Friday, September 30, 2011

Anti-American Glenn Greenwald Responds to Awlaki Strike on Democracy Now!

I linked Greenwald early this morning, freakin' ASFL.

And here's this, perfectly said, at Jawa Report, "If It Were 1945, Glenn Greenwald and the Left Would Be Lamenting the Death of Hitler":
But this a$$magot has nothing to write about the victims of al Awlaki and other terrorists. His only concern is that the terrorists didn't get 'due process'...

Sometimes there's a downside to the 1st Amendment, and it's having to listen to drivel like this. And yes, I will continue to cheer the death of terrorists, whether they were once a fellow American citizen or not.

Be sure to watch the interview, if you can, where Greenwald speaks so proudly of al Awlaki's radicalism and seemingly justifies terrorism in response to U.S. aggression in Iraq.

Greenwald hates America. He routinely attacks American policy as equivalent to the Nazis. What's amazing is how well his hate goes over. But that's the left for you.

RELATED: At National Journal, "No Due Process in Awlaki's Killing, Civil Libertarians Worry," and at New York Times, "Awlaki Killing Incites Criticism on Left and Libertarian Right."

Ron Paul Decries Awlaki Killing

It's just too predictable. Is there any use of force this clown won't decry?

At LAT, "Ron Paul criticizes Obama for U.S. role in killing of Awlaki."

Manager Terry Francona Out at Boston Red Sox

End of an era.

And was he fired? So far it appears that the decision was mutual.

At Boston Herald, "Terry Francona on leaving Red Sox: 'It's time for a new voice'." And USA Today, "Terry Francona, saying Boston 'wears on you,' out as Red Sox manager."

And from yesterday's Wall Street Journal, "Red Sox Self-Destruction Complete."

RELATED: At Palm Beach Post, "The craziest night in baseball history? This might have been it."

U.S. Jihadi Samir Khan Killed in Awlaki Drone Strike in Yemen

This really is an significant bonus to the story.

Background at WaPo, "A ‘proud traitor’: Samir Khan reported dead alongside Aulaqi":
A Saudi-born American of Pakistani heritage who was raised in Queens, N.Y., was reportedly among those killed in a U.S. drone strike targeting radical cleric and fellow U.S. citizen Anwar al-Aulaqi.

A self-proclaimed traitor to America, Samir Khan contributed to the efforts of al-Qaeda’s Yemen offshoot to promote itself among English-speakers. He was apparently a major force behind the widely-read English-language magazine Inspire, a mixture of ideology, first-person accounts of operations and do-it-yourself jihad advice. Copies of the magazine’s bomb-making and other sections have been found in the possession of several would-be attackers in the U.S. and Britain.

“I am proud to be a traitor to America,” wrote Khan, 25, in an article in the second issue of the online magazine, published in fall last year. He described his life as working in the “jihadi media sector” in North Carolina, before his beliefs turned him into a “rebel of Washington’s imperialism.” He believed FBI agents were watching him in America, including a man who feigned a conversion to Islam, and one who antagonized him, sparking a fist-fight about his online work.
And more background at this 2007 piece from New York Times, "An Internet Jihad Aims at U.S. Viewers."

And don't miss Michelle Malkin's post, "Second U.S. jihadi reportedly killed in drone attack; Plus: Refresher course on American bloggers vs. Samir Khan." She honors the work of Jawa Report, the blog that's been on the trail of Samir Khan for years, and whose publisher Rusty Shackleford was targeted by with death threats. See the post there: "American Traitor Anwar al-Awlaki Killed in Yemen! Upd: SAMIR KHAN, Threatened Rusty's Family, Dead! Obama Confirms, Awlaki DEAD -- Now with More Cowbell, M.C. Hammer Online Jihadis Confirm: Samir Khan Dead! Fingerprints Confirm!"

Anwar al-Awlaki Killed in Yemen


Also at Jawa Report, "Anwar al-Awlaki Killed in Yemen." (Via Memeorandum.) And New York Times, "U.S.-Born Qaeda Leader Killed in Yemen":
SANA, Yemen — In a significant and dramatic strike in the campaign against Al Qaeda, the Defense Ministry here said American-born preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, a leading figure in the group’s outpost in Yemen, was killed on Friday morning.

In Washington a senior Obama administration official confirmed that Mr. Awlaki was dead. But the circumstances surrounding the killing remained unclear.

It was not immediately known whether Yemeni forces carried out the attack or if American intelligence forces, which have been pursuing Mr. Awlaki for months, were involved in the operation.

A Defense Ministry statement said that a number of Mr. Awlaki’s bodyguards also were killed.

A high-ranking Yemeni security official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that Mr. Awlaki was killed while traveling between Marib and al-Jawf provinces in northern Yemen — areas known for having an Al Qaeda presence, where there is very little central government control. The official did not say how he was killed.

Mr. Awlaki’s name has been associated with many plots in the United States and elsewhere after individuals planning violence were drawn to his engaging lectures broadcast over the Internet.

Those individuals included Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 shootings at Fort Hood, Texas in which 13 people were killed; the young men who planned to attack Fort Dix, N.J.; and a 21-year-old British student who told the police she stabbed a member of Parliament after watching 100 hours of Awlaki videos.
Updates forthcoming...

I was expecting this, but not this quick. From knee-jerk progressive anti-American Glenn Greenwald, "The due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality." And from international relations expert Stephanie Carvin, "Anwar al-Awlaki and Targeted Killing: A quick, first, and uneasy reaction":
I must admit that I am somewhat troubled by this turn of events. Earlier this year I suggested that the targeted killing of bin Laden was acceptable under international law. He’s been linked to the financing and organising of terrorist attacks around the world and this was well established before his death.

But I have yet to see any reports that suggest that Awlaki has been tied to any material support for terrorist attacks. I think this changes the legal game substantially. It essentially is suggesting that *we* (whoever that is) are now targeting people for their ideas rather than they are actually doing. Pushed to its logical extreme, a person might unintentionally inspire others to commit violent acts. Should they be eliminated?

I’m no fan of Awlaki and I will certainly not mourn his passing, (really – he seems like a total jerk) but this raises serious questions about the targeted killing program, who is being targeted and why. Presumably, in the case of targeted killing, its important there is evidence BEFORE the killing, rather than a scrabble now to piece together a case, after the fact.

I hope there is evidence that he actually materially supported terrorism.
Well, the poor guy!

More, from Jake Tapper, at ABC News, "Officials Thought They Might Kill Awlaki on 9/11 Anniversary."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Missed Jonathan Tobin's Post on John Mearsheimer...

See Tobin's brief essay at Commentary, "Mearsheimer’s Vanishing Veneer of Respectability." This part is excellent:
The author of the book Mearsheimer admires is Gilad Atzmon, an ex-Israeli who not only doubts the truth of the Holocaust but also thinks the Jews persecuted Hitler and Nazi persecution of the Jews was justified. For Atzmon, any expression of Jewish identity is tantamount to racism. He believes Israel is worse than Nazi Germany. His hatred of his own people has even motivated him to claim medieval blood libels might have been true, and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion provides historical insights about the Jews.
The Israel Lobby was itself a typical example of anti-Semitic invective in the way it sought to delegitimize Israel’s American supporters and to single them out as sinister forces undermining democracy. But because its authors were two distinguished academics, they were able to cloak their prejudice in more respectable garb. One can only hope Mearsheimer’s endorsement of Atzmon helps to strip away that unjustified veneer of respectability that continues to attach to the authors’ work.
That ties in pretty well with my remarks at "The Tragedy of John Mearsheimer." Both Mearsheimer and Walt are scholars I admired. But in the end my ignorance is inexcusable. I long viewed The Israel Lobby through the lens of pluralist political science, perhaps out of deference for these "two distinguished academics." But it's not looking good for Mearsheimer. Even hardline anti-Zionists are throwing him under the bus. It's devastating, as noted previously.

See also the update from David Bernstein, "John Mearsheimer and Gilad Atzmon Update." And earlier at Israel Matzav, "John Mearsheimer comes out of the closet." (Apparently not all the BDS types have bailed on Atzmon.)

