Monday, January 31, 2011

"One Ringy-Dingy..."

(Image from Faith Freedom)

A female suicide bomber wannabe in Russia wasn't aware of a special service her cellphone provider offered:

http://www.leaderpost.com/news/Text+message+blows+suicide+bomber+accident/4172966/story.html

"We're sorry, the number you have dialed has been disconnected, or is no longer in service..."

Looking Behind the Green Curtain of the Muslim Brotherhood

(Image:  The Muslim Brotherhood Logo)

As chaos in Egypt continues, there's been more talk about "power sharing" plans in a post-Mubarak Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Andrew McCarthy of the National Review Online (NRO), rolls-in on why this isn't such a good idea:


An islamist Who's Who of Muslim Brotherhood disciples:


The whitewashing of this terrorist organization sparked the following comments:

No concern! Today’s WaPo said the following about the Muslim Brotherhood:
- It is not a player (as an organization) in the uprising
- They compared it to the YMCA
- It’s been more a victim of the state than a threat to it
- It is not violent
- “It is not the organization of radical jihadists that it is sometimes made out to be.”
- “It is only the most prominent of an array of political groups”
See, nothing to worry about! And since el Baradei is bought and paid for by Iran, everything is going to be just fine!

They compared it to the YMCA

I'd really like to see the Village People do a song about these guys...

They said it "was inspired by the YMCA when it was founded in 1928..."

I like the song idea...need to replace those bad homosexuals, though. The new group would consist of: the Martyr, the bug-eyed Jihadist, the Bedouin, the Cab Driver, and the Gas Station Worker.

Don't forget the guy with the bomb belt.

Or the dental hygenist...

They honestly said it’s not violent? WTF planet do they live on?! 

 I'm wondering that myself.  I guess WaPo (the Washington Post) thinks this is "moderate:"




And for those of you wondering on just what the Muslim Brotherhood is linked into, here's a sample of jihadi networking:



Courtesy of FaithFreedom:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

This Doesn't Sound Good...

(Image from The Independent)

While rioting continues in Egypt,  there's a potential for things to get worse.  Armed gangs freed Muslim militants from at least four jails across Egypt this morning.

Yahoo News has the story:


However, help might be on the way...

From the American Spectator:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rioting Continues in Egypt--As Does Mubarak's Hold on Power


Rioters take to the streets again in Cairo, Egypt.  From The Seattle Times:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2014061107_apmlegyptprotest.html

Even defying the government mandated curfew.  From Yahoo News:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110129/wl_nm/us_egypt

And the big questions for the US and other countries are:  If Mubarak steps down, or is chased out, like the Tunisian president last week, who will take his place?  What direction will Egypt take?

Robert Kaplan, weighs-in.  From Foreign Policy:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/01/28/the_new_arab_world_order?sms_ss=facebook&at_xt=4d4435ea8a6cd26e%2C0

Friday, January 28, 2011

Trouble in the Land of the Pharaohs


Egypt has been wracked with riots for several days now. 

The Seattle Times has the latest story, along with sidebar stories, a photo gallery and video feeds:


So Mubarak asked his cronies to fall on their scimatars--as long as he remains in power.

The story from the "other Washington," the Washington Post (WaPo):


From Yahoo News:


Events in Egypt have disturbing similarities to the 1979 Revolution in Iran, but we're hoping it doesn't play out that way.

At Least He Wasn't Carrying A Bomb (Yet)

(Image from:  Raimerez, April 2010)

US Border Patrol guards nabbed Said Jaziri, an inflammatory cleric, along with his "coyote" driver at the US-Mexican border. 

Funny, how a friend of mine found this story on the UK's Daily Mail and not from an American news agency:


"Anything to declare?"

"Just a radical cleric and two bottles of Mescal..."

If we don't get a handle on the flow of illegal immigrants, it's only a matter of time before worse things slip through the border.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

 

Mark Steyn boldy goes where no liberal dares:  To defend European liberals against charges of "Islamophobia." 

The latest Steyn Online:


Comment from a friend:

This is certainly a fun article - you have an admitted right wing extremist in Steyn defending a bunch of unabashed (and to their credit intellecually honest liberals) because their liberal compatriots will not do so.




Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Big Trouble in Big China?


Another friend of mine sent us this article in Canada's National Post:


So the debate continues:  Just how powerful will China become?

Hehehe. Someone else who doesn't believe China is gonna rule the world.

What Solomon forgets to mention is the role of Chinese nationalism plays. Sure, the poor Chinese may be unhappy with their lot in life and think the rich and middle classes became wealthier because of corruption. But, even so, the poor will also see that China's place in the world has become markedly stronger in recent years, and that will greatly mollify their anger at the upper classes by giving them something to be proud of. Marx may have had his economics wrong, but his assertion that the empires of the 1800s were able to stave off social reforms through foreign military expansionism was spot on then and will be for China as well.


