Saturday, August 31, 2013

Charles Krauthammer: Obama Made U.S. Look Like it 'Chickened Out' of Military Strike on Syria

There's no other conclusion.

As I noted earlier today, there's no coherent reason why Obama needs to go to Congress for legislative authorization. The president could act under his powers as Commander-in-Chief, give notice to Congress under the War Powers Act, and that would have been it. Should the mission require a long-term presence, he then could have gone before the nation to make the case, and then have asked for a congressional resolution.

But listen to Krauthammer, who pulls no punches in slamming Obama for further weakening America in the eyes of the world.

At Scared Monkeys, "Charles Krauthammer Slams Obama … “It’s Amateur Hour” … “Obama Boxed Himself into a Corner …" (via Memeorandum).

#Vegas Beggar Dude Needs a Beer

My kinda panhandler, on the bridge between the MGM Grand and New York New York hotels, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Vegas Dude Needs a Beer photo photo-27_zps23bbe87c.jpg

I'm in Vegas for the holiday weekend with my wife and youngest boy. I've been posting photos and commentary to Twitter.

Overdue Rule 5

I should soon get back to posting my big Rule 5 roundups, but today I wanted to mostly throw some linkage to Dana Pico, who has been very generous in linking American Power.

Sabine photo BTBMbP-CYAEjXyi_zps75022ab3.jpg
So here we go, over at First Street Journal, "From Around the Blogroll."

Also, "With liberals, the first casualty is always the truth."

And see, "Rule 5 Blogging: From Portugal."


Now, for some limited Rule 5 linkage:

See Subject to Change, "Rule 5 in the Kitchen."

And at Pirate's Cove, "If All You See……is an evil plastic bottle that’s evil not because they make a mess of the environment, but because of CO2, you might just be a Warmist."

And at Randy's Roundtable, "Thursday Nite Tart (on Wednesday) - In my opinion the hottest model on the planet bar none..."

And from Proof Positive, "Friday Night Babe: Doutzen Kroes!"

Also at Drunken Stepfather, "STEPLINKS OF THE DAY."

And ICYMI, at the Other McCain, "Bitches Be Cray-Cray: A Heteropatriarchal Theory of Non-Transformative Justice."

PHOTO: Sabine Jemeljanova.

NOTICE: Ima try posting Rule 5 roundups more frequently, so if you're looking from some linkage drop your babes at the comments. Or send them to me by email. (This invitation does not apply to depraved troll rights harassers, who will be reported to the proper authorities for criminal stalking and intimidation.)

President Barack O-Bomba Goes to War

President O-Bomba: The biggest left-wing antiwar hypocrite, now the Commander-in-Chief who's war policy is completely incoherent.

At least this gives the ANSWER Stalinists a fresh issue for their never-ending campaign against racist American imperial aggression.

See, "Hands Off Syria - Take action against U.S. intervention!"

And more on antiwar public opinion at Guardian UK, "President Obama should listen to US and UK public: don't strike Syria."

Obama Wants Congressional Approval for Syria Strike

At the Hill, "Obama to seek congressional approval for Syrian military strike" (via Memeorandum).

And at the Wall Street Journal, "Obama Seeks Congressional Backing for Syria Strike":

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama said Saturday he is prepared to take military action if necessary against Syria for the alleged use of chemical weapons against its own people, but said he will seek authorization from Congress before moving forward.

"This menace must be confronted," Mr. Obama vowed in an address from the White House Rose Garden, arguing for using force to punish the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Not acting, he said, "risks making a mockery of the global prohibition on the use of chemical weapons."

"I'm ready to act in the face of this outrage. Today I am asking Congress to send a message to the world that we are ready to move forward together as one nation," Mr. Obama said.

The president has faced criticism on the political left and right, with some lawmakers arguing against a military response and others demanding more information about any U.S. mission in advance of a presidential order. House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), in particular, had pushed Mr. Obama to consult with Congress about his plans for military action.

Mr. Obama said he's talked with leaders in Congress and they've agreed to schedule a debate on using force as soon as they return from their August recess on Sept. 9, though lawmakers could be called back earlier.

The president said the effectiveness of any U.S. military strike, which he vowed would be limited, is "not time sensitive."

"It could be effective tomorrow, or next week or one month from now," Mr. Obama said. He said he is aware that the United Nations and some countries may not agree with his decision. He said he's prepared to go forward without their approval.

Not acting, he said, could lead to an escalation of chemical-weapons use and embolden countries that are seeking to build nuclear weapons.

Mr. Obama's comments follow a week of high tensions about whether the U.S. would strike Syria. And it comes after the administration made a public argument for a forceful American response and took the unusual step of making public evidence from the intelligence community that it had "high confidence" the Assad regime deployed chemical weapons against civilians on Aug. 21.
I don't know. The congressional politics of this won't be conducive to quick military action nor to our military objectives. But hey, there's little popular support, so O-Bomba has no choice.

More at the Los Angles Times, "Getting Congress to OK military action in Syria could be tough."

Friday, August 30, 2013

Mia Farrow Slams 'British Bystanders'

She's a humanitarian interventionist.

At Twitchy, "Mia Farrow slams ‘British bystanders’ over Parliament’s Syria vote."

She got some pushback. Looks like she deleted the tweet.

Nancy Pelosi Opposed Persian Gulf War, Iraq War, the Surge — Yet She's Now Shamelessly Beating the Drums for War in Syria

Years ago I came to the belated realization that Democrats are traitors to America on the question of national security (and on other questions as well, no doubt).

President Obama, of course, throughout his entire career, has possessed not one ounce of credibility on matters of war and peace. Recall that as a candidate for president in 2007 he was farther to the left and more antiwar than any other Democrat seeking the party's nomination. His hypocrisy on America's national security interests is a total abomination and the supreme miracle feat of political posturing and opportunism. Disgusting.

Secretary of State John Kerry this week denounced Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons as a "moral atrocity" of world historical proportions, and has implored the international community to stand up to Syria's assault on "civilization." But in 2004, as Democrat Party standard-bearer for the office of the presidency, running against vigorous war leader President George W. Bush, he denounced the war in Iraq after having voted in 2002 to authorize the deployment as member of the U.S. Senate: "I don't believe the president took us to war as he should have."

And now we have the words of that arch antiwar Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the current House Minority Leader in Congress, and total hypocrite on anything dealing with the nation's security.

At WaPo, "Pelosi urges military response to Syria."

And at Politico, "Nancy Pelosi the hawk tells President Obama to act on Syria" (via Memeorandum):

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pressed top administration officials Thursday night to take military action to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad in response to reports that he used chemical weapons in his nation’s ongoing civil war.

“It is clear that the American people are weary of war. However, Assad gassing his own people is an issue of our national security, regional stability and global security,” Pelosi said in a statement after the 90-minute conference call with members of the National Security Council and 26 high-ranking lawmakers.
Rank hypocrisy.

Pelosi boasts perhaps the most consistent antiwar war record of any current member of Congress (see Wikipedia). In 1991 she opposed the U.S. move to eject Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, a war that would ultimately be approved by an overwhelming margin in the Congress, and would win Security Council backing at the United Nations (heralding a "new world order" in the emerging post-Cold War international system). Pelosi also voted against the 2002 Iraq war authorization, and in 2007 she opposed the Bush administration's new counterinsurgency program in Iraq --- "the surge" --- that within a year had stemmed the tide of terrorist violence and allowed the United States to wind down the war.

But in 2013 Pelosi is all gung-ho, arguing that Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons is so egregious that even a "war weary" nation should fall in line behind the administration's headlong rush to conflict.

Sorry, but this is extreme partisanship and political posturing of the worst kind. It's no wonder that support for Congress and this president is at historic lows. This shameless Democrat Party warmongering marks a new milestone in wag the dog political expediency.

