Friday, December 31, 2010

A Cup o' Kindness and a Right Guid-willie Waught . . .


Dougie MacLean sings Scottish poet Robbie Burns' poignant classic about two old friends who meet after a long separation:



Enjoy. And don't neglect to take a cup o' kindness, my jo.

With hearty wishes for a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year.

English:
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and days of old long ago?

CHORUS:
For old long ago, my dear, for old long ago, we'll take a cup of kindness yet, for old long ago.
We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since days of old long ago.

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine [dinner];
But seas between us broad have roared
since days of old long ago.
CHORUS
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for days of old long ago.
And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for old long ago.
CHORUS

__________

Thursday, December 30, 2010

U.S. Constitution Won't Affect Congress . . .

The 112th Congress will be just like the 111th:
He hopes.

Text of the U.S. Constitution here. This document, which was written (ahem) more than 200 years ago, would make excellent reading for Democrats too, and even for WaPo wonks.
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Food Rationing to Combat Global Warming?

Chinese farmers try to save some vegetables from an early snowfall.

According to Louise Gray, the Environment Correspondent for the UK Telegraph:
Global warming is now such a serious threat to mankind that climate change experts are calling for Second World War-style rationing in rich countries to bring down carbon emissions.
The idea is to "halt economic growth in the rich world over the next twenty years, " according to the director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Professor Kevin Anderson.
This would mean a drastic change in lifestyles for many people in countries like Britain as everyone will have to buy less ‘carbon intensive’ goods and services such as long haul flights and fuel hungry cars.

[snip]

This could mean a limit on electricity so people are forced to turn the heating down, turn off the lights and replace old electrical goods like huge fridges with more efficient models. Food that has travelled from abroad may be limited and goods that require a lot of energy to manufacture.

“The Second World War and the concept of rationing is something we need to seriously consider if we are to address the scale of the problem we face,” he said.
And governments could make it a criminal act to grow food in your own backyard and give some of it to your hungry neighbors--that's if you live in a "rich" country. If you live in a non-"rich" country, do what you like; rich countries will even help you pay for what you do, or at least pay your dictators to enjoy themselves.

From John Griffing at American Thinker:
Meet the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), a new legislative proposal [a bill passed by the House in 2009 and passed by the Senate on December 19th, while you were hanging ornaments on your Christmas tree] designed to centralize control over food stocks to protect Americans from "terror."
Next thing you know, the TSA will be frisking tomatoes and cabbages.
The motive may indeed be to protect the food supply from the actions of terrorists, but what about acts of government terror? Can centralized control by the government protect the people against the whims of human nature? This question is not being asked by those so in favor of surrendering control of food to an entity that cannot even manage a budget, much less an oil spill or other natural disaster. Now we are to believe that this same inefficient, broken entity can guarantee the safety of our food?
A Florida orange, January 16, 2010 (courtesy mothertrip).
Why not? The socialist hero Stalin did it in the Ukraine, and his "artificial famine . . . intended to break the will of Ukrainians--Communists and non-Communists alike--who clung to their national identity," caused the deaths of seven million people.
Something stinks, and it smells like government cheese. Usually when people ask for power, it is because they want power, regardless of the stated motive.

What good, for example, can be gained from removing the right of Americans to grow their own food, as several of the provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act do? The Ninth Amendment arguably guarantees this and other unenumerated rights. The Ninth Amendment reads:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

To clarify, how can the rights to life, liberty, and property enshrined in the Constitution exist without the ability of citizens to attend to bodily needs -- i.e., sustenance?

The FSMA doesn't merely wrest control of the food supply from citizens. Dangerously, the FSMA proceeds to transfer U.S. food sovereignty to the WTO, with one provision reading, "Nothing in this Act shall be construed in a manner inconsistent with the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization or any other treaty or international agreement to which the U.S. is a party." This provision is significant, since the WTO draws all its food safety standards from the controversial Codex Alimentarius, which is thought by some to be a vast postwar scheme to control the world's population by means of food. The bottom line vis-à-vis food is that Americans lose control, and foreign bureaucrats gain control.
Great. Our legislators don't care if the FSMA is inconsistent with U.S. Constitution, but it better not be  inconsistent with the World Trade Organization or that friendly, super-organized, sterling defender of human rights (or something), the U.N.

I hear the cold wind howling.
__________

Another Cold Winter Makes Greenies Sweat


When NYC looks like this:

December 27, 2010 (courtesy Woman Honor Thyself).

And Philadelphia looks like this:

December 27, 2010 (courtesy Matt Rourke/AP).

And Raleigh, North Carolina looks like this:

December 27, 2010 (courtesy Jim R. Bounds/AP).

. . . I start reflecting on that great winter reality known as cold.

While a great number of Americans are cold tonight, and many travelers are still uncomfortably stranded due to those annual weather events known as blizzards, I wonder how many of the so-called staunch environmentalists I know would in actual fact prefer to rely on the heat produced by "green" sources instead of the carbon-based sources (derived from actual green vegetable matter) that they are mostly using. Like the rest of us, environmentalists living in cold climes are turning up the heat to keep both themselves and their water pipes from freezing. If they are lucky enough to have a fireplace or a wood stove, you can bet that they are throwing another log on the fire.

Darn. If only the Good Lord hadn't made all life on Planet Earth, both animal and vegetable, carbon based, so that when it goes up in smoke it turns back into carbon and oxygen.

