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Saturday, September 10, 2011

If Only



by Adam Quin


Take a snapshot view of your world
One that is sedate and serene
You’re at the top and it’s not a dream
You look out and everything’s fine
And in a New York minute you’re spun on a dime

Suddenly you are face to face
With the limits of Company ambition
And the scars of America’s political marketplace

Ever close your eyes
Ever think why?
Sit, really think and listen
Find a reason for so many to die

No sign of life, it’s all gone
Take a walk in an empty room
Memories come rushing up to loved ones now
Sadness is mixed with war and gloom

You know it never ceases to amaze you and me
This world where we just exist
Is absolutely full of maniacs and crazies
Who demand protection from a well-produced list

You know I can’t help thinking
That one day soon
We will all wake up
We will all be on the moon

Soaring above the heavens
Looking back on what has been
Seeing things we’ve never really seen
Thinking how it all could have been

If only the Moon had stayed up
If only the Sun hadn’t woke
If everyone were late for work
They would have been warned off by the smoke

If Only
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Test

For the one or two of you wondering where I got to, the last couple weeks have been a challenge.

The day we got home from our trip our main computer fried in spectacular fashion after days of hints trouble was coming. Dropped it off at Staples (friggin' HP, their machines & their warranties aren't worth shit. DON'T buy an HP Slimline) leaving me to job hunt and blog on a very small Toshiba laptop. Good machine but not for blogging.

The next day Irene arrived with a lot of bluster but little trouble for us beyond pick up sticks.

Then I managed to catch a touch of a flu like thing. Not to worry, feel kinda like crap but the Hot Toddy's made with Wild Turkey are wonderfully medicinal.

Then the remnants of Lee came through causing me the kind of trouble I expected from Irene. Rivulets in the basement move the guns ammo guitars knives other musical instruments out. Without the benefit of a hot toddy yet. Nothing serious, really. Just a seriously annoying pain in the ass. NOTHING compared to what's happening along the Schuylkill and Susquehanna rivers in places like Harrisburg and Selinsgrove and Wilkes Barre.

The 13 yr old was the only one home to help and was carrying ammo boxes heavier than her.

Go Kid!

That same day Staples called said the machine was unrepairable. Not an optimal statement since I had paid $350 in advance for the fix and file transfer.

The next day I went in and Staples was very generous in refunding much of what I paid toward a new machine. AND did a full file transfer for nothing.

Earned their Easy button that day.

I now have finished setting up the new machne (an HP but that's what I could afford right now. at least it's not a slimline) and thus needed a test post to make sure everything is working.

One of my favorite Blues Tunes

Delbert McClinton
B Movie Boxcar Blues


So far so good. I'm back. You goat fucking jihadis beware.

And god save the rest of the free world

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UH-OH: ISRAEL NO LONGER HAS AMBASSADORS IN EITHER TURKEY OR EGYPT

ISRAEL NO LONGER HAS AMBASSADORS IN EGYPT OR TURKEY - TWO MUSLIM NATIONS THAT HAD GOOD RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL FOR THREE DECADES.

WHAT CHANGED?

OBAMA WAS ELECTED AND HAS REPEATEDLY SENT SIGNALS WHICH ENCOURAGED THE ANTI-WEST RADICALS.

Click on the title to read the whole thing at Astute Bloggers.
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Four Minutes To Reflect

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Revisionist History Happening Before Our Very Eyes

(With a hat tip to Randy's Roundtable)

From American Thinker:

PBS alters transcript to hide Obama gaffe

Barack Obama has gone to Congress asking for more money to spend. The President, in a rambling and tedious exercise mixing blame with demands, made quite a few dubious statements in laying out the case for Congress to vote for the plan which as yet does not exist. Much like Obamacare, Congress must ultimately vote for the bill to know what is in it.

At one point Mr. Obama made a major gaffe; he identified Abraham Lincoln as the founder of the Republican Party.

Lincoln did not join the Republicans until 1856, over two years after the party was founded. The first Republican convention was held in Ripon, Wisconsin in 1854.

Such a gaffe would have brought huge amounts of ridicule and derision on George W. Bush, but in the case of Obama the media yawned.

Actually, they did more than yawn; government-funded PBS has altered the transcript of the President's speech, removing the offending comment.

The New York Times transcript has the following quote:

"We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union. Founder of the Republican Party. But in the middle of a civil war, he was also a leader who looked to the future -- a Republican President who mobilized government to build the Transcontinental Railroad -- (applause) -- launch the National Academy of Sciences, set up the first land grant colleges. (Applause.) And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set."

