"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, November 30, 2010

Portland Bomber's Friends and Attorney: Mohamud was Encouraged by the FBI


Yeah. Poor old Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the 19 year-old radical Muslim who fully intended to blow up families at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, is a victim of the FBI's nefarious plot to twist young men into terrorists-- or something. At least that's the view voiced by Mohamud's defense attorney (who is just doing his job) and a friend (who does not have that excuse).


"A defense attorney and friends suspect that a teenager accused of plotting mass killings in Portland was set up - groomed and talked into a plot to detonate what he thought were six 55-gallon drums of explosives in a van.

"But prosecutors led by Attorney General Eric Holder say Mohamed Osman Mohamud plunged into a what turned out to be government sting, dismissing talk of backing out and also exhulting in the mayhem he expected as Portlanders gathered by the thousands last week for a Christmas tree-lighting celebration.

"Mohamud 'was told that children - children - were potentially going to be harmed,' Holder said Monday as the 19-year-old native of Somalia appeared in court and his defenders attacked the government's case.

"Outside the courtroom, a man who has played basketball with Mohamud said the teenager wouldn't have gotten involved in the plot without encouragement from the FBI.

"'If you talk with someone enough, they'll be convinced they need to do something,' said 20-year-old Muhahid El-Naser. He was among a small number of people gathered outside a federal court building about a five-block walk from what the government alleges was the target of the bomb plot last week, Pioneer Courthouse Square."

Huh. "If you talk to someone enough they'll be convinced they need to do something." And I guess that "something" would undoubtedly be to attempt to murder as many innocent civilians as possible for a political statement. Interesting theory El-Naser.

More from the article:

"Inside the courthouse, public defender Stephen Sady was advancing similar arguments as he entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Mohamud.

[...]

"Prosecutors say that agents let the plot string out to its end, with Mohamud feverishly dialing a cell phone number he thought would touch off the bomb, so that they could gather enough evidence to support the single charge he faces, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

"Holder also said the FBI was investigating a fire Sunday that destroyed part of an Islamic center in Corvallis, where Mohamud occasionally worshipped while attending Oregon State University.

"Police believe the fire was a case of arson, and they increased patrols around mosques and other Islamic sites in Portland."

I love the way that Islam isn't mentioned in the article until its a victim of a suspected arson. No mention of Mohamud's declaration of jihad (from a speech Mohamud recorded on Nov. 4th as reported by the AP in another article: "To my parents who held me back from Jihad in the cause of Allah," nor his yelling of the Muslim terrorist rallying cry "Allahu Akbar!" ("God is great!") when he was arrested.

You know, I was just waiting for this defense from some of my more conspiracy-minded fellow Oregonians. I should have posted about it yesterday and then looked prescient. I guess these people believe that FBI has nothing better to do these days then to coerce young men into acts of domestic terrorism. But wouldn't it make more sense for the Obama Administration to try to coerce Tea Party member into blowing up families in Portland instead of Muslim radicals? Go figure. I guess those mean old Republicans are running the FBI or something...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Is the Mossad or CIA Killing Iranian Nuclear Scientists? Or Someone Else?

From The Telegraph article by Richard Spencer: (also at BigPeace.com)

"Men riding motorcycles stuck magnet-bombs on the two men's car windscreens, police said.

"The interior ministry blamed 'agents of the global arrogance', a regular term for the United States.

"Iran's state media drew a link with a speech by the head of MI6, Sir John Sawers, last month in which he said 'intelligence-led operations' had to be used to disrupt Iran's nuclear programme.

"President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said: 'One can undoubtedly see the hands of Israel and Western governments in the assassination.'

"The scientist who died was named as Majid Shahriyari. The head of Iran's atomic energy organisation, Ali Akbar Salehi, confirmed Dr Shahriyari was involved in a 'major project'.

"The other, scientist who was injured was named as Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani. Both men taught at the school of nuclear engineering at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran but their precise roles in its alleged nuclear weapons programme are not known.

"Dr Abbasi-Davani is a specialist in preparing nuclear isotopes, on which uranium enrichment depends. He was also said to be a member of the elite Revolutionary Guard.

"He was listed as 'involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities' in a 2007 United Nations sanctions resolution.

"In January, another nuclear scientist, Masoud Ali Mohammadi, was killed in a similar attack. Again on that occasion Iran blamed Israel and the West, though it was also revealed Mr Mohammadi had expressed support for the opposition Green Movement.

"The senior regime links of the latest two targets would on the face of it make an opposition allegiance seem unlikely. But Meir Javedanfar, an Israeli-Iranian analyst, said even in their case an internal regime assassination could not be ruled out.

"He said dissatisfaction with the regime among nuclear scientists was a 'major concern' for the leadership."

Well, the CIA is much of the world's bogeyman, but I wouldn't count too much on the CIA (or any American intelligence agency) acting this way under the Obama administration. And I strongly doubt that the Iranians were behind the assassinations-- although Javedanfar is correct and you can't just rule out the possibility. That leaves pretty much the rest of the Western World, Israel and the rest of the Middle East as suspects. If nothing else, Wikileaks has proven that Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East aren't too secure with the prospect of a nuclear Iran.

