"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


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Thursday, May 27, 2010

US Offers Proof of N. Korea's Torpedo Attack on S. Korea's Navy

For those of you who may not know, the North Korean Navy torpedoed a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, back in March of this year. The attack killed 46 sailors and sank the Cheonan. North Korea, following their standard procedure, has denied everything while warning of dire consequences should anyone try to respond to their aggression.

It seems that Hillary Clinton (when was the last time we've heard her name in the news?) is pushing China to accept the fact that North Korea did indeed attack the South Korean vessel.

From the Financial Times article by Christian Oliver via Drudge Report:

"Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, on Wednesday said the US would offer additional briefings and information to China to convince it that North Korea torpedoed a South Korean warship, killing 46 sailors in March.

"Beijing’s response to the sinking has been guarded and this makes it less likely South Korea will be able to marshal support for tougher sanctions at the United Nations Security Council.

"Mrs Clinton said a 400-page technical report on the sinking by an international team, including experts from the US, led to the 'inescapable' conclusion North Korea was to blame and that action had to be taken. Should the Chinese need more information, she said the US would offer it."

[...]

"She also said the US could take additional measures against Pyongyang but she did not specify what they might be."

Of course everyone knows, including Pyongyang, that Clinton's "additional measures" is a hollow threat. What would be interesting is if China were be moved by the US. China could bring very real pressure on North Korea. If North Korea were to ever lose China's favor, then Pyongyang would collapse within a month or less.

Is China being swayed to bring a little pressure to bear? My bet is no, but there are mixed messages coming out of China. While Bloomberg reports that "China May Shield North Korea" the same article notes: "China has a big stake in stability in Northeast Asia. Japan and South Korea are China’s third- and fourth-biggest trading partners after the European Union and the U.S., with combined two-way trade reaching $485.1 billion in 2009, Chinese customs figures show."

[...]

"China’s two-way trade with North Korea, at $2.7 billion last year, is less than 1 percent of that total, even though the two countries share a 1,415-kilometer (880-mile) border and an alliance going back to China’s 1950 entry into the Korean War."

As America and the EU flounder and look financially weak, China may be forced to look at South Korea and Japan more favorably. Personally, I believe the saber-rattling and brinkmanship that North Korea routinely practices is finally beginning to wear even on the conservatives within the Chinese Communist Party-- especially as China continues to feel the global economic crunch. The US has largely practiced a policy of appeasement and bribery with North Korea and tolerated their brazen aggression for years. South Korea and Japan... not so much. As the US slowly loses financial sway on China, South Korea and Japan may well rise up and have greater political influence on China in the near future.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Obama Quiz: Which One Is the Stiff Action Figure?



You make the call!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More Willful Obama Ignorance: Who Killed Daniel Pearl and Why?

Check out this post by Jim Hoft over at Gateway Pundit. (h/t Fuzzy at Fuzzy Logic)

While signing the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act of 2009, Obama gave this prepared statement:

"All around the world there are enormously courageous journalists and bloggers who, at great risk to themselves, are trying to shine a light on the critical issues that the people of their country face; who are the frontlines against tyranny and oppression. And obviously the loss of Daniel Pearl was one of those moments that captured the world’s imagination because it reminded us of how valuable a free press is, and it reminded us that there are those who would go to any length in order to silence journalists around the world. What this act does is it sends a strong message from the United States government and from the State Department that we are paying attention to how other governments are operating when it comes to the press. It has the State Department each year chronicling how press freedom is operating as one component of our human rights assessment, but it also looks at countries that are — governments that are specifically condoning or facilitating this kind of press repression, singles them out and subjects them to the gaze of world opinion in ways that I think are extraordinarily important. [emphasis mine]"

What? "Captured the world's imagination"?! Was this some kind of inspiring and uplifting Olympic performance? This is Obama's choice of words?

There's so much wrong with this, not so much the basically toothless Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, but with Obama's statement that I don't know where to begin. Fortunately, Hoft does. Go check out his response, but here are some of Hoft's key points:

"Daniel Pearl was not beheaded because he was a journalist.

"Daniel Pearl was beheaded by Islamic extremists because he was an American and a Jew."

[...]

