Saturday, March 01, 2008


Defending the shameful decision by the New York Philharmonic to lend its prestige to the unspeakable regime of Kim Jong-Il, communist apologist Lorin Maazel characterized things this way:
"People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw bricks, should they? Is our standing as a country -- the United States -- is our reputation all that clean when it comes to prisoners and the way they are treated?" the 77-year-old conductor said in an interview with the Associated Press the night before the orchestra's departure for Asia.
The brutality of the North Korean regime is well known. The fact that after 60 years of communist rule, the once relatively prosperous northern provinces of Korea have been plunged into a nightmare of tyranny and famine, totalitarianism and poverty, is well known. The horror of life in North Korea has been described in hideous detail too many times for even a leftist drone like Maazel to be ignorant of it. Maazel's comments are the product of a sick and decadent post-modern relativism.

His musicians seem to have enjoyed the performance they staged for the North Korean elite:

"When we received this very warm, enthusiastic reception, we felt that indeed there may be a mission accomplished here. We may have been instrumental in opening a little door, and we certainly hope that if that is true, in the long run it will be seen as a watershed."

Maazel wasn't the only New Yorker moved by the event. The Philharmonic's principal bassist, John Deak, said when the musicians started leaving the stage, the North Koreans started waving at them.

"Half of the orchestra burst into tears, including myself and we started waving back at them and suddenly there was this kind of artistic bond that is just a miracle. I'm not going to make any statements about what's going to change or everything. Things happen slowly. But I do know that the most profound connection was made with the Korean people tonight."

And at the same time, the merciless North Korean regime was murdering 22 hapless fishermen whose ship had mistakenly strayed into South Korean waters:

North Korea has executed 22 fishermen who strayed out of the country's waters by mistake, it was claimed yesterday.

The group were apparently gunned down once they returned to the Stalinist state.

Having drifted into South Korean territory, they had the opportunity to seek asylum, but insisted they never had any intention of doing so.

They told South Korean officials they had strayed accidentally while fishing for clams and oysters, so were sent back to North Korea - and to their deaths.

A South Korean newspaper reported yesterday that all the drifters were immediately shot dead in a secret location by agents of North Korea's national security agency.

It was another alleged incident supporting claims that North Korea has a "no tolerance" policy against anyone suspected of trying to leave the country - even in error.

The drama began when two North Korean fishing boats containing 14 women and eight men - among them three teenagers - drifted into waters off South Korea's Yeonpyeong island.

South Korean officials, suspecting at first that the group were intending to defect, questioned them about their plans and were told they had accidentally strayed out of North Korean waters.

There were a large number of women on the vessels, it was explained, because they were needed to clean the oysters and clams.

Satisfied with their story, the South Koreans seized the two boats and sent the group back across the border via an overland route.

Last night, a source with the South Korean national intelligence agency said: "We found the group were neither asylum seekers nor spies.

"They didn't want to stay in South Korea, so we sent them back.

"We have heard that they were shot, but we had no idea that would happen."

This horrible atrocity reveals the character of the regime for whose privileged members Lorin Maazel and his duped orchestra provided entertainment -- and respectability.

The behavior of Maazel and the Philharmonic is absolutely disgusting and no person with a shred of a scrap of a tattered remnant of any human decency at all could possible attend a Philharmonic concert until this disgusting apologist for terror and tyranny is removed from the podium.

Another minor disgusting detail from NPR's glowing account of the concert:
After the concert, which included an encore of "Arirang," North Korea's most famous traditional folk song, conductor Lorin Maazel said he was surprised at the overwhelming response.
Arirang is not a "North Korean" folksong. It is a Korean folksong, well loved and often sung in South Korea. Typical of the communist sympathizing NPR to attribute any positive cultural artifact to a tyrannical communist regime, rather than to the entire Korean people.


Vienna - Storm Emma hit Austria on Saturday morning with top wind speeds of up to 190 kilometres per hour in mountainous regions, the Austrian press agency APA reported. In the western Austrian province Tyrol one person was killed, when a tree fell on a car at a camping ground in Walchsee, police said.

Avalanche experts warned of increased risks because of up to one metre of new snow and storm gusts, raising the avalanche risk levels to level 3, meaning "considerable danger" for south-eastern Austria.

Experts warned skiers to be extremely careful.


via Reihl and Pundita. PUNDITA:
At first glance the Ayers angle seems a sideshow. But Obama's relationship with William C. Ayers, a confessed domestic terrorist bomber who escaped US prison on a technicality, intersects significantly with their work for the Woods Fund. The fund is a Chicago-based nonprofit on which Obama served as a paid director alongside Ayers.

According to a Feb 25 report filed by Aaron Klein
, the fund provided $75,000 in grants to the Arab American Action Network, or AAAN, "a controversial Arab group that mourns the establishment of Israel as a 'catastrophe' "

Klein also reports that:
Obama's 1999 fundraising for the Palestinian Deheisha camp raised the eyebrows of one senior Israeli security official who was contacted yesterday for comment on the issue.

The official, who was not aware of Obama's fundraising, noted Deheisha, which is located near the city of Bethlehem, had a "very active" Palestinian terror apparatus in 1999, carrying out scores of deadly shootings against Israeli civilians that year. [...]

Two of the most deadly suicide bombings in 2002 also were planned from Deheisha, where the suicide bombers originated, said the security official. On one such bombing, in March of that year, 11 people were killed and over 50 injured, four critically when a Deheisha bomber detonated his explosives next to a group of Jewish women waiting with their baby carriages for their husbands to leave a nearby synagogue.
Also see Klein's February 24 report titled Obama worked with terrorist: Senator helped fund organization that rejects 'racist' Israel's existence.

Barack Obama's Honesty Brigade Chapter 612: NAFTA takes jobs from Ohio

Barack Obama's mailers to Ohio citizens hammer NAFTA as unfair to the state's workers.

Talk about the politics of fear!

Unfortunately for Obama, the brochure's content appears to be as truthful as the politician's image as a bi-partisan healer. According to the Wall Street Journal, thanks to NAFTA, Ohio's biggest trading partners are now Mexico and Canada:

Ohio workers would pay a heavy price for pulling out of Nafta. Canada and Mexico are the top two markets for exports from Ohio, accounting for more than half of the state's exports in 2006. According to the Ohio Department of Development, 283,500 workers in the state earn their living in the export sector, with machinery, car parts, aircraft engines and optical/medical equipment among the leading exports.

Michelle Obama: Tells Lower Middle Class Women, Don't Go Into Corporate America

Michelle Obama - "Hope makes a comeback"?

I have a new story today about Michelle Obama's visit to Zanesville, Ohio, where she met with a group of women at a local day care center. According to the U.S. Census, Muskingum County, where Zanesville is located, had a median household income of $37,192 in 2004, below both the Ohio and national averages. Just 12.2 percent of adults in the county have a bachelor's degree or higher, also well below the state and national averages. About 20 percent don't have a high school degree. Nevertheless, Mrs. Obama urged them to foreswear lucrative professions like corporate law or hedge fund management and go into the helping industry, even if the sacrifice is great:

As she has many times in the past, Mrs. Obama complains about the lasting
burden of student loans dating from her days at Princeton and Harvard Law
School. She talks about people who end up taking years and years, until middle
age, to pay off their debts. “The salaries don’t keep up with the cost of paying
off the debt, so you’re in your 40s, still paying off your debt at a time when
you have to save for your kids,” she says.

