Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cleaning Up After Biden, Gibbs Makes Himself A Laughingstock

Cleaning Up After Biden, Gibbs Makes Himself A LaughingstockJ | FinkelBlog

As it often the case nowadays, it was questioning by ABC’s Jake Tapper that put Gibbs on the spot.

JAKE TAPPER: My other question has to do with remarks Vice-President Biden made this morning on television. Representatives of the travel industry have accused the Vice-President of coming close to fear-mongering because of his comments. I’m wondering if you wanted to clarify, or correct or apologize for the remarks that he made.

ROBERT GIBBS: Well, what the Vice-President meant to say [at this point, some laughter in the press corps can be heard] is that again, many members have said in the last few days: if you feel sick, if you’re exhibiting symptoms, flu-like symptoms: coughing, sneezing, runny nose, that you should take precautions, that you should limit your travel. And I just think he just: what he said and what he meant to say.

TAPPER: With all due respect, and I sympathize with you trying to explain the Vice-President’s comments, but that’s not even remotely close to what he said. He was asked about if a member of his family were to –

GIBBS: I understand what he said, and I’m telling you what he meant to say, which was that –

At this point, the loud and unrestrained laughter of the press corps can be heard.

GIBBS: — if someone is experiencing symptoms, you heard the President last night, if someone is feeling sick, exhibiting symptoms of being sick, then they should take all necessary precautions. Obviously if anybody was unduly alarmed for whatever reason, we would apologize for that and I hope that my remarks and remarks of people at the CDC and Secretary Napolitano have appropriately cleared up what he meant to say.

monkapotamus picks up the meme

Scare Force One ::: The Photoshopping Continues

New Photoshop Contest, Obama Air Force One Photo OP

My original fave:

My new fave:

Some other super fun ones:


Obamamania or overkill? President marks his first 100 days in office with THREE HUNDRED photos... all of him

Obamamania or overkill? President marks his first 100 days in office with THREE HUNDRED photos... all of him | Mail Online

Feel the self-love.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Follow-Up Q

Dennis Prager: Nine Questions the Left Needs to Answer About Torture:

from FReeper Ancesthntr:

How would you justify to the families of the victims of the next terror attack your preventing of the use of a method of extracting information that would have been uncomfortable for the murdering terrorist, but which would have had a high likelihood of preventing the attack?

Prager ::: Nine Questions the Left Needs to Answer About Torture - Printer Friendly

Any human being with a functioning conscience or a decent heart loathes torture. Its exercise has been a blight on humanity. With this in mind, those who oppose what the Bush administration did to some terror suspects may be justified. But in order to ascertain whether they are, they need to respond to some questions:

1. Given how much you rightly hate torture, why did you oppose the removal of Saddam Hussein, whose prisons engaged in far more hideous tortures, on thousands of times more people, than America did -- all of whom, moreover, were individuals and families who either did nothing or simply opposed tyranny? One assumes, furthermore, that all those Iraqi innocents Saddam had put into shredding machines or whose tongues were cut out and other hideous tortures would have begged to be waterboarded.

2. Are all forms of painful pressure equally morally objectionable? In other words, are you willing to acknowledge that there are gradations of torture as, for example, there are gradations of burns, with a third-degree burn considerably more injurious and painful than a first-degree burn? Or is all painful treatment to be considered torture? Just as you, correctly, ask proponents of waterboarding where they draw their line, you, too, must explain where you draw your line.

3. Is any maltreatment of anyone at any time -- even a high-level terrorist with knowledge that would likely save innocents’ lives -- wrong? If there is no question about the identity of a terror suspect , and he can provide information on al-Qaida -- for the sake of clarity, let us imagine that Osama Bin Laden himself were captured -- could America do any form of enhanced interrogation involving pain and/or deprivation to him that you would consider moral and therefore support?

4. If lawyers will be prosecuted for giving legal advice to an administration that you consider immoral and illegal, do you concede that this might inhibit lawyers in the future from giving unpopular but sincerely argued advice to the government in any sensitive area? They will, after all, know that if the next administration disapproves of their work, they will be vilified by the media and prosecuted by the government.

5. Presumably you would acknowledge that the release of the classified reports on the handling of high-level, post-Sept. 11 terror suspects would inflame passions in many parts of the Muslim world. If innocents were murdered because nonviolent cartoons of Muhammad were published in a Danish newspaper, presumably far more innocents will be tortured and murdered with the release of these reports and photos. Do you accept any moral responsibility for any ensuing violence against American and other civilians?

6. Many members of the intelligence community now feel betrayed and believe that the intelligence community will be weakened in their ability to fight the most vicious organized groups in the world. As reported in the Washington Post, former intelligence officer “(Mark) Lowenthal said that fear has paralyzed agents on the ground. Apparently, many of those in the know are certain that life-saving information was gleaned from high level terror suspects who were waterboarded. As Mike Scheuer, former head of the CIA unit in charge of tracking Osama bin Laden, said, ”We were very certain that the interrogation procedures procured information that was worth having.” If, then, the intelligence community has been adversely affected, do you believe it can still do the work necessary to protect tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of people from death and maiming?

7. Will you seek to prosecute members of Congress such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who were made aware of the waterboarding of high-level suspects and voiced no objections?

8. Would you agree to releasing the photos of the treatment of Islamic terrorists only if accompanied by photos of what their terror has done to thousands of innocent people around the world? Would you agree to photos -- or at least photo re-enactments -- of, let us say, Iraqi children whose faces were torn off with piano wire by Islamists in Iraq? If not, why not? Isn’t context of some significance here?

9. You say that America’s treatment of terror suspects will cause terrorists to treat their captives, especially Americans, more cruelly. On what grounds do you assert this? Did America’s far more moral treatment of Japanese prisoners than Japan’s treatment of American prisoners in World War II have any impact on how the Japanese treated American and other prisoners of war? Do you think that evil people care how morally pure America is?

If you do not address these questions, it would appear that you care less about morality and torture than about vengeance against the Bush administration.

