Saturday, August 30, 2008

Do I Beat Up on Obama ? ?

I have certainly given much more space to criticism of Obama than criticism of McCain. I feel that Obama is a greater threat to the republic. And, even though I'm not so crazy about McCain, I feel that he would make a better president. Also there is so much difference between rhetoric and substance with Obama that he is a natural magnet of criticism. It would not be inaccurate to say that Obama is 99% rhetoric and 1% substance.

Obama and Censorship

This is a post from Verum Serum ( from today.

Obama: Republic or Empire? (Update)

John on August 28, 2008

There’s a broad definition of censorship which goes something like this:

Action taken to prevent others from having access to a book or information; a public objection to words, subjects and/or information in books, films, and other media with the idea of depriving others from reading or viewing them.

Personally, I prefer a slightly tighter definition, one that includes the fact that real censorship is usually the action of government authority, like the kind of thing that happens in repressive communist regimes around the world. China censoring certain information on the internet comes to mind.

It seems to me that both definitions probably apply to the recent actions of the Obama campaign. First they tried to stop the airing of a commercial by an independent 527 group. He did this by sending threatening letters to the TV stations warning of possible justice department investigations. He then took it even further by sending a second letter calling for the prosecution of the individual who funded the ad. Which brings us up to today.

Today the Obama campaign has gone even further, trying to shout down Stanley Kurtz appearance on a radio show. Note, we’re not talking about Daily Kos here, this is the campaign organizing this (albeit with help from surrogates):

Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign organized its supporters Wednesday night to confront Tribune-owned WGN-AM in Chicago for having a critic of the Illinois Democrat on its air.

“WGN radio is giving right-wing hatchet man Stanley Kurtz a forum to air his baseless, fear-mongering terrorist smears,” Obama’s campaign wrote in an e-mail to supporters. “He’s currently scheduled to spend a solid two-hour block from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. pushing lies, distortions, and manipulations about Barack and University of Illinois professor William Ayers.”

“Tell WGN that by providing Kurtz with airtime, they are legitimizing baseless attacks from a smear-merchant and lowering the standards of political discourse,” the note said.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that WGN would give a slimy character assassin like Kurtz time for his divisive, destructive ranting on our public airwaves,” the note continued. “At the very least, they should offer sane, honest rebuttal to every one of Kurtz’s lies.”

Apparently, Obama’s supporters don’t like “divisive, destructive ranting” on the public airwaves. No doubt they’d prefer something along the lines of the congenial, unanimity found on Cuban state radio. Or perhaps the massaged message of Pravda.

Guess what, you nuts, this is the United States of America!

We prize freedom of speech on “the public airwaves.” Please note that they’re the public’s airwaves, not yours and not the Democratic party’s. So I’ll give you the same advice Hollywood has been giving parents for years. If you don’t like it, turn the dial.

And, hey Barack, you have some nerve using your status, money and army of lawyers to try and shut down public debate. Frankly, it says a lot about you. A man who’d turn his campaign apparatus loose on a single journalist (not having even heard what the man has to say) must have a great deal to fear.

That set at Invesco field is starting to make a lot more sense. Barack Obama isn’t running for President, he’s looking to be crowned Caesar.

Update: Read this account of the interview itself written by Guy Benson who was there:

The experience was surreal, amusing, and chilling. In a matter of hours, a major national campaign had called on its legions to bully a radio show out of airing an interview with a legitimate scholar asking legitimate political questions.

When Obama Says "No Change" It Means "Major Change Coming"

I reproduced the complete post from someone named Tuari that appeared today on (link at left) because it gives a succinct argument why Barack Obama's attack on Sarah Palin is wrong.

I just heard that Obama released a new ad saying that the Palin choice means “no change”. I’m going through an exercise in futility in trying to figure out exactly what Obama defines “change” as. Palin is a HUGE change in the government as a whole in practically every regard. She’s anti-govt corruption, anti-big spending, for morality, for family, pro-country. The only thing I can come up with is that Obama’s “change” is just the opposite of those. His record does show that pretty well too. I always gave libs the benefit of the doubt, I mean who would want to be against freedom, family, country, but I guess they really are pro corruption (Obama and his associates and deals, saying whatever gets you elected instead of standing by your convictions), big spending (raising taxes, adding tons of heavy govt programs), anti-US (His pastor, his and his wife’s various speeches and Freudian slips), anti-family (having children is a burden). It’s quite scary that’s the “change” they can believe in. Makes you wonder if there’s something in the water.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Youtube Still At It

This is reproduced complete from Jawa Report at Not only do they provide a communications platform for jihadis but they are famous for losing down the memory hole many, many posts that are not Obamastic enough. They could also be called Big Brother Tube.

August 25, 2008
YouTube: Helping Kill Americans Since 2005!


