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Saturday, September 10, 2011

We Should be Ashamed

Originally posted September 11, 2009

Exactly eight years ago to the minute, hundreds of people were dying. Many died of burns, trauma, or smoke inhalation. Just minutes later would almost 3,000 in total be murdered by an imperialist attack by the forces of Islamist terrorism. People jumped from the Towers in order to not suffer burns any longer-- people walked stunned over the Brooklyn Bridge-- over 200 firefighters did not return home.

And few remember.

We should be ashamed of ourselves. In the days following the attacks of September 11th, 2001, some of the most parroted lines were "Lest we forget" and "Never forget." By the end of 2005 it was apparent that the majority of Americans had forgotten, or just did not care.

Think about the resolve of the 90% of Americans who stood up to call for a blistering attack on the center of Islamist terrorism. That not only meant the Taliban, but state sponsors, like Iraq, Iran, and Syria. Time had come to finally destroy those who had funded this type of murder for decades.

Do you remember how idiotic the 10% of the rest of the country looked when they opposed attacking Osama? Those people formed the core of the anti-Iraq War detractors and the Kerry '04 and Obama '08 campaigns. They are just as stupid now as they were while Ground Zero was still smoldering.

President Bush made a roaring and strong speech just nine days after the attack, showing just what we had to do. Americans were supportive of it then, when we actually remembered the attack:

We're really so concerned that three terrorists were waterboarded? We're so concerned that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the planner of the deaths of 3,000 Americans and the decapitator of Daniel Pearl, had a gunshot fired near him to scare him? I don't care. He murdered thousands of innocent people. I just don't care about him getting waterboarded, and neither should you.

We whine so much about the tools which prevented the next attack. We are disgusted by the lessons learned from the attacks.

Say what you want about George W. Bush, but he kept his promises. He promised that he wouldn't forget. He promised that he would make sure to avenge September 11th, 2001, and make sure that it would not reoccur on his watch.

He kept his word-- that is his legacy.

If bin Laden (or We) Knew on September 10, 2001

Author's note: I've been dealing with flood relief the last two weeks, but had to make sure to write a memorial on this anniversary.

With all of the grandstanding and hadwringing that accompany any anniversary of the September 11th atrocities, it's easy to become upset with the swamp of self-loathing that half of this country is constantly spouting. But let's take a step back and look at the actual effects of what the United States and its allies have done since that tragic day-- and how bin Laden's vision has been crippled, and shown to be as hollow as the hole in his head.

When George W. Bush took office in January 2001, Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda had just gone through a massive building period. During the 1990s, bin Laden had been hosted by the Sudan and the Taliban-- and the Taliban had successfully taken over the majority of Afghanistan. They had a completely reactionary sharia state with a foreign policy so odoriferous that only three other countries even recognized their authority. Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other Mujahadeen, had successfully defeated the Soviet Union (with Western and Pakistani support) and during the 1990s trained approximately 70,000 Islamists in Afghanistan. Furthermore, al Qaeda had franchises or allied groups in Indonesia (Jamiyah Islamiyah), the Philippines (Abu Sayyaf), Egypt (Egyptian Islamic Jihad), Algeria, Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, and a smaller presence in dozens of other countries.

When bin Laden gave the order to launch the attacks the United States' intelligence and defense spending and size had been downsized during the Clinton years. American intelligence agencies could not communicate effectively and the only US terror plot busted recently was by luck (the 2000 LAX bombing plot). Bin Laden believed that he struck out of strength. After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing came little response (true, Ramzi Youssef was captured, but not a widescale attack on al Qaeda or its facilitators), North Korea got nuclear capability with little response, and Iraq flouted (and kicked out) weapons inspectors with little response. Bin Laden believed (or must have) that the attacks on America would push it into a cycle of withdrawal and self-blame.

That day came and the United States rallied. Think of that horrible day-- and if anyone told you the following, would you have believed them.

Ten years on:

Osama bin Laden would be dead. His networks in almost every country would be either reduced or in some countries (Indonesia, the Philippines, Chechnya) would be nearly decimated. The Taliban would be largely damaged and if not for a porous, indefensible border with Pakistan, completely sidelined. Afghanistan has a corrupt, but somewhat functional government. Al Qaeda by the end of 2011 faces a structural crippling-- its leaders and financial networks have been largely severed.

Saddam Hussein would be overthrown in a very public invasion and placed on trial by a democratic, somewhat secular government. The new Iraqi government declared war on al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah, and at least one prominent member of Parliament suggested an alliance with not only the United States, but Israel (Mithal al-Alusi). Al Qaeda attempted to take over Iraq and instead, an eventual alliance of Arabs, Kurds, Britons, and Americans defeated them in one of the centers of the Arab and Muslim world. Al Qaeda's leader there would be killed and the group which in 2001 called for the end of "American imperialism" there saw its fortune turn sour there with the aid of US servicemen. Iraq served as the very visible defeat of al Qaeda in as a fighting force and an ideology.

Muammar Qaddafi would be overthrown and replaced with a government that wants open relations with Israel. In fact, using the inspiration of the fall of the unsinkable dictator Hussein, there have been revolutions against Arab dictatorships. Iran's own revolution of 2009 and perhaps Syria's of 2011 died from America turning its eyes away. Of course, the revolutions could take a very bad (and Islamist) turn-- but remember that if Syria and Iran fall, there will be no overtly anti-US regimes in the Middle East.

The United States hadn't been hit by a large-scale attack since. American civil rights were not curtailed-- not signed away by a stroke of President Bush's pen. The new intelligence service works so well that there hasn't been a major scandal and there are attacks that have been prevented that we have no inkling of. The worst "crime" of the "Bush regime" in its "shredding of the Constitution" was the waterboarding of three al Qaeda leaders. Americans caught involved with al Qaeda or sting operations have been placed on trial, open for the public.

