Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Did Obama Do All He Could To Prevent Wikileaks??

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In WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton, and the Smoking Gun, in Slate, Jack Shafer explores some of the damage done to Obama's current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. As readers of this blog know and many others suspect, Hillary will probably be Obama's number one opponent in the 2012 primaries. So does this leak help or harm Hillary in 2012?

To be fair to Clinton, she isn't the first secretary of state to issue cables telling U.S. foreign service officers to spy on other diplomats...

...But what makes Clinton's sleuthing unique is the paper trail that documents her spying-on-their-diplomats-with-our-diplomat orders, a paper trail that is now being splashed around the world on the Web and printed in top newspapers. No matter what sort of noises Clinton makes about how the disclosures are "an attack on America" and "the international community," as she did today, she's become the issue. She'll never be an effective negotiator with diplomats who refuse to forgive her exuberances, and even foreign diplomats who do forgive her will still regard her as the symbol of an overreaching United States. Diplomacy is about face, and the only way for other nations to save face will be to give them Clinton's scalp.

My contention was that Hillary would stick with Obama, at lest nominally, until some "crisis of conscience" caused her to resign. (Failing a major conscience crisis, she could cite the cumulative effect of many smaller crises.) End game: Hillary takes a moral stand for the good of the party and is "forced" to run against Obama in 2012.
What if this wikileaks business is an attempt to force her out before she can bring her plans to fruition? By weakening her as Sec State, she is also weakened as a potential Commander-in-Chief. Damaging her with our allies, damages her as presidential material.

The damage these revelations have caused is summed up by Shafer thusly:

There is no way that the new WikiLeaks leaks don't leave Hillary Clinton holding the smoking gun. The time for her departure may come next week or next month, but sooner or later, the weakened and humiliated secretary of state will have to pay.

So, in light of the fact that the first round of wikileaks during the Obama administration cast Bush and the military in a bad light, and the second round seems to do the same for the State Department, whose titular head is a likely opponent in 2012, is it any surprise that an administration that without warning, shut down more than 70 websites for sharing music and movies cannot left a finger to stop the leaks of classified government documents by wikileaks?

Could it be that the administration had assurances if not advanced knowledge of what was going to be released, and if not complicit, was at least passive to their leaking?

H/T Memeorandum

Cross posted at LCR, Say Anything.

Headline du jour

Man arrested after ejaculating during TSA pat-down

Eww! I don't guess it would be appropriate to say "TSA gives you a lift"?

H/T Jawa Report

Obama Recycles! (Republican Ideas)

Willie Sutton said he robbed banks because "that's where the money is". With that in mind, I give you Barack Hussein Obama:

And I’m going to be interested in hearing ideas from my Republican colleagues, as well as Democrats, about how we continue to grow the economy and how we put people back to work.

Of course he is interested in hearing Republican ideas. How else can he steal appropriate them for his own? TPM puts it this way:

President Obama proposed a two year freeze on federal employee compensation today, just ahead of a Tuesday post-election meeting with the GOP leaders. The proposal was originally put forward by Republicans in recent months -- and slammed by Democrats.

How is such a proposal greeted by Democrats when a Republican suggests it?

On the Senate floor in June, now-retired Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-DE) whacked a Republican amendment that would have frozen federal pay as an "assault" against "those who choose to serve."

"Now is not the time to talk about laying off federal workers, or freezing their pay," he said.

So, Republicans suggest a pay freeze and it's an "assault", Obama proposes one and it's "fiscal responsibility"? Yeah. Right.

In a stunning bit of hypocrisy, Obama set forth little one liners like:
It also means making sure that in the future we’re not dragged down by long-term debt.

No one has created as much long term debt for this country in so little time as the current Spendthrift-in-Chief. I guess that's why he puts it "in the future", because in the present, he's the King of the long term debt!

Going forward, we’re going to have to make some additional very tough decisions that this town has put off for a very long time
Too funny! Considering that his own party was blasting the Republicans for this very idea just a few months ago. Oh, yeah! The town has been putting it off! It's your town, Mr. Obama. You and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have been running it (into the ground) for the last two years. The Democrats have been spending like drunken sailors for two years and now that they've maxed out the country's credit cards, now you say we need to exercise fiscal responsibility? I'd say your "chickens were coming home to roost", Mr. Obama, but that would only remind people of another time you weren't paying enough attention!

H/T Memeorandum

Quote du jour

“Success is when all the right people hate you.”

-Ed Morrissey

Monday, November 29, 2010

Two Things Made Flying Safer - The Rest is Security Theater

In "A Waste of Money and Time", security technologist Bruce Schneier speaks plainly about the problem with airline security. They say that generals are often guilty of preparing to fight the last war. Airport security seems to follow that same pattern:

A short history of airport security: We screen for guns and bombs, so the terrorists use box cutters. We confiscate box cutters and corkscrews, so they put explosives in their sneakers. We screen footwear, so they try to use liquids. We confiscate liquids, so they put PETN bombs in their underwear. We roll out full-body scanners, even though they wouldn’t have caught the Underwear Bomber, so they put a bomb in a printer cartridge. We ban printer cartridges over 16 ounces — the level of magical thinking here is amazing — and they’re going to do something else.

Otherwise known as reactive measures. What are needed are proactive measures, which need to be directed at the bombers and not the bombs.

...Our security measures only work if we happen to guess the plot correctly. If we get it wrong, we’ve wasted our money. This isn’t security; it’s security theater.