Winters like the ones being experienced in  many of the 48 contiguous states, plus Alaska, are not good arguments for politically correct traffic lights that don't create enough warmth to stay clear of snow:

An LED traffic light covered with snow on a clear day. A traffic light like this might not be at all visible to motorists in a night blizzard.
A planet that hasn't warmed in 15 years and that might be sliding into one of Earth's regularly scheduled mini ice ages is, likewise, not a good argument for erecting energy inefficient wind turbines whose blades literally freeze up in cold weather:

Wind generators in eleven Minnesota cities couldn't handle winter (courtesy Jim Gehrz, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune). 
For some carbon-averse people, of course, winter is not much of a problem:

Obama chills with a shaved ice dessert while "Holiday" vacationing in Hawaii.
But for others, winter is one giant impediment to their plan to regulate ("real hard") Americans' use of energy to heat their homes, their intention to "tax 'em real hard" for all kinds of carbon consumption, and their determination "make 'em buy permits" to use energy to stay warm, grow food, and make things.  Hear it for yourself:
Van Jones professes to be afraid that Congress will eliminate the Clean Air Act, making it impossible for the EPA to regulate, tax, and carbon-credit Americans out the energy we need to stay alive and--excuse the expression, socialists--prosper.

Eliminating the Clean Air Act--now there's an idea whose season has come.

Thanks for the alert, teresamerica!
_________

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Plot to Blow up Big Ben and London Stock Exchange

Westminster Palace (Houses of Parliament) and Big Ben
The nine Religion of Peacers who were arrested in the UK five days before Christmas for plotting terrorism were charged yesterday.

From the UK Telegraph:
Details of the alleged plot were outlined at City of Westminster magistrates’ court.
The defendants, aged 19 to 28, were charged on Sunday with conspiracy to cause an explosion and conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism, having been arrested during early-morning raids in Cardiff, London and Stoke-on-Trent on Dec 20.
The group allegedly carried out a "reconnaissance trip" as they considered which UK landmarks to bomb. Among the sites under consideration were Westminster Abbey, Westminster Palace (home of Parliament), Big Ben, the London Stock Exchange, the London Eye, the Mayor's office, the U.S. Embassy, and the Church of Scientology near Blackfriars.

After their "reconnaissance trip," the group stopped at a McDonalds.
The London Eye
Police searches are said to have uncovered two issues of the al Qaeda extremist magazine Inspire, which is published in English in Yemen and is aimed at a Western audience. An article in issue one was entitled “How to make a pipe bomb in the kitchen of your mom”, while issue two included “What to expect in jihad” and “Tips for our brothers in the US”.

Other allegedly extremist material found was entitled 39 Ways which said it was intended to help people “serve and participate in jihad”.
The inspiration for the plot allegedly is Anwar Al-Awlaki, the dual Yemeni/U.S. citizen who preaches violent jihad against the West.
Between Oct 1 and Dec 20, the men are alleged to have downloaded information from the internet, discussed acts of terrorism and tested explosives while “unlawfully and maliciously” conspiring to “endanger life or cause serious injury” with one or more explosions.

The defendants are: Mohammed Chowdhury, 20; Shah Rahman, 28; Omar Latif, 26; Abdul Miah, 24; Gurukanth Desai, 28; Usman Khan, 19; Nazam Hussain, 25; Mohibur Rahman, 26; and Abul Shahjahan, 26. All nine men are of Bangladeshi origin.

The nine are due to appear in court again on Jan 14.
__________

Wear all the Pink You Want: It's Not Stopping Rationing of Breast Cancer Drugs


Commenters over at Stilton Jarlsberg's Hope n' Change Cartoons have been discussing who is going to be weeded out after they're done weeding out old people. Young kids with serious health problems or gays with expensive-to-treat HIV/AIDS? To which I might add: people with relatively rare and hard-to-diagnose health problems or people seriously injured in major auto accidents? And then there are those pesky women with late-stage breast cancer, who are already being denied medical treatment in the People's Republic of Oregon.

Perhaps the bean counters in the gov't bureaucrat-run socialist health care system (who are paid with our tax dollars!) will go after everybody with a costly medical problem to keep the electorate confused and fatigued so that we just get sick of fighting them and give up.

A little something that the government was up to while you were trimming your Christmas tree and doing your last-minute shopping was reversing its previous approval of the world's best-selling cancer drug for treatment of advanced breast cancer. This drug, Avastin, also is used to limit the growth of cancerous colon, brain, kidney, and lung tumors.

Many women with late-stage breast cancer who take Avastin live an additional three to five months, which the government does not consider "sufficient" benefit, even though taking the drug does improve quality of life for those women.

However, for reasons not yet understood, some women who take Avastin live much longer, even years longer. "It is clear that some breast cancer patients derive substantial benefit from Avastin," said Dr. Julie Gralow of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, who helped conduct the initial study of Avastin in breast cancer. "We don't know how to select those tumors or patients yet." 

Government solution: restrict access to this expensive drug for women on Medicare and Medicaid, even though Avastin is approved for treatment of late-stage breast cancer in Europe. "Patients with colorectal, lung, renal and brain cancers will still have access to Avastin through Medicare," but not patients with breast cancer.

