Roman Around

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Archive for November, 2009

POLL STUFF: LIMBUAGH, JFK, AND THE TOMB OF THE UNKOWNS

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 30, 2009

Limbugh - he's number one

It won’t surprise most to learn that talk show host Rush Limbaugh is considered by Americans to be the most influential conservative in the country. In fact, according to a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll issued yesterday, Limbaugh sits comfortably ahead of the pack with 26% of the tally, 15 points ahead of Glenn Beck.

To many, however, that number sounds too low. Way too low. The general perception persists among influential lefties (i.e., the mainstream media) that all conservative thinkers, talkers and pundits get their daily marching orders from Limbaugh in some form.

He is the puller of strings, issuer of swastikas, and mentor to all who hate.

It cannot be denied that no other conservative can twist the panties of the mainstream media like Limbaugh. They obsesses over no one else on the right like they do Limbaugh. All other conservatives combined don’t draw the attention that Limbaugh does on a daily basis. (Yes, even the current Sarah Palin fervor will subside over time).

But that’s okay.

It has almost become a spectator sport to see which news outlet can take a Limbaugh quote and render it most unrecognizable from its original meaning each day.

Good times.

That the most influential conservative in America is not a politician is both telling and predictable. The reality is, Americans are infinitely more likely to hear conservative values articulated more eloquently and more thoroughly on talk radio than from almost anyone serving in Washington.

Incidentally, both former-Vice President Dick Cheney and former-Governor Sarah Palin came in one point behind Glenn Beck at 10%.

Two other tidbits from the poll are worth touching upon.

First, President John F. Kennedy was chosen by 29% of those polled as the face they’d most like to see added to Mount Rushmore. President Ronald Reagan finished behind him at 20%.

This is not the least bit surprising.

In all honesty, I am actually quite astonished Reagan pulled in as many as 20%.  I say so not because Reagan is undeserving. To the contrary, I can think of no one more worthy of such an honor. 

Unfortunately, President Reagan is not nearly the popular culture icon JFK is. (Who is?) That Kennedy was a politician is almost secondary. Kennedy is revered much the same way John Lennon, Elvis Presley and James Dean are.

To this day, he personifies “hope” and “promise” and “what might have been.”

Those are big ones on the lefty hit parade.

He was young, charismatic, uncommonly photogenic, as quick on his feet as any one in public life has ever been, and murdered in the prime of his life.

All the ingredients are there.

To this day, Kennedy is regularly referenced and cited by Democrats who long to build bridges to their party’s storied past; and yes, even by Republicans who routinely claim that he’d actually be a conservative on many critical issues by today’s standards. For whatever reason, it seems mighty important to folks on both sides of the aisle that they are able to claim their share of the JFK pie.

Ronald Reagan, meanwhile, couldn’t even muster a mention by the current President during the ceremonies earlier this month commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall. As I recall, there was that whole “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” thing that might have been interesting to bring up, but Reagan’s name never came from Obama’s lips.

Obama did, however, manage to quote JFK.

The President exemplifies how America is hard-wired.

The fact that one of America’s greatest presidents – largely portrayed by the mainstream media as an overrated, yet likable, cowboy who could never have accomplished a damn thing without the great Mikhail Gorbachev to guide him – still manages 20% of the vote behind someone as culturally deified as John Kennedy is quite astounding.

Attaboy, Gipper.

Finally, which of these events did Americans say they would most want to participate in?

Laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; lighting the Olympic torch; tossing the coin to open a Super Bowl; starting the race at the Indianapolis 500; ringing the opening bell at the stock exchange; or throwing out the first pitch at the World Series?

Believe it or not … half of Americans said that laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns is the ceremony they’d most like to be a part of.

Maybe there’s hope yet.

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Posted in American culture, Polls, Pop Culture, Ronald Reagan, Rush Limbaugh | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

IRAN – HOW ABOUT TEN MORE?

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 30, 2009

Not that I believe the United Nations (or any related organization) is actually good for anything other than reminding the rest of us that impotence does exist beyond Viagra users and cocaine addicts, but the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – an autonomous body which reports directly to the UN Security Council and General Assembly – actually did the right thing on Friday.

Not that it actually matters in the grand scheme of things.

Not that it will make a damn bit of difference.

This is the IAEA, after all.

But by a count of 25-3, the IAEA passed a resolution demanding that Iran cease construction of a recently discovered nuclear facility near Qom and put an end to its uranium enrichment program.

Both the United States and Israel applauded the vote.

And yes, you read that correctly … the IAEA demanded Iran cut it out.

Meanwhile, Iran’s response to the IAEA resolution – to go along with five other UN resolutions – was to announce to the world that it is expanding its uranium enrichment program with the construction of ten new plants.

So there!

This smart diplomacy angle is really paying dividends.

The censure from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), with rare backing from Russia and China, provoked anger in Iran where members of parliament demanded the withdrawal of co-operation with UN inspectors.

President Ahmadinejad announced last night that his Cabinet had ordered the building of ten new plants aimed at producing up to 300 tonnes of nuclear fuel a year, with construction to begin on five within two months.

He said that the Cabinet had also been studying plans to start enriching uranium to a higher level — high enough to be used in medical research but below that required for weapons.

Smart diplomacy seems to be cut from the same cloth as smart climate change science.

There really is nothing quite like having infirmity as the prevailing American foreign policy motif.

Indeed, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs released a statement about America’s patience wearing thin with Iran, and the promise of consequences if Iran doesn’t play nice, blah, blah, blah.

Still, I cannot help but wonder why is it that President Obama is willing to accept the notion that Iran is pursuing nuclear power for peaceful purposes, but is not willing to accept that Iran really does want to see Israel wiped off the face of the Earth.

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HUCKABEE COMMUTED 95-YEAR SENTENCE OF MAN SOUGHT IN COP SHOOTINGS

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 30, 2009

Maurice Clemmons

A 37-year old man with a lengthy criminal record is wanted in connection with the brutal “ambush” murders of four police officers yesterday in a Lakewood, Washington coffee shop.

As of early this morning, blogs and news sites across the spectrum are replete with coverage of this story and the search for the man, Maurice Clemmons.

Nothing is certain yet, but assuming Clemmons did commit this horrific act, how on God’s green earth was he ever afforded the opportunity to do so? This is a man with at least thirteen felony convictions in two states. How can it be that a man with a current pending charge of second-degree rape of a child – complimented by a history of burglary, theft of property, possessing a handgun on school property, aggravated robbery, punching a sheriff’s deputy in the face, and a host of other bizarre and erratic actions – could be given a chance to murder these innocent human beings? What about his long history of criminality was unclear to those who let him free?

Apart from the senseless killings of four slain police officers, the story that really seems to be making the rounds this morning is the fact that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee once commuted a 95-year prison sentence of Clemmons.

From the Seattle Times:

Nine years ago, then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee granted clemency to Clemmons, commuting his lengthy prison sentence over the protests of prosecutors.

“This is the day I’ve been dreading for a long time,” Larry Jegley, prosecuting attorney for Arkansas’ Pulaski County said tonight when informed that Clemmons was being sought for questioning in connection with the killings.

Huckabee, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination last year, issued a statement tonight calling the slaying of the police officers “a horrible and tragic event.”

If Clemmons is found responsible, “it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State,” Huckabee said.

He added that Clemmons’ release from prison had been reviewed and approved by the Arkansas parole board.

This, of course, is the point where I make my obligatory reference to Willie Horton and former Democratic presidential candidate, Michael Dukakis. I won’t harp on it, however, seeing as everyone else seems to be. I’ll leave it to far better wordsmiths than I.

Still, for what it’s worth, as insignificant as it is compared to the murder of four police officers, it goes without saying that this will effectively end Huckabee’s chances at any sort of viable political future. He was already known for his propensity to grant violent criminals clemency – something I wrote about on more than several occassions during the presidential campaign season.

This one will certainly serve as Huckabee’s personal political Waterloo.

But this travesty of justice isn’t just about him by any means.

The truth of the matter is, alot of people along the chain were complicit in allowing this example of human excrement to walk around.

Meanwhile, the hunt for Clemmons goes on.

From Fox News:

Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer told reporters that Maurice Clemmons, 37, was believed to have been in the area around the time of the shooting, but declined to say what evidence might link him to the shooting.

Troyer said the gunman entered the coffee house and walked toward the counter as if to place an order. A barista saw a gun when the man opened his jacket and fled out the back door. The man then turned and opened fire on the officers as they sat working on their laptops

Troyer said the attack was clearly targeted at the officers, not a robbery gone bad.

“This was more of an execution. Walk in with the specific mindset to shoot police officers,” he said. “There were marked patrol cars outside and they were all in uniform.”

Troyer said the officers were catching up on paperwork at the beginning of their shifts when they were attacked at 8:15 a.m.

The four murdered police officers were Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39; Officer Ronald Owens, 37; Officer Tina Griswold, 40; and Officer Greg Richards 42.

God rest their souls.
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PICTURE OF THE DAY FOR NOVEMBER 30, 2009

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 30, 2009

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LOST DATA, PHONY SCIENCE

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 29, 2009

And so it turns out, perhaps not surprisingly, that much of the raw data amassed from weather stations across the globe over the years – the very data which has been used to codify and forecast an impending global warming catastrophe – is forever lost. That means the conclusions drawn by doomsayers based on that now long gone data cannot be checked or “peer reviewed” by other academics. Scientists at University of East Anglia (UEA), the womb from where the current “climategate” scandal was born, announced that the raw numbers were thrown away.

The words “How Convenient” come to mind.

Jonathan Leake, Environment Editor of the Times Online, writes:

The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.

The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.

The admission follows the leaking of a thousand private emails sent and received by Professor Phil Jones, the CRU’s director. In them he discusses thwarting climate sceptics seeking access to such data.

In a statement on its website, the CRU said: “We do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (quality controlled and homogenised) data.”

The CRU is the world’s leading centre for reconstructing past climate and temperatures. Climate change sceptics have long been keen to examine exactly how its data were compiled. That is now impossible.

If nothing else, in the name of “science,” wouldn’t it just make sense to wipe the “Earth-is-in-peril” climactic slate clean and start over? In light of the current scandal, and seeing as the only data available for review are “adjusted” or “revised” figures, isn’t it more reasonable to conclude that dire global warming predictions are, at best, questionable and worthy of a “reset?” Wouldn’t it seem to be appropriate for man-made global warming skeptics (who are willing to admit that they may be wrong) to team up with global warming militants (who believe they cannot possibly be wrong) and try and make heads or tails of all of this “settled science” through credible means?
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PICTURE OF THE DAY FOR NOVEMBER 29, 2009

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 29, 2009

 That’s wasn’t a speed bump?

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SPANKING OBAMA?

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 28, 2009

Aside from those who may enjoy a hint of sadomasochism in their private lives, getting spanked from two directions is probably not something most people aspire to – not even the President of the United States (unless he is from Arkansas or Massachusetts).

Any president, obviously, expects to weather his share of open handed political slaps from the other team. It’s what politics are all about. But when a president’s own side starts promising a smack back in response to a policy decision, and it is in addition to the searing heat already coming from the opposition on the same issue, things are definitely getting hairy.

With President Obama already establishing brand new standards for lackadaisical wartime leadership, he is apparently ready to tell the world how the United States will proceed in Afghanistan. The scuttlebutt is he will announce that he is sending as many as 35,000 troops there early next year – less than the 40,000 General Stanley McChrystal requested.

And while Obama’s many months of glittering indecision has disgusted and angered conservatives (and others), the idea that he will send anyone else to Afghanistan is angering some liberals.

Stephen Clark of Fox News writes:

President Obama is days away from announcing a new Afghan strategy, but his immediate battle could come from liberals within his own party who are vowing to “spank” the president for committing tens of thousands of more troops to the eight-year conflict.

“I think there will be some disillusionment within his base,” said Paul Kawika Martin, political director for Peace Action, a grassroots organization, who added that thousands of activists are planning to protest following the president’s announcement.

“We’re going to spank him for sending more troops,” he told FoxNews.com, adding that they may also “thank him” if he announces a quick exit strategy.

The White House has said that the U.S. won’t be in Afghanistan for another eight or nine years. But that won’t satisfy liberals, Martin said.

Indeed, conservatives have criticized the President for his world-class dithering on this issue. They have hit Obama hard on his disinclination to use the word “victory.” They have excoriated him for failing to give the impression to his own troops – and the world at large – that he is determined to do what it takes to win. He has helped build an image of a weakened America throughout the world.

However, there can be little doubt that if the President asks for Republican support for this 35,000 troop surge, he will wind up getting it. They may question – with good reason – why Obama feels he has the expertise to second guess his own generals by sending in less troops than requested, but Republicans will have to support the move.

Couple those Republicans with the Dems who actually would be willing to support the measure, and the President will be left having to contend with the anti-war left who are promising to “spank” him for his decision.

I’d love someone to define that for me. (No illustrations needed).

Even though Obama’s announcement is sure to reawaken the anti-war movement, Martin said, the protests won’t be as intense as they were in the Bush era because the movement has been weakened by the economic recession — some organizations have shed up to 40 percent of staff in the past year, he said — and is distracted by the national health care debate. He also said many members of the movement voted for Obama and trust him more than the Bush administration.

“So you don’t have that same type of anger,” he said.

But without the support of congressional Democrats, Obama will find himself in the awkward position of relying on the support of Republicans who largely oppose his domestic agenda. And he may have to explain how he supports a troop surge in Afghanistan when he opposed one in Iraq two years ago.

