Sunday, April 26, 2009

US Declares Public Health Emergency for Swine Flu

For the past few days, Mexico has been dealing with an outbreak of Swine Flu.

Now the US has declared a public health emergency in order to prepare for a possible pandemic. As of now about 20 deaths from this virus occurred north of the border.

I haven't checked in at work yet, but I'm sure Washington State Emergency Management Division (WA EMD) is now gearing-up and putting folks on stand-by to man the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Here's the story so far:

This morning Comrade Karla sent me us an earlier story:

The above picture by-the-way is of soldiers patrolling the streets in Mexico City.

Now That's the Way to Do It!

Yesterday an Italian cruise ship fended off a Somali Pirate attack, thanks to the Israeli security detachment:
I find the article's title amusing: "Cruise Ship Fends Off Pirate Attack with Gunfire"
Ooooh! Scary!
This must be the opening phase of the "escalation of violence," so dreaded by most of our faint-hearted politicians and the Mainstream Media (MSM).
In fact, all pirate attacks should be met with lethal force. But this is only a defensive measure. Until we destroy pirate bases, the Somali Scallywags will continue to be a plague upon the open sea.
(I'm not sure what computer game the above picture is from. I tried finding a more historical print to add to this post).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Who's Side is He on?

Now our Community Organizer-in-Chief is "open to the possibility of prosecuting lawyers who helped former President Bush draft interrogation protocols:

This was blatantly irresponsible for Obama to release such documents. Now terrorists will know how to resist any interrogation techniques--if any--we employ. In an interview, Former VP Dick Cheney made a great point: As long as Obama released such documents, why not release other classified documents that highlight our success in the War on Terror.

So with Obama's new protocols, military members undergoing SERE (Survival Evasion Resistance & Escape) will be treated worse than any terrorist we have in custody.

My Definition of Gun Control

Comrade Karla sent us a link to Time Magazine's article on the 10th Anniversary of the Columbine massacre. Right off the bat, the magazine launches into it's advocacy for stricter gun control:

Meanwhile, the Seattle Times finally caught on to a trend that's over 6 months old:

Gun sales here in WA increased last October and then went up dramatically right after Election Day. Gun sales spiked again when Obama said he was considering re-initiating the assault gun ban. One of my coworkers told me it was like "Black Friday" in the gun stores after Election Day.

What Flag of Truce?

The pirate who avoided the SEAL marksman arrived in NY today. Unlike in the days of yore as pictured above in Howard Pyle's sketch Pirates Wait to Learn the Price of Their Crimes, today they learn the names of the law firms willing to defend them.

One of my friends sent us this story:

NEW YORK -- The sole surviving Somali pirate from the hostage-taking of an American ship captain arrived in New York, smiling for a gaggle of cameras and reporters as federal agents led him into custody to face charges in the attack at a court hearing Tuesday.

Federal agents escorted Abduhl Wali-i-Musi into Federal Plaza to face charges.

Abduhl Wali-i-Musi was handcuffed and had a chain wrapped around his waist. His left hand was heavily bandaged from the wound he suffered during the skirmish on the ship two weeks ago.

The smiling teenager seemed poised as he entered a federal building in a rainstorm late Monday, but he did not say anything in response to reporters' shouted questions about whether he had any comment about the pirate episode.

Mr. Wali-i-Musi is the first person to face trial in the U.S. on piracy charges in more than a century. He was flown from Africa to a New York airport and taken into custody ahead of Tuesday's court hearing.

A law enforcement official familiar with the case said that the teenager was being charged under two obscure federal laws that deal with piracy and hostage-taking. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the charges had not been announced.

The teenager's arrival came on the same day that his mother appealed to President Barack Obama for his release. She said her son was coaxed into piracy by "gangsters with money."
"I appeal to President Obama to pardon my teenager; I request him to release my son or at least allow me to see him and be with him during the trial," Adar Abdirahman Hassan said in a telephone interview from her home in the Somali town of Galka'yoia.

The age and real name of the young pirate remained unclear. The mother said he is only 16 years old and is named Abdi Wali Abdulqadir Muse. The law enforcement official says he is at least 18, meaning prosecutors will not have to take extra legal steps to put him on trial in a U.S. court.

His worried family asked the Minneapolis-based Somali Justice Advocacy Center to help get him a lawyer, said the organization's executive director, Omar Jamal.

"What we have is a confused teenager, overnight thrown into the highest level of the criminal justice system in the United States out of a country where there's no law at all," Mr. Jamal said. Mr. Wali-i-Musi speaks no English and may never have attended school, he said.