Flyin' Saucers Rock 'n' Roll

Here's the live clip with Brian Setzer:

But listen to Robert Gordon's version, with the incredible Link Wray on guitar. The song was first recorded by Billy Lee Riley and His Little Green Men, and here's this from Wikipedia:
In the early 1970s, Riley quit music to return to Arkansas to begin his own construction business. In 1978 "Red Hot" and "Flyin' Saucers Rock 'n' Roll" were covered by Robert Gordon and Link Wray, which led to a one-off performance in Memphis in 1979, the success of which led to further recording at Sun Studio and a full-time return to performing.

Rediscovered by Bob Dylan in 1992, who had been a fan since 1956, Riley played rock and roll, blues and country-blues.

His album Hot Damn! (Capricorn, 1997) was nominated for a Grammy Award.
That is so cool.

Zombie Covers Berkeley Affirmative Action Bake Sale

One of his best ever!

See: "Racist Cupcakes? Berkeley Erupts over Affirmative Action Satire."



Zombie says that the "privilege" line is actually a class issue, not race. But not really, not for progressives. Race is class. Just look at those signs. Indeed, racism is all progressives have. Well, they had the antiwar movement too, but --- except for perhaps the most hardened communists --- they hypocritically abandoned it when the first black president took office. Amazing consistency. ASFLs.

Antonio Johnson Donates Kidney to Grandmother — After Being Killed in Drive-By Shooting

This story is sad, yet with some hope thrown in.

What's so striking is that the boy offered to donate a kidney before he died, although his mom said no. His grandmother herself "was paralyzed decades ago when she was struck by a stray bullet."

Again, these are longstanding problems, but for the life of me we never hear the president speak out on such chronic violence afflicting the black community. It's going to be one of this administration's biggest moral failings.

At Chicago Tribune, "Slain teen's kidney donated to ailing grandmother."

MSNBC Falling to Third Place in Cable Ratings

Well, yeah.

With socialist news anchors like Lawrence O'Donnell interviewing idiot socialist filmmaker hypocrites like Michael Moore, what could go wrong?

At New York Times, "MSNBC Is Close to Falling to Third Place in Cable News Ratings":

How badly has MSNBC been hurt by the loss of Keith Olbermann? Enough, apparently, to be on the verge of falling back into third place among the cable news networks.

The ratings results for the month of September show that CNN, long relegated to third place in the prime-time cable news competition, is edging its way back up, while MSNBC is moving in the other direction.

For the month, CNN averaged 257,000 viewers in prime time in the category that counts most to the networks — viewers between the ages of 25 and 54 — because that is where the advertising money goes for news programming. MSNBC was just barely ahead with 269,000 viewers. (Neither approached the leader, Fox News, with 526,000).

Both CNN and MSNBC had one especially strong night because of the Republican presidential debates. With those excluded, however, CNN beat MSNBC, 219,000 to 207,000. A year ago, when Mr. Olbermann still occupied the 8 p.m. hour, MSNBC edged CNN by 83,000 viewers, with 256,000 viewers for MSNBC to 173,000 for CNN.

The change in the September ratings was most noticeable at 8 p.m., where CNN has moved its best-known host, Anderson Cooper. The network’s performance during that hour has improved by 38 percent over last year, growing to 215,000 viewers from 156,000.

On MSNBC, meanwhile, Lawrence O’Donnell has lost 100,000 viewers from the numbers Mr. Olbermann posted last September, with 185,000 viewers in the 25-to-54 age group, a drop of 35 percent. (Bill O’Reilly on Fox, as always, dwarfs his competitors with about three times as many viewers, 611,000.)

More ominously, the falloff for Mr. O’Donnell seems to be affecting MSNBC’s biggest name, Rachel Maddow. Her audience dropped 15 percent this year, to 245,000 from 289,000. She still beats Piers Morgan on CNN in the 9 p.m. hour, but his show has improved 18 percent over Larry King’s ratings last year, with 193,000 viewers to Mr. King’s 164,000.
Actually, no. Viewers don't want left-wing partisan news shows. Progressives are in power now and people are dying out there, literally, without economic growth and without hope. It's the Democrats' legacy that's being rejecting, because consumers are calling bull on MSNBC's "Lean Forward" news scam.

What a joke.

Michael Coren Interviews Pamela Geller

Via Blazing Cat Fur:

Engineer Climbers Inspect Washington Monument

This is cool.

At LAT, "Washington Monument inspection underway."

Rick Perry Faces Immigration Hurdles in Iowa

I mentioned over the weekend that Rick Perry should expect more attacks on his soft immigration positions.

Well, there's more news, from yesterday at LAT, "Rick Perry backs off 'heartless' comment." And AoSHQ, "Perry: On Second Thought (Or First?), I Shouldn't Have Said You Were Heartless."

And from the other day, at LAT, "Rick Perry's Immigration Record a Tough Sell in Iowa":

It came up unbidden in the crowd of neighbors waiting recently for the Texas governor to drop by Uncle Nancy's Coffeehouse in Newton, the former corporate home of the washing-machine giant Maytag.

"I'm not sure I like Perry's approach to immigration," said Doug Ringger, a retired Maytag marketing man. "That concerns me a little bit — or a lot. I haven't heard him say we need to seal the borders."

Iowa voters are not alone in expressing such concerns, though they might seem jarring in a state whose small towns and cornfields are hundreds of miles from the nation's southern border. The state has faced little of the political turmoil over illegal immigration that has long been a staple of politics in California, Arizona, Texas and other places that are home to greater numbers of undocumented workers.

But the 2008 arrest of nearly 400 illegal immigrants at a meatpacking plant in Postville highlighted the arrival of undocumented workers in Iowa as never before. At the same time, the growth of Iowa's Latino population has sparked discomfort among some of the white conservatives who dominate the Republican caucuses.

Though Iowa remains the sixth-whitest state in America, its Latino population has surged from 33,000 in 1990 to 152,000 last year, census figures show. Even in the absence of precise figures showing how many residents are undocumented, that cultural shift has helped turn illegal immigration into a key issue for Republican caucus voters, said Dennis Goldford, a politics professor at Drake University in Des Moines.

"That presence, particularly with regard to very small-town rural Republicans who tend to think the country they know is disappearing, this becomes a problem for them," Goldford said.
Also: "In Iowa, Anita Perry defends husband's immigration views."

VIDEO: Javier Manjarres, "Rick Perry - “I Am Not for Amnesty”."

Scorning Voting, Protests Surge Globally

At New York Times, "As Scorn for Vote Grows, Protests Surge Around Globe":
MADRID — Hundreds of thousands of disillusioned Indians cheer a rural activist on a hunger strike. Israel reels before the largest street demonstrations in its history. Enraged young people in Spain and Greece take over public squares across their countries.

Their complaints range from corruption to lack of affordable housing and joblessness, common grievances the world over. But from South Asia to the heartland of Europe and now even to Wall Street, these protesters share something else: wariness, even contempt, toward traditional politicians and the democratic political process they preside over.

They are taking to the streets, in part, because they have little faith in the ballot box.

“Our parents are grateful because they’re voting,” said Marta Solanas, 27, referring to older Spaniards’ decades spent under the Franco dictatorship. “We’re the first generation to say that voting is worthless.”
That's a really significant statement, for if voting is considered worthless by whole generations, it could signal a larger shift against democracy itself. Frightening on the one hand, and reflecting a spoiled ignorance on the other, it perhaps signifies a pop cultural fascination with the activist street. What explains this? It's not like we've had a particularly long period of economic dislocation. And the European situation is more drastic than what's happening stateside, so maybe that's not the best example of a widespread trend. Notice for example how the Wall Street protests drew scant participation, compared to the Wisconsin anti-Walker campaigns of earlier this year, as I noted: "The Revolution Does Not Appear to Be Brewing."

In any case, we've got the all-knowing political science establishment to the rescue. See Dan Drezner, "Do networks transform the democratic political process?" (At Memeorandum.) It's transnational issue activism.

Can This Government Be Fixed?

An interesting piece, from Susan Page, at USA Today:
The third threatened government shutdown this year was narrowly averted. Congress' deficit "supercommittee" is apparently on a track to nowhere. And there has been contentious debate but little action on the proposals to help the jobless.

Can this government be fixed?

