April 30, 2009

As yet another example of demonizing the speech of your opponent as "dangerous" ...

There's a new conservative college group on various campuses across the country. The Youth for Western Civilization "hopes to inspire Western youth on the 'basis of pride in their American and Western heritage,' counter and ultimately defeat 'leftism on campus' and create a social movement in which a right-wing subculture is an alternative to what it calls a 'poisonous and bigoted' campus climate" according to its website.

This hasn't been well-received, needless to say:

"'Western' is a veiled term that means 'white,'" University of North Carolina graduate student Tyler Oakley wrote in an e-mail to FOXNews.com. "I believe that our democracy is strong enough to allow extreme forms of speech, but YWC's message is essentially a negative one, an assault on not being white or non-Western, and is therefore hateful, if not blatant hate speech."

There it is -- the inevitable "but." As in "I'm all for free speech and all, BUT ..."

Look, I don't know if the YWC is actually a "veiled" white supremacist group or not. What I do know is that, based on the article, there is nothing "hateful" about believing that Western civilization or culture is superior to others. It's a laugh that "Western" means "white;" indeed, the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the term "Western" is the political and legal system which the West helped found and codify. One certainly doesn't have to be white to enjoy the benefits of such a system, nor is it "racist" or any other "-ist" to believe that Western political and legal systems are superior to others in the world.

But if you wish to quell this quite logical and rational belief, just do what Mr. Oakley did -- label it as "racist" and "hate speech." What better way to stop the debate before it even begins? This has been a fairly hot topic around the local blogosphere lately (see here, for example, at CoR), and Oakley's view fits that of our local gaggle of moonbat bloggers perfectly. One of them maintains that groups like YWC ought to monitored, while DE Libertarian's Steve Newton [attempts] to set him straight. (I say "attempts" not in any way to disparage Steve, but to convey the notion that it indeed may be an exercise in futility.)

I wonder: If rightist groups should be monitored by the government for harboring the views they do, should a left-winger who wrote that "all Republicans should be rounded up and shot, seriously" be monitored similarly?

Posted by Hube at 05:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Messiah's continuing lousy grasp of history

President Obama isn't exactly well-versed in history. In last night's "press conference" (how can only thirteen questions get asked in a whole freakin' hour??) Obama was asked whether waterboarding is torture. He didn't directly answer the question but said that Britain did not torture any Nazis during World War II.

Really? Even discounting these uncomfortable facts, there remains the highly ethically-challenged action of firebombing tens of thousands of German civilians during the war (Dresden).

Again I ask: How is this substantively different than waterboarding a heinous murderer like Khalid Sheik Mohammed?

Posted by Hube at 05:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How to use your position to create a panic

Delaware's very own Joe Biden on this morning's "Today" show:

"I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now," Biden said when asked whether he would advise family members to use public transportation. Biden made his comments during a brief interview on NBC's "Today" show during an interview with Matt Lauer.

"I would tell members of my family, and I have, I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now. It's not that it's going to Mexico, it's you're in a confined aircraft when one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft. That's me. I would not be, at this point, if they had another way of transportation suggesting they ride the subway. "

"If you're out in the middle of a field and someone sneezes that's one thing. If you're in a closed aircraft or a closed container or closed car or closed classroom it's a different thing."

Nice going there, Mr. V.P.

Posted by Hube at 05:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

See? Truman is a war criminal!

As I've posted several times (one of which is here), if we are going to prosecute Bush administration officials (and/or Bush himself) for the ... rough treatment of various al Qaeda higher-ups, then at least people like Harry Truman, FDR and Lincoln should also be similarly considered ("war criminals," that is).

And it looks like one notable pundit agrees: The "Daily Show's" Jon Stewart.

Posted by Hube at 05:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 28, 2009

The Dems now have their super-majority

Arlen Specter will become a Democrat.

Jim Geraghty asks/notes:

1) I guess he concurs with recent polls that former Congressman Pat Toomey would beat him like a drum in a GOP primary.

2) As of April 9, Specter was telling Newsweek, "I'm a Republican and I'm going to run in the Republican primary and on the Republican ticket." Good to know his word is his bond.

3) So if you're a Pennsylvania Democrat, how do you feel about a guy who's been a Republican, with a lifetime ACU rating in the mid-40s, representing you? (Pennsylvania's other senator, Bob Casey, has lifetime rating is 8.) Does Specter really have the Democratic Senate nomination wrapped up?

Posted by Hube at 04:43 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Just don't blame Obama

What. An. Idiot.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

First, 'ya think we'd hear about the "Director of the White House Military Office" if George Bush was still president? Second, a freakin' photo op?? For what purpose?? Third, I thought Obama was supposed to be our "eco-friendly" president? WTF is his office doing OK'ing 747 flights ... for a photo op?? How much carbon did that jet spew out??

Posted by Hube at 04:35 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Let's make torture like abortion

James Taranto compares and contrasts the way the New York Times covers the harsh interrogations (torture) of terrorists ... and the procedure known as "partial birth abortion":

"Harsh sounded like the way I talked to my kids when they were teenagers and told them I was going to take the car keys away," said [the Times' Jill] Abramson, who consulted with several legal experts and talked it over with Dean Baquet, the Washington bureau chief. Abramson and Baquet agreed that "brutal" was a better word. From rare use now and then, it had gone to being the preferred choice. The result of that decision was this top headline in the printed paper of April 17: "Memos Spell Out Brutal C.I.A. Mode of Interrogation." . . .

The Times should strive to tell readers exactly what a given interrogation technique entails. . . . But that is not always practical, as in a headline. When the paper needs a short description, the word brutal is accurate and appropriate, whether you think the acts were justified or not.

In 2005, the Times described partial birth abortion as "partly extracting an intact fetus from a woman's uterus and killing it by collapsing and removing the brain from the skull so that the fetus can pass through the birth canal." Then it wrote "Opponents of abortion refer to the method as partial-birth abortion and denounce it as brutal and uncivilized."

To which Taranto opines:

Why not follow the same practice when describing interrogations of terrorists -- namely, say that "opponents denounce it as brutal" and use the opponents' terminology in scare quotes (" 'Torture' ") when brevity is essential?

It couldn't be because the Times news reporters and editors, who are supposed to be impartial, are pro-abortion and anti-interrogation, could it?

Or, to put it as many "pro-choicers" might: "Let's keep enhanced interrogation safe, legal and rare."

Posted by Hube at 04:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 27, 2009

The Torture Controversy

Be sure to check out fellow Watcher's Council member JoshuaPundit's article up at American Thinker regarding the torture imbroglio.

Posted by Hube at 04:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Attention global warming absolutists

A thing known as "scientific consensus" sure doesn't mean it's correct. Case in point: The popular theory that the dinosaurs were killed by a meteor that smacked into the area now known as the Yucatán Peninsula has now been ... swept aside.

The demise of the dinosaurs probably occurred 300,000 years after a giant meteor struck what is now Mexico, scientists said, casting doubt on a popular theory that the impact triggered a mass extinction.

The Chicxulub crater, which is about 180 kilometers (112 miles) across, was formed on the Yucatan peninsula when an extra-terrestrial object struck Earth 65 million years ago. Since its discovery in 1978, the crater has been cited as evidence that the impact’s aftermath led to the extinction of about 65 percent of all species including the dinosaurs.

New clues at other sites in Mexico showed that the extinction must have occurred 300,000 years after the Chicxulub impact and that even larger asteroids may not be the purveyors of doom they’re thought to be, according to a paper published in the Journal of the Geological Society by researchers from Princeton, New Jersey, and Lausanne, Switzerland.

All you Al Gore worshippers might wanna keep that "new clues" terminology in mind, especially since climatology is far from an exact science.

(via The Corner.)

Posted by Hube at 04:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The "Trek" analogies just keep a'comin'

This time it's Newsweek (which really oughta be no surprise as the quasi-official Obama news magazine):

It’s the Spock plot strands that give the new “Trek” its best shot at once again commanding the zeitgeist. Spock’s cool, analytical nature feels more fascinating and topical than ever now that we’ve put a sort of Vulcan in the White House. All through the election campaign, columnists compared President Obama’s unflappably logical demeanor and prominent ears with Mr. Spock’s. But as Spock’s complicated racial backstory is spun out in detail in the new “Trek”—right back into childhood—the Obama parallels keep deepening.

Obama may or may not be a fan—the White House says he isn't, but Trekkies have claimed him as one of their breed ever since he said, "I grew up on 'Star Trek'—I believe in the final frontier," at a campaign stop last year.

There's also a bit about George Bush's "willfully hegemonic" foreign policy that is the antithesis of Trek's overall premise. At least Newsweek concedes that this may be "completely accidental," and personally I agree with it when it comes to the Iraq analogy. However, here's yet another author that obviously does not know very much about Trek history when it comes to the Federation at war and/or violations of the venerated Prime Directive.

The Prime Directive has been "broken" numerous times in Trek history by all of the well-known leaders (Kirk, Picard, Sisko and Janeway ... Archer in "Enterprise" predated the Prime Directive, not to mention the Federation). For instance, in the original series' "A Private Little War," Capt. Kirk freely supplies arms to one side of a world's [civil] conflict in response to the Klingons arming the other. In "Next Generation's" "The Drumhead," Capt. Picard is admonished by a Starfleet admiral for breaking the Prime Directive nine times.

If anything, since the United States and Iraq are both members of the United Nations, why isn't this analogous to two different worlds belonging to the Federation? And, if the Iraq-world had a despot that was running the planet -- which included invading a fellow Federation world years ago, and was now thumbing its nose at Federation-invoked sanctions -- wouldn't the Federation (or, at least, other worlds of the Federation) at least be justified in going in and ousting this dictator? Especially if he was overtly threatening other worlds?

(Again, I am just making the point, not arguing in favor of it.)

See? That 'ol Prime Directive non-interference thingy ain't so neat when applied to that nasty 'ol George Bush -- just like it wasn't so neat when applied in the numerous Trek episodes!

Posted by Hube at 04:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The "No Sh** Sherlock" article of the day

From Time magazine: Does Beer (Goggling) Affect Whom We Find Attractive?

They actually did research on this, folks.

Posted by Hube at 03:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

D.H.S. "misfires"

From the Boston Globe:

PARTISAN turmoil that lingered after this month's tea party protests reignited recently, when the Department of Homeland Security issued a report to federal and local law enforcement officials on right-wing extremism. The report detailed current economic and political factors that could enhance recruitment for extremist groups. Yet the report defined extremism in a way that implicates a huge portion of the political spectrum. Conservatives are right to be angry.

Worse, the report's depiction of an extremist describes the political beliefs of many Americans, saying that "many right-wing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration . . . immigration . . . and restrictions on firearms." But Americans have every right to oppose all three. Drawing a parallel, even implicitly, between specific political beliefs and criminal intent is something Americans must oppose, regardless of political affiliation.