But how does it appear in the PBS transcript?

"We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union. But in the middle of a Civil War, he was also a leader who looked to the future - a Republican president who mobilized government to build the transcontinental railroad; launch the National Academy of Sciences; and set up the first land grant colleges. And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set."


So PBS has purposely altered a transcript containing a major gaffe by the President.


Orwell's 1984 has arrived.

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Shooting At Bus Station In Missouri

Bob McCarty has the story:
Mohamed Dawod, a 25-year-old man from Glendale, Ariz., faces a murder charge today, accused in the shooting death of Justin Hall, 32, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, at a Greyhound bus station in Springfield, Mo., late Thursday night. Whether or not this was a case of terrorism, however, remains up in the air after officials in the Southwest Missouri community were quick to say the shooting appeared random...
Go to Bob's post for more information, including videos.

As Bob points out, this shooting occurred on the eve of a weekend commemorating the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

Mohammed Dawod has been charged with first degree murder.

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Robert Cray
Right Next Door





Smoking Gun




Back Door Slam




12 Year Old Boy


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NRO:

The Moral High Ground
The Left’s “morally superior” policies kill millions and impoverish billions.

Soon after I published an article questioning the global-warming orthodoxy, the world’s foremost hypocrite, Al Gore, informed anyone who still listens to him that my position is akin to racism. The wise course of action would be to ignore the rants of a man who desperately needs the world to remain fearful of carbon, the element on which all life on earth is based. If that fear were to vanish, how would he continue to rake in the millions needed for the purchase of his next beach house?

But enough is enough. Why should I sit quietly and let myself be branded a racist? In fact, will someone please explain how the Left is always assumed to have the moral high ground in these kinds of debates? I am particularly curious about this, as leftist policies continue to destroy the lives of tens of millions in this country and billions worldwide.

Let’s go through just a small part of the evidence.

The Left has fought the spread of genetically modified (GM) foods with every weapon in its arsenal. Leftists did this in the name of combatting a long list of “potential risks” that never materialized. They have been permitted to overlook the fact that their assaults on GM food were not cost free. For instance, they have greatly delayed and in some places stopped cold the use of rice modified to increase vitamin A content. For the Left this is cause for celebration. In fact, widespread use of this “golden rice” would have prevented a half-million cases of child blindness a year. So the next time someone talks to you about the evils of genetically modified foods, remind him of the millions of poor children this crusade has condemned to a lifetime of blindness. How do folks prepared to allow millions to needlessly go blind still command the respect of any truly moral person?

However, even looking the other way as children go blind pales in comparison to the needless starving of millions that has occurred because anti-GM-food groups have frightened and bullied the people and governments of Africa into forbidding the use of GM seeds. Such seeds, modified to resist the effects of drought and disease, would make Africa self-sufficient in foodstuffs. But for most African farmers they remain unavailable because of the successful efforts of American and European anti-GM-food groups. Even though every American consumes GM foods on an almost daily basis, with no ill effects, they remain off limits to those most in need.

There is no reason the Somali child pictured below needs to be hungry except for the fact that some groups are working overtime to prevent his country from growing the food needed to feed him. What do you call people who are willing to let millions starve to death rather than let them grow food that scientists long ago proved safe?Why the anti-GM groups are not condemned for crimes against humanity escapes me. For that matter, as these groups have made it their life mission to starve poor Africans, Asians, and other peoples of color, how come they have never been branded as racists?

And malnutrition is not the only problem afflicting Africa and other poor regions of the world. Among the greatest scourges is malaria, which infects 250 million and kills 1 million every year. In fact, in Africa, one in every five childhood deaths is a result of malaria. If you are a reader of average speed, then consider that ten to twelve children will have died from malaria between the time you started this article and the time you finish it. None of this is necessary. Malaria was vanquished in the United States and Europe through the copious use of DDT. But this blessing has been denied poor African nations because Rachel Carson in her 1962 book Silent Spring blamed DDT for killing eagles and other birds.

Fifty years later Carson’s discredited work remains a rallying cry for environmentalists who tirelessly work to ensure that poor nations do not have access to DDT, favoring instead a cocktail of methods that have been proven ineffective. Interestingly, I was once accosted by an environmental zealot over that last statement. He wanted to know what proof I had that other methods were ineffective. I pointed out the continuing deaths of a million people and asked how long he had been involved in the environmental movement. When he told me he had been doing this for a dozen years I casually mentioned that during his activist years he had worked for a movement responsible for killing two times as many persons as perished in the Holocaust, and that was just from malaria-related deaths alone. Yet he thought, and probably still thinks, that he occupies the moral high ground.

