Friday, May 31, 2013

Democrats have their dream ticket for 2016

If it is good enough for Donald Sensing, it is safe enough to post here.

Exploring the world, one crash at a time

How about Niagra Falls?

Found here

Why is Jesus postponing judgment?

Why is Jesus postponing judgment? So that the wrong-doers can be brought into His flock. Judgment was delayed so we could get in. Are we okay if he delays judgment until one of the oppressors wants to come home and join us? Robert Gelinas preaches here

22 things happy people do differently, or, why I am not happy

Chiara Fucarino writes about 22 things happy people do differently. I will list them here, then give my "yes, buts" after each one. Sometimes I am just too ornery for my own good.

1. They don't hold grudges. Yes, but it doesn't hurt to protect yourself from people who have proven that they will hurt you if given a chance.

2. Treat everyone with kindness. Yes, but if someone returns your kindness with unfair accusations, be ready to direct that person to someone who cares about his victimhood.

3. See problems as challenges. Yes, but sometimes sh#t happens, and the four letter word for that comes right out.

4. Express gratitude for what they already have. Yes, but keep striving for what you want to accomplish.

5. Dream big. Yes, but that is what I just said in response to number four.

6. Don't sweat the small stuff. Yes, but sometimes it isn't easy to tell what is small and what is big.

7. Speak well of others. Yes, but what should we say about people who fail to exercise their power, and people die as a result, as in Benghazi?

8. Never make excuses. Yes, but on the other hand, don't let anyone roll over you.

9. Get absorbed into the present. Yes, but don't let go of your dreams.

10. Wake up at the same time every morning. Yes, but that assumes that you have the same work schedule every day.

11. Avoid social comparison. Yes, but there are some people I like being around, and some people I don't.

12. Choose friends wisely. Yes, but see number 11.

13. Never seek approval from others. Yes, but tell that to my boss.

14. Take the time to listen. Yes, but not to people who are always negative.

15. Nurture social relationships. Yes, but if you have a side of you that is introverted, be sure to have plenty of alone time.

16. Meditate. Yes, but what I said to number 15.

17. Eat well. Yes, but have you ever had a Marie Callendar Chicken Pot Pie?

18. Exercise. Yes, but if you need rest, get that first.

19. Live minimally. Yes, but go ahead and buy the cherries while they are available.

20. Tell the truth. Yes, but how will you ever get elected?

21. Establish personal control. Yes, but have you ever been married?

22. Accept what cannot be changed. Yes, but how do you know what cannot be changed?

Only one man responsible

Col. David Hunt on who is responsible for the Benghazi disaster:

There is one simple point to be made about Benghazi: the President of the United States is the only human being on the planet that can order a bullet, a missile, a plane, a drone, a boat, a helicopter, a soldier, sailor, spy, or push cart with a squirt gun attached to go into another country and perform an aggressive action.

On September 11, 2012, we know the President failed to give that order. We don’t know where he was, what he was doing, or why he failed to act. But we do know he failed to act, and that inaction cost the lives of four brave Americans.

Crony capitalists

Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google, has invested millions of his own money to create a company composed of the Obama election team's top techies.

The data analytics team, led by 30-year-old Dan Wagner, is credited with producing Obama’s surprising 5 million-vote margin of victory.

Schmidt thought enough of the team that when the campaign ended, he put up several million dollars to keep its core together as a new consulting firm, Civis Analytics, run by Wagner and staffed by two dozen of his former employees. They share ownership with Schmidt, its sole investor. The team will be working exclusively for Democrat candidates, as well as some corporations.

"Streamlining the logistics"

Another hot (pardon the pun) item of discussion on conservative talk radio today is the allegation that some of our soldiers in Afghanistan are being deprived of hot meals. I checked the rumor out with Snopes.com. It is true that at the U.S. bases in the Paktika province of Afghanistan hot breakfasts are being replaced with cold MREs. The reason given is that those bases are transitioning to Afghan control, and this change "streamlines the logistics" involved in shutting down the bases. The Defense Department denies the move was the result of budget cuts.

All in the family

I just heard Mark Levin say on his radio program that perhaps as many as 600 post office complexes are going to be put up for sale. Guess who has the exclusive contract to handle those sales? A company chaired by Richard Blum, who is the husband of Senator Diane Feinstein.

To see if what Levin reported was accurate, I checked Snopes.com. Here is what I learned from a post there last updated 22 May, 2013. Blum is chairman of the board of CBRE GRoup, which in 2011 was awarded the exclusive contract to handle the sale of the 600 facilities.

Asking questions

Bruce McQuain asks 29 questions that the press should have been asking since the advent of the Obama age.

"A chilling abuse of power"

found here

Moribund

Jeff Goldstein links to a news report, in which a kindergartener was grilled for two hours by school administrators, causing the boy to uncharacteristically wet his pants. The boy's crime? He brought his toy pistol to school and showed it to a friend on the bus. Jeff says it is proof of a moribund America.

Obama: "We're gonna punish our enemies and reward our friends."

found here

Using social media

Anthony Weiner has taken out an ad to recruit interns and fellows to work on his campaign for New York Mayor.

The circle was put in there by this blogger.

A journalist

Jason Mattera knows where to find Senators. And he doesn't hesitate to ask them questions.

found here

I will walk more slowly

The blogger at Stupid is a Five Letter Word has written a poem entitled I Will Walk More Slowly. The blogger's dog has congestive heart failure. It is a beautiful poem, and there is a photo of the dog.

He's not talking about Twitter

found here

Bad luck

found here

Laughing as you sink

"Sell everything immediately!"

found here

Nailing jello to the wall

Joan of Argghh! examines how President Obama and the media "can sleep smugly, if not soundly, at night."

Nine lawyers to decide what is marriage?

The Supreme Court has previously decided to define what is golf. Now it is going to decide what is marriage. Paul Mirengoff thinks it should refrain from the task.

A pattern of false testimony

Should we be entitled to have an honest person serving as our nation's top law enforcement officer? Seems like a ridiculous question, doesn't it?

Beware! Journalism being practiced!

Careful. This might shock you. There are still some journalists in America. Power Line found them in Louisiana.

Where will modern environmentalism go next?

Steven Hayward writes,
Hatred of “fossil fuels” is the categorical imperative of modern environmentalism, and it long predates the arrival of global warming as an issue. The original complaint was that that hydrocarbons produced too much conventional air pollution, but once we solved that problem global warming became the fallback position. Nothing will deter environmentalists from this wisp—certainly not facts or progress. I’m betting they’ll stick with the previous 80 by 50 target. But if they come in with a different one, I’ll do the math to figure out what year in the past it will take the U.S. back to: I’ll bet it will still be something like 1925. Stay tuned.

Serving Obama's political interests

Who is Tom Perez? He is the third most frequent visitor to the Obama White House. He is also the person in charge of enforcing the nation's law that

requires states to maintain clean voter rolls before federal elections.

Paul Mirengoff writes at Power Line that
Perez allowed the nation’s voter rolls to swell with millions of dead voters by refusing to bring any cases under Section 8 of the Motor Voter law. Instead, thanks to Perez, millions of dead and ineligible voters remained on the rolls for the November 2012 election.

The most frequent visitor was former I.R.S. Commissioner Doug Shulman. Mirengoff wonders if there is something the two share in common.

Here, then, is a common thread — both Perez and Shulman headed governmental units performing tasks that served the political interests of President Obama and his party. Did this work help them become frequent White House visitors?

Why is the 8% winning?

And, congratulations to Scott Ott, who recently was elected County Commissioner in Pennsylvania. Scott is one of the really good people who has been providing wonderful thoughts for many years.

The blind can see? In the Holy Land?

Roger L. Simon visits the Holy Land, where Israeli scientists have developed technology that enables the blind to see.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Squaring the circle

Victor Davis Hanson shows how Obama is the most impressive sophist of this age. He writes tongue-in-cheek about our "make no mistake about it/Let me be perfectly clear president here.

We don't know who will win in Syria, but we know who will lose.

Michael Ledeen writes,

History may not quite repeat itself, but the war in Syria — invariably, “the Syrian Civil War” — is eerily similar to the “Spanish Civil War” in the mid-1930s.

