I’m back from TN, but due to the catching up I have to do over the next couple of days, I doubt there will be anything new to post before Tuesday.
At any rate, I’d like to wish all of you a wonderful and prosperous new year. Thank you all for your kind words and your continued “patronage” here (deranged and unhinged leftard cyberstalkers excluded). 🙂
Not a political post, but an interesting/amusing one. From AOL News:
Brian Bruggeman caused a stink at the Lincoln County Jail earlier this month and will now have to answer for it in court. Another inmate, Jesse Dorris, alleges that Bruggeman’s flatulence, passed in close proximity to Dorris, sparked a Dec. 14 fight between the two at the jail.
Now Bruggeman, 38, faces a Jan. 11 preliminary hearing on the state’s complaint of assault by a confined person. It’s a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Bruggeman is accused of injuring Dorris, his cellmate, when he pushed him into cell bars. Dorris, 26, was not charged.
The two began scuffling, County Attorney Jeff Meyer said Tuesday, because Dorris was fed up with Bruggeman’s flatulence.
Jail fights are common, Meyer said, but the cause of this one was rather uncommon.
Moral of the story: if you plan on farting in the foreseeable future, don’t do anything that will get you incarcerated first.
I’ll be on the road tomorrow, heading home for Christmas (and some darn fine Memphis BBQ). I don’t know how often I’ll be updating the blog during the holidays, but feel free to continue the dialog that began today (or whenever).
At any rate, I’d like to wish all of you, regardless of your political persuasion, a Merry Christmas and wonderful holiday season. Enjoy the time you spend with friends, family, loved ones, or even co-workers.
And of course, it just wouldn’t be a CLOWNS entry if I didn’t at least post a teensy bit of snark:
Jesus loves you…even though everyone else thinks you’re an @ssh0le! 😉
Merry Christmas, my friends!
According to the once-respected (but since then, deranged barking moonbat) Chris Matthews, it’s an outrage that the president doesn’t consult Hollyweirdos for public policy. From Newsbusters:
It goes without saying that if you’re the Commander-in-Chief, among the first people whose criticism you’d want to take into account would be . . . Hollywood movie stars. At least, that would seem to be Chris Matthews’s opinion.
Have a look at this video clip from this afternoon’s Hardball.
The specific object of Chris’s ire was the president’s suggestion at his press conference today that Americans shop more. Asked Matthews:
“I wonder if he’s in touch with the critics out there, like Matt Damon, the actor, who was on this program Monday?”
Well, naturally, Matt’s views on shopping should be of top concern to any president. Then again, wouldn’t Barbra Streisand have more expertise on the particular subject matter at hand?
“Babs? W here. What’s hot on Rodeo Drive? The American people need to know.”
Or maybe he can call Leonard Nimoy: “Hey, Spock, could you show our troops how to do that Vulcan neck pinch thingy? That’d sure help in hand-to-hand combat. Chuckle-chortle-snort!“
Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, whose sexual relationship with U.S. President Bill Clinton led to his impeachment, has graduated from the London School of Economics, her publicist said on Wednesday.
Lewinsky, who was 21 when she became involved with Clinton, is interviewing for jobs in Britain, publicist Barbara Hutson said.
When Lewinsky, 32, received her Masters of Science degree in Social Psychology last Thursday “the audience of students and parents erupted in spontaneous applause. … It was a very emotional moment for her,” Hutson said in a statement.
Hutson said Lewinsky spent the past year studying and “staying away from the London social scene.”
She completed a thesis entitled “In Search of the Impartial Juror: An exploration of the third person effect and pre-trial publicity.”
My sources tell me that she passed her final exam…because the exam was oral.
Good grief, I really do need to grow up sometime, don’t I? >:)
According to the FTC, we must. Via the AP:
A company that helps advertisers connect with bloggers willing to write about their products for payment will now require disclosures amid criticism and a regulatory threat.
Before this week, advertisers were barred by PayPerPost Inc. from telling bloggers they can’t disclose the sponsorship, but bloggers were able to decide on their own whether or not to do so. Under the new policy, bloggers must disclose that they are accepting payment, either in the write-up or in a general disclosure policy on the blogger’s Web journal.
“Ever since we launched, there’s been a lot of controversy about disclosure,” said Ted Murphy, PayPerPost’s chief executive.
Besides other bloggers questioning the ethics of receiving payments without disclosure, the Federal Trade Commission said in a Dec. 7 staff opinion that failure to disclose could, in some cases, violate consumer-protection laws on deception. The FTC did not single out PayPerPost or say whether it would launch any investigation.
So, in order to be in compliance with the FTC’s ruling, here’s the disclosure:
This post was sponsored by the law firm of Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe. We here at the Crush Liberalism Objective World News Service (CLOWNS) are grateful for their support.
From the Rocky Mountain News:
The line of applicants hoping to fill jobs vacated by undocumented workers (aka “illegal aliens” in the real, non-MSM, non-PC world – Ed.) taken away by immigration agents at the Swift & Co. meat-processing plant earlier this week was out the door Thursday.
Among them was Derrick Stegall, who carefully filled out paperwork he hoped would get him an interview and eventually land him a job as a slaughterer. Two of his friends had been taken away by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and he felt compelled to fill their rubber boots.
The line was “out the door”? Why, that can’t be! I mean, Dubya said that illegal aliens (or, if you prefer, “lawbreaking non-citizens”) were here to take the jobs that “Americans won’t do”, right? Then how does Dub explain a “line out the door” of (presumably) legal workers?
President Clinton’s national security adviser removed classified documents from the National Archives, hid them under a construction trailer and later tried to find the trash collector to retrieve them, the agency’s internal watchdog said Wednesday.
The report was issued more than a year after Sandy Berger pleaded guilty and received a criminal sentence for removing the documents.
Berger took the documents in the fall of 2003 while working to prepare himself and Clinton administration witnesses for testimony to the Sept. 11 commission. Berger was authorized as the Clinton administration’s representative to make sure the commission got the correct classified materials.
Berger’s lawyer, Lanny Breuer, said in a statement that the contents of all the documents exist today and were made available to the commission.
But Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., outgoing chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, said he’s not convinced that the Archives can account for all the documents taken by Berger. Davis said working papers of National Security Council staff members are not inventoried by the Archives.
“There is absolutely no way to determine if Berger swiped any of these original documents. Consequently, there is no way to ever know if the 9/11 Commission received all required materials,” Davis said.
Berger pleaded guilty to unlawfully removing and retaining classified documents. He was fined $50,000, ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and was barred from access to classified material for three years.
Inspector General Paul Brachfeld reported that National Archives employees spotted Berger bending down and fiddling with something white around his ankles. (Were it Clinton doing that, I’m guessing that the “something white around his ankles” would be his underwear. – Ed.)