"After the Islamic radicals murdered Daniel Pearl they released a video of his beheading. This text was included:

"'My name is Daniel Pearl. I am a Jewish American from Encino, California USA. I come from, uh, on my father’s side the family is Zionist. My father’s Jewish, my mother’s Jewish, I’m Jewish. My family follows Judaism. We’ve made numerous family visits to Israel. Back in the town of Bnei Brak there is a street named after my great grandfather Chaim Pearl who is one of the founders of the town.'

"Obviously, the terrorists were not as concerned about Pearl’s writing as much as his Jewish blood line. But, when you are incapable of understanding who we are fighting and when you are unwilling to utter the words 'Islamic radicalism' then you tend to make these kind of mistakes."

Well put Hoft. Thank you.

Check out Jennifer Rubin's take on Obama's remarks as well, also referenced by Hoft.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Media Matters, Health Rationing, and Support for Infanticide

Check out this article by Ben Domenech at BigGovernment.com.

While defending Donald Berwick from criticism, Media Matters cited Dr. Peter Singer-- a proponent of infanticide. Brilliant guys. Just brilliant...

Dr. Singer wrote this charming sentiment in 1993:

"To take the lives of [self conscious people], without their consent, is to thwart their desires for the future. Killing a snail or a day-old infant does not thwart any desires of this kind, because snails and newborn infants are incapable of such desires."

Kinda cute, huh? I mean equating newborns to snails and all... Oh, and Dr. Singer also had co-written a book published in 1988 called Should the Baby Live? Catchy title, right?

Domenech has other painful Singer quotes. Check out the article.

And let's conclude with Domenech's own observation:

"Just to be clear: Media Matters for America has no problem quoting, in defense of rationing health care, a person who has bluntly advocated the right to kill newborn babies."

I see no problem here. Do you?

UPDATE: For the sake of clarity this background on Dr. Singer via the about the author blurb for Should the Baby Live?

"Peter Singer is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre of Human Bioethics at Monash University in Australia. In addition to his many books on ethics, he has written many articles for The New York Times and The New York Review of Books."

Singer's not a medical doctor. I just want to be clear on that. However, it is to my horror (although not surprise) that he is a professor of philosophy specializing in ethics.

Thai Red Shirts Surrender

This is a story I should've been posting about but, as I said in my last post, I've been frivilously distracted for the past couple of weeks.

From the Damien McElroy and Ian MacKinnon article in the Telegraph:

"Four leaders of the demonstrators who have occupied areas of the capital for weeks were shown on television in police custody.

"Jatuporn Prompan, one of the leaders in custody, had only minutes earlier offered to surrender. 'I apologise to you all but I don't want any more losses. I am devastated too. We will surrender,' he said from a stage in the protest camp.

"The move came after armoured personnel carriers stormed the tyre and bamboo barricades. Many of the protesters fled further within the encampment as the army advanced.

"At least four protesers were killed in the violence, with witnesses describing how one man was shot in the head by troops before being carried away.

"There were also reports that two foreign journalists had been wounded in the fighting, and that one Italian journalist may have died.

[...]

"The demonstrators began the protest in mid-March, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, dissolution of Parliament and immediate elections.

"They created an encampment in Bangkok's posh downtown Rajprasong district in April, surrounding themselves by a barricade of tires and bamboo spears.

"'This is the last push. Looks like the government really wants to end it this time,' said Senator Lertrat Rattanawanit, who had tried to mediate between the two sides. 'They have laid out the steps, giving out deadlines for people to move out and all that. It's a pity that using force is inevitable.'

[...]

"Since 1946, when King Bhumibol Adulyadej took the Thai throne as an 18-year-old, Thailand has seen nine coups and more than 20 prime ministers. Only two of 17 constitutions since absolute monarchy ended in 1932 have mandated parliaments that are entirely elected. The king, who is revered across the nation, has been in hospital since Sept. 19 and hasn't spoken publicly about the current demonstrations.

"Mr Abhisit himself has never won a national election: He was picked by legislators in December 2008 after a court dissolved the pro-Thaksin ruling party for election fraud. The decision coincided with the seizure of Bangkok's airports by protesters wearing yellow shirts who oppose Mr Thaksin."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sorry For the Lack of Posts Recently

As some of you may know, I went through a minor surgery recently. Although the surgery was minor the results of it have been quite major. For the past several weeks I've been running about frivolously indulging myself with various activities (like exercising and eating non-mush food without pain) that I was previously too unhealthy to do. These happy times have been at the cost of posting on my blog.

