"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

One of Salem Oregon's Unofficial Top 1000 Conservative Political Bloggers!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Sane Take on the Hunduras Situation-- In "The New Republic" Even!

Check out this entry by Francisco Toro from The New Republic's "The Plank" section. He has some interesting arguments should they hold up under scrutiny. I am giving warning that I have not researched all of Toro's assertions, but the ones I am already familiar with hold up.

(H/T NewsBusters.org for first presenting this)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Time" Article on Calif. Budget Crisis Proves this "News" Magazine is Irrelevant

Do you believe that California's current financial situation (bordering on crisis) stems from a lack of taxation?

A former California resident of over thirty-three years myself, I know of absolutely no one who believes this. And considering the amount of taxes Californians pay (California has the highest sales tax, gasoline tax, and vehicle registration fees in the country, and the highest corporate tax of the Western states) it's not hard to understand the universality of that opinion. Likewise considering the dismal condition of California's public schools and quality of public education, the horrible state of overcrowded county hospitals and clinics, the public works projects (walk around Los Angeles with unsullied eyes, observe cratered streets, crumbling sidewalks, and "out of order" parking meters), and crime rate (I was shot at twice in the L.A. area while working as a driver for a special effects company-- and this was several years after the Rodney King Riots), one often wonders where this colossal amount of money has gone.

Everyone is hit hard. "The top 1 percent of Californians (incomes of $2.3 million and up) pay 7.8 percent in state taxes, while those making $20,000 or less pay 11 percent of their incomes in state taxes. In other words, the lowest wage earners can expect to see up to $2,200 of their income sent to local, county and state governments in the form of sales tax, gas tax and other taxes."

Ah, but just an hour ago I read this article by Kevin O'Leary in Time under the heading of U.S. News (as can be seen here at this link). Please read it. I was honestly struck dumb-- not by its insights, mind you, but by the sheer ineptitude and idiocy of it. True audacity.

A sample of O'Leary's article: "What has brought California to such a perilous state? How did its government become so wildly dysfunctional? One obvious cause is the deep recession that has caused tax revenues to plunge for all states. But California's woes have a set of deeper reasons: direct democracy run amok, timid governors, partisan gridlock and a flawed constitution all contribute to budget chaos and people in pain."

Is this man serious? "Direct democracy run amok?" A "flawed constitution" (it would be amusing and telling for O'Leary to list the flaws in California's constitution but he doesn't)? "Timid governors?" This is the voice of an American reporter? Why, if only people couldn't vote directly and governors had the proper will, then things would get done-- in this case repealing Proposition 13, a check on taxing residents out of their houses as property values increased. California is one of the most tax-heavy states in the country and it's falling apart... but O'Leary and Time would have you believe that the problem is not enough taxes.

I was going to break this moronic article down line-by-line, but found that Warner Todd Huston at NewsBusters.org already did on a practical level, and managed to do it with a mind seemingly unclouded with incredulous derision (as my mind currently is). Please, read his analysis as he tears O'Leary's astonishingly weak argument down while exerting only a modicum of logic and research.

What is significant in this nonsense, to me, is O'Leary's and the Time editors' apparent belief that they can control truth so haphazardly. I have routinely scoffed at many claims made within Time in the recent past, all of which showcased ideological zeal replacing research and reporting, but this article was the most brazen attempt to pass off unsupported viewpoints as news, ideology as fact.

The writers and editors of Time have proved to me what a low opinion they hold of their readers. These men and women apparently think they simply can cram propaganda into our heads without even the unethical pretext of distorting the facts-- they simply created their own (I never dreamed of a day when I would pine for the intentional distorting of facts...). A simple re-writing of history and a mere claim is all they need, and they expect their readers to ignore the mountains of evidence that surrounds all of us daily. This is not a matter of a difference of opinion, nor a view colored by conflicting ideologies. This is something else entirely.

Jean-Paul Marat, of the French Revolution, was famous for his espousal of executions. In his paper, Friend of the People, Marat would routinely call for the guillotining of those disloyal to "revolutionary convictions." He would make baseless promises that conditions would stabilize and improve (Paris in particular and France in general was in utter chaos at the time) if more "counter-revolutionaries" were executed. And after they were marched off to the guillotine, beheaded, and things remained chaotic, Marat would once again call for blood and promise improvement just after this next batch were killed. It was a cycle repeated until his murder in 1793.