And, the U.S. no longer really has much of an advantage over China regarding how people are promoted and the cream rises to the top. As the government continues to grow and expand its role in American society, its method of promotion (kissing a$$ and longevity of service) will also proportionally grow to the ultimate detriment of America's economic competitiveness.

This assumes China's "foreign adventures" redound to their advantage--the 1979 attempt to punish Vietnam didn't work out so well.

Can’t help wondering if the vast majority of the Chinese even give a rat’s ass about their ‘standing in the world’ – as long as they are left alone and can get enough to eat.   The only ones who care might be those involved with international trade.

I think you could say that about a lot of countries. Does the "average" American really give a shit about our standing in the world? I doubt it, the fact is this is still a very isolationist country at heart. I know most Australians are extremely isolationist, it is their elites who have dreams of internationalism and that has been true for most of history in most societies - foreign policy has traditionally been the domain of elites (people who start wars) as opposed to the commoners (people who fight wars).


One thing I would caution and that is comparing China to the Soviet Union. China has more than its share of problems (demographics being the chief among them) but China is an integrated member of the global economy in a way the Soviet Union never was. This will impact the ebb and flow of China's economy and it will also mean that if China's economy ever does suffer a serious downturn, it will be felt throughout the rest of the world.

Well, no matter what the future holds for both the PRC and the US, I doubt we'll be the bestest of allies.

As the Chinese themselves might say:  We live in interesting times.  (To say the least).

Friday, January 21, 2011

Boarders Away!


Earlier today, a team of South Korean Special Forces boarded the chemical freighter, Samho Jewelry, which was captured by Somali pirates five days ago.

The score:

South Korean commandos 8
Pirates 0

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110121/wl_asia_afp/skoreasomaliapiracy

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Keeping Up With Today's News


Anyone following this blog may notice that I don't post news stories every day.  In fact, it's been a week since my last blog post.  I'm not a full-time journalist, so keeping up with breaking news can be extremely difficult; especially when I'm busy with my own job, or maintaining my home, running errands, etc.

In other words, dealing with the usual mundane tasks in life that fill up any given day.

Another reason for a low post-count is that some stories aren't "buzz-worthy."  I like posting comments from my like-minded friends and while breaking news abounds, thanks to today's 24/7 news-cycle, reaction to many stories is:  "Meh."

Timing is another important factor.  After a day or two, most stories become "ancient history."  That is, unless the story "has legs" and people are still talking about it--like last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

While I may not get to every story, every day, there doesn't seem to be any shortage on the ones that make my friends and I say "WTF!?"

Red Scare Redux?


Just about everyone who follows international affairs will agree that the People's Republic of China (PRC) is an emerging power (along with Brazil and India).

However, the PRC's authoritarian regime, along with it's military assertiveness gives analysts and pundits the impression that China's rise may overpower the US's position and will dominate world affairs.

But some, like Mark Steyn, point out that China's a brittle power and may have far less of an adverse impact than we're worried about.

Today's Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Online's Opinion Section points out some of China's weak areas.

And here's what some of my friends had to say about this:

That's a great piece! Don't get me wrong; I'm as concerned about Chinese strategic and military ambitions as the next hawk. But the paralyzing fear/admiration for China has always struck me as rather bizarre. In the late 80s I recall the academic debate about how China would equal or surpass the USSR as the chief rival of the US and that we would then be faced with a tri-polar Cold War. Those same academics and politicos kept hyperventilating about "rising China" in terms of economic potential that would provide so many opportunities and challenges for the West. I took great delight in pointing out to fellow students and teachers in my undergrad and grad school poli-sci and econ classes that the same words they used to describe a "rising China" could be found almost verbatim from about 1890 onwards in the academic and political discourse of every Western nation. Funny how it just never pans out. And here we are, another 20-some years on, and the same kinds of poli-sci/econ re-treads are still fretting about "rising China." Plus ça change……


Exactly why I liked this article so much. Some people need to be talked down from the ledge on this. Prudent action taken over time will manage China's inevitable rise, but all this doom and gloom has got to go.



The one child policy has created a demographic issue in China that will start rearing its head in the next five to ten years. 4 grand parents, two parents, one child does not make a good model for sustained growth.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sorry Chaps, You're Not Special to Us Anymore...

(Image:  British soldiers in Afghanistan)

...at least according to our Teleprompter-in-Chief, who declared France to be our biggest ally.  The UK Daily Mail, has the story:


Time to play "World Turned Upside Down"

Well, despite what our Community Organizer-in-Chief said, most of us here in the US will always count our British and Commonwealth friends to be our most dependable allies.



Much of America is greatful for the help Great Britain has provided in our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as British tommies continue to fight--and die--along side American GIs.

Monday, January 10, 2011

No Time to Grieve in Arizona


As Mary Katherine Hamm said on tonight's O'Reilly Factor, we didn't even know the names of all the victims before left-wing vitriol launched it's blame game offensive against conservatives.