He goes on to show how

events in Spain prefigured World War II. Just as Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco were determined to win at all costs, so Putin, Assad, and Khamenei are concerned only with slaughtering everyone on “the other side” and keeping the regime in Damascus in power.

Ledeen warns of the consequences of Obama's "lead from behind" strategy, comparing it to the appeasement strategies followed by British, French, and Americans prior to World War II.

Hitler and Mussolini, who had not previously shown great interest in a military alliance, were drawn closer, laying the basis for the Axis. And the manifest weakness of the free nations encouraged both fascist dictators to behave more aggressively in the future, as our weakness in Syria has so greatly encouraged the Russian and Iranian dictators today.

Seemingly forgetting about John McCain for a moment, Ledeen asserts,

Our leaders today are striving mightily to close their eyes and ears to the acts and words of war aimed at us from the new totalitarians of radical Islam and a revived pseudo-revolutionary Communism. Just as Spain offered a chance to humiliate Hitler and Mussolini, so Syria offers the chance to deliver a deadly blow to Putin and Khamenei. But no American leader seems to be listening to the chants of “Death to America” from Tehran to Caracas.

Ledeen links to Emanuele Ottolenghi, who makes very similar arguments in a piece at Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Our exercise in self-sidelining is as myopic as it was in the 1930s. Unless there are no winners, we will be left to deal with the consequences of either regime survival — an Iranian victory — or a jihadi-dominated new order — a Western defeat.

We will no doubt protest that a third option was tenuous at best, rather than asking ourselves what could have been done to make it viable. By then, it will be too late — because, much as in 1936, our conviction is weaker than that of our adversaries. They know what they want and they are ready to pay the price. We don't — and we would prefer it if the UN paid the bill.

Is it 1980 all over again?

Stephen Kruiser wonders if he just woke up in 1980. Writing at PJ Tatler about events in Syria,

As with many of the conflicts in the region, it is sometimes difficult to pick which side to root for. That decision is made easier when Iran and its lunatic leader get involved. And the Russians are helping.

Did I just wake up in 1980?

Don't take your eyes off Iran

Bridget Johnson at PJ Media explores information linking Iran to terrorism throughout the globe.

What is the President's leadership style?

What, exactly, is President Obama's leadership style? William Teach identifies three possibilities.

There are three possible leadership styles for (NMP) Obama

1. He just doesn’t want to know and doesn’t want to be involved in governance or decision making

2. He does actually want to know everything and is involved in decision making as well as being kept in the loop, but his people say he isn’t

3.He only wants to be involved when it makes him look good and wants to be left alone for everything else

A case can be made for any of those. I want to say that it is more of #2, but, then I flip to #3, then #1.

The power of bureaucrats run amok

William Teach links to an article by Rich Lowry at Politico entitled the Lois Lerner State.

It is appropriate that the worst scandal of the Obama administration— the IRS targeting of conservatives — is a scandal of administrators and bureaucrats, of otherwise faceless people endowed with immense power over their fellow citizens and running free of serious oversight from elected officials.

Teach then goes on to give some examples of the power of the fourth branch of government, the bureaucratic, administrative state.

"Safe, legal, and rare"

Manhatten Infidel, currently the best satirist on the web, hands down, (pardon the pun) explores the reasons why two men would drive their car up on the sidewalk, crash into a man, then get out and decapitate the man with their machetes.

Initial reports indicate that the perpetrators shouted “Allah Akbar” as they carved the British soldier to pieces. But this obviously is in error. Islam is the Religion of Peace.

I have heard the audiotape of the man-caused event and after repeated listenings I can make out the assailants praying the rosary.

This would make sense as Christians are bitter people who cling to guns and, in this case, meat cleavers.

And yes, technically chopping up someone is currently illegal. But doesn’t that just stigmatize chopping people up? And isn’t that in fact a “value judgment“? And aren’t value judgments outdated by scientific advances?

Manhatten Infidel wants to create a world where chopping up British soldiers is "safe, legal, and rare," like the killing of babies.

Jake and the Fat Man

Manhatten Infidel chronicles the return of Jake and the Fat Man to the Jersey Shore.
It was at the Jersey shore that the two first teamed up and unexpectedly created a comedy phenomenon. Before this the Fat Man was viewed as an unsuccessful “shock comic”, a Johnny one-note whose only talent was screaming at people. Jake on the other hand was viewed as a faux intellectual, a man over his depth, thin-skinned and enamored of himself.

Is a movie in their future?

Likened by critics to a modern day cross between the Three Stooges and Abbott and Costello, Jake and the Fat Man have announced that they will soon begin lensing their first movie entitled “Jake and the Fat Man Battle Hurricanes, Nazis and Tea Baggers.”

But, it is reported that there is tension between the two.

Behind the scenes there are reports of tension between the two. The Fat Man recently had his stomach stapled in an effort to lose weight, provoking Jake’s anger.

“Dammit I need the Fat Man fat!” he told assistants. “It’s Jake and the Fat Man not Jake and the Slightly Overweight Man. Every 30 pounds he loses I lose an important demographic!”

Either he lied to Congress, or he lied to a judge

Charles Krauthammer is talking about Eric Holder, the head of the Department of Justice of the United States of America!

The roots were in need of the light

Big Mama writes today at A Holy Experience about the Light of God's grace.

Not real people

"The man under the umbrella might, for the first time in his life, have some serious answering to do."

Puncturing the bubble of ideological lockstep

"If the stenography pool, formerly known as the press, is the target of intimidation, then things might get very bad for these very bad people."

This president is not above the law

Guest post by Suzie Darnall

In July 1974, the United States Supreme Court declared that no president is above the law. Not being an expert in jurisprudence, I think I am still capable of figuring out that this also means those in his administration are not above the law. And, yet, the current occupant of the White House, who is oft times touted as a constitution law professor, seems to think laws do not apply to him or his minions. Heck, he even seems to feel it is okay for his own United States Attorney General to commit perjury and flout the 1st Amendment . . . or any other Amendments that are inconvenient at the time.

But, it is not like Eric Holder is the first one in Obama's administration who is less than truthful or less than law-abiding. The list is does sorta go on and on . . . starting right at the top with Obama himself. The current administration is rife with liars and those who would trample on the laws of this nation, starting with the Constitution and right on down.

One of my own personal favorites is tax-cheat Timothy Geithner who was Secretary of the Treasury until January of this year. Seems kinda counter-intuitive to appoint a man to head the department that controls the Internal Revenue Service who apparently feels he is not obligated to pay his taxes to the IRS. Hmmm . . . ?

Then, another fav of mine is Rahm Emanuel, current mayor of Chicago, former White House Chief of Staff to Obama. To get this man elected in Obama's home town they had to flout the laws of Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois. But, dang, y'all gotta admire them for getting it done! What's a trivial little issue like residency when you can put one of Obama's best friends right there where he can do some good for the Democrats? Chicago-style politics at its best . . . or worst, depending on your worldview.

Then, we have dear Hillary Clinton. The . . . ummm . . . grand ol' lady of the Democratic Party. Obama's Secretary of State until February 2013. Don't know for sure if she is the one who decided to allow four Americans to be killed in Benghazi, but do know she lied about what happened before, during, and after the raids that resulted in the loss of lives.

Lest y'all think I am being pettifogging in considering lying to be a breaking of the law, let me remind you that these people gave oaths to uphold the laws of this country, not to mention that some of their lies were told while under oath to investigatory government bodies. In short, some of them have repeatedly lied to Congress! That's called perjury, which is a crime. Oh, and, so is tax-evasion . . . even if you go back and pay them later, you broke the law.

I could write a virtual novel about all the lawbreakers and liars in Obama's White House, but I am actually trying to keep this somewhat short and concise. I am not trying to bring all the wrong-doers into the light, I am simply trying to shine a bit of light on the obfuscation that is Obama's political machine to allow people to see that there's a whole lotta bad things going on under cover darkness. These Leftist ideologues use the media equivalents of smoke-n-mirrors to deflect detection from their never-ending litany of untruths and side-stepping story-lines.

It would seem, at least in the minds of Obama and his cohorts that "this president is above the law". Wow! How did we get to this place in our history? More importantly, how do we get away from it?

