Monday, March 30, 2009

All the President's men

When Barack Obama heads to the G20 summit in London this week, he'll be accompanied by an entourage of 500 of his minions. Yes...500. Now to be fair, I have no idea how many staffers and secret service agents previous presidents brought along on such trips, but I'm pretty sure that if that number was typical, we'd have heard about it long ago. There's no way the media would have let Bush get away with it.

Anyway, the Evening Standard couldn't resist this little bit of snark:
Accompanying the party will be a total of 500 officials including kitchen staff, 35 vehicles in all, four speech writers and 12 teleprompters.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Barack Obama: America's Hugo Chavez

It's official...America is turning into Venezuela. Consider General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner's resignation at Obama's insistence Exhibit "A". Exhibit "B" is Obama's creepy idea of regulating executive compensation at any publicly traded company. Exhibit "C" is the Obama administration whipping up a populist frenzy against AIG in the recent bonus fiasco.

This is all right out of the Hugo Chavez playbook of grabbing control of private industry and whipping up populist outrage so that the masses think it's a good idea.

'A Slobbering Love Affair'

I'm near the end of Bernard Goldberg's A Slobbering Love Affair which provides a detailed accounting of the demise of journalism in the 2008 election cycle. I don't do book reviews, or any other kind of review for that matter, but I highly recommend this book, even if you think you know all about how deep in the tank the mainstream media were for Barack Obama. Hint: You probably don't know all about it.

In the final chapter, Goldberg sums up the dangers of activist journalism:
Back in 1972 when I was a young producer for CBS News covering George McGovern's presidential campaign, Pat Caddell, now a popular political analyst, was a young man just out of Harvard who was doing polling for the candidate.

McGovern of course lost (he carried just one state, Massachusetts), and Nixon won a second term. We later learned that Nixon had an enemies list. The youngest enemy on the list was my old pal, Pat.

I ran into Pat at a political conference in Florida nine days after the 2008 election. I asked for his thoughts about the mainstream media.

The were more biased than ever, he said, before launching into a bit of history to put the current mess into perspective. "There is one institution in America which has no checks and balances," he told me. "And that is the press. And there was a reason for that. It wasn't that the Founding Fathers loved the press. It was because the press was supposed to protect the country. That's why Jefferson said, 'I would much rather have newspapers without a government than a government without newspapers'.

"But [when the media] leave the ramparts and become a partisan outrider for one party or the other or one candidate or the other; essentially [deciding] who should be president and who should not be president; what truth people should know and what truth they should not know; then what they become, what they constitute, is a threat to democracy."

"Why," he asked me, "should the American people support the First Amendment if the press isn't going to do its job for them."

[ ... ]

And that, my friends, is why the corruption of the media matters. The press has constitutional protections for one main reason: to keep watch over a powerful government. The fundamental job of journalists is to look out for us - the American people! If nobody cares what the press says, journalists will be watchdogs in name only. They may bark from time to time, but nobody will listen. And their weakness will make it easy for a corrupt government to get away with murder. That is the danger we all face when the mainstream media go on a noble mission to make history. That is what can happen when the media, like that liberal professor at American University in Washington, believe that their role is not simply to report the news, fairly and accurately, but to effect their kind of change in society.
Do yourself a favor and pick up the book, read it, then share it with a friend.

Location is everything

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

The Excel Center in London is a massive convention and exposition complex in London's Docklands area, and I note this morning that it's the venue for the upcoming G20 meeting. I attended an event there a couple years ago, and I can't think of a place in London I'd rather not be. It's truly one of those places best seen in the rear-view mirror.

The complex is in the right half of the picture above. Don't be fooled by the snazzy yacht parked out front...the place is bleak. Not so much the complex itself, but the surroundings. One might think that a convention center of this size would be surrounded by great restaurants and bars, fine hotels, shopping and the like. One would be dead wrong. There's one pub nearby that catches a fair after-work crowd. But by nightfall the place is desolate.

When I was at the Excel Center (for three long, forlorn days), there were two hotels convenient to the center; the "Premier Travel Inn", which was anything but "premier" and another hotel - Novotel - which was a step or two up. I got stuck at the PTI, which my fellow travelers and I took to calling "pity".

The "pity": Bleak, forlorn, desolate...take your pick

I bring all this up because the sheer soul-crushing, energy-sapping desolation of the area might just be enough to diminish the impact of the demonstrations at the G20 meeting. When the average fun-loving anarchist finds out he has to go to the Excel Center to vent his anger he'll probably just say "fuck it, I'm not goin' there". Those who do show up are likely to take one look around, have their spirits crushed, and go home.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Descent into barbarism watch: Day 9

In which I chronicle the day-to-day tribulations of living with two (more-or-less) adult boys as my wife trots around Europe for two weeks.

So today-- eh, skip it.

When I started this series of stupid posts it was supposed to be a humorous (and obviously fictitious) look at three nominally civilized males turning feral due to the absence of the lady of the house. Today's post was going to be about running out of beer, but that would have really required a suspension of disbelief. Grinding penne pasta down to get rid of the beveled edges? Sure. Running out of beer? Not a chance.

I have a good sense of humor, but that doesn't necessarily translate into being able to fire off good comedy - or even mediocre comedy - off the top of my head. I imagine that even for a comedy writer, that takes some thought and a bit of work.

Between work (my paying job, that is), cleaning, cooking, looking after two boys (who are old enough to look after themselves but probably won't), and making sure a dog and two cats don't actually turn feral, I just don't have the time to come up with truly funny stuff. Suffice it to say that I've developed a new appreciation for single parents.

In case you were wondering, the last few posts were supposed to have been increasingly incoherent ramblings about scavenging for food and making loin cloths from the pelts of neighbors' pets. The last post was to have been a simple "Ook!".

Anyway, Ms. Pool Bar will be back in a few more days, so I guess I'd better start cleaning up the mess from all those sacrifices to the Moon God.

HR 1444: Creeping creepiness

You can't say we weren't warned:
"Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."
-- Michelle Obama
A bill pending in the House, HR 1444, will establish a Congressional Commission to study ways to fulfill Ms. Obama's prophecy if it's passed.

Some of the things the commission will "address and analyze":
(2) The issues that deter volunteerism and national service, particularly among young people, and how the identified issues can be overcome.

(3) Whether there is an appropriate role for Federal, State, and local governments in overcoming the issues that deter volunteerism and national service and, if appropriate, how to expand the relationships and partnerships between different levels of government in promoting volunteerism and national service.

(5) The effect on the Nation, on those who serve, and on the families of those who serve, if all individuals in the United States were expected to perform national service or were required to perform a certain amount of national service.

(6) Whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.

(7) The need for a public service academy, a 4-year institution that offers a federally funded undergraduate education with a focus on training future public sector leaders.

(8) The means to develop awareness of national service and volunteer opportunities at a young age by creating, expanding, and promoting service options for primary and secondary school students and by raising awareness of existing incentives.

(9) The effectiveness of establishing a training program on college campuses to recruit and educate college students for national service.
Note the repeated emphasis on "get 'em while they're young". If that doesn't creep you out I don't know what will.