Time seems to have have subscribed to a (thankfully) bloodless form of the Marat theory of journalism. They make baseless promises that more taxes will allow the government to take good care of you. Good schools and freeways and universities and help for the struggling poor and wonderfully progressive prison psychiatrists are all right around the corner... Ignore the fact that massive funds are already overspent on ineffective programs, pipe dream projects, and unconscionable graft and waste. Wait, not enough to pay for it all? Just another painful tax hike and then everything will be okay... Just one more... And then another... We promise it'll work this time. Trust us.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

First Edition of Saturday Links!

Okay... I'm late on this week's links. And I don't even have a good reason nor the enthusiasm to make up a good excuse... *sigh*

Anyway here's some more links for your perusal. As always, I believe they're all interesting.

Lots of stuff on Cap and Trade passing the House of Reps-- the worst policy/de facto tax foisted upon the American public in decades:

Michelle Malkin has the House roll call round-up here, centering on the eight Republicans who voted "yes" and the Democrats who voted "no." Just a reminder, this bowl of crap passed with a vote of 219 - 212. Also she has congressional office phone numbers and a link to a full roll call that page.

Pat Austin at So it Goes in Shreveport has a number of posts on the subject the last of which includes a story of a psycho woman chasing her around because Pat's dog peed on the woman's lawn. That post probably best sums up my mood on the whole situation.

Quite Rightly at Bread Upon the Waters quotes the estimate that Cap and Trade will increase the price of gas by 77 cents per gallon. Add that cost onto to just about everything that you purchase and is shipped. He also urges you to contact your congressional representative. Well, that's over-- but contact your senators. That is absolutely essential to prevent the damages incurred by this Chicken-Little-panic-science nonsense.

UPDATE: Anne Leary at Backyard Conservative has something to say about Cap and Trade too, complete with a number of excellent links.

Here's a great article (h/t to Barcepundit) in the WSJ regarding the world's more recent reaction to man-made global warming.

Pundit & Pundette have an interesting link to an editorial by L. E. Ikenga comparing Obama's mind-set and those of post-colonial African leaders. Check it out.

Chris M at snaggletoothie of the Loyal Opposition has a great picture of Saturn and several posts on Obamacare. Check them out here and here-- the second of which highlights Obama's personal hypocrisy.

I can't believe this Cap and Trade crap happened while I had my head buried in my book. I feel like I fell asleep at the wheel. I assure you that I'll be calling and e-mailing both of my senators about this when it comes to the Senate. I urge you to do the same. Don't let Obama, Waxman, et al rush this expensive junk through Congress with minimal debate, and without the opportunity to become informed about both the drastic short-term and long-term expenses. Obama's sleazy politics of manufactured crisis and rush must come to an end! This is not how representative democracies are supposed to work.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Even More Friday Links!!!

Hello to all. I'm still plugging away at the book, but I'm beginning to hit that wall that usually happens right around now. Ah, well... It's to be expected. Obamacare and Obama's cowardly lack of support for the Iranian protesters are both distracting-- I think I have to go isolate myself in the Polynesian Islands for the summer... yeah, right.

Here are some links for to check out. All of it's interesting stuff:

Michelle S at Generation Patriot has this analysis about the expanding powers of the Federal Reserve. A good analysis. It amazes me how many people seem to have no idea how the housing crash started and just give the silly answer of "greed." While you're there check out Jordan's quick note that it's a moment of truth in Iran. I think he's dead-on about that. And still Obama's committed to dealing with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The missed opportunities and the shrugging off of a moral imperative... it's giving me an ulcer.

Expanding on that note is Gerald Warner who has (as far as I know) invented a new favorite word for me-- Obamaguff. Here's a short excerpt from his post: "'To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist." That piece of classic Obamaguff, unloaded during his presidential inauguration, has come home to haunt President Pantywaist, as a consequence of the Iranian election.'

"Today Iran unclenched its fist - to slap President Pantywaist on the face. It seems, despite the chiding from Barack Obama, that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad feel quite comfortable on the wrong side of history. At Friday prayers - accompanied by encouragingly reformist shouts of 'Death to America!' - the Supreme Leader (Khamenei, not Obama) delivered the most intransigently authoritarian speech heard in Iran since the reign of Cyrus the Great."

Read the rest. I love his British-flavored bluntness.

William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has a post on bloggers' comparisons of Iran and the Soviet Union. In it, Jacobson shares a brief overview of his personal experiences in the USSR. Personally, I don't see the analogies holding a lot of water. I have a few Persian friends and their outlooks and the experiences they've shared with me are quite different from my Ukrainian and Armenian friends' outlooks and experiences.

Jacobson is dead-on when he says: "The policy question is whether we will support the Iranian people without equivocation, as we did for the people of the Soviet Union, or will we help perpetuate the regime. While we were negotiating nuclear arms treaties with the Soviet leadership, we were undermining their rule through an unyielding refusal to accept communist rule as inevitable or justified."

