Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mitt Romney Visits Solyndra in Surprise Attack on Failed Policies of Obama Administration

I like the surprise element, and I especially like how Romney's going at Obama where's he's most vulnerable: corruption.

At CNN, "TRENDING: Romney makes surprise visit to Solyndra" (via Memeorandum).

And see Carla Marinucci, "Mitt Romney makes surprise visit to Solyndra, attacks Obama’s “Taj Mahal of corporations”."

Added: Hey! Just checking over at Instapundit and we're on the same wavelength, "YOU KNOW, I THINK I LIKE THE CUT OF THIS ROMNEY FELLOW’S JIB":
Heh: Romney Holds Campaign Event Outside Solyndra HQ. “Solyndra is the failed California-based solar technology company that received more than $500 million in federal stimulus money before it went bankrupt last year. It has since become a mantle of Romney’s argument that Obama doesn’t know how to run the economy.”

Romney’s people kept the event secret for fear of Obama-administration interference.
And more at that link.

I Stopped For a 'Super Big Gulp' On the Way Home — While I Still Have the Chance!

I don't drink these too often, but I get a regular Coca Cola when I do.

Maybe I'll stop off for Super Big Gulps more often, the way things are going — Jerry Brown might get some big idea!

See the New York Times, "Bloomberg Plans a Ban on Large Sugared Drinks." Of course everybody's blogging on this at Memeorandum. I'll read around the horn a bit later. Meanwhile, Sarah Kliff at WaPo's Wonk Blog is digging it: "Why New York City’s Big Gulp ban could be a big success."

Big Gold

My wife is not digging it, however. She penned a letter this morning for a post on her Facebook timeline, a true libertarian:
Dear Government:
Stop telling me what I can and cannot drink.
Stop telling me what I can and cannot eat.
Stop telling what I can and cannot do.
This is f-king America!
I can dig that!

Democrats Endorse Sex-Selection Abortion


Today's a huge day for pro-life forces.

Live Action is out with a fresh investigative video from New York. I'll have more on that later.

Meanwhile, the House is voting on a sex-selective abortion ban today (see Steve Ertelt on Twitter).

It's not good for the Democrats. See The Hill, "Dems say sex-selective abortion bill restricts women's right to choose," and "Anti-abortion groups turn 'war on women' charge against Democrats."

And at Twitchy, "House votes on sex-selective abortion bill; Obama and Left think gendercide is hunky-dory."

What a day!

Check back for updates. Until then, here's Michelle on Fox & Friends:

This 'Free Ad' From Fox News is Driving Progressives Batsh*t Crazy

Ed Morrissey reports, "Video: Fox’s “Four years of hope and change”." (Via Memeorandum.)

Captain Ed has a problem with such a partisan documentary mash-up being shown on a cable channel. But it doesn't bother me a bit. As I've long argued, the U.S. has reverted to the kind of "partisan press" we had around 1800. Media outlets take sides. It's as simple as that. And it's a good thing conservatives have Fox News or we'd be f-ked.

That said, this one's especially good in how literally wild it's driving the progressives, especially the Media Matters goons.

Re-blog and tweet that clip far and wide, in any case. It's perfect.

The O.C. Republican Party Embarrasses the Conservative Voter Foisting Establishment Candidates Into Our Faces

This is the most amazing letter to the editor. Wow!

See the Orange County Register, "Supervisor candidate Deborah Pauly a clear conservative":
Your headline using the word Pauly "Dumped" is a poor choice of words. Call it what it was: Councilwoman Pauly was railroaded, lynched, persecuted and scapegoated at the GOP county meeting as the party voted her out of her position as First Vice Chair despite articulate protests from the audience and hearty applause after her passionate response to Chairman Baugh's allegations.

Chairman Baugh accused her of being "provocative". Provocative can be good. Can we say Boston Tea Party/provocative? Pauly has been accused of being "incendiary". Can we say Thomas Paine's Common Sense as being incendiary? Pauly used the words "sodomy and rape" to describe how Obamacare was rammed down the voters' throats. I call it a metaphor.

Councilwoman Pauly stood up for a member who sent out a cynical cartoon about Obama. She didn't stand up for the cartoon of the chimp: Pauly stood up for the woman's First Amendment freedom.

Pauly said her removal as First Vice Chair on the eve of the election for 3rd District County Supervisor is a "hit piece." She has been endorsed, amongst many, by the Howard Jarvis Foundation and by Chuck DeVore. She is opposed by Todd Spitzer. What timing. Imagine the coincidence of her being "dumped"! Can we say Meg Whitman's housekeeper Nicky Diaz being brought out at the last minute was a "hit piece?" What timing. Imagine the coincidence.

I've heard Mrs. Pauly speak at 6 public meetings. She was honest, decent, and clear in her conservative values. I heard Mr. Spitzer speak at a forum last month in Anaheim Hills. He called her a "potty mouth." He challenged her to get up out of the audience and debate him. She graciously declined as the forum was not for debate, and he knew it.

A former George Wallace supporter who hasn't been a segregationist for decades said he admired Pauly's conservatism. His statement is being used as a race card guilt by association tact.

Chairman Baugh said The (Republican) Youth Advocates were against Pauly. The spokesperson for the Youth Advocates firmly denied this! He countered that Deborah Pauly has always been honorable and courteous.

Implying Pauly is divisive, Baugh said the party is a family together. No, Mr. Baugh, the Republican party is a house divided often eating their own thus not heeding Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment to refrain from doing so.

Chairman Baugh said Pauly embarrasses the party. On the contrary, the party embarrasses the conservative voter foisting establishment candidates into our faces. We are losing our base because the party has abandoned our principles. Pauly is speaking up for the base, the disenfranchised, those whose voices can't be heard because the party isn't listening!

All this hearkens to mind a portion from Rudyard Kipling's classic poem If.

"If you can hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to set a trap for fools..."

So I ask the voter: Whose fool are you going to be?

Gail Bales
Anaheim Hills
PREVIOUSLY: "'Little Boys Playing Politics': O.C. GOP Establishment Smears Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly."

New Cherokee Group Challenges Elizabeth Warren

I don't see Elizabeth Warren lasting much longer, although Massachusetts Democrats are likely stuck with her at this point.

Check this out, from Cherokees Demand Truth from Elizabeth Warren, "Elizabeth Warren - The Cherokees Will Not be Silenced":

The authentic Cherokee tribes are made up of descendants of those listed on either the Dawes or Baker Rolls. Those rolls include the names of citizens who stayed with their nations; helped clear and farm their nations' land; helped build their nations' businesses and schools; participated in their nations' governments; and defended their nations in times of war and unrest. Through their loyalty to their nations, those Cherokee citizens paid the price for their descendants to have the right to call themselves Cherokee today. No one else has that right; not the individual walking down the street, not the members of the fraudulent tribes and certainly not a person who is running for the United States Congress. It is time for Ms. Warren to come clean and tell the truth. Until she does, we will not be silenced.

And see William Jacobson, "Hundreds of Cherokees form new group to challenge Elizabeth Warren." (Via Memeorandum.)

And the Boston Herald has more on the race: "Liz Warren just won’t commit."

Michael Patrick Leahy is just having a field day with this stuff, at Breitbart.

Our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race

Well, it's a sensitive question, and of course no one likes to be attacked as RAAAAACIST!!!

Video c/o Instapundit:

And the book is here: No Matter What...They'll Call This Book Racist: How our Fear of Talking Honestly About Race Hurts Us All.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Is Convicted Terrorist Brett Kimberlin Abusing Tax-Exempt Status? Calling for Congressional Hearings on Continuation of Section 501(c)(3) Benefits

I visited the district office of my congressman this morning, Representative John Campbell of California's 48th Congressional District. He's on Twitter here.

