Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Valerie Jarrett Map

The republican Mother (small "r" noted) is one heck of a researcher. Lately she's been publishing maps of the connections of people of interest using the National Names Database. The following is her "Valerie Jarrett Map." Click on it and use your zoom feature to see some "interesting" connections.


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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Less Profit = More Poverty: Why It's Not Good to Hold People's Wealth Against Them

Dr. Zero hits it out of the park:
The concept of profit takes a lot of abuse from the Left.  Democrats usually spit the word out as though it were a curse, especially when they’re working to increase government control over private industry.  Our current economic malaise illustrate that, contrary to liberal rhetoric, the absence of profit does not lead to “shared wealth” or “economic justice.”  A world without profit is a world of poverty.

[snip]

What, exactly, is “profit?”  Technically, it’s income minus expenses.  This does not provide a complete understanding of the concept, however.  If you’re one of the many people who lined up to buy a new iPhone last week, you can appreciate how the retailer made a profit – he paid a certain amount to purchase his inventory of iPhones, added in his overhead costs, and sold it to you for a few dollars more.  His supplier made a profit from him in the same manner, in a chain of commerce which extends all the way back to the manufacturer.

However, it could be said that you also profited from this transaction.  You acquired a device you could not possibly have built yourself, in exchange for the earnings from a few hours of your labor.  You value this device more than the other things you could have bought with the money you paid for it.  Your job allowed you to efficiently convert some of your time into the money you used to make the purchase. Every voluntary transaction produces a mutual increase in value – both parties benefit, or they would not perform the transaction.  The dealer wanted your money, and you wanted that iPhone.
Go read the rest of "A World Without Profit" right now.

Twelve hundred words of clarity. After you read them, you may be able to explain why socialism stinks in terms even a Progressive can understand. 

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Monday, June 28, 2010

How Times Have Changed: China is Stable, Washington is Not

When CNBC knows about it, what more is there to say?

Las Vegas hotel owner Steve Wynn:



Via James Simpson at American Thinker.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mahalia Jackson Sings "How I Got Over"

Mahalia Jackson live in Chicago. Just one more reason why she will always be the greatest Gospel singer of all time.



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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Less Wealth = More Poverty: Why Don't Obama's Sheepsters Get It?

American progressives commonly complain that the U.S. uses more than than our share of world resources--all the while remaining stubbornly oblivious to the fact that the U.S. translates many of those resources into more than our share of technological enhancements that hugely benefit medical care, food supplies, and quality of life around the world.

From the Investors Business Daily:  
The truth the left has a hard time accepting is that America has made the world a better place. Where would it be without the strength of the U.S. economy? What would have happened these last 200 years without the American ideals of liberty and law that set a lofty standard and provided a clear model for others to follow?

While Jimmy Carter supervised the country's decline into its late 1970s malaise because he missed the American exceptionalism all around him, Obama seems to be offended by it.
Obama is not the only one offended by the fact of American exceptionalism. Opponents of American exceptionalism are precisely those who campaigned for Obama and who voted him into office.

Many of Obama's sheepsters operate under the mistaken impression that rallying for the decline of the U.S. is, in some way, going to help the poor people of the world. It won't. And I am not hopeful that opponents of American exceptionalism will even wake up to the fact that their efforts to bring down the United States will hurt them personally.

As the debt grows, sabotage of American businesses continues, and the economic picture worsens, many soft-hearted leftist sheepsters will continue to try and make things better but, of course, today's problems will grow and worsen. And there will be fewer resources available to help, meaning less medical care, food, and technologies.

Will the sheepsters ever figure out that is what they wanted in the first place?

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Keeping the Peace" by Arresting (Non-Violent) Christians

If you are a Muslim Arab-American with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood planning to build a mega-mosque overlooking what was once the smoking hole of Ground Zero, New York, where 19 Muslims murdered 3,000 innocent civilians, the city fathers and mothers will strew flowers in your path and call everyone opposed to that idea a "bigot." In fact, the Chief of Police will go out of his way to assure everyone that you are not a security threat.

However, if you are a Christian Arab-American with ties to an Evangelical Church planning to hand out copies of the Gospel of John printed in Arabic at an "Arab Festival" in Dearborn, Michigan, you can expect to be arrested, and the Chief of Police will go out of his way to assure everyone that you are an impediment to "keeping the peace."

Dearborn used to part of the United States, where freedom of speech and religion were protected under the U.S. Constitution. Now Dearborn is part of the Muslim world, where freedom of speech and religion are rigorously denied under Sharia law, which mandates that non-Muslims, as second-class citizens, are forbidden to proselytize to Muslims.

Muslims around the world are quite diligent about enforcing this aspect of Sharia law. How about the time 60 Moroccan security officers raided a Bible study group near Marrakech, arrested and held 18 Moroccans, including infants and children, and deported the American citizen who was present. Or when Iranian authorities imprisoned and tortured an Assyrian pastor they suspected of "converting Muslims." Or when a mob of 20 Muslims savagely beat two young Christians in Fulgazi, Bangladesh, for showing a "Jesus film." Occurrences like these--and much worse--are, sadly, commonplace throughout the Muslim world.

Here's something that happened in Dearborn, Michigan, last year at this time:
This year at the "Arab" Festival, the police again arrested two of these young Christians and two others. When the police released them, the next morning, they held onto the Christians' cameras, apparently because they do not want to display proof that the Christians were not in fact disturbing the peace, at least as it is defined in the United States and not in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, or Sudan. A Sudanese Christian, Pastor George Saeig, escaped arrest only with the help of a temporary restraining order issued by a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

From the Thomas More Law Center:
Arrested on charges of Breach of the Peace are: Negeen Mayel, Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, Paul Rezkalla, and David Wood. Mayel, an eighteen year old female, whose parents emigrated from Afghanistan and [who is] a recent convert from Islam to Christianity, was also charged with failure to obey a police officer’s orders. She was approximately 100 feet away and videotaping a discussion with some Muslims when her camera was seized.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, “These Christian missionaries were exercising their Constitutional rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion, but apparently the Constitution carries little weight in Dearborn, where the Muslim population seems to dominate the political apparatus. It’s apparent that these arrests were a retaliatory action over the embarrassing video of the strong arm tactics used last year by Festival Security Guards [above]. This time, the first thing police officers did before making the arrests was to confiscate the video cameras in order to prevent a recording of what was actually happening.”

Thompson continued, “Contrary to the comments made by Police Chief Ron Haddad, our Constitution does not allow police to ban the right of free speech just because there are some hecklers.  Not all police officers approve of the way their department treated these Christians.”
These four young Christians are not eager to give up their Constitutional rights. Here is part of the video they made:
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Obama Demotes Petraeus from CENTCOM Commander to Theater of Operations Commander





In replacing General Stanley McChrystal with General David Petraeus, Obama has handed Petraeus a demotion from CENTCOM commander to Theater of Operations commander. What's up with that?

The Right Scoop has posted this interview with Allen West, who offers the first analysis of the McChrystal situation that makes sense to me.

Give it a listen.

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Memo to the Left: David Petraeus is No Longer General Betray Us (Times Ad Here)




Teh Won says so.
 
But many of us remember this full-page ad published in the New York Times in September 2007 by MoveOn.org.

Back then, NPR reported:
On Capitol Hill, Republicans called for an official condemnation of the Petraeus ad. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas sponsored the Senate resolution.
The resolution passed 72-25.

Hillary Clinton voted against the resolution.

Senators Barack Obama of Illinois and Joseph Biden of Delaware didn't vote at all. 

That was some vote of confidence.

UPDATE:  The Petraeus ad was scrubbed today. But not before I downloaded it. If MoveOn.org is so anxious for people not to read it, I think it's my patriotic duty to make sure that they can.

Here it is. To read the fine print, click on it and then use your zoom command to zoom in.


Weasel Zippers also has the screen shot of the MoveOn.org "General Betray Us" Web page, explaining their "thinking" behind the ad.
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History Review: Senator Obama Mocked the Bible




The relentless crush of events can make even recent history seem remote. The following video is a snapshot of what was going on only 4 (four!) years ago.

From Teresamerica, who asks, "Would a Christian do that?"  Senator Obama speaking in 2006:


Two years later, when Obama needed Christian votes:
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is stepping up his effort to correct the misconception that he's a Muslim.

Obama tried to set the record straight at a rally to kick off a weeklong campaign for the South Carolina primary coming up on Saturday.
Obama says he's been going to the same Christian church for almost 20 years. He says he was sworn into office using the family Bible. He says he repeats the pledge of allegiance to the United States flag in the Senate.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blago on Tape: "We Could Get Something" for Obama's Senate Seat



Rod Blagojevich, ex-Governor of Illinois, is on trial for racketeering and for "scheming to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat President Obama gave up" following his election to the presidency. He's facing "up to $6 million in fines and a sentence of 415 years in prison." Blago says he's not guilty.

A tape of a conversation between Blago and his former chief of staff, John Harris, isn't improving Blago's chances of staying out of the slammer, nor is it increasing the comfort level of either Rahm Emanuel or Barack Obama.

From Bob Secter at the Chicago Tribune, via the Backyard Conservative, who is keeping a good eye on the unfolding of this trial:
On Nov. 2, two days before the election, Harris said he was shopping for shoes with his son when he got a cell phone call from Rahm Emanuel, the North Side congressman who was soon to become Obama’s chief of staff.

Harris said Emanuel told him Obama was interested in having a close friend nominated to the Senate. Emanuel didn’t mention a name, but Harris said it was clear he was referring to Valerie Jarrett, the former chairman of the Chicago Transit Authority who is now a top White House adviser.

“He wanted to convey to me that (Obama) had a preference,” Harris said.

The next day, Harris said he spoke to Blagojevich on the phone and mentioned the conversation with Emanuel. Harris and Blagojevich didn’t know it, but government agents were recording the conversation, which was played in court today.

On the call, Harris told Blagojevich that Emanuel had asked whether it would be helpful for him to have Obama call. Harris told Emanuel “yes,” that Obama should if he were interested.

“He wouldn’t leave it to osmosis or to the media,” Harris said of Obama. “So you may get a call from him.”

“It sounds as though – if you believe Rahm – that he (Obama) very much cares about it,” Harris told Blagojevich.

Almost immediately, Blagojevich asked, “We could get something for that, couldn’t we?”
Later on the recorded call, Blagojevich asked Harris, "What do I have a shot at getting?"
Harris answered that they should at least start the process. “How about Human Services, can I get that?” Blagojevich said of the cabinet post.

If Obama was willing to call, “Yeah,” Harris answered.

The two talked about floating then-Illinois Senate President Emil Jones as a bargaining chip, and Blagojevich threw out two other names: “Bill Daley, Lisa Madigan.”

Daley is the former commerce secretary and brother of Mayor Richard Daley. Madigan is the Illinois attorney general and daughter of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, Blagojevich’s political nemesis.

Blagojevich then asked whether it should be leaked to Sun-Times gossip columnist Michael Sneed that the pick could be Lisa Madigan. Sneed did indeed print such an item shortly thereafter.

Blagojevich also asked Harris to look up who else had been Health and Human Services secretary. “Did Obama promise it to somebody else?” Blagojevich asked.

The two agreed what Blagojevich said in public about the vacancy should indicate that Blagojevich was very interested in supporting the Obama agenda in deciding how to fill the seat and that Blagojevich very much wanted to hear who Obama had in mind as his replacement.
Americans can expect plenty of "distraction" to keep their minds off this trial. That's all the more reason to pay it some attention.
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Times Square Bomber Pleads Guilty: Aimed to Do "Maximum Damage"




When ABC notices, it's got to be B-A-D.
Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty Monday afternoon to trying to explode a car bomb in Times Square on May 1, and to receiving terror training from the Pakistani Taliban, and warned that further attacks on the U.S. were coming.
What? Is this the same guy whom New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had pegged as "homegrown," as in, "maybe a mentally deranged person or someone with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill or something"?
The 30-year-old naturalized American, who was born in Pakistan and lived in Connecticut, pleaded guilty to ten different terror-related federal charges, two of which carry a mandatory life sentence.
After Shahzad pleaded guilty to the first charge, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, Judge Miriam Cedarbaum said, "I gather you want to plead guilty to all [the charges.]
"Yes," said Shahzad, and then said he wanted to plead guilty and 100 times more," because he wanted the U.S. to know it will continue to suffer attacks if it does not leave Iraq and Afghanistan and stop drone strikes in Pakistan.
Hold on. Back in May, the Mayor was telling CBS that "no credible evidence so far that this attack was more than at least one person.”
Shahzad spent a full hour giving the judge a narrative of his failed bombing attempt, including his take on recent events and the history of the Middle East. He also admitted that he had placed the bomb in Times Square at its busiest in order to do the maximum damage
Betcha he doesn't like Israel.
Shahzad was arrested on May 3, two days after the failed bombing, at New York's JFK airport as he was about to depart on a Dubai-bound flight. 
Despite having been placed on the no-fly list by authorities, the Times Square Bomber managed to "make it to the boarding gate at JFK airport, have his pass scanned by airline workers and then walk on to the plane, which was already taxiing away from the gate." Emirates Airlines apparently was not very interested in posting his name or his passport number to their no-fly list.
A federal grand jury indicted Shahzad on Thursday on 10 terror-related charges, double the number of criminal counts he originally faced. The new counts included a weapons charge and four new terror charges. 

The 13-page indictment also included new details about Shahzad's travels to Pakistan, and names the Pakistani terror group, Tehrik-e-Taliban, from which Shahzad allegedly received bomb training. The indictment also says that Shahzad received money from an unnamed coconspirator in Pakistan prior to the failed May 1 car bombing in midtown Manhattan.
How can this be? We were told that he "got screwed by the recession just like the rest of us, only he chose to react the way he did." On the other hand . . .
The indictment alleged that Shahzad received explosives training in Waziristan, Pakistan from "explosives trainers affiliated with Tehrik-e-Taliban." It accused Shahzad of receiving $5,000 in Massachusetts sent by a coconspirator in Pakistan in February, and another $10,000 from the same coconspirator via New York. According to the indictment, Shahzad purchased a rifle in Connecticut in March that was found loaded in his car on the day of his arrest. 
Shahzad's confession to being a bloodthirsty terrorist has painted Mayor Bloomberg into a corner. The man who was so eager to assure New York City that the Times Square bomber was likely a political opponent of ObamaCare today observed, "We know that our city remains a top target for terrorists."
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Related posts:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Obama Tells His "Price" for Border Security, AZ Senator Says




Arizonans and other Americans suffer enormously from illegal immigration, but what does that suffering amount to for the president of the United States? It makes a great bargaining chip. When you are in serious pain, you might agree to just about anything to make the pain stop.

On Friday, June 18, Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) told an audience at a town hall meeting in North Tempe why President Obama won’t enforce America’s immigration laws. The entire video is worth watching, but the Obama information starts at 3:17.


Here's what Senator Kyl said:
I met with the president in the Oval Office, just the two of us . . . and we had a discussion about this. . . . Here's what the president said:

"The problem is," he said, "if we secure the border, then you all won't have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform."

In other words, they're holding it hostage. They don't want to secure the border unless and until it is combined with comprehensive immigration reform.

Now, I explained, "You and I, Mr. President, have an obligation to secure the border. That's an obligation. It also has potentially positive benefits. You don't have to have comprehensive reform to secure the border, but you have to secure the border to get comprehensive reform." I said, "You'd be surprised. Maybe you don't think that there would be any more incentive for comprehensive reform. But I'm not so sure that that's true." In any event, it doesn't matter. We're supposed to secure the border.

But that's why it isn't being done. They frankly don't want to do it. They want to get something in return for doing their duty.
That is, of course, if "they" plan on securing the border at any time.

Hat tips: Snaggletoothie of the Loyal Opposition and The Right Scoop.

Cross-posted at Potluck.
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Happy Father's Day!



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Saturday, June 19, 2010

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains




Recorded in 1928, this was a very popular song among young homeless men riding the rails looking for work and sleeping in "hobo jungles" during the Great Depression.


Many fathers from the Greatest Generation remember this song with a twinkle in the eye, and to them especially I send greetings for a Happy Father's Day!

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Obama's View: Gulf Spill Recovery Only a Part-Time Job

I might think I was hallucinating, but I have witnesses: commenters on Potluck’s Oval Office live open thread, plus the dozens of millions of people who watched, listened to, or read Barack Obama's oval office speech of only four days ago, Tuesday, June 15. In that speech, according to The New York Times, Obama said:
Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it's not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years. 

But make no mistake: We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long as it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever's necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy. 
So Obama appoints a guy to lead the Gulf recovery: a part-time guy. That's what Obama considers "everything we've got for as long as it takes." If only he had hired a part-time guy to push through his socialized health insurance fiasco. But no, for that he had to tie up the 111th Congress for an entire year and whip them into voting on Christmas Eve.

From ABC News:
President Barack Obama's point man charting a new future for the oil-poisoned Gulf Coast will do the job part-time. Some environmentalists said the job demands someone's full attention.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who oversees 900,000 Navy and Marine personnel, is inheriting an amorphous second job as the Obama administration's leader of long-term environmental and economic planning. His task is no less than rebuilding a region still suffering after Hurricane Katrina and beset by decades of environmental problems.

Mabus won't resign from his Navy job. When President George W. Bush picked Donald Powell to lead the recovery after Hurricane Katrina, Powell resigned as head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Mabus was Clinton's ambassador to Saudi Arabia for two years, after serving as governor of Mississippi.
"The president talked to the governor about this, and they both agreed that he had the ability to do both," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday after Mabus met with Obama at the White House.

That prompted quick criticism from the Defenders of Wildlife, which is working to save animals from the oil that has gushed from an offshore BP oil well for nearly two months.
"The idea that he is only going to work on this part-time is disturbing," said Robert Irvin, the group's vice president for conservation programs. "If this is the equivalent of war, as the president has been saying, it needs a full-time general."
True, the recovery will benefit from focused, strong coordination of help from the federal government. But something tells me that's not what this administration has in mind for the Gulf states.

Cross-posted at Potluck.
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Friday, June 18, 2010

New Poll: Muslim Countries Want Obama to Get Tough with Iran


(Hat tip: Carol's Closet.) 



Right on topic, an interesting observation from Investor's Business Daily:
Iran: Tehran's response to our newest sanctions? An immediate expansion of its nuclear program. Meanwhile, Muslims far and wide recognize the Iranian threat but find President Obama's response deficient.

If the president really wanted to woo the world's Muslims, then instead of giving a groveling, hyped-up speech to a bunch of big shots in Cairo a year ago he should have gone all out against the Iranian nuclear threat.

At least, that's what a new international poll suggests.

The Islamofascist regime founded by the Ayatollah Khomeini 31 years ago has answered the newest United Nations and U.S. sanctions with a promise to build four new reactors.

A poll conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project "found that the populations of Islamic countries are in support of getting tough with the revolutionary government in Iran."

Surveying 25,000 people in 22 countries, Pew found heavy support for harsh measures against Tehran in nations like Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Only Pakistan and India dissented. Interestingly, 55% of Egyptians and 53% of Jordanians were willing to consider military action to stop Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

[snip]

With the exception of Indonesia, where he lived as a child, Islamic countries are rapidly losing confidence in the U.S. president. In Egypt, for instance, confidence in Obama fell from 41% to 31%, and in Turkey from 33% to 23%.

The president used the Cairo speech to apologize for the CIA's role in the 1953 coup that saved Iranians from Soviet dominance, and conceded that Tehran has a "the right to access peaceful nuclear power" in spite of its obvious nuclear weapons ambitions.

Could it be that Muslims who have experienced a taste of Western-style freedom expect the leader of the free world to lead in the face of a nuclear threat from Muslim fanatics, rather than to appease that threat and fantasize about equality among nations?

Extraordinarily, in all seven countries where Pew polled Muslims separately their confidence in the president has dropped from a year ago — by as little as 4 percentage points among Nigerian Muslims to as much as 18 points among Lebanese Shiites.

This is what the world's lone superpower gets for pursuing a foreign policy based on multilateralism and talk, instead of acting as the leader, and champion of freedom, we're supposed to be.
The more Obama weakens other nations' confidence in the U.S., the more he drives them into relationships with nations that hate or distrust us. Obama's not just weakening U.S. power around the world, he's weakening his own power and does little for his own long-term political survival. He can cozy up to the dictators of the world all he wants, and style himself as a superman in his own eyes by sending his go-fers to pick on little old ladies in need of Medicare and to push around the law teams of CEOs trying to avoid socialist takeovers, but what's he going to do when he faces world-class thugs while former allies and potential friends hit the sidelines and watch?

November.


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Just How Much Can the Feds Sabotage Efforts to Save the Gulf?




First Obama rejects the offers of at least 13 nations to send oil-skimming and other equipment to keep oil from killing U.S. marshlands, wildlife, beaches, and jobs, not to mention damaging the health of human beings, and when the people of Louisiana assemble smaller barges with oil-sucking vacuums to prevent some of the damage, the Coast Guard shuts those barges down.

Folks are blaming these travesties on bureaucracy, which is an old story that keeps people feeling helpless and makes those in charge look like bumbling fools, but effective leaders are able to cut through bureaucracy, when they want to, that is. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't golf-pro wannabe Barack Hussein Obama the Coast Guard's commander in chief? Isn't he the fellow that keeps telling the American people just what he "won't tolerate"?

He's mighty tolerant of the suffering of American people. If we suffer enough, Obama seems to think, if we feel helpless enough, if we think our local institutions are staffed by people who are just bumbling fools, we'll step right up for Cap'n Tax and that $7 a gallon gasoline he's got planned for us. Or maybe we'll be too exhausted and broken-hearted from trying to keep our lives together in a never-ending storm of disasters and assaults on our economic well-being to notice a Democrat-majority lame duck Congress passing Cap'n Tax over our objections after we vote the #@&%@!'s out of office in November.

Addendum (6/19/10) courtesy Trestin Meacham: " I just want to remind everyone that the Coast Guard is not part of the Navy. It is not even part of the Department of Defense. It fits under the umbrella of Homeland Security, so, this is Big Sis and her people."
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Obama Has Decided to Sue Arizona, Hillary Tells Ecuadorians (UPDATE: DOJ Confirms Clinton's Statement)




Another page has been written in the Obama administration's ongoing saga of You-Can't-Make-This-Stuff-Up.

On June 8, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on Ecuadorian TV (out of Quito, Ecuador) that Obama is planning to sue Arizona over their popular illegal immigration law, which mirrors federal law and which goes into effect on July 29. According to the results of a Washington Post/ABC poll, 58% of Americans support the law. Video from The Right Scoop:



Clinton said:
President Obama has spoken out against the law because he thinks that the federal government should be determining immigration policy. And the Justice Department, under his direction, will be bringing a lawsuit against the act.
It could be that Clinton made this announcement to Ecuadorians under the assumption that all non-comatose Americans already know that Obama would have no problem suing American citizens on behalf of illegal aliens. After all, it could hardly be more obvious that Obama places higher value on the opinions of Central and South Americans than on the people of the good old U.S.A.

Or it could be that the Obama administration thinks Americans should be the last to know: less fuss that way.

There is also a possibility that Clinton was lying to the people of Ecuador and whatever neighbors of Ecuador watch Ecuadorian television.

The Justice Department isn't offering any illumination, to Americans in particular. The DOJ's view is that "the department continues to review the law." Nobody's telling Arizona what's going on either. Two weeks ago, Obama told Arizona governor Jan Brewer that he'd let her know in two weeks what the federal government was going to do to help Arizona in their plight. Tonight, Governor Brewer noted that those two weeks have expired, but she still hasn't heard from Obama.

Of course not. If she wants Obama's cooperation, Governor Brewer will have better luck if she joins La Rasa. However, if she continues to stand up for her fellow Arizonans, she'll just have to wait until word about the future of her state drifts in from Ecuador.

UPDATE via Michelle Malkin. The DOJ has admitted that it is building its case against Arizona. Obama will be hauling Arizona into court for writing a law that challenges what he regards as his right to ignore longstanding federal law legislated by Congress.

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Today's Funny

Not much time for posting today, so I'll leave you with this gem from Stilton Jarlsberg at Hope n'Change Cartoons.


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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Join Potluck Tonight for Obama's Oval Address








As Pundette says, "If you can stand it, that is."

The thread will start just before 8:00 p.m. Eastern time at Potluck.

Hope to see you there. Misery likes company . . . .





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Surprise! Union Health Plans Exempt from ObamaCare




Remember the recently leaked Gov't estimate that ObamaCare regulations will force 51% of all employers, including 66% percent of small firms, to relinquish their current health care plans by Jan. 1, 2014? That report came after Obama pushed passage of his unconstitutional health insurance mandate with his promise that, under ObamaCare, Americans could keep their health insurance plans if they liked them.

Guess what? Government and other union workers won't be feeling the ObamaCare pain that other workers will. Non-government and other non-union workers will face health insurance caps, limits, and mandates, but unions will be free to shop around for good deals without the limitations faced by others. That reality changes the distribution of the people facing loss of their health insurance, meaning that up to 80% of employees of small firms will lose their insurance while gov't workers and other union workers get to keep theirs, or trade up. As Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) points out, this stealth legislative measure will "shelter unions from any negative consequences from ObamaCare, while putting the cost and burden on everyday hard-working Americans."

According to unions, though, this is business as usual. I think that observation is correct. As Gerry Shea of the AFL-CIO says, "It's just boiler-plate stuff. . . . This is typical for any major change in federal law that affects employee benefits. Not just health care, but other ones too."
 
What a deal! No matter what crazy policies gov't workers initiate or help administer, these workers rest assured that the usual "boiler plate stuff" will protect them from personally suffering the consequences. If 70% or 80% of American employees are kicked off their health insurance plans, so what? Only the suckers suffer. Government workers and other union workers keep their plans. And those are mighty good plans, too.

Personally, I wouldn't count too much on those protections. They'll have increasingly limited usefulness as the economy continues its downward slide and the health care system and medical research as we know them unravel. A rising tide lifts all boats, but a falling tide leaves every little craft dry on the sand.

No, it's not going to be all bread and roses for government and union workers. To paraphrase the famous quote of Sir Thomas More in the film, A Man for All Seasons: "It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world . . . but for ObamaCare?"
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Monday, June 14, 2010

PayPal Reinstates Atlas Shrugs

On Friday, PayPal notified Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs that her site promoted "hate, violence, racial intolerance, or the financial exploitation of a crime." Her readers reacted and contacted PayPal to voice their support of Pamela's site and work. Today Pamela posted:
I posted it over the weekend and received over a thousand letters of support, hundreds of ccs of paypal account cancellations........ the people spoke. Love that.


And so today, about an hour ago, a very pleasant and rather deliberately clueless executive called me from paypal to say it was all a big misunderstanding and Atlas would be reinstated (and the subsequent restriction of SIOA and FDI removed also).

[snip]

She said Atlas was mistakenly designated when "in review." I asked why was Atlas in review. Paypal has been on this website since 2005. She did not have an answer. I asked what recourse do smaller websites have? As this is my real concern. My soapbox is pretty big, but what about small blogs?

[snip]

Needless to say, I am not going back. I told her that, too. She wished I would reconsider. But, no. I am sticking with Gpal -- the G stands for guns :)

The real story is that we stood up and the weasels backed down. We will fight each battle this way.

Congratulations, Pamela.

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Teleprompter Day at the White House

In observance of Flag Day, President Obama urged Americans "to fly the Star and Stripes at their homes and other suitable places."

Just who is he trying to kid?

Notice the American flags surrounding Obama at his recent press conference on the Deep Water Horizon disaster:



Some photos of other presidential press conferences that I plucked from various sources on the Internet:




Another difference between the Obama press conference and those of his predecessors: the Great Orator is the only one who answered press questions with the aid of teleprompters.

Hat tip: Retired Intelligence Officer and Stop the Leftist Propaganda Machine.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Night Pushback II

Over the last few days, certain Internet bullies have been blatantly working to suppress the freedom of speech of others. As long as these bullies continue to silence and minimize honest, peaceful messages, I'll do my little bit to amplify and maximize those messages. I hope you will do the same.


II. PayPal Cuts Off Atlas Shrugs

Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs is passing on updates on the situation from her readers.

Not surprisingly, PayPal hasn't issued "hate speech" warnings to a variety of Islamic jihad Web sites (I won't post the links). Nonetheless, Pamela's honest reportage and her courageous advocacy for Muslim converts to Christianity have plenty of supporters at the PayPal community forums, where the Pam Geller/Atlas Shrugs forum is their busiest by far. Drop on by and tell PayPal what you think.

If you want to send Geller a donation for her work, you can now do it through Gpal (scroll down until you see the blue Donate Now icon). Her snail mail address is still good, too:  Pamela Geller, PO Box 121, 1040 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10022.

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Sunday Night Pushback I

I'm don't like being pushed around, and I don't like seeing other people being pushed around either. I especially don't like to see bullies attempting to silence the messages of generous people peacefully expressing their observations in creative ways. Just call me your average American.

Over the last few days, certain Internet bullies have been blatantly working to suppress the freedom of speech of others. As long as these bullies continue to silence and minimize honest, peaceful messages, I'll do my little bit to amplify and maximize those messages. I hope you will do the same.

I. We Con the World.

Somebody at Google doesn't like this pro-Israel parody and pulled it from youtube. I posted "We Con the World" before, and I will post it again, and I will keep posting it until Google gets tired of playing dhimmi.  (You might try using Bing. I think you'll like it.)


Hat tip: Backyard Conservative.
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Related post: Make This Viral for Israel and for Freedom

A Prayer for the Animals of the Gulf

That's St. Francis of Assisi in the painting, patron saint of animals and the environment.










Hear our humble prayer, O God,
for our friends, the animals,
especially for those who are suffering.

We entreat for them all
Thy mercy and pity.








Excerpted from a prayer by Dr. Albert Schweitzer, theologian and medical missionary who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952, when it still counted for something. 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Atlas Shrugs Could Use a Hand . . .




You've heard by now, perhaps, that PayPal is cutting off service to Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs and SIOA. Her enemies don't want her to carry on her courageous work. After all, Truth is the New Hate Speech.

So there's only one thing to do at the moment. Support Pamela's work with a check or money order. This kind of oppression stops when it has an effect opposite to the one intended. And I always kind of prefer paper, don't you? Nice and crisp.

Here's the address, courtesy of The Other McCain:
Pamela Geller
PO Box 121
1040 1st Avenue
New York NY 10022
Do it now, while it's on your mind.

Oh, and by the way: Illegitimi non carborundum, folks.
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Paving the Road to Hell: Espousing Peace ≠ Creating Peace

Somewhere in Progressive Paradise, standing on a traffic island, a band of intrepid social activists are holding up a banner demanding peace. Some days, the banner proclaims a general yearning: "Honk if you want peace." Other days, the activists have actual conflicts on their minds, most recently, the one arising from Big Bad Israel's supposed maltreatment of Peaceful Little Gaza and their cuddly friend, Iran. Certainly I'm not the only one who drives by these displays wondering why the activists don't take their banners to traffic islands in the Gaza Strip or Tehran, to give others the benefit of their "war is not the answer" sentiments. But mostly, in my little corner of Progressive Paradise, these activists have strong support.

In my mind, one of the most dangerous assumptions underlying the Progressive inclination is that good intentions produce good results. The Progressives that I know intend that Gaza transform into a 21st century garden spot; that Iran recovers its dignity as Persian Empire, this time with Western technologies powered by nuclear produced electricity; and that oil rigs are shoved so far out to sea that the unsightly consequences of using petroleum products to transport Peace Now! banners to traffic islands, make Gaza into Gotham, and power Iran's central air conditioning systems need never be considered. The flaws in this assumption are far from obvious to all.

So I was happy to find an article on the subject by Walter Russell Mead, a U.S. foreign policy expert. He titled it, "Goo-Goo Genocidaires: The Blood Is Dripping From Their Hands." Here's a bit of it:
Of all the mass murderers, genocidaires and enablers of the twentieth century, one group of collaborators does not get its fair share of condemnation and moral loathing. Unfortunately Americans have never really come to terms with the terrible things they did, we have never really named and shamed them, and we have never diagnosed and exposed the bad ideas that led to some of America’s most fateful and costly blunders.  Until we do, our society is at risk of repeating these errors.

The people I have in mind are the ‘goo-goo genocidaires,’ the willfully blind reformers, civil society activists, clergy, students and others whose foolishness and ignorance was a necessary condition for tens of millions of deaths in the last hundred years.  Unreflective, self-righteous ‘activists’ thought that to espouse peace was the same thing as to create or safeguard it.  As a result, tens of millions died.  Unless this kind of thinking is exposed and repudiated, it is likely to lead to as many or more deaths in the 21st.

We all know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions; this turns out to be particularly true when it comes to the road to foreign policy hell.  Over the years good people or at least people who wanted to be good or thought they were, motivated by what seemed to them to be the highest of motives, have taken political stands and made policy proposals that helped mass murderers gain power in their own countries and launch themselves on international careers of conquest and mayhem.  At other times, fortunately, they’ve failed to change policy; still, they wasted a lot of people’s time and made life significantly more difficult for those whose plans to help the world ultimately worked.


The most notorious example is the peace movement of the 1920s and 1930s.  This movement enjoyed the enthusiastic backing of college professors, idealistic students, respected journalists, the union movement, and the mainline clergy.  If you didn’t join in, you were criticized as a warmonger, a throwback, someone lacking the broad social vision and high sense of ideals that modern times required.
Sound familiar?
The American peace and disarmament movement almost destroyed human freedom. The peace movement gave intellectual and moral respectability to the cause of isolationism: the belief that the United States could safely ignore the unraveling of the world’s fragile economic and political order as British power waned after World War I. But these idealistic professors, students, preachers and general all-around-good-guys were naive, self-righteous, and smugly sure that arms cause war.

Armed with a set of wrong headed prejudices (they called them ‘convictions’ and ‘ideals) that made it impossible for them to recognize deadly dangers staring them right in the face, they minimized the difference between imperfect friends (like then-imperialist Britain and France) and flamingly wicked mass murdering thugs (like Stalin, Hitler and the militaristic governments of Japan). Worse, they used all their considerable intelligence, power and media access to prevent Franklin Roosevelt from taking effective action to support the western democracies and China until it was far too late to prevent World War Two, and almost too late to win it. Even then, because the pathetically and self-righteously foolish and irresponsible ‘peace activists’ of the 1930s let the Axis get so far, we could only beat Hitler with Stalin’s help; the oppression of central Europe and the Cold War were the fault of the clergy, professors and civil society activists of the 1930s as well.
You'll want to read the entire piece here, I think. 