See more on this from Daniel Greenfield at FrontPage, "Liberal Hypocrisy in Iraq and Syria":
Democrats vociferously opposed any plan to stop the flow of terrorists from Syria into Iraq. Now they are about to fight Assad anyway in support of their own twisted Muslim Brotherhood version of regime change.

The anti-war party has become the war party and in a supreme irony, its cause for a new war is the familiar one of stopping a Baath Party regime from using weapons of mass destruction against civilians.

Everything old is new again and every hypocrisy rises again to become policy. In New Hampshire, Howard Dean is reportedly sniffing around his presidential prospects and in Washington [Nancy Pelosi], John Kerry, Chuck Hagel and Barack Obama will begin a war that they were against… before they were for it.
More at Memorandum.

Images From Syria Chemical Weapons Attacks

One of the key videos that has convinced the U.S. that military action is required, at Foreign Policy, "U.S. Spies, Experts: Chemical Weapons Likely in Syria Attack":

And see this update, "The Witnesses":
The local activists who filmed these videos, then, have accomplished what years of hectoring from the official Syrian opposition have been unable to do -- bring the world to the brink of military intervention against Bashar al-Assad's regime. The conflict's steadily mounting death toll -- now at over 100,000, and climbing rapidly -- failed to spur international action; the images of dead children lined up in neat rows following the attack, however, appeared to have served as a gut punch to the world's conscience. And the sense of outrage may be so great that it will propel the United States into war.

The amateur Syrian videographers' accomplishment, however, came at a high cost.

Activist Razan Zaitouneh, who runs the Violations Documentation Center in Syria, tells FP that her team sped to the Damascus suburb of Zamalka immediately after a chemical weapons attack was reported there on Aug. 21. The media staff of Zamalka's local coordination committee, which is responsible for filming videos in the area and uploading them to the world, also sped to the scene. According to Zaitouneh, all but one of them paid with their lives.

"The chemical attacks, on the first day of the massacre, claimed the lives of many media activists in Zamalka coordination because they inhaled the chemical toxic gases," Murad Abu Bilal, the sole survivor, told Zaitouneh in an interview uploaded to -- what else -- YouTube. "[T]hey went out to shoot and collect information about the chemical attack, but none of them came back."
A high cost indeed.

But continue reading.

Lisa Daftari on Strategic Implications of U.S. Strike on Syria

A great discussion.

I'm increasingly impressed with Ms. Daftari's analysis.

Presidential Authority for Decision on Use of Force

I don't pay much attention to all the attacks, from both right and left, on the administration's push to war, and especially the so-called requirement that the president act only with the approval of Congress. Frankly, the executive can authorize military action without legislative approval, especially airstrikes. A longer deployment does require congressional action, but at this point the focus should be on the evidence for the administration's case for the attack on Syria. What hard intelligence provides the smoking gun of Assad's use of chemical weapons? The burden should be particular heavy for the left, people who are reflexively antiwar when a Republican is in office. While some on the left are rightly critical of the push to war, there's no shortage of depraved partisan hacks bootlicking the Democrat White House, pathetically giving the disgusting Obama-Dem hypocrites a pass.

In any case, the Wall Street Journal nails it here, "Congress Finds It Tough to Block Military Action in Syria: Historically, the President Has Exercised Wide Latitude Over Military Actions":

WASHINGTON—Lawmakers of both parties have been voicing reservations over using force in Syria, but if President Barack Obama directs the U.S. military to punish Bashar al-Assad's regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons, Congress has little chance of stopping him.

The Constitution assigns most of the nation's war powers to Congress, including authority to "raise and support armies," "maintain a navy," punish "offenses against the law of nations" and "declare war" itself.

In contrast, the president's sole military function is that of "commander in chief" of the armed forces.

But historically, the president has exercised wide latitude over military actions, often with minimal involvement from Congress. A 2011 Congressional Research Service report lists hundreds of overseas deployments since 1798, only 11 of which were wars declared by Congress. Other instances were authorized by congressional statutes or resolutions, sometimes retroactively, or never approved by Congress at all.

Over the years, "Congress has not insisted on its meaningful involvement in many uses of force," and therefore has ceded some of its power, said Mary Dudziak, director of the Project on War and Security in Law, Culture and Society at Emory Law School in Atlanta.

The Obama administration presented its case for possible military action against Syria to congressional leaders in a 90-minute, unclassified briefing in a conference call Thursday evening.

Congress last asserted its independent war powers in the early 1970s, when bipartisan majorities moved decisively to end the Vietnam War and, they hoped, prevent future presidents from unilaterally committing the U.S. to conflicts that would be difficult to end. In 1973, Congress ended funding for the war in Indochina and, over President Richard Nixon's veto, passed the War Powers Resolution.

The resolution requires the president to notify lawmakers within 48 hours of sending armed forces into "hostilities" and to "terminate" such operations within a maximum of 90 days unless Congress specifically authorizes the deployment. The executive branch has disputed whether Congress can impose such limits on the president, but as a practical matter the measure hasn't prevented a host of military operations over the past 40 years.

The waters are muddied further by international law. In the case of Syria, legal experts have raised serious doubts over whether foreign intervention, even to protect civilians, is consistent with international law absent authorization from the United Nations Security Council.

But the U.S., which invaded Iraq in 2003 without Security Council backing or a claim that it was responding to an immediate threat of attack, has refused to let the international community determine how it asserts its national interests.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan sent U.S. forces to capture the Caribbean island nation of Grenada, where American medical students were considered in jeopardy, without authorization from Congress, much less the U.N. In 1999, President Bill Clinton ordered an air campaign to protect civilians in Kosovo from Yugoslav attacks, likewise acting solely on his own authority.

Past practice, along with the Constitution's own vague definitions of war powers, essentially gives the president a free hand to act as he sees fit, at least initially, said William H. Taft IV, who served as deputy secretary of defense in the Reagan administration and as the State Department's chief lawyer under President George W. Bush.

But if Mr. Obama wants operations against the Syrian regime "to go on for a long time, he'd better get support and he'd better explain what he thinks we're doing," Mr. Taft said.

The Obama administration takes a similar view.

In justifying the 2011 air operations in Libya, the Justice Department argued that Congress itself had "implicitly recognized" a long tradition of executive primacy in military operations, at least for deployments of short duration.
More at that top link.

PREVIOUSLY: "Secretary of State John Kerry Statement on Syria."

Secretary of State John Kerry Statement on Syria

At the Los Angeles, "John Kerry says Syria chemical attack killed at least 1,429 people":

WASHINGTON -- Unveiling a U.S. intelligence report on Syria’s use of chemical weapons, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Friday the evidence shows President Bashar Assad’s government killed at least 1,429 of its own citizens in a “crime against humanity” that demands an international response.

Kerry, trying to overcome doubts about the Obama's administration’s anticipated military strike on Syria, said the intelligence community has documented with “high confidence,” from “thousands of sources,” that Syrian forces prepared for days to attack entrenched rebel forces and then, on Aug. 21, fired gas-filled shells that killed at least 426 children, as well as adults.

“This is evidence,” Kerry said in an appearance at the State Department. “These are facts. The primary question is what are we ... going to do about it?”
Kerry’s statement came at a time when the British government has pulled back its earlier support for any U.S.-led retaliatory strike, and some other governments and U.S. lawmakers are demanding more time to consider whether the evidence justifies an attack on Assad. But while some American and foreign officials have concluded that the evidence is not airtight, Kerry insisted that it is.

He said the intelligence community has evidence of the Syrian army’s careful preparations for the attack, including the way it ordered soldiers to put on gas masks.

Evidence also shows that the rockets were fired only from government-controlled areas, and only struck rebel-held zones, Kerry said. Also discovered was a record of a senior Syrian official confirming that the government used chemical weapons, he said.