In the eyes of this administration, women who are dying of breast cancer, especially those over the age of 65 or poor, are not worth the cost of treatment with the world's best-selling cancer drug. As Stilton Jarlsberg pointed out:
The alleged "cost savings" come from denial of expensive care to those who most need it, in order to fund more people being added to the government coffers. It's "inefficient" for lots of money to be spent on one person who is nearing death...which is why Obamacare levies fines (in the form of additional taxes) on people who have paid for "too much" health insurance with their own money.


And in determining what sort of medical treatment people will receive under Obamacare, consider some of the decisions that are already being made: the government is increasingly refuse to pay for medicines that will improve the quality of life, but not "cure" a condition. Which should terrify anyone with HIV...or cancer...or any geriatric illness.


Obamacare is not about medicine; it's about power and wealth redistribution. And part of shepherding the "wealth" is making sure the "unfit" won't share in it...even if they're the ones who earned it and contributed it (albeit not voluntarily) to the system.
__________

Sunday, December 26, 2010

On the Second Day of Christmas: A Hedgehog and a Little Bear

A Russian samovar
I may be back at work, but I am not ready for Christmas to be over. Today is only the second day of Christmas, after all.

If, like me, you are not ready to pick up the yoke of the world again, relax a bit more and enjoy this charming little animated film, which is based on a bedtime story from the "gentle universe" of the great Russian children's writer, Sergey Kozlov. This film, released in 1975, and animated and directed by Yuri Norstein, won outstanding animation awards in London, Sidney, and Chicago and in 2003 was voted #1 Animated Film of All Time in Tokyo.

Recommended beverage for viewing: Hot tea sweetened with raspberry jam, which is a good drink to have in hand on the windy, stormy East Coast tonight.

Hat tip: Wax lips.
__________

Hallelujah from Quinhagak, Alaska


It gets to me every time: This version is from the fifth graders of the Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat School in the village of Quinhagak.

Hat tip: snaggletoothie of the Loyal Opposition

Hat tip: Wax Lips.
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Mary Had a Baby -- Melissa Davis & the Nathaniel Dett Chorale

A stunningly beautiful version of the traditional spiritual:


Lyrics:

Mary had a baby. Oh, My Lord.
Oh, Mary had a baby. Oh, My Lord.

Where was he born?
Born in a manger, Lord.
Oh yes. Oh, My Lord.

What did they call him?
Oh, some called him one thing.

What did they call him?
Oh, but I'll call him another.

What did they call him?
Oh, and some say Emmanuel.

What did they call him?
Oh, I'll call him Sweet Little Jesus Boy.

I'll call him Jesus.
Oh, Jesus.

Wonderful Counselor.
My Jesus, Everlasting Father.

He is the Prince of Peace.
Oh, yes. Oh, My Lord.
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Friday, December 24, 2010

My Christmas Gift to You, Dear Friends

Some time back, I was astonished to find this breathtaking recording of the revered Irish tenor, John McCormack (1884-1945), singing the beloved 18th-century hymn, Adeste Fideles, and I have been saving it up as a Christmas gift to my dear friends in the blogosphere. McCormack was widely considered the best Irish tenor ever born and, in some respects, one of the three greatest tenors of all time.

McCormack began his wildly successful career in the Choir of Dublin's Cathedral and eventually became a naturalized American citizen and patriot. In this recording produced by the Victor Talking Machine Company, the bass voice belongs to another famous singer of the day, William F. Hooley. This recording dates from 1915.

Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

Latin
Adeste Fideles,
Laeti triumphantes,
Veníte, veníte in Bethlehem.
Natum vidéte,
Regem Angelorum:

          Veníte adoremus,
          Veníte adoremus
          Veníte adoremus Dóminum

Deum de Deo,
Lumen de lúmine,
Gestant puellae viscera
Deum verum,
Genitum non factum:
Veníte adoremus,
Veníte adoremus
Veníte adoremus Dóminum

English
O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethelehem;
Come and behold him,
Born the King of angels:

           O come, let us adore him,
           O come, let us adore him,
           O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!

God from God,
Light from Light,
Born of a virgin;
True God,
Begotten, not made:

           O come, let us adore him,
           O come, let us adore him,
           O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!
__________

Thursday, December 23, 2010

To Drive the Cold Winter Away - Colonial Christmas Song

I can just see merry Ben Franklin with a pint in his hand singing this traditional Christmas song with his pals at the Every Night Club:


Lyrics:
All hail to the days that merit more praise
Than all of the rest of the year,
And welcome the night that double delights
As well for the poor as the peer.

Good fortune attend each merry man's friend
Who doth but the best he may,
And wholly consort with carols and sport
To drive the cold winter away.

Tis ill for a mind be anger inclined
To think of small injuries now;
If wrath do you seek, do not lend her thy cheek
Nor let her inhabit thy brow.

Cast out of thy books malevolent looks:
Both beauty and youth decay;
And spend the night long in carols and song
To drive the cold winter away.
__________

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sugar Plum Kitty


The dear Angel over at Woman Honor Thyself reminds us that 'tis the season to be jolly, and showing other people the jolly side of life is the special gift of my new blogger friend, Amusing Bunni. Shamelessly swiped from Bunni's blog comes the following Christmas treat:
Myself, I'm rummaging in the closet for that sweater with giant rhinestone snowflakes so I can join the Christmas Sweater Club I heard about from Angel and from PJMom of the best chocolate dessert fame.

