Thursday, June 4, 2009

Let Them Go!

(originally written 4/9/09)

Texas Governor Rick Perry, supporting a "tea party" event this week, suggested that states may want to secede from the Union, because the federal government is "thumbing its nose" at the American people."

No specifics as to the nose-thumbing. Lots of possible examples come to mind, but they belong to the period beginning in December, 2000 and recently concluded with the thanks of a grateful nation to the departed President Bush.

So Perry couldn't have been talking about any of that; no he and others similarly afflicted managed to contain their outrage until recently.

But let's all be reasonable, and let them do their jobs. If they continue to hold tea parties and in general to work themselves up, we may get lucky. Imagine a USA without the southern tier of states. Why, we wouldn't have ... uh, the southern tier of states.

Thanks for nothing, Abe Lincoln.


Now we must listen to the likes of Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh telling us that Judge Sotomayor is disqualified for consideration for the Supreme Court because of her comment that a Latina judge might make a better decision than a white male judge, because of "the richness of her experience."

And it is from the font and bastion of racism in the society, these past two generations, viz. the "intellectual leaders" of the party that made racism its chief tool, that we must abide such nonsense.

Consider the probable career path of a female or minority person, now in his or her fifties, who has been successful in virtually any field in this country. Think of the professional environment in which such a person was nurtured, and the sea in which he or she swam, metaphorically speaking. Allow, even, the possibility that such a person has succeeded through only a modicum of merit and with a large serving of affirmative action.

Can you seriously doubt that, in order to rise to whatever level such a person has achieved, that person would have experienced, every day of his life, the world of the majority white male culture? And would not such a person have learned the conventions, the rules, the behaviors, even the prejudices, of the majority?

Could one seriously argue that a white male in the same profession would have had a comparable exposure to the world of the minorities, and absorbed in a comparable fashion their worldview?
So, wasn't Judge Sotomayor simply stating a rather pedestrian truth, namely that a successful minority person, whatever other characteristics he or she had developed, would have perforce had a richer, in some ways broader, understanding than a member of the majority? Wouldn't this, most likely, be true in any environment?

Maybe she shouldn't have said it; maybe she said it poorly. But let's move on!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

“Leave me for the moment — you can beat me again later,” she screams.

It was not clear what the young woman was accused of.

One account said she had stepped out of her house without being escorted by a male family member, according to Samar Minallah, a rights activist. Ms. Minallah said she distributed the video to local news outlets after it was sent to her by someone from Swat three days ago.

Another account said a local Taliban commander had falsely accused the teenager of violating Islamic law after she refused to accept his marriage proposal.

A Taliban spokesman defended the punishment to the Geo Television Network but said it should not have been done in public.

You can watch this barbarism here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Of Course It Wasn't True

All that BS about reducing the deficit in four years.  Did you believe a word of it?   Even principled Democrats say it's nonsense. 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad said on Thursday he expects federal deficit spending will be about $1.6 trillion greater over the next ten years than President Barack Obama's budget plan forecast

Saturday, March 21, 2009

You had to know this was coming . . . Part II

Iran's fist still clenched.

Only now that we're holding out our hand to the tyrants, the reformers are hiding their heads.  

Thursday, March 19, 2009

You had to know this was coming . . .

HARTFORD, Conn. — Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) suffered a political blow Wednesday with the admission that he had been involved in key legislative changes [to the Stimulus bill] that helped pave the way for AIG to pay controversial bonuses.

Of course, he also took gobs of money from AIG as the Senate Banking Committee Chair.  And now he's going to vote to confiscate the money with a 90% tax that will surely be reversed by any federal court as an unconstitutional taking in violation of the 5th Amendment.

Are the Hope and Change types even a little embarrassed yet?

Hope and Change my ass!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This is Just Embarrassing

Anyone else embarrassed by this growing dependence on the teet of the TelePrompTer?  Will we agree that the Left would have been merciless if this were "Chimpy McHitler," as they affectionately used to call the President of the United States?

Should Obama Give the Money Back?

Obama Received a $101,332 Bonus from AIG

UPDATE:  McCain received $59,499.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"I don't think we should nickel and dime them for their care"

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.

Lawmakers say they'd reject a proposal to make veterans pay for treatment of war wounds with private insurance.

