Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Does Barack Obama want to be president?

Ever since viewing his depressing and disconnected “energy” speech last week, I have been mulling whether Barack Obama actually wants to be president anymore. That was an address given by a man who looked very much like he didn’t want to be there, didn’t want to continue. He appeared slumped and worn, as if he aged eighteen years in eighteen months. His demeanor was oddly distracted.

I am not being metaphorical here — I am quite serious. The more I have thought about this, the more I am convinced Barack Obama no longer wishes to be president. The degree that he admits this to himself, I am not sure. But I rather suspect that in the small hours of the morning he fantasizes he were anywhere but 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And who could blame him? By almost any measure, he is doing a terrible job.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

If the Story is True, McChrystal Must be Fired.

Rolling Stone is running a story that claims General Stanley McChrystal is openly critical of the administration and its policies. There are quotes in the story attributed to the General and his aides which if true, constitute gross insubordination.

McChrystal is by all accounts an outstanding tactician and leader of men. In substance, I agree with his frustration with this administration and his skepticism as to their basic competence...and that's compleately beside the point. The absolute primacy of civilian leadership is the paramount issue. For better or worse, Obama's in charge and his generals need to salute and say "Yes sir!" or resign in disgust and write a tell-all book.

Unless he can show the article is demonstrably false, McChrystal needs to be fired.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

On Open Borders and Sweatshops.

We all know part of the immigration debate is that the illegals work for below the regular wage rate. What the people who defend illegal immigration are saying is how important this is to the economy. How important it is that they do the work Americans "won't" do (which is misleading at best).

What these supporters are really saying is that it is OK to have sweatshops in the United States. That it is OK to have groups of 10 to 20 people living in substandard conditions. That here in America we need to have people locked up in rooms at sewing machines for 12 to 16 hours a day with no breaks for the restroom or food. They are supporting cargo containers coming in filled with people to be used as indentured labor and forced prostitution.


How should Western intellectuals respond to Muslim scholars?

Was the prophet Muhammad a pervert and a tyrant? Does Islam promote terrorism and enslave women? Does Islam oblige its followers to wage jihad on Westerners whose roots lie in the secular Enlightenment? Should Muslims consider converting to Christianity? For the Somali-born writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the answer to all these questions is a resounding “Yes!” Hirsi Ali, who renounced Islam in her thirties, speaks from experience of bigotry and intolerance among her former co-religionists: she was genitally mutilated as a child in Somalia, briefly radicalized by a preacher of jihad in Kenya, nearly forced into a marriage, threatened with death in the Netherlands by the Muslim assassin of her collaborator, the filmmaker Theo van Gogh, and is still hounded by murderous fanatics in her new home, America. In her latest book, “Nomad: From Islam to America” (Free Press; $27), she reminds her readers of the West’s tradition of intellectual revolt against clerical tyranny and warns of the insidious, intransigent enemies in their midst. “The Muslim mind today seems to be in the grip of jihad,” she writes.

She is not hopeful that Americans will heed her warning. Her initial job interviews in the United States were discouraging: the Brookings Institution, she writes, worried that she might offend Arab Muslims. (The conservative American Enterprise Institute, however, immediately appointed her as a fellow.) On college campuses, Muslim students accuse her of wanting to “trash” Islam, while Western feminists, convinced that white men are “the ultimate and only oppressors,” lack the “courage or clarity of vision” to help her knock down the mental “hovels” of the East. Pointing to Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s murderous rampage in Texas, last November, she deplores the “conspiracy to ignore the religious motivation for these killings” in America.

Muslims today, Hirsi Ali believes, must be forced to choose between the darkness of Islam and the light of the modern secular West.

The rest is here.

WARNING: The article is Safe For Work. The rest of the site, not so much.

CATO on the Auto Bailout.

The most compelling objections to the bailout were not rooted in the belief that the government couldn’t use its assumed power to help GM and Chrysler. On the contrary, the most compelling objections were over concerns that the government would do just that. It is the consequences of that intervention—the undermining of the rule of law, the confiscations, the politically-driven decisions, and the distortion of market signals—that animated the most serious objections.


Danish report from Gaza: "Where's the humanitarian crisis?"