Kerry added that the Obama administration has other evidence it can’t reveal to the public or lawmakers because it would put at risk intelligence “sources and methods.”

U.S. officials have signaled that a retaliatory cruise-missile attack on Syria could begin as early as Saturday night.
Also, at the Washington Post, "FULL TRANSCRIPT: Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks on Syria on Aug. 30." (Via Memeorandum.)

British Parliament Rejects Military Action Against Syria

This is big.

At WSJ, "U.K. Parliament Rejects Syria Action":

LONDON—The U.K. vote against military strikes in Syria is a tough blow to Prime Minister David Cameron's domestic political fortunes.

Since taking office in 2010, he has on numerous occasions been undercut not just from opposition parties, but also from rebel elements within both his own Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats, the junior member of the U.K.'s governing coalition.

That was the combination that once again hurt Mr. Cameron late Thursday. The government lost a vote—by a tally of 285 to 272—that would have supported in principle military intervention in Syria, where Western governments have said President Bashar al-Assad's regime carried out a deadly chemical-weapons attack on civilians last week. Members of all major parties—including Mr. Cameron's Tories—opposed the measure.

Mr. Cameron said it is clear that the British Parliament, reflecting the view of the British people, doesn't want to see the U.K. get involved in military action and "the government will act accordingly."

The outcome marks a significant moment in British politics—it is highly unusual for a prime minister to be defeated on foreign policy and raises the prospect of whether the U.K.'s role on the world stage going forward.

It is also a rare setback for U.S.-U.K. relations that will spur questions about the so-called "special relationship" between the two nations. In recent decades, the U.K. has rarely if ever parted ways with the U.S. on such a significant strategic issue.

While the government doesn't require parliamentary approval to take military action, it would now be politically difficult to do so. A further parliamentary vote had been due to take place early next week on whether the U.K. should be directly involved in that action. A spokesman for the prime minister confirmed that the U.K. now won't take part in the Syrian action.

The outcome of the U.K. vote could make it more difficult for President Barack Obama and other Western allies—already weary from years of difficult military intervention in the Middle East—to convince their own publics of the need for intervention in Syria.

Mr. Cameron's defense secretary, Philip Hammond, said the U.S. "will be disappointed that Britain won't be involved." Mr. Hammond, speaking in an interview with British Broadcasting Corp., said he still expected other countries to continue to look at a response.

The setback also raises questions about Mr. Cameron's authority. The prime minister, who wasn't required to hold a parliamentary vote but chose to, had personally laid out his case at length to parliament earlier in the day about why military action was needed and why it would be justified, citing humanitarian grounds and the need to prevent the use of chemical weapons in the future.
Still more at that top link.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lisa Kennedy Montgomery

That's former MTV VJ "Kennedy," who is interviewed by Ed Driscoll, at PJ Media, "Interview: Former VJ Kennedy Looks Back at the Golden Age of MTV Through Rose-Colored Glasses."

Michelle Malkin Eviscerates Democrat 'Rank, Steaming Hypocrisy' on Congressional Authorization for Syria Strike

Another phenomenal segment on Hannity's last night:

More at BuzzFeed, "Obama and Biden Have Said Military Action Without Congressional Approval Is Unconstitutional."

Obama-Democrat Racism

From Arnold Ahlert, at FrontPage Magazine, "Obama: Back to the Racist Future":
America is enduring an ever-increasing spiral of heinous black-on-white violence. Less than a week after 22-year-old Australian baseball player Christopher Lane was allegedly executed by three “bored” wannabe gang-bangers, 88-year-old World War II veteran Delbert “Shorty” Belton was allegedly beaten to death by two 16-year-old black American teens, Demetrius Glenn and Kenan D. Adams-Kinard, both of whom have histories of violent crime. In Poughkeepsie, NY, 20-year-old Javon Tyrek Rogers has been charged with first degree murder and first degree burglary in the killing of 99-year-old Fannie Gumbinger. On August 13, two black male youths and their female accomplice were charged with robbing and killing 27-year-old David Santucci in Memphis, TN. Despite these and other incidents, President Obama, Democrats, and the usual gaggle of racial arsonists remain conspicuously silent. That is no accident. All of them have a vested interest in turning back the clock on race relations and they have all played a role in where we are today.

Despite their selective caution in bringing race politics into cases such as those mentioned above, President Obama and his race agitator allies have no problem whatsoever with rushing to judgment and rashly injecting themselves into highly sensitive and controversial situations. Recall when Cambridge police arrested Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. Obama said it was self-evident that the department “acted stupidly” for arresting someone at their own house, ceding to the narrative that the police likely only arrested Gates because he was black and therefore suspicious. In fact, the police only arrested Gates because he embarked on an enraged tirade and became belligerent and disorderly.

In the Trayvon Martin case, Obama contended a son of his would look like Martin, or that he himself could have been Martin “35 years ago.” In his second speech regarding Martin, Obama did comment on the reality of runaway violence committed overwhelmingly by black American males, but then excused the behavior because “some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history.”

Meanwhile, the president’s solutions for stemming the violence implied that “the system” was to blame and that it needed to be fixed. Obama urged his followers to ”work with law enforcement about training at the state and local levels in order to reduce the kind of mistrust in the system that sometimes currently exists” and “to examine some state and local laws to see if it–if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than diffuse potential altercations.”

Perhaps the president could explain how “mistrust in the system” caused two black 16-year-olds to douse a 13-year-old white boy with gasoline and set him on fire in Kansas City in March of 2012. Or why a group of black neighbors brutally assaulted Matthew Owen with with bats, brass knuckles, a chair, a paint can and other objects “for Trayvon” in Mobile, AL in April of 2012. Or why six “bored” black youths beat a 46-year-old white Ohio man so savagely last August that they may face additional charges in the man’s death this past July. Or why 18-year-old De’Marquise Elkins allegedly murdered 13-month-old Antonio Santiago. Or why three 15-year-old black teens brutally beat up a 13-year-old white teen on a Florida school bus earlier this month.

None of those incidents, or the disturbing phenomenon of black flash mob attacks on whites that regularly occur in cities such as Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago, Milwaukee, or Washington, D.C. had anything to do with the “system,” nor did they merit a single word of condemnation from the president, or any other the demagogues who usually seek to turn any incident of white on black crime into a national conversation — a one-sided conversation that is invariably an indictment of an irredeemably racist America itself.

These race agitators, however, never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity to put the blame exactly where it belongs, namely, on the legions of violent thugs who commit murder and mayhem without the slightest hint of remorse. As for the poverty and dysfunction that allegedly underpins this mayhem, it’s about time the Democratic Party owned up to the reality that no one has facilitated that history more than Democrats themselves, courtesy of Great Society programs that incentivized the destruction of the nuclear family, and an out-of-wedlock birth rate in the black American community that has now reached 73 percent.

Furthermore, Democrats can’t plead ignorance about those consequences. They were warned by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who wrote ”The Negro Family: The Case for National Action” in 1965. “There is one unmistakable lesson in American history,” Moynihan said, “a community that allows a large number of men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring rational expectations about the future–that community asks for and gets chaos.” Naturally, Moynihan was excoriated and his report was dismissed as “racist propaganda.”

Nearly 50 years later, nothing in that regard has changed. Even as the chaos and social disintegration occurring on a routine basis in many black American communities continues, anyone who challenges the Democratic contention that black Americans are largely victims of forces beyond their control — all of which require big-government solutions implemented by Democrats — is branded a racist. But few things are more racist, hypocritical and immoral than the political party that founded the KKK espousing a mode of governance that has robbed millions of black American youths of their dignity, integrity and, ultimately, their decency, while they themselves look the other way and lead lynch mobs against racial scapegoats.
Still more at that top link.

The Economist on Race Relations in America

Probably the best thing I've read on the 50th anniversary.

See, "Chasing the dream":
HIS name adorns schools, streets, bridges and colossal biographies. Almost as soon as they can talk, American children are taught to revere Martin Luther King. His message was a simple clarification of America’s founding promise, that “all men are created equal” and have a right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. That means everyone, he explained. He put it best on August 28th 1963, ad-libbing before a crowd in Washington, DC: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”

In the 50 years since then, America has changed beyond recognition (see article). Under Jim Crow, blacks in the South risked lynching if they tried to register to vote. They were forced to use separate and inferior water fountains and schools. They were locked in lowly occupations: in 1940, 60% of black women with jobs were domestic servants.

Now, African-Americans are more likely to vote than any other racial group, at least if Barack Obama is on the ballot. White bias against non-white candidates is hard to detect. The governor of lily-white Massachusetts is black; Mr Obama won more of the white vote in 2008 than John Kerry did in 2004. In King’s day, inter-racial love was illegal in many states. Today, 15% of new marriages cross racial lines; for black men, the number is 24%. In King’s day, segregation was the law in the South and the norm in the North. Today, “all-white neighbourhoods are effectively extinct”, finds a recent study by Edward Glaeser and Jacob Vigdor, and segregation is declining in all 85 of America’s largest metropolitan areas. No one today finds it odd to see blacks running big cities (Washington, Philadelphia, Denver) or big companies (Merck, Xerox, American Express) or playing God on the silver screen (Morgan Freeman). Black earnings shot up after the civil-rights revolution, both in absolute terms and relative to white.

Progress, interrupted

Yet in recent years economic progress has stalled. Between 2000 and 2011, black median household income fell from 64% to 58% of the white figure. The wealth gap is even more alarming. Because mortgaged homes make up more of poorer people’s wealth, the gap widened dramatically after the housing bubble burst. In 2005 white families’ median net worth was 11 times that of blacks; in 2009 it was 20 times. On other measures, too, blacks fare poorly. Many struggle in school: the average black 17-year-old reads and manipulates numbers about as well as a white 13-year-old. Many fall foul of the law: by the age of 30-34 one black man in ten is behind bars; the figure for white men is one in 61. And the traditional black family has collapsed since King’s day. In the 1960s many thought it a crisis that nearly 25% of black children were born out of wedlock. Today it is 72% (for whites, 29%), and most of these children are being raised by mothers who are truly alone, not cohabiting.
Continue reading.

Don't care much for the proposal for "prison reform." Otherwise, an excellent leader.

'A Communist is the enemy of all mankind, an idolator of evil, the acolyte of a mass-murder cult. Never condescend to “debate” such creatures. No wise man debates a rabid dog...'

Well, I had this one at the sidebar blog-item finder, but I couldn't stop laughing at the end of this entry, when Mr. Ross Pannebecker, in an email to Robert Stacy McCain, writes:
Being a communist does not make you a bad person, any more than being a capitalist does.

Yep. But read it all at the link.


Behati Prinsloo

The new gal for Victoria's Secret.

We're getting close (or, well, closer) to that time of year.

More at London's Daily Mail, "'Big personalities and big hair': Angels Behati Prinsloo and Erin Heatherton reveal what REALLY goes on behind the scenes at a Victoria's Secret show." And at New York Daily News, "'Secret' to stunner Behati Prinsloo's style? Go braless!"

'I Have Not Made a Decision' on Syria

The president's interview on PBS last night (via Memeorandum):

Syrian Electronic Army Hacks New York Times, PuffHo, and Twitter

Here's Rusty Shackleford, "World's Smallest Violin: NYT, HuffPo Hacked by Syrians."

And following the links takes us to WSJ, "NYT, Twitter and HuffPo Attacked by Syrian Electronic Army."

Some of this took place during 12:45pm World Politics class. I was trying to load the New York Times and I knew the site had been hacked again.

Here's the story at the Old Gray Lady, "Times Site Is Disrupted in Attack by Hackers."

Nidal Malik Hasan Sentenced to Death

A just and overly-deserved sentence.


A Better Way to Honor Dr. King's Dream

From John McWhorter, at the Wall Street Journal:
On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, we will hear a good deal about how life in this country for black Americans has not changed as much as Martin Luther King Jr. might have wished. We will hear little to nothing about the role that certain strains of black progressive ideology have played in delaying the realization of King's dream.

"It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro," King announced from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963. He was right, and America knew it. The following year, segregation was outlawed with the Civil Rights Act. The year after, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.

It is easy to forget what an awesome moral landmark it was for an oppressed group to force the larger society to outlaw barriers to its success. But the victory of the 1964 and 1965 laws had an even greater impact than prohibiting segregation and racial discrimination in voter registration: It changed the culture. Personal racist sentiment rapidly became socially proscribed. The Norman Lear sitcoms of the early 1970s, in which bigoted whites were regularly held up to ridicule, would have been unthinkable just 10 years before.

But "the struggle," as civil-rights veterans term the fight against racial discrimination, was hardly over. Practices and attitudes change slowly. As a black man, I can attest that as late as 1986 I was transparently denied a summer job at a restaurant in New Jersey simply because of my skin color.

However, in the decades since the March on Washington, black America has been taken on a detour by too many self-described progressive black thinkers and leaders, whose quixotic psycho-social experiment they disguise as a continuation of the civil-rights movement. With segregation illegal and public racism considered a moral outrage, we black Americans are now told that we will not truly overcome until Americans don't even harbor private racist sentiment, until race plays not even a subtle role in America's social fabric.

In other words, our current battle is no longer against segregation or bigotry but "racism" of the kind that can be revealed only by psychological experiments and statistical studies.

This battle is as futile as seeking a world without germs. "We have come to the nation's capital to cash a check," King said. But the preacher was talking about being freed from "the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination"—not asking whether Americans are aware of skin color or are more likely to associate black faces with negative words in an experiment.

Along these lines, the term "institutional racism," which the Black Power movement injected into the lexicon in the late 1960s, is more damaging to the black psyche than the n-word or any crude jokes about plantations or food stamps. The term encourages blacks to think of society—in which inequality, while real, is complex and faceless—as actively and reprehensibly racist in the same way that Archie Bunker was. The result is visceral bitterness toward something that can't feel or think.

Equally distracting is the notion that America needs a "conversation" about race, one in which whites submit to a lesson from blacks about so-called institutional racism. "Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening," King told us in his speech. What we awaken to now is the rudeness of idle talk, of those who blow off steam by demanding a "conversation" that will not bear fruit—look no further than President Clinton's national effort on that front in the late 1990s—and in any case wouldn't provide greater opportunity to any poor person.

The "conversation" idea is fundamentally passive because it assumes that what black people need most is for white people to think better of them and more about them. So why does it command such allegiance among blacks? Because it channels the idea that our most urgent task is to speak truth to power, rather than to help black people who need it. Too many suppose that the two tasks are still the same as they were in 1963, when the reality is now quite different...
A great piece.

Continue reading.

And see WSJ's editorial on Obama's speech yesterday on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, "Government and Segregation: A history note for President Obama: Bull Connor was not a libertarian."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

U.S., U.K. Face Delays in Push to Strike Syria

Well, it was looking like a headlong rush to war there for a second.

But see the Wall Street Journal:

President Barack Obama declared that the Syrian government carried out a deadly chemical weapons attack on civilians last week and must pay the price, capping a day of stalled diplomacy that suggested any military strikes could be delayed.

Mr. Obama cautioned that he hasn't yet decided whether to launch an attack, saying in an interview with PBS that he wants to send a shot across Syria's bow without drawing the U.S. into a long conflict.

