Saturday, October 31, 2009

More from Victor Davis Hanson

I think of him as "the Truth Teller" He knows his history and can make more sense of the present than anyone else I read. Here is his latest, it ran in the WSJ but I read it at his website Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers.

Truman and the Principles of U.S. Foreign Policy
by Victor Davis Hanson
Wall Street Journal
Jimmy Carter rejected the postwar consensus. President Obama appears to be following a similar path.

Upon entering office, Barack Obama knew little about foreign policy. But then neither did Vice President Harry S. Truman when Franklin Delano Roosevelt died suddenly on April 12, 1945.

President Obama often invokes the supposed mess abroad — especially in Iraq and Afghanistan — left to him by George W. Bush. But Mr. Obama's inheritance is mild compared to the myriad crises that nearly overwhelmed the rookie President Truman.

All at once Truman had to finish the struggle against Hitler, occupy Europe, and deal with a nominally allied but increasingly bellicose and ascendant Soviet Union. Within months of taking office he had to make the awful decision to drop atomic bombs on Imperial Japan.
Follow the links and read it all.

Dismantling Part II: America by Thomas Sowell

Following Part I in Real Clear Politics:
Many years ago, at a certain academic institution, there was an experimental program that the faculty had to vote on as to whether or not it should be made permanent.

I rose at the faculty meeting to say that I knew practically nothing about whether the program was good or bad, and that the information that had been supplied to us was too vague for us to have any basis for voting, one way or the other. My suggestion was that we get more concrete information before having a vote.

The director of that program rose immediately and responded indignantly and sarcastically to what I had just said-- and the faculty gave him a standing ovation.

After the faculty meeting was over, I told a colleague that I was stunned and baffled by the faculty's fierce response to my simply saying that we needed more information before voting. "Tom, you don't understand," he said. "Those people need to believe in that man. They have invested so much hope and trust in him that they cannot let
you stir up any doubts."

Years later, and hundreds of miles away, I learned that my worst misgivings about that program did not begin to approach the reality, which included organized criminal activity.

The memory of that long-ago episode has come back more than once while observing both the actions of the Obama administration and the fierce reactions of its supporters to any questioning or criticism.

Almost never do these reactions include factual or logical arguments against the administration's critics. Instead, there is indignation, accusations of bad faith and even charges of racism.

Here too, it seems as if so many people have invested so much hope and trust in Barack Obama that it is intolerable that anyone should come along and stir up any doubts that could threaten their house of cards.
This is only half, you need to read it all.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

NeoNeocon posts her thoughts on President Obama who isn't going to the celebration:
Obama has no time for Berlin Wall festivities

Is it any surprise that, although Obama the candidate made a big (and confused and misleading) speech in Berlin about the fall of Communism, he can’t be bothered to attend the ceremony marking the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall?

Presidential Priorities

via an article from The Barnstable Patriot: Priorities by Steve Tefft. In this article the author lists all the many fundraisers and play dates the president has had since General McCryhstal sent Secretary Gates a request for 40,000 troops to be sent to Afghanistan.

Here's his list:
1. Hosted a Ramadan dinner at the White House.
2. Vacationed at Camp David.
3. Met with PGA champions.
4. Met mwith NHL champion, Pittsburgh Penquins.
5. Lobbied via letters with the Olympic committee to get the games for Chicago.
6. Traveled to Pennsylvania for fundraiser for Arlen Spector.
7. Hosted a screening portions of Ken Burns special on National Parks.
8. Appeared as the sole guest on Late Night with David Letterman.
9. Went to Copehagen to lobby for the Olympics for Chicago, no luck.
10. Met with doctors in the Rose Garden. The doctors were provided with white coats as a PR stunt for healthcare.
11. Played basketball with some of the cabinet members.
12. Spoke to nation after winning Nobel Peace Prize.
13. Spoke at dinner for gay rights activist.
14. Attended Fiesta Latina event on White House lawn.
15. Spoke at event establishing Edward Kennedy Institue for the US Senate. Funding is assumed diverted from Defence budget.
16. Spoke in San Francisco at fundraiser for DNC.
17. Spoke at New York City fundraiser for Democrats.
18. Spoke n New Jersey at fundraiser for John Corzine.
19. Went to Boston for fundraiser for Govenor Patrick.
20. Went to Connecticutt for fundraiser for Sen. Dodd.
21. Golfed at Fort Bevoir.
22. Shortened meeting with Afghanistan advisors to go to Florida for two fundraisers for Democrats.
This only takes us up to October 26th.
Read the whole article in The Barnstable Patriot.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Our Constitution

Patriot Post has a very long and well reasoned article on our constitution.

'Nobody Questions That'?

Never before has there been more evidence of outright contempt for our Constitution than under the current liberal hegemony presiding over the executive and legislative branches of our federal government.

The protagonist of this Leftist regime is, of course, Barack Hussein Obama, who promised his constituents, "This is our moment, this is our time to turn the page on the policies of the past, to offer a new direction. We are fundamentally transforming the United States of America. And generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was our time" [emphasis added]

..........Thus, by virtue of his election to the presidency nearly one year ago, he believes he has the authority to establish a new paradigm to "fundamentally transform" our nation by creating "a new foundation."

However, if we are a nation of laws with a national government limited by our Constitution, and, indeed, we are, then Obama has no legal authority to "transform" our government.

Those who laid our constitutional foundation were very clear about its limits on government.

Our Constitution's principle author, James Madison, wrote, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined [and] will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce."

Concerning the legislature's authority, Thomas Jefferson asserted: "[G]iving [Congress] a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole [Constitution] to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please. Certainly, no such universal power was meant to be given them. [The Constitution] was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect."

Madison added, "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions." [RC bolding]
Go read it all.

How Does this Relate to My Previous Post?

Hmmmm... This post from Politico makes you wonder.

Nervous W.H. intervened in N.J. race; top Obama adviser now in charge

Go read it at the above link, I'm not posting it here, just wondering......

New Jersey Dems Advance Preparation

From National Review Online's Campaign Spot:Democrats Ask New Jersey Secretary of State to Ignore Mismatched Signatures on Absentee Ballot Requests

This year, New Jersey’s registered voters can request a mail-in ballot for any reason. Before 2005, voters needed to provide a reason for why they needed an absentee ballot. The state received about 150,000 absentee ballot applications this year.

On about 2,300 of those applications so far, the signature on the request form did not match the signature on the voter’s registration forms with the state.

In a development that is depressingly predictable, the New Jersey Democratic Party is asking the state to provide provisional ballots for all these voters. Those ballots, could, presumably, be used to overcome any narrow lead by Republican Chris Christie over Democrat Jon Corzine on Election Day.

There is more, read it here.

The New York Race

In Erick Erickson has the following commentary and information:

15 prominent conservative leaders are out today joining RedState in making NY-23’s race between Doug Hoffman and the two leftists running against him a hill to die on for the conservative movement.

Everyone from Ed Meese to Al Regnery to Tom Winter and Tony Perkins signed a letter from the National Conservative Campaign Fund (PDF) urging conservatives to rally to Hoffman over Scozzafava.

You might not know some of the names on the list, but each is important. In Washington and deep within the conservative movement, these men and women are real opinion leaders, opinion shapers, and money drivers. When something like this gets on their radar, it is a signal that the larger conservative movement is truly noticing what is at stake.

Read it all at Redstate.

The UN is up to the Usual Insults to the US

A New York Post editorial:
An UN-welcome visit

Looks like the notorious UN Human Rights Council has taken a break from its constant bashing of Israel and is focusing on (ready for this?) housing violations in US cities, including New York.

You didn't know that "adequate housing" (whether you pay for it or not) was a universal human birthright?

Neither did we.

Nonetheless, the panel sent its "special rapporteur on adequate housing," Raquel Rolnik, on a whirlwind tour to sniff out these "violations" -- not to say, crimes -- against humanity.

Rolnik launched her US visit last week in the city and is also traveling to places like Chicago, New Orleans and South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

At issue: whether adequate housing is too hard to come by amid the economic downturn.