Overall-- if you told me these things on the morning of September 12, 2001, I wouldn't have believed most of them. It would have also been both surprising and not so that there would be so many blame-America-first, fair weather patriots that claim that this terrible country has suffered more at its own hands than has helped itself over the last decade. For all of the hysterical wailing, information is more free than it was then (think of the proliferation of web media and the amount of false horseshit on so many sites). People that "doubt" the official story of that day are not killed by government agents or "disappear", but are well-known and rarely challenged members of pop culture.

So in many ways, we've won. Al Qaeda is near defeat-- its potential allies are on the ropes. True, the so-called Arab Spring may turn very bad very quickly, but considering, they've failed to incite a pan-Muslim jihad on the West. Instead, in a lot of ways, they've forced the Muslim world to hate them and many in the West to sympathize or make excuses for them (think of all of the Europeans that say that American policy caused their "legitimate grievances").

Despite all of the self-promotion and whining, this country has survived and is in many ways stronger. Bin Laden must have been suffering the last months of his life knowing that he lived long enough to see his vision fail.

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Longshoreman gets angry (VERY NSFW video)

Impressive. I count no fewer than 29 obscenities and one obscene gesture in less than 2 minutes. That's an obscenity every 4 seconds or so.

Unrelated to anything the Tea Party is doing. But isn't it funny how the Tea Party is covered by the media extensively, but this isn't?

But there is no media bias. Nope, no sirree!

Audio- President Bush Speech at Shanksville, PA Memorial

God, I miss this man:

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Feds Fear 9/11 Anniversary Plot Involves Dirty Bomb

God forbid:
Just two days before the 10th anniversary, New York City is on high alert.

Federal and local authorities have beefed up security after receiving intelligence about a credible threat. The alleged plot by al Qaeda involves detonating car bombs on bridges and in tunnels in New York and Washington D.C. to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11.

Chopper 2 HD got a look at the NYPD in action on Friday — police cruisers and orange cones marked one checkpoint on the George Washington Bridge. On the West Side Highway, at one of the many checkpoints, police were stopping drivers and searching vehicles, specifically vans and trucks. There is also a threat to bridges and tunnels.

Security was equally tight at Penn Station, where armed guards were keeping watch over travelers as Transportation Security Administration agents performed random bag checks, swiping packs for gunpowder.

The crossroads of the world came to a grinding halt at various times Friday because for police Times Square has become the ground zero of the latest terror threat. Sources told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer that another attempt to explode a bomb there is a key concern, and the intelligence suggests it could be a dirty bomb.

Based on informant information authorities are looking for three suspects. One is believed to be an American citizen. Two others apparently have U.S. travel documents.
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Firefighting Aircraft Sits on California Tarmac Thanks to Contract Dispute While Texas Continues to Burn

A contract dispute with a California aviation company is keeping close to half the US Government's firefighting aircraft idle on the tarmac thousands of miles from fast-moving wildfires in Texas that have killed at least two people, scored more than 100,000 acres and destroyed nearly 1400 homes in the Lone Star state.

The U.S. Forest Service terminated the contract with Aero Union five weeks ago to operate seven P-3 Orions that are critical to the agency’s firefighting mission, leaving the federal government with 11 tankers under contract to help battle more than 50 large uncontained wildfires now burning nationwide.

That’s down from 40 tankers used by the Forest Service just a decade ago, according to Rep. Dan Lungren (R.-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Administration, who is challenging the decision to dismiss the largest provider of heavy air-tanker support to the federal government.

“We were certified to fly all season, but they just terminated us and threw 60 people out of work and left the country vulnerable to fires, as you can see right now in Texas,” said Britt Gourley, CEO for Aero Union.

“This is our 50th anniversary fighting fires for the Forest Service. It’s not quite the way we wanted to celebrate it,” Gourley said.

Gourley said the government did not provide details on why the contract was canceled, but that they did not agree with Aero Union’s 15-year maintenance plan.

“We wanted to sit down with them and ask why it was canceled and find a quick resolution, but they didn’t want to talk about it. They just said, ‘We don’t want the airplanes, have a nice life,’ ” Gourley said. “I had to let go of my staff–60 people and their families were devastated,” Gourley said. “It’s really been tragic.”

The Forest Service says it will not use aircraft that does not meet its requirements, and in this case that included the long-term airworthiness inspection program, although the company passed its annual inspection.

“Our main priority is protecting and saving lives, and we can’t in good conscience maintain an aviation contract where we feel lives may be put at risk due to inadequate safety practices,” said Tom Harbour, director of the Forest Services fire and aviation management program.

“This contract termination notwithstanding, we possess the aircraft support needed for this year’s fire season,” [emphasis mine- Fenway_Nation] Harbour said.
The California-based comany has been in dire financial straights since the cancellation of the US Forest Service contract, missing their first lease payment on their space at the Chico, CA airport and had to lay off 60 employees.

In April 2011, the US State Department requested the use of two specially equipped C-130 cargo planes from the US Air Force Reserve's 302nd Airlift Wing in Peterson AFB, Colorado to combat wildfires in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila. Contrast that with taking nearly two months for any kind of federal disaster declaration from the Obama Administration.

Firefighters had made inroads Wednesday against the most destructive of the nearly two dozen wildfires that have scorched the Lone Star state since Labor Day weekend. The Bartsop county complex fire, just east of the state capital of Austin, has scorched at least 34,000 acres and nearly 500 homes and is thought to have killed two people as of Thursday.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who announced his presidential bid last month, cut short campaigning in South Carolina and held a new conference in Barstop on Monday after being briefed by public safety officials (although he did attend Wednesday night's televised GOP debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA).

