Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Obama on Iraq

Pregame show:
If Obama's speech is 90 percent "hooray for our troops" then it'll be a success. If the other 10 percent are split between honoring the Iraqi troops and police who've braved murderous attacks while acknowledging the political stupidity back in Washington, then it'll be an epic success.

But chances are he's too proud to admit being wrong about the surge, just as Bush was too proud to admit being wrong about initial troop levels and misjudging the Saddamist insurgency and other blunders, so they'll likely steer away from politics in all but the most subtlest form. That said, Obama is CIC now so if he does any of the following:

1. Proclaims victory for fulfilling a campaign promise everyone knew was phony-baloney from the beginning;

2. Alludes to Bush's "mission accomplished" (it wasn't 'we win') speech without mentioning his own plan to evacuate regardless of consequence by 2008;

3. Mentions his 2002 speech in which he called the potential Iraq war 'dumb';

4. Uses the phrase "let me be clear" or anything about ditches or gear shifts;

5. Or says anything about the lack of a relationship between Saddam's regime and international terrorism..

He should be run out of town on a rail. We await the excitement.


Faint praise for Bush, no chest thumping--under that framework it was a hit. A good speech. His appeal to come together on the domestic front was quite statesman-like, and necessary if we're to win the overall war against these head-chopping madmen. That said, it was a bit flat at times, too professorial in spots, and didn't hit enough on the persistence needed to get to this point.


In reading the transcript it's evident we missed some of the speech while watching it. Must have been during some of those flat, professorial spots. And, on second look the economy tie-in was inappropriate to the max. But it was still a good speech for Obama in what he didn't say too much--"I" and "my".


By saying we were turning the page that of course doesn't mean 'winning', it means we are just leaving to tackle the central challenge--the stupid economy. Evidently there will be new borrowed money freed up for more stimulus programs. Which will not be read by our various enemies as expanding American leadership, but trying to remain clear of bankruptcy.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Aviation Update

Strange doings:
In addition, officials said, al Soofi was found to be carrying $7,000 in cash and a check of his luggage found a cell phone taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle, three cell phones taped together, several watches taped together, a box cutter and three large knives. Officials said there was no indication of explosives and he and his luggage were cleared for the flight from Birmingham to Chicago O'Hare.
One of these guys came out of Memphis, by the way. The other boarded in Birmingham and they found the weird stuff, then let it fly with him (in the checked baggage stow) to ORD.

There was no real threat since they had already inspected the paraphernalia before initial takeoff but it seems likely somebody dropped the ball in Chicago by letting the bag fly to Washington without its owner, whereupon someone else at Dulles let the aircraft actually taxi away from the gate heading to Dubai before realizing they had a rogue bag and called it back to remove the bag. All this after they had discovered the weirdness in Birmingham.

So what's going on? Pure speculation, but other than a dry run/system test perhaps it was designed to knee-jerk more punitive federal restrictions on the flying public, whether they be inspections for cash during scanning or prohibiting the carrying of cell phones and antacid in checked baggage. Such is a form of jihad as well.

The travel routing was probably symbolic as well. They boarded in two southern cities, neither known for being terrorism hubs, then met in Chicago and had tickets for a flight that passed over Washington, DC before terminating in Yemen. The flight they actually boarded went to Amsterdam, the same airport Abdulmuttalob passed through unmolested on Christmas.

Now, if Bush were still in power the reality-based community would already be speculating that these guys secretly worked for Halliburton and were trying to tilt the mid-terms for the GOP using the fear card. But today, in 2010, the fever swamps are defending Islam due to the mosque situation.

By the way, none of the stories so far have mentioned the mens' religion. Not saying they should be, but when the Michigan Hutaree militia members were picked up in March most all the stories mentioned their connection to Christianity. Here's the paper of record using the term "apocalyptic Christian militants". Just sayin'.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Eye on the Ball

Obama took a break from vacation summer to commemorate the 5th anniversary of how Bush screwed N'Owlans after Katrina, flitting down to the Ninth Ward to lament on how the BP spill wasn't his own Katrina because he's, well, awesome by comparison. He also managed to get in a few other strategic shots thanks to Brian Williams:
The president also chuckled when he was asked about polls that show many Americans still believe he was born outside the United States or was a Muslim. He said he didn’t pay much attention to such perceptions, which he blamed on “a network of misinformation that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly.”
VRWC, in other words. Seems to be an important topic though, because his old buddy Reverend Wright even mentioned it today during a sermon:
"He will surround you with psychopaths who will criticize you and ostracize you and put you beyond the pale of hope and say 'you ain't really a Baptist' and say 'the president ain't really a Christian, he's a Muslim. There ain't no American Christian with a name like Barack Hussein,'" he added.
Yes, this is the same guy who gave the Nation of Islam's leader (and noted believer in racist space aliens) a "lifetime achievement award". You just can't make it up.

But they do. And the objective is usually to distract attention away from real problems, like the economy--the crown jewel or paragon of doom for all presidents (deservedly or not). Williams was at his softballish best during the economic questions of his interview, allowing Obama to drone on with stock talking points rather than doing a Chris Wallace and asking him to explain some facts, maybe even popping up a chart..

The president doesn't want to explain the recent spikey downturn in GDP during 'recovery summer' when the bulk of the stimulus program was supposed to be at its stimulative best right now. But Williams knows as much as Obama that while cable news issues like making fun of wingnuts for thinking Obama is a Muslim, despite being named Hussein (off limits during the campaign) and having a Muslim father, stepfather, grandmother and half brothers and sisters, all that matters much less than a teetering economy.

They know that short of wartime threats voters usually always vote their wallets, which is probably why the "news" is focusing harder and harder on things that matter less and less so as not to bring undue attention to the bad news, and by using emotional partisan stories they can keep people off-balance and on the defensive. Keep in mind, these are the same stories that Obama repeatedly calls fluff not worth his time, while always including a jab in every one.

ATTACK! 8/30/10

Obama's vacation really must have cleared out his head because he's coming out firing at the enemy with vigor--the GOP. According to him they alone are standing in the way of economic sweetness and light by blocking a small business stimulus bill, evidently because they don't want the economy to improve before the mid-terms. He calls it the 'silly season'.

But hey, it's always the political silly season for this administration, who make their living making promises then blaming others when they don't come true, statesmanship be durned. Here are some handy reminders...

Stunning, really.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Side Tracks

With all the flap this weekend about Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor event here's some vintage footage of the infamous 'Memphis Belle' completing its 25th mission during World War II.

And some music...

Friday, August 27, 2010

USS Cole and the Unfinished Story of Shakir

A surviving family from the Cole bombing, commenting on a meeting with Obama on February 6, 2009:
“I did not vote for the man, but the way he talks to you, you can’t help but believe in him,” Mr. Clodfelter said on Friday evening. “He left me with a very positive feeling that he’s going to get this done right.”
The news, August 27, 2010:
Feds halt prosecution of USS Cole bomber at Gitmo
Looks like the families were snookered again by a politician--Bush didn't do much for their closure either. But is politics the only reason why the Obama people are standing down on al-Nashiri tribunal?

