Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Take Another Little Piece of My Heart Now, Baby...

It's Joplin's screaming, seriously. I mean she's bluesy, but the guttural emotion in those screams toward the end of "Piece of My Heart" is simply unmatched. I've been enjoying this song more recently since listening to Chrystal Bowersox sing it (posted here previously). And 100.3 The Sound played it during my drive time the other day. Enjoy:

From the comments at the second video, "This song is brilliant. Its a metaphor for intense love that you know is bad for you but you keep coming back for more."

That's it for me tonight. Check out
Ken Davenport, Right Klik, The Other McCain, Theo Spark, and Washington Rebel.

Democrats Don't Like Sports!

And that's only a slight exaggeration. See, "Sports Viewers Largely Republican." And check out that graphic:


If you're a GOP strategist looking for key primary votes, spend your valuable advertising money on PGA Tour events. If you're a Dem trying to win over your base, focus on advertising during NBA games.

So says a new study among hundreds of thousands of Americans examining the correlation between viewers' favorite sports and their voting habits. And, the survey shows, most dedicated sports watchers are much more likely to vote with the GOP than they are to vote with Dems.

Researchers at National Media Inc., a GOP firm, analyzed survey results from a total of 218K interviews between Aug. '08 and Sept. '09. The polling was conducted by Scarborough USA, a joint project of Nielsen and Arbitron, the 2 top ratings agencies in the country. The data helps TV and radio stations and the country's newspapers set ad rates by evaluating viewership habits.

GOPers are most likely to watch the PGA Tour, college football and NASCAR, according to the study. But if GOP ad buyers want to reach more frequent voters, they should focus on the PGA; golf fans told researchers they were much more likely to vote than NASCAR fans say they are. Meanwhile, Dems hold the largest advantages among basketball fans, both those who watch the NBA and the WNBA. And fans of World Wrestling Entertainment are also much more likely to favor Dems -- if they vote. Wrestling fans are less likely to cast ballots than any other sports fans.
Another signal, emerging independent of the Obama-media-industrial-complex, that leftists are not only outside the mainstream, but literally un-American according to key indices of popular culture. Sure, some Democrats are sports fans. But these data really should give pause to those on the left claiming to represent middle America. (And notice the elitists at Democratic Strategist trying to blow off the findings.)


The RNC Debacle

From Hugh Hewitt:

Rarely have the e-mails flowed in as quickly as they did Monday as news spread of the RNC's profligacy and of its highly objectionable choice of entertainment venues. They are coming from individuals who, as recently as Friday, had at my urging sent money to the National Republican Congressional Committee to help in the effort to oust Nancy Pelosi. They are coming from people who are living on tight budgets in an era of economic uncertainty but who had sacrificed because the country cannot afford another two years of a Pelosi-Reid led Congress.

They are coming from very, very angry Republicans.

And they are right to be angry.

Whether or not RNC staffers share the very traditional beliefs on moral questions of the vast majority of their regular voters, the idea of partying at even "upscale" sex-themed nightclubs is quite obviously not only at the top of the stupid charts, it also reflects thorough-going contempt for the folks that sent them to work in the first place.

This latest scandal follows another one wherein the crackerjack staff at the RNC circulated a memo dripping in disdain for the conservative rank and file . The memo-flap soon passed as staff memos just aren't that interesting.

This scandal will not soon pass. It is a huge blow at a time of otherwise gathering momentum, and the GOP's elected leadership need to respond decisively, as do Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, John Thune and Sarah Palin – the four Republicans most likely to seek the party's nomination in 2012 and to have a shot of gaining it.

Plus, social conservatives aren't happy either. See, "
Tony Perkins Urges Conservatives to Stop Giving Money to RNC" (via Memeorandum).

Rachel Maddow Can't Confirm Anything in Her Militia Member Smear on the Tea Party Movement

This Rachel Maddow segment pretty much sums up the total journalistic amateurism at MSNBC. She's spends five minutes stretching to find some kind of connection between the Hutaree militia and the "right wing extremists" (read tea partiers) who've been marching in anti-ObamaCare protests in D.C. And to top it off, her "expert" is the completely asinine hack Dave Neiwert, who argues that Americans freaked out over a few men with "turbans" on September 11, while the "real threat" to the United States is "right wing domestic terrorism." These people are bad.

I'll be the first to condemn the militia movement's extremism. I want nothing to do with them, and I can't name a single conservative blogger or tea partier -- and that by now includes dozens, even hundreds, of leaders in the conservative movement today -- who would even deign to associate with potential domestic terrorists. Meanwhile, the Obama administration keeps close ties with Code Pink fanatics who're serving as a direct link to the Taliban insurgency. This White House refused to condemn the Fort Hood attacks as domestic jihad, and the "system worked" when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to blow up a plane over Detroit. But hey, I better watch it: That's RAAACIST!!!

And for comparison, see my earlier entry, "
The Left/Right Divide: Which Side Would You Choose?"

In any case, TPM-Muckraker's working hard to generalize and normalize the militias, "
For Hutaree, Militia Ethos Extended To Family Life."

But see tonight's New York Times, "Militia Members Draw Distinctions Between Groups."

'Stupid Evil Bastard' Attacks Tea Party 'Clueless Dolts'

My guess is the fact that Congress' own Members didn't even read their healthcare monstrosity is lost on "Stupid Evil Bastard," although he nevertheless attacks citizen patriots as "dolts" for not being able to pinpoint what page "death panels" were found.


Actually, I did read the original 1000-page House bill last summer, and Page 429, Lines 10-12 was widely interpreted at the time as limiting coverage to control costs (rationing). But hey, when your whole schtick is attacking conservatives as "dolts," who's got time for facts and superior argumentation:

It never ceases to amaze me how many people can be so willing to work against their own self-interests because FOX “News” told them to. These people have nothing but Republican talking-points to spew out in response to the questions being asked. None of them has put any thought into it beyond what they’ve been told by Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh. None of them has made the effort to find out what the bill really has in it on their own. They freely admit that they watch FOX because it reinforces what they believe already. They’re protesting something they have only misinformation about.

