Sunday, February 27

Muslim cleric: U.S. muslims should revolt against U.S.

A Muslim extremist cleric, Anjem Choudary, has declared that President Obama must embrace Islam as a way of life or face trial under Shariah law.

Choudary, founder of two Islamic groups disbanded by the British authorities under anti-terror legislation, said he'll hold a protest in Washington this week and says he will call on American Muslims to revolt against the country and implement Shariah law.

In an interview with reporter Aaron Klein, Choudary said that at his protest--to be held Thursday in front of the White House--he will call on Obama and all Americans to “embrace Islam."

He added a phrase that should be noted by all U.S. Leftists/liberals/Democrats: “Muslims don’t want democracy and freedom. Democracy and freedom are anathema to Islam and the Shariah.”

You might have seen pics of protesters in the U.K. carrying signs reading "To hell with freedom." If so, you may have thought "That's so absurd that it has to be a photoshop." Well, Choudary's comment should remove any doubt.

These stupid bastards really do hate freedom and democracy. Which makes supporting dictatorial imams *sooooo* much easier!

This may also help explain why so many Leftists and socialists are in love with Islam: They don't like freedom and democracy either. It's why so many leftist revolutions result in "one man, one vote--one time."

Saturday, February 26

My pick of coming problems facing the U.S.

Following is a list of problems--potentially lethal--facing the U.S. in one area or another. (These aren't ranked by severity.)

1. Increasing invasion across the Mexican border by armed drug cartel members;
2. Iranian acquisition of atomic bomb;
3. Potential aggressive moves by Chavez in Venezuela;
4. Iran as a constant supplier to terrorist groups;
5. North Korean aggression, either conventional or nuclear;
6. Continued realignment of Pakistan against the U.S.
7. Rising energy prices, as Obama continues to defy a court order to either issue drilling permits in the Gulf or deny the applications and defend that decision in court;
8. Impending bankruptcy of California and Illinois;
9. Collapse of the Euro;
10. Collapse of bond markets following defaults by CA, IL or the PIIGS;
11. Rising U.S. debt and interest payments on same;
12. Continued high unemployment due to business closings;

Because the consequences of failing to solve any of these problems could be quite serious--as in, many American deaths or loss of allied states to bad agents--problems of this class would normally be handled by the president's top aides--secretaries of State, Defense, Treasury and other cabinet members and agency heads.

Thus it's reassuring to see that Obama has had the foresight to surround himself with truly world-class analysts, strategists and managers to handle the bumps coming fast.

Like, oh, Timmy Geithner. The canny, experienced geopolitical strategist Hillary Clinton. His shrewd director of National Intelligence, Mr. Clapper, who described the Muslim Brotherhood as not really a religious organization.

Seeing so much talent on one team is very comforting. I feel as secure and confident as a first-class passenger on the world's largest, newest ocean liner did in April, 1912.

Dems blocking proposed spending cuts

There's an amusing fight going on right now (perhaps not a real one) over the government's budget. With a projected yearly deficit of something like $1.6 Trillion, the Republican leadership is trying to cut the budget by $100 billion or so--about six percent--while the Dems are fighting tooth and nail to block cuts to anything except the military.

Watching this unfold, a commenter on another blog had the following insight:
To the Democrats, there can't be such a thing as excessive spending, since the spending itself is seen by Dems as an end in itself -- regardless of what the money is being spent on. The idea is to distribute cash to their supporters--and thus reap more votes next election. This has been the idea (the "spoils system") since Martin van Buren invented the modern Democratic Party in the service of Andrew Jackson.

That makes a lot of sense. Dems never seem to mind deficits--although they briefly squealed loudly about the far smaller ones incurred by G.W. Bush, this was widely regarded as nothing more than political theater. One has to wonder: Do they think they can borrow endless amounts from the Chinese forever?

Apparently they think they can.

Here's something to think about: In just nine years, the interest we'll be paying China each year on the money we've borrowed from them will completely fund their defense budget.

But you Dems stay classy, and keep pushing those giant spending programs. Like Obamacare. Keep refusing to issue drilling permits in the Gulf--in defiance of a court order--so we can send more money to middle-east oil exporters.

I'm not an unalloyed fan of the Republicans--too many damn RINOs--but the Dem insistence that they can keep doing business as usual is insane.

Friday, February 25

"Sharia sucks"

Some Americans make excuses for Islamic terrorists. Others see Islamic aggression for what it is.

The link is to an American psychiatrist who's stunned by how, after a 14 year old girl in Pakistan (for you young'uns, that's a Muslim-run country) was raped by a married relative, the Islamic court quickly charged her with adultery, speedily convicted her and sentenced her to--brace yourself--100 lashes.

