Thursday, May 29, 2008

Miami Has Been This Way For Years - I'm Surprised The Press Is Just Now Reporting It

In Miami, Spanish is becoming the primary language

By GISELA SALOMON

MIAMI (AP) - Melissa Green's mother spoke Spanish, but she never learned - her father forbid it. Today, that's a frequent problem in this city where the English-speaking population is outnumbered.

The 49-year-old flower shop owner and Miami native said her inability to speak "espanol" makes it difficult to conduct business, seek help at stores and even ask directions. She finds it "frustrating."

"It makes it hard for some people to find a job because they don't speak Spanish, and I don't think that it is right," said Green, who sometimes calls a Spanish-speaking friend to translate for customers who don't speak English.

"Sometimes I think they should learn it," she said.

In many areas of Miami, Spanish has become the predominant language, replacing English in everyday life. Anyone from Latin America could feel at home on the streets, without having to pronounce a single word in English.

In stores, shopkeepers wait on their clients in Spanish. Universities offer programs for Spanish speakers. And in supermarkets, banks, restaurants - even at the post office and government offices - information is given and assistance is offered in Spanish. In Miami, doctors and nurses speak Spanish with their patients and a large portion of advertising is in Spanish. Daily newspapers and radio and television stations cater to the Hispanic public.

But this situation, so pleasing to Latin American immigrants, makes some English speakers feel marginalized. In the 1950s, it's estimated that more than 80 percent of Miami-Dade County residents were non-Hispanic whites. But in 2006, the Census Bureau estimates that number was only 18.5 percent, and in 2015 it is forecast to be 14 percent. Hispanics now make up about 60 percent.

"The Anglo population is leaving," said Juan Clark, a sociology professor at Miami Dade College. "One of the reactions is to emigrate toward the north. They resent the fact that (an American) has to learn Spanish in order to have advantages to work. If one doesn't speak Spanish, it's a disadvantage."

According to the Census, 58.5 percent of the county's 2.4 million residents speak Spanish - and half of those say they don't speak English well. English-only speakers make up 27.2 percent of the county's residents.

In the mainly Cuban city of Hialeah and in the Miami neighborhood of Little Havana, 94 percent of residents identified themselves as Hispanic.

Andrew Lynch, an expert on linguistics and bilingualism at the University of Miami, said that the presence of Spanish-speakers first became an issue in Miami-Dade County in the 1960s and '70s with the arrival of Cuban immigrants and intensified in the '80s with immigrants from not just Cuba, but Argentina, Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America. The exodus of English speakers soon followed.

James McCleary, his wife and two children left Miami in 1987 for Vermont, where he is now a farmer. McCleary, 58, said his inability to speak Spanish made it difficult for him to find work - it once took seven months to get hired as a cook.

"The job market was very tough. It was very, very difficult," he said.
His wife, Lauren, was born and raised in Miami and they visit at least twice a year, but she feels that it's no longer her hometown.

"I don't like being there anymore. It is very, very different," she said. "I cannot live there anymore, I can't speak their language."

Nevertheless, she likes the diversity of the population of South Florida and regrets not learning Spanish in school.

Librarian Martha Phillips, 61, believes those who speak Spanish will continue to have more opportunities and she doesn't think that's necessarily fair. Phillips said she is sorry to see non-Spanish-speakers abandoning Miami, and said she's concerned that the area "will be like a branch of Latin America."

"I do resent the fact that people seem to expect that the people who live here adjust to their ways, rather than learning English and making adjustments," she said. "Obviously I don't expect an older person to learn to speak English, but younger people come in and they don't seem to make much of an effort to learn to adapt to this country and they expect us to adapt to them."
Some Spanish speakers say they have their own trouble with those who only speak English.

Mary Bravo, a 37-year-old Venezuelan business owner, moved to Miami nine years ago. She understands English but only speaks a little.

"This land is theirs. We should try to speak English," she said, "but they don't even try to understand us."

... Miami is the adopted home of former Gov. Jeb Bush, BTW. - Tiger
The Observer

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How To Lose An Election? - Ask John McCain!

By Harry R. Jackson, Jr.
Last week John McCain denounced the work and ministry of two very popular pastors, John Hagee and Rod Parsley. This move may cost him the mainstream evangelical vote. At the very least it will make the Senator suspect to other pastors and millions of unconvinced believers. If the loyal supporters of this spiritual dynamic duo don’t show up at the polls, it alone will make the White House unattainable for the 71-year-old. In other words, the consequences of these rash decisions could be paid at the ballot box this November.

Need proof? Try these statistics on for size.

John Hagee’s last book topped the million unit sales mark (not bad for the San Antonio, Texas "phenom”). Parsley speaks to millions all over the globe through daily television and influences a politically active core group numbering in the hundreds of thousands thorough his Center for Moral Clarity. One could argue that their influence upon the religious right is topped only by James Dobson, Tony Perkins, and Don Wildmon. In addition, neither of these fellows is a “Jeremiah Wright” in terms of influence. They have 10 times the outreach muscle of the Chicago preacher.

While evangelical voters are unlikely to move toward Obama, they may soon decide to sit this national election out. Candidates like McCain who want to please everybody, often over react to polls and pundits. People pleasers or political panderers often seem to be wishy-washy and mercurial. Without a clear set of guiding principles, political opportunists often raise more questions than they answer. They destroy the life and vitality of their own campaigns. I hope I am painting McCain with the wrong brush. He’s the only hope that social conservatives have, but we don’t know if we can trust him.

Although McCain is a seasoned politician, a war hero and a life long public servant, he has committed three unforgettable sins. The sins are:

1.Running from the principles that originally got you elected

2. Siding with your enemies

3. Alienating your base

How has he run from the principles that got him elected Senator?

First of all, he seems to have abandoned family values and social conservative principles. Although he has been pro-life for 25 years, he has muddied the waters by supporting embryonic stem cell research. His stance on immigration has also gotten him into trouble because he forgot his supporters’ concern for nation security and the rule of law. In addition, last week he missed an opportunity to cry out against the outrageous California Supreme Court ruling essentially legalizing gay marriage.

How has he sided with his enemies?

McCain created a compromise group, which thwarted the 2005 GOP campaign for conservative judges. Next, he criticized Samuel Alito as too "conservative." Third, he championed the case for total amnesty for 20 million illegal immigrants. Fourth, he currently opposes drilling in ANWAR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge). This region holds the largest undiscovered oil reserve in North America. Some believe that recoverable oil would be in the multiple billion barrels not to mention trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. (These numbers are Forbes magazine estimates). Finally, he calls drug companies “crooks” – violating support of business and free enterprise.

How has he alienated his base?

Many folks believe that he has jeopardized free citizen speech (in favor of the media) with the McCain-Feingold Law. Again and again, McCain-Feingold is brought up as an ancient wound that has never been healed. In addition, the current conservative “Bible Gate” promises to fragment the conservative movement if McCain does not listen to someone who understands the evangelical Christian movement.

Unlike Obama’s problem pastor of a few weeks ago, McCain really did not need to explain his pastoral relationships any more than Obama needed to explain his relationship with Minister Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.

How can McCain avoid disaster?