I think we get away from this very dark place in America by holding tight to the morals and ethics many of us hold dear. I think we demand accountability from our government. We stand up for our laws and our Constitution. We insist our politicians do the same. And, most of all, we vote the lowlifes out of office as soon as possible and by the droves. If they cannot tell the truth, let them go home to lie to the next-door-neighbors, not to the American citizens!

We need to vote Right, vote, Right, vote Right . . . until there is nothing Left!

© Suzann C. Darnall, MAY 2013

Constructing a cover story

Obama and I.R.S. Commissioner had lots to talk about

Which person has visited the White House more than any other during the Obama presidency? The Daily Caller obtained records, and says it was Douglas Shulman, the I.R.S. Commissioner! Here is the graph:

"Promise Me You Will Never Run Again, and We'll Drop The Case"

You have heard of Lois Lerner, the I.R.S. official who recently took the fifth when questioned by Congress. During the Clintons' presidency she was head of the enforcement division of the Federal Election Commission. Her target then was the Christian Coalition. She also harassed the Republican who ran against Dick Durbin in the Illinois U.S. Senate Race. Read about these aspects of her history here

Bear and friends

My sister sent me this video via email. It was a delightful way to start my day. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I urge you to click on this link to see a two minute video of a very happy bear.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Talk is cheap. Our liberty is not!

You do not fight back by creating more sheep! Former Secret Service Agent Dan Bongino speaks about gun control people control.

On a tip from Curt Dale

Belonging

Ann Voskamp poetically writes today,

All I have is what I believe and the living of it and His promises are enough.

Returning to Canada from a trip to New York, she is greeted by a double rainbow,

This flag flying in the unwavering hues of the promise of Home.

Re-uniting with family

Here is another link I found at Neo-Neocon. It is a video of Guy Gruters, coming home after spending over five years in a North Viet Nam POW camp.

More about Gruter here

"We don't want nobody nobody sent"

Neo-Neocon links to a piece written in the New Yorker by Ryan Lizza in July 2008. It looks at Barack Obama's Chicago years about which there is a lacuna in his two autobiographies. I took the time to go back and read the piece, because I thought it might shed some light on understanding who we have as President of the United States in 2013.

Chicago is not Obama’s home town, but it’s where he chose to forge his identity. Several weeks ago, he moved many of the Democratic National Committee’s operations from Washington to Chicago, making the city the unofficial capital of the Democratic Party; his campaign headquarters are in an office building in the Loop, Chicago’s downtown business district. But Chicago, with its reputation as a center of vicious and corrupt politics, may also be the place that Obama needs to leave behind.

Ivory Mitchell, the ward chairman in Obama’s neighborhood, says of Obama that “he was typical of what most aspiring politicians are: self-centered—that ‘I can do anything and I’m willing to do it overnight.’"

If Project Vote and Miner’s firm introduced Obama to the city’s lakefront liberals and South Side politicians, it was his wife who helped connect him to Chicago’s black élite. One of Michelle’s best friends was Jesse Jackson’s daughter Santita, who became the godmother of the Obamas’ first child. Michelle had worked as an aide to the younger Daley—hired by Valerie Jarrett, who is now one of Obama’s closest advisers. (Jarrett, an African-American, was born in Iran, where her father, a doctor, helped run a hospital; she and Obama formed a bond over their unusual biographies.)

In reading this Lizza piece, one can see how Obama developed the ability to be outwardly conciliatory, while privately unleashing his political operatives. He knows how to say all the right things, but he also knows how to inflict damage on opponents.

As Saul Bellow once remarked, “Politics are politics, crime is crime, but in Chicago they occasionally overlap. The line between virtue and vice meanders madly—effective government on one side, connections on the other.”

Media-driven politics:

Gradually, Chicago caught up with the rest of the country and media-driven politics eclipsed machine-driven politics. “It became increasingly difficult to get into homes and apartments to talk about candidates,” Rose said. “High-rises were tough if not impossible to crack, and other parts of the city had become too dangerous to walk around in for hours at a time. And people didn’t want to answer their doors. Thus the increasing dependence on TV, radio, direct mail, phone-banking, robocalls, et cetera—all things that cost a hell of a lot more money than patronage workers, who were themselves in decline, anyway, because of anti-patronage court rulings.” Instead of a large army of ward heelers dragging people to the polls, candidates needed a small army of donors to pay for commercials. Money replaced bodies as the currency of Chicago politics. This new system became known as “pinstripe patronage,” because the key to winning was not rewarding voters with jobs but rewarding donors with government contracts.

Pin-striped patronage:

E. J. Dionne, Jr., of the Washington Post, wrote about this transition in a 1999 column after Daley was reëlected. Dionne wrote about a young Barack Obama, who artfully explained how the new pinstripe patronage worked: a politician rewards the law firms, developers, and brokerage houses with contracts, and in return they pay for the new ad campaigns necessary for reëlection. “They do well, and you get a $5 million to $10 million war chest,” Obama told Dionne. It was a classic Obamaism: superficially critical of some unseemly aspect of the political process without necessarily forswearing the practice itself. Obama was learning that one of the greatest skills a politician can possess is candor about the dirty work it takes to get and stay elected.

At the time, Obama was growing closer to Tony Rezko, who eventually turned pinstripe patronage into an extremely lucrative way of life. Obama and Rezko’s friendship grew stronger. They dined together regularly and even, on at least one occasion, retreated to Rezko’s vacation home, in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Obama saw that he had tremendous appeal to young white professionals.

Obama’s North Side fund-raising base and his South Side political base were united in one district.

The partisan redistricting of Illinois may have been the most important event in Obama’s early political life. It immediately gave him the two things he needed to run for the Senate in 2004: money and power. He needed to have several times as much cash as he’d raised for his losing congressional race in 2000, and many of the state’s top donors now lived or worked in his district. More important, the statewide gerrymandering made it likely that Obama’s party would take over the State Senate in 2002, an event that would provide him with a platform from which to craft a legislative record in time for the campaign.

By 2001, if there was any maxim from community organizing that Obama lived by, it was the Realpolitik commandment of Saul Alinsky, the founding practitioner of community organizing, to operate in “the world as it is and not as we would like it to be.”

“The political bosses knew they had to have what they used to call in business a loss leader—the showcasing,” Don Rose, the Chicago political consultant, said. “The car that you sold for under its value for advertising purposes. While you had at the top of your ticket a shining star, under that it was like turning over a rock.”

The Obama paradoxes:

Like many politicians, Obama is paradoxical. He is by nature an incrementalist, yet he has laid out an ambitious first-term agenda (energy independence, universal health care, withdrawal from Iraq). He campaigns on reforming a broken political process, yet he has always played politics by the rules as they exist, not as he would like them to exist. He runs as an outsider, but he has succeeded by mastering the inside game. He is ideologically a man of the left, but at times he has been genuinely deferential to core philosophical insights of the right.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Gratitude Campaign

Found at Always on Watch

Why we have Memorial Day

From Miss Cellania at Neatorama:

In 2005, Jim Sheeler wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning story about the return of 24-year-old 2nd Lt. James J. Cathey from Iraq. Cathey's coffin was delivered to his pregnant wife by American Airlines, escorted by a Marine who was his friend since boot camp. Todd Heisler of the Rocky Mountain News also won a Pulitzer for his photo series covering Cathey's homecoming and funeral. The photograph that sticks with us is the one of Katherine Cathey sleeping beside her husband's body one last time, as a Marine keeps watch the night before the funeral.

It is the one and only photo that makes me cry each time I see it. What brings the tears to my eyes is not just the bereaved young woman, but the Marine who stands behind her. In an earlier photo in the series, we see him building her a little nest of blankets on the air mattress. Sweet Lord, I cry just typing the words, the matter-of-fact tenderness is so overwhelming. So soldierly. But in this photo — the one that lives on and on online — he merely stands next to the coffin, watching over her. It is impossible to be unmoved by the juxtaposition of the eternal stone-faced warrior and the disheveled modern military wife-turned-widow, him rigid in his dress uniform, her on the floor in her blanket nest, wearing glasses and a baggy T-shirt, him nearly concealed by shadow while the pale blue light from the computer screen illuminates her like God’s own grace.