“Barack and I were in that position,” she continues. “The only reason we’re
not in that position is that Barack wrote two best-selling books… It was like
Jack and his magic beans. But up until a few years ago, we were struggling to
figure out how we would save for our kids.”

A former attorney with the white-shoe Chicago firm of Sidley & Austin,
Obama explains that she and her husband made the choice to give up lucrative
jobs in favor of community service. “We left corporate America, which is a lot
of what we’re asking young people to do,” she tells the women. “Don’t go into
corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social
workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need, and we’re encouraging
our young people to do that. But if you make that choice, as we did, to move out
of the money-making industry into the helping industry, then your salaries

Faced with that reality, she adds, “many of our bright stars are going into
corporate law or hedge-fund management.”What she doesn’t mention is that the
helping industry has treated her pretty well. In 2006, the Chicago Tribune
reported that Mrs. Obama’s compensation at the University of Chicago Hospital,
where she is a vice president for community affairs, jumped from $121,910 in
2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962 in 2005,
just after he took office. And that does not count the money Mrs. Obama receives
from serving on corporate boards. She would have been O.K. even without Jack’s
magic beans.

Mrs. Obama also bemoaned the amount of money she has to spend — nearly one-third of the median household income in Zanesville — on piano, dance, and other lessons for her two children. But she was grateful for the concern her husband's supporters have shown for her. "Everywhere I go, no matter what, the women in the audience, their first question for me is, 'How on earth are you managing it, how are you keeping it all together?'" she told the women.

It is bad enough that she is telling people who are relatively poor to not pursue lucrative careers. Yes, that is bad enough. But, Michelle Obama's suggestion, if it were to be taken up by sizable numbers of people, would bankrupt the economy.

Those lucrative corporate careers are where the money is made that pays the taxes that provide for jobs as teachers and social workers.

Do you think, possibly, Michelle Obama is so ignorant of basic economics that she doesn't even know that?

Or, is she just talking down to a group of middle-class women and, thereby, destroying their "hope" and their dreams?
Hope is making a comeback, indeed.

So women ARE different after all?

Feminists never seem to be able to make up their minds. Below is the Amazon summary of "Why Women Should Rule the World" by Dee Dee Myers. Larry Summers will no doubt be amazed. He lost his job at Harvard for saying that women are different

What would happen if women ruled the world? Everything could change, according to former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers. Politics would be more collegial. Businesses would be more productive. And communities would be healthier. Empowering women would make the world a better place-not because women are the same as men, but precisely because they are different.

Blending memoir, social history, and a call to action, Dee Dee Myers challenges us to imagine a not-too-distant future in which increasing numbers of women reach the top ranks of politics, business, science, and academia.

Reflecting on her own tenure in the Clinton administration and her work as a political analyst, media commentator, and former consultant to NBC's The West Wing, Myers assesses the crucial but long-ignored strengths that female leaders bring to the table. "Women tend to be better communicators, better listeners, better at forming consensus," Myers argues. In a highly competitive and increasingly fractious world, women possess the kind of critical problem-solving skills that are urgently needed to break down barriers, build understanding, and create the best conditions for peace.

Myers knows firsthand the responsibilities and rewards of taking on leadership roles traditionally occupied by men. At thirty-one, she was appointed [Via the "casting couch", one imagines] White House press secretary to President Bill Clinton-the first woman ever to hold the job. In a candid look at her years in Washington's political spotlight, she recalls the day-to-day challenge of confronting a press corps obsessed with more than just the president's policies. "Virtually every story written about me included observations about my earrings, my makeup, my clothes, my shoes. And then there was my hair."

Recalling the pressures-both invited and imposed-of her West Wing years, Myers offers a hard-hitting look at the challenges women must overcome and the traps they must avoid as they travel the path toward success. From pioneering research in the laboratory, to innovations in business, entertainment, and media, to friendships that transcend partisanship in the U.S. Senate, she describes how female participation in public life has already transformed the world in which we live.

Posted by John Ray. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and for a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. Also, don't forget your handy-dandy summary of Obama news at OBAMOLOGY

Greenies now abandoning "consensus"

Now that it is clear that there IS no consensus. See the Greenie article immediately below. Note that there is no mention of any scientific fact in the article even though the article is supposed to be about "taking on global warming deniers". Abusing people as "schmucks" is their level of sophistication. And their "work in progress" by Kevin Grandia seems to be the development of further "ad hominem" abuse!

Joe Romm has an excellent piece over on Salon taking on global warming deniers. It contains some good advice on ways not to feed denialist fires, specifically, when it comes to using terms like "consensus":
One of the most serious results of the overuse of the term "consensus" in the public discussion of global warming is that it creates a simple strategy for doubters to confuse the public, the press and politicians: Simply come up with as long a list as you can of scientists who dispute the theory. After all, such disagreement is prima facie proof that no consensus of opinion exists.

This is the sort of tactic we saw in December when James Inhofe's minions released a list of 400 "prominent scientists" who dispute claims about man-made climate change. A number of them were neither prominent nor scientists. Others actually only disagree about the specifics of the rate and impact of climate change -- not whether it's happening or man-made. But as Romm points out, it's not about "consensus of opinion" -- it's about data and science and scientific conclusions, and needs to be framed as such. And what that data shows is actually worse than the latest "consensus" reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

This reflects the progression we've seen in the global warming denier crowd. First, they said global warming wasn't happening. Then they acknowledged it was happening, but swore it wasn't man-made. Then they conceded it was happening and manmade, but doing something about it was just "too costly." And now that most Americans understand of how costly it would be to not take action on climate change, they've resorted to disputing whether scientists are actually in agreement on what's happening to the planet, and pulling out all kinds of bunk arguments to support that idea. Which is precisely why talking about it as "consensus" is problematic. They'll always be able to dig up some folks to disprove that everyone's agreed.

Romm's piece is especially appropriate this week, as the famed ExxonMobil and Philip Morris-lovers at the Heartland Institute bring together as many denialist schmucks as they can dig up for an International Conference on Climate Change in New York, with under the theme "Global Warming: Crisis or Scam?" The event is meant to solidify their denialist message and garner some good press, which they'll probably get. But any examination of the "luminaries" they've invited to speak shows how desperate their attempts at arguing against science have become. (Kevin Grandia is working on a reference list on the conference speakers.) I'd feel bad for them for cobbling together such a pitiful group, except for the fact that they'll probably get plenty of uncritical press out of the whole deal.


Those who live in glass houses....

The Green/Left specialization in attempted character assassination that we see exempified above would seem rather unwise. It invites retaliation. And retaliation is not difficult, as the background of some of their own people is not very inspiring of trust or of any confidence in impartiality. Tim Ball notes:

Kevin Grandia is the writer at Desmogblog which spends its time in personal attacks on people rather than discussing the issues. Despite this a recent article by Mike De Souza claimed Desmogblog was a climate blog. De Souza, although identified as a reporter for a newspaper provides a steady flow of articles in support of the David Suzuki Foundation and the work of Desmogblog.

The Blog itself was formed by James Hoggan owner of a public relations company that has as a client the David Suzuki Foundation and alternative energy companies including Ballard Fuel cells. If there is no conflict there consider that he is has been on the Board of the David Suzuki Foundation and is currently Chair.

Hoggan set up Desmogblog and hired Kevin Grandia to run the operation. Grandia was formerly an assistant to a Canadian Liberal Party Cabinet minister who lost his seat in the last election. Grandia was thus available. He will list the usual pieces of inaccuracy, innuendo and smears that typify his style and the site he runs, but then he has no choice because he cannot and will not debate the science.