The employees did not feel at the time there was enough information to confront someone of Berger’s stature, the report said.
Later, when Berger was confronted by Archives officials about the missing documents, he lied by saying he did not take them, the report said.
Brachfeld’s report included an investigator’s notes, taken during an interview with Berger. The notes dramatically described Berger’s removal of documents during an Oct. 2, 2003, visit to the Archives.
Berger took a break to go outside without an escort while it was dark. He had taken four documents in his pockets.
“He headed toward a construction area. … Mr. Berger looked up and down the street, up into the windows of the Archives and the DOJ (Department of Justice), and did not see anyone,” the interview notes said.
He then slid the documents under a construction trailer, according to the inspector general. Berger acknowledged that he later retrieved the documents from the construction area and returned with them to his office.
“He was aware of the risk he was taking,” the inspector general’s notes said. Berger then returned to the Archives building without fearing the documents would slip out of his pockets or that staff would notice that his pockets were bulging.
The notes said Berger had not been aware that Archives staff had been tracking the documents he was provided because of earlier suspicions from previous visits that he was removing materials. Also, the employees had made copies of some documents.
In October 2003, the report said, an Archives official called Berger to discuss missing documents from his visit two days earlier. The investigator’s notes said, “Mr. Berger panicked because he realized he was caught.“
The notes said that Berger had “destroyed, cut into small pieces, three of the four documents. These were put in the trash.”
After the trash had been picked up, Berger “tried to find the trash collector but had no luck,” the notes said.
Significant portions of the inspector general’s report were redacted to protect privacy or national security.
So much for that “rightwing smear machine” and “rightwing myth” meme, huh?
Let’s be honest, people: Berger knew there was damning information in the documents that might reflect poorly on himself and/or the former Intern Diddler-in-Chief. He didn’t want that information to see the light of day, much less the “disinfectant sunshine” of the 9/11 Commission. That’s why he tried destroying national security documents, and that’s why he was found guilty. Sorry, but Berger cannot be defended. End of story.
As usual, the left cares more about legacy-protection than national security.
Reminiscent of the high dudgeon Washington press corps reaction after a few hours passed before they were notified of Vice President Cheney’s hunting accident, on Tuesday some reporters denounced the White House for failing to publicly announce how last month First Lady Laura Bush had a skin cancer growth removed from one of her legs. On FNC, Brit Hume played a montage from the daily briefing showing how journalists “demanded to know why they hadn’t been told earlier.” NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell, for instance, asked “how was the decision reached not to disclose this publicly until questions were asked?” And she challenged White House Press Secretary Tony Snow: “Do you feel any obligation as a person of public status to talk about this?”
On the CBS Evening News, Katie Couric framed the story not around the cancer but around how the White House didn’t reveal it: “Laura Bush has been treated for skin cancer, and today she and others in the administration were defending her decision to try to keep that story out of the press.” CBS reporter Jim Axelrod at least noted the lack of threat to the First Lady’s health: “In October, Mrs. Bush noticed a sore that wouldn’t heal. A biopsy confirmed squamous cell carcinoma, among the most common and treatable skin cancers.”
On the December 19 Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC, Hume played a montage of clips from the White House press briefing:
Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News: “Tony, can you tell us about Mrs. Bush’s skin cancer, how is she doing and how was the decision reached not to disclose this publicly until questions were asked?”
Victoria Jones, Talk Radio News Service: “Which was it, was it that it was medical privacy that was the reason for not informing us, or was it that it was no big deal?”
O’Donnell: “Do you feel any obligation as a person of public status to talk about this?”
Jessica Yellin, ABC News: “Did the White House doctor treat her?”
Kathleen Koch, CNN: “Does the First Lady say she actually does not plan to come out in any way? She could potentially have a great influence on a lot of people’s lives, especially young women.”
Tony Snow: “You guys are really stretching it. I mean, it is now officially a really slow news day.”
White House press spokesjerk Jonathan would have responded thusly:
“Why didn’t I tell you guys? Oh, I dunno…maybe because it’s none of your Allah-damned business?!? Maybe?? Perhaps I have bigger things to worry about than whether or not Kelly O’Dumb#ss or Katie F*#kin’ Couric and her seven viewers need to know my wife’s medical business, hmmm? I didn’t feel it was a priority to run out and tell the ‘always accommodating’ press corps…I’m funny that way!”
The pickled pig from the People’s Republic of Taxachussets, Sen. Ted Kennedrunk, is reflective of the left’s “good enough for thee, but not for me” mentality. One of the loudest bloviating blowhards for “alternative energy sources”, he has fought his distilled heart out to prevent a windfarm from being built off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, since the windfarm might get in the way of his yachting or minutely disrupt the view from his pristine house there.
Fortunately, Teddy K. lost a battle in his elitist fight. From Newsmax:
Massachusetts’ highest court has upheld a decision facilitating construction of an environmentally friendly “wind farm” that Sen. Ted Kennedy had opposed.
The decision on Monday allows construction of 18-mile-long transmission lines to bring electricity from the Cape Wind project – a collection of energy-producing wind turbines – to shore.
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a May 2005 decision by the state Energy Facilities Siting Board that was challenged by a group opposing the Cape Wind project, Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.
If it receives needed federal approval, Cape Wind would become the nation’s first offshore wind farm.
The developer seeks to construct two 115-kilovolt lines to transmit electricity generated by 130 wind turbines in federal waters in Nantucket Sound. The lines would pass beneath state waters before reaching shore at Yarmouth and continuing underground to a switching station in Barnstable.
Cape Wind touts its project as a safe, clean way to create renewable energy.
Kennedy had lobbied for a provision giving Gov. Mitt Romney veto power over the Cape Wind project.
In his book “Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy,” author Peter Schweizer disclosed that Kennedy opposed the Cape Wind project because “the wind turbines would be built in Nantucket Sound, about six miles off the coast from the Kennedy compound in Hyannis.
“The problem was not aesthetic; the Kennedys wouldn’t be able to actually see the turbines from their home. Instead Robert Kennedy Jr., who had been beating the drum for alternative sources of energy for more than a decade, complained that the project would be built in one of the family’s favorite sailing and yachting areas.”
As NewsMax reported in May, Kennedy supported a proposal to build another wind farm – in somebody else’s “backyard.”
A Boston contractor submitted plans to construct an offshore complex of 90 to 120 wind turbine towers near Naushon Island and the towns of Dartmouth and Fairhaven.
While the Cape Wind project Kennedy opposed would be “in view of some of the wealthiest communities in Massachusetts’ Cape Cod,” according to CNN and Reuters, the other proposal was for a “project in view of more working-class areas.”
At least give Teddy K. his due for taking a boat into the water instead of a car.
