Date ►►► September 27, 2012

Moaning Mona

Hatched by Dafydd

By now everybody knows that Mona Eltahawy -- writer for the Washington Post and the New York Times, stalwart Leftist activist, and now evidently supporter of jihad -- was arrested last Tuesday for defacing a poster. The poster was displayed (after a bitter legal fight) in ten New York subway stations; it reads:

IN ANY WAR
BETWEEN THE
CIVILIZED MAN
AND THE SAVAGE,
SUPPORT THE
CIVILIZED MAN.
SUPPORT ISRAEL
DEFEAT JIHAD

Leftists across America and in Europe have weighed in on this controversy; while most (but not all) condemn Eltahawy's vandalization of the poster, they are in unanimity that the advertisement itself constitutes "hate speech." Even New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority considered the adverts hate speech, because Pam Gellar was forced to get a court decision requiring the MTA to display them.

I confess being puzzled: How can it be hate speech to oppose holy war against innocents?

I have yet to find a person who has even the sketchiest argument why supporting the "civilized man" and supporting Israel while opposing holy war is hateful. Most simply announce that it's hate speech, relentlessly repeat that it's hate speech, and declare that only haters could possibly disagree that it's hate speech (generally accompanied by the verbal equivalent of pounding on the table). But surely there must be some intellectual, rational, logical argument behind the idea that such a poster is hateful.

Is there a good, or at least not entirely stupid argument that the ad is hate speech? Because it seems to me that the only way to read this as an attack on Moslems in general -- is first to equate radical Islamists to all Moslems. Which would, I am sure, make these purportedly pro-Moslem Progressivists actually anti-Moslem religious bigots.

Jihad -- as used in this advert, and as commonly used by people everywhere, including Moslems -- means war waged by radical Islamists in order to bring about the imposition of sharia law. Sharia law is one of the two most oppressive, anti-liberal, sexist, theocratic, triumphalist ideologies on the planet (the other being totalitarian socialism, whether national or international). Thus if so-and-so considers anti-shariaism itself, by its very nature, to be hate speech, doesn't that mean so-and-so necessarily supports sharia? After all, if you hate all systems other than sharia, what then is left?

And anyone who supports the imposition of sharia law -- which is totalitarian and the whole point of jihad -- is by definition a totalitarian. (Similarly, a person who hates all economic systems but Capitalism is by definition a capitalist.)

I've long thought the Left was in fact totalitarian: Michelle Obama telling everyone how to eat, Michael Bloomberg telling his subjects how much soda to drink, enviro-mental cases telling us what vehicles we're allowed to utilize, ad nauseum; but is the Left now openly ready to "come out" about the totalitarian tendency of Progressivism?

Perhaps it's possible that the advert really is hate speech, even if nobody on la Rive Gauche can articulate why. If so, then a new advert with the same structure but different content should likewise be hate speech. Let's consider:

IN ANY WAR
BETWEEN THE
INNOCENT MAN
AND THE CRIMINAL,
SUPPORT THE
INNOCENT MAN.
SUPPORT POLICE
DEFEAT THE MAFIA

Is this hate speech? If not, then why not? Other than the most diehard Italian Americans who actually deny that la Cosa Nostra even exists, what civilized person could possibly object to this advert?

Or this one:

IN ANY WAR
BETWEEN THE
FREE MAN
AND THE FASCIST,
SUPPORT THE
FREE MAN.
SUPPORT AMERICA
DEFEAT NAZIISM

Is there anything in this advertisement at which even a freedom-minded German in 1943 could take offense?

I'm often at a loss to explain the leftist mindset; but this time, I am utterly dumbfounded. Can somebody point me to a non-risible argument for the original subway-station advertisement being hate speech? Because I would hate to be forced to believe that the actual offending words are "support Israel," and the only reason to consider this advert "hate speech" is rank Jew hatred.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 27, 2012, at the time of 1:38 PM | Comments (3)

Date ►►► September 26, 2012

Greasing My Spindle Number [increment(previous whatever)]

Hatched by Dafydd

This running series of random thoughts was inspired thirty or forty years ago by John Hinderaker's similarly titled series on Power Line. It's where I put all the news that unfit to print.

Today's installment comprises an argumentative analogy and an illuminating analogy.

First, the snarky one: The Left does not want the people to rule; it wants to rule in the name of the people. For their own good. Because it knows best.

That is, the Left is an abusive husband: No wonder so many women won't leave it, no matter how many times the Left assaults, neglects, belittles, and subjugates them.

We need an intervention! (Or a cop.)

Second, the analogy that makes you go "hm": The admitted point of "quantitative easing" (QE) -- wherein the Federal Reserve "buys" debt by creating fiat money and using it to purchase Treasury bills, thus "monetizing" the debt -- is to trade debt for inflation; that is, the Fed conjures magical money, fairy gold, out of thin air to pay off the nation's debts; play money taints and devalues real money (more dollar bills chasing the same amount of wealth), so the net effect is that money isn't worth as much as it used to be. Thus, inflation.

Let's think about this. Suppose you have a couple of credit cards, a gold card and a diamond card. Your monthly payment is $500 for each card.

In month one, you take a $700 cash advance from the gold card and use that to pay $600 on the diamond, keeping $100 for yourself; that same day, you take a $700 cash advance from the diamond card and use that to pay $600 on the gold, keeping $100.

In month two, you do the same... except you take a little more than $700 from the gold card, because the minimum payment is now slightly higher. (You added $100 to your card last month, taking a $700 cash advance and paying only $600; and the card issuer also added some more to your balance via interest.) Once again, for your cash advance, you take the minimum payment add $200; you keep $100 and pay the rest to the diamond card. On the same day, you do just the same with the other card, taking the minimum payment plus $200 as your cash advance from the diamond card, and paying $100 less than that to the gold, keeping your customary $100 per transaction.

Continue ad infinitum. Since you always pay more than the minimum balance, you never get in trouble. But of course, as these monkeyshines continue, your balance mounts higher and higher.

In real life, you eventually hit your credit limit; the game is then over, and you must come up with a whopping huge payoff.

But it appears I forgot to mention one crucial point: By an amazingly fortuitous twist of fate, you yourself are the official in charge of setting credit limits on both gold and diamond cards.

Therefore, whenever it seems necessary, you raise your own credit limit to keep from hitting the wall. Abra cadabra! Thus you never have to pay your balance, you can keep drawing money out of the kitty in perpetuity, and the card issuer gets more than the minimum payment every month -- everybody's happy!

Well, except for the stockholders in the bank that issued your credit card. Which, in the real world, as opposed to our analogy, are the ordinary schlubs whose incredibly shrinking money is not accompanied by incredibly rising wages; so the actual purchasing power of the ordinary person plummets, dragging quality of life in its wake.

In the endgame, money becomes as worthless as fallen leaves, and we have "hyperinflation," where the inflation rate can rise as high as 3.5 million % per month (as in the Weimar Republic in Germany at its worst, where prices doubled every other day). Everybody's a millionaire while starving to death.

I know I must be missing something somewhere; because if my analogy is accurate, then all these QEs would be nothing but Ponzi schemes that mathematically must eventually collapse (because there is a finite amount of real money on the planet) -- and the Federal Reserve Board would be nothing but a gang of counterfeiters.

And surely such a preposterous conclusion triggers a reductio ad absurdum.

 

Right?

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 26, 2012, at the time of 3:54 PM | Comments (2)

Advance Retreat

Hatched by Korso

Between the economy and the changing technological landscape, the publishing biz has seen its share of contortions over the last few years. In my own personal experience, I've seen two of my editors sacked (one of them, bless his soul, right after I inked a deal to write a novella for him) -- but it looks like even the heavy-hitters are now starting to feel the pinch:

A New York publisher this week filed lawsuits against several prominent writers who failed to deliver books for which they received hefty contractual advances, records show.

The Penguin Group's New York State Supreme Court breach of contract/unjust enrichment complaints include copies of book contracts signed by the respective defendants.

Wow. I guess that means the days of the hefty advance are a thing of the past! Of course, it probably helps to actually deliver the book you've been contracted to write -- but that's another story.

Hatched by Korso on this day, September 26, 2012, at the time of 6:25 AM | Comments (0)

Date ►►► September 25, 2012

If There Was Ever Any Room For Doubt...

Hatched by Korso

...our Senate majority leader Harry Reid really is a pathetic little twerp:

"He’s coming to a state where there are a lot of members of the LDS Church," Reid said in advance of [Mitt] Romney’s Friday visit to Nevada. "They understand that he is not the face of Mormonism."

Said the man who built his fortunes on shady real estate deals and peddling influence as a member of Congress. The story goes on:

Reid, the highest-ranking Mormon in elected office in America, noted on Friday a recent opinion piece published in the Huffington Post by Gregory A. Prince, co-author of "David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism."

