Wednesday, June 30, 2010

McDonald vs Chicago

Here's the pdf from the Court. Here is a post on Scotusblog from Alan Gura, who was McDonald's attorney in the case.

The Left got a well-deserved ass-kicking in the McDonald case, and now they are in an introspective rage. They aren't going away any time soon.

The oldest gun control laws in the US actually establishes the gun control movement as an old southern tradition, and Democratic Party one, an attempt by the KKK and its followers to disarm blacks. That tradition has continues up to today. Go to any city that has the most restrictive gun laws, and on any given day count the number of black faces. It doesn't matter whether its LA, New York, Detroit, Baltimore, or of course Chicago, blacks make up a significant percentage of the population, in many if not most cases the majority. The plaintiff in this case, McDOnald, was one such victimized black, a community alternative policing activist hated by the drug gangs he opposed. His house was invaded three times in the past. Yet, he had no means of self-defense so far as guns were concerned.

It's in black and other minority and poor neighborhoods in cities and smaller communities across the nation where you will find the greatest numbers of violent crimes and deaths relating to guns. Many times, it will be gang on gang violence, but far too often it is innocent citizens, the vast majority of whom are unarmed.

The protests from the hard anti-gun left fall more and more on deaf ears, and rightly so, despite the relatively rare though certainly tragic occurrences of domestic violence with guns, the accidental shootings, and of course the cases where a home invasion results in the theft of guns by the criminal culprit-which amounts to nothing more nor less than the criminal adding to his already considerable stockpile of weapons in some cases. But at least in those cases when homeowners have guns, the home invasion is far more likely to occur at those times when the homeowner in question is away.

The Second Amendment originally was intended to allow the states to maintain a militia of armed citizens. These armed citizens were never intended to be an actual standing army, however. "Well-regulated militia" meant in eighteenth century terms, a well-armed citizenry, and those citizens kept their arms where they could have them at the ready-in their own homes. However, many states and local communities did "regulate" guns, and established their own laws. The aforementioned southern states passed such laws so as to enable black citizens, along with white Republicans, to become fair prey. The Cruikshank decision which was mentioned in the case was regarding an incident in which the person in question, Cruikshank, had led and participated in the massacre of numerous unarmed blacks, many of whom were marched through the streets to their execution.

Gun control laws found extension in the West in some locales, and other areas of the country notable for gun violence, but for the most part such laws were purposely discriminatory.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, however, made it clear that not only could the Federal Government not interfere with the constitutional rights of citizens, or the states, it established that the states themselves could not interfere with the rights of its own citizens. That was the basis of the McDonald ruling, and it has been far too long coming. Previously, this aspect has been ignored, and when it has been brought up, it has been denied. Such determinations have been tolerated due to the precedent set in regulations limiting other rights under the Bill of Rights. Free speech, after all, is not an unlimited right. There are laws against slander and libel, there are community standards that deal with pornography, etc. Freedom of Religion is not unlimited. You can become a Mormon or a Muslim, but you can only marry one woman, or man. A man cannot marry multiple wives, nor a wife multiple husbands. Nor can a man marry young prepubescent girls, nor kill their wife or daughter when they displease him. You can extend it further to Freedom of Association. You can join the Hibernian Society, but if you associate with the Irish Mob or the IRA, you will likely at some point find yourself subject to investigation and possibly prosecution, and rightly so. These are just a few of the things where society draws a line in the sand and declares "Thou Shalt Not Cross".

Because of this inherent reality, gun restrictions have been tolerated, but with this ruling, it has been clearly established that the right of states and local communities to restrict and regulate the right to bear arms is not absolute nor is it unlimited, as is the case in the other aforementioned rights. Were this not so, it might be possible for some states and local communities to totally outlaw free speech or association, or freedom of religion, etc., on completely spurious grounds based on a supposed common good.

Similarly, the right to keep and bear arms is warranted the same degree of interpretation and respect. There will doubtless be a number of future cases which will challenge the laws in certain jurisdictions. Some will meet with different results than in others, and in some cases, some should probably fail. If I own a bar or nightclub, and I don't want armed drunks patronizing the place, I would have serious problems with a law declaring I had to allow and and all of them to carry firearms in my place of business every bit as much as I would if I had to allow anyone that come into my my own home to bring their firearm.

In my opinion, universities similarly have the right to restrict gun ownership on their campuses only to those students who have demonstrated the proper training and self-discipline. I don't think any reasonable person wants to see a house full of drunken frat boys carrying Glocks and Uzis all over campus, or students who have demonstrated disciplinary problems of one stripe or another walking around with guns on their hips and chips on their shoulders.

By the same token, I think some reasonable recognition of the right to bear arms, albeit limited, is certainly warranted, and may even have contributed to the prevention of certain tragedies, such as the Virginia Tech shootings, or at the very least such laws might have enabled an armed and trained, responsible student or faculty member to have ended the problem more quickly and lessened the ultimate body count.

But when exactly does a reasonable regulation and requirement become overreaching and repressive? If a person has a number of unpaid parking tickets or has spent a number of nights in the drunk tank, or even if he has a record of assault, domestic or otherwise, does it render him or her incompetent or a danger to society in all cases? How far back does the record have to go? Does a drug arrest twenty years in the past disqualify a person from gun ownership? Will there be shoot to wound laws, or a requirement to fire a warning shot at home invaders before actually taking aim in some jurisdictions? Is it really necessary in some cases to wait until a burglar actually threatens one physically, or wait until he actually breaks down your door and steps inside, even though you see clearly he's about to do just that, carrying a gun or a crowbar as he kneels by your door or window, or is skulking behind the bushes? If you see him outside, should you be required to first call the police before you take matters into your own hands? What if he's already cut your land line and your cellphone isn't working?

What about training? Should a private citizen be required by local law to become proficient in firearms before owning one, as is currently being discussed in Chicago? If so, what should be the level of proficiency? Could this be a way to continue the restrictions, by setting the bar so high most people might not ever pass it without taking an inordinate amount of time at great expense? These are questions that are probably going to be raised in some cases multiple times in different jurisdictions.

No, this isn't the end of the war, this is just one very fortunately won battle, and at a vote of 5-4, barely won at that.

But its a good and historic first step.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Son Of Hamas

Mosab Hassan Yosef is a son of a leader of Hamas, who at some point became a spy for the Israeli Mossad. Sometime later he converted from Islam to Christianity, and later wrote a book called Son Of Hamas.

Now he's in the US, seeking asylum.

Oh yeah, and his deportation hearing is tomorrow.

Rep. Doug Lamborn, Colorado Republican, on Monday evening sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano protesting her department’s attempt to deport Mosab Hassan Yosef, a former spy for Israel, Christian convert, outspoken critic of Islam and disowned son of jailed Hamas leader Sheik Hassan Yousef.

Obviously, if he is deported back to Gaza his life won't be worth the cost of his ticket back, or for that matter the cost of printing it. Due to the direness of the situation, Lamborn has twenty-two co-signers from among his colleagues in the House, all of them Republicans-not one single Democrat.



Senator Robert Byrd-End Of An Era (Well, We Can Always Hope)

Somewhere in hell-

Now relax, for all we know, the old former Kleagle might have fooled his old friends by not showing up. After all, he did claim to have disavowed the Klan, and regretted (letting it become public knowledge) that he ever joined them. We should honor his years of public service by taking him at his word.

Wait a minute, what am I saying-he's a politician. Excuse me, slight relapse there.

As you might imagine, folks have different takes on Byrd's death. Sister Toldjah is gracious, even for her, while Pat at Belschspeak seems more sure of his ultimate destination than I.

My take on Byrd, his life, career, and death, takes into consideration the totality of his contributions to public life and society.

He was born in 1917, the same year that progressive Democratic President Woodrow Wilson broke his earlier vow to enter World War One-after winning re-election in part with the slogan "He Kept Us Out Of War"-by entering the war, and then arresting and harassing any who protested his actions. Like Wilson, Byrd was a Southerner, and a racist, who later became progressive in his policies. Wilson promoted the same Klan which later Byrd joined, and in his public career, Byrd was every bit as segregationist and bigoted as Wilson, only more openly so, as witness this bit of charming prose from the Gentleman of the Senate-

“I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side… Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”

- Robert C. Byrd, in a letter to Sen. Theodore Bilbo (D-MS), 1944

Byrd of course opposed segregation in more matters than merely Truman's integration of the Armed Forces, and did so rigorously, until it became obvious to him, not so much that it was the wrong thing to do and that he was on the wrong side of history, nor because he knew he might lose his Senate seat if he failed to change his stance, but in all likelihood because he knew current realities in the Senate demanded he change if he had any intention of keeping his seniority in regards his committee assignments. Robert Byrd was too much of a pragmatist to be content to remain as a mere back-bencher. He had votes to buy and loyalties to maintain, and that required Congressional largess for his state and constituents. He was richly rewarded for his years of past service and the promise of future service to come to the Democratic Party, which for most of his career was the majority party. West Virginia, while consistently one of the poorest states in the country, nevertheless benefited from Byrd's legendary ability to bring home the pork, and such was the level of gratitude from state officials that, had he lived much longer, there is every indication the state of West Virgina might well have been re-named Byrdvania.