For instance, there are a few associations that can be made. Al-Nashiri was connected to Khalid bin Attash through the Cole plot but for some reason bin Attash was not scheduled for a tribunal, rather, he was going to be tried with KSM in New York. Bin Attash was reportedly an attendee at the Kuala Lumpur terrorist summit meeting in late 2000.

Another player in that meeting was an Iraqi named Ahmed Hikmat Shakur, who got a job with Malaysian Airlines at the airport via connections in the Iraqi embassy. The left made a big deal when it was suggested that he wasn't connected to Saddam's Fedeyeen corps, which they think nixed the neocon fantasy of a Saddam-9/11 tie, but Andy McCarthy explained why that didn't matter:
Bottom line: the Ahmad Hikmat Shakir Azzawi we’ve been discussing is still a native Iraqi
(a) who was called from a safehouse used by the 1993 World Trade Center bombers; (b) who got his job at the Malaysia airport in 1999 through Iraqi intelligence;
(c) whose schedule at the airport was controlled by Iraqi Intelligence rather than by the airport;
(d) who facilitated hijacker Khalid al-Midhar’s entrance into Malaysia;
(e) who went to the infamous Malaysia meeting with al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi; (e) who left his job at the airport –never to return to it – the day after the Malaysia meeting;
(f) who was in possession of contact information for key al Qaeda figures (including Khalid Sheik Mohammed’s brother) when he was detained in Qatar six days after 9/11;
(g) who immediately tried to return to Baghdad after being released by Qatar, but who was detained in Jordan when he tried to make a connecting flight;
(h) whom the CIA believed had counter-interrogation training when they were permitted to interview him in Jordan; and
(i) who returned to Iraq upon being released by Jordan after special pleading by Saddam’s regime.

That he was probably not, in addition, a Fedayeen officer changes none of that.
So here we have a guy who got his job in Kuala Lumpur through the Iraqi embassy just in time for the terrorist meeting then disappeared from the job forever, then was arrested in Jordan trying to return to Baghdad after 9/11 (after having contact numbers for AQ agents on his person) but was mysteriously returned to Iraq at the behest of Saddam three months later, never to be seen again. Hmmmm, as they say. But nevertheless, this story has been dead for years, that is, until this year.

In March someone leaked out more information on Shakir--that he was supposedly gay and the CIA was trying to run him as a source because of it during 2000 (Islam doesn't condone teh gay), presumably to infiltrate AQ. Whether they were ever successful or not is unknown--the CIA is not commenting--but it would seem to make Mr. Shakir a bit more important than just some ordinary airport greeter, wouldn't it? The Observer story triumphantly says he certainly wasn't an Iraqi agent but provides no evidence why he wasn't. He was certainly someone connected to AQ, explained by his alleged contacts with the safehouse used by the 1993 WTC bombers when he was living in Iraq.

And by the way, who released this information to the press in March 2010, right about the same time Obama Holder was hem-hawing on whether KSM would be tried in New York? When arrested in Qatar shortly after 9/11, Shakir apparently had the contact information for KSM's brother, the mysterious Zahid Sheikh Mohammad, on his person.

This would be the same Qatar that housed our military command center during Operation Iraqi Freedom and who once employed KSM back during the Clinton administration and even harbored him shortly after 9/11. It's been long rumored his brother Zahid reportedly had contacts with the Pakistani government, including a rumored relationship with former prime minister Nawaf Sharif. Weird, wild stuff.

The big question mark remains--why did Saddam pressure Jordan to return Shakir in 2001? Did they assassinate him for being in al Qaeda upon his return, or give him government housing as they did with Yasin, one of the 1993 WTC bombers? If he was AQ, wouldn't it make more sense for Saddam to turn him over to the FBI to gain brownie points, since we are told he didn't get along with bin Laden? Or was Iraq holding him as leverage over AQ? Or was Shakir simply an Iraqi agent monitoring the terrorists, but having nothing to do with them?

Oh well, somebody leaked this 2010 gay story for a reason, so why did they do it? Why does he matter anymore if there's no connections? Was it perhaps because a public KSM trial, or even the al-Nashiri tribunal, might have brought up the question again? Confusing.

Maybe Bush will cover all of this in his upcoming book. Or maybe Obama in his speech next week. Yeah...a double 'heh'.

Sherroding the Cabbie Story?

After just asking whether imam Rauf is being given the Sherrod treatment by various bloggers and news agencies for taking some of his anti-US snippets out of context, will the State Department now apply the same principle to the Muslim cabbie attacked in New York story and CAIR? After all, according to the NY Times, they responded thusly, apparently before knowing all the facts:
“As other American minorities have experienced, hate speech often leads to hate crimes. Sadly, we’ve seen how the deliberate public vilification of Islam can lead some individuals to violence against innocent people.”
As if there were no facts needed to confirm this white kid was inflamed by wingnut mosque-mania, as alluded to by the mosque-supporting mayor:
Mayor Bloomberg, who spoke to Sharif and invited him to City Hall Friday, said the unprovoked attack was clearly "motivated by anti-Muslim bias." "I assured him that ethnic or religious bias has no place in our city," Bloomberg said of his conversation with Sharif.
Clearly. Yet in this case the 'hate speech' seemed to either be the cabbie's admission of being a Muslim against the mosque, or perhaps nothing at all. Wonder what PJ will say today?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Not a Muslim!

So badly does the left want to bash those on the 'willfully ignorant' right who believe Obama isn't a Christian that HuffPo has now forgotten about dangerous domestic terrorists and is now publishing apologias for Christianity. Of course in typical Huffer fashion the writer goes completely off the rails at the end of his piece:
Jesus himself was not a Christian. Perhaps the most overlooked fact by religious illiterates is that Jesus was a Jew, and he never referred to his followers as "Christians."

Jesus referred to his followers as disciples. Only decades later in Antioch was the term "Christian" used of Jesus followers, and it was a derisive term coined by detractors.

So will someone remind me again why we're getting so worked up about whether or not Obama is a Christian, when Jesus himself wasn't?
Might those be the most inane string of words ever typed in English?

Jesus called himself the Messiah, which the Jewish Pharisees rejected. So while Jesus might have technically been a Jew, he was also a heretic, and those who believed were also heretics. Ergo, anyone who believed in Christ back then--and now--is called a Christian, not a Jew. It's hard to believe someone would actually use such an argument to defend anything.

But it's interesting to see Huffpo now making a robust defense of a president's religious views after trying to convince us Bush was either a fake Christian or a nutjob extremist just a few years ago. They were skeptics then, and perhaps with good reason--reverend Wright once stated that politicians have to do what they do, and preachers do what they do. So maybe they could get Mr. Staub to come back and tackle the meaning of this when he's next in the mood to lecture willful idiots:
"The difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and proselytize. There's the belief, certainly in some quarters, that if people haven't embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior, they're going to hell."

Obama doesn't believe he, or anyone else, will go to hell.

But he's not sure if he'll be going to heaven, either.