Rep. Campbell, a Republican, sits on the House Financial Services Committe. The committee's jurisdiction extends to "all issues pertaining to the economy" and includes "efforts to combat terrorist financing." And the committee oversees the Treasury Department, the cabinet-level agency which includes the Internal Revenue Service within its organizational authority.

I spoke briefly with District Director Lou Penrose. I delivered to him a number of documents.

These included:

* Brett Kimberlin's 2010 tax return for Justice Through Music, which provides information to the IRS on tax-exempt criteria and qualifications.

* David Hogberg's first-hand report from Aaron Worthing's "peace order" hearing, "IBD at Kimberlin Hearing: Walker Handcuffed, 1st Amendment Muzzled."

* Glenn Beck's report from his May 25th broadcast, "Glenn talks to bloggers about Brett Kimberlin Terrorism."

* Hans Bader's essay at Open Markets, "Injunction Imposed Over Blog Posts That Criticized Convicted Terrorist-Turned-Left-Wing Activist."

* Matthew Vadum's report at Capital Research, "Nonprofit of terrorist bomber received Tides Foundation funding."

* Vadum's article at FrontPage Magazine, "Brett Kimberlin and the Hall of Fame of Leftist Terrorists."


The Senate Finance Committee issued a press release last week announcing the investigation of a disabled veterans 501(c)(3) organization. See: "Baucus, Burr Investigate Nonprofit for Exploiting Veterans, Taxpayers, Abusing Tax-Exempt Status — Senators Demand Answers from Disabled Veterans National Foundation About Potential Charity Abuses, Failure to Provide Services to Disabled Veterans."

That's a good model for what I'd like to see. Checking the link shows that the committee requested a bill of particulars that would show "whether DVNF meets the standards for a 501(c)(3) organization." And while Brett Kimberlin's organization is much smaller than DVNF, according to Robert Stacy McCain:
Federal tax forms filed by convicted terrorist Brett Kimberlin’s tax-exempt non-profit Justice Through Music Project (JTMP) show that the 501(c)3 group collected $1.8 million in gifts, grants and other contributions during its first six years of operation. An analysis using database research indicates that more than $300,000 of that sum came in the form of grants from tax-exempt foundations, including the George Soros-connected Tides Foundation, the Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund, the Barbara Streisand Foundation, and the Heinz Family Foundation, connected to Democrat Sen. John Kerry’s wife.
That's a lot of money. A congressional investigation could determine whether Kimberlin's organization is in violation of any of six rules for non-profit organizations:
Private benefit/inurement
Political campaign activity
Unrelated business income (UBI)
Annual reporting obligation
Operation in accord with stated exempt purpose(s)
The first rule on the use of tax-exempt funding for personal use seems particularly problematic in Kimberlin's case. As Ed Barnes reported at Fox News in 2010:
A review of tax filings for Kimberlin’s blogs, “Velvet Revolution” and “Justice Through Music,” raises troubling questions about whether his “nonprofit” operations are dedicated to public activism — or are just a new facade for a longtime con artist.
And Kimberlin is likely in non-compliance with rule 3 prohibiting direct or indirect political activity, given his long campaign to silence conservatives daring to speak out on his political affiliations.

So, there you go.

It's perhaps a stretch to hope for some kind of congressional hearing on the Kimberlin affair, but you never know until you try. I've heard back from District Director Penrose. He indicated that he's forwarding all of the above information to the Rep. Campbell's D.C. office and he requested that I follow up on the status of my request.

I will be doing that and more, since this case is a turning point in the left's war on free speech.

See also Ace of Spades HQ, "What Can You Do?"

And especially Michelle Malkin, "A post-Brett Kimberlin blogburst to-do list; Updated."

The key is to not let up on this. Megyn Kelly had a brief report today on Fox News, so we know the story is filtering up the media chain: "Conservative blogger targeted by new 'swatting' tactic."

I'll be updating with more ideas and action.

Meanwhile, see Lee Stranahan, "Brett Kimberlin, Meatball Justice & Legal Crowdsourcing."

UPDATE! Linkmaster Smith links: "Donald Douglas Doubles Down; Brett Kimblerlin, Perhaps, Will Frown." Thanks!

Also at That Mr. G Guy and Paco Enterprises. Right on!

Glenn Reynolds links. Thanks!

The Lonely Conservative links, "Something We Can All Do About Brett Kimberlin." Thanks!

And more, from Daley Gator, "Donald Douglas going in after the rails of Brett Kimberlin’s Tax-Exempt Crazy Train." Thanks!

A Convicted Terrorist and Soros-Backed Activist is Beating Conservative Bloggers

Brett Kimberlin, an ex-terrorist and now jailhouse lawyer, is beating conservatives by abusing the legal process. This may be a short-lived victory, but it's true.

The main thing to notice today is that Aaron Worthing is shut down. He can't blog about what's happened. So in the larger analysis, much of the fighting we've been doing has been for naught. The one guy who really got us fired up is sitting at home, prohibited even from tweeting updates on the case. That is demoralizing.

That said, it's a long war, and Stranahan posts today's clarion call: "Brett Kimberlin’s Ambush of Aaron Walker Will Not Stand."

And see also Patterico's report, "Professor Jacobson on Brett Kimberlin’s Abuse of Process."

You can help Aaron's legal defense funding here.

I'll have more this afternoon...

What F-CKING MORON Picked the Friday Before a Long Weekend to Launch the #BrettKimberlin Blogburst?

Actually, I thought it was pretty awesome, but she has a point.

That would be Kate McMillan, at Small Dead Animals, quoted at Kathy Shaidle's excellent essay, "Brett Kimberlin and the Future of Blogbursts."

And I think IBD's David Hogberg has the closest thing to mainstream media reporting on the trials of Aaron Worthing. See, "IBD at Kimberlin Hearing: Walker Handcuffed, 1st Amendment Muzzled." (Via Memeorandum.)

And see Patterico, "Aaron Walker Arrested for Blogging? Clearing Some of the Fog Surrounding Today’s Litigation" (via Instapundit).

More later...

'Not Even Half'

Via Theo Spark:

And at the Washington Post, "Romney in Colorado attacks Obama’s job creation record."

Delays in U.S.-Iran Nuclear Diplomacy

At the Miami Herald, "Talks with Iran produce delays, not progress":

Iran Nukes
To almost no one’s surprise, the latest round of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program produced no progress, and concluded with an agreement to meet again and hold more talks. Once again, world leaders — and Iran — have opted to kick the problem down road, each hoping to obtain a different result.

If there is one thing that Europe, the United States and Iran agree on right now is that nobody wants a war to start, not yet.

Even though Iran rejected a new set of proposals presented at the Baghdad meeting by the so-called P5+1 — the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany — everyone smiled faintly and agreed to another set of meetings in Moscow this June.

Even if U.S. officials became convinced that there is no chance Iran will ever compromise on its nuclear program, the Obama administration does not want a war with Iran at this time, since it could affect the November elections. Europe, for its part, is terrified of a conflict that could send oil prices higher and raise even more obstacles during an economic crisis.

Iran wants to continue making progress towards its nuclear goals, and it wants the world to start gradually accepting that it will not dismantle its nuclear facilities. Even if Tehran agrees at the last minute to stop short of building a weapon, it hopes to hold on to as much of the program as possible so that it can either cheat after an agreement or freeze progress at a point where Iranian nuclear engineers have only a short sprint left to build the bomb.