In truth, almost all the harmful effects attributed to DDT have been proven not to exist. Moreover, the benefits of DDT use can be achieved using a fraction of the quantity used to eradicate malaria in the United States. Just what do leftists have against blacks, particularly blacks in Africa, that causes them to push policies that sicken and kill them by the tens of millions? And why do they get to claim they sing with the angels as they preside over this slaughter of innocents?

Let’s move on a bit. That most stupendous of hypocrites, Al Gore again, uses more electricity in a week than 28 million poor Ugandans use in a year. Still he gets to brand me a racist for doubting his unsupported claims about global warming. The simple fact of the matter is that alternative sources of energy are inefficient, unreliable, and very expensive. If poor countries are forced to adopt alternative energy sources over cheap carbon-based energy, then there is no feasible scenario in which developing nations will be able to afford even a fraction of the energy required to escape poverty. As the Ugandan Fiona Kobusingye points out in a recent article:



Not having electricity means millions of Africans don’t have refrigerators to preserve food and medicine. Outside of wealthy parts of our big cities, people don’t have lights, computers, modern hospitals and schools, air conditioning — or offices, factories, and shops to make things and create good jobs. Not having electricity also means disease and death. It means millions die from lung infections, because they have to cook and heat with open fires; from intestinal diseases caused by spoiled food and unsafe drinking water; from malaria, TB, cholera, measles, and other diseases that we could prevent or treat if we had proper medical facilities.
She goes on to say, “Telling Africans they can’t have electricity and economic development — except what can be produced with some wind turbines or little solar panels — is immoral. It is a crime against humanity.” And she concludes, “We need to stop listening to global-warming witch doctors, who get rich telling us to keep living ‘indigenous,’ impoverished lives.”

Yet I am the one Al Gore brands as a racist.

But the damage the warmists are doing or hope to do does not end there. To save a planet that stopped warming in 1998, they want the United States and other industrial countries to reduce carbon output by 80 percent by 2050 (many are shooting for 2020), relative to a 1990 baseline. Let’s assume we multiply our wasteful spending on solar and wind power tenfold. If we do, then on particularly sunny and windy days we may eventually get 25 percent of our energy from those sources. That leaves us short about half the energy we need to support current GDP levels. As studies demonstrate that every 1 percent reduction in power causes a 0.7 percent reduction in GDP, I wonder how the warmists plan to employ the additional 25 million Americans thrown out of work.

Moreover, in the world’s emerging economies each 1 percent loss of GDP causes almost 2,500 premature deaths per 100,000 population. So, if the warmists get their way, they would kill off about 50 million persons a year on their way to a 2050 nirvana. One could plausibly claim that as soon as the pain became apparent, politicians would immediately reverse course before more damage was done. Such a belief would be comforting if we were not witnessing the destruction of huge amounts of food in order to turn it into inefficient and costly energy. One would think that global food riots and millions of starving people would cause a rethinking of our priorities. But this year, American farmers will grow more corn for ethanol than for food. After all, why should the empty bellies of countless children get in the way of saving the planet from warmist fantasies? Look again at that picture of a starving black child and tell me whose policies are racist.

How about something closer to home? Data released last week show that America’s jobless rate among black teenagers was 46.5 percent, and the overall rate of black joblessness is double that of the white population. Why? One needs to look no further than liberal policies implemented in our major cities, which have destroyed the black family unit, discouraged business investment, and subsidized the worst education system in the developed world. In fact, if a foreign power tried to force our education system on inner cities, we would send in the Marines to stop it.

Instead, we let leftist-dominated teachers’ unions run an education system that ensures half of the students trapped in it will be unemployable upon graduation. When these unions are called to account, they attack the critics as wanting to hurt the children. For how much longer will unions be allowed to claim they are “all about the children,” while in fact they are wrecking those children’s futures and condemning many of them to spend the rest of their lives in poverty? And why am I called a child-hating racist for daring to point out the truth?