Security theater. Playing a part to make people feel safer about flying, when in fact, very little of the efforts actually make anyone safer.

...Exactly two things have made airplane travel safer since 9/11: reinforcing the cockpit door, and convincing passengers they need to fight back. Everything else has been a waste of money. Add screening of checked bags and airport workers and we’re done. Take all the rest of the money and spend it on investigation and intelligence.

Read the whole thing. Think about what tremendous amounts of money we waste for minimal gains. Then, think of the erosion of rights and dignity it costs us in addition to our treasure. Then consider letting your elected officials know what you really think.

H/T Say Anything

The Selectively Leaky New York Times

There's an excellent little piece over at Powerline about how the NYT puffed itself up with righteous indignation about not publishing the Climategate emails because they were "illegally obtained" and their absolute eagerness to publish stolen State Department cables that were facilitated by WikiLeaks.

Can you say..."hypocrisy"?

H/T Memeorandum

"I'll Have What She's Having."

Remember that line from When Harry Met Sally? Apparently, merchandisers think along the same lines. Think of this as the anti-PETA campaign! Me? I'll have what she's having!

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And cake for dessert?

Quote du jour

Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.

-Mark Twain

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leslie Nielsen- R I P

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A leading man type in the fifties, star of many a detective story*, Leslie Nielsen turned to comedy in the 1980's and the world has been a funnier place ever since. I haven't quoted from a Leslie Nielsen line since...earlier this morning. And don't call me Shirley! Rest in peace, Mr. Nielsen!

H/T Eye of Polyphemus

* I was an extra in a Leslie Nielsen made-for-TV movie once. My claim to fame!

"11 Foreign Countries Wage War Against Arizona and American Sovereignty"

Maggie's Notebook has this video about the potential interference of adjudicating Arizona's border enforcement law by foreign nations and the seeming complicity of Eric Holder and the oxymoronically named Obama justice department.

Though the video's headline speaks of "impeaching" Obama. I am not ready to go that far. But it does seem as if the only way to rid ourselves of this biased and perhaps incompetent Attorney General Eric Holder is to fire his boss.

Cross posted at LCR, Lady Cincinnatus .

"Giving Money to the Very Rich" - the Liberal Mindset on Display

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On Fox News Sunday this AM, Juan Williams displayed the typical liberal mindset concerning government taxation: It's their money.
If you earn or possess money or other assets in any way, it's because the government, in their beneficent mercy, allowed you to keep it. Senator Claire McCaskill was on FNS as well, touting the same line, just not in such short compass as Mr. Williams.

How, the convoluted lexicon of liberalspeak, did "not taking from" ever equal a "gift"? If the Bush tax cuts are extended, the government is not "giving" anything to anyone. They are just taking at the same rate they did before. For the sake of accuracy, it was the Democrats who forced the sunset provision in the Bush Tax Cuts in the first place, and this administration, who are cheerleaders for letting the tax cuts expire, will be responsible for what should properly be characterized as the "Obama Tax Increases".

Since a tax increase "on the rich" will play well to Obama's base, Democrats think this bit of class envy will give them a populist cachet. But, let's change the currency for a moment, shall we? Many parents speak of their children as a "treasure". Let's apply liberal taxspeak to child rearing:

First, if you have more than two children, the government will "give" you two of them. It's not "fair" for you to have more than two while some people have none at all. So, two of the children you already have will be "given" to you by the government, and any others, for the sake of fairness, will be redistributed. (It may be that some of those without children wouldn't want to take any, but they have to. It's only "fair"!)

Allowing people to keep more of what they earn is not "giving" them anything at all. All this is aside from the argument about taxing gross income, rather than net income, which the libs like to gloss over. A small business with a gross income of $250,000 will not take home anywhere near that much. If they invest money back into the business or hold back reserves (or at least try to) to meet payroll for their employees when revenues are down, they take home even less.

Ask yourself, who is going to employ more people? A business grossing $250,000 or a business grossing $1,000,000? Why take money out of the hands of the people who create the most jobs? Then ask yourself, is the government better suited to direct wealth to create solid, self sustaining jobs with a minimum of waste, fraud and abuse or the private sector? Rather than address the fact that these taxes (and new regulations) will impact small businesses hard, Democrats are focusing on class envy.

But, for now, I'd settle for getting rid of the Orwellian Newspeak that allowing people to keep more of what they earn is "giving money" to them. It's only fair...

Cross posted at LCR.

Home Alone in Portland

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Probably the product of a poor childhood. Mohammad Culkin stars.

Quote du Jour

“Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Simon Says Obama gets "Street Cred" for Busted Lip

NPR, (No Penetrating Reporting), is really outdoing themselves over the Obama Smash Mouth incident. They're saying it might give Obama some "street cred" in dealing with foreign policy. First, Scott Simon starts by sounding like he is mocking Obama (and rightly so) for the number of stitches for such a small injury:

I'm not sure that Joe Frazier needed 12 stitches after the Thrilla in Manila, though the White House stressed that a smaller filament was used, which increases the number of stitches, but leaves a smaller scar.

Then he launches into an Onionesque imagining:

I wonder if having a larger scar wouldn't actually fortify President Obama's profile, as he contends with Kim Jong Il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Vladimir Putin. Imagine a president with a gnarly, vivid scar telling the rulers of China, "Nice country ya' got here. I'd hate to see something happen to it if you didn't stop foolin' around with the value of your currency. Know what I mean?"

