Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Alan Grayson: WHORE. | RedState

What an unbelievable douchebag. Seriously, what kind of candidate does an ad like this with his campaign funds? This is 10 times worse a smear than I've ever seen in a DCCC ad.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Random Readings, September 20

Via Connie Hair at Human Events, "House Democrats Pass Bill to Grill School Children about Sexual Preference." (H/T to Clyde at LibertyPundits)

Dr. Scott Atlas, on ways the Democrats might modify Obamacare to forcibly implement single payer government-run healthcare, starting in the very near future.

2010 Elections
The Florida Democratic Party sends out a campaign mailer about Republican congressional candidate Allen West (incidentally, I've seen him speak at CPAC. He's a U.S. Army vet and a hell of a human being) including his unredacted Social Security number. Their spokesman Eric Jotkoff then issues a non-apology apology, complete with another cheap shot at West. Desperate much?

Civilization and Defense

58% of people in the Arab world think that the Ground Zero Mosque is a bad idea, compared to 70% in the United States. Fouad Ajami finds this unsurprising, and elaborates on the disconnect between the Arab-Islamic street and the prominent representatives of that culture to the West, including Faisal Abdul Rauf. I loved this anecdote:

There is a great Arab and Islamic tale. It happened in the early years of Islam, but it speaks to this controversy. It took place in A.D. 638, the time of Islam's triumphs.

The second successor to the Prophet, the Caliph Omar—to orthodox Muslims the most revered of the four Guided Caliphs for the great conquests that took place during his reign—had come to Jerusalem to accept the city's surrender. Patriarch Sophronius, the city's chief magistrate, is by his side for the ceremony of surrender. Prayer time comes for Omar while the patriarch is showing him the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The conqueror asks where he could spread out his prayer rug. Sophronius tells him that he could stay where he was. Omar refuses, because his followers, he said, might then claim for Islam the holy shrine of the Christians. Omar stepped outside for his prayer.

We don't always assert all the "rights" that we can get away with. The faith is honored when the faith bends to necessity and discretion.

Also my favorite historian Victor Davis Hanson has this great post on civilizational decline and recovery.

Randall Hoven at American Thinker has a great list of contradictory views that the ruling class believes. Some gems:

President Bush was bad for the economy because he spent too much. President Obama is helping the economy by spending a lot.

A jury is better informed if evidence is withheld from it.

The Boy Scouts are wrong for having policies that inhibit pedophilia. The Catholic Church was wrong for not having policies that inhibit pedophilia.

An economy in which government accounts for about 40% of economic activity, which owns a similar percentage of all land, and which enforces a stack of regulations the size of 64 Bibles (or 30 New Deals) is considered a radical laissez-faire free market.

Grabbing a person by his shirt and pulling him toward you is an "enhanced interrogation technique" not in the Army Field Manual. It is therefore "tantamount to torture" and out of bounds for any government agency or contractor to use when asking a terrorist what his plans are. Simply dropping a bomb on him, though, with neither trial nor tribunal, and killing him and anyone near him, including his wife, children, family and friends, is OK.

And Michael Moore expresses concern over McDonald's-related death.

This might actually be worth reading

From Exurban Jon, this delightfully photoshopped cover of Meghan McCain's new book:

In other things Meghan McCain: Jenn Q. Public and Lori Ziganto have read her book so that you don't have to, as has Leon Wolf. And of course, if you're on Twitter and blocked by Ms. McCain, let me know so that I can add you to the illustrious list of other great conservatives!

Random Readings, September 19

Kenny Solomon at RedState has this great post:
News of the day that does NOT include Ms. O’Donnell, but is all big-picture related…..

I'm going to shamelessly steal two of his linked stories - first, the British government wants you to anonymously report other drivers for...well, they say "inconsiderate driving" and "excessive noise". In practice, there's no way for the government to verify that the accusations aren't fabricated, but what the heck, they're issuing citations anyway! Gotta keep those roads safe, and the police can't do all the work!

Second, and this is worth a post of its own - President Obama deliberately leaves out "by their Creator" when quoting the Declaration of Independence. Repulsive.

Stacy McCain, on Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson's staff using Nazified pictures in a protest. Can't improve on this title: Democrat Halvorson’s Nazi-Smear Aide Is Lesbian Who Brags About ‘Gigantic Boobs'

Pete "DaTechGuy" on how his home state of Massachusetts is changing, for the better.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Random Readings, September 18

2010 Elections

Erick Erickson at RedState rightly calls for Senate Republican leadership to remove Lisa Murkowski from the Energy Committee in response to her write-in bid against Republican primary winner Joe Miller.

Bill Whalen, on why he thinks Fiorina vs. Boxer in California is now the key race to determine which party controls the Senate after November's elections.

