Monday, February 28, 2011
In view of the continuing unrest in Iran, the regime has apparently decided to cut it off at the head.
Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, the two leaders of the Green Movement have been kidnapped along with their wives by the Revolutionary Guards.
The two men were already under house arrest.
They were reportedly led out of their homes in blindfolds and handcuffs, stuffed in the trunks of the cars of their captors and, along with their wives, taken to a location in Tehran, then, on Friday, to another in Parchin, and finally to a third undisclosed location.
Proof that they're no longer there is the fact that all of the security guards have been removed from their homes and from the street, according to what one of the neighbors told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “I am certain that they are no longer inside their home. All the windows are broken and nobody is home,” his neighbor told the Campaign.
It's actually pretty easy to see what's coming next.
The regime has been quite public that the unrest is being sparked by 'foreign interests. In fact, Iran expert Frank Ledeen tells us that Intelligence Minister Moslehi gave an interview the same night of the kidnappings on state TV in which he spoke of the “foreign hand” behind Iranian protests.
I would expect confessions, followed by a show trial and executions.
And meanwhile, the Obama Administration is silent, of course.
Don't misunderstand me. Karroubi and Mousavi are not exactly democratic freedom fighters, nor is the Green Movement, as I've pointed out more than once.
In fact, Mousavi is a hardliner on Iran's illegal nuclear weapons program and an anti-Semite who has called for Israel to be destroyed numerous times, is a major proponent of ant-Americanism and had a major part in creating Hezbollah.
But at a time when the existing order of the Middle East is falling apart, one would expect at least a pro forma condemnation of this kind of action by Obama. It couldn't hurt and might actually do some good.
UPDATE: It's been confirmed that the prisoners and their wives have been transferred to Heshmatiyeh Prison in Tehran.
Owen and Eunice Johns might seem to be ideal candidates to become foster parents. The couple, 65 and 62 are Pentecostal Christians, and are both experienced foster parents with a good record who have provided respite care for 15 children.
After a short break, the couple had applied to Derby City Council to resume being foster parents but withdrew their application because of what they characterize as the social worker's attitude to their religious beliefs.
The couple claim not to be homophobic and said they would love any child they were given. However, they ran into problems because what they were 'not willing to do was to tell a small child that the practice of homosexuality was a good thing'.
So they went to court to seek a ruling that their faith shouldn't bar them from resuming their becoming foster parents, arguing that their rights are being superseded by those of homosexuals and the law should protect their Christian values.
Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson ruled that the UK's laws protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation 'should take precedence' over the right not to be discriminated against on religious grounds. Some animals are indeed more equal than others, as George Orwell famously wrote.
Outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London Mrs. Johns said: "We are extremely distressed at what the judges have ruled today.
"All we wanted was to offer a loving home to a child in need. We have a good track record as foster parents.But because we are Christians, with mainstream Christian views on sexual ethics, we are apparently unsuitable as foster parents.
We are unsure how we can continue the application process following the court's ruling today.We have been excluded because we have moral opinions based on our faith and we feel sidelined because we are Christians with normal, mainstream, Christian views on sexual ethics.
The judges have suggested that our views might harm children.We have been told by the Equality and Human Rights Commission that our moral views may "infect" a child.
We do not believe that this is so. We are prepared to love and accept any child. All we were not willing to do was to tell a small child that the practice of homosexuality was a good thing.
Worst of all, a vulnerable child has now likely missed the chance of finding a safe and caring home at a time when there are so few people willing to foster or adopt.
We feel excluded and that there is no place for us in society."
Actually, she's quite correct. In today's Britain, there really isn't much of a place for Christian ethics. Oh, you thought parents, even foster parents were supposed to give children a sense of values? Guess again.
Of course, there is one religious tradition British law respects and practically genuflects to, and oddly enough, it has even harsher views on homosexuality than the Johns' Christian beliefs. Islam's sharia law is mandatory for Muslims in civil matters in Britain, and has an equal and binding status in those matters with British Common Law.
If I had been the Johns' adviser, I would have advised them to pretend to be Muslims. I can almost guarantee that their application to become foster caregivers would have been approved in an instant.
The Islamic republic of Iran's National Olympic Committee has made a formal complaint to the International Olympic Committee over the official logo for the 2012 London Olympics, saying it is racist...because it has the word "Zion" in it.
In a letter to IOC President Jacques Rogge, the secretary general of Iran's Olympic Committee Bahram Afsharzadeh called for the logo to be changed and warned that it would call for other Muslim states to join them in a boycott of the Games if it wasn't.