And who is trying to muddy the climate debate? All I am seeking is a debate. It's the same as them calling me a climate change denier when my entire career has involved educating people to how much and how often climate changes.

And Iain Murray notes

Note this quote from the Desmogblog site:
The DeSmogBlog team is especially grateful to our benefactor John Lefebvre, a lawyer, internet entrepreneur and past-president of NETeller, a firm that has been providing secure online transactions since 1999. John has been outspoken, uncompromising and courageous in challenging those who would muddy the climate change debate, and he has enabled and inspired the same standard on the blog

Mr Lefebvre is a past President of NETeller because he is currently awaiting sentencing, having pled guilty to federal money-laundering charges. As it happens, I think the application of those laws to his activities were an example of government overreach, but can you imagine the outcry from the enviros if someone on our side was in the same situation?

But now that the Green/Left have lost "consensus" as an argument, abuse is all they have left as a way of reponding when the many gaping holes in the global warming theory are pointed out -- so abuse is what they will continue with, I guess. Honesty would be too much to expect -- JR

Posted by John Ray. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and for a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. Also, don't forget your handy-dandy summary of Obama news at OBAMOLOGY

Bill Buckley: On the wrong track?

There have of course by now been many eloquent eulogies of W.F. Buckley. And not only from conservatives. Some libertarians have also weighed in with kind words. I have said nothing so far because I don't want to seem like an old grouch, and I do have in mind the old adjuration about speaking only good of the dead: De mortuis nihil nisi bonum. But perhaps another viewpoint won't do any harm, after all:

A recurring theme is that Buckley made conservatism respectable in polite society. And that is exactly why I did not immediately add my voice to the eulogies. From a libertarian viewpoint, polite society is overwhelmingly comprised of Fascists -- and that is using "Fascism" in a precise historical way, to mean advocates of pervasive government power and control. So conservatism SHOULD NOT BE respectable in polite society. What have conservatives got to gain from the approval of people who think that they know what is best for other people and who want to enforce that on other people in any way they can?

To me, polite society is the ENEMY and I personally want no truck with the self-satisfied knowalls who in reality know next to nothing. And that is partly why in 1974 I wrote a book under the title "Conservatism as Heresy". The intelligentsia and their allies will always be Fascistic and should always be opposed because of that. Conservatism SHOULD be heretical.

I have no doubt that Buckley was a fine man and a good conservative but his modus operandi was in my view only superficially helpful to the cause of liberty. At the risk of appearing to make an absurd comparison, I note that the carpenter of Nazareth did not seek convivial relationships with the top people in his day. He was happy among outcasts. And his disciples were "agrammatoi kai idiotai" (translatable as "ignorant and unlearned" -- see Acts 4:13). I respect Christ's example much more than the example of W.F. Buckley, I am afraid, though I certainly don't claim to be a good follower of Christ. But I too get on very well with ordinary working people and it is they who matter most in my view. And as far as "intellectuals" are concerned, do the one thing that they hate most: Ignore them. Fortunately, the workers almost invariably do.

Buckley himself of course acknowledged the good sense of ordinary working people with his famous remark about the first 1,000 names in the Boston phonebook. It's a pity he did not seek them as his audience. He would have found them much more receptive than the self-anointed wise ones of the world were. And the workers have a lot more votes! Still, as the old saying goes: "It takes all types to make a world" and I don't dispute that Buckley had his place.

Coda: I can see that what I have written above could well be taken as sour grapes. Under Leftist influence, ad hominem argumentation is rife these days so people might well conclude that I am simply justifying some failure of my own in polite society. Just a few words then about my background: I am the son of a lumberjack and regard my late father as the greatest gentleman I have ever known. I have in fact moved in all sorts of social circles in my life, sometimes in very rarefied ones, and my acceptance has always seemed good to me. I certainly have no complaints about the ladies concerned. Nonetheless, I just don't seek (and barely notice) acceptance among anybody but those whom I personally value as people.

Posted by John Ray. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and for a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. Also, don't forget your handy-dandy summary of Obama news at OBAMOLOGY

Friday, February 29, 2008

Germany: Exhibit closed after threats over Mecca photo

We read:

"An exhibition by Danish artists in Berlin has been closed due to threats received over a photo deemed to be offensive to Muslims, organisers said.

The exhibition, which opened in central Berlin on February 22, has been closed to ensure the safety of staff and visitors, Ralf Hartmann from the artists' collective Kunstverein Tiergarten said today.

The show by Danish collective Surrend is aimed at depicting what they say is the absurdity of extremism in all religions. One of the 21 photos is of the Kaaba - the cube-shaped building inside the Grande Mosque in Mecca - with the inscription describing the stone as "stupid".


The Kaaba is a cube-shaped building (hence our word "cube"), not a stone -- but the inscription on the artwork is "Dummer Stein", which means "stupid stone". The Kaaba is the holiest part of Mecca, although it was originally a pagan (pre-Islamic) building. It originally housed a collection of idols.

Note that the antisemitic picture -- implying that America is controlled by Jews -- seems to have got a pass.

I am slightly amused that a German site called Freunde der offnen Gesellschaft ("Friends of the open society") that discusses this issue manages to do so without reproducing the picture concerned. They just have a stick-man drawing instead. It seems that they are not TOO friendly to the open society. "Open society" is a George Soros catchword, of course. It would be nice if he believed in it.

(Yes. I know Soros borrowed the term off Karl Popper)

Posted by John Ray. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and for a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. Also, don't forget your handy-dandy summary of Obama news at OBAMOLOGY

Unwrapping the EU Climate Package

Report below from the straight-shooting Roger Helmer, MEP

I attended a European Policy Centre Breakfast Meeting on Feb 28th with Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. It was well attended with about 300 there: I sat at the top table with the Commissioner. He spent some time "unwrapping the EU Climate Package". When I had a chance to put a question, I spoke as follows:
"Is the Commission aware that 1998 was the hottest year in recent history, and that climate change now seems to have stalled? Is it aware that new data in recent days from four highly respected meteorological institutes shows that in recent months average global temperatures have dropped dramatically, far outside the range of recent years? Is the Commission aware of the exceptional snow-fall in China, in the Middle East, in parts of the USA?" (I could see that the American Ambassador, Boyden Grey, also at the top table, was following my question with interest). "Does the Commission know that sea ice cover in the Antarctic is currently the highest since records began? You may say that these are anomalies against the trend, but we seem to have an awful lot of anomalies and not very much trend.

"Isn't it true that we are relying on predictions from computer models which are increasingly at odds with reality, and that based on those predictions we are putting in place policies which will do huge damage to European economies, and impoverish our grandchildren?".

The guy from the WWF booed. Commissioner Dimas muttered a long reply which contained a lot about the IPCC and the Stern report, nothing at all about the actual climate data .


Viscount Monckton comments:

And a footnote on sea ice. Two months ago there was no sea ice south of Greenland. Today my jet flew over the North Atlantic about 400 nm south of the south cape of Greenland, and there was sea ice as far as the eye could see, extending all the way to Newfoundland. This hasn't been seen for many years. A very strong La Nina indeed, helped along by the eerily-prolonged solar minimum. An excellent moment to be holding a climate conference that raises serious questions about the predictions of the Forces of Darkness.