There is so much more. What, for instance, can one say about the morality of economic policies that place a $70,000 debt on every American child? Is it really moral to take all the money the better-off earn and thereby deprive them of funds they could have invested to create the millions of jobs the unemployed need? What is moral about expanding the multicultural dogma, when the one thing it definitely creates is an unassimilated mass of youths with limited future prospects? What is moral about diversity programs that more often than not create isolated warring tribes within America’s most important institutions? Finally, is it really moral to force Americans to purchase medical insurance coverage they don’t want? And if you think it is, then where does government power over private lives end? What of freedom?

The day has long since passed when the Right needs to concede the moral high ground to the Left on any issue. Yes, we may be able to win most of the great debates on the merits of our ideas; but as a wise man once explained to me: “What I believe rationally is open to debate and change. What I believe emotionally cannot be changed by reason. An emotional belief can only be changed by an emotional argument.” The Left has known this for decades. That is why the those on the left never misses a chance to brand those on the right with the most contemptible slurs they can think of. We need not descend into the gutter and trade personal insults, but we should never miss a chance to point out the vile results of the policies the Left is pushing.

In every sphere of public debate, the moral high ground belongs to the Right. Claim it!

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Friday, September 09, 2011

Number of years since the attacks: 10

Number of Muslim hijackers: 19

Number of airplanes hijacked: 4

Number of intended targets: 4

Number of targets struck: 3 

Number of murder victims: 2,977

Estimated financial cost of the attacks: $3.3 trillion (source)

Number of apologies from Muslims, Muslim countries, or Muslim organizations for the attacks: Zero
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Joe Bonamassa
Blues Deluxe


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Turkey threatens to send gunboats with next flotilla

Why words matter.


Listening Hoffa? Obama? Perry? Wasserman-Schultz? Pelosi? 



Erdogan threatens to send gunboats with next flotilla






Turkish PM says "we will not allow our ships to be exposed to Israeli attacks"; Israeli official: We are trying to avoid war of words.


Even as Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday characterized the crisis with Ankara as “spilt milk,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened that Turkish gunboats would accompany Turkish “humanitarian” vessels the next time they set sail for Gaza.

The marked contrast in tone between the two leaders reflects the very different approaches Ankara and Jerusalem have taken to the current imbroglio, with Israeli ministers speaking little, and then relatively moderately about the situation, while Erdogan is leading a chorus of senior Turkish officials, from the president on down to the agriculture minister, lambasting and threatening Israel on a daily basis.


I think we all know the end of that story. Are those F-16I block 50's I hear overhead?


Turkey is an ENEMY of a ANY sovereign jewish state.


That is the WILL of the Turkish PEOPLE.


FACE IT.


Then dance.


"I can hear the sound of violence, long before it begins"






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US Military Plane Forced Down By North Korean Electronic Attack

NEW WARFARE, it is not innocent, it is NOT victimless, and it must be not only defended against, but COUNTERATTACKED DIRECTLY and with DETERRENCE in mind

A US military reconnaissance plane came under electronic attack from North Korea and had to make an emergency landing during a major military exercise in March, a political aide said Friday.

The aide said the plane suffered disturbance to its GPS system due to jamming signals from the North’s southwestern cities of Haeju and Kaesong as it was taking part in the annual US-South Korea drill, Key Resolve.

The incident was disclosed in a report that Seoul’s defense ministry submitted to Ahn Kyu-baek of parliament’s defense committee, the aide to Ahn said.

Spokesmen for the defense ministry and US Forces Korea declined to comment.

Jamming signals — sent at intervals of five to 10 minutes on the afternoon of March 4 — forced the plane to make an emergency landing 45 minutes after it took off, the aide quoted the report as saying.

The signals also affected South Korean naval patrol boats and speedboats, as well as several civilian flights near Seoul’s Gimpo area, according to the report.

Seoul mobile users also complained of bad connections, and the military reported GPS device malfunctions as the South and the US were staging the drill, which was harshly criticized by the North.

The Communist state has about 20 types of jamming devices, mostly imported from Russia, and has been developing a new device with a range of more than 62 miles (100 kilometers) near the heavily-fortified border, the Yonhap news agency has said.



Read more: http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/us-military-plane-forced-down-by-north-korean-electronic-attack-20110909-ncx#ixzz1XTFLkbs1

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Maybe they need a Dime Menu instead of dollar

Welcome to the new America, where fast food has replaced US STEEL, GM, Pratt and Whitney, Allis Chalmers, and DuPont, and that’s the GOOD news.

McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N) reported a lower-than-expected rise in global August sales at established restaurants on Friday on a steep drop in Japan and a lull in new product launches in the United States.