These are the stories and images that bring home the real cost of war, and the real reason we have Memorial Day.

How did you sleep last night?

Alex Santosa at Neatorama wonders if baby giraffes wake up with giant cricks in their necks.

Fungi on your body parts

Did you know that there about 200 different types of fungi living on your feet alone (not to mention other parts of your body)?

Read the story here.

Having a bad day?

Are you having a bad day? No, not as bad as the guy in the white shirt trying to learn how to drive a scooter.

found here

When you forget to lock the prisoners in their cells...

The staff at a prison in Sweden forgot to lock up six prisoners the other night. Three of them were convicted murderers. Here is what happened next.

found here

Benghazzhio

found here

Prom and yearbook photos

National Review Online has a photo gallery of prom and yearbook pictures of famous people. Here is Michelle Obama's prom picture.

Here is Bill Clinton's yearbook photo.

Compare it to the young man on the cover of this week's The Globe Magazine. The young man's mother was a hooker in Arkansas. She says Clinton is the boy's father.

Canada's quiet gold rush

Charles C.W. Cooke takes a trip to the oil sands of Alberta. He describes in detail what he saw. Then he reminds us,

Fossil fuels are the foundation of the modern economy. They give us heat, light, food, technology, and transportation. They make possible travel, education, and medicine, among an endless parade of things that even their discontents cannot live without. As George Orwell noted of coal in 1937, carbon is inextricably linked with our prosperity — the “caryatid upon whose shoulders nearly everything that is not grimy is supported.” In our search for supplies, there is of course a need for some regulation and for self-awareness. But there is no need whatsoever for the companies that make our lifestyles possible to prostrate themselves in front of us apologetically.

The project is well and good — and, within reason, it is to be applauded. But whom do these marginal improvements convince? People who hate oil hate oil. They don’t want more oil in the world; instead, they desire to replace oil with the mythical energy sources of their choice or, if that is not possible, they want to lower total global energy consumption — the poor be damned. Could things be better? Yes. Are there costs to maintaining civilization? Yes. But we could also stop buying oil from sadistic medieval regimes run by family crime syndicates. I’d take a 15 percent increase in carbon emissions in exchange for North American energy independence. So would the Canadians I meet in the wilds. So, the polls show, would most Americans. One day soon, I hope, so will the person sitting in the White House.

Constitutional rights don't stop at the entrance to the school

An Illinois high school teacher faces disciplinary action for teaching students that they have constitutional rights. The problem was that their rights were in conflict with a survey the school wanted them to take. The survey asked the students to reveal whether they were illegally using cigarettes, alcohol, or other drugs. The name of the student was on the survey to be filled out. The teacher told them they had a right under the Constitution not to incriminate themselves. A hearing on disciplinary action for the teacher is being held today. Read about it here.

Muslim compounds in America

Did you know that there are 35 Muslim compounds in America today, ranging in size from 25 to 300 acres? The largest is the 300 acre compound in northern New York called Islamberg. Kristen Tate has a story about it here.

Monday, May 27, 2013

It's not my day

One of my favorite blogs to visit is Mostly Cajun, All American and Opinionated. Below are just a few of the posts he has up today.

“A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” by George Bernard Shaw

It’s not my day. It belongs to the young soldier who used to sit on his bunk in the evening picking blue-grass on his twelve-string, who ended in a storm of flame and molten metal in Viet Nam. Fifty-odd thousand of those to remember.

World War Two: The war of my father. Think about it. It’s ancient history to most of America today. When I was a sprout, it was the stories that our fathers told. Or didn’t tell. The youngest surviving veterans of that war are in their eighties. Four hundred thousand, though, are halted, forever young. They left home. And didn’t return.

America’s had wars aplenty. We’ve been blessed that we’ve had a wall of protection provided by dads, brothers, sons, moms, sisters, daughters, people who rose in the morning like you and me, with dreams and hopes, who loved and were loved, but at some time had written a check to this nation and left the amount blank. And they paid.

And we should, it is right and fit that we should remember.

It’s been a while since we visited my cousin Boudreaux: (And in case you’re wondering, that’s ‘Boo-dro. Rhymes with ‘go slow’. And ‘Tibby-doe’. And dat don’t rhyme with nuthin’)

Boudreaux and Thibodeaux are neighbors in Breaux Bridge, and Boudreaux is in need of a new milk cow. He hears about a nice one for sale over in Lafayette.

He drives over to Lafayette, looks at the cow, and reaches under to see if she gives milk. When he grabs her closest teat and pulls, the cow farts. Boudreaux is very surprised, looks at the farmer who is selling the cow, and reaches under the cow to try again. So, he grabs another teat, pulls, and the cow farts again. Milk does come out however, so after some discussion Boudreaux decides to buy the cow anyway and take it home.

Boudreaux calls his neighbor Thibodeaux over and says, “Come here and look at dis new cow I just bought. Pull her teat, and see what happens.”

Well, Thibodeaux reaches under and pulls, and the cow farts. Thibodeaux looks up at Boudreaux and says, “Did you buy dis cow in Lafayette, Boudreaux?”

Boudreaux is very surprised and says, “Dats right, how did ya know that?”

Thibodeaux says, “My wife…she’s from Lafayette, too!

(From ‘Old Coot’ on Castboolits)

Some men found in Britain

Are there any men left in Britain? Why, yes; some have been spotted in Newcastle.

Hat tip Moonbattery

Thank a vet today

Gene Simmons in a rock 'n roll tribute to our magnificent Armed Services.

hat tip Moonbattery

A photo for Memorial Day

James Fallows links to this story and photo in the Singapore publication Today.

Runners holding American flags and a Chinese flag representing the nationalities of the Boston Marathon bombing victims as they cross the finish line after completing the final mile of the marathon during ‘#onerun’ yesterday.

The event, which saw a turnout of about 3,000, was held to honour the victims and emergency workers, and allow runners to reclaim the final mile of the marathon that was cut short when two bombs exploded on April 15. PHOTO: REUTERS

Charm is charming. Just don't be charmed by it.

Do you think it is true that American men no longer have charm? Benjamin Schwarz writes in The Atlantic that

Men don’t indulge in the easy shared confidences and nonsexual flirtations that lubricate social exchange among women. Even in the most casual conversation, men are too often self-absorbed or mono-focused or—more commonly—guarded, distracted, and disengaged to an almost Aspergerian degree.

Unlike American females, American males are lacking in guile, the ability to be cunning.

American men, have always been, for some very good reasons, ambivalent about charm. It’s an attribute alien to many men because they are ingenuous, a quality that can itself be either admirable or unlovely.

The quintessential modern American hero, the eternally jejune and earnest Charles Lindbergh, who became a god when not yet a man, was in every way the antithesis of charm. America’s entire political history has been in some basic way a struggle between Jefferson—self-righteous, humorless, prickly, at once intellectually ardent and woolly—and Hamilton, a man foreign-born, witty, stylish, coolly brilliant, generous, possessed of a rare rapport with and an understanding of women. And just as Hamilton’s political vision triumphed, so did Jefferson’s political style. To be sure, we’ve always had sports heroes—Sonny Jurgensen, John McEnroe, Jim McMahon, Arnold Palmer—whose sly irony and authority-defining insouciance lends them the adolescent glamour of Peck’s Bad Boy, a posture that, while sometimes winning, can be mislabeled as charm. (Its limits are clear in the persona of a non-sportsman exemplar, Bruce Willis.) Indeed, sports—youngsters’ games pursued in earnest—essentially lack charm. The seriousness with which American men take sports both confirms and exacerbates their suspicion of charm.

What are the three most important virtues in a man?

One of the three most important virtues in a man, according to Christopher Hitchens—among the very few charming men I’ve known—is the ability to think like a woman. (The other two are courage, moral and physical, and a sense of the absurd.) Certainly this is one reason many men find charm so alien and alienating.

An even bigger story next week at the supermarket news stands

While we were at Manhatten Infidel, we also learned the story behind the story of Angelina Jolie's mastectomy, and what to look for next week at the supermarket news stands.

First with a scoop

Did you know that many in the I.R.S. wear capes and drink blood? Manhatten Infidel has once again burst out of the pack to be first with the story.

