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I was very pleased to appear on Silvio Canto Jr.'s excellent talk show last night. For those interested, you can hear it here.
FRIDAY, JULY 9, 2010
IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE THIS GOES ON IN THE 21ST CENTURY...BUT WE MUST NOT QUESTION OTHER CULTURES – AT 7:34 P.M. ET: Heroic Argentinian journalist Susana Kohan, who supplies me with some of the best material available, alerts us to this stunning story from Pakistan:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 8 (CDN) — A Muslim mob in Jhelum, Pakistan murdered the wife and four children of a Christian last month, but local authorities are too afraid of the local Muslim leader to file charges, according to area Muslim and Christian sources.
Jamshed Masih, a police officer who was transferred 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Gujrat to Jhelum, Punjab Province, said a mob led by Muslim religious leader Maulana Mahfooz Khan killed his family on June 21 after Khan called him to the local mosque and told him to leave the predominantly Muslim colony. Jhelum is 85 kilometers (53 miles) south of Islamabad.
“You must leave with your family, no non-Muslim has ever been allowed to live in this colony – we want to keep our colony safe from scum,” Khan told Masih, the bereaved Christian told Compass.
COMMENT: Where is the outrage among "human rights activists"? Where is the outrage among the bleeding hearts at the National Council of Churches? How about the Obamans?
We are living in 2010. But you'd never know it from some of the stories that come out of "other cultures." Disgraceful.
July 9, 2010 Permalink
THE WAY "BIG SCIENCE" WORKS. OR SHOULD WE CALL IT POLITICAL SCIENCE? – AT 7:17 P.M. ET: Reader Sam Indorante alerts us to this Pajamas Media column by Professor of Mathematical Physics Frank Tipler of Tulane, who has written for the Urgent Agenda Forum. The professor has apparently upset some of the self-appointed gods of the scientific establishment. Good for him:
The National Academy of Sciences, in its official journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has just published a list of scientists whom it claims should not be believed on the subject of global warming. I am number 38 on the list. The list of 496 is in descending order of scientific credentials.
Professor Freeman Dyson of the Institute for Advanced Study, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the Royal Society, is number 3 on the list. Dyson is a friend of mine and is one of the creators of relativistic quantum field theory; most physicists think he should have shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Richard Feynman. MIT professor Richard Lindzen, a meteorologist who is also a member of the National Academy, is number 4. Princeton physics professor William Happer, once again a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is number 6.
I’m in good company.
Yes you are, Professor. And...
The list is actually available only online. The published article, which links to the list, argues that the skeptical scientists — the article calls us “climate deniers,” trying to equate us with Holocaust deniers — have published less in climate “science” than believers in anthropogenic global warming (AGW).
But if the entire field of climate “science” is suspect, if the leaders of the field of climate “science” are suspected of faking their results and are accused of arranging for their critics’ papers to be rejected by “peer-reviewed” journals, then lack of publication in climate “science” is an argument for taking us more seriously than the leaders of the climate “science.”
COMMENT: Absolutely correct. Americans have been sold the bill of goods that when "scientists" speak we must absolutely accept what they say, without question. In fact, the history of science is an ongoing debate, and is filled with questions and doubts, as I learned from an excellent young instructor at the University of Chicago.
We wish Professor Tipler the best in his struggle to keep science honest, and non-political.
July 9, 2010 Permalink
THERE IS COMMON SENSE, AND IT SOMETIMES PREVAILS – AT 9:16 A.M. ET: Reader Joseph J. Gallick alerts us to a court decision that restores some sanity to the offshore drilling situation:
NEW ORLEANS — A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected the federal government’s effort to restore an offshore deep-water drilling moratorium, opening the door to resumed drilling in the Gulf of Mexico while the legal fight continues.
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled soon after an afternoon hearing in a lawsuit filed by companies that oppose the drilling ban. The moratorium was struck down June 22 by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman.
The Interior Department argued the moratorium was necessary while it studied deep-water drilling risks in the wake of the BP oil spill. Government lawyers asked the appeals court to let the temporary drilling ban stand until the 5th Circuit ruled on their appeal of the lower-court ruling.
A spokeswoman for the Interior Department did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
COMMENT: This is not the judiciary's final say, but it's progress. The moratorium is a joke, designed to advance the radical agenda of the Obama administration, rather than to protect anything.
No one delights in the BP oil spill, and no one is defending what apparently was BP's recklessness and cavalier attitude toward safety. But if there's an air crash and an airline was shown to be negligent, we don't ban flying. We fix the problem.
We need oil and will need oil for many decades to come. Maybe some environmental smartasses think that seven-dollar-a-gallon gasoline is good for our souls, but Americans politely disagree. Let drilling, under strong safeguards, continue. Let's be rational about this.
July 9, 2010 Permalink
BOXER BOXED IN – AT 8:40 A.M. ET: In recent years California has become a heavily Democratic state. It's also essentially bankrupt, as are blue state audience favorites like Illinois and my New York. Hmm. Any connection with Democratic policies there? Oh, never mind.
Now, though, a California Dem icon, the intellectually challenged Barbara Boxer, is running into trouble:
(Reuters) - Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer's edge over Republican challenger Carly Fiorina has dwindled to 3 points as she seeks re-election in November, with more Californians now holding an unfavorable view of the three-term senator, a poll released on Thursday showed.
Boxer, who once held a 30-point lead over Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard and a political novice, is now ahead by a margin of only 47 percent to 44 percent, the Field Poll found.
One of President Barack Obama's staunchest allies who has become a powerful liberal voice in the Senate since she was first elected in 1992, Boxer is facing her toughest challenge yet, as a wave of anti-incumbent sentiment sweeps the nation.
California, normally a reliably Democratic state suffering from double-digit unemployment and a budget deficit running into tens of billions of dollars, is considered a potential bellwether in the coming congressional elections.
The Field Poll found that since January more Californians have become disgruntled with Boxer, with 52 percent of likely voters holding an unfavorable view of her, compared with just 41 percent who regard her favorably.
COMMENT: We will cheer on Carly. But a note of caution: The Dems will play the fear game, which may have quite an impact on California's minority communities. It is still very much an uphill battle for Republicans. Wait 'til the whispers start, linking Fiorina to tea party "racism" or Arizona's illegal-immigration law.
In the California gubernatorial race, Republican Meg Whitman is deadlocked with Democratic former Governor Jerry Brown.
You'll see plenty of Obama in California this fall. Don't count out his impact, deceptive as it is.
July 9, 2010 Permalink
BACK TO THE SIXTIES – AT 8:23 A.M. ET: While the Obamans yap about "racism" in Arizona, they're giving us a good dose of reverse racism in the strangest places. From the Washington Examiner:
Who would have guessed that the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill, scheduled for a vote in the Senate when it returns from recess, imposes race and gender employment quotas on the financial industry -- at a time the job market is stalling and economic growth is slowing?
Dodd-Frank's Section 342 states that race and gender employment ratios must be observed by all government agencies that regulate the financial sector, as well as private financial institutions that do business with the government.
According to American Enterprise Institute expert Christina Hoff Sommers, "This is going on everywhere. There are several bills pending in Congress such as Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Science and Engineering, the Paycheck Fairness Act, and now Section 342 of Dodd-Frank, that will empower a network of gender apparatchiks -- but weaken critical national institutions."
With its new Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion, Dodd-Frank is radically changing existing law from anti-discrimination, namely equality of opportunity, to quotas, namely equality of outcome. Ultimately, the only way that financial firms will be able to comply is by showing that a certain percentage of their work force is female or minority.
COMMENT: Weren't we told that Obama would be a "post-racial" president? I think I heard that. It's anything but true. We heard powerful testimony this week from a disgusted former Justice Department lawyer that Eric Holder's Justice Department will not pursue discrimination cases if they are brought by whites.
And why is it that these affirmative-action offices only boost the fortunes of certain groups – those groups popular on the political left?
All discrimination is bad, including the reverse discrimination inherent in Dodd-Frank. The sixties are back, complete with quota systems and anti-military fervor in the correct political circles. Don't you see the improvement?
July 9, 2010 Permalink
THE PUBLIC SPEAKS; ANYONE LISTENING? – AT 8:05 A.M. ET: As the Obamans get set to sue Arizona over its illegal-immigration law, the American people have different ideas, as Scott Rasmussen reports:
Voters by a two-to-one margin oppose the U.S. Justice Department’s decision to challenge the legality of Arizona’s new immigration law in federal court. Sixty-one percent (61%), in fact, favor passage of a law like Arizona’s in their own state, up six points from two months ago.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 28% of voters agree that the Justice Department should challenge the state law. Fifty-six percent (56%) disagree and another 16% are not sure.
But get this:
On the other hand, the nation’s Political Class thinks the legal challenge is a great idea. Seventy-three percent (73%) of Political Class voters agree with the Justice Department decision to challenge the Arizona law, while 67% of Mainstream voters disagree and oppose that challenge.
COMMENT: Ah, the political class. Completely out of touch with the people. And yet, it's the political class that the Obama crowd listens to. They're the ones with the right degrees and the gold-plated jobs. And they sound so nice.
It is our sacred mission to make sure that the power of the political class is curtailed. They ain't us. Oh, excuse me. That's not good political class language. Let's say that they adhere to an alternative narrative.
July 9, 2010 Permalink
THURSDAY, JULY 8, 2010
THIS JUST IN – AT 9:55 P.M. ET: San Francisco, fighting to the last against materialism and contamination of the planet, may ban the sale of pets. Even Lassie would be banned. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Sell a guinea pig, go to jail.
That's the law under consideration by San Francisco's Commission of Animal Control and Welfare. If the commission approves the ordinance at its meeting tonight, San Francisco could soon have what is believed to be the country's first ban on the sale of all pets except fish.
That includes dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, rats, chinchillas, guinea pigs, birds, snakes, lizards and nearly every other critter, or, as the commission calls them, companion animals.
"People buy small animals all the time as an impulse buy, don't know what they're getting into, and the animals end up at the shelter and often are euthanized," said commission Chairwoman Sally Stephens. "That's what we'd like to stop."
COMMENT: Oh yes. Have a problem, enact a ban. That's the way of the left. More creative thinking from the city that banned the USS Iowa museum because it might encourage pro-war thinking.
I assume San Francisco's resident intellectuals will find a way to explain this to elderly people who need their pets as companions. But hey, who needs the elderly?
July 8, 2010 Permalink
THE UTTER HYPOCRISY – AT 7:49 P.M. ET: Silvio Canto Jr. alerts us to a piece by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, exposing the sheer hypocrisy of the administration's lawsuit against Arizona:
According to the Obama administration’s lawsuit against the state of Arizona, their new law requiring police officers to investigate immigration status for those already in some form of detention violates their jurisdiction, which is what the argument of pre-emption means. Barack Obama and Eric Holder want the courts to rule that only the federal writ runs in Arizona on immigration-law enforcement. Apparently, though, the federal writ doesn’t run in Rhode Island, where law enforcement has been doing for years exactly what the Arizona law Obama opposes mandates — without a peep from the DoJ:
But in Rhode Island, illegal immigrants face a far greater penalty: deportation.
“There are police chiefs throughout New England who hide from the issue . . . and I’m not hiding from it,’’ said Colonel Brendan P. Doherty, the towering commander of the Rhode Island State Police. “I would feel that I’m derelict in my duties to look the other way.’’
From Woonsocket to Westerly, the troopers patrolling the nation’s smallest state are reporting all illegal immigrants they encounter, even on routine stops such as speeding, to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE.
Well, that’s different from what Arizona is doing because, well, um … Arizona’s racist, or something. In fact, Rhode Island does exactly what Arizona belatedly decided to do, which is to get serious about immigration control and enforcing the law. The only difference is that Rhode Island began doing it before Barack Obama needed a distraction from a hugely unpopular ObamaCare bill and thought a fight over immigration would bolster Democrats in the midterms.
COMMENT: And, of course, Rhode Island is a Democratic state, and, just as important, a New England state, heartland of the Ivy League, where wisdom and compassion prevail in abundance. Rhode Island is pure and godly.