"I don't presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die," he says. "When I tuck in my daughters at night, and I feel like I've been a good father to them, and I see in them that I am transferring values that I got from my mother and that they're kind people and that they're honest people, and they're curious people, that's a little piece of heaven."
Not to be overly critical of the man's beliefs (we are all sinners) but that pretty much sounds like the same god his agnostic mother worshiped. If Obama claimed to be a Muslim, yet declared public unbelief in the Prophet's teachings, would he still be vigorously defended as a Muslim by folks like Mr. Staub, the press, or the Muslim Ummah?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Contrasting Moderates

Foreign Policy mag is quoting PJ Crowley lecture cautioning wingnut bloggers against Shirley Sherroding Imam Rauf:
The Cable asked Crowley directly, "Is he the Muslim Shirley Sherrod?"

Crowley responded, "That's a good cautionary tale for everybody."
Funny, since we still don't know whom at the White House told Vilsack's assistant to fire Sherrod (as she insisted numerous times after the event). The press isn't allowed to speak with that person. So cautionary "tale" might be apropos since the imam is out of pocket as well.

FP then goes on to pull their own snippets out of the transcript to make their point about Rauf's moderateness--touche, but one must look at the big picture.

For instance, it's hard to take out of context Rauf's claim that Saddam's starvation of his own Shiite children was a grievance leading to 9/11 when he essentially told Ed Bradley the same thing on 60 Minutes in 2001. When he said we created bin Laden, presumably by our helping the mujihadeen defeat the Soviets in the 80s, that's crazy (unless he's a truther--he did mention Fahrenheit 9/11). Besides, bin Laden's turnabout evidently came when our forces arrived in Saudi to get rid of the scotch-drinking apostate to their north. Some blowback.

FP also failed to explain a couple of other points he made that seem important, liek Rauf's reference to supporting a one-state solution in Israel. That basically means a Palestinian state with Jews living there under their rule, ie, the South Africa solution.

Contrast that to another moderate voice within Islam with a dissenting opinion on all of this:
The mainstream media has deliberately ignored the fact that there is legitimate basis for fear of mosques — as it is a demonstrable fact that mosques and Muslims have been disproportionately connected to terrorism in this country and around the world, a fact that the media won’t report. Moreover, in the examples of opposition to specific mosques chosen by the media as evidence of popular “bigotry,” the media has selectively ignored the openly available evidence showing unambiguously that these mosques or their officials are connected to or supportive of the radical Muslim Brotherhood (the parent of al-Qaeda), Hamas, and other radical Islamic fundamentalist organizations.
As he points out, recent history supports a skeptical American attitude towards mosques in general, and especially one near GZ, built there purposefully, with a groundbreaking planned for 9/11/11. The truth in all of this probably comes down more to Israel and its future than anything else--perhaps that's why Rauf won't condemn HAMAS. So, around and around we go.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Forest and the Trees

This is a very revealing glimpse into the mindset of the Obama White House on terrorism. It features counter terror czar John Brennan sitting in a meeting with the Washington Times editorial board responding to what he thought was an unfair characterization of a speech to Muslims he gave earlier this year at NYU. The affair ended rather abruptly, as chronicled by this video...

There's another video at the link showing an agitated Brennan trying to defend his premise that poverty leads to extremism. While that is probably true as to crime, extremism in the name of Allah has the added component of ideology, which the editorial board points out by saying that many top shelf terrorists of the past 20 years have been from prominent families (bin Laden and Zawahiri come to mind, as does the Times Square guy) and are often graduates of western universities.

America's counter-terrorism czar tries to circle around and call those richer terrorists driven by ideology and influenced by economic, social and political factors in their environment, ie, western meddling and poverty, without acknowledging the jihad-vehicle they are riding that acts to justify the violence. Indeed, when asked to describe jihad in general, including past jihads, he picks up his papers and leaves.

This is not a new question of course--Bush made the case that bringing democracy to the terror swamp could change the paradigm by giving the masses a greater stake in their government, but results so far have been inconclusive. Brennan seems loath to even debate it--we must pander and throw more money, evidently.

Here's another contrast. We just passed the one-year anniversary of al-Megrahi's survival in Libya as a free man after having only a few weeks to live as long ago as March 2008. Brennan recently made his disgust clear about the release and called for Libya to send him back to Scotland to serve out his term. Strong. But he didn't say what might happen if Libya refuses.

Presuming they continue flipping the bird wouldn't America's general disgust be much clearer if Mr. Megrahi were placed on the Rewards for Justice list of wanted terrorists? After all, we placed Ali Hamadei on the list after Germany early-released him for his role in the TWA 847 hijacking and death of a US sailor in Beirut in the 80s, so it would seem consistent to do so with this guy. Unless this message of weakness is some kind of secret reverse psychology program to influence the Arab street. After all, Brennan's a spook.

MORE 8/24/10

Nobody's saying it, but the fact Brennan has joined Obama on vacation probably means they don't want a repeat of the Abdulmuttalob Christmas fiasco. Brennan is there to work not play, and he was out on the podium today speaking to reporters, heralding Obama's successful withdrawal from Iraq. Towards the end this exchange occurred:
Q Bill, one more on Iraq?


Q Mr. Brennan, is President Obama glad that those Democrats two and three years ago that were advocating an immediate end to U.S. involvement in Iraq did not prevail in their efforts?

MR. BURTON: I’m sorry, can you say that one more time?

Q Yes, is President Obama glad that the Democrats two and three years ago that were advocating an immediate end to the U.S. role in Iraq did not prevail in their efforts?

MR. BURTON: The President laid out in very specific terms what he thought our appropriate objectives were in Iraq in a speech that he gave at Camp Lejeune in February of 2009, and what he’s pleased with is that the brave men and women of our military have achieved that objective.
Notice how spokesflack Burton jumped in, first pretending not to hear, then taking over a question directed to Brennan, the proceeding to not answer it. So allow me--yes, the president is glad his 2007 don't surge-withdraw advice (remember, Hillary had the experience, he had the superior judgment) was not heeded so he can now pretend to fulfill a phony-baloney campaign promise patterned on the SOFA negotiated by the Bush administration in 2008. And no, he's not glad the press is phrasing questions this way.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Rights vs Sensitivity

The commenters at JOM are discussing the mosque problem in context with the Mohammad cartoons and opening a very interesting line of thought..
Great comment by Cadell tonight on Geraldo (I'm too lazy to get up and change the channel), NO newspaper that refused to run the Muhammed cartoons has any moral authority to lecture anyone on first amendment rights re Islam...
Looking back, here's what the NY Times reported:
Major American newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune, did not publish the caricatures. Representatives said the story could be told effectively without publishing images that many would find offensive.

"Readers were well served by a short story without publishing the cartoon," said Robert Christie, a spokesman for Dow Jones & Company, which owns The Wall Street Journal. "We didn't want to publish anything that can be perceived as inflammatory to our readers' culture when it didn't add anything to the story."

