Saturday, October 10, 2009

Really Expired

Then-candidate Barack Obama, July 15, 2008:

Our troops and our NATO allies are performing heroically in Afghanistan, but I have argued for years that we lack the resources to finish the job because of our commitment to Iraq. That's what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said earlier this month. And that's why, as President, I will make the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban the top priority that it should be. This is a war that we have to win.

And then on October 22:

Abroad, we need a new direction that ends the war in Iraq, focuses on the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban, and restores strong alliances and tough American diplomacy.

The New York Times, today:

President Obama’s national security team is moving to reframe its war strategy by emphasizing the campaign against Al Qaeda in Pakistan while arguing that the Taliban in Afghanistan do not pose a direct threat to the United States, officials said Wednesday.


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Olle Johansson - Sweden (Click to purchase)

All Together Now

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Jerry Holbert - The Boston Herald


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Kabuki Fencing!

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MICKEY KAUS: “Funding for 300 miles of actual (not ‘virtual’) fence along the Mexican border appears to have been killed in a House-Senate conference, after the Senate voted for it 54-44. So Senators from California, Arizona and Texas get to say they voted for the fence, but it doesn’t get built. That’s how Kabuki is done!”

Diversity's End IV

In the socialist utopia, there is no room for individuality or personal preference; or tolerance for differences. You always must subsume yourself to the collective; and the bigger the collective, then the more power victimization can be exploited.

For example, we know from our experience of watching the compassionate people of the left, that blacks, women and gays lose their cherished victim status if they dare to become Republicans (shocking, I know); and, to a lesser extent, if they choose to be Christian (except for most those radical dominations, who have seen the secular light--or, who preach against American imperialism, and the evils of capitalism, of course).

Being black trumps being a woman or gay (i.e., there is more "social justice" mileage to be squeezed out of the oppression of blacks, i.e., racism, than there is from the oppression of women (sexism) or even gays (homophobia). Just ask President Obama and his supporters.

Diversity's End III

To understand the left's logic, we must examine what I call the socialist victimhood "food chain."

While there are always quite a few "victim" groups (i.e., "oppressed peoples") on the Socialist Animal Farms of the world, some groups are far more important than others.

As the examples above demonstrate, a theoretically "oppressed" culture or religion's status as "victimized" allows (nay, it demands) the consequent suppression of any uppity victim classes subsumed within it (e.g., Women or Gays) who try to rise above their assigned place in the utopia to come.

From the perspective of the socialist utopian, what matters more than Women's rights or Gay rights, are the rights of the designated "oppressed culture." The dogma of multiculturalism trumps the lesser dogmas of feminism or gay pride. This is probably because for the socialist utopian, might makes right and the needs of the many always outweigh the needs of the few--and the few better remember that fact, or else.

Diversity's End II

Indeed, in the name of this warm, welcoming multiculturalism, the German courts have explicitly compared Muslim women to the brain-damaged. The highest administrative court in North Rhine-Westphalia has agreed that Muslim parents have the "right" to forbid their daughter from going on a school trip unless she was accompanied by a male family member at all times. The judges said the girl was like "a partially mentally impaired person who, because of her disability, can only travel with a companion".As the Iranian author Azar Nafisi puts it: "I very much resent it when people - maybe with good intentions or from a progressive point of view - keep telling me, 'It's their culture' ... It's like saying the culture of Massachusetts is burning witches." She is horrified by the moves in Canada to introduce shariah courts to enforce family law for Muslims.

This 21st century application of one of the left's favorite canards, "social justice"

Diversity's End

Celebrate Diversity

There'll be a lot more of this in the future:

French Gay Soccer Team Snubbed By Muslim Team

The gay team has accused the Muslims of homophobia. But isn't accusing Muslims of homophobia a bit Islamophobic?

I'm afraid that the gay soccer team is in for a rude awakening if they expect outrage on the political left for their plight....

The gay soccer team's dilemma should make you wonder how the leftist elites determine which of their special victims' groups will prevail when there is a conflict between them?