But make no mistake -- that was precisely DHS's ... the administration's ... very intention. The idea is to label as "dangerous," "extreme" or whatever other perjorative completely legitimate political points of view. Our own local gaggle of moonbat bloggers does this all the time and then some. The premise is to make certain topics of discussion so anathema that people who may hold particular views will simply be afraid to discuss them, let alone debate them. As an example, ironically confirming Attorney General Eric Holder's past comments, many white Americans will refuse to talk about racial issues for fear of ... being dubbed a "racist."

Thanks to the current adminstration and its enablers, desiring tougher enforcement on immigration, believing in an individual's right to own a gun, and loathing the policies of the current presidential adminstration aren't just plain 'ol policy disagreements. They're attributes of a rightist extremist, and as such must be monitored by the government!

Posted by Hube at 03:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 26, 2009

Where's the D.H.S. memo?

Radicals smash windows of banks in downtown D.C.

No word yet from Janet Napolitano.

Posted by Hube at 10:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

So much for moral consistency?

Marc Thiessen notes how the rough treatment of KSM and others did indeed yield valuable information on further terrorist attacks against the United States.

There are many people out there who are arguing that rough treatment -- OK, "torture" -- against anyone under any circumstances is immoral (and illegal). Again, I wonder how these folks could live with themselves knowing that this position led to the deaths of thousands of Americans.

Further, in various forums across the blogosphere, I have yet to be even remotely swayed that past instances of American war crimes are not at least the equivalent of torturing terrorists like KSM but indeed are far worse at least in terms of the application. The firebombing of Tokyo and Dresden. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. All of which killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.

You want to convince me that America is "barbarous" for condoning torture against a heinous killer like KSM, yet we're NOT for dropping a nuke on a city inhabited by tens of thousands of civilians??

Obviously, Harry Truman didn't consider himself so "morally superior" that he'd forego using the A-bomb in favor of an invasion of Japan -- just so he could "hold his head high" as a "civilized" human being. Did he?

Posted by Hube at 09:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 25, 2009

The trouble is, when you start making comparisons ...

... between entertainment and real-life politics, eventually you'll get tripped up. The Times Online (UK) already had a "Star Trek" review that made an inevitable comparison between George Bush and Barack Obama; now, days later, they have to go a step further. Writer Mark Simpson is equating the Trek "reboot" to America itself "rebooting" with the election Obama:

It died a death during the Bush years in 2005, but it’s back. I’m talking of course, about the American Dream. Rebooted. In kinky boots.

There was always a very close relationship between the American Dream — not to mention American imperialism — and Star Trek, with its liberal, secular, multiracial, technophiliac vision of the future. But the two seem almost to have mind-melded with the election of an optimistic, liberal, multiracial President with a Kenyan father and a white American mother (Star Trek featured the first interracial kiss on US television, sparking protests at the time) — and, who is himself something of a 1960s tribute act, with his JFK and Martin Luther King cadences. Suddenly, with Barack Obama at the helm, America looks like a brand that people can believe in again. Or at least root for at the movies.

Ah, yes. Simpson goes on to make the case that Trek began to wane ... because George Bush's presidency went awry.

Come on.

The simple fact of the matter is that Star Trek the franchise was becoming overextended and stale. There hadn't been a time without a Trek show or movie in almost three decades ("Star Trek the Motion Picture" debuted in 1979) at the time of "Enterprise's" -- the fourth spin-off, and "prequel," series -- cancellation in 2005. The mere fact that there was enough interest to keep churning out series and movies for almost 30 years is remarkable enough. Name another such franchise that has a similar record.

But Simpson needed something to "write" about. It was time to engage in still more George Bush bashing at the expense of common sense. And here's the proof:

What’s remarkable about the Star Trek franchise is how closely each series corresponds to Republican or Democrat presidencies. The original series (1966-69), with its radical optimism and Cold War ethos, maps the Lyndon Johnson Democrat presidency and the “Great Society” (1963-69). The rather more corporate and hygienic Next Generation (1987-94) covers the Reagan-Bush Republican era (1981-93), while the deeply dull but industrious Deep Space Nine (1993-99) and the feminist vehicle Voyager (1995-2001), featuring a female captain (Hillary?), falls into the Clinton Democrat years (1993-2001).

Nice try. Just compare and contrast Jim Kirk with Jean Luc Picard. Then compare Lyndon Johnson to Ronald Reagan. Reagan, like George Bush, was called a "cowboy" for his "reckless" foreign policy (calling the Soviet Union an "evil empire," blatantly supporting anti-communist rebels in Afghanistan and Nicaragua, invading Grenada), yet his Star Trek-era analogue wasn't Jean Luc Picard -- it would have to be Jim Kirk! After all, which Enterprise captain was more "cowboyish?" Funny how Simpson missed that, eh? Instead, he has to skip the way-obvious and call "Next Generation" "corporate." Huh???

Then, the best Simpson can come up with to compare Scott Bakula's Jonathan Archer (from "Enterprise") is that his Starfleet uniform looks like ... Bush's flight jacket from his now-risible "Mission Accomplished" moment! Oh, wait -- he also says that "Enterprise" had a "Taleban-like enemy." Who might that be? The Suliban? That was the only "irregular" foe the Enterprise dealt with in the series, but the problem with this is that the Suliban were not evil nor even terroristic. They were, if anything, misunderstood players in the never-fully developed "Temporal Cold War" first mentioned in "Enterprise's" season one. Or, perhaps Simpson was referring to the third season's Xindi race which killed over seven million humans with an attack on Florida in that season's opener? If so, again it misses the mark widely. The Xindi were hardly "Taleban-like;" they were a multi-racial species that were major players in this corner of the galaxy -- hardly a radical, regressive and oppressive ragtag bunch of civilian-beheading murderers.

Here's what you do, folks: Go check out "Star Trek" on May 8th and enjoy the much needed "reboot" the franchise has needed for several years. It's akin to what the major comics companies -- Marvel and DC -- did long ago to their major characters, and quite successfully, too.

Posted by Hube at 10:27 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 24, 2009


(h/t: Reason.)

Posted by Hube at 08:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

In the "Ain't America Great" category ...

... a woman decides to sue McDonalds -- after she attempted to give a homeless dude a cheeseburger.

A Cheatham County woman who said she was beaten after giving a homeless man a cheeseburger outside a Nashville McDonald's last year is suing the restaurant, a nearby liquor store and her alleged attacker.

Fran MacLaren and her husband, Thomas, filed suit in Davidson County Circuit Court on Monday. They are asking for $2 million in damages.

MacLaren gave Craig the cheeseburger as he was lying down in a parking spot outside the restaurant. Craig shouted he didn't want the burger, just money and threw the burger at MacLaren, she testified.

"I told him he was an ungrateful bastard,'' she testified.

Craig went after her, she said. He struck her repeatedly, broke her nose, fractured her wrist, cheekbone and cracked a rib, she said. She also injured her knee.

According to the suit, both husband and wife allege that the McDonald's and the nearby liquor stores, "knew, or should have known, that their mode of operating their particular stores attracted persons prone to criminal acts and provided an environment to crime."

McDonalds' "mode of operating" ... ?? Like what -- selling food to people?? That provides an "environment to crime?"


(via Overlawyered.)

Posted by Hube at 07:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

CBS laugher: Recognizes "tradition" now that Cheney speaks out

"Cheney Hits Obama Hard, Tradition Be Damned" is the headline at CBS News.com's Political Hotsheet:

As the New York Times noted this morning, former Vice President Dick Cheney has been a vocal and consistent critic of President Obama since leaving office. That's something of a break from the past: Traditionally, presidents and vice presidents have stayed relatively quiet about the activities of their successors.


Does the Times and CBS News.com's Brian Montopoli forget Al Gore's constant rants against George Bush ("HE PLAYED ON OUR FEARS!!")? What about Jimmy Carter's?

Of course they forget. Surprise.

What liberal media again ...?

Posted by Hube at 06:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council results

First place in the Council category was Joshuapundit with The Real Holocaust Denial.

First place in the non-Council category was Doug Ross@Journal with Let Them Eat Dirt.

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 06:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Where is the line drawn?

Steve Newton at DE Libertarian reacts to my post from a couple days ago by saying, in part,

There is nothing morally to distinguish the people who convinced themselves that breaking the Geneva Convention was acceptable at Gitmo and Bagram from the people who convinced themselves that breaking the Geneva Convention was acceptable at Dieppe, Malmedy, and Zhitomir.

I have little difficulty with this statement (although weren't the Geneva Convention stipulations on torture after WW II -- in 1949?); however, my argument wasn't about what appear to be systematic abuses at Bagram (or Gitmo), it was about selective harsh interrogation of al Qaeda bigwigs like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Further, is there really nothing morally to distinguish the people in these different circumstances? Think about that for a moment.

I also find Steve's explanations regarding the comparisons of US actions in WW II unconvincing in their exculpatory aspects. He writes, for example:

Historians have generally condemned Dresden, because they do not--after sifting through the documents--believe that either Bomber Command or the USAAF commanders really credited the intel on the transfer of parts of the 6th SS Panzer Army through the city, which would have made it a legitimate target.

So, if the 6th SS Panzer Army was being transferred through Dresden, that is a justification for a saturation firebombing which killed upwards of 40,000 civilians? If this is such a justification, then why isn't it a justification to harshly treat a captured terrorist whom we know has valuable knowledge about further attacks on our country?

He also writes,

Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were (a) troop garrison cities and (b) wartime industrial centers. Therefore both were legitimate military targets, just as Pearl Harbor was.

Then why destroy the entire city? Did we not possess the ability, especially at that point in time of the war, to [pretty much] just destroy the industrial centers and troop garrisons? In addition, Steve has written extensively about Israel "overreacting" in its responses to Hamas et. al. in Gaza (and elsewhere). But if Israel, as it has claimed, states that Hamas has its memebrs hiding out in mosques or in the houses of civilians, then isn't that justification for Israel to destroy these targets -- even if surrounding civilians are [unfortunately] killed?

Both Steve and I stated in the comments on his post that personally we'd both be willing to engage in "rough treatment" of someone if the need arose. And, we both said we'd be willing to accept the consequences of doing so. As such, if George Bush, Dick Cheney et. al. truly feel that the actions they recommended and/or approved against guys like KSM were justified, they should be willing to defend them to Congress ... and accept any consequences that come their way. If the treatment of KSM (and others) really did provide good intelligence to thwart further attacks on the US, then I believe there'd be little to worry about. Public opinion is on the past administration's side: Only 28% of U.S. voters think the Obama administration should do any further investigating of how the Bush administration treated terrorism suspects. 58% are opposed.

