The Palin solution 40

The excellent governor of Alaska has it right again. 

From Investor’s Business Daily:

Back in July, when IBD first interviewed the then-little-known governor, Palin emphasized developing Alaska’s Chukchi Sea resources. Under those icy waters, it was then believed, was enough oil and gas to supply America for a decade.

“It’s a very nonsensical position we’re in right now,” Palin told us. “(We) ask the Saudis to ramp up production of crude oil so that hungry markets in America can be fed, (and) your sister state in Alaska has those resources.”

At the time, it was thought that Chukchi’s waters northwest of Alaska’s landmass held 30 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Today, Science magazine reports that the U.S. Geological Survey now finds it holds more than anyone thought — 1.6 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered gas, or 30% of the world’s supply and 83 billion barrels of undiscovered oil, 4% of the global conventional resources.

That’s enough U.S. energy to achieve self-sufficiency and never worry about it as a national security question again.

The only thing left to do is drill. “Congress can do that for us right now,” Palin told IBD, urging Washington to open the territory.

That Congress hasn’t is the biggest part of the problem.

“Alaska should be the head, not the tail, to the energy solution,” Palin said.

It ought to be reassuring to Americans that energy can be developed here. Americans are environmentally conscious, and Palin herself has a good record on balancing development with ecology.

The alternative isn’t reassuring: If we don’t drill, the Russians will. Situated over on the eastern end of the Chukchi Sea, they have global ambitions of dominating the energy trade and no qualms about muscling in on the U.S.

Already, undersea volcanic activity has melted much of the Arctic ice cap and enabled more exploration than in the past. The U.S. has as much claim to the region as the Russians, but only the Russians seem to be taking advantage of the geological bounty.

It’s pure energy, not theoretics. That’s significant because Steven Chu’s Energy Department is spending too many resources trying to figure out how to turn all the weird wind power and switchgrass schemes into viable energy resources.

His latest idea is to paint roofs white. None of this puts significant energy out to consumers. Nor does it come close to matching oil in energy value…

Posted under Commentary, News, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 30, 2009

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If 12

President Obama has reduced the number of US warships in the strategically important region of the Persian Gulf. There’s not a single US aircraft carrier in the region. Now Russian warships have arrived there, being serviced at Gulf ports they have never had the use of before; and Iran has sent its navy into the Gulf of Aden. These maneuvers are co-ordinated by Russia and Iran.  

Furthermore, Iran recently launched its long-range missile, and North Korea, which co-operates with Iran on missile development, has demonstrated that it now possesses nuclear warheads. North Korea is in the business of selling its nuclear technology. Not only Iran, but Syria, Hizbollah in Lebanon, and probably Venezuela are among its eager customers.

North Korea is threatening war on South Korea. The danger extends to Japan, and to all countries within the range of Iran’s and North Korea’s missiles, including Europe and the US.

But the US administration does nothing about it.

 From the Oneida Dispatch:

With tensions high on the Korean peninsula, Chinese fishing boats left the region, possibly to avoid any maritime skirmishes between the two Koreas. But U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the situation was not a crisis and no additional U.S. troops would be sent to the region…

South Korean and U.S. troops facing North Korea raised their surveillance on Thursday to its highest level since 2006, when North Korea tested its first nuclear device. About 28,000 American troops are stationed across the South…

In Washington, the Army’s top officer, Gen. George Casey, expressed confidence that the U.S. could fight a conventional war against North Korea if necessary, despite continuing conflicts elsewhere.

But [Defense Secretary] Gates, en route to Singapore for regional defense talks, tried to lower the temperature.

“I don’t think that anybody in the (Obama) administration thinks there is a crisis,” Gates told reporters aboard his military jet early Friday…

The two Koreas technically remain at war because they signed a truce, not a peace treaty, in 1953…

 So despite what the pathetic Gates ‘thinks’ the US administration ‘thinks’, there is a crisis in the East, threatening the West and Western interests.

The US needs to act, but its Commander-in-Chief has no intention of doing anything effective, either because he doesn’t understand what’s going on, or because he sees no evil in it.