The girl died while being flogged.

How, wondered the psychiatrist, could any sane society do such a thing?

Now, everyone knows that every large population--including those of civilized countries--has a tiny fraction of crazies who do incredibly cruel things. They're mentally ill and bent on doing evil. But we don't praise them, or charge their victims with crimes, nor flog the victims.

But Islam seems to contain a universal strain of evil, malicious cruelty--a behavior uniformly embraced by the national leaders. In other words, the cruelty and evil is official policy rather than an aberration.

The doc also observes that many if not most of those on the Left seem to make excuses for Islamic terrorism and oppose efforts to defeat it.

Instead, Leftists shout that anyone who opposes Islamic expansion and the imposition of Sharia law in non-Muslim nations is "Islamophobic."

Yet these are the same folks who scream bloody murder if *Christians* try to impose any sort of restraints on drugs or teen sex or abortion or you name it.

Interesting double-standard.

Magical thinking

When people find themselves in extremely dire straits--the airplane is going down, the car just plunged off the mountain road, cops are minutes away from finding the body you buried, that sort of thing--many people cope by resorting to "magical thinking:"

"This is just a dream." Or, "Any second now a Harrier jump-jet will pull up a few feet away and throw me a rope." That kind of thing.

Magical thinking is like wishful thinking on steroids: Where people who indulge in wishful thinking know reality from their pleasant fantasy, those gripped by magical thinking really believe the fantasies they create.

They must, because the alternative is too scary for them to contemplate.

While magical thinking certainly gives the person in extremis some relief, it doesn't change reality one iota. And that's usually a problem--if not for the person who's effectively checked out of reality, certainly for those in the back of the plane who weren't ready to go just yet.

It seems likely that narcissists ("it's all about me") are far more inclined to magical thinking than other people, because they've spent their lives being the Decision Makers, the controllers, the Beautiful People who seem to run society and politics. Thus when disaster looms, they surely must know on some level that their own decisions had either set the fatal situation in motion or else that they'd failed to recognize and avoid the crisis.

From my limited experience with humans, that would make them way more inclined to do the Magical Thinking bit: "Everything's fine. And if some of you are having problems, it must be your own fault because it can't possibly be due to any decision I made. I had nothing to do with it!"

Of course it's impossible to know whether a politician's refusal to take responsibility springs from Magical Thinking or merely a desire to fool the peasants one more time.

Example: "Baghdad Bob," Saddam's PR guy, who smiled as he denied to the cameras that American troops were in Baghdad.

Gaddafi: I am in control, and any problems y'all are having are due solely to the fact that zionists are slipping drugs into your kids' milk. Or something.

Bawney Fwank: There is no pwobwem in the mortgage industwy. Everything is perfectly sound.

Government-employee's-union bosses: We won't let you trim our pensions--95% paid for by taxpayers--or make us pay an eighth of the cost of our medical care,'s just not FAIR! And people who claim the state can't afford to carry on as before are just LYING! Besides, the state could just cut somewhere else, road maintenance or something.

Expect to see many more examples of Magical Thinking as things get worse--as they must with Obozo in the White House and the Dems in control of the senate.

Wednesday, February 23

Do unionized teachers do a better job of teaching?

As the thuggish demonstrations by members of public-employees unions continue in Wisconsin, a number of stories in the media have compared education performance in that state--with unionized teachers--to the performance in states like Texas (non-unionized).

On ACT/SAT scores, for example, Wisconsin ranks 2nd while Texas ranks 47th.

So OH WOW, unionized teachers must be much better, right?

Blogger Iowahawk was skeptical. He noted that Texas has a far higher percentage of black and Hispanic students (12% and 30%) than Wisconsin (4% each), and it's no secret that those groups have lower average scores than whites and Asians. He also noted that there's no evidence that this is due to differences in ability but could easily be due to the effect of lower family income and higher percentage of single-parent households--long known to affect educational results.

Was it possible that Texas' lower ranking on ACT/SATs was caused simply by its higher percentage of minority students?