These scientists were really unpopular and dangerous to many different people throughout the world. In a way, this situation reminds me of Canadian super-gun engineer Gerald Bull (he was the guy building the Project Babylon super-gun for Saddam Hussein in the late 80s). It's no guarantee that the Mossad shot Bull. Lots of people were real unhappy with that particular project.

Islamic Terrorist's Bomb Plot in Portland Oregon


I'm a bit late on this story, but here it is:


"A Somali-born teenager plotted 'a spectacular show' of terrorism for months, saying he didn't mind that children would die if he bombed a crowded Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, according to a law-enforcement official and court documents.

"He never got the chance. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested Friday in downtown Portland after using a cell phone to try to detonate what he thought were explosives in a van, prosecutors said. It turned out to be a dummy bomb put together by FBI agents, and authorities said the public was never in danger.

"The case is the latest in a string of alleged terrorist planning by U.S. citizens or residents, including a Times Square plot in which a Pakistan-born man pleaded guilty earlier this year to trying to set off a car bomb at a busy street corner."

The latest in a string of terror plots by US citizens? How about the latest in the string of plots by by radical Islamic terrorists who may or may not be American citizens?

The article goes on:

"On Nov. 4, the court documents say, Mohamud made a video in the presence of one of the undercover agents, putting on clothes he described as 'Sheik Osama style:' a white robe, red and white headdress, and camouflage jacket.

"He read a statement speaking of his dream of bringing 'a dark day' on Americans and blaming his family for thwarting him, according to the court documents:

"'To my parents who held me back from Jihad in the cause of Allah. I say to them ... if you — if you make allies with the enemy, then Allah's power ... will ask you about that on the day of judgment, and nothing that you do can hold me back ...'"

Sounds like a typical American citizen's speech... right?

Not mentioned in this article is the prosecutors story that Mohamud was yelling "Allahu Akbar!" which is Arabic for "God is great!" as he was arrested.

As Michelle Malkin points out Oregon has been particularly uncooperative toward federal efforts to battle terrorism.


"You may recall that loony Portland officials several years ago threatened to pull out of the Joint Terrorism Task Force under the Bush administration and refused to cooperate with federal efforts to conduct voluntary interviews of of local Muslims in order to uncover terrorist plots."

Great...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving. Have fun. Stuff yourselves.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

South Korean President Lee Under Pressure to Respond to North Korean Attack



"South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's government was criticised at home on Wednesday for its slow response to a North Korean attack, with lawmakers and media saying it was now time to get tough.

"Lee has vowed a firm response to Tuesday's attack by North Korea, but Seoul too has no desire for a serious conflict. While North Korea would certainly lose any war, it would be able to do enormous damage to the South with its vast artillery.

"Lee won office in 2008 vowing to take an uncompromising stand with neighouring North Korea, but for the second time this year his conservative government is being criticised for being indecisive in responding to crises involving the mercurial state.

[...]

"A day after the North fired a barrage of artillery shells at the island of Yeonpyeong, killing two civilians and soldiers, members of Lee's own party and opposition lawmakers accused the South's military of being too weak and responding too late.

"In a fiery parliamentary hearing, Defence Minister Kim Tae-young was grilled by lawmakers who said the government should have taken quicker and stronger retaliatory measures against the North's provocation.

[...]

"Editorials in local media also said it was now time for retaliation.

"The JoongAng Daily urged Lee to send a clear message to the North, saying the North's provocation had 'gone beyond our imagination'.

[...]

"Lee, well known for his hawkish policies, ended the South's Sunshine Policy of engagement with North Korea in 2008, cutting aid and refusing to give in to Pyongyang's demand for concessions, saying the North must first give up its nuclear programmes."

Once again, I've got to say that Obama sending messages of weak support and weakened American strength places our allies in a very difficult situation. It puts lots of political pressure --often domestic-- on our allies in ways that many in the US (including the president it seems) fail to understand. Obama's apology / pledge of American weakness tour was a real blow to American-friendly governments who count on American military support-- as South Korea does. Obama has created needless instability and possible volatility in these countries-- all so he can prove that he's a great guy to the American Left.

Obama Pledges to Defend South Korea



"President Barack Obama on Tuesday pledged the United States would defend South Korea after what the White House branded an outrageous attack by North Korea on its neighbor. Yet with its options limited, the U.S. sought a diplomatic rather a military response to one of those most ominous clashes between the Koreas in decades.

"'South Korea is our ally. It has been since the Korean War,' Obama said in his first comments about the North Korean shelling of a South Korean island. 'And we strongly affirm our commitment to defend South Korea as part of that alliance.'"

Somehow I think Obama's pledge would carry a bit more weight if Obama hadn't spent a fair amount of his presidency abroad claiming that the US was no longer a superpower, wouldn't act unilaterally, and was just one more nation amongst the world community. This sort of language doesn't impress anybody with how wonderful Obama is. It does, however, put US allies in danger and embolden both our enemies and our allies' enemies.