"There is no doubt that negligence of the issue from your side may affect the presence of some countries in the Games, especially Iran which abides by commitment to the values and principles," the letter said.
The IOC said it joined London organizers in rejecting Iran's complaint.
"Our response is as follows: The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else," the IOC said. The logo has been public since London first began lobbying fo rth eOlympics, back in 2007.
The Pakistani government apparently considers US contractor Raymond Davis a hostage who can be horsetraded.
Davis, you'll recall, is an American contractor for the CIA covered by a diplomatic passport who was arrested by Pakistani authorities after he gunned down two armed agents with Pakistan's notorious ISI intelligence service who were were tailing Davis as a spy.
The ISI is noted for aiding and abetting Islamist terrorists. My own reading of this is that Davis, who has a Special Forces background, was in fact likely doing something covert that needed doing, something the ISI didn't want done. He was apparently doing too good a job, and when the ISI sent out two hired guns to make him conveniently disappear they both wound up on the receiving end instead.
The proposed swap by the Pakistani government was Davis for Aafia Siddiqui, an MIT-educated Pakistani neuroscientist currently serving 86 years in federal prison for attempted murder.
Siddiqui was convicted of trying to shoot F.B.I. agents and military officers in an Afghanistan police station back in 2008. She'd previously been arrested after being found with a list of New York city landmarks and instructions on how to construct explosives.
Siddiqui was on the US radar for quite some time.In 2004, F.B.I. director Robert Mueller described Siddiqui as an "al Qaeda operative and facilitator" and had issued a global alert for Siddiqui and her first husband for their suspected ties to al Qaeda. Siddiqui later remarried to an al Qaeda operative named Ammar al-Baluchi, the nephew of the 9/11 kingpin Khalid Sheikh Muhammed. Al-Baluchi is currently a guest of our tropical resort for Islamist terrorists, Club Gitmo.
Thankfully,the US Government let the Pakistanis know that the deal was a non-starter.
Davis for his part is covered by diplomatic immunity and he has so far refused to sign a charge sheet or make a legal plea in the matter.
The case has created a huge furor in Pakistan, especially after the wife of one of the deceased ISI agents committed a nasty, dramatic and very public suicide by taking poison on Pakistani television after voicing an anti-American rant in front of the cameras.
This is essentially an old -style Mexican Standoff. Pakistan is a basket case of a country who desperately needs the baksheesh we give them and can't really afford to anger the US. On the other hand, over 75% of the supplies for the AfPak War come through the Pakistani port of Karachi and into Afghanistan via highway through the Torkhum Pass, a lifeline the Pakistanis have already closed a few times when they've been upset with us.
The most likely outcome will be the one suggested by anonymous Pakistani officials in the linked ABC story. They'll wait for the public frenzy to die down and then lean on the families of the two dead ISI gunsels to accept blood money from the US in exchange for 'pardoning' Davis, something that's allowed under what passes for Pakistani law.
Meanwhile, it's highly significant that Pakistan, our supposed ally would propose a swap involving an al-Qaeda agent. I at least them credit for being honest about where their sympathies lie.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Truth is certainly stranger then fiction.
Noy Alooshe is an Israeli hip hop musician and journalist who saw Khaddaffi’s televised speech last Tuesday in which the Libyan leader vowed to hunt down protesters “inch by inch, house by house, home by home, alleyway by alleyway,” and realized he had a hit on his hands.
“He was dressed strangely, and he raised his arms” like at a trance party, Mr. Alooshe said in a telephone interview with the New York Times on Sunday.
Alooshe went to the computer to set the speech to the music of “Hey Baby,” a 2010 hip-hop song by American rapper Pitbull. Alooshe called it “Zenga-Zenga,” using Khaddaffi's repetition of the word zanqa, which is Arabic for alleyway. And then posted it on YouTube, sending the link to the pages and tweets of some of the young Arab protesters. By Sunday night, the original clip had received nearly 500,000 hits and had gone viral.
Alooshe started receiving enthusiastic messages from all around the Arab world, but some of those messages turned to curses once the Arabs found out that it was a Yahud behind it all from his Facebook profile. That's a detail Pravda-on-the -Hudson glosses over with a quick mention, of course. Just as they would also never report on the wide-spread graffiti over images of Khaddaffi labeling him as a Jew.
The version shown above is the original, which features a dancer grinding away to the beat dressed about as revealingly as the average club dancer in shorts and a bare midriff top. According to Alooshe, he got a number of requests for a more 'Islamic' version of the video without the dancer, so he put one up.