In a midafternoon meeting on Friday, editors at The Chicago Tribune discussed the issue but decided against publishing the cartoons. "We can communicate to our readers what this is about without running it," said James O'Shea, the paper's managing editor.
In other words, all these major papers shunned their freedom of the press/speech rights in order to show sensitivity to a major religion. At the time, I agreed, because slamming a deity figure seems rather pointless and needlessly provocative, even if it's just to show you can or make a point about intolerance.

Therefore, what would be wrong with the mosque proponents, who've now dug in their heels to any suggestion of standing down (which will cause undue controversy), learning a lesson from the Mohammad cartoons and relocating their center uptown? And what would be wrong with all those major papers, who took a stand for religious sensitivities a few years ago, to do so again?

Or does all of this really boil down to the same old fear of repercussions from the violent Islamists (who aren't really Muslims, we are told) who express outrage and threats over anything remotely denigrating to their beliefs? If so, how can America expect to fight and win a war against that very enemy?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Will the Real Rauf Please Stand Up

In an earlier post I took the leap of saying that Imam Rauf, by saying America was partly to blame for 9/11 and helped to create bin Laden, was by extension blaming Bill Clinton for 9/11.

This is a leap most liberals would not make, preferring instead to see those words as Obama did in Cairo, ie, acknowledging the CIA's involvement in various places or somehow blaming Bush for our tattered Arab street cred after the fact.

But today Sweetness and Light uncovers a fascinating transcript from a talk Rauf gave in Australia in 2005 that shines some actual light on what he actually sees as a Clinton's failure:
The complexity arises, sir, from the fact that - from political problems and the history of the politics between the West and the Muslim world. We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non Muslims. You may remember that the US lead sanction against Iraq lead to the death of over half a million Iraqi children. This has been documented by the United Nations. And when Madeleine Albright, who has become a friend of mine over the last couple of years, when she was Secretary of State and was asked whether this was worth it, said it was worth it.
Well, this is not much different than what bin Laden said in 1998 when he called for the murder of Americans wherever found around the globe:
If some people have in the past argued about the fact of the occupation, all the people of the Peninsula have now acknowledged it. The best proof of this is the Americans' continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are against their territories being used to that end, but they are helpless.

Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, which has exceeded 1 million... despite all this, the Americans are once against trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation.

So here they come to annihilate what is left of this people and to humiliate their Muslim neighbors.

Third, if the Americans' aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews' petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there. The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel's survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula.
Or... from Saddam Hussein in one of his 'open letters' to America after 9/11:
In addition, we say to the American peoples, what happened on September 11, 2001 should be compared to what their government and their armies are doing in the world, for example, the international agencies have stated that more than one million and a half Iraqis have died because of the blockade imposed by America and some Western countries, in addition to the tens of thousands who died or are injured in the military action perpetrated by America along with those who allied with it against Iraq. Hundreds of bridges, churches, mosques, colleges, schools, factories, palaces, hotels, and thousands of private houses were destroyed or damaged by the American and Western bombardment, which is ongoing even today against Iraq. If you replay the images of the footage taken by the western media itself of this destruction, you will see that they are not different from the images of the two buildings hit by the Boing airplanes, if not more atrocious, especially when they are mixed with the remains of men, women, and children. There is, however, one difference, namely that those who direct their missiles and bombs to the targets, whether Americans or from another Western country, are mostly targeting by remote controls, that is why they do so as if they were playing an amusing game. As for those who acted on September 11, 2001, they did it from a close range, and with, I imagine, giving their lives willingly, with an irrevocable determination.

For this reason also, the Americans, and the world with them, should understand the argument that made those people give their lives in sacrifi, and what they sacrificed themselves for, in that way.

When one million and a half Iraqi human beings die, according to Western documents, from a population of twenty five million, because of the American blockade and aggression, it means that Iraq has lost about one of twenty five of its population. And just as your beautiful skyscrapers were destroyed and caused your grief, beautiful buildings and precious homes crumbled over their owners in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq by American weapons used by the Zionists. In only one place, which was a civilian shelter, which is the Ameriyah Shelter, more than four hundred human beings, children, young and old men and women, died in Iraq by American bombs.
Absurd, of course. Saddam gamed the sanctions and profited off Oil for Food and if anyone starved it was the Shiites--due to him. Bin Laden came along later and blamed America for Saddam's doings, which required our presence in Saudi to stop Saddam, giving him justification for 9/11. Now Rauf is saying they were both kinda right.

Most Americans will not take kindly to being blamed in part for 9/11 based on our 'meddling' around the world. Despite some flaws that meddling is largely for the good, such as securing commerce, resources, and democracy. All countries meddle, including the Soviets, who meddled their way into Afghanistan and killed untold thousands, which gave rise to our 'creation' of bin Laden and others to help stop it. Clinton also meddled in Bosnia/Kosovo, which saved Muslim lives, then bin Laden repaid us with 9/11.

As if that's not enough, later in the transcript he invokes Fahrenheit 9/11; blames Bush for not directly addressing the Iraqi people during his surprise appearances in Baghdad (failing to consider that might have seemed rather authoritarian, as if Bush considered himself an emperor); and denies that Islam needs any kind of reformation like Christianity.

He also says women were treated well and given many rights by Mohammad and they need to return to those salad days (presumably condemning the House of Saud) and he favors a one-state solution in Israel. Everyone knows one state leaves an Arab state--with nukes.

And now this same moderate imam wants a mosque as close as possible to Ground Zero. His most erstwhile domestic supporters are likely onboard because they both see the real worldwide enemy as the rest of America. Or perhaps more specifically--white folks' greed running a world of need.

Don't misunderstand--reconciliation is good and necessary but we must both come to the table with honesty. Preconditions to building this bridge cannot include our admitting partial blame for 9/11, after all, we'd never admit as much for Pearl Harbor. Besides, we're being told over and over that the enemy is not really Islam, just a distorted version thereof. If that's really the case why would it make sense to ever assign us blame based on what some crazy people who don't represent their religion or peoples have done?

Figuring Iran

Mahmood Ahmaakbarjad unveiled the latest in peaceful Muslim technology from the Islamic Republic of Iran today..

Does he think he's Goldfinger?

Seriously, aside from the toyish look to this new weapon, Iran seems to be doing OK of late. Just some of the events not to make many front page headlines:

They captured Jund'Allah leader Rigi then executed him in one of their cities in Balochistan as an example. Rigi was working for the west, being leveraged against both Iran and Pakistan; some reports even said Pakistan fingered him to the Iranians. A rather large embarrassment, it would seem.

Hamid Karzai attended a summit in Tehran, a story virtually blacked out in major western media outlets. Now Karzai is saying he's working on a peace treaty with the Taliban.

For over two years now Iran has been operating a twice-a-month scheduled Iran Air flight between Tehran, Damascus and Caracas, Venezuela. There's no real reason for this other than provocation.

And now this--after Obama trumpets the toughest sanctions ever the Iranians reply by shooting missiles, starting the reactor at Bushehr using some fuel they've been processing themselves (with Putin in charge of monitoring), and this drone thing.

If one adds the fact they got away scot-free with a phony-baloney election and accompanying massacre, our awesome new world influence doesn't seem to be affecting them yet.