The suspect was taken aboard a U.S. Navy ship shortly before Navy SEAL snipers on the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge killed three of his colleagues who had held Capt. Richard Phillips hostage.

The U.S. officials said the teenager was brought to New York to face trial in part because the FBI office here has a history of handling cases in Africa involving major crimes against Americans, such as the al Qaeda bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998.
Ron Kuby, a New York-based civil rights lawyer, said he has been in discussions about forming a legal team to represent the Somali.

"I think in this particular case, there's a grave question as to whether America was in violation of principles of truce in warfare on the high seas," said Mr. Kuby. "This man seemed to come onto the Bainbridge under a flag of truce to negotiate. He was then captured. There is a question whether he is lawfully in American custody and serious questions as to whether he can be prosecuted because of his age."

Copyright © 2009 Associated Press

After an exchange of YGTBSM (You Got To Be Crapping Me) e-mails about the liberal press turning one of the pirates who held Captain Phillips into the victim, my friend then sent us this headline from CNN's website:

Alleged Maersk pirate arrives in New York


There's nothing "alleged" about the scurvy dogs boarding the Maersk Alabama and holding Captain Phillips hostage.

Meanwhile across the Atlantic, several German lawyers are planning to fly to Kenya in order to defend some pirates held in Kenyan jails...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Miss California: PC Heretic

Carrie Prejean, aka Miss California became the latest pinata for the PC Commissars.

Last night at the Miss Universe competition she fielded a question by Perez Hilton about her feelings on gay marriage.

She spoke her mind--against it--much to the disappointment to Mr. Perez. And it's apparent this cost her the Miss Universe crown.

Here's the latest news memo from FOX News:,2933,517228,00.html

Other news headlines stated that Miss California stumbled over the question. Watching the video, I thought she answered it right away and straight-up.

Here's a YouTube video of "the question":

Perez Hilton's rant:

I only watched a few moments of Mr. Hilton's rant and was appalled when he called her a "dumb bitch." He also claimed she was booed when she responded. Maybe so, but I couldn't tell because of the substantial cheering from the audience. No, there wasn't any standing-ovation or thunderous applause. But I didn't hear any booing either.

It amazes me how intolerant these--supposedly--liberals are of other people's opinions.

Fortunately, there's a large amount of support for Miss Prejean.

While big stories regarding the direction of our nation dominate the news; Obama's massive spending package, closing Guantanamo Bay, etc; I find myself more concerned about the subtle undercurrents moving within our society. It's small items like whitewashing Obama's profile on Wikipedia, which I posted on 9 March 09, that I also find disturbing. Such currents can go unnoticed--until it's too late.

The lesson:

Future beauty queen contestants hoping to win the crown will answer similar questions "correctly" according to politically correct dogma.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reality Life?

Here's a humorous spin on a "mid-life crisis" from Vic Lee's Pardon My Planet daily comic.

A Good WTFO Story

Speaking of Reality TV, I don't normally watch any of it. However, for the past several days TV and the internet has been buzzing about an unlikely contestant in the show Britain's Got Talent.

Susan Boyle stumped on stage and faced a snickering audience and 3 hostile judges including the infamous Simon Cowell. Everyone was expecting the usual train wreck. Instead, Miss Boyle didn't just "hit this one out of the park," she sent this into orbit. Half way through her performance, the audience was on their feet cheering.

Miss Boyle's perfomance is a real-life "don't-judge-a-book-by-it's-cover" inspirational story.

Various YouTube videos are on-line viewed by millions with thousands of ratings--all 5 stars.

May Miss Boyle continue to enjoy the success she deserves.

Susan Boyle sing's I Dream the Dream from Les Miserables:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The statement below the picture says it all.

Being Conservative = Being a Right Wing Extremist

Prior to the TEA Parties another firestorm ignited across the conservative blogosphere. DHS published a report (title is pictured above), issuing vague warnings about right-wing extremism. "Extremists" include veterans returning from war (or "downrange" as we say), and those who are against illegal immigration, outsourcing, etc. This along with the economic downturn supposedly creates a "perfect storm" for right wing extremists to launch violent attacks.

Meanwhile another report issued in January discussed the possible increase in cyber attacks by left-wing extremists. At least this report contains some facts regarding specific groups and their past activities. But according to this report we only have to worry about left wing cyber-hackers, as opposed to the more violent-prone right wingers.

Neither report mentions Islamic terrorism which since 11 September 2001 has killed thousands of innocent people.