Never mind genocide in Darfur or, say, Tehran's crackdown on those who protest Iran's stolen June election. (Yesterday, the regime's "supreme leader" said just questioning the results is criminal).

Rolnik says her mission is to "hear the voices of those who are suffering" -- and she doesn't mean overtaxed, rent-controlled landlords struggling to pay their bills. Rather, she's decries "the reduction of the role of the state in housing."

Gee, why not just declare capitalism itself a war crime -- and be done with it?

Actually, since 2000, the UN has had a housing investigator looking into shortages in such obvious places as Cambodia, Kenya and Iran. (Notably, the first place visited was the Palestinian territories.)

But this is its first foray into US territory -- and it remains to be seen whether she'll call for Donald Trump and other landlords to be hauled before the International Criminal Court.

On the other hand, there is a perfect site for new "affordable housing": that patch of land along the East River that's been wasted for 60 years on the UN.

I've posted the whole editorial here but this is the tag line: Have an opinion on this Post editorial? Send it in to LETTERS@NYPOST.COM!

MSM Ignores the True Story of the ACORN Expose'

Hannah Giles, the young lady who starred in "the visit of the Pimp and Pro" to various ACORN sites in cities around the country has an article in Townhall about the way it has NOT been reported.
She says, "It’s like going fishing, but instead of taking a picture and raving about the 750lb Mako shark you caught, you blather on about the bait that was used."....

Rather than simply complaining about the MSM’s negligence on the story, here are some loose ends the media ignored, from our footage alone, that warrant attention.

With regard to the children:

• Baltimore- Why no mention of the toddlers that were in the room while James and I were being counseled on how to manage our underage prostitution ring?

• San Bernardino- The content of this video was largely ignored except for the part where ACORN worker Tresa Kaelke mentions she shot her husband. What about when she told us not to educate our sex-slaves because they won’t want to work for us? Or when we talked about making money off of clients who would physically abuse the girls? What about the whole transport-the-girls-in-a-school-bus-to-avoid-suspicion discussion?

Attention to the masses:

• Washington, DC- Why were we counseled by ACORN during a first time homebuyer’s seminar, while 30-40 other first time homebuyers sat crammed in a hot room?

• Brooklyn- This office was swarmed with people, busy staff members and a full waiting room. Did we take our number and wait in line? Nope. Why were we given the private attention of three ACORN staffers when clearly more deserving and less intrusive (and even possibly law-abiding!) clients patiently waited?
There is more and you will want to read the whole thing.

The AP says Administration "Overstated" Stimulus Jobs

Can you believe it? Not that it was overstated, that the AP fact checked it.
Read it here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lord Christopher Monckton: 2009 Copenhagen Climate Treaty - The End of American Freedom

At the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, this December, weeks away, a treaty will be signed. Your president will sign it. Most of the third world countries will sign it, because they think they're going to get money out of it. Most of the left-wing regime from the European Union will rubber stamp it. Virtually nobody won't sign it. We must rise up and stop our president from signing this dreadful treaty, a purposeless treaty. For there is no problem with climate and, even if there were, an economic treaty does nothing to help it...

October 16, 2009 Speech hosted by Minnesota Free Market Institute and presented at Bethel University in St. Paul.

Watch video here>>

Government by Holiday Inn Express

Government by Holiday Inn Express

Mona Charen has an extremely well written, thought provoking article here.

You've seen those commercials in which an airline pilot, or surgeon, or nuclear engineer is giving expert advice only to acknowledge eventually to his nonplussed listeners that while he is not actually a fill-in-the-blank, he did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Do you ever get the feeling that we are getting Holiday Inn Express government?

Does anything they say make basic economic sense? President Obama and the Democratic Party propose to save money (or what they call "bend the cost curve") on health care spending. They will spend less, they say, but also cover more people -- the 47 million or 30 million uninsured (Obama has used both numbers). This will be accomplished without reducing care for anyone and without raising taxes on anyone except the rich. In fact, care will be improved.

Sounds great. But do these people know what they're doing? They mouth the words "choice" and "competition" but only, ironically, in praise of a "public option." The concept of encouraging choice and competition in the health insurance market -- say by permitting interstate sales -- is off the table.:

Go read the whole thing.

Moral Reasoning

Moral Reasoning 22: Justice is a class being taught by Michael Sandel at Harvard. Michael Gerson has an op-ed on it in the Washington Post.

I found the article very interesting, it lays down no this is right, this is wrong messages about the class. It discusses the effects and consequences of different reasonings and judgements.

An interesting article, go read it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sarah Palin - WYSIWYG

Just ask Jay Tea at Wizbang.

Simple Sarah

Well, she's done it again. Sarah Palin has thrown an endorsement into that Congressional race over in New York -- and she's rejected the Republican Party candidate in favor of the Conservative Party one.

And once again, everyone's poking at tea leaves and molesting goat innards in trying to figure out just what it all means, what Palin's really up to, what signal is she sending.


I figured out Palin a long time ago. And while understanding her doesn't always make her predictable, it does work fantastically well in hindsight.

All you have to do is listen to her.
I agree, that is what I have thought all along. Go read it all.
Thanks to Heather for letting me know about the link. It's fixed now.

Classical Values: "Outside the Democratic Norms of Our Society"

The United States Chamber of Commerce is being subjected to unprecedented attack by a variety of forces on the left.

Its crime? Refusing to go along with the monstrous cap-and-trade scheme which would destroy what's left of the economy. Here's the organization's position on cap-and-trade, as well as carbon emissions:

2. The Chamber's position on Waxman-Markey

We opposed this specific legislation because it would not reduce the global level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It is neither comprehensive nor international, and it falls short on moving renewable and alternative technologies into the marketplace and enabling our transition to a lower carbon future. It would also impose carbon tariffs on goods imported into the U.S., a move that would almost certainly spur retaliation from global trading partners.

3. The Chamber's position on EPA's proposal to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act:

The Clean Air Act is not the appropriate vehicle for regulating climate change. Even though EPA is only addressing motor vehicles, the Clean Air Act is structured so that once EPA regulates greenhouse gases in any manner; the Act regulates all emitters of the gases which includes stationary sources that have never been subject to EPA Air regulation. To quote Congressman John Dingell, this will be a "glorious mess." Our economy does not need a glorious regulatory mess, especially now. Reason needs to prevail and Congress needs to enact a comprehensive climate change law.

Entire Article here>>

Thomas Sowell Calls it What it is

Dismantling America
By Thomas Sowell

Just one year ago, would you have believed that an unelected government official, not even a Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate but simply one of the many "czars" appointed by the President, could arbitrarily cut the pay of executives in private businesses by 50 percent or 90 percent?

Did you think that another "czar" would be talking about restricting talk radio? That there would be plans afloat to subsidize newspapers-- that is, to create a situation where some newspapers' survival would depend on the government liking what they publish?

Did you imagine that anyone would even be talking about having a panel of so-called "experts" deciding who could and could not get life-saving medical treatments?Scary as that is from a medical standpoint, it is also chilling from the standpoint of freedom. If you have a mother who needs a heart operation or a child with some dire medical condition, how free would you feel to speak out against an administration that has the power to make life and death decisions about your loved ones?

Does any of this sound like America?
Read it all, then get to work to stop the loss of our freedoms.

Oba Mao

These souvenirs are currently sold in China in anticipation of President Obama's visit to China in Nov. Here in the U.S. some people are already concerned about Obama's socialist approach on healthcare reform and financial reforms on Wall Street. It’s funny to call him Oba Mao. I wonder what he'd think if he saw these souvenirs.

奥巴马下月访华在中国掀起热潮。有商户出售印有奥巴马穿着中国军装的商品,更将他的名字Obama改作Oba Mao(毛)。


Burt Prelutsky looks at the L word

A bitingly witty and sarcastic look at sad truths in our country...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Obama to Enter Diplomatic Talks with California Wildfire

If you weren't a fan of the Onion... you need to increase your bandwidth. The Onion is the funniest news parody, bar none.