He also noted that there was a nationwide standardized test--the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)--that published results broken down by race. And it told a very interesting tale:

2009 4th Grade Math

White students: Texas 254, Wisconsin 250 (national average 248)
Black students: Texas 231, Wisconsin 217 (national 222)
Hispanic students: Texas 233, Wisconsin 228 (national 227)

2009 8th Grade Math

White students: Texas 301, Wisconsin 294 (national 294)
Black students: Texas 272, Wisconsin 254 (national 260)
Hispanic students: Texas 277, Wisconsin 268 (national 260)

2009 4th Grade Reading

White students: Texas 232, Wisconsin 227 (national 229)
Black students: Texas 213, Wisconsin 192 (national 204)
Hispanic students: Texas 210, Wisconsin 202 (national 204)

2009 8th Grade Reading

White students: Texas 273, Wisconsin 271 (national 271)
Black students: Texas 249, Wisconsin 238 (national 245)
Hispanic students: Texas 251, Wisconsin 250 (national 248)

2009 4th Grade Science

White students: Texas 168, Wisconsin 164 (national 162)
Black students: Texas 139, Wisconsin 121 (national 127)
Hispanic students: Wisconsin 138, Texas 136 (national 130)

2009 8th Grade Science

White students: Texas 167, Wisconsin 165 (national 161)
Black students: Texas 133, Wisconsin 120 (national 125)
Hispanic students: Texas 141, Wisconsin 134 (national 131)

To recap: white students in Texas perform better than white students in Wisconsin, black students in Texas perform better than black students in Wisconsin, Hispanic students in Texas perform better than Hispanic students in Wisconsin. In 18 separate ethnicity-controlled comparisons, the only one where Wisconsin students performed better than their peers in Texas was 4th grade science for Hispanic students (statistically insignificant), and this was reversed by 8th grade. Further, Texas students exceeded the national average for their ethnic cohort in all 18 comparisons; Wisconsinites were below the national average in 8, above average in 8.

Perhaps the most striking thing in these numbers is the within-state gap between white and minority students. Not only did white Texas students outperform white Wisconsin students, the gap between white students and minority students in Texas was much less than the gap between white and minority students in Wisconsin. In other words, students are better off in Texas schools than in Wisconsin schools - especially minority students.

Conclusion: instead of chanting slogans in Madison, maybe it's time for Wisconsin teachers to take refresher lessons from their non-union counterparts in the Lone Star State.

Let me note again that the above results don't suggest that whites are smarter: I suspect that if one were to control for family income and percentage of two-parent families, there would be no statistically significant difference in the scores of the 3 groups. But the NAEP results clearly show that when scores are compared between identical groups, Texas wins in 17 of the 18 areas tested.

Conclusion: Media articles alleging better performance by unionized teachers are simply propaganda.

DC activists try to wring cash from Wal-Mart to let them build stores in D.C.

Wal-Mart is planning to build 4 stores in Washington D.C.

Now the fun begins: Predictably, a bunch of "community organizers" and assorted activists have surfaced to try to wring juicy, de-facto payoffs from the company as a condition for letting them build the stores. The groups want the company to agree to a list of demands that include supporting "charitable partnerships" with groups dealing with hunger and "work-force development" in the District.

Now, I don't care whether Wally builds in DC or not, but if I were the company I'd get the opposition groups to commit to a written list of "demands"--signed by each. Then once a month for the next couple of years I'd run half-page ads in the Washington Times as follows:
Tired of not having jobs? Of not being able to find fresh produce? We wanted to build 4 stores in D.C., but the following people demanded that we agree to a long list of demands in order to build here.

In the face of such logical, determined opposition we decided not to build any stores in D.C.

If this decision pleases you, call the following people and thank them.

On the other hand, if you think the demands (printed below) were little more than hypocritical attempts to extort money from our company, call 'em and tell them that too.

We certainly don't want to open stores where they're not wanted!

Oh my. Can you imagine the reaction from the left?

And look at all the posturing from Obama and wife about how much trouble residents of poor communities have finding fresh produce. And how important jobs are in poor communities. The ads would make them look like hypocritical poseurs, opportunists. Hmm.....

OTOH, local residents may just decide they want Wal-Mart stores locally, and throw out the pols who are blocking the deal.

Tuesday, February 22

Wisconsin department of Ed website touts "8-HOUR work week"

In December of 2009 the Wisconsin government--with both houses and the governor's office controlled by Democrats--passed a law requiring the state's teachers to teach “the history of organized labor in America and the collective bargaining process” as part of social studies. The phrase "and the collective bargaining process" suggests that the state's teachers--all union members--will be teaching the subject with an entirely pro-union spin.

Last September the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (i.e. the department that runs education in that state) created a website describing this wonderful program. Click here to see it.

The third sentence on the page is:
Unions such as the AFL-CIO and Teamsters allow us to enjoy an eight-hour work week and vacation time.
Wow, this explains so much!