YouTube allows terrorist sympathizer to spread terrorist propaganda. That propaganda incites Muslims to become terrorists and kill Americans.

No, most Muslims who view this propaganda won't become terrorists. That's not how propaganda works.

But many will cheer. Some will become sympathetic. Some of those will become angry or, even worse, inspired. Some of these will donate funds to "resistance movements". Others will join the "Islamic resistance" in Somalia, Chechnya, Kashmir, Afghanistan, or Iraq. If they can get there.

And some will stay home and kill. Or try to.

The worst part? YouTube knows that al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations use their platform and do nothing (or not nearly enough) about it.

Sure, Islamic extremists have long used the internet. Before there was a YouTube, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's underground army of internet helpers, led by Britains Younis Tsouli, thought they had perfected the art of preparing and disseminating propaganda meant to show that the jihadis were winning and terrify Muslims into non-cooperation with the US.

Looking back, they were amateurs. Because compared to the global reach of YouTube, their distribution systems were clumsy and limited.

If you were already a jihad sympathizer you could always find al Qaeda's propaganda. But it was work. Now? YouTube is your one stop-shopping experience where all the latest videos showing Americans getting killed are just one click away.

What WalMart is to retail, YouTube is becomiing for the jihad community.

The most hardcore jihadis continue to hangout at forums like Ekhlaas and al-Firdaws where links to videos are swapped (many of these videos hosted at, which like YouTube is also owned by Google). But YouTube reaches a much wider audience and is much more easily accessed than the password protected forums where one is only admitted after having been "vouched" for.

What's the difference?

According to Alexa, the percent of global internet users who visited Ekhlaas, al Qaeda's official propaganda outlet, over the past three months is 0.00016%.

Al-Firdaws, which has what many consider the most "authentic" of all the English language terrorist forums, boasts 0.00029% of internet users.

YouTube? 18.5% of all internet users regularly visit YouTube.

While al Qaeda's official outlets reach only tens of thousands of people a day, by distributing their propaganda through YouTube they have a potential audience in the tens of millions.

So, if you've had loved ones killed or wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan over the past three years you may just want to thank YouTube for giving terrorists the tools they need to raise funds and recruit new blood.

How bad is it over at YouTube? Very.

For instance, meet user "abdullhasif" from "Iraq". Apparently "abdullhasif's" occupation is "jehad" and he works for "Al Qaeeda".

In addition to posting several official al Qaeda as-Sahab productions, he also likes to post videos of American soldiers being shot in Iraq.

Now meet "elekhlaas" from Iraq. He says (in Arabic) that his channel's mission is to "transfer the facts and true picture of the raging fight being waged between the young heroes of Islam". He features Osama bin Laden's Message to the peoples of the West on the 60th Anniversary of Israel.

Here is "fas556". His website is "" which happens to be the closest thing al Qaeda has to an official forum. It is the place where al-Fajr releases all of al Qaed'a productions (either through their as Sahab or al Furqan brands). The same Ekhlaas forum I mention above.

Fas556 is 25 and lives on the Arabian Peninsula. His avatar, the symbol he has picked to represent himself online, is the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq--al Qaeda's front group in Iraq. He doesn't have many videos, just two. One a tribute to Osama bin Laden. The other one lamenting the tragedy of the Crusader occupation of Muslim lands and encouraging Muslim youths to become mujahideen.

How many others at YouTube have some relationship with Ekhlaas? Hundreds if not thousands.

Some examples:

User: thair123
Homepage: (alternate Ekhlaas URL)
Avatar: Army of al-Mustafa (al Qaeda ally in Iraq)
Videos: Islamic State of Iraq (al Qaeda), Ansar al-Islam (designated terror group), Army of al-Mustafa
Major theme: Killing Americans

User: islamicstate
Homepage: (alternate Ekhlaas URL)
Avatar: Islamic State of Iraq (al Qaeda)
Videos: (favorites only) al Qaeda in Iraq.
Themes: al Furqan al Qaeda in Iraq support videos (Americans killed, mujahideen martyrs, IEDs, etc)

User: AlqaedaBase (group)
Homepage: Ekhlaas
Avatar: Tawhid wal Jihad (old al Qaeda in Iraq under Zarqawi)
Videos: al Qaeda interviews and al Qaeda martyrs
Themes: General al Qaeda support

User: fatehalislam33
Homepage: Ekhlaas (see "more info" on all videos)
Avatar: Fatah al-Islam (al Qaeda in Lebanon)
Videos: Fatah al-Islam
Themes: Salafi Sunni jihad in Lebanon

User: HerosDocument
Homepage: Ekhlaas (see "more info" on all videos)
Avatar: Ayman al-Zawahiri
Videos: al Qaeda as Sahab productions
Themes: General al Qaeda support

User: CPOJdrbj (Confidential Path of Jihad)
Homepage: (French jihadi site, links Ekhlaas)
Avatar: Confidential Path of Jihad
Videos: Original productions in support of Ekhlaas, al Qaeda in Iraq, al Qaeda
Themes: Lauding martyrs of al Qaeda & urging others to follow their example

Those are only some examples of users who directly link to the Ekhlaas forum. Thousands of others openly support violent jihad and show videos of attacks on Americans in that context.

