helpless criminals at will. Like their hysterical warnings about blood running in the streets when citizens are allowed to carry concealed handguns, these situations have also failed to materialize.

WISCONSIN AND STATE FAIR REALITY:

Let's take a moment to apply these ideas to the situations facing three citizens at the Wisconsin State Fair. None of these people were expecting trouble, let alone expecting to be placed in a situation where they could be maimed or killed, yet that is precisely what happened to them. Tragically, none of them were apparently armed. They were unprepared to protect themselves or others.

That said let's first examine the psychology of crowds, which is a well-developed field of study. People cloaked by the anonymity of a crowd are often willing to do things they would never consider doing when alone or with a friend or two. This is why gangs of people, gathered informally on the spur of the moment, or as an ongoing criminal enterprise, are so dangerous. Their numbers and the inherent difficulty of defending against them or of identifying individuals emboldens them.
The half-hearted kick delivered to the head of an injured victim by a member of a crowd carried along by the fervor of the moment might very well be the blow that imparts irreversible brain damage or which kills even if the person delivering that kick didn't intend to kill. Human beings are amazingly resilient and amazingly fragile. One blow in the right place can permanently cripple or kill.

In Wisconsin, there appears to have been a clear racial motivation to the attacks: blacks attacking whites unknown to them for no reason other than their race. While those who would deny us all self-defense are often very concerned about racial motivations, race surely meant little or nothing to the victims of their attacks, nor would it make their injuries more or less painful or lasting. While race could be a factor in a decision to use deadly force, it generally is irrelevant.

Let's also keep in mind that anyone using a firearm is responsible for each and every round they fire. We shoot only to stop, never to kill. We shoot because of the overwhelming necessity to stop our attacker(s) from doing what they were doing that gave us the legal justification to shoot in the first place. We shoot only to stop those who must be stopped, not people who present no threat of imminent serious bodily injury or death. If the attacker dies, too bad, but we shoot to stop them, not kill them. This means that the moment they cease their attack, we stop shooting, and if we can then immediately get to cover or another place of safety before calling our attorney and then the police, that's the smart thing to do.

In the practice of shooting to stop, we do not shoot to wound, or fire warning shots. Remember, we are responsible for every round we fire. Any round fired into the air in warning will come down somewhere, perhaps on someone. If you try to shoot someone in the leg, even if you are successful, will that prevent him from pulling the trigger of his handgun or from stabbing you with his knife? You shoot to stop, never to wound. Shooting to wound could even be used against you by an attorney arguing that you doubted your justification to shoot. Why else would you fail to shoot to stop?

This means that if you are justified in shooting another human being (to stop them) you may fire as many rounds as necessary with as large a gun as necessary to stop them, but the moment the threat ends, the shooting stops. If a single round from a .380 handgun will stop your attacker, great. If five rounds from a .45 are required, that's fine too. But remember, when they stop, you stop.

In many ways, the situation at the Wisconsin State Fair was a nightmare scenario for any law-abiding person, but it was more so for those carrying a concealed weapon. Some would be tempted to say that no one, therefore, should carry a concealed weapon, but then you would be placing yourself at the tender mercies of the crowd that injured so many at the Fair. Remember that the police, who were apparently present in some numbers at the Fair, did little or nothing to protect those injured, and apparently did little or nothing to arrest those who caused such carnage after the fact.

SCENARIO #1: Riding your motorcycle, you are pulled from your machine by a gang of 5-10 people who begin to savagely beat you. You have never seen these people before and have had no contact or confrontation with them before the moment they grabbed and began to attack you.

Regardless of your size or physical prowess, you are on the ground, already injured, and under unrelenting attack. By the circumstances and their sheer numbers, your attackers have demonstrated beyond any doubt that they have the means and the opportunity to cause you serious bodily injury or death, and they have already placed you in jeopardy. In fact, your only potential means of avoiding seriously bodily injury or death is a handgun, which can be employed even if you are injured or partially incapacitated.

Shooting two or three might be enough to send the rest fleeing, but you cannot be certain of that and must be prepared to shoot each and every person attacking you. Again, your goal is to stop them, to save your life. When they stop, you stop, but in this situation, you should immediately seek protection from any other potential attackers. The alternative is to place yourself at the mercy of those who have no mercy. Get to a place of safety and call your attorney and then the police.

SCENARIO #2: Driving out of the Fair in your car, you see a crowd of 5-10 people savagely beating someone who is on the ground, absorbing terrible punishment. You have a choice: watch in horror, turn your head and drive away, or intervene. Even if you could call the police, they could not possibly arrive in time to prevent the maiming or death of the victim.

If you choose to intervene, you need not shout warnings, but it would be a great idea to yell something clear and consistent such as "stop hitting him," "don't move," or "stop hitting him or I'll shoot." As they are clearly putting that person in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death, as the next blow could be the blow that inflicts that injury or causes their death, you may shoot to stop the assault. If necessary, you may shoot them in the back. This isn't a prize fight, and as the thugs will observe no rules, you will observe only the rules that apply to the use of deadly force, which do not require you to wait until a killer presents a range-perfect frontal silhouette prior to shooting. Waiting for a such a perfect silhouette might also indicate to a jury that you weren't really engaged in a split-second life or death struggle, but had the time to align potential targets before shooting.

Again, if shooting one of them stops the assault, great. But if not, you shoot at many as necessary to stop the assault.

SCENARIO #3: Waiting behind other vehicles while driving out of the Fair in your car, you are surrounded by a group of 5-10 people who scream racial threats, kick and beat your vehicle and appear to be trying to break in your windows. Your doors are locked and your windows are holding—for the moment. Are you and your family in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death?

If it is possible for you to immediately drive off, that would be the smart thing to do, even if one or more of the attackers is foolish enough to be in your way at that time. Remember that when behind the wheel of your car, you are in control of a deadly weapon—a weapon far more dangerous and deadly than any handgun--capable of mowing down everyone in your path.

This situation is somewhat problematic. The moment one of the thugs breaks a window, it would certainly be reasonable to believe that they intend to carry out their express and implied threats. Yes, it's annoying that they are damaging your vehicle, perhaps humiliating you in front of your wife and children, but cars can be repaired and feelings soothed, killing lasts forever. Certainly when they break into the car, and the moment they begin reaching for or striking occupants of the vehicle, the factors for the use of deadly force are present. However, even then you, sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle, unable to easily respond to threats in any direction, are at a distinct tactical disadvantage. The best possible option is using your vehicle to escape, so long as innocents aren't endangered. If any of your attackers find themselves inspecting the tread of your tires from close range, too bad. If not, shoot to stop, not only individuals, but the gang, as necessary. Remember that when they are stopped, you stop. You do not shoot people who are clearly running away or who have clearly stopped placing you or others in jeopardy. Escape to safety and only then call your attorney and then the police.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I've covered only the bare bones of the issues here. Being involved in any shooting surrounded by people is a nightmare. What if you miss and strike an innocent? What if one of your rounds penetrates one of your attackers and hits an innocent? There are an infinite number of what ifs involved in such situations, which is why it is always smartest for anyone carrying a concealed weapon to be so attuned to their surroundings that they avoid potentially dangerous places and situations.

However, even for the most prepared, avoidance or even escape are not always possible. Sometimes, you must be prepared to stand and fight, for if you are not prepared, if you can't fight, you or those you loved may be maimed or killed.

There are certainly those in Wisconsin—and elsewhere—who will examine the attacks at the State Fair and conclude that it was fortunate that no one there had a handgun, that everyone lacked the means to defend their lives. There are others, and I would assert that these are the citizens who are responsible and rational, who will see these attacks as clear evidence of the wisdom and necessity of being able and prepared to protect our lives and those of our loved ones.

Statists would also oppose a Castle Doctrine law, for it would give too much power to the individual. It would allow honest citizens to kill vicious criminal attackers and avoid being sued when those thugs were transformed in death into virtual saints. If the innocent can do that, the foundation of the statist worldview—the lives of individuals have value only in direct proportion to their utility to the state; they have no intrinsic value—crumbles. The law abiding would see the primary provisions of the Castle Doctrine as a logical extension of the right to self-defense.

Evil exists. The non-statist citizens of Wisconsin are now, perhaps, more aware of that never-changing, eternal reality.

Posted by MikeM at 10:26 PM | Comments (6)

August 06, 2011

Making The Grade

I just didn't expect it this early. I mean, Gov. Rick Perry (R) of Texas has not yet actually placed himself in the running for the 2012 Presidential race, so perhaps it's a bit premature for the Left (I was going to say the Media, but what's the difference?) to attack him. But then again, it's a different world these days, except when it's not.

By that I mean that one of the most tried and true Leftist attacks is to brand any Republican stupid, usually as evidenced by his SAT score or his undergraduate grades in college some 30-40 years ago. This particularly Leftist cannon has already been fired at Mr. Perry with the claim that he received a C or D or three in some of his undergraduate classes at Texas A & M, which college must, to any sophisticated journalist, surely consist of a pothole-filled dirt road leading to an outhouse and a renovated fried chicken restaurant.

Well, return with me now Gentle Readers to those thrilling days of yesteryear when Sen. John Kerry (D, N. Vietnam/Jane Fonda) was running against George W. Bush, both graduates of sainted Yale. The Left ran the usual academic attacks against Mr. Bush, representing him as an accented Texas dolt with a C or D or three in some of his undergraduate classes. Boy, wasn't that good for a few laughs around the more chic bistros frequented by the self-appointed elite? Well yes, until that is, it was revealed that Mr. Kerry's grades within those ivy-covered walls were even lower. Ooops. Suddenly that line of attack more or less disappeared as the attacks on the Swift Boat Vets—for daring to attack Mr. Kerry by stooping to revealing his actual record (such as his smiling portrait on the walls of the North Vietnamese War Museum shaking hands with equally smiling Communist murderers)—ramped up.

Now we have Governor Perry, a man with a long record of actual accomplishment and success in such insignificant endeavors as running a business and creating a climate conducive to jobs and economic growth, compared to the diametrically opposed record of Mr. Obama whose economic policy consists primarily of saying: "it's George W. Bush's fault! Nyaaah!"

"Oh yeah?" Say Obama sycophants and the press (but I repeat myself). "Perry got Cs and Ds at some no-name school in some backward, red state where everybody marries their sister—or something. So there! Nyaaah!"

Very well. Let's see Mr. Obama's grades then. In fact, let's see his undergraduate and graduate transcripts so that we can see not only which intellectually demanding courses he took, but how the most brilliant human being (a man who was actually able to swat a fly!) ever to walk the Earth fared. This information is currently classified somewhere above top secret in a classification so secret that no one, not even Mr. Obama, knows what it is. Wouldn't it be simple fairness for Americans to see Mr. Obama's brilliance? Wouldn't it be best to spread the grades around, so to speak? If Mr. Obama's supporters publicize Mr. Perry's grades, why shouldn't Americans expect to see Mr. Obama's grades?

How about it Mr. Obama? To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, a man whose words you seem more than willing to misuse: "Mr. Obama, tear down this wall behind which your grades hide!"

Posted by MikeM at 05:44 PM | Comments (8)

August 05, 2011

D O W N G R A D E D

Voting to give yourself more credit does not solve your spending problem. Any kid knows this, but Congress and the President thought they played by other rules.

They were wrong.

As a result, Standard and Poor's has downgraded the U.S. economy (PDF), marking this moment as the first time our nation's credit has ever been downgraded.

Further, S&P indicated that conditions for a further downgrade were possible in 12-18 months.

If you aren't sure what that means, let me translate it into more practical terms, when I compare it to the economic equivalent of an ELE.

If Obama really did intend to Cloward-Piven the United States intentionally, he has done so masterfully. We've just become the Nicolas Cage of world economies.

Great job, "elites."

You got the hope and change you were looking for.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:18 PM | Comments (13)

August 03, 2011

Nation of Communists Awards Obama His Own Stamp

He has, after all, carried out their policy agenda for the United States better than even Putin could.

Here in the U.S. we're also thinking of commemorating the President's birthday, and I think we agree on the perfect product to bear his name.

"Shovel ready," indeed.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:34 AM | Comments (4)

Another Nekkid Yankee Democrat Resigns Over Nude Photos

This time, a New Jersey Democrat, who claims he was "tricked" and says he may pursue legal action against the man who posted the pictures.

At least he wasn't dressed as a tiger.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:23 AM | Comments (2)

August 02, 2011

Liberal Flash Cards


Ally

Ally

Terrorist

Terrorist
Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:56 AM | Comments (1)

Times Columnist: Gee, those Tea Party Types are Just Like al Qaeda, Aren't They?

Joe Nocera, apparent survivor of literally thousands of Tea Party assassination attempts, bombings, beheadings, states that the real threat to the Republic is the, uh, American people:

You know what they say: Never negotiate with terrorists. It only encourages them.

These last few months, much of the country has watched in horror as the Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people. Their intransigent demands for deep spending cuts, coupled with their almost gleeful willingness to destroy one of America’s most invaluable assets, its full faith and credit, were incredibly irresponsible. But they didn’t care. Their goal, they believed, was worth blowing up the country for, if that's what it took.

Unfortunately for Mr. Nocera, he and the rest of Amy Winehouse Left don't grasp basic principles most of us figured out in elementary school.

  • You don't solve your cash flow problems by raising your credit limit. That only makes your inevitable bankruptcy that much more traumatic
  • You don't cure an addiction by feeding it

The Tea Party legislators that the Times would like to portray as radicals and terrorists are in fact the only adults in the room. The GOP in general and the Democratic Party in it's totality are committed to making our debt crisis worse by raising the debt limit, ensuring that the government will spend more money that it does not have, driving us deeper into debt and closer to an all but inevitable default.

It is the professional political class that are the terrorists that threaten to blow the Republic apart, driving a truckload of explosive debt into the heart of the nation.

Instead of trying to head off the debt, Nocera snipes at the brave few who are trying to stop the truck.

Don't be surprised. What else should you expect from a radical leftist government headed by a man mentored by a real terrorist?

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:25 AM | Comments (4)

August 01, 2011

I Am A Terrorist?

"Joe Biden and Mike Doyle (D-PA) say so:

We have negotiated with terrorists," an angry Doyle said, according to sources in the room. "This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money."

Biden, driven by his Democratic allies' misgivings about the debt-limit deal, responded: "They have acted like terrorists," according to several sources in the room.

Let me tell you something, Mike and Joe.

When I plant a bomb outside your church...

...or kidnap your peers and torture them not for what they know, but purely to cause them the maximum amount of pain, just to send a message...

...or gun down citizens in the streets in a coup d'etat...

...then—and only then—will you have just cause for calling me a terrorist.

Until then, don't confuse your mirror with a window to my soul.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 06:44 PM | Comments (6)

All You Need to Know About the Debt Deal

Only radical idiots think the debt bill accomplished anything.

It put bandage on a malignant cancer, but did nothing to stop its growth or spread.

This was and will continue to be a failure, ensuring an eventual and even greater default.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:59 AM | Comments (6)

July 28, 2011

Debbie Downer Desperately Demagogues as Democratic Descent Deepens

If you don't have a President or a Party or a plan, maybe this is the best she can do:

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), chair of the Democratic National Committee, said Wednesday that House Republicans are trying to impose "dictatorship" through their tactics in the debt-ceiling negotiations. She said the GOP rhetoric could "spark panic and chaos," which she called "potentially devastating" to the economy.

The chair telephoned POLITICO to express "significant disappointment in where … Republicans have allowed this debate to degenerate."

Reality must be painful for the reality-based community. Democratic leadership, in the form of the President, is increasingly pathetic, offering no concrete solution of any sort to our budget problems. All Obama has done is whine and stomp his feet that he is unwilling to cut any of the trillions in spending he and his fellow Democrats have added in recent years, while insisting on raising taxes, a move certain to plunge us into a full depression.

Debbie Downer and Harry Reid have likewise offered no leadership or viable budgets, and instead merely snipe at the plans Republicans have offered.

The American people can see that it is the Republican Party, and only the Republican Party, that is offering budget plans. The Democrats are offering nothing but vitriol.

The American people are not blind, as much as the Democrats and media wish they were, and they will respond accordingly in 2012, if not sooner.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:09 AM | Comments (2)

Details of the Obama Budget

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 07:42 AM | Comments (6)

July 25, 2011

Norwegian Lessons

By now, most are aware of the murderous rampage in Norway. The killer—who would want his name to be prominently mentioned—is a 32-year-old Norwegian. From what is currently known, he set off a bomb made of fertilizer and fuel oil in Oslo, killing seven, and approximately an hour later, took a boat to Utoya Island, a retreat center accessible only by helicopter or boat. Dressed in a police uniform, he called many of the youngsters on the island at a summer retreat to him and opened fire, eventually killing 86 and wounding—at the bombing and on the island--more than 90. His rampage was stopped when he was shot—he survived--by a police SWAT team, but it took approximately 90 minutes from the first shot until the police were able to find transportation and travel to the island.

His weapons have been variously described as a "machine pistol," an "automatic weapon and a pistol," and various other imprecise, uninformed media formulations. There was immediate speculation that the attack was another Jihadist outrage, which these days is far from an unreasonable assumption, but it seems that this attack was most similar to that in Tucson: the act of an evil man, acting alone in response to whatever demons pursued him.

The first question that usually comes to mind—or at least to the minds of the media—is: why? Why did this person do what he did? Is he a member of a favored victim group? Were his grievances—if they align with the favored socialist/statist narrative—legitimate, even understandable, or was he a "right wing extremist?" If so, not only is he to blame but any who might share any portion of his assumed political beliefs is also to blame, and yes, Sarah Palin has already been implicated.

The first question that usually comes to the minds of many politicians is: how can I use this to my advantage? This is particularly true of those who seek to increase the power of the state and suppress the freedom of individuals, men like Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel who endeavor to never allow a crisis to go to waste—when it can be cynically exploited for political gain.

If I was truly cynical—and I am, for Lily Tomlin was right when she said that no matter how cynical you get, you can't keep up—I'd be tempted to observe that the Obama Administration would immediately try to export illegally purchased American firearms to Norway, or that it would be discovered that they already had. Stranger things have indeed happened, have they not?

But for the time being, as we wait to learn the actual, as opposed to assumed, facts, our time would be best served by considering what can be learned from this latest massacre. I'll provide only three primary lessons, though there are surely more.

(1) Gun free zones are deadly. In this case, the entire nation of Norway is essentially a citizen disarmament zone. Even though many Norwegians own firearms, even the police do not routinely carry handguns. Utoya island was very much like American schools: isolated, vulnerable, and completely unarmed. In school attacks, and in the attack on Utoya Island, the final body count will depend on the lack of marksmanship and the humanity of the killer(s), who will be stopped only by the intervention of armed police. Even in America, it takes far longer for the police to respond to such attacks than most people realize. When seconds count, it will take the police tens of minutes to arrive and longer to react. On Utoya Island, the killer—exploiting a dream Socialist gun-free zone--had approximately 90 minutes to roam the island at will, killing at a truly leisurely pace.

In America and Norway, the Left is delighted to "send messages" and to express what they imagine to be moral superiority by declaring certain places to be "gun-free." They see such posturing as an important and meaningful accomplishment in and of itself. They are incapable of seeing, or accepting, that criminals care nothing for the laws they establish, and that while preparing for the mass murder of children, gun-free zone signs are not only not a deterrent, but a guarantee that they will be able to kill without impediment. In a very real sense, the murders on Utoya Island are the ultimate expression of the gun-free zone.

(2) Evil exists. The left sees all things through a political lens. All motivations, all meaning may be found in political ideology. Socialist/Statist/Leftist ideology is infallible, so it can never be mistaken. It can never be wrong. Any problems along the way must be attributable to the existence of Conservatism, which keeps Socialism from working properly, or to the fact that not enough time has passed for a given Socialist policy to work properly, or as in the case of gun control issues, insufficient Socialism has been applied. Not until all firearms are in the loving hands of the state can the state protect individual citizens, despite the fact that the state has no obligation—or intention—to protect individual citizens.

Because all is political, morality—to the small degree that leftists recognize its existence, exists only in service to the preferred political narrative. Concepts such as good and evil have no meaning unless they are politically useful, such as evil being applied to those who oppose righteous Socialist policy, which is inherently good.

This mindset inevitably leads to the search for motivations, causes acceptable to the Socialist political narrative. In the case of the Norwegian killer, much of the media has already branded him a "right-wing Christian Fundamentalist." To the Leftist media, no greater insult, no more damning sign of politically incorrect guilt, is possible. Yet even this epithet denies the existence of evil. To the Left, evil resides in the fact that the killer is right wing, Christian, and even worse, a "fundamentalist," whatever that might mean in this context. In a nation as far left as Norway, even those with slightly left of center political views might be considered irredeemable rightists.

One need not be a Christian to believe in evil, for evil is manifested most meaningfully in acts, not words. The most revealing evidence of evil in despotism is not in the despot's writings and pronouncements, but in the millions of innocents they slaughter. On Utoya Island, the killer dressed as a policeman, and knowing that kids would not be alarmed by an armed policeman, called them to gather around him and betrayed their trust in the loving state by shooting them. He spent 90 minutes, taking his time, calmly walking about the island and shooting everyone he could find, killing 86 and wounding a great many more. He reloaded multiple times. If this was not evil, evil has no meaning.

No motivation need be sought. No political arguments need be made. No one need be blamed except the killer himself and the author of all evil. Evil exists to destroy and cares nothing for politics except to whatever degree politics and those who live by them may be twisted to enable destruction of God's greatest gift: life.

(3) One indisputable fact remains: If a single, capable innocent on that island was armed, the killer could have been stopped and nearly two hundred children would not have been wounded or killed. Life could have been preserved and evil defeated. Evil cannot be appeased or reasoned with; it must be confronted and destroyed.

This was not possible because of what Socialists would surely consider one of their greatest accomplishments, an achievement they would see as indisputable evidence of more advanced evolution, of more enlightened humanity: the more or less complete disarmament of an entire nation, including its police.

The media and Norwegian and American politicians sharing the same political and social views will be unable and unwilling to recognize or accept this final, simple truth. They will argue instead for even more disarmament of the law-abiding and innocent, and the suppression of political ideas with which they disagree, even in a country that has no First or Second Amendments, for all must be made to serve the narrative.

We often rhetorically and cynically observe that someone is going to have to die before something is done. Ninety-three are dead and the Left is incapable of learning the painfully obvious, necessary lessons. The best the left can do, the best it will ever be able to do, is to call the killer a right-wing fundamentalist Christian—which to them says nearly everything--and blame Sarah Palin, which says the rest.

Posted by MikeM at 12:25 PM | Comments (3)

The Obama Zone

Let's take a journey, a journey into a dimension of self-delusion and inattention, a dimension of false hope and unwanted change. We're taking a trip to: The Obama Zone!

Consider these excerpts from a piece by Mike Allen at Politico via Jim Geraghty at National Review (via me):

"FLY ON THE WALL: Fifty of the most prized donors in national politics, including several hedge-fund billionaires who are among the richest people in the world, schlepped to a Manhattan office or hovered around speakerphones Tuesday afternoon [July 19, 2011] as their host, venture capitalist Ken Langone (pronounced LAN-goan), a co-founder of The Home Depot, implored New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to reconsider and seek the GOP presidential nomination…"

"Langone backed Rudy Giuliani in 2008, and his guests came from both parties, although most were moderate Republicans. Most are uncommitted in the presidential race. Participants who rank on the Forbes list of richest Americans included Bernie Marcus, Paul Tudor Jones (hedge funds; $3.3 billion), Stan Druckenmiller (hedge funds; $2.5 billion) and Bernie Marcus (Home Depot; $1.9 billion). Several of them said: I’m Republican but I voted for President Obama, because I couldn’t live with Sarah Palin. Many said they were severely disappointed in the president. The biggest complaint was what several called “class warfare.” They said they didn’t understand what they had done to deserve that: If you want to have a conversation about taxation, have a conversation. But a president shouldn’t attack his constituents — he’s not the president of some people, he’s president of all the people…"

Can you can sing, without error in note or lyric, the theme from Gilligan's Island? If, like me, you can, then you remember Thurston Howe III and his wife, Lovey. Howe III was billed as "the millionaire" ("and his wife") in the opening ditty. Now, of course, millions are little more than pocket change. Like Dr. Evil awakening after decades and trying to extort a million dollars, it seems innocent and quaint in our world of debts so large their adjectives defy the imagination. What does a trillion of anything look like anyway?

But on Gilligan's Island and in America today, the very rich are very different. They must be very different—almost alien--for how else can Allen's report make the slightest sense? I don't mean that they always wear ascots, yachting caps and blazers and talk as though their jaws are wired shut like Thurston Howe III. I'm talking about altered perceptions; very altered perceptions.

People who were paying attention during the 2008 campaign must have been aware of:

(1) Mr. Obama's ranking as the most liberal senator in the U.S. Senate, to the left even of Bernie Sanders, the only self-identified Socialist in the Congress. In a Congress controlled by Democrats, leaning further left than any in recent memory that was quite an accomplishment.

(2) Mr. Obama's inadvertent bit of honesty in telling Joe The Plumber that he thought "spreading the wealth around" was a good thing.

(3) Mr. Obama's fervent desire to ensure that energy prices should "necessarily skyrocket."

(4) Mr. Obama's threat to bankrupt the coal industry.

(5) This charming off-the-teleprompter rant: "We can’t drive our SUVs and, you know, eat as much as we want and keep our homes on, you know, 72 degrees at all times, whether we’re living in the desert or we’re living in the tundra and then just expect every other country is going to say OK, you know, you guys go ahead keep on using 25 percent of the world’s energy, even though you only account for 3 percent of the population, and we’ll be fine. Don’t worry about us. That’s not leadership."

(6) Mr. Obama's close association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, proponent of Black Liberation Theology the foundation of which is militant Marxism.

(7) The fact that Mr. Obama had no business or real world experience at all.

(8) A wide variety of comments and indicators revealing Mr. Obama's compulsion to tax, particularly the wealthy.

(9) The use, by Mr. Obama and his surrogates, of Socialist terms like "social justice," and "redistributive change."

(10) Mr. Obama's often stated promise to "fundamentally change America."

I could extend the list virtually to infinity, but the question remains: how could these people have been surprised by anything Barack Obama has done? I have to believe that most of them are not old money. They made their money in the real world, paying bills, making payroll, working with actual people, God and gun clinging people who live in Flyover Country. They understand that without the free enterprise system and democracy, they would immediately find themselves the victims of the redistributive change and social justice built into Mr. Obama's DNA. So how did they overlook in 2008 what is now so obvious in 2011? Unlike Thurston Howe III, they don't have the excuse of being marooned on a desert island for years.

And I'm afraid the referees have ruled the Sarah Palin excuse out of bounds. Apart from Bush 43, virtually every President has treated the Vice Presidency as though it was, in the words of FDR's VP, Texan John Nance Garner: "not worth a bucket of warm spit."

It never occurred to these people that Mr. Obama would not be business-friendly? They were unaware that Marxism and Socialism are all about class warfare and inherently hostile to democracy, capitalism and America? Did they think that when Mr. Obama repeatedly and fervently promised to fundamentally change America that he was talking about changing the color of blue jeans? Presumably these people are intelligent, or did people simply give them billions because they had kind faces?

Perhaps, having been slapped in their respective well-heeled faces by hope and change, they are now firmly living in the real world, in our normal, capitalistic, democratic, American dimension. And in that world, three things don't change: death, taxes and Barack Obama's socialistic designs on America. Hopefully, this time they'll put their money where reality is.

Posted by MikeM at 12:04 AM | Comments (5)

July 23, 2011

What Can A Man Of Barack Obama's Experience Accomplish? Part II

What Can A Man of Barack Obama's Experience Accomplish? Part II.

Links To Referenced Stories/Videos In This Article:

(1) For an article about Mr. Obama's only executive experience, go here.

(2) For a video of Jack Cashill explaining why Mr. Obama did not write his first book, go here.


Mr. Obama's only executive experience was his years (1995-1999) as head—appointed by unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers—of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an organization set up to disburse tens of millions ostensibly to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged Chicago children. Despite blowing through a truly huge sum (more than $100 million in only four years), Mr. Obama accomplished—according to the study of the aftermath by the Annenberg Foundation—absolutely nothing but wasting more than $100 million dollars of other people's money. It is not known if Mr. Obama knew that this was vital training for his future, but he obviously did not want anyone to know about his only executive experience, and despite the fact that the press did know about it during the 2008 campaign, it was not reported. Apparently pants creases and leg tingles override fiscal irresponsibility far more than was previously understood.

Mr. Obama has identified himself as a "constitutional law professor" at the University of Chicago, but he was actually listed as a "senior lecturer" during his brief tenure. The best evidence indidcates that the school was ordered to find Mr. Obama office space and to give him a class to teach. In academia, "professor" is the highest academic rank, normally awarded only to tenured teachers after many years of experience and many successful publications. Mr. Obama has none of these qualifications, and never went through the necessary process of being awarded professor rank.

Despite earning academic credentials in the law, there is no evidence that Mr. Obama worked for any appreciable period of time as a practicing attorney. He may be reasonably called a lawyer by virtue of having a law degree, but he apparently never kept offices, met a payroll, hung out a shingle, or even worked as a regularly salaried attorney for government. Instead, most of his post-Harvard days were occupied with his "work," as a community organizer.

In his own autobiographical writings, Mr. Obama admitted that he could not explain to even his closest friends what a community organizer actually did. The job apparently was self-appointed and had no salary or benefits, yet we know that it consisted, in part, of teaching "leadership training seminars" for ACORN—photographs exist of him doing just that, and ACORN leaders acknowledged it—despite his statements that he did no such thing (normal folks call this "lying"). Like much of the rest of his past, whatever accomplishments Mr. Obama made in organizing communities—whatever that might be--remain ephemeral.

There is considerable evidence, particularly that provided by Jack Cashill, that Mr. Obama did not write his books. In fact, given a substantial advance to write his first book—a remarkable accomplishment for a minor political figure and a first time author with no experience at all--Mr. Obama could produce nothing, yet was allowed to keep the advance. It is also known that he gave all the materials of his unfinished book to Bill Ayers, and lo and behold, the book is very much in the style of Ayers, whose writings—unlike those of Mr. Obama—are available for comparison. Yet we are expected to believe that a man who produced no academic or legal writing, no known writing at all, was capable, suddenly, of producing two hot-selling autobiographies. As a teacher of writing, I can affirm that the chance of such a thing occurring is vanishingly small. Writing, like any other human skill, takes talent and many years of effort and practice, which prior to the publication of his books Mr. Obama apparently never demonstrated. The ability to haltingly read from a teleprompter and the ability to write a book are two very different things.

Mr. Obama's election to the Illinois Senate was made possible when he knocked his mentor and primary opponent off the ballot. In that role he distinguished himself as one of the most liberal members of a very liberal body. His US Senate campaign was a case of déjà vu in that his primary Republican opponent bowed out of the race after sealed court documents relating to his divorce were mysteriously released to the press. Elected to the US Senate by the only state that still refuses to allow its citizens any means of carrying concealed weapons, Mr. Obama spent two years primarily running for president, yet still managed to be ranked as the most leftist member of the US Senate, to the left even of the Senate's only declared Socialist. His record of accomplishment in both bodies—scores of "present" votes aside--is essentially nonexistent.

It was during the 2008 campaign that Americans were introduced to what is arguably the most insupportably inflated ego in American history. All politicians need healthy egos. Mr. Obama makes the worst of them look like models of humility and mental health.

When he won the Democrat nomination, he modestly announced that history would record that event as the moment that the seas began to retreat and the planet began to heal. Most people would not be capable of thinking of themselves in such grandiose terms, and fewer would dare to say such a thing. Clearly, Mr. Obama is not restrained by the ethical concerns of mere men.

For a short time, until wiser heads prevailed, he began to speak behind a pseudo-presidential Great Seal of Obama. His campaign posters adopted the style and tone of Communist-era propaganda, becoming, for Americans unaware of the murderous history of Communism (or perhaps very aware), as iconographic as a Che poster. Upon election, he established the "office" and seal of the President-Elect of the United States, despite the fact that the Constitution, to say nothing of precedent, establishes no such office. His studied rejection of the Constitution revealed by these—and more-- exercises in self-glorification were merely warnings of things to come.

Real leaders never have to remind anyone of their rank or position. They know that those who feel compelled to do that are not leaders. For real leaders, it's simply not necessary. For Mr. Obama, it has been constantly necessary. In fact, he not only began his term in office as a non-leader, he and his spokespeople now seem particularly proud of his newly discovered concept of "leading from behind," which is demonstrative of even less leadership than not leading at all. For the real world—as opposed to Obama World—leading from behind is perhaps the most self-contradictory statement known to man. Real leaders would think anyone espousing such utter nonsense a fool.

One several occasions, Mr. Obama told Congressmen and Senators "I won." In a congressional meeting, he told Senator John McCain that the election was over, obviously making that point that since he won, there was no need for discussion; his way was the only way. This man of superior temperament often appear to be ready to blow sky high. He seems to be genuinely stumped and frustrated when others do not immediately accept anything he says as revealed truth and genius.

On notable occasions, he has invited guests to his speeches, such as the Supreme Court and Rep. Paul Ryan, seated them prominently, and then lied about their positions and actions and publically berated them. Such behavior demonstrates an extraordinary smallness of spirit, a lack of common courtesy and manners, and a streak of petty meanness. Embracing all Americans requires sincere respect for them and their views. Mr. Obama shows only contempt for those who do not slavishly praise his every utterance.

Mr. Obama's mistreatment and serial insults of our most staunch allies, such as Britain and Israel, and his betrayal of the Eastern Europeans have become the stuff of legend, as has his appeasement of and weakness toward our most virulent enemies. He even hesitated for a day in authorizing our military to take out Osama Bin Laden, a day turned into two days by adverse weather, time that could have blown the mission. Some presidents grow in office. They learn that their most cherished beliefs must be altered in the face of reality. Not Barack Obama, who seems to believe that reality must bend to accommodate him.

Mr. Obama seems able to respond to crisis only be means of speech making, which means teleprompter reading. Despite being lauded as an incredibly inspiring and gifted speaker he is at best, average. As a teacher of college speech, I would allow him no more than a C. His speeches are full of straw men and false choices. They are consistently characterized by misrepresentations and even blatant lies. His rhythms are halting, determined by his ability to read from the teleprompter screens as his head constantly turns right-left-right-left, causing odd and unnatural pauses in the middle of phrases and clauses. His pitch and volume consistently drop off the tabletop at the ends of sentences, causing the loss of final consonants. Rather than employing logic and compelling argument, he employs insults and ridicule of any who disagree with him. Such serial failings are not characteristic of an exceptional speaker.

Worse still is that his speeches are, as Texans would say: "All hat, no cattle." There are no specifics, no real proposals, nothing that would indicate precisely what he intends to do. There are only broad platitudes, partisan exhortations, appeals to high-sounding aspirations and vague values. Mr. Obama seems to believe that the American people want nothing so much as to hear yet another speech from him. He actually seems to think that when he speaks, reality changes to comport with his desires, or perhaps that reality is his desires. Fortunately, many Americans are beginning to catch on. They realize that if they've heard one Obama speech, they've heard them all, and they're equally uninformed.

And so we arrive at the present, at the debt ceiling negotiations, after Mr. Obama has increased the national debt to 25% of GDP, exceeding the height reached during WWII. The only budget proposal Mr. Obama has submitted had only one feature: boundless spending far into the future. It was so unrealistic, so out of bounds with even the free-spending, unlimited taxation ways of Congressional democrats that not a single one voted to support it; not one. Yet Mr. Obama wants what he wants and expects that he can talk Americans into giving it to him. After all, everyone has always given him whatever he wanted in the past. They have always praised him as being beyond the understanding and abilities of mere mortals. Why should things be different today?

Things are different because, to paraphrase Margaret Thatcher's canny observation on the ultimate problem of Socialism, we have run out of other people's money. Margaret Thatcher, a real leader, understood such things. Mr. Obama, who leads from behind, cannot and will not.

What more should we expect of a man with no apparent past, with no experience holding down a responsible job, only one miserably failed executive experience, no legislative accomplishment, and whose only solution to any crisis is rhetoric? What can we expect of a man whose only firm principles seem to be unremitting class envy and warfare, hatred of America, reflexive appeasement of her enemies and contempt for her allies, disdain for the Constitution, and an unshakable commitment to control the lives of Americans to the maximum extent imaginable, and to raise any and every tax possible while spending more money than exists?

For such a man, there is no compromise large enough, no tax large enough, nor any expenditure large enough. One might almost be tempted to think that when Barack Obama said that he was going to "fundamentally change" America, he really meant that he intended to destroy it. That is likely the only thing a man of his experience is truly capable of doing.

Posted by MikeM at 12:06 AM | Comments (7)

July 20, 2011

Fair and Balanced With Political Donations, Too

Unlike, say, every other media company on the planet.

Political donations by News Corp., its employees and their families were evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, with President Obama the all-time leading recipient, according to a report from the Sunlight Foundation.

The transparency watchdog noted Tuesday that Democrats received 51 percent of contributions while Republicans received 49 percent, despite the firm's highly publicized links to the GOP, such as a $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association in August.

The donation balance seems to also carry over to legitimately balanced coverage of news events, which no doubt explains the popularity of their print and broadcast news outlets.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

Wow: Ninth Circus Says Call for Obama's Assassination is Free Speech

I consider myself a free speech advocate as much as the next guy, but I never felt comfortable with calls for assassination being considered protected speech, and trust me, I've seen a lot of it... just on signs at lefty protests during the Bush years.

The ultra-liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals disagrees:

A divided panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that conviction Tuesday, saying Bagdasarian's comments were "particularly repugnant" because they endorsed violence but that a reasonable person wouldn't have taken them as a genuine threat.

The observation that Obama "will have a 50 cal in the head soon" and a call to "shoot the [racist slur]" weren't violations of the law under which Bagdasarian was convicted because the statute doesn't criminalize "predictions or exhortations to others to injure or kill the president," said the majority opinion written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt.

"When our law punishes words, we must examine the surrounding circumstances to discern the significance of those words' utterance, but must not distort or embellish their plain meaning so that the law may reach them," said the 2-1 ruling in which Chief Judge Alex Kozinski joined but Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw dissented.

The court seems to be saying that the message Walter Bagdasarian communicated wasn't a legitimate threat, and there was therefore not a crime, since a reasonable person should not have inferred that he had the means, motive and opportunity to carry out the threat or equip others to do so.

Am I reading that right?

I guess we can expect to see "Assassinate X with a Y" tee shirts popping up on web sites now.

Wonderful.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:40 AM | Comments (5)

What Can A Man of Barack Obama's Experience Accomplish?

The stakes are enormous, even unprecedented, and the facts are clear: Our national debt has reached ruinous, astronomical levels and climbs higher every day. Mr. Obama has spent four trillion dollars in just over two years. The number is so large—and increasing daily--that it has almost no meaning for most Americans, yet Mr. Obama wants to spend much, much more. Virtually no one outside Paul Krugman thinks our current path of spending America into oblivion is remotely rational or sustainable, and even he is beginning to have the tiniest doubts. Moody’s is poised to lower America’s AAA bond rating, which would make it far more expensive to borrow and would almost certainly set off a round or murderous, Carteresque inflation, and that's the best case scenario. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security must be reformed. If ObamaCare is ever fully implemented, it will be sufficient, by itself, to bankrupt the nation, to say nothing about giving the government de facto power to mandate whatever it wants. Our revenues are sufficient to meet our needs, but our spending is completely out of control. If we don’t stop spending far more money than we could ever possibly have, America will go bankrupt, plunging the world into an economic apocalypse.

On one hand we have the Congressional Republicans, many obviously uncomfortable in stepping out of their business as usual comfort zones, but forced by circumstances and reality to actually stand up for no additional taxes and real spending cuts. Yet even so, they’re willing to give up more than two trillion dollars in additional spending, money we don’t have, money we will have to borrow. By any reasonable interpretation of “compromise,” more than two trillion dollars is quite a compromise.

On the other hand we have Barack Obama, President of the United States. Mr. Obama knows the state of the economy. He knows the state of the debt, yet he wants to spend more money than even the most craven politician prior to the advent of The One was capable of imagining. And to do this, he wants to raise taxes to unheard of levels. What is little known is that through ObamaCare and other devices, he has already imposed enormous new taxes that will by themselves drag down an economy seriously weakened by years of wild spending abandon by Democrats. Yes, Republicans helped, but the pubic knows who the real spending addicts are and soundly spanked the Democrats in 2010. Mr. Obama speaks of “a balanced approach,” yet his idea of balance is that the Republicans not only give him everything he wants, they must praise his patience and willingness to compromise—by graciously accepting whatever he demands--as well.

As Fox News reported on July 14 (here), Mr. Obama angrily and petulantly walked out of a recent negotiating session when mere Congressmen and Senators dared oppose his majesty.

“"I've reached my limit. This may bring my presidency down, but I will not yield on this," Mr. Obama angrily exclaimed before storming out of the session.

Thus did Mr. Obama, who promised to unite Americans, who portrayed himself as the great healer, the man who would once again make America loved and respected, demonstrate his superior temperament and boundless intellect. Yet even before that ostentatious display of juvenile temper, Mr. Obama, representing the party that pretends to champion the poor and the elderly, threatened to cut off the social security payments of the poor and the elderly in August if he did not get his way. That'll show 'em who's boss.

Why would the President of the United States behave so…irresponsibly? What, after all, can a man of Barack Obama's experience accomplish?

In one sense, actual experience is irrelevant. The legacy media slavishly supports, even worships Mr. Obama. Even when he recently cut off White House Press Pool access (here) to debt ceiling negotiations because he was angered that the press wasn't appropriately respectful, they took the scolding of Press Secretary Jay Carney and wrote the usual puff pieces blaming everyone but Barack Obama, as usual, following the lead of the man who obviously abhors them.

There is no doubt that the press has supported and defended Mr. Obama like the useful idiots he certainly considers them to be. There is also no doubt that they will continue to support the man in whom they have placed all their hopes, the demi-god they worship. Google "Obama Halo" and you'll find innumerable examples of Mr. Obama given a halo, and not by one press outlet, not by a handful, but by too many to count. Such mindless, incurious fealty is very valuable to any politician, and particularly those with monumental delusions of grandeur.

Placing a halo around the head of a political figure may, to the media, be very symbolic, seemingly making them special, important, even deities. Perhaps they even believe that the God and gun clingers of Flyover Country would embrace such imagery, and therefore take to heart their word. The truth, of course, is that Christians find such mindless trivialization of the holy to be insulting, even blasphemous.

The most egregious and insulting example of this kind of false idol worship is the Easter 2010 New York Times image of the White House at the base of a cross, with Barack Obama, obviously speaking (giving a sermon?) superimposed in profile over the cross. It would be hard to imagine an image that Christians would find more abhorrent and disgusting.

As far as is known, Mr. Obama has not commissioned such images, but anyone with any knowledge of photography viewing these images understands that many are obviously posed, and posing requires the cooperation of the subject of the photography. Is it possible that the most brilliant man ever to occupy the Oval Office had no idea what all those photographers were doing? Has he never seen their photographs? It is also noteworthy that Mr. Obama has never—to my knowledge—made a public plea that such crude attempts at Newsweek-like deification cease. There is, in fact, reason to believe that Mr. Obama sees himself as more than man.

There is considerable reason to believe that the press, the press that called Obama a god, that was awe-struck by his superhuman ability to swat a fly, that felt tingles run up their legs at the mere thought of The One, and thought that he would be an excellent president because of the crease in his pants leg will be every bit as taken with him in 2012 as they were in 2008, perhaps more.

Stephen Marche, writing in a July 12, 2011 Esquire article, proclaimed Mr. Obama's narrative to be ancient, literary, the story of a modern Odysseus or Gilgamesh, a man of historic import and accomplishment.

According to Marche, Mr. Obama is more than man: he is myth. He is a legendary literary hero for the ages, and Marche lays out a list of characteristics of literary greatness to better illustrate his timeless narrative and glory. It is almost impossible to fully explain the delusional, drooling man-love Marche displays. However, it is frighteningly familiar to those who understand history and Communism. It is the cult of personality worship enforced in totalitarian nations like North Korea and Cuba. You really need to read it yourself. But here's a representational excerpt:

"We can finally see who he is, we can finally understand the reality: In 2011, it is possible to be a levelheaded, warmhearted, cold-blooded killer who can crack a joke and write a book for his daughters. It is possible to be many things at once. And even more miraculous, it is possible for that man to be the president of the United States. Barack Obama is developing into what Hegel called a "world-historical soul," an embodiment of the spirit of the times. He is what we hope we can be.

We love Obama — even those who claim to despise him — because deep in our hearts and all over our lives, we're the same way — both inside and outside our jobs, our races, our cities, our countries, ourselves. With great artists, often the most irritating feature of their work is the source of their talent. Obama's gift is the same as his curse: He's somehow managed to be like the rest of us, only infinitely more so."

Such psychosis cannot be parodied. If we endeavor only to be honest, we most certainly do not hope to be what Mr. Obama is. Fortunately, for those who are willing to acknowledge that Barack Obama is a mere mortal, there is compelling evidence that he is far more mortal and fallible than most.

Consider this: If anyone wished to discover the salient facts of your life, how hard would it be to find them? Would it not be easy to discover where you lived, where you went to school, your grades, where you worked? Wouldn't a relatively simple search turn up friends, neighbors, co-workers who would know a great deal about you? If you attended college, and particularly graduate school, wouldn't it be easy to find fellow students who could recount anecdotes about your time with them in innumerable classes? If you were a professional in a profession that required publication, wouldn't there be evidence of your writings, of your beliefs and values?

For normal people, all of this, and more would be easily found for in our paths, we leave behind innumerable records, records we're not even aware are being kept. I have little doubt that a search could reveal where I went to school in the third grade and my grades for that year. It would reveal where I lived and when, and my college classmates could certainly tell a story or two about me, and my grades in college could easily be found. But little or none of this is true about Barack Obama.

Normally, such anomalies, such missing stretches of time, the chronicle of existence, would be like waving a red flag in front of a bull to a professional, competent press, but they have been remarkably uninterested in the background of The One, and with good reason. They don't want to find what they know they would find. They don't want to have to report that the President of the United States is the least qualified, least capable, most fraudulent, and most narcissistic and arrogant man ever to occupy the Oval Office.

Mr. Obama's college years are shrouded in mystery. His grades are unavailable. There seems to be no one who remembers him from his undergraduate years, at least not with the kind of memories one would expect of someone who shared the college experience with a superior being in the process of becoming. Perhaps this is because in his two autobiographies (as I recall, Benjamin Franklin satisfied himself with one) Mr. Obama notes that he consciously hung out with the radical—far, far left—elements in college, which is not exactly prime material for a presidential campaign bio.

At Harvard, Mr. Obama was awarded the presidency of the Law Review on the strength of his performance as Barack Obama, yet apparently produced no legal scholarship. At the least, none of it, or any of his work in college or graduate school at Harvard, has ever been revealed. Those who remember him recall that he occasionally stopped by the offices of the Law Review to allow others the thrill and inspiration of his presence, but apparently did no actual work. In a pattern that would eventually become practice, he led from so far behind that there remains not a trace of his leadership. There are no tales of his budding legal genius, no indicators of great promise to come in trial competitions or debates, none of the indicators and milestones one would expect of virtually anyone taking Mr. Obama's educational path. Odd for a man acclaimed by the press as one of the greatest orators in American history, a declamatory genius to rival Abraham Lincoln, with whom Mr. Obama has often compared himself.


Part II of this article will be posted on Saturday, July 23. It begins with Mr. Obama's only executive experience, his years heading the Chicago Annenberg challenge. It was a complete failure.

Posted by MikeM at 12:15 AM | Comments (5)

July 19, 2011

BREAKING: Brian Ross Treated as Biased Hacks Should Be Treated

The arrogant little carp was man-handled by security today as he tried to badger Rep. Michelle Bachmann after an event in South Carolina.

I've long documented the dishonesty of Ross, both in terms of agenda-driven bias and factual ignorance. He is very driven, which is a plus for an investigative reporter, but considering his propensity for hackish, agenda-driven reporting, I wouldn't let him anywhere near my candidate either.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:32 PM | Comments (3)

Something's Fishy With This Story

The Daily Caller is running with a hit piece by Jonathan Strong, sensationally claiming that Michelle Bachmann suffers from debilitating migraines and that she engages in "heavy pill use."

And that's just in the headline.

I'm going to get out in front of this one and call "Bullshit."

I am one the few..we lucky few... that has been afforded the opportunity to experience cluster headaches.

230px-Clusterhead

They are every bit as much fun as the photo implies, and are worse than migraines (I've had those too, infrequently), and according to women who have experienced both, cluster headaches are worse than childbirth, and allegedly the worse pain a human being can experience. They get the nickname "suicide headaches" for a reason.

I say this only to establish that I know firsthand how debilitating the severest forms of headaches can be, and that leads me to strongly doubt that Bachmann could hold her present job—much less get through the frenzy of the early primaries—without having to cancel numerous appearances and interviews if her headaches were as frequent and intense as the article claims.

I'll be very interested to see how or even if she responds.

Mike Follows-Up:

Michelle Bachman has now engaged in a massive cover-up by telling what appears to be the actual truth (here): She occasionally gets migraine headaches and has prescription medication which effectively deals with them. This would seem to be the kind of media idiocy eruption that has been so common with Sarah Palin who is often accused--in hysterical terms--of saying something accurate and rational.

Migraine headaches can indeed be painful and annoying, but they are--obviously--treatable, and unlike some conditions such as epilepsy, do not prevent people from driving or even piloting aircraft. So if the government does not consider Michelle Bachman unfit to drive a car or pilot aircraft, perhaps she could be allowed to be a practicing attorney, hold public office (hasn't she already done this stuff?), or even--dare I say it?--become President of the United States? After all, a good number of Democrat politicians of the female persuasion are demonstrably bull goose loony, and Mr. Strong doesn't seem worried about them.

Of course, I could be wrong. Mr. Strong, any day, could come up with compelling evidence that various other Republican candidates have hangnails, post nasal drip, indigestion, once expectorated in front of women and children, masticate three times a day, or practice serial monogamy. You don't suppose Mr. Strong will provide the same kind of information about Democrat candidates, do you? Nah. Didn't think so. Considering what Ms. Bachman has accomplished at a relatively young age, most people might find this revelation to be evidence of strong character and determination rather than an impediment to doing what she has already proved herself capable of doing.

Bob was right: this is a fish story, but instead of being about the trophy fish that got away, this one is about the press trying to convince us they've caught a whale while displaying a minnow.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:40 AM | Comments (9)

July 18, 2011

O'Keefe Strikes Again

This time, the goal was investigating Medicare fraud in Ohio, and as usual, they were way over the top.

In the video, the men explain to Ohio Medicaid workers that they are Russian immigrants who sell illegal drugs, drive a modified McLaren F1 sports car with a gold-coated engine, and use their underage sisters to perform sexual favors in exchange for drugs.

No Medicaid employee in their right minds would provide services to drug-dealing, child-pimping foreigners with million-dollar cars. Right?

Wrong.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2011

Chevy Volt Update for 07-18-11

Among the predications I’ve made regarding Chevy’s Volt is that its costs, in general, render it ridiculously uneconomical. Not only does its sky-high MSRP of $41,000 ($33,500 with the federal tax credit) place it outside the consideration of most the population which must buy the car in large numbers in order for it to make the slightest profit, the replacement cost of its battery pack, the life of which no one knows, is at least $8000.00 and possibly more. It’s highly likely to be the most expensive part in any dealer’s parts inventory.

For those interested in reading my scribblings on the Volt, merely enter “Chevy Volt” in the site search window on the CY home page and it will pull up every article and mention. Incidentally, I saw my first Volt a few days ago in its native habitat. It was actually being driven and was apparently owned by an actual person. This is significant in that I live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex, an area--due to its high year-round temperatures--ideal for electric vehicles. It’s also an area with a very large and mobile population, a population whose work commute can easily exceed 100 miles a day. I’ve seen one Volt. Not a good sign for Chevy, particularly considering the likelihood that even at $41,000, Chevy is losing money on every Volt it builds.

But now comes interesting news from Green Auto Blog (here) about a Volt belonging to Cars.Com. It seems that Cars.Com’s long-term test Volt (sounds odd—“test Volt”--no?) was in an accident. And it cost $14,187 to repair. That’s right, nearly half its post-federal tax rebate cost.

Why would it cost so much? We all know that auto repair, and particularly body repair costs are very high, but even more so with the Volt. The Volt requires multiple heat exchangers, engine control electronics far more expensive that those in other vehicles, and a variety of other expensive differences that stuck the vehicle in the repair shop for nine weeks—more than two months. I'm sure that such things are far more expensive due to their rarity as well. It simply costs much more to manufacture 10 items than ten thousand.

Those driving the vehicle at the time of the accident are indeed fortunate that the battery pack was not damaged (apparently it wasn’t; there is no mention of this in the article). Lithium-ion batteries contain substances that must be separated at all times. If they are allowed to combine through even a pinhole, fire and even explosion are the rapid and inevitable consequences. In addition, the battery contains a great deal of electrical power such that it is actually dangerous, even potentially deadly, to the occupants of a wounded Volt, or to unwary first responders. This is true even for mechanics without the proper tools, safety equipment and training.

Hmm. If I was an actuary for an insurance company, I suspect I’d be advising my company to greatly increase the price—and greatly increase the deductible--of any Volt policy. Wouldn’t you?

So to recap:

(1) The Volt sells for $41,000, and as much as $65,000, yet Chevy makes no profit at all on the vehicle.

(2) Some dealers are applying for the $7500 tax credit themselves and selling essentially brand new Volts as used vehicles, for as much as $65,000.

(3) The Volt’s weak gasoline engine requires premium fuel and achieves less fuel economy than a great many conventional vehicles with more flexible and powerful engines that burn regular fuel (Fun Fact: Federal regulations prevent the importation of small, clean burning diesel engines that get 50 MPG or more. Such engines are common in European cars).

(4) Now we learn that repair costs for the Volt greatly exceed conventional vehicles in the same general class.

(5) The Volt’s real world electric range in real world driving conditions is apparently about 25 miles. No one knows how long a Volt battery will last or precisely how much it will cost.

(6) As I reported in prior posts, because of the ridiculously high purchase price, even if the Volt managed 200 MPG in a combination of electric/gas-powered driving, it would be virtually impossible for anyone to break even in fuel savings when compared with the cost of even high-end conventionally powered high mileage vehicles. With more realistic mileage figures, it would take about two decades. When one considers that at least one battery replacement would be mandatory in that time frame, breaking even on operating costs would be impossible. When one considers that very few people ever keep a car for its entire lifetime—and that life span is usually far less than even 10 years—breaking even or saving money is absolutely impossible.

But other than that, the Volt is a great car that will change the world, and everybody should buy one. Hey, if the Federal Government can make you buy a specific light bulb and health insurance, why not a specific car? And as long as the FG actually owns a substantial chunk of Chevy, why not the Volt? As Joe Biden would likely say, it’s the patriotic thing to do!

Added Note: A commenter on my last post on the Volt noted that he has ordered one and expects to be very happy with it, considering it to be superior to the BMW he is currently driving.

I thanked him for his comments, and replied :

"I care not what anyone else drives; they're free to buy what pleases them. This is one of the great things about America. What I am concerned about is the choices made by a company in which I am--through no choice of my own--part owner. In that case, I expect that company to build cars that make a profit. The Volt does not and will not, unless the government so regulates and mandates the free enterprise system that it will no longer be free and none of us will have the choice to buy whichever vehicle pleases us. I suspect that the Volt is part of the vanguard of that Socialist revolution.

By all means, buy one if you please and I hope you enjoy it. But my point remains: The Volt makes no economic sense for virtually all of the American public. No car company can remain in business manufacturing a product like that. The question remains: Why is GM manufacturing a car that not only makes no profit, but probably costs it money, and does not have the infrastructure--which is also ridiculously expensive--to make it even remotely viable? It would seem to have nothing to do with free enterprise and individual choice, would it?"

And this is the primary problem with the Volt. GM is far from sustainably profitable, having avoided a normal bankruptcy proceeding that would have allowed it to reorganize and would have allowed it to renegotiate its union contracts so that it could once again be profitable. Preserving union power and cash, was of course, Mr. Obama's main concern. Preserving the rights of shareholders and creditors and supporting the free enterprise system were not.

The result of this is that people who had legitimate financial stakes in the company were stiffed, wealth was not only not created but thrown away, and the American public will almost certainly take a bath to the tune of tens of billions that GM will never pay back. That and we, the taxpayers, still own $2.1 billion of preferred GM stock and 61% of its common equity. As an unwilling stockholder, I'm a bit concerned by a company building a car that makes not a dime of profit, and probably loses money. Shouldn't every owner of GM be concerned about that?

Posted by MikeM at 11:52 PM | Comments (1)

July 16, 2011

Contempt Of Cop

The good folks at Pajamas Media have been kind enough to post my most recent article on the police and photography (here). As many of you know, police officers around the nation have been harassing, arresting, even beating innocent citizens for the heinous offense of daring to photograph them in the pursuit of their duties. This article explains why, with some notable exceptions, the police have no such authority. Must reading if you plan to have a camera anywhere near a police officer in the future, even on your own property--you'll see what I mean.

Posted by MikeM at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2011

"Don't Call My Bluff"

A real genius, this one.

When Cantor said the two sides were too far apart to get a deal that could pass the House by the Treasury Department’s Aug. 2 deadline — and that he would consider moving a short-term debt-limit increase alongside smaller spending cuts — Obama began to lecture him.

"Eric, don't call my bluff," the president said, warning Cantor that he would take his case "to the American people." He told Cantor that no other president — not Ronald Reagan, the president said — would sit through such negotiations.

First Rule of Bluffing: Don't let the other guy know you are bluffing.

As for taking his case to the people, the people have heard his long-winded, blame-shifting, class-warfare speeches, and like honey badger, we don't care. We know spending must be cut, and that a recession is a horrible time to raise taxes.

It's too bad he can't figure that out.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 06:50 AM | Comments (4)

July 12, 2011

Somewhere Under The Radar: Importing Hamas

We know that President Obama likes to work “under the radar,” or in a manner that conceals his true intentions from the public, a public unlikely to approve of much of what he does. Most recently, Mr. Obama announced his under the radar work on gun control (here) to Sarah Brady of the Brady Campaign. We even learned that Mr. Obama has a White House “point man” on gun control policy, which certainly lends credence to the idea that he is working surreptitiously on gun control policies apart from the disastrous Gunwalker scandal that the Lamestream Media is now laboring to avoid reporting. The latest fruits of his under the radar gun control work were revealed by Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney at a July 7th presser (here) where he announced that new gun control initiatives would soon be unveiled.

Days later, they were. Here are the highlights (go here for the story):

(1) A national electronic system designed to make background checks for handgun buyers simpler and faster, leaving an electronic paper trail under a law named for James Brady.

(2) A new reporting requirement that federally licensed gun shops report any person who tries to buy two long-arm weapons near the Mexican border over a five-day period.

(3) Tougher sentencing guidelines for straw buyers that Holder’s department pushed through procedural hoops at the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Another virtually unknown under the radar effort is Mr. Obama’s stalwart work to help terrorist immigrate to the United States. What?! President Obama is helping terrorists to immigrate?! Indeed, since January 27, 2009, and of course, it was done by mandate, not law. Here’s the relevant entry from the Federal Register (link here): February 4, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 22):

“Presidential Documents
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
NOTICE: Part II
DOCID: fr04fe09-106
DOCUMENT SUMMARY:

[[Page 6115]]
Presidential Determination No. 2009-15 of January 27, 2009

Unexpected Urgent Refugee and Migration Needs Related To Gaza
Memorandum for the Secretary of State
By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 2(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962 (the ``Act''), as amended (22 U.S.C. 2601), I hereby determine, pursuant to section 2(c)(1) of the Act, that it is important to the national interest to furnish assistance under the Act in an amount not to exceed $20.3 million from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for the purpose of meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs, including by contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations and payment of administrative expenses of Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State, related to humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees and conflict victims in Gaza.
You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.


(Presidential Sig.)
THE WHITE HOUSE,
Washington, January 27, 2009
[FR Doc. E9-2488
Filed 2-3-09; 8:45 am]
Billing code 4710-10-P.”

What does this mean? It’s quite simple; almost as soon as Mr. Obama was sworn in, he allocated $20.3 million dollars to help Palestinians from Gaza immigrate into the United States. He has paid the way—with taxpayer dollars--for God only knows how many Gaza Palestinians to immigrate to America.

But this is about “refugees,” and “humanitarian needs of Palestinian Refugees and Conflict Victims.” Who could object to helping refugees and conflict victims? Anyone with a bit of common sense and a grasp on reality should be objecting.

Despite the media bluster about flotillas trying to deliver “relief supplies” to the horribly oppressed Gaza Palestinians, reality is quite different, and was in January of 2009 as well. Not only are the Israelis daily providing the Palestinians with food water, electrical power, medical care and virtually every other necessity of life, the UN and a wide variety of nations pour billions upon billions into Gaza every year. Oh yes, and the Israelis often intercept arms shipments meant for the “relief” of the oppressed Palestinians. America has also armed and trained their “police.”

The Palestinians are so oppressed that they have been building opulent shopping malls, and lobbing the occasional rocket, mortar round or advanced anti-tank round into Israel for many, many years. Any conflict suffered by the Palestinians in Gaza is entirely of their own making, and when their attacks on Israeli civilians result in Palestinian casualties from Israelis acting in self-defense, they don’t hesitate for a moment to rush their wounded into Israeli hospitals where they receive some of the best care the world has to offer.

Most importantly, Gaza is the home of Hamas, a terrorist organization whose reason for being is Israeli genocide. It gets even better as Hamas has recently joined in a political alliance with Fatah, which controls the West Bank, and is at least as vehemently bloodthirsty in its hopes for Israel as Hamas. Both enjoy considerable support from the largest exporter of Islamic terrorism in the world: Iran. You remember Iran, the country that has accepted Mr. Obama’s outstretched hand—and bitten it off at the elbow while it continues to build nuclear weapons.

This does not, of course, mean that everyone who lives in the Gaza Strip is automatically an Islamist terrorist, but there is no doubt that when you are dealing with a people who name streets and public buildings after suicide bombers and who raise their children to see killing Jews as the greatest pleasure and accomplishment life has to offer, it is highly likely that most people who live there are, at the very least, supportive of Jihadist goals if not willing to actively pursue such goals themselves. It is rather hard for Americans to forget video of Palestinians dancing in the streets in rapturous joy at the news of 9-11, and these are the poor victims of conflict, the refugees Mr. Obama wants to pay to come to America.

This, like so much else, about Mr. Obama is revealing of his beliefs and character. There is more than convincing evidence that he reflexively identifies with and supports America’s enemies, particularly Islamist enemies. In this case, Mr. Obama saw victims and refugees in a part of the world where there are no refugees and the only victims are those created by the Palestinian’s indiscriminate rocket and mortar attacks on innocent Israeli citizens. So of course, Mr. Obama felt the necessity to use taxpayer dollars to facilitate the immigration of people who have sworn to destroy Israel, with the United States running a close second in the Islamist demolition derby.

It may be impossible to tell exactly how many actual Hamas sympathizers or terrorists have immigrated under this program, but it is entirely reasonable to believe that some have, and that even one is far too many. This is part of the legacy of Barack Obama.

Any Beltline politician looking to balance the budget could easily start with this $20.3 million dollar national-suicidal disaster. Come to think of it, I wonder how much money has actually been spent on this terrorist importation initiative? Twenty-plus million is chump change to Mr. Obama; surely he wouldn’t allow himself to be so restrained?

It hardly seems worth the effort, but saving 20 million here, a few billion there--pretty soon it adds up to real money. And it just might help keep terrorist sleeper cells out of America where they have the opportunity to create real victims, with the able assistance of the President of The United States.

Posted by MikeM at 10:35 PM | Comments (1)

Fear-Monger-in-Chief

Scaring grandmothers wasn't the hope or change we were looking for.

Desperate President Barack Obama is now trying to terrify seniors in order to "win" what he views as some sort of a game about the deficit.

President Obama on Tuesday said he cannot guarantee that retirees will receive their Social Security checks August 3 if Democrats and Republicans in Washington do not reach an agreement on reducing the deficit in the coming weeks.

"I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," Mr. Obama said in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, according to excerpts released by CBS News.

The fact of the matter is that A) Social Security payments have been running at a deficit for years, and; B) the technological infrastructure of the system is so massive, redundant and complex that short of overt hostile military action to literally destroy it, or knocking down the power grid, it is not physically possible for the President and his cronies to stop payments.

It says something about the character of this man—or more precisely, his lack of character—that he seeks to terrify seniors into become a panicked lynch mob to serve his political will.

Mike adds:

Well, it's official: The President Of The United States is a cheap thug. As Bob noted, Social Security is so automated that it is unlikely that it could be stopped, but in the pursuit of partisan political advantage, I have little doubt that if anyone could do it, Barack Obama could. Socialists care only for the abstraction that is "the people." They care nothing at all for individuals who won't willingly support their schemes, preferably with cash. Such people are known as "useful idiots."