Lawmakers say they'd reject a proposal to make veterans pay for treatment of war wounds with private insurance.

But the proposal would be "dead on arrival" if it's sent to Congress, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, said.

Murray used that blunt terminology when she told Shinseki that the idea would not be acceptable and would be rejected if formally proposed. Her remarks came during a hearing before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs about the 2010 budget.

No official proposal to create such a program has been announced publicly, but veterans groups wrote a pre-emptive letter last week to President Obama voicing their opposition to the idea after hearing the plan was under consideration.

The groups also cited an increase in "third-party collections" estimated in the 2010 budget proposal -- something they said could be achieved only if the Veterans Administration started billing for service-related injuries.

Asked about the proposal, Shinseki said it was under "consideration."

"A final decision hasn't been made yet," he said.

Currently, veterans' private insurance is charged only when they receive health care from the VA for medical issues that are not related to service injuries, like getting the flu.

Charging for service-related injuries would violate "a sacred trust," Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Joe Davis said. Davis said the move would risk private health care for veterans and their families by potentially maxing out benefits paying for costly war injury treatments.

A second senator, North Carolina Republican Richard Burr, said he agreed that the idea should not go forward.

"I think you will give that up" as a revenue stream if it is included in this April's budget, Burr said.

Murray said she'd already discussed her concerns with the secretary the previous week.

"I believe that veterans with service-connected injuries have already paid by putting their lives on the line," Murray said in her remarks. "I don't think we should nickel and dime them for their care."

Eleven of the most prominent veterans organizations have been lobbying Congress to oppose the idea. In the letter sent last week to the president, the groups warned that the idea "is wholly unacceptable and a total abrogation of our government's moral and legal responsibility to the men and women who have sacrificed so much."

The groups included The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

At the time, a White House spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the option was being 

Another little Indian . . .

FBI Arrests Two After Raiding Office of Obama's Pick for Information Officer

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Not Just an Ordinary Blunder

Forget the tax cheats and other tainted civil servants that President Obama has tried (and failed) to appoint to high office, this one takes the cake (at least for now). 

Do you remember how the left screamed about the "politicization" of our intelligence agencies. Well, here's Chas Freeman, the guy who would have been the Chair of the National Intelligence Council.   Jake Tapper of ABC News gets this one right:

Chas Freeman says, "The libels on me and their easily traceable email trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired, still less to factor in American understanding of trends and events in the Middle East. The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth. The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors."

What's perplexing about this [is] that so much of what critics objected to were Freeman's statements, in full context. His record was picked apart like that of any other controversial nominee -- sometimes fairly, sometimes not so -- but only in Freeman's case does the nominee make an allegation that a foreign power was lurking nefariously somehow behind it all.

Now there's a guy who would have de-politicized intelligence and presented conclusions objectively to the President.  


Oh brother!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

State Department: "There's Nothing Special About Britain"

He accused the Bush administration of diplomatic insensitivity, and promised the nation that his superior diplomatic skills would solve even the most intractable problems from Iran to the Middle East.  Trouble is, no one asked if there was any basis for this audacity.  Turns out, there was none.  The new President cannot meet even with our most loyal ally without alienating an entire nation.  This was all very predictable, unfortunately.  
British officials . . . concede that Obama aides seemed unfamiliar with the expectations that surround a major visit by a British prime minister.

*   *   *

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".

*   *   *

But they concede that the mood music of the event was at times strained. Mr Brown handed over carefully selected gifts, including a pen holder made from the wood of a warship that helped stamp out the slave trade - a sister ship of the vessel from which timbers were taken to build Mr Obama's Oval Office desk. Mr Obama's gift in return, a collection of Hollywood film DVDs that could have been bought from any high street store, looked like the kind of thing the White House might hand out to the visiting head of a minor African state.

Mr Obama rang Mr Brown as he flew home, in what many suspected was an attempt to make amends.

The real views of many in Obama administration were laid bare by a State Department official involved in planning the Brown visit, who reacted with fury when questioned by The Sunday Telegraph about why the event was so low-key.