Doubtless it was explained to Byrd how the black vote was becoming more vital than ever in certain constituencies of the nation due to years of progressively increasing black migration from the South to the North and the Midwest and other areas over the course of the preceding fifty years, and that in addition to its stated objectives, Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs would help keep blacks docile, restrained to a type of welfare plantation. It might even encourage more blacks to migrate out of the South and border states.

Soon, Byrd became a staunch supporter of leftist progressive Democratic policies, while possible acting as a brake on some of the nuttier liberal excesses in the name of electoral viability, while at the same time never appearing as a divisive influence in his own party. However, he was consistent in his Democratic loyalties to the end, supporting for example the recently passed Health Care Bill in one of his last votes.

To the end, he opposed the war in Iraq as an unconstitutional abrogation of the power of Congress to declare war. Well, he had a point there. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, as they say.

He was known to carry around a pocket version of the Constitution. We can imagine, though we can not know for sure, that he wept in private whenever he read the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments.

He openly disliked Bill Clinton, though never expressed this until the end of Clinton's presidency. He was fond of Hillary.

Robert Carlysle Byrd was the penultimate Democrat for his time, a man born into the era that saw the beginning stages of the evolution of the progressive faction of the Democratic Party take root in the midst of its divisive and racist heritage, during a time when most progressives were in fact themselves openly racist, and in some regards irritatingly sanctimonious about it. Like that movement, his own progressive leanings evolved and grew.

And now he's dead, at the time when many of the progressives of the US are coming to grips with their disappointment in the man whom they thought would bring about the hope and change Byrd himself advocated at first reluctantly, and then wholeheartedly.

The progressive movement of course is not dead. It's just, maybe like Byrd, in a state of purgatory.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

All Roads Lead To Rome (Well, Most Of The Better Ones)

If we ever do "win" in Afghanistan, what would or should the place look like? Most in the US seem to think a western style democracy with advanced rights and constitutional guarantees would be a naive expectation, and they are probably right. But that doesn't mean the situation is totally untenable. I would recommend a model of democracy that our own republic is, in fact, largely based on-that of the ancient Roman Republic.

It's a general model, to be sure, not an exact duplicate, of what might work for Afghanistan. The Roman Republic was based on checks and balances between legislative bodies made up of Senators, composed of patricians, a Plebeian assembly based on geographically divided "tribes", and an assembly of Centuries. This system prevailed for close to five hundred years, with an unwritten constitution based on tradition and precedent. In the last century BC, a series of events led to the ultimate dissolution of the Republic, but while it lasted, it worked very well indeed, forming the framework by which Rome came to dominate most of Europe and North Africa, and large areas of the Middle East.

But it wasn't truly "democratic" in the sense of one person, one vote. Even if you were a plebeian you were required to own property or so much wealth, in order to have a seat in the Assembly. On the other hand, this was true of the patricians, not all of whom were wealthy, that made up the Senate. They had to own property valued at a certain level, plus belong to certain families, and then they had to be accepted in the Senate by their peers. On its own, it was its own ancient version of a good old boy's club. The Assembly of the Centuries, composed of Army Centurions, made up a third co-equal branch of the government. Each of these three branches passed laws and had their own judicial branches. To the outside observer, it probably seemed like a hodgepodge of potentially and ultimately divisive factionalism, but it maintained its functional integrity with little comparative change for nearly half a millennium. That's not too shabby of a record.

I think the same basic structure would work in Afghanistan, although of course the tribes are not just geographical designations, but actual ethnic ones. The tribes are ruled by certain chieftains, in some cases warlords, who basically hold veto power already over the country. Giving them the power to handpick representatives of their tribes in a legislative body would not really be an innovation. It would actually be a recognition of reality.

Hamid Karzai's so-called corruption was actually a necessity. Had he not made deals and concessions with certain tribal leaders, chieftains, and warlords, he would not have gained the votes necessary to win the last election. In other words, a significant enough number of people would have voted the other way just on a word from the tribal leaders in question, had he not bargained with them. This culture is not a culture of corruption, its a culture of Afghan tradition.

Since some tribes and their warlords are more equal than others, all that remains is to work out the prospect of guaranteed rights for the minority tribes, who will not look too kindly on the prospect of the Pashtun majority exercising dominant rule through a legislative assembly. On the other hand, there are probably sub-tribes within the Pashtun and others who might manifest in such a situation. But at any rate, a constitution guaranteeing rights for all tribes and all members of those tribes might be relatively simple in comparison to the prospect of guaranteed individual liberties outside the scope of tribal customs.

And of course there is the prospect of Islam. The idea that we could influence an insertion of separation of state and religion is an automatic deal breaker. That is perhaps the most unfortunate aspect to all this, for the minute such a proposal was made, you're going to have tens of thousands of people on the street accusing the US of waging war against Islam using a different tactic. They are not now nor would they ever be impressed by the proposition and promise that we have no intention of denying anyone's right to practice Islam. In fact, they already know that. That is not the problem. The problem is based on the proposition that they have no intention of not being in control of the government to the exclusion of any other party, secular or religious.

But it doesn't have to be that bad, so long as everyone has guaranteed basic human rights. If a woman has the right to work outside the home and is not forced to wear the burqha, what difference does it make if she is not allowed to hold public office and is forced to wear a hajib? If a girl is allowed to attend school, what business is it of ours if that school is required to include basic Islamic teachings as part of its curriculum? If every man woman and child is guaranteed basic human rights, to live and work where and as they choose, what difference does it make if they don't actually get to cast a vote in an election? No, its not ideal. But its a start. Again, baby steps.

The key is the Taliban, and this is where Obama's policy is flawed. They should be wiped out wherever and whenever they turn up. There should be an official no tolerance policy towards them. Remember, they brought this war on themselves. We talk of winning hearts and minds, but we must remember, they've already won that battle for the hearts and minds of the Afghans. They rule hearts and minds with fear, and the people know that the way things stand, when we leave, they will still be there, down the road, just around the corner, in the market place and the house next door.

But the key here is again the tribal chiefs and warlords. By not recognizing their traditional role in Afghan society, we have enabled the Taliban's resurgence through them. They are our only real chance of bringing the Taliban to heal, and keeping them marginalized. An Islamic Republic of Afghanistan doesn't have to look like the Taliban, or Iran, or even present day Turkey. It might in fact look far more secular than we might suspect. That will be up to the chiefs, and I can't stress enough, their power and influence is not to be minimized or denigrated.

And again, as I've said elsewhere, I will repeat again, and in fact I can't stress it enough-if you really want to win hearts and minds, there's no better place to start than with the opium farmers. Sure, we should encourage a diversity of crops. Pomegranates are a booming business, and tobacco might well play a role, but the opium trade is not going away. By tapping into that market, we deprive the Taliban of a significant source of revenue. I don't care if we burn the stuff the minute we buy it, that would still be money well spent even on a perpetual yearly basis. But really, why should we do that? There are uses for opium that go beyond heroin. In the real world you play with the hand you are dealt and try to be grateful when you just might draw a full house.

Finally, I have to point out that its lately been determined that Afghanistan is sitting on one to three trillion dollars worth of some of the wealthiest mineral deposits in the world. There is iron, copper, cobalt, gold, and perhaps even more importantly, Lithium, which will be a vital component of electric car batteries, and possibly wind turbines, solar panels, and who knows what else.

There is no shame in the US, after dismantling the Taliban and setting up a secure country based on the rule of law and basic human rights, profiting from Afghan resources, provided of course we understand-it is THEIR resources and they should profit first and foremost. Of course, some people don't see it that way, and just the other day I got this bizarre response in the comments section to this post when I brought up the subject-

So now you advocate war to seize the natural resources of Afghanistan.. Lithium is the power source of the future. hmm so you think that it should be controlled by us.. Now i know why you disgust me. You have no shame..