Please tell me this guy is kidding, right? Street cred off an amateur sports injury? This guy Simon must be smoking the good stuff!

I would say that it is exactly the opposite. Obama gets hit in the mouth and at the first sign of a little pain, he goes home. The street cred would have come in, had he kept playing through the pain.

This reminded me of what I have formulated as the
Three Reasons A Guy Goes to the Hospital

1.) Uncontrollable bleeding. It makes a mess and it's like oil...if you don't have a certain amount in the crankcase, something bad is going to happen.

2.) Bones protruding through skin. This may be accompanied by #1. Unsightly and usually painful

3.) Unexplained loss of consciousness. Technically, this isn't a reason you go, but a reason why your buddies might take you.

That's it. Only three reasons. Poor Obama's busted lip wasn't one of them.

Street cred would have said, "Suck it up, Mr. President". Not. "Ooh! Do you think that will leave a mark?"

More at Say Anything
H/T memeorandum

A Little Saturday Night Music

"Under the Sea"

19 Yr. Old Somali Born Man Apprehended in Portland Bomb Plot

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But don't even think about ever profiling guys like this!
BTW, That's not a Star of David, that's the Multnomah Co. Sheriff's star!

The FBI thwarted an attempted terrorist bombing in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square before the city's annual tree-lighting Friday night, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Oregon.

A Corvallis man, thinking he was going to ignite a bomb, drove a van to the corner of the square at Southwest Yamhill Street and Sixth Avenue and attempted to detonate it.

However, the supposed explosive was a dummy that FBI operatives supplied to him, according to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint signed Friday night by U.S. Magistrate Judge John V. Acosta.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, a Somali-born U.S. citizen, was arrested at 5:42 p.m., 18 minutes before the tree lighting was to occur, on an accusation of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. The felony charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

My first thought, when I heard about a plot to blow up a tree lighting ceremony in Portland was "a disgruntled Lutheran choir boy". Then I considered elderly "Nuns with Guns". Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was a 19 yr. old, Somali born man with two forms of the name "Muhammad" in his name!

And to top it off, he is apparently one of the Osmond brothers! FBI agents are descending on Salt Lake City even as we speak!

H/T memeorandum

Cross posted at LCR.

Saturday Linkaround

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TSA Groping and Obama's Black Revenge Narrative

Unscripted Questions And No Teleprompter Cause Our President To Look Befuddled

Democracy: Use It or Lose It

A Lost Thanksgiving Lesson

Report: Clinton and Obama Pulled 'Bait and Switch' on Netanyahu

Bankrupting America

Sarah Palin: A Thanksgiving Message to All 57 States…

Polling Numbers Point to Obama’s Defeat in 2012

‘Year of the Pro-Life Woman’

Obama and Holder and Their Massive Failure to Think

Thank Heaven for Victor Davis Hanson

Department of Homeland Security cracking down on Internet?

Rule Five Roundup*:

This Week’s Sign Of The Apocalypse –Support your local Gunfighter

Rule Five News –Camp of the Saints

Veronika Zemanova, Christina Aguilera –Mind Numbed Robot

Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup, Tori Black dancing –Pirates Cove

Friday Pin up -Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Friday Night Babe – Cobie Smulders

Vintage Babe of the Week – Lucille Ball

Bikini babe Nicola McLean –Last Tradition

With special thanks to Glenn Reynolds and Instapundit for this week’s Instalanche, and Memeorandum and Linkiest for the link love, and everyone else that linked this week. Thanks!

*By no means comprehensive.

Use the comments as an open thread on any of these topics.

Government Regulations Destroy Small Businesses

Here is a very sad and moving bit of video from the site Bankrupting America, about the chilling aspects of more and more government bureaucracy.

H/T Roger's Rules

Smash Mouth Politics? Obama Gets 12 Stitches!

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No, it wasn't smash mouth politics? It was a pickup basketball game that earned Obama 12 Stitches.

President Barack Obama received 12 stitches Friday after being inadvertently hit with an opposing player's elbow in the lip while playing basketball with friends and family

The culprit (or hero to half America) is Rey Decerega, director of programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

We say this just in case Ray is somehow never seen or heard from again*!

*Closed Captioning for the Humor Impaired: It's a joke!

Cross posted at LCR, Say Anything.

Quote du jour

New TSA pickup line: "I'd like to see more of you!"

(Points to scanner)


Friday, November 26, 2010

In for a Penny: Let's put Reagan on the Dollar Coin, Now

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My new friend fleece me over at his eponymously named blog, got me to thinking about one of my minor pet peeves: The penny.
People give them to you in change. They drop them on the street and don't bother to pick them up because, it's just a penny! I get rid of mine as fast as I can.
One reason is, aside from the fact that they are practically worthless, is that is costs the government more to make than it is worth! Government efficiency at its finest!

Back in 2006:
The Mint estimates it will cost 1.23 cents per penny... which ends Sept. 30 [2006]. The cost of producing a penny has risen 27% in the last year...

Stop making pennies! Force everyone to either round up or round down to the nearest nickle. I think some consumers wrongly fear that this will just cause everything to cost more: one or two cents will be added to every purchase. Knowing the psychology of marketing, it's more likely that this would save consumers a few pennies on most items, since instead of rounding everything up from 9.99, 99.99, etc., merchandisers would round prices down to 9.95, 99.95, etc.