Americans are increasingly frustrated by the disconnect between what they say they want in their government, and what they see happening in Washington. A majority want compromise; they see polarization. They want economic and other problems addressed; they see gridlock and a series of perils-of-Pauline cliffhangers. By a record 4-1 ratio in a new Gallup Poll, they express dissatisfaction with the way the country is being governed.

"We are in this period of great anxiety because of economic uncertainty … and that has people worried about their future," says Dan Glickman, a former Democratic congressman and Cabinet secretary affiliated with the Bipartisan Policy Center. "What they need is confidence building, and what I don't think they sense from our government system is confidence building. Everything they see is division."

While President Obama and congressional leaders wrestle over immediate crises — a stopgap deal approved by the Senate late Monday has put off the latest budget showdown until Nov. 18 — a growing number of think tanks and advocacy groups with such names as No Labels, Americans Elect, Third Way and are trying to address underlying factors that fuel Washington's partisan stalemate.

The result, he says, has "got people either nervous as hell or disengaged."
Keep reading.

The proposed "solutions" are gimmicks.

For the most part, the government will be fixed when the economy is fixed. The voters need a clear set of alternatives and they need to put a solid majority in power to get things done. Folks thought that was Barack Obama (and the Democrat-Socialist Party), but now even the media elites are saying he "wasn't ready" for the office. Well, duh. Let's give this guy the boot in 2012 and get somebody in there who has a clue, someone who'll fix things --- a conservative who'll fix things. Democrats just make things worse.

Obama Sets Back Race Relations Decades

Awesome, as usual.

From Victor Davis Hanson, at National Review, "Obama’s Racial Crisis." (Via Pundette.)

PREVIOUSLY: "Frustrated Teacher Walks Off the Job in Los Angeles: Metaphor for Obama's Bankrupt Education Policy."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

'I cannot tell you how weary I am of this kind of pretentious s**t...'

That's idiot progressive Barbara O'Brien blabbing about how wonderful the Wisconsin protests have been and how freakin' stupid are the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. Yeah. Great. I made the same argument myself, except I don't differentiate between "stupid protesting and smart protesting." It's all stupid, Barbara. Wisconsin was better organized, but still stupid. But keep plugging away. I'm don't know what CUND Gulag would do without your inane communist ramblings.

The Tragedy of John Mearsheimer

There's been a recent and very significant development involving Professor John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago. A few days ago, Jeffrey Goldberg wrote an entry pointing out that Professor Mearsheimer had written a book blurb for Gilad Atzmon's, The Wandering Who. The title at Goldberg's entry is not subtle: "John Mearsheimer Endorses a Hitler Apologist and Holocaust Revisionist." I hoped to blog something about it, but being the big birthday weekend, I put it off for a bit. In the meantime, a number of other writers have picked up on the story, and the implications for Mearsheimer are nothing short of devastating. In addition to The Israel Lobby, Professor Mearsheimer is the author of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, a work of neorealist international relations theory that received general acclaim in the discipline. The book argues that great power politics is tragic, especially for the leading states in the system, since the structure of the realm impels them to seek greater power and act more aggressively, with revisionist aims for international mastery. Since opposing great powers share the same incentives to offense and expansion, states are fated to perpetual conflict. And thus the prospects are dim for international peace.


I think the prospects for internal peace are dim for Professor Mearsheimer. By that I mean that while both Mearsheimer and his co-author Stephen Walt have received withering criticism since the publication of "The Israel Lobby" in 2006 (and the full-length book in 2007), this latest controversy is a definitive confirmation of the attacks on Mearsheimer by his critics. As will be seen below, amid these developments, I can't imagine how Mearsheimer will ever live down the allegations of anti-Semitism that have followed him for years -- he will be fated to unsuccessfully fighting these battles for the remainder of his career. Personally, I've always held back on making such allegations. I was late to the debate in the first place, and the full weight of all the writings and responses took me a while to absorb. And frankly, there's hardly any more ugly attacks than to call someone anti-Semitic, especially a scholar whose work could be evaluated on scientific grounds. But I can't any longer make those arguments in good faith. After reading all the commentary on this, it's undeniable that Gilad Atzmon, whose book Mearsheimer blurbed, is a despicable and ugly Hitler apologist and Holocaust denier. What's also particularly disturbing is that Professor Stephen Walt joined the debate to explicitly defend Mearsheimer against the allegations of anti-Semitism. The two together are fighting a rearguard action with virtually no prospects for success. Readers will recall that I've hammered Walt on occasion, for example, when he spoke at the Code Pink convention earlier this year, where the roster of sponsoring organizations was a veritable "one-stop shop for the global left's international solidarity movement." It would be one thing to offer up a controversial theory of Israel as the primary focus of American foreign policy. It's quite another thing to actively join forces with the global left's Israel extermination industry, but that's what Stephen Walt has done. I find that tragic too, since Walt was someone who I studied a great deal in graduate school, and I wrote my dissertation with some of his theories as the starting point. Now the both of them have dug down deep to defend against this backlash, and it's just pathetic. These two eminent scholars have destroyed their reputations by peddling the most base anti-Israel stereotypes that simply can longer be defended on academic grounds. When you traffic with Holocaust deniers --- no, when you champion them --- you've pretty much given up the game.

In any case, Jeffrey Goldberg has been updating his responses to the controversy. See, "Mearsheimer's Endorsement of a Holocaust Revisionist (Cont'd)"; "Giving John Mearsheimer a Chance to Climb Down"; and "A Mearsheimer Falsehood, and Other Reactions to Atzmon."

And from David Bernstein, at Volokh, "A Challenge to John Mearsheimer":
Mearsheimer accuses his critics of suggesting that he must be an anti-Semite, given that he is intellectually in bed, so to speak, with the likes of Gilad Atzmon. Certainly, it’s reasonable to suspect Mearsheimer of anti-Semitism as this point, given that the main alternative explanation, that he is simply a fool who endorses highly polemical books attacking Jews and Israel without reading them closely or knowing anything about the author, has now been rebutted by Mearsheimer himself. But one could also posit Mearsheimer has decided to adopt a “Popular Front Strategy”, willing to accept any anti-Israel allies even from the blatantly anti-Semitic fringe. Regardless, it’s a pathetic fall from grace for Mearsheimer, and it’s disappointing to see that his co-author Walt is enabling him rather than pulling him back from the brink.
Bernstein links to Pejman Yousefzadeh, and here's another from Pejman that's vital: "John Mearsheimer Further Beclowns Self. Film at Eleven."

And here's this from David Rothkopf, "Mearsheimer picks a winner: Finally, a revealing book jacket blurb":
Mearsheimer was given a chance by Walt on this website to "defend" himself against the "smears" of Goldberg. Walt thus associated himself with Mearsheimer's choice to back Atzmon. He also asserted Goldberg was more inclined to make ad hominem attacks than to address the substance of U.S.-Israel relations. This is of course, absurd as, agree with him or not, no one can deny that Goldberg has written extensively on the subject and, to his credit, comparatively little about the two professors.

Mearsheimer's defense is stunningly lame. He begins with an attack on Goldberg. He then quotes the blurb and edges slightly away from the book by saying he doesn't agree with everything in it. He then repeats his admonition that Jews and non-Jews should read the book ... although I can hardly imagine how many Jews will be moved to buy a book on the recommendation of John Mearsheimer.

That said, he goes on to say that he has taught courses about the Holocaust and is therefore not a Holocaust denier. That said, Goldberg never said he was a Holocaust denier. He said he had endorsed one. Goldberg's assertion, based on Atzmon's writings, is that Atzmon has sought to both minimize the event and to explain away its origins as something at least in large part provoked by the Jews. What is this if not revisionism and there is no disputing that by blaming the Jews in part for their fate, Atzmon is, in fact, as accused a full-fledged apologist for Hitler.
Rothkopf's reference is the the post by Mearsheimer at Stephen Walt's blog at Foreign Policy, "Mearsheimer responds to Goldberg's latest smear."