Yes, I do understand that this bill only proposes to create a commission to study these things. I also understand that the 13th amendment to the Constitution reads as follows:
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Note that section 2 does not authorize Congress to ignore this part of the Constitution.

Kill this piece of shit legislation right fucking now.

Update: From what I can gather, the provisions of this bill may have been included as section VI of HR 1388, the GIVE Act. A version of that bill with section VI deleted has since passed both the House and the Senate. It would appear this bill is dead, or at least terminally ill.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Descent into barbarism watch: Day 8

In which I chronicle the day-to-day tribulations of living with two (more-or-less) adult boys as my wife trots around Europe for two weeks.

Had to fight the dog for the last Slim Jim this morning. Mixed up some flour, sugar, water and chopped walnuts left over from Christmas for dinner. Wasn't bad.

Getting dark...gotta go.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Like I told the guy who e-mailed me this link, I'd be laughing if I wasn't crying.
The Super Bowl XLIII Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, the only team to win six titles, will soon be losing half of those trophies. After a meeting between NFL Commissioner Rodger Gadel and President Barack Hussein Obama, Obama decided to redistribute half of their Steeler Super Bowl victories and trophies to less fortunate teams in the league.

“We live everyday in the country that invented the Super Bowl.” said Obama “We are not about to lose this Great American tradition in the wake of these difficult times.” Obama’s plan calls for the Steelers, who are a successful NFL team, to give half of their Super Bowl trophies to teams that are not successful or have not been as successful as the Steelers. “The Detroit Lions are just as much a part of the same fiber of the NFL as the Steelers and they should, no rather will, be entitled to a Super Bowl Trophy as well.” Obama explains in his plan that he has imposed on Godel and the NFL.
More at the link.

Descent into barbarism watch: Day 7

In which I chronicle the day-to-day tribulations of living with two (more-or-less) adult boys as my wife trots around Europe for two weeks.

With food running low, I decided to order pizza. Maybe it was me answering the door in my underwear, unshaven and probably fairly ripe, or maybe it was the dog lunging at him hoping for a morsel, but the guy dropped the pizza and ran.


Mea culpa

Barack Obama's administration is going to be every bit as mealy-mouthed in the foreign policy department as I'd feared, and then some. Making the rounds in the news yesterday was Hillary Clinton's "mea culpa" to Mexico for the lawlessness and carnage taking place along the US-Mexico border, courtesy of Mexican drug cartels.

But that wasn't actually the worst of it, since there actually is an American drug problem contributing cash to the cause. But saying to Mexico "your problem is our problem" and saying "your problem is our fault" are two different things - especially in diplospeak - and is just the latest in a series of signals from Obama to the rest of the world that he somehow feels a need to atone for eight years of a president with whom he disagreed.

One of Obama's first orders of business when taking office was to issue an executive order to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Lefty talking heads everywhere breathed a collective sigh of relief, not so much over the detainees held there but over the message it would send to the international community.

More recently, we've seen Obama signal to the Iranian government that all those knuckle-draggers who occupied the White House since 1979 were wrong to isolate a terror-exporting extreme Islamist theocracy and drop the use of the term "enemy combatant" to refer to, uh, enemies who are combatting us.

And at about the same time our brilliant Secretary of State was groveling to Mexico, the Washington Post reported that the Obama administration was dropping the term "War on Terror" in favor of "Overseas Contingency Operations". That report has been disputed, but that nobody was in the least surprised by it is telling in itself.

What's next...will satire become reality?
Washington, D.C. ( — Sensitive to accusations of profiling specific groups, the Justice Department today announced that the American Civil Liberties Union has taken over the lead role in the terrorism investigation, a shift in strategy that frees up the government to conduct a less prejudicial, more inclusive probe that should take, roughly, forever.

"Instead of un-Constitutionally targeting specific groups, our investigation will expand the pool of interviews by more fairly including people of every ethnicity, every religion, every gender, and every sexual persuasion," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. "Right now, we are interviewing Caucasian farmers in Iowa, legally blind Wal-Mart employees in California, and gay Latino package store customers in Florida to see if they had contact with, or were involved with, those from the Middle East who carried out these attacks."

"For some reason, we haven't learned a thing so far," Romero conceded. "But I should note that we have yet to speak to Chinese-American loggers in the Northwest."

Using the new approach, the ACLU estimated the investigation will cost $2 trillion and take 750 years to complete.

A suggestion

Since cooking seems to be an issue, I humbly submit the following.

Now let's check the math: 3 males, 3 "homewrecker" hotdogs, three bathrooms. What could go wrong? Special bonus if predictable butt claymores are timed for the Return of Mrs. Pool Bar.

Of course, some extra fixtures may be in order:

A kibitz from Mark

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Words of wisdom

There's a sort of English pub-themed bar here in town, and they have this on a discreet wooden plaque on the wall:
Our Bar is dedicated to those merry souls who make drinking a pleasure, who achieve contentedness long before capacity, and who, whatever they drink, prove able to carry it.

Enjoy it and remain gentlemen.

Descent into barbarism watch: Day 6

In which I chronicle the day-to-day tribulations of living with two (more-or-less) adult boys as my wife trots around Europe for two weeks.

Starting to run low on food here. Still got some stale bread and a bit of beer, and I saw this in the pantry, but, well, it kind of scares me:

Saudi women boycotting lingerie shops

Women in Saudi Arabia are boycotting lingerie shops there, but not for the reasons you might think.
Before her wedding last year, Huda Batterjee went abroad to buy her bridal lingerie — she just couldn't bear the humiliation of discussing her most intimate apparel with a man.

She had little choice: there are almost no saleswomen in Saudi Arabia.
There's been a law on the books in Saudi for nearly three years, but has been held in abeyance due to the difficulties of keeping male and female employees in the stores separate. I wrote about this back in 2006, which is to say, I just wanted an excuse to repost this picture:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Descent into barbarism watch: Day 5

In which I chronicle the day-to-day tribulations of living with two (more-or-less) adult boys as my wife trots around Europe for two weeks.

Yes! Finally solved the dirty dishes problem without buying new ones. Got some odd looks from the neighbors while I hosed them off in the driveway, and I had to break out the pressure washer for those pots and pans, but what the hell.

Global warming nuts find something else to freak out about

A group of scientists people who rely on global warming fear-mongering to make a living are sounding their latest alarm. It seems the Great Lakes just ain't freezing over like they used to.
Ice cover on the Great Lakes has declined more than 30 percent since the 1970s, leaving the world's largest system of freshwater lakes open to evaporation and lower water levels, according to scientists associated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
In other news, a new study shows that timing is everything:

Lake Superior last froze over in 2003. It has now, again, frozen over. The frequency of freeze overs has historically been around once every 20 years. Now, in the last decade, we have seen two freeze overs.

Well, that didn't take long

Spotted over at Weasel Zippers, under the title "Pic of the day: Lefties Turning on Obama the War Monger.....". While it's almost certain that Obama enjoyed the support of something like 100% of the World Can't Wait crowd, they'll ALWAYS find a reason to be hatin' on whomever happens to be in power.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Descent into barbarism watch: Day 4

In which I chronicle the day-to-day tribulations of living with two (more-or-less) adult boys as my wife trots around Europe for two weeks.