"He said that Romney has sullied the religion that he, Prince and Romney share," Reid said.

Being accused of sullying religion by Harry Reid is rather like being castigated by Madonna for not being a virgin. Considering his bearing of false witness against Mitt Romney over the man's taxes, I'd recommend re-reading of the Ten Commandments before sitting in judgement on anyone.

Hatched by Korso on this day, September 25, 2012, at the time of 2:38 PM | Comments (0)

Date ►►► September 24, 2012

Fashionable Fascism

Hatched by Korso

Being a crazed right-winger, I've grown quite accustomed to all the accusations of fascism that get tossed at those of my political persuasion. In fact, I don't think you've quite made it as a conservative until somebody compares you to a Nazi -- though admittedly the bar has sunk pretty low as of late. Speakers at the DNC let fly with so many gratuitous references to the Third Reich that they might as well have been staging a revival of Springtime for Hitler, so the accusation packs about as much shock value as Howard Stern after his move to satellite radio: been there, heard that.

But beneath the cheap theatrics, the seeds of fascism are very real, even as they lay dormant. Only problem is -- at least for the Democrats -- it's mostly folks on the left getting their green thumb on to grow those seeds into a full blown movement. Think I'm crazy? Believe me kids, I wish I were.

Let's start with the Obama campaign flag, since taken down because it was, to put it delicately, about as creepy as a dirty old man at a high-school cheerleading competition. It isn't so much the "O" supplanting the stars that signify the fifty states in the Union. It isn't even the dried blood streaks that take the place of the stripes, either. The creep factor lies mainly in the symbolism (and as we've seen through history -- the swatsika, the fasces, the alien banner from "V" -- symbolism is very important to fascist movements). In this case, the flag no longer represents the United States of America, but the Obama States of America. Kind of makes you wonder what kind of people Barack has working for him behind the scenes.

Then there's that whole cultlike "pledge of allegiance" thing that various celebrities have been performing on YouTube. One might be inclined to dismiss it outright, because let's face it -- as human cutlery goes, actors aren't known for being the sharpest knives in the drawer. Still, though, you can't help but be drawn back to the symbolism: It's not the flag, or even the nation these people are pledging, but the current occupant of the presidency. If these people had the slightest clue as to what motivated the Founding Fathers, they'd realize how profoundly un-American such a pledge is.

And how about those pesky polls? In spite of the Obama campaign's best efforts to make his re-election seem inevitable, dammit all if the polling data just isn't cooperating with that narrative. Of course, in true Chicago fashion, Obama consigliere David Axelrod didn't take kindly to the news and tried to make an example out of the Gallup Organization, so that others might see what happens to those who dare to cross his boss. To their credit, Gallup refused to play ball -- and now they're facing a DOJ lawsuit.

Anybody sensing a pattern here?

You might not, if you depend on the mainstream media to get your news -- and here's where the final piece of the puzzle fits in. Typically a fascist regime will move on the media first and foremost, because they know that if they control the message, they can more easily control the nation. Except that in this case of the American media, reporters and editors have willingly co-opted themselves to the Obama cause. In throwing aside even the pretense of objectivity, far too many of them have also thrown away their First Amendment rights to a free and unfettered press -- all for the privilege of becoming propaganda lackeys for the administration and the Democrat Party.

Dafydd adds: And let's not forget Barack "You didn't build that" Obama's czars, occult functionaries appointed personally by Obama with no Senate confirmation; who replace and undercut the normative cabinet and federal administrative structure; who answer to no one but Obama personally; and who are immune from the constitutionally mandated congressional oversight. This "shadow government" of unaccountable and unremovable czars conjures the ghosts of Mussolini's prefects and commissars rolled into one creature, a hundred-plus ringwraiths of Obama.

And that's how it happens. People don't just wake up one day in a fascist regime -- it happens bit by bit, piece by piece, replacing the rights of the individual with some weird, twisted worship of the state. Institutions (such as the presidency) become irrelevant, while leaders are elevated to a higher status. This is exactly the opposite of what our Constitution intended -- and it scares the hell out of me that so many seem so willing to just go along with it.

Every election that comes along, politicians and pundits alike say that it's the most important one in a generation. In this case, however, they may actually be right.

Hatched by Korso on this day, September 24, 2012, at the time of 1:13 PM | Comments (0)

Slip Of State

Hatched by Dafydd



Slip of State

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 24, 2012, at the time of 1:44 AM | Comments (0)

Date ►►► September 21, 2012

Story Wars, Chapter Two

Hatched by Dafydd

For reasons which remain obvious, the reelection campaign of Barack "I actually believe in redistribution" Obama has turned the tragic, humiliatingly successful attacks against our Cairo embassy and the Benghazi consulate into a week-long "squirrel!" distraction from the parlous state of Obama's economy.

Not that the Permanent Campaign really wants to discuss al-Qaeda overrunning two diplomatic missions, tearing down and burning our American flags, murdering Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other diplomats, and raising the black flag of radical Islamism in their place; no, never that discussion, the Prophet Mohammed forbid! The totality the Obamunists want to focus on, and the only story that their media-arm "presstitutes" vigorously flog, is the risible and tendentious meme that the real loser here is Mitt Romney.

Democrats in full scream denounce and repudiate (but fail to refute) Romney's post-attack statements -- variously described by the fourth estate fifth column as "gaffes," "divisive," "unprecedented," "the end of Romney's campaign," and "Romney's worst week ever" -- as insufficiently sensitive to our peace-loving allies in Islamist Egypt and Islamist Libya, and in blatant violation of a longstanding rule of civil discourse the Left just discovered: Presidential challengers shalt not criticize the incumbent's foreign policy in an election year.

All right, I'll bite: Let's take a look at those statements... all of them.

I take for my source that redoubt of right-wing rodomontade, the New York Times, which helpfully collected the colloquy of competing condemnations and complaints, from nine hours before the Cairo embassy was "breeched" until a day or so after. We shall start at the beginning and push on through the batch!

Here is the first infamous statement issued by the Cairo embassy, before the attack on the embassy, but after hysteria had already risen about the "movie that mocked the Prophet Mohammed" (obviously, as the statement refers to both movie and how it "hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.") Nota Bene: Assume all emphasis in any of these statements is added by me, unless otherwise instructed:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims -- as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

And here is a very important restatement issued (via Twitter) by the same Cairo embassy, but this time after the attacks had begun at "midafternoon", and more than twelve hours after the first statement above; as a timeline check, note that the embassy refers to the "unjustified breach of the Embassy" (This is one of a series of similar tweets that the embassy or the State Department quickly deleted.):

This morning's condemnation (issued before protest began) still stands. As does our condemnation of unjustified breach of the Embassy

(For the record, "this morning's condemnation" could only have referred to this sentence in the original statement: The embassy "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims -- as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions." Those are the only two things the original message condemned.)

Allow me to analyze the text:

  • The first sentence condemns those who would "hurt the religious feelings of Muslims."
  • The next chunk notes that we honor our patriots (how sweet).
  • Then the statement reiterates "respect for religious beliefs" (yatta yatta).
  • Finally, it rejects speech that "hurt[s] the religious beliefs of others," additionally adding the gratuitous conclusion that speech that hurts "feelings" or "beliefs" actually "abuses the universal right of free speech," which, one concludes, only protects speech to which nobody objects.

That is, the initial statement unquestionably sympathized with the "hurt" felt by Moslems and condemned anyone who said, wrote, or produced anything that might hut Moslem feelings. And the follow-up tweet "stand[s] by" that first missive, thus continuing to sympathize with those who had, by then, savagely attacked us. Remember this point, that the embassy stuck to its guns on its original, protester-sympathetic statement; it becomes a vital issue later.

My first observation: Wow, such a forceful reply to burning, sacking, and murder; we condemn it!

My second: Not one word defending freedom of speech in either of these two official statements, none; only a mewling apology for... what? For not censoring those videomakers, as is universal in Islamic countries?

When an American embassy leads off by condemning American citizens and residents for exercising their freedom of speech -- and then stands by that denunciation, even after rampaging jihadis attack that same embassy plus a consulate, murder four Americans including the Ambassador to Libya, and raise their own bloody, black terrorist flag over the conquered territory, the sanity gap is... breathtaking. Obamunists live in an alternative universe.