BREAKING! MoveOn to 'Condemn the Hate' Outside RNC Headquarters Thursday

From NewsReal, "MoveOn Plans Hate-In Outside RNC Headquarters Tomorrow":


The Democrat-media complex has been pushing the idea that patriotic nonviolent resistance and opposition to ObamaCare and President Obama’s drive to turn America into a full-blown socialist state somehow constitutes “hate.”

Leftists keep trying to invent new incidents supposedly showing how their political adversaries in the Tea Party movement are sinister racists.

They claim –in the absence of proof– that black Democratic lawmakers were called the N-word as they walked to the U.S. Capitol building to vote on ObamaCare. They claim –in the absence of proof– that an anti-gay epithet was hurled at Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), an openly gay lawmaker.

It is an indisputable fact that the violence America is beginning to see is almost exclusively on the left, whether it’s a deranged registered Democrat flying his plane into a federal building in Austin, Texas, or a progressive coward calling in a death threat against a Republican lawmaker.

It is all part of the left’s push to delegitimize opposition to the socialist takeover of America. If you oppose the murder-in-progress of the American republic you are smeared as a redneck, teabagging, racist obstacle to progress — and you deserve what’s coming to you.

So it’s not surprising that the street theater specialists at are planning to host a propaganda event tomorrow intended to reinforce this false notion that Constitution-loving pro-limited government enthusiasts are eeeevil haters.

The leftist thugs at MoveOn plan to hold a rally outside Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. to urge the Republican Party to distance itself from the alleged “hate” caused by the passage of ObamaCare.

Of course, the left, and in particular the George Soros-led character assassins at Media Matters for America (I mean you, Jamison Foser, Eric Boehlert, and Terry Krepel) are largely responsible for the civil unrest that is growing across America. Anyone who supported ObamaCare is responsible for the tide of discontent that now threatens to tear the nation apart.

And take notice, MoveOn, Jamison, Eric, and Terry, that the American people will not silenced.

Here’s the call-to-arms email MoveOn just sent out ...
Follow the link for the letter.

'The Free Ride's Over for the Rich in This Country...'

A really angry, frequently incoherent, rant for socialism, from the Harry Reid thug who threatened Andrew Breitbart last weekend. At Founding Bloggers, "Class Warfare All The Rage in Searchlight, Nevada":

This kind of abuse, which is typical of Obama-era Democrats, is not going over well with the public. See Greg Sargent, "Gallup: Majority Says Dem Health Reform Tactics Were “Abuse Of Power”." (Via Memeorandum.)

See also, Gay Patriot, "
Americans’ Negative View of Obama’s New Kind of (Chicago) Politics."

BUSH = HITLER: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same...

Scott Johnson has the background:

Evan Coyne Maloney is the documentary filmmaker and proprietor of Brain Terminal. During the Bush administration, Evan was out in the field with his camera observing protests and interviewing protesters. He is therefore in a good position to recall the signs and symbols of the left-wing opposition to the Bush administration's post-9/11 national security policies. How do they compare to the Tea Party protesters expressing their opposition to Barack Obama's program of national socialism?

Evan has now produced a timely new video splicing together footage that he calls "A trip down memory lane." He describes it as four minutes of nonstop examples of violent imagery and extremist rhetoric employed by left-wing anti-Bush protesters. He writes: "For some reason, despite it being well documented at the time by me and many others, the media chose to ignore it." Indeed.
Here's another photo of the BUSH = NAZI ideological demonization from March 20, in Hollywood:


Recall that "SS" stands for "Schutzstaffel," Hitler's paramilitary security state within the state.

Plus, posted previously, "BOOSH," the racist Bush slur.:


Here's Brian Maloney at Brain Terminal, "A Trip Down Memory Lane":
Not too long ago, taking to the streets to protest your government was considered a patriotic act.

It’s true!

But it seems that publicly airing your grievances stopped being patriotic right around noon on January 20th, 2009.

Once President Obama was sworn in, protesting became incitement to violence ....

Why the difference in coverage? Did the media cheerlead the protests against President Bush to hurt him politically? Are they trying to marginalize the increasingly powerful Tea Party movement because they favor President Obama’s agenda?

One thing’s for sure: If there is such a thing as dangerous rhetoric, then the media is at least one president too late in reporting the story.
When it comes to the Democrats, I'm ashamed for my country. But I'm not resigned. The tea parties are the salvation of democracy.

And since I know lefties will say "both sides do it." .... No, sorry, there's nothing -- absolutely nothing -- comparable to the secular demonization and violent rhetoric against the GOP during the Bush years, and it contiues today.

See, Zombie, "
Death Threats Against Bush at Protests Ignored for Years."

Imperial History of the Middle East

God, I love this video:

Hat Tip: William Jacobson, who links to Isreally Cool: "See if you can spot when a palestinian state existed."

Get the link code at
Maps of War.

RELATED: See David Phillips, "The Illegal-Settlements Myth":
The conviction that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are illegal is now so commonly accepted, it hardly seems as though the matter is even open for discussion. But it is. Decades of argument about the issue have obscured the complex nature of the specific legal question about which a supposedly overwhelming verdict of guilty has been rendered against settlement policy. There can be no doubt that this avalanche of negative opinion has been deeply influenced by the settlements’ unpopularity around the world and even within Israel itself. Yet, while one may debate the wisdom of Israeli settlements, the idea that they are imprudent is quite different from branding them as illegal. Indeed, the analysis underlying the conclusion that the settlements violate international law depends entirely on an acceptance of the Palestinian narrative that the West Bank is “Arab” land. Followed to its logical conclusion—as some have done—this narrative precludes the legitimacy of Israel itself.
BONUS: Melanie Phillips, "Israel as Czechoslovakia."