Hat tip: Brian J. Dunn at The Dignified Rant; Dr. Seuss cartoon from Dr. Seuss Went to War: A Catalog of Political Cartoons by Dr. Seuss.
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

What's So Funny About the Ground Zero Mosque? This Guy Explains It





Take it from someone who knows:



As you watch this, keep in mind that, in addition to the mega-mosque planned to be built on Ground Zero, a Roman Catholic convent is being converted into a mosque on Staten Island, against strong opposition from the neighborhood.

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Extremely Important - Stop Obama's EPA From Regulating CO2 (UPDATED)




You know, that stuff that you and the rest of the animal kingdom exhale and that plants take it in order to survive (and provide the rest of us with food).

Or if that doesn't do it for you, think of what life is going to be like with the much higher electricity bills Obama has promised us if the EPA wrestles regulation of CO2 away from Congress.

Via Pundette at Potluck: "Read this post by Iain Murray and do what he tells you. It’s super easy with this 'handy-dandy message generator.'"

Spread the word, please.

Addendum: If you are worried about CO2 in the environment, remember this: CO2 levels in the atmosphere are at an historically low level.  At today's CO2 levels, the dinosaurs that once roamed the planet would die of starvation because today's CO2 levels are too low to support the rapid growth of plant life those big guys needed to survive. If CO2 levels were higher today, food would be much more plentiful.


UPDATE via Pundette at Potluck:From MIchelle Malkin:
4:30pm Eastern. The Murkowski resolution to stop the EPA power grab failed on a 47-53 vote.

The 6 Dems who voted with Rs to try and head off the eco-usurpation…

Landrieu, Lincoln, B. Nelson, M. Pryor, Bayh, Rockefeller.

Remember in November.
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Presidents Who Really Could KSA




Joaquin over at How Is That Obama Vote Working Out For You???, points out that a dude who can’t even pitch a baseball faces a credibility gap when it comes to threatening to perform an activity usually reserved for tough guys.

Joaquin has posted a list of presidents who possessed some real authority in that department. Readers might want to add their own favorites to the list.
Now, if you want to talk about Presidents that can kick ass!

George Washington--clearly
Andrew Jackson--he killed a guy in a duel. So yeah!
William Henry Harrison--yep
Zachary Taylor--for sure
Honest Abe--absolutely...if pushed
US Grant--just ask Robert E. Lee
TR--oh yeah!!
Harry Truman--bantam weight
Ike--yes sir!
JFK--maybe in his prime
LBJ--reluctantly, but yeah!
Gerald Ford--a Wolverine
Ronald Reagan--the Gipper
W--sober
Obama--*snort*
Graphic from America is an Obamanation! via Nice Deb.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Obama Opens Nine New "Resorts" for Illegal Aliens -- Hey, We Can Afford It, Right?




Illegal aliens awaiting deportation from the U.S. are entitled to a few little necessities, don't you think? Like, say, continental breakfasts on the weekend, bingo parties, dance classes, arts and crafts, self-serve beverage and fresh veggie bars, cooking classes, tutoring, computer training, and a natural setting in which to perform aerobic exercise. Oh yes, free phone and email access, too. And every federal taxpayer is entitled to pay for these little necessities, of course.

From the Houston Chronicle (via Wyblog):
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are preparing to roll out a series of changes at several privately owned immigration detention centers, including relaxing some security measures for low-risk detainees and offering art classes, bingo and continental breakfast on the weekends.

The changes, detailed in an internal ICE e-mail obtained by the Houston Chronicle, were welcomed by immigrant advocates who have been waiting for the Obama administration to deliver on a promise made in August to overhaul the nation's immigration detention system.
The 28 changes identified in the e-mail range from the superficial to the substantive. In addition to “softening the look of the facility” with hanging plants and offering fresh carrot sticks, ICE will allow for the “free movement” of low-risk detainees, expand visiting hours and provide unmonitored phone lines.
Don't monitor the movements or phone lines of illegal aliens being deported. But make sure to monitor the income streams of legal citizens. Don't spend the taxpayers' money on taxpayers. Spend it on non-taxpayers. Check.
ICE officials have faced pressure from immigrant advocates and some members of Congress to improve the detention conditions for the roughly 400,000 immigrants it houses annually. 
I like that. Obama seeks legal action (on the taxpayer's dime) against the state of Arizona for honoring the wishes of citizens desperate to see immigration laws enforced, but responds favorably to pressure from illegal immigration advocates. 
But the plans are prompting protests by ICE's union leaders, who say they will jeopardize the safety of agents, guards and detainees and increase the bottom line for taxpayers. Tre Rebstock, president for Local 3332, the ICE union in Houston, likened the changes to creating “an all-inclusive resort” for immigration detainees.

“Our biggest concern is that someone is going to get hurt,” he said, taking particular issue with plans to relax restrictions on the movement of low-risk detainees and efforts to reduce and eliminate pat-down searches. 
Reducing and eliminating pat-down searches could allow contraband, like weapons, into facilities. Eliminating lockdowns "will make it more difficult to protect detainees from one another." The changes are planned for nine detention centers, including a 900-bed facility in Houston.
Rebstock also questioned the cost to taxpayers for the changes.
“My grandparents would have loved to have bingo night and a dance class at the retirement home they were in when they passed away, but that was something we would have had to pay for,” he said. “And yet these guys are getting it on the taxpayers' dime.”
Maybe Rebstock's family could have afforded a nicer facility for his grandparents if they weren't paying exorbitant taxes on their incomes. But then again, who cares? Rebstock's grandparents obviously didn't belong to a preferred constituency.
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It's Official: Leftists Don't Grasp Basic Economics, Study Shows . . .




. . . but conservatives and libertarians do.

Yet another demonstration of why Americans should not let leftists anywhere near our economy comes from a study conducted by a pair of Zogby researchers who found that, when it comes to the ABC's of the economy, leftists belong in the corner with dunce caps. On the other hand, conservatives on the whole have a good grasp of economic principles. In fact, the more conservative a person is, the better understanding of economics he or she is likely to have.