Judging from the media, the situation in Gaza is desperate, everything is about to collapse, and the community is on the brink or at the level of a third world country.

The Palestinian community's immediate downfall has been prophesied numerous times in the media. People have nothing to eat, we sometimes know. The UN must from time to time to stop food distribution, either because their stocks are running low, or because they can not get diesel for their trucks, and therefore can not carry food in. And so on.

Yesterday I drove into the Gaza Strip. I don't do this as often as before [because it takes much longer to get through the checkpoints now.]

This time, I had expected to see real suffering, because with all the fuss in recent days about bringing tons of humanitarian relief in - so much that people actually sacrificed their lives for it - there certainly had to really be a deep, desperate situation in the Gaza Strip. No food. Long queues in front of UN food stocks. Hungry children with food bowls.

But this was not the picture that greeted me.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

The World Cup has Begun. Best of Luck to All.

Yakko's Guide to the Countries of the World.

What's in a band name?

Someday people will wonder what's with the name of that band with the "Come On Eileen" song. Well kids, they're named after me.

ABBA – Abba is “father” in Hebrew but the band claims that to be unintentional – rather it is an acronym for the first names of the band members: Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid (Frida).

AC/DC – 1) It is said that one of the band member saw it on an appliance and thought it had something to do with power. (It does mean “alternating current / direct current”.) The band used it not realizing it was also slang for a bisexual- the band claims NOT to be bisexual.
2) In the vogue of other anti-everything bands it stands for Against Christ/Devil’s Children.

ALICE IN CHAINS – a funny rumor is that they were named after a lost episode from The Brady Bunch series!

AMBOY DUKES – Ted Nugent’s original band – taken from the title of a 1940’s book about street gangs by Irving Shulman.

ANTHRAX – A dangerous bacteria that used to infect many cattle in Europe & could be used for terrorism.

ASPHALT BALLET – The name came from a motorcycle accident Julius was in where the motion of the bike rolling over on the asphalt road was termed an “Asphalt Ballet.”

AQUA – suggested by a Danish AQUArium poster that was hanging in their recording studio.

BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY – this neo-swing band takes its name from what legendary bluesman Albert King wrote as an autograph for the band’s leader, Scotty Morris… “To the big bad voodoo daddy.”

More here.

Creative Accounting: Robbing Peter to Pay Peter.

ALBANY — Gov. David A. Paterson and legislative leaders have tentatively agreed to allow the state and municipalities to borrow nearly $6 billion to help them make their required annual payments to the state pension fund.

And, in classic budgetary sleight-of-hand, they will borrow the money to make the payments to the pension fund — from the same pension fund.

When companies do this sort of thing, people go to prison.


Photos from the Blackhawks Parade on Friday. Click to Enlarge.

Police have just stopped traffic on Washington.

Four of the wife's co-workers heading over to the apartment. How the made it through the crowd I'll never know.

Your tax dollars at work. Will someone explain to me why a Segway is anything more than a $5000 bike substitute that helps you avoid doing actual exercise?


Washington street looking west toward the Civic Opera House.

Looking east, the corner of LaSalle and Washington.

Media (WGN I think) on top of the old Musicians Union building.

Almost ready to start.

Some folks are still trying to get some work done.

One of the best trained dogs ever.

Blue collar balcony.

Bitter holdouts.

Mr. Tibbs makes an appearance.

A good spot.

Washington and Wells.

An unusual number of CTA workers at the Wells St. Station for some reason.

It begins.

Emma LOVED the parade...Hannah slept through it.

Chicago's finest.

The Players.

Lord Stanley's Cup.

Just don't knock it over.

As soon the parade passed people began jumping the baracades.

A sea of humanity.

NYC Teachers Union Has an Office in Boca Raton.

Of course it does. If I were a teachers union I'd have an office there too.


Obama: GOP to blame for spill, because if I had tried to prevent it, which I didn't, they would have stopped me.

I think we're also responsible for vampires, weather and the fall of man.

Read the whole thing.