The best humor is based in exaggeration and truth. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What Happened to the Old Democrats? Liberals?

I missed this article by Camille Paglia in while I was off traveling. I ran across this just today and thought it had to be posted, at least this portion. Of course, I don't really agree with her on many, many of her opinions, but she is dead on course on this one. She asks this question which tells me she still doesn't understand Obama is his own man, and that isn't saying much, anyway I digress.
Here is Paglia:

Too Late for Obama to turn it around. (5 paragraphs down)
Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans? Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers (one reason for the hypocritical absence of tort reform in the healthcare bills). Weirdly, given their worship of highly individualistic, secularized self-actualization, such professionals are as a whole amazingly credulous these days about big-government solutions to every social problem. They see no danger in expanding government authority and intrusive, wasteful bureaucracy. This is, I submit, a stunning turn away from the anti-authority and anti-establishment principles of authentic 1960s leftism.

How has "liberty" become the inspirational code word of conservatives rather than liberals? (A prominent example is radio host Mark Levin's book "Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto," which was No.1 on the New York Times bestseller list for nearly three months without receiving major reviews, including in the Times.) I always thought that the Democratic Party is the freedom party -- but I must be living in the nostalgic past. Remember Bob Dylan's 1964 song "Chimes of Freedom," made famous by the Byrds? And here's Richie Havens electrifying the audience at Woodstock with "Freedom! Freedom!" Even Linda Ronstadt, in the 1967 song "A Different Drum," with the Stone Ponys, provided a soaring motto for that decade: "All I'm saying is I'm not ready/ For any person, place or thing/ To try and pull the reins in on me."
And I want you to read the whole thing, this is just a middle paragraph or so.

Pushing Mao, Squashing FOX News

White House communications director Anita Dunn's quote from chairman Mao is very troubling when reviewed in context.

Columnist Johnathan Gurwitz does a great job of putting it into context in this piece -- and he illustrates the parallel mindset with the White House's campaign against free press and reporting of news in its attack against Fox.

He puts it so clearly one can't help but step back and think "What the hell!?!? This can't be true!"

But it is. White House communications director Anita Dunn, in a speech at a college, is quoting Mao's words of "inspiration" for his cause. Words used to further the takeover/suppression/death of millions of Chinese people.

She had so many great leaders to chose from -- leaders who did great things under tremendous adversity; from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Vince Lombardi, to Churchill to Jesus. Not to mention Abraham Linclon or Ghandi. And these are just the ones off the top of my head.

But she chose Mao. And she and her boss are going after a free press.

This is not the change anyone who values a free society voted for.

LLoyd Marcus is on the Tea Party Express II

He is writing in American Thinker:
Not Ashamed to Love My Country
By Lloyd Marcus

For several years, I sang my original, "Celebrate America" at monthly U.S. Immigration Citizenship Ceremonies in Maryland. I took great pride in the knowledge that mine was the first song the approximate one thousand applicants heard as new American citizens after taking their long dreamed of oath of allegiance. Each ceremony was an emotional event of great celebration.

It was not unusual to see very old applicants in wheel chairs proudly and tearfully taking the oath, their raised right hand supported by a grandchild, son or daughter. Obviously, becoming an American was a great honor to them. Unfortunately, such love and passion for our country seems the stuff of days gone by. To many, it is considered hokey, redneck, un-global minded (gag me) and even offensive to love your country. It simply isn't sophisticated to be waving the flag all over the place. We patriots are those simple minded folks who "cling to God and guns" as Obama described us during his presidential campaign.

Liberalism has contributed greatly to the decline of patriotism. The hostile takeover of our schools by Liberalism has indoctrinated many of our kids to hate their country. They are encouraged to sing the praises of Barack Hussein Obama, but not of God and country.

Years ago, a dear white friend told me her son, who was in middle school, came home in tears feeling guilty for the horrible things his
white ancestors and our founding fathers did to "Native Americans." This poor kid was taught a laundry list of evils perpetuated by his race and America. Today, my friend's son is a 22-year-old Marxist who passionately hates Capitalism and America. Thank you, public school system.

The Tea Party Movement has sparked a resurgence of patriotism. The movement itself was birthed out of fear of the far left agenda and radical changes being implemented by the Obama administration. Despite attempts by the liberal media and the Obama gang to convince us otherwise, we see and feel the threat of destruction of the traditions, values and institutions which we hold dear and have made America great.

The realization of Obama's threat to our country is a blessing. Many of us have taken America, our Great Lady, for granted far too long, never telling her how pretty she is, how much we love her or how much we
appreciate everything she does for us. And when is the last time you gave America flowers? America, we love you and don't want to lose you.

In response to my article proclaiming that I am an American rather than a hyphenated African American, I received the following letter. Talk about having "the right stuff," the author and his dad are great Americans. This letter reflects the kind of patriotism I long to see again on a massive scale.

"Letter from an Unhyphenated American‏. Sir, I very much
enjoy your articles in American Thinker and I can relate to the unhyphenated American moniker. My father is a Holocaust survivor, a Catholic from Poland. He escaped to this country, joined the U.S. Navy and earned his citizenship. As a first-generation American, I can tell you that I cannot speak Polish... my father insisted that we learn only English because America saved him from the Nazis and the Soviets. He married a Californian of Irish and Mexican decent and served in the Navy and the Navy Reserves for over
30 years. I am now into my 16th year in the United States Air Force. I appreciate your story of overcoming adversity and your unabashed love of this country. I just wanted to drop a line of encouragement for your activities in the Tea Party movement, and urge you to continue to be a voice of common sense and reason in these uncertain times."Major (Though he signed his full name, I respect his privacy) U.S. Air Force

Folks, you can feel the gratitude, love and respect these men have for their country. The father in this letter "gets it." He knows what it means to live under tyranny, and appreciates the great and rare wonderful gift we enjoy as Americans called freedom. He epitomizes the type of immigrant Lady Liberty and the American people embraces with open arms. He feels as the lyric in Lee Greenwood's classic song, "...proud to be an American."
Sunday I begin traveling across America on the Tea Party Express II Tour. While these rallies are where we encourage patriots to stay strong and work to restore our freedom, liberty and culture, they are love letters and flowers to America. The rallies are also a continuation of my Million Hand Shake March. Lloyd Marcus, (black) Unhyphenated American!

Limits to Hypocrisy?

From the Washington Post an interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

'Just means against an unjust attack'

Q: What did you think of the Goldstone report?

A: I thought there were limits to hypocrisy but I was obviously wrong.

That answer jumped out to me. You need to read the whole thing.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Republicans vs Democrats

via Gateway Pundit:
Rasmussen reported:

For the first time in recent years, voters trust Republicans more than Democrats on all 10 key electoral issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports. The GOP holds double-digit advantages on five of them.

Republicans have nearly doubled their lead over Democrats on economic issues to 49% to 35%, after leading by eight points in September.

The GOP also holds a 54% to 31% advantage on national security issues and a 50% to 31% lead on the handling of the war in Iraq.

But voters are less sure which party they trust more to handle government ethics and corruption, an issue that passed the economy in voter importance last month. Thirty-three percent (33%) trust Republicans more while 29% have more confidence in Democrats. Another 38% are undecided. Last month, the parties were virtually tied on the issue.

Remember Cash for Clunkers?

This is from the AP:

Recyclers want more time to dispose of clunkers
by Ken Thomas

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Trade-ins from the Cash for Clunkers program are piling up and auto recyclers are seeking more time to meet the deadline for disposing of all those vehicles.

At some places, Ford Explorers, Chevy Blazers, Chrysler Town & Country minivans and other popular clunkers are parked bumper to bumper on several acres, many marked "C4C" on their windows, waiting to be drained of fluids, stripped of valuable parts and eventually flattened for scrap.