Also check out Jacobson's response to the laughable notion that "supporters of freedom for Iranians are actually against freedom for Iranians" and that "[t]he election fraud, the demonstrations, the crack down, the shouts of Death to America, the beatings, the green banners carried in the streets, the millions on the march ... it's all an American NeoCon conspiracy." These jackasses deserve Obama-- but the rest of us don't.

Atlas Shrugged has this heads-up (h/t to Jacobson at Legal Insurrection) on an attempt to boycott Israeli products at Trader Joe's on Saturday June 20. Be sure to thank Trader Joe's for refusing to to be bullied (addresses and e-mails at the post).

Pundit & Pundette have some Obama hypocrisy in the realm of fund-raising. Check out their post. How does anyone still believe his Obamaguff?

Pat Austin at And So it Goes in Shreveport has a whole slew of posts for Friday, but my favorite is her wish (voicing an opinion of a great many people I suspect) for Obama to stop whining and blaming Bush. Gibbs has been sounding like a spoiled two-year-old recently. Also check out her post on the House of Reps condemning Tehran's crackdown on protesters 405 - 1. Ron Paul was the sole dissenter. Of course it's all largely symbolic, but at least it's something.

Caroline Glick has this article on a recent Netanyahu speech. Check it out. Her analysis, as usual, is compelling and logical. And you probably didn't hear about any of this in the MSM.

Last, but certainly not the least, Quite Rightly at Bread Upon the Waters has this update about the fallout from Bermuda's acceptance of the Uighur terrorists from Gitmo. Obama's apparent quest to alienate/exploit our allies is proceeding with wonderful alacrity.

Check them all out. They all deserve some attention.

And a Happy Father's Day to all those fathers and grandfathers out there!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Obama and his False Call for Women's Rights

Much has been made of Obama's overly long speech delivered in Cairo (transcript found here at the Washington Post). The majority of the MSM heaped praise and hyperbole, as is to be expected. CBS hailed the speech as part of an inspired campaign to prevent another D-Day. Newseek's editor Evan Thomas, who has previously likened Obama to God on the June 5th edition of Hardball (and I thought the lightworker [Lucifer, I suppose] moniker was tough to stomach), extolled Obama as "the great teacher." Reacting to Obama's speech Thomas said "There's some condescension in it. But, he stands above everybody and says, 'Now, listen. You people have to stop blaming each other unreasonably. You have to get along here and I am going to show you the way.' It is a pretty brave role in many ways. It's going to make people like Charles [Krauthammer] really mad. To me, the question is, is it just rhetoric, or is he now going to follow up and forced some of this happen?" Eleanor Clift, a reporter for Newsweek, reacted to criticism of Obama's speech with a flabbergasted "Until I came on this set [of The MacLaughlin Group], I heard nothing but rave reviews for this speech. I feel like I'm in a total parallel reality." Hmm. She's not the only one.

Saner voices, not infatuated by Obama's mere presence, have posted extensively about his speech. I'm sure most people are exhausted from reading the analyses. What I found rather interesting, however, was the issue of women's rights that was raised. Both Pat Austin at And So it Goes in Shreveport and Pundit & Pundette raised the issue in their blogs.

Pundit & Pundette tackle the issue of women's rights in Islamic countries head-on, while Austin compares the Obama women's rights section of the Cairo speech with one of George W. Bush's speeches also given in Egypt-- the ideological contrast is both stark and sobering.

Obama's section on women's rights in his Cairo speech is below:

"The sixth issue that I want to address is women's rights.

"I know there is debate about this issue. I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well-educated are far more likely to be prosperous.

"Now let me be clear: issues of women's equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, we have seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead. Meanwhile, the struggle for women's equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world.

"Our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons, and our common prosperity will be advanced by allowing all humanity - men and women - to reach their full potential. I do not believe that women must make the same choices as men in order to be equal, and I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles. But it should be their choice. That is why the United States will partner with any Muslim-majority country to support expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursue employment through micro-financing that helps people live their dreams."

The small portion of this section that I want to focus on for the moment is: "I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality."

Honestly, this sentence is little more than candy-coating, a spoonful of sugar that'll help the moral platitudes go down. Yet, this sentence, delivered in a flippant manner, reveals a bit more vapidity than I believe it was meant to.

I find it interesting, although not surprising as equality is a hallmark word for the Left, that Obama should use the word equal in this instance. After all, the concept of hijab (a word literally meaning "curtain" but widely thought of in Islamic cultures as "meaning of modesty, privacy, and morality," and the root of the dress code of the Muslim faith) is an absolute sign of inequality in the Muslim societies, and cannot be interpreted otherwise. The intention in the covering of a woman's hair and body is to keep her from being too sexually arousing, too much of a temptation to defile a man's virtue. This inevitably places the woman in the role of temptress, an obstacle to man's moral purity.