As of today that line has been on the department's webpage for almost four months. I guess the reason no one has changed it is that the idea of working just eight hours per week doesn't seem a bit unreasonable to the union bosses in the Wisconsin DoPI.

And I wonder why they decided to give credit for a short work week to just the AFL-CIO and Teamsters instead of, oh, the steelworkers or railroad unions? Just curious.

This page has been up for four months and no one has corrected this obvious error. Seriously, how does anyone confuse a day with a week, or think there are only 8 work hours in the latter? Were they uncertain how to multiply 8 by 5? I mean, this is just so obviously unreasonable that one has to wonder if anyone knows WTF they're doing up there.

Well considering that every employee in the WDoPI is almost certainly a union member, things become clearer. This is public-employee union performance at its best.

What happens next in Libya and Egypt?

Someone once said that in hindsight, everything is obvious. If you think about that, it implies that on occasion, it should be possible to predict the future. You just have to know what facts and observations are important to the solution.

The situation in Libya may be one of those times.

Libya has 6 million people, and a military of 45,000 or so. And the largest oil reserves in Africa.

Egypt has 82 million or so--most desperately poor. And quite a large military.

With Libya on the edge of civil war and its leader on the verge of fleeing, roughly half the Libyan armed forces have defected to the demonstrators. So it would be easy for Egyptian military forces to take the country.

Only two things keep that from happening: The forces of the Western nations that historically frown on such moves; and the Koranic principle that Muslim shouldn't kill Muslim.

Even if any western nations wanted to save Khadaffi, none is inclined to try any nation-saving at this particular time. Europe is paralyzed with fear and the U.S. is led by a socialist community organizer who wants the U.S. to do nothing on the world stage except bow to other leaders.

So the only remaining block is that alleged Koranic ban.

It'll be interesting to see how inventive the Imams get in creating reasons why that ban doesn't apply to Egypt invading Libya.

Sunday, February 20

For those of you with kids between grades 7-12

Occasionally I write summaries of ideas or areas of interest to me. Usually these are "outside the box," and can lead to interesting discoveries in their own right.

If you have highschool kids who have to write papers, a couple of them might find some of these of interest.

Here's one about the development of the atomic and hydrogen bombs.

Here's one on the history of the use of oil and development of the world market for it.

Here's one on a novel theory of the AIDS virus and a possible way to reduce its lethality.

Here's one on a somewhat novel public transit system.

Finally, most people think oil comes from ancient plants or fossilized animals. Doesn't seem to be the case. Origin of oil discussed here.

"I won" theory comes to Wisconsin, Dems don't like it now.

Karl Denninger has an interesting analysis of the Wisconsin controversy and Obama's reaction. I've edited a bit:
After the 2008 election a small group of Republican congressmen complained to Barack Obama that his Democratic allies in congress were refusing to negotiate on any points of proposed legislation. The Republicans asked the president why this was now Democrat policy.

Obama's answer was “I won.”

Fair enough. As has been said, elections have consequences, and Obama and the Dems did win the 2008 election.

Never mind that Obama lied about virtually everything he said he was going to do. Among other things he said he did not come to Washington to favor the banksters, but in point of fact he has provided more Lewinskis to them than Monica ever did to Bill Clinton. His so-called Attorney General, Eric “Place” Holder, drops felony cases even after getting a default judgment against the defendants.

After two years of bills being rammed through congress via blatant bribery, Americans had enough, and last November they threw a lot of Democrats out of office.

One of the newly-elected politicians was Republican Governor Walker in Wisconsin.

He ran on a platform that, among other things, proposed to eliminate collective bargaining for teachers for pensions, health insurance and work rules-- everything except pay. All those things, if they were going to be larded up on the public, would have to survive a public vote by the people.

Governor Walker did exactly what he promised. Faced with a budget deficit that was gimmicked and gamed by his predecessor to appear smaller than it really was (just as occurred in New Jersey with Governor Christie) he put forward a bill to fix things.

Remember, the new Democrat party standard for compromise on legislation-–by the president's own words--is “I won.”

Mr. Walker won.

In response, the president’s campaign organization –“Organizing For America” –organized 15 rapid response phone banks urging supporters to call their state legislators, and began planning and producing rallies, according to a Democratic Party official in Washington.

Is the president’s campaign apparatus really attempting to prevent a vote from taking place?

Just a month ago we heard from this same president that we had a “responsibility” to tone down the political rhetoric. So why hasn't he commented on the fact that some of the protesters in Wisconsin are waving signs that claim Walker is Adolph Hitler and have targets on him?