Posted by Hube at 05:51 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 22, 2009

Our [bumbling] D.H.S. chief

Janet Napolitano, our esteemed head of the Dept. of Homeland Security who helped conjure up that neat little memo that warned of returning veterans and other nasty conservatives becoming potential domestic terrorists, has a ... rather unique view on illegal immigration:

What we have to do is target the real evil-doers in this business, the employers who consistently hire illegal labor, the human traffickers who are exploiting human misery. And yes, when we find illegal workers, yes, appropriate action, some of which is criminal, most of that is civil, because crossing the border is not a crime per se. It is civil. But anyway, going after those as well.

But then, while Napolitano was calling for stricter border security -- while noting our northern border -- there was this:

In an interview broadcast Monday on the CBC, Ms. Napolitano attempted to justify her call for stricter border security on the premise that "suspected or known terrorists" have entered the U. S. across the Canadian border, including the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack.

So, crossing the border is "not a crime per se" -- it's "civil" -- but we need stricter border security because of potential terrorism! Oh.

And by the way, Napolitano couldn't even get the 9/11 facts right. Not one of the 9/11 terrorists crossed either the Canadian border or Mexican border into the US. They came directly to the US via overseas.

Posted by Hube at 06:13 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Did the NY Times bury an "inconvenient" torture memo story? And a torture question ...

Newsbusters' Clay Waters reports on how the print edition of the Times spiked a story (that made it onto the Times' online version) about how the past administration's harsh interrogation tactics yielded "high value" information:

President Obama's national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.

"High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa'ida organization that was attacking this country," Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.

Admiral Blair's assessment that the interrogation methods did produce important information was deleted from a condensed version of his memo released to the media last Thursday. Also deleted was a line in which he empathized with his predecessors who originally approved some of the harsh tactics after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"I like to think I would not have approved those methods in the past," he wrote, "but I do not fault those who made the decisions at that time, and I will absolutely defend those who carried out the interrogations within the orders they were given."

The Times's excuse for not including this bit in the hard copy version of the paper? "We already had three stories on this subject," [Editor Richard] Stevenson explained, "and it was late, there was no more space to do this separately...We just didn't have the space to put it in the print newspaper."

But of course!

But back to the memos: It was also revealed that the harsh interrogations helped prevent a planned attack on Los Angeles. So let me ask you -- if this was indeed the case, and the US -- meaning the CIA, NSA, Dick Cheney, George Bush or whoever -- did not make use of such interrogation tactics, and such an attack proceeded ... and led to a 9/11-style attack with similar number of dead/billions of dollars in damage ... would all these people then be guilty of negligence with regards to national security?

This is the question you must ask yourself.

Delaware Libertarian's Steve Newton says "I don't really care who says this. It's outrageous and inexcusable." I value Steve's opinions highly (because not only is he DE's best blogger, he's also the most intellectually honest and consistent), and this one is no different for me. But I've asked this before and I'll ask it again: Do we let such at attack transpire ... so we can "hold our heads high" and proclaim how civilized we are ... that we didn't harshly treat a person who'd gladly cut your kid's head off in a micro-second given the chance?

If Barack Obama goes through and prosecutes Bush administration officials (well, he won't -- he "conveniently" left that decision up to his attorney general, Eric Holder) for illegal actions, then of course we must look to the behavior of our past chief executives -- and their own actions in time of war. I hate to sound like a broken record, but two of the most venerated presidents of all-time, Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, committed some of the blatantly illegal actions during wartime in the history of the Republic. Lincoln's actions were to save the Union. FDR's actions were more like George Bush's -- they were for national security and to save American lives.

I think Jonah Goldberg makes a very good point today (which arguing with a fellow Corner-ite) with this (my emphasis):

... why does the [torture] question have to boil down to a yes or no question? Couldn’t a third option be that this merely proves such methods should be kept secret, not that they shouldn’t be used? (Again, we are excluding the issue of morality for the moment and assuming some lawful supervision.)

I keep hearing that all of these other countries don’t “torture.” I’m sure that’s true of some, but I’m not so sure about others. Perhaps some of these countries are just a lot better at keeping these things under wraps?

Similarly, I don’t know that what America did from 2002 to 2006 is the sharp break with the past that you assume it to be (you call it an “overturning [of] what has been an important element of American identity for so many years and through so many conflicts.”). Would the boys from the OSS really be stunned by what we did to KSM? Did the CIA really take a much higher road throughout the Cold War, including in Vietnam? Or were we just a lot better at keeping our dirty laundry out of the public eye? Perhaps the press was less eager to expose American national-security secrets?

Goldberg also argues against the case that the actions of a few CIA operatives in defense of the security of the country corrupt the entire society. In that, he invokes what I mentioned above -- namely Abe Lincoln's Union Army: For instance, let’s take it as a given that some horrible things were done by Union soldiers in the Civil War. What, exactly, does that say about the Northern states and their cause?

I'm like Goldberg in that I'm certainly not advocating torture (or even its very close equivalents). However, if what the Bush-era CIA did was a crime, I am of the opinion that it would be a greater crime if our clandestine operatives had good intelligence that something like 9/11 (or worse) was going to happen, but didn't do everything they could to prevent it. Especially to an illegal/unlawful combatant beheading-loving terrorist like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Posted by Hube at 05:44 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Talks "based on mutual respect" and in order to "open a new dialogue"

So says President Obama.

But at the Geneva UN Conference on Racism, "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's entourage accosted Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel and began screaming "Zio-Nazi" at the Holocaust survivor."

Isn't that just so nice? Check out the video here.

Well, hey -- maybe these goons were just "mistranslated." I mean, our local gaggle of moonbat bloggers sure thought so once upon a time.

How's that "mutual respect" and "new dialogue" going, Mr. President? Hugo Chávez embarrasses you with the book "gift," Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua) and Evo Morales (Bolivia) rant and rave at you, and even that "new opening" and "outreach" to Cuba has suddenly been slammed in your face.

Welcome to the real world, sir.

Posted by Hube at 02:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 21, 2009

Even a "Star Trek" review manages to diss Bush, praise Obama

I saw this "review" earlier today, and Newsbusters' Ken Shepherd got the drop on it right away. C'mon -- dissing Bush and getting giddy about Obama ... in a "Star Trek" appraisal?? Only among the Left, folks:

The movie looks gorgeous. Gone is the gloom of the last Star Trek film, "Nemesis" (2002), which seemed cast in the depressing shadow of George Bush’s post-9/11 America. The prequel, though conceived before the rise of Barack Obama, taps into the optimism of his presidency.

First of all (and I know I'm in the minority), "Nemesis" wasn't all that bad a Trek film. Second, notice how the writer, Debra Craine, words that sentence about GW: "... in the depressing shadow of George Bush’s post-9/11 America" as if George Bush himself was responsible for the "depression" that followed Sept. 11. Uh, no -- he just responded to that event Ms. Craine, you idiot. Third, how can Craine even possibly know that "Trek" "taps into the optimism" of The Messiah's presidency? She even notes that the damn film was thought up before Obama even got the damn nomination of his party, so WTF?? If anything, flick creator JJ Abrams' vision for this project was to completely reinvigorate the entire Trek franchise, seeing as how interest had waned with the "Next Generation" crew's film adventures.

Craine's cretinous insinuations aside, I sure plan to catch "Star Trek" quite soon after it hits the theatres!

Posted by Hube at 07:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

So much for the "progressive" talking points paradigm

FBI's newest 'Most Wanted' terrorist is American is Yahoo News's headline ... and he's an animal rights terrorist:

A fugitive animal rights activist charged with bombing two California offices has become the first domestic terrorist named to the FBI's list of "Most Wanted" terror suspects.

Daniel Andreas San Diego, a 31-year-old computer specialist from Berkeley, Calif., is wanted for the 2003 bombings of two corporate offices in California. Authorities say San Diego has unusual tattoos, including one that shows a burning field and proclaims, "It only takes a spark."

But, as our own DHS, liberal pundits and politicians, and local gaggle of moonbat bloggers would have you believe, it's only conservatives from whom you need to fear violence ... and who warrant governmental surveillance.

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April 20, 2009

Another lib realizes that the Left just has ... anger

This time it's Dana Milbank, who used to be a frequent "Amen Corner" for Keith Olbermann. He writes:

So why is the left so angry? I don't know (I'm an idiot), so I put the question to the readers in my weekly online chat on Friday.

A reader from Rockville described it as a "sore winner" phenomenon. "People get used to being angry and when things change, they don't. So they find stuff to be mad about." Another said that some on the left "feel obligated to stay in the fight" because of the harsh treatment of Obama by the right.

Another spewed something that should sound familiar to bloggers here in Delaware:

But many focused on a frustration on the left caused by Obama's centrism -- his opposition to prosecuting those involved with torture, for example. "I am angry because the whole Republican party has not been rounded up and thrown into a black site," one wrote.

Sound familiar? No? Try here, to refresh your memory.

(h/t: Insty.)

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Another view of an E.M.P. attack

John Walker also read the thriller One Second After, but he thinks it's overly pessimistic.

That's good news, really; the book scared the living crap out of me. Still, he qualifies his reaction to the book (and my fears about it, too, noted here) by stating

But let me qualify these quibbles by noting that nobody knows what will actually happen: with non-nuclear EMP and other electromagnetic weapons a focus of current research, doubtless much of the information on vulnerability of various systems remains under the seal of secrecy. And besides, in a cataclysmic situation, it's usually the things you didn't think of which cause the most dire problems.

So true. Still, Walker notes that it's unlikely airliners would fall from the sky after an EMP attack since they're already hardened against a direct lightning strike. In addition, cars that are not running at the time of such an attack will most likely be unaffected by the pulse. This is crucial in that transport of needed foodstuffs would still be possible. One of the main premises of One Second After was mass starvation -- because transportation was virtually non-existent.

Posted by Hube at 05:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Oh, but bloggers aren't needed, say the MSM

Bullsh**. For example, just look what CNN has done regarding their reporter/liberal activist Susan Roesgen: It has demanded that YouTube yank the video of her and the Tea Party protesters that was shot after her on-air CNN report claiming it is a "copyright violation." But good luck with that, says Ben Sheffner of Copyrights and Campaigns:

CNN does own copyright in its own news footage and, as a general matter, has the right to demand its removal from YouTube. However, as to this particular video, I think Founding Bloggers has a very strong fair use defense. The purpose for Founding Bloggers’ posting of the CNN footage is crystal clear: to comment on and criticize CNN’s reporting on the “Tea Party.” Such a use is right in the heartland of the fair use doctrine; the statute specifically mentions “criticism, comment, [and] news reporting” as protected uses that are “not an infringement of copyright.” 17 U.S.C. § 107. To quickly run through the four fair use factors as they apply here: 1) the use is transformative (for critical comment); 2) the CNN footage is factual, not fictional, and was previously broadcast; 3) the amount used is small in relation to the whole CNN broadcast; and 4) any effect on the market is minuscule (and if fewer people watch CNN because this video causes them to think less of its coverage, that’s simply not cognizable harm). Many fair use cases are difficult, close calls–but, given the facts as I know them, this is an easy one.