Michael Petrilli on why he thinks that almost-certainly-mayor-elect of Washington, D.C. Vincent Gray won't be able to undo all the progress in education made by outgoing mayor Adrian Fenty and D.C. Public Schools chancellor Michelle Rhee.

Also, Matt Welch at Reason points out that WaPo resident crazy columnist Courtland Milloy
(whose nauseating glee at the D.C. mayoral election outcome I mentioned briefly on Thursday) lives in Prince George's County, Maryland. Conveniently OUTSIDE the District.

Terrorism/National Defense

Stephen Breyer showcases liberal logic at its finest, with the gutless claim that burning a Koran is analogous to falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater, because Muslims apparently can't be expected not to violently stampede at the slightest insult.

Andy McCarthy at National Review takes on Breyer and points out the weakness of relying on laws as a substitute for cultural norms.

Several Iranian diplomats have defected to European countries this year. Also, the Iranian diplomatic corps endured a purge in 2005 after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office - I'd never heard of that.


Andrew Breitbart gets spat upon and called a "homosexual" at a 2 Minutes anti-Hate rally.

Victor Davis Hanson, on the current rehabilitation of George W. Bush.


Former Reagan administration attorney general Ed Meese has a great piece in Wednesday's Washington Times on the expansion of laws, and the erosion of the Constitution in the past several decades:

Another sign that we have lost our sense of the Constitution lies in the phenomenon of "overcriminalization." Put simply, government is making too many criminal laws, creating traps for people who are doing their best to be law-abiding citizens. Consider: The Constitution itself identifies only three federal crimes - piracy, counterfeiting, and treason.

When the First Congress enacted the original Crimes Act in 1790, it stipulated only 17 federal crimes. Today, Congress own research service can't even count all the federal crimes on the books. Our best estimate is that the federal code now delineates more than 4,500 federal crimes. And federal regulations create tens of thousands more. Our Founding Fathers would recognize relatively few of these offenses as crimes.

At the time of the founding, almost all criminal law punished conduct that everyone would recognize as wrongful - offenses like murder, theft, and burglary. And virtually all crimes required proof that the accused had acted with a "guilty mind" - that is, with the intent to do a wrongful act. My, how things have changed.

Today, the vast majority of the crimes are regulatory offenses. They involve conduct that is not inherently wrong but has been made criminal only because an elite legislature - or unelected bureaucracy - has decreed it to be so.

To make enforcement of these new social norms easier, legislatures have often jettisoned the "guilty mind" requirement. As a result, people may be punished with jail time for doing things they had no idea were illegal, much less criminal...

...Hence, a 12-year old girl is arrested for eating a French fry in the Washington, D.C., Metro system. A 63-year old grandmother in Palo Alto, Calif., is arrested for failing to trim her hedges in the "officially approved manner." Four FBI agents, in SWAT gear and armed with automatic rifles, arrest an Alaskan inventor for shipping scientific material without a federally mandated sticker on the package. A retired orchid grower spends 17 months in jail for importing orchids without the proper paperwork.

As the list of criminal acts expands, it becomes harder for the average American to get through the day without unknowingly committing a crime. This situation creates an even more insidious danger. If everyone is potentially a criminal, then the government and its employees have vast powers to decide which people to charge. With so wide a scope of possible criminal charges, we now face a situation where little but the discretion of the government determines who goes to jail and who goes free.

In other words, you'd better not piss off government officials too much.

Meese doesn't use the term, but probably a majority of the federal crimes could genuinely be described as "victimless". I don't generally use that term to describe prohibited activities such as drug use and prostitution, because there's usually some element of coercion involved.

But it's a strenuous exercise in justification to claim that anyone is harmed by the prescription use of medications that have been found to work in Europe (but aren't yet FDA-approved), or by compensation being paid to organ donors or their families, or the installation of a toilet which uses more than 1.6 gallons of water in each flush.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Random Readings, September 17

2010 Elections

Mattie Fein, running for Congress in California against Jane Harman, has this wonderful guest post at The Other McCain on the lack of support many candidates are getting from the GOP establishment, Karl Rove, and the personal attacks faced by outsiders like herself and Christine O'Donnell.

Henry Miller, writing at the Daily Caller, with a few interesting anecdotes about dumb politicians.

Morton Kondracke doesn't understand the fact that the Tea Party movement, and advocacy of limited government and fiscal restraint, are well within the mainstream of America (outside of Washington, at least).


Paige Chapman in the Chronicle of Higher Education says that "most students think it's safe to hold unpopular views on their campus", downplaying the fact that nearly 20% say it's NOT safe. This choice of words reminded me about the "mostly peaceful" protests earlier this year. As in "mostly" being a grossly euphemistic adverb chosen to obscure the unpleasant reality of campus censorship/ violence among "pro-immigration" groups.

