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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Happy Endings

September 23rd, 2012 - 1:52 am

Ernest Hemingway believed that there were no happy endings. In his essay on bullfighting,  Death in the Afternoon he wrote that “all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.” That if the camera kept rolling after Shane rides into the sunset he dies from loss of blood. That after Eliot Ness cleans up Chicago in the next reel the Daley Family takes over and in the reel after that come Barack Obama and Rahm Emmanuel.  Was it worth it, Eliot?

Hemingway ought to have known a thing or two about the subject of No Happy Endings. A supporter of the New Deal and once an object of KGB recruitment (Codename Argo), the great writer must have known the complementary proposition: that all idealisms end in scams. For there is a dark side to every dream: the moment you wake up and realize that the men with steel teeth have planned it all.

So when the trailer of “Won’t Back Down” — a movie produced by the Left about two mothers fighting the teacher’s union in California was greeted by applause at the DNC convention in Charlotte, there was no contradiction inherent in when the men who it was attacking rose to clap.  Why spoil the fun? They would kill it soon enough.

Bob Bowdon, who has long been fighting for educational reform on the conservative side of the fence explains to Fox News that what the movie doesn’t show is after the credits roll and the stirring music fades is that the union ties the parents up in court. The union at the DNC would have known this. That’s why they lost nothing by clapping.

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Crosstalk

September 22nd, 2012 - 11:32 am

When Barack Obama ran for President in 2008 he sold the voters on the line that they needed a bridge to the world. Fouad Ajami writing in the Wall Street Journal described how Obama convinced America to buy his bridge.

No American president before this one had proclaimed such intimacy with a world that stretches from Morocco to Indonesia. From the start of his administration, Mr. Obama put forth his own biography as a bridge to those aggrieved nations. He would be a “different president,” he promised, and the years he lived among Muslims would acquit him—and thus America itself. He was the un-Bush.

Ajami phrased it as “give him your warrant” and watch Him take care of things.  For nearly four years the public stood back and did just that: watched their President-translator engage in the policy equivalent of booking the hotels, arranging the transportation, making the necessary appointments, and so forth. But from the start something was curiously wrong. The locals talked back, acted surly, spat in their food, and made them sleep in bedbug basements and did not return their calls.

What was the translator saying?

The mystery began to clear up when the voters learned enough to eavesdrop on the conversations. Some of it came through in the rough questioning that President Obama received at the hands of hispanic network Univision.  [I thought it was a foreign network as its website is entirely in Spanish] . They grilled him in a manner unthinkable on network TV. ‘Did you lie on immigration just to get votes?’ ‘Why don’t you fire Eric Holder?’ were among the questions they asked. As Glenn Beck put it the foreign press was willing to do what the American press won’t do.

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Changing the Narrative

September 20th, 2012 - 2:58 pm

Of course the attack on the Libyan consulate was a terrorist operation. It was, the administration said, ‘self-evident’ that it was so. The NYT reports:

WASHINGTON — The White House, after more than a week in which it has come under fire from Republicans, is now calling last week’s assault on the American diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, a “terrorist attack.”

“It is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack,” the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters traveling on Air Force One on Thursday. “Our embassy was attacked violently and the result was four deaths of American officials.”

But it was not so self-evident to Carney a week ago.

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Nor was Hillary aware of the self-evident. Here she is going on and on about the escalation of “violence from protests” and how reprehensible the hate-video was.

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Today in the News

September 20th, 2012 - 9:38 am
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Global Security Newswire

The Syrian military is understood to have late last month test-fired a number of chemical weapon delivery munitions, witnesses told Der Spiegel for a Monday report.

Five or six unfilled munitions designed to carry toxic warfare agents were discharged by airplanes and tanks at Diraiham, which is not far from a large chemical arms laboratory at Safira, the German news magazine reported.

Iranian military personnel thought to be Revolutionary Guard officers were on hand for the checks, according to witness statements. Revolutionary Guard chief Mohammad Ali Jafari on Sunday acknowledged that officers from the elite force were in Syria to offer “intellectual and advisory help” to the Assad government as it battles armed rebels.

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In Benghazi

September 19th, 2012 - 5:39 pm

The Washington Guardian has more details on the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.

The two former SEALS, Tyrone Woods, 41, and Glen Doherty, 42, were not employed by the State Department diplomatic security office and instead were what is known as personal service contractors who had other duties related to security, the officials said.

They stepped into action, however, when Stevens became separated from the small security detail normally assigned to protect him when he traveled from the more fortified embassy in Tripoli to Benghazi, the officials said.

The two ex-Seals and others engaged in a lengthy firefight with the extremists who attacked the compound, a fight that stretched from the inner area of the consulate to an outside annex and a nearby safe house — a location that the insurgents appeared to know about, the officials said.

The officials provided the information to the Washington Guardian, saying they feared the Obama administration’s scant description of the episode left a misimpression that the two ex-Navy SEALs might have been responsible for the ambassador’s personal safety or become separated from him.

“Woods and Doherty weren’t part of the detail, nor were they personally responsible for the ambassador’s security, but they stepped into the breach when the attacks occurred and their actions saved others lives — and they shouldn’t be lumped in with the security detail,” one senior official said, speaking only on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the State Department.

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Money, Money and More Money

September 19th, 2012 - 4:35 pm

Matthew Yglesias demonstrates his profound command of economics at Slate. He takes Mitt Romney to task for worrying about the deficit. Quoting the “Secret Video” of Romney, Yglesias notes the following offending idea.

Romney: Yeah, it’s interesting… the former head of Goldman Sachs, John Whitehead, was also the former head of the New York Federal Reserve. And I met with him, and he said as soon as the Fed stops buying all the debt that we’re issuing—which they’ve been doing, the Fed’s buying like three-quarters of the debt that America issues. He said, once that’s over, he said we’re going to have a failed Treasury auction, interest rates are going to have to go up. We’re living in this borrowed fantasy world, where the government keeps on borrowing money. You know, we borrow this extra trillion a year, we wonder who’s loaning us the trillion? The Chinese aren’t loaning us anymore. The Russians aren’t loaning it to us anymore. So who’s giving us the trillion? And the answer is we’re just making it up. The Federal Reserve is just taking it and saying, “Here, we’re giving it.’ It’s just made up money, and this does not augur well for our economic future.

So he sets Romney straight on the basis of his immense economic knowledge. Here’s Yglesias assuring everyone that there’s nothing to worry about.

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Brother Jim

September 19th, 2012 - 2:46 pm

Jim Messina is the campaign manager for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Here he is touting Obamacare. Some readers have apparently found this picture to be slightly creepy.

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Why? Perhaps it is because of the earnestness with which Messina is obviously going to save you. You will be saved. And the handscrawls will remind some of the famous scene from Night of the Hunter.

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The Lasts

September 19th, 2012 - 2:20 pm

The Last of anything is usually a memorable or mournful occasion. The problem is  how to tell which. According to the Weekly Standard, “the Obama campaign is now advertising ‘the last Dinner with Barack.’ In an email sent to supporters this afternoon seeking donations,” it says:

Want to meet the President? This is the last Dinner with Barack of this campaign. You could be there. Enter today.

Presumably this emotional occasion will be the president’s final time to break bread with his supporters — before the evil Romney betrays him. The historic occasion naturally calls to mind other famous “lasts”.

The Last Dinner with Barack. Romney is Highlighted in Yellow

Such as the last dinner from a famous ocean liner’s passage. Here is the suggested menu from that occasion.

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Situational Ethics

September 18th, 2012 - 8:59 pm

What’s changed since the bad old days of George W. Bush? Michael Hayden, Bush’s former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency summed up the differences between President Obama and George W. Bush’s tactics in fighting terrorism. President Obama kills more people.

“And so, we’ve seen all of these continuities between two very different human beings, President Bush and President Obama. We are at war, targeted killings have continued, in fact, if you look at the statistics, targeted killings have increased under Obama.”He said that was the case because, in one differing path between the two presidents, Obama in 2009 closed CIA “black sites” and ratcheted down on torturing detainees. But instead of capturing so-called “enemy combatants,” President Obama kills them instead, Hayden said.

“We have made it so politically dangerous and so legally difficult that we don’t capture anyone anymore,” Hayden said. “We take another option, we kill them. Now. I don’t morally oppose that.”

Obama’s kill list has even included American citizens.

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Free Speech

September 18th, 2012 - 1:45 pm

Mitt Romney has been asked been accused of insensitivity for saying “during a private reception with wealthy donors this year”, that “almost half of Americans as ‘people who pay no income tax’ and are ‘dependent upon government.’ Those voters, he said, would probably support President Obama because they believe they are ‘victims’ who are ‘entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.’”

But a professor at the University of Utah who is working to destroy Judaeo-Christianity is simply exercising “free speech”.

Lisa Diamond, a psychology professor specializing in the sexuality of relationships, opened the presentation with her thoughts on the anti-gay debate in the United States with the intent to have listeners take a closer look at the traditional patriarchal family construction. …

Diamond opposed the idea that traditional, patriarchal Judeo-Christian marriage is the best option, and said winning same-sex marriage rights won’t do much to further equality.

“We should challenge marriage … I do want to slowly poison and destroy the marriage institution,” she said. “We’re saying that we deserve our rights as long as we are just like you.”

Some audience members understood what Diamond was communicating and why.

“I’ve never heard this point of view but it makes so much more sense,” said Anna Ungerman, a sophomore in health sciences. “Same-sex marriage isn’t the goal — it’s getting rid of the traditional, religious-based marriage structure.”

Dr. Bala Ambati, who sometimes comments on this site, wrote to the University Administration to ask any government funds were involved in the sponsorship of this event and received the vague answer that “these groups enjoy all the protections of free speech guaranteed by the Constitution and University Policy”.

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