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‘Nothing could be more exciting for a boy than throwing out the first pitch to his favorite player.’

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

An amazing story from the Ballpark in Arlington.

ARLINGTON, Texas – With 50,000 fans on their feet, many with tears in their eyes, 6-year-old Cooper Stone stood on the pitcher’s mound and tossed the ceremonial first pitch of the playoffs to his favorite player, Josh Hamilton.

Cooper is the boy who saw his firefighter father fall to his death while trying to catch a ball thrown to him by Hamilton during a Texas game on July 7. This was his first trip back to Rangers Ballpark, and it came at the center of a huge stage, with his widowed mother, Jenny, and Rangers president Nolan Ryan by his side.

Wearing a Rangers jersey featuring Hamilton’s No. 32, and “Cooper” between the shoulders, the boy threw the ball on a line to Hamilton, who was crouched like a catcher about halfway to home plate. The outfielder — who has been through his share of personal struggles — stood to catch it, then pumped his fist, smiling wide the whole time.

Then he went to the front of the mound to meet Cooper and Jenny for the first time.

Hamilton embraced the boy, then his mother. He held her for a while, speaking words that made it tough for her to control her emotions.

“I just asked her if they were believers in Christ and she said they were. I said, ‘Well, we know where your husband is right now. Make sure that the little one knows who his daddy was and what he stood for,’” Hamilton said.

Shannon Stone was reaching for the ball thrown by Hamilton when he fell headfirst about 20 feet, landing on concrete behind the outfield wall. Cooper was his only child, and the two were extremely close, with the nearly three-hour drive from their home in Brownwood to Rangers games among their favorite activities together.

The Rangers recently announced plans to build a statue of Shannon and Cooper Stone outside the home-plate entrance as a tribute to them, and to all fans. The team hopes to unveil it by opening day next season. The club also is planning to raise the railing throughout the stadium.

A memorial fund started by the team on the family’s behalf recently received more than $150,000 from an auction sponsored by Fox Sports Southwest, the team’s main broadcaster.

If there’s a better example of class, heart and faith in sports that this, I haven’t seen it.

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SF Chronicle assures us that the story about the teacher who banned “God bless you” was just a tempest in a teapot

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Bookworm

I’m growing very fond of Jill Tucker, a “journalist” at the San Francisco Chronicle who gives me lots of meat for my blogging. A couple of weeks ago, I looked at her incurious (some might say lazy) reporting about the decision the Oakland Children’s Museum’s made to cancel a controversial art show consisting of pictures that Palestinian children had allegedly drawn. (I say allegedly because people more familiar with fakes than I think it is highly unlikely that real children created the pictures.)

Tucker ignored entirely the far-Left, anti-American, anti-Israel, antisemitic nature of the group sponsoring the show, and managed to make it sound as if these works were equivalent to Jewish children’s drawings and poems from Terezinstadt. With few exceptions, those child artists died in Auschwitz’s gas chambers. They didn’t shop at local malls or swim in Olympic pools. And when doctors attended those Jewish children, their goals were malevolent, not humanitarian.

Tucker is at it again, this time with a report purporting to explain that the teacher who punished students for saying “bless you” in class had no anti-religious motivation whatsoever. To give Tucker credit where credit is due, this story starts with good spin. She announces, loudly and repeatedly, that the kids who received penalties weren’t exercising ordinary good manners when they said “bless you;” they were, instead, acting out solely to irritate their teacher:

It all started when high school health teacher Steve Cuckovich disciplined his freshman students at Will C. Wood High School last week for repeatedly disrupting class by responding to sneezes with a overenthusiastic chorus of “Bless You.”

The sneezer would then thank each giver of the blessing individually.

Cuckovich, as teachers have done since time immemorial, decided to nip that behavior in the bud by docking student grades for the offense.

See? Totally innocent. Naughty students; appropriately strict teacher. Every one of us remembers those days from our own high school years.

How in the world, then, did this story become a world-wide kerfuffle? Tucker knows who was at fault: A busy-body parent and Fox News turned garden-variety classroom discipline into a Christian-outrage cause célèbre:

A parent saw the deduction and made a phone call – not to the teacher or the principal or even an elected official, said district Superintendent John Niederkorn.

And that’s about when Cuckovich found a local Fox TV news reporter in his classroom asking why he was banning “Bless you.”

Our good soldier Tucker describes the way in which religious zealots around the world (i.e., Christians) got their knickers in a twist merely because a teacher clamped down on disruptive behavior. She explains carefully, with myriad quotations yet, that Cuckovich’s only sin was the fact that, in the heat of the moment, he punished the students for saying “bless you,” rather than focusing more generally on the fact that they were disrupting his class.

So far, I am totally with Tucker. she’s right. Absolutely right. Her damage control is pitch-perfect. Tucker starts singing badly out of tune, however, when confronted by Cuckovich’s own conduct immediately after the fact. That was when he got the opportunity to explain in his own words what happened in that classroom (emphasis mine):

Cuckovich, however, inadvertently added to the controversy by explaining to reporters that he used the situation as a teaching moment, educating students on the origins of “bless you.”

It appeared to be an effort to reason with students before punishing them, but it added fuel to the religious fury.

“The blessing doesn’t really make any sense anymore,” he told the Sacramento Fox TV news affiliate. “When you sneezed in the old days, they thought you were dispelling evil spirits out of your body. So they were saying God bless you for getting rid of the evil spirits. But today, I said, really what you’re doing doesn’t make sense anymore.”

I love that Tucker-ish word “inadvertently.” You see, the problem wasn’t what Cuckovich did. It was that he explained what he did. Tucker seems to find nothing unnerving about a public school teacher who lectures students about the fact that “God bless you” is an archaic throwback to a primitive time when people actually believed in God and evil, and then explicitly censors that term in his classroom.

So there you have it: In Tucker-world, it’s always entirely accidental when a teacher displays religious hostility in a classroom.

I don’t doubt that Cuckovich was legitimately irritated by genuinely bad behavior from his students. Had Cuckovich limited himself to explaining the ancient origins of a commonly used phrase, while reminding students that disruptive behavior is always subject to penalty, there would have been no story. What makes the whole story newsworthy, and Tucker’s spin silly, is the fact that Cuckovich launched into what amounts to a “God is dead” lecture to justify his decision and then took the extra step of explicitly prohibiting the phrase “God bless you.” You begin to get the feeling that this guy is an atheist (which is perfectly okay, as I’m periodically one myself), and that he wants to pass that belief-less system on to his health class students (which is not okay).

As it is, even thought I’m an intermittent atheist and periodic agnostic myself, I’m willing to take all the blessings I can get. We live in a tough world, and there’s a lot to be said for a little good feeling coming from both those around us and, assuming he’s not dead, from God himself.

God bless you!

Cross-posted at Bookworm Room

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Quote of the Week

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

It’s about 3:24 into this interview, responding to this.

Carl Cameron: Another question about the president. He recently said Americans are getting soft. What do you think of that?

Gov. Perry: Well I don’t know about him, but there are plenty of people out there who have it tough because of this president, and that’s what I’m more worried about. How do we get America working again? How do we get those people to have the dignity of a job to take care of their family? That’s the real issue for me. Americans aren’t soft. We’ve got some bad policies on tax and regulation in Washington DC that are kicking people out of jobs every day. That’s the real tragedy. What we’ve got is a soft president…”

 

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Rebecca Aguilar Resurfaces, Gets Journalists to Quit Using Ordinary Legal Terms in their Reports

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Rebecca Aguilar…remember her? Former Dallas TV reporter? She ambushed an elderly Army veteran who had fended off some crooks in his own home and business, asking him “Are you a trigger happy person?” As I wrote at the time:

His crime: Defending his property against thieves who repeatedly broke in and stole from him. After more than 40 calls to police didn’t stop the burglaries at his home and place of business (they’re the same place), he shot and killed two burglars in the span of three weeks. Because they were breaking into his home with impunity. Fortunately, common sense and the laws of Texas back up Mr. Walton’s right to take the actions that he took. Evidently, that’s not good enough for journalist Rebecca Aguilar, so she ambushed him.

She got fired for that, then lost the lawsuit over her firing, but she’s back and in the good graces of her fellow Prog activists in the journalism trade.

The Society of Professional Journalists, hearing an emotional plea from Rebecca Aguilar, a member of SPJ and of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, voted Tuesday to recommend that newsrooms discontinue using the terms “illegal alien” and “illegal immigrant.” The resolution from the 7,800-member organization says only courts can decide when a person has committed an illegal act.

Aguilar argued that using those words insulted Latinos and all those who are or had once been in the United States illegally. She used the example of her mother, who became a “proud American” in 1980. Her mother felt insulted “every time she heard that word,” Aguilar said of the phrase “illegal alien.”

“She turned the tide,” the new president-elect, Sonny Albarado, projects editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, said of Aguilar. “She delivered the statement with such passion. After that, there was just a great overwhelming outpouring of support.” Aguilar, a freelance broadcaster in Dallas, is a board member of NAHJ and of the Fort Worth SPJ chapter, was an SPJ “diversity fellow,” and is a new member of SPJ’s Diversity Committee.

There’s more political correctness in all that than you can shake a stick at. But if the SPJ follows through with the new groupthink, then you will not hear the phrase “illegal alien,” or even the watered down “illegal immigrant,” in their reports. Which makes them less factual than they otherwise might be. Accuracy, publicly slaughtered on the altars of emotionalism and identity politics. Here’s what the resolution says:

“WHEREAS, the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics urges all journalists to be ‘honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information’ and;

“WHEREAS, mainstream news reports are increasingly using the politically charged phrase ‘illegal immigrant’ and the more offensive and bureaucratic ‘illegal alien’ to describe undocumented immigrants, particularly Latinos and;

“WHEREAS, a fundamental principle embedded in our U.S. Constitution is that everyone (including non-citizens) is considered innocent of any crime until proven guilty in a court of law and;

“WHEREAS, this constitutional doctrine, often described as ‘innocent-until-proven-guilty,’ applies not just to U.S. Citizens but to everyone in the United States and;

“WHEREAS, only the court system, not reporters and editors, can decide when a person has committed an illegal act and;

“WHEREAS, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists is also concerned with the increasing use of pejorative and potentially inaccurate terms to describe the estimated 11 million undocumented people living in the United States;

“THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Society of Professional Journalists convention of delegates: urges journalists and style guide editors to stop the use of illegal alien and encourage continuous discussion and re-evaluation of the use of illegal immigrant in news stories.”

Illegal alien is a legal term, describing an individual’s status in the eyes of the law. It’s only become a charged term because people like Aguilar have made it one. The next step after this will probably to go after anyone who actually does use the now verboten terms. See: Andrew Bolt, Australian convict.

As for this “Diversity Committee,” does it include any conservatives?

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Obama to America: It’s Not Me, It’s You

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Break-ups are always painful for one side or the other, sometimes both. When you know you’re going to get dumped, when you feel it in your bones and know there’s nothing you can do about it, you can mitigate the imminent pain with a pre-emptive break-up. Though you don’t really want things to end, in a pre-emptive break-up you get to make the call, you get to say the words, you get to be the person who can say they walked away.

Even though all you really did was force the inevitable to happen a bit earlier.

Is this what Barack Obama did with his “America’s gone soft” comment?

I’m starting to think so. I’m starting to think that President Obama realizes that the slice of America that elected him has fallen out of love with him, and so he has pre-emptively given them the old heave ho.

Why else would he say that America has “gone soft”? It’s not like Barry Obama rolled into the White House after a decorated career in the Marine Corps, or off his fame as a quarterback killing middle linebacker. He’s a skinny egghead who wears mom jeans, can’t throw a baseball and looks like an overgrown kid when he rides a bike. Whatever phrases come to mind when you think of Barack Obama, “manly man” isn’t one of them. Barack Obama doesn’t come from the blue collar America that gets the oil out of the ground, keeps the grid working, locks up the criminals and mans our military bases on the DMZ. He doesn’t come from the part of America that produces Chuck Norris, fighter pilots and contestants for Top Shot. That’s just not Obama. So who is he to say that anyone has “gone soft”?

Barack Obama is from liberal, soft America. He’s from the part of America that wishes the Pentagon had to depend on bake sales to survive. He’s from the part of America that doesn’t think America is exceptional. He’s a former community organizer, not a business developer or wildcatter. He has always depended on others, and has never made his own way in life. The man who says America has “gone soft” elevated schoolyard bullying to a presidential issue.

In the part of America that never liked Obama, we don’t even know what to do with “community organizers.” We know what real estate developers are, and we know what city managers are, but “community organizers”? As for bullies, they get punched in the nose. Twice, if once doesn’t deliver the message. We don’t whine about bullies, or much of anything else, to the White House. That part of America isn’t soft. It’s Jacksonian on national defense and “leave me alone” in its relationship to the government. Barack Obama doesn’t really understand that part of America, and now the part that did love him, doesn’t.

The polls we all see are telling him that the relationship is on the rocks. The Obama campaign’s internal polls, the more expensive and accurate polls, may be telling him the same thing but in a stronger tone. It’s not on the rocks; it’s history. Barry, sorry, but America’s just not that into you. And they’re not going to let you down easy next year. They would break up with you right now if they could.

So Barry has decided to make the first move, even though he dies a little bit inside: You’ve gone soft, America. It’s not me, it’s you. I…am breaking up….with you.

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And Now, A Word From Joe Biden

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by The Tatler

A fundraising email from the vice president, subject line: What’s stopping you, right now?

Friend –

I need to ask you one last thing before tonight’s midnight deadline:

If you know you’re going to donate to this campaign eventually, what’s stopping you from doing it right now?

If you’re going to be a part of history in 2012, it’s time to get off the sidelines.

So, before midnight, will you chip in what you can and say you’re in?

This has never been about Barack and me.

We’re just two guys. It’s folks like you out there who will decide this election.

And what you’re capable of is incredible — if you decide to do it.

https://donate.barackobama.com/Friday-Deadline

Thank you,

Joe

P.S. — That deadline also applies to the dinner Barack is having with four supporters. Donate today and you’ll be automatically entered for the chance to be there.

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PPP Poll: The Newest ‘Swing State’ is…Connecticut?

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Barack Obama won 60% of the Connecticut vote in 2008. PPP’s latest poll says he won’t get anywhere near that in 2012.

Connecticut isn’t a place that would go on anybody’s list of swing states but Barack Obama is in a statistical tie with Mitt Romney there, leading only 47-45.

Obama’s poor showing in Connecticut is mostly a function of his own unpopularity.  Despite having won it by 23 points in 2008 his approval numbers are now under water at 48/49.  That represents a 17 point net shift in the wrong direction since PPP last polled the state in March- at that time Obama’s approval was a positive 55/39 spread.  The decline has come because he’s unpopular with independents (41/53) and also because an unusually high 20% of Democrats disapprove of the job he’s doing.

Romney’s favorability is 41/42, not great numbers but better than he is doing in most states.  In the head to head with Obama he takes independents by 12 points at 48-36 and gets crossover support from 14% of Democrats while losing just 9% of the Republican vote.

The competitiveness in Connecticut is limited to Romney.  Against the rest of the Republican field Obama leads by double digits- it’s 12 points against Rick Perry at 53-41, 13 against Ron Paul at 51-38, 16 against Newt Gingrich at 54-38, and 19 against Michele Bachmann at 55-36.

Charles Krauthammer is already using the “landslide” word to describe what may happen next year. I don’t think we’re there yet. The GOP doesn’t have a nominee, and a nominee that over performs in one region may under perform in another. But Obama’s weakness with independents seems to be growing, he is far weaker where Democrats are traditionally strong than he was in 2008, and voters are becoming more and more comfortable with the idea of replacing him.

 

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Bastrop State Park Begins Renewal After Fire

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Howard Nemerov

With 95% of Bastrop State Park burned, nearly all of its outdoor opportunities are gone for now. However, local groups are joining together to help renew the park, also known as the Heart of the Lost Pines because it features a unique variety of Loblolly Pine, representing the western end of the pine forest stretching across the southern United States.

One of the volunteer groups is the Friends of the Lost Pines, which organized a special to ensure 100% of charitable contributions will be used to help restoration.

They released a video showing the aftermath of this historic fire.

YouTube Preview Image

More information on donations.

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Awlaki’s DC mosque: AQ cleric was known for interfaith outreach, tolerance and civic engagement

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Patrick Poole

The DC area mosque where recently departed Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki served has put out a press release where they provide us with this insight:

From 2001 to 2002, al-Awlaki served as an Imam at the center, according to a release from Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, director of outreach for the Falls Church-based Islamic center. In the release, he said al-Awlaki was known for his interfaith outreach, civic engagement and tolerance in the Northern Virginia community.

All while mentoring and caring for at least three of the 9/11 hijackers.

Be sure to check out my exclusive PJ Media expose on “Dar al-Hijrah: DC’s Own Terror Factory“.

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African-American job growth booming in Berkeley: A model for solving our unemployment problem?

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Zombie

A business in Berkeley, California is thriving in this weak economy, hiring mostly African-Americans and helping to lower the unemployment rate in minority communities.

Could this be a model emulated nationwide? Obama’s always talking about “shovel-ready” jobs — but has he considered bong-ready jobs? :

In the 21 months since it opened, the 40 Acres Medical Marijuana Growers Collective has seen its membership jump to more than 7,000 people, making it one of the fastest growing and largest cannabis businesses in Berkeley.

From a set of rooms located above the Albatross pub on San Pablo Avenue, 40 Acres has become more than just a place where people can obtain and consume medical cannabis. Started by African-Americans, run by African-Americans, 40 Acres aims to bring diversity to the medical cannabis movement and use the rapidly growing industry as a way to open up opportunities for the poor and disenfranchised.

The leaders of the collective actively reach out to marginalized youth and encourage them to enter the group’s training program, where they can learn the nuts and bolts of bud tending, cultivation, patient intake methods, and how to assess product.

“There is a population of kids, high school dropouts, who are coming to us to learn,” said Toya Groves, a director and one of the four co-founders of the group. “This is a way the unemployable become employable.”

40 Acres actively recruits members online and at hemp fairs, has 21 employees, sells bongs and other retail goods, and advertises its services online and in newspapers.

Some people in the cannabis community think the city is taking a hands-off approach because officials want to encourage diversity in the industry. While the patients in the city’s three dispensaries are all races, the leadership is primarily white.

“They don’t know what to do,” said one dispensary member. “The people who run 40 Acres made a big stink [during meetings to talk about the ballot measures for November 2010] about how there wasn’t enough diversity in the medical cannabis community. They are hyping up that they are African-American owned and run and none of the other three dispensaries are.”

In the meantime, 40 Acres is trying to operate a safe space for people who benefit from medical cannabis. The African-American community, traumatized by poverty, discrimination, and violence, has been self-medicating with marijuana for generations, long before it was called medical cannabis, she said. People were forced to smoke pot in secret, and 40 Acres is trying to show people both how cannabis is a medicine that can help anxiety, depression, and post traumatic disorder from violence, and that it can be prescribed by a doctor, said Groves.

When Groves, Smith and the other co-founders started 40 Acres in December 2009, they found that many African-Americans did not know they could get a prescription for cannabis. To jump start the collective, Groves and Smith paid for 200 people to go to the doctor to see if they qualified for medical cannabis, she said.

One of the goals of 40 Acres is to change the equation, from where African Americans were consuming cannabis in secret, or dealing it on the street, to out into the open, said Groves. That’s why 40 Acres reaches out into the community and takes people are unemployed and trains them as cannabis entrepreneurs, she said.

Seriously, marijuana is now one of the few burgeoning industries in California. Even weekly newspapers like the SFWeekly and the East Bay Express are now primarily kept afloat by advertisements for pot clinics. Downtown Oakland’s revival, many say, is in large part due to the success of Oaksterdam, a marijuana-themed university. (No, I’m not kidding.)

Maybe now is the time for California and other “medical” marijuana states to just throw in the towel and make the final transition to an all-drug-dealing economy. And consider the benefits to the African-American community, as described in the article above. If the government simply licensed street-corner drug dealers, the official minority unemployment rate would plummet!

Somebody should call Sheila Jackson Lee — we’ve found that elusive African-American jobs program she was looking for.

(Thumbnail by Shutterstock.com.)

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Obama Admin Uses Secret Bank to Pour Cash into Green Pet Projects

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

The bank itself — the Federal Financing Bank — has been around since 1973. But according to Fox it was zeroed out in 2008. Since Obama’s inauguration, the FFB has been used to hand out massive loans on green projects, at rock bottom interest rates not available on the market. And one of the FFB’s biggest customers: Solyndra.

The bank is also funding the insolvent U.S. Postal Service; the White House’s expensive green car projects at Ford Motor, Nissan and Tesla Motors; a $485 million loan to an expensive solar project that’s lost $160 million over the last three years that’s backed by Google, BP and Chevron; plus the FFB is funding the teetering HOPE housing bailout program, which gives delinquent mortgage borrowers breaks on their loans.

And according to KPMG’s audit report of the bank, the FFB is losing billions of dollars in taxpayer money because it is forgoing collecting interest costs on already inexpensive loans that are financing projects at agencies like the Agriculture Department.

What’s scary for taxpayers is this: The FFB can borrow unlimited amounts of taxpayer money from the Treasury for these kinds of political pet projects. Under the 1973 “FFB Act, the bank may, with the approval of the Secretary, borrow without limit from the Treasury,” says the bank’s audited statements from KPMG.

That puts Turbo Tax Tim Geithner in charge of the FFB’s loans, and he has nearly a blank check. Congressional oversight has been minimal. The Obama era loans started with — wait for it — the 2009 stimulus.

The FFB then began giving green loans backed by the Department of Energy after the Obama Administration’s stimulus bill of 2009 was enacted. After stimulus was signed into law by President Barack Obama, the FFB then began funding clean energy programs, backed by $2.4 billion appropriated by Congress. Under this program, Solyndra got $528 million.

The FFB doesn’t just fund green energy projects. It also funds the Home Ownership Preservation Entity (HOPE) Fund, enacted under the Bush Administration to help distressed borrowers avoid foreclosure by reducing their mortgage payments.

The bank is going full bore in helping to fund the White House’s foreclosure bailouts via buying HOPE bonds, a program that could hit $300 billion in federal costs.

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Rewind: Awlaki trained U.S. military’s Muslim chaplains

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Patrick Poole

Earlier this month I wrote exclusively here at PJ Media about “The U.S. Government’s Failed History of Muslim Outreach since 9/11“. Perhaps the most colossal failure was the case of Al-Qaeda financier Abdurahman Alamoudi, who was wined and dined at the White House by both the Clinton and Bush administrations. In fact, Alamoudi was the first person authorized by the Department of Defense to certify Muslim chaplains for the U.S. military.

But as I reported back in November, there was an intersection between the politically-connected Al-Qaeda financier Alamoudi and the Al-Qaeda cleric Awlaki: Awlaki helped train the U.S. military’s Muslim chaplains under the auspices of the Institute for Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America (IIASA).

IIASA was controlled by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Higher Education (that’s right, the Wahhabis were training our military chaplains), and one of their hand-picked faculty members was Anwar al-Awlaki, as noted by Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson back in Dec. 2003:

Anwar al-Aulaqi, the former imam at a mosque in San Diego, also has lectured at the institute. A congressional report on Sept. 11 released this July said Mr. Aulaqi counseled two of the hijackers while they stayed in San Diego and then transferred to a mosque that both hijackers attended in northern Virginia shortly before the attacks. Mr. Aulaqi, who is now believed to be in Yemen, has denied knowing of the hijackers’ plans.

According to Simpson, at least 75 military Muslim chaplains and lay personnel were trained at IIASA where Awlaki taught.

Previous installments in this series:

Rewind: New York Times hailed Awlaki as “a new generation of Muslim leader”

Rewind: NPR says Awlaki can “build bridges between Islam and the West”

Rewind: Anwar al-Awlaki leads prayers inside U.S. Capitol for congressional Muslim staffers

Rewind: Awlaki lectures on Islam inside the Pentagon after 9/11 attacks

Rewind: Awlaki defends Taliban in 2001 Washington Post live chat on Ramadan

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So Much for Obama’s ‘First Class Intellect’

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

A grammar expert isn’t impressed with the Lightworker in Chief’s command of English. Either that, or the expert is a hopeless raaacist.

“The first wordsmith is, in fact, an occasional stem-winder who is grammatically challenged,” says author and Harvard-educated historian William Proctor, who pored over 3,000 pages of the president’s official speeches and remarks. He’s convinced that Americans — particularly students — can learn a little something from Mr. Obama.

“His speeches reveal that at this point, he is simply not in the same rhetorical-grammatical league as a Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy or Ronald Reagan,” Mr. Proctor says. “Even as we explore Mr. Obama’s errors, we should not lapse into smug, finger-pointing complacency. His mistakes should serve as a reminder to the rest of us that we, too, may need to clean up our technical language skills.”

Frankly, I’m shocked that anyone would question the intellect of the man who has visited 57 states, praises Abe Lincoln for building the intercontinental railroad and has publicly praised our Navy’s brave corpse-men.

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Rewind: Awlaki defends Taliban in 2001 Washington Post live chat on Ramadan

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Patrick Poole

Back when Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was the go-tomoderate” for the establishment media, the Washington Post got in on the game too, featuring Awlaki in a November 19, 2001 chat on Ramadan where he defended the Taliban:

Alexandria, Va.:I saw your video on the Washington Post website this morning. Perhaps I am too biased as an American, but just what other avenues should or could the US have tried as opposed to as you put it – ‘rushing into this war’?Also, like we say ‘Merry Christmas’, is there any special greeting Muslims use during Ramadan?

Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki: The Taliban repeatedly said: show us the evidence and we will turn over whoever is guilty with the crime. The US should have given them the benefit of the doubt. Also our government could have dealt with the terrorist attacks as a crime against America rather than a war against America. So the guilty would be tried and only them would be punished rather than bombing an already destroyed country. I do not restrict myself to US media. I check out Aljazeerah and European media such as the BBC. I am seeing something that you are not seeing because of the one-sidedness of the US media. I see the carnage of Afghanistan. I see the innocent civilian deaths. That is why my opinion is different.

Keep in mind that I have no sympathy for whoever committed the crimes of Sep 11th. But that doesn’t mean that I would approve the killing of my Muslim brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. Even though this is a dissenting view nowadays but as an American I do have the right to have a contrary opinion.

You can congratulate your Muslim friends with “Ramadan Mubarak”

It is worthy of mention that the Washington Post has since pulled their online video featuring Awlaki that accompanied the live chat. No doubt that video disappeared before publishing their Feb. 2008 article, “Imam from VA mosque now thought to have aided Al-Qaeda” (which curiously makes no note of his Nov. 2001 online chat).

Previous installments in this series:

Rewind: New York Times hailed Awlaki as “a new generation of Muslim leader”

Rewind: NPR says Awlaki can “build bridges between Islam and the West”

Rewind: Anwar al-Awlaki leads prayers inside U.S. Capitol for congressional Muslim staffers

Rewind: Awlaki lectures on Islam inside the Pentagon after 9/11 attacks

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‘Last Chance at Dinner’ With Barack

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

They’re still pushing this sad raffle.

Friend –

Because you and I don’t have a lot of chances to have dinner together, I hope you’ll take advantage of the one that’s coming up this fall.

So if you’ve been sitting on this, now’s the time to toss your name in the hat:

https://donate.barackobama.com/Dinner

I like these dinners not just because I get to hear from supporters like you, but because they’re part of what makes our organization different.

Other campaigns save seats at the table for special-interest PACs and Washington lobbyists — and you can see the effects in the decisions they make and the priorities they set.

Our campaign rejects all contributions from Washington lobbyists, and we refuse all money from corporate PACs. That means we’re accountable only to the people, not special interests.

As long as you don’t count the unions. Or green activists.

Instead, we’re relying on millions of people like you giving just $3 or whatever you can pitch in.

Hope to see you soon:

https://donate.barackobama.com/Dinner

Thanks,

Barack

I’d love to win this, just to find out if those rumors of Obama using a teleprompter during dinner are true.

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Rewind: Awlaki lectures on Islam inside the Pentagon after 9/11 attacks

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Patrick Poole

Adding to my previous posts on how Awlaki was hailed by establishment media outlets, such as the New York Times and NPR, and how Awlaki had led prayers inside the U.S. Capitol for congressional Muslim staffers after 9/11, I also have to note the reporting by Fox News on Awlaki’s lecture on Islam he gave inside the Pentagon executive dining room two months after three of his disciples from the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, VA (which I profiled here exclusively at PJ Media back in March as “D.C.’s Own Terror Factory“) were part of the team that hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 that was flown into the Pentagon.

Awlaki’s appearance at the Pentagon came after he had been repeatedly interviewed by the FBI for his contacts with the three 9/11 hijackers. In fact, a congressional joint inquiry found that Awlaki had been investigated for his terror association going back to 1999.

And yet when Fox News uncovered Pentagon emails about the Al-Qaeda cleric’s lunch lecture sponsored by the Defense Department’s Office of General Counsel (who undoubtedly were involved in the authorization for his killing by US drones today), the DOD attorney who “vetted” him said that she “had the privilege of hearing one of Mr. Awlaki’s presentations in November and was impressed by both the extent of his knowledge and by how he communicated that information and handled a hostile element in the audience.”

It’s doubtful that that same DOD attorney who “vetted” Awlaki for his Pentagon lunch will be available for comment.

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Does Gov. Perdue Have a Crony Capitalist Problem?

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Maybe!

A state lawmaker and a group of Democratic political donors with ties to Gov. Beverly Perdue are poised to sell land at a handsome profit for a tire plant that’s being lured with $100 million in state and local incentives, according to public records reviewed by The Associated Press.

As North Carolina’s chief executive, the governor is a key decision maker in large incentives deals involving state money. She also helps appoint the board members of a foundation that’s been asked to provide part of the tire plant’s package. Perdue’s campaign has received more than $52,000 from five men with an ownership stake in the Brunswick County industrial park proposed for the new facility.

The governor’s son, Garrett Perdue, is also a lawyer and site-selection consultant for an influential law firm that a county official said was advising the tire company. The firm, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, does not disclose which projects the younger Perdue works on, citing attorney-client privilege.

Perdue’s spokesman stressed Thursday that the company seeking the incentives, not the governor’s aides, chose the site. The North Carolina site is competing with sites in two other states.

“Gov. Perdue is focused on bringing 1,300 jobs to North Carolina,” said Mark Johnson, Perdue’s spokesman. “She doesn’t care where in the state the plant goes, who owns the land or who the company hires as its lawyer. She just wants the jobs.”

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Obama Loses Warren Buffett on the ‘Buffett Rule’?

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Has the Oracle from Omaha gone soft?

On CNBC, Warren Buffett says he disagrees with the Buffett Rule and refuses to endorse the American Jobs Act.

More from Chris Moody:

CNBC: “Are you happy that the way it is being described. Is the program that the White House has presented a million dollars and over your program? ”

Buffett: “Well, the precise program which will — I don’t know what their program will be. My program would be on the very high incomes that are taxed very low. Not just high incomes. Somebody making $50 million a year playing baseball, his taxes won’t change. Make $50 million a year appearing on television, his income won’t change. But, if they make a lot of money and pay a very low tax rate, like me, it would be changed by a minimum tax that would only bring them up to what other people pay.”

CNBC: “Does that mean you disagree with the president’s new jobs proposal which would be paid for by raising taxes on households with incomes of over $250,000.”

Buffett: “That’s another program that I won’t be discussing. My program is to have a tax on ultra-rich people who are very tax rates. Not just all rich people. It would probably apply to 50,000 people in a population of 300 million.”

Buffett added that he plans to examine the bill once it’s written and will make a judgment about his support.

As Ace notes, Obama has used Buffett as a kind of absolute moral authority talisman on economic policy. Obama has no economic credibility of his own; he’s a former community organizer who never really held down a normal, private sector job. Using Buffett’s name provided Obama some cover. Buffett just pulled that cover off.

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Rewind: Anwar al-Awlaki leads prayers inside U.S. Capitol for congressional Muslim staffers

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Patrick Poole

Just over a year ago I broke the story exclusively here at PJ Media about Anwar al-Awlaki’s appearance leading Friday afternoon prayers inside the U.S. Capitol following the 9/11 attacks. As Fox News later reported, Anwar al-Awlaki was not the only terror-tied Al-Qaeda cleric leading prayers for the Congressional Muslim Staff Association.

Here’s a short follow-up report that my colleague Erick Stakelbeck did that includes video footage of Awlaki leading prayers for congressional Muslim staffers (which also included then-CAIR official and now convicted terror operative Randall “Ismail” Royer) shot for a PBS documentary called, “Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet“:

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Rewind: NPR says Awlaki can “build bridges between Islam and the West”

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Patrick Poole

No doubt missing from National Public Radio’s coverage of Awlaki’s death today will be the following November 1, 2001 report by Mara Eliason, where Awlaki is quoted in contrast to Osama bin Laden as one of the “moderates who want to solve the problems without violence” and someone who could “build bridges between Islam and the West”.

The Awlaki interview begins ~1:30 in.

HT: Investigative Project

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Rewind: New York Times hailed Awlaki as “a new generation of Muslim leader”

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Patrick Poole

News that Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed in a drone strike reminds me of the praise heaped upon him by the New York Times following the 9/11 attacks when they described him as “a new generation of Muslim leader”:

Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki, spiritual leader at the Dar al-Hijra mosque in Virginia, one of the nation’s largest, which draws about 3,000 worshipers for communal prayers each Friday, said: ”In the past we were oblivious. We didn’t really care much because we never expected things to happen. Now I think things are different. What we might have tolerated in the past, we won’t tolerate any more.”

”There were some statements that were inflammatory, and were considered just talk, but now we realize that talk can be taken seriously and acted upon in a violent radical way,” said Mr. Al-Awlaki, who at 30 is held up as a new generation of Muslim leader capable of merging East and West: born in New Mexico to parents from Yemen, who studied Islam in Yemen and civil engineering at Colorado State University.

CNN is still following suit this morning, calling Awlaki an “all-American boy”. Not kidding.

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Audio: A Special Investigation on How ObamaCare Funds Health Care for Illegal Aliens

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

America’s Radio News Network anchor Chris Salcedo has put together a great special report on how ObamaCare actually does benefit illegal aliens, despite President Obama’s promise that it wouldn’t. The report is less than 6 minutes long, and full of great information about “access points” that the law sets up, and that illegal aliens can use to obtain taxpayer-funded health care. Salcedo tries to get anyone within the Health and Human Services department to go on the record, and gets stonewalled. Take a listen, here.

America’s Radio News Network is a nationally-syndicated news source now on the air across the country.

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Video: Obama Says America Has ‘Gone A Little Soft’

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Jimmy Carter 2.0 has just delivered Malaise 2.0

YouTube Preview Image

In an interview with WESH-NBC in Orlando on September 29, 2011, President of the United States Barack Obama said America has gone “soft” and needed to get “back on track” over the last couple of decades.

This president has said some dumb things, but this may well be the dumbest yet. America hasn’t “gone soft,” our economy is being strangled by over-regulation resulting, at least in part, from Obama’s own agenda. The entrepreneurs and working men and women of American will be thrilled, I’m sure, to hear a man who has never really worked in a normal job tell them that they have “gone soft” while he plots new ways to keep mis-spending their hard-earned money.

Question: Are we now, according to this administration, a nation of cowards that has gone soft?

Flashback: This is the man who says America has gone soft.

YouTube Preview Image

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Breaking: Terrorist Imam Anwar al-Awlaki Killed in Drone Air Strike

Friday, September 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

The American-born Islamic cleric who had ties to everything from 9-11 to Maj Nidal Hassan’s murderous rampage at Ft. Hood is done. He has assumed room temperature thanks to a US drone strike.

The same U.S. military counterterrorism unit that got Osama bin Laden used a drone and jet strike in Yemen on Friday to kill the U.S.-born cleric suspected of inspiring or helping plan numerous attacks on the United States, including the Christmas 2009 attempt to blow up a jetliner, U.S. and Yemeni officials said.

Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a strike on his convoy directed by the CIA and carried out with the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command’s firepower, according to a counterterrorist official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence.

His death will deal al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula a serious blow, particularly, says CBS News terrorism analyst Juan Zarate, his work to draw young Muslims into the jihadi mindset.

“His role as a propagandist actually will be very difficult to fill,” says Zarate.

Awlaki was American by birth and used his knowledge of the US, and sermons in colloquial English, to radicalize and inspire would-be terrorists. He also used the Internet to keep in contact with them, from his hideaway in Yemen. More to come.

More: Erick Stakelback looks at how Awlaki was able to influence young jihadis.

–Awlaki’s huge ideological influence on the global jihad was seen on YouTube, where he was a sensation, and in the massive movement of DVD’s and CD’s featuring his sermons. In short, he was a jihadi rock star. Look no further than northern Virginia, where I broke the story in June 2010 for CBN News that the largest Islamic supermarket in the Washington, D.C. area was selling dozens of Awlaki’s DVD’s and CD’s. As the owner of the store told me on camera: “They are very good sellers.” And just minutes from the nation’s capital. What a comforting thought. I talk about Awlaki’s influence at length in my book, The Terrorist Next Door: How the Government is Deceiving You About the Islamist Threat.

–Unlike another American-born Al Qaeda propagandist, Adam Gadahn (aka “Azzam the American”), Awlaki, who was an imam at mosques in San Diego and northern Virginia before leaving the U.S. in 2002, had major religious street cred in the radical Islamic world. In my conversation last year in London with Al Qaeda-linked, global terrorist Saad al-Faqih, he went out of his way to praise Awlaki as a religious scholar. Al Faqih, a former associate of Osama Bin Laden, would not offer such praise lightly. I believe that Awlaki’s unique blend of Westernized media savvy and religious gravitas make him, in many respects, even more difficult for Al Qaeda to replace at this stage than Osama Bin Laden.

More at the link.

More: The morally confused Glenn Greenwald wails upon the death of a dual citizen who exploited his command of English to successfully exhort young Muslims to wage war against the United States within our territory.

More: Read Patrick Poole’s posts on Awlaki, Capitol Hill and the media.

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Alabama: “Anti” Immigrant or “Pro” State Survival?

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 - by Michelle Horstman


 

Let the media spin begin, following this week’s ruling by a federal judge which allows most of the Alabama Immigration Law to go forward. On Thursday evening’s ABC World News, Diane Sawyer incorrectly referred to the law as the Alabama “Anti-Immigrant” law, which would almost give her viewers the impression that Alabama’s citizens are against people rather than for the economic survival of their state.

ABC talked with sympathetic principals and worried students. One of the students interviewed said “What is the definition on a citizen?” He clearly felt entitled to the benefits of citizenship, and who can blame him? There has been no serious enforcement of immigration law for a very long time, and ICE has refused to properly enforce it.

Strangely, when looking for an official definition of citizenship to offer this student, I found that official government sites such as the IRS still use the term “alien.” I thought we weren’t allowed to use that word anymore:

“You should first determine whether, for income tax purposes, you are a nonresident alien or a resident alien. Figure 1-A will help you make this determination.”

Wikipedia offered a basic definition which appears to require some specific guidelines for qualification as a citizen:

Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United State Constitution provides that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the juurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State Wherein they reside.”

Alabama will be attacked relentlessly by the left for enforcing the rule of law, yet no one is stepping up to take responsibility for the situation. These school kids are in this position because no one has been enforcing the immigration laws of this country, nor offering a common sense solution to the problem. Meanwhile, states are expected to absorb the overwhelming costs of support for non-citizens to the tune of $113 billion a year, according to a 2010 study:

The cost of harboring illegal immigrants in the United States is a
staggering $113 billion a year — an average of $1,117 for every
“native-headed” household in America — according to a study conducted by
the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

In addition to the economic impact, states are encouraged to turn the other way while the less-than-honorable among them break our laws and many are not deported even after breaking the law.

We may or may not agree with the version of enforcement Alabama has chosen, but it is a matter of following the rule of law and presenting the topic of immigration honestly, which MSM anchors like Diane Sawyer apparently choose not to do. You may recall back in May 2010, during the media uproar over the Arizona law, the head of ICE, John Morton, had this to say regarding enforcement:

Morton said his agency will not necessarily process illegal immigrants
referred to them by Arizona officials. The best way to reduce illegal
immigration is through a comprehensive federal approach, not a patchwork of
state laws, he said.

“I don’t think the Arizona law, or laws like it, are the solution,” Morton
said.

But that really isn’t his job, is it? ICE is to enforce law, not pick and choose. The states can’t wait for that “comprehensive federal approach” he advocates because it is not forthcoming.

Not surprisingly, overwhelming us with uncontrolled immigration appears to have been recommended by radicals as far back as the Marxist Frankfurt School (point 5 below). These rules, according to Timothy Matthews from Catholic Insight are:

1.  The creation of racism offences.
2.  Continual change to create confusion.
3.  The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children.
4.  The undermining of schools’ and teachers’ authority.
5.  Huge immigration to destroy identity.
6.  The promotion of excessive drinking.
7.  Emptying of churches.
8.  An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime.
9.  Dependency on the state or state benefits.
10. Control and dumbing down of media.
11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family.

Rather than refuse to follow the laws voted in by the representatives of this land, it seems like the sincere immigrant advocate would be working with shortening the cost and process of becoming a legal citizen rather than attacking those who want our laws enforced.

If the illegal immigration advocates are truly concerned for this segment of the population, why are they not proposing smart, common sense reform that would have a chance of passing? By refusing to address this huge and devastating problem, the federal government is forcing states to take action, yet attacking them when they do. One might think their intent could be to stir up discontent (and votes), not solve the problem nor enforce the law of the land. Maybe those who like to label others as “anti” immigrant should consider being a little more “pro” active in coming up with some real solutions.  Any ideas, Diane?

 

 

 

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Feds Demand More Wood From Gibson, Hint at Personally Targeting Its CEO

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Sour notes for a classic American company.

Federal authorities are pressuring Nashville-based Gibson Guitar    to hand over an additional 25 bundles of Indian wood that the company allegedly planned to use in its famous guitars.

The complaint was filed today in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee and mirrors a 2010 action that sought official forfeiture of wood obtained in a 2009 raid of Gibson facilities. The latter of those cases has been stayed, pending the outcome of the most recent suit.

As has been the case in previous allegations, at issue is the classification of certain wood imported to the United States from India. Namely, a June shipment of 1,250 sawn logs was classified as “finished parts of musical instruments,” which is allowed under Indian law. In reality, according to the sworn affidavit of Fish and Wildlife Service agent Kevin Seiler, the wood was unfinished – a violation of the Lacey Act.

The affidavit also outlines allegations that Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz understands the violations, as evidenced by the staunch defense of his company in a press conference and subsequent political fights around the Lacey Act.

“It is clear that Gibson understands the purpose of the Lacey Act, and understands that … fingerboard blanks are not finished fingerboards and thus Gibson is aware that its order for fingerboard blanks was an order for contraband ebony wood or ebony wood which is illegal to possess,” Seiler wrote.

Note that last part. On its face, it reads as if it’s intended to intimidate Henry Juszkiewicz into silence. Before this is over, he may be in jail for defending his company and workers, and hundreds of American non-union jobs may be shipped of to India.

Elsewhere, Fish and Wildlife is busy trying to kill the West Texas oil boom. Perhaps it’s time to kill off the Fish and Wildlife Department instead.

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Iranian Execution of Christian Convert Would Follow Islamic Law

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 - by Christian Adams

The potential execution of Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in Iran provides a stark contrast between the Judeo-Christian values of the west and the madness which governs in Tehran. Nadarkhani has been sentenced to die because he converted to Christianity from Islam.

If  Nadarkhani does hang, he will provide the world a tragic real example of two competing philosophies – one that instructs love for your enemies, and the other than imposes a death sentence on those who do. The Koran prescribes death to those who convert from Islam to Christianity, as does the Hadith.  (Koran 4:89, “slay them”; Hadith, Bukhari 52:260 “kill him.”)  Evil could not be illustrated more clearly.

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Ramirez on Gunwalker

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

The only thing missing is a pile of dead bodies. Or maybe, some smoke coming out of the barrel.

This just might be the smoking gun we’ve been waiting for to break the festering “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal wide open: the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives apparently ordered one of its own agents to purchase firearms with taxpayer money, and sell them directly to a Mexican drug cartel.

Let that sink in: After months of pretending that “Fast and Furious” was a botched surveillance operation of illegal gun-running spearheaded by the ATF and the US attorney’s office in Phoenix, it turns out that the government itself was selling guns to the bad guys.

Agent John Dodson was ordered to buy four Draco pistols for cash and even got a letter from his supervisor, David Voth, authorizing a federally licensed gun dealer to sell him the guns without bothering about the necessary paperwork.

“Please accept this letter in lieu of completing an ATF Form 4473 for the purchase of four (4) CAI, Model Draco, 7.62×39 mm pistols, by Special Agent John Dodson,” read the June 1, 2010, letter. “These aforementioned pistols will be used by Special Agent Dodson in furtherance of performance of his official duties.”

On orders, Dodson then sold the guns to known criminals, who first stashed them away and then — deliberately unhindered by the ATF or any other agency — whisked them off to Mexico.

They were selling them, but they weren’t tracking them — which was supposed to be the whole point, right? We’ve seen in recent weeks just how easy it is to track stuff. GM has been using its OnStar to track drivers, even down to second-hand owners who never even subscribed to OnStar. Apple and Google both used their phones to track cell users. Facebook has been tracking us all over the place. Heck, anybody who’s ever watched a Discovery Channel doc has probably seen the neighborhood oceanographic institute track dolphins by attaching little GPS tags to them. If these private companies can do this, surely the brains at the ATF and DOJ could have embedded GPS locators into the guns they were selling to the drug cartels. If that’s what they wanted to do. But all indications are that they didn’t do that. They violated Mexican sovereignty, ran guns to a known drug cartel on the American taxpayer’s dime, and roughly 200 people and counting are dead.

And Eric Holder just keeps locking in the silencer.

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Obama and the non-additive nature of excuses

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 - by Zombie

Seeing the hubbub over the “Change me! I Stink!” Obama mockery billboard, which makes fun of Obama’s endless excuse-making for his failures, something occurred to me:

Modern-day crime-themed reality shows like The First 48 and Dateline and America’s Most Wanted for the first time allow average folks to see how real criminals act when they’re being interviewed by cops and videotaped in interrogation rooms. In almost every instance, the criminals rely on a logical fallacy: That excuses are additive. In other words, they foolishly think that if one excuse or alibi is good, then two excuses or alibis are better, and the more you think up, the more you’ve proven your innocence.

The interviews generally go like this:

“First of all, I don’t even know what you’re talking about — I never heard about any murder. Secondly, I was in Brazil when I first learned of the shooting, so it couldn’t have been me. Thirdly, I’ve never fired a .38 caliber gun in my life. Also, I was having sex with my girlfriend in her apartment on 71st street that night, and she’ll vouch for me. Furthermore, Jimmy borrowed my .38 to kill the guy with, so if you find my fingerprints on it, that doesn’t prove anything. And you can ask the other guys — I was just driving the getaway car, so I couldn’t have been the shooter. And I didn’t even mean to shoot him — I was just waving the gun around to scare him. It was an accident. Not only that, I didn’t intend to kill him — I aimed at his knees, not his head. And lastly, officer, it was a case of self-defense: he was trying to kill me first, so I had no choice!”

“So, let me get this straight: You’ve never heard about this case AND you were in Brazil when you first found out about it AND you’ve never fired this specific murder weapon AND you were a mile away having sex with your girlfriend AND it was your gun AND you were just driving the getaway car AND it was an accident AND you just tried to injure him AND it was self-defense?”

“Yup — with so many excuses, I’ve simply got to be innocent!”

Of course, the veteran cops know that anyone who offers multiple contradictory excuses is almost certainly lying — in fact it’s the primary “tell” which identifies a liar. An innocent person just offers a single story — the truth — and does not elaborate.

Which brings us back to Obama. As the billboard so acutely points out, Obama offers up a constant cavalcade of excuses and dismissals, most of which are mutually incompatible: The Tea Party is an irrelevant extremist fringe group AND they’re so powerful that they’re holding the entire country hostage. The economy is Bush’s fault AND Europe’s fault AND it’s actually doing quite well. I’m the post-racial president AND we need to continually talk about race. There was an earthquake AND a revolution AND a bankruptcy AND things are looking quite rosy! I will cut spending AND increase spending.

Etc.

And every time he opens his mouth I flash back to those criminals in the interrogation room, and I think: He’s cornered. The “additive excuse fallacy” is the last resort of a cornered man.

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UN Flaunts its Corruption, Self-Serving Habits

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

The United Nations comes in for condemnation on a regular basis for putting human rights violators on the Human Rights Commission and so forth. How does it respond to such criticism? By doubling down, succumbing to the charms of an abusive Third World dictator and considering naming an award after him.

And to charges that the UN creates a culture of mini-potentates via lavish salaries at mostly US taxpayer expense, how does it respond? By jacking up staff salaries.

The Obama administration told the United Nations that too few of its 10,307 workers are being cut and average salaries, currently $119,000 a year, have risen “dramatically.”

The U.S. ambassador for UN management and reform, Joseph M. Torsella, said today that the proposed $5.2 billion UN budget for the next two years would scrap only 44 jobs, a 0.4 percent reduction. After an “onslaught” of add-ons, the 2012-13 budget would rise more than 2 percent to $5.5 billion, he said.

Good on the Obama administration for calling the UN out on this, but aren’t they doing the same thing on the green loans? They’re getting justifiably hammered for their failed crony corruption on Solyndra, so how do they respond? Loan out another billion to similar companies with similar political connections.

It’s not that the Obama admin and the UN aren’t learning. It’s that they just don’t care what we think.

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Iran Still on Course to Execute Christian Pastor

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Barbaric.

Nadarkhani was arrested in 2009 for the crime of apostasy because he allegedly abandoned Islam for Christianity. As a pastor, Iranian clerics believe that Nadarkhani was preaching in order to convert Muslims.

Before his last hearing Wednesday, Nadarkhani had been given three previous chances to repent, and all three times he has refused. After his final refusal Wednesday, no verdict has been announced, but many expect that he could be put to death as soon as Friday.

The case has slowly garnered international attention, and there are a number of Christian rights groups advocating for his release.

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner also has spoken out against Iran. “While Iran’s government claims to promote tolerance, it continues to imprison many of its people because of their faith. This goes beyond the law to an issue of fundamental respect for human dignity. I urge Iran’s leaders to abandon this dark path, spare [Nadarkhani's] life, and grant him a full and unconditional release,” said Boehner.