Let's see if the mainstream media picks this one up. Don't hold your breath for more than three seconds.
July 8, 2010 Permalink
TALK ABOUT AN IMAGE PROBLEM – AT 7:39 P.M. ET: Of all the lawyers available to the Justice Department to sue the state of Arizona, Eric Holder had to pick this one. From Fox:
The federal prosecutor tasked with quarterbacking the Obama administration's high-profile case against Arizona's immigration law is no stranger to controversy or the limelight.
Justice Department attorney Tony West is a member of the so-called "Gitmo 9" -- a group of lawyers who have represented terror suspects.
West, the assistant attorney general for the department's Civil Division, once represented "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh, a controversial move that West feared would derail his political ambitions and helped delay his nomination to the department for three months in 2009.
He helped negotiate a 20-year sentence for Lindh, an American citizen who was 21 years old when he was captured in Afghanistan in 2001. Under the deal, Lindh avoided a life sentence by pleading guilty to serving in the Taliban army and carrying weapons, and the government dropped its most serious charges, including conspiracy to kill Americans and engaging in terrorism.
COMMENT: This selection will certainly go down well with the American people, who are, according to polls, overwhelmingly against prosecuting Arizona in the first place.
Do I hear the term "tin ear"?
July 8, 2010 Permalink
THE OLDER AND WISER TURN AGAINST OBAMA – AT 10:21 A.M. ET: Obama, already losing independent support, is now seeing his strength erode among older Americans. From the L.A. Times:
This is turning into a tough election year for Democrats, and most of the reasons are familiar: The economy is stalled, President Obama's popularity is sagging and voters are in an anti-incumbent mood. There's an "enthusiasm gap" too. Republican voters are fired up and ready to vote, while liberals are dispirited.
Now add one more factor: a new generation gap. Voters over the age of 50 are leaning increasingly Republican, according to recent polling —and that includes members of the giant baby boom generation between 50 and 64.
A Pew Research poll released last week found that most voters over 50 say they favor the Republicans in November's congressional election. Voters in their 30's and 40's were evenly split; voters younger than 30 favored the Democrats. That's a big problem for Democrats, in two ways.
First, older voters are a bloc the party doesn't want to lose. They turn out on Election Day more consistently than younger voters — especially in a nonpresidential election, like this year's. About two-thirds of November's voters will be 50 or older.
COMMENT: The Democrats have made no attempt to appeal to older voters. They seem almost to feel that the elderly are a burden, a distraction from the young and the young minorities who increasingly make up the base of the party.
Wait 'til older people get the first whiff of health-care rationing. Then you'll see a defection by older voters from the Democratic Party that could be historic.
July 8, 2010 Permalink
THIS COULD BE THE START OF SOMETHING BIG – AT 10:08 A.M. ET: Please note that there is no offical confirmation of this story, but The New York Times is reporting a prisoner swap between the U.S. and Moscow that includes the "star" of the group of Russian spies arrested last week:
MOSCOW — An advocate for an imprisoned Russian scientist, Igor V. Sutyagin, said on Thursday that he had evidently been released in return for the Russian suspect Anna Chapman, in a prisoner exchange redolent of the Cold War.
The advocate, Ernst Chyorny, said Mr. Sutyagin – who has served 10 years of a 14-year sentence for espionage — had called his father from Vienna, where he was met by a British officer. Family members who met with Mr. Sutyagin this week in Moscow said he had been informed he would be transported through Vienna to Britain, where he would be freed. Mr. Sutyagin’s mother, a chemical engineer in a scientific community outside Moscow, rushed home from work when she heard the news.
“So far I don’t know what happened,” said the mother, Svetlana Y. Sutyagina. “I am in a state of suspense.”
The reported exchange was not confirmed by Russian or American officials on Thursday, though anticipation had built throughout the day.
COMMENT: Well, it's not quite redolent of the Cold War. Spies were usually held for a much longer time before being exchanged. This is probably the beginning of other swaps, but I'm a bit uneasy. The spies caught last week should have had to face some justice in this country. Instead, we can't wait to get rid of them, sweeping the whole matter under the rug.
