Tuesday, June 29, 2010

obama taxes

In Their Own Words: Laws Which Ban Books Are Fine, because they are never enforced.

Banning books - it is fine if the government passes a law that would ban books, because the law has never been enforced.

Comforting.  I have NEVER heard a Conservative argue in any way, shape, or form, that it was fine to have a law banning books.

The nominee to the Supreme Court thinks it is perfectly ok.

In her words.

in their own words

Monday, June 28, 2010

Obama - Making Friends

Hamas says asked by US to keep silent on talks

Roee Nahmias
Published: 06.25.10, 19:04 / Israel News

Islamist group source says senior American officials request contacts remain secret 'so as not to rouse Jewish lobby'

A senior Hamas figure said Friday that official and unofficial US sources have asked the Islamist group to refrain from making any statements regarding contacts with Washington, this following reports that a senior American official is due to arrive in an Arab country in the coming days to relay a telegram from the Obama Administration.

The Hamas figure told the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper that the Americans fear discussing the talks publicly would "rouse the Jewish lobby and other pressure groups in the US and cause them to pressure the administration to suspend all talks with Hamas."

The Hamas figure, who is close to Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of the government in Gaza, added, "This is a sensitive subject. The Americans don't want anyone to comment on it because this would catch the attention of pressure groups (in the US) and cause problems."

He said Hamas' exiled leadership in Damascus is overseeing the contacts behind closed doors.

On Wednesday a Washington-based Arabic newspaper quoted a senior official as saying that an American envoy is scheduled to meet with Hamas representatives in an Arab country and hand them a letter from the Obama Administration.

According to the report, the official said Washington has no choice but to work with Hamas due to its influence in the Arab and Islamic world.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ironic - Biden doesn't lie, he simply makes stuff up

Oh what a difference a year makes ...

Biden: We Can't Recover All the Jobs Lost

Stephanie Condon
June 25, 2010
Vice President Joe Biden gave a stark assessment of the economy today, telling an audience of supporters, "there's no possibility to restore 8 million jobs lost in the Great Recession."

Appearing at a fundraiser with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) in Milwaukee, the vice president remarked that by the time he and President Obama took office in 2008, the gross domestic product had shrunk and hundreds of thousands of jobs had been lost.

"We inherited a godawful mess," he said, adding there was "no way to regenerate $3 trillion that was lost. Not misplaced, lost."

Claims for jobless benefits fell by the largest number in two months last week, but were still high enough to signal weak job growth. Meanwhile, the Senate on Thursday failed to pass an extension of unemployment benefits.

Biden said today the economy is improving and noted that in the past four quarters, there has been 4 percent growth in the economy. Over the last five months, more than 500,000 private sector jobs were created.

"We know that's not enough," the vice president said.

Last week the White House put out a Recovery and Reinvestment Act update claiming that between 2.2 million and 2.8 million jobs were either saved or created because of the stimulus as of March 2010. In signing the Recovery Act into law on Feb 17, 2009, Mr. Obama said the measure "will create or save 3-and-a-half million jobs over the next two years."

Let's look back a little, to July 11, 2009:  Obama Says Economic Stimulus Plan Worked as Intended.  His $787 billion stimulus bill has worked as intended.  Interesting given things have gone from bad to worse since July 2009.    The program was enacted in February 2009.

Yet Mr. Obama stated that his program helped state governments save jobs (imagine - probably twenty million imaginary jobs you cannot verify).  February 2009 to February 2010 = 13+ months.  March 2010 to June 2010 = 3+ months.  Total 17 months.  Mr. Obama said that the measure “was not designed to work in four months -- it was designed to work over two years.”  Two years = 24 months.  We have 7 months left to see the magic.

Yet, Obama also told us that his spending plan will “accelerate greatly” through the summer and autumn, creating “thousands more infrastructure projects” that will lead to additional jobs.  In July the spending would accelerate greatly and continue through the summer of 2009 and into the autumn.  Did we see expansive spending - yes, but no positive effect on the economy as yet.

Mr. Biden stepped into the fray, as he so often does and inserted his foot, then his leg ... “Remember, we’re only 140 days into this deal.  It’s supposed to take 18 months.”

Mr. Biden, we are at 17 months now.  You have 1 months.  Most certainly because you were so specific I believe we should hold you to that certainty.

Let's keep pondering the unponderable ...

Valerie Jarrett had the most conservative count, saying “the Recovery Act saved thousands and thousands of jobs,” while David Axelrod gave the bill the most credit, saying it has “created more than – or saved more than 2 million jobs.” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs came in between them, saying the plan had “saved or created 1.5 million jobs.”

* Vice President Joe Biden on Friday: The stimulus "is responsible for over 1 million jobs so far."

* White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett on Oct. 18: The stimulus "really staved off a disaster and we saved millions of jobs around the country."

* White House release June 2, 2009: "Just over 100 days in, over 150,000 jobs have been created or saved."

* White House senior advisor David Axelrod on June 7, 2009: "The stimulus itself has produced hundreds of thousands of jobs."

* Vice President Biden on June 2, 2009: The stimulus is "an initial big jolt to give the economy a real head start."

Amazing.  More than 1.5 million jobs created or saved plus more to follow, except now Biden tells us they can't bring back all the lost jobs.  Except Mr. Biden, 2 million is pretty close to the number lost.


The Fantasy of the 50% Divorce Rate

Opinion: Al and Tipper and the 'Good Divorce' Myth

AOL News (June 15) -- The separation of Al and Tipper Gore after 40 years as husband and wife produced a flood of commentary concerning what's purportedly impossible, and possible, in modern marriage.

According to rapidly calcifying conventional wisdom, the Gore breakup shows it's impossible to uphold the old ideal of "til death do us part," while their dignity and discretion demonstrate the real possibility of a "good divorce."

Actually, both conclusions contradict reality.

Statistics show that loving, lifetime marriage isn't just possible, it's prevalent. And common sense and sad experience expose the notion of the good divorce as a destructive myth, since the end of every marriage brings pain, problems and damage to society.

Concerning assumptions that marriages all go stale or sour over time, The New York Times recently reported a major study by neuroscientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who monitored brain function in long-term couples to check survivability of romantic love. To their surprise, a full 40 percent of these veteran partners showed intensely romantic neural reactions to each other, resembling the excitement of newly formed relationships. The other 60 percent displayed less spark and heat, but most of them still expressed satisfaction with their spouses, reflecting frequent surveys showing 75 percent of couples registering high contentment levels.

Why, then, do 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce?

The simple answer is, they don't. The 50 percent divorce rate is a pernicious myth that's never been true and grossly misstates the current situation. The divorce rate (measured as number of divorces per population) peaked in 1981 and has gone down dramatically ever since.

Rates of marital failure remain notoriously hard to gauge since no one knows which current marriages will last and which will fail. But the Census Bureau still provides the most authoritative information, listing in the latest available data (2004) the percentage of American adults who've ever married (72 percent) and the percentage ever divorced (22 percent). This means that 70 percent of those who ever married remain with their first spouse, or stayed in that first marriage until the spouse died.

While loving, lasting marriages are, in fact, common, "good divorces" are not. There's an elusive ideal of the amiable, painless dissolution of a dysfunctional relationship that every separating couple says they want but very few actually achieve.