John Stossel has a great piece on the non-link between school funding and student performance.
Read the whole thing. 2 quick thoughts on this:
  1. Stossel cites Andrew Coulson of Cato, who says that "Over the past 40 years, public school employment has risen 10 times faster than enrollment. There are 9 percent more students today, but nearly twice as many public school employees." Coulson mentions elsewhere the specific composition of that employment growth, more than a third of which has been support staff (i.e., people not directly involved in classroom instruction). Additionally, and most importantly, students' reading, science, and math scores have been flat over that time.

  2. The idea that "insufficient funding" (however a district wants to define it) is an excuse for low student achievement is completely destroyed by many counter-examples of schools in the ghettos with high student achievement. In Stossel's piece, he mentions Ben Chavis and the American Indian Public Charter School in Oakland, CA - the only school in Oakland where ANY black and Hispanic students have passed AP Calculus this year.

    There are numerous other examples of similar schools, which suggest that the largest problem with American education is less about funding and more about personnel/educational philosophy.

School Field Trips: Now Including Kids Prostrate To Allah

It's hard to even start naming everything that's wrong with this situation. From Charles Jacobs at Big Peace:

My organization, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), just released a video showing 6th graders from Wellesley, MA as they rise from prostrating themselves alongside Muslim men in a prayer to Allah while on a public school field trip to the largest mosque in the Northeast. Teachers did not intervene. Parents have not been told.

Let me repeat that: 6th grade kids in Massachusetts were taken, by their teachers, on a field trip to a mosque, and led to bow down before Allah.

More from Peters:

The video was taken inside the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center – Boston’s controversial Saudi-funded mega-mosque – during a Wellesley Middle School social studies trip to the mosque, ostensibly taken to learn about the history of Islam first-hand. Yet the video reveals that the students are being blatantly mis-educated about Islam. A mosque spokesperson is seen teaching the children that in Mohammed’s 7th century Arabia women were allowed to vote, while in America women only gained that right a hundred years ago.


The mosque spokesperson also taught the students that the only meaning of Jihad in Islam is a personal spiritual struggle, and that Jihad has historically had no relationship with holy war. As far as we know, the school has not corrected these false lessons.

This is just unbelievable. Replace "mosque" in this story with "church" and imagine the reaction: "Separation of Church And State! Stop forcing your religion on our kids!" Think we'll hear that here? I doubt it.

Read and watch the whole thing. And if you're motivated to express an opinion - here's some contact info.

Wellesley Middle School, and its social studies department which organized the trip.
In case the site crashes, the school phone number is shown as 781-446-6250.

The Islamic Society of Boston is here - the phone number is 617-876-3546.

Cross-posted to RedState.

Random Readings, September 16

This is a new thing I'm going to try to post.

I typically read at least a dozen articles/blog posts daily, keep the tabs open (right now I'm counting 34, including the window I'm typing in, and NOT including the tabs in the 2 or 3 restorable Firefox Sessions I had open days ago), slow my browser to a crawl, and never figure out how to share them with anyone who reads this blog.

So - I'm going to just share the links with minimal or no commentary. Here goes:

2010 Elections

A peeping Tom campaign staffer for Rep. John Adler (D-NJ) is accused of trespassing on the property of his GOP opponent, Jon Runyan, and taking pictures of Runyan's 8 year old daughter in front of the house.

Courtland Milloy, in a WaPo opinion piece, goes nuts with vindictiveness at the primary defeat of current D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty, complete with allusions to the Soviet Union, the Confederacy, and fascist Italy, because Fenty and D.C. Schools chair Michelle Rhee had the nerve to fire a bunch of government employees and stop abetting homelessness, and apparently didn't meet with Maya Angelou quickly enough. Really. No, really.

TheRightScoop shares a great monologue from Mark Levin.

Sean Duffy (via Allah at HotAir) has an absolutely awesome ad. Gotta love all the non-professional politicians running this year:

Rep. John Boozman is absolutely destroying incumbent Senator Blanche Lincoln(D-AR) in the polls (as in left-leaning Talking Points Memo's poll average has him up by almost 30 percentage points.)

Frank J. at IMAO aims his delightful snark toward Harry Reid's calling Chris Coons(D-Senate Candidate, Delaware) his "pet".

C. Edmund Wright, at American Thinker, takes Karl Rove to task for hurting the conservative cause.

The Christian Science Monitor: "Could Christine O'Donnell Actually Win In November?" (HT to Stacy McCain for this one)

Exurban Jon offers his thoughts on how Christine O'Donnell can win the general election, after her victory in the Delaware GOP Senate primaries Tuesday.

