Friday Open

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It’s Friday, Leap Day. Have a good’un

This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread. A Free Speech Zone.

WFFOT: A thread in time saves nine.

Has Zawahiri assumed RT?

Thanos offers some informed speculation….”Did we get Zawahiri this morning?”

Earlier there were several news stories regarding a missile strike in Pakistan, six miles north of Wana in the Kaloshah area of Azam Warshak, Shero Village.

Everyone is holding their breath wondering who we got, and Jawa report has speculation that Adam Gadahn is in multiple pieces.

I’m going to up the ante, by wondering if we didn’t get Ayman Al Zawahiri this morn; note this newstory from The Nation:

Read more 

Barack Obama’s anti-gun friends at the Joyce Foundation

I ran across an interesting blurb over at Free Republic, and I thought it was worth bringing to your attention…

The source is David Horowitz’s most excellent “Discover the Networks” website .

Beatrice Joyce Kean established the Joyce Foundation in 1948 after accumulating hundreds of millions of dollars in the lumber industry (via family-owned timberlands, plywood and saw mills, and wholesale and retail building-material distribution facilities). During her lifetime, most of Ms. Kean’s modestly small philanthropic gifts were to apolitical recipients such as hospitals and health organizations. After her death in 1972, a professional staff took control of the Foundation and began to move it toward the political left. At first, universities and cultural institutions were added to its roster of grant recipients. A few years later, radical environmentalist and conservation groups entered the picture, as eventually did organizations dedicated to social justice, prison reform, and increased funding for government and social services, particularly for minorities. A notable recent member of the Joyce Foundation’s Board of Directors was Barack Obama, who ran successfully as the Democratic candidate for an Illinois Senate seat in 2004.

Today the Joyce Foundation seeks to “suppor[t] efforts to protect the natural environment of the Great Lakes, to reduce poverty and violence in the region, and to ensure that its people have access to good schools, decent jobs, and a diverse and thriving culture.” The Foundation has six main Giving Programs toward which it directs its philanthropy:

(a) The Environmental Program funds organizations that oppose the use of land for such endeavors as logging, mining, construction, and oil exploration; many of these groups are hostile to a capitalist economic model as well. The Environmental Program warns of global warming — which it attributes largely to pollution created by industrial endeavors — and advocates the increased use of bicycles and mass transit as transportation alternatives to cars.

(b) The Anti-Gun Program seeks to drive small gun dealerships out of business by placing the firearms industry completely under consumer product health and safety oversight. It misrepresents the findings of research on gun-related deaths by failing to distinguish between gun-related deaths among inner-city gang members, where the death rates from shootings are astronomical, and gun-related deaths among members of the general population, which are relatively rare. As a result, it depicts gun violence as a national epidemic, thereby creating a perceived justification for what it hopes will be the erosion of Second Amendment rights.

Thursday Linkage

courtesy of boortz.com

Apparently if you are a Democrat, you are required to have a plan for universal healthcare. At least according to Hillary Clinton. By the way .. .”universal health care” is just another way for Democrats to say “nationalized health care.”

House Minority Leader John Boehner has given the Republicans the proverbial kick in the butt and told them to start raising money for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The President of Sudan has decided that the Danes are no longer welcome in his country after publishing the “blasphemous” cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Here’s an example of the United Nations and its handling of business deals. The UN seems to think that this business man had $50 million to spare for a project in Iraq.

I’ve received many emails asking me to post this video from a man in Great Britain talking about Muslim accommodations in his country.

Fark had a great line for this story: If your lawyer opens your defense by claiming that 9/11 was an inside job, you might want to re-think your choice of counsel.

A wheelchair ramp in San Francisco City Hall is going to cost $100,000 per foot … the ramp in 10 feet long. Can you do the math? That’s $1 million for a wheelchair ramp. Thanks to a listener for bringing this to our attention.

For your daily Muslim outrage … a university professor in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to 180 lashes and eight months in prison for having coffee with a female student.

You’ll be delighted to know that al Qaeda has issued a death sentence against the Dutch politician Geert Wilders … whose film about the Koran has yet to be released. But they have already determined that it is bad enough for him to be killed.

How much taxpayer money are we going to spend to replace 84,000 brand new bulletproof vests that the Marines say are too heavy and impractical?