He needs to decide to strategically put together a coalition of supporters, which includes both fiscal and social conservatives. The easiest way to reach evangelicals would be to pick a running mate that understands evangelicals. He cannot afford to step on the faith community’s toes or overlook evangelical concerns again. The three best choices are Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, or Bobby Jindal. Any of these men could offer a shot of enthusiasm and a secondary focus for the McCain campaign. Brownback is a triple threat to the Democrats as he can draw fiscal conservatives, evangelicals, and Roman Catholics. Mike Huckabee would also truly motivate evangelicals and bring Obama-like excitement to the southern states. Bobby Jindal could reach both fiscal conservatives and a large segment of the evangelical community.

Finally, the Senator needs to set up a national speech in which he, like Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, explains to the nation what makes him tick spiritually. He needs to break his silence about faith and share his testimony about Vietnam, his faith in Christ, and why he feels so awkward talking about religion. Surely, if Hillary Clinton can talk about the power of the Holy Spirit and grace in a national debate, McCain can press through his shyness.

Only a radical course correction can save McCain’s campaign! Can somebody send McCain a telegram or a smoke signal? It seems that e-mails and telephone calls are not getting through.

The Observer

Monday, May 26, 2008

Pic of the Day

Don't Worry Folks! The Government is Always There - Watching Our Back!

The Observer

How Sweet It Is! Something We Can All Get Excited About!

Mars Phoenix Lands Successfully

The Mars Phoenix lander touched down in the far north of the Red Planet, after a 680 million-km (423 million-mile) journey from Earth.

The probe is equipped with a robotic arm to dig for water-ice thought to be buried beneath the surface.

It will begin examining the site for evidence of the building blocks of life in the next few days.
A signal confirming the lander had reached the surface was received at 2353 GMT on 25 May (1953 EDT; 0053 BST on 26 May).

Engineers and scientists at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California clapped and cheered when the landing signal came through.

"Phoenix has landed - welcome to the northern plain of Mars," a flight controller announced.

The final seven minutes of the probe's 10-month journey to Mars were regarded as the hardest part of the mission.

The probe had to survive a fiery plunge through the planet's thin atmosphere, slowing from a speed of nearly 21,000km/h (13,000 mph).

Soft landing

It released a parachute, used pulsed thrusters to slow to a fast walking speed, and then descended the last few metres to the Martian soil to land on three legs.

The Nasa team monitored each stage of the descent and landing process through radio messages relayed to Earth via the Odyssey satellite in orbit around Mars.

"In my dreams, it couldn't have gone as perfectly as it did tonight," said Barry Goldstein, Phoenix project manager at JPL.

Nasa found out more about the landing when pictures from the probe reached the Earth.
The first images showed the "Arctic plain" where Phoenix came to rest - a region of Mars that has never been seen up close before.

Other shots confirmed that the probe's solar arrays had unfurled successfully, and that it had landed safely on its legs.

... read the full story and watch the video!

The Observer

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Remembering Our Heroes

Pa. Soldier Who Jumped on Grenade to Receive Posthumous Medal of Honor

WASHINGTON — The White House announced Friday that a Pennsylvania soldier who jumped on top of a grenade in Iraq and saved the lives of his comrades will posthumously receive the Medal of Honor.

The nation's highest military honor will be given to 19-year-old Army Pfc. Ross McGinnis of Knox, Pa., on June 2.

McGinnis "distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism," said White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto.

McGinnis was perched in the gunner's hatch of a Humvee when a grenade sailed past him and into the truck where four other soldiers sat. He shouted a warning to the others, then jumped on the grenade. The grenade, which was lodged near the vehicle's radio, blew up and killed him.

Lt. Col. Anne Edgecomb, an Army spokeswoman, said McGinnis easily could have jumped out of the truck and saved himself.

"The instinct is, jump out of the vehicle, but his four buddies were in the vehicle with him ... and he chose to place himself on top of the grenade and absorb the impact, and it saved their lives," Edgecomb said.

McGinnis was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, in Schweinfurt, Germany.

He died on Dec. 4, 2006.

Three others have also been awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for their actions in Iraq. They are Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor and Marine Cpl. Jason L. Dunham.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sounds Like A Nice Place To Live!

BUTLER, Mo. — Salesmen at one Missouri car dealership aren't just kicking in a free CD player or factory air: They're offering a free handgun with every purchase.

Through the end of the month, car buyers at Max Motors in Butler will have a choice — $250 toward either a gun purchase or gasoline.

General manager Walter Moore said that so far, most buyers have chosen the gun, adding that he suggests they opt for a semiautomatic model "because it holds more rounds."

(In the fine print, the ad on the Web site explains, "Check written toward purchase price" and also mentions, "Approved Background Check REQUIRED!!")

Moore said he suspects his "Free Handgun" ad will draw protests in some places. But not in Butler, about 65 miles south of Kansas City.

Moore said, "Down here, we all believe in God, guts and guns."
The Observer

Busting the Republican Brand

by Lynn Woolley

Travis Childers has become an ominous symbol for Republicans. He has provided a wake-up call to party leaders that the great unwashed multitudes have understood for a while: the term “Republican” doesn’t stand for anything anymore. If the Republican Party is to survive, the brand will have to be rebuilt.

Childers, by the way, is a Democrat who won Mississippi’s first congressional district – something virtually nobody thought possible. District One is one of the safer Republican seats in the country. If the Childers win is a harbinger, then look for the GOP to lose another twenty House seats in November. It’s possible that Democrats could pick up five seats in the Senate. If you combine that with a Democratic White House, the Republican Party fades to insignificance.

To understand how this has happened to the once-grand old party, you have to understand the concept of “positioning” of which “branding” is a part. Positioning is the art of creating a concept or “position” for a product in the mind of the prospective consumer. Once that position is established, you have a brand.

For example, both Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble have web sites for selling books. But Amazon “owns” the position of being the on-line bookseller while people think of Barnes & Noble as a traditional store. These positions are strong brands.

It works that way with any product. If you buy a can of Folgers, you expect to get coffee. If you open the can and you get beans, you might think a mistake was made at the factory. You try again and this time, you get corn. The next time, you reach for another brand.

Back in the wilderness days of the 60’s and 70’s, the GOP didn’t stand for much and wasn’t particularly relevant. Then, in the wake of William F. Buckley and Barry Goldwater, came Ronald Reagan. Reagan created a strong brand for the Republicans. He railed against Big Government, called for lower taxes, and a strong military. The Republican brand was established under Reagan as the party of empowering the people rather than the state.

It was a brand that showcased why the Republican Party was not only different from the Democratic Party – but better!

Then came the Bushes. The first President Bush famously said “read my lips, no new taxes,” then negotiated with Democrats to raise taxes. He talked about a “new world order” where Reagan had championed America. He bucked the brand and lost his reelection campaign to Bill Clinton.

Then came the second President Bush, who was thought by many to be more conservative than his father. Campaigning as a “compassionate conservative,” he claimed the presidency after the Florida debacle and began a gradual shift to the left.

He busted the Republican brand by expanding the Education Department and creating an entire new department (Homeland Security). He lost the battle to fix entitlements and responded by creating a new one, the pharmaceutical benefit, and by expanding middle-class welfare through CHIP insurance. For six years, he failed to wield his veto pen as the Republican Congress spent the country silly and tacked on billions of dollars in earmarks. 9/11 exposed the deterioration of our military prowess that occurred under the watch of his father and Bill Clinton.

Now here’s the really strange part of all this: The more leftward Bush has turned, the more the Democrats and the media have branded him an archconservative.

(the Dems are superb politicians! - if nothing else! - Tiger)

So Bush’s failures have been ascribed to conservative policies when they have been nothing of the kind.

