Thursday, October 30, 2008

Putting Israel At Risk

Israeli author Naomi Ragen tell us about Learning the Hard Way. Here's a pull quote:

I know that I am helpless to stop this juggernaut towards disaster. Perhaps it is America's turn to experience first hand what we in Israel experienced: the consequences of electing a leadership which does not have the best interests of the country in mind; which has an agenda that has nothing to do with those interests. Sometimes people have to make horrible mistakes in order to learn that they are horrible mistakes. In Israel, this included over 25,000 terrorist attacks. Children dying in the streets. Being afraid to walk to the bus stop or enter a store.
Kyle-Anne Shiver read it, then wrote this Open Letter to Americans Who Love Israel. It begins like this:
Please, dear reader, do call me a skeptic; I am one. I started learning the price of gullibility in first grade. I traded my chocolate chip cookies to a third grader for his promise of a new pencil sharpener at recess. He lied; I learned.

My grandfather helped. He taught me to “always consider the source” before believing a promise and to never place my trust in an untrustworthy person. I lived and I learned.

Now that I’m well into my sixth decade of life, I’m a very hard sell. And the higher the stakes riding on the promise, the more care I put into my decision to proffer my trust.

When it comes to Israel and her survival as a free nation, the stakes are so high that it behooves even the most trusting American to examine closely the words and records of our candidates in this regard. And, sadly, we are forced to admit that the only reason Joe Biden had to make the reassuring statement above to Jews in Florida is that his candidate, Barack Obama, has the most tenuous, nearly nonexistent, and utterly unreliable “record” of any candidate ever to seek the presidency.

Especially in the arena of foreign affairs. Especially with regard to Israel and the Palestinians.
If you care at all about the fate of Israel, you'll want to read both columns carefully.

"Mom, how can that guy say that about you? He's never even met you."

Wondering what Sarah Palin is really like? For a revealing personal glimpse, check out this interview with Elizabeth Vargas on "20/20": Sarah Palin 'Not Going to Let Women Down'.

Getting Out the Vote – Good or Bad?

For a number of years, I have been of the opinion that Get Out the Vote drives were at best a waste of time, and at worst positively harmful. In general, those of us who are sufficiently motivated to register and vote all by ourselves also have sufficient initiative to make some effort to inform ourselves before voting. So what's the point of going out and rounding up the apathetic and the ignorant, registering them, and transporting them to the polls to vote upon matters about which they know nothing?

We all know the answer to that one, don't we?

Well, it seems that I'm not the only one who has been harboring such politically incorrect thoughts. In A Duty Not To Vote?, John Stossel makes an excellent case for the argument that the country would be much better served if the apathetic and the ignorant would just stay home on Election Day:

I keep hearing how important it is for everyone to vote.

Let me be politically incorrect and say that maybe some people shouldn't vote.

I know I'm swimming against the tide. Get-out the-vote groups now register young people at rock concerts. HeadCount cofounder Andy Bernstein told me: "We registered over a 100,000 people. It is so imperative that this generation's voice is heard."

But wait. Is that really a good idea? Many kids don't know much. At a HeadCount concert, "20/20" asked some future voters, "How many senators are there?" One said 12, another 16, and another 64. One girl guessed, "50 per state."

Most kids didn't know what Roe v. Wade was about. "Roe vs. Wayne?" asked one. "Segregation, maybe?" "Where we declared bankruptcy?"

Headcount's Marc Brownstein concedes, "there's a lot of uninformed voters out there." But he argued:

"Democracy is not about taking the most educated portion of the society and having them decide who's going to run the entire society. Democracy is about every individual having a voice."

I suggested that when people don't know anything, maybe it's their civic duty not to vote.
Go read the rest of it, and see if John Stossel's argument makes sense to you.

Just Look

From Gerald Van der Leun at the incomparable American Digest:

20-week fetus

"In his world … intentions and words do all the heavy lifting."

In Evil Under the Sun – Barack Obama and American exceptionalism, Noemie Emery presents a sobering assessment of Obama's worldview.

Yes, way back on June 17th, I predicted that Obama's Going to Lose, and I still believe it. But if I'm wrong, we're in for a very rough ride during the next few years.

More on the Folly of Early Voting

The other day, I wrote Early Voting – A Monumentally Bad Idea. This morning, over on Pajamas Media, Tom Blumer expresses the same thought, though far more eloquently, in Early Voting a Travesty.

It is becoming more obvious with each election cycle that that the widespread adoption of no-excuses-needed early voting has been a big mistake.

Pollsters are now revealing exit poll results to the public weeks ahead of what is still quaintly referred to as “Election Day.” They do this by breaking out their results between “early voters” and “future voters.” The former amounts to de facto exit polling, which can all too easily be designed by an unscrupulous pollster to influence the latter. Even worse, state officials are getting into the act. One such example occurred Saturday in Colorado:

"Slightly more Democrats than Republicans have voted in Colorado, either by mail or at early-voting polling places.

"State officials said Friday that 219,000 Democrats have cast their ballots, compared with 215,000 Republicans and 131,000 unaffiliated voters."

Doesn’t anyone care about how early voting is corrupting the process of free and fair elections?
Yes, Tom, a few of us do care. If you share our concern, go read the rest of Tom's column and see what he has to say.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nobama 2008 Song

Just in case things seem to be getting a little too grim, here's a moment of levity from the very talented Roger Weber:

Biden's Judgment

The Democrats have been reassuring those concerned about Obama's thin resumé by pointing out that running mate Joe Biden has decades of experience, and would be at a President Obama's side to guide him. But in fact, experience does not necessarily translate to judgment. It's quite possible for a man such as Biden, with his limited intelligence and outsized ego, to successfully avoid learning anything during his decades in the Senate.

In Biden and the Tale of Aldrich Ames, Jeffrey Lord points out that Biden has done exactly that.

Biden makes much of his "experience" these days in the area of foreign policy. His critics frequently point out that length of service is no compensation for good judgment, as Biden has been on the wrong side of every significant national security issue from Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative to the nuclear freeze to the first Gulf War to, most recently, his insistent opposition to the surge in Iraq, the latter now credited with turning the tide to victory.
Lord charges that as a direct result of Biden's arrogance and incompetence, the activities of traitorious CIA agent Aldrich Ames "went undiscovered for nine years."

Yes, indeed, if Obama should win next week, we should all relax in the assurance that the vastly experienced Joe Biden will be at his side to guide him.

Lord help us!

Gun Control – The One's Real Record

Slublog points out that on the subject of our right to keep and bear arms, Obama has been less than forthcoming: The NRA vs. Obama.

"I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry." - Obama, Chicago Tribune, April 27, 1994

"...just because you have an individual right does not mean that the state or local government can't constrain the exercise of that right..." - 2008 Philadelphia primary debate
Is there anything this man has ever said that we can take at face value?

Obama's Marxist Ties

Bill Sammon does a masterful job of explaining Barack Obama's extensive ties to Marxism in Obama Affinity to Marxists Dates Back to College Days. Here's how he begins:

Barack Obama laughs off charges of socialism. Joe Biden scoffs at references to Marxism. Both men shrug off accusations of liberalism.

But Obama himself acknowledges that he was drawn to socialists and even Marxists as a college student. He continued to associate with Marxists later in life, even choosing to launch his political career in the living room of a self-described Marxist, William Ayers, in 1995, when Obama was 34.

Obama's affinity for Marxists began when he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles.
Well, that's not entirely true, Bill. It seems that while he was growing up and attending school in Hawaii, Obama was mentored by the late African-American Communist Frank Marshall Davis. Last February, before Obama had yet won the Democrat nomination, Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media explained the relationship in Obama’s Communist Mentor.
In his biography of Barack Obama, David Mendell writes about Obama's life as a "secret smoker" and how he "went to great lengths to conceal the habit." But what about Obama's secret political life? It turns out that Obama's childhood mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, was a communist.

In his books, Obama admits attending "socialist conferences" and coming into contact with Marxist literature. But he ridicules the charge of being a "hard-core academic Marxist," which was made by his colorful and outspoken 2004 U.S. Senate opponent, Republican Alan Keyes.

However, through Frank Marshall Davis, Obama had an admitted relationship with someone who was publicly identified as a member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). The record shows that Obama was in Hawaii from 1971-1979, where, at some point in time, he developed a close relationship, almost like a son, with Davis, listening to his "poetry" and getting advice on his career path. But Obama, in his book, Dreams From My Father, refers to him repeatedly as just "Frank."