That says a great deal, actually. To many Muslims who saw this, the scariest image was not the violent dictator threatening to annihilate his opponents, but that little blond dancer at the bottom of the screen.
That's a large part of the whole problem with 'Arab Democracy'. Whenever the prison doors get opened a bit, there's the initial embrace of Western freedom and norms as Muslims experience, just for a moment what it's like to live like free human beings. And then ,almost like clockwork, years of programming kick in and we see the hatred and fear of the infidels, the jealousy and the resentment kick in.
Here's another ironic fact: Noy Alooshe grandparents were from Tunisia, which means they were almost certainly part of the almost 1 million Jews ethnically cleansed from the Arab world after 1948 with the clothes on their backs if they were lucky.
Today Iran confirmed IAEA reports that it had run into a serious setback and had to to remove all nuclear fuel from the reactor at the Bushehr power plant, which was supposed to have been fully online last summer but had been delayed by various factors until this month, when it was supposed to go fully online to coincide with Mohammed's birthday.
According to Iran's government run Iran's Fars News Agency the fuel is being removed for "technical reasons" by the Russian engineers in charge of the project.
Iran gave no reason for the unexpected fuel unloading, but the Stuxnet computer worm is known to have infected the Bushehr reactor and caused serious damage.Some analysts are suggesting that the entire core of the Bushehr plant is being replaced.
The bad news, of course is that even with this delay, the Iranians are still actively pursuing the acquisition of nuclear weapons.
The good news is that there is still a window of time to stop them.
Mullahs delenda est.
Friday, February 25, 2011
There's a provocative new study by the consulting firm Northern Economics and the University of Alaska-Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research that says drilling on Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) could make Alaska the eighth largest oil resource province in the world ...ahead of Nigeria, Libya, Russia and Norway.
According to the study, developing Alaska’s OCS could produce something like 10 billion barrels of oil, 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, create around 55,000 new jobs and produce $145 billion in new,taxable payroll nationally, generating a total of $193 billion in government revenue through the year 2057. And that doesn't account for what we could make selling it to others. Or the money we would save not having to purchase oil and ship it here.
Combining that oil with Gulf oil and the gasification of coal, a proven, clean technology over half a century old could do amazing things for US prosperity. But it isn't going to happen, at least not now.
Unfortunately, you can bet next week's paycheck on the Democrats and Big Government doing everything they can to stop it. Thanks to President Obama's de facto ban on offshore drilling, America can't even take advantage of most of our existing oil and gas resources, let alone develop new ones.
The usual excuse is Gaia, the Holy Environment, and that actually is part of it, in a roundabout way that has nothing to do with pollution per se and everything to do with politics and money.
The Green movement contains a lot of old hippies and communists who are an important constituency of the Left, and some of the more monied ones are heavily invested in alternative energy that benefits from huge Government subsidies...which in turn finds its way back to the Democrat party's campaign war chest.
Sometimes, the financial benefit is more personal, as in case of 'environmentalist' Al Gore who made a huge fortune pushing the global warming scam. Or super-greenie Governor Jerry Brown of California. Brown's father, ex-governor Edmond "Pat" Brown lent the Indonesian junta that overthrew the dictator Sukarno $12 million from a pool of 'investors' and in exchange was rewarded with ownership interest in two brokerages, one in Hong Kong and one in California, who handle the oil-exporting paperwork for every barrel of Indonesian crude that passes through them and are rewarded with a fee for each barrel. This was an extremely lucrative deal for the Brown family because Indonesian crude oil was conveniently given a monopoly on being used to power California's power plants.
When Alaskan oil threatened that monopoly during Jerry Brown's first term as governor, Brown had the California State Air Resources Board that he controlled pass a new air-quality standard specifically designed to eliminate Alaskan oil from use in California's power plants. That kept the Indonesian monopoly as the only oil provider to the California's power industry and the money flowing into the Brown family coffers.
Big Government also loves the high taxes generated by super-sized prices at the pump, which gives them huge sums to spend on pet projects and rewarding loyal constituencies. Those greedy, profiteering oil companies make, on average, about a 9% profit on a gallon of gas in exchange for finding, pumping, shipping, refining and retailing it. In California, the government's cut on a gallon of gasoline simply for being there ranges from around .60 to .74 cents per gallon - or between a 17% 'profit' per gallon in outlying areas to 22% in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, depending on sales taxes and the actual retail price involved.