The world’s largest hamburger chain, whose shares fell more than 4 percent, said sales at restaurants open at least 13 months rose 3.5 percent worldwide. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for an increase of 4.3 percent.

Same-restaurant sales rose 3.9 percent in the United States, while analysts had expected a 4.0 percent gain. In Europe — McDonald’s largest market — the company reported an increase of 2.7 percent, missing analysts’ expectations of a 4.7 percent increase.

To help increase sales, McDonald’s has relied on new products like breakfast oatmeal and a beverage overhaul that has included the introduction of fruit smoothies and other drinks.

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The Gladney-ization of America: Trumka sits with First Lady After AFL-CIO Took Hostages


From Big Journalism:
Earlier this morning 500 or so members of the AFL-CIO stormed a port in Washington, vandalized the facility, reportedly cut the brake lines of train cars, and held six guards hostage. Shockingly, no one was arrested. Earlier that week a judge issued a restraining order against this same group after they clashed with police while brandishing bats and issuing death threats. Nineteen people were arrested for misdemeanors.

While all of this was going on, the group’s head, Richard Trumka, was invited as a guest of the President to tonight’s jobs address.
See how that union thug wields a baseball bat as a weapon AT THE POLICE.


That is because he truly believes that his Union is a bigger, more powerful form of "Law" than the Law and the Constitution under which the rest of us live.
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Joe Walsh Israeli resolution "support for Israel’s right to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank" being prepared

From Will at The Other News:
Tea party firebrand Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) plans to introduce a provocative measure in the House expressing congressional support for Israel’s right to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank as the Palestinians move forward with a controversial request for a declaration of statehood at the United Nations.

The resolution, which is modeled closely on a bill introduced in the Israeli Knesset, is the latest effort by Congress ahead of the proposed vote. Lawmakers from both parties returned from stints in Israel last month warning that Congress could seek to cut Palestinian aid if the vote goes forward.

The resolution, which is modeled closely on a bill introduced in the Israeli Knesset, is the latest effort by Congress ahead of the proposed vote. Lawmakers from both parties returned from stints in Israel last month warning that Congress could seek to cut Palestinian aid if the vote goes forward.

We’ve got what I consider to be a potential slap in the face coming up with the vote in the U.N., which is absolutely outrageous,” Walsh told POLITICO. “It’s clear that the United States needs to make a very strong statement. I would argue that the president should make this statement, but he’s not capable of making it. So, the House needs to make this statement, if the [Palestinian Authority] continues down this road of trying to get recognition of statehood, the U.S. will not stand for it. And we will respect Israel’s right to annex Judea and Samaria.”

 President Barack Obama has threatened a U.S. veto of any statehood declaration at the U.N. Security Council. But that hasn’t stopped lawmakers in both countries from threatening the consequences of a declaration.Walsh is moving forward with his resolution after meeting last month in Israel with Danny Danon, a deputy speaker of the Knesset and Likud Party member known for criticizing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from the right.

Earlier this year, Danon introduced a bill that would annex all of “Area C,” a large portion of the West Bank that includes Jewish settlements and rural lands but would spare the largest Palestinian cities. Danon’s now leading a campaign to pressure Netanyahu to move forward with the unilateral annexation.Walsh, who said he’d been considering a similar measure before arriving in Israel in August, confirmed that he and Danon “bounced some ideas off each other” on the resolution. 

Danon argued in a New York Times op-ed earlier this year that a request from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for a U.N. statehood declaration would amount to a nullification of the Oslo Accords, which dictate that “neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.” That means the country would be free to annex unilaterally, he wrote.

In the op-ed, Danon downplayed the potential international consequences by pointing to past Israeli annexations as evidence the country could withstand international condemnation.

“This is perfect timing for us and the right decision for us, not just from ideological perspective but security perspective as well,” said Jonny Daniels, a senior adviser to Danon, who said he also worked with conservative commentator Glenn Beck when he was in the country last month for his pro-Israel “Restoring Courage” rallies.Walsh says he plans to spend the rest of the week gathering cosponsors.
Read the full story here.
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First Haaretz turns Churchillian, and now the NYT speaks 'well' of Palin? Can anyone say "FULCRUM"?

This reporter has clearly never read the Doug Schoen/Rasmussen book, but he is right on it, without knowing it.

NYT Currents:

Some of Sarah Palin’s Ideas Cross the Political Divide

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS — Let us begin by confessing that, if Sarah Palin surfaced to say something intelligent and wise and fresh about the present American condition, many of us would fail to hear it.