The reason is apparent: Davis was a known communist who belonged to a party subservient to the Soviet Union. In fact, the 1951 report of the Commission on Subversive Activities to the Legislature of the Territory of Hawaii identified him as a CPUSA member. What's more, anti-communist congressional committees, including the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), accused Davis of involvement in several communist-front organizations.
As Melanie Phillips asks, Is America really going to do this?

Obama-ism "New"? Not Hardly!

Trying to discuss the specifics of The Obamessiah's proposals can be difficult, because they keep zigging and zagging according to his handlers' perception of what his audience of the moment wants to hear. Last week, in frustration at yet another sudden policy shift during a debate, exasperated McCain adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin exploded, "I think they just made it up. They will say anything in the moment. This is like trying to pin Jello to the wall."

Nevertheless, there are a few constants in the fog. One is the Obamabots' firm belief that Their Hero's policies are new and different. In his latest column, Obama's Not ‘New’, Jonah Goldberg proves that they are anything but. In fact, Obama is proposing that we adopt century-old ideas which have failed every time they have been tried.

There’s an old saying: The oldest word in American politics is “new.” Only in that sense is there anything new to Barack Obama.

Obama prefers the word “progressive” to “liberal” because it makes it sound like he’s shedding old liberal ideas. But if he is, it’s only to embrace older ones.

America first encountered the vision Obama espouses under Woodrow Wilson, the first progressive president and the first to openly disparage the U.S. Constitution as a hindrance to enlightened government. His new idea was to replace it with a “living constitution” that empowered government to evolve beyond that document’s constraints. The Bill of Rights, lamented the progressives, inhibited what the government can do to people, but it failed to delineate what it must do for people.

The old conception of individualism needed to be replaced by a new system in which the citizen would “marry his interests to the state,” in Wilson’s words. This would allow the state to fulfill the progressive pledge to “spread the prosperity around.” Obama shares Wilson’s faith in a living constitution and has argued that Supreme Court judges should be confirmed based on their empathy for the downtrodden.
Read the rest of it, and learn how Obama is merely the latest in a long line of leftists attempting to implement the statist ideas of the saint of the "Progressive Education" crowd, John Dewey.

An Insight from VDH

Victor David Hanson posts about The Messianic Style in The Corner.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pruden on the Obama Tape


Karl Marx

In his latest column, A game-changer by Obama, Wesley Pruden comments on the 2001 Obama radio interview in his inimitable style:
If your toilet is stopped up by something really big and smells really bad, you'll probably need a plumber. Joe the Plumber, as it turns out, diagnosed the trouble, and yesterday we learned what it was. It smells really bad.
It's a scorcher. You'll want to read the whole thing.

Early Voting – A Monumentally Bad Idea

During the past few days, a recording of a 2001 Obama radio interview has come to light. In it, Obama never uses the terms "socialism" or "Marxism," but leaves no doubt in listeners' minds that he believes in those discredited economic systems.

No doubt, many voters who previously favored Obama/Biden over McCain/Palin had second or third thoughts when they heard his words and considered their meaning. The majority of Americans are implacably opposed to socialism and Marxism, and would never dream of voting for a candidate who espouses either of them regardless of how attractive he otherwise might be.

Unfortunately, a large number of those voters have already cast their ballots for Obama, and cannot change their minds on the basis of this new information. A few of them have voted by absentee ballot, but most have used the Early Voting mechanism, by which any otherwise qualified citizen can cast a ballot prior to Election Day without having to give a reason.

What a monumentally stupid idea!

In any election, there will be some voters who have a legitimate reason for being unable to present themselves personally at their local polling place on Election Day and vote in the normal manner. Since the Lincoln administration, those voters have been able to participate through Absentee Ballots.

I've been in that situation myself a few times – back in the '60's, when I was serving in the Navy for three years, then living away from home on a dairy farm for a year, and finally spending four years attending veterinary school at Cornell. More recently, there was the year I spent in hospitals and nursing homes unable to walk as a result of MRSA sepsis. Other than that, I have always voted at my local polling place on Election Day, and intend to continue to do so as long as I am physically able.

Ever since I have been old enough to vote, I have never missed an election, either primary or general, in which I was eligible to participate. I'm not claiming any particular credit for doing so, either – there are many other people with similar voting records years longer than mine.

Was it always convenient to vote? Good Lord, no! For 36 years, i ran a solo veterinary practice, and had many demands on my time. It would have been easy to make excuses about being too busy, not having enough time, not knowing enough about the candidates, not caring which one wins because "it really makes no difference" – I'm sure you're heard 'em all. I've always considered participation in elections to be a sacred duty, though, and therefore a top priority.

Early Voting, along with such other "reforms" as so-called Motor Voter, and even, in some states, registration and voting at the same time, were introduced as well-intentioned measures to improve voter participation. As is so often the case, though, there was insufficient consideration of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

It was obvious that the widespread adoption of these measures intended to make registration and voting easier would also make it easier to perpetrate fraud. Equally obvious was the fact that those citizens who couldn’t be bothered to register and vote under the old system because it was too much trouble were likely to be the same ones who wouldn't make an effort to inform themselves about the candidates and issues on the ballot. Proponents insisted that the new procedures would include sufficient safeguards to prevent fraud, and argued that the right to vote did not include any corresponding obligation to become an informed citizen. Gradually, their views prevailed and their ideas were adopted.

Another obvious objection to Early Voting was the hypothetical situation in which important new information became known late in a campaign, after significant numbers of citizens had already voted. Early Voting proponents argued that such situations would be very rare – that in the modern Information Age, it would be impossible to keep significant information hidden from the electorate for very long.

Well, now we have been hit by the proverbial perfect storm. We have a charismatic candidate with a messianic complex, a mysterious background, and some problematic associations. He has attracted a huge cult-like following of entranced supporters whose enthusiasm knows no bounds. Among his followers are virtually all of the members of the mainstream media upon whom we depend for so much of our news and analysis. On top of that, we have an unprecedented global financial meltdown directly traceable, in large part, to the actions of a few corrupt, unscrupulous leaders of that candidate's party.

Under these circumstances, hordes of the candidate's mesmerized followers have been crowding into the Early Voting stations to cast their ballots for their new Messiah.

Suddenly, in the last few days before Election Day, comes this jarring dose of reality. Their Messiah turns out to be an old-fashioned '60's radical Marxist who believes in redistribution of private property by government fiat. That's not exactly news to those of us who have been paying attention, but this time, it's different. He came right out and frankly admitted his radical ideology to the radio interviewer, as well as to a caller. This time, he cannot deny or dissemble – the evidence is there for all to hear in his own words and his own voice.

How many of those who have already cast their votes for Obama might not have done so if they had been aware of this new information? We'll never know. We have no way of knowing. And even if we did know, it would do no good, for there is no way to recall those ballots once cast.

If, instead of voting, those citizens had participated in some sort of business transaction under similar circumstances, they would have some sort of recourse. For instance, if someone buys a new air conditioning system with the understanding that it is capable of properly cooling his house, then later learns that the system is incapable of performing the task for which it was purchased, he has recourse. Ultimately, if he is unsuccessful in working out the problem with the installer, he can take him to court, sue for rescission, and win. The entire transaction is nullified – the installer takes back his system, and the buyer gets his purchase price back.

On the other hand, when a citizen votes early on the basis of incomplete or deliberately withheld information, no such relief is available. What's done is done. In a very close election, just a handful of votes may well be enough to tip the outcome one way or another.

Is this how we really want to elect a president? It's time to reconsider this whole matter of Early Voting. Even though it may have been adopted with the best of intentions, it has proven to be a monumentally bad idea.

Empowering Our Enemies

Mona Charen, author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help (and the Rest of Us), asks in her latest column Does Obama's Friendship with Khalidi Matter to Jews?

In addition to his close and long-standing friendship with Rashid and Mona Khalidi, Charen mentions two more of the close friends which Obama would rather his Jewish supporters didn't know about, Jeremiah Wright and Mazen Asbahi.

Others have pointed out that Obama's past and present advisors include such notorious pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli individuals as Robert Malley, Samantha Power, former Congressman David Bonior, retired Air Force General Merrill "Tony" McPeak, and Carter administration National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Can anyone not see a pattern here? Is it not true that a man may be judged by the company he keeps?

Why, then, is it likely that judging by their past voting records, approximately three-fourths of my co-religionists are going to vote for Obama in seven days? Won't they feel the least bit uncomfortable about elevating this unknown, inexperienced individual with his shady, mysterious past and his troubling associations to the most powerful position on earth? Can Jews really be that naïve and stupid?

I'm hoping the answer is No.

Monday, October 27, 2008

"If you care about Israel’s security, vote for McCain."