Were I to write a book about the Bush 43 presidency, I would entitle it “Bill of Goods”, for that is what we have been sold. The latest slap to his constituency’s face, via the Washington Times:
The Bush administration has sent signals since last month’s elections that the president is prepared to accept some tax increases on upper-income families, worrying congressional Republicans and fiscal conservative watchdogs who say he will compromise with Democrats to win a legacy accomplishment.
These moves come even as Democrats have pledged to rein in earmarks, winning praise from the same conservative groups that are criticizing Mr. Bush.
The watchdog groups have been demanding that the president repeat his earlier pledges not to raise taxes in order to reform Social Security. But the White House has refused, with officials saying everything is on the table, including tax increases.
“So far, no one in the administration has simply stood up and said, ‘We will not raise payroll taxes in any way, shape or form,’ ” said Pete Sepp, a vice president for the National Taxpayers Union, which led a coalition of several dozen groups to write a letter asking for such an assurance. (Well, at least he didn’t pull a “Read My Lips” this time. – Ed.)
Meanwhile, the House’s top Republican on tax cuts, outgoing Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, warned last week that the White House has hinted that it will accept a tax increase on higher-income families in order to win accommodations from Democrats.
“I wish I were a bit more comfortable in listening to some of the noises that are currently being made,” Mr. Thomas, California Republican, told the American Enterprise Institute, saying he is seeing signs that the administration may be “moving away from hard-fought policies to salvage what you thought you weren’t going to get.”
“Based upon some statements made by people in prominent positions who deal with money within the administration, comments about the individual top tax rate make me a little nervous,” he said.
The White House-congressional split highlights a problem that Mr. Bush is likely to face for the next two years: the increasing division between Mr. Bush and his party as he works to find common ground with Democrats and Republicans work to hold the line on tax cuts and other gains they made on the Republican agenda.
“There is White House staff up on the Hill pushing this,” said Phil Kerpen, director of policy for Americans for Prosperity, one of the watchdogs. “There has been for months. They really feel this is a legacy issue, and they’re willing to accept compromise on policy issues.”
One of the things I used to admire about Bush was his unyielding conviction, that he didn’t care if anyone approved of his decisions as long as he was convinced that his decisions were right. However, I am becoming more convinced that since the Dems won the midterms this year, he is more interested in rehabbing his spotty legacy than in doing the right thing.
Seriously, a president who has always (and correctly) identified tax increases as counterproductive to a sound economy is now going sign a tax increase? My friends on the left might not agree with me on tax increases and tax cuts, but I’d like to think that they can spot political opportunism when it shamelessly presents itself.
Sweet cracker sandwich, I cannot wait until this guy gets out of the White House. For all of the good that this guy has done and that has happened on his watch (post-9/11 leadership, toppling the Taliban and Saddam, economic recovery and prosperity), he is wiping it out with his more boneheaded moves (only one veto, “drunken sailor” spending, campaign finance reform, prescription drugs, amnesty for illegals, and now tax increases). What the man doesn’t seem to understand is that by “compromising” with Democrats, they’re still not going to like him…and now, neither will Republicans.
One of the many things I detested about Clinton was that he was not a man of conviction, but a self-centered man of polls who has been trying to polish his stained-dress legacy since before he left. I never thought Bush would fall into the same catgory, but it looks more and more like he has.
Like I said…Bill of Goods.
When something goes wrong, just blame the Jews. From Newsmax:
In an explosive telephone argument that led to her firing, publisher Judith Regan allegedly complained of a “Jewish cabal” against her in the book industry and stated that “Of all people, Jews should know about ganging up, finding common enemies and telling the big lie.”
A spokesman for Regan’s former employer, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., told The Associated Press on Monday that the remarks were based on notes taken by HarperCollins attorney Mark Jackson, with whom Regan was discussing the future of a controversial new novel about baseball star Mickey Mantle.
When The View‘s Joy Behar isn’t busy concocting Sen. Tim Johnson’s “man-made stroke” crackpot conspiracy theories, she’s spending her free time violating Godwin’s Law by comparing outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to Hitler. Details:
It was such a cheap play to the left-wing peanut gallery that it doesn’t even pay to be disgusted. Discussing the “Time” magazine person of the year choice on “The View” this morning, yenta-in-residence Joy Behar blurted out:
You have to put like a Hitler type. Like you put Donald Rumsfeld there or something.
It’s refreshing to see that even the always-liberal View audience, normally entertained by the moonbat rants of the leftard hostesses (Elizabeth Hasselbeck not being one of them), are mortified by such a hideous and dimwitted comparison, enough to boo Behar.
I wonder if she’ll apologize like her rotund Asian-mocking cohost, Rosie “Ching Chong Ching Chong” O’Donnell, did. Granted, I wouldn’t care if she did, since I care so little about her that I wouldn’t p!ss in her mouth if her teeth were on fire. But I do wonder if the
gods “gender-neutral deities” of political correctness will be as demanding of an apology as they are when one of their prized victim groups feels slighted?
Aw, who am I kidding? A conservative WASP male, receive an apology for being compared to a genoicidal anti-Semitic evil dictator? I need to lay off the spiked eggnog!
Alan Dershowitz, incensed over Jimmy Carter’s latest book likening the Israeli/Palestine situation to apartheid, has challenged Carter to a debate. Carter, who says the purpose of his book was to spark debate in this country, has declined:
“I don’t want to have a conversation even indirectly with Dershowitz,” Carter said in Friday’s Boston Globe. “There is no need … to debate somebody who, in my opinion, knows nothing about the situation in Palestine.”
“There is no need … to debate somebody who, in my opinion, knows nothing about the situation in Palestine”? Two responses to that line:
1. I agree, but despite that, Dershowitz still wants to hear from you anyway!
2. Why not? You didn’t let your ignorance of the situation in Palestine prevent you from writing a book, now did you, Jimmah?
Carter claims to have written his book to, in part, “spark debate”…yet he shuns said debate that he claims to have wanted to “spark”. In fairness, Carter never said he wanted to spark debate with him!
From the San Diego Union-Tribune:
If you are poor, we regret to report that Democratic leaders who soon will control Congress have vowed to help you. Their chief prescriptions, which include higher taxes, trade barriers and government-run health care, would pinch rich folks and stress the middle class – but they could devastate low-income families, particularly those in Southern California.
Consider the latest report by the Brookings Institution, which found that poverty fell significantly from 1999 to 2005 in Southern California. San Diego County’s poverty rate declined from 12.4 percent to 11 percent; and Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino boasted similar reductions.
Without question, San Diego still has too many poor people. The federal poverty line in 2005 was an income of $15,753 a year for a family of three. That figure doesn’t count the panoply of state and federal assistance, but neither is it adjusted for Southern California’s ultra-high cost of living. An 11 percent poverty rate means struggle and vulnerability for too many families.