The average teacher in Wisconsin receives about $86,000 in total pay and benefits annually. Like all teachers they also get three months off every year. That $86,000 has a huge benefit component, like all public employees – including pension and health care. But the important point is this figure is roughly $25,000 more than the average private-sector worker makes – even when you include the ridiculously over-compensated people like those at Goldman Sachs.

Here’s the reality folks: We’re broke. The States are broke and so is the Federal Government. Politicians from both sides made promises--salary and over-generous retirement and health care benefits--that can’t be kept. That’s a fact and no amount of spin is going to change it. We must cut the Federal Budget by more than half and at the same time raise taxes in order to start to pay down the debt.

Five entitlement programs--Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare and Unemployment-- consume more than half of the entire Federal Budget. The federal government borrows 42 cents of every dollar it spends.

If we cut every other program--including defense--to zero, we still couldn't balance the budget without cutting something out of one or more of these five programs.

This is not a "future problem", but a problem that must be solved right now. If we do nothing the system will collapse--soon. And the states are in the same fix.

But today we have a president who's trying to nullify the results of a state election. That election was held, the people spoke, and the majority of Wisconsin residents support what Governor Walker is doing.

Governor Walker needs to sign an executive order declaring a State of Emergency and ordering the Senate to come to order. If the Democrats refuse he should then declare their seats vacated and call a special election to fill them. It is fine to disagree but the fact remains that a legislator has a job, and that is to legislate. That means showing up, speaking your peace, debating in a civil manner and voting. That’s how we do things in America.

Finally, to those in Organizing for America who are playing these games, let me make this very, very clear: Your leader set the standard in 2008 when he said “I won” as justification for refusing to compromise on his bills. Well, this time you lost.

Powerful stuff, IMO.

Saturday, February 19

Civil war in Wisconsin??

Interesting conflict going on in Wisconsin: A new governor recognizes that when government workers are unionized, they have a huge advantage when it comes to negotiating perks and benefits, because they can shut down the government if they don't get everything they want.

So over time, unionized government employees slowly aggregate relatively huge pensions and health-care bennies compared to their private-sector counterparts.

Government employee unions have another huge advantage in negotiating perks, in that they can tap their members' dues to give huge contributions to candidates who have voted for them or promise to do so if elected.

(You say that's illegal? There's certainly a federal law to this effect, but it only applies to federal elections. Otherwise it's up to the various states.)

In light of this virtually unlimited power that a unionized government workforce has (since it can shut down government), Wisconsin's new governor--do we need to tell you he's a Republican?--asked the gubmint unions for small wage/benefit concessions.

This got a quick F-U from the union bosses.

He then announced support for a bill that would bar public-employee unions from "collective bargaining"--in which the bosses speak for every employee, and can presumably call a strike if they feel slighted.

Whereupon highschool teachers in the state took their students out of classes and started demonstrating at the state capitol.

At roughly the same time, the bill was about to be brought up for action by the state senate--in which the Republicans had a very slim majority after last November's election. But before the vote, senate Democrats--realizing the Repubs were likely to pass the bill their labor union constituents hated--did the responsible, adult thing: They fled the state and holed up in Illinois.

They left Wisconsin because doing so put them beyond the legal reach of Wisconsin state troopers. Had they stayed in the state the governor might have had troopers haul 'em to the capitol to do what the taxpayers were supposedly paying them to do.

The Dems fled because knew there were only 19 Republican senators, and state rules require 20 senators for any financial business to be conducted. So rather than vote on a measure they expected to lose, the Dems shut down the senate.

Wow, that "democracy" stuff is pretty neat, huh? It's really important to get out and vote, and try to win a majority--except that if the Dems lose their majority it means nothing because they'll just shut down the whole shebang if they expect to lose a vote.

Who knew that was the way it was supposed to work?!

Keen observers may recall that Democrat legislators in Texas did the same thing to prevent redistricting after Republicans won a majority of the seats for the first time either in decades or possibly ever. So this seems to be a fairly popular Democrat tactic.

Do the Repubs ever do this? For decades the legislature of my state was totally dominated by Democrats, but I can't ever recall Republicans using this tactic to block a bill they didn't like. Does anyone know of Republicans doing this in some other state?

In any case, tensions are mounting, crowds are screaming and comparing the governor to Hitler and Mussolini--really! For wanting to reduce government spending.


And it's coming to your state sooner than you think.

As a commenter here noted, government-employee unions will pillage the public treasury to the extent they can, because unlike private business, governments have the power to increase revenue at the point of a gun. So there's very little incentive for politicians to spend more than a token effort to oppose golden pensions and golden health-care benefits for public employees.