Of course, me being me, I responded with this somewhat testy reply-

Yup, I think we should take it all away from them before the Taliban or the Chinese or Indians do. At least we can make sure the Afghans are treated fairly and adequately compensated, and have a decent life, as opposed to being enslaved by some of the other fuckheads there, like for example the fucking raghead Taliban, who by the way we should go all out to bomb back to the Stone Age. Which in their fucking case would only be about a fifty year sprint

Which sent the commenter in question, a Druid practitioner who goes by the name Shadowhawk, completely over the edge into batshit insanity with the following deranged rant-

Its people like you that keep the wars rolling on.. well the rest of us are tired of you ignorant mother fuckers.. You bitch about communism, socialism, illegal immigration. gay marriage, yet 6 thousand miles away youre killing for oil. and things that arent yours. I hope that 1 day our country gets invaded. then you warmongering fucks will get to see REALITY slam you in your ignorant fucking faces

Read that carefully and let it sink in. A man who claims to speak for the average American, a man who insists conservatives are traitors to America, is openly expressing the hope that the US is invaded. Sure, he might have just said it because he was pissed off at me, but that's beside the point. The point is, he said it, and I think that's not really all that uncommon an attitude among the Left. He's just one of the few that slipped up enough to let it out. This is the kind of thinking we're up against.

Look folks, if we don't help the Afghans develop their potential and build their country up, maybe somebody else will. Or maybe they won't. Maybe Afghanistan will become the next Tibet to China. Does anybody really believe the average Afghan would fare any better with the Chinese, or the Russians, or India, or even with Pakistan, than they would with us. I mean, its not like I'm advocating raping and ravaging them of their resources and leaving them bone dry. The Afghans will, and should be, the chief beneficiaries of anything we do along the lines of developing their country, establishing a workable political system, and developing their resources and economy. The chief benefit to us, economic considerations aside, are in the long-term benefits that accrue from building a stable, secure and prosperous state where once there stood a failed one run by a brutal theocracy that allowed a terrorist group free reign.

There is no reason the Afghans can't develop a prosperous nation and society, one based on peace and the rule of law, centered around their own history and cultural traditions, one that will last through successive generations, with a tradition as vital and lasting as Rome itself. There is also no legitimate reason that, should we be the ones to help them develop their resources and economy, we should not also benefit from them. It would actually be a crime against nature and the spirits of our fallen soldiers if we did not do so.

Considering what many of the alternatives might be, it might even be a crime against humanity.

She Shoulda Said No (1949)-Pt 6 of 8

Previously-Following a tragedy, the LAPD Marihuana Task Force is desperate to prevent more lives from being ruined; Markey tells Anne to think of him as kind of a Santa Clause and promises he can turn her life into one big sleigh ride; Markie's worried supplier wants to keep a low profile; Anne finds the body of her brother Bob hanging in the garage, a victim of suicide; and the Chief of the Task Force warns an uncooperative Anne that her life could end up ruined like so many others.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Those Bygone Days Of Gore

After all this time we learn Al is a a pervert. Is this why Tipper left him? Will the allegations of his sexual assault of a Portland Oregon masseuse eventually become a part of the official record? Will Al soon be obliged to register as a sex offender, or will he skate, like his former boss BJ Billy?

Do any of you have a little girl in the Girl Scouts who might be eager to experience natures wonders? Be advised that, somewhere in the woods of Tennessee, a strange man with a deep boring drawl and glassy, dull gaze may soon be waiting to show her his woody, possibly on a slide projector, but then again-

Yet, whatever the future holds, we should always remember the days of Gore, when Al (so far as we know) limited his sexual escapades to the floor of Democratic conventions, and to fucking crowds of Global Warming true believers, sometimes without so much as a kiss, and when Tipper tried to censor those dirty song lyrics and violent video games, and together, they came close to ruling the world.

Yes indeed, those were the days.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

General McChrystal-Insubordination Or Open Revolt?

Their intentions might be suspect, but I have to say the General McCrystal article in Rolling Stone is the best I've read in quite some time. It would actually be a disservice to quote any one part as an example of a standout, because the whole damn thing is that good, and no matter where you stand on any relevant issue its an example of what real journalism is or should be about.

By no means does McChrystal look good here. For all his admirable qualities and undeniable abilities, he comes across as every bit as much a rogue, insubordinate general as Patton, MacArthur, and McCllellan at their worse, all rolled into one.

And though Obama has every right, and perhaps even a responsibility to fire him, and probably will, he is in a real bind. Red State defends the president's prerogative in this regard, yet points out that it might not be that easy or all that cut-and-dried.

McChrystal has already built up a checkered, controversial history. On the one hand, he is more than any other single person responsible for the success of the Iraq Surge strategy, as he was in charge of the counter-insurgency strategy that was such an integral part of it. His special forces unit was responsible for the capture of Saddam, and eventually the killing of the leader of Al-Queda in Iraq. On the other hand, he has been accused of and criticized for abuse of prisoners and suspects.

He also was the man who tried to hide the truth about of the death of Army Ranger and former Arizona Cardinals football player Pat Tillman. He recommended Tillman for a Bronze Star for death in combat against the enemy, even though he knew he actually died as a result of friendly fire. He even had the temerity to encourage his superiors in the Defense Department to go along with this charade, as a means of promoting the war effort, which he insisted would be harmed publicly were the truth known, which of course it eventually came out.

Yet, after a private briefing with a Congressional sub-panel, he was not publicly chastised. It makes you wonder if he did not in fact fall on his sword for the sake of someone else in the Defense Department. It would certainly explain the charmed life he's led since.

But he also has a reputation as a man with little patience or respect for the niceties of political civilian control, and is brutally frank and honest in his assessments. This in fact is supposedly one of the reason Obama, although stridently opposed to the Surge from the beginning as a matter of principle, placed him in charge of the Afghanistan effort in place of the fired General McKierney.

But it's been a tense relationship. McChrystal forced Obama kicking and screaming all the way around to his way of thinking-after a three month "study", of course-on the matter of increasing American troop strength in Afghanistan, something he and Biden, and most others in the Administration, was pointedly opposed to. He did this by speaking out publicly in the press. In other words, this is nothing new for General Stanley McChrystal.

It's hard to believe McChrystal and his staff were so stupid as to not understand and appreciate the implications of the things they said to Michael Hastings, the free-lance reporter who wrote the article for Rolling Stone over a period of a month, once he was stuck with the General and his staff in Europe during the days of the Icelandic volcano eruptions which grounded most air traffic in and out of the continent. They had to have known what they were getting into, and what the likely consequences would be. The general for his part has since apologized, but it comes across to me as the apology of a teenage boy who knowingly disobeyed the household rules and is now hoping to ameliorate the coming punishment he knows will come his way.

But the person who really looks bad in all this is Obama, along with those in his Administration involved in the war effort. Not just Obama, but Joe Biden, Special Envoy Richard Holbrook, US Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eickenberry, National Security Advisor James Jones, all get raked over the coals, and openly derided in the most flagrantly obvious indications of disrespect imaginable. The only person in Obama's Administration any of the general's staff has a good word for, interestingly, is Hillary Clinton, a long time supporter of the general.

For a long-time professional soldier of such high rank and responsibility to take it upon himself to criticize the Commander-In-Chief, and much of his highest officials, in the pages of a magazine noted for its hostility to the war effort, is remarkable, and speaks volumes more than what it appears in print about the state of Obama's Administration, not just in this area alone, but in possibly all other areas of importance as well.

It's no wonder Obama is furious, because no matter how he handles this, its a big loss for him. If he fires McChrystal, he loses, but if he keeps him he still loses and looks weak in the bargain. But its a real worry for all of us, which is why I encourage everyone, know matter how you might feel one way of another, to read the article. If there is one money quote, the following excerpted from the pages of the Atlantic might suffice to illustrate the overall problem in a nutshell-

But however strategic they may be, McChrystal's new marching orders have
caused an intense backlash among his own troops. Being told to hold their fire,
soldiers complain, puts them in greater danger. "Bottom line?" says a former Special
Forces operator who has spent years in Iraq and Afghanistan. "I would love
to kick McChrystal in the nuts. His rules of engagement put soldiers' lives in even
greater danger. Every real soldier will tell you the same thing."

I have an idea that what you read above is a result of an Obama official policy causing morale problems, to say nothing of operational and safety concerns, with the general and some of his troops. But then again, we should know better than to expect too much from Team Obama.