Hey, but don't worry... Being photographed naked or fondled by the TSA is what keeps the US safe (yeah, right). I'm not sure how that helps South Korea though...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

North Korea Shells South Korean Island


"North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto a South Korean island on Tuesday, killing one person, setting homes ablaze and triggering an exchange of fire as the South's military went on top alert.

"In what appeared to be one of the most serious border incidents since the 1950-53 war, South Korean troops fired back with cannon, the government convened in an underground war room and 'multiple' air force jets scrambled.

"The firing came after North Korea's disclosure of an apparently operational uranium enrichment programme -- a second potential way of building a nuclear bomb -- which is causing serious alarm for the United States and its allies.

"Some 50 shells landed on the South Korean border island of Yeonpyeong near the tense Yellow Sea border, damaging dozens of houses and sending plumes of thick smoke into the air, YTN television reported.

"One South Korean marine -- part of a contingent based permanently on the frontline island -- was killed and 13 other marines were wounded, the military said. YTN said two civilians were also hurt.

[...]

"Sporadic firing by each side continued for over an hour before dying out, the military said.

"The shelling began at 2:34 pm (0534 GMT) after the North sent several messages protesting about South Korean naval, air force and army training exercises being staged close to the border, a presidential spokesman said.

[...]

"Yeonpyeong lies just south of the border declared by United Nations forces after the war, but north of the sea border declared by Pyongyang.

"The Yellow Sea border was the scene of deadly naval clashes in 1999, 2002 and last November.

"Tensions have been acute since the sinking of a South Korean warship in March, which Seoul says was the result of a North Korean torpedo attack. Pyongyang has rejected the charge.

[...]

"'This is an intentional provocation to heighten cross-border tensions,' Dongguk University professor Kim Yong-Hyun told AFP.

"'The North made a series of gestures but there has been no response from South Korea and the United States. It is now using its brinkmanship aimed at forcing Seoul and Washington to take action and agree to dialogue.'

"Kim said the North would try to use the clash to promote solidarity among its people during the leadership succession.

"'It is also sending a strong message to the United States and the international community that the peninsula urgently needs a peace regime.'"

North Korea has been reduced to resorting to this sort of extreme brinkmanship. Economically, the place is an absolute wreck, the people living in a world of food shortages, corruption, and bizarre government provided misinformation.

While this action is worrisome, it's not quite the beginning of the end that so many people are claiming. It is very likely that this is another attempt (although an extreme one-- more evidence of their frustration) by North Korea to extort concessions and funds from the US, South Korea, and the West.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Experiencing Blogger Burnout...Be Back in a Week or So

Sorry about the lack of entries lately, but like I said I'm feeling awfully burnt out with politics and such right now. I'm going to give myself a break but I'll be back in a week or so.

Talk to you then...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Democracy Advocate Aung San Suu Kyi Released in Myanmar


Aung San Suu Kyi has been released in Myanmar.


"Pro-democracy hero Aung San Suu Kyi walked free Saturday after more than seven years under house arrest, welcomed by thousands of cheering supporters outside the decaying lakefront villa that has been her prison.

"Her guards effectively announced the end of her detention, pulling back the barbed-wire barriers that sealed off her potholed street and suddenly allowing thousands of expectant supporters to surge toward the house. Many chanted her name as they ran. Some wept.

"A few minutes later, with the soldiers and police having evaporated into the Yangon twilight, she climbed atop a stepladder behind the gate as the crowd began singing the national anthem.

"'I haven't seen you for a long time,' the 65-year-old Nobel Peace Prize Laureate said to laughter, smiling deeply as she held the metal spikes that top the gate. When a supporter handed up a bouquet, she pulled out a flower and wove it into her hair.

"Speaking briefly in Burmese, she told the crowd, which quickly swelled to as many as 5,000 people: 'If we work in unity, we will achieve our goal.'

[...]

"But while her release thrilled her supporters — and also clearly thrilled her — it came just days after an election that was swept by the ruling junta's proxy political party and decried by Western nations as a sham designed to perpetuate authoritarian control.

"Many observers have questioned whether it was timed by the junta to distract the world's attention from the election. It is also unlikely the ruling generals will allow Suu Kyi, who drew huge crowds of supporters during her few periods of freedom, to actively and publicly pursue her goal of bringing democracy to Myanmar.

"While welcoming the release, European Commissioner Jose Manuel Barroso urged that no restrictions be placed on her.

[...]

"'She's our country's hero,' said Tin Tin Yu, a 20-year-old university student, standing near the house later Saturday night. 'Our election was a sham. Everyone knows it, but they have guns so what can we do? She's the only one who can make our country a democracy. I strongly believe it.'

"Critics say the Nov. 7 elections were manipulated to give the pro-military party a sweeping victory. Results have been released piecemeal and already have given the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party a majority in both houses of Parliament.

"The new government is unlikely to win the international legitimacy that it craves simply by releasing Suu Kyi because the recent elections were so obviously skewed, according Trevor Wilson, former Australian ambassador to Myanmar.