As a certain housewife from Wasilla who knows a little something about these matters has been trying to tell us for some time, Alaska and America's other energy resources could transform our economic doldrums, provide thousands of good paying jobs and rebuild our prosperity in an amazing way.
But it's unlikely to happen. At least not while Barack Obama is president.
Ex-Journolista Dave Weigel's column in Slate today wonders 'where are the thugs those rightwingers keep yammering about?'
According to him, it's all overblown, just a few crude insults and odd incidents amidst a largely peaceful bunch of union protesters.
Weigel claims his point is, "If you want the media to treat conservative activists as generally good people who have bad apples and assholes in their midst, you have to treat left-wing activists the same way."
Here's the difference, Journolista.
When some member of the Congressional Black Caucus outright lies and claims someone spat at him and he was called racist names at a Tea Party rally in DC, the Left's media whores make it into headlines and the story is repeated over and over again as gospel...even though not a single video of anything like that occurring ever surfaced,not even with $100K of Andrew Breitbart's money as an incentive.
When a congresswoman got shot by some whack job in Arizona, the Left's media jackals turned it into a front page Sarah Palin/Tea Party story and kept it at the top o' the stack for days.
OTOH, when SEIU thugs beat up a black Tea Partier ( and a handicapped one at that) in St. Louis, or when your friend President Barack Obama told his fanboys to 'get in people's faces' and started talking about playing by Chicago rules 'they bring a knife, we bring a gun' ...crickets. Except in Conservative media.
Take a look at the difference in how the story back in November of a MoveOn professional agent provocateur who broke through security, approached Senator-elect Rand Paul and was restrained by members of the crowd was treated by the Left's Amen Corner in the dinosaur media compared to the way the story of a union thug actually belting a girl holding a camera and knocking her to the ground yesterday is being handled. Or the lack of media hand wringing and coverage when Former Massachusetts Republican Congressional candidate Marty Lamb was knocked down by union thugs today at a Tea Party rally.
The Left by and large approaches this stuff as a war where anything's fair game and makes massive use of its media megaphone to demonize its political opponents,just like Sol Alinsky trained them.You know about that stuff first hand, Mr. Weigel. So where do you get the nerve to complain when you get a taste of the same tactics? Game, set, match.Right back at you. Where do you think we learned from?
You and your friends may long for the days when the alphabet networks, the Washington Post and Pravda-on-the Hudson controlled the news flow,but those days are long gone. What you're really upset about is that there's another megaphone out there nowadays, it's amplifying things you'd rather were kept quiet, it's slowly but surely waking people up and you don't like being on the receiving end, not even a little bit. Boo-freaking-hoo.
Let's see the Left model some civility for us, Mr. Weigel. Clean up your own house first before you start throwing rocks anyone else or suggesting how others should behave.
The Pentagon has decreed that American combat troops will get gay sensitivity training directly on the battlefield, rather than waiting until they're deployed home to ease the integration of open homosexuals into the military, including battlefield fighting units at the front.
Army Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin Hill, the top ranked enlisted man in Afghanistan was quoted as saying that that the gay sensitivity training will include the forward operating bases in AfPak.
“I have heard about the training that will be forthcoming to the battlefield,” Sgt. Hill told Pentagon reporters via a teleconference from Kabul.
“We will take our directions from the Department of Defense, from the secretary of defense, the chairman, as well as the service chiefs of each service. Our plan is to take their direction, and we’re going to execute that training right here on the battlefield.”
“Our goal is to not allow a unit to return to home station and have the unit responsible for that,” he said. “While we own those soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, we’re going to execute that training on the ground. We hope that it will have little impact on their combat and security operations here.”
You hope? Wouldn't it have been better to proceed cautiously, perhaps using one unit as a control group to see whether it works out, or if further tweaking needs to be done?
That, after all, was what the American people were promised after President Obama repealed Don't Ask Don't Tell(DODT) in December of last year.
Apparently there's also no clear information on how the new policy is going to affect unit cohesion and issues like re-enlistment either. Here's Sgt. Maj. Marvin Hill again, on the television show, “Washington Watch” back in December:
“If there are people who cannot deal with the change, then they’re going to have to do what’s best for their troops and best for the organization and best for the military service and exit the military service, so that we can move forward - if that’s the way that we have to go.”
If this is like most sensitivity training, it will amount to combat troops being taken away from fighting the war to receive puerile lectures, complete with slide shows and politically correct exercises by the usual sort of people who put on these kind of shows. Anyone who has ever had to attend a 'diversity' or 'unlearning racism' workshop' or sensitivity training as part of their employment knows exactly what I'm talking about.