It is tempting to speculate imaginatively: If the US had a Churchill or Truman in command, what would he do now? Churchill bombed Dresden flat to hasten the end of the Second World War. Truman dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to achieve the same end. In the present crisis might not either of them decide that Pyongyang needs to be destroyed? Would they not launch ICBMs with nuclear warheads to do the job quickly and thoroughly? Not only would an evil nuisance be eliminated from the world, but the psychological shock-wave would most likely stop Iran in its tracks; dumbfound Hizbollah, Hamas, and the Saudis; freeze the global jihad; silence Russia and China; paralyze the Taliban; knock the breath out of Chavez and all the little dictators who had begun to think the US was finished as a super-power. After some mopping up operations  – taking out the enemy’s nuclear development sites – we reckon there would be a long period of peace.

But we don’t have a Churchill or Truman. We have Obama, so the international crisis will intensify and spread.   

In the Islamic colony of France 6

Pamela Geller (of Atlas Shrugs) reports on the torturing to death of a young man by Muslims in Paris for no other reason than that he was a Jew; and on how the French authorities, police, media and a court of law continue to maintain the pretense that this sustained sadism was carried on only for ransom. Imagine if a Muslim had been subjected to this horror by non-Muslims, how the French government and the media would have fallen over themselves to condemn the perpetrators.  French Jews have been pouring out of France, many of them going to live in Israel. The sooner the Jews of Western Europe leave those dhimmi-minded states to the fate they have brought upon themselves – full Islamization in under 50 years – the better their chances of survival.  

The abduction and murder in Paris of a young Jewish man by a gang of Muslim immigrants calling themselves the Barbarians shocked the whole of France in 2006. But now that the accused are on trial – silence. 

A French judge has ordered the latest issue of the magazine Choc (“shock”) removed from the shelves. The cover showed a man with duct tape completely covering his head, except for a small opening around his nostrils. His nose is bloody. His hands are also bound with duct tape.

It was a photo of Ilan Halimi, the 23-year-old Parisian Jew who was kidnapped and tortured for 24 days by the Barbarians. His captors took the picture and sent it to his family. A lawyer for Halimi’s family had complained about the magazine, but Choc‘s editor-in-chief Paul Payan responded: “Of course, we understand the anguish of the parents and, of course, we share their anguish…. But what’s so harrowing is not the publication of this photo. What’s harrowing is what it represents, what happened, the reality behind it.”

And it gets worse. The New York Times reported last week that “in the two and a half weeks since 27 people went on trial [in Paris] for the brutal 2006 kidnapping, torture and killing of a young Jewish man, little has filtered out about the proceedings.” Worse still, the little that has emerged indicates that French government and law enforcement have done everything in their power to obscure the Islamic Jew-hatred that led these Muslims to commit this crime.

The corrupt media, aligned with the jihad forces, has long blacked out the truth about Halimi’s homemade concentration camp and the inconceivable horrors that were suffered by this French Jew, chosen by Islam’s soldiers for unimaginable torture. They covered up the religious aspects of this depraved barbarity. Law enforcement did as well…

Ilan’s uncle, Rafi Halimi, reported that “the gang phoned the family on several occasions and made them listen to the recitation of verses from the Koran, while Ilan’s tortured screams could be heard in the background.”

Three weeks of unimaginable torture. Three weeks. So many clues. So many guilty animals partaking in the continuing torture in their “homemade concentration camp.” Twenty-three people participated in torturing Ilan. Another twenty were involved indirectly. The custodian of the building gave them the key to an apartment where they said they wanted to “keep someone.” French journalist Guy Millière reported that “the screams must have been loud because the torture was especially atrocious: the thugs cut bits off the flesh of the young man, they cut his fingers and ears, they burned him with acid, and in the end poured flammable liquid on him and set him on fire.”

Horrible tortures. Horrible torturers. One of the torturers would go to work at a TV station every day and come back to partake in the torture. The girls who lured Halimi into the trap knew he had been kidnapped. They knew Youssef Fofana, the leader of the Barbarians, was extremely violent. They knew Ilan was still in his hands three weeks later. All they had to do was make an anonymous phone call to the police. No one would have known. They did not do it. No neighbor thought to say to the police that something strange was going on in their building.