One of the Chicago Boyz, David Foster, tells us that Israelis Support John McCain.

…most of them do, anyhow. Polls show that 70% of Israelis would vote for McCain if they were eligible to vote in the U.S. election.

And some of them are. There are an estimated 40,000 Americans residing in Israel who are eligible to cast absentee ballots, and many of them will be voting in swing states. The chairman of Republicans Abroad in Israel predicts a 75% vote for McCain, although other reports show a large number of undecideds.
Read the rest of it and find out why.

Thought for Today

Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.

~~~~~ Calvin Coolidge

Sunday, October 26, 2008

“I couldn’t believe this was happening. I thought
this only happened in Third World countries.”


In Hillary Backers Decry Massive Obama Vote Fraud, NewsMax's respected journalist Kenneth R. Timmerman reports that Barack Obama apparently cheated his way to the Democratic nomination.

With accusations of voter registration fraud swirling as early voting begins in many states, some Hillary Clinton supporters are saying: “I told you so.”

Already in Iowa, the Obama campaign was breaking the rules, busing in supporters from neighboring states to vote illegally in the first contest in the primaries and physically intimidating Hillary supporters, they say.

Obama’s surprisingly strong win in Iowa, which defied all the polls, propelled his upstart candidacy to front-runner status. But Dr. Lynette Long, a Hillary supporter from Bethesda, Md, who has a long and respected academic career, believes Obama’s victory in Iowa and in twelve other caucus states was no miracle. “It was fraud,” she told Newsmax.
You'll want to read the rest of it. It's a shocker.

The question now is not whether we can expect these thuggish banana republic tactics on November 4th, but what the rest of us – that is, the non-Obamabots – will do to defend against them.

We will need to be proactive – after all, the best defense is a good offense.

As Edmund Burke said long ago,
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.


Update: Amanda Carpenter tells us what we can expect in Dem Playbook Shows Dirty Tactics:
Dirty campaign tricks don’t die. They just become more refined with age.

Documents obtained by Townhall show the Democratic Party encouraged party activists to accuse the GOP of intimidating minorities on Election Day even if no evidence of intimidation existed in the 2004 presidential election. The tactic is being used again in 2008, this time to downplay fraud charges against a predominantly minority non-profit supporting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Weeks before the Nov. 4 election Barack Obama’s campaign said the Republicans are attempting to suppress votes by drawing attention to the Association for Community Organizers for Reform Now’s involvement in rampant voter registration fraud across the nation. The nonprofit actively supports Democratic causes, such as minimum wage increases and housing assistance. ACORN endorsed Obama for president last February and has been paid by his campaign to conduct get out the vote activities during the Democratic primary.

ACORN wasn’t a household name in the last election but documents show Democrats were just as eager to accuse the GOP of treating minorities unfairly in 2004 as they are in 2008.

A nine-page section of 66-page 2004 Kerry Edwards Colorado state Election Day Manual titled “Minority Voter Intimidation” begins: “Over the past twenty years, there have been repeated efforts by the Republican party and Republican Party candidates to harass and intimidate minority voters in an effort to reduce the number of African-American and/or Latino voters.” The manual then instructs Democrats how to look for minority voter intimidation tactics and how to publicize it to the media with special tactics designed for mainstream and specialty press.
Click on the link for the rest.

A Sobering Assessment

Arthur Laffer, the justly famed economist of Laffer Curve fame, wrote a sobering assessment of the country's future economic prospects for the Wall Street Journal. In The Age of Prosperity Is Over, he tells us:

No one likes to see people lose their homes when housing prices fall and they can't afford to pay their mortgages; nor does any one of us enjoy watching banks go belly-up for making subprime loans without enough equity. But the taxpayers had nothing to do with either side of the mortgage transaction. If the house's value had appreciated, believe you me the overleveraged homeowner and the overly aggressive bank would never have shared their gain with taxpayers. Housing price declines and their consequences are signals to the market to stop building so many houses, pure and simple.

But here's the rub. Now enter the government and the prospects of a kinder and gentler economy. To alleviate the obvious hardships to both homeowners and banks, the government commits to buy mortgages and inject capital into banks, which on the face of it seems like a very nice thing to do. But unfortunately in this world there is no tooth fairy. And the government doesn't create anything; it just redistributes. Whenever the government bails someone out of trouble, they always put someone into trouble, plus of course a toll for the troll. Every $100 billion in bailout requires at least $130 billion in taxes, where the $30 billion extra is the cost of getting government involved.

If you don't believe me, just watch how Congress and Barney Frank run the banks. If you thought they did a bad job running the post office, Amtrak, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the military, just wait till you see what they'll do with Wall Street.
Read the rest of it, and find out what's likely to happen. I'm afraid you won't like it. Nevertheless, it's hard to argue with Laffer's conclusions.

From His Own Mouth II

Well, whaddaya know? In 2001, in an interview on Chicago Public Radio, then-State Senator Barack Obama clearly and unambiguously stated his position on the redistribution of wealth. No need to take anybody's word for it. Listen for yourself:



Incidentally, notice how even then, the Obamessiah had to exaggerate his own importance by referring to himself as a "law professor" (at 2:29 into the clip) when, in fact, he was a Senior Lecturer, an untenured position slightly above "Graduate Student." It's roughly the same thing as a 2nd Lieutenant passing himself off as a Colonel. Apparently, the man's narcissism is a long established character trait.

Hat tip: Little Green Footballs

If you haven't watched it yet, here's a link to the first From His Own Mouth.

VDH on the Campaign

Victor Davis Hanson, one of the wisest men of our generation, is always worth reading. This time, though, he has outdone himself. In his latest essay for Pajamas Media, The Campaign Takes a Very Strange Turn, he begins by posing four "why?" questions:

Why didn’t Colin Powell and Co. jump ship in, say, June or July, and endorse Obama after many months of campaigning when his positions were already well known? That is, why wait until late October when, after the financial meltdown, Obama surged in the polls? Had Powell come out even in the first week of September, he could have demonstrated that although Obama was down by three points, he was willing to stick his neck out with a principled endorsement that may well have made him persona non grata in a McCain-administration Washington.

Why didn’t the media or McCain just ask Obama a few of the following questions: Why did you keep emailing and phoning Bill Ayers for three years after 9/11, when the country was gripped by fear of terror, and Ayers, like bin Laden, said that he had not done enough bombing, and had no regrets about the terrorism he had committed?

Why did Obama say in 2004 to the Chicago Sun-Times that he went to Trinity Church every Sunday at 11AM, and then later claim he had not been there that regularly once Rev. Wright’s venom was disseminated to the general public? Is Obama for, or not for, a simple yes or no, missile defense, nuclear power, off-shore drilling, and coal-powered electrical generation? There might be legitimate answers, but surely the public could profit by them, rather than worry over the Palin pregnancies, wardrobe, or Tasergate.

Why did the greatest furor against Palin originate with women, both liberals like a Gail Collins, Maureen Dowd, or Sally Quinn, or conservatives such as a Peggy Noonan or Kathleen Parker?
He then proceeds to answer them, and quite a few more, in his usual quiet, understated, eloquent style. Go see what he has to say.

How Low Can They Sink?

John Hinderaker of Power Line eloquently expresses his growing disgust and anger at the vile and shameless conduct of the left in this campaign. In Barbarians at the Gates--of the White House, he points out that their treatment of Governor Palin has been unprecedented in all of American history – and that if we allow their tactics to succeed, we will be giving the keys to the kingdom to "a howling mob of barbarians."

Barack Obama can't be blamed for all of his followers' vile actions, but, like it or not, he trails in his wake a howling mob of barbarians. If he is elected, these bottom-feeders will have achieved their goal, and some of them, at least, will be rewarded for doing their leader's dirty work. This is not, folks, your father's Democratic Party.
Unfortunately, most voters don't read blogs. They get their news, such as it is, from the MSM and the late night comedians. They have no more idea of what's in store for them than lambs being led to slaughter.

I fear that our country is about to pay a terrible price for their apathy.

Thought for Today

Character is the only secure foundation of the state.

~~~~~ Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Leftists As Perpetual Teenagers

Dmitry Radyshevsky, the Executive Director of the Jerusalem Summit, has written a fascinating YNetNews.com column in which he posits the failure of leftists in general, and Barack Obama in particular, to complete their metamorphosis from children to adults. Instead, he believes that throughout their lives, they remain in a mental state of perpetual "teenage-ness ··· unrelated to their physical age." In the piece, Obama in the Tube, he writes

The politicians of the Left are in a sense like rock stars (whom they court so arduously): their teenage-ness is unrelated to their physical age and stems from the need to keep up their image among their fans – that is, voters. Shimon Peres, “Still Crazy after All Those Years”, is still calling for peace with Palestinian jihadists, as if his Oslo process had not led to thousands of victims. Another eternal teenager, Tony Blair, proposes that we pump hundreds millions more euros in Near East dictatorships.