The election of someone such as Barack Obama would ensure that most of the Bush policies (with the notable exception of the war) would be retained and expanded. Where Bush gave us a new entitlement, Obama would give us nationalized healthcare. Where Bush spent big, Obama would spend bigger. Obama would give us a third Bush term. McCain would give us open borders, amnesty for illegal aliens and just slightly less climate-change socialism than we would get from Obama. What’s the difference? Only that Obama will be true to his brand. He will faithfully provide higher taxes and bigger government. McCain, as Bush has done, will bust the brand and give us pretty much the same thing.
The Observer

Garner - Washington Times : The Loser Republican's Platform


The Republican Party has lost much credibility among its base and has not yet established a comprehensive general election strategy or platform. This portends disaster as the general election is only five-and-half months away. The lack of direction and unity in the party was confirmed in two on-the-record meetings held May 19 at The Washington Times with former Virginia Gov. James Gilmore and Republican Chief Deputy Whip Rep. Eric Cantor, also of Virginia.
Mr. Gilmore hopes to be the Republican candidate in a Senate contest against former Democratic Gov. Mark Warner. During the interview at The Times, Mr. Gilmore declared that his party needs to establish a "clear message" and achieve "unity." Yet, when pressed by reporters and editors on specific general election tactics and initiatives, he was unable to clarify how Republicans could achieve both clarity and unity. He called for energy independence and a focus on pocketbook issues. Apart from this, Mr. Gilmore sought mostly to expound his credentials and track record as upholding Republican core values such as limited government and social conservatism. In so doing, he distanced himself on key issues from both President Bush and presumptive nominee John McCain. Thus, Mr. Gilmore appears to be adopting the advice outlined in a May 14 memo by Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia to the Republican leadership: In the absence of a rebranding of the party, "the best we can do over the next six months is to allow our members to brand themselves."
Mr. Cantor, a four-term congressman, also acknowledged the deep fissures within the party. He conveyed he understood the perception among the electorate that the Bush administration "did not fix any problems." He called upon the party to reconnect with the base and turn away from a "Pelosi-lite agenda." Our reporters and editors asked repeatedly how the party can restore its credibility on fiscal conservatism. Mr. Cantor pointed out that not enough voters appear to be aware that Republicans have been in the minority in Congress since the 2006 elections. Therefore, he maintains that the Democratic majority's record can be used against them in the general election. Yet he had difficulty explaining how a majority of his own party recently voted for a pork-laden farm bill that President Bush intends to veto. Mr. Cantor attempted to deflect the avalanche of criticism descending upon the party by foreshadowing a leadership conference scheduled the following day — which he hoped would provide direction.
The results of the latest meeting of the House Republican Conference were detailed in a statement released yesterday. House Republicans unveiled an energy plan that is designed to increase production of domestic energy, promote new sources of energy, cut red tape and provide conservation tax incentives. One of the primary goals of the energy policy is to lower gas prices — which is a pressing economic concern for American voters.
The measures outlined by Republicans do not go far enough to address the crisis at hand within the party — and the challenge presented by the innovative candidacy of the likely Democratic nominee, Barack Obama. The Republican Party will not be able to easily assault Democrats as being fiscally irresponsible — nor will they succeed in merely tagging Mr. Obama as another tax-and-spend liberal. Republicans have repeatedly betrayed their own principles on fiscal matters and will be pegged by Democrats as being hypocrites.
Moreover, the Republican Party has not yet established a strategy for uniting its various branches. Where is a coherent plan to attract swing voters such as Jews, Hispanics, blacks, women, Reagan Democrats and independents — without further alienating core voters? Republicans are seemingly united behind the McCain campaign; but are they really?
Furthermore, the party is not yet ready to combat an Obama campaign that promises bipartisanship and is galvanizing the anti-Washington vote. Republicans are still preparing to fight an old battle — that of 2000 or 2004 — rather than the one emerging in 2008.
In short, the Republican Party faces an identity crisis of its own making and a profound voter backlash that began in 2006. But even at this late stage, there is time to avert disaster. We urge party leaders to chart a winning course for 2008.
The Observer

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Garner - Washington Times : The Loser Republicans

On May 14, Republicans demonstrated why, in 2006, they became the minority party.

The 35 Republican senators who supported the odious farm bill: Lamar Alexander, Wayne Allard, John Barrasso, Kit Bond, Sam Brownback, Jim Bunning, Richard Burr, Saxby Chambliss, Thad Cochran, Norm Coleman, Bob Corker, John Cornyn, Larry Craig, Mike Crapo, Elizabeth Dole, Michael Enzi, Lindsey Graham, Charles Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Kay Bailey Hutchison, James, Inhofe, Johnny Isakson, Mel Martinez, Mitch McConnell, Pat Roberts, Jeff Sessions, Richard Shelby, Gordon Smith, Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter, Ted Stevens, John Thune, David Vitter, John Warner and Roger Wicker.

The 100 Republican representatives who supported this bill: Robert Aderholt, Rodney Alexander, Spencer Bachus, Roscoe Bartlett, Joe Barton, Gus Bilirakis, Tim Bishop, Roy Blunt, Jo Bonner, John Boozman, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, Henry Brown, Ginny Brown-Waite, Vern Buchanan, Steve Buyer, Dave Camp, Shelley Moore Capito, John Carter, Howard Coble, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Barbara Cubin, Geoff Davis, David Davis, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, John Doolittle, Thelma Drake, Jo Ann Emerson, Phil English, Terry Everett, Mary Fallin, Randy Forbes, Jeff Fortenberry, Elton Gallegly, Wayne Gilchrest, Phil Gingrey, Louie Gohmert, Bob Goodlatte, Sam Graves, Ralph Hall, Doc Hastings, Wally Herger, Peter Hoekstra, Kenny Hulshof, Tim Johnson, Walter Jones, Steve King, Jack Kingston, John Kline, Randy Kuhl, Ray LaHood, Tom Latham, Steven LaTourette, Robert Latta, Frank Lucas, Don Manzullo, Kenny Marchant, Michael McCaul, Thaddeus McCotter, John McHugh, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Candice Miller, Tim Murphy, Marilyn Musgrave, Randy Neugebauer, Steve Pearce, John Peterson, Chip Pickering, Todd Platts, Ted Poe, Jon Porter, Adam Putnam, George Radanovich, Ralph Regula, Denny Rehberg, Rick Renzi, Tom Reynolds, Harold Rogers, Mike Rogers (AL), Mike Rogers (MI), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Bill Sali, John Shimkus, Bill Shuster, Mike Simpson, Adrian Smith, Lamar Smith, Mark Souder, John Sullivan, Mac Thornberry, Mike Turner, Fred Upton, Tim Walberg, Greg Walden, James Walsh, Ed Whitfield, Rob Wittman and Don Young.
... article describing the Farm Bill, if you haven't heard about it. At least Bush vetoed it, but an override is very possible!
The Observer

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tehran Is Winning! - Or, What The Tiger Has Known For Years

Tehran is Winning
by Robert Maginnis
Posted: 05/19/2008

"The US must accept the fact that there is no non-military “leverage” that will compel Iran to change course."

Last week, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates admitted to a policy defeat when it comes to Iran -- the US has no “leverage” complained the secretary. “We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage … and then sit down and talk with” Iran, Gates said. The reality is that fear of certain and violent decapitation is the only leverage the mad mullahs are likely to understand.

But Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, says he knows how to deal with rogues like Iran. He proposes to talk and without pre-conditions and presumably with no leverage. Apparently, he believes his campaign rhetoric of unspecified “change” will capture the cooperation of the hegemonic mullahs.

Obama’s approach is naïve and cedes the initiative to Tehran. Iran may be willing to talk to Obama but count on Tehran continuing her destructive ways. Since last summer, the US and Iranian ambassadors have negotiated in Baghdad three times yet Tehran increased her support for Iraqi insurgents.

The US must accept the fact that there is no non-military “leverage” that will compel Iran to change course. That reality logically gives Tehran a win on key fronts if the military option remains off the table:

- Iran will have its way in Iraq, at the nuclear bargaining table and in places like Lebanon.

- Iran is winning in Iraq. Baghdad’s government is dominated by Tehran- supporting Shia. It uses Iraqi proxies like Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mehdi Army to kill Americans hoping the US will abandon Iraq.

- Our lame duck president pledges we will stay the course in Iraq but the presidential candidates are promising exit strategies.

- Tehran will not back down from its goal of an Iranian puppet government in Baghdad because that would virtually guarantee the Sunnis remain on the fringes of power and the Iraqi military will never again become powerful enough to threaten Iran as it did in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Besides, a pro Iranian government in Iraq would also further insultate Iran from international sanctions, to which it already seems almost impervious, as is indicated by her nuclear program.

- Tehran continues to enrich uranium in spite of a host of international sanctions. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "… is quite prepared, as is the rest of the leadership, to ignore the various Security Council resolutions that require Iran to suspend these activities," acknowledged Greg Schulte, US Representative to the US International Atomic Energy Agency. "We are dealing with a regime that is very determined," Schulte said. Even if Iran’s claim to a peaceful nuclear program were credible (and they’re not) her determination goes beyond internal programs. Iran is determined to exercise far more than an appropriate amount of influence over the internal affairs of neighboring nations.

Using proxies, the mullahs have expanded their influence from western Afghanistan (Herat) to the Mediterranean. In the early 1980s, Iran created the terrorist organization Hezbollah to advance her Islamic revolution. That organization has become the world’s largest terror group with American blood on its hands from the 1983 Marine barracks incident in Beirut to the current battlefields in Iraq. Recently, it has successfully fought Israel and now dominates Lebanon. Iran’s imperialism has effectively created a bi-polar Mideast. The May 11th edition of the Iranian daily Kayhan addresses this new reality: “In the power struggle in the Middle East, there are only two sides: Iran and the US.” The bi-polar Mideast creates a Hobson’s choice for the US side. Aaron Miller, a former US Mideast negotiator, explains that America “…is trapped in a region which it cannot fix and it cannot abandon.” America’s Mideast options are bleak. The “military option” against Tehran isn’t attractive in part because our forces are already overstretched by two regional wars and the alternative, diplomacy with economic sanctions, hasn’t worked. Besides, our Sunni Arab allies are divided. Tehran seems impervious to American diplomacy. For three decades our countries have communicated through posturing and exchanging insults. When we have negotiated we have played by Iran’s rules and always come up second best.

There is an explanation for our diplomatic stumbling. Gary Sick served on the National Security Council for three US presidents. He says our problem with the Iranians is the way that nation makes decisions and the Iranians’ “negotiating gene.”Sick explains that to negotiate with Tehran you have to deal with multiple power centers: start with Supreme Leader Ali Khameini but take account of the majles [parliament] and the office of the presidency. Decisions in Iran are based on the consensus of these power centers which is alien to the West.

Iranians also believe they are superior negotiators. Sick explains that “Iranians grow up thinking their success or personal identity is determined by how well they bargain or that they can out-bargain or outwit anyone.” This view results in their unwillingness to compromise which puts Americans at a disadvantage, says Sick. Therefore, when negotiating with Tehran you either accept her terms or you abandon talking and revert to brute force recognizing the regime for what it is -- a theocratic, self-righteous state that accepts no compromise.

One statesman who endorses brute force with Iran is former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He uses the direct analogy between Iran and Nazi Germany. “It’s 1938 and Iran is Germany. And Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bombs,” Netanyahu told delegates to the annual United Jewish Communities general assembly. “Believe him and stop him,” Netanyahu said of Iran’s Ahmadinejad. “This is what we must do. Everything else pales before this.”

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger agrees. Iran threatens the viability of the international community, says Kissinger. The Iranian problem “…will not go away” and he cautioned that if something is not done soon there will be multinational proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Last week, President Bush was in Jerusalem where he splashed cold water on negotiating with "radicals and terrorists" saying it was "a foolish delusion." (a bit hypocritical for him to say - Tiger) Quickly the Pentagon’s spokesman claimed there was “absolutely no gap” between Gates’ views on negotiating with “radical” Iran and the president’s.

Tehran must have chuckled over the administration’s mixed messages. “What does incentives mean,” Ahmadinejad asked rhetorically while referring to Gates’ search for incentives to leverage negotiations with Iran. Iran is winning on all fronts because the US has failed to find effective leverage to alter her dangerous, imperialistic activities. We must either surrender to Tehran’s mad mullahs or find Gates some persuasive leverage but that leverage is looking more like “shock and awe” brute force.
The Observer

Saturday, May 17, 2008

What Nobody Wants To Hear

A Real Man's Responsibilities

By John Hawkins

"You think I am brave because I carry a gun; well, your fathers are much braver because they carry responsibility, for you, your brothers, your sisters, and your mothers. And this responsibility is like a big rock that weighs a ton. It bends and it twists them until finally it buries them under the ground. And there's nobody says they have to do this. They do it because they love you, and because they want to. I have never had this kind of courage. Running a farm, working like a mule every day with no guarantee anything will ever come of it. This is bravery."
-- Charles Bronson in The Magnificent Seven
You can scarcely pick up a paper these days without reading about someone talking about "rights." However, the word "responsibilities" doesn't seem to come up as often. That's a shame because our "responsibilities" are every bit as important as our "rights." In fact, the "responsibilities" are more important in some ways because of our nature.

We human beings are born savages, not much different than highly intelligent wolves. It's only because we have been socialized, civilized, taught better, and bathed in the grace of God that we have the wherewithal to live together respectfully in a civilized society.

Moreover, because men are bigger, stronger, and more naturally aggressive than women, we particularly need to be schooled on what our duties are -- not just as human beings, but as men.

To begin with, a real man should be able to shoot a gun, catch a fish, hunt, take and throw a punch, know what to do if a tornado or hurricane hits, cook a steak, jump-start a car, change a tire, drive a stick shift, give a firm handshake, read a map, handle a budget, swim, tie a tie, give a 5 minute speech, comfort someone who has just had a loved one die, negotiate a raise or a price on something he's going to buy, and tell a pushy salesman "no."

However, real men understand that their responsibilities don't end with mere skills. Men have duties that go far beyond that.

Men have an obligation to treat women with respect, to open doors, to pull out chairs, to pay for dinner on a date, to act in a chivalrous manner -- and a real man wouldn't physically hurt a woman if you put a gun to his head. In other words, a man should show a woman the same respect that he would want another man to show to his sister or mother.

That goes double for a man's wife and family. Every man has an obligation to protect and provide for his family. A man with a sense of honor doesn't abandon his children or put his own wants ahead of his family's needs. Moreover, the sort of man you'd want your son to grow up and be, is not only capable of taking care of himself, he will find a way to make sure his family is taken care of as well. For a man like that, having to see his own family take government assistance or charity is a rebuke that cuts him to the quick because it means that he has failed at one of his most important jobs.