Presidential leadership is about making difficult choices and assigning rational priorities. Because Mr. Obama is virtually incapable of making difficult choices, he is content to "lead from behind," as he does with the budget. The debt ceiling--which is in place to keep irresponsible politicians whose only skill is wasting other people's money from literally spending America into oblivion--need not be raised. The alternative is to get spending immediately under control, but this is not a possibility for Mr. Obama. If the kitty is a bit short, his only solution is to rob pensioners? What brilliant, inspired leadership. No doubt our Treasure Secretary, Mr. Geithner, came up with that one. May I suggest a few additional alternatives?

Mr. Obama could--and should--have said:

(1) I can't guarantee that the EPA will be able to continue regulating American business out of existence while destroying jobs.

(2) I can't guarantee that the Department of Education will be able to continue wasting huge amounts of money while over-regulating school districts everywhere.

(3) I can't guarantee that the ATF will be able to continue allowing weapons to flow into the hands of domestic and foreign criminals.

(4) I can't guarantee that all of my unelected, unaccountable czars will be able to continue to subvert American democracy.

(5) I can't guarantee that the huge number of aides I employ in the White House will be able to continue to receive their six figure salaries.

(6) I can't guarantee that my dog, Bo, will be able to continue to fly on separate jets when I vacation.

(7) I can't guarantee that the government will continue to be able to afford the travel and security expenses for my golf outings and vacations.

(8) I can't guarantee that the Department of Energy will be able to continue to suppress energy development while continually suppressing job creation.

(9) I can't guarantee that the National Labor Relations Board will be able to continue to shill for unions while destroying jobs, forcing more jobs overseas, and helping the foreign commercial aircraft industry at the expense of our commercial aircraft industry.

(10) I can't guarantee that the Department of Justice will be able to continue to hire more and more communist lawyers so that criminals of the proper politics and race may be excused from their crimes.

(11) I can't guarantee that the implementation of Obamacare will continue, so I can't guarantee that its provisions will bankrupt America even more rapidly than anyone believed possible.

(12) I can't guarantee that America will continue to finance the UN so that its members can spit in our collective eye.

(13) I can't guarantee that the TSA will be able to continue to strip 95 year-old, terminally ill, wheelchair-bound cancer victims of their Depends, steal the property of airline passengers, or feel up six year old girls.

(14) I can't guarantee that I'm going to raise and spend a billion dollars so that I can be reelected to further crash the economy.

(15) I can't guarantee that America will be able to continue to afford smart diplomacy. [Whoa! That one's OK! That one's OK!]

I'm just a teacher and blogger so I don' know nothin' 'bout birthin' no gov'mint, but it would seem that in terms of priorities, there are thousands of government employees, boards, commissions, agencies and fiefdoms which could vanish from the face of the planet tomorrow without 99.9% of Americans experiencing the slightest inconvenience or harm. I suspect that if Mr. Obama actually wanted to deal with the deficit, actually cutting governmental waste, abuse and duplication, and doing away with anyone and any agency that is actually harming rather than helping the economy might be an excellent place to start. I rather suspect that people receiving social security have nothing to do with it.

If the Republicans don't run with this issue from now until the election and paint Mr. Obama as the class warfare loving, America-hating Socialist he is, they deserve to lose.


Posted by Confederate Yankee at 03:04 PM | Comments (4)

July 11, 2011

Watching the Big Spender-In-Chief

I'm watching Obama's presser this morning, watching his attempt to justify raising taxes in a depression. He is ideologically incapable of any meaningful cuts to big-government spending, which is precisely what you expect from a socialist. Of course, he says "balance" and "shared sacrifice" as way of avoiding saying the words "raising taxes."

He has no vision. He is incapable of fresh ideas.

He beats the same drum that big government advocates have pushed for decades. Sadly, I don't think that the Republican leadership is much different, it is simply a matter of scale, and how much they are willing to rob the taxpayers.

Of course, neither party has the political courage to say "no" to the special interest groups or risk losing an election. They are more interested in amassing and retaining power than providing leadership.

If they are not willing to explicitly acknowledge that we have to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, then they are not close to being serious. There will be pain, and people who will suffer. It is just a matter of how many, and how long, and the longer we wait, the worse it is going to be.

And so I am watching our President and nominal leader of the free world once demagoguing Republicans, playing class warfare by attacking "the rich," and trying to portray his own inflexibility and partisanship as some sort of virtue.

I hope that the GOP leadership has the guts to refuse to raise the debt ceiling.

I just don't think they are capable of it.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2011

Chevy Volt Update for 07-11-11

As regular readers know, I’ve been following the misfortunes of the Chevy Volt and its relatives for some time now. Anyone interested in my writings on the Volt should simply enter “Chevy Volt” in the search feature of the CY site. You’ll find every article and mention there.

Of particular interest to you might be my analysis on real world costs of the Volt in an April 26 post (here). In that post, I compared, among other things, the difference in cost between a Volt and a well-equipped 40 MPG Ford Fiesta and found that if the Volt managed a real world MPG average of 120 (electric and gasoline), it would take a minimum of 14 years to make up the difference in initial cost between the vehicles in fuel savings. Actually, it would be more like 19 years, which of course means that for probably 99% of the public, buying a Volt would save nothing at all over a conventional, far more useful vehicle. It would almost certainly leave most owners deeply in the hole overall.

Now come Ed Morrissey at Hot Air with an article titled: “Hey, let’s spend millions to save $116,000!” In that article (here), Morrissey speaks of the Federal Government in San Diego, which is planning to buy 101 Chevy Volts and ten Nissan Leafs for federal employees. Of course, they’ll have to buy and install the necessary charging infrastructure too. I noted the cozy relationship between GE—which builds EV charging stations—and the Obama Administration in my April 21 PJM article on the Volt (here). As the title suggests, the “experiment” is a major boondoggle and will cost the taxpayers a great deal of money while saving nothing at all. It’s a progressive dream two-fer! By all means, revisit my articles and Morrisey’s as well.

What’s new is another New York Times puff piece on the Volt (here) by Joe Nocera. Published on June 25, it has all of the objectivity and insightful analysis we have come to expect from the Gray Lady. Actually, Nocera does make some reasonable assertions, such as this:

“Carlos Ghosn, the flamboyant chief executive of Nissan, has made a different kind of bet, placing his chips — billions of them — on the $32,780 Leaf, which has a 24-kilowatt battery pack that can get 73 miles to the charge. Mr. Ghosn is said to believe that range anxiety is overblown, and that once people become accustomed to an electric car, 73 miles per charge won’t be an issue. Well, maybe in Europe and Japan, but most analysts I spoke to think he’s likely to get his head handed to him in America, and I tend to agree.”

I tend to agree as well, particularly when much of America is nothing at all like the coasts or major cities, and a daily work commute often exceeds 73 miles. Keep in mind that the 73 miles about which Mr. Ghosn is so proud is a maximum obtained under absolutely ideal conditions. Real world mileage is probably closer to 50, and with the kind of driving most people do, likely less.

Mr. Nocera observes that people like to drive only proven technologies—indeed true—but makes a leap of faith:

“Which is also why the Volt is such an appealing alternative — “the right answer for right now,” said Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst with the automotive Web site edmunds.com. It gives people a taste of the electric car experience without sacrificing any of the things we expect in a gas-powered car.”

With its limited range and ridiculously long charging times, the Volt does indeed give “a taste of the electric car experience,” but it most certainly does require many sacrifices. Particularly under electric power, the heater is reportedly very weak, interesting in that the entire car—in battery mode—is also very weak in cold climates. And the gasoline engine provides no better—likely worse—mileage than comparable compacts achieve but also requires premium fuel.

Nocera notes that one of Chevy’s primary goals was a 40-mile range, which the Volt achieves (sort of, maybe, sometimes), however it requires compromises:

“The battery can’t be under the hood because a combustion engine is still there. So G.M. had to eliminate the middle seat in the back to make space for the big T-shaped battery the Volt required. Its small body… had to be made more aerodynamic because that was the only way to hit the 40 mile-per-charge mark.”

Unfortunately, real world experience is yielding all-electric range more like 25 miles because people insist on using such luxuries as headlights, taillights, turn signals, the radio, air-conditioning and any and every other electric function in a car which, in the Volt, quickly and dramatically drains the battery. Engaging in such foolishness as actually carrying passengers or cargo only makes things worse. Nocera did hit the mark with this observation:

“And for a car intended for the mass market, it’s awfully expensive. The Volt retails for around $41,000; from what I hear, that’s pretty much what it costs to build. G.M.’s profits on this first iteration of the Volt, in other words, are essentially zero. Though there is currently a $7,500 tax credit on electric car purchases… it won’t last forever. Consumer Reports has advised readers to avoid the Volt because it costs too much. G.M. badly needs battery technology to keep improving, both so that it can lower the cost of its electric cars, and begin making Volt-like vehicles in other sizes and shapes, including wagons and S.U.V.’s that will attract families. That’s the only way it will finally reach the mass market.”

Indeed. That’s $33,500 for a compact car with the kind of limitations that belie Nocera’s assertion of no sacrifice required. Again, compared with a great many conventional vehicles, the Volt offers no savings whatever in fuel or any other way regardless of how long it is owned. Factor in the $8000-$10,000 cost of a replacement battery (no one really knows how long the original battery will last), and the Volt makes even less economic sense than no economic sense, which is quite an accomplishment for GM as it struggles toward once again becoming a world-leading, profitable company while simultaneously dragging an enormous union chain and anchor.

But I’m afraid Mr. Nocera is missing the technological point. The only reason the Volt is as economical as it is—and it’s not economical at all when purchase price is considered—is its relative lack of mass and its aerodynamic shape. Try to upscale the concept into a station wagon or SUV and battery range will inevitably diminish below 25 miles. In order to have anything approaching reasonable acceleration and driving flexibility, it will have to have a substantially larger and more powerful gas engine which will get even worse mileage, presumably on premium fuel. Add more people and cargo than the current Volt is capable of carrying—which is rather the point of a station wagon or SUV--and every negative factor is increased. Only miraculous, impossible to predict leaps in technology could possibly make even the Volt commercially viable, to say nothing of larger, less aerodynamic vehicles based on the same concept.

Mr. Nocera observes that the Volt has “a better chance of success than anything else on the market.” He also believes that:

“Though the Volt has its share of flaws, it is unquestionably a good car. More to the point, as I discovered when I drove it, the Volt makes sense for the economic and cultural moment we’re in now. The psychological grip it held me in, the smugness I felt as I drove past gas stations, the way it implicitly encouraged me to stick with battery power as much as I could — others are going to feel that as well. Somewhat to my surprise, I actually felt a pang of enviro-guilt when I gave the car back and returned to my gas-guzzling ways. Mr. Farah told me that Volt owners often drove 1,000 miles or more before they needed to buy gasoline. I believe it. It has extremely high word-of-mouth potential.”

Mr. Nocera seems to have forgotten what he wrote only a few paragraphs earlier. The Volt absolutely does not make sense for the current economic moment. He wrote that the MSRP of $41,000 allows GM no profit at all, and as I’ve observed, not only does it have only a 25 mile range, it requires premium fuel and it’s impossible to recoup any savings from its combined electric/gas function compared with common conventional vehicles. But then again, perhaps Mr. Nocera is privy to magical Obamanomics reality of which I am simply too simple to understand.

He did hit on the Volt’s primary appeal: Cultural snobbery. He’s right: it’s all about “the psychological grip,” “…the smugness I felt as I drove past gas stations,” and even “…a pang of enviro-guilt when I gave the car back and returned to my gas-guzzling ways.” Poor Mr. Nocera! Couldn’t he just take Mr. Obama’s advise and get a car that gets better gas mileage? To be fair, some people—people with plenty of money—will no doubt buy the Volt simply for its novelty value or merely as a technological curiosity, but if we’re talking about a practical car for the public for the reasons the public needs a car, the Volt simply doesn’t qualify. Any station wagon or SUV built on the Volt platform with the current level of technology would be—if such a thing was possible—even worse.

Mr. Nocera concludes:

“The second thing it convinced me of is that the electric car is no longer some environmental pipe dream. Several years ago, I drove the Tesla, and though it was a wonderful experience, its high price and limited utility did not give me confidence that electric cars were ready for prime time. The Volt has made a believer out of me. At this moment of maximum uncertainty about how the future will play out, the Volt is comforting in its combination of new technology and old. Eventually, we’ll have batteries that can get 300 miles per charge, and an infrastructure solution that will replace gas stations. Eventually.

In the meantime, we’ve got the Volt. It’s a start.”

Again, I wonder if Mr. Nocera is suffering from short-term memory loss. His own arguments indicate that the Volt is indeed “some environmental pipe dream.” It is not a practical car. It is, at best, making no profit for GM at all. The technology still has not caught up to the hope of a viable electric car, which can fully and satisfactorily replace conventional vehicles, there is no electric car infrastructure and the Volt isn’t comforting to anyone with a grip on reality.

Will we have batteries that can get 300 miles per charge? Considering we’re stretching the current state of technology to manage 40, and considering that cold will drain the power of any battery, that seems like a very optimistic idea in a distinctly hopenchangey (all rhetoric, no substance) way.

As Mr. Nocera said: “In the meantime, we’ve got the Volt.” It’s a start in the same way that the EV-1 and the Edsel were a start. When Mr. Obama is out of office, and when the US government no longer owns part of GM—if GM survives at all—the owners of the corporation, if they are remotely rational, will do away with any product that is not producing a reasonable profit. The Volt will be number one with a bullet on that list.

Posted by MikeM at 09:39 PM | Comments (15)

July 08, 2011

Joblessness Increases, Stocks Dive, Natives Get Restless

Gotta love the Obamaconomy.

It makes my decision to cash in my stock options and convert them to an investment in bulk ammo look better all the time.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:58 AM | Comments (1)

July 07, 2011

Broun: LOWER the Debt Ceiling

Today, I introduced a unique bill that goes in a completely different direction than everything else we’ve been hearing out of Washington. It would force politicians to start practicing what they’ve been preaching by lowering the debt ceiling from $14.3 trillion back down to $13 trillion. Admittedly, this is not your run-of-the-mill kind of law, but it would make it imperative for Congress to think outside of the box and come up with ways to pay off a portion of our debt while drastically cutting back spending. Since 1996, the national debt has increased by an inexcusable $8.79 trillion. I firmly believe that this calls for emergency measures to reduce the debt.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are equally responsible for the government's past fiscal irresponsibility. Sadly, whenever Congress has been given a chance to make a real impact on the budget, our spending habits, and our nation's livelihood, Democrats and Republicans alike have caved.

Moreover, in this time of crisis, liberals are pushing for a $2 trillion increase in our debt ceiling. And their only answer for our financial fiasco is to cut nothing and raise taxes on everything — which would simply give Washington more money to burn through. Even more disturbingly, under the president's budget proposal, the debt would double to $26.3 trillion by 2021, and he has no intention or plan to pay it down.

Sadly, this proposal, from Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun, is a non-starter due to inertia within both the Democratic and Republican parties. Both groups are wedded to big government, and the constant expansion of that government. They are equally intent on rocking the boat as little as possible to avoid making hard decisions, thinking that by going with the failing status quo they can protect their petty fiefdoms a bit longer, perhaps managing to get elected once or twice more and enrich themselves personally before or near-term economic collapse.

I suspect that there are less than a handful of legislators on Capitol Hill that really hold the nation's best interests at heart. When the collapse comes—and it will—I hope I live long enough in the ensuing carnage to see some of these bastards held to account by their constituents.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 07:02 AM | Comments (1)

There's a Punchline In Here Somewhere

While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) law dismantling collective bargaining rights has harmed teachers, nurses, and other civil servants, it's helping a different group in Wisconsinites — inmates. Prisoners are now taking up jobs that used to be held by unionized workers in some parts of the state.

As the Madison Capital Times reports, "Besides losing their right to negotiate over the percentage of their paycheck that will go toward health care and retirement, unions also lost the ability to claim work as a 'union-only' job, opening the door for private workers and evidently even inmates to step in and take their place." Inmates are not paid for their work, but may receive time off of their sentences.

The law went into effect last week, and Racine County is already using inmates to do landscaping, painting, and another basic maintenance around the county that was previously done by county workers. The union had successfully sued to stop the country from using prison labor for these jobs last year, but with Walker’s new law, they have no recourse.

Union thugs have been replaced by convicts.

I guess I'm a mean old conservative, but I'm thrilled by the prospect of convicts having to give something back to the society that has to deal with both their crimes, and bear the costs of their incarceration.

It's a bonus that the convicts are replacing unionized workers, saving the citizens monies to paid to those that I rather strongly suspect have been overcompensated for their labor—"landscaping, painting, and another basic maintenance"—which sounds like jobs that should have been done by high school students on summer break for minimum wage in the first place.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 06:40 AM | Comments (3)

July 05, 2011

Adventures in Smart Diplomacy, #2,783

THE SCENE: Conference Room at the Cairo Hilton, November, 2011.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “I want to welcome all of the delegates to this first, historic, outreach session of dialogue between the United States and the various member chapters of the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the region…”

Egyptian MB Delegate: “We will destroy the Great Satan!” (Loud shouts, chants and applause)

Palestinian MB Delegate: “And the Little Satan too!” (More loud shouts, chants and applause)

HC: “…and I bring greetings from our President, Barack Hussein Obama, who…”

EMBD: “Apostate!”

Syrian MB Delegate: “Apostate!”

PMBD: “Death to America!”

Libyan MB Delegate (hesitatingly to PMBD): “Death to Israel too?”

PMBD: “Death to Israel too!”

All Delegates: “Death to Israel, Death to Israel!

HC: “Gentlemen please! We want to extend an open hand to you, so that we can engage in mutual respectful dialogue that will result in non-violent support for democratic principles of universal human righ…”

EMBD: “You must submit!”

HC: “Pardon me?”

EMBD: “You must submit to Sharia!”

HC: “It is important that we respect minority rights and fully include women in…”

PMBD: “Submit!”

LMBD (to PMBD): “Do we say that we will kill them all now?”

PMBD: “Yes! We will kill you all!” (Loud shouts, chants and applause)

SMBD (Whispered to EMBD): “What do the Iranians think?”

EMBD (Whispered to SMBD): “Death to America.”

SMBD (Whispered to EMBD): “What’s that? Death to Angola?”

EMBD (Whispered to SMBD): “No, no. Death to America, America the Great Satan…”

SMBD: “Oh! Right! (Louder) Death to America, America the Great Satan!”

HC: “But we only want outreach and mutual understanding and respect for universal principles of human rights, and…”

All Delegates (sing-song): Death to America, Death to America, nanner, nanner nan-ner…”

Two recent articles should worry rational Americans, for it has been announced (here) that Hillary Clinton is now “welcoming dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood.” A recent Pajamas Media article (here) contains very disturbing allegations regarding Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin. It seems that Abedin, an Egyptian Muslim, is a member of a family intimately involved in the Muslim Brotherhood, and that she has never been properly vetted for her position.

Informed readers will recall that Abedin is the wife of former Democrat Congressman of New York, Anthony Weiner, he of “Weinergate” infamy. Much ink has been spilled bemoaning her disgrace at the hands--and other parts--of her husband. What is not widely known is that Weiner is Jewish and Abedin, Muslim. Let us consider why we should be concerned, as Hillary Clinton, and presumably the rest of the Obama Administration, is not.

The Muslim Brotherhood is arguably the oldest, most influential and most extreme Muslim organization in the modern world. Founded in 1935 in Egypt, its most modern jihadist incarnation began in 1952 when Sayed Qtub, arguably the modern father of the Jihadist movement, returned to Egypt. He had been studying, of all things, American Literature at the University of Northern Colorado. The behavior of American women he saw in movies and in society in general—remember, we’re talking about the early 1950’s—convinced him that western society and Christianity were depraved and turned him irrevocably toward Jihad. His writings had a major influence on Jihadist thinking, an influence still being powerfully felt.

With branches in at least 70 countries (Hamas is the Palestinian branch), including America, the MB is very influential to Muslims around the world. Fatwas—religious edicts—issued by MB mullahs (priests or pastors) are taken very seriously in the Muslim world. A 2004 Fatwa by MB Shiekh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, for example, proclaiming the religious duty of Muslims to abduct and kill Americans in Iraq was widely observed and cost many lives.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s motto is: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.” Americans tend to analyze such things through the lens of America’s tradition of tolerance of all faiths and of the separation of church and state. Observant Muslims do not think of themselves as Egyptians or Yemenis—for example--who happen to be Muslim, but as Muslims first and foremost. Their nationality and loyalty to any nation tends to be far down on their list, after being Muslim, family, tribe, clan, and other concerns, if it registers for them at all. When Muslim Brotherhood members speak of jihad and “dying in the way of Allah,” they are not engaging in pandering or politically correct rhetoric but expressing their duty and willingness to die killing anyone they consider the enemy of Islam.

It is, for Americans, a bizarre paradox that American Muslims, people who identify themselves as loyal Americans who happen to practice Islam, people who would not take up the call of Jihad, are different from Jihadist Muslims, from Muslims who support the MB. In fact, these American Muslims are seen as apostates, fit only for death, by their more radical co-religionists. In fact, Muslims not taking the path of Jihad are not truly observing the dictates of their religion, not the other way around.

By turning his back on long-time American ally Hosni Mubarak, President Obama set into motion a chain of events, which will inevitably result in MB control over Egypt. In fact, the MB had been outlawed in Egypt since 1954 until it was recognized as a legitimate Egyptian political party in June of 2011. And now, our Secretary of State wants to palaver with the Muslim Brotherhood because the MB will almost certainly have powerful influence, if not absolute control, of the Egyptian state after the September, 2011 elections.

Consider that the MB certainly considers all Americans to be infidels, fit only for slavery, conversion to Islam and Sharia, or death. This is not political rhetoric read from a teleprompter, but the life and belief and passion of all observant Muslims who follow MB philosophy. They particularly consider women to be nothing more than chattel, the possessions of men. For Muslim males who are not posturing for the sake of keeping up a deception for gullible westerners, Hillary Clinton is nothing more than a blatant insult, a symbol of all that is corrupt and morally bankrupt in western society. Dialogue with her? They would murder her if they could for what she represents. Approach her as an equal, with mutual respect and understanding to achieve Democracy? The very idea is absolutely foreign to everything they believe and are.

Prominent MB thinkers have already been speaking of completely Islamicizing Egypt, and calling her archeological treasures such as the pyramids and statuary “idols.” This is significant in that Islam brooks no depictions of Muhammed, Allah, or photographs, statues or similar images, considering it to be idolatry. They would gladly do to Egypt’s priceless treasures what the Taliban did to Afghanistan’s priceless and irreplaceable Buddhist statuary: destroy it as contrary to the Koran.

Do they honor Barack Hussein Obama? After all, he has a Muslim middle name of historical, religious significance. He was born of a Muslim father and attended Muslim school in Indonesia as a child. On the contrary, because he has publicly identified himself as Christian, the MB certainly considers him an apostate. There is only one fate for apostates in Islam: Death. Islam does not smile kindly on those who decide to embrace another faith. Remember: In Islam there is no separation of church and state, no tolerance for other faiths. Of course, for the time being, the MB will pretend respect. Another teaching of the Koran is lying to Infidels.

What of Huma Abedin? Yes, she is a modern, apparently westernized Egyptian who has, of all things, married a Jew. The problem is that her family has strong MB ties and is active in support of MB goals even today. Americans again have difficulty understanding what this means. It is not uncommon for Americans to have family members of another faith, or who might hold extremist beliefs of one kind or another. We do not automatically believe in guilt by association. Where Muslims are concerned, particularly Muslims of the MB, we must seriously consider the possibility.

No self-respecting MB follower would embrace the marriage of a child by a Jew. The MB has never expressed support for Israel’s continued existence, or for the long and happy life of any Jew. That no prominent MB spokesman has publicly denounced Abedin’s wedding to Weiner is significant. Such a prominent and symbolic union would not go unnoticed, for MB Muslims do not marry non-Muslims.

If Abedin has not been properly vetted, this is a very serious matter indeed, for Abedin certainly has access to some of American’s most closely held secrets. Even if that was not true, she would be able to provide vital intelligence, even unwittingly, about the intentions, beliefs, needs and weaknesses of America’s leaders (those not already blindingly obvious) to those who would see us all dead. Could the lack of objection to her marriage to a Jew reflect her usefulness to MB objectives? At the very least, the Obama Administration should provide convincing proof of Adedin’s comprehensive national security vetting. If it does not exist, what is she doing as the deputy COS of the Secretary of State, regardless of her background?

And so the Obama Administration, having sabotaged the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, having ignored a genuinely democratic popular uprising in Iran, having allowed America’s allies—imperfect allies in an imperfect region, but allies nonetheless—to be deposed, is ready to hold a dialogue with the fruits of their fecklessness. They are anxious to politely chat with those who would, if they could get away with it, gladly murder them.

Can they be that dense? Is it possible that the self-imagined and press-anointed most brilliant man in the world—Barack Obama—and the self-imagined and press-anointed most brilliant woman in the world—Hillary Clinton—don’t understand the true nature of the Muslim Brotherhood and the global Islamist movement which threatens the very existence of western civilization and modernity? Or do they actually believe that they are so smart, so good, such superior examples of humanity that the brilliant force of their personalities will cause all obstacles to their progressive goals to fall down before their majesty? The Muslim Brotherhood is surely not impressed.

I lived through the Carter Administration and never imagined that I would see a President who would best Mr. Carter for sheer incompetence and damage to America and the world. Mr. Obama has already won that dubious prize, and in his desire to dialogue with those whose idea of dialogue is a dull, rusty knife applied slowly to the throat, he will set a new standard for all time, a standard that I pray will never again be attained. We’ll be lucky enough to survive him.

“Smart Diplomacy” indeed.

Posted by MikeM at 07:42 PM | Comments (3)

Economic Reality Strikes Teamsters Shop; L.A. Times Columnist/Sockpuppet Hardest Hit

Michael Hiltzik has his diapers in a bunch because BMW made the business decision to layoff a parts distribution warehouse full of union workers making $25/hr with health benefits. The company will instead rely upon outside logistics contractors for their parts depot work.

It's brutal, and people who lose their jobs don't often happen to find a new one soon. Companies and people alike are barely scrapping by, and all of us are trying to save money where we can. That is our economic reality.

Many Americans—particularly those on the left—can't seem to grasp that you cannot legislate prosperity. You can demand that companies provide salary "x" or benefit "y" through law or collective bargaining, but at the end of the day, you are faced with the harsh economic truth that government isn't nimble enough to react to market forces, and unions exist to benefit their executives, not the rank and file. This leads to scenarios where people are paid more than what their actual skill-set is worth, and that creates the opportunity for more efficient vendors to move into a market segment and make all companies involved more profitable.

On the personal, human level, these sorts of decisions are incredibly painful. Having gone through the dot-com crash of the early 2000s, layoffs and personal bankruptcy as a result, I know that as well as anyone.

But even were things were bad for me, I knew that when the market is allowed to correct itself it lifts the entire economy, and that leads to prosperity across the board for everyone. Unions and big government retard that growth opportunity, make things stagnant, and ensures eventual, inevitable failures.

Hiltzik's writing is emotional and touching and certainly captures the human drama of what these individual families are now having to face. It is too bad he couldn't use that same talent to explore why the layoffs at this plant means jobs for others in the parts business elsewhere, or how the money BMW will save here will be used to create opportunities and jobs elsewhere throughout the company, and lead to a stronger company overall.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:16 AM | Comments (14)

July 03, 2011

The Re-Creation of the New American Man

July 4, 2011 is a day of celebration, and so it will be for most Americans. They will celebrate independence, the independence of the former colonies from Great Britain, the establishment of America as an independent nation, the one exceptional and indispensable nation among all nations. But most of all, they will celebrate the independence of the American spirit, for the creation of America was, in a very real sense, the creation of a new man. Marxists and Socialists are obsessed with creating the new man. Americans—as Americans tend to do—simply ignored government and did it themselves. We need to do it again.

The new American owed allegiance to a voluntary confederation of fellow Americans. He honored no king, no all-powerful nanny state. He expected to prosper on the strength of his own character and the fruits of his own labor. The truth was important to him, and the nation was built on the strength of each man’s word and sealed by handshakes. He indulged in no juvenile cults of personality and chose his leaders—men such as George Washington—based on their character and accomplishments, character and accomplishments that were well known and demonstrated and renewed day by day, just as his character and accomplishments were demonstrated and renewed day by day.

The new American—and many generations to come—lived by simple, basic principles: hard work, honesty, doing what was right, living within their means while working to increase not only their means, but the means of their children. He understood deferring pleasure to a better, more secure day and he understood self-sacrifice. He was willing to help his neighbors because he knew that they lived their lives as he did, and that they were willing to help him for the same reasons. For him, laziness and a lack of industry were debilitating character flaws, not victimhood to be embraced and rewarded.

America was born an exceptional nation by virtue of her people and their creation: The Constitution. They understood all too well what we seem to have forgotten. When we turned our backs on self-sufficiency and hard work, when we became victims instead of doers, when we began to believe that character didn’t really matter, when we came to see the truth as nothing more than slippery rhetoric in the service of individual, selfish agendas, when we stopped being willing to pay our fair share and expected instead to be given our living by others, America started on the road to becoming just another failed socialist state.

And so we elected Barack Obama to atone for the sins of our ancestors, to demonstrate enlightened, contemporary civic virtue. We elected a man who believes that America is exceptional just as the citizens of other nations believe themselves to be exceptional. As he once said, “words, just words,” for if everyone is exceptional, in truth, no one is exceptional. If everyone is above average, average has no meaning. If all are equally worthy, equality has no meaning. The Founders understood that to be equal meant to be created by God, equal in humanity, in intrinsic human worth and dignity, and deserving of equal, unbiased treatment under the law. Mr. Obama and his supporters would have us believe that equality has to do with taking from some and giving to favored others. They buy the juvenile notion that apparent equality of outcome is far more important than equality of opportunity. This is the basis of Marxism, socialism and its fellow travelers.

The causes of our downward spiral are familiar to anyone who has been paying attention. Too many of us have abandoned the principals that make us great, that make us Americans. An instructive example is home ownership.

I am tempted to say that when Democrats in the 1970s began to say that every American should have their own home, they did this with the best of intentions, but the results of this bit of rhetoric surely say otherwise. Every American should own their home. It’s a lovely--if simple-mindedly emotional--sentiment, and that’s where it should have stopped, but socialists see sentiments—emotions—as reality, and they tried to manifest an emotion.

The problem goes back to our founding, to self-sufficiency, to the notion that we must live within our means, individually and as a nation. To the simple principle that we would not only build, but would live in the house we could afford and that when we could afford bigger and better, only then would we attain that house and the house after it. Apartments are a manifestation of that simple virtue. They are recognition that not everyone can afford a house, and our system evolved in recognition of that reality. If one could not afford a house, no bank would loan money that could never be re-paid. Even if one foolish enough to try to buy what they could not afford applied for a home loan, banks would not willingly assist them in destroying themselves and their families.

Rational people know that a mortgage payment is only the beginning, basic cost of home ownership. Maintenance, tools such as lawn mowers, utility bills substantially greater than those of apartment dwellers, insurance, furnishings, and myriad other expenses greatly expand that low, convenient monthly mortgage payment. For this simple reason, generations of fiscally responsible Americans deferred home ownership until they were certain they could actually—what’s that archaic word?—oh yes, until they could actually “afford” it. Even if they could never afford it, most could live in apartments that are the envy of most of the population of the world.

But Democrats knew better. They felt that everyone should have a house. It goes without saying that such trivial factors as being able to afford the mortgage payment, to say nothing of all of the incidental but necessary expenses of home ownership, were of no concern, and lenders were pressured to loan to those they knew would default. This was seen as compassionate, as building a better, more diverse and tolerant America, for who should not own their own house? What kind of cruel Republican would stand in their way? Surely such people were discriminating! Surely they were racists! Compassionate, caring, progressive government knew best, the free market be damned! And the free market was damned; all of us were damned.

Loans were made by lenders who knew they would never be paid, but they were willing to make such loans because they were backed by Fannie Mae, backed on the assumption that the Federal Government would make good those bundled loans when they inevitably defaulted. Many of those banks are no longer in business and other teeter on the edge of insolvency. Some banks resisted the siren song of diversity and compassion and remain strong today, but enough went along, and finally, circa 2008, the bills became due. All of that debt was bundled and packaged, and deferred and rolled over until it became so large that it reached critical mass—as everyone knew it eventually must--and exploded. So many mortgages were in default, mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--and by implication, by the public—that the whole house of cards collapsed and the bailouts and stimulus and the “summer of recovery” (remember that one? Last summer?), where nothing was recovered, began.

The Revolutionary generation could have told us this would happen. In fact, they did. The founders knew that when people discovered that they could vote themselves other people’s money that would be the beginning of the end for America. Circa 2011, about half of Americans pay no income taxes, none at all and many are given tax “rebates” because they do not pay taxes. A tiny percentage of the evil, greedy rich evilly and greedily pay most income taxes, and the rest are paid by an increasingly small middle class of producers, people who still actually produce goods, services and wealth in a manner that our forefathers would recognize and of which they would approve.

We have created an enormous and growing class of consumers, of people who do not for a moment think that they must live within their means, of people who do not expect to work for what they receive, of people who expect government to provide for much—or all—of what they have. And we have elected a man who believes in all of this, and more. Our president wants everyone to attend college on the public dime. The public dime is our tax dollars and whatever money can be begged and borrowed from nations that hate us and would delight in our destruction. As this is being written, Mr. Obama and his advisors are apparently seriously considering merely ignoring the law, ignoring the debt ceiling and spending as much money—money we do not have—as he pleases. His pleasure is unlimited. The Democrats in Congress have broken the law by not producing a budget, and proudly announced their intention to continue breaking that particular law, for they know that any budget they produce would enrage even the enervated American public. Most Congressional Democrats are more than willing to spend us into oblivion. A surprising and disgusting number of Republicans have been, and are, willing to assist them, even now.

The wreckage has become so obvious that all of Mr. Obama’s primary financial advisors have, like rats, deserted the sinking ship of state. All, that is, with the exception of the tax-evading Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who has had to recently sort of deny pervasive rumors of his impending departure. Presumably, Mr. Obama will now bring in the second string team to finish an already losing game.

We know that Socialism doesn’t work. It is the opposite of what Americans once knew and believed. It is anti-democratic and anti-American. Its foundational principles depict men as vassals of the state, as simpletons and weaklings unable to understand their own needs and unable to provide for themselves and their families. This is the very opposite of America. Yet Mr. Obama and the self-appointed better classes embrace it even as it has ruined the rest of the world, even as those sad, failing and failed nations struggle to abandon it. Margaret Thatcher was right. The problem with Socialism is that you always run out of other people’s money. And so we have.

Forget that Obamacare is not yet fully implemented and that if and when it is, it will, by itself, absent any other looming financial debacle (our other bankrupt entitlements), bankrupt the nation. The idea that tens of millions of uninsured Americans could be fully insured and that our costs would be lower and our medical care improved was a blatant lie from the beginning, a lie the new Americans of 1776 would have immediately recognized and rejected, as the majority of contemporary Americans continue to reject it. Consider what revolutionary era Americans would have thought of a president who so casually lied on such a grand scale. That we find it not only unremarkable, that we have come to expect it, clearly illustrates our national dissolution and despair.

But on this 4th of July, as fireworks soar into the night sky, so too may our hopes. All is not lost, not yet anyway. Even if a surprising and disgusting portion of Americans no longer believe that America is the one exceptional and indispensable nation, billions around the world do and they would, if they could, vote in the most sincere manner possible: they would vote with their feet and move here to become what far too many of us, starting with our president, no longer appreciate. They know what it is to be an American. They have no doubt of its distinction and value.

We may yet stave off disaster and decline. Such things are a matter of choice. By embracing the simple truths by which the first Americans lived their lives, we too may restore America to what she should be, to what she must be if mankind is to have true hope rather than the ephemeral hope of teleprompter-driven political rhetoric. It will not be easy, and it will take generations, but once again, we must—as Americans and as America—learn to live within our means and to provide for ourselves. That process has, weakly, already begun. It will truly begin with the removal of Barack Obama from office in 2012. It will continue when Americans once again embrace freedom and remove from office those who would destroy it. It will continue when Americans no longer tolerate those who do not tolerate them, domestically and around the world.

So on this July 4th, celebrate, but never forget that we remain free because of the continuing sacrifice of better men and women than ourselves. If we fail to honor their sacrifice and embrace and live the values that made July 4 more than just another day on the calendar, America will soon dissipate, like a brilliantly exploding firework against the night sky, flaring briefly and brightly, but gone forever. We will end not with a bang, but a whimper. America deserves better. The world deserves better.

Only the recreation of the new American Man, not by the government, not by fiat and mandate, but by Americans themselves, can reverse our disastrous course.

Posted by MikeM at 08:03 PM | Comments (4)

June 29, 2011

Liberal Wisconsin Justices Looking Bad in "Chokegate"

I've had my hands full lately focusing on the Gunwalker investigation, but I have been at least reading along with what some are calling "Chokegate" (Ann Althouse has done a great job staying on top of this story).

Long story short: a liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice named Ann Bradley has apparently tried to claim that another Supreme Court Justice, David Prosser, "choked" her.

The story had been leaked to a George Soros muckraking group, and then the incident seemed to get turned on its head when other witnesses came forth to indicate that while Prosser did put his hands up and touch Bradley's neck, it is because she was coming at him with fists raised, meaning the contact was defensive in nature, and Bradley was the aggressor.

The plot appears to be thickening now, with news that Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson may have had a hand in orchestrating the leak in an attempt to get the conservative Prosser impeached.

As the investigation moves forward, it appears than instead of collecting a conservative scalp, that the two liberal Wisconsin SCOTUS justices may face impeachment instead. If they are impeached—and that is far from certain at this point—Republican Governor Scott Walker will have the opportunity to add two conservative justices to the bench.

It appears that the plot to frame up Prosser has backfired spectacularly.

I can only wish for such a happy ending for all of convicted felon Soros' investments in deception.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:21 AM | Comments (4)

June 26, 2011

The Rhetoric of Losing--Everything

President Obama’s recent speech on Afghanistan was of a piece with his standard rhetoric, with one possible deviation: He only said “I” thirteen times by my count of the speech released by the White House prior to the delivery of the actual speech at West Point. I suspect that with his poll numbers at historic lows and his reelection campaign foremost on the minds of the occupants of the White House, the wisdom of more frequently using “we” has gained some urgency.

According to media accounts, few Americans watched the speech. This is unsurprising in that Mr. Obama is certainly the most over-exposed president in history. One would think that by now, someone on the White House staff would have figured out that the American people do not long for just one more Obama speech on any topic, but apparently making the I/we transition has, to date, fully occupied their attention and rhetorical energies.

A great many media outlets have covered the primary thrust of the speech: we will be pulling out of Afghanistan on a predetermined schedule and regardless of the strategic or tactical conditions at the time. It has also been noted that General Petraeus is less than thrilled with this idea. One would certainly hope so.

My intention with this post is to speak to several of Mr. Obama’s statements, which have, for the most part, escaped comment in the legacy media and even in the blogosphere. None of these comments, which are embedded among the numerous clichés and gaseous tropes, is original; they, in various formulations, have often flowed across Mr. Obama’s teleprompter screens in the past. The value in speaking to these comments is that their frequent repetition almost certainly reflects the fact that they represent Mr. Obama’s fundamental values. That should worry us all.

“For there should be no doubt that so long as I am President, the United States will never tolerate a safe-haven for those who aim to kill us: they cannot elude us, nor escape the justice they deserve.”

Actually, there is considerable doubt about this, most recently demonstrated in Mr. Obama’s failure to support allies throughout the world. Israel certainly has reason to doubt, and so do all of the leaders throughout Eastern Europe, the Middle East and even NATO allies whose requests for American aid in Libya have been, at best, slow-walked. Even in the case of the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, Mr. Obama took nearly a full day to make a final decision as our assets stood, on alert, ready to go. His inability to make the decision cost a second additional day due to weather conditions and might tend to make reasonable people doubt his commitment in such matters even where Osama Bin Laden was involved.

“And even as there will be dark days ahead in Afghanistan, the light of a secure peace can be seen in the distance. These long wars will come to a responsible end.”

If our departure proves—as it is likely to do—that all America’s enemies need do is wait until we grow tired and announce our departure date—a responsible end to the war is the last thing likely to happen. As has often been observed, Mr. Obama does seem to have an aversion to saying “victory,” and apparently, an aversion to achieving it.

“Instead, we must rally international action, which we are doing in Libya, where we do not have a single soldier on the ground, but are supporting allies in protecting the Libyan people and giving them the chance to determine their destiny.”

Uh, I’m confused. It has been widely noted that NATO does not have sufficient combat power to accomplish much of anything unless America is bearing most of the burden. According to our NATO allies, we’re not providing any real leadership in Libya, and Mr. Obama has announced his pride in “leading from behind” in that endeavor. Apparently Mr. Obama and his advisors consider “leading from behind” to be a good thing, a strategy so strategically innovative and brilliant that it has been accompanied by fighting the first war that does not actually involve “hostilities.” Rhetoric is a flexible thing indeed in the hands of Mr. Obama. So, apparently, is leadership.

‘Above all, we are a nation whose strength abroad has been anchored in opportunity for our citizens at home. Over the last decade, we have spent a trillion dollars on war, at a time of rising debt and hard economic times. Now, we must invest in America’s greatest resource – our people. We must unleash innovation that creates new jobs and industry, while living within our means. We must rebuild our infrastructure and find new and clean sources of energy.”

Where to begin? Opportunity for our citizens at home is apparently to be won—along with the future--by destroying the coal and oil industries, destroying Boeing, nationalizing 2/3 of the American automobile industry, driving gasoline prices and unemployment through the roof, squandering nearly a trillion dollars on a stimulus that didn’t stimulate anything, and the list goes on and on. We are in a time of rising debt and hard economic times not because of our expenditures on war, but because of Mr. Obama’s ruinous economic policies and his emphasis on suppressing the private sector while enriching the public sector and unions.

Live within our means? Not when Mr. Obama and Congressional Democrats are grimly determined to continue to spend money we don’t have--in unbelievable quantities--and to raise taxes so that they can do just that. Amazingly, they are talking--with straight faces--of a second, more expensive stimulus. Mr. Obama has admitted long ago that there never were any “shovel-ready jobs,” and has recently joked—in very bad taste—about that near-trillion dollar waste of money we didn’t have.

While our infrastructure is in need of repair, much of it is not the business of the federal government, and because our national debt has reached unheard of levels, there is no money to be had for that purpose. Mr. Obama and the Democrats will not admit that we have no money and that none of this may be reversed without substantially reducing spending, something they are genetically incapable of doing. Remember too that the Democrats, in violation of federal law, have not produced a budget for nearly 800 days, and have announced their determination to continue to violate that particular law rather than revealing their true intentions to the public.

It is in Mr. Obama’s so often repeated as to be unremarkable cliché about finding new and clean sources of energy that we see Mr. Obama’s most fundamental beliefs. He has long had the idea that what he says must be reality because he has spoken it. Is there any sentient being alive who does not realize that discovering “new and clean sources of energy” would make them instantly richer than Al Gore or John Kerry? Unfortunately, the laws of physics are not cooperating.

The problem is that rhetoric does not equal reality. None of the sources of energy currently under development, none currently known to man, can replace fossil fuels despite the most fervent wishes of Mr. Obama and his environmentalist allies. Wind and solar cannot, even if developed to a degree beyond their proponent’s wildest dreams, replace more than a tiny portion of our nation’s energy needs. Not only that, the very same environmentalists consistently oppose, delay and stop solar and wind projects across the nation. It almost makes one think that finding new sources of energy really isn’t their ultimate goal.

While Mr. Obama, his Energy Secretary Mr. Chu and various of their sycophants would be delighted to force Americans—for the sake of what they believe to be worthy Progressive goals--to abandon their cars, freeze in the winter and bake in the summer, most Americans realize that their lives, and the lives of their families, rely on affordable energy and that there is simply no even remotely viable replacement.

Would Americans accept new, clean sources of energy? Absolutely, but only immediately viable and affordable replacements for our current energy sources. What, pray tell, might those immediately viable and affordable replacements be? Rhetoric doesn’t fill fuel tanks and money “saved” by virtue of not being spent on the military, even if is not wasted on other boondoggles rather than being used to pay down the debt, cannot alter the law of physics and produce magic new forms of energy.

And finally: “America, it is time to focus on nation building here at home.”

Uh, Mr. Obama, we already have a nation here at home. What we need is for you to quit deconstructing it. We’ll take it from there.

Posted by MikeM at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2011

Anthony Weiner And The Social Contract

Bob and I have dedicated a reasonable amount of pixels to the continuing story of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). Deciding whether to cover such stories is always somewhat difficult. On one hand, a great many people have done, and likely are doing, the sorts of things Rep. Weiner did, and worse. We’re not covering those people and likely never will.

Therein lies the most compelling reason to cover Rep. Weiner. Not because he is a Democrat and this is a Conservative blog; not because his behavior is particularly salacious and therefore likely to increase readership; not because of his photos (we have not published those and likely never would; doctors and police officers know one great truth: most people look better with their clothing on); and certainly not because everyone else is covering it—we like to cover things others don’t think to cover. We cover Rep. Weiner because some people, by their own choice, place themselves in positions of public trust.

I know what you’re thinking: Trust?! Trust politicians?! There is no doubt that many—Republican and Democrat alike—are not worthy of trust. But the simple truth is that most are worthy of trust, to at least some degree. It is tempting indeed to believe that all politicians are liars, cheats and thieves, and sadly, there are good reasons to be so cynical. Lily Tomlin was very much on the mark when she said that no matter how cynical she got, she couldn’t keep up.

The modern era of political cynicism might be said to have started during the Clinton Administration. A great many politicians—some of them Presidents—prior to Clinton engaged in sexual adventurism, but Mr. Clinton introduced many innovations, including taking phone calls from Congressmen while receiving fellatio. He also told perhaps the most memorable political lie of the digital age, angrily shaking his finger in America’s face through the camera lens while intoning that he did not have sex with Monica Lewinsky. Of course, he did, and compounded the lie by more lying. He was impeached (only the second President in history) but not convicted, was eventually convicted of perjury and lost his law license, but retained his office. The Clinton era came to a fitting close when his staffers vandalized the White House on their way out the door and the Clintons stole substantial White House furnishings, which they were eventually forced to return.

Now, we are saddled with a President and a Congress that forces through, without a single Republican vote, the most massive, anti-freedom legislation in history, legislation that the majority of Americans did not want and still do not want, legislation that by itself will bankrupt the nation. Mr. Obama insults our allies, appeases our enemies, makes the Middle East less rather than more safe, single-handedly destroyed the Israeli/Palestinian peace process, conducts the most opaque administration in memory while claiming to run the most transparent, claims that we will be able to keep our current insurance knowing it to be a lie, claims to be for universal energy development while doing everything possible to impede it, and the list goes on and on and on.

Why shouldn’t we embrace cynicism? Why should we care anymore?

Democracy requires trust. America is a nation built on trust. Americans have always believed that a man’s word is his bond, and built cities and made fortunes on the strength of a handshake. We have to believe, if we are willing to walk out our front doors every day and deal with the world, that others are, for the most part, trustworthy. We must believe that most Americans embrace the social contract, that they will voluntarily obey the law, that they will practice sincerity and honesty, and that they will not purposely seek to harm others. We must know that our rights to property, and all of the rights expressed and implied by the Bill of Rights are essentially intact. When a sufficient number of Americans cease to believe in these principles, when they cease to embrace the uniquely American social contract, America is lost.

That’s why we have to force ourselves to care about people like Anthony Weiner. He chose to place himself in a position of public trust, and by that choice, he accepted his part in the social contract, just as I have, on many occasions in my life, accepted places in the social contract that in very real ways set me apart from most Americans. When I enlisted in the Air Force, I accepted limitations on my freedoms and the reality that I would be held to a substantially higher standard of behavior than most Americans. When I became a police officer, I did the same, and I did it yet again when I became a teacher. Even as I write this essay, by the nature of my employment as a teacher, I willingly submit to the reality that I must abide by a more stringent code of conduct than most of my fellow Americans. The same is true of doctors, librarians, many other professions and trades, and yes, politicians.

There are simply things that Congressmen—and others—cannot do and retain their positions of public trust. We all can agree that when they break the law, when they misuse their positions for personal aggrandizement or gain or when they wrongfully enable the personal gain of others, they are unworthy of their office. But there are a great many other things that, while not specifically illegal, they simply cannot do. They cannot do them because they are morally, practically wrong, because they reveal serious character flaws, because they demonstrate appallingly bad judgment, because they demonstrate that they cannot be trusted, that their handshake means nothing and that their words and smiles are as likely than not to hide deception.

There are many who argued that if Rep. Weiner had simply told the truth his admission would have been sufficient. He should have been allowed to keep his office. Imagine the red faces of those folks after the continuing, and ever more tawdry, revelations that have, to date, come to light (yes, I know that some people are beyond embarrassment and shame). Others have suggested that no matter what he did, he should stay in office because of his political utility to the Democrat party. Some have even suggested that a double standard exists, that the public expects far less of Democrats than Republicans particularly where moral issues are involved, and there is evidence to suggest that this is not an unreasonable belief.

But all of this, too, misses the point. Rep. Weiner violated the social contract, a contract that demanded more of him than of Joe Average American, a contract that he willingly sought through multiple elections and willingly accepted. If America is to rebound from our current difficulties, if America is to remain the one unique, indispensable nation, we must demand that all those with whom we deal are trustworthy, and we must be trustworthy ourselves. Political affiliation has nothing to do with this despite what some might say. Trust transcends political lines. If it does not, if it cannot, America is lost and all that we will do over the next few years is to play predetermined parts in a tragedy written by our apathy, by our own inability to believe in ourselves and in our ability to truly embody America. We have no choice but to demand that our politicians honor, defend and protect the social contract, and of course, the Constitution.

Anthony Weiner has finally resigned. I will be relieved and pleased if I never again write a word about Anthony Weiner. The social contract is still intact, though never free from the forces that would rip it asunder. No man of good will takes pleasure in the misery of others, yet only a fool fails to learn from the willful, serial mistakes of others.

One of the truisms I tell my students over and over again is that times change, but people don’t. Hubris—excessive pride—brought down the privileged and mighty in ancient Greece and it does no less today. Arrogance, narcissism, lying, mistreating others, all of the things Mother warned us about, have never stopped being destructive, yet too many never seem to change.

Perhaps the most important lesson we can learn from the Weiner affair (and note how it is almost impossible to speak of this tawdry episode without inadvertently punning or writing a double entendre; God does indeed have a sense of humor) is that politicians—and many other Americans—must be held to a higher standard of behavior, for it is they that have chosen to inhabit the highest levels of moral certitude, and we do no credit to ourselves or to them when we allow them to abuse the example they have sought and accepted. We really do owe it to ourselves. We owe it to America.

Posted by MikeM at 10:51 PM | Comments (6)

Weiner Out, Err, Leaving Congress

The disgraceful Democrat is finally quitting, presumably after acquiring a golden parachute from the Democrat Party to step down.

Expect a lengthy screed at the Daily Kos later in the day blaming Andrew Breitbart for any missing furniture as Weiner's staff—err, personnel—heads for the exits.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

She'd Heard the Lies Before

Thoughts from someone that survived communism in the Soviet Union:

My husband and I applied for US citizenship the day we became eligible. I think my examining officer got the shock of his life when during the interview I recited the Bill of Rights, named all Supreme Court justices and added the names of all elected officials of the state including our hapless congressman. Talk about useless knowledge! After that we proudly voted in every election, but the idea of venturing a political opinion never crossed my mind (an unfortunate result of being brought up in a totalitarian society where keeping your mouth shut is a basic rule of survival). There was something unseemly in proclaiming my deep love and appreciation of America for all to hear.

When candidate Obama showed up, I realized that I had heard his typical stump speech every single day of my old Soviet life from big and small Communist party bosses -- the same structure, the same cadences, the same bogeymen, the same demagoguery, the same targets. The American people had no defense against this rhetoric. The result of the elections was totally predictable. To me it was a "Back to the Future" moment.

Imagine you are having a terrible nightmare. Just as you are about to suffer torture or certain death, you wake up and realize the sun is shining, your family is peacefully sleeping, and everything is in place. After enjoying a few blissful moments, you turn your head and see that hideous monster from your dream coming after you for real. This image described the trajectory of my life perfectly. Running from Communism, finding the safe haven and a new life, and now to have the same wrecking crew coming even here?

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 07:35 AM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2011

Weiner Still Sexting Porn Star After His Perversions Were Revealed

The perverted New York Democrat continued to talk to former porn star Ginger Lee after the story of the scandal broke, encouraged her to lie about their relationship.

And even with the scandal blowing up in his face, he couldn't quit talking about his junk:

According to Allred, Weiner wrote Lee, "Alright, my package and I are not going to beg. We both see the hazard of going down the path of comparative sexiness."

In another email also read at the press conference, Weiner wrote, "You aren't giving my package due credit."

In yet another, Allred said Weiner wrote, "I have wardrobe demands, too. I need to highlight my package."

Anthony Weiner is the self-gratification poster child for the Democrat Party.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 04:48 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2011

The Palin Switch

Regular readers have long suspected this, and I’d hoped to keep it secret as long as possible, but now I’m out of the closet. Yes, I’m—gasp—conservative! I suppose I’m what might be called a quiet conservative. I’m hardly a political evangelist, running about verbally assaulting complete strangers in the hope of converting them to the one, true political/economic faith. I’m happy to converse with just about anyone on any topic, and put my opinions in writing for those who might agree and those who might not, but I always expect to discuss them with reason and civility. Indeed, I look forward to it.

I’ve found that Conservatives are generally willing to discuss political, economic and cultural issues with civility. There are exceptions, of course, but I’ve found this to be generally true. On the other hand, I’ve found Liberals to be generally unable to discuss such things with civility. All too often, they become very angry and emotional, and begin to fling about accusations of my hating this or that group, wanting to take food out of the mouths of poor children, my obviously ardent desire to murder various foreign minority groups (all non-white of course), racism, sexism and various other “isims.” There are, of course exceptions to this as well.

With that background, I provide the true, recent story that follows without comment. Make of it what you will.

Several of us, people involved in a long-term musical endeavor, were waiting for a performance. One gentleman was talking about going on a driving vacation through a considerable portion of the Western United States in the near future and was commenting particularly on the number of states he expected to visit. Quite innocently, I joked that he might take the Obama tour and visit all 57 states.

Everyone present chuckled, everyone that is except for one young fellow who was obviously unaware of the reference. I explained that it was a gaffe made by Mr. Obama during the 2008 campaign. He looked at me blankly for a moment, blinked, and in an excited, loud voice launched into a verbal assault on Sarah Palin! It was as though I had somehow thrown a secret Palin switch, which once thrown, required a complete, non-stop, pre-recorded recitation of Palin’s idiocy and all-around sub-human status. The effect was surprising as he was speaking in an animated manner unusual for him, as though he was on a sort of automatic pilot and could not stop until the entire recording was complete.

He became increasingly loud and incredulous in stating that Palin actually said that Paul Revere warned the British during his famous ride. His expressions and manner were surprising. None of us had ever seen him behave that way before, despite having known him for at least a year. This particular example of Palin’s stupidity seemed to be his ultimate proof of her sub-normal IQ, and was clearly what he considered his most convincing proof.

I traded surprised glances with several people and quietly pointed out that Palin was in fact correct, and that Revere did warn the British after he was captured. I explained that numerous historians confirmed Palin’s accuracy. He stopped only long enough to blink, and then immediately continued as though the Palin switch had been interrupted for only a second and immediately reset. He continued for another few minutes, finally winding down—the recording apparently complete--and resuming his normal tone of voice and demeanor as we sat quietly, watching the spectacle.

Minutes later, we performed as we had on many previous occasions, and he was quite himself again.


Posted by MikeM at 09:22 PM | Comments (8)

CNN Pushing Long-Debunked Cartel Guns Story To Protect Obama Administration during GunWalker Hearings

I had this as an update to the previous post, but it deserves it's own.

CNN has decided to engage in fact free anti-gun propaganda this morning on behalf of the Obama Administration, co-incidentally on the second day of Congressional hearing that promise to excoriate Eric Holder's Department of Justice in general and acting director Ken Melson's BATF in specific.

The BATF is under fire for supplying more than 2,500 firearms to Mexican narco-terrorists as part of a poorly-conceived operation that turned the U.S. government into the largest single supplier of cartel weapons found north of the border. These weapons have been used to murder two U.S. law enforcement officers (Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata), and were used to gun down 150 Mexican police officers and soldiers.

CNN has chosen to trot out a variation of the 90-percent lie, a bit propaganda debunked by the ATF two years ago.

CNN claims:

More than 70% of 29,284 firearms submitted to the U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for tracing by the Mexican government during 2009 and 2010 originated in the United States, according to the report.

"Congress has been virtually moribund while powerful Mexican drug trafficking organizations continue to gain unfettered access to military-style firearms coming from the United States," said Sen. Diane Feinstein of California.

In a letter this month to Feinstein, the ATF acknowledged that the United States keeps no record of criminal firearms seized in Mexico and that "the Mexican government does not submit every recovered firearm to ATF for tracing."

As a result, the ATF-provided figures may not be representative of all firearms recovered by Mexican officials.

"May not be representative."

You think?

Of the 100,000 weapons recovered by Mexican authorities, only 18,000 [out of the 29,284 submitted. -- ed.] were determined to have been manufactured, sold, or imported from the United States, and of those 18,000, just 7,900 came from sales by licensed gun dealers.

We now know that of those 7,900 firearms supplied to the cartels via U.S. gun shops, roughly 2,000-2,500 were forced on BATF's orders making them the largest single direct supplier of cartel weaponry (not counting the thousands of military weapons the U.S. indirectly supplies).

The actual figure is that a little over 5-percent of cartel weapons have come from border gun shops, and that translates to less than one gun per shop in the region.

Of course, neither the Obama Administration nor CNN want to share that factoid, as it undermines their shared goal of pushing for more gun control laws.

Here's an idea.

If you want to stop Mexican cartels from getting U.S. weapons, have the U.s. government quit supplying the weapons.

Through legal and illegal means, it is the U.S. government the primary supplier of cartel guns.

If you really want those responsible for running guns to narco-terrorists to be put behind bars, put Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and Ken Melson on trial.

Of course, that is precisely what CNN is trying to avoid.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:48 AM | Comments (1)

June 10, 2011

New Hampshire Man Arrested for Extreme Liberalism

When liberalism isn't a persistent vegetative state, it's a faked brain injury.

A 23-year-old man pretended he suffered from a brain injury so an unsuspecting in-home nurse would change his adult diaper, police said.

Eric Carrier, of 95 Granite St., Hooksett, turned himself into police Tuesday after a warrant was issued charging him with indecent exposure.

Carrier allegedly faked having a severe brain injury that would require him to wear adult diapers. A nurse caring for him became suspicious, police said.

Carrier was attempting to live the dream of every young liberal, becoming so dependent on others that he can't even wipe his own ass.

(H/T Hot Air headlines)

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:41 AM | Comments (5)

Weiner With Honey Mustard, Please. Hold the Statutory Rape

We've wondered for over a week about Democrat Anthony Weiner's explicit sexting with at least six women, especially as it appears that at least two of the young women engaging in conversations with the disgraced Congressmen may be minors.

Patterico has been all over the story of the under-aged girls—the part of the story the MSM is trying to hardest to ignore—and may not have the smoking gun, but the circumstantial evidence is adding up.

Ethel: I love 69ing big hunt + like to use honey mustard as lube. Ohh yeahh baby I love bdh weiner May 22

Ethel on Tumblr, quoting Weiner: "I came back strong. Large. In charge. Tights and cape shit…" My favorite congressman<3
May 26


You can choose to believe that Ethel, who publicly declared her love for Weiner repeatedly, and who had no compunction about dirty talk in public, turned prim and proper when Weiner talked to her in private . . . about his cape and tights. You can choose to believe that he didn’t know Ethel was underage, despite her youthful appearance, mentions of high school, and profile talking about marching band.

Sure, you can believe that if you want.

Anthony Weiner should resign from Congress, today. There is no way this story gets better, and every indication it will only get worse.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:30 AM | Comments (3)

June 09, 2011

Weiner "Dumb and Defiant"

Call it partisan if you must, but it seems that most people—including many leading Democrats—would seem to agree with the image and teaser for this Fox New story.

dumb-defiant-anthony-weiner
Posted by Confederate Yankee at 02:18 PM | Comments (1)

While Weiner Cheates, Huma is Pregnant

My word. Just when I think my disgust level for New York Democrat Anthony Weiner has bottomed out, he finds a way to sink to a new level. Yesterday we discovered that a pair of shock jocks had posted a picture of the fully-exposed Congressman to their web site which moves the allegations from the realm of titillation to self-made pornography composed by a sitting member of Congress.

If that wasn't bad enough, we now discover that Weiner's online affairs were going on not just after he was married, but while his wife Huma is pregnant.

Their marriage has become the subject of intense speculation and scrutiny amid an embarrassing online sex scandal.

Now, Representative Anthony D. Weiner and Huma Abedin are about to make news of a different kind: they are expecting their first child.

Ms. Abedin, 35, is in the early stages of pregnancy, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.

The pregnancy, which the couple have disclosed to close friends and family, adds a new dimension to questions about the future of their marriage.

I feel so sorry for the tribulations she is going through as the result of her depraved and perverted husband, a man without honor or the vaguest sense of moral decency. Were she my friend or daughter, I think I would advise her to evict the Congressman and begin divorce proceedings against him, shooting for full custody for the child.

Weiner has proven to be an unfit human being, and would likely be an unfit father as well. Huma and her child deserve what every family should have, in the form of a moral, loving, dedicated and decent father and husband. The kind that doesn't spread photos of his schlong to every woman he meets in cyberspace, or who apparently planned to cheat on them in the physical world with at least one of his online mistresses.

Huma's employer, Hillary Clinton, once said it takes village to raise a child. She wasn't wrong about that broader point. Both Huma and the baby would be better off if they exiled Anthony Weiner from their lives, and their nurture and care was provided by people worthy of their affection.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:57 AM | Comments (3)

June 08, 2011

Weiner's Downfall

It was inevitable.

Hitler Upset About Weinergate

From FTR Video.

Update: Radio shock jocks Opie and Anthony have posted a X-rated photo sent by Anthony Weiner to one of the young women. I will not post it here nor link to it, but you can rest assured that the Congressman is completely compromised.

The House Democratic leader has to force Weiner out over this, or lose the few shreds of ethical credibility that have left. Former DNC Head Tim Kaine has already called for Weiner's resignation.

Weiner, like Hitler, seems to have been undone at the Battle of the Bulge.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:23 AM | Comments (3)

June 07, 2011

Leftist "Comic" Says He Would Assassinate Palin

Obama mentor Bill Ayers, himself an advocate for executing up to 25 million Americans in "reeducation camps, would no doubt approve.

In responding to a question about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's appearance on "Fox News Sunday," in which Palin defended her interpretation of what happened during Paul Revere's pre-Revolutionary War famous ride, Titus launched into a description of what he would do if Palin were elected.

"You know what man?" Titus said. "I am going to literally — if she gets elected president, I am going to hang out on the grassy knoll all the time, just loaded and ready — because you know what? It's for my country. It's for my country. If I got to sacrifice myself, it's for my country."

It's not for your country, Chris. It's for your lock-step, childish, and violent ideology.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:14 PM | Comments (4)

June 06, 2011

The Unbearable Lightness of Weiner

“I don’t believe that I did anything that violates any law or any rule.”

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) has finally come clean and admitted, albeit vaguely, that he engaged in what is commonly known as “sexting” for years, prior to and after his recent marriage, with multiple young women, apparently around the nation. In the furtherance of his “social intercourse,” Weiner sent multiple photographs of himself, including various body parts, to these women. However, unlike former Rep. Christopher Lee (R-NY), who was recently caught up in a similarly self-generated predicament, Weiner will not resign. Note his quote, which appeared on the June 6th edition of The O’Reilly Factor. While by the standards of DC sex scandals, Weiner’s serial transgressions are relatively tame, the situation does raise many interesting questions about not just Rep. Weiner, but us.

Just as they were anxious to defend and absolve Weiner of any and all guilt, many—including elements of the Lamestream Media—are equally anxious to put the affair behind them. Some have already observed that he did apologize and admit wrongdoing. He said that he took responsibility for his acts. Indeed, we all sin. We all behave foolishly from time to time. Americans do tend to be a forgiving people, particularly when those seeking forgiveness do so sincerely and with genuine contrition.

Unfortunately, Rep. Weiner, for more than a week, lied to the nation, his wife, his constituents and his Congressional colleagues. For more than a week, he not only attacked Andrew Brietbart, actually accusing him of nefarious deeds and lying, but he encouraged others—by his example--to do the same. As it turns out, Mr. Brietbart reported only the facts. Everything he reported has been proven true, and he actually withheld particularly damaging and sexually graphic photos that Rep. Weiner sent to women. Yes, he did apologize to Mr. Brietbart, but was it sincere? Did he show contrition? What responsibility, exactly, did he take?

Rep. Weiner apologized because he had no choice. The story expanded far beyond a single college girl in Seattle and a vague photograph of a semi-erect Congressional “member” in nondescript gray undies. It was going to expand—explosively--even further. Even ABC News was about to run an interview with one of the women involved. If Rep. Weiner admitted his wrongdoing and apologized as soon as the matter became public, he would have a reasonable claim to sincerity. So much for sincerity; how about contrition?