Other wildfires in Texas include a 7000 acre fire southeast of Spicewood and a 150 acre fire in Travis County that's burned 25 homes.

[Cross Posted at Not Another New England Sports Blog!]

Friday, September 9, 2011

Israeli Embassy Attacked in Cairo

The Israeli Embassy in Cairo was attacked by thousands of Egyptian radicals today, forcing the Ambassador and his family to return to Israel on military transport.

No Israeli citizens were seriously hurt in the attack, and the embassy has yet to be breached as of last report, but Egyptian police reportedly did nothing when the violent mob assaulted the complex on the Nile River.

This represents the latest fracturing in Israeli-Egyptian relations since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, who supported Israel and their 1979 peace treaty, and the rise of an more Islamic society since the revolts in the early Spring. Some islamic factions are now openly calling for war on Israel as they gain in power leading to parliamentary elections later this year.

Please pray for Israel.

What say you?

Real Hope for a Change

Hope and change were the magic words that swept a relatively unknown, inexperienced Barack Obama into the Oval Office. He campaigned as the one able to fix the Bush economy. Once in office he has protested that he didn’t know how bad the economy was even though that was what he had run his campaign on. He has spent the majority of his first term blaming everyone for everything. His signature accomplishments, the stimulus, Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial reform have done more to hurt than help. Serial vacations and weekly golf outings aside, President Obama has worked hard and has so far managed to turn a recession into the Great Recession. Now he offers the opening salvo of his 2012 campaign economic platform and the message is, “More of the same” with no solution in sight.
The solution to our current malaise is not more of the same. It isn’t spreading the wealth around in a step-by-step slide into socialism. The solution isn’t even a return to the status quo as it stood before the current administration began its war on American exceptionalism. We cannot return to a system that alternates between Republican and Democratic Progressives. We must make a break with the post-Reagan past. We must return to the fundamentals that made America the greatest nation the world has ever known: individual liberty and free enterprise safe guarded by a written constitution, and a federal representative republic operating on democratic principles
The solution is simple. How we get there is the subject of this article and hopefully a sign pointing in the direction of change.
First we have to unleash the primary engine of our greatness, our people.
Currently a tax system no one, even the people who write it, can understand depresses creativity and entrepreneurship by penalizing anyone who excels with the aptly named progressive tax. Income tax had been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1894. So Congress led the way in proposing and passing the 16th Amendment which allowed for not only an income tax but a graduated income tax. The first income tax law provided for a graduated tax with a top rate of 7%. And when it was stated during the debate that someday the rate might reach an unbelievable 50% the speaker was laughed to scorn. Yet, by 1961 the top rate had climbed to 91% with the 50% rate beginning at the $16,000 level. These rates were cut dramatically under Ronald Reagan and a wave of growth was ignited that blazed for decades. However they have been creeping back up ever since. But it isn’t the rates whatever they are that we should stand against. It is instead the idea behind them. If we want a level playing field and if we want everyone to pay their fair share what we need is a flat tax. Everyone, whether they make $1,000, $10,000 or $10,000,000 pays the same percentage with no deductions and no tax credits. Everyone pays. Everyone contributes. If you earn money you join with all other earners to support the nation. Trying to tax our way out of debt elicits a paraphrase of Parkinson’s Law, “Expenditures always rise to meet income.”
Next we have to unleash our corporations.
Today America has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. This makes us uncompetitive and unattractive to foreign capital. First of all tax on corporate profits is a double tax because corporations are owned by stock holders. When the profits are distributed to the owners of the stock they are responsible for this as income. Therefore the corporate tax is a double tax which is obviously unfair and an inhibition to growth and productivity. I do not propose to lower the corporate tax rate. I propose we eliminate it entirely. This would strike a blow for true equality, freedom, and fairness. It would also take a giant step in the direction of making America once again the most attractive place in the world for those who want the freedom to excel.
I would couple this with an immediate moratorium on federal regulations and a roll back on those which have shackled our economy since the beginning of the progressive era. Take the oil industry for example.  If we would cut the ideologically driven threads which bind this giant we could unleash the power of our vast reserves, free ourselves from dependence on our enemies and create millions of jobs.  “Drill Baby Drill” could become the slogan for a general renewal of American free enterprise.  We need to cut the red tape that strangles us and let freedom ring.
What about foreign Affairs?
Internationally we need to return to the policies which guided us from being a raw undeveloped nation on the edge of civilization to the pinnacle of world power. This foreign policy is superbly summed up by one of the most under-rated presidents in American History, John Quincy Adams in his statement, “America goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.” To return to America’s traditional foreign policy we need to end the undeclared wars. Stop maintaining garrisons in more than 100 nations around the world, bring our troops home, and guard our own borders. We need to quit trying to build nations for people who don’t even like us,  come home and rebuild our own infrastructure once the envy of the world now a crumbling reminder of what we could once accomplish.
We also need to return the control of America’s money to Congress where it belongs according to the Constitution. The perpetually re-elected have abdicated their responsibility to create money to the Federal Reserve. Originally instituted to abolish the business cycle and manage the economy this central bank has presided over the devaluation of American currency and the inflation of one bubble after another which has led to one crash after another.
It is instructive to remember, that Marx in his Manifesto of the Communist Party called for, “Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.” And that Thomas Jefferson said, “The central bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the Principles and form of our Constitution. I am an Enemy to all banks discounting bills or notes for anything but Coin. If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the People of all their Property until their Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.” We must free ourselves from this privately and secretly owned corporation that controls our monetary system and our economy.
Lenin once said, “The surest way to destroy a nation is to debauch its currency.” The Federal Reserve Bank has inflated our currency almost beyond recognition and to re-establish our nation as the greatest experiment in human freedom that it was meant be we must reverse this trend. To do this we must stop the deficit spending which drives our debt which creates the need for politicians to inflate our currency to hide their mismanagement. We need to cut current deficit spending, cap future spending, and begin to pay down the debt. Only by actually becoming responsible once again will we create the certainty of value that sound money portrays. Inflation is a dishonest tax upon all we earn and the silent thief of all we save.
Our current leaders work to manage the decline of America. However, those of us who refuse to accept the inevitability of this decline can turn it around. We can stand in the gap and bring forth the re-birth of America. So, if we have the will and the courage we can have some real hope for a change.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com/ View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens.