Additionally, not every man is going to be a president, CEO, or general, but every man should be able to lead and act responsibly when the situation calls for it. He is the one ultimately responsible for his own life, his own family, and for setting an example. Not everybody has the same religious beliefs or version of patriotism, but men should understand that standing up for God, country, and what's right is important because it sets a much needed example for others to follow.

That's why being a pistol-toting gang banger or a pick-up artist with five children by five different mothers doesn't make you a real man, although people sometimes confuse that sort of bad behavior with manhood. A real man isn't just the sort of guy you'd want to cover your back in a fight or someone you'd want with you if you were trying to meet women; a man who deserves to be emulated is decent, loyal, trustworthy, courteous and feels an almost instinctive outrage at injustice and desire to protect the weak.

Real men are responsible, honorable, and do what needs to be done. As long as this country never runs short of men like that, the greatest country on God's green earth will continue to thrive, prosper, and show the rest of the world how it should be done.
The Observer

What Did He Promise Daddy This Time? - More Weaponry? Or More PC? Both?

U.S. not at war with Islam faith, Bush says ...



Saudis increase oil production ...


... But Wait! Saudis See No Reason to Raise Oil Production? ...




Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
The Observer
HT:
It's hard to trick the Tigress!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Losing the W.O.T. - Modern Fascism in the Bush Administration

"We are told that we should no longer use words and phrases such as “jihadist,” “Islamic terrorist,” “Islamist,” and “holy warrior.” Using the word “Islamic,” the experts have advised us, may “concede the terrorists’ claim that they are legitimate adherents of Islam.”

At best, this advice is seriously flawed. At worst, it is an ominous recipe that invites defeat, for it begs us to ignore who it is that has declared war against the West in general -- and the U.S. in particular. The authors urge us to disregard the first axiom of war: if you don’t know your enemy -- you will lose. "

Oliver North:

Louisville, KY -- The term “politically correct,” is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary thus: “Of, relating to, or supporting broad social, political, and educational change, especially to redress historical injustices in matters such as race, class, gender, and sexual orientation.” Add to that litany of “historical injustices” the title of my New York Times bestseller: “American Heroes in the Fight Against Radical Islam.”

In recent weeks, the vocabulary police opened a new front in the war on terror by issuing a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” for terrorism terminology. In an effort to fight a “kinder, gentler” war on Islamic radicals, the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with unnamed Islamic interest groups, has issued a paper entitled, “Terminology to Define the Terrorists: Recommendations from American Muslims.”

This policy document warns U.S. government officials against “using theological terms, particularly those in Arabic even if such usage is benign or overtly positive. Islamic law and terms come with a particular context, which may not always be apparent.” Homeland Security’s paper counsels: “It is one thing for a Muslim leader to use a particular term; an American official may simply not have the religious authority to be taken seriously, even when using terms appropriately.”

In other words, we infidels have no “street cred” in the Islamic world.

We are told that we should no longer use words and phrases such as “jihadist,” “Islamic terrorist,” “Islamist,” and “holy warrior.” Using the word “Islamic,” the experts have advised us, may “concede the terrorists’ claim that they are legitimate adherents of Islam.”

At best, this advice is seriously flawed. At worst, it is an ominous recipe that invites defeat, for it begs us to ignore who it is that has declared war against the West in general -- and the U.S. in particular. The authors urge us to disregard the first axiom of war: if you don’t know your enemy -- you will lose.

In an interview with Bernard Lewis, the dean of Mid-East scholars, for FOX News’ War Stories, he contrasted the way we fought fascism during World War II with the current conflict. He said, “Then we knew who the enemy was. We knew who we were. Nowadays…we have great difficulty in defining the enemy. We have to be careful not to offend anybody. We don't even seem to be able to define our own cause, let alone the enemy’s. This kind of uncertainty makes it very difficult to carry on any sort of struggle.”

Unfortunately, the DHS policy paper -- drafted with the help of anonymous “influential Muslim Americans” -- not only makes the current struggle more difficult -- it is also riddled with outright falsehoods. The document states, that “The civilized world is facing a global challenge, which transcends geography, culture, and religion.” That statement defies reality. We didn’t label Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Jamiyah Islamiyah and Mahdi Army murderers -- to name just a few of the groups I have seen in action -- Muslim holy warriors -- they did. We didn’t call their savage suicidal bombing campaign an Islamic jihad -- they did.

The Homeland Security document insists that “Islam and secular democracy are fully compatible -- in fact, they can make each other stronger. Senior officials should emphasize this positive fact.” That “positive fact” simply isn’t. Save for Iraq and Afghanistan where U.S. troops have become the protectors of Muslim women and nascent representative political institutions, there is no Islamic majority country where “secular democracy” flourishes. We didn’t create these realities -- Muslim leaders did.

Reality has little to do with this new wave of political correctness -- and it goes well beyond this new DHS policy document. Muneer Fareed of the Islamic Society of North America told the Washington Times that he has contacted Senator John McCain’s office to urge him to “rethink word usage that is more acceptable to the Muslim community.” Mr. Fareed is upset that McCain consistently refers to “radical Islamic extremism.”

In London, the British government’s Home Office has advised government officials that they should use words such as “violent extremism” instead of “terrorism.” When fanatics carry out horrific attacks on innocent civilians in the name of Islam, the perpetrators should be referred to as “criminals” instead of “terrorists.”

Not to be outdone in the political correctness department, the European Union has come up with guidelines on how to talk about terrorists who are literally dying to kill us. It warns that, “Unintended stigmatization resulting from an ill-considered choice of words may have serious negative psychological effects and thus contribute to the process of radicalization.” In other words, it’s all our fault.

If we succumb to this kind of mindless mumbo-jumbo and double-speak to describe the Islamic radicals who are trying to kill us, we’re courting uncertainty and defeat. Or, as one very politically incorrect soldier put it plainly during a book signing this afternoon, “we’re screwed.”
The Observer

Peggy Noonan - WSJ - Pity Party

Mr. Bush has squandered the hard-built paternity of 40 years. But so has the party, and so have its leaders. If they had pushed away for serious reasons, they could have separated the party's fortunes from the president's. This would have left a painfully broken party, but they wouldn't be left with a ruined "brand," as they all say, speaking the language of marketing. And they speak that language because they are marketers, not thinkers. Not serious about policy. Not serious about ideas. And not serious about leadership, only followership.

... The Democrats aren't the ones falling apart, the Republicans are. The Democrats can see daylight ahead. For all their fractious fighting, they're finally resolving their central drama. Hillary Clinton will leave, and Barack Obama will deliver a stirring acceptance speech. Then hand-to-hand in the general, where they see their guy triumphing. You see it when you talk to them: They're busy being born.

The Republicans? Busy dying. The brightest of them see no immediate light. They're frozen, not like a deer in the headlights but a deer in the darkness, his ears stiff at the sound. Crunch. Twig. Hunting party.

The headline Wednesday on Drudge, from Politico, said, "Republicans Stunned by Loss in Mississippi." It was about the eight-point drubbing the Democrat gave the Republican in the special House election. My first thought was: You have to be stupid to be stunned by that. Second thought: Most party leaders in Washington are stupid – detached, played out, stuck in the wisdom they learned when they were coming up, in '78 or '82 or '94. Whatever they learned then, they think pertains now. In politics especially, the first lesson sticks. For Richard Nixon, everything came back to Alger Hiss.

