Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rules for Radicals, Recommended Reading in High School

This report from Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs is going viral in the blogosphere, as well it should:
An Atlas reader, Chuck,  has a student in the eleventh grade in an Ohio High School. Her government class passed out this propaganda recruiting paper so students could sign up as interns for Obama's Organizing for America (OFA is the former site.)
Organizing for America is (and I quote) recruiting in our high schools to "build on the movement that elected President Obama by empowering students across the country to help us bring about our agenda" ............of national socialism.
The Ohio High School is Perry Local in Massillon, Ohio.
Geller has published the entire recruiting form for this "movement" internship program (here) that Geller points out is "geared toward the 2010 elections." The recommended reading list (page 4) is scary as hell:
  • Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky
  • The New Organizers, Zack Exley
  • Stir It Up: Lessons from Community Organizing and Advocacy, Rinku Sen
  • Obama Field Organizers Plot a Miracle, Zack Exley, Huffington Post
  • Dreams of My Father Chicago Chapters, Barack Hussein Obama
It is repugnantly unprofessional for teachers to encourage impressionable, idealistic, high-school kids to learn and adopt deceptive, dishonest methods to help the teachers' political gurus gain political ascendancy. It was Saul Alinsky, father of the Chicago school of community organizing, who said, "Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when to go to bed; he who fears corruption fears life." Here's how my dictionary defines political corruption: "dishonesty, unscrupulousness, double-dealing, fraud, fraudulence, misconduct, crime, criminality, wrongdoing; bribery, venality, extortion, profiteering, payola; informal graft, grift, crookedness, sleaze. 

Do I fear corruption? Indeed I do. 

No teacher, no honorable person of any field, should even consider steering young people toward a Marxist ideology, the ideology with the worst track record of any that has ever been tried on the planet.

Yet many teachers on the public payroll regard it as their duty to teach their students how to destroy what they believe to be an evil American society. These teachers, I have no doubt, believe they are doing the right thing. Nevertheless, I have never known one of them to be familiar with the history of the march of socialism through Europe, China, and Africa. Before they advocate that their young charges trade honesty for political cunning, particularly in the name of superior moral virtue (and that claim always is made), I recommend that they read a few history books covering the rise of Marxism, and read those books with a calculator in hand to keep track of the millions and millions of dead who were forced to sacrifice their lives to the Marxist experiment.

The first 20 seconds of the following video contains the money quote:
What conclusion do you reach if you just do the recommended reading?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Faceoff: Gov't Motors vs. Toyota: Is Big Brother Behind the Big Recall?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has attributed five deaths and 17 injuries to unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles since 2006. Those are not happy figures, but they are smaller than the number of deaths and injuries to Americans resulting from terrorist attacks on U.S. soil during that period.

Maybe that's why I'm having a difficult time reconciling the Obama administration's lackadaisical approach to terrorist attacks with their heartracing concern over sticky Toyota gas pedals. 

Am I detecting all over the Toyoto recall the incriminating fingerprints of an auto-manufacturer-owning Big Brother who never let a crisis go to waste? If so, I'm not the only one.

From Economic Policy Journal:
Many Toyota insiders are furious at the Obama Administration. The recall they have issued is the result of pressure from the U.S. Transportation Department. They believe that the pressure is coming not because of a true concern for safety, but an attempt by the Administration to drive sales toward the recently bailed out U.S. auto makers.

Although Toyota insiders admit that sticking has occurred in a few cars, they point out that it has been occurred in far fewer than 1,000, and not something where the Administration should have pushed for an immediate full recall, but rather something that could be handled during routine maintenance after a reasonable priced solution was developed.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told WGN Radio in Chicago that "the reason Toyota decided to do the recall and to stop manufacturing was because we asked them to."
According to MSNBC:
General Motors is offering interest-free loans and other incentives to Toyota owners who may want to get rid of their cars due to fears about faulty gas pedals.

GM General Manager of Retail Sales Steve Hill said Wednesday the company is responding to thousands of inquiries from Toyota owners.
The Detroit automaker is offering offer zero percent financing for 60 months on most models. It also will offer $1,000 to Toyota owners toward a down payment on a GM vehicle and up to $1,000 to help to pay off current leases early. The offers run through the end of February.
ABC News said:
American automakers are eager to pounce. After decades of losing customers to Toyota, Ford and General Motors are now doing their own poaching. They are unabashedly offering Toyota owners cash back and zero-percent financing on their new cars.

Many dealerships, such as Rizza Chevrolet, near Chicago, are touting the deals in full-color newspaper ads.

"We're hoping for one thing: sell more cars and increase our volume," said Joe Fosco, Rizza sales manager.

Daniel Howes, a columnist for the Detroit News, said, "It presents an opportunity for them to pick up market share and, frankly, to get more Americans in their vehicles."
Forbes had this to say:
Toyota has recalled 4.2 million vehicles worldwide because the gas pedal systems can get stuck. The company said the problem is rare and is caused by condensation that builds up in the gas pedal assembly.

The recall in the U.S. covers 2.3 million vehicles and involves the 2009-10 RAV4 crossover, the 2009-10 Corolla, the 2009-10 Matrix hatchback, the 2005-10 Avalon, the 2007-10 Camry, the 2010 Highlander crossover, the 2007-10 Tundra pickup and the 2008-10 Sequoia SUV. The recall has been expanded to models in Europe and China.
Not all of these models have the potentially faulty gas pedals, which were manufactured by CTS Corp of Elkhart, Indiana. Many have gas pedals made by Denso Corp.; these function well.

Toyota has five major assembly plants in the U.S and employs about 37,000 people in the U.S. Government Motors, propped up by American taxpayers, employs more than 142,000.


Monday, January 25, 2010

All He Did Was Chop Off Her Head

Here's a name you'll be hearing more often in a few months when its owner goes to trial: Muzzammil S. Hassan. He's the guy who chopped off his wife's head in Orchard Park, New York, a few days after she filed divorce proceedings against him. You may remember that Hassan and his 37-year-old wife, Aasiya, had co-founded Bridges TV, a station established to counter "negative" Muslim stereotypes.

Muzzammil and his lawyer, Frank M. Bogulski, don't want you to think that little divorce issue had anything to do with Aasiya's beheading. No. They are launching a defense that Bogulski calls "revolutionary" and the "first of its kind in the country."

It's different all right.

In the eyes of Muzzammil and his lawyer, Muzzammil "was the victim." In his marriage to Aasiya, she "was the dominant figure." "She was verbally abusive. She had humiliated him." So he beheaded her.

In that last point, the prosecution's case is remarkably similar to that of the defense:

"He chopped her head off," [Erie County] District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said of Hassan. "He chopped her head off. That's all I have to say about Mr. Hassan's apparent defense that he was a battered spouse."
Nancy Sanders, a former news director at Bridges TV, expressed skepticism over the new abuse claim. She noted that Hassan stood over 6 feet tall and "filled a doorway," while his estranged wife was slender and several inches shorter.
"I never ever heard her disparage him in the workplace at all," Sanders told the Associated Press. "It just did not seem to be in her nature. She was very gentle."
I guess they see things a little differently back in Pakistan, where Muzzammil and Aasiya learned their "positive" Muslim stereotypes.

Hat tip: Jihad Watch

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Scott Brown, the Democrats, and the Battle of Midway

The day Scott Brown was busy getting elected to the U.S. Senate, I was busy dealing with the medical emergency of a family member.

I got home, exhausted, just in time to watch Brown's victory speech. Spouse and I sat there, watching a speech that exceeded our hopes. Sometime during the course of that speech, Spouse turned to me and observed, sagely: "This is the Battle of Midway defeat for the Democrats."


At the Battle of Midway, fought six months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese lost four of their major assets in their World War II arsenal of aggression, namely, four aircraft carriers, a loss from which they were unable to recover:

Prior to this action, Japan possessed general naval superiority over the United States and could usually choose where and when to attack. After Midway, the two opposing fleets were essentially equals, and the United States soon took the offensive.
The analogy seems particularly apt because these ships carried aircraft, which in turn carried destructive devices, not unlike four of the vehicles in the Progressive arsenal of aggression: health care deform, cap and tax, civilian trials for foreign terrorists committing acts of war, and instant citizenship for illegal aliens.

Each of these four goals are carriers of further devices of the Progressive agenda intended to destroy many Constitutional protections by means of the takeover of huge chunks of the U.S. economy, the guarantee of American citizen's rights for enemy combatants at the expense of American lives and treasure, and the practical institution of a one-party system in the U.S.

Scott Brown and the people of Massachusetts, with the support and encouragement of the rest of the country, have sunk those vessels.

Now we need to keep up the fight. And we will, I have no doubt.

Note: Thanks for dropping in to read this post. For the present, I'll be spending considerable time focused on the recovery of someone near and dear. I'll be posting when I can.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Brown-Coakley Race: Massachusetts Weather Report

Cold rain and snow. Perfect weather for driving your pickup truck to your local polling place.

Meet you over at William Jacobson's live blog where he'll be following today's Massachusetts special election action . . .

Yesterday's warmup:


Monday, January 18, 2010

Patriots vs. Congress: Hitting the Congressional Funnybone

Some time back, over at Pundit and Pundette, I watched a video of Nancy Pelosi, standing on stage in a Congressional group who were openly enjoying the notion that a reporter had taken a politician's campaign promise seriously. The topic at hand was Obama's promise to air health care "reform" negotiations on CSPAN. Judging from their mirth, Nancy and Charlie Rangal and several others were entertaining absolutely zero respect for anyone who didn't take it for granted that nothing that politicians say is intended to be believed by serious people.

Until that moment, I had not mistaken Congress for a choir of angels, but I did regard them as human beings in extraordinary circumstances, accustomed to telling enormous whoppers but, most of them, also capable of telling the truth from time to time and, on those occasions at least, expecting to be believed. It had not dawned on me that Congress never expects to be believed and assumes, as a matter of course, that everyone who is anyone knows that everything they say is a lie.

I mentally filed my new theory for later retrieval during my next conversation with a career politician (or aide): "Must remember that the person you are talking with will completely discount you upon suspicion that you believe a word he or she is uttering."

Curious, I invested some energy in thought experiments in which I imagined what life would be like in a world where nobody feels obligated to speak the truth at any time and everyone assumes that everybody else is lying 100% of the time. Those musings haven't been pretty, but I must confess that I think they have shed some light for me on the question of what Congress is up to.

Then, yesterday, I came across a post at a blog I've never visited before, Boker tov, Boulder. (I forgot to record who sent me there, sorry). The blogger, Yael, had my next lesson waiting for me, all tied up in a bow. Yael had advanced beyond being repulsed by the disdain of politicians for the honest folk of our country who expect honesty, most of the time, from most of the people they choose to know and deal with. Yael had cut to the chase: Congress is so accustomed to dishonesty that they can't imagine that the rest of us are not lying:
The Tea Party, at least up until now, has been totally honest -- what we've been saying all along is exactly what we've meant.  That must be unusual because no one who lives in the bubble of "politics" has seemed to understand it.  They've tried to spin us this way or that, but they've never simply taken us at face value. 
It's not a shtick ... we ARE true American patriots. And we came together, not because of community organizers or a plan to initiate a political movement, but because each man or woman - young or old, rich or poor, liberal or conservative - suddenly sensed that the very foundation and nature of the country was at risk.  Sensing a threat to our way of life, we felt compelled to respond - very simply and without guile - to protect and to defend what we hold dear.

Washington and its fawning, insular media have not yet come to understand that we are in earnest.  Moreover, they have not understood that, because we are sincere, because our belief in the essential greatness of America is very deeply held, we only become stronger and more determined every time we are demonized, insulted or ignored. And we have been demonized, insulted and ignored quite a bit.
You see, we believe that we are the current manifestation of  'We The People' in the Preamble of the Constitution, though not exclusively so.  Make no mistake, we do cling to that document, and we do intend to "secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." Come hell or high water.
Can you hear us NOW?  It does not escape our notice that this latest skirmish occurs in the very place of the first Tea Party. If we are not heard this time, in Massachusetts, then we are determined to be heard somewhere else some other time.  As we have been saying all along, we believe that the future, our future, depends upon us NOW.
Washington is accustomed to those whose words are empty. They need to realize that ours are not. Perhaps this Senate race in Massachusetts will bring them closer to comprehension: The Tea Parties have been but a spark. The flame is everlasting.
Thank you, Yael. I think you've got it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Who Would Sam Adams Vote for on Tuesday?

Many people fond of imbibing the beverage named after the American patriot, Samuel Adams, are not aware that Sam Adams was the principal organizer of the greatest party for free people of all time: the Boston Tea Party.

Adams managed a few other achievements in his day, not the least of which was founding the Sons of Liberty, whose motto was "no taxation without representation." He worked tirelessly toward, and signed, the Declaration of Independence. He served as Governor of Massachusetts.

It is worthwhile to consider who Sam Adams would stand behind for U.S. senator, if he had to choose between Scott Brown and Martha Coakley.

For guidance, we can look back at what Adams had to say in 1780, when the leaders of the country were all men who had already put on the line their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor:
If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.
The entire country is looking to the people of Massachusetts to get to their voting booths this coming Tuesday, September 19, a day that doubtless will be recorded in history.

An experienced patriot is waiting to serve.

Friday, January 15, 2010

More Martha Coakley: Curt Schilling is a Yankees Fan (Audio)

I didn't think Martha Coakley could make me laugh out loud, but I was wrong:

Transcript of the money quote:
Dan Rea: Scott Brown has Curt Schilling, okay. (laughs)

Martha Coakley: Another Yankee fan.

Rea: Schilling? 

Coakley: Yes.

Rea: Curt Schilling, a Yankee fan?

Coakley: No? All right, I'm wrong on my . . . . I'm wrong.

Rea: The Red Sox great pitcher of the bloody sock?
Coakley: Well, he's not there anymore.

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling considered running for the U.S. Senate seat himself. He has endorsed Coakley's opponent, Scott Brown, for the U.S. Senate seat, and has plenty to say about Coakley at his blog, 38 pitches. A sample:
If we elect Coakley, or if enough people vote to get her into office, we’re going to get exactly what we deserve as a nation. A bankrupt country footing the bill for a health care plan so full of pork it oinks, that we can’t afford by the way, and MASSIVE cuts to medicare and medicaid that will seriously impede medical services for senior citizens.
Massachusetts can change it all in 5 days.
H/t: Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit.

Martha Coakley Desperately Seeking Unquestioning Non-Catholic Voters Who Wouldn't Be Caught Dead at Fenway Park

After establishing that sports fans at Fenway Park aren't worth shaking hands with, that the attorney general's office should crack down on garden clubs, and that members of the free press can ask unscripted questions only at their peril, Martha Coakley has planted yet another glaring red flag in direct view of Massachusetts voters. She has announced that devout Catholic medical personnel who don't believe in abortion are not welcome in emergency rooms. Direct quote: "You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room."

Here's the quote in context: 

Second-class citizenship, anyone?

People who aren't made nervous by this woman are starting to make me nervous.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Helping Haiti, Helping Ourselves

Thank God that the USA can assemble resources to help earthquake-devastated Haiti, and even lead the world in providing relief.

Streaming toward Haiti are the fruits of the innovations of a free people operating within capitalism. America still can send food, water, and medicine to Haiti; rush these necessities to their destination on air transport as soon as landing fields are reclaimed from the rubble; and deliver these life-saving supplies to the Haitian people via the U.S. military and trained disaster relief teams, in possession of, I will add, hearts of gold.

Yesterday, as I listened to Obama promise America's help to Haiti, I could not help wonder how much longer America will be able to do such a thing, to deliver enormous help to people who just got dealt a massive blow somewhere in the world.

After all, whatever America sends to Haiti will be paid for on our national credit card. We have long since spent our own money on fake economic stimulus, buy-outs of the financial and auto industries, unemployment benefits (paychecks and education stipends) for millions of unemployed Americans, and plenty more. In fact, if Obama has it his way, paying for aid to Haiti will be far down on a long list, after paying for "reforms" that reduce health care and raise medical costs and after paying for carbon "credits" that make our cold winters colder and our heating bills higher.

We already are in debt to at least the third generation.

And then, of course, many people who in the pre-stimulus, pre-reform days would have been writing largish checks to Haitian relief charities now will be writing smaller checks. People who normally would have written smallish checks may be able to write none at at all.

It is darn near impossible to dampen America's generosity of spirit, so there will be help for Haiti, but as our debt load grows, our ability to act on that generous spirit will diminish.

This is the work of Obama and his Obamatons. America's great debate is not whether Obama's administration is wreaking havoc with our economy, but instead is focused on whether America's political and economic devolution is the result of stupid mismanagement or of artful ideology.

The Obama administration's headstrong efforts to destroy the wealth from which America's good works flow cause his admonition to the American people to rankle:
Despite the fact that we are experiencing tough times here at home, I would encourage those Americans who want to support the urgent humanitarian efforts to go to, where you can learn how to contribute.
We are not passively "experiencing tough times," as though Nature sent an ill wind that snuffed out 14% of America's jobs. We are experiencing tough times as the result of specific policies being forced on us by a president and Congress unresponsive to--in fact acting in defiance of--the American people. How more desirable would it be if we could we entrust the chore of governance to those who we have elected to govern while we focus our thoughts and energies on helping the people of Haiti in this time of crisis? Very desirable, but that is not the situation that we face.

If we wish to remain strong and able to help others, we'd best make sure that we are in a position to help ourselves.

Help Haiti through reputable charities: Eric Ericson at RedState suggests The Salvation Army; Jeff at RedState recommends the Haiti Foundation Against Poverty; Founding Bloggers recommends the Jewish Federation Relief Fund (100% of donation goes to Haiti). [Added: Fox News has published a list of reputable charities working to send relief to Haiti.]

Added: Similar sentiments elsewhere on the Web:

Thank God we still have the wealth and will to help the people of Haiti today. If we let the architects of the socialist state build a hospice where we can die quietly, we won’t be able to help the people of tomorrow, either domestically or abroad. It’s about time we remembered our duty to mankind, and accept the truth that only the industry of free men can defeat hunger, poverty, and disease.

It's not just about our own personal wealth, comfort, or well-being. America truly is the last best hope for freedom in the world, and that freedom is what allows us to achieve such immense wealth...and thus, the generosity that the world sees every time such a catastrophe occurs. Without freedom, there is no capitalism. Without capitalism, there is no increasing wealth. Without increasing wealth, there is no assistance to those who need it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Martha Coakley in Charge of Public Safety

The exception proves the rule, they say.

It seems that assault and battery are criminal offenses except when a Democrat staffer assaults a conservative reporter in the presence of his boss, the chief law officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

I think we've all gotten the message, Attorney General Coakley.

Are Massachusetts voters going to put up with this kind of treatment for people who ask Coakley a question she doesn't want to answer?

H/t: Hot Air

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Drug Companies Support Democrat Martha Coakley

William Jacobson at his blog, Legal Insurrection, has been doing a masterful job of keeping readers informed about the Scott Brown run for what Brown termed "the people's seat" in the U.S. Senate, the senate seat once pretty much owned by the late Ted Kennedy.

Yesterday, Brown's campaign purse gained $1.3 million in mostly small campaign contributions from ordinary Americans choking on the "health insurance reform" being crammed down the national gullet. Brown has promised to vote against the current health care reform fiasco.

Today, as Jacobson points out, Brown's opponent, Democrat Martha Coakley, is having a fundraiser of her own. She will not be collecting small contributions representing the hopes of the little people; instead she will collect large contributions representing the interests of  "lobbyists and consummate Washington insiders," among them "17 lobbyists . . . , 15 of whom are connected to the health care industry players who cut special deals as a quid pro quo for supporting Obamacare."

In his blog, Jacobson embedded a copy of the invitation to Coakley's lobbyist fundraiser and observed:
Who is on the list? None other than Jamie Gorelick, the "Mistress of Disaster" responsible strengthening the wall between intelligence services and law enforcement which contributed to the systemic failure to detect the 9/11 plot, and former Vice Chair of Fannie Mae. Coakley will raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from these lobbyists, including grouped contributions.
Nondhimmie, a commenter at Hot Air, further elucidated:
Of the 22 names on the host committee–meaning they raised $10,000 or more for Coakley–17 are federally registered lobbyists, 15 of whom have health-care clients. Of the other five hosts, one is married to a lobbyist, one was a lobbyist in Pennsylvania, another is a lawyer at a lobbying firm, and another is a corporate CEO. Oh, and of course, there’s also the political action commitee for Boston Scientific Corporation.

All the leading drug companies have lobbyists on Coakley’s host committee: Pfizer, Merck, Amgen, Sanofi-Aventis, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Astra-Zeneca, and more. On the insurance side of things, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, HealthSouth, and United Health all are represented on the host committee.
So much for the Democrat Party being the protector of the interests of the little people.


Farewell, Miep Gies . . .

"and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

Yesterday came the news that Miep Gies, who, together with her husband, hid Anne Frank and nine other people from Nazi capture in Amsterdam for more than two years, died at the age of 100 after a brief illness.

 July 16, 1941, Miep Santrouschitz married her boyfriend, Jan Gies, a social worker and member of the Dutch underground. Miep, Jan and three others risked their lives daily and acted as helpers for the people in the annex, and brought them food, supplies and news of the world outside the darkened windows.

Miep's friendship with Anne Frank was especially strong - Anne adored her, trusting her with her biggest secrets. When she wrote the diary, Anne changed all the names of the people in it, to protect them from Nazi retribution - except for Miep, whose first name remained the same.

Miep brought her blank accounting books so Anne could continue to scribble her thoughts after she filled the checkered diary. Miep bought the maturing teenager her first pair of heels, secondhand red pumps, which Anne teetered around on, biting on her lip, until she mastered them. Miep even supplied some lavender peonies to Peter, who presented them to Anne as a sign of his affection.

One night, Anne persuaded Miep to sleep over in the attic. Miep spent a suffocating, sleepless night on Anne's small, hard bed. She listened to the church clock across the garden chime at 15-minute intervals, listened to her own heart pound. She became aware of what it meant to be imprisoned in those small rooms and felt a taste of the helpless fear these people were forced to endure day and night.

It all ended on August 4, 1944, when their hiding place was betrayed. Miep Gies hid the precious diary, keeping it for a year until official word arrived that Anne was dead. On that dreadful day, she reached into her desk drawer, removed the sheaves of paper, and handed them to a shattered Otto Frank.

'Here,' she told him, 'is your daughter Anne's legacy to you.'

Otto Frank lived with Miep and Jan Gies for seven years. He died in 1980.

Miep Gies didn't just help the eight people in the annex. She and Jan Gies hid a young Jewish student in their apartment. Miep never told Otto Frank about that.

Today, more than fifty years later, Miep Gies has spoken all over the United States and Europe on behalf of the Anne Frank Center, an international organization dedicated to tolerance. She lives alone in Amsterdam. Her husband, Jan, died in January 1993, 87 years old. He was honored after the war for his work in the resistance, receiving the Yad Vashem medal in Israel in 1977.

In 1987, Jan and Miep Gies were honored with an award from the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith for their courage in a ceremony that remembered not only the victims of the Holocaust, but those who risked everything to try to save them. A few years later West Germany awarded its highest medal for civilians, The Federal Cross Of Merit First Class, to Miep Gies because of her crucial role in hiding Anne Frank and her family: "In spite of her experiences with Germans, she has eliminated the word hate from her vocabulary," the West German Embassy said.

In 1994 she received the Raoul Wallenberg Award for Bravery, in May that same year, she received The Righteous Amongst the Nations Award - along with Emilie Schindler - and in 1997 she was knighted by Queen regnant Beatrix of the Netherlands.

Her book Anne Frank Remembered was turned into a film that won an Academy Award for best documentary.

H/t: Michell Malkin

Monday, January 11, 2010

Funnin' With Al Gore

Sitting here at my computer, swathed in woollies, I find myself with an impulse to ease the chill with a jest at the expense of Mann-caused global warming alarmists, especially those currently within reach of winds screaming south from the North Pole.

Enter, James Delingpole, with just what the doctor ordered: his announcement of the winner of the Al Gore Poetry Prize. Delingpole published the winning verse and a number of the runners up.

One of my favorites:
Haiku from Mark Adams
Fake data buries
Science settled like the snow
Outside my window
You might prefer one of the limericks, the Gilbert and Sullivan take-off, a more serious effort, or, the actual winner. Check them out.

Just so U.S. readers of this blog don't feel alone in our chill, here's a satellite view of the UK entirely covered in snow:

And then there's this satellite-imaged temperature anomaly map made during the Copenhagen Climate Conference. The temperatures shown below are not the actual surface temperatures but, instead, the differences between actual temperatures and recent average temperatures. Blue areas are below average in temperature and red areas are above average.  (Thanks to Watts Up With That?)

This image shows the impact of the cold snap on land surface temperatures across the region from December 11–18, 2009, compared to the 2000–2008 average. The measurements were made by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. Places where temperatures were up to 20 degrees Celsius below average are blue, locations where temperatures were average are cream-colored, and places where temperatures were above average are red. Light gray patches show where clouds were so persistent during the week that MODIS could not make measurements of the land surface temperature. The biggest anomalies were in northern Russia, but a swath of below-average temperatures stretched across the countries around the Baltic Sea as well.
Baby, it's cold outside! The silver lining of this year's crop of winter storm clouds is further weakening of the "catastrophe" argument for global and domestic cap-and-tax and further strengthening of common-sense arguments for domestic drilling.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

James Madison on the Pelosi & Reid Health Care Reform Bills

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.
~  James Madison, Father of the Constitution

Saturday, January 9, 2010

ObamaCare: 5 Times Cheaper If You Don't Marry

It really amounts to a war on marriage.

Hidden in the 1000+ pages of the latest House health care fiasco and the 2000+ pages of the Senate health care fiasco are huge financial penalties for married folks of limited to average means, amounting to a bill per couple of about $10,000 a year that you must pay only if you marry (or are currently married). If you just live with your sexual partner, no $10,000 bill for you.

Shocking, I know. Unbelievable. Yes. And also true.

Just what society needs, a giant disincentive to marry, courtesy of Obama and his Obamatons. More children born of unwed parents, but parents who would have wed if they could have afforded to. Because cohabitation is a far weaker bond than a marriage contract, less security for those children, who will a higher risk of eventually being raised by one parent.

How this financial penalty will contribute to those children's health--and the nation's health--is beyond me.

Think of it. A young couple, just starting out, contemplates marriage. Each earns about $30,000 per year. The fact that they marry shouldn't raise their health insurance premiums, should it? If anything, marriage ought to reduce their health insurance bill because married folk, on average, are healthier than single folk. Married couples are likely to eat better and party less than their single friends. They are less likely to have driving-while-intoxicated accidents and to contract sexually transmitted diseases.

But the House doesn't see it that way. In Pelosi's health care bill, a young couple who marries will pay an additional $11,000 for health insurance every year. That's $110,000 extra dollars in insurance payments over the course of their first ten years of marriage, the best and healthiest (and for many, the only) years in which to have children. Obviously that loss of $110,000 will be a disincentive for that young couple to have a child or two, but if they do, that child or two will enjoy much less in the way of food, clothing, education, and entertainment. For the entire family, there will be less quality of everything from childcare to clothing.

It is difficult to believe, I know, that this sort of discrimination could go virtually unnoticed. I would not be surprised if most members of Congress don't even realize that they've voted for this kind of lop-sided means of paying for their health-care extravaganza. I have seen different calculations of the amount of the marriage penalty, depending on income, but all the estimates are of substantial sums amounting to thousands of dollars, definitely enough to make it financially impossible for many young people--who often start out on a shoestring--to marry. [Added: this morning, Huckabee on Fox discussed a $2000 marriage penalty for 17 million lower-income couples. That amount applies to couples earning $25,000 each for a combined income of $50,000.]

I'd like to know how a huge tax on marriage will contribute to the health of the children of either married or unmarried parents.

There is no question that many will respond to this penalty by not marrying and that this marriage tax will take its toll on society. When Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" started providing financial benefits to unemployed unwed mothers, men and women did not stop forming unions, but many who otherwise would have married did not, specifically so that the couple could collect the welfare checks and food stamps provided to the "single" woman in addition to the paycheck of the man. That was pretty much the end of the traditional nuclear family in many urban areas, with results that are familiar to us all.

It isn't only young people who will pay, of course. Lovebirds in their 50s will pay an additional (mandatory) $9,000 per year for health insurance if they marry. At these enormous levels of penalty, it is easy to predict that some already married couples will divorce (but still live together) to reduce the pain of their health care bills.

From Allen Quist, guest blogger at Bob McCarty Writes:
  • How much would two single people, each making $30,000 per year, pay for private health insurance if the Pelosi bill was in effect now? The answer is $1,320 per year for both individuals combined (based on the premium limits and subsidies outlined on the charts on p. 3).
  • But how much would they pay for the same level of insurance under the Pelosi bill if they were to marry? Their combined cost would then be about $12,000 a year (the estimated cost for private insurance).
Allen Quist Article Graphic 12-9-09

This extraordinary penalty people will pay, should they marry, extends all the way from a two-person combined income of $58,280 to $86,640, a spread of $28,360. A large number of people fall within this spread. As premiums for private insurance escalate, as expected, the marriage penalty will become substantially larger.
Once the income of Americans exceeds 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, there are no limits on the premiums they can be charged, and their premiums are no longer subsidized. The poverty level is much higher for two people living unmarried as compared to the same two people being married. That is why citizens in many cases will pay far more for insurance if they are married. Why should married people be subjected to financial discrimination?
The Senate bill also creates a marriage penalty, in this case by imposing a new tax on individuals who make $200,000 annually but it also applies to married couples making $250,000 each year. This marriage tax on the affluent, however, is just the tip of the marriage penalty iceberg in the Senate bill.
The Senate bill stipulates that two unmarried people, 52 years of age, with private insurance and a combined income of $60,000, $30,000 each, will pay a combined cost of $2,483 for medical insurance. Should they marry, however, they will pay a combined cost of $11,666 for insurance—a penalty of $9,183 for getting married (based on tables at:
This substantial marriage penalty applies to persons on individual insurance, but, as the Heritage Foundation’s Bob Moffit said, “if an employer has a health care benefits package that is 12 to 13 percent of payroll, and they can solve their problem by paying an 8 percent payroll tax [into the Exchange], I think they’re going to do it,” (New York Times, 9-30-09). And Howard Dean said that, “Small businesses with payrolls of less than half a million dollars don’t have to buy health insurance anymore for any of their employees.”(FNS, 11-29-09).
Businesses will shed their employees and health care dollars into the Exchange, but the dollars that are paid back out will be directed only to those who make less than 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. Those above the Poverty Level will receive none of their previous insurance benefits from businesses. For that reason the new system is income redistribution on steroids.
Senior citizens and small businesses have already been identified as big losers in the health care bills. Married citizens in the middle class need to be added to the list.
Allen Quist is a professor of political science at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minn.

Sources: The numbers on the chart above are based on (a) a chart provided by The Committees on Ways & Means, Energy & Commerce, and Education & Labor, October 29, 2009, see chart on p. 3; (b) the current Federal Poverty Levels; see charts on p. 3; and (c) the estimate that two adults would pay $12,000 annually for individual health insurance with average benefits if their income exceeds 400% of the Federal Poverty Level.
By the way, the "to marry or not to marry" question will apply only to citizens and legal residents of the United States. Illegal aliens will get the usual free ride, no questions asked.

If the financial rewards for identifying terrorists in the U.S. were as great as the penalties for married couples contained in the health care bill, there wouldn't be a terrorist left on the North American continent inside of 6 months.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Ed Koch: "Speak the Truth"

America's got the right people, but they're not in the right places. In Congress and throughout the Obama administration, we've got muddle-headed, venal idiots who couldn't rub two neurons together to come up with a lucid thought.  Elsewhere, we've got clear thinkers like Ed Koch, former NY City Mayor (h/t: The Right Scoop):

A selection of those choice words in print:
  • Koch: I would like to know why it is that we haven't honored that Dutch citizen with gifts and whatever else would make him happy for having saved 288 people who were on that plane.
Why haven't we honored, in a big way, those two cops--one a woman, one an African American--in Alabama at Fort Hood, who were willing to put down their lives (and they in fact saved American soldiers who might otherwise have been shot in addition to those who were shot)?
I just don't think our attitude is adequate.
  • Cavuto:  You also mentioned the message we're sending the world when we try to step back from calling this what it is: a war. Now the administration is trying to avoid that to better relations or to reach out.
Koch: Has it helped? Has it helped?

Cavuto: His approval and America's regard has gone up in those countries.

Koch: Isn't that nice! Did they stop trying to kill us?

Cavuto: So you say he is wasting his time doing that?

Koch: I am saying, "Speak the truth!"
And if there are no other people who are out there trying to kill us other than Muslim fanatics, there's nothing illegal, immoral, to say that is the case.
Cavuto: And you can also say the vast majority of Muslims are decent law-abiding people.
Koch: But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't pat down specially--if there are muslims in line, and we know that to be the case--boarding a plane.
I don't see anything wrong with profiling. What are we, crazy?
  • Koch: I believe frankly that the pending election could be a tsunami for Democrats.
From Koch's lips to God's ears.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"We are jihadists, and jihad is not terrorism"

Look at the faces of the men in the above photo. The Pakistani police in berets who are escorting their prisoners from a court hearing look stern enough, but three of the prisoners, a group of five young self-identified "jihadists" from suburban Washington, DC., are in high spirits, perhaps because they have--at least until now--managed to dodge a bullet. Pakistan has not deported them back to the United States, where authorities allege that they have links to al Qaeda and were seeking jihad training in Pakistan, and they have not been charged with a crime, despite assurances that the Pakistani police will formally recommend to the court that the young men be charged under anti-terrorism laws and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Two of the young prisoners (center) don't look so sure that they should be laughing. The prospect of life imprisonment in a Pakistani jail cannot be pleasant, and they likely have heard the reports that some of the young men's own parents approached the FBI with suspicions that their sons, who had disappeared from their northern Virginia homes, might have "gone overseas."

The young Americans are due back in court on Jan. 18, giving the police two weeks to prepare their case against the five men, Umar Farooq, Waqar Khan, Ahmed Minni, Aman Hassan Yemer, and Ramy Zamzam.

Not to worry, Mom and Dad: "We are jihadists, and jihad is not terrorism," observed one of the young prisoners, 22-year-old Ramy Zamzam. According to their attorney, the young men, aged 19 to 25, "only intended to travel to Afghanistan to help their Muslim brothers who are in trouble, who are bleeding and who are being victimized by Western forces."

Exactly how the men planned to provide that assistance has not been disclosed, but Pakistani authorities maintain that the group "had a map of Chashma Barrage [shown] - a complex located near nuclear power facilities that includes a water reservoir and other structures." That's not exactly a Red Crescent training manual. The complex lies in the populous province of Punjab, about 125 miles southwest of the capital, Islamabad.
Related post:  Pakistani Muslim Terrorists Burn Christians to Death

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Laughing Through Tears: Obama Serious About Terrorism (He Says)

    Today Barack Obama addressed America in the wake of the failed Christmas bombing intended to murder nearly 300 passengers and crew of Northwest Airlines Flight 253. While vacationing in Hawaii, the orator hailed by the MSM as capable of transporting observers to the verge of ecstasy managed to eke out only a few belated and perfunctory remarks whose impact, chiefly, was to impress listeners with his lack of empathy with Americans. Apparently, however, some astute Obamatons managed to convince him that the response of most voters to the attempted Christmas bombing was not boredom, but anger. Even in Washington, it must be noted, not everyone and their brother has military flights at their beck and call, and Democrat politicians are as likely as the rest of us to prefer staying alive to blind adherence to a PC policy of avoidance of enemy identification. So, in his remarks this afternoon, Obama tried to add a little emotional oomph to his voice as he itemized the improvements in airline security that he will be demanding.

    Obama tried to sound angry; not only was he angry, but he was angry. Obama even admitted to the conclusion that "we face a challenge of the utmost urgency."

    Before Obama let America in on the secret that he was shocked (shocked!) that a peace-loving, civilization-building, Yemeni-trained "extremist" had almost caused a disaster, he first gathered together his entourage of security "leaders" for a little talking to--wink, wink. These "interested" leaders have not been pursuing with full vigor what we are asked to believe are Obama's seriously anti-man-caused disaster policies.

    These are the names of the dyed-in-the-wool American defenders present at the Security meeting: Homeland Security Secretary ("the system works") Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Secretary of State (let's reset our relationship with Russia) Hillary Rodham Clinton, Attorney General ("my former law firm represents Gitmo detainees") Eric Holder, CIA Director (don't bother frisking those double agents) Leon Panetta, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and Obama’s chief counter-terrorism adviser ("the system is not broken") John O. Brennan.

    It was a joke. But not a funny one.

    One would think that Obama had a St. Paul experience of conversion. On his way to the beach in Kaneohe, perhaps, he was suddenly knocked out of his SUV by a vision of the 2010 elections (most of the voters not being enemy "extremists") and, when he came to, realized that he was "determined to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat" the networks of those who want to kill Americans at any cost.
    I ordered two reviews. I directed Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to review aviation screening technology and procedures. She briefed me on her initial findings today. And I'm pleased that this review is drawing on the best science and technology, including the expertise of Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and his department.
    Green energy security technology. Great.
    I also directed my counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, John Brennan, to lead a thorough review into our terrorist watch listing system so we can fix what went wrong. As we discussed today, this ongoing review continues to reveal more about the human and systemic failures that almost cost nearly 300 lives. . . .
    The bottom line is this: The U.S. government had sufficient information to have uncovered this plot and potentially disrupt the Christmas-Day attack, but our intelligence community failed to connect those dots, which would have placed the suspect on the no-fly list. In other words, this was not a failure to collect intelligence; it was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had. The information was there. Agencies and analysts who needed it had access to it, and our professionals were trained to look for it and to bring it all together.
    No doubt. But why then did the Obama administration and his Democrook Congress cut $25 million from the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), thus affecting the "employees responsible for maintaining the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) system, which contains the list of about 550,000 known or suspected terrorists," including the Christmas bomber?
    Now, I will accept that intelligence by its nature is imperfect, but it is increasingly clear that intelligence was not fully analyzed or fully leveraged. That's not acceptable, and I will not tolerate it.
    Oh yeah? Then why, of the 300 analysts working at the National Counterterrorism Center, do "fewer than a dozen focus full-time on the Middle East"? From The Washington Independent:
    According to NCTC veterans, the NCTC’s Middle East Branch consists of eight to nine analysts at any given time.
    Those are the folks "responsible for integrating and analyzing millions of pieces of fragmentary data relevant to terrorism in the Middle East provided by partner intelligence agencies like the CIA and the National Security Agency." That means Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel and Palestinian territories, and Yemen. "Fewer than a dozen" analysts means "eight or nine." Read this, but not if you want to feel safe. From the Washington Independent:
    Staffing the Middle East Branch with eight or nine full-time analysts is “a baffling management decision” said Steven Aftergood, an intelligence-policy analyst with the Federation of American Scientists. “Other than South Asia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, what is more important than the Middle East from a counterterrorism point of view? Where are the other several hundred [NCTC] analysts focused?”
    Obama's post-Hawaii buff oratory:
    Time and again, we've learned that quickly piecing together information and taking swift action is critical to staying one step ahead of a nimble adversary. So we have to do better, and we will do better. And we have to do it quickly. American lives are on the line.
    So I made it clear today to my team, I want our initial reviews completed this week. I want specific recommendations for corrective actions to fix what went wrong. I want those reforms implemented immediately, so that this doesn't happen again and so we can prevent future attacks. And I know that every member of my team that I met with today understands the urgency of getting this right, and I appreciate that each of them took responsibility for the shortfalls within their own agencies.
    To his credit, Obama did take credit for the new screening of millions of innocent Americans to avoid inconveniencing man-caused disasterers and clogging the no-fly list with more names that will slow detection down:
    Immediately after the attack, I ordered concrete steps to protect the American people: new screening and security for all flights, domestic and international; more explosive-detection teams at airports; more air marshals on flights; and deepening cooperation with international partners.
    In recent days, we've taken additional steps to improve security. Counterterrorism officials have reviewed and updated our terrorist watch list system, including adding more individuals to the no-fly list. And while our review has found that our watch-listing system is not broken, the failure to add Abdulmutallab to the no-fly list shows that this system needs to be strengthened.
    And then, supposedly, someone will actually look at visas:
    The State Department is now requiring embassies and consulates to include current visa information in their warning on individuals with terrorist or suspected terrorist connections.
    None of the promises, of course, would even have been made if it were not for the outrage of Americans at being lectured by Janet Napolitano that the system worked fine, and the research of Americans pointing out the failures pointed out by Obama. He was the last to know, with the possible exception of Janet Napolitano.