Perhaps this whole thing is an example of two victims of the Peter Principle involved in a head-on collision. In McChrystal's case, he seems to be over his head when it comes to navigating the political waters and the public relations aspects that comes with his position. Of course, there is every possibility in the world that McChrystal knew exactly what he was doing, and did so purposely as a means of yet again forcing Obama to change his policy.

In Obama's case, on the other hand, the lack of competence is beyond dispute. Here we have one of those rare individuals who has been "promoted" three times above his level of competence to successively higher positions. It's a shame. He must have been one hell of a community organizer.

But alas, it's beginning to look like skill as a community organizer better prepares one for wrecking a nation than for building one.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Gift From Ankara

Since Turkey has been taken over by democratic mob rule in the form of an Islamic government, the secular pragmatism of the children of Ataturk seems to have reached the end of its shelf life, which was probably way past its expiration date to start out with, and probably has been for at least thirty years. Now you can smell the stench from the back alleys of Ankara to the suburbs of Paris. Evidently, old yearnings for the glories of the Caliphate are never too far below the surface. But does that necessarily mean a coming revival of the Ottoman Empire is a sure thing?

One should hope not, but on the other hand, if the Turks, in conjunction with immigrants from Morocco, Algeria, and Pakistan, manage to take over the European continent, they could do so without firing a shot. All it would take is some patience. The old saying about building a better world for one's children takes on a suddenly ominous meaning here.

Some of them openly encourage the deluge of Islamic immigrants into Europe, especially those from Turkey, as a strategy for conquering the West. Muammar Khaddafi of Libya even says Turkey will join the EU as a Trojan Horse. From that point on, he claims, the destiny of Europe will be in the hands of the coming Muslim majority.

And now, the Mia Marmara incident seems an incitement, a tactic originating from Turkey meant to test the limits of European tolerance, and American as well. Some insist this is an overreaction to Israel, and possibly America's, support for the Kurdish population of Turkey and Iraq, a population in search of its own homeland. There is no doubt that this is a sore spot, but is this all there is to it?

The flotilla incident has amounted to a propaganda victory against Israel, mainly for Turkey, and also Hamas, but also situated to benefit from the humiliation is Iran, who might now feel emboldened to increase its support for Hezbollah as well as Hamas. And then there is Syria, always looking towards the day when they might once more retrieve their beloved Golan from the hands of the Israelis who took it from them as a spoil of war now more than a third of a century ago. The fact that it was a war started by Syria and her allies is of course irrelevant.

Even King Abdullah of Jordan has been approached through diplomatic channels as regards a possible coming Middle East all-out war, which he has warned is coming to the Middle East, and which could at least involve Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Hamas, and ominously, Jordan, whether Hussein is so inclined or not. Obviously, his country, which provides a buffer zone, would not be immune from its land, or at least its airspace, being violated. In point of fact, such a conflict could set the entire Middle East aflame. The idea that the Israelis might have as many as fifty nuclear weapons, possibly more, should not be overlooked, nor should it be assumed that they would avoid using them at any and all costs. Nor should they.

Our Chicago trained, Harvard educated President is at a loss. He is clueless, and on the wrong side, though he would probably insist that he is on the right side of history. That the US is engaged with the Israelis much in the way an empire deals with a client state could not be more obvious than as seen with the current Israeli relationship with Obama. But this is bigger than Obama. Our relationship has always had elements of empire-client, but in the beginning, the US was not the schizophrenic entity it currently is. It should come as no surprise that the split personality would eventually manifest itself in foreign affairs to the same extent that it does in regards to internal matters. But this does bode for very bad tidings for the Israelis, much more than it does our other friends and allies, what true ones we do have, if any.

The problem is, Mr. Hyde is not much more benign than Doctor Jekyll in certain important respects. The GOP refuses to see the overall relative uselessness of NATO.

Turkey has actually given us a gift that we should not ignore. As a NATO ally, we need to clarify to them that they are acting outside the scope of NATO support and protection. We should either move to eject them from the body or, better yet, we should remove ourselves from the organization, which would then quickly fall into such disarray it would all but evaporate. Without NATO, the EU itself would probably become even more dysfunctional than it already is, and might itself implode.

So why don't we do that? The legitimate need and use for NATO is even more past its expiration date than Ataturk's secular government of Turkey. We seem to think we need our alliances with the British, French, and Germans, partially as a land base and stepping stone to the Middle East, partially for the so-called Global War on Terror, partially to keep the ambitions of the Russians in check, and of course partially to keep the world economy afloat. I guess they just can't live without us after all. But one would be hard pressed to find a larger group of ingrates than is to be found among our older European NATO allies.

I think its time to cut them loose. Luckily, we are still an ocean away when the next European war ignites, and we shouldn't be in a hurry to put out the flames the next time around. Nor should we be in a hurry to pick up the pieces by the time the slaughter is over. There will be, I am sure, more than enough Turks, Pakistanis, Algerians, Moroccans, and Somalis to handle that task. From that point on, let the Russians deal with the problem the same way they deal with their Chechnya population.

You can with sufficient effort save a friend from the wiles of the enemy. What is next to impossible is to save a friend from his own stupidity. As for Israel, there is no more isolated country on the face of the planet, which makes the controversy and outrage over the Gaza blockade so ironic. It is almost to the point that it passes the arena of hypocrisy and veers into the realm of sarcasm. Now that the blockade has been eased, things will likely get worse for the Israelis, and the more concessions they grant, the worse it will get again-and again, and again, and again.

Evidently, Caroline Glick does not agree with my opinion that the Israelis should not hesitate to use their nuclear capacity, on Damascus, Tehran, Ankara, and anyone else it might feel the need, as she did not post my comment to the effect on her moderated blog. Some people just don't want to have to look at the most horrible eventualities, I suppose.

But hey-the world is too overpopulated anyway, and besides, a little war never killed anyone-it just hastened their demise.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Murder On Meadowthorpe

I'm going to guess its not going to be too long before the name Almira Fawn Southworth, a currently twelve year old singer/musician/songwriter and Lexington Kentucky native, will become a household name. Unfortunately, it is likely to be because of all the wrong reasons. A week and a half ago, on Wednesday the 9th of June, her mother, Indonesian immigrant Umi Southworth, was murdered-brutally beaten to death, apparently outside the family's apartment on Meadowthorpe Lane, a tight knit, upscale neighborhood that is not accustomed to violence, or for that matter any kind of crime. As if that were not bad enough, the police bungled the investigation right from the start.

When they discovered her seemingly lifeless body in the bushes outside her apartment (in response to a missing persons report filed by her Fazzoli's co-workers who had been waiting for her to arrive for her farewell party), they waited five hours before they called the coroner, who then determined that Mrs. Southworth was still alive. She was later pronounced dead at the hospital some hours later. As one might imagine, an investigation is on-going into police misconduct, and an internal investigation is being conducted as well. Obviously, this woman was so severely beaten, she probably would have died regardless, or at the very least probably would have been left severely brain damaged and incapacitated. But you never know.

On top of that, we have here a case of potential journalistic misconduct as well. The Lexington Herald-Leader went out of its way to implicate Umi's husband and Almira's father, Donald Southworth, in the crime. They did this by pointing to a past history of assault. Although the victim here was not involved in any of the incidents, he has had a history of restraining orders, four different ones taken out on him by three different women, two of them by the same woman whom he was in one case accused of hitting in the face with a phone book.

Thus, so far, the Herald Leader's reportage is appropriate, as this history of violence is not in dispute. However, they go on to point out that Umi had recently quit her job at Fazzoli's in order to promote Almira's up-coming recording career in Nashville, and to this end the two had gotten an apartment there. They then pointed out that Donald would not be joining them, but would be remaining in Lexington. The obvious implication was that Donald and Umi were separating, she was leaving and taking their daughter, and Donald was angry about it. Given his more than a decade long history of physical abuse, the implication was plain. Their source for this was Buck Williams, the head of Almira's management company, whose comment they let stand on it's own merits, without further comment or context-

Buck Williams, owner of Progressive Global Agency, a booking and management company, said Umi and Almira began renting a place in Nashville in May and planned to move soon. Don Southworth was not moving with his wife and daughter, Williams said.

However, what the Herald-Leader did not bother to go to the trouble to point out was that Donald had a year or so to go at his job before he could retire with full benefits, and the couple had decided he should wait until that time, after which he would join them in Nashville. It should not have taken much effort to ascertain this fact, but the Herald-Leader seemed to have all the facts they needed or wanted.