If you are the mayor of an American town (or any town for that matter) it is probably not a good idea to be found by the police in a public place, passed out in a puddle of what was your dinner.

Massachusetts refused to pay $20,000 for an inmate to have a sex change operation to change him back into a man … instead it would rather pay $52,000 to fight his lawsuit.

I can’t decide which part of this story is worse … the fact that this mother gave her child a Mohawk or the fact that she is sending him to government school. I think I’m going to go with the government school.

A ninth grader in Tennessee has been charged with theft and sent before a judge for taking a 40-cent lunch at his government school. The school has a no tolerance policy against theft.

Apparently the British can’t get enough of American pick-up trucks. One of their main appeals has to do with taxes.

Yesterday on the program we were talking about that FOX show “The Moment of Truth.” Well the woman who ruined her marriage says that she did it for fame and fortune.

Here’s the story about the father that shot a motorcyclist that followed his teenage daughters home.

Here’s a pretty cool short (3 min) video of British people aged 1 to 100 presented in order of age. Is it just me or do the Brits from their 20s to 40s look a little rough?

===

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RIP: Wm F. Buckley, Jr. 1925-2008

Writing at NRO, Kathryn Lopez reports the passing of a conservative legend…

wfb.jpgI’m devastated to report that our dear friend, mentor, leader, and founder William F. Buckley Jr., died this morning in his study in Stamford, Connecticut.

He died while at work; if he had been given a choice on how to depart this world, I suspect that would have been exactly it. At home, still devoted to the war of ideas.

As you might expect, we’ll have much more to say here and in NR in the coming days and weeks and months. For now: Thank you, Bill. God bless you, now with your dear Pat. Our deepest condolences to Christopher and the rest of the Buckley family. And our fervent prayer that we continue to do WFB’s life’s work justice.

So say we all.

Dem debate liveblogging

watch live on msnbc

The Democrat Debate in Ohio

The first 15 minutes dealt with socialized medicine, mandates, and Hillary was on the attack early and often.
Mrs. Clinton displayed her inner-wonk, and dominated the conversation. On a cut to Obama, the camera caught an expression on his face that showed a near eye-roll as he gave an “okie-doke” glance to the moderator.

The next question to Hillary was about NAFTA, and Hillary protested about having to go first, comparing the debate to the SNL skit. There was an awkwardness that was uncomfortable to watch. Neither candidate committed to pulling out of NAFTA, but the more Obama talked, the less sense he made.

More to come…

Foreign policy questions regarding Iraq and Pakistan were next, and both responses were painfully naive. Clinton said, “I would have been tougher on Musharref.”

[I wonder how much tougher we could have been on the Paks. They were not an ally of ours in 2001. Cheney basically told them to get on board or get bombed to the stone age.]

On getting out of Iraq, Obama said, “We will be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in.”

Clinton repeated that there is no military solution in Iraq.

Finally a tough question from Russert, and Hillary balked with a response about not answering “hypothetical questions,” then parried to criticize Obama for not holding oversight meetings re Afghanistan on the SFRC.

Obama responded by saying he has been campaigning, and has taken his argument to “the people.” Neither candidate answered the question, but Obama came closer than Clinton.

Commercial Break….

[First take....remember the Gore-Bush debate when Al thought he scored a hit by chiming in with "what about the XX bill?" It was an arcane piece of legislation that no one knew anything about, except Gore. Hillary is filling the Gore role tonight.]

Next segment, the mods tried to play gotcha.

Hillary pressed to release tax returns and documents at the national archive.

She said she would urge that this be done as soon as possible. [that's gonna happen]

Obama questioned about Farakhan and NOI.

His response was OK, but Hillary parried to talk about rejecting the support of the Independence Party during her Senate run. Hillary scored a rare point.

Next Commercial Break…

On Obama’s “Liberal” voting record, how can you run a General Election campaign?

Obama says he and Clinton differed on only 2 votes. The ratings are “silly,” and the “categories don;t make sense…”

On Russia, Hillary was asked about Putin’s successor…she claimed that Medevev would be Putin’s puppet.

Obama was critical of Bush, and made no new points. So if Russia sends troops to Serbia, Obama said he would

“Work with the international community” and say “that’s unacceptable.” [Kerry Global Test?]