Is milk supposed to have chunks?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Descent into barbarism watch: Day 3

In which I chronicle the day-to-day tribulations of living with two (more-or-less) adult boys as my wife trots around Europe for two weeks.

Well. I found out where all the other dirty dishes go. Now they're out of the boys' rooms and on the counter with mine where they belong. At least I think that's where they belong, and I still haven't figured out what I'm supposed to do with them.


Is it possible that even those of us who sounded the alarm about Barack Obama actually underestimated just how far to the left he'd govern? The latest ill wind blowing from Washington suggests that Obama wants to regulate the compensation of, as Hot Air headlines puts it, "pretty much everyone".
The Obama administration will call for increased oversight of executive pay at all banks, Wall Street firms and possibly other companies as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul financial regulation, government officials said.
Those "other companies"? Well, here's where "pretty much everyone" comes into play:
The new rules will cover all financial institutions, including those not now covered by any pay rules because they are not receiving federal bailout money. Officials say the rules could also be applied more broadly to publicly traded companies, which already report about some executive pay practices to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
It was that "publicly traded companies" line that really made me sit up and take notice. That covers an awful lot of companies. How many? According to this link, it's around 15,000. That's a whole lot of employers who just might find it more convenient to relocate outside the US.

This kind of overreaching by Obama and his Marxist comrades constitutes class warfare waged by the administration against the nation's top earners. When Obama breezily talked about wealth redistribution, everyone just assumed he was referring to simple confiscatory taxes on the evil rich. I don't think anyone dreamed he'd go this far.

And for anyone who's thinking that even a Democrat-controlled Congress will never go for this, it may not matter:
Depending on the outcome of the discussions, the administration could seek to put the changes into effect through regulations rather than through legislation.
Is this the kind of change anyone had really hoped for?

'Free speech is sacred'

Once again, Pat Condell nails it brilliantly. I wonder if he uses a teleprompter...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Democrats love renewable energy, right? Wrong.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is seeking to block development of a solar energy facility in the Mojave Desert. Why? It would harm the aesthetics of the desert and the habitat of some tortoises that live there.
California's Mojave Desert may seem ideally suited for solar energy production, but concern over what several proposed projects might do to the aesthetics of the region and its tortoise population is setting up a potential clash between conservationists and companies seeking to develop renewable energy.

Nineteen companies have submitted applications to build solar or wind facilities on a parcel of 500,000 desert acres, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Friday such development would violate the spirit of what conservationists had intended when they donated much of the land to the public.

Feinstein said Friday she intends to push legislation that would turn the land into a national monument, which would allow for existing uses to continue while preventing future development.
This is why Democrats cannot and will not get anything done when it comes to energy policy...they're too worried about pandering to competing constituencies. Just wait until someone tries to build a massive wind turbine'll see the same thing. It's already happened when an off-shore wind farm was proposed off the Massachusetts coast. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) blocked it on aesthetic grounds.

Instead, we'll spend the next few years with Democrats controlling the legislative and executive branches, and there will be NO solar energy development, NO wind energy development, NO new nuclear plants, and there will DAMN sure be NO drilling for new fossil fuels. We'll just sit back and watch what little remains of our nation's wealth be transferred to countries who hate us but love our oil money.

The Democrats are blithering idiots and we can't afford them.


Just for giggles, I decided to look up the line of succession in the event Barack Obama becomes unable to continue in office due to death, resignation, impeachment or whatever. And before any slavering barking moonbat says otherwise, no, I'm not wishing for any of those things. Consider it an academic inquiry into what the pre-2013 options would be.

I was pretty solid on the order of succession up to Speaker of the House, but beyond that I wasn't sure of the order. Aging's a bitch, y'know?

Anyway, while I guess I always knew it, well, since the 20th of January this year at least, walking through the rogues' gallery gave me shivers down my spine.

Let's begin...

First, we have Joltin' Joe Biden, God love 'im. Next!

Next up is House Speaker Nancy "San Fran Nan" Pelosi. Known in some circles as Granny McBotox. No. Next!

Next in line is President pro tempore of the Senate and former KKK Grand Reptile (or maybe it's lizard? Dragon? Whatever) Robert Byrd. Don't call us, we'll call you. Next!

How about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? No? Next!

Maybe Treasury Secretary Tim "TurboTax" Geithner is more to your liking? Not on your life. Next!

Number six in line is Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Hmmm...better than numbers one through five, at least. We'll think about it, but odds are Obama will dump him in favor of some Chicago lackey first.

Last, without going into obscure cabinet positions nobody gives a shit about, is Attorney General Eric Holder. No way...he called me (and everybody else in this country) a coward.

How's that for a line-up?

Chicken Littleism

I think I heard something about this nearly a year ago, but I'd never seen or heard video or audio of the comment itself. Behold the spectacular level of ill-informed jackassery from noted climatologist moonbat Ted Turner.

Descent into barbarism watch: Day 2

In which I chronicle the day-to-day tribulations of living with two (more-or-less) adult boys as my wife trots around Europe for two weeks.

Grilling I can do. But actual cooking? Not so much. Sure, I can fry bacon and eggs, but beyond that my cooking skills are pretty limited. All that measuring and combining ingredients just kind of baffles me. But last night I thought I'd take on the challenge and make a side dish to go with the meat and settled on macaroni and cheese. What American male doesn't like macaroni and cheese?

I wasn't exactly sure what macaroni and cheese in its raw, uncooked state looks like so I went rummaging through cabinets and the pantry closet looking for some with no luck, then it occurred to me that maybe it has to be kept cold or maybe frozen. So I pawed around in the fridge and the freezer (hey, I'm not a total novice in the ways of the kitchen!), but again came up empty.

There was a bag of something called "Penne" in the pantry, which kinda-sorta looked like macaroni and cheese (without the cheese), but instead of being curved like a capital "C", it was straight, like a sans-serif capital "I". And those weird beveled ends...hmmm. Time to improvise!

I took a few of the penne things out of the bag and when I tried to bend them into a "C" shape, they just broke. I decided I could live with "I"-shaped macaroni, but those beveled ends would never do. Cutting off the beveled ends with a knife ended in the same result as trying to bend them, then it occurred to me that I could just file them flat! I know...I'm a genius.

Armed now with a metal file from the garage, I started filing off the ends and saw that this would take way too long when I remembered the bench grinder in the garage. So I grabbed the whole bag of penne and the bowl of filed-down penne things and returned to the garage. In less than 90 minutes, I had the whole bag of pennes ground down to flat-ended, "I"-shaped macaroni! As macaroni goes, mine were kind of large, but bigger is better, right?

I was sure the rest of it would be a breeze. All I had to do, according to the bag, was boil my penne/macaroni "until tender". So while the stuff was boiling, I went in search of cheese. What's macaroni and cheese without cheese, right?

I was pretty sure cheese has to be kept cold so back to the fridge I went. There was a package of sliced American cheese, but I knew that wasn't the right kind. The cheese on all the macaroni and cheese I've ever eaten was never square and flat. It had to be something closer to a liquid form. A block of cheddar? Nope. Shredded cheddar? Not even close. A-ha! Bleu Cheese was sort of liquidy and even had the "Kraft" logo! It was nearly full, so I dumped the whole bottle into the boiling water along with the penne/macaroni.