"I've got a parking lot of almost 4,000 vehicles right now," said Harry Haluptzok, chief executive of John's Auto Parts in Blaine, Minn., near
Minneapolis. His business typically dismantles 100 vehicles per week, but the workload has now more than doubled, and Haluptzok hired 10 more workers to keep up with all the extra vehicles.

Under the program, the cars are required to be crushed or shredded within six months of the date the vehicle is transferred from the dealership. Recyclers say the deadline, even a few months away, will be hard as they try to remove spare parts such as transmissions, front and rear axles, starters and alternators.

"True recycling is using something to its fullest potential and then recycling it over again by making it into steel and sending it out to become another engine or transmission or car," said Jeff Cantor, an auto recycler in Candia, N.H. "We're breaking that circle here by crushing good quality parts. We can't process them quick enough in six months."

Consumers bought nearly 700,000 new vehicles in late July and August through the program, taking advantage of rebates of up to $4,500 on new cars in return for trading in their older vehicles. Congress tripled the size of its original $1 billion price tag because of the program's popularity.

Used engines from the vehicles were required to be destroyed to promote improved fuel efficiency.
Read it all.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Civility? Remember That? Or Maybe Not!

Jonah Goldberg addresses this in his Townhall column.
What Civility is Lost if It Was Never Found?

There is much gnashing of teeth and rending of cloth these days about the death of civility. Apparently, like Cupid with his arrow or a pixie with fairy dust, some magical sprite used to enchant America's political combatants, ensuring that all public discourse was full of beg-your-pardons and please-and-thank-yous. But we have offended our little leprechaun. He's taken his Lucky Charms and gone home, leaving Americans angry, cranky and rude.
Or at least that's what I gather from all this talk of lost civility. Personally, I'm not sure I know what people are talking about. When was this Golden Age of civility?

Was this glorious era of politeness during George W. Bush's presidency? Funny,that's not how I remember it.

So maybe the 1990s was the last great outpouring of lovingkindness? Hmmm, no. At least I don't think Clarence Thomas would say so. Nor do I think anyone who watched the Clinton show would claim it was a hallmark of sober debate on either side. Clinton's minions attacked victims of his sexual aggression or revelations about his accomplices in his adultery as "bimbo eruptions." Was civility the norm when Rep. Charlie Rangel said of Newt Gingrich's Contract with America, "Hitler wasn't even talking about doing these things"?

Was it the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan was routinely dubbed a nuclear-trigger-happy "amiable dunce"? I was young then, so I'll check with Robert Bork and see what he thinks.

Perhaps it was in the 1960s and 1970s? Sure, there was admirable civil disobedience in the beginning, but there was a lot more uncivil disobedience, what with all the domestic terror attacks and the protesters asking LBJ how many kids he killed today.
And so on he goes on even as far as Woodrow Wilson. Read it all for his discussion.
Via Maggie's Farm a quote from Coyote:

I continue to be confused why the Left in this country is so absolutely hostile to Baptists in Alabama but are so deferential to Muslims in Saudi Arabia. Is it simply because one group makes credible threats of violence while the other does not?

I just have to grin at that one.

On Hypocrisy in Life and Politics

D J Drummond in Wizbang writes on hypocrites in the Christian life and in politics.
Fruits of the Spirit

I used to spend time on a web site which discussed religion. Like politics, religion is one of those topics where civil discussion is difficult, and a lot of the posters will attack anyone whose views are seen as notably different from their own. People who hold strong beliefs are expected not only to defend their beliefs, but to do so to the standards of the critic.

Where that has been difficult for Christians, is the fact that many Christians do not live by the creed they claim to follow. Many self-identified Christians are selfish hypocrites, willing to say or do whatever will get them what they want, while judging every other belief system as inferior to their own moral standards.

That's not to say the majority of Christians are this way, but enough of them are, including some high-profile "ministers", to make it difficult to answer the charge. You should do what you say you believe.

That's also why I cannot take Liberals (capital L, as in Loser) seriously. In every major issue, Liberals are loud and aggressive in their rhetoric, but they don't come close to living the way they talk. For all his talk, the book, speeches and a Nobel Prize, Al Gore's palatial estate and private jet prove he's a phony with regard to the planet - the man has personally done more polluting than many corporations he attacks. Michael Moore has been the most prominent enemy of Capitalism and Free Enterprise since Stalin, but he has no problem making piles of money off his lies. Barack Obama ran on the promise of helping the poor by fleecing the rich, but the net effect of his policies since his inauguration have hurt poor and minorities more than anyone else. And so on, ad nauseum - there is not even one high-profile Liberal who can point to his or her life as proof that they live the way they demand everyone else live. The media protects them, but the regular people are beginning to see through the charade.

It's difficult just now, to see how this will play out in the 2010 elections. Liberals have done a good job in the past of hiding their hypocrisy, but it also illustrates that they have a thing shell - if their façade fails under pressure, their foundation falls apart quicker than a John Kerry war hero claim.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Healthcare Truth on NPR (no, really!)

I was fortunate to be driving home late last night. I clicked on NPR (its good stuff is at night -- "This American Life" was the program.) and I was shocked to hear the reporter (Chana Joffe-Walt ) objectively reporting something that was contrary to the Obama healthcare platform and agenda. And she was blatantly pointing out the discrepancy.

She discovered, and then corroborated the myth that creating a public option would reduce health insurance costs through competition.

She interviewed ex-CEO of Aetna. Jack Rowe, who explained how the health insurance business worked and that competition currently DRIVES PRICES UP due to the dynamics of hopitals' buying power. She (the reporter) admitted she didn't believe it. And let's face it, it is counter-intuitive, no matter how much left wing koolaid you've been drinking and broadcasting. So she dug deeper.

She went to Uwe Reinhardt, PhD, a health care economist at Princeton. (And because NPR is such a stickler for sound, I'll tell you it's pronounced "ou-ver".) And she juxtaposed Reinhardt's explanation of the truth with the sound bite of Obama saying competition would drive costs down.

She plays the speech -- Obama pitches a gubment plan as the solution -- and then asks Reinhardt "Has he got this picture right?"

Reinhardt: "I don't think he does. I wish I had a half-hour with him to explain it to him."

Even though Obama's talking loud and confident -- it ain't true. And Obama doesn't just say this one thing in this speech, he wraps the falsehood up in a full on assault of the insurance companies and our health care system in general. Yes, our health care system. The broken one, which, if you've lived enough years, has probably saved your ass from death or serious health issues two or three times now.

It's kind of like the reporters making up stuff about Rush... make up facts to support your agenda. Repeat often for credibility of the incredible.

Just to be clear, this is no shift on NPR's part. They've corrupted their show "This American Life"--which is typially a great story telling hour--and made it for now an expose' on the horrible health care system in the U.S. If I didn't know better, I'd call NPR a wing of the Democtratic party, but they're so much further left than that.

Too bad Obama didn't take Reinhardt and some other guys on the plane trip to visit the Olympic Committee. It would have made the trip a good use of his time.

Below is the link to the show page and the broadcast file (mp3 format). The file takes a long time to load, but it's interesting. And a glimpse into how NPR is trying to support the Obama agenda, but keeps bumping into the truth... both for and against.

Page of Show:

MP3 file of show:

They’re ALL Communists
by Laura Hollis

Back when people were tippy-toeing around the “s” word (“socialist”), and before he was elected, I called out Obama’s basic political inclinations for what they are - communist.

Though plenty pooh-poohed this, and called it extreme or unsubstantiated, there was ample proof in Obama’s own writings, his interviews, and the political leanings of his mentors (Saul Alinsky, Frank Marshall Davis), his pastor (Jeremiah Wright) and his friends. It’s absurd to hear people say now that Obama is governing differently than he campaigned. If you think that, you weren’t listening.

But those who still harbor any doubts need only look at his team of “advisors.”
White House Communications Director Anita Dunn is the most recent Obamirror. In the address so many have been airing recently, she offered Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong as an inspiration to students who might need to “figure out how to do things that have never been done before.” Well, golly - a man who “figured out” how to murder 70 million Chinese certainly gets points for novelty.
Before Dunn, it was ousted “green jobs czar” Van Jones, a self-admitted communist.