There is little doubt that Rep. Weiner feels sincerely badly that he was caught. Who wouldn’t have such feelings in his place? But his press conference seemed less an act of contrition than an act of justification and lawyerly weaseling around the rules and the Law. Rep. Weiner observed that he didn’t violate his oath to uphold the Constitution and that he didn’t violate any rule of the House of Representatives. What about the trust of the people? What about the trust of his colleagues? What about upholding the honor of the Institution? What about setting an example of rectitude and dignity for the nation and the world? As a member of the party of the President determined to make America liked and respected around the world above all else--even our relationships with our allies--doesn’t this sort of thing make American look just a bit smaller, less dignified and worthy of respect?

What responsibility did Rep. Weiner take? Is he planning to volunteer at the Nubile Twitter-Addicted Home For Easily Visually Stimulated Girls? Has he promised not to do it again, or to at least send pictures of himself in better taste? Former Rep. Christopher Lee actually took responsibility. He recognized the damage he did to the Institution, to those he loved, to those who supported him, to the public’s respect for Congressmen, and to his party, which lost his seat because of his lack of self-control. As far as we know, he engaged in a single incident rather than many incidents involving many women over several years. He resigned, and by so doing, limited the damage to everyone involved, and demonstrated real sincerity and contrition. He demonstrated that he understood that it really wasn’t all about him, that politics does not, cannot, take precedence over honor and genuine personal responsibility.

Some are also suggesting—as some will in such situations—that it’s all a matter of Rep. Weiner’s personal life, and as such, it’s not the public’s business. Bill and Hillary Clinton used this tactic with notable success on “60 Minutes,” and the public bought it. But Mr. Clinton, by himself, burned out a great many such tactics, tactics no longer available to politicians. Not, that is, unless character and sound judgment in our elected federal representatives matters not at all.

Without a doubt, there are many areas of a politician’s life that should always remain out of bounds. The sexual thoughts or private—as in within the walls of their own homes with their consenting spouse—behaviors of any of our representatives (or co-workers, for that matter) might well shock at least some portion of the population, but unless there is a clearly demonstrable harmful link between them and that person’s official actions, it really isn’t the business of the public. That is not the case here.

Wouldn’t any reasonably intelligent person know that putting multiple photographs of themselves and their body parts out on the Internet—over years—to women he did not really know, would inevitably be exposed? Imagine further that the reasonably intelligent person was a Congressman, and not just any one of hundreds of Congressman, but an abrasive mouthpiece used on a regular basis to attack anyone and anything opposing the Democrat agenda, an image regularly plastered across American TV screens. Wouldn’t that reasonably intelligent person understand that as a Congressman, his life and behavior were under a powerful and omnipresent microscope? Wouldn’t he understand that he not only would be held to a higher standard, but that he should be held to a higher standard? Or, like all too many politicians of all political affiliations, would he serve as yet another pedestrian, sordid proof of Lord Acton’s aphorism that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely?

Rep. Weiner’s judgment was, to put it kindly, faulty. There is also a kind of cruel irony in this situation in that he married, and not long ago, an aide to Hillary Clinton. She and Mrs. Clinton will certainly not lack for topics of mutual concern and sympathy in their future conversations. I bring this up not to be cruel, but to point out the wreckage Mr. Weiner’s actions has caused.

Rep. Weiner, like far too many before him, has trivialized the Congress, if such a thing is any longer possible. He has confirmed, if any confirmation was required, that a moral double standard exists. Republicans doing what he has done are through, and justly so. But it would appear that no one expects Democrats to behave with dignity and honor. I wish that were not true, for what it says about us all—not just Democrats—bodes ill for our survival as a people and a nation. I have little doubt that, like Charles Rangel and other Democrats before him, Rep. Weiner will be re-elected by his very liberal New York Congressional District. Most will not waste a second reflecting on what that says about them.

Absent new revelations, it does appear that Rep. Weiner did not violate the law or the rules of the House of Representatives, but that’s not the most important consideration. A mere lack of rule or law breaking are not what define us as individuals or as a nation. Ultimately, we all, Conservative and Liberal alike, might want to reflect on the perilous times that surround us, times that might very well see an end to the America and the American ideals so many have bled to build and maintain. And in reflecting on them, we might want to honestly ask, is Anthony Weiner—or anyone like him--the best we can do?

Posted by MikeM at 09:47 PM | Comments (7)

Anthony Weiner to Resign For Sexting Young Women

The only question now is whether or not he knows it. What an arrogant, duplicitous, cheating little jerk.

I hate to point out the obvious, but all the leftists that have been shrieking that Weiner was hacked now look like fools, and poor souls like Kossack "Stranded Wind" have destroyed their credibility for a lifetime.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 01:29 PM | Comments (4)

Whine on You Lazy Diamond

Boo-freaking hoo:

LAST October, I won the Nobel Prize in economics for my work on unemployment and the labor market. But I am unqualified to serve on the board of the Federal Reserve — at least according to the Republican senators who have blocked my nomination. How can this be?

In case you haven't been paying attention for the past half-decade, the Nobel Prize has been reduced to absurdity. Even Paul Krugman has one. ManBearPig got on for junk science that was debunked. Our current war-monger President, who is fighting what the left used to call "an illegal war" in Libya, and which is supplying drug cartels with heavy weapons in Mexico via his BATF, was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize before he even finished moving into the White House.

A Nobel means nothing.

The reason you were blocked Mr. Diamond, is that you are a Keynsian hack, with no understanding of real markets. The idiocy you espouse has led us into the largest recession on this side of the Second World War.

You weren't hired, because you aren't up to the job.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:02 AM | Comments (2)

June 05, 2011

Let Them Eat (Even Less ) Cake!

It is an article of faith among Socialists that Socialism cannot possibly be wrong. When any socialistic policy is failing, the only possible explanation must be that socialism has not had sufficient time to work its magic, that insufficient socialism has been applied, or that evil capitalists are hindering ultimate, inevitable success, often by their mere existence.

Economic news has been so bad of late that the Lamestream Media has, for the most part, dropped the modifier “unexpected”—as in “Huge Drop in Home Values Unexpected,” or “Unexpected Record High Unemployment Surprises Obama Administration”--from its coverage of the death spiral of Mr. Obama’s socialistic economic policies. Even so, Mr. Obama and his minions continue to claim that it’s only a “bump” on that glorious revolutionary highway to complete recovery. They claim that they “saved or created” this or that number of jobs, and that without their brilliant socialistic manipulations, things would be much worse. That we are already broke and borrowing at the rate of billions per hour means nothing to the determined Socialist, for there is no possibility but the ultimate triumph of Socialism.

This pathology—for it is nothing less—is individually debilitating. Combined with a pathological narcissism the likes of which America has, prior to the advent of Mr. Obama, never experienced, it is likely to debilitate the nation.

A recent rare accidental Administration truth-telling (here) illustrates the degree to which one may become so impaired that reality becomes a nothing more than an infinitely changeable concept, which may transmogrify into whatever shape is politically useful from moment to moment. Socialism rejects conventional reality and constructs its own. Spending far more money than you have therefore becomes merely an opportunity to print and borrow money and to endlessly spend the money that isn’t real.

Consider the case of the “let them eat cake” attorney. Obama Solicitor General Neal Katyal appeared before the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on June 1 to defend the ObamaCare Individual Mandate. The mandate requires every American to buy government approved insurance or be fined by the IRS. Never before in American history has the federal government tried to assume the power to force Americans to buy a consumer product against their will. The Obama Administration seeks to justify it under the Commerce Clause. The law does have a very limited “poverty” exception, which exempts some from buying insurance.

Under questioning from the court Katyal said that the justices were playing a “game” which he could also play, and said that people could avoid the mandate simply by choosing to make less money.

People can choose to make less money. It is now well known that Mr. Obama’s claim that those who like their current insurance can keep it is, and always was, a lie. For most Americans, ObamaCare means that their insurance rates will go up, substantially up, because they must buy policies mandated by the government which will inevitably include coverage they neither want nor need.

The magic Socialistic “Stimulus” package that was guaranteed to keep unemployment below 8% is universally acknowledged as a complete failure. Official unemployment is now at 9.1%, but in reality, it’s nearly 16%. People are struggling to find any work. More Americans are on food stamps than at any time in American history. Gas and food prices are skyrocketing—just as Mr. Obama promised during the campaign—and the dollar is being seriously devalued by mass printings of greenbacks (Quantitative Easing). We’ve already had QE1 and QE2 and our tax-avoiding Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, is planning QE3.

The private sector needs to create a huge number of good paying jobs—people making more, not less money—but Mr. Obama’s lunatic socialistic policies prevent it. And against this backdrop, the Solicitor General of the United States argues that Americans can avoid having to pay far more of their rapidly deflating incomes in unwanted and unnecessary insurance by voluntarily choosing to make less money.

It is possible that Mr. Katyal, as a lawyer, is merely employing whatever outlandish argument popped into his head at the moment in the service of defending the indefensible. Lawyers do have to do that upon occasion. However, it is more likely that for Mr. Katyal, as a good Socialist, “The People” exist only as an abstraction in service to the State. It may not occur to him that people simply cannot, indeed will not, choose to lower their incomes. They certainly do not consider our economic situation a game, individually or collectively. For most Americans, less income would mean the loss of their homes, cars, and a descent into genuine poverty and misery. Considering the times, it is amazing that any rational, humane Administration official would even think such a thing, to say nothing of saying it. However, Socialism is neither humane nor rational.

But I’m sure that if a sufficient number of Americans voluntarily lower their income, the economy, which is experiencing momentary “bumps,” will be greatly stimulated. All you have to do is believe in the ultimate triumph of Socialism—unless of course, you’re one of those Capitalists who actually believe in object reality. But who does that anymore in this brave new Age of Obama?

Posted by MikeM at 10:13 PM | Comments (5)

June 03, 2011

When the Nazis Come, They'll Sport Chaps

...and they'll come from San Francisco.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 07:19 PM | Comments (9)

Oops, He Did It Again

Anthony Weiner may have sexted lewd photos of himself before:

Of course, the simplest explanation of the scenario is that he had, in fact, tried to send a picture of his genitals to a 21-year-old Washington state college student. Weiner has denied that in public and in private. Two people who spoke to him privately said he had suggested that, as one said, "he took or sent a photo or photos like this at some point — but in this case actually was hacked/set up, perhaps with a posting of one of his own photos or something very similar."

"If that is the reality, there is no magic, good way to handle it," Dezenhall said. "You have what lawyers call a 'bad fact.'"

Note this is one of his protectors trying to help Weiner (therefore pushing the improbable hacking angle) that states the Congressman has a history of this kind of behavior.

Oh well, At least his real name works for a stage name once he finally resigns and begins his new career doing porn full time.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)

June 02, 2011

Goin' Up Around the Bend

It's dead simple.

Anthony Weiner took a dick pic and wanted to send it to a young woman who is not his wife. Instead of hitting "D" (to direct and privately message) the young lady, he hit "@," posting his pecker to the world, or at least the 40,000 or so people that were following the congressman at the time.

He realized his mistake and erased it quickly, but not quickly enough. He was caught, literally, with his pants down. From there, it has only gotten worse as the arrogant New Yorker has fanned the flames of scandal in one of the most disastrous political damage control campaigns in recent memory.

It has now gotten so bad that Weiner has even been forced to admit that there are other pictures of his package.

"I have photographs. I don't know what photographs are out there in the world of me," he said in one cable news interview, asked whether he'd ever snapped a photo like that of himself.

In another interview, Weiner acknowledged "it could be" the case that one of his private photos spilled onto the Internet.

Taking his own words at face value, the only rational conclusion is that Weiner did exactly what he is accused of doing.

And then there is something called a "Stranded Wind," which has created increasing more elaborate and fanciful conspiracy theories in an attempt to scapegoat conservatives for Weiner's transgressions.

Stranded Wind's latest claim is that Andrew Brietbart is behind a nafarious scheme to frame Weiner in order to protect Supreme Court Justice from (left-wing) allegations of tax evasion for not complying with disclosure requirements on financial forms. Like significant players in Obama's cabinet, Thomas made amends when the discrepancy was pointed out. I'd note that this even less than it appears to be, Thomas merely failed to disclose his wife's source of income, he wasn't a tax cheat like, say, the Treasury Secretary.

So how does a picture of a New York Congressman's erect member keep Clarence and Ginny Thomas out of jail for "corruption" in Stranded Wind's fantasy?

It's like this:

  1. Breitbart frames Weiner with dick pic
  2. ?
  3. Thomas doesn't face charges for his non-crime

If you think it sounds familiar, well, it does.

Stranded Wind apparently thinks that Andrew Breitbart is MacGyver enough to use Weiner's wiener to pick Thomas' cell lock even though, uh, Thomas isn't under investigation—or even the suspicion of wrong-doing—outside the wild and loopy world of Stranded Wind's fantasy land, where Karl Rove was frog-marched to jail and George Bush was executed for war crimes.

There is crazy, and there is weapons-grade crazy. All I can say about Stranded Wind is that national security demands that we make sure the Iranians don't put this Kossack in a centrifuge.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:12 PM | Comments (1)

A Holmes Twist for Weiner

And by Holmes, I mean Sherlock.

"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"

This is one of the most recognized quotes attributed to the fictional detective, but perhaps we need to go one better as we look at the continual, improbable, and ever more conspiratorial fantasy excuses that progressive bloggers are offering up to explain how a picture of a man's package was sent from New York Democrat Rep. Anothony Weiner Twitter account to a comely co-ed when his wife wasn't around.

The old saying that "truth is stranger than fiction" is indeed true often enough to make it a maxim, but the fact remains that reality is far more often boring and rote. Those events that break from the tedium of normalcy are sadly more likely the result of stupidity than brilliance, and Weiner's scandal is no different.

While it isn't appropriate for Holmes' fictional character, a real detective in this world is more likely to agree with the following.

"When you have eliminated the improbable, whatever remains, however straightforward and anticlimactic, must be the truth."

By far, the mostly likely scenario is precisely what appears to have occurred: Anthony Weiner tried to direct message (DM) a picture of his "package" to a co-ed, but mistakenly posted it to the public-facing side Twitter of instead.

That's it.

No grand conspiracy. No technological wizardry. Just a horny Congressman with loose morals and bad judgement.

Weiner is trying to save his marriage and his Congressional seat, so he has every reason to lie. Progressive bloggers want to protect one of their champions, and they have every reason to muddy the waters and offer a string of ever-more-fanciful excuses to try to get him off the hook.

But the most likely truth is simple.

Weiner did it.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:09 AM | Comments (8)

June 01, 2011

Weiner Claims "System was Hacked" Which Makes FBI Investigation Imperative

Let's just play this through.

The Congressman asserts, "My system was hacked. Pictures can be manipulated. Pictures can be dropped in and inserted."

So he wants to now change his story for the third time (from twitter account hack, to "prank," to "system hack"), implying that someone was able to take control of his personal computer, scrape data from the hard drive, and then use that high level of access and control of his system to post Weiner's wiener on Twitter at roughly the same time the Congressman was, shockingly, online and using twitter.

We are now asked to believe that Weiner's PC was compromised, but that since it was his personal computer and not his government computer, cyber-crimes units of the federal government should not be brought in to investigate.

I beg to differ.

Federal computer systems or private, Congresspersons are privy to classified information, information that can mean millions of dollars in the event of industrial or commercial espionage, or the lives of our soldiers and citizens if the information compromised involves infrastructure or military secrets.

Further, it is reasonable to believe that if his private system was indeed hacked as he asserts, then the information on that computer could provide evidence of who hacked it, information that federal cyber-crimes units must have to catch the hacker or hacker responsible before they penetrate more sensitive systems.

After all, an embarrassing wiener picture stolen today could be nuclear secrets stolen tomorrow.

New York Congressional Representative Anthony Weiner simply has every obligation to turn his computer over to the FBI for investigation. It is simply a matter of national security.

Either that, or a lying crap-weasel meant to DM one of his little tarts with a tawdry photo, but because of his innate stupidity, posted it for all the world to see instead.

Yeah... Like you, I think the FBI should investigate, just to be sure.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 04:19 PM | Comments (1)

Weiner Lovers are Insane

New york Democratic rep. Anthony Weiner could have easily stopped the burgeoning "Weinergate" scandal in its tracks with a simple statement:

"I did not send that tweet. It is not a picture of me. Law enforcement has been notified and we will prosecute the person who sent this photo to the fullest extent of the law."

But as we all know, Wiener had the opportunity to say those things and instead imploded. He refused no less than four direct appeals by the media to deny that the erect member in the photo belonged to the belligerent member of Congress. Instead he evaded, hemmed and hawed, looking all the more guilty with each and every second.

Miraculously, there are still hardcore progressive zealots on the interwebs still insisting that Weiner is absolutely innocent, and that conservative firebrand Andrew Breitbart is somehow to blame.

Really, folks?

We've referred to the far left as the "community-based reality" (a play on their claim to be a "reality-based community") for a long time because of their penchant for concocting and then following conspiracy theories with religious fanaticism. Their contortions to blame right wing "hackers" for Weiner's unseemly tweet and spiraling collapse of evasions and non-denials, however, really drives home the fact that some are simply insane.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:16 AM | Comments (3)

May 31, 2011

Putz Putts, Disrespecting the Dead

You'd never know it occurred thanks to the US media that dutifully ignored the story, but Barack Obama used Memorial Day as an opportunity to squeeze in a round of golf for the ninth weekend in a row.

Can you imagine David Cameron enjoying a round of golf on Remembrance Sunday? It would be inconceivable for the British Prime Minister to do so, and not just because of the usually dire weather at that time of the year. Above all, it would be viewed as an act of extremely bad taste on a day when the nation remembers and mourns her war dead. I can’t imagine the PM even considering it, and I’m sure his advisers would be horrified at the idea. And if the prime minister ever did play golf on such a sacrosanct day he would be given a massive drubbing by the British press, and it would never be repeated.

Contrast this with President Obama’s decision to play golf yesterday, Memorial Day, for the 70th time during his 28-month long presidency. For tens of millions of Americans, Memorial Day is a time for remembrance of the huge sacrifices made by servicemen and women on the battlefield. The president did pay his respects in the morning, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, but later in the day traveled to Fort Belvoir to play golf. The story has not been reported so far in a single US newspaper, but was made public by veteran White House correspondent Keith Koffler on his blog.

It took a British paper to report this story of Americans least favorite socialist dishonoring the dead. Obama simply doesn't know how to be Presidential, or perhaps he simply doesn't care how this will be perceived.

I can't wait until this man is driven from the office he continues to denigrate.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:15 AM | Comments (4)

May 29, 2011

Media Ignores NY Rep Anthony Weiner's Cyber-Sex Story

NY Congressman Anthony Weiner was caught sending pictures of his uh, thinly-covered namesake, to a young woman who was not his new wife. This is the kind of story that ends political careers and forces resignations, but the MSM is dutifully ignoring this transgression... for now.

His wife won't buy his alibi. Neither should we.

Weiner should resign in disgrace, but I doubt the New York Democrat has that much honor.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:05 AM | Comments (2)

May 26, 2011

Socialistic Energy-Lite

Those troublemakers at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform are up to their usual tricks and have produced a outrageously scandalous report calling into question the motives of The One. It is available here. But first, a bit of background.

Communists, and their less murderous, Communist-lite comrades, Socialists, are masters of deception and propaganda. So adept are they that they long ago coined a term to describe the simpletons who believe their propaganda and are thereby motivated to betray and harm their own countries: “useful idiots.” The American left has always provided a ready supply of useful idiots who are praised by the elite to their faces, but reviled behind their backs, for Marxists love only true believers.

A part of this contempt for all but their own kind is apparent in their frequent rhetorical affection for “the people.” In reality “the people” are merely an abstraction, the non-existent body of subjects whose support for and love of their betters and rulers is unquestionable. Such caring for “the people” is ephemeral, particularly when it is applied to individuals, about whom Marxists care not at all, particularly if those individuals fail to demonstrate the proper respect and appreciation for the accomplishments of the glorious revolution and the elite who lead it.

The Obama administration often speaks of the wonderful, virtually unimaginable benefits of its policies for “the people.” Mr. Obama has even scolded the public when it has shown insufficient appreciation for his munificence stuffily sniffing that the public should be thanking him instead. Nowhere is Mr. Obama’s Marxist faux-fealty to “the people” more evident than in his energy non-policies.

Actually, it may be unfair to say that what, to any rational member of “the people,” would seem to be a complete lack of a coherent policy is in fact no policy. Mr. Obama’s policy is actually quite clear, and he and his various czars and functionaries have often and openly talked about it. From Mr. Obama’s campaign promise to make energy prices “necessarily skyrocket,” to his observation that the rest of the world won’t allow Americans to drive SUVs and set their thermostats for comfort, to his vow to bankrupt the American coal industry to Dr. Chu’s explanation of the necessity to make American gasoline prices rise to European levels of $10 per gallon or more, it’s obvious that he truly intends to bankrupt Americans, making it impossible for them to drive, heat or cool their homes, and destroy the American economy, all in the name of helping “the people,” of course.

What’s that you say? How can policies that harm every individual who constitutes “the people” help “the people?” They can’t, but anyone who recognizes that obviously isn’t one of the docile, easily controlled subjects so beloved of Marxists, but a counter-revolutionary unwilling to sacrifice for the good of “the people.” Remember, please, that the scientific Marxists, the elite, must never stoop to living under the same strictures imposed on “the people.” There must be some rewards for ceaselessly laboring on behalf of “the people,” or who would wish to become one of the elite? What’s that? The elite appoint themselves and suck the lifeblood of the people? They always have? So what’s your point?

Finally, even the Congress, including the occasional Democrat, is awakening to the reality that Mr. Obama actually intends to bankrupt the nation and “the people.” The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s report explicitly reveals that the Obama Administration’s energy policies are responsible for higher oil and gas prices because the Administration wants higher oil and gas prices. Who woulda’ thunk it? I’ve often written about Mr. Obama’s stealth agenda, an agenda that deceptively pushes action on many fronts:

(1) Public persuasion. This is the first, public front in which Mr. Obama has tried to use the bully pulpit of the Presidency to convince “the people” that their ruin is actually their salvation. As Mr. Obama’s default position is to speechify in the apparent belief that everyone in the world wants nothing so much as yet another Obama teleprompter reading, this suits him well. This first step is always closely aligned with:

(2) Legislation. When Democrats controlled the Congress, Mr. Obama was able to push through ObamaCare despite the fact that a clear majority of the public did not, and does not, want it. However, even with control of Congress, he was not able to pass Cap and Trade, which would have given him absolute control over the daily lives of “the people,” enabling Obama bureaucrats to regulate the very air they breath. When legislation fails, there is always:

(3) The Administrative State. Where the first several steps fail, Mr. Obama makes an end run around the legislature by means of his appointed, unaccountable czars and innumerable bureaucratic functionaries, constantly growing in number and boldness, who not only have the power to make up the rules as they go, but to harass, obstruct, punish and harm anyone who might try to stand in their way. Bureaucrats can, on their own initiative, bring economic development and activity to a halt. By ensuring that only like-minded sycophants are in bureaucratic positions, Mr. Obama need not stoop to issuing specific instructions: they know what to do. Freedom Of Information requests? Hahahahahahaha! You must be a Republican! In the unlikely event that this cannot bring about the required results, there are:

(4) Environmentalists and Similar Groups. Whatever can’t be obtained through the first three steps can be obtained—and opponents impeded and punished—through the efforts of environmentalists and other advocacy groups, who commonly use:

(5) The Imperial Courts. By appointing the “right” kind of judges and/or jurisdiction shopping, predictable rulings are easy to obtain. Whatever mischief bureaucrats aren’t able to secure can often be accomplished through liberal, activist judges. The best part is that their decisions are the law!

But that’s immoral! Underhanded! Un-American! Right. What’s your point? Marxists recognize no outcome but victory by any means necessary, legal or illegal. They will do whatever is necessary to win, and minor, irrelevant impediments like the law, the Constitution or the welfare of individual subjects do not trouble them at all.

This, gentle readers, is what has been happening for the first two years of the Obama Administration. Should he win a second term, even if Republicans control the Congress, expect no restraints whatever in the use of steps 3-5. It, after all, is for the good of “the people.” Individuals need not apply.

Posted by MikeM at 10:07 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2011

Leadership and Statesmanship

In the last few days Americans were given the opportunity to observe, firsthand, the extremes of leadership and statesmanship. Even the American Congress, as dysfunctional as it often is, responded to the obvious difference. It is a lesson we should take to heart.

Tiny, democratic Israel is a nation in the middle of the world’s roughest neighborhood. Since its birth, its Arab neighbors have repeatedly tried to wipe it, and its people, from the face of the planet, and on several occasions, they came disturbingly close. Since their last bloody failure, they’ve never renounced their genocidal dreams and have instead resorted to terrorism, costing thousands of lives.

The Palestinians have rewarded Israeli offers of peace and generous gifts of land and infrastructure only with renewed terrorism and barrages of rockets. Their founding documents cry for genocide. They raise their children to hate and kill and die. They send women and the mentally disabled to attack the innocent as suicide bombers, and honor mass murderers as national heroes. Even their children’s TV shows preach hatred and murder. At the news of 9-11, they danced in the streets for joy.

Even so, the Israelis, each and every day, provide the Palestinians with food and water, and their hospitals save the lives of those who sometimes try to return laden with explosives, determined to kill those who selflessly saved their lives. They hide weapons and house terrorists near and in schools and hospitals, and use women and children as human shields. When the Israelis fight back to stop terrorist and rocket attacks, their military operates under the kind of restraints that place their soldiers at risk, just as our military does.

Syria and Iran sponsor terrorists with arms, money and training, and actively seek nuclear weapons, weapons they will surely use. Iran makes no pretense about its genocidal intentions and routinely declares its hatred for and hostile intentions toward America with fervor and venom second only to that it reserves for Israel. Both have helped Hezbollah stockpile huge numbers of rockets and other weapons in Southern Lebanon, a nation they’ve ruined and brutalized over many years in their insane, anti-Semitic hatred.

The North Koreans have been actively helping Iran and Syria in their nuclear and missile programs. Turkey is becoming much less secular and more actively Islamist, and is overtly backing away from any friendly relationship with Israel.

Egypt is now on the verge of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover. The Muslim Brotherhood is the foundation of the modern Islamist movement. They will surely abrogate the long-standing peace treaty with Israel, greatly increasing the danger of a catastrophic war in the region.

Against this backdrop, against this undeniable state of affairs and the danger it presents not only to Israel, but to the peace and stability of the world, Barack Obama sees only moral equivalency. His teleprompter generated rhetoric indicates clearly that he sees Israel as the foundational regional problem and that he simplistically believes that if only Israel makes whatever concessions the Palestinians wish, peace will be realized and all of the blood-soaked grievances that have washed over that part of the world for millennia will be healed. He is incapable of understanding that it is not possible to make peace with a people who not only live to kill you, who not only raise their children to kill you, but who never fail to take every opportunity to declare their genocidal intentions. With all of this, and more, incontrovertible evidence available to him, Mr. Obama demands that Israel carve up the nation so as to ensure its doom.

On May 24, speaking before the Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu demonstrated real statesmanship. Instead of tailoring his rhetoric to meet the political needs of the moment, he spoke from unshakeable moral conviction, and even the jaded denizens of Congress recognized the genuine article when they saw it. Mr. Netanyahu was unfailingly gracious to Mr. Obama, the man who has often insulted and tried to humiliate Mr. Netanyahu. He demonstrated, naturally and with grace, the kind of strength, conviction, moral fiber and class that Mr. Obama so often lacks. Mr. Obama fails in foreign affairs because he reflexively sympathizes with our enemies and disparages our friends. In this and in much more, he does not truly represent the interests of the United States. The same certainly cannot be said about Mr. Netanyahu. Israel is the better for it; America is not.

Perhaps the best way to sum up the reality of the Middle East, a reality that Mr. Obama refuses to acknowledge, or is perhaps unable to recognize is to understand that if Israel’s many enemies gave up their genocidal hopes and lay down their weapons, there would be peace. If Israel lay down her weapons, there would be genocide.

In pursuing such a stubborn, arrogant, petulant posture toward our vital regional ally, the only established democracy in the region, a people and nation to whom civilization owes a great debt, Mr. Obama actually makes war far more likely. Weakness never establishes peace, and the enemies of Israel and America have surely seen little but weakness from Mr. Obama. Understanding this, and experiencing Mr. Obama’s most recent teleprompter readings, what Israeli can now reasonably believe that Israel can rely upon America under Mr. Obama?

Mr. Netanyahu said it best: “Israel is not what’s wrong about the Middle East; Israel is what’s right about the Middle East.” That it is virtually impossible to imagine Mr. Obama speaking such a simple truth speaks volumes. Mr. Netanyahu is truly a leader and a statesman. The President of the United States, to our disappointment and peril, is not.

Posted by MikeM at 09:44 PM | Comments (2)

Fonda Suggests He's Teaching His Grandkids to Snipe Obama

The man who became a legend for playing a counter-culture biker nicknamed "Captain America" might be getting a visit from the Secret Service for comments made in France some may interpret as an assassination threat:

Peter Fonda, the star of Easy Rider, suggested to Mandrake that he was encouraging his grandchildren to shoot President Barack Obama.

"I'm training my grandchildren to use long-range rifles," said the actor, 71. "For what purpose? Well, I'm not going to say the words 'Barack Obama', but …"

He added, enigmatically: "It's more of a thought process than an actuality, but we are heading for a major conflict between the haves and the have nots. I came here many years ago with a biker movie and we stopped a war. Now, it's about starting the world."

I hope the irony isn't lost on the political left. The actor who helped personify their 1960s counter-cultural movement has now rebelled against it's failures to the point he is encouraging taking up arms against it.

Sadly, there is some merit to Fonda's observation that Obama and his Marxist-Socialist allies are running the Cloward-Piven strategy to perfection. Obama's wrecking of the economy is intentional, as are his machinations to dramatically increase energy prices and roil ties with our traditional allies.

The intent is to isolate America, and make it impossible for Americans to survive without capitalism being overthrown for the Marxist-Socialism fantasy Obama has been mentored to favor his entire useless life.

Fonda should not have mentioned assassinating Obama. That was stupid. Training his grandchildren in the use of arms, however, is a very prudent decision considering the path we are being forced down by would-be authoritarians.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 01:27 PM | Comments (1)

May 23, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Squishy Massachusetts RINO Acts Like Squishy Massachusetts RINO

I'm sorry if I don't get bent out of shape to hear that Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts is going to side with the Democrats and vote against the Ryan Plan.

Why can't I go along with the Ryan Medicare plan?

First, I fear that as health inflation rises, the cost of private plans will outgrow the government premium support— and the elderly will be forced to pay ever higher deductibles and co-pays. Protecting those who have been counting on the current system their entire adult lives should be the key principle of reform.

Second, Medicare has already taken significant cuts to help pay for Obama's health care plan. The president and Congress cut a half trillion dollars to the private side of Medicare — meaning seniors are at risk of losing their Medicare Advantage coverage.

Another key principle is that seniors should not have to bear a disproportionate burden. But that doesn’t mean we do nothing. If Medicare is to survive for current beneficiaries and future generations, we must act. The sooner Congress addresses this, the less painful it is likely to be — but more difficult adjustments will be required if we delay.

We should start by making improvements to the traditional Medicare plan.

Of course, like most politicians, Brown doesn't actually suggest any meaningful improvements to the "traditional Medicare plan," because that would mean addressing the fiscal issues, which would lead back to the Ryan plan being the most viable option anyone has offered to date.

Brown does the "traditional politicians plan" instead, and kicks the can down the road so that he doesn't have to deal with it today. This of course insures that when it finally must be addressed in a few short years that the trauma to society will be far more drastic.

The House and Senate game of "kick the can" is little different than someone with cancer refusing to acknowledge they need treatment. It is going to be unpleasant no matter how you choose to deal with it, but the consequences of waiting makes the prognosis ever more dire, and limits treatment options to dangerous and high risk-methods.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2011

Travel Site to Ideological Lapdogs: Get Bent

Felon-funded Media Matters has been trying to undermine Fox News, and launched a campaign against the network's advertisers. One of those targeted advertisers, the travel site Orbitz, said they aren't going to be drawn in to that nakedly partisan game.

The effort by liberal media watchdog group Media Matters to convince half a dozen leading national advertisers to pull their dollars from the Fox News Channel got a high-profile snub Thursday when Orbitz, the travel company, not only declined to participate, but fired back at Media Matters, calling the "Drop Fox" campaign a "smear effort."

...

But Orbitz shot back, describing Media Matters as “\"a political organization that has been funded pretty extensively to go after one network, and we aren't going to engage in that fight," Orbitz spokesman Brian Hoyt told The Hollywood Reporter.

Eric Boehlert and the rest of Podesta's team of angry misfits are paid extremely generously to do one thing, and that is attack conservatives. They are nakedly biased with the clearest of one-sided agendas, and it is good to see that there are companies out there who won't be bullied by their partisan attempts to stifle dissenting voices.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 01:29 PM | Comments (1)

May 19, 2011

Tales From The Republican Foot-Shooting Race

The Republican campaign for 2012 is going great guns--if you’re a Democrat. Once again, prominent Republicans seem determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of possible victory by not merely shooting themselves in the foot, but by emptying multiple magazines into their own feet. Yes, it’s early, but let’s have a brief review of the most recent Bizarro-World Republican behaviors.

The I Hate It/I Love It Candidate: Mitt Romney recently addressed long-standing conservative concerns (here) about RomneyCare by absolutely praising and standing by RomneyCare! Not only is RomneyCare a clone of ObamaCare which is performing more or less exactly as ObamaCare will certainly perform (not delivering on its promises, not improving things, and costing huge amounts of supposedly unforeseen money), but it makes Romney seem like the dictionary definition of hypocrite when he swears that he’ll repeal ObamaCare while praising its smaller brother. Despite his demonstrated ability to raise loads of money, he is not endearing himself to the conservative base.

The "Republicans Are Every Bit as Bad as Democrats" Candidate: For an educated man who served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich makes almost unbelievable mistakes (here). Only a few days after declaring his candidacy, Gingrich blew himself and his candidacy up by violating Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment never to speak ill of fellow Republicans. Gingrich claimed that there is such a thing as “right wing social engineering” in the same way that such policies exist on the left. He also said that he supported a “variation” of the ObamaCare Individual mandate, and attacked Paul Ryan’s economic proposal as it relates to Medicare.

Let’s count the ways that Mr. Gingrich stepped on his tongue. Paul Ryan is arguably the only member of Congress who has proposed a comprehensive, serious, well thought out proposal that can actually stave off and improve our looming national economic disaster. Ryan is one man that every rational Republican will want to have on his side in the 2012 campaign. Ryan responded: “with allies like that, who needs the left?” “Right wing social engineering?” Restoring fiscal sanity, adherence to the Constitution and the law and reducing the size of government constitute right wing social engineering? Conservatives don’t think that way; leftists do. Gingrich supports a “variation” of the individual mandate, the single most egregiously unconstitutional and destructive part of ObamaCare, the part without which the entire Rube Goldberg contraption collapses? Mr. Gingrich has apologized to Rep. Ryan, and he and his publicity staff have been feverishly backpedaling in recent days, but the conservative base does not seem in the least impressed. Thanks for the shortest presidential campaign in American history, Mr. Gingrich, and thanks for writing highly effective Democrat campaign commercials for the Dems. As a historian, I’m sure you can appreciate the inherent irony.

The Smart Diplomacy Candidate: Jon Huntsman, former Utah Governor and current Ambassador to China is making considerable noise about running for president. Some conservative and many pseudo-conservative figures have been saying that when the public starts hearing from Huntsman directly, they’ll be very impressed. He recently announced that he firmly believes in global warming because “90% of scientists” believe in it (here). It is that kind of comment that makes one wonder if Huntsman can actually read, and if so, whether he actually reads. Not only is that statistic ludicrously incorrect, all of the best evidence since the inception of Climategate indicates clearly that the Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Chaos house of cards has almost entirely collapsed because it is one of the largest and most costly frauds every perpetrated. Huntsman did allow, however, that he now believes that Cap and Trade (Tax) is no longer viable. This means, of course, that at one time, apparently recently, he thought that one of the most egregiously stupid and economically destructive leftist power grabs in history was a good idea! And this is a Republican candidate? Has he no idea of mainstream conservative thinking on this issue?

At this stage, one is tempted to wonder which party’s nomination these guys are seeking. Again, it’s early, but it’s a shame--and a potential tragedy--that prominent, ostensibly Republican figures, are behaving and sounding anything but Republican. It would be ironic and bizarre indeed if Conservatives had to hold their collective noses to vote for the eventual Republican nominee running against, of all people, Barack Obama. It is not outside the realm of possibility that a significant number of conservatives might simply stay home rather than vote for anyone who is so obviously far afield of genuinely Conservative values and principles.

Agreement with Mr. Obama is not, under the present state of American decline and danger, a sign of bipartisan cooperation, but a glaringly obvious indicator of a lack of understanding of the nature of Democrats and of the dangers we face. The Democrats care nothing for the Constitution and will do anything necessary to win. Republicans must not abandon fealty to the Constitution, but adopting Obamian policies as their own is a sure path to electoral defeat and national disaster. We can do better. We must do better.


Posted by MikeM at 10:06 PM | Comments (4)

Cornell West No Longer Digging "Hope and Change"

The former cheerleader for Barack Obama now considers the President a "black mascot" and "black puppet."

Cornel West, a Princeton University professor and leading black intellectual, is harshly criticizing President Obama, a candidate he once supported but now calls "a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats."

Don't start getting a warm and fuzzy feeling about Professor West, however. His biggest problem with Obama isn't that he's a egotistical radical destroying the nation, it is that he's an egotistical radical that isn't destroying the nation to benefit blacks. And that the President is a racist.

"I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men," West said. "It's understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he's always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white…When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening."

I can hardly wait to see how Eric Boehlert and the drones at Media Matters are going to address this. Their default complaint against any criticism of the President is always that the criticism is always caused by racism.

Now that a prominent black liberal academic is effectively making the argument that Obama himself is too white and can't relate to black Americans because he was never part of their shared cultural experience, how can the race-baiters respond?

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:35 AM | Comments (6)

May 18, 2011

Newt Gingrich Nukes His Campaign

The most politically-connected candidate from either party is trying to claim outsider status.

He is first-class academic and a very bright guy, but Gingrich is also ideologically unreliable and morally bankrupt. Luckily he's chosen to remind everyone of his ego and many foibles, including those that don't remember his last stint in power.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)

Good News! The False Profit False Prophet Still Believes in Us

The man some already regard as the worst President in America just part of the way through his term reveals that he still has faith in us, and gives us his blessing.

I'm sure it makes your day to know that.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2011

Rhetorical Drilling For Votes

At Yahoo News (here) we learn:

“Amid growing public unhappiness over gas prices, President Barack Obama is directing his administration to ramp up U.S. oil production by extending existing leases in the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska's coast and holding more frequent lease sales in a federal petroleum reserve in Alaska. But the moves won't calm spiraling prices at the pump any time soon.”

Isn’t that wonderful? Mr. Obama has finally seen the light and is actually taking steps that might actually reduce energy prices for Americans! Hold on there buckaroos. What is far more likely is that he is feeling the heat and is taking rhetorical steps only. There is immediate and long term evidence that supports this contention. From the good folks at Hot Air (here), we discover a bit more clarity:

“His announcement followed passage in the Republican-controlled House of three bills--including two this week--that would expand and speed up offshore oil and gas drilling...The White House had announced its opposition to all three bills, which are unlikely to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, saying the measures would undercut safety reviews and open environmentally sensitive areas to new drilling...But Obama is adopting some of the bills’ provisions.”

The immediate reality of what looks like a real concession to reality, common sense and lower gas prices is that Mr. Obama is talking about nothing more than approving extension for existing leases, and will--possibly--finally allow a lease sale for oil production in the Gulf of Mexico that was supposed to take place last year. This is nothing more than a piecemeal, tiny step toward eventually getting back up to past production levels, not opening additional, new avenues of production.

There is every reason to believe that this is nothing more than a cynical attempt at conning the American public with slippery rhetoric. For what he seems to give with his right hand, he takes away with his left:

“Obama on Saturday also reiterated his call on Democrats and Republicans to vote to eliminate $4.4 billion in taxpayer subsidies to oil and gas companies. Industry advocates, including most Republicans in Congress, have argued that doing away with the tax breaks will raise companies' cost of doing business, crimp their investment in exploration and production and lead to higher gas prices.”

Let’s not forget that what Mr. Obama has said is that he is “directing his administration,” to do something. He did not specify how or when. This is not a niggling concern. Mr. Obama has established a pattern of saying a very great deal but doing very little. He is likely making this statement for its potential political effect while simultaneously winking at those in his administration who will have to carry it out. Six months from now, I suspect that we’ll see virtually no movement toward actually authorizing oil production. Mr. Obama’s multitude of bureaucrats will see to that.

Remember too Mr. Obama’s--and the Democrat’s--frequent claims that drilling for oil is futile because it would take years for it to yield any benefits at the gas pumps. Of course, had they not taken that approach in 2008, we might very well be experiencing much lower costs at the gas pumps today. Two years will pass very quickly and we will have no less need of affordable energy in two years than we do now. Consider too that Democrat claims of years and years before benefits are manifested are almost certainly false; it would almost certainly take substantially less time than they claim.

And even if Obamian czars and their functionaries began issuing new leases and permits today, leases and permits that would open up the new, vast fields about which we know, in good faith and with great speed and efficiency, Mr. Obama knows that a multitude of environmental groups--including James Hansen of NASA--will tie up any increased production in red tape and lawsuits far into the future. Mr. Obama won’t even have to wink at them. They’ll do it anyway, and as long as Democrats control the Senate, any attempt to interfere with harassing and frivolous environmentalist lawsuits will be dead on arrival.

As with virtually everything Mr. Obama has said and done, rhetoric read from his teleprompter is cheap and easy. Actually doing anything positive for the American people, anything that won’t bankrupt the nation, anything that would actually benefit America and Americans, is quite another story. We have a president who claims to be all about jobs, yet one might be tempted to think that virtually everything he does is calculated to destroy jobs in the American oil and gas industries. Brazil, that’s another story...

Posted by MikeM at 06:03 PM | Comments (2)

May 12, 2011

The Horror Of Public Sector Unemployment?

Mr. Obama appeared at a CBS News-sponsored “town hall” at the Newseum in Washington DC on May 12 (CBS story here). Unsurprisingly, jobs was a major focus of the event as Mr. Obama is continuing his fiction of being all about jobs during a “jobless recovery” for which he is directly responsible. Mr. Obama said:

"The reason the unemployment rate is still as high as it is, in part, is because there have been huge layoffs of government workers at the federal level, at the state level, at the local level...Teachers, police officers, firefighters, social workers-- they have really taken it in the chin over the last several months. And so, what we're trying to do is to see if we can stabilize the budget."

I have long marveled at Mr. Obama, according to his sycophants and the media (is there any difference?), the most intelligent man to ever occupy the Oval Office. Yet there exists virtually no tangible evidence or accomplishment to support that contention. He graduated from Harvard Law School and was President of the Harvard Law Review, yet wrote not a single scholarly legal article. He is the supposed author of two (?!) autobiographies before reaching the age of 50, yet there is compelling evidence that he didn’t write either. He served in the Illinois and U.S. Senates, yet there is no record of any significant legislative accomplishment. His grades and other college records have apparently been sealed in a vault in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings or shot into space.

What I suppose I’m saying is I don’t get it. Any other person renowned for intellect can invariably point to a long line of educational and work accomplishments, mileposts on the road to the attainment of a high level of acumen and experience. For such people, there are legions of friends and colleagues spanning decades who can produce concrete examples of their brilliance and accomplishment. Yet Barack Obama, the President of the United States remains an intellectual cypher, his intellect apparent only to his supporters and the Lamestream media (again, I repeat myself), apparently for his ability to read a teleprompter with some small degree of alacrity.

What I find particularly amazing is not only his tendency to spout glaring gaffes, but his propensity to regularly spout blatant lies, lies so obviously false to the reasonably well informed, and so easily disproved, as to make one wonder if he really did lie so openly and unashamedly. Among Mr. Obama’s more famous gaffes (go here for more):

(1) His campaign contention that “I’ve been in 57 states--I think one left to go.”

(2) His Freudian slip: “You’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith.”

(3) His comment about a Navy corpse-man.

(4) His apparently belief in the non-existent “Austrian” language.

(5) “The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries.”

(6) “Let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s...”

(7) “On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes--and I see many of them in the audience here today...”

(8) “In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died...” (12 actually died).

(9) “The reforms we seek would bring greater competition choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system.”

(10) His recent suggestion that Texas has always been Republican. This would have been a substantial surprise to LBJ, Ann Richards and many other Democrat Texas leaders.

It is, however, his lies that are most disturbing. The most recent example is his quote about the “ huge layoffs of government workers at the federal level, at the state level, at the local level.” As Jim Geraghty of National Review Online (here) notes, this is an amazing, not even remotely correct, absolute lie. The facts are simple and easy to find: We are eight million jobs below the most recent peak private sector employment level, and not only has federal, state and local public sector employment not declined, it has actually increased. So Mr. Obama is not slightly wrong, he’s not merely mistaken, he has not misread or misquoted, he has propounded a bald-faced lie.

Is Mr. Obama so used to saying anything that he finds convenient on any occasion, secure in the knowledge that the press will never call him on it (about how many of the gaffes were you aware?) that he takes no pains to be accurate? In other words, is he simply careless? Is he knowingly and cynically lying in the sure knowledge that the press will not only fail to expose his mendacity but will surely cover for it if necessary? Does he hold the public in such low regard that he believes he can say anything he wants because they’ll believe it? Or is he so narcissistic, so delusional that he actually feels that anything he says is true simply because he says it? Which option would be more disturbing and more destructive to America?

One final suggestion: Mr. Obama actually believes what he said. He actually believes that despite his successful, Herculean efforts to dramatically expand the roster of government employees, their numbers have been, instead, dramatically declining. If so, this speaks to a delusional mind, a mind disengaged from economic reality, a mind unable to understand the basics of economics. It speaks of a man who is utterly incapable, intellectually or philosophically, to do anything other than to spend us into oblivion.

Should we expect less--or more--from a man who sees leading from behind as a virtue? To honorable Americans, lying is a sign of weak, defective character. To Mr. Obama and the press, it would seem to be a personal and political necessity. More’s the pity for us all.

Posted by MikeM at 11:02 PM | Comments (8)

Americans Idled

The Obama Administration is continuing its "harsh reality show" known as the US economy, and the President himself has stepped off the golf course and campaign trail long enough to float the absurd claim that layoffs of government workers is to blame for unemployment.

Jim Geraghty calls him on his lie:

CBS' Mark Knoller, covering a town hall on the economy with the president this morning, reports: "President Obama blames high unemployment rate on 'huge layoffs of government workers' at federal, state and local levels."

This is completely wrong. Extremely and mind-bogglingly wrong. Epically wrong.

Hit the link for the details, which confirms the private sector is shedding jobs under Obama, while the government employment is actually growing at every level.

Every word a lie. Including "and" and "the."

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2011

Typical White Person: President's Cousin Rips Obamacare

But what does he know. He's only a doctor.

It’s not often that a president's most vocal critic comes from his own family, but I believe the inviolable oath I took to my patients demands that I oppose ObamaCare.

Today, ObamaCare is on the ropes—in the courts, and in terms of public opinion. While the Supreme Court denied Virginia's petition to hear its ObamaCare lawsuit on an expedited basis earlier this month, this case will soon be heard by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In a more high-profile case, Judge Roger Vinson ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional. This lawsuit, which was filed by more than half the states in the union and led by Florida, will be heard in the U.S. appeals court in Atlanta in June. And in poll after poll, it has become clear that more than one year after ObamaCare's passage, the American people strongly reject it. The fundamental flaw at the core of ObamaCare is the mistaken belief that the government can spend your dollars more effectively than you can. This tragically pessimistic belief views all Americans with suspicion as either incompetent or unrighteous but either way in need of big-government control.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:25 AM | Comments (3)

May 02, 2011

The Shame of Success

Osama Bin Laden is dead. While there has been some celebration, the rejoicing has been somewhat muted, tinged with the sad realization that more than 3000 Americans at Ground Zero and thousands more thereafter have been lost to us, lost forever. Yes, we’re glad that justice has been done, but Bin Laden’s death seems to have, if anything, less importance than it once might have had. It may be nothing more than another milepost passed on a very long road, a road whose eventual end we can barely imagine.

Let us give credit where credit is due, primarily to the CIA and Navy SEAL assets who did the work, one imagines, with great and well-deserved satisfaction. Credit for President Obama? Certainly, but it must be tempered with the knowledge of the reality that with very few exceptions, his policies, ideals and beliefs have hampered rather than helped our war to preserve civilization.

When one considers what is good for America, Mr. Obama is all too often standing on the opposite side. Yes, he has continued, even stepped up drone attacks on terrorists, but that, like the killing of Bin Laden, is virtually inescapable. It is a politically inexpensive way to appear to be doing something to combat terror while simultaneously pandering to a very anti-American, anti-war base. Could any president, handed the opportunity to get Bin Laden as Mr. Obama was, refuse? Certainly not--there would be no way to keep it under wraps--and Mr. Obama did not. This is the absolute minimum that any president could and should do, not a heroic, steadfast effort pursued with indomitable courage and a belief in American exceptionalism.

Consider that Bin Ladin’s remains are said, by a “senior administration official” to have been handled “in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition.” Even as our military kills one of America’s worst and most dedicated enemies, we must absolutely observe the lunatic political correctness that has marked Mr. Obama’s approach to fighting the war for the future of civilization and his reflexive support for and deference toward all things Islamic.

So greatly has Mr. Obama lowered our expectations that he routinely garners praise for doing even less than the minimum any sane, rational POTUS should do. As senator and candidate, he vehemently opposed the policies and actions that have protected America, and as president, he only grudgingly accepted many of them because to do otherwise would have been immediate political suicide. He had to do it, but he certainly didn’t have to like it. Remember that only a few short weeks ago, a petulant, angry Obama--and his AG Holder-- lectured Americans on their lack of nuance and wisdom for opposing civilian show trials in New York City for terrorist masterminds captured on the battlefield, many of whom are minions of the now deceased Bin Laden. Imagine the circus if Bin Ladin had been captured alive. Is there any doubt that Mr. Obama--the president who demands that terrorists captured on the battlefield be given Miranda warnings-- would argue the fierce moral urgency of a NYC civilian show trial?

Yet now Mr. Obama seeks to put on the mantle of the hardened terror warrior. He may benefit from some PR bounce, but it is unlikely to be lasting, for Mr. Obama does not believe in America, nor does he represent American interests, for he finds America perpetually at fault. More and more Americans are coming to understand this. They understand that he believes in and represents only himself, and that, more than anything else, is why he fails so miserably, particularly in foreign affairs. The President of the United States is a formidable, even terrible, symbol of the collective will and moral force of the greatest, most charitable, most powerful nation ever to exist. Barack Obama is an unaccomplished, inexperienced fast talker, a teleprompter reader, a Chicago machine politician, a man no nation need respect or fear.

Without doubt, our enemies fear our military might, but their calculations are more complex and realistic. A military, no matter how effective, is effective only if it is properly used by a President who is willing and able to tell the difference between our friends and enemies. To date, Mr. Obama has shown little but ambivalence. A President who will not swiftly and surely destroy those who would gleefully destroy us all only encourages and strengthens them, for they care nothing for nuance or outreach, and they care even less for the politically correct gestures of infidels.

Allow Mr. Obama to bask in the spotlight of the resolute warrior--a sensation completely new and foreign to him--for the moment, but remember his record on these matters, a record that does not do him, or the nation, credit. Remember above all that if he had his way, if his unswerving opposition to the polices of Mr. Bush prevailed, if inescapable political reality did not force him to at least partially abandon his true principles, this day would almost certainly never have arrived. In a very real sense, whatever success he can claim was achieved not because of his beliefs and polices, but in spite of them. That is the lingering shame, and danger, facing America.

Posted by MikeM at 06:21 PM | Comments (1)

April 29, 2011

Obama: Lost In Thoughtlessness

Among the most fundamental differences between Progressives and Conservatives is the tendency of Progressives to be distinctly uncomfortable with everyday reliable principles, values and obviously common-sense solutions. So “war” becomes a “kinetic military action.” The Second Amendment means precisely the opposite of what it says. Terrorists captured on the battlefield should be given show trials in New York City rather than far less expensive, secure justice at Gitmo. An out of control budget deficit can only be fixed by even more borrowing and spending, and economic hardship brought on by rapidly rising gas prices can best be healed by proper tire inflation, high speed rail, and buying Chevy Volts at $41,000+.

Before continuing, it’s important to understand that when I use the term “Conservative,” I’m referring to every day Americans, people who have to live and work in the real world, where honesty, industry, reliability and day to day performance matter. They tend to care a great deal less for paper credentials than for demonstrated ability. They know stupid and they know smart. They know what works and what doesn’t, and they don’t have much patience with people who don’t, particularly when such people are pretending to be smarter than they are. So in effect, I’m including conservatives, probably most independents, and even some Democrats under the “Conservative” umbrella.

Perhaps the most inexplicable manifestation of this tendency is the need of Progressives to call weakness and indecision a sort of calm strength and reflection, or to call a complete and obvious lack of accomplishment and practical intelligence signs of unimaginable ability and prodigious intellectual depth. A case in point is a recent April 26 Washington Post article by Dana Milbank, titled “Obama, Lost in Thought.

Mr. Milbank begins, of course, with a gratuitous swipe at George W. Bush, bewailing his lot at now having to cover such a brilliant, enigmatic man as Barack Obama, compared to the ease of covering the simpleton Bush. It’s tempting to suspect that Milbank is engaging in parody. Surely he must be making fun of stereotypically befuddled Progressive thinking, but alas, too many of the common markers of that thinking are present. Milbank is serious:

“The political right is befuddled as it tries to explain him: First, Obama was a tyrant and a socialist; now he’s a weakling who refuses to lead. The political left is almost as confused, demanding to know why Obama gave away so much on health care and in budget negotiations. Nearly everybody puzzles over Obama’s ad hoc responses to Egypt, Libya and now Syria, grasping for a still-elusive Obama Doctrine.”

For the conservative, there is little head scratching. Socialism is a form of tyranny and it’s entirely possible for socialists to be weaklings and poor leaders. Communism has proved that over the bodies of untold millions. In truth, Mr. Obama has given away relatively little in health care and budget negotiations, but what he has given away is due to a complete lack of consistent principles and forethought. No Conservative is puzzling over his lack of leadership regarding Egypt, Libya and Syria, and no conservative is looking for a “still-elusive Obama Doctrine.” Conservatives know that Mr. Obama has no real principles, is not representing America’s interests, is an inexperienced weakling, and in fact has recently developed the brilliant mantra of “leading from behind” in foreign affairs. Mr Obama and his advisors apparently think that to be a brilliant strategy. Conservatives know it to be the very opposite of leadership.

To help the unenlightened (Conservatives) understand Mr. Obama, Mr. Milbank enlisted the aid of “three leading academics in the fields of psychology and behavior.” With their help, Mr. Milbank has explained it all for us: “There’s too much going on in the poor guy’s head.”

“What distinguishes Obama particularly is the depth and carefulness of his thinking, which renders him somewhat unfit for politics,” said Jonathan Haidt, a professor of social psychology at the University of Virginia. “He is a brilliant social and political analyst, which makes it harder for him to play hardball or to bluff.”

Obama’s strengths and weaknesses come from his high degree of “integrative complexity” — his ability to keep multiple variables and trade-offs in mind simultaneously. The integratively simple thinker — say, George W. Bush — has one universal organizing principle that dominates all others, while the integratively complex thinker — Obama — balances many competing goals.

“Philip Tetlock, a professor of psychology with the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, found that politicians on the center-left (where Obama dwells) tend to have the highest degree of integrative complexity...”

From this, Mr. Milbank extrapolates that Mr. Obama “would seem to be the very model of the complex thinker.” Mr. Milbank allows that simple thinkers, like Winston Churchill, have their occasional uses. His summation continues the theme:

“In an ideal world, complex and rational thought would be virtues. But in politics, these attributes can make Obama seem ambiguous, without toughness or principles. ‘It isn’t because he lacks a moral compass — it’s because he understands there are a lot of moral forces at play,’ U-Va.’s Haidt says. ‘This is why people get frustrated with him. The more of a partisan you are, the more simple-minded you are.’

What’s a complex guy to do? Simple. ‘It is important,’ Haidt says, “’for the president not to be rational and fully honest.’”

Ah! So that’s the problem! Mr. Obama has been too rational and “fully honest!” If only he would be more irrational and dishonest to the simple thinkers out there in flyover country, he wouldn’t so confuse them. Perhaps if we apply a bit of every day, Conservative analysis to the “problem” of Mr. Obama’s abilities and intellect, a better understanding can emerge.

Conservatives tend to judge people’s character, ability and intelligence on tangible, rather than supposed or assumed, accomplishments, past and present. Let’s begin with Mr. Obama’s term as President of the Harvard Law Review. This is a prestigious post indeed. Many Presidents of the Law Review have gone on to distinguished legal careers, but all have had one thing in common: A real record of legal scholarship and writing. There is substantial evidence that Mr. Obama was chosen for his status as a minority under an alternate procedure for filling the post, the more usual procedure considering only candidates of the highest academic rank and ability. But there is no doubt about one thing: Barack Obama produced not a single scholarly legal article for the the Harvard Law Review. This is most unusual--every other known Law Review President has contributed significant publications--and certainly does not indicate any degree of intelligence or ability as a writer, scholar or thinker.

Mr. Obama’s tenure teaching law at the University of Chicago is equally unrevealing of intellect and ability. Mr. Obama and his supporters have been less than precise in describing his time there, alluding to various formulations that would lead people to believe that he was a “constitutional law professor.” However, respected scholar Richard Epstein says otherwise:

“Obama applied for a position as an adjunct and wasn’t even considered. A few weeks later the law school got a phone call from the Board of Trustees telling them to find him an office, put him on the payroll, and give him a class to teach. The Board told him he didn’t have to be a member of the faculty, but they needed to give him a temporary position. He was never a professor and was hardly an adjunct.”

In academia, teaching rank is important and is taken seriously indeed. Unless one is a full professor, one does not, for a moment, claim that they are or allow anyone to believe that they are. Adjunct faculty are teachers who are hired, on a contractual per-class basis, to teach a limited number of classes. They may be fine teachers, but they have no benefits, little pay, no tenure and no tenure track. They commonly aren’t afforded so much as an office. So it appears clear that the “constitutional law professor, wasn’t actually a fully-fledged adjunct. Again, intellect, responsibility and ability are not present.

But what about Mr. Obama’s years as a “community organizer,” a vocation--if it can be called that--that has no apparent job description or qualifications. Legend has it that Mr. Obama selflessly labored for the good of the people of Chicago who were apparently in need of “organization.” There is no known record of actual accomplishment during those years, but there is one very interesting, and carefully concealed, matter: Mr. Obama’s only executive experience, his tenure as the Chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

Stanley Kurtz has been instrumental in exposing this issue. Hired by unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, with whom he worked closely despite his statements to the contrary, Mr. Obama led the CAC from 1995 to 1999 and remained on the board until 2001, shortly before it became defunct. Funded by the Annenberg Foundation, Mr. Obama was responsible for the finances of the CAC, whose declared purpose was to improve education in Chicago. During his tenure, Mr. Obama burned through $100 million dollars, handing it out in grants to other community organizers and radical education activists, and accomplished exactly nothing. Annenberg Foundation internal audits revealed not the slightest evidence of improvement in Chicago education for all of Mr. Obama’s efforts.

All of this has been studiously ignored by the mainstream media, and by Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign--and his administration since--despite persistent questions about his lack of executive experience and accomplishment. Considering the amount of money wasted and the utter lack of accomplishment, that’s hardly surprising. No conservative would consider such utter failure to be anything other than utter failure, and surely would not consider it to be revealing of “integratively complex thinking.”

Mr. Obama’s eight years in the Illinois State Senate where he repeatedly voted “present” in an apparent attempt to leave no political fingerprints, and his very brief term in the US Senate (which time he nearly entirely spent running for president), are commonly known for their utter lack of real legislative accomplishment. His 20 years as a parishioner in the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church, a church steeped in black liberation theology and all of its trappings of Marxism, racism, paranoid conspiracy theories and outright hatred do not speak to intelligence or integrity, particularly when Mr. Obama admitted to attending hundreds of services, yet claimed to know nothing of Rev. Wright’s true beliefs.

Mr. Obama’s teleprompter readings have become the stuff of legend among the media and progressives, yet without his teleprompter, without a script to read, Mr. Obama is commonly halting and tongue-tied, and particularly mistake prone, as when he claimed to have visited 57 states, or more recently claimed that Texas has always been Republican controlled. Mr. Obama’s liberties with history are the stuff of legend, and again, tend not to convince Conservatives that he is, as he has been breathlessly billed, the most intelligent man ever to occupy the Oval Office.

As the inevitable burdens of the office have manifested themselves, Mr. Obama has proved unequal to the task. In foreign affairs, he insults America’s friends and embraces her enemies. He cannot bring himself to name our enemy in a war over the future of civilization, and while claiming to be Christian--a claim that Conservatives--and most Americans--tend to take at face value--his actions show a highly unusual and unconcealed support for all things Islamic. Take, for example, his complete snubbing of Easter in 2011. Take also his meddling in the ongoing conflict between the Palestinians and Israel where even Mr. Abbas has admitted that Mr. Obama’s intervention has been destructive to, rather than supportive of, peace. His statements and actions in the most recent Middle Eastern/African upheavals have been not only directly contradictory, but fundamentally incoherent.

It is on the domestic front that the fundamental difference in the Progressive and Conservative approaches to problem solving and significant issues are most clearly seen and most keenly felt. Gasoline prices--and everything related to them--are skyrocketing, as candidate Obama hoped, and Mr. Obama’s response has been to blame George W. Bush, Republicans, to wage class warfare, and to relentlessly push “green” technologies that don’t exist and/or cannot possibly replace oil. Despite sitting on the largest energy reserves in the world, Mr. Obama chooses to repeat the lie that we have only a fraction of the reserves, and his bureaucrats are constantly frustrating exploration and development of those reserves while helping Brazil produce oil--so American can buy it from them--and loaning billions to Columbia to upgrade a petroleum refinery while no American refinery has been built since the 1980s.

While America faces an unprecedented budget crisis, a crisis in large part brought on by Mr. Obama’s incredibly profligate spending, he implements a health care entitlement that was unsustainable before he signed it, and wants only to implement even greater taxes, more borrowing and more spending.

So we are left with a fundamental conflict. Progressives see all that I have outlined here--and far more--and see a man possessed of great intellect, a careful, deliberative thinker whose intellectual processes are so advanced, so unfathomably complex that he cannot be adequately understood and appreciated by lesser beings. His entire lack of conventional accomplishments, the fact that the common, routine records of so much of his past, records that can be easily found for anyone else, are essentially invisible and impossible to find or access is, for the Progressive, compelling evidence of Mr. Obama’s unique, extra-human status.

Conservatives, as Progressives commonly assert, are much more simple, less nuanced beings. They look at Mr. Obama’s lack of accomplishment, his almost non-existent grasp of the facts and lessons of history, his dithering, his pouring of gasoline on our national financial fire, and his utter failure in foreign affairs as clear evidence of inability, a lack of experience, an inability--indeed an unwillingness--to learn from experience, and simplistically foolish rather than complex thinking.

“It is important,” Haidt says, “for the president not to be rational and fully honest.” Few conservatives would argue with the proposition that Mr. Obama has taken Professor Haidt’s advice. Even so, Progressives will still tend to be uncomfortable with reality and rational solutions to problems. If they win in 2012, and one of the visions I’ve presented will win, Americans will almost certainly be introduced to discomfort few can truly imagine. One need not be an “integratively complex thinker” to understand that simple truth.

Posted by MikeM at 09:57 PM | Comments (1)

Think Progress: Those Hicks Deserved to Die

Despite the "COEXIST" bumper stickers on their cars, Obama's water-carriers at Think Progress are awfully eliminationist when it comes to their fellow man.

Storms Kill Over 250 Americans In States Represented By Climate Pollution Deniers

Today, news agencies are still tallying reports of deaths from the most devastating storm system in the United States in decades:

Dozens of massive tornadoes tore a town-flattening streak across the South, killing at least 250 people in six states and forcing rescuers to carry some survivors out on makeshift stretchers of splintered debris. Two of Alabama's major cities were among the places devastated by the deadliest twister outbreak in nearly 40 years.


"Given that global warming is unequivocal," climate scientist Kevin Trenberth cautioned the American Meteorological Society in January of this year, "the null hypothesis should be that all weather events are affected by global warming rather than the inane statements along the lines of 'of course we cannot attribute any particular weather event to global warming.'"

The congressional delegations of these states — Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia, and Kentucky — overwhelmingly voted to reject the science that polluting the climate is dangerous. They are deliberately ignoring the warnings from scientists.

An interesting perspective, isn't it? According to Think Progress, hundreds of Americans deserved to die because the majority of voters in their congressional districts elected what Think Progress supposes are the wrong representatives.

The thousands of quake fatalities in Japan and the hundreds of thousands of dead from the Boxing Day tsunami of several years ago are also obviously the fault of these rubes from Tuscaloosa according to Think Progress' logic.