The official dismissed any notion of the special relationship, saying: "There's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment." The apparent lack of attention to detail by the Obama administration is indicative of what many believe to be Mr Obama's determination to do too much too quickly.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Kids in the Candy Store, Part II

First President Obama insults our closest friend, and embarrasses himself, during a gift-giving ceremony.  And now this.  These are just children playing "dress up." They are truly clueless about basic stuff. A "reset" button?" Are you kidding? Grow up already. Maybe next time it'll be a box of CDs.  Oh, wait, we did that already.  

GENEVA—After promising to “push the reset button” on relations with Moscow, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton planned to present Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a light-hearted gift at their talks here Friday night to symbolize the Obama administration’s desire for a new beginning in the relationship. 

It didn’t quite work out as she planned. 

She handed him a palm-sized box wrapped with a bow. Lavrov opened it and pulled out the gift—a red plastic button on a black base with a Russian word “peregruzka” printed on top. 

We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?” Clinton said as reporters, allowed in to observe the first few minutes of the meeting, watched. 

“You got it wrong,” Lavrov said, to Clinton’s clear surprise. Instead of "reset," he said the word on the box meant “overcharge.” 
UPDATE:  3/8/09 6:08 pm:  Russian media teases Clinton over 'reset' button
Nice job!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Public Discourse Hits Bottom, Digs

I have complained before when the New Left rejoices in (or wishes for) the illness and/or death of public figures with which it disagrees.  A disgusting trend.  Now comes a Republican Senator, Jim Bunning (R-KY), who publicly rejoices in Justice Ginsburg's illness and probable death.  


Here's wishing Justice Ginsburg strength and comfort in her fight for a full and speedy recovery.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Irony of the Week

From the Guardian:
"The founder of an Islamic television station in upstate New York that was set up to improve the image of Muslims was charged with beheading his wife."

Her offense?  She filed for a divorce.  
"Benz said Hassan's wife, 37, had filed for divorce on January 6, and that police had responded to numerous domestic violence calls at the couple's home, according to CNN."
And yet . . .  
"He reportedly had two children, aged four and six, with his wife, and two other children, age 17 and 18, from a previous marriage.

If You Dish It Out . . .

For eight years, notable members of the Democratic Left referred to America’s President as “Chimpy.”  (Here’s Kos.  Here’s a website named  Look at this Google search.)  

Now the Post is accused of referring to America’s President as a chimpanzee.

And the Left freaks out . . .

Well, as some of them might say, “ROTFLMAO.”  

Friday, February 6, 2009

Kids in the Candy Store

Very Stimulating . . .

$50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts

$380 million in the Senate bill for the Women, Infants and Children program

$300 million for grants to combat violence against women

$2 billion for federal child-care block grants

$6 billion for university building projects

$15 billion for boosting Pell Grant college scholarships

$4 billion for job-training programs, including $1.2 billion for “youths” up to the age of 24

$1 billion for community-development block grants

$4.2 billion for “neighborhood stabilization activities”

$650 million for digital-TV coupons; $90 million to educate “vulnerable populations”

$15 billion for business-loss carry-backs

$145 billion for “Making Work Pay” tax credits

$83 billion for the earned income credit

$150 million for the Smithsonian

$34 million to renovate the Department of Commerce headquarters

$500 million for improvement projects for National Institutes of Health facilities

$44 million for repairs to Department of Agriculture headquarters

$350 million for Agriculture Department computers

$88 million to help move the Public Health Service into a new building

$448 million for constructing a new Homeland Security Department headquarters

$600 million to convert the federal auto fleet to hybrids

$450 million for NASA (carve-out for “climate-research missions”)

$600 million for NOAA (carve-out for “climate modeling”)

$1 billion for the Census Bureau

$89 billion for Medicaid

$30 billion for COBRA insurance extension

$36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits

$20 billion for food stamps

$4.5 billion for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

$850 million for Amtrak

$87 million for a polar icebreaking ship

$1.7 billion for the National Park System

$55 million for Historic Preservation Fund

$7.6 billion for “rural community advancement programs”

$150 million for agricultural-commodity purchases

$150 million for “producers of livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish”

$2 billion for renewable-energy research ($400 million for global-warming research)

$2 billion for a “clean coal” power plant in Illinois

$6.2 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program

$3.5 billion for energy-efficiency and conservation block grants

$3.4 billion for the State Energy Program

$200 million for state and local electric-transport projects

$300 million for energy-efficient-appliance rebate programs

$400 million for hybrid cars for state and local governments

$1 billion for the manufacturing of advanced batteries

$1.5 billion for green-technology loan guarantees

$8 billion for innovative-technology loan-guarantee program

$2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects

$4.5 billion for electricity grid

$79 billion for State Fiscal Stabilization Fund

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

But I find it hard to look him straight in the eyes and say: You did not die in vain.