The police told the family not to say a word. The Jewish community was not warned when prior attempts to kidnap Jewish men had failed. The Jewish community was not warned before the successful attempt.

Even the one member of the gang who dropped out because he was shocked by their violence did not call the police.

When Ilan was found, the head of the fire department who was called to the scene, a man with decades of experience, almost fainted when he saw the victim. The last thing Youssef Fofana did was slit Ilan’s throat, twice, and pour a flammable liquid on him to try to set him on fire. But this did not burn him to death, because Ilan walked for perhaps one hour, trying still to find a way to live.

It was another brutal Islamic slaughter of a defenseless Jew. To cover it up now is only to help ensure that it happens again.


Posted under Commentary, Islam, Muslims, Religion general by Jillian Becker on Thursday, May 28, 2009

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Be lame, be blind, be poor, or else be armed 8

Coomenting on the Sotomayor nomination, Ben Shapiro writes (in part) in Townhall: 

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama nominated Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor, 54, a graduate of Yale Law School and a liberal rewriter of the Constitution, to replace Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court. The pick is a bad one primarily because Sotomayor is the living embodiment of legal realist theory: She makes decisions based on her own political and social experiences.

As Sotomayor puts it, judges should consider their “experiences as women and people of color” while hearing cases, and those experiences should “affect our decisions.” And Latinas are especially qualified to sit on the Supreme Court, according to Sotomayor: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

In short, Sotomayor believes that law, like beauty, is entirely in the eye of the beholder. It is therefore of vital importance which beholders are sitting on the Supreme Court. Judicial philosophy is irrelevant, in this view; the only true judicial philosophy is personal philosophy.

The idea of impartial justice – law courts, juries, advocates for the defense, rules of evidence – is quintessentially masculine. Being as nearly empty of emotion as any societal human activity can be, it is not what most women and the political left feel comfortable with.

Justice can never be perfect, but the pursuit of it is an indispensible necessity if civil societies are to exist at all.

There are signs that the United States under the rule of the left may be giving up the pursuit of objective justice and replacing it with a competition for pity, so that criminals and civil litigants will make their cases not by presenting facts and argument but by striving to wring tears from their fellow citizens. Those who make the most abject spectacle of themselves and present a list of the most pathetic miseries will gain the ruling in their favor – provided that the fellow citizen authorized to pronounce the verdict is someone of the accused or plaintiff’s own sex, race, and economic class, otherwise how could the ‘judge’ be expected to understand the quality of the emotional self-expression underlying the crime or dispute?

What will be the result of this change?  Rather than trust the feelings of some sentimental lady on a bench, we will be compelled to take justice in our hands, keep ourselves perpetually armed, and make no contract that we cannot ourselves enforce by credible threats of vengeance.

So let ‘s do the worst we can for ourselves, invite affliction, or let’s go and buy guns while we still may.  

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, May 27, 2009

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Thus, more or less, spake Zarathustra 2

[Introductory note: As we are having a very interesting discussion on our post below, Christianity: an indictment, we thought we would add to the interest by reminding those of our readers who know, and informing those  who don’t, about Zoroastrianism. Certain similarities between  its myths and those of Christianity provide fuel for thought.]

Zarathustra founded a very interesting religion. He really did exist. He was born somewhere in Iran, probably between 1700 and 1500 BCE. Along with some ancient accounts of his life that do not strain credulity too far, a collection of poetic sayings called the Gathas, which are authoritatively ascribed to him, are all that is known.

But the great spin-doctor Legend has filled out his story with a set of anecdotes, not all of them reserved for him alone. Among them are these:

· He was born of a virgin.

· All nature rejoiced at his birth.

· He laughed at the moment he was born.

· For a certain period as a young man he withdrew to live alone on a wild mountain, meditating on righteousness, conversing with angels, growing in knowledge and wisdom, until he was ready to descend and teach a new faith.