They still haven't come up with an explanation for Detroit, but they're working on it.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:19 AM | Comments (3)

April 27, 2011

Obama's Long-Form Birth Certificate

It's a trap!

Update: I adjusted the title because as William Jacobson points out, this looks like it may be an original of Obama's short-form birth certificate, not a long-form certificate.

And no, I don't know the difference. Nor do I care.

What I do find amusing is Jacobson's observation that the media pundits and so-called news organizations that claimed Obama couldn't get his long-form birth certificate are full of crap, if this does indeed happen to be the long-form document.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:28 AM | Comments (11)

April 26, 2011

An Explosive Automotive Debut

As regular readers know, I have been writing on the Chevy Volt for some time. Site search under “Chevy Volt” if you’re interested in reading my previous scribblings. I’ve been accused of being a modern Luddite, but in truth, I have nothing at all against electric or hybrid vehicles, unless my taxes are building and subsidizing them, as is the case with General Motors. Any private corporation that wants to build such vehicles (Nissan with their Leaf, for example), to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket. That said, it is one of the missions of CY to expose foolishness and waste, particularly where government is involved. But before I continue, visit here for an explosive tale of the Volt in the real world. More on that later.

The Chevy Volt is, for those requiring a quick review, a soap opera parody of government inefficiency. It’s a brilliant, pseudo-advanced technology solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. A $41,000 dollar MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) compact car selling for as much as $65,000, the Volt will travel in the real world only about 25 miles on a single charge, after which its weak gasoline engine--which requires premium fuel--takes over, providing no better mileage than a great many conventional vehicles.

And speaking of soap opera parodies, at the 2011 New York Auto Show, the Volt was named the 2011 “World Green Car.” Beating out the Volt for 2011 “World Car Of The Year” honors was the Nissan Leaf, a truly all-electric, let the juice run out and you have a wheeled weight set, car. Apparently some 66 “jurors” make such decisions. All of this just goes to show you that, as Lilly Tomlin said, no matter how cynical you get, it’s impossible to keep up.

Chevy originally billed the vehicle as a sort of super-electric car with a 50 mile range, and claimed that the wheels would never be driven by anything as crude as the onboard gasoline engine, which would only be used to generate electrical power--though this process was never clearly explained--to somehow propel the vehicle electrically. As early Volts were allowed out for independent tests, Chevy had to admit that the Volt is really nothing more than a needlessly complex hybrid, but a hybrid costing a great deal more than other hybrids on the market. When the charge level drops too low, the gasoline engine does indeed directly drive the wheels, as it was designed to do from the very beginning. In other words, Chevy was engaging in what the common folk often refer to as “lying.” Chevy also revised its all-electric mileage figure down to 40 miles, but neglected to mention that was the high end, under-ideal-conditions only estimate.

Current owners and longer-term testers are discovering that in the real world, where drivers do blatantly extravagant things like carry passengers and cargo, use lights, air conditioning, turn signals, the radio and frivolous accessories like that, all-electric range is much closer to 25 miles. Another major problem that Chevy has glossed over is the indisputable fact that batteries, even enormous, expensive (somewhere either side of $8000) hi-tech batteries like that of the Volt, lose power and capacity in cold climates. If it’s cold enough, and substantial portions of the US are at least part of the year, batteries are rendered virtually useless. Standard car batteries are not a good comparison because they need retain only enough charge to spin a starter motor while the Volt’s battery must propel a multi-thousand pound vehicle and everyone and everything in it down the road. In the cold, all-electric range dips below 25 miles, often far below, and it is the promise of cheap electrically driven miles that provides the hopelessly optimistic combined mileage figures that Chevy and the EPA have trumpeted. Even with an all-electric range of 40 miles, the Volt is still nothing to write home about, particularly when the purchase price is considered, but more about that later too.

But this is not the only cold weather problem. Owner reports indicate that the Volt’s cabin heater is quite weak. Considering that electric heaters draw considerable current, this is hardly surprising--the Volt uses a specially developed low-current draw Bose stereo system--but again, Chevy, like the Government, tends not to trumpet its bugs unless it is calling them features.

The potentially worst part of the Volt is the battery itself. Lithium-ion batteries contain chemicals that, if allowed to combine through even a pinhole, have the distressing tendency to violently burst into flame. A quick visit to Google will provide a great many articles and entertaining videos of lithium-ion battery fires and explosions(!). In addition, to develop enough power to propel the Volt, its battery contains substantial electrical power, more than enough to seriously injure or kill unwary paramedics or mechanics who do not have the knowledge and proper safety equipment and tools to deal with a wounded Volt.

The link at the beginning of this article tells the sad story of a Volt immolating itself. In Barkhamsted, Connecticut, Storm and Dee Connors were awakened by a smoke alarm one recent morning at 0400. Firefighters put out the blaze and a firewall between the house and garage saved the Connors’ home. The insurance company and state fire marshalls believe that the Volt was responsible for the blaze. A few days later, the fire department had to return; the Volt had again caught fire, apparently in its battery.
At the moment, what’s know is that Connors had another electric vehicle, a self-converted Suzuki Samurai, in the garage with the Volt, and both were charging. Apparently the Samurai had been operated for some two years without difficulties until the arrival of the Volt. GM personnel have examined the Volt and their initial statements suggest--not surprisingly--that the Volt was not to blame, but local fire officials have yet to make a final pronouncement on the cause.

Is this absolute proof that Volts are going to regularly spontaneously combust? Certainly not, and the investigation into the cause of both fires is ongoing. However, understanding the technology of the Volt’s battery, it is entirely possible that the Volt is the cause. It’s not known if the Connors had the optional. $2000 dollar, 220V “fast” charger installed in their garage. That charger cuts the 110V wall outlet charging from 10-12 hours down to 4-6 hours. Oh, Chevy didn’t mention the cost of that charger in its promotional materials? Imagine that.

So what we have is a ridiculously expensive compact car with not-ready-for-prime-time technology, technology which may never work as it is intended, and with no identifiable market, being built by a taxpayer supported company that the government had to bail out of bankruptcy. But wait, there’s more! If you buy a Volt, the Federal government will give you a $7500 tax credit (there goes more of my money)! And the Feds are in the process of eliminating the bother of the tax credit; they’re just going to have Chevy dealers hand out the cash at the point of sale. Isn’t that nice?

So the Volt is a very expensive product in search of a market. But praise the Lord and pass the charging cable, there is a market after all! General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt has pledged that GE will buy somewhere between 12,000 and 50,000 Volts. By the way, Immelt is also one of Mr. Obama’s primary economic advisors, and GE also manufactures the charging stations that will have to crop up like crabgrass across the nation if electric vehicles are ever to be even remotely viable. And all of this marvelous technological advancement, gentle readers, is coming out of your pockets.

So call me anti-technology, call me anti-government, say I’m trying to kill children, women, the elderly, and adorable puppies and kittens, but at least admit that the Volt might not be the brightest idea an American auto company ever foisted on the public, and for many good reasons. Perhaps the best reason is the cost. Putting aside the high initial purchase price, it’s almost impossible for the Volt to make fiscal sense by means of saving gas.

For most people, the MSRP of $41,000 places the Volt well out of consideration. To better understand why the Volt is priced out of any reasonable market, let’s compare two vehicles designed with high mileage in mind, the Ford Fiesta, and of course, the Volt. A well-equipped Fiesta will retail for $20,000, and just to be as fair as possible, let’s compare it with a Volt at the MSRP of $41,000. Subtract the government subsidy of $7500, but add the cost of a fast charger at $2000, and the difference between the two vehicles is $15,500. It’s reasonable to add in the fast charger cost as very few people will be satisfied with a 12 hour recharge time, and if you can afford the Volt in the first place, an extra couple of thousand likely won’t be an issue. Also notice that I have not added in the installation costs of the charger, which could run from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

As it happens, I am the satisfied, proud owner of a Ford Fiesta (Dear Ford Motor Company: Please feel free to provide me with lifetime service and repair, free of charge. I’m in your database. Thank you.), which gets 31 MPG in everyday driving (40 highway). Please keep in mind that I was born without the math gene. I aced my college math courses on basic scholarship ability, but I do not look at equations and see the inherent beauty and wonder of the universe, so if I make any math mistakes, please, gentle readers, help me out. Just for ease of calculation, and to be as fair as possible to the Volt, let’s assume that the Fiesta will get 30 MPG. Figure that each vehicle will travel 10,000 miles in a year, and that the cost of gas will be $3.80 per gallon. Why $3.80? That’s about what it is as this is being written, and again, that’s fair to the Volt. As fuel costs rise, things do not get better for Chevy, as you’ll see.

So, 10,000 miles divided by 30 MPG equals 333 gallons of gas, times $3.80, and the fuel cost for driving that distance in a year for the Fiesta is $1265. To be ridiculously fair to the Volt, let’s assume that it’s combined electric/premium gasoline range yields the equivalent of 90 MPG, three times that of the Fiesta. So 10,000 miles divided by 90 MPG equals 111 gallons, times $3.80, and the fuel cost for the Volt is $422. Subtract $422 from $1265 and the Volt saves $843 per year in fuel compared to the the Fiesta! Pretty impressive, right? Maybe Ford had better hold off on that lifetime service and repair support.

Now let’s see how long it will take the Volt driver to break even in terms of money saved in fuel costs. Remember that the up-front cost difference between the Ford and Chevy is $15,500. Divide that by $843, and it will take 18 years(?!) to break even. Just to be ridiculously fair to the Volt, let’s assume that it gets 120 MPG, four times better mileage than the Ford. By that calculation, the Volt’s per year fuel cost is a miserly $315, a $950 per year savings, but again, that $15,500 difference is pretty stubborn, and it would still take 16 years to break even. Remember, that’s to break even, not to save a single penny on fuel. Just for fun, let’s give the Volt a combined MPG figure of 200 MPG. It would still take 14 years to break even.

Keep in mind that I’m not considering the cost of electricity which would only make the Volt more expensive to operate and add time to the break-even period. And of course, it’s not possible to calculate such things as pride of ownership or whatever reduction in overall emissions a Volt might provide, even if we ignore that extra pollution produced by the power plants making the electricity that will drive the Volt, the pollution caused by the manufacturing process, the dangerous chemicals in the Volt’s lithium-ion battery making special, expensive disposal procedures necessary, etc.

One of the biggest problems in making such calculations is there is no practical experience with a vehicle like the Volt. We have no real idea how to calculate a reasonably accurate MPG equivalency, rendering the EPA’s window sticker unicorn horns and fairy dust. Electricity and fuel prices vary over time, which makes things even more difficult, and because its gas engine requires premium fuel, driving the Volt with that engine is, mile for mile, more expensive. Even if an owner is careful to never drive the Volt with gas power, that presents its own set of problems such as deteriorating gasoline and corrosion of parts and seals, and very few people could afford such an inflexible vehicle, particularly if they could not afford a second, conventional vehicle to make up for the obvious shortcomings of the Volt. But as you can see, even with figures that in every way favor the Volt, it makes no fiscal sense for most people, but that’s not the only related problem.

Relatively few people keep a car for even ten years. Let’s assume that our Volt owner trades his Volt for a new car after eight years. At that point, even if we assume that the dealer will price the Volt to sell as a conventional used vehicle that is eight years old, rather than a high-priced curiosity, the Volt’s battery will be nearing or at the end of its life. Who is going to buy a used Volt when they’ll likely have to pay more to replace its battery any day than they paid to buy the entire car? Chevy is claiming that Volt batteries will last a decade and cost only about $8000 to replace, but any battery wears out more quickly with more frequent charge/discharge cycles, so in effect, the more you use the all-electric capability of the Volt, the more quickly you’ll need to replace its very expensive battery. Even as a used car, the Volt has unique, insurmountable problems.

But ah, you say, a Volt will never travel 10,000 miles in a year! It’s not designed for that. You may very well be correct, but if so, you’re admitting that the Volt is not a practical car, a car capable of anything from commuting to work, taking a short trip, to driving across the nation on the spur of the moment. If it’s not capable of all of this, it truly is nothing more than a political exercise, and/or a novelty car for those who can afford its hefty price tag and lack of daily practicality while still maintaining a sufficient number of conventional vehicles for the real business of daily driving.

Any bets as to how long the Volt production line will operate if Mr. Obama loses the White House in 2012? They’ll probably have to open Yucca Mountain after all. Not to store nuclear waste, but to store expended Volt batteries, which have the very real potential to, over time, deteriorate, catch fire and even explode. That sort of thing just might pick your pocket or break your leg.

Posted by MikeM at 11:01 PM | Comments (2)

April 22, 2011

Messaging Republican Racism

“There you go again,” Ronald Reagan famously said to Jimmy Carter during a 1980 debate. The quip, which generated many laughs, quickly became part of American political lore as a witty response to tired, often recycled political boilerplate. It is in that spirit that I respond to an April 17 article by Mr. Ruben Navarrette Jr. posted at Pajamas Media (here) titled “A Roadmap on Immigration for 2012.”

Ruben Navarrette, for readers not familiar with his work, is very much a pro-immigration writer who can’t seem to stop accusing Republicans of racism for daring to suggest that immigration laws already on the books ought to be enforced. I’ve earlier responded to one of his articles (here) wherein he claimed that anyone who opposed illegal immigration must necessarily also oppose legal immigration and therefore, hate foreigners, and particularly “brown” people.

Mr. Navarrette’s theme, on first glance, would appear to be the relatively innocuous idea that Republicans ought to adopt “messaging” more pleasing to Latino ears for the 2012 election. Quoting Meg Whitman, who was defeated by Democrat Jerry “Governor Moonbeam” Brown in the recent race for California governor, Navarrette put forth the idea that Republicans should think and speak differently about immigration, taking credit for having championed that idea for years.

Put aside the lack of wisdom and honesty inherent in adopting the Obamian calculus of substituting “messaging” for truth, steadfast principles and effective public policy. Such is the worst and most deceptive form or pandering. The deeper themes of Mr. Navarette’s essay are easy to detect and are of a piece with much of his writing on immigration, particularly his stereotypical portrayal of Republicans, and even of Latinos. The most prominent themes here seem to be:

(1) All Latinos think alike on immigration-related issues and should therefore be approached as a monolithic class/voting block aligned with and beholden to the progressive left.

(2) Republicans are inherently anti-immigrant and particularly hostile toward Latinos. They just can’t help themselves.

(3) Republicans are irredeemably racist and nativist; it’s in their DNA.

(4) Republicans are dishonest and lack candor in dealing with immigration issues.

(5) The interests of labor unions and Latinos are inextricably intertwined.

Said Mr. Navarette:

"I think that Republicans have to figure out how to even talk about immigration without sounding like one of the characters from The Wizard of Oz. Most of the time, on this issue, Republicans either come across like the Scarecrow (no brain), the Tin Man (no heart), or the Cowardly Lion (no courage)."

Mr. Navarrette’s choice of the Scarecrow is particularly apt as he erects many Republican straw men to flail. But let’s allow Mr. Navarrette to extend his argument:

"No brain: Rather than think deeply about illegal immigration and how to control it, as well as how to fix the immigration system so more people can come to the United States legally, some Republicans merely recite bumper sticker slogans like 'Deport all illegals' or 'Seal the border.'"

The construction “some Republicans” is a rather lazy way to indict all for the unspecified and unsupported statements of a few, or the none. Presumably those Republicans who have suggested that our borders must first be effectively controlled before reasoned debate can take place are incapable of “deep” thought. While bumper stickers don’t allow much room for florid prose, they can express profound, even “deep” ideas. The bumper sticker sentiments obviously unappreciated by Mr. Navarrette are merely, for a substantial number of Americans--Latinos included--reflections of rational reality rather than expressions of racist animosity.

"No heart: Rather than see the current debate as simply an extension of a conversation that has been going on since the late 1770s when Benjamin Franklin warned that German immigrants would ruin the young nation, some Republicans still portray the immigrants of today as inferior or dangerous."

No doubt some Democrats wear tinfoil hats because they believe that George W. Bush is beaming mysterious Halliburton rays into their brains, but making that allegation is no more useful to the current debate than observing that Ben Franklin was somehow concerned about German immigrants in the 1700s. I’ve little doubt that some of the Founding Fathers made kindly statements about slavery, but referencing them does not establish an unbroken line of pro-slavery sentiment to contemporary Americans of any political party.

"No courage: Rather than admit the obvious – that illegal immigrants only come to the United States because there are U.S. employers here who hire them, some Republicans steer clear of proposing employer sanctions for fear of angering their supporters and benefactors in the business community."

I suspect it might be hard to find any Republican who fails to understand or who is unwilling to acknowledge the connection between US jobs and illegal immigration. And while Mr. Navarrette’s point that some Republicans don’t ardently advocate employer sanctions is likely true, a great many do, and more think controlling the border a necessary first step before any other facets of a potentially comprehensive immigration policy can be meaningfully discussed or enacted. Taking such issues out of logical order takes no courage, rather, it demonstrates a remarkable lack of logic and the ability to prioritize.

Mr. Navarrette’s concern for Republican fortunes might be touching were he not so apparently a doctrinaire man of the left. He raises many of the familiar tropes, suggesting that Republicans want to do away with the 14th Amendment to eliminate birthright citizenship (an issue ripe for sincere and reasoned debate), that they care about the security of only the southern border, and that they hate American workers, which hatred they demonstrate by “trying to weaken labor unions in states like Wisconsin,” labor union primacy being apparently a self-evident and undeniable good. I have obviously been laboring under the apparently false impression that working Americans who choose not be union members are also “American workers.” If Mr. Navarrette is to be believed, I am wrong.

His pre-summation could have been written by cutting and pasting from past columns. He can’t resist casting all Republicans in the worst possible--to a progressive--light:

"...Republicans can’t seem to talk about the immigration issue in a candid and honest way that eschews racism, acknowledges labor needs, and holds everyone accountable. The message is bad, and the tone is worse. It’s always us vs them, with Latinos on the “them” side."

Such statements are essentially self-refuting, but the only dichotomy most Republicans concerned with immigration issues see with reasonable unanimity is Americans--native born or naturalized--vs those illegally in the country. In other words, people whose mere presence on US soil renders them, by definition, in violation of American law. Race doesn’t enter into it. There is no racial component to a violation of immigration law. You’re either here legally or not. It is Mr. Navarrette who reflexively projects racial animus on those who do not agree with his policy wishes.

Helpfully, Mr. Navarette offers his suggestions for the 2012 Republican candidate’s pro-Latino messaging. However, his suggestions seem to indicate that he has been in suspended animation for decades, unaware of what Republicans--and others--have been doing and saying. One is almost tempted to think some of his suggestions something of a parody.

"(1) talk about how it’s unfair for illegal immigrants to jump the line when others have had to play by the rules and wait their turn;"

Where has Mr. Navarrette been? Any fair-minded American who supports the rule of law has been making this point for decades.

"(2) admit that Americans won’t do the jobs that illegal immigrants do at any price, and explain that this is why we need a guest worker program;"

Particularly considering the current state of the economy, this assertion may be just a bit suspect, but Republicans--John McCain comes to mind--have been proposing various guest work programs for years. It is no doubt true that many Republicans would oppose Senator McCain in this, but their opposition tends to be far more about details than the concept.

"(3) stress that some of the estimated 10.3 million illegal immigrants in the United States should have a pathway to earned legal status if they meet conditions, including returning to their home country to be processed for legal reentry;"

Again, this has been an integral part of many Republican, and Democrat, immigration proposals for many years.

"(4) call for harsh penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants and make sure they’re enforced since we’ll never fix this problem unless we attack it at the roots;"

Mr. Navarrette doesn’t know that this too has been repeatedly proposed?

"(5) promise a complete overhaul of the system by which immigrants can legally migrate to the United States so we can bring in more of them through the front door and do it a lot quicker than we do now; and"

Mr. Navarrette’s true agenda surfaces. Many Republicans would have a bit of a problem with this one, for no other reason than that without a positively controlled border, an overhaul of any kind is doomed to failure. There is also the small matter of debating how much legal immigration is a good thing. Bringing in more people much more quickly is not exactly a winning scheme, nor is it sane immigration policy for any political party. Americans do, after all, have the responsibility and authority to regulate immigration for the welfare of all Americans. No nation is morally required to admit anyone who violates the law by illegally crossing a border, southern or otherwise. To expect and allow less is to surrender national identity and sovereignty. Surely Mr. Navarrette doesn’t intend this?

"(6) condemn in no uncertain terms the racism and nativism that poison this debate and threaten to make the Republican Party obsolete before the end of the century."

Racism? Nativism? For thinking the rule of law a good thing? For expecting that the law should be fairly and uniformly enforced? For believing that American citizenship is valuable, something to be earned and cherished?

Mr. Navarrette concludes:

"This is the only roadmap for 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls to survive the pitfalls of the immigration debate. Every other path leads to the political margins and to eventual defeat."

Mr. Navarrette is correct, but only if all of his assumptions are correct. Only if all Latinos think and vote entirely alike and have little or no respect for national sovereignty. Only if all Latinos believe approximately half of Americans to be racist and nativist, dishonest and devoid of candor, and only if Mr. Navarrette’s straw man portrait of Republicans is entirely accurate.

In his essay “Ronald Reagan at 100,” Mr. Reagan’s former speechwriter Clark Judge writes:

"Former Reagan aide and speechwriter, now California congressman, Dana Rohrabacher, tells of a campaign stop involving a grade school class of blind children. After reporters had left for their bus, Reagan stayed behind and asked the teacher if the children would like to feel his face. The teacher said they would be thrilled. So for a few minutes, without publicity, the children got to "see" him in the only way they could."

Mr. Reagan didn’t care about the children’s race, and they didn’t care about his. Mr. Reagan was a success, a man who led American to success, not because he pandered to “activists” who would call him racist and nativist, not because he saw people as monolithic classes and voting blocks, but because he saw them as individuals and took the time to care for individuals, even blind children in a single classroom. He stood for the rule of law, American sovereignty and exceptionalism, and he believed in the inherent goodness of the American people. Mr. Reagan remains, in death as in life, the face of Republicans, of Americans. That, not Mr. Navarette’s prescription, is the path to the hearts of Latinos, to the hearts of all Americans and all those who sincerely wish to become Americans. It is these that all people of good will support and welcome. Many of them might even be Republicans.

Immigrants don’t come to America because of all of the faults Mr. Navarrette ascribes to its people, do they? If so, buying his prescription for Republican success will be America’s eventual dissolution.

Posted by MikeM at 10:34 PM | Comments (2)

Obama's Energy Lunacy

Go here to read my latest post that the good folks at Pajama Media have been kind enough to print (so to speak). It's about how Mr. Obama is using the Chevy Volt as a part of his policy of economic debilitation for America.

Posted by MikeM at 12:05 AM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2011

Building A Badly Maintained Bridge To Winning The Future

And so it begins, not with a bang, but with more lies than can be easily counted. Mr. Obama was on the campaign trail on April 18, jetting about the nation to perform in contrived “town hall” events. Go here to see a clip from the “town hall” At Northern Virginia Community College in Annendale, VA that includes some of his most blatantly false and offensive comments.

It was classic Obama: transparent claims to understand the lives of the little people and their economic woes, class warfare, the kind of smug superiority that is his trademark, and a glib ease with telling the most obvious and easily disproved lies. Its hard to know why Mr. Obama flings such falsehoods. Does he truly believe that because he’s Barack Obama, anything he says is, by the mere fact that he utters it, true? Is he really so ignorant of so much? Does he believe that, as always, others, including the media, will cover for him? Or perhaps he’s so arrogant that he doesn’t care what’s true and what isn’t because he believes he’s untouchable. Perhaps it’s an “all of the above” situation.

Mr. Obama’s theme was that Republican budget cutting would reduce America to third world status by destroying infrastructure denied maintenance. His most egregiously false example was the collapse of the Minneapolis St. Anthony Falls bridge in August of 2007. Mr. Obama used it as an example of a lack of maintenance, implying that much worse would come if Republicans had their way.

But facts are stubborn things. The NTSB concluded that the bridge collapsed due to a design defect. In fact, major maintenance was being done on the bridge when it collapsed, killing 13. Short of blaming the collapse of the bridge on George W. Bush--I assume that’s next--Mr. Obama could not have told a more outrageous lie, a lie dancing on the graves of those killed in the collapse of the bridge. Presidents normally have fact checkers for their speeches. Mr. Obama, not so much.

It was only a week ago during his budget speech that wasn’t really a budget speech that Mr. Obama proclaimed that the wealthy are more than happy to fork over a great deal more of their wealth to the Government, but they just haven’t been asked yet. I’m certain that, unlike most of his promises, Mr. Obama fully intends to keep his implied promise to ask. Yet, at the “town hall,” Mr. Obama said, “nobody volunteers and says ‘I’m just wild to pay more taxes.’” So which is it Mr. Obama? Are people wild to pay more or not wild to pay more? Perhaps it all depends on who is asking--or not--or something.

To be absolutely fair to the President, he had just finished telling the common folk that even he was taken aback after reviewing his own tax return. No doubt, he was merely showing the crowd that he was truly one of them before getting around to asking them for more tax revenue, contradictions be damned.

The bridge was only a warmup, as Mr. Obama observed that “our roads, our bridges, our sewer systems are all deteriorating.” Mr. Obama went on to produce a vision of America as a land of potholes from seas to shining sea. Fortunately, bits of infrastructure such as roads, bridges, sewers and potholes are almost entirely maintained locally rather than through the federal bureaucracy. Were the opposite true, there really would be potholes from coast to coast.

Perhaps the most faux-touching moment occurred when Mr. Obama, with a tone of self-evident shame and disgust, observed that “we don’t even have a serious high speed rail infrastructure in this country.” Too true. We also don’t have an infrastructure of the kinds of air-driven capsules you see in bank drive-ups to transport folks around the nation, but then again, it--like high speed rail--would make no practical or fiscal sense, and Americans don’t want either.

Fortunately, Mr. Obama cannot help but to reveal himself from time to time, as he did with the unfortunate Joe the Plumber when he revealed his core belief in wealth redistribution. At the faux town hall, he did it again: “I want to live in a society that’s fair...because it improves my life.”

Most Americans want government to keep the peace, enforce the law, provide for the common defense, and stay out of their way so that they have the opportunity to improve their life. They know that not everything is fair. Even Jimmy Carter admitted that, and he was attacked by a rabbit in a rowboat. The freedom to overcome diversity, the reality that success is, with hard work and determination, possible, is truly the American way.

Mr. Obama, however, envisions a “fair” society, a society that improves his life. Notice the passive voice. This is not merely lazy grammar. Like all statists, Mr. Obama really does believe that it is the job of government to provide. Of course, such provision will have to be rationed and apportioned according to the dictates of the elite who alone are fit to make such decisions, all in the name of fairness, of course.

Well. Society has certainly “improved” Mr. Obama’s life. I fact, I think it’s the patriotic duty of all Americans, as Vice President Biden might say, to improve it even more. After all, Mr. Obama has done so much to us. Let’s help him live his true calling: golf. Let’s ensure that society is truly fair for Mr. Obama and see that in January of 2013, he has the opportunity to be all that he can be. It’s the American way.

Posted by MikeM at 05:41 PM | Comments (3)

April 20, 2011

Quick Takes, April 20, 2011

ITEM: Is This Cool Or What? Department. From Hot Air (here) comes the news of the first successful test of an anti-ballistic missile system using an integrated systems approach. A missile was tracked from great range by a variety of integrated systems, including the Aegis Destroyer “USS O’Kane,” which fired the interceptor missile that shot down the target. Extra credit points for anyone who know for whom the O’Kane was named (no fair googling!) Answer at the end of the QTs.

ITEM: Is This Cool or What Too? Department: Go here for a short video of a test-firing of a practical, ship-mounted railgun in which General Atomics fired an aerodynamic sabot projectile for seven kilometers--after it punched through a steel plate at Mach 5! Propelled by powerful electromagnets, such projectiles destroy through kinetic energy rather than any application of explosives. Functional systems could be installed on US warships in less than a decade.

ITEM: By now, most Americans have seen a photograph (here) of crack TSA agents at the new Orleans airport frisking a blonde terrorist—a blonde, six year old, little girl terrorist who, if a photograph is sufficiently revealing, could scarcely have successfully concealed a piece of paper under her clothing. Regular readers know of my police background. I cannot conceive of any situation under which this particular child, or any such child, could be suspected of being a terrorist threat. Fortunately, I was not there. I fear that the child molester in government uniform would have experienced a rather more intense form of touching. When Ronald Reagan said “The most terrifying words in the English language are” ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help,’” he was more prescient than he could have possibly imagined.

ITEM: Cosmic Irony Department: A bill that would require all presidential candidates to prove their US citizenship has been sent to the desk of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (here). If the bill is signed, Arizona would be among the first states to make proof of citizenship a requirement for placement on the ballot. Considering Mr. Obama’s war on Arizona for the shocking offense of daring to enforce the nation’s immigration laws, there is a certain delicious irony in this. Discuss. UPDATE: The bill was vetoed by Governor Brewer; no news on a potential override as this is posted.

ITEM: Birther Redux: At Pajamas Media (here) David Solway explains why we should all just quit worrying about Mr. Obama’s birth bona fides and go with the spiritual flow. Hallelujah brothers!

ITEM: Continuing Tales Of The Religion of Peace: According to the AP via Fox News (here), the brutally beaten body of Vittorio Arragoni, 36, an Italian “pro-Palestinian activist” was found, hanged, in an abandoned Gaza Strip apartment a few hours after he was kidnapped by an Islamist group. Hamas, of course, blamed Israel: “Such an awful crime cannot take place without arrangements between all the parties to keep the blockade imposed on Gaza, said a Hamas “leader” Mahmoud Zahar. Remember, gentle readers, that it is these people with whom Mr. Obama reflexively sympathizes and whom he supports against our ally, Israel. Imagine what such peaceful people would do to someone who was not a pro-Palestinian activist.

ITEM: Political cartoons can be either stale political partisanship or brilliantly satirical and devoid of partisanship. A fine example of the latter by Nate Beeler of the Washington Examiner (Via Hot Air, here) is worthy of mention. By the way, what Sir Barack is holding is the scalpel he has sworn to use to brilliantly dissect the budget dragon.

ITEM: Louis Renault Award of the Week: Yes Ladies and Gentlemen, the much-coveted Louis Renault Award goes to Sen. Harry Reid (D-State of Perpetual Nastiness and Confusion), who in 2006 said: “Why is it right to increase our nation's dependence on foreign creditors? Democrats won't be making an argument to support this legalization [raising the budget ceiling], which will weaken our country.” According to ABC News (here), Mr. Reid is now “embarrassed” that he said that, calling it a “political” statement designed to oppose Mr. Bush. Hmm. “Political statement?” I believe the common folk would refer to that sort of thing as a “lie.” I’m shocked, shocked! to discover that a United States Senator would lie about such a thing, truly! OK, OK, so I’m lying…

NOTE: For those not familiar with Louis Renault, he is a police captain in the classic Humphrey Bogart film, “Casa Blanca.” He confronts Bogart’s Rick, saying that he is shocked, shocked! to discover that gambling is occurring at Rick’s Place. The words are no sooner out of his mouth than one of Rick’s employees hands Renault a stack of cash saying “Here are your winnings, Captain.” Renault thanks him, pockets the cash and continues with his faux outrage without missing a beat.

Item: Louise Renault Award Honorable Mention: The Washington Examiner (here) reports that on April 14, every Senate Democrat rejected killing ObamaCare funding. The vote was 47 to 53, and was strictly party-line. I was shocked, shocked! to learn this. The Examiner notes that Sen. Joe Manchin (D. WV) won a special election last year by portraying himself as an independent, even saying he would vote for repeal of ObamaCare. Hmm. It would appear that Mr. Manchin and the other Senate Dems learned even less than seems humanly possible from the last Congressional election. Even Pavlov’s dogs would seem to be more capable of learning, and they drool just as well as Dems when given the proper stimulus. The 2012 election will be interesting on more levels than most previously thought. Discuss.

ITEM: In light of Mr. Obama’s recent suggestion that wealthy people are just aching to give more of their money to the government, but have not done so because Mr. Obama hasn’t asked them, it may be time to revisit a simple concept: Charity. For the benefit of our readers, charity occurs when a citizen willingly and altruistically gives of their assets to help another. When the government demands it, that’s taxation. The IRS doesn’t “ask.” Discuss.

ITEM: Democrats Are All About The New Civility: And lying, don’t forget lying! At the Daily Caller (here) we find a charming little story about Keith Olbermann, who tweeted (Twittered? Twitted? Tweetyed?) about smart and lovely conservative pundit S.E. Cupp: “On so many levels she’s a perfect demonstration of the necessity of the work Planned Parenthood does .” Check out the brief story to see Olbermann’s pathetic attempts to backpedal and claim that he was talking about Planned Parenthood’s voluminous services other than abortion. So he meant that she’s a perfect demonstration of the necessity of pap smears? Of pre-birth counseling? Of sonograms? Of proper breast-feeding techniques? This is very confusing. Obviously, a superior intellect like Mr. Olbermann’s must be involved to make sense of it all.

ITEM: Judging Future Behavior By Past Performance Department: Investors .com has a lovely little story (here) about the reality of Mr. Obama’s conviction, expressed during his historic budget deficit teleprompter reading of April 13. He has actually promised (when running for president) to implement a system that would allow “40 million Americans” to “do their taxes in less than five minutes.” I’m not sure who the 40 million are, particularly considering that some 47% of Americans--who are reportedly very happy with the current tax system--pay no taxes at all, but apparently the other 260+ million have benefitted little under Mr. Obama. On his watch, it now takes 23 hours to fill out a 1040. It was 21 hours last year. And it now takes seven hours to fill out form 1040 EZ! I’m with Ronald Reagan: Please Mr. Obama, no more help, please!

ITEM: Flee! Flee As From A Pestilence! Department: The Obama Commerce Department (here) announced its new internet initiative that would provide a supposedly secure, individual identity/password for those who “choose” to participate. There is substantial hard and software development yet to be done. I don’t know about you, but the idea of the federal government having that information, and thus, unfettered access to my computer life—so to speak—does not give me chills of joy and warm-fuzzy security feelings, particularly not the present administration. Discuss.

ITEM: Those Evil Republicans! Department: From Hot Air (here) comes news of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s evil actions. He has beaten the unions at every turn, and now the state budget office predicts that his economic actions have essentially eliminated the budget deficit and will hold the growth of property taxes to no more than 1% per year for the next two years. Those cruel, heartless Republicans, killing children and old people and kicking puppies! How dare the Wisconsin public elect adults, and expect them to do what they were elected to do!

ITEM: With a margin of some 7300 votes, incumbent Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser has been declared the winner of the election over challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg. Kloppenburg, who all but affirmed that she would be a reliable liberal/union vote, initially held a margin of approximately 200 votes, but a mistake in reporting more than 10,000 votes overturned her slim margin. While it is possible that Kloppenburg will demand a recount, it is unlikely, considering the margin, that she will overturn the result. Recounts in such elections commonly change fewer than 200 votes.

What is remarkable is the way the results have been reported. Kloppenburg’s 200 vote margin of victory was proclaimed as a righteous vindication for union solidarity and a stunning repudiation of Republican Governor Scott Walker’s budget-cutting agenda. Prosser’s reelection to a ten-year term is seen as a narrow, highly suspect win meaning virtually nothing at all. In this case, the unions poured men and money into a state judicial race and accomplished nothing, except the continued gratuitous squandering of member dues. On the other hand, that’s what they do best.

ITEM: No Man Is Above The Law! Department: Unless, that is, you’re the Obama Attorney General (here). It seems that Eric Holder was recently caught in the act of failing to pay property taxes. That makes how many members of the Obama Administration? Is anyone surprised? After all, when the Treasury Secretary cheats on his taxes, anyone else is something of an anti-climax for the most transparent administration in history. Discuss.

ITEM: Tax The Rich! Department: From Powerline (here) comes an interesting exposition on the futility of taxing the rich as a means of cutting budget deficits. It has been often observed that even if we confiscated 100% of the income of the most wealthy Americans, it would amount to a teardrop in the ocean of our staggering debt. This article makes that point in a convincing way.

ITEM: Ah, Cuba! Land of sunshine and opportunity! The favorite place for vapid Hollywood celebrities and assorted American Marxists to visit and praise as a model of enlightened, humane governance! And that Fidel Castro! The very model of the modern leader! Yeah. Not so much. Go here to examine the reality of one of the last, horribly failed Marxist states. This, gentle readers, is what Mr. Obama and his most ardent followers want us to emulate. I mean, I like 1950s cars as much as the next guy, but...

ITEM: Nothing Succeeds Like, Um, Success? Department: Go here, for a short story on the grassroots success of the “Coffee Party,” which is billing itself as a “non-partisan alternative to the Tea Party.” It’s spreading like wildfire! Well, OK, not so much… Could this be why liberal talk radio is so overwhelmingly popular, even threatening to eclipse Rush Limbaugh in ratings…what? It’s not? It’s an enormous failure? It always has been? Oh.

ITEM: Global Warming Is True! Really! Why Won’t Anyone Listen To Me?! Department: From the Daily Caller (here) comes news of more climate shenanigans from the UN. It seems that in 2005 the UN Climate Program boldly predicted that Global Warming would create 50 million “climate refugees” by 2010. Hmm. Not so much; in fact, not at all. The UN is now predicting 50 million climate refugees by 2020. Visit the article to see the UN’s hilarious coverup hijinks! We must immediately surrender American sovereignty to the UN!

ITEM: The Most Neglected Aspect of National Defense Department: Go here for an article about the dangers of an electromagnetic pulse weapon. A nuclear bomb exploded high over a target produces an enormous EMP which destroys electronics, computers, cars, electric grids, anything that relies on electronic circuitry. Iran, for example, is very much aware of this and would be very likely to use it against us. Visit the article to more fully appreciate the potential consequences of smart diplomacy, cutting the defense budget, and outreach to those who would see us dead.

ITEM: I’ve always been fond of Dick Cavett, who wrote in his autobiography about his undergraduate days at Yale. As the only student on campus from Nebraska, he was a curiosity. Other students actually sought him out to have their photos taken with him as though he was an alien. To the upper crust, I suppose someone from the far-away mystical land of Nebraska was an alien. He wrote that he never joined a fraternity because he could “get nude, drink beer and throw up,” perfectly well alone. Go here for his article on why offending people is a good thing, you %##((**^$&&!!!

MANDATORY PC DISCLAIMER: I was not actually swearing at anyone. It was a joke. You know, a joke? Oh never mind...

ITEM: Shrinking The Deficit! Department: Go here for an account of the report by the Treasury Department’s Inspector General who discovered that the IRS allowed some $500 million in first time homebuyer tax credits to people who were ineligible to receive them, including 128 IRS employees. Hey! I have an idea for deficit reduction…

ITEM: Oh Goody! Department: Standard & Poor’s ratings service (here) has officially downgraded America’s sovereign debt rating from “stable” to “negative” due to political inability to get the deficit under control. S&P’s has warned that it might further lower America’s rating if positive steps are not taken soon. Unsurprisingly, the stock market tumbled on this news. So let’s see, our credit rating is nearing the bottom of the barrel and some countries are calling for the replacement of the dollar as the international reserve currency. We’re obviously in the best of hands. Now if the Republicans will only quit trying to kill children, women, old people, adorable kittens, puppies and baby ducks, we can make some progress. Somehow, this must all be George W. Bush’s fault.

UPDATE: It now appears that the Obama Administration tried to talk S & P's into not announcing the downgrade. I can't imagine that. I'm shocked, shocked!

ITEM: Learning From Past Mistakes Department: USA Today (here) has an article wherein Mr. Obama argues that it’s appropriate to try foreign terrorists captured on the battlefield in civilian court in New York City. “I think it's very important for us not to elevate folks who are murderers and thugs into something special. Our criminal justice system is -- and our trial system is capable of prosecuting terrorists,” said Mr. Obama.

Let me see if I have this straight: Holding a show trial in NYC, a trial that would cost hundreds of millions, disrupt the city for years, give terrorist scum a world stage on which to spread their ideology, give them access to defense and intelligence secrets, and paint targets on the backs of untold thousands of New Yorkers would not constitute elevating “folks who are murderers and thugs into something special,” while trying them in isolation at Gitmo would. With that kind of logic, it’s little wonder we’re in such trouble.

ITEM: Attack of the Death Panel! If you do nothing else this week, read this article by Stanley Kurtz (here) at National Review Online about the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), the actual death panel established by ObamaCare. Kurtz suggests that if Republicans fail to fully publicize this thoroughly evil creation and to use it against its maker—Mr. Obama—they’ll lose in 2012. I agree. Do read it.

ITEM: In a past QT, we reported on Arizona border sheriff Larry Dever who has claimed that Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to do their jobs. Not surprisingly, government officials have called Dever a liar and DHA Secretary Janet Napolitano has claimed that the situation on the border is better than ever. Now comes Fox News (here) with information from current and former Border Patrol officers and others in a position to know who fully support what Dever has said. Apparently, Border Patrol Supervisors have even been heard ordering officers—by radio—to “TBS” illegals sneaking into to America, to make them “turn back south,” which only causes most to sneak across later. It’s an article well worth visiting if you want to know the truth about the Obama’s Administration’s border policies. Be sure to have your blood pressure medication close at hand. If you don’t need any, you probably will after reading this.

ITEM: Man, I’m Glad I Don’t Live in New York State! Department. From Fox News (here), comes the bizarre news that the legislature has enacted safety regulations to protect our children from some of life’s most treacherous dangers, dangers such as: Capture the flag, dodgeball, flag tag, flag football, kickball, red rover and tag. Any summer camp that wants children to engage in such dangerous games must pay a $200 registration fee and have medical staff on hand. No. This is not an Onion satire.

UPDATE: Due to immense public ridicule, the NY Health Department has allowed that perhaps they’ll sort of, you know, kind of, reconsider the whole thing. As Emily Litella would have said: “Never mind!”

ITEM: What’s going to become of grandma and grandpa if the evil Republicans have their way? That’s right! Grandpa will have to resort to stripping for sorority parties! See the shocking truth right here!

And on that “stimulating” note, it’s time, once again, to thank you for stopping by, and to look forward to seeing you again next Thursday!

EXTRA CREDIT ANSWER: The USS O’Kane is named for Rear Admiral Dick O’Kane who commanded one of America’s most famous and effective WWII submarines, the “USS Tang.” His memoir of that command, “Clear the Bridge” is justly famous as well. The Tang was ultimately sunk due to a circular run by one of it’s own faulty torpedoes.

Posted by MikeM at 08:41 PM | Comments (4)

April 19, 2011

Presophile

Once again, Barack Obama turns to the reliably left-leaning sensibilities of a college campus to continue his perpetual campaign.

It's creepy how the President continually hides behind the pseudo-intellectual ignorance of adolescents and young adults who lack real-world experience. They seem utterly unaware that the platitudes he offers and the monstrous debit he champions are shackles constricting their opportunities, resigning them to a bleak future.

It is in some respects pedophilistic watching the President gloat among the young. Let us make no mistake; the Obama agenda is child abuse of generations of Americans just starting to make their way in this world, and of generations to come. He rapes their futures with a smile and a wave and a lie, and didn't even offer them candy.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:03 AM | Comments (1)

April 18, 2011

E.J. Dionne: Fugitive From Reality

Washington Post opinion writer displays for us one again why he is past-due for replacement with his latest dim analysis.

An enlightened ruling class understands that it can get richer and its riches will be more secure if prosperity is broadly shared, if government is investing in productive projects that lift the whole society and if social mobility allows some circulation of the elites. A ruling class closed to new talent doesn't remain a ruling class for long.

Dionne obviously knows nothing of the business world, something he seems to share with others wedded to his peculiar political philosophy.

Business is never static, and not just thrives upon, but demands new ideas and new talent. In the business world, stagnation leads to death, and innovation can lead to nearly limitless prosperity. In the right political climate, businesses can create wealth out of thin air. Almost all wealth starts out as small businesses with big ideas. They drive our entire economy and way of life, when government doesn't get in the way.

There is this thing called a "Facebook," and something else called a "Google," that Dionne may want to read about, and these new software programs called "apps" that have made many of yesterday's nerds into today's millionaires and billionaires. Many of our most accomplished employers found success for themselves and their employees by innovating in fields that didn't even exist as few as a handful of years ago.

On the other end of the scale are protectionist industries that have sought to curry favor with Dionne's ruling class in order to protect the near monopolies they have, and which seek to use regulation to choke out both innovation and competition. One need look no further than the auto industry, manufacturing, and finance industries to find dinosaurs that use generous political contributions to thwart those with newer, better products. Simply look at President Obama's list of top campaign donors to find a list of companies using money to buy favor and defends the status woe.

The only question about Dionne's column worth asking is whether the aging writer is conscious of his hackery in support of the entrenched elites, or if he really is a naif who does not understand the ramifications of what he advocates. I have to think that Dionne's support is a conscious effort to placate those which have lent him relevance in their own self-interests.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:29 PM | Comments (7)

April 14, 2011

Obama Doubles Down On The Budget

Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States, is truly amazing. Whenever I am certain that he has sunk to the absolute depths of mendacity and rank partisanship, whenever I have no doubt that his socialistic urges have sunk to the lowest measurable level, he digs a hole--nay, hires a dredge (with taxpayer dollars, of course)--and sinks even lower. I speak, of course, of his April 13 teleprompter reading on fixing America’s burgeoning debt.

All of the usual elements of an Obama TP reading were present: halting delivery, left-right-left head-waggling reminiscent of a fan at a tennis match, blaming nearly everything on Bush, blaming everything else on Republicans, class warfare, attacking the evil, greedy wealthy, “facts” and figures plucked wholesale from the ether, economic assumptions based on projected income or events that no sentient being believes will be forthcoming, the economic miracle that is ObamaCare, winning the future, and vision but no real, concrete details. As usual, Mr. Obama is leaving the little, niggling details to the little people.

False choices and moral hectoring, as usual, played a prominent role. Attacking Republicans, Mr. Obama said “Their vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the social compact in America.” Wasn’t it Mr. Obama who has consistently promised (threatened?) to “fundamentally change America?” Ah, but those evil Republicans are attacking “children with autism or Down’s syndrome,” favoring instead “every millionaire and billionaire in our society.”

Wasn’t it Mr. Obama who swept into office promising to change the tone in Washington and to bridge the partisan divide? There is nothing quite like accusing political opponents of intending to savage handicapped children to win friends and influence people. “You’ve just accused me of the most craven and base moral degeneracy? Why of course I’ll be happy to work with you on a bipartisan basis, Mr. Obama!”


NOTE: Sources for this article may be found here, here, here, here, here and here.

Perhaps the most lunatic assertion of the TP reading was Mr. Obama’s suggestion that the wealthy are, in reality, more than willing to pay much higher taxes. They really want to “give back” to the nation that gave them so much. Really? Why aren’t they simply writing checks to the IRS over and above their already considerable tax burdens? Surely they’re free to do that; why do they fail? Why, it’s merely because the government hasn’t asked them yet! Who knew it was that easy?! No wonder we made him president.

I can see it now:

Mr. Obama: “Mr. Wealthy American, I’m asking you to pay a bunch more of your income in taxes. As Vice President Biden, who slept through my economic speech, would say [he actually did, and he wasn’t alone], it’s your patriotic duty! I know you’ve just been waiting for me to ask, so I’m asking.”

Mr. Wealthy American: “Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha! Administrative Assistant, book me a flight to Switzerland, close all the factories, furlough all the workers and transfer all my assets to off shore accounts immediately!”

To be fair to the President, I suspect that a great many Americans would be willing to pay a bit more in taxes, but only if they could be certain that the money would be used solely for paying down the debt. Finding evidence of that in the Obama Administration would be akin to looking for mermaids.

If there was anyone left in America who had the slightest doubt that Mr. Obama has no idea whatever how wealth is created, or who doubted that he firmly believes that every dime anyone makes belongs to the government, this TP reading surely must have disabused them of those foolish notions. And to confirm that understanding, we now have a new economic term: “spending reductions in the tax code.” Mr. Obama means what the simple folks would call “tax cuts.” Tax cuts are no such thing. They are nothing more than money--which belongs to individual citizens--that the government will not get. Such things are, of course, anathema to Mr. Obama and all good socialists everywhere, who alone are fit to decide how much--if any--of the money individuals earn they will be allowed to keep.

And who are the wealthy? Any single person making $200,000 per year, or any married couple making $250,000. Where I live and work, that’s a pretty heady income, but in many places in America, that’s middle class. Many economists have crunched the numbers, and even if we confiscated all of the wealth of the truly wealthy people in America, that amount, that one time amount taken from people who know how to create wealth, would pay off less than one-half of the current, not the ever-increasing, debt. And it would be a one time amount, because most of those wealthy Americans would almost certainly become other than Americans as soon as they could fly out of the socialistic dictatorship capable of confiscating all of their wealth (the IRS doesn’t “ask”), leaving behind everyone they ever employed to join the ever-increasing ranks of the unemployed.

Mr. Obama’s “vision”--it surely doesn’t rise to the level of a plan, or even of an idle, passing fancy--rests on several broad sort-of themes. Following are quotes from his published speech, accompanied by translations in actual American English as opposed to socialist stealth-speak.

Mr. Obama: “The first step in our approach is to keep annual domestic spending low by building on the savings that both parties agreed to last week – a step that will save us about $750 billion over twelve years. We will make the tough cuts necessary to achieve these savings, including in programs I care about, but I will not sacrifice the core investments we need to grow and create jobs. We’ll invest in medical research and clean energy technology. We’ll invest in new roads and airports and broadband access. We will invest in education and job training. We will do what we need to compete and we will win the future.”

TRANSLATION: “We is me, and “we” only “saved” about $352 million for this year. We sure put one over on the Republicans! We borrowed that much and more while I’m giving this speech. If you think I’m going to cut any program I care about, you’re an idiot. I’m going to continue to spend as much as I like, and I’m going to send everybody to college on the public dime while training new legions of government employees, who will compete and win the future by draining ever-decreasing taxpayer dollars to pay for jobs that create no wealth at all.

Mr. Obama: “The second step in our approach is to find additional savings in our defense budget. As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than protecting our national security, and I will never accept cuts that compromise our ability to defend our homeland or America’s interests around the world. But as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mullen, has said, the greatest long-term threat to America’s national security is America’s debt.

Just as we must find more savings in domestic programs, we must do the same in defense. Over the last two years, Secretary Gates has courageously taken on wasteful spending, saving $400 billion in current and future spending. I believe we can do that again. We need to not only eliminate waste and improve efficiency and effectiveness, but conduct a fundamental review of America’s missions, capabilities, and our role in a changing world. I intend to work with Secretary Gates and the Joint Chiefs on this review, and I will make specific decisions about spending after it’s complete.”

TRANSLATION: “I will never accept cuts that compromise our ability to defend our homeland or America’s interests around the world.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Whew! I can’t believe they bought that! Would the President who believes that America is responsible for all of the world’s problems, who won’t defend her borders, whose ambassadors denigrate their nation in foreign capitals, who won’t even identify the enemy that wants to destroy America do anything to harm national defense? Of course not!

Somebody should have told Defense Secretary Gates and the Pentagon about all of this. Only minutes after the TP reading, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said that Secretary Gates “has been clear that further significant defense cuts cannot be accomplished without reducing force structure and military capability.” Ooops! Somebody didn’t get the memo!

Mr. Obama: “The third step in our approach is to further reduce health care spending in our budget. Here, the difference with the House Republican plan could not be clearer: their plan lowers the government’s health care bills by asking seniors and poor families to pay them instead. Our approach lowers the government’s health care bills by reducing the cost of health care itself.

Already, the reforms we passed in the health care law will reduce our deficit by $1 trillion. My approach would build on these reforms. We will reduce wasteful subsidies and erroneous payments. We will cut spending on prescription drugs by using Medicare’s purchasing power to drive greater efficiency and speed generic brands of medicine onto the market. We will work with governors of both parties to demand more efficiency and accountability from Medicaid. We will change the way we pay for health care – not by procedure or the number of days spent in a hospital, but with new incentives for doctors and hospitals to prevent injuries and improve results. And we will slow the growth of Medicare costs by strengthening an independent commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers who will look at all the evidence and recommend the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending while protecting access to the services seniors need.

Now, we believe the reforms we’ve proposed to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid will enable us to keep these commitments to our citizens while saving us $500 billion by 2023, and an additional one trillion dollars in the decade after that. And if we’re wrong, and Medicare costs rise faster than we expect, this approach will give the independent commission the authority to make additional savings by further improving Medicare.

But let me be absolutely clear: I will preserve these health care programs as a promise we make to each other in this society. I will not allow Medicare to become a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry, with a shrinking benefit to pay for rising costs. I will not tell families with children who have disabilities that they have to fend for themselves. We will reform these programs, but we will not abandon the fundamental commitment this country has kept for generations.”

TRANSLATION: “We” are absolutely not going to do anything to cut ObamaCare, which will proceed as planned. I’ll just lie--as usual--about the Republican’s proposals, scare the seniors, and get right to rationing health care. Those stupid seniors won’t know what hit them after the death panels get busy. After all, they’re the biggest health care expense. Ration them off the table and I’ll have loads more money to spend on high speed rail, green energy, energy development in Brazil, unions, and my other favorite boondoggles. Save $1.5 trillion by 2033? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I won’t even save a billion this year! But at least I’ll have another omnipotent commission controlling everyone’s lives. Sure “we’ll reform” programs! ObamaCare is the ultimate reform, and I care soooo much about keeping promises.

Mr. Obama: “That includes, by the way, our commitment to Social Security. While Social Security is not the cause of our deficit, it faces real long-term challenges in a country that is growing older. As I said in the State of the Union, both parties should work together now to strengthen Social Security for future generations. But we must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.”

TRANSLATION: I know that Social Security is in far less trouble than Medicare or Medicaid, but I also know that seniors are stupid, so I’ll just pander to them a bit more. If they complain, one of my supporters will probably call them racist. Hell, I don’t know anything about Social Security, and I could care less, but I do know that it’s going to go bust, and by the time it does, I’ll be long gone, happily enriched for life by my supporters. I’ll never have to depend on it, so screw them all!

Mr. Obama: “The fourth step in our approach is to reduce spending in the tax code. In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. And I refuse to renew them again. Beyond that, the tax code is also loaded up with spending on things like itemized deductions. And while I agree with the goals of many of these deductions, like homeownership or charitable giving, we cannot ignore the fact that they provide millionaires an average tax break of $75,000 while doing nothing for the typical middle-class family that doesn’t itemize.

My budget calls for limiting itemized deductions for the wealthiest 2% of Americans – a reform that would reduce the deficit by $320 billion over ten years. But to reduce the deficit, I believe we should go further. That’s why I’m calling on Congress to reform our individual tax code so that it is fair and simple – so that the amount of taxes you pay isn’t determined by what kind of accountant you can afford. I believe reform should protect the middle class, promote economic growth, and build on the Fiscal Commission’s model of reducing tax expenditures so that there is enough savings to both lower rates and lower the deficit. And as I called for in the State of the Union, we should reform our corporate tax code as well, to make our businesses and our economy more competitive.”

TRANSLATION: Sure, I took credit for extending the Bush tax cuts just a few months ago, but I lied! I’m going to do away with all kinds of deductions, like the mortgage deduction. Sure, that’ll brutally depress the real estate market and slaughter the economy, but I don’t control the entire economy yet, and you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs! And, yeah, I know that calling for reforming the corporate tax code while simultaneously calling for raising taxes on the people who form and own corporations makes no real sense, but again, I’m all about me, and me is all about control. And power. And golf. Let those nitwits in Congress deal with the details. I’m gonna go play golf. Somewhere overseas I haven’t visited yet. I’ll ask Michelle; she’s got a list...

So Mr. Obama intends to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion dollars over the next 12 years. He says he’ll do it by $2 trillion in spending cuts, and that will lower interest payments by a trillion, and tax reform will cut “$1 trillion in spending from the tax code.” Nonsense. It’s unicorn horns and fairy dust.

REALITY: The Treasury Department recently reported that the deficit increased 15.7% from October to March, the first six months of fiscal 2011. It reached $829 billion compared with $717 billion of the same period during the previous year. This, despite the fact that revenue for the same period increased 6.9%.

Mr. Obama wants to cut spending by $2 trillion, but is continually proposing new spending programs that would require entirely new permanent federal bureaucracies. In addition, he is unleashing bureaucrats to further burden the economy with regulations, and is all but obliterating our domestic energy production. ObamaCare alone, the biggest, most wasteful and costly entitlement program ever devised by man, would cost at least that much and more, and even the Congressional Budget Office and many Democrats are now admitting it. And even if he kept his word on spending cuts he obviously has no intention of making, interest payments on a debt which Mr. Obama is dramatically increasing daily will never come close to being reduced $1 trillion dollars. The more you borrow and the longer the term of the loan, the more interest you pay. It’s called “compound interest,” yet another economic reality with which Mr. Obama seems unacquainted.

The best part is the idea that tax reform will cut a trillion in spending from the tax code. What spending?! The tax code is all about revenues owed the government by individuals and corporations. It spends nothing, except the money required to operate the IRS and everything associated with it. There is no “spending” to be cut there, not a dime, let alone a trillion dollars. There is either less tax revenue or more. Is Mr. Obama so economically illiterate that he doesn’t realize this, or does he just have so little respect for the intelligence of the public that he’s willing to run any con whenever he feels he can get away with it?

True reform of the tax code would require greatly reducing regulations and simplifying everything. It would require laying off an army of IRS bureaucrats. It would actually--if properly done--reduce taxes across the board, while simultaneously and genuinely stimulating the economy. People who have more money spend more, invest more, save more, build more businesses, employ more people and create more wealth, all of which equals substantially increased tax revenue garnered at lower cost to the taxpayers. Mr. Obama has shown absolutely no inclination to do any of this as it would decrease the size of government and limit its power, concepts utterly distasteful and foreign to him.

How do we know that Mr. Obama is not being forthcoming? Michael Tanner, at National Review Online, provides perspective:

“ Just a month after he took office, President Obama hosted a fiscal summit at the White House. The president invited more than 100 lawmakers, economists, policy specialists, and special-interest groups to a daylong meeting designed to ‘launch a national conversation on how to put the nation on sounder financial footing.’

‘We cannot simply spend as we please and defer the consequences,’ the president declared, promising to cut the deficit, then $1.3 trillion, in half before the end of his first term. Having made that promise, the president instead went out and increased the budget deficit to $1.4 trillion. He also pushed through a $2.7 trillion health-care bill that adds $833 billion to the deficit over its first decade of full implementation.

Roughly a year later, he appointed a bipartisan deficit commission, warning that ’these are tough times and [the federal government] can’t keep spending like they’re not.’

In December, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform issued its report calling for spending cuts, tax reform, and changes to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The president ignored it. The deficit reached $1.65 trillion.

In this year’s State of the Union address, President Obama again said we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in. ‘That is not sustainable,’ he said.

He then proposed a 2012 budget that adds $13 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.

One begins to detect a pattern.”

One does indeed begin to detect a pattern. Let’s not forget that Mr. Obama already proposed a budget for 2012, only two months ago. That “budget” set a new low for adult seriousness, a low that Mr. Obama has, historically surpassed with his April 13 TP reading, a performance that threw his own ridiculous budget under the bus. So adept is Mr. Obama at conning the public, at diverting our attention from the furiously lever-pulling man behind the curtain, that we tend to forget the basis of all economic reality: Spend no more than you make. If you do, quit spending and pay off debts until that balance is restored. No amount of nuance, no amount of faux-eloquent teleprompter reading can alter that simple formula for individual and national success.

The speech was obviously intended to be a refutation and response to Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, a convincing alternative. In that it neither refuted nor responded to Ryan’s proposal, except to insult its author, it was a complete failure. Likewise, it lacked any coherent details or figures that could be tested or measured, so it cannot serve as an alternative. If it was intended to convince the public that Mr. Obama is knowledgeable about and fully engaged in economic issues, it again failed and abysmally so.

It was a small, mean-spirited, partisan speech. It was not the speech of a confident, engaged, serious leader, but of the perpetual campaigner who knows only how to bask in the glory of his own press releases. It can no longer be denied that Mr. Obama is not only incompetent, but a clear and present danger to the short and long term security of America. The alternative is that he actually seeks our economic downfall. We ignore his utter lack of adult seriousness and competence--or his intentional hostility to our continuing national existence--at our own, very real, peril.

Posted by MikeM at 06:07 PM | Comments (1)

April 13, 2011

Quick Takes, April 13, 2011

ITEM: Is This Cool Or What? Department: From Fox News (here) comes news of a GPS guided mortar round already entering service in Afghanistan. This innovation promises much greater precision at the lower levels of our order of battle, giving our ground troops a much greater margin of effectiveness and safety. Greatest nation in the history of the world? Discuss.

ITEM: Is This Cool Or What II? Department: We’ve previously reported on US Navy research into a practical ship-bourn laser weapon, but the first practical test has been completed. Go here for a video and story. For the first time, a lower powered laser fired at a moving target, a mile distant, in four-foot seas set the engines ablaze within seconds. Very cool indeed. Work is underway on a massively more powerful free electron laser that promises to be able to more or less instantly swat missiles from the sky in all weather conditions. As you watch the video, remember that lasers do not produce a visible beam, ala Star Trek and Star Wars.

ITEM: In the Same Old, Same Old, Department, Instapundit (here) reports on a trip by Mr. Obama to a wind turbine plant where he said there is nothing he can do in the short term to effect gasoline prices. When someone in the audience complained about high gas prices, Mr. Obama suggested that he trade in his car for one that gets better mileage. Uh, Mr. Obama? Saying that drilling for oil is useless because it will take several years to get production up to speed doesn’t work anymore. It’s several years later and gas is climbing rapidly to $5.00 a gallon. Oh yes, and because of your economic debacle, most folks can’t afford new cars, especially if they cost $41,000 like your Chevy Volt wonder greeniemobile. The best part is that the story by the AP, which originally reported on this issue has since been sanitized and rewritten to squelch Mr. Obama’s haughtily offensive suggestion to his questioner. Good to know our mainstream media is looking out for the interests of the public by not worrying their pretty little heads with Mr. Obama’s condescension and economic cluelessness.

ITEM: Well, it’s final. The United States Congress and Mr. Obama have agreed to cut: Wait for it...$38.5 billions dollars! That’s right, almost nothing at all. Visit John Hinderaker’s piece at Powerline (here) for his take on this non-event which staved off a government shutdown. I’m still not sure why that would be a bad thing. Anyway, Hinderaker has a balanced, rational outlook on this issue, and the Ramirez cartoon, like so much of his work, is a classic, though sure to provoke cries of “RACIST!” All the more reason to view it like the good little racists all those who disagree with Mr. Obama are.

ITEM: According to the LA Times (here), the White House is worried that rising gas prices could derail Mr. Obama’s reelection hopes. Ya think? What to do? They’re arranging a series of opportunities for Mr. Obama to give teleprompter readings! They’re going to give him the opportunity to reassure the public that he has a plan to lower prices, which have risen 30% in the last year. Ah! That explains why he’s telling people worried about high gas prices to buy more fuel efficient cars! That’ll convince folks, won’t it? Discuss.

ITEM: Continuing Tales Of The Religion Of Peace Department: Peaceful Palestinians hit an Israeli school bus with a peaceful anti-tank missile on April 7, seriously wounding a 16 year old boy and the bus driver. Fortunately. Most of the kids got off the bus only minutes earlier. And these are the people with whom President Obama reflexively sides? Sigh. Yes, they are. Go here for the whole story.

ITEM: Blasts From The Past! Department: Go here for an interesting—and sobering—analysis of our fiscal problem by former Reagan budget guru David Stockman. Yes, it is as bad as you think it is, and worse.

ITEM: In the bad old days of the Cold War, and even today, Communist regimes always talk about “The People’s” this and “The People’s” that. It is part of the inherent propaganda of communism, and an essential part of the big lie that communist governments care for their people. Mao cared so much that he killed, arguably, 100 million of his “the people.” Congressional Democrats have produced their own budget outline, and the most amazing coincidence! They’re calling it “The People’s Budget.” Anyone who is not offended—and deeply concerned—by this, knows nothing of history or of communism, or worse, is very well aware. Go here to read the whole thing. Notice that they are not afraid to tell “the people” that they intend to reduce our strategic capabilities—to greatly decrease our ability to defend ourselves and others. To what has Barack Obama—The One--brought us?

ITEM: Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-State of Incoherence) recently delivered a speech (here) wherein she observed that in 1994 Republicans were elected to defund the National Endowment of the Arts, but in 2010, they were elected to “kill women.” Uh…what?! Ladies and Gentlemen: Your Democrat representatives! (cue laugh track and rim shot)

ITEM: Louis Renault Award of the Millennium: Yes, those peaceful humanitarians of Iran are at it again. The world was recently shocked, shocked! to discover yet another previously unknown nuclear facility where the Iranians were producing centrifuge parts--according to them--for purely peaceful purposes, of course. Read the whole thing here. I’m shocked, shocked! that Mr. Obama’s smart diplomacy and serious sanctions don’t appear to be having any effect on the peaceful theocratic lunatics who run Iran and export peaceful terror around the globe. Perhaps if Mr. Obama gives another teleprompter reading to the Muslim world?

ITEM: Uh, Who Are The Children Here? Via Fox News (here), a football coach in San Diego attacked and seriously injured a man when he thought he overheard the man trying to recruit one of his players. The players were 9, 10 and 11 years old. “Get a life” comes to mind...