In the meantime, the police have questioned Donald, and released him, while naming his as neither a suspect, nor as a "person of interest". This is not to say that he has been sufficiently cleared or will not be charged in the future, but in all probability, had he been responsible for the savage beating of Umi Southworth, he would have bore some signs of at least some minor defensive wounds or some other indications of involvement.

The Herald Leader, and others, have pointed out that Almira has been removed from his care. No one knows where she has been taken, and not even her management, the aforementioned Progressive Global Agency-which represents a large and impressive stable of artists, including REM, has been able to get in touch with her. They also point out an educational fund has been set up for the child to be administered independently of the family.

All of this is understandable, but it is not indicative of guilt on the part of the father. That the authorities are looking exclusively after the best interests of the child is certainly understandable. I would also like to point out that a twelve-year old girl is probably not best suited to deal with the characters one comes across in the entertainment industry, even during the best of times. During this period of heartbreak and trauma, this is all the more true.

While there are many good and decent people in the entertainment and music industry, like in all areas of life, there are also an exponentially greater number of criminal types, including but not limited to drug users, alcoholics, those prone to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, and outright criminal thugs affiliated with the Mafia and Gods know what else.

It wouldn't surprise me in the least if Umi had not run afoul of some of these very types of characters, or if Almira Fawn were not being stalked by a deranged or perverted fan, or may even have been the target of an attempted kidnap plot that went awry. After all, she has already, over the course of the last couple of years, beginning at about the age of nine, made quite a name for herself playing nightclubs, restaurants, fairs, talent shows, schools, and various other venues, even appearing on KET, the Lexington PBS affiliate.

Yet, the Herald-Leader seems to think Donald Southworth is an easy target, for whatever reason only they can know, and so has not yet deigned it appropriate to look into the potentially shadowy characters that one can easily find roaming the corridors of the music and recording business.

Granted, this is a strange case that doesn't seem to afford any easy answers, or in fact, any at all. I have an idea that, although they won't say it, the police now investigating the case-who are hopefully not the ones who bungled the earliest stages of the case-have their own suspicions as to the denizens of the world Umi Southworth perhaps unwisely introduced her preteen daughter to at much too early an age.

The girl is obviously talented, and for her age is actually pretty good. In another ten years, she might develop her potential to the level of artistic genius. But that kind of talent, in the real world, unfortunately, is just another commodity, one to be bought, and sold, and maybe even disposed of when convenient.

Nor does she necessarily have to be victimized by criminal thugs to be taken advantage of. She should not be pressed into service with her talents for service to "the Lord" or "society" or for an "inspiration", nor for any grand "cause". She should use her talents to benefit herself and herself alone. She should work that out over time. Doubtless, she's not in the mood for any of it right now, but on the other hand, her music might be the one true anchor she has in life. She can play a variety of instruments, and this can be an outlet, just playing, releasing her emotions, be that love, hate, anger, guilt, and eventually, joy. She might well become an impresario over time, and in due course of that time, her singing and songwriting skills will ultimately blossom as well.

But for now, she just needs to be nurtured and protected, not necessarily "guided" by allegedly well-meaning know-it-alls who might have an agenda of their own. She might in the long run be better off with the criminal types as have to put up with that kind of benign abuse.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Chemistry Of War, Love, And Hate

What makes a person love their friends, and hate their enemies? That sounds like a stupid question, but in fact, it has a chemical basis in the brain's chemistry, a hormone called Oxytocin, and researchers have found that soldiers in combat produce this chemical in extra abundance. The heat of combat makes soldiers, in effect, as protective of their fellow soldiers as an animal is towards its offspring. It makes them that much more ferocious in the face of an enemy threat. Presumably, it contributes to the formation of lasting bonds among fellow soldiers, inspiring on-going camaraderie and life-long, devoted friendships as deep-probably deeper, actually-than most other relationships.

Now, here's the really good news, though also potentially scary. Scientists can now produce the chemical in the form of an aerosol, which is in fact the foundation of many of the latest experiments. The mind boggles at the potential for mischief. But I wouldn't be too quick to buy this in the form of a cologne and head for the nightclubs, or present it as a gift-wrapped bottle of perfume to a potential girl friend. Remember, it promotes aggressive tendencies as well as bonding.

On a side note, I wonder what effect this news will potentially have on the gays in the military controversy. Could this in fact be a reason for such a strong and natural aversion among so many straight soldiers? Is there an unconscious fear that it could lead to conflict due to inner resentments caused by unrequited affections? I don't buy for a minute that the objection is mainly religious, that just makes a convenient scapegoat. Really, no one needs jealous and bitchy friends, and I could understand how, over the long haul, it could detract from unit cohesiveness if a soldier felt he was rejected by a fellow soldier to whom his own natural brain chemistry attracted him, especially if the other soldier's brain chemistry caused him to send off what might be interpreted by the gay soldier as "mixed signals". It's just one of those things that will have to be worked out I guess.

On the other hand, this does go a long way towards explaining the success of the racial integration of our armed forces back in the days just immediately prior to the civil rights era, when people were supposedly much more racially prejudiced than they are now. Who knows, it might not have went so good had it not been for the Korean conflict.

So that might be the answer. If you want to successfully integrate gays in the military, just give them combat duty in Afghanistan.

She Shoulda Said No (Pt. 5)

Previously-The LAPD marihuana task force find themselves at a dead end in their investigation; Anne finds that marihuana makes her worries seem to float away; The death of a rival criminal associate due to Markie's ambition clears the path for his advancement;; and a despondent Bob commits suicide.

Crap In A Can

OHMIGODS people actually still eat this shit!

Probably the same kind of people that need canned laughter in a sitcom to know when to laugh, cos you know, that means a joke's been told. Do me a favor, if you're the kind of person that eats this crap, don't stop now.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Matter Of Timing

Does anybody have any idea, at all, why the Coast Guard would issue a cease and desist order to ships trying to suck up the oil out of the Gulf of Mexico? What could they be possibly thinking? Does anybody really buy for one minute their explanation that they were concerned that there might not be adequate life jackets and fire extinguishers on board the ships, and that they just could not seem to get into contact with the barge's owners in order to verify that they were properly equipped?

Or could it be because somebody in the White House or otherwise connected with the Administration does not want to give Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal-who happens to be the one who arranged for the barges-any opportunity to get any credit for his efforts, politically speaking?

This is starting to look to me like this is a crisis not in the making, but in the planning. What other reason could there be for such a boneheaded order? In fact, where are the aircraft carriers? Is the Gulf of Mexico not big enough for them. It seems to me aircraft carriers, which are probably much bigger than the typical barges ordered by Jindal, could suck a lot more of this oil up in a relatively quicker period of time.

Maybe too damn quickly.

But hey, let's hold out some hope. Maybe, eventually, Obama will call out the Navy with three or four destroyers, maybe even more, and maybe even some nuclear submarines along with them and, working together, they'll make short work of these spills. Maybe the Army Corps of Engineers will work in tandem with BP engineers and scientists to come up with a way to finally plug that damn leak.

In fact, I have every degree of faith possible that this whole problem will be solved by, oh, say late October at the latest.

And at the earliest.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ozzy Osbournes Genetic Make-Up-A Study In Madness

Ozzy Osbourne is to be the subject of a new round of medical research into the mysteries of the human genome. Researchers will map Ozzy's genes in an effort to find out why he is even still alive. After constant years of drug abuse and other outrageous and dangerous behavior, such as biting the heads off of bats, and snorting a line of ants, and who knows what else, he should by all rights be dead. Therefore, the reasoning is there must be something special there that might serve to identify differences as to why some individuals are just more hardy than others.

Ozzy talks about how befuddled his doctors are-

"Every time I have a medical, they say, 'There is nothing wrong with you', and they are shaking their heads as they do it."

Be that as it may, Ozzy would in all probability be long dead if it weren't for wife Sharon, their kids, and the fact that he's been clean for the last eight years. As such, I think the research, at a cost of roughly twenty-seven thousand dollars-and this was back in the early days of human genome mapping-will be pretty much a waste of time.

Even Ozzy is smart enough to know there's nothing medically special about him. He's just lucky, and he has even wisely impressed upon his children that they shouldn't think they are immune because they have inherited some kind of super gene. He also stated that such is the level of his addictive nature that if he so much as smoked one cigarette, by week's end he might well be back on heroin.