Still, Obama deserves at least some credit for trying to game them. He knew they would never accept his overtures to meet and therefore figured it would give the United States more leverage to form a coalition, and perhaps even the cover to take out their program, at some point. The likes of Sean Hannity can't appreciate such things but in hindsight it appears to be a fairly smart move on our part should we ever need to bomb bomb bomb Iran.

But that of course depends on what happens next. Is it any coincidence that after a public embarrassment in Washington, then Jerusalem, that Israel's Netanyahu has been very quiet of late?

After all, after the dust-up Obama did come out in tacit support of Jerusalem in the flotilla thing, which had to anger some on the professional left and their Friends of Palestine friends. Some may even see the naming of one of the next flotilla ships as the "Audacity of Hope" to be a provocation directed at Obama for not remaining true to his former liberal orthodoxy on the subject, especially with former Hyde Park friend Rashid Khalidi involved in that project.

The bottom line is whether we're seeing the execution of a game plan, which would explain the relative silence out of Israel after all this Iranian bluster, or whether the west in general is just at a loss for words. Or maybe everyone is on vacation. They seem to be popular of late.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Side Tracks

I guess Charlie Daniels can play a pretty mean fiddle..

He's also an underrated guitarist and musician overall, as this track exemplifies (recorded in the 70s- those guitar harmonies have to be precise).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lying Liars

Maybe the indictment against Roger Clemons for allegedly lying to Waxman's court about steroids is a sign of hope and change to come--just think, prosecuting people for lying in Congress...


Oddly enough the Clemens case will be heard by none other than Judge Reggie Walton, famous for the presiding over the trial of Scooter Libby (and the anthrax defamation case brought by scientist Steven Hatfill). So as we watch the unfolding wrath of Waxman on Clemens it might be fun to review the Plame testimony, also given to the Waxman court.

While the Senate Intelligence Cmte had previously found that her husband Joe Plame had lied, Valerie's testimony was also ambiguous regards the central question of 'who sent Joe'..
“Friday was the first time we have ever heard that story,” Sen. Bond said in a statement to National Review Sunday evening. “Obviously if we had, we would have included it in the report. If Ms. Wilson’s memory of events has improved and she would now like to change her testimony, I’m sure the committee staff would be happy to re-interview her.”

For those who followed the Senate investigation, the young-junior-officer story was not the only surprise in Mrs. Wilson’s House testimony. In addition to saying that her office received a call from the vice president’s office, Mrs. Wilson flatly denied playing a role in choosing her husband for the trip to Niger. “I did not recommend him. I did not suggest him,” she testified. The Senate Intelligence Committee report, which concluded that she had indeed suggested her husband for the trip, was simply wrong, Mrs. Wilson testified. In particular, what she called a “quick e-mail” describing her husband’s qualifications for the trip was “taken out of context” by the committee to “make it seem as though I had suggested or recommended him.”
Senator Bond suggested these disparities be investigated but of course Washington was too drunk on Dem koolaid and revenge, and so they decided to move on.

And by doing nothing the narrative remains. Democrat backers Plame and Wilson, already the focus of one movie, are now the focus of yet another strategically-timed Hollywood policy flick starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts, the trailer of which makes Plame look like 007. Meanwhile Clemens may serve time, just like Judy Miller. No, the game isn't always fair.

Running on Bush

It seems we are being bombarded with conspiracy beefsteak right now. There's the mosque story, which thinly suggests a sinister Islamist support group behind the scenes trying to prop up a victory memorial.

Some on the left are even praising George Bush and begging him to enter the fray to quell the conservative masses (and Reid, and Dean).

Then there's the release of Obama's passport from a White House "blog" for some reason, with the date of issuance and expiration mysteriously blurred out.

And several polls suggesting that 1 in 5 believe Obama himself is a Muslim. Other than the fact he was born a Muslim that's preposterous!

Without scientific study it's safe to say the mainstream press has devoted more attention to these stories than our redeployment from Iraq or the nuclear start-up in Iran.

It's like a parade of clowns. There's Pelosi, saying she wants an investigation of those funding the pushback on the mosque, even though most of the outrage was stirred up by Obama (but shhh, she's just trying to bag some tea baggers). In the spirit of bridge building though, we can certainly get behind her rump covering suggestion to open the curtains on just who might be interested in funding the Rauf mosque and why.

Perhaps she could start with the mainstream media. Are they still colluding on coverage ala the Journolist? Why are there suddenly so many 'birther' type stories roiling around? Have they become bored by droning on and on about the dead stock market, declining jobs market, failed Stimulus, quagmire in Afghanistan, Gitmo open, terrorism still thriving despite the promise of healing by election, Democratic graft and corruption, revelations from the Blago trial, or the rising tide of conservative candidates?

As to the left's newfound respect for Dubya, forget it. They never believed his kumbaya on the religion of peace and probably think they can spin any response to their benefit (and W's detriment), thereby keeping the Dem's campaign platform--"Bush's fault"--alive and well into November. And that's just the press! Of course Bush has the right to remain silent and will no doubt exercise it as he has to date (unless he thinks of a clever tweak to put on Facebook).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Blago Verdict

Very strange, the whole thing. It's not surprising the jury exited the place without going to the interview room after an 11-1 holdout situation on one of the main counts of selling the Senate seat.

The question now is what next? Will we have to put up with this knucklehead making news every few days for another year, which will occur if Fitzgerald tries him on the 23 hung counts? It's likely Blago's defense would pull the same non-defense again if they go through the same motions with another panel, so perhaps next time around the government would need to call Rezko, Jarrett and Raum.

Of course, that won't happen until after the mid-terms, if it happens at all. But it certainly would run into the 2011 presidential campaign kick-off so my guess is they'll huff and puff about a retrial for a few more days, then on some obscure Friday (before Labor Day maybe) the DoJ will announce they won't retry.

Meanwhile, the main thing learned during this trial was not about Blago, but about Obama. His transition team's report about their contacts with Blago regards the Senate seat was clearly less than transparent....which registered as much on the mainstream news BS-0-meter then as it does now.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Never Yield.. to Disinformation

Shirley Sherrod is back, reminding us "we can't yield" to racists like Fox News and Breitbart (on HuffPo, where else):
As you know, a Tea Party blogger named Andrew Breitbart released an intentionally deceptive, heavily edited clip from that speech to make it look as if I was delivering exactly the opposite message. Then Fox News blasted that false message across America's airwaves, creating a firestorm that led to my ouster as the USDA State Director here in Georgia.
Actually, I know no such thing. What I know is that Fox News waited until the White House (using her description) fired her before airing the story on TV. I know Vilsack probably took a fall for Obama, who acted stupidly. I think she knows this. And she knows there's no proof Breitbart edited the tape himself, as she will supposedly charge in her lawsuit. Yet she continues to milk it by shilling for the very organization who started her mess by calling the Tea Party racists without proof, and then kneejerked to Breitbart's edited release.

While this goofy Marxist's 15 minutes are up she's symptomatic--you know what you have to do..