Meanwhile, Patterico is urging everyone to upload their own video of Roesgen's idiocy to YouTube as well as embed the vid on their own blogs. Here's Colossus's assistance in that regard:

Patterico also informs us that Roesgen was the first reporter to chime in on the [in]famous "Jena 6" case, helping to perpetuate several tidbits about the story that were just not true.

Elsewhere, former CNN reporter Frank Sesno demonstrates what a tool he is by first ripping Fox News's coverage of the Tea Parties, then right after defending Roesgen and more digustingly, Keith Olbermann and Janeane Garofalo's recent despicable comments.

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April 18, 2009

Change which has been a big pile of dung

Jacob Sullum reports:

Barack Obama, who at one point was looking at least a little better than his predecessor on the issue of warrantless domestic surveillance, may turn out to be just as bad. During his campaign he criticized the Bush administration for flouting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by monitoring communications involving people in the U.S. without a court order. But then he went along with amendments to FISA that legalized such surveillance, even giving in on the issue of retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies that facilitated it. Now the New York Times reports that the National Security Agency has been abusing its new statutory powers, collecting purely domestic communications along with the international phone calls and email messages covered by the FISA amendments.

Keep reading. There's a lot more.

This isn't a defense of Bush administration tactics during the War on Terror; what it is, indeed, is an indictment of Barack Obama's ridiculously vacuous mantra of "hope and change." You all fell for it. You know who you are. And even when Obama goes beyond what Bush and co. did, you all are ... dead silent.

And I know why: It's because Obama means "well," while Bush and his cohorts (all Republicans/conservatives) are/were "evil." This is why we've seen the inane attacks on conservative pundits and talkers. Why we've seen the childish "news coverage" of the myriad tea parties held across the country. Why we've seen our own Dept. of Homeland Security consider "right-wingers" -- including returning veterans -- worthy of the same domestic surveillance that radical jihadists warrant. Why we've seen how, somehow, right-wing opinion "causes" people to grab a gun and shoot people.

Remember -- leftist opinion, although perhaps "dangerous" as well, doesn't matter because it is ultimately for the "good."

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April 17, 2009

Watcher's Council results

First place in the Council category was Joshuapundit with A Few Inconvenient Truths About Israel And ‘Settlements’.

First place in the non-Council category was Macs Mind with About that Obama Iraq Visit.

Full results are here.

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Our own Joe Biden: Mr. "Seven Tenths of One Percent"

That's how much our esteemed Vice President gave to charity last year:

According to Vice President Joe Biden's tax returns, he and his wife earned $269,256 in income last year, and donated $1,885 to charity — about seven-tenths of one percent.

Obama has argued that despite what charities predict, his proposed reduction of the tax deduction for charitable donations would not affect giving to worthy causes. Perhaps Biden influenced his thinking on this matter.

Joe thinks that paying taxes is "patriotic;" I wonder what he thinks being "overly frugal" with charitable donations is. Probably just that. Hard economic times, after all, right?

Posted by Hube at 09:40 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

A word from the Angry Left

From the Newsbusters e-mail tip line, which goes out to all contributors, not just me:

Just wanted to let you know: Fox News is the equivalent of "The National Enquirer". Intellectually it's on a par with "the Gong Show". Fox News consistantlmisrepresents [sic] President O'Bama's [sic] policies, and minimizes the horror story that was the Bush/Cheney administration. The Tea Bag idiocy is protesting taxes that were levied by Bush, not O'Bama [sic]. The staggering national deficit was brought to us courtesy of... guess who? Your favorite president - Bush! I work in a psychiatric hospital; 99% of whom may receive less tha [sic] $500 a month. Love that Ari Fleisher - he wants to tax these people? The other thing that I've noticed is that people who aren't very bright watch Fox and buy into the excrement that passes for news. My advice; [sic] take the teabags and make tea.

Barack O'Bama -- the first black Irish president!

Not hard to believe this person works in a psych hospital ... most likely a patient.

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Hilarious Onion satire: How the MSM covers for Obama

Headline: Media Having Trouble Finding Right Angle On Obama's Double-Homicide.

Hilarious, but with a definite ring of truth.

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This week's Watcher's "Super Weasel"

Who else? CNN's Susan Roesgen.

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April 16, 2009

A tale of two C.N.N.s

As proof for yesterday's post, check out what Newsbusters has up today. Susan Roesgen berated Tea Party goers during one such protest yesterday, even defending the current administration. She blasted a person who had an Obama-Hitler picture, arguing "Why be so hard on the President of the United States with such an offensive message?" But she had no such qualms during a post-Hurricane Katrina protest:

"City officials aren’t the only ones wondering when federal money will materialize. Catholic school girls marched on Jackson Square. They and their teachers say more money is needed to fix the levees, and they hoped the President would stop by after his meeting with business leaders. But while a look-alike showed up with a wad of cash, Mr. Bush did not."

That "look-alike" was a person dressed up as a Hitler-like George Bush complete with devil's horns. Check out the video here.

Funny how Roesgen felt no need to chastise this, and other, idiots for their way over-the-top caricatures, eh?

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Even the most evil genius alive can't understand our tax code!

Courtesy of the ever-awesome Mark Engblom:

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April 15, 2009

Keep this in mind

Via Media Blog:

Posted by Hube at 05:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Oh, that liberal media!

CNN sure seems to have a hassle with the myriad "tea parties" going on around the country today. First, Anderson Cooper couldn't resist a lame sexual innuendo about them; then, correspondent Susan Roesgen didn't just cover the protests -- she confronted them:

Roesgen asked a man holding his toddler, "Why are you here today?" The man started to respond saying, "Because I hear a president say that he believed in what Lincoln stood for. Lincoln's primary thing was he believed people had the right to liberty and they had the right..."

But Roesgen cut him off him, saying, "But sir, what does that have to do with taxes? What does this have to do with your taxes?" She continued asking questions over his as he asked her to "let me finish my point." One crowd member was heard to yell "shut up" to the Roesgen.

When the man finished his statement about people having the "right to the fruits of their own labor" and "government should not take it," Roesgen began arguing with him again and other protesters began to get upset.

Roesgen backed away claiming that "you get the general tenor of this," tea party. "Anti-government, anti-CNN since this is highly promoted by the right-wing conservative network Fox and since I can't really hear much more and I think this is not really family viewing. Toss it back to you Kyra," Roesgen concluded.

Phillips followed by calling that assessment a "prime example of what we're following across the country."

Now, I actually could care not much that Roesgen asked some tough questions; however, where were all these "concerned" journalists covering the numerous anti-Iraq war protests during the Bush years and ... asking similar questions? Or showing the radical loonies who showed up to attend as somehow "representative" of all the protests?

Indeed, the coverage was sympathetic, serious, and kindred spirit-ish.

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And some laughed when I said ...

... that the Somali pirates' civil rights were being violated?

Al Sharpton refers to Somali pirates as "voluntary coast guard."

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April 14, 2009

Two U.D. grads who worked for Obama and McCain meet again

... back at UD. Thursday, April 23 at Clayton Hall.

Details here.

Posted by Hube at 08:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

VA Tech ditches "diversity" requirement

Via the NAS e-mail bag:

PRINCETON, NJ—The National Association of Scholars welcomes the decision of President Charles W. Steger of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to rescind its policy of requiring faculty candidates for promotion and tenure to demonstrate their contributions to “diversity.”

Lawrence G. Hincker, Virginia tech’s associate vice president for University Relations confirmed this afternoon that “the provost has asked the college to rework its proposed guidelines. The fundamental problem was a requirement to produce materials in support of diversity.”

NAS broke the story of this policy on March 17 (“Free to Agree”), citing documents that had been provided by an anonymous source on the Virginia Tech faculty. NAS also provided other crucial details in a follow-up story (“Suitable for Framing”) and our Virginia affiliate the Virginia Association of Scholars called on President Steger to reverse the policy.

The story soon gained much wider attention. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) publicized the violations of First Amendment freedoms at the heart of Virginia Tech’s new policy. The Association of College Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) called on Virginia Tech’s board of trustees to review the policy. The editors of Virginia tech’s student newspaper also called on the University to rescind the policy. The Chronicle of Higher Education covered the story, but gave most of its attention to the excuses of the provost, Mark McNamee, who depicted the new policy as just an improved way for faculty members to report their voluntary service to the community.

Blogger John Wilson, however, uncovered an email from May 2008 in which Provost McNamee declared that candidates for promotion and tenure “do a better job of participating in and documenting their involvement in diversity initiatives.”

NAS President Peter Wood said, “We welcome this development, but we intend to remain vigilant. Virginia Tech’s current action falls short of eliminating the bad policy altogether. Faculty members should be judged on the quality of their teaching and scholarship, not on their willingness to conform to an ideology.”

“The problem at Virginia Tech is that it lost sight of basic principles. Diversity is a valuable goal when it means openness to people and ideas. But openness is lost when faculty members are told that to keep their jobs they have to promote a political line.”


Previous coverage of the VA Tech mess at Colossus here and here.

Posted by Hube at 08:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Public announcement: Delaware Tea Party info

Via Chris Shirey by e-mail:

First I want to update about the Delaware meeting to discuss how the stimulus payment to Delaware will be used. I talked with Ms. Blevins and she says the meeting has been moved to The Delaware Fire School, located at 22705 park avenue, Georgetown 19947, it is still at 4pm. She also said this meeting will be a video conference between Georgetown and Wilmington. You may attend in Wilmington at the Carvel State office 820 N. French Street, 4th floor. You still need to RSVP her to let her know you are attending.

Wilmington - The Riverfront - 4-6:30p

Jon Sherman

The Wilmington Tea Party will start with the Pledge of Allegiance, Prayer, and National Anthem. There will be several speakers, kids programs, voter registration, and the food drive. They will also have a symbolic tea tossing in the river and will have a toilet toss to collect change with proceeds going to the Food Banks of Delaware.

Special requests: Bring canopies and umbrellas. Come rain or shine!

Middletown - Town Square (the Four Corners) 4-6p

Bill Gell


The Middletown Tea Party will start with the Pledge of Allegiance, Prayer (by Wounded wingtip) They will feature the Congressional Petition, and read from the PIG BOOK! HOW Representatives in Washington will spend YOUR MONEY!

We will end with a Prayer.

Special requests: Needed a producer for the camera to record the event. We need READERS for pig book.

Dover - Legislative Mall, on The Green - 4-6p

Russ Murphy


The Dover Tea Party will start off with a flag presentation by the Boy Scouts, who are also providing tents and traps. The will also have the National Anthem, prayer, and Pledge of Allegiance. They will have a couple of speakers. They would like to point out the Legislative Mall has restrictions against tents. Umbrellas might be helpful.