The word “irony” comes to mind.

Remember, this is the “necessary war,” according to President Obama. It is so “necessary,” in fact, that Obama has decided to go McChrystal-light.

Bammy knows best.

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A PERSONAL ANECDOTE – THE E-MAIL ABOUT SARAH PALIN

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 28, 2009

Regularly, I am asked why I don’t share more anecdotes or personal stories on this blog.

Seeing as I find myself wide awake on this very early Saturday morning, and I am slightly bored with the news, I thought I’d share a little story from last year about Sarah Palin.

A couple of days after Senator John McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate, I received one of those mass e-mails that often attacks unsuspecting “inboxes” from the depths of cyber-space. (I’d wager that many of you received this one). It was a scathing attack on Governor Sarah Palin, written by someone who called herself “Jackie S.” The composer of this torrid invective presented herself as a resident of Alaska – and a current college student (naturally) – and therefore qualified to articulate her scornful criticisms of Palin. She wrote the piece as an impassioned plea to save our nation from certain calamity. She beseeched her readers at the outset: “Please read this if you care about our country … “

It was all down hill from there.

The “Jackie S” e-mail was sent to me (and about fifty others), coincidentally enough, from a relative here in Brooklyn that I have had no interaction with for at least four years. (She is from the wing of the family that often inspired stories from the old-timers I grew up with, but played – and still plays -no role in my life whatsoever. She is, to me, simply a face that surfaces when I happen to be leafing through old photo album pages).

The e-mail was titled: “Sarah Palin????” (Four question marks!)

Predictably, it was filled with what had become boilerplate, run-of-the-mill anti-Palin rhetoric, stuffed with the characteristic pejoratives – “redneck,” “white trash,” and so on. It was somewhat amusing, badly crafted, poorly argued and amateurishly punctuated. (College student, indeed!)

I decided to have a bit of fun and compose a detailed, cohesive response that I could send out to everyone on the same mailing list, understanding I was opening myself up to the inevitable barrage of contemptuous liberal harassment. Without descending into silly name-calling and personal insults, the goal was to address each of the points “Jackie S” brought up with cogent rebuttals and well-supported opinions.

I did so … and then went on my merry way, bothering no one, living a clean life.

About twenty-four hours later, I received my first e-mail from someone on the mailing list. (Remember, I had no idea who ANY of these people on the mailing list were). It was concise and to the point:

A) Andy, take me off your e-mail list.

B) You’re an idiot. IF the McCain/Palin ticket (sorry, I had to stop laughing for a minute) wins this election, then you get what you deserve. Do YOUR homework. I hate being pandered to, don’t you?

Most sincerely yours,

The person who sent this little note, I was surprised to discover, was another relative of mine (a cousin) who I had not seen or heard from in nearly twenty years – someone who grew up with my mother in Brooklyn. To me, this particular relation – just like the first one – was really only a familiar photo album face, nothing more. I did, however, tell my mother about it, who found it quite amusing, if not predictable. I couldn’t help but think that this was another long-lost relative I would not be getting together with for coffee cake and sanka.

(And I didn’t pander. Honest).

Of course, she wasn’t on my mailing list. I was simply responding to the original e-mail.

But as they say, all good things come in threes.

Another e-mail, as it so happens, came in from a member of the mailing list who, too, had opinions that needed sharing. She wrote:

I feel obliged to respond, to say something about Sarah Palin. First off, because for the past five years, I have lived here in Alaska. Two,because I actually know Sarah and Todd Palin. We met at the State Fair, of all places, before she was Governor … Third, because those of you who know me, know that I am a die-hard socialist/anarchist and a Yellow Dog Democrat and that I come by it honestly, genetically if you will, the daughter of two community-organizing, labor union organizing Jewish Socialists.

Wow! Someone else from Alaska. And a “socialist/anarchist” to boot! How lucky could a right-wing Brooklyn boy get?

This was tremendously interesting, particularly because, as I came to find out after ingesting her tedious ramblings, this yellow dog lefty was yet another long-lost relative of mine whom I hadn’t even been in the same state with in maybe twenty-five years. (At that point, I decided to keep my photo album close. I was bound to discover missing siblings at that rate).

Which brings me, finally, to my point, as I try to throw a lasso onto my stream of consciousness here … Notice how my third long lost relative used the words “community organizing.”

Do those words at all sound familiar? Anyone?

Further, I would ask any one who may care to offer up an opinion on the matter, if they can observe any correlation at all between the history of “community organizing” in her, or anyone else’s, “bloodline” (which admittedly, is my bloodline as well) and her self-described “socialist/anarchist” beliefs?

A fair question, no?

Are there conservative “community organizers?”

As for me, just for the record, I organize nothing.

And no, I’ve not received another single e-mail from anyone on that mailing list since.

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PICTURE OF THE DAY FOR NOVEMBER 28, 2009

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 28, 2009

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MAINSTREAM MEDIA: WHAT GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 27, 2009

There can be no doubt whatsoever that if a series of e-mails between high-level government officials was duvulged suggesting that the attacks of September 11, 2001 were an inside job (as many 9/11-truthers religiously believe) the entirety of the media and entertainment complex would be set on its ever-loving ear.

Such a story would consume all means of news dissemination known to mankind. It would devour all broadcast media airtime. The number of trees that would lose their lives in order to accommodate a frantic print media would make Ed Begley, Jr’s skull rupture. There wouldn’t be enough bandwidth available to handle the overload of slavering conspiracists, outraged mouse-clickers and pajama-wearing blog spinsters. The shockwaves of such a capacious deception would be felt in every corner of the world. Every news outlet in possession of at least one stenographer’s pad and ball point pen would dispatch their slimiest, most-aggressive, most-implacable investigative reporters to do as much digging as their insatiable journalistic appetites (or the limits of the law) would allow.

As it should be.

What, then, can be said of the latest – and, by far, the greatest – evidence (outside of the climate itself) that the man-made global warming threat is an indubitable hoax of epic proportion? If the mainstream media of the United States is any indication, not too much. Although the blades of the global warming windmill are falling off the spindle quicker than a polar bear from an Arctic ice chunk, the East Anglia “Climategate” e-mails are still being characterized (if they’re even mentioned at all) by the mainstreamies as no big deal – examples of some unfortunate, inside-baseball stuff taken out of context by a hacker. The significance of the damning e-mails is greatly exaggerated according to those who know, despite every bit of evidence to the contrary, that the Earth faces untold calamities due to global warming – even though it isn’t warming. They are frantically, desperately fighting to save the ship despite the fact that the ship is doing perfectly well, taking on no water and under no threat.

It is surreal.

Indeed, this is a story that ought to be plastered across every front page of the world. This charade, which has been called the greatest threat facing humanity and has been inculcated into every orifice of western culture for the better part of two decades, should have bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young Bob Woodwards itching to get out there to make their journalistic bones. The exposure (and confirmation) of this epic myth should have the world’s press banging at the door of Al Gore demanding to know what the hell is going on. The ferocious push by world leaders, brainwashed bootlickers, frightened backscratchers and brain-dead ideologues over the past two decades to literally change the face of the global economy based on absolutely unproven, unsubstantiated, phony, agenda-driven junk-science is such that this story should be the biggest since 9/11. It should be told at every corner of the globe and be called precisely what it is – the final clincher of the greatest hoax ever to be thrust upon humankind.

But it isn’t.

Not yet.

Maybe soon.

It’s getting there.

I hope.

Gerald Warner of the UK Telegraph has an interesting perspective:

Just a few considerations in addition to previous remarks about the explosion of the East Anglia Climategate e-mails in America. The reaction is growing exponentially there. Fox News, Barack Obama’s Nemesis, is now on the case, trampling all over Al Gore’s organic vegetable patch and breaking the White House windows. It has extracted some of the juiciest quotes from the e-mails and displayed them on-screen, with commentaries. Joe Public, coast-to-coast, now knows, thanks to the clowns at East Anglia’s CRU, just how royally he has been screwed.

At this rate, Copenhagen is going to turn into a comedy convention with the real world laughing at these liars. Now is the time to mount massive resistance to the petty tyrants and hit them where it hurts – in the wallet. Further down the line there may be, in many countries, a question of criminal prosecution of anybody who has falsified data to secure funds and impose potentially disastrous fiscal restraints on the world in deference to a massive hoax. It’s a new world out there, Al [Gore], and, as you may have noticed, the climate is very cold indeed.

It would be quite nice, in a more perfect world – or at least one commandeered by common sense – to believe that this greatest of all swindles could serve to open the eyes of the indoctrinated climate-change zealots heading to Copenhagen in December, but I have no such allusions. Even if the very airplanes bringing some of these doomsayers to Denmark for the Climate Conference wound up being held over because the wings needed to be de-iced, it wouldn’t change the thinking. It is “settled science,” after all. The debate is long since over. Global warming remains mankind’s greatest danger. The science is as certain as ever – even though scientists are baffled as to why the world has been cooling over the last ten years.

And while my local weatherman can’t seem to get the weekend weather forecast quite right, we are to believe these eco-fascists somehow know for certain what will be happening in thirty years.

And although not a single “global warming” computer model predicted the current ten-year cooling trend, we are to believe these enviro-brown shirts can predict the doom of the planet.

From the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal yesterday:

But the furor over these documents is not about tone, colloquialisms or even whether climatologists are nice people in private. The real issue is what the messages say about the way the much-ballyhooed scientific consensus on global warming was arrived at in the first place, and how even now a single view is being enforced. In short, the impression left by the correspondence among Messrs. Mann and Jones and others is that the climate-tracking game has been rigged from the start.

According to this privileged group, only those whose work has been published in select scientific journals, after having gone through the “peer-review” process, can be relied on to critique the science. And sure enough, any challenges that critics have lobbed at climatologists from outside this clique are routinely dismissed and disparaged.

This past September, Mr. Mann told a New York Times reporter in one of the leaked emails that: “Those such as [Stephen] McIntyre who operate almost entirely outside of this system are not to be trusted.” Mr. McIntyre is a retired Canadian businessman who fact-checks the findings of climate scientists and often publishes the mistakes he finds—including some in Mr. Mann’s work—on his Web site, Climateaudit.org. He holds the rare distinction of having forced Mr. Mann to publish a correction to one of his more-famous papers.

An encouraging note:

In Australia yesterday, five Liberal Party frontbenchers resigned their portfolios because they could not, in good conscience, vote for that country’s equivalent of Cap and Trade – the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Meanwhile, with President Obama preparing for his departure to Copenhagen on December 9th, there are still too few Americans who know the details of this story – if they’ve even heard it at all – or its implications. There are too many in the United States who get their information from lock-step, liberal conventional wisdom conveyed to them through the tentacles of popular culture. Fox News is, indeed, covering the story to a certain extent, but it is otherwise being largely ignored by the rest of the alphabets and sycophants.

Surprise, surprise.

Incidentally, you may recall that not too long ago British Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned us that the world had a mere fifty days to save itself from certain global-warming induced doom.

How time flies.

There are only eleven days left.

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NOT A BAD FIRST WEEK, SARAH

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 27, 2009

From the “Just For Kicks and Giggles” file …

Not that I’m actually keeping track or anything.

Not that it really matters in the grand scheme of things.

Not that I’m going to take up a whole lot of space yammering like a child about it.

But…

Sarah Palins’ new book, Going Rogue: An American Life (you must have heard of it, it was in all the papers), sold 469,000 copies in its first week of publication. That’s seven times as many copies as Barack Obama’s book, Audacity of Hope, sold in 2007 (67,000).

In fact, according to Neilsen Bookscan, only Bill Clinton’s 2004 book, My Life, had a better first week showing among current or past presidents, or by presidential and vice presidential candidates. By contrast, Joe Biden’s 2007 book, Promises To Keep, sold 5,000 copies in its first week.

(insert muffled giggle)

Yes, I know it isn’t a contest.

Just sayin’.

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PICTURE OF THE DAY FOR NOVEMBER 27, 2009

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 27, 2009

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MANY MANY THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 26, 2009

On this Thanksgiving Day, it is most appropriate for me to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart who visit this blog – liberal or conservative, friend or foe, frequent visitor or occasional browser.

Thank you sincerely.

Readership has grown almost exponentially in recent months, and I am enormously humbled and eternally grateful. It is, indeed, my honor to have you.

I hope that you will continue to visit as often as possible, and if you are so inclined, leave your comments and invite others to stop by.

From my family to you and yours, have a wonderful and festive Thanksgiving!

And please don’t forget to count your blessings.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 26, 2009

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SENATOR CONRAD PLAYS THE “LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT” CARD

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 25, 2009

Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota – who, by the way, is not up for election next year (as astutely pointed out by Rob at Say Anything) – says that if any of us don’t believe in our system (as he does), we might want to consider going elsewhere; a kind of twenty-first century variation of “America, love it or leave it.” Of course, he is referring to those of us who are enraged that enemy combatants who waged war on the United States are being tried in a civilian court in New York City. He is talking about those of us who despise the fact that terrorists captured on the battle field have been granted the Constitutional protection of American citizens. In his mind, American “civilian courts are well-suited to prosecute Al-Qaeda terrorists.”

Matt Cover of CNS News writes:

On Capitol Hill on Nov. 19, CNSNews.com asked Conrad: “We’re going to have a civilian trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. If our troops–the evidence against him is going to be found in Afghanistan, there on the battlefield–if our troops need to enter a house and they think that there’s evidence there, should they have to establish probable cause and get a search warrant from a judge first?”

Conrad said: “You’re not being serious about these questions, are you?”