Al and Tipper, for example, may display no public signs of strife, but their broken relationship is already connected to real-world damage: Shortly after they announced their separation, their daughter, Karenna Gore Schiff, announced her own breakup from her husband of 13 years. Failed marriages produce children themselves more likely to divorce, and though causation may be arguable, correlation is not.

My own family exemplifies that reality: My late parents split after 28 years of marriage, and three of their four sons (including me) have also experienced marital breakup.

In my case, I worked closely with my ex-wife to make our divorce as painless as possible. We had no children, and our assets were modest enough to avoid big fights over money. Still, our separation brought discomfort and sadness to everyone we knew, and we failed in our determination to maintain a long-term "friendship."

I've been married to my wife, Diane (the mother of our three children), for 25 years now, and I've had no contact at all with my ex (who's also remarried) for at least 15 years --- other than the wistful exchange of condolence notes at the death of our respective fathers.

Not every divorce must become a nightmare, but they all bring some sense of failure and they all cost money. Aside from legal bills, there's the added expense of setting up two separate households to replace one, plus unavoidable awkwardness at holidays, birthdays or other family occasions.

No one has written better about the "ruinous ripples" of divorce than my wife, Dr. Diane Medved, in her 1990 best seller, "The Case Against Divorce." Those closest to the couple feel the impact most -- particularly children and parents, who often see the abrupt end of relationships they once valued. The negativity spreads from there, affecting friends (perplexed by conflicted loyalties), communities (divorces can devastate a church, for instance) and society at large, with costs in lost savings, stability and even health.

The problem with platitudes about the good divorce is that they inevitably encourage marital breakup, just as the myth that most marriages are bound to fail discourages wedlock.

If we kept the situation in honest perspective, high-profile separations like Al and Tipper's shouldn't reassure potentially divorcing couples, or in any way alarm the American majority who strive to sustain their long-term marriages.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Transparency: Who is more transparent.

Remember, this was going to be the most transparent administration ?  Well, that went away a long time ago, but every now and then the Retardicans make a stab at it - this time, they are pushing for a vote to make all earmarks public and searchable.  Earmarks are little bits of nothing each member of Congress slips into a bill.  The Reatrdicans want these earmarks transparent - who inserted what and where for how much.

The Democrats are stalling, if not outright refusing.


Levin blocks Earmark Transparency Act from vote

By Alex Pappas - The Daily Caller
Published: Friday, June 25th, 2010

Democratic Sen. Carl Levin blocked the bi-partisan Earmark Transparency Act from coming to a vote during a committee hearing Thursday after expressing concern that posting all earmarks online would be too complex.

“This is a transparency bill,” the bill’s author, Republican Tom Coburn, said at Thursday’s hearing of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, pointing out that President Obama called for publishing all earmark requests online during his 2010 State of the Union address.

“This is a bill President Barack Obama asked for,” Coburn said.

“He did not ask for this bill,” Levin countered, claiming that the bill goes “way beyond” having just one searchable website for earmarks.

Sen. Joe Lieberman suggested during the hearing that Coburn and Levin work out their differences, with the hopes of bringing the bill to a vote at the next hearing.

An earmark is an item inserted by a member of Congress into a bill to allocate funds to a specific recipient, and critics decry its lack of transparency. Coburn’s bill would mandate posting information on earmarks in bills — like what member is requesting it —online.

Coburn referenced as letter from the Secretary of the Senate, Nancy Erickson, who concluded that aggregating all the earmark requests onto a website is “technically feasible.” Along with Republican Sen. John

McCain, Democrat Sen. Russ Feingold and Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, 26 senators are co-sponsoring the bill.


Condoms for Kiddies: It's the Compassionate Thing to Do

and we are not talking 10th and 12th graders.  All the way down to elementary school!

Should Elementary Schools Give Condoms to Students?

June 24, 2010—
Associated Press
ABC News

When kindergarten through fifth grade students return to class at Veterans Memorial Elementary School in Provincetown, Mass., this fall, they'll be able to ask the school nurse for condoms.

Thanks to a new, district-wide policy approved by the Provincetown School Board, condoms are now available to students in all schools, regardless of their age. Parents will not be informed if their kids request condoms.

Officials say that there's no set age when sexual activity starts and students who ask for condoms will also receive counseling and information on abstinence.

Debate over the decision focused not on whether condoms should be available, but whether the policy was too restrictive for students, particularly those in high school. According to the Provincetown Banner, some committee members were worried that students will be forced to speak to a nurse, instead of having access in a more discreet way.

Not everyone is thrilled by the idea of condoms for elementary kids. Some Provincetown parents have expressed skepticism, and Kris Mineau, president of the conservative Massachusetts Family Institute, says the entire concept is absurd.


Bad Trash - Embarassing to live in the same world as these two.

I have compassion, unlike the left who threaten a judge - my compassion extends to people like the two in this story.   My disposition of the case - 2 years for each, if they agree to be spayed and neutered.  For they are no different than cats and dogs - they cannot control themselves.   If not, 15 years with no possibility of parole before they serve 10 years, plus an 5 additional years of parole when released.

Couple Tried to Sell Baby Outside Walmart for $25: Cops


Fri, Jun 25, 2010

Everyone knows you can find just about anything you need for a low price at Walmart -- including baby stuff. But an actual baby? That's not usually part of the deal.

Unless you're desperate for cash and not in the best frame of mind.

That's the case in Salinas, California, where police say a couple tried to sell their 6-month-old baby for $25 outside a Walmart. Now they're facing child endangerment charges.

Patrick Fousek, 38, and Samantha Tomasini, 20, were arrested Wednesday, hours after Fousek allegedly approached two women outside Walmart and asked if they'd like to purchase his child -- at the bargain price of $25. The women initially thought Fousek was joking, but when he became persistent, they got suspicious and reported it to police, Salinas police spokesman Officer Lalo Villegas said.

"They did an outstanding job and gave our officers good information." Villegas said. "I don't know if they're mothers but they definitely had that instinct to help."

Fousek and Tomasini were arrested at 1 a.m. Wednesday at their home. Officers said the couple appeared high on methamphetamine and the house was in disarray. A police report also claimed that Tomasini told Child Protective Services, who took the baby, that she had breast-fed the infant while under the influence, Villegas said.

The couple was also booked on charges of being under the influence of narcotics, and Fousek was also served with an extra charge of violating probation. Villegas did not have details of Fousek's previous brush with the law.

The couple was expected to be in court for an arraignment Friday, at which time they would be assigned public defenders.

bad people

US Couples: Not having children. It's the end of the world and they don't have a clue.

You may wish to peruse PRB and check out the Total Fertility Rate (recognizing that in some countries having 8 children doesn't mean all 8 live, but having less than 1.6 surely is a bad sign when you need 2.1 to perpetuate your culture.

US childlessness is up, but racial gaps narrowing

Hope Yen, Associated Press Writer
June 24, 2010

WASHINGTON – Nearly 1 in 5 American women beyond childbearing years never gave birth as fewer couples, particularly higher-educated whites, view having children as necessary to a good marriage.

An analysis of census data by the Pew Research Center, being released Friday, documents the changes in fertility rates that are driving government projections that U.S. minorities will become the majority by midcentury.

The figures show that among all women ages 40-44, about 18 percent, or 1.9 million, were childless in 2008. That's up from 10 percent, or nearly 580,000 in 1976.