In a survey of almost 5,000 American adults, those who identified themselves as very conservative or libertarian were able to correctly answer about 7 out of 8 questions on economics, but those who identified themselves as progressives or very liberal were able to correctly answer only about 3 of those 8 questions. Across the board, conservatives of every stripe understood how the economy works much better than their liberal brethren.

Color me unsurprised.

From The Wall Street Journal, courtesy PoliticalJunkie Mom via Hot Air headlines.
Who is better informed about the policy choices facing the country—liberals, conservatives or libertarians? According to a Zogby International survey that I write about in the May issue of Econ Journal Watch, the answer is unequivocal: The left flunks Econ 101.

Zogby researcher Zeljka Buturovic and I considered the 4,835 respondents' (all American adults) answers to eight survey questions about basic economics. We also asked the respondents about their political leanings: progressive/very liberal; liberal; moderate; conservative; very conservative; and libertarian.

Rather than focusing on whether respondents answered a question correctly, we instead looked at whether they answered incorrectly. A response was counted as incorrect only if it was flatly unenlightened.

Consider one of the economic propositions in the December 2008 poll: "Restrictions on housing development make housing less affordable." People were asked if they: 1) strongly agree; 2) somewhat agree; 3) somewhat disagree; 4) strongly disagree; 5) are not sure.

Basic economics acknowledges that whatever redeeming features a restriction may have, it increases the cost of production and exchange, making goods and services less affordable. There may be exceptions to the general case, but they would be atypical.

Therefore, we counted as incorrect responses of "somewhat disagree" and "strongly disagree." This treatment gives leeway for those who think the question is ambiguous or half right and half wrong. They would likely answer "not sure," which we do not count as incorrect.

In this case, percentage of conservatives answering incorrectly was 22.3%, very conservatives 17.6% and libertarians 15.7%. But the percentage of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly was 67.6% and liberals 60.1%. The pattern was not an anomaly.

The other questions were: 1) Mandatory licensing of professional services increases the prices of those services (unenlightened answer: disagree). 2) Overall, the standard of living is higher today than it was 30 years ago (unenlightened answer: disagree). 3) Rent control leads to housing shortages (unenlightened answer: disagree). 4) A company with the largest market share is a monopoly (unenlightened answer: agree). 5) Third World workers working for American companies overseas are being exploited (unenlightened answer: agree). 6) Free trade leads to unemployment (unenlightened answer: agree). 7) Minimum wage laws raise unemployment (unenlightened answer: disagree).

How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26.

Americans in the first three categories do reasonably well. But the left has trouble squaring economic thinking with their political psychology, morals and aesthetics.
Read the rest here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Gulf Misery: One Hand Washes the Other, or Else?




Thought I'd pass along this insight from There's my Two Cents:
So, seeing as it’s been clear all along to the White House that we had an ecological disaster on our hands: why did the President not act in a timely fashion to try to keep the oil off of the beaches in the five Gulf of Mexico states?
State               Governor              Party          Election Year?    Note 
Alabama          Bob Riley            Republican           Yes               Open race
Florida             Charlie Crist        Independent         Yes              Former GOP
Louisiana         Bobby Jindal       Republican            No               GOP leader 
Mississippi       Haley Barbour     Republican            No               RGA head
Texas                Rick Perry          Republican           Yes               Re-election
Gee, I don’t have the slightest idea.

Obama's political bummer machine undoubtedly is in high gear working out ways to spin this Gulf disaster to their advantage, and much of their hoped-for gain will involve the so-called "green" shakedowns they've been planning since before Fannie Mae got involved in the carbon-credit racket. Environmentalists will play ball with this administration for whatever they can get, I'm thinking, but they have stopped swooning over Obama: for many, his obvious lack of any investment of the heart tells the tale.
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Sunday, June 6, 2010

El Marco's "Prayer Time at the Ground Zero Mosque"




Photographer El Marco shows us yet again why we must never forget, never give in.

A few snippets to give you a taste of El Marco's thoughtful work.
I came to the city to photograph the rally of Stop Islamization of America (SOIA) on Sunday, June 6th, which is dedicated to stopping the construction of a mega-mosque 600 feet from the gaping hole which was the World Trade Center. First, I visited the Islamic Center Mosque on 96th Street and 3rd Avenue in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, miles from ground zero. What is significant about this 1980s mosque is that it was created by the father of the man who is spearheading the Ground Zero mosque project.
Doctor Mohammed Abdul Rauf (1917-2004) was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was formed in Egypt in 1928 and has over 70 branches including Al-Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah. The Muslim Brotherhood is classified as a terrorist organization and banned in Egypt as well as the United States.


I only saw five women enter [the current Ground Zero mosque on the first floor of a building damaged during 9/11], and they were required to use a side entrance.

Andrew C. McCarthy who prosecuted the “blind sheik”, mastermind of the first terror attack on the World Trade Center, wrote in his authoritative new book, The Grand Jihad:
“In common parlance, someone is a “radical” Muslim only if he is a practitioner of jihadist terrorism, as if it were perfectly normal to want exactly the sharia state the terrorist wants as long as one refrains from terrorist methods in seeking it. The U.S. government, as well as our states and municipalities, clings to this connotation. At all levels– administrations of both political parties, intelligence agencies, law-enforcement, members of Congress, the federal bench, state and local authorities– officials would rather stick pins in their eyes than grapple with the incontrovertible nexus between Islamic doctrine and the savagery committed by Muslims throughout the world for decades. We are lead to believe that the only real “radicals” are the terrorists. Any other Muslim, no matter how supportive of terrorist goals, is deemed a “moderate” so long as he doesn’t seem, right this minute, to be plotting the next Armageddon.
It will be well worth your time to view the entire photo essay.

Via Doug Ross @ Journal. Hat tip: Nice Deb.
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