CNSNews.com: “[Yes], in a civilian trial. If I was on trial or you were on trial, that would have to be [done].”

Conrad responded, “We have tried terrorists in our courts and done so very successfully in the past and that is our system. So if people don’t believe in our system, maybe they ought to go somewhere else. I believe in America.”

There are two points to make here.

First, as Rob at Say Anything explains, the terrorists that have been tried in civilian court in the past, like Timothy McVeigh and the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, were apprehended “domestically by domestic law enforcement officials.” By contrast, the 9/11 co-conspirators who will stand trial in New York were captured by military forces on the field of battle or in the prosecution of war. Therefore, they were not subject to the guidelines and procedures of “civilian judicial standards.”  It’s difficult to imagine that there will not a host of legal issues to contend with when those captured as enemy combatants are tried as civilians.

Second, this is a matter of national security. These “defendants,” with the same protections afforded American civilian criminals, will have access to intelligence that cannot be denied them. Thus, by definition, civilian courts are not well-suited to prosecuting war criminals.

Sorry, Kent.

Conrad also dismissed a question about the rights of terrorists captured on foreign battlefields and the rules of evidence in terms of a civilian court trial as not serious.

Talk show host Larry Elder pointed out on Monday (while substituting for Dennis Prager) that the “rules of evidence” in the 1993 World Trace Center bombing trials resulted in security compromises:

“You know, in the trial of the first bombing of the World Trade Center, and the trial of blind Sheikh, people don’t realize how much information was given to the bad guys because of those trials, because in a civilian trial you have a right to have everything the prosecution has.

And so, because of those two trials, Osama Bin Ladin found out he was an unindicted co-conspirator – that we were after his butt – and he moved from Sudan to Afghanistan because of that. Because of those trials, Al-Qaeda found out that we tracking their whereabouts via their cell phones. They stopped using their cell phones.”

Believing in America, Mr. Conrad, has nothing to do with having to accept asinine political plays that literally put the security of the nation at risk.

It’s about keeping America safe.

Jackass.

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THREE NAVY SEALS AND A TERRORIST’S BLOODY LIP

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 25, 2009

From the “You’ve Got To Be Goddamn Kidding Me” file…

The cuckoo clock that is my transforming nation seems to be tolling its bell louder all the time – and I damn well don’t like it.

What the hell is happening to my country?

Whether it is the Commander-in-Chief’s modus operandi of weakening his own country through apologetic confessionals, or his determination to close a perfectly functioning terrorist detention facility so that America’s enemies will love her more, or his incapacity to come to a decision concerning his “war of necessity” in Afghanistan, or his conferring of Constitutional rights on enemy combatants who waged war on America, or his Army Chief of Staff who said that diversity among the troops is more vital than protecting innocent lives, or a media so raped of its ability to be objective by political correctness that it could not (or would not) call the Ft. Hood mass murder an Islamist terrorist attack, this country is on a dangerous path.

This reality manifests itself in what seems like a perpetual advance of negative stories from the mainstream media about the United States military. Ever since the New York Times turned military misconduct at Abu Grahib into the most deplorable and unspeakable human abuses ever committed, there has hardly been a positive word to be found about those who defend America, save for in the conservative media.

For a time, it even became fashionable among elected anti-Bushies to speak ill of this nation’s defenders. Recall that Senator Dick Durbin compared American treatment of prisoners at Abu Grahib to the Nazis and Pol Pot. Recall that Senator Ted Kennedy declared the Saddam Hussein torture chambers re-opened under new American management. Recall Congressman John Murtha called American Marines cold-blooded murderers.

Isn’t it curious how everyone seems to get the benefit of the doubt except the fighting men and women of the American military?

At one time, Congressional Medal of Honor winners would secure the front pages of newspapers across the country. Stories of valor and courage on the battle field were, in a long ago and far away age, headline makers. These were America’s heroes, cherished and revered. It was understood that a nation incapable – or unwilling – to pay tribute to its fighting men could never be worthy of the liberty it enjoyed.

These days, America’s warriors are regularly portrayed as broken and confused, weak and frightened. Tales about rising suicide rates and substance abuse among soldiers make up a good portion of the stories published about America’s military. Exposes on exhausted fighting men, declining morale, and misbehaving soldiers take up far more space than successes on the battle field.

It is sickening.

This disturbing anti-military trend – this ongoing impulse among the politically correct and the cowardly to cast America’s heroes in a negative light – is, sadly, gaining ghoulish momentum.

Last evening, the story of three Navy SEALS being brought up on assault charges in the case of the capture of Ahmed Hashim Abed – one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq – made my stomach turn. For those unaware, Abed was the ringleader behind the murder of four Blackwater USA security agents back in 2004. You’ll recall the grisly details of how the four were ambushed, murdered, and their bodies burned and dragged through the streets of Fallujah. Two of them were even hanged off a Euphrates River bridge for a photo op.

In September of this year, Navy SEALS captured the murderous vermin. Such a momentous and heroic event should have made headlines across the country, but the likelihood that even twenty percent of America knew about it is a generous estimate.

Now, three of those heroes – SO-2 Matthew McCabe, SO-2 Jonathan Keefe and SO-1 Julio Huertas – are facing court martial.

Why?

Because of a bloody lip.

Rowan Scarborough at Fox News writes:

The three, all members of the Navy’s elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called an admiral’s mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.

Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named “Objective Amber,” told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.

Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers.

The poor little terrorist, responsible for the brutal murders of four men transporting supplies for a catering company (of all things), is apparently now having to deal with the terrifying memory of a bloody lip, not to mention the post-traumatic stress associated with the scar. Indeed, a bloody lip it may not be as appalling (or tortuous) as having Christina Aguilera music blaring, or having smoke blown in one’s face, or having the thermostat cranked low (or any of the other horrifying abuses some of Gitmo detainees were made to suffer through), but it is bad enough to have three of America’s most courageous fighting men ready to be arraigned on December 7th, with a court martial to follow in January.

United States Central Command declined to discuss the detainee, but a legal source told FoxNews.com that the detainee was turned over to Iraqi authorities, to whom he made the abuse complaints. He was then returned to American custody. The SEAL leader reported the charge up the chain of command, and an investigation ensued.

What the Fort Hood massacre did was shine a much needed light on the twisted mentality that seems to be prevalent among the higher echelons of the American military these days (as well as government) – namely, a now lethal strain of political correctness that places more of an importance on showing the world that America is not anti-Muslim than in protecting the United States of America.

But this new predilection for convincing everyone that America really is a good nation full of good people, sensitive to Islam, is exasperating and wrong-headed. Much of the world, despite leftist cacklings to the contrary, wants to see a strong America. They look to America for leadership. They look to America to do what’s right. And when America is quick to accuse its own defenders of abusing terrorists in a time of war, with innocent lives hanging in the balance, in desperate and dangerous situations that are not even conceivable to most, for something as insignificant as a bloody lip, it not only creates international uneasiness, it emboldens the enemies of freedom everywhere.

Indeed, there may be more to come of this story, but I’m inclined to think not.

Hence, the court martial instead of the non-judical punishment (NJP) of an admiral’s mast.

The three accused Navy SEALS want their story told. They want all of the details of this heroic operation out in the open.

Good for them.

Still, questions come to mind …

How on earth can three American heroes be facing a court martial for giving a piece of walking fecal matter a bloody lip? Would it really take three of the most well-trained fighting men in the American military to do it? Wouldn’t one have been sufficient to the task? Even in his sleep? And who’s to say the “bloody lip” didn’t happen during Abed’s take down? Adrenalin does tend to run high in combat situations.

Unbelievable.

I thought we were in this thing to win.

If so, why the hell does it seem that there is so much effort, so much determination from so many sectors, to keep our side from doing their jobs?

For what it’s worth, I am with you one-hundred percent, Navy Seals.

Always.

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Posted in Iraq, military, Moral Clarity, Political Correctness, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

BRITISH DEFENSE MINISTER: COME ON, BAM

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 25, 2009

235 British troops have been killed in Afghanistan to date – 98 this year alone. Support for the war in Afghanistan continues to drop among Brits, and according to British Defense Secretary Bob Ainsworth, the reason can be summed up in two words: Barack Obama.

In ten-plus months of stunning, history-book rewriting governance, it has become clear that unless one is a tyrant, a totalitarian or a terrorist, President Obama really isn’t all that interested in diplomacy. In fact, it’s quite unlikely that even an Obama patented classic groveling bow before Gordon Brown (or Sir Paul McCartney) could make things better between the two long-time allies.

While President Obama continued, even this week, to valiantly blame every thing wrong with America – including the war in Afghanistan – on eight years of George W. Bush, Ainsworth pointed his finger at Obama.

James Kirkup, Thomas Harding and Toby Harnden of the UK Telegraph write: 

Bob Ainsworth

Mr Ainsworth took the unprecedented step of publicly criticising the US President and his delays in sending more troops to bolster the mission against the Taliban.

A “period of hiatus” in Washington – and a lack of clear direction – had made it harder for ministers to persuade the British public to go on backing the Afghan mission in the face of a rising death toll, he said.

Senior British Government sources have become increasingly frustrated with Mr Obama’s “dithering” on Afghanistan, the Daily Telegraph disclosed earlier this month, with several former British defence chiefs echoing the concerns.

The Defence Secretary’s blunt remarks about the US threaten to strain further a transatlantic relationship already under pressure over the British release of the Lockerbie bomber and Mr Obama’s decision to snub Mr Brown at the United Nations in September.

Some who have lauded Obama’s thoughtfulness and deliberateness in coming up with a plan of action for Afghanistan claim that those who criticize his “dithering” are ill-informed partisans hell-bent on finding fault with anything he does. Bammy supporters argue that additional troops would not have been available for deployment until January anyway (according to a “senior US defense official”) so the “dithering” issue is largely irrelevant and intellectually dishonest.

But it’s a silly argument.

Whether or not troops are ready to deploy today has nothing to do with whether or not a course of action can be devised. Troop availability today has no bearing on whether or not the Commander-in-Chief of the United States armed forces can formulate a war strategy.

The argument isn’t even logical.

For example, people regularly make plans and devise strategies for their futures by setting goals (buying a house, a car, saving for a child’s education, etc.), and almost always when the funds to make those goals a reality are not in hand.

Considering the speed with which the President embarked on his multi-trillion dollar spending sprees, it’s difficult to lend legitimacy to the “Obama is just being contemplative” argument. After all, the President is obviously more than willing to increase government spending to unprecedented levels without having the funds “in hand” to do so.

So, if troops were ready to deploy today, President Obama would have already come up with a plan?

Anyone who believes that, stand on his head.

All deployments take time to organize. All battle plans need preparation. Military commanders have already hinted that it could take several months to get new troops in the pipeline. But the plan must first exist.

There is nothing in waiting months and months to announce a strategy that bodes well for Obama on this score.

Nothing.

And if, for the sake of argument, Obama’s dithering actually was based on the fact that additional troops would not be available until January, wouldn’t he – or any of his dancing Obamacrats – have cited it endlessly it as a reason for the prolonged delay? Wouldn’t the mainstream media, ever quick to give the President the benefit of any doubt, have beaten that excuse to death by now?

Ten months in, and everything is still George W. Bush’s fault.

It isn’t as if Obama is averse to passing the buck … or bowing to it.

Next week, after more than three months of deliberation, the president is expected to announce that he will send around 34,000 more troops.

Mr Ainsworth, speaking to MPs at the defence committe in the House of Commons, welcomed that troop ‘surge’ decision, but lamented the time taken to reach it.

He said that the rising British death toll, the corruption of the Afghan government and the delay in Washington all hamper efforts to retain public backing for the deployment.

“We have suffered a lot of losses,” he said. “We have had a period of hiatus while McChrystal’s plan and his requested uplift has been looked at in the detail to which it has been looked at over a period of some months, and we have had the Afghan elections, which have been far from perfect let us say.

“All of those things have mitigated against our ability to show progress… put that on the other side of the scales when we are suffering the kind of losses that we are.”

The President is having a difficult time convincing anybody that he takes the war in Afghanistan seriously.

Ainsworth – the first British minister to publicly speak up against Obama’s turtle-paced approach to prosecuting the war – is clearly not happy.

A set of holiday DVDs presented in a festive gift case ought to put him straight.

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PICTURE OF THE DAY FOR NOVEMBER 25, 2009

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 25, 2009

Yes, that would be considered ironic

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TERRORIST LAWYER: I CAN’T SAY IF 9/11 WAS MURDER

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 24, 2009

Kudos to Attorney General Eric Holder – and of course, the man really calling all the shots, President Barack Obama – for bringing the mastermind of the September 11th attacks (and four of his cohorts) to New York City to face a civilian jury of his non-peers. Congratulations to the walking unconscious who constitute America’s gurgling leftocracy for furnishing a forum from where the 9/11 five will spend the next who-knows-how-many-years spitting out their anti-American propaganda. And an extra special tip of the hat to Scott Fenstermaker, attorney for Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali (one of the 9/11 five), who appeared on Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor last evening to prove to the prying eyes of the world that American justice is, indeed, blind, and that even terrorists can be innocent until proven guilty.

It was remarkable exchange.

Fenstermaker, for instance, was unwilling to say that the nearly three thousand people killed on September 11, 2001 were actually murdered.

Can't say that it's murderO’Reilly: Now, if the anti-American stuff dominates the trial, which it has to on your side – the defense – don’t you think the 9/11 families are going to suffer hearing this kind of garbage?