[...]

"Suu Kyi — who was barred from running in the elections — has said she would help probe allegations of voting fraud, according to Nyan Win, who is a spokesman for her party, which was officially disbanded for refusing to register for the polls.

"Such actions pose the sort of challenge the military has reacted to in the past by detaining Suu Kyi.

"Myanmar's last elections in 1990 were won overwhelmingly by her National League for Democracy, but the military refused to hand over power and instead clamped down on opponents.

"Suu Kyi's release gives the junta some ammunition against critics of the election and the government's human rights record, which includes the continued detention of some 2,200 political prisoners and brutal military campaigns against ethnic minorities.

"Despite that, it was hard not to see some hope in her release.

"'There is no formal opposition (in Myanmar) so her release is going to represent an opportunity to re-energize and reorganize this opposition,' said Maung Zarni, an exiled dissident and Myanmar research fellow at the London School of Economics.

"But he also said the release was 'a tactical move by the regime. It is not out of compassion or as an act of adherence to any legal norms.' [emphasis mine]"

It's good that Suu Kyi has been released, but clearly the military junta in Myanmar no longer see her as a threat. Her release didn't come about because of internal nor external pressure-- and it certainly wasn't an act of compassion. It'll be interesting to see if Suu Kyi continues her work, and how Myanmar's junta will respond. After releasing her, it'll be a hard sell to simply arrest her again. This certainly bears watching.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day


With our many thanks...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Lunacy and Peril in South Africa


Check out Caroline Glick's essay "Out of South Africa."

Much of the essay is about the growing of an already robust anti-Semitism in South Africa. It's interesting and I highly recommend reading the entire piece. However, what was especially interesting to me is the current state of modern South Africa.

From Glick's essay:

"Last month I was invited to South Africa by the South African Zionist Federation. The visit, my first to the country, opened my eyes to the daunting challenges facing the country and its dwindling Jewish community of 70,000 16 years after the end of the apartheid regime.

"South Africa is a country of paradoxes. On the one hand, it is exhilarating to see the blacks now in charge after their long struggle. On the other, the ruling African National Congress' record of governance is at best a mixed bag.

"On the positive side, in 2008 it peacefully and democratically replaced the failed former president Thabo Mbeki with his opponent, President Jacob Zuma.

"But the negatives are glaring. Corruption is endemic. Rather than punishing officials for criminal behavior, the ANC is going after the messenger. South Africa's ruling party intends to pass a draconian media law to bar journalists from reporting on governmental corruption. The ANC has dismissed opposition to the bill as racist, accusing opponents of attempting to advance a 'white agenda.'

"Auguring particularly ill for the future is the fact that ANC's Youth League is one of the most illiberal bodies in the party. Aside from being among the most enthusiastic supporters of the move to end press freedom, the Youth League is also one of the primary forces driving foreign investors away from the country. Its leader Julius Malema's signature policy is his demand to nationalize the country's mines.

"This has been a great year for South Africa. Throngs of tourists visited during the World Cup soccer championship, and the international press coverage was fantastic. Unfortunately, the relative safety enjoyed by World Cup tourists was a striking deviation from the norm. The ANC has failed to provide personal security for South Africans. According to the UN, South Africa has the second highest per capita murder rate in the world. South African sources place the annual murder rate at 23,000.

"South Africa is the rape capital of the world. In a 1998-2000 UN survey, one in three women said they had been raped in the past year. One in four men admitted that he was a rapist. Carjackings are a commonplace.

"Even more devastating is South Africa's AIDS epidemic. Nearly 20 percent of South Africans are infected with the HIV virus.

"One of the impetuses for removing Mbeki from office was that he denied that AIDS is caused by the HIV virus, claiming instead that AIDS is caused by poverty and the legacy of white oppression. Owing to this view, Mbeki refused to allow South Africa to participate in international programs to distribute anti-retroviral drugs which stem the development of AIDS."

The perception of South Africa is particularly interesting in this country. Most Americans became united in largely, lip service demands for the removal of the apartheid system and the white oligarchy that the system maintained. After its removal in 1994 and the election of Nelson Mandela and his African National Congress Party, many Americans swooned, patted themselves on the back for backing the morally right horse, and then paid little attention. After all, had the good guys not won?

Sure, Oprah would do some show about how wonderful her school in South Africa was doing between molestation and sex abuse scandals (the first accused molester was acquitted by South African courts in 2010-- a decision which left Oprah "profoundly disappointed."), but beyond that most Americans paid little attention to the country. What news was reported was generally given a positive spin. Very rarely was the astronomical crime rate cited, and often those dwelling on it were accused of being apartheid sympathizers and racists (I was accused of such in a college class after mentioning South Africa's horrifying statistics regarding rape and other violent crimes).