AAPS v. Sebelius

At Fox News, "Medical Society Files Lawsuit to Block Health Care Overhaul":

First, do no harm. Second, sue the government.

With the president's ink barely dry on the health care overhaul's final fixes, a group of nearly 5,000 American physicians is filing suit to stop the mammoth new law dead in its tracks.

"I think this bill that passed threatens not only to destroy our freedom in medicine but to bankrupt the country," said Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

The Arizona-based medical coalition filed suit on March 26, arguing that congressional reforms illegally coerce individuals into buying insurance from private companies.

Starting in 2014, anyone who chooses not to buy health insurance faces a small federal penalty, but in 2016 the fine jumps to $695 a year per person or 2.5 percent of overall income, whichever is greater. That means that anyone earning more than $27,800 would be subject to increasing penalties, with a maximum fine of $2,085 per family.

Supporters of the law call it a simple tax meant to shore up coverage nationwide; but the AAPS says the mandate is an "unprecedented overreach" — an unconstitutional grab that rewards insurance companies and allows the federal government to seize private property in violation of the 5th Amendment.
See also, MAINFO, "Physicians Sue to Stop Obamacare."

Bottom Line Up Front, "Sebelius-Obamacare Will Raise Taxes on Small Businesses Making Over $200K."

GOP Wary of Health Law Repeal Push in Fall Races" (via Memeorandum).

Jacob Laksin Interview at FrontPage Magazine

Jacob Laksin, the managing editor at Frontpage Magazine, is interviewed by Jamie Glazov, "The Threat We Face":
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Jacob Laksin, the managing editor of Frontpage Magazine. As a fellow at the Phillips Foundation, he reported about the war on terrorism from East and North Africa and from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He is co-author, with David Horowitz, of One-Party Classroom: How Radical Professors at America’s Top Colleges Indoctrinate Students and Undermine Our Democracy. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Weekly Standard, City Journal, Policy Review, as well as other publications.

FP: Jacob, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

I’d like to talk to you today about your view of the terror war, how the Obama administration is handling it and how a U.S. administration should preferably and ideally be handling it.

I would like to begin this discussion by talking with you about the nature of the threat we face in general. You and I have had a few disagreements (I think) in our own private discussions about Islam and to what extent it represents the “problem” in terms of the enemy we face. Tell us a bit about your thoughts on this issue, in terms of Islam and in what way you deem it to represent, or not represent, “the threat” to us in this terror war. And share with us some of your travels to the Islamic world that have, perhaps, influenced your outlook.

Laksin: First, thank you for having me, Jamie. It’s not often I find myself on this side of an interview, let alone in this space, but the honor is doubly great since one of my favorite interviewers is conducting it.

Islam is a complicated subject but I suppose where we disagree is in our definition of the threat it poses. You believe that Islam is the problem; I think there’s a good deal to that. Robert Spencer and others have made a convincing case that Islam is foundationally less tolerant, more supremacist, and more militant than other major religions and hence presents a unique threat. I’m willing to accept that argument, though more on empirical than doctrinal grounds: Wherever terrorism takes place today, Islam is usually connected. That is surely no coincidence.

But while I agree that Islam as such is a threat, I don’t agree that it is the threat. As I see it, Islamic texts may be immutable but Islam is not monolithic; it is a reflection of the society at large. Thus, Islam in Arabia is very different than Islam in Africa, and the differences are apparent even within the same continent. I’ve drunk boukha (a kind of fig liquor) with educated Muslims in Tunisia who have read the Koran, and I’ve been accosted and forcibly converted to Islam by a Muslim gang of young and likely illiterate thugs in East Africa. (I happen to be an atheist by persuasion, but when it comes to potentially life-threatening situations, I am not a stickler for principle.)

The lesson I draw from those experiences is that culture makes the difference. If you take the hothouse culture of, say, Saudi Arabia – tribal, puritanical, violent, sectarian – you are very likely to get something that resembles Wahhabi Islam. That also means that even if Islam ceased to exist tomorrow, the threat we associate with its terrorist followers would persist. I think this is what T.E. Lawrence was getting at when he wrote so lyrically of Wahabism that:

It was a natural phenomenon, this periodic rise at intervals of little more than a century, of ascetic creeds in central Asia. Always the voteries found their neighbors beliefs cluttered with inessential things, which became impious in the hot imagination of their preachers. Again and again, they had arisen, had taken possession, soul and body, of the tribes…the new creeds flowed like the tides or the changing seasons, each movement with the seeds of early death it its excess of rightness.

I see it similarly. So, while it may sound paradoxical, I think it’s simplistic to blame Islamic texts, which many in the Muslim world have not read – even in Egypt, a relatively modern state by the Arab world’s standards, almost half the population is illiterate – for the threat posed by Islamic extremism. Meanwhile, arguably the worst “Islamic” terrorist organization of the last half century, the Palestinian PLO, was at least notionally secular.

All that said, I think the points of agreement here are more important than the differences. Whether you think that Islam is the problem, or whether you think the culture from which it emerges is the problem, the same policy implications should follow: a reduction in immigration from Muslim countries; a skepticism about the Western world’s ability to transport its values and forms of government to that part of the world; a vigilance about Muslim extremism in the U.S.; and a steadfast support for democratic countries like Israel that live surrounded by the threat. If there can be some agreement on these points, I will accept that the rest is academic. Finally, though I don’t fully agree with the thesis that Islam as a religion is the main threat, I am dismayed that this is considered a fringe view while the idea that Islam is a “religion of peace” enjoys the status of mainstream truth. In a saner, more observant world, that would be reversed.