· A tempter came to him and tried to bribe him to give up his faith, but Zarathustra scorned him, and the evil one was defeated.

·He experienced a vision of divinity as he emerged from a river in which he had been ritually purified.

· His life was ended by an act of cruel murder.

· Three thousand years after his death, a son procreated by his own seed will be the ultimate Saviour of mankind.

Zarathustra was never held to be a god, only the prophet of the one true God revealed through him. This, his monotheism (as it is called despite some reasons for cavilling, which we shall come to), was a new idea in Iran. The old religion of Iran – that is to say, the Aryan folk-religion – was a polytheistic cult, the same as that of the Aryans of India. (The words ‘Aryan’ and ‘Iranian’ have the same derivation.) Zarathustra’s new religion, which we call Zoroastrianism after the Greeks, who transcribed its founder’s name as Zoroaster, retained some of the old forms of worship. He also preserved but revolutionised some of the old beliefs by – astonishingly perhaps – inverting their moral significance. Thus he declared the former good spirits, the deva, to be evil; and the former evil spirits, the asura, to be good. The Iranian form of the Indian asura was ahura. Zarathustra’s one true God himself bore the title of ahura: he was Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord, or the Lord Wisdom.

The existence of good and evil powers, however they were named, was the most important idea that Zarathustra’s new religion took over from the old. But there was also in the old cult a seed of another, related, idea which through Zarathustra’s teaching was to become in time a world-changing religious concept: that humanity has a necessary part to play in the cosmic drama of divine creation.

When the rituals of worship, such as the sacrifice of beasts, were enacted by the devout of the old cult, the belief was that the mortal creature was thus helping to maintain natural order. Seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night, set in their rhythmic rightness by divine powers, were reinforced by the actions of men, who were its beneficiaries. By pleasing the gods, they were doing themselves good. Along with the desire for good to befall them, went the fear of evil; fear that without demonstration of human gratitude, without supplication and propitiation, the divinities might withdraw from mankind the benefits of the natural order on which their survival depended. Men needed the gods, and had some power to sway them, but the gods did not need men.

Zarathustra endowed mankind with far more power and grandeur. He saw man as the indispensable partner of God in the work of creation. Humanity has an essential role in the realization of the divine scheme – nothing less than saving creation from the destructive power of evil by defeating it utterly and so bringing about the perfection of God’s ultimate ends.

It was perhaps the greatest, certainly one of the most far-reaching of religious ideas: that humanity has a necessary part to play in the cosmic drama of divine creation. It is the very idea of human beings having a purpose in the divine order of the universe. Every one of us has this purpose, set for us by Providence in the Great Scheme of All Things. It is a moral mission. By knowing what is good and acting on that knowledge, we human beings can save God’s universe from destruction by the evil powers. [It is an idea ascribed to Abraham and his progeny too. Abraham predated Zoroaster by – possibly – half a millennium.]

But that very statement gives rise immediately and unavoidably to a confounding question: if the Wise Lord is the one God and sole Source of this world, whence came these evil powers?

It is here that doubt may arise as to whether the word monotheism is strictly applicable to the Zoroastrian religion. For the answer to the question is: from Ahura Mazda’s twin brother, Angra Manya.

The names of the twain evolved into Ormazd and Ahriman. Zoroastrianism itself was to change through the centuries, as all religions do. Later generations brought it nearer to monotheism by recognising a Source beyond and above Ormazd and Ahriman, and the name of the Source, or First Principle, is Zrvana Akarana, Boundless Time. But even so, whether Ormazd and Ahriman were two matching creative Spirits, one Good and one Evil; or the creator God of this world and mankind opposed by a jealous, rebellious, inferior Spirit seems never to have been settled within the faith itself. (Nor within themselves by Judaism or Christianity.)

Zarathustra taught that Ormazd is Life, Light, Truth, Purity. All good comes from him, all order; the laws of nature and the ethical laws by which mankind should live. Ahriman is his antagonist, from whom comes all evil; he is Death, Darkness,Falsehood, Filth. The war between them is the history of the world. Their battlefield is the human soul. And it is for conquest of the human soul that the war is waged. At the end of time, with our human help if we keep our hands clean and our hearts pure by doing and thinking only the good, Ormazd will defeat Ahriman, and there will be a new heaven and a new earth. His Kingdom will come. Darkness will be banished and the sun will shine forever.

Zarathustra believed that the end of time was near. He felt that he had been sent into the world by Ormazd to teach humanity its mission of redemption just before the final battle. He hoped and believed that he and all who followed him would live to witness the victory of the Good and the dawning of the Kingdom.

But the Prophet died with that hope unrealised. Time went on, and still the end of days seemed far off. So new prophecy foretold a future Saviour. Three helpers to salvation would be born, a thousand years apart, and the third would be the Saviour himself. All of them would be the sons of Zarathustra. Their mothers would be virgins, each of whom in her time would bathe in a lake in which the Prophet had deposited his sperm for the purpose of procreating a son. After the third and last son, Shayosh, is born and fulfils his earthly mission, the Kingdom will come. Then will Ormazd vanquish Ahriman and evil be destroyed forever. The dead shall be raised and there will be a Last Judgement.

Every soul will have been judged once before, when the life of the person it belonged to ended in death. Zoroastrianism has a Heaven and Hell (and a Purgatory too, introduced at some later, uncertain stage). When death releases an individual soul it goes to its reward or punishment. Its journey takes it to the Bridge of Judgement where it is met by a personal spirit-conductor to guide it to its destination. The spirit who meets a good soul is beautiful and guides it to Heaven, where it will know only joy in the company of angels and archangels, feasting and singing with them. The spirit who meets a sinful soul is hideous and guides it to the dark underworld ruled by Ahriman, where it will undergo relentless torment. At the first sight of the spirit on the bridge, each human soul instantly knows its fate, for it recognizes the one who has come to meet it: it’s own True Self, made beautiful or ugly by the thoughts, words and deeds of its life.

Posted under Articles, Christianity, Miscellaneous, Religion general by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, May 26, 2009

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A Godless constitution 38

Liberty and Tyranny  by  Mark R Levin (Threshold Editions, New York, 2009) is an excellent book; we welcome it; we agree with most of  what Levin has to say.

However, on one point we take issue with him. He writes (pages 33-34):

The question must be asked and answered: Is it possible for the Conservative to be a Secularist?

Of course we firmly answer YES, because that is what we are.

He goes on: 

There are conservatives who self-identify as secularists, whether or not they believe in God or take a religion, and it is not for others to deny them their personal beliefs. However, it must be observed that the Declaration is at opposite with the Secularist. Therefore, the Conservative would be no less challenged than any other to make coherent that which is irreconcilable.

Leaving aside his implication that unless one believes in God one cannot be a true Conservative, let’s examine his conviction that non-belief is ‘irreconcilable’ with approval of the Declaration of  Independence. 

The Declaration refers to God four  times.

1. In the first paragraph it says that ‘the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God‘ entitle a people to a separate and equal station with another people. It would make no difference to the meaning and import of this part of the Declaration if the four words ‘and of Nature’s God ‘ were omitted. 

2. It asserts that ‘all men are created equal, that they are endowed by  their Creator with certain unalienable rights’ etc.   We agree with the ‘rights’ to live, be free, and pursue happiness. The word ‘rights’, however, muddies the waters somewhat as a right has to be granted in law, and if no earthly law can be said to have endowed mankind with these ‘rights’, then the only source imaginable  to keep the sense of the word is some Transcendent Legislator in the sky. At least the authors kept the list of such God-endowed ‘rights’ wisely short. To make a list of all things that should be allowed to men would be an infinite labour to achieve the impossible. Better to list the things men may not do – and keep it as short as necessity allows. Which is why we prefer to say that everyone should be free to (eg) live and pursue happiness. But to come back to the wording of the Declaration, its meaning would be exactly the same if instead of  ‘are endowed by their Creator with’, the authors had used the single word ‘have’.