Friday, April 24, 2009

On to the revolution! ::: Holdouts for Humble Bulb Defy a Government Phase-Out -

Tunbridge Wells Journal - Holdouts for Humble Bulb Defy a Government Phase-Out -

Tunbridge Wells Journal

Holdouts for Humble Bulb Defy a Government Phase-Out

TUNBRIDGE WELLS, England — On a quaint lane called Camden Street, the sidewalk easel stands out for its apocalyptic tone: “100-WATT BULBS IN STOCK. (FOR HOW LONG WE DO NOT KNOW)”

“Let some government official come in and tell me I can’t sell these,” Jonathan Wright, who has owned Classic Lighting for 40 years, said defiantly as he surveyed his warren of upscale light fixtures and shelves filled with neatly stacked bulbs. “I’ll find them wherever I can get them and sell them for whatever they cost. People are buying in bulk because they want them.”

Mr. Wright says that in the last two months he has sold 3,000 of the 100-watt bulbs — the traditional mainstay of British light fixtures — more than 30 times the usual. People are buying 10 at a time, the limit per customer, even though their price is nearly 50 percent higher than it was a year ago.

Mr. Wright’s store is on the front lines of resistance to controversial global efforts to end the era of energy-gobbling incandescent light bulbs by phasing out their sale to encourage (or in Mr. Wright’s view, force) people to turn to more efficient compact fluorescents.

In Tunbridge Wells, the phase-out has brought howls of protest from people not normally prone to rebellion. This is, after all, the quintessential well-heeled English middle-class city — a place where Marks and Spencer is the epicenter of a high street dotted with bookstores and cafes, where people still wear Wellington boots and Conservatives win nearly every election.

Jenny Gale, 60, who said she had tried compact fluorescents while living in India, dislikes the new bulbs. “You can still find the old ones in stores that have some left, and for after that I’ll be stockpiling,” she said. “I’m not going to buy the new ones; I refuse. I hate the light.” [So do I!]

Countries like Australia, Canada, the United States and the European Union nations have drafted varying plans to ban or restrict the sale of incandescent bulbs in the next few years. In the United States, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. effectively bans the sale of almost all incandescent bulbs by 2014, although last year Representative Michele Bachman, a Minnesota Republican, introduced the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that would overturn it.

You know government has gotten out of control when we're at the point where we have to issue a "Lightbulb Freedom of Choice Act". God bless Michele Bachman... she's pretty hot too. (lol)

Calif. school tries segregation to boost scores

Calif. school tries segregation to boost scores - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Associated Press - April 22, 2009 2:45 PM ET

ELK GROVE, Calif. (AP) - Some parents in a Sacramento suburb are upset after school officials segregated students by race in a move designed to boost test scores.

Students at Laguna Creek High School in Elk Grove were divided by race this week for what the school called "heritage assemblies." The gatherings were designed to motivate students to do better on standardized achievement tests.

That upset Tracy and Herbert Houston, a mixed-race couple who say their son was confused about which rally to attend.

Principal Doug Craig said dividing students by race allowed teachers to talk about test scores without singling out one group in a negative way.

Such race-based assemblies have been practiced in other California schools that are struggling to close student achievement gaps.

Dear Leader time again ::: President Obama Requests May Sweeps Timeslot

President Obama Requests May Sweeps Timeslot - Today's News: Our Take |

President Barack Obama has asked to make a prime-time appearance during May sweeps.

White House officials have requested up to an hour of airtime for Wednesday, April 29, according to TV Week. The press conference, which falls on the 100th day of Obama's presidency, will probably air in the 8 o'clock hour and address questions of the president's performance.

Broadcast networks have not yet announced their response, but a source said that they will most likely agree to the administration's request.

Will you tune in to President Obama's "100 Days" press conference? Or have there been too many already?

At least he's asking for a Wednesday this time so as not to pre-empt American Idol for a third time. Well, except for the results show maybe...

: |

The poor networks... how torn they must be... their big cashola week vs. their messiah... two gods to choose from... decisions, decisions...

Re: Texas Starts with T ::: The Tea Party in 12 Easy Minutes

Great quote for the folks in the video...

First they ignore you,
then they ridicule you,
then they fight you,
then you win.

Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On the Tea Party ::: NYT: Cable Wars Are Killing Objectivity

I'm not surprised that the irony of the title vis a vis the source was lost on the writer. (Although the piece is relatively fairly written.)

The Media Equation - Cable Wars Are Killing Objectivity -
Published: April 19, 2009

Apparently there is an ingredient in tea that causes hysteria when given to cable news anchors. How else to explain the coverage of the tax day tea parties on Wednesday, which was the day when we procrastinators finally mailed the check to the feds?

The movement — if that’s what it is — was spawned by a rant on Feb. 19 from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange during a live report by the CNBC reporter — if that’s what he is — Rick Santelli, suggesting that it was time to organize a “tea party” to protest government spending on failed mortgages.

The cable news networks took it from there. Fox News, after running more than 100 promos about its coverage of the event, which did a pretty effective job of marketing them at the same time, had wall-to-wall coverage on the anointed day and dispatched four of its leading hosts around the country to perform a kind of hybrid task, covering events that they also seemed to be leading.

And in the increasingly politicized environment between the covered and coverers, Susan Roesgen of CNN, covering a tax protest in Chicago, could not have been more contemptuous of the people she was interviewing, shaking her finger at them and shouting them down. In a move that I’m sure freaked out her bosses, she suggested that the protests were “antigovernment, anti-CNN.”

Rachel Maddow of MSNBC frantically belittled the rhetoric and motives of those involved in the tea party events, even as she spent oodles of air time on the rallies.

Cable news stations have been criticized for “event-izing” all manner of minor news occurrences — President Obama’s first news conference comes to mind. But the Tax Day Tea Party was all but conceived, executed and deconstructed in the hothouse of cable news wars.

It used to be that cable networks would dispatch reporters to the same event and then head back to the studio where shouters from various sides would have it out. Now, in a kind of Hearstian twist, the news media are supplying both the pictures and the war.

“Bring your kids and experience history,” Glenn Beck advised on Fox News as he invited people to join him at the Alamo for a tax day protest, because, he said, “our kids are being sold into slavery.”

It was a kind of al fresco Howard Beale moment, an opportunity to gather in a group and shout about very real rage — these are scary times for all working people — that is nonetheless inchoate and unnameable. The burden being placed on the American economy and future generations is a significant issue — according to, more than 300,000 people attended rallies in 346 cities — but the event that gave voice to those concerns was far from spontaneous.