Mosque 24-7. Makes me wonder if Obama's coming out at Ishtar dinner wasn't on purpose--he could have easily kept up his 'local issue' posture and continued with his steady marginal polls. Maybe they're hoping this story overwhelms something else bigger. Or maybe they just took another dump in their hats. Obama seems like he should be smarter, so it's hard to tell.

Whatever, now he's setup a scenario where he must answer his own riddle by defining wisdom. In answering, will he recoil back to the First Amendment strawman, beating up on conservatives for Islamohate while calling them unpatriotic? Can he, at this point? If he does they'll continue to pester him about his waffling wisdom.

Or will he try to pretend he never said it, hoping the media eventually forget? Never underestimate that play.

Or will he shock everyone and take the Harry Reid path, throwing Muslims under the bus to help him with the bitter clingers and blue dogs? Maybe he can slip out an 'off-the-record' comment as he did with the Grammys (what a jackass). Since no official action would be taken it wouldn't really subvert his earlier words while serving notice to the mosque in that Chicago way.

That would also negate the need to fire Rauf as a State Dept emissary since he couldn't very well be kept on with the big guy questioning his wisdom. And they do not want to fire him.

Oh well, the constitutional law prof will think of something. Maybe he can consider a hypothetical where Fred Phelps buys some acreage right next to Arlington National Cemetery and proposes a 13 story church with a middle finger monument pointing at the graves. Hmm.

We await the exciting conclusion to this episode of 'The Moderate Muslim' starring Salmon Rushdie as Obama, brought to you by Mullah Flakes.

Meanwhile, this was posted here back in May, which proves that right wingers such as Geller have not been in favor of subverting the First Amendment despite Obama's scolding.

By the way, where in the world is Faisal Rauf anyway? The last State Department mention of the Imam's excellent adventure occurred on the 11th, as follows:
QUESTION: On another topic, can you just tell us if there are any more details on Imam Feisal Rauf’s trip to the Middle East?

MR. CROWLEY: None beyond what I announced yesterday.

QUESTION: Do you have –

QUESTION: Can you say what days he’s going to be in what countries just for our foreign outlets –

MR. CROWLEY: Let me see what I can find out.
There have been two State press briefings since he went off looking for info and an interim story by Claudia Rosett. Is Rauf out of Blackberry range or something?

MORE 8/17/10

Various supporters of Rauf, when quizzed, simply cannot disagree with his view that America was partially responsible for 9/11. But what about that? What does he think Clinton did to provoke it? After all, surely he's not talking about W, who was only in office a few months before the attack and AFTER Mohammed Atta and crew had arrived. Why is Rauf blaming Clinton?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Aires 8250

Big media is making hay with the 'miracle' crash of a Colombian airliner at San Andres island in the Caribbean early this morning; only one passenger was lost, which is being attributed to a heart attack, with the aircraft ending up in chunks. Some are mentioning this alongside Captain Sully's name but it seems a bit early for that.

According to CNN there were thunderstorms in the area on landing, which the press is more than happy to blame sans formal investigation, including people talking seriously about lightning bringing down the plane. Here's what Scientific American has said on that subject (posted here after lightning was blamed on the crash of Ethiopian 409).

The pictures released by the Colombian National Police do not clearly show the wings or engines, although reports said they were sheared off as the plane hit short of the threshold. Perhaps the loss of both wings and engines save them from a fuel fire, saving lives. Seeing the wings/engines would provide a few more clues, though.

So OK, speculation being what it is, this looks and feels like a wind shear and/or hard landing in weather event with the pilots doing a great job of recovery at some point (assuming they weren't initially responsible somehow). A NY Times report claims the aircraft landed in a "downpour", bringing downdrafts/wind shear into play, but pilots have learned a lot about wind shear avoidance since Delta 191 in 1985.

Similar to other recent crashes this one was at night--pretty much on a midnight shift--so fatigue has to also be considered. Likewise, terrorism should never be ruled out right off the bat without cause, although this seems an unlikely target unless it was drug-related. One might wonder why a group of Colombian police/military officers were waiting on the plane and whether that was in any way unusual.

Whatever the cause, further investigation should not be hampered by access--the black boxes are right there, so this one may be wrapped up a lot quicker than all the other mysterious mishaps. Surely.

MORE 8/17/10

Witness statements are coming in, and they mostly point to a hard landing in weather--and what better witness than one of the pilots...
"We were caught in a great sinking as we reached the runway, as our wheels touched down," said the unnamed pilot, his face bloodied. "It threw us out. It threw us out. Nature is very strong."

The pilot paced back and forth before the camera, recounting his ordeal as crews worked on the plane just a few yards away.

"It grabbed us with everything it had," the pilot said. "I said, 'Landing' and cut, and when I was cutting, I started to level off, and I felt that the plane was going straight (down).

"I pulled [on the stick]. I pulled. I pulled. And the plane kept on going, kept on going. It was when we said, 'Landing.' When there's nothing left to do."
Sounds like classic wind shear. Thankfully we have avoidance systems at most major US airports now. BTW, here's a video of a hard landing whereupon an MD-80 was intentionally landed with a higher than normal sink rate to determine certification..

Searching for that video I came across this one of the new A380 monster, making one of the most crabbed landings imaginable..

Sunday, August 15, 2010

PGA Tools

If you haven't heard how the PGA shanked golfer Dustin Johnson here's the "story".
Can you see the trap? It looked like a patch of sand in the rough. Most hazards that aren't apparent hazards are marked with red lines to call attention to the hazard, even in municipal tournaments. I realize the course is known for bunkers and the stuffed shirt came out later flouting the rules sheet, but why not declare any unmaintained bunkers as part of the rough? His tee shot flew into a solid mass of people and hit someone.

I've defended some of the inane rules of golf to others before, explaining how if the ball moves even a half rotation it could improve the lie and change the score. But this level of inanity is indefensible. The spectators were STANDING IN the so-called sand trap. At what other major can people just stand in a damn trap? Augusta would have them shot, or at least tazed and put in straight-jackets.

Besides, had his ball settled a few inches away on a patch of grass but still in the sandy area, would it still have technically been in 'the bunker'? And no dude, if it never crossed his mind he was in a trap why would he have asked for a ruling? Feherty, Faldo, Nance and the rest of the golf announcer crew never mentioned it before he swung, and they've got about 1000 years of experience between all of them.

Johnson handled it much better than some bloggers--he got paid nicely and will be back and with the crowd on his side. But here's another question--would they have penalized Woods or Mickelson in the same manner, at the same moment?

A Blurry View of TEA

Our local newspaper columnist Wendi C. Thomas was recently invited to a "LiberTEA" event in the Memphis area and unlike Keith Olbermann, she actually attended. And indeed, she found some good in the den of evil:
At a Bartlett bowling alley, I joined a few dozen Tea Party supporters (all of whom were white) at a fundraiser for the local Tea Party and for Eighth Congressional District candidate Donn Janes, who is running as an independent.

I was not taken into slavery when I arrived, and I found no indentured servants either.