I may be missing a couple of the responses I saw while researching this post, and I'll update if I find anything with added value. That said, this Harry's Place entry is probably the most precise examination of Gilad Atzmon's anti-Semitism: "Mearsheimer and Walt defend antisemite who thinks Hitler will be proved right." (And note that Harry's Place includes examples of Atzmon's anti-Semitism found in The Wandering Who, the very book that Mearsheimer reviewed.)

Check back for updates. Goldberg and Rothkopf are left-of-center, so Mearsheimer's taking a hit from those closer ideologically than myself. It's fascinating, and sad too, the way the authors of The Israel Lobby have kept digging when the long ago should have just stopped.

Patti Stanger: 'There Is No Curbing the Gay'

I don't know this lady, but her comments are extremely interesting. Basically, she calls 'em as she sees 'em. At Us Magazine, "Patti Stanger Tells Gays: 'I've Tried to Curb You People'." This clip is controversial since she apparently doubles down, "Patti Stanger Clarifies Comments on Joy Behar Show, Receives More Backlash":

Stanger appeared on Behar's show to clarify what she meant.

"The gay men, they whip it out at eye lock," she said. "They get involved, and they find out later if they want a serious relationship.''

Behar said where she believed Stanger made a mistake.

"Here's where I think you went wrong, when you make it sound as if all gays are like that," she told Stanger. "If you said all blacks, all Chinese, all women, anything, it would get you in trouble."

Stanger said she has been a longtime champion of gay dating and gay marriage.
More: "Patti Stanger Sparks Controversy With Anti-Jewish, Gay Comments on Bravo."

Putting aside the awful Jewish slur ("Jewish men lie"?), the lady's basically saying that Los Angeles gay men reject monogamy. And if you recall, a major premise of the gay rights movement is that the homosexual community is not a stereotypical roaming bunch of bathhouse rim-station freaks. But then here you have a "millionaire matchmaker" on Bravo saying "you can't curb the gay." Hello! Andrew Sullivan! This lady's got your number. Again and again we see the homosexual rejection of traditional values, the values that underpin the institution of marriage. Gays will destroy it. See: "Gay Sexual Abandon and the Perverse Inversion of Values by Same-Sex Extremists." Are there some who won't stray? Of course, but the modern gay rights movement remains and an in-your-face activist movement that's by definition aggressive, out of bounds, and completely contemptuous of tradition. If it feel good do it, even on the streets of San Francisco! From their lifestyles to their political methods, the gay progressive are freak-master nihilists: Nudists, rim-station blow jobbers, and open-sex extremists. But hey, you're not supposed to say it! You'll be hammered with endless radical allegations of "bigotry." Yeah, the lame progressive cries of "intolerance." Give me a break. And we're not even talking about questions of non-discrimination: "Gay Marriage is Not a Civil Right." But because conservatives and people of decent values don't want to offend, they're getting beaten down by the endless gay bullying and homosexual thuggery. Screw these progressive freaks, ASFLs.

NewsBusted: 'Scientists have found a chemical they believe travels faster than the speed of light'

Via Theo Spark:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Megyn Kelly Responds to Joseph Biden's Cheap Slam on Debate Booing as 'Reprehensible'

Progressives obviously feel entitled to their own facts, and Megyn Kelly visibly displeased by the vice president's comments:

BEHAR: But what did you – I have to ask you, what did you think of the booing that went on the other day, about the gay soldier. Did you have a visceral response to it?

BIDEN: I did have a visceral response, and I'm not sure it's because my son spent a year in Iraq, and I know my son and all the kids with him. Kids – they're grown men. I don't think they give a damn whether a guy firing a rifle to protect them is gay or straight. I don't think they care about that. And look, this kid risked his life, this kid is there for a year, and I, quite frankly, I thought it was reprehensible.

BEHAR: Right. And no one spoke up. That entire panel, not one person said anything.
Also at NewsBusters, "Joy Behar Baits Biden to Slam GOP Candidates on The View."

The Palestinian Lie

Via Israel Matzav:

RELATED: At FrontPage Magazine, "A Century of Palestinian Rejectionism and Jew Hatred."

Don Henley Plays 'Everybody Wants to Rule the World'?

My wife and I both looked at each other and said, "Tears for Fears?"

That was really cool. I had no clue it was a Henley cover. I'm not seeing a review from the Harrah's gig, but the O.C. Register reports on Henley's concert the previous weekend, from the Greet Theater: "Don Henley tosses surprises into Greek set." And the playlist:
Main set: I Put a Spell on You / Dirty Laundry / Everybody’s Famous / Sunset Grill / Everything Is Different Now / New York Minute / The Last Worthless Evening / One of These Nights / It Don’t Matter to the Sun / The End of the Innocence / Everybody Wants to Rule the World / The Heart of the Matter / Guilty / You Don’t Have to Believe Me / Funky Stuff / I’ve Been Loving You Too Long / The Boys of Summer / All She Wants to Do Is Dance / Life in the Fast Lane

First encore: Hotel California / Desperado

Second encore: I Will Not Go Quietly / The Long Run
Henley opened with "Dirty Laundry" at Rincon, and he did just the first encore. The band was tight and Henley's mellow. The concert was outside at the Sky Theater, and we had good seats. They played "One of These Nights." Lead guitarist Steuart Smith tours with both The Eagles and Don Henley. He's seen here at the clip:

Nudity Group in San Francisco Promotes Radical Gay Public Sex

At New York Times, "Protesters Bare All Over a Proposed San Francisco Law." Apparently folks hang out all day in the buff, at restaurants even. I doubt that'd be so appetizing.

Anyway, Zombie was on hand: "San Francisco’s naked protest and the ethics of public nudity." It turns out the "nude in" was sponsored by Bare Naked in Public. Zombie has a link to the website, which features all kinds of pictures of public homosexual sex acts. Naturally, all the San Francisco progressives are blabbering on about how this is just "free speech." Free public radical gay sex is more like it. I mean c'mon, it's not like decent middle class families are excited about raising their kids in the Castro. It's a gay red light district. These are same types pushing for homosexual marriage in California --- and mounting extremist hate campaigns against their opponents, the folks still standing for some old time values. What a disgrace, sheesh.

The Zombie post is probably NSFW, by the way. And that's say nothing of the rim-station blow jobbers at Bare Naked in Public.

Secure Connections: Minimizing the Dangers of WiFi Hot Spots

This is worth a read, at LAT, "How to minimize the risks of using free public WiFi hot spots." (Via Neptunus Lex.)

Quantifying the Price of Sex

Sex is cheap these days.

See Neo-Neocon, "Getting the milk for free."
I don’t know about you, but I feel sad when I read things like this. And it’s not a women vs. men thing for me; I think both sexes are losing a lot in terms of love, joy, and commitment in these transactions...
Yeah, society's just getting sluttier all around.

That said, I'll admit I wonder sometimes if I shouldn't have been so proper back in the day, remember? I think I was 20. Kathleen was the love of my life. She wanted to jump my bones. I wanted to get married. Only make believe, I guess. That, or go for the cheap sex and forget those dreams. (Although, if I'd have married Kathleen I wouldn't have the wife and kids I do now, so what can you do?)

New York Times Letters to the Editor: After the Palestinian Bid at the U.N.

From today's paper:
To the Editor:

Re “The Palestinians’ Bid” (editorial, Sept. 23):

How many times must we go through the same charade? Israel is labeled the obstacle to peace, and pressure is put on its leaders to offer a settlement to this endless conflict. Israel’s leader of the day (Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert) offers a comprehensive proposal consistent with the parameters broadly accepted by all intermediaries as the fair solution.

The Palestinian leadership, with no constructive reason or counterproposal, walks away from the offer. And then after the briefest of moments, we again find the world sympathizing with the oppressed Palestinians and their “understandable frustration” with Israel’s “refusal” to make the concessions for peace.

When will we learn? The only true obstacle to peace, which has been demonstrated time and again, is the Palestinian unwillingness to reach any resolution that accepts Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish homeland.

White Plains, Sept. 23, 2011
RELATED: At Israel Matzav, "A question that needs an answer."

Pamela Geller on Sean Hannity's: Israel, the U.N. and War Against the Jews

I haven't had time to post, but Pamela's had a lot going on at Atlas Shrugs:

John Hawkins: 'Five Ways to Screw Up Your Life with the Internet'

This is Item #2, from Hawkins' piece at Pajamas Media:
Ever had someone notice that you were posting on your blog during work hours and report you to your boss? I have. It nearly got me fired. Ever known someone who was fired for even having a blog? There is someone talking about that on my Facebook page on the same day I am writing this column.