Peace O The Grave

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The Nobel Price long ago became a joke, and an insult to the people who suffer under terror and tyranny around the world, but I don’t think the committee just threw Obama the award because he’s so wonderfully special, and not even because he won the election to succeed the only man who has truly deserved the award since 2001. Maybe Obama won the Nobel because of his courageous youthful defiance of murderous evil, when he was brutally tortured for months but refused to submit to totalitarian brutes? Oh, no, wait, that was the guy he defeated in the election.
When they once again turn to America to save them, they had better hope we’ve had the wisdom to replace the confused and helpless man clutching his shiny Nobel Peace Prize with someone who can saddle up and ride to the rescue. Negotiation without principle is submission, and the only peace brought by submission is the peace of the grave.

3 Years

WASHINGTON — Sixty years is how long Democrats say they've been pushing for legislation that provides health care access for all Americans. They'll have to wait another three if President Barack Obama gets a bill to sign this year.

Under the Democratic bills, federal tax credits to help make health insurance affordable for millions of low- and middle-income households won't start flowing until 2013 — after the next presidential election. But Medicare cuts and a sizable chunk of the tax increases to pay for the overhaul kick in immediately.

The eat-your-vegetables-first approach is causing heartburn for some Democrats. Three years is a long time to wait for dessert, and opponents could capitalize on misgivings about the complex legislation to undo what would be a signature achievement for Obama.


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Blogger-who's-way-funnier-than-I-am Jim Treacher, adds, "Obama also won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his groundbreaking work in preventing unneeded amputations and tonsillectomies."

Hope -- For The Fall Of Antonio's Britney World

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Hollywood is trying to solve the problem of the attack of the killer turkeys. For some reason, a lot of movies are simply bombing.

Those are serious factors, but there’s a bigger threat. The process of knowledge exchange and mentoring is rapidly going online, not only through posted documents but over collaborative platforms. People are learning skills for which no degree granting course exists and without going to universities. I’ve seen projects formed, software built, meetings held and mentoring proceed apace without the participants ever meeting each other once in person. Sooner or later this process will reach a critical mass and begin to rival the formal schooling system, at least in certain spheres. How much longer before students begin wondering whether the Ivy League model will be ripped apart by the digital revolution?

The One

For the first time in history the United States government is siding with Marxist leaders Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, Raul Castro and Evo Morales against the pro-democratic Honduran government of Roberto Micheletti.
Senator Jim DeMint traveled to Honduras last week on a fact-finding mission.
The Wall Street Journal reported on his trip:

In the last three months, much has been made of a supposed military "coup" that whisked former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya from power and the supposed chaos it has created.

After visiting Tegucigalpa last week and meeting with a cross section of leaders from Honduras's government, business community, and civil society, I can report there is no chaos there. There is, however, chaos to spare in the Obama administration's policy
In a day packed with meetings, we met only one person in Honduras who opposed Mr. Zelaya's ouster, who wishes his return, and who mystifyingly rejects the legitimacy of the November elections: U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens...


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MARKETS: “We know that gold is soaring. And we know the dollar is slumping. But, did you know that year-to-date, while the S&P 500 is up 18 percent — a great showing, no doubt — gold is up even more? The precious metal is up 21 percent. In other words, measured in true, gold-backed purchasing power, stocks have really done nothing this year. Zip. It is most disappointing.” Yes, whether you use gold as a measure or not, if you measure stocks in constant-dollar-value prices, I’m not sure the market has recovered much if at all.


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The FTC says we bloggers are untrustworthy folks who might, *gasp*, try to influence people’s opinions for nefarious reasons, and not divulge all the payoffs, bribes, “promotional samples”, and other stuff we get that obviously drives us to be such unscrupulous shills. So I guess I better come clean about things for my prudent and judicious overlords at the FTC.

I was at Costco last week and they gave me a free sample of some cheese bread. I didn’t like it much. But they also gave me a sample of some powdered Acai berry kool-aid type stuff, and it wasn’t bad. Full disclosure: it was totally free. Just like samples at Costco always are, but I mention it just in case the FTC needs to know.

I’ve discussed before how AT&T sucks toxic waste as a company. I have seen no improvement since I made that post. But I should disclose that they give me free stuff every month, according to items on my bill which have zero cost. Well, they say it’s free, though my $150 bill suggests that I’m paying


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A lot of people are asking that. Wedon't know who placed, but here's some of the rest of the field.

Chinese Human Rights Activist Hu Jia - imprisoned for campaigning for human rights in the PRC, not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.