Fenstermaker: Well, I don’t necessarily think the defense is going to be anti-American. I think it’s basically going to be a justification defense.

O’Reilly: A justification for murdering three thousand civilians? That’s a pretty tough nut.

Fenstermaker: Well, I think the jury decides whether they’ve murdered three thousand. First of all, I don’t think it’s three thousand people. I think it’s less than that. However many it is, I think the jury decides that.

O’Reilly: Do you think there’s any justification on earth to kill thousands of civilians who go to work in the morning? Is there anything to justify that?

Fenstermaker: I’m not the person who is going to be making that decision.

O’Reilly: You’re the lawyer. I mean, you’re going to be asked that question. Surely, you’re going to be prepared to answer it.

Fenstermaker: As I explained before, I’m actually not going to be representing my client –

O’Reilly: But you’re working on the team.

Fenstermaker: That’s right.

O’Reilly: I’ll ask it again. Is there any justification on this earth to murder thousands of innocent people?

Fenstermaker: Well, as I said, the trial is to determine whether they were murdered or not. And a jury’s going to decide that.

O’Reilly: Are you sitting here as a human being telling me the people on 9/11 weren’t murdered?

Fenstermaker: I’m telling you the jury’s going to decide that.

O’Reilly: I want to know what you think.

Fenstermaker: I’m not going to be a juror in that case.

O’Reilly: So, you’re not going to say one way or another whether you feel those people were murdered?

Fenstermaker: I’m not a juror. The jurors decide.

And for those who may have held even the slightest inkling of hope that the trial would not descend into an anti-American, propoganda-filled farce, I extend my deepest regrets:

O’Reilly: In the courtroom, we are going to hear Al-Qaeda propaganda, correct?

Fenstermaker: I wouldn’t say that’s the case. I’d say you’re going to hear a lot of propaganda. I wouldn’t necessarily say –

O’Reilly: Well, if they’re Al-Qaeda, what kind of propaganda? Are we going to hear Roman Catholic propaganda?

Fenstermaker: We’re going to hear a lot of United States government propaganda.

O’Reilly: So, the strategy is to attack the United States government foreign policy and the way they operate?

Fenstermaker: I wouldn’t say that. All I’m saying is you’re going to hear a lot of United States government propaganda.

O’Reilly: But I don’t understand what that means. If you’re on the team, and you’re shaping your defense, what are we going to hear? That the United States is bad?

Fenstermaker: Bad? I don’t know what bad means.

O’Reilly: You don’t know what bad means? We’re getting into Bill Clinton territory. We don’t know what “is” means.

Fenstermaker: Okay.

O’Reilly: You’re okay with that?

Fenstermaker: What I’m okay with is that I think they’re going to put on their defense. The jurors are going to decide –

O’Reilly: You’re part of the defense.

Fenstermaker: As I’ve explained, I’m not going to be part of the defense at the trial.

O’Reilly: I don’t care about that. You’re shaping the defense. You just got back from Guanatanamo. You know these guys –

Fenstermaker: I know one of them.

O’Reilly: All right, you know one of them. Re we going to hear that they’re justified in killing three-thousand American civilians because the country – the USA – is a vile country? Are we going to hear that?

Fenstermaker: I think that the number of people was actually less than three-thousand.

Fenstermaker went on to say that he was not only honored to be part of the defense team, but that he would be quite satisfied to see the 9/11 five walk away scot-free, as long as the trial was a fair one.

After O’Reilly asked him whether or not he cared that people hated him for being part of the terrorist’s defense team, Fenstermaker replied, “I’m honored that they hate me … I’m honored because the people who hate me hate the rule of law.”

Another round of applause for the Bammy Bunch is in order.

Without them, this “The Constitution is For Everyone” bag-o-fun would not be possible.

And just think, this is only the beginning.

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IT’S CONSERVATISM’S FAULT?

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 24, 2009

Nidal Malik Hasan, terrorist

In all of their self-serving delusional grandeur, the mainstream media remains dogmatically determined to cite reasons other than Nidal Malik Hasan’s religion for the November 5th terrorist attack that killed thirteen at Fort Hood.

Believe it or not, they may have actually hit upon one, thanks to New York Times columnist Robert Wright .

It’s American conservatism.

In a piece published on Saturday, Wright blamed Hasan’s shooting spree on being “pushed over the edge by his perception of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.” (both of which were initiated by a Republican president).

And while Wright cedes that Hasan also “drew inspiration” from radical imam Anwar al-Awlaki, now in Yemen, the Fort Hood shooting was, according to him, “an example of Islamist terrorism being spread partly by the war on terrorism — or, actually, by two wars on terrorism, in Iraq and Afghanistan.” 

He went on to say that “Fort Hood is the biggest data point we have — the most lethal Islamist terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. It’s only one piece of evidence, but it’s a salient piece, and it supports the liberal, not the conservative, war-on-terrorism paradigm.” (Not that thousands of Islamic terrorist attacks all over the world over the course of many years are especially salient in understanding Hasan’s motivations, mind you).

In fact, Wright believes that Hasan’s actions are mostly the  result of a noxious combination of conservative war-mongering and bats flapping around in his belfry:

It’s true that Major Hasan was unbalanced and alienated — and, by my lights, crazy. But what kind of people did conservatives think were susceptible to the terrorism meme?

These may be the two most asinine lines I’ve yet come across on the Hasan matter.

What is he talking about?

Hasan was isolated because he chose to be. Strange as it may seem to Wright, Hasan’s radical Islamic yammerings probably didn’t appeal to too many of his fellow soldiers. Talking jihad is not a great little ice-breaker.

Note how Wright initially classifies Hasan as “unbalanced and alienated.” By Wright’s reckoning, Hasan is crazy. Yet, in the next sentence, he appears to explain away the bulk of, if not all, Islamic terrorists, by suggesting that anyone “susceptible” to jihad must be, by default, “unbalanced and alienated.” In other words, terrorists, while bad, are prone to be frail mental flowers teetering on the edge of self-control, driven over the cliff by outside forces – in this case, two Muslim-erradicating wars waged by George W. Bush.

unbalanced?

Seriously, this is how liberals think.

America – or rather, conservative America, with its propensity toward hawkish, unnuanced solutions to the most complex problems of the human condition – is to blame (at least in part) for driving Hasan to kill. Safe to say, if the United States were not involved in Iraq and Afghanistan, people like Hasan, while still unbalanced, would probably have never been pushed to blow away innocents.

If not for America, so the thinking goes, recruiting numbers at suicide-bombing re-up centers would plummet. (It’s one of the reasons President Obama gave for closing Guantanamo Bay, you’ll recall – because of its function as an Al-Qaeda recruiting tool). By such logic, America shouldn’t bother fighting against terrorists at all, thus ensuring zero recruitment among the murdering class. Only the unhinged and easily-provoked are “susceptible to the terrorism meme.”

How would such an approach work in the civilian world, I wonder, in dealing with criminals such as serial rapists? Or child molesters? Or murderers? Would societal conditions improve or deteriorate if law enforcement officials decided to stop being so “aggressive” in pursuing evil-doers? Does it make sense for law enforcement to back off for fear of creating more rapists? Or bank robbers?

Or are common criminals not as “crazy” or as easily provoked as jihadists?

Wright continues:

Central to the debate over Afghanistan is the question of whether terrorists need a “safe haven” from which to threaten America. If so, it is said, then we must work to keep every acre of Afghanistan (and Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, etc.) out of the hands of groups like the Taliban. If not — if terrorists can orchestrate a 9/11 about as easily from apartments in Germany as from camps in Afghanistan — then maybe never-ending war isn’t essential.

However you come out on that argument, the case of Nidal Hasan shows one thing for sure: Homegrown American terrorists don’t need a safe haven. All they need is a place to buy a gun.

Liberals are funny when they try to think things through.

Take a moment to ask yourself this …

How many homegrown Islamist terrorist attacks have there been on American soil over the years?

Perhaps a better question is … how many homegrown Islamist terrorist attacks have there been on American soil over the course of time that did not involve a United States Army Officer (who most likely would not have had not too many problems acquiring a firearm anyway)?

It is precisely because America is not a safe haven that so many terrorist attacks have been thwarted over the years.

And why is it not a safe haven?

Because of the presence (both overtly and covertly) of those men and women charged with the task of defending the United States against all foes, foreign and domestic.

In short, it’s just not very feasible for terrorists to train and prepare for 9/11 style attacks in the United States (or in most free nations, for that matter) the same way they would be able to do in nations sympathetic to their cause. Obviously, preparations can be undertaken to varying degrees in almost any location, as evidenced by the number of stateside plots that have been squashed in recent years;  but the notion that one can hatch, and train for, terrorist attacks with the same ease  – and with the same scope – from “apartments in Germany” as they can from Taliban-protected camps in Afghanistan is ridiculous.

Just because one believes that terrorism can potentially spring from almost everywhere does not mean nothing should be done anywhere.

This is about values, not the ability to acquire a gun.

This is about having the courage to label evil, not the willingness to protect diversity at the expense of innocent lives.

Presumably, in Wright’s world, if those external forces that so played havoc with Hasan would just back off and stop doing whatever they’re doing to provoke the susceptibly unhinged who have yet to snap, terrorism would drop like President Obama’s approval numbers.

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POLL: NEW HEALTH CARE LOW

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 24, 2009

Cheaper costs or a return of the King?

You see, the question is … will Democrats, who are running the whole kit and caboodle on Capitol Hill, actually start paying attention to the electorate on health care, or will they continue to meander down the path of we-know-better-than-you elitism?

For panicky Dems still wondering where it all went wrong in ten short months, keeping a brave face and shrugging off poll results for the cameras is one thing; trying to figure out how to save their political hydes behind closed doors is another. Make no mistake, there are a whole lot of donkeys who know they must start paying attention to the poll numbers at some point.

The game of determining how much of a hit the ship can sustain before the lifeboats become necessary isn’t one for the faint-of-heart.

The real question is: How low do the numbers have to go before the rumble coming from the peasants reaches the ears of the exalted ones, Harry Reid and Company?

Rasmussen says the numbers constinue their steady saunter south:

Just 38% of voters now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s the lowest level of support measured for the plan in nearly two dozen tracking polls conducted since June.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% now oppose the plan.

Half the survey was conducted before the Senate voted late Saturday to begin debate on its version of the legislation. Support for the plan was slightly lower in the half of the survey conducted after the Senate vote.

Only 38% say “yay” to ObamaCare.

Fancy that.

Even registered Democrats aren’t buying into the gobbledygook that health care costs will go down if ObamaCare becomes law. Only 16% of Americans believe that fairy tale.

That’s only five points more than the percentage of Americans who believe Elvis Presley is still alive.
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PICTURE OF THE DAY FOR NOVEMBER 24, 2009

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 24, 2009

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NOT GUILTY, SAY THE 9/11 FIVE

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 23, 2009

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Oh, those nutty terrorists.

Leave it to barbarous murderers who have utter disdain for the United States to take advantage of the American system of justice for their own benefit. Leave it to vermin who target innocents through acts of war to milk the American Constitution for the very rights they abhor. Leave it to those who laughed and applauded when the Twin Towers came crashing down to squeeze the American legal system by using a civilian courtroom as a showcase for their repugnant rhetoric – and do so only blocks from where those towers once stood. And leave it to American leftists to afford these remorseless war-makers Constitutional rights in the first place so all of this can happen.

To the Eric Holders and Barack Obamas of the world, this circus-to-be will demonstrate to our fellow citizens-of-the-world what American fairness is really all about. Our openness will inspire. Our transparency will impress.

It isn’t hard to imagine a cave hidden somewhere in the treacherous mountains of northern Afghanistan where would-be terrorists are sitting around having conversations such as this:

Terrorist 1: “Man, that American legal system is really wonderful, isn’t it, Mohammed?”

Terrorist 2: “Damn straight, Ali.”

Terrorist 1: “They are leading by example, Mohammed.”

Terrorist 2: “We should all get along. America is showing us how.”

Terrorist 1: “It was that last apology Obama made for America that really got to me.”

Terrorist 2: “Yes. me, too.”

As first glance, to go from wanting to die to pleading “not guilty” may seem like quite a leap – even for Muslim terrorists – but that’s precisely what’s happened.

And it really shouldn’t have surprised anyone.

According to the attorney of one of the “defendants,” the five terrorists slated to stand trial in New York for the September 11th attacks will not deny their involvement. Rather, they want to take the opportunity to “explain what happened and why they did it.”

The first thought that came to mind, of course, was, “Thank God! Now we can finally get the bottom of all this. This ought to shed some much needed light on that whole 9/11 thing.”

Such a relief!

Karen Matthews of the Associated Press writes:

[Ali Abd al-Aziz] Ali, also known as Ammar al-Baluchi, is a nephew of professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Mohammed, Ali and the others will explain “their assessment of American foreign policy,” Fenstermaker said.

“Their assessment is negative,” he said.

I think we can all take a “No, really?” out of petty cash.

Critics of Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to try the men in a New York City civilian courthouse have warned that the trial would provide the defendants with a propaganda platform.

Critics of Holder’s decision — mostly Republicans — argued the trial will give Mohammed and his co-defendants a world stage to spout hateful rhetoric. Holder said such concerns are misplaced, and any pronouncements by the suspects would only make them look worse.

“I have every confidence that the nation and the world will see him for the coward that he is,” Holder told the committee. “I’m not scared of what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has to say at trial — and no one else needs to be, either.”