FAIL. I don't know if it was the fact that we didn't eat until after 10PM, or that the macaroni and cheese didn't look, feel (isn't all that water supposed to get soaked up?) or taste anything like macaroni and cheese, or maybe it was just the odd metal burr here and there, but the boys weren't happy.

From here on out, it's nothing but meat.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Turkish Airlines safety compromised by ... Islam?

Turkish Airlines flight 1951 got a lot of coverage when it crashed at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport last month. Largely unreported, though, are the larger systemic problems with the airline compromising its safety.

The First Post reports on Turkey's Islamist AKP party taking over the airline, and the effect it's had on aircrew training and aircraft maintenance. The article is somewhat misleadingly titled 'Islam and the art of aircraft maintenance', but most of the airline's problems described in the article center around the cronyism associated with the AKP party's rise to power and its influence on the national airline. Those political issues can happen with any political party when an industry is nationalized (just imagine if the Democrats had control of America's big three airlines, for example), but this part brought me up short:
He reiterated the claim that cronyism - and ostensible piety - seemed to govern hiring decisions. "During former managerial times we had Christmas parties. Now in that department they're praying with copies of the Koran. The management building now contains significantly more people who are praying, especially on Fridays.

"When they go for the noon prayer, they don't sign themselves out, even though you're supposed to do that even if you go to the bathroom."

He is not alone in making such claims. In the wake of the crash, a source at Turkish Airlines - someone who has nothing to gain by noting this publicly and, in fact, everything to lose - claimed that airplanes requiring pre-flight inspection go shortchanged if they are on the ground in the mornings at prayer time.

And in December, 2006, it was widely reported that Turkish Airlines workers had sacrificed a camel on an Istanbul airport ramp as a gesture of thanks for having at last got rid of a batch of troublesome planes.
Now, if they stop training their pilots to land the planes, there's a big problem.


Odd things in banana shipments seems to be a theme around here today. In Germany, a grocery store worker discovered over 60 pounds of cocaine packed in a shipment of bananas she was unpacking.
The 26-year-old woman in the Bavarian town of Illertissen alerted police immediately after making the find on Wednesday. Officers confiscated the two bins, packed full of the drug in yellow bags just below a thin layer of fruit.

The boxes had been part of a three-pallet fruit delivery that was distributed between several different supermarket chains in the states of Baden-W├╝rttemberg and Bavaria. The shipment originated in Colombia and went through Antwerp, Belgium.

"Some dealers must have picked up the wrong boxes," Bavarian police spokesperson Ludwig Waldinger told news agency AFP, adding that he’d love to get a look at their faces when the drug dealers tried to get their fix from the fruit snack.
Somewhere there's a very pissed-off drug dealer.

Descent into barbarism watch: Day 1

In which I chronicle the day-to-day tribulations of living with two (more-or-less) adult boys as my wife trots around Europe for two weeks.

OK, so I think I can handle this whole cooking and cleaning thing while the wife's away on vacation. The one thing I haven't figured out is what happens to the dishes after they're used? Sure, I see some of them sitting on the kitchen counter, because I put them there after I was done eating. But where are the rest of them? Weird.

And I'm a bit worried that there only seems to be a few days worth of dishes in the cabinet. Between the three of us, we'll be through those by Sunday, maybe Monday at the latest. I still haven't figured out where the dirty dishes go and where the clean ones come from, but I'm sure I'll figure it out sooner or later. Maybe she just buys more every few days. Yeah, I'll bet that's it.

Update: Well, I figured out where some of the clean dishes come from. I put my plate on the floor so the dog could have the leftover bits, and that bad boy was pretty clean when he got done with it! Might be able to make it to Tuesday.

Deadly - yet fun! - Brazilian spider found in US

A Brazilian Wandering Spider, considered the most deadly for having caused the most human deaths from spider bite envenomation, was found in a shipment of bananas from Brazil - whoops, Honduras - at a Tulsa, Oklahoma Whole Foods store. An astute - and in retrospect, very lucky - employee captured the spider in a jar and turned it over to bug nerds who identified it. Oh yeah, the fun part:
Oddly, the Brazilian spider delivers more than a painful bite that sends most victims to the hospital. Researchers have found its venom also stimulates an hours-long erection in men.

[ ... ]

"The erection is a side effect that everybody who gets stung by this spider will experience along with the pain and discomfort," said study team member Romulo Leite of the Medical College of Georgia, presumably speaking only about male bite victims. "We're hoping eventually this will end up in the development of real drugs for the treatment of erectile dysfunction."
In a cruel twist of irony, however, women bitten by the spider end up with an hours-long headache.

OK, I might have made up that last part.

(Yes, Kris, I put up that picture just for you.)

Update: FOX News updated their article later in the day, and some other bug nerd disputes a couple of things, namely that the Brazilian Wandering Spider is the deadliest and that the spider in question was even one of them:
But a Tulsa Zoo official disputed the findings, saying his analysis through video and photos he'd seen led him to believe that it was a Huntsman spider — which is harmless to humans.

[ ... ]

In addition, Downer and Grantham disagreed with Childs' characterization of the danger of a Brazilian wandering spider.

Death from its bite is rare, and only victims with compromised immune systems, such as babies or older people, would be at risk, they said.
But according to Wikipedia:
The Brazilian wandering spiders appear in Guinness World Records 2007 as the world's most venomous spiders, and are considered to be responsible for the most human deaths due to envenomation from spider bites.
And the debate rages on.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Boys gone wild

I dropped Mrs. Pool Bar and her friend off at the airport this morning for their flight to Europe. Yup, she's taking a two-week vacation and leaving me and the boys to fend for ourselves for the next two weeks.

I figure by the time she gets back, me and the boys will have turned feral and might be looking something like this:

Apologies in advance if my blog posts start to sound like an unintelligible series of grunts. Well, more so than usual.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

East Haven police follow-up

A follow-up to my post from 10 days ago about the priest in East Haven, Connecticut arrested for videotaping police harassing a Hispanic storekeeper.

My brother Chuck posted a link to a New Haven Independent news item with the above video of the priest's arrest. Chuck has a capacity for understatement in titling his post "Priest’s Video Contradicts Police Report":
...David Cari, one of two arresting officers, states that he didn’t know what the New Haven priest was holding. He wrote that he saw an “unknown shiny silver object” that Manship had “cupped” in his hands, and was afraid for his safety.
Er, not to put too fine a point on it, but the cop fucking lied and should, at a minimum, be suspended for filing a false report. Naturally, East Haven's attorney doesn't see it that way:
Contacted by phone, Attorney Hugh Keefe, representing the East Haven police department, said that the video doesn’t discredit the police report.

“The problem is we don’t know what happened prior to the video,” Keefe said.

Keefe said that prior to start of the video recording, the police officer had been unaware of what Manship was holding. “The issue is before that whether he was concealing something,” Keefe said.

The attorney called the video “clearly inconclusive.”
Right. The one thing that is "clear" here is that the only hand of Father Manship's the cop could have seen would have been the hand holding the camera. He knew exactly what was in his hand and what he was doing. The cop's a liar and a thug.