Dow Plummets after Obama Speech (Live Dow Graph)

Go figure, no one's buying what President Obama is selling:
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Trumka's 9/11 Message: "Extremist" Right-Wingers "Opened Door to Hate," Turned 9/11 Heroes Into "Enemy No. 1"

Normally people talk of unity in the face of terror.  In the days after September 11, 2001, our nation came together like never before.  We did it so we could comfort one another, rebuild both our confidence and our skyline, and in order to confront radical Islam.

Instead, disgraced AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka uses September 11 as a jumping board in order to bash conservatives.  At the beginning of his message, he devotes a few fleeting paragraphs on "opened doors," but then his rambling prose quickly devolves into a swamp of lies and hatred.

For example, if you talk to any conservative, he or she has endless respect for those who lost their lives on September 11, particularly those who rushed into buildings in order to help those in need.  Not true, declares Trumka!  Instead, he writes:
[D]espite our vows, the public servants, construction workers and others who lost their lives or still suffer with the cancerous remnants of the Twin Towers haven’t just been forgotten. They’ve been vilified. The extremist small government posse has turned them into public enemy No. 1.
Now, anyone without a severe head injury would realize that conservatives have never put down or made fun of those who lost their lives in the horror of 9/11.  Honestly, it's a waste of time to even write this, because everyone knows and Trumka is simply lying.
What (I assume) Trumka is blathering about is that conservatives are upset that many unions are over-powered and, therefore, at times hurt the economy.  Particularly in this economic downturn, when many lower-waged workers are losing their jobs outright, union members are still getting raises and are still getting paid well above the average person.  There is a time and place for this discussion, however.  Not in, what should be, a solemn message about September 11.  And I will not lower myself to Trumka's level in order to discuss it.

Trumka later continues his insane blabbering, once again throwing out boogie men and lies:
Wealthy CEOs, anti-government extremist front groups and frothing talk show hosts—from the Rush Limbaughs and Glenn Becks to the Koch brothers, Karl Rove’s American Crossroads group, Americans for Prosperity, the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and the American Legislative Exchange Council—also pushed open the door to hate.

We’ve seen the costs of hatred in ill-thought wars, in shameful attacks on immigrants and our LGBT neighbors. We saw it in the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. We saw it in the racism that has found overt and covert expression since Barack Obama began his run for office—from outright declarations of people who said out loud they would never vote for a black man.
The "facts" in Trumka's disgusting message are so wrong, and so unbelievably partisan, that it is truly disturbing.  Instead of pushing for unity, he pushes for hatred.  Someone like Trumka is what is wrong with our country.

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Drilling = Jobs

Well, President Obama's speech wasn't a complete bore last night:
Representative Jeff Landry (R-Louisiana)
When President Obama noted Republicans might have alternative ideas on how to jump-start the economy, the Louisiana Representative took the above-pictured sign out for all the cameras, and President Obama, to see.

Definitely not Joe Wilson's "You lie!" line from a couple of years ago, but I expect this breach of decorum to definitely circulate around the news media and blogosphere rather quickly.

What say you?

P.S. - The Congressman is actually correct: Drilling = Jobs.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Football is Finally Back Tonight

Do you hear that?

That's the sound of tens of millions of football fans cheering the return of NFL this week across the country. Starting with the Packers-Saints matchup tonight on NBC airing at 8:30 PM - if President Obama ever stops speaking.

After months of anxiously asking "if?" football would be played this season, the focus is back on important topics like which chips to purchase (and of course, how much), or how can Cincinnati really still be considered a professional team.

I, for one, am quite pleased my Sunday's will once again have football in them, because my area lurches into the dead of winter very painfully soon, and I need something to occupy my time, or else I'll become one of those Polar Bear people you laugh at on television.

The New York Jets 2011 squad looks very promising, particulary on offense, and the overpaid menace of Indianapolis will likely be sidelined for months to come. And who isn't waiting to see if ESPN's appraisal of Philadelphia's Super Bowl LVI prospects are more Vick-tastic than realistic.

The season is likely to be long, especially since ten million mentions of the darn lockout is in order, but I hope everyone enjoys it, and that your team performs well - unless you're a fan of Indianapolis, New England, Pittsburgh, or any other AFC team for that matter.

Go Jets and go football!

What say you?

P.S. - Packers 34; Saints 17 - take that to the bank!

Appeals Courts Come up with "Creative Premise" with which to Deny ObamaCare Challenge

Defying every single ruling before them, be they from Republican-nominated judges or Democrat-nominated judges, the Fourth Circuit US Court of Appeals has declared that ObamaCare cannot be challenged in the first place.  Not only does this spit in the face of every other judge that has ruled on this (regardless of party), but it also attempts to redefine the wording in the bill itself, something that can easily be termed "legislation from the bench."