Syria and Iran warned Wednesday of regional chaos should the U.S. launch strikes on Syria, and threatened to retaliate against Israel.

Mr. Obama's comments capped a day in which the U.S. and British push to gain approval for military strikes appeared to meet with resistance and possible delays. They also appeared to moderate U.S. officials' earlier signals that an attack could be mounted "in coming days" in response to what they call clear-cut indications that Syria used chemical weapons in attacks around Damascus early on Aug. 21. Activists and residents say more than 1,000 people died in the attacks.

The current Syria debate recalled the positions of the U.S. and U.K. in 2003, when the countries built a case for going to war with Iraq, arguing that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, and ultimately invaded without a U.N. Security Council resolution. The U.S. was heavily criticized for entering into what became a yearslong campaign based on false intelligence.

American and British officials argue that the case of Syria is different, instead drawing parallels to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization attacks on Kosovo. The U.S. has said it isn't planning a ground invasion, but officials have suggested they could mount strikes against key military bases of President Bashar al-Assad from ships in the Mediterranean Sea. The intention of any strike, they have said, isn't to topple Mr. Assad but to diminish his military capability.

Late Wednesday in the U.K., Prime Minister David Cameron's government agreed to demands by politicians to hold a separate vote to approve any military action in Syria, reflecting a domestic desire to avoid a repeat of the country's swift backing for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. The vote is expected early next week.

The process to be followed by British officials won't automatically affect the timing of any U.S. action.

A senior administration official said that while the U.S. and U.K. are coordinating closely, domestic British considerations won't necessarily slow the U.S. decision on military action. "We're making our own decisions in our own timeline," the official said.

In the U.S., House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) sent a letter to President Obama demanding a clear explanation of any military action against Syria before it starts, and criticizing the president's level of consultation with lawmakers. Separately, 116 House lawmakers—98 Republicans and 18 Democrats—signed a letter to Mr. Obama, demanding he seek congressional authorization for a military strike.

Mr. Boehner's letter called on Mr. Obama to inform Americans and members of Congress of his objectives, policy goals and overarching strategy in Syria before the first missiles are launched, according to a copy reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Continue reading.

More at the Los Angeles Times, "Syria resolution dies at U.N., and British lawmakers balk."

RELATED: See Noah Shachtman, at Foreign Policy, "Exclusive: Intercepted Calls Prove Syrian Army Used Nerve Gas, U.S. Spies Say."

If We Attack, Kill Assad

From the always provocative Bret Stephens, at the Wall Street Journal, "Target Assad":
Should President Obama decide to order a military strike against Syria, his main order of business must be to kill Bashar Assad. Also, Bashar's brother and principal henchman, Maher. Also, everyone else in the Assad family with a claim on political power. Also, all of the political symbols of the Assad family's power, including all of their official or unofficial residences. The use of chemical weapons against one's own citizens plumbs depths of barbarity matched in recent history only by Saddam Hussein. A civilized world cannot tolerate it. It must demonstrate that the penalty for it will be acutely personal and inescapably fatal.

A great piece, although it doesn't answer the $64,000 question: why are we siding with al Qaeda? See Robert Fisk for that, "Does Obama know he’s fighting on al-Qa’ida’s side?"

No Republicans Speak at Ceremony Marking 50th Anniversary of March on Washington

This is sickening.

Sickening and reprehensible.

Event organizers claim they invited "a long list of Republicans to come," but for some reason that list didn't include Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, currently the only black senator in the upper chamber of Congress.

At the Wall Street Journal, "At 50th Anniversary of March, No GOP Speakers."

No elected Republicans will speak at today’s event marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, but that hasn’t stopped GOP officials from honoring the occasion.

A parade of current and former elected officials issued remarks calling for greater racial equality and praising the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the slain civil rights leader who delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech 50 years ago today.

Former President George W. Bush, who was invited but missed the event because he is still recovering from heart surgery, issued a statement calling on “every American to help hasten the day when Dr. King’s vision is made real in every community – when what truly matters is not the color of a person’s skin, but the content of their character.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.), who earlier this year retraced the 1965 march from Birmingham to Selma, Ala., called for Americans to “rededicate ourselves to ensuring equality for every American.” And South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the only black senator, described himself as “living my mother’s American Dream.”

Wednesday’s event on the National Mall is not overtly political, but the early undertones were hard to ignore. A number of Democrats are set to address the crowd, including Mr. Obama and former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Labor leaders also talked about the importance of mobilizing large groups of American workers – a key theme 50 years ago. And some speakers stressed the importance of preserving voting rights for all Americans.

Mr. Bush was invited to attend the event, but he declined because he recently underwent surgery to place a stent in a blocked heart artery. Mr. Scott was not invited to speak, but a spokesman said, “The senator believes today is a day to remember the extraordinary accomplishments and sacrifices of Dr. King, Congressman John Lewis and an entire generation of black leaders.”
Also, at Red Alert Politics, "Nation's only black Senator not invited to speak at March on Washington." (At Memeorandum.)

Krauthammer: Today's Civil Rights Challenges are 'Social Issues ... Breakup of the Family and the Terrible Education That Young People in the Ghettos are Subjected to ...'

A great segment from this afternoon's Fox News All Stars:

More at iOWNTHEWORLD, "Krauthammer – The Civil Rights Movement Is Intellectually Bankrupt."

PREVIOUSLY: "President Obama Speech on 50th Anniversary of March on Washington."

President Obama Speech on 50th Anniversary of March on Washington

He's was heavily laying on his hip-hip accent, because, you know, Barack Hussein's all about bein' down with the brothas.

At LAT, "Obama honors King, pushes political agenda on anniversary":

WASHINGTON – President Obama tried to reassemble a “coalition of conscience” to take up his economic agenda for the middle class on Wednesday as he honored Martin Luther King Jr. and the marchers who fought for civil rights 50 years ago.

“In the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it,” Obama said.

The president spoke at a ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the 1963 protest that became the most iconic moment of the civil rights movement. Obama, the first African American president, spoke from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial,  where King described his dream of racial equality as many black Americans still struggled to vote.

He noted that “no one can match King’s brilliance” but called on all citizens to keep up the fight for more opportunity. “The arc of moral universe may bend toward justice,” he said quoting King. “But it doesn’t bend on its own.”

Obama has often cited King as an inspiration and a touchstone. The president’s speeches regularly quote King, or crib from his writings. The president has a bust of King and a copy of the program from the original march in the Oval Office. Obama took the oath of office this year using a Bible owned by King. The gestures have cemented a symbolic connection between the two most recognizable black leaders in U.S. history.

But Obama’s relationship with  the civil rights movement and King’s legacy has been complex. Obama, whose mother was white and father Kenyan, has wrestled with this racial identity and his connection to the movement that defined a generation of black political life.

He has identified as part of the Joshua generation, the label given to the children of movement’s founders charged with carrying on the legacy, but he has also criticized the civil rights movement, saying it is fractured.

Obama on Wednesday repeated some of that critique. Over the years, legitimate outrage over discrimination devolved into “excuse-making for criminal behavior,” Obama said. “What had once been a call for equality of opportunity … was too often framed as a mere desire for government support. … As if poverty was an excuse for not raising your child.”
Continue reading.

And see "Obama: ‘Because they kept marching, America changed’."

Also, at NYT, "Where King Stood, Obama Reframes a Dream," and "Guardians of King’s Dream Regroup in Washington."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hamptons McMansions

Look, excess is great, if you can afford it.

At NYT, "Hamptons McMansions Herald a Return of Excess":
BRIDGEHAMPTON, N.Y. — Porsche ads clog the local radio here, houses are renting at close to the million-dollar range — for the summer — and Uber, an app that lets you order car service, reports that its new Hamptons luxury S.U.V. business is booming, $50 minimum fares and all.

But there is no surer sign that the big-spending ways that characterized the pre-financial crisis era have returned to the Hamptons than the blue “Farrell Building” signs multiplying across the pristine landscape here, along with the multimillion-dollar houses they advertise. It is a process some are calling “Farrellization,” and not necessarily happily.

“We’re as busy as we’ve ever been,” said Joe Farrell, the president of Farrell Building, during a recent interview and tour of his $43 million, 17,000-square-foot home here. The estate, called the Sandcastle, features two bowling lanes, a skate ramp, onyx window frames and, just for fun, an A.T.M. regularly restocked with $20,000 in $10 bills.

To spend a day with Mr. Farrell — a local version of Donald Trump, without the history of debt, the lush hair or the insults — is to see just how fully the Hamptons have rebounded, along with the confidence, and the bonuses, of their wealthier summer visitors.

With a customer base composed largely of Wall Street financiers, Mr. Farrell has more than 20 new homes under construction, or slated for construction, at a time, making him the biggest builder here by far. He has plans for more, many of them speculative homes built before they have buyers...
Must be the life.

Continue reading.

'I am a member of The Macalester Alumni of Moderation (Mac Mods), an informal, e-mail-connected group that seeks to steer Macalester toward more intellectual diversity and balance and away from a leftist mindset and a seeming obsession with victimology...'

Well, maybe these email groups will be spreading past Macalester.

From Robert Spaulding, at the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, "My Alumni Weekend at Macalester."

Destroy the Heteropatriarchy!

I linked R.S. McCain's hilarious entry yesterday, "In Case You Missed It, @MileyCyrus Got Super-Skanky on the VMAs Last Night."

Linked there is "@Andrea_XX":

And the lady writes at her blog:
I am this close to getting my Masters degree in Gender Studies and I hold a Honors BA in Social Justice and Peace Studies.
Love that "social justice and peace studies" bit, but man, she might revise the part about "hitting her up on Twitter."

Seriously. Robert's got the update, "‘And It Just Blew Up’":
Heteropatriarchal slut-shaming? Hell, I thought I was just making fun of a celebrity, until @Andria_XX enlightened me, and she had no idea what hit her when her Twitter timeline blew up with reactions to her Master’s degree in Gender Studies mini-lecture.

So now it’s “cyberbullying” and “rage tourism” of which I’m accused.
The accusations are at the lady's Storify post, "Rage Tourism at It's Finest."

(I hope someone tweets her the correction, that "it's" is a contraction and "its" a possessive pronoun.)

In any case, she wanted to make sure I saw her handiwork (and no doubt all the others she included at her post as well):

All in a day's blogging, I guess.

A fascinating case study in deranged leftism, that's for sure.

Codename 'Apalachee'


This is from New York journalist Laura Poitras, who worked with Glenn Greenwald in breaking the Edward Snowden story. (Also reporting is Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark.)

At Germany's Der Spiegel, "How America Spies on Europe and the U.N.":
President Obama promised that NSA surveillance activities were aimed exclusively at preventing terrorist attacks. But secret documents from the intelligence agency show that the Americans spy on Europe, the UN and other countries.
I'm sure we'd have seen a worldwide earthquake of anti-Americanism had this come to light during the Bush administration. But outside a few wild America-bashers like Greenwald, and the obligatory libertarian warnings of encroaching tyranny, it's just back to business-as-usual these days. Nothing's going to change under this president. The people have to demand change and that means giving the lying scumbag Democrats the boot. (And keep in mind, it's the lies and hypocrisy --- I couldn't give a sh*t about bugging the U.N, just don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining.)

Continue reading.

Rep. Raul Labrador Slams Left's 'Message of Despair' on Race

Watch it, at NewsBusters, "Raul Labrador Schools Meet the Press Panel on King's Dream: Your Message is Despair Not Hope."

VIDEO: General Georges Sada Claiming Iraq Moved WMD to Syria in 2002

Via Israel Matzav, "Video: Saddam's top military adviser says Iraqi WMD's were moved to Syria."

And flashback to the New York Sun in 2006, "Iraq's WMD Secreted in Syria, Sada Says."

RELATED: Mahdi Obeidi's largely ignored book from 2002, The Bomb in My Garden: The Secrets of Saddam's Nuclear Mastermind.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Katy Perry Grillz

I skipped the VMAs.

I was watching the Red Sox at Dodgers on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, and at 8:00pm we switched over to "Big Brother" on CBS.

But I saw Twitter lighting up throughout the evening, especially over Miley Cyrus.

R.S. McCain has that, "In Case You Missed It, @MileyCyrus Got Super-Skanky on the VMAs Last Night."

I'm just trippin' on Katy Perry's grillz, at London's Daily Mail, "Pushing the boundaries! Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus play dress-up as they battle to be the most outrageous on the MTV VMAs red carpet."

More here, "Has Miley gone too far? Cyrus strips to nude latex bra and hotpants to perform lewd dance with Robin Thicke at MTV VMAs."

And, "Call that demure? Lady Gaga makes half hearted attempt to cover up for MTV VMAs afterparty by putting a skirt on over her shell bikini."

'Moral Obscenity' — Secretary of State John Kerry Slams 'Undeniable' Syria Chemical Weapons Atrocities; U.S. Prepares Options for Military Intervention

There have been numerous allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria over past year, but for some reason or another, the administration is ramping up the bellicose rhetoric in preparation for some kind of armed response. I can't help but think this is insincere (at least on President Obama's part) and that airstrikes and other military actions would serve as a classic "diversionary war" scenario designed to lift the president's horrifically sagging public approval ratings.

Listen to tough-talking John "Ditch-My-War-Medals" Kerry in this State Department press conference below.

And at the Wall Street Journal, "U.S., Citing 'Moral Obscenity' in Syria, Weighs Response: Kerry Calls Attacks 'Undeniable'; U.N. Reaches Attack Site After U.S. Issued Caution Over Mission":

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians is a "moral obscenity," delivering the clearest indication yet that the Obama administration is preparing to attack President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

In a forceful statement delivered in Washington, Mr. Kerry called the attacks "undeniable" and said the administration has developed conclusive evidence that chemical weapons were used last week in the suburbs of Damascus, killing hundreds of civilians. Syria's delays in allowing international monitors to reach alleged attack sites implies its guilt, he said, adding that the U.S. and its allies are "actively consulting" on how to respond.

"Make no mistake: President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people," he said. "Nothing today is more serious, and nothing is receiving more serious scrutiny."

Mr. Kerry's remarks represented the administration's opening statement as it contemplates military action, likely to consist of cruise-missile strikes on Syrian targets. A senior defense official said the strikes under consideration would be conducted from ships in the eastern Mediterranean using long-range missiles, without using manned aircraft.

"You do not need basing. You do not need overflight. You don't need to worry about air defenses," the official said. The goal of the strikes, the official said, would be to "deter and degrade" Mr. Assad's capabilities to prevent him from using chemical weapons again.

Mr. Kerry's statement came as United Nations inspectors faced gunfire from unidentified snipers as they set out to investigate reports of the chemical-weapons attack in a Damascus suburb.

The U.N. team turned back, but later in the day made it to Mouadhamiya, where one of the suspected chemical-weapons attacks took place. The team visited two hospitals, interviewed survivors and doctors, and collected samples, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement Monday.
Well, by themselves, I doubt cruise-missile strikes will enough to achieve U.S. objectives, so in one way or another Americans should expect a major escalation of the U.S. military presence in Syria.

More at the link, in any case (via Memeorandum).

Ho Hum: Another Israel-Hating Antiwar Leftist Bashes the Troops

You don't see as many pieces of this genre with Obama in office, but obviously the hard-left cookie-cutter template is still widely available.

From the vile POS Steven Salaita, an Associate Professor of English at Virginia Tech, at the equally-vile, "No, thanks: Stop saying “support the troops”."

Folks can read it all at the link.

Professor Salaita is the author of Israel's Dead Soul, no doubt yet another anti-Semitic left-wing screed blasting Israel's right to exist. I've personally never heard of this idiot, but see the nice write-up at the Social Foundations of Education, "Meet Steven Salaita, Jihadist English Professor at Virginia Tech." Also, "Palestinian 'Literature Professor' Salaita Wants Academic Boycott of Israel; More Jihad Activity at Virginia Tech."

And it boggles the mind, but from some reason James Joyner thought a thorough fisking was in order, "Don’t Support the Troops?" Maybe there's some academic utility in it --- at least from James' perspective. But it's leftist ghouls like Salaita that got me blogging in the first place. Indeed, his attack on the troops as agents of "American imperial, torture, and global inequality" reminded me of Berkeley Bush-hater Kenneth Thiesen writing back in 2008, "Commentary: Why I Don’t Support the Troops":
“Support for the troops” has become political cover to support the wars...

But to decide whether U.S. troops deserve support you must analyze what they actually do in countries occupied by the U.S. The wars these troops are engaged in have the goal of maintaining and extending U.S. hegemony throughout the world. They are unjust, illegal, and immoral wars. Can you support the troops in these wars? Why is this any different from a German in World War II saying, “I oppose the wars launched by Hitler, but I support the troops of the German army which are making these wars possible.” When the Marines in Haditha massacred Iraqis, including women and children, would it have been correct to say I supported the Marines who killed those people, but not the massacre? This would be ridiculous, but no more so than supporting the troops engaged in the war that made the Haditha massacre possible in the first place.
The Haditha case was one of the worst leftist stab-in-the-back smears of the entire Iraq war. See Michelle Malkin on that, "Defining atrocity: Marines vs. the Haditha Smear Merchants," and "Al Qaeda and Haditha bombshell: What the MSM didn’t tell you."

But back to this pig Salaita. The guy's schtick is old and tired. And people of decency know that supporting the troops is simply the decent thing to do when Americans are at war fighting an enemy that is determined to exterminate not just the United States, but the Western way of life. Israel, of course, is at the front-line of that struggle, which makes this Salaita ghoul that much more sickening.

These people disgust me, even more now than in 2008 when I first responded to that prick Thiesen, "Supporting the Troops."

Video Purports to Show Execution of Truck Drivers in Syria

Here's our "allies" the al Qaeda rebels purportedly murdering three Syrian truck drivers.

At BCF, "Video Shows Jihadis From Al-Qaeda’s Islamic State In Iraq and Syria Stopping Truck Drivers On Side of Road, Executing Them for Being Alawites…"

PREVIOUSLY: "U.S. Says Syria Used Chemical Weapons."

UPDATE: The YouTube clip at BCF has been taken down for violating terms of content, but My Pet Jawa links to Live Leak. See, "al-Qaeda in Syria Obama's Freedom Fighters Murder Three Truck Drivers."

Sunday, August 25, 2013

U.S. Says Syria Used Chemical Weapons

The Wall Street Journal reports, "U.S. Sets Stage for Bigger Syria Role":

The Obama administration hardened its stance against Syria and stepped up plans for possible military action, dismissing as too late the regime's offer to let United Nations officials inspect areas where the U.S. believes Damascus used chemical weapons last week.

The White House and Pentagon signaled the U.S. wasn't backing away from a possible showdown despite apparent efforts by the Syrian government to ease tensions by letting U.N. inspectors visit areas near the capital where hundreds were killed, allegedly by chemical weapons.

If he decides to act militarily, Mr. Obama would prefer to do so with U.N. Security Council backing, but officials said he could decide to work instead with international partners such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or the Arab League.

"We'll consult with the U.N. They're an important avenue. But they're not the only avenue," a senior administration official said.

In recent days, the Pentagon has moved more warships into place in the eastern Mediterranean and U.S. war planners have updated military options that include cruise-missile strikes on regime targets, officials said. The White House held high-level meetings over the weekend, but officials said late Sunday that Mr. Obama had yet to decide how to proceed.

The U.S. had urged the Syrians to let U.N. inspectors visit the areas that were bombarded on Wednesday in suspected chemical attacks that opposition groups said killed more than 1,000 people. But the U.S. concluded that evidence at the scene has since been compromised due to continued Syrian shelling and the likely dissipation of any poison gases.
As always, I wish we'd intervened two years ago. I don't expect any good outcome at this point.

More on that at Israel Matzav, "Too late for Obama to act on Syria."

And see strategist Edward Luttwak, at the New York Times, "In Syria, America Loses if Either Side Wins."

EXTRA: At Reuters, "As Syria war escalates, Americans cool to U.S. intervention: Reuters/Ipsos poll" (at Memeorandum).

Sunday Cartoons

At Flopping Aces, "Sunday Funnies."

Branco Cartoon photo Gov-Help-600_zps7325d11d.jpg

Also at Randy's Roundtable, "Good Medicine," and Reaganite Republican, "Reaganite's SUNDAY FUNNIES."


National Go Topless Day

Well, one of my co-bloggers at Theo's posted on this, "Today is Go Topless Day 2013!"

However, following the links takes us to actually no women going topless.

We can't have that, so checking Google we find a post close to home, at Yo! Venice, "‘National Go Topless Day’ is Today in Venice Beach!" (And on Facebook here.)

I love Venice.

Skateboarding and topless women?

You can't beat that.

More Go Topless links at Twitter.

Black Thug Jovan Tyrek Rogers Charged with Murder in Killing of 99-Year-Old Fannie Gumbinger of Poughkeepsie, New York

Another "senseless" killing.

At Fire Andrea Mitchell, "Jovan Tyrek Rogers black thug kills 99-year-old Fannie Gumbinger."

Jovan Tyrek Rogers photo 41819768001_2626889835001_RogersCrop_zpsd6395d25.jpg

More at Mad Jewess Woman, "#WhitePrivilege? Son of Obama Murders 99 Yr Old White Woman In Her Home."

Yeah, those mf's are all "sons of Obama." Damned murderers.

Fisking Idiot Leftist @BrianBeutler

The Other McCain returns to the lies of lying liar Brian Beutler.

See, "The Fisking of @BrianBeutler: Obsessed Obsessive Obsessions and Stuff Like That."

I don't know. Maybe Robert had a few Coronas, or some Twitter trolls got his dander up, because frankly just denouncing Beutler's lies alone gives too much attention to this despicable hack. But either way, behold the beauty of McCain's epic smackdown:
The “stop-and-frisk” thing is strictly an issue in New York, because of an NYPD policy that was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge. It has nothing to do with Oklahoma and even less to do with Sanford, Florida. Why Brian Beutler keeps bringing it up, I don’t know. Has the “stop-and-frisk” issue has been discussed by anyone at Fox News in the context of the Chris Lane murder? If it has, then why doesn’t he quote that discussion? In general, why are there no links or quotes in this column? Why can’t Brian Beutler be bothered to provide actual evidence of the phenomenon he presumes to critique? Why do liberals think it’s acceptable to assert controversial claims that they don’t bother to prove? How many bong-hits does Brian Beutler usually do before writing his columns? Seven. That’s now an established fact — because I just asserted it, see?
That's just one pull-away from Robert's fisking, but I picked up on that one because there's added context to Beutler's mewling about stop and frisk. It turns out that the dude was shot in 2008 by a couple of black thugs in D.C. who tried to rob Beutler of his cellphone. Beutler, an apparent tough guy, refused to give up his phone when confronted by these two black thugs and was promptly capped. Now, the interesting thing about this is that since then Beutler has used his status as a survivor of inner-city black crime as a sort of badge of humanitarian honor, giving him an enlightened perspective on all this that others less well-positioned (fortunate?) do not. You see, there's so much extra credibility in leftist race-baiting circles if, having been shot by a black criminal thug, one still clings to radical progressive views, in triumphant contravention to Irving Kristol's famous formula that a neoconservative is "a liberal who has been mugged by reality."

There's clear evidence of this in the fawning greeting CNN host Eric Deggans gives Beutler at this morning's segment of "Reliable Sources":

Here's the piece that Deggins lovingly cites during the segment, "What I learned from getting shot."

So Beutler was shot. Okay? BFD. All this proves is that sick leftist ideology has blinded this idiot to the real criminal pathologies of contemporary urban America.

And let me tell you: I've also been robbed at gunpoint. In 1991 I was working at the Chevron station at the corner of Ashlan and Blackstone in Fresno when some criminal gang thug stuck a Saturday night special in my left arm pit and said "give me the money." I didn't hesitate or act all tough. I gave the f-ker the money. Had I been shot, the angle of the gun would have sent a bullet into my heart and I would most likely be dead today. I was still a "liberal" back then, but I credit that experience as one brush with reality (of many) that would one day impel my own full abandonment of the sick and decrepit Church of Regressive Socialism.

In any case, folks should head back over to the Other McCain to read it all at the link.

Brian Butler's more recent piece on "the right's black crime obsession" is one of the most puerile pieces of progressive hackery I've ever read. Beutler's simply yapping incoherently in the mode of holier-than-thou leftist claptrap. I said so much to him personally on Twitter and never received a response. That's Beutler's SOP, to ignore conservative criticism that risks snapping that idiot back into the real world. Frankly, that's the only response available when your ideology's essentially a religious faith impervious to reason. Unfortunately, that's a faith-based sickness infecting the broader society. Our task as conservatives is to continue working to inoculate the rest of society that's so far has been spared from the plague.

Leftists Looking to Galvanize New Generation of Cultists

As I've been arguing, civil rights isn't really about civil rights anymore.

But see the New York Times, FWIW, "Following King’s Path, and Trying to Galvanize a New Generation."

March on Washington photo BSbcg7tCUAAKymL_zpsebdadafa.jpg
WASHINGTON — Half a century after the emotional apex of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, tens of thousands of people retraced his footsteps on Saturday, and his successors in the movement spoke of the still-unmet promise of America, as he did, at the Lincoln Memorial.

The anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington was less a commemoration, speakers proclaimed, than an effort to inject fresh energy into issues of economics and justice that, despite undeniable progress in overcoming racial bias, still leave stubborn gaps between white and black Americans.

The speeches that carried over the Reflecting Pool, which 50 years ago jolted Congress to pass landmark laws, took hard aim at current racial profiling by law enforcement, economic inequality and efforts to restrict voting access.

Addressing generations too young to remember, the Rev. Al Sharpton, an organizer of Saturday’s event, warned young people against the hubris of believing one’s middle class success was achieved alone. “You got there because some unlettered grandmas who never saw the inside of a college campus put their bodies on the line in Alabama and Mississippi and sponsored you up here,” he said.

A lineup of civil rights heroes, current movement leaders, labor leaders and Democratic officials addressed a vast crowd that stretched east from the Lincoln Memorial to the knoll of the Washington Monument — well out of range of loudspeakers. Organizers expected 100,000, fewer than half the number who came in 1963 when efforts to dismantle segregation had seized the national attention, often because of racist violence in the South.

Speakers included Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who on Thursday sued Texas over a strict voter ID law; Representative John Lewis of Georgia, an organizer of the original 1963 march; and Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager who was shot and killed last year.

“I gave blood on the bridge in Selma, Alabama, for the right to vote,” Mr. Lewis said in a deep and sonorous rumble. “I am not going to stand by and let the Supreme Court take the right to vote away from us.”

He and many others called the Voting Rights Act of 1965 a jewel of the civil rights movement that was under attack after the high court struck down the heart of it in June, opening the way for states including Texas and North Carolina to enforce new restrictions on voting access.

Mr. Holder, receiving a roar of welcome from the crowd, said that King’s struggle must continue “until every eligible American has the chance to exercise his or her right to vote unencumbered by discrimination or unneeded procedurals, rules or practices.”
Martin Luther King brought the moral authority of the civil rights movement to overthrow Jim Crow.

Today's regressive left --- and dredging up the March on Washington for the Obama cult is pretty regressive --- has completely squandered what little moral authority still lingers from those days a half century ago.

More here.

IMAGE CREDIT: The Obama Cult, on Twitter.

Serve and Volley is Dead

Yeah, it does seem like a long lost art.

At the Los Angeles Times, "What's happened to serve and volley in tennis?":

NEW YORK — The contrasts used to be one of the most attractive elements of tennis.

Pete Sampras standing at the net, Andre Agassi at the baseline trying to get the ball past his greatest rival.

Chris Evert, dainty but cruelly clever in the backcourt, against Martina Navratilova, who moved forward, fast as a whip, knocking a volley that Evert lunged at or just missed, eliciting a squeak of frustration from Evert.

Or John McEnroe, dancing on his toes, back and forth as Bjorn Borg stood at the back of the court and calculated the correct angle at which to whiz the ball past his rival — only to have McEnroe, with a flick of the wrist, gently drop the ball over the net, just in the spot where Borg couldn't reach it.

Billie Jean King still volunteers to coach players and teach them to serve and volley. She urged Serena and Venus Williams to learn that most difficult part of the game but couldn't persuade either of them.

As the U.S. Open tennis tournament, the final major of the year, begins Monday, it's more likely viewers will see an American man win — a longshot — than see more than a handful of serve-and-volley points.

That part of the game is gone, possibly forever.

"I don't think it's ever coming back, I really don't," said Sampras, who won 14 Grand Slam events, second only to Roger Federer. "It's difficult to learn to do, and it's hard to be successful with it at first, and kids and coaches don't like failure....
More at the link.

The French Question

I guess France is the new sick-man of Europe, after Greece, of course.

At the New York Times, "A Proud Nation Ponders How to Halt Its Slow Decline":
PARIS — For decades, Europeans have agonized over the power and role of Germany — the so-called German question — given its importance to European stability and prosperity.

Today, however, Europe is talking about “the French question”: can the Socialist government of President François Hollande pull France out of its slow decline and prevent it from slipping permanently into Europe’s second tier?

At stake is whether a social democratic system that for decades prided itself on being the model for providing a stable and high standard of living for its citizens can survive the combination of globalization, an aging population and the acute fiscal shocks of recent years.

Those close to Mr. Hollande say that he is largely aware of what must be done to cut government spending and reduce regulations weighing down the economy, and is carefully gauging the political winds. But what appears to be missing is the will; France’s friends, Germany in particular, fear that Mr. Hollande may simply lack the political courage to confront his allies and make the necessary decisions.

Changing any country is difficult. But the challenge in France seems especially hard, in part because of the nation’s amour-propre and self-image as a European leader and global power, and in part because French life is so comfortable for many and the day of reckoning still seems far enough away, especially to the country’s small but powerful unions.

The turning of the business cycle could actually be a further impediment in that sense, because as the European economy slowly mends, the French temptation will be to hope that modest economic growth will again mask, like a tranquilizer, the underlying problems.

The French are justifiably proud of their social model. Health care and pensions are good, many French retire at 60 or younger, five or six weeks of vacation every summer is the norm, and workers with full-time jobs have a 35-hour week and significant protections against layoffs and firings.

But in a more competitive world economy, the question is not whether the French social model is a good one, but whether the French can continue to afford it. Based on current trends, the answer is clearly no, not without significant structural changes — in pensions, in taxes, in social benefits, in work rules and in expectations.