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Will Somebody Please Tell the National Intelligence Office to Turn on the TV?

During an afternoon interview on ABC by Diane Sawyer, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, was unaware that 12 Muslim men had been arrested as terror-bombing threats in three different cities in the UK that morning. You knew about it. I knew about. Europe certainly knew about it, and so did the Middle East, but the U.S. Director of National Intelligence--the guy who briefs the president of the United States about intelligence--didn't know about it:
"I was a little surprised you didn't know about London," Sawyer told Clapper.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't," he replied.  
That's a pretty clear statement. This is what his office had to say about that lapse:
"Director Clapper had not yet been briefed on the arrests in the United Kingdom at the time of this interview taping," said ODNI spokeswoman Jamie Smith in a statement to ABC's Jake Tapper.
Smith explained that Clapper had been working on other matters during the day, following developments on the Korean Peninsula and issues surrounding the ratification of the START nuclear pact. He was not briefed on the London arrests, she said, because it was not centered in the homeland and required no action on his part.
Got it. Clapper was "too busy" working on national security to learn about the capture of terrorists planning imminent bombings in the UK, but he had plenty of time to be interviewed by Diane Sawyer.  Anyway, it was just another story about a bunch of Muslim wack-jobs attempting to blow up innocent people who are minding their own business. Ho hum. Though I must admit it is a daily occurrence.

I find it interesting that Clapper's staff decides what Clapper gets to know about. I sure hope they are not the same people filtering the information that reaches Janet Napolitano and Eric Holder, who have an astonishingly laissez-faire attitude toward Islamic terrorism, because whoever is filtering the information Clapper gets are the same people who filter the information that reaches the president.

Not to worry, though. Obama could have learned about the arrests on his famous BlackBerry.
__________

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

EU erases Christmas and Easter from calendar; Ramadan stays

. . . and so do other Muslim holidays, as well as Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, and Chinese holidays. EU "holidays" too. Interestingly, the calendar was produced as an EU propaganda "Christmas gift" for three million European school children.

From the UK Telegraph:
The European Commission has come under fire for producing more than three million copies of an EU diary for secondary schools which contains no reference to Christmas but includes Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim festivities.

More than 330,000 copies of the diaries, accompanied by 51 pages of glossy information about the EU, have been delivered to British schools as a "sought after" Christmas gift to pupils from the commission.

But Christians have been angered because the diary section for December 25 is blank and the bottom of the page with Christmas Day is marked only with the secular message: "A true friend is someone who shares your concerns and will double your joy".

While the euro calendar marks Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and Chinese festivities as well as Europe Day and other key EU anniversaries, there are no Christian festivals marked, despite the fact Christianity is Europe's majority religion.
Majority. That's such a non-PC word.  Majority = knuckdragging bigots ready for "retraining." They should just shut up and pay their taxes to support privileged minorities who have legitimate holidays to celebrate. And their children should be made to feel that there is something a bit wrong and embarrassing about celebrating a Christian holiday.
Johanna Touzel, the spokesman for the Catholic Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community, said the absence of Christian festivals as "just astonishing".

"Christmas and Easter are important feasts for hundreds of millions of Christians and Europeans. It is a strange omission. I hope it was not intentional," she said.
Obviously, Christians were not included in the design of a calendar intended for 3 million school children, most of whom are Christian. That's interesting. Where does the EU keep its Christian employees, if any? Chained in the basement?
"If the commission does not mark Christmas as a feast in its diaries then it should be working as normal on December 25."
I like that idea. How about passing out some lumps of coal to replace those festive alcoholic beverages that the EU commission is no doubt imbibing?
A commission spokesman described the diary as a "blunder" and said that in the interests of political correctness there would no references to any religious festivals in future editions.
All Christian holidays were excluded. Obviously the result of "carelessness."
"We're sorry about it, and we'll correct that in next edition. Religious holidays may not be mentioned at all to avoid any controversy," he said.
Uh huh. Europe is famous for its lack of "controversy."

__________

 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thoughts After Caroling

Yesterday, Hubster and I took a holiday from work and family responsibilities and drove a distance to a Christmas chorale in a church in a much more conservative community than our own.

Together with the choir and the Christmas holiday celebrants in the packed church, we sang our hearts out for a couple of hours, visiting the beloved classic Christmas carols from many lands: Ireland, Wales, Germany, the Ukraine, our own USA, and on and on. It was, for us, a heavenly experience (pun intended).

In that church, we were far from our usual environment of multikult expectations that we appreciate everyone else's cultures first--and our own Western identity only under certain carefully regulated circumstances. Surrounded by Christians of many denominations all singing, with beaming smiles on their faces, "Oh come let us adore Him," accompanied by skilled musicians weaving magic into the air with their instruments, I snuggled into a deeply conscious enjoyment of some of the most magnificent aspects of Western culture, appreciating that, on top of everything else that the West has created in the last couple of thousand years, Westerners had not neglected to invent a universe of different ways to acknowledge and praise the Creator of All Life, using as their tools a treasure-chest of arts, sciences, and engineering feats.