Additionally, women are not given an equal status regarding their own sexuality. After all, men are not required to cover any parts of their body (aside from relatively common modesty-- usual interpretations of hijab require men to cover themselves from navel to knees) to keep themselves publicly plain so as to not tempt women. Is this because women are not believed to possess sexual drives and desires (a common belief in the West during the Victorian era)? Or is it because women are not believed to be as innately virtuous as men? Or is it because women are believed to be so virtuous that they don't need to avoid such temptations? Honestly, I don't know, but any way you look at it, it's unequal. And in a society like the US, where the concept of equal rights is given such high moral status, such an outlook makes most Americans uncomfortable.

Let me be clear at this point. I am not suggesting that women should not be allowed to wear headscarves, nor am I saying that a woman's choice to dress according the hijab is necessarily wrong. What I am saying is that the concept of the hijab is inherently unequal ("less equal" in Obama's words) for women, and for Obama to say otherwise is both foolish and disingenuous.

It is idiotic for Obama to say "I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles. But it should be their choice." Fine. Obama self-aggrandizingly declares himself to be a forward-thinking, feminist libertarian. We should all swoon. But he declares nothing else. He does not suggest how to address basic and stark gender inequalities inherent in Muslim societies. Like so many other times, he merely dictates and expects (or forces) others to heed his "wise" words. A "great teacher" indeed...

If women are being forced into traditional roles by a society, what other choice can these women make? To pack up and leave-- as easily as though they were middle-class Americans moving from Arizona to California? Are they to decide to not be Muslim in a Muslim country? An amusing thought as it is well known that Muslims go through great pains to convert and coerce to conversion people of other religious faiths within their sphere of influence. Throwing lavish amounts of American dollars to fund female literacy does not help with this basic societal difficulties. To bring about change in women's standing, some very basic precepts of the society must also change as has happened in other places in the world. It is impossible for this shift to happen otherwise.

Obama avoids all this second-step thinking. He is not so suicidal as to preach revolution in a foreign nation. But more importantly, all of this is meaningless to Obama. He is not really concerned with the trivialities of women's rights (trivial for him and his wife-- how does this help their children?) in Muslim countries. If he were he would follow up his easy-to-swallow (for Americans) and vague platitudes with actual strategies and actual programs (the touted literacy program farce is merely an expensive show). If he was concerned, he would know more about the cultural situation and societal difficulties in regards to these countries. If Obama cared, he would site instances of progress in countries such as Bahrain, Qatar and Malaysia, give specific examples of successes, and explain why this would be a good path for Muslim societies to trek along.

Yet, Obama does none of this in his very long preaching. That's because the Cairo speech is actually about Obama and not ever the stated subject matter. I must agree with his sycophants-- Obama places himself on high, "stands above everybody," looks down his nose at them and showers them with his self-love. They swoon at his performance. I do not.

Obama scowls and nods arrogantly during his speeches, like Mussolini. And what comes out of his mouth are not arguments, not even points-of-view, but banal cliches born of his Leftist beliefs. He is not trying to convince the audience of the rightness of an argument (that is always assumed), but of the rightness of himself. His main intention is to prove his own self-righteousness. This speech, like most of Obama's speeches and addresses, was at heart only about demonstrating what a great guy he believes he is. This is why he can only apologize for actions that are not his own (he makes sure to show that he shares no blame for what his apologies are for). For this reason he may use "I" only when declaring (or perhaps rhetorically demonstrating) himself possessed of some high moral standing or some feat of intelligence or mental prowess.

People like Eleanor Clift and Evan Thomas (very much Americans) lap it up. They've been looking for a savior, a Leftist messiah, for many years. They snapped at the heels of Reagan and Bush, reveled (for the most part) under Clinton, chafed under George W. Bush, and now they positively bask beneath the glow of Obama's self-love.

All of this, however, does nothing for the women of Muslim countries. Perhaps some swoon under his media-hyped charisma, and perhaps some will take to heart the simple, dictated solutions for complicated problems. They do so at their own peril. Someone truly interested in women's rights would encourage a woman to stand on her own, support her strength and her resolve to bring about change and improvement. To do otherwise, is only to pass the yoke from one master to another. Obama's purpose is to ingratiate himself and increase his own influence-- not to build the strength of others. Obama "stands above" and declares he will help even though he can't, isn't really interested, and won't.