I'll get back to it soon. That said, I'm starting the writing of a new book very soon (probably in early June). This time I'll be be backing up my work daily on CDs, a jump drive, and printing up a hard copy every week. I am not losing six months worth of work again. Once I start writing, I'll try to post here once a week, but I tend to cut myself off from the world while I'm writing, so I make no promises about that.

Anyway, I'll be back here almost daily starting next week.

In the meantime, there's a list of great blogs on the left there. Check them out.

Thanks,
Yukio Ngaby

Thursday, May 6, 2010

White-Water Rafting with Wife is Part of Fed. Business Trip

From Jake Tapper at ABCNews.com: (h/t Jacobson [once again] at Legal Insurrection)

"Though his agency was charged with coordinating the federal response to the major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Department of the Interior chief of staff Tom Strickland was in the Grand Canyon with his wife last week participating in activities that included white-water rafting, ABC News has learned.

"Other leaders of the Interior Department were focused on the Gulf, joined by other agencies and literally thousands of other employees. But Strickland’s participation in a trip that administration officials insisted was 'work-focused' raised eyebrows among other Obama administration officials and even within even his own department, sources told ABC News.

"Strickland, who also serves as Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, was in the Grand Canyon with his wife Beth for a total of three days, including one day of rafting. Beth Strickland paid her own way, Obama administration officials said."

Kinda bad timing there, wasn't it?

The problem is that this sort of junk is business as usual for the feds. People should be upset about this (oil spill or not), but it's likely that all people will do is shake their heads and chalk it up to more government waste.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hope: 32 Black Americans Running for Congress Under GOP and Tea Party

Check out this interesting article in The New York Times (h/t Jacobson at Legal Insurrection). The article by Jennifer Steinhauer is titled "Black Hopefuls Pick This Year in G.O.P. Races."

From the article:

"Among the many reverberations of President Obama’s election, here is one he probably never anticipated: at least 32 African-Americans are running for Congress this year as Republicans, the biggest surge since Reconstruction, according to party officials.

[...]

"But now black Republicans are running across the country — from a largely white swath of beach communities in Florida to the suburbs of Phoenix, where an African-American candidate has raised more money than all but two of his nine (white) Republican competitors in the primary.

[...]

"State and national party officials say that this year’s cast of black Republicans is far more experienced than the more fringy players of yore, and include elected officials, former military personnel and candidates who have run before.

"Mr. Parker is the mayor of Paradise Valley, Ariz. Ryan Frazier is a councilman in Aurora, Colo., one of four at-large members who represent the whole city. And Tim Scott is the only black Republican elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives since Reconstruction.

"'These are not just people pulled out of the hole,' said Timothy F. Johnson, chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, a black conservative group. That is 'the nice thing about being on this side of history,' he said."

The article makes sure to give Obama a great deal of credit for this development suggesting that his election to president can be used as proof to Republicans that a black man can be elected. And since Obama is considered to be doing such a great job in the constituencies that these men and women wish to represent, that should give them a great boost in their campaigns... right? The fact that the majority of these black candidates did not crawl out of a hole, as Mr. Timothy F. Johnson points out, and came largely from elected positions seems overlooked by Steinhauer.

Still, it is heartening to see this. Black Americans are one of the most tightly regulated groups of any major American demographic (racial or otherwise), constricted by racial peer pressures, self-destructive demands for "authenticity," and the devaluation of individuality for the sake of "community."

While Jacobson correctly notes this as a blow against the Democrats' "race card" strategy, I think the real importance of this is that more and American Blacks are publicly breaking from the black establishment. Even though prominent men such as Shelby Steele, John McWhorter, Ward Connerly, Michael Steele, Thomas Sowell, and Clarence Thomas have been raked over the coals by liberal whites (with suspicious glee) and the black community for years, we're now seeing a surging of conservative Black Americans running for office. Could this be the beginning of a large-scale rejection of peer-pressure conformity? Could this be a rejection of the failed policies hailed under a false clarion call for community?

One can hope.