ITEM: Drinkin’ Good In the Neighborhood! A 15 month old toddler in a Michigan Applebee’s began to act strangely. His mother found that what she thought was apple juice was actually margarita mix. The manager of the Applebee’s called it “unacceptable.” Well, yeah. Go here for the story. LATE UPDATE: Apparently the kiddie was served booze due to a labeling mixup. Applebees plans to dispense all juices in sealed, individual containers from now on. Good idea.

ITEM: At Hot Air (here) Jazz Shaw has an article on the incredible self-delusion of progressives who cannot imagine why the Tea Party and it’s obviously stupid, horribly flawed ideals is, well, kicking their butts. Shaw takes a bit of vicarious pleasure in their misery. It’s worth reading to provide a bit of insight into what passes for thinking in progressive circles, but do not, gentle reader, begin your victory dance just yet. Thus far, we have only saved or slightly hindered a tiny portion of an ever-expanding and still out of control budget and bureaucracy. We’ve successfully fired the first signal flare in what will certainly be a very long and bitterly fought war. The live ammunition has not yet begun to fly.

ITEM: The “We’re Doing WHAT?!” Department: The Obama Administration, mired in the worst debt crisis in American, nay, in world history, is going to spend $20 million to: Wait for it...remake Sesame Street in Pakistan! There just aren’t words... Some are apparently saying, “hey, it’s only $20 million...” I dunno. Seems like a lot of money to me regardless of what it’s for. Why, I’d bet that if you started saving 20 million here and 20 million there, eventually, it would add up to some real money! Go here if you have the stomach.

ITEM: Newsmax (here) has a story on the never-ending fun in Wisconsin. As you may recall, Wisconsin Supreme Court hopeful JoAnn Kloppenburg, who all but promised to be a partisan progressive rubber stamp, declared victory with a 200+ vote margin. Then, miracle of miracles, some 15,00 uncounted votes were discovered and incumbent Justice David Prosser was suddenly up by 7500 votes, which will most likely hold and be outside the trigger for a state-paid recount. How do we know this is likely an honest mistake rather than criminal vote fraud? Easy: It benefited a Republican. Gov. Scott Walker is vowing that unions won’t be able to cheat their way to victory. Wisconsin is becoming an endless source of entertainment, and I thought that all it had to recommend it was cheese hats.

ITEM: Say, wasn’t there some sort of trouble in one of those foreign places, like last week or so. You know, like, Venezlulu, or Nobukistan, or Libya maybe? Wasn’t it Libya or something like that? Go here for Mark Steyn’s take. Apparently the non-war with a non-battle plan for non-victory is going non-well under the non-inspired non-guidance of our non-Commander-In-Chief. What a non-relief!

ITEM: Remember the multiple injunctions issued by Judge Sumi in Wisconsin on behalf of the unions? Go here to find out, specifically, why everything she did was illegal under Wisconsin law. But hey, what’s a little thing like breaking the law when public sector union pocketbooks are at risk? It’s all about the money. It always was.

ITEM: Are you a state laboring under oppressive DOJ interference? Want to take on the Holder DOJ and not only win, but kick its nether regions a considerable distance down the road? Visit here to find out how. There may be justice in the world after all.

ITEM: Even in the People’s Democrat Republic of Illinois, it seems, some sanity may yet exist. State Attorney General Lisa Madigan, determined to release the names of law-abiding gun owners to the press, has been temporarily restrained by the Illinois House which passed a bill to keep those names—remind me again why any state should be collecting the names of gun owners?—private. Go here for the whole mess.

ITEM: Signs of the Apocalypse Department: From Fox News (here) comes the tale of a man and woman who robbed a lemonade stand, taking $150 that three girls had raised for charity. The woman was arrested but the man is still at large. What, I wonder, besides lengthy prison terms, would be an appropriate punishment? Mandatory lemon sucking for life?

ITEM: Harry Reid Follies Redux: In this space, we’ve criticized Sen. Harry Reid (D-State of Delusion) for weeping over the coming cowboy poetry apocalypse. The New York Times (here), of all places (Yeeeha! Git along, little urban doggies!) has a sympathetic article on the topic. Paul Zarzyski, a cowboy poet said:

“A lot of art forms at first brush might sound peculiar,” he said. “After you learn a little bit about them and the people who perform them, you find out that they are as significant as any kind of art forms. Cowboy poetry comes out of a culture that most people don’t understand. Most of that criticism is urban and uninformed.”

Not really, Paul. We suburban, informed types just don’t believe that money falls out of the back of chuck wagons, and if it’s a choice between, for example, ammunition for our troops or, well, cowboy poetry, we’ll go for the most bang for the buck anytime.

ITEM: And You Wonder Why Public Education Get A Bad Reputation? Department: From Michelle Malkin (here) comes the story of a Chicago elementary school where the principal has decided she knows better than parents and has enacted a nanny-state policy to protect them from themselves. The policy? Kids can’t bring lunch from home; they have to eat cafeteria food. Unsurprisingly, a great many kids choose to eat nothing at all rather than the wonderfully nutritious and tasty choices provided on the school menu. Isn’t forcing kids to eat school food a violation of the Geneva Conventions? Perhaps a violation of the Constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment? Where are the human rights types when you need them? Oh, the humanity!

ITEM: Cruzin! Department: I’ve been taking General (Government) Motors to task of late for wasting taxpayer dollars, primarily with the Chevy Volt. Now, from the Wall Street Journal (here), comes news of some minor difficulties with another Chevy offering: The Cruze, which is the new small car on which Chevy is basing a significant part of its post-bailout fortunes. Apparently the proud owner of a new Cruze was making a turn and the steering wheel broke off in their hands. Boy, that’s winning the future! Chevy has issued a recall (good idea!) and said that they will fix the problem for free (that’s big of them). Hmm. Have they asked Mr. Obama about that? He’ll probably want a repair tax added. Your taxpayer dollars at work!

ITEM: Do you remember when Mr. Obama was a senator way back in 2008, a senator taking gratuitous shots at Mr. Bush for high gas prices and for having the unbelievably high unemployment rate of 5.5%? Yeah, well, Mr. Obama would like you to forget that. After all, 10% functional unemployment and gas prices shooting toward $5.00 per gallon aren’t his fault and he can’t do anything about it anyway! That’s right, the man who could stop the rise of the seas and heal the planet is helpless! Read more at Powerline, here.

ITEM: Libya Update: Kaddafi is still in power, the war continues, our planes are still withdrawn, the French say that NATO isn’t enough, and Mr. Obama—like any semblance of American leadership or resolve—is absent. Hmm. Doesn’t demonstrated weakness and irresolution encourage tribal, Islamist barbarians? But hey, we’re winning the future! Or something...

ITEM: Further News From The Religion Of Peace Department: According to Reuters, as reported in the Jerusalem Post (here), Iran has announced plans to build “four our five” new nuclear reactors “in the next few years.” Iran plans to use these reactors for research and to produce medical radioisotopes. Suuuuuuure they do. One wonders what kind of sanctions Mr. Obama will want to impose when the first Iranian nuc goes off in Israel or America. No doubt it is only smart diplomacy that has prevented Iran for already having a bomb—maybe.

ITEM: And speaking of energy, the Washington Examiner (here) reports that America has the largest reserves of untapped energy on the entire planet. Exploiting those resources would greatly increase energy supplies while greatly lowering costs, and none of this exploitation would cost a single taxpayer dollar. So let’s see if I have this straight: We have the means, at no cost to the taxpayer, to immediately stimulate the economy, greatly increase the number of solid, long-term jobs, reduce our dependence on energy from hostile foreign suppliers, increase our national security, lower prices on just about everything, and to help to pay down the budget deficit. So of course, Mr. Obama is vehemently opposed, despite his rhetoric to the contrary. Is that about it? Thought so.

ITEM: So what does the hard Left think about budget cuts? Visit a column by Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post (here) to get a glimpse into the cobwebbed recesses of the liberal brain. An example: “There’s no question who won last week’s showdown. The outcome — nearly $40 billion in painful cuts — goes well beyond the GOP’s initial demands.” To Robinson, $40 billion cut from a multi-trillion dollar deficit is painful and unreasonable. Basically, liberals actually appear to believe that the Federal Government is not nearly large enough and that it is not possible to cut even a penny from the budget, unless, of course, it comes directly out of the defense budget. That we can cut, no problem. The article is certainly informative, but probably not as Mr. Robinson intended.

ITEM: From Fox News (here) comes news of The California Federation of Teachers which has passed a resolution renewing its support for convicted Philadelphia cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Abu-Jamal has long been a liberal icon, despite overwhelmingly conclusive evidence of his guilt, including multiple eye witnesses, his possession of the gun used to kill the officer, and a bullet fired by the officer he killed recovered from his own personal body. Despite all of this, he has become a liberal symbol of the racism and injustice of the system. Power to the people, right on! One might be forgiven for wondering what business a teacher’s union might have dealing with an issue like this—particularly where the object of their affections is so utterly loathsome--but then again, what business does a teacher’s union have being a subsidiary of and fund raiser for the Democrat party?

ITEM: Louis Renault Award for March: Remember all the mainstream media news stories about the Iranian cargo plane forced to land in Turkey by Turkish fighters in March? Remember the international outrage when it was discovered that the plane carried 600 kilos of explosives, mortars, assault rifles, rocket launchers and about $560 million in cash, all bound for Hezbollah through Syria? You don’t? I’m shocked, shocked! that you didn’t. Well, maybe not so much. Google the event and you’ll discover much Israeli and internet coverage, but otherwise? After all, all of those goodies were only destined to kill Israelis, you know, Jews. It only had the potential to inflame an entire region of strategic interest to the United States. Why would that be news? Oh, right! It would embarrass Mr. Obama. Go here for the rest.

ITEM: Remember how Obamites postulated that once ObamaCare was a fait accompli, everyone would find out what was in it and just love it up one side and down the other? Reality, fortunately, is not quite so sanguine. According to a recent AP poll (here), only 35% support ObamaCare, which is almost tied with the low of 34% during the season of entertaining town hall meetings, during which many Democrats were nearly tarred, feathered and run out of town on rails. How’s that hope and change workin’ out for yah?

ITEM: In the “Oh Goody” Department, comes the news (here) that the Magma pocket under Yellowstone National Park’s super volcano is likely far larger than had been previously suspected. The last eruption, which was about 600,000 years ago, blanketed much of North American was a thick blanket of ash. According to scientists, a super eruption occurs about once every 600,000 years…uh-oh…

ITEM: Continuing with the unceasing tradition of public employee labor union altruism and civic-mindedness, the California Teacher’s association (here) has budgeted one million dollars for protests against upcoming cuts to education in a state that is about ready, economically speaking, to slide off the map into the Pacific any day now. Among the tactics they’ve posted on their website:

“Follow targeted legislators for the entire day.”

“Have students and parents camp in front of schools all night.’

And my personal favorite:

“Work with organization[sic] like Ben & Jerry to have them create a labor-union flavored ice cream that can be sold at the rallies and in stores.”

Like what, exactly, would mouth-watering “labor-union flavored ice cream” taste? Would that be anything like “environmental-activist flavored ice cream?” The mind boggles. Discuss.

Mark Twain was right: Truth is stranger than fiction. And on that somewhat disquieting note, thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you next Thursday!

Posted by MikeM at 08:20 PM | Comments (5)

April 11, 2011

Obama Recants?

And so it begins. In 2006, Senator Barack Obama voted against raising the debt limit, a vote his various spokesmen now characterize as a “mistake.” Accordingly, Mr. Obama is set to present yet another historic teleprompter reading on Wednesday wherein, on the heels of The Ryan budget proposal, he will lay out his own bold initiative. The public would be well advised to recall that for Mr. Obama, rhetoric is exceedingly cheap, and action, particularly that which would in any way displease the most ardent socialist, exceedingly hard to find.

What is Mr. Obama expected to say? According to various advisors and spokespeople:

(1) The debt limit must be raised or the effect would be “Armageddon-like” for the economy.

(2) Taxes must be substantially raised on the evil, greedy, rich, those making more than $250,000--or so, more or less--per year.

I’ll go out on a limb and predict:

(1) Taxes won’t be raised on the nearly 50% of Americans who pay nothing at all in taxes.

(2) Spending cuts, what spending cuts?

(3) Even more entitlement spending.

(4) High-sounding promises to win the future--or something.

(5) Increased spending on green energy boondoggles, high speed rail, education, anything that will waste huge amounts of money for no good purpose.

We can be absolutely sure that whatever he proposes will require far more government spending, a much larger government, and will further degrade a very shaky economy. There is, to date, no sign that Mr. Obama has changed his view that economic distress can only be addressed by means of much higher taxes and unfathomably greater spending. More after the historic teleprompter reading. Stay tuned.

Posted by MikeM at 06:14 PM | Comments (3)

April 09, 2011

Obama and Energy

The nice folks at Pajamas Media have been kind enough to publish an essay on Mr. Obama and the falsity of his energy policy. It's called Obama's New Energy Policy: A Lesson In Stealth Socialism. I explore Mr. Obama's true political philosophy and how he has applied it in ObamaCare, and how he is applying it in domestic energy policy. To read it, go here.

Posted by MikeM at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2011

Quick Takes, April 07, 2011

ITEM: It is a mark of the character of the American people that this kind of story will touch their hearts and bring a tear to their eyes. Go here, and see what I mean.

ITEM: A Trip Down Memory Lane. Why are we currently at a budget impasse? Is it those evil Republicans who want to kill children and old people with their “radical” spending cuts? Not quite. Rewind to October, 2010 when the budget for this fiscal year was due. Ah, those heady days of absolute Democrat control of the White House and both houses of Congress, yet they refused to pass a budget for this fiscal year. Why? Because they were sufficiently aware of their debilitating spending addiction to know that any budget they passed would elect even more Republicans in November. Thus they set the stage for continuing resolution after continuing resolution and the government shutdown (tell me again why that’s a bad thing?) looming at midnight Friday. Keep this in mind the next time a Democrat tells you that they are protecting the public against the evils of rational spending and avoiding a global economic shutdown.

ITEM: Is This Cool Or What? Department: ABC News (here) reports on the XM-25, a weapon currently being field tested in Afghanistan. The weapon—troops call it “The Punisher”—is a programmable, semi-automatic 25mm grenade launcher. Equipped with a combination day/night/laser ranging sight, soldiers can set the smart round it fires to explode at a predetermined distance. Terrorists hiding behind a thick mortar wall? Lase the distance, set the round to explode at that distance + three feet, aim above the wall and fire. The round will travel directly to that point and explode directly above the terrorists. The weapon is still under development and all of the types of ammunition are not yet perfected and widely available, but the troops who have used it in combat reportedly do not want to give it up. It is this kind of American ingenuity some despise. The tragedy is that many of them are American politicians.

ITEM: Perhaps the best advertising strategy for the 2012 presidential election is to let Mr. Obama indict himself. Use his actions, his words, his stated intentions and their results to convince people that he must be a one-term president. It should be ridiculously easy as there has never been a president who has talked at the American people in such shallow depth, yet with such clock-like regularity and such tsunami-like volume. For a good look at what just might work, at least for people who have not had Obama implants secreted under their skin on the Obama mothership, go here.

ITEM: Tales Of The Religion Of Peace, Department: From Fox News (here) comes the story of Muslim riots in Afghanistan that in two days (April 1 and 2) have left 13 dead, including seven foreign UN employees. In addition more than 50 have been injured. Yes, once again, the most peaceful religion on Earth has murdered many innocents, including fellow Muslims. Why? Because Afghan president Hamid Karzai announced and condemned the actions of one, small Florida church in burning a copy of the Koran on March 20. And Mr. Obama thinks it’s possible to negotiate with such people because...? I guess that historic Muslim outreach speech in Cairo didn’t go as far as Afghanistan--or Egypt--or Syria--or Iran--or Libya, or, well, anywhere else in the Muslim world, but that’s hope and change for ya!

ITEM: In The Throw Away The Key! Department, from Fox News (here) we learn of two parents in Michigan who sicced their seven year old son on another boy. When a 73 year old crossing guard tried to stop the attack, the parents attacked him. They’ve been arrested and charged with assault and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Well, yeah...

ITEM: In the “He Did WHAT?! Department comes news (here) that Mr. Obama, in a stunning display of the kind of military acumen that has made him the Commander-In-Chief that he is, has withdrawn American attack planes, more or less, sort of so that NATO--which is actually, really us--can kind of take over. This military move, worthy of Sun Tzu’s much dumber brother Dim Duk, has occurred at the same time that Qaddafi’s forces have begun a serious push to eradicate the rebel forces, and have begun to run up a significant casualty toll. Senators on the Armed Services Committee characterized the move as “odd,” “troubling” and “unnerving,” and Senator John McCain told Defense Secretary Robert Gates “your timing is exquisite.” He was not delivering a compliment. Gates allowed that the situation was “unfortunate,” but said that our grounded aircraft could be recalled if things became so bad for the rebels that it was necessary. Senator Lindsay Graham said: "The idea that the AC-130s and the A-10s and American air power is grounded unless the place goes to hell is just so unnerving that I can't express it adequately.” And critics have called Mr. Obama’s Libya not-war policy “incoherent.” What were they thinking? It’s perfectly coherent in an utter lack of coherence sort of way.

ITEM: The Everything is Under Control! Department (here): "There is a perception that the border is worse now than it ever has been," DHS Secretary Napolitano said at the El Paso border crossing last week. "That is wrong. The border is better now than it ever has been." Unfortunately for Napolitano, and incidentally, the entire nation, Arizona’s Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever has a differing opinion. “The senior supervisor agent is telling me about how their mission is now to scare people back. He said, ‘I had to go back to my guys and tell them not to catch anybody, that their job is to chase people away. … They were not to catch anyone, arrest anyone. Their job was to set up posture, to intimidate people, to get them to go back.”

Jeffery Self, commander of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Joint Field Command in Arizona, said in a written statement. “The claim that Border Patrol supervisors have been instructed to underreport or manipulate our statistics is unequivocally false,” Hmm. Wait a minute. Mr. Self didn’t actually address what Sheriff Dever said, did he? I’m sure everything is completely under control. After all, Janet Napolitano said so!

ITEM: The Government Is Using Your Tax Dollars With the Greatest Care! Department: From Hot Air (here) comes news of the enormous sculpture of a fairy on the back of a toad which lights up and “gurgles sounds of nature.” The sculpture, to be placed at the Defense Department’s Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia to open this fall, costs a mere $600,000, pocket change to the Federal Government. Army Corps of Engineers officials, responding to charges of waste and, well, idiocy, have noted that the decision to build the enormous toad and fairy, which is due on April 1 (talk about irony), can’t be put off because it would “impact completion” of the project. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. After all, it’s not even a million bucks, and I can’t think of anything more inspiring to people working to help defend America than the kind of patriotic symbolism embodied by a ten foot fairy riding an enormous toad. After all, wasn’t it just such a vision that inspired George Washington to cross the Potomac in a wooden shoe while chopping down a cherry tree and lying to his father? It wasn’t? Oh. This is an April Fool's joke, right? Even the Feds couldn't be this dopey? Right? Right?

ITEM: And in the “So Ironic It Hurts!” Department, comes this story from Hot Air (here) about Mr. Obama recently receiving an award for—wait for it…transparency! And the best part is that he locked all reporters out of the secret White House ceremony where the award was bestowed! You can’t make this stuff up, folks.

ITEM: So Now The Republicans Want to Kill Children, Eh? Rajiv, Shas, USAID Administrator told a House subcommittee:

“… the budget plan, which would cut $61 billion in federal spending, would lead to the deaths of 30,000 kids in a malaria control program that would have to be scaled back, 24,000 from a lack of immunizations and 16,000 from a lack of skilled attendants at birth.” "’There's a way to do this that does not have to cost lives and we're very focused and very much want to work with the committee to identify a path forward that can allow us to be effective at doing so,’ he said. Shah is seeking $59.5 billion in funding for his agency, up 22 percent, or $10.7 billion, from the current level.”

Well, when you put it that way… Perhaps the Dems can come up with how many children will be killed per dollar of budget cuts. Any bets? One? 2.37? 18.82? Go here for the entire sad story and contact your Republican legislator and tell them to kill as many children as possible.

NOTE TO THE IRONY CHALLENGED/MANDATORY POLITICAL CORRECTNESS DISCLAIMER: That last comment was satirical. I am not, in fact, in favor of killing children and I am not, in fact, actually telling you to tell legislators to kill children. However, I am fond of Jonathan Swift’s modest proposal about eating them.

ITEM: We’re so far underwater in national debt that we can’t see sunlight, so one wonders on which pressing, absolutely vital national priority does Mr. Obama want to spend even more money? Buying more land for parks and conservation. The federal government already owns about 1/3 of all American lands, and Mr. Obama (here) wants to double spending next year to $900 million dollars. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski has pointed out that the Feds cannot afford to maintain the land they already own, and would have to sell, rather than buy, land to properly maintain it. Hmm. If I was broke and owned property I couldn’t afford to maintain, wouldn’t I sell that property? But then again, I’m not Barack Obama, am I?

Another thought: How does this square with Mr. Obama’s recent speech claiming to be all about expanding American energy production? Does he want more land to open it to exploration and energy production? Isn’t private land already open to exploration and energy production? Something doesn’t smell quite right, and I’m sure it doesn’t smell remotely like oil.

ITEM: Epic Fail Department: Remember all of Mr. Obama’s bold outreach initiatives? Remember the way he was going to utterly transform not only America, but make the world love us? Remember how having a black, sort-of-Muslim-when-it’s-convenient-and-don’t-you-dare-call-me-Muslim-even-though-my-middle-name-is-about-as-muslim-as-it-gets President would change the way every nation dealt with America? How’s all of that working out? Go here for John Hannah’s take. My take? Mr. Obama couldn’t have made a worse hash of the world if he tried, and I’m not entirely sure he didn’t--and isn’t.

ITEM: Read the article here to discover one of the greatest tragedies of modern times. Oh, the humanity! Yes, California state legislators, in a state that is about to, economically and perhaps not metaphorically speaking, slide into the Pacific Ocean, may actually—gasp!—lose—wailing and gnashing of teeth—their taxpayer paid luxury automobiles! I may eat some organic vegetables in protest of the obvious violation of universal human rights such cruel deprivation would constitute. And yes, CA is the only state that provides state-subsidized rides for state legislators. And it's bankrupt. And it just elected a man it fondly (?!) calls "Governor Moonbeam" again(?!). Perhaps there’s a lesson in there somewhere? Discuss.

ITEM: Louis Renault Award of the Week: From Fox News (here) comes the tragic tale of Attorney General Eric Holder, a man who works tirelessly for his people, making a petulant April 4 appearance to announce that some of the most vile terrorists of the century will not be allowed to have star-studded media-circus trials in the Big Apple. No, NYC will be denied the world-wide attention, astronomical expense, disruption and terrorist targeting that is—according to Mr. Holder and Mr. Obama--its natural right. And it’s all the more tragic, according to Mr. Holder, because he guarantees they’d be convicted, so let’s get on with the fair, impartial trials and show the world how fair our justice system really is. But that’s not what makes me shocked, shocked!, no. I know you won’t be able to believe it either. It’s the fault of Congress and those darned American people that Mr. Holder won’t get his way. Awwww. Once again, the people--the bastards--have spoken.

ITEM: Louis Renault Award of the Week #II: I am shocked, shocked! to learn that the Nevada chapter of ACORN has pleaded guilty to one count of violating election laws in Las Vegas, NV during the 2008 campaign. ACORN, which is now defunct (I really can’t get tired of writing that!), is almost certainly operating under other names. The mainstream media might figure that out sometime after the next presidential election--or not. Go to Fox News (here) for the rest of the story. Hope. Change. Nation-wide election fraud. Community Organizing.

ITEM: From Hot Air (here) comes the news that Former Speaker of the House (I absolutely never get tired of writing that!) Nancy Pelosi is now saying that some budget bill or something or other that Republicans may or may not be proposing will make six million seniors starve to death. Sigh. On the April 5th O’Reilly Factor, John Stossel reported that his staff called Pelosi’s office and they had no idea what bill Pelosi was talking about or where she was getting her figures. Imagine that. This woman was third in line for the presidency. Contact your Republican legislators immediately and ask that they make eating old people legal. Starting with Nancy Pelosi. For the required disclaimer, see the “ So Now The Republicans Want to Kill Children, Eh?” item above and substitute “old people” for “children.” Thanks.

ITEM: I’m All For Free Speech, But…: From Hot Air (here) comes the predictably erratic Senator Lindsay Graham who says: “I wish we could hold people accountable for their actions, but under free speech, you can’t.” He speaks, of course of the killing of UN workers and fellow Afghani Muslims by Afghan adherents of the religion of peace following the burning of a Koran by an obscure Florida minister. Graham, who is actually a military (reserve) lawyer(?!), thinks that the fact that he, and apparently General David Petraeus--according to Graham--would like to ban Koran burning overrides the First Amendment because without people like the general, there would be no First Amendment. Well, I’m a teacher, and without people like me, there would be no writ…

ITEM: Delicious Irony Department: From Rob over at PACNW Righty (here) we discover that in the very heart of leftist, Global Warming, tree-hugging territory, California, The Sierra Nevada Mountains have near-record snowfalls, with some 61 feet of snow. But of course, 61 feet of snow is obvious evidence of global warming. So is rain, hail, night, day, too-tight jeans, Victoria’s Secret, little yappy dogs, Koran burning and Nancy Pelosi. Discuss.

ITEM: Who Says There Are No Happy Endings? Department: If you’d like a smile on your face and a tear in your eye, go here. Oh yes, and be glad you’re an American, one of hundreds of millions of people who would care about something so simple, so common, yet so touching.

And on that touching note, thanks for stopping by, and I'll see you again next Thursday, same bat-time, same bat-channel!

Posted by MikeM at 10:17 PM | Comments (2)

April 05, 2011

Fiscal Malpractice

In recent weeks, America’s fiscal crisis has, day by day, worsened and the stark realities we face have been made more and more clear. Yet in the face of disaster, Congressional Democrats scream about cutting a few billions, accusing Republicans of wanting to kill 70,000 children when we are facing deficits in the tens of trillions. President Obama has been essentially absent, apparently adopting the childish tactic of ignoring the deficit in the hope that it will simply go away and stop bothering him. If that was all that he did--or didn’t do--it would be bad enough, but of late, he has taken a number of policy steps that clearly indicate that he has no idea of economics, or simply could care less.

Mr. Obama has announced (here) his executive order to replace all 600,000 federal vehicles with “advanced technology” vehicles by 2015. “Advanced technology,” of course, means hybrids and electric vehicles such as the Chevy Volt, which is essentially a needly complex plug-in pseudo hybrid retailing for $41,000, but costing as much as $65,000. The costs of this bit of economic lunacy are staggering. Every Volt purchased will cost more than double the price of a comparable sedan and will also require a huge investment in charging stations at federal installations across the nation. Even hybrids commonly cost thousands more than comparable conventional vehicles.

Mr. Obama has also announced his intention (here) to double--to $900 million dollars--the Federal Government’s budget for purchasing privately owned land, ostensibly for conservation. The Feds already own 1/3 of all land in America and, according to Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, cannot come close to properly maintaining it, an assertion many Americans who have recently visited a national park can confirm. In fact, the only way the Government can possibly afford to properly maintain the land it now owns would be to sell large portions of it to raise the money necessary to maintain the rest.

There are a great many additional examples of Mr. Obama’s utter lack of adult seriousness regarding debt reduction, but these are illustrative. Certainly, there are political motivations in these two situations. Mr. Obama clearly intends to buy large numbers of Chevy Volts, in effect, to create a market where one could not otherwise exist. In doing this, he continues to put money in union coffers, and in turn, his 2012 campaign chest. It is no coincidence that Mr. Obama’s crony and advisor, Jeffery Immelt, president of General Electric, has committed GE to buying 12,000 Volts. It is likewise an amazing non-coincidence that GE manufactures the charging stations that will be necessary to support fleets of electric vehicles with limited utility and even more limited range (about 25 miles in real world experience). Mr. Obama has also recently expressed his support for an all-of-the-above energy strategy, but everything he has done to date indicates just the opposite. Putting more land under direct government control almost certainly means that much more land closed to coal, oil, nuclear and natural gas development and production.

Any rational adult serious about cutting spending would actually cut spending. Mr. Obama is manifestly not rational or serious in his non-pursuit of fiscal sobriety. But for a man who non-fights non-wars, we should be non-surprised. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama’s lack of attention to American’s welfare will result, and sooner rather than later, in all too real consequences.

Posted by MikeM at 06:03 PM | Comments (5)

March 31, 2011

Quick Takes, March 31, 2011

ITEM: In Maine, a major international crisis is brewing. From Hot Air (here) we discover that Governor Paul LePage has ordered that the state’s Department of Labor building be redecorated after receiving” feedback” that that building isn’t 
“perceived as equally receptive to both businesses and workers.” The remodeling, has been removing a 36-foot mural of the state’s labor history and renaming conference rooms which have to date been named for Cesar Chavez (picking fruit in Maine?) and other big labor icons. As one might expect, the usual suspects have proclaimed this provocative, immoral brutality by governor LePage to be, well, provocative and immoral. Even Robert Reich, Clinton Labor Secretary weighed in on the Christian Science Monitor site (here), asking “Are we still in America?” Hmm. So let me see if I have this straight: Anything relating to labor must not only be laudatory toward unions, must not only be displayed and celebrated, but it must remain in place forever, even if potential changes will be essentially neutral. Seems reasonable. But as for Mr. Reich: “The Horror; the horror!” (Repeat in Elmer Fudd voice until everyone in sight is laughing themselves silly)

ITEM: In the SIGNS OF THE APOCALYPSE? Department comes news from the Telegraph of London (here and here) that in an ABC News and People Magazine poll, Forrest Gump was rated the greatest film character of all time. James Bond came in second, followed by Scarlett O’Hara, Hannibal Lecter (?!) and Indiana Jones. The comedy was “Airplane!, followed by “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
Check the links for additional categories. “Airplane!” and “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” but of course, but Forrest Gump?

ITEM: What do you do with a person who was a key advisor to AG Janet Reno during the Branch Davidian disaster in Waco, TX, who was singlehandedly responsible for keeping our intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies from communicating, directly leading to 9-11, who served on the 9-11 commission investigating herself, who also worked at Fannie Mae, making 26 million in just seven years, also earning a $800,000+ bonus based on falsified data from its management in 1998, who also received preferred a rate loan from the discredited Countrywide Mortgage? If you’re the Obama administration, you put her--Jamie Gorelick--on the short list for FBI director! Oh, by the way, she has no actual law enforcement experience whatever--unless you count helping to immolate innocent men, women and children--obviously making her the perfect candidate for the Obamites. More here.

ITEM: In the Flying The Sleepy Skies Department, we learn (here) that Reagan National Airport’s control tower went off the air early March 23rd when the sole Air Traffic Controller on duty went to sleep. Despite repeated radio, phone and alarm calls, the ATC remained in sleepy land and two passenger jets had to land without any direction or clearance. FAA officials had no idea that the tower was apparently regularly manned with only a single controller. Of course, it’s all the fault of George W. Bush (here), who when last I checked has not been president for more than two years. Reliable sources indicate that it is unlikely that he will be president again at anytime in the near future. But that’s OK, because the nation is in the very best of hands.

ITEM: In the “You’re Kidding, Right? Nobody’s That Politically Correct! Department, we travel (here) to Pottawattamie County and Treynor High School where a terrorism scenario drill will take place. The scenario? Two teenage white supremacist/ “firearms enthusiasts” shoot up the school because they’re upset about illegal immigration, of course! Those Californians! What would you expect from such...what’s that? It’s not in California? It’s where?! IOWA?! Iowa. According to the DesMoines Register, Doug Reed, “lead exercise planner” for the County emergency management agency said “the exercise is not intended to be political and shouldn’t be interpreted as criticizing gun owners or opponents of illegal immigration.” Reed, whose obfuscatory rhetorical skills obviously belong in the White House, also noted “This is purely the backdrop and the setup, if you will, to help create a perception of reality for the responders.”

Ah yes, a perception of reality! So let’s see, how many school shootings have been perpetrated by anti-immigrant firearms enthusiasts? None, so obviously this scenario represents the most currently realistic threat of attack on a school in a town with a population of 919 people. Here’s my scenario: An attack by federal bureaucrats who sue the school for violations of the ADA, the Clean Air Act and an obscure treaty protecting a rare ant. That’s arguably more realistic. Discuss.

ITEM: And This Week’s Louis Renault Award goes to: Anyone who ever thought a progressive’s brain could contain a rational, economic thought. I’m shocked, shocked! As I’m sure the ridiculously smart and lovely Michelle Malkin (here) is, and from whom comes news of Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich on Chris Matthews--our national leg tingler’s--Hardball show presenting his solution to the nation’s economic woes. To wit: “You don’t want government to hold back, you want government right now, yes, the deficit’s a long-term problem, but right not you don’t want to cut government spending, yet Eric Cantor and the Republicans are indulging, you hear it over and over.” You just can’t make this stuff up, folks.

ITEM: Regular readers know that I’ve been following the dubious fortunes of the Government Motors Chevy Volt. Now, from autobloggreen (here) comes news that Washington, Texas and Oregon are considering levying a special tax on electric vehicles! Why? They don’t generate gasoline taxes yet use the same roads as those who do. There is justice in the world after all. And irony, loads and loads of irony. This is just electric (ar, ar) with irony!

ITEM: I think the headline of this article says all you need to know about Joe Biden and the Democrats: “Biden Aide Apologizes After Reporter Kept In Storage Closet During Fundraiser.” According to Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander, the closet wasn’t really a closet, it was a “hold room.” Yeah. Sure. Hope. Change. Transparency. Tell me again why reporters have to wear drool buckets whenever they’re around Obama or his lackeys? Imagine the media outrage if this had been done by a Republican? And no, I’m not making this one up, honest.

ITEM: You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up: In a Media Myth Alert (here) we find this actual correction from the paper of record, the New York Times:

“An article in The Times Magazine last Sunday about Ivana Trump and her spending habits misstated the number of bras she buys. It is two dozen black, two dozen white, not two thousand of each.” Uh, don’t they actually employ any editors at that paper? To normal folks with a normal number of breasts, 2000 is just a bit larger than 24, and a bit more obvious.

ITEM: This headline says it all too: “US: most energy resources in the world and most incoherent energy policy.” Well yeah...read the whole thing from Hot Air (here). Oh well. At least we’re helping Brazil with their oil industry...hey!

ITEM: I know you’ve asked yourself this question: Why are Russians so unsmiling? Find the answer at Pravda, (here). Well, if you’d lived under Communism for a century--just a guess, mind you...

ITEM: Mr. Obama failed to get a poll bounce after his Libya attack that wasn’t an attack with clear goals that weren’t and with a victory plan that wasn’t clearly led by America but not really led by anyone... From the New Republic, via The Daily Caller (here), we discover that the reason for this lack of bounce is (drum roll please, Maestro!) John Boehner didn’t praise it! That’s right, the Republican Speaker of the House’s praise is apparently responsible for the popularity of Democrat presidents. And I thought it was just because Mr. Obama was late and incoherent, but what do I know?

ITEM: Something To Think About Department: What happens to American unity when enough major companies and businesses move to states that actually recognize that businesses and productive citizens are preferable to boarded up storefronts and non-productive entitlement takers? Explore one of the indicators of this potential future divide in a post by Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin’s blog (here). Caterpillar is currently telling the government of the Democrat People’s Republic of Illinois that if they don’t get business friendly in a hurry, Caterpillar is going to move elsewhere. Will the Dem. machine pols that run Illinois listen? Will they listen in other Dem-controlled states? What happens to a state when everyone is taking and there is no one left around to produce?

ITEM: Doesn’t Work and Play Well with Others! Department: At Michelle Malkin (the blog, not the charming Michelle), Doug Powers (here) notes a dust up between Secretary of Defense Gates and Secretary of State Clinton. More evidence of the utter incoherence and disarray of Obama foreign policy, as if you needed any more. Interesting and telling nonetheless.

ITEM: Sharia Goes To School! At National Review Online (here), the highly competent Mona Charen has a nice article about a Muslim teacher who demanded three weeks off in the middle of a school year to perform the Hajj, which is a pilgrimage to Mecca all observant Muslims are expected to make--if possible--once in a lifetime. Why is this noteworthy? Because the school reasonably refused, the teacher resigned and did it anyway, but she also contacted the Justice Department, and guess what, Holder’s boys and girls are suing the school district! By the way, I covered this issue for Pajamas Media back in December. Go here for that article.

ITEM: When someone gets shot by a shotgun in the movies, they fly backwards 20 feet. That’s the way it really is, right? To find out about some great movie/gun myths, go here. And no, getting shot by a shotgun doesn’t fling people any distance. Basic physics: Any firearm that could, from the energy delivered by its projectile, fling someone 20 feet would have the same reaction on the shooter. People fall down and/or backwards when shot out of surprise, shock, and the “Oh s**t! I’ve been shot!” reaction.

ITEM: LOUIS RENAULT AWARD OF THE MONTH! We are shocked, shocked! to learn (here and here) that in a letter to Congress delivered on March 19, Eric Holder’s Department of Justice noted that it had diligently investigated Eric Holder’s DOJ and concluded that Eric Holder’s DOJ is absolutely blameless, blameless! in dismissing the infamous voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party, one of the leaders of which has been immortalized on video exhorting fellow blacks to kill white babies. C’mon, what’d you expect? Eric Holder knows were all cowards because we don’t obsess sufficiently about race, so his DOJ and he are filling the race gap all by themselves. Hope. Change. Race-baiting.

ITEM: President Obama has spent substantial time bragging about his “coalition” of which we’re not really a leader, no, that NATO, sort of, maybe is the leader, and how we’re protecting Libyan lives, except maybe they could be virulent terrorists, and it’s the right thing to do and all, and Qaddafi has to go, except we’re not going to do anything to make that happen, except he knows he has to go, and he didn’t talk to Congress, but if they, you now, want to talk about this, that’s OK with him, and Hillary Clinton is talking to just bunches of people, you know, just bunches. Hmm. Let’s see if I have this straight: Both Bushes had much, much bigger coalitions for their wars--which they actually called wars--and both got Congressional resolutions for their wars. If it’s so morally right, why do we need a coalition to act in the first place? Aren’t we the good guys anymore? And what the hell is Mr. Obama talking about anyway? And don’t get me started on Hillary Clinton. Discuss.

ITEM: Black Flight! No, I’m not talking about levitating black people, but about blacks moving, in record numbers, out of the blue states where decades of social experimentation have devastated the black family. Read this article by Walter Russell Mead. A significant shift in political reality may well be underway. Guess where most are moving? The South. Hope. Change. Cosmic irony.

ITEM: GREAT MOMENTS IN SMART DIPLOMACY! Department. Visit NewsBusters (here) to see the post-Obama Libya speech reaction by Libyans as reported by NBC. In a nutshell: They’re enormously relieved and emboldened. But wait a minute, shouldn’t a speech by the POTUS in wartime make our enemies quake with trepidation and fear instead of making them want to party? I’m sure, being one of those cloddish God and gun clingers, that I’m just too dense to appreciate the nuance inherent in Mr. Obama’s foreign policy. No doubt Sen. John Kerry (D, John Kerry) could explain it in an appropriately nuanced fashion.

ITEM: We’re All Disabled Now! From Fox News (here) comes the news that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, following the Obama Administration’s practice of getting through regulation what it can’t through legitimate means, has redefined “disability” under the Americans With Disability Act. If Congress doesn’t act, the new regulations, which could actually result in most Americans being able to claim disabled status, will take effect in May. More disabled Americans equals more demands on business, equals less profit, equals fewer jobs, equals less business, equals higher unemployment, equals less tax revenue, equals greater reliance on the all-powerful government, equals our continuing descent into third world status. Hope. Change. Obama domestic policy.

ITEM: Just A Thought: Pundit after pundit is writing that Mr. Obama’s Libya speech was “eloquent,” but contradictory, confusing, and/or made little or no sense. Hmm. If a speech is contradictory, confusing and made little or no sense, is it really eloquent, or was it, at best, a reasonably competent teleprompter reading? Can saying essentially “blah, blah, blah, and more blah” be eloquent?

ITEM: Cash For Clunkers II: This Time It’s Personal! Yes, gentle readers, Cash For Clunkers was so successful the first time around, it wasted $3 billion dollars, depressed the numbers of vehicles available on the used car market and increased the cost of those remaining so much that it only makes sense the Obamites would try it again--sort of. And as you suspected, it’s tied into the ridiculously unpopular Chevy Volt. According to The Blaze (here) the Obamites are planning to change the current $7500 tax credit for green cars--the only two currently available are the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf--to a rebate immediately available at the point of sale. Who is excited about this--apart from the Obama Administration? General Motors, another subsidiary of the Democrat party. So let’s see, Volts are currently selling for as much as $65,000, so with the rebate, that’s only $57,500! Buy one for each day of the week! Meanwhile, Nissan’s Leaf sales are, to put it mildly, uninspiring, perhaps even more uninspiring than Volt sales.

ITEM: Here’s a delightful bit of history about the Slinky! Yes, as you always suspected, it was originally intended to be a tension spring in the engine horsepower meters of battleships! Go here.

ITEM: Yes, Once Again, I’ve Read Your Minds! I Know Exactly What You Want to See! Go here for a video on a slingshot/crossbow hybrid that shoots--wait for it--machetes! The video reveals that no piece of cardboard within two feet is safe. Nor is the maker’s arm.

And with that bit of whimsy, I’ll bid you adieu for this week. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you again next Thursday!.

Posted by MikeM at 12:16 AM | Comments (1)

March 28, 2011

Courting Armageddon

I've been warning of the apocalyptic Hojjatieh sect that rules Iran for the better part of four years now. They believe that the end of the world is imminent, which isn't too dissimilar to factions and cults within religions dating from the beginning of time until now. What separates the Hojjatieh from all other cults is that they believe they have a duty to help bring about the end of the world, and they very nearly have the capacity to do so.

The Hojjatieh are a sect within Shia "Twelver" Islam in Iran that rules the terrorist state, which either has nuclear weapons capability, or are on the edge of developing that capability.

The cult has not been shy about its beliefs, nor has it sought to hide its presence. Its most fierce advocate is none other than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, acting on the orders of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Now the world's only nuclear cult has released a film alerting Muslims to the imminent return of the Madhi and the end of life on Earth.

One of the most important keys to securing the reappearance of the last messiah — as called for in the Hadith — is the annihilation of Israel, and the conquering of Beitol Moghadas (Jerusalem). They state with conviction that Islam will soon conquer the world, and that all infidels will be destroyed.

The pursuit of nuclear bombs by the radicals ruling Iran is directly connected to this belief: war, chaos, and lawlessness must engulf the world to pave the way for Imam Mahdi's reappearance.

This movie has been produced in Iran by an organization called Conductors of The Coming, in collaboration with the Iranian president's office and the Basij (Iranian paramilitary force). Also, reports indicate that Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, President Ahmadinejad's top adviser and chief of staff, was directly involved with this project. The movie was completed a few months ago and was recently screened for the high clerics by the Iranian president’s office, with one of its high-ranking official analyzing it.

For the past few years, Ahmadinejad has been telling everyone who would listen that Iran intends to wipe Israel off the map. If Iran launches such an attack, the resulting retaliatory strike—the so-called Samson Option—would destroy the Muslim Middle East that has attempted time and again to destroy the Jewish state. Tens of millions will die in the carnage. The region will be uninhabitable, and the fallout will circle the globe and affect us all.

The Iranian leaders are preparing their followers for this end of days that they plan to initiate. Our leftist Western leaders stand silent, unwilling to believe that madmen with the means to destroy the world intend to do just that if they feel the time is right.

Watch the film for yourself.

With the creation of The Coming, the Iranian leadership indicates that they are in the final preparatory stages prior to launching an attack on Israel in hopes of triggering the cleansing fire their Madhi's return demands.

Our leaders will beg forgiveness if the world burns, but they will do nothing to prevent it.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:10 AM | Comments (4)

March 25, 2011

Armed Extortion in Wisconsin?

As the Delegates were leaving Independence Hall for the final time, a woman approached Benjamin Franklin and asked:

Dr. Franklin, what kind of government have you given us?

Franklin replied:

A republic, if you can keep it.

Brilliant as he was, Franklin was more prescient than he could have imagined.

Democracy is at once robust and fragile. Among its greatest strengths is that it is voluntary. A people choose to participate because the benefits of democracy are more than worth its duties and responsibilities. Yet this strength is also among its greatest weaknesses. When a sufficient number of citizens no longer believe that the duties and responsibilities of democracy are worth its benefits, the keeping of that republic, that Democracy, becomes an open question, a question much discussed over the last two years.

If, for example, one third of the public, some 100 million Americans, decided that government was so corrupt that the only way to curtail its unrestrained spending was to refuse to pay income taxes, the system would quickly break down. Imagine too that the people lose confidence in the police. Imagine that they believe that the police will play favorites, and that those they favor are immune from arrest, that the police will stand idly by and ignore the crimes of those they support. How can the people know who the police might favor and when? Who would not hesitate to call them?

One of the primary factors causing Americans to question the continuing existence of the republic is the corrupting effect of public sector unions. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is certainly not remembered as a conservative, yet even he recognized the dangers inherent in public sector unions, considering government union strikes against taxpayers:

“unthinkable and intolerable.”

Even George Meaney, President of the AFL-CIO in 1955 said:

“It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”

FDR was such a giant of early progressivism that Time Magazine photoshopped Mr. Obama’s face onto an iconic image of FDR for its November 28, 2008 cover. In truth, FDR and BHO do have one thing in common: Both spent truly awesome amounts of money. It has been said that money is the root of all evil. At the moment, it is, at least, the motivational force that threatens to dissolve our republic.

I have, for several years, read and enjoyed the writings of “Jack Dunphy,” the pen name of a serving LAPD officer. Because of our similar backgrounds and experiences, I recognize the importance of helping the public to learn the realities of law enforcement from those who actually do it, but his most recent post on Pajamas Media, “Not All Public Sector Unions Are Made Equal,” on March 17 has given me pause.

But before I address that article, let us first travel across the nation from Los Angeles to that pastoral, Progressive land of dairy farms and cheese hats: Wisconsin. Wisconsin has become infamous of late for armed extortion and blatant betrayal of the public trust. I speak, tragically, of Wisconsin’s police.

Many reports have mentioned officers of various police forces appearing to stand by and do nothing as union lawbreaking and violence ran rampant under their watchful gaze. This might, under some circumstances, be wise and necessary, but there is reason to believe that less professional and rational motivations have been at work, for many Wisconsin police forces are unionized.

On more than one occasion, police officers in uniform have joined union forces occupying the Capitol building to express their solidarity. Others have threatened to disobey the orders of their superiors to remove protestors. Perhaps some have actually refused. One uniformed officer went so far as to wield a bullhorn from the Rotunda floor to exhort the Capitol-occupying crowd to greater heights of glorious, socialist struggle.

Interestingly, Wisconsin has a “Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights” which specifically allows political activism by police officers and prevents reprisals for such activity. It reads, in part:

164.015 Engaging in political activity. No law enforcement officer may be prohibited from engaging in political activity when not on duty or not otherwise acting in an official capacity, or be denied the right to refrain from engaging in political activity.

164.03 Recrimination. No law enforcement officer may be discharged, disciplined, demoted or denied promotion, transfer or reassignment, or otherwise discriminated against in regard to employment, or threatened with any such treatment, by reason of the exercise of the rights under this chapter.

Notice that the statute requires that officers be off duty and not acting in their official capacity, but does not specifically address the wearing of uniforms.

Most police agencies reasonably consider that any officer engaging in such activity in uniform will be universally seen by the public to be on duty and acting under color of their office. For this reason, most agencies prohibit the wearing of the uniform for any purpose other than official duties, and even officers stopping by a quick shop on the way home from work commonly cover their uniform with a jacket. Officers usually take great pains to do nothing that might diminish respect for, or the authority of, the uniform, or which might cause the public to doubt police fairness and impartiality. Professional, non-corrupt police officers know that they need the voluntary, whole-hearted support and respect of the public, the public they are sworn to serve and protect, not extort.

The police are committing extortion? Indeed they are, at least in Wisconsin, where during the first week in March, the “Wisconsin Professional Police Association” sent out letters and faxes to a great many Wisconsin businesses--particularly those that supported Gov. Scott Walker-- demanding that they toe the union line or face a boycott of their businesses. The letter/fax was signed by the following:

James L. Palmer, Executive Director
Wisconsin Professional Police Association

Mahlon Mitchell, President
Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin

Joe Conway, President
International Fire Firefighters of Wisconsin

John Matthews, Executive Director
Madison Teachers, Inc.

Keith Patt, Executive Director
Green Bay Education Association

Bob Richardson, President
Dane County Deputy Sheriff’s Association

Dan Frei, President
Madison Professional Police Officer’s Association

Most police officers around the nation would be shocked by this crude, extortion-like attempt. While this act is likely not specifically illegal in Wisconsin, it smells of extortion, and any such communication would tend to destroy public faith in law enforcement. Truly professional officers would never contemplate or allow such a thing. As bad as it is, worse is the greater, much more destructive, implied threat: Do as we demand or police (and fire) services and protection will be selectively provided, perhaps entirely withheld. Someone is ripping up your store? We’ll get to it when we have time, maybe. Your business is on fire? Aw, made the wrong turn! Who has that map? The co-signers of this thinly veiled attempt at extortion may claim that they intend no such thing, but what rational business owner could think otherwise?

Our system of law works because most people voluntarily obey most laws most of the time, but when they can no longer count on the impartiality and honor of the police (or the devotion to duty of their firefighters), their respect for the law, and their willingness to obey it, is greatly diminished. Businesses are particularly sensitive and vulnerable to this kind of threat. The average citizen might never have personal contact with the police, but businesses have frequent need of police protection and services. Criminals exploit the vulnerabilities of their victims. In Wisconsin, so do the police.

Surely this must be hyperbole! Surely the police would not fail to enforce obvious violations of the law occurring under their noses? On March 16th, at a Merill, WI rally to recall one of the fourteen Democrats who fled Wisconsin, a female protestor, pretending to sign a recall petition, wrote “f**k you” on it and ripped up others to the cheers of other protestors. The event took place on the courthouse grounds because of threats of violence at the originally designated private location. Police officers were present and witnessed the crime, but did nothing and told eyewitnesses that there was nothing they could do about it. Not quite. Consider this Wisconsin Statute:

12.13 Election fraud. (1) ELECTORS. Whoever intentionally does any of the following violates this chapter:

(3) PROHIBITED ACTS. No person may:
(a) Falsify any information in respect to or fraudulently deface or destroy a certificate of nomination, nomination paper, declaration of candidacy or petition for an election, including a recall petition or PETITION FOR A REFERENDUM [emphasis mine]; or file or receive for filing a certificate of nomination, nomination paper, declaration of candidacy or any such petition, knowing any part is falsely made.

12.60 Penalties. (1) (a) Whoever violates s. 12.09, 12.11 or 12.13 (1), (2) (b) 1. to 7. or (3) (a), (e), (f), (j), (k), (L), (m), (y) or (z) is guilty of a Class I felony.

Notice that the act that rendered the police helpless is a felony in Wisconsin, likely a separate felony count for each document defaced or destroyed. The legislature no doubt made this act a felony because destroying such political documents strikes at the heart of democracy, and in Wisconsin, apparently so do Democrat legislators and at least some of the police. Even if the officers were unaware of this statute, the protestor was easily guilty of disturbing the peace, destruction of property or both. Even neophyte police officers know those.

Returning to Mr. Dunphy, I’ll not engage in a point-by-point refutation of his arguments. The more than 300 PJM readers responding to his article have done that quite well. Like those Wisconsin officers, Mr. Dunphy seeks to claim his place as a member of a class of untouchable masters of the public whose dollars elect Democrat politicians and expect those indentured legislators to shower them with even more taxpayer dollars in return.

I am, however, sympathetic to one of Mr. Dunphy’s concerns. The police are uniquely vulnerable to trivial and false charges of misconduct, and are sometimes mistreated by politicians. Even so, this is not an argument for unions whose only true interests are power and money, both illegitimately and involuntarily seized from the public.

Sufficient due process protections can be legislated. The Congress could also pass legislation addressing pension and experience portability between state and cities. Of course, with such legislation comes the risk that experienced officers could price themselves out of many police markets. There is, after all, real competition among professional police agencies for professional officers.

When Democrat legislators refuse to voluntarily abide by the results of elections and flee their states to thwart the will of the people, when they claim that their anarchy is the true expression of democracy, our republic stands in jeopardy. When unions import professional agitators, occupy and trash a state capitol, trespass, destroy property, commit assault, and make death threats against Republican legislators and their innocent families, the republic stands in jeopardy. When the police abandon their duty, make extortion-like threats, turn a blind eye to crime and elevate their own economic interests above their oath, the republic stands in jeopardy. And when the public can no longer depend upon the voluntary fidelity of the executive and legislative branches of government to do the jobs for which they are elected and hired, the republic stands in jeopardy.

This too is why it’s not necessary to respond in detail to Officer Dunphy. The proximate cause of Wisconsin’s recent domestic strife is public sector unionism, motivated by its primary reason for being: The pursuit and retention of money and power at the expense of the public, and at the expense of responsibility, discipline, truth, and the kind of sacred honor our Founding Fathers volunteered to risk. No reason, no justification, no matter how sympathetically portrayed, can erase this stark reality or justify Mr. Dunphy's arguments.

Posted by MikeM at 01:10 AM | Comments (9)

March 23, 2011

It's Not A Major Military Action?

In the opinion pages of the Washington Post Tuesday (here), Dana Milbank penned an article enchantingly titled: Obama’s Quick Trip From Tyrant to Weakling. Surprisingly, Milbank takes Mr. Obama to task (sort of), but of course, cannot resist taking a cheap shot at Mr. Bush, who at last check, has not been President for more than two years, a situation which is not expected to change. Milbank snarkily wrote:

“It was perilously close to George W. Bush’s My-Pet-Goat moment, when then-President Bush continued reading a storybook with children on Sept. 11, 2001, after he was told that the second World Trade Center tower had been hit. Bush later said he was trying to maintain calm; likewise, White House officials tell me the decision to proceed with the South America trip was made in part to convey that the Libya bombardment was not a major military action.”

Milbank’s thesis begins:

“After two years of being called a tyrant and a dictator, President Obama returns to Washington from a five-day overseas trip to find that he has become a weakling.

Would-be opponents such as Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and Sarah Palin had been trying out this somewhat contradictory line of attack for more than a month, as Obama gave mixed signals about events in Egypt and Libya. But the “weak leader” charge gained traction over the weekend, as Obama chose to launch the attack on Gaddafi’s forces while on an excellent adventure in South America with his family.”

Milbank suggests that Mr. Obama’s trip to Brazil was not so much a matter of weakness but of stubbornness. Mr. Obama, you see, has always been determined not to respond to small, insignificant issues of the day, but to maintain his omnipotent, omniscient focus on much broader, all-encompassing issues. As proof, Milbank cited Mr. Obama’s USA-Today op-ed. Milbank wrote:

“Obama wrote that while the Middle East is important, he was going to Latin America because ‘our top priority has to be creating and sustaining new jobs and new opportunities.’ Not only did the president proceed with his tour, but Vice President Biden went ahead with a reception for Democratic donors.”

Milbank also paraphrased unnamed Obama Administration officials who argued that this was, in fact, a sign of strong leadership. Milbank ends by lamenting the unfairness of it all, and by attacking--sort of--the tyrannical media:

“But it doesn’t matter if the criticism is fair. Obama left a vacuum, and his opponents filled it. For a president suddenly called “weak,” such is the tyranny of the news cycle.”

Well. First to Mr. Bush, who did not immediately leap up and flee in panic while reading to elementary school children. This, gentle reader, is a sign of self-control and the ability to multi-task. Rather than frighten a room full of kids, Mr. Bush read a bit longer while simultaneously preparing for what came next. He knew that he had the time to do that, and that it was the right thing to do. True leaders know this sort of thing. Remember that he was criticized for not immediately returning to Washington, despite the fact that he was very much exercising leadership from the most capable mobile command post the world has ever seen: Air Force One.

Remember too that he was criticized for not immediately flying to New York to stand on smoking rubble to act the role of comforter-in-chief to which the press had become accustomed under Bill Clinton. Fortunately, Mr. Bush wisely preferred to feel the pain of others in private, and to be actually with them, as he did countless times in private visits to our wounded warriors and their families, and with the families of warriors who gave the last, full measure of devotion. It never was all about him. Yet post 9-11, Mr. Bush was reflexively criticized for being.

Point to ponder: A “bombardment” comprising, thus far, more than 130 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a million dollars per bang, plus a wide variety of less expensive munitions, plus the involvement of at least one carrier task force, augmented by an international coalition of military forces is not “a major military action?” One shudders to think what, in Mr. Obama’s estimation, a major military action might be and whether even that might stay him from vacationing or golfing.

Mixed signals over Libya? Indeed, from the beginning until this very day as the media is reporting directly contradictory statements from Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton over the removal/non-removal of Qadaffi, and as a deal is in the works to set up a sort of “political steering committee”--such things, whatever they are, apparently make sense to the French and to Mr. Obama--to run the war that isn’t really a war in Libya, a committee that Americans will not head, and of which NATO will certainly be a part, or maybe not. Mr. Obama seems prepared to be the first American president willing to place American troops under the command of--a steering committee? A committee of foreigners who care little for American soldiers, assets or American interests? Good thing this isn’t a major military action.

Ah yes! It’s all because Mr. Obama is stubborn, but not in a bad way, no! Mr. Obama is stubborn over principle; he is stubborn in avoiding dealing with trivialities. So noble and awesome is The One that even intractable stubbornness is a virtue rather than a vice. An alternate suggestion is that Mr. Obama is utterly unable to deal with the demands, large and small, of the job, and so he ignores whatever he can, hoping it will go away and stop bothering him. This is unsurprising for a man with absolutely no business experience, and a man whose legislative experience was, at best, utterly unremarkable to the degree that many might call it virtually nonexistent.

It is unfair to say that Mr. Obama had no executive experience. He did, leading the Chicago Annenberg Challenge for some six years, with the able assistance and collusion of domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. You remember Mr. Ayers? The man Mr. Obama knew only as some guy who happened to live in the same neighborhood who Obama knew only because their kids went to the same school--many years apart? Ayers hired Obama, a community organizer--whatever that is--with no executive experience, to run the CAC to greatly improve the educational outcomes of Chicago students who were failing. Mr. Obama lead by stubbornly and very efficiently burning through tens of millions of dollars, accomplishing exactly nothing, according to a postmortem accounting by the Annenberg Foundation which financed his Titanic-like experiment in executive leadership. Who knew that even then, he was practicing the necessary Democrat presidential skill of burning the money of others at an incredible rate?

Milbank is correct in asserting that Mr. Obama’s frequent, lavish vacations--and the Latin American trip is smelling suspiciously like just that--do tend to lend support to the charge of weak leadership. But even more telling is Mr. Obama’s incredible narcissism and almost exclusive reliance on rhetoric. Mr. Obama really does seem to believe that such is the power of his personality, of his very being--a being he recently observed we must never take for granted--that all he need do to transform anything or anyone is to conduct yet another teleprompter reading. Then will Jihadists reject Islam and truly practice a religion of peace. Then will Iran abandon its nuclear ambitions and its support for terrorism. Then will Palestinians suddenly understand that it is wrong to decapitate three month old babies. Then will peoples living a 7th century tribal existence with its accompanying mindset be suddenly thrust into an enlightened world of self-sacrifice and utopian peace and social justice. Then will despots immediately see the errors of their ways and step down, establishing universal respect for “universal human rights.” As Sarah Palin would say, “how’s that workin’ out for ya?”

However, Milbank is correct in that Mr. Obama is absolutely all about “creating and sustaining new jobs and new opportunities.” Even while enjoying his current vacation, he is doing just that, particularly in the oil industry. Unfortunately, all of those new jobs and opportunities will be for Brazilians, not Americans. Mr. Obama is stubbornly choosing not to create or sustain new jobs and opportunities in the American oil industry, but has pledged to buy simply loads of Brazilian oil for American use. This is rather an odd economic policy for a President who frequently reads from his teleprompter words that suggest that he is all about American jobs and economic growth.

It is an interesting coincidence, for surely it could be nothing else, that George Soros owns a substantial stake in Brazil’s national oil company, Petrobras. I suspect that Mr. Obama’s dedication to Brazilian jobs and opportunities has nothing whatever to do with enriching Mr. Soros. It certainly has nothing whatever to do with enriching Americans.

And as to Mr. Biden--oh, who cares about Mr. Biden? Maybe the Brazilians will name a train station after him as soon as the Obama Administration begins construction on a high speed rail line from Miami to Rio, which makes precisely as much sense as the other high speed rail boondoggles they have proposed.

But Milbank redeems himself by being ultimately correct: Mr. Obama has left a vacuum. It is a vacuum of leadership and policy, both domestic and foreign, that is only just beginning to have disastrous consequences for America and the world. By making everything all about him, Mr. Obama stubbornly overlooks the realities of human nature. There are, around the world, a great many despots and peoples who not only can smell fear and weakness, but will surely exploit it. The vacuum of leadership left by Mr. Obama will be filled, with the bodies of innocent millions, millions Mr. Obama will doubtless stubbornly ignore as his all-seeing gaze takes in only the bigger, more important issues. No doubt his spokesmen will brand this strong leadership as well, leadership that will be dutifully lauded by the lamestream media whose rapidly diminishing credibility is inextricably entwined with Mr. Obama’s fortunes.

Other than than, Milbank is right on the money. What do they call their currency in Brazil again? Golf, anyone?

Posted by MikeM at 12:19 PM | Comments (3)

Quick Takes, March 23, 2011

ITEM: In the Is This Cool Or What? Department, comes news from the Daily Mail Online (here) about a gunfire locator miniaturized to fit on contemporary rifles. Using a version of sonar, it will allow troops to locate the firing positions of enemy soldiers within 1.3 seconds and return accurate fire on them. The device is currently being tested by the British in Afghanistan. Compact and lightweight, the device has the promise of giving troops a real edge in combat. Very cool indeed. Perhaps Mr. Obama might want to see about restoring the “special relationship” between America and England he has worked so hard and long to denigrate.

ITEM: From The Hill (here) comes the news that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) and other liberal Democrats have introduced a bill that would require a 2/3 majority in each house of Congress to pass any cuts to Social Security benefits. While Social Security is in real fiscal trouble, its problems are overshadowed by Medicare and Medicaid. But as always, it’s good to know that the Democrats are so serious about preventing our impending national bankruptcy and the collapse of the world’s economy that they’re willing to make it impossible to prevent our impending national bankruptcy and the collapse of the world’s economy. Wait a minute...I think I’m missing something here...

ITEM: From Sarah Palin Via Powerline (here) we learn that since Mr. Obama first took office, gas prices have increased 67% and continue to rise. During the same 26 month period of George W. Bush’s presidency, gas prices rose only 7%. Mr. Obama has said that if he gets his preferred polices, energy prices will “necessarily skyrocket.” He has also said that his only concern about skyrocketing gasoline prices is that he would prefer that they skyrocket more gradually. He has, of course, simultaneously all but shut down the production of new oil wells in America, and in the Gulf Coast, has issued only one drilling permit, and that for a well that was already nearly completed before the BP disaster. If a Manchurian Candidate had become president, how would his polices for the destruction of America differ from Mr. Obama’s? Discuss.

ITEM: And This Week’s Louis Renault Award Goes To: The Obama Administration (cue applause)! Fox News (here) reports that the Congressional Budget Office has examined Mr. Obama’s budget and his concluded that budget deficits until 2021 would be at least $2.3 trillion dollars more than the $7.2 trillion dollars the Obama budget projected. This disparity was due primarily to wildly optimistic economic assumptions on the part of the Obama Administration, and on at least some magical thinking. I’m shocked, shocked! But, oh what the heck? What’s two trillion or so among friends when you’re already throwing more than seven trillion down the rat hole? It’s all borrowed money anyway.

ITEM: Oh, so you’re calling me a rapist?! Sure, come on in, sit down, let’s negotiate in good faith! From Hot Air (here) come news of Vice President Joe--”The Sheriff”--Biden who recently compared Republicans who are trying to cut the federal budget to rapists. He also blamed them of creating the current deficit. Hmm. Wasn’t it Barack Obama who, in less than two years, has created the largest budget deficit in history, all by himself? And wasn’t it Barack Obama who, in his current budget, wants to increase that deficit to nearly $10 trillion dollars by 2021? If Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama get their way, the only people being raped will be taxpaying Americans. Joe Biden isn’t really the Vice President--is he?
It’s a parody, right?

ITEM: And in the “C’mon; This Has To Be A Parody, Right?” Department, comes Ed Morrissey from Hot Air (here) who informs us that Harry Reid has announced the most compelling reason for continuing to pour taxpayer dollars into the liberal sewer that is NPR yet, I mean, even more compelling than ensuring Nevada cowboy poetry (yeee-haw!) unto eternity. What could be more compelling than cowboy poetry? Why, ensuring that Harry Reid continues to be informed on the true origins of Alaskan dog-sled races! But wait, it gets better! Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-sort of--Alaska) wants continued NPR funding because of the “Mukluk Telegraph.” Accordingto Murkowski, NPR allows hunters to communicate that they returned to camp safely. It does? How would NPR go about that sort of thing, exactly? “And next on All Blubber Chewed, Bubba Jones and his hunting buddies are coming back to Anchorage from their annual Alaskan mosquito hunt...” Apparently NPR has a monopoly on all Alaskan radio frequencies. I know that Senator Reid is reality challenged, but now it seems that the frigid north has affected Senator Murkowski more than we realized.