Broken down by race, roughly 20 percent of white women are childless, compared with 17 percent of blacks and of Hispanics and 16 percent of Asians. Still that gap has been narrowing: Since 1994, childlessness for blacks and Hispanics has grown by 30 percent, about three times the rate for whites.

The numbers coincide with broader U.S. trends of delayed marriage and increased opportunities for women, who now outnumber men in the work force and have drawn even with them in advanced degrees. After reaching a high of 3.7 children per woman during the baby boom, the U.S. fertility rate dropped to a historic low of 1.7 during the mid-1970s and stands at about 2.

The findings also come amid a historic demographic shift in which blacks, Hispanics, Asians and multiracial people are growing rapidly in the U.S. population and wielding more influence in politics and society. Minority babies now make up nearly half of all U.S. births.

"Social pressure to bear children appears to have diminished for women and that today, the decision to have a child is seen as an individual choice," according to the report by Pew researchers Gretchen Livingston and D'Vera Cohn. "Improved opportunities and contraceptive methods help create alternatives for women."

While higher-educated women overall are more likely to be childless, that may be slowly changing. In 2008, about 24 percent of women ages 40-44 with a master's, doctoral or professional degree did not have children, a decline from 31 percent in 1994.

In the meantime, childlessness has risen sharply for women with less than a high school diploma — from 9 percent in 1994 to 15 percent in 2008.

Other findings:

_Less than half, or 41 percent, of surveyed Americans said that children were very important for a successful marriage. Still, a rising share of people — about 38 percent in 2009 — say the trend of increased childlessness is bad for society.

_More births are from women who never married. Among never-married women ages 40-44, about 56 percent were childless in 2008 compared with 71 percent in 1994.

_U.S. childless rates were somewhat similar, if not higher, compared with other industrialized nations. About 17 percent of U.S. women were childless at age 40, compared to 22 percent in England, and 17 percent in Italy and Ireland. The rates were between 12 percent and 14 percent for Spain, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Sweden.

Pew, an independent research group, based its findings on 2008 data from the Census Bureau. The report analyzes the population of women who do not have biological children, as opposed to adoptive or stepchildren. Figures for "white" refer to those whites who are not of Hispanic ethnicity.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Judge v Obama Part 2: The Peaceful and Tolerant Left

The peaceful, tolerant, compassionate left.  We are always hearing how hateful the right is.  Every joke about guns by anyone on the left, contains some reference to the right-wingers.  Jokes about the intolerance of the right, about their refusal to dialogue, to set aside their hate, and open their hearts to love.  Which sounds more like Osama bin Laden to me, but in any case, the left has made a point of linking the right with violence and intolerance.  Not just a point of making this connection, they have made it a crusade to link conservatives to hate, evil, death, violence, rape, war, greed ... yet the left show themselves as caring and compassionate, open-minded, and tolerant, believers in the market-place of ideas and expressing all ideas no matter how hateful.  This is reasonably clear when we watch the left push Islamic values onto mainstream America under the guise of toleration and free-speech.

This open-minded spirit, clearly does not extend to anyone who opposes their values or their beliefs.  Those who oppose the left, deserve to die (according to the left).

Judge Faces Death Threats After BP Gulf Oil Drilling Moratorium Ruling .

Thursday, 24 June 2010 12:55
BayouBuzz News

New Orleans--While many Americans undoubtedly agree with the decision of U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman to overturn the Obama administration’s moratorium on deep water drilling, not everyone is happy. In fact, the Judge is now receiving death threats in the aftermath of his bold ruling.

Last night, Feldman served as a celebrity judge at a cooking contest at a school gymnasium in Uptown New Orleans. Due to the threats, Feldman was accompanied by a federal marshal security team.

It is a sad indictment of our society today that a judge with such a sterling record of integrity and service to his country would be subject to such threats. Feldman was appointed to the federal bench by President Reagan in 1983. Today, he is in the eye of a political hurricane unlike anything he has ever experienced.

In issuing his ruling, Feldman said that the moratorium was faulty because there was no “rational connection between the facts found and the choice made.” While there is often debate about the merits of judicial decisions, seldom does the criticism focus on the integrity of the judge. Right after he issued the ruling, Feldman came under attack as a tool of the oil industry. Media outlets reporters noted that the Judge held stock in oil and gas companies and implied that his decision was based on his own personal financial considerations. Such a personal attack is unfair and completely unwarranted, especially for Feldman, a distinguished judge known for his commitment to the law and a jurist who has earned the praise of people throughout the legal community.

Much of the sensational reporting on Feldman’s investments was based on outdated information. The Judge was blasted for owning stock in Transocean, Ltd and Halliburton, two of the major companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Feldman owned those stocks in 2008; however, he sold those shares long before issuing his ruling this week. In fact, this updated information will be released in the next report on his stock holdings.

If Feldman held financial interests in any of companies involved in the lawsuit or the Deepwater Horizon rig, he would not have been allowed the take the case. The 5th District Court uses a sophisticated computer system to check whether judges have a conflict of interest in any legal proceeding. This system automatically determines whether a judge needs to be recused from a particular case. In this lawsuit, Feldman was allowed to take the case because he did not own any stock related to the parties involved.

The attack was not based on facts, but it was a character assassination as a way to mitigate the influence of the scathing decision. If anyone should be questioned, it is the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar who disregarded the advice of his own scientific experts in declaring the deep water drilling moratorium. In the wake of the Judge’s ruling, Salazar said he would issue a “refined” moratorium, ask for a stay of the ruling and appeal the decision. Some legal experts predicted the preliminary injunction would lead the government to compromise on the moratorium. In fact, Salazar decided to be confrontational instead of working with business interests in Louisiana to find common ground.

The lawsuit was filed against the Department of Interior by more than a dozen companies involved in offshore drilling operations, led by Hornbeck Offshore Services LLC. Feldman found that the Obama administration did not base the moratorium on solid facts and made a sweeping decision that was not justified. The Judge noted that just because the BP well was beset with problems and resulted in a massive oil spill, there is no reason to believe other wells would have similar problems. "If some drilling equipment parts are flawed, is it rational to say all are? Are all airplanes a danger because one was? All oil tankers like Exxon Valdez? All trains? All mines? That sort of thinking seems heavy-handed, and rather overbearing,” Feldman wrote.

Feldman is right on target with his ruling, which is why a constant stream of people thanked him last night for his decision. The final outcome remains in doubt, but Feldman exposed the faulty reasoning that the Obama administration used in banning deepwater drilling. The suspension of drilling in the 33 wells 500 feet or more below the surface could have a major impact on Louisiana’s economy. According to some estimates, the ban could cost the state of Louisiana 50,000 jobs or more. In a horrible economy, these are good paying jobs that no state can afford to lose.

oil and obama

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Israel: From within.

I would argue that part, a small percentage of this radicalization is due to the heartfelt efforts of the Obama administration.

Arab minority in Israel gets more radical

Report also indicates hostility among Jews

By Benjamin Birnbaum
8:41 p.m., Tuesday, June 22, 2010
The Washington Times

While confronting threats abroad, Israel faces a challenge closer to home — the increasing radicalization of its Arab minority, according to a new report.

The report notes several public opinion trends in Israel's Arab sector since 2003 that reflect a growing alienation from the state and its Jewish majority:

• Support for the proposition that "Jews in Israel are a people who have a right to a state" has declined from 75.5 percent to 60.8 percent while support for "two states for two peoples" has plummeted from 88.8 percent to 65 percent.