At the same time, the region is clearly moving in the right direction – exclusively because of our economic strength. The Democratic agenda would sap such strength, hurting the poor.
Nothing reduces poverty like a job. San Diego’s unemployment rate never got above 6 percent after the 2000 recession; lately it’s been closer to 4 percent.
Importantly, business owners and workers churned out this remarkable performance in spite of government policies rather than because of them. California’s energy costs are the nation’s highest, and taxes are right up there. Both kill employment.
On the other hand, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reformed workers’ compensation and slashed billions from costs, thus aiding job creation on top of rescuing a key anti-poverty program.
But most credit goes to a special something in Southern California’s DNA that attracts innovators and rewards flexibility. When the aerospace business crashed in the 1980s, technology clusters sprang up around our world-beating university system.
As manufacturing fled overseas in the 1990s, a housing boom began that tripled the wealth of individual homeowners, who in turn binged on remodeling projects, new landscaping and other job engines for the working class. Now housing construction has slowed, but financial and professional services are coming on strong.
Yet there remains unlimited potential for mischief in Washington.
Democrats who were swept into office on war fatigue have conjured a mandate to cure “income inequality.” Leaders want to reverse the 2003 cuts in investment taxes, thus jeopardizing all those jobs that depend on investment.
Similarly, these lawmakers rail against free trade, ignoring proof from their own economists, led by Robert Rubin, that trade creates more American jobs than it displaces. They forget Los Angeles and Riverside, where thousands of families depend on port traffic.
With friends like these, poor people have even more to worry about.
“Democrats who were swept into office on war fatigue” have misinterpreted their elevation to power as an endorsement of liberal policies. Conservatives made the same mistake in 1994, thinking that the Clinton-weary (and tax-and-spend-liberal-weary) electorate had “gone conservative” and supported all of their initiatives. While I was certainly a supporter of most of those ideas (zero-funding the NEA, NPR, and PBS; abolishing the Dept. of Education; etc.), most of the electorate did not support those ideas. The point is that getting elected is not always a 100% endorsement of a party’s (or politician’s) ideas, rather it’s oftentimes a statement being made by the voters.
Anywho, as this op-ed points out, liberals who are hell-bent on Marxist “income equality” may end up killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Don’t say that those of us on the right didn’t warn you!
From the Old Gray Hag:
She is a former marine, a native Californian and, now, an ex-American who prefers to remain discreet about abandoning her citizenship. After 10 years of warily considering options, she turned in her United States passport last month without ceremony, becoming an alien in the view of her homeland.
“It’s a really hard thing to do,” said the woman, a 16-year resident of Geneva who had tired of the cost and time of filing yearly United States tax returns on top of her Swiss taxes. “I just kept putting this off. But it’s my kids and the estate tax. I don’t care if I die with only one Swiss franc to my name, but the U.S. shouldn’t get money I earned here when I die.”
Historically, small numbers of Americans have turned in their passports every year for political and economic reasons, with the numbers reaching a high of about 2,000 during the Vietnam War in the early 1970s.
But after Congress sharply raised taxes this year for many Americans living abroad, some international tax lawyers say they detect rising demand from citizens to renounce ties with the United States, the only developed country that taxes it citizens while they live overseas. Americans abroad are also taxed in the countries where they live.
“The administrative costs of being an American and living outside the U.S. have gone up dramatically,” said Marnin Michaels, a tax lawyer with Baker & McKenzie in Zurich.
Concern about taxes among Americans living abroad has surged since President Bush signed into law a bill that sharply raises tax rates for those with incomes of more than $82,400 a year. The legislation also increases taxes on employer-provided benefits like housing allowances.
In 1996, Congress tried to address a wave of tax-driven expatriation by the wealthy by requiring former citizens to file tax returns for a decade and forbidding Americans who renounced their passports for tax reasons from visiting the United States.
It’s a damned shame when American citizens have to choose between citizenship and punitive taxation. The Fair Tax would alleviate this problem, along with a whole host of other problems.
From Little Green Footballs:
Leaders of the Religion of Peace™ in Somalia are calling for jihad against the Somali government and against Ethiopia: Somali leader: Door to peace talks shut.
And they don’t mean that “peaceful inner struggle” sort of jihad.
Tension has been mounting in recent weeks between Somalia’s government, which has Western and U.N. recognition but little authority on the ground, and the Council of Islamic Courts, which controls most of southern Somalia. The Islamists have vowed to launch a holy war starting Tuesday unless Ethiopian troops supporting the government leave Somalia.
“The fighting can happen at any time now,” Yusuf said, adding that his administration will not be the first to attack.
The Islamic courts have been steadily gaining power since June, raising concerns about an emerging Taliban-style regime. The United States accuses the group of having ties to al-Qaida, which it denies.
“Al-Qaida is opening up shop in Somalia,” Yusuf warned. “This is a new chapter and part of the terror group’s plan to wage war against the West.”
Earlier Friday, Islamic leaders in the capital, Mogadishu, distributed sermons about holy war to be read at the city’s mosques during prayers — the latest attempt to galvanize the nation as it slides toward war.
“The sermon concerns the holy war on Ethiopian troops inside Somalia,” Islamic official Sheik Hussein Abdullahi Barre told the AP. He added, “What we want is that Friday’s sermon should be concerned about jihad.”
The Council on American Islamic Relations called the takeover of Somalia by Islamic militants “a positive change.”
And our State Department is on the job, telling Ethiopia to talk to the jihadis.
On Thursday, the State Department’s senior official on Africa said the United States does not want an Ethiopian military buildup in Somalia, despite the growing strength of the Islamic movement.
“We have said repeatedly that the only solution to the crisis in Somalia is through dialogue,” said Jendayi Frazer, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs.
CAIR fancies themselves to be the voice of Muslim reason in America, yet they welcome the jihadists’ takeover of Somalia. Meanwhile, our illustrious State Dept. is advocating that Ethiopia do what we have vowed to never do: negotiate with terrorists.
Un-freakin’-believable. That’s crazier than Nancy Pelosi appearing in a Mississippi Baptist Church!
State Senator Efraín González Jr., already under indictment on federal mail fraud charges, was indicted today on additional charges involving conspiracy to steal $423,000 in state grants intended for not-for-profit groups, the United States attorney’s office said.
Mr. González, who represents parts of the Bronx, has been under investigation by federal prosecutors and the city’s Department of Investigation since 2004. In today’s charges, announced by Michael J. Garcia, the United States Attorney in Manhattan, Mr. González and several others are accused of mail fraud and theft of federal funds in a conspiracy to steal the $423,000 through a complicated scheme involving not-for-profit groups.