That actually happens more than you might think. The Internet’s full of small, vindictive, unbalanced, and ugly people who don’t have the slightest qualms about using any and every tactic imaginable to go after people who irritate them. Does that include calling your boss? Yes, indeed. Could it include calling your boss and making up stories about you? That’s happened to multiple people that I know and it’s why I’d recommend that if possible, you should avoid sharing where you work with everyone on the Internet.
Well, in my case it's not so much that I was blogging at work, but that the idiot ASFL progressives couldn't believe a college professor could be conservative, so they looked me up online, found my place of work, and started screaming bloody murder. These include not just the atheists who wigged over Elizabeth Edwards, but the bloggers at American Nihilist and Lawyers, Guns and Money. And of course, "Carl Salonen Libelous Workplace Allegations of Child Pornography and Sexual Harassment at Long Beach City College." Talk about "... small, vindictive, unbalanced, and ugly people who don’t have the slightest qualms about using any and every tactic imaginable to go after people who irritate them." That's just the start of it! Sheesh!

Mark Melvin, Alabama Inmate, Sues Prison Officials Over Right to Read History of Black Convict Leasing in the South

Well, I wouldn't be able to make it without my books.

See NYT, "Alabama Inmate Sues to Read Southern History Book."

The book is Douglas Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II. I'm gonna check that out:
The book chronicles the vast and brutal convict leasing system, which became nearly indistinguishable from antebellum slavery as it grew. In this system, people, in almost all cases black, were arrested by local law enforcement, often on the flimsiest of charges, and forced to labor on the cotton farms of wealthy planters or in the coal mines of corporations to pay off their criminal penalties. Though convict leasing occurred across the South, the book focuses on Alabama.
Jeez, it's only a book. No doubt prison officials aren't thrilled by the idea of inmates getting an inside look on things. That said, this Melvin guy doesn't look like the most savory of characters. He was sent down for helping his brother commit two murders.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Women Activists Pepper Sprayed at Occupy Wall Street Protest

Well, this is the big viral video of the day. And I love how it's edited, with stop action effects, to capture the moment the protesters were sprayed:

The New York Times has the story, "Videos Show Police Using Pepper Spray at Protest on the Financial System." And a big write up at Daily Mail, "'Expect us': Anonymous posts name and information about officer accused of pepper-spraying women at Wall Street protest."

And a photo-essay at Davids Camera Craft, "Occupy Wall Street march September 24th 2011." The woman screaming at top looks like a reject from the 1960s. And from the comments at the post, "The girl that got hit directly was shoving stuff in the face of the cops, from her hands and papers to someone's camera at one point." Right. I had a hunch they weren't so innocently "maced," as all the wannabe-sixties-radicals are yapping about at Memorandum. These people are losers, freakin' ASFLs.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Birthday Celebrations

As this post goes live my wife and I are on our way to see Don Henley at Harrah's Rincon. That's us celebrating at my birthday dinner last night, at Cheesecake Factory in Irvine.

The big 50:


My mom asked yesterday if I felt different, and while I said, "No, a day older than 49 years and 365 days, I guess," the truth is I do feel past the halfway mark. And I mean that in a good way. Five years ago, when I had my 45th year physical, my doctor said, "Well, you're halfway through your life." I thought that was good, since he must have expected me to live to 90. I've always expected to live to 100 (or thereabouts, with luck), based on the longevity of family members on both my mom's and dad's side. So, I guess if 100 is still the benchmark, I'm now finally on the downhill slope of my life. It's mellower and wiser, and probably happier as well. Sitting at the table last night with my family, I looked across at my two beautiful sons and said, "This is my birthday present." All I really truly wanted in life was to be married and have a family. I guess a lot of boys aren't acculturated to that as a life goal nowadays. But sitting last night out for dinner, it occurred to me that all the birthday presents on the world wouldn't make me happier than just sitting there with the people most important to me.

Anyway, my friend Pat Austin's having a birthday weekend as well, so head over there to wish her well: "Birthday Weekend, Estate Sales, and Old Houses."

I'll be back tomorrow with a report on the concert.

Thanks everybody!

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Rises Out of Arafat's Shadow?

Actually, from what I caught, Abbas' U.N. speech was indistinguishable from anything the PLO's pushed for decades. Worse, in fact, as he spoke of an "apartheid" regime, and that's a meme that's been developing only over the last few years, with the global communist left's BDS campaign. But check Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "With UN bid, Abbas rises out of Arafat's shadow":

RAMALLAH, West Bank — President Mahmoud Abbas received a hero's welcome Sunday from thousands of cheering, flag-waving Palestinians, having made a bid for United Nations recognition that appears destined to fail but has allowed him to finally step out of the shadow of his iconic predecessor Yasser Arafat.

The crowd, many of them holding posters of Abbas, repeatedly chanted his name as he spoke. Abbas was uncharacteristically animated, shaking his hands, waving to the audience and charming the crowd with references to "my brothers and sisters."

Abbas call Friday for the U.N. to recognize Palestinian independence has transformed him in the eyes of many Palestinians from gray bureaucrat to champion of their rights. Though Israel and the United States oppose the move and consider it a step back for long-stalled peace talks, it could help Abbas overcome internal struggles and gain the support he will need to get a deal through one day.

In a brief address outside his headquarters in Ramallah, Abbas told the crowd that a "Palestinian Spring" had been born, similar to the mass demonstrations sweeping the region in what has become known as the Arab Spring.
RELATED: At Legal Insurrection, "The Palestinians mean exactly what they say..."

Farewell to DVDs?

Well, I wasn't that big of a collector anyway.

At LAT, "Hollywood downloads a post-DVD future."
Across Hollywood, a quiet revolution is brewing that's about to transform living rooms around the world.

After desperate attempts to prop up the industry's once-thriving DVD business, studio executives now believe the only hope of turning around a 40% decline in home entertainment revenue lies in rapidly accelerating the delivery of movies over the Internet.

In the next few years, the growing number of consumers with Internet-connected televisions, tablets and smartphones will face a dizzying array of options designed to make digital movie consumption a lot more convenient and to entice users to spend more money.

With films that can be accessed on any digital device, downloaded as iPhone apps or shared on Facebook as easily as a photo, it may be the biggest shift in Hollywood's business model since the explosion of the DVD in the late 1990s.

"The days of baby steps on the Internet are over," said David Bishop, president of Sony Pictures' home entertainment unit. "It's now critical that we experiment as much as possible and determine how to build a vibrant market for collecting digital movies."
More at the link.

The Times previewed the Sunday paper yesterday, and I mentioned the end of the DVD to my oldest son. He's been watching movies and TV shows online for years. But when I asked him about it he said, "Oh, that's lame. DVDs are cool." I agree. They're fun to have around, as a physical object. That said, I can't seem to find any of my old 8-track tapes anywhere. So what can you do?

Sunday Cartoons

At Flopping Aces.

William Warren

Also Theo Spark.

BONUS: At Proof Positive, "Friday Night Babe: Annabella Sciorra!"

The Revolution Does Not Appear to Be Brewing

This is an interesting report, at New York Times, "Gunning for Wall Street, With Faulty Aim." Talking about the dwindling number of anti-capitalist (or anti-anything) activists:
The group’s lack of cohesion and its apparent wish to pantomime progressivism rather than practice it knowledgably is unsettling in the face of the challenges so many of its generation face — finding work, repaying student loans, figuring out ways to finish college when money has run out. But what were the chances that its members were going to receive the attention they so richly deserve carrying signs like “Even if the World Were to End Tomorrow I’d Still Plant a Tree Today”?