Iran’s nuclear advisor Hamidreza Taraghi recently boasted to The New York Times of how the West has gradually come to accept Iran’s crossing of “red lines.” First, he explained, the West said Iran could not have a nuclear reactor. Then it said it would not tolerate heavy-water facilities. Then it drew the line at uranium enrichment. Iran has crossed all the lines, and all of these are now elements of Iran’s nuclear program, apparently accepted by the West.

But Washington and its allies — and much of the world — say Iran should not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons. President Obama says that the United States will do whatever it takes to prevent it. And there is surprising international support for that position.

A new Pew poll of 21 countries showed widespread opposition to a nuclear-armed Iran weapon, not only in the West but also in Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. Majorities, in fact, expressed support for military intervention in a number of countries, including the United States, Britain, France, the Czech Republic, Poland and others.

The U.N.’s nuclear agency has expressed deep concerns about possible “military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program. U.N. inspectors just announced finding traces of 27-percent enriched uranium, the highest yet, and after Baghdad talks Iran repeated it sees no reason to halt uranium enrichment to levels much higher than civilian uses require.

The United States, Israel and many others believe Tehran’s ultimate aim is to produce nuclear weapons, while Iran maintains it is enriching uranium only to develop energy and medical isotopes.

Despite its claims to have only peaceful intentions, Iranian officials made statements ahead of the Baghdad talks that served as a reminder of why the world — and Israel in particular — are so nervous about the prospects of a nuclear-armed Iran.
Iran will eventually deploy strategic nuclear weapons --- that is, unless Israel acts preemptively first, which I think is a good possibility. And thank goodness for that.

IMAGE HAT TIP: Moonbattery.

The Choom Gang

ICYMI, at BuzzFeed, "A User's Guide to Smoking Pot With Barack Obama."


IMAGE HAT TIP: Moonbatty, "The Choom-Head in Chief."

Obama's Secret 'Kill List'

This is something else, from the New York Times, "Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will."

I like that video, although of course voters aren't going to give a rip about how involved the president is with terrorist targeting. The hypocrisy is pretty exquisite, either way. And see William Jacobson for more on that. He just eviscerates Jon Walker at Firedoglake: "He likes to push that drone button."

'Yes They Are Heroes' — Bill Whittle Schools MSNBC's Chris Hayes on America's Fallen

This is amazing, via The Right Scoop, "Bill Whittle TORCHES Chris Hayes: You’re rhetorically proximate to a being a coward and an idiot you jackass!":

Wolf Blitzer Has Heated Exchange with Donald Trump Over Latest Barack Obama Birth Controversy

The story's at Memeorandum.

Trump is already an extremely loose cannon, so it makes for great television, no doubt.

But did Wolf every follow up on Michelle's touting of Barack's "Kenyan birth"? Oh, no? I thought not.


5.8 Earthquake Hits Italy

At the Los Angeles Times, "In Italy, 5.8 quake kills 16, injures 350." And at the San Francisco Chronicle, "Italian Earthquake Kills at Least 15 in Emilia Romagna Region."

Plus lots of pictures at London's Daily Mail, "Priest dies in church collapse while trying to rescue statue as second major earthquake to hit Italy in days kills at least 15 others."

California Voters Don't Trust Government on Proposed New Taxes and Spending, Poll Finds

Well, to be precise, California voters support Governor Jerry Brown's tax hike initiative on the November ballot, but when question wording is changed to indicate that the state may waste the money, support drops dramatically — especially among independents.

See the Los Angeles Times, "California voters still support Jerry Brown's call for tax hikes — But skepticism about how lawmakers would use the money could derail the governor's plan, and winning over independents is key, poll finds":

SACRAMENTO — California voters continue to back Gov. Jerry Brown in his call for higher taxes, but distrust of state government could erode that support, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

About half of those surveyed said they approved of Brown's job performance — a finding virtually unchanged from three months ago, before he announced that the projected budget deficit had leapt from $9.2 billion to $16 billion. Brown wants voters to pass a quarter-cent increase in the sales tax and raise levies on individual incomes of more than $250,000 by 1 to 3 percentage points, or about 11% to 32%.

But some of those inclined to support increased taxes are reluctant to trust state leaders with more money.

When told of the growing deficit and the governor's plan to plug it with a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, 59% of respondents said they would support the tax hikes. Just 36% said they would vote against the proposal if it is on the ballot this fall as Brown hopes.

However, when voters heard arguments against the plan — namely, the suggestion that Sacramento could waste any new money it received from higher taxes rather than spend it on such services as schools and public safety — only 50% said they would vote for it. And 42% would oppose it.

"Very quickly, the intensity changes as people are presented with more information," said Linda DiVall of the Republican polling firm American Viewpoint, which conducted the survey in conjunction with the Democratic company Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.

The proposal's passage, which would require a simple majority, would depend in large part on Brown's ability to win independent voters — those not registered with any political party, who make up about 21% of the state's electorate. They were the most likely to turn against the governor's measure when an argument was made against it.

Before the critique, independents supported the measure 58% to 38%. Afterward, just 43% of those respondents said they would vote yes and 47% said they would vote no.

One of those people is Margrit Drexelius, a 52-year-old independent voter from Santa Clarita. She said she recognizes why Brown is asking people to pay more in taxes but doubts lawmakers would spend the money wisely.

"I understand the money has to come from somewhere," she said. "But I don't think they know how to use people's money. Frankly, I think that all politicians are doing a crappy job."

Continue reading at the link.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Obama Awards Medal of Freedom to Dolores Huerta, Honorary Chair of Democratic Socialists of America

Well, naturally.

Obama's a socialist.

See "Obama Awards Medal of Freedom to Democratic Socialists of America Chair" (via Memeorandum).

And listen to Ms. Huerta's interview with Univision today. All about "social justice," you think?

Aaron Worthing Released From Custody at Montgomery County Jail, Rockville, Maryland

Aaron Worthing is out of jail and conservatives are ramping up the support networks.

Aaron is retweeting all the support, and Dan Collins has a nice roundup of today's news: "Aaron Walker Jailed on ‘Violation’ of Peace Order." And see Memeorandum for all the action.

It's going to take a long time to resolve things legally, but there's no doubt that progressives are waging all out lawfare. Mandy Nagy tweets this from "Occupy Rebellion," a sockpuppet supporting the Brett Kimberlin attacks:


I'll be updating, as always.

Meanwhile, Volokh has an excellent post with informed comments at the thread: "Aaron Walker, Brett Kimberlin, and the Fog of Litigation."

And see Hans Bader, "Injunction Imposed Over Blog Posts That Criticized Convicted Terrorist-Turned-Left-Wing Activist."

Added: See Jeff Goldstein as well, "And you thought justice was blind…"

Lawfare: Aaron Worthing Arrested After #BrettKimberlin 'Peace Order' Hearing — UPDATED!

This story is developing.

Robert Stacy McCain reports, "REPORT: Aaron Walker Arrested After Maryland Hearing on Kimberlin Case" (via Memeorandum).

And at Twitchy, "Blogger and Brett Kimberlin target Aaron Walker arrested in Maryland; Updated" (via Memeorandum).

And Popehat nails it at the title: "Brett Kimberlin and Aaron Worthing: Censorship And Retaliation Through Lawfare"

Below is the so-called "peace order" that Kimberlin submitted to the court. Kimberlin's alleged imminent impending harm because conservatives blogged about him. He alleges he's received death threats. At around Noon Pacific Time Aaron Worthing had not updated his Twitter feed for about 5 hours. And at this point Twitter is freezing up due to over-capacity. That said, there's a first-hand account of the court hearing at Munsey’s Technosnarl, "When Your Honor, This Man Is a Convicted Domestic Terrorist Is Not Enough." Read it all at the link. It looks like Aaron let his frustrations get the best of him --- which is not surprising, considering the cunning evil that is Brett Kimberlin.