Fellow blogger Trestin Meacham, introducing his new Sunday Firesides, pointed out that "fighting Marxism without using religion is like fighting a forest fire with a garden hose." Regular readers of this blog are well aware that I see other fights on our hands as well, most especially with those who do not honor life as a most precious and mysterious gift from God. In the end, neither the tyranny of Marxism nor the tyranny of Islam has anything to compete with the beauty and dignity of Christianity and Judaism, and most of the humanity of which secularists are so proud has been knitted together from remnants of Judeo-Christianity, a fact that most secularists, in their quest to disable Christianity, fail to recognize. If Christianity goes, so also go the good intentions of the secularists and socialists and the support of the society for those good intentions.

During those couple of hours in that church, I was struck by the realization that the best protection of our Western values is for us to stand shoulder to shoulder in our own cultural traditions, which are so beautiful. And I was struck, too, by the wisdom of our Founders in recognizing that Christianity makes the best soil in which to grow the Tree of Liberty.
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Montreal Elects Hezbollah Guy to National Assembly, Now Can't Shop In Peace (UPDATED)


I have been avoiding posting disturbing news right before Christmas, but shopping stories belong in their season. So here goes:

If you are a woman buying a pair of shoes in Montreal, Quebec, and those shoes do not meet the approval of a group of Muslim men, then you can expect to be threatened, photographed, and called a "Jewish sow," with the express approval and support of a member of Quebec's National Assembly. The merchant who sells you the shoes gets threatened with death.

And this harassment happens, not under the Canadian flag emblazoned with a leaf of the sturdy maple tree; or under the flag of Quebec, a white fleurs-de-lis on a blue field honoring the Virgin Mary; but instead under flags of the Shi'a Muslim "military" organization, Hezbollah.
Canadian politician Amir Khadir led harassment of shoe store customers (Montreal Gazette).
Below is a first hand account of attempting to buy a pair of shoes at Le Marcheur in Montreal [yesterday 12/18/10] by a reader of Vlad:

My mother just came back from purchasing Israeli-made shoes from the store in down town Montreal that is being subjected to a boycott because it sells Israeli-made shoes. Twenty people showed up to buy shoes after Eric Duhaime called on Montrealers to show solidarity with the embattled store owner. She, with others, was greeted by about a hundred threatening Arabs with Hezbollah flags shouting anti-Semitic slogans and blocking the street completely. She says that several intimidating Arabs took her picture as she was going inside and one was even filming. One young Arab called her a Jewish sow. The store owner is getting death threats and is seriously depressed. He said that he won’t give in to these terrorists’ demands. But how long can he keep it up before going out of business? Montreal in 2010.
Le Marcheur on a better day
Yes, the owner of Le Marcheur, in addition to carrying such brands as Rockport, Mephisto, Clarks, Santana, etc., also carries an Israeli line of shoes known as Beautifeel. 

From the Montreal Gazette via Vlad Tepes:
Yves Archambault, owner of Le Marcheur, said he was “sickened” to learn his own MNA [Member of the National Assembly] was picketing his store.

“I was sickened to see him distributing flyers and stopping people who were coming into the store to tell them they shouldn’t support a business that sells Israeli products,” Archambault said.

“In Quebec we have free enterprise, and as long as it is legal, nobody has the right to tell me what I can and cannot sell in my store,” he said.

Archambault said he is “completely apolitical” and does not follow politics here or abroad. He admits he had no idea who Khadir was, until some of his employees told him.
Lesson #1: These are not good days to be "completely apolitical." Keeping one's head buried in the sand is an ineffective survival technique.
He said he feels personally attacked by the picketers, and Khadir’s participation has made it worse.

Khadir emailed Archambault a few weeks before participating in the picket to ask him to stop selling Israeli-made products, and to explain the PAJU’s reasons for demanding a boycott of Israeli-made products and stores that sell them.

Archambault said he did not respond, because he is not interested in talking about politics.

“I don’t care where my products come from. I only care about comfort and quality,” he said.

But Khadir said business owners need to be made aware of their own power to make change. He says his party supports business but wants to get away from the “Walmart economy” and move toward fair and responsible commerce [emphasis mine].
Khadir and his fellow Hezbollah types don't seem to me to be too anxious for Mr. Archambault to exercise his own power.
“Gandhi said: ‘Business without conscience is a crime,’ and buying and selling is voting,” Khadir said.
Right, Khadir. If you don't like the way some people are voting, then threaten and bully them until they "vote" your way. That's the essence of "democracy" in Quebec these days.

Pay attention, America.


****

UPDATE: Just found this at blazingcatfur: "Oh cripes he's a Jew Baiting 9/11 Troofer from Iran."
__________

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Veni Veni Emmanuel, Fribourg Vocal Ensemble


This hymn, one of my favorites, is a composite of some of the earliest surviving Christian prayers (dating at least to the 8th century); these prayers traditionally are recited during the eight days preceding Christmas. The melody is a Franciscan nun processional tune from the 15th century thought to derive from 8th century Gregorian chant. This particular arrangement was performed by the Fribourg Vocal Ensemble at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Lilies in Paris in 2009.


Translation: 
1. O COME, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Refrain: Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel,
to thee shall come Emmanuel!