[final take: On what government is supposed to be about. Obama summed it up well. He made the points I needed to hear as to why a Democrat should not be elected in 2008.

Hillary said she would like to have her Iraq vote back. Obama said he would like to have his Terry Schiavo vote back.

Hillary won the debate on substance. The High-def TV is not kind to her. Obama won the debate on style. The camera loves him.]

more at Fox ,

see also, Ben Smith

Tuesday Open

Another Zerobama photo, (h/t sweetness&light)

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Obama is weak on national security

Just how weak is Barry Obama on National Defense?  He sounds like a George McGovern democrat to me.  See for yourself, in his own words….

Similarities of Obama 08 and Carter 76

Steve Kornacki in NY Observer draws an interesting comparison between the two campaigns…

…the similarities between Carter and Obama are considerable. Like Obama, Carter’s resume included service in a state Legislature (rare for a president), and only a very brief stint in high-profile office, his single term as Georgia’s governor from 1970 to 1974. Obama, of course, has only been in the U.S. Senate since 2005, after an eight-year run in the Illinois state Senate.
obamacarter.jpgBoth also outsmarted their intra-party foes when it came to primary strategy. In ‘76, Carter was the lone Democrat to comprehend the opportunities that attended the proliferation of state primaries and caucuses, entering the race early and targeting every state, a tactic that produced weekly victories, hordes of delegates, and a gathering sense of momentum that left his late-starting rivals in the dust. Similarly, the wisdom of Obama’s decision to contest small caucus states and all of the mid-size contests between Super Tuesday and March 4—and the lack of wisdom in Hillary Clinton’s decision not to do so—is only now becoming clear.

Most significantly, both men came along at exactly the right time. Carter’s peanut-farmer-from-Plains simplicity and his oft-repeated promise that he “will never lie to you” were powerful political weapons after Nixon and his wiretapping, his plumbers and his pardon from Ford. And Obama’s message of hope—and his own life story—resonates with an electorate that, after these past eight years, feels utterly disconnected from its government and simply wants to believe in someone again.

Another similarity is the naivete displayed by both candidates: Obama’s willingness to negotiate with sworn enemies of the US; Carter’s “shock” at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

I actually voted for Carter in 76, and again in 80. As I think back, it was probably a case of identity politics on my part. Carter was a Southerner, a Christian, and I was young and stupid. In recalling the 76 election, Kornacki says if the race had continued another week or so, Ford might have overtaken Carter. Perhaps the early start to this election season is just what the Republicans need to overtake the Democrats.

Big Sky warning

From the tall grass at NewsBleat….

Montana officials have warned SCOTUS (the Supreme Court of the U.S.) that should it adopt the erroneous position that the 2nd Amendment only protects a collective right of states to maintain militias like the National Guard, then the Feds will be in violation of the Montana statehood contract.

“…The U.S. would do well to keep its contractual promise to the states that the Second Amendment secures an individual right now as it did upon execution of the statehood contract…“
Brad Johnson, Montana Sec. of State.

”…So far, 39 elected Montana officials have signed a resolution declaring that a court ruling of the Second Amendment is a right of states and not of individuals would violate Montana’s compact…“

Absolutely.

Monday Open

Dueling Photos….

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Fauxtography: Adobe weighs in

You mean, even reputable news agencies might alter a photo? Well, I’m just shocked. Shocked I tell ya.

NEW YORK – Sometimes, a photo is simply too good to be true. [ed. note: ya' think?]

Tiny details in an image, for instance, may be too similar to have occurred naturally, suggesting a cut-and-paste maneuver. Or the color patterns may be too “normal” — beyond the limitations of sensors on digital cameras.

A growing number of researchers and companies are looking for such signs of tampering in hopes of restoring credibility to photographs at a time when the name of a popular program for manipulating digital images has become a verb, Photoshopping.

Adobe Systems Inc., the developer of Photoshop, said it may incorporate their techniques into future releases. source

Now, if they could figure out a way to spot “staged” photos, they would really be on to something

Update: from Powerline  Chinese Fauxtography

(h/t Robert D.)