So there's your answer. In order to survive years of risky drug abuse, you have to have an evolved genetic factor leaning towards addiction, which facilitates adaptation to drugs and other dangerous substances. Then, after so long, like after you've been committed a time or two, you have to find a kick-ass, take no prisoners wife who takes total control of your life, both personal and professional, screens your friends and associates, cleans you up, and drags you kicking and screaming into some semblance of personal responsibility.

Does anybody really believe Ozzy would even be alive, let along semi-functional, had it not been for the change in his life Sharon engineered? Whatever one might think of her and her motivations, this is plainly the case.

This is just another cool way to get a research grant, obviously. These people should go ahead and clone Ozzy and get it over with. You know they're dying to do just that. Then we can find out, hopefully, how Ozzy would have fared if he had lived all of his years like he's lived the last eight. That now would be some research worth funding.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Thrill Is Gone

This is too good to pass up. Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Newsweeks Howard Finneman don't know what to make of Obama's Oval Office address on the oil spill. When this crew criticizes Obama, to this extent, you know Obama has a big, big problem. That tingle running up Matthews' leg seems suddenly flaccid. Olbermann must have felt like he woke up in the morning on some weird, alien planet. You know, the one called earth. Finneman might finally be starting to get a clue as to why Newsweek is about to fold. They even rip the President a new on. Not so they can collectively get off in it, but over his bizarre rant about forcing BP to set up a fund for "victims", on nothing but his own executive authority.

They also razz him on his lack of specificity in discussing plans to meet the challenge posed by the leak, discuss the unlikelihood of any kind of comprehensive energy bill passing the Senate, and outright ridicule his talk of Nobel Prize winning appointees and blue ribbon panels.

Watch and enjoy. You will not soon again see the likes of this. Then again, it does somewhat serve to restore your faith in humanity and its capacity for common sense, even that of the most seemingly brain dead among us.

The Gulf Oil Leak-What Can We Do?

Okay, after last nights address from the Oval Office, I am firmly in the camp of those who believe Obama is purposely taking advantage of a national tragedy of epic proportions in order to push his agenda.

Either that, or he is just totally classless.

The politic thing to do would be to say something along the following lines-

"Now is not the time to concern ourselves with energy policy. We have been studying and debating that issue for years, and will continue to do so, and eventually, we will arrive at a consensus towards a comprehensive energy policy. I don't know yet what that will look like in the end, but I know we have to get there, and some day, hopefully sooner rather than later, we will get there.

"But it is not appropriate now to turn this tragedy into a political stump speech. My main concern-my only concern-is to solve this massive, epic problem that is threatening our shores, the economy and the very way of life along the Gulf States, and working out a solution, a plan, that will insure that this tragic event will never reoccur anywhere."

Instead of that, Obama spent a sizable portion of his address pushing his energy policy. What is even more notable, the bulk of this was towards the end of the address. Granted, there will come a time for a large scale effort to diversify our energy portfolios, so to speak, but this was just not the time or place to dwell on that. What is worse, if he absolutely had to bring that into it, he could have been brief, and a bit more imaginative, but he seems to have glossed over many promising potentials. He never mentioned anything other than solar and wind technology-two things that could never, under the most advanced technological progress imaginable, on their own answer for the energy needs of the entire US-to say nothing of the entire world. Does anyone else suspect the fledgling solar and wind energy industries, along with the ethanol promoters, have deeper pockets than we might suspect, and that they are in fact deep enough, and wide enough, to hold a considerable number of Democratic Senators and House members, and maybe even a President?

Not one word was mentioned, or even hinted, about clean coal, geothermal, hydroelectric, or even natural gas. No word even on nuclear energy which one blogger here mentions would be much more efficient, and safer, than natural gas-which according to him is actually nothing more than methane.

But again, the main thing this address should have centered on was something he only vaguely alluded to-a need to treat this disaster as an on-going threat. He made that point, that it was more than a mere one time event that took in a day or a few days, and he talked of the need to marshal all the resources available of the federal and affected state's governments to bring to bear on the problem.

But he never offered any details, or any even possible solutions.

I think this is best described, as some have, as a war-like situation. To put it as concisely as I know how, send in the Marines. And the Navy. The Coast Guard and National Guard, while a good first step, will just not be sufficient to deal with this threat. Nor can we afford to diddle while BP churns, offering excuse after excuse in an obvious effort to buy time while trying to reassure their stockholders. Remember, this is not oil that belongs to BP. This oil is, ironically, a national treasure. BP has just been granted the license to drill in this specific area, extract the oil, process it, and sell it.

They should have to pay through the nose for what they have done. On this I and the President are in total agreement. However, in saying this, I am not intending this in a punitive sense. They should simply, first and foremost, foot the bill for the clean-up effort, and stand good for legitimate claims due to losses traceable directly and indirectly to this tragedy.

That in itself would be sufficient punishment. I personally have no desire to tack on an extra thirty or forty billion dollars in fines beyond all legitimate claims and expenses.

By the same token, BP has lost all rights to control of this oil well and its contents. It's time to bring the full weight of the US government to bear on this, something it has the legitimate authority to do, for once. There is much the Navy can do here.

How about a fleet of aircraft carriers, destroyers, etc? Large craft that are capable of holding massive amounts of oil are what is needed here. The major task, and challenge, would be as to how to extract that oil from the ocean. It would take some degree of ingenuity, but one thing that might possibly be considered is the prospect of huge, high-tension pressurized vacuum tubes, capable of functioning at deep ocean levels, perhaps extending from the carriers down towards the area of the leak, from thence suctioning as much of the oil as they can almost directly from the source, or as close to it as they can manage to get. Submarines might come into play here, something capable of monitoring the progress and guiding it along from below. There is even a slight possibility that some nuclear subs might be able to draw in large amounts of the oil through turbines and recycle it. This would probably produce some waste, by necessity (otherwise what amounts they could take in at one time would be negligible). They too could also be fitted to transfer the absorbed oil onto the tankers above.

Would any of this work? I don't know, I'm no scientist or engineer, but it certainly sounds feasible enough that someone should look at it and ponder its veracity. If such a plan is implemented, then in the meantime the Army Corps of Engineers can look at ways to finally and completely plug this damn leak.

Otherwise, its going to be a long, hot, dirty summer for a lot of places, and maybe not just in the Gulf.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

She Shoulda Said No (Pt.4)

Previously-while the police investigated a tragic accident, Hugo warned Markie to stay away from his girls; Markie nevertheless introduces Anne to the joys of marihuana; and Rita assures Bob that Markie is just a friend.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Bizarre Candidacy Of Alvin Greene

When word got out that victorious South Carolina Senate Democratic primary candidate Alvin Greene paid the $10,400.00 filing fee required to run in the South Carolina Senate Democratic primary, even though he has been unemployed for nine months and only has a little over one hundred dollars in the bank, it understandably raised suspicion. Many Democrats especially have questions as to whether the South Carolina GOP might be behind this. But why would they do that? No Democratic Party candidate is going to beat Senator Jim DeMint in November. Why would they take that chance?

Then it occurred to me. Obviously, Alvin Greene is not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. What if he was supposed to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in order to dilute the vote totals for Democratic House Minority Whip James Clyburn, so that he or Clyburn's other opponent might win, and as a consequence present an easier target for a GOP takeover of that seat?

Instead, the big lug, not really grasping the difference between the Senate and the "Congress"-the term many people use as shorthand for the House of Representatives-filed for the wrong race. Under this scenario, everything that transpired after the filing starts to make some kind of coherent sense. It explains why he was not given any further seed money for campaigning. He didn't have a campaign website, never appeared at any candidates forums or debates, never made any campaign stops or appearances, never made any speeches, never passed out campaign literature or even so much as put up and yard signs-not even in his own hometown.

Yet, ironically, he still defeated his lone primary opponent by eighteen percentage points. Which is not so mysterious. His opponent was not that well known either outside his home district. His overall name recognition was somewhere in the upper teens. But more tellingly, his approval rating was a dismal five percent. Al Greene, meanwhile, appeared at the top of the ballot and shares the name of a well-known and much beloved R&B music icon. And yes, he is black, among a voting demographic that makes up roughly a third of all South Carolina voters, and the majority of Democratic ones. Yet, for all the hoopla over the amount of votes Greene received from black voters, it bears mentioning that so nonexistent was his campaign, if you even want to dignify it with that appellation, one is hard pressed to answer as to how any voters could have possibly known whether Greene was in fact black or white.