The indictment says that Mr. González took advantage of charity groups, including one that funded Little League baseball, to hide money that he intended to steal. NY1, the all-news cable channel, said that Mr. González used some of the funds to pay for his home in the Dominican Republic, jewelry, clothing and his daughter’s tuition.
Anyone happen to catch what party the guy belongs to? Me neither. One would think it relevant to include that in the story, no? Well, no…because the guy’s a Democrat. I’m sure had he been a Republican, the story would have neglected to mention that as well, right? Sure…and John Kerry doesn’t use Botox.
Nope…no liberal media bias.
News that our recently re-elected Democrat Senator Bill Nelson met with the chinless dictator of Syria was damned infuriating. I have contacted Nelson’s office to lodge my complaint, but since he’s 5 yrs. 11 mos. away from his next re-election effort, Nelson’s banking on the short-term memory of today’s sound bite American Idol-obsessed culture to have forgotten about his act of moonbattery. (Sidebar: one has to wonder if Hamas’ claim that they’ve been meeting with Democrats was actually true, huh?)
This is a perfect time to discuss why the 17th Amendment, which changed the Constitution to allow for the direct election of U.S. Senators, should be repealed. A little background on the origins of our legislature, and the 17th Amendment:
Loosely basing our bicameral legislature on this model (minus the lords, both temporal and spiritual), the framers created the House of Representatives as the lower chamber, whose members would be selected directly by the people. And with almost unanimous agreement, they determined that members of the upper chamber, the Senate, would be selected by the legislatures of the states. Each state would have two senators, while representatives would be apportioned based on population.
James Madison was not only involved in structuring the system, but was also a keeper of its contemporaneous record. He explained in Federalist No. 10 the reason for bicameralism: “Before taking effect, legislation would have to be ratified by two independent power sources: the people’s representatives in the House and the state legislatures’ agents in the Senate.”
The need for two powers to concur would, in turn, thwart the influence of special interests, and by satisfying two very different constituencies, would assure the enactment was for the greatest public good. Madison summed up the concept nicely in Federalist No 51:
In republican government, the legislative authority, necessarily predominate. The remedy for this inconveniency is, to divide the legislature into different branches; and to render them by different modes of election, and different principles of action, as little connected with each other, as the nature of their common functions and their common dependencies on the society, will admit.
The system as designed by the framers was in place for a century and a quarter, from 1789 until 1913, when the 17th amendment was adopted. As originally designed, the framers’ system both protected federalism and ensured that relatively few benefits would be provided to special interests.
The state legislatures used to pick the two Senators to represent the state’s interests in our nation’s capital. That changed when the 17th Amendment was ratified. Competing theories abound as to why it was ratified:
There have been two principal explanations for changing the Constitution to provide for direct election of senators. Some see the amendment as part of the Progressive movement, which swept the nation in the late 1800s and early 1900s, giving us direct elections, recall and referendums.
Others, however, believe the amendment resulted from the problems the prior constitutional system was creating in state legislatures, who under that system were charged with electing senators. These problems ranged from charges of bribery to unbreakable deadlocks.
Deadlocks happened from time to time when, because of party imbalance, a legislature was unable to muster a majority (as necessary under the 1866 law that controlled) in favor any person. The result was to leave the Senate seat empty and leave the state represented by only a single senator, not the constitutionally mandated two.
Professor Zywicki basically demolishes both these explanations. He contends, first, that explaining the 17th amendment as part of the Progressive movement is weak, at best. After all, nothing else from that movement (such as referendums and recalls) was adopted as part of the Constitution. He also points out that revisionist history indicates the Progressive movement was not driven as much by efforts to aid the less fortunate as once was thought (and as it claimed) — so that direct democracy as an empowerment of the poor might not have been one of its true goals.
What about the “corruption and deadlock” explanation? Zywicki’s analysis shows that, in fact, the corruption was nominal, and infrequent. In addition, he points out that the deadlock problem could have been easily solved by legislation that would have required only a plurality to elect a senator — a far easier remedy than the burdensome process of amending the Constitution that led to the 17th Amendment.
Fortunately, Professor Zywicki offers an explanation for the amendment’s enactment that makes much more sense. He contends that the true backers of the 17th amendment were special interests, which had had great difficultly influencing the system when state legislatures controlled the Senate. (Recall that it had been set up by the framers precisely to thwart them.) They hoped direct elections would increase their control, since they would let them appeal directly to the electorate, as well as provide their essential political fuel — money.
This explanation troubles many. However, as Zywicki observes, “[a]though some might find this reality ‘distasteful,’ that does not make it any less accurate.”
The “special interests” theory holds water, as we see virtually every politician, especially Senators, susceptible to them. It was difficult for special interests to influence the Senate prior to the 17th Amendment, since Senators were beholden to state legislators and no one else.
What would the benefits be if the 17th Amendment were repealed?
Repeal of the amendment would restore both federalism and bicameralism. It would also have a dramatic and positive effect on campaign spending. Senate races are currently among the most expensive. But if state legislatures were the focus of campaigns, more candidates might get more access with less money — decidedly a good thing.
Returning selection of senators to state legislatures might be a cause that could attract both modern progressive and conservatives. For conservatives, obviously, it would be a return to the system envisioned by the framers. For progressives — who now must appreciate that direct elections have only enhanced the ability of special interests to influence the process — returning to the diffusion of power inherent in federalism and bicameralism may seem an attractive alternative, or complement, to campaign finance reform.
Alas, such repeal is unlikely. Power has been amassed too greatly to let an amendment effort go unanswered, and unfortunately, the electorate is too ignorant on the workings of our government and of the origins of our republic to become motivated to repeal the second worst amendment in our Constitution (the worst being the income tax amendment). All the sound bite citizenry would hear is “Your right to vote for your Senator would be taken away!”, and the kneejerk predictable reation would be a collective “NOOOOOOOO!”
Repeal will never happen, but by God, it should!
For those of you who haven’t heard, Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) was taken to the hospital yesterday for a possible stroke. The Washington comPost reports that he had brain surgery and is in critical condition. However, note the comPost’s version of the real story here:
Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) underwent emergency brain surgery overnight after falling ill at the Capitol and was in critical condition early this morning, introducing a note of uncertainty over control of the Senate just weeks before Democrats are to take over with a one-vote margin.
The two-term senator’s illness — which sent Senate Democratic leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) rushing to the hospital to check on Johnson — underscored the fragility of Democrats’ hold on the next Senate, which they won by the narrowest of margins in the Nov. 7 elections. Should Johnson be unable to complete his term, South Dakota’s Republican governor, Michael Rounds, would name a replacement for the next two years.
With Johnson in office, Democrats would hold a 51-to-49 edge in the Senate that convenes Jan. 4 as part of the 110th Congress. (The two independents have said they will caucus with the Democrats.) But if he is to leave office before then and Rounds replaces him with a Republican, the GOP would control the chamber.