Wei Jingsheng, who spent 17 years in Chinese prisons for urging reforms of China's communist system. -- not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama. (Not to mention the symbolic value of awarding a Chinese dissident on the 20th Anniversary of the Tianenmen Square Massacre.)

Greg Mortenson, founder of the Central Asia Institute has built nearly 80 schools, especially for girls, in remote areas of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past 15 years - not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.

Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, a philosophy professor in Jordan who risks his life by advocating interfaith dialogue between Jews and Muslims, also not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.

Afghan human rights activist Sima Samar.

The Real Obama

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The Question

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Real unemployment is at 17%, he tripled the deficit to $1.4 trillion, we're looking at possibly two generations (40 years!) of economic malaise and endless debt, Iran's about to get the bomb, he continues to dither on Afghanistan, a war he swore he'd win, he's a hyperpartisan archliberal (at best), he can't get his own party to vote for his leftwing healthcare plan, his primary community-organizer supporters moonlight as child-sex-trade enablers, etc.

Obama does not want voters thinking very hard about The Question -- this one, whether voters support him, or even think he's competent at all -- at this time. He would very much like them to delay thinking about this question until he gets a little bit of good news.

His ego wanted the prize and overwhelmed what little sense he had. Had he thought this through, he would have realized he did not want people asking The Question "Does this guy know what the hell he's doing?" now.

The Stupid Joke

Reader Alan Macomber writes:

Got curious about how the media in Norway is playing the Nobel Peace Prize decision (I read/write Norwegian fluently), so I check out the Aftenposten (largest daily) this morning. Found one of those opinion poll widgets on their site- vote on if you think the prize to Obama was correct. 62% of Aftenposten's own Norwegian readers voted not vs 37% who voted yes. Just thought you'd be interested in how it plays out over there. Swedish dailies are pretty much skewing this as a stupid joke the Norwegians have created (to be expected...Swedes love to laugh at dumb stuff their next door neighbors do).


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Update: Our newly minted Taliban “partners in peace” are underwhelmed by the announcement. “We condemn the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for Obama.”

Who Knew Cubans Were Raaaacist?

Cuban American Bernard Navarro lived through Castro's takeover of his homeland.

Penny Power

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Researchers have demonstrated a penny-sized "nuclear battery" that produces energy from the decay of radioisotopes.

As radioactive substances decay, they release charged particles that when properly harvested can create an electrical current.

Nuclear batteries have been in use for military and aerospace applications, but are typically far larger.

The University of Missouri team says that the batteries hold a million times as much charge as standard batteries.

They have developed it in an attempt to scale down power sources for the tiny devices that fall under the category of micro- and nano-electromechanical systems (Mems and Nems).

The means to power such devices has been a subject of study as vigorous as the development of the devices themselves.

Let The Wild Rumpus Start

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Without Freedom I Am Not

She looked at my green wristband and remarked: “What courage you have!” We were in line and there were people waiting behind me. I didn’t get a chance to explain. I smiled and moved on.

On my way home from university, a guy on a motorcycle passed by me and said: “Only Moussavi!” I wanted to say something…but again I didn’t get a chance.
I do not support Mir Hossein; I support freedom and justice. I am not against a supreme authority; I am against lies and criminality. I wear a green wristband lest a passerby see me and think in the back of their mind that I have somehow condoned Neda’s death. So that no one may think for a second that I saw her eyes and remained silent. Even without my interests, I am still human. Without movies, music, IT, poetry, engineering—without all my friends—I am still human.

But without freedom I am not. Without this green wristband, I am no longer human.

We're Not There Yet But Give O Duce A Few More Months

Karoubi’s letter in response to Ahmadinejad’s false accusations in an interview with PBS.

As you are well aware, on Tuesday Mr. Ahmadinejad’s interview with Charlie Rose was broadcast on Channel1 [IRIB1.] When speaking of post-election events, the host of this American TV network pointed to the subject of rape in prisons.
It is quite unfortunate that the culture of lying has become an inseparable part of the executive branch [of government.] I don’t know what it is about New York that brings out this personal attribute [i.e., lying] of the president’s twofold. It is also unfortunate that the Islamic Republic’s broadcasting service has also been transformed to a medium that spreads this vile culture [of lying] and the result is the lack of trust people feel towards this public medium.


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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A top official with Iran's most powerful military force—the Revolutionary Guard—says Tehran will "blow up the heart of Israel" if the Jewish state or the United States attacked Iran.