He should be released, of course, but even that may not be enough. The government may assassinate him as it does with political and religious dissidents from time to time, or the people themselves may kill him, as nearly happened in Afghanistan a few years ago. Amnesty International seems to be nearly asleep on this case. And our best and brightest clamor to have dinner with Nadarkhani’s would-be murderer — until they get called out on it, anyway.

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Biden: Barry and I Own the Economy Now

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

The Truth would like to thank VP Joe Biden for publicly recognizing it. The Obama campaign staff, however, is probably less than pleased.

Vice President Joe Biden said in a live interview with Miami public radio station WLRN Thursday that the Obama administration – not the Bush administration – now has ownership of the struggling U.S. economy.

Biden said Americans have “good reason to be upset” because they lost jobs because of the recession, “something they didn’t have a thing to do with creating.”

“Even though 50-some percent of the American people think the economy tanked because of the last administration, that’s not relevant,” said the vice president. “What’s relevant is we’re in charge.”

Until January 2013, anyway.

The Truth does consider this Biden comment to be unfinished business.

“Right now, we are the ones in charge, and it’s gotten better but it hasn’t gotten good enough,” Biden told WLRN.

Better? Unemployment is about two full points above where it was when Obama took office. The housing market is still in a depression. No one is hiring, thanks to the Obama regulatory state and ObamaCare. The only end in sight is the end of the Obama administration. Much of the damage done will live after him.

How is that “better”?

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Dinner With Obama Raffle Now $5.00 — Up From $3.00 Yesterday

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 - by Myra Adams
2012
Friend –A few months ago, I had the privilege of calling four people to tell them they had been selected to have dinner with President Obama.Everyone I spoke to said the same thing:”You’re kidding.”Of course, I wasn’t. The campaign is holding these dinners for supporters like you whenever we can. They’re a chance for some of the people who are building this campaign to connect with the President, and a way for the President to meet you, too.

In a few weeks, I’ll make four more calls, and you could be one of them.

Donate $5 or more today and you’ll be automatically entered for the chance to have dinner with the President and three other supporters:

https://donate.barackobama.com/Dinner

Good luck,

Martha

Martha Patzer
Obama for America

CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S $3.00 CAMPAIGN EMAIL DINNER OFFER FROM MICHELLE OBAMA.

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2011/09/28/this-dinner-campaign-email-title-from-michelle-obama/

DID THE FOOD JUST GET $2.00 BETTER?

ARE THE OBAMAS GETTING CLASSIER?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cain Rises, And Then He Gaffes

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

That seems to be the pattern here. A few weeks back, Herman Cain was on the upswing until he said he wouldn’t appoint any Muslims to his administration. He had to walk that back. That comment plus Bachmann’s strong debate performance and Perry’s entry relegated Cain back to the second tier of candidates.

Now, he’s on a strong upswing again, but he’s saying that as things stand now he can’t support Rick Perry if he is the GOP nominee.

Herman Cain said Wednesday that he would be unable to support Rick Perry for president if the Texas governor were to eventually win the party’s nomination.

“Today, I could not support Rick Perry as the nominee for a host of reasons,” Cain said on CNN.

He cited specifically Perry’s support for in-state tuition breaks for the children of illegal immigrants.

That’s silly. As governor, Mitt Romney did nothing about sanctuary cities and signed RomneyCare into law. He governed from the center-left and left no conservative legacy to speak of in Massachusetts. In his Senate campaign, he claimed to have been an independent during the Reagan years, implying that he’s no Reaganite. Why does he get a pass from Cain but Perry doesn’t? All of the candidates have an issue or two in their backgrounds. All of them. Declaring one of the front-runners off-limits is unwise. The goal is unseating Obama. Right now, Rick Perry is probably a little above a 50% shot to be the nominee. I expect that Cain will be walking this back before too long.

But this pattern does point to the problem of political inexperience. Having outsiders run for office is good and healthy, but they tend to be unprepared for the intense scrutiny of a national campaign. Obama benefited from a love affair with the press that no one else, perhaps especially Herman Cain, can expect to benefit from. Cain is a massive threat to the entire Democrat mentality; the media will do everything it can to shred him if he is the nominee. Saying provocative things like Cain’s comment is great for talk radio, which is the world Cain has been in for several years now, but it’s treacherous when you’re running for the highest office in the land. It tends to blow up the candidate who says it, not the one who was targeted.

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Kiss of Death? David Frum Hearts Mitt Romney

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Editorial note to David Frum: Just because you assert that something is so, that doesn’t make it so.

Rick Perry isn’t up to the job. Chris Christie isn’t coming to the rescue. Republicans must accept that the candidate they want is right in front of them

Rick Perry has been governor of Texas, which boasts the 13th largest economy in the world, for 10 years. Contrary to the “four aces” mantra of his opponent, Perry inherited a state that was in transition from Democratic rule to Republican dominance and was not yet an economic powerhouse. Perry not only didn’t derail that transition, he sped it up and strengthened it by keeping government small and by keeping that government out of Texans’ faces as much as possible. Texas was the last state into the recession and the first one out of it. How again is Perry not “up to the job?”

By the way, that’s just the article’s subheading. The whole piece is of similar quality.

1) Given the dreadful economic conditions, the Democrats will have no choice in 2012 but to run a negative campaign against the Republican alternative. Message: “We may have disappointed you on jobs, but they will take away your Medicare, Social Security, and unemployment insurance.”

Of all the Republicans in the field, Romney is least vulnerable to this line of attack. He did not associate himself with the Ryan plan to withdraw the Medicare guarantee from people under age 55. He did not denounce Social Security as a “monstrous lie.” He has not condemned the unemployed as layabouts.

But he is deeply associated with RomneyCare. And he has shown, through his Social Security rhetoric, that he isn’t serious about entitlement reform. In fact, Romney’s attacks undermine the case for entitlement reform. But Perry isn’t up to the job?

2) After the campaign comes the presidency. Who can believe that Rick Perry has the wherewithal to do that job? The global financial crisis still rages about us. Just ahead: Debt defaults in Europe. After that? Perhaps the popping of China’s real-estate bubble. What else? Who knows?

The person you want in that job in such a time is someone with a deep understanding of finance and economics. The U.S. is paying dearly now for electing in 2008 a president who lacked such understanding, despite many other fine qualities. As a result (as Ron Suskind now reports), economic decision-making in the Obama White House degenerated into a struggle between advisers to sway a more or less passive president.

What are these “other fine qualities” that Obama possesses? His pants crease? His attention to NCAA basketball brackets? His inability to say more than 30 words without a teleprompter? His total failure as a stuttering mess of a president?

And again, merely asserting that Perry isn’t up to the job doesn’t make it so. Romney did a fine job on the Olympics and has a deep business resume, but was only governor of MA for four years. They’re both more qualified than Obama by a long shot. Asserting that Perry isn’t up to the job is not only contrary to the facts, it undermines the case for Perry should he win the nomination. But this is moderate Frum, tearing down the conservative cause at every turn to build up a weak case for someone he prefers for largely cultural reasons.

3) Mitt Romney is the Republican candidate best positioned to respond effectively to the challenge bequeathed by Barack Obama’s health-care reform.

Now that’s just funny. Whatever Romney’s other qualifications are, RomneyCare is not one of them. His having signed that into law for MA opens him to charges of flip-flopping, of caving in to the left, of failing to defend citizens from the state, and of being economically illiterate. That doesn’t help.

There is a good case to be made for Mitt Romney. David Frum hasn’t made it, not even close.

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