Our military will likely muddle through, but the cost in morale,man hours and unit cohesion is something the Pentagon under Obama is apparently willing to gamble on.
Other country's militaries have integrated open homosexuals into the ranks before - but over time, and none of them was crazy enough to try it under combat conditions during a war.
Wisconsin's State Assembly passed Governor Walker's Budget Repair bill after 60 hours of debate, which among other things limits the bargaining rights of Wisconsin's public sector employees to wages only and limits Union organizing.
The debate had gone on for three straight days, with Democrats attempting a filibuster, throwing out dozens of amendments and delivering rambling, sometimes incoherent speeches.
Literally every time the Republicans tried to speed up the proceedings, Democrats rose from their seats and interupted the speakers, claiming they were being ignored.
Finally, the vote started around 1 a.m. Friday with Speaker Pro Tem Bill Kramer, R-Waukesha, opening the roll and closing it as soon as a majority was reached. Many Democrats were caught unawares and erupted in the juvenile dispaly you see above, shaking their fists, booing and yelling "Shame!" and "Cowards!" as the Republicans simply walked on past them.
Odd that none of them would refer to the 14 Democrat State Senators who fled the state and are hiding out in Illinois instead of carrying out the people of Wisconsin's business as 'cowards'.
Because of those fugitive Senators, the game here is far from over.The bill has gone to the Wisconsin Senate, but without at least one Democrat in attendence it can't be passed. And the Democrats say they won't return unless they get their way. Governor Walker actually sent state troopers to the errant senator's homes looking for them, but so far none of them has returned to Wisconsin.
I'm not familiar with Wisconsin's laws, but I'm certain there is legislation somewhere about failing to serve and job abandonment.
It's interesting to compare the demeanor and tactics of these Democrats and their public employee union allies to the way the Tea Party and congressional Republicans behaved when ObamaCare was blatantly shoved through in disregard of all Senate rules and procedures.
A few notes...Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi is Israel's former IDF Chief of Staff, who, like many Israeli generals, is now starting his political career. The joke about Olmert refers to the boom in Israeli RE prices. UNESCO recently passed a resolution refusing to consider the Kotel, the Western Wall a Jewish Holy/Historic site.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
It's that time again...the votes have been cast, the Council has spoken and this week's winners become a part of cyber-history! ( did I just invent a word?!??)
The events in Wisconsin were on many member's minds this week, so it's perhaps no surprise that this week's winner, Bookworm Room carried off the prize with her fine essay Thoughts about the Wisconsin teachers' union. Here's a nice slice:
In a dreadful economy, in a state with a huge debt load, you’d think that the public sector employees would be sanguine about the proposal. After all, they get to keep their jobs, they get to keep their benefits, and they still have salaries and benefits that exceed those given to their taxpayer employees. In addition, the unions that they are currently to which they are currently forced to belong would have to be run more fairly.
If you were looking for reasoned thought from unions, however, you’d be looking a long, long time. The unions and their Democrat consigliores have gone absolutely ballistic. The Democrat politicians have gone into hiding and the teachers have gone on the march.
With regard to the teacher protests, you’ve already heard about the illegal strike; the ill-informed and indoctrinated students dragged into the fray; the vile signs likening Walker to Hitler or Hussein or Mubarak, or placing gun sights on Walker’s face’ and the filth these protesters left in their wake. What I’m more interested in is why the teachers? Other public sector employees are also subject to these budget proposals, but it’s the teachers who are leading the way.
Part of the answer, of course, lies with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. In a state in which the teachers’ union has been likened to the fourth branch of government, it was he who first made Americans aware of the way in which teacher’s unions, more than any other single employee group, are putting a pinch on state government coffers. Suddenly, teachers aren’t the sweet-faced little ladies teaching Johnny and Janie to read. Instead, they’re well-paid cogs benefiting from the union’s depredations.
Christie is always careful, in his speeches, to distinguish individual teachers from the unions themselves, and he’s right to do so. It is the unions that are rapacious. The teachers benefit, of course, from the union demands. They’d be absolute idiots to say “No, I don’t want the salary you’re handing me; no, I don’t want the benefits that are coming my way; and, please, forget about that tenure that makes sure I’ll have a job forever.” Each individual teacher knows that if he should decide unilaterally to be honorable and turn down the salary and benefits headed his way, it would change nothing. The situation would continue the same, but he’d be poor.