When you stop making them, pennies become largely collectors' items. Like Bradford plates, only smaller. People will tuck them away with dreams of the nickles they will someday reap!

Another objection is that when we stop making pennies, we displace one of our most beloved presidents, Abe Lincoln, from the realm of coinage. So, let's put Lincoln on the dime. I know that we would be bumping off FDR, but FDR bumped off the Mercury head, so his time has run as well! There was some talk about putting Reagan on the dime, but what if Reagan were destined for greater things?

One of the problems in getting the public to accept the quarter sized dollar coins, which outcast and are therefore cheaper to make and maintain than paper dollars, was the choice of the visage thereon: the hatchet faced Susan B. Anthony, who did many good things, but whose face could split green oak, and Sacagawea, who also did good things, but most people weren't even sure how to pronounce her name, much less celebrate her life.

There is a Reagan dollar coming up in 2016 as part of the Presidential Dollar coin series. We should let Reagan jump the line and start minting the Reagan coin right away. Those of us who honor The Gipper should keep these coins in circulation and make them the success that dollar coins that have gone before couldn't achieve. Let's spend one for The Gipper!

And for heaven's sake, get rid of those pennies!

Friday Night Babe

Tonight's FNB* is Cobie Smulders!

(*a.k.a. Rule Five Friday)

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TSA Worker Accused Of Assault Had Prior Record

It's good to know you're being felt up by professionals!

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ATLANTA -- Channel 2 Action News has learned a TSA security worker accused of abducting and sexually assaulting a woman had previously been convicted of misdemeanor harassment and stalking.

Randall King remains hospitalized following a suicide attempt. Police said last Wednesday, King agreed to drive a woman home from the airport. Instead, investigators said King took her to a MARTA station parking lot and placed novelty handcuffs on her.

Investigators said he drove her 50 miles away to his home in Troup County and sexually assaulted her. The woman told police that King gave her a suicide note, his car and let her go, investigators said.

Forget "Fly the Friendly Skies"! The airport is where all the action is!

H/T Memeorandum

Cross posted at LCR, Say Anything.

77 Year Old Mexican Rancher Killed Standing up to Cartel

This is an amazing story.
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The story began in the morning of Saturday November 13, when a group of armed gunmen went to deliver an ultimatum to Don Alejo Garza Tamez: He had 24 hours to turn over his property or suffer the consequences.

Using the diplomacy he had acquired over nearly eight decades of life, Don Alejo flatly announced that not only would he not be surrendering his property, but that he’d be waiting for them.

When the men had left, Don Alejo gathered his workers and ordered them to take Sunday off, he wanted to be alone.

He dedicated the rest of Saturday to taking stock of his weapons and ammunition and creating a military fortress style defense strategy for his home.

Seventy seven years old and a man to be reckoned with, Don Alejo was ready to fight or die defending his property and his way of life.

The night of Saturday the thirteenth was long and restless, much like his past hunting adventures; Don Alejo woke early. Shortly after 4 a.m. the motors of various trucks could be heard entering the property from a distance.

Marines who investigated the scene could only imagine how it was that morning: armed men, their impunity secured, confident they’d soon be owners of yet another property. Nobody, or almost no one, could hold out against a group of heavily armed gunmen. Only Don Alejo.

The trucks entered the ranch and took up positions surrounding the house. The gunmen got out of their trucks, fired shots in the air, and announced they came to take possession of the ranch. They were expecting the terrified occupants to run out, begging for mercy with their hands in the air.

But things didn’t go as expected. Don Alejo welcomed them with bullets; the entire army of gunmen returned fire. Don Alejo seemed to multiply, he seemed to be everywhere. The minutes would have seemed endless to those who had seen him as easy prey. Various gunmen were killed on sight. The others, in rage and frustration, intensified the attack by swapping out their assault rifles for grenades.

When everything finally fell silent, the air was left heavy with gunpowder. The holes left in the walls and the windows attested to the violence of the attack. When they went in search of what they had assumed was a large contingent, they were surprised to find only one man, Don Alejo.

The surviving gunmen did not take over the ranch. Thinking the military would arrive at any moment, they decided to run. They left behind what they thought were six corpses, but two of their gunmen had survived.

Shortly after, the Marines arrived and methodically reconstructed the events. A lone rancher, a man who worked a lifetime to be able to enjoy the fruits of his labor such as his ranch, had defended it to his death.

Here is one man, willing to give up his life to defend what was rightfully his. Compare this to our current border situation where we put up signs miles from the border warning US citizens to keep out, letting thieves and criminals and, yes, the drug cartel, take virtual possession of land that is ours, because the government has neither the will, nor the cojones of a Don Alejo to stand up and refuse to be intimidated by threats of violence.

Whoever our next president is in 2013, let's send him (or her) a copy of what Don Alejo Garza Tamez was willing to do to protect his home and ask when we are going to find the cojones to do the same?

Read more at Pat Dollard

Cross posted at LCR, Lady Cincinnatus , Say Anything.

Quote du jour

"An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered."


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Another Bikini Clad Traveler for TSA

Travelers? Hold out for dinner and a movie!

More at The Last Tradition

Happy Thanksgiving!

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May your Thanksgiving be loaded for blessing. Hope you're spending the holiday with family and friends.