The numbers that drove the fervor are not the kind that appear on a 1040 form. Last Wednesday night from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., Fox News had an average of almost 3.4 million viewers, up more than a million compared with its average in March. MSNBC got a bump as well, with 250,000 more viewers, while CNN was only slightly up.

In a sense, we seem to be returning to the days of the party press, where news outlets reflected viewpoints of specific wings of political thought. So perhaps the invocation of an event that took place in 1773 is not that far off the mark.

Even if the historic message of no taxation absent representation doesn’t really scan because the current president won election decisively in a free and open election, the Tea Act that drew the scorn of colonials was, at bottom, a bailout of the East India Company, which was close to bankruptcy after huge misadventures in India. With bankers thumbing rolls of federal billions, the homage to the original Boston Tea Party was not quite a non sequitur.

“The original tea party was something of a media event,” said Robert J. Allison, professor and chair of the history department at Suffolk University and author of “The Boston Tea Party.” “The papers at the time were very politicized and did a lot of campaigning during the run-up to the event.”

He added: “When you think about it, they could have done worse than a bag of tea in terms of symbols. As a historian, I am charmed and fascinated that something that provoked the original revolution still has such resonance.”

The tea references are not the problem. When a media company sets itself as the party of opposition, it can have unforeseen consequences. The theatrics make it hard to tell where talk of secession — the governor of Texas made a veiled threat — states’ rights and stringing up public officials transforms from hyperbole to reality.

The president was likened to Hitler on various posters at rallies, and a sign in Lafayette Park read, “Stand Idle While Some Kenyan Destroys America? I Don’t Think So.”

The Fox Business reporter Cody Willard got in the spirit of things covering a Boston rally by suggesting that conservatives and liberals were “both fascists who are taking my money and building up corporate America with my welfare.”

You have to worry whether something that was intended to goose ratings and kick up debate could metastasize when it meets some of the baser urges of the fringe, among people who don’t come out to rallies but are sitting in a basement steeped in their own misanthropy.

“Together, they will draw a line in the sand, here, where it was originally drawn, live, at the Alamo,” Mr. Beck said as Ted Nugent served up tasty guitar fills. Then Mr. Beck inveighed against Washington, the media, Democrats, Republicans, politicians — you know, everyone who was not standing there at the Alamo.

It had all the earmarks of a stump speech, replete with soaring applause lines and calls to action. But let’s remember: the only thing Mr. Beck and the rest are running for is first place in the demo.

LOL ::: Obama calling on Cabinet to cut spending

Drudge headline:
BOLD: OBAMA VOWS TO CUT $100,000,000 FROM $3,550,000,000,000 BUDGET!

Their headline:
My Way News - Obama calling on Cabinet to cut spending

Their story:


WASHINGTON (AP) - A senior administration officials says President Barack Obama is ready to ask federal department and agency chiefs to find $100 million to cut from the budget when he holds his first formal Cabinet meeting.

The official previewed Topic A for Monday's Cabinet meeting on grounds of anonymity because it will be a private session. He said Obama will be reminding Cabinet members that financially-pressed families are looking to the government to spend their money wisely.

The president's first formal Cabinet meeting is being held just days after a series of "Tea Party" demonstrations across the country in which protesters challenged the administration over it's massive spending. A cut of $100 million in a multitrillion-dollar federal budget likely will be criticized by Obama's opponents as inadequate.

Yes, just his opponents will find it inadequate. Everyone else - his proponents, I presume - will be thrilled with the toughness of an infinitesimal request for a trim.

From Morissey at HotAir:

* $100 million from a $3.5 trillion budget for FY2010: 0.0029% * $100 million from the $1.2 trillion White House deficit projection for their FY2010 budget: 0.008%

* $100 million from the $700 billion Porkulus stimulus bill Obama demanded: 0.013%

* $100 million from the $634 billion “down payment” on nationalized health care: 0.016%

* $100 million from the $555 billion omnibus spending plan completing the 2009 budget: 0.018%

* $100 million from the $13 billion in pork from the omnibus spending plan: 0.77%

Monday, April 20, 2009

Video ::: Western Diplomats Walk Out En Masse On Ahmadinejad

YouTube - Western Diplomats Walk Out In Mass [sic] On Ahmadinejad Speech On Racism

It's great that a bunch of people walked out on the madman (even tho' all this was predictable and showing up was a time-waster to begin with). And it didn't stop a slew of "folks" cheering Ahmonajihad on. Yeesh.

Chavez and Obama ::: Whassup!

U.S. President Barack Obama greets his Venezuelan counterpart ... - Yahoo! News Photos

Another protocol error... clearly someone forgot to mention to Obama that Chavez has called him "el negro" and an ignoramus. Not to mention calling for the destruction of America too.

: |

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Thomas Sowell : Random Thoughts ::: April 2009

Thomas Sowell : Random Thoughts -

Just a few of my faves:
We seem to be moving steadily in the direction of a society where no one is responsible for what he himself did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did, either in the present or in the past.

We have now reached the truly dangerous point where we cannot even be warned about the lethal, fanatical and suicidal hatred of our society by Islamic extremists, because to do so would be politically incorrect and, in some European countries, would be a violation of the law against inciting hostility to groups.

How a man who holds the entire population of a country as his prisoners, and punishes the families of those who escape, can be admired by people who call themselves liberals is one of the many wonders of the human mind's ability to rationalize. Yet such is the case with Fidel Castro.

What does "economic justice" mean, except that you want something that someone else produced, without having to produce anything yourself in return?

Liberals seem to think that they are doing lagging groups a favor by making excuses for counterproductive and self-destructive behavior. The poor do not need press agents. They need the truth. No one ever said, "Press agents will make you free."

Socialists believe in government ownership of the means of production. Fascists believed in government control of privately owned businesses, which is much more the style of this government. That way, politicians can intervene whenever they feel like it and then, when their interventions turn out badly, summon executives from the private sector before Congress and denounce them on nationwide television.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Partied-Out CNN Reporter Takes a Break

Partied-Out CNN Reporter Takes a Break - TVNewser

Partied-Out CNN Reporter Takes a Break

Roesgen_4.17.jpgTwo days after Susan Roesgen's much talked-about Chicago Tea Party live shots, we are learning more about what happened off-camera.

