Saturday, June 29, 2013

(Un)Rule Britannia

While my wife and I continued our home consolidation project, the scandals that I've blogged about continue to "percolate," as Comrade Karla put it. 
Take your pick:  IRS, NSA, Benghazi, just to name a few, continue to be in the news, thanks to FOX News, Breitbart and other conservative websites.  The rest of the mainstream media (MSM), however, does its collective best to ignore these issues.
With so much going on--and no resolution in sight--it was hard for me to decide what to blog about.
That is, until I came across this story:  UK Bans Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer from Entering the Country.
 Robert Spencer operates Jihad Watch and is the author of several excellent books on Islam and jihad.  While Pamela Geller operates Atlas Shrugs.  Both are partners in the American Freedom Defense Initiative.
The world is indeed, turned upside down.  The country that America derives its laws and customs, now listens to the bleating of groups like Hope Not Hate (via the Liberal Conspiracy) advocating dhimmitude in the face of jihadi bullies.
Such a decision, not to mention investigating those inside the UK speaking out against Islamic violence, is shocking, to say the least.  Richard Fernandez offers some explanation, in a squeaky wheel gets the grease sort of way
Mark Steyn declared frees speech is dead in the UK, while The Diplomad thinks Her Majesty's Government has flatlined.
I'd like to think we could help resuscitate our allies across the pond, but we're heading in the same direction.
One of my friends put it best:  Every living British WWII vet must be wondering why it was worth the trouble.  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Accepting the "Inevitable?"

 Teenage girls aren't the only ones swooning over anyone or anything remotely connected to Islam (see yesterday's post).  Almost a week ago, Mark Steyn wrote about westerners' slide into Acceptance-Silence-and-Submission
What these folks don't understand, is that when it comes to Islam, "acceptance" is not a two-way street.
Take homosexuality for instance.  The Washington Post published this chart on LGBT Tolerance
Anyone really surprised by the survey?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Boston Bomber--A Victim of Gun Violence? Really?

(Image:  Tamerlan Tsarnaev)
I couple days ago it came to light that the late and unlamented Tamerlan Tsarnaev was declared a victim of gun violence.  I first caught wind of this on FOX News' show, The Five.  I liked Greg Gutfeld's take on this story:  That it tipped the hand of gun control groups at inflating the numbers of people supposedly killed by gun violence.
Mark Steyn often speculated that a number of such "victims" were actually perpetrators meeting their demise at the hands of police, or armed citizens.
If this wasn't bad enough, Dzhokhar, the still-living brother, now has thousands of fans, mostly teenage girls who think he's "too beautiful to be a terrorist." And they're clinging to any conspiracy theory they can Tweet to "prove" his innocence.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Gun Safety Talk--Verboten

(Image of Katee Sackhoff as Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica)

It appears that anything short of gun control is unacceptable among liberals.  Actess Katee Sackhoff lost half her Twitter followers for advocating gun safety instead of all-out gun control

Woo-hoo!  This means the lines for her autograph at the sci-fi and comic book conventions will be shorter!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

No Money For Embassy Security...

(Image of a prostitue in Washington, DC, from FOX News)

...but apparently State Department personnel have plenty of dough to blow on drugs and hookers.  DOS is not only embroiled in a milti-layered scandal, but the investigations were thwarted internally.

I guess the embassy personnel weren't Tea Party members.

What's the Big Deal?

(Image by Michael Ramirez)

Well, it looks like over half the country is cool with the NSA spying on them

Comrade Karla made this observation:

Interesting how the numbers have shifted—if this were the Bush Admin, I suspect the majority of Dems would not support this.  Which is why I consider most of them to be hypocrites—they’re only offended if Bushitlercheneyhalliburton does it; otherwise, it’s goes beyond being willing to give up their freedoms—some of them honestly DO NOT CARE what their own side does, regardless of how much the moaned and protested when the eeeeeeevil GOP did “the same thing,” or something that was perfectly legal/justified—they just didn’t agree with it.

Logic not their strong suit!

He also pointed out why outsourcing intelligence is such a bad idea.

But one friend did counter with this:

I'm not sure the whole contractor issue is as big a deal as people are making it out to be. The Walkers, Pollard, Ames, and Hansen were all either active duty or USG civilians and those are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head. There have no doubt been plenty of others.

To which the good Comrade replied:

True. I was thinking more of a big picture, what is most cost effective, etc etc. Security is a problem—but as you say, not limited to contractors.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Blizzard of Scandals Continues

(Image by Lisa Benson)

The most "transparent administration" has been tapping our phones. 

(Image by Nate Beeler)

The latest & greatest scandal to hit Our Dear Leader's regime over the weekend, when NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, identified himself to the UK's Guardian holed up in Hong Kong.  This of course, is rife with irony.