Throw 'em out in 2010

Most of the time I don't care that this is a low-traffic blog, but there are times I wish I had the audience of the heavies like Ace of Spades or Hot Air.

I'd love to see a popular movement started to bounce every single incumbent up for reelection in 2010 out of office. Democrat or Republican, doesn't matter. Every incumbent up for reelection next year should feel their seat is at risk.

The hell with mailing teabags to your congress critter as some have suggested. Just vote their parasitic asses out of office.

Band names in Obama's economy

The crappy economy that Barack Obama keeps telling us he inherited (but won't tell us why he keeps making worse) got me thinking (for some reason) about what someone might name a new band today. Some ideas:
  • Stimulus Bill and the Bailouts
  • Nero's Fiddle
  • Shovel-ready Project
  • Stimulus Package
  • Timmy G and the TurboTax
Got any others?

Obama's veterans' health care plan: Retaliation?

Just spitballing it possible that Barack Obama's immoral scheme to make service members carry medical insurance to pay for injuries suffered in combat is retribution for the fact that service members voted overwhelmingly against him in the last election?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Case in point

In case you were wondering how the media will treat Barack Obama's plan to make veterans fund care for service-related injuries, here's a sample from CNN dated yesterday, the very day he met with leaders of veterans' groups and discussed it.
Flanked by Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, the president said his budget calls for a $25 billion increase in funding for the VA over the next five years -- a commitment that will be tested by the needs of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

"With this budget, we don't just fully fund our Veterans Affairs health care program, we expand it to serve an additional 500,000 veterans by 2013," he said.

He promised that the VA would "dramatically improve services" related to mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, and he said homeless veterans would be targeted for support.

"Those heroes have a home," Obama said. "It's the country they served, the United States of America, and until we reach a day when not a single veteran sleeps on our nation's streets, our work remains unfinished."
That's it. That's the article in its entirety without a single mention of Ozero's strange ideas of who should pay for veteran's service-related injuries.

I did find two links about this buried on CNN's web site that I had to excavate with their search tool, but the most recent one is a week old.

Update: FOX News picks up the story.

Random thought

Barack Obama could very quickly reduce the unemployment rate if he actually got around to filling all those vacant jobs in the administration.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Obama's ultimate insult to the military

When I saw a news item over the weekend that the Obama administration was floating an idea to make service members' private medical insurance contribute to the cost of service-related injuries I didn't take it seriously. Surely, not even this president would dream of such a thing. Via Hot Air, I find that I misunderestimated the depths to which this administration would sink.
The leader of the nation's largest veterans organization says he is "deeply disappointed and concerned" after a meeting with President Obama today to discuss a proposal to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities and injuries. The Obama administration recently revealed a plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in such cases.
Obama the candidate loved trotting out Iraq war veterans who said the Bush administration turned its back on wounded vets and didn't care enough about them. Obama the president, however, is taking that concept to a whole new level. That's change we can believe in?

Just a couple days ago, I received this in an e-mail from a friend and Vietnam vet:
A veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve – is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of “Up to and including my life.”

That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.
Way too many people in this country, and one too many in the White House.

Update: The more I think about this, the more pissed off I get. A couple more points...if Veterans Secretary Eric Shinseki opposes this idea, he should resign in protest. If he agrees, he should resign in disgrace.

And what of Ozeros's supposed "political genius"? Just how politically tone-deaf does one have to be to even give this turd of an idea more than a passing thought?

I don't believe for a second that such a plan would get through Congress, but it's just possible that people who supported Obama might see now who he really is. He'll always have his core of true believers, but this news could cost him a lot of supporters, if the MSM gives it wide enough coverage, which is obviously no guarantee.

Update II: Blackfive is calling on their readers to call their Congress Critter and voice opposition to this piece of shit. Certainly not a bad idea, but there's absolutely no way Congress will pass this, anyway. Better yet: write letters to the editor of your local newspaper. Get the word your local TV stations and demand they cover this. Make this steaming pile of crap stick to Obama so that everyone knows how he "supports the troops".

To dream the impossible dream

Via Mickey's Muses, we get a great big bucket of ice-cold water thrown on CO2 reduction goals...
Simple physics shows that in order to keep CO2 to 450 ppm, 26.5 of those terawatts must be zero-carbon. That’s a lot of solar, wind, hydro, biofuels and nuclear, especially since renewables kicked in a measly 0.2 terawatts in 2006 and nuclear provided 0.9 terawatts. Are you a fan of nuclear? To get 10 terawatts, less than half of what we’ll need in 2050, Lewis calculates, we’d have to build 10,000 reactors, or one every other day starting now. Do you like wind? If you use every single breeze that blows on land, you’ll get 10 or 15 terawatts. Since it’s impossible to capture all the wind, a more realistic number is 3 terawatts, or 1 million state-of-the art turbines, and even that requires storing the energy—something we don’t know how to do—for when the wind doesn’t blow. Solar? To get 10 terawatts by 2050, Lewis calculates, we’d need to cover 1 million roofs with panels every day from now until then. “It would take an army,” he says. Obama promised green jobs, but still.
Mickey, by the way, gets it from the Science Policy Blog at University of Colorado, who got it from Newsweek.

This assumes, of course, that all this nonsense is even necessary.

Note to Comcast Cable

We've been having intermittent service disruptions with our Comcast Cable high-speed Internet service at home for the past week. No big deal...I've been in the IT business a long time, including time in the ISP business, and I know this stuff happens, and the Comcast support people I've spoken with on the phone and the service techs who've come to the house have always been pleasant, professional and diligent in trying to solve the problem.

Yesterday we had another day of off-and-on outages, so I scheduled yet another service call, which was set for Tuesday. Today, I got a call from Comcast. It was an automated call with a recording saying to please hold for the next available agent...over, and over and over again. After a couple minutes, I hung up and the phone immediately rang again with the same recording. I let it go for a minute or so then hung up again. When the phone rang a third time, I only let it go for about 10 seconds and just as I was about to hang up, a human came on the line to confirm the appointment for tomorrow.

What the hell is up with that? I understand call centers have automated dialers tied to the agents' terminals, but fer cryin' out loud...don't let it start dialing until an agent is ready to talk! Don't call me and put me on hold!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Inmate placed in cell with convict he testified against meets predictable end

Prison officials at Oklahoma State Penitentiary moved an inmate into a cell housing another inmate he'd previously testified against, with predictable results.
An inmate was beaten and found dead Wednesday night just 15 minutes after being placed in a cell with a man he had testified against, a state prisons spokesman said.

Paul David Duran Jr., 23, had been in an altercation with another cellmate and then was placed in a cell with Jessie James Dalton, 32, at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, state Department of Corrections spokesman Jerry Massie said. Only Dalton walked out alive.
With a name like that, he was born to be in prison.

Stupid affectations

Every time I hear Barack Obama or some other poseur say "PAHK-ee-stahn" I cringe a little bit. If you speak American English, it's "PACK-ih-stan". But in an effort to sound like someone with a broader worldview, these idjits can't resist saying "PAHK-ee-stahn" in a herniated effort to sound more culturally aware by pronouncing the country's name the way a Pakistani would say it.