USA Today’s leftards are eager to point out that Johnson can still keep his job if he’s too infirm to serve.
Is that what this country’s devolved to, hoping that a politician doesn’t croak only for the purposes of preserving power? Has our humanity taken that much of a hit, to the point where we have been reduced to hoping a sick man lives or dies depending on our political persuasion? Look, I’m not naive. I understand the ramifications of Senator Johnson’s condition on the Senate. However, it seems that most of the stories I’ve read haven’t just mentioned it (which they should do, of course), but have made the “balance of power” thing the primary focus instead of the man’s life!
Most of what I’ve seen on the right side of the blogosphere has been the proper tone: praying for Johnson’s speedy recovery and for his family. I haven’t seen any “hey, we’re just one corpse away from regaining the Senate” sentiment at any of the major right-of-center blogs, though I wouldn’t be surprised if a handful of wingnuts are echoing that very sick mentality. I’d like to think we’re better than that.
There was an ICE (formerly INS) raid at a Swift meatpacking plant, whereby scores of illegal aliens who worked at the plant were taken into custody. Naturally, the sympathetic MSM was on hand to share the plight of these poor “innocent” “workers”. But as Michelle Malkin asks, where is the sympathy for the true victims here?
Affidavits on 25 arrest warrants were filed about 4:30 p.m. Monday. Each one sought a Swift employee on suspicion of forgery and criminal impersonation. According to the affidavits, special agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Denver office investigated Swift since summer.
On July 31, ICE special agent Richard Goldsberry received copies of employment documents for all employees working for Swift as of July 18. Agents used information from those documents to track down workers who had used someone else’s information to get jobs. Agents were often able to compare driver’s license photographs of U.S. citizens with those working at Swift under the same name.
Federal Trade Commission records provided another clue for investigators. Records often listed residences in states such as Texas, Utah and California for employees working in Greeley. In many cases, the people who actually live in those distant locations had filed complaints after they learned from a credit agency or the Internal Revenue Service of back taxes or jobs with companies where they’d never worked.
Swift accepted Luis J. Pena’s application on Oct. 30, 2003, and made copies of his Social Security card and Colorado driver’s license. The problem was, ICE agents found, the real Pena lives in Arizona. He works in Nogales as a U.S. Border Patrol agent. Pena told agents he requested a copy of his credit report in 1998 or 1999 and learned someone had used his information to get jobs with companies he’d never heard of.
A woman claiming to be Theresa Sanchez provided Swift with a Social Security card and Colorado I.D. on April 8, 2005. The FTC shows Sanchez actually lives in Texas and filed a complaint after she got a letter from the IRS. The letter said the agency was holding her $5,400 refund because she had failed to report $120,000 in wages since 1996. Sanchez told ICE she had never lived in Colorado. The FTC said someone used her information for jobs, college and to receive unemployment benefits.
Sanchez told an agent she stands about 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. The woman suspected of impersonating her is 5 inches shorter and 10 pounds lighter. Sanchez said the suspect may have gotten her personal information from an ex-husband.
The cases go on and on.
Forgery, criminal impersonation, stealing identities, ruining credit, causing trouble with the IRS: the jobs that Americans won’t do. Right, W?
By the way, in a galling display of chutzpah, Swift & Co. filed a request for a restraining order to keep the raid from happening. How did that go down? “Your honor, the feds are going to raid our plant and take our illegal employees away! Make them stop! We have a constitutional right to break labor and immigration laws, right?” Where’s Justice Breyer, Ginsburg, Stephens, or Souter when you need them?
It looks as though the “culture of corruption” is going to be replaced by the “culture of the dangerously incompetent.” From CNN:
Incoming House intelligence chief botches easy intel quiz
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Rep. Silvestre Reyes of Texas, who incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped to head the Intelligence Committee when the Democrats take over in January, failed a quiz of basic questions about al Qaeda and Hezbollah, two of the key terrorist organizations the intelligence community has focused on since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
When asked by CQ National Security Editor Jeff Stein whether al Qaeda is one or the other of the two major branches of Islam — Sunni or Shiite — Reyes answered “they are probably both,” then ventured “Predominantly — probably Shiite.”
That is wrong. Al Qaeda was founded by Osama bin Laden as a Sunni organization and views Shiites as heretics.
Reyes could also not answer questions put by Stein about Hezbollah, a Shiite group on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations that is based in Southern Lebanon.
Stein’s column about Reyes’ answers was published on CQ’s Web site Friday evening.
In an interview with CNN, Stein said he was “amazed” by Reyes’ lack of what he considers basic information about two of the major terrorists organizations.
“If you’re the baseball commissioner and you don’t know the difference between the Yankees and the Red Sox, you don’t know baseball,” Stein said. “You’re not going to have the respect of the people you work with.”
While Stein said Reyes is “not a stupid guy,” his lack of knowledge said it could hamper Reyes’ ability to provide effective oversight of the intelligence community, Stein believes.
“If you don’t have the basics, how do you effectively question the administration?” he asked. “You don’t know who is on first.”
Stein said Reyes is not the only member of the House Intelligence Committee that he has interviewed that lacked what he considered basic knowledge about terrorist organizations.
“It kind of disgusts you, because these guys are supposed to be tending your knitting,” Stein said. “Most people are rightfully appalled.”
Pelosi picked Reyes over fellow Californian Rep. Jane Harman, who had been the Intelligence Committee’s ranking member, and Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida, who had been impeached as a federal judge after being accused of taking a bribe.
How reassuring! Nancy Pelosi was saddled with the decision to pick an impeached judge, an ignorant hack, or Jane Harman (who, by most indications, is reasonably competent)…and she got it wrong.
As for Stein’s question “If you don’t have the basics, how do you effectively question the administration?”, I would submit that Democrats have never needed the basics on anything to bitch about the administration…so why start now on such trivialities like counterterrorism?
Those of you who have been here long enough know that while I usually side with the GOP, I’ve had my ample share of disagreements with the party on a number of issues and votes. As Bruce Bartlett shows, I am not the only libertarian/neo-libertarian who has grown tired of the GOP in recent years. Via RCP:
For many years, those who consider themselves to be libertarians have been fairly reliable members of the Republican coalition. Although no libertarian would consider himself or herself to be entirely in agreement with either major party, they have historically sided with the GOP. But the relationship today seems more deeply strained than any time in the last 30 years, and a divorce may be forthcoming.
Basically, libertarians are allied with the right on economic issues and the left on everything else. They believe in the free market and freedom of choice in areas such as drugs, and favor a noninterventionist foreign policy. Consequently, someone who is a libertarian could prefer to ally with the right or the left, depending on what set of issues is most important to him or her.