Reactions to this continually unraveling story range from: "Meh, happens all the time," to "the conspiracy theorists were right all along!"  But mostly somewhere in between.

Shane Harris discusses the scariest part of the NSA revelations.  My writer friend Piper Bayard, of Bayard & Holmes fame, weighed-in and asked what price convenience?

Meanwhile Charles Cook provided an even-handed look at Liberty in the Tentacular State.  This generated a couple lengthy responses:

It was indeed a good article. But is also emblematic of the "reach-around the back" hand-holding by the far left and the libertarian right that is becoming all-too-commonplace these days. If everyone who is publicly hyperventalating over this latest "scandal" really cared about government's supposed intrusion into their lives and liberties, they would have long ago demanded, en masse, that Congress repeal withholding--or the income tax altogether. Instead, they obsess about what private information the government "might" come across at the very same time they willingly allow (and provide!!) acces to much more of their personal and private information to corporations (many not American-owned) that are NOT bound by the Constitution and have much more proactive intent-to-use that information than anyone in the deepest bowels of NSA has.

I love how they trot out things like the much-misused Ben Franklin quote that has nothing to do with what the poli--sci undegrads and Baby Boomer drop out profs think it does.Hint: Ben was NOT talking about surrendering access to personal property or informatrion in favor of security. My memory is shaky on precise details, but he was talking about ensuring that the colony of Pennsylvania has the right to tax its citizens and organize frontier defense against bandits/savages (read: Indians) rather than rely on the vagaries of Parliament in far-off London (which had the habit of exempting people like the Penn Family from said taxes) to fund/provide defense . Oh, and this article relying on extensive quotations from the historian (AJP Taylor) who was dissapointed that the UK aligned with the US in 1945 instead of the USSR is hilarious (and indicative of how "ignorant" even the supposedly intellectual "conservatices" have become.)...

...Frankly, I find all of this hand wringing and gnashing of teeth over government surveillance programs to be rather silly.  First, there are the far more extensive, pervasive, and worrisome corporate intrusions into our lives (as Joe pointed out).  Heck, the other day I saw the "Google Street View" car drive past my house.  Why don't the same conspiracy theorists on the left and the right go bat $#!+ over that sort of thing?  I can only imagine what their reaction would be if a car drive down the street with "Department of Homeland Security Street View" painted on the side.  Not only that, through various forms of social media, people now willingly, happily, and without any thought to the possible consequences reveal all sorts of details about themselves to anybody with an internet connection.  The same people who scream about government surveillance will post pictures of themselves while on vacation several time zones away on their Facebook pages without even stopping to consider that maybe the creep who wants to rob their house is trolling for information.

Personally, I'm very concerned about all this.  True, as my friends mentioned above, private enterprises obtain a huge amount of personal information from customers--who give it to them freely.  But when I "connect the dots" with all the other scandals that have come to light, it paints an ugly picture.

As far as Mr. Snowden, while I'm glad this abuse of power has come to light, I certainly don't consider him a hero.  I think Mark Steyn made the best conclusion when he discussed A Blizzard of Snowdens

(Image by Bob Gorrell)

Friday, June 7, 2013

The All-Seeing State

Just a quick post for today.  I just finished reading Mark Steyn's article, The All-Seeing State (and of course, copied the title for my blogpost). 
Once again, Mark cuts through the bureaucrateze to point out that what's needed isn't more "compliance regulations," but a complete overhaul of a morally corrupt agency.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Is it Still "Workplace Violence?"

(Image by Chip Bok)

Well, Maj. Hasan, the Ft. Hood Shooter threw the courtroom in a tizzy the other day.  When asked about his motive for killing 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounding over 30, he said:  To defend the leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban

Sounds like he was waging his own personal war to me.  In my non-politically correct mind, anyone yelling "Allahu Ackbar" while opening fire has clearly defined his motive. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

New National (In)Security Advisor

(Image by John Skelley)

Our Dear Leader announced today that Susan Rice will be the new National Security Advisor

Yippee.  I feel (un)safer already.

And who will be filling-in as the Ambassador to the UN (Useless Nobodies)?

Samantha Power.

You know, the one who called for the US to invade Israel.

I bet the Israelis feel safer too, especially after O & Co, published the details of a missile base we were scheduled to build them

Comrade Karla said it best:

The administration once again has Israel's back--so they can stick a knife in it.

The Dhimmitude of the West

Last week Ann Coulter warned how Her Majesty's Government was cracking down on the English Defence League, instead of the jihadi killers within the Realm. 

This dhimmitude isn't contained to the mother country, but is pervasive throughout the Commonwealth.  In The Land Down Under, students from the Australian National University made several infographics satarizing various religions.  However, when it came to Islam, the University elders issued a cease & desist order

The prime article from The Lawfare Project, mentions the fact that Australia doesn't have a 1st Amendment like America does.  However, our Freedom of Speech, especially anything criticizing Islam, may be stifled.  The Justice Department is mulling over the idea that spreading "inflammitory" information about Muslims will constitute a civil rights violation

The Diplomad rolls-in on Western Civilization's dhimmitude with his post on Breaching the Gates of Paris and Memphis.