The problem for teachers is that, having taken these benefits, they’re stuck with the consequences. They’re stuck with the fact that, because of tenure, too many incompetent teachers occupying America’s classrooms, bringing the whole profession into disrepute. And they’re stuck with the fact that the unions have stuck their collective bargaining noses in the curriculum, teaching information and values that offend their taxpayer employers. And they’re stuck with the fact that ordinary taxpayers (and teachers are taxpayers too, but their numbers are small compared to the rest of America’s taxpayers), think that it’s obscene for someone to get paid twice their own salary, with much better benefits, for seven months work.
Our non-council winner, our old friend Zombie over at Pajamas Media scored with Death Channels. It's an amazing piece about - well, life and death and the attitudes we and others have towards it, to describe it briefly and in the most broad terms. As the old Michelin Travel Guides used to say, well worth the detour.
Here are this week’s full results:
- *First place with 3 1/3 votes! – Bookworm Room--Thoughts about the Wisconsin teachers' union
- Second place with 2 2/3 votes – The Colossus of Rhodey-Students -- see the world and keep your head on straight
- third place with 2 votes – Rhymes With Right – A Texas Teacher Looks At Wisconsin
- Fourth place with 1 vote – Joshuapundit – Supporting regime Change In Libya: A Powerful opportunity
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote -The Glittering Eye- Fallacies of Composition
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote -GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD- Black Veil Brides
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote -The Political Commentator- "The Ground Zero Mosque - Second Wave of the 911 Attacks" premiers in New York
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote -Simply Jews- And your candidate for the Senate is...
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote -VA Right- Is Tim Kaine Instigating Wildcat Strikes in Wisconsin?
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Snapped Shot – Mourning A Man named Jihad
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Right Truth – Saif al-Islam Qaddafi: Moammar 2.0
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Razor – Let’s Chant: The Future of the Middle East is Impossible to Predict
- First place with 2 1/3 votes! – Pajamas Media/Zombie- Death Channels submitted byBookworm Room
- Second place *t* with 2 votes – Ann Althouse – Madison schools close for the day to allow teachers to protest Gov. Scott Walker's union-busting budget plan submitted byThe Glittering Eye
- Second place *t* with 2 votes – The Volokh Conspiracy – Words You Can't Say At The Pentagon submitted byThe Watcher
- Third Place *t* with 1 1/3 votes –Michael Totten – In The Land Of The Brother Leader submitted by Joshuapundit
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes -The Hoover Institution -The Persistence of Genocide submitted by the Colossus of Rhodey
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote -TF Stern's Rantings -Public Servants and Unions submitted by Rhymes With Right
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote -Small Wars Journal -The Wrong War: An Interview with Bing West submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote -Sultan Knish -5 Reasons Why the Christie Presidential Express is Premature submitted by Right Truth
- Fifth place with 2/3 vote -Isi Leibler – Avoiding Euphoria Over Obama submitted by Simply Jews
- Sixth place with 1/3 vote -Jane Jamison/Uncoverage – Prosecute the Wisconsin Doctors and Teachers Who Colluded on “Sick” Passes submitted by VA Right
See you next week!
Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest (July 13, 1821 – October 29, 1877) is in the news today, believe it or not.
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is taking heat from the NAACP for refusing to condemn the state's branch of The Sons of the Confederacy for planning to institute a special vanity license plate commemorating the Ol' Tennessee Wizard.
Mississippi currently offers a license plate to commemorate the Civil War, and has other vanity license plates planned, with Forrest's scheduled to debut in 2014 if it goes through. Funds from those plates go toward maintaining the state's collection of Confederate battle flags and restoring Beauvoir – the final home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
Forrest was an interesting character. He amassed a fortune as a planter and slave trader, but ended up joining the CSA as a private. In short order, he was pulled out of the ranks, made a Lieutenant Colonel and allowed to form his own command, "Forrest's Tennessee Cavalry Battalion". After which he proceeded to raise sheer hell with the Union forces over the next five years.
Forrest equipped his men with his own money and used them as mounted infantry, a fairly novel concept for the time when cavalry were primarily used for scouting and screening or to harass the flanks of the infantry. He was also one of the few Confederate commanders to utilize black troops.
Forrest used fast mobility as a major part of his strategy. He had no military experience but turned out to be a natural at tactics.
He realized early that his horsemen could get from point A to point B a lot quicker than Union infantry could march, and that if he could get his men to a strategic locale, get them in position before the enemy infantry got there and then use the horses for mobility as needed, he was way ahead of the game.