ITEM: And in the “C’mon; This Really Has To Be A Parody, Right?” Department, against comes Ed Morrissey of Hot Air (here) who explains that many Congressional Democrats are grasping to understand why out of control spending that will--sooner rather than later--bankrupt the country, is so unpopular. They think they have the answer: It’s a failure of messaging! That’s right ladies and gentlemen, if only the Dems can trot out a few more Sesame Street puppets and get a bit more mileage out of sob stories about cowboy poetry and poor Harry Reid who might, in the future, be denied vital information on the origins of Alaskan dog-sled racing, why, they can convince everyone to march to their collective economic doom with smiles on their brainless faces! Read my messaging: WE DON’T HAVE THE MONEY! WE’RE BROKE! NO MONEY! NO...oh, never mind...

ITEM: Via Powerline (here) we learn that a recent Rasmussen survey revealed that only 20% of the public is willing to pay higher taxes to reduce the deficit, while 71% would not be willing. Interestingly, 83% believe that the size of the deficit is a result of politician’s unwillingness to cut spending rather than reluctant taxpayer’s unwillingness to part with more of their money. You know, it’s almost as if the American public suspects that if we give the fiscally handicapped in DC more tax revenue, they’ll just blow it on more boondoggles rather than paying down the debt and balancing the budget. If you think about it, you can almost believe it.

ITEM: From greenautoblog.com (here) comes news of a study by the American Public Transportation Association (I had no idea such a thing existed, you?) that surmises that when gasoline leaps to $5.00 per gallon, Americans will turn to public transportation in record numbers. They also suggest that said public transportation would be overwhelmed. Well, yeah. What they apparently do not realize is that most of America--you know, that part of America that is not actually a major city?-- has no public transportation. Some people really think that everyone lives in New York City, don’t they?

ITEM: In The Continuing Saga of the Religion of Peace Department: From Patrick Poole at The Tatler (here) comes the New York Times Magazine which ran a recent profile on a prominent “moderate” Muslim, one Yasir Qadhi, presenting him “as the new face of ‘moderate’ American Islam.” A Houston Imam, Qadhi would seem an odd choice to present as a moderate as he is an unapologetic Holocaust denier. Among his other moderate credentials are four of his former moderate students who have been arrested on moderate terror charges, including moderate underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Qadhi claims they must have misunderstood his message of moderation and peace. Uh, doesn’t the NYT have what they used to call “editors?” You know, people who would read something like this and say to the eager cub reporter trying to publish it something like “What the hell is wrong with you? This guy’s no moderate! If you can’t even get that fact right, what good are you! Get out of my office, you wet behind the ears whiner, and don’t come back until you have a factual story!” Ah, one can dream, can’t one?

ITEM: Anyone remember Barack Obama promising that he would make America loved and respected again throughout the world? Yeah. Not so much. For an across-the-pond perspective, read this article by Anna Pukas of the Express. Content Warning: You’ll have to ignore some of the left wing certitude, but the piece is all the more remarkable for it. You’ll see what I mean.

ITEM: And in the Man Up Department: Via Fox News (here), following the UN resolution to actually, you know, do something about Libya, military air strikes have begun. “Our planes are blocking the air attacks on the city [of Benghazi]” said French President Nicolas Sarkozy. French president?! French President. After weeks of dithering, weeks of allowing Qaddafi to murder thousands of his people, Mr. Obama has once again lived up to his reputation as a miracle worker: He has made the French look like the dominant, capable military power in the world. In the meantime, President Obama returned from his 5-day Latin America tour. His first diplomatic triumph of the trip was an announced press questioning opportunity that turned into a “we’ll talk at the media” opportunity when the Brazilians decided they didn’t want to take questions, yet more evidence of the transformative power of Obama international magic. There’s more, but it’s just too depressing.

ITEM: He said What?! From the invaluable Mark Steyn we learn of Mr. Obama’s comments at a gathering of major Dem. contributors last week in Washington. He was referencing his favorite topic: Himself. “As time passes, you start taking it for granted that a guy named Barack Hussein Obama is president of the United States. But we should never take it for granted. I hope that all of you still feel that sense of excitement and that sense of possibility.” Uh, I’m nearly--speechless. No, actually I’m not, which is a good thing as I’m the one writing this. I hereby offer a signed photograph of Barack Hussein Obama dropping a nickel in a piggy bank, payable as soon as I can get him to sign one (a photo, a nickel or a piggy bank), to anyone who can produce a more egregious example of entitlement, arrogance and narcissism. In this, at least, there is no question that our president leads the world.

ITEM: Cosmic Irony Department: From the bright and beautiful Michelle Malkin comes the news of the renaming of a Wilmington, Delaware train station on March 19. The station was renamed for VP Joe Biden in honor, apparently, of his gracing trains with his posterior in that vicinity over the years. The best part is that the Amtrack CEO who was officiating had a bit of a problem. The train on which he was to symbolically and historically arrive broke down, so he had to drive. And in the second bit of cosmic irony in a single item--we give you your money’s worth here--Mr. Biden admitted that he didn’t deserve the honor, but following in the footsteps of Mr. Obama who also said that he didn’t deserve a Nobel Peace Prize, accepted it anyway. Oh, and in the third bit of irony, the new station came in $5.3 million dollars over budget. And the fourth bit of irony? Guess who is responsible for seeing that all stimulus projects come in on budget and on time? Joe “The Sheriff,” “Mr. Gafftastic” Biden. Makes you proud to be an American, doesn’t it?

ITEM: And in the “Well, That Guy’s Career Is Over,” department, comes news of Rene Jaquez, the second ARF agent to go public with information about the ATF’s infamous operation “Fast and Furious.” During this botched operation, apparently sanctioned by the highest levels in the ATF, agents were ordered to allow thousands of guns to flow into mexico under threat of firing. Several of these weapons were used to kill Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in Arizona in December. Go here for additional information. The country is in the very best of hands.

ITEM: And in even more news from the Religion of Peace, Fox News (here) reports that “Palestinian militants” fired a rocket into southern Israel on March 20, this following a recent firing of about 50 mortar rounds into Israel. Several Israelis were wounded and Israel retaliated. Darned touchy those Israelis. After all, I’m sure those were peaceful mortar rounds and a peaceful rocket aimed only at establishing a sort of explosive yet peaceful dialogue and understanding.

ITEM: American Exceptionalism On Parade! From the Washington Examiner (here) comes Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commenting on the attack on Libya: “We did not lead this. We did not engage in unilateral actions in any way...” Hmm. So if it’s worth doing at all, if it’s the morally right thing to do, America can’t act unilaterally? Aren’t we supposed to be the good guys? Whatever happened to truth, justice and the American way? Golf, anyone?

ITEM: Let Them Eat iPads! To read a very satisfying account of an elite government economist getting his comeuppance from some of the little people, visit The Wall Street Journal Online here.

ITEM: Oh Goodie! Department: President Jimmy Carter is scheduled to visit North Korea to do--something or other. Its a virtual certainty that he’ll denigrate America and kowtow to the Nork’s lunatic leadership. Perhaps he’ll even negotiate a brilliant diplomatic breakthrough like so many others negotiated by Democrats, you know, something like we provide money, fuel and food that will prop up the regime for a few more years while they make meaningless promises that they simultaneously promise to break before the ink is dry on the agreement. It’s that kind of smart diplomacy that has made Mr. Carter what he is today. Mr. Obama is hot on his heels in the race to the bottom to surpass him. Go here for the full story, if you have the stomach for it.

ITEM: NEWSFLASH: Mr. Obama has recently announced his absolute support for the development and retrieval of the nation’s oil resources. Unfortunately, the nation happens to be Brazil. George Soros has a significant ownership stake in Petrobras, Brazil’s national oil company. I’m sure this is just a coincidence. In the meantime, Energy Secretary Salazar, speaking to unemployed oil field workers on the Gulf Coast, put his thumbs in his ears, stuck out his tongue and said: “PHHBBBBBT! OK, so I made that last part up, but you know he’d like to say it. It’s what he’s doing anyway.

ITEM: Have you always suspected that jihadist terrorists have been crossing our southern Border into America? They have indeed. At PJM, here is the proof. Nothing truly new for those who keep themselves well-informed, but oh deary dear. For serious people, there can be no doubt that Democrats can never again be allowed to be anywhere near national security. Or finances. Or domestic policy. Or foreign policy. Or (fill in favorite topic here).

ITEM: There Really Are Heroes! Department: Who’s tougher than Hideaki Akaiwa? Only Hideaki Akaiwa. To read about a man who is a genuine hero, go here.

And on that hopeful note for mankind, thanks for dropping by, and I’ll see you next Thursday!

Posted by MikeM at 12:24 AM | Comments (3)

March 22, 2011

So What Are We Doing In Libya Exactly?

So what are we doing in Libya, exactly? President Obama tells us that it’s his policy to removed Qaddafi from power, yet that it’s also US policy not to try to kill Qaddafi. Mr. Obama also tells us that these “policies” aren’t in the least contradictory. American military commanders, obviously uncomfortable, tell us that given the mission parameters and restraints imposed by our political non-leadership, it is entirely possible that they can and will successfully accomplish the mission they have been given, yet leave Qaddafi comfortably in power in Libya.

I’m tempted to ask whether this state of affairs is an Onion satire, or whether we have merely taken leave of our national senses. The saving grace is that, more and more, Mr. Obama has separated himself from America; he represents himself. That he has taken leave of his senses--to the extent that he ever had any in terms of foreign policy--can scarcely be denied.

The invaluable Caroline Glick, writing at Real Clear Politics (here) advances several convincing theories: (1) Mr. Obama has, as a fundamental understanding of American prestige and power, the unshakable belief that America is an evil, imperialistic power that is primarily responsible for all the trouble in the world. (2) Any nation aligned with America, any of our allies, must therefore be complicit in America’s evil. (3) The UN is the ultimate and only legitimate actor on the world stage and as such, a perfect vehicle to restrain and diminish American power and prestige.

To these theories, given credence not only by Mr. Obama’s words, but by his actions, I would add: (1) Mr. Obama has a real and abiding hatred for America and her people, a large percentage of whom he has called “enemies,” and insulted with implications of racism. (2) He has demonstrated reflexive support for communists and their allies around the world and in America. (3) He has a complete lack of respect for democracy and the Constitution, which he obviously regards as an anachronistic impediment to his socialistic goals. (4) He has a fundamental belief that America is a racist, evil society and is willing to implement racism in reverse as a means of settling the score. (5) As a man who is at odds with American ideals and democracy’s imperatives, and as a man with no interest in foreign policy, and with no experience, he has no core foreign policy principles except those that will be harmful to America. (6) He reflexively caters to, supports and boosts Muslim interests.

Ms. Glick asserts that America’s traditional interests in the Middle east have been: (1) Guaranteeing the free flow of low cost oil to America and the global market. (2) Supporting regional governments that will assist in the first goal at the expense of American enemies. (3) Suppressing jihadists and others hostile to America.

With these ideas in mind, what, exactly are we doing in Libya? If these theories are correct, and I suggest that they are, everything Mr. Obama has been doing since taking office is easily understood. A man with no core principles aligned with American interests would be expected to dither interminably when presented with foreign policy crises which he would consider an annoying distraction from his Socialistic remaking of American society. And so he has dithered interminably. Such a man would be expected to be anything but a leader, and so he has not lead. Such a man would be expected to seek the permission and the cover of the UN, and so he has. And in a nation with dramatically rising fuel costs, he would be expected to shut off domestic production and to pursue policies on the world stage that would further threaten affordable energy supplies, and so he has.

Do we know who these “rebels” in Libya are? No. Do we know their ultimate agenda? No. Can we be reasonably assured that if Qaddafi is deposed, that Libya will be friendly to America and her allies? No. Do we have any idea what will constitute victory in Libya? In fact, are our currently policies aimed at achieving anything there that might remotely resemble victory? No and no.

Under the right circumstances, when American vital interests are implicated, the expense of military action is not a concern. But under the present circumstances, where we are in real fiscal danger, where we are protecting no legitimate American interests, we continue to pour Tomahawk missiles into Libya at, arguably, a million dollars per bang.

By all means, read Ms. Glick’s article and ask, so what are we doing in Libya, exactly?

Posted by MikeM at 12:03 PM | Comments (6)

March 20, 2011

The Brave New World of Mr. Chu

The Obama Administration’s Novel Prize-winning physicist, Energy Secretary Dr. Stephen Chu appeared on Fox News Sunday (here) on March 20th and had a number of very disturbing--though completely unsurprising--things to say about energy development. But let’s go back in time to September, 2008, to an interview the Wall Street Journal (here) conducted with Mr. Chu. Also, go here to read an article with links to our past articles on the Chevy Volt.

“Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” Mr. Chu said.

Gasoline prices in Europe are currently about $10 per gallon ($200 to fill a 20 gallon fuel tank). Mr. Chu believes that artificially increasing gas prices will force Americans into smaller cars, public transportation and other situations more in line with the thinking of environmentalists. According to the WSJ:

Mr. Chu has called for gradually ramping up gasoline taxes over 15 years to coax consumers into buying more-efficient cars and living in neighborhoods closer to work.”

Fast forward to March 20, 2011. Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace brought up Sec. Chu’s 2008 WSJ comments, but oddly did not ask if he still favored raising the price of fuel to force Americans to do his bidding. Chu responded that he was working on:

“developing methods to take the pain out of high gas prices.” He added: “The recent spike in gasoline prices following that huge spike in 2007, 2008 is a reminder to Americans that the price of gasoline over the long haul should be expected to go up just because of supply and demand issues. And so we see this in the buying habits of Americans as they make choices for the next car they buy.”

But how to take the “pain out of high gas prices?” Chu said that the Obama administration wants to increase mileage standards and “support the development” of electric cars. He said that he expected batteries capable of a 200-300 mile range on a single charge in the near future.

Wallace also noted that not a single permit for a new nuclear power plant has been issued in America since 1978. He asked Chu if this has made our 100+ nuclear power plants less safe, and Chu mostly danced around the question. Again, oddly, Wallace did not ask Chu why, since Mr. Obama claims to support nuclear energy, no permits have been issued under the Obama Administration.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, on ABC’s This Week, had a substantially different view:

“...reactionary responses to crises -- like the moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico following the BP oil spill -- will only harm America's attempts to develop mindful energy policies. He said a broader and comprehensive policy is needed. ‘You know, at the end of the day, if we don't use coal, oil, natural gas or nuclear, we're going to be sitting around the fire trying to warm ourselves like we did eons ago," Chertoff said. ‘So we're going to have to manage risk. That doesn't mean guaranteeing against any. It means having in place ways to mitigate problems.’"

And there, gentle readers, we see our energy future for at least the next two, and God Forbid, six years. It should be no surprise that Mr. Obama has chosen an environmentalist, utopian zealot as Secretary of Energy, but Sec. Chu, short of saying with wild, crazy eyes while maniacally cackling, “I’m going to make you pay $10 a gallon for gas if it’s the last thing I do!” makes no pretense about caring about, or making any effort to reduce high gasoline prices.

His answer to high gas prices is to try to remove the pain? One might hope that government officials would grow in office, that the realities of dealing with the world would have some positive effect on their theoretical, impractical viewpoints, but Sec. Chu seems to have only doubled down on his beliefs of 2008. Remember that in 2008 Mr. Obama also said that if he got his way, energy prices would “necessarily skyrocket.” We elected him anyway. Silly us.

Consider Sec. Chu’s 2008 comments and their implications: Gas at $10 a gallon, forcing Americans to buy “more-efficient” (small) cars, forcing Americans to live closer to work. These are the ideas of an Ivy-tower, self-styled elite who have never lived or worked in the real world, a world where only a small portion of the population can live within electric car range of work. Public transportation, by the way, is commonly available only in major metropolitan areas.

The cost of living in major urban areas is far greater than in much of the rest of the nation, and even if Americans were forced to move to urban areas in large numbers, there could not possibly be sufficient available jobs, to say nothing of decent, affordable housing. On the day this post was written, Mr. Obama was visiting the slums of Rio de Janeiro. If Sec. Chu had his way, such slums would surround all American cities and 10% unemployment would be looked upon with fond longing for the good old days. There are very good reasons why every American doesn’t live in an urban setting. For all of his education and apparent intellect, Sec. Chu seems unaware of this--or doesn’t care.

When gas reaches $5.00 per gallon, as it is expected to do this summer--it’s already that high in a few places--the effect on the economy will be very negative indeed. At $10 it would be catastrophic. Many Americans simply would not be able to afford to buy gas to drive to work and carry out the daily functions necessary to support life. Even a great many middle class Americans would find themselves in financial trouble, and such people are certainly not going to be in any condition to buy shiny new fuel-efficient green cars at any price. Oh yes, and don’t forget that each new arbitrary mileage mandate adds additional cost to new cars. Fuel prices not only effect the cost of gas, but the cost of food and every product produced or imported, and this effect is consistent across the economy. Strangely, Sec. Chu seems unaware of this, or doesn’t care.

Fuel efficient cars are, in most ways, good things, but the kinds of cars Sec. Chu wants to mandate through stratospheric energy prices are impractical for much of the public. For example, I recently bought a 2011 Ford Fiesta. It’s fun to drive, gets more than 30 MPH around town, a bit over 40 MPG on the highway, and is quite roomy--for two adults. It would be large enough for a family with one infant in a car seat, and perhaps until that infant reached 9 or 10, but beyond that, it would be entirely unsuitable for a larger family, unless both adults were only 5’4” tall or so. The problem is that millions of Americans have larger families, millions need pickup trucks for their work and a variety of other legitimate reasons, and millions of Americans simply like larger cars. They tend not to see their choices as illegitimate. No doubt, Sec. Chu would not share their opinion, if he cared at all.

Sec. Chu obviously takes it for granted that gas prices will rise dramatically, and rather than work, as the Secretary of Energy, to produce more oil and other natural resources to lower the costs of energy, he focuses only on wasting taxpayer and borrowed money on green boondoggles to ensure that energy prices will “necessarily skyrocket.” The pain of high gas prices comes from their high cost. This takes money out of the pockets of families, which lowers their standard of living, sometimes painfully indeed. More efficient cars will not lessen that pain. It’s a sick irony that the price level of gas necessary to force sufficient Americans to buy the kind of cars Mr. Chu favors would also so wreck the economy that they could not afford such vehicles and would be reduced to something resembling a third world standard of living. Sec. Chu is also apparently unaware of this, or perhaps he is.

As to electric cars, regular readers will recall that I’ve been keeping up with the Three Stooges Film Festival that is the Chevy Volt (take the link in the first paragraph to ready my previous posts). At the moment, real world experience for this $41,000 MSRP wonder car delivers 25-40 miles per charge, and with 110V house current, it takes 8-12 hours to charge a depleted battery. For an additional $2000, not including installation, one can buy a 220V fast charger that shortens charging time to 4-6 hours, but that’s only at home. At last check, Volts were selling for as much as $65,000. That’s not exactly a car for the masses.

As a physicist, one might be tempted to think that Sec. Chu would know that scientists and engineers would be delighted to develop batteries that would get from 50-80 miles on a charge. That would be a 100% improvement over the best currently available technology. The kind of improvement Sec. Chu is suggesting is, to put it mildly, unlikely absent a breakthrough of unimaginable proportions, or unless the government has the secret already in hand from reverse-engineering a captured alien spacecraft. Even the aliens probably have to recharge every light year or so. Yet Sec. Chu sees millions of happy little electric cars plying the highways and byways in the very near future.

But wait a minute, the Obama Administration isn’t authorizing any nuclear plants, they’re destroying the coal industry (Mr. Obama and Mr. Chu are on record hoping to do just that), which is the industry that powers most of our electric generating plants, and even solar and wind projects are being delayed by federal bureaucrats and failing that, shut down by environmentalist lawsuits. Hydro-electric facilities, as the British would say, are right out. Even a substantial solar project in the Mojave Desert has been stymied by environmentalists. Something about the project annoying toads, I believe. But even if it is eventually constructed, it will produce only a tiny amount of electricity, and only when the sun shines. Our electric grid and power generating capability is aging and we’re not building any new plants. From where, exactly, will all of the electricity to power these marvelous electric cars come? One would think that as a physicist, Sec. Chu would be aware of this as well, or perhaps he just doesn’t care.

It’s clear that our President and his Secretary of Energy are not, in fact, working for the benefit of Americans, but are working to establish their socialistic vision of utopia, a utopia where Americans will have far less freedom, mobility, wealth and opportunity, except for a self-styled elite who must have such perks to successfully keep us on the utopian path. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Something about Marx or communism? But I’d have to look that stuff up. Maybe another time.

Perhaps the only thing amazing about all of this is that within a scant two years, our expectations have been so drastically lowered, we’ve come to expect so little, that this is almost unremarkable. Isn’t it interesting that Mr. Chertoff, no longer a member of the Obama Administration, now has apparently rational views on these issues? Oh that’s right! He’s not one of the elite anymore. He’d be living with the rest of us.

But it’s not all bad news. Every Chevy Volt comes with a $7500 tax credit! That’s right, your taxes, gentle reader, are being spent to subsidize $65,000 motorized toys for the wealthy, the wealthy the Obamites claim to despise. But hey, with that $7500 tax credit, a Volt, if you can find one, will cost only $57,500! Maybe the dim new world of Sec. Chu isn’t so bad after all.

Posted by MikeM at 11:32 PM | Comments (13)

March 18, 2011

Bully For Obama?

Teddy Roosevelt’s favorite aphorism was arguably, “speak softly and carry a big stick.” He used the phrase to describe his bullying at the hands of NY state party bosses while he served as Governor. Adhering to that philosophy, he won that particular battle through courage and perseverance.

Comes now Barack Hussein Obama, teleprompter reader to the world, to deal with one of the most vital matters facing the republic and the international community: Bullying. That’s right, bullying. The President of the United States, facing crises in Libya, throughout the rest of the Arab world, Japan, North and South Korea, Iran, an economy speeding toward the edge of a bottomless abyss and an existential threat from Islamic lunatics lead by Iran, who seek the destruction of western civilization, and Mr. Obama devotes a recent address to the nation on bullying, a annoyance that has traditionally been handled on the local level, often with a retaliatory punch to the bully’s nose by a former victim.

Many members of the Clinton Administration--Janet Reno comes to mind--were often criticized for their inability to focus on issues on the national and world stages. They ran their agencies as though they were still responsible for local, or at the most, state-wide jurisdictions, leading to insane micro-management in domestic affairs, and absolute neglect of international issues. Mr. Obama threatens to make them look like omniscient titans on the world stage. Do visit here and here for additional information on this post.

From Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, we discover that in furtherance of the federalization of every aspect of American life, Rep. Jackie Speier (D, CA),

“will introduce a bill that would require schools to report incidents of bullying against children diagnosed with conditions like Down syndrome and Aspergers to the federal government. It would also mandate that any federal dollars that promote anti-bullying programs focus partially on that group.

‘There is [currently] no requirement that as part of the anti-bullying curriculum, that there be made specific reference to children with special needs. That’s particularly dumb,” Speier said during a briefing on school bullying on Capitol Hill Wednesday. ‘What I want to do is create an environment where there is zero tolerance. I think that starts first with education and awareness. Then, when behavior is egregious, then people have to be called out on that.’"

There is, of course, no area of American thought and life that Obamites consider out of bounds to federal intervention and control. Even passing the legislation Speier favors would require the establishment of an entirely new federal bureaucracy to oversee data collection, which would inevitably lead to another bureau (unionized, of course) to enforce the ever-expanding anti-bullying laws, which would inevitably lead to federal anti-bullying agents dragging that rotten little Smith kid down the block off to a federal lock up. This would admittedly handle an annoying problem for that particular neighborhood, unless of course that rotten little Smith kid was a member of a favored racial or ethic victim group, in which case the feds would subsidize his bullying and obtain federal court orders enjoining his victims and local authorities from restraining such a priceless national treasure.

And in the meantime, at the Washington Post, David Agnatius informs us that Mr. Obama plans to roll out his most fearsome weapon: Rhetoric. Mr. Obama is planning on talking to--wait for it--the Taliban and Hezbollah! Barack Obama is considering chatting with two groups of the most genocidal, unhinged, homicidal, barbaric bullies extant. Ignatius writes:

“One model for the administration, as it thinks about engagement of enemies, is the British process of dialogue during the 1990s with Sinn Fein, the legal political wing of the terrorist Irish Republican Army. That outreach led to breakthrough peace talks and settlement of a conflict that had been raging for more than a century.”

Hmm. Could there be any differences between that situation and the current situation? The IRA had political issues with the British Government, yet shared a common history, culture and religious beliefs. The Taliban and Hezbollah are Islamist murderers who share no historical, cultural or religious background with western civilization. In fact, they believe that Allah has put them on Earth to destroy all non-Muslims--particularly those pesky Jews (and we’re next on their list)-- and to subjugate the planet in the name of Allah. In fact, their faith teaches them to lie and dissemble in negotiations, the better to achieve their ultimate goal. There doesn’t seem to be a great deal to talk about, does there? What do we negotiate? Whether they’ll use sharp or dull knifes to saw off our heads for later video posting on You Tube?

What does this have to do with Mr. Obama’s apparent fixation on bullying, you ask? We have in the Oval Office a man who is unable to face reality. Like a child, he ignores problems that are too difficult for him to handle, preferring instead those that require only a bit of soaring rhetoric. Thus does Mr. Obama wish to throw the full might of the federal government at that rotten little Smith kid down the block, while the homicidal hordes of the Middle East plot our destruction. He thinks he can talk them into working and playing well with others. Who, after all, can stand against the persuasive rhetoric of Barack Obama? Who can fail to be awed by his teleprompter technology?

But perhaps the Feds can do something worthwhile after all. Maybe we can send all those rotten little Smith kids to the Middle East?

Posted by MikeM at 12:26 PM | Comments (4)

Corruption at BATF-Greensboro

I just confirmed that the Greensboro, North Carolina office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) has decided to stall the investigation of a convicted felon linked to hundreds of weapons. They have evidence—enough to put the primary suspect and others in prison for a very long time—but have decided to stonewall the investigation.

Why?

Pursuing the prosecution will also likely reveal evidence that BATF auditors and agents have failed to do their jobs correctly and will force their termination.

You would think that BATF headquarters in Washington, DC would want an easy bust after the "Operation: Fast and Furious" gunrunning scandal left at least one U.S. Border Patrol agent and an unknown number of Mexican nationals murdered.

Instead, the BATF in the Carolinas seems far more intent on letting a convicted kidnapper with outstanding warrants for other crimes continue walking the streets, even though he is considered unstable, and likely to seek weapons again.

All to cover their own asses.

No matter who dies.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:24 PM | Comments (2)

March 17, 2011

The Volt That Wouldn't Die!

It may be worth your while to visit Patrick Michaels' relatively brief article on the Chevy Volt at Forbes (here), if for no other reason than to reinforce what you've already learned, and in much greater detail, on this scruffy little blog. You're ahead of the curve on this one!

Michaels reinforces the fact that the Volt makes no fiscal sense for GM or for potential driver/owners. One interesting bit is that a GM representative apparently told Michaels that cold would not effect a Volt's battery operating range. Apparently GM has discovered how to sidestep the laws of physics, so I'm anxiously awaiting the brand new, warp drive 2012 Volt, with optional transporter and replicator. I wonder how much of a tax credit that will wring from the Feds? And of course, you'll probably only get 1.5 light years on the battery before the warp drive kicks in. I'd definitely check the power reserves before trying to transport at warp though. It's not good to scatter your atoms all over the universe.

Michaels also makes an interesting point about GE preparing to buy many Volts from GM. GE President Jeffrey Imelt, you may remember from my past Volt posts, is now serving as an Obama economic advisor honcho. Could there be any collusion or conflict of interest in the head of GE buying up unsellable cars with heaters that don't work in order to shore up bull-goose looney Obama fiscal policies? Surely this would be impossible in the most transparent administration in history!

Actually, the Volt and everything and everyone remotely associated with it represent the very worst of feckless government meddling in the economy. Oh, and don't call me Shirley.

My previous posts on the Volt may be found here, here, here and here.

Posted by MikeM at 01:42 PM | Comments (1)

Quick Takes, March 17, 2011

ITEM: I’ll start this edition of Quick Takes with a sobering, but uplifting, story (here). Consider it a bit of penance for Mr. Obama’s serial insults of our British cousins. British Army Lance Cpl. Liam Tasker, and his bomb-sniffing dog, Theo, were inseparable--in life and in death. Don’t read this one unless you have Kleenex in hand, and be sure to pet your dog tonight.

ITEM: Mr. Obama has written an editorial promoting better background checks for gun purchasers (here). Several of his comments: “...my administration has not curtailed the rights of gun owners - it has expanded them, including allowing people to carry their guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.” And “I know that every time we try to talk about guns, it can reinforce stark divides. People shout at one another, which makes it impossible to listen.” He also repeatedly talks about “common sense” measures.

Hmm, he’s expanded gun rights? Like he’s expanded American oil production? Might want to chat with the folks on the Gulf Coast and Alaska about that one. “People shout at one another?” No, we keep calmly bringing up the Constitution and actual common sense; it’s the other side that does the shouting. And as to “common sense gun control” measures, we know what Mr. Obama and his side thinks those are. Visit my recent article on Mr. Obama’s gun control views--here--to see just how believable he is.

ITEM: I know that you’ve often asked yourself this question: What happens when a proton beam traveling at nearly the speed of light pierces your head? The answer may be found here. Yeoow!

ITEM: The Hell Has Frozen Over and Pigs Are Doing Barrel Rolls Overhead! Department: From Hot Air (here), Bill Clinton, speaking on a panel with George W. Bush, said that there are “ridiculous delays in permitting when our economy doesn’t need it.” That’s right, Bill Clinton believes that we ought to be drilling for oil and natural gas! Actually, it’s hardly surprising. Clinton was certainly a liberal, but more than willing to race to the center when necessary. And if Hillary decides to take another run at Mr. Obama, his comments make more and more sense. A frightening thought: Have things truly become so bad under Barack Obama that even Bill Clinton seems like a wise, elder statesman by comparison?

ITEM: Louis Renault Award of the Week: The Captain Louis Renault Award this week goes to ABC, CBS. MSNBC, NPR The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times. We here at Confederate Yankee are shocked, shocked! that these news outlets have not, as of March 13, reported on the death threats made against Republicans in Wisconsin. Anyone depending on these “news” outlets would think the entire situation in Wisconsin was about oppressed workers fighting over crusts of bread denied them by the evil Governor of the state. Read the whole story here.

ITEM: Louis Renault Award II: At Jammie Wearing Fool (here), we learn that Geoffrey Eaton, Charlie Rangel’s Deputy Chief of Staff (a Congressman needs a Deputy Chief of Staff?!) had a rather bad day at the diner. Drunk and incensed that he couldn’t find his umbrella, he screamed obscenities at everyone in the restaurant where he was dining on March 10th. When a customer tried to calm him, he screamed “bleep you and mind your own bleeping business...you’re a disgrace to our race.” After fifteen minutes of trying to calm Eaton, the restaurant staff had to have him removed by the police. I’m shocked, shocked! that a race-baiting minion of a race-baiting, entitled congressman would behave this way!

ITEM: I know you’ve often asked yourself this question: Do redheads have a higher tolerance for pain? Find the shocking answer here. Double yeoow!

ITEM: Well, At Least He Has His Priorities Straight. With legislators in both parties wondering where in the world is Barack Obama on the budget, with the Arab world dissolving in conflict, with the deficit increasing with each passing day, Mr. Obama has chosen to swing dramatically into action! He has taped his NCAA picks to be revealed to an anxious and grateful public on March 16. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing for Mr. Obama to play so much golf after all; that way he can do less damage.

ITEM: Credit Where Credit Is Due, Department: At the Weekly Standard (here), Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich comments on the Wisconsin Democrats: “The absurdity of the Democrats’ outing was too much. They weren’t merely wrong on a procedural point. They were accusing Republicans of ‘making a mockery of democracy.’ operating like a ‘banana republic,’ and conducting a ‘coup d’etat.’ All the while, Democrats were hiding in another state trying to prevent a newly inaugurated senate from holding a vote on vital state business.’” Well, yeah...

ITEM: In the National Review Online (here) David French asks “Why Is It So Easy for Lila Rose and James O’Keffe?” His thesis is that organizations like NPR, ACORN and Planned Parenthood have never had any significant vetting, not from the news media, not from the government. Indeed. And that has bred an institutional arrogance that leads them to believe they are beyond reproach and rebuke. If they believe they’re with like-minded people, they have no fear of revealing their souls, and empty souls they are. Taxpayer dollars must not fund such folly, even if we have the money--and we don’t.

ITEM: “I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.” Barack Obama, January 25, 2010. Isn’t it our civic duty to help Mr. Obama realize his dream? After all, he’s done so much to us...

ITEM: Former Speaker of the House (oh, it feels soooo good to write that!) Nancy Pelosi recently took to the House floor to proclaim that “Democrats have long fought for fiscal responsibility...” Uh...is that the same Democrats who have spent us into a pit so deep we may never climb out? The same Democrats who refused to pass a budget to hid their obscene spending binges? The same Democrats who think that cutting a few billion from a trillion-plus deficit is morally wrong? And isn’t Nancy Pelosi the same Speaker of the House who wasted millions commandeering military aircraft to fly her back and forth from San Francisco to DC despite the fact that she is independently wealthy? Thought so. It’s things like this that make me worry that irony may, in the near future, no longer be ironic enough. To get anyone’s attention, we may have to resort to super irony, perhaps even mega irony. And as long as we’re on that topic, Obama and the Dems are also quickly rendering a single exclamation mark insufficient. That’s super, mega, cosmic ironic!!!!!!!!

ITEM: Are you a brutal, repressive dictator? Are the peasants revolting (they certainly are, nyuk, nyuk!)? Is Barack Obama threatening to uphold universal human rights and to bear witness? Then you’d better read Rick Richman’s advice for dictators at Commentary (here).

ITEM: A Few Quick Thoughts On Energy: As Japanese nuclear plants continue to have “difficulties,” Mr. Obama has affirmed his commitment to building new nuclear plants, a commitment that has not yet resulted in the beginning of a single plant. Mr. Obama is, as always, trying to have it both ways. He can read his teleprompter to give lip service to nuclear energy all he likes, knowing that his bureaucrats will throw up an impenetrable wall of red tape to prevent the construction of a single plant. And even if a particularly determined utility was capable of surmounting such obstacles, Mr. Obama’s many environmentalist allies are certain to file lawsuit after lawsuit, but at a distance sufficient to provide Mr, Obama plausible deniability. And of course, federal bureaucrats will be watching any project like hawks, ready to revoke permits at the drop of a progressive hat. It’s win-win for Mr. Obama and his allies and lose-lose for America. As usual.

ITEM: Maybe America Has A Future After All...A recent Rasmussen poll (here) has revealed that only 3% of Americans think that an Ivy League education produces a better worker. A whopping 79% thinks otherwise. It’s good to see that Americans retain their essential common sense and practicality. You don’t suppose these poll results were influenced by the current occupant of the Oval Office and all of his various czars, sub czars, assistant deputy secretaries to the assistant deputy undersecretaries, etc., many of whom have Ivy League pedigrees, do you? Nah.

ITEM: We’re All About The New Civility: New Time magazine cover: “Wisconsin’s Governor Wins But Is He Still Dead Man Walker?” Oh dear. Wasn’t the lamestream media in a lather of late over the Gabrielle Giffords shooting? You know, the shooting by the rabid conservative, who turned out not to be a conservative, but plenty rabid? Weren’t we all supposed to avoid provocative language in discussing politicians? Apparently not so much, particularly if they’re republicans.

ITEM: So that’s The Cause of All the Economic Distress! Speaking at the National League of Cities Conference (here), First Lady Michelle Obama said: “You all know better than anyone that childhood obesity is already affecting your communities. It’s already weighing down your budgets. It’s already hampering economic growth.” And we all thought it had to do with lunatic federal economic policies, out of control entitlements and unrestrained spending on vital national programs like cowboy poetry. Who knew fixing it all was as easy as keeping Twinkies away from the kiddies? Those Obamas! What a shame there’s no Nobel Prize for sheer awesomeness.

ITEM: From the Associated Press (here): “Wholesale prices jumped last month by the most in nearly two years due to higher energy costs and the steepest rise in food prices in 36 years. Excluding those volatile categories, inflation was tame.” The AP also noted that “There was little sign of inflationary pressures outside of food and energy.” What good news! Outside of two of the three necessities of mere existence--food, housing and affordable energy--everything is great! As Dr. Pangloss used to say, we live in the best of all possible worlds. But wait a minute! Maybe you ought to read the next item...

ITEM: More Economic Good News: From Ed Morrissey at Hot Air (here), HUD has reported that housing starts for February dropped 22.5%, the lowest level in 27 years--that’s more than a quarter century, folks. But wait a minute! What about the Summer of Recovery? What about Mr. Obama who has “broken the back” of the recession? What about government statistics showing that unemployment is going down? Mark Twain said: “There are lies, damned lies and statistics.” Is it possible, just vaguely possible, that people who are under-employed or unemployed don’t buy new houses, and that if there is less demand, fewer new homes will be built? So it’s actually three for three for the Obama Administration! We’re number one! we’re number one!

ITEM: At a recent White House presser, Obama Administration press secretary Jay Carney fielded questions about the wisdom of Mr. Obama’s upcoming trip to Latin America in light of the rest of the world, you know, more or less, well, falling apart. Said Mr. Carney: “Obviously, the trip is on, and the president will be going to Latin America, and he's looking forward to having discussions with leaders in the region about our bilateral relationship.” Ah! So Mr. Obama will continue the strategy that has worked so well for the first two years of his administration: Talking. And when they’re done talking, they’ll talk about how the talking went, and about how to talk better in the future, about a new talk to the American people, and about how to set new deadlines for new, more forceful talking, and they’ll talk about talking about more talking about talking, and ...

ITEM: This Pretty Much Says It All: From Fox News via the excellent urgentagenda.com, we discover Mr. Obama’s priorities from his last weekend radio address: “Amid chaos around the world and on Capitol Hill, Obama’s Saturday radio address was devoted to Women’s History Month and a call to pass the Paycheck Fairness, Act, a proposal meant to address the income gap between men and women. Then, the president went golfing at Andrews Air Force Base [rimshot, and cue applause].”

ITEM: And in the continuing news from the religion of peace department, early on March 15th (here), the Israeli Navy boarded and seized a Liberian flagged German tanker loaded with peaceful Iranian weapons--such as peaceful mortar rounds, peaceful land to sea missiles, and other peaceful munitions--bound for Hamas in the Gaza strip, no doubt for completely peaceful purposes, such as peacefully murdering sleeping Israeli children. The weapons were recently transported through the Suez canal on peaceful Iranian war, er, peaceships. Newsflash: George Bush said that you’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists. Indeed. For a satiric and satisfying look at what Jihadists have to look forward to, visit this classic bit from the Onion (here).

ITEM: ObamaCare Isn’t A Government Takeover Of Health Care, Honest! Department: From CNS News via Hot Air (here) comes Representative John Conyers (D-Michigan), speaking at the National Press Club on March 14th. Conyers confirmed that ObamaCare has, from the start, been intended as a vehicle to establish absolute government control over health care. Said Conyers: “Well it’s a platform. I don’t think they flow smoothly but without it, if we didn’t have this then health care, universal health care would be an even more difficult legislative objective.” Whoda thunk it?

ITEM: I Knew It! Department: Visit here for an article that explains it all, everything you didn’t know you needed to know about the Age of Obama.

And on that informative and uplifting note, thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you next Thursday!!

Posted by MikeM at 02:15 AM | Comments (7)

March 16, 2011

Teaching and Sacrifice II

On February 20, I posted an article title “Teaching and Sacrifice” (here) about those Wisconsin teachers who had betrayed the sacred trust given them by the citizens of that state, preferring instead their own interests and the greater interests of the unions. The article garnered some interest in the blogosphere, and I was pleased because it illustrated at least some of the reasons why some Americans think so poorly of some who inhabit my chosen profession, and perhaps why they should think well of those who embody the highest values of teaching. When I wrote that article, I did not think that those teachers could have sunken lower, could have more completely betrayed their calling, duty and charges. I was wrong.

From Wisconsin Law Professor and blogger Ann Althouse (here) comes a March 14th post with video from the state Capitol building in Madison. According to Althouse, who also recently appeared on Megyn Kelly’s show on Fox, the people in the video in orange shirts emblazoned with “Proud To Be A Teacher,” are apparently teachers (she spoke with them). There are several other adults present who may be parents, but that’s not known with any certainty. The day the video was shot was, according to Althouse, a day that students and teachers were not in school. It is what the teachers are doing there that I find even more disturbing than abandoning the classroom or obtaining fake medical excuses to lie, to cover for their improper absence.

The teachers are engaging in organized chanting with a group of school children, anti-Walker (the Republican Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker) chanting. The children, numbering about 20, are holding signs that they clearly did not make, and are chanting, with their adult role-models and in a call-response mode, as well. Clearly, the kids have no idea what they are chanting. They have no idea that they’re chanting kiddie versions of stock union propaganda, or even what unions and propaganda are.

How do I know this? The children appear to be of first or second grade age. The skills necessary to make the signs that appear in the video are beyond them. They likely have some idea what the words they are chanting mean, but children of that age certainly do not have any idea of the philosophical and political implications of what they are saying. They chant to please the adults who are important to them, no more, no less. That’s the problem.

Teachers operate under the legal doctrine of “in loco parentis.” It’s Latin and means “in place of the parents.” Parents entrust their children to teachers, who may act in place of the parents when the children are with them. They may regulate children’s behavior and dispense discipline as necessary, just as parents would. Of course, in these days of political correctness, few teachers would dare touch a child lest they be sued up one side and down the other, but the doctrine is in place nonetheless.

Perhaps more important is the tacit understanding between parents and teachers. If parents cannot be reasonably certain that teachers will actually teach, why should they entrust their children to any teacher’s care? Teachers must confine themselves to teaching their disciplines, which includes the best currently available knowledge in that discipline. I’m not referring to fads, theories and other silliness, but cold, hard facts, things that work and that we know work because they’ve worked for hundreds of years.

For example, as a teacher of high school English, I stick primarily to reading and writing (a great deal of writing of all kinds), and teaching students how to think, how to analyze literature and speech, why words mean what they mean and their importance. Where I teach, state standards require that we teach children “media literacy,” so each year I prepare--and continually update--a unit on how the media shapes public opinion though what they write, through what they choose not to cover, through polls, through photographs, and every other aspect of the media. The unit requires a great deal of writing and analysis, and, as thoughtful readers might imagine, covers media bias in detail. In doing this unit, I am careful to present both sides of issues--where it’s necessary to present both sides--and again, I teach the kids how to develop higher level thinking skills, not what to think. To do otherwise would be unprofessional and improper.

Even in studying Shakespeare, high school students have to be taught about human nature and politics. They simply can’t understand “Julius Caesar” and Shakespeare’s other works without at least a rudimentary understanding of those concepts. But if I chose a particular political orientation and presented all of my materials through that lens, I would be telling them what to think. I would be guilty of professional malpractice. But worse, I would be breaching the vital understanding between teachers and parents. I would be treading on ground reserved only for parents. Any teacher who does this is inviting the righteous and justified wrath of parents, and is crossing boundaries they should never cross.

Simply put, no teacher should ever engage in political indoctrination with their students. It’s not their place, it’s not their business, it takes precious class time away from what they’re supposed to be doing, and it destroys the trust between parents and teachers that is absolutely vital to the continuance of public education. When the public can no longer trust public schools with their children, we’re in real trouble.

Yes, I know that some people already distrust the public schools, and as a result home school or place their children in private schools. Some parents have good cause to do this, others do not, but that’s a post for another day. As it is, most parents have good reason to trust their schools, and any teacher that does anything to breach that trust is a fool; they’re figuratively cutting their own throat and the throats of every other teacher as well. Union benefits mean nothing if there is no job to which they may be applied.

I suppose that considering what far too many Wisconsin teachers have already done, I should not be surprised. This is merely a part of the logical progression. Once you abandon your classroom for political purposes, once you lie to cover your improper absence, once you’ve co-opted others such as doctors, willing or not, into your offenses, once you’ve damaged property, threatened the lives of your political opponents and their innocent families, why not bring uncomprehending children into the great, socialist fold?

It’s bad enough to do it with high school aged kids, kids who at least are old enough, whose brains have sufficient development to begin to understand the abstractions of politics and political issues, but to bring little children into adult political battles is nothing short of reprehensible. It reveals in those adults manipulating the children a lack of adult responsibility, judgement and moral fiber that should give the real adults in their respective schools reason to reconsider whether such people should be in charge of children. Teachers, remember, also assist in molding the character of their charges.

What they are doing is not child abuse. Such charges are hyperbolic, but it is a clear boundary violation, a violation that can and will break down the trust between parents and teachers that is absolutely vital, for without it, every teacher’s job is in jeopardy, and most importantly, students are not receiving the education their parents have every right to expect they should receive. After all, if teachers are not all about teaching as well as they can, every minute they have, what's their argument for their continuing relevance and employment?

In my original post, I wrote of a protesting teacher who displayed a sign identifying herself as one of the teachers of one of Gov. Walker’s children. I explained in some detail why that act alone endangered not only Gov. Walker’s child, but every other child in her school, indeed, why it endangered her. She simply wasn’t capable of seeing the unintended consequences of her actions. These teachers may also be incapable of seeing the unintended consequences of their actions. The difference is that they have no business using children in this way, as walking, talking props in a political play, a play in which such young children cannot be interested and which they cannot possibly care about or understand.

If I was one of those teachers, I wouldn’t be worried about Gov. Walker. I’d be worried about the kid’s parents. I’d be worried because I would have no legitimate explanation, no defense for my misuse of innocent children. If the parents were actually involved in this theater of the thuggish, well, their children never really had a chance, did they?

Posted by MikeM at 10:49 PM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2011

He's So Tired

In Mel Brooks’ classic Blazing Saddles, Madeline Kahn brilliantly plays saloon singer and lady of loose morals, Lily VonSchtupp, “The Teutonic Titwilllow.” One of her most arresting bits is a song titled “I’m So Tired,” where she complains about the inevitable and entirely foreseeable effects of her chosen profession, quite obviously the oldest profession.

Much less humorous is the President of the United States, Barack Obama, who, according to the New York Times on March 11 (here), “...has told people that it would be so much easier to be president of China. As one official put it, ‘No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.’” No I imagine they’re not, not in a country where dissidents can be shot in the back of the head for such things and their families forced to pay for the cartridge.

Such longings for easier days and less complicated times are nothing new for Mr. Obama. His golf outings (more than 60 to date), command performance parties in the White House, and globe spanning vacations and “date nights” are the stuff of legend--at least in his own mind. But there are many previous indicators of Mr. Obama’s lack of preparation and fortitude, dating back to the beginning of his term in office. Several illustrative examples, by no means an exhaustive list, follow.

March 7, 2009: According to The Telegraph (here):

“Sources close to the White House say Mr. Obama and his staff have been ‘overwhelmed’ by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.”

The article was written following the first visit of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to the White House, a visit that marked the beginning of Mr. Obama’s serial insults of the British.

“Allies of Mr. Obama say his weary appearance in the Oval Office with Mr. Brown illustrates the strain he is now under, and the president’s surprise at the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk. A well-connected Washington figure, who is close to members of Mr. Obama’s inner circle, expressed concern that Mr. Obama had failed so far to ‘even fake an interest in foreign policy.’”

A “Democratic Strategist” observed that:

“People say he looks more tired than they’re used to...He’s still calm, but there have been flashes of irritation when he thinks he’s being pushing to make a decision sooner than he wants to make it. He looks like he needs a cigarette.”

November 3, 2009: CBS News (here) observed:

“In the 12 months since his election a year ago tomorrow, President Obama has learned first hand it’s easier to run for president than to be president.”

Mr. Obama’s then press secretary, Robert Gibbs, weighed in:

“As one who gets to observe the president as a member of his inner circle, Gibbs says the job has proven to be harder and more exhausting than Mr. Obama expected.”

December 29, 2009: I Hate The Media (here) had this to say:

“After a sleepless, overnight flight to Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this month, President Barack Obama made a not altogether surprising admission. He was tired.”

IHTM also made an interesting, helpful suggestion:

“Might we humbly offer a suggestion, Mr. President? If you’re really as tired as you say, take a nap every afternoon. Lay off the golf. And the photo shoots for all those magazine covers. And the appearance on all those TV shows. And the bowing to foreign dignitaries. Especially the bowing to foreign dignitaries.”

January 1, 2010: The Telegraph (here) weighed in on Mr. Obama’s appearance following his Hawaiian vacation:

“His care-free children Sasha and Malia were spotted smiling and playing with friends as they took to the water. But in sharp contrast, Mr Obama looked weary, as if the repeated interruptions to his family holiday had taken their toll.

He has had to address criticism over national security after it appeared that a lack of communication between government agencies allowed the Nigerian syringe bomber Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab to attempt to blow up an airliner as it prepared to land in Detroit. He also faced the grim news that seven CIA operatives had been killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan.”

Hmm. Didn’t Mr. Obama, you know, want the job in the first place? Did he expect it would all be hosannas to his glory and majesty, nothing but photographs with superimposed halos?

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, whose bust Mr. Obama unceremoniously dispatched back to English, a great man Mr. Obama would no doubt find “nothing special” in the same way that his administration described America’s “special relationship” with England, “never have so few whined so much to so many.” Yet, anyone familiar with Mr. Obama’s past should not be in the least surprised.

The most demanding work Mr. Obama has ever done in his life has been producing rhetoric. Rhetoric is the toolbox, the raw materials and the finished product of the community organizer, the hustler and the politician. As President, the production of rhetoric has been greatly simplified and reduced to mere teleprompter reading.

Even Mr. Obama has admitted that he could not tell close friends what he actually did as a community organizer, yet he did not do it for years, and apparently made sufficient money doing nothing to afford a very expensive home in one of Chicago’s most expensive neighborhoods. In fact, the only executive experience Mr. Obama ever had is known by few, yet it comprised six years of his life in Chicago. His only executive job was not mentioned by his presidential campaign, and with good reason.

In 1995, Bill Ayers, the unrepentant domestic terrorist, the University of Illinois at Chicago education professor, and a guy Mr. Obama--according to his PR flacks--knew only as some guy who lived in the same neighborhood, hired Barack Obama to be the Chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, and worked closely with him for six years. The challenge was essentially a leftist organization established to spend money to implement radical socialist educational theories in the Chicago schools, ostensibly to better serve students who were being poorly served. Mr. Obama was the chairman until 1999, but remained a member of the board until the CAC became defunct through its own incompetence and ineffectiveness in 2001.

The funding for the venture came from the Annenberg Foundation, a major funding source for leftist social and political initiatives. In six years, according to the Annenberg Foundation’s postmortem audit, the CAC did not improve education, did not assist underserved children, and accomplished virtually nothing except burning through at least $50 million dollars. Little wonder the Obama campaign didn’t want Mr. Obama’s tenure there to be public knowledge. Long before he became president, he was already adept at wasting huge amounts of other people's money.

Even as the editor of the Harvard Law Review and during his tenure as a “law professor” at the University of Chicago, Mr. Obama produced no legal scholarship. In fact, he was never a professor, an academic distinction earned after many years of effort, but merely an occasional lecturer in a job created especially for him, a job for which he drew a salary, but apparently did little or nothing.

In his eight years as an Illinois state senator, Mr. Obama voted “present” 129 times, even on bills that passed nearly unanimously. He even voted present on bills he supported, and at least once, on a bill he actually sponsored! And during his approximately two years as a US Senator, Mr. Obama wrote no legislation of note, yet while running for the presidency virtually the entire time, managed to earn the title of the most liberal senator, a man to the left even of the only avowed Socialist in the Senate.

But he wrote two books, autobiographies (?!) for which he was handsomely paid! Not quite. His several autobiographers inadvertently included several inconvenient truths indicating that he did not, in fact, write either book, and Jack Cashill has convincingly argued that it was William Ayers who wrote his first book, “Dreams From My Father.” And by the way, who, as a young man of little documentable accomplishment, writes a single autobiography--which he didn’t actually write--let alone two?

To be absolutely fair, I’ve little doubt that few men can appreciate the demands of the presidency without having experienced them, yet in my 57 years, I cannot recall another president publicly complaining about the burdens of the office even once, an office each and every occupant--with the probable exception of George Washington--desperately wanted to win. Such complaining is not only bad manners, it is a sign of a lack of gratitude, a lack of appreciation of the efforts and support of others, it is a sign of debilitating narcissism, of a man for whom everything is all about him. It is excuse making in a man to whom the country and the world looks for guidance and results.

Is it any wonder that America is in such dire straits domestically and internationally? Mr. Obama knows only the discipline of rhetoric, and when any crisis arises, responds with his only tool: More rhetoric, for which he believes the American public and the world are breathlessly waiting. Should anyone be surprised when a man with no experience running anything other than a political campaign is unable to set priorities, formulate coherent policies and make decisions?

The facade is now being stripped away, stripped away by events, failed policies and fiscal and international realities. Mr. Obama isn’t failing to make decisions, to act because he’s so brilliant that he over thinks things, or because he sees nuance that mere mortals can’t hope to understand. He’s failing--and we’re all suffering for it--because he’s not up to the job, and he never was.

Being a politician is, I believe, the second oldest profession, and shares many things in common with the oldest. But the most important thing to remember is, that like Lily VonSchtupp, he’s so tired. We all ought to respect that and the reasons therefore, God and gun clinging ingrates that we are, and two years hence, help Mr. Obama have the time for the rest he so richly deserves.

Posted by MikeM at 10:51 PM | Comments (6)

March 13, 2011

Do Pro-Enforcement Advocates Also Wish to Restrict Legal Immigration? A response to a recent PJM article on "immigration restrictionists" by Ruben Navarette.

The good folks at Pajamas Media have published my latest article fisking Ruben Navarrette's attempt to claim that those who want to stop illegal immigration must also wish to stop legal immigration. Oh yes, and they're racists too. Go here for the fun and frolic!

Posted by MikeM at 05:28 PM | Comments (1)

March 10, 2011

Obama/Unions Sow Discord, Create Fertile Ground For Terrorist Threats

I warned weeks ago that President Barack Obama's bid to stir civil unrest in Wisconsin in support of his union allies by directing his campaign organization (Organizing for America) to interfere in the process was dangerous to representative democracy, and potentially dangerous to those legislators attempting to do their jobs.

That chicken has come home to roost, as we've seen video after video of leftist violence and death threats by the radical left that forms Obama's base.

Here is just the latest example, obtained by Charlie Sykes.

From: XXXX Sent: Wed 3/9/2011 9:18 PM To: Sen.Kapanke; Sen.Darling; Sen.Cowles; Sen.Ellis; Sen.Fitzgerald; Sen.Galloway; Sen.Grothman; Sen.Harsdorf; Sen.Hopper; Sen.Kedzie; Sen.Lasee; Sen.Lazich; Sen.Leibham; Sen.Moulton; Sen.Olsen Subject: Atten: Death threat!!!! Bomb!!!!

Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your familes
will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks. Please explain
to them that this is because if we get rid of you and your families then it
will save the rights of 300,000 people and also be able to close the deficit
that you have created. I hope you have a good time in hell. Read below for
more information on possible scenarios in which you will die.

WE want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in
the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me
have decided that we've had enough. We feel that you and the people that
support the dictator have to die. We have tried many other ways of dealing
with your corruption but you have taken things too far and we will not stand
for it any longer. So, this is how it's going to happen: I as well as many
others know where you and your family live, it's a matter of public records.
We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a
nice little bullet in your head. However, we decided that we wouldn't leave
it there. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the
message to you since you are so "high" on Koch and have decided that you are
now going to single handedly make this a dictatorship instead of a
demorcratic process. So we have also built several bombs that we have placed
in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent.
This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won't
tell you all of them because that's just no fun. Since we know that you are
not smart enough to figure out why this is happening to you we have decided
to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it's
necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making
them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families
and themselves then We Will "get rid of" (in which I mean kill) you. Please
understand that this does not include the heroic Rep. Senator that risked
everything to go aganist what you and your goonies wanted him to do. We feel
that it's worth our lives to do this, because we would be saving the lives
of 300,000 people. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and
say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. YOU WILL DIE!!!!

Barack Obama, let me make this clear: should any harm come to these duly elected legislators as a result of the violence that you have encouraged, there will be a groundswell of support for your impeachment for directly violating your Presidential Oath of Office, which reads:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Encouraging revolt and empowering union thugs has been Obama's goal since the beginning of this standoff, and his actions both direct and behind the scenes amount to a war on democracy.

Elections have consequences, Mr. President.

Undermine those elections at your own political and legal peril.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

Radical Leftist to Followers: Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Vote Was "Your 9/11"

I guess the difference between @Shoq and I is that I think 9/11 was 9/11, and he thinks losing collective bargaining killed 3,000 innocent people.

prog911

The different "-ists" are raving made about the vote, but it s quite simple: if you refuse to take part in representative democracy, and in fact encourage your representatives to abdicate their roles as your representatives within the government, don't cry foul when the elected officials doing their jobs find a way to pass the legislation before them.

Radical leftists are spoiled children without a sense of propriety or perspective.

I'm hardly surprised they responded in such an absurd manner.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:33 AM | Comments (3)

Quick Takes, March 10, 2011

ITEM: Thomas Jakobsson of Naval Guards, a private security firm, announced (here) that six of his operatives boarded and retook the yacht belonging to a Dutch couple which had been seized by Somali pirates. Apparently the family locked themselves in a safe room and the security operatives engaged in a brief firefight with the pirates during which no one was injured. This is not the same Dutch yacht recently seized by Somali pirates; that hostage situation remains in play. Hmm. Don’t we have a world-renowned force of naval commandos who do something like that? I believe they’re called “Navy SEALs” or something. Why don’t we turn them loose to wreak the kind of constructive havoc for which they are famous? Given adequate freedom and assets, I suspect they would happily see that the pirate menace was eliminated in short order. Mr. Obama?

ITEM: I’ve Been Telling My Wife About This For Years! According to Fox Boston (here), a five-year German study has produce uplifting, prominent results. In a study of 500 men, half were told to refrain from looking at breasts for five years, and the other half were told to “”ogle them daily.” The study found that the men who stared at breasts “more often showed lower rates of heart problems, a lower resting heart rate and lower blood pressure.” “Stare at breasts for 10 minutes a day,” recommended the researchers. This may be an urban legend, but I don’t know. Just to be safe, I may try to double, even triple the recommendation. Can’t be too careful these days.

ITEM: He Said What?! Remember the old Hee Haw line? Patient: “Doc, it hurts when I do this.” Doc: “Then don’t do that.” Comes now Treasure Secretary Timothy Geithner, who, according to Powerline (here), testified before the Senate Budget Committee on Feb. 17 about Mr. Obama’s budget. His budget, you may recall, will increase Federal spending 65% by decade’s end, racking up another $12 trillion and interest payments on the debt costing $844 billion per year by 2021. Give him credit for honesty; Mr. Geithner admitted that the costs of the budget are “unsustainable” and “excessively high.” Well why, Mr. Secretary, if you know that, why are you proposing and--sort of--defending the darned thing?

Item: Louis Renault Rides Again! Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood testified before the Senate Budget Committee on March 3 (here) in support of the Obama Administration’s plan to increase the budget of the Transportation Department by 62%. You read correctly: 62%. Unlike Mr. Geithner, who apparently has at least some sense of shame and honesty, Secretary LaHood shocked, shocked! the senators by claiming that the Obama budget would pay down the national debt. Even if every hopenchangey assumption on which that budget is based was true (and if so, I’m investing in that Nigerian unicorn ranch that keeps sending me e-mails), the budget will run at least a $600 billion deficit each and every year. This is, in the DOT, apparently what passes for rational thought and fiscal responsibility. But then again, they’re all about high-speed rail too...

ITEM: Shouldn’t America’s Ambassador to the United Nations represent...America? Not so much these days. When George Schultz was Secretary of State, he often invited new foreign service officers to his office and asked them to point out, on a map, the country they would be representing. They would invariably point to the nation to which they had been posted. Mr. Schultz would then point to America and tell them that it was the nation they represented. According to Fox News (here) British Prime Minister David Cameron is defunding four U.N agencies at the end of next year. They are: The UN International Development Organization, UN-Habitat, The International Labor Organization, and the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. Mr. Cameron, faced with his own budget crunch, has concluded that the agencies don’t accomplish squat, and don’t accomplish it at a very high cost indeed, so England is no longer playing. In the meantime, American Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice has been criss-crossing the nation trying to raise money for the UN. Uh, wasn’t she supposed to represent American interests at the UN, not fundraise for it? I get so confused by these high-level issues. Rather a shame we don’t have a Secretary of State like Mr. Schultz anymore, isn’t it? Discuss.

ITEM: But shouldn’t the Attorney General represent all Americans? Not so much. Via Politico (here) Attorney General Eric Holder, testifying before a House Appropriations subcommittee, denied that the DOJ is enforcing voting laws--particularly the now infamous New Black Panther case--unequally. Responding to civil rights attorney Bartle Bull, who witnessed the Black Panthers intimidating voters outside a Philadelphia polling place in 2008, and who called it the most serious act of voter intimidation he had witnessed in his career, Holder said: “when you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s...I think it does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line, who risked all, for my people.” Hmmm. “...for my people.” Take a moment, if you will, to see what the indispensable Michelle Malkin has to say about her people (here). The people of the United States, people of every color, are your people Mr. Attorney General. Why don’t you know that?

ITEM: Uh, shouldn’t the Secretary of Labor represent all American workers? Not so much, if you’re Barack Obama’s SOL. Speaking at the winter meeting of the Democrat National Committee in Washington last weekend (here). Solis promised aid to union workers who are “under assault” in Wisconsin and elsewhere. “Our brothers and sisters in public employee unions,” she intoned, also throwing red meat to a ravenous crowd by exclaiming “the fight is on!” Hmm. Would that mean the Federal government is fighting the government of Wisconsin? The taxpayers? All non-union workers in America (the overwhelming majority)? Discuss.

ITEM: This Says It All: On March 6, Tea Party Members converged on the Wisconsin Capital building in Madison to stage a counter protest? Not quite: To clean up the swinish mess left by two weeks of union protests. What? Those racist, evil, nasty, violent Tea Partiers? The same, taking out other people’s garbage, as usual.

ITEM: It’s Already Happened. This week, gas spiked in Orlando, Florida at $5.29 per gallon. The national average is, for the moment, $3.38 per gallon, but Mr. Obama’s illegal refusal to issue permits for Gulf oil drilling alone--with the sole exception of one permit to allow a well that was already near completion to start up again--has cut US production by 13%. That’s a 13% cut, on top of no new production being allowed virtually anywhere in America. Hope. Change. Had enough?

ITEM: You’re Joking, Right? Afraid not. In the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, State Senator Andrew Petruccelli has re-introduced legislation establishing a commission to study GPS tracking for firearms. Jim Wallace of the Mass. Gun Owner’s Action League (here) notes that “Twelve years ago we had 1.5 million gun owners. Today that’s down to about 230 thousand. Gun crime has risen 200 percent. What else do you need to know?” What indeed.

ITEM: From the Washington Post via the indispensable Powerline (here), we learn that Mr. Obama is “preparing for the prospect that Islamist governments will take hold in North Africa and Middle East.” Mr. Obama and his sycophants also apparently believe that there are big differences between the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda. Indeed. The MB prefers to use sharp knives when sawing off the heads of live infidels, while al-Qaeda prefers dull knives. The idiocy of the Obama administration is truly stunning. They would do well--and potentially save untold American lives--to remember that most venerable of Middle Eastern aphorisms: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

ITEM: Weren’t These Guys Supposed To Explore Space Or Something? For the second time in two years (here), a NASA rocket carrying a satellite intended to study global warming has “failed to reach orbit” as NASA has termed it. The average man-in-the-street would say something like “sucker crashed in the ocean! Whap!” The cost this time? A bit under half a billion dollars. Does anyone else think that cosmic irony is at play when every satellite our space agency sends up to engage in non-space research augers in?

ITEM: So That’s How You Do It! From Popular Mechanics (here) comes the story of two enterprising MIT students, Justin Lee and Oliver Yeh who sent a camera package into space on a five hour flight, reaching 93,000 feet, for $150. By all means, take the link. I understand NASA is out of the space business and all about the Muslim self-esteem business. Anyone needing space services might consider getting in touch with Justin and Oliver. With a budget of, say, $1000, perhaps a return trip to the moon?

ITEM: Do yourself a favor and visit Powerline (here) for Scott’s essay on Barack Obama and Israel. “We wouldn’t say the same of Barack Obama. His obtuseness regarding Israel forms part of a larger pattern of arrogance matched with wrongheadedness. Monumental self-regard matched with rank stupidity.” It only gets better from there. Do visit.

ITEM: And at the Daily Beast (here), Hell has frozen over and pigs are doing barrel rolls overhead. Liberal commentator Kristin Powers retracted a column she wrote in support of continued federal funding for Planned Parenthood. She discovered that PP published false statistics, and came to a rational, honorable conclusion: “Whatever you think of abortion rights, this is not the kind of organization that taxpayers should be funding.” Well done Ms. Powers. Please continue with your second step to independence of thought and toward liberty. We’ll we waiting to welcome you.