And no big surprise, the people who came up with this "creative premise" all said that it was Constitutional, anyway, and they were all appointed by Democrat Administrations.  Go figure:
Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has rejected two Obamacare constitutional challenges, on the creative premise that the individual mandate is a tax, and that the Anti-Injunction Act requires that a tax already be implemented in order for plaintiffs to have standing to sue on the basis that a tax is unconstitutional.

Up to this point, every single court that has ruled on the Obamacare challenges, whether led by Republican or Democratic appointees, has agreed that the individual mandate in PPACA is a penalty, not a tax. So it will be interesting to read the opinions in Virginia v. Sebelius and Liberty v. Geithner (which I’ve uploaded to this blog) to see how the judges justified this approach. The judges also write that, even if the plaintiffs had had standing to sue, they would have upheld the mandate.

The three judges who ruled on the case were all Democratic appointees, including two by President Obama: Diana Motz of Baltimore (Clinton), Andre Davis of Baltimore (Obama), and James Wynn of Raleigh (Obama).
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Jobless Rate Rises "Unexpectedly," Revised Upwards

At least they could pretend that they don't use the same talking point over and over and over and over and ov...
The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose unexpectedly last week, further evidence of an anemic employment picture just hours before President Barack Obama unveils a plan on job creation in a major address to Congress.

Still, a considerably narrower trade deficit for July offered a ray of hope for economic growth in the third quarter following a sluggish first half of the year.

Applications for unemployment benefits rose to 414,000 in the week ending September 3 from an upwardly revised 412,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Wall Street analysts had been looking for a dip to 405,000.

"Jobless claims numbers have been stabilizing in recent weeks. We're probably seeing an economy that's just growing slowly," said Gary Thayer, chief macro strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis.
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Colts Owner: Payton Manning "Out for awhile"

Sorry, Colts fans, this has got to be tough news:
Add to this the fact that there are rumors that (1) Manning may have to have another surgery and/or (2) he will miss the entire season, and Colts fans may very well be kissing their hopes for the 2011 season goodbye.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Video of the Day: America Needs Jobs, not Speeches

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Video of Schoharie Flooding during Irene


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Biden: Republicans are "Barbarians," Liberals Must Stop them "at the Gate"

Continuing their assault on their self-proclaimed "civility," the Left blunders forward:
Vice President Biden told the crowd “this is a different kind of fight. This is a fight forthe heart and soul of the labor movement. This is a fight for the existence of organized labor. You are the only ones who can stop the barbarians at the gate! That’s why they want you so bad.”
So, tell me, did you hear about this from the Main Stream Media?  Of course not.  It's nothing more than a blip on their radar, if it's that.  But what do you expect?
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Media Hypocrisy on Full Display after Obama's Military Claptrap (With Video)

But who's going to report on this other than blogs?  The reactionary Main Stream Media might have a word or two (after we initiated the discussion), but they certainly will not critically think about the issue, nor will they report honestly:
Did the news media expose its liberal bias by ignoring a clip of a group of naval officers who needed to be instructed to applaud President Barack Obama? That's what several conservative pundits are asking, after a video of the incident in early August surfaced this week.

As Obama was introduced at the Washington Navy Yard on Aug. 5, he approached the podium to "Hail to the Chief." The assembled officers did not applaud. The senior officer who introduced the president, sensing the awkward silence, said, "You can go ahead and cheer, too." The crowd, some of who were taking photos, dutifully clapped hands.

Perhaps it's protocol not to cheer until told to when in the military," Ben Howe, a blogger for RedState.com, wrote. "But if that's true, the media has some explaining to do as to why they went after Bush for the same thing in 2005."

Howe is referring to how the national news media covered a similar incident in June of that year, when President George W. Bush gave a speech at Fort Bragg and applause was initiated by a White House staff member.

As Howe noted, Terry Moran, reporting for ABC News, said at the time, "I must tell you that applause was initiated by a member of the White House advance team."

On NBC, Brian Williams said, "Some folks at home no doubt were curious about the lack of applause breaks. By pre-agreement between the White House and Fort Bragg, there was no entry applause as the soldiers were at attention. We were 23 minutes into it before the first break for applause."

"It was my observation that that one applause break was actually triggered by members of the president's advance team," NBC's Kelly O'Donnell told Williams. "They were just a few feet from me. They started to applaud— applause is contagious, and it then swept through the room. There was applause when the president left the room after the speech was over but people in uniform here told me that they had planned to be polite and to follow protocol."

But even if the Naval officers were following protocol, Howe wrote, "it's media bias on display."

"How come that bit of tape isn't by now famous?" Washington Post columnist Erik Wemple asked. "Why hasn't it been chewed over by every cable news outlet in the land?"
The video:

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Russian Jet Crash Kills 43, Many International Hockey Stars

Terrible news:
A private Russian jet carrying a top ice hockey team slammed into a riverbank moments after takeoff Wednesday, killing at least 43 people in one of the worst plane crashes ever involving a sports team.

Both Russia and the world of hockey were left stunned by the deaths of so many international stars in one catastrophic event. Two other people on board were critically injured.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the Yak-42 plane crashed into the shores of the Volga River immediately after leaving the airport near the western city of Yaroslavl, 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Moscow. The weather was sunny and clear at the time. Russian media said the plane struggled to gain altitude and then crashed into a signal tower, shattering into pieces.

Russian television showed a flaming fragment of the plane in the river as divers worked feverishly to recover bodies.