Michelle Malkin's website posted the story on 14 April (along with Debbie Schlussle):

Today, Ralph Peters rolls-in on this in the NY Post:

And Debra Saunders follows with a post on the SF Chronicle:

While the new DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano hasn't been "sent down to the miners" as Ralph Peters suggests, she did offer an apology:

Comrade Karla had this to say:

I think I can see why this has had this impact, though. It's the timing. I think any other time this would have not been noticed…but you have a new administration and they will get scrutinized during the first weeks/months (by somebody, if not his water carriers in the MSM). We have a massively deteriorating problem on the border; piracy abroad and Al Qaeda/Islamonuttery…well, everywhere.

Then this comes out with little or no substance behind it and rightly or wrongly it looks gratuitious to a part of the population who have been constantly ragged on as "unAmerican" for criticizing the new regime.

It's "Tea Parties" not "Tea Bagging Parties"

Yesterday I was able to watch the various TEA Parties on the only network that aired them--FOX News. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the TEA Parties (as in Taxed Enough Already) was a grass-roots movement which according to Michelle Malkin's post started here in Seattle, WA.
The other networks--the ones with poor ratings--had different ideas. First the other Mainstream Media (MSM) elites assumed the TEA Parties were sponsored by FOX News. Or, as the New York Times did, they ignored the events--which took place in every state--completely. If they did comment on it at all it the MSM elites were very disparraging towards the tea partiers.
Like CNN's Susan Roesgen's "coverage" of a TEA Party in Chicago:
Unlike a year or so ago, when they gave glowing reports of illegal aliens waving Mexican flags at immigration rallies. My favorite comment regarding this, was made by a commentator from Media Watch: "It wasn't fair reporting. It was one activist interviewing another activist." Bare Naked Islam (linked here under Defense Blogs) posted a comparison between CNN and Russia Today's coverage.
Most insulting of all these supposedly politically correct minded elites had the vulgarity to call the TEA Parties "tea-bagging parties." This term's ignited a firestorm on FOX News and the conservative blogosphere who are outraged by the sexual innuendo of "tea bagging."
I like to think of myself as a sexually savvy guy. But I have to admit, I had no idea what "tea bagging" was. So I had to look it up on-line. The conservative blogs merely talked around it giving me no idea what they were insulted about. So I found a Woman's World blog where some gal posted a comment about her first time performing the act.
It's where someone takes the scrotum of her/his partner into their mouth during sex. (Apparently this is very popular among the gay community).
Okay, now I'm outraged.
I keep thinking of he tune "The World Turned Upside-Down." This was played by the British as they marched out and surrendered their arms at Yorktown, VA in 1781. We now live in a world where MSM "watchdogs" safeguard illegal aliens and terrorists while slandering and condeming hard-working Americans who simply want their voices heard.
What did strike me most about the TEA Parties, compared to the usual gathering of ranting liberal moonbats was this: Everyone seemed to be having fun! They were actually putting the "party" into their TEA Parties. If I wasn't at work, I was seriously thinking of attending one.
Another important observation of yesterday's TEA Parties--there was no violent clashes with police and no property destruction. Both of which are the usual results of moonbat gatherings.
Liberals like to call us conservative-types "uptight," among other things. This may be true for the wingnut fringe. But I find the opposite to be true. That is the vast majority of liberals--the supposedly "live & let live" types--are the uptight ones. Living under the oppressive dogma of Political Correctness, most liberals I know have a hair-trigger reaction to anything and everything they take offense to.
A secondary source for liberal uptightness I think, is because the world hasn't completely conformed to their world-view. And it frustrates the hell out of them.
I did find a nice write-up about an historical tea party re-enactment on the Huffington Post:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Asad the Dead Pirate?

Yesterday, Somali pirates attacked the Liberty Sun, another American ship. Fortunately the attack was foiled, but Somali pirates now vow to seek out and kill American sailors.

Hopefully more pirates will end up dead like 3 of Captain Phillips' captors. Maybe comedian, Jeff Dunham can add a companion for his "Achmed the Dead Terrorist" puppet?

TEA Time!

Today's anti-tax TEA Party Day. TEA as in "Taxed Enough Already." This grassroots protest movement started a couple of months ago in response to President Obama's off-the-charts spending program. Up until now "TEA Parties" popped up in cities around the country.

And since our income tax reports are due today, TEA Party organizers banded together to launch a nation-wide protest.

From FOX News:

So if you disagree with our Community Organizer-in-Chief's social engineering program, then it's time to "party like its 1773!"

Michelle Malkin's site provides a synopsis of the history of the 2009 TEA Parties:

Monday, April 13, 2009

The "Romance" of Piracy

The picture above illustrates (all too well) one of the problems we have in confronting today's piracy: The "Golden Age" of piracy has been romanticized for years by our society.
(I must admit I love the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. But at least I know what the historical realities were).
Now we're confronted with the reality of what these "dashing sea-dogs" in the days of yore did for a living.