More from Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

The liberal psyche wants to protect minorities, to apologize for imperialism, colonialism, slavery, and the appalling treatment of black people during the civil rights movement. At the same time, they want to continue to defend the rights of individuals. They’ve convinced themselves that the best way to do that in general is to defend the cultures that are non-white. But what they forget, and what they’re being confronted with, is that non-white cultures contain misogynistic, collectivist, tribal, gay-unfriendly and female-hostile traditions. And so they’re confused: on the one hand, they’re looking at minorities as groups they need to save and speak up for, and on the other hand, they’re confronted with the ideas and practices of individuals within those minorities that are very undemocratic and appalling, really.


Saudi Arabia Gives Israel Clear Skies to Attack Iranian Nuclear Sites.

“The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,” said a US defence source in the area. “They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.”

Sources in Saudi Arabia say it is common knowledge within defence circles in the kingdom that an arrangement is in place if Israel decides to launch the raid. Despite the tension between the two governments, they share a mutual loathing of the regime in Tehran and a common fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing,” said one.

The article is here.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Why Big City Mayors like Gun Control.

The problem in the big cities of the Northeast isn’t guns. If guns caused problems, it’s rural America and pro-gun states like Texas that would be murder horror shows, not the Northeast cities crammed with people too self-righteously moral to accept the responsibility of protecting their loved ones and their communities. When young black men are safer in small, gun-packed southern towns than they are in northeastern urban areas, you know something has gone seriously wrong in the big city.


Saturday, June 05, 2010

Israel's Unforgivable Sin.

Remember the worldwide condemnations, the protests across Europe and Asia, the stern rebukes from the world's high councils in January of last year -- when Hamas militants executed 54 members of the Fatah party and tortured 175 more for (allegedly) collaborating with Israel? You don't? That's because the killing and torture went on with almost no notice or comment.

How about the world's outrage in November 2007, when Hamas gunmen killed seven civilians and wounded 80 more during a rally memorializing Yasser Arafat in Gaza? If you don't remember the outrage, the marches in the street, the scathing U.N. resolutions, that's because there weren't any.

Nor did the world weep when the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) suspended operations in Gaza after two staff members were caught in a Hamas-Fatah crossfire and killed. When Palestinian factional violence impedes humanitarian aid, well, tsk-tsk.

Last February, Amnesty International reported that numerous prisoners injured by an Israeli bombing of a prison were "shot dead in the hospitals where they were receiving treatment." But they weren't shot by Israelis, so nobody objected.

According to a report by Reuters, "An estimated 616 Palestinians have been killed in factional fighting since Hamas defeated Fatah" in January 2006.

World reaction? Shrug.


Friday, June 04, 2010

Helen Thomas: Jews need to go back to Poland & Germany.

No word on whether or not she thinks blacks need to go back to Africa.

Lost Masterpieces of Porn- It's Parody so Safe for Work but Adult Theme.

David Mamet's "Lost Masterpieces of Pornography" w/ Kristen Bell, Ed O'Neill & Ricky Jay from David Mamet

An interesting look into the inner workings of
the Supreme Court.

Stolen from Theo.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Attacking The Heroine.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of the great heroes of our era. Born a Muslim in Somalia, she was subjected to genital mutilation at age five. Her family fled to Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya. After her father ordered her to marry a stranger, she sought political asylum in the Netherlands and eventually was elected to the Dutch Parliament in 2003.

Hirsi Ali became a feminist spokesman for women who are oppressed in Islamic societies. She wrote the screenplay for Theo van Gogh's film Submission. Van Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam by a Muslim extremist who shoved a knife into his body with a note that said Hirsi Ali was next.

That made Hirsi Ali too hot to handle for Dutch authorities, so she made her way to the United States, where she now lives and continues her fight on behalf of oppressed women around the world.

You might think that would make her a heroine to American liberals, but you would be wrong.


Royal Society to Re-evaluate Position on Global Warming.

Sir Alan Rudge, a society Fellow and former member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee:

“One of the reasons people like myself are willing to put our heads above the parapet is that our careers are not at risk from being labelled a denier or flat-Earther because we say the science is not settled. The bullying of people into silence has unfortunately been effective.”



South Pacific Islands are not sinking, claims they are due to global warming driven sea level rise are opportunistic.