I get the distinct feeling that the Obama administration would just like to get the spy scandal behind it to continue its "reset" with Russia, even though we're the only side doing the resetting. The Russians forge ahead with espionage, a super new jet fighter, and troublesome policies.
It may well be that the whole matter will be over within a few weeks, and the Obamans will say they saw nothing, absolutely nothing. I'm not sure some of the leftist ideologues around Obama even think Russian spying is any big deal. Hey, everyone does it. We don't want to bring back "McCarthyism," do we?
July 8, 2010 Permalink
BE ASSURED, SEEKERS OF HUMAN DECENCY – AT 8:40 A.M. ET: In regard to the arrest in Europe of planners of manmade disasters, rest assured that they will not be manhandled, as they were under BUSH (!!). Modern Europe, basking in socialist theory, knows how to protect the confused and misunderstood. From London's Telegraph:
Human rights judges have ordered a halt to the extraditions of Babar Ahmad and radical preacher Abu Hamza, both wanted in the US on terror charges.
Huh? Human rights judges? Aren't all judges supposed to be concerned about human rights? When you have special courts devoted to human rights, what do you think they'll find? Why, human rights abuses. That's what keeps them in business and their salaries paid.
The Strasbourg court said it wanted more time to examine possible human rights breaches if the men face trial on charges which could mean life sentences without parole.
I'll sleep more soundly knowing that terror suspects are so well protected.
Ahmad, a 36-year old computer expert, has been in a UK prison without trial for nearly six years, refused bail since his arrest in August 2004 on a US extradition warrant.
Radical preacher Hamza is also wanted on terror charges in the US.
Both appealed separately to the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that their treatment and potential punishment could violate Human Rights Convention provisions on the ''prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment''.
Get this gem:
...there was a real risk that, in the case of "post-trial detention", Mr Ahmad, Mr Aswat and Mr Ahsan would be held at a "supermax" jail, - the US Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum, Florence, Colorado - known for short as "ADX Florence".
That raised concerns about breaches of Human Rights Code Article 3 on torture and inhuman or degrading treatment.
I wonder if these "human rights courts" ever show concern about dictatorships, or about the human eights of terror victims. I think I know the answer.
Europe considers itself quite advanced in the "human rights" industry. Actually, some of its governments, and much of its press, are major enablers of some of the worst regimes in the world. It's the old European phoniness and hypocrisy.
July 8, 2010 Permalink
MASSIVE CULTURAL MISUNDERSTANDING – AT 8:21 A.M. ET: One again our heavy-handed law enforcement seems not to understand the various forms of cultural expression. From The Wall Street Journal:
Federal prosecutors charged a senior al-Qaeda leader Wednesday with helping to mastermind last year's attempted bombing of New York City's subway and said the effort was part of a larger plot that included a failed terrorist attempt in the U.K.
Three suspected al-Qaeda members were arrested in Europe Thursday morning in what Norwegian and U.S. officials said was a bombing plot linked to the New York and U.K. plans.
In an indictment unveiled in federal court in Brooklyn Wednesday, prosecutors said 34-year-old Adnan el Shukrijumah, described as a leader of an al-Qaeda program dedicated to terrorist attacks in the U.S. and other Western countries, "recruited and directed" three U.S. citizens to carry out suicide bombings in Manhattan in September 2009.
The indictment also charged Abid Naseer and Tariq ur Rehman, who were previously arrested by authorities in the U.K. as part of a raid in relation to suspected terrorist activity there. Prosecutors said the two cases were "directly related." The charges underscored "the global nature of the terrorist threat we face," said David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security.
COMMENT: Nothing to see here, nothing to see. All this will be cleared up once NASA launches its Muslim outreach program, at the direction of President Obama. Once these so-called terrorists get a ride in a rocket, they'll give up these silly plots.
Oh wait. We won't have any rockets under Obama's NASA. Well, look, we can give them the kids' tour of Cape Canaveral. You get little trinkets and pins.
Problem: Before NASA solves the terror problem, one of these attacks will succeed. These people only have to be lucky once.
July 8, 2010 Permalink