The plane was carrying the Lokomotiv ice hockey team from Yaroslavl to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, where the team was to play Thursday against Dinamo Minsk in the opening game of the season for the Kontinental Hockey League. The ministry said it had 45 people on board, including 37 passengers and eight crew.

The Emergency Ministry said Czech players Josef Vasicek, Karel Rachunek and Jan Marek, Swedish goalie Stefan Liv, Canadian coach Brad McCrimmon, Latvian defenseman Karlis Skrastins and defenseman Ruslan Salehi of Belarus were among those killed. Slovakian national team captain Pavol Demitra, who played in the NHL for the St. Louis Blues and the Vancouver Canucks, was also among the dead, officials said.
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San Clemente High Evacuated after Bomb Threat

Not good:
San Clemente High School was evacuated on the first day of school Wednesday after a bomb threat made in note was found at Camp Pendleton.

According to the Orange County Sheriff's Department, a naval officer from Camp Pendleton was reported missing, and when officials checked his barracks, they found a note indicating he had, or was going to, place explosives at the school.

Students and staff have been taken to the school stadium after authorities deemed the stadium safe. Officials are closely guarding the stadium while the investigation continues.

Sheriff's deputies were conducting a search of the campus.
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Obama "Star" of Palestinian Ad for Statehood

Good work, hot shot:
President Barack Obama is the unlikely star of a new Palestinian media campaign.

Part of a speech Obama gave in 2010 to the United Nations General Assembly is featured in an ad aimed to rally support for the Palestinians upcoming bid for statehood at the United Nations on Sept. 20, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

“When we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that can lead to a new member of the United Nations, an independent, sovereign state of Palestine living in peace with Israel,” Obama said in the 2010 speech in the clip that is played in the radio ad.

The Palestinians use of the remarks is at odds with the Obama administration’s current all-out push to stop the Palestinians from pursuing their statehood bid. U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East David Hale is set to hold talks Wednesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to urge him to reconsider the statehood effort and instead return to direct negotiations with Israel.

During the 36-second radio spot starring Obama, Abbas tells listeners “If he said it, he must have meant it.”

Although U.S. officials described Obama’s statement in the 2010 speech simply as an expression of hope, Abbas has called the statement the “Obama promise,” Reuters wrote.
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NAACP: "You Mad, Bro?" Meme is Racist

Please tell me there are more important things in this world than stamping out humorous internet memes.

According to the NAACP, the wide-ranging internet meme "You mad, bro?" is racist. The phrase, which is often used when someone loses a game or does something embarrassing, is coming under fire from the association because of a high school banner raised during a football game in Ohio.
The banner in question
Rodderick Coffee, president of a local chapter of the NAACP, stated, “At the conclusion of the game, some of their students and parents put up a sign that we believe was racial intimidation, ethnic intimidation."

Of course, anyone who has ever been on the internet before knows that the phrase is not racist. In fact, even if you've never heard of the meme, chances are that you did not instantly think, "that's racist!" This is most likely because it is not racist.

Other variations of the meme read, "u mad, bro" or "u jelly (instead of "jealous")," accompanied by a smiling doodle:
In fact, if you Google "u mad, bro" under images, the first picture that  pops up is a picture of Jesus giving the middle finger.  And yet, I do not believe the meme is anti-Christian.  It's anti-nothing.  It's just used to get the goat of people who have just "failed."

In the end, the evidence is exceedingly on the side of "not racist whatsoever."  In fact, discussing an innocuous term such as this is almost the epitome of racial over-sensitivity and racial paranoia.  Of course, I'm not saying there is no racism in the United States, but the phrase "you mad, bro?"  Seriously?  No, it's not racist.

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Obama to Propose $300,000,000,000 in New Spending

So we supposedly cut millions from our deficit in order to spend billions... this may be the stupidest administration in American history (and yes, that includes the Carter Administration):
The economy weak and the public seething, President Barack Obama is expected to propose $300 billion in tax cuts and federal spending Thursday night to get Americans working again. Republicans offered Tuesday to compromise with him on jobs — but also assailed his plans in advance of his prime-time speech.

In effect, Obama will be hitting cleanup on a shortened holiday week, with Republican White House contender Mitt Romney releasing his jobs proposals on Tuesday and front-running Texas Gov. Rick Perry hoping to join his presidential rivals Wednesday evening on a nationally televised debate stage for the first time.

Lawmakers began returning to the Capitol to tackle legislation on jobs and federal deficits in an unforgiving political season spiced by the 2012 presidential campaign.

Adding to the mix: A bipartisan congressional committee is slated to hold its first public meeting on Thursday as it embarks on a quest for deficit cuts of $1.2 trillion or more over a decade. If there is no agreement, automatic spending cuts will take effect, a prospect that lawmakers in both parties have said they would like to avoid.

According to people familiar with the White House deliberations, two of the biggest measures in the president's proposals for 2012 are expected to be a one-year extension of a payroll tax cut for workers and an extension of expiring jobless benefits. Together those two would total about $170 billion.
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NBC-Politico GOP Debate Tonight

The first 2012 Republican Presidential debate with Rick Perry, and without Tim Pawlenty, will be held tonight in Simi Valley, California, at the Reagan Library. All eyes are on the new frontrunner, Perry, and whether his opponents can exploit his known debate weakness.

We will also hear 1,000 references to former President Ronald Reagan from all the candidates on stage, even Ron Paul, who left the Republican Party in 1987 because of the aforementioned President's foreign policies of intervention and strength against America's enemies.

I hope the candidates remember Mr. Reagan's "Eleventh Commandment" through-out the debate, and his one-time party registration as a Democrat. They should focus on the issues at play and not cheap political shots against their own, which will be hard for some, but I think most will be able to contain their passions.