Though it sounds harsh, the only way to prevent government unions from growing into insatiable monsters is to eliminate them.

UPDATE: A Wisconsin resident notes that the 20-member requirement is only to pass *financial* bills, and that other business simply requires a majority of senators to be present. The Repubs have this number, so he suggests that they simply begin taking up bills that would rectify some of the most glaring wrongs supported and loved by Democrats--like requiring people to produce photo ID to vote.

Or requiring all candidates for president to produce notarized proof of eligibility to hold the office in order to get on the state ballot. (!)

He's pretty sure that if the Repubs simply started the session and began considering bills, the absent Dems would come charging back rather than concede all votes to the Repubs.

I would LOVE to see that tried.

Dems: "You can't cut spending!" So Republicans don't

Okay, I've got to be late reaching the obvious on this one, but here goes:

It's been known for eons that in a conflict, you can avoid a costly battle against your opponent if you can demoralize him to the point that he doesn't show up on the battlefield. Same thing works in politics.

Since the Liberals lost their majority in the House, and the House must originate all spending bills, a lot of pet projects are in danger of being cut. Solution? Argue that because so-called "entitlement programs" (like Social Security and Medicare) comprise the bulk of government spending and are untouchable, it's not possible to cut gubmint spending by meaningful amounts by cutting other programs. So why try?

Man, that's brilliant. Demoralize conservatives and maybe enough will defect to the Dems when it's time to vote that the Dems will win.

Oh, wait, that's exactly what happened. When a measure to cut $22 billion in spending came to a vote last week, half of the Republican conference--including Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)--voted with every Democrat against it.

So looks like government will continue business as usual--i.e. racing toward the cliff of national bankruptcy due to crazy, outrageous failure to spend no more than what the government receives (takes) in revenue.

Amazing that these alleged Republicans are acting like they don't see that coming. It can't possibly be that they don't know it's coming, but must be that they'd rather be re-elected than do the hard, unpopular but necessary things to fix the situation.

What do you do when you're in a friend's car and he pushes it up to 100 on a winding road? I truly don't know.

Monday, February 14

Jordanians press for release of man who killed schoolgirls

In 1997 a Jordanian soldier--in peacetime--opened fire with an automatic weapon on a group of Israeli schoolgirls visiting Jordan, killing 7 and wounding five.

The soldier was sentenced to prison in Jordan.

Now Jordan's newly appointed "justice minister" has joined a sit-in demonstration calling for the king to issue a special pardon to secure the killer's release.

Okay, so some people think the guy has served enough time to make things square for murdering seven schoolgirls. Can't agree but everyone's entitled to an opinion.

The problem I have with this is what the "justice minister" said about the killer: "I support the demonstrators' demand to free Ahmad Dakamseh. He's a hero. He does not deserve prison."

Now, I can understand a desire to free a prisoner who's served 14 years or so. But to call the guy "a hero"??

The head of a committee formed to press for the man's release delivered a letter to the justice minister that said "We cannot imagine that a great fighter like Dakamseh is in jail instead of reaping the rewards of his achievement."

I understand family and friends pressing for the guy's release, but what kind of sick, twisted, psycho culture calls a man who gunned down seven schoolgirls a "great fighter"?

This cult of death is beyond sick. These people are beyond sick.

A cult that honors men who gun down unarmed schoolgirls. Unbelievable.

Oh, I can understand that many readers are skeptical of this article. Probably taken from an Israeli newspaper, eh? So surely it can't be true.

But clicking the link shows it came from an arab source.

Thursday, February 10

EPA in spin/damage control mode on new milk-spill reg

If you've ever wondered why the number of gubmint employees keeps growing rapidly, even as the rest of the economy stagnates, here's one reason why:

Last October the EPA proposed that all dairy farms be required to put containment dikes around milk storage tanks. Further, all dairy farms were to be commanded--under penalty of fines--to maintain written procedures for how they would cope with a milk spill, and to conduct training of all employees to ensure they knew the procedures.

A few days ago the Wall Street Journal took notice of this craziness, and ran an editorial blasting the stupid, inefficient, burdensome [etc, etc] regulatory pinheads at the EPA.

WELL...the gubmint folks ain't about to let no uppity "private enterprisers" get away with criticizing THEM. So one week later the assistant administrator for the EPA's office of solid waste and emergency response--Mathy Stanislaus--wrote an article saying "NO NO NO you stupid wingers, we gods of the EPA never had any intention of doing that."