Special requests: Pray for Sunshine

Georgetown - on The Circle - noon to 2p

Donna Gordon

Steve Hyle

The Georgetown Tea Party will be starting off with the Star Spangle Banner, Pledge of Allegiance, and prayer. They will have several speakers, a reading of the Bill of Rights, and music, They will feature a letter correspondence with a citizen.

Special request: They need a video camera to film the event.

Laurel - Janosik Park - 4-7p

Chris Shirey

The Laurel Tea Party will start with a blessing and the Pledge of Allegiance. We will have several speakers, music, and a kids program. We will then be turning the microphone over to you. This is a day for the people to speak. We are still making final arrangements so the rest will have to be a surprise. We where unable to find someone to provide food. You are permitted to bring a grill or the Georgia House Restaurant is right across the street and will prepare take out for us. Food Donations from Laurel will be given to the Good Samaritan Food Panty. We have a tent that will be set up to provide protection from the rain.

Special request: Bring your neighbor.

Please remember the food drive, to bring your signs, pray for sun, pack an umbrellas, and bring your voice to add to ours.

Thank you

Chris Shirey

Delaware Tea Party

State Coordinator

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April 13, 2009

Newest vernacular: "Undocumented Americans"

First there were "illegal aliens." Then "illegal immigrants." Then "undocumented immigrants." Now ... "undocumented Americans!"

Here's an e-mail alert about the upcoming May Day amnesty parades (no word on whether the Politburo will be in the viewing stands):

This May 1st, millions of immigrants and their allies will march in the streets of small towns and big cities across America to call for justice. Every day, immigrants work side-by-side with citizens to strengthen our economy and rebuild our communities. It's time we join the fight for comprehensive immigration reform and help create a path to citizenship for undocumented Americans. (Source.)

Another great moment in political correctness.

As sort of an aside, I know there's the argument that Central and South Americans are ... Americans too. But I ain't buyin' that bit. Not this time. People from these areas go by their country names -- Mexicans, Bolivians, Nicaraguans, etc. What else would those from the United States go by, however? There's no term for it in English. In other words, there's no "United States-er."

Ironically, there is a term for it in Spanish: Estadounidense (ay-stah-doh-oo-nee-dehn-say).

Posted by Hube at 07:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What did I tell you?

No, the following aren't from the Onion. Yesterday I asked how soon it will be before the Left starts yammering about the Somali pirates' civil rights. We haven't heard that precise argument yet, but this is almost as good: They're ecologists.

In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country's food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.

Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: "Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it." Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to "dispose" of cheaply. When I asked Mr Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: "Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention."

At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia's seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers.

More here.

Indeed, in a country that can't even be considered Third World, where brutal anarchy reigns to the extreme, somehow, as usual, the West is ultimately at fault.

UPDATE: PJ Gladnick at Newsbusters has much more.

Posted by Hube at 08:32 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 12, 2009

Navy SEALs end pirate stand-off ...

...civil libertarians soon to follow with complaints that the pirates' "constitutional rights" were violated by "indiscriminately" shooting them.

CNN coverage of the SEAL rescue.

Posted by Hube at 10:14 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Those who live in glass houses ...

CNN tool Rick Sanchez, just one of many idiots who seek to tie right-leaning talkers to deranged twerps who feel the need to shoot people, has a particular problem with making such an invocation. Y'see, back in 1990, while driving intoxicated, he hit a person ... who later died.

Wow. Let's see ... a guy whose own direct actions caused him to hit and kill a person ... vs. folks whose aired political opinions are twisted to the Nth degree by mentally unstable folks who then grab a gun and start shooting people. And the former has the cojones to lambaste the latter?


UPDATE: Several blogs/websites note that the guy Sanchez struck with his car was also drunk, and he wandered in front of Sanchez' car. If accurate, this is what legally allowed Sanchez to get off rather lightly even though his own blood alcohol level was 1.5 (1.0 was the legal limit in FL in 1990). (Sanchez pleaded no contest to the charge, by the way.) Nevetheless, Sanchez was driving drunk. This is in itself illegal and potentially disastrous.

I suppose we'll never know if, had he been sober, whether Sanchez's reaction time would have been quicker to avoid striking the person that he did.

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Is this for real?

A real Iron Man suit? Like Ms. Anonymous Opinion (who alerted me to this article) I'm skeptical. Cyberdyne Corporation? HAL??

Posted by Hube at 10:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Video on University of Delaware's "thought control" program

Thanks to a tip by fellow track & field aficionado and blogger Chanman, check out this disturbing report by FIRE about UD's residence life program:

Man, would I really want my daughter to consider my alma mater in a few years??

I really don't know. Yikes.

Posted by Hube at 10:11 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 11, 2009

Hube's Spanish Language Video of the Week

Mexico's Zoé, previously seen here. This time out it's "Deja Te Conecto":

Posted by Hube at 10:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pic = "insult to religion." Killing of tot = ho hum

A two year old girl's aunt is accused of beating the little one to death. 55 separate bruises were all over her body.

In a videotaped confession made after police found Bhia's "cold, lifeless body" at the Hadid family home Sunday night, Nour Hadid confessed to beating the child "with her hands and a spoon" and to "biting and pinching" her repeatedly since Thursday, Lawler said.

Nour Hadid told police she was angry because her husband, Alaeddin Hadid, had accused her of stealing some money hidden under a mattress and that she also was angry he'd "called her names," Lawler said.

The hubby's reaction? Concern for the death of the 2-year old? Hell no! He's miffed that his wife's mug shot is an "insult to Islam!"

The police booking photo of alleged child killer Nour Hadid released Tuesday is an "insult against our religion," says Hadid's husband, Alaeddin.

The Hadids are Muslims and Nour "never leaves the home without covering up," said Alaeddin, who's vowed to sue.

By custom, some practicing Muslim women wear the hijab, or headscarf, and cover their arms and legs when in public.

In the mug shot, a bare-headed and obviously emotional Nour appears to be protecting her modesty with her hands.

"It is against our religion; we do not do this in our culture," Alaeddin said.

The way that religion treats its women oughta catch up to at least the 20th century there, pal.

Alaeddin said that the police are "really going to be in big trouble" for releasing his wife's photo.

Gee. I'm sure every molecule is quivering among the police!

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SCOTUS case on firefighters' civil rights

From the LA Times:

Frank Ricci -- a firefighter in New Haven, Conn. -- spent months listening to study tapes as he drove to work and in the evenings, preparing for a promotional test. It was a once-a-decade chance to move up to a command rank in the fire department.

Ricci earned a top score but no promotion.

The city had coded the test takers by race, and of the top 15 scorers, 14 were white and one was Latino. Since there were only 15 vacancies, it looked as though no blacks would be promoted.

After a racially charged debate that stretched over four hearings, the city's civil service board rejected the test scores five years ago and promoted no one.

"To have the city throw it out because you're white or because you're not African American is insulting," Ricci said when he and 19 other firefighters sued the city for racial discrimination.

Their case, scheduled to be argued this month, is the first to come before the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. that broadly raises the issue of race in the workplace. The outcome could reshape hiring and promotion policies for millions of the nation's public employees -- and possibly for private employers as well.

The Obama administration, taking its first stand on race and civil rights, sided with the city officials and said they were justified in dropping the test if it had "gross exclusionary effects on minorities." While blacks make up about 31% of New Haven's 221 firefighters, 15% are officers -- eight of the department's 42 lieutenants and one of its 18 captains.

There's that 'ol "disparate impact" and "proportional representation" theory both of which are pretty much nonsense for reasons I've opined on too many times to count. Nevertheless, I've come to agree that unless a certain test has a valid reason for, say, a promotion (as in this case), then minority groups that [usually] argue against the use of tests have a point. For example, what does this firefighters' test measure? Does it really have much to do with a higher rank of firefighter? The Times article gives no indication of what's on the test; instead it focuses on opponents of the test's claim that New Haven has "to look like the community."

Which is complete BS. If that's logical reasoning ("proportionate representation"), then every profession in a given geographical area should follow suit.

Posted by Hube at 09:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council results

First place in the Council category was Bookworm Room with Can it happen here?

First place in the non-Council category was Charles Krauthammer with Obama’s Ultimate Agenda.

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 08:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 10, 2009

As the lingo goes, all you can do is "L.O.L."

Remember how "progressives" and libertarians were all up in arms about the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program -- you know, the one that allowed the gov. to listen in on a convo if one party was in a foreign country?

Imagine -- just IMAGINE -- what they'd have screamed had Bush done this:

Civilian libertarians were apoplectic over former President George W. Bush’s “warrantless wiretap” program, which sought to monitor communications from terrorist networks overseas. So why are they not screaming bloody murder now that President Barack Obama appears slated to receive unprecedented power to monitor all Internet traffic without a warrant and to even shut the system down completely on the pretext of national security? The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 - introduced by Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, and cosponsor Olympia Snowe, R-ME - bypasses all existing privacy laws and allows White House political operatives to tap into any online communication without a warrant, including banking, medical, and business records and personal e-mail conversations. This amounts to warrantless wiretaps on steroids, directed at U.S. citizens instead of foreign terrorists.

As could easily be predicted, not a peep from our local gaggle of moonbat bloggers. They're too busy being concerned with the amazing theory that conservative talkers are "causing" people to turn violent. Amazing, that, considering how often they used to post about Bush "trashing" the Constitution.

Tell me again how our own governor saw fit to meet with these intellectual midgets??

Only our local libertarians have consistently been ... consistent, 'tho certainly Dana Garrett -- a real progressive -- and never-can-put-into-a-niche Mike Matthews surely have been too.

This all neatly fits into the paradigm I've long argued: It's not "bad" if liberals do it (or are for it) because the cause is "good" and "just." Any cause to the contrary, therefore, is inherently "bad" and must be demeaned and defeated at any cost. Even if, amazingly, it's picked up by a liberal shortly thereafter!!!

Posted by Hube at 10:34 AM | Comments (25) | TrackBack

We gotta do something about greenhouse gasses ...

... but if Barack Obama wants good pizza, who are WE to tell him he's a freakin' hypocrite??

When you're the president of the United States, only the best pizza will do - even if that means flying a chef 860 miles.

Chris Sommers, 33, jetted into Washington from St Louis, Missouri, on Thursday with a suitcase of dough, cheese and pans to to prepare food for the Obamas and their staff.

He had apparently been handpicked after the President had tasted his pizzas on the campaign trail last autumn.

I'm sure the usual apologists (ahem, Perry) will have some excuse for this. Well, excuse away. I'm gonna use all the freakin' GHG-producing stuff I f***in' WANT, and most ESPECIALLY Barack Obama (and Al Gore) ain't gonna tell me otherwise.

Posted by Hube at 10:02 AM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Enough already!!

Enough already with the dissection of Obama's supposed "bow" to the Saudi king. Yeah, I think he bowed to him, which is a disgrace, but hold on -- George Bush kissed and held (while walking) the same dude's hand!!

Which is a BIGGER disgrace?