Protests against Monsanto

A friend of mine came up to me all excited the other day to tell me that millions of people worldwide are protesting against Monsanto, because Monsanto is making billions of dollars growing genetically modified crops. I listened to him respectfully, then asked him if he realized that he was being manipulated by socialists who hate capitalism. Our Food and Drug Administration says that genetically modified foods are safe, and the foods are much more abundant and available to feed the people of the world.

I don't doubt that Monsanto probably has undo power in the political world, just like the pharmaceutical companies have undo power in the medical world. I applauded my friend for keeping vigilant and being skeptical. But there are many other issues of known malfeasance crying out to be addressed, before we speculate on unproven allegations.

Someone has made this You Tube video to help you tell whether foods are organic or genetically modified. Supposedly, you can identify genetically modified foods, because there is an 8 in front of the food's barcode numbers. However, producers in the U.S. are not required to put the 8 in front of the other numbers, because there is no scientific evidence proving a difference in the safety of foods grown one way or the other, and the foods are not more expensive, as in the case of organics.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Einstein the parrot

Einstein the parrot is very enjoyable to watch.

via Maggie's Farm

Fruit of the Spirit

via Maggie's Farm

"Career is never as important as family"

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar makes a list of twenty things that he knows now that he wishes he would have known when he was thirty.

Hat tip Maggie's Farm

I wish I knew what to do

I just read a persuasively written blog post asserting that cholesterol is not bad, and that using a statin to lower your cholesterol is unwise. The post is here. It is so frustrating to read this, because it makes me question the advice of my cardiologist. I have been using statins since my heart attack in 2008.

Obama's plan to empty out Guantanamo Bay

Michelle Malkin writes,

Gird your loins, America. President Obama intends to empty out Guantanamo Bay and send scores of suspected Muslim terror operatives back to their jihadist-coddling native countries. Goaded by anti-war activists and soft-on-terror attorneys (including those from Attorney General Eric Holder’s former private law firm), Obama announced Thursday that he’ll lift a ban on sending up to 90 Yemeni detainees home and will initiate other stalled transfers out of the compound.

The office of the Director of National Intelligence reports that 27.9 percent of the 599 former detainees released from Guantanamo were either confirmed or suspected of later engaging in jihadist attacks. One of those Gitmo recidivists still on the loose is Ansar al-Sharia leader Sufyan Ben Qumu a.k.a. Abu Sufian bin Qumu, the suspected plotter of the 9/11/12 Benghazi attack.

How much more American blood and treasure will this reckless, feckless game of jihadi catch-and-release cost?

Oh, to be politically correct

The Legal Insurrection blog passes along this AP video. Over 570,000 birds are killed by U.S. wind farms each year. 83,000 are eagles, hawks, and falcons! The U.S. prosecutes the oil and gas industry and the electric utility industry when they kill birds, but the wind industry has never been prosecuted.

Scary numbers

Tom Maguire thinks that those who are advocating we just regulate marijuana similar to how we regulate alcohol may be missing something. According to CDC numbers,

There are approximately 80,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States. This makes excessive alcohol use the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death for the nation. Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 2.3 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) annually, or an average of about 30 years of potential life lost for each death. In 2006, there were more than 1.2 million emergency room visits and 2.7 million physician office visits due to excessive drinking. The economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2006 were estimated at $223.5 billion.

It breaks my heart when so many young adults think they need alcohol to enable them to be the fun person they want to be: well-liked by friends.

An hour long speech on terrorism, and no mention of Iran!

Michael Ledeen writes of President Obama:

He’s actually getting worse. This president will not admit that we are in a war, as President George W. Bush defined it, with various terrorist organizations and with countries that support them. In his overlong, rambling speech to the National Defense University on terrorism and national security, the president never even mentioned Iran, which happens to be our main enemy and the world’s leading sponsor of international terrorism. Not one word.

President Obama asserted that "we are not at war with Islam." Ledeen retorts,

It’s typical of the president’s world-view that he would assume any such war to be instigated by us, but in this case the jihadis have it right, and he’s got it backwards. There is indeed a war, it is theirs, the jihadis’ war, and they are waging it because they firmly believe they are commanded to do so by the Almighty. They aim to destroy or dominate Western infidels and apostates. Those commands are in the Koran, and are repeated by a great mass of imams, ayatollahs and mullahs. Those thousands of Iranians or Hezbollahis who chant “death to America” mean just that. It’s the reason for their jihad against us.

So what does Obama propose that we do?

No surprise, then, that the main weapons to be used against terrorists are: close Gitmo, send captured terrorists to places like Yemen, kill a few more al Qaida types with drones, and, for heaven’s sake, keep giving foreign aid to countries that have gone over to the dark side.

Thus, civilization ends with a whimper

John Hinderaker writes,

The idea of policemen in one of the world’s major cities “wait[ing] helplessly for armed officers to arrive,” while murderers parade up and down the street soaked in blood and the body of a half-beheaded soldier lies in the street, is almost unbelievable. And yet that is the state of law enforcement in Great Britain. The average American household is better armed than a London policeman, and as a result, it was left to a few women from the crowd of bystanders to try to deal with cleaver-wielding murderers.

But that doesn’t mean the British are entirely lax with respect to law enforcement. No, not at all: it just depends which laws you are talking about. If you mean laws against carving up innocent people on the street with knives, well, the Brits have a problem. But if you complain about such an outrage on Facebook or Twitter, you’re going to be crushed by the full majesty of the law. (Via InstaPundit):

Likewise, in Great Britain, the authorities have no idea what to do about the real problem, an endless series of murders and attempted murders by fanatics yelling “Allahu Akbar!” So they do the next best thing: they go for the easy targets, searching where the light is better: arresting those who haven’t beheaded anyone, but who have expressed their outrage at those who do. Thus does civilization end with a whimper.

Mundane

Mark Steyn points out that

Not a lot of Muslims want to go to the trouble of chopping your head off, but when so many Western leaders have so little rattling around up there, they don’t have to. And, as we know from the sob-sister Tsarnaev profiles, most of these excitable lads are perfectly affable, or at least no more than mildly alienated, until the day they set a hundred cars alight, or blow up a school boy, or decapitate some guy. And, if you’re lucky, it’s not you they behead, or your kid they kill, or even your Honda Civic they light up. And so life goes on, and it’s all so “mundane,” in Simon Jenkins’s word, that you barely notice when the Jewish school shuts up, and the gay bar, and the uncovered women no longer take a stroll too late in the day, and the publishing house that gets sent the manuscript for the next Satanic Verses decides it’s not worth the trouble. . . . But don’t worry, they’ll never defeat our “free speech” and our “way of life.”

If you’re thinking of getting steamed over all that, don’t. Simon Jenkins, the former editor of the Times of London, cautioned against “mass hysteria” over “mundane acts of violence.”

Inching toward the truth

From Instapundit: “The most comprehensive review of the scholarly domestic violence research literature ever conducted concludes, among other things, that women perpetrate physical and emotional abuse, as well as engage in control behaviors, at comparable rates to men. The Partner Abuse State of Knowledge project, or PASK, whose final installment was just published in the journal Partner Abuse, is an unparalleled three-year research project, conducted by 42 scholars at 20 universities and research centers, and including information on 17 areas of domestic violence research.”

"Partner abuse is primarily a mutual phenomena. About 60% of domestic violence (partner abuse) is mutual (both partners are violent). Only a few states allow couples counseling for individuals who have been arrested for domestic violence, and in the vast majority of cases it is the male who is arrested.

John Hamel is the Director of PASK, the Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Project. He explains the the findings from this scholarly research.

JFK an admirer of Hitler and fascism prior to WWII

A new book is being published which reveals that when John F. Kennedy traveled in pre-war Germany he was impressed by Adolph Hitler, fascism, and the Nazis. Later, of course, his brother was killed fighting the Nazis, and JFK also fought them. The book is entitled John F. Kennedy - Among the Germans. Travel diaries and letters 1937-1945.'

Read more here.

Ferocious, unprincipled defense of the left-liberal elite

James Taranto writes that

Censorship and violence are the greatest threats to truth and freedom.

He tells a story involving journalism professors

exposed as enemies of freedom of the press.