Michelle Malkin affirms what I say all the time: "The world is upside-down."

And be sure to read William Jacobson's post for some perspective: "What’s going on in Maryland?"

Kimberlin Peace Order


Gendercide: Sex-Selection in America

It couldn't happen here, right?

That's always the thing, when we read the brutal reports on sex-selection baby killing in China, India, and other developing countries. It's never here, in the good ole U.S. of A.



Watch this video from Live Action and you will be horrified, via Hot Air and Memeorandum.

And check Live Action, "Sex-Selective Abortion Thrives in America, Courtesy Planned Parenthood."

Gunny Nick Popaditch Phenomenal Memorial Day Speech 2012

This guy is on fire. What a speech!

Via Freedom's Lighthouse, "Outstanding Memorial Day Speech by U.S. Marine Veteran, and Candidate for Congress (CA-53), Nick Popaditch – Video 5/28/12":

The U.N. Again Plays Accomplice to Massacre

At the Wall Street Journal, "Syria's Srebrenica" (via Google):

The United Nations Security Council on Sunday condemned Syria's government for the killing of 108 people, mostly women and children, in Houla on Friday. But the condemnation was incomplete: It should have included the Security Council itself for providing the diplomatic cover that has let the Assad government continue its killing.

Thanks to Russia and China, the Security Council has failed to impose any serious sanctions on Syria, much less endorse action to help the opposition amid more than 6,000 deaths. That's bad enough. But in April the U.N. turned to aiding and abetting the regime with its mission to send Kofi Annan to Damascus as a special "peace" envoy.

Mr. Annan, who as a former U.N. Secretary-General is perfectly trained for the role of accommodating dictators, brokered a cease-fire that he said Syria's Bashar Assad promised to obey. As was widely predicted at the time, Mr. Annan's truce succeeded only in buying time for the Assad regime to crush rebel havens in Homs and elsewhere and now to perpetrate the massacre in Houla.

On Monday, Mr. Annan made another trip to Damascus and proclaimed himself "personally shocked and horrified by the tragic incident in Houla." Nice to know.

He also called on "every individual with a gun" to disarm and stop the killing, which continues the moral equivalence that equates systematic shelling of civilian neighborhoods with small-arms resistance to organized military assaults. The U.N. is every bit as complicit in the Houla murders as it was when its blue-helmet Dutch peacekeepers stood by and did nothing as the Serbs massacred thousands of Bosnians in Srebrenica in 1995.

The Obama Administration signed onto the Annan mission as an excuse not to have to organize a coalition of the willing outside the U.N. to intervene in Syria. Bill Clinton was finally shamed into going around the U.N. in Bosnia in the 1990s, but Mr. Obama's main goal seems to be to get past the election without again having to use American military force.

And ICYMI, BCF has the trailer for "U.N. Me."

Iraq War Protester David Lawley-Wakelin Bursts Into Courtroom as Former PM Tony Blair Faces Leveson Inquiry

At London's Daily Mail, "You're a war criminal! Protester bursts into courtroom as Tony Blair gives evidence at Leveson Inquiry (and former PM's car is egged as he leaves)."

And from Telegraph UK, "Leveson intruder David Lawley Wakelin had heckled Tony Blair before on Question Time."

MSNBC's Chris Hayes Apologizes for Stupid Comments Disrespecting America's Fallen Military Heroes

ICYMI, here's the background, with video, "MSNBC's Chris Hayes 'Uncomfortable' Honoring Fallen U.S. Troops, Spews About 'Rhetorically Proximate' Justifications for More War."

And here's the apology, via Puff Ho:
On Sunday, in discussing the uses of the word "hero" to describe those members of the armed forces who have given their lives, I don't think I lived up to the standards of rigor, respect and empathy for those affected by the issues we discuss that I've set for myself. I am deeply sorry for that.

As many have rightly pointed out, it's very easy for me, a TV host, to opine about the people who fight our wars, having never dodged a bullet or guarded a post or walked a mile in their boots. Of course, that is true of the overwhelming majority of our nation's citizens as a whole. One of the points made during Sunday's show was just how removed most Americans are from the wars we fight, how small a percentage of our population is asked to shoulder the entire burden and how easy it becomes to never read the names of those who are wounded and fight and die, to not ask questions about the direction of our strategy in Afghanistan, and to assuage our own collective guilt about this disconnect with a pro-forma ritual that we observe briefly before returning to our barbecues.

But in seeking to discuss the civilian-military divide and the social distance between those who fight and those who don't, I ended up reinforcing it, conforming to a stereotype of a removed pundit whose views are not anchored in the very real and very wrenching experience of this long decade of war. And for that I am truly sorry.
That's not much of an apology, actually.

Indeed, it's not all that complicated. Parsing all the rhetorical proximity to war is freakin' stupid. Americans are steeped in military history and when our soldiers lose their lives that's considered a greater act of valor. The individual agency involved is just part of the larger symbolism of national purpose and sacrifice. It's stupid to ignore that larger symbolism. And it's even more stupid not to recognize that a television network --- even a network as far left as MSNBC --- is a far different medium than the rarefied pages of The Nation (where Hayes is an editor).

But maybe that's intellectualizing it a bit much. Here's Bill Quick for the concise response to Hayes:
He’s lying, and I don’t believe a word of his apology.

In fact, I think if he said what he really thinks, he’d tell us that the American fighting man is nothing more than a robotically programmed killer hired by the hegemons of the American empire to brutalize the helpless indigenous peoples of the world in order to further their exploitation in the furnaces and sweat shops of capitalism.
More at Pull My Chain, "Well I’m uncomfortable calling Hayes a ‘journalist’."

Gallup: Romney Enjoys Huge Lead Among Veterans

See: "Veterans Give Romney Big Lead Over Obama."

Read it all at the link. There's some interesting tables on the veterans' demographic. Nearly three-fourth of all men aged 80-89 served in the military, and the numbers are also high for those in their 60s and 70s. Perhaps with the introduction of the selective service in the 1970s the Democrats would subsequently enjoy a long-term benefit as the earlier generations of drafted military veterans passed from the scene.

Also from This Ain't Hell, "Gallup: Romney’s lead over Obama comes from veterans" (via Memeorandum).

And at Linkmaster Smith, "So You’re Telling Me 1 In 3 Vets Favor #OccupyResoluteDesk?"

BONUS: Ed Morrissey has the political angle, "Obama, Romney tied at 46 in 6-week Gallup survey."

Mitt Romney Commemorates Memorial Day in San Diego (VIDEO)

The Washington Post reports: "Romney’s Memorial Day promise: to maintain a US military ‘with no comparable power anywhere’."

Monday, May 28, 2012

Eagles 'Hotel California' at No. 5 — Top 100 Rock Albums of All Time

They've wrapped up the Memorial Weekend marathon at The Sound L.A.

Check the link for the top finishers. The Eagles' "Hotel California" came in a No. 5 — a fine entry and a fine performance at the clip:

PREVIOUSLY: "Top 100 Rock Albums of All Time."

Dog Tags

I'm hanging out blogging and my youngest boy comes over and slips a little necklace over my shirt with dog tags on it. I thought that was pretty cool so we took a  photo.


As the Nation Remembers This Memorial Day, Don't Forget That Barack Obama Was Most Antiwar Candidate for President Since George McGovern

I'm watching President Obama's commemoration at the Vietnam War Memorial on CNN. And there's more coverage at The Hill (via Memeorandum).