This is most certainly true. Many libertarians care more about the economic freedom policies usually (or should I say “formerly”) championed by the GOP: limited federal government spending, low taxes, personal savings accounts for retirement and health care, no government monkeying with the marketplace, etc. Other libertarians care more about isolationism and non-military actions abroad, as well as hedonistic self-indulgence measures, usually favored by Democrats: opposition to nearly every war, support for decriminalizing drugs, staying out of the sexual proclivities of consenting adults, etc. Most libertarians/neo-libertarians care about all of those things, but place different priorities on them. Continuing:
In 1969, the key issue was obviously the Vietnam War. The traditionalists supported it, the libertarians opposed it. But drugs were also an important issue dividing the groups. Libertarians believe people have the right to do what they want with their own bodies, even if they end up hurting themselves in the process. Traditionalists take a more Puritanical approach, believing that people must be protected against their own folly.
Consequently, when I first became acquainted with libertarianism, most libertarians tended to associate with those on the left, where they had more in common. But with the end of the Vietnam War and the huge rise of inflation and other economic problems in the 1970s, libertarians mostly tended to drift rightward.
In the 1970s, the left was clueless about how to fix the economy. They had no idea what was causing inflation and insisted on dealing instead with its symptoms through wage and price controls. The left at that time was also highly sympathetic to socialism and often favored nationalization of businesses like the Penn Central Railroad when bankruptcy threatened.
The right at least understood that excessive money growth by the Federal Reserve caused inflation, and that socialism and nationalization were crazy. So most libertarians moved into the Republican Party, which then had leaders like Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, who spoke their language and had libertarian sympathies.
Libertarians once allied with the left, then subsequently allied themselves with the right. And now…
With the passing of the older generation of Republican leaders who were at least sympathetic to the libertarian message, a new generation of Puritans have taken over the party. They seem to want nothing more than to impose Draconian new laws against drugs, gambling, pornography and other alleged vices. The new Republican Puritans don’t trust people or believe that they have the right to do as they please as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. They want the government to impose itself on peoples’ lives and deny them freedom of choice.
At the same time, the Iraq War has aroused the isolationist impulse among libertarians. Only a tiny number of them supported the war in the first place, and they have all now recanted. Moreover, Republicans have lost whatever credibility they once had on economics by indulging in an orgy spending and corruption, and by becoming very unreliable allies on issues such as free trade and government regulation of the economy.
Consequently, many libertarians are drifting back once again to the left, where they find more compatible allies on some of the key issues of the day. And a few on the left are reaching out to libertarians, or at least trying to open a dialogue where there really hasn’t been one for a long time.
Libertarians probably don’t represent more than 10 percent of the electorate at most and are easy for political consultants to ignore. But they are represented in much larger percentages among opinion leaders and thus have influence disproportionate to their numbers. Republicans will miss them if they leave the party en masse.
Granted, it may be a long time (if ever) that a true libertarian gets elected to national office (Senator, Congressman, or President), but there were a lot of races in this year’s Democratic rise that saw the incumbent Republican narrowly lose. I assure you that in a number of these races (especially in Senate races in MT and VA, not to mention countless House races), libertarians were crucial in the outcome, either by voting Democrat or not voting GOP. Republicans, ignore them at your peril.
From Thomas Sowell via RCP:
It might be a hilarious comedy routine to have a group of highly educated judges solemnly expounding on something that everybody knows to be utter nonsense. But it isn’t nearly as funny when this solemn discourse about nonsense takes place on the Supreme Court of the United States — and when most people are unaware of what nonsense the learned justices are talking.
The issue before the High Court is whether local authorities have the legal right to make students’ race a factor in deciding which school to assign them to attend.
The parent of a white student is complaining because he is not allowed to go to the school near where he lives but is instead being assigned to a different school far away, in order to create the kind of racial mix of students the local authorities are seeking, in the name of “diversity.”
Those of us old enough to remember the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education will see a painful irony now, since that case began because a black girl was not allowed to go to a school near where she lived but was instead assigned to a different school far away, because of the prevailing racial dogmas of that day.
The racial dogmas have changed since 1954 but they are still dogmas. And flesh-and-blood children are still being sacrificed on the altar to those dogmas.
Brown said that a black girl could not be compelled to go to a different school because of the color of her skin. Apparently, SCOTUS is being asked to rule if Brown applies to non-brown children. Continuing:
Some of the learned justices are pondering whether there is a “compelling” government interest in creating the educational and social benefits of racial “diversity.” If so, then supposedly it is OK to do to white kids today what the Supreme Court back in 1954 said could not be done to black kids — namely, assign children to schools according to their race.
What are those “compelling” benefits of “diversity”? They are as invisible as the proverbial emperor’s new clothes. Yet everyone has to pretend to believe in those benefits, as they pretended to admire the naked emperor’s wardrobe.
Not only is there no hard evidence that mixing and matching black and white kids in school produces either educational or social benefits, there have been a number of studies of all-black schools whose educational performances equal or exceed the national average, even though most black schools fall far below the average.
My own study of successful all-black schools was published 30 years ago in The Public Interest quarterly. Since then, there have been other studies of similar schools across the country, published by the Heritage Foundation in Washington and by scholars Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom, among others.
There have also been all-Chinese-American schools that exceeded national norms. How have such schools managed to succeed and excel without the “compelling” need for a racial mixing of students?
I’ve always wondered if anyone had any scientific data to back up the “accepted” assertion that racial “diversity” must be achieved to recognize maximum benefits to a school, organization, etc. Apparently, Sowell has yet to find any, either. Continuing:
Look at it another way: Have black kids bussed into white schools had their test scores shoot up? No — not even after decades of bussing.
Some black students — in fact, whole schools of them — have performed dramatically better than other black students and exceeded the norms in white schools.
Yet this phenomenon, which goes back as far as 1899 and included an all-black school within walking distance of the Supreme Court that declared such things impossible back in 1954, is totally ignored.
Are such things exceptional? Yes. But the mystical benefits of “diversity” are non-existent, however politically correct it is to proclaim such benefits.
Hard evidence shows that students of all races can succeed or fail in schools that are racially mixed or racially unmixed.
The latest variation on the theme of mixing and matching by race is that there needs to be a “critical mass” of black students in a given school or college, in order for them to perform up to standard.
Not only is there no hard evidence for this dogma, such hard evidence as there is points in the opposite direction. Bright black kids have benefitted from being in classes with other bright kids, regardless of the other kids’ color.
All this is ignored in the Supreme Court’s supreme farce.
Considering that the Supreme Court has ruled absurdly in cases like Kelo v. New London (allowing local governments to seize private property in order to give to private developers) and Roe v. Wade (which finds a constitutional right to abortion) and Roper v. Simmons (which cited opinion polls and international law/opinions instead of that pesky Constitution thingy), one may argue that SCOTUS is a farce anyway.