See entire article here>>

'Radio Free America'
By Cal Thomas

During the Cold War, the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe were among the broadcast entities that effectively penetrated the Iron Curtain to deliver truth to the "captive nations" that were being fed a steady dose of propaganda by their communist rulers. Those dictators did everything they could to "jam" the signals so that their people would only hear what their unelected overseers wanted them to hear. Contemporary versions of jamming and other forms of censorship occur today in Venezuela, Cuba and many other places where dictators believe public ignorance is essential to their unchallenged rule.

While the Obama administration is the product of an election, its approach to Fox News Channel, conservative talk radio and possibly the Internet appears similar to dictators who desire control over the flow of information in order to enhance their power.

The administration's primary beef appears to be that Fox is doing the job the broadcast networks and big newspapers should be doing were they not still deeply in the tank for this president and his policies.

Like those Cold War truth-tellers, Fox is simply delivering information to a rapidly growing audience (partly due to criticism from the White House) that wants to see and hear what the other media are not telling them. Fox -- and talk radio -- are reporting on the backgrounds and statements of Obama administration officials. Fox didn't create the statements and actions of Van Jones, the now former "energy czar," who signed a petition questioning whether Bush administration officials allowed 9/11 to happen as a possible pretext for going to war. Fox didn't force Jones to advocate for cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, or associate himself with Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), a left-wing radical group with Marxist roots.

Entire article here>>

Old Style Chicago Politics

By Michael Barone in the Washington Examiner:

Obama hits opponents with Chicago brass knuckles

"His father was a great friend of my father." The reference to William Ayers' father was how Mayor Richard J. Daley began his defense of Barack Obama for his association with the unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist. Daley's father of course was Richard M. Daley, mayor of Chicago from 1955 until his death in 1976. Ayers' father was head of Commonwealth Edison, the Chicago-based utility, from 1964 to 1980.

You bet they were great friends. That's governance, Chicago style. The head of government is friends with the heads of every big business, lobby and union, and together they make decisions on how everyone else will live. Those on the inside get what they want. Those on the outside -- well, they get what the big guys want them to have. That's life in the big city.

Read it all.

Via Ed Driscoll

From Ed Driscoll

As Orrin Judd recently quipped, “People have mistakenly used the ‘Emperor has no clothes’ analogy for the [Unicorn Rider.] The real point is the clothes have no Emperor.”

That's a good way to put it.

From Mao to Obama

The Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal

Mao Tse Tung is one of White House communications director Anita Dunn's favorite philosophers.

Anita Dunn, the White House's communications director who has declared war on Fox News, came under scrutiny herself last week when it was discovered she had told an audience that Mao Tse Tung was one of her favorite political philosophers and quoted Mao on how to "fight your war." In her speech last June, after she joined the Obama White House, Ms. Dunn said the "two people I turn to most" were Mother Teresa and Mao Tse-Tung. She barely discussed the late nun, but waxed at length about the lessons Mao had taught her.

To call Mao a "political philosopher" is a stretch. As Roger Kimball of the New Criterion reminds us, the great Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski properly labeled the Chinese revolutionary "one of the greatest, if not the very greatest, manipulator of large masses of human beings in the twentieth century."

Indeed, the Mao revelation prompted William Ratliff, an expert on China with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, to call her statement "outrageous and pathetic" given that Mao's role in the deaths of some 50 million people "makes it impossible for any serious person" to view him as a great philosopher.

Ms. Dunn is now trying to pin her quote on a dead adviser to President George H.W. Bush. "The Mao quote is one I picked up from the late Republican strategist Lee Atwater from something I read in the late 1980s, so I hope I don't get my progressive friends mad at me," Ms. Dunn told CNN.

She went on to explain that Fox host Glenn Beck's criticism was off-base because "the use of the phrase 'favorite political philosophers' was intended as irony, but clearly the effort fell flat -- at least with a certain Fox commentator whose sense of irony may be missing."

Ms. Dunn's lame explanation might have some traction if the videotape of her speech at the time displayed the slightest trace of irony. But it doesn't. The videos show her speaking in complete earnestness.

From this web page

We're All Balloon Boys Now

The Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal
Daniel Henninger

"With fakery everywhere today, people retreat into a shell of cynicism about everything."

The "balloon boy" floating over Colorado last week got me thinking of the Obama photo-op airliner flying around lower Manhattan last April at 9/11 altitude. This is not to suggest that the Obama presidency is a hoax, though more on that later. It is to suggest it's getting harder to know what's real and unreal in a world that always seems to be slipping slightly out of focus.

The best thing to emerge from the balloon boy story, other than the uncontestable fact that six-year-old Falcon Heene was safe on the ground, is that the guy who did it thought that staging a hoax would get him into reality TV programming. It had to come to this.

I love reality TV, though I never watch it. Reality TV—"Project Runway," "Celebrity Rehab" or "The Real Housewives of North Dakota," (I made that up, but would watch)—is just about the perfect metaphor for the world we're all trying to live in now. More often than not, you have to ask yourself whether what's in front of you is real, sort of real, a hoax or what. Writing about the balloon-boy fiasco in the Toronto Star, a bemused Vinay Menon wondered whether hoaxer Richard Heene was "even a real person and not a CNN hologram."

Entire Article here>>

Is Socialsim a Religion?

I've often thought that it is, along with environmentalism. It has been my opinion, after a lot of thought on it, that people need a religion and if they cannot believe in God they must believe in something. This article addresses my beliefs on the matter in a reasoned way I am unable to convey with my words.
I will only put up portions of it so you must read the whole article. It is from Canada Free Press.

The Saints of Socialism and the Religion of Radicalism
By Daniel Greenfield Thursday, October 22, 2009

A magazine features a cover photo of Obama with a halo beaming behind his head in the likeness of the murals of medieval saints. Women faint on hearing his speeches. He delivers those speeches with lines and cadences borrowed from his mentor, a radical clergyman. “In a way Obama is standing above the country, above the world. He’s sort of god. He’s going to bring all different sides together,” proclaimed Newsweek editor Evan Thomas. [ed. note: read the history of Evan Thomas to understand who he is and his point of view]

Barack Obama is of course a messiah, one of the latest in a long line of socialist messiahs, men whom socialists and liberals believed were meant to radically reform the world, to teach people to overcome selfishness and greed, and unite as one.

The phenomenon of the quasi-religious worship of Obama is only shocking to those who fail to understand that socialism is itself a religion. Henri de Saint-Simon, the French 18th century thinker who coined the term socialism, described it as “The New Christianity”. Like many early socialists he envisioned its ideas as a tool for returning to primitive Christianity. The famous 19th century historian Renan explicitly made the comparison, writing, “If you want to get an idea of what the first Christian communities were like, take a look at a local branch of the International Workingmen’s Association.” The Association is better known as the First International, one of whose members was Karl Marx.

The original name of the Communist party that Karl Marx would go on to head was The League of the Just, whose stated goal was, “the establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth, based on the ideals of love of one’s neighbour, equality and justice”. The same essential principles sum up the ideals of the Religious Left today which define religion in terms of social justice. Of course the end result of this process wipes everything from the blackboard, including God and the Bible, which become nothing more than props for socialist preaching. And that is exactly what the religion of socialism looks like.

Communism simply rejected one god, in favor of human divinities worshiped for bringing social justice to mankind

Communism was never atheistic, it simply rejected one god, in favor of human divinities worshiped for bringing social justice to mankind, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and the whole gang of crimson murderers and thieves. These men formed cults of personality around them because they embodied the theology of socialism as a vital active work on earth. To socialist Christians they embodied the message of Jesus. To socialist Jews, the message of the prophets—stripped of anything but social justice.