The interesting comparison is to Madison, Wisconsin, earlier this year, where according to the article 100 thousand demonstrators converged at the peak of the protests. They had a specific agenda. The left was energized by losing power and benefits. In turn, the full range of progressive and revolutionary contingents turned out as if this were the start of a national social revolt. In New York, mostly idealistic and stupid leftists converged to make fools out of themselves. The U.S. is not Britain, and thank goodness. Even with national unemployment at 9.2 percent and double digits on some states, we're not having anywhere near the anarchist hooliganism we saw in London. It's not that some progressives don't want it, as we see periodically in the Bay Area. We're just not that far gone as a culture for one thing, with less of popular acceptance for the public dole. And hopefully less acceptance of the latchkey kids swarming the streets like feral animals. Mostly, there's a bankruptcy of militant ideology. Progressives talk the great game, they seek to destroy others with diverging opinions, especially in the (Marxist) academy, but when it's time to put talk into practice, they're AWOL. Bunch of ASFLs.

Frustrated Teacher Walks Off the Job in Los Angeles: Metaphor for Obama's Bankrupt Education Policy

I'm not expert enough to comment comprehensively on the administration's education policy. Mostly, the White House has been completely hostile to educational initiatives, like charters and vouchers, that would weaken the stranglehold of unions over the public education bureaucracy. And I am not one who is hostile to public education. What I can't stand is that when schools are failing the solutions are always more of the same, and never real innovations that put power in the hands of those who can get results. I think of charters like Providence St. Mel and I'm ashamed that this president has done nothing in almost three years to help alleviate the crisis of inner city education in America. Just to talk about it --- to use his own experience as a community organizer, someone with (purportedly) real ties to the urban grassroots --- would have been something. Instead, we've had failed (spending) stimulus initiatives and the bankrupt and morally decrepit nationalized healthcare law that has issued waivers like they were Tootsie Rolls on Halloween. I guess I'm hopelessly naive, but I hoped that President Obama --- with his majestic, mountain top-style oratory --- would have been able to bring considerable moral authority to the crisis of discipline and under-achievement in the big city schools. Perhaps we might not be having stories like this, "At Manual Arts High, a caring teacher is at the end of his rope":

Art teacher Jeremy Davidson skipped the annual back-to-school-night at Manual Arts High this week.

He'd walked off the job the day before — after 10 years at the mid-city campus — done in by a group of unruly ninth-graders who'd hijacked his sixth-period drawing class.

While Davidson was "trying to give a lesson on shading," the troublemakers were "whacking each other with rulers, throwing paper across the room, getting up and walking around."

They blocked the door when he tried to close it, talked over him when he tried to teach.

The first time it happened this semester, he summoned security "four times during the period and help never came."

Day after frustrating day, he said, the scenario replayed. And when he sought support, administrators met his request with a checklist: Have you contacted their parents? Have you encouraged the students? Have you treated them with respect?

Davidson bristled at the implication. "Seven students needed to be removed, so I could teach the other 45. … And I'm expected to spend a week providing all this documentation, while these kids spend 50 minutes each day destroying the class for everyone else."

So two weeks after the school year began Sept. 7 — after a string of sleepless nights — Davidson called his principal from class midmorning and said: "It would be best if you got me covered so I can pack my things and go."

Davidson shared his story with me a few hours after he left campus. Two days earlier, he had emailed The Times, complaining about "the awful conditions" at Manual Arts.

"The overcrowded, dirty classrooms, and lack of support from administrators, is demoralizing and crushing the teachers — and not fair to students," he wrote.

Still, I had to wonder, what kind of teacher abandons those students when the semester has barely begun? A teacher at the end of his rope, Davidson told me; one who has had his fill of broken promises and dashed hopes.

"You keep raising your expectations, but nothing changes," he said. "After all these years, I look around and see that things are just getting worse."
Dashed hopes. Things getting worse. Sounds like the Obama administration's record on education and social policy. (And don't even get me going about the economy and urban unemployment.) The 2012 election can't come soon enough. Perhaps we can still turn things around for the generations of students whom this administration has cast off and abandoned.

Commemorating September 11 on a Left Coast Liberal Campus

From former Long Beach City College student, and current UCLA senior, Barbara Efraim, at Human Events. An excellent piece.

Roman Catholic Womenpriests

An interesting piece, "What I am is what I am — Womenpriests and The Age."
As thinkers from John Locke to Margaret Mead and today’s many “social constructionists” like to say, people are simply whatever they are conditioned to be. Bishop Fresen believes the church’s construct of gender being determinative as to ordination violates the deeper meaning of Scripture.

The Roman Catholic Church takes the opposite view, believing it is not possible for women to be priests because Christ himself chose no women to serve among the Apostles. It lacks the authority to contravene Christ’s example. Its precise position is that articulated by John Paul II in 1992: “the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women.”

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Six Weeks After Breakout Entry into GOP Race, Rick Perry Under Pressure to Step Up His Game

At LAT, "Perry under pressure after debate stumbles."

This section on immigration is especially telling:
Perry's stance on immigration is prompting fresh doubts, in some GOP quarters, about his ability to translate his electoral success in Texas to the national level.

Perry has "a surprisingly tin ear" on the immigration issue, said Tony Fabrizio, a Republican strategist who is unaligned in the presidential contest.

To most Republicans, denying tuition subsidies to illegal immigrants "is a question of fairness," said Fabrizio. He added that Perry, in portraying his critics as heartless, is making Republican voters wonder whether he shares their values.

The issue also has particular salience in Florida, the biggest early state on the GOP calendar, where Republican Rick Scott's victory in last year's gubernatorial election turned in part on his advocacy of an Arizona-style policy. Al Cardenas, a prominent Florida Republican with close ties to former Gov. Jeb Bush, was booed at a recent tea party event in Tampa when he spoke favorably about immigration.

The issue also strikes a chord with primary voters in key states such as Iowa, South Carolina and Wisconsin, Fabrizio said.

In interviews, Perry supporters in Florida, including those who disagree with his immigration stance, said the issue wasn't enough to make them abandon him.

State Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera of Miami, the Republican leader of the Florida House, stopped short of endorsing a Texas-style tuition plan but said immigration wouldn't be "a decisive factor" in the primary.

"The most important issue in the primary is jobs and the economy," said Lopez-Cantera, a Perry supporter who represents Little Havana.

But Charlie Gerow, a Republican consultant from Harrisburg, Pa., said initial excitement over Perry's entry into the 2012 race had entered a new phase.

"People were looking for something different," he said. "Now it's a question of what [Perry's candidacy] is going to look like when it's examined under the microscope."
Perry's going to continue to get hammered on immigraton, and yeah, we're in a new phase alright. See the St. Petersburg Times, "Herman Cain wins Presidency 5 straw poll" (at Memorandum). Also at The Other McCain, "ORLANDO GOP STRAW POLL RESULTS UPDATE: Herman Cain Beats Rick Perry."

Straws polls aren't terribly significant, although in the case of Rick Perry, his entry into the race in August wiped out Michele Bachmann's bounce coming out of Ames. So, there's considerable insider interest on how these events shake up expectations and shift loyalties among supporters and potential delegates. And kudos to Herman Cain. The guy's a no nonsense candidate. Perhaps the results of the Orlando straw poll will help him expand his support heading into the Florida primary, which is scheduled for ... well, it's still unscheduled, but is normally held early, and is one of the initial make-or-break contests. John McCain pretty much sealed the nomination by winning Florida in 2008.

Naomi Watts Opens Up About Her Romance with Tragic Heath Ledger

Watts was awesome in "The Ring," although I haven't seen her in too many flicks since then, my bad. She's starring in "Dream House," out in theaters next weekend, so maybe I'll check that out.

Anyway, at Daily Mail, "'We had a beautiful relationship'":
Naomi Watts has opened up about her ex Heath Ledger saying the late actor was a 'very special soul' who 'made a great impact on my life.'

The 43-year-old actress - who is currently promoting her movies Dream House and J Edgar - dated the Australian star for nearly two years.

Their relationship ended in 2004 and he died four years later at the age of 28.

Naomi Watts

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The Daily Caller's Jim Treacher Trolls the Internet to Track Down Those Who Kicked His Ass in the 'Wombshifter' Controversy

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Maybe I'm Amazed — At Turning 50...