Looming Lightbulb Liability—–(LLL)

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I saw this one coming months ago when California wanted to make these little toxic bombs mandatory. Now people are waking up to the fact that not every energy saving idea that comes down the ‘pike is a good one. Remember when mercury was going to kill us all? Mercury from the old mines in our ground water, mercury in our homes, mercury in the fish we eat, and the Mercury parked in your driveway. (just kidding about the driveway) Anyway, the powers that be thought it would be good to bring it right back into your house via the CFL bulb. But the good news is people have noticed.

The speeding freight train carrying toxic waste liability for makers, sellers and purchasers of compact fluorescent lightbulbs, or CFLs, was only faintly audible in the distance last spring when this column first warned of it. Now we’re beginning to see that environmentalist-stoked train speed toward its victims, whom President Bush and Congress just finished tying to the tracks.

CFLs and all other fluorescent lightbulbs require special clean-up and disposal procedures because they contain small amounts of mercury, which is neurotoxic at sufficiently high exposures. For example, you’re not supposed to vacuum breakage or toss used bulbs in household trash.

Despite these clean-up and disposal hassles, environmental groups, bulb makers and retailers relentlessly have promoted CFL use as a strategy for reducing electricity consumption and the power plant emissions allegedly causing global warming.

Eco-activist groups, such as Environmental Defense, which historically have agitated to banish toxic substances from homes, workplaces and the environment, surprisingly have said that the mercury in CFLs is nothing to worry about.

But this new posturing flies in the face of the multitude of scary activist-inspired studies that hyperventilate about potential health risks from the slightest exposures to mercury, not to mention a 1987 article in Pediatrics reporting real-life mercury poisoning of a 23-month old from a broken fluorescent light bulb.

Bush and Congress joined the CFL promotion racket, too. The energy bill enacted last December mandates that traditional incandescent bulbs be phased out starting in 2012. CFLs pretty much are the only alternative.

Now here’s the part I was talking about. Mercury bad, but if we can make money, mercury good. As always,
Follow The Money

But while CFL-mandating legislation was pending in Congress, the enviros did a temporary flip-flop: Environmental Defense began pooh-poohing mercury concerns stating, “In short, the exposure from breaking a CFL is in about the same range as the exposure from eating a can or two of tuna fish.”

Two ounces of tuna used to be a horror, but in the name of CFLs, two cans became no problem.

The Associated Press reported in 1992 that fluorescent light bulbs were helping to “poison the Everglades with toxic mercury, threatening humans [and wildlife].”

In December 2000, a Massachusetts newspaper reported in an article entitled “Environmentalists Call for Mercury Product Ban” that the Massachusetts governor had proposed that trash-burning incinerators develop plans to separate fluorescent light bulbs and other mercury-containing consumer products from waste.

The business fantasy is for the nation’s 4 billion-plus light sockets to sport CFLs. There’s much more ka-ching in selling 4 billion $5 light bulbs as opposed to incandescent bulbs costing $0.75. But what about the mercury problem that may impose substantial liabilities on businesses and consumers faster than CFL light bulbs turn on?

First mercury was dangerous. Then, temporarily, it became no big deal. Now that the Greens have caught us in the CFL trap, they’re reverting to form on mercury — all to cause the sort of chaos resulting in increased government control of our lives.

As Johnny Cash sang, “I hear the train a-comin’, it’s rollin’ round the bend. …” The question is: Will President Bush and Congress just leave us on the tracks?

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and DemandDebate.com. He is a junk science expert, advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Touchscreen Table! (why haven’t I heard about this?)

I already knew about touchscreen technology, it’s fairly common now at such places as ATM’s and on I-Phones, but this is different. Very different, especially the ESRI technology, which is described as “industrial strength” google Earth.
This video below shows some of the magic of ESRI.

Then there is this video, which I was unable to embed, but is an excellent example of it’s capabilities.
How about that view of the Iranian nuclear facility? The applications for this tech are boundless.
As the saying goes, “i’m impress!”

PS:I want one

Enzyte Bob meets PT Barnum

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Surprised? Not really….

The owner of a company that sells Enzyte, a so-called “male enhancement” tablet, is facing the prospect of more than 20 years in prison.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported a federal jury has convicted Steve Warshak, 40, and his mother, Harriett Warshak, of conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering.Messages seeking comment from Warshak’s attorney and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Porter were left at their offices Friday night.