... finish reading Peggy's editorial ...
The Observer

Robotic Exoskeleton Turns Grunts into Super Soldiers

I Could Use This In The Garage!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

We Need A Laugh!




video

Who Is This Nerd? : )

The Observer

Good News! It Can Only Get Worse Now!


JERUSALEM – Sen. Barack Obama's face several times graced the cover of an anti-American magazine run by his longtime pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., appearing on one issue alongside Nation of Islam chief Louis Farrakhan.

Issues of Wright's Trumpet magazine reportedly have suggested America was guilty of genocide in Africa, decried the Fourth of July as the "national holiday of the dominant culture," referred to America as a "diaspora" for blacks, repudiated American patriotism and entertained suggestions the Bush administration knew about the 9-11 attacks before they were carried out.

... follow title link for full story ...

The Observer

HA !!! Oh My! My Sides Hurt - First The Green Teddy, Now This!

... he has definitely lost my vote! - Tiger
The Observer

Monday, May 12, 2008

This Horse Has Broken Ankles In the Starting Gate - Shoot It Before it Starts!

In A Move Disgustingly Illustrative Of Systemic GOP Problems, The House introduces a campaign message today in which they promise voters "the change you deserve" while arguing that Democrats in Congress have dropped the ball, according to a leadership strategy memo to rank-and-file members.

This, "blame everyone else for our problems mentality" simply doesn't work. Most of us have known, for a very long time, about the problems Democrats have. We want PRINCIPLED, OVERT, AGGRESSIVE CHANGES WITHIN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY - not more rhetoric.

You GOP officials and Pols are the epitome of what we mean when we say; LOSER !!!

... story below:

"It starts with this: Washington is broken, the American people want it fixed, and Democrats in Washington have proven unable or unwilling to get the job done. Republicans will," says the memorandum, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times.

The message being circulated today is part of a campaign strategy on which the leadership will brief members this week. It includes a scheduled Wednesday announcement of the party's new "American Families Agenda."

A top Republican aide, who did not want to reveal too much, said the families agenda is a blueprint for addressing challenges confronting families and will seek to replace outdated laws to help women with children who work outside the home and families in which both parents work.

These kinds of voters often lean Democratic.

The overall election strategy includes short-term and long-term plans — to be introduced next week — that will tackle the rising costs of gasoline and diesel fuel, the aide said.

Beginning in June, Republicans will tout proposals to deal with health care, the economy and national security.

"Americans have seen firsthand the change Democrats are making, and it is moving America in the wrong direction. To the American people, we say that Republicans will deliver 'the change you deserve,' " the memo says.

The Republicans, whose 12-year reign as the majority party in the House ended with the 2006 elections, devised the strategy to prevent further losses and, they hope, chip away at the Democrats' 235-199 majority in the chamber.

"We can't win solely by tying our opponents to Barack Obama and his liberal views," House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said last week at a caucus meeting, referring to the senator from Illinois who is likely to be the Democratic presidential nominee.
"We also have to prove Republicans are agents of change," Mr. Boehner told the caucus, according to participants. "If we want Americans to vote for us, we have to convince them we can fix Washington."

House Republicans hope the strategy will deflect criticism from Democrats, who blame Republican policies and President Bush for skyrocketing gas prices and the wave of home foreclosures and tie the nearly $1 trillion spent on the Iraq war to the economic downturn.

"I think the Republicans are in denial and disarray and wedded to failed policies and insensitive to the pain and plight of the people," said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat. "I think there is a very great awareness among the American public that the solutions being sought by Republicans are not to their liking."

House Republicans face several campaign challenges this year. Their fundraising arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee, has been significantly outraised by its Democratic counterpart and a former treasurer is accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

House Republicans also must defend at least 25 seats vacated by members who opted not to seek re-election, compared with about a half-dozen Democratic retirements. Republican leaders say many of their retirements are in safe districts, but Democrats in recent weeks have won two special House elections — one each in Illinois and Louisiana — in districts long held by Republicans.

Republicans also risk losing another House seat tomorrow in Mississippi, where many political analysts predict Democratic candidate Travis Childers will beat Republican Greg Davis in a special runoff election to serve the final months of a seat vacated by Rep. Roger Wicker, a Republican appointed to replace Sen. Trent Lott, who resigned in December 2007.
The Observer
BTW, here's someone with a different take on this: History Gives Hope to Republicans

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The City of New Orleans

Good Bye, America - How Are Ya?

No Way! ..... McCain! - Even Republicans Don't Know Their Own Party

1. He has a consistent pattern of shocking verbal abuse, including screaming profanities, against Senate Republican colleagues who oppose his bills in any way; and (Well! None of us are perfect! - Tiger)

2. He has exercised scandalously poor judgment by intervening with the federal regulators on behalf of Charles H. Keating, Jr. in the Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980s; and (Money Trumps Everything! - Tiger)

3. He has worked against the principles of the Republican Party, promoting greatly expanding federal regulatory authority in order to combat global warming in ways that would greatly burden the American economy, contrary to free market forces; and (as has many Republicans - even "Newt the Toot Greengrich" - Tiger)

4. He has fought the Republican Party to create the Patient’s Bill of Rights, which allowed the government to impose a set of burdensome mandates on insurance coverage; and (Bush Loves BIG Government - It's Republican! - Tiger)

5. He has undermined the principles of a free market economy by voting for an amendment that would authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to implement price controls on prescription drugs under Medicare; and (Lessons learned from Dad - George Hebert Walker Bush - don't trust anybody with more than 3 names! - Tiger)

6. He has worked against the Republican Party to make a mockery of the rule of law, promoting amnesty for 20 million illegal immigrants; and (the man of lawlessness, G.W. Bush - Tiger)

7. He has voted to subvert American Sovereignty by granting consulting rights to Mexico concerning the erection of a southern border fence; and (we're all one big happy world! - even the bad guys! - just ask Mahmoud Abbas! - Tiger)

8. He has undermined the Constitution and opposed the Constitutional duties of the Vice President to break a tie on judicial nominations; and (Well! The Constitution is old and unnecessary now! - Tiger; besides, it can be interpreted in so many ways!)

9. He has worked against Conservative principles, undermining the First Amendment by abridging the free speech of citizens partaking in the political process; and (He loves his pal, Feingold! - Tiger)

10. He has consistently led efforts undermining Second Amendment rights by promoting bills which regulate all sales at gun shows; regulations which force gun-owners to purchase trigger locks, making their firearms useless for self-defense; regulations which restrict the legitimate transfer of firearms over the Internet; and regulations which extend the restrictions of the Brady bill to pawn shops and gun repair shops; and (Free people should NOT be armed! - Right!?! - Tiger)

11. He has voted to use taxpayer funds to harvest stem cells from human embryos; and (babies don't matter! - besides the Adult one are working better! - Thank GOD for Science and the Enlightenment! - Tiger)

12. He has refused to take immediate and direct action to protect the life of the unborn; he opposes the repeal of Roe v. Wade; and he opposes a constitutional amendment to protect all human life; and (ditto) (babies don't matter! - besides the Adult ones are working better! - Thank GOD for Science and the Enlightenment! - Tiger)

13. He sponsored and voted for a 282% tax increase on cigarettes that would have unconstitutionally violated the First Amendment and increased the size of the federal bureaucracy exponentially by giving the FDA unrestricted control over nicotine; and (BIG GOVERNMENT IS THE ANSWER! It's the REPUBLICAN WAY! - Tiger)

14. He supports raising Social Security taxes; and (Gotta pay for all those old Mexicans! - Tiger)

15. He has broken with the Republican Party in strongly opposing President Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. He also joined leading liberal senators in offering and voting for amendments designed to undermine the tax cuts. (Our money is their money!!! - Tiger)
The Observer

Thursday, May 08, 2008

An Oldie... But A Real Goodie!


video

One Down, Two to Go

Ann Coulter
Well, it looks like it's the end of the road for Hillary. Time for her to pack up her pantsuits and go back to ... wherever it is she's pretending to be living these days. Now we just have to get rid of the other two. Perhaps if I endorse Obama ...