Posted by John Ray. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and for a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. Also, don't forget your handy-dandy summary of Obama news at OBAMOLOGY


The sicko policeman named Mordecai Mehager is being indicted for his crimes:
(IsraelNN.com) Former Yassam riot police officer Mordechai Mehager is facing a judge in the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court to answer charges of brutality in the 2006 eviction of protestors prior to demolition of nine structures at the Samarian town of Amona.

Mordechai Mehager was indicted on three counts of grievous assault following an Internal Affairs investigation of his role in the unprovoked violence that bloodied at least 200 people, including two Knesset Members and more than 100 young activists.

Yishai Greenbaum, one of the young activists brutalized during the expulsion, filed charges against Mehager, saying he beat him with a club for two full minutes on his head, arms and leg – leaving him with a permanent disability.

The Yesha Human Rights Organization assisted Greenbaum in filing the suit, with attorney Chaim Cohen writing in the petition that "the accused – officer Mehager – exceeded the authority granted to him by law and police regulations, acting in an independent manner and exercising excessive force without justification." [...]

Mehager was indicted partly on the strength of video evidence provided by demonstrators who filmed him clubbing young protestors as they sat passively on the floor in one of the nine structures slated for demolition.
I hope he gets the coldest, freezing prison cell possible to put grimy filth of his sort inside. IMO, what he did there shows partly that he was only in the job for money - he could have refused orders he said he was given, even rejected the job, but he chose instead to throw away common sense and show why he doesn't deserve to live in this country.

I call his actions un-Israeli, and young master Mehager should be ostracized in public for his crimes.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Another Low Point for the Worst Congress Ever: Senate wanted new "stimulus package" to benefit Democrat Voter Fraud

Captain Ed has picked up on a little-known reason for why Harry Reid's latest "Stimulus" Bill was dead on arrival: a lot of the money therein appeared to be solely designed to "stimulate" Republican electoral defeat by fraudulent means:
The beneficiaries of the bill turns out to be somewhat different than advertised:


ACORN? Would this be the same ACORN that conducted voter fraud in Washington, resulting in felony charges against its officers there in 2007? Isn't this the same organization that generated complaints and questions about their practices in several other jurisdictions during the 2006 election? How does shoving money into the pockets of ACORN provide an economic stimulus?

This doesn't look like a stimulus package. It looks more like an investment in further voter fraud.

The good Captain has put it so well, why reinvent the wheel here? He also has a transcript of the video above posted.

But I will add: the entire legislative agenda of the Democrats in both houses seem determined to be focused on one thing only: to introduce destructive dead-on-arrival poison pill bill after poison pill bill, ad infinitum, for the rest of the year, thus forcing Republicans to kill them all lest they simply hand absolute power over to the Stalinists. The obstructionist partisans continue to block hundreds of Bush judicial nominees and other Executive appointments--some which have been on ice for over two years now; they continue to try to engineer defeat out of a war we have all but won (but must remain until that victory is locked up); they have single-handedly halted the surveillance of foreign enemy terrorists whose one aim is to kill as many of us as humanly possible--all because they want their trial lawyer sugar daddies to be able to sue the very phone companies who make that surveillance possible. But in the meantime they are doing absolutely nothing whatsoever to actually address in good faith--and with all of the "bipartisan" fanfare they are so fond of talking about--the problems that the American people sent them to Washington to solve. Talk is cheap, and stonewalling is downright immoral. It has been over a year now and our system of elected Government is at a complete standstill. How much longer?

The irony about all of this non-stop political "chicken" that the Socialists are play, is that they can't even do that well; half the time they are easily thwarted by the Republicans, who make them look even more stupid than the incompetent rubes they are.

As was the case last year, and also the entire tenure of the Republican leadership, the primary Democrat goal is to clearly see that virtually nothing whatsoever gets done, other than to produce an entire legislative session of purely political posturing which can be used in vapid campaign sloganeering. Meanwhile the Stalinist ruling the roost have the lowest Congressional approval ratings in American history, and those approval ratings are not exactly heading north with a bullet based on their current scorched-earth agenda. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are the poster children for why nothing in Washington is working. Barack Obama is right that America needs change, but totally wrong in where that change needs to occur.

So please allow me to pose this question: why in the world would any American want to send this worthless pile of human dung back to lead the people's Congress next year? Regardless of which Presidential candidate wins, it is clear that putting these incompetent fools into the House and Senate for another two years--who care about nothing other than holding America hostage to its cheap political posturing and thus making it impossible to accomplish anything--could be suicidal for the country at war for its ideals and its very existence.


Are we going to have to learn the same lesson again? From this source:
Despite tough post-9/11 laws, thousands of foreign students are training at U.S. flight schools without proper visas or security background checks, government documents show....
Surely, surely, this report is in error. We can possibly be that dumb about national security! Or can we?

William F. Buckley, Jr. (1925-2008): A Giant Passes On

Since I heard about the passing of William F. Buckley late this morning, I have really not been able to get much accomplished. It is like latent ADD has suddenly taken over my life.

Everything is a bit more grey, a bit more humorless today; I can't speak for my coworkers, but for me anyway the sense of loss was palpable from the second I heard about it. Then I got home from work and I wanted to start writing something, but first I kept reading all of the other obits, starting here. But I couldn't find one that fully grasped or expressed what I was feeling.

William F. Buckley, Jr.'s death is not tragic simply because he carried the banner of "Conservative Principles"; his influence was much more profound than that. The things he fought for were things that had been taken for granted for decades--things like the importance of our Constitution and the visionaries and blood which birthed it, things like Libertarianism and the principles of Adam Smith and Milton Friedman, the importance of keeping America strong, the importance of keeping Big Government out of our lives, and of keeping our culture and humanity decent--besides his ideological causes, Buckley also carried high the banner of dignity, intellectual discourse (as opposed to ad hominem attacks), kindness, boldness, hard work, and generosity.

There is no way Ronald Reagan becomes the greatest President of this century had not William F. Buckley paved the way. It just simply would not have happened.

Had it not been for WFB, there is a great chance that Berlin Wall is still standing and the Soviet Union is still holding the lives of millions of Eastern Europeans prisoners. The Stasi would probably still be listening to the conversations of East Germans. And America? Can you say: "Europe"?

But Buckley did come along. And the rest is history.

When I was an adolescent/teenager, I used to watch Firing Line with my Dad and watch my father take enormous pleasure in seeing Buckley logically ripping to shreds the argument of an opponent who had more times than not been speaking for over than a minute--usually it only took Buckley a kindly-spoken--but deadly--sentence or two. Short and sweet. His words were lethal weapons, because they so starkly exposed the vapidity of the elite Left. Every word was measured and thought out, like poetry. But they came out so effortlessly, and with that cultured Eastern accent that implied aristocracy. Dad would say something like "did you see that?" And so I learned to take pleasure in these "debates". It soon became apparent that the whole tension in Firing Line became not if, but when will the coup d' grace be delivered? And Buckley never disappointed.

He was the human definition of "eloquence", but he always used his keen intellect and superior command of the English language to attack the ideas--but never the person espousing them (well almost never...).
Listen to Bill Buckley and Gore Vidal discuss, not Vietnam -- though that's ostensibly what its about -- but power in society.

This is rare footage indeed.

About 12 or so years ago, I went over to McFarland Auditorium at SMU to watch William F. Buckley, Jr. debate George McGovern on liberalism vs. conservatism. He not only wiped the floor with McGovern, but you could tell that even McGovern enjoyed it. It was so masterful, so completely effortless (or so it seemed, anyway), that I walked out of there feeling like I had just witnessed a scene from a Shakespearean martial arts film.