Prosecutors claim Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals used a series of deceptive ads, some of which featured the “Smiling Bob” character, to lure consumers. “Smiling Bob” was a goofy, grinning man whose life gets much better after he uses Enzyte, which allegedly boosted his sexual performance.They said the customers were then systematically bilked out of $100 million through manipulated credit card transactions and the company’s refusal to accept returns or cancel orders.

Some former employees testified Berkeley created nonexistent doctors to endorse the pills. The defense claims the company was a victim of its own success, and customer service couldn’t keep pace with its rapid growth.

*ahem*  I don’t think the double entendre was intended.  Heh.

Stealth bomber crashes at Andersen AFB (Guam)

a B-2 stealth bomber crashed at Andersen Air Force Base this morning. The incident happened at around 10:45am Saturday, as information we’ve gathered so far indicates that a lead B-2 aircraft took off and became safely airborne, but when minutes later a second bomber took off for reasons that are unknown at this point, that aircraft crashed.

However, at least two pilots were ejected before the plane hit. Their conditions are unknown at this time. AAFB public affairs officials have not been able to be reached for comment on the matter.

Meanwhile, Yigo residents have reported that they’ve seen large plumes of black smoke coming from the nearby military base. Additionally, according to Guam Fire Department Angel Llagas, a large explosion was also reported to the island’s 911 service this morning, and two units responded to the area.

This is the second military aircraft that has crashed in the last 11 days. On February 12 a Navy Ea-6b Prowler attached to the U.S.S. Kittyhawk strike group went down about 20 miles to the north of AAFB. All four of the pilots in that incident were released from the hospital with minor injuries.

 
Click here to watch eyewitness video from “Citizen Correspondence” of the downed bomber

 

Still no mention at AAFB Website 

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Obama takes funds from lobby partners

By Jim McElhatton, Wash Times

- Sen. Barack Obama, who has refused donations from federal lobbyists and paints his Democratic presidential rival as a Washington insider for accepting their contributions, took hundreds of thousands of dollars from partners at dozens of firms that lobbied Congress in 2007.

The partners — who often share in a law firm’s overall profits — gave at least $214,000 to the Obama campaign from October through December, according to a review of Federal Election Commission records and lobbying-disclosure reports with the Senate.

Partners at the Chicago-based law firm of Kirkland Ellis LLP, which has a lobbying arm in Washington, gave Mr. Obama more than $70,000 in contributions last year. The firm represented a pharmaceuticals company and the Futures Industry Association.

Mr. Obama also has accepted tens of thousands from partners Covington & Burling, which was paid nearly a half-million dollars last year to lobby for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association, or PhRMA. None of the donations came from three partners at the firm who worked as PhRMA lobbyists.

As a rule, the Obama campaign says it won’t accept donations from PhRMA, current federally registered lobbyists, or political action committees. It does accept contributions from state lobbyists, past federal lobbyists and employees of firms that lobby Congress.

“He’s kind of saying, ‘Look, I want to distance myself from the current system,’ but he’s not saying he’s not going to take any money from anyone who employs lobbyists,” said Steven Weissman, associate director of the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute.

“That was a sincere gesture but it’s a gesture, it’s not a significant subtraction from his money,” he said. “Lobbyists are only a very small part of the overall campaign money, but the ones who employ these people are more important. Nobody is willing to refuse their money.”

A campaign spokesman said Mr. Obama has done more than any other candidate to push for lobbying reforms and stronger ethics, and pointed out their opponent Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s penchant for accepting lobbyist largess.

“It’s not a perfect solution to the problem but it does reaffirm a commitment that isn’t shared by Senator Clinton, who’s taken more money [from lobbyists] than any other candidate,” Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said of Mr. Obama’s policy to turn down money from current federal lobbyists.

A spokesman for the Clinton campaign said Mr. Obama’s policy lacks substance.

“When Senator Obama is out on the stump, he works hard to give the impression that he has no relationship with K Street or the special interests,” Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said yesterday. “A little research into his record, however, makes it quite clear that his claims are really just words.”