Sources close to the situation tell TVNewser as Roesgen was reporting her 2pmET live shot for CNN, she heard shouts from the crowd including "Damn CNN" and "Shut up, bitch."

As we now know, Roesgen wrapped up the live shot, saying "I think you get the general tenor of this," that it was "not really family viewing" from an "Anti-CNN" crowd.

Our source says Roesgen received an avalanche of email messages, some supportive, and some "vitriolic with crude insults."

CNN denies reports that Roesgen's email was shut down. A spokesperson tells TVNewser many people were emailing what they believed to be Roesgen's CNN account, but it was actually a non-existent inbox. Her email account was and continues to be active.

So far Roesgen is not talking publicly about the situation. CNN tells us she's now on a previously-planned vacation.

Click continued to see a longer version of Wednesday's 2pmET live shot...

Related: Gawker reports Roesgen twice applied for a job at "the right-wing conservative network Fox."

Coming Soon: Fitna Part II

Islam In Action: Coming Soon:Fitna Part II

Coming Soon:Fitna Part II

Tireless Dutch politician Geert Wilders who is by far the bravest politician in Europe is getting ready for his "next phase" in his war on Islam. He has announced that he will start working on Fitna Part II, which will focus on Muslim immigration in Europe and the USA. As I have stated in the past, Muslim immigration is the Trojan Horse to the West and it must be ended.

Fitna Part I can be viewed here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

LOL ::: Perry response makes Daily Mail

The UK once again with more coverage of American politics than our own news "organs".

Texas could bid for independence, says Governor as fury over Obama's spending rises | Mail Online

Texas could bid for independence, says Governor as fury over Obama's spending rises

By Sarah Titterton
Last updated at 4:29 PM on 16th April 2009

The governor of Texas has suggested that his state could secede from the Union after accusing the federal government of strangling Americans with taxation and debt.

Governor Rick Perry whipped his 'patriotic' supporters into a frenzy during tax protests yesterday, with many waving flags and shouting 'Secede!'

He later backtracked, telling reporters later that there was 'absolutely no reason to dissolve [the Union]'.

Enlarge 'How do you like Change so far?': Texan governor Rick Perry, foreground, threatens Texan independence at the 'Don't Mess with Texas' tea party protest yesterday

'How do you like Change so far?': Texan governor Rick Perry, foreground, threatens Texan independence at the 'Don't Mess with Texas' tea party protest yesterday

Answer to my question is quoted!

News Radio 1200 WOAI San Antonio Texas

Texas Governor Rick Perry fired up the noontime crowd at the Tea Party rally in Austin today, suggesting at one point Texans might support seceding from the union.

Perry was one of many speakers at what was billed as the 'don't mess with Texas tea party.'

“When we joined the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that,” Perry told reporters following the event. “My hope is that America and Washington in particular pays attention.

We got a great union. There is absolutely no reason to dissolve it, but if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what may come of that. Texas is a very unique place. We are a pretty independent lot to boot.”

Perry also blasted a Department of Homeland Security report warning of the danger of ‘right wing extremism.’

“I have no idea who that numbskull was who wrote that, but you probably can’t find him at the Department of Homeland Security today. He’s probably in deep hiding.”

God bless the Republic

God bless America, a country where over your morning coffee you think of a question you'd like to ask your Governor and by lunchtime you have your answer.

Austin Texas Tea Party Photos

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

RUSH IN A HURRY -- Obama Report on Right-Wing Radicals Like You

RUSH IN A HURRY -- Obama Report on Right-Wing Radicals Like You

Plus lots of great transcripts at link.

Tea Parties Forever (Krugman psycho rant - Tea Party/Tax Revolt updates and links)

Tea Parties Forever (Krugman psycho rant - Tea Party/Tax Revolt updates and links)

The Amazing Camille ::: Bow-ow-ow: Obama's painful missteps | Salon

Bow-ow-ow: Obama's painful missteps | Salon

April 8, 2009 | Dear Camille,

In your column, you say, "President Obama has been ill-served by his advisors and staff."

The primary job requirement of a good senior executive is the ability to judge character and ability, in order to be able to select people to whom responsibilities may be safely delegated. If these advisors and staff are inadequate, the responsibility for their failures should be laid at the feet of the person who was ultimately responsible for their selection and placement.


You are absolutely correct! The buck stops with the top executive. But we all know how little executive experience Barack Obama has had. He was elected for his vision and his steady, deliberative character, not his résumé. For better or worse, Obama is learning as he goes -- and surely most fair-minded people would grant him reasonable leeway as he grows into the presidency, one of the hardest jobs in the world.

At a certain point, however, Obama will face an inescapable administrative crux. Arriving at the White House, he understandably stayed in his comfort zone by bringing old friends and allies with him -- a team that had had a fabulous success in devising the hard-as-nails strategy that toppled the Clintons, like crumbling colossi, into yesterday's news. But these comrades may not have the practical skills or broad perspective to help Obama govern. Like Shakespeare's Prince Hal ascending the throne, Obama may have to steel his heart and banish Falstaff and the whole frat-house crew.

Obama's staffing problems are blatant -- from that bleating boy of a treasury secretary to what appears to be a total vacuum where a chief of protocol should be. There has been one needless gaffe after another -- from the president's tacky appearance on a late-night comedy show to the kitsch gifts given to the British prime minister, followed by the sweater-clad first lady's over-familiarity with the queen and culminating in the jaw-dropping spectacle of a president of the United States bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia. Why was protest about the latter indignity confined to conservatives? The silence of the major media was a disgrace. But I attribute that embarrassing incident not to Obama's sinister or naive appeasement of the Muslim world but to a simple if costly breakdown in basic command of protocol.