I've been subscribing to National Review almost since college. The writers have come and gone over the years but there has always been the one constant;' the one heartbeat at the center of all conservative heartbeats of the late 20th century. And now he is gone?

When he stepped down from running National Review, I guess so many momentous things had happened over the years because of him that I didn't really see it as "retirement". He spawned Reagan and a whole slew of Conservative journalists, writers, and radio hosts; he writes a tremendous autobiography, "Miles Gone By"; his columns continue to appear in the magazine from time to time. It wasn't like that much had changed. And the magazine continued to be excellent.

I always read those columns. Every one. And he kept writing until the very end. You could almost surmise that he would have wanted it that way.

But still I wasn't ready for this. I felt horrible for him when his wife Pat passed--I thought at the time of those stories you see all the time; the ones where one long time spouse dies and the other follows soon thereafter. And I didn't want it to be so here. But--in a way--it was almost poetic that it did turn out that way. Poetic, yes; but that doesn't ease the shock.

I hope Christopher and the rest of the family is holding up. I am sure their faith will get them through this, simply because it must. I lost my Dad while I was in college. Car wreck. So now, the fact that it was my Dad who introduced me to WFB resonates like a harmonic guitar chord. The bell tolls for thee.

The United States of America is as great as it is today, partly because William F. Buckley spent his entire adult life fighting for her. Fighting for the same vision as that of the Renaissance men who first graced its shores in the Age of Enlightenment.

Bill Buckley is this century's Renaissance Man. We will miss him, dearly.

UPDATE: A great comprehensive summary of WFB's life, from Rick Moran. Very thorough, although it still didn't get to the emotion for me. It's almost like I want to shed tears but the catalyst still hasn't made it happen yet. But keep your eyes on NRO. His pride and joy, and it is chock full of tremendous writers. I've seen some great tributes over there already, but I get the feeling that the best is yet to come. I did get a little misty while listening to Rush's first hour though.


Conservatives are often criticized for being rigid. But Hillary, clearly a leftist, is the epitome of rigidity. From this essay by Dick Morris:
...Even now, with her back against the wall, fighting for her political career, Hillary, presumably with Bill’s acquiescence, insists on making the same mistakes that landed her in the soup. No new tactics, no new strategy, no new message emerges.


We are watching a grim re-enactment of all of the character traits that led Hillary to decompose in the healthcare debate of her husband’s first term. The blind reliance on a guru-delivered strategy, the religious insistence on following the same rhetorical line even when it obviously isn’t working, the inflexibility in adapting to one’s opposition, and the inability to formulate new strategies or to improvise tactics when her pre-conceptions are found to be so obviously faulty — this is Hillary at her worst....
No wonder that various leaders in the Democratic Party are abandoning her, the one who was once considered at shoo-in for the nomination.

This recent column by Richard Cohen, staunch supporter of Bill Clinton's administration, wrote the following the other day:
There is dissension in the Hillary Clinton camp. Top aides have been in arguments, shouting back and forth about differences in strategy. Should Clinton come on strong? Should she go negative? Should she be upbeat and positive? Here's my answer: Stop campaigning.

The evidence is overwhelming that since Super Tuesday, the minute that Clinton steps foot in a state, her numbers start to plummet....


It might seem surprising that Clinton has turned out to be something other than a brilliant campaigner. But consider her record. Back in 1999, she entered the New York Senate race in the manner of Marie Antoinette entering France -- to be ultimately crowned queen. When Clinton announced an interest in running, every other potential Democratic candidate -- Andrew Cuomo, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, even Al Sharpton -- took it as an order to vanish. The strongest of these, Rep. Nita Lowey, graciously stepped aside, as if Clinton was the real McCoy and a six-term member of Congress was an undeserving interloper....
As has been part of the focus here at THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS, we need to work on debunking Obamania. Americans need to know that a vote for Obama is a vote for one who stands to the left of Hillary Clinton--never mind how good his rhetoric appears to the untrained ear. Besides, utopias invariably and inevitably fail!

"Diversity" is bad for your heart

Oh dear! What a nasty finding for the Left we have below. As we know from Putnam's work (See also here), community involvement is lowest where a community is ethnically diverse. Yet this study shows that people living in low community involvement areas have more heart problems. The authors don't put it that way, of course but that is what their study shows. And it makes sense. Being afraid to go outside your front door is stressful and stress is certainly bad for your heart

Home may be where the heart is, but it could be one's surrounding community that helps keep the ticker healthy, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health. "This analysis points to a real effect on real people," said study lead author Richard Scheffler, UC Berkeley professor of health economics and public policy. "It speaks to the value of clubs and social organizations in providing health information and reducing stress, both of which are known to reduce heart disease." The full study is to be published online in the Feb. 28 issue of the journal Social Science & Medicine.

"This is the first study to demonstrate a link between community social capital and prognosis following heart disease," said study co-author Dr. Ichiro Kawachi, professor of social epidemiology in the Department of Society, Development and Human Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. "Other research has linked social capital to health outcomes, but most of these studies have been cross-sectional, and therefore difficult to draw conclusions about cause-and-effect relationships. The findings of this study take us in the right direction."

The researchers based the degree of social capital in any given county upon the number of people employed in various organizations, including religious, civic, political, social and alumni groups.

There is growing evidence that cardiovascular health is linked to where a person lives, but it had been unclear whether location served as a proxy for other unmeasured factors, including the type of medical treatment or health care available there. To address this gap, UC Berkeley researchers partnered with Kaiser Permanente Northern California, a non-profit integrated health care delivery system. Data was obtained from actual clinical records of nearly 35,000 Kaiser Permanente patients who had been hospitalized for acute coronary syndrome - a term describing symptoms of decreased blood flow to the heart - in Northern California between 1998 and 2002. Patients were tracked for symptoms of recurring heart problems. To protect patient privacy, only authorized Kaiser Permanente personnel had direct access to the clinical records for this study.

"Because we're using actual clinical records instead of self-reported medical information, we have a clearer picture of a person's health status and medical treatment," said Scheffler, who is also director of the Nicholas C. Petris Center on Health Care Markets & Consumer Welfare at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health. "And because all the patients are in the same health care system, we avoid the problem of comparing people with different kinds of health plans or who don't have insurance at all. We also were able to follow patients over time to track any recurrence of heart problems, which is very unique."

The authors noted that patients in low-income areas have the most to gain from higher social capital. "Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that social capital helps more those in the lower socioeconomic spectrum," said study co-author Dr. Carlos Iribarren, research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. "Those with greater economic advantage don't seem to benefit, or benefit less, because they have other resources available to them."

The researchers pointed out that patients did not need to be members of any of the community organizations measured in order to benefit. "An area with a high density of social networks and resources changes the character of a community, regardless of whether any one particular individual joins or not," said Scheffler. "It's the opposite of having a liquor store on every corner. You don't have to shop at the liquor stores to be impacted by the type of environment they create."

Thirty-five of California's 58 counties were included in the study. The eight counties found to have the highest levels of community social capital are, in descending order, San Francisco, Lake, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Marin, Tuolumne, Nevada and Alameda. "The majority of information available about the determinants of health is based upon individual behavior," said Leonard Syme, UC Berkeley professor emeritus of epidemiology and study co-author. "This study clearly shows that the world within which people live also has an important impact on health."