One missile launched, one satellite destroyed

By John E. Carey
For the Washington Times

The U.S. Navy missile streaked to an altitude of 133 nautical miles and slammed into the fuel tank of a dying spy satellite traveling at 17,000 miles per hour with 1,000 pounds of deadly hydrazine fuel aboard.

Various sensors on land, sea and in space noted the explosion.  Initial reports said the satellite had been turned into what military analyst John Pike called “gravel.”

The ever cautious U.S. military said we needed to take a deep breath and await complete computer analysis.

The international news media erupted into an explanation of altitude, velocity, weight, payload, target angle and other details of the event.

But I could only think of one man: Ronald Reagan.

On March 23, 1983, President Reagan announced from the Oval Office, “I’ve reached a decision which offers a new hope for our children in the 21st century.” He explained his vision — and his defense budget’s inclusion — of the first funds to go toward this nation’s missile defense effort.

Liberals, and most of the media, derided the president’s project as “star wars.” Since 1983, America’s Missile Defense effort has become a multinational, multi-system effort: it has reached into space and it has come down to earth and the sea.

Before President Reagan’s “new hope” the national military strategy of the United States and the Soviet Union contained an unwavering commitment to “Mutually Assured Destruction.”

Mutually Assured Destruction meant that just one American or Soviet nuclear weapon-armed intercontinental ballistic missile headed toward the other’s adversary would result in a violent and unstoppable response of hundreds and perhaps thousands of nuclear warheads.

Millions would die in the exchange.  The strategy became know as “MAD.”

Ronald Reagan, when briefed on emerging U.S. technology for missiles, sensors, lasers and other efforts, saw the future.  He saw a new hope for our children and he committed himself — and his nation — to achieving that vision.

Ronald Reagan is gone.  Many of the initial advisors, technologists and engineers have passed away.  In congress, the issue of missile defense has been argued every year – and usually funding has been less than requested by the Pentagon.

Still, countless hundreds of thousands of people: engineers, technologists, scientists, soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have continued the project, largely without complaint – continued to pursue President Reagan’s new hope and vision.

The U.S. Navy missile that slammed into the dead satellite, USA 193, was a product of that decades long effort.  The modifications to the ship that launched that missile and the training absorbed by those wonderful sailors – products of an American youth criticized by their elders for their frivolous and careless ways –  that carried out this mission all grew from President Ronald Reagan’s vision.

Today, the Soviet Union no longer exists.  But the threat posed by missile launched weapons of mass destruction; nuclear, chemical and biological weapons; clearly still exists.  Russia still has a robust nuclear and missile arsenal.  Add to that China.  North Korea has demonstrated advancing missile and nuclear weapon technology.  Pakistan and India have nuclear arsenals and long-range missiles. Iran has long-range missiles and the United Nations argues over how far they have advanced their nuclear weapon efforts.  And terrorists have boasted that they will have nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction that can soon wipe out Israel and threaten Europe and the United States.

Missile defense, the vision of Ronald Reagan and source of America’s ability to destroy a potentially dangerous satellite on February 20, 2008, remains viable, important and necessary.

We haven’t heard much about missile defense or other defense and international efforts in the current presidential campaigns.  We hear a lot about the economy, health care and other domestic issues.

No domestic programs count unless the nation can be defended.

We haven’t heard much about missile defense or other defense and international efforts in the current presidential campaigns but given the current state of affairs in the world: maybe we should.

John E. Carey is a former senior military officer who served in President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) and is president of International Defense Consultants, Inc

Weekend Linkage

The UN human rights experts have decided that the United States needs to do more to combat racial discrimination against African-Americans, Arabs and Muslims, Hispanics.

The ACLU is suing a city in Iowa that fines parents up to $750 if their precious little angel is suspected of breaking the law or violating curfew three times.

The driver of the van that struck a school bus in Minnesota and killed four students was in fact an illegal alien.

Democrats want every student in America to perform 100 hours of community-based service prior to high school graduation … in order to improve the country.

You’ll be happy to know that wolves have been taken off of the Endangered Species List … somehow the tax payers are still going to be paying $3 million a year to protect them.

What happens when the West underreacts to radical Islam?  We are seeing it happen in Europe right now.

Fake plaques were sent to a police station in Massachusetts in recognition of the officers being “corrupt.”