FP: Thanks Jacob, the debate on whether “Islam is or is not the problem” continues in many places and, obviously, also here at Frontpage and at NewsReal. So, while we disagree on several realms, we aren’t going to engage in a debate on it here today — and that is also not our purpose. For those interested, Robert Spencer has recently crystallized his argument at Newreal, and my own position is pretty much synthesized in my debate with Dinesh D’Souza.

Let’s follow up on the policy implications that you mention should be put in place in countering the threat we face. You point to a reduction in immigration from Muslim countries. Why is this important in your view and how could it be administered, especially in a climate of political correctness – that appears to not only shape the boundaries of national discourse but also the policies of the country?

More at the link.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Overthrow of ObamaCare

From Yuval Levin, at the Weekly Standard, "REPEAL: Why and How Obamacare Must Be Undone":


To see why nothing short of repeal could suffice, we should begin at the core of our health care dilemma ....

Liberals ... propose ways of moving Americans to a more fully public system, by arranging conditions in the health care sector (through a mix of mandates, regulations, taxes, and subsidies) to nudge people toward public coverage, which could be more effectively managed. This is the approach the Democrats originally proposed last year. The idea was to end risk-based insurance by making it essentially illegal for insurers to charge people different prices based on their health, age, or other factors; to force everyone to participate in the system so that the healthy do not wait until they’re sick to buy insurance; to align various insurance reforms in a way that would raise premium costs in the private market; and then to introduce a government-run insurer that, whether through Medicare’s negotiating leverage or through various exemptions from market pressures, could undersell private insurers and so offer an attractive “public option” to people being pushed out of employer plans into an increasingly expensive individual market.

Conservatives opposed this scheme because they believed a public insurer could not introduce efficiencies that would lower prices without brutal rationing of services. Liberals supported it because they thought a public insurer would be fairer and more effective.

But in order to gain 60 votes in the Senate last winter, the Democrats were forced to give up on that public insurer, while leaving the other components of their scheme in place. The result is not even a liberal approach to escalating costs but a ticking time bomb: a scheme that will build up pressure in our private insurance system while offering no escape. Rather than reform a system that everyone agrees is unsustainable, it will subsidize that system and compel participation in it—requiring all Americans to pay ever-growing premiums to insurance companies while doing essentially nothing about the underlying causes of those rising costs.

Liberal health care mavens understand this. When the public option was removed from the health care bill in the Senate, Howard Dean argued in the Washington Post that the bill had become merely a subsidy for insurance companies, and failed completely to control costs. Liberal health care blogger Jon Walker said, “The Senate bill will fail to stop the rapidly approaching meltdown of our health care system, and anyone is a fool for thinking otherwise.” Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos called the bill “unconscionable” and said it lacked “any mechanisms to control costs.”

Indeed, many conservatives, for all their justified opposition to a government takeover of health care, have not yet quite seen the full extent to which this bill will exacerbate the cost problem. It is designed to push people into a system that will not exist—a health care bridge to nowhere—and so will cause premiums to rise and encourage significant dislocation and then will initiate a program of subsidies whose only real answer to the mounting costs of coverage will be to pay them with public dollars and so increase them further. It aims to spend a trillion dollars on subsidies to large insurance companies and the expansion of Medicaid, to micromanage the insurance industry in ways likely only to raise premiums further, to cut Medicare benefits without using the money to shore up the program or reduce the deficit, and to raise taxes on employment, investment, and medical research.

The case for averting all of that could hardly be stronger. And the nature of the new law means that it must be undone—not trimmed at the edges. Once implemented fully, it would fairly quickly force a crisis that would require another significant reform. Liberals would seek to use that crisis, or the prospect of it, to move the system toward the approach they wanted in the first place: arguing that the only solution to the rising costs they have created is a public insurer they imagine could outlaw the economics of health care. A look at the fiscal collapse of the Medicare system should rid us of the notion that any such approach would work, but it remains the left’s preferred solution, and it is their only plausible next move—indeed, some Democrats led by Iowa senator Tom Harkin have already begun talking about adding a public insurance option to the plan next year.

Because Obamacare embodies a rejection of incrementalism, it cannot be improved in small steps. Fixing our health care system in the wake of the program’s enactment will require a big step—repeal of the law before most of it takes hold—followed by incremental reforms addressing the public’s real concerns.

Also, at USA Today, "
Health Care Law Too costly, Most Say":

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the health care overhaul signed into law last week costs too much and expands the government's role in health care too far, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, underscoring an uphill selling job ahead for President Obama and congressional Democrats ...
RELATED HOPINESS: At NYT, "Obama Defends Health Care Law" (via Memeorandum). And at WSJ, "Obama Steps Up Confrontation."

Yeah. That'll work.

The Radicalization of Israel's Arabs

From Carolyn Glick:


As the local and international press corps converged on Jerusalem’s Old City to cover the Arab riots at the Temple Mount two weeks ago, little mention was made of the fact that Jerusalem was not the only flashpoint. In Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israeli Arab rioters supported by far-left protesters stoned buses. Israeli Arabs firebombed motorists on Highway 443 and on the roads to Beersheba. In the North, cars were stoned.

These little-reported attacks are the consequence of one of the most dangerous emerging threats to Israel’s national survival: the rapidly escalating radicalization of Israel’s Arab citizens.

Over the past decade and at a frenzied pace since the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, acting at least partially at the direction of the Israeli Islamic Movement and with the active support of the far left, Israeli Arabs and Beduin have launched a massive assault on the state. The relevant national authorities including the courts, the state prosecution, the police, the IDF, the Jewish National Fund, the Israel Lands Authority and the Ministry of Interior have failed to defend against it.