• Those who list Israeli citizenship as the most important aspect of their personal identity have dwindled from 29.6 percent to 19.8 percent, while those who identify primarily with the Palestinian people have gone from 18.8 percent to 32 percent.

• The number who believe that "despite its shortcomings, the regime in Israel is a democracy for the Arab citizens as well" has fallen from 63.1 percent to 50.5 percent while the minority that supports using "all means, including violence" to achieve political ends has jumped from 5.4 percent to 13.9 percent.

The report is the latest installment of renowned Haifa University sociologist Sammy Smooha's annual "index of Arab-Jewish relations" and shows a continuation of some hostile attitudes among the Jewish majority, including that only 66.9 percent of Jewish Israelis support preserving the right of Arab citizens to vote.

In the context of ethnic conflict, the report states, "Arabs and Jews are bound to have a basic distrust in each other." But there are degrees of distrust. Matters have gone from bad to worse since the collapse of the peace process in 2000 and the wars and terrorist attacks that followed.

"By any account this was a lost decade for coexistence between Arabs and Jews," Mr. Smooha said in the report. "The situation worsened and bodes badly for the future of their relations."

Given the blood ties between Israel's Arab citizens and their Palestinian brethren in the West Bank and Gaza, Mideast experts see an important parallel.

"The Israelis face two Palestinian problems," said Aaron David Miller, who has advised several presidents on the Arab-Israeli conflict. "The first issue — the question of occupation — deals with where they are. The second — the status of the country's Arab minority — deals with what they are.

"Sixty-plus years after its creation, Israel — where it is and what it is — is still not collectively accepted, clearly by the outside world, but by a vast number of its own citizens," he said.

In turn, those citizens feel less welcome, particularly after the 2009 Israeli elections, which saw a collapse in the standing of left-wing Zionist parties (and of historical Arab support for them) and the rise of the Yisrael Beiteinu party of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who campaigned on an explicitly anti-Arab platform, with slogans like "Only Lieberman Understands Arabic" and "No Citizenship Without Loyalty" (a reference to the party's proposal to strip the citizenship of those who do not sign an oath of loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state).

"This is, for us, the worst Knesset since the establishment of the state of Israel," said Jafar Farah, director of the Mossawa Center, one of many Israeli nongovernmental organizations that advocate for Israeli Arabs. "Twenty-three laws have been submitted in one year by Knesset members that further the discrimination against our community."

However, the Knesset members from Israel's Arab parties have not been shy about showscasing their hostility to the Jewish state. Freshman MK Hanin Zuabi, who last year expressed support for Iran's quest for a nuclear bomb, is facing criticism for taking part in the Gaza-bound flotilla.

The former head of her party, Azmi Bishara, is a fugitive from Israeli charges that he spied for Hezbollah. Years before Helen Thomas told Jews to "go home" to Poland and Germany, Bishara told a Lebanese audience much the same thing. "Return Palestine to us," he said, "and take your democracy with you. We Arabs are not interested in it."

At the time, it seemed Bishara was out of step with his constituents; whether that is still so, given reports like Smooha's, is no longer clear. And, for that, there is blame to go around.

The conflict between Arabs and Jews, Mr. Miller said, "has never been one hand clapping. It really takes two peoples who don't understand one another terribly well or, alternatively, understand one another all too well."


Obama v. The Judge

On oil drilling at least.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman today granted a preliminary injunction, halting the moratorium. He also “immediately prohibited” the U.S. from enforcing the ban. Government lawyers told Feldman the ban was based on findings in a U.S. report following the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig off the Louisiana coast in April.

“The court is unable to divine or fathom a relationship between the findings and the immense scope of the moratorium,” Feldman said in his 22-page decision. “The blanket moratorium, with no parameters, seems to assume that because one rig failed and although no one yet fully knows why, all companies and rigs drilling new wells over 500 feet also universally present an imminent danger.”

Separate Order

“The court cannot substitute its judgment for that of the agency, but the agency must ‘cogently explain why it has exercised its discretion in a given manner,’” Feldman said, citing a previous ruling. “It has not done so.”

Feldman in a separate order today “immediately prohibited” the U.S. from enforcing the drilling moratorium, finding the offshore companies would otherwise incur “irreparable harm.”

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that “continuing to drill at these depths without knowing what happened does not make any sense.”

Mr. Gibbs, an amazing question.  And one that would logically follow another question / answer:  how many units are now operating at the same depth or deeper in the same area or surrounding vicinity.  When you answer that question Mr. Gibbs, you will realize you should never have made the statement you did.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Europeans: Racists to the Core (but they pretend well)

Down with America: the Anti-American Dance (2)

From the desk of Luc Van Braekel on Sat, 2005-09-10 12:17

"Down with America" is the title of a recent song by the popular Belgian musician Raymond van het Groenewoud. Written in Dutch and published by EMI , "Weg met Amerika" ("Down with America") will be available in record shops as of next week, and was played on Belgian state radio last Thursday and Friday. Here is a quote from the lyrics of the song:

Hamburgers and coke, yes you already knew
But do you also know the cause of the general decay?
Short-sighted thinking, loud talking
Sticking to one-liners forever
Down with America! Down with the jerks from America
Down with America! [...]

Down with American colonialism
Down with that ugly, biting English
All the Anglo-Saxon pretence, arrogance
Yes, a hot pick up their ass
And that is that [...]

I am from the Belgian, the European panel
And I ask you: “Clear my channel! Clear my channel!”
Megalomaniac unicellular idiots
Kiss my ass, yes, kiss my balls

Incitement to hatred against people based on (i.a.) nationality is a crime in Belgium. In practice however, this law is only enforced when Arab, muslim or African minorities are criticized. Hate speech against the Americans or the British remains unsanctioned, as was recently shown when the leftist newspaper De Morgen published an article that complained about the British, "with their unique mixture of wantonness and arrogance, their pathetic addiction to drink, their bad taste, and actually just their ugliness and thickheaded presence".

In January 2003, the Flemish commercial radio station Q-Music was sanctioned by the Flemish Council for Disputes in Radio and Television, after a complaint from the Center for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism (CEOOR). In their radio show, presenters Erwin Deckers and Sven Ornelis had described Venus and Serena Williams as 'monkeys'. The CEOOR decided that their way of reporting was "a gross insult to all our non-white citizens. The vulgar language [...] contributes to the banalization of racist speech. Hence, the program incited to hate based on race".

More and more, it seems that racist or semi-racist expressions are punished when they originate from popular culture or from right-wing politicians and are directed against muslims, Arabs or Africans, but that similar expressions remain unpunished when they come from 'progressive' artists and leftist intellectuals and are directed against the Americans, the British or the Dutch. In my opinion, the CEOOR and its policies are leading us to a less tolerant society, with more social irritation, distrust and friction. When the state tries to control the thoughts and minds of the people, it will only lose their respect.


Islam Rising

The Rape of Europe

From the desk of Paul Belien on Wed, 2006-10-25 21:57

The German author Henryk M. Broder recently told the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant (12 October) that young Europeans who love freedom, better emigrate. Europe as we know it will no longer exist 20 years from now. Whilst sitting on a terrace in Berlin, Broder pointed to the other customers and the passers-by and said melancholically: “We are watching the world of yesterday.”