3. In the final paragraph, the ‘Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do’ etc.  Here the Transcendent Legislator is also the Transcendent Judge of rectitude, but as it is ‘by Authority of the good People of these Colonies’ that independence is being declared, He is not required to say a word and can let His approval be assumed by the authors. Again, if the phrase about God were omitted, the Declaration, its meaning, import, and power would in no way be altered.

4.  In the last sentence, the authors mutually pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to support the Declaration. That is to say, they each guarantee to defend it whatever it takes. They also put in that they rely firmly ‘on the protection of Divine Providence‘. But they are far too sensible to rely on it exclusively. If that phrase , and the word ‘sacred’, were omitted, their pledge would remain just as valid, and their commitment would be no less strong.

So while it may be the case that a Conservative must agree with the values and purpose of the Declaration, Levin’s case is not proved that you can only agree with the Declaration if you believe in a supernatural master of the universe.  

Levin goes on (page 34) to quote George Washington as saying:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable results … And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.” [Levin’s ellipsis]

It seems that he interprets the last sentence to imply that Washington did NOT think morality could be maintained without religion. To us it seems clear that Washington DID think it possible to be moral without being religious (as we believe we are). To  Washington this was a concession or ‘indulgence’ that he granted ‘with caution’ because (probably) he didn’t want anyone to think he shared that view. But that doesn’t cancel his acknowledgment of the possibility.  

Finally, Levin should be reminded that the Constitution of the United States does not mention God. Not once. And it is the Constitution that a Conservative must stand by. One definition of an American Conservative could be ‘a strict constitutionalist’.  

Posted under Atheism, Commentary, Conservatism, Reviews, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, May 24, 2009

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Saying what needs to be said 7

From the moment John McCain was chosen to be GOP candidate for the presidency we knew the battle was lost. McCain never made the case that needed to be made for any part of Republican policies. He enthusiastically helped Obama to trash the Bush administration. Where Bush was certainly right and successful was in all that he did to prevent another 9/11 on his watch. At last someone who can speak with authority and be listened to is saying so. 

This is an extract from the speech on national security made by Dick Cheney yesterday, defending the measures taken by the last adminsitration to keep Americans safe. Here’s a link to the whole text. 

The United States of America was a good country before 9/11, just as we are today. List all the things that make us a force for good in the world — for liberty, for human rights, for the rational, peaceful resolution of differences — and what you end up with is a list of the reasons why the terrorists hate America. If fine speechmaking, appeals to reason, or pleas for compassion had the power to move them, the terrorists would long ago have abandoned the field.

And when they see the American government caught up in arguments about interrogations, or whether foreign terrorists have constitutional rights, they don’t stand back in awe of our legal system and wonder whether they had misjudged us all along.

Instead the terrorists see just what they were hoping for — our unity gone, our resolve shaken, our leaders distracted. In short, they see weakness and opportunity.

What is equally certain is this: The broad-based strategy set in motion by President Bush obviously had nothing to do with causing the events of 9/11. But the serious way we dealt with terrorists from then on, and all the intelligence we gathered in that time, had everything to do with preventing another 9/11 on our watch. The enhanced interrogations of high-value detainees and the terrorist surveillance program have without question made our country safer. Every senior official who has been briefed on these classified matters knows of specific attacks that were in the planning stages and were stopped by the programs we put in place.

This might explain why President Obama has reserved unto himself the right to order the use of enhanced interrogation should he deem it appropriate. What value remains to that authority is debatable, given that the enemy now knows exactly what interrogation methods to train against, and which ones not to worry about. Yet having reserved for himself the authority to order enhanced interrogation after an emergency, you would think that President Obama would be less disdainful of what his predecessor authorized after 9/11. It’s almost gone unnoticed that the president has retained the power to order the same methods in the same circumstances. When they talk about interrogations, he and his administration speak as if they have resolved some great moral dilemma in how to extract critical information from terrorists. Instead they have put the decision off, while assigning a presumption of moral superiority to any decision they make in the future.