That, it seems to us, is the central story of our time. The left-liberal elite that attained cultural dominance between the 1960s and the 1980s--and that since 2008 has seen itself as being on the cusp of political dominance as well--is undergoing a crisis of authority, and its defenses are increasingly ferocious and unprincipled. Journalists lie or ignore important but politically uncongenial stories. Scientists suppress alternative hypotheses. Political organizations bully apolitical charities. The Internal Revenue Service persecutes dissenters. And campus censorship goes on still.

We still don't have a college degree.

But we did get a hell of an education.

God help us if we don't wake up

Misguided sensitivity is trumping common sense, writes Joe Fitzgerald in the Boston Herald:

as civilized society tries to find ways to acknowledge we face a menacing foe while giving no offense to anyone wearing a burqa, hijab or turban.

With their hands covered in that soldier’s blood, those self-proclaimed jihadists displayed their weapons to horrified onlookers, as one of them was heard to vow, “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. You people will never be safe.”

You people? Yes. Us, or the “infidels” as these madmen prefer to call anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the insanity of their toxic faith.

If ever there was a time to deal with facts, not feelings, it’s now.

No offense to Allah, but God help us if we don’t wake up.

Will the creation be worth the destruction?

Is brain work going the way of manual work? Schumpter writes in The Economist that

The first is that smart machines are evolving at breakneck speed. Moore’s law—that the computing power available for a given price doubles about every 18 months—continues to apply. This power is leaping from desktops into people’s pockets. More than 1.1 billion people own smartphones and tablets. Manufacturers are putting smart sensors into all sorts of products. The second is that intelligent machines have reached a new social frontier: knowledge workers are now in the eye of the storm, much as stocking-weavers were in the days of Ned Ludd, the original Luddite. Bank clerks and travel agents have already been consigned to the dustbin by the thousand; teachers, researchers and writers are next. The question is whether the creation will be worth the destruction.

Is technology going to destroy more jobs than it creates?

Two academics at MIT’s Sloan Business School, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, have taken a surprisingly Vonnegutish view on this: surprising because management theorists like to be on the side of the winners and because MIT is one of the great strongholds of techno-Utopianism. In “Race Against the Machine”, their 2011 book, they predict that many knowledge workers are in for a hard time. There is a good chance that technology may destroy more jobs than it creates. There is an even greater chance that it will continue to widen inequalities. Technology is creating ever more markets in which innovators, investors and consumers—not workers—get the lion’s share of the gains. The Brynjolfsson-McAfee thesis explains one of the most puzzling aspects of the modern economy: why so much technological creativity can co-exist with stagnating wages and mass unemployment.

Via Instapundit

Conducting a menacing and unjustified fishing exhibition

The Obama Justice Department seized “thousands upon thousands of news-gathering calls” by more than 100 AP journalists using newsroom, home and mobile phones are included in the records seized by Justice investigators, AP President Gary B. Pruitt said in an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation.” In a letter of protest to Holder, Pruitt said that “these records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”

“I really don’t know what their motive is,” Pruitt said on “Face the Nation.” But, he added, “I know what the message being sent is: If you talk to the press, we’re going to go after you.”

Read more here

Exponential growth of the administrative state

Jonathan Turley writes in the Washington Post about the fourth branch of government. Not only do we have the legislative, executive and judicial branches, but the one with the most effect on our daily lives is

an administrative state of sprawling departments and agencies that govern with increasing autonomy and decreasing transparency.

This exponential growth has led to increasing power and independence for agencies. The shift of authority has been staggering. The fourth branch now has a larger practical impact on the lives of citizens than all the other branches combined.

The rise of the fourth branch has been at the expense of Congress’s lawmaking authority. In fact, the vast majority of “laws” governing the United States are not passed by Congress but are issued as regulations, crafted largely by thousands of unnamed, unreachable bureaucrats. One study found that in 2007, Congress enacted 138 public laws, while federal agencies finalized 2,926 rules, including 61 major regulations.

This rulemaking comes with little accountability. It’s often impossible to know, absent a major scandal, whom to blame for rules that are abusive or nonsensical.

Chief Justice John Roberts warned: “It would be a bit much to describe the result as ‘the very definition of tyranny,’ but the danger posed by the growing power of the administrative state cannot be dismissed.”

The judiciary, too, has seen its authority diminished by the rise of the fourth branch. Under Article III of the Constitution, citizens facing charges and fines are entitled to due process in our court system. As the number of federal regulations increased, however, Congress decided to relieve the judiciary of most regulatory cases and create administrative courts tied to individual agencies. The result is that a citizen is 10 times more likely to be tried by an agency than by an actual court. In a given year, federal judges conduct roughly 95,000 adjudicatory proceedings, including trials, while federal agencies complete more than 939,000.,/p>

The rise of the fourth branch has occurred alongside an unprecedented increase in presidential powers — from the power to determine when to go to war to the power to decide when it’s reasonable to vaporize a U.S. citizen in a drone strike. In this new order, information is jealously guarded and transparency has declined sharply. That trend, in turn, has given the fourth branch even greater insularity and independence. When Congress tries to respond to cases of agency abuse, it often finds officials walled off by claims of expanding executive privilege.

Turley asserts that there is a serious imbalance in our system of government.

The rise of this fourth branch represents perhaps the single greatest change in our system of government since the founding.

We cannot long protect liberty if our leaders continue to act like mere bystanders to the work of government.

Via Instapundit

Aanother European country with its priorities screwed up

Swedes are hitting the streets, after six nights of rioting by Muslim immigrants. The police are out in force to curtail the Swedes, while doing as little as possible to stop the rioting.

Pictures and story here

via Instapundit

Bait and switch

Ross Douthat writes in the New York Times that Obama

perpetually promises harmonies that can’t be achieved and policy shifts that won’t actually be delivered.

The problem is that by making it sound as if American policy is about to change more than it actually will, the president’s rhetoric risks coming across as a bait and switch — on his supporters at home, but more important, on audiences across the Muslim world.

There is no good reason to overpromise yet again. Where the United States can step back from a wartime footing, we absolutely should. But where we don’t actually intend to, we should be forthright about it — rather than pretending that change is perpetually just around the corner, and behaving as though our choices are justified by how much anguish we express while making them.

via Instapundit

The id

Michael Walsh writes in the New York Post,

If you want to see the true face of the Obama administration, you need look no further than the president’s embattled attorney general, Eric Holder.

By turns whiny, shifty, obfuscatory, petulant, insulting and arrogant, Holder has become a fixture before congressional investigating committees, fending off one Obama scandal after another, while proclaiming that he — the nation’s top cop — doesn’t know anything about anything and highly resents any implication that he does.

Holder is the id to the president’s massive ego, busily helping to bring about the president’s wish for the “fundamental transformation” of America from his post at Justice. Along with super-ego Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s chief consigliere and all-around Madame Defarge, he’s likely to be among the last to go.

Still, this month has been the worst on record for Obama and his henchmen, a veritable parade of villains trashing the First Amendment, taking the Fifth on live television and continuing to do their level best to make sure the truth about the Benghazi catastrophe never comes out.

via Instapundit

Do Not Disturb? Or, Service, Now!

William Kristol writes in the Weekly Standard

Harry Truman famously kept a sign on his desk in the Oval Office, “The Buck Stops Here.” Sixty years later, President Obama hangs a sign on the door to the Oval Office, “Do Not Disturb.” In 1978, about halfway between the two liberal presidents, Harvey Mansfield, as we’ve noted before, diagnosed the decline: “From having been the aggressive doctrine of vigorous, spirited men, liberalism has become hardly more than a trembling in the presence of illiberalism. .  .  . Who today is called a liberal for strength and confidence in defense of liberty?”

Not Barack Obama. He’s the Do Not Disturb president, presiding over a Do Not Disturb liberalism.

But today's liberals are disturbed about some things:

They’re disturbed about sexual harassment, politically incorrect speech, any resistance to the right to kill unborn babies, and Islamophobia, to pick a few items more or less at random. On these occasions, the Do Not Disturb sign is removed, and the front desk is bombarded with whining and insistent calls: Service, Now!

Until now...