And now Barack Obama, the youngest of them all, intends to sit down for tea with Ahmadinejad in order to solve all the problems about the Coming of Mahdi. One of these problems is that hundreds of millions of Shiites have a good mind to commemorate the said arrival with an Armageddon. (Some Obama critics claim that his main argument with Ahmadinejad will be “But I am the Messiah! I am the one you have been waiting for!”)
Radyshevsky's hypothesis uniquely explains a great deal of leftist behavior which is otherwise incomprehensible to conservatives. By all means read it through.

"Is America Really Going To Do This?"

Nashville blogger Kay Brooks highly recommends Melanie Phillips' latest contribution to the British Spectator in her post Getting down to brass tacks. Phillips, a brilliant author (most recent book: Londonistan) and essayist, asks in disbelief, Is America really going to do this?

Kay was particularly struck by these words

McCain believes in protecting and defending America as it is. Obama tells the world he is ashamed of America and wants to change it into something else. McCain stands for American exceptionalism, the belief that American values are superior to tyrannies. Obama stands for the expiation of America’s original sin in oppressing black people, the third world and the poor.
about which she commented "That's as succinctly worded a paragraph about the difference between these two men as I've read thus far."

Particularly for those with an interest in Israel and its fate, I'd recommend reading Melanie Phillips' entire essay. It will be well worth your time.

"A Charismatic Demagogue"

Mark Levin, the brilliant attorney and talk show host, just uploaded a very important post to NRO's The Corner. It's obvious that he dashed it off in the heat of passion, so to speak, because while it's tightly reasoned and eloquently written, it's not neatly arranged in paragraphs. He named it "The Obama Temptation." Here's how he begins:

I've been thinking this for a while so I might as well air it here. I honestly never thought we'd see such a thing in our country - not yet anyway - but I sense what's occurring in this election is a recklessness and abandonment of rationality that has preceded the voluntary surrender of liberty and security in other places.
Here's another pull quote:
But beyond the elites and the media, my greatest concern is whether this election will show a majority of the voters susceptible to the appeal of a charismatic demagogue. This may seem a harsh term to some, and no doubt will to Obama supporters, but it is a perfectly appropriate characterization. Obama's entire campaign is built on class warfare and human envy. The "change" he peddles is not new. We've seen it before. It is change that diminishes individual liberty for the soft authoritarianism of socialism. It is a populist appeal that disguises government mandated wealth redistribution as tax cuts for the middle class, falsely blames capitalism for the social policies and government corruption (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) that led to the current turmoil in our financial markets, fuels contempt for commerce and trade by stigmatizing those who run successful small and large businesses, and exploits human imperfection as a justification for a massive expansion of centralized government.
This one is a must-read.

Berg's Reputation – and Ours – UPDATED AND BUMPED

If you're one of those who's been wondering if there's any truth to the allegations that Barack Obama was not born in Hawaii, you'd better check out this information about the man who brought the lawsuit: Philip J. Berg, Nutbar Supreme, which begins like this:

I think we have a winner in the "Who's the biggest kook in 9-11 Denial?" contest.
While I agree that it would be wonderful if Obama would conveniently turn out to be ineligible for the presidency, wishing will not make it come true. In order to be able to fight him effectively, our own reputations must be such that others take us seriously. By lending respectability to whackjobs such as Berg, we end up like the boy who cried wolf. In the future, people won't believe us even when we present them with incontrovertible facts.

Hat tip: Little Green Footballs

Saturday, 10/25/08, 4:21 PM UPDATE: Judge tosses lawsuit challenging Obama citizenship

Criminals For Gun Control

These are brilliant!

Part 1: Home Invasion



Part 2: Carjacking



Hat tip: The Jawa Report

Poor James and the Swamp Crows:
"OBAMA, NO MERCI BEAUCOUP"

Here's something you'll want to share. These folks have Obama all figured out.



Poor James, the guy with the washboard, has this to say:

Poor James Statement: I am an oddity I admit, a guy with a life long love of music, art and literature, living in the sticks in a little cabin (built with my own hands) with my girlfriend, her two horses, three dogs, three cats, plus the occassional stray who drops by for brunch, and yet... I am a right-wing conservative. How can this be you ask? Quite simply, I have a built in, infallible bull-s--t detector (gift from my dear ol' Dad.) I keep my feet planted firmly on the ground and observe what works for our country, and that is conservative ideals: hard work, personal responsibility, small government, fiscal restraint, honor, and duty to family and country. I also see what weakens our country: heavy taxation and redistribution, entitlements for non-producers, disdain for America and an increasingly flexible sense of right and wrong. Granted, as a songwriter, I have many lib associates whose wacky socialist views I endure, but I'll be damned if I'll have them anywhere near government or policy making. America did not exude from the ethereal herbal vapors of some drug inspired utopian manifesto, but was built purposefully upon solid ground by brilliant, brave, sober, God-fearing conservatives. About this song Obama No Merci Beaucoup. You may recall a month or so ago Mr. Obama bemoaning the dearth of mulit-lingual Americans whom, when traveling abroad, could but manage to mutter a paltry "merci beaucoup" (thankyou very much.) Hence the song title Obama No Merci Beaucoup (Obama, no thankyou very much.) If I were rich I would flood the media with independent anti-Obama ads. If I were a Hollywood actor I would defy those lame-brains and expose Mr. Obama's socialist nature before God and David Letterman. But alas, I am but a poor songwriter living in the sticks. We do what we can. I think you will find Obama No Merci Beaucoup hard hitting but fair. There are no cheap-shots. The lyrics are based on actual statements he has made, actions he has taken, and his published agenda. Pass it on to your conservative friends to rally them and any libs you may know to throw them off their game a bit. Download it, burn copies if you like, learn it and sing it. If we succeed in securing Mr Obama's defeat in November, we'll dance to it. Your most humble servant, Poor James

James Earl 8/29/08

He never met a tax he didnt like.
Hes got crazy friends like Rev. Wright.
Hed rather give away the farm than fight.
No merci beaucoup.

Obama, no merci beaucoup,
Obama, no merci beaucoup,
Obama, no merci beaucoup,
No merci beaucoup.

He thinks oil should be against the law.
He runs down America.
Hes ashamed of his own Grandma.
No merci beaucoup.

Hey you good people that work all day,
hes got plans to dock your pay,
and let his unemployed voters go and ___ it away,
No merci beaucoup.


Hat tip: Gateway Pundit

The last full measure of devotion...


Read this deeply moving account of the homecoming of a Fallen Soldier.


Hat tip: Ace of Spades, who in turn got it from Blackfive.

Vote Fraud in Nashville – UPDATED AND BUMPED

Friday, 10/17/08, 9:30 PM: A few hours ago, Nashville's syndicated radio talk show host Phil Valentine took a phone call from Lynn Greer, one of the two Republican members of the five-member Davidson County Election Commission. Mr. Greer was so angry he could barely control himself. (For the benefit of readers who aren't familiar with Middle Tennessee, Nashville/Davidson County is a Metro area, in which the city and county governments are combined.)

He informed Phil and his listeners that earlier today, someone was bringing in vanloads of non-English-speaking Mexicans with no identification to one of the Nashville early voting locations. Along with the non-English speaking individuals came a bilingual woman to act as their interpreter. She informed the election personnel that she would accompany the voters into the booth, read the ballot for them, and insure that their vote was cast for the candidates of their choice.

The Davidson County Election Commission, including its Democrat members, decided that the individuals would not be allowed to vote on the grounds that since they were unable to speak, understand, or read English, they could not possibly be citizens, and therefore were not qualified to vote. In addition, Mr. Greer mentioned that these people were unable even to request the assistance of a translator themselves. Accordingly, Ray Barrett, Davidson County Administrator of Elections, instructed his employees to refuse to allow any of these individuals to vote.

However, someone prevailed upon Mr. Barrett to call the state in order to verify the Commission's decision. Brook Thompson, the Tennessee State Election Coordinator, then ordered Mr. Barrett and the Davidson County Election Commission to allow these non-English-speaking individuals to vote through their bilingual interpreter despite their lack of any sort of identification and total unfamiliarity with the English language.