They were all minding their own businesses, planting sunflowers, harvesting radishes, exchanging falafel recipes, playing soccer, performing innocent nondescript clitoridectomies on their female young when war-mongering, Israel-loving America came swooping in with her implements of death to slaughter as many Muslims as possible.

Something like that.
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THE MYTH UNRAVELS – HACKING AWAY AT GLOBAL WARMING

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 23, 2009

Could this be what triggers the final unraveling of the global warming myth? Is this the beginning of the end for the environmentally hysterical? Since a decade of cooling temperatures hasn’t done the trick, and the fact that there isn’t a stitch of evidence proving that rising CO2 levels cause rising temperatures, could this possibly be what sends this fairy-tale trolly off the rails?

Theoretically, you’d think this is one story that just couldn’t be ignored by the mainstream media. Even the most hard-nosed skeptic would have to concede that this juicy little ditty is alphabet-channel newsworthy.

I must therefore tip my hat to the Washington Post who actually put on its journalism shoes yesterday.

They decided to report on the big computer security breach that resulted in over a thousand e-mails and some seventy-two documents being stolen (and made public) from the University of East Anglia’s Hadley Climatic Research Centre in Britain on Thursday – one of the foremost climate research facilities in the world.

The hacking of a major institution’s computer system is always good for a mention or two on the evening news, but what makes this story so delicious is that it goes beyond the run-of-the-mill cyber-invasion. This is actually an attack on global warming itself – and for doomsday environmental zealots, that’s a shot at the jugular.

The stolen documents (specifically the e-mails) are proving to be rather embarrassing, and quite damning, to those who authored them. And it just so happens that the authors happen to be some of the leading proponents of man-made global warming in all the world.

We’re talking the global warming big boys: James Hansen, Phil Jones, Michael Mann and Keith Briffa (among others).

The words “manipulation” and “deception” come to mind.

From the Washington Post:

While few U.S. politicians bother to question whether humans are changing the world’s climate — nearly three years ago the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded the evidence was unequivocal — public debate persists. And the newly disclosed private exchanges among climate scientists at Britain’s Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia reveal an intellectual circle that appears to feel very much under attack, and eager to punish its enemies.

In one e-mail, the center’s director, Phil Jones, writes Pennsylvania State University’s Michael E. Mann and questions whether the work of academics that question the link between human activities and global warming deserve to make it into the prestigious IPCC report, which represents the global consensus view on climate science.

“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report,” Jones writes. “Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

Isn’t that delightful?

Thus, it makes perfect sense when the believers of a planet on the brink of doom due to man-made global warming look directly into the cameras, hold up the IPCC report, and say there is scientific consensus on the matter. How could there not be when they deliberately leave out the work of others who refute or question it? These are the same hysterical global-warming intellectuals who go out of their way to blackball or shun those with opposing points of view  – or at least those who think more debate is reasonably appropriate. As a result, those who dare to question man-made global warming are omitted from scientific journals and publications altogether.

In other words, if the trouble-making crowd can be pushed off into the scientific hinterlands, they can’t get in the way of forwarding the agenda.

In another, Jones and Mann discuss how they can pressure an academic journal not to accept the work of climate skeptics with whom they disagree. “Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal,” Mann writes.

“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor,” Jones replies.

Positively incredible.

These are supposed to be scientists, mind you – not a group of pre-teen girls deciding who will or won’t be part of their “club.”

But the Washington Post doesn’t go far enough.

For example, according to Tom Wigley (climate scientist at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research), in an e-mail to Phil Jones, there is a problem with some of the temperature readings from the 1940s. There is a temperature “blip,” as he calls it, that apparently does not conform properly to the man-made global-warming theory. It is problematic enough that adjustments need to be made. The “blip” must be resized.

Although a tad technical in some spots, the gist of the e-mail is clearly understood:

Phil, Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly explain the 1940s warming blip. If you look at the attached plot you will see that the land also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know). So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean — but we’d still have to explain the land blip.

I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips — higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from. Removing ENSO does not affect this.

It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with “why the blip”.

Silly me, I wasn’t aware that scientists could retroactively adjust data to meet the desired models.

John Hinderacker at the great Power Line blog comments:

This and many other emails convey the impression that these theorists are making the “science” up as they go along, with data being manipulated until it yields the results that have been predetermined by political conviction.

Touché.

And make no mistake about it … this is, indeed, a scandal. Whether or not the rest of the mainstream media decides it is worth their time is another story.

Still, there is a whole lot of information to tap into here: From e-mails suggesting that some data would be better off deleted than subjected to public scrutiny, to (as Rob at Say Anything writes) “attempts to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests aimed at getting some of this information disclosed so that it could be reviewed by objective experts,” this one seems to have legs … or so you’d think.

Of course, if the debate wasn’t already over, this could be real trouble.
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MONDAY MORNING GALLUP POLL PEAK

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 23, 2009

A Monday morning reality check for all the guys and dolls who either make their living, or take up needless space, at the White House …

As President Obama’s approval and disapproval numbers edge ever-closer to each other – separated by only four points in the latest Gallup Daily Poll – his “thumbs-up” rating remains below the 50% line (Now at 48%).

On November 20th, his approval rating had dipped below 50% for the first time in his presidency – the fourth fastest slip below majority approval ever.

Here’s the latest from Gallup:

Gerald Ford dropped below 50% approval during his third month in office, and Bill Clinton did so in his fourth month. Ronald Reagan, like Obama, also dropped below 50% in his 10th month in office, though Reagan’s drop occurred a few days sooner in that month (Nov. 13-16, 1981) than did Obama’s (Nov. 17-19, 2009).

Half recovered quickly — Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush were back above 50% approval the same month they dipped below that mark, and Lyndon Johnson returned to majority approval in his second month after his initial sub-50% rating. The remainder continued to sink further below 50% and remained there for many months, but eventually recovered, with Ford’s effort boosted by the Mayaguez incident.

Wasn’t it Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow and the other boob-tube Leftocrats who said that if Obama’s approval rating ever dipped below 50% that it would be time to start worrying?

Well …

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PICTURE OF THE DAY FOR NOVEMBER 23, 2009

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 23, 2009

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QUICK THOUGHTS ABOUT LAST NIGHT’S SENATE VOTE

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 22, 2009

Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana - the $300 million baby

A little perspective, please.

Don’t let the left’s seizure of the word “historic” after last night’s vote in the Senate convince you that it was anything more than routine. Last night’s 60-39 vote was not historic. It did not make government-run health care a reality. It was nothing more than a procedural vote allowing the matter of health care reform to be formally discussed on the floor of the Senate after Thanksgiving. I’m not even sure that there were many who actually believed that it wouldn’t muster sixty votes.  ($300 million can buy alot).

Face it, last night’s vote really wasn’t one that Republicans could win anyway. Did anyone really think that any Democrat was going to deny anyone in their own party the opportunity to talk about this on the Senate floor?

It simply wasn’t as critically earth-shattering as many have made it out to be.

Certainly, I didn’t like it one bit. Indeed, it would have been a pleasant surprise had the winning side fallen short of sixty, but I didn’t expect it to.

One thing is certain: The ultimate passage of this bill would be a disaster for the United States of America. It must be stopped. There is still time. But last night’s vote, to be quite honest, was being built up far more than it needed to be.

The process has only just begun.

More disturbing, however, was some of the commentary from Democrats.

Just before the vote, Senator Chris Dodd spoke of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, saying it would pay Kennedy the highest compliment of all if they were able to fulfill “that quest of achieving the goal that all Americans aspire for, and that is a national health care plan that serves every one of our citizens.”

“Every one of our citizens?”

Really?

Hmmm … Call me unnuanced, but that smells an awful lot like government-run health care, doesn’t it?

And of course, Harry Reid himself said, ”Today we vote whether to even discuss one of the greatest issues of our generation – indeed, one of the greatest issues this body has ever faced – whether this nation will finally guarantee its people the right to live free from the fear of illness and death, which can be prevented by decent health care for all.”

He’d be almost adorable if he wasn’t so frightfully irritaing.

The Senate Majority Leader obviously believes that the federal government can legislate immortality. Death can be prevented? And all it takes is a merely “decent” health care bill? That’s quite incredible. What if it were a “fantastic” health care bill? Or a “sensational” health care bill? Would they also have the power to bring back the dead and make them well again?

Or maybe Reid meant to say that the fear of illness and death can be prevented.

Really?

So, if the Senate passes this bill, and it is eventually signed into law, no one will be afraid anymore? No one will fear death? That which has plagued humanity since its inception – the fear of death – will be erradicated by passing a “decent” health care bill?

Stunning.

Why didn’t we elect a Messiah sooner?

And by the way … nice job, Senator Landrieu. $300 million is a nice chunk of change.

You go girl.

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PICTURE OF THE DAY FOR NOVEMBER 22, 2009

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 22, 2009

What the …

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AND NOBODY BOTHERED TO TELL THE ARMY?

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 21, 2009

So, the FBI knew.

But the Army didn’t?

Perhaps my thinking is a bit unrefined, and I’m willing to concede that I am no authority on the finer points of national security, but I don’t find it particularly unreasonable to ask why the hell the Federal Bureau of Investigation didn’t bother notifying the United States Army that Ft. Hood mass-murderer Major Nidal Malik Hasan was in contact with radical imam Anwar al-Aulaqi through a series of e-mails prior to the murderous terrorist attack there. In fact, I find it absolutely remarkable that correspondence between a US Army Major and a radical Muslim cleric – as many as nineteen e-mails – wasn’t deemed at all noteworthy enough by the FBI to bring to the Army’s attention.

Call me crazy, but it seems like it might have been something worth mentioning.

What the hell is going on?

Carrie Johnson, Spencer S. Hsu and Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post write:

In the months before the deadly shootings at Fort Hood, Army Maj. Nidal M. Hasan intensified his communications with a radical Yemeni American cleric and began to discuss surreptitious financial transfers and other steps that could translate his thoughts into action, according to two sources briefed on a collection of secret e-mails between the two.

The e-mails were obtained by an FBI-led task force in San Diego between late last year and June but were not forwarded to the military, according to government and congressional sources. Some were sent to the FBI’s Washington field office, triggering an assessment into whether they raised national security concerns, but those intercepted later were not, the sources said.

“He [Hasan] clearly became more radicalized toward the end, and was having discussions related to the transfer of money and finances . . .,” said the source, who spoke at length in part because he was concerned the public accounting of the events has been incomplete. “It became very clear toward the end of those e-mails he was interested in taking action.”

The kicker in all of this – with the mainstream media still reluctant to use the “t” word to describe the Ft. Hood attack – is that even Democrat Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is now having to face reality.

Levin told reporters after a briefing from Pentagon staff members that “there are some who are reluctant to call it terrorism, but there is significant evidence that it is.”

No kidding?

Terrorism?

Have migraines been ruled out yet?

I’m curious … under what circumstances would communication between an American serviceman and a known radical imam (and supporter of Al-Aqeada) not be anything the military should be made aware of?

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AHH, BAMMY IS TOO SMART FOR THE ROOM

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 21, 2009

Someone ought to get MSNBC’S Chris Matthews a towel … or a cigarette. His incessant gushing over everything the President does and says is going to leave a nasty stain on the carpet. Perhaps a sedative, or one of Keith Olbermann’s famous back rubs, would help. That Matthews’ legs have not been rendered lame from all of the thrills running up them is, in a word, miraculous. If he hasn’t already had an accident on the set, it’s only a matter of time.

Indeed, his viewership may be the only thing dropping quicker than the President’s poll numbers – or the New York Jets’ season – but every once in a while, Matthews can offer a unique touch of insight.

And so it was that on his show Hardball – yes, it is still on the air – Chris Matthews offered an actual criticism of Barack Obama.

Sort of.

With the President’s poll numbers falling off the table, Matthews asked his viewer(s) to consider the possibility that President Obama is just too smart for his own good.

President Obama has his chin out there on just about every hot issue out there: health care, terror trials, job losses, even the breast cancer report. He’s exposed and vulnerable. His poll numbers are dropping. Is he just too darned intellectual? Too much the egghead? Why did he bow to that Japanese Emperor? Why did he pick Tim Geithner to be his economic front man? Why all this dithering over Afghanistan? Who thought it was a wonderful idea to bring the killers of 9/11 to New York City?

Yes, of course.

It should have been obvious, but I chose not to see it. My ideological blinders have kept me from weighing the possibility that the rest of us are simply not cerebral enough to keep up with him.

He is that He is.

Barack Obama is too much of an intellectual. It is his “eggheadedness” that has caused his numbers to slip. You can hardly blame him for not being able to mingle academically with the non-water walkers of America.

Matthews, again, leads the way.

*cough*

Incidentally, the answers to Matthews’ questions are, in order:

– Not in your wildest dreams.

– Only if he dips his face into a quiche.

– Because, as a liberal, his goal is to present America as weak and vulnerable.

– Because his ability to pick friends, mentors and associates of character is on par with his ability speak coherently free of teleprompters.

– Because once he does, he owns it, and he can’t use George W. Bush as an excuse any longer – although, he will.

– Only those people who can never, ever, ever, ever, ever be trusted with national security – liberals.

 

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PICTURE OF THE DAY FOR NOVEMBER 21, 2009

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 21, 2009

Irony?

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THE TEN YEAR DUPE, PART TWO

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 20, 2009

Harry Reid, fudging the damn numbers

I’m not sure how many people would sign on to a program that required them to work full-time for a period of four years before being paid; or one that would require four years of insurance payments on a car before being handed the keys; or one – as Senator Mitch McConnell puts it – that required four years of mortgage payments before one can move into a house, but I’m going to venture out on a limb and say not too many.