Posted by John Ray. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and for a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. Also, don't forget your handy-dandy summary of Obama news at OBAMOLOGY
Obama's women reveal his secret

""Cherchez la femme," advised Alexander Dumas in: "When you want to uncover an unspecified secret, look for the woman." In the case of Barack Obama, we have two: his late mother, the went-native anthropologist Ann Dunham, and his rancorous wife Michelle. Obama's women reveal his secret: he hates America.

America is not the embodiment of hope, but the abandonment of one kind of hope in return for another. America is the spirit of creative destruction, selecting immigrants willing to turn their back on the tragedy of their own failing culture in return for a new start. Its creative success is so enormous that its global influence hastens the decline of other cultures. For those on the destruction side of the trade, America is a monster. Between half and nine-tenths of the world's 6,700 spoken languages will become extinct in the next century, and the anguish of dying peoples rises up in a global cry of despair. Some of those who listen to this cry become anthropologists, the curators of soon-to-be extinct cultures; anthropologists who really identify with their subjects marry them. Obama's mother, the University of Hawaii anthropologist Ann Dunham, did so twice.

Obama profiles Americans the way anthropologists interact with primitive peoples. He holds his own view in reserve and emphatically draws out the feelings of others; that is how friends and colleagues describe his modus operandi since his days at the Harvard Law Review, through his years as a community activist in Chicago, and in national politics. Anthropologists, though, proceed from resentment against the devouring culture of America and sympathy with the endangered cultures of the primitive world. Obama inverts the anthropological model: he applies the tools of cultural manipulation out of resentment against America. The probable next president of the United States is a mother's revenge against the America she despised.

Ann Dunham died in 1995, and her character emerges piecemeal from the historical record, to which I will return below. But Michelle Obama is a living witness. Her February 18 comment that she felt proud of her country for the first time caused a minor scandal, and was hastily qualified. But she meant it, and more. The video footage of her remarks shows eyes hooded with rage as she declares: "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment."

The desperation, frustration and disappointment visible on Michelle Obama's face are not new to the candidate's wife; as Steve Sailer, Rod Dreher and other commentators have noted, they were the theme of her undergraduate thesis, on the subject of "blackness" at Princeton University. No matter what the good intentions of Princeton, which founded her fortunes as a well-paid corporate lawyer, she wrote, "My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my 'Blackness' than ever before. I have found that at Princeton no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my White professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don't belong." ....

"Frustration" and "disappointment" have dogged Michelle Obama these past 20 years, despite her US$300,000 a year salary and corporate board memberships. It is hard for the descendants of slaves not to resent America. They were not voluntary immigrants but kidnap victims, subjected to a century of second-class citizenship even after the Civil War ended slavery. Blackness is not the issue; General Colin Powell, whose parents chose to immigrate to America from the West Indies, saw America just as other immigrants do, as a land of opportunity. Obama's choice of wife is a failsafe indicator of his own sentiments. Spouses do not necessarily share their likes, but they must have their hatreds in common. Obama imbibed this hatred with his mother's milk.

"Naivete" is a euphemism for Ann Dunham's motivation. Friends describe her as a "fellow traveler", that is, a communist sympathizer, from her youth, according to a March 27, 2007, Chicago Tribune report. Many Americans harbor leftist views, but not many marry into them, twice.

More here

Posted by John Ray. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and for a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. Also, don't forget your handy-dandy summary of Obama news at OBAMOLOGY

Wednesday, February 27, 2008













Yes, he said that, right after he recited a Muslim prayer.

Is America soon to have a Muslim President? From Nicholas Kristof at the New York Times:
Mr. Obama would bring to the White House an important experience that most other candidates lack: he has actually lived abroad. He spent four years as a child in Indonesia and attended schools in the Indonesian language, which he still speaks.

“I was a little Jakarta street kid,” he said in a wide-ranging interview in his office (excerpts are on my blog, www.nytimes.com/ontheground). He once got in trouble for making faces during Koran study classes in his elementary school, but a president is less likely to stereotype Muslims as fanatics — and more likely to be aware of their nationalism — if he once studied the Koran with them.

Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (it’ll give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”

Moreover, Mr. Obama’s own grandfather in Kenya was a Muslim. Mr. Obama never met his grandfather and says he isn’t sure if his grandfather’s two wives were simultaneous or consecutive, or even if he was Sunni or Shiite.
You see that Nicholas Kristof seems to think this is great. Obama brings experience that other candidates don't have. Yeah, he sure does.

And, what was the prayer Obama recited? Death by a Thousand Papercuts says this is it:
"Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme!
Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme!
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that Muhammad is his prophet... "
Well, if he wasn't a Muslim before, he is now. Or, I should say, Muslims would consider him a Muslim, for having said that prayer. That's the way it works. And, by the way, I'm sure Obama knows that to be true.

One has to wonder if this might be some of the most momentous and horrendous news ever reported on the American scene.

God help us.


‘Outed’ CIA agent, fundraiser guest

by The Garden Island

The Democratic Party of Kaua‘i will host a fundraising event featuring retired CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson.

Wilson is the author of “Fair Game, My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House.”

Tickets are $100...


Snow started to blanket the eastern province of Shandong on Sunday and from 10:00 a.m. Monday, 15 flights had been delayed at the airport in Jinan, the provincial capital. Some freeways were closed and thousands of vehicles were stranded.

In the Ili River Valley in the far western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, blizzards raged from Thursday to Saturday. About 12,000 cattle were killed, causing losses of 18 million yuan (2.52 million U.S. dollars).

"The continuous heavy snow and wintry weather last week have sharply increased fatalities among ewes and lambs, as it is the breeding season," said Ma Cheng, director of the husbandry bureau of Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture.

... Prolonged snow in Xinjiang forced the closure of five airports in Kax, Hotan, Aksu, Kuqa and Altay in the past three days. The Aksu Airport was closed from 9:00 a.m. Saturday till 1:00 p.m. Monday.

Twenty-five domestic flights from Urumqi to Beijing, Chengdu, Yinchuan, Shanghai, Chongqing and other places were delayed.

From Tuesday to Wednesday, heavy snows are expected in southeast Tibet and northwest Yunnan Province. Tibet would see a temperature drop of up to four degrees centigrade throughout the region and winds up to force nine in the south, according to the region's weather bureau.

The regional meteorological authorities also warned the snow would affect transport and animal husbandry, and urged people to make preparations.

Heavy snow and blizzards have been forecast for China's central, eastern and northern and northwestern regions, including Xinjiang, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hubei, Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu, the National Meteorological Centre said on its website (www.nmc.gov.cn) on Monday.

In Jiangsu Province, widespread snow began on Sunday night. The provincial meteorological authorities on Monday morning issued a yellow alert warning of icy road and suggested that residents should avoid traveling by bicycles.

Blizzards were also expected in the northwest of central Hubei Province, which was plagued by winter storms earlier this month.

The winter storms that struck much of central and southern China left 129 people dead and losses have reached 151.65 billion yuan (21.11 billion U.S. dollars, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
  • YES.


In an excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority is conducting in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority and the Elad Association in the City of David, in the National Park around the Old City Walls of Jerusalem, artifacts were found that include, among other things, a complete seal that bears the Hebrew name “Rephaihu (ben) Shalem” and fragments of bullae.

The excavation directors are Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa and Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

In an archaeological excavation that is being carried out at the Spring House near the Gihon Spring in the City of David, soil was excavated which contained pottery sherds that date to the Iron Age 2 (8th century BCE).

Wet sifting and carefully sorting through the soil produced the hoped for results: fragments of three bullae (pieces of clay that were meant to seal letters or goods), and two stone seals were recently found.