Phil and Mr. Greer briefly discussed what could be done. They agreed that the only possible remedy would be for the Tennessee Republican Party to file suit in a Federal court. He told Phil that while he intended to urge the state GOP to make the effort, in view of the recent refusal of a Federal court to grant relief to State Sen. Rosalyn Kurita (whose legitimate Democrat primary win was overturned by the big shots of her party in revenge for her vote in favor of a Republican Lt. Governor), he held out little hope that it would be successful. He also noted that even if a court should decide that the votes of these people were illegal, there is no mechanism for withdrawing them. These are not provisional ballots. Once cast, they are inviolate.

There were several more phone calls in quick succession.

First, Brook Thompson himself called up. He told Phil that Federal law requires that these people be allowed to vote with the help of an interpreter if they wish. He pointed out that in some jurisdictions with a higher percentage of non-English-speaking individuals, the Feds require that ballots and registration materials be printed in four or five languages. Therefore, he insisted that he had no choice but to allow these people to vote.

Phil asked him about the requirement that prospective voters must be able to produce valid identification, and Thompson admitted that this is correct. However, he shifted the burden for enforcement back to the Davidson County Election Commission. When Phil asked him if he intended to send someone down to investigate why the ID requirement was not being enforced, Thompson began to stammer and splutter a bit, and finally gave a noncommittal answer to the effect that he'd look into it.

The next phone call was from a woman identified only as Barbara, who is apparently an officer in the Republican Women's organization. She informed Phil that aside from the identification requirement, Brook Thompson is ignoring another legal mandate of which he is definitely aware. She insisted that the law requires that a prospective voter who desires the assistance of an interpreter must personally request such assistance. In other words, the interpreter is not permitted to go up to the election officials and inform them that she intends to go into the booth and help the voter. She explained that the law includes that provision as protection for the voter against coercion and other forms of voter fraud. Unquestionably, Barbara was accusing Brook Thompson of deliberately ignoring that provision of the law, and thus allowing illegals to vote.

Within a few minutes, a man called up who informed Phil that he had been involved in Tennessee elections for 20 years, and was intimately familiar with the applicable laws. He agreed with Barbara, and added that Brook Thompson is not an attorney, and is not an authority on election law, but is a political appointee – appointed by Democrats. This gentleman disputed Thompson's assertion that Federal law mandates that voters be permitted to use an interpreter. According to him, elections are governed by state law, which plainly requires that any voter who wishes to use an interpreter must personally request permission to do so from the election personnel. He vehemently disagreed with Thompson's decision allowing these non-English-speaking people with no valid identification to vote in a Tennessee election.

The caller also informed Phil and his listeners that any voter has the right to challenge any other voter's qualifications. He advised all of us not to depend solely upon the election personnel, but to take the initiative and inform them of any questionable or suspicious activity which we observe at a polling place.

That's where the matter ended for today. Since it's now Friday evening, it is unlikely that there will be any new developments until Monday, 10/20.

Wednesday, 10/22/08, 5:00 AM: As of yesterday afternoon, there have been no further developments. Phil Valentine reported that he has spoken to various law enforcement authorities, and none have been willing to look into this egregious violation of election laws.

During yesterday's program, Phil spoke by phone with Quin Hillyer, Associate Editorial Page Editor of the Washington Examiner. Quin's paper just published his column Quin-essential cases: No Righting Voting Wrongs in Ohio covering similar voting irregularities in Ohio.

When Phil informed Quin of these recent occurrences in Nashville, his first reaction was a gasp of surprise. He then remarked, "This election is being stolen right from under our noses."

Phil is now trying to formulate a plan for some sort of direct action designed to force the relevant authorities to do their jobs. He's been successful in such efforts in the past. For instance, he was responsible for the famous 2001 horn-blowing mass demonstration at the Tennessee State Capitol which resulted in the defeat of then-Gov. Don Sundquist's proposed income tax. Whether he'll be able to devise a successful strategy this time remains to be seen, but if I were a betting man, I'd be putting my money on Phil.

Wednesday, 10/22/08, 2:10 PM: Welcome, Instapundit readers. I learned just a few minutes ago that Phil's aware of this post, and has verified that it is entirely correct. I'll update you whenever new information becomes available.

Thursday, 10/23/08, 1:10 PM: Donald Sensing of Sense of Events comments:

When nothing matter except gaining power, any means is justified by the end. Understand that on page 56 of the official DNC platform document, available online, it says explicitly that the Democrat party goal is to eliminate any identification requirements for either voting registration or voting itself.
Later, he linked to the relevant passage in the Democrat platform in this post. Donald points specifically to this excerpt:
we oppose laws that require identification in order to vote or register to vote

Nashteach comments:
The post is not entirely correct. Mr. Greer did NOT say these alleged voters were without ID. Valentine asked him and he countered they did have ID. Valentine then started giving examples of the weakest forms of ID one is required to have and Mr. Greer reiterated one must have something with an address and a picture or signature. Mr. Greer did not say exactly what these folks had. I also disagree that he was mad, and Valentine seemed to know the story better than Mr. Greer.

And if these details are all true, the media, liberal or not, would have covered this story. I'd love to know who Commissioner Greer called other than Phil Valentine. If these details are true, if the election workers let these people in without IDs as you claim, the media would cover it and the employees who let it happen would be fired. So, why has Mr. Greer only been paraphrased by Phil Valentine. If these fraud charges are true and, as some sort of witness, that's all Mr. Greer has done about them, call into a radio show, he should be investigated, too.

I was not recording the program, and wrote the post from memory. Subsequently, Phil (who I do not know and have never met except through an occasional brief email) was kind enough to review the post for correctness. He found no errors.

Subsequently, yesterday evening, I emailed Phil and asked him if there's any chance of his making the audio from the four calls (Lynn Greer, Brook Thompson, "Barbara," and that gentleman who said he's worked in Tennessee elections for 20 years and Brook Thompson was full of it --- there is no such Federal law) available on his website as a podcast, or on YouTube as a "video" (audio track with some sort of a picture). As of this time, I have not yet received a response. If and when Phil agrees to make the audio available in some form, I'll link to it. Then you can listen to it and draw your own conclusions. Until then, Nashteach, we'll just have to agree to disagree about what we heard, as well as about Mr. Greer's emotional state.

Sorry to state this so bluntly, but your argument that "if these details are all true, the media, liberal or not, would have covered this story" indicates that either you are hopelessly naïve, or that you think we are. Those of us who are conservative have long ago resigned ourselves to the pervasive liberal slant of the media. Particularly in this election, they are so far in the tank for the Democrats that they're growing fins and scales.

I can't vouch for the accuracy of Mr. Greer's allegations, because I wasn't there. However, by the same standard, you have no grounds on which to question them, much less to imply that he is lying. At this point, all we can reasonably do is hope that some additional evidence emerges which either corroborates or contradicts his account.

There's another question to be answered: "What's the point?" Nashville/Davidson County invariably votes for Democrats by a huge majority. Therefore, what motivation would the Democrats have to commit vote fraud when the result of the upcoming election is already preordained in their favor? Likewise, why would Lynn Greer raise the issue of vote fraud when even if the allegations were investigated and found to be true, the Republicans would still lose? Ideas, anyone?

Friday, 10/24/08, 4:02 AM: In addition to the commenters below, several other bloggers with links to this post are attempting to shed some welcome light on this controversial event.

Steve Owens, of Pax Parabellum, emailed me privately to let me know that he had spoken by phone with Ray Barrett, Davidson County Administrator of Elections. He reports what he learned on his blog in Tennessee Voting Shenanigans? Perhaps Not.
On the matter of the "vanload(s)" of immigrants voting... Mr. Barrett cleared that up as well. It seems that the TRUE story, which Mr. Barrett states Lynn Greer will corroborate, is that a Cuban couple came into an early voting center, already properly registered to vote, and requested assistance voting as neither one spoke English well. Mr. Barrett lamented the tendency of the media to pick up a story and run with it before getting all the facts. He stated that both he and Mr. Greer had been out in the early voting centers for several days making sure everything was being done according to the rules.

After all the instances being reported where people are trying to nullify or outright steal our votes, I am gratified that we really do have officials in government making sure our votes count as we cast them. After speaking with Mr. Barrett and his staff I get a real sense that we have such a person here in Nashville.
Ned Williams, of WisdomIsVindicated, apparently has some inside contacts at the Davidson County Election Commission. After discussing the situation with them, he posted this informative piece: Election "fraud" fog in Nashville.
But something that needs to be pointed out in this whole debate is that one means of undermining ballot integrity is by flooding a polling place with potential voters who require special treatment. Given the histrionics about voter suppression and other forms of "disenfranchisement," poll workers are often motivated to give the demanding party (e.g., the ACORN or La Raza rep. or the friendly ACLU lawyer-on-loan) whatever they demand rather than wait for confirmation from Election Comm. HQ or rather than go through all the steps that are required for determining the person's eligibility to vote. One clever trick I've heard of (I think in PA in 2006) is to swamp a polling place (which invariably has a limited number of provisional ballots) with "ineligible" voters who ultimately are allowed to cast normal, untraceable ballots rather than be turned away because of a shortage of provisional ballots.