Just as the House version of the health care bill did two weeks ago, Harry Reid’s incarnation – over two-thousand pages strong – employs that old accounting chestnut: The Ten Year Dupe.

It’s pie-in-the-sky liberal voodoo at its cooked-books best.

Recall that earlier this week, Reid assured Americans that the Senate’s version of government-run health care would be a money-saver. Like the Pelosi bill, it would be cost-effective and still be able to insure billions and billions of health-care starved people without costing Americans an extra cent. In fact, there’d actually be some money leftover to pour into other meaningful things, like doorknobs at inner-city housing projects, the study of orgasms among college girls, and the continued examination of radioactive rabbit feces.

Over ten years, according to Reid, the whole kit-n-kaboodle would cost “only” $849 billion. (In today’s trillion-happy world, that’s chump change).

But we’ve all seen this movie before … and there are too many who still don’t get it.

Although tax increases would be implemented upon the bill’s passage into law, actual spending won’t begin until the fifth year of the bill’s application, 2014; and even then, it will be relatively miniscule. For instance, only $9 billion is slated to be spent that year. However, in 2016, spending reaches $147 billion. By 2019 (the last year of Reid’s ten year projection), it’ll hit $196 billion.

Thus, actual spending of any significance would only take place during the last six years of Reid’s health care debacle.

But, if one were to look at the actual numbers over a fully implemented ten year period, which would start in 2014, the cost is more than twice the $849 billion espoused by Reid – in the neighborhood of $2 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The Ten Year Dupe.

As many as seventeen new taxes will be enacted to help fund everything. As much as $800 billion, according to the CBO, will be sucked from Medicare during the first decade of full implementation and put somewhere else. Plus, hefty penalties for those individuals, families and businesses who fail to comply with guidelines will be imposed.

Let freedom ring.

Seeing as there will be four years of revenue collection before spending really begins – which means four more years of our ongoing American health care holocaust – where is all of that money going to go until it is ready to be spent? Where do four years of taxes and fines get stashed until the government begins saving American lives? Will there be a health care reform fund established? Will there be a secret shoe box hidden at an undisclosed location? Will convicted Congressman William Jefferson of Louisiana allow the government to borrow his freezer?

Or the do words Social Security Fund mean anything to you?

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AFGHANISTAN CAN WAIT UNTIL AFTER THE TURKEY

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 20, 2009

The President of the United States – with his nation at war – will not take any decisions on what course of action he will pursue in regard to the war in Afghanistan until after Thanksgiving.

After Thanksgiving.

A couple of days ago, in fact, the President said it could take several weeks before he comes up with something. No one is exactly sure what other nuggets of information need to be revealed to him before he can finally announce a plan of action there, but he said he will surely let us know.

How nice of him.

While his do-nothing Asian excursion produced no more than a few exceedingly uninteresting moments (except the bow, of course), the war in Afghanistan – being fought by real live Americans deserving of far more than the secondary and tertiary consideration they’re getting from this administration – continued its hapless flap in the political breeze. Indeed, President Obama looked good yesterday telling 1,500 military personnel on Osan Air Base that they made a “pretty good photo op,” but ultimately that’s all it was – a photo op.

There just wasn’t a whole hell of alot that was “presidential” about his visit.

The truth is, the President refuses to own this war, and as long as he can continue to take his cues from the Pathetic President’s Songbook and tie the name of George W. Bush to Afghanistan, he will.

It is sad to say so, but there isn’t an ounce of strength or assuredness coming from this man. The rest of the world sees it. America’s enemies embrace it. America’s troops are the ones paying for it.

With continued indecision comes a real cost – anxious allies, emboldened enemies, and a growing likelihood that Congressional Democrats will feel less inclined to fully back the war effort.

The President himself seems indifferent on the matter.

Yet, Obama’s passions are real. They do exist. Unfortunately, they’re not stirred by his desire to win in Afghanistan. They’re not summoned in his steadfast leadership in the war effort. In fact, he looks mostly lost and discombobulated in his role as Commander-in-Chief. Rather, what arouses him is his annoyance at being asked yet again when he plans to make a decision on Afghanistan; or the fact that from somewhere in his administration, information regarding his deliberations on Afghanistan are leaking out.

Such strength.

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STRIKE A POSE

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 20, 2009

Continuing on his Accomplishing Nothing But Looking Damn Good For The Cameras Tour of Asia, this little gem was taken in Seoul, South Korea yesterday.

As you can see, President Barack Obama is breaking out his “tough guy” stance – posed an ready – as he shows off a little tae kwan do for President Lee Myung-Bak.

Whether this photo succeeded in scaring North Korea back the “nuclear talks” round table with Obama in unclear at this time.

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SENATOR GIULIANI?

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 20, 2009

Because this story is making the rounds this morning, it is certainly worthy of a mention – particularly because it is big news here in my home state of New York. The word is: former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani will say “no” to a chance at the governor’s seat in Albany – the last best hope for a GOP top dog in New York, according to most – and instead make a run for the US Senate next year … maybe.

If true, it makes perfect political sense.

Rudy’s no dope.

The chances of any Empire State Republican – even Rudy – getting anything done as governor, especially with the never-ending soap-opera that is the New York State Senate to contend with, is next to nil. Add to that the Charles Manson-like control Democrat Speaker Sheldon Silver has on the state Assembly and you have a recipe for first-class, political-career-ending ineffectiveness.

Rudy doesn’t need that, especially after his disastrous presidential bid in 2008.

From the New York Daily News:

[A] number of sources close to the former mayor said no decision has been made and a Giuliani spokeswoman downplayed the reports. “Rudy has a history of making up his own mind and has no problem speaking it,” she said. “When Mayor Giuliani makes a decision about serving in public office, he will inform New Yorkers on his own.”

Several weeks ago, after the idea of Giuliani running for the Senate was first floated, one of the former mayor’s closest associates shot it down. “He has said time and again that the Senate is not a job for him,” said Tony Carbonetti. “He is a chief executive, and a damn good one.” If elected to the Senate, one source said, Giuliani could use that as a stepping stone to run for President in 2012 – rather than run for re-election to the Senate. Running for office would mean Giuliani would have to give up his lifestyle: He’s a hot commodity on TV talk shows, he rakes in big bucks for speeches and his law firm is doing well.

As much as it makes political sense for him to go after Hillary’s old Senate seat, the fact is, Rudy is not a back-seat, blend-in-with-the-crowd kind of guy. He is a center-stage, in-the-spotlight, take-charge type who plays second fiddle to no one. It’s difficult to imagine him being one part of a one-hundred person band of speech makers and policy peddlers jockeying for political position on Capitol Hill. He is, as Tony Carbonetti said, an executive. If, however, another jab at the White House is ultimately in his sights, two short years in the Senate may be doable – even if grudgingly.

Personally, I think if Rudy decides to run, he could very well reel in that Senate seat in convincing fashion, especially with the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, set to stand trial in a civilian Manhattan courtroom, courtesy the Democrats.

But he would still have to campaign, and figure out how to do it effectively. Let’s hope that in two years time he’s learned a thing or two.

If he does throw his hat into the ring, he may very well be the favorite, but it isn’t a given.

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PICTURE OF THE DAY FOR NOVEMBER 20, 2009

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 20, 2009

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THE EARTH IS NOT COOPERATING, DAMMIT

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 19, 2009

Is there anything more aggravating than having someone you have defended tirelessly turn on you? Is there anything worse than having someone you did your best to protect with every fiber of your being play Judas? Can the words “betrayal” and “disloyalty” even begin to cover it? Can anything be more distressing? More shocking? Sure, we can expect such things from false friends, jealous co-workers, jilted lovers oand angry siblings. We can anticipate such behavior from our elected officials, our bosses, and even, on occassion, our spouses. But from our planet?

Et tu, earth?

How in the world can the impending calamity of a planet ravaged by the effects of man-made global warming be taken seriously if the damn planet won’t even get warm anymore?

Scientists are baffled.

Gerald Traufetter at Speigel Online writes:

Global warming appears to have stalled. Climatologists are puzzled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years. Some attribute the trend to a lack of sunspots, while others explain it through ocean currents.

At least the weather in Copenhagen is likely to be cooperating. The Danish Meteorological Institute predicts that temperatures in December, when the city will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference, will be one degree above the long-term average.

Otherwise, however, not much is happening with global warming at the moment. The Earth’s average temperatures have stopped climbing since the beginning of the millennium, and it even looks as though global warming could come to a standstill this year.

Ironically, climate change appears to have stalled in the run-up to the upcoming world summit in the Danish capital, where thousands of politicians, bureaucrats, scientists, business leaders and environmental activists plan to negotiate a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Billions of euros are at stake in the negotiations.

Well, thank goodness Copenhagen has fallen in line.

First of all, I am struck by the incongruity of the third passage of the Speigel article. Traufetter states that the planet’s average temperatures have stopped climbing since the beginning of the millennium – which, as far as I can tell means they are no longer going up. That’s what “stopped” means, if I am any judge of the word “stop.” Then, in the next sentence he says, “it even looks as though global warming could come to a standstill this year.”

If warming, by definition, means a rise in temperatures, and if temperatures have “stopped” rising since the start of the millennium, how could it look as though global warming might come to a standstill this year? Didn’t it already “stop” getting warmer at the beginning of the millennium? Isn’t “stop” a synonym for “standstill?” And seeing as temperatures haven’t been climbing for almost a decade, is it still possible for the earth to be warming? If so, how?

Poor hysterical doomsdayers. Nothing is working out for them.

Damn the planet for not cooperating!

And it sounds as if this disobliging ball of climactic confusion is breaking the hearts of the ever-loyal enviro-wackos.

Meteorologist Mojib Latif, one of Germany’s best-known climatologists, confirmed that “warming is taking a break.” It’s a clever cover-your-backside kind of thing to say considering the earth’s temperatures have always been cyclical. At some point, warming will always take a break, just like cooling will always take a break. (Think Ice Age, before there were SUVs and CFCs).

On the realization that the world is not getting warmer, as hasn’t for ten years, Latif said, “We have to face that fact.”

He sounded depressed.

“It cannot be denied that this is one of the hottest issues in the scientific community,” says Jochem Marotzke, director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. “We don’t really know why this stagnation is taking place at this point.”

Not a single computer model predicted this “non-warming” trend, incidentally.

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ACLU: A CHURCH IS NO PLACE FOR THAT

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 19, 2009

Inside the First Cathedral of Bloomfield

When the American Civil Liberties Union issues a warning, you can be sure of two things: one, that liberty itself is about to come under assault in some context, and two, that a whole lot of powerful, highly-paid, hot-shot attorneys looking for a slot on Rachel Maddow’s show are going to disfigure the Constitution in the name of whatever their latest crusade is.

Like starving buzzards – or Al Sharpton – they sit coiled and ready, just out of eye sight, waiting for a one tasty morsel of what they perceive as incivility to hit the floor before swooping in.

When they do, it is a spectacular sight to behold.

The ferocity with which they infiltrate and operate is unmatched. Liberty-loving people scatter like field mice while a few bitter bellyachers do whatever is necessary to make sure everyone is allotted their fair share of misery in the name of equality. These jack-booted deliverers of lawsuits and Godlessness come in the name of justice to level playing fields and protect people from civil rights violations.

They’re amazing – like microwave ovens, or the Wonder Twins.

And so it is that the ACLU – which is neither civil nor interested in protecting liberties – has warned the Enfield, Connecticut school board that it had better rethink its decision to hold graduation ceremonies in a church … or else.

From WTNH-TV:

The ACLU of Connecticut is warning the Enfield school board to stop holding graduation ceremonies at a Bloomfield megachurch, claiming the graduates and their families are unconstitutionally being subjected to religious messages.

The ACLU, the national ACLU’s Freedom of Religion and Belief Project, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, sent a letter Wednesday to the attorney for the Enfield Public Schools. They’re threatening to sue if the district doesn’t change the graduation location.
A message left seeking with the Enfield superintendent of schools was not immediately returned.

David McGuire, an ACLU attorney, says ceremonies for both Enfield High School and Ernico Fermi High School have been held for several years at The First Cathedral in Bloomfield.

My first instinct, of course, was to comment on the ridiculously paranoid contention by the ever-acrimonious “Separation of Church and State” set that visitors who have come to attend graduation ceremonies will be subjected to anything other than tedious speeches from wordy over-achievers simply by entering a building where religious services take place. How exactly? What “constitutional” protections are being violated? What “civil rights” are being infringed upon? These are not religious ceremonies. No one is being made to convert.

Indeed, I was well prepared to unleash my reasoned arguments on what sounded like a typical, liberty-squashing, secularism-über-alles ACLU power play.

However, the story is apparently missing some key elements that I am happy to convey here for the first time.

In the past, all graduating students and their guests, upon entry into the megachurch, were handed crucifixes and told to press them tight against their chests with their right hands. (Each crucifix was treated with a powerful psychtropic solution that was released into the body upon contact). Every patron was promptly handed a card that read “We are all Christians now” while an usher discretely administered small doses of electric current to each visitor’s left temple. At the same time as this, a sound recording with a menacing voice repeating the phrase, “Jesus is your master” filled the beautifully decorated lobby while gift baskets stuffed with Paul of Tarsus raspberry-filled chocolate figurines were handed out. After the strip searches and inoculations were completed, all were re-clothed appropriately and led into the sanctuary where “Obey Jesus” buttons were affixed to each shroud. Patrons were then seated as they were made to repeat the phrase, “Church and State, Forever Great!” two-hundred times.