Posted by Hube at 09:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 09, 2009

On defense: A Colossus addendum to Steve Newton's post

As per usual, DE Libertarian's Steve Newton dissects the recent proposed US defense budget cuts with an intellectual flair second to none. He quotes an MSNBC article which says (all emphases are Newton's)

Gates said his $534 billion budget proposal represents a "fundamental overhaul" in defense acquisition and reflects a shift in priorities from fighting conventional wars to the newer threats U.S. forces face from insurgents in places such as Afghanistan.

The department must ensure it has the right programs and money to "fight the wars we are in today and the scenarios we are most likely to face in the years to come, while at the same time providing a hedge against other risks," Gates said as he revealed details of his budget for the next fiscal year.

The promised emphasis on budget paring is a reversal from the Bush years, which included a doubling of the Pentagon's spending since 2001. Spending on tanks, fighter planes, ships, missiles and other weapons accounted for about a third of all defense spending last year. But Gates noted more money will be needed in areas such as personnel as the Army and Marines expand the size of their forces.

To which Steve notes that the reason we're expanding the size of the Army and Marines is ... because we plan to use them. In places like Afghanistan, as noted in the article.

I mostly agree with Steve that the US has got to make Europe, Japan, South Korea, et. al. defend themselves against the [potential] threats they face, especially since they're wealthy enough to do so and frankly, we're broke. However, I admit that I do have a problem when I consider a scenario like China invading Taiwan. Such an act would consign over 23 million people to slavery under an autocratic communist yoke. Even though the United States terminated its mutual defense treaty with Taiwan in 1980, the subsequent Taiwan Relations Act states that the US is “to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character” should it become necessary. Again, I am not as concretely adamant as Steve that the US simply "leave it up to the Taiwanese" (or whoever) to fend for themselves against a vastly numerically superior -- and authoritarian -- foe. (I'm not suggesting Steve would have the US simply refuse to abide by its treaty; rather, I think he'd have us terminate it altogether ASAP.)

Nevertheless, I certainly concur with Steve that expanding the sheer size of armed (soldiers) forces isn't changing the nature of the conflict(s) that Barack Obama said we would. If we're going to treat the War on Terror (or whatever euphemism the current administration has decided on) as a "law problem," then why increase the number of troops?

Here's a few of my suggestions for reforming the military for the 21st century:

  • Build a strong ballistic missile defense. No, nothing like Reagan's technologically unfeasible "Star Wars" program (aka the Strategic Defense Initiative), but a steady anti-ballistic missile system designed to cope with a rogue ICBM (or two or three). As I noted in this post, the danger from an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is enormous, and it can effectively destroy the country. And one or two nukes exploded high in the atmosphere above the US can do this. This is how a country like North Korea or Iran with a nuclear weapon poses a serious threat to our country. Unfortunately, the Obama administration doesn't think continuing a missile defense is a good idea.

  • "Harden" vital electronics networks. In addition to an effective ABM system, we should definitely "harden" vital electronics from the effects of EMP. Military, financial and power networks should be renovated with shielded circuitry and computer chips.

  • Continue to develop top of the line warcraft of every type. This includes keeping production of the stealthy new F-22 and continuing procurement of the F-35 Joint-Strike Fighter. We actually need these aircraft as their predecessors -- the F-15, F-14, and F-18 -- are indeed quite old. the F-14, for instance, entered service in 1974. In addition, we should continue to develop and put into service the latest "smart" weapons so as to minimize to the utmost future civilian casualties in any potential conflict.

  • Develop sophisticated cyber-units to detect and defend computer attacks against the US. We've recently heard about Chinese and Russian attempts to infiltrate our electronic power grid system via cyberspace; we need to make sure this realm is sufficiently guarded. Related: Preparing for "economic warfare."

  • Fully fund veterans programs. These are men and women who have dedicated their very LIVES to protecting us, and it has been the dreadful shame of BOTH political parties that they are not completely and fully cared for during and after their terms of service have expired. Injured veterans should receive full medical coverage for the rest of their lives, as needed, period.

Feel free to jump and make any addendums or subtractions.

Posted by Hube at 02:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 08, 2009

Oh, that liberal media!

Check out the ridiculous headline and sub-headline at this MSNBC/A.P. article: Obama achieves defining TV shot in Iraq; Glowing reception a world away from shoe attack on war's architect, Bush.

Directly beneath the headlines is a photo of Barack Obama being greeted by US troops in Iraq. The clear inference from the sub-headline is that George Bush had that show thrown at him by his own freakin' troops and/or was hated by them.

Nauseating, but predictable.

Posted by Hube at 10:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council nominations

Heeeerrrrre they are:

* The Glittering Eye - Risking It
* Mere Rhetoric - New J-Street Poll Is Rigged In Particularly Stupid, Obnoxious Ways
* Bookworm Room - Can it happen here?
* The Colossus of Rhodey - Just … crazy
* Right Truth - This is America, quit trying to destroy her Obama.
* Rhymes With Right - The Problem Of Sexting
* Joshuapundit - Obama Gets Punked By The UN
* The Provocateur - Some Thoughts on Low Rates, the Credit Freeze, and Politics

Posted by Hube at 09:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What's in a name

Via e-mail from my friend Greg:

A man boarded an airplane and took his seat. As he settled in, he glanced up and saw the most beautiful woman boarding the plane. He soon realized she was heading straight towards his seat.

As fate would have it, she took the seat right beside his. Eager to strike up a conversation he blurted out, 'Business trip or pleasure?'

She turned, smiled and said, 'Business. I'm going to the Annual Nymphomaniacs of America Convention in Boston .'

He swallowed hard. Here was the most gorgeous woman he had ever seen sitting next to him, and she was going to a meeting of nymphomaniacs. Struggling to maintain his composure, he calmly asked, 'What's your business role at this convention?'

'Lecturer,' she responded. 'I use information that I have learned from my personal experiences to debunk some of the popular myths about sexuality.'

'Really?' he said. 'And what kind of myths are there?'

'Well,' she explained, 'One popular myth is that African-American men are the most well-endowed of all men, when in fact it is the Native American Indian who is most likely to possess that trait.'

'Another popular myth is that Frenchmen are the best lovers, when actually it is men of Jewish descent who are the best. I have also discovered that the lover with absolutely the best stamina is the Southern Redneck.'

Suddenly the woman became a little uncomfortable and blushed. 'I'm sorry,' she said, 'I shouldn't really be discussing all of this with you. I don't even know your name.'

'Tonto,' the man said, 'Tonto Goldstein, but my friends call me Bubba.'

Posted by Hube at 07:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

We "have a moral responsibility to act"

... because we're the only country to ever have used nuclear weapons during wartime? That's what President Obama recently told a crowd of about 20,000 in Prague:

"As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it."

Now, as a whole, I've little quibble with Obama's comments. The United States should lead many endeavors given that we're the most powerful nation on the planet. And this one should be no exception. However, why is the fact that the US is the only country to have used a nuke of special consideration?

This is a problem I have with Obama (and "progressives" in general): The propensity to kowtow to their [foreign] audience by making it known how "bad" the United States is, or has been. Implicit in Obama's "nuke" comment was the notion that dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was wrong. But after over a half a century, the overwhelming historical consensus (liberals should like that term, since they often associate it with global warming) is that the A-bombs ended World War II quickly and with far less casualties than an invasion of the Japanese home islands would have entailed. Not only that, but nuclear power -- in weapon form -- was a brand new technology at the time. All the implications of using such a weapon weren't known.

Granted, I'm fully cognizant of the United States' misdeeds in the past (and quite recent past). At times Obama has been skillful in articulating how the US will change course under his leadership without making his country seem like a whiny bully seeking forgiveness at any cost. But the above example, without the proper context, is a major gaffe in my book, as well as his recent comments (also abroad, in Turkey) that George W. Bush "didn't believe in climate change." Again, that's a gross distortion without context -- all in order to kowtow to a foreign audience at the expense of his country.

Posted by Hube at 06:51 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

April 07, 2009

“Freedom of speech is an American concept”

“… so I don’t give it any value.” So says Canadian Human Rights Commission (HRC) investigator Dean Steacy.

All I can say are two things: 1) Thank God freedom of speech is an American concept (and should be a human concept for all people concerned with personal freedom), and 2) by saying “I don’t give it any value,” cretins like Steacy should be anathema to any so-called free society.

As I noted many times (most recently yesterday), ironically it is so-called “progressives” that possess a similar philosophy as Steacy. For them, freedom of speech should have many more limits than what American law has traditionally prescribed. As our local gaggle of moonbat bloggers has recently demonstrated, speech that may -- MAY – serve as a catalyst for some mentally unbalanced individual to grab some sort of weapon and use to kill someone should [somehow] be curtailed. Oh, if you read everything they wrote on the recent shooting(s), it’s doubtful you’ll find any explicit calls for banning people like Limbaugh or Glenn Beck from the airwaves.

But why else would they continue to proffer the theory that Limbaugh, Beck and whoever else are in part responsible for unbalanced individuals’ murder sprees? Obviously, these folks (Limbaugh, Beck, et. al.) aren’t going to stop speaking their points of view and theories on what makes good government and politics. Thus, it stands to reason that our local gaggle of moonbat bloggers, as well as many others, want these radio/TV talkers held somehow responsible for the actions of deranged criminals who may give some passing reference to something the talkers had said. (Just don’t bring up how, for example, Al Gore’s book Earth in the Balance was found in the Unabomber’s cabin, or how semi-perennial Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton once led hateful protests which led to an arson which killed seven people, and a mob which jumped and killed a student. These instances are directly analogous to the current complaints about conservative talkers and the actions of the killer in Pittsburgh, but inquiring about them only causes so-called “progressives” to accuse you of “diversion” and “making things up.”)

What should happen to the talkers, then? Who would get determine that what they say is “reasonable” or not?

In Canada, somehow, people like Dean Steacy get appointed to make such determinations. These “human rights” commissions operate much like those who determine whether a “hate crime” has been committed here in the US. In other words, it’s extremely political. In fact, politics is the overriding determining factor.

If we give someone like Steacy the power to do to conservative talkers here what he does to those whose politics he dislikes up north, we might as well scrap the First Amendment. American campuses attempt to do this regularly, but thankfully the full might of our [still-friendly-to-the-First Amendment] court system thwarts them when their activities are exposed.

As I said yesterday, it is primarily leftists who disdain the 1st Amendment – because it allows “hurtful” speech to be uttered or written. Leftists don’t like it when people are hurt or offended; that is, unless they’re conservative. Which goes to the very heart of the matter: To “progressives,” hurtful speech is OK if it’s directed at conservatives, because, after all, they do not believe in what is “good” and “just” – like liberals do. In order to construct a “good” and “just” society, conservatives need to be purged, either figuratively (via changing their views) or literally. As an example, just note in the comments here how certain [supposedly] provocative acts (those committed by leftists) were justified or ignored outright, all the while the need to “get back to the issue” of supposed conservative-induced criminal activity was overwhelming. After all, conservative beliefs are the “dangerous” ones.