Video: President Obama bowing to Saudi King Abdullah during the G-20 summit

Enough already! These slips are worsening the anti-Obama backlash, which began with the administration's bungled handling of the grotesquely swollen stimulus package. Conservatives seem deliriously drunk with their cartoon picture of Obama, to whom is glibly attributed every pathology in the book. Yes, there were ambiguities about Obama's birth certificate that have never been satisfactorily resolved. And the embargo on Obama's educational records remains troubling. But I am still waiting for hard evidence about the host of other charges that are continually being hammered against him -- from his alleged fidelity to the crypto-tactics of Chicago leftist Saul Alinsky to the questions raised by right-wingers about the production of Obama's two memoirs. Out of respect for the presidency, conservatives need to put up or shut up about these issues.

I still strongly believe in Obama's promise as a world leader. I was thrilled, for example, by his call this week for an end to nuclear weapons -- a goal that he frankly admitted would not be attained in his lifetime. We have waited a long time for an American president who dreams big. Yes, there are bitter cells of fanatics everywhere who hate America and want a repeat of 9/11. And yes, there will always be petty dictators who covet the bomb and conspire to get it. But the mass of people around the world want to be inspired to a higher good. Whether the Obama presidency succeeds or fails will depend on his ability to sustain his ideals in the face of the testing crises that will inevitably erupt in far-flung regions where ethnic or religious strife has been a way of life for thousands of years. And closer to home, Obama will need to cut the umbilical to his hometown posse, whose inefficiency and poor decision-making took the shine off his honeymoon and brought the dispirited Republicans back from the dead.

Monday, April 13, 2009

(the brilliant) Mark Steyn: Civilization walking the plank

Mark Steyn: Civilization walking the plank | distraction, world, pirates, states, distractions - Opinion -

Civilization walking the plank

Pirate problem joins North Korean missile, Iranian nukes as 'distractions' for Obama.

Mark Steyn
Mark Steyn
Syndicated columnist

The Reuters headline put it this way: "Pirates Pose Annoying Distraction For Obama."

So many distractions, aren't there? Only a week ago, the North Korean missile test was an "annoying distraction" from Barack Obama's call for a world without nuclear weapons and his pledge that America would lead the way in disarming. And only a couple of days earlier the president insisted Iraq was a "distraction" – from what, I forget: The cooing press coverage of Michelle's wardrobe? No doubt when the Iranians nuke Israel, that, too, will be an unwelcome distraction from the administration's plans for federally subsidized day care, just as Pearl Harbor was an annoying distraction from the New Deal, and the First World War was an annoying distraction from the Archduke Franz Ferdinand's dinner plans

If the incompetent management driving The New York Times from junk status to oblivion wished to decelerate their terminal decline, they might usefully amend their motto to "All The News That's Fit To Distract." Tom Blumer of Newsbusters notes that in the past 30 days there have been some 2,500 stories featuring Obama and "distractions," as opposed to about 800 "distractions" for Bush in his entire second term. The sub-headline of the Reuters story suggests the unprecedented pace at which the mountain of distractions is piling up: "First North Korea, Iran – now Somali pirates."

Er, OK. So the North Korean test is a "distraction," the Iranian nuclear program is a "distraction," and the seizure of a U.S.-flagged vessel in international waters is a "distraction." Maybe it would be easier just to have the official State Department maps reprinted with the Rest of the World relabeled "Distractions." Oh, to be sure, you could still have occasional oases of presidential photo-opportunities – Buckingham Palace, that square in Prague – but with the land beyond the edge of the Queen's gardens ominously marked "Here be distractions…"

As it happens, Somali piracy is not a distraction but a glimpse of the world the day after tomorrow. In my book "America Alone," I quote Robert D. Kaplan referring to the lawless fringes of the map as "Indian Territory." It's a droll jest but a misleading one, since the very phrase presumes that the badlands one day will be brought within the bounds of the ordered world. In fact, a lot of today's badlands were relatively ordered not so long ago, and many of them are getting badder and badder by the day. Half a century back, Somaliland was a couple of sleepy colonies, British and Italian, poor but functioning. Then it became a state, and then a failed state, and now the husk of a nation is a convenient squat from which to make mischief. According to Chatham House in London, Somali pirates made about $30 million in ransom and booty last year. Thirty mil goes a long way in Somalia, making piracy a very attractive proposition.

It's also a low-risk one. Once upon a time we killed and captured pirates. Today, it's all more complicated. Attorney General Eric Holder has declined to say whether the kidnappers of the American captain will be "brought to justice" by the U.S. "I'm not sure exactly what would happen next," declares the chief law-enforcement official of the world's superpower. But some things we can say for certain. Obviously, if the United States Navy hanged some eye-patched, peg-legged blackguard from the yardarm or made him walk the plank, pious senators would rise to denounce an America that no longer lived up to its highest ideals, and the network talking-heads would argue that Plankgate was recruiting more and more young men to the pirates' cause, and judges would rule that pirates were entitled to the protections of the U.S. Constitution and that their peg legs had to be replaced by high-tech prosthetic limbs at taxpayer expense.

Meanwhile, the Royal Navy, which over the centuries did more than anyone to rid the civilized world of the menace of piracy, now declines even to risk capturing their Somali successors, having been advised by Her Majesty's Government that, under the European Human Rights Act, any pirate taken into custody would be entitled to claim refugee status in the United Kingdom and live on welfare for the rest of his life. I doubt "Pirates of the Caribbean" would have cleaned up at the box office if the big finale had shown Geoffrey Rush and his crew of scurvy sea dogs settling down in council flats in Manchester and going down to the pub for a couple of jiggers of rum washed down to cries of "Aaaaargh, shiver me benefits check, lad." From "Avast, me hearties!" to a vast welfare scam is not progress.

In a world of legalisms, resistance is futile. The Royal Navy sailors kidnapped by Iran two years ago and humiliated by the mullahs on TV were operating under rules of engagement that call for "de-escalation" in the event of a confrontation. Which is to say their rules of engagement are rules of nonengagement. Likewise, merchant vessels equipped with cannon in the 18th century now sail unarmed. They contract with expensive private security firms, but those security teams do not carry guns: When the MV Biscaglia was seized by pirates in the Gulf of Aden last year, the Indian and Bangladeshi crew were taken hostage but the three unarmed guards from "Anti-Piracy Maritime Security Solutions" in London "escaped by jumping into the water." Some solution. When you make a lucrative activity low-risk, you get more of it.