Diplomas were eventually handed out to the children, but not before electronic “baptism” chips were implanted into the necks of all attendees and “Loyalty to Jesus” oaths were signed by everyone.

That changes everything.

What would we do without the ACLU?

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ROLL WITH IT

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 19, 2009

So, the first question has to be … are these enviro-friendly?

And although I have yet to see them in any of the souvenir shops, or on any of the vendor’s tables, in Manhattan, I am confident that these babies can be a genuine boost to the economy.

After all, everybody eats.

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BUSH AND BAM – TRANSPARENCY A DEAD HEAT

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 19, 2009

It was all about transparency.

Remember?

This administration was going to redefine what it meant to be honest and open with the American people. The backstairs cloak-and-daggerism that characterized the Bush regime would be a nightmare of the past as a brand-new forthrightness – an age of unprecedented lucidity and accountability – came to Washington. The days of covert, black-mask, in-the-shadows leadership would be behind us. It was the dawning of the Messianic Age. The moon would be in the seventh house. Jupiter would align with Mars. It would be as if Barack Obama himself was stopping by after work for Yodels and Yoo Hoos to personally discuss with us all of the happenings at the White House that day. We were all going to be in on it.

But that was then.

This is now.

And less than a year since Obama’s inauguration, Americans are split on whether or not Bammy is more transparent than W.

From Zogby Interactive:

Thirty-eight percent (38%) of likely voters believe the Obama administration is more transparent than the previous administration, but just as many (38%) believe there is less transparency now and 19% believe the level of transparency is about the same, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows.

Republicans and Democrats are split down party lines – 70% of Democrats believe the current administration is more transparent, while 72% of Republicans believe there is less transparency now than under the Bush administration. Among self-described political independents, more (41%) believe there is less transparency now, while 29% believe the Obama administration is more transparent. Twenty-four percent of independents believe the level of transparency in government is about the same under both administrations.

That’s correct, 41% of independents believe that there is less transparency under Obama than under George W. Bush.

Go figure.

And just for kicks, I thought I’d throw this one in: The Rasmussen Presidential Approval Index for Barack Obama, as of yesterday, is -14. That matches the lowest of his presidency so far.

Not that I’m keeping track.

Not that polls matter.

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JOBS ARE A SIDE ISSUE – THAT’S WHY OBAMA IS FOCUSING ON JOBS

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 19, 2009

For sheer incoherence, this may very well be on par with “I was for it before I was against it,” although not nearly as quotable. However, for the unrivaled capacity to redefine things at will, the award has to go to Barack H. Obama, Chief Executive.

No one else is even in his league.

He may certainly be the best sounding fertilizer peddler since Barney Frank on peanut butter, but there isn’t a soul – not even William Jefferson Clinton himself – with the hypnotizing ability to change the rules of the game on a dime as Barack Obama can.

The purpose of Obama’s Stimulus Bill, you recall, was to revitalize the economy and put Americans to work. It all sounded so divinely FDR. It is all anyone heard from clucking Obamacrats leading up to the bill’s who-did-it-and-ran passage in February – that the $787 billion dollar spending spectacular would create somewhere around 4 million jobs, and the unemployment rate would top off at around 8%, and America would finally live up to its promise because only government can save.

Blah, blah, blah.

The reality is the unemployment rate has been steadily rising and currently stands at over 10%. The confidence of the American people is plummeting. And although the President continues to sing the praises of his illusory “job recovery,” there aren’t too many people buying it.

Job recoveries are hard to wrap your arms around when less people are working.

Besides, if there are any jobs being “created” or “saved” by Obama’s Spendulous Bill, the bulk of them are government sector jobs, which means taxpayer dollars are being sucked out of the economy so that they can be redistributed to others as salary.

FDR, indeed.

To top it off, the government’s assessment of the Stimulus Bill’s success has been embarrassingly incorrect. There has been job creation in non-existent districts; there have been more “jobs saved” than actually exist at given places of employment; and no one seems to be sure what the criteria is for any of it.

This is where Obama’s sheer incoherence will score him some “ah-ha” points with the mainstream media (who have been a bit worried that their savior is losing some credibility even among hardcore Obamacrats).

It turns out that all along, according to Obama, the number of jobs created wasn’t particularly relevant – a mere “side issue,” as he calls it.  Rather, job growth was his real number one priority.

See? Problem solved.

From Fox News

“I think this is an inexact science. We’re talking about a multitrillion-dollar economy that went through the worst economic crisis since 1933. The first measure of success of the economic recovery is, did we pull ourselves back from the brink? We did,” Obama said. “The question now is, can we make sure we’re accelerating job growth? That’s my No. 1 job. Nobody’s been more disappointed than I have to see how high the unemployment rate has gotten. And I spend every waking hour, when I’m talking to my economic team, about how we are going to put people back to work.”

How exactly does one track job growth without counting jobs?

Recall that last week Obama credited the Stimulus Bill for putting a million people back to work. Or for keeping them at work. Or whatever it was supposed to do. Why would the President make it a point to mention how many jobs the Stimulus Bill was responsible for if it was only a “side issue?”

What about the “multi-trillion” dollar debt poised to be left as an “Obama Was Here” calling card for countless future generations?

And I love the line about accounting being “an inexact science.”

How bleeping convenient.

Is projecting how “cost effective” and “efficient” government-run healthcare will be an inexact science too?

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PICTURE OF THE DAY FOR NOVEMBER 19, 2009

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 19, 2009

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THE TEN-TEAR OLD PUNK

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 18, 2009

Over the past couple of days, the blogosphere has been rife with commentary on 10-year old Will Phillips, the Arkansas boy who made national news by refusing to stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance until homosexuals are afforded the “right” to marry members of the same sex. To Phillips, there can be no “liberty and justice for all” in a country where sexism and racism exist.

He has been called “brave” by the Left. He has been lauded by gay rights groups as “truly courageous.” He is described as “precocious” by the salivating media. He is a hero to those who continue to view the United States as a bastion of repression and discrimination. He has been praised as having the fortitude to “stand up for what he believes in” – and to the American Leftocracy, there is nothing nobler.

But is that really true?

Is “standing up for what you believe in” the be-all, end-all barometer of honor and integrity?

What if Little Will from Arkansas stood up for white supremacy? Would he still be praised?

The act of “standing up for what one believes in” is, in and of itself, meaningless if the values behind it are no good.

Without rehashing everything Phillips said – and without specifically getting into the same-sex marriage debate – there are three points to be made here.

First, for all of his precociousness and expanded vocabulary, little Will is an enormously foolish and naive child – and no one is bothering to clue him in. (Ironically, his childlike idealism is on par with most adult leftist thought, so he is probably being looked upon as a prodigy of sorts, or a future Democrat Senator). That “liberty and justice for all” is not absolute in America doesn’t mean the ideal is not worth saluting. The United States is not a perfect society; and because imperfect human beings comprise that society, there can never be absolute anything for all citizens. If, in Will’s World, that’s what it takes to be able to say the Pledge, no one will ever be able to say it.

Indeed, “liberty and justice for all” is what America aspires to. It is her ideal. It is what the flag (and the republic for which it stands) represents. It is what men and women have sacrificed their lives to preserve. It is what America has overwhelmingly been able to live up to – certainly far more than any other society the world has ever known. But because there exists a federal government, there will always be some encroachments on liberty – like taxes, for instance.

The irony here is that while young Will ridicules America for not being able to provide “liberty for all,” his leftist agenda undoubtedly means he supports bigger, more intrusive government. Surely, someone as bright, articulate and thesaurus-savvy as he knows that the larger the government gets, the less liberty we the people have, by definition.

It would have been interesting to hear the young leftist’s response to that.

Meanwhile, justice, while blind in theory, will never be perfect in this, or any other, society. We strive to balance the scales as best we can in the pursuit of justice, but it isn’t always possible. Think O.J. Simpson.

Waiting for these “perfections” to manifest themselves until such a time when young Will believes the Pledge has become worthy enough to come from his lips is both supremely arrogant and intellectually dishonest.

(But he sounds so smart, bless his heart!)

Second, little Will is an unadulterated narcissistic spoiled brat – not because of his views, which he is entitled to, but because of his wanton disrespect for authority. During the interview with CNN’s John Roberts, he was asked what he said to his teacher following the “grief” he received for refusing to stand for the Pledge.

Said the young Phillips:

I, eventually, very solemnly, with a little bit of malice in my voice, said, “Ma’am, with all due respect, you can go jump off a bridge.”

Roberts, of course, giggled while the young scamp recounted his amusing encounter with the teacher. The boy’s Dad, who was sitting beside Will, put his head in his hands in playful embarrassment.

That this boy was not suspended for telling a teacher to “jump off a bridge” is bad enough. That his father was apparently unconcerned with such a blatant display of contempt for authority is even more disturbing. That his mother said she was proud of him is downright disgusting.

Perhaps someone ought to provide young Will with some pictures and accounts from societies where real oppression exists. Maybe someone ought to enlighten the young scholar as to the realities of slavery, ethnic cleansing and the denial of basic human rights that exist in abundance elsewhere in the world. Someone should probably explain to the young lawyer-wanna-be (that’s what he said he wants to be) that the United States has liberated more people than all other nations in the history of this planet combined.

Someone also ought to instill a bit of humility in this boy. I don’t care how many multi-syllabic words he can rattle off for the cameras, he is a bit too full of himself and too impressed with his own intelligence.

Couple that with his willful disregard of authority, and you’ve got a punk.

As God is my witness, if one my daughters stood up in class after deciding she did not want to sit through a showing of Al Gore’s mythological meterological romp, “An Inconvenient Truth,” and in the process told her teacher to “jump off a bridge,” I can assure you that punishment would be swift and severe.

That kind of insolence and disregard for authority is intolerable regardless of which side of ideological fence it comes from.

I guess it’s kind of “cute” coming from a liberal, but imagine for a moment if Will Phillips was a young conservative. The mainstream media would have split an artery. He’d have been crucified if he chose not to stand for the Pledge because of something Barack Obama did or said. (Of course, conservatives don’t think that way, but you get my point). Think of how the media lambasted Carrie Prejean when she stood up for traditional marriage.

Third, the Pledge of Allegiance does not dictate how someone should think on any given subject. It is not a pledge to conservatism. It is not a pledge to liberalism. It is a pledge to the nation that affords one to think as they so choose, regardless of their politics. Someone ought to remind the boy that the flag he has decided to shun honors everyone who gave up their lives for this country so that he might live free.

That he chooses to forego proclaiming his allegiance to his own country until it adheres to his view of how it should be is the very definition of narcissism.

I don’t support Barack Obama or his initiatives toward socialism, but I still pledge my allegiance to this nation.

I don’t believe Little Will should be made to say the Pledge if he doesn’t wish to. I find it abhorrent that he wouldn’t, but one ought not force anyone to say it.

But he damn well should.

There are millions and millions of dead military men and women who have earned the right to be shown that respect.

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UP, UP AND AWAY – DAMN THOSE BALLOONS

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 18, 2009

Berkeley, California is a special type of place – like ulcerative colitis is a special type of irritable bowel syndrome. 

For any number of reasons, I will simply never be able to show my face in Berkeley, California – not that I’m weeping. Primary among these reasons is the fact that Berkeley is one of those enlightened jurisdictions that has declared itself a “hate-free” zone. At the risk of having some sort of thought-warrant issued against me, I have no choice but to avoid the place.

I am a hater.

I admit it.

As one of those “moral clarity” types who likes to draw distinctions between good and evil, I take the passage from Psalm 97:10 very seriously:

“Ye that love the Lord, hate evil; he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked”

Deuteronomy 17:7 has always been a cherry-on-top “clarifier” for me as well:

“So thou shalt put away the evil from the midst of thee”

Pretty simple stuff, really: God hates evil. God commands us to hate evil. I have faith in God. Berkeley hates hate. I avoid Berkeley.

Last night, however, the Berkeley City Council considered suspending its embargo on hate by hearing proposals to prohibit the release of balloons at city events.

That’s right, balloons.

Hateful, destructive balloons.

Why?

Because balloons pose a threat to the environment. And as everyone knows, it is appropriate (or at least understandable) to hate something that poses a threat to the environment.

…Those in the balloon business say any risk is being blown way out of proportion. Workers at Paper Plus Incredible Balloons have been doing business in Berkeley for 25 years. “This is a latex balloon. It is totally biodegradable,” says Michele Schurman, owner of Paper Plus Incredible Balloons.

However, Schurman has been put on the defensive. She says the proposed ordinance could hurt her business. “I think it’s a feel good measure. I think they think ‘Well, we’re doing something great for the environment,'” says Schurman.

Of course, mylar balloons can take up to six whole months to biodegrade. And the strings can choke animals. And they can find their way into their digestive tracks. There are documented cases.

But Berekely isn’t an island. It is a community of the world.

What about those renegade balloons that float out of Berkeley air space into surrounding communities? What then?

Perhaps a bantam missile defense system of some sort (run by migrant workers) can be installed so the offensive balloons can be shot down before they infiltrate the perimeter of neighboring towns (provided a recovery team is dispatched as soon as humanly to retrieve the remains before any animals are killed).

It could actually create jobs. Everyone wins.

Maybe a Helium Czar should be named.

I’m sure they won’t say so publicly, but city staffers probably hate the fact that the City Council did not make a final decision last night. They’ve been advised to bring back more documentation on the matter before a decision can be made.