Michael Barone gives us a history lesson. The Espionage Act of 1917 was passed two months after America entered World War I. This is the law the Obama administration has been using to spy on Mr. Rosen of Fox News and many other AP journalists. It was passed by a Democratic Congress and strongly supported by Democratic President Woodwrow Wilson, who wanted, and got, much more.

"Authority to exercise censorship over the press is absolutely necessary," he wrote a senator. He got that authority in May 1918 when Congress passed the Sedition Act criminalizing, among other things, "abusive language" about the government.

Presidents and attorneys general of both parties have been reluctant to use the Espionage Act when secret information has been leaked to the press because they have recognized that it is overbroad.

They have understood, as Moynihan argues in "Secrecy," that government classifies far too many things as secrets, even as it has often failed to protect information that truly needs to stay secret.

Until now.

Barack Obama and his Justice Department seem to be of a different mind. They have used the Espionage Act of 1917 six times to bring cases against government officials for leaks to the media six times -- twice as many as all their predecessors combined.

"Gradually, over time," Moynihan writes, "American government became careful about liberties." Now, suddenly, it seems to be moving in the other direction.

via Instapundit

No shame

Ben Stein: This is just the Nixon playbook again, minus all the foreign policy achievements. It's happening all over again; only with no shame.

Thank God those days are gone forever

Late night comedians have been having some fun with the I.R.S. scandals. Paul Caron, editor of the TaxProf blog, has compiled some of the best lines:

Jay Leno: “This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Watergate hearings. For those of you too young to remember, back then the administration had an enemies list. They were spying on reporters, and they used the IRS to harass groups they didn’t like. Thank God those days are gone forever.”

Jay Leno: “This week will mark the 37th time House Republicans have tried to repeal Obamacare. If Republicans really wanted to do away with Obamacare, they should just endorse it as a conservative non-profit and let the IRS take it down.”

Jay Leno: "White House officials insist that President Obama knew nothing about the IRS scandal until we all heard about it in the news last week. They said because there was an investigation under way, it would have been inappropriate to tell him. And besides, he was too busy not knowing anything about Benghazi."

Seth Meyers: “President Obama this week denied that he knew about the inspector general’s report detailing the IRS’s increased scrutiny of conservative groups. So nothing to worry about, America, there’s just a bunch of stuff happening that the president doesn’t know about.”

Conan O'Brien: "President Obama is in a lot of hot water lately. Despite the scandals, 53 percent of Americans say they approve of the job he's doing. The other 47 percent are being audited."

Conan O'Brien: "A new report just came out. It says someone close to the president knew about the IRS scandal and kept his mouth shut. In other words, we can rule out Joe Biden."

Via Instapundit

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Arresting people in Britain for "anti-religious" remarks

As of early Saturday morning eleven people had been arrested across Britain for making racist or "anti-religious" comments on Facebook and Twitter about the Jihadists who beheaded the British soldier. Britain is on top of this thing, folks, much like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were, when they jailed the film-maker after the Benghazi Islamist murderers did their thing.

Meanwhile, a soldier in France has had his throat cut by an Islamic brother of the killers in Britain.

Read the stories referenced above here.

Learn to engage in small talk

Is it bad to engage in small talk? Stuart Schneiderman writes that it is an important social skill.

Imposing their will

The Nazi Storm Troopers
largely rejected capitalism (which they associated with Jews) and pushed for nationalization of major industrial firms, expansion of worker control, confiscation and redistribution of the estates of the old aristocracy, and social equality.

What are we waiting for?

Do we
prefer to maintain our health by having things done to us? (Take a pill) We find it difficult to go out and do things that will keep us away from doctors and hospitals.

Muslim rioting in Sweden

Have you been following the Muslim riots in Sweden, the land of tolerant multiculturalism?

Solving the problem

What did the British military order all its soldiers to do in the wake of the Jihad murder on the streets of a soldier who was not in uniform? To avoid wearing uniforms!

You don't have to wait until you are President

Found at Grim's Hall:

Recently, while I was working in the flower beds in the front yard, my neighbors stopped to chat as they returned home from walking their dog.

During our friendly conversation, I asked their 12 year old daughter what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be President someday.

Both of her parents -- liberal Democrats -- were standing there, so I asked her, "If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?"

She replied, "I'd give food and houses to all the homeless people."

Her parents beamed with pride!

"Wow . . . what a worthy goal!" I said. "But you don't have to wait until you're President to do that!" I told her.

"What do you mean?" she replied.

So I told her, "You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and trim my hedge, and I'll pay you $50. Then you can go over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house."

She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, "Why doesn't the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?"

I said, "Welcome to the Republican Party."

Her parents aren't speaking to me.

The Axis of Jihad

Clare M. Lopez writes that

Indicators and warnings continue to grow concerning the resurgence of an "Axis of Jihad" comprised of Iran, Hizballah, and al-Qa'eda.

Is that axis something new?

This axis is not new: its three actors, both national and sub-national, have been working together in an operational terror alliance for over two decades. Still, so many seem unaware not just of this alliance, but of the ideological bonds that brought them together in Khartoum, Sudan, in the early 1990s and have kept them together to the current day. The bond is as old as Islam, and includes the commitment to jihad [war in the name of Islam] and Islamic Shariah law; the threat is to all free and democratic societies which stand in the way of global Islamic government and the forcible application of Islamic Shariah Law.

What rejuvenated the axis?

It was the U.S.-Canada railway attack plot, though, announced, with arrests, by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in April 2013, that signaled the revival of the Axis. According to the RCMP, the plot, which would have derailed a NYC-Toronto passenger train over the Niagara River gorge, was directed by the Iran-based al-Qa'eda Shura, led by al-Qa'eda's Egyptian operations commander, Saif al-Adl. Alarmingly, even though the FBI was reportedly working closely with the RCMP on the U.S. side of the border, there were no arrests announced inside the U.S. and additional members of the plot network likely remained on the loose. The reluctance of U.S. intelligence and national security officials to acknowledge either the reality and critical threat of the Iran-al-Qa'eda alliance, or the fact that al-Qa'eda is not defeated but instead, since 2001, has metastasized on a global level, contributes to uncertainty about their ability to address Iran and al-Qa'eda's joint operations rather than treating them always as separate phenomena.

Is the axis targeting the United States?

Reportedly, more than 2,000 targets "including public places, government buildings and military installations" already have been selected and cased. Separate but parallel reporting indicates that the "go" order may already have been transmitted from Tehran to the al-Qa'eda and Hizballah cells inside the U.S., placing them essentially on autopilot status. Of course, all of Kahlili's published warnings have been passed in full detail to U.S. security agencies, but the threat from this Axis of Jihad remains critical and poses a serious threat to America's homeland security.

Effective measures from America's national security leadership are urgently needed. Those measures must begin with an honest acknowledgement of the precepts and objectives of the enemy threat —that is, as they are derived from the doctrine, law, and scriptures of Islam—and should include a comprehensive strategic counterjihad plan as complete as the Axis of Jihad's plan.

Are we easy pickings?

Are we easy pickings for attacks by the Obama administration? The Fuzzy Logic blog lists some of the actions taken to silence opposition.

Above the Constitution and Congress

At the Fuzzy Logic blog:

So let’s look back, shall we, to why we were even in Libya in the first place. Remember the time that Obama went to Congress and got the Constitutionally-required approval to take military action in Libya? Remember how Libya was a clear and direct threat to the United States? Remember the required roll call votes from both houses of Congress before any such military action can take place? No? Well, that’s because none of that happened. Obama decided, seemingly on a whim, to take America to war with the UN’s authorization, not that of the United States Congress. Here’s what he said at the time:

“Today,” Obama said on March 19, “I authorized the Armed Forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians. That action has now begun. In this effort, the United States is acting with a broad coalition that is committed to enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which calls for the protection of the Libyan people.” (source link)

Yes, you read that right, Obama unilaterally decided to take America to war with Libya. He did not, as President Bush did in Iraq, seek and obtain the approval and support of Congress. Obama’s a “global citizen,” and his authority, he seems to imagine, comes from the world, not the American people. He truly sees himself as above both the Constitution and Congress, and he started the war in Libya that was so mismanaged, so ill-conceived, so horribly executed that the direct result of his hubris and illegal, unconstitutional action was the horrific rape and slaughter of an American ambassador and the murders of two former SEALs and an embassy aid.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Half empty, half full, or always right full?