When will the dhimmis in our midst learn?


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Monday Musings

(Image by Michael Ramirez)

Yesterday, instead of sending us link-laden e-mails, Comrade Karla wrote-out his personal thoughts on some of the issues that plague us.

Here's the abridged Monday Musings, shortened for readability and privacy, from "...we happy few..."

As I sit here, enjoying the crappy Monday morning weather, having perused the newspaper to see that our politicians remain idiots and the public a bunch of mind-numbingly stupid sheep, I wonder about the epic sweep of history (how’s that for a segue?)

1914 saw the beginning of a series of cataclysms that defined the 20th century.
Will 2014 do the same for the 21st? I’m starting to wonder if a perfect storm of disastrous overseas events isn’t looming. 9/11 was bad enough, but our administration has now decided that “all that is in the past, nothing to see, all is well” while in fact things are unraveling at an increasingly fast pace in the Middle East and elsewhere—our institutional media and politicians are simply pretending it isn’t happening.
But I think it is. So what will it be? A regional conflict that goes hotter and wider? Somebody popping an errant WMD?
Feel free to speculate…I know I do. Probably way too much.

Your thoughts are inline with my own. There are so many mounting crises in the world, and most predominately in the Muslim world. The Syrian Civil War, Iranian nukes, the Shia-Sunni war that is ramping up coupled with the Saudi/Arab-Persian conflict that parallels it, Pakistan's slow disintegration even as it ramps up its nuke program, the jihadist explosion in northern Africa, Islamism in Europe, Turkey's troubles. Elsewhere we have China's less than peaceful rise, Europe's spiral downward into uselessness, North Korea's perpetual instability, etc etc.

The interesting (in a bad way) thing is how different combinations of these things will play off each other in unpredictable ways. Maybe an Iranian nuclear test wil destabilize Pakistan, which leads to Chinese intervention for its ally, which lead to trouble in Korea. Who knows? The point is the utter unpredictability. 1939 was pretty straightforward, even at the time for many who paid attention, and for everyone in hindsight. We don't have that luxrious simplicity.
Now, throw in a perfect storm of rightist isolationism, PC-ism, and general leftist stupidity in the one country that can positively impact any and all of these issues, and you get a seirous potential for disaster. (BTW, one comment in the Diplomad that is very true is that the US can survive Obama, but it cannot survive the fact that most people voted for him).
I am pretty sure something is going to happen - my gut tells me something is coming, and I tend to believe my gut instincts (my schadenfreude hope is that it happens on a furlough day!). As for what the "thing" will be, it's anybody's guess.

Comrade Karla Senior responded with this sage advice:

Sadly, your comments are well put...As somebody once said to me during a typhoon. May as well sit down and enjoy it; there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

Eventually there's going to be a matter-antimatter collision somewhere. It's not a question of "if," but "when" and "how bad?"...What struck me about the 08 election wasn't just the fact that Obame got re-elected, but how a significant number of voters were still undecided--even while standing in line at the voting booths. It boggles my mind that there's so many clueless voters.

And the liberal-democrats are happy to keep things that way.

Words out of my mouth...With all the BS, I am gratified that my feelings so parallel those of people with whom I am glad to be acquainted.

And the MSM helps by making claims along the lines of “25 percent of Republicans support Obama.” Wow. Really? I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that they aren’t really Republicans or conservatives. One can no longer assume the two terms to be interchangeable.
The other problem with 08 and 12 was the MSM running interference for this guy. Anything negative or scandalous was spiked. And the GOP establishment let them get away with it.

I disagree that the GOP let them (the MSM) get away with it. They were drowned out and, as...pointed out, no one would listen. The constant barrage of “Republicans/Conservatives are the modern day equivalent of your crazy uncle” has taken hold. Goebbel’s Big Lie is working.

Well, I agree that the MSM tried to drown out the opposition; that said, Boehner’s counter-arguments were not made with much force. Republicans routinely let he lefties make silly claims and get away with it.

I don’t know that there is an easy answer.
Today was a good example. I was in the gym from around 1220-1310. CNN at no point ever mentioned the IRS revelations, but they talked about Angelina Jolie’s boobs, that South African guy on trial for murdering his wife—anything BUT the important stuff.
OK, they did mention the rioting in Turkey, but as nobody has really been covering Erdogan’s Islamicization of the Turkish government, I doubt it resonated very much.

Syrian: Shades of the Spanish Civil War?

(Image by Glenn Foden)

Last week Syrian President, Bashar Assad, was "confident of victory" over the rebels

No wonder, since his regime has been getting support from Russia and Iran. 