Victor Davis Hanson rolls-in on the piracy issue (romanticizing it is #3 on his list):

Comrade Karla Senior responds to the President's role in the rescue of Captain Phillips:
I was curious about the report that BO said force was authorized "if the captain's life was in danger. What the hell did he think the captain's life was in from the get-go, if not danger?

The Score is Still USN-3, Pirates-0...

...however you can detect a slight whine from reading Associated Press (AP) articles.

Here, AP provides some pirates with a forum to make threats against the US, France and other civilized nations:

(Last week French commandos stormed a pleasure boat held by pirates. Four pirates were killed, but unfortunately so was one hostage).

In this article AP implies that the military "crackdown" won't resolve anything because pirates will move their operating bases:

Comrade Karla points out some facts:

First of, there has been no "crackdown." If there were, you WOULD see a decrease in pirate activities because they'd be, well, dead.

Second, if the "crackdown" consists of "criminal charges" rather than doing a Barataria, then nobody should be surprised if results are--shall we say--limited?

Finally, while a number of events appear to be reported accurately, the article remains (at least to me) another example of trying to make a public case for inaction. Where's Hearst when you need him?

At least the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has the right idea:

And finally, the renown military historian John Keegan hits the nail on the head:

So our campaign must be ruthless and pitiless: pirate ships must be sunk on sight and the crews left to swim to safety, if it can be reached.

The esteemed Mr Keegan doesn't mention anything about emergency meetings at the United Nations, or voting on yet another useless resolution.

Nothing of the sort is needed. There are already laws on the books dealing with piracy--it's time to enforce them.

Pirate havens in the Horn of Africa exist because they are allowed to do so. Merchant ships can be armed, but until the pirate havens are wiped out, the scurvy dogs will continue to prey on peaceful ships. Elimnation of pirate nests however, will require the use of military forces--which no nation--even ours--is willing to employ at this time.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

USN--3, Pirates--0

Woo-hoo! Captain Phillips was rescued today by USN. Apparently a navy sniper shot and killed 3 out of the 4 pirates holding the captain hostage.
The only sour notes in this story is the concern about "escalating violence" and "retaliation." Several other pirates were apparently interviewed and of course expressed outrage by declaring such things as "America is our #1 enemy now," and other such tripe.
The fact that news organizations seek out opinions of high-seas criminal deepens my disgust towards most mainstream media (MSM).
Otherwise, today is indeed a happy Easter, especially for Captain Phillips and his family.
The full story from Yahoo News:

Blackfive also has an account and a clarification as to where the President of the US fits in on all this:

Happy Easter!

This picture and what it represents leaves me speechless.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Our Distracted President

Issues like the North Korean ICBM launch, Iran's nuclear power program--not to mention supporting terrorism abroad--and Somali pirates are all distracting our president from the noble cause of bankrupting our national economy in order pay for all his proposed nanny-state programs.

The barbarians aren't quite banging at the gates in overwhelming numbers.

But they don't have to be.

They're currently busy trying to undermine our laws within our country while attacking our interests abroad.

What does this mean for us?

If all we show is weakness, then this will embolden our enemies; be they Somali pirates in motorboats to dictators with dreams of irradiated glory. The world then, will slip into a new dark age.

According to Mark Steyn the process has already begun.

Most westerners seem to think that history is an "onward & upward," one-way street.

It isn't.

Mr. Steyn points this fact out on a regular basis in his articles and latest books. Today's article highlights some of these ominous trends and events:

Now that the White House pizza party is over, the Mainstream Media (MSM) is cooing over what breed of dog our royal couple has chosen. Meanwhile, the Great Community Organizer remains silent on the fate of Captain Richard Phillips, captured by some of those "distracting" Somali pirates four days ago.

Exurban League gives a humorous spin on what O-Bow-Ma (a new nickname in reference to his bow to the Saudi king) might say.

That is, once he polishes of the last of the pizza "pi":


You'd figure after Bill Clinton's presidency, White House chefs would know how to make junk food.

Apparently not.

Our Community Organizer-in-Chief abandoned his "humble origins"--along with some inconvenient associates, like Ayers and Wright--somewhere along the campaign trail.

King Barak and his Royal Court enjoyed pizza the other night. Hand-tossed pizza made by a chef flown in from St. Louis to prepare the royal feast.

From the UK's Mail Online:

Everyone understands that the president of the United States enjoys some privileges. But Obamessiah's made a living criticising those who hold the reins of power.