Forrest was the man who famously said that the secret to winning was 'to git thar fust with the most men'." And he demonstrated it a number of times.
He also loved to harass the Union forces with fast-moving raids, disrupt their supply trains and raise havoc with their communications by destroying railroad track and cutting telegraph lines.
Forrest survived the war (one account says he had over 30 horses shot out from under him in combat) and returned home to Tennessee.
The NAACP's objection is apparently based on Forrest's probable membership in the Klu Klux Klan, although that was never actually proven and he was definitely not the founder of the organization as some people allege.
The NAACP argues that Forrest should be counted among terrorists 'like Osama bin Laden.'
I admit, it's amusing to me to hear the NAACP call anyone else racist.
Or for them to object to the KKK, considering their long-time lockstep support for the party of a certain recently deceased Klan Kleagle who used to be a US Senator in good standing.
On the other hand, I don't really care whether a Nathan Bedford Forrest license plate gets issued either.
I was just thinking it's a pity we don't have him with us today in a modern setting commanding an armored brigade in AfPak....
The above map (click on it if you need to see a bigger version) shows, to the degree possible, what the opposition has taken and what Khaddaffi still holds, which is basically part of Tripoli, the port of Sidra and his desert compound in Sabha, which also is a transit point for the foreign mercenaries Khaddaffi is bringing in.
That's exactly one good reason why we need to enforce a no fly zone to stop Libyans from being butchered by foreign hirelings.
One of my sources ( confirmed by several tweets) says that Khaddaffi is threatening to destroy Libya's oil infrastructure if the opposition doesn't surrender. There's no doubt in my mind that if it comes to him being forced out of power, that's exactly what he'll attempt to do.
Khaddaffi has pledged to fight "to the last bullet and the last drop of blood" and as far as I can see, that's what he intends, because he's likely to have few other options.Private Libyan aircraft carrying his daughter in law and other high level Libyans connected to the regime were refused landing rights at Malta, and unless Khaddaffi can get to somewhere like Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, he's got no place to go.
Aside from plenty of cash to hire foreign mercenaries,Khaddaffi also has chemical weapons and gas to throw into the mix.
Today, his troops attacked al-Zawiya and other western coastal towns in an attempt to break through to Tripoli. Khaddaffi's forces here consisted of small but highly trained and well-equipped security battalions led by his closest allies, reinforced by brigades of mercenaries recruited from Chad and other African countries.Fierce fighting was reported.
al-Zawiya is home to an important tribe of the same name and a key strong point. Aside from being the home of a 120,000-barrels-a-day refinery, it's also the terminal for Libya's biggest oil and gas pipelines.If Khaddaffi can regain control over it, he ends the cutoff of Tripoli and is in a real position to make good his threat about destroying Libya's oil infrastructure.
Prior to the assault Khaddaffi spoke in a bizarre telephone call braodcast on state television, directing his 23-minute address to citizens of al-Zawiya and accusing the rebels of being under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs given to them "in their coffee with milk, like Nescafe" and under the command of al-Qaeda.
"What is this farce? You in al-Zawiya turn to bin Laden?" he said. "He brainwashed your sons."
In Tripoli itself, Kahddaffi's troops attacked a mosque where a protest was occurring, killing 15 people.
Khaddaffi still has control of Tripoli and the other enclaves mentioned above, but most of the Eastern part of the country is under rebel control.
On the diplomatic front, President Obama finally saw fit to issue a statement condemning the violence against the Libyan people, but refused to call for Khaddaffi to step down or announce any real measures against the regime. I have to wonder whether he's actually thinking about this...or whether his mind is on other, more important matters.
And the UN today announced that Libya's seat in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the UN's top human rights organization is secure.
There's supposed to be a special session of the UNHRC Friday, based on a European Union-proposed draft resolution that merely condemns human rights violations by Libya but does not call for the country to be ousted from the UNHRC. But there's no guarantee that the session will be held or the resolution voted on.
Fewer than half of the HRC’s members put their names to the request for the session, with most of the Islamic bloc voting against having it,and if comes to a vote on a resolution, members like China, Russia, Cuba, Angola, Ecuador, Thailand and Zambia invariably vote with the Islamic bloc on matters like this.
Business as usual at the UN..
Ultimately, this is going to settle down as other producers make up the shortfall, but you've probably already noticed the spike at the pump.
Big Government actually likes higher gas prices, because of the taxes they collect. In my home state, that means .60 to .80 per gallon, depending on local sales taxes.