That is not how we’re primed to see Ms. Palin. A pugnacious Tea Partyer? Sure. A woman of the people? Yup. A Mama Grizzly? You betcha.

But something curious happened when Ms. Palin strode onto the stage last weekend at a Tea Party event in Indianola, Iowa. Along with her familiar and predictable swipes at President Barack Obama and the “far left,” she delivered a devastating indictment of the entire U.S. political establishment — left, right and center — and pointed toward a way of transcending the presently unbridgeable political divide.

The next day, the “lamestream” media, as she calls it, played into her fantasy of it by ignoring the ideas she unfurled and dwelling almost entirely on the will-she-won’t-she question of her presidential ambitions.

So here is something I never thought I would write: a column about Sarah Palin’s ideas.

There was plenty of the usual Palin schtick — words that make clear that she is not speaking to everyone but to a particular strain of American: “The working men and women of this country, you got up off your couch, you came down from the deer stand, you came out of the duck blind, you got off the John Deere, and we took to the streets, and we took to the town halls, and we ended up at the ballot box.”

But when her throat was cleared at last, Ms. Palin had something considerably more substantive to say.

She made three interlocking points. First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).

In supporting her first point, about the permanent political class, she attacked both parties’ tendency to talk of spending cuts while spending more and more; to stoke public anxiety about a credit downgrade, but take a vacation anyway; to arrive in Washington of modest means and then somehow ride the gravy train to fabulous wealth. She observed that 7 of the 10 wealthiest counties in the United States happen to be suburbs of the nation’s capital.

Her second point, about money in politics, helped to explain the first. The permanent class stays in power because it positions itself between two deep troughs: the money spent by the government and the money spent by big companies to secure decisions from government that help them make more money.

“Do you want to know why nothing ever really gets done?” she said, referring to politicians. “It’s because there’s nothing in it for them. They’ve got a lot of mouths to feed — a lot of corporate lobbyists and a lot of special interests that are counting on them to keep the good times and the money rolling along.”

Because her party has agitated for the wholesale deregulation of money in politics and the unshackling of lobbyists, these will be heard in some quarters as sacrilegious words.

Ms. Palin’s third point was more striking still: in contrast to the sweeping paeans to capitalism and the free market delivered by the Republican presidential candidates whose ranks she has yet to join, she sought to make a distinction between good capitalists and bad ones. The good ones, in her telling, are those small businesses that take risks and sink and swim in the churning market; the bad ones are well-connected megacorporations that live off bailouts, dodge taxes and profit terrifically while creating no jobs.

Strangely, she was saying things that liberals might like, if not for Ms. Palin’s having said them.

“This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk,” she said of the crony variety. She added: “It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest — to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners — the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70 percent of the jobs in America.”

Is there a hint of a political breakthrough hiding in there?

The political conversation in the United States is paralyzed by a simplistic division of labor. Democrats protect that portion of human flourishing that is threatened by big money and enhanced by government action. Republicans protect that portion of human flourishing that is threatened by big government and enhanced by the free market.

What is seldom said is that human flourishing is a complex and delicate thing, and that we needn’t choose whether government or the market jeopardizes it more, because both can threaten it at the same time.

Ms. Palin may be hinting at a new political alignment that would pit a vigorous localism against a kind of national-global institutionalism.

On one side would be those Americans who believe in the power of vast, well-developed institutions like Goldman Sachs, the Teamsters Union, General Electric, Google and the U.S. Department of Education to make the world better. On the other side would be people who believe that power, whether public or private, becomes corrupt and unresponsive the more remote and more anonymous it becomes; they would press to live in self-contained, self-governing enclaves that bear the burden of their own prosperity.

No one knows yet whether Ms. Palin will actually run for president. But she did just get more interesting.

Join an online conversation at http://anand.ly

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Are President Obama’s Actions Hostile to Jews and Israel?

It's from the ZOA, but facts are facts

Is President Obama hostile to Jews and Israel? Let’s look at the evidence.

Last week, the Obama Administration issued talking points for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, where it referred to those struck by terrorism “whether in New York or Nairobi, Bali or Belfast, Mumbai or Manila, or Lahore or London.” Conspicuously absent was the name of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or Sderot, which have been hit by terrorists, not once, but numerous times.

As a single instance, this omission might be unremarkable. In fact, however, omitting mention of Israel fits a pattern. When running for President, then-Senator Obama referred in his July 2008 Berlin speech to the need to “dismantle the [terrorist] networks that have struck in Madrid and Amman; in London and Bali; in Washington and New York.” Again, no Israel.