Michelle Malkin's site rolls-in on this story and the "environmentally" Pizzeria known as Pi:

My favorite comment is by "Flyoverman":
The pig, who provided the sausage on the environmentally friendly pizza, was unavailable for comment.

Friday, April 10, 2009

نحن الالناس... (We the People...?)

Our Community Organizer-in-Chief continues to do his Politically Correct dance, this time by making blatantly false historical claims. Rob Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, rolls-in on Obama's claim that the Islamic faith helped shape our country.

Obama: Islam Has Shaped the U.S.A.

By Robert Spencer 4/7/2009

“We will convey,” said Barack Obama to the Turkish Parliament Monday, “our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”

Undeniably the Islamic faith has done a great deal to shape the world – a statement that makes no value judgment about exactly how it has shaped the world. It has formed the dominant culture in what is known as the Islamic world for centuries. But what on earth could Obama mean when he says that Islam has also “done so much” to shape his own country?

Unless he considers himself an Indonesian, Obama’s statement was extraordinarily strange. After all, how has the Islamic faith shaped the United States? Were there Muslims along Paul Revere’s ride, or standing next to Patrick Henry when he proclaimed, “Give me liberty or give me death”? Were there Muslims among the framers or signers of the Declaration of Independence, which states that all men – not just Muslims, as Islamic law would have it – are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Were there Muslims among those who drafted the Constitution and vigorously debated its provisions, or among those who enumerated the Bill of Rights, which guarantees – again in contradiction to the tenets of Islamic law – that there should be no established national religion, and that the freedom of speech should not be infringed?

There were not.
Did Muslims play a role in the great struggle over slavery that defined so much of our contemporary understandings of the nature of this republic and of the rights of the individual within it? They did not. Did the Islamic faith shape the way the United States responded to the titanic challenges of the two World Wars, the Great Depression, or the Cold War? It did not. Did the Islamic faith, with its legal apparatus that institutionalizes discrimination against non-Muslims, shape the civil rights movement in the United States? The Civil Rights Act of 1964 mandated equality of access to public facilities – a hard-won victory that came at a great cost, and one that Muslim groups have tried to roll back in the United States recently. One notable example of such attempts was the alcohol-in-cabs controversy at the Minneapolis-St. Paul international airport, when Muslim cabdrivers began to refuse service to customers who were carrying alcohol, on Islamic religious grounds. The core assumption underlying this initiative – that discrimination on the basis of religion is justified – cut right to the heart of the core principle of the American polity, that “all men are created equal,” that is, that they have a right to equal treatment in law and society.

Surveying the whole tapestry of American history, one would be hard-pressed to find any significant way in which the Islamic faith has shaped the United States in terms of its governing principles and the nature of American society. Meanwhile, there are numerous ways in which, if there had been a significant Muslim presence in the country at the time, some of the most cherished and important principles of American society and law may have met fierce resistance, and may never have seen the light of day.

So in what way has the Islamic faith shaped Obama’s country? The most significant event connected to the Islamic faith that has shaped the character of the United States was the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Those attacks have shaped the nation in numerous ways: they’ve led to numerous innovations in airline security, which in generations to come – if today’s politically correct climate continues to befog minds -- may be added to future versions of the fanciful “1001 Muslim Inventions” exhibition. The Islamic faith has shaped the U.S. since 9/11 in leading to the spending of billions on anti-terror measures, and to the ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to Guantanamo, and to so many features of the modern political and social landscape that they cannot be enumerated within the space of a single article.

Of course, it is certain that Obama had none of that in mind. But what could he possibly have had in mind? His statement was either careless or ignorant, or both – not qualities we need in a Commander-in-Chief even in the best of times.

Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of eight books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is available now from Regnery Publishing.

In short, Islam provided NO help or influence in founding and shaping of our country.

Except, maybe as Comrade Karla points out in reference to the above article:

Well, he [Mr Spencer] left out one important aspect of how Islam shaped early US history--the Barbary Pirates!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's the Regime Stupid!

Our Community Organizer-in-Chief wishes for a nuke-free world. Does that mean he's planning on launching a pre-emptive strike against Iran and North Korea?


His solution is to disarm responsible nations--primarily ours. (Gun control advocates take a similar view. They want to "get guns off the street." But instead of enforcing tough criminal laws they seek to disarm law-abiding citizens).

Mark Steyn rolled-in on this yesterday in his section of "The Corner" of NRO:

...I think the Obama response to the North Korean test is a good example of that: The wish for "a world without nuclear weapons" is not merely a pacifist delusion but one that obliquely subscribes to the false equivalence so assiduously promoted during the Cold War.