Releasing the interrogation memos was flatly contrary to the national security interest of the United States. The harm done only begins with top secret information now in the hands of the terrorists, who have just received a lengthy insert for their training manual. Across the world, governments that have helped us capture terrorists will fear that sensitive joint operations will be compromised. And at the CIA, operatives are left to wonder if they can depend on the White House or Congress to back them up when the going gets tough. Why should any agency employee take on a difficult assignment when, even though they act lawfully and in good faith, years down the road the press and Congress will treat everything they do with suspicion, outright hostility and second-guessing? Some members of Congress are notorious for demanding they be briefed into the most sensitive intelligence programs. They support them in private, and then head for the hills at the first sign of controversy.

As far as the interrogations are concerned, all that remains an official secret is the information we gained as a result. Some of his defenders say the unseen memos are inconclusive, which only raises the question why they won’t let the American people decide that for themselves. I saw that information as vice president, and I reviewed some of it again at the National Archives last month. I’ve formally asked that it be declassified so the American people can see the intelligence we obtained, the things we learned and the consequences for national security. And as you may have heard, last week that request was formally rejected. It’s worth recalling that ultimate power of declassification belongs to the president himself. President Obama has used his declassification power to reveal what happened in the interrogation of terrorists. Now let him use that same power to show Americans what did not happen, thanks to the good work of our intelligence officials.

Namegate(s) 13

While making a national security speech, the President  pointed to Robert Gates, secretary of defense, and called him ‘William Gates’. 

Two days earlier, Robert Gates was introduced at a Pentagon ceremony as ‘Ronald Gates’. 

No matter. Robert Gates is to US defense what Dmitry Medvedev is to the Russian presidency – a shop-window mannequin.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, May 21, 2009

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Russia mocks Obama’s America 45

Judi McLeod in Canada Free Press reports:

Pravda, former official voice of the Soviet Union in the days of former President Mikhail Gorbachev, is cheering the Death of America under the leadership of “Marxist” Barack Hussein Obama [no need for those quotation marks – JB].

In his Pravda-run piece, blogger Stanislav Mishin gloats in ‘American capitalism gone with a whimper’.

“It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American descent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people” writes Mishin.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, May 21, 2009

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Reading the tea leaves 58

As California goes, so goes the nation?

John Lillpop writes in Canada Free Press today: 

Despite the threat of being dismissed as right wing extremists by left wing extremists, California voters staged a massive “tea party” at the polls on Tuesday to protest proposals by Gov.Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state Legislature (mostly Democrats) to raise taxes without derailing runaway spending. 

As reported, in part: 

“California voters on Tuesday soundly rejected a package of ballot measures that would have reduced the state’s projected budget deficit of $21.3 billion to something slightly less overwhelming: $15.4 billion

“The defeat of the measures means that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state Legislature will have to consider deeper cuts to education, public safety, and health and human services, officials have said.

“Propositions 1A through 1E – which would have changed the state’s budgeting system, ensured money to schools in future years and generated billions of dollars of revenue for the state’s general fund – fell well behind in early returns and never recovered.

“The only measure that voters approved was Proposition 1F, which will freeze salaries of top state officials including lawmakers and the governor during tough budget years.”

This bitter pill should be enough to convince Schwarzenegger along with a couple of RINOs [Republicans In Name Only] and all Democrats in the Assembly that the people of California are fed up with incompetent politicians who continue to spend taxpayer money recklessly and foolishly.

Proposition 1F, the lone measure that passed, will freeze politicians salaries in years in which a budget deficit exists. This is a good thing and should have been done years ago.

President Obama and his gang of spend and tax socialists in the U.S. Congress would do well to take note of the special election in California.

There IS a message here that could swell into a national movement against mindless spending and higher taxes, and culminate with a rousing defeat of Democrats in the 2010 mid-term elections.

Yes, of course, Schwarzenegger is a Republican. Yet it is widely recognized that the governor is not really a conservative, one of the hazards of sleeping with a Kennedy clan member.

Keep your tea bags at the ready, conservatives. This worm is starting to turn in favor of common sense and fiscal restraint! 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, May 20, 2009

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