While I appreciate the president's word of gratitude for our nation's fallen, I can't help feeling that his words are cheap. In 2007, as a candidate for the Democrat nomination, Obama laid claim to being the most far-left, antiwar candidate in the race. After he was elected, he set out to reorient American national security toward a dramatic and precipitous downsizing of our military presence overseas. I do not discount that Obama has made some monumental decisions as Commander-in-Chief --- decisions that undoubtedly made the country safer --- but those decisions should be always viewed through the prism of naked partisan politics, and not the more noble politics of our nation's higher calling to goodness in the world. Here's what I wrote in 2010, when the administration announced the final drawdown from Iraq, "President Barack Obama Claims Credit on Iraq War":

For all of the socialism and Islamist-appeasement of this administration, the one thing that has bothered me the most about this president (and candidate in 2007-08) is his screechingly perverse antiwar ideology and opportunism. Barack Obama was the most antiwar Senator in Congress throughout 2007 and in 2008 he tried to play both sides of the fence: After opposing the surge he then turned around and hailed its success, while insisting once more that the war was wrong.
There's more at the link.

This Cold Fury headline also captures the feeling back in 2010: "Obama singlehandedly wins Iraq war, comes home victorious, pats wonderful self on back."

So again, while I appreciate the dignity that Obama now brings to Memorial Day, I simply can't look at this president and consider him sincere. Indeed, when I hear MSNBC commentators like Chris Hayes diss the troops as false heroes "rhetorically proximate" to neo-imperialist warmongering, I'm reminded of the president. The Veterans of Foreign Wars is now demanding an apology from Hayes, "VFW Seeks Apology After MSNBC Host's 'Reprehensible and Disgusting' Comments" (via Memeorandum). And while some might be calling this a mini-tempest, I'd simply point out that Hayes' wife, Kate Shaw, is Associate Counsel to the President in the Barack Obama White House. Perhaps Ms. Shaw should step down so as to eliminate the close connections to Chris Hayes at MSNBC. No worries thought, right? I'm sure in no time we'll be hearing Press Spokesman Jay Carney promising that such associations have no impact on the president's national security policy making, wink, wink.

PHOTO CREDIT: "President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet the U.S. Navy’s first contingent of women...", via the White House Flickr page.

Remarkable Men and Women Are Still Stepping Forward to Defend Freedom

From Tom Manion, at the Wall Street Journal, "Why They Serve—'If Not Me, Then Who?'":

First Lt. Travis Manion
I served in the military for 30 years. But it was impossible to fully understand the sacrifices of our troops and their families until April 29, 2007, the day my son, First Lt. Travis Manion, was killed in Iraq.

Travis was just 26 years old when an enemy sniper's bullet pierced his heart after he had just helped save two wounded comrades. Even though our family knew the risks of Travis fighting on the violent streets of Fallujah, being notified of his death on a warm Sunday afternoon in Doylestown, Pa., was the worst moment of our lives.

While my son's life was relatively short, I spend every day marveling at his courage and wisdom. Before his second and final combat deployment, Travis said he wanted to go back to Iraq in order to spare a less-experienced Marine from going in his place. His words—"If not me, then who . . . "—continue to inspire me.

My son is one of thousands to die in combat since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Because of their sacrifices, as well as the heroism of previous generations, Memorial Day 2012 should have tremendous importance to our entire nation, with an impact stretching far beyond one day on the calendar.

In Afghanistan, tens of thousands of American troops continue to sweat, fight and bleed. In April alone, 35 U.S. troops were killed there, including Army Capt. Nick Rozanski, 36, who made the difficult decision to leave his wife and children to serve our country overseas.

"My brother didn't necessarily have to go to Afghanistan," Spc. Alex Rozanski, Nick's younger brother and fellow Ohio National Guard soldier, said. "He chose to because he felt an obligation."

Sgt. Devin Snyder "loved being a girly-girl, wearing her heels and carrying her purses," according to her mother, Dineen Snyder. But Sgt. Snyder, 20, also took it upon herself to put on an Army uniform and serve in the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan as a military police officer. She was killed by an enemy roadside bomb, alongside three fellow soldiers and a civilian contractor, on June 4, 2011.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Daniel Douville was an explosive ordnance disposal technician, doing an incredibly dangerous job depicted in "The Hurt Locker." He was a loving husband and father of three children. "He was my best friend," his wife, LaShana Douville, said. "He was a good person."

Douville, 33, was killed in a June 26, 2011, explosion in Afghanistan's Helmand province, where some of the fiercest fighting of the decade-long conflict continues to this day...
Continue reading.

Mitt Romney Video Thanks Veterans on Memorial Day

Via Blogs4Mitt:

Also at the Los Angeles Times, "Romney campaign thanks veterans on Memorial Day."

Memorial Day 2012

I'm always thankful for the untold sacrifices, each and every day.

See the editorials at Buffalo News and the San Francisco Chronicle.


Photo Credit: Arlington National Cemetery, via Wikimedia.

Brett Kimberlin and 'SWATting': Where Is the Establishment Press?

From Tom Blumer, at NewsBusters:

As the clock in the Eastern time zone officially tells me that it's Memorial Day, it occurs to me that the men and women we honor today did not fight and die so they would see their country become one where a person could be hounded from their home, see themselves and/or loved ones lose their jobs, worry about the safety of their kids, or be visited by police with guns drawn as a result of a false anonymous tip -- all of which has "just so happened" to occur in close proximity to having blogged about the activities of a certain person or his associates.

It also occurs to me that part of the way of life these men and women died to preserve had to do with defending the rights of the press (which at the time of our Founders was understood to be anyone "down" to the level of a pamphleteer) to conscientiously do their jobs, and that part of the reason why what is happening as described in the first paragraph goes on may be because those involved know that they often won't be called out by the local, regional, or national press -- virtually no matter how egregious their offenses.

If they somehow do get caught, tried, and jailed, they frequently become objects of orchestrated sympathy -- and too many in the media aren't averse to playing along. What's more, it seems that some of the worst perpetrators of these crimes against basic human decency, and in some cases actual crimes, are doing so with the assistance of money obtained from people who like to think of themselves as politically correct but should nevertheless know better.

Which leads us to the subject of Brett Kimberlin...
Continue reading.

Last night Stranahan, Patterico, Liberty Chick and others recorded a radio show (here), and there's some speculation that the swatting suspect called in. Skip forward to 65:00 minutes at the recording. It was chilling. The voice resembled the caller at the YouTube clip above, the Patterico swatting.

Check for updates at all the usual blogs and on Twitter.

And starting Tuesday folks need to make their voices known. Contact your Member of Congress and some of the mainstream media outlets, especially CNN (on Twitter here).

Michelle has more: "A post-Brett Kimberlin blogburst to-do list." And I'll be updating.

Democrats Giving Up on Wisconsin Recall?

Asks Ed Morrissey, at Hot Air.

The buzz is that DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz claims the recall won't matter for November --- which is almost as big a whopper as the president's lies about his administration's unprecedented spending.

Plus, here's Emily Elkins on the Reason-Rupe pollings for Tuesday: "Reason-Rupe Poll on Wisconsin Recall: Walker Leads Barrett 50-42, Obama Leads Romney 46-36."

Maxim's Hot 100 Party

A couple of videos from the Maxim party:

Heidi Klum Pole-Dancing Music Video

Actually, she looks a little worn and weary, if you ask me.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Left's Brett Kimberlin Truthers

Okay, the breaking story late today is that Erick Erickson's home was SWATted.

See Patterico, "BREAKING: Bogus Call Sends Police to Home of Kimberlin Critic Erick Erickson."