Linda McCartney would have turned 70 today. Paul McCartney wrote "Maybe I'm Amazed" for her, so here you go. I just turned 50. So, perhaps this might be a nice musical break. I feel good. I walked yesterday for a couple of hours. Cleared my head and saw parts of the neighborhood I hadn't seen before. I'm going to try to make that a habit. I used to walk just about every day. Blogging replaced some of that time. I've been getting some of it back lately, spending less time online. Anyway, thanks for the readership and friendship. More later today:

RELATED: At TigerHawk, "Happy birthday, Scott!"

Hot Reebok Photo Shoot with Kelly Brook

This lady's something else:

Elizabeth Warren Viral Speech on Class Warfare

Doug Ross has the epic takedown: "Elizabeth Warren, Totalitarian Moron, Translated."

I don't recall conservatives denying that the nation's social contract provides the foundation for entrepreneurial attainment. Conservatives just want less of it. They'd do even better. Warren's speech is a huge straw man, but progressives love this stuff. Not just because they're so stupid, but because they'll swallow anything that gives them greater pretense to other people's money.

Also at The Week, "Elizabeth Warren's 'kick-ass' class warfare rebuttal."

More Voters Considering Romney Than Obama, Perry

One of the things I learned in 2008 is that it's probably better to not alienate your conservative blogging colleagues by attacking them for supporting this or that candidate during the primaries. I pissed off a couple of people back then, perhaps even Allahpundit. And it's hard to recover if you're a blogger looking for some linkage. I've worked hard to mend fences and make some new friends, and at this point I don't worry about driving traffic that much anyway. Conservatives are pretty fractured on the right (with some nasty dust ups over Rick Perry), but I'm not worrying about pissing folks off. I like who I like. It's been no secret. Back in '08 I was excited about John McCain's campaign because national security was the top issue for me and I thought McCain was the best candidate by far. A lot of folks had strong reactions against McCain, and by now the best thing I can say about him is that he nominated Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate. This time around, my top issues are economic, especially the need to expand the economy and to reduce the national debt. Those preferences in turn relate to my hope that the U.S. will return to more limited government principles while still retaining a commitment to national security. That's why I've been a huge fan of Sarah Palin's for a long time. But she's delayed a decision to enter the race. So, Michelle Bachmann's campaign appealed to me for the same reasons. Bachmann's now struggling. If she can maintain some momentum until Iowa I think she could still be a contender in some of the early primaries, but she's close to long-shot territory. And after that? Well, as I said when he announced, I frankly don't know that much about Rick Perry and I'm still learning. His debate performance the other night was a disaster, apparently. And now the speculation is that Romney is recovering and positioning himself back atop the GOP field. See James Taranto, for example, "Everything's Coming Up Romney." And also, William Jacobson, "Post-Debate Diagnosis."

And according to Gallup, Romney's well positioned at this point vis-a-vis both Barack Obama and Rick Perry:

More registered voters say they would definitely vote for Mitt Romney or might consider doing so (62%) than say the same about his two main rivals in the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama (54%) and Republican Rick Perry (53%)...

At the moment, Romney has a greater reservoir of potential voter support than does either of his main rivals for the presidency. To prevail, Romney must convert as much of that potential support as possible to actual support. Should he defeat Perry for the nomination, his level of actual support among Republican voters should increase to levels approaching those Obama currently enjoys among Democratic voters. Perry's level of support among Republicans would probably also approach those levels if he wins the nomination.

Thus, a key to gauging candidate electability and ultimately the winner of the 2012 election will be the candidate's appeal to independent voters. Currently, Romney seems to have an edge in three respects: the greatest number of independent voters would definitely vote for him or consider voting for him; he leads Obama among independent voters in a head-to-head matchup; and he fares slightly better among independent voters in a head-to-head matchup with Obama than does Perry.
I've met Mitt Romney and I like him personally. His flip-flopping bothers me -- it bothers me a great deal -- but he's got the kind of "earnestness" -- to use James Taranto's term -- that lends itself to presidential leadership, and I mean genuine earnestness, not an arrogance that hides inexperience, as we've seen with President Obama.

So, while I don't think Mitt Romney's a genuine conservative, I like him. I've read his book and listened to him speak. He's a patriot and he seems pretty well-grounded concerning the problems facing the country. Let's see how it goes. If it's Romney by next March or so, I won't be be reluctant to support him.

Gold and Silver Plummet in Latest Market Selloff

There are no financial havens at this point.

At Wall Street Journal, "Market Rout Claims New Victim":
The wave of selling that has washed over financial markets in recent weeks swamped precious metals on Friday, sending gold and silver prices plummeting and raising the stakes for key weekend meetings of global finance officials.

In the past week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 6.4%, its worst week since October 2008. Currencies, too, have had a wild ride. The dollar this month has soared against its rivals. The euro has tumbled 6% in September, while emerging currencies like Brazil's real have been punished.

Gold futures dropped 5.8% Friday, the biggest one-day loss in five years, as investors rushed to cash out of some of their most profitable investments in the hopes of making up for losses elsewhere. The decline capped gold's worst week since 1983. Silver was even harder hit, plunging 18% for its largest single-day decline since 1987.

The week highlighted a growing sense of despondency among investors concerned that policy makers have neither the will nor power to juice their economies.
More at that top link.

Palestinians Make Bid for Statehood at United Nations

See New York Times, "Palestinians Request U.N. Status; Powers Press for Talks."

And see Jonathan Tobin, "No Moral Equivalence Between Abbas and Netanyahu."

Little People Rule the World

Kind of depressing, but I can't disagree too much, except who's to say John McCain wouldn't have been better than our President Barack Democrat Dunderhead?

See Margaret Wente, at Toronto's Globe and Mail, "The world’s problems are so big, and our politicians are so small":
For the past 18 years, many of the world’s most powerful men and women have worked strenuously to impose peace on the Israelis and the Palestinians, who together occupy a piece of real estate that’s smaller than Nova Scotia. Yet, peace is as far away as ever. And nothing that happens at the UN is going to change that.

But it’s not just the Middle East they can’t fix. On the biggest issues of the day, our leaders seem more powerless than ever. The European Union is coming unglued. The United States is stuck in the slough of despond. Even if our leaders knew what to do, they seem incapable of doing it.

In the heroic version of history, extraordinary times produce extraordinary men. When the U.S. was on its knees, it produced FDR. When Britain was threatened by Hitler, along came Churchill. Today, great men are absent. Instead, the EU has faceless Eurocrats such as Jean-Claude Trichet, the man who runs the European Central Bank, and divided leaders who continue to insist that Greece will not default, even though everyone knows it’s just a matter of time. Back in the days of 2008, people could at least count on the central banks to get together and figure out a bailout plan. This time, that’s not going to happen.

The EU, as it turns out, has suffered from the same delusions that doomed the Mideast peace talks. The leaders thought you could change human behaviour from the top down. They thought you could make people figure out how to divide up a piece of land and get along. They thought you could make the Greeks behave like Germans because they share a currency. They ignored all the evidence. Culture matters more than policy and good intentions.

The other unpleasant fact of modern times is that some problems are too big to fix. We’re still under the illusion – relentlessly promoted by politicians – that if only we push the right policy buttons or pull the correct levers, our problems will be solved. “Mr. President, we need jobs,” one newspaper headline implored, as if Barack Obama could slide down the chimney and leave some jobs under the Christmas tree. But it’s far from clear that either the Democrats or the Republicans or even Santa Claus himself knows how to speed up job creation. What’s clear is that businesses are unlikely to create jobs so long as stock markets keep plummeting, European banks remain on the verge of failing, and political leaders appear impotent.
Keep reading for that bit on McCain.

NASA Satellite Falls to Earth

I haven't followed this that closely, but it's fascinating.

At WaPo, "As satellite slows, NASA works to peg crash site," and NYT, "It’s Safe to Go Outside: NASA Says Its Falling Satellite Will Miss the U.S."

And at Telegraph UK, "Second giant chunk of space junk heading for Earth."

Childhood Being Eroded by Modern Life

At Telegraph UK, "Childhood is being eroded by a “relentless diet” of advertising, addictive computer games, test-driven education and poor childcare, a powerful lobby of more than 200 experts warns today."
In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, the group of academics, teachers, authors and charity leaders says children’s wellbeing and mental health is being undermined by the pressures of modern life. They urge the Government to address a culture of “too much, too soon” in Britain.