Europe is turning Muslim. As Broder is sixty years old he is not going to emigrate himself. “I am too old,” he said. However, he urged young people to get out and “move to Australia or New Zealand. That is the only option they have if they want to avoid the plagues that will turn the old continent uninhabitable.”

Many Germans and Dutch, apparently, did not wait for Broder’s advice. The number of emigrants leaving the Netherlands and Germany has already surpassed the number of immigrants moving in. One does not have to be prophetic to predict, like Henryk Broder, that Europe is becoming Islamic. Just consider the demographics. The number of Muslims in contemporary Europe is estimated to be 50 million. It is expected to double in twenty years. By 2025, one third of all European children will be born to Muslim families. Today Mohammed is already the most popular name for new-born boys in Brussels, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and other major European cities.

Broder is convinced that the Europeans are not willing to oppose islamization. “The dominant ethos,” he told De Volkskrant, “is perfectly voiced by the stupid blonde woman author with whom I recently debated. She said that it is sometimes better to let yourself be raped than to risk serious injuries while resisting. She said it is sometimes better to avoid fighting than run the risk of death.”

In a recent op-ed piece in the Brussels newspaper De Standaard (23 October) the Dutch (gay and self-declared “humanist”) author Oscar Van den Boogaard refers to Broder’s interview. Van den Boogaard says that to him coping with the islamization of Europe is like “a process of mourning.” He is overwhelmed by a “feeling of sadness.” “I am not a warrior,” he says, “but who is? I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it.”

As Tom Bethell wrote in this month’s American Spectator: “Just at the most basic level of demography the secular-humanist option is not working.” But there is more to it than the fact that non-religious people tend not to have as many children as religious people, because many of them prefer to “enjoy” freedom rather than renounce it for the sake of children. Secularists, it seems to me, are also less keen on fighting. Since they do not believe in an afterlife, this life is the only thing they have to lose. Hence they will rather accept submission than fight. Like the German feminist Broder referred to, they prefer to be raped than to resist.

“If faith collapses, civilization goes with it,” says Bethell. That is the real cause of the closing of civilization in Europe. Islamization is simply the consequence. The very word Islam means “submission” and the secularists have submitted already. Many Europeans have already become Muslims, though they do not realize it or do not want to admit it.

Some of the people I meet in the U.S. are particularly worried about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. They are correct when they fear that anti-Semitism is also on the rise among non-immigrant Europeans. The latter hate people with a fighting spirit. Contemporary anti-Semitism in Europe (at least when coming from native Europeans) is related to anti-Americanism. People who are not prepared to resist and are eager to submit, hate others who do not want to submit and are prepared to fight. They hate them because they are afraid that the latter will endanger their lives as well. In their view everyone must submit.

This is why they have come to hate Israel and America so much, and the small band of European “islamophobes” who dare to talk about what they see happening around them. West Europeans have to choose between submission (islam) or death. I fear, like Broder, that they have chosen submission – just like in former days when they preferred to be red rather than dead.


Islamic Terror in England

In England, the news is ....

Labour MP for East Ham, Stephen Timms, was stabbed by a Muslim woman, who had been "radicalized." Since then, the names of four other MPs have been discovered on a terrorist hit list, and security for all MPs has been put under review.

islamic terror

Silly Barrack and the Arabian King: Hug not fight.

Why not let all the Guantanamo prisoners go ... after all, they have been deprived of their rights, and as soon as you let them go, why not give them a plane ticket to Afghanistan, which is where many of them go anyway - and why not simply give them a plane to fly into Americans in Afghainstan - save them time and trouble.

The US government is behind the Saudi government's attempts at rehabilitation.  That is not a natural thing to do in Saudi Arabia - rehabilitate.

25 Saudi Guantanamo prisoners return to militancy

Ulf Laessing


Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:07pm EDTRIYADH (Reuters) - Around 25 former detainees from Guantanamo Bay camp returned to militancy after going through a rehabilitation program for al Qaeda members in Saudi Arabia, a Saudi security official said on Saturday.

The United States have sent back around 120 Saudis from the detention camp at the U.S. naval base in Cuba, set up after the U.S. launched a "war on terror" following the September 11 attacks by mostly Saudi suicide hijackers sent by al Qaeda.

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, has put the returned prisoners along with other al Qaeda suspects through a rehabilitation program which includes religious re-education by clerics and financial help to start a new life.

The scheme, which some 300 extremists have attended, is part of anti-terrorism efforts after al Qaeda staged attacks inside the kingdom from 2003-06. These were halted after scores of suspects were arrested with the help of foreign experts.

Around 11 Saudis from Guantanamo have gone to Yemen, an operating base for al Qaeda, while others have been jailed again or killed after attending the program, said Abdulrahman al-Hadlaq, Director General of the General Administration for Intellectual Security overseeing the rehabilitation.

He pinpointed strong personal ties among former prisoners but also tough U.S. tactics as the reason why some 20 percent of the returned Saudis relapsed into militancy compared to 9.5 percent of other participants in the rehabilitation program.

"Those guys from other groups didn't suffer torture before, the non-Guantanamos (participants). Torturing is the most dangerous thing in radicalization. You have more extremist people if you have more torture," Hadlaq told reporters in a rare briefing about Saudi anti-terrorism efforts.


Despite the setback with Guantanamo prisoners, Saudi Arabia regards the rehabilitation scheme, which kicks in after militants have served a prison term, as a success.

"There is no doubt that there is an effect," Hadlaq said.

U.S. President Barack Obama ordered the camp shut after taking office in January 2009 but his plans have been stymied. There are now about 180 detainees left, among them 13 Saudis. At its peak, the camp held about 780 detainees.

More than 2,000 sympathizers of al Qaeda are still in prison in Saudi Arabia. Some 2,000 teachers have been removed from classrooms for their extremist views in the past five years while 400 teachers are in prison, Hadlaq said.

Saudi Arabia plans to build five more rehabilitation centers which will be able to accommodate 250 people each, he said.

The expansion plans are partly to cope with the eventual release of 991 suspected al Qaeda militants whom the authorities said in October were awaiting trial for 30 attacks since 2003.

In July, a Saudi court sentenced one unnamed Islamist to death and handed out to others jail terms of up to 30 years in the first publicly reported trials since the arrests.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mexico takes back part of Arizona

Parts of Arizona have been turned over to the drug and human traffickers.

And the US government is suggesting Americans don't go into that area.

And the army is not on the way, the national guard is not on the way, and ... the sheriff is helpess.

The Obama Administration


Sweden: Silly Billy - Women can get married anyway they want.

Royal altar walk stirs controversy

By Cajsa Wikstrom
Saturday, June 19, 2010

Al Jazerra

After eight years of media scrutiny and gossip, the Swedish Crown Princess finally got her prince.

Victoria's decision to marry Daniel Westling, her former fitness trainer, was controversial in itself.

The future queen fell in love with a commoner from a small town, and rumour has it that her father, King Carl Gustaf XVI, initially opposed the marriage because Westling was not "good enough".

But as the engagement was announced and preparations for the June 19 wedding finally went ahead, it was the planned layout of the wedding ceremony that caused a media storm.

Victoria asked to be escorted to the altar by her father, contradicting the Swedish tradition of couples entering the church together.

In the country that prides itself as being one of the absolute front runners in the field of gender equality, the move was interpreted as much more than a ceremonial act.


Critics referred to the Anglo-Saxon practise as "sexist" and a "backlash for feminism", and the row, dubbed Altargate, started.