It seems hard to believe that these omissions could be anything other than intentional. After all, Israel has been a primary target of terrorists throughout the past decade. Almost 2,000 Israelis have been murdered by terrorists in this period and over 10,000 maimed or disfigured. In per capita terms, far more Israelis have been murdered by terrorists than Americans were murdered in 9/11.

Obama also omits Israel in other contexts. Thus, when Haiti was struck by a calamitous earthquake in January 2010, Israel’s relief efforts were exceptional, only matched by those of the United States, and were singled out for praise by former President Clinton. However, in praising these relief efforts, Obama omitted any mention of Israel, saying only that “help continues to flow in, not just from the United States but from Brazil, Mexico, Canada, France, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic, among others.”

While Obama has more or less consistently failed to hold accountable or penalize the PA for incitement to violence against Israel, he has been emphatic and repetitive attacking Jewish housing projects in eastern Jerusalem as an obstacle to peace. His Administration has used the terms “condemn,” an “insult” and an “affront” when expressing disagreement with Israel on this issue, terms never used about other allies.

That Obama blames Israel, not the Palestinians, for the absence of peace is obvious. In a January 2010 interview, despite Israel’s acceptance in-principle of a Palestinian state, readiness to negotiate and instituting an unprecedented 10-month Jewish construction freeze in Judea and Samaria, Obama said Israel had made no “bold gestures.”

In a March 2011 meeting with Jewish leaders, Obama contended that “Israel’s [Palestinian] partner is sincere in wanting a peaceful settlement,” while asking his Jewish interlocutors to “speak to your Israeli friends and relatives and search your souls to determine how badly do you really want peace … Israelis think this peace process is overrated.”

Note also the contrast between his holiday messages to Jews and to Muslims.

In his Rosh Hashanah message last year, Obama only once referred to ‘Jews,’ not once to ‘Judaism,’ promoted a Palestinian state, and never mentioned the extraordinary contributions of Jews to the U.S.

In contrast, in his August 2010 Ramadan Message, Obama referred to ‘Muslims’ six times and to ‘Islam’ twice, stated that “American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country,” and praised “Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings … a faith known for great diversity and racial equality.” Here, Obama, made no reference to what Muslims must do to achieve peace with Israel.

There are many other indicators of Obama evincing discomfort around Jewish matters. When, in May 2010, Obama signed the Daniel Pearl Press Freedom Act, he did not mention that Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, was beheaded by Islamist terrorists because he was a Jew and that he was forced to state in the video recorded of his gruesome murder that he was an American Jew. Instead, Obama merely referred to Pearl’s “loss.”

And let’s not forget Obama’s June 2009 Cairo speech, in which he compared the circumstances of Palestinians under Israeli rule to Jews under the Nazis and blacks under Apartheid. Nor his September 2009 UN speech, in which Obama “couple[d] unwavering commitment to Israel” with Israel “respecting the legitimate claims and rights of the Palestinians.”

These incidents, some important, some less so, have assumed a troubling pattern. They suggest that President Obama has a distaste or even hostility towards Jews and Israel. But should we be surprised? He spent twenty years absorbing the anti-Israel sermons of Pastor Jeremiah Wright, whom Obama has called a “great man,” his “friend” and “mentor.”

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The Irrelevant Obama Presidency

OUCH!

From Dana Milbank in today's Washington Post:
President Obama gave one of the most impassioned speeches of his presidency when he addressed a joint session of Congress Thursday night. Too bad so many in the audience thought it was a big, fat joke.

[...]

Obama rose to the occasion with a bold jobs proposal that delighted liberals but also had elements conservatives grudgingly endorsed. Yet long before the speech, both sides had concluded it didn’t much matter: Obama has become too weak to enact anything big enough to do much good.

“I thought it was a great speech,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) But the odds of Obama getting his plan through Congress “are probably as good as the Nationals winning the league this year.”

Presidential addresses to Congress are often dramatic moments. This one felt like a sideshow. Usually, the press gallery is standing room only; this time only 26 of 90 seats were claimed by the deadline. Usually, some members arrive in the chamber hours early to score a center-aisle seat; 90 minutes before Thursday’s speech, only one Democrat was so situated.

[...]

Even a mention of Abraham Lincoln, “a Republican president who mobilized government to build the transcontinental railroad,” brought no applause from the GOP side. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) yawned. One unidentified Republican backbencher chose this moment to hold up a sign demanding “Drilling for Jobs.”