You never hear these phonies pronounce "Afghanistan" the way an English-speaking Afghani or Pakistani would say it. They'll say "Afghanistan" the way you or I would say it because to pronounce it as an Afghan or Pakistani would say it would sound too contrived: "Ahf-GWAN-ee-stahn".

Gawd, I can't stand poseurs.

Update: I rest my case...


With any luck the developers won't have to reset the counters in 2013.

A kibitz from Mark

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hack journalism at its worst

A follow-up to the earlier Olbermann/Hersh "Cheney Assassination Ring" post.

Looking at this a little bit closer, this is an extraordinary example - even by Keith Olbermann's standards - of his penchant for substituting reporting with paranoid fantasizing. It also raises serious questions about Sy Hersh's standing as a credible journalist.

First, here's a link to the transcript of Olbermann's show in which the segment appeared. And here's a link to the article he mentions.

The MinnPost article covers a "Great Conversations" speaking event at the University of Minnesota on 10 March with Sy Hersh and Walter Mondale. The article focuses on two separate allegations by Hersh: that CIA engaged in domestic spying during the Bush years, and that Dick Cheney had his own "executive assassination ring" called "Joint Special Operations Command" which reported directly to him and nobody else.

We've already established that JSOC has been in existence for nearly 30 years and that they're a publicly-known military organization subordinate to US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), making Hersh's allegations absurd on the face. (But not to worry...Hersh says he'll get around to providing actual evidence of his charges in a year or two.)

During his talk, Hersh mentions this New York Times article by saying:
"Right now, today, there was a story in the New York Times that if you read it carefully mentioned something known as the Joint Special Operations Command -- JSOC it’s called. It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him. ...
OK, now here's what the NYT article, which reports on a stand-down in special ops raids in Afghanistan, said about JSOC:
According to senior military officials, the stand-down was ordered by Vice Adm. William H. McRaven, the head of the military’s Joint Special Operations Command, which oversees the secret commando units.
You don't actually have to read the NYT article all that carefully. JSOC is there in black and white in the context of special operations conducted in Afghanistan. Nothing unusual there, because that's what JSOC does.

Now, here's a snippet from Olbermann's show transcript in which he and fellow batshit-crazy conspiracy theorist Howard Fineman discuss the dire implications of Cheney's death squads:
OLBERMANN: If Sy Hersh alleges here, the vice president, the former vice president and a covert assassination ring operated without talking to the CIA, how exactly would the CIA be in the position to call Mr. Hersh‘s reporting “utter nonsense”?

FINEMAN: Well, moreover, Keith, if there a—if there in fact is such a thing as Seymour Hersh‘s reporting seems to indicate and the CIA was kept in the dark about it, the last thing they would want to do right now is admit it. So, either way, they don‘t have an interest in confirming no matter what they know at this point.
There's a bit of a problem here, though. Remember that Hersh was talking about two separate fantasies: domestic CIA spying and Cheney's hit men operating overseas. Here's another MinnPost link in which CIA spokesman George Little responds to the domestic operations charge, and a snippet from that article:
He doesn't know what Hersh claims, but any claim that the CIA has engaged in domestic spying is "complete and utter nonsense," saith Little on behalf of the CIA.
So MSNBC's Olbermann and Fineman conflated two separate items either by accident due to lazy, sloppy journalism, or by design in order to spin the worst possible (and least accurate) fairy tale.

And it gets worse. Back to the first MinnPost article, in which Hersh is quoted as saying:
"Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on. Just today in the Times there was a story that its leaders, a three star admiral named [William H.] McRaven, ordered a stop to it because there were so many collateral deaths.

"Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us.
What Hersh describes is what special operations teams do. Nowhere does Hersh allege that JSOC is going out and hitting political leaders. But Olbermann seizes on Hersh's term "executive assassination ring" to make that mental leap.

It's said on many right-wing blogs that journalism died in 2008. It's time to get rid of the stinking, rotting corpse.

Testing the new kid

Well, this will certainly be interesting.
A Russian Air Force chief said Saturday that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has offered an island as a temporary base for strategic Russian bombers, the Interfax news agency reported.

The chief of staff of Russia's long range aviation, Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev, also said Cuba could be used to base the aircraft, Interfax reported.
Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Think the Russians have an idea of what kind of president they're dealing with? Unfortunately, I think they do.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Seymour Hersh farts, Keith Olbermann craps himself

I don't normally post crap about Keith Olbermann, but I have to do it this time, if for no other reason than to mark what may be the final death blow to this deluded, paranoid hack's alleged journalistic career. OK, so that's probably not gonna happen, but I can dream, right?

Anyway, Seymour Hersh, another notable deluded, paranoid hack, barfed up some deluded, paranoid nonsense during a speech about a secret team of assassins - a death squad, if you will - under the direct control of Dick Cheney for the past eight years. Watch the video to see Olbermann take Hersh's fantasy as if it were gospel and run like the wind. Anyone who's been in the military for any length of time will be brought up short early on when the ever-excitable Olbermann hyperventilates about "...a secret commando unit, offically called the Joint Special Operations Command."

As soon as I heard that, I quite literally laughed out loud. Here's how secret JSOC is:
The Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) is a component command of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and is charged to study special operations requirements and techniques to ensure interoperability and equipment standardization, plan and conduct special operations exercises and training, and develop Joint Special Operations Tactics. It was established on December 15, 1980, in the aftermath of the failure of Operation Eagle Claw, the unsuccessful attempt to rescue the 53 hostages from the American embassy in Tehran, Iran[1]. It is located at Pope Air Force Base and Fort Bragg in North Carolina, USA.
They've been around for nearly 30 years, but in the minds of wankers like Hersh and Olbermann, they came and presumably went with the evil Dick Cheney. Just Google JSOC or Joint Special Operations Command and you'll find plenty of information on them. Are there units under control of JSOC or SOCOM that do some scary, spooky shit? Yeah, that's probably a pretty safe bet. But how one makes that leap to Dick Cheney's personal death squad is beyond me. But then again, unlike Olbermann and Hersh, I have a shred of sanity.

To make matters worse, Olbermann opens this segment intoning gravely on the 1976 executive order from Gerald Ford prohibiting political assassinations. Yet nowhere is it later even implied that Cheney's roving gang of killers did anything other than what special ops teams have done since their inception.

Finally, there's this, from where I heard about this in the first place (via AoSHQ):
"On the podium, Sy [Seymour "Sy" Hersh] is willing to tell a story that's not quite right, in order to convey a Larger Truth. ‘I can't fudge what I write. But I can certainly fudge what I say...I find that totally not inconsistent with anything I do professionally. I'm just communicating another reality that I know, that for a lot of reasons having to do with, basically, someone else's ass, I'm not writing about it...I get paid to do speeches...And I'm not there to be on straight I'm there to tell, you know, give somebody, exchange views with people."
And MSNBC and Keith Olbermann went for it, hook line and sinker.