"The old Swedish tradition, when couple goes in together, has an important meaning," Annika Borg, an outspoken priest of the Swedish Church, wrote in the daily Dagens Nyheter.

"The woman [has the legal right] to make her own decisions and stands beside her future husband of her own free will.

"Bride handover builds on an attitude towards women which takes us several centuries back. As a role model the Crown Princess should consider this."

Helle Klein, columnist

"Bride handover has its roots in a completely different mindset. It's about a woman's [right of self-determination] being left over from her father to the man."

The Royal Court defended Victoria's decision, saying the royal ceremony should not be seen as an ordinary wedding.

"It's the wish of the Crown Princess," Nina Eldh, a spokeswoman, told reporters.

"It's not a father who gives away the daughter to another man. It is the King of Sweden leading the heir to the nation's throne to the altar – and to the man who has been accepted."

Nine bishops wrote a letter to the bridal couple, asking them to change their mind.

Helle Klein, an editorial writer for the tabloid Aftonbladet, urged the Archbishop to intervene.

"Bride handover builds on an attitude towards women which takes us several centuries back. As a role model the Crown Princess should consider this," she wrote.

"Archbishop Anders Wejryd must prevent that the Hollywood idea about the wedding becomes the expression of the Swedish Church. Say no, for the sake of the women, the church and the Swedish culture!"

'New phenomenon'

Wejryd said he had adviced the couple to walk down the aisle together, but said it was up to the couple to decide what they wanted to do.

"Being given away is a new phenomenon which occasionally occurs in the Church of Sweden. I usually advise against it, as our marriage ceremony is so clear on the subject of the spouse's equality," he said in a statement.

When Victoria's parents, King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia, married in 1976 they followed Swedish tradition and walked together.

As some bloggers pointed out, the situation would have been very different had it not been for the decision taken three years after Victoria was born - to make the Act of Succession gender-neutral.

In 1980, Sweden became the first country to allow the throne to be passed to the first-born child, whether male or female.

This meant that her younger brother, Carl Philip, was snubbed of his Crown Prince title just seven months after he was born.

As the debate dragged on in media and on blogs, the King told the tabloid Aftonbladet that it was an "unnecessarily long debate".

But a week before the wedding, the Royal Court finally announced a compromise, citing the design of the church as the decisive factor. Victoria and her groom would meet halfway to the altar.

And in front of about 1,000 guests, including royalties from around the world, the current head of state led his daughter to the steps to the altar where she met Westling on Saturday.

The couple then proceeded together up the stairs and to the altar, where they both said "yes".


Friday, June 18, 2010

The World's Opinion of Obama

Mort Zuckerman: World Sees Obama as Incompetent and Amateur

The president is well-intentioned but can't walk the walk on the world stage

By Mortimer B. Zuckerman
June 18, 2010
US News

President Obama came into office as the heir to a great foreign policy legacy enjoyed by every recent U.S. president. Why? Because the United States stands on top of the power ladder, not necessarily as the dominant power, but certainly as the leading one. As such we are the sole nation capable of exercising global leadership on a whole range of international issues from security, trade, and climate to counterterrorism. We also benefit from the fact that most countries distrust the United States far less than they distrust one another, so we uniquely have the power to build coalitions. As a result, most of the world still looks to Washington for help in their region and protection against potential regional threats.

Yet, the Iraq war lingers; Afghanistan continues to be immersed in an endless cycle of tribalism, corruption, and Islamist resurgence; Guantánamo remains open; Iran sees how North Korea toys with Obama and continues its programs to develop nuclear weapons and missiles; Cuba spurns America's offers of a greater opening; and the Palestinians and Israelis find that it is U.S. policy positions that defer serious negotiations, the direct opposite of what the Obama administration hoped for.

The reviews of Obama's performance have been disappointing. He has seemed uncomfortable in the role of leading other nations, and often seems to suggest there is nothing special about America's role in the world. The global community was puzzled over the pictures of Obama bowing to some of the world's leaders and surprised by his gratuitous criticisms of and apologies for America's foreign policy under the previous administration of George W. Bush. One Middle East authority, Fouad Ajami, pointed out that Obama seems unaware that it is bad form and even a great moral lapse to speak ill of one's own tribe while in the lands of others.

Even in Britain, for decades our closest ally, the talk in the press—supported by polls—is about the end of the "special relationship" with America. French President Nicolas Sarkozy openly criticized Obama for months, including a direct attack on his policies at the United Nations. Sarkozy cited the need to recognize the real world, not the virtual world, a clear reference to Obama's speech on nuclear weapons. When the French president is seen as tougher than the American president, you have to know that something is awry. Vladimir Putin of Russia has publicly scorned a number of Obama's visions. Relations with the Chinese leadership got off to a bad start with the president's poorly-organized visit to China, where his hosts treated him disdainfully and prevented him from speaking to a national television audience of the Chinese people. The Chinese behavior was unprecedented when compared to visits by other U.S. presidents.

Obama's policy on Afghanistan—supporting a surge in troops, but setting a date next year when they will begin to withdraw—not only gave a mixed signal, but provided an incentive for the Taliban just to wait us out. The withdrawal part of the policy was meant to satisfy a domestic constituency, but succeeded in upsetting all of our allies in the region. Further anxiety was provoked by Obama's severe public criticism of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his coterie of family and friends for their lackluster leadership, followed by a reversal of sorts regarding the same leaders.

Obama clearly wishes to do good and means well. But he is one of those people who believe that the world was born with the word and exists by means of persuasion, such that there is no person or country that you cannot, by means of logical and moral argument, bring around to your side. He speaks as a teacher, as someone imparting values and generalities appropriate for a Sunday morning sermon, not as a tough-minded leader. He urges that things "must be done" and "should be done" and that "it is time" to do them. As the former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Les Gelb, put it, there is "the impression that Obama might confuse speeches with policy." Another journalist put it differently when he described Obama as an "NPR [National Public Radio] president who gives wonderful speeches." In other words, he talks the talk but doesn't know how to walk the walk. The Obama presidency has so far been characterized by a well-intentioned but excessive belief in the power of rhetoric with too little appreciation of reality and loyalty.

In his Cairo speech about America and the Muslim world, Obama managed to sway Arab public opinion but was unable to budge any Arab leader. Even the king of Saudi Arabia, a country that depends on America for its survival, reacted with disappointment and dismay. Obama's meeting with the king was widely described as a disaster. This is but one example of an absence of the personal chemistry that characterized the relationships that Presidents Clinton and Bush had with world leaders. This is a serious matter because foreign policy entails an understanding of the personal and political circumstances of the leaders as well as the cultural and historical factors of the countries we deal with.

Les Gelb wrote of Obama, "He is so self-confident that he believes he can make decisions on the most complicated of issues after only hours of discussion." Strategic decisions go well beyond being smart, which Obama certainly is. They must be based on experience that discerns what works, what doesn't—and why. This requires experienced staffing, which Obama and his top appointees simply do not seem to have. Or as one Middle East commentator put it, "There are always two chess games going on. One is on the top of the table, the other is below the table. The latter is the one that counts, but the Americans don't know how to play that game."