Firebombing Jewish-owned vehicles is small potatoes in comparison to developments at the center of mass of the Israeli Arab onslaught: state land. Over the past decade, Israeli Arabs have seized millions of dunams of state land.

The dimensions of this phenomenon were spelled out in last year’s State Comptroller’s Report. While the local and international Left pillories Israel when the state tries to demolish a handful of the thousands of illegal Arab buildings in Jerusalem, what goes unmentioned is that by the end of 2007 there were more than 100,000 illegally built structures in Israel. The overwhelming majority were constructed on state land seized by Arab land thieves in the Negev and the Galilee. By the end of 2009, the number of illegal buildings grew to an estimated 150,000. The scope of the theft is so vast that the Comptroller’s Report referred to it as a “national scourge.”

Most of the open land in Israel is owned by the state and administered by farmers, ranchers and the IDF. Farmers and ranchers – particularly in the North and the South, but in areas around Jerusalem as well – are daily terrorized by neighboring Arab thieves. The thieves destroy their fences, steal and slaughter their livestock and threaten to murder them if they raise any objections, mend their fences or install surveillance cameras. Many farmers and ranchers – like most business owners around Beersheba and Upper Nazareth – are coerced into paying protection money to the same Arab gangs who target their fields.

As the Comptroller’s Report makes clear, the threatened and abused farmers have no official body to turn to for help. While incidence of land theft has increased more than 50 percent in recent years, enforcement measures at all levels have decreased by 81%. In 2007, courts issued just 5,400 judgments on illegal construction. Of these, only 193 led to demolition orders. And just a handful of those orders were carried out.

Israel has no official policy for contending with the problem. A police unit formed specifically to enforce land laws has only recruited 55% of its allotted personnel and most of those 64 policemen devote their energies to routine policing duties.
More at the link.

Jaime Escalante, 1930-2010

At LAT, "Jaime Escalante dies at 79; math teacher who challenged East L.A. students to 'Stand and Deliver'." Note this in particular:


Escalante's rise came during an era decried by experts as one of alarming mediocrity in the nation's schools. He pushed for tougher standards and accountability for students and educators, often irritating colleagues and parents along the way with his brusque manner and uncompromising stands.

He was called a traitor for his opposition to bilingual education. He said the hate mail he received for championing Proposition 227, the successful 1998 ballot measure to dismantle bilingual programs in California, was a factor in his decision to retire that year after leaving Garfield and teaching at Hiram Johnson High School in Sacramento for seven years.

He moved back to Bolivia, where he propelled himself into a classroom again, apparently intent on fulfilling a vow to die doing what he knew best -- teach. But he returned frequently to the United States to speak to education groups and continued to ally himself with conservative politics. He considered becoming an education advisor to President George W. Bush, and in 2003 signed on as an education consultant for Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign in California.

Lady Gaga Versus Mideast Peace

From Bret Stephens:

Pop quiz—What does more to galvanize radical anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world: (a) Israeli settlements on the West Bank; or (b) a Lady Gaga music video?

If your answer is (b) it means you probably have a grasp of the historical roots of modern jihadism. If, however, you answered (a), then congratulations: You are perfectly in synch with the new Beltway conventional wisdom, now jointly defined by Pat Buchanan and his strange bedfellows within the Obama administration.

What is that wisdom? In a March 26 column in Human Events, Mr. Buchanan put the case with his usual subtlety:

"Each new report of settlement expansion," he wrote, "each new seizure of Palestinian property, each new West Bank clash between Palestinians and Israeli troops inflames the Arab street, humiliates our Arab allies, exposes America as a weakling that cannot stand up to Israel, and imperils our troops and their mission in Afghanistan and Iraq."

View Full Image
Associated Press Lady Gaga at the 2009 MTV music awards. The global jihad disapproves.
Mr. Buchanan was playing off a story in the Israeli press that Vice President Joe Biden had warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "what you're doing here [in the West Bank] undermines the security of our troops." Also in the mix was a story that Centcom commander David Petraeus had cited Arab-Israeli tensions as the key impediment to wider progress in the region. Both reports were later denied—in Mr. Biden's case, via Rahm Emanuel; in Gen. Petraeus's case, personally and forcefully—but the important point is how eagerly they were believed. If you're of the view that Israel is the root cause of everything that ails the Middle East—think of it as global warming in Hebrew form—then nothing so powerfully makes the case against the Jewish state as a flag-draped American coffin.

Now consider Lady Gaga—or, if you prefer, Madonna, Farrah Fawcett, Marilyn Monroe, Josephine Baker or any other American woman who has, at one time or another, personified what the Egyptian Islamist writer Sayyid Qutb once called "the American Temptress."

Qutb, for those unfamiliar with the name, is widely considered the intellectual godfather of al Qaeda; his 30-volume exegesis "In the Shade of the Quran" is canonical in jihadist circles. But Qutb, who spent time as a student in Colorado in the late 1940s, also decisively shaped jihadist views about the U.S.

In his 1951 essay "The America I Have Seen," Qutb gave his account of the U.S. "in the scale of human values." "I fear," he wrote, "that a balance may not exist between America's material greatness and the quality of her people." Qutb was particularly exercised by what he saw as the "primitiveness" of American values, not least in matters of sex.

"The American girl," he noted, "knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs and she shows all this and does not hide it." Nor did he approve of Jazz—"this music the savage bushmen created to satisfy their primitive desires"—or of American films, or clothes, or haircuts, or food. It was all, in his eyes, equally wretched.

Qutb's disdain for America's supposedly libertine culture would not matter much were it not wedded to a kind of theological Leninism that emphasized the necessity of violently overthrowing any political arrangement not based on Shariah law. No less violent was Qutb's attitude toward Jews: "The war the Jews began to wage against Islam and Muslims in those early days [of Islamic history]," he wrote in the 1950s, "has raged to the present. The form and appearance may have changed, but the nature and the means remain the same."
RTWT. (Via Memeorandum.)