Well, that was the gist, anyway. Here's what he actually wrote:

The Feb. 2 national...column, "The EPA seeks to expand its bureaucracy'' readers the impression that the...Agency intends to regulate all small dairy farms as part of its work to prevent oil spills. This is incorrect.

EPA has already proposed to exclude milk and milk product storage tanks from the spill prevention regulatory program. This common-sense decision was announced months ago. Moreover, EPA already has stayed any compliance requirements for milk and milk product storage tanks pending the agency's final action on the proposed permanent exclusion....

EPA stands with President Barack Obama in his commitment to using common sense and transparency to review federal regulations. This commitment to transparency is precisely why EPA publicly announced its intention to delay compliance requirements for milk and milk product storage tanks in October 2010. [All emphasis mine.]

Mathy, if the EPA is so committed to using common sense--something that seems entirely alien to what it's always done in the past--then why did anyone in the agency EVER create "compliance requirements" that would include dairies?

Also, your denial is riddled with loopholes and weasel-words: You write that the idea that the EPA intended to regulate *all* *small* dairy farms is wrong. Did the agency propose to regulate *some* small dairies, or merely large ones? If so, does the EPA still intend any such regs?

You say the EPA announced its "intention" to "delay" compliance requirements for milk storage tanks. "Delay" doesn't mean the proposed regs vanish, but simply that they're...y'know, delayed. Doesn't sound like an outright back-off.

Maybe your denial letter just used the weasel-words by accident, but you can't blame us civilians--i.e. taxpayers and voters--for suspecting otherwise. Far too often we've watched some seemingly innocuous "proposed regulation" explode into ghastly, burdensome, invasive, ridiculous consequences.

If we're skeptical, there's a damn good reason.

Saturday, February 5

Muslims flog teen rape victim to death

In Bangladesh (formerly part of Pakistan, and almost 100% Muslim) a 14-year-old girl was raped by a 40-year-old married cousin.

Whereupon the rapist's family beat the victim and accused her of adultery (for "having sex" with a married man, see?).

The very next day the village council, acting in accord with Islamic Shariah law, sentenced the girl to 100 lashes. Because, see, in Muslim countries investigations only take a few minutes, because there's no need to find any...y'know, facts, since the local imam and the rapist told the council everything it needed to know. And there's no need for a trial because imams are all honest and super-smart and everything.

After 80 lashes the poor girl lost consciousness. Her family took her to the hospital where she died.

Expect American feminists to go ballistic in...oh wait, I forgot: American feminists are almost totally silent when it comes to atrocities committed against women and girls, as long as the outrages are perpetrated by Muslims.

Kinda' odd, that. Kinda' makes you wonder what the hell is going on in the feminist movement, doesn't it?

Meanwhile, American Muslims strongly condemned this outrage against justice, decency and fundamental human rights, since...Oh, wait: Not a syllable was uttered by one of them against this heinous act. The Bangladeshi high court growled and demanded answers but it's widely known that it has no enforcement power.

But hey, Islam is just peachy.

Friday, February 4

Religion of kill-your-teenage-daughter. Again.

In Pakistan a few days ago the father of a 14-year-old girl murdered her when she refused to marry the father's 52-year-old cousin.

The marriage had been arranged by the father, so the daughter's refusal was viewed as bringing dishonor to the family. The father electrocuted the victim--a lengthy process when using household voltage.

The girl's mother reportedly agreed with the murder, reportedly saying she didn't want her husband to be jailed. “My daughter was a disgrace to the family. We can’t tolerate our children disrespecting their elders’ wishes so we killed her,” Mukhtar Mai said. “Why would I want my husband punished? He did the right thing.”

Okay, let's pause for a second: I fully realize that there are crazies in all societies, all religions. But I submit that the fundamental, irreconcilable difference with Islam is...roughly half of all clinically *sane* Muslims in Pakistan would likely agree that this murder was proper and justified.

And *that,* gentle reader, is why I doubt we'll ever find common ground with this particular group of Muslims. Others, possibly, but not these folks.

Some people can say anything and still get promoted.

Ever met someone who *always* comes out smelling like a rose, no matter what?

Ben Bernanke is one of those people who can say one thing one day, and then two or three years later, after reality totally discredits that position, no one seems to remember that he said it.

These are the same folks who can manage to get appointed to high positions by presidents of both parties--again, no matter who wins, they come out on top.

Case in point: In 2005 Bernanke said there was no housing bubble. Then two years later the housing market collapsed. And yet he's still serving as fed chair under a different president.


Wednesday, February 2

Here's the blueprint...

Many Americans believe our democracy is healthy and in no danger of ending. After all, it's lasted over 230 years, so...