Overall, I'm hoping someone can sway me to their candidacy tonight and that they have a good debate.

What say you?

Wednesday Bush-a-thon

 For our 43rd President:

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Guns, Grenades and the Smell of a Cover Up

The gentlemen at Sipsey Street Irregulars are doing the country a service with their reporting on the goings on at the U.S. Mexican border. Everyone has heard of Operation Gunwalker where the ATF allowed guns purchased in the United States by straw purchasers to walk into Mexico. Now we find that guns weren't the only things walking.

Published in the Wall Street Journal (pay site) and discussed here we learn that federal authorities let an Arizona man accused of supplying grenades to a Mexican cartel go.
U.S. officials said missteps in the case, which hasn't been previously disclosed, are being investigated by the Justice Department and Congress. Federal agents in 2009-10 at the Phoenix office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives led the case against the suspect, who they believed was dealing grenades to cartels in Mexico. The case was overseen by prosecutors in the Arizona U.S. attorney's office, the U.S. officials said.

The Arizona U.S. attorney's office and the Phoenix ATF office are the Justice Department units behind another botched operation, called Fast and Furious, which has been the subject of intense congressional interest this year. The Fast and Furious program allowed suspected smugglers to buy about 2,000 firearms, some of which later turned up at drug-related crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S.

Jean Baptiste Kingery, the suspect in the grenades case, was arrested Aug. 31 in Mexico and has been charged with violating that nation's organized-crime laws, according to U.S. officials.
Hours later he walked out of the precinct and on down to Mexico with hundreds of grenade parts destined for cartels. Read the whole thing.

If you are following the happenings at the border, you will recall that in late August a grenade attack killed 53 people and injured 8 others at a casino in Monterrey, Mexico. Clearly these types of weapons are being used with increasing frequency and devastation to innocent Mexican civilians and police. For some very interesting background see this article, "How does clandestine U.S. Mexican policy related to casino attack?"

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Number of Uninsured Has Increased Under Obama and Since Obamacare

The percentage of American adults who lack health insurance coverage has not only increased during the presidency of Barack Obama, but it has continued to increase since Obama signed his signature piece of legislation last year mandating that by 2014 every American carry health insurance, according to a Gallup survey released today.

In 2008, when George W. Bush was president, according to Gallup, 14.9 percent of adult residents of the United States lacked health insurance coverage. That increased to 16.2 percent in 2009, the year that Obama was inaugurated, and to 16.4 percent in 2010, the year that Obama signed his law requiring that all Americans have health insurance.

In the first half of this year, according to data released by Gallup today, the percentage of adults in the United States lacking health insurance ticked up to 16.8 percent.

That conclusion is based on Gallup's interviews with 177,237 American adults from January through June of this year. The interviews were part of the ongoing Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey.

Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010. It mandates that all Americans must purchase government-approved health insurance plans by 2014. Under the legislation, families earning less than 400 percent of the poverty level will receive a federal subsidy to buy insurance.

The constitutionality of the mandate is being challenged in federal court by more than half of the states.
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Liberals Create Video Game in Which Tea Partiers are Murdered

Sigh-  Big Journalism, the National Review, Fox News, and Pajamas Media all covered this... But even though we broke this story, Pundit Press has not received any credit from the biggest websites.  So, thank you Gateway Pundit, WCBM, Examiner, and Weasel Zippers for giving us credit!  Now, enough whining.  Here's the original article:

The party of civility is at it again.

Refusing to have a legitimate discussion on the merits of each side's economic ideology, the Left has just gone ahead and decided that Tea Partiers are zombies. And those zombies must die!

Thus is the premise of the online video game "Tea Party Zombies Must Die!"
Screenshot of the Game
Among those that the Left wants murdered are Brit Hume, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity:
Along with Glenn Beck:
And, yes, I actually tried to play the game.  It was decidedly laggy and decidedly racist (there's a swastika visible within moments of starting your game).  I know I shouldn't expect anything better from liberals, but when you're going to make something this offensive,you could at least try to pretend you're making a point.

Don't forget: civility!

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Paul: Lying on Saudi Arabia

Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) likes to spout out his theory of why the United States was attacked on 9/11: we brought it on ourselves by interfering in the Middle East's business, and occupying their lands. Besides the fact he's blaming America right before the tenth anniversary of 9/11, he's also lying his old crazy ass off.

Paul usually points to our intervention in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War as the linchpin of jihadists, who he rejects are engaged in an holy war against us, and the reason we were attacked.

Say what?

As someone who has read several autobiographies of those involved (Dick Cheney and Dan Quayle), as well as general history, I would like to remind Mr. Paul of several key facts about our "intervention" in Saudi Arabia.
  1. Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and was on his way to Saudi Arabia. The United States, for reasons of friendship, leadership and economics, could not allow this evil disregard of territorial integrity stand. 
  2. The United States asked Saudi Arabia if we could use their country as our base of operations during both Operation Desert Shield, which was to protect Saudi Arabia, and Operation Desert Storm, and the Kingdom approved once we guaranteed our dedication to actually winning.
  3. We never occupied Saudi Arabia. The United States never dictated domestic policy to our friends and we almost entirely left once the Operation was complete. We kept some troops, with their permission, to enforce two separate no-fly zones. 
If this "occupation" by the United States was the reason we were attacked on 9/11, as Mr. Paul surmises, we should be proud of it. Because it only backs up the opinion that our enemies are pure evil: they attacked us for the sole reason we liberated Kuwait and saved Saudi Arabia from Saddam's imperialistic desires.

What say you?