Ann Voskamp writes today about

the cynics donning armor because they’re the aching, the afraid not wanting to be disappointed. It’s the cynics who have a limited, bruised vocabulary of no. It can seem easier to reject the world before the world hurts you again.

And there aren’t wolves, trouble, kids, hatred, debts, messes, betrayal, teenagers, disease, lack, hard times, untruths, diagnoses, or disappointment that can possibly separate you from the love of God. Nothing can separate you from Him.

It’s the brave who say a prayerful yes, the brave and wise who believe that the faith-filled yes is what heals things.

It’s the brave and free who are the optimists.

The truth is that the glass is never half empty — or half full.

The truth is the glass is always right full.

Abundant life versus eternal life — it’s impossible to lose!

I begin to make loveliness by picking up one lego. Write one letter and a string of hopeful words to a child in a dump. Focus on the good in a struggler and a straggler. Believe just this moment that everything is being transfigured for His glory. Every step towards something beautiful already accomplishes something beautiful. Beauty and joy are found in every overcoming along the way.

Go here to see the science experiment Ann does with her children.

Moving tanks and other military equipment south

Does the government really believe it can move hundreds and hundreds of heavy tanks and other military equipment along the rails "as far as the eye can see" southward in Louisiana and California without ordinary citizens snapping photos and videos with their cell phones? Where are they going? What purposes are they going to be used for? Anybody know?

Here is the video, shot in L.A.

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Louisiana photos here: http://beforeitsnews.com/survival/2013/05/photos-video-thousands-of-tanks-military-vehicles-on-the-move-through-louisiana-california-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see-2474484.html?utm_medium=verticalresponse&utm_term=http%3A%2F%2Fb4in.info%2Fs5tp&utm_campaign=&utm_content=beforeit39snews-verticalresponse&utm_source=direct-b4in.info

It’s the chauvinists’ world, we just live in it.

Remember when someone surreptitiously taped candidate Obama in 2008 in a private fund-raiser in San Francico? This is what Obama told the gathering of elitists there:

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy to people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Oleg Atbashian writes,

Progressive Chauvinists say the damndest things when they think they are among their own. The private fundraiser included the richest and most powerful people in San Francisco, all very different from Obama and complete strangers to him. How had he quickly become so intimate, saying things he’d never have said in public? Apparently, there was something in the air – the aura, vibrations, ambience – that screamed, “We’re Progressive Chauvinists just like you!”

But, what about the obvious inconsistencies?

How is it possible to hold so many mutually exclusive beliefs? To preach tolerance and be so intolerant? To grieve for terror victims and justify terrorism? To stand up for workers and destroy their jobs? To march for peace and defend the militants? To denounce corruption and vote for the corrupt? To espouse non-violence and commit violent acts? To speak of liberties and promote government dictate? To bolster feminism and deride successful women? To cheer gays and aid the gay-bashers in the Middle East? To champion minorities as a group and hold them down as individuals? To care about the children and condemn them to intellectual mutilation? To denounce guns and hire armed bodyguards? To support the troops and side with their murderers? To demand love and be full of hate?

Where did this progressive chauvinism come from?

The brainchild of Joseph Stalin, the Western “peace” movement of the Cold War era was organized, trained, coordinated, and financed by Soviet intelligence with the purpose of weakening the worldwide resistance by the U.S. and its allies to the Soviet interference in world affairs. Every time a Soviet-backed Marxist group staged a coup, a terror act, or a guerilla attack against a legitimate government anywhere in the world, the “peace” movement would spring into action, denouncing the U.S. or NATO efforts to defend their allies. On command, the streets around the world would erupt with self-righteous “anti-imperialist” protests and the demands of “peace” – or, more precisely, the end of the opposition to Progressive Chauvinism.

The plan succeeded, most famously, with the U.S. abandoning South Vietnam. America was defeated, not on the battlefield, but in its own streets filled with leftist protesters, with the help from Progressive Chauvinists in the media who willingly promoted made-in-the-USSR propagandistic narrative. Soon afterwards, the Communist North, backed and financed by the USSR, invaded South Vietnam, slaughtering, jailing, and sending to re-education camps millions of formerly free people who opposed their brutal dictatorship. That, in the language of the leftist “pacifists,” was peace – something they celebrated by “making love, not war.” One of them was John Kerry, the former “peace” activist who is now in charge of America’s foreign affairs. Hopefully, this clarifies his idea of peace and, for that matter, of war.

Who is using these tactics today?

Today’s Democrat Party seems to be re-enacting the old Soviet playbook, practicing the tactics and strategies developed by the Soviet Communists during the Cold War. This includes proactive, relentless, and simultaneous attacks on the opposition in multiple areas; preemptive demonization of the resistance; advancing the notions of “change” and “historical progress” as a moral obligation of every well-meaning citizen; spreading the perception that the opposition is standing in the way of history; using the media to disseminate prepared supportive narrative; planting disinformation; rewriting history; acting through allegedly neutral proxy organizations; discrediting “enemy” media sources; promoting class warfare; stirring strife and division among citizens; provoking conflict while blaming the opposition for a hostile reaction, and so on.

Is the chauvinist attitude confined to the left?

The chauvinist attitude, of course, is not limited to the left, but it is characteristic of any expansionist totalitarian ideology throughout history. A force that rivals Progressive Chauvinism in today’s world is Islamic Supremacism – also known to its victims as the “religion of peace.” The attitude is almost identical: in the book of Islamic Supremacism the meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to Islam.

Islamic Supremacists similarly dream of an ideal, egalitarian society of the future – a global caliphate that will govern over a peaceful world populated by a Muslim majority, while the remaining non-believers would be too intimidated to oppose their Muslim superiors and prefer to pay the jizya – a special Muslim tax on non-believers, or “protection money”- as a condition that they be left in peace.

This allows the Islamic Supremacists to claim with truthful self-righteousness that they stand for peace. An appropriate modifier – “eventual peace” – would give a more complete picture, however, of what they hope to achieve after the holy jihad wipes out all opposition to Islam.

Are the Islamic supremacists comparable to the Nazis?

The National Socialists of the Third Reich were driven, not just by their hatred of Jews and other “Untermenschen,” but by an equally strong love of the fairy-tale narrative of the Aryan Supremacy, which inspired them to a higher mission of ruling over the “inferior nations” for their own good. The eventual plans to exterminate some of the Slavs and drive the rest of them out of Europe were caused “only” by their “ungrateful” resistance to the benevolent gift of Germanization.

Today’s Islamic Supremacists are motivated, not only by hatred of the nonbelievers in general and Israel in particular. They have just as powerful love of their religion, which inspires them with a higher mission of bringing peace to humanity by subjugating it to Islam and ruling over the less fortunate, backward people, who can’t correctly govern themselves since the only correct form of government is by Sharia law. The terrorist acts and violent jihad are merely an indignant reaction of the righteous and a punishment to those inferior ingrates who have rejected the light of Islam and no longer deserve to live.

What progressives believe

What does the Progressive believe? N. A. Halkides writes about that in a prize-winning essay:

The Progressive believes in precisely two things: his own magnificence and the constructive power of brute force. In combination, they lead him naturally from the role of pestiferous busybody to brutal dictator. Where the productive man dreams of the things he might create if only left alone by his fellows, the Progressive dreams of the world he could create if only the lives and property of his fellows were at his disposal. The roots of his pathology lie in that oldest and most destructive of all human vices, the desire for the power to rule over other men.

It is easy to make the mistake of judging Progressivism by its earlier and less-severe manifestations and to conclude that its petty and paternalistic restrictions, for example New York Mayor Michael “The Nanny” Bloomberg’s recent crusade against large-size soda drinks, are simply bothersome annoyances. In fact the transformation from irritating but superficially benevolent nanny to ruthless dictator not only occurs rather quickly, it is a logical consequence of the Progressive’s zeal to usher in Utopia and of the means he must use to achieve the smallest of his goals – brute force. We should recognize the following principle: Once the Progressive is permitted to intrude however slightly into matters that are properly beyond the sphere of government, then all aspects of the individual’s life may be subjected to control. Once any degree of coercion is permitted, then no level of force is out of bounds.