As my colleague Andrew McCarthy wrote, "Civilization is not an evolution of mankind but the imposition of human good on human evil. It is not a historical inevitability. It is a battle that has to be fought every day, because evil doesn't recede willingly before the wheels of progress." Very true. Somalia, Iran and North Korea are all less "civilized" than they were a couple of generations ago. And yet in one sense they have made undeniable progress: They have globalized their pathologies. Somali pirates seize vessels the size of aircraft carriers flying the ensigns of the great powers. Iranian proxies run Gaza and much of Lebanon. North Korea's impoverished prison state provides nuclear technology to Damascus and Tehran. Unlovely as it is, Pyongyang nevertheless has friends on the Security Council. Powerful states protect one-man psycho states. One-man psycho states provide delivery systems to apocalyptic ideological states. Apocalyptic ideological states fund nonstate actors around the world. And in Somalia and elsewhere nonstate actors are constrained only by their ever increasing capabilities.

When all the world's a "distraction," maybe you're not the main event after all. Most wealthy nations lack the means to defend themselves. Those few that do, lack the will. Meanwhile, basket-case jurisdictions send out ever bolder freelance marauders to prey on the civilized world with impunity. Don't be surprised if "the civilized world" shrivels and retreats in the face of state-of-the-art reprimitivization. From piracy to nukes to the limp response of the hyperpower, this is not a "distraction" but a portent of the future.


Editorial ::: Triumph over earthly power

Triumph over earthly power | people, powers, authorities, death, earthly - Opinion -
Easter and Passover, signal celebrations in Christianity and Judaism, are linked through the calendar and through long tradition. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that they show other kinships, including some that might be surprising to some who are merely passive believers.

The most striking similarity is that both holidays represent liberation from and triumph over the powers that be in this world – the governmental/political structures of the times they commemorate – and, by implication, a sense of independence from the powers that rule this world in any era.

According to scripture, the people of Israel had been slaves in Egypt for many years, but Yahweh raised up and inspired the prophet Moses to demand that his people be liberated and allowed to leave the land of bondage. When pharaoh refused, 10 plagues were sent to afflict the land and change the ruler's mind, the last being the death of every firstborn son. In order for this plague to "pass over" the homes of the Israelites, they were instructed to kill a lamb and smear the blood above their doors. Thus began the liberation of the Hebrews as a people subject to God's laws rather than rule by other men.

When Jesus was preaching in Israel centuries later, the land was ruled by the Roman Empire. Aspects of his message of love, his promise of a direct relationship with God, of sublime indifference to earthly powers and those who wielded them, were viewed as deeply subversive by the authorities. He was sentenced to death and hung upon a cross to die, a form of execution designed to impose agonizing humiliation. Yet Christians believe that after suffering that death, he rose to new life – a triumph not only over the arrogance of the authorities but over death itself, and a victory that contained within it the promise of eternal life for those who believe in him.

The implications of these stories taken at face value can be shocking. They suggest that to be faithful and obedient to God, people must be free of allegiance and, perhaps, of obedience to earthly authorities. They suggest strongly that the custom of human beings ruling and lording it over other human beings is repugnant to the deity.

Those in churches and synagogues today who want to nuzzle up to earthly authorities, who think they can use the coercive powers that be to promote their visions of morality and decency may be taken aback by such an interpretation. But it might be worth thinking about as these great religions celebrate their roots.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Biden's Puppy Breeder: "Never, Never, Never Again"

Biden's Puppy Breeder: "Never, Never, Never Again":

Fifteen minutes of fame turned into four months of bitter remorse for the Chester County woman who sold the Bidens their adorable little German shepherd puppy.

Linda Brown's been investigated, scorned and had her life threatened.

"I thought when Joe Biden bought a puppy from me, what an honor," Brown told the Daily Local News. "Out of millions of breeders in the country, in the world, he picked me."

That was December.

When the story got out, Brown faced backlash from pet lovers who thought the Bidens should have opted for a shelter over a breeder to find their new puppy.

PETA seized the moment as an opportunity to blame the killing of shelter animals on people who buy from breeders. The organization's TV commercial, "Buy One, Get One Killed" ran in Delaware after the Biden puppy story made headlines.

Dog wardens from the state showed up at Brown's Wolf Den kennel, repeatedly, for inspections.

"I was cited for a piece of kibble on the floor and five strands of dog hair. They took a picture of that, they walked around, snapped pictures and don't tell you why," Brown told the newspaper.

She was found "not guilty" for each citation, but hiring a lawyer for the court hearings has cost her $4,000 so far in legal fees.

Brown says she and Biden both received death threats from animal activists.

"Never, never, never again," Brown said about selling a dog to anyone with a high profile.

"To: ConservativeMind

“It takes a liberal to kill something and blame someone else for it.”

Best line I’ve read or heard in a long time.

22 posted on Fri Apr 10 18:22:33 2009 by peggybac ('A Liberal is a person who will give away everything they don't own.')"

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Chavez in China Touts 'New World Order' -

Chavez in China Touts 'New World Order' -

BEIJING --Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said his two-day visit to Beijing this week is part of the creation of a "new world order."

The frequent U.S. critic told reporters that power in the world is shifting from America to countries such as Iran, Japan and China.

[Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Chinese President Hu Jintao] Reuters

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (left) shakes hands with Chinese President Hu Jintao during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

"We are creating a new world, a balanced world. A new world order, a multipolar world," Mr. Chavez said on arriving in China the evening before a scheduled Wednesday meeting with China's president and Communist Party leader Hu Jintao.

"The unipolar world has collapsed. The power of the U.S. empire has collapsed," he said. "Everyday, the new poles of world power are becoming stronger. Beijing, Tokyo, Tehran .. It's moving toward the East and toward the South."

Mr. Chavez has made Beijing a frequent stop in his global travels to promote his agenda of anti-American world unity, stopping in the Chinese capital no less than six times since rising to power in 1998 elections.