Recent U.S. attempts to introduce more meaningful sanctions against Iran produced a U.N. resolution that is way less than the "crippling" sanctions the administration promised. The United States even failed to achieve the political benefit of a unanimous Security Council vote. Turkey, the Muslim anchor of NATO for almost 60 years, and Brazil, our largest ally in Latin America, voted against our resolution. Could it be that these long-standing U.S. allies, who gave cover to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran's nuclear ambitions, have decided that there is no cost in lining up with America's most serious enemies and no gain in lining up with this administration?

The end result is that a critical mass of influential people in world affairs who once held high hopes for the president have begun to wonder whether they misjudged the man. They are no longer dazzled by his rock star personality and there is a sense that there is something amateurish and even incompetent about how Obama is managing U.S. power. For example, Obama has asserted that America is not at war with the Muslim world. The problem is that parts of the Muslim world are at war with America and the West. Obama feels, fairly enough, that America must be contrite in its dealings with the Muslim world. But he has failed to address the religious intolerance, failing economies, tribalism, and gender apartheid that together contribute to jihadist extremism. This was startling and clear when he chose not to publicly support the Iranians who went to the streets in opposition to their oppressive government, based on a judgment that our support might be counterproductive. Yet, he reaches out instead to the likes of Bashar Assad of Syria, Iran's agent in the Arab world, sending our ambassador back to Syria even as it continues to rearm Hezbollah in Lebanon and expands its role in the Iran-Hezbollah-Hamas alliance.

The underlying issue is that the Arab world has different estimates on how to deal with an aggressive, expansionist Iran. The Arabs believe you do not deal with Iran with the open hand of a handshake but with the clenched fist of power. Arab leaders fear an Iran proceeding full steam with its nuclear weapons program on top of its programs to develop intermediate-range ballistic missiles. All the while centrifuges keep spinning in Iran, and Arab leaders ask whether Iran will be emboldened by what they interpret as American weakness and faltering willpower. They did not see Obama or his administration as understanding the region, where naiveté is interpreted as a weakness of character, as amateurism, and as proof of the absence of the tough stuff of which leaders are made. (That's why many Arab leaders were appalled at the decision to have a civilian trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York. After 9/11, many of them had engaged in secret counterterrorism activities under the umbrella of an American promise that these activities would never be made public; now they feared that this would be the exact consequence of an open trial.)

America right now appears to be unreliable to traditional friends, compliant to rivals, and weak to enemies. One renowned Asian leader stated recently at a private dinner in the United States, "We in Asia are convinced that Obama is not strong enough to confront his opponents, but we fear that he is not strong enough to support his friends."

The United States for 60 years has met its responsibilities as the leader and the defender of the democracies of the free world. We have policed the sea lanes, protected the air and space domains, countered terrorism, responded to genocide, and been the bulwark against rogue states engaging in aggression. The world now senses, in the context of the erosion of America's economic power and the pressures of our budget deficits, that we will compress our commitments. But the world needs the vision, idealism, and strong leadership that America brings to international affairs. This can be done and must be done. But we are the only ones who can do it.

obama and the world

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rudy Guiliani - If this was Bush, he would have been impeached by now.



AT&T  and Dell, Inc.

They have more in common than India and the Philippines.

Neither is very competent.

I have gone without phone service for at least 8 days.  Why do I say at least 8 days and not a certain 8 or 7, because I use the phone very infrequently, but when I do, I need to use it (such as calling internationally) which i cannot do on the cell phone (without racking up costs as high as my mortgage).

Yet when I call AT&T, they are quite casual about it, and will send someone out within 4 days, which will be Friday by 8pm.

When I inform them that those options are wholly unacceptable for any country that is not Afghanistan, she said: We're very sorry sir, but all the technicians are very busy.

This is the United States - the most sophisticated and technologically advanced civilization on earth and you (AT&T)  have me without phone service for 8 days.



It's the End of the World, and We Just Don't Know it ... yet.

Our own extinction is forecast, but he's going by dead reckoning

Andrew Bolt
Herald Sun
June 18, 2010

We humans are about to be wiped out in a few decades. The grandchildren of many of us will not live to old age.

Hear it from Frank Fenner, emeritus professor of microbiology at the Australian National University and the man who helped eradicate smallpox.

"Homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years," he told The Australian this week.

"It's an irreversible situation." Blame global warming.

But here's the odd thing. Just three paragraphs into this report announcing the - Oh My God! - end of the world, the reporter and Fenner were off talking about rabbits, Fenner's writing habits, his bookshelves, his student days, his war service and the weight of the book he wrote on smallpox - 3.5kg, actually.

Oh, and did he ever tell how he used to study skulls with Norman Tindale?

Now, you'd think when a reporter had just been told that thousands of years of human history were about to come to a screaming halt - with their own loved ones among the dead - that rabbits and recollections of Norm would be the last thing they'd want to discuss.

Back up a bit, they'd cry. Run that by me again: you mean, all human life on this planet is going to be exterminated? But, no. So used are we to sandwich-board doom-mongering from global warmists that we hurry them on to cheerier topics, like tales of old Norm and his skulls.

It's not that Fenner is a joke. He may now be 95, but he's a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Royal Society. And his views on the end of the world, however boring, were still deemed serious enough to publish in The Australian's prestigious Higher Education supplement.

This curious disconnect between prediction and reception happens relatively often now. Four years ago another warmist, Prof James Lovelock, creator of the influential Gaia theory of an interconnected Earth, was every bit as apocalyptic as Fenner.

We'd passed the point of no return, he groaned. The world was heating catastrophically. "Before this century is over, billions of us will die, and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable."

All that was left to do was to prepare "a guidebook for global warming survivors ... on durable paper with long-lasting print".

That should put a damper on any conversation. Yet when ABC warmist Phillip Adams soon afterwards interviewed Lovelock for Late Night Live, they first talked of walks in the country, horses, the absence of TVs back when they were lads and how people used to believe in ghosts.

Only after half an hour did they finally get on to Lovelock's prediction of the abrupt deaths of billions of people within just eight or nine decades.

It was like they'd left the boring bit until last. The bit where everyone dies.

Strange. It's like we privately agree that when these scientists say the end of the world is nigh, they don't mean it, not literally, but are just scaring us for our own good. Or that they do mean it, but are frankly batty.

After all, it's not as if even Dark Greens have resolved never to breed, to thus spare their child the horror of spending their shortened life in terror at the doom to come.

Yet we're still meant to treat everything else these scientists say as the gospel truth. As in: sure, they're way out there about the end of human life, but on the small stuff they are bang on.

Meanwhile, life goes on. We laugh. We plan. We invent. We build. We adapt.

And we talk of other things than the end of the world, and luckily so, because we'll be around a lot longer yet, if we keep our heads - and our hope.

end of the world

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The British media take off their rose-colored glasses and don't like what they see

You picked a fine time to abandon Barrack, with more than two potential war fronts, and a gazillion gallons of oil in the ocean, you picked a fine time to abandon Barrack. 

British media fall out of love with Obama

By Janet Daley
June 16th, 2010
The Telegraph

The BBC reports of Barack Obama’s speech last night are about as derisive as it would be possible to be about someone you were describing only a few months ago as the incarnation of Hope and Optimism. Yes indeed, the romance is over. The British media have decided that it was all a cruel deception: Obama is just one more ranting populist president who will do anything to divert attention from his own failure to get a grip. And this is not just about BP and the fate of all those pension funds.