All of the objects bear Hebrew names and all date to the 8th century BCE.

Which one of these photos doesn't belong?

Comcast's blocking: first the Internet — now public debate

Cable provider Comcast was recently caught throttling consumer file-sharing using an approach that some have called a "denial-of-service" attack. In other words, Comcast specifically squelched legal, online video sharing. Technology experts, including those involved in the creation of the Internet (no, not you, Al Gore) strongly oppose Comcast's tactics.

When the Beltway Insiders Club known as the FCC reluctantly got involved, it held a public hearing. But rather than allow public debate, Comcast paid uninterested observers to fill the room. The general public, which had arrived 90 minutes ahead of time, was unable to attend the meeting.

Put simply, Comcast's paid seat-warmers had blocked the public, just as they blocked the public's use of BitTorrent and other applications.

Watch the video, then go to Save the Internet and make your voice heard.


  2. OBAMA-REZKO-AUCHI: HOT AIR TODAY; TAB SATURDAY (that would be FOUR days before Hot Air! And we've been posting on Obama's corruption for the LAST TWO YEARS - just word-search REZKO and/or OBAMA at TAB!).





He deserves it for more than a few reasons:
Omri Sharon, the son of former prime minister Ariel Sharon, began to serve out his seven-month prison sentence Wednesday.

Sharon arrived at the Tel Aviv District Court at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning and was expected to be sent to Ma'asiyahu prison near Ramle later in the day.

Sharon, a former MK, was convicted of concealing illegal contributions from secret donors to his father's 1999 campaign for chairman of the Likud Party.

Sharon was initially sentenced in February 2007 to nine months in jail, nine months suspended sentence and a fine of NIS 300,000. He was found guilty of making false entries in the documents of a corporate body, lying under oath and violating sections of the Political Parties Law.

In late June 2007, The Tel Aviv District Court partially accepted an appeal by Sharon, and reduced his jail sentence by two months.

However, the Supreme Court refused to extend him any additional leniency.
I'm glad they didn't. The man is as disgraceful as the father who raised him, and who also led to what the residents of Sderot are suffering from now. For that, he deserves to rot, though it should be for the whole 9 months without reduction of the sentence. But at least he's now going to get a little experience that he richly deserves.


But that doesn't excuse how the government allowed another fiasco to occur yet again. Here's the article on the father and the student, and here's the news on the reaction by the IAF against the Hamas office.


P. David Hornik writes in Front Page Magazine about how, just like Germany, Austria too sees deals with Iran as throughly acceptable, which just shows how even that country, whose inhabitants are of Germanic descent, is no better today than they were during WW2.


According to this source:
Iran's industries and mining minister says more than 30 industrial projects will be inaugurated by Iran in Venezuela by the end of 2008.

The projects are to be inaugurated in Venezuela on an average of one every 10 days, said Ali-Akbar Mehrabian who is visiting Caracas at the official invitation of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez....

One of Hezbollah's tactics as been to move in to provide services, then move on to militant jihad. Will something similar happen in Latin America? Sure looks that way.


With a hat-tip to Sounder, who left this link to "The Rise of Islam in America" in a comment at Foehammer's Anvil:

Excerpt from the text at the above link (emphases mine):
There are between 6 and 7 million Muslims in America today. In other words, Muslims outnumber some Christian denominations and are equal to the number of Jews. Research done in the year 2000 by prominent American universities and Islamic foundations show that the number of Muslims is increasing rapidly and that Islam is growing stronger day by day.

The above graphic representation shows the rising numbers of mosques in America.
The main theme of this research, known as the Mosque Study Project, is the establishment of mosques in America. The reason for this is that mosques occupy a very special place in any statistical compilations done with regard to the American Muslim community. Mosques in America are both houses of worship and gathering places for talking with one another and launching cultural activities to make Islam more widely known. Every mosque establishes a relationship with the press to introduce Islam to a wider audience, speaks with local politicians, visits schools and churches, engages in interfaith dialogue and carries on other such activities. Thus, research done on these mosques is one of the most useful tools for gathering accurate and enlightening information on this community's state.

According to this research, America now has about 1,209 mosques, most of which were constructed very recently. Thirty percent of these mosques were built in the 1990s, and 32% were built in the 1980s. Other statistics show that in 1994, the total number of mosques in America was 962; in 2000, there was a 25% increase in this number.

These data show a natural parallel with the growing number of Muslims. For example, according to determinations made in 1994, the number of Muslims attending mosque services was 500,000; in 2000, this figure had increased to 2 million-an approximately 300% increase. A significant part of this number is composed of people who converted to Islam. The same research shows that about 30% of those worshippers are converts. According to these data, about 20,000 Americans accept Islam every year....
Much more at this link, including access to additional pages.

Also see my recent posting "Not A Surprise To Those Of Us Who Watch."

The perils of joking in today's pursed-mouth society

Footballers guilty of joking


"Two Central Coast Mariners players are today facing disciplinary action after attending yesterday's Mad Monday celebrations dressed as Adolf Hitler and God.

Football Federation Australia CEO Ben Buckley branded the actions of Andre Gumprecht and Tony Vidmar "stupid" and said he would seek explanations for their behaviour.

German-born Gumprecht's decision to attend the event in Terrigal, on the Central Coast, dressed as Hitler drew criticism from Jewish groups, who described the costume as "disgusting" and urged him to apologise.

The 33-year-old midfielder was photographed alongside Vidmar, who appeared in white robes with his face blackened. He is understood to have been portraying Morgan Freeman, who played God in the 2003 film Bruce Almighty. Vidmar's nickname is God.


Teenagers guilty of joking

Fat jokes and partying! How awful!

"Tech-savvy teenagers are increasingly paying a heavy price -- including criminal arrest -- for parodying their teachers on the Internet. Tired of fat jokes and false accusations of teacher-lounge partying or worse, teachers and principals are fighting back against digital ridicule and slander by their students -- often with civil lawsuits and long-term suspensions or permanent expulsions.

A National School Boards Association (NSBA) study says that as many as one-third of American teens regularly post inappropriate language or manipulated images on the Web. Most online pranks deride other students. But a NSBA November 2006 survey reported 26 percent of teachers and principals being targeted."


Posted by John Ray. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and for a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. Also, don't forget your handy-dandy summary of Obama news at OBAMOLOGY
Obama and the Power of Words

These are words that move and uplift, that give hope to the hopeless. These words inspired millions of voters nationwide to join the grand experiment called democracy, casting votes for their candidate, their country, their destiny: "More than anything else, I want my candidacy to unify our country, to renew the American spirit and sense of purpose. I want to carry our message to every American, regardless of party affiliation, who is a member of this community of shared values . . . For those who have abandoned hope, we'll restore hope and we'll welcome them into a great national crusade to make America great again!"

So Ronald Reagan proclaimed on July 17, 1980, as he accepted his party's nomination for president at the Republican National Convention in Detroit, Mich. Earlier that day, the New York Times ran a long profile of Reagan on its front page. The author, Howell Raines, lamented that the news media had been unsuccessful in getting Reagan to speak in anything other than "sweeping generalities about economic and military policy." Mr. Raines further noted: "political critics who characterize him as banal and shallow, a mouther of right-wing platitudes, delight in recalling that he co-starred with a chimpanzee in 'Bedtime for Bonzo.'"

Throughout his campaign, Reagan fought off charges that his candidacy was built more on optimism than policies. The charges came from reporters and opponents. John Anderson, a rival in the Republican primary who ran as an independent in the general election, complained that Reagan offered little more than "old platitudes and old generalities."