And lots more from Memeorandum:

* Aaron Worthing, "BREAKING: Another Critic of Convicted Terrorist Brett Kimberlin Has Been Swatted!"

* Bob Owens, "Soros-funded left-wing terrorists target second conservative blogger with potentially deadly SWATting attack"

* Jawa Report, "SWATing a CNN Contributor, Who's Next Beotches??"


Folks are tweeting CNN and other major media outlets in an effort to get some major media coverage on this: "After Brett Kimberlin blogburst, RedState blogger/CNN contributor Erick Erickson and family victims of SWATting; will CNN cover the story?"

Meanwhile, the progressive left is circling the wagons. Markos Moulitsas tried to blow off Everybody Blog Brett Kimberlin Day, and he got called out on it: "Markos Moulitsas gets schooled on ‘nobody’ political terrorist Brett Kimberlin."

And as is generally the case, few progressives have blogged this story, and those who have blogged it are denying Kimberlin's campaign of criminal harassment --- they're in fact blaming the victims. Barbara at Mahablog dismissed the threats from Kimberlin and dissed the conservative response as a "lynch mob." But you get real hardcore Kimberlin trutherism at No More More Mister Nice Blog, "I WANT THE KIMBERLIN TRUTH TO PUT ON ITS BOOTS":
You know the saying ascribed to Mark Twain: "A lie goes halfway around the world before the truth puts on its boots." That's pretty much what happens when the right pushes and distorts a story, while the mainstream press says nothing. That's what happened, for instance, with the "Ground Zero mosque." The right-wing media and blogosphere pushed the story for months before the rest of the media took notice of the right's distortions....

That's what must be prevented in the case of Brett Kimberlin. In addition to convicting him in the media, the right is already trying to tie him to the Obama administration, and, by inference, to every liberal and Democrat in America. That's only going to continue.

Let wingnuts be the mainstream press's assignment editors? I say yes, but just in order to tell the truth. At worst, we learn that Kimberlin really was a nasty guy; the fact appears to be that liberals and Democrats who may have allied with him simply didn't know that. (Yeah, he's an ex-con, but so is Don King, who once killed a guy, which didn't stop the GOP from expressing delight as his endorsement of George W. Bush in 2004.) Or we may find out that behavior is being ascribed to Kimberlin and his friends that's someone else's doing, or that's being exaggerated and distorted, just to score political points. Either way, the right is prevented from owning the story for the next several months and presenting it in a way that exclusively helps the right. If these hissyfits are ignored, they don't go away.

All one has to do is read Aaron Worthing 28,000 word report and you'd be a long way toward "the truth." But progressives don't want the truth. They want to destroy conservatives. So by denying Kimberin's evil and by attempting to turn it all around so it's really the right who's harassing Kimberlin, the left ends up enabling and empowering the left's criminal intimidation network. But read more of the comments from No More Mister Nice Blog. These people have got it bad. Here's this one, for example, from Jymn:
I just wish there was some equivalence between media coverage of the left and the right. Judging by Memeorandum in the aftermath of Breitbart's death, the right has gone around the bend. With Erick Erickson and Dana Loesch on CNN with no lefty blogger counterpoint, the right is monopolizing the media. Sure, let the right shoot itself in the foot. But it doesn't work that way. Righties advance the more they screw up. Not so for the left. With this latest kerfuffle, probably the wildest and most obscure I've ever encountered in the blogospher, how will we ever know the truth? The media is no longer diligent enough to wade through the bull. I have a feeling McCain is only telling a purple prose version of the events. He may not be the victim here but if the right keeps trumpeting his victim status, the lazy media is sure to do the same, despite the underlying facts.
And here's this from my old hate-blogging stalker Walter James Casper III:
Exactly right, Steve... I want the truth of the thing to come out, whatever it is... The ones involved/telling the story are politically biased, and--because they're involved--not objective or trustworthy on that front, either.

It just bothers me that a deputy district attorney for LA county (Patterico), a lawyer (Worthing), and a former news reporter (McCain) can't get much help or traction from law enforcement, the court system, or the media. (Both Frey and Worthing have specifically said the law isn't following their leads or taking their plights seriously.) Meanwhile, the rightwing blogs are hanging on their every utterances as though they're Gospel. If professional law enforcement is skeptical of their stories, I fail to see why I should believe them, either.

When I start to see movement from unbiased legal and media sources, I'll take their stories more seriously.
And that is from a guy who is the publisher of a criminal harassment blog. He only stopped his harassment after I went to the police: "Intent to Annoy and the Fascist Hate-Blogging Campaign of Walter James Casper III."

I'll have more on the Kimberlin trutherism later, and of course more on all of the attacks. This is personal: "Carl Salonen Libelous Workplace Allegations of Child Pornography and Sexual Harassment at Long Beach City College."

Added: Again, putting aside the truthers for a moment, where there have been a few folks on the left who've blogged this story, it's frankly been either among those who've also been targeted by the Kimberlin network or simply a few sympathetic progressives. Amazingly, TBogg, the guy who've I've called out as a racist anti-Christian bigot, actually writes something decent, but only so much:
Whoever “swatted” Patterico is an asshole and deserves to be in prison. I’ve had my own issues with Patterico, as well as Aaron Worthing, over the years, but nobody deserves the shitstorm they’ve been through. Having said that, if rightwing bloggers put as much time and coordinated effort into ‘vetting’ Barack Obama that they have in rehashing the same odd Kimberlin stories, we’d probably know if Obama was truly the murderous socialist Kenyan muslim Breitbart-killing Tonton Macoute terrorist that they keep telling us he is. Also, too: Robert Stacy McCain’s story reeks of grift. McCain has spent the last few months moaning about how he’s not making any money and how he’s going to quit blogging and nobody likes him – everybody hates him, he’s gonna eat some worms and now: mysteriously vague threats … GIMME MONEY! I call bullshit.
Well, no, TBogg, you pea-brained progressive creep. Had he not gone into hiding, Stacy would have been SWATted faster than you can say Carl DeLong. If you're going to have a good word to say, say it and be done.

So, as folks can see, I'm skeptical that this is just a "free speech issue" and not a Soros-backed criminal harassment network issue. Patterico argues that this isn't partisan, and that people should be judged by their actions not their ideology. And I know that Patterico's serious (I'm listening to him on Blog Talk Radio as this update goes live). But whatever left-wing sympathy we see on this will be thin as thawing ice on a lake and as shortlived as a TNT fuse. I don't trust these people. Mike at Cold Fury nailed it best, and I won't change my mind on this leftist or that leftist until I see some sustained advocacy on behalf of those who've been targeted. See: "This Means War."

Sunday Cartoons

I should have posted this earlier today. For some reason, the long weekend, I guess, it hasn't felt like Sunday. My days are messed up a little, especially now that I'm off for the summer. I have three months to hang out with the family.

Anyway, check Flopping Aces, "Sunday Funnies."


Also at Reaganite Resistance, "Reaganite's Sunday Funnies," and Theo Spark, "Cartoon Round Up..."

BONUS: At Jill Stanek's, "Stanek Sunday funnies 5-27-12."

MSNBC's Chris Hayes 'Uncomfortable' Honoring Fallen U.S. Troops, Spews About 'Rhetorically Proximate' Justifications for More War

This is how progressives "remember" the fallen, by dissing them as warmongering tools of imperialism.