ITEM: We’re Number 1! We’re Number 1! At $223 billion, the federal government set a new for the deficit in a single month in February. Recall, if you will, Democrats excoriating President Bush for a similar yearly budget deficit. And now? They’re serious about budget cutting, offering as much as $6 billion in cuts--which would represent only a tiny fraction of a single percent of February’s budget, to say nothing about our trillion dollar+ yearly budget deficit. We’re not going to be number one much longer, particularly if Barack Obama is a two-term president.

ITEM: Aw! It’s Almost Like A Cute, Sick Puppy Or Something: From Hot Air (here) comes the news of an internal White House memo that fell into the hands of CBS News. Apparently there has been a national contest for high schools with a fabulous prize: A graduation teleprompter reading by Barack Obama! Apparently the memo noted that by the deadline of Feb. 25, only 14 applications had been received. Aw! Poor Barack! (Sung, preferably by small school children in creepy, hypnotic cadence): “MM, MM, MM, Barack Hussein Obama! Don’t no one want Obama! MM, MM, MM!”

ITEM: And in Wisconsin, Republicans finally showed some backbone and voted to strip state workers of collective bargaining privileges. Of course, unions and Democrat senators still hiding out in Illinois were not amused. Let’s review: Collective bargaining is a privilege, not a right, and can be granted or taken away at will. The Democrat Senators have been gone three weeks, and refuse to do their jobs. They lost what they were most trying to avoid anyway. Gov. Walker even offered concessions, but the Democrats refused. Now Wisconsin can actually be effective in dealing with budgetary issues. And Democrat supporters are screeching “This is not Democracy!” Oh, and running away to keep a legislature from functioning for three weeks is? Some people have no sense of shame.

ITEM: Speaking on the floor of the Congress March 2, Jesse Jackson Jr. proposed an innovative solution to unemployment: Add a bunch of new rights to the Constitution! Talk about an epiphany! His ideas: Every family will have a right to a “decent home.” Everyone will have a right to medical care. Everyone will have a right to a “decent education,” which will include an iPod and laptop computer for every student. Of course, he didn’t bother to mention how these “rights” would be funded, but in the same expansive (as in government expansion) spirit, here’s my initial list of new rights: I’d like a right to the handgun, “assault weapon” and unlimited ammunition of my choice. The right to my own personal jet aircraft with unlimited fuel would be pretty neat. Oh yes, and the right to periodically slap congress critters upside their heads to knock a little sense into them might be a good idea as well. Note to the satirically challenged: I am not, in fact, advocating actually assaulting any member of Congress or anyone else. It’s a joke. You see, by making outlandish comparisons, the joke is ridiculing Jackson’s equally outlandish comparisons by...oh never mind. Some people just can’t take a joke.

ITEM: I Swear I’m Not Making This Up! Department: Via Hot Air (here), Senate Minority Leader (ah, it feels so good to say that!) Harry Reid took to the floor of the Senate recently to castigate the heartless brutes who want to eliminate subsidies to public broadcasting and the National Endowments of the Arts and Humanities. Senator Reid was particularly concerned that without taxpayer largess, an annual cowboy poetry festival in Nevada might be headed for the last roundup, it might end up in that big corral in the sky, it might get shot first and asked questions later, it might...OK, OK, I’m back. I’m better now. At least I’m glad to see that the Dems are taking this whole budget thing seriously. I mean, revamping Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are serious matters, but they pale in comparison to the possibility of defunding something as important to national and world security and fiscal stability as Nevada cowboy poetry. So here’s my contribution to this vital genre:

A Cowboy’s Lament

It was raining the day I got off the bus,
and met my ma, who ain’t no fuss.
Prison was hard, but I did my time,
fer eatin’ too much salt, and makin’ bad rhyme.

Sally Sue run off with my dog on a whim,
LordaMighty how I miss him.
Now they’re defundin’ cowboy poetry; that makes be blue,
But if I had it to do all over again, I’d do it all over you.

Thank the Good Lord we have intellectual giants such as Senator Reid doing the people’s business!

And with that thought in mind, get along little poetic doggies, and I’ll see yuh next Thursday! Yeeeeeeeeee-hah!

Posted by MikeM at 01:01 AM | Comments (4)

March 09, 2011

Obama Defeated Again; Collective Bargaining Crushed In Wisconsin

Wisconsin's cowardly Senate Democrats fled the state nearly three weeks ago in hopes that a procedural trick—not having having enough senators present for a quorum—could keep the Republican majority from passing a budget bill that would cripple the corrupting power of public sector unions.

Wisconsin's Senate Republicans used a procedural trick of their own, and have now passed the part of the bill the Democrats most wanted to block.

Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate voted Wednesday night to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers after discovering a way to bypass the chamber's missing Democrats.

All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker's so-called "budget repair bill" - a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall.

The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money. But Republicans on Wednesday split from the legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, which spends no money, and a special conference committee of state lawmakers approved the bill a short time later.

The lone Democrat on the Senate floor howled that the vote was unfair. I'd have a bit more sympathy for him if his allies hadn't spent the last three weeks trying to screw overburdened taxpayers out of their money in order to keep union coffers flush with cash to fund Democratic campaigns.

The vote was also a clear defeat for President Barack Obama, who had agitated against Gov. Walker and had his campaign organization, Organizing for America, at the forefront of trying to defeat the measure.

Perhaps the Democratic Party will learn tonight that you cannot claim to be taking part in a democracy by running away from your responsibilities.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:07 PM | Comments (2)

A Message To Public Sector Unions From a Real Person

Jeff Soyer lives in the real world, and he could care less about your fake hardships. He has real problems, and doesn't want to listen to people complain while clearing close to $100K/year in salary and benefits.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:44 AM | Comments (1)

March 08, 2011

Another Day, Another Union Death threat You Won't See On The News

They just keep getting more unhinged. It doesn't help that they are being encouraged by President Obama and his campaign organization.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:57 PM | Comments (0)

SPLC to Add NPR To Hate Group List After Executive's Rant

Tolerance:


On the tapes, Schiller wastes little time before attacking conservatives. The Republican Party, Schiller says, has been "hijacked by this group." The man posing as Malik finishes the sentence by adding, "the radical, racist, Islamaphobic, Tea Party people." Schiller agrees and intensifies the criticism, saying that the Tea Party people aren't "just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it's scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people."

Schiller goes on to describe liberals as more intelligent and informed than conservatives. "In my personal opinion, liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives," he said.

I look forward to Southern Poverty Law Center "hate group expert" Mark Potok listing NPR as a hate group. After all, Potok declared that Pamela Gellar and Robert Spencer constitute a hate group for far, far less inflammatory speech.

UPDATE, 03-08-11, 2100 (From Mike): Where does one start with such an irony and target-rich environment? By now, a great many worthy blogs have covered the factual situation in detail. Bob has already linked to several of those, and I’ll add a few observations and a bit of updated information, including an explanation of what entrapment really is. Additional links here, here, here and here.

SPREADIN’ ON THE IRONY WITH A TROWEL! DEPARTMENT: On March 7, NPR Chief Vivian Schiller (no relation to Ron Schiller) spoke at the National Press Club and denied that NPR spins the news in a liberal direction. Schiller claimed that NPR works hard to offer “journalism that presents no particular bias,” and that NPR gets “a tremendous amount of criticism for being too conservative.” Remember that this was the day before the release of the new O’Keefe video.

WHO YOU GONNA BELIEVE? ME OR YER OWN LYIN’ EYES? DEPARTMENT: As reported by the Daily Caller, NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm tried valiantly to distance NPR from Ron Schiller, the President of the NPR Foundation and NPR Senior VP for Development.

“The fraudulent organization represented in this video repeatedly pressed us to accept a $5 million check, with no strings attached, which we repeatedly refused to accept,” Davis Rehm said in an e-mail to The Daily Caller. “We are appalled by the comments made by Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for.” Rehm also said that “Mr. Schiller announced last week that he is leaving NPR for another job.” Apparently Mr. Schiller will be working for the Aspen (Colorado) Institute. This was followed by a tweet from NPR Media Reporter David Folkenflik: “Therefore, according to NPR, departure of fundraising exec. Ron Schiller for Aspen Inst. was unrelated to the sting by James O’Keefe.” However, later in the day NPR announced that Schiller, who was scheduled to depart NPR in May has been, in some way, suspended pending some sort of review. Gotta get the story straight, folks!

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, GOT THE T-SHIRT! DEPARTMENT: Former NPR Commentator, Juan Williams, who was also the recipient of some abuse from Mr. Schiller (and much from NPR not long ago) in the O’Keefe tape, appeared on Hannity on March 8th. Williams was not surprised by, but was disgusted with Schiller’s comments, calling them “so rude and condescending.” In an earlier interview he noted that the comments of Schiller reflected the nature of NPR. “‘This is how they talk in boardrooms and editorial meetings,’ explained Williams. ‘This is how they really feel.’” On Hannity, he also noted that “they attack anyone who disagrees with their elitist NPR point of view.” Other Williams comments:

“This is finally a window into how they really think.”

“They’re locked into their liberal orthodoxy. They think they’re better.”

“These people are just destroying NPR.”

ANALYSIS: Two of the highest ranking NPR officers are dining with two potential Muslim donors, donors who have identified themselves as affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, a well known sponsor of terrorism. Odd behavior for an organization trying to virtuously avoid forcibly accepting $5 million dollars. In the course of the meeting, the NPR officers engage in racism, anti-semitism, elitist condescension, and denigration of about 50% of the American public in that at least that percentage does not share orthodox liberal views.

To be absolutely fair, one might allow a certain amount of obsequiousness for a fund raiser trying to please a potential donor, however, the video would seem to suggest that Shiller and his companion were not merely responding neutrally and carefully to the crude and disgusting viewpoints of potentially wealth donors, but were ardently presenting what they clearly believe are the institutional values of NPR as features, not bugs, in the hope of realizing a substantial payday.

The comments of the NPR executives speak clearly for themselves, and no matter how far Vivian Schiller and other NPR PR flacks try to distance themselves from them, one need only google the situation revolving around Juan Williams to discover exactly the same smug liberal superiority, condescension and disdain so clearly on display on the video. This is obviously not an isolated incident, and virtually any sentient being who spends more than an hour or two listening to NPR’s flagship programs--I am and I have--will certainly understand that NPR is an ardently liberal organization. To be absolutely fair, NPR, particularly in its news coverage, is not obviously biased 100% of the time, but when they are, they are always biased to the left, and often, very far to the left indeed.

As is usual in such cases, many have already begun to attack O’Keefe, accusing him of underhanded tactics, and even of entrapment. Many have brought up the recent prank played on Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, claiming a sort of similarity. They are entirely wrong. Governor Walker, as revealed by the secretly recorded conversation, is an honorable man who did not denigrate anyone, and whose public and private views are identical. He disavowed nothing because he did not need to disavow anything. Con men all know the saying “You can’t con an honest man.” NPR, faced with the public exposure of its fundamental but carefully concealed and often lied about private views, during a time when the Congress is debating entirely pulling their taxpayer funding, has disavowed Mr. Schiller and is backpedaling as fast as it can.

Those who are crying “entrapment!” have no idea what they’re talking about. Entrapment is a legal term that has currency only when the acts of government operatives--the police or those directly acting as their agents--are involved. Entrapment is a potential defense, a defense which may be invoked only when someone has been arrested and is charged with a crime or crimes.

Entrapment is often claimed by defense attorneys, but is a defense much less frequently bought by the courts. In order to entrap, the police must entice someone who is not disposed to commit a criminal act into committing a criminal act. A classic case might be police officers who approach a citizen on the street, and with no real cause to believe that they might be a criminal or that they might be involved in the kind of crime being investigated, offer that person sufficient money or other things of value to convince them to commit a crime. On the other hand, when the police approach, for example, a known drug dealer and offer to buy drugs from him, they are certainly not committing entrapment. Engaging someone to do what they normally do, even if the police provide them with assistance of various kinds to do it, is not entrapment.

In this case, O’Keefe and his associates, not in any way acting as agents of the police, engaged two of the highest level NPR fundraisers to make a fundraising pitch, the kind of pitch they do as part of their jobs at NPR. The problems began when the NPR executives revealed, without being placed under duress, their true, institutional and personal stripes, and did so in crude and shameful ways. Their behavior was particularly reprehensible in that they, such self-regarded highly intelligent, uber-sophisticated urbanites, believed that the men they were soliciting were agents of a Muslim terrorist organization responsible for the deaths of many Americans, an organization which constantly works toward a universal caliphate.

This is one of the most remarkable parts of the story. Why would Americans, particularly those with the social, political views of NPR executives, so willingly seek to ingratiate themselves with men who, by their religion and relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, violently oppose virtually everything they believe?

Andrew McCarthy, writing in National Review Online, answers that question convincingly in a recent article (take the last link at the beginning of this update). I agree with his assertion, which might be summed up by the old Middle Eastern aphorism: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Islamists and leftists both seek a pure, perfected world characterized by their own distinct visions of social justice, and both, having as a common enemy, conservatives, democracies and the free market, are natural allies.

Even understanding this, what still amazes is the mental weakness of progressives who apparently cannot accept the reality that should they, in their alliance, be successful, should American democracy fail, should the free market collapse, should Sharia become the law, not of the land but of the planet, everything in which they believe would be swept away: Homosexuality, environmentalism, women’s rights, higher education “studies” programs, redistribution of wealth, political correctness of every kind, the arts and intellectualism. You name it, Islam not only opposes, but would obliterate it. Islam would obliterate them. Yes, I know that not every contemporary Muslim believes this way, yet if the Progressives and Islamists ever won, what Muslim would be able to resist?

That progressives apparently consider themselves to be such superior beings as to render them immune from the consequences of their beliefs, behaviors and policies is, perhaps, the most telling indictment. Pride really doth go before a fall.

If Congress does not entirely defund public broadcasting of every kind, it bodes poorly indeed for the future of the Republic. If they cannot agree on this, if they cannot save what is a pittance compared to the totality of the national debt, and a pittance wasted on an entirely unnecessary and now, obviously indefensible enterprise, is there truly any hope for the kind of immediate change necessary to save America? We’ll know soon enough, and if we’re very fortunate, we’ll have NPR, at least in small part, to thank for it. That’s irony sufficient to last a lifetime.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:39 AM | Comments (4)

March 07, 2011

Rhetorical Bomb-Thrower Palin Incites More Gun Violence

That Sarah Palin is at it again, convincing people to take up arms and threaten the lives of politicians. As a result the FBI has now arrested Shawn Christy.

I hope she's happy.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:58 AM | Comments (4)

March 06, 2011

Democrat Hate Group Lawyer Called Obama "The Beast Spoken of In the Revelation."

I try to never link the Soros-paid stooges at Think Progress unless the goal is mocking them, and well, this time is no different.

The group funded by Nazi collaborator/billionaire George Soros howled because Fox interviewed Margie Phelps, daughter of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps, after the cult won a First Amendment case 8-1 before the Supreme Court.

This part was hilarious:

QUESTION: Are the nine justices going to Hell?

PHELPS: I have no objective indicator otherwise. The default for mankind is Hell. [...]

QUESTION: So the justices are going to Hell? The President is going to Hell?

PHELPS: Absolutely on the President. That’s a big ten-four. I already answered on the justices. The President is going to be king of the world before this is all said and done and he is most likely the Beast spoken of in the Revelation.

My own personal opinion is that Obama would be a very disappointing anti-Christ, but I do love rubbing it in the noses of these goons that he is a fellow Democrat who has run for elected office as a Democrat five times.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 05:35 PM | Comments (4)

March 05, 2011

The EV Saga Charges On

As regular readers know, I’ve been following the dubious fortunes of the Chevy Volt, and by extension, the other electric vehicles already on the market or in the design and production pipelines. In a recent “Quick Takes” (here--scroll to the bottom), I noted several interesting trends and unexpected consequences, including very low sales volume, Consumer Reports panning the very existence of the Volt, and the fondness of rats for warm Volt battery packs and tasty, expensive wiring. Yum.

For an additional bit of interesting information from the Pacific NW, visit Rob at PACNW Righty, who is doing a fine job operating behind opposition lines, so to speak, as he outlines some of the EV silliness in that neck of the woods (here).

Now, from “The Truth About Cars” (here) comes the news that Ford CEO William Ford, speaking at a recent Wall Street Journal Economics Conference in Santa Barbara, CA, is less than, well, charged up (sorry; couldn’t resist), about the viability of electric vehicles:

“Prior to the Model T, a third of all vehicles in this country were electric...this isn’t a new technology. The reason it died away was the ubiquity of charging. Today, we have the same issue.”

The Wall Street Journal also reported that Ford:

“...has no certainty that an electric grid will be developed that is capable of supporting droves of electric vehicles on the roads.”

In my several forays into the often magical realm of contemporary electric cars, I’ve been accused of hating technology, being somehow racist toward EVs, and even of wanting to give away the store to the Japanese, as one commenter felt that America should not surrender what he apparently saw as a burgeoning EV market to the Japanese. I’m inclined to think that the Japanese, in honor of the Kamikazes of the past, are welcome to it.

There are a number of problems regarding EVs, but I’ll summarize the current state of affairs by speaking to only a few of the most daunting, each by itself sufficient to render the entire enterprise an exercise in futility:

(1) The technology has not caught up to reality.

(2) There is essentially no infrastructure and no reasonable possibility of building it in the foreseeable future.

(3) There is insufficient demand.

THE TECHNOLOGY HAS NOT CAUGHT UP TO REALITY. Current technology cannot produce batteries of sufficient power, capacity, light weight, small size and low manufacturing cost. The Volt’s battery, for example, weighs hundreds of pounds and is very large. With a full charge, its range is only approximately 40 miles, and the early experience of very few owners reveals it’s as low as 25 miles, particularly in cold weather, but more on that later. Replacements costs are, at best, uncertain. Spinning furiously, Chevy has claimed that the batteries will last at least ten years--or so--and would cost no more than $8000 dollars to replace (this is one of several spins), but of course, there is no real world, practical experience upon which to draw, so it’s not unreasonable to expect a shorter lifespan and higher replacement cost.

A serious related issue is charging time. With 110V house current, Volts take from 8-12 hours to fully recharge. With an optional 220V “fast” charger, the recharge time is, according to Chevy, reduced to 4-5 hours. Did anyone mention that the “fast” charger costs $2000, not including installation? Chevy addresses range and charging issues by also installing a gasoline engine, but this is nothing less than a tacit admission of the severe limitations of the technology, the concept, and the vehicle itself. Remember that Chevy at first tried to suggest that the wheels would never be directly driven by burning fossil fuels. Only recently has Chevy admitted that when the battery reserve drops to a certain level, the gasoline engine will, in fact, directly drive the vehicle, making it a ridiculously expensive, overly complex pseudo hybrid which pretends to be something new. Oh yes, and the gasoline engine accepts only premium fuel.

Another limiting factor, particularly anywhere in the world exposed to winter weather, is just that: Cold. Cold rapidly diminishes battery power and capacity, slowing charge times, and weakening the battery. Early experience indicates that Volts are limited to a 25 mile range or less on battery power in even moderate winter weather. Trying to address this fundamental issue by using heated garages or additional heaters to keep batteries warm is self defeating--if the point is saving energy and environmental purity--and yet another admission of the fundamental flaws in technology and concept. One method of increasing range is by substantially lightening the vehicle, but again, current technology would require greatly reducing the size and utility of such vehicles to the point of making them impractical for most of the public, as well as stunningly unsafe for their occupants in collisions. In short, absent breakthroughs in battery technology that no one can foresee, the technology just isn’t there to allow EVs to successfully compete with conventional vehicles.

THERE IS ESSENTIALLY NO INFRASTRUCTURE AND NO REASONABLE POSSIBILITY OF BUILDING IT IN THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE. Even for the well-heeled willing and able to install a home fast charger, the problem of charging away from home remains daunting indeed. Few employers or businesses will be anxious to provide free electricity, particularly at 220V rates, to owners of EVs. And for true EVs, this is a serious matter. Even if a business or employer did provide outlets for EVs, charge time remains a significant issue. Few owners will be willing to abide 4-12 hours for a charge when a 5-10 minute stop at a gas station is the alternative. Yes, the Volt runs on gas too, but that is, again, a tacit admission of the problem, not a real solution to it.

Other than good will, there is no economic incentive to install charging stations, which themselves cost many thousands of dollars. Lacking that incentive, there is no realistic possibility of building the kind of massive, far-flung infrastructure necessary to make EVs a viable choice for most Americans, unless, that is, government takes a hand, but more about that later.

Even if one makes the unwarranted assumption that EVs will at some point be, say, 10% of the vehicles on the road, from where will the extra electricity necessary to charge those vehicles at all hours of the day and night come? Our power grid is already aging and strained, and in some states, brownouts, even brief blackouts, are becoming more and more common. Rather than supporting the building of new power plants of every type, the Obama Administration has all but prohibited them, and should any enterprising capitalist attempt to go ahead anyway, there are legions of greenie groups willing and able to stop such projects with years of lawsuits.

THERE IS INSUFFICIENT DEMAND. And considering the realities I’ve briefly outlined here, why should this be surprising to anyone? The auto business is not difficult to understand. Manufacturers are willing to spend the several years and hundreds of millions of dollars necessary to bring an entirely new design to market because they can have a reasonable expectation of not only recouping their design and development costs, but of making a reasonable profit through a sufficient volume of sales. While Chevy isn’t publicizing this kind of information, there is reason to believe that in this instance, market reality has been suspended for the Volt.

It is highly likely--and please, GM, correct me if I’m wrong--that the Volt costs more to manufacture than can be offset by the price GM charges dealers for the vehicle. The Volt is, after all, a Honda Civic-sized car with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $41,000, a wheelbarrow full of dollars that could purchase two Honda Civics. Unfortunately, dealers are charging as much as $65,000 for the vehicle, and some people--as can be expected--are actually paying it. Of course, if one can afford to pay $65,000 for a vehicle with no practical advantage over vehicles costing a fraction as much, an additional $2000+ for a fast charger isn’t likely to be much of a burden.

As it is, GM is on track to sell less than 4000 Volts in its initial model year. GM and the Federal Government recognize that without a $7500 tax incentive, virtually no Volts would be sold, and even with it, the sales volume is plainly awful. GM must be losing substantial money--likely many thousands--on each and every Volt.

Why aren’t people flocking to the car of the future here today? As Consumer Reports is discovering, it’s a mediocre EV, and it’s a mediocre gasoline powered vehicle. Conventional vehicles and existing hybrids are far more flexible, and in many circumstances, as fuel efficient or even more fuel efficient than the Volt, and those vehicles cost tens of thousands of dollars less. Even if the hopelessly optimistic projections for Volt energy efficiency ever came to fruition--and that’s unlikely--it would take a decade or more to break even on the purchase price of the vehicle, even considering the tax credit. Most people don’t keep a vehicle for a decade, and on the used car market, a Volt would likely be even less attractive than on the new car market, particularly for those of modest economic means who primarily populate that market. After all, who would buy a Volt if its battery pack might need to be replaced in a year or two at a cost that exceeds what they paid for the entire car on the used car market?

Ultimately, the Volt is a political creation, from a company rescued--sort of--from bankruptcy by a 61% infusion of taxpayer money. What rational businessman would sink untold millions into a product that few want, that would cost far too much to manufacture and sell, and which has no real advantages over much cheaper products? The Volt is the product of environmentalist wishes and intentions, wishes and intentions that conflict with reality. But as with high-speed rail, another mega-buck boondoggle the public neither wants nor needs, Mr. Obama intends to spend mega millions installing charging stations in several amenable locations such as the Berkeley of the South, Austin, TX.

Absent multiple miracles, the Volt will be nothing more than the plaything of the wealthy who can afford a toy car while still maintaining a fleet of conventionally powered vehicles for every day reality. Certainly, some will pay the ridiculously high entry price for the environmentally sensitive cachet an EV will provide in certain circles, but their numbers aren’t sufficiently large to turn a profit for GM, even if GM wasn’t losing money on every Volt before it left the assembly line. How long will the taxpayers subsidize such owners? It is cold comfort that the money lost will be, due to low demand, relatively low, but in our current budget crunch, why should any taxpayer funds be spent to maintain the wages and benefits of unions? After all, unless a product is actually making a profit, it is the taxpayers, not private businesses making rational economic decisions, that are paying GM’s autoworker’s wages and benefits.

It hardly requires a Nostradamus to predict that when Mr. Obama leaves office, the Volt will be quietly withdrawn from GM’s product lineup. That’s when the fun begins as the EPA spools up to deal with the disposal of the toxic elements in the Volt’s battery packs. Oh, I didn’t mention that EVs contain many toxic chemicals and their batteries can fry unwary first responders and mechanics unless they use special equipment and procedures? Now that I think of it, GM hasn’t been publicizing this either. I wonder why?

But wait a minute! Isn’t GE’s CEO Jeffrey Imelt now a part of the Obama administration as the head of Mr. Obama’s panel on job creation? And isn’t GE the primary, hopeful, domestic manufacturer of EV charging stations? Surely there couldn’t be any collusion, any conflict of interest? Yes, there is, and don’t call me Shirley.

But wait another minute! Aren’t Mr. Obama himself, and others in his Administration, such as Energy Secretary Steven Chu, anxious to see energy prices “necessarily skyrocket” as Mr. Obama said, in order to better force Americans to abandon modern conveniences such as automobiles and to force them to accept such concepts as EVs and public transportation? Indeed they are.

But wait yet another minute! Why isn’t Ford anxious to jump on the EV bandwagon? Oh, that’s right: Unlike Gm and Chrysler, Ford is a privately owned company and can’t spend unlimited taxpayer dollars on unprofitable ventures. You know, if you think about it, that almost makes sense.

Posted by MikeM at 09:47 PM | Comments (2)

March 04, 2011

More Union Violence Ignored

Union thugs rushed a restaurant when lawmakers were eating and had to be restrained by restaurant staff and the police as a police helicopter hovered overhead.

Don't expect the national media to report it.

I stand by the prediction I made last month. A leftist will assassinate a conservative politician or activist before August 1. Violence is inherent to leftist ideologies, and the ultimate expression of that violence—murder—is only a matter of time.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:08 AM | Comments (3)

Everybody's a Racist Now

I have, from time to time, written about the nature of Socialism. It is a non-falsifiable belief system. No socialist policy can possible be wrong, therefore whenever any problem crops up--and they do--it cannot possibly be a fault in the policy. Such problems are the result of the existence of conservatives who oppose the self-evidently flawless policies of socialists. Therefore the only solution is the elimination of all conservative opposition, or failing that--probably even accompanying that--even more, and more fervent, socialism.

The inestimable Roger Simon, writing at Pajamas Media, where Bob and I are fortunate and pleased to publish from time to time, has written an interesting article (here) that touches on socialist reality in the form of racism. Simon writes:

“In an an excerpt (linked in red on Drudge) from his new book, ‘Family and Freedom: Presidents and African Americans in the White House,’ US News journalist Kenneth T. Walsh writes:

But Obama, in his most candid moments, acknowledged that race was still a problem. In May 2010, he told guests at a private White House dinner that race was probably a key component in the rising opposition to his presidency from conservatives, especially right-wing activists in the anti-incumbent ‘Tea Party’ movement that was then surging across the country. Many middle-class and working-class whites felt aggrieved and resentful that the federal government was helping other groups, including bankers, automakers, irresponsible people who had defaulted on their mortgages, and the poor, but wasn’t helping them nearly enough, he said.

A guest suggested that when Tea Party activists said they wanted to ‘take back’ their country, their real motivation was to stir up anger and anxiety at having a black president, and Obama didn’t dispute the idea. He agreed that there was a ‘subterranean agenda’ in the anti-Obama movement—a racially biased one—that was unfortunate. But he sadly conceded that there was little he could do about it.”

Well. This is of a piece with standard socialist, class and race warfare doctrine, and is, with a great many other examples--they are legion--additional evidence that Mr. Obama is himself a socialist. In the same way that socialist doctrine and policy cannot possibly be in error, those holding such beliefs and making such policies cannot be in error. This is particularly true for maximum socialist leaders who are commonly worshipped in cults of personality not unlike those of North Korean Communists. Doubt me? Google “Obama halos” if you have the stomach for it.

Mr. Obama cannot, therefore, be in error. His policies must be flawless and none of the premises upon which they are based can possibly be falsified. Therefore, any opposition to Mr. Obama cannot be well-intentioned, cannot be pursued in good faith by honorable people, because no well-intentioned, honorable person acting in good faith would ever think to oppose Mr. Obama’s policies, let alone actually oppose them.

But Mr. Obama is the most brilliant human being alive, is he not? One need not look farther than his own advisor, Valerie Jarret. Ed Driscoll writes at Pajamas Media (here):

“While I was away last week, Jonathan Last’s brilliant essay, ‘American Narcissus’ appeared at the ‘Weekly Standard’. Last assembles an extensive catalog of the two sides of Obama: extreme narcissism — and its flipside, extreme boredom with every aspect of life that doesn’t immediately advance the career of Barack Obama.
Let’s look at a few instances of the latter:

David Remnick delivers a number of insights about Obama in his book The Bridge. For instance, Valerie Jarrett—think of her as the president’s Karen Hughes—tells Remnick that Obama is often bored with the world around him. ‘I think that he has never really been challenged intellectually,’ Jarrett says. “So what I sensed in him was not just a restless spirit but somebody with such extraordinary talents that they had to be really taxed in order for him to be happy.’ Jarrett concludes, ‘He’s been bored to death his whole life.’”

Anyone in opposition to the policies of Barack Obama therefore, cannot be actually opposed to his polices, which are perfect, having been established by a perfect maximum leader. Their opposition cannot be based on policy, it must be personal. And because Mr. Obama is black (by self-identified choice), any opposition must be racist. As unhinged as this sort of thinking may seem to rational Americans, it is one of two inescapable alternatives. The other is that Mr. Obama--and a great many of his supporters--actually believe that at least half of America is irredeemably racist.

That the very fact of Barack Obama’s election as President of the United States is the most compelling possible evidence of America’s lack of racism matters not to the faithful. That even those who voted against Mr. Obama observed at least a moment of pride in the election of a black man, matters even less. That the Civil Rights Movement won, that anyone displaying racist tendencies is, and has for decades been, beyond the pale, shunned in polite society, matters not at all. To the elect, the mere existence of the Tea Party Movement is proof positive of racism, all evidence to the contrary.

As Mr. Simon’s essay notes, Mr. Obama and his sycophants are careful to keep his real beliefs and attitudes under wraps, bringing them out only among friends. More’s the pity. It’s hard to make informed choices in a representative democracy when candidates conceal their true nature and deranged beliefs.

One additional possibility exists: Mr. Obama is playing the race card--and have no doubt that it will be prominently and publicly played in the next two years, particularly if he is lagging in the polls--as a matter of cynical political calculation, a sort of political reverse psychology. Branding as racist people and movements that are manifestly not racist may tend to make them want to prove that they are not racist, particularly by voting for Mr. Obama. But it may also tend to enrage such people and movements and inspire them to redouble their efforts to eject lunatic socialists and race hustlers from Washington.

Americans concerned about liberty, democracy, the Constitution, national security, financial security and the rule of law may well have to silently bear the racist label and vote for America instead of a President narcissistic and clueless enough to brand half and more of America with a contemporary scarlet letter. It is a sign of how far Mr. Obama has lowered our expectations that it is hardly distressing to observe that voting for virtually any Republican would be an order of magnitude improvement. And that, dear reader, is also a great pity, brought to you by the most brilliant, bored, racist man on the planet.

Posted by MikeM at 12:41 AM | Comments (19)

March 03, 2011

Yes, Kids. The Left Supports Terrorism

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU)—one of the powerful unions with regular and frequent contacts with the Obama White House—has been raided because of suspected material and financial support of Hamas (Islamic terrorists) and FARC (Columbian Marxist Terrorists).

I wonder if Bill Ayers disciple Barack Obama is proud of the "community organizing" that the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force is now investigating:

Representing some 30,000 public service employees in Illinois and Northwest Indiana, the union is one of the largest labor organizations in the Midwest. Like any union, it seeks to maximize the interests of its members. But its leaders are also intensely political. Delivering good contracts is part of what leaders see as a far larger challenge: eliminating capitalist injustices against workers and "people of color" everywhere. And as the United States presumably is the de facto leader of global capitalism, racism and colonialism, they see the pursuit of social justice as requiring alignment with armed anti-American "liberation" movements.

"Liberation" movements. Chicago. Where have I heard that before?

Oh, yes. The Marxist, racist Black Liberation Theology that was Barack Obama's creed for more than two decades.

As former TUCC pastor and Obama mentor Rev. Jeremiah Wright might say, "the chickens are coming home to roost."

As R.S. McCain notes, maybe Glenn Beck was right.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

Quick Takes, March 03, 2011

ITEM: The long-argued USAF tanker contract has finally been awarded to Boeing rather than the European EADS. Expected to comprise 179 aircraft, the contract will be worth more than $30 billion. According to Boeing, the contract will provide more than 20, 000 continuing jobs in the Seattle area. Good news--of a sort. Remember that the contract is not producing wealth as it is being paid with taxpayer funds. And while these jobs are better than jobs in a governmental bureaucracy, they still don’t create wealth, thus, they’re not truly helpful in healing the economy. But yes, US companies building aircraft for our Air Force is also a good thing.

ITEM: If anyone wanted to know pretty much anything about your past, could they find that information? Could they get your college grades? Your birth certificate? Would college teachers and classmates be willing to speak with you? With a little work, could anyone discover your entire work history, virtually to the day? Of course. Yet the past of our President is virtually a black hole; no meaningful, accurate information can escape. For a glimpse into Mr. Obama’s college past, visit this article by John Drew (here) who knew Mr. Obama back in his youth when life was free, gay, pre-revolutionary and decidedly Marxist. I know: You’re shocked, shocked!

ITEM: Culture Corner: Consider, if you will, the strange--yet all-too-familiar case of Charlie Sheen. A man of some talent and charisma, making $1.8 million per episode of the top TV comedy (that’s $43.2 million per 24-episode season), and he throws it all away with unhinged, drug-addled rants at his employers and the world in general. Daily, it seems, he continues to pour additional gasoline on his already blazing head. Question: Putting aside the nature and virtue of the free market, do we pay entertainers and sports figures too much? In essence, I’m asking whether we esteem them far too highly, for it is that high esteem that allows them to reap stratospheric salaries, and to fall from dizzying heights. Discuss.

ITEM: So there was a “Day of Rage” in the Arab/Muslim world last week? People killed, beaten, the usual? Wait a minute... Isn’t pretty much every day a day of rage in that part of the world? Discuss.

ITEM: So, you thought Teddy Kennedy was a pretty bad actor? You were wrong. He was worse, much, much worse than you could have possibly imagined. According to FBI files obtained by Judicial Watch through a FOIA lawsuit (here), the “Liberal Lion of the Senate,” was among the most reprehensible of men. While on a 1961 tour of Latin American countries, Kennedy conferred with virtually every prominent communist in sight, including a known Russian spy. He wanted to use the Mexican Embassy for his meetings, but the Ambassador refused. Kennedy also reserved an entire brothel for the night in Santiago, Chile. At the time, he was a local assistant district attorney, which raises the interesting question of why a local assistant DA would want to confer with prominent communists and known Russian spies--and why they’d want to confer with him. He entered the US Senate a year after his excellent Latin American Adventure.

For Kennedy, this was only prelude. In 1983, Kennedy sent California State Senator John Tunney to Moscow to speak with the KGB Chief (http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/kennedy-reagan-soviet/2009/08/29/id/334686). He offered to help the Soviets work against Reagan if they would help the Democrats fight Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. Remember that he was a sitting US Senator at the time. There is no hard evidence that Andropov took him up on the offer, but the overture is recorded in secret Soviet archives opened in 1991 after the fall of the Soviet empire.

ITEM: Sarah Palin Was Right About This Too: According to The Telegraph (here), after a government promise to end the scandal of covert blacklists which restricted treatments to save money, the British National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE--talk about irony...), denied more than 80 desperately sick and dying cancer patients the drugs their doctors prescribed because they cost too much. This, dear reader, is the model that Dr. Donald Berwick (here), recess appointed by Barack Obama to head the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, so admires and wants to emulate. Pray that Obamacare is struck down and/or repealed. Barring that, pray that you remain completely healthy for the rest of your life. If not, it’s going to be a short, painfully bumpy ride.

ITEM: As more and more governors turn down Federal high-speed rail money, George Will reminds us why they’re right and Progressives are, as usual, lunatics (here). I don't understand what the big deal is. After all, no one really wants it, it wouldn't be even remotely self-sustaining, would be a drain on state and federal budgets forever, wouldn't reduce pollution or highway congestion and would cost hundreds of billions we don't have. How could anyone be against something like that?

ITEM: Is That Cool Or What? Department: Archaeologists (here) have found what they believe to be cannons from the Satisfaction, the ship of Privateer Captain Henry Morgan, off a Panama reef. Is the real thing better than Disney? Discuss.

ITEM: Louis Renault Award of the Week: The Government Accountability Office’s report (here) on duplicative annual federal spending was out March 1. I was shocked, shocked! to learn, for example, that 82 federal programs have a hand in improving teacher quality, 56 help people to understand finances (apparently none help Mr. Obama with that...) and it goes on and on to the tune of $100-200 billon per year. What frightens me most is that in the brave new world of Obama’s trillions, $100 billion no longer seems like much money.

ITEM: And On The Floor of The Wisconsin Legislature...See for yourself...

ITEM: Let Them Eat Cake! Department: Comes now the news that Cornell McClellan, Mr. Obma’s personal trainer from Chicago flies to DC from 2-4 times per week to train Mr. and Mrs. Obama. Let me see if I have this straight: It’s a recession; America is broke; gasoline prices are rising; the president is every greenie’s environmental-hectoring dream; Mr. Obama is constantly harassing people about the environment, and he flies in his personal trainer 2-4 times per week?! But of course! That Obama, he’s just like us; he feels our pain. I mean, who doesn’t have their personal trainer fly in 2-4 times a week from Chicago? Golf, anyone?

ITEM: Mr. Obama’s Epistle To the Governors: At a meeting of the National Governor’s Association on February 28, Mr. Obama again came down on the side of his union masters (here): “But let me also say this: I don’t think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon.” Oh dear. I knew Mr. Obama was famous for mendacity, but let’s fact check this single sentence. Fact: Governor Walker of Wisconsin has been very careful to continually express his respect for those Wisconsin Union employees who have lived up to their responsibilities and come to work, and his comments about those who have not have been confined to encouraging them to live up to their responsibilities. No doubt, someone, somewhere might have a discouraging word to say about public employees, but other than that... Fact: There is no such thing as a right to form a union or to collectively bargain. These are privileges granted, and rescinded, at will by the citizens of every state through their elected representatives. In Wisconsin and elsewhere, no “rights” are involved.

ITEM: APOCALYPTIC TRAGEDY STRIKES! WOMEN, MINORITIES , ANYONE BREATHING HARDEST HIT: The Congress has agreed on a two week temporary extension of the budget. The Federal Government will continue to function for two more weeks. AAAHHHH!

ITEM: Coming To A Gas Station Near You!: In the People’s Taxation Republic of Massachusetts, the Boston Herald (here) reports that gas is likely to reach $5.00 per gallon within a few weeks. Let’s see: For a 20 gallon gas tank, that’s $100 per visit to the pumps. Consider that this is the case without the Middle East falling even more completely apart while Mr. Obama wants energy prices to “necessarily skyrocket, and will be certain to “bear witness” to any resulting carnage. You might be tempted to think that electric cars like the Chevy Volt are looking better and better, but...

ITEM: I’ve written several articles on the Chevy Volt (here and here), and it now appears that Consumer Reports shares my views (here). To wit: “When you are looking at purely dollars and cents, it [the Volt] doesn’t really make a lot of sense. The Volt isn’t particularly efficient as an electric vehicle and it’s not particularly good as a gas vehicle either in terms of fuel economy.” The article also notes one of the most predictable, but under-reported EV failings: Dramatically decreased battery power and range in the cold. But wait; there’s more! Popular Science (here) reports one of the more gnarly unintended consequences of the Chevy Volt: Its battery pack produces heat when charging, which attracts rats, which chew wiring, which costs at least $600.00, which, as an act of God (Rats?) is not covered under warranty. Micky Mouse was not available for comment. And finally, from autobloggreen (here), comes the news that Chevy sold only 281 Volts in January, and the Nissan Leaf, only 67. If the Volt retains that brisk sales pace, it’s on track to sell 3372 vehicle in a year. For a vehicle that, even with a $41,000 MSRP, is likely losing significant money for Chevy, this is nothing less than a disaster. Of course, the question is how any company can afford to manufacture a product that not only loses money-and likely lots of it--before it rolls off the factory floor, but also has abysmal sales volume. The answer is that no sane company can possibly afford such foolishness, not, that is, unless it can expect government bailouts or is being directed by the whims of greenie zealots rather than responsible businessmen. Onward socialist workers! Onward to winning the brave, all-electric future!

ITEM: Feel Good QT of The Week: I can’t end this week’s Quick Takes any better than referring you to a video (here) of 84 year old WWII sniper Ted Gundy who shoots a 5” group at 1000 yards. Be prepared to have your heart swell with patriotic pride, and to cry like a baby at the humility and decency of the man. Maybe they really were the greatest generation. I guess I’m getting to be an old softy after all...

And on that nostalgic note, thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you next Thursday!

Posted by MikeM at 01:15 AM | Comments (0)

March 01, 2011

Media Engages In Efforts To Defeat Taxpayers

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has issued an ultimatum to the Democratic state senators that fled the state rather than do their duty: come back today, or the state would lose an additional $165 million and he'd be forced to start layoffs of teachers.

Time, the law, and public opinion is on Walker's side. And so it was imperative that the left find some means of shoring up their crumbling support for increasingly unpopular unions, and that has come in the form of several polls with shall we say, interesting timing.

The New York Times is claiming the public supports the public sector unions, which is a claim that seems to run directly counter to the weak support for unions in solidarity protests held over the course of the weekend.

Public Policy Polling is claiming that the citizens of Wisconsin wouldn't elect Scott Walker if the election was held now, which is both utterly irrelevant, and ignores Walker's soaring popularity and raised profile as he stands against the best efforts the Democratic Party can throw against him.

Pew also make s a run at claiming Walker's support is less than that of the unions.

It is no mistake that the pro-union, pro-liberal media so closely aligned with Organizing for America (Obama's campaign organization) is doing all it can to support it's most powerful lobby. These are 11th hour attempts to claim public opinion favors the continuing exploitation of the taxpayer by government workers, despite the obvious falseness of that statement as shown in November's elections.

If the power of government union labor falters and then falls in left-friendly Wisconsin, it signals the beginning of the end of the government unions and the real possibility of scaling back the bloat of government. This terrifies the socialists currently in control of the Democratic Party, including the milquetoast currently residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

They fear nothing more than a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:35 AM | Comments (3)

February 28, 2011

New Outlet for Trig Trutherism

The Daily Beast is going all Palin gynecology, all the time. You know they don't edit Meggie Mac, and they won't likely edit the much bigger draw in Andrew Sullivan, so the deranged prattling should be epic.

I'm not sure what Tina Brown was thinking when she acquired Newsweek, and I'm less certain what she thinks her payoff will be in bringing aboard another has been more mocked than respected in recent years.

Oh well, it isn't my money being burned here, though if I was invested in this train-wreck, I'd be looking to cash out immediately.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:50 AM | Comments (1)

February 27, 2011

Is Obama Harming America?

On February 14, Michael Medved wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal asserting that Mr. Obama is not, in fact, harming America. He asserted that Mr, Obama wants to be reelected, therefore he could not possibly be intentionally harming America as so doing would render him unelectable.

In my response to Mr. Medved's article, up today at Pajamas Media (here), I explain in some detail why his thesis is incorrect and why Mr. Obama is purposely causing harm to our nation.

Posted by MikeM at 03:31 PM | Comments (1)

February 26, 2011

Wisconsin Unionists Disrespect War Memorial

Because papering over a monument to those that fought for your freedom isn't as important as your whining about having to contribute a miniscule amount to you own pension.

The only thing good about these self-absorbed jerks is that they are not disguising how disgusting they are, and the are going a long way towards making the American people utterly disgusted with public sector unions.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:59 AM | Comments (2)

February 25, 2011

Left Outraged Congressman Didn't Strangle Senior Citizen for Absurd Question/Bad Joke

Georgia Rep. Paul Broun (R) held a townhall meeting Tuesday, and gave the person who drove the longest distance to be at the event the honor of asking the first question. Unfortunately, the questioner asked "Who's going to shoot Obama?," which apparently elicited laughter (nervous, or otherwise?) from other townhall attendees.

Broun responded:

The thing is, I know there’s a lot of frustration with this president. We’re going to have an election next year. Hopefully, we’ll elect somebody that’s going to be a conservative, limited-government president that will take a smaller, who will sign a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The writer covering the event says Broun went on to discuss the Republican budget proposal.

The Secret Service interviewed the questioner and says the comment was a bad joke the person regrets making, and says that they consider the matter closed with no action.

Predictably, left wing blogs have attempted to turn Broun's response to such an unexpected question as a condemnation of him. Raw Story blamed Broun for not taking a more forceful approach, while the always-tedious Think Progress conjured up a reason to blame Broun for the question even being asked.

In retrospect, Broun should have reacted quickly and condemned the statement on the fly, but it is understandable that being surprised by the question, he instead chose to respond by deflecting a question even the Secret Service concluded was just a joke made in very poor taste.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:56 PM | Comments (4)

February 24, 2011

Quick Takes, February 24, 2011

ITEM: Jake Tapper of ABC News quizzed new Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney on the debt and Mr. Obama’s apparently lack of understanding of basic economics.
“The president seems to think that borrowing money to pay the interest on the debt is not adding to the debt. I don’t understand that kind of math,” noted Tapper. Carney responded with happy talk about credit cards, families and “investing in the future.” He also observed that “interest payments are a major portion of our long-term debt.” Hopefully, Mr. Carney, on behalf of Mr. Obama, will eventually come to the realization that the Pope is Catholic.

ITEM: Here we go again (still?)! Appearing before a Senate hearing on Feb 16, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper demonstrated, if this is humanly possible, even less knowledge about the Muslim Brotherhood and the Middle East than he displayed when he called the MB a “secular” organization that has “eschewed violence.” “It’s hard at this point to point to a specific agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood as a group,” he observed, according to ynet news.com. Regarding the MB’s position on smuggling weapons to Hamas in Gaza, Clapper noted that he didn’t know the groups declared stance and that a “wait and see” attitude was necessary to determine its position on Iran. Riiiiiiight.

I’m a high school teacher, which gives me a substantial advantage over Mr. Clapper and his analysts in that I, apparently unlike them, can read. And reading the MB’s charter, I have determined, without waiting and seeing, that they want to kill all Jews, all non-Muslims, establish Sharia and a world-wide caliphate, and they are willing to do whatever is necessary to accomplish those goals, particularly if it involves rape, mutilation, buckets of blood and all manner of other barbaric violence, which they have, Mr. Clapper’s notions to the contrary, not “eschewed.” Who uses words like that anyway? I’m an English teacher and I don’t, at least not in normal conversation. I can also make an educated guess that they’re pretty much OK with giving weapons to fellow Muslim fanatics and are equally happy to deal with and support Muslim fanatic nations. Can I be the Director of National Intelligence now? I’m as qualified as Mr. Clapper or Mr. Panetta, probably more.

ITEM: Is this revolting enough for you? Reports are coming in around the nation that Chevrolet dealers are charging over $65,000 for the Chevy Volt, which is available in very limited numbers in only a handful of states. The MSRP is $41,000. GM spokesmen have professed GM’s complete lack of ability to do anything about the price gouging. Well, that’s what happens when you build a people’s car. I mean after the $7500 government tax subsidy for which we are all paying, the Volt now costs only $57,500! Could the government subsidized electric vehicle story get any better? Any more egalitarian? Power to the people, right on!

ITEM: Just when you thought Democrats couldn’t be any more self-serving and corrupt, comes news from Madison, Wisconsin of doctors (here)--apparently actual physicians--standing on street corners and writing excuses for teacher/protesters to use in defrauding the public for their illegal and immoral abandonment of their students. Be honest now, would you want your child to be taught by a teacher so bereft of moral fiber that they would illegally skip school and commit fraud to try to avoid punishment for what they know to be illegal, immoral behavior? Better yet, would you seek treatment from a physician with such politically flexible medical ethics? Wouldn’t you eschew them? Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

ITEM: Now that “Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell” is a thing of the past, America’s self-imagined “elite” universities are anxious to show their good will to the military and to embrace recruiters and ROTC, right? Not so much, at least not at Columbia, home of the journalism school that produces many of the denizens of the Lamestream Media. At a recent open forum at Columbia, 10th Mountain Division veteran and current Columbia student Anthony Maschek dared to challenge his fellow students to welcome the ROTC. He was called a racist--of course he said nothing remotely racist--and was jeered and laughed at. Maschek, after being shot eleven times, spent two years in military hospitals recovering. Those mocking him should be forcibly introduced to the wonders of living in certain people’s republics that share their low opinion of heroes like Maschek. But waaaaiiit a minute? It wasn’t all about the military being mean to gay people after all? Say it ain’t so!

ITEM: This is a rejected “Twilight Zone” script, right? The McDonough 35 High School in New Orleans has been infested with--bats (here). You know, the fly-around-at-night things that make people go “AAAHHHH!” and run headlong into fixed objects? Those bats? Parents and students are not amused, and school system officials are stymied. Can you guess why! Ding! Ding! Ding! That’s right! You win the prize! They’re an endangered species, so they can’t be harmed in any way! Having to carefully capture, relocate and release the little beasties is, to put it mildly, driving school officials batty (I know, I know--I couldn’t resist). Just another example of how the nanny state oversees and enriches and our lives while simultaneously enriching our hair with bat guano. You don’t suppose some Wisconsin doctors would trundle on down to the Big Easy and write some bat excuses?

ITEM: Uh-oh. According to Rasmussen Reports, Mr. Obama’s disapproval ratings are, once again, after a brief upward bump, trending downward. Disapproving of his performance are 55% of likely voters, while 44% at least somewhat approve. Historically, any president below 50% is in trouble. Hope springs eternal, but change wounds all heels. Stop me before I mix metaphors again!

ITEM: “We Are Not Amused” Department: Gold-embossed invitations to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s April 29 wedding were recently mailed. The Queen alone invited 40 heads of state, but not Barack and Michelle Obama. Could it have something to do with Mr. Obama’s crude and ugly serial insults of Great Britain? My guess is that they’re afraid of getting gifts like the iPod full of his speeches Obama gave to the Queen, or the cheap, cheesy movies that wouldn’t play in British DVD players given to the past PM, who is, by the way, and I am not making this up, also legally blind. I wouldn’t be amused either.

ITEM: Following on the raggedy tail-feathers of Wisconsin Democrat legislators who fled to The People’s Republic of Illinois, are the equally raggedy tails of Indiana legislators, also “fleebagging” to Illinois to prevent their respective legislatures from enacting laws they don’t like, which, according to them, is virtually the Word of God or something, so moral, magnificent and un-Republican is their flight to avoid responsibility. Dems across the nation, as well as their union masters, are also gearing up to express “solidarity,” Dems such as Dennis Kuchinich (D-Ohio) who recently appeared in Olympia, WA to rally the faithful. From Rob at PACN Righty (here), Kuchnich said “You cannot have a democracy if you don’t have people in a position to be able to negotiate for their wages, and to have decent benefits.” As a public service, here is a brief primer on republican democracy:

(1) The people electing representatives based on their positions and promises: Good--republican (as in a republic) democracy.
(2) The people’s representatives debating and voting on important issues: Good--republican democracy.
(3) Entire parties fleeing the state to force their will on the state without debate and voting when they know they’ll lose: Bad--despotism (and really childish, stupid behavior. Didn’t any of these people have mothers who taught them anything about working and playing well with others? Were they raised by wolves?).
(4) Entire parties of legislators fleeing the state because they think they know better than the people and are going to prevent the people from making mistakes by means of the democratic process: Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad--raised in test tubes; not mannerly enough to have been raised by wolves.
(5) Doing everything they’re doing to make sure union thugs continue to roll in money, money which will end up in Democrat coffers: Business as usual, and criminal.

Reread and disseminate as necessary.

ITEM: And in related news, Wisconsin Republicans are taking a controversial, outrageous step to entice fleebagger Democrats back to Wisconsin to engage in, you know--voting and democracy and stuff. They’re going to pass a voter ID bill that will require voters to actually provide--gasp!--photo ID when voting. Yes, photo ID! In 2011! Identification with a photo of the voter on it! Do you have any idea how hard it is to obtain such rare documents? Why, minorities, the elderly, and “non-documented visitors” to America, to say nothing of the many, many “previously living,” would be disenfranchised! Why, that’s absurd! It’s unfair! That would almost be like, just to make a completely ridiculous comparison, an entire political party fleeing the state to prevent votes they know they’d lose. Preposterous! Anarchy! The Republicans hate the elderly, the poor, minorities, non-documented visitors, the previously living, cute puppies and kittens, and adorable union members with big, weepy eyes. Sniffle. Snort.

ITEM: And in related, related news, the Wisconsin legislature just passed a measure that suspends direct deposits for legislators playing hooky. They’ll have to collect their checks on the floor of the legislature during a normal business session from now on. Heard as a faint echo from over the Illinois border: “Uh-oh. Quick! Who’s got that union credit card?”

ITEM: And in related, related, related news, via Hot Air (here) AFL-CIO Union Boss Richard Trumka recently boasted that he visits the White House or speaks with someone within at least once each and every day. Hmmm. Does anyone find this...disturbing? You don’t suppose this has anything to do with Mr. Obama being the Union Organizer in Chief, do you? What could they be talking about? Recipes? Discuss.

ITEM: The Louis Renault Award of the Week: Rahm “Dead Fish” Emanuel has been elected Mayor of Chicago with 95% of the vote, no doubt for life. OK, OK, so maybe no one was actually, shocked, shocked! not even the previously living who almost certainly turned out in record numbers as they always do.

ITEM: The REAL Louis Renault Award of the Week: Americans were shocked, shocked! to learn that D.C. Federal District Judge Gladys Kessler, appointed by Bill Clinton, has ruled ObamaCare constitutional. Via Politico (here), here’s the soul of Kessler’s argument:

“First, this Court agrees with the two other district courts which have ruled that the individuals subject to § 1501’s mandate provision are either present or future participants in the national health care market. See Liberty Univ., 2010 WL 4860299, at *15 (“Nearly everyone will require health care services at some point in their lifetimes, and it is not always possible to predict when one will be afflicted by illness or injury and require care.”); Thomas More Law Ctr., 720 F.Supp.2d at 894 (“The health care market is unlike other markets. No one can guarantee his or her health, or ensure that he or she will never participate in the health care market. . . . The plaintiffs have not opted out of the health care services market because, as living, breathing beings . . . they cannot opt out of this market.”). Thus, the vast majority of individuals, if not all individuals, will require some medical care in their lifetime.”
Let’s see if we understand this: Because I’ll probably be sick at some time in my life, I’ll require medical care, so the Federal Government can force me to buy any kind of insurance they prefer at any cost. So, essentially, because I’m human, the Federal government pretty much owns me. Not only that, merely thinking about not buying health insurance constitutes interstate commerce, so the government can force me to buy any consumer product it prefers. Of course! Why couldn’t I see that before? Perfectly reasonable.

ITEM: It’s a Louis Renault Explosion! Via Pajamas Media (here), the world was shocked, shocked! to learn that Venezuela, which recently signed an agreement to allow Iran to build joint ICBM missile bases on its soil, has been violating U.S. Sanctions signed by President Obama by selling high grade gasoline to Iran. Mr. Obama has been too busy with important business, such as ensuring that the nationally vital Union/Democrat money pipeline remains unobstructed, to comment. But when he does, I’m sure he’ll note that the U.S. will “bear witness” to any continuing and/or future violations. That oughta do it.

ITEM: Did You Know? Department: Did you know that Milwaukee teachers demanded benefits for Viagra and similarly “uplifting” drugs, claiming that if the public failed to provide them, it would be a violation of the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act. Oh yes, that’s WFEA 12.2.39(c)2.d: “All male members of public employee unions shall be provided, at public cost, sufficient drugs to maintain a constant state of erection. They shall also be promptly provided matching bathtubs in scenic, rural locations upon request to keep said erection from breaking free and ravaging the countryside. What’s that?! EEEEEE! It sees us! It’s coming this way! Run for your lives!!!!!” Well, that sounds reasonable to me. I mean, if it’s the law and all. I always wondered what the deal with the bathtubs was anyway. I still don’t get the cheese hats.

ITEM: Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, former Libyan Justice Minister, has claimed that Muammar al-Quaddafi personally ordered the destruction of Pan Am 103 at Lockerbie, Scotland. Surely knowing this, it was only today that Mr. Obama finally spoke out about the Libyan violence calling it “outrageous” and “unacceptable.” To be fair, he also said it should stop (that’s encouraging!) and he threatened decisive action: He’s going to send Hillary Clinton to a conference in Geneva on Monday to talk about the violence.

But hey! At least he has priorities. At least he knows who America’s real enemies are, enemies like the governors of Arizona and Wisconsin. Absolutely pathetic. Surely Mr. Obama could at least offer to “bear witness”--as he did during the Iranian uprising-- to military aircraft gun runs on unarmed civilians? After all, if he doesn’t “bear witness,” we’ll have a destructive witness bearing gap.

ITEM: February 24 marks the last flight of the space shuttle program. The shuttle Discovery will have the dubious honor of the final flight. America will no longer have the means to lift human beings into orbit and thanks to Mr. Obama, no plans to do so for the future. But at least NASA will be kept busy making Muslims feel good about Algebra and combatting the threat of Global Warming which really, pretty much--doesn’t exist...

ITEM: But Don’t They Owe The Taxpayers Billions? Department: Chevrolet is going to spend $40 million over the next five years. To pay back taxpayers? New car designs? Brilliant new technology? Nah. Carbon offsets. For those unaware of the scam--er, term--carbon offsets work like this: Let’s say you’re an environmentalist weenie, but you’re just barely rational enough to realize that you need a car to get to work. Still, you feel oh-so-guilty about each and every drive you’re so unfairly and brutally forced to make. What to do? You pay a private company--and this, ladies and gentlemen, is largely how Al Gore made his megabucks--to “offset” your carbon use to expiate your guilt! How do they do that? Why, by promising to plant some trees somewhere, sometime, or by promising to do some research into or encouragement of magical green technology or stuff, you know? And is there any way to be sure the people who took your money and gave you absolution actually do what they promised to do? Nope. Government oversight? Nope; like the Obama Administration would do that anyway! Hahahahaha! Don’t the taxpayers have a 61% share of GM, which, has not, in fact paid back it’s TARP bailout funds? Yup. But at least some execs at Chevy will receive green absolution. What’s more important than that?

ITEM: But He Was Moving To the Center! Department: Not so much. After giving lip service to opposing gay marriage for the last two years, Mr. Obama, in the best Emily Litella tradition, has said “never mind.” An Obama spokesman has noted that Mr. Obama now believes the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional and has directed the Justice Department to stop defending it. Wails of anguish and outrage were heard coming from Justice Department offices. OK, OK, so I made that last part up.

ITEM: Via Fox News, in Little Rock, AK, McClellan High School algebra teacher Solana Islam has resigned her position after being convicted of prostitution and operating a business without a license. Well. Prostitution is one thing, but operating a business without a license? That’s just over the line!

And on that happy note, thanks for dropping by and I’ll see you next Thursday!

Posted by MikeM at 01:26 AM | Comments (2)

February 23, 2011

Koch Heads on the Left

A Left wing blogger managed to name-drop his way into a conversation with Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. It's amusing to watch other left wing blogs prattle on about what it meant, when what the call really revealed undermines their preferred narrative.

The call between the fake billionaire and the governor revealed:

  • Gov. Walker's staff is not familiar with the Koch name
  • Gov. Walker does not know Koch's phone number, nor the sound of his voice
  • Gov. Walker's positions are the same in public and in private


Posted by Confederate Yankee at 03:58 PM | Comments (2)

Abdication of Leadership Demands Resignation of Office

"May you live in interesting times" is a curse ascribed to the Chinese, though it's exact origins have never been revealed. Regardless of where the phrase originated, we do live in "interesting times."

In the last few weeks alone we've seen regimes threatened or overthrown across North Africa and parts of the Middle East. We've seen Americans callously murdered by pirates off the coast of Somalia. We see unrest among nominal allies, and the strengthening of the resolve of our enemies.

Iranian warships have transited the Suez Canal for the first time in decades, and there is every reason to suspect they carry long-range missiles and other weaponry to offload in Syria and turn over to Hezbollah for use against U.S. interests and allies.

Domestically, the Department of Justice and White House seem to be orchestrating a cover-up into a Congressional investigation of why agents apparently allowed gun-runners to traffic weapons over the border in order to provide substance to debunked Administration talking point, in order to build a case for gun control efforts. One of these weapons was used to kill a U.S. Border Patrol Agent, and there is every reason to suspect other weapons the Administration allowed to be smuggled over the border have been used against Mexican law enforcement and civilians. There is no telling how many people stand to be killed and wounded by the guns Eric Holder's Department of Justice knowingly let fall into criminal hands. The Department and the Attorney will not answer questions, perhaps fearing indictment.

This same Justice Department apparently refuses to uphold the law, and instead intends to view all prosecutions through a tainted prism of "social justice."

Obama himself has nominated a politically-motivated anti-gun ideologue to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, that insiders claim simply isn't qualified to be an agency head, after running his own field office with suspect and marginal results.

Homeland Security, the Department of Interior, the Department of Energy, and Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal agencies are now fronted by directors with a clear interest in collecting and consolidating the power of the federal government and abrogating rights reserved by the states. We have objectively lost freedom.

We've witnessed elected Democratic officials in Wisconsin and Indiana flee their duties in order to subvert democracy and stall legislation needed in order to prevent layoffs of state workers, in order to appease the interests of powerful unions. We've found that the White House and the President's own campaign organization instrumental in attempting to stir up civic unrest in a dozen states, attempting to undermine sitting governors in order to prop-up his base of support.

In each and every one of this instances, Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, has either failed to articulate a position, has issued forth orders directly against the interests of the safety and security of the Republic and the member states of our Union, or has chosen deferential treatment towards this nation's enemies and has weakened our relationships with this nation's allies.

We face a crisis in leadership. We are crippled by an actor who played a magnificent role to attain office, only to find that he lacks the fortitude or temperament for the position. He is a community organizer. He is lost and alone in an Oval Office too big for the small soul of the man that tentatively occupies it.

Barack Obama has shown himself incapable of leadership. Barack Obama has shown himself to be inflexible. He has shown himself to be non-responsive, out-of-touch, aloof, condescending, and ineffective.

Midway through his Presidency, he has proven incapable of being the man we need him to be. He simply is not up to the age, or the task. If he truly loves this nation, his greatest contribution to this nation should be to resign the Office of the Presidency of the United States.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:05 PM | Comments (6)

Tea Party Rep Calls for Violence

Did I say Tea Party? I meant to say pro-union liberal Democrat:

"I'm proud to be here with people who understand that it's more than just sending an email to get you going. Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary," Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Ma.) told a crowd in Boston on Tuesday rallying in solidarity for Wisconsin union members.

I'm pretty sure he isn't calling for a Red Cross blood drive. Instead, he's more overtly calling for the kind of brutality that unions are known for, since their attempts to subvert democracy in Wisconsin seem to be failing.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:44 AM | Comments (3)

February 20, 2011

Teaching and Sacrifice

Regular readers who have accessed the “About the Authors/Contact” tab know that my day job, so to speak, is teaching high school English. Accordingly, I’ve been watching the situation in Wisconsin not only with an eye toward keeping our readers informed, but with grave concern for my chosen profession.

I say “my chosen profession” because it is indeed a profession I chose after a police career, returning to college in early middle age to complete my undergraduate teaching degree. I was always a teacher during my years in law enforcement, but returned to teaching because it’s important and meaningful. It’s an opportunity, each and every day, to truly make a difference, to inspire real improvement and growth in students and to awaken their interest in the wonders of learning. I go to school smiling and happy every day, thankful for the opportunity entrusted to me by my community.

When I seek Wisconsin teachers abandoning their kids, lying about their absence, misusing their influence to trick their uncomprehending students into anti-democratic protests with them, and now, obtaining fraudulent excuses from doctors (here), I find myself very concerned for public education and very angry at those useful idiots in classrooms allowing themselves to be so skillfully, yet crudely played by their unions.

I’ll admit to being surprised when I learned that the average Milwaukee, Wisconsin teacher makes $100,000 per year (here). That’s $56,505 in direct salary and $43,505 in benefits. Let’s just say that I have about 15 years of experience and I’m making more than $10,000 a year less in salary alone--much more. I shudder to think how much less I’m making in benefits. But that doesn’t matter.

The American economy isn’t a zero-sum game, at least not yet. A dollar, or $10,000+, made by a teacher in Wisconsin is not a dollar or $10,000+ that I cannot make. When others make more than me, when others are actually, truly rich, I say good for them, for the mere fact of their good fortune means that similar good fortune is possible for me and for everyone else. Like my fellow teachers, I choose to sacrifice and continue teaching. Besides, envy and coveting the goods and lives of others reveals poor upbringing, bad manners, weak faith, and is always self defeating. If making a great deal more money than I currently make is really that important, I need to get busy and make the necessary changes, not whine about the fact that others make more than do I.