See also,
Betsy Newmark.

America's First Principles

From, We STILL Hold These Truths:

We Still Hold These Truths

In many circles, especially among the learned elites of our universities and law schools—those who teach the next generation, shape our popular culture, and set the terms of our political discourse—the selfevident truths upon which America depends have been supplanted by the passionately held belief that no such truths exist, certainly no truths applicable to all time. Over the past century the federal government has lost much of its mooring, and today acts with little regard for the limits placed upon it by the Constitution, which many now regard as obsolete. On both the Left and the Right, our political leaders are increasingly unsure of their way, speaking in inspiring generalities, all the while mired in small-minded politics and petty debates. As a nation, we are left divided about our own meaning, unable—perhaps unwilling—to defend our ideas, our institutions, and maybe even ourselves.

From the decline of civic education to the rise of a politics of government dependency, these societal problems are rooted in a deep confusion about the meaning and status of America’s core principles. In the midst of the many challenges we face—unsustainable spending and increasing debt, the future burden of social welfare entitlements, national security in a dangerous world—the real crisis that tears at the American soul is not a lack of courage or solutions as much as a loss of conviction. Do we still hold these truths? Do the principles that inspired the American Founding retain their relevance in the twenty-fi rst century? We will find it difficult to know what to do and how to do it as long as we are not sure who we are and what we believe.
The first chapter is here. And the Amazon link is here.

Hat Tip:

Patriots Guide: What You Can Do for Your Country."

The New Racial Intolerance

From Victor Davis Hanson:

Shout Racist

There is a new racial tension not present a year ago, one having nothing to do with the election of the nation’s first President of partial African ancestry. Instead, never in my experience have officials of the federal government, both in the campaign leading up to their governance and once in office, so deliberately chosen to polarize the country along racial lines.

In retrospect, it seems a sort of nightmare these now serial outbursts of our officials — “typical white person,” “clingers,” “cowards,” police who “stereotype” and act “stupidly,” “wise Latina,” “white polluters,” framed by the President’s pastor and once spiritual Audacity-of-Hope mentor screaming “God D— America,” bookended by hyper-racial comments of a Harry Reid or Joe Biden about Negro accents and cleanliness.

And, of course, soon followed the slurs and smears of those in the media accusing almost every opponent at sometime of being a “racist,” a word that now has as much currency as a German Mark around 1929.

Opposition to health care, cap and trade, illegal immigration, everything I think soon, is being reformulated as antipathy to some sort of Civil Rights issues akin to the legislation of the 1960s. Almost daily now a major media columnist writes an essay alleging someone is racist, or there are subtle racist thoughts behind a type of opposition or protest. “Racist” is a 1950s sort of allegation, an instantaneous judge/jury/executioner/no-appeal condemnation. How Orwellian that the most racist members of American society, who built entire careers of fabricating evidence and defaming opponents — an Al Sharpton, for example — have become go-to national referees of suspected bias. How weirder that one just pledges allegiance to the new agenda, and suddenly one is both more likely to say something racist in Reid- or Biden-fashion, and yet it is not racist at all

Code Pink Terror-Enablers Shout Down Karl Rove at Beverly Hills Book Signing!

God, what is happening to this country? And it's Jodi Evans too, President Obama's liaison to the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

At CBS Los Angeles, "
Rove Gets Branded 'War Criminal' At Book Signing," and Weasel Zippers, "Video: Code Pink Co-Founder and Top Obama Fundraiser Jodie Evans Tries to "Arrest" Karl Rove..." (Via Memeoerandum.)

And from Michelle, "
Code Pink Mob Shuts Down Rove Book Event":
They’re baaaaaack in full force. The speech-stifling, original angry mob of Code Pinkos shouted down Karl Rove during a book tour event in Beverly Hills tonight — forcing him to cut his remarks short and leave before attendees could get their books signed. Code Pink co-founder/terror-coddler/Obama funder Jodie Evans pulled her old “citizens’ arrest” prank and stormed right up to Rove with handcuffs. She and other members tried to incite the crowd with shouts of “war criminal”

Mama Said Knock You Out! Sarah Palin to Host First Fox News Show With LL Cool J!

At Mediaite, "Sarah Palin To Host First Fox News Show Thursday – With LL Cool J," via Memeorandum:

This is not an April Fool’s joke. Sarah Palin will take her first stab at television hosting when she fronts a new Fox News series, Real American Stories, premiering Thursday April 1 at 10pmET.

Guests for the first show include country singer Toby Keith, rapper/actor LL Cool J and Jack Welch. Get excited.

The show will “focus on a range of such stories including a Marine Medal of Honor recipient who gave his live to save his comrades.” But also there will be the celebrity guests – a very broad range of celebrity guests.

Airing in place of On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, the prime time spot ensures a large audience. And depending on just how large, we could see a lot more of Palin hosting on Fox News.

The program re-airs Sunday at 9pmET.

Also at Mediaite, " Still Surging: Fox News Has Best Quarter In Network History."

Harry Reid Thugs Threaten Andrew Breitbart!

Lots of video at Founding Bloggers. The first below captures the in-your-face threat made by a violent Harry Reid support as the Tea Party Express was rolling into Searchlight. See, "BREAKING VIDEO: Reid Supporters Throwing Eggs And Assaulting Andrew Breitbart":

Plus, also at Founding Bloggers, "MORE SEARCHLIGHT VIDEO – Union Thug Accuses Breitbart of Racism." This one is particularly thuggish. The black fellow argues that the "demographics in this country have changed ... your way of thinking is over." That's more of the conservatism is inherently racist cant. Man, that's bad:

Plus, see also, "(UPDATED) VIDEO – The Egg Man Of Searchlight, Nevada." (Via Memorandum.)