Update: It occurs to me that this story is just outrageous enough to be a plant to make both Hersh and (especially) Olbermann look even more deranged than usual. Throw in the notion of using a military organization that actually exists but is obscure enough that a lazy "journalist" wouldn't know about it, and the theory has some merit. Rove, you magnificent bastard!

'I'm tired'

A buddy forwarded me one of those e-mails that was a long essay, and I almost closed it for later reading due to its length, but after the first paragraph I ended up reading the whole thing. At the end was a blurb about the blog it came from, which is now one of my daily must-reads. The original blog post can be found here. It opens:
I’ll be 63 soon. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce, and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I’ve worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven’t called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there’s no retirement in sight, and I’m tired. Very tired.

I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth around” to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy or stupid to earn it.
Read the whole thing.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Don't ask, don't tell" under attack

The "don't ask, don't tell" policy keeping openly gay people from serving in the military since the early days of Bill Clinton's first term (as did the DoD policy prior to that) is under attack by activists seeking to completely eliminate barriers to gays serving in the military.
In an effort to prod the president and Congress to act, activists -- gay, straight, military and civilian -- will converge on Capitol Hill Friday to rally behind an effort in the House to overturn the policy, which has been a continuing source of controversy since it became law 15 years ago.
Bill Clinton's rush to allow gays in the military when he first took office was one of the things that led me to completely turn my back on the Democrats. Not because I was opposed to the idea of gays serving in the military (more on that later), but because I objected to Clinton's (mis-) use of the military as an instrument for achieving social change. I was, and remain convinced, that the military should be a reflection of the society it serves, and in 1993, there weren't very many people who would entertain the notion of openly gay members of the military.

If anybody believes there are no gays in the military because of DA-DT, they're delusional. Gay men (and more recently, gay women) have served honorably in the armed forces since early hunter-gatherers started slinging rocks at each other to compete for hunting grounds. That won't change no matter what policy is in place at any point in time. The question is whether to simply allow openly gay members to serve.

I'm not - and I've never been - personally opposed to serving with gay members of the military. But bear in mind that all my time was served in fixed-based Air Force, which is kind of like working at, say, a bank. I did, however, spend plenty of time in open-bay barracks and even tents a couple of times during deployments and exercises, and here's where things get a bit touchy.

As one might expect, the military provides men's and women's barracks (or tents) as well as men's and women's latrines. More often than not, the latrines include communal showers. You can probably see where I'm going with this. Now consider other branches of the service, or units of the USAF spending more time in the field, or the sea-going Navy, and you see the magnitude of the problem.

Even the most broad-minded heterosexual service member might feel just a little uncomfortable undressing and showering with someone they know (or think) might be looking at him or her that way. As for those who are less accepting of gays (and I'm not being judgmental here), well I can hear the thundering of their feet now heading for the separations office. Despite popular belief, the military's not stupid...they know this.

So, what's the military leadership to do if the will of the most far-left, progressive US president in history is forced upon them? If the military is forced to allow openly gay members to serve - and Obama's relentless far-left agenda gives me cause to believe they will be - then the Defense Department is going to have to go to significant - and very costly - lengths to adapt.

But how does it adapt? At first glance the solution might be to keep men's and women's lodging and latrines, and add gay men's and gay women's lodging and latrines. But wait a second...isn't putting two gay men in the same room like putting a hetero woman and a hetero man in the same room where there could be a mutual attraction, or worse yet, an unreciprocated attraction? OK, scratch that idea.

So, what then? Private lodging and latrine facilities for each individual? Not gonna happen. Completely mixed lodging and latrines where everyone just picks a spot to sleep, change, take a dump and shower? Yeah, right. Just ask any military leader what they think of that idea.

So when taking a position on this, think it through carefully. Obama probably won't.

Women, girls to be regulated by White House, or something

Focusing like a laser on the economy, the Obama White House attacked the problem head-on yesterday by unveiling the White House Council on Women and Girls. No, I didn't just make that up.
President Obama today signed an Executive Order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. The mission of the Council will be to provide a coordinated federal response [Wow...this must be really important! --ed.] to the challenges confronted by women and girls and to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies consider how their policies and programs impact women and families.
Heckuva job, Barry!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Richmond Tea Party

We'll be having our own Tea Party in Richmond on - appropriately enough - Tax Day, 15 April. If you're in the area, c'mon down and be heard!

I know most of us who give a shit about this stuff are actually, you know, gainfully employed and all that so this will take place from 6PM - 8PM so you can participate and still do your part for the GDP.

Details and directions at the link.

Update: The link I posted is to the Richmond Tea Party blog, which still has all the info you need, but here's the link to the official site.

No wonder the NY Times is going bankrupt

In a comment to my post last night about Chas Freeman's flame-out as nominee to head the National Intelligence Committee, my brother Chuck quoted a Weekly Standard bit that said in part:
...what I'm most eager to see in the next 24 hours is the story from the New York Times explaining that Chas Freeman has been forced to withdraw his nomination as a result of a controversy they never even covered.
I found the link's from a WS blog entry by Michael Goldfarb. Anyway...I thought, no, that can't be true. Can it? Surely the NY Times had some coverage of Freeman's freakish views before he dropped out?

Well, no they didn't, and don't call me Shirley...a search for "chas freeman":

And a search for "charles freeman":

Gabriel at AoSHQ has more.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chas Freeman out as NIC head

Best thing I heard today besides the Dow rising nearly 400 points was the news that Charles "Chas" Freeman withdrew his name for the National Intelligence Commitee post. Unless Obama scrapes harder at the bottom of the barrel, it'll be hard to find someone worse than him for that position.

This post over at Yid With Lid details just how bad he'd have been. He's done his research on Freeman well, and posts two contradictory quotes from Freeman on the "root causes" of terrorism. Here's a Freeman quote from 2004:
The heart of the poison is the Israel-Palestinian conundrum. When I was in Saudi Arabia, I was told by Saudi friends that on Saudi TV there were three terrorists who came out and spoke. Essentially the story they told was that they had been recruited to fight for the Palestinians against the Israelis, but that once in the training camp, their trainers gradually shifted their focus away from the Israelis to the monarchy in Saudi Arabia and to the United States. So the recruitment of terrorists has a great deal to do with the animus that arises from that continuing and worsening situation.
And here's his self-contradictory view from 1998:
Mr. bin Laden's principal point, in pursuing this campaign of violence against the United States, has nothing to do with Israel. It has to do with the American military presence in Saudi Arabia, in connection with the Iran-Iraq issue. No doubt the question of American relations with Israel adds to the emotional heat of his opposition and adds to his appeal in the region. But this is not his main point.
Do people change their opinions? Sure they do. But it's far more likely in this case that Freeman was merely parroting the Saudi line after receiving a generous donation from the Saudi royal family for his Middle East Policy Council. Read the whole thing and I think you'll agree.

H/T Hot Air headlines.

Right on cue

As if on cue, protesters turned out in Luton to "greet" British troops returning from Iraq.
Twice in two years they have fought in Iraq, with two of their comrades paying the ultimate price when they died in a roadside bomb attack in Basra and 10 more killed in Afghanistan.

But a homecoming parade in honour of 200 soldiers back from the battlefields was marred yesterday(tues) by Muslim anti-war protesters.