Obama doesn't declare support, he dictates vague but politically expedient initiatives. He doesn't reinforce progress, he dictates platitudes for mass consumption. And that helps no one but himself.

Friday, June 12, 2009

More Friday Links!

I'm still writing and still trying to ignore the world around me (probably not a very healthy thing but whoever said writing was a mentally healthy endeavor).

Here's some links for this Friday:

Richard L. Benkin at American Thinker had a moving and politically incorrect response to Obama's Cairo speech.

Both Pat Austin at And So it Goes in Shreveport and Quite Rightly at Bread Upon the Waters offer their takes on the feds' arbitrary handling of GM and GM dealers. Check them both out.

Pat Austin also has a post about the reemergence of the embarrassment that is Rev. Wright and Wright's claim that "them jews" are keeping Obama from speaking to him.

Monique Stuart over at HotMES voices some misgivings about Obama's usurpation and wealth redistribution of GM holdings. Check out her post. It's eye-opening.

snaggletoothie of the Loyal Opposition has a colorful new picture of tropical fish and the usual loads of vid-clips. My favorite is an Onion clip about girlfriends and boyfriends living together to stave off tough economic times. My lame description doesn't do much for it, so check it out. It's funny.

William A Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has some important points to make about the political meanings and wranglings of public health care. Check it out.

Daniel Hannan, Conservative British MEP, has ten conclusions (careful Letterman might sue) about the recent European elections. The US better be careful, a lot of Europe's going Right when the US is stumbling Left.

Gerald Warner offers his unapologetic response to the European Left's reaction to the elections with his usual brusque common sense. Man, I like reading Gerald Warner.

At last but not least, Jordan at Generation Patriot takes on the Left's premise that an elderly, white-supremacist murdering a guard at the Holocaust Museum somehow confirms the nonsense DHS report that right-wing extremists are lurking under every rock, and in every nook and cranny. Check it out.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 8, 2009

AP Touts Obama Summer Job Creation Fantasy

Okay... I just couldn't let this one go. Check out the AP article about how Obama will create 600,000 new jobs for the summer.

Now check out Michelle Malkin's reality check on this nonsense.

Obama seems intent to repeat the failed programs of the past and leave the US with trillions of dollars of debt... all for no discernible results. *sigh*

UPDATE: Now they're saying "create or save 600,00 jobs." I love that "or save" phrase which requires absolutely no proof whatsoever. If only 600,000 jobs remain in the US by September, the White House and Newsweek can claim Obama was responsible for saving them.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hizbullah Loses in Lebanon!

Some great news from Lebanon!

The "March 14" parties beat out the Hizbollah-led alliance winning 70 out of 128 seats!

William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has a short post here. And Prof. Jacobson's sources are here (Naharnet News), here (Monsters and Critics) and here (Al Jazeera). I can't seem to drum up any AP or Reuters articles myself yet, hmm...

Background on Lebanon's recent political history is here via wikipedia.

Maybe it's a little too early to celebrate, but not too early to get a little excited...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Links!

I'm still working and still don't have the heart to get back to political blogging-- maybe after I finish a few more chapters I'll want a break. Here are some links I found interesting:

William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has an interesting piece on Obama's annoying and marginalizing strategy of setting up strawmen to bolster his own nonsense.

Pundit & Pundette has a nice rebuttal to Obama's Cairo speech.

Pat over at So it Goes in Shreveport also has a response to Obama's speech, focusing on women's rights. She also has a vid-clip of Charles Krauthammer rather incisively picking apart aspects of Obama's speech.

snaggletoothie of the Loyal Opposition has a vid-clip of Liz Cheney's response to Obama's Cairo speech. My favorite moment is when Cheney points out that Egypt isn't really all that happy about the US reaching out to Iran. When will Obama realize that Middle Eastern Muslims are not a single, homogeneous group? Also, check out Obama's pose around 4:16 of the vid-clip... Am I the only one who's reminded of Mussolini?

And speaking about Muslim homogeneity, Jordan at Generation Patriot isn't letting Obama have a free pass on that one. A short post, but necessary with Obama who has made a successful political career out by playing one ill-defined group against another. Generalities such as Obama's are inevitable in race politics-- and probably one of the most personally offensive aspects of American politics.

Quite Rightly at Bread Upon the Waters weighs in on Obama and the zakat (an Islamic religious tax) in an especially interesting post. Check it out.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Link Added

Common Cents has some interesting things to say, along with inevitable Susan Boyle videos :).

Check it out.

Be sure to look at the recent Gallup Poll results that are posted.

For some reason of Blogger's, I can't seem to add Common Cents to my Blog List at left. He'll be up there as soon as Blogger will let me. *sigh*