38% of Europeans Suffer Mental Illnesses

Europeans are plagued by mental and neurological illnesses, with almost 165 million people or 38 percent of the population suffering each year from a brain disorder such as depression, anxiety, insomnia or dementia, according to a large new study.

With only about a third of cases receiving the therapy or medication needed, mental illnesses cause a huge economic and social burden -- measured in the hundreds of billions of euros -- as sufferers become too unwell to work and personal relationships break down.

"Mental disorders have become Europe's largest health challenge of the 21st century," the study's authors said.

At the same time, some big drug companies are backing away from investment in research on how the brain works and affects behaviour, putting the onus on governments and health charities to stump up funding for neuroscience.

"The immense treatment gap ... for mental disorders has to be closed," said Hans Ulrich Wittchen, director of the institute of clinical psychology and psychotherapy at Germany's Dresden University and the lead investigator on the European study.

"Those few receiving treatment do so with considerable delays of an average of several years and rarely with the appropriate, state-of-the-art therapies."
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Video- Irene Damage in Prattsville


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Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. to Obama- Let's Kill Tea Partiers (With Video)

What about being the party of civility? Oh, who am I kidding, we all knew that was a bunch of bull when liberals started spewing it.

Here's Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. introducing President Obama. He talks about how there's a "war" going on and that mindless liberals are President Obama's "army." His speech climaxes with Hoffa talking about murdering Tea Partiers when he says, "Let's take these sons of bitches out!"


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Romney Meets the Tea Party

Note: I titled my article before noticing David Weigel's piece.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney just isn't the Tea Party's cup of tea, and vice-versa, but they joined together yesterday in New Hampshire as the candidate addressed the organization for the first time in the presidential race.

The highlights?

1. Mitt Romney stayed true to himself. He didn't pander to Tea Party members, nor did he apologize for his previous stances on issues of vital importance. He focused on defeating Barack Obama and rebuilding America.

2. Tea Party resistance to his speech was overstated in the days before. 200-250 people attended the event, and only 24 at the most protested his appearance beforehand. I've seen more people protest KFC over how chickens are killed.

3. This wont impact the 2012 race. Romney will win New Hampshire with, or without any Tea Party support, because the state is independent minded and appreciates his maverick role, but I bet he would love to gain at least one Tea Party endorsement within the national or state apparatus.

What say you?

"Pawn Star" Rick Harrison on Las Vegas and the Economy

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Video- Irene Destruction in Schoharie

This is horrible:

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Abortion Increases Risk of Mental Illness *10% of all Mental Health Problems Directly Attributable to Abortion*

For the record, I was always somewhat ambivalent to abortion. Woman's body, women's choice was a good enough excuse for me to not concern myself with the ugliness of it all. This changed though, when I took Human Embryology in medical school.

In a meta-analysis carried out by Priscilla Coleman and published in the British Journal of Psychiatry we learn what is already intuitively understood, that abortion is something much more than a routing medical procedure. Professor Coleman analyzed 22 separate projects investigated the experiences of a total of 877,000 women, of whom 163,831 had an abortion.

The results are startling.

From the Telegraph:

“Results indicate quite consistently that abortion is associated with moderate to highly increased risks of psychological problems subsequent to the procedure.

“Overall, the results revealed that women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81 per cent increased risk of mental health problems, and nearly 10 per cent of the incidence of mental health problems were shown to be directly attributable to abortion.”

The study said that abortion was linked with a 34 per cent greater chance of anxiety disorders, and 37 per cent higher possibility of depression, a more than double risk of alcohol abuse – 110 per cent – a three times greater risk of cannabis use – at 220 per cent – and 155 per cent greater risk of trying to commit suicide.

The conclusions from the published abstract,

This review offers the largest quantitative estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion available in the world literature. Calling into question the conclusions from traditional reviews, the results revealed a moderate to highly increased risk of mental health problems after abortion. Consistent with the tenets of evidence-based medicine, this information should inform the delivery of abortion services.

While correlation does not prove causation this is an impressive study and adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests that abortion is a traumatic intervention that is associated with increased risk of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation and intent. Wonder if this will be enough evidence for providers at Planned Parenthood to amend their abortion counseling to include this information?

Frankly I would prefer they told young mothers they would stop the beating of a heart.

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Drugs in Short Supply

This is not a new problem apparently, but it is getting considerable attention these days, but who's to blame?

Funny thing though, that the only drugs that are never in short supply are the ones you buy on a street corner.

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World War Two Economics: Changing the Narrative?

I, and many Conservatives as well, have always believed the economic benefits of World War II to be an indictment of President Roosevelt's failed "New Deal" 1930's policies. It took the largest war in history to finally lower the unemployment rate in, what, eighteen months - while FDR's policies failed in eight years...

Liberals have also adopted this view, attempting to use it as justification of John Keynes and his economic ideology that FDR followed so religiously. Their case is weaker, because it wasn't government that got the unemployment lower by stimulus, but the nationwide war effort to defeat our enemies on both sides of the ocean.

And it wasn't by building new bridges, or constructing hydroelectric dams, but by fulfilling the government's most important constitutional obligation: national defense.

The reason I bring this is up is because of Arthur Herman's article in The Weekly Standard on the subject, which while I don't necessarily disagree with, I think misses the real point about our economic state back in the 1930's/1940's, and how it took war to employ Americans that were left on breadlines during the "New Deal" craze.

Many people have many different opinions on World War Two's economic impact, but there's one thing no-one can forget: FDR wasn't elected to his third term in office on the backs of employed American workers, but on the fear of Nazi Germany and World War Two - just like our unemployment didn't fall because of the "New Deal," but because of Pearl Harbour.

What say you?

Check this out!