Imagine that one day you find out that your neighbor is a registered sex offender … suddenly, you are deserving of a tax credit.

A woman who pleaded guilty to drunk driving was ordered by the judge that her wrecked car remain in her front yard until she finishes her three year probation.

And now for some Muslim outrages …

A teacher was fired from an Islamic school after he complained about books that referred to Christians as “pigs.”

A woman in Iran was arrested and then beaten because she was not wearing a pair of socks.

A bank in the Netherlands has been giving piggy banks to young children for years.  Now the bank has stopped giving out the piggy banks because Jews and Muslims consider pigs to be “unclean.”

courtesy of Neal Boortz

Y’all have a great weekend!

Nuke

Calling BS on BO

Update2: Uncle Jimbo weighs in (via h/a)

The ABC report drops it from heinous to just ignorant. My main beef is that such a silly sounding story made it to the debate as Obama’s main point about the military. It was slanted and not an accurate portrayal, thus emphasizing his weakness for the CinC role.

Update: Jake Tapper says the story “Checks out

From last night’s debate in Austin:

BHO:

“I heard from a Army captain, who was the head of a rifle platoon, supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon. Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24, because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq. And as a consequence, they didn’t have enough ammunition; they didn’t have enough humvees.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's OasisThey were actually capturing Taliban weapons because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief. Now that’s a consequence of bad judgment, and you know, the question is on the critical issues that we face right now who’s going to show the judgment to lead.”

This doesn’t pass the smell test with me on several levels.

First, if there were any truth to this, the media would not have hesitated to use it to bash George Bush. It would have been all over the news.

Second, some of my military readers might want to weigh in here, but, how common is it for an Army Captain to be a Platoon leader? Captains don’t lead platoons, they lead Companies.

Third, how does a under-equipped, under-supplied, half-strength platoon capture munitions, weapons and supplies from the enemy? You mean the Taliban is just handing them over?

BHO is not only revealing himself to be a plagiarist and a demagogue, but a liar as well.

UPDATE: more at NRO

the Obama military anecdote was absolute rubbish on so many levels. First, on his understanding of the military: Captains don’t command platoons, Second, we don’t split platoons between Iraq and Afghanistan, not even companies, battalions, or brigades. Sometimes divisions but by then you’re talking about a 12-15,000 man organization so splits make sense. Done it since WWI at that level and even below. The idea that one of the lowest level organizations in the army (a 40 person platoon) is split between a war with 40,000 troops in it and another war with 120,000 is beyond silly. If Clinton knew better herself, she could have slammed him for knowing nothing about the military, but she’s not in much better shape there herself.

As for the substance, absolute crap. Lots of things happen in a complex theater like Afghanistan but I don’t know anybody who has heard anything even close to that story in 6.5 years military involvement there.

++++

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Donks say, “there is no urgency”

Empty Suit

There is no authenticity to this creation of David Axelrod. Wake up America! Reject this poseur.

h/t dschlussel

Showdown in Austin

hillaryobama.jpgAUSTIN, Texas (CNN)It’s showdown time in Texas.

The Democratic race was very different when the candidates debated three weeks ago.

Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois will face off in a Democratic presidential debate in Austin Thursday.

The debate, to be held on the campus of the University of Texas, will air live on CNN.

If words are as important as candidate Obama asserts, hopefully the CNN mods will take advantage of this historic opportunity to focus less on the ‘horse-race’ and the campaign rhetoric, and more on finding out what the candidates really mean.

Betsy McCaughey, former Lt Gov of New York, has penned several interesting questions regarding one of the major issues in the Democratic primary — universal healthcare.

1) Sen. Clinton: When you pledge to cover every one of the 47 million uninsured, do you include recent and future newcomers to the United States, legal and illegal?

2) Sen. Obama: You have said that you will require all parents to have health insurance for their children. What will you do to enforce this law?

3) Sen. Clinton: a question about young adults. They think of themselves as invincible and are not apt to buy insurance. Your “mandate” would force them to do so, and more than that, to pay the same premium as middle aged people whose health care needs generally are much greater. You defend the one-price rule as “shared responsibility,” but isn’t it an unjust, hidden tax on the younger generation?