I wouldn't lose a moment's sleep if I read in the paper that New Zealand and Switzerland had decided to become nuclear powers. It's not the technology (which can't be un-invented, any more than the rifle or the spear or the sling could). It's the regime. North Korea and Iran going nuclear is not the same as Norway and St. Lucia going nuclear. It is so depressing to see the president of the United States mired in obsolete Cold War non-proliferation bromides.

Consider two possible responses to the inevitable Iranian nuclearization:

a) The Sunni Arab dictatorships (Saudi Arabia and perhaps Egypt) decide to go nuclear rather than live under Iran as the regional hegemon.

b) The Sunni Arab dictatorships knuckle under the Iranian nuclear umbrella and Teheran becomes the de facto controller of Arab oil supply and much else.

I'm not sure proliferation wouldn't be the least worst option.

It's not just embarrassing to hear the so-called "leader of the free world" talking like a 14-year old who's been up in his room listening to "Imagine" for too long. I fear this presidency has the makings of global tragedy.

Here's another quote from a transcript from the Rush Limbaugh show, which aired on 6 April:

"We're building a world right now in which the wealthiest nations in history from Norway to New Zealand, are incapable of defending their borders; while decrepit Third World basket cases from North Korea to Sudan, go nuclear. How long do you think that arrangement is going to last?"

A War By Any Other Name...

Last week a friend of mine sent us this article from the National Review On-line (NRO) regarding the latest Politically Correct contortion act by our Community Organizer-in-Chief.

Contingency! What’s It Good For? The Obama administration purges the language of war.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

‘Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.” That was Pres. Barack Obama’s inaugural proclamation to the throng assembled on the National Mall, and to the additional millions huddled around televisions throughout the world. As it turns out, that’s not exactly his position.

Behind the scenes, the Pentagon has received orders from on high — which, in this administration, is the Office of Management and Budget — that war is out. The word “war,” that is. “This administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror,’” according to the guidelines, which were first reported in the Washington Post. Our warriors were curtly told, “Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation."'

That this “overseas contingency” on which we are “operating” has left a rather large hole in the ground in lower Manhattan apparently is beside the point. Or maybe that’s exactly the point. War is a powerful word, redolent of power, force, zeal, and national purpose. That’s precisely why the Left routinely invokes war in its beloved campaigns against poverty, obesity, and other abstractions. But real wars, the forcible defense of our nation and the pursuit of our interests, are to be avoided. As are real enemies. Thus, the complementary announcement that “enemy combatants” aren’t enemy combatants anymore. They are simply “individuals currently detained at Guantanamo Bay,” according to an affirmation filed in federal court by Attorney General Eric Holder.

This risks some confusion of jihadists with Cuban refugees. During the Clinton administration, in which Holder served as deputy attorney general, those apprehended while seeking to escape Communist tyranny also became known as “individuals currently detained at Guantanamo Bay” — a policy aggressively defended by the Justice Department at the time, without much harrumphing from the leftists who scathed George W. Bush’s purported Gitmo gulag. Perhaps that’s why Holder occasionally opts for “individuals captured or apprehended in connection with armed conflicts and counterterrorism operations” — more precise, not quite as catchy.

It remains an “armed conflict” for now — but not for long. In Iraq, the “contingency” has been over for about a year. We won and al-Qaeda was routed, and that’s why you haven’t heard about it. During an election, it’s inconvenient for the media if our nation wins a war that their chosen candidate has declared a dismal failure. But that inconvenience can be addressed with a little linguistic massaging.

Ratcheting down the “armed conflict” in Afghanistan is a bit trickier. The Obama Left considered Afghanistan the “good war” — not because they actually thought it was good, but because doing so bolstered their case that Iraq was the “bad,” “immoral,” “illegal” “war of choice” that “Bush lied us into.” With Iraq won, Afghanistan goes back to being a regular old war again, one without any rhetorical use. And not only are we losing a war, it’s not even the noble battle against trans-fats. So the war in Afghanistan must be gradually downshifted to the Left’s pre-Iraq take on it: the “improvident” “quagmire” that “really solves nothing” and has only (as Obama said of the Bush approach) “given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment in countries that say, ‘Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims.’”

Degrading Afghanistan from a “war” to an “overseas contingency operation” is the start of this transformation. Obama’s budget will do much of the rest. Despite at least tripling government borrowing and spending (which Obama nonetheless described during Tuesday night’s press conference as “moving [away] from an era of borrow and spend”), the administration allocates only $50 billion for Afghanistan and Iraq combined — a total that won’t be enough to withdraw, as planned, from Iraq, much less conduct “operations” in the ongoing “contingency” in Afghanistan.