That the statements contain not one word about our sacred freedom of speech is hardly surprising: While the hard-Left of the 1930s and 40s had no difficulty vigorously defending the fundamental rights, liberties, and freedoms protected by the Constitution, today's "Progressivists" comprise only the Left of hate-speech codes; of political correctness and sensitivity training; of forced recantation of heretical doctrine and reeducation camps; the Left of argument by intimidation, deceit, and thuggish assault; of "SLAPPs" (strategic lawsuits against public participation) and other forms of lawfare; of government censorship, consent decrees that include a code of silence, and every form of suppression of inconvenient speech they can possibly get away with. And all to silence what Tim Leary used to call "injudicious use of the First Amendment."

Does hurting people's feelings or beliefs really "abuse" the freedom of speech? Anyone who believes it does needs a refresher course in early American history! As the Founding Fathers argued, the only kind of speech that needs protection is unpopular speech; popular speech needs none, because popularity itself confers the protection of numbers.

Besides, as even the least observant observer observes, the cheapest emotions in the world are indignation, outrage, hatred, and fury. Many people can go from zero to six million on the Rage-O-Meter just because somebody took a parking place the irate driver had his eye on. Were we to hand over our freedoms to any old fool who takes offense; were we restrained from expressing any creed that might hurt someone's feelings or beliefs; were the government to prevent us from speaking anything that a listener (seen or unseen) considers "hate speech," then however noble the intent of that government (though nobility is rarely the reason for such censorship), we would have no freedom of speech left whatsoever. For "freedom of speech" is precisely the liberty to say that which pisses off other people.

Yes, even including Moslems.

One would expect that elected or confirmed federal officials, of all people, would understand and defend such liberty; first, they take an oath to do so; second, that freedom has been used incessantly to good effect in this country, from the American revolution, to the abolitionist movement, to the marches and speeches against segregation, to Ronald Reagan calling the Soviet Union an "evil empire," to George W. Bush calling Iran, Iraq, and North Korea the "axis of evil." Despite the fact that everybody on the other side of such speech was (or professed to be) outraged, upset, shocked, shocked, nauseated, and infuriated that free speech could be so abused. Should we have censored Patrick Henry and smothered Martin Luther King, jr., just because lobsterbacks and Klansmen were offended?

Enough, let us move on. Three and a half hours after the tweet (and there were others, deleted by the State Department before the Times could archive them), Hillary Clinton issued her first pronunciamento:

I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today. As we work to secure our personnel and facilities, we have confirmed that one of our State Department officers was killed. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who have suffered in this attack.

This evening, I called Libyan President Magariaf to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in Libya. President Magariaf expressed his condemnation and condolences and pledged his government’s full cooperation.

Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.

In light of the events of today, the United States government is working with partner countries around the world to protect our personnel, our missions, and American citizens worldwide.

All right, but how deep is Hillary Clinton's commitment to tolerance of speech that offends her and her boss? Her declaration tells us little we didn't already know:

  • We now discover that the State Department doesn't believe that an anti-Moslem video justifies attacking embassies and murdering ambassadors. (Thank heaven for small favors!)
  • And once again, we sympathize with Moslems everywhere, who suffered such a crushing blow to their self esteem by learning that not everybody loves the Prophet Mohammed.

  • Finally, and let me be clear, we deplore violence.

Anybody notice what is still missing from this series of official responses, both before and after the bestial and unlawful attacks?

Two minutes later, the Department of Hillary summarily rejects the original embassy response, throwing Ambassador to Egypt Anne W. Patterson under the bus (along with her acting comandante, not sure who that was, since she was in Washington DC at the time of the attacks):

The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government.

Finally, and for the first time (a quarter hour after the Hillary manifesto and about seven hours after the attacks), Gov. Mitt Romney offers his own reaction and thoughts about the official governmental responses to this point:

I'm outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It's disgraceful that the Obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.

The Left immediately assailed Romney on three grounds:

  1. That he had no right to jump into this imbroglio because that would "politicize" it.
  2. On the spurious and unproven grounds that Romney had "confused the timeline" by foolishly thinking that the initial embassy response occurred after the attacks.
  3. And because, claims the Left, accusing Obama and minions of sympathizing with those who attack us is a vicious, racist lie! Romney's name should instantly be removed from every ballot on all fifty-seven states, allowing Barack "You didn't build that" Obama to win the way he normally wins his elections... by default!

On the first, here is Ben LaBolt, the Mouth of Barack, trying to pound home the first meme less than two hours later, that a presidential challenger has no right to criticize the president's political statements because doing so would politicize them:

We are shocked that, at a time when the United States of America isconfronting the tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya,Governor Romney would choose to launch a political attack.

I'm shocked, shocked to find that politics is going on in here! So what was LaBolt's own statement, chopped liver? Don't be a dolt: Accusing your opponent of playing politics is itself playing politics.

Never in the modern era have we seen a more politicized presidency than the one we suffer through right now. I marvel at the chutzpah LaBolt required to accuse anyone else of "launch[ing] a political attack!" I reckon he didn't want a crisis to go to waste. We can dispense with the absurdity of the pot calling... oh dear, I don't want to be accused of racism, so I'll just stifle my freedom of speech. (See how well it works?)

All right, but what about the second prong of the attack on Romney? Didn't he confuse the timeline? Isn't he just another fulminating, redfaced, rage-filled, cement-headed, racist rightwinger?

The charge that Romney was just too stupid to know (or too dishonest to admit) that the attacks hadn't occurred yet when the Cairo embassy released its first statement critically depends upon one completely hidden assumption: The Left must assume that Romney had not seen the several follow-up tweets that came after the attacks, where the embassy "stands by" its earlier kowtowing to Moslem sensitivity.

But why wouldn't he have? Many hours had passed between the original embassy statement, the attacks, and Romney's first response. He has a very large and well-funded campaign; and the tweets themselves were known by news agencies -- again obviously, as several of them still exist, even after the State Department deleted them: People knew about the tweets and had saved them.

Let's assume that in the seven hours or so between the attacks and Romney's response, he wasn't just sitting on a treestump, silent as the Sphinx. Let's assume the GOP nominee was actually talking about the most urgent and shocking news story of the day.

Is that so farfetched? How unreasonable is it that Mitt Romney, angered by that first embassy response, asked his staff whether there was any other statement or pronouncement responding to the developing international incident? How unthinkable is it really that some member of his crack staff put the tweets in Romney's hand and said, "take a look at these, governor."

I can easily imagine the conversation -- because I went through pretty much the same conversation with my wife Sachi at about the same time:

ROMNEY: Wait -- when were these tweets sent?

STAFFER: Six-thirty p.m. Eastern time, sir.

ROMNEY: But that's three hours after the attacks! They're still feeling sorry for those poor, put-upon terrorists, even after the attacks? And what's this bit here, that expressing a view that offends Moslems is an abuse of freedom of speech? What lunatic wrote this?

STAFFER: Governor, this statement from the State Department just came in...

ROMNEY: Great leaping horny toads -- what does Hillary Clinton mean when she says we "deplore any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others?" Iran says Jews should be exterminated; Hamas calls Jews and Christians "pigs and monkeys," and demands that the U.N. enact an anti-blasphemy law; and the ACLU, great pals of President Obama, are busy in court trying to prevent the display of the "miracle cross" from the World Trade Centers, because God unconstitutionally fused two pieces of metal together! This is insane. This is nothing like what George W. Bush said when he stood on the rubble at ground zero. This administration is a pack of howling jackals! And I'm going to let them know just what I think of such unAmerican bowing and scraping.

The Romney statement could have followed immediately thereafter -- greaty toned down, of course.

But what about the third attack, that it's a damned lie to claim that the government "sympathized" with the radical Islamists? Here is my neat and sweet, three-point syllogism refudiating the Progressivist position on this exchange:

  1. Count how many times the official administration responses defended our fundamental freedom of speech.
  2. Count how many times, how many lines, how many paragraphs, and the percent of these government responses taken up with blanket, codependent reassurances issued to radical Islamists that we feel their pain, that we're appalled that Americans would "abuse" the freedom of speech in such an unconstitutional way: insulting the Prophet Mohammed, of all things!

  3. Contrast and compare: Between those wicked and despicable free-speechers on the right hand and the blood-gutted, human-sacrificing terrorists on the left -- and using only the textual evidence before us -- which side has all of the administration's sympathy? Which side gets the "poor babies," and which gets the back of Obama's hand?

I rest my case: Romney had the bastards pegged.

(If you're still confused about where our government's sympathies lie, just read this breaking Yahoo News story about our tax dollars hard at work... airing an advert in Pakistan reassuring Moslems that we really, really, really don't believe in freedom of speech, and we're extremely concerned for the feelings of jihadists, so please, please, don't kill us!)

Early the next morning, Barack "Too busy with Letterman to meet with Netanyahu" Obama issued his own statement; it was entirely trivial, uninformative, perfunctory. Here is the only sentence that pertains to the question at hand:

While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

Senseless? Really? Al-Qaeda, defeated by "the previous administration," has been resuscitated by the current one. They launched a series of astonishingly successful attacks, killed our people, raised their own flag and burned ours, and generally demonstrated their prowess and fitness to rule the ummah. Makes a heck of a lot of sense from their perspective!

