Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Enemy At The Gates

On Feb 10, 1970, three terrorists attacked a bus at the Munich Airport armed with guns and grenades. One passenger was killed and 11 were injured. The Action Organization for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack. If one is so inclined, a cursory search of the State Department's website lists a seemingly endless array of terrorist attacks committed by radical Jihadists going back close to 40 years.

In February of 1993, radical Islam reared it's ugly head on American soil with the first bombing of the World Trade Center, leaving 6 dead and over 1000 injured. The Federal Government lists over 25 separate and active Islamic terrorist organizations operating around the world, yet despite the best efforts of law enforcement and vigilant prosecutions, bombings, kidnappings and high-jackings persist. Prior to Sept 11th 2001, many warned that a sort of global tunnel vision had emerged, which viewed terrorism, wherever it occurred, as just another manifestation of crime, to be dealt with by the auspices of the civil justice system as various countries saw fit.

The temptation to view terrorism as a matter of domestic law enforcement is a direct result of the quick and easy prosecutions that are obtained through civilian trials. The proponents of this worldview are fond of using past convictions as a shining example of how the criminal justice system provides swift and exacting results. It is indeed tempting, but also extremely misleading. If we are to measure success in terms of incarceration, then many a Federal prosecutor can rightly claim that terrorism is best left to civilian jurisprudence.

The most glaring examples are the chest puffing by Attorney General Eric Holder over the current trials of the 9/11 conspirators in New York, and the Clinton administration's prosecution of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. But what is the goal of national security? As Andrew McCarthy asked on NRO's The Corner, "...does litigation success equals national security success"? If Friday's foiled attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to destroy Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on it's descent into Detroit is any indication , it's clear a return to the previous strategy is not working.

Following calls for her resignation after boasting that the administration's Clinton style anti-terrorism strategy prevented the attempted bombing, HHS Secretary Janet Napolitano finally conceded that the country's security structure had "failed completely". Even Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs has resurrected the administration's once forbidden phrase "war on terror". In fact, the administration not only bungled the lead-up, they are horribly bungling the aftermath with mixed signals, conflicting statements, and ever-morphing euphemisms.

For close to eight years, under the vigilant policies of the Bush administration, America remained safe. We were at war, and the foot soldiers hell bent on destroying us were treated as enemy combatants. But as the years passed, images of the two majestic towers collapsing to the ground in a plume of fire and smoke became a distant memory, and the public grew apathetic. Liberals were hell bent on allowing captured terrorists to be treated as common criminals at the dock, with the full rights and privileges of the American justice system, and a young Senator from Illinois with eyes on the Oval Office was willing to oblige. This return to a failed 40 year old policy led to a day that almost cost the lives of close to 260 Americans. President Obama believes that because Abdulmutallab's improvised exploding underpants malfunctioned, this is a no harm no foul situation. Nothing could be further from the truth. The administration seems to be in a national defense free-fall, and - as McCarthy laments - sorely missing the point:

"Here, no thanks to the government, the plane was not destroyed, and we won't get to the bottom of the larger conspiracy (enabling the likes of Napolitano to say there's no indication of a larger plot — much less one launched by an international jihadist enterprise) because the guy got to lawyer up rather than be treated like a combatant and subjected to lengthy interrogation. But the terrorist will be convicted at trial (this "case" tees up like a slam-dunk), so the administration will put it in the books as a success . It is a dangerously absurd viewpoint, but it was clear during the campaign that it was Obama's viewpoint. The American people — only seven years after 9/11 — elected him anyway. As we learn more painfully everyday, elections matter."

Umar bragged to law enforcement officials shortly after his capture that more attacks were planned and on the way, but he has now, as McCarthy points out, "lawyered up", and Homeland Security is desperately trying to resurrect the policies of the Bush administration that had managed to keep Americans safe for the better part of a decade. But have we really gotten the message, and for that matter, what is the message? I think Daniel Pipes put it best when he sagely warned;

"Diplomacy in general does not resolve conflicts, ... Wars end not due to peace processes, but due to one side giving up. Ultimately, there is no compromise. Westerners will either retain their civilization, including the right to insult and blaspheme, or not.”



Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas - Blogging by Numbers Edition

Happy non-denominational, pan-ethnic, globally inclusive late December!!!! But seriously folks, Merry Christmas to all, and that means a special Christmas blogging by numbers!!!

1- It's refreshing that, this year, there seems to be less of the usual sand-poundingly stupid attacks on our treasured Christmas symbols. For the first time in years, I've been seeing all the cherished cartoons I loved as a child showed nightly on TV. In the various cities to which I travel, there are Nativity scenes proudly displayed in front of City Halls and other civic buildings. There are fewer aggravating stories about school boards banning red and green construction paper and Salvation Army Santas being kicked off curbs. When we ban the Christmas symbols of our Christian heritage because a certain group feels offended, we like to think we are being respectful of others' beliefs - but we are not. We are only catering to their intolerance.

2 - It looks like fascist, I mean President Obama gave out some early festivus gifts to those pesky democrats who wouldn't play the Pelosi/Reid health care shell game. The Dems won yet another round in the health care blowout after Senator Ben Nelson finally sold his vote for full and permanent federal aid for expanded Medicaid goodies for his state. Sen. Mary Landrieu got $400 million in federal aid under her Christmas tree, and billions more ended up in the stockings of Senators from Mass., Florida, New York and Vermont. Backroom Chicago politics imported to the capital for all, just in time for Christmas.

What do the American taxpayers get? Well, the CBO says you'll be getting $800 billion dollars in new federal spending over the next decade, cuts in Medicare Advantage plans that would force about 8.5 million seniors out of the coverage they would prefer, and across-the-board payment rate cuts for hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies. Yay! What a deal. Keep up those tea parties, my dear friends - your representatives won't be losing their generous health benefits. Don't let them take this any further.

3 - My father in law recently underwent some unpleasant knee surgery. Thankfully, all went well, but he appears to be favouring a plastic broom handle over his rather functional crutches to get around. He kind of looks like a dollar store Gandalf, but he's rather attached to this dangerous home crafted walking aid, and I have the feeling this is going to end quite badly, making his certain catastrophic fall an overnight Youtube sensation. He's starting to put some weight on the knee, now I just hope he can part with the broomstick.

4 - Give a 40 ouncer to a homeless guy on Christmas day. Yeah, it's not the help he needs, but, come on.

5 - Claire and I are looking into adding to the family in a year. She got a pamphlet about fertility, and it says guys should keep their jewels away from tight clothing and heat, so I guess my unitard/hot tub nights are over.

6 - Have a wonderful Christmas. Be kind to everyone, remember to keep Christmas well, and read this blog.

Merry Christmas


Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Radical Left and The Creepy Cult of Green

I watched Sling Blade for the second time in almost a decade, and Billy Bob Thornton's portrayal of Karl Childers reminded me a little of what Joe Biden might sound like if someone hit him over the head with a baseball bat, shaved him bald, and yanked his pants up to his nipples;

"They got me a job with the President...some people calls him a socialist, I calls him the President. Hmmm. He brought two fellars up there from some college that weren't getting along proper..hmmmm. We all drank some beers. Bible says a man shouldn't take to drinking and I figure the good lord knew what he was talking about after we was about done, ah hmmmm. Sometimes the President...some people calls him Obama I calls him the President...he says he'll give me some french fried pataters if I got sense enough not to talk so much. I reckon that's a pretty good arrangement, um hmmmm"

I bring up Sling Blade because, in the movie, Billy Bob Thornton's antagonist, Doyle, is a volatile sociopath whose laid back good naturedness is nothing more than transparent window dressing to hide his otherwise dark and unpredictable nature. Granted, this is a weak segway, but I thought the Biden bit was pretty damn funny.