    Obama has also finally noticed that dead Americans murdered by ex-Gitmo detainees who have been sent back to Yemen will not be a political asset, at least not at the moment:
    Given the unsettled situation, I've spoken to the attorney general. And we've agreed that we will not be transferring additional detainees back to Yemen at this time. [emphasis mine]
    Interestingly, Obama seems to be owning up the fact that he is the attorney general's boss, an inconvenient fact that he has been ducking for quite a while.
    But make no mistake. We will close Guantanamo prison, which has damaged our national security interests and become a tremendous recruiting tool for al Qaeda. . . .
    And as I've always said, we will do so -- we will close the prison in a manner that keeps the American people safe and secure.
    Don't worry, Mr. President. We weren't thinking of making that mistake.

    Hat tip: AJ Strata at The Strata-Sphere.  Graphic shamelessly lifted from Snarky Bastard at Feed Your ADHD (double click to read the fine print).

    Obama Releases Another Terrorist Viper

    From Bill Rogio at The Long War Journal:
    The US has released the leader of an Iranian-backed Shia terror group behind the kidnapping and murder of five US soldiers in Karbala in January 2007.
    The five American heros, shown, were (from top) Private First Class Shawn Falter, 1st Lt. Jacob Fritz, Private Johnathon Millican, Captain Brian S. Freeman, and Specialist Johnathan Bryan Chism (photos courtesy of Doctor Zero at The Greenroom).

    According to Allahpundit at Hot Air, after Qais Khazali started "his own little mini-Hezbollah" called the "League of the Righteous" in Iran, he took his outfit to Karbala, Iraq where he coordinated the kidnapping and murders:
    U.S. troops caught up to Khazali two months later and captured him and his brother; the ID cards of several dead American soldiers were recovered at the scene. No less a figure than David Petraeus went on to blame the Karbala raid squarely on Khazali’s outfit and accused Iran’s Quds Force — the creme de la creme of the Revolutionary Guard, responsible for assisting Iranian proxy jihadis like Hezbollah in other countries — of bankrolling the whole thing.

    And now, after three years in U.S. custody, he’s free.
    As Rogio reported:
    Qais Qazali, the leader of the Asaib al Haq or the League of the Righteous, was set free by the US military and transferred to Iraqi custody in exchange for the release of British hostage Peter Moore, US military officers and intelligence officials told The Long War Journal.
    Moore and four members of his personal bodyguard were kidnapped at the Finance Ministry in Baghdad in May 2007 by a group that calls itself the Islamic Shia Resistance, which is in fact a front for the League of the Righteous. The group had always insisted that Qais, his brother Laith, and other members of the Asaib al Haq be released in exchange for Moore and the others. Three of Moore’s bodyguards were executed while in custody, and the fourth is thought to have been murdered as well.
    “This was a deal signed and sealed in British and American blood,” a US military officer told The Long War Journal. “We freed all of their leaders and operatives; they [the League of the Righteous] executed their hostages and sent them back in body bags. And we’re supposed to be happy about it.”
    Khazali, still a member of the "League of the Righteous," is going home to a hero's welcome in Iraq to take up his new career as political leader. His brother and more than 100 other members of the League, already released, await him. From Rogio's post:
    “We let a very dangerous man go, a man whose hands are stained with US and Iraqi blood,” a military officer said. “We are going to pay for this in the future."
    It used to be that the U.S. didn't negotiate with terrorist kidnappers. But that was before Obama.

    In 1986, about the time Obama that was setting up in Chicago, Ronald Reagon was signing an executive order prohibiting concessions to hostage takers. News of this might not have reached Obama or his Obamatons, but some Americans do remember. As Dr. Zero noted, "Republican Senators Jeff Sessions and Jon Kyl have already sent a letter to the Obama Administration" reminding him of the U.S.A.'s long-standing policy not to deal with hostage-takers.
    With the New Year holiday behind us, more Republican congressmen will doubtless be right behind Sessions and Kyl with their own hard questions. It’s even possible some Democrats will join them, now that they’re finished with midnight votes to take over the health-care system, and desperately need to fool their constituents into thinking they’re “moderates” who care about national security.
    Someday, some of these Democrats are going to be dealing with the rising-star Iraqi terrorist-turned-politician that they've just released back into the vipers' den, like they're now dealing with the Iranian Ahmadinejad, in 1979 an alleged leader of the kidnapping of 53 Americans held hostage for 444 days.

    Hat tip: There's My Two Cents

    Monday, January 4, 2010

    The Climate Change Outside is Frightful (UPDATE)

    Recent images:

    South Korea (added 3:10 p.m. EST)
    Seoul socked in with heaviest snow in 70 years:

    China (added 3:10 p.m. EST)
    Snowplows in Tienanmen Square, Beijing schools and airport closed under the heaviest snowfall in more than 60 years:

    Uttar Pradesh, Northern India
    Record cold 1C - 4C (34F - 39F) responsible for 40 deaths in one week:

    State low yesterday, -36F (-38C), Frosty 9 feet tall:

    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Wild turkeys find bird feeders frozen shut:

    Washington, DC
    Worst December blizzard in DC's history dumps 2 feet of snow:

    Florida (Added 3:30 p.m. EST)
    Farmers try to save strawberry crops from below-freezing temperatures by spraying them with water.

    12 inches of snow creates winter wonderland, if you like temperatures of -9C (16F). UK climatologists rescind prediction of mild winter, now predict worst winter in decades, if not in century:

    Longest unbroken cold snap in decades, temps as low as -15C (5F). Bessie snowed in:

    Hey, Al Gore, the blue and purple dots below represent record-breaking low temperatures and the white dots represent record-breaking snows, all occurring in the last week! (For map interactivity, go here.)

    Hat tip: Watts Up With That.