Allahpundit resists generalization, but this thuggery is totally commonplace on the hard left. We've been seeing these demons in action for over a year now.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Left/Right Divide: Which Side Would You Choose?

Zombie and I are on the same wavelength, since I've been thinking about the exact same thing all week. See his entry, "Searchlight vs. L.A.: Rival Rallies Reveal Stark Right/Left Divide":


On March 27, 2010, thousands of people gathered in the small town of Searchlight, Nevada, for a political rally.

Just 250 miles away and seven days earlier, there was another political rally of similar size in Los Angeles on March 20, 2010.

The Searchlight rally was generally oriented toward the political “right.”

The Los Angeles rally was generally oriented toward the political “left.”

Now, if you had only the entrenched media as your sole source of information about these rallies, you might likely assume (without even bothering to investigate) that the right-wing rally was an epicenter of hate, racism and craziness, whereas the left-wing rally was undoubtedly about peace, tolerance and rationalism.

Luckily, we no longer have to rely on the mainstream media. In both cases, citizen journalist bloggers were on hand to document the proceedings with eye-opening photo essays:

El Marco: Tea Party Express rally, Searchlight, March 27

Ringo: Anti-war rally, Los Angeles, March 20

Two rallies, not very far apart in time or location — and yet they couldn’t be more different.

I consider myself neither left-wing nor right-wing, and I disagree with one side or the other on various issues — but after viewing these images, I don’t think there’s any question where I’d feel more at ease.

Below is a sampling of images from each rally. (Click on the links above for the full reports.) Scan them and tell me: At which rally would you feel more comfortable?

Show this essay to people you know who are liberals, or conservatives, or middle-of-the-roaders, and ask them: In all honesty, if you had to choose to be associated with the protesters at either rally, which would make you least embarrassed?

They say you are defined by the company you keep. Time to choose ...

I wanted to post it earlier in any case, so I've only included El Marco's photograph of Hannah Giles at top. His full essay is here.

Zombie's got more pictures at
his entry, and visit Ringo's Pictures as well.

And recall my coverage of the Hollywood protest, "
Stop the Wars! - ANSWER L.A. 'U.S. Out of Afghanistan and Iraq' - March 20, 2010."

And thanks to my dear readers for tuning in here. I'll be back tomorrow with more commentary and analysis.

Oh, Let the Sun Beat Down Upon My Face, Stars Fill My Dreams...

I've been meaning to post on Led Zeppelin since early February, when AOSHQ wrote about Jimmy Page, where he confesses, speaking of the documentary "It Might Get Loud", "This movie really made me want to listen to Zeppelin again...."

I actually used to listen to Led Zeppelin a lot, because I was in high school during the late-1970s, when the band was perhaps at their peak, and their music was inextricably bound with the culture of the day. Still, I hadn't yet become the music bibliophile that I was to became, and Zeppelin's discography remains to this day somewhat amorphous to my rock-and-roll sensibilities. In any case, last week while driving to work, 100.3 The Sound played the entire Side 2 of Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti. So, please enjoy the last song there, "Kashmir":

As always, check out Theo Spark's, "Bedtime Totty ..." Plus, from Anton at PA Pundits International, "Sunday Music – Nessun Dorma."

BONUS DIVERSION: Sir Smitty, "Democracy as an Obstruction to Swift Action is a Valid Point."

RELATED: It turns out that "Kashmir" is on John King's playlist.

On the New Rules of War...

I critiqued John Arquilla's recent essay at Foreign Policy in my piece, "Debating the New Rules of War."

Well, you can hear him elaborate on his theories at the video, from Peter Robinson, "
New rules of war with Hanson and Arquilla":

Also, Victor Davis Hanson, who joins the debate, has a new book out, Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome.

Making Sense of ObamaCare

The New York Times isn't the best source of information on the Democratic healthcare agenda (especially if you've been reading the exceptional analyses at The Heritage Foundation), although they've got a couple of interesting features up tonight. Let's call them food for thought.

First, a bunch of stuff from the medical angle, "
Making Sense of the Health Care Law."

But see especially, "
Early Diagnoses of the New Law." I liked this analysis:
William H. Dow

Associate professor, University of California, Berkeley.

Expanding health insurance to 32 million more people will greatly strengthen our country’s safety net. The reforms will also improve the health of many of those currently uninsured, addressing a national disgrace: the premature deaths of uninsured people who cannot get medical care.

But inadequate health care accounts for just 10 percent of premature mortality. Even with these reforms, our populationwide health indicators will continue to trail those of other developed countries.

Significant improvements in life expectancy will require turning our attention to underlying social determinants that lead people to fall ill in the first place. The next major social policy fight should concentrate on the single most important factor that research suggests will improve the health of the next generation: investing in the education of disadvantaged youth.
The "education of disadvantaged youth" would be my first-pick domestic priority if I could have any wish, and I've said so at the blog repeatedly. What's especially interesting is that a number of the commentators at NYT are seriously questioning the ObamaCare legislation, especially its facility in expanding real health insurance coverage. But this was passed by the Obama administration, and if these idiots have proven anything, it's that no ambition to expand the state and the scale of nationalization is too small.