What I did find is what I've always found when I engage in prolonged conversation with people whose politics are opposite of mine -- and that's civility and hospitality.
Hmm, as if she were expecting a lynching? Seriously, Ms. Thomas (who is black) came up with a decent zinger using the slavery analogy but as with most liberal zingers it's high on emotion and low on depth, insight and logic. Here's her capstone comment:
If you recall the three-fifths of a person part of the constitution, and how recently government restricted the rights of people of color and women, and can name a founding father who owned slaves, an invitation to return to 1776 isn't so, well, inviting.
So the casual reader would be left to believe that in her view, there's really nothing much to celebrate about 1776 because the slaves weren't freed.

Granted, it's not hard to imagine how descendants of people described as 3/5ths of a human being might not have the same warm fuzzy about the whole revolution thing, but what of history without it?

For instance, where would Ms. Thomas be now had those racist white guys not signed the Declaration, gone to war, and written a Constitution, even without solving the slavery issue? How long would it have taken the British Crown to abolish slavery here? After all, they seemed fine with it before the split.

The Constitution, if nothing else, provided a controlling document and thereby a formal guilt to spur future masses towards improvement (the phrase "all men are created equal" is fairly unambiguous). Most historians agree that had the founders brought the slavery issue into the Constitutional process it could have scuttled the whole thing due to the agri-dependent economies of the south (and some of the north) at the time. Here's a collection of writings from prominent founders on the slavery issue, including a parody letter written by Ben Franklin hoisting slavery apologists on their own petards by substituting a north African Islamic Mufti slave owner for them (oh, the irony).

It's obvious Ms. Thomas doesn't like the Tea movement--she's no different than most mainstream reporters/commentators. She chose the racial angle to make her point because it's her perspective. But is she really comfortable dismissing the very building blocks that led to the recent improvements she's so clearly proud of? Seems a little blurry.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Side Tracks

38 Special, featuring Don Barnes on lead vocals..

This was in the 80s; sadly his voice is all but shot now (no pun intended).

Friday, August 13, 2010

Obama on GZ Mosque--Bring It On!

Looks like the time has come to weigh in..
"We must all recognise and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of lower Manhattan, Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground. But let me be clear, as a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country.
Hey, it's Ramadan--one can never be too careful.

OK. Obviously the president of the United States cannot come out in favor of depriving a religious organization their First Amendment right to build a house of worship. And obviously, in a just world with true tolerance and sensitivity Imam Rauf and wife Daisy would both see the division being created and graciously stand down their project. But we live in a real world with clashing interests. These folks appear determined to soldier on for Allah, and Obama appears to be standing with them against the ill wind from "conservatives".

But.. what if he had said this:

"America prides itself on freedom of religion, and we have a First Amendment that guarantees it. The government cannot stop any such project, nor would we even try. But, that same Amendment also gives the citizens a right to peaceable assembly and to speak their minds about any issues, something else we highly value in America. Many have spoken out against building this religious facility so close to the undeveloped area of Ground Zero. Clearly, this is an emotional issue for many people.

I am a man of tolerance and pride myself on mutual understanding and creating a culture of unity. In that regard I have a dream-- a dream to one day see a multi-denominational center built near the site, one which would bring the three great religions together as one. Such a facility would be a symbol of peace over terrorism; it would fly in the face of the misguided zealots who hijacked Islam on that dark day almost ten years ago and show the world that America can rise above hate

But of course he didn't--he gave a ballsout endorsement of the mosque.

MORE 8/14/10

Maybe it was the New York Times or polling, but Obama has now walked back his mosque cat. The White House was quick to say he's not changing anything, but had he used the word 'wisdom' in the Ramadan dinner speech that would have changed pretty much everything.

As it stands he's left lecturing a strawman, per usual. Few if any on the right (sans the nutcakes) have been in favor of the government directly subverting the First Amendment to stop the construction--they have been outraged over the apparent symbolism and want the Imam to stop it by using their own First Amendment rights.

The Socialists are Here..

The Democratic Socialists of America, supposedly a mild form of real socialism that opposes both capitalism and communism, has announced a list of Congressional members of their party. You can read about it here, which includes 70 of some of the loudest most prominent troublemakers.

Members like Maxine ("go all socialist on ya" Waters. And Charlie Rangel. And our own Steve Cohen.

Who are they? This is from their preamble:
A democratic commitment to a vibrant pluralist life assumes the need for a democratic, responsive, and representative government to regulate the market, protect the environment, and ensure a basic level of equality and equity for each
citizen. In the 21st century, such regulation will increasingly occur through international, multilateral action.

But while a democratic state can protect individuals from domination by inordinately powerful, undemocratic transnational corporations, people develop the social bonds that render life meaningful only through cooperative, voluntary relationships. Promoting such bonds is the responsibility of socialists and the government alike.

Democratic socialism is committed both to a freedom of speech that does not recoil from dissent, and to the freedom to organize independent trade unions, women's groups, political parties, and other social movements. We are committed to a freedom of religion and conscience that acknowledges the rights of those for whom spiritual concerns are central and the rights of those who reject organized religion.

Control of economic, social, and cultural life by either government or corporate elites is hostile to the vision of democratic pluralism embraced by democratic socialism. The social welfare programs of government have been for the most part positive, if partial, responses to the genuine social needs of the great majority of Americans. The dismantling of such programs by conservative and corporate elites in the absence of any alternatives will be disastrous. Abandoning schools, health care, and housing, for example, to the control of an unregulated free market magnifies the existing harsh realities of inequality and injustice.
Sounds pretty close to what we have in power at the moment. Some may say "well that doesn't sound too radical"... yes, but read the last sentence under the assumption that some entity might one day democratically remove their idealistic reforms--what would be the likely result? Would "international, multilateral action" be their cavalry to the rescue?

Anyway, as Wikileaks prepares to leak more state secrets isn't it fair to know which journolistas are also members of the DSA? Sunshine is the best disinfectant, as someone famous once said.

MORE 8/13/10

This may be a snookered post. The Scribd page grabs off two sites, the Dem Socialist site (which contains the genuine preamble, a section of which was posted above) and another site, which lists the Congresspeople who are supposedly members of the DSA. That list was sourced to the House Progressive Caucus website. Problem is, it shows no such list, and nothing in cache. So this may be the figment of somebody's imagination designed to trash political opponents using trickery. If so, then apologies to both you the reader and the Congresspeoples. We're not gonna do 'fake but accurate' here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Israeli Serial Killer Suspect

CNN on the Arab serial killer and Israeli citizen captured in Atlanta:
Fourteen of the 16 victims in Michigan were African-American, police said. Flint is a majority African-American community. In majority-white Leesburg, Virginia, two victims were black and one was Hispanic.

Leesburg Police Chief Joseph Price said he believed the suspect was targeting African-Americans.

"For our community ... when you look at our demographics and you look at the victims here, my belief is he selected the victims in Leesburg based on the color of their skin," Price said.
Quite the interesting twist. First the media ignored this story, then when the composite sketch made him look like a white anglo they ran with the racist serial killer angle. Now when he turns out to be an Arab CNN runs with "Israeli citizen". Nowhere in their story can the word 'Arab' be found.