The reality is that South Africa, after freeing itself from the very real evils of apartheid, has not prospered into that Hollywood happy ending so many Americans expected. It has instead spiralled toward becoming yet another African country controlled by misinformation, distrust, xenophobia, and despotism. The reasons for this are manifold and quite complicated. I will not go into it here-- though I will state it has nothing to do with racial inferiority, or any other idiotic, racist nonsense.

Most Americans continue to ignore the current South Africa. Of those who do deign to look in South Africa's direction, they quite often do so with the selectively ignorant, rose-colored glasses needed to maintain the old '80s/Lethal Weapon 2 narrative-- a narrative that promised liberation from apartheid was all that was needed for South Africa to prosper.

Ignored is the lunacy (is there another word for it?) propagated by President Mbeki that AIDS is the result of poverty and racism. Other government officials have made questionable proclamations such as: "It is imperative to get rid of merit as the overriding principle in the appointment of public servants." - attributed to Mario Rantho an ANC MP. Or that "[t]here is going to be interference from the Government in every sphere of life and activity in South Africa..." - attributed to Steve Tshwete, Minister of Sport.

Ignored is the abuse heaped upon the utterly neglected refugees from Zimbabwe. As Glick notes: "Countrywide xenophobic riots in 2008 in which some 62 people were reported killed and thousands injured have been followed by sporadic, often murderous violence against foreign refugees. Rather than protect the refugees, the ANC just announced a new visa policy that will likely see the deportation of millions of them."

Ignored is the rampant corruption within the ANC and other major political parties. From today's (Nov. 10, 2010) edition of the South African Times:

"The party [The ANC] has also welcomed the granting of bail to ANC Northern Cape chair John Block, effectively leading to his release from incarceration.

"Block was granted bail of R100 000 in the Kimberley Magistrate's Court.

"Block and 8 others have been charged with tender fraud estimated at R112-million.

"The allegations against them relate to the purchase of water purification equipment from Intaka at inflated prices in 2005 and 2006."

From the South Africa Times op-ed by Mondli Makhanya: "It may be quite a distance to go still, and we may yet be able to turn the bus around, but what we do know is that we are certainly on board that bus to the republic of the damned.

"Our seats on the bus were confirmed by the most nauseating business deal in recent memory, when a bunch of politically connected individuals were paid handsomely for a mine they filched and also scored a lovely R9-billion stake in steel giant ArcelorMittal."

Makhanya goes on to describe, in some detail, the opportunistic grabbing up of the mines by the politically connected (including President Zuma's son, Duduzane) under the auspice of South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources. Read the whole thing for a small taste of South Africa's flavor of corruption.

Ignored is the rising oppression of the press. From the NYT: "Business executives, civic leaders and journalists have responded with increasingly dire warnings that stringent measures being advanced by the governing African National Congress would threaten press freedom, enshroud much official activity in secrecy, potentially punish offending journalists or whistle-blowers with up to 25 years in prison and undermine the fight against corruption in the continent’s largest economy.

"On Friday, the South African writers Nadine Gordimer, André Brink, Achmat Dangor, John Kani and Njabulo Ndebele added their voices to the protests. 'This is the threat of a return to the censorship under apartheid,' said Ms. Gordimer, three of whose novels were banned in that era."

Rarely reported is the ANC's close alliance with South African Communist Party (SACP), despite the fact that the SACP is one part of the Tripartite Alliance that currently runs South Africa-- the ANC and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) making up the other two partners.

Americans need to pay attention to South Africa and not write it off as the completion of some noble cause. They need to give the country a hard look free from what Americans' once wished for the country, irrespective from what they would like the country to be. Americans need to abandon the outdated '80s anti-apartheid narrative-- that brand of apartheid is gone and fortunately for all it's not coming back-- and see the very serious issues that face South Africa today. Everyone didn't just start floating on clouds and eating tofu once Mandela's presidency began-- far from it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mysterious Missile Launch Seen from SoCal Coast UPDATED


The military isn't talking yet, and the speculation is rampant. UPDATED BELOW.


"A mysterious missile launch off the southern California coast was caught by CBS affiliate KCBS's cameras Monday night, and officials are staying tight-lipped over the nature of the projectile.

"CBS station KFMB put in calls to the Navy and Air Force Monday night about the striking launch off the coast of Los Angeles, which was easily visible from the coast, but the military has said nothing about the launch.

"KFMB showed video of the apparent missile to former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Robert Ellsworth, who is also a former Deputy Secretary of Defense, to get his thoughts.

[...]

"A Navy spokesperson told KFMB it wasn't their missile. He said there was no Navy activity reported in the area Monday evening.

"On Friday night, Vandenberg Air Force Base, in California, launched a Delta II rocket, carrying an Italian satellite into orbit, but a sergeant at the base told KFMB there had been no launches since then.

"Ellsworth urged American to wait for definitive answers to come from the military.

"When asked, however, what he thought it might be, the former ambassador said it could possibly have been a missile test timed as a demonstration of American military might as President Obama tours Asia.

"'It could be a test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile from a submarine … to demonstrate, mainly to Asia, that we can do that,' speculated Ellsworth.

[...]

"Officially, at least, the projectile remains a mystery missile."

Hmm. Demonstrating to Asia that the US can launch ballistic missiles from submarines. But it was off the coast of California. Isn't it more likely that the US was demonstrating to Jerry Brown that the US can launch ballistic missiles? Maybe a subtle hint from Geithner and Bernake to get that state's budget deficit under control...

Was this really a demo for Asia? Then exactly for who? China? North Korea? India? Indonesia? Japan? Australia? Whoever this demonstration actually was for, then it was clumsy. Unless it was for us.

UPDATE: It is quite possible that the "missile" was a contrail for a jet aircraft. From some angles jet contrails can look like missile trails as this site can attest (with some good pics too). Looking at the news video you can also notice the very bright flame from the rocket launch at Vandenberg, and you can see the lack of it in the "mystery missile's" contrail. My bet is this "missile" was actually a jet of some sort.

I'll post more when I find out more.

UPDATE 2: The US Defense Department is now talking.

From the New York Post article:

"The mysterious vapor trail spotted off the southern coast of California was 'more likely caused by an airplane than anything else,' a senior military official told Fox News Channel Tuesday, though another official said authorities continue to investigate to rule out a possible missile launch.

"The contrail caught on video by a news helicopter 'was more likely caused by an airplane than anything else, because the other possibilities of rockets or missile are turning up negative,' the senior military official said.

"But a US Defense Department official told Fox News that a missile has not been ruled out, saying US Strategic Command (Stratcom) and US Northern Command (Northcom) have both been asked to 'count noses,' or ensure all missiles are in their arsenals.

"The official did not rule out the possibility that a missile could have been launched as part of a covert operation.

[...]

"ContrailScience.com, a website that debunks conspiracy theories linked to contrails, suggested the sighting was an optical illusion, AFP reported.

"It said a contrail streaming horizontally from the exhaust of an approaching aircraft can look like a vertical missile shot if the end of the plume is hidden by the curvature of the earth."

UPDATE 3: The Pentagon is saying the "missile" was the contrail of a plane.

From Fox News:

"The Department of Defense said Wednesday that it was satisfied the event was likely caused by an airplane.

"'With all the information that we have gathered over the last day and a half about this condensation trail off the coast of southern California on Monday night, both within the DoD and other U.S. government agencies, we have no information to suggest this was anything other than a contrail caused by an aircraft,' said Col. David Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman.

"'As stated yesterday, NORAD and USNORTHCOM determined that there was no threat to the U.S. homeland.'

"Lapan said that in the mind of the DoD this case is closed.

"Lapan said the government looked at lots of data sources other than the CBS news tape. He would not get into the details of what those data sources were, but said that evidence helped determine this was most likely an aircraft. But most importantly, it was the response from all other government agencies saying they did not launch anything that convinced them this was likely an aircraft.

"'The Department of Defense, after gathering info over the last 36 hours from within the Department of Defense and other U.S. government agencies, is satisfied the contrail was likely caused by an aircraft.'"

And in the same article a blogger claims he knows what flight it was. "A blogger reckons he may have solved the mystery over the vapor trail spotted off the southern coast of California on Monday.

"On his blog 'Time to Think,' Liem Bahneman on Wednesday pinpointed America West Flight 808 as the likely cause -- backing up an explanation offered by a senior military official to Fox News Channel that the contrail caught on video by a news helicopter 'was more likely caused by an airplane than anything else.'

"Bahneman wonders if he is the first to call it: 'I did a lot of extrapolation of what flights could be at the right position (off the coast) at the right altitude (for contrail formation) and came down to two possibilities: UPS Flight 902 (UPS902) or America West Flight 808 (AWE808).'

"He concluded: 'As I was researching tonight (24 hours later), I realized that today's (Tuesday's) AWE808 current position (at around 4:50 p.m.) was almost the same as it was the day of the incident. I quickly pulled up a Newport Beach webcam and found that (apparently) AWE808 was making an identical contrail, 24 hours later!'

"Bahneman cited another blog, ContrailScience.com, which lists a wealth of other details about jet airplane contrails. The blogger behind that site agreed with Bahneman, telling FoxNews.com that 'the plane is flying directly TOWARD you, so it starts below the horizon. The contrail at the horizon is far away, maybe 50-100 miles behind the plane, and has been spread out by the wind, creating the illusion that it's closer.'"

Thursday, November 4, 2010

India Removes Coconuts to Keep Obama Safe


India has embarked upon a campaign to save Obama from the embarrassment of coconut induced head injury. Well, I know I feel better.


"While President Obama may have taken one on the jaw in Tuesday’s elections, officials in India are seeing to it he doesn’t take one on the head during his upcoming visit.

"City officials in Mumbai have ordered the removal of all the coconuts from the trees around a museum dedicated to Gandhi for fear one could come loose and fall on the President’s head.

"'We told the authorities to remove the dry coconuts from trees near the building,' Meghshyam Ajgaonkar, executive secretary of the museum, told the BBC. 'Why take a chance?'

"'They were ripe and they were falling on the road, so we requested our local office to remove them - it was part of a regular clean-up,' he said.