This week, Bill Clinton lost his second presidential election for a protege.

Ronald Reagan was so popular, he not only won a 49-state landslide re-election for himself, but he also won a symbolic third term for his boob of a vice president, George Herbert Walker Bush (who immediately blew it by breaking his own "no new taxes" pledge). (the Bush family Socialist who started all the recent troubles - Tiger)

By contrast, in addition to not being able to get half the country to vote for him in two tries, Clinton's connection to any other presidential candidate spells utter doom. Both his vice president and his wife have been defeated in elections they should have won, but lost because of their unfortunate association with him. The country has spoken. It wants to be rid of the Clintons.

The reason two elections in recent history -- the 2000 presidential election and the 2008 Democratic primary -- were razor-close is that in both cases there was some strange, foreboding, otherworldly force dragging down the presumptive winner.

Clinton's vice president, Al Gore, lost an election that should have been his in a walk. In fact, he was the first incumbent president or vice president in 100 years to lose an election in peacetime with a good economy. Mind you, that was before we even knew that Gore was a deranged conspiracy theorist who believes the Earth is in serious peril from cow flatulence.

What was the mystery factor to explain such a historic loss?

The media's pollsters may have lied to the public about Clinton's vaunted popularity, but Gore's pollsters got paid not to lie to him. And they told Gore the truth: Clinton was killing him.

After the election, Gore pollster -- and erstwhile Clinton pollster -- Stanley Greenberg told Vanity Fair magazine that if Clinton had helped, he said he would have "had Bill Clinton carry Al Gore around on his back." (This was when one man could still actually carry Al Gore on his back.) But research showed that whenever Clinton was mentioned, Gore's numbers went down faster than -- oh, never mind.

Steve Rosenthal, political director of the AFL-CIO, also blamed Clinton for Gore's loss, saying polls showed that voters who cared about character voted for Bush. (I know, I know. Are there actually people who care about character and vote Democrat? Yes, apparently they exist.)

Poor Gore did everything he could to distance himself from Clinton, publicly criticizing Clinton's sexual exploits with an intern, refusing to allow Clinton to campaign with him and taking as his vice president Joe Lieberman -- the first Democratic senator to scathingly denounce Clinton's antics with Lewinsky from the Senate floor.

But voters couldn't forget Gore's boss, the purple-faced lecher.

As election predictors go, the Dow Jones has been remarkably accurate. If the Dow goes up from the end of July to the end of October, the incumbent president or vice president wins; if it goes down, the incumbent loses. It has been wrong only four times since the Dow was created in 1896.

Thus, on Nov. 1, 2000, an article in The New York Times began: "The verdict of the Dow Jones industrial average is in, and it says Al Gore is headed for the White House."

And yet Gore lost. It was only the third time in more than a century that the Dow went up in the three months before the election and the incumbent lost. The two other times were: (1) Herbert Hoover in the middle of the Great Depression, and (2) Hubert Humphrey in the middle of the Vietnam War. (The only time the Dow went down and the incumbent won anyway was for popular Dwight Eisenhower.)

So we have documented proof: Americans rank Bill Clinton with national misfortunes on the order of the Great Depression and the Vietnam War. (This, of course, is an overreaction: The Great Depression wasn't that bad.)

And now Bill Clinton has wrecked Hillary's campaign, too. He's like the creepy guy who graduated last year but still hangs around the high school cafeteria chatting up sophomores.

In a Time magazine poll taken earlier this year, more than twice as many voters said Bill Clinton's involvement in Hillary's campaign made them less likely to vote for her as said they were more likely to vote for her. (Some even said that "having Bill Clinton around makes me less likely to vote for What's-Her-Name." One-third of the respondents were upset Bill didn't call the next day, like he promised.)

So before remembering that we are now left with two dangerous choices for president -- a young liberal who is friendly with terrorists or an old liberal who is friendly with Teddy Kennedy -- take a moment to revel in the fact that our long national nightmare is over. It turns out getting rid of the Clintons was the change we've been waiting for.
The Observer

Monday, May 05, 2008

Amerabia: The Islamicization of the U.S.

Monday, May 5, 2008 11:38 AM

By: Center for Security Policy

Even Americans knowledgeable about Europe's growing accommodation to the totalitarian ideology, known alternatively as Islamism, jihadism or Islamofascism, tend smugly to believe the same thing can't happen here. Think again.

Every day, new evidence appears of similar acts of submission — the Islamists call it "dhimmitude" — on the part of the U.S. government, judges, the press and leading corporations.
Eurabia, meet the United States of Amerabia.

The Agenda, Loud and Clear

On May 4, an ominous alarm was sounded in a Pajamas Media column by Youssef Ibrahim, a former New York Times reporter. Ibrahim is an astute critic of the Islamists' steady, tireless and increasingly effective efforts to impose, on Muslims and non-Muslims alike, the repressive theo-political-legal agenda they call Shariah law.

He warned that "In the very real war on terror, a noisy squabble over 'fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here' clouds a simple truth: namely, that 'they' are here already. Indeed, Islamists are busy constructing a wing of jihad in America's backyard."

Among the most worrisome of the "they" now operating inside the United States are various front organizations systematically established by the Islamist organization known as the Ikhwan, or Muslim Brotherhood. During last year's federal trial of the Holy Land Foundation on terrorism-financing charges, the government introduced into evidence the names of many scores of such Ikhwan fronts.

Identified also as unindicted co-conspirators were virtually every one of the most prominent Muslim-American organizations, including notably the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

Prosecutors also presented what amounts to a Brotherhood mission statement. According to a memorandum produced by the group in 1991: "The process of settlement [of Islam in the United States] is a "Civilization-Jihadist" process with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that all their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' their miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers."

To be clear, this is not the agenda of all Muslims, certainly not all American Muslims. Yet, we cannot safely ignore the fact that followers of the Muslim Brotherhood are among those who do have such an outcome as their goal — let alone allow our "hands" to contribute to its realization.
Writing about this Brotherhood manifesto in the Dallas Morning News last September, columnist Rod Dreher observed: "The entire 18-page platform outlines a plan for the long haul. It prescribes the Muslim Brotherhood's comprehensive plan to set down roots in civil society. It begins by both founding and taking control of American Muslim organizations, for the sake of unifying and educating the U.S. Muslim community — this to prepare it for the establishment of a global Islamic state governed by Shariah."