Quote du jour

I think [President Obama] does have an animus toward Israel, and I think that animus is causing him to act in ways that are damaging – not only to his own political position, but damaging to American national interests, and ultimately that goes to the question of Iran. It is in America’s national interest to prevent Iran from having a bomb. It is in Israel’s national interest. America and Israel have a common national interest here, but so does Egypt, so does Saudi Arabia, so does Austria and Hungary and Kosovo and India and the rest of the world.
-John Podhoretz

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Medal of Honor

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Staff Sergeant Paul. J. Wiedorfer


He alone made it possible for his company to advance until its objective was seized. Company G had cleared a wooded area of snipers, and 1 platoon was advancing across an open clearing toward another wood when it was met by heavy machinegun fire from 2 German positions dug in at the edge of the second wood. These positions were flanked by enemy riflemen. The platoon took cover behind a small ridge approximately 40 yards from the enemy position. There was no other available protection and the entire platoon was pinned down by the German fire. It was about noon and the day was clear, but the terrain extremely difficult due to a 3-inch snowfall the night before over ice-covered ground. Pvt. Wiedorfer, realizing that the platoon advance could not continue until the 2 enemy machinegun nests were destroyed, voluntarily charged alone across the slippery open ground with no protecting cover of any kind. Running in a crouched position, under a hail of enemy fire, he slipped and fell in the snow, but quickly rose and continued forward with the enemy concentrating automatic and small-arms fire on him as he advanced. Miraculously escaping injury, Pvt. Wiedorfer reached a point some 10 yards from the first machinegun emplacement and hurled a handgrenade into it. With his rifle he killed the remaining Germans, and, without hesitation, wheeled to the right and attacked the second emplacement. One of the enemy was wounded by his fire and the other 6 immediately surrendered. This heroic action by 1 man enabled the platoon to advance from behind its protecting ridge and continue successfully to reach its objective. A few minutes later, when both the platoon leader and the platoon sergeant were wounded, Pvt. Wiedorfer assumed command of the platoon, leading it forward with inspired energy until the mission was accomplished.

Staff Sgt. Wiedorfer: We humbly salute you and thank you for your service.

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Hat tip Home of Heroes

There are fewer than a hundred living MoH recipients today. Their names and their stories should not be forgotten. My mission is to honor one of those heroes here each week, and salute them for their courage and sacrifice. In the words of John Fitzgerald Kennedy:
“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors; the men it remembers.”

Cross posted at Say Anything

Rule Five: Topless Ukrainian Protest

Is it just my imagination, or are the Ukrainian topless protesters more attractive than most topless protesters in the US? Like the "missile gap" of the sixties, I think we have a "pulchritude gap" that needs to be addressed at the earliest possible moment. I hear former President Bill Clinton might be available to look into it?

"TSA Agents Singled Me Out For My Breasts"

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TSA agent on the right

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The head of the Transportation Security Administration said the agency will look further into allegations that two male TSA workers picked a woman for additional screening because of her breasts.

Eliana Sutherland recently flew from Orlando International Airport and told Local 6 she felt the two male TSA workers were staring at her breasts and chose her for additional screening because of their size.

"It was pretty obvious. One of the guys that was staring me up and down was the one who pulled me over," said Sutherland. "Not a comfortable feeling."

I'm afraid that a combination of the sexual aspects and the distaste shown by passengers and TSA agents alike over getting down and personal with the passengers is causing everyone to lose focus on the real issue of security. If TSA agents are focusing on the size of some girl's hooters or alternately being repulsed by the excess flab and hygiene issues of others, is it still possible to remember why they were doing it in the first place? There's a bit of video out with one of the guys from Mythbusters who went the the full body grope, only to board his flight with two twelve inch razor blades. How's that Grope and Change working out for you?

When was the last time you saw a caper movie/cop movie/war movie/buddy movie where in order to get something done, they "needed a diversion"? Distractions work as well as diversions. If you're not paying full attention, you're not paying attention.
Time to end the distractions.

Stock and trade of the illusionist is misdirection: Look over here so you won't see what I'm doing over there. With everyone focused on the thighs and crotches of the traveling public, I'm afraid the next "rabbit pulled out of the hat" will result in tragedy.

H/T Threedonia

TSA Hammer

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Quote du jour

"Joe Biden.” With the exception of “broken teleprompter,” these are the scariest two words in the White House communications shop.

-Jonah Goldberg

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The End of My Academic Career

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This post will be autobiographical in part, so all you news junkies feel free to skip over it, if you will. I generally chart the End of My Academic Career to coincide with my family's move to California. I had just concluded the seventh grade in southern Indiana and was doing rather well in school. I was a B+ student, had done well in science and on what passes for a "final exam" in math, I scored a perfect 100%. Didn't miss a single question. (Redundancy is a sort of closed captioning for liberals.)

And with the freshness and naïveté that comes with youth, I expected the next grade would automatically be more challenging and fitted to my learning needs by educational professionals. Welcome to California!

My eighth grade math class in California started out with a proficiency test. The teacher wanted to see how much we knew. I distinctly remember one of the questions on the test, because it was marked "wrong" when I got my test back. Here's the question and the reasoning for my answer:

What is 16 divided by 3?
We hadn't been given any explicit instructions on the test, so I only took it out to two decimals. 16 divided by 3 = 5.33 Right?
The math teacher herself couldn't be expected to grade all those tests. I mean, after all, there must have been thirty of us! So, that was delegated to one of my peers, who was handed an answer sheet, with the instruction to mark as incorrect any answer that didn't match. (The "correct" answer was "five remainder one".) That year, I didn't have any homework that I did not finish in class.