Semi-related: Steve Newton's excellent post.

Posted by Hube at 05:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 06, 2009

I plan to retire here, then

40 per cent of Australian women wear a bra with a cup size DD or bigger.

(Via Insty.)

Posted by Hube at 07:58 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Oh, for cryin' out loud

Poll seen on CNN.com's main page circa 11:30am:

Are. You. Kidding. Me? The Messiah has been in office barely three months and we're talking about his wife becoming president ... eleven years from now??

Posted by Hube at 04:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Do we really need fear Republicans shooting up the place?

Mr. Silver Spoon Jason Scott and the other Neanderthalic minions of Delaware Liberal are hyping the idea that those who hold Republican/conservative views -- and/or believe in the original meaning of the 2nd Amendment -- are inherently dangerous to society.

But do we need fear these folks more than Democrats/liberals?

In the debates over whether felons can vote, both Republicans and Democrats seem to agree implicitly that felons will tend to favor Democrats. I have never heard anyone even hint the opposite.

That is consistent with General Social Survey data showing that the odds of a Democrat or Independent reporting having been arrested or charged with a crime are 122% higher than the odds of a Republican reporting being arrested or charged with a crime. Among those who report having been arrested or charged, only 12% are Republicans. The others are 9% Independent, leaning Republican; 18% Independent (no leans); 18% Independent, leaning Democratic; 40% Democrats. (Of course, arrest is not the same as offending or conviction, but the political makeup is likely to be in the same general direction.) (Source.)

In addition, GOPers report being happier than Democrats, and when angry, the duration is less than that of those in the opposite party.

Based on this cold logic, one should "fear" Democrats more than Republicans.

But, you see, I, like many others, dance to the beat of a different drummer. We don't take such studies and statistics and then [seriously] make broad, generalized sweeping statements that "Democrats should be feared" and "are an imminent danger to the country" (or even "treasonous") like some do (in reverse).

Make no mistake -- this is what way too many so-called "progressives"/liberals/Democrats do. And 'though they'll tell you they love the Constitution more than anyone, especially conservatives, these sort of comments demonstrate a desire to limit speech that they do not like. These same folks who screamed at the top of their lungs that George W. Bush was "trashing the Constitution" see little hassle with doing same -- all in the name of "what's 'right and just'."

For conservatives, it's usually about diminishing things like the 4th Amendment (see the "War on Terror," drug war, etc.).

For liberals/"progressives," it's the 1st Amendment. We see this notion perfected on American college campuses (which are dominated by liberals) via the "speech code." These codes restrict speech for precisely the reason behind Jason Scott's diatribe: That certain things (don't ask what they are as they're always in flux) should not be discussed because they MAY harm others. On campus they're primarily jokes or comments about race, ethnicity or gender. With simpletons like Scott, it's discussions about the role of the federal government vs. states' rights, 2nd Amendment rights, and voiced disdain over statist economic policies.

The thing is, once a little "sunlight" is shown on college speech codes (usually thanks to groups like FIRE), administrators wither faster a perennial in the Sahara. Free speech is just that; the right to not be offended is NOT part of the 1st Amendment, nor should it be. The Chaplinsky "fighting words" standard has been so "weakened" over the decades that only anything short of an imminent threat to one's person is illegal under 1st Amendment standards.

To attempt to link legitimate political discussions of Constitutional matters -- like 10th Amendment or 2nd Amendment rights -- to the dreadful actions of deranged individuals means we might as well chuck the 1st Amendment right now. After all, using this very [silly] standard, we could then "blame" Barack Obama for any anti-white/anti-Semitic crime if the perpetrator had mentioned the preachings of Jeremiah Wright. Did not our current president sit in Wright's pews for 20 years? Does that not establish a certain inherent agreement with the preacher's more hateful rhetoric -- hence, if someone mentioned Wright's teachings before, during or after the commission of a crime, wouldn't that make not only Wright but those who have followed his words for decades culpable as well?

Sound ridiculous? I concur. But that is precisely what Jason Scott has attempted (and his cohorts continue to attempt) to do against conservatives/Republicans.

UPDATE: Shouldn't we expect the DE Liberal crowd to come out denounce this symposium? Doesn't the sentiment expressed here have "consequences?"

Don't hold your breath.

Posted by Hube at 04:14 PM | Comments (34) | TrackBack

April 05, 2009

Supporters of Capitalism Are Crazy, Says Harvard

Heh. Read the whole thing, via Mises Daily.

Posted by Hube at 08:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Yes, words have impact

Just keep in mind that when mental defectives like Jason Scott at Delaware Liberal blame conservative talk radio for every Tom, Dick and Tim McVeigh that goes off their lithium and begins shooting people, always keep in mind that theirs is the blog that advocated rounding up Republicans and having them shot. And for what? Their advocacy of deregulation.

Yes. Words have impact. And yours are magnitudes worse than anything Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck says, Delaware Liberal.

How Jack Markell saw fit to share a coffee table with you scumbags is beyond me. It speaks volumes about his character, though. Or lack thereof.

UPDATE: Yep. By the playbook. Or, "no original thought."

UPDATE 2: Then there's the head of the Daily Kos (after which Delaware Liberal attempts to pattern itself) who said that "conservatives prefer ... to kill cops." The ironic thing about Markos Moulitsas, head of Kos, is that he never even bothered to mention the killing of the four police officers in Oakland, CA -- which is right in his backyard -- just a few short days ago. I wonder why?

UPDATE 3: Dave Burris weighs in.

Posted by Hube at 06:08 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The question is ...

... how long with MSDNC allow this poll to remain on its site?

55% give him a D-F grade, while 39.7% give him an A-B grade. Hmmm ...

Posted by Hube at 04:02 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 04, 2009

Just suppose ...

Adam Kissel writes:

Suppose the provost at Virginia Tech started a new "patriotism" initiative. In the first year, he would permit faculty members to self-report their "patriotism accomplishments."

In the second year, faculty members would be strongly encouraged to report their "patriotism accomplishments" on their annual reports of their activities. In the third year, faculty members would be told that "patriotism accomplishments are especially important for faculty seeking tenure and promotion," and dossiers for tenure and promotion would be a list of kinds of activities that would count as sufficiently "patriotic." Faculty assessment in the area of "patriotism" would include attention to "patriotism" in one's publications and one's syllabus, and faculty members would be encouraged to further educate themselves about "patriotism" by going to patriotic events, which they would report to their superiors in their dossiers.

Or insert the word "Christianity" in place of "patriotism." Suppose the provost informs all faculty, graduate students, and tenure and review committees that Christian activities are something they are encouraged to report in their self-assessments. After three years, there is a "Christian accomplishments" section in the tenure dossier, a list of approved activities, and strong pressure to incorporate Christian themes into faculty members' research, teaching and professional development.

Read the whole thing. It's basically in response to this nuttery.

Posted by Hube at 09:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

OK, this isn't a judgment on the topic ...

... but yet another example of how the mainstream media is just so schlocky. Check out the title of this CBS.com article: Poll: Americans Divided On Gay Marriage. Now when you read "divided," you'd assume something close to a 50-50 split on the issue, right?

CBS has some ... "different" definition in mind. To them, a 66%-33% split is "divided":

Although six in 10 Americans think some form of legal recognition is appropriate for same-sex couples, only a third of Americans think those couples should be allowed to marry.

Remember, the headline said "marriage."

Posted by Hube at 08:43 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The N.A.S. on the Ward Churchill verdict

PRINCETON, NJ -- The National Association expresses its regret over the decision of a Denver jury to find in favor of Ward Churchill in his case against the University of Colorado.

Reacting to the decision, NAS Chairman Stephen H. Balch commented:

The decision for Churchill will only further attenuate an already fraying relationship between the protections of academic freedom and their corollary obligations. Churchill is the poster boy for academic irresponsibility in both substance and style. That he wins today in court, helped somehow by his very notoriety, can only fortify the sense that anything goes.

If there is a lesson here it is that universities must be proactive in the enforcement of standards. Waiting for a public scandal with all its attendant complications is hardly the policy of choice. Universities must build a culture of responsibility that affects every aspect of institutional operation, but especially scholarship and teaching. Faculty members must realize from the beginning of their employment that their institution, and their peers, care about issues of intellectual integrity, foster a consciousness of scholarly ideals and good practice, and apply these at every level of professional review.

The outcome of the Churchill trial is unfortunate, but it was a trial that in a better academic world would never have occurred. The best point at which to protect professionalism is not career exit, but career entrance and stage-by-stage thereafter. If that's the lesson learned from this sorry result, academe will still be able to recoup its loss.

The National Association of Scholars is America's foremost higher education reform group. Located in Princeton, NJ, it has forty-seven state affiliates and more than four thousand professors, graduate students, administrators, and trustees as members.

Links about the Churchill decision:

Posted by Hube at 08:25 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

A teacher with no common sense

From yesterday’s News Journal:

A fifth-grade teacher at Leasure Elementary School used a student's serrated knife Wednesday to cut a vanilla cake with white frosting that the girl brought to share with classmates.

After handing out the slices, the teacher promptly turned the girl in for bringing a "deadly weapon" to school, her parents said.

Are. You. Kidding. Me?? Reason #763 why teachers get flack from the public, and unlike many reasons, this one happens to be totally legit. Hey – gotta make sure everyone gets cake – THEN turn in the girl for a [supposed] “deadly weapon!!”

Under district policy, a knife measuring three or more inches is considered a deadly weapon. Regardless of intent, any student carrying or concealing a weapon is subject to a five-day, out-of-school suspension.

First, the “regardless of intent” clause is just plain stupid. Even crimes have varying degrees of intent. OBVIOUSLY this young lady’s intent was merely to share some goodwill with her classmates! Her INTENT was nothing but GOOD.


OK, here’s what I do in this case: I see that the girl has brought in a cake knife along with the cake. Certainly, teachers are quite cognizant of the need to CYA. So, upon glimpsing the knife, I contact an administrator to inform him/her what is going on. I clearly note the girl's GOOD INTENTIONS. I also inform him/her that I will gladly hold onto the knife until the girl’s parent comes to pick it up. I will at that time inform mom or dad that next time any cake should be pre-cut in advance so as not to possibly cause a problem (like that which unfortunately actually occurred in this girl’s case). Case closed, no harm done.

Common sense. Shorter and shorter supplies of it available in today's society.

Posted by Hube at 08:08 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 03, 2009

Just … crazy

From CNN.com:

Alleged terrorists held at a U.S. military prison in Afghanistan can challenge their detention in federal court, a U.S. judge ruled Thursday.

District Court Judge John Bates denied a motion from the Obama administration to block four men from appealing their continued imprisonment. Each of the prisoners has been held at Bagram Air Field for six years or more.