Complicated and rife with technicalities, you say? No doubt; but it is difficult to conduct a fair ballot (actually, it is almost impossible, especially if you expect it to be simple and easy) when determined persons have concluded that the end of winning an election justifies even immoral means.
By all means, read the whole thing.

Saturday, 10/25/08, 2:15 AM: I have just sent the following email to Davidson County Election Commissioner Lynn Greer:

Dear Mr. Greer:

I'm a retired veterinarian and sometime blogger. I live in Lebanon and therefore vote in Wilson County, so I have no dog in this fight.

Last Friday, 10/17/08, I was listening to the Phil Valentine Show when you called in. I listened to your call, and the others which it triggered, with considerable interest.

A few hours later, I wrote up this blog post http://inoculate128.blogspot.com/2008/10/vote-fraud-in-nashville.html#links from memory since, unfortunately, I had not made an audio recording of the program.

My post attracted considerable interest, including links from UT law professor Glenn Reynolds' Instapundit, Bill Hobbs' HobbsOnline, Kay Brooks, Donald Sensings' Sense of Events, Free Republic, VoteFraudSquad.com, and several other popular blogs and websites.

There has even been international interest. One British blogger, who writes under the nom de plume Not a Sheep, linked to the story and left a comment under it.

Wednesday morning, 10/22/08, I emailed Phil (whom I do not know and have never met), advised him of what I had done and the degree of interest it had engendered, and asked him to check the post for correctness. Within a few hours, he wrote back to let me know that he had read the post and found it to be entirely accurate to the best of his recollection, except that he thought that the State Election Coordinator's first name was spelled "Brooks." I verified through the Tennessee Blue Book that his name is, indeed, spelled "Brook."

Most of the reaction to the post has ranged from support to outrage. For instance, Donald Sensing pointed out that such actions are entirely consistent with the Democrat Party Platform. He linked to it in this post http://senseofevents.blogspot.com/2008/10/voting-fraud-in-nashville.html, and drew particular attention to the phrase "we oppose laws that require identification in order to vote or register to vote."

However, there have been a few skeptics. One blogger, Steve Owens, of Pax Parabellum, emailed me privately to let me know that he had spoken by phone with Ray Barrett. He then wrote up what he had learned in this post: http://www.paxparabellum.com/2008/10/tennessee-voting-shenanigans-perhaps.html

In it, he states: "It seems that the TRUE story, which Mr. Barrett states Lynn Greer will corroborate, is that a Cuban couple came into an early voting center, already properly registered to vote, and requested assistance voting as neither one spoke English well."

Another, Ned Williams, of WisdomIsVindicated, apparently has some inside contacts at the Election Commission. After discussing the situation with them, he posted this: http://wisdomisvindicated.blogspot.com/2008/10/election-fraud-fog-in-nashville.html

Two commenters, N.S. Allen and Nashteach, left thoughtful, serious comments on Kay Brooks' blog following this post: http://kaybrooks.blogspot.com/2008/10/voter-fraud-in-nashville.html Nashteach also visited my blog and left a similar comment there. Kay has attempted to reply to their comments as best she could with the information available to her.

I have emailed Phil and asked him if there is any way he could post the audio of the four calls --- yours and the three related ones which followed --- on either his website or YouTube so that those who were not listening to the broadcast could hear the calls for themselves. So far, he has not responded.

Please read the blog posts I have linked in this email, including the comments, then send me your response. I'd like to know whether, in your opinion, my recap of your call was correct, and if not, why not. Steve Owens would like to know if you will, in fact, corroborate Ray Barrett's explanation of what happened last Friday. N.S. Allen and Nashteach would like answers to the points they have raised.

Finally, I have a question of my own, which you may or may not be in a position to answer. Specifically, what could be the point of all this? It is a foregone conclusion that the Democrats are going to carry Nashville/Davidson County, so what motivation would the Democrats have for cheating in this election when they are going to win it anyway? Conversely, what motivation would you have for calling in to Phil Valentine as you did if your account of events were inaccurate, when it would make absolutely no difference in the ultimate outcome even if it were conclusively proven to be 100% true?

I am posting this message to my blog, and also cross-posting it as a comment to Kay Brooks' post. With your permission, I would like to post your reply, so that all of those who are following this story can have the opportunity to read your side of it in your own words.

Thank you in advance for your attention, and thanks also for your many years of dedicated public service.

--
Respectfully,
[me]
Provided he grants permission to do so, I will post whatever reply I receive from Mr. Greer. Should he reply, but withhold permission to post his words, I will paraphrase the content of his message. If I receive no response after several days, I'll let you know.

Cross-posted as a comment to Kay Brooks' Voter Fraud in Nashville post.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Putting Powell in Perspective

Bret Stephens, the Wall Street Journal's ace foreign affairs columnist, has written a most perceptive piece, Powell Catches the Beltway Breeze, putting Colin Powell, his post-military career, and his opportunistic endorsement of Obama into perspective. Here's a snippet:

To what extent is Mr. Powell's endorsement of Mr. Obama a case of sour grapes?

That's one of the questions Tom Brokaw might have usefully asked Mr. Powell, rather than simply hand him a soapbox. Here's another: If America's reputation needs fixing, what part does the former secretary think he played in its malfunction?
By all means, read the whole thing.

If not for Presidents Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II, Powell would have been just one more retired general. Reagan promoted him to 2-star, then 3-star, rank and nominated him for his 4th star, Bush père moved him up to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Bush fils selected him as his first Secretary of State. As he readily admits, he and fellow Vietnam War veteran John McCain have been good friends for decades. Yet, listening to his lame and hollow excuses for deserting his friends in favor of a naïve, inexperienced candidate with whom he has nothing in common but the attribute of skin pigmentation, I really wonder about this man's seemingly limitless capacity for self-deception and rationalization.

There was a time when I hoped that the day would come when I'd have the chance to vote for Colin Powell for president. However, I'm now very grateful that he made the decision not to try for the office, for he would have been a major disappointment. In fact, by his disloyal, ungrateful, and self-serving behavior, Gen. Powell has so diminished himself in my eyes that I'll forevermore think of him as Semi-Colin.