Cleric Mojtaba Zolnour, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's representative in the Guard, says that if a single U.S. or Israeli missile lands in Iran, Iranian missiles will hit Israel before the dust settles.

Zolnour's remarks were carried Friday by the state IRNA news agency.

Anti-Israeli stance is common for the hardline Guard, and President Mahmoud Ahmadienjad has often called for Israel's destruction.

But Zolnour appears to be ratcheting up the rhetoric ahead of the next round of talks with the West this month over Iran's controversial uranium enrichment.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Give It To Sweden

The award is also an example of what Nobel scholars call the growing
aspirational trend of Nobel committees over the past three decades, by which
awards are given not for what has been achieved but in support of the cause
being fought for.

Thorbjørn Jagland, the committee chairman, made clear that this year’s prize
fell in that category. “If you look at the history of the Peace Prize, we
have on many occasions given it to try to enhance what many personalities
were trying to do,” he said. “It could be too late to respond three years
from now.”

But Bobby Muller, who won the Nobel Prize as co-founder of the International
Campaign to Ban Landmines, told The Times: "I don't have the
highest regard for the thinking or process of the Nobel committee. Maybe
Norway should give it to Sweden so they can more properly handle the Peace
Prize along with all the other Nobel prizes."

nObel O genOcide

In 2007 Barack Obama endorsed genocide rather than keep US troops in Iraq.

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Thursday the United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn't a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.
45% of Iraq's 27,500,000 people are below the age of 14.
Or, around 12,375,000 children.
Fortunately, Obama did not get his way.
Today Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize.


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CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Decline Is A Choice. “Facing the choice of whether to maintain our dominance or to gradually, deliberately, willingly, and indeed relievedly give it up, we are currently on a course towards the latter. The current liberal ascendancy in the United States–controlling the executive and both houses of Congress, dominating the media and elite culture–has set us on a course for decline. And this is true for both foreign and domestic policies. Indeed, they work synergistically to ensure that outcome.”

All Gimmicked Up

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The biggest gimmick employed by the bill is that its individual
mandate pushes more than half of the legislation's cost
off-budget, and onto businesses and individuals who will have to
shoulder that burden. A real-world parallel already exists in the
Massachusetts health care plan, where private-sector mandates
account for 60 percent of the cost. In 1994, CBO counted those
mandated private payments in the federal budget, and it helped kill
the Clinton health plan. This time around, Democrats were very
careful to craft their mandates so that they just barely avoided
having the CBO include those payments in the federal budget. But the
CBO's decision does not change the fact that those private-sector
mandates are part of the cost of this bill.

The second-biggest gimmick is assuming that Congress will let the
"Sustainable Growth Rate" cuts in Medicare physician payments to

Thursday, October 08, 2009

High Places

"Well, whatever Ayers hoped to gain..."

Don't look now, but Billie & the lovely Bernadine have a 1970 SF Park Police Station bombing, which resulted in the death of an officer & the wounding of several others, nipping at their heels these days. Yup, bombing murder.

As they say: "Efforts to bring them to justice have been underway for some time..."

I'm betting Billie knows plenty of Obama's secrets, for example what, exactly, is in all those documents, records & papers that are sealed so tight & have an army of lawyers to keep them that way. Knowing & keeping secrets can give one heavy leverage.

Now let's see, what could Billie get, in fair-exchange for keeping those secrets, from Obie & crew if Billie & Bernie's bombing murder case finally catches up with them and gets too hot?
Even if they're convicted, Obie has that little Presidential Pardon thingie at his disposal. Think Marc Rich.

Pretty nifty to have powerful friends in high places you can leverage when you need to.

Every Blade Of Grass

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Item Number One: Newsweek magazine asks the question, "Was Russia better off under Communism?" And, inevitably, the official magazine of "We're all socialists now" concludes, "Da, tovarisch." Sure, they have more economic opportunity and a more open society now, and sure, soviet communism murdered 20,000,000 people but under communism, Newsweek informs us, they had 2,337 movie theaters, versus only 1,510. So, obviously, they were better off under communism (and, by implication, we will be, too.) (Newsbusters)

Item Number Two: Keeping up with the far left social radicals of the Obama administration, Kevin Jennings (the gay radical "Safe Schools Czar") says that those who oppose teaching kindergartners about gay sex are racists. And Congressman Barney Frank says opposing illegal immigration is tantamount to supporting Nazi genocide. (Gateway Pundit)


Rescue Helicopters?

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Military chaplains report that morale among troops in Afghanistan (which used to be "the good war", "the necessary war" when Democrats had to pretend they actually gave a rat's hinders about fighting terrorism) has plummeted as the radical, terrorist-loving, Marxist Narcissist-in-Chief dawdles over strategy and commitment.

Maybe it's because their commander-in-chief is "not interested in victory." Maybe it's because their indecisive, dithering, commander-in-chief refuses to provide the resources needed to to do the job properly and also refuses to pull out. Maybe it's because their commander-in-chief has all the time in the world to do Sunday chat shows, David Letterman, and jetting off to Copenhagen to shill for the Olympics but can barely scrape up 25 minutes to talk to the general in charge of Afghanistan operations. Maybe it's because Chairman Zero and Obamacrats are gutting the defense budget, even canceling a program for Combat Search and Rescue helicopters to save soldiers lives.

Why am I not surprised?


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Well, unsurprisingly, it isn’t private insurance companies, in some cases by quite a large margin.  A chart from some recent research by Beverly Gossage of the Show-Me Institute makes the case:


You remember the outcry about CIGNA’s denial of Natalee Sarkisian’s liver transplant a couple of years ago? Well, as you can see by the numbers the chance of denial from Medicare is much higher than one from CIGNA.

QOTD: Normal

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Americans believe that the normal state of things is not-violence…

Do you suppose that’s true? That that’s why we have such absurdities as people climbing in zoo cages to cuddle the animals? It would explain a lot of things.

It would explain, for instance, why the writer of that article is able to regurgitate a century and a half of Socialist propaganda and get commenters calling it “insightful”. Two centuries of modern capitalism have resulted in such ease, such comfort, such near-total safety and security, that Americans (at least, some Americans) don’t just take it for granted but consider it the normal state of affairs, so much so that they are ready and willing to smash the structures that created it, in the confident “knowledge” that the safety and prosperity will remain because they are “normal”.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Here's Your "I Can't Believe That's Even Possible" Entertainment Break For This Month

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Relentless Panic

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Finally, people can position themselves for the time when things touch bottom. Spengler says that despite the white coat photo-ops and outward confidence, there’s a sense of foreboding in the councils of power. “Panic is starting to take hold at the Obama White House over the relentless deterioration of the job market. US jobs in September declined by about 263,000 jobs, worse than the 175,000 drop expected by Wall Street economists. To the 15.1 million on the official unemployment count, add 9.2 million “involuntary part-time workers” and 2.2 million who were dropped from the tally because they had not sought work in the past month, and the unemployment rate would rise to 17.1 million.”

They meant to say 17.1%.

Bugfrack Insane

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As we try to shake off the financial crisis, here's a bright idea. Take a law that has led to the writing of an enormous amount of bad mortgages and expand it. Then take enforcement away from bank examiners and give it to housing activists.

Sound like a poisonous cocktail? Well, it is what the Obama administration and Democrats are currently stirring up on Capitol Hill.

The Obamacrats are planning to expand the Community Reinvestment Act -- the one that helped to fuel the mortgage meltdown --- and amend it to take oversight authority away from bank examiners and over to groups like ACORN and the SEIU. ACORN (and/or groups like it) would have regulatory authority to force banks to make mortgage loans under the amended CRA.

Either the Obamacrats are deliberately out to Cloward-Piven the economy, or they are completely bugfrack insane.

We Want To Be There When It Blows Up

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Does the Obama Administration have the political will to bring about financial reform?
No and no--although I'm not even sure that the central problem is will. The administration seems not to believe that you need fundamental change. I know they've given speeches recently. The rhetoric is starting to come around, but the proposals are still designed to create the status quo before the crisis. It's analytically bankrupt. Nothing they're trying for would have prevented the current crisis had it been in place, and it's very unlikely that it will prevent crisis in the future.

In particular, the administration want to create the secondary market that caused trillions of dollars of losses. They still want a massively, too-large financial structure -- so large that it clearly harms the economy. They still want to compete and be the place where finance will reside. That's like saying, "We want to be there when it blows up."