It’s a good thing Dorothy didn’t land in Berkeley after the twister. How would the Wizard have left town?

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PICTURE OF THE DAY FOR NOVEMBER 18, 2009

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 18, 2009

Get a garage guys.

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TURN IN YOUR “CITIZEN OF THE WORLD” CARD

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 17, 2009

On the periphery of reality, where the myth of global warming has set up shop, there is a great deal of disappointment being directed at President Barack Obama, particularly from his fan base overseas. While banners across the globe implore Barack Obama to somehow “Stop Climate Change” – presumably so there can finally be one constant, unvarying temperature for all of humanity – the President is discovering that “hope and change,” while sufficient to move a whole lot of street vendor paraphernalia, amounts to nothing more than empty buzzwords poised to disillusion those fated to reside in the real world.

While it certainly would have been advantageous – both symbolically and environmentally – for the President to walk across the ocean to get to Asia, there’s a growing sense among the ecologically hysterical (i.e., the left) that the “hope and change” President is sizing up to be a big fat failure.

He just can’t seem to make anyone happy these days.

Germany’s Speigel Online has an opinion piece by Christian Schwägerl called “Obama Has Failed the World on Climate Change“.

Nice title.

He writes:

US President Barack Obama came to office promising hope and change. But on climate change, he has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor, George W. Bush. Now, should the climate summit in Copenhagen fail, the blame will lie squarely with Obama.

The folder labeled “climate change” that George W. Bush left behind for his successor on the desk of the Oval Office in January likely wasn’t a thick one. Although Bush once said that America is overly dependent on oil, he never got beyond that insight. He was too busy waging war on Iraq and searching for a legal basis for extraordinary renditions to pay much attention to the real threat facing humanity. “Forget the climate” seems to have been Bush’s unofficial motto.

Leftist pundits are innately entertaining beings. I enjoy them the same way I enjoy watching those guys who can simultaneously spin fifteen plates on the end of broom handles. They’re admittedly enticing for a few moments, but before too long, I need to get up and get a sandwich.

Mr. Schwägerl, you’ll note, was quick to point out that former President Bush all but ignored the “real threat facing humanity” during his time in office – global warming – and instead busied himself with war mongering and making totalitarians feel bad about themselves. Bush, obviously, never saw his dream of a world without ice caps come to fruition, thanks to a global cooling trend set off by global warming, but Lord knows he tried valiantly to destroy as much as he could.

The “folder” thing was a clever touch, too. (Leftists are inventive, aren’t they?)

When [Obama] took office at the beginning of 2009, it was clear that the success of the UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen in December depended almost entirely on the US — that America needed to take a clear leadership role on a problem that could shake civilization to its very core.

On the weekend, Obama announced that there would be no agreement on binding rules in Copenhagen. It was the admission of a massive failing — and the prelude to a truly dramatic phase of international climate policy.

Hold me.

Barack Obama cast himself as a “citizen of the world” when he delivered his well-received campaign speech in Berlin in the summer of 2008. But the US president has now betrayed this claim. In his Berlin speech, he was dishonest with Europe. Since then, Obama has neglected the single most important issue for an American president who likes to imagine himself as a world citizen, namely, his country’s addiction to fossil fuels and the risks of unchecked climate change. Health-care reform and other domestic issues were more important to him than global environmental threats. He was either unwilling or unable to convince skeptics in his own ranks and potential defectors from the ranks of the Republicans to support him, for example, by promising alternative investments as a compensation for states with large coal reserves.

If, indeed, President Obama has “failed the world on climate change,” then I wholeheartedly applaud his grievous ineffectiveness.

The best thing Barack Obama can do for this country is to fail at implementing his initiatives.

Note how, according to Schwägerl speaking on behalf of the disenchanted international community, global climate change should be the “single most important issue for an American president who likes to imagine himself as a world citizen.”

As talk show host Dennis Prager likes to say, “Clarity is my friend.”

Maybe President Obama ought to bike to Oslo next month to accept his Nobel Peace Prize. The gesture would, at least, show his commitment to the cause.

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BUT WHAT IF THERE’S NO 9TH DISTRICT?

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 17, 2009

There are myths, misconceptions and fallacies peppering the American landscape that linger like holiday-season in-laws. Contrary to popular belief, Charles Manson did not audition for the Monkees television show in the 1960s; Channel “One” was not left off of VHS television set dials because it was reserved for military use; and marking “Jedi” as your religion on a census form will not force the federal government to grant it official status.

Another fable being spun regularly these days relates to the enormous, unprecedented success of Barack Obama’s all-rescuing, all envigorating Stimulus Bill, which, as of last count, has created somewhere between nine and eighteen billion new jobs in the United States.

So efficacious has the Stimulus Bill been in creating jobs that people have been actually been put to work in districts that don’t even exist.

Talk about “community organizing.”

From Rob at the great Say Anything Blog:

Here’s a stimulus success story: In Arizona’s 9th Congressional District, 30 jobs have been saved or created with just $761,420 in federal stimulus spending. At least that’s what the website set up by the Obama Administration to track the $787 billion stimulus says.

There’s one problem, though: There is no 9th Congressional District in Arizona; the state has only eight Congressional Districts.

There’s no 86th Congressional District in Arizona either, but the government’s recovery.gov Web site says $34 million in stimulus money has been spent there.

In fact, Recovery.gov lists hundreds of millions spent and hundreds of jobs created in Congressional districts that don’t exist.

Oh yeah, and Mikey from the Life cereal commercials of the early 1970s did not die from ingesting a deadly combination of pop rocks and soda.

However, it is absolutely true that the theme from the original Star Trek TV series did have lyrics.

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DAVID AND BARRY – NOT ON THE SAME PAGE

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 17, 2009

The Governor of New York and the President of the United States aren’t exactly tight. While they are both big time Democrats who hail from big blue states, they seem to have about as much affection for each other as a gaping flesh wound has for salt.

The President, for instance, has all but asked Paterson to bow out of the 2010 gubernatorial race, and the Governor has all but told him to take a flying leap off a high ledge.

That’s how they play together.

The decision by the Obama administration to bring terrorists to New York to stand trial has only widened the gap between them.

While most Democrats seem to be in favor of Attorney General Eric Holder’s (i.e., President Obama’s) disastrous decision to have 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, tried in a civilian court with four of his terrorist chums, the Governor of New York, David Paterson, doesn’t like the idea one bit.

For once, I agree with the otherwise useless governor of my state.

Marcia Kramer from WCBS-TV in New York writes:

Gov. David Paterson openly criticized the White House on Monday, saying he thought it was a terrible idea to move alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other suspected terrorists to New York for trial.

“This is not a decision that I would have made. I think terrorism isn’t just attack, it’s anxiety and I think you feel the anxiety and frustration of New Yorkers who took the bullet for the rest of the country,” he said.

Paterson’s comments break with Democrats, who generally support the President’s decision.

“Our country was attacked on its own soil on September 11, 2001 and New York was very much the epicenter of that attack. Over 2,700 lives were lost,” he said. “It’s very painful. We’re still having trouble getting over it. We still have been unable to rebuild that site and having those terrorists so close to the attack is gonna be an encumbrance on all New Yorkers.”

Paterson went on to say that “he will do everything in his power to make sure that the state’s Department of Homeland Security will keep New Yorkers as safe as possible.”

As difficult as this is to say definitively, considering the cavalcade of harm President Obama has already overseen since taking office ten months ago, this decision to bring war criminals to New York to be tried as civilians may very be the most disastrous of all.

More importantly, this is a very bad move for the United States. Treating war criminals like civilians, who will potentially have access to intelligence data and Bush-era policy information, is a calamity waiting to happen. It will also afford these examples of human excrement a forum from which to disgorge their hateful prattle.

As it stands right now, nearly two-thirds of all Americans believe this is a bad idea – that a military court is the place to try these war makers who have already asked to be put to death.

The first noise you hear is the gentle sound of terrorist laughter wafting across the oceans into New York, where that great big hole in the ground still sits.

That other sound you hear is Obama’s base collectively gnawing on that great big bone he threw them.

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PICTURE OF THE DAY FOR NOVEMBER 17, 2009

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 17, 2009

The lot was full.

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NO “HOLIDAY” GIFTS ALLOWED AT THE HOLIDAY STORE

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 16, 2009

Christmas intolerance in the name of tolerance is alive and well in one Massachusetts town.

In a nation where the mainstream media shivers at the prospect of attributing the actions of an “Allahu Akbar” shouting mass murderer to his religion; where liberals remind the rest of us that fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Jews pose as much a threat to the safety of Americans as fundamentalist Islamists; where “offensive” religious symbols are removed from city seals and emblems because of some phantom violation of rights; where fallacious “church and state” arguments help fuel a small minority to squash the rights of a faith-based majority, the plague of moral equivalency not only thrives, it has joined forces with the anti-religion/secularism-at-all-costs movement.

At Byam Elementary school in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Christmas-related items have been banned from being sold in the store’s annual holiday gift shop. Items that depict Christmas in any way – Santa Claus, reindeer, wooden soldiers, mistletoe, angels, even red and green tissue paper – are off-limits at a school store that specifically stays open through the holidays to make money. Yet, nothing related to Christmas, or any other religious holiday, can be sold there during the holiday season. So while non-holiday-looking holiday gifts are allowed to be bought and sold in the school’s holiday store, the holiday itself is not allowed to be represented there.

Make sense?

If this doesn’t epitomize liberalism today, nothing does.

Rita Savard at the Lowell Sun writes:

After meeting with members of the Byam Elementary School PTO, two mothers asking to put the holidays back into the school’s annual holiday gift shop say Byam isn’t budging. Kathryn McMillan and Kathleen Cullen, who both have children at Byam, asked school officials to allow all holiday items at the gift shop following a ban on Santa, candy canes, stockings, and all Christmas, Hanukkah and other “religious items.”

But a meeting with some PTO parents on Thursday night grew heated as emotions got in the way.

McMillan went on to say that during the meeting, one parent – obviously university educated – got up and exclaimed, “If we allow Santa, what do we say if a child brings in a swastika? Do we allow that too?”

The brilliance and clarity of the secular left never ceases to amaze me.

“If we allow Santa, what do we say if a child brings in a swastika?”

This, of course, as we all know, is an alarming trend pervasive in many public schools across America today, and has been for decades – namely, kids carrying their Yuletide swastikas into schools that sell Santa mugs. It’s known as the dreaded Santa-Hitler Effect. As a result, school stores from coast to coast are now selling such Noel-inspired goodies as Adolf Eichmann holiday candles, Heinrich Himmler orange preserves and Josef Mengele peanut brittle.

Only university-numbed, rabid church-and-state knee-jerks can find a correlation between the symbol of an oppressive totalitarian regime responsible for the murder of millions – including six-million Jews – and the selling of a toy featuring the likeness of jolly old St. Nick.

(Is this like comparing Global Warming denial to Holocaust denial?)

Superintendent Donald Yeoman said, “It’s operated under those same rules for a number of years with success and without complaint.”

I can’t help but wonder how many “Santa” complaints or “Little Drummer Boy” grievances were received during the previous one hundred years when Christmas wasn’t banished from public view.

Superintendent Donald Yeoman told The Sun on Tuesday that the rules for the gift shop are under the authority of Byam Principal Jane Gilmore. Ultimately, said Yeoman, the policy for the gift shop was set so no child would feel left out.

And so, Mr. Yeoman, I must ask … exactly what lesson does all of this instill in our children? How do we teach our kids to tolerate differences when the symbols of those differences are banned by the very people who claim that embracing those differeences is so critical?

It’s the pathetic reality of today’s five-hundred pound gorilla in the American public school classroom.

One on hand, schools are obsessed with multiculturalism – elevating every conceivable culture and civilization to an equal plane (except the American culture, of course) in the name of deifying diversity. On the other, the Judeo-Christian value system – the ethical and moral foundation of this nation – is treated as an offensive anti-Constitutional tool of exclusion. Thus, at Christmas time, the majority belief is swept aside, removed from view and suppressed for fear of “leaving others out.” Mind you, no one is forced to buy anything at the holiday store. No one is made to believe in Christmas, or become a Christian.

Ever hear of the Bill of Rights?

Wasn’t there something about the “free exercise thereof” somewhere in there?

This isn’t a matter of “endorsing” a religion, or “establishing” a state faith of some kind – which is what every fraidy-cat, leftist with a “church-and-state” complex fearful of a theocratic regime shudders at the thought of. This isn’t about anything other than recognizing the cold-hard fact that Christmas a real holiday – a federal holiday – that is celebrated by the vast majority of Americans. The fact that there are some who don’t – like me, being a Jew – means absolutely nothing.

Sadly, if it turned out that every student in that school openly and eagerly celebrated Christmas, there would still be some politically correct, leftist boob somewhere frantically waving his pocket edition of the Constitution – or some bitter atheist trying to avenge a lifetime of feeling “left out” – hell bent on taking away everyone else’s joy in the name of preserving the “separation between church and state,” blah, blah, blah.

Personally, I never once felt left out of anything. Indeed, most of the Jews I know never felt threatened, excluded, shunned or outcast at Christmas time.

It takes nothing away from me – or anyone – to have Christmas or Hanukah trinkets sold at a school store at Christmas time. It isn’t a method of indoctrination. It isn’t an imposition of faith. It isn’t cultivation. It’s not propaganda. It isn’t the duplicitous and subversive establishment of a theocracy. And as long as I am not told I have to practice a specific religion by the state – which is precisely what the First Amendment protects me from – there is nothing to bust a blood vessel about.

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