No matter. You can’t have a “contingency” without “individuals captured or apprehended in connection with armed conflicts and counterterrorism operations.” We’re getting rid of ours. The Obama plan calls for closing Gitmo by 2011, even if that requires releasing all the “individuals currently detained at Guantanamo Bay” to countries where they will be free to go back to the “contingency” (the Arabic word for which is jihad).

Holder has hinted that some of the “individuals currently detained at Guantanamo Bay” will be released in the United States, serving as an example to wavering host countries that we can be just as insane as we’re asking them to be when it comes to importing “contingencies.” Meanwhile, those not released outright will enjoy a new title: “defendant.” That is the same title they had during the 1990s, when “extremists” repeatedly engaged in “anti-Islamic activity” until things got very contingent on 9/11, resulting in nearly 3,000 regrettable terminations of vital functions.

Once the contingency is returned to its rightful place in America’s courtrooms, it will no doubt become a “war,” fought with all the zeal and success of the war on drugs.

Saul Alinsky, Obama’s community-organizing inspiration, wrote at length about words in Rules for Radicals, about their power to inspire and to enervate. “In communication as in thought, we must ever strive toward simplicity” when it is our purpose to inspire. Such a purpose calls for “a determination not to detour around reality.” An opposite purpose, Alinsky writes, calls for an opposite approach. Avoid the “force, vigor, and simplicity” of the right word, and “we soon become averse to thinking in vigorous, simple, honest terms.” Instead, “We strive to invent sterilized synonyms.” Such “new words,” Alinsky taught, “mean something different, so that they tranquilize us, begin to shepherd our mental processes off the main, conflict-ridden, grimy, and realistic power-paved highway of life.”

Tranquilized, we will sleep. As we found the last time we tried this, our enemies won’t.

The above cartoon by Dave Granlund illustrates the first PC semantics change:

"Comrade Karla Senior" rolled-in on this one:

Is there also a new term for ally? I guess we can't call them co-combatants, if this is no longer a war. "Fellow operatives?" But for some of them this "contingency" can hardly be called "overseas" -- can it? I mean, for some it's right where they live. What was the "contingency" on 9/11? Maybe a "domestic contingency?" I don't want to call it something it isn't Oh, it's all so confusing for an old person.

How about, "Unfriendly combatants"? Then we could have "friendly co-operatives." There would be no casualties, of course. Some would become "inactively operative," others maybe "permanently inoperative". You're right. It's semantics, or "silly-mantics."

I think Blackfive's comments captures the "WTFO Factor" regarding the semantics issue:

While Hot Air had this to say about the latest PC-approved definitions:

Taking Care of Pirates the Good Old Fashion Way (We Wish)

On Wednesday, 8 April, Somali pirates seized the American-flagged container ship Maersk Alabama. According to FOX News yesterday this was the first time American sailors have been seized by pirates since 1804.

And in the maritime tradition, worthy of a Horatio Hornblower novel, the sailors retook their ship. Unfortunately, the pirates made off in a life-boat taking Captain Richard Phillips hostage. At the time of this post the guided missile destroyer USS Bainbridge is on-scene and FBI hostage negotiators are assisting the US Navy in this matter.

From the New York Times:

Comrade Karla e-mailed us an Associated Press (AP) version of this story along with the following comments:

"The military component here is always going to be marginal," said Peter Chalk, an expert on maritime national security at the private Rand Corp."

Clearly, this guy hasn't read any history. It was the military that solved the problem in the first place and so will it be the case today, assuming various countries with functioning navies cure their cranial rectitis about everything being a legal problem.

I can see why this particular situation is playing out the way it is given the hostage situation…. but navies sink pirate vessels and hang pirates. Then you find their lairs and destroy them. Seems to work pretty well to me.

Today's message traffic regarding this situation:

From Crassus' destruction of the Cypriot pirate kingdoms to today that'll be true. And if we ever venture far enough into space to have trade there'll be pirates as well with the same solution. Why is this higher math for them?

Comrade Karla: Oh because we're so civilized now don't you know. Morons. Reminds me of that Simpsons episode where the overly clever disarmed humans are conquered by aliens with 2 x 4s "Silly humans, your superior intellects are no match for our primitive weapons…"

Ultimately the key is going after their lairs which of course means messy operations on the land with troops. Going after individual boats and ships is like trying to stop the drug trade by busting the punks who are selling on the street corner.

Exactly, the Brits just took a page from the Romans. Destroy the basecamp. (except they didn't salt the earth and decorate the highways with crucifixions).