"Ajgaonkar acknowledged that the timing of the coconut round up was affected by Obama's visit, The Wall Street Journal reported.

"Every year, people are injured and even killed in India by falling coconuts."

Alright, now no one should take the following comment as wishing harm on Obama or something, but would it not be one the weirdest things in the world for a president (any president) to be killed by a falling coconut in India? Can you even imagine the conspiracy theories?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Obama Post Election Press Conference


My reaction to Obama's conference in a sentence-- It's going to be a long and ugly two years.


In between deflecting blame for the Republican tsunami, and blaming Republicans for all of the nation's problems, Obama has indicated that he'll move with Cap and Trade and likely the rest of his agenda that was so firmly rejected yesterday.

This is going to be an ugly next couple of years, with blame for the coming 2011 tax increase tsunami and $1 trillion+ deficits being thrown around like a hot potato. There's going be lots of empty rhetoric, lots of MSM pontificating, more condescension. If the stakes weren't so high and personal to all of us Americans, this would be so amusing to just sit back and watch.

The best summation of Obama's remarks comes from Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection who wrote: "I understand that you think I don't understand what the people said yesterday, but please understand that the people didn't understand what I have been saying for two years, which is understandable because it's hard to understand things when you're scared and confused, capiche?"

Dead on.

Once again, it's all of our ignorant old selves' fault that we don't understand what a great job Obama's doing in overcoming so many challenges as he works to fundamentally change our lives. We are such a scared, ignorant and ungrateful bunch...

Why can't we just get with the program and come in for the big win!

Yes it Did! GOP Tsunami Sweeps Through Country

Many people I've talked to (all in solidly blue states, by the way) about this election have been either relieved or distressed, depending on their political leanings, that the dreaded conservative wave was not as large as they had feared or hoped. O'Connell was beaten by Coons in Delaware. Angle was beaten by Reid in Nevada. Democrats won in Massachusetts across the board. Cuomo won handily in New York. In California, Boxer retained her seat, and Brown defeated Whitman for the governor's seat. The Democrats retained control of the Senate.

Many have said that this is not the conservative tsunami that had been foretold.

Yes it was.

The media may be reluctant to admit it, and people in the bluest of blue states may not have felt it, but the GOP received major wins this election. As of right now, Republicans have gained a staggering 58 seats in the House and at least 6 seats in the Senate. There hasn't been such a dramatic congressional lurch to the right in recent history. Let us not forget that the Democrats set a precedent of eschewing the Senate to jam through Obamacare. Do you anything any payback is forthcoming?

And all of this does not count the significant wins of the GOP at the state level-- much of which has long-term political ramifications.

From Erick Erickson of redstate.com:

"But consider that as you wake up this morning the Republican Party has picked up more seats in the House of Representatives than at any time since 1948 — that is more than sixty seats. Ike Skelton, Class of 1976, is gone. Many, many other Democrats are gone.

"That, in and of itself, is significant. But that’s not the half of it. The real story is the underreported story of the night — the Republican pick ups at the state level.

"There will be 18 states subject to reapportionment. The Republicans will control a majority of those — at least ten and maybe a dozen or more. More significantly, a minimum of seventeen state legislative houses have flipped to the Republican Party.

"The North Carolina Legislature is Republican for the first time since 1870. Yes, that is Eighteen Seventy.

"The Alabama Legislature is Republican for the first time since 1876.

"For those saying this is nothing because it is the South, consider these:

"The entire Wisconsin and New Hampshire legislatures have flipped to the GOP by wide margins.

"The State Houses in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Montana, and Colorado flipped to the GOP.

"The Maine and Minnesota Senates flipped to the GOP.

"The Texas and Tennessee Houses went from virtually tied to massive Republican gains. The gains in Texas were so big that the Republicans no longer need the Democrats to get state constitutional amendments out of the state legislature.

"These gains go all the way down to the municipal level across the nation. That did not happen even in 1994.

"This was a tsunami."

Also significant, and likely a sign of things to come, two strong black conservatives were sent to the U.S. House of Representatives. Both Tim Scott of South Carolina and Allen West of Florida won their Congressional races.

The Dems held onto the Senate by the skin of their teeth, and did it only by holding onto Senate seats in the bluest of blue states along the coasts. And even the bluest of the blue are feeling a little red heat. In Oregon, Republican gubernatorial candidate Dudley is about 20,300 votes ahead of Democrat contender Kitzhaber with 84% of the precincts reporting. Washington's Senate race is still too close to call.

Make no mistake, and do not let the media spin downplay this day. The US voters, in no uncertain terms, have stood up and said "no" to nanny state government, "no" to political payoff disguised as stimulus, said "no" the jamming through of the economically Fascist Obamacare, said "no" to the condescending, cockiness of the smirking political elites. We do not trust you with sort of power to which you aspired and blatantly reached to seize. Their grasping hands have been unabashedly slapped back.

P.J. O'Rourke wrote: "This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. Power has been trapped, abused and exploited by Democrats. Go to the ballot box and put an end to this abusive relationship. And let’s not hear any nonsense about letting the Democrats off if they promise to get counseling."

That restraining order was delivered in no uncertain terms.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tax Dollars Used to Spread Politicized Slander Regarding WWII

Did you know that:

"The U.S. military and its veterans constitute an imperialistic, oppressive force which has created and perpetuated its own mythology of liberation and heroism, insisting on a 'pristine collective memory' of the war [World War II](Fujitani, White, Yoneyama, 9, 23)"?

Or that:

"The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor should be seen from the perspective of Japan being a victim of western oppression"?

Or that:

"Those misguided members of the WWII generation on islands like Guam and Saipan who feel gratitude to the Americans for saving them from the Japanese are blinded by propaganda supporting 'the image of a compassionate America' or by their own advanced age(Fujitani, White, Yoneyama, 9, 23)"?

Or that:

"Conservatives are reactionary nationalists (no distinction was made between nationalism and patriotism), pro-military 'tea baggers' who are incapable of 'critical thinking'"?

Or that:

"Veterans' memories of their own experiences in the war are suspect and influenced by media and their own self-delusion(Rosenberg, 18, 24)"?

Well, according to Professor Penelope Blake (and reported in Power Line) these and more topics of the same ilk were presented at (or part of the preparatory reading for) a National Endowment for the Humanities sponsored workshop in July of 2010. The workshop was rather innocuously entitled "History and Commemoration: The Legacies of the Pacific War."

Prof. Blake's letter to Congressman Manzullo (in which all of these allegations are made) can be found in its entirety at the above link to Power Line.

From Prof. Blake's letter:

"As one of twenty-five American scholars chosen to participate in the recent National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Workshop, 'History and Commemoration: Legacies of the Pacific War in WWII,' at the University of Hawaii, East-West Center, I am writing to ask you to vote against approval of 2011 funding for future workshops until the NEH can account for the violation of its stated objective to foster 'a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups' (NEH Budget Request, 2011).

"In my thirty years as a professor in upper education, I have never witnessed nor participated in a more extremist, agenda-driven, revisionist conference, nearly devoid of rhetorical balance and historical context for the arguments presented."

Among other topics that Prof. Blake says were presented are:

"War memorials, such as the Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery (where many WWII dead are buried, including those executed by the Japanese on Wake Island and the beloved American journalist Ernie Pyle), are symbols of military aggression and brutality 'that pacify death, sanitize war and enable future wars to be fought.'"

"The U.S. military has repeatedly committed rapes and other violent crimes throughout its past through the present day."

"It was 'the practice' of the U.S. military in WWII to desecrate and disrespect the bodies of dead Japanese."

"Conservatives and veterans in the U.S. have had an undue and corrupt influence on how WWII is remembered."

"War memorials like the Arizona Memorial should be recast as 'peace memorials,' sensitive to all 'viewers from all countries, especially the many visitors from Japan.'"

And yes, this is what is often currently being taught in American colleges and universities. And yes, our tax dollars were used to fund this workshop.

Also from Blake's letter:

"As overwhelming and pervasive as these politically-correct and revisionist messages were, the conference did feature a few presentations and articles which represented truly excellent examples of balanced, well-researched scholarship. One highpoint of the conference was a panel of WWII veterans who shared with us their personal experiences of the war. But, given the overall anti-military bias present at this conference, I could not help but shudder to think how these amazing men would feel if they knew the true focus of the conference. I honestly felt ashamed of my profession and my government for sponsoring this travesty.

"I am aware that my comments may well have been dismissed by the conference organizers in the same manner they dismissed other opposing voices as "nationalistic" or simplistic. So be it. But I am no blind patriot, Congressman Manzullo, nor am I ignorant of the complexities inherent in the telling and re-telling of history. I also acknowledge, research and teach the many mistakes this country has made, and I am as suspect of the extreme right as I am of the extreme left. But I am also a historian who knows that despite all of their mistakes, this nation and its military have defended, protected and freed more people in their comparatively brief existence than all of the nations in Europe and Asia combined. Allied efforts, however imperfect, defended the world against two of the greatest forms of evil the world has ever known, European Fascism and Japanese Imperialism. This perspective was never, not once, offered at this conference except as a concept that will be well-buried with the WWII generation. If nothing else, I have shown that any imminent celebration of the demise of these concepts may be premature."

I highly recommend reading the Power Line post, and specifically all of Prof. Blake's letter.

For too long, Leftist academics have used their belief of the relativity and insubstantial nature of truth to rewrite history, re-envision philosophical theories, and corrupt literary theories. Humanities studies themselves are being forced into following down the trail blazed by African-American Studies Departments-- a trail that leads to, politically motivated falsehoods, bigotry, intolerance to dissenting views, and eventual irrelevancy.

This must end. Defunding federal support for overtly Leftist political propaganda within academia is not a bad place to begin.

Keep These Graphs in Mind While at the Polls


Hope and Change in action... I guess.

Get out and vote. We cannot allow this to continue.