Then I discovered that Wisconsin teachers currently pay nothing--nothing!--toward their own pension plans, and pay only 6% of their salaries toward their health care plans. Yes, I pay more, substantially more, yet, I still don’t begrudge them their relative good fortune. However, when I discovered that Gov. Walker is expecting them to pay 5.8% (instead of 0%) toward their pensions, and 12% (instead of 6%) toward their health insurance, any sympathy I had for them instantly evaporated.

I’m fortunate to live and work in Texas for a fine school district that is fiscally solvent and likely--knock wood--to remain so. In fact, Texas is doing much better than most of the rest of the nation for reasons that are well documented elsewhere. Suffice it to say that a large part of that success is due to the fact that Texas is a right-to-work state where unions do not dictate public policy to their advantage and to the disadvantage of the people. Texas is, therefore, a job creator, a job magnet and is attracting people and businesses from failing states around the nation, including Wisconsin.

But Wisconsin, after decades of Democrat rule and “Progressive” ideology, is not doing well. It, like much of the rest of the nation, is bankrupt, and unless Gov. Walker gets the concessions and reforms he needs, he’ll be forced to lay off more than 5000 teachers and more than 10,000 public employees. Any competent Governor of any party would need to do the same. When I discovered that the entire crisis was caused by unions refusing to even discuss concessions, any tiny residual empathy I had for unions went out the window. Rational people would realize that if the state goes bankrupt, there will be no money to pay state employees, who will also go bankrupt, and no money for union dues. No union dues, no unions. The latter, I must admit, sounds like a very good idea these days.

And then I see the thuggish, stupid and crude behavior of the unions, their members, and even of Mr. Obama, who is encouraging nothing less than civil war against a state trying only to avoid default, trying desperately to be fiscally responsible, and I become determined to do all that I can to defeat those who are determined, because of their short-sighted greed and lust for power, to destroy democracy. So I write in the hope of informing and persuading. You’ll have to let me know how I’m doing.

Teachers are taught, from their earliest days in college, that kids learn best with an effective, dedicated and hard-working teacher in every classroom. Experience convinces us that it's true. No other single element is more important to student success--and please do not think for a moment that success is measured by standardized test scores--they have almost nothing to do with actual learning, but that’s a post for another time. And please don’t think that I’m a touchy-feely, self-esteemy “facilitator” type. In my classes, kids have no choice but to behave, produce and improve, and to have fun doing it. The bottom line is that when the teacher who has worked so hard to build rapport and establish a hard-working but enjoyable classroom environment is gone, learning slows--dramatically.

I hate to be out of my classroom--all good teachers hate to be out of their classrooms--for any reason. I cherish every minute I have with my kids, because I will never have enough, and when I lose precious minutes for any reason, my emotions range from mild frustration to moments of genuine anger. I can count on one hand the number of sick days I’ve taken in a decade. Yes, I should have taken many more, but as long as I’m functional, I choose to be functional in the classroom.

I don’t say this to pat myself on the back, but merely to point out something that many people may not realize: The public schools are full of teachers who think as I do, who absolutely hate to be out of their classrooms. I therefore find myself disgusted with those Wisconsin teachers. I’m disgusted that they’d even think of leaving the classroom--their unions hire lobbyists to deal with legislative issues, spending far more money than most union members will ever know--or approve of. They don’t need to leave school. I’m disgusted that they are lying about why they’re gone. I’m disgusted that they have not only cut off learning for their students, but for all of the students of competent, professional teachers who are not indulging in self-righteous displays of contempt for the public. I’m disgusted that they’d even think about involving students in their unethical, selfish, greedy, fraudulent behavior. I’m disgusted that they would attempt to lie about their actions by obtaining counterfeit doctor’s excuses.

Don’t get me started on the doctors who are handing those excuses out. We need more doctors, but we don’t need morally compromised doctors. If they want to be union organizers, “community organizers” or politicians, they should pursue those pseudo-occupations. I always thought that medicine was more or less a full time job. Apparently not in Wisconsin. One can only hope that Gov. Walker and the State AG will take the steps necessary to introduce them to new kinds of institutions with unique occupational clothing, or at the very least, give them the opportunity to pursue alternative employment in, say, the food service industry. As I understand it, "do you want fries with that?" is a very marketable phrase to know and tell.

Teachers rely on the goodwill of the public. Smart teachers never forget that they are public employees, and that every student, every parent, is justified in expecting that each and every teacher will provide the best educational opportunity possible, given the resources provided by the public. Yes, teachers can only provide the opportunity to learn, students--and parents--must take full advantage of it. We all must work together, yet some Wisconsin teachers are trying to tear society apart.

One of the things that is hard for young teachers to learn is that they cannot be their student’s homeys. They can’t be their friends. They have to be the responsible adult in the room, and every student must understand that and expect them, in everything, to behave as a responsible adult. Another thing that is hard to understand is that students really do look up to teachers. They watch for clues, gross and subtle, that tell them what kind of person a given teacher is, and they accordingly detest or admire those teachers. Teachers truly can never tell where their influence ends. And every day, most kids tell their parents of their impressions, impressions that mold parent’s impressions of those teachers and of their schools. Empty schools, kids losing precious class days, parent’s work disrupted--losing money, parents forced to pay unexpectedly for child care--money they may well not have, watching teachers on TV behaving like self-important fools and anarchists, all of this is terribly destructive and absolutely unnecessary.

A too-large number of Wisconsin teachers have not only thrown away all of the good will and public support earned by hard-working, dedicated teaching professionals working for many, many years, they’ve urinated on it in public and danced gleefully on its corpse for the cameras. Most people watching around the nation will be able, intellectually, to realize that these bad actors do not represent all of Wisconsin’s teachers, nor do they reflect on all American public school teachers, but the negative impression will remain, and it will have an effect, an effect no professional teacher would solicit or welcome.

Pay a bit more for health insurance and pension? Lose some--not all--collective bargaining privileges (There is no such thing as a “right” to form a union or to engage in anything unions do. It’s a privilege extended, and rescinded, by the voters of any state)? Yes and gladly, particularly when the alternative is not only to lose my job, but to bankrupt the entire state! This is not a matter of greedy, venal politicians trying to steal money from teachers to build something entirely stupid, unnecessary and unwanted like high-speed rail. Wisconsin is, without any concealment or doubt, in deep financial trouble, and there is very little sympathy left for those unwilling to realize that, or those more than willing to try to continue to drain the public coffers for their benefit. If the public didn’t know that this is not about ensuring that Mrs. Smith, the kindly teacher, is treated fairly, but is all about Democrat and union power, after watching the week in Wisconsin, they surely do.

If I was one of those Wisconsin teachers, I would be ashamed to return to school. I would be ashamed to face my students. I would be ashamed to face my peers, my supervisors, my student’s parents and my neighbors. But of course, I’m not one of those teachers, and I suspect most of them will feel no shame whatever. That being the case, Wisconsin voters might wish to consider whether people of such low moral character, people who care so little about their sacred public trust, should continue to have the privilege--not the right--to teach in Wisconsin. I know what my answer would be. You?

UPDATE: From NPR, Via National Review Online:

“‘But before the sun set, most Walker supporters went home. And union forces again owned the streets, marching around the Capitol building. On the curb, teacher Leah Gustafson held a sign saying, “Scott, your son is in my class. I teach him, I protect him, I inspire him.’

Gustafson said she teaches Walker’s son in a school outside Milwaukee. Like much of organized labor, she also said she accepts the need for union workers to pay more for their pensions and health care.
‘Absolutely, I get that,’ she said. ‘I understand that, and I am more than willing to do that. But it’s the bargaining rights that really scare me. We have to obtain and retain teachers for the future, or our educational system is going to crumble.’”

No, Ms. Gustafson, you don’t get it; you don’t get it at all. Not only do you not protect and inspire the Governor’s son, you’ve just unwittingly used him as a political weapon, a weapon aimed at the heart of his father. You’ve publicly exposed him, even endangered his life. The Governor’s enemies, the same enemies who have been communicating death threats, death threats considered more than credible by the police, now know where to find at least one of his children any day of the week. And in so doing, you’ve endangered yourself, your students, and every student in your school. After engaging in the lowest form of politics and dragging a child into the pit with you, do you imagine his father will see you as an honest, dedicated teacher who is “protecting” his son? Would any parent feel that way? Do you imagine that Gov. Walker’s son will find you “inspiring,” should you eventually decide to return to the classroom which you have dishonorably abandoned? Have you obtained your fraudulent “doctor’s excuse?” Tell me Ms. Gustafson, what would you do with a student who skipped a week of school and showed up with a forged doctor’s note? If he said he did it for a worthy political purpose, would you excuse him?

To be absolutely fair, I have little doubt that Ms. Gustafson, like so many of her potentially well-meaning colleagues, does not realize the harm she has done. She doesn’t realize the depth and breadth of the public respect and support she has been instrumental in squandering. She doesn’t understand that there are people on her side who have always resorted to intimidation and violence to seize and hold power and who think nothing of manipulating “useful idiots,” kind people like her who can be so easily tricked and sent into the line of fire, never suspecting that those who pretend to support them care nothing for them, only for wealth and power. They hope that people like Ms. Gustafson will be caught up in violence, even bloodied, which looks so good on camera and which can be so easily spun against the public. So convincing are her union masters, that Ms. Gustafson probably actually believes that without union thugs controlling her and the schools and looting the public treasury, teachers will not be retained for the future and the education system will crumble.

Ms. Gustafson, there are many states where unions have no say in pay and benefits, yet the free market ensures that teachers are paid fair wages and given fair benefits. I certainly am, as are all my colleagues, colleagues like me who are careful to earn and keep the respect and good will of the public, not because we expect to benefit financially, but because we owe it, and our best efforts, to them. Our education system is not crumbling. We have little turnover, and we turn away far, far more teachers than we hire. And we do it all without unions.

Pray, Ms. Gustafson, that no harm comes to Gov. Walker’s children or any of your students. Perhaps you’ll even find it in your heart to pray for those you’ve been conned into believing are your enemies. And please reflect on the fact that there are those in your union and leading your union who would be delighted to see you or your students come to harm to further their ambitions and to satisfy their lust for power. Then consider whether these are the kind of people with whom you truly want to associate. Perhaps then you’ll return to doing what professional teachers do: Teaching. Oh yes, and please leave the fake note behind, if, that is, you truly are an honorable person, as I’m hoping you are. It’s rather hard to convince students to own up to their mistakes when you’re unwilling to do it yourself.

Posted by MikeM at 06:08 PM | Comments (28)

Obama's Allies Calling for Unionists to "Bloody" Tea Party Protesters?

It's a screen shot of a Craigslist listing and could have been posted by anyone for a number of reasons, so I'd advise taking it with a huge degree of skepticism for now.

That allowed, there is a considerable degree of consistency between the rhetoric in this ad and the rhetoric and actions we've seen issued from the Obama Administration. Organizing for America, Obama's campaign organization, is said to be deeply involved in organizing and bussing in union protestors to cause unrest in roughly a dozen states that seek to crack down on the power of public sector unions in attempts to balance state budgets. The nation's most powerful unions, the SEIU and AFL-CIO, are also very active in attempting to block reforms and co-ordinating with the Democratic Party and OFA.

Obama himself triumphantly declared that "elections have consequences" after he was elected. Now that the 2010 midterms saw many of his tax-and-spend leftist allies unceremoniously tossed out of office at the federal, state, and local level, Obama seems intent on using a combination of blatant fraud, old-fashioned union strong-arm tactics and his political muscle to thwart democratic reforms.

Leftists seem intent on turning the protests in Madison into a physical brawl, with the President himself and high-ranking Democrats escalating the rhetoric to the point violence seems not just possible, but sanctioned by the President himself and the Democratic Party.

Barack Obama seems perilously close to violating the trust of the American people. Let us hope he has the good sense to deescalate the tensions he is now heightening, before citizens are hurt as a result of his dangerous rhetoric.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 01:08 PM | Comments (2)

February 19, 2011

Wisconsin Observations

Did you know that the Wisconsin Constitution requires a balanced budget? Did you know that the alternative to public sector unions giving concessions is firing more than 5000 of them? Did you know that it was the refusal of the unions even to discuss potential concessions that lead to the current impasse? The recent hi-spirited hi-jinks in Wisconsin have revealed that there is more to Wisconsin than lunatic liberalism, dairy products, cheese hats and football. A number of interesting lessons are already evident and more are becoming ever more clear. Consider:

DEMOCRACY: Used to tyrannical, one party rule, Wisconsin Democrats suddenly find themselves in the minority. It was Barack Obama who observed that “elections have consequences.” Swept out of the majority in November, local Dems find themselves unable to cope with genuine democracy where their whims no longer rule, where they might actually--gasp!--lose. So they flee to the People’s Republic of Illinois to bask in the glow of a Scottish Hooter’s to avoid votes they know they will lose. No doubt they believe that their cause is so important that it cannot be submitted to the people’s representatives for a vote because they would vote the wrong way! The Dems know better than the people--the bastards--who recently ran them out, and they’re not going to let a little thing like the complete repudiation of their persons and policies get in the way of doing what they know is best for the people--the bastards. Democrats obviously believe in democracy only when they can dictate terms and force their inferiors to do their will. Discussion question: Should legislators who refuse to do their sworn duties be immediately impeached?

UNIONS: Unions exist only so long as they can reasonably claim that they are necessary to prevent abuses in the workplace, and only so long as they can reasonably claim a sort of moral high ground that in some way represents the American way and common American people and values. That said, there is no such thing as a right to form a union. There is no such thing as a right to collectively bargain. Unions exist in every state only as long as the people--through their representatives--extend the privilege of existence, which they have the full power and duty to shape and regulate as suits them.

In Wisconsin, and elsewhere, the public is quickly realizing that public unions are a very, very bad idea, and that if they are not brought under control, they will happily bankrupt not only the states, but the nation. By behaving as witless thugs, union members throw away what little claim to ethical purity they have left. More and more people are beginning to realize that giving public sector unions the power to strike against the public peace, to shut down government, to throw children out of school, to harm and inconvenience the public for their own selfish purposes, is an idiotic idea--it always was--that we cannot afford, morally or financially.

More and more people understand that unions are not, in fact, for the common man, but only for themselves, for the accumulation and wielding of power. When Jesse Jackson shows up to agitate--as he already has in Wisconsin--rational people know that the game is up, for the public decided long ago that people like Jackson are only for themselves. The economic largess that allowed America to abide the greed, corruption and sloth of unions for so many years is no more. Except for a few blue states, unions will lose more and more of their power--which is what this is really about--and membership. Wisconsin is the first test case. They will not go gracefully or peacefully, unless we give them no choice.

BARACK OBAMA: Mr. Obama is becoming increasingly irrelevant, not only in international affairs, but within America’s borders. Like a two-bit local rabble rouser, he continues to involve himself in local issues about which he knows nothing. He has diminished the office of the President so much that it’s hard to imagine there’s anything left to diminish, but Mr. Obama continues to plumb new depths of stupidity and irrelevance. One would think that Mr. Obama would actually have issues of some concern that need his attention in DC. Obviously, they would be wrong. Perhaps the less he actually does, the better off the nation is. Discuss. Golf anyone?

THE RULE OF LAW: It must be enforced, fairly and uniformly. If hundreds of union thugs refuse to leave legislative chambers, they must be told they are trespassing, given a reasonable time to leave, and arrested, each and every man, woman and child, if they refuse. To do less allows anarchy to reign. If the National Guard is required to provide sufficient numbers to assist the police in processing, so be it. If union thugs trespass at the homes of legislators, arrest them, each and every time they violate the law. If teachers call in sick, if they lie about absences, they must be disciplined, up to and including being fired if appropriate in a given case. There is no right to strike against the public. There is no right to deprive children of their education. But they’re our neighbors, our friends, our teachers, our relatives. They’re our neighbors, friends, teachers and relatives who are breaking the law and squandering the money our tax dollars pay them. They’re being paid tax dollars not to do their jobs and to break the law in the process. They lie to our children, bringing them to protests with the goal of continuing the bankrupting of their state, and their teachers don’t have the common decency to admit to them that their goal is nothing less than saddling them with debt that they will never pay off should they live to 150. We are not like them; those who would bankrupt us and our children are not our friends.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES: By behaving as they are behaving, the Democrat legislators are ensuring that even more of them will be run out of office at the next election. There is no justification and no explanation for what they are doing. They are not protecting democracy, but subverting it. This is, of course, what good socialists do. This is, of course, why Mr. Obama not only supports them, but has sent his minions to organize and assist in the breaking of the law and the destruction of the democratic process in Wisconsin.

By threatening Republican legislators and their families, by coming to their homes by the busload and behaving like subhuman thugs, these dimwitted socialists are changing minds and hearts for far greater support of the Second Amendment than they can possibly imagine. There is little doubt that concealed carry will be instituted in Wisconsin, but I would venture to guess that a strong castle doctrine law is now a certainty, and soon. There’s nothing like violent mobs and death threats to focus one’s attention on essentials, essentials like being able to shoot those who break into your home with blessed immunity from lawsuits if you are forced to shoot someone under those conditions. Imagine the plight of a poor Democrat who sees how the political wind is blowing and who dares to vote for fiscal responsibility with Republicans. As is virtually always the case, they’ll be amazed and stunned at how quickly and vehemently their former “friends” and “colleagues” turn on them, and they too will see the wisdom of the Second Amendment as if the scales fell from their eyes.

After spending substantial ink, bandwidth and air time, decrying incivility, particularly comparing people with Hitler, superimposing crosshairs over their faces and making a variety of threats, Democrats find themselves in the interesting position of doing all of that and more. While the lamestream media won’t cover it, the Web will. Combining stupidity, greed, selfishness, irrationality, and law-breaking with blatant hypocrisy tends to be noticed by the public, who tend not to be amused. And actually trashing the scenes of protests is not winning friends for the unions.

Because of our universal, intimate relationships with teachers, their unions have for many years enjoyed, if not public good wishes and support, a grudging willingness to put up with their excesses. By themselves, Wisconsin teachers are squandering what little public forbearance remains. They are manifestly not “doing it for the children.” While no one wants to give up any portion of their current salary, when the money that pays that salary is running out--and fast--when millions can’t find any work, when the economy is failing and state and federal governments want to continue spending and consequences be damned, rational people adopt rational priorities, which include giving up some benefits and salary if it means keeping their job. This is not a matter of “union-busting”--though under current circumstances, that term holds substantial appeal--but a matter of financial rationality and survival. Even if the unions can’t seem to understand that if the state that pays them goes bankrupt, there will be no pay and no union dues and they go bankrupt, the rest of the public understands it very well and they’re going to see that unions get the message.

THE BOTTOM LINE: One would expect a Democrat president to reflexively support unions at the expense of the public, and in this, Mr. Obama does not disappoint. However, he goes far beyond mere political affiliation. He accuses the Governor and people of Wisconsin of “assaulting” unions. He tells us of the “sacrifice” of union employees. He understands and cares about only power, and in Wisconsin, he and his sycophants see the beginning of the end of Democrat power, and it frightens them.

If teachers really do sacrifice to serve something greater than themselves, surely it is greater than wages and benefits. Surely it is more than class warfare and hatred. Surely it is more than a President who sees half or more of America as his enemy. Is it this for which Wisconsin teachers stand?

Wisconsin’s Governor and its responsible, democracy and rule-of-law supporting legislators deserve our encouragement, thanks and support. As goes Wisconsin, so may go the rest of America. At the moment, it appears that Democracy and sanity have a fighting chance.

Posted by MikeM at 03:57 AM | Comments (10)

February 18, 2011

Havana, Wisconsin

Leftists have decided to try to intimidate the families of lawmakers:

In Wisconsin, the schoolteachers and other "public employee" beauties are going to the homes of Republican lawmakers, screaming, denouncing, etc. The situation has gotten very bad. We know where you live. Yesterday, I had a talk with Sen. Randy Hopper, recorded here. Republican lawmakers have received threats, and credible ones: threats to their physical well-being. They are not disclosing their movements, whether they are sleeping in their own homes. They are working with law enforcement on how best to protect themselves and their families.

If we allow acts of intimidation and threats of violence to influence public policy, we cease to be a Republic of laws, and are far closer to civil unrest than I would have had any reason to believe.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:11 PM | Comments (6)

Lefty Rhetoric, Violence Heats Up

President Obama has once again acted stupidly, escalating the rhetoric and the stakes of the duel between Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker and spoiled public sector unions in that state.

Walker and the Republican-controlled state senate are looking to end collective bargaining rights for public sectors unions and increase the amount that public sector employees must contribute to their health care and pensions (which would still be below equivalent private sector contributions). Wisconsin teachers Average more than $52,000 in salary and more than $40,000 in benefits every year, a compensation package approaching $100K/year.

Yesterday outnumbered Senate Democrats fled the state rather than do their duty, and were found hiding out at the Clock Tower Resort in Illinois.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin teachers abandoned their students to march on Madison (a dereliction of duty continuing today) and engage in bomb-throwing that has thus far only been rhetorical.

I made a prediction on Twitter yesterday that the continuing escalation of rhetoric, combined with tactics of vandalism, intimidation, and violence encouraged by the Obama Administration will lead to a leftist (or leftists) committing political-motivated murder of a Republican or Tea Party figure by August 1. It is a prediction that I hope doesn't come true, but one that I suspect will prove to be sadly correct.

Obama and his thuggish union allies have bet everything on the escalating growth of government and the power of union labor. The Justice Department will look the other way, Obama himself will offer up words of encouragement for the unions (as he did yesterday) showing his support, and the thugs will continue their dirty work.

It's going to be a tumultuous spring and a bloody hot summer. The Democrats will not surrender without a fight, and there is every reason to believe they are willing to make that fight literal.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:20 AM | Comments (6)

February 16, 2011

Rhetorical Idiocy

The good folks at Pajamas Media have been kind enough to publish my essay on Mr. Obama's exclusive reliance on rhetoric. It may be read here.

Posted by MikeM at 11:37 PM | Comments (0)

Quick Takes, February 17, 2011

ITEM: “Favorite Bedtime Stories From the Religion of Peace” department: The High Court of Bangladesh recently ordered district officials (here) to explain why they allowed a 14 year old rape victim to be whipped to death. Hena was raped by Mahbub, her 40-year-old relative. A day later, at a village arbitration, a fatwa (religious decree) for 100 lashes was issued. She lapsed into unconsciousness at 80 lashes and was rushed to a hospital where she died. Lord, grant Hena the mercy and peace she never found here and visit your justice on those who killed her.

ITEM: Peace In Our Time! During a meeting of the House Intelligence Committee on February 10, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that the Muslim Brotherhood is “...a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence...” For those not up to date on the players of the Global Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt are the intellectual and spiritual heirs of Sayyid Qutb, arguably the father of the modern Islamist movement. Suggesting that the MB is largely secular and non-violent is akin to suggesting that Fidel Castro is one of the foremost proponents of democracy and free market capitalism in the world. Have I mentioned that Mr. Clapper is Mr. Obama’s primary source of intelligence?

UPDATE! A few hours after his dog and pony show, Mr. Clapper’s underlings more or less, sort of attempted to walk back his comments, a little, saying that he is “well aware that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization.” Have I mentioned that Mr. Clapper is the Director of National Intelligence of the United States of America? Our country? Feeling safer?

ITEM: CIA director Leon Panetta announced that he obtained the information on Egypt he provided at the February 10 House Intelligence Committee hearing from media accounts. Media accounts? Like the NYT? CNN? The Daily Kos? Yup. Have I mentioned that Mr. Panetta is the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency? Of the United States of America? Our country? Only the best and brightest are in charge.

ITEM: From Claudia Rosett writing at Pajamas Media (here). United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice was, at the same time things were exploding in Egypt, touring the West Coast to deliver a February 11th speech to the World Affairs Council (the what?!) in Portland. OR on “Why America Needs the United Nations.” Uh, isn’t Ms. Rice supposed to be representing America at the UN rather than representing the UN to America? And shouldn’t she be at the UN, doing, you know, like, diplomacy or something when the entire Middle East is in danger of more or less blowing up in our faces? Have I mentioned that Ms. Rice is the American Ambassador to the United Nations? The Ambassador of the United States of America? Our country? Ever feel like running into the nearest woods screaming “AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”?

NOTE: To see how an American Ambassador to the UN who actually represents, you know, America, behaves, go here.

ITEM: During his State of The State Address, Texas Governor Rick Perry advocated that Texas Universities establish a $10,000, texts included, four-year college degree program (here). Cruelly taunting educrats, Perry said “It’s time for a bold, Texas-style solution to their challenge that I’m sure the brightest minds in their universities can devise.” Perry suggested that it might be done by means of online courses and “innovative teaching techniques.” That Perry! Academics offering an affordable, useful college education! What a jokester!

ITEM: Many years ago there was a commercial that urged people to lock their cars with a tag line something like “don’t help a good boy to go bad.” The public demanded that it be pulled, and it was. Why? Old fashioned as they were, the public back in the 1400’s realized that the issue was personal responsibility, the personal responsibility to resist temptation. Stealing cars wasn’t the fault of the car owner, but of the criminal who, you know, stole the car. Comes now Brenda Speaks, a Washington DC Ward 4 “Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner” (just what the heck is that?!), who opposes the construction of four WalMart stores in the area. Why does she oppose them? She feels that young people will be unable to resist shoplifting and will get criminal records that they otherwise would be able to avoid--due to the evil, impossible-to-resist tempting influence of WalMart, which will provide jobs, low cost goods and food, job training and insurance. Should anyone in DC be allowed to wear clothing? After all, young people might steal it and get criminal records! And we wonder why so many Democrat-controlled urban areas are third world snake pits. Actually, we really don’t, but if you’re reading this site, you know what I mean.

ITEM: President Obama submitted his 2013 budget on Monday, saying that it contains “tough choices and sacrifices.” Among its features are a claimed $1.1 trillion dollar savings over ten years. Unfortunately, over the same period, it would add at least $9 trillion to the debt while adding $1.65 trillion in the current fiscal year. It would also spend at least $3.73 trillion in the 2012 budget year. I would observe that spending far more than you save isn’t really saving at all, but when you’re in the land of fiscal unicorns and fairy dust, reality is--flexible. But wait! as they say on late night TV; there’s more! The bill also “saves” money and “cuts spending” by massively raising taxes! And more good news: absolutely vital programs such as high speed rail are fully funded! Act now and you’ll get not only a stratospherically higher deficit but obscenely higher taxes! Call 1-800-screwu! Bankruptcies limited to one per customer per day! Even some normally shameless Democrats are beginning to look a little red in the face over this one.

ITEM: Despite still owing the American people megabucks, General Motors is planning to pay some $189 million in profit-sharing to 48,000 hourly workers. This amounts to about $4000 each, which is far more than the then-record 1999 payout of $1,775 each at the height of the pickup and SUV boom, and this was paid out of GM’s profits, not the taxpayer’s pockets. Add some $200 million for salaried workers, most of which make more than $100,000 per year, for a total of nearly $400 million dollars--of taxpayer money. We still own 61% of GM, folks. So the new American mantra should be, work very little, drive your company into the ground, suck up to Marxist politicians, and you’ll be able to screw the public and benefit. It’s the new American way! Hope ! Change! Winning the future through screwing the present! Buy a Chevy Volt! We’ll even give you $7500 to do it! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

ITEM: IN NYC, a 23 year old man--he would like his name to be mentioned here--was arrested in a subway after a rampage during which he allegedly murdered four people and wounded several others--with a knife. The accused killer is said to have been enraged by his stepfather’s refusal to allow him to drive a Lexus. His response was to stab his stepfather to death, which apparently began the rampage. I’m confused. No gun? No “large capacity magazine?” No “assault weapon?” How was this possible? Was it an “assault knife?”

ITEM: A multitude of talking heads and politicians have expressed confusion over Mr. Obama’s foreign affairs behavior, most recently his utterly feckless and contradictory statements regarding Egypt, pronouncements that have not only been universally wrong, but damaging in every possible way. “But he’s the smartest man in any room! How can this be?” If he really is the smartest man in any room, if he really is the most magnificent POTUS in history, it can’t. If however, he is a small time, grossly overrated, thuggish, race-hustling, class-warfare provoking, narcissistic, socialist, wealth-redistributing, America-loathing community organizer then all manner of things make perfect sense. Discuss.

ITEM: As the story goes, on the eve of WWII a German General, conversing with a Swiss General, asked the Swiss what his 500,000 man militia would do if invaded by a 1,000,000 man German army. The Swiss General is reported to have calmly replied: “Shoot twice.” History records that Germany wisely chose to respect Swiss neutrality. No doubt Swiss terrain also played a role, but the Swiss General wasn’t kidding. Now comes the result of an emotional national debate over gun control in Switzerland, where fully automatic military weapons and ammunition are kept in most homes, and entire families frequently trot off for local weekend marksmanship competitions. Exit polls indicate the measure, which would have removed military weapons from homes, was rejected by at least 57% of the populace. And what about America? Shoot once? Discuss.

ITEM: According to Debra J. Saunders (here), on February 8th, the “Peace and Justice Commission” of Berkeley, CA recommended a resolution to the Berkeley City Council to invite “one or two cleared” Guantanamo Bay detainees to resettle in Berkeley. P & J Commissioner Rita Maran expressed the Commission’s intention was to invite “the kind of people you’d like to have living next door to you or dating your cousin.” Indeed. Particularly if you’d like the people next door beheaded or your cousin blown up. They don’t call it “Berzerkeley” for nothing, folks. Can you imagine a “Peace and Justice Commission” in your community, perhaps instead of a department of wastewater treatment or a street department? Discuss.

UPDATE: With four of its members voting an Obamian “present,” the Berzerkley Council declined to approve the resolution. Apparently the fact that federal law expressly prohibits any Gitmo inmates from ever entering the US was something of a sobering factor...

ITEM: From the Wall Street Journal, Via Doug Powers (here), who is reportedly not nearly as delightful, lovely or charming as Michelle Malkin, on whose site he posts, Al Gore’s recent pronouncements blaming recent fierce winter storms on global warming amount to so many moose droppings in the wilderness. The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project, which is apparently staffed by competent, honest scientists, has been reexamining climate data from 1871 to the present to find out if more extreme weather patterns are--as climate alarmists and their computer models have repeatedly warned--increasing. Results thus far? No evidence of more-extreme weather patterns, in direct contradiction of alarmist computer models. Reportedly, some of the scientists involved are surprised by the results. Reportedly, the public is primarily surprised that a climate scientist would honestly report any result not approved for public consumption by the Goracle.

ITEM: Louis Renault Award! CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, during a hearing of the House Budget Committee, admitted to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) that ObamaCare will wipe out 800,000 jobs by 2021. The CBO is also now admitting that ObamaCare will not only not reduce the deficit, but worsen it. I’m shocked, shocked! to learn this. Mr. Obama promised that ObamaCare would not only dramatically reduce the deficit and create or save a multitude of (green) jobs, but would cure cancer, remove pimples, serve as a one-pill-per-lifetime form of Viagra, produce warp drive, time travel, a Star Trek transporter, and establish world peace. What gives?

ITEM: At the 2004 Democrat National Convention. Barack Obama delivered the speech that, in the language of Chicago, “made his (political) bones.” But, via Real Clear Politics (here), even then, Mr. Obama was a serious, sober, international statesman, focusing like a laser on matters of the greatest gravity. From Mr. Obama: “The most challenging problem was what tie to wear. And this went up to the very last minute. I mean, 10 minutes before we were about to go onstage, we were still having an argument about ties. I had brought five, six ties, and Michelle didn’t like any of them...And then somebody..turned and said, ‘you know what? What about Gibbs’ tie? That might look good.’ And frankly, Robert didn’t want to give it up because he thought he looked really good in the ties. But eventually he was willing to take one for the Gipper, and so he took off his tie, and I put it on, and that’s the tie I wore at the national convention.”

In fairness, this was apparently intended to be humorous, but let me just say, “Mr. Obama, I knew the Gipper. The Gipper was a friend of America. You’re no Gipper. And you’re still an empty suit no matter which tie you wear.”

ITEM: According to Gallup, unemployment now stands at 10.3%. “Official” government numbers put it at 9.7%. The recession seems to be pretty spry, particularly considering that its corner has been rounded, it had its back broken and it spent the entire summer of 2010 being “recovered.”

ITEM: Via The Telegraph (here)--and this is not a parody--the British police are warning citizens in an area stricken by burglaries of tool and garden sheds not to reinforce shed windows with wire mesh lest burglars hurt themselves and get compensation against homeowners from the British courts. In fact, this sort of thing has been happening in England for many years. No doubt, some politicians any of us could name would find this state of affairs to be desirable here. Britain was once one of the bright lights of civilization. Mr. Obama finds much to emulate in Britain, even as the British are finally realizing and admitting what a mess they’ve made of things.

iTEM: Subsidizing the Chevy Volt to the tune of $7,500 each, the Obama Administration is now going to subsidize the installation of charging stations (about $3000 each) in nine cities, including Austin, TX. Remember, please dear readers, that taxpayers own 61% of GM, so not only are we paying for other people’s cars, we’re going to pay for the hardware necessary to charge them! For my take on the Volt in particular and electric vehicles in general, go here and here. Patrick Michaels of the Cato Institute noted “If they [the auto and power industries] could easily make money from it [electric vehicles] without a federal subsidy, they would be there. Obviously they don’t think there’s a big demand.” Considering electric vehicles cost much more than conventional vehicles, have a ridiculously short range and take as many as 12 hours to recharge, I simply can’t imagine why the demand isn’t stratospheric, but Obama knows best!

ITEM: Who says the Dems aren’t paying strict attention to the budget deficit? Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) are delivering substantial pressure to a pivotal figure to manifest an earth-shaking public good. That’s right, they’re pressuring Bud Selig, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, to ban smokeless tobacco in the game. No doubt this will not only create green jobs, but save the environment, reduce the deficit, and increase overall neatness and tidiness. I’m still not quite sure how high-speed rail fits in, but I’m Senator Durbin will get around to that eventually. Maybe the trains can burn chew?

ITEM: It occurred to me the other day, while reading about the Obama budget, that my mother taught me everything I ever needed to know about economics. Her wisdom, final and terrible in its application, is encapsulated in four words: “We can’t afford it.” Could it be as simple as merely applying these words to our economic issues? High-speed rail? We can’t afford it. ObamaCare? We can’t afford it; next item on the agenda? No oil drilling permits? We can’t afford it; start issuing them immediately. See? It works, just as it always did when Mom said it. Discuss.

ITEM: Thank God None Of Them Are Really Criminal Masterminds! Department: According to Metro.co.uk, a 16 year old burglar in Arlington Heights, Chicago killed all of the goldfish in the home of his victims because he didn’t want to leave any witnesses. Prosecutor: “Do you see the man who burglarized your home in the courtroom today?” Goldfish: “Glurg.” Prosecutor: “May the record reflect that the witness has identified the defendant, your honor?” Judge: “So ordered.” Defendant, leaping to his feet: “You dirty squealer! You’re gonna sleep with the fishes!” Judge: “You’re out of order!” Prosecutor: “Your Honor, he’s threatening the witness!” Defense Attorney: “Your honor, may the record reflect that the witness already sleeps with the fishes?” Goldfish: “Glurg.”

And on that encouraging note on the intellectual capacity of criminals, thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you next Thursday!

Posted by MikeM at 11:35 PM | Comments (2)

Che-Loving Leftists Sending Death Threats to Republicans

Something called the United Front for Immigration Reform has sent death threats to a pair of Utah legislators. They seem to be an offshoot of the Reconquista movement.

I suspect they're all talk, but you can never be too careful.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 01:58 PM | Comments (1)

Alternet Doubles Down on Bigoted Accusation that Black Conservatives are Race Traitors

The entire concept of a group owing fealty to a specific political party due to their genetic makeup is entirely offensive to any thinking person, but that is precisely the argument Chauncey DeVega made earlier this week, and one that leftist web site AlterNet and its writer continue to support.

In my original post, I referred to Herman Cain and other black conservatives as "race minstrels" and "mascots" for the White conservative imagination. I stand by this observation.

DeVega's vivid bigotry is his own cross to bear. what is less clear is why Alternet is tolerant of such myopic rhetoric.

Clearly, "diversity" in the liberal lexicon means a superficial diversity of image, while demanding a lock-step ideological conformity. DeVega is a racist, and Alternet enables racism by standing behind him.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:50 PM | Comments (8)

February 15, 2011

Lefty Bloggers Freak Over Deceptive Mother Jones Claim

It has been a tough 2011 for infanticide supporters. Serial killer Kermit Gosnell and his accomplices were indicted for a fraction of the hundreds of murders of infants they committed, and separately, Planned Parenthood has been caught in multiple locations supporting underage prostitution of foreign nationals... child sex slavery.

Battered and bruised, these advocates of minority genocide have been looking for a way to counter-punch, and have made a desperate bid to right their sinking ship by claiming that a South Dakota law would justify murdering abortion providers.

The only problem with their argument is that like most wild claims, it is entirely made up.

"This has nothing to do with abortion because abortion is a legal act," Jensen told the TownHall reporter. "This only deals with protecting against illegal acts. We're trying to bring some continuity to South Dakota code. Making unborn children a protected class under the law is consistent with the rest of our state code."

Instead, the bill could allow those who stop violence against pregnant women to have a defense.

"If someone walks up to a pregnant woman and starts punching her abdomen to abort her pregnancy, that woman, or her husband, could use justifiable force to save that child's life," the legislator said

The law is hardly controversial, and merely provides parents with the legal coverage to protect their unborn children and wives against assailants.

Of course, that claim comes from the state legislator that is sponsoring the legislation, not a Mother Jones activist, so you'll have to decide on your own which claim is more credible.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 04:55 PM | Comments (5)

A Monument for the Ages

Congressmen and Senators come and go, and most leave no lasting impression upon the nation. Certainly they manage to affix their names to an edifice here or there within their districts, or find it adorned on a sign marking a section of highway we barrel past at 70 MPH, but few actually have the chance to see their individual efforts change the nation.

This Congress has that opportunity. This Congress has that responsibility. You could even argue that they have that fate. That opportunity, that responsibility, that fate, is to determine whether they have the fortitude to make a stand against the tyranny of excess and save a nation, or see their names cast to history as the Congress that lost the Republic.

Barack Obama's budget is one of abject cowardice; an abdication of a Presidency.

The opportunity now falls to John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and a Republican-controlled House of Representatives to make the painful but Republic-saving cuts in the federal budget. "Austerity" and "hardship" does not begin to convey the hardship they must visit upon their fellow Americans, but it is a sentence they must carry out because of the incompetence of generations of Democrats and Republicans before them.

This Congress has the opportunity to be remembered as the Congress That Saved America. It will not be easy. Gratitude will not come immediately, and perhaps not even of this generation. But if this nation survives, it will be because a group of citizen-legislators had the fortitude to do what what right for the country, and made the unpopular cuts that needed to be made in a time of hardship.

Courage and commitment to First Principles could be their proud legacy in an nation that last another 200 years. It remains to be seen whether they are up to the challenge. If they are not, we will soon become a fleeting memory.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:59 AM | Comments (0)

Enjoying Slapping the Blacks Around, Chauncey?

Scratch a liberal, reveal a Klansman underneath. Of course, this is nothing new.

As long as blacks do exactly what liberals want them to do—abort their children, give up hope of finding success based upon their own merits, and vote Democrat—then liberals like those that read Alternet are all about diversity.

Of course, we're talking diversity of pigmentation. Diversity of thought, however, is a hate crime.

Herman Cain is guilty of the misdemeanor crime of being an independently successful black businessman (which is forgivable if you donate money and time to the "right" political causes... look at Oprah), and the capitol offense of being a black conservative.

Liberals like Chauncey DeVega are terrified of black conservatives, because they know that when they are chosen as role models and blacks discover how much better they would do relying on their own wits and hard work, then the black family culture can reconstruct and heal, and the Democratic Party and the leftist agenda is dead.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:34 AM | Comments (2)

February 14, 2011

What Federal Agencies Must We Keep?

Our republic must begin discussing the budget with the question, "What federal agencies must we keep?" Until Congress and the President begin framing the problem in this manner, they should be considered part of the problem, and utterly incapable of helping determine a viable solution.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 03:54 PM | Comments (6)

February 11, 2011

Egypt Inflamed, Obama Unmasked

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak made fools of the U.S. pundit and political classes yesterday, who had predicted the aging strongman was going to announce he was stepping down in a scheduled speech.

Instead, Mubarak refused to quit, and the world now waits to see if today's protests will escalate into something more akin to civil war.

Mubarak has left the protest-filled capitol and is now thought to be in his home in the resort town of Sharem a-Sheikh, a resort town on the Red Sea.

Throughout the crisis, the world has looked to America to see how the world's only remaining superpower would react. A trio of news stories yesterday showed how incompetent our Administration really is, showing they are incapable of leadership.

The whole situation is hysterical... for our nation's enemies. The Obama Administration has been unmasked as being simply inept, across the board. They are weak, vacillating, uninformed and incapable of command.

Good marketing slogans and charisma don't equate to leadership.

It is going to be a long two years until January 2013.

Update: Mubarak has resigned, and handed power to the military.

Let us all hope that there is an orderly and peaceful transition.

MIKE NOTES: Dr. George Friedman, head of Stratfor, the premier private intelligence source, believes that Mubarak did not voluntarily step down but was deposed in a "bloodless military coup." According to Dr. Friedman, the Egyptian military was involved in a "weeks long tussle with Mubarak who refused to leave." After the speech where Mubarak announced his intention to stay in power, the military took matters into their own hands and removed him the next morning. Dr. Friedman believes Mubarak will end up in Saudi Arabia where he has many friends. Dr. Friedman sees the beneficiaries of the Egyptian unrest being Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, who have been working for just this opportunity for the last 60 years, and who, he believes, will not waste it. If Dr. Friedman is correct--and Stratfor has an excellent record--Mr. Obama had virtually no influence on the situation, other than to diminish America's stature in the region even further. The word around the region--even with our allies--is that America under Barack Obama is a harmless enemy and a fickle and treacherous friend. If this is an example of "winning the future," it's a future in which we will likely want no part.

For information on the effectiveness of our intelligence officials and diplomats, be sure to check out Quick Takes this Thursday, Feb. 17.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:58 AM | Comments (6)

February 10, 2011

Murder in the Service of the Obama Agenda

It is no secret to anyone that Barack Obama is an advocate of harsh gun control, and that he would use any means, ethical or unethical, to further his agenda. While a director on the board of the Joyce Foundation he approved a plot to undermine the judiciary by corrupting Second Amendment scholarship. Had that plot succeeded, Heller could very well have had a very different outcome.

Obama Administration officials should now be held responsible for a plot within the Justice Department to manufacture evidence of cross-border weapons smuggling. This policy has been directly connected to the murder of a Border Patrol Agent, and likely contributed to the deaths of an unknown number of Mexican citizens as well.

Since the earliest days of his Presidency, Barack Obama has tried to use Mexican drug cartel violence as an excuse to restrict the rights of American citizens. Common sense—actually, any sense at all—would dictate that the way to clamp down on Mexican violence spilling into this country would be to develop a robust physical barrier system to stop illicit border crossings. Instead, the administration has used the porous border as an excuse to float easily debunked lies in the service of his domestic gun control dreams.

We just never grasped how far this cynical Administration was willing to go to further that agenda.

Manufacturing evidence as an academic and activist was bad enough, but it appears that the Administration's desire for domestic gun control was directly responsible for a plot where the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) allowed straw buyers to purchase fully-functioning firearms in the United States and smuggle them over the border into Mexico.

The goal of the plot was to let enough guns cross the border in large enough quantities so that Mexican authorities could then capture the weapons after battles between government forces and cartel members. The guns would then be turned over to the BATF for tracking, "proving" that American guns were going to Mexico, justifying restrictions on American gun owners.

It is an entirely Machiavellian plot, revolving around planted evidence. An American government agency specifically allowed firearms to be smuggled into another country, knowing that those weapons would be used to murder members of the military, law enforcement, and civilians alike. In fact, their plot relied upon those weapons being used. If they weren't used in gun battles with authorities and captured, they couldn't be tracked. If these guns weren't killing Mexicans, the Obama Justice Department would have very little political capital to expend towards domestic gun control legislation.

Killing to make a point
Sadly, the Administration's plot has worked. Mexican cops, federal agents, soldiers, and civilians have almost certainly died as a result of this scheme. On our side of the border, the bodies are likely piling up as well. Evidence clearly shows Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed as a result of this plot. The rifle that killed him on December 14, 2010, was one that BATF agents allowed to go south.

It will come as a shock to none that the immediate reaction to the exposure of this plot has been an attempt to cover up the scheme and punish those who have leaked the knowledge of it's existence.

If agencies of Iran or Syria directed weapons to be smuggled into our country to be used against our citizens, we would rightly view that as an act of aggression, and quite arguably an act of war. The BATF, the Justice Department, Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama Administration have committed this same unlawful act, and an independent investigation into criminal charges must be launched. Any and all federal agents and officeholders that instigated, knew of, or approved this action are accomplices to the murder of a federal agent, as guilty as if they'd pulled the trigger themselves.

An independent investigation cross-referencing the weapon serial numbers of the guns our Administration's plot let slip across the border to the firefights the weapons were used in will provide us with chilling figures, and more importantly, the names and faces of those killed by these weapons so that Barack Obama would have the political capital he needs to push for gun control.

In it's war against our Constitutional rights, the Obama Administration has all but declared war upon an ally and neighbor. If this doesn't approach the standard of "high crimes and misdemeanors, nothing does.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:31 PM | Comments (2)

Quick Takes, February 10, 2011

ITEM: In the "Lunatic Obsession and Total Lack of Responsibility" department comes NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg who is, once again, running straw man gun buying schemes in jurisdictions somewhat outside NYC, this time: Arizona! Arizona?! Yes, Arizona. Is Bloomberg breaking local and federal laws in doing this? Yes. Does he have any authority to do this? No. Is he neglecting his duties as Mayor of NYC? Yes. Should New Yorkers (if they’re ever able to dig out) and the Feds be--figuratively speaking (we’re all about the “new civility” here at CY)--rapping him upside the head and bidding him do his actual, you know, job? As Sarah Palin would say, you betcha! And I always thought that being the Mayor of NYC was pretty much a full time gig. Just one more thing I was wrong about, apparently.

ITEM: In this week’s “Is That Cool Or What?” department, we have: The skin gun! Via Hot Air (video here) comes news of a medical breakthrough that really is a breakthrough. To prevent infection, and to hasten healing, burn patients need to have their open wounds, excruciatingly painful wounds that often cover large portions of their bodies, covered with skin as quickly as possible, but skin grafts are frail, difficult to handle and take weeks or months to work. The inventor of the skin gun--essentially a high tech medical spray gun--Jorg Gerlach demonstrates it in the National Geographic video at the link. Taking skin stem cells from the patient, a serum is made using their own cells and sprayed on the wound. The results are miraculous, healing enormous burns in a matter of days and without scarring. Remember this the next time anyone tells you we ought to be praising the ancient scientific accomplishments of peoples currently unable to manufacture toasters.

ITEM: In the “Just Desserts” department, Wikileaker Julian Assange recently experienced the joys of mutual exposure when the contents of his Swedish sexual assault files were mysteriously released on the Internet. The misuse of the net so blithely celebrated by self-righteous web vermin like Assange is deplorable, yet one can’t help but take a bit of vicarious pleasure in this kind of Old Testament justice. But don’t take too much pleasure. Wikileaks has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, which, considering the dimwitted miscreants who have received it of late, is merely par for the course. My favorite commentary on the NPP was an eatery sign making the rounds of the Net after Mr Obama’s NPP, awarded for being so “him,” advertising (here) “Free Nobel Peace Prize With An Order Of Shrimp Tacos.” Indeed. At least one can still be worthy of a shrimp taco. The NPP? I’m not so sure...

ITEM: Yes, its another school shooting, but instead of the perpetrator mowing down scores of innocents and committing suicide, this evil malefactor was arrested by alert, efficient police officers and is facing criminal charges. At the age of seven. On January 17 in Hammonton, NJ, a boy described by school authorities as “a nice kid” and “a good student” was arrested at the urging of school authorities for...wait for it...allegedly shooting a $5.00 Nerf-like toy gun at school. Dr. Dan Blachford, school superintendent, said “We are just very vigilant and we feel that if we draw a very strict line then we have much less worry about someone bringing in something dangerous.” Police charged the boy with “possessing an imitation firearm in or on an education institution.” No. I won’t comment. It’s just too easy...it’s just...WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS STATE?! Their legislators have actually made possessing toy guns at school a crime?! A crime for which 7-year old children may be charged?! And what does Dr. Blachford fear--a $10.00 Nerf gun? Dr. Blachford should be required to write on the blackboard 100 times: “I will not overreact like a witless twit,” and “I will not be surprised when children behave like children.” What’s his doctorate in anyway? Hysteria?

ITEM: And in the “We’re Saving The Planet, Really!” department, the Obama Environmental Protection Agency--and I swear that I am not making this up--is now going to regulate the apocalyptically toxic, environment obliterating menace of--spilled milk. SPILLED MILK?! Spilled milk. From the Wall Street Journal Via Hot Air (here), two weeks ago the EPA finalized a rule that places milk in the same category as spilled oil. According to what passes for logic at the EPA, “...milk contains ‘a percentage of animal fat, which is a non-petroleum oil,’ as the agency put it in the Federal Register.” So is my hair much of the time. Hmm. Now who would benefit from less spilled milk? I’ve got it! Mr. Obama has turned the EPA over to a sinister cabal of Marxist dairy cattle!

How would you enforce something like this? Armed federal raids on dairy farms with crack EPA mop-up teams in cow camo slapping on the udder-cuffs? I find the image of little cow horns jutting from their Kevlar helmets irresistible. In all seriousness--since there is apparently none to be found in the Federal Government--I can’t imagine a better candidate for abolishment, or failing that, down-to-the-last-penny defunding than the EPA. Do they really need electric lights, what with all the mercury in the florescent light bulbs and all? Better abolishment or defunding than horny government operatives installing oil booms around the breasts of lactating mothers and denying their husbands drilling permits to prevent future leaks.

ITEM: And speaking of drilling, the Israelis, recognizing the dangers inherent in relying on others for their energy supplies, have discovered several massive natural gas fields and are hastening to exploit them. Being surrounded by hostiles sworn to its destruction tends to focus the attention of a nation on the basics, such as economic and national survival. But wait a minute! Isn’t America increasingly surrounded, if not in fact, then at least figuratively, by hostile nations bent on its destruction? Isn’t America reliant on other nations, including many hostile nations, for its energy needs? And doesn’t America have some of the largest energy deposits in the world, deposits that we’re doing little or nothing to exploit? I wonder if I’m too old to learn Hebrew?

ITEM: The horses are gone; shut the barn door! Sen, Joe Liberman (I-Conn.) said of the report on the Fort Hood massacre, that its “painful conclusion is that the Fort Hood massacre could have and should have been prevented.” Why wasn’t it prevented? Political correctness. The FBI didn’t talk to the Army. Army officers ignored--for years--Maj. Hasan’s blatantly Jihadist tendencies and rants out of fear that they’d be persecuted and their careers destroyed. So serious was his behavior over several years that the military would have been justified--at any instant--in discharging him and instituting an FBI anti-terrorism investigation. You don’t suppose any of this had to do with the mindlessly pro-Muslim views of our Commander in Chief, do you? Naaaah. He's too busy directing NASA's ancient Muslim outreach and developing anti-cattle counter-spillage tactics.

ITEM: During his Superbowl interview with Bill O’Reilly, President Obama denied that he wants to redistribute income. Hahahahahahaha! No, no! Stop it, please! O’Reilly asserted that ObamaCare was an example of redistributing income, and Mr. Obama explained that ObamaCare was merely a matter of people “taking responsibility.” Ah! So initially, forcing people to buy insurance against their will was a “fee.” Then it became a “tax.” Now it’s “taking responsibility.” But isn’t “taking responsibility” a voluntary matter? After all, if you’re forced to do it, no decision making is required. Doesn’t taking responsibility more or less require making a decision to, you know, take responsibility? And didn’t Mr. Obama tell Joe the Plumber that he believed in “spreading the wealth around?” No doubt he meant “spreading the responsibility around.” Hahahahahaha! I can’t take it anymore...

ITEM: Iran has taken yet another repressive measure aimed at its own increasingly restive population: The mullahs have banned, from Iranian TV, cooking shows featuring foreign recipes. It’s one thing to be the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in the world and to develop nuclear weapons that will surely be used against Israel and America, but to ban pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers?! Can we bomb them now, Mr. Obama, pretty please?

ITEM: The winners of this week’s Louis Renault Award are: Anyone who believed President Obama’s assertion, during his O’Reilly Superbowl interview, that he has not raised taxes. According to Politifact (here), shortly after taking office, Mr. Obama raised taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products, and ObamaCare already has one of a great many tax increases in effect: A tax on indoor tanning. But to be scrupulously fair, since most of the other non-tax increase tax increases won’t go into effect until ObamaCare is fully implemented in 2014, Mr. Obama was arguably lying to only, say, the 99.9945% level. Where are unruly Congressmen ready and willing to yell “you lie!” when you need them? But again, to be fair, who you gonna believe? The President or your own lyin' eyes?

ITEM: According to the most recent Gallup Poll conducted from Feb. 2-5, 68% of Americans disapprove of Mr. Obama’s handling of the deficit while only 27% approve of it. His disapproval/approval rating on other politically important issues are equally grim. To wit: Taxes: 42/54; healthcare: 40/56; economy: 37/60. What remains inexplicable is the fact that 27% of the public apparently thinks that the man who spent more in two years than all other presidents in the history of the republic combined, and who is absolutely determined to spend the nation into oblivion, is doing a good job--apparently at spending the nation into oblivion. And I thought that was a bad thing. Apparently they think that “investing” is somehow different than “spending money we don’t have and can’t pay back.”

ITEM: Time Magazine recently published an online article titled “Why Obama’s Silence on Gun Control Pleases No One.” Hmm. I suspect that American’s gun owners, to say nothing of those who actually support the Constitution--all of it--are reasonably pleased about this. Discuss.

ITEM: Via the indispensable Michelle Malkin we learn that MIT economist Johathan Gruber has devised a brilliant plan to repair faulty ObamaCare “messaging.” Gruber, who was instrumental in putting together the original, 2000+ page monstrosity, has announced that he has the perfect way to explain its wonders--in a way that such benighted souls can comprehend--to those Americans unable to properly appreciate it: A comic book. That’s right, he’s going to write an equally massive comic book that will explain ObamaCare. As they used to say about Grey Poupon: “But of course!” No one who truly understands ObamaCare could possibly object to it, so a comic book must be the answer for those who couldn’t read or understand the actual bill--like the entire Congress. Gruber promises that it will have “lots of pictures.” “Unhand those uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions you evil insurance company!” “Arrghh! It’s Captain Deficit! Curses! Bankrupted again!”

ITEM: Also via the diminutive but formidable Michelle Malkin, the Mansfield Independent School District (between Ft. Worth and Dallas, TX) has recently announced that it secured a five year, $1.3 million grant from the federal Foreign Language Assistance Program. We actually have one of those?! Since when? So which language will be taught in a state that is 1/3 Hispanic? Why, Arabic, of course! The federal Department of Education has designated Arabic a “language of the future.” Of course they have. The classes, which will include indoctrination in Arabic “culture,” will be mandatory at one elementary school and one middle school and optional at another middle school and a high school.

Parents, who were not consulted or notified until a meeting February 7th (the grant was secured during the summer of 2010), were not amused. The Mansfield Superintendent apparently made a fundamental geographic mistake: Mansfield is actually located in Texas, not the Levant. I have it on good authority that local Texans are taking affirmative steps--many in cowboy boots--to “educate” the Superintendent about the “realities” of Texas geography and “culture.” Hey! Shouldn’t we be taking affirmative steps to ensure that Arabic isn’t one of the “languages of the future?”

ITEM: It’s Deja Vu All Over Again! In an apparent attempt to create the illusion that he is actually pro-business, Mr. Obama recently read from his teleprompter to a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce. He began, in his usual, humble style, by praising himself for showing up, and it was unicorns and fairy dust from there. Some of the highlights included an announcement that he has ordered all governmental bureaucracies to do away with “unnecessary regulations,” after which he observed that “regulations are good” while waving a gold pocket watch before the mesmerized businessmen who were soon rhythmically chanting “regulations are good; regulations are good...”

At last count, two years into his first term, Mr. Obama has imposed 40% more regulations than either the Clinton or Bush administrations, and if ObamaCare is implemented, that number will, as Mr. Obama is fond of saying “necessarily skyrocket.” Thank goodness Mr. Obama is pro-business. Were he not, he might take over, say, General Motors and force it to build electric cars (Electric cars! Ha-ha!) so expensive the government will have to subsidize them just to get them off the showroom floor! Ha-ha! Whew! I just slay myself sometimes!

ITEM: And the hits just keep on coming! The Navy (here) is developing protective glasses that more or less instantly change tints, going from sunglasses dark to clear in 1.4 second. For operators like the SEALS, the benefits should be obvious, but as a matter of convenience for the average man, the benefits are also great. Apparently the civilian availability of the technology is not far off. Anchors aweigh!

ITEM: That Internet Is Fast! On Feb. 9, it was revealed that Rep. Chris Lee (R-State of Witlessness/NY) had posted a shirtless photo of himself on a dating website indicating that he was 39 and divorced. Lee is mid fortyish and married. Within a few hours, Lee announced his immediate resignation from the Congress. Ironic: Lee held the seat held by Eric Massa, who also resigned due to sexual impropriety involving tickling male aides. I wonder if any “non-petroleum oil” was involved? This sounds like a job for the EPA! Interesting: Instead of dissembling, hanging on and being protected by Nancy Pelosi ala Charles Rangel, a morally compromised Republican is out so fast his hat has yet to settle to the ground. That’s change we can believe in.

ITEM: "Hell Freezes Over As Pigs Fly!" department. During a Capital Hill hearing on Feb. 9, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) asked Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke if he agreed that cutting spending is the best way to stimulate growth. Mr. Bernanke replied: “That’s correct.” Knock the nation over with a feather. Was the Bernanke we’ve seen prior to this report the evil Bernanke brother? Does he have a sinister mustache and goatee?

ITEM: Pig Not Only Fly, But Dive-Bomb! In a New York Times(!) article about bias among psychologists printed on Feb. 7 (here), Jonathan Haidt polled those present at the annual conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology to determine their political affiliation. Haidt, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia, asked for a show of hands to indicate how many were politically liberal, producing a thicket of hands that he estimated as 80% of the 1000 psychologists in attendance. Asking for centrists and libertarians, he observed less than three dozen. Conservatives? Three. “This is a statistically impossible lack of diversity,” Haidt observed, and noted that approximately 40% of the population self-identifies as conservative and only 20%, liberal. This couldn’t be supportive of the proposition that overwhelming liberal bias exists in academia and psychology, could it? Naaaah. Haidt also asked the conference how many liberal psychologists it takes to change a lightbulb. Answer: Only one, but the lightbulb has to really want to change and produce jobs via high-speed rail.

ITEM: First Lady Michelle Obama recently addressed two of the most vexing problems facing America. Obesity? Nutrition? Hardly. Barack Obama does not dye his hair and has stopped smoking. It’s lighting, you see, that makes his hair gray one day and black the next. And as for smoking, Mrs. Obama knows he has stopped because she hasn’t see him light up. But of course.

And on that definitive, unassailable note, thanks for dropping by, and I’ll see you next Thursday! Hey, who you gonna believe? Mrs. Obama or your own lyin' eyes?

Posted by MikeM at 02:26 AM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2011

Tettering on the Edge

The White House has spent the last few days devoting itself to the really big issues, of whether or not the President has quit smoking, and whether or not he dyes his hair.

That the Administration and their media enablers want to engage in misdirection, to have us focus on inconsequential issues, should be viewed as an indicator of how close our economy is collapse.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 02:16 PM | Comments (2)

February 08, 2011

The Public Faith of Barack Obama

“Judge not, that ye be not judged,” wrote St. Matthew (7:1). It is with that admonition in mind that President Obama’s comments (available here) at the annual National Prayer Breakfast might be best considered. Unlike many occasions of the past, Mr. Obama was apparently much more comfortable speaking about faith, or at least, much more fluid in reading a reasonable facsimile of an honest expression of faith from his teleprompter. This is remarkable because Progressives tend to view public pronouncements of faith much as vampires do sunlight. For Socialists, faith is even less palatable, and there is little doubt that Mr. Obama is a Socialist. One need only turn to Stanley Kurtz’s fine book "Radical-In-Chief" for meticulously researched, documented and convincing proof.

Mr. Obama’s comments, taken superficially, indicate that he is a man of deep Christian faith who daily practices that faith, in ways great and small. A more careful reading indicates a dedicated man of the left, a community organizer, who sees Christianity as merely another useful political tool to be woven into the language of the left and made to serve its purposes.

Keep in mind that there is a significant difference between private and public faith. St. Matthew also speaks to this issue (6:5): “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.” Analyzing the motives of politicians is common American sport, not only when they are professing faith, but particularly when they use that profession of faith to justify and support their policies. Such is the case with Mr. Obama.

St. Matthew’s advice is about seeing the world accurately, overcoming our own shortcomings, and about not judging the relationships of others with God. The depth or sincerity of Mr. Obama’s relationship with God cannot be known, but St. Matthew’s advice in 7:16 “By their fruits shall ye know them,” can be heeded. The Bible makes clear that others must be judged not only by their words, but by their actions. Talk is cheap. Failing to understand this and to judge the motivations and actions of others is physically and spiritually foolish, even dangerous. The Bible often warns about false prophets and those who deceive. Informed judgment is not only pragmatic, but imperative for mere survival.

Americans are most comfortable with a President who does not try to be our minister-in-chief. On one hand, they’re comforted--to a limited degree--to know that any President of the United States has an abiding faith in God. Sincerely held, it serves to humble and temper any man. On the other, Constitutionally and practically, it’s not his place to appear to be a spiritual guide or enforcer in a nation where tolerance of all faiths is an article of secular faith.

When Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush spoke of their faith, progressives rolled their eyes and clucked their pseudo-intellectual tongues in derision at the provincial boobiness of it all. The media often worked itself to faux-righteous outrage at the simpletons trying to force fundamentalist Christianity on everyone from the Oval Office, despite the fact that it had not been a significant force in American politics since the dissolution of the Moral Majority, circa 1987. Still, few doubted the sincerity of their belief, and their expressions of fait--which did not occur only on special occasions--were unforced, natural and comfortable. Most importantly, they tended not to invoke faith as a tool of political persuasion.

Mr. Obama’s NPB speech reflects less a genuine daily walk with God than a growing facile ease with certain politically useful words, phrases and references. In fact, Mr. Obama’s comments at the NPB may not reflect the words of the Gospel so much as the words of William Shakespeare when he said in Hamlet 1:3: “This above all: To thine ownself be true.” Above all, Mr. Obama is certainly true to himself--whoever that may be.

There are compelling political reasons not to take Mr. Obama's religious pronouncements at face value. A Pew Poll taken in August--the most recent on this topic--revealed that Americans are less than convinced about Mr. Obama’s faith and its sincerity. Only 34% of Americans believe Mr. Obama to be a Christian, while 18% think him a Muslim. Amazingly, 43% have no idea of his faith. This is remarkable for several reasons. In 2009, 48% believed Mr. Obama to be Christian; in only one year 14% of the public abandoned that belief. They have good reason to be skeptical.

Americans tend to take individual professions of faith without undue suspicion, but they also tend to pay attention to what politicians do in addition to what they say, and by that measure, Mr. Obama’s Christian credentials were obviously found wanting. It is also remarkable in that Mr. Obama is arguably the most over-exposed POTUS in history, a day rarely passing without at least one pronouncement, speech or other message from Mr. Obama, and often, more than one, yet it strains the memory to recall any--let alone serial--affirmations of faith unattached to political persuasion escaping Mr. Obama’s eternally-moving lips.

It might also be useful to consider a small bit of truth: Despite his denials, Mr. Obama was a Muslim. There is no doubt that Mr. Obama is the child of a Muslim father. He has admitted it in writing, and even in his Prayer Breakfast speech. He was raised in a Muslim nation where he attended an Islamic school, his parents identifying him as a Muslim in school records. Mr. Obama's consistent, unabashed championing of Muslim causes and Muslim “outreach” is unusual--to say the least--for an American president.

There is no question that, in Islam, the children of a Muslim father are themselves Muslim for life. Islam is not like Christianity, particularly as it is practiced in America, where one may change faiths at will and suffer no more than the possible disapproval of parents or other relations. Muslims may not leave the faith except under pain of being declared an apostate. In Islam, there is but one punishment for apostasy: Death. It should go without saying that most Muslims, particularly American Muslims, do not practice the dictates of their faith in this matter. However, there are surely millions of Muslims who do take such things seriously--deadly seriously.

Mr. Obama has publicly declared himself to be a Christian, for 20 some years a Christian forged in the crucible of the Trinity United Church of Christ of Chicago under the mentorship of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright (more about this later). In the best spirit of American religious tolerance, I’ll take Mr. Obama at his word, but Mr.