Perhaps one day we'll start drilling our own oil, gasifying our coal and processing the shale in the Rockies and elsewhere..but certainly not while Obama is president.
A UK Court has granted a request to extradite Julian Assange to Sweden to face rape and sexual assault charges.
District Judge Howard Riddle of Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in south London ruled the extradition would 'not breach Mr Assange's human rights.'
Assange is not pleased, to say the least:
"What we saw today at Belmarsh was a rubber-stamping process. It comes as no surprise, but is nonetheless wrong."
"There was no consideration during this entire process as to the merits of the allegations made against me, no consideration or examination of even the complaints made in Sweden."
Actually, what Assange is really worrying about is a possible extradition to the US. Assange's lawyer brought that up during the hearing two weeks ago, claiming his client could ultimately be extradited to the US on separate charges relating to Wikileaks and could face the death penalty there.
Clare Montgomery QC, for the Swedish authorities responded that Sweden provided "protection against that sort of threat and violation" taking place.
The European Court of Human Rights would intervene if Mr Assange was to face the prospect of "inhuman or degrading treatment or an unfair trial" in the US, she said.
If this is true, I have no information on whether the ships were searched by the US Navy prior to proceeding or whether President Obama simply ordered our navy to stand down and let them through.
As you remember, our navy had deployed to block the Iranian ships from transiting the Canal.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is often held up by the Left as exactly the sort of organization America should be part of to be a member of the so-called International Community in good standing.
What they really are is sick, putrid joke.
Just as the feckless UN Human Rights Council has not seen fit to condemn Moamar Khaddaffi's butchery of his own people, the ICC likewise is saying 'uh, not our business.'
Here's a statement by Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, on Libya:
"The decision to do justice in Libya should be taken by the Libyan people. Currently, Libya is not a State Party to the Rome Statute. Therefore, intervention by the ICC on the alleged crimes committed in Libya can occur only if the Libyan authorities accept the jurisdiction of the Court, (through article 12(3) of the Rome Statute). In the absence of such step, the United Nations Security Council can decide to refer the situation to the Court. The Office of the Prosecutor will act only after either decision is taken".
Funny thing...Israel isn't a signatory to the Rome Statute either. And yet that has never stopped the ICC from screaming like a wounded peahen every time Israel defends itself against aggression and terrorism.
The ICC even ruled that Israel's security barrier, built in response to Arafat's war against Israel's civilians was 'illegal under international law' in response to a complaint brought by the 'Palestinians' and their enablers in the UN...no matter that it was a defensive measure solely designed to save lives.
On the ICC's site, there are a massive 1023 entries on Israel, more than any other country...as opposed to 121 on Libya.
Funny the way the UN and the ICC always seem to have a convenient excuse to ignore the real despots and murderers while devoting so much time to Israel's imagined flaws, isn't it?
There's a word for that.
As far as I'm concerned, these people are lower than the naturally processed remnants of my breakfast this morning that I flushed a few hours ago.
(hat tip, Honest Reporting)
I think I can speak for most of us who have merited the incomparable blessing of living in the Land of Israel when I say:
We love Israel more than bagels and lox.
We love Israel more than gefilta fish.
We love Israel more than Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
We love Israel more than pastrami sandwiches on rye.
We love Israel more than getting smashed at Sabbath morning Kiddush.
We love Israel more than looking at the ladies on the other side of the mechitzah.
We love Israel more than watching the World Series, Super Bowl, Academy Awards, and Reality TV.
We love Israel more than reading the Sunday NY Times.
We love Israel more than Audis, Mercedes, Land Rovers, and Cadillacs.
We love Israel more than pets.
We love Israel more than six-figure salaries.
We love Israel more than six-bedroom houses.
We love Israel more than swimming pools and country club memberships and going to the movies on Saturday night.
We love Israel more than our secretaries.
We love Israel more than our shrinks and anti-depressants.
We love Israel more than kosher cruises to the Caribbean.
We love Israel more than junkets to Las Vegas.
We love Israel more than trips to France.
We love Israel more than Disneyland.
We love Israel more than retirement in Boca.
We love Israel more than the ghettos of Brooklyn and Monsey.
We love Israel more than living amongst the goyim in LA, Melbourne, Toronto, Montreal, London, Johannesburg, Mexico City, and Chicago.
We love Israel more than ourselves.
We love Israel more than our families.
We love Israel more than our lives.
Do you want to know why?
G-d chose the Land of Israel and gave it to the Jews.