I recently had a (thankfully) brief rekindling of a friendship with a radical socialist friend of mine, whom I hadn't spoken to in almost a decade. It was a bizarre but telling window into the strange Kabuki theatre of the extreme left and how their perceptions of the conservative movement - and the world for that matter - seem limited to parroting talking points spit out by the callow hacks at the Huffington Post. The HuffPo has always struck me as a kind of cyber saloon where discredited journalists and a rogue's gallery of other has-beens gather together to form tightly packed manure balls to stuff into their Trebuchet of lunacy.

Radicals who get all dressed up trying to look respectable usually use the same MO. I've seen it so many times I can spot it quicker than Columbo on his best day: They whisper about how they're secretly disappointed with the hostile tone of their compatriots on the left, and (not so) subtly remind you that they've been to Europe so they can use terms like "social Swedish-style democracies" and mention, without the slightest trace of irony, "how different the Euro-right is". Then, faster than you can say "Dorothy Hewett on a corndog", they spin around like Linda Blair's head in the exorcist and begin moaning about being stuck in a world of uneducated morons who only listen to Glen Beck and think women shouldn't use "big words". Usually the good people they claim to be so savagely victimized by are tolerant and educated folks whose only crimes are working in the oil industry and not living in a constant state of fear about an imaginary warming trend that will wipe all of mankind off the face of the earth.

Of course, there is the usual stock footage: Frothing at the mouth and throwing cyber feces at Sarah Palin for the unforgivable crime of attending a cancer benefit; Recycling discredited reports by unethical scientists to give each other high five reassurances about how climate change is an undisputed fact; and of course, living in a state of perpetual victimhood.

The thing that really creeps me out is the fervent, almost evangelical, pulpit pounding zeal when they discuss environmental issues. They kind of get, well, all Jehovah's Witness-y on you. I half expect them to whip out some green version of "The Watch Tower" with David Suzuki on the cover.

As the green intelligentsia camp out in Copenhagen - taking advantage of comped CO2 spewing limos and sampling the after hours local delicacies - they're finding themselves up against a tide of scientific elites who have finally found their voice after years of threats and intimidation spearheaded by the tribal mentality of environmentalists. They are also having to answer to an increasingly skeptical public wondering if their "green lifestyles" have been nothing but hollow gestures to prop up a cargo cult that has fueled a multi-billion dollar industry (we'll touch on that later in my Climategate piece I'll have up in a few weeks).

What disturbs me the most about some foot soldiers of the green movement is their glazed-eyed, batten-down-the-hatches, straight-jacket-with-the-sedatives craziness they seem to possess. Environmentalism, to some, is a sort of pre-packaged quasi-socialist religion. Fundamentalist Christians are often ridiculed by the left for believing that if man doesn't change his ways, the end is nigh. They share a lot more with these folks then they would care to admit. The apostles of the environment believe that if man doesn't change his ways it will trigger a global Armageddon juggernaut that will bring floods, famine, and a Mad Max society where we will be using our neighbors' skulls for soup bowls. The biblical end of days doesn't differ all that much from the more secular death and destruction scenario brought to us by the tree huggers (anyone see 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow)?

Oh, but back to the creepy Wilsonian aspect of all of this. Last week in Copenhagen, journalist and documentary filmmaker Phelim McAleer was stopped in the middle of a question to Stanford Professor Stephen Schneider by armed UN guards at the request of Schneider's assistant. McAleer, a global warming skeptic, was ordered to stop filming, manhandled, and threatened, even though he had full press credentials. When I asked my socialist friend whether she was disturbed by this, she responded;

"They were inconvenient and irrelevant questions".

It seems the pacifist anti-gun crowd doesn't mind silencing dissent with the butt of a rifle when journalists ask "inconvenient" questions. Armed response to "protect" the environment is OK, but roving wire taps to prevent terrorist attacks is unacceptable.

I wish UNAMIR would have felt as passionate about genocide as the UN as a whole feels about "pointless questions" from journalists. Maybe some of the 800,000 people slaughtered in Rwanda would still be alive today.