Here are two screen shots of the story for posterity. The first is the lede and a photo/headline, the second is the end of the story with Firefox's Cntl-F function to look for the word 'Arab' in the entire story:

Anyone reading the story would likely consider the suspect an Israeli--and he is--but most consider Israelis as Jewish. ABC identified the man as an Arab in the first sentence of their story, but the WaPo and the NY Times did not mention it in their early reports.

And of course almost none of them are mentioning the possibility of this being jihad or terrorism despite the suspects ties to the Detroit and lower Michigan area and despite his looks and the Israeli passport (deflection of suspicion). Even if he turns out to be a sicko Coptic Christian or Druze (or even a Jew) the press has an obligation to report on the possible terrorism angle when such things occur. After all, isn't America fighting Muslim extremists all around the world? Aren't Muslim terrorists still our prime enemy, many of whom are Arab or connected to the Palestinian struggle?

Iraq Homecoming

At Wednesday's White House presser (largely hogged by hurt MSM journalists demanding to know why Gibbs is running a scam by saying mean things about the "professional left") a few reporters managed to squeeze in some questions about Iraq:
Q On Iraq, is there anything that you all can envision, anything that came up in the meeting that could change that August 31st date for ending combat operations?

MR. GIBBS: No. And I would say that one of the things that General Odierno told the President and others in the meeting was that the level of violence observed over the past two weeks had been among the lowest in number of incidents that the coalition has seen since record-keeping on those incidences began....

...Q So there’s no turning back, no matter what?

MR. GIBBS: Nothing was brought up with the President that would necessitate us needing to turn back.
Success! Victory! This was after Gibbs bragged about Obama talking about the troop drawdown all during the 2007-08 election cycle, including an insinuation that the Iraqi government might have borrowed his plan to create the SOFA with Bush. Which naturally (and somewhat surprisingly) led to an obvious follow-up:
Q You just talked a minute ago about how the early part of the campaign was a lot about the war in Iraq, and the President was pretty critical of the surge. Does the President now think the surge worked and was a good idea?...

Q So was that improved security environment provided --

Q So I guess just bottom line, do you think he does think it worked in the sense that perhaps under his own tenure, because the security environment was improved, he was able to bring about these changes?....

Q It just seems like you guys are pointing to Iraq and this drawdown and this date as a success, and I wondered if you give any credit to former President Bush and the surge as contributing to what you guys regard as a success...
Gibbs' replies are not included, only the reporter's four questions. They are not needed--just look at the follow-ups and it's obvious he was spinning. Feel free to visit the site yourself and see if you can follow his pretzel logic, especially when asked whether we "won" or not (probably not gonna be a parade). Bottom line, this isn't about America for these folks, it's about politics. But why change now, Iraq has been about politics for most Democrats since the WMDs weren't found.

Meanwhile the picture above shows George and Laura greeting some Texas soldiers coming home to DFW airport this week. His book should be very interesting--that is, if he can be brutally honest.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Everything in Moderation

Let's play connect the dots. Imam Rauf, who won't back down on building a victory peace-building mosque two blocks from the undeveloped hole in the ground reverently called Zero, is a paid emissary of the US State Department, who maintains a high opinion of him:
Crowley told reporters that the the department has "a long-term relationship" with Rauf, noting that he had visited Bahrain, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in 2007 and went to Egypt last January as part of an exchange program run by the State Department's Office of International Information Programs.
Note to wingnuts, it goes back to the Bush administration State Dept. as well. But nobody should be surprised. Anyway, the same bunch of diplomats backing the Imam also consider HAMAS a terrorist organization. And Rauf? Not so much:
Asked if he agreed with the State Department's assessment, Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf told WABC radio, "Look, I'm not a politician. "The issue of terrorism is a very complex question," he told interviewer Aaron Klein.
Soooo.. who exactly are we trying to impress? BTW, shouldn't the State Department change the name of their lists to remove the word "terrorists" and "terrorism"? That's so 2008.

Meanwhile, moderate Muslims in Mecca want to grab the position of world timekeeper away from Greenwich, England with their soon-to-be completed 2000 foot tall clock tower:
According to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian cleric known around the Muslim world for his popular television show "Sharia and Life", Mecca has a greater claim to being the prime meridian because it is "in perfect alignment with the magnetic north."

This claim that the holy city is a "zero magnetism zone" has won support from some Arab scientists like Abdel-Baset al-Sayyed of the Egyptian National Research Centre who says that there is no magnetic force in Mecca.

"That's why if someone travels to Mecca or lives there, he lives longer, is healthier and is less affected by the earth's gravity," he said. "You get charged with energy."
And wow, there's no magnetism in Mecca! Of course, Christians, Jews, and infidels aren't allow to travel there to disprove it (much less build their own houses of worship there to promote peace) but hey we'll soon have a mosque two blocks from ground zero where moderates from all over the world, probably to include Mecca, can attend conferences and lecture Americans on our arrogance, depravity and intolerance.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

26 Billion Breakdown

So the Feds are bailing out the states to the tune of 26 bil. Not such a big deal for Pelosi (although she finally sees the problem with deficits--when they come from giving the people back more of their money). OK, where's the breakdown? Which states get how much? How much will our "teachers" get here in miserable Memphis, Tennessee, filtered of course through our local corrupt government?

Fox has a calculator, but it doesn't seem very useful in answering the question, although their article is fairly instructive--it would seem both sides are doing a bit of demagoguing. Still, it would be interesting to see the sunshiny breakdown, like on the recovery.gov page.

MORE 08/10/10

Leave it to Michelle Malkin to root out the distribution. Lo and behold, based on what she's uncovered it would appear the teacher jobs Obama and Pelosi are heralding aren't all in jeopardy, just possibly maybe in jeopardy:
We know States and districts are working hard to find ways to minimize job losses and keep cuts away from classrooms, but some are making cuts that we know will have an impact on kids.
And if there aren't teacher jobs in jeopardy they have to create new ones to qualify, which is why Haley Barbour was saying Mississippi would have to spend millions to comply. These Dems are nothing if not slick.

Slide Slide

More free publicity for Jet Blue:
“To the passenger who called me a (expletive), (expletive) you. I’ve been in the business 28 years. I’ve had it. That’s it.”

Sources said Slater then grabbed some beer from the plane, deployed the inflatable slide, and took off in his car parked in an employee lot.
F you suckers, grab and beer and deploy down the emergency chute for a getaway. Yes, the ultimate meltdown and he's in some serious trouble (and he's got some serious issues), but geez, what a story. Bet the passengers weren't reaching for their bags anymore after that. And imagine the look on this guy's face going down the slide with a beer in his hand. It's all right out of an episode of Seinfeld or a Mel Brooks movie.

Reality will probably creep in during the next few days and lawsuits may even fly (pardon the pun), but for now just imagining this is hilarious. It brings to mind slides in general, and the last funniest slide I can recall was when Jerry Falwell slid down the waterslide at Jim Bakker's defunct Heritage amusement park...

Welcome Steve Slater to the comedy slide hall of fame..