But a democracy can implode into one-man rule at any time. You say you're skeptical? Here's how it's done:

Venezuela was a democracy--representative government, regular elections, pretty good standard of living. Then the socialist Chavez got in.

After eight years as president, Chavez had four years remaining on what the law said should have been his second and last term. But he wanted to stay, so he proposed a constitutional amendment that would have repealed term limits on *all* elected officials. (Note the attempt to reduce any criticism by having the bill apply to *all* officials instead of just the president.)

The amendment was defeated.

So two years later he tried again, and this time the "referendum" passed, allegedly with 54 percent of the vote.

Yesterday, as expected, he announced that he would run for a third term.

And of course he's legally able to run for as many years as he wants.

All nice and legal.

Politicians who know how to stuff ballot-boxes, bribe legislators and voters can get almost any law or amendment passed, no matter how self-serving or merely hideous.

Sort of like, oh, "free" medical care for everyone, paid for by the half of the people who pay taxes.

Geez, why does that sound familiar?

Tuesday, February 1

Democrats: "Muslim Brotherhood" is peaceful--trust us!

By now it's pretty much settled that the Egyptian people have ousted Mubarak. (He may still be in country but enough dominoes have fallen that it's highly unlikely he'll remain president.)

Accordingly, a lot of folks want to know who will come out at the top of the new government.

The American "mainstream media"--95 percent leftist, 20 percent terminally naive (some are in both groups)--have told you this is a "democratic movement" or "democratic revolution," which suggests (duh) a democratic form of government will emerge.

Hey, there's always a chance for democratic government to emerge, and we wish them the best of luck. "Hope springs eternal" and all that.

Realistically, though, the chances for this are slim to none. Reason is that after almost every coup, the group that takes over is either the most organized or the most violent. (If two groups are in contention, the more violent will usually defeat a better-organized but less-violent rival.)

In Egypt the clear pick either way is a group called the Muslim Brotherhood.

"The Muslim Brotherhood." What a convivial concept--like a fraternity or something.

Except this outfit supports jihad, Islamic conquest of the entire world and conversion or submission of everyone on the planet to that good ol' "religion of pieces." This information, BTW, is from the mission statement at the top of the *arabic language version* of their website. (Not surprisingly, the English-language version has no similar statement.)

Now, it's always *possible* that despite its self-proclaimed support for jihad and world conquest in its mission statement, the Muslim Brotherhood has changed since that was written, and is now all about peace and unicorns and coexistence. After all, how can we Americans know one way or the other at this distance?

Well here's a big clue: Look at the number of articles in the MSM telling you that the MB opposes violence, and how it didn't start the demonstrations that led to the current revolt, or how the revolt is not driven by Islam.

When that many MSM outlets are pushing a meme that hard, it pegs my BS-detector.

In any case, we'll find out in a few months whether Egypt gets its democratic government, as the U.S. media is trying to convince you will happen. But for the record, I'll predict the next government will be a) Islamic, and b) controlled by the MB.

I'll go one step further and predict that there will be exactly zero stories in the MSM confirming that the MB is running things. One will only be able to learn that by reading posts by dissident bloggers in Egypt.

And since only ten percent of Americans will know how to do that, it will be almost impossible to convince the rest of the herd if this happens.


Court ruling against Obamacare is...amazing

As you probably know, a federal judge in Florida ruled that Obamacare--rammed through congress (LC intentional) by the Obama administration, Reid and Pelosi using what amounts to the administration's bribery of crucial senators--is unconstitutional. Well done, sir.

But to appreciate what a slap-down this decision was, you need to read just one footnote. Judge Roger Vinson wrote,
[I]n 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate, because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that "If a mandate was the solution, we [could] solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house...”
Devastating--the judicial equivalent of a laser-guided missile.

(If you're skeptical there's a video of Obama during the presidential campaign arguing that his health-care proposal is superior to those of rival Hillary Clinton because his did NOT have the mandate while her proposal did.)

Now certainly politicians can't be faulted for changing their mind on fundamental issues, presumably after getting new information or reconsidering earlier data. The point of the footnote isn't Obama's hypocrisy for the switch, nor the folly of believing that tough problems can be solved by a government mandate. Rather, it's that if the government can force you to buy health insurance, what legal barrier remains to prevent it from ordering you to buy a house?

And presumably--as with the so-called Health Care Reform Act--people who couldn't afford a house would still be "forced" to "buy" one. Of course in reality the government would buy one for them, using your tax dollars.

Sweet deal for the 40 percent of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes. Not so sweet if you're a taxpayer.