Hat tip: Townhall.com

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thought for Today

To provide for us in our necessities is not in the power of Government. It would be a vain presumption in statesmen to think they can do it. The people maintain them, and not they the people. It is in the power of Government to prevent much evil; it can do very little positive good in this, or perhaps in any thing else.

~~~~~ Edmund Burke

Hat tip: Yuval Levin at NRO's The Corner

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An Icy Dose of Reality

Using the example of an ice skating rink, the invaluable John Stossel illustrates why we are deluding ourselves when we place our faith in politicians – any of them.



Conclusion: In every election, our best bet is to vote for the one who is likely to do the least damage.

Hat tip: Gerald Vanderleun at American Digest, "The State of the Nation."

For Those Who Want Facts, Not Opinions …

… take a look at Aerial photos of Obama's stunning State Senatorial experience.



Do you REALLY want to put this man in charge of our country?

Hat tip: Gerald Vanderleun at American Digest: What Hath Obama Wrought?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Machosauce Production

Remember this? Well, Alfonzo's been busy making more – including this:

He's one helluva talent, isn't he? This man should definitely be on TV. He's better than most of the ones who are there now.

His full name's Alfonzo Rachel, and you can find several more of his videos here.

Hat tip: Jim Treacher

More on Joe the Plumber

PajamasMedia has two great articles on Joe the Plumber and why his story should matter very much to all of us.

First, there's Ruben Navarrette Jr.'s "The Democratic Party’s Drubbing of Joe the Plumber," which begins like this:

I realize it’s all about winning at this point. But someone has to ask: What has happened to the Democratic Party?

It seems like just yesterday that the party of Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy was talking about income equality and civil rights and worker protections and going to bat for the little guy, the blue collar laborer, the everyday Joe the Plumber.

Now, the well-to-do elites who run the Democratic Party — and their surrogates — greet these people with brickbats. They insult them, talk down to them, and even try to destroy them. Isn’t that the sort of war on the working class that Democrats are always accusing those greedy and heartless Republicans of waging?
Then take a look at this short but incisive piece by Claudia Rosett, "First They Came for Joe the Plumber…." Here's how she starts out:
Joe’s question about taxes threw a wrench into Barack Obama’s campaign pitch. So, oh what a background check Joe got. Within days, reports were all over the news that Joe owes back taxes, he doesn’t have an Ohio plumber’s license, his real name is Samuel, and he is — shock and horror — a registered Republican. Within days, Obama and Biden were holding up Joe to public ridicule, and by implication mocking any American working stiff who might have the audacity to want to earn more than $250,000 per year.

Obama may be full of talk about delivering the American dream, but he apparently has enormous disdain for Americans who actually sweat to earn it for themselves. He wants to take Joe’s money and spread it around in the name of helping others get ahead — but if anyone gets ahead more than Obama deems fitting, watch out.

It seems that Joe’s sins are less than the litany would make them. He may not have a plumber’s license, but he works for someone who does. He owes back taxes, but less than $1,200. And at least to date, it is not a crime in America to use a nickname or be a registered Republican.

From His Own Mouth

If, God forbid, The Obamessiah succeeds in his attempt to fool some of the people enough of the time to become the next president, what's the first thing he'll do? In this ad, we hear the truth from his own mouth. The excerpts are from a speech he gave to Planned Parenthood a little over one year ago.

For more information about this ad and its origin, read this short post by Kyle-Anne Shiver, Amer. Fam. Council Fights Obama. Great Ad, at her website Common Sense Regained.

10/26/08 Update: See From His Own Mouth II

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mark Steyn on Joe the Plumber and The Chosen One

Mark Steyn just put up a brilliant and wickedly funny NRO article about the encounter between the now-famous Joe the Plumber and BHO, "Joe the Plumber vs. Joe the Hair-Plugger." Here's how it begins:

Give a man enough rope line and he’ll hang himself. There was His Serene Majesty President-designate Barack the Healer working the crowd at some or other hick burg, and halfway down the rope up pops a plumber to express misgivings about the incoming regime’s tax plans.
You'll want to read all of it – but not with a full bladder.

A Class Act

On October 13, Sarah Palin made a campaign appearance in Virginia Beach, VA. Read this first-person story of Rebekah Curtis' encounter with her for a spontaneous example of Sarah's innate goodness and compassion. How many other politicians on a tight schedule, and surrounded by a phalanx of security agents, would have taken the time to do this?

I’m a 22-year-old amputee and have had a lot of health and mobility problems over the past couple of years. I just got a new leg and am finally getting back on my feet. (Pun intended!) Even a few weeks ago, standing for fairly short periods of time was impossible without a lot of pain. At the McCain/Palin rally in Virginia Beach Oct.13, my family stood for around eight hours straight, and I wasn’t any more sore than anyone else. But that wasn’t what made the day one of the happiest of my life.

We arrived at four in the morning and were the first in line, out of an estimated 25,000. Since we were in front, we were able to rush like mad when they opened up the area around the stage, so we were only about six or eight feet from it. I had a special request for Governor Palin, if I was lucky enough to meet her.

After the speeches, when Sarah walked down the stairs, my mom’s was the first hand she shook. People were already crowding in and shoving things at her to sign, and she started to move away. I was so disappointed, but Mom grabbed her hand and asked her if she would grant my request — to sign my leg. She kept moving, and Mom said, “Sarah!” one last time, and this time asked her to sign my artificial leg.
Read the rest of it to see what happened.

Why They Hate Her So

Sam Schulman has a beautifully written piece in the latest Weekly Standard explaining why certain members of the self-styled elites have been beating up on Sarah Palin so unmercifully. Check out "Class Will Tell." Besides being deadly accurate, it's a superbly crafted essay, and a joy to read.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"… when an electorate is intent on doing something, the last thing it wants to hear about are the facts"

This outstanding Tony Blankley column from Townhall.com is a must-read: "McCain's Next Duty Call." Here's an excerpt:

But despite the fact that these bare outlines of Obama's elections are pregnant with the implications that he has gained every office he has sought so far by underhanded and sordid means -- while posing as a Gary Cooper-like idealist in a corrupt political world -- the American media have let these extraordinary events simply pass without significant comment.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Jewish Case Against Barack Obama

The young syndicated columnist and attorney Ben Shapiro has just released a 3-part video documentary, The Jewish Case Against Barack Obama. You can get a preview from this trailer:



Here are links to the three parts. Their combined running time is 19:39. (I'm not embedding them because they'd cause this page to take way too long to load.)
The Jewish Case Against Barack Obama -- Part I (8:45)
The Jewish Case Against Barack Obama -- Part II (4:55)
The Jewish Case Against Barack Obama -- Part III (5:59)

Ben did a terrific job putting this together. Unfortunately, the audio track follows the Goldilocks model: its levels swing wildly between "too loud" and "too soft," finally settling on "just right" at the very end. So – while I'd recommend this documentary to any American voter who cares about the fate of Israel, be prepared to make frequent volume adjustments as it plays.

Thought for Today

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined.

~~~~~ Patrick Henry

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Two Democrats on an Escalator

This is hilarious (at least to those of us who are not Democrats) – and deadly accurate.



Hat tip: Sissy Willis, whose superb blog sisu is going to be added to my Blogroll as soon as I get through with this post.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Gov. Palin Makes the Pro-Life Case

Earlier today. Sarah Palin gave a remarkable speech in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in which she movingly and eloquently made the case for the pro-life point of view. Here is a partial transcript:

“In this same spirit, as defenders of the culture of life, John McCain and I believe in the goodness and potential of every innocent life. I believe the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who are least able to defend and speak for themselves. And who is more vulnerable, or more innocent, than a child?

When I learned that my son Trig would have special needs, I had to prepare my heart for the challenges to come. At first I was scared, and Todd and I had to ask for strength and understanding. But I can tell you a few things I’ve learned already.

Yes, every innocent life matters. Everyone belongs in the circle of protection. Every child has something to contribute to the world, if we give them that chance. There are the world’s standards of perfection … and then there are God’s, and these are the final measure. Every child is beautiful before God, and dear to Him for their own sake.


As for our beautiful baby boy, for Todd and me, he is only more precious because he is vulnerable. In some ways, I think we stand to learn more from him than he does from us. When we hold Trig and care for him, we don’t feel scared anymore. We feel blessed.

It’s hard to think of many issues that could possibly be more important than who is protected in law and who isn’t – who is granted life and who is denied it. So when our opponent, Senator Obama, speaks about questions of life, I listen very carefully.

I listened when he defended his unconditional support for unlimited abortions. He said that a woman shouldn’t have to be – quote – “punished with a baby.” He said that right here in Johnstown –“punished with a baby” – and it’s about time we called him on it. The more I hear from Senator Obama, the more I understand why he is so vague and evasive on the subject. Americans need to see his record for what it is. It’s not negative or mean-spirited to talk to about his record. Whatever party you belong to, there are facts you need to know.

Senator Obama has voted against bills to end partial-birth abortion. In the Illinois Senate, a bipartisan majority passed legislation against that practice. Senator Obama opposed that bill. He voted against it in committee, and voted “present” on the Senate floor. In that legislature, “present” is how you vote when you’re against something, but don’t want to be held to account.

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat, described partial-birth abortion as “too close to infanticide.” Barack Obama thinks it’s a constitutional right, but he is wrong.

Most troubling, as a state senator, Barack Obama wouldn’t even stand up for the rights of infants born alive during an abortion. These infants – often babies with special needs – are simply left to die.

In 2002, Congress unanimously passed a federal law to require medical care for those babies who survive an abortion. They’re living, breathing babies, but Senator Obama describes them as “pre-viable.” This merciful law was called the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. Illinois had a version of the same law. Obama voted against it.

Asked about this vote, Senator Obama assured a reporter that he’d have voted “yes” on that bill if it had contained language similar to the federal version of the Born Alive Act. There’s just one little problem with that story: the language of both the state and federal bills was identical.

In short, Senator Obama is a politician who has long since left behind even the middle ground on the issue of life. He has sided with those who won’t even protect a child born alive. And this exposes the emptiness of his promises to move beyond the “old politics.”

In both parties, Americans have many concerns to be weighed in the votes they cast on November fourth. In times like these, with wars and a financial crisis, it’s easy to forget even as deep and abiding a concern as the right to life. And it seems our opponent hopes that you will forget. Like so much else in his agenda, he hopes you won’t notice how radical his ideas and record are until it’s too late.

But let there be no misunderstanding about the stakes.

A vote for Barack Obama is a vote for activist courts that will continue to smother the open and democratic debate we need on this issue, at both the state and federal level. A vote for Barack Obama would give the ultimate power over the issue of life to a politician who has never once done anything to protect the unborn. As Senator Obama told Pastor Rick Warren, it’s above his pay grade.