YouTube - Carla Bruni - Quelqu'un m'a dit

YouTube - Carla Bruni - Quelqu'un m'a dit

7 Lessons To Be Learned From Carla Bruni

Verena von Pfetten: 7 Lessons To Be Learned From Carla Bruni

I <3>

I <3 Dennis Miller ::: Bow Brouhaha ::: Vid from The Factor

Video ::: New Lil' O'Reilly

YouTube - Lil' O'Reilly - Obama's First Week

Monday, April 06, 2009

Wouldn't you like to be a Prepper too? ::: Dallas-Fort Worth's 'modern survivalists' are ready for layoffs - or war

Dallas-Fort Worth's 'modern survivalists' are ready for layoffs - or war | News |

Jack Spirko owns a media company, is married to a nurse and has a son in college. He has two dogs and lives in a nice house with a pool in a diversified neighborhood in Arlington.

Spirko, 36, considers himself an average guy with a normal life.

But for the past few years, Spirko has been stockpiling food, water, gas, guns and ammunition. He also has a load of red wine, Starbucks coffee and deodorant stashed away.

"I refer to myself as a modern survivalist, which means I don’t do without," Spirko explained. "I have a nice TV; I have nice furniture. We are not living in the sticks, but I take all of these things very seriously."

Spirko, an Army veteran and self-described "stark-raving-mad Libertarian," is part of a growing movement of people who are preparing for a disaster — natural, economic or man-made. Referred to as "modern survivalists" or "preppers," they are taking steps to protect and provide for their families should something bad happen.

Theirs is a different breed of survivalist, far from the right-wing militants or religious extremists who hole up in bunkers, live off the land and wait for the apocalypse.

Preppers are regular people with regular jobs who decided after 9-11, after Hurricane Katrina or when their 401(k)s tanked that they can’t rely on someone else to help them if something goes awry.

"We are normal people just like you," Spirko said. "We just understand that, sometimes, stuff goes wrong."

Prompted by Katrina

Donnie, 38, a McKinney resident who is an account executive with an international trade show organization, said Hurricane Katrina opened his eyes. He spent six weeks working as a paramedic in New Orleans.

"It was a logistical nightmare getting to the area," Donnie said. "And the longer you were there, the more you realized that, in a blink of an eye, your life can be turned upside down. I don’t want to be the person in the bread line or standing in line for ice."

Donnie, like many of those interviewed for this article, agreed to talk to the Star-Telegram on the condition that his last name not be used.

"I usually don’t advertise it," Donnie said. "There are people who cast a wary eye."

He said that after Katrina, he amassed about two weeks’ worth of food. But last September, after the economy began to sour, he "kicked into a higher gear" and acquired more supplies and water-filtration systems.

"I probably have about six months’ worth of food for two people," Donnie said. "I keep about 30 gallons of water on hand, and I have the means to store another 200 gallons if I have advance notice of something going bad."

Art Markman, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, said that when people start stockpiling food and water or buying weapons, they are in a motivational state called "avoidance mode."

"You turn on the news and only hear about job losses and the prospect that things are going to get worse than better," he said. "You see signals that the world is full of nasty things you need to avoid. You’ve engaged in this general sense of avoidance. You are trying to focus on safety concerns."

Markman said the trend is not surprising, given the economy.

What exactly preppers are preparing for isn’t specific. It could be a layoff, tornado, global pandemic or nuclear war.

Internet sites devoted to survivalism often refer to scenarios like TEOTWAWKI, an acronym for "the end of the world as we know it."

"I am prepared for just about any disaster that disrupts everyday living," said Bob, 43, a sales manager from eastern Pennsylvania who runs

"... The economy is at the forefront of my concerns. The unemployment rate is soaring, and most people are not prepared to be without a paycheck for a week, much less a month or longer," Bob said.

Booming business

Businesses that sell storable foods, disaster shelters and guns are thriving.

Bruce Hopkins, owner of Best Prices Storable Foods, which sells dehydrated and canned foods, said sales "exploded" last spring and remain steady. On a single day last week, Hopkins sold $31,000 worth of storable food. Hopkins said a popular item is a one-year food supply for a family of four or family of two, priced at $4,000 and $2,700, respectively.

"I think to have anything less than a month’s food supply is foolish," said Hopkins, whose business is in Quinlan, south of Greenville. "I think it is time to stop watching American Idol and start paying attention to what is going on in the world."

Walton McCarthy, owner and principal engineer of Radius Engineering International, builds underground disaster shelters that protect against nuclear, chemical and biological warfare, among other things.

He said his business has tripled since July, when reports of Iranian missile tests surfaced. McCarthy’s disaster shelters hold 10 to 300 people and cost $105,000 to $6 million. His customers include politicians, doctors and key executives.

"What we are going through now is the Pearl Harbor blues," said McCarthy, whose company is based in Forney, east of Dallas. "All of the ingredients are here. It is around the corner, and no one should be surprised."

At Cheaper Than Dirt Outdoor Adventures, a gun store in north Fort Worth, business has never been better. Owner Dewayne Irwin said he sees three types of customers: "You have the everyday good ol’ boy Texas gun owner. You have the folks that are coming in and saying, 'I’ve lost my job and my neighbor lost their job’ and they really believe they might have to fight over a bucket of carrots or something. And you have the guys who are first-time gun buyers and they don’t really know why. It is Main Street. It is crazy."

'Going back to my roots’

Spirko grew up in rural Pennsylvania, where hunting, fishing, gardening, and canning and storing food were a way of life.

"No one looked at that back then and said, 'These people were survivalists,’ " Spirko said. "That is just what you did."

After Spirko got out of the Army, he moved to Texas and started working in communications and sales.

"I found myself in my mid-20s pursuing corporate America, working the six-figure job and traveling all over the United States," Spirko said.

And then, Y2K happened or, rather, didn’t happen.

"I thought they were absolutely crazy," Spirko said. "They thought the toaster was going to explode when it goes to 2000 or whatever."

And while Spirko didn’t buy into the Y2K scare, he did think legitimate concerns had been raised.

"Right after that, we had the dot-com bubble explode. We had the stock market crash. My portfolio went down by 50 percent overnight. And then 9-11," he said. "I started going back to my roots and started to look at ways to preserve our cash and make sure we had some food on hand."

In July, Spirko launched a podcast for modern survivalists at He encourages people to pay down their debt and have extra cash, water and food and an evacuation plan. About the same time, he expanded his backyard garden, where he grows tomatoes, peas, corn, strawberries, onions and jalapeños, among other things.