Nor is it simply the demonising of Big Oil – which makes the US president sound as if he were recruiting his speech writers direct from the student union – that has evoked the UK media’s collective sneer. What has been much commented upon – especially by those fastidiously liberal BBC correspondents – is Obama’s pointedly bellicose language: the US is apparently engaged in a “battle” to be waged in very personal, anthropomorphic terms “against an oil spill that is assaulting” its coast. Considering how relentlessly the Bush “war on terror” was ridiculed, how long will it take before the Obama “war on an oil slick” is labelled as absurd? Given the tone of this morning’s coverage, perhaps not very long at all.

dumb shits

The New Russia: Freedom is Fleeting

There is no room for opposition in Russia, unless they operate within parameters established by those in power.  And with a community organizer in the White House who spends more time golfing and vacationing than dealing with local and national problems, he certainly does not have the braintrust to deconstruct the implications of these events.  Russia is moving further and further away, into an orbit they previously held, one which is not a friend of the United States, nor of freedom.


Police seize 100,000 anti-Vladimir Putin books

Russian police seized 100,000 copies of a book critical of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that activists planned to hand out at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum.

6:22PM BST
16 Jun 2010
The Telegraph

Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin Photo: BLOOMBERG Copies of 'Putin. The Results. 10 Years on', written by opposition politicians Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov were "intended for participants of the forum", starting Thursday, according to Olga Kurnosova, head of the city's branch of the opposition United Civic Front, said.

The reasons for the seizure "are not very clear", she said.

The book, which has a total print-run of one million copies, aims to "tell the truth about the real results of the leadership of Putin and the tandem", Mr Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister, wrote in his blog on Monday.

Mr Putin served two terms as president from 2000 onwards before being elected as prime minister. He is still viewed as Russia's strongest political figure in a power tandem with his ally President Dmitry Medvedev.

Earlier this month, Mr Putin said that he supported opposition protests as long as they were within the law.

"Without a normal democratic development this country will have no future," he said at a televised meeting with prominent arts figures.

Mr Nemtsov presented the book about Mr Putin in Moscow on Monday. Last year he published a similar book about Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who won a libel case and forced him to retract a statement about corruption in the city hall.


Vote early and vote often.

Residents get 6 votes each in suburban NY election

By JIM FITZGERALD, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jun 15, 4:08 pm ET

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – Arthur Furano voted early — five days before Election Day. And he voted often, flipping the lever six times for his favorite candidate. Furano cast multiple votes on the instructions of a federal judge and the U.S. Department of Justice as part of a new election system crafted to help boost Hispanic representation.

Voters in Port Chester, 25 miles northeast of New York City, are electing village trustees for the first time since the federal government alleged in 2006 that the existing election system was unfair. The election ends Tuesday and results are expected late Tuesday.

Although the village of about 30,000 residents is nearly half Hispanic, no Latino had ever been elected to any of the six trustee seats, which until now were chosen in a conventional at-large election. Most voters were white, and white candidates always won.

Federal Judge Stephen Robinson said that violated the Voting Rights Act, and he approved a remedy suggested by village officials: a system called cumulative voting, in which residents get six votes each to apportion as they wish among the candidates. He rejected a government proposal to break the village into six districts, including one that took in heavily Hispanic areas.

Furano and his wife, Gloria Furano, voted Thursday.

"That was very strange," Arthur Furano, 80, said after voting. "I'm not sure I liked it. All my life, I've heard, `one man, one vote.'"

It's the first time any municipality in New York has used cumulative voting, said Amy Ngai, a director at FairVote, a nonprofit election research and reform group that has been hired to consult. The system is used to elect the school board in Amarillo, Texas, the county commission in Chilton County, Ala., and the City Council in Peoria, Ill.

The judge also ordered Port Chester to implement in-person early voting, allowing residents to show up on any of five days to cast ballots. That, too, is a first in New York, Ngai said.

Village clerk Joan Mancuso said Monday that 604 residents voted early.

Gloria Furano gave one vote each to six candidates. Aaron Conetta gave two votes each to three candidates.

Frances Nurena talked to the inspectors about the new system, grabbed some educational material and went home to study. After all, it was only Thursday. She could vote on Friday, Saturday or Tuesday.

"I understand the voting," she said. "But since I have time, I'm going to learn more about the candidates."

On Tuesday, Candida Sandoval voted at the Don Bosco Center, where a soup kitchen and day-laborer hiring center added to the activity, and where federal observers watched the voting from a table in the corner.

"I hope that if Hispanics get in, they do something for all the Hispanic people," Sandoval said in Spanish. "I don't know, but I hope so."

FairVote said cumulative voting allows a political minority to gain representation if it organizes and focuses its voting strength on specific candidates. Two of the 13 Port Chester trustee candidates — one Democrat and one Republican — are Hispanic. A third Hispanic is running a write-in campaign after being taken off the ballot on a technicality.

Campaigning was generally low key, and the election itself was less of an issue than housing density and taxes.

Hispanic candidates Fabiola Montoya and Luis Marino emphasized their volunteer work and said they would represent all residents if elected.

Gregg Gregory gave all his votes to one candidate, then said: "I think this is terrific. It's good for Port Chester. It opens it up to a lot more people, not just Hispanics but independents, too."

Vote coordinator Martha Lopez said that if turnout is higher than in recent years, when it hovered around 25 percent, the election would be a success — regardless of whether a Hispanic was elected.

"I think we'll make it," she said. "I'm happy to report the people seem very interested."

But Randolph McLaughlin, who represented a plaintiff in the lawsuit, said the goal was not merely to encourage more Hispanics to vote but "to create a system whereby the Hispanic community would be able to nominate and elect a candidate of their choice."

That could be a non-Hispanic, he acknowledged, and until exit polling is done, "it won't be known for sure whether the winners were Hispanic-preferred."

The village held 12 forums — six each in English and Spanish — to let voters know about the new system and to practice voting. The bilingual ballot lists each candidate across the top row — some of them twice if they have two party lines — and then the same candidates are listed five more times. In all, there are 114 levers; voters can flip any six.

Besides the forums, bright yellow T-shirts, tote bags and lawn signs declared "Your voice, your vote, your village," part of the educational materials also mandated in the government agreement. Announcements were made on cable TV in each language.

All such materials — the ballot, the brochures, the TV spots, the reminders sent home in schoolkids' backpacks — had to be approved in advance, in English and Spanish versions, by the Department of Justice.

Conetta said the voter education effort was so thorough he found voting easier than usual.

"It was very different but actually quite simple," he said. "No problem."


Obama has problems: The Media is Abandoning him

Excerpt from the Los Angeles Times, June 16, 2010

But watching the president and hearing him was a little creepy; that early portion of the address was robotic, lacked real energy, enthusiasm. And worst of all specifics. He was virtually detail-less.

After almost two months of waiting through continuously contradictory reports, an anxious American public wanted to know, HOW are you going to accomplish all this?

Even Obama's cheerleaders over at MSNBC were complaining. "Where was the How in this speech?" demanded Keith Olbermann. Seriously.

Everyone's assumed that fixing the leak was a given since Day Four, which was still five days before the Democrat got his big plane and presidential entourage down there.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Vacation, Computer, Car or a Kid ?

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture finds that a middle-income family with a child born in 2009 can expect to spend about $222,360 ($286,050 if inflation is factored in) for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise that child over the next 17 years.


Make Mine Freedom - 1948

American Form of Government

Who's on First? Certainly isn't the Euro.