That's the real irony. His campaign for the Senate was undoubtedly more successful than he would have been had he filed for the House of Representatives against Clyburn, even though I have this nagging suspicion that might have been the original intention.

What's more, after all this, though he certainly won't win, he'll probably pick up more votes than his Democratic opponent would have, and by a hefty margin at that.

Of course, the South Carolina Democratic Party is in a tailspin over this. They have even threatened him by warning him in effect, "If you don't withdraw from the race, you might lose our votes!!"

What the hell kind of threat is that?

Assuredly, their concerns are understandable. First off, this guy was seemingly forced out of the Army-that's pretty much his story, although he is mum as to why, and insists that his discharge was an honorable one.

Then, he gets accused of obscene behavior by a USC student. According to her story, which she relates to Shepherd Smith here, he approached her and asked her if she likes football. When she said yes, he showed her a picture of man-on-woman porn. When she asked him to leave, he laughed and invited her to his room. She left and told her mom, who called the police.

Right there is where this story probably by rights begins, but let's trace a time line. The discharge from the Army happened nine months ago. What exactly was the reason for this, and who all knew about it? The obscenity charge happened in November of last year. So who was in the loop on this matter, and perhaps knowledgeable about both issues? Who talked to this guy between the date of the charge and his filing for the Senate run? What was the police jurisdiction? Perhaps most importantly, what is the relevance of the Congressional district where this happened?

Or was it a different type of misunderstanding? Was he meant to run for the South Carolina State Senate? Or South Carolina State House? However much fun it might have been to see a race between this guy and Nicki Hailey for South Carolina Governor, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume even this guy isn't so dense as to misunderstand an encouragement to run for Governor and somehow end up running for the US Senate.

Of course, I could be completely wrong. This could be totally innocent. The ten thousand dollars might well have come from some kind of payment from the Army following his discharge. But if that's the case, why not start out small, with something that offers even a slight chance of success? Maybe City Council, or Mayor, Magistrate, or even Sheriff or some kind of County or Circuit Court Clerk position? You know, something he might have had at least a snowball's chance in hell at winning in the general election. Why, for God's sake, the US Senate?

Unless, of course, he's just so dumb he got the offices mixed up in a way that is totally innocent. But then again, what would make this guy want to run for any political office to begin with? Where would he even get that idea? I'll tell you where. He probably talks politics with his lawyers and with other people he's come into contact with, possibly as a means of putting himself across as a responsible person. In a way, he planted the seed himself. The question then becomes, who nurtured that seed and transplanted it? And was it necessarily even a Republican? If so, then again, a relevant question becomes, who was the intended target?

Follow the money. The most likely victim of such a conspiracy would have been one of those few South Carolina politicians who might be vulnerable to a challenge from his own party, though otherwise safe in the general election. Clyburn again comes immediately to mind, although Democratic State Senator John C Land III could be another possible answer. The beneficiary becomes obvious as well, in both cases. That would be whatever Republican might defeat a weaker candidate than either one of these men in the general election.

If I'm right, somebody should probably be ashamed of themselves, but you know what? We need stories like this. This is like something out of some cornball movie, though not necessarily a comedy. It's just one of those things you can file under the "You can't make this shit up" category.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Dhimmiwit Of Britain-Prince Charles

Recently, the Archbishop of Canterbury went on record as stating the practice of Sharia Law by Muslims in Britain might be unavoidable. Nor did he seem to consider it any great cause for concern.

Now Prince Charles has added his voice-yet again-to the mix of Islamic enablers and apologists in Britain (whose numbers seem legion) by suggesting that the world should follow "Islamic spiritual principles" in caring for the environment. He says that although our current misuse of the environment and the earth is against the principles of all religions, he states that it is especially abhorrent to Islam, which teaches that people should live within the boundaries and limitations of nature.

So who is this guy listening to for advice, Osama Bin Laden? Or is this some kind of PR statement meant to draw a distinction between radical Islamists and "moderate" Muslims, and to soften the image of Prince Harry's involvement in Afghanistan?

Does he have his sights set on a Nobel Prize by putting himself across as the Al Gore of Great Britain? Like I said, this is not the first time he's done something like this. In fact, he's done it so often there are troubling rumors to the effect the Prince has converted to Islam. I used to think he was just trying to gain more political influence with the Labour Party, or other leftist politicians and activists who in all honesty would be inclined to end the monarchy at the first opportunity. Or, it might have had something to do with accusations of a government conspiracy in the death of his ex-wife, Princess Diana, aimed at preventing her marriage to a man of the Muslim faith.

But naw, I think more than likely the Prince of Wales is just a fucking dhummass.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Some Learning Experience

Abby Sunderland is missing. Her last known location was somewhere north of the Antarctic Islands and somewhere south of Madagascar. The California native is sixteen, and determined to be the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe. As of the last post made to her blog, she has not been found, nor does anyone seem to be sure as to what might have gone amiss. One possible clue-she's a sixteen year old girl alone in the ocean on a sail boat.

A part of me hopes this will turn out to be just another publicity stunt, that she will turn up unharmed after a brief rest stop on a small little uncharted island, but it doesn't look good.

Running Scared insists that we should concentrate on hopes for her safe return and avoid the obvious recriminations against her parents for allowing such a young girl to engage in such a risky venture.

I see their point. Abby's parents are obviously the kind of people who want to give their children free reign to express their creativity and develop their talents and skills, to be "the best people they can be", and not stand in their way with negative discipline.

Who knows, just like the young Australian girl whose recent voyage around the world obviously inspired Abby, Abby herself might well inspire some young teen to be the first American kid to join a crew of Somali pirates-become a member of an Amazonian tribe of headhunters, or maybe head out into the wild and join a pack of wolves. Some lucky kid might fall in with a group of coyotes-the kind that smuggle illegal immigrants across the border, that is, or maybe drugs. There, now wouldn't that be a great learning experience? Don't trust your kids education to books and school. Let them go out and experience life for themselves, with all its wonders and dangers.

So yeah, I'll join in with the Village Voice in hoping that Abby is safe, and that she is soon found and brought to safety.

By Child Protective Services, that is. Take note of the picture at top, which is from her blog. If you magnify the picture to where you get a real good close up shot, she does not look like a happy camper. Sure, I might be reading too much into one photo, but it did make me wonder, how much of this little adventure was really her idea. Did her parents just give her permission, or did they in effect push her into this?

If this does turn into a tragedy, at least it might make some parents think twice before "allowing" this kind of thing. But then again, I seriously doubt it.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Career And Life Advice For Chris Brown

Hey Chris Brown, I hear you had to cancel your scheduled European tour because you've been banned from Britain, all because of that domestic violence incident between you and your one-time girlfriend, Rihanna. That's really too bad, but hey, take heart. There might be a way for you to move beyond this in a way that you can sustain your career and get it back on track. What should you do?

Simple-convert to Islam. Do that, and you can beat your bitches all day long. You can do so for any reason, from talking to somebody, leaving the house without your permission, or walking too close to you while out on the street. If you ever have daughters, you can beat them too. You can even hire somebody to perform circumcision (otherwise known as clitoral castration), once they get so old. If you're really cool about it, you can have them or your wife beheaded.

As long as you don't leave any real solid proof that you yourself killed them or had them killed, those Brits aren't going to look too hard for evidence. After all, David Cameron, the new British Conservative Prime Minister, is promoting the Anti-Discrimination Law, which would make it illegal to criticize Islam, or to act in any way towards the religion, or its adherents, that might be construed as "oppressive".

Just between you and me, though, Chris old boy, you'd better draw the line when it comes to promoting or inciting acts of terrorism. That might be going too far-for now. In order to get away with going that far, for the time being, you might have to go the extra step of becoming an Imam, a complicated and time consuming procedure. Who knows though, maybe you can become an honorary Imam, at which point you can preach jihad against the West and against Britain, right in the mosque-hell, maybe even in Piccadilly Square.

It might be worth looking into. If you are interested in bringing about the spread and acceptance of shariah law in Britain's Muslim community with the sanction of the British government, you could find numerous Muslims who would sponsor your training and help you with all the ins and outs of life in Britain as a faithful, devout Muslim.

Remember, Chris-no matter what Muamar Khadafi might tell you, you don't have to necessarily be a Muslim from Turkey to be a hidden soldier in that great big Islamic Trojan Horse being allowed into Europe by clueless EU elites. All you have to do is convert to Islam, preach jihad, engage in hate speech against other religions, oppress women and gays, accuse anyone that criticizes Islam of religious intolerance-while you call out for their murder-and all the other things a faithful Muslim is supposed to do. Do all that and not only can you go to Britain anytime you want, you can probably immigrate there permanently and, HaHaHa, the British government might even give you a monthly check and free medical care.