Inside the Gates

Unfortunately, in the past 17 years, the Ikhwan has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams. Groups like CAIR, ISNA and MPAC not only made great strides in what Ibrahim calls "the common task [of] instill[ing] the notion among Arab-Americans or European immigrant communities of Muslim countries that they are not part of secular multicultural societies." Brotherhood fronts have also penetrated and exercised enormous influence over U.S. government agencies responsible for understanding and countering the Islamist threat.
Space limitations preclude more than a handful of examples: The FBI allows CAIR to provide "sensitivity training" for its agents. U.S. intelligence actively recruits at ISNA and other Ikhwan front conferences. One of ISNA's highly placed admirers, Pentagon deputy chief Gordon England's consigliere Hisham Islam, was allowed to purge the Joint Chiefs of Staff's Islamist expert, Steven Coughlin, for warning against such practices.

Most recently, two key federal agencies, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, encouraged American officials to eschew, when describing our enemies, the use of such terms as jihadist, mujahedeen, Islamic terrorist, Islamist, holy warrior and Islamofascism. According to an Associated Press report, the government is supposed instead to "use the terms 'violent extremist' or 'terrorist.'

Both are widely understood terms that define our enemies appropriately and simultaneously deny them any level of legitimacy." (Evidently, President Bush has not gotten the word as he used what Andy McCarthy calls the "J-word" in his press conference last week.)

The Bottom Line

This astounding act of dhimmitude confirms Steve Coughlin's thesis: The enemy has so thoroughly gotten inside our decision-making as to preclude us from understanding his true nature and threat doctrine. By affording the Ikhwan such an opportunity, we have rendered this country, as a practical matter, incapable of countering our Islamist foes abroad — let alone here at home.

Fortunately, a courageous legislator, Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., has come forward to challenge the emerging Amerabia. She has unveiled a 10-point program that calls for, among other things: investigations of Ikhwan penetrations of our prison and military chaplain corps; an inquiry into the legitimacy of CAIR's tax-exempt status; corrective actions with respect to numerous ill-advised policies vis a vis Saudi Arabia; and addressing the seditious nature of Islamist threats to our government and people.

For her exemplary leadership and determination to resist national dhimmitude, this column recognizes Congresswoman Myrick with its coveted "Horatius (or, for the first time Horatia) at the Bridge" award, for her willingness, like the legendary Roman, to take on singlehandedly the enemy hordes and try to save her country.

We hope she will add to her list and secure the broadest possible support for her efforts.

The Observer

April Statistics from "The Religion of Peace"


Monthly Jihad Report April 2008

Jihad Attacks: 185

Countries: 14

Religions: 5

Dead Bodies: 943

Critically Injured: 1223
The Observer

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sunday Devotion (Even Though the Sabbath is Saturday! : )

Marching Toward Dhimmitude - The Bush Administration, Worse Than Carter


On Not Having A Legacy To Stand On

JERUSALEM — U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she will ask Israel to remove more physical barriers erected in the West Bank as a bulwark against Palestinian militants. (Only if Secret Service protection is removed from you, Condi! - Tiger)

In a busy day Sunday, Rice was scheduled to hold a series of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, including three-way sessions with the Israeli foreign minister and the Palestinians' chief negotiator, and another with Israel's defense minister and the Palestinian prime minister.

The Bush administration wants to see speedier progress toward a political settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, a goal of President George W. Bush in his final year in office, Rice said Saturday en route to Israel and the West Bank for weekend meetings. (Sounds just like Clinton, doesn't it? - Tiger)

Rice's visit coincides with new doubts about the viability of both Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas' unannounced heart test last week injected new uncertainty into peacemaking, and Olmert has become the subject of yet another police investigation.

(In other words, Abbas is "America's" Terrorist and Olmert is a bad smelling, year old onion bagel - Tiger)

A gag order has been imposed on the Olmert case. But speaking to his Cabinet Sunday, Olmert said the case has unleashed a wave of "malicious and wicked" rumors and pledged to push forward with his agenda.

He also confirmed reports that he would meet with Abbas on Monday. The two leaders have set a year-end target for wrapping up a peace deal and meet regularly to assess progress.

Rice, who met with Olmert after arriving in Israel late Saturday, said it was too early for pessimism, despite a lack of obvious accomplishment in peace talks launched five months ago. (Ha! - hahahahaha, oh my! - Tiger)

Rice suggested she would lean on Israel to yank West Bank roadblocks that Abbas says strangle the Palestinian economy.

"I understand that everyone — President Abbas, I, the president, would like to see things move more quickly," Rice said. "That's why we keep coming and pressing all the parties to meet their obligations."

Palestinians complain that Israel has played bait-and-switch — removing tiny barriers and calling them roadblocks or only partially dismantling obstacles after pledging to pull them down. Rice said she would question the "qualitative character" of some roadblocks Israel has already removed.

"Not all roadblocks are created equal," Rice said with a wry smile. "We don't want to get into a numbers game where you just remove X number of roadblocks but it's not improving the lives of the Palestinians."

Rice met early Sunday with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who oversees the checkpoint system. Israeli officials declined to release details on the talks.

Since the outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian fighting in 2000, Israel has covered the West Bank with hundreds of checkpoints, gates and earthen barriers that protect Jewish settlers in the West Bank and make it harder for militants to cross into Israel. Israel says the barriers are necessary for its security, but they have also stifled the Palestinian economy and caused widespread hardship to ordinary Palestinians.

("Oh Israel", they use the same logic here at home! Even though illegal immigrants bring murder, rape, and mayhem - it's good for the economy! - Tiger)

The World Bank warned last week that the limping Palestinian economy would contract unless Israel eased restrictions on movement in the West Bank. Israel has removed some obstacles in recent weeks, but the report, citing U.N. figures, said that as of March, the overall number of obstacles had increased.

Speaking to reporters, Rice also addressed Palestinian concerns that Israel is undermining the work of ostensibly independent Palestinian security forces.

The city of Nablus, which several months ago became the test case for Abbas' forces, is still raided regularly by Israeli troops searching for fugitives. Palestinian officials say such raids compromise Palestinian security forces, but Israel says Palestinian troops too often co-opt, rather than confront, militants. (They understand the THREAT, Condi - and YOU don't! - Tiger)

The United States recognizes Israel's security concerns, but Bush and others have sent strong messages "that when the Palestinians deploy, and when you're trying to give responsibility to the Palestinians, it's important not to take steps that undermine their authority," Rice said.

Hundreds of flag-waving Palestinian troops took up positions in the West Bank town of Jenin on Saturday — part of Abbas' attempt to assert control in preparation for what he hopes will be an Israeli withdrawal. However, the Israeli military and Abbas sharply disagree over whether the Palestinian forces are ready to replace Israeli troops.

The deployment of the security forces is part of Palestinian commitments under a U.S.-backed peace plan. Abbas is to rein in and disarm militants, while Israel must freeze settlement expansion and remove dozens of illegal settlement outposts.

In violation of its commitment, Israel has issued construction bids for hundreds more homes in settlements since the relaunch of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in November. It has also failed to remove the outposts. On Friday, the "Quartet" of Mideast peace mediators — the United States, Russia, European Union and United Nations — again demanded that Israel halt settlement construction.

Israel is talking peace with Abbas while pursuing armed men and economic sanctions in the Gaza Strip, which has been ruled since June by Islamic Hamas militants who oppose Israel's existence. Militants routinely attack southern Israel from Gaza, and troops and militants were clashing early Sunday in southern Gaza.

A Gaza health official said a 36-year-old Palestinian civilian man was killed in the fighting.

... what cynicism! Bush wants his legacy, no matter how many Israeli lives it takes! - Tiger
The Observer