This week marks the seventh anniversary of the murder of our son, former Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. My wife Ruth and I wonder: Would Danny have believed that today's world emerged after his tragedy?


Jimmy Carter.

The answer does not come easily. Danny was an optimist, a true believer in the goodness of mankind. Yet he was also a realist, and would not let idealism bend the harshness of facts.

Neither he, nor the millions who were shocked by his murder, could have possibly predicted that seven years later his abductor, Omar Saeed Sheikh, according to several South Asian reports, would be planning terror acts from the safety of a Pakistani jail. Or that his murderer, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, now in Guantanamo, would proudly boast of his murder in a military tribunal in March 2007 to the cheers of sympathetic jihadi supporters. Or that this ideology of barbarism would be celebrated in European and American universities, fueling rally after rally for Hamas, Hezbollah and other heroes of "the resistance." Or that another kidnapped young man, Israeli Gilad Shalit, would spend his 950th day of captivity with no Red Cross visitation while world leaders seriously debate whether his kidnappers deserve international recognition.

No. Those around the world who mourned for Danny in 2002 genuinely hoped that Danny's murder would be a turning point in the history of man's inhumanity to man, and that the targeting of innocents to transmit political messages would quickly become, like slavery and human sacrifice, an embarrassing relic of a bygone era.

But somehow, barbarism, often cloaked in the language of "resistance," has gained acceptance in the most elite circles of our society. The words "war on terror" cannot be uttered today without fear of offense. Civilized society, so it seems, is so numbed by violence that it has lost its gift to be disgusted by evil.

I believe it all started with well-meaning analysts, who in their zeal to find creative solutions to terror decided that terror is not a real enemy, but a tactic. Thus the basic engine that propels acts of terrorism -- the ideological license to elevate one's grievances above the norms of civilized society -- was wished away in favor of seemingly more manageable "tactical" considerations.

This mentality of surrender then worked its way through politicians like the former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. In July 2005 he told Sky News that suicide bombing is almost man's second nature. "In an unfair balance, that's what people use," explained Mr. Livingstone.

But the clearest endorsement of terror as a legitimate instrument of political bargaining came from former President Jimmy Carter. In his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," Mr. Carter appeals to the sponsors of suicide bombing. "It is imperative that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Road-map for Peace are accepted by Israel." Acts of terror, according to Mr. Carter, are no longer taboo, but effective tools for terrorists to address perceived injustices.

Mr. Carter's logic has become the dominant paradigm in rationalizing terror. When asked what Israel should do to stop Hamas's rockets aimed at innocent civilians, the Syrian first lady, Asma Al-Assad, did not hesitate for a moment in her response: "They should end the occupation." In other words, terror must earn a dividend before it is stopped.

The media have played a major role in handing terrorism this victory of acceptability. Qatari-based Al Jazeera television, for example, is still providing Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi hours of free air time each week to spew his hateful interpretation of the Koran, authorize suicide bombing, and call for jihad against Jews and Americans.

Then came the August 2008 birthday of Samir Kuntar, the unrepentant killer who, in 1979, smashed the head of a four-year-old Israeli girl with his rifle after killing her father before her eyes. Al Jazeera elevated Kuntar to heroic heights with orchestras, fireworks and sword dances, presenting him to 50 million viewers as Arab society's role model. No mainstream Western media outlet dared to expose Al Jazeera efforts to warp its young viewers into the likes of Kuntar. Al Jazeera's management continues to receive royal treatment in all major press clubs.