See Daley Gator, "Chris Hayes epitomizes the definition of educated beyond one’s hat size" (via Memeorandum and NewsBusters):

I like to say that people who are, while educated, lacking in real wisdom, are educated beyond their hat size. What I mean is that they do not possess the ability to apply their education to the real world. They are, at times, lacking common sense, and do not, apparently have the capacity to accept simple truths. These people are too enamored with nuance. I have worked with such people. Yes they are intelligent, well educated, but they can never seem to grasp that the solution to a problem, or the answer to a question might be the simplest one available. Maybe to them, simple always equals stupid. Their addiction to over thinking and over analyzing everything prevents them from accepting that some things just are what they are.
Read it all at the link.

I started blogging to fight the antiwar left. Mr. Hayes brings back old memories.

Obama's Fiscal Blowout That Never Happened, According to Obama

Obama's the biggest presidential liar, ever.

See the Wall Street Journal, "The History Boys":

Riffing on the re-election trail, President Obama often tells crowds that "We've got to move forward to the future we imagined in 2008." An imaginary future from the past—got it. Then there's the imaginary history of the past that Mr. Obama has been recounting lately, when his first-term spending and debt boom never happened.

Mitt Romney "warned about a 'prairie fire of debt.' That's what he said," Mr. Obama said on the Des Moines fairgrounds on Thursday, as if he couldn't believe it either. "He left out some facts. His speech was more like a cow pie of distortion," Mr. Obama continued, with the finely shaded eloquence for which he is known. "What my opponent didn't tell you was that federal spending since I took office has risen at the slowest pace of any President in almost 60 years."

Making this a new White House theme, press secretary Jay Carney chimed in to "make the point, as an editor might say" to White House reporters that they should not "buy into the B.S. that you hear about spending and fiscal constraint with regard to this Administration. I think doing so is a sign of sloth and laziness."

Mr. Carney the media critic deeply sourced his view to someone named Rex Nutting, who wrote an 856-word column for MarketWatch that argued "There has been no huge increase in spending under the current President, despite what you hear."

Mr. Nutting claims that spending is rising at 1.4% annually, versus 8.1% for George W. Bush's second term. How did he manage to suss out the insights that have eluded every other human being who has spent time with the historical budget tables? His accounting methods are, er, unusual.
Continue reading.

And see also, IBD, "Obama Is a Spendthrift — And Here's the Proof."

Police Shoot and Kill Savage Naked Cannibal on the MacArthur Causeway in Miami Beach

This is definitely one of the most bizarre news stories in years.

Perhaps the dude actually wasn't so much a cannibal, according to reports: "Police theorize the attacker might have been suffering from 'cocaine psychosis,' a drug-induced craze that bakes the body internally and often leads the affected to strip naked to try and cool off."

See the Miami Herald, "Naked man killed by Police near MacArthur Causeway was ‘eating’ face off victim."

Also, "Police seek witnesses to savage attack on the MacArthur Causeway; exclusive video shows snippets of the crime scene."

Happy Memorial Day From U.S. Navy's Pacific Partnership 2012

See the Pacific Partnership on Twitter.

Musta Been Those Throwback Uniforms: Pujols, Callaspo Lead Angels in Powerhouse Win Over Mariners 5-3

I was tweeting this out a bit yesterday.

The Angels wore old minor league franchise uniforms for their game in Seattle, and boy, they oughta hang onto those for a while. What a game.

A nice picture at the link, at The Orange County Register, "Surging Angels use grand slam to win fifth in a row."

And at The Los Angeles Times, "Alberto Callaspo hits grand slam in Angels' 5-3 win over Seattle":
SEATTLE — He's the other Alberto, the one who makes a fraction of what slugger Albert Pujols does and whose presence in the batter's box does not cause the heart rate of opposing pitchers to rise.

While Pujols has been on fire for a week and a half, Alberto Callaspo has also stoked the offense, capping a productive week with a pinch-hit grand slam off Seattle ace Felix Hernandez in the sixth inning Saturday to lift the Angels to a 5-3 come-from-behind win over the Mariners in Safeco Field.

Pujols also hit a solo homer to left-center in the fourth, giving him six homers in 11 games and 21 runs batted in in 20 games, as the Angels extended their winning streak to five and moved into second place in the American League West, 61/2 games behind Texas.

"Our starting pitching has been a constant — they're giving us a chance to win every night," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "Now, we're combining that with a bullpen that is forming and some guys swinging the bats closer to their capabilities. The equation is adding up to wins, and we've been on a roll."

Jerome Williams (5-2) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings, striking out five and walking two, the Angels' 27th quality start in 34 games.

Jordan Walden (2/3 inning), Scott Downs (one inning) and Ernesto Frieri (11/3 innings) blanked the Mariners over the final three innings, another fine relief effort by a bullpen that has allowed three earned runs in 371/3 innings over the last 12 games.

Frieri, acquired from San Diego on May 3, has been dominant, allowing no hits and striking out 22 in 10 innings. Downs has not allowed a run in 15 innings this season, and Walden has limited opponents to a .100 (three for 30) average since losing his closer job in late April.

The hits aren't coming in bunches, but they're coming at the right time.

Top 100 Rock Albums of All Time

It's a holiday weekend rock marathon at The Sound LA., the top 100 rock albums, voted by listeners:
Listen all Memorial Day Weekend as we count them down by playing entire sides from each album, off the original vinyl. You'll hear some pops and clicks, but no interruptions.
At #73 is Van Morrison's "Moondance." I listened while running errands yesterday afternoon:
And It Stoned Me
Crazy Love
Into the Mystic

Merchants of Despair

Bob Zubrin interviewed by Matt Welch, via Blazing Cat Fur:

And the book is here: Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism.

Depression-Era Neon Lamp Burns Continuously for 77 Years at L.A.'s Clifton's Cafeteria: Owner Estimates More than $17,000 in Electric Bills

Another one of those amazing stories, at the Los Angeles Times, "At Clifton's Cafeteria, someone left a light on. For 77 years":
They're not kidding when they say they'll leave the light on for you.

A long-forgotten neon lamp that was switched on during the Great Depression and left burning for about 77 years has been discovered hidden behind a dusty partition at Clifton's Cafeteria. The find was made amid an extensive renovation of the downtown eatery, according to the building's owner, Andrew Meieran.

The neon fixture is believed to have been installed in 1935 when Clifford Clinton purchased the lease to Boos Bros. Cafeteria on Broadway and 7th Street and converted the place into a forest-themed restaurant.

The discovery has delighted fans of neon lighting, who point out that America's first neon sign was erected blocks away at Olympic Boulevard and Hope Street. That's where automobile dealer Earle C. Anthony installed a glowing "Packard" emblem outside his showroom in 1923.

"Neon lamps can last 20 to 40 years before the glass deteriorates or transformers go out," said Kim Koga, executive director of the Museum of Neon Art. "That this one has survived, lit, for as long as it has is incredible."

The newly revealed lamp isn't exactly a work of art, however.

The walls of the restaurant featured numerous hand-tinted transparencies of mountain and forest landscapes, each of which was backlit by a rectangular neon light.

One such light was installed in a window-like nook in a basement restroom, where it softly illuminated a woodland scene.

In 1949, the nook was covered over with plastic and plywood when part of the restroom was partitioned off as a storage area.

But for some reason, workmen never got around to disconnecting the electricity. For the next 62 years the illuminated tubing was hidden within the wall. Meieran estimates that the neon tube has racked up more than $17,000 in electrical bills.
I written about Clifton's before. The company used to have a restaurant at the Lakewood Center mail, but it closed about 10 years ago. Their food reminded me of my dad's cooking, which is to say soul-food. I've been to the downtown location once since then. All the rest of the outlets are now closed.

Anyway, that's something else about that neon light. I guess they don't make 'em like they used to.