Today in Copenhagen, hundreds of bored young Europeans and rich white American progressives are shouting for the global community to amp up it's commitment to reduce greenhouse gases. Several of the protesters are waiving large flags of the former Soviet Union, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the evil ideology that is Communism has killed over 100 million people. I'm sure many who escaped the horrors of Stalin's Gulags could tell these folks quite a bit about waterboarding.

I doubt any of them would listen. They're too busy being victims of invisible bogeymen, shadow governments, and the military industrial complex. If you have a radical liberal on your Christmas list, maybe you should buy them a crowbar. It might help them pry the nails out of their hands and feet so they can come off of their crosses....Oh wait! Crosses are symbols of patriarchal Christian oppression. Scratch that. Buy them a Snuggie instead.



Sunday, December 06, 2009

Giggity! Blogging by Numbers!

Well, it's been a few days, and I suppose you good folks are expecting a blog or something of the sort. I thought maybe I could distract you with this Youtube video of a giant bouncing ball, but my paint sniffing webmaster assures me that cats don't account for any fraction of the various demographic groups that read my blog. Some of my leftist/Marxist demographic may still be watching the video and have long since forgotten they were reading this, so we'll continue on without them. Let the blogging by numbers begin.

1- Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane seems to be making good on his promise to back off the left wing preachyness that was beginning to make the show boring. I've always loved that MacFarlane holds nothing sacred, and that there is no line he will not cross. The problems started when the writers of the show made the fatal mistake of forgetting that a satirist must never think himself above that which he is satirizing. To his credit, he's gone a step further and made the show's Prius driving liberal character, Brian, the butt of the majority of this season's most cutting jokes. Hats off to the folks at Family Guy for creating this scene, which has quickly become one the show's most memorable moments - and thank you.

2 -Who would win in a fight? A Navy SEAL, a real seal, or the singer Seal?

3 -Lots of you are wondering if I'm going to tackle climategate. The myth of global warming has fueled a multi-billion dollar industry for close to twenty years, and while we addressed it quite regularly on the old website, it's not something I've written much about over the last few years. The recent release of emails that were discovered after hackers broke into the server at the CRU have finally proven that a group of scientists have been hiding data, manipulating statistics, and silencing critics by intimidating the editors of publications that print research articles contrary to their own findings. Phil Jones, the head of The Climate Research Unit, has been forced to resign, and the media is finally realizing they can no longer turn their heads and hope this will go away. I've already started what will be a rather detailed piece on the issue, but it's a labour of love, so sit tight.

4 - Claire and I were worried about the crazy homeless guy who lives under the bridge near our home after he was chased away from his newspaper padded nook by a gang of more aggressive panhandlers (Apparently, the politics of begging can be quite nuanced and complex). After a couple of weeks of not seeing him, I was oddly relieved to find him hiding in the trees across the street. Well not exactly hiding in the trees, but standing very still next to a tree. Claire and I help him because he is certifiably insane, and not just some guy who only needs to sober up. He proves this quite often when we overhear him quoting biblical passages that involve Paul's Letters to the Corinthians mixed in with lyrics to Kenny Rogers' songs.

"I say onto thee, as our Father told us, you've got to know when to hold them..."

5 - I'm not kidding about that last part.

6 - Hey! Speaking of the Green Guardians at the Gate in Copenhagen, it's nice to know that the rules they are hell bent on imposing on the bigbadcorporations don't apply to them. The current "carbon footprint" of the defenders of the environment rings in at 1,200 Limos and 140 Private Jets - not counting the emissions from the mounds of pseudo-scientific horseshit that will be emanating from the conference all week.

7 - Challenge: To those who continue to make the bizarre comparison between the perpetually medicated Amy Winehouse and the brilliant Regina Spektor - if you can find one Winehouse song that sounds even remotely like this song by Spektor, I will admit on this very organ that Spektor is, indeed, just another "emo" hack.

8 - Have a great weekend, and watch out for the man!!