For a candidate who talks so often about “hope,” he offers no hope at all in meeting this great challenge to the conscience of America. There is a growing consensus in our country that we can overcome narrow partisanship on this issue, and bring all the resources of a generous country to the aid of both women in need and the child waiting to be born. We need more of the compassion and idealism that our opponent’s own party, at its best, once stood for. We need the clarity and conviction of leaders like the late Governor Bob Casey.

He represented a humanity that speaks to all of us – no matter what our party, our background, our faith, or our gender. And no matter your position on this sensitive subject, I hope that spirit will guide you on Election Day. I ask you to vote for McCain-Palin on the November fourth, and help us to bring this country together in the rational discussion of compassion and life.”

Hat tip: Kathryn Jean Lopez in NRO's The Corner

You can watch the C-SPAN video of the entire 30-minute speech here:
Palin Campaign Speech in Johnstown, PA.

Another Question from Hannah

Once again, Hannah, my 17-year-old granddaughter, asked me a very good question:
"Can you tell me what is wrong with Obama and his policies?"

Of course, those of us who follow current affairs know the answer already. Unfortunately, there are millions of people out there, many of whom will be voting on November 4th, who have no idea why we find the prospect of an Obama presidency so disturbing. Like my granddaughter (who won't be quite old enough to vote this time around), they have only the vaguest idea of what the two candidates stand for, and the significant differences between them.

Here's what I told Hannah:

Yes. He's a radical leftist who wants to turn the country away from capitalism and toward a system of European socialism in which an all-wise, all-powerful government directs private companies how to run their businesses, and private citizens how to run their lives.

In addition, he is far too comfortable with practices characteristic of fascism, such as indoctrination of children, the cult of personality (in which the "Great Man" becomes the object of adoration, and even worship), and thuggishness (in which mobs of mind-numbed supporters are used to intimidate opposition). If you study a little history, you'll find that it's just a short step from such practices to a totalitarian dictatorship.

You'll probably scoff in disbelief, and say "But that can never happen here!" Again, I'd suggest that you study a little history. For instance, during the first few decades of the 20th century, Germany's was arguably the most highly developed civilization in the world. From Germany came the world's most advanced developments in chemistry, physics, medicine, music, and many other disciplines. Their government was a democracy, in which a president and members of a parliament (the Reichstag) were chosen in free elections. Yet, in 1933, a former World War I corporal with a funny mustache and a mesmerizing way of speaking managed to gain dictatorial power over the country.

Within 12 years, it was all over, and the former corporal had killed himself in his bunker as the allied armies moved into Berlin. But meanwhile, he had turned his whole country into smoking ruins, thrown the whole world into turmoil, and killed millions of people, including 6 million Jews.

(By the way, you may not be aware that three of those Jews would have been your great-uncles – my mother's three brothers who were unable to get out of Poland in time, Aaron, Burl, and Eli.)

In short – Obama is a very, very scary candidate. He is masquerading as a nice, reasonable, moderate, sensible centrist Democrat. Yet his past history and associations indicate something quite different. Those who influenced him, and those with which he associates, are radical leftists, self-professed Marxists, radical Islamists, corrupt Chicago politicians, and other such unsavory characters.

If he becomes our next president – and as of now, it looks as though that's what's going to happen – we are in very deep doo-doo.

Granted, McCain's far from ideal, and is certainly no Reagan – but his long public record indicates that he loves his country, and has dedicated himself to public service, first in the military, then in the political arena. The fact that he was a U.S. Navy aviator – a qualified carrier pilot – makes him part of a very small elite. It takes a special kind of man to take off and land jet fighter aircraft on carrier decks, and John McCain is one of that rare breed. In contrast, Obama's record includes nothing remotely comparable. Basically, all he has ever done is run his mouth and write two books, both about himself.

I could easily have written several more pages on the subject.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Rights vs. Entitlements

Bill Whittle has a short, but incisive, NRO essay addressing the question of "What Is a Right and How Do We Know?" Here's how it starts:

During the presidential debate Tuesday night, Barack Obama was asked if he thought health care was a “right.”

He said he thought it was a right. Well, if you accept that premise, I think you can ask some logical follow-up questions: Food is more important than health care. You die pretty quickly without food. Do we have a “right” to food in America? What about shelter? Do we have a “right” to housing? And if we do have a right to housing, what standard of housing do we have a right to? And if it is a right, due to all Americans, wouldn’t that mean that no one should have to accept any housing, or health care, which is inferior to anyone else’s… since it’s a right?

Do we have a right to be safe? Do we have a right to be comfortable? Do we have a right to wide-screen televisions? Where does this end?
You'll want to read it all.

Along with Bill, I was also angered by Obama's statement that he believes health care to be a right. After all, if we accept that one human being has a "right" to health care, food, shelter, clothing, or any other fruit of someone else's labor, that would necessarily mean that another human being has an obligation to provide it – whether or not he wishes to do so.

After all, even the Obamessiah with all his powers cannot conjure up health care, food, housing, or clothes out of thin air. Those things can exist only as the result of someone's labor.

In other words, taking Obama's assertion to its logical conclusion, we're talking, at some point, about involuntary servitude.

What's a synonym for involuntary servitude, that condition in which one human must labor for the benefit of another against his will? That's right, class: slavery.

Logically, then, there is no escaping the fact that Obama, as well as all of the others who honestly believe that along with their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, citizens have rights to health care, food, shelter, clothing, education, cars, cell phones, flat screen TVs, or any other products of others' labor, must also believe in slavery.

Perhaps that doesn't bother you. Maybe you think, privately, that such an arrangement wouldn't be so bad. After all, others with more talent, skill, and initiative would be tasked with the job of providing you with the health care to which you will have a "right" under the Obama regime, while all you'll need to do is show up and receive it. Bill Whittle comments:
“Free” health-care costs us something precious, and no less precious for being invisible. Because there’s a word for someone who has their food, housing and care provided for them… for people who owe their existence to someone else.

And that word is “slaves.”

Sarah's Grilled Salmon Recipe

Thanks to the magic of the Internet Archive: Wayback Machine, here's Sarah Palin's contribution to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's first annual recipe collection from 1999:

SWEET AND SAUCY GRILLED SALMON

Recipe by Alaska Fisherman Sarah Palin
Wasilla, Alaska

  • 1 can (12 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. dried minced onion
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. mustard
  • 1 tbsp. dried bell pepper dices
  • 1/4 tsp. each cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 4 to 6 Alaska salmon fillets or steaks (4 to 6 oz. each)
Blend all ingredients, except seafood, in bowl; let set 10 to 15 minutes. Dip seafood into sauce, then place on hot oiled grill, not directly over heat source (coals or gas). Cover and vent. Cook about 6 to 12 minutes per inch of thickness, brushing with extra sauce, if desired. Do not overcook or burn edges.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Also great with Alaska halibut or cod!


Thought for Today

"The modern definition of 'racist' is someone who is winning an argument with a liberal."

~~~~~ Peter Brimelow, "National Review," 2/1/93

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"If we can help …"

From YNetnews.com comes this remarkable story, "Iranian boy to undergo surgery in Israel:"

A 12-year-old Iranian boy suffering from brain cancer is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Friday for emergency surgery.

The boy, who already underwent surgery in Tehran, was later admitted to a Turkish hospital, but his Ankara physicians soon discovered their facility lacked the technological and medical expertise needed to properly treat him.

The Turkish doctors suggested the family seek medical assistance in Israel, and so they did, through Israeli liaison Jacob Levin.

"I contacted and met with Dr. Feldman and Prof. Shapira from (the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at) Tel Hashomer, and after they looked over the case file they agreed to treat the boy if we could secure his arrival to Israel," Levin told Yedioth Ahronoth.

"Once I had their consent, I contacted all the relevant government bureaus, so we would be given permission to fly him in," he added.

The complex feat required a personal ex-gratia authorization from Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, since the boy is Iranian and citizens of an enemy state are banned from entering Israel.

Sheetrit granted the request and forwarded it for the immediate review of the Shin Bet, ordering expedited proceeding be taken due to the boy's grave medical condition. The Shin Bet granted the request, saying the boy and his parents could stay in Israel – for two weeks at this point.

"We are the light upon the nations, and when a child's life is at stake religion and origin play no part," said Minister Sheetrit. "If we can help, we are more than willing to do so."

~~~~~ Nurit Felter

Will we be learning about this through our mainstream media? I won't be holding my breath.

Hat tip: Meryl Yourish