We have one last document to document. Just to make it super-duper clear, this is Mitt Romney's second response, the next morning. Note that what was missing from all of the official government statements is present, loud and clear, in the ringing words of the next President of the United States.

I shall put the entire Romney release under the "Slither on;" here I post only those portions of his televised speech that pertain to what the government forgot, on every possible occasion, to do: make the case for a general right to freedom of speech for everyone, even those living in Moslem countries.

Mitt Romeny makes it crystal clear in this statement what he only implied in his first statement: The Cairo embassy, on its twitter feed, stood by its first apology for freedom of speech at 6:30 pm EDT. Therefore, they effectively issued the same statement twice, once before the attacks and once after them. Romney was outraged by that second statement, the "ditto" declaration. And it was that reiteration, that standing by, that prompted the governor to state, four hours later, that it was "disgraceful that the Obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks."

When he made his statement, the embassy had already been attacked -- and had already reaffirmed its initial apology. That is the context in which Romney first sent a statement, then later gave a press conference. Romney and the rest of us already knew that our embassies had been attacked, and anybody following the twitter feed already knew that the embassy was still apologizing for American values even after being attacked and overrun, and after the attack on its sister consulate in Libya turned murderous.

Never forget that. The Left wants us to believe that the Cairo embassy had no idea what was going to happen when they idiotically denigrated freedom of speech. But they did it again after the attacks, so they have no excuse whatsoever.

Here is Romney's presser, beginning with a small portion of his prepared remarks:

America will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and against our embassies. We'll defend, also, our constitutional rights of speech and assembly and religion. We have confidence in our cause in America. We respect our Constitution. We stand for the principles our Constitution protects. We encourage other nations to understand and respect the principles of our Constitution, because we recognize that these principles are the ultimate source of freedom for individuals around the world.

I also believe the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions. It's never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values. The White House distanced itself last night from the statement, saying it wasn't cleared by Washington, and that reflects the mixed signals they're sending to the world.

In the Q&A that followed (unlike Obama, Romney welcomes questions; he even welcomes them from those in the news biz who sincerely want to see Romney lose):

Q: The statement you refer to was very -- (inaudible) -- last night -- (inaudible) -- given what we know now?

MR. ROMNEY: I -- the embassy in Cairo put out a statement after their grounds had been breached. Protesters were inside the grounds. They reiterated that statement after the breach. I think it's a terrible course to -- for America to stand in apology for our values, that instead when our grounds are being attacked and being breached, that the first response of the United States must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation. And apology for America's values is never the right course.

Q: Governor Romney, do you think, though, coming so soon after the events really had unfolded overnight, it was appropriate to be weighing in on this as this crisis is unfolding in real time?

MR. ROMNEY: The White House also issued a statement saying it tried to distance itself from those comments and said they were not reflecting of their views. I had the exact same reaction. These views were inappropriate, they were the wrong course to take. When our embassy is -- has been breached by protesters, the first response should not be to say, yes, we stand by our comments that suggest that there's something wrong with the right of free speech....

Q: Governor, some people are saying you jumped the gun a little in putting that statement out last night and that you should have waited until more details were available. Do you regret having that statement come out so early, before we learned about all the things that were happening?

MR. ROMNEY: I don't think we ever hesitate when we see something which is a violation of our principles. We express immediately when we feel that the president and his administration have done something which is inconsistent with the principles of America. Simply put, having an embassy which is -- has been breached and has protesters on its grounds, having violated the sovereignty of the United States -- having that embassy reiterate a statement effectively apologizing for the right of free speech is not the right course for an administration.

Sure, it's not Tom Paine or Thomas Jefferson; but for a contemporary politician embroiled in a hot race for the presidency -- which both Gallup and Rasmussen polls today show to be neck and neck -- it's a bold, spirited, unapologetic, and forthright celebration of our greatest freedom. Mitt Romney thinks like a real American, while Barack "Citizen of the world" Obama thinks like an anticolonial Progressivist who has never been sure whether he loves his country or despises it to the bone.

(Much like how the president feels about his biological progenitor: Abandoned by the man himself, Obama wraps himself in a self-generated fantasy -- dreams from his father, dreams from his country, an obsessed fan longing for love with a fictional TV character.)

But back to the point. Mitt Romney's heartfelt response to the administration's tepid condemnation of the attacks, and his outrage at the complete absence of any defense of freedom of speech (in fact, a tacit renunciation of such freedoms, now shackled by the "Tender Sensibilities of Moslems" exception), was clearly the best and most appropriate possible thing he could say anent the craven surrender by the Obamunists.

Several more attacks against the United States have been carried out in Yemen, Kuwait, Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan, and now China; yet even the pro-forma denunciations of violence against America have been dropped, presumably because the administration concludes that denial of the new attacks is more tenable at this point than an explanation of the administration's own foreign-policy and security failures.

What concrete steps have we actually taken to find and punish the Libyan killers, and those Egyptians who so easily overran our actual embassy in Cairo? How are we responding to the new attacks on Americans and on America itself? China and Japan are in a tussle over what the Japanese call the Senkaku Islands and purchased them from its previous owner, the Kurihara family. China calls them the Diaoyu Islands; and since oil was discovered under the islands in 1968, the People's Republic of China demands they be seized from Japan and handed over to China.

Naturally, anti-Japanese protesters in China see this as the perfect opportunity to attack the American ambassador -- because we're allied with Japan, and because one of the islands (Kuba, no relation to Castro's paradise) is used as an American bombing range. For the PRC, snatching away the islands, which have been controlled by Japan or by the United States since 1895 and never by China, would be a "two-fer": Red China would get the oil and would be able to drive the U.S. Navy out of part of what China considers its hemisphere.

Why is Red China so bold as to threaten us and Japan over the sale this month? Because we are weak. America is weaker today than it has been in many, many decades; and the ease and impugnity of these attacks on our embassies (American sovereign territory -- once) and allies proves it. One would probably have to return to the mass American disarmament following World War I to find a moment when we were more ill prepared to defend ourselves, our property, our international rights, and our ideology of liberty.

Barack H. Obama has brought hope and change, all right: He has given our enemies hope and changed America from the final remaining superpower to a global laughingstock which cannot even fight back when attacked, so thoroughly has he gelded us. It's now a serious question whether we can man-up enough to fire the wretched redistributionist; or whether so many Americans have become court eunuchs, depending upon the government for their very sustenance, that a once proud nation now whines under the triple leash of Russia, China, and radical Islamism.

We shall find out how strong those leashes are on November 6th.

Here is the transcript of Mitt Romney's full remarks (truncated at the beginning, as for some reason the feed didn't begin right away):

…. with tragic news and felt heavy hearts as they considered that individuals who have served in our diplomatic corps were brutally murdered across the world.

This attack on American individuals and embassies is outrageous. It's disgusting. It -- it breaks the hearts of all of us who think of these people who have served during their lives the cause of freedom and justice and honor. We mourn their loss and join together in prayer that the spirit of the Almighty might comfort the families of those who have been so brutally slain.

Four diplomats lost their life, including the U.S. ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens, in the attack on our embassy at Benghazi, Libya. And of course, with these words, I extend my condolences to the grieving loved ones who have left behind as a result of these who have lost their lives in the service of our nation. And I know that the people across America are grateful for their service, and we mourn their sacrifice.

America will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and against our embassies. We'll defend, also, our constitutional rights of speech and assembly and religion. We have confidence in our cause in America. We respect our Constitution. We stand for the principles our Constitution protects. We encourage other nations to understand and respect the principles of our Constitution, because we recognize that these principles are the ultimate source of freedom for individuals around the world.

I also believe the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions. It's never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values. The White House distanced itself last night from the statement, saying it wasn't cleared by Washington, and that reflects the mixed signals they're sending to the world.

The attacks in Libya and Egypt underscore that the world remains a dangerous place and that American leadership is still sorely needed. In the face of this violence, America cannot shrink from the responsibility to lead. American leadership is necessary to ensure that events in the region don't spin out of control. We cannot hesitate to use our influence in the region to support those who share our values and our interests.

Over the last several years we stood witness to an Arab Spring that presents an opportunity for a more peaceful and prosperous region but also poses the potential for peril if the voices -- forces of extremism and violence are allowed to control the course of events. We must strive to ensure that the Arab Spring does not become an Arab winter.

Q: The statement you refer to was very -- (inaudible) -- last night -- (inaudible) -- given what we know now?