Sure they did...only they were hung on gibbets and from crow cages in the ports in conspicuous places where incoming/outgoing sea trafficcould see them. This both provided a warning to pirates and a heartyboost of morale for the merchant crews!
This prompted Comrade Karla to provide us with the above photograph of Execution Dock, possibly at or near Wapping, UK:

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Copycat Nutjobs Strike

In the wake of the mass murder in Binghamton, NY, copycat killers strike in Pittsburgh, PA and in Graham, WA. In Pittsburgh 3 police officers were killed while here in WA state a man shot his 5 children before committing suicide near a local casino.

N. Korea Launches its Missile

As North Korean citizens continue to starve, the Hermit Kingdom finally launches the missile its been preparing for several days.

In response, the UN Security Council will meet today to discuss the matter.

FOX News has been playing the "Shark Tank" scene of the movie Team America.

Very appropriate, especially since N. Korea claims they put a satellite into orbit while US and S. Korea are saying the final stage fell into the sea.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Shooting in Binghamton NY

I woke up this afternoon and when I logged on, I was shocked to discover there was a mass shooting in my hometown of Binghamton, NY.

A lone gunman barricaded the back door of the American Civic Center with his car, entered the front door and started shooting. As of now, 13 people have been killed, the gunman committed suicide and 4 people are in critical condition.

Pictured here is an AFP photo of BPD securing Front St.

Here's the story from the Seattle Times website:

A friend of mine I've known nearly all my life is on the Binghamton PD. My family and his grew up practically next door to each other. I still knew his mom's phone number and called her to see if he was okay. Fortunately he is. He's part of a permanent detachment that patrol's the city's high school. (When I grew up we didn't have police patrolling the corridors). Binghamton High School is just up the road from the American Civic Center and was immediately locked down when the 911 call came through.

It's so weird watching this news unfold and looking at familiar images clear across the country.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Russia's April Call-Up

The Russian Bear has come out of his post-Cold War hibernation. According an article in Time Magazine, today was suppose to be the largest peace-time draft in Russia's history. However, not everyone's eager to defend the Motherland:

This story generated several comments from my on-line friends. One responded to the comment about hazing due to boys not knowing what to do with themselves:

No, hazing happens because like the rest of Russian society, they are corrupt and undisciplined. Also, their military completely lacks any sort of professional NCOs to protect the conscripts from their fellow conscripts.

Comrade Karla had this to say:

Political Culture and societal structure are key to this…go back to the late tsarist period--say 1890-1914--and you can see where the glimmer of a civil society was starting to form along side the bad old traditions--which were routinely challenged by the more centerist political parties. WWI and the Revolution changed that. No concept of civil society ever formed in Russia and only the top-down control under the Soviets "managed" the sort of thing that is going on now. The overly-rapid changes post 1991 was like opening an airlock without depressurizing the ship--stuff shot out everywhere; add to this the fact that societal and governmental structures that are supposed to prevent this sort of thing suddenly had no controls on them and its no surprise that social anarchy and a Hobbesian situation has resulted--think of all those "Ministers" of this commodity or that who suddenly became "entrepeneurs," taking entire sectors of industry along with them.So on the surface you have government bureacracy, the army and any number of theoretically responsible structures that are anything but. [A friend] probably knows this better than the rest of us, but I know from university research stories just how endemic bribery and corruption is, ranging from archivists to militia traffic cops. Add to this the Red Army's unfortunate tradition of never developing a professional NCO class (junior officers routinely do the job of a senior NCO) and the result is predictable. This makes for an interesting contrast with WWII--ranks were not inflated then as captains routinely commanded battalions and senior NCOs sometimes commanded platoons. Partly this had to do with a shortage of those suitable to officer rank, but shows what was possible. But it just wasn't an option under Stalinism…and with a huge army that turned over enlisted men every two years, the groundwork for what is happening now was well and truly laid. It'd be interesting to see what truly functional formations they have--it seems like they focus on "elite" units like VDV, SOF, etc and maybe a select number of tank and motor rifle formations. But how do they sustain it? Not only do you have this draft dodging, but the Great Russian population base is dwindling while the "alalalalalalalalalalala!" crowd are doing anything but.

And finally:

...The stories of what goes on in the Russian military behind the scenes to their own soldiers are just horrific, and it is completely understandable why everyone does everything he can to avoid being drafted. Avoiding the draft isn't the only problem they have to deal with. From the time they are first exempted from the draft until they turn 27 they are at risk every time they are stopped by the police for any reason, because the police insist on bribes to keep for turning in draft-age eligible men to the local military commisar (i.e. the snap judgement of the police and commisar can undo a "not fit for service" health exemption if they believe the guy is healthy enough, and can then immediately induct him into the military).. Basically, it is a system that ensures a steady flow of bribes to everyone.