Islam, etc.

IHateTheMedia has this analysis of zakat(usually translated as "alms-giving", one of the 5 pillars of Islam) and Barack Obama's remarks in support of facilitating it.

Molly Norris, who suggested (and later backed away from) "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day", has now been advised by the FBI to effectively disappear. DaTechGuy has a challenge to the scum who've threatened her and others.

Jimmie Bise schools Robert Wright of the New York Times on his ignorance of the Bible.


Susan Sarandon thinks that "The nation mourned" when she and Tim Robbins ended their conspicuous non-marriage late last year. Greg Gutfeld helpfully (and humorously) destroys that notion.

Thomas Sowell, one of my intellectual heroes, points out the ways in which the terms "liberal" and "conservative" today connote almost exactly the opposite of their original meaning.

Erick Erickson gets hate mail. I'd like to receive this level of vitriol sometime soon.

John Hawkins at RightWingNews names his 40 favorite conservative blogs for the third quarter of 2010. Which reminds me, I need to do a post on BlogCon and the 9/12 march which I attended last week thanks to FreedomWorks.

A Screenshot Tour Of The New Twitter.

Cubachi on the United Kingdom's impending privatization of its Royal Mail postal service.

P.J. Gladnick at NewsBusters, on a conservative student group being kicked out of the campus club rush at Palm Beach State College, and the silence of the local newspaper.

John Bolton just might make an awesome president.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 - beyond the numbers

Some of us have a tendency to remember great historical events as facts and figures, tangible and quantifiable. This is completely necessary if we're to avoid inaccurate interpretation of these events. But it also presents an incomplete picture; any current or historical event is much, much more than a count of those killed and injured, a list of names of those involved, an estimate of financial cost, a beginning and ending time.

The Al-Qaeda launched attacks 9 years ago are no different. We can state empirically that 2,977 innocents died (among them 341 firefighters, 10 EMTs and paramedics, and 60 police officers), but that doesn't remotely capture the shock, the horror, the anger of that day.

WARNING: graphic images below. View them anyway.

We can easily remember that hundreds of people jumped thousands of feet to their certain deaths. We can and should also remember the unimaginable inferno that made that decision reasonable to them.

It's accurate history to say "United Flight 175 struck WTC2 at 9:03 AM". But those words don't remotely capture the sudden clarity to everyone who saw this happen in person or on live TV - that this was not an accident, that our country was under attack by evil men unknown to almost all Americans prior to that day.

No statistics can describe the awareness that other cities were targeted, and the worry about how many more attacks would occur before the day was over.

The courage of the first responders, who went towards the scene when others were running away, cannot be quantified and analyzed logically. Yet who among us doubts its existence?

3 men, 50 stars, and 13 stripes. And with them, a gesture of patriotic defiance amid the loss of a battle in a long fight.

Remember everything about that day. And fight on.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Arrested For Self-Defense?

That's what it initially appears like, in the case of a man from Uniondale, NY. From New York's CBS2:

George Grier said he had to use his rifle on Sunday night to stop what he thought was going to be an invasion of his Uniondale home by a gang he thought might have been the vicious “MS-13.” He said the whole deal happened as he was about to drive his cousin home.

“I went around and went into the house, ran upstairs and told my wife to call the police. I get the gun and I go outside and I come into the doorway and now, by this time, they are in the driveway, back here near the house. I tell them, you know, ‘Can you please leave?’ Grier said.

Grier said the five men dared him to use the gun; and that their shouts brought another larger group of gang members in front of his house.

“He starts threatening my family, my life. ‘Oh you’re dead. I’m gonna kill your family and your babies. You’re dead.’ So when he says that, 20 others guys come rushing around the corner. And so I fired four warning shots into the grass,” Grier said.

The rifle in question was an AK-47, which he owned legally; however he was arrested on charges of endangerment, since he apparently didn't see a gun in the hands of any of the gang members before firing.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

AARP and alternatives, Part II

I wrote a post some time ago on the dissatisfaction that many older conservatives have with AARP, primarily involving AARP's adoption of much of the progressive agenda, but also including kickbacks from companies wishing to use the AARP brand. Here are a few alternative organizations:

The 60 Plus Association, founded in 1992, seems to be the oldest group touting itself as a conservative alternative to AARP (which was founded itself in 1958).

The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC), founded in 2007, and the American Seniors Association, founded in 2005 also claim to offer many of the same benefits as AARP offers, such as discounts, travel packages, and group insurance.

I haven't personally dealt with any of these groups, nor have any relatives who I've talked to, so I'd be interested to hear from anyone who's had personal experience, or from other groups I've missed.