Conservatives understood that this Reagan-as-a-simpleton view was a caricature (something made even clearer in several recent books, particularly Reagan's own diaries). That his opponents never got this is what led to their undoing. Those critics who giggled about his turn alongside a chimp were considerably less delighted when Reagan won 44 states and 489 electoral votes in November. One Reagan adviser had predicted such a win shortly after Reagan had become the de facto nominee the previous spring. In a memo about the coming general election contest with Jimmy Carter, Richard Whalen wrote Reagan's "secret weapon" was that "Democrats fail to take him very seriously."

Are Republicans making the same mistake with Barack Obama? ... In just the past week, conservative commentators have accused Mr. Obama of speaking in "Sesame Street platitudes," of giving speeches that are "almost content free," of "saying nothing." He has been likened to Chance the Gardner, the clueless mope in Jerzy Koscinski's "Being There," whose banal utterances are taken as brilliant by a gullible political class. Others complain that his campaign is "messianic," too self-aggrandizing and too self-referential....

The assumption behind much of this criticism is that because Mr. Obama gives a good speech he cannot do substance. This is wrong. Mr. Obama has done well in most of the Democratic debates because he has consistently shown himself able to think on his feet. Even on health care, a complicated national issue that should be Mrs. Clinton's strength, Mr. Obama has regularly fought her to a draw by displaying a grasp of the details that rivals hers, and talking about it in ways Americans can understand.

More here

Posted by John Ray. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and for a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. Also, don't forget your handy-dandy summary of Obama news at OBAMOLOGY

Tuesday, February 26, 2008




reality................................. fiction

Barack's "Special Interests" (and Fitz) may Swallow him whole

You might remember the name Patrick Fitzgerald as the man who prosecuted Scooter Libby, and also successfully prosecuted the "Blind Sheik" in the first World Trade Center bombing, but I'll bet many of you aren't aware that Fitz is also the prosecutor in the case against one Tony Rezko, whose wife appears to have been a big player in purchasing the $625,000 lot for His Holiness Barack Obama's mansion.

You also might not know that the Court in the Rezko case has ruled that Fitzgerald may make public records in the case which may implicate Barack Obama in the scheme:

Experiences (he's had a few): The Chicago Tribune reports that "Obama's name likely to come up at Rezko trial" (prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald):

The name of Democratic presidential front-runner Barack Obama is likely to brush up against the impending federal corruption trial of Antoin "Tony" Rezko as the result of a judge's ruling Monday.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy St. Eve, who is presiding over Rezko's trial, told prosecutors they could introduce evidence to support allegations that Rezko used straw men to make political contributions on his behalf.

Prosecutors have alleged that the money came from fees Rezko illegally siphoned from a state pension board. [Someone I know is researching the "coincidence" that during the three-plus months that Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama was appointed to the senate's pension committee -- just three months -- the senate prevented the consolidation of state pensions, which would have adversely affected Rezko's pensions schemes, that bilked millions from the state pensions. The bald facts are there, but my friend is still digging for details. - SusanUnPC]

There are new developments regarding the Obamas' home purchase ...

It was a sweetheart of a deal, that directly involved Tony Rezko, who was already under intense federal investigation, and Rezko's wife. As you'll see below, several newspapers are reporting Tony Rezko tried to get a state appointment for the real estate agent who did the home sale/purchase, and that an Iraqi/British billionaire involved with Rezko "lent millions of dollars to Barack Obama's fundraiser just weeks before an imprudent land deal that has returned to haunt the presidential contender." (By the way, City Nell's original article on February 4 here at NoQuarter -- "How to Buy a Mansion You Can't Afford" -- broke new ground on the story, and has been quoted widely across the 'net.)

"Obama as a State Senator: Does He 'Deserve a Promotion?'," the companion article to last night's ABC Nightline provides some background.

Big Media is staying as far away from this as it possibly can--although as mentioned above, Nightline did touch on it last night. But it may not be possible for even the elites to steer clear for much longer: the Democrats are about to nominate a Presidential nominee that is may be every bit as corrupt and sleazy as the Clintons--only this time there may be real proof. Don't be surprised to see the presumptive nominee in the Grand Jury box soon. And one need only look at the zeal with which Fitzgerald went after Scooter Libby--with the goal of getting at Cheney or Rove--to understand that Fitz is unlikely to merely look the other way for the new "Messiah". Here is more from the Times of London:

A British-Iraqi billionaire lent millions of dollars to Barack Obama's fundraiser just weeks before an imprudent land deal that has returned to haunt the presidential contender, an investigation by The Times discloses.

The money transfer raises the question of whether funds from Nadhmi Auchi, one of Britain’s wealthiest men, helped Mr Obama buy his mock Georgian mansion in Chicago.

A company related to Mr Auchi, who has a conviction for corruption in France, registered the loan to Mr Obama's bagman Antoin "Tony" Rezko on May 23 2005. Mr Auchi says the loan, through the Panamanian company Fintrade Services SA, was for $3.5 million.

Three weeks later, Mr Obama bought a house on the city's South Side while Mr Rezko's wife bought the garden plot next door from the same seller on the same day, June 15.

Mr Obama says he never used Mrs Rezko's still-empty lot, which could only be accessed through his property. But he admits he paid his gardener to mow the lawn.

Mrs Rezko, whose husband was widely known to be under investigation at the time, went on to sell a 10-foot strip of her property to Mr Obama seven months later so he could enjoy a bigger garden.

Mr Obama now admits his involvement in this land deal was a “boneheaded mistake”.

Mrs Rezko’s purchase and sale of the land to Mr Obama raises many unanswered questions.

It is unclear how Mrs Rezko could have afforded the downpayment of $125,000 and a $500,000 mortgage for the original $625,000 purchase of the garden plot at 5050 South Greenwood Ave.

In a sworn statement a year later, Mrs Rezko said she got by on a salary of $37,000 and had $35,000 assets. Mr Rezko told a court he had "no income, negative cash flow, no liquid assets, no unencumbered assets [and] is significantly in arrears on many of his obligations."

Mrs Rezko, whose husband goes on trial on unrelated corruption charges in Chicago on March 3, refused to answer questions about the case when she spoke by telephone to The Times.

Asked if she used money from her husband to buy the land next to Mr Obama's house, she said: "I can't answer these questions, I'm sorry."

Asked how long she and her husband had known Mr Auchi, she replied: "I will not be able to answer this question."

Mr Auchi's lawyer, asked whether the Fintrade Services loan was used to buy the land which became Mr Obama's garden, stated: "No, not as far as my client is aware."

McCain would be smart to use this for every drop of mileage he can get from this. (I'll believe that when I see it...) But I also wouldn't put it past the Clintons to sabotage Obama this year so she can take another shot at it in 4 years at a middle of the road McCain. Call me cynical, but I see that as at least as likely--if not more so--than Hillary's cooing sweet nothings into Obama's year for the entirety of the fall campaign.

If Hillary does not win the nomination this year--and unless she abandons her life's dream after getting so close to realizing it (unlikely...)--it is Hillary who would benefit the most from an Obama loss. I don't see him naming her VP--not with Michelle around. So her best chance is for Obama to lose. And I don't even want to hear it that she cares more about her party and country than her own ambitons. That dog is just not going to hunt around here.

The halo may disappear from "His Holiness" very soon now, and it could be a really target rich environment (figuratively speaking) this fall.

Works for me.