MR. ROMNEY: I -- the embassy in Cairo put out a statement after their grounds had been breached. Protesters were inside the grounds. They reiterated that statement after the breach. I think it's a terrible course to -- for America to stand in apology for our values, that instead when our grounds are being attacked and being breached, that the first response of the United States must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation. And apology for America's values is never the right course.

Q: Governor Romney, do you think, though, coming so soon after the events really had unfolded overnight, it was appropriate to be weighing in on this as this crisis is unfolding in real time?

MR. ROMNEY: The White House also issued a statement saying it tried to distance itself from those comments and said they were not reflecting of their views. I had the exact same reaction. These views were inappropriate, they were the wrong course to take. When our embassy is -- has been breached by protesters, the first response should not be to say, yes, we stand by our comments that suggest that there's something wrong with the right of free speech.

Q: So what did the White House do wrong then, Governor Romney, if they -- if they put out a statement saying --

MR. ROMNEY: It's their administration -- their administration spoke. The president takes responsibility not just for the words that come from his mouth but also from the words that come from his ambassadors, from his administration, from his embassies, from his State Department. They clearly -- they clearly sent mixed messages to the world. And -- and the statement that came from the administration -- and the embassy is the administration -- the statement that came from the administration was a -- was a statement which is akin to apology and I think was a -- a -- a severe miscalculation.

Q: Governor, some --

Q: Talk about mixed signals -- (inaudible) -- itself a mixed signal when you criticize the administration at a time -- (inaudible)?

MR. ROMNEY: We're -- we have a campaign for presidency of the United States and are speaking about the different courses we would each take with regards to the challenges that the world faces. The president and I, for instance, have differences of opinion with regards to Israel and our policies there, with regards to Iran, with regards to Afghanistan, with regards to Syria. We have many places of distinction and differences.

We joined together in the condemnation of the attacks on American embassies and the loss of American life and joined in the sympathy for these people. But it's also important for me -- just as it was for the White House last night, by the way -- to say that the statements were inappropriate and, in my view, a disgraceful statement on the part of our administration to apologize for American values.

Q: Governor, some people are saying you jumped the gun a little in putting that statement out last night and that you should have waited until more details were available. Do you regret having that statement come out so early, before we learned about all the things that were happening?

MR. ROMNEY: I don't think we ever hesitate when we see something which is a violation of our principles. We express immediately when we feel that the president and his administration have done something which is inconsistent with the principles of America. Simply put, having an embassy which is -- has been breached and has protesters on its grounds, having violated the sovereignty of the United States -- having that embassy reiterate a statement effectively apologizing for the right of free speech is not the right course for an administration.

STAFF: Last question.

Q: If you had known last night that the ambassador had died -- and obviously, I'm gathering you did not know --

MR. ROMNEY: Well, that came -- that came later.

Q: That's right. If you had known that the ambassador had died, would you have issued --

MR. ROMNEY: I'm not going -- I'm not going to take hypotheticals about what would have been known when and so forth.

We responded last night to the events that happened in Egypt.

Q: Governor, what sort of --

Q: Governor Romney, your -- one of your professed reasons for running is your economic know-how and your private sector experience. But now that foreign policy and the situation in the Middle East -- (off mic) -- the presidential campaign, can you talk about why, specifically, you think you're better qualified than President Obama -- (off mic)?

MR. ROMNEY: I think President Obama has demonstrated a lack of clarity as to a foreign policy. My foreign policy has three fundamental branches: first, confidence in our cause, a recognition that the principles America was based upon are not something we shrink from or apologize for, that we stand for those principles; the second is clarity in our purpose, which is that when we have a foreign policy objective, we describe it honestly and clearly to the American people, to Congress and to the people of the world; and number three is resolve in our might, that in those rare circumstances, those rare circumstances where we decide it's essential for us to apply military might, that we do so with overwhelming force, that we do so in the clarity of a mission, understanding the nature of the U.S. interest involved, understanding when the mission would be complete, what will be left when it is -- what will be left behind us when that mission has been -- has been terminated.

These elements, I believe, are essential to our foreign policy, and I haven't seen them from the president. As I watched -- as I've watched over the past three and a half years, the president has had some successes. He's had some failures. It's a hit-or-miss approach, but it has not been based upon sound foreign policy.

Q: Governor Romney, how, specifically -- how, specifically, Governor Romney, would President Romney have handled this situation differently than President Obama did? Before midnight, when all the facts were known? How would you have handled it differently than the president did?

MR. ROMNEY: I spoke out when the key fact that I referred to was known, which was that the Embassy of the United States issued what appeared to be an apology for American principles. That was a mistake. And I believe that when a mistake is made of that significance, you speak out.

Thank you.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 21, 2012, at the time of 4:11 PM | Comments (0)

Date ►►► September 20, 2012

Playing the Percentages

Hatched by Korso

So it turns out that the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is not 42, but is, in fact, 47 -- 47% to be precise, at least according to the media meme propagated after Mitt Romney got busted for acting like a conservative in front of a bunch of other conservatives at a conservative fundraiser. I have to say, though, that the MSM reaction has not been without some laughs. It's rather like hearing some guy who went to a King Crimson show go on a rant about how he was shocked, shocked that the guy next to him was smoking pot. What is this world coming to?

In the meanwhile, that same MSM can't seem to muster more than a sniff when it comes to El Presidente's latest admission that he thinks wealth redistribution is a good idea. I'm actually starting to wonder if reporters have been living in a reality distortion field for so long, they're incapable of functioning in the real world -- not that I blame them. After all, an unemployment rate of 5% under George W. Bush signaled the worst economy since the Great Depression -- whereas under Barack Obama, a rate of 8.1% means a rosy recovery is in full swing! I don't know what it is that the MSM are drinking, but I sure wish I had some.

It all makes me wonder how we got to the point where making an entirely reasonable claim is controversial, while the most outrageous claptrap is accepted as the conventional wisdom. Yes, yes, among Romney's 47% there are doubtless hard working people who do their fair share even though they pay no net federal income tax; but don't kid yourself that having so large a chunk of the population drawing some form of government check represents a dangerous state of affairs. If you doubt that in the least, ask yourself: Is it a healthy thing when more people in a given quarter are applying for disability than for jobs? I don't think so.

That's the conversation we as a nation need to be having. If Mitt Romney's "inarticulate" remarks spark one, then so much the better.

Hatched by Korso on this day, September 20, 2012, at the time of 12:32 PM | Comments (0)

Date ►►► September 18, 2012

The Prince's New Clothes

Hatched by Sachi

Almost the definition of "TMI", too much information: Prince Harry's naked binge in Las Vegas, shortly before he was deployed to Afghanistan as an Apache pilot. So a young, privileged man got drunk and naked in Las Vegas; what else is new?

Harry, third in line for King of England (after his father, Charles, Prince of Wales; and Harry's brother, William, Duke of Cambridge), was photographed in the buff with some pretty, young, and equally naked thing of the female persuasion, who gallantly crouched behind him during his epic Kodak moment. But that singular embarassment seems to have produced quite a few ripples in spacetime... which may have been the proximate cause of the killing of at least two United States Marines.

A week after Hank's exhibitionist exertions -- and right around the time his sister in law enjoyed her own naked romp in full view of an unnoticed camera -- the princeling was trundled off to war. (What is it with these Royals constantly putting their crown jewels on display?)

Impudent question: Did Harry's harem antics themselves damage British morale, even apart from the deadly, if somewhat tenuous chain of events that followed? Hard to say; how did you feel about Bill Clinton as Commander in Chief, after the flood of bizarre snd squalid sex stories broke? Did you have the same respect for him that you had for other, previous CinCs?

All right, all right; it's not as if the Royal Pains sent the blot away to get him out of the headlines. His deployment was long planned; more than likely, he went on a tear in Vegas precisely because he was about to be shipped out. Alas, the former conjecture is exactly what the Taliban believes, or at least professes: That Harry was sent away to cover-up his "shame." He thus became a perfect target for the cave-dwelling barbarians in Afghanistan, he and everyone else around him.

But let's take a side excursion. When we read the news about Prince Harry heading to Afghanistan, many bloggers with a military background were worried. Too much information was being revealed, allowing the "insurgents" -- radical Islamists in the Taliban and allied terrorist groups -- to track Prince Harry's every movement:

The 27-year-old arrived in Camp Bastion in Helmand in the early hours of this morning, where he will be based for the duration of his tour with 622 Sqn, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps.

His role will be to kill insurgents as he operates the aircraft's weapon systems, which include Hellfire missiles and a 30mm chain gun. He will also be expected to provide air cover on missions by special forces....

In stark contrast to the media blackout imposed when the Prince undertook his previous tour, the Ministry of Defence has taken the decision to inform the public about his presence in Afghanistan from the word go, and arranged for a reporter and photographer from the Press Association news agency to fly to Camp Bastion to provide coverage on a pooled basis.