So now even Lincoln doesn’t merit Republican applause when Obama invokes his name?...

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posted by Always On Watch at permanent link# 2 Comments

Wired mag disappointed with Rick Veitch

Wired's website section called Danger Room has written about Rick Veitch's 9-11 truther comic, The Big Lie, and are quite dismayed that he's gone downhill:
It’s enough to make you void your Comixology pullbox. Rick Veitch, a legend in the comic book industry, published The Big Lie on Wednesday, a sleazy 9/11 Truther screed in sequential-art form. Spoiler alert: pseudo-scientific hysteria married to paranoia about How Bush Knew isn’t any cuter when told by cartoon figures.

[...] Veitch doesn’t stop at one conspiracy. They build in their scope and scale. First it’s about Norad unexpectedly preoccupying U.S. air defenses with frivolous training exercises. Then it’s about how the neocons in the Bush administration are looking for an excuse to invade Iraq. (“I’ve heard more than one of these nut-jobs say what the U.S. needs is a ‘New Pearl Harbor,’” says a character who informs us he voted for Reagan.) Finally, the skeptical husband, an engineer who did his thesis on the World Trade Center, dismisses his future-wife by assuring her that “the only way to bring down these structures down is with explosives.” You see where this is going.

Sigh. Yes, planes loaded with jet fuel and used as missiles can — and did — destroy the World Trade Center. Read the authoritative Popular Mechanics story about the physics of 9/11 if your mind is open to persuasion. Bush and company indeed wanted to take down Saddam Hussein from the start of his administration and they cynically tied Saddam to 9/11 absent evidence. But sorry: there is no evidence they planned an invasion before 9/11; no evidence that they knew about 9/11 and let it happen; and no evidence at all they brought the Towers down.
While I'm glad to see they recognize that it's NOT the Bush administration that did it, it's a shame they think that signs of WMDs in Iraq are "absent". As this FOX News report tells, there were samples of chemical weaponry found since 2003, as Rep. Rick Santorum reported in 2006.
Yet all that is wiped away in the scene’s final panel, where three thermite grenades are visible on a supporting beam inside the Towers — to the horror of a former skeptic — and Uncle Sam himself vouches for the truth of the story. “Folks fall so hard for the shuck-and-jive they never hear the wake up call when it finally arrives,” Sam says. This makes Frank Miller’s forthcoming Holy Terror seem calm and reasonable.

Veitch implicitly gives up the game — as Truthers tend to — when he has his Cassandra say, “Look at what was left out of the [9/11] Commission’s report,” the last recourse of those who believe the government covered up its role in the “conspiracy.” The horrible truth is that al-Qaida attacked the U.S. on 9/11.

For comic fans tethered to a sense of reality, Veitch’s descent into Trutherism is a huge disappointment. A star of alternative comics in the 80s, Veitch wrote some classic Swamp Thing stories for D.C. and illustrated a hugely important scene in Alan Moore’s seminal Miracleman. His comic Brat Pack is the best — and most disturbing — treatise on the exploitation of children implicit in the superhero-sidekick genre. It also sucks that the venerable publishing house Image Comics — which gave us Spawn, The Walking Dead, Youngblood and more — saw fit to release Veitch’s hysteria, selling it as a “riveting tale of 9/11.”
Well let's just note that, as anyone who was familiar with Image's early output knows, Spawn and Youngblood both stunk, the former was Todd McFarlane's trip downhill (a shame too, because when he began his career in the early 80s, his artwork, while not perfect, wasn't that bad either), and Youngblood was just the beginning of the real Liefeld abominations in artwork (and why do I get the feeling Brat Pack, which I never really knew about until now, is actually a rather awful book?). It's a pity that they're taking such a weak approach to some of the other stuff from Image, and even slip up by saying evidence of WMD traces was "absent". But the rest is pretty good and I'm glad to see they understand why the kind of conspiracy theories Veitch sunk into are distasteful.

They also say in response to the interview he'd given I focused on earlier, where he attacked the Patriot Act as a pre-planned Neo-Con conception:
That’s not true, either, by the way. It would appear the true controlled demolition concerns what Rick Veitch has done to his brain.
Yup. And if any Democrats also supported the Patriot Act, then Veitch is only beclowning himself further by singling out and demonizing the Republicans for drafting a law for the purpose of ensuring the public's safety.
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