But of all the thousands--and I mean literally thousands--of jihad propaganda videos on YouTube, you know which one pisses me off the most? Al Qaeda in Iraq video showing the desecrated body of Major Troy Gilbert.

Troy and his wife Ginger have five children together.

The user lists the disgusting video as comedy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Why Biden?

Why indeed. Obama is not necessarily planning to keep him as a running mate. But he might be useful at present. Hillary Clinton's supporters are an unhappy lot and many would like to dislodge Obama during the convention. Many super delegates must be skittish looking at Obama's poor performance and slippage in the polls. His hypnotic worship of Europe and China will only serve to continually drive mainstream voters away from him.
Putting Biden on the ticket can get him past the dangers of the convention. Biden has long standing and deep ties to many super delegates, labor leaders, Washington insiders and Democrat party insiders. Biden will insulate him against any possible revolts at the convention.
Then, after the convention Obama could replace Biden with someone more to his liking. And Biden would then join the many people that Obama has been forced by convenience to throw under the bus.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

If the Anarchy Doesn't Kill You, The Nuance Will

The following is from an article in The New English Review from May 2007 by Theodore Dalyrmple which is a pen name of Anthony Daniels. Daniels is a retired psychiatrist who often writes about culture. I see it as an indictment of the obsession of liberals with nuance. My own personal indictment might be more on the lines of, ‘if you can‘t win with the truth then baffle them with bullshit.’

“In my youth (in which I include my early adulthood), I read a lot of philosophy. . . . .
In those days, the Soviet Union loomed very large in all our imaginations. It was the ruffian on the stair of western civilisation, or a looming presence to the east. And that meant that, for anyone who wanted to understand the world, it appeared necessary to immerse himself in Marxism (actually, it was more important to read the history of the Russian intelligentsia from the time of Nicholas I than to read Marx), since the Soviet Union claimed to be a society founded on Marxist principles.
Marxist writers were not famed for their clarity or elegance of exposition. Indeed, clarity was rather looked down upon by them, for the dialectical nature of the world was inherently hard to understand and therefore to express. For Marxists, clarity was simplification, or worse still vulgarisation. It was the handmaiden of false consciousness that misled the workers into not being revolutionaries.”

This is what liberals frequently espouse: lack of nuance is, "the handmaiden of false consciousness that misleads workers . . . "

Dalyrmple's piece is an interesting comparison of marxism to the teachings of the Egyptian, Qutb, who is often seen as the main intellectual father of radical and jihadist Islam. It can be found at

Monday, August 18, 2008

Above My Pay Grade

Barack Obama has refused to state his views on the starting point of life refering interested parties to those who make more money. Yet, while in the Illinois state legislature and the US senate he has engaged in debate and voted on measures that imply some view on this question. I'm not going to complain about this. I just think he should return to the state of Illinois and the US treasury any monies he has received that go beyond the minimum wage. The perks he has also gotten (which are probably well in excess of a normal person's yearly pay), I don't think we should haggle over at present. He should also agree to never again try to teach constitutional law.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Obama Brings Peace to Georgia ? ? ?

Stupid Democrat credits Obama's words with bringing ceasefire while Russian pillage of Georgia continues. Are we going to end up with some Obamian equivalent of, "peace in our time"? Will Barry bring us peace through diplomacy and constructive engagement that will have Russia, China and Al Qaeda dividing the earth among themselves? Will the Democrats even know what is going on in the world? If you don't even know the location and actions of a rival's army, what can you do but lose when you talk to them?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Liberals Always Right on Terrorism . . . until Mugged by Reality

Below are two paragraphs from Bernard Goldberg's Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right. From page 109.

If there is another 9/11--or worse--liberals will insist, "We were just trying to protect everyone's constitutional rights." Expect no mea culpas from the Left. Liberals, after all, are virtuous by definition. Which is why they never bear responsibility for the consequences of their actions. As far as they're concerned, nothing else needs to be said.
But let's say it anyway: If there is another terrorist attack on Americans, lots more reasonable Democrats will move to the right and enthusiastically support George Bush and his war on terror. A conservative, don't forget is a liberal who's been mugged by reality, as the saying goes. But rest assured that the true believers will never budge. In their world, George Bush is worse than the terrorists. That's their story and they're sticking to it.

Hitchens on Iraq

Below are a couple of excerpts from a piece by Christopher Hitchens in Slate on 8-11-08. It's title is Iraq's Budget Surplus Scandal . . .. subtitle Why Do We Have Such A Hard Time Hearing Good News from Iraq.

Yes indeed, Iraq should pay for its own reconstruction. But, just before we all join hands on this obvious proposition, may we take a moment to apologize to Paul Wolfowitz? Of all the many slanders hurled at this advocate for Iraq's liberation, probably none was more gleefully bandied about than his congressional testimony that Iraq's recovery from decades of war and fascism could be self-financing. Now the opponents of the intervention are yelling that Iraq ought to be opening its bulging wallet right away.

. . . . . . . .

I think we should be glad that the luridly sadistic and aggressive Saddam Hussein regime is no longer in power to be the beneficiary of the rise in oil prices and thus able to share its wealth with the terrorists, crooks, and demagogues on its secret payroll. I think we should also be glad that its private ownership of Iraq's armed forces, and its control over a party monopoly called the Baath, has been irrecoverably smashed. Iraq's resources are no longer at the disposal of an aggressive, parasitic oligarchy. Its retrained and re-equipped army is being deployed, not in wars of invasion against its neighbors and genocide against its inhabitants, but in cleanup campaigns against al-Qaida and the Mahdi Army. An improvement. A distinct improvement.

It is in no spirit of revenge that I remind you that, as little as a year ago, the whole of smart liberal opinion believed that the dissolution of Baathism and militarism had been a mistake, that Iraq itself was a bottomless pit of wasted dollars and pointless casualties, and that the only option was to withdraw as fast as possible and let the inevitable civil war burn itself out. To the left of that liberal consensus, people of the caliber and quality of Michael Moore were describing the nihilist "insurgents" as the moral equivalent of the Minutemen, and to the right of the same consensus, people like Pat Buchanan were hinting that we had been cheated into the whole enterprise by a certain minority whose collective name began with the letter J.
. . . . I still reel when I remember how many supposedly responsible people advocated surrendering Iraq without a fight.
. . . . . . . . . . . .

So, yes, major combat operations appear to be over, and to that extent one can belatedly say, "Mission accomplished." If there is any Iraqi nostalgia for the old party and the old army, it is remarkably well-concealed. Iraq no longer plays deceptive games with weapons of mass destruction or plays host to international terrorist groups. It is no longer subject to sanctions that punish its people and enrich its rulers. Its religious and ethnic minorities—together a majority—are no longer treated like disposable trash. Its most bitter internal argument is about the timing of the next provincial and national elections. Surely it is those who opposed every step of this emancipation, rather than those who advocated it, who should be asked to explain and justify themselves.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Wire

I’ve been renting episodes of The Wire from Netflix. It's scope is surprising. It goes from the lowest to highest level drug dealers and the cops who chase them. It even goes into the little ghetto kids that run errands for the street dealers and the school these kids go to and some insight into how and why the schools are so screwed up. And the story of the cops is put in perspective by the story of the police administration that tries to keep street level cops away from the upper level drug dealers because the politicians who run the police are in the pay of the dealers. It also gets into the newspaper people who cover all of this plus a long look at the dock union that helps bring in the drugs. It does this all with a large cast of funny and fascinating characters in a series of connected stories with endless plot twists. Oh, there are also the girls who work at the titty bar where one of the big dealers has set up an office and also some guys that make a living stealing from drug dealers. It also spends some time on Narcotics Anonymous showing the clean and the not so clean (a common dichotomy throughout the series). It presents a realistic view of the long and difficult road an addict wanting to clean up must travel. The viewer also gets to see something about the court system, the judges and the prosecution and defense lawyers. And I’ve probably left someone or some facet out.
I especially enjoyed the way The Wire has portrayed bureaucracy in its day to day ugliness. I had become disgusted by this evil while working as a nurse for over fifteen years. Many hospital employees punch in and then spend the day engrossed in mindless pursuits unrelated to their jobs. This was especially painful to me a couple of years ago when I spent months hospitalized after major surgery and found that it was frequently impossible to get help from nurses and others who did not want their day disturbed by patient needs and requests. In The Wire there are a couple of drunken cops who will not work. And there is nothing their bosses or peers can do to get them off their asses: an attempt by another cop to get these drunks to do something is more trouble and aggravation than the cop just doing it himself. I worked with a charge nurse who watched this kind of thing on our unit in a mixture of frustration and amusement. She said that if you ever got one of these people to do something they would mess it up so much that you would be unlikely to ask anything of them again. I found these people maddening and have wanted to write about their indifference to their patients, their jobs and their fellow workers. But I don’t need to write about it since The Wire captures them perfectly.