We understand that the Brits wanted to advertise the fact that Prince Harry is a serious officer in the Royal Army; and they wanted to remove the bad taste from Harry's last deployment, which had to be cut short after he was targeted four years ago:

The Prince was "incredibly frustrated" to be pulled out of Afghanistan 11 weeks into his last tour because of US media reporting on his presence there, said his spokesman, though the fully understood why the decision had been taken.

But was it actually necessary to tell the whole world the exact base at which he would be deployed, precisely what his mission would entail, and even which squadron he'd be assigned to? Whatever happened to the old expression, "loose lips sink ships?"

It doesn't take a General Petraeus to figure out that Harry would instantly become Taliban Enemy Number One; plenty of milbloggers foresaw that possibility; they even joked about the possible outcomes to the careless announcement of Harry's whereabouts:

Prince Harry or Captain Wales, whichever you prefer to call him, is reporting for duty at Camp Bastion as an Apache pilot. I believe that his previous tour in Afghanistan saw him in essentially a JTAC role with the british cavalry. The photo and info below was provided courtesy of the MoD [Ministry of Defence].

Is this the result of his vacation in Vegas (the notes I read state that this was long planned)? And why in the hell would the MoD announce the unit, camp, location, etc of his current station?

Surprise, surprise on the Jungle Riverboat Cruise tonight. Just yesterday, two US marines were killed protecting Prince Harry:

British troops were involved in the firefight to repel the deadly Taliban attack on the military base in Afghanistan where Prince Harry is currently based, it was revealed this morning.

At least two US Marines were killed in the strike on the base in Helmand province, which houses American and British troops among others....

A Taliban spokesman said the attack was in revenge for an amateur film that mocked Islam, and because Prince Harry was known to be at the base.

Why do we say they were killed "protecting Prince Harry?" Leaving the boilerplate about "revenge for an amateur film that mocked Islam" on the cutting-room floor -- it's the all-purpose excuse du jour for any Taliban outrage -- the Taliban themselves say they attacked the base precisely because they knew that "Captain Wales" was there.

And the Marines were killed defending against that attack, which actually breeched the 30-foot high, concrete perimeter wall, something which the Taliban had never been able to do before. They must have pulled out all the stops, desperately trying to kill the British Royal.

And how did the Taliban know the prince was there? Because some subgenius in Britain's Ministry of Defence thought it a wonderful idea "to inform the public about his presence in Afghanistan from the word go, and arrange[] for a reporter and photographer from the Press Association news agency to fly to Camp Bastion to provide coverage on a pooled basis!" [Punctuation altered; the original Brit kept a stiff upper lip and refrained from using an exclamation point. -- the Mgt.]

Bureaucrats, even those in the MoD (and those in our own DoD), simply do not see the world as real, populated with real people with real lives to lose. They treat war like an artfully staged "reality TV" show. What the British and American media did to American and British troops is far worse than anything done by those pathetic filmmakers and their lame trailor.

All the latter did was express their political and religious points of view; but the media released a military secret, thus goading the Taliban into an all-out attempt to pull off a 9/11-type "martyrdom operation," with the potential of causing devastating harm to both our countries. Fortunately, the primitive radical Islamists couldn't quite pull it off; they didn't kill Prince Godiva. But they did kill two American Marines.

I wonder whether General Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will call those American and British reporters (along with the British Defence Ministry) and urge them to stop revealing military information and offending free countries. He likes to let his fingers do the kow-towing.

Hatched by Sachi on this day, September 18, 2012, at the time of 3:34 AM | Comments (0)

Date ►►► September 15, 2012

Jimmah, Is That You?

Hatched by Korso

The general consensus is that it's been a horrible week for the White House, though I'd argue it was a lot worse for Chris Stevens, Sean Smith and the two Marines whole were killed in yet another example of manufactured Muslim rage. But the administration of Barack Obama, never willing to let a crisis go to waste, have somehow managed to make things even worse through a response that could rightly be described as "bungled," assuming there's somebody at the State Department competent enough to understand just how badly they screwed the pooch. Not since 52 American citizens became guests of the ayatollah in 1979 has America been so humiliated in the eyes of the world -- and, just like President Jimmy Carter back in those days, the current president doesn't seem to have the first clue about how to deal with it.

It's bad enough that Obama's first response was to ask Google to take down the YouTube video that supposedly sparked all the violence. First Amendment considerations aside, this craven act of appeasement and capitulation can only serve to make things worse. If anything, Islamist radicals will take any sign of weakness as their cue to engage in even more violence. And why shouldn't they? Violence gets them what they want, and as everybody except liberal Democrats seems to realize, when you incentivize a certain kind of behavior you tend to get more of it.

Then there's the rank hypocrisy of Obama trying to smooth over those delicate Muslim sensibilities so insulted by the YouTube video. This is, after all, the same man who spend a good chunk of the previous week at his own convention trumpeting how America is safer because he personally killed Osama bin Laden. It seems lost on the president how the crowd in Benghazi shouted, "Obama, Obama, we are all Osama!" as they scaled the embassy walls and dragged Ambassador Stevens to his death -- all on the first anniversary of September 11 to take place after bin Laden's death. If Barack Obama really thinks that the YouTube video is to blame for all the violence, then he has to take his share of the blame as well.

And what to make of the media response? The last time I saw wagons circle that fast was that scene in Blazing Saddles when the Indians attacked. Reporters actually got together and coordinated their questions during a press conference on the crisis to make sure that the man at the podium would have to answer them no matter whom he called upon -- except that the man was Mitt Romney, not President Obama. And just what was this burning topic? Whether Romney "regretted" his criticism of how Obama was handling the crisis.

I'd say it was totally unbelievable, except that it isn't. I find myself hoping that Romney gets elected just so the press goes back to doing their jobs.

So in summation: the Obama administration is incompetent, the press are corrupt, and America faces even greater danger than before. If I were the Democrats, I'd probably switch back to trying to spin "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" That whole national security thing doesn't seem to be working for them.

Hatched by Korso on this day, September 15, 2012, at the time of 8:47 AM | Comments (2)

Date ►►► September 11, 2012

Story Wars, Chapter One

Hatched by Dafydd

Word on the street is that Leon Panetta, the hyperpartisan Democratic representative now inexplicably elevated by Barack "You didn't build that" Obama to Secretary of Defense (i.e., America's penultimate military official), is beside himself with rage at the publication of a book by a former US Navy SEAL, Matt Bissonnette (writing under the pseudonym of "Mark Owen"). Panetta has made it quite clear that he's going to drop the hammer on "Owen":

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is suggesting that a retired Navy SEAL be punished for writing a book giving an insider's account of the U.S. raid that killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

Asked in a network interview if he thinks the writer should be prosecuted, Panetta replied, "I think we have to take steps to make clear to him and to the American people that we're not going to accept this kind of behavior."

Hm.

Yet it's interesting that Panetta is still not willing to state with authority that "Owen" revealed any classified information whatsoever in the book; the Pentagon is still "reviewing" the situation. Either Panetta and his brass band are inordinately slow readers; or they've already read the dang book twice through, yet still can't find anything in it that shouldn't be. But they're certain that increasingly crabbed and narrow scrutiny will reveal something, anything, to justify prosecution!

The secretary stopped short of accusing the author of revealing classified information, but said Pentagon officials "are currently reviewing that book to determine exactly, you know, what is classified and what isn't, and where those lines are."

(Note that the AP news story charmingly -- or tendentiously -- refuses to print the title of the book: No Easy Day, if you're curious and want to read it yourself. I cannot recall similar MSM reticence and respect for the military's, or at least the Pentagon's tender sensibilities since... well, since the last time a whistleblower blew the whistle on a Democratic president.)

But the most Alice In Wonderland feature of this bizarre brouhaha is that we do have a public figure who has revealed reams, bushels, boxcars of undisputed, highly classified intelligence about this very same raid. And that incontinent leaker is of course Leon Panetta's boss: Barack Hussein Obama, Occupier in Chief.

President B.O. doesn't "leak" SEAL and bin Laden intel; he blasts it from a firehose. But there is a more fiercely urgent distinction between the two, from the president's perspective: When Barack Obama opens the floodgates of classified material, it's to plant a heroic, epic version of the raid that puts Himself front and center. And he clearly intends his gusher of erstwhile secrets to buttress his national-security credentials, paradoxically enough; for on the campaign trail, he thumps his chest and bleats how "he" killed bin Laden... absurdly contrasting himself favorably to the disfavored Mitt Romney, who has never killed anybody.

Given that context, it's very had not to conclude that what really torques off Secretary Panetta is that "Mark Owen" and co-author Kevin Maurer stomp all over Obama's self-serving fairy tale with the dadburned truth. This undercuts any electoral advantage the killing of bin Laden might otherwise confer on the Lightbringer and Ocean Subsider.

Obama and minions are hopping mad because No Easy Day rained on Obama's campaign parade.

AP's final paragraph is a wonder of undetected irony:

Panetta said the book, which went on sale this week, raises troubling national security questions.

"Well, I think when somebody talks about the particulars of how those operations are conducted, it tells our enemies, essentially, how we operate and what we do to go after them," he said.

Preach it, Grandmaster P.!

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 11, 2012, at the time of 1:40 PM | Comments (6)

Date ►►► September 8, 2012

Poker Force

Hatched by Sachi

On August 31, the weekend before the Democratic National Convention, President Barack "Withdrawal" Obama visited Fort Bliss, Texas and met with a less than enthusiastic audience... of American soldiers.

President Barack Obama was greeted with fleeting applause and extended periods of silence as he offered profuse praise to soldiers and their families during an Aug. 31 speech in Fort Bliss, Texas.

His praise for the soldiers -- and for his own national-security policies -- won cheers from only a small proportion of the soldiers and families in the cavernous aircraft-hangar.

The troops were not awed by the appearance, nor were they rapt with attention; summoned to the campaign event, they clearly decided to give the Commander in Chief the respect required and nothing more:

The audience remain[ed] quiet even when the commander-in-chief thanked the soldiers' families, and cited the 198 deaths of their comrades in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The audience's reaction was so flat that the president tried twice to elicit a reaction from the crowd....

CNN and MSNBC ended their coverage of the speech before it was half-over. [Emphasis added throughout quotations.]

Hardly a surprise that the cable mainstream media were too mindful of the Lightbringer's dignity to continue the embarassing coverage.

Why the cold shoulder? Several possible explanations:

  • You might say because Obama has not exactly been supportive of the military in the war against radical Islamism.

Despite the tremendous victory George W. Bush and Gen. David Petraeus finally achieved toward the end of their tenure, Obama is determined to quit, to yank the troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq... without the least concern for our Iraqi allies left behind, or for the negative effect such cutting and running will have on future military campaigns, future allies and alliances, our national security, and even the reputation of the American flag around the world:

The silence deepened when the president lauded his strategy of withdrawal from the war. "Make no mistake, ending the wars responsibly makes us safer and our military even stronger, and ending these wars is letting us do something else; restoring American leadership," he said amid complete silence.

(I don't mind when Barack Obama says "make no mistake;" I just wish that one day, he would take his own advice!)

  • Or maybe the silence was due to the report that President B.O. evidently used an auto pen to sign letters to the families of fallen Navy SEALs; was Obama's hand too tired from those one hundred rounds of golf?
  • Or perhaps the soldiers of Fort Bliss know that veterans are having a difficult time finding civilian work after separation, despite the president's election-year conversion to job creation.

Those may very well be part of the reason these soldiers were unhappy at being made into political actors. But their unhappiness might derive from a much simpler reason, as Russ Vaughn at the American Thinker blog explains:

I'm an old non-com who, as a bachelor lived in the barracks, and as such I'm well aware of the excitement that permeates any military barracks in the days leading up to a four-day, holiday weekend like Labor Day. Virtually every soldier has made big plans to escape his military existence for four precious days and spend that time with family or friends.

A day to get there, and a day to return to Fort Bliss; that leaves but two days with family and friends: Two lousy, infinitely precious days with parents you might not have seen for months, childhood friends, the town you grew up in. But wait -- not two days, but only one! Why? Because...

[S]ome hotshot in the Obama campaign, feeling badly stung by the sparse turnouts for the president's visits to other locales, gets a bright idea of how to produce a really big crowd for a photo op: "Hey, let's schedule one for some military facility where the commander can be ordered to produce a big audience in a sufficiently impressive backdrop."

As a result, the holiday reunions for many soldiers and their families were ruined. Gone are their (possibly non-refundable) flights and difficult to get hotel reservations; gone also is half the time they expected. Not to mention all the wasted money they couldn't afford to lose. All gone.

And for what? Because of a military emergency? A hurricane or other natural disaster? For what lofty reason were these soldiers forced to donate their time, the most precious resource for an active-duty soldier? To listen to a classless, clueless politician talk about how concerned he is about military personnel... while using them as a prop in his own reelection campaign, without regard to whether they want to become part of his next campaign commercial, or even whether they support his reelection in the first place.

I'd say the poker-faced silent treatment Obama received was no more than he deserves. The brass can order the troops to assemble and be respectful to the Commander in Chief, but they cannot order them to cheer spontaneously.

Hatched by Sachi on this day, September 8, 2012, at the time of 12:18 AM | Comments (1)

Date ►►► September 6, 2012

Conventional Warfare

Hatched by Korso

America can breathe a collective sigh of relief now that the Democratic National Convention is over. The speakers came (Sandra Fluke), they saw (Michelle Obama) and they conquered (Bill Clinton -- wait a second, is he running again?), but in the end not a heck of a lot was said that we hadn't heard before. To sum it up neatly: Obama 2012: Free Birth Control, Free Abortions, Free People -- well, that last part not so much. And all for the bargain price of $16 trillion and counting!

For what was supposed to be a big party for the Big Tent Party, though, the entire affair seemed a bit of a bummer. For one thing, Hillary got about as far away as possible short of a visit to McMurdo Station in Antarctica, depriving the assembled delegates of an encore performance of her "I don't feel no ways tired" shtick (which, for my money, was far more entertaining than anybody else's remarks). It also seemed as if everyone spent the whole time making excuses for why things haven't gotten any better over the last four years. Like throwing a graduation party for a kid whole flunked 12th grade for the second time, it all felt kind of depressing. Perhaps things might have livened up a bit had someone the good sense to spike the punch bowl.

But at least the Dems managed to coax a coherent theme out of the convention: Four More Years, Because The First Four Just Weren't Enough! Slick Willy made the point rather eloquently:

President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. No President -- not me or any of my predecessors could have repaired all the damage in just four years. But conditions are improving and if you'll renew the President's contract you will feel it.

That last bit sounds like something Bill might have whispered to Monica in one of those moments when they were never alone together. Unfortunately, it also conflicts with what Barack Obama himself said back in 2009:

Look, I’m at the start of my administration. One nice thing about the situation I find myself in is that I will be held accountable. You know, I’ve got four years. And, you know, a year from now I think people are going to see that we’re starting to make some progress. But there’s still going to be some pain out there. If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.

As Homer Simpson might say, "D'oh!"

Clinton also mentioned offhandedly how he had never hated Republicans the way that the "far right" hates Obama and the Democrats right now. Apparently at least one of the Democrat delegates didn't get the memo, and is now answering some friendly questions from the Secret Service as a result:

"He will destroy this country, completely. Romney will destroy this country," [delegate Julia Rodriguez] said. "If I see him, I would like to kill him."

Perhaps she meant "kill" in the ironic sense? Well, maybe -- but the love fest didn't stop there, as all the gratuitous Nazi references trotted out by the Dems so nicely illustrated. Guess all that hope and change from 2008 caught the last train for the coast the day the jobs all died. Sigh.

So what can we take away from all this? I think Marco Rubio said it perfectly at the Republican convention: "Our problem with President Obama isn't that he's a bad person... Our problem is he's a bad president." That's the message the GOP wants to convey to voters. The Dems, meanwhile, want you to think that Republicans are fascist pigs who want to take away your birth control and give your money to rich fat cats who light cigars with burning $100 bills. Well, it's their party and they'll cry if they want to. What else can you expect from a bunch of people who view American exceptionalism like it's some kind of sin? As for me, I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. The sinners are much more fun.

So is, as it turns out, the GOP. Cheers, everybody!

Hatched by Korso on this day, September 6, 2012, at the time of 5:43 PM | Comments (0)

Date ►►► September 4, 2012

Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been Better Off?

Hatched by Dafydd

At last! The reanointment campaign of President Barack "You didn't build that" Obama is finally ready to detail exactly what way Americans are better off now than they were four years ago. In a New York Times piece, they finally get down to the nitty gritty of economic, cultural, and national-security improvement since January 20th, 2009.

Here's the lede:

A day after fumbling a predictable and straightforward question posed by Mitt Romney last week -- are Americans better off than they were four years ago -- the Obama campaign provided a response on Monday that it said would be hammered home during the Democratic convention here this week: "Absolutely."

That answer, "absolutely," comes from Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign mangler, at the Democratic National Convention on Monday:

In fact, on Monday the campaign settled on a definitive answer of, as the deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter put it, "Absolutely."