They hurled abuse as members of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment marched proudly through the centre of Luton.

Waving placards with slogans saying: 'Anglian soldiers: Butchers of Basra,' and 'Anglian soldiers: cowards, killers, extremists,' and 'baby killers,' they were hemmed in by police as the parade passed.

'The Speaker will want to know where the planes are'

House Speaker San Fran Nan Pelosi (D-Alpha Centauri) has been treating the Air Force as her "personal airline", according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly requested military aircraft to shuttle her and her colleagues and family around the country, according to a new report from a conservative watchdog group.

[ ... ]

In one e-mail, aide Kay King complained to the military that they had not made available any aircraft the House speaker wanted for Memorial Day recess.

"It is my understanding there are NO G5s available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable ... The Speaker will want to know where the planes are," King wrote.
I'm sure there'll be a Congressional investigation into this. Yessiree, any time now.

Here's a link to the JW report, which was unavailable at the time of this writing, due I think to their server being crushed by the entire right-wing blogosphere.

The vast left-wing conspiracy

Remember Hillary Clinton's imaginary "vast right-wing conspiracy"? Well, the left actually has one, according to Politico.
The vast new left-wing conspiracy sets its tone every morning at 8:45 a.m., when officials from more than 20 labor, environmental and other Democratic-leaning groups dial into a private conference call hosted by two left-leaning Washington organizations.

The “8:45 A.M. call,” as it’s referred to by members, began three weeks ago, and it marks a new level in coordination by the White House’s allies at a time when the conservative opposition is struggling for a toe-hold and major agenda items like health care reform appear closer than ever to passage.

[ ... ]

“[CAP President John] Podesta’s and my experience was in the White House during the Clinton years, and we didn’t have a coordinated echo chamber on the outside backing us up,” [Jennifer Palmieri, the senior vice president for communications at the Center for American Progress Action Fund] said. “There’s a real interest on the progressive side for groups to want to coordinate with each other and leverage each other’s work in a way I haven’t ever seen before.”
Are you listening, Michael Steele?

Collateral damage

Hot Air questions the notion of a "Manchurian President" from this Bloomberg column in which Kevin Hassett postulates how a planted candidate could rise to office and intentionally wreck the economy. From Hassett's column:
Imagine that some hypothetical enemy state spent years preparing a “Manchurian Candidate” to destroy the U.S. economy once elected. What policies might that leader pursue?

He might discourage private capital from entering the financial sector by instructing his Treasury secretary to repeatedly promise a brilliant rescue plan, but never actually have one. Private firms, spooked by the thought of what government might do, would shy away from transactions altogether. If the secretary were smooth and played rope-a-dope long enough, the whole financial sector would be gone before voters could demand action.

Another diabolical idea would be to significantly increase taxes on whatever firms are still standing. That would require subterfuge, since increasing tax rates would be too obvious. Our Manchurian Candidate would have plenty of sophisticated ideas on changing the rules to get more revenue without increasing rates, such as auctioning off “permits.”
Ed at Hot Air quotes the adage "avoid assigning to malice what can be explained by incompetence". But I think there's a third possibility between malice and incompetence.

I don't believe Obama is intentionally wiping out trillions in people's retirement funds, nor is he watching dumbfounded as the markets crash not fathoming the causal relationship to his policies. Rather, I think he's decided that the effects on the markets are acceptable collateral damage in the furthering of his radical left statist agenda.

Anyone who says these are the lingering effects of eight years of Bush is either lying or desperately clinging to Hopenchange. Welcome to Barack Obama's economy.

Buffett: Obama taking his eye off the ball

Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha and Barack Obama supporter, took jabs at Obama and the Democrats for their handling of the economy during an interview with CNBC.
Taking aim at one such issue, interviewer Joe Kernen replied: "You might not have fixed global warming the day after - the day after D-Day, Warren."

"Absolutely," Buffett declared. He also told Kernen that the Republicans should provide general support for the administration, but that the Democrats should not be pushing "contentious" policies that are not related to solving the nation's economic woes.

"Job one is to win the economic war. Job two is to win the economic war and Job 3," Buffett said. "And you can't expect people to unite behind you if you're trying to jam a whole bunch of things down their throats. So I would absolutely say, for the interim until we get this one solved, I would not be pushing a lot of things that, that you know are contentious."
Of course, that whole focusing on the real problem thing would contradict Rahm Emanuel's policy of fully exploiting a crisis for political gain.

I hate to say I told you so, but...

There are many of us who said before the election that Obama, other than the minimum constitutional qualifications to hold the office, was woefully and abysmally unprepared to be president. We were informed by our betters that no, we were just being racist, reactionary bigots for saying so and that Barack Obama would bring a new age of enlightenment to our wounded world and that he would single-handedly repair our relationships with our allies ruined by that idiotic cowboy from Texas.

Obama's spectacularly piss-poor handling of British PM Gordon Brown's state visit last week - as well as his handlers' rather unsettling excuses for it - is well-trodden, but I didn't realize just how badly until tonight when I saw this post over at Ace's place. Ace quotes a stunner from this Telegraph article:
The real views of many in Obama administration were laid bare by a State Department official involved in planning the Brown visit, who reacted with fury when questioned by The Sunday Telegraph about why the event was so low-key.

The official dismissed any notion of the special relationship, saying: "There's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment."
I actually had to kind of laugh when I read it, because when I was in London a couple weeks ago I ended up in the inevitable political discussion with a local at bar there who was waxing poetic over Obama. I wish I could go find that guy now and ask him what he thinks.

Monday, March 09, 2009


Click for larger image

Spotted over at Theo's place. Guess which peaceful, respectable religious group wants to disgrace troops tomorrow at a homecoming parade in Britain?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Cougar Barbie

My sister sent me this today, and it cracked me up enough to post.

Note to my sister Rita: Before sending a 5MB movie file, check first to see if it's on YouTube. Chances are it is. What if I was stuck in some God-forsaken place and had to rely on dial-up?

What's wrong with the East Haven, CT police?

My brother Chuck put up this disturbing item from the New Haven Independent. It seem the East Haven, Connecticut police department have a bit too much time on their hands.
On the evening of his arrest, at around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19, Father Manship walked into My Country Store, a convenience store in East Haven run by Ecuadorians. Inside, the police were removing over 60 expired license plates that had been hung as decorations in the store. The license plates were government property, the officers had said, and they were confiscating them.

Manship entered the shop, took out a digital camera, and began videotaping the East Haven police officers who were removing license plates from a wall in the rear of the store.

The officers immediately ordered Manship to stop videotaping, seized his camera and put him under arrest, according to Manship. Within minutes of his arrival, everyone in the store fell silent as Father Manship was led out in handcuffs. He was charged with interfering with a police officer and creating a public disturbance.

[ ... ]

After the police arrested the priest, they noticed that the store was equipped with security cameras. Elio Cruz, a leader in New Haven’s Virgen Del Cisne Ecuadorian community, was in the store that night. “When [the police officers] realized there was videotaping from My Country Store, they went crazy,” Cruz recalled later. “They said it was illegal and they tried to grab the computer.”
Holy crap...round these Nazis up and prosecute the lot of them.