Bates concluded these cases "closely parallel" those of accused enemy combatants held in the detention facility at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "in large part because the detainees themselves as well as the rationale for detention are essentially the same."

The Supreme Court last year ruled Guantanamo prisoners have a constitutional right to challenge their military custody in the federal court system.

Now here’s my view, and call me crazy: To “get around” this what ultimately proves to be an insane ruling, Congress should reassert the power it was granted in the Constitution – that of declaring war. If Congress had declared war on al Qaeda, the Taliban (that’s “Tah-lee-bahn” according to Barack Obama) et. al. then chances are these courts would have upheld the Bush and now Obama administrations’ view that these captured combatants should not have access to US civilian courts. Well, maybe.

Just imagine if captured Japanese or German soldiers had similar access. And they were regular soldiers! But, in fact, the US Supreme upheld the right of military tribunals for irregular Nazi combatants in the Ex parte Quirin case. It said:

…the law of war draws a distinction between the armed forces and the peaceful populations of belligerent nations and also between those who are lawful and unlawful combatants. Lawful combatants are subject to capture and detention as prisoners of war by opposing military forces. Unlawful combatants are likewise subject to capture and detention, but in addition they are subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals for acts which render their belligerency unlawful.

But this changed a few years back with Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. The SCOTUS ruled that the Geneva Conventions – which the US ratified in 1949, seven years AFTER Quirin, -- are the standard by which to treat detainees in the “war on terror.” Which means, basically, that the utilization of military tribunals to try captured illegal combatants is a violation of US and international law.

Which brings me back to two paragraphs ago: Does this mean that the US – even in an officially declared war against “legal” combatants – has to give all captured POWs access to our civilian court system? If not, why not? Why would it make sense to grant illegal combatants something that legal combatants cannot take advantage of? Imagine if Vietnam was an officially declared war. Since this conflict took place after 1949, the ratification of the Geneva Conventions, according to the logic of Hamdan, the US would have had to allow all captured NVA and Viet Cong access to our civilian domestic court system … to try each of their cases separately.

Not only would this be logistically impossible (thousands upon tens of thousands of captured enemy soldiers, legal and illegal, getting court-appointed lawyers clogging up the system for months or years on end), but it in effect makes the very option of military force unviable. What commander-in-chief wants to effectively shut down the nation’s courts? What commander-in-chief wants to subject American soldiers to [individual] lawsuits? And even if a C-in-C committed troops to a battle, what incentive would said troops have for capturing enemy soldiers? Why not just put a bullet in their head so there’s nothing to worry about down the line?

Posted by Hube at 06:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council results

This week's Watcher's Council results are:

In the Council category was yours truly with Why we should care about North Korea’s missile.

In the non-Council category was ShrinkWrapped with Information Warfare in a “Post-Modern” World.

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 06:20 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 02, 2009

Just don’t dare say that gayness is a “psychological disorder!”

Big Mouth Bawney Frank, one of the politicians most responsible for the economic mess we’re in, thinks the GOP has a “psychological disorder”:

House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank was in quite a mood on the floor of the House today -- questioning the sanity of Texas Republican John Culberson and other conservatives over their opposition to the new AIG bonus bill.

Frank grabbed the floor when Culberson blasted Democrats for passing the stimulus, which permitted AIG to lavish billions on executives after the de facto federal takeover.

Frank accused the GOP of attacking him for trying to fix the flawed stimulus, saying their attacks were part "of a psychological disorder I am not equipped to diagnose."

Nice. Imagine if Culberson said that Frank’s homosexuality was a “psychological disorder.” There would be immediate demands for his resignation.

Posted by Felix at 08:18 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

Dixie Boucher of Lewes thinks state government is terrific:

I am standing up today to chastise those people who don’t want their private world touched.

The situation in this state (not to mention the country) is bad and drastic measures must be undertaken to help correct what we can. Everyone in this state must do their fair share.

Some of us must endure a reasonable tax rate increase in property taxes. Stop complaining about it. The tax rate in Sussex County has not gone up since the 1970s and you have reaped the benefits of this low tax structure for many decades.

Now it is time for you to give some back.

But what’s this got to do with thinking that DE’s government is “terrific,” Hube? Well, it must be, since Ms. Boucher can’t fathom just HOW the situation in the state became so “bad.” We all should just “suck it up” because, well, the situation is just -- somehow ... bad.

Of course, those people have elected are the ones responsible for mismanaging the state’s (and nation’s) economy, but we should just shut up and “suck it up.” We entrusted the concept of good government to these clowns, and they've run the state’s finances like a spendthrift who has to quickly file for bankruptcy protection. Which, just happens to royally tick off the majority of folks who actually manage to balance their own books and maintain good credit. ‘Cuz, y’see, these responsible folks now have to bear the brunt of the mistakes that the elected morons made: Paying higher taxes. Enduring pay cuts and/or layoffs. Having cut benefits. Etc.

So screw you, Dixie. I will NOT just “suck it up” and not complain. You act as though our state (and nation) are the victims of some disaster, natural or man-made, and if that was the case we would indeed be acting like whining gutter snipes. In such a situation, everyone should do their part and bear the burden of sacrifice. But in this current state crisis, there IS someone (plural) to blame and ‘tho we’re all going to have to “give back” whether we want to or not, it is due to completely avoidable situations. So, again, I will NOT shut up and “suck it up.” Got it?

It’s time for the citizens of Delaware to grow up and face the facts. It no longer matters who you want to blame for the problems, remember you voted to put the very people back in office election after election. Don’t fuss because the current legislators must clean up the mess. Let them do their jobs, be fair and do your part.

Who’s “you,” Dixie? I never voted for Ruth Ann Minner or anyone else that holds elected office that served her. And I only get to vote for one state rep. and one state senator. Remember, this is the state that put idiot Minner in office twice, and most recently elected a guy for Attorney General merely because of his name over a clearly superior candidate. Be specific and address THESE morons, those for which party trumps all.

Not those with just even a little common sense.

Posted by Hube at 06:51 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

“Change” = more of the same stuff

Adding to the nonsense that is the Dept. of Justice’s legal “opinion” about granting Washington DC a representative in the House of Representatives, now it’s known that Attorney General Eric Holder is refusing to turn over the legal opinion – y’know, the one from his own Dept. that is contrary to his own – to senators who want to check it out.

Is this the same Eric Holder “who has released formerly classified OLC memoranda regarding post-9/11 national-security measures and is currently steamrolling the intelligence officials trying to prevent him from revealing our interrogation methods to al Qaeda?” Why yes, it is.

Let’s see … national security concerns vs. … deliberations on the [un]constitutionality of giving DC a voting representative …

Posted by Hube at 06:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 01, 2009

Watcher's Council nominations

This week's Watcher's offerings:

* Soccer Dad - Now he tells us
* The Colossus of Rhodey - Why we should care about North Korea’s missile
* The Razor - The Imaginary Leader
* The Glittering Eye - What’s the Niche for GM?
* Rhymes With Right - A Caser That Ought To Be Easy To Decide
* Joshuapundit - Why I’m Happy The NY Times Published An Anti-Semitic Cartoon
* Right Truth - Lessons from South Africa
* The Provocateur - Chris Dodd’s Unique, Brazen and Dangerous Corruption
* Bookworm Room - Is Barack Obama Evil

Posted by Hube at 08:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The stealth movement to stifle what the First Amendment is all about

How banning an anti-Hillary Clinton documentary could lead to even more.

Posted by Felix at 07:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

D.C. statehood and the politicization of the D.O.J.

Obama Attorney General Eric Holder has rejected the legal opinion of his Department’s Office of Legal Counsel that the bill making its way through Congress granting a binding vote to a representative from the District is blatantly unconstitutional.

Justice Department lawyers concluded in an unpublished opinion earlier this year that the historic D.C. voting rights bill pending in Congress is unconstitutional, according to sources briefed on the issue. But Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who supports the measure, ordered up a second opinion from other lawyers in his department and determined that the legislation would pass muster.

In deciding that the measure is unconstitutional, lawyers in the department's Office of Legal Counsel matched a conclusion reached by their Bush administration counterparts nearly two years ago, when a lawyer there testified that a similar bill would not withstand legal attack.

Holder rejected the advice and sought the opinion of the solicitor general's office, where lawyers told him that they could defend the legislation if it were challenged after its enactment.

Well, duh, yeah -- that's the solicitor general's office'sjob.

Why is this not a surprise, though? Here we are again, blatantly ignoring the plain wording of the Constitution, so that a political party can [cheaply] consolidate power. Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution says: "The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states ..." There isn't any ambiguity here at all, unlike even the 2nd Amendment's "... a well regulated militia ..." clause. It says that members of the House are chosen by the STATES. The District of Columbia is NOT a state. Period. And ignoring plain wording of the Constitution isn't really a partisan matter -- although liberals and/or Democrats, in my view, engage in it more often ... perhaps due to their belief in a "living Constitution." (Though I'll never grasp how "living" means outright ignoring explicit, plain language with no wiggle room for "interpretation.") There has been, after all, the predilection to commit American troops to battle over the Congress's exclusive power to declare war. Executives have taken advantage of this much as Congress has been too cowardly to [re]assert its rightful authority in this arena. See: Iraq War, 2003 for starters! In addition, most recently, we've seen Congress pass what basically amounts to a Bill of Attainder against AIG, also specifically prohibited by the Constitution.

For the Founders, creating a non-state district as the home of the federal government was "precisely to avoid one state's having too much influence over that government." But supporters of the DC representative bill argue that the "Constitution's vesting in Congress of exclusive jurisdiction and rule-making authority over the District" somehow gives Congress the power to overrule what the Constitution explicitly states elsewhere in the document, in this case, again, that only House serves for representatives of the states. George Will notes that if this nonsense idea is upheld, then what prevents Congress from establishing religion, abridging freedom of speech and of the press and abolishing the right of peaceful assembly in the District? Indeed!

There are legal ways to grant DC a voting representative in the House: Get an amendment to the Constitution, make the District a state, or incorporate it back into Maryland (or Virginia). Ah, but this takes time! Democrats need that extra political power NOW! But aside from that, why stop there? Why not a representative from Guam? Or Puerto Rico?

Holder's job is to uphold the Constitution, not to find ways to circumvent it, especially in lieu of the plain words. And didn't Holder say his office wouldn't be political? Yes. He said:

"We don't change OLC opinions simply because a new administration takes over," he said. "The review that we would conduct would be a substantive one and reflect the best opinions of probably the best lawyers in the department as to where the law would be, what their opinions should be. It will not be a political process, it will be one based solely on our interpretation of the law."

And his office told him the DC bill is a non-starter. Not only that, but this very same position has been held by every Dept. Of Justice since 1963 (then under Robert Kennedy). Yet Holder persists. Because the District is a "gimme" for the Democrat Party, and going through an actual legal process just might not, and probably won't, get his party what it wants.

Some "no politics."

Posted by Hube at 04:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack