Archive for October 2009

The Council Has Spoken: October 31, 2009

Congratulations to this week’s winners:

Council: Joshuapundit - J Street – A Particularly Nasty Dead End To Be Avoided

Noncouncil: JammieWearingFool - Why Is GE Exempt From Government-Ordered Pay Cuts?

Full voting here.

Your Mother Must Be So Proud

Comedian David Cross claims to have snorted coke near the President at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in May on a dare.  Here we have a comedian I’ve never heard of in the room with not just the President of the United States but an historical figure: the first African-American president of the United States. And he snorts blow.

Classy. Real classy.

The Council Has Spoken: October 23, 2009

Congratulations to this week’s winners.

Council: Joshuapundit - When Anti-Semitism Isn’t …And When It Is

Noncouncil: Real Clear Politics - Media Wars: White House Crosses the Line

Full voting here.

The Council Has Spoken: October 16, 2009

Congratulations to this week’s winners:

CouncilBookworm Room - What’s not to like about the Blue Angels?

Noncouncil: Benjamin Kerstein/New Ledger - Obama and Israel: Betrayal in the Broken Places

Full voting here.

Out-Turking the Turk

One of the smartest men I know recently quoted an old Slovak proverb that states “Beware of the one turned Turk for he is more Turk than the Turk himself.” The saying has its origins in five hundred years ago when the Turkish empire kidnapped the children of Slavs and turned them into soldiers. Evidently they were far more fierce against their former countrymen than the native born Turkish soldiers.

I’m reminded of that saying when reading about this Jew turned Islamic radical. Like Adam “Mullah Fatboy” Gadahn, another American Jew turned Jihadi, these pathetic creatures feel compelled to prove that they aren’t Mossad spies to their new-found friends, while proving that they aren’t just wayward children to their blood relatives.

Mullah Fatboy
“Mullah Fatboy”, Aka Adam Gadahn

It’s a bit like “fag bashers” who feel compelled to beat up Gays in order to prove their masculinity and hide their homosexual desires. In their hearts the bashers know they are gay, and deep down these lads know they are Jews. They are born Jews, they bleed Jewish blood, and in the eyes of their masters they will always be Jews.

It’s pretty sad, but I won’t be saying Kaddish at what’s left of their remains after a Hellfire missile strike or in the case of the New York pedicab driver, a bus accident.

President Lyndon Baines Obama and General Biden

Considering how the Left has harped on Vietnam for the past two generations I’m somewhat surprised that of all the lessons America learned from that conflict, one of the most crucial is being ignored by Obama and his administration: politicians suck at military strategy. Having a president and his secretary of defense pouring over battlefield maps and deciding what high value targets should be hit isn’t the way one fights a war, especially one as complex as a counterinsurgency. I had thought that even the most level-headed liberals would recognize that fact (in fairness to her, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seems to be one of the few in the administration that does understand) but the aggression of the administration towards General Stanley McChrystal’s recommendations makes it clear that the spirits of Bob McNamara and LBJ are alive and well in the White House.

As a former Delawarean I am quite familiar with the embarrassment of its native son Joe Biden. To say that Joe Biden’s ego is large is like saying the Grand Canyon is a big hole or that opera singer Andrea Bocelli can carry a tune. Biden has always fancied himself to be a bit of an arm-chair general. Now that he has the ear of the most powerful man in the world, one can be assured that he is going to put that imagined talent to use.

General Biden - copyright 2009

And so he has. General Biden has worked hard to convince the President that he should ignore the real generals like Gen. Stanley McChrystal and follow his advice. Joe Biden believes that we should give up on Afghanistan and focus on Pakistan instead.

While I suspect that Biden really believes that this is a good idea, his ego is clearly clouding his judgment. First by ignoring the advice of his own generals in Afghanistan, Obama risks losing the war outright. If he cannot trust the advice of his own generals and the chain of command that is supposed to craft that advice, how will the President get the information he needs to make the decisions he is constitutionally bound to make? While I am not a fan of the president, I am willing to support him if he stands behind our men and women in uniform and the millions of Afghanis they are working alongside to save that nation from the fate of Somalia.

Secondly, what are Biden’s credentials on military operations? I am a student of military history yet I do not claim to be qualified to override the intelligence of General McChrystal, whom Obama and Biden have both praised in the past – when it suited their agenda. Sure he has attended a lot of briefings as head of various intelligence and foreign policy committees in the Senate, but just because I avidly listen to the commentary of Howie Long or Terry Bradshaw on the Fox Pregame show does not qualify me to be a NFL quarterback.

More importantly the so-called focus on Pakistan is a red herring. Special Ops and predator strikes do not win wars, and in the recent past Israel’s policy of targeted assassination came under withering critiques from the same people who are now advocating such tactics in Pakistan. The limits of air power were found during the “No-Fly Zones” imposed on Iraq in the 1990’s as well as the conflict in the Balkans and the various cruise missile strikes on terror camps in Afghanistan before 9-11. In all three cases nothing changed until American and NATO boots hit the ground.

I believe that this is a conscious decision to retreat in the war against al-Qaeda without appearing to do so. The air strikes in Pakistan are extremely unpopular there and destabilize the government further. By switching America’s focus to this tactic, Obama can always say later that the strikes have achieved their goals without offering any proof. He can also state that the attacks are breaches of international law – which they technically are – and therefore must cease. In short this allows Obama to end the war quickly without much effort and without destroying al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Since Obama may agree with elements of the hard Left believe that terrorism is more of a symptom rather than a disease, he would then be able to address the root causes of the terror: Israel, American hegemony, and Capitalism. In his short time in office Obama has attacked all three with a vigor that hasn’t been seen in the Oval Office since Bush had Saddam Hussein in his sights, so retreating from Afghanistan and Pakistan fits his long term strategy.

Biden may be blinded by his ego, but Obama is can’t see through the Hyde Park haze obscuring the reality that there are men who desire nothing less than the destruction of our way of life and the imposition of theirs upon us. Israel, America – these have always been excuses meant to deceive us into thinking that our actions are to blame for the terrorists attacks against us. Actions are relatively easy to change: we can leave Israel to it’s fate with a congressional vote and a presidential signature. It’s much more difficult to accept Bin Laden’s interpretation of Islam and all that entails.

I do not believe for a moment that Obama wants to burn the Constitution and enslave the nation under Bin Laden’s idea of Sharia. However I do believe that his ideology bars him from seeing the reality of the conflict in the same way that LBJ’s and McNamara’s Cold War beliefs kept them from seeing the reality on the ground in Vietnam. It took years and the loss of tens of thousands of American and South Vietnamese lives before Reality burst into the Oval Office and an effective political and military strategy was pursued in Vietnam. But by that time it was too late, the war was over and we were defeated.

Such an outcome is in America’s future unless Obama drops his ideological bias and Biden his illusions of grandeur. But will this happen before the next terrorist attack on American soil? For the sake of all Americans – liberal and conservative – I hope so.

Obama Favored to Win 2009 Heisman Trophy, Sainthood

VegasOdds - an online sports betting shop headquartered in the Cayman Islands – has reported that US President Barack Obama is the lead favorite to receive the 2009 Heisman Trophy, edging out leading contenders Florida’s Tim Tebow and Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford. VegasOdds’ spokesman Martha Mann wrote in the firm’s Oddsman online newsletter, “Tebrow might have had 2,746 passing yards and 30 touchdowns in 2008, but betters seem to think that the Nobel Peace Prize and Obama’s promise to pass a health care bill with a public option outweigh Tebrow’s dominance on the field.”

On a related note, the Vatican has announced Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago Francis George has submitted a “Findings of Heroic Virtue” document to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. The findings document is the first step on the road towards canonization, and has already sparked controversy amongst cardinals at the Vatican. “It is highly unusual for a living man to be beatified as a saint,” an unnamed source at the Vatican claimed, “but given the hope and promise the young Obama has inspired with his lofty rhetoric, we are confident he will have no problem making it through the Congregation for Cause of Saints. ” In the congregation a panel of theologians and the cardinals evaluate the candidate’s life. A member of the congregation who refused to be named said the “nomination is a travesty. Obama is not even Catholic let alone a dead one, and we’re being arm twisted by the Chicago Mafia to ram this thing through before the 2012 election.” The Vatican source laughed when told of the criticism, saying “there was an effort to brand him the Messiah and adorate him, but that was voted down personally by the pontiff.”

Deliberations by the Congregation are expected to continue through Spring 2010.

The Council Has Spoken: October 9, 2009

Congratulations to this week’s winners:

Council:  Soccer Dad - Why did israel jail the pregnant woman?

Noncouncil:  Washington Times - Criminalizing Everyone

Full voting here.

Oops! Better Grab a Jacket

This is the kind of thing that stokes my skepticism of trendy science:

FORECASTS of climate change are about to go seriously out of kilter. We could be about to enter one or even two decades of cooler temperatures, according to one of the world’s top climate modellers….

Latif predicts that in the next few years a natural cooling trend will dominate the warming caused by humans. The cooling would be down to cyclical changes in the atmosphere and ocean currents in the North Atlantic, known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Atlantic Meridional Oscillation (AMO).

Breaking with climate-change orthodoxy, Latif said the NAO was probably responsible for some of the strong warming seen around the globe in the past three decades. “But how much? The jury is still out,” he told the conference. The NAO is now moving into a phase that will cool the planet.

Oh and that alarming melting of ice in Antarctica? “(P)artly a product of natural cycles rather than global warming.”

As an amateur scientist and historian, I am always amazed when the hypothesis of Anthropogenic Global Warming is compared to theories that have stood the test of time and experiment like the Theory of Evolution. This is like comparing the latest best seller by a first time novelist to Joyce or Shakespeare. Being popular does not make it right – and the lemming-like behavior of scientists who are blindly following the “consensus” herd off the cliff should remember what’s in store for them at the bottom.

Obama’s Changed His Mind About the Generals

Glenn Reynolds is to the blogosphere what TV Guide is to television viewers. Love him (for causing an Instalanche) or hate him (for never linking to your site), Glenn speaks eloquently with links. Case in point, this post:

THE MANTRA USED TO BE “LISTEN TO THE GENERALS!” Now it’s how dare those generals speak!

Gen. McChrystal Gagged by Admin
Obama promised change – and he has sure changed his mind about a lot of things since he took office. And while Bush will someday get credit for success in Iraq, Obama will just as sure get the blame for failure in Afghanistan.

More here. Also, am I the only one who gets a kick out of those who have never served in the military (Pelosi) complaining about the failure to follow the chain of command?

The Council Has Spoken: October 2, 2009

Congratulations to this week’s winners:

Council:  Rhymes With Right - A Note On The “Tenther” Smear

Noncouncil:  Jennifer Rubin/Commentary - Netanyahu’s Speech for the Ages

Full voting here.

Yale Muslim Students Uncomfortable, Unnurtured

Yale Muslim students are pissed about the appearance of Kurt Westergaard, a Danish cartoonist living under death threats for the portrayal of Prophet Muhammed wearing a turban shaped like a bomb.
Members of the Yale Muslim Students Association have said they are “deeply hurt and offended” that Westergaard will speak on the New Haven, Conn., campus, though they do not plan to protest. The group said Yale fails to recognize the “religious and racial” sensitivities surrounding the matter.

“As an institution purportedly committed to making our campus an educational environment where all students feel equally comfortable, we feel that by hosting Kurt Westergaard Yale is undermining its commitment to creating a nurturing learning environment by failing to recognize the religious and racial sensitivity of the issue,” the group said in a statement.

“Certainly, it would be unlikely for a white supremacist or a Holocaust denier to be a distinguished guest speaker at Yale; hosting individuals who propagate hate is not only a disservice to the minorities that hate is directed towards but to the campus community as a whole.”

Since when has the mission of colleges – especially Ivy League ones – been to provide a “comfortable… nurturing learning environment”? Truth is not pretty. It is often brutal, ugly and downright unpleasant. Yet these students seem unaware of that fact. Instead they want the politically correct liberal arts equivalent of the Wiggles or the Teletubbies – where anything that could make a student squirm is scrubbed from the curriculum.

Worse, Yale and other colleges regularly host holocaust deniers.

Students get face time with Ahmadinejad
Sept. 28, 2009
Iranian foreign relations went from theory to reality for 17 students from the “Iran in International Relations since 1979” seminar last week when they attended a private reception with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York City.

Before an audience of about 100 students from American universities on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad answered questions politely and effusively but avoided directly responding to controversial questions. Though students in attendance said Ahmadinejad’s arguments were logical, they disagreed with many of his statements, including his denial of existing scientific evidence that proves the Holocaust occurred.

History In a Photo Album

We visited with our elderly neighbors tonight. After a dinner of home-made potato soup and grilled cheese, the woman wanted to show us some pictures of her bunnies. As she was flipping through a photo album, she was narrating the subjects. “Here’s our chickens. Here’s our bunny rabbits. Here’s the space shuttle exploding. Here’s Pumpkin as a puppy…”

We stopped her and she pulled out the snapshot of the Challenger disaster. She had an entire series of the launch taken from a church parking lot – about a dozen snapshots all with the church’s cross in the foreground starting with the shuttle in its first seconds of flight and ending with the falling debris and unforgettable crazy spirals made by the solid fuel rocket boosters.

It turns out she once lived near Cape Canaveral/Kennedy and rarely missed a launch until she left Florida and moved back to North Carolina. She was there that day and witnessed first hand the event that I saw on a television screen in college.

I asked her how people reacted, and she acted it out for me. There were gasps followed by shouts of “it’s exploded!” to cries of “no, no, no.” She said that her prayer group held hands as the rockets continued their crazy spiral and the shuttle’s remains rained down on the sea and prayed for the families of the astronauts.

We then went back to her pictures of baby goats and chickens, but I won’t be forgetting those snapshots anytime soon.