Second was the problem of science class. Here I knew I was in the wrong place. I mentioned to the Powers That Be that I had already taken the science course they appeared to be presenting, the year before. So, there was a question of what to do with me during that period. The second step off my ladder to academic excellence was in their solution: Art class.

Not just any art class, though. I was placed in a "School Service Art" class. In addition to teaching us to draw and paint and sculpt...we decorated the gym for dances. Many an hour while my contemporaries were slaving over their texts, my classmates and I were roaming the halls between our classroom and the gym taking our "school service" to heart! Add to this, the fact that this was the only academic class that combined students from both the eight and ninth grade, and here I was learning the basics of the California school system with a bunch of older kids and, let's face it, one didn't take "School Service Art" if one were on the honors track to Stanford!

I say this, not to lay blame on anyone for what was to become the shipwreck of my serious academic career. The responsibility for that lay squarely upon my young shoulders. Though I had never had my feet so firmly planted on the path of least resistance, I could have brought it to my math teacher's attention that the person grading the tests ought to be at least as smart as the one taking them. But I was "the new kid" in a strange school and trying to fit in. So I did. But, I lost some of that "gung ho" attitude I'd had towards learning.

I think of this experience sometimes when I hear older people defending the public school system. They remember their own experience and being removed from the reality of what it has become, defend what they experienced, as if it were the same thing.
Unfortunately, the schools have deteriorated even from my day, and one could say they were lacking then.

One small instance: My older siblings and I are separated by three and five years. When my sister went to high school, Latin was a required subject. (She also took French.) A couple years and half a continent later, when my brother went to high school, Latin was an elective. By the time I got to high school, it was a rarity. Today, I doubt there are few if any Latin classes in public high schools. And please don't tell me if they are absent from private schools, because I am depressed enough already!

My parents trusted the schools to do the right thing for me and I suppose, I did too. And there were no outward signs that my academic career had been side tracked. I didn't turn out so terribly bad, but I was certainly different than I would have been, had I remained more disciplined in my studies.

No regrets, but I remember when I was a very small child, single digit of age, when I thought to myself that along with above average intelligence came the obligation to do important stuff like cure cancer.
I never did that.

"TSA: It's Our Business to Touch Yours" -SNL


H/T Threedonia

Quote du jour

“Democrats got their asses handed to them like somebody getting outpatient liposuction surgery. Paybacks are a Behar.”

-Dennis Miller on the midterm elections

Monday, November 22, 2010

Analyst: TSA methods 'will kill more Americans on highway'

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Coffee, tea or...?

Echoing a thought I've had recently, but not yet voiced, about the comparative safety of driving and flying, a couple of experts have weighed in on some "unintended consequences" of the TSA's new scan and grope routines, which they say will be a tipping point for some in putting them back on the highways rather than in the "friendly skies".

As the nation readies for one of the busiest traveling holidays, Steven Horwitz, a professor of economics at St. Lawrence University, told The Hill that the probable spike in road travel, caused by adverse feelings towards the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) new screening procedures, could also lead to more car-related deaths.

“Driving is much more dangerous than flying, as you are far more likely to be killed in an automobile accident mile-for-mile than you are in an airplane,” said Horwitz. “The result will be that the new TSA procedures will kill more Americans on the highway.”

Clifford Winston, a senior fellow of economic studies at the Brookings Institute, stopped short of saying that more people could die as a result of the TSA policies, but said that the airline industry will definitely see a decline in passengers if the public’s contempt for the pat-downs and advanced-imaging technology systems continues.

And statistically, more people will die if the miles driven increases and sky miles decrease. But, hey! What are a few more dead people compared to the opportunity to grope some hot co-ed or strip search a child or a nun?

H/T WC Varones

Cross posted at LCR, Say Anything.

November 22, 1963 - In Remembrance

From the archives (updated):

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Today marks the 47th anniversary of the passing of a great man. One who left his mark on his country and his culture. One who is still quoted to this day. On November 22, 1963, the world little noted his passing in the shock and outpouring of grief over the assassination of JFK. That man was Clive Staple Lewis…oddly enough, like JFK, ”Jack” to his friends.

C. S. Lewis, author of The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity and The Chronicles of Narnia, was a contemporary and friend of J. R. R. Tolkien. He was also an atheist who came to Christianity, in his own words, “kicking and screaming”, who became one of its strongest apologists.

You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.
-Surprised by Joy

His books have been translated into dozens of languages and sold millions of copies over the years. Anthony Hopkins portrayed him in the movie Shadowlands (1993), the story of his romance with American poet Joy Gresham, who died of cancer a mere handful of years after they met.

His life was rich and varied. His sorrows deep and vast. His legacy is enduring.

In our remembrance of those who passed this day, one might do well to remember what can be accomplished with just a pair of Jacks!

Poll: 81% of Americans Support Use of Full Body Scanners

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Wonder if 81% of these people would agree?

According to an AP story, which I would link to if it wasn't the AP, CBS conducted a poll in early November, which found that 81 percent of Americans support TSA using full-body scanners at airports. Not surprisingly, TSA touts this poll on their TSA blog.

The population of the US, as of July 2009, was 307,006,550. For the math impaired, 81% would be around 248 million people. Obviously, they used a sample, or they'd still be asking the questions. So that leaves about 58 million of us malcontents or skeptics who believe there must be a better way or haven't made up their minds.

The pertinent data that I believe is missing from the poll would be what percentage of those people who are frequent fliers support them? Infrequent fliers? Non-fliers?

It may be that a large percentage of the people in that 81% seldom, if ever, fly. I'd be curious to know what percentage of people may have supported the use of the scanners, knowing it would not affect them personally?

H/T Pat Dollard

Cross posted at LCR, Say Anything.

Quote du jour

Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.

-C.S. Lewis

Sunday, November 21, 2010

TSA: Terrible Screening Activities

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From San Diego, the airport that brought you "Don't Touch My Junk", brings the sequel: "Don't Show us, We'd Rather Feel For Ourselves".

Sam Wolanyk says he was asked to pass through the 3-D x-ray machine. When Wolanyk refused, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel told him he would have to be patted down before he could pass through and board his airplane.

Wolanyk said he knew what was coming and took off his pants and shirt, leaving him in Calvin Klein bike undergarments.

“It was obvious that my underwear left nothing to the imagination,” he explained. “But that wasn’t enough for the TSA supervisor who was called to the scene and asked me to put my clothes on so I could be properly patted down.”

"asked me to put my clothes on so I could be properly patted down.”

Excuse me, but isn't the purpose of the pat down to ascertain that nothing harmful to the flight is hidden under a person's clothes? If virtually everything is in full view, the pat down should go a lot quicker. "Put your clothes on so we can pat you to see if there's anything under them"? That makes no sense. This is security kabuki and this passenger was improvising on his part. Handcuffing a guy and frog marching him through the airport for ostensibly making the screener's job easier? Unbelievable!

More at Gateway Pundit

Cross posted at LCR, Say Anything.

The Defenders - Rule Five

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I don't watch a great deal of TV, but this is one program I have enjoyed. No deathless prose, just good, mildly amusing entertainment. Jim Belushi seems a better fit for this role than some of what he's done before.

(And how could I pass up such a great Rule Five poster?)

Quote du jour

This time you have gone too far, Big Bro'. The sleeping giant awakes. Take my shoes, remove my belt, waste my time and try my patience. But don't touch my junk.

-Charles Krauthammer

Saturday, November 20, 2010


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She's come a long way from Barbarella...
I'll leave you to decide which is worse, the hair or the outfit?
Does Mr. Blackwell still have his Ten Worst Dressed list?

New! Proof Positive Travel Burkas

I've been hearing that CAIR, The Council on American Islamic Relations, has been asking that Muslim women be allowed to bypass both the intrusive scanners and the enhanced pat downs.

If this is true, I see a huge marketing opportunity here! Frequent flyers? To breeze through airport security, I give you the Proof Positive Travel Burka! $19.95 (plus s+h) in two stylish colors!

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And just so you men don't feel left out, we have the burkas in XXL, and for an additional $9.95, we provide the following ID card:

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A Little Saturday Night Music

Matt White "love"

Alan Grayson's Classless Class Envy

First: When he says "Extend the President Obama tax cuts", he's lying. Obama is only presiding over tax increases. The argument is over how many people's taxes he raises. Not raising your taxes from what they are now is not a "cut".

Second, The "Bush tax cuts" were for the lower and middle class, too, not just the wealthy.

Last, couldn't he find any $600 sneakers for the wealthy to buy? Trips to Spain or India? How much to rent the entire Taj Mahal Hotel?

Thank you, soon to be ex-Rep. Alan Grayson for the view from your colon.

Video via The last Tradition

Saturday Linkaround

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Schadenfreude: Dem Civil War Moves Beyond Nancy Pelosi

Party Crashers Run Over Marine Hero in Pickup Truck & Fracture His Skull at Coming Home Party

Reminder: The ADL Has Dishonestly Smeared Glenn Beck Before

Secret Ballot Protection Wins Big in Four States

Cody Alicea Gets Motorcycle Escort

Full Frontal Nudity Doesn’t Make Us Safer: Abolish the TSA

Warning to Reid on Lame Duck Confirmations

'Refudiate' Now a Real Word; 'Corpseman' Still Not

The Two Most Dangerous Men in America?

Obama Policies Force Another 700,000 Seniors to Switch Health Providers

Rule Five Roundup*:

Polish Singer Introduces Bikini Politics –Support your local Gunfighter

Rule Five News –Camp of the Saints

Rule Five Friday –Mind Numbed Robot

Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup –Pirates Cove

Friday Night Babe –

Facebook: Man Gets Four Months In Jail For Revenge Posting Of Ex-Girlfriend Naked (NSFW) –Pat Dollard

'I Want to Change the World and Help People Solve Problems' –Jammie Wearing Fool

Vintage Babe of the Week – Bettie Page

Kayla Collins bikini shots is cut out of I’m a Celebrity –Last Tradition

Friday Pinup – In a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

*By no means comprehensive.

Use the comments as an open thread on any of these topics.

Cross Posted at Say Anything

Quote du jour

Only the government would consider it a success to buy stock at $43.84 a share and sell it at $33. -- But President Obama and those who supported his bailout of General Motors and Chrysler are claiming just that today.

-John Lott

Friday, November 19, 2010

Scanners for Thee, but not for Me!