You Absolutely Must Read This article.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This Title is Spot-On: Obama and Balloon Boy

When I read this title I thought: "Man, he's got it!! Obama is nothing but an empty airbag!" This is what I believe - he's a bunch of hype with no substance. Now this is fortunate for us, because we know that if he could actually get his plans made law, we'd be screwed, big time. I don't usually use language like this as I am a refined lady, but, sometimes it's the only way to speak the truth. Mr. Medved has a different but very valid analysis about television hype and our viewing habits. I excerpted a little, but go read for yourself if you like.

by Michael Medved

In the Age of Obama, all dramatic developments connect somehow to the Dear Leader himself even a seemingly frivolous distraction like Balloon Boy. In fact, the strange but thoroughly publicized non-flight of young Falcon Heene offers unexpected illumination on the essential appeal of Obamanism.


"Though Balloon Boy briefly upstaged even the president, Barack Obama offers the same powerful appeal. His style of governance, based on the model of the permanent campaign, pledges to identify recognizable winners and losers in every confrontation, representing another step forward in the ongoing attempt to transform politics into televised sport. The notion that the president might make important progress in private or gradually or without great fanfare is utterly foreign to this administration. The old Cartesian formula of I think therefore I am has been modified to the far more media friendly I speak therefore I am. A day without some televised Obama pronouncement (or four or five) is a day without sunshine from the Sun King. No president-- not even presidents who served two full terms delivered more big speeches than this chief executive has provided in a mere ten months. And every single one of these epochally eloquent addresses counts as automatically dramatic and historic. (Just think about his historic speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, or his dramatic healthcare address to Congress, or his unprecedented presentation to the International Olympic Committee in Copenhagen - or, maybe better to forget about that last one).

The Obama way involves big gestures, florid claims, urgent declarations, unceasing storm-and-stress, and promises of imminent deliverance or destruction depending on whether the Maximum Leader succeeds or fails. The silvery balloon ascends thrillingly skyward, though no one knows either its flight plan or what it carries inside. A weary, battered nation gets no chance to catch its breath or get its bearings. The artificial deadlines the Miracle Man adores closing Guantanamo in one year, a final vote on health care reform by August (ha!), Cap-and-Tax by years end (now fortunately abandoned), cutting the deficit in half by 2013 (really?) these ridiculously rushed timetables also fit the manipulative patterns of his TV presidency.

By definition, watching the tube is an impatient indulgence, with spectators craving the immediate satisfactions of a games final seconds, or a dramatic shows scheduled conclusion with all plot lines neatly resolved. The Obamanauts deeply fear the possibility that their most devoted followers will soon pick up the remote control and switch channels on them, moving on to a fresher fetish or fad. In fact, the increasingly audible rumblings of frustrated interest groups (gay activists, immigration reformers, unions, environmentalists) echo a deep-seated indignation that ten months of historic, dramatic speeches failed to produce the instant transformations universally expected. "

The whole article is here

The year the dominoes fell

by Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
October 21, 2009

IT WAS GETTING LATE one evening in Prague, a few months after the 1989 Velvet Revolution, and as we walked along Wenceslas Square, my companion, a Prague native, began to weep. When I asked what was wrong, he composed himself and gestured at the streetscape around us. To my eye, it was a perfectly commonplace scene -- a few couples out for a walk or sitting together and talking, some tourists window-shopping or looking into the stores that were still open, a cluster of passersby listening to street musicians playing jazz.

But for my friend, such agreeable normality was still anything but commonplace. Under the Communists, he told me, no one would have strolled along Wenceslas Square after dark, and even during the day there were no impromptu streetcorner concerts. In a society in which police and informers were everywhere, people avoided calling attention to themselves, and at night Prague's most famous public space was usually a cheerless no-man's-land.

"To see it now like this -- it makes me a little emotional," he explained.

He was older than I was, a Czech physician in his 40s who had opposed the old regime and paid a steep professional price for his dissent. Like most people, he had come to see the Iron Curtain as a permanent fact of life. Over the years there had been attempts to dislodge the Communist governments Moscow maintained across Eastern Europe -- the East Germans had tried it in 1953, the Hungarians in 1956, the Czechoslovaks in 1968 -- but each uprising had failed, crushed beneath Soviet tanks.

"If you want a picture of the future," says an official of the totalitarian government in George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-four," which was published soon after the Stalinist night had fallen on Eastern Europe, "imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever." Communism was forever, or so it seemed through much of the 20th century, as tyrannies calling themselves "people's republics" scrupled at nothing -- not tanks, not secret police, not torture, not relentless propaganda and control of all media -- to perpetuate their dictatorial rule and repress those who opposed it.

Early on, Lenin had characterized Communist governance as "power that is limited by nothing, by no laws, that is restrained by absolutely no rules, that rests directly on coercion." Against such ideological ruthlessness, what chance did freedom and democracy have? Whittaker Chambers, a one-time Soviet spy, famously repudiated the Communist Party he had served and became one of its most eloquent opponents, but even as he did so he was sure, as he testified in 1948, that he was "leaving the winning side for the losing side." Decades later, the French thinker Jean-Francois Revel published How Democracies Perish, in which he explained sadly that democracy was simply not structured to defend itself against an enemy as implacable and deceitful as Communism. "Perhaps in history democracy will have been an accident," wrote Revel, "a brief parenthesis which comes to a close before our very eyes."

This was a world-changing time. Read the entire article here

TheAdministration is still using Chicago Politics

Obama got where he is by marginalizing his opponents, he is still trying.
This is according to the Politico.

Obama Strategy: Marginalize Most Powerful Critics

This is the first of a two-part look at the marginalization of the GOP. Tomorrow: GOP officials fear that the party's image is being defined increasingly by boisterous conservative commentators.

President Obama is working systematically to marginalize the most powerful forces behind the Republican Party, setting loose top White House officials to undermine conservatives in the media, business and lobbying worlds.

With a series of private meetings and public taunts, the White House has targeted the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the biggest-spending pro-business lobbying group in the country; Rush Limbaugh, the country’s most-listened-to conservative commentator; and now, with a new volley of combative rhetoric in recent days, the insurance industry, Wall Street executives and Fox News.

Obama aides are using their powerful White House platform, combined with techniques honed in the 2008 campaign, to cast some of the most powerful adversaries as out of the mainstream and their criticism as unworthy of serious discussion.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs has mocked Limbaugh from the White House press room podium. White House aides limited access to the Chamber and made top adviser Valerie Jarrett available to reporters to disparage the group. Everyone from White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to White House Communications Director Anita Dunn has piled on Fox News by contending it’s not a legitimate news operation.

All of the techniques are harnessed to a larger purpose: to marginalize not only the individual person or organization but also some of the most important policy and publicity allies of the national Republican Party.

Dunn said that in August, as the president’s aides planned for the fall, they made “a fundamental decision that we needed to be more aggressive in both protecting our position and in delineating our differences with those who were attacking us.”
I consider this to be the real "mob" politics. Read the whole article today and be sure to follow up on it tomorrow for the second installment.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Is This What Needs to be Done?

In an article in the Canada Free Press J B Williams has a very long article, the last of several on the subject, in which he outlines what he sees as the answer on how to take back our country.

This is just an excerpt from far down in the article, read it, you really need to read the whole thing, then make up your mind on what you think needs to be done.

Time for the Tea Party to become Tangible

....But most important is the answer to the problem, written about in my June 25, column, What Difference Can One TRUE Patriot Make?

This is where the Tea Party and town hall goers fit into the puzzle…

If the American people are going to take their nation back peacefully, they will need to seize control of the GOP, the same way leftists seized control of the DNC. The notion that we can do this from outside of the political power structure is just a fantasy, a very expensive fantasy.

There are more than 50 third parties in the USA as of this moment, and not one of them has the power to compete head to head with the RNC, much less the internationally funded and controlled DNC.

To challenge the Democratic Socialists of America currently in control of the DNC, American patriots will have to control the RNC/GOP. Fortunately, the Tea Party and Town Hall movements make this very possible today.

Thanks to Republicans like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, the difference between the extreme left DNC and the moderately left RNC are almost indistinguishable today.

As a result, the RNC is on the brink of extinction. This makes the RNC ripe for the taking!