2. O come, Thou Rod of Jesse's stem,
from ev'ry foe deliver them
that trust Thy mighty power to save,
and give them vict'ry o'er the grave.
Refrain
3. O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
and cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night
and death's dark shadow put to flight.
Refrain

4. O come, Thou Key of David, come,
and open wide our heav'nly home,
make safe the way that leads on high,
that we no more have cause to sigh.
Refrain

5. O come, o come, Thou Lord of might,
who to Thy tribes on Sinai's height
in ancient times did give the law,
in cloud, and majesty, and awe.
Refrain
Amen
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I Sure Do Like Those Christmas Cookies, Babe--George Strait

Music to bake by:


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Names to Remember: Senate Sponsors of the Dream Act

These elected officials obviously like illegal aliens better than U.S. citizens, and they prefer to give tax-supported benefits to children of illegal aliens than to children of U.S. citizens. Among the illegal aliens these senators prefer are Muslim illegal aliens, as evidenced by the strong support of this bill by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group that has been linked to Hamas.
  • (AR) Lincoln
  • (CA) Boxer
  • (CA) Feinstein
  • (CA) Honda
  • (CO) Bennet
  • (CO) Udall
  • (CT) Dodd
  • (CT) Lieberman
  • (DE) Carper
  • (DE) Kaufman
  • (FL) Nelson
  • (HI) Akaka
  • (HI) Inouye
  • (IL) Burris
  • (IL) Durbin
  • (IL) Jackson
  • (IN) Bayh
  • (IN) Lugar
  • (IA) Harkin
  • (MD) Cardin
  • (MD) Mikulski
  • (MA) Kennedy
  • (MA) Kerry
  • (MI) Levin
  • (MN) Franken
  • (MN) Klobuchar
  • (NV) Reid
  • (NJ) Lautenberg
  • (NJ) Menendez
  • (NM) Bingaman
  • (NY) Gillibrand
  • (NY) Schumer
  • (OR) Merkley
  • (PA) Specter
  • (RI) Reed
  • (RI) Whitehouse
  • (VT) Leahy
  • (VT) Sanders
  • (WA) Cantwell
  • (WA) Murray
  • (WI) Feingold
The Senate vote starts at 10:30 Eastern time this morning.
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

RIP Omnibus Bill with 6,000+ Earmarks!


The Omnibus bill just died. The Republicans came up with the "41 votes to stop this monstrosity," forcing Harry Reid to abandon it.

William Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection isn't the only one doing the Happy Dance.

Watch the pre-Happy Dance video (H/t: Backyard Conservative).

Senator Mitch McConnell offered to replace the bill with a one-page resolution that keeps the government running until February 18. (Via Nice Deb.)

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Do You Live Near One of the 6,715 Pork Projects in the Omnibus Bill?

From Bryan Preston at PajamasMedia:
Sen. Tom Coburn’s office has posted the entire list of earmarks in the Senate’s $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill.
A listing of  all "6,715 line items . . . totaling about $8 billion, is in the database linked on this page."

That total averages out to 134 pork projects per each of the 50 states, or 118 pork projects per state if you live in the Obama's "57 state" version of the U.S.

Either way, that's spreading the pork jelly pretty thick.

Preston has an interesting idea for turning earmarks into pork rinds. It's called "crowdsourcing":
Take a look at the database, find your state, and if you happen to live near any of these pork projects, find out what you can about them.  Get comment from your local senator’s office if you can.  Check the local media for stories about it.  Post what you find out either here in the comments, or on your own blog, and link it here in comments.  Let’s turn up the heat on these bipartisan porkers.
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What Next? Yodeling Offensive to Muslims

From Israel National News via the Drudge Report:
An Austrian court has recently fined a citizen for yodeling while mowing his lawn, according to a report in The Kronen Zeitung newspaper.

The citizen, 63-year-old Helmut G., was told by the court that his yodeling offended his next-door Muslim neighbors, who accused him of trying to mock and imitate the call of the Muezzin.

In Muslim tradition, the Muezzin is the chosen person at a mosque who leads the call to prayer at Friday services and the five daily times for prayer from one of the mosque's minarets.

The yodel is a song which is sung with an extended note which rapidly and repeatedly changes in pitch and makes a high-low-high-low sound. Developed in the Central Alps as a method of communication between alpine mountaineers or between alpine villages, the yodel later became part of the region's traditional lore and musical expression. The technique is used in many cultures throughout the world and Austria is one of the countries where it is most popular.

Unfortunately for Helmut G., his neighbors were in the middle of a prayer when he started to yodel. The Kronen Zeitung reported that he was fined 800 Euros after judges ruled that he could have tried to offend his neighbors and ridicule their belief.

Helmut G. clarified that “It was not my intention to imitate or insult them. I simply started to yodel a few tunes because I was in such a good mood.”
And why not? Yodeling is fun:


And here's some grown-up yodeling by one of America's great Western yodelers, Slim Clark:


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Boehner: "We will work to kill the Omnibus bill"



Hawaii's Democrat Senator Daniel Inouye brayed that this year's Congressional Christmas surprise, the nearly 2,000-page Omnibus spending bill "reflects a year's worth of work by members of both parties."

I don't doubt that getting this bill on paper took hard work. No pickpocket learns his skill without training and practice. Likely those "members of both parties" were not members of Congress at all, but were an army of hard-working lobbyists and government agency representatives who are close to pilfering an astonishing $1.1 trillion dollars of borrowed money from America's collective pocket.

Imagine the effort that went into squeezing $575 million dollars of debt onto every single page of the 1,924-page bill.

We really have to hand it to Senator Inouye and the rest of the lame duck Democrat congress for the history-making demonstration of ill-bred contemptuous audacity, shameless self-interest, and absence of compassion that it took to shove this new debt into the faces of Americans struggling--and often failing--to keep food on the table, fuel in the gas tank and the furnace, and keep up with the car, home, medical, and insurance payments.