4) Sen. Obama: You have pledged to make health insurance “affordable.” Texas lawmakers have made insurance less affordable by requiring that every plan include in vitro fertilization, acupuncture, marriage counseling and some 50 other features. This is like passing a law saying that the only car you’re permitted to buy is a fully loaded luxury sedan.

Would you allow Texans (and all of us who live in states with similarly costly insurance requirements) to shop for cheaper insurance outside our own state?

5) Sen. Clinton: You promise that “everyone who is already insured will be able to keep the coverage they have today.” Yet your proposal says all health plans must cover services “experts deem necessary.”

About 4.5 million people have high-deductible insurance, because it costs less and allows them to make their own decisions about where and when to get medical care. But when Massachusetts passed mandatory health insurance, people with high-deductible plans were forced to switch to more expensive medical policies to meet that state’s definition of insurance.

Will that also happen under your proposal?

6) Sens. Obama and Clinton: Some doctors and hospitals are worried about your plans to make electronic record-keeping compulsory. What will be the penalty for a doctor who doesn’t get computerized?

7) Sens. Obama and Clinton: Both your proposals call for limits on the profit margins of insurance companies. Attacking the most unpopular industry in America may sound politically attractive, but if profit margins are legally capped, investors will flee to other industries and private insurance could become a thing of the past. That would leave only a government-run health-care system.

Do you believe the nation should take that risk?

Girl marries dog in India to break ‘evil spell’

Here is a new twist on the “Man Bites Dog” story …

doggroom.jpg New Delhi – A seven-year-old tribal girl in India’s eastern state of Jharkhand on Tuesday married a stray dog as part of traditional rituals to ward off an “evil spell”, witnesses said. The wedding took place in a village near the state’s industrial city of Jamshedpur and several relatives of the girl attended the function believing that the union would bode well for the family, a villager Sonu Pariyar said.

The dog was made to wear sunglasses and was brought to the venue under a decorated umbrella, while an estimated 150 guests danced to the beating of drums and drank home-made liquor.

The girl, who uses the name Pushpa, had to be married because she had a tooth rooted to her upper gum which is considered a bad omen by her tribe in south-eastern Jharkhand.

“Tribal elders said that she should marry the dog or face bad luck. According to their belief, families having a rough time should marry off their children to dogs to ward off evil spirits,” Pariyar said.

“Nine such marriages have taken place since Sunday the start of a local festival. Villagers believe that such marriages will bring in prosperity and good luck,” Pariyar said.

Villagers said that marriage would not affect Pushpa’s life as she would be free to marry again later and did not need to divorce the canine.

Well, that’s good to know. Heh.

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“There is no jihadi terrorism in Islam”

Mark Trevelyan, Security Correspondent for Reuters, writes an interesting piece on the lack of specificity of language in combating terrorism. From the standpoint of mis-identifying the enemy from the get-go, Trevelyan is correct.

But, by allowing themselves to be intimidated by apologists for Islamic supremacists who supposedly “take offense” at any reference to the religion which encourages and supports murder, martyrs, and dying for their god, Reuters and other MSM outlets are abetting those very individuals and organizations who would like nothing better than to see the death and destruction of western civilization.

At a major conference on terrorism in Brussels this week, for example, debate on how to tackle al Qaeda was punctuated by repeated arguments over the terms “jihad” and “jihadist”.

Frequently used by al Qaeda itself and by counter-terrorism specialists and in the media to denote “holy war” against the West, the word jihad signifies for most Muslims a spiritual struggle.

“You can struggle for elimination of poverty, you can struggle for education … you can struggle for something very, very positive in life,” said General Ehsan Ul Haq, former chairman of Pakistan’s joint chiefs of staff.

Now to call jihadists as terrorists is either reflective of …lack of understanding of Islam, or it is I must say an intended misuse, which again is unfortunate,” he added. “It might have been somewhat excusable in the trauma post-9/11 but I don’t think it is any more.”

Sheikh Mohammed Mohammed Ali, an Iraqi scholar, told delegates at the annual conference of the EastWest Institute think-tank: “Jihad is the struggle against all evil things in your soul…There is no jihadi terrorism in Islam.”

Wrapping Islamic terrorism in political correctness is just another example of the great struggle that our Republic faces:  the convergence of radical leftism with Islamic terrorism.

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