"Saudi Government-Appointed Executioner for Mecca, Abdallah Al-Bishi, Discusses His Calling and Demonstrates His Weapons and Methods"
From Memri TV (via commenter Night Rider). An excerpt:
First TV host: Like we said at the beginning of the show, the executioner Abdallah Al-Bishi will be joining us shortly. He is delayed because he is busy carrying out an execution. He is coming to the show straight from work, and will be joining us soon.
Just as calm as “he’s caught in traffic” or “he needed to pick up a gallon of milk on the way here” is the sentiment “He’s got a dome to lop off before coming to talk to us.”
First TV host: Do you cut off hands, or do you just do beheadings?
Abdallah Al-Bishi: Yes, yes. I carry out the punishment of cutting off thieves’ hands, as well as the cutting off of a hand and a leg on alternate sides, as is written in the Koran.
The translated video of the interview is here. You should see it to get a crystal clear idea of how “Middle Ages” the religion of pieces still is. There are “moderate” Muslims, and then there are Muslims.
Despite a looming indictment on the horizon for taking a $100,000 bribe, Democrat Congressman William Jefferson of New Orleans was re-elected this weekend in a runoff election. Considering these are the same bozos that re-elected Ray “School Bus” Nagin, this should come as no surprise.
Neal Boortz has a great observation:
Are you starting to get an idea just why the people of New Orleans were so messed up by Katrina? Are you starting to understand that most of the problems were of their doing, not the fault of FEMA or George Bush?
This idiots down there have reelected William Jefferson as their congressman. This is the crook that was found with $90,000 in cash in his freezer, cash that is believed to have come from a $100,000 bribe he took. He is most likely headed to an indictment in the next few months, and these idiots voted him back in office.
Now we know that a huge portion, perhaps a majority of the people who live in this congressional district are completely lacking in any sense of right-and-wrong. It’s a welfare district and Jefferson delivered the goods … both to himself and his district. It should come as no surprise at all that people who would send a crook like this back to congress would be unable to care for themselves in the face of a hurricane.
Works on insulating crooked politicians from electoral disaster, too!
While I happen to believe that the U.N. is as useless as tits on a boar, I do offer this story up for one reason: to help dispel this myth that there is “consensus” that man is the reason the planet will cook to death. From the Independent:
Meet the world’s top destroyer of the environment. It is not the car, or the plane,or even George Bush: it is the cow. (What?? Not caused by George Bush?? Why, that’s just crazy talk! The next thing you know, they’ll be telling us there’s no such thing as Santa, or (even crazier) that Bush was actually elected twice! – Ed.)
A United Nations report has identified the world’s rapidly growing herds of cattle as the greatest threat to the climate, forests and wildlife. And they are blamed for a host of other environmental crimes, from acid rain to the introduction of alien species, from producing deserts to creating dead zones in the oceans, from poisoning rivers and drinking water to destroying coral reefs.
The 400-page report by the Food and Agricultural Organisation, entitled Livestock’s Long Shadow, also surveys the damage done by sheep, chickens, pigs and goats. But in almost every case, the world’s 1.5 billion cattle are most to blame. Livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.
Therefore, vegans are destroying the planet by not eating more farting cows. Stop being selfish, you smelly sproutmunchers, and go grab a Big Mac!
Why am I intentionally writing belated “Happy Pearl Harbor Day” post? It’s simple, really: the sacrifices made by that generations of Americans will never be seen again in this country, and I didn’t want to bum everyone out on the day commemorating such an historical event. Therefore, I’ll be the buzzkiller today.
Today’s United States is more powerful and financially well-off than WWI’s Great Depression era U.S. Perhaps we have become so arrogant as to honestly think that we can defeat the terrorists with a fraction of the power that we used against the powerful Nazi and Japanese militaries.
In World War II, we lost about 400,000 of our countrymen. Yet despite such a staggering loss of life, it wasn’t even a fraction as controversial as the current war (not Iraq, not Afghanistan, but the global war on Islamic radicalism) that has thus far taken less than 0.01% of the WWII toll.
After Hirohito’s sneak attack on us in 1941, Americans rightly felt that there was little-to-no margin of error in war that was essential for our nation’s survival. After al-Qaeda’s sneak attack on us in 2001, we apparently feel that defeat in Afghanistan or Iraq does not bode ill in the slightest bit for our civilization and way of life.
Part of the problem is that in WWII, we squared off against tangible nations and governments with conventional militaries. Today’s Islamic terrorists mingle with the civilian populations, thus making it politically difficult to tie them to their supporting government enablers in Iran, Syria, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia (among others) who all loudly deny any ties. While President Bush did state after Sept. 11, 2001, that we won’t differentiate between terrorists and nations that harbor and suppor them, we appear to be doing just that. The fact that Iran and Syria are known across the world as being state sponsors of terrorism and yet have not been reduced to craters in the armpit known as the Middle East is a testament to the lack of will that our country has in eradicating an enemy that wants us deader than Michael Richards’ acting future.
Finally, one of the biggest culprits in our nation’s lack of unity in the battle for our survival is the failure to properly identify the enemy, for fear of pissing someone off of hurting someone’s feelings. The enemy is Islamic radicalism (or “fascism”, take your pick). We’re fighting a war on “terror”, which is as equally stupid as saying that retaliating against Japan was a war on “sneak attacks.” You don’t declare a war on tactics, people, you declare war against an entity: a country, a terrorist organization, etc. Until our leaders sprout some pairs of stones and correctly point out who the enemy is, we will be make the already daunting task of defending our country more difficult than it needs to be.
So to the Pearl Harbor generation of Americans, I thank you for your sacrifices, and I apologize profusely that today’s generation of “me firsters” and linguine-spined
leaders political opportunists have done their damnedest to render your sacrifices all for naught. Unity is expendible in this cut-throat political world we live in, because who has time for unity when there are cheap points to score against the REAL enemy, i.e. opposing political views?
My apologies for the tone of this post, my friends, but I’m in a foul mood over this.
How comforting. From al-Reuters:
European Socialists promised on Thursday to work to rebuild Europe’s strategic alliance with the United States now that the Democrats control Congress after last month’s elections.
Socialist leaders attending a meeting of the European Socialist Party pledged that with the Democrats on the rise, strong ties could be renewed with the United States after years of cool relations with Republican President George W. Bush.
Howard Dean, chairman of the national committee of the U.S. Democratic Party, is attending the two-day conference together with the leaders of leftist governments of several countries and party leaders from across Europe.
“We are not anti-American, we want the real America, your America,” former Danish Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, president of the European Socialist Party, said in remarks directed at Dean.
Kinda hard to run from the “leftard” label when Euro-socialists want to bond and terrorists are meeting with you, isn’t it?
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