Inouye, who is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, had more to say:
Together, we have closely scrutinized the president's budget request, held hundreds of hearings, thousands of meetings, and asked literally tens of thousands of questions to each and every federal department and agency seeking justification for how taxpayer dollars are being spent. [italics mine]
Either it is mighty easy to get "justification for how taxpayer dollars are being spent" from federal agencies or Inouye is a big fat liar. Or both.

However difficult it was to stuff more than a trillion dollars of spending into a bill only 2,000 pages thick, it is going to be even more difficult for a suffering America to pay that $1.1 trillion, plus interest, if this monstrous bill gets passed. Mr. Inouye and his Democrat comrades in Congress clearly could not care less about America's difficulties.

Is it entirely within the power of the current lame duck Congress to hang this millstone of a spending bill around America's neck?

From Fox News:
The fiscal year runs from Oct. 1-Sept. 30. Currently, a continuing resolution, the stopgap measure to keep government operational until a budget is passed, is set to expire on Saturday. If another CR or the bill itself isn't passed and signed into law by President Obama by then, the government will shut down.
On the House side, Republican leader John Boehner is apparently warning that if the Senate sends over the bill as it is, "We will work to kill it."
America does not want Republicans to "work" to kill the bill. We want it dead.
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Surprise! Maryland Jihadist "Entrapped" by FBI, Says His Lawyer

He was grinning from ear to ear when he uttered, "Allahu Akbar" and then tried to detonate a car bomb to blow up a military recruiting station in a Maryland shopping center last Wednesday.

But the FBI, who had gotten wind of Muhammad Hussain's plan to be one of the "mujaheddin" [Islamic fundamentalist jihadists], had supplied him with a fake bomb. Then, after he tried to blow up a recruiting station, they arrested him.

At Hussain's detention hearing yesterday, his defense lawyer, Joseph Balter, needed help wringing out his sopping handkerchief: Poor widdle Muhammad Hussain! He got "entrapped" by the nasty, mean FBI!

What Hussain's lawyer didn't ask was, "Why did the nasty, mean FBI pretend to be Hussain's brothers in jihad? Why did they pretend to help Hussain instead of just waiting for some real jihadists to show up and give Hussain the assistance he was looking for?"

Joseph Balter knows that most Americans have figured out the answer to that--but not all, and that's what he is depending on in his attempt to free Muhammed Hussein.

Some Americans, a judge or a member of a jury perhaps, might bring their crying towel to Hussain's trial, with the result that his client is back out on the street in record time, and maybe even jetting to a terrorist training camp somewhere in the Middle East soon after that. After all, less than a month ago, a Manhattan judge and a juror couldn't find it in their hearts to convict Ahmed Ghailani, a long-term terrorist and good buddy of Osama bin Ladin, of even one count of murder, even though he had participated in American embassy bombings that killed 224 people and injured more than 4,000 others.

From the Washington Post:
Antonio Martinez, 21, who recently converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Hussain, is accused of trying to kill members of the military whom he saw as a threat to Muslims. The FBI learned of Martinez's intentions through an informant, joined the plot and supplied him with a fake car bomb that he tried to detonate, authorities said.

Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain
Prosecutors portrayed Martinez as a man who was determined to cause as much harm as possible and sees himself as a holy warrior. But defense attorney Joseph Balter said his client was "incapable" of carrying out an attack on his own, failed when he tried to recruit confederates to join him and was caught in a "government sting operation."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Manuelian said that after his arrest, Martinez admitted his role in the bomb plot and said it was his idea. She said he told agents that he parked the sport-utility vehicle that contained the bomb close to the front of the recruiting center where he thought a blast would cause the most harm.
[snip]
Balter said that Martinez, a former Prince George's County public school student who did construction work, might have talked about firearms or bombs but that there was no indication that he "had any ability to carry out any plan."
Balter neglected to mention that his client had been charged with armed robbery when he was 16 years old, and that he had been convicted of theft when he was 18.
"Clearly, on the face of these charges is a very legitimate issue as to whether the government entrapped Mr. Hussain," Balter said. "They induced him to be involved in an act that was clearly the design of the government."
Balter also failed to mention that his client posted on his Facebook page: "Any 1 who opposes ALLAH and HIS Prophet Peace.Be.upon.Him I Hate u with all my heart."
Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey, who considered only whether Martinez could be released pending trial, ordered that he be held. She said the defense arguments about entrapment are "an issue for another day."

Manuelian said Martinez and the informant planned to video the explosion after he detonated the bomb from a site within eyeshot of the Catonsville, Md., recruiting station.

"We are not criminals," she said Martinez said into the camera. "We are mujaheddin."
"We are mujaheddin." Muhammad Hussain clearly regards himself as an enemy combatant and his bombing attempt as an act of war. In time, we'll find out whether a judge and jury agree.
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Join Me in a Break: It's a Marshmallow World, Brenda Lee Style



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Monday, December 13, 2010

Fed Judge Declares ObamaCare's Funding Unconstitutional in Virginia

The funding, of course, comes from the "individual mandate" requiring U.S. citizens to buy into ObamaCare.