There it is, in black and white (or whatever colors you've chosen for your font and background): Stephanie Cutter has categorically, unequivocally, hysterically answered that "better-off" question for all time: Ab-so-lootely we're better off now than when Obama assumed the position. Absolutely!

Who could argue with that?

Let's not be unfair; Cutter did go on to give detailed and specific reasons why we're better off:

Followed down a hallway by a local news crew asking the "better off" question in the convention center here, Ms. Cutter described the economic scene four years ago -- the auto companies teetering near bankruptcy, bank failures -- and said, "Does anyone want to go back to 2008? I don’t think so."

I'm not so sure: Perhaps those voters who lost their jobs under the Obama administration long for 2008, which they might see as the golden age of employment.

Today's real unemployment/underemployment rate -- what the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls the U6 labor underutilitzation rate -- includes those unemployed and actively looking for a job, those unemployed who would like to work but have given up in despair, and those who are working part time but want to work full time.

That U6 unemployment number is significantly higher now than it was when Obama seized the reins of power.

Back then, on January 20th, 2009, the U6 rate was 14.2%. It had been rising in the waning days of the Bush administration; and it continued rising throughout Obama's first year, hitting a peak of 17.1% in December, 2009.

That big run-up of 2.9% represented nearly 4.5 million more people unemployed or underemployed than when Obama was inaugurated.

The U6 rate stayed more or less around that point for another year, then finally began to drift downward a little in December, 2010. It wafted back towards the "inauguration rate" over the next year, hitting 14.5% in March, 2012; but then the U6 unemployment number took off again. Today it hovers at 15.0%... still noticibly higher than it was when Obama was sworn at by the Chief Justice. The 0.8% rise in the U6 rate from 2009 corresponds to 1.24 million more Americans out of work or underemployed than when Obama's term began.

At no point has total unemployment/underemployment dropped back down to Obama's inauguration rate; on employment, the president is still underwater. Those hoping for employment are certainly no better off today than they were four years ago... and I doubt the extra one and a quarter million unemployed/underemployed Americans are mollified by the fact that Barack Obama seized General Motors and gave huge bailouts to his Big Banking cronies.

Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland echoed Cutter's claim anent Obama's stellar record on job creation, though he offered a slightly more cautious version:

Mr. O'Malley provided another answer on Monday on CNN: "We are clearly better off as a country because we’re creating jobs rather than losing them. We have not recovered all that we lost in the Bush recession. That’s why we need to continue to move forward."

But they've also "not recovered" all the extra jobs lost in the Obama recession; they're still short, as we noted, by 1.24 million jobs since inauguration.

Forward! Progress! Ab-so-lootley!

Let's press on, guvnor. Surely there must be some objective measurement to back up Stephanie's cutting ejaculation of "Absolutely!"

Oh, here we go; Slow Joe Biden issues an unanswerable proof:

Speaking in Detroit on Monday, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said during a union rally, "You want to know whether we’re better off?" He answered: "I’ve got a little bumper sticker for you: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive."

Well, yes; it's true: Osama bin Laden is dead. On the other hand, his organization, al-Qaeda, and its kissing cousins in the Taliban, are significantly more powerful today than they were at the end of Bush's term. So there is that.

Throughout all of 2008, 151 Americans were killed in Afghanistan by enemy action, according to the notoriously right-wing news source, the Hufflepuffington Post. But last year, that number had exploded to 398, down from 492 in 2010. Seems like quite a lot more Taliban/al-Qaeda activity, especially for a war whose expiry date has already been announced.

And of course, radical Islamism in general (Egypt, Syria, Iran, Iraq, et al) has been on the march for the last couple of years. It's true that one extremely bloody mass murderer was finally taken down -- by U.S. Navy SEALs, by the way; not by Barack Obama personally, no matter what he may fantasize. But as George W. Bush warned during his presidency, bin Laden, or even al Qaeda, is not the entirety of radical Islamism; in fact, Iran is the most dangerous radical-Islamist power, and it has been since the 1979 revolution.

President B.O. has done virtually nothing to check the overarching threat of jihadism and its related components, from nuclear weapons; to massacres of Jews, Christians, and Animists; to subversion of democracies or emerging democracies; to cross-border warfare; to "lawfare" and other elements of dawa, supporting sharia law by means short of violent assault. In fact, Obama reserves his strongest condemnations not for radical Islamists, but for Israel, the lone fully democratic nation in the Middle East.

With the uninhibited rise of radical Islamism across the world and even here in the United States on Barack Obama's watch (the Fort Hood massacre, for example), we are not better off on terrorism than we were four years ago... even with the death of an old man hiding in Pakistan.

Joe Biden's second point is technically true: General Motors is, in some sense, still "alive" (though I don't quite see how the attribute of "life" comports with the general Democratic Progressivist rejection of corporations as "persons" under the law). However, all those former stockholders of GM -- millions of Americans (including a great many retireees) in their 401K plans and pension funds -- might not feel better off... as their holdings were looted by Obama to give his Big Labor pals a stock jackpot. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Maybe the Democrats are happy to stand on bailouts for bankers, "Government Motors," and claiming credit for the heroic deeds of America's Special Forces; but it does seem just a little squirrelly to me.

Their next point... oh. Oh dear; I'm afraid we have managed to plod all the way through the triumphalist New York Times article. There is nothing else in the article.

Yet isn't it peculiar that in this entire litany of reasons in the New York Times why we're better off today than we were four years ago, not a single Democrat points to ObamaCare or the trillion-dollar "stimulus?" It's as if the two signal achievements of the Obama administration have faded, like the Cheshire Cat, leaving only their deficits behind.

NB: In the photograph accompanying the Times article, we see two people sporting "I ♥ ObamaCare" bumper stickers; alas, those two "people" are in fact cardboard cutouts -- with no faces. I don't think they're any better off either than they were fours years ago, when they might have been living spruce trees. (I also find it amusing that Obama himself now accepts the derisive term "ObamaCare" for his MIA government medicine program, which used to be called the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." Heh.)

We began this inquiry with the Reagan/Romney Riddle: "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" I reckon we'll just have to watch the debacle spectacle unfold to see what evidence they can cite, besides that already (?) introduced, to justify Cutter's Comprehensive Confirmation: "Absolutely!"

Cross-posted on Hot Air's rogues' gallery...

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 4, 2012, at the time of 1:26 PM | Comments (1)

Date ►►► September 3, 2012

Preserving Disorder

Hatched by Dafydd

The Occupiers have thundered en masse into Charlotte to protest at the convention -- where "protest" has that peculiar meaning of mayhem, murder, rapine, looting, bomb-throwing, sexual assault, overdosing contests, and mopery with intent to gawk, that uniquely characterizes unwashed, doped-up, hippy "Progressivists," when they gather in dog-packs for a political wilding:

Protesters ["Occupy Charlotte"] numbering as many as 700 people have gathered in the business district of Charlotte, N.C. ahead of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. The anti-war and anti-capitalism demonstrators huddled in Frazier Park on Sunday ahead of their planned march. The group picked Charlotte for publicity because it is the location of the 2012 Democratic National Convention which is scheduled to convene on Tuesday in Charlotte's Time Warner Cable Arena.

The protesters had signs suggesting that the group included union workers, anti-war veterans, and undocumented immigrants. [I.e., the usual gang of idiots. -- DaH]

"Capitalism is holding back the human race," one sign read. "Bail out people, not banks," another sign said.

At the same time, the Godfather, Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago (and erstwhile chief of staff of Barack Obama's Casa Blanca), has sent fifty Chicago cops to the Democratic National Convention, notwithstanding the parlous state of affairs in the Windbag City:

On the heels of a weekend which ended with 2 more dead and 22 more injured from Chicago street's gunshots, persons attending the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina are shocked and confused to see about 50 Chicago police officers assisting with the Convention’s security.

Another surprising move regarding Chicago and the Convention this week is that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be present to give a speech on Tuesday when Chicago is allegedly near-collapse with a teachers’ strike likely to begin within a week as the city is crowned the murder capital of the country.

Does this mean that forty-four years after last time (1968), we'll once more enjoy the spectacle of Chicago thugs cracking the skulls of Lefties rioting at the Democratic National Convention? Hot rats! (Paging Messrs. Hoffman, Rubin, Hayden, "and the rest.")

Truly, the wheel has come full circle. As an earlier mayor, Richard J. Davis, put it back then, "The police are not here to create disorder, they're here to preserve disorder!"

One can't hardly contain oneself, can one?

Cross-posted on Hot Air's rogues' gallery. (Maybe. If we're lucky. The last post never did break out of the "pending" box)...

(Okay, I finally did... hoo- and -ray.)

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 3, 2012, at the time of 4:41 PM | Comments (1)

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