Some American pundits and TV anchors didn't seem much different from Al Jazeera in their analysis of the recent war in Gaza. Bill Moyers was quick to lend Hamas legitimacy as a "resistance" movement, together with honorary membership in PBS's imaginary "cycle of violence." In his Jan. 9 TV show, Mr. Moyers explained to his viewers that "each [side] greases the cycle of violence, as one man's terrorism becomes another's resistance to oppression." He then stated -- without blushing -- that for readers of the Hebrew Bible "God-soaked violence became genetically coded." The "cycle of violence" platitude allows analysts to empower terror with the guise of reciprocity, and, amazingly, indict terror's victims for violence as immutable as DNA.

When we ask ourselves what it is about the American psyche that enables genocidal organizations like Hamas -- the charter of which would offend every neuron in our brains -- to become tolerated in public discourse, we should take a hard look at our universities and the way they are currently being manipulated by terrorist sympathizers.

At my own university, UCLA, a symposium last week on human rights turned into a Hamas recruitment rally by a clever academic gimmick. The director of the Center for Near East Studies carefully selected only Israel bashers for the panel, each of whom concluded that the Jewish state is the greatest criminal in human history.

The primary purpose of the event was evident the morning after, when unsuspecting, uninvolved students read an article in the campus newspaper titled, "Scholars say: Israel is in violation of human rights in Gaza," to which the good name of the University of California was attached. This is where Hamas scored its main triumph -- another inch of academic respectability, another inroad into Western minds.

Danny's picture is hanging just in front of me, his warm smile as reassuring as ever. But I find it hard to look him straight in the eyes and say: You did not die in vain.

Mr. Pearl, a professor of computer science at UCLA, is president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, founded in memory of his son to promote cross-cultural understanding.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

If God is a Megalomaniac then we have Obama to defeat Him

... God: 97,227,884,743,788,327,474,874,840,098,201,919,398,348,747

... Humans: 164 + 1 (Obama's election)

"Imagine a country ruled by an all-powerful king who has ordered that everyone spends 8 hours a day singing his praises. What words do we use for someone like that? Megalomaniac? A good ruler is one who creates a stable, peaceful and progressive situation within which everyone can be themselves and develop into the best they could be. Yet we have this vision put before us of Jesus ruling a new Earth within which everyone spends 24 hours a day for ever in “eternal ecstatic praise” to him.

So we are to have a new perfect body, we will be brain-washed so that all unapproved thoughts and questions are removed from our brains, and we’ll all think and believe the same and sing God’s praises in perfect harmony. If the choice is between ceasing to exist and being transformed into a singing cyberman, there really isn’t much in it. One would cease to exist as an individual with a human identity in either case.

If God wanted the earth filled with worshipping, obedient, unquestioning, sinless beings, he’d have populated it with angels. What on earth would be the point of creating free-thinking, creative human beings and then mutating selected ones into clones of angels?

Such a vision could only be put forward by people who are control freaks, or who have their “heads in the clouds,” or by ministers who think that the highlight of everyone’s lives is their Sunday services."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Is Your Mouth A Little Weak . . .

When you open it to speak
Are you Smart?

23 days to Valentine's Day

Friday, January 9, 2009

This is the Present that Kooks and Whackjobs Have Been Fighting to Delay

I remember 2001 when Pres. Bush made his announcement on television regarding stem cells. I was in Israel at the time. Nearly 8 years later, think of all the people whose lives could be better, how much farther along research could be, and how much broader the body of human knowledge might span if ignorance, fear, politics and kooks didn't play a role in important national science policy. How foolish they will all look.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


As if i needed any more reason to always skip fMRI articles:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Samuel Phillips Huntington: April 18, 1927–December 24, 2008

I guess news moves a little more slowly over the holidays. I had no idea Dr. Huntington had died until I opened the Economist today. Below, an excerpt from the commentary article.

I recall my professors spoke of him dismissively, before 09/11 that was. Is optimism inherently dangerous? Are liberalism and culture diametrically opposed?

"Both well and badly. Huntington came as close as anybody to predicting September 11th and the “war on terror” with his strictures about Islam’s “bloody borders”. He also came as close as anybody to predicting America’s agonies in Iraq by pointing out that democracy is the product of very specific cultural processes. His argument that modernisation does not necessarily entail Westernisation also looks prescient: why should the Chinese embrace the American economic model when it seems to produce such economic havoc? And why should authoritarian regimes in the Middle East embrace democratisation when it might mean handing power to Islamists? The master emerges better than his pupil, Mr Fukuyama."