Just 2 in 10 Latino Students Complete Community College in Six Years

I think most reports downplay the key factors in the lack of student success. There's a general social breakdown in discipline and habits, largely cultural/socio-economic, and these are compounded by the failure of students to attain basic proficiency in their K-12 years. Top that off with a lot of kids coming from recent immigrant families, often the first in their family to attend college (and there's less linguistic and knowledge-based support in the home environment), and the basic foundation of learning isn't as strong as it might be in other demographics. It's politically incorrect to say this, but it's the truth.

See the Long Beach Press-Telegram, "Latino college students in Long Beach struggle to graduate in college graduation struggle":
LONG BEACH -- Gerardo Raya enrolled in college in 2008 with the hopes of graduating in four years and scoring a job as an animator or illustrator.

But four years later, Raya is still at Long Beach City College struggling to finish the minimal coursework he needs to transfer to a four-year university.

The 24-year-old said he's had trouble balancing his work as a recreational aide for a local high school while trying to study for a full load of classes. He's had to drop classes over the years due to work conflicts and financial problems, but Raya said he's hopeful he can transfer to Cal State Long Beach next year.

"I thought I'd be done by now but it's been really hard," he said. "I didn't think it would be this hard."

Raya isn't the only student struggling to finish college. Studies show that while more students are enrolled in college, they're taking longer to graduate.

Of the students who start four-year bachelor's degree programs, just over half finish within six years, according to the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. Fewer than three out of 10 full- time community college students graduate with an associate degree within three years.

As a young Latino, Raya may face additional hurdles. A study released in March by the California-based Campaign for College Opportunity found that the college transfer rate for Latino students is about half that of white students -- 14 percent compared with 28 percent.

And while Latino students make up almost half of California's college-age population (age 18 to 24), they remain critically underrepresented in the state's four-year universities, according to the report, titled "Latino Students and Higher Education: California Profile."

Among the key findings:

-- Seven percent of Latinos age 25 and older held a college degree in 2009.

-- Two in 10 Latino students in community college complete an associate degree or transfer after six years, compared to 37 percent of whites.

-- Of the Latino students who graduated from high school in 2009, 16 percent met the requirements for admission into the Cal State University and University of California systems.

'Our future workforce'

Michele Siqueiros, executive director of the Campaign for College Opportunity, said the findings show a disturbing trend in one of the state's fastest-growing populations.
"Over half of the children in public schools are Latino, and these are the people who are going to make up our future workforce," Siqueiros said. "If we don't pay special attention to this group now, we can just assume this gap will continue. If we work to prepare more Latino students for college, we'll benefit as a whole society."

Siqueiros said many factors contribute to the lag in Latino graduation rates, including poverty, language barriers and lack of college information. Many Latino students are the first in their families to attend college, and while parents may have high aspirations for their children, they don't always understand the financial and academic demands of college, she said.
More at the link.

Coast Community College District Avoids Layoffs

I'm not sure about the differences between CCCD and my college, but I get the feeling the former's administration is a little less hard-line and Machiavellian.

See the local Costa Mesa/Newport Beach paper, The Daily Pilot, "Cuts stop before touching faculty at CCCD."

And then compare to this report at the Long Beach Business Journal, "City College Board Approves $5.1 Million In Staffing Reductions":
May 8th - On April 24, the Long Beach City College (LBCC) Board of Trustees voted unanimously to enact steep budget cuts that eliminate 55 employment positions and reduce the assignment of 96 others.

Of the 55 layoffs, 12 management positions have been cut. The approved assignment reductions will result in 10-month employee contracts rather than full year contracts. These staffing reductions will impact the upcoming 2012-2013 fiscal year.

The college attributes the need for one of the most significant staffing reductions in recent memory to the declining financial support from the state government. LBCC anticipates further reductions from the state.

This cut follows a $3.5 million mid-year reduction impacting this school year due to underperforming student fee and property tax revenues. Another cut is being planned for 2012-2013 in the event that Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax proposal on the November ballot fails.
Those "management" positions do not include top-level administrative positions, for example, at the vice presidential level. LBCC is bloated at the top and the union recently rejected a new contract that would cut faculty compensation but did not affect the bloated administrative structure. Morale is really bad. I'm looking forward to being away from the college for three months. I guess that's a benefit of summer school being cancelled (except for a bare minimum of classes).

The Burden Obama Places on Americans

From the House Republican Conference, "The Burden."

Obama's Burden on Americans

U.N. Me

Via Blazing Cat Fur:

Sammie Hicks Bionic Ear

I have hearing loss, so stories like this warm my heart more than you would know:

Also at ABC News, "Deaf 10-Year-Old Regains Hearing with Cochlear Implant":
The sound of Sammie Hicks's own breathing moved her to tears three weeks ago.

That's because it was the first time she ever heard it.

"I started to cry because it was overwhelming," 10-year-old Sammie told ABC affiliate WFAA. "I had no idea what the sounds were."

Born with a genetic mutation that caused her to lose her hearing.

Obama's Worst Week Ever?

Via Weasel Zippers:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Weiner Truthers

You may have noticed that Ron Brynaert, one of Patterico's Kimberlin stalkers, was in large part motivated by the Anthony Weiner scandal. Sure, progressives no doubt got screwed on that one, but it's literally insane to dismiss WeinerGate as a manufactured conspiracy to bring down a Democrat congressman. But these people so criminal it's f-king crazy, so it's no surprise.

See Buzz Feed, "Meet the Weiner Truthers":

New York congressman Anthony Weiner resigned in disgrace a full year ago, admitting to having sent lewd photos to female fans of his on Twitter.

But for one corner of the Internet, Weinergate is very much not over. A group of liberal bloggers believe that Anthony Weiner was blackmailed by Andrew Breitbart into a false confession, and are carrying out a lonely Twitter crusade to spread their theory — in spite of the fact that Weiner himself has never claimed this to be the case.

In a post on the blog Cannonfire, the blog's proprietor Joseph Cannon describes the "weird subculture of bloggers" that sprung up around Weinergate.

Cannon was a more vocal proponent of the theory when the story broke, but "Their obsession with that scandal soon went way beyond Weiner, and perhaps even beyond conventional left-right politics," he writes. "A very personal twilight war broke out."

A major locus of modern Weiner trutherism is, a site "dedicated to unmasking the underbelly of Andrew Breitbart and his crew of rogues, criminals, wannabe journalists, various right wing extremists and the religious intolerant," per its "About Us" section. Breitbart Unmasked features a large GIF of Breitbart's face morphing into a mask, and lists the name of everyone in Breitbartworld, from editors of to people only tangentially related.

One of its related Twitter accounts, @OccupyRebellion, regularly tweets about Weinergate and the alleged conspiracies therein.
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One of the outlandish claims at Patterico's post was that Patterico's wife --- who is also an L.A. County ADA --- was one of the accusers against Anthony Weiner, that she was one of the women on Twitter who claimed Weiner sent explicit pictures. That's the kind of criminal crackpot sh*t you see with these people. Crazy, but genuinely diabolical and calculating as well. (And note that these freak conspiracies in no way absolve these assholes of their crimes. Kimberlin and his criminal allies are out to destroy political enemies, first and foremost. So don't let BuzzFeed's "truther" meme minimize the significance of what's happening. Charles Manson was criminally deranged, but he's still serving a life sentence without any practical chance of parole.)

RELATED: From Robert Stacy McCain, "Kimberlin v. Walker Hearing Scheduled: 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Rockville, Maryland" (via Memeorandum).

Dan Collins is on it too, "Bombshell: Kimberlin Peace Order Hearing Against Aaron Walker Scheduled for Tuesday, 5/29."