Just something else to consider in the event your career takes a dive. Let's face it, anythings possible these days. Just hope your fan base is more tolerant that the fans of, say, the Dixie Chicks. But even if they are not, you will have something the Dixie Chicks did not have in their favor. You will have the power of a barbaric, savage religion that has remained essentially unchanged since its founding in the seventh century by a brutal, merciless warlord whose forces raped, murdered, and pillaged their way across three continents, merrily engaging in the practice of ethnic cleansing all along the way throughout the centuries.

With a force like that behind you, how could you possibly go wrong?

One further word of advice. If you do convert, don't change your mind and convert from Islam to something else. That would be a sure-fire way for you to get you a quick death sentence-courtesy of the "religion of peace".

Monday, June 07, 2010

The Gulf Oil Leak-No Nukes, Please.

There are a lot of good reasons not to nuke the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. One of those is not that it would be a violation of the test ban treaty, of which the US is a signatory. We should get out from under that, by the way, but until we do, if ever, I doubt that could be a serious drawback to such a plan, for the simple reason, if this ever happened, it would have nothing to do with conducting a test. It would not be testing a weapon, it would be the explosion of a nuclear warhead for a specific purpose which would have nothing to do with war, or with testing.

But that's really beside the point. There are all kinds of other valid reasons not to do something like that. One being, there's no assurance it would work, and on top of that, it would kill no matter how much marine life and, worse, render a large portion of seafood totally inedible for no telling how long. I'm not really so much concerned with radioactive mutants rising up out of the sea and wreaking havoc, but radioactive oil is quite another matter. If such contaminated oil made its way to our shores, onto our beaches and swamps, we have a whole new set of problems that would make the present situation look like child's play.

And then there's the prospect that the heat generated from such an undertaking would be considerable, hotter than the sun's surface in fact. That in itself might be inconsequential at such depths, and for what would be a very brief instant, but there's the residual problem of the overall increase in surface temperatures of the Gulf waters, at a time just heading into hurricane season, which is fed and influenced by, of course, warmth. Just a slight increase by as much as three or four degrees could have a major impact, and who knows how long it would last. It could double the amount and intensity of any hurricanes that come into contact with the affected area.

What could result is a series of hurricanes that could shoot up the interior of the country, starting out as level four or five and ending up shooting all the way up to Kentucky and beyond at levels two and three, in the meantime spouting numerous tornadoes and dumping tiny droplets of oil all along the way-radioactive droplets of oil at that.

Shit, if nobody can come up with a better idea that that we might well be better off just letting the damn well keep on spewing until it runs completely out.

This accident is a sterling example of the need for reasonable regulations, which are on the books, but which have been continually ignored, due to BP's untoward influence with regulators. Safety precautions were ignored, at obvious severe and hazardous risks to the operation and its employees, resulting in the loss of eleven lives. BP of course is notorious for this, and its beyond me why we even allow them to operate in the Gulf. There are plenty of American companies that I would imagine are just as capable of doing the job. Granted, BP has experience in the North Sea, but so what? What it really amounts to is, in my opinion, an agreement with Britain, to the effect that they get a certain percentage of our oil for their own needs. Well, nothing against the Brits, but we need all the oil we can produce here for our own needs.

Finally, this might not ever have happened if we would allow off-shore drilling in shallow waters, in addition to the North Slope of Alaska and at ANWAR, and other places where drilling is banned. If we did drill in shallower waters, people have the impression that our beaches would be ruined by the distant sight of row after row of off-shore oil rigs, which is of course ridiculous. The complaints about ANWAR are so absurd by this point they don't really even deserve further commentary, except for the fact that it too has limited our options to the extent that they have led to the present situation.

True, eventually we would be obliged to drill in deeper waters anyway, but it would be further down the line, possibly much much further. And by then, BP and other companies could have and doubtless would have developed a system for dealing with such emergency situations, one that would be for the most part unnecessary, but which would more than likely work well in the probably very rare if ever instances they might be needed. As it is, our insatiable appetite for energy-not oil, energy-has forced their hands before they had a cohesive plan in effect. That doesn't excuse their shoddy behavior in the matter of skirting safety regulations and insuring the proper maintenance of their equipment, by no means.

Nobody looks good in this mess. Obama looks so clueless, I have to wonder if his lethargy is a means of pushing for Cap And Trade in a way so as to not need that much help from Republicans, especially since Lindsay Graham walked out on the negotiations in a huff supposedly over the Health Care Reform Bill. Obama had earlier agreed to allow more drilling, but now of course he's declared a moratorium on that. Quite convenient, I would say.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Jew Day Recipe

I decided since I'll soon be posting another installment of "She Shoulda Said No" I should put a few posts in between it and my last video post, the brilliant "We Con The World". In keeping with the general theme of that video, I decided to just do a series of posts in honor of the Jewish Sabbat and all the ass-kickery they've been doing over there in Jew Land. So let's start it off with a real ass-kicking recipe of Israeli cuisine I'm sure some of you are going to accuse them of stealing from somebody else.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not prejudiced. No, honestly, I'm really not. And to prove it, I'll tell you what I'm going to do. Just to prove I'm every bit as fair and balanced as Fox News-or "Faux News" if you prefer-feel free to send me a recipe from a Jew-hating, anti-Semitic country, and I'll be sure and post it.

Please bear in mind now, it don't have to be an Arab or a Muslim recipe. It can be from any Jew-hating anti-Semitic country. It can be French, German, Russian, Belgian, Spanish, Austrian, hell, take your pick and send it on.

So now, without further ado, let's start the first installment of Jew Day with a recipe that is sure to kick your fucking ass just this side of Sunday.


Cholent, a heavy stew, became the answer to the age-old problem of how to have nourishing hot food on the Sabbath without violating injunctions in Jewish traditional law. Since it is permitted to prepare food in advance and keep it warm in an oven lit before the Sabbath began, cholent, which it is not impaired by long, slow cooking (indeed the process improves the flavor), was adopted as the principal Sabbath food in eastern Europe.

In Israel, cholent has become exceedingly popular with every segment of the population. There are even restaurants where one sees lines of customers standing with pot-in-hand waiting for their turn to get "take-home" cholent.

Cholent is served only on weekends. Anyone who partakes of this dish will understand why. It is a thick, heavy, and filling food which induces sleep.

2 cups dried lima beans
3 lbs. brisket
3 onions, diced
2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ginger
2 tbs. flour
8 small potatoes (peeled)
1 cup pearled barley
8 eggs (uncooked)
2 tsp. salt
2 tbs. fat or margarine

Soak the beans overnight in water. Drain. Use a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven and brown meat and onions in the fat (or margarine). Sprinkle with salt, pepper and ginger. Add beans, barley, small potatoes (peeled) and sprinkle with flour and paprika. Place uncooked eggs in shells on top. Add enough boiling water to cover one inch above the mixture. Cover tightly. Cholent may be baked for 24 hours at 250 deg F (125 deg C) or for quicker cooking, bake at 350 deg F (180 deg C) for 4-5 hours.

Serves 8-10.

Happy Jew Day.

Houri Alert

Don't look now, but somewhere in the darkest, deepest pits of Muslim hell a former radical Islamic terrorist is missing one of his seventy-two virgins, and he needs to take her back as soon as fucking possible.

I know she claims to be the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, and raised in Kentucky, but I ain't buying it. I'm pretty sure its against the law in Kentucky to raise something that fucking ugly to start out with, but in this case especially, ugly is really more than skin deep. I also know she apologized for her recent remarks to the effect the Jews should leave Israel and go back where they came from, but the problem with that is, she has a pretty long history of saying this kind of stuff, one example of which got her Pwned by the late former Bush White House Press Secretary Tony Snow (see Hot Air link for video).

More than likely, even though she is even on Obama's ass constantly about withdrawing our soldiers from Afghanistan, she'll still keep her position in the White House Press Corps. Hell its not like she suggested we should send all niggers back to Africa. Why should Obama care about a bunch of fucking Jews. The Press Corps sure as fuck don't. Some of them probably agree that the Jews should return to the places they came from to start out with. Like Germany.

I wonder if I could get Helen to join me and my friends in a rousing chorus of "Send all illegal immigrants back to Mexico and Central America"?

Probably not.