Senator Al Franken Unhinged

Yesterday I just posted the link to Jason Mattera's Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation at the sidebar. I'm looking forward to reading it. Meanwhile, the guy's getting some play today with his priceless takedown of Senator Al Franken, "Franken Unhinged: Shutting Up Staffers and Journalist":

Rightwing Extremism is Serious: And Boy, Lucky They Didn't Take Down a Skyscraper or Two ... or Something*

Geez, I'm getting linked by lefty media folks all over the place this week. But I wonder if idiots like JBW are gonna hammer Alan Colmes for his verboten cut-and-paste hack job, "Why Are Some Right-Wingers Defending Terror Suspects?":


Is terrorism only terrorism when it’s instigated by Muslims? It seems so, to those who want to give a pass to so-called “Christian” militia groups, but make excuses when it’s right-wing alleged offenders. Nine militia group members were arrested over the weekend, with charges such as seditious conspiracy and use of WMD. So is the anti-terror crowd pleased with the FBI’s good work? Not quite.
I seriously doubt Mr. Colmes read my essay cited at the link, or the FDL airhead who linked it in the first place. (Although, checking the posts, I'm listed right up there with Glenn Reynolds -- so there's that at least.) These folks need some kind of PR victory these days, so exploiting the arrests of some obscure militia sounds about right. Of course, it'd make my day if Janet Napolitano put as much effort into interdicting terrorists like Malik Nadal Hasan and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, to say nothing of securing the border.

But hey, can't say she didn't telescope her intentions: "
Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment."

* And just in case anyone snarks, rightwing militias are indeed a serious threat. My point is that perhaps Democratic-leftists might widen their field of vision to also take serious the threat from Islamic jihad domestically... some day, perhaps.

RELATED: At NYT, "9 Tied to Militia Charged in Plot to Murder Officers." (Via Memeorandum.)

Also, from Brian Doherty, "
The Hutaree Arrest and Getting Tough on Terror From Left and Right."

Voyeur West Hollywood's Understated Elegance

A Michael Steele/RNC/Voyeur West Hollywood roundup:

The Washington Post reports on the RNC S&M controversy, "
FEC report details lavish Republican spending, including nearly $2,000 at Voyeur West Hollywood." And at Huffington Post, "Michael Steele Called Tone Deaf By GOP Brass, Urged to Resign."


But what really caught my attention was this passage, from HuffPo, on the "understated elegance" of Voyeur West Hollywood, where RNC insiders and staff visited (although Michael Steele is said not to have attended the club):
The girl at the door sent us in right away and told us to go to a table by the bar and get some free Champagne. Seriously. This club is amazing. There are topless "dancers" acting out S&M scenes throughout the night on one of the side stages, there's a half-naked girl hanging from a net across the ceiling and at one point I walked to the bathroom and pretty much just stopped dead in my tracks to watch two girls simulating oral sex in a glass case.

Really understated elegance here.

Also, Lindsay Lohan was at our table at one point.
Plus, Michelle posts screencaps of Erik Brown's now-defunct Twitter page:


Via Memeorandum.

It turns out that Erik Brown's set to pay back the RNC, "
GOP consultant who charged 2K to RNC at risque nightclub to return $."

See also the Daily Caller, "
Just a Peek: RNC-funded trip to 'Voyeur' club was an after-party for up-and-coming GOP donors."

Sarah Palin and Reaganite Neoconservatism

Some time back I published, at RealClearPolitics, "Sarah Palin, Neoconservative." As noted there, Palin represents the best of Reaganite neoconservatism.

Thus I'm really excited to see that theme echoed by Norman Podhoretz, at WSJ, "
In Defense of Sarah Palin: She understands that the U.S. has been a force for good in the world—which is more than can be said of our president."


What I am trying to say is not that Sarah Palin would necessarily make a great president but that the criteria by which she is being judged by her conservative critics—never mind the deranged hatred she inspires on the left—tell us next to nothing about the kind of president she would make.

Take, for example, foreign policy. True, she seems to know very little about international affairs, but expertise in this area is no guarantee of wise leadership. After all, her rival for the vice presidency, who in some sense knows a great deal, was wrong on almost every major issue that arose in the 30 years he spent in the Senate.

What she does know—and in this respect, she does resemble Reagan—is that the United States has been a force for good in the world, which is more than Barack Obama, whose IQ is no doubt higher than hers, has yet to learn. Jimmy Carter also has a high IQ, which did not prevent him from becoming one of the worst presidents in American history, and so does Bill Clinton, which did not prevent him from befouling the presidential nest.

Unlike her enemies on the left, the conservative opponents of Mrs. Palin are a little puzzling. After all, except for its greater intensity, the response to her on the left is of a piece with the liberal hatred of Richard Nixon, Reagan and George W. Bush. It was a hatred that had less to do with differences over policy than with the conviction that these men were usurpers who, by mobilizing all the most retrograde elements of American society, had stolen the country from its rightful (liberal) rulers. But to a much greater extent than Nixon, Reagan and George W. Bush, Sarah Palin is in her very being the embodiment of those retrograde forces and therefore potentially even more dangerous.

I think that this is what, conversely, also accounts for the tremendous enthusiasm she has aroused among ordinary conservatives. They rightly see her as one of them, only better able and better positioned to stand up against the contempt and condescension of the liberal elites that were so perfectly exemplified by Mr. Obama's notorious remark in 2008 about people like them: "And it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Be sure to read it all.

It's not just leftists who reject Palin, but the "conservative intellectuals" as well.

Photo Credit: El Marco, "
Showdown in Searchlight: Sarah Palin Pals around with Patriots in the Nevada Desert."

Female Suicide Bombers Kill Dozens in Moscow Subway Attacks!

Graphic images of this morning's dual suicide bombings at Russia's Life News website:

The first explosion occurred at a time when the train doors opened, people began to leave, and others - to enter into the car - told Life News police officer, visited the place of the attack.

- I was in a nearby car when the explosion occurred - told the passenger "Red Arrows", blasted the "Lubyanka." - Next door wagon literally turned out. At least 15 people were killed immediately.
See also, "Moscow Commuters Post Grim Video and Photos Online After Bombings."

Plus, CNN's report is here, "
Female suicide bombers blamed in Moscow subway attacks" (via Memeorandum):

See Michelle's post as well, "Jihadi Subway Bombing Horror in Russia…Again."