The judge concluded that:
"It is not the effect on individuals that is presently at issue -- it is the authority of Congress to compel anyone to purchase health insurance."
Greta Van Susteren read Judge Henry Hudson's decision and explains it:



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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Swedish Mall Bomber: "Our actions speak for themselves." (UPDATED)


I'll say they do.


Another depraved excuse for a human being, his face covered in an Arab head scarf, turned himself into a bloody corpse for the singular purpose of depriving hundreds of Saturday evening Christmas shoppers in Stockholm, Sweden, of their lives and limbs. Only one of the 5 pipe bombs he had strapped to his body went off (12 pipe bombs according to latest reports, plus a bomb in a rucksack [added 12/13]), and that was a premature ejaculation. Next to his body was a red bag filled with nails, which no doubt were intended to be driven into the bodies of innocent pedestrians in central Stockholm when he set off the explosives strapped to his belly. The depraved excuse also detonated a white Audi car bomb; although it caught fire, most of the gas canisters inside did not explode as intended. Two innocents were slightly injured.


The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer, who resides at The Lambeth Walk, has a full report, and so does our own intrepid Zilla of the Resistance. His Lordship's report includes this observation:
Witnesses said if he'd got a couple of yards further, there would have been a massacre, and if all the bombs had detonated there would have been unimaginable carnage.
That seems accurate. Here is a photo taken from a surveillance video of the crowd a few seconds before the depraved excuse detonated himself:


(Added 12/13: Little did these witnesses know that the depraved excuse "had planned to set off three devices, including one at the main railway station and one at a large department store.")

Fortunately, the depraved excuse's degree in sports therapy did not adequately prepare him for bomb building and delivery, nor did his sojourns in terrorist training camps. There are no reports on whether his wife and three children will miss him, nor on whether the woman who would have become his second wife would be glad she never met him.

It has been reported, however, that he "seemed nice."

I don't think these depraved excuses deserve to be called by name; however, in case you are curious, his name was not Mohammed. It was Abdul.
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And He Shall Reign Forever and Ever: Food Court Edition

From Welland, Ontario:


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Friday, December 10, 2010

Recycling Terror: 83 Ex-Gitmo Terrorists Out Making Terror Again

Obama's "accelerated release" program to get Gitmo detainees back out on the Arab street again is definitely accelerating things: Since Obama took office, the recidivism rate of released Gitmo guys has doubled to 25%.

I wonder if that is good news for the more than 80 volunteer lawyers for Gitmo detainees who got together to endorse Obama's bid for the presidency back in 2008.

The results of terrorist recidivism were horrific even before Obama took office. For example, a Gitmo detainee released under George W. Bush is suspected of being behind the "gruesome murders and abductions" of nine foreigners in Yemen in June of 2009: four German adults, three small children, a British man and a South Korean woman. This group included a doctor and his family, two nurses, and an engineer and his wife.

A couple of Gitmo detainees released in 2007 provided the 2008 underwear bomber with the explosives he used to try and bring down an airliner over Detroit last Christmas.

Now that Obama has sped up release of Gitmo detainees, detainees seem to be being thrown out of Gitmo with little regard for the safety of others. According to a report recently released by the director of national intelligence, 1 in 4 Gitmo detainees released under Obama are no longer "unemployed" terrorists, lounging around all day in a pleasant climate, eating pizza, and reading their Korans. They are back at work, engaged in "terrorist or insurrectionist activities." The intelligence community has assessed that, of the 150 released Gitmo detainees who have returned to terrorist/insurrectionist activities, 83 are still at large.

I wonder how much blood has been spilled by those 150, and how much blood is yet to be spilled by those 83.

How many of those 83, and their unknown number of jihadist apprentices and wacko toadies, are among the terrorists whom Obama's Homeland Security fears might be smuggling explosives to kill holiday travelers in 2010?

Of those 150 recycled terrorists, 53 have been recaptured, and 13 have been killed.

I wonder how much blood of brave Americans has been sacrificed recapturing those 53 and killing those 13. How much pain endured? How much time away from loved ones and the comforts of home?

I even wonder if Obama and his Leftie supporters--an astonishing group of slow learners--are going to wake up and start protecting the innocent instead of the guilty.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Liberals: Are You Running Out of Other People's Money?

 Randall Hoven at American Thinker asks us to think about this:
A good class warrior wishes for three things (at least).
* (1) For tax rates to be highest on the richest. Ideally, only the rich would pay taxes. The Father of Class War, Karl Marx, made "a heavy progressive or graduated income tax" one of the ten planks of his Manifesto.
* (2) For no one to be super-rich. Ideally, no one would make more than some amount considered too much. Barack Obama, the Son of Class War, once said, "I do think at a certain point you've made enough money."
* (3) For Government to have plenty of money so that it can spread the wealth and help the needy. The Democratic Party, the Holy Ghost of Class War, put in its 2008 platform, "For families making more than $250,000, we'll ask them to give back a portion of the Bush tax cuts to invest in health care and other key priorities."
Now think about that for a moment. If the class warriors got their first two wishes, their third wish would be impossible. If you tax only the rich, yet you have no rich, then government collects no revenue. You can't spread wealth if there is no wealth.


Oops.
And here is the punch line: that is exactly what is happening now, just not as starkly.
Yet. 

Read the rest here.

H/t: BackyardConservative.
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Obama Off the Teleprompter Again

As Jay Leno sees it:


Heh, heh, heh.

H/t: theblogprof.

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