What might change the administration's stance on scanners:

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Friday Night Babe

Tonight's FNB* is Candace Swanepoel!
(*a.k.a. Rule Five Friday)

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A Tale of Four Tax Cheats

One of these four men is going to jail for three years for not paying his taxes.
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(The other three are politicians.)

Update: Special thanks to Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit for the link!

Krauthammer on the Folly of Trials of Terrorists in Civilian Courts

Krauthammer speaks of the "high protection" afforded to American citizens under the Constitution. These protections were never intended to be extended to illegal combatants who kill Americans and attempt to undermine our nation.

Anyone else get the impression that choosing Eric Holder, who once worked for a law firm providing pro bono defense for terrorists, to prosecute the terrorists, might not have been the best judgment here?

Video via American Glob

Quote du jour

"Don't retreat. Just reload."

-Sarah Palin

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"If Hillary gave up one of her balls and gave it to Obama..."

"... he’d have two."

-James Carville

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The 2012 campaign continues apace.

H/T Memeorandum

Is Jay Rockefeller Married to Anyone Who Might Profit from an FCC Muzzle on Fox and MSNBC?

A wonderful touch of irony hypocrisy to follow up on LCR's piece on Jay Rockefeller wanting to silence Fox and MSNBC. Turns out his wife is heavy into public broadcasting. Can you say, "Conflict of interest"?

Sharon Percy Rockefeller has served the public broadcasting community for more than 25 years as a leader and policymaker. She has been president and CEO of WETA, Washington, D.C.’s flagship public television and radio stations, since 1989. She continues to guide WETA to outstanding accomplishments in broadcasting and production. Before assuming the top post at WETA, she was a member of WETA’s Board of Trustees for seven years and a member of the board of directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for 12 years, including four years as chairman. In 2006, Rockefeller was elected to the PBS Board of Directors for her fifth term.

H/T Mark Levin

Cross posted at LCR.

TSA Demotivators

Pirate's Cove is doing TSA Demotivators. Here's mine:
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(VIDEO) Lou Ferrigno, aka the "Incredible Hulk" Joins Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Immigration Posse

by the Left Coast Rebel

Hat tip Hot Air Pundit:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

HAP writes:

By the way, it looks like David Banner's accidental overdose of gamma radiation that altered his body chemistry must have also helped slow the aging process, Ferrigno doesn't look much different today than he did back then. That's been over 30 years since that show came on in 1977.
I agree and perhaps this standing by David Banner, aka the Incredible Hulk - pre-Hulk - shows that he would have done much better in the Governor's mansion in the state of Kaleefornia, much unlike the outgoing actor that ran as a conservative and placated the loony-left in the state by becoming one of them.

X-posted to LCR.

Quote of the Day: Senator Jay Rockefeller

by the Left Coast Rebel

What is inside the cranial-wiring of a member of the ruling class of the United States that creates an insatiable appetite to control the lives, diets, incomes, futures and even what is seen and heard on the airwaves?

An honest moment from a United States Senator, Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia:

"There's a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to FOX and to MSNBC: 'Out. Off. End. Goodbye.' It would be a big favor to political discourse; our ability to do our work here in Congress, and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and more importantly, in their future."
No joke. The nonsense before this quote that Rockefeller babbles on about is the height of Orwellian, as well. Watch it:

Imagine if Jim DeMint had said this? X-posted to LCR.

GOP to Vote on Defunding NPR

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About frikken' time!

House Republicans announced Wednesday they plan to force a floor vote on defunding NPR in response to the firing of analyst Juan Williams last month.

House GOP Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) and Rep. Doug Lamborn (Colo.) said that cutting funds to the publicly subsidized news organization was the winner of the conference's weekly "YouCut" contest, in which the public votes online on spending items they want eliminated.

Expect the squealing of stuck pigs decrying how Republicans are "Philistines" who hate the arts!

"When NPR executives made the decision to unfairly terminate Juan Williams and to then disparage him afterwards, the bias of their organization was exposed," the two Republicans said in a statement. "Make no mistake, it is not the role of government to tell news organizations how to operate. What is avoidable, however, is providing taxpayer funds to news organizations that promote a partisan point of view. Eliminating taxpayer funding for NPR is precisely the kind of commonsense cut that we have to begin making if we want to fundamentally alter the way business is conducted in Washington.”

L'affaire Williams is simply the straw that broke the camel's back. From "Morning Sedition" on, NPR has had a very leftward tilt. Let them compete on the marketplace or if they want to remain non-profit, let them rely on like minded contributors, not the taxpayer.

H/T memeorandum

Cross posted at LCR, Say Anything.

Death Threats Over Denair Flag Incident?

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DENAIR, Calif. -- A Denair Unified School District employee reported receiving death threats following national media coverage of a recent American flag ban story.

The employee did not wish to be identified but said ever since the school district made national news because of the recent flag flap, teachers and school administrators have been threatened.

"From the teachers, I know they are taking precautions," the employee said. "I know police have been involved. They are doing safety measures."

KCRA 3 was the first to break the story on 13-year-old Cody Alicea who was told last week that he couldn't fly an American flag on the back of his bicycle while on school grounds because of what school officials called "safety concerns" of racial tension created on Cinco de Mayo.

There is obviously no place for death threats in civil discourse. Excuse my cynicism, but if indeed these threats took place, I would not automatically assign them to any particular ideology. Unbalanced people and liars come in all varieties. I will reserve judgment until there is evidence to corroborate the claims.

Cross posted at LCR.