This includes a ban on all forms of advertising aimed at the youngest children, the establishment of a play-based curriculum for infants and a public information campaign warning of the dangers of screen-based entertainment.

The comments came five years after many of the same experts sent similar letter to the Telegraph that criticised politicians and the public for failing to allow children to develop properly at a young age. It led to a debate on the state of childhood in Britain and coincided with the publication of Labour’s Children’s Plan — a policy document covering all aspects of young people’s lives.

But the group, which includes Philip Pullman, the children’s author, Baroness Greenfield, the Oxford University neuroscientist, Lord Layard, emeritus professor of economics at the London School of Economics, and the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Rev Tim Stevens, claims that the “erosion of childhood in Britain has continued apace since 2006”.
I'll take the consumerism over this decrepit nanny statism. Kids should spend more time with their families, or, well, if they have families, and I mean in the traditional sense of a mother and father, with regular employment and good values. Given what we saw with the London riots earlier this year, it can't be said that those prerequisites are firmly in place in Britain.

Rule 5 Weekend Update

My Lindsay Ellingson post garnered some attention from The Other McCain: "Topless Supermodel Lindsay Ellingson Really Wants You to Hit My Tip Jar."

Also, Bob Belvedere linked: "Rule 5 News: 23 September 2011 A.D."

And don't miss Randy's Roundtable, "Thursday Nite Tart: Priscilla Monroe." And Theo's "Red Friday Totties ..."

BONUS: At Astute Bloggers, "GUARANTEED NOT HALAL: Mallika Sherawat."

EXTRA: From BCF, "Michael Coren Gets Beat Up By a Girl."

Prime Minister Benajamin Netanyahu Lays Wreath at National September 11 Memorial

He's a good man.

At CBS News, New York, "Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Bloomberg Visit World Trade Center Memorial."

NewsBusted: 'A new study claims that 4-year-olds who watch SpongeBob may suffer mental impairment'

Via Theo Spark:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu United Nations Address, September 23, 2011

At National Post, "Netanyahu chides UN, seeks renewed talks with Abbas":

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, returned to the United Nations’ General Assembly Friday with all the confidence of a former ambassador, who has frequently used the assembly podium as a pulpit.

With a familiarity that almost bordered on contempt, Mr. Netanyahu, Israel’s ambassador to the UN in 1984-88, upbraided the General Assembly for even entertaining a Palestinian request for statehood.

“The truth is that Israel wants peace; the truth is that I want peace,” he said, adding, “We cannot achieve peace through UN resolutions.”

Mr. Netanyahu criticized the UN, calling it a “theatre of the absurd.” He noted the Security Council is now headed by Lebanon, whose government is controlled by Hezbollah, an internationally recognized terrorist group.

“It was here in 1975 that the age-old yearning of my people to restore our national life in our ancient biblical homeland was branded shamefully as racism,” he said.

“And it was here in 1980, right here, that the historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, wasn’t praised, it was denounced. And it is here, year after year, that Israel is unjustly singled out for condemnation … more often than all the other nations of the world combined.”

The Israeli leader’s message was as simple as it was blunt: “The Palestinians should first make peace with Israel and then get their state.”

If that were to happen, “Israel will not be the last state to welcome a Palestinian state into the United Nations,” he said. “We will be the first.”
Also at Legal Insurrection, "Netanyahu at the U.N. – Theater of the Absurd."

Actress Kim Delaney Escorted Off Stage at Liberty Medal Award Ceremony

This is both strange and sad.

At Los Angeles Times, "Kim Delaney delivers incoherent speech; booted from Philly stage."

And another video, showing the audience and former defense secretary Robert Gates, at WPVI-TV Philadelphia.

Also, at Philadelphia Enquirer, "Kim Delaney is escorted off stage at Phila. ceremony":
Her barely audible delivery and long pauses appeared to make Gates and other dignitaries on stage uncomfortable.

In a tweet Thursday night from the auditorium, Inquirer Staff writer Tom Infield reported that Delaney "seemed high or ill, or something. She stumbled in speaking. Had to be led to seat."

No word yet from Delaney's representatives what might have caused her behavior.

Soldier Stephen Hill Honors America: Gay Progressive Hate-Mongers, Not So Much

Okay, let's put some things in perspective.

As I reported last night, there were literally just a couple people who booed at soldier Stephen Hill, according to Sarah Rumpf, who was on hand and responded to the controversy on Twitter. And Sarah expanded on her tweet with a full blog report, "The Truth About the Booing at the Debate," where she indicates:
The debate included video questions that were submitted on YouTube, and one came from a soldier serving in Iraq who is gay and asked about the candidates' opinions on don't ask don't tell. There was audible booing after his question...however, please note that it was not the crowd booing. It was only one or two people.

I was at the debate, in the audience on the right hand side about halfway back (here's my tweet of the video screen that was right in front of us). The person who booed was just a few rows in front of us. The booing got an immediate and angry reaction from nearly everyone sitting around him, who hissed and shushed at him. Lots of loud gasps, "Shhhh!" "No!" "Shut up, you idiot!" etc.
So, not only was it just "one or two people," their boos were immediately repudiated by those sitting nearby.

Now, this episode is getting a lot of attention online, and as is usual with progressive extremists, the commentary is both dishonest and hysterical. Excitable Andrew Sullivan is particularly over the top, at "The Anger Builds." Sullivan's post is ugly on a number of counts. He attempts to slur the GOP as "a religion." He attacks Rick Santorum's comments as a "despicable lie." And he claims that "Republicans don't actually deep down care for the troops, if that means gay troops. Their constant posturing military patriotism has its limits." And on top of that:
The shocking silence on the stage - the fact that no one challenged this outrage - also tells me that this kind of slur is not regarded as a big deal. When it came to it, even Santorum couldn't sanction firing all those servicemembers who are now proudly out. But that's because he was forced to focus not on his own Thomist abstractions, but on an actual person. Throughout Republican debates, gays are discussed as if we are never in the audience, never actually part of the society, never fully part of families, never worthy of even a scintilla of respect. When you boo a servicemember solely because he's gay, you are saying he is beneath contempt, that nothing he does or has done can counterweigh the vileness of his sexual orientation.
This is completely decontextualized and patently absurd. Not only do we have Sarah Rumpf's first hand report of the audience reaction to the (one or two) boos, but it turns out that Rick Santorum didn't even hear them. He's interviewed by Megyn Kelly at the clip. She correctly observes that there were just a couple of people who booed, and Santorum responds that he didn't hear booing, and "when you're in that kind of environment, you're sort of focusing on the question and formulating your answer..." And Santorum repeatedly notes that "this man is serving our country" and he thanks him for his service.

So, contrary to Andrew Sullivan, it's simply not true that Republicans deem gay soldiers "never worthy of even a scintilla of respect." If Santorum is to be faulted, it's simply that he didn't acknowledge the soldier for his service. But that's a question of Santorum's personal decorum, and upon reflection, he clearly regrets how he came off and has corrected the record in his interview with Megyn Kelly. But what's key is the progressive left's willfully false attacks on Republicans. David Nir does the same thing at Daily Kos, "In face of boos for gay soldier, Republicans stay silent." And Greg Sargent attacks Republicans along these lines while fully cognizant that the outrage is bogus:
It would obviously be unfair to use this episode to tar all Republicans. Some, to their credit, have already registered their dismay about what happened. Even audience members reacted badly and told the hecklers to shut up. But it’s perfectly fair to see it as representative of the caliber of the candidates that stood on the stage last night.
No, it would not be fair, for the reasons that Rick Santorum indicates. The debate environment is basically a high stakes performance. The boos might not have registered with the candidates. And they likely were trying to anticipate the line of questioning and the direction of the debate rather than the appropriate salute to a soldier who submitted a question via YouTube. That's not fair, perhaps, but it's a long way from indicating that the Republican Party is filled with hordes of anti-gay bigots whose "posturing military patriotism has its limits." The truth is, as I've pointed out many times, the gay progressive left is a hate-cult powered by intolerance of difference. What bigotry we learned out this episode came from those on the radical left. And the outrage is especially rich in Andrew Sullivan's case, considering he's probably the last person who should be lecturing others on "gay sexual misconduct."