Today, FOX News posted more complete biographies of the victims killed by Loughner:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/01/10/thumbnail-sketches-shot-arizona/

As in the case of the Fort Hood shooter, Major Hasan, it's now coming to light that warning signs of abnormal behavior went ignored:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/01/10/mental-health-warnings-preceded-arizona-rampage-evidence-gunman-sought/

Despite the attacks by left-wing Mainstream Media (MSM), conservatives are pushing back.

Andrew Klavan rolled-in against the left wing bomb throwers:

 http://www.city-journal.org/2011/eon0109ak.html

While S.E. Cupp tosses some stones back at the glass house of hypocritical liberals:

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2011/01/10/2011-01-10_sarah_palin_is_not_to_blame_for_shooting_of_gabrielle_giffords_leftwing_rhetoric.html

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shooting in Tucson, Arizona

(Image:  US Representative Gabrielle Giffords being rushed to the hospital)

Yesterday, Lee Loughner opened fire at a townhall meeting in Tucson, AZ, killing 6 people--including a 9-year old girl and wounded 14 others.  Among the wounded and Loughner's primary target, was US Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition from a bullet wound to her head.

Some quick-thinking individuals subdued Loughner and prevented more bloodshed.  FOX News has the story of these local heroes:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/09/unsuspecting-heroes-help-contain-violence-arizona-shooting-spree/ 

FOX also provided a list of the victims:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/01/08/death-toll-shooting-arizona/

Of course, it didn't take long for this mass murder to turn political.  The "usual suspects" of the Tea Party, Afghan War vets, gun owners and "extreme rhetoric" have all been implied as influencing nutjob Lee Loughner.  This along with an obligatory swipe at Sarah Palin.

Here's Bloomberg's view:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-09/lawmakers-urge-end-to-political-rhetoric-after-tucson-shootings.html

BlackFive expressed it's indignation over an interview Sheppard Smith of FOX News conducted with State Senator Linda Lopez.  (Scroll down to read "Mr Wolf's" post Veterans Demand an Apology, 9 Jan 11):

http://www.blackfive.net/

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Passing the Gavel

(Image from FOX News)


Today, John Boehner was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives and opened the 112th Congress:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/05/th-congress-officially-convenes/

Those of us who helped the Republican Party take over the House are now waiting to see if they will make definative changes; or will it be business as usual--only this time conducted by people with parenthetical R's attached to their names.

Groping for Terrorists


According to Homeland Security Chief, Janet Napolitano, adapting Israeli airport security measures won't work here in the good ol' USA.  From FOX News:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/04/napolitano-israeli-style-security-wont-work/?test=latestnews

Even if Ms Man-Caused Disasters is correct, someone within TSA should have known that instituting body pat downs on every traveler would make the agency a laughing stock, as seen in the above and following cartoons:




 

These are just a few cartoons poking fun at TSA's security program.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Will She? Or Won't She?

 

The New Year means we're one step closer to the 2012 Presidential Election.  And the Big Question is:  Will Sarah Palin toss her coon-skinned cap into the ring?

I admire Alaska's former governess, but I'm already hearing snide comments from my non-conservative friends.  So if Sarah does run, "Palin Derangement Syndrome" will no doubt reach pandemic proportions. 

I'm not the only one who feels this way.  David Solway, of Pajamas Media, wrote an article highlighting all of Sarah's strengths.  But it's the one "aw crap" of being considered unelectable, that wipes out all her "atta-girls":


One of my friends pointed out that Sarah Palin isn't the only divisive figure in politics:

Good article but I think he misses what is Sarah Palin's single greatest strength as a political figure - she is very polarizing and she causes both her supporters and detractors to behave in a very irrational manner in which they will either defend her or attack her no matter what the issue or the reality of the situation. This ability to polarize both supporters and opposition in this way is also the single greatest strength of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. It's no mistake that these five people are probably the most influential figures in the American politics of the past two decades and will likely continue to be influential for the next decade as well.

I don't know what it is about these individuals specifically that causes people to react to them so stridently but I have concluded over the past several years that sadly this is the #1 quality a prospective presidential candidate needs in today's day and age.

In regards to Sarah's lack of academic pedigree, a couple other friends had this to say:

Having experienced first-hand some of the products and writings of the ivys in Grad school, I'm forced to concur with the conclusion.

This doesn't mean there aren't sharp individuals coming out of there...or that there aren't some excellent scholars on the faculty (Holger Herwig comes to mind).
But a lot of it is PC, post-modernist tripe and the undergrads are not all necessarily making the most of their ivy experience. Grads are probably like anywhere else--it's all what you've worked on and with whom you have worked.

Similar analogy is with the military - I've known some great officers who are academy grads, I've known some worthless officers who are academy grads. I've known plenty of great officers who were enlisted for ten years, got the bachelors degrees from the University of Nowhere Special but their transcripts are from five or six different schools.


Well, no matter what us admirers think, we're bound to see more photos like this, as 2012 approaches:

 

Although, I much prefer this work of photoshop art:



(Sigh). We live in interesting times...

Happy New Year!



Image:  From The Seattle Times, New Year's fireworks display at the Seattle Space Needle.