But this isn't the first time that major players, or major player wannabees, have gotten involved in someone else's civil war.  Michael Ledeen points out that what's unfolding in and around Syria is similar to the Spanish Civil War

While Iran and Russia are openly propping-up Assad's dictatorship, Michael Fernandez warns what a sinkhole this will be for Obama & Co. 

These tidbits o' info sparked this lengthy discussion between two of my friends:

Syria never fares well when “striking against Israel.”

Perhaps, but the idiots in the US who leaked that Israel attacked them forced Assad's hand -- previously, he has pretended attacks never happened and the Israel's did likewise. With (rather lame, admittedly) plausible deniability, he could get away with inaction. No longer.

I'm more concerned that it seems that Assad, with heavy duty assists from Hezbollah and Iran, is finally starting to beat the opposition. While I support neither side, per se, I really would've liked to see the Iran-Syria-Lebanon axis broken, specially before Iraq becomes a full fledged part of it....The Sunni/Arab-Shia/Persian civil war is really starting to heat up now!

My hope is that even if Assad “wins,” he’s going to have a long-term insurgency on his hands—Syria will be about as stable as Iraq is becoming (thanks to the fecklessness of The One and the Dems/1920s GOP members in general).
I concur on the leaks—Obama only likes leaks that he thinks will enhance his image/standing.  Anybody else will attract the ire of Darth Holder.
 Hopefully the Hezbos and their paymasters will get tied up/distracted by the anti-Assad insurgency.  We could stir the pot with assistance.  I suspect the Israelis are probably already doing stuff like this.  Hopefully they’ve learned not to share sensitive intel with us in that regard.

I would think the deep-pocket Saudis and GCC states would be able to send all the weapons required, but maybe not. I'm not savvy on real-world arms trafficking.

If nothing else, for Iran, this has pushed their nuke program out of the news for a good long while now.
Long tem, I am also concerned how Russia continues to go out of their way to F- with us, and once again are getting away with it. Vladimir is going to get too big for his britches soon if this keeps up, as he doubt already believes we are weak and feckless (and we are, sadly).

The Russian leadership continue to live in some sort of dream world where it’s the 1970s or 80s and they’re the Soviets. Given the drastic changes to the world landscape since 1990, and Russia’s relative military strength, it’s a mystery to me why they are doing this. Then again, our ueber fecklessness, combined with NATO’s flaccid approach to foreign affairs is no doubt encouraging them!

A friend of mine who is married to a Ukrainian and has been to Russia several times recently said that not all of the Russian public are buying Vlad’s shtick—but enough of them obviously still do that he has not been challenged in a meaningful way.
Then again, if you kill or imprison all your potential political opponents, it rather stacks the deck.

The pieces of this "Spanish Civil War Redux" are still in play.  How the game will end is anyone's guess, but it looks like Assad's forces have gained the initiative and are on the offensive.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cap Guns and Sign Symbols Verbotten

(Image by Treker)
Remember the story about the Pennsylvania girl getting suspended over a Hello Kitty Bubble Gun?


(Image from Christopher Diarmani's blog)
...and it was an exceptionally stupid day yesterday. 
First, my friend Comrade Karla posted a story on Facebook about a boy in Virginia (I believe) that was interrogated for two hours and suspended for ten days for bringing a cap gun on a school bus.
However, not to be outdone, the Zero Tolerance Nazis in Nebraska have done one better.  Grand Island school officials are trying to get parents to change their 3 year-old deaf son's name.
I mean, if MSN thinks this incident is stupid, then it's downright imbecilic.
As Mark Steyn warned, over the pop tart gun incident, "No society can survive this level of stupidity."

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sympathizing with Killers

(Image by Ken Catalino)
Gullible teenage girls aren't the only ones swooning over Dzhokhar and the late Tamerlan Tsarnaev.  The NYT book reviewer, Christian Caryl goes out of his way to Sympathize with the jihadist brothers.
Our judicial system isn't immune to such idiocy either.  Andrew McCarthy discusses a case of conflicting interests in trying jihadists in court
And in a case of "who guards the guards," a Gitmo guard who converted to Islam is demanding the detainees be freed.
One friend (among many, I'm sure) doubts this guy's accuracy:
Forget's some idiot fare. I wonder how accurate his stories are?
To which the Good Comrade responded:
As for his accuracy, I’m doubtful. Where would you get “menstrual blood?” It’s not like there’s a DOD requisition form for that. Given the precepts of taqiyya, I’d say anything he says is suspect, though he may mix some truth into it (like making them listen to music. As long as it’s not Michael Bolton, we can avoid being charged with war crimes).

Firebrand Ann Coulter, calls out this "blame the victim/it's all our fault" tendency with her Send Us Your Violent Bigots article.