"We had two big scares with produce last year — jalapeños and tomatoes," Spirko said. "First jalapeños had salmonella, and then tomatoes had salmonella. If that can happen, what other things can happen?"

Gwenn, 52, a self-described "girlvivalist," runs a lodging house in Beaumont. She has plenty of water, a year’s worth of food and a shotgun for protection.

"When we had Hurricane Ike here, a lot of my tenants didn’t evacuate," she said. "While my neighbors were standing in line for MREs [Meals Ready to Eat] at the shopping center, we were grilling steak."

Keeping it quiet

Many survivalists — Spirko is not one of them — are "closet preppers."

Afraid that they will be viewed as crazy or weird, they don’t tell people they are storing freeze-dried food, canning their own vegetables or setting up an alternate location where they can go if TEOTWAWKI arrives. They also don’t want "raiders" beating down their door if a disaster happens.

Bob said survivalists are often viewed — incorrectly — as doomsayers.

"Some people think we want the end of the world as we know it," he said. "I can tell you from my heart, I hope nothing like that ever happens. I want my sons to grow up and have a great life."

Still, Bob believes that everybody should at least have a 72-hour bag of gear, also known as a "bug-out bag," ready to go.

"Survival today is more about being prepared for short-term situations, like hurricanes, floods and blizzards," Bob said. ". . . Learn some basic skills like gardening, first aid and personal defense. Become self-reliant like our grandparents were."

Jordan Mills, 30, an information technology contractor in downtown Houston, put his bug-out bag to good use during Hurricanes Rita and Ike. In it, he keeps his birth certificate, medical records, cash, food, water, flashlights, tape, garbage bags, clothes and other supplies.

Mills said he didn’t choose the "survivalist" label, but others have called him that.

"The word brings to my mind an image of a gruff mountain man with a log cabin, 10 years of food stored up and enough guns to outfit a small army," he said. "I don’t meet that image at all. I consider the chance of a total collapse of society and the end of the world as we know it to be pretty much zero. To me, survivalism is really just preparing for day-to-day inconveniences or emergencies."

A growing community

Every morning, Spirko gets in his diesel Jetta and makes the 50-mile commute from Arlington to Frisco, where his media company is based.

During the drive, he records his daily podcast. He discusses things like storing food safely, finding alternative energy options, dealing with anti-survivalist stigma and finding time to prep.

"The more I dug in, the more I learned," he said. "And then something really cool happened: This community started to build around it."

Spirko said that about 4,000 people download his podcast each day and that his audience is growing.

"People are always waiting for someone else to come and help them," he said. "To me, survivalism is just waking back up to traditional American values. I’m talking about basic self-responsibility, basic self-worth — understanding that you control your life more than anybody else.

"If you do nothing, you may not regret it. But if you do regret it, you are really going to regret it."

Friday, April 03, 2009

You might be a redneck if... ::: Fight at Funeral Over Beer in Arkansas

Fight at Funeral Over Beer in Arkansas|, Memphis News,

MAGNOLIA, Ark. (AP) -- Sheriff's deputies say a Texas woman started a brawl at a wake in Arkansas when she arrived with a beer can in her hand.

Anna Sindelar, 52, of Splendora, Texas, faces third-degree domestic battery charges, as does Cynthia J. Hall, 46, of Magnolia, over the fight March 29. Deputies say Sindelar arrived at the Christies Chapel Church with a beer can in hand and that she refused to leave.

Sindelar is accused of grabbing a man by the face, leaving scratch marks on his lower right cheek and causing him to bleed. Hall, the man's mother, then allegedly slapped Sindelar and kicked another woman in the chest.

A sheriff's report claims Sindelar became 'passively aggressive' with deputies and said that 'no backwood country cop' was going to take her to jail.


Jimmy Fallon ::: 04/02/2009 - Breaking News, Politics, Commentary:

The new X-Men movie “Wolverine” is coming out this summer. The FBI is investigating how an HD version was leaked online. And as soon as the FBI solves it, they’ll get back to looking for bin Laden.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Leno Lolz ::: Feds in the car business - Breaking News, Politics, Commentary

President Obama is giving GM 60 days to come up with strategy of viability for spending taxpayers’ money. GM should have said to him, “Hey — you first.”

The federal government is saying they will back the warranties of the Chrysler or GM vehicles. Well that’s great news for consumers — combine the efficiency of the federal government with the honesty of car mechanics.

Imagine the government in the car business. Every time you hit OnStar, you’d get Joe Biden.

Obama also said if you buy a new car, you will able to deduct the sales tax from your income tax. Or you can just take a job at the White House and you wouldn’t have to pay taxes at all.

Suspicious Envelope Sent To Shea-Porter's Office ::: (Tea! LOL)

Suspicious Envelope Sent To Shea-Porter's Office ::: (Tea! LOL)

An envelope with a suspicious substance in it was sent to U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter's Manchester office on Wednesday.

Shea-Porter's staff notified Manchester police when they received the suspicious envelope. Officials were able to determine that the substance was green tea and had been sent as a protest.

There was a return address on the envelope, and police spoke to the sender. Police said the sender showed a lack of judgment but didn't mean to cause alarm. The same person sent similar letters to U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes, U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg and U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

Party Like It's 1773 Jr. Jersey T-Shirt - CafePress

Party Like It's 1773 Jr. Jersey T-Shirt - CafePress


:: Rebel Evolution ::

2005 Liberty Film Festival Short-Doc Nomination: :: Sealed For Your Protection ::

:: Boomerang ::

:: Fort Hood Documentary

Remembering A Massacre

:: Sarah Palin Rocks Texas

for Governor Perry

:: Texas Starts with T

The Tea Party in 12 Easy Minutes

Clips and Interviews

:: Governor Rick Perry:

On the Tea Party Movement, Senator Hutchison, and Debra Medina

:: Breitbart's Challenge to New Media:

Destroy Those Who Would Destroy You

:: Andrew Breitbart:

Time To Start Returning The Punches of the Bully Media

:: Rick Perry / Austin Tea Party

On Secession and "Right Wing Extremism"

:: Follow me on Twitter ::

:: Unspun with AnnaZ on BlogTalkRadio ::

:: Unspun podcast on iTunes ::