Do You Read Michael Yon?

He is a free lance reporter who posted for years with the military in Iraq. He has been in Afghanistan with the British military and is now with US military. He reports via his webpage which I subscribe to by email notifications when he has something new.

This latest entry is on his webpage as Adopt-A-Stan and is also published in National Review Online as "The War in Afghanistan Is Winnable". Here is the first part, PLEASE go to it and read it all.

18 October 2009
By Michael Yon

The inbox was peppered with hyperlinks to Dexter Filkins’ story in the New York Times, Stanley McChrystal’s Long War. One message came from Kathryn Lopez at National Review, asking if I had seen the article and for any thoughts.

It should be said that I respect the work of Dexter Filkins. Mr. Filkins is a seasoned war correspondent whose characterizations of Iraq ring true, while Stanley McChrystal’s Long War resonates with my ongoing experiences in Afghanistan. Despite the great length of the article, the few points that did not resonate were more trivialities for discussion than disagreements. Mr. Filkins did a fine job.

To be clear, I have developed a strong belief that the war is winnable, though at this rate we will lose. Mr. Filkins seemed to unfold a similar argument. In my view, we need more troops and effort in Afghanistan—now—and the commitment must be intergenerational.

In Mr. Filkins’ article, a couple of seemingly small points are keyholes to profound realities, and to a few possible illusions. For instance, the idea that Afghans are tired of fighting seems off. Afghans often tell me they are tired of fighting but those words are inconsistent with the bitter fact that the war intensifies with every change of season. The idea that Afghans are tired of war seems an illusion. Some Afghans are tired. I spend more time talking with older Afghans than with teenagers, and most of the older Afghans do seem weary. Yet according to the CIA World Factbook, the median age is 17.6 years; meaning half of Afghans are estimated to be this age or below. The culture is old, but the population is a teenager. Most Afghans today probably had not reached puberty when al Qaeda launched the 9/11 attacks. Eight years later, Afghanistan is more an illiterate kid than a country. The median age for the U.S. is given at 36.7. In addition to the tremendous societal disconnect between Americans and Afghans, there would be a generational gap even if those distant children were Americans. Clearly this could lead to frustrations if we expect quick results.

From WSJ Best of the Web: Great Moments in Socialized Medicine

THE National Health Service has spent £1.5m paying for hundreds of its staff to have private health treatment so they can leapfrog their own waiting lists.

More than 3,000 staff, including doctors and nurses, have gone private at the taxpayers’ expense in the past three years because the queues at the clinics and hospitals where they work are too long.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information act show that NHS administrative staff, paramedics and ambulance drivers have also been given free private healthcare. This has covered physiotherapy, osteopathy, psychiatric care and counselling — all widely available on the NHS.

“It simply isn’t fair to have one service for staff and another for everyone else,” said Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, who obtained the figures.

“If the NHS has to circumvent their own waiting lists the system isn’t working well enough. It’s an admission by the NHS that their own system isn’t able to respond to the mass of people desperate to get back to work.”

Original article here>>

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mona Charen: Obama's Moral Leadership Balloon Crashes -- No One Inside

The world thinks better of the United States, we are told, because Barack Obama is in the White House. Maybe the world is wrong.

It's fanciful, of course, to speak of what "the world" thinks about anything. It's safe to say that among Norwegian prize givers and Canadian avant-garde filmmakers, Obama is extremely popular. And certainly among bien pensant Americans, the advent of Obama is viewed as the moral pinnacle of American history. It has always been a particular vanity of the left to believe itself morally superior to others. But the claims for this presidency have been beyond extravagant. Global human rights, morality, and justice took a "great leap forward" (as Anita Dunn's favorite political philosopher might say) on Jan. 20. But in the space of just nine months, the Obama administration has betrayed the cause of human rights around the globe.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped set the tone in February by swatting away a question about human rights abuses in China. Those issues, she said, "can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis." Political prisoners, Tibetans, and religious minorities may have been dejected by this stony dismissal, but the Chinese government was delighted. "This type of realistic attitude could be followed by other Western leaders," an official newspaper noted with satisfaction.

Read the rest of the story

Oh that Fact Checking MSM

From Politico
CNBC, Reuters fall for climate hoax
by Lisa Lerer and Michael Calderone

In a dramatic shift, the Chamber of Commerce announced Monday that it is throwing its support behind climate change legislation making its way through the U.S. Senate.

Only it didn’t.

An email press release announcing the change is a hoax, say Chamber officials.

Several media organizations fell for it.

A CNBC anchor interrupted herself mid-sentence Monday morning to announce that the network had “breaking news,” then cut away to reporter Hampton Pearson, who read from the fake press release.

Pearson quickly followed up with a second report saying the “so-called bulletin” was an “absolute hoax.” Smelling a rat, CNBC’s Larry Kudlow demanded to know whether the White House had been involved.

In a story posted Monday morning, Reuters declared: “The Chamber of Commerce said on Monday it will no longer opposes climate change legislation, but wants the bill to include a carbon tax.”

Reuters updated the story to acknowledge the hoax, but it was too late: The Washington Post and the New York Times had already posted the fake story on their Web sites.

Go read it all.

Politicians vs the Military (our dear sons and daughters)

Kristol: Gates Blindsided by Rahm
Yesterday, in light of Rahm Emanuel’s comments on delaying the decision on troops for Afghanistan, I asked: “Are Sunday talk show declarations by Emanuel and political advisor David Axelrod an appropriate way to announce the considered judgment of the president at this stage of a long Cabinet-level review process? Or is Emanuel end-running the process? Do Secretaries Gates and Clinton agree with Emanuel? Were they consulted before Rahm popped off?”

I’ve now been told by an authoritative source close to Defense Secretary Robert Gates that he had no advance warning that Emanuel would be saying any such thing.

Update: A former government official e-mails:

Sen. McCain and other supporters of the effort in Afghanistan have feared from the beginning of this process that Whie House politicos were trying to get the pesky military out of the policy loop. Now it appears they are bypassing even the SecDef. Its hard to think of another time when the White House chief of staff and politicos were making policy so independently of the national security team, in this case apparently excluding the SecDef, SecState, and the Chairman of the JCS. (The otherwise weak nationanl security advisor retired General Jim Jones serves only one purpose here: to provide a shield for the politicos to reject military advice.)

Maybe it all turns out well in the end, but it's an interesting indication of how this administration runs foreign policy. Hope Hillary and Gates and the Joint Chiefs enjoy the ride.
Posted by William Kristol at 04:56 PM on the Weekly Standard Weblog

White House Readies a Stealth Stimulus

I love it when the mainstream left-laying* media points out the truth.

See the TIME online article here -- calling it for what it is -- Stealth Stimulus. The Obamam Administration is not going to like that blatant truth-in-media behavior. Those trend-buckers at TIME are such renegades. They may get themselves put on the same list as FOX News. (yeah, right).

Read the story here.,8599,1930932,00.html?cnn=yes

*They're not leaning, they're all the way prone.

They are Bragging About it Now

White House boasts: We 'control' news media
Communications chief offers shocking confession to foreign government
By Aaron Klein

TEL AVIV – President Obama's presidential campaign focused on "making" the news media cover certain issues while rarely communicating anything to the press unless it was "controlled," White House Communications Director Anita Dunn disclosed to the Dominican government at a videotaped conference.

"Very rarely did we communicate through the press anything that we didn't absolutely control," said Dunn.

"One of the reasons we did so many of the David Plouffe videos was not just for our supporters, but also because it was a way for us to get our message out without having to actually talk to reporters," said Dunn, referring to Plouffe, who was Obama's chief campaign manager.

"We just put that out there and made them write what Plouffe had said as opposed to Plouffe doing an interview with a reporter. So it was very much we controlled it as opposed to the press controlled it," Dunn said.
Go read it all.

Representatives Must Pledge to Represent the People

Finally! Something I can get behind. Jeff Pope has a well stated pledge that seriously defines what I expect of any politician. It is not about your party! It's about personal responsibility from our elected constituents. Go read it. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Victor Davis Hanson Hits it out of the Park Again

You all know how much I admire this man, I guess it's cause we think alike, he just knows how to convey it better than I do.

Confessions of a Cultural Drop-out

I have some confessions to make, not because any of you readers are particularly interested in my views; but rather because I think some of you are in the same boat: Have you stopped reading, listening, watching, and paying attention to most of what now passes for establishment public or popular culture? I am not particularly proud of this quietism (many Athenians did it in the early 4th century BC and Romans by the late 3rd AD), but not really ashamed of it either.

Shut up and see a movie?

Take Hollywood protocol—make a big movie, hype it, show it at the mall multiplex. But I went to one movie the last year. Maybe three in the last four years. There is not much choice here—car crashes, evil white men killing the innocent, some gay or feminist heroes fending off club-bearing white homophobic Mississippians in pick-ups. Or you can endure the American war-machine kidnapping, torturing, or murdering even more of the helpless abroad—with Robert Redford, glassed down, tweed in display, or snarly George Clooney sermonizing, like the choruses of Euripides’ tragedies.

Go read it all, you will agree and enjoy.

Weekly Standard on Double Standards

The Nobel-Hollywood Complex Implodes
Polanski, Letterman, and the Norwegians make conservatives' day
by Noemie Emery
Three times in the past several weeks, fortune has seemed to beam on conservatives, in unexpected and unprompted ways. Not that they've won much, but their tormentors keep losing. Three days in fall 2009 damaged or neutralized three liberal institutions, whose powers have now been curtailed.

Break number one came on September 26, when Roman Polanski, on his way to collect a lifetime achievement award from the Zurich Film Festival, was intercepted by Swiss police and tossed into prison, pending extradition to the United States, which he had fled 30 years earlier to avoid a jail sentence for drugging and raping a girl of 13 (a crime he had pleaded down to unlawful sex with a minor).....

In defending their friend, the points made by his allies amounted to these: (1) The crime wasn't that bad; (2) it was bad, but it was so long ago that it no longer mattered; (3) Polanski had suffered already: Family members had died in concentration camps, and his wife and unborn child were murdered; and (4) it might have mattered if it had been done by a lesser creative talent, but middle-class standards of law and of morals do not apply to artistes such as he. Their attitude was prefigured by Tom Shales of the Washington Post in a sympathetic June 9, 2008, review of a sympathetic HBO documentary, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired: "Polanski belongs to a rarefied subculture: celebrities hounded by the state."....

The second break came on the night of October l. David Letterman started off his opening monologue not with some straying governor's problem, but with a problem much closer to home. As he told his audience (which laughed and clapped, as it thought he was joking), he had played around with a great many women who were in his employ, and a CBS news producer had tried to extort him, threatening to go public with numerous scandals unless paid $2 million. Among the details which surfaced quite quickly: Dave and the producer had been sharing a woman, which made this affair slightly more creepy than that of Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina, though less so than those of John Edwards and former governors Jim McGreevey of New Jersey and Eliot Spitzer of New York.....

Nonetheless, Tom Shales was there again to offer solace: "One of the many sad things," he lamented, was that now Letterman would be "lumped in with other sexually misbehaving celebrities, even though he stands head and heart above most of them." Though not an artiste on the scale of Polanski, Letterman was artist enough that he should still be allowed to lampoon political figures whose transgressions were no worse than his was, not to mention being free to slime other politicians with no transgressions whatever, such as when he had called Sarah Palin "slutty" and joked that her 14-year-old daughter had been "knocked up." Palin deserved it, Shales explained, as she was a "two bit politician." It's how Letterman shows his great heart.

Go read the whole thing. There is much good commentary on the double standard liberals use when dealing with the bad folks in there world (there are none) and bad folks and those who are not even bad folks in the conservative world.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Diabetes and Life and Death

Saturday, Oct 17, is the Walk to Cure Diabetes here in San Antonio. It is to raise cure research dollars for the JDRF -- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I'll be walking with my 12-year-old daughter. Our 16-year-old who actually has juvenile (type 1) diabetes can't be there because she's on the cross country team and will be at a meet, running 2 miles in about 15 minutes. She's been off for a few weeks so she's slower than she's been all year. That’s right, 7.5 minute miles are slow to her.

This post is not to ask for donations for diabetes, I’m doing that in other places. This post is ask that if you have diabetes, or know someone that does -- get educated on what it is and how it works. And how the medication works. Insulin or pills. It's serious stuff.

Diabetes kills approximately 60,000 people a year. I'd like to see that go down. A lot.

Last night they had a pizza party for our JDRF walk team. I met the parents whose daughter with juvenile (type 1) diabetes died in her sleep of a low blood sugar exactly one year ago that day. She was not a child. She was an adult who developed type 1 diabetes as a child. She had diabetes all her life. She had grown up with it. She had been very active in the walk, along with many of the relatives there last night as well. She treated her low blood sugar wrong and didn't wake up.

This shook me to the core. From every direction -- sadness, disbelief, gratitude and appreciation.

First, in sadness and empathy for the parents who were doing their best, but it was the one year anniversary of their daughter's death. It was a tough day for them. There weren't enough hugs in the world to bring their daughter back, and they were a lovely couple who cherished their child. They were still very much in the grieving process. God Bless them.

Secondly, I can't readily describe what I felt about how this could possibly happen today. I'm going to go with “exasperation” to describe it, but that word doesn't cover all that I was feeling. Here we are in the age of information overload and the important stuff isn't getting through!
Information flies at us 24/7 from every direction -- television, radio, web, animated billboards, iPods, GPSs, smart phones, even dumb phones push tons of info. It's so overwhelming, I feel like I have to cover my eyes and ears to keep from going deaf and blind from overload. I walk through the mall or into people’s houses and the radio, television, computer, iPods, phones and other devices are all shouting for attention to give you their particular bit of information.

That brings me to the other thing I felt: gratitude for my good fortune. We're lucky parents. That's why my daughter is doing great. She has never been hospitalized-ever-for her type 1 diabetes. And that is a very, very rare thing. She was lucky, we were lucky. We knew all about diabetes and insulin when she was diagnosed. She accidentally fell in to diabetes at the highest level of care, thanks to us having the right information because I was in the diabetes business. So instead of walking to raise money tomorrow, our juvenile diabetic will be running--as fast as any kid who doesn't have a life-threatening chronic disease. In fact, she often outruns a lot of the "normal" kids. Her sister and I will be doing the walking part.

Meanwhile, we are a culture on information overload and yet the simple basics of how insulin and other diabetes things works STILL is not well explained, and/or not explained enough. If it was, diabetes would be much less of a problem. And this woman would be alive. And these parents would not have been grieving.

We have a problem. The information faucet is turned on full force. We're drinking from a fire hydrant sized pipe. But most of it is useless. The good stuff isn't getting through. Not just for diabetes, but for all information, whether how to fix a leaky pipe or whether some piece of legislation is good or bad.

But guess what, that's how life works. If you have an issue, it is up to you, not the government, not the media, not your doctor, not your nurse -- no, it's up to you to ask the questions -- and go find out what the question are that need to be asked. Simple things like "What is insulin and what does it do?" And "What if... this happens? Or that happens?"

Or questions like, “If it’s supposed to reduce costs, how come it costs a trillion dollars?”

No matter how much information gets pushed to us, or how much our government or anyone else tries to help, it just doesn't mean a thing compared to taking action for ourselves and doing something.

If you want to help cure diabetes, you can go find the JDRF website and donate. And I'd like that because my daughter could use a cure. But that cure may be 5 years away. Maybe 10. Who knows. I’ll be happy when it’s here though.

You can make a difference today if you or someone you love has diabetes. Go ask questions. And don’t stop until you have answers that you understand and can use in your daily life. Make sure you or that person you love with diabetes understands how diabetes and insulin and pills work. And that behavior